"I know you don’t care. I know that. You’re a Crook — you don’t have to give a damn about my feelings but you’re always just—“ He shuddered again. “I know I’m fired. I don’t care. But I can’t — not today, okay? I just can’t play along today, all right?"
“I’m sorry, maybe I never explained something to you,” Leather hissed. “You don’t add people to my plan without telling me!”
"...Chapman’s not babbling. He’s asking questions. He won’t stop asking questions.”
“Isn’t that literally what an interviewer does?” the brown haired bagman asked.
“No. An interviewer follows a script — maybe digging a bit deep here and there, but not too much. All he wants are easy answers he can write up to everyone’s satisfaction. You read a couple’a issues of Amplifer, right? Those things are PR. We talked about this. There’s never surprises.”
“And Chapman’s asking questions.” Marco was frowning. “He isn’t putting together a breezy little five page publicity exercise. He’s trying to understand. He’s actively trying to understand.”
The Steve was frowning. “Marco’s right,” he said. “He’s…”
Pieces fell into place. “Oh shit, he’s a journalist,” the Steve said, softly.
“Four henches?” Chapman looked around, then looked right at the Steve. He clearly hadn’t even noticed the Steve was in the room before now.
“Yeah, he’s on the job tonight too. He’s Steve.”
“His name’s Steve?”
“His job’s Steve. Every job needs a Steve.”
“One day?” Marco asked. He paused. “Oh shit, you got a bite.”
“A bite?” the brown haired bagman asked.
Leather beamed. “Yes I did, Marco! Yes I did! That brings me to the next item on the agenda…
Below is a sneak peek of this content!The Patreon Exclusive Notes and Worldbuilding returns, bringing us to Greenhorn #4. Spoilers for that, “Diverged in a Wood,” “Forebears,” and some other stuff so be warned.
“Or sometimes it’s just… it’s just what they do, and I have no idea why. I mentioned Bandolier? He loves Paramount City. And he really wants to kill the Beacon, but he’s also… he’s a friend and I don’t want to bag on him, but he’s… protective of her. He hates her but doesn’t want to hear shit about her. I know it’s not sexual or romantic or stalker-twisted-things-its-romantic. I just don’t know what it actually is. It’s like… rival baseball teams, only it’s a hero and villain and the villain builds a lot of deathtraps.”
“Look, I know it’s vigilante justice, but there’s a right way and a wrong way, you know? I can’t just go crack skulls because they might be selling drugs. I have to have more than that. If I don’t, then there’s too much of a chance of screwing up – of hurting someone because I don’t like their looks. There are words for that, and I don’t like those words at all. Nuh-uh. No thank you.”
“I don’t want to have to rescue you, Chapman. I’m not going out there to rescue you or perform for you. I’m going out to fight crime. And believe it or not? That’s not easy and that’s not safe. Not for me, not for innocent bystanders, not for idiot reporters, and not even for the criminals I’ll be taking down. And if you go waltzing around playing out your Truncheon fantasies, you might get hurt. You might get killed. Or? You might get me hurt or killed. And more likely than either of those? You might get some innocent bystander hurt or killed.”
She stepped back, her eyes still intense as lasers as they burned into mine. “Get this in your head, Chapman. We’re. Not. Getting. Anyone. Killed.”
"Leather's a cool boss. If we keep our noses clean for a few weeks? Then she'll forgive us and the next time we fuck up it'll be another speech. But, y'know, if we fuck up before that? She wasn't kidding last night. She's got no sense of perspective. She will burn your house to the ground and laugh while she's doing it." He laughed. "She doesn't always look crazy or sound crazy, but trust me, man. She's crazy."
“You know what it is? It’s smug. No. No, it’s misogynistic. All these bad girls really need is a good hard dicking and then they’ll be sweet innocent little flowers and they’ll happily prance off into the kitchen and bake shit.” She shook her head. “I don’t know how the heroines put up with it. I really don’t. But then, I was a piss-poor heroine.”