– Or Cedar Reeves Has Emotional Issues –
UPDATED: Okay, so this is a short character study, set in the Deus Ex universe because…well, I can do that. This is now the second draft, but it will probably change even more. I’ll do my best to update it.
Detective Cedar Reeves was not a famous detective. She worked in East Lansing, Michigan as a homicide detective dabbling in petty crime, as homicides were rather rare on that side of Lansing. Or, at least, she did.
Cedar had been on bed rest for the last four months, and would continue to be on bed rest for the foreseeable future.
No, Detective Reeves was not a famous detective, but she was known for something. Her injury in the line of duty even made Picus news, which would have been shocking, except that Cedar’s injuries came at the hands of an augmented dead-beat.
She had been working a case, and had stupidly followed a lead on her own. The man she was tailing was huge, clearly a muscle head with the two largest arm augmentations Cedar had ever seem on a person. His name was Gabriel, and he looked like a gorilla. Which is why it was easy enough for him to overpower Cedar and steal her car.
Cedar woke up in the passenger seat of a car driving straight for a house. The next thing she remembered was waking up in the hospital, half way through a slew of surgeries. Both of her legs were still gone, but Cedar was too doped up to care.
Her mother had made the decision; ordered life saving surgery, and a complete overhaul of Cedar’s body.
“You’ll be able to work again.” Her mother had wailed when Cedar put her fist through a painting on her recovery room wall. The LIMB clinic moved her to isolated recovery some nights later.
Cedar sighed and pulled out her cigarette case. She had never really been a big smoker, but that was back when she had stuff to do. Currently, she was in her apartment, watching raindrops roll down the windows. She lit the cigarette.
Her apartment was large, by most standards. She was currently sitting in the living room, straight down the hall and down the stairs from her front door. It was cavernous; two rectangular couches sat in the center of the room, facing opposite walls. They were oversized, more like beds than couches; one faced the large, wall length windows on the north wall, and the other faced the TV on the south wall. Old family pictures and prints of Van Gogh paintings hung on the east wall, which was lined, at the bottom, with bookshelves full of well-loved print books.
The rest of the apartment was cramped in comparison to the living room. Cedar’s tiny kitchen was up the stairs and to the right. There was a window over looking the the single tree in the strip of grass between Cedar’s building and another in the complex. The bedroom was to the left of the stairs; large and mostly empty. Cedar spent most of her time on the couch in front of the windows.
On any normal day, she would also be accompanied by her German Shepard, Riddick, but he was at the kennel for another few days. He had been put there for the duration of Cedar’s ‘trip’ to visit her ex-boyfriend’s parents after his funeral. She came home a week early, but had paid for two weeks. He was probably a bit happier there, anyway; everyone needs a vacation.
Cedar took a long drag of her cigarette, exhaled, and slammed her head against the back of the couch. “The boredom,” she lamented to the ceiling, “the boredom, I could probably handle if I could go outside without feeling exposed. I can’t stand the staring.”
Cedar sat up, put her cigarette in a free slot on her ashtray, and ran a metal hand over her face.
It’s not as if she looks exceptionally weird. She’s six-o, built (but not bulky), and exasperated. Her face is round, the bags under her circuit-green eyes are a dark purple, and her short, brown hair is spiked up and out of her face. Cedar hadn’t been self-conscious about her looks since high school.
But now she was ‘missing’ an arm and a half, a leg and a half, and had scars running across the whole of her face. She had been angry over the change, yes; furious. Once she let it sink in, however, Cedar hadn’t thought much about the physical change. She even had humor enough to…adjust the wing tattoo on her left shoulder blade. It’s now broken, ragged where the metal meets her skin.
Most people, however, don’t share her humor about the situation. Fact is, someone made the call to have Cedar outfitted with SWAT-standard augs, and those scared people. Walk into a store with black, metal arms that give the user ridiculous levels of strength, and even the most pro-augmentation individual is going to give you the stink-eye.
It doesn’t help that ‘bed rest’ is a nice term for ‘recovery and therapy,’ which is still a nice way of saying ‘Detective Reeves is sending up all of our psychological red flags.’ She pulls her cigarette to her mouth on shaky fingers.
“Computer, play artist: Murder By Death.” Cedar drawled lightly, amused that, somewhere along the line, her house computer became the computer of the starship Enterprise. If only it could make her a good cup of earl grey, too.
The computer complied and the first chords of ‘Shiola’ oozed out of the speaker system. Cedar scowled, but let it play. The rain picked up, and pounded against her window, trying desperately to get in. Each drop was backlit by the sulfur-yellow lights of the apartment complex.
Cedar put her cigarette back in the ashtray, and walked over to the window. The man who drove her through that house; he killed a couple and their three children before dying in the front seat of Cedar’s car. Picus had painted Cedar as some sort of hero, but she had made a rookie mistake. If she still had her job at the other end of this hell, she would be disappointed in the department.
That family died, and Cedar got to live. Stigma must be her punishment for that. Neuropozyne was a close second in terms of tourture.
She mouthed the words to the song: ‘Shiola, Shiola, will all be forgiven?’ Cedar pressed her forehead to the cold windowpane.
‘Shiola, Shiola, am I strong enough to start again alone?’