"Not very funny, guy." Then his head flopped back down onto the pillow. He was tired.
"So you are up, old boy. They told me that they weren't sure when you'd get back awake. You've been out like a light for the whole week. Cheering to see you conscious again."
Alexis' head shot up again. "What? Week? I've been out for a week?!"
Luke nodded. Alexis shook his head and laid it back down again. "Man... that guy really did a number on me."
"So I've heard..." Luke pulled out a small, charred white cloth and tossed it onto Alexis' chest. Alexis looked at him quizzically.
"My dear boy, that's about all that remains and is feasibly reusable in the Mark IV. That's two $10 million dollar suits you've utterly destroyed in the service of mankind."
"Oh." Alexis was quiet. Luke grinned roguishly in return, however.
"Just means that we'll have to make a special version of the Mark IX for you. My boy, you'll love the new modifications we've planned for it - I've gleaned information from some of the higher ups and you know that magic sealing material-"
"Luke..." Alexis broke in quietly. Luke didn't hear.
"-for well it turns out that it has amazing properties that can be used besides the most obvious one and given what I've found out from the government about your foe well I figured this would be the best and those taser sticks are getting redone-"
"Luke..." Alexis raised his voice, but the aristocrat still did not notice and kept babbling.
"-and you'll love this it's totally Helena-proof should be fixed up by the time that you get-"
"Luke!" Alexis screamed at the top of his lungs. Luke shot up in his wheelchair, startled and sheepish. "What, what is it?"
"I don't care about the Mark IX. Not yet, anyway. Until I get out of these casts, it's going to be useless to me. I do care about the following things: Where the hell am I, and where the hell is everyone else?"
"Understandable, mate." Luke mused and stroked his chin fuzz. "Well... you are in a secret government facility around Roanoke. Clearance level is Azoth, meaning that getting in here is hell. Your family did manage a visit earlier in the week with my help, but you were unconscious. I have a much easier time of it, since I already have a fairly high level clearance for SkylarTech... but it still takes me eight hours to plan a trip to here."
Alexis whistled. "Well... that answers a lot of my questions. What I'd really like to know now is... what the hell happened after I got knocked out?"
"Can't say, 'Lex, I'm not privy to that information..." Then Luke realized Alexis was not looking at him, but behind him. "Wait, what are you gandering at?" He rotated his wheelchair around. Nemean was standing in the doorway, her right arm in a cast, her left arm holding a heavy briefcase. Her face was expression-less - the type of expression-less that means "I'm about to snap and kill lots of people if one more thing goes wrong."
"How long have you been there, Colonel?" Alexis stared at her arm. What the hell could do that?
"Not long, Mr. Decker. Mr. Skylar." She nodded at Luke. Luke turned to Alexis, who nodded and smiled reassuringly.
"Alright then, old boy." Luke backed up his chair and wheeled out of the room, stopping to pause as he passed Nemean. "I'll be right outside the door, chap, so don't hesitate to call if you need any assistance with this, ah... onerously obtuse, odious, and overtly obese – ah – ofay."
Alexis stifled a giggle. Nemean looked at the two of them oddly. "Inside joke."
"Right." She closed the door behind herself - it slammed shut with a bang. The two stared at each other for a few seconds.
"So what the hell did that to your arm?" Alexis pointed. Nemean growled and sat down. "Star Wars."
"Huh?" Alexis raised an eyebrow.
"Star Wars. The Satellite Defense System. Some fucker hijacked the array and fired on us."
"...What the hell." Alexis stared at her arm again. "Then how the hell are you..."
"Alive? I'm practically impervious to low frequencies of the EM spectrum, and to prevent fall-out, the lasers operate in the infrared. The fractured arm is from a combination of the laser and then the fall I took into the sudden 25 yard-deep pit it made." She grimaced.
Alexis let out a low whistle. "Getting fired at by a space laser array. Damn. Your day sucked more than mine."
"What did happen? We surmised there was a large simultaneous set of explosions of some kind, but that's all we know. ...Hermes can't exactly tell us." She clenched her teeth.
"Hermes? What hap-"
"Dead. Neck was snapped. He narrowly evaded the laser just to get his neck snapped."
"...Oh." Alexis' eyes widened, then narrowed. He said a prayer underneath his breath for Hermes' soul.
"So tell me what I need to know, Decker. Who did this? What fucker did this?!" Nemean screamed and slammed her fist into the wall, denting it. Based on the scrambled and scattered reports from headquarters, she already knew the answer, but she wanted absolute confirmation.
"He didn't exactly tell me his name. But he was... he was wearing a trenchcoat of some kind... and some sort of black armor underneath, I hadn't seen it before-"
"Was it rough and lumpy?"
"I... think so. Not sure. Looked like he was black, too. Very fair-skinned, though. Not too tall, maybe shorter than me. And he had telekinesis, I think."
"Not telekinesis. Aerokinesis." Nemean stood up.
"Sounds like you know who we're dealing with."
"Yes, yes I do. You never interacted with him much, your egos were both too big for Aquila to think you could work together well. But he's a rogue agent of ours, his name's Aeolus."
Alexis snorted. "Well, that's no surprise. Not like you guys could ever keep your act together. First Helena, now him. You guys practically leak potential threats to the safety of the world."
Nemean turned and shot a dark glare at Alexis. "At least, Decker, we have not needed to put our own family and friends who have never been trained to fight up on the chopping block just to save ourselves. We've never had to ask a civilian to come in and take a bullet for us because we're too brash and stupid and self-concerned with our egos to admit that we need help. An entire organization. You, on the other hand, as a sole entity have required payment for your services. Your fiancée's life and your best friend's legs. Tell me, out of the few that we've lost, how many others do you think we have protected? Do you know how many crises we averted since before you were a twinkle in your father's eye? You think a few hundred thousand dead across the nation is big? It is! But half the world hasn't been blown off and believe me that if it wasn't for us, it would have been, years ago."
Alexis said nothing, only glowering at her.
"But then, I suppose that's a distinction self-centered little dipshits wouldn't ever bother making." She began to head for the door, then she turned and faced Alexis.
"You should be healed properly in two weeks. The Qamean Solution that's been administered to you throughout the past week has accelerated your growth rate. In two weeks, I will see you again, and we are going hunting for our rogue agent."
Alexis said nothing.
"And for the record, Decker, you did well. Thank you." Then she stepped out the door.