Part Twenty-Seven, 1 of 2: Reactionary
Notes: This is the next part of a spin-off story of a series I posted on Literotica (titled Bonded, as Carizabeth) and the subject matter is m/m sci fi. I know this is a short post, but I had to get something up before Thanksgiving or feel like a total bum. The second half of this part is almost done and will be up shortly. Longer too, I’m thinkin’.
PS-Happy Thanksgiving! Wait…what will I do without turkey cooked in a dutch oven?
Garrett tended to take most things in stride following his lengthy stay in a rehabilitation clinic as a teenager. The part of him that responded with the strongest emotions, the part that was responsible for real outrage and unspeakable joy, that part had been dulled to calm his brain and level his mood. Garrett still enjoyed a good fight and recent events had shown that he could still be depressed when the tragic or the unexpected hit, but for the most part he considered himself remarkably even-keeled. So experiencing real shock and surprise wasn’t something that happened very often, and after the last few weeks he’d had he didn’t expect to experience any more unless something miraculous happened.
It didn’t end u being miraculous, but what Garrett found out was a hell of a surprise.
He was eating breakfast with Claudia when he got the news. Therese was cutting up fresh fruit at the counter, Claudia was sipping tea and watching with amused eyes as Garrett tried to feed Renee from a bottle.
“She’s squirmy,” he muttered, trying to get the nipple to her mouth but missing and hitting her cheek instead as she wiggled in the cradle of his arm.
“She’s hungry,” Claudia corrected with a grin. “She feeds from a bottle all the time, Gare, you can do this.”
“It’s not the feeding, it’s the holding and feeding simultaneously,” Garrett said, trying and missing Renee’s mouth again. She wailed and waved her arms. “You’ve either got to hold still for this, honey, or we’ve got to get some tie-downs.” Finally he got the nipple to her mouth and relaxed as Renee started to suck voraciously. “Damn, you are an eating machine, aren’t you?”
“Garrett,” Claudia chided him gently. “Come on, it can’t be that surprising. Don’t you feed Cody?”
“Cody is six. I can call up a meal for him and sit by and watch him eat it and yeah, he too is an eating machine but I don’t have to do the feeding. Except for cutting things up into bites, sometimes.”
“He sounds like a good kid.”
“He’s a great kid,” Garrett agreed. The last time he and Cody had had breakfast it had been just the two of them; Jonah had been on shift, flying shuttles inland. They’d eaten waffles delivered from the ship’s kitchen and tried to balance their forks together over the top of a bottle. Things had been strained between the adults but Cody was happily oblivious, and the ease that Garrett had interacting with him was a palpable relief. Cody was so easy. So happy.
“You miss him? You could call them,” Claudia offered.
“Not right now,” Garrett said. “Later.” Later.
“Are you sure? I bet it would do you good to see a friendly face.”
“It would,” Garrett said. Then, just to be an ass, he continued, “Like Isidore. Does he still work here? I haven’t heard any mention of him for a few months.”
When he looked up from Renee, Garrett was surprised to see Claudia’s complexion draining to a pallid white. “Oh…oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you…I thought you knew, but I shouldn’t have assumed that.”
“Tell me what?” Garrett’s stomach twisted uncomfortably. He wasn’t in love with Isidore, but he did like him. “Is he dead?”
“No…no, Gare, he…Isidore is a suspect.”
This time Garrett’s stomach dropped clean out of his body with shock. Isidore Cain was a suspect in a terrorist attack? Adorable, gentle, ridiculously appealing Isidore? Whom Garrett had recommended to Wyl as a mechanic? No fucking way. Apart from all the other reasons, Garrett’s ability to judge people could not possibly be that bad. “He’s a suspect? Claudia, Isidore is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. He is not the kind of person to smuggle explosives into the governor’s military base and blow up his fucking motor pool!”
“Language,” Therese said severely, and came over and took Renee and the bottle out of his arms. She left the kitchen and left Claudia shifting in her seat, not really meeting Garrett’s eyes.
“No, it’s not that he did the blowing-up himself, but he let the person in who did,” she continued. “The cameras showed that it was his cousin. Isidore let him into the compound because he said he was delivering parts for a custom bike that Isidore and Wyl were putting together in their spare time. But instead he had a bomb, concealed in the machinery so the surface scans at the gate didn’t see it, and he set it next to the generator. He was killed in the explosion.”
“I do remember that.” Claudia had left him a message detailing that part while Garrett was engaged in his mad dash back to Paradise. “But that doesn’t mean that Isidore had anything to do with his cousin’s insanity. I can’t believe it.”
“I know.” Well, huh. Garrett had been expecting a bit of a fight about that. “I mean, I know Isidore, Gare, and I don’t think he had any involvement other than letting his cousin inside. But his father’s half of the family has a lot of ties to the resistance, it was one of the things that bothered Jane about hiring him in the first place but Wyl talked her into it.
“Once Robbie made the connection, he put Isidore into a holding cell. I know that he’s talked to him several times, but Isidore hadn’t been released yet. Robbie wanted to hold him as an enemy combatant.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Garrett pushed to his feet, anger surging through him. “If Robbie questioned him, then he’s already gotten everything he possibly can out of him. Robbie’s interrogations could make a robot beg for its maker and Isidore isn’t a criminal, he wouldn’t try to lie. He wouldn’t want to. He should be let go. He should at least be given legal counsel.” Garrett paced back and forth for a moment, then whirled to look at Claudia again. “I need to speak to him.”
“The guards won’t let you in, Gare,” Claudia said with a sigh. “They’re under orders not to.”
“Then I need to talk to Robbie. He gets back in today, right?”
“Garrett…” Claudia sighed, stood up and came over to him, placing a hand on his arm. “It was chaos. Robbie had to take control and fast, and Wyl had been injured and he was put almost immediately into a Regen chamber, you know how much harder he experiences everything and he just couldn’t take it. They barely had a chance to speak before Wyl went under, and everything was just…it was very hard, Gare, and it’s still so hard for Robbie.”
“I get that, Claudia, but that isn’t an excuse for him being an idiot.”
“You have to be kind, Garrett.”
“I plan on being kind, honey.” Garrett squeezed her shoulder gently before turning and heading towards his room. With Robbie, though, kind could mean giving him a swift kick in the ass, literally. To get away with that, Garrett had to be prepared.