"....you're talking about going after Countess Crey, Jon."
"I know." The scrapper looked as grim as he felt.
"I guess you know what you are facing....all of Crey's power, political, legal, technological....No one's been able to bring Crey down, Jon. Do you actually think you can do it alone?"
"Not alone, no." He shifted, turned to face the police Captain. "I'm going to need help, lots of it, from everyone who has anything to offer, and who is willing." He waited.
Stacy sighed. "Well...all right, Jon, if you're asking me if I'm on your side, I'm in. I'll do what I can. But you know that I am bound by the law. I can't step outside that or outside my authority or jurisdiction."
"And I can't step outside what I consider to be ethical, either. I've done that once....I won't do it again. I'll just have to find a way. Find a way to make things work."
"You could die, Jon. Crey plays rough. Falcon died. He was good, and he was smart, and he wanted to do things the right way, too. Look where it got him."
Jon stared at the floor. "I have everything I've learned, and I also have what the Falcon learned...and lost his life for. I'm not content that he die in vain. Maybe I will die, Gordon. And if I do, I hope to God that someone else takes what I've done, and finishes the job. Finishes Crey."
"Because you hate them?"
"Because I'm a lab rat."
The police Captain looked startled. "What do you mean?"
Jon shook his head. "Nothing. It's not important. It's just something that I have to do. Something that I have to prove....to Crey *and* to myself."
"....yeah, sure.....anything you need, just ask."
"Thanks, Manticore. I owe you."
The bowman shook his head. "I had a good first impression of you, Jon. I expect you to do your job. It's my job to help you in any way that I can. I'd like to see the Countess brought down, too. She's had her 16 minutes of fame...and that's one minute too long, it's time that it ended."
Jon smiled and nodded, turned to leave.
He turned to face the archer again. "Yes?"
"One thing, before you go."
Jon nodded, waited politely.
"Don't build your life around vengence. It's a dead end. I know you have a special reason to want to bring Crey and the Countess to justice. But you can't live your life for it.
"I've seen heroes who did. The problem is, what do you do next? If you've built your life around vengence, then you only have a reason to live until you succeed. Success will only bring your downfall.
"Be sure you have something else to live for when all of this is over."
"Just in case. In case something goes wrong. In case I lose it somewhere along the way and don't make it back. You've been my friend, Lin, you and the other Starfire people, and my family, whether you know it or not. And you've been my teacher.....and my healer. I owe you for that."
She smiled. "You don't owe me anything.....but you know that."
"I know that you gave me something very few people would have. Respect....and self-confidence. I think....I think I was still a child when you first found me, Lin. Everything was new to me. I was still struggling to find my way, my place in the world. I still don't know where I'm headed, but at least I know where I belong. And I know what it is that I have to do. Even if it means I don't come back."
"I think you will come back, Jon," she told him, reaching up to lay one palm against the side of his face.
Copyright terraforming.com, November 26, 2012