Raz stared at Che intently, the blue man was pointedly ignoring Raz right now, still irritated over the entire Jet incident a while back, but Raz didn't care. He knew he could ask Milla, but Milla had too much on her plate at the moment and asking her to help him would only add more. The cuban's office was covered in posters from various music groups and pictures of his family. One of the wife, some of Che with a woman of similar coloration and age, both in Psychonauts uniforms. A picture of a horse.
"Agent Morales." Raz said finally. "I accept I screwed up, I almost got you in trouble and I have no right to ask you for your help. You were right, you are my superior. I should have treated you as not only your rank demands but as an adult. So, even if you do not want to help me, please take my apology into consideration." Raz kept his eyes focused on Che, be a man Razputin. Eye to eye. It takes more to admit you were wrong than it was to put the blame onto anything else.
Now this made Che peer up from his paperwork.
"If you do choose to help, this isn't for me at all. It's for someone who deserves to meet her hero, and for the man who saved her to see how she has grown up." Raz knew he would like to see how the Thorny Towers crew has changed in almost the year where he last saw them. So at the very least 10 years would be even more of a change. From being little to being an adult. "I feel like- I need to do this. She didn't seem to mind that she was kidnapped- she did mind that she never learned her hero's name. Maybe because its been so long so she had healed and stuff. But- at the very least- she needs to know the name. She leaves presents for him every year like hes Santa or something."
Che just kept on staring at that. "Fine." He said, Raz smiled. "But only on one condition."
Okay, he was used to this, everything came with some sort of one condition dealio or something. That is just how these things worked right? Raz bobbed his head up and down.
"You have to write me five pages on all the rules and laws you broke with Lili and what you would do if You were me and Truman. And how you think Sasha would feel about this when he- well, finds out and remembers."
Well, that was going to sting to write, but it would be a small price to pay. If Che was able to pull up a name and give it to him so he could get it to Luka- then it would be worth it.
"Okay, her name is Luka Briggs. She thinks her hero is named 'Saga' because well, because all she can remember of his name is 'Ga' and that is was two syllables. The location of where she was saved at was at Seaside Heights. You'll have this paper by the end of lunch."
Che blinked, "Luka- you mean the girl at the airport?"
Raz bobbed his head up and down. Che remembered how they sent off the tracking device together and when the Agent Che sent it to picked it up, the Agent called Che saying the device's battery died. So whomever planted it didn't know their tracking devices.
Now, this made Che more curious on the case, and if all else failed- he would give her the information himself. But the assignment he gave Raz- could an 11 year old even write something that long? Hell, if Raz could get it to him by Lunch, he would even give Raz the address of the cop.
Raz darted off as Che quickly went into the proper Database to find out what he could about the girl.
Milla watched as Raz darted past her, a large smile on his face from Che's office and she peered in. "Razputin seemed happy."
"Well, I'm happy to see you." Che said with a raised brow and a smile. Milla frowned.
"You have a wife." She deadpanned, she wasn't going to give in his flirtations with anything over the age of consent. He just waved it off.
"You never let me have any fun." He frowned leaning back a little. "So, what can I do for you?"
"What did you tell Raz? He looked happy when he left here, and I thought you were mad at him still."
Che shrugged a little. "Well, he told me about something he wanted to do . So I agreed to do it if he did something for me. Nothing illegal just some research for him to learn some more."
Milla frowned a little, "What did Raz want you to do?"
"Well, if he told me and not you, I figure there is a reason for it." Che deadpanned, it was nothing illegal, and besides, if Raz DIDN'T go to Milla despite the mutual friend, he had a reason for it. "So, I'm going to trust his judgment on this." He said easily, hell. It might be because anyone could tell Milla was probably a hair away from just taking some time off to relax- and people have told her to anyways. Go take some PTO, go down to Brazil and talk to your family in person and go to clubs or something. Anything. Just…be Milla again. Be really happy again.
Milla's frown deepened a little at that.
"Yes, trust me. I tried to make a deal that would teach the boy and maybe help him get back on his groove. Its been off with yours somewhere."
Milla scowled at that.
"See, See- you need to relax. Go relax. Let Mr. Morales here deal with his homework and I am sure you'll find out soon enough too."
Milla hated being brushed off as she turned and left the office as Che started to look into the girl's files.
Hours later, Lili came out of her room and headed down to her Dad's office. He was sitting on his ratty old couch, sitting in front of a small TV with a video game controller in his hands. "Don't you have work you're supposed to be doing?" she questioned as Truman shrugged a little. She heard Sonic loose his rings on the TV. "Like, stupid paperwork for your stupid job."
Truman frowned a little as he paused the game. "Lili. I am not always the Grand Head of the Agency." He breathed out. "And I know you're upset about it all. But, they way we are in the comics is a dramatization. We can only do so much."
She bit her lip some. "So? Why not push the limits."
"Because, no matter what, it will take time for people to understand. People are scared if things, like at school. If a teacher knew you could read minds, do you think she would trust you on tests?"
"She wouldn't. That's why we have to slowly work our ways up. It may seem counter-productive, but for everyone one person who ends up going to prison or getting punished for what they have done- despite the causes, there are 20 more who are learning to stop from going down that path. We can hope for the best. But it won't always be that way. Like your Momma. She isn't psychic, but she accepted me. So, when you were going to be born, she was worried."
Lili frowned as her dog padded into the room and jumped up onto the couch and tried to crawl onto Lili's lap like he was still a puppy. She pushed him away.
"She was worried because if you were like her, you might wonder why Daddy could do things you couldn't. Like float. I would have to hide my abilities until you were old enough to understand."
"But, I was born a psychic."
"Which was another worry, because- how would other kids treat you? Would they bully you if they found out? Would they treat you like you were a freak? I will admit, that's why I tried to keep you around Psychics more often than not. I mean, I have been letting you go to Whispering Rock since you were five. " At least he admitted it. "And maybe that is where I messed up. I drowned you in the glory of the agency and you just became more and more disenchanted about the good it does instead of the bad parts of it. " his own golden eyes focused at Sonic mid-jump. "So when the really ugly sides came out, it would go from being 'boring' to quite possibly being just counterproductive." He leaned back and looked at his daughter.
"More Psychics are being born every day, back when I was younger, we were about 1 percent of the world in all levels of psychic abilities. When Sasha and Milla were born, it was around 2. Guess what the percentage is for you?"
"I don't know? Three percent?" After all, it was about a point per 10 years there.
"Nope, try five percent. We think it is because people are becoming more aware of their abilities- or perhaps it is the food and the hormones in it. But see, that's including those people who might hear the stray thought occasionally or maybe have a bout of poltergeist activity in their house and it is just all their psychic energy burning up in one go. At our level, the percentage is even smaller. Whispering Rock has all the children we were able to find across the world. And that is us actively looking for them. Most of the Agents made themselves known somehow via trouble. The Prisoners made themselves known that way too. So we think the real percentage is a lot higher. We're trying to find people before they get into trouble."
Before the Orphanage burned down from a young pyrokentic who was scared she was abandoned again and one of the caretakers learning her own abilities by them being shocked out of hiding. From the boy getting into fights and thinking he was insane and handling his 'insanity' by drowning it out by work and isolation.
"We try, Lili. Its just hard to balance people learning and people accepting and people growing on their own."
Lili thought about the comics, she knew they were a way to reach out in their own way. To give kids their hero to try and become. Don't burn down a building, burn a campfire at Whispering Rock!
"But sometimes, it just seems a lot easier to relax and forget about it, right?"
He wanted to forget right now, he knew everyone was dealing with their own guilt and sadnesses. And he shouldn't pour it out onto other people. Sasha. Blair. Cole. The Prisoners who died.
He stood up. "You play Sonic. I'm going to go get something to eat. Lets- just not think for a bit."
And maybe for a little while, he could just forget he was Grand Head of the Psychonauts, and just be him.
Sasha woke up, and saw the color tan. Outside the window was some adults with large backpacks at a bus stop and on the TV was a logo with a wolf head in silver with a cherry background. It was almost night time.
He vaguely remembered the day that just happened as his Aunt walked in with a travel mug. "You know Sasha, these hospitals are too stuffy with the food they give you." She said happily ."So, I went out and found a cheap blender and decided to make you something good for dinner. I don't care if the doctors say certain foods, but everything you have been eating has been just pure mush. You deserve more than mush. "
She handed Sasha the thermos and he took a sip from it. Fladesuppe. He hadn't had that in years. A simple meal of a crepe like pancake cut into beef soup. It was warm and the recipe was one he hadn't had since he was little. It made him think of shoe polish and listening to the TV playing shows from the other side of Germany. When all he wanted to do was try and figure out how to make shoes quickly and why heard noise all the time and he would shut his eyes and see stars and adored them so much because they felt like home.
Not what he was doing now, recovering in a hospital with half his teeth missing, his jaw wired shut and feeling down right weak. Feeling like half a man. It was a taste of his homeland. He loved America. But he would often miss his home back there.
If he died in that prison, would they have buried him here, or sent him back there. Would he be in the grave yard here, with a funeral fit for an officer of the law like so many agents before him, or his body burry him next to his mother's bones?
He never specified, because well, he never thought it would be an issue. Something reserved for people besides him. He was aware that one day he would die- but he always imagined it amongst dusty tomes typing out research.
"Sasha?" his Aunt interrupted his train of thought, perhaps she could tell it was going into dark places.
"I'm sorry." He said back, hating how muffled his voice was. "The soup is delicious. It is something I needed." Needed to rip open a festering wound inside of him. He wondered how many of those were going to open up here. Bernie just smiled and reached for his bad hand.
"I am going to go with you to New York. I hope you don't mind, Your boss said if I wanted to, he could find me a place near there so I could be close by."
Truman offered that kindness, when an Agent was unable to work and a family member had come out to help them, he would cover their home and board until the Agent was well enough to be fully independent again.
He knew it was his memory probably that made Turman offer it out to Bernie, and Sasha knew nothing he could say would change the woman's mind. A part of him was thankful another part- felt more helpless at the idea. That he needed his Aunt to drop her life back home to mother her nephew.
"You can stay at mine if you want." He sighed, he knew she would feel more comfortable with him nearby and besides- it might show her he was appreciative of her. That he loved her despite often never calling her back unless he felt the urge to do so. And maybe, just maybe, he wanted to feel just a bit pathetic for a little while. Just sleep in and stare at the ceiling and not worry about paperwork or anything outside of his apartment.
Just be at home, and Milla would visit. And his Aunt would be there so Milla didn't have to worry about him.
"I know you like being alone, so maybe we can try it out for a week. Because you might just want me out after the first day." She laughed to herself.
"No..I think it might be good. It might help keep me from wallowing in self-pity."
"There is nothing wrong with that, Bee." She started, the blonde pushing back a strand of her own hair behind her ear. "You have been through a lot. When someone gets hurt, they deserve some time to be sad and hate everything. Its normal. You just don't want it to consume your life where you forget whats important and what is going on now."
Like his father. If his father called right now, could he be able to talk to him, well, talk to him despite the jaw. He picked at the blanket a little. No, no he wouldn't be able to do that. He would be able to just stare at the wall and listen to that deep voice mumble something and then hang up.
Sasha wanted his sunglasses back. It made him feel vulnerable, especially with his Aunt looking at him like that. She must be thinking how much like her brother he was like right now. Especially because he noticed he was resting his head in his good hand, like he had seen his Dad do so many times before.
"Your Uncle also sends his wishes that you feel better soon."
"I feel like that might a bit further off than expected." Sasha frowned.
"I know, but your Papa and I are trying to keep everything underwraps for you. I know you would rather have as few people as possible know about what happened, so your uncle just think you got a bad virus and needed me."
A bit of privacy on something finally. Maybe he should go back to German, let people think get got sick. Nott hat he was dragged into a prison and tortured for 12 hours as a part of his job. It seemed like a good idea, maybe get a little flat there- maybe transfer to the German branch of the Agency, maybe ask Milla to come along with him and together they could forget about all of this and other people's choices.
It sounded like a beautiful idea to him. But that would also be running away. And he knew he had an issue about doing that if something seemed too big on a personal level, he would just drop it and run. Maybe he was a coward.
A pathetic little coward in things that hurt him, that got underneath that tighly packed cube of a mind of his. "Aunt Bernie…I'm tired. On a lot of levels." He said after a few long moments.
"I would be surprised if you weren't dear."
Milla sat down at her desk and stared at the paperwork sitting there on her desk neglected. She knew that she has become stagnate. Levi was still missing and she still had camp to plan for at the start of summer and she needed to get her lessons done. And tell Ford about what was going on. But every time she tried to contact him he was someone besides himself.
She knew he would want to know about Sasha's condition.
She also knew she had to get this paperwork out of the way before focusing on camp. She put the pen to paper and started to write what she could. Focusing only on that. If she did that she could put in the notice she was getting ready for camp and focus on things like getting her mind set up for the children and thinking of games they can play when they weren't in lesson, maybe some more places to hide psy-cores.
Maybe the ones who had gone above and beyond in the past few years could get a practice psycho-portal along with Raz getting his too. Of course, Raz's would have a few less limitations, maybe it could go onto an adult who consented to it being put on there instead of a lungfish's or something. But maybe it would be good for them.
They could feel like they were really becoming Psychonauts.
She wondered if Sasha would get a new one for himself too. His last one was destroyed in the fire from Levi's truck, they found the broken frame for it along with a few other items of Sasha's. Or maybe he will decide he wanted nothing to do with the Agency again.
No focus, she breathed out.
Raz walked in. "Hey Milla, guess what?"
She looked at the boy and he seemed happy. In fact, too happy in comparison to when she started the paper work an hour ago when he went running out. "I did all my work quickly and got the information from Che- how can he pull up the files so quickly?"
Milla just stared as she said: "Agent Files."
"Well, legal files and such over all." Raz said waving a piece of paper around.
"It is because of his rank, I could do it, Sasha could, Ford could. If we have a name, we can usually find someone. How come."
"Well, I wanted to help Luka find her Saga right. So I asked Che to find out who it was for me. He found it, so I am going to pull a talk-show host thing and reintroduce them."
Milla felt a smile come to her face at that. Well, that little devil.
"But I want to do it right, so I'll need your help okay? Make sure Luka goes to the beach at a certain time and I'll get her Saga there too. Kay?"
Milla nodded, well, this was the perfect distraction for her.
Sasha opened his eyes as he woke up again, it was morning, There was a letter to him on a table in neat cursive- his Aunt's writing. When did his Aunt get here? He opened up the letter to read it, and it was her wishing him a good morning and apologizing that he didn't get time to record his thoughts yesterday, but she provided a weak summery of it all, but it seemed he was given approval to head home in a week and they figured most of the internal injuries were safe enough for him to go home. But still. He took a breath.
What could he do at home right now? Besides sit around, he knew that Truman would not approve him to go back to work with only one good hand to write with and the inability to remember anything if he dared go to sleep. He had saw the tally he started to make a few days ago, if he could remember certain things when he woke up and so far only one was able to stick around somehow and that was that he was in the hospital.
He supposed because it happened so much that it just fell into his memory and set. He remembered his aunt would bring him sweet rolls from a restaurant near here and try to blend it so he could enjoy something junky.
He moved to actually sit up. His abilities were muted due to medication. They didn't want him attacking anything if he panicked, and from what he saw from the copies of his file he wrote down, he tended to panic often. He took a deep breath. This wasn't good. He needed to figure out why he was panicking.
He decided to start sorting what could have triggered it. How can one figure out your triggers if you don't remember them. He hated this, he wanted to get out of bed and do something. Anything. Just stop being a lump in a room. He was getting cabin fever and he knew it.
Even though he couldn't even remember how long he had been in here. He threw back his blankets and tried to move, but he had zero idea how to move from this bed to- anything because it wasn't close by.
Maybe when his Aunt comes in, he could tell her.
Then he felt disgusted with himself. He should figure out a way on his own, not go running to his aunt to help him as if he were a child.
He allowed his head to flop back down on the pillow as he grabbed his pad of paper and started to write.
Raz sat on the levitation ball in Milla's office, a week ago they found out about Luka's hero and they were trying to surprise both by making them meet up.
"Okay. Okay. How about this. We just take him to her. Restaurant. We can go to a resturant" Raz said as Milla shook her head. The boy kept a careful balance on the levitation ball, sitting crossed legged on it.
"No, that seems too much like she would be meeting her dad and people will think he is a bum or something. Maybe something a little less flashy.." Raz raised an eyebrow. Milla avoiding flashy? What was wrong in this picture besides everything? But then again, it could very well be because Milla was avoiding flashy because of everything. She seemed to have withdrawn into herself some, calling Sasha at work to see how he was doing before he would doze off for whatever reason. It became more and more obvious to everyone how much Milla needed Sasha, how his stoicness would bring out the side of her that wanted to more obviously play with people, and how he would give her the sense of victory when he consented to whatever idea she had. He was a challenge for her.
"Then how about the Beach. You go with her when she goes out there, and I bring him."
Something private and personal. Something where they could see how each other had changed over the course of time.
"Hey, I have a question though. Why 'Saga'?" Raz asked finally. Milla paused as she tried to remember.
"If I remember right, a video game system he wanted came out that year, and everyone called him 'Sega' or 'Sonic' or something like that all the time to make fun of him a little. So it could be she heard the 'Sega' bit and thought it was Saga because she was little." Well that was the best theory Milla could come up with at the very least.