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[2006: MAY-JUN] Reflected


David Cody
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Reflected

A metallic echo.

The child’s eyes snapped open. Covers went one way and he went the other, on his toes as he snuck for the moonlit window. Through it, the blinking lights of a city. He snuck a glance out and down, spotting a group of men and women outside. He couldn’t make out the uniforms, but he knew what they were: police.

He could hear the door, its squeaky, un-oiled hinges when his mother’s voice floated up. “What do you want?!”

One of the police, a sharp-eyed man, stepped forward to flash something small and glittery. The moonlight bounced off it. “You know why we’re here,” he spoke. The child heard the voice and it burned… like a sizzling lightbulb before popping.

“No. Please!”

Two words. The last two words he heard his mom speak as the child flung himself against the wall under his window, eyes squeezed shut as he prayed. ‘Please don’t take my mom away. Please.’

He finally dared to sneak a peak back out the window- and the man with the shiny thing stopped and snapped his head around, then up at him. The child stepped back into his room, watching the man in the street turn and head after the people who took his mom. The back of the man’s image froze.

Brody studied the frozen hologram on his portable unit, studying the face of the man that took his life away, before shutting off the device. He caught a glimpse off the store window of the foot traffic through the promenade. Hurrying off, he strode into the middle of a tourist group, keeping his eyes on the back of a man walking alone ahead.

A man who suddenly turned into another corridor. Brody snuck around and darted after the man, slowing his pace as he spotted what he hoped was his prey. The lanky, eighteen years old Brody made of muscle and wire dipped into a side pouch, pulling the small phaser as he closed the gap, until finally breathing down the man’s neck.

He pressed the phaser into the small of the man’s back. “Don’t move,” he breathed, still walking with the man in the Starfleet uniform. “Keep walking.” He felt the man stiffen slightly, but otherwise everything was smooth. The man [...]ed his head to the side to meet Brody’s eyes.

Blue eyes, sharp and narrowed, like in the recording. “You don’t want to do this,” the man spoke.

The voice was only a touch rougher, but it matched the voice on Brody’s holo-recording. He shoved the phaser into the man’s back, keeping it locked as he walked just off side behind. “Yes,” Brody replied, “I do.”

A SINGLE ROOM SPACE

Brody shoved the man through the door and came in, keeping the phaser trained on the Starfleet uniform as he swung a fist against the lock panel. A sizzle and pop sparked out bits of fire. He motioned the man to a lone chair in the middle of the bare room.

The brown haired, blue eyed man calmly walked to the chair and sat, facing Brody. He folded his hands in his lap, kicking a leg up. “So now what?” he asked in that irritating, calm voice.

Brody took a step forward, quivering the phaser at the man. “The worst day of your life,” he spat, trying to control himself. A quick death was too easy. “Tell me your name.”

The man shrugged. “Does it matter?”

“It matters to me!” Brody yelled. A streak of red flew and burned a hole in the floor between the man’s feet. The man’s eyes darted at the hole and flickered to Brody in a fraction of a second.

“Don’t miss,” was all the man said.

Brody blinked and nearly tripped taking a step back. His eyes darted to the lone window, barred and reinforced with laser shielding. He finally looked back at the man in the chair. He didn’t mean to sound weak. His own voice betrayed him. “Will you please tell me your name?”

Those sharp, piercing eyes focused on him. “Cody,” he finally replied. “That would Lt. David Cody, Starfleet.”

A ray of hope broke. He was one step closer. Brody broke a smile as he re-aimed the phaser at Cody’s chest. “Well, Mr. high and mighty David Cody, Lt. of Starfleet. Looks like your past finally caught up to you.”

Cody merely relaxed like a man at a bar, talking over a drink. “I don’t seem to recall a slight against you. What’s this about?”

“Figures,” Brody spat, moving in but keeping his distance. “You probably forgot all about me.” Licking his lips, “Tell me, do you like destroying the lives of the people you come across? HUH?!” He brandished the phaser at the man’s face.

Cody met Brody’s brown eyes with his cold, unyielding blue ones. “If they’re guilty, I bring them in. It goes with the job, son.”

He launched himself at Cody and grabbed the man’s hair, yanking Cody’s head back. He stuck the phaser under the man’s chin pointing upward. Cody didn’t move, merely kept his hands in his lap. “She wasn’t guilty of anything, you arrogant [...]! You took her! You took her away from me!”

“If you’re going to shoot, then shoot,” was all Cody said.

Brody’s fingers curled over the button, still yanking on Cody’s hair. He wanted to… so badly, and the man was encouraging him! Cody must know he was guilty if he was asking Brody to shoot him! He pressed the phaser harder into the man’s chin, trying desperately hard to stop his hand from shaking… moving his finger on top of the button.

And shoved Cody’s head forward jumping out of the way, walking fast back for the damaged and sealed door before spinning around, re-aiming the phaser. “I HATE YOU!” Brody roared.

Again, the man named Cody didn’t flinch. He merely recrossed his legs in his lap, studying the young man. “Do you want me to tell you why you didn’t shoot?” he asked simply.

Brody snorted. He knew he was visibly shaking. But he still had the phaser… “Sure,” he snorted. “You tell me, Mr. Policeman.”

“Because you’re scared, for one,” Cody replied in that calm voice of his. Didn’t the man ever get [...]ed off? “And two, you want something. That’s the only reason why you didn’t just kill me back in the hall.” Cody’s eyes closed halfway. “Why don’t you tell me what is it you think I can give you.”

Brody hit the wall staring after the man, the man who haunted his waking and sleeping moments every day for the past five years, and started to laugh without sound. It was like some weird holo-simulation, but everything was wrong. He wasn’t supposed to be the weak one, Cody was. He had him! He had the weapon, the man in a room that couldn’t be broken out of, and alone. He was in charge, not this excuse for a human! “I want my mom back,” Brody finally croaked. “Right now, this very instant.” Springing away from the wall, he stomped toward the officer. “Where is she?!”

Cody [...]ed his head at Brody, disregarding the phaser. “Do you have any idea how many mothers I’ve arrested?”

“TRY THIS ONE!” Brody screamed, whipping out his portable holo-imager and flinging into Cody’s chest. It bounced off the man’s chest into the lap as an image sprung out, a dark-haired woman with sad, rounded eyes in the middle of a doorway. Her hands flew to her cheeks. ‘No. Please!’

Cody stared directly into the woman’s image flashing.

FIVE YEARS AGO

A younger David Cody stood among the local constable and watched with a certain detachment as the young woman was led out from the house. He waited with the patience of a man who had seen it before and would hear it again, clinical interest as two of the constables entered the opened door to the house.

They emerged moments later and held up the padd. “Got it,” one of them commented.

“Let’s go,” Cody said. He made sure the constables left before him and stepped for the door to pull it shut. Descending back to the cobbled sidewalk, he started after the party before he paused. A pin-[...]le of sensation rippled the back of his neck and he snapped his head around, then up—

--where the head of a small boy watched from the window and stepped back into the shadow. Cody stopped, lingering in the middle of the darkened street watching the window above… then turned after the party taking the mother away. His image suddenly froze.

A SINGLE ROOM SPACE

Cody studied his own image of his back in the holo-imager, then tossed it back at Brody. “Lena Korosk. The boy in the window. Her son, Brody.” It hit the floor, still broadcasting Cody’s frozen back.

“So he finally remembers,” Brody broke, hearing the cracking in his own voice. He stared down his destroyer, at the single man who took everything from him, and raised the phaser back up. His hand was surprisingly calm. “Give her back to me.”

And he finally saw something in that cold, remorseless face. Cody’s eyes closed, and didn’t reopen for a long moment. Gone was the piercing, penetrating stare, that irritating irrelevance the man still had after five years of searching for him. Cody regarded Brody for another silent moment before he spoke. “I can’t do that,” he replied softly. “Lena Korosk is dead. She died the day after her arrest. I’m sorry, Brody.”

“Then I guess you’re dead too,” Brody threw out, flippant. Aiming as:

“My death won’t bring Lena back from the dead,” Cody stated, matter-of-fact. “All it will accomplish is a life sentence at a Starfleet Penal Colony. You don’t know what you saw that night, Brody.”

Tears burned his skin, streaking down from his eyes. Pain, so much pain with the words that cut through him like a knife. He saw Cody then as he saw the man now, bringer of death, destroyer of families, ruthless as he needed to be now. Sniffing, Brody wiped his eyes. “Yes,” he cried, “I do.”

Cody stood up from the chair. Backing away, Brody aimed. “Not another step! I mean it!” he yelled. The man regarded him for a moment then walked around Brody, heading for the broken door. He turned with Cody, following him with the phaser every step of the way. “Stop! STOP!”

And Cody did. He turned his head on Brody, still the same calm and indifference etched into the man’s skin. “I’m going out this door,” Cody said simply. “You choose whether or not you’re going to kill me. Because that’s the only way you’re going to stop me.”

“It’s broke,” Brody laughed, still crying.

At this Cody did smile. It was not a pleasant one. “Do you really think that can stop someone like me?” He continued to the door and knelt to examine the smashed lock panel to the side, then stuck his fingers in.

Brody moved the phaser to Cody’s back, stepping up as the man started crossing wires. Still crying, moving in and out and re-grasping the phaser. He wanted to… so badly. Why didn’t he just shoot?! He aimed, and re-aimed, and his finger wouldn’t just depress the button that would take the life of the man who took his. “Don’t you even care what you did?” he whispered at the man’s back.

At this Cody turned around as the door slid open. “And what exactly did I do, Brody?”

He couldn’t stop the tears from falling. How could Cody be so cold? “You killed her,” he continued through his tears. “You killed the only family I had.”

Cody shook his head. “You didn’t listen. I never said that.”

“Yes, you did.”

Cody approached him, holding out his hand. “No. I told you that Lena Korosk was dead. I did not kill her.”

He aimed in point-blank between Cody’s eyes. “But you’re the one who took her away. That makes you responsible.”

It took Brody a moment to realize he was pointing an empty hand at the man. He stared at his fingers, his palm, and felt his legs sinking beneath him. He hit the floor on his knees and wailed the cry of a broken man, shielding the world from the tears that burned. A horrid, wretching sensation building in the back of his throat. “Nnnooooooooo….”

Removing his hands, Brody stared up to see Cody’s back heading through the door. A animal whine broke through his lips, spotting the same frozen image lying on its side on the floor.

Cody turned his head back, stopping outside. “Are you coming or not?” he asked.

Shaking, Brody stared up at the face of the man, those cold, uncaring eyes that reflected nothing. “There’s nowhere to go,” he whispered.

Cody shook his head. “You still didn’t listen.”

ONE WEEK LATER

He was nervous, walking alongside his Judas and looking behind him, taking in the street and the traffic around. Cody stopped suddenly in the middle of the path and shoved his hands into the black jumpsuit he wore. Brody stopped with him, staring at the man. Cody nodded ahead.

Following the man’s gaze, Brody’s eyes landed on a door. He couldn’t stop trembling and felt a fresh wave of tears building. He looked at Cody, who nodded him on again. Taking a step away, Brody headed for the door and stopped. A spasm rippled his body and he tried to calm himself, looking back at the man again.

“Go on,” Cody said.

Turning back to the door, Brody raised his hand and knocked.

The door opened a few moments later as an older woman looked out. There was some gray in her otherwise black hair, a pigmentation change to the color of her skin, and dark eyes which were the only things he recognized. Gaping, Brody couldn’t stop the tears from falling as he stammered, “Mom?”

Lena’s hands flew to her mouth as her eyes widened. “Brody?” She suddenly lunged out the door, wrapping her arms around him and burying his head into her shoulder. “OH MY GOD! THEY SAID THEY COULDN”T FIND YOU!”

Feeling her arms around him, he wailed into her shoulder, raising his head just in time to catch a mirror hanging off the wall just inside.

Captured in its mirror reflection, David Cody turned his back and walked away.

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