[SS] Stands for Violence
“You got him?”
“I got him.”
“Is this like the last ‘I got him’ or do you actually got him this ti — “
“I got him.”
Caitlyn’s muzzle flashed, and her hexbullet sought out its target. 500 meters, two broken windows, and one scared-shitless shopkeeper later, it found its mark, piercing both of the thief’s legs. He stumbled forward and fell face-first into a light pole on the pier, bloodying his nose and knocking him unconscious. Vi finally caught up to him, winded after the chase.
“Hey look at that,” she said into her hexcomm, “you got him.”
“You can punch through walls,” Caitlyn replied. “How did he elude you for so long?”
“He’s nimble, okay? I couldn’t keep line-of-sight the whole time.”
“Just bring him in.”
Vi grabbed one leg, carefully, and slung him over her shoulder. Last time she’d been absentminded and had gripped the suspect a tad too tightly. One city-funded surgery for a crushed leg later, she’d been suspended for a week on account of “forgetfulness” and “being a dumbass”. She turned around and headed back towards the station, her boots thudding along the wooden docks. She heard a click on her left and wheeled around to see three Chompers sitting on one of the crates.
The devices exploded, and the shockwaves sent Vi and her captive spinning through a nearby warehouse wall. Metal poles and stacked shelves fell on her as she used her gauntlets to protect her and the thief. Soon, the chaos calmed, and Vi was able to break out of the rubble. She looked down at her prisoner. She’d guarded his head and torso well enough, but the bottom half of his body was smashed and grotesque. She knelt. No pulse. Not surprising, but it never hurt to check. A flurry of footsteps kickstarted her fight-or-fight response, and she got on her feet, gauntlets primed.
“Vi. Vi, where are you? Goddammit Vi if you died, I swear I’ll — “
“As much as I’d like to know what you’d do to me if I’d died, I’m very much alive,” the Piltover Enforcer said, lowering her arms. “It was Jinx. Flame Chompers came out of nowhere.”
“Is the target alive?” Caitlyn asked, focused as usual.
“Not sure,” Vi answered, looking at the half-flattened corpse on the ground. “Do you think a metric shit-ton of rubble will kill someone?”
“Yes, I see that. That’s a shame. Let’s head back, we need to debrief.”
“I’ll meet you there,” Vi said, rolling her shoulder. “I have a bone to pick.”
Caitlyn watched through the two-way mirror as Vi interrogated the thinnest human she’d ever laid eyes on. When Vi said she had a bone to pick, she literally meant a person as thin as a bone. She remembered the first time Vi had brought him in. It was after they'd busted a heist in Zaun; he'd been in tattered clothes and had smelled like Dust. He'd also looked like he had fewer layers of skin due to his...prominent skeleton. Caitlyn was taken aback, but Vi acted as if there was nothing wrong with him. It was simply a matter of upbringing. Due to her years growing up in Zaun, nothing fazed Vi. Even as Sheriff, with more exposure to the Zaun underworld than almost anyone, Caitlyn was less experienced than her—at the time—new partner. It was then that Caitlyn had realized the circumstances of one's birth were irrelevant; it was what they did with their life that determined who they were. If a Zaunite orphan troublemaker like Vi could grow into one of Piltover's finest, anyone could achieve greatness.
The obscenities coming out of her partner’s mouth now were coarser and more plentiful than usual, but she didn’t care. If he could tell them anything about Jinx, it’d be worth it. She was a loose cannon that had evaded the pair for months, and they were no closer to catching her now than they were when she’d first appeared. Hopefully this interrogation would give them some leads.
“Look, Stick," Vi said, continuing her spiel, "you’ve been a good informant for a long time. Why stop now? Tell me what I want to know or I’ll stick you in a cell with Blahrg.”
“I don’t know anything about Jinx, I told you. And who is Blahrg?” Stick responded.
“You know, Blahrg. Big guy, chemtech stomach, eats people for fun.” Vi tapped her chin with one finger. “We’ve kept him on a steady vegan diet ever since he got here, I bet he’s dying for some meat.”
“Oh, you mean Fat Gut.”
“That’s a much less menacing name than Blahrg.”
“It is a name," Stick snapped back, "What the hell is Blahrg. Blahrg is more like the sound you make when you find out the prison cheaped out on your last meal.”
Vi slammed her fist into the wall. This was the cell specifically outfitted for Vi’s interrogations, but Stick didn't know that. The walls were built with hextech shock absorbers to withstand Vi's occasional outbursts, but the angled ceiling was designed to funnel the resulting sound towards the suspects. The bone nearly passed out.
Vi brought her face within inches of Stick. "We can do this the hard way, or...oh wait, no, there's just the hard way. If you think I dragged your ass out here off-schedule because I felt like it, you'd only be partially right. I'm giving you this one last chance to tell me what I want to know. Otherwise, I'm ending you right now. And you won't get a last meal."
Stick looked at the two-way mirror shakily. "Is she allowed to threaten me like that?!" Vi wound up her arm, her gauntlet steaming. "Okay, okay, OKAY, CHILL." Stick took a deep sigh, or at least, what seemed like a deep sigh. His body's shape didn't suggest his lungs were in any better condition, let alone capable of handling oxygen that wasn't laced with Zaunite fumes. "She's crazy, okay, she—"
"Yes, thank you—round of applause, everybody—very insightful. This is brand new information—Cait, did you know this?—wow."
"Look, you don't understand, she's crazy. She has no friends, she's got no connections, and she does whatever she wants, whenever she wants. There is no grand plan for her, it's all about the chaos. Chaos to her is what Dust is to chem addicts. She lives for it, breathes it, does anything to create more of it. It's not about money or anything tangible, it's about sending a message."
"Where does she get her equipment?"
Stick paused, furrowing his brows. "Right, okay, she's got one friend."
"You better not be making anything up."
"I'm not! Honest, I forgot, she's got one friend; it's a yordle, I hear. He's the one that builds everything for her. Or supplies her, I don't know, he gets stuff from somewhere."
"Why does she single me out?" Vi asked, forcing her main point.
"I don't know."
"I'm hearing a lot of 'I don't know' here; it's really not giving me any confidence in you."
"I don't," Stick said, throwing his hands up in frustration. "I've never heard anything about you specifically."
"Where does she live?"
"I don't know."
"What's her next move?"
"I don't know."
"Okay, we're done here. See ya'."
"No, no, wait—OW—WAIT. There is something."
Vi let go of his arm. She'd accidentally grabbed it a little too hard; fortunately, she didn't break anything. She acted like there wouldn't be any consequences for the sake of intimidation, but there was technically nothing legally binding Stick to stay. He was just too dumb to know that. Stick rubbed his bruised left arm and looked up at his former gang leader. He barely recognized her anymore.
"She's got a sibling."
"You got a name?" Vi asked, finally intrigued.
"No, but I've heard it 'round the block enough times to know it's not just a rumor. Someone, somewhere, found out she's not an only child. But nobody knows who it is."
Vi ruffled her pink hair with one finger. This was the first piece of new information they'd gotten in months. Unfortunately, it wasn't overly helpful, since Jinx's file—albeit lengthy—hadn't been in the system since her birth, unlike nearly every other member of society. They had no blood work to analyze, nor lineage to track. The next step at this point was likely going to involve painstakingly sifting through files of orphans across the continent to try and pick up any clues about this mystery sibling. Ugh.
"Alright, Stick, you've earned yourself another month. I'll walk you out." Vi unlocked the handcuffs and led him out of the interrogation room. As she passed the viewing room, she made eye contact with her partner. Caitlyn nodded. I'm on the case. Vi nodded back and continued down the ornately decorated hallway.
Growing up, she'd been disgusted by Piltover and its ilk. They were all snobby elitists who wouldn't know turmoil if it smacked them in the face and introduced itself. With their fine clothing, hextechnology, and high-end lifestyle, Pilties were to Zaunites what Zaunites were to Pilties: a disgusting social class that shouldn't have anything to do with the other. Efforts had been made to mend relationships between the two regions, but nothing ever came of them. Politics. Vi was never particularly aware of the intricacies of governing bodies—unless she was stealing from one—nor did she care. Why ask questions civilly when you can force answers violently? She was always inclined to punch first, ask questions while punching.
She never pictured herself as a Warden of Piltover, but she knew if she ever were to enter law enforcement, she'd never pick Zaun. Zaunite laws were arbitrarily upheld and enforced by dirty cops in corrupted officials' pockets. Vi broke the law, but she never stole from those that couldn’t afford to lose what she took and never hurt those that didn’t deserve it. Becoming a Zaunite Deputy would've been ridiculously hypocritical. She chuckled to herself. It was a strangely moral compass from someone who'd grown up with nothing and had lived most of her life as a criminal. As she and Stick neared the exit, she became acutely aware of the echoing of her boots in contrast to the slapping of his sandals. She truly had come a long way.
She opened the door to the exit and led Stick to the fence where a Piltover police vehicle was waiting for him. She nodded to the driver, and the door to the backseat dissolved away. As he climbed in, he looked back at her. "Always a pleasure, Vi" he said, dryly.
"Piltover's finest," she responded, equally sarcastically.
The door rematerialized, and the vehicle sped off. Not twenty meters out, an electric projectile sniped the car, shorting it out and stranding it in the middle of the road. Vi looked around for its source when she noticed a massive rocket streaking towards the car from a distant hill. She charged up for a dash, but she was too late. The missile impacted, destroying the car instantly and sending burning shrapnel flying in every direction. Vi shielded herself from the blast, her ears ringing from her proximity to the explosion. She thought she could hear Caitlyn behind her, yelling something about backing off and not being stupid, but her eyes caught sight of her target: the blue-haired hellion herself, pigtails swaying in the wind. Ignoring all protocol and her partner, Vi began her chase.