22 – Idiocy

“Sim,” Amigo coughed. “You are an idiot.”

It had been a few hours after Sim had tied Amigo to a chair, and used him as a punching bag during his unconcious sleep. Now Amigo was bloodied, and wondering where Sin was. He’d figured out chasing her here had all been an illusion. He knew from Sim’s large mouth the power of illusion was Mercain’s Resonance Soul. The Faker. How appropriate, for someone like Mercain. Sim had also explained that he had put Sin in the Azure Mirror, and left her there for the time being. Sim didn’t really know what the effects of staying in such an alternate dimension were, but he was quite positive the Pheonix wouldn’t be able to escape from it without his help. And so, he had placed her there so it wouldn’t run off. And that was the reason Amigo had called his partner an idiot.

“You’re one to talk,” Sim shot back, sitting across from his former leader, now victim. “Look at yourself. You’re all beaten up,” he scoffed, trying to prove himself. Sim was still young.
Amigo almost felt pity for the boy.
“You only took advantage of me while I was unconcious,” Amigo stated weakly, his jaw popping. “Think about what type of person that makes you.”

Sim slapped Amigo. “It makes me a damn smart one!” he proclaimed. “This is all your fault! You shouldn’t have left me out!”

In Mercain’s office, Shoy, who was still in Q’s body, was trapped in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet. He was in much better condition than Amigo was, as Mercain had cleaned him up. Mercain spoke to Q from behind the shield of the bathroom’s door, afraid of the Soul Stealer’s power.
“I told you,” Shoy groaned. “I’m not Q.”

“That is really, truly, the worst excuse you could give, you know,” replied Mercain from behind the door.
Q’s head tilted back with a groan, his eyes closed. Though luckily, the sunglasses were still on his face.
“I’m Shoy. Ask me anything I would know. Q doesn’t know anything about me.”

Mercain leaned his back to the door, looking down at his fingers, which played with the feathers of a dart. He tried to think of a question no one would know.
“Shoy’s too famous,” he finally said softly.

“You’re smarter than that,” Q’s voice wrung. “There are things the paper doesn’t know.”

Mercain flipped the dart in his hand, considering what it was he could ask. “You said you had a wife, once. How did she die?”
The hacker knew Shoy had a wife, knew when she died, and knew that while Shoy was not born is Dexterity, his wife was, and here was what Shoy called his home because of that. Even though Mercain didn’t know the answer, he wanted to know, and Q would have to make up a very convincing story to fool him.
Besides, a part of Mercain wanted to believe that Q was Shoy. If it were true, Shoy was powerless and completely under his thumb. And he knew, that in Shoy’s condition, the fighter wouldn’t have to be convinced too much to do what Mercain said to fix things. Mercain had no problems with Shoy. It was Amigo, and Edmond especially, who held the contempt for.

Q’s head went down, a deep frown upon his face as he took a few deep breaths. He had a hankering for a cigarette, but Shoy didn’t smoke. Maybe that was why Q’s voice was so hoarse. He had a headache, and the forced rembrance of such a devastation made it worse. He had loved Cherie. He still did, with all of his being.
“She killed herself,” Q let out a slight wimper. All these animalistic behaviors, he didn’t have a hold on them yet.

Mercain was taken aback. Of all the answers, that was the last one he expected to hear. “Why?” he said, sullenly. Shoy was a strong man. Why would he even love someone who had the ability to put herself down so much?

Shoy let out a deep sigh, his shoulders sagging. “We had a kid. I didn’t want it but she did, promised she’d take care of it. I.. Didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t ready. I convinced her to give it up for adoption, even though she didn’t want to. Then I left her, had to go out of town to get away from my guilt. She refused to come with me, wanted to stay in Dexterity and look after our son even though I refused. I didn’t know she was so much of a risk or I wouldn’t have–” He stopped himself for a moment, calming himself down. Now was not the time to get all emotional. Cherie had been gone for a very long time. “When I had come home, she had done it already. There was nothing I could do.”
He could still remember the scene that greeted him when he had opened the door, finally feeling better. Cherie had her upperhalf on the bed, grasping a picture of herself and the newborn in one hand, and in the other a piece of crumpled up paper. There was an empty prescription bottle on the floor. She must have overdosed. Vomit was everywhere. Death was never what the media made it seem.
Out of pure resentment for himself he had uncrumpled the paper in her hand, and all it said was “My Love,” and then in much worse handwriting, “We didn’t even name him yet.” It seemed like there should’ve been more, but maybe she had only started writing after she had overdosed, and couldn’t think of anything afterward. That would’ve been like her. Cherie never thought things through all the way. Shoy had burned the house down with her and all his memories in it, except for the clothes on his skin, and the umbrella in his hand. It had been raining.
After that, Shoy traveled the world trying to forget, but never fully being able to. All he had achieved was because of Cherie’s death. She didn’t have a resonance soul, and they suspected their son wouldn’t either. Practically a death sentence in Dexterity.

“I’m sorry, Shoy,” Mercain sympathized. He too, had loved someone. Though he doubted it was ever as deep as Shoy’s love. Mercain had never been married, after all.
Shoy ran Q’s hand through his premature grey hair with a sigh. “It’s not your fault. It was a long time a go.”

Mercain decided this would be a good time to change the subject to something only slightly less grim. “What happened in there? Who was that Roy lookalike? How did you get stuck in Q’s body? I thought you were dead…”

“I am dead,” Shoy replied, before he began to try and explain everything.

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