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The Aftermath

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Tord had been mere moments from reclaiming his greatest weapon when he was interrupted, by one of those annoying neighbors no less. The tiny thing that barged in had looked unstable, violent. Before Tord knew what was happening, the boy had shoved past him and pressed the button, taking Tord's place in the robot.

Tord pushed past the still shocked Tom and ran outside, watching his robot stomp around the yard without him. The thief didn't seem to know exactly how to pilot the thing, steps slightly uneven at first, but he was clearly getting the hang of it surprisingly quick.

Tord cursed and dove for cover as the idiot fired off several missiles, destroying both houses, and probably most of the weapons the Norski had left.

Jon kept yelling something at his roommates, arguing about past treatment or something like that. Tord didn't care enough to bother paying attention until he crushed the green one’s legs, filling the air with screaming.

And then Jon took off, flying into the distance.

Tord growled, shoving past Edd, who had been gawking at the burning wreckage that used to be their house, and started digging around the debris until he finally uncovered what he was looking for: the secondary control board for the robot. He typed in a few commands and looked up as the robot shuddered and stopped, its thrusters turning off, then falling to the ground. It crashed hard, the sound of it breaking apart loud even from miles away.

 

He heard Eduardo and Mark scream something, and Tom frantically telling Edd and Matt something, but ignored them while he pulled out his phone.

 

“Mission was a failure, I need you to come pick me up and call the clean up crew. We need to erase any evidence that may have survived the explosion. Yes, I said explosion, no I didn’t cause it…. Paul, stop nagging me I’m fine. Paul, you’re not my mother.”

Tord sighed and shut the phone, walking to the edge of the road and dusting himself off.

 

“Tord! Where are you going?!” Edd grabbed his arm. “Tom is saying all this weird stuff, a- and there was a robot under our house! I don’t know what to do, Tord, please tell me Tom isn’t telling the truth!”

 

Tord gave a small smile, pulling his arm out of Edd’s grip. “Sorry, Edd, I need to get going.”

Someone pulled up, driving Tord’s car, and stopped in front of the house. Tord climbed in, giving his old roommates a little wave before the car drove off. Tom stood seething on the sidewalk, glaring at the car until it turned and he could see it no more.

 

Tord sighed, putting his head in his hands. “I can’t believe this fucking mess.”

“What happened, Sir?” Paul asked, looking his leader up and down for any injuries. “We saw the robot crash. Was there a malfunction?”

“Some little punk barged in, stole my robot and then blew up the place.” Tord hissed, “So I shut off the robot and crashed it into the side of a hill. Speaking of which, I need you to drive me to the wreckage.”

“Uh- yessir.” Patryck said.

~

Edd was still sitting on the sidewalk, trying not to cry as their house burned from behind and sirens sounded in the distance. Matt sat next to him, just staring at the ground, and Tom was pacing back and forth on the lawn.

Mark was a few feet away, rocking back and forth as he held Eduardo’s hand and tried not to look at his mangled legs.

“I- it’s gonna be okay Eduardo,” Mark kept mumbling, over and over. Many times he would glance at the burning house, hoping Todd would somehow walk out.

Eduardo was in too much pain to do anything, biting down on his free hand to keep from screaming. He couldn’t stop thinking about Jon, about every moment that led up to this. Every time he hurt him.

He caused this. He was putting Jon through so much every day, constantly hurting and berating him for years. How had he not noticed how badly it was hurting him? Now Jon and Todd were dead, and everything was gone.

Another car drove up, and several uniformed men got out. They walked right past everyone, and into the wreckage of Edd’s house.

“Wh- what are you people doing?!” Tom yelled, trying to stand in their way but was pushed aside.

They said nothing and started sifting through debris, quickly grabbing any fragments of weapons and blueprints. In minutes, the whole area was combed through, and they loaded it all into their car and drove away, ignoring the screaming and injured people.

The ambulance and police showed up soon after that, carrying Eduardo away and questioning everyone else.

~

“Ah, I think I’ve found our little thief.” Tord pushed aside a large chunk of what used to be the cockpit, and found Jon curled up among the twisted metal. He was smeared with blood and ashes, but from the rise and fall of his chest, seemed to be alive and well. “Paul, Patryk, take our friend here to the car and call ahead to the base. Tell them to prepare a room.”

“Wh- what? You can’t be serious! He just wrecked your robot and destroyed all of your other weapons and plans!” Paul exclaimed. “And you’re just going to take him in?”

“Paul, I am the leader here, not you. I know what I’m doing, I think he’ll be of use to us.” Tord grinned down at Jon’s still form. “And he needs to repay us for the robot, doesn’t he?”

 

Paul sighed and picked up Jon, taking him to the car while Pat called the base.

~

Tord glared at the tiny little thing laying bruised and bandaged on the bed in front of him. He looked so small and harmless when he was asleep, almost peaceful. But Tord had seen him, bloodthirsty and filled with rage. He was dangerous.

They had him strapped down, even though he was weak and unconscious. He couldn’t run if he tried.

“Are you sure this is a good idea sir? Shouldn’t we just get rid of him?” Patryck was pacing now, staring at Jon. “Why should we trust him with anything?”

“Oh, this isn’t about trust.” Tord said, leaning down and snapping a little monitor onto his ankle. “I think he could be useful, and I think he’s desperate enough to go along with anything.”

“Red leader, Sir, the subject is showing signs of waking,” a nurse said.

Jon sat up straight, then fell back down with a pained groan. He pulled on the straps holding his hands down.

“Patryck, there’s really no reason to tie him down, is there?”

~

Tord watched their new little soldier while he healed.

Jon was not very happy about being trapped in a hospital. At first he was just nervous around Tord, or any of the soldiers who walked by. Half-expecting them to drag him away and torture him. After a couple days he realized that Tord wasn’t joking around, he was seriously wanting him to join the Red Army. He was less nervous then, just confused and restless.

Jon obviously didn’t have a choice about joining, but he didn’t seem to mind. Having your whole life destroyed and losing all of your friends makes one very open to new opportunities.

Tord visited him several times, trying to plant more seeds and convert Jon into a nice loyal soldier. he was expecting to have to break his will, manipulate him somehow, but Jon agreed right away.

Patryck warmed up to him right away, personally overseeing Jon’s treatment and mothering him at any chance he got. Paul quickly followed suit, hanging out in the hospital room on his days off and chatting like he’d known the guy his whole life.

And Tord… found himself liking him. He wasn’t just some idiot to manipulate, there was something special about him.

Just the way he naturally got along with Patryck and Paul, how he kept trying to get out of bed even when his leg was hurt, started getting into fights the second he could walk, the way he would flinch any time someone would raise their voice or move too quickly. He was… interesting.

Tord was excited to see how this little project would turn out.