What Comes Around Ch 22 bit – Costumes

“Of course I can’t tell you and your conscience what to do,” Edna went on dryly. “I can only point out that SAC Haughn will be investigating the Shays’ organizations – legitimate and otherwise – very closely. Very, very closely. And given the Star of the Sea charity is known to have accepted their donations in the past, and some children served by that charity have now turned up in a building the Shays organized for slave labor….” She trailed off, eyes icy.

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t tell Mrs. Silversmith what she wouldn’t dare, Sister,” Alan stuck in. Because damn, he could still feel the tears drying on his cheeks from where he’d broken down crying on the carpet, knowing they were all alive. And damn, he’d seen his mother take people apart like that when she had to, and he wanted to applaud. “You didn’t see what the Shays did to people. What they’ll keep doing, if people don’t stop them. You’re bringing kids here to save them? They’re helping you bring kids here so they can kill them.”

Both women were looking at him now. Alan did his best not to shrink back against Morgan and Sam, because this was his responsibility and nothing here was actually going to eat him. Even if they were kind of scary.

Morgan sniffed the air, eyes watchful; a careful non-reaction that had Alan glance toward the lounge door for her. Everyone knew he’d be jumpy back here in Boston.

So the tired gray-haired guy in an FBI-plain dark gray suit found himself facing a whole crew of interested onlookers. Somehow, Alan couldn’t feel sorry for him.

“Sir!” Drakon sat up straight, the brassy scale mail of a Partevian general rustling faintly. He reddened, as if he’d just remembered what he was wearing, and cast a scowl at Yunan that should have been arrested for assault with a deadly on the spot.

SAC Haughn raised a peppered brow, looking his younger agent over from red cape to pointed-toed armored boots. Spared a glance for Sarah and Matt, in her simple Sindrian white dress and the kid’s Heliohapt-style open-sided tunic. Stared, just a moment, before slowly scanning the rest of the assorted rescuers.

Alan didn’t even try to hide a grin. Malachy looked even more stoic and scary than usual in the white tunic and bronze armor of a Reim gladiator. Tiburon was grinning like an exhausted golden jackal, all Heliohapt’s white and gold wrapped in a Sindrian green-edged white robe. Ja’far had an almost perfectly neutral assassin’s smirk, carrying off a Sindrian court official’s green headscarf and white linen with resigned grace. And Simon, of course, was the most flamboyant of them all; violet hair still caught back with his own silver and leather tie, but glimmering in white robes over the gold-edged purple tunic of Sindria’s lost king.

Haughn, Alan noted, did not miss the swords. Any of them. Or their small trio of desert-lost kid dress, even behind Sam doing his best to look utterly ordinary, and just coincidentally block casual stares at Maria and the others. And definitely not Yunan, as the magi in the floppy hat did his best to look like just another part of the airport greenery.

Mom always said SAC Haughn was sharp.

Haughn… sighed. Closed his eyes a moment, as if hoping this would all vanish while he wasn’t looking.

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20 thoughts on “What Comes Around Ch 22 bit – Costumes

  1. I love how you can just see/hear him go, “I don’t think I don’t want to know, I know I don’t want to know” and not in the plausible deniability sense either, although that is a part of it.

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    1. I think it’s more of “darnit, couldn’t you at least try to look like you can do normal?”
      And everyone who catches that thought is pointing very large mental fingers at Yunan.

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  2. The first thing out of his mouth is going to be, “I *really* don’t want to ask, but I have to ask…”
    And the church was mixed up with the Shays? Really? And they never noticed the people disappearing and started asking questions? Okay, I can kind of understand ignoring a law that you feel is harming innocent people. But turning a blind eye to the Shays is very firmly in the stupid territory. >_<
    There is no phrase that you should be more afraid of than "it's for the greater good"

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    1. The Shays were old money, they donated to a lot of causes. Who’d think anything of that?

      And unfortunately street kids disappear all the time. Maria was just lucky enough to have people looking for her.

      The Shays were very, very good at their cover-up. Why do you think the rukh had to throw a king at it to start getting things to unravel? 😉

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      1. >The Shays were very, very good at their cover-up. Why do you think the rukh had to throw a king at it to start getting things to unravel?😉>
        Sure but by the time the Rukh actively throws a King at a problem it means that somebody (or more likely multiple somebody’s) have royally screwed up with recognizing/dealing with X problem..

        Because depending on the situation and individual, a King is not exactly precision tool when it comes to problem removal, even the nicer one.

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      2. See, I got confused by the “they’re helping you bring kids here so they can kill them” line. I thought that the Shays were maybe using their contacts or something to ‘help’ bring disadvantaged children to the Star of the Sea charity, while conveniently losing a couple along the way, something of that nature.
        (Plus, y’know, sometimes a big order comes up and you need to make a lot of radioactivity-detectors for the FBI on short notice. It’s always useful to have a storehouse of extra materials on hand for those tricky situations!)
        It’s nice to know that if what I thought was going on was going on, at least it was happening where the sister couldn’t see it, versus her actively dropping the ball. Thanks for the clarification

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  3. They’re helping you bring kids here so they can kill them.”> I should have seen that. The Shay’s are that level of insidious sneaky.
    Poor SAC Haughn, his stress is going to go through the stratosphere.

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      1. (Sorry, Drakon. You’re stuck with the weird….)

        Don’t worry, he’ll learn to love it . . . 😉

        Besides his boss doesn’t have much of a option . . . unless Drakon really, really wants to stay far away from these lunatics, which despite all the crazy he doesn’t (“Damnit!”), Simon is very unlikely to be willing to give him up. And neither is Ja’far – effective Simon Wranglers aren’t that common. (“Have you met Simon? Or noticed that in his own fashion, Alan is just as bad? And I have to run herd on both of them? Anyone who can help me deal with those two’s chaos is NOT leaving.”)

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      2. *G* Haughn thinks he has a temporary solution to a problem. The rest of Simon’s clue have definite opinions on the “temporary” bit.

        …So do Alan, Aladdin, and Morgan, BTW. They figure magic is coming back, they know what Drakon got himself mixed up in last time, he’s going to need to make sure it doesn’t happen again!

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  4. ..of course, I’m now hoping that Sarah’s reaction to Dominguez is in, because if she thinks it’s okay, he’ll likely, eventually, will be fine with it. And huh, wonder why Matt is in what he is.

    As for the first line…one of the harder things, for people who try to be good people, is realizing when the consequences of your actions isn’t a good thing. Especially when your people are saying it’s okay, you’re doing good. I think I’m giving a little more credit to the Sister here then most are, but I like to think that one of the things coming out of this is her actually looking at what’s going on with fresh eyes and choosing to change so the outcomes are better if she can figure out what works.

    Also…yeah, the days when you walk in someplace, and just want to turn right back around…*total sympathy for Haugen as a person here*

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    1. Or as they say, “Some days it just doesn’t pay to gnaw through the leather straps.” 😉

      Sarah is currently thinking she’s going to want to ask these people lots and lots of questions. Because they weren’t surprised at the armor.

      And yeah. “I am a good person, I must be doing a good thing” is an assumption a lot of people jump to. I like how Harry Dresden put it dealing with Molly and black magic – good people sometimes don’t consider if what they’re doing is right.

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  5. You can almost see the moment where SAC Haughn realizes that he has fallen down the rabbit hole . . .

    I think the outfits also provide no clearer demonstration that Yunan does not understand that people who are born WITHOUT the knowledge of who they were in the past life are not the same person. They have the same soul, the basic personality is likely to be the same, and such but a lot is dependent of factors that have nothing do with the soul but stuff like where they grew up, how they grew up, etc. They might end up very similar . . . but they could also end up very different (which you better hope so considering one of the Magi . . . and our favorite Hot Mess . . . not to mention his family . . . it probably says something that my bunnies can see his world-conquering-okay brothers as rather ruthless businessmen . . .)

    I don’t think the Sister knew what was going on. As was pointed out, street kids and other such vulnerable children disappear all the time for reasons that have nothing to do with crazy magicians. And I’m guessing the Shays’ public face of wealthy family and business people who donate generously to charity was solid. Not to mention people tend to believe the surface. Particularly when that surface is appealing . . . the Sister’s organization cannot be cheap . . . and people also have this strange idea that rich people don’t commit violent crimes – white collar crime yes but not violent crime . . .

    I wonder if SAC Haughn smelled something rotten in the state of Denmark after the Landfill Incident . . .

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    1. The fact that Yunan keeps reincarnating with all his memories is one of the really messy things in Magi canon, IMHO. So yeah. He really doesn’t get it!

      The Rens as businessmen? Eep.

      And bingo. *G* That is indeed when Haughn got his hands on something that didn’t just vanish on him!

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  6. Because depending on the situation and individual, a King is not exactly precision tool when it comes to problem removal, even the nicer one.

    Testify. Subtle they ain’t.

    Their appearance when a problem needs fixing is either the Ruhk going:
    (1) “Okay, this problem is way too big for anything less than a king. Or two.”
    OR
    (2) “Well, subtle didn’t work. Guess we’ll have to switch to one of the kings. Their work is the most blindingly obvious, least subtle thing in the multiverse, but they get the job done.”

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