The following was re-written from the original, the POV changed from that of the Captain to Officer Baptiste. The madman’s control is fleeting, and due to a break down in the conditioning the Imperium provides its flight crews.
I think it works. Tell me what you think:
For a wonder, the trio found the Broken quite quickly. Unfortunately, Morgan was still out.
“We have lots of things to do. We had lots of fine things to see. What the fuck, Bap?” Morgan raved as the officer helped him to his feet.
“You couldn’t tell me where you were, Morgan,” Baptiste replied.
“That’s cause Morgan ain’t in, copper!”
“What the fuck does that mean?” Venkman asked.
Like I fucking know. Baptiste shook his head, jaw working.
“Copper. Very old Earther expression. Could be based on a copper badge worn by early law enforcement. Could be an acronym of Civilian Officer, Patrol. Bastardized further to copper. Also; a black and white moving picture expression used by gangsters when talking to police,” the Captain supplied.
Baptiste chuckled, glancing over his shoulder at her, “Um, thanks for the data stream, Captain.”
He saw Venkman’s face twist. With all the scars it was hard to tell if he was about to laugh or spit.
“Jack-boots suit you better than a critic’s chair, honey,” Morgan said, voice sweet.
“Morgan,” Baptiste warned.
Morgan giggled, still looking at Schrader, “I just call it like I see it, IMP.”
“How-“ the Captain’s brows rose in surprise.
“Just ‘cause we crazy don’t make us stupid, baby!” Morgan said, voice rising an octave.
Baptiste shook his head again, sighed, “He does that sometimes. Sees shit he shouldn’t be able to. One of his uses.”
“Who is this “he” you keep talkin’ ‘bout? All we see is weeee!” the Broken said, expression clouding with anger and flailing his arms in bizarre fashion.
Not going to get anywhere unless I can bring him down a bit. “Sure, Morgan. Be cool. Focus on me.”
Morgan did as he was told, folding skinny arms around his torso, mimicking Baptiste’s stance. The almost perfect imitation was spoiled by the pieces of refuse jutting from his unruly hair.
“Morgan, when you gonna come back around and help me out?” Baptiste asked after a moment’s calm.
The Broken suddenly looked on the verge of a good cry, “We work and work for you, and all you do is abuse us.” He pointed past Baptiste at Venkman, tears falling from his eyes in fat drops that streaked the film of dirt on his cheeks, “He’s not what he tries to be. He’s not you and me. Not us. We’re not us.”
Venkman shook his head, turned, and walked back to the car, disgust evident in every line of his posture. Morgan slumped back to the pavement with a high laugh as Venkman dropped into the car and closed the door.
Schrader, trying to help, cut off Morgan’s view of Venkman by stepping up beside Baptiste.
Baptiste knelt in front of the informant, keeping his gun side away, he urged Morgan to return, “Not so, Morgan. Come back. Kick those voices back in their corners and come talk to me.”
The effort the Broken expended trying to regain control of his faculties was impressive. He screwed his eyes shut, jaw clenched so tight that sweat popped up on his scalp.
His eyes popped open, the whites showing. Finally, Morgan gave a keening whine, almost too high to hear, and sucked in a breath. The pupils rolled into view a second later, fixed on Baptiste, steadied. “I’m tryin’, Bap, but they are so loud.”
“You’re doing good, Morgan.”
“We- I lost him in Starfall. Outside Smoker’s place…”
“Smoker’s, are you sure?”
“You lost him in Smoker’s?”
“No, he went in, then came out, took a cab. I’m not fast enough,” Morgan’s voice cracked and his expression slid to the verge of maniacal before he continued, “Never been fast enough to catch a car.”
“He was in for less than an hour, I thi-”
“How long ago?” the Captain interrupted.
Fuck! Baptiste thought as he saw Morgan’s control slipping away.
Morgan’s gaze flicked to Schrader. He watched as she looked into his eyes, watched the shadow of madness press in and cover the light of reason.
He was close enough to see the goosebumps spread across her skin as a part of her felt that madness reaching out.
“We see wonders, and unders! We love your look, lady. Want some lovin’?” Morgan muttered, breaking eye contact.
Schrader sucked in a breath.
Yeah, feels like someone kicked the stool out from under you, don’t it? Baptiste thought, standing up.
“Damn. Sorry,” Schrader said, blinking. “That was all my fault.”
Damn straight it was. Shit, now there’ll be no getting Morgan back for a few hours, at least.
“You didn’t know,” he said.
“Still, my mistake.”
Baptiste shrugged, trying to keep his disappointment from showing. “I’m not sure why he can talk to me but can’t keep it together with others. Venkman always sets him off.”
Morgan started tittering to himself, picking up a piece of refuse from the alley floor and snuffling in it, “Ahh… the aroma of the end times!”
“Anything we can do for him?”
“A blowjob would be nice!” Morgan put in, cringing as Baptiste raised a hand in anger.
Schrader touched Baptiste’s arm. “No harm done, officer. I’ve heard much worse.”
“Yes, and we’ll pour out our poison on you, making you fit to meet the Almighty, come-burpin’ gutter whore!”
Schrader laughed. “Wow, that’s quite the mouth you have on you.”
Baptiste shook his head again. Sometimes it was better to let the ranting go on than try and stop him.
Morgan tittered. “You get it, don’t you?” he asked, voice pitched low, deep and creepily sexy.
“I suppose I do, Morgan.” She shook her head and asked Baptiste, “So. Do we know where this Smoker lives?”
Baptiste nodded, “Stuart Bouccanier. The Smoker, yes.”
She sighed, looked down at Morgan. The Broken had resumed sniffing something from the alley floor. “Right, good to meet you, Morgan.”
Baptiste glanced at her. Sharp. Most don’t realize madmen actually remember just as much as the sane, they just can’t always get to it in timely or understandable fashion. And as my mother always says, “Being polite costs nothing.” He stood up. “See you soon, Morgan. Thanks for the information.”
Morgan’s mad eyes glared up at him behind a cage of filthy hands, “Fuck you, copper!”
Baptiste shook his head, “Right.”