Alone in the command center Richard sat, his elbows braced against the shiny black roundtable, leaning forward into his clasped hands, resting his lips against his steepled index fingers. The machines around him buzzed and hummed, but he paid them no mind; he stared straight ahead at nothing, though even his expressionless face told its own story. He’d changed back into his civilian clothes, a shirt and slacks so expensive they looked cheap. His graphite-grey helmet lay on the table next to him, cracked up the left side, and a half-patched wound up his left cheek toward his ear told of where the helmet had been when it had suffered that damage. Alone, he waited, and he’d wait as long as he had to, impeccable and patient.
The heavy metal doors swooshed open (or at least they would, after foley got through with them), but Richard didn’t flinch, not even as Brandon stormed in, his own blond hair matted with blood. “What the hell was that?” shouted Brandon, bringing down his gloved fist on the metal railing. He was still in costume, though the star-spangled pattern up the sleeves was burned and torn in artful places, exposing his golden-tanned, muscled body beneath.
“Oh, good, you survived long enough to complain.” Richard moved nothing more than the muscles necessary for speech. This wasn’t amateur hour, not by any means, but even amongst professionals, Richard was a professional.
Brandon’s entire body was tense with fury and betrayal, his jaw set firm enough that it might have put his teeth in danger of shattering. “You knew the thrusters would fail. You set us up.”
“No,” said Richard, and now a cloud of real anger bubbled up through his ice-cool voice, “you were so intent on being a hero that you couldn’t wait for—”
”You set us up!” Taking powerful, echoing strides, Brandon walked around the empty comm station to the short set of steps that would take him from the center’s upper level of control stations to the sunken center where Richard sat. “You couldn’t stand knowing that your idea wouldn’t work, so you sabotaged the only way we AAAUGH!”