Piltover's Hall of Law. Dawn was less than an hour old, and the place was quiet. A few drunks were sleeping it off in the shaming cells, and she'd heard there were a couple of chem-augmented thugs in the deeper, more secure lock-ups. She'd ask around later, see if she could provide any insight as to what they were doing up in Piltover.stifled a yawn as she moved through the gilded chamber at the heart of
She rolled her shoulders, the muscles there stiff after a hard night's work. It had been a long shift, and her forearms were aching from the pressure of her powered. All she wanted to do was go back home, get them off, and bathe her fists in ice water. Maybe throw back a few glasses of something strong and sleep some, but the pneuma-tube from had been full of imperatives about getting herself down to the district house on the double. Vi had cocked an eyebrow, tossed the message and given it an hour before leaving her cramped home in the dressmakers-quarter to answer Caitlyn's summons.
"Hey, Harknor", she said to the desk-warden when she reached the cells. "What's so important Caitlyn has to drag me from an erotic dream about--- "
"Ah, ah, stop right there", said Harknor without looking up from his elevated desk as he ran a finger down the list of prisoners brought in during the night. "I'm not in the mood to hear another of your lurid fantasies."
"You sure?" grinned Vi, leaning on his desk and blowing a loose strand of pink hair from her eyes. "This was a good one. Had a plot and everything."
"Quite sure", said Harknor, looking away and holding out the charge sheet. "Caitlyn and Mohan brought in a hextech thief last night. He hasn't said a word to anyone, but she thinks you might be able to get him to talk."
Vi arched an eyebrow as she scanned the page.
"Devaki? You've been a very naughty boy", she said, rolling her eyes and curling her metaled fingers into a fist. "Yeah, Devaki and I knew each other back in the day. I'll get him to talk."
Harknor shook his head, saying, "Listen, Vi, I don't want to have to call the surgeon back here again. Caitlyn wants this fella to able to speak when he goes before the procurator."
"Where is she anyway?" asked Vi. "She isn't even here to say hello?"
"Chasing down a lead at the docks", said Harknor. "Said she figured you could handle this one on your own. She wrong about that?"
"Nope", said Vi, turning and sashaying toward the cells. "Which cell's Devaki in?"
"Number six. But remember, he's got to be able to talk!"
Vi nodded and said, "Yeah, yeah... "
She reached cell six and slid back the locking bar. Normally, another warden would secure the door, but Vi didn't need anyone at her back. She knew Devaki from the old days, even worked with him a few times before the job with the Factorywood Fiends went bad. Devaki was a thief, not a fighter, and if she needed backup to restrain his scrawny frame, then it was time to find a new line of work.
Devaki was sitting on the edge of the chipped hunk of stone they called a bed with his back to the wall and his knees drawn up to his chest. He cradled one arm close to his body, the limb ending at a bandaged stump where his hand ought to be. He looked up as she entered, and his eyes widened in surprise.
"Piltover's finest", she said with a petite curtsey that, despite where he sat, made Devaki smile. "What happened to your hand?"
"Your damn sheriff shot if off", he said. "What happened to yours?"
"I got an upgrade", said Vi, holding up her hextech gauntlets. They hummed with a low buzz and she turned them around to let Devaki see just how powerful they were. "Fully customizable with variant levels of hurt. I can punch through walls with these babies."
"Yeah, I heard what happened to the Ecliptic Vaults", said Devaki with an easy smile, as if he was talking to the old Vi, the Vi from the Lanes. He wasn't bright enough to know that Vi wasn't the one standing in front of him.
Devaki held up the arm ending in a stump. "I'm gonna need an upgrade too. This was a high-end augment from Bronzio's. That sheriff didn't need to shoot it off."
"You can bill her", said Vi, closing the distance between them in two strides and lifting Devaki off his feet. She threw him against the opposite wall, rattling his bones and sending plaster dust billowing into the air.
Devaki slid to the floor, shocked and gasping for breath. "They've been playing nice so far, but now they send you in? What gives?"
"I'm the one they send in when asking all polite doesn't get you anywhere, cupcake", said Vi, letting the power build in her gauntlets. "I'm the one who'll go to town on you with these beauties. Unless, of course, you tell me what I want to know."
"Whoa, wait! Vi, what are you doing?" spluttered Devaki, holding his remaining hand out before him as he scrambled to his feet.
"I'm interrogating you, what's it look like?"
"But you haven't asked me anything!"
Vi cocked her head to the side. "Yeah, I should probably get on that."
She reached down and hauled Devaki to his feet, applying a growing pressure to his shoulder.
"So, who was gonna buy that stolen hextech?"
Devaki winced in pain, but didn't answer.
"Come on, you're tougher than that", said Vi, releasing his bruised shoulder. "You want to see what happens to a face when I don't pull my punches?"
"No!" cried Devaki.
"Then tell me what I want to know."
Vi tapped a finger on her chin, as if weighing whether to punch him again. She smiled, the expression worrying Devaki more than the thought of her fists.
"Be a shame if word got round the Lanes that you'd been informing on all your criminal friends for the last couple of years."
"What?" said Devaki, spluttering in pain and indignation. "That's a lie!"
"Of course it is", said Vi, "but I know all the right people to talk to down there. A lot of folk'll listen if I let it slip that you're in the wardens' pocket."
"I'll be dead in a day if you do that", protested Devaki.
"Now you're catching on", said Vi. "Tell me what I want to know. I'll make sure it gets about you resisted arrest. Even give you a black eye so it looks like I beat it out of ya."
Devaki's shoulders slumped, knowing he had no defiance left in him.
"Fine, I'll tell you what you want to know."
"Excellent", said Vi, "Now we're getting somewhere."