Ok, so. You know how it’s generally accepted canon that Mike and Chuck grew up together in Deluxe? And most fics tend to assume that, after his mutiny, Mike went back to Deluxe somehow to pick Chuck up?
Imagine if it was the other way around. What if Chuck left for Motorcity first? I mean, Chuck is a hacker, right? What if he started sifting through classified information because he’s smart! and eager! and he want to learn and be prepared for when he maybe gets to join a R&D department! Only the things he finds are terrifying and not at all what he wants to do. Or, cyborg AU! In the same vein as Override Zero, secret super soldier project he’s not allowed to talk about, except he decides to run before his surgeries are finished. Maybe he finds out he is to be ‘terminated’ because he’s a failed project and decides he does not like the sound of that.
Would he tell Mike? Would he find the time to? Would he get caught and have to make a run for it before he can leave a message? Would he choose not to, because he doesn’t want to compromise his friend, even though he’s fighting for the bad guys? Would he try to contact him or would he just low key worry about him all the time? How long would it take until Mike notices Chuck is gone? Would Kane tell him Chuck is a traitor, or would he tell him Chuck died, because it’s easier and would keep Mike from trying to find his friend?
And how would Chuck deal with Motorcity, alone? Would he find Jakob and stick to him? He’d definitely have a plan of some sort, because it’s Chuck and he’d have been plotting his escape for months before he put it in motion. Would he know where to go, who to talk to? Would he be too afraid to talk to anyone? How much KaneCo bullshit about Motorcity would he have internalised (it’s gross, people are violent, the air is poisonous, the food is unsanitary…)?
AND THEN imagine Mike down in Motorcity, lost and hurt and with no plan whatsoever, because Mike’s mutiny was spontaneous, completely unprepared, standing out like a sore thumb in his Deluxe commander clothes, grimy and hungry and possibly still being hunted by KaneBots and the other cadets. Would he stumble upon Jakob’s place and meet Chuck there? Or would Chuck find him somewhere out in the open getting into fights with the giant rats (because of course he would)? How would that reunion go, if Mike thought Chuck was dead?
I just… really love the idea that Chuck - paranoid, anxious Chuck with a lot of reasons to distrust KaneCo - decided nah, fuck this, and ran for the hills, long before Mike and his endless supply of trust and faith (and hero worship) ran out. And I want to see the reunion when Mike finally does run and then finds Chuck down in Motorcity when he’d been told his best friend is dead.