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All the terror she had felt but weeks ago returned in one solid wave. It was so much money. They wanted her that badly. With a bounty of that size, there was no place safe for her. Nowhere to hide. The paper stated she was to be alive, but she knew if she went back her life would be forfeit after they had the journal. Tera had the two of them stop by a shop, purchasing an overly large hat. It covered her well. Most of the looks stopped. The ones that persisted were due to the strange outfit she was in. Overall it had been nearly half an hour before they made it back to the ship. There was a small sense of solace there, but not enough to bring the color back to her face. Dante waited for the pair.
Following the motions, Rhea sat when told and listened to the man across from her intently. It was a little hard to focus, between the crushing weight of her impending death and the pained look on his face. She had hurt him with this. Perhaps she’d been very wrong in thinking that he had disliked her so much. He spoke of her over reacting, and being naive. It was not entirely wrong. She was often told she was too innocent when it came to her thinking of the world. She knew she was, but it helped her through life, keeping optimism that she might succeed in her life’s work one day.
She was already nearly on the verge of tears when Tera came to her aid trying to keep the captain from becoming fully enraged. The anthro really was too sweet. Trusting her to such an extent, even with something this large loomed over them all. Although Tera had tried to prevent it, he snapped. There was a searing pain at the nape of her neck as she was once again uncomfortably close to Mr. Varias. The water welling in her eyes was threatening to spill over. Rhea struggled to hold it back. If she cried it would only look as though she was trying to play off the little sympathy in the room.
Somehow, Tera brought him back to his senses enough that his grip loosened. The pain faded. Once again, she was required to put everything on the table. This time, in more detail. There would be no slipping by with vagueness. “I-i-it wasn’t a plague.” Her blundered speech had returned. On top of that there was the fact that it was just so hard to say it out loud. It made it all the more real. “It is commonly known that the Pyrenians were blighted with a terrible plague, killing everyone. The Termani took us in, raising us as we regenerated, but everything was lost. There was no knowledge of our species fundamentals, the culture, and the language all gone in one fell swoop.” Tension grew that told her that she was taking too long to get to the point, but this was the only way she could do it properly.
“I swear; I never lied to you. What I came across was evidence that this was all a farce. There was no plague.” Her stomach was turning; she felt sick. “It was genocide. The Termani systematically rounded up all 10,000 Pyrenians and executed us 150 years ago. I can only imagine it was too install the current government they have in place and have power over our planet and people, but beyond that I have no idea why…” Now if she died, someone else in the universe at least knew the truth. It was an empty consolation.
Dante’s hand fell from her neckline, dragging down her collar as it came to the table. Once again she was able to sit in her seat appropriately. His movements were slow as he moved back, as if he were taking in the information, processing it to see if he believed it.
She allowed herself a pause. Rhea was struggling to go on, but she forced herself to keep level. Staring into his soothing golden eyes helped a bit. “Genocide is an S class offence, and without just cause interfering with a planet that has yet to develop interplanetary transport is an A class offense. If this gets out, the Termani are going to lose a lot. Allegiances will be broken and they will be shunned form many parts of this galaxy. In order to keep this under wraps, 5 million credits must seem very small to them.” It was a little far fetched. One of the farthest reaching and well-known groups of people in galaxy, allied with at least one planet in every star system, were behind something so atrocious. Even if the common Termani citizens were not privy to it, the reprimand would be heavy on their leaders. The hammer would come down on the entire race.
“If I am taken back there is no doubt in my mind that I will die. With my death around 120 years of research will be gone. I am the leading expert, of very few, on old Pyreen. Even with this it has taken me a hundred years to decode enough of Pyrenian writing to be able to understand it at an elementary level.” After that she was quiet and allowed her central eyes to leave the tieflings. They stared down at her shaking hands as she waited for the horrific silence to end.
Rhea mentally prepared for what was to come. If the money was too enticing a prize, she had decided beg for him to take the diary and her notes. That way it may be given to another linguist at the very least. There would still be hope that this might be brought to light even if her current self would not see it.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat A translator would have their uses in the future. At the mere mention of the profession he is conjuring up ideas for how best to utilise her skill. Having an unassuming female on the ship would be useful too. But not in this system where a common tongue was spoken. She would help him to take cargo further afield and not be swindled by the local traders. He kept a golden eye on her as she mingled with the other two. It was disquieting to him that they took so quickly to her. Those two took to anyone hastily however. Dante felt she was being coy and deceptive with her soft voice and shy body language. She would have to be watched. Closely.
Their warp drive was currently non-functional, so they would have to travel at max drive to the next port. It was two weeks of travel away and would give time for the crew to relax and Dante to think over the woman's fate. He had given her a reprieve but to accept her as a crew member meant so much more. Not least she would be entitled to a share of the profits. His profits specifically.
During their short trip she became endeared to Tera and Jax like they had been old friends. She took to Tera's teasing and playful nature well and Jax was always happy to have someone whom he could play games with, share his bolt collection with, and repeat jokes long since considered old material. And she took it in good humour. Dante could see she was fitting well with them. The twins however were constantly badgering at him to be allowed to talk to Rhea. They complained, whined, threw tantrums and devolved to holding their breath or ignoring him for minutes at a time. Whenever they were all together, he kept their heads down, focused on something else though they would push their look at times. Despite his attempts to maintain control over the situation, he could see something would give soon. He couldn't keep them apart always.
Dante was sitting in the cockpit, his head propped up with a hand, taking a little time to himself. The night previous, or what passed for night on the ship, he had barely gained any sleep. Oni and Ino had been sickly the day before and he suspected it was down to a spoiled provision. Though there had been no vomiting, thankfully, the girls would retch weakly and had been close to tears at times. He had spent the night sat beside their bunk, keeping a watchful eye on them. They woke frequently and he was often up by their side pressing a cool hand to their foreheads or letting them hold onto his hand. It made little sense to him but their entire race was a mystery to him. He was learning on the job so to speak.
When she entered and spoke to him, his fingers fluttered in the air to imply she continue. She had bought his ear with her soft tone which brought him closer to sleep. It was singsong and gentle. Likely it would have soothed the twins during their troubled sleep. It helped to set a relaxing tone as she apologised for taking his kindness for granted. He had to concede that the twins were already fond of the woman simply for her matching race and that they would be sad for her to leave, even though they had yet to meet her formally.
His head lifted at her pleasant words and as golden eyes gazed over toward her she was gone, a tail whipping around behind her trailing form. She seemed intent to be away and leave him be and his lips curled ever so slightly. He left it alone, preferring to sink into the silence in the room and be lost to a light slumber..
As they pulled into the port Dante left Tera to request landing permissions and take them in. He in turn stepped out and into his quarters to change. When he returned, he wore pristine and radiant white clothing. The pants were figure conforming up to the knee though up to his waist they were of a looser weave. Across his waist a smoky grey belt sat, more for style than any practical use. His upper half is covered with a tight shirt which leaves little of the contours of his torso to the imagination. The sleeves tapered off just after the elbow, the collar an inch or two below his jawline. The white contrasted starkly with his brilliant cerulean skin and from a fold at the back a blue tail swished about lazily.
As he stepped out, Tera let out a low whistle, laughing gently before her elbow nudged into Rhea's side. The Pyrenian looked up in curiosity at the woman's reaction, though a little intrigued at the change in clothing.
[+red "Cap doesn't like to change clothing all that often. But when he does.. well, let's just saying he's being conservative today."] A devilish smile turns her lips.[+red "I remember one time, I swear you could see the outline of-"] Dante turned sharply on the duo, particular Tera, but she winked playfully at him in return.
[b "I was going to give you two some credits to go about the port with. I thought you deserved some relaxation. Clearly you are content enough already, so you can remain on the ship until the cargo is sold."] His eyebrows rose as if imploring either of them to complain or take issue, yet neither did and he nodded his approval of their choice. Taking a data pad he sauntered out of the ship, taking a deep breath of the fresh air. Recycled was fine for health, but could never beat the fresh stuff.
They were a mixture of races waiting at the end of the cargo ramp, some who's names he couldn't fathom though their appearance was familiar. As local buyers they knew each other rather well and a cheery mood shrouded them all. Approaching an electronic stand to one side, Dante connected his tablet to it briefly and transferred across his itinerary. The ship name flashed up in bold letters before the contents began to flash on sale in quick succession. At once there was a heady clamour to see what was for sale, several leaving quickly when they saw nothing they wanted.
Satisfied they had had enough time, he tapped at the pad. It was a form of quick sell auction. Prospective buyers would link wirelessly to the stand and bid for chosen goods. No matter their chosen dialect, his itinerary would be translated for them. It lasted only five minutes before the tiefling nodded his head calmly and turned back to the doorway. Dante waved his hands for Rhea and Tera to go ahead and go about their business. Jax stood at the end of the cargo ramp, standing in the way of the unloading crews of the buyers. The twins were in the cargo hold, watching everything with fascination. They were always keen to see new races and new planets.
It was going rather swimmingly, up until the moment Tera buzzed him on his communicator. He sighed deeply and pressed at his ear to activate it. At the mention of a problem he inquired if it involved their recent acquisition. When it was confirmed, he didn't hesitate and changed his channel.
[b "Ino, come down here please."] Walking away from the buyers the little girl came bundling down excitedly, stopping when she reached Dante who took a knee before her.[b "Here."] He handed her the tablet.[b "You've done invoicing before. I need you to finish up here whilst I deal with a problem. Can you do that for me?"] She nodded vigorously, his hand brushing her cheek softly. Tugging at Jax's leg, the giant turned to look down. A large dumb smile spread over his face.
[+gold "Hi Ino. Ino want up?"] She nodded again and up she went, lifted to sit on his shoulder. Leaving them be Dante calmly walked back up onto his vessel, changing back his communication channel.
[b "Bring her back to the ship now Tera. And keep her head down. I don't want people seeing her board."] He was surprisingly calm, though worried that what had gone wrong would cause him to lose reputation. If she had started an argument, caused offence to an elder, broken something. It didn't bother guessing blindly at.
Twenty minutes of fretting over outcomes went by before Rhea and Tera returned, a large brimmed hat pulled over the former's head to hide her face. Immediately he pointed for the gentle speaking Pyrenian to take a seat at the galley table. She humbly did so, head bowed a fraction, and he turned to Tera.
[b "What did she do?"]
[+red "Well Cap, it's less what she did. More what she done."] Delving into her cleavage brought a bemused look from the tiefling male before the piece of paper was eventually fished out.[i 'It's a wonder she found it at all in that bosom.'] Handing it over he took it with a hesitation. It [i had] been pressed against her being.[+red "Seems our lil' girl here is a proper genuine crook Cap."] She smiled as if she were proud, folding her arms under her chest which only pushed them up and made them more prominent. Dante couldn't help but notice and a light red hue brushed over his cheeks. Turning away to unfold the paper he read it over, eyes scanning over it several times. When he finished, he fell into a seat opposite of Rhea and his fingers ran lose in his white tufts of hair.
[b "Why?"] It was soft. Not demanding. He looked up at her with a pained expression. He looked into her only visible eyes. It irked him that her hair had come down. The quad-optical appearance was much more appealing. Pushing the paper toward her he sighed.[b "Five million. Five. [i Million]. Not hundred, not thousand, not hundred thousand. But [i million]."] He closed his eyes, letting out a moan in discomfort as he sunk down and let his forehead rest against the table for a moment. It rose immediately.[b "You know what I made today? What all that cargo got me? One hundred thousand credits. And that's only because the Utilian wine sold well. At a rough guess; minus running costs, Tera and Jax's fee and the twins' share, that leaves me with barely ten thousand. Ten thousand Rhea, for a whole shipment. And yet here I was, transporting something worth five million!"]
Still there is no anger.
It was rare for Dante to remain so calm, yet the look in his eyes as he stared across at her was filled with discomfort. He was clearly holding a lot in and the woman remained silent. She seemed not keen to irk him more by interjecting in his talk. She simply folded her hands together and sat meekly before his gaze. A hand slapped against the table abruptly. Not hard, but enough to frighten Tera who stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder, perhaps to stem him striking out. He shrugged it off hastily.
[b "Why did you lie to me? You tell me you're wanted because you read something you perhaps shouldn't have. A misdemeanour crime. Something I was going to put down as you overreacting, taking out of context, fearing the absolute worse and running from shadows. A mistake. A fault. I can accept faults. I'm very reasonable, I have my own faults and I know that. Everyone here has them."] Tera nodded in agreement, stood at his shoulder. His voice dropped to a whisper.[b "But simply reading something you shouldn't have? Let me tell you something, perhaps you're naive or just innocent to the world at large, but that? That's not worth a five million credit bounty."] A sneer tugs on his lips as he reaches quickly across the table and grasped the back of her neck, pulling her forward so they are once again mere inches apart, as it had been a few days prior.
[+red "Cap! Stop it! Don't hurt the girl!"] Tera's worry for the girl stems no further than words, keeping her hands to herself though she leans forward. He heeds her words, his grip loosening minutely.
[b "Rhea. I want one, single, perfect, believable reason for why I shouldn't turn you in. Because I have five million reasons why I should."]
It was genuinely surprising when the tiefling came closer into her. Something she said set him off yet again. Now, she was not generally a real articulate person when it came to sensitive situations like this one, but it astonished her how she was able to say just the wrong thing at every chance she received. If she kept it up she could put it on her resume: expert destroyer of all hope in a life or death situations.
As long as she stayed quiet things started to look up. Although, those moments did not last long until she had to give answer. Noticing the trend, Rhea chose to nod instead. It pained her to promise to stay away from those girls. Younglings were so rare. There was seldom the chance to study this part of the Pyrenian life cycle. Alas this would not be hers. Hopefully now that she had given her word, she would live to see others.
His hot breath on her was oddly calming. It reminded her of her desert home. As the berating of cold words came to an end, her gaze came back to his bottomless golden eyes. Even when he reached out, letting his dry hand graze across her smooth marble skin she was able to hold composure. It was such a gentle display form such a fierce man. The contrast was mesmerizing, hypnotic even. Another long moment later, he backed away and announced she would be allowed to stay. This was followed by rapid-fire introductions. The atmosphere had changed in the blink of an eye. She gave a shallow bow to each person in the room as their name was given. Taking in each of their features more carefully she put their faces and names to memory. The people here would serve as her saviors in a great time of need regardless of whether they wanted the title or not. “Thank you, Captain Vari-“ her heartfelt gratitude was interrupted by Jax’s large hand on her back. The action nearly toppled her over. It was quite the feat. Pyrenians were a dense people. Practically made of stone, so there were not too many with the strength to accidentally send them over themselves. “A pleasure to meet you as well, Jax.”
The other woman, Tera came into the conversation naturally. The teasing tone she had made Rhea feel as though the people in front of her had been together for a very long time. It was a close-knit group. A tired, but humored smile came upon her face. Apparently Dante served as guardian to the mismatched family. Once he was done refereeing the other two, Rhea received a stern reminder of her own rudeness. “Oh, sorry for the delay. My name is Rhea and I think I could be a useful translator if you need one."
Rhea spent most of her time either by herself or with Jax or Tera. When she was alone, all her attention was to the diary she constantly carried with her. In order to not miss anything she started from the beginning. There were many entries, most of which were of no use to her. But she would not know when the confrontations started if she jumped to where she had previously been. It was tedious to say the least. The others acted as de-stressors of sorts. When in their company, there was never a dull moment. Although though she had fun, Tera gave off the distinct feeling that Rhea was her new plaything. Much like Jax, she was constantly pestered. It did not bother her though. She found it more endearing than anything. While she was always happy to be near the engineer and pilot, Rhea spent a great deal of her time avoiding the other inhabitants of the Enduring Odyssey.
With time, Rhea understood how she had offended the captain on that day. It was clear he was very partial to Ori and Ino. Her audacity to use them as a reason to be kept in the ship was low. In hindsight it was obvious and now she felt the need to apologize. It took a while to build the courage to speak with Dante, but eventually she came across him sitting by himself. She decided to initiate the conversation.
“Excuse me, Captain.” Her voice was naturally soft, but it was even quieter now. “If you have a minute, I wanted to speak with you.” As usual he seemed disinterested in her, but he gave small hints that she had his attention. “I would like to apologize for my boldness when we first met... It was not my intention to act as though I knew those little ones.” Regret showed on her face. She could feel it in her stomach as well. Truly she had been worried for their wellbeing, but it was still brass of her to bring children into it. “You have done so much for me. It pains me to think that I may be held in incredulously low regard because of a careless comment on my part. I just wanted to let you know I am reflecting on it.” After mentally rehearsing for this moment over and over, it had come out nothing as planned. “Anyway, that was all I wanted to say. Sorry to take up your time.” Rhea practically ran from the room once she had finished with what she had to say.
Although it had not been as eloquent as she had initially planned, Rhea felt better after blurting the whole mess out to Dante. Honestly, it may not have helped him see her in a better light, but now there was hope that he might not hate her. She was able to relax more when he was in the room. There was still some avoidance, but she was much less nervous.
It was an exciting day when Rhea discovered they would be taking port. Not that space travel was terrible, but she really did like a break every now and again. Visiting new places and seeing how they functioned was a great love of hers. Not to mention it was free. The Pyrenian had not checked, but she assumed her credit account and other assets had all been frozen. Not that she was stupid enough to try and use the inter-galactic money transfer system. That would only act as a beacon to the Termani.
There were orders to stay on ship until the shipment had been dropped off. And so Rhea stayed by the doors as crates were removed from the ship. The fresh air licked through the open cargo hold. The atmosphere on this planet was thick with water. Humidity was not her favorite, seeing as she was used to an arid desert. It would not take long to grow used to the mugginess. Acclimation was always the worst part though.
After Dante had thoroughly intimidated all those who had tried to scam him in some way or another, the work was done and it was time to play. Rhea wanted to run off and do her own thing, but that came with a possibility of being left behind if she were to become lost. Instead she tagged along with Tera. That came with the perk that she looked like she would be useful if anything happened. More likely than not, Tera would be starting trouble, but at least she would finish it. Who knew, it could be fun.
As they made there way through the town, Rhea oo’d and ah’d at the small things. Anything particularly interesting behaviors she saw led to her spouting tidbits of information. “That man there, he is of the Morantz race. They slouch like that because their ancestors had tails to balance themselves. After a rather detrimental, but dominant mutation they lost the tails. It worked out alright in the end because they tend to be sweet in disposition.” Smiling brightly, she waved at the man.
“Yer just full of all sorts of info, ain’t ya?” Tera laughed like she always did, but then smirked. “Too bad you draw so much attention.”
The comment confused Rhea. Now that her attention was on it, there were a couple of people with their eyes on her. Ranging from full on stares to sideways glances, it was beginning to make her feel uneasy. She was beginning to have inkling to what was going on. Rhea removed her glasses and undid her hair clips. The fringe came down to cover her secondary eyes. Still there was a man that came up to the pair.
“Hey little lady, what might your name be?” He was a greasy sort of fellow. The type that made you uneasy just being in the same space as him.
Tera spoke up for Rhea, putting her arm around her. “This here is my friend, Artemia.” Her smile was abrasive. The kind that tells you to leave her the hell alone or there will be a problem. “What’s it to ya, bud?” Her tactic worked surprisingly well. The man backed off, glaring the whole time.
They didn’t walk a hundred steps more before they saw it. Outside of one of the local hot spots there was a board donning the faces of those with outstanding bounties. Rhea’s eyes met her own face. Even without her spectacles she could see it was hers. After a moment of silence, Tera whistled, impressed. “Ya musta stumbled on somethin’ real sensitive if the tight ass’ are willing to part with 5 mil just to get their hands on ya.” Then she tore off the piece of paper, folded it, and stuffed it in her cleavage.
“I think I should go back to the ship.” Rhea’s face had drained of color as her companion nodded in agreement.
The anthro pulled out a communicator. Hitting a single button she was through, “Cap, we’ve got a problem.”
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat [+red "Do I need to answer them in that exact order?"] His look changed from anger to incredulous shock at her response. Was she mocking him? Did she think her safety was so guaranteed that she could openly ridicule his questions? His temper flared and the Captain grasped his hands tightly by his side, looming closer to her she covered her face with her hands and Tera stifled her laugh, averting her gaze to the floor when the Captain had looked over at her. Turning back the red skinned woman finally spoke some sense.
Working for the Termani made sense for her level of access in their systems. As an anthropologist she would be left alone, keen to remain hidden and her nose firmly placed within the folds of a book. And to run when she had discovered something unsavoury to the Termani image was highly likely; they were a stubbornly proud group. To have smuggled herself on was simple enough. Jax had not secured the ramp before it was closed and it was with luck they hadn't lost any cargo to thieves. Yet to have a being sneak aboard made a mockery of him as a Captain, unable to control whom came on or left his ship. Well if her answer for his third question was not satisfactory, then he would remedy the problem with a visit to the air lock.
Granted he didn't feel like he could go through with it. Likely he would scare her and then have her bound until they reached the nearest system to offload her. Yet to go lightly on her and show her any passiveness in dealing with her would backfire with stupendous results. There was still cause for concern as she worked for the Termani and may be lying simply to catch him out at a later date. But he would have to take that chance.
Her reason to be allowed to stay was humourous; because she didn't have one. She was close to literally asking to be ejected. And he stared at her in mild confusion, his face conveying naught more than distaste for her, as it had for most of his interrogation of her. When she mentioned the twins he felt his body bristle at the implied notion that she knew those two young Pyrenians. Regardless of what else she said he leaned in closer, their warm breaths intermingling between them.
[b "No matter what happens, you will not speak a word to those girls. They may be from your race, but you do not know them nor their background. If I catch you speaking to them, I will do a lot worse to you than simply dropping you out into that that cold, dark expanse out there."] The hushed volume, severity of his tone, it would not be lost on her that he was displeased by her comment. Though truth be told the two girls would be unhappy to lose someone of their own race so quickly, he could not afford to allow them to grow close if she did turn at some point and reveal her original plan. If they ended up in some jail because of her they would never be the same again.
A silence between them grew and she sensed it was not a time for her to speak, merely nod at this tieflings words with haste. There was no waver in his gaze and when she did look away, she felt drawn to look back at him. The short distance between them was uncomfortable to say the least. But after great inner monologue and deliberation, he raised a hand up to her face, deft fingers brushing across her cheek before sweeping up and brushing through her hair. Had it not been an anxious situation between them, one may take the movement as a show of sexual intent, lust, emotional interest. Yet he merely nodded, body relaxing and the same hand falling back to brush along his right horn.
[b "No slave mark. So you are not a runaway. Therefore I'll believe your story for now and you will be allowed to stay. That is Tera our pilot. The man behind you, Jax our engineer. The twins are Oni and Ino, our computer and systems specialists. And I am your Captain, Dante Varias. Welcome aboard the Enduring Odyssey."] He took a single cautious step back, though still faced her. The other two in the room relaxed immediately and Jax sprung to his feet, patting the woman on the back heartily with a large grin stretching over his face.
[+gold "Jax pleased to meet lady. Gonna be good to have lady on ship. Tera scares Jax."] Immediately the pilot jumped to her feet in defense of her own character and she stepped over, waving sweetly before clasping her hands behind her back.
[+red "Jax is an idiot. He thinks I'm after his bolt collection."] There is a worried look on the mans face at the mere mentioning of his collection.[+red "And I'll get it one day!"]
[+gold "No! Jax not let you take his bolts. Bolts belong to Jax. Jax found them! Cappy tell Tera to leave Jax bolts alone!"] By now Dante had turned away, sulking back to his seat where he threw himself down and rubbed at his temple. Today was not his day and he waved off the others dismissively.
[b "Tera, leave him be. Jax, no-one wants your bolt collection. And you.. woman."] He looked over to her though now there was only weariness in his gaze. It had been a tiring hour and he had little need for those two to begin bickering worse than the twins.[b "I want your name. I don't fancy called you woman for your foreseeable stay with us."] He rested his chin atop his hand, before speaking up a final time.[b "And as a anthropologist you won't be much use to me. I am in no mood to attempt at thinking what you can possibly do. So tell me some things that you believe will adhere you to me and this ship."]
Getting to see the two youngling’s celebrating at their success made Rhea smile. Clearly they were a clever pair to be able to get into the defense system as quick as they did. She was impressed. It was a little disappointing to see them go. The lack of children in the room put butterflies in her belly. Things did not bode well for her if the conversation was not for the ears of little ones.
At the man’s first utterance of a syllable she could tell he was outstandingly angry. One look into his piercing eyes let her know he was sizing her up. Doing her best to hold her ground, she steeled herself. Rhea committed to keeping eye contact. A sinking feeling told her he could tell it was for show, but she was determined all the same. Their eyes were locked as he menacingly moved in on her. The urge to back away and hide away someplace was real. Almost tangible even. Only when she felt his finger pressing into her chest did her resolve waver. While her secondary set of eyes stayed fast to his, her main pair followed down to his hand. It felt as though he was prodding into her very being. The discomfort this brought was distracting, making it hard to form coherent lines of thought. And she most definitely did not have time to be lost for words.
As her mouth opened to sputter poorly worded excuses, the huge guy behind her chimed into the conversation. After that the anthro gal did as well. It was a tad embarrassing, but extremely touching. The azure fellow did not find it as endearing. His snapped at his crewmates; it gave the Pyrenian some crucial time to compose herself once more.
When he turned back to Rhea, his expectant gaze told her that she was to be truthful. Lest he keep his word and have her expelled from his ship. The hush hung in the air as her mind worked out her story properly this time. She found her voice again moments later.
“Do I need to answer them in that exact order?” It was not her intention to be a smart ass, but it was being taken that way. Tera’s stifled laughter was the only reason Rhea realized her near fatal mistake. “Ah,” She let out an exasperated noise and covered her face with her hands briefly. “That came out wrong. I mean, it would be a little easier if I could start with the passcode question…” A few moments ago she had believed the tiefling was as livid as he could be, but that was not the case. She was pretty sure now he was as mad as he could get. At least without her being tossed out the air lock.
Rhea began to answer his questions hastily. It caused her to fumble over her words. “I work for the government on Pyreen. Well, I did… You see; I am an anthropologist. It is my job to try and figure out more about my people. This was given high priority so I essentially had access to whatever I wanted.” It was a nice perk to be able to do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. Good thing too cause apparently the job came with some big risks. Including but not limited to being hunted down when you discovered the wrong thing. “While working, I stumbled onto some sensitive information. So far I don’t know how deep it goes, but it is clear that they don’t want me to find out. In order to get away I boarded the soonest departing ship I could find. It just happened to be yours.” That answered both how she knew what she did and how she had gotten where she was. The only thing left was why she should stay. That was the most difficult by far.
“To be honest, I am not sure there is a very good reason for you not to just be done with me here and now. None of this affects you.” Rhea paused yet again. While waiting for the verdict another thought came to her. One that might save her neck, “…but it might affect those girls.” It was not a lie necessarily. She did not have anything to back it up, but there was also nothing refuting it. “And if you do chose to let me stay, I promise I will do whatever you ask of me so long as it is in my capabilities.” That was it. That was all she could do. Her fate was in the hands of the fierce captain before her. If the idea of helping a stranger did not sit well with him, she prayed that those two Pyrenian girls were important enough to sway him.
For what felt like the millionth time that day, no one made a sound. She felt the two spectators eyes flicker from her to their captain. It was apparent the woman wanted to put her two cents in once again, but the direct order for her silence held her tongue fast.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat The Captain anguished groan reverberated about the cockpit as the order to lower shield was reiterated. His mind scrambled with any plausible possibility that he could finagle a way out of this for him and his crew.
[+red "We can outrun 'em Cap. Trust me!"] Tera had shifted uncomfortably in her seat, gazing back with hope and determination. However the cobalt horns sway from side to side in denial of her request.
[b "We can't outrun a Mark Three Termani ship. Even if we eject the cargo bay right now."] Puffing out his cheeks with revulsion at their predicament.[b "Tera, prepare to lower the shields."] The sound of defeat is evident and despite his authority over her, the woman stared back in disbelief, the reality that they were going to be arrested disconcerting.[b "Tera. Now. Please."] A flare of anger at the failure to carry out his order.
She nodded meekly, turning back in her seat and tapping away to find the shields and turn them off. As she turned back the twins were bouncing around excitedly. They had been talking animatedly to one another, their whispers growing until finally Oni jumped up in the seat.
[+blue "We can just hack into the data system and fudge the numbers!"] It was rare for the girls to talk, usually content with nods of the head or hushed whispers. The idea was their brainchild and they were delighted to share it with the others, looking at them with expectant faces.
Tera tore through the idea immediately, cutting off any hope it might give them. She beat the Captain, who had turned to inform them just the same. He raised a hand to his pilot in thanks for her answering first. A deft shrug of his shoulders as if it was [i now] truly out of his hands. As Captain it was his decision to take responsibility, the act of smuggling and it's consequences squarely placed upon his shoulders. If he was lucky he could buy his own freedom and at least those around him would have theirs.
[+red "Cap is right on this one, we're f-"]
[+green "It could work if they didn’t have to run the passcode generator though, right?"] The cause of their distress interjected into the conversation, taking a step forward as she spoke her mind. Jax stepped up behind her but a calming hand from the Captain stayed any action. He turned to thank her for her input, though it was not for her to interrupt them, but little Ino spoke up and he shifted back again to stare at the twin perplexed.
There was a look that both the younger and older Pyrenian females gave him in turn; [i 'what have we got to lose?']. The familiar authoritarian voice came back over their comm's and one again, all eyes focused on their Captain for guidance. There were so many things that could go wrong. The passcode could be a means to alert the authorities that she was in trouble. Perhaps it would detonate something aboard the vessel. Or perhaps she was genuinely keen to get away. A last look at her reaffirmed his decision. As the countdown began the Captain turned to Jax.
[b "Get her to the back of the ship, now!"] His order was barked out in frustration and the man nodded multiple times, going for her arm but she pulled away. She chastised him for trying to grab her and without restraint they turned to leave. A flick of his hand at Tera to lower the shield, the Captain turned back to the twins, pointing to the console before them.[b "Oni, Ino, you have 90 seconds, get to it."] They jumped down into their seat in unison, muttering between themselves as normal and leaning over now and again to tap at the others panel.
Pulling himself upright, he circled around Tera, folded his arms over his chest and stroked his smooth chin in thought. He had full confidence in the twins. They were excellent together and to hack a system once past the firewalls would be relatively easy work. However working with a time constraint was a worry and he stared anxiously at his pilot, the anthro looking back at him with worry, her ears pressed down to her head. She peered over to the two girls working feverishly at their station.
[b "Come on girls, time to hurry it up."] His encouragement was met with a Ino's tongue darting out at him. Their animosity at his tone was evident and he kept silent from then on, simply willing them to hurry up. A minute passed by and he walked over to their chair, standing behind and watching their smalls hands move swiftly around, screens flashing for seconds at a time before they were replaced, expanded, thrown aside or passed to the other to work at.
The duo's hands froze at the same time, lifting from the screens as they their bright crimson eyes looked to him with hope. It was not the look he had wanted, rather he wished he saw confidence and happiness. It was a long silence between the four. It seemed to stretch an eternity. But then, as the Captain considered how much he would stand to lose, the comm's crackled back into life and they were cleared to leave. It was a moment of relief and the twins clapped their hands with one another, the tiefling leaning down quickly to press his lips to the top of their heads in his thanks.
With the release of tension he propped himself against their seat. It had been an unsettling experience at best. Turning back to Tera she looked up at him, feigning sadness and pouting her lips at him having seen him kiss the twins' crowns. He rolled his eyes and pointed to her controls as he approached.
[b "Tera, please, not now. Get the ship moving before they do a deeper scan. I want us away from this place now or I swear that-"]
[+red "Oh, I do love it when ye order me about Cap. So strong. Very masculine."] She winked at him playfully, blowing a kiss as she brought the ship about and took them away from the port, out towards orbit. It wasn't long after that Jax returned with the woman and he settled back into his seat with a faint child-like smile. It was a wonder if the man even knew what had happened. The Captain ordered them out, sending them back to their quarters and instructing them to stay there until relieved. Though they wined to themselves they obliged his request and walked by the woman, staring up at her in some fascination before Ino knocked Oni and darted out, the latter chasing after her twin with a laugh.
[b "So, stowaway."] Those shining golden eyes ran their assessment over her, taking in her appearance and how she held herself. A lot could be told from body language alone. Whether the person was timid and meek, strong and confrontational, panicked or angered and ready to attack. She looked to fit into the first two categories and he felt comfortable that she would not strike out at him. Granted, given her build and the clothing, she did not come across as a natural fighter to begin with. And with Jax and Tera still in the room, the former sat not far behind her, there was little chance she would be foolhardy and make a move.
[b "Luckily for you your plan worked. Yet you are the cause of the issue to begin with. So I won't have you pushed out the airlock immediately in return."] Furious tones littered his speech as he took calm and precise steps toward her. When he had moved closer to her, standing perhaps uncomfortably close, he met her red gaze and stood unblinking before her.[b "Now, answer me these questions; why are you on my ship, why do you know the password to the Termani security system, and what is stopping me from going ahead with my aforementioned plan to eject you out of the airlock."] With each query a finger pressed at the red mark in the middle of her chest in an accusatory manner.
[+gold "Jax think we should keep her. Jax think she's pretty. And she got brains too."] A blue hand waves off the augmented ogre in a dismissive nature.
[b "She is not a pet Jax!"]
[+red "I dunno Cap, Jax has a point. She did get us outta that pinch then."] Tera had set them onto an autopilot course and was now leaning on her seat to watch in fascination.[+red "And she's no me, but she's got spunk alright."]
[b "When did I ask for anyone's opinion in this?"] His head swiveled on the anthro and glared accusingly at her, but she merely shrugged her shoulders.[b "Then everyone keep their opinions to themselves and remain silent. Or they can be the first out of the lock."] Golden gaze returned to the blush skinned woman, awaiting her response now the others had been ordered silent.
The ogre led Rhea through a series of rooms until they entered one that was inhabited by other people. He switched languages when he spoke to them. It was clearly not his first tongue. No one seemed too interested in what he had to say at first. That did not take long to change. Soon all eyes were on her. It made her incredibly uncomfortable, like she was being scrutinized. Well, she was a stowaway, so it was warranted. At least a little bit she thought.
As she opened her mouth to try and give her best I really, really, really need to get off the planet speech, the intercom went off. The Termani were going to scan the ship! Panic set in her chest, but she was not the only one. The others in the room were voicing concerns. Rhea feared she might have condemned them all. Perhaps if she turned herself over they would be spared.
The man she assumed was the captain had a contemplative look on his face. She knew the look well. Rhea wracked her brain as well. Was there a way out of this that did not involve her being reset? It was hard when she didn’t know what resources were on the ship. It was frustrating.
While all the adults were trying to figure out what to do, the twins bounced ideas off one another. The whispering became louder and more excited until one of them spoke up. “We can just hack into the data system and fudge the numbers!”
“That would be great, but there is no way we are going to be able to pull that one off. No matter how good ya girls are there just isn’t enough time to run an algorithm.” It was the other woman in the room that had responded with a melancholy tone. “Cap is right on this one, we are f-“
Rhea cut in, “It could work if they didn’t have to run the passcode generator though, right?”
The twin who had not spoken before did now. “Yeah, the only slow part is getting the code to bring down the firewall.”
“The departure scans are a level 3 security priority in section omega of the precautions and defense branch.” She spoke softly to herself trying to remember what password was used for that. When it hit her she nearly shouted, “it should be IGNITUSSENTARI all in caps!” So long as they had not changed any of their security measures yet there was a chance that she could escape.
As she began to feel a little relieved, the voice sounded again. “Scan will proceed in 5… 4…” The countdown halted Rhea’s mind. She had no idea what to do.
The Captain barked at the man who had dragged her there. “Get her to the back of the ship, now! Oni, Ino, you have 90 seconds, get to it.”
Jax grabbed at Rhea’s arm again, but she pulled it away. “I can follow on my own.” He seemed fine with it, because he ran through the same doorway as they had come. She was surprised how spry he was with such a clunky body. Keeping up was not a problem, but it amazed her nonetheless. Within 30 seconds they had made it to the farthest possible corner they could get to. There was silence now and it was haunting. Time dragged. All the worst possible scenarios came into Rhea’s head. She cursed her negativity.
Then like a bolt from the blue, “Scan complete, vessel cleared for departure.” Sitting in a state of disbelief, Rhea stared at the cyborg next to her. When it finally sunk in that she had escaped the Termani for now, she released a long sigh of relief. That was all she could feel for the moment. She knew she should probably be anxious to meet the crew of this ship again. There was no way they could be happy about a stowaway, but this respite was too consuming to care. She allowed herself to close her eyes for a while, savoring it. It did not seem long enough when she opened them again.
“Alright,” she whispered to herself then made her way back with Jax so that she could face the music. She was mentally prepared to beg or barter away what little she had with her to get some help.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat [b "Oh for the love of.. Jax! Jax! I want you to move it over.. no, take it over there! There you lumbering oaf!"] The mans voice was strained, the vocal cords fraying from constant yelling at the augmented giant that stared back with a look of innocence, pointing to a corner in a questioning manner.[b "Fine. Yes. Put it there. Just get the rest of the stock on board already!"] A cerulean tinged hand with palm of silver slapped exasperatedly at the side of his ship as he left the being to it's task, stomping his way back up the metal ramp and through the exterior entrance.
Once inside he passed through the airlock and dropped down into a seat in the dining area. Around him panels flashed in patterns of colour and displays read of several pages of text, most of it unintelligible to the common being. Given the spaceport's clientele however, what constituted a common being these days? He had not seen a fellow tiefling in months. The sight of Pyrenian commoners and Termani officials was beginning to grind at his waning mind and fingers pressed in a soothing fashion either side of the two cobalt horns rising from his forehead.
It was always the same, a crushing pain just on one side of his head that came and went in a pattern. It made him want to pace about, he couldn't sit, couldn't lie down or relax. One eye would water on the painful side and his foot would tap incessantly against the grates beneath despite any attempt to still it. He loathed it. It was the same as his Master used to get and he remembered just how little empathy he'd had for him.[i 'It comes with the ship'] he had retorted, and foolishly been scoffed at. Now the blue creature rose stiffly from his seat to a panel, clearing the screen and tapping quickly at a keyboard. It chimed denial and he expelled distaste at being denied before re-typing in his command. It took some time before it chimed acceptance of the order and a small door beneath pinged open. Inside was a cup of green bubbling liquid, though as he lifted it he felt the icy chill of the cup.
[+red "Cap?"] The ships intercom crackled into life and he closed his eyes, raising the cup to his lips.[+red "Cap! You there? Hellooo? Cap? The computer says you're in the galley Cap."] This female voice continued for several seconds, a heavy metal inspired music playing in the background. The cup hovering at his lips before he placed it down, sloshing some of the liquid onto the table where it instantly congealed into a black gelatinous mess. Slamming his hand against the speaker he leaned close.
[b "What is it Yera?"] His voice was tense and he leaned against the wall, absent minded as he twisted several wires back together and stuffed in into the wall, clicking the panel shut. He'd have Jax come by later to fix it all.
[+red "Station says we have twenty minutes to get out or they're gonna seize the ship Cap."] The message was of little concern to him, as the Termani had never been a faction to offer any sympathy to merchants like himself. Purely business.[+red "Well, they said it a little more rough than that. But I cut that out for ya Cap."]
[b "Alright, that'll do Yera, thanks. Start the engines and have the twins run diagnostics on the Kellurian lasers and the warp drive."] He hesitated a moment before pressing the speaker again.[b "You have two minutes before I want that noise turned off too."]
[+red "Aww, come on Cap!"]
[b "Fine, five minutes."]
[+red "Yeah! Will do Cap!"] The intercom crackled to silence and a few seconds later the ship began to hum and vibrate as the engines flickered into life. At a stationary setting they were merely lit and ready to burn without expending much if any fuel. He took up the cup again as he walked back through the two doors and began down the ramp, spotting Jax at the cargo door trying to jostle a final crate into the hold.
[b "Last one Jax! Finish that one and start securing them down!"] He called out but the cyborg merely nodded vigorously and continued to drag the crate into place. The Captain walked over to a man who stood gesticulating at several three-foot tall green men who collectively were arguing amongst themselves.[b "Okay, we're taking off."] The Termani official turned to the tiefling a moment before he waved off the green dwarfs.
[+green "What? But you have thirteen crate to load! You can't leave until all crate are on ship. That was deal!"]
[b "Then firstly, you should have assigned more of your people to loading the stock. And secondly, you should have spoken to the station authority because they're threatening to take my ship if I don't leave now."] The green liquid in his cup still bubbled in a furious eruption and he let out a content sigh as it slid over his tongue.
[+green "You are big liar! I want seventy-six crates moved. You say you move them. They you leave me with thirteen?"] He was incredulous at the circumstances and his arms flailed wildly.
[b "Well you can take payment for sixty-three or I'll just fly off with them and note it down as a donation on your kind behalf. What will it be?"] When the man had continued to argue, the tiefling turned on his heel, beginning to walk away and sipping his drink.
[+green "Fine! Fine! I take payment for sixty-three. Leech!"] He lifted up a data-pad and taped angrily at it, reducing the quantity being sold before turning it over to the blue individual. Looking over the screen he made note of the fee and involved and raised a credit stick from his pocket, sliding it across the top to authorise his payment.
[b "Pleasure doing business."] Pointless to say anything really, as the man had turned and was striding off, shouting at someone else already. The golden eyed male had spotted Jax come walking down the ramp happily and he rushed over, jabbing at his chest.[b "No! No more Jax! Back on the ship come on. We're leaving."] The lumbering oaf looked at him and nodded, turning merrily and stomping his way back up the ramp.
The two made their way through several corridors to the cockpit. As the door slid to one side, slotting into the wall itself, the music blared wildly and the Captain slowed. Tera, a busty woman with a full figure covered in brown fur, a white patch around her eye that ran down into her cleavage, was thrashing her head back and forth, pink hair swinging wildly around her. Her clothing was black and figure hugging despite her plump being. To one side, two pink beings no taller than four feet high were jumping up and down in their seats mock-playing instruments. They did not look older than children - and they weren't. Merely ten years of age they were very young, impressionable, and at times as insufferable as the rest of his crew.
Stepping up to Tera he grasped her wild wrist and she looked up in shock. He leant forward, tapping at her control panel and the music ended immediately. However now the room filled with the wild nonsensical chanting of the twins, one catching on quicker to the music ending than the other who was swiftly brought to an understanding.
[b "Your music choices may enthrall Oni and Ino, but do try to keep the volume down in future. I want them to keep their hearing at least until they reach adulthood."] Tera nodded with a grin, two sharp fangs poking out as she brushed a soft cheek against his hand and he pulled it away sharply. She knew how to push at his triggers at times. But she was still of use to him.
[b "Okay lets get going. Close the cargo hold, retract the ramp and inform station of our departure."] He took a step away before returning quickly.[b "Remember, use your professional voice. Thank you dear."] He patted her head and walked over to take his seat, tapping at a few displays built into the armrest.
[b "Oni, did you finish your diagnostics?"] The young girl nodded vigorously, dropping in her seat and a moment later the report was sent to him.[b "Good girl. Ino, did you finish your homework?"] The other little girl looked at him sheepishly, looking down at the ground and shaking her head slowly as she stepped off the seat.[b "Come here."] She shook her head again, not moving.[b "Ino, come here."] He finished the last dregs of his cup, placing it aside as he leaned forward and beckoned her forth. Reluctantly she slithered her way over to him and he drew her face up by her chin.[b "Did you understand it?"] She winced slightly and shrugged.[b "Did you understand some of it?"] She quickly nodded this time.[b "Okay, I'll come help you with it later. For now, I want you to run a cargo check then send it to me. I know you can do that."] She nodded again, a smile now tugging on her lips and brushed his hand over her cheek, his own faint smile in return as he nodded for her to return to her seat.
With things in place to take off, he gave the order and the ship rumbled into life as several thrusters eased them up and away from the port, turning them away and towards the planetary exit. They flew toward their designated spot to be inspected, though Jax looked across from his large seat to the Captain on his left.
[+gold "Uh.. Cappy?"] A deep and gruff voice, it was clear intelligence didn't lie in speech for him. Thankfully he was a natural with electronics and could carry alot. He was a robot with a mind.
[b "Yes Jax, what is it?"] The tiefling was looking at his displays and checking off messages he had received since landing.
[+gold "Uh.. Jax not fix boxes. Well. Not all boxes."]
[b "You mean you didn't secure the cargo like I told you?"] He looked up and brushed a hand through his hair with a sigh. Jax nodded meekly.[b "Then go secure it now Jax."] He sighed and there deck shoot gently as the man nodded with vigor and jumped from his seat, turning and striding out toward the cargo deck. Several minutes went by before Jax returned, grunting as he strode in.[b "Jax, have you been eating those Mixian cookies again? You know you're only allowed a box a day."] His eyes were back to scanning the panel.
[+gold "Uh.. no. Jax not eat cookie. Jax found something."]
[b "If it's another bolt, add it to your collection and take a seat."]
[+gold "No. Jax found something bigger. Woman. Pink woman."] The being in question was pushed forward gently as the tiefling turned, expecting to find a drawing one of the twins had drawn. They were often sketching one another, leaving them all around the ship. However when he saw a woman stood before him, he narrowed his eyes.
[b "Jax.. did you take her?"] He was cautious with his wording with the lower intelligence male, who shook his head from side to side.[b "Tell me exactly where you found her then."] He pointed down the corridor he had come from.
[+gold "Box room Cappy."]
There is a small silence as everyone in the room has now turned to focus on the woman. The twins were whispering nonsense to themselves, pointing excitedly at the woman who looked just like them. Tera was eyeing her suspiciously, gaze flickering from her to the Captain.
[+blue [i "Merchant's ship Enduring Odyssey, this is Termani Inspector ship number seven. Please lower your shields and prepare for scanning."]] And at once all eyes turned to the Captain.
[+red "Cap, they're gonna scan us! They'll know we've got one more of 'em on the ship! We can smuggle people!"] Tera was voicing his own concerns and he dropped his head into his hand.
[b "Oh, we're going to get fucked.."] He closed his eyes as he attempted to form a plan for how they would get around the scan. They couldn't turn back, and to find another body on board when they had declared only five would have them turned back. It was not a situation he needed.
The room that Rhea sat in was dimly lit. Bioluminescent stones were embedded deeply into the walls and they served as her only source of light. As a natural inhabitant of the planet Pyreen it did not bother her, although many areas of complex system of tunnels and caves had now been fitted with other illumination. It created a more habitable environment for those who came from other sectors of the galaxy.
Rhea adjusted her spectacles as she attempted to make heads or tails from the book in front of her. At this point she was assuming it was a diary of some sort, because of the terrible handwriting. Even after studying linguistics for years, her old pyrenian was spotty at best. There just were not enough reliable resources to be sure of herself. Just as she was about to throw the book aside for good, something caught her attention. It was a hastily drawn symbol. It was a marking that anyone on this planet knew. It was the Termani government sigil. She found it strange. So much so that her interest in the volume was perked again. This time she took much more care, trying to string together the words she could pick out. Among those were a few that gave her an eerie feeling.
As her nose was plastered firmly to the pages, Rhea did not notice her coworker come in. The sound of the other woman’s voice startled her.
“How are things going?”
It was a simple and common question. Rhea assumed it was asked so much because the Termani wanted to retract the interim government and go home. This was unlikely to happen if her people were still in the dark about what happened so long ago. “Interestingly. I found this book a while back. It is saying some weird stuff. Almost sounds like there was some sort of culling going on. The Termani are mentioned as well, but I can’t make much of it.” Her fingers flipped forward a few pages, “see here is says something along the lines of social death. That makes me think of an execution. It keeps coming up though so it kind of sounds like it is a part of something big.” Her four eyes flickered up and met a grim expression.
Nothing came after that. Her colleague left and an ominous silence hung thick in the air. Rhea began to feel more and more uneasy the longer it went on. Eventually, when she could take it no more, she took the book and left the room. Something was off about everything. The terrible things in the diary and the reaction to hearing it, it was suspect at the very least. The look on her face had almost seemed… guilty. When the thought passed through her mind, a sense of dread set in. She walked more hurriedly through the passageways.
Exiting the administration hall seemed to take an eon. Her tail twitched to and fro nervously as she caught sight of a pair of officials headed her way. Panic set in, and Rhea turned on her heel and made a beeline for the port station. There was no place to hide as long as she remained on Pyreen. The streets became more and more crowded the closer she got to the station. When it got busy enough she would have to try and slip away. Until then they were gaining on her and with a closer look she could tell they didn’t want to just talk about her research findings.
Her mind was whirling as she examined her routes to freedom. Just another minute or two and she would duck down. Much to her surprise and glee, she was able to lose sight of them quickly. It probably had to do with natural camouflage. Once she was confident that she had lost them, Rhea sneaked onto the first departing ship she could find. Her only hope was that wherever they were headed was somewhere she would find help.
Sitting amongst the cargo was rather uncomfortable, especially when the ship took off. She feared something might fall over on her. It took a while before she was able to calm down. This was by far the most anxiety inducing, down right awful day she had ever experienced. Although in hindsight, she had been quite lucky to get away. She wondered if things would continue to go smoothly. It was not long after that that she heard footsteps nearby.
A crewman came into view. Rhea cursed under her breath as he came over. She wondered if she could reason with him. That flew right out the window when he began speaking in some language she didn’t know. It mildly surprised her that she couldn’t even recognize it. The Pyrenian knew her fair share of foreign tongues.
He had ahold of her by the forearm before she could say much of anything. Rhea let him struggle to try and move her for a while before she decided to just come along. It wasn’t like she could just hide again. Hopefully whoever she met next would at least let her have a word in edgewise.
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