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I'm not here for your entertainment

Posted on 19 Sep 2018 @ 6:35pm by Xiuling Brooke & Zhong Qi

Mission: I Don't Care, I'm Still Free

Xiuling hummed as she set her guitar down on the platform and sat with her legs hanging over the ledge. She shifted a little, to settle the skirt of her dress underneath her and undid the clasps holding the case shut. She grabbed the guitar by the neck and settled it on her legs, picked a plectrum out of one of the pockets and gave the guitar a strum. She quickly retuned it by ear before strumming it slowly, hearing each note fill the space. She smiled, shifted again, closed the lid her guitar case, flicking one of the catches shut, and started to play.

It was a quirky tune, country but with obvious Chinese influences. This one had no lyrics, she used it as a warm up when she played lounges on the cruise liner, a good middle of the road tune to judge the crowd by. As she continued to play, she started to loop the main theme and improvise a little, it had been a while since she had played and she wanted to really get her head in the game before she started playing a song where she had to sing as well. It wasn't like she was doing this for anything other than enjoyment right now, she was missing her family a little, and playing the guitar always helped.

"She's got that med bay locked down 'less she's in it, and I don't like the way she looks at me with a scalpel in her hand," Nick whined as he turned his head at the sound of guitar filling the cargo bay. He stepped around to look past the large container he and Reeve stood behind, eventually looking up at the catwalk above the center of the bay. "It's one of those girls that came on board when we picked up the cargo. The cute one, not the crazy one."

Reeve sighed and shook his head. "It's like they're drunk on power or summat, ya know, the second I pause and look at anything vaguely mechanical someone is on me like a fucking bloodhound," he paused to listen to the music. "It'sa kinda perdy tune, I'll grant ya, not as perdy as her," he added that last part with a smirk. "Don't mean I wanna hear it though."

"Well, you know how we could shut her up." Nick tapped at the butt of his gun in his holster, and looked around the rest of the bay. "No one else down here right now. Just gotta make sure she don't squeal 'fore we get her into a shuttle or somethin'."

Reeve chuckled, and looked round the corner of the container at her, watching for a moment as the song changed and those pretty lips started to form words and a tune. "Oh I can think of something I'd much rather those lips was doin'" he replied glancing back at Nick with a grin.

Xiuling was completely engrossed in playing her guitar and could not hear the quiet conversation between the two men. She was singing, a tune she'd learned while on Ezra, the tune was traditional and the lyrics Chinese. She closed her eyes as she sang, she understood most of what she was singing but the gist was one of a lost love gone off to war.

"You 'n' me both," Nick growled, and stalked out from behind the crate to head up into the catwalk. "You comin'?" He didn't speak loud, but he looked straight at Reeve so he could read his lips. Reeve simply nodded in reply, and made sure to keep his footsteps light. Once on the catwalk he signalled that they should take opposite routes round the catwalk. Nick nodded, and split off from his friend to circle around.

Reeve made sure to keep his footsteps light, she looked pretty into her chosen activity but he didn't want to risk it. He was right, she was pretty 'lost in the moment' as it were. She'd been careful that, aside from walking onto the ship with a gun on her hip and a bow and arrows slung across her back, no one would suspect just how capable she was of looking after herself. The Captain might have had a notion, simply because of the way she had carried herself and handled their negotiation. The fact was, she wanted to underestimated and her youthful figure and face only helped with that. She wasn't so clueless about her surroundings that she didn't notice the small vibrations of the catwalk that told her someone was walking around it. She didn't stop playing when the vibrations got bigger, meaning the footsteps were getting closer. She had no need to be worried by them after all, it could be Tabitha, or the Captain or any of the other crew come to see who was singing.

It wasn't until they reached the platform she was sat on that she opened her eyes and turned to look to her right as she abruptly stopped singing and her fingers slowed on the strings and then stopped playing altogether.

Reeve paused on the stairs as she turned to look at him, and without hesitation he smiled as though nothing was amiss. "Pretty ditty," he commented, "Sounds like you've got a nice talented mouth..."

Nick continued to move towards her as Reeve paused, hopeful that her attention was held, moving slow and carefully. He gestured to Reeve—mimicking a mouth, then twirling his hand—to hopefully indicate that he should get her talking so that he could get close.

"Does it now?" Xiuling replied, Reeve was reportedly rarely seen alone, so she had to wonder where his friend had gotten to. She couldn't help eyeing him with suspicion, and the way he'd worded his comment suggested he hadn't come over here just to tell her he liked her voice. "You got a follow up to that remark?"

Reeve could tell she didn't trust him, and if he was in any way a nice guy he'd have seen why. The problem was he had in on good authority that this little shit was here on charity, and if she wasn't going to pay in one way, he and Nick were certainly going to make her pay in another.

"Sure I do, that guitar says you've got pretty nimble fingers too..."

Xiuling rolled her eyes at him "I'm sure," Of course he was here to make trouble. She sighed and opened up the guitar case, placing her guitar back inside and her plectrum away. She certainly wasn't going to sit here and listen to lewd comments dressed up as compliments, she wasn't getting paid for it for starters.

"Aw come on now darlin' don' be like that..." Reeve said, smiling a little wider now, he moved to the bottom of the stairs and Xiuling slammed the lid of the case shit indignantly, snapping the clasps closed. She didn't want trouble, and she'd promised the captain she would avoid it. So she was going to walk away without smashing the guy's teeth in with the top of this case...

As Reeve and Xiuling had talked, Nick continued to sneak up behind her as quietly as he could. He made it up behind her, and grinned wide as he reached down to clasp a hand across her mouth and wrap his arm around her to pin her arms to her side.

Or not...

Xiuling had taken a breath to make a retort as she stood up and walked away, but felt the presence of someone standing behind her a moment too late. A hand covered her mouth as an arm wrapped around her torso and dragged her to her feet. She screamed into the hand, even though she knew the muffled sound wouldn't do much good unless someone was pretty close to where they were. She knew Reeve had been here to cause some kind of trouble that she wanted to avoid, but she hadn't been expecting his counterpart to grab her from behind like this was some kind of horrific old TV show. She could feel panic welling up in her chest, but she forced it aside as she struggled against the arms holding her.

Reeve's wider smile had now turned into a smirk, he stepped closer and his fingers brushed aside a lock of hair that had fallen across her forehead as she struggled. "Calm down darlin' don't make it no harder'n it has to be..." He let his fingers run down her face and neck, then over her breast before he let his hand fall and glanced up at Nick. "Let's get her somewhere quiet and secluded, it's about time she paid for her ride on this boat,"

Xiuling could feel her knife strapped to her thigh, but with Reeve able to clearly see her hands right now going for it too soon was a bad idea, the problem was she risked leaving it too late. She'd tried harder to pull away as his hand moved down her body, she could get out of this, she had to, but she also needed them to think they'd won. She let out a whine of 'fear' and let her eyes get watery.

"Shuttles ain't far, I was in the port one earlier, it'll still be unlocked." Nick tightened his hold on her as he started to walk. "You cooperate, and maybe we'll even make sure you enjoy yourself a bit too, yeah?" he growled in her ear.

She resisted, just a little, just to make it clear that she was not going willingly, just in case it gave either of them pause. She even made sure to look Reeve in the eyes as they passed him, her eyes silently begging him not to do this before he looked away, clearly checking to make sure no one was coming their way.

He had to admit, the look in her eyes was what made him look away under the pretence of making sure the coast was clear. Talking about it was all well and good, but he hadn't been so sure they'd actually get the jump on her. Still, in for a penny in for a pound he supposed.

Once she was being forced up the stairs there was enough movement going on, and with Reeve more interested in making sure they weren't discovered than what she was doing, Xiuling shifted her skirt up enough that she could grasp the popper on the end of the leather strap holding her knife in it's sheath. She popped it free and let the handle settle in her palm, carefully drawing it out, still keeping it concealed for the moment. A little way along the catwalk and Nick had to pause for Reeve to open the door. Once he was past them, she twisted her hand and pointed the tip of the knife at the inside of Nick's thigh. She was no doctor, but a stab with a decent sized knife in that general area was pretty much guaranteed to hit the femoral artery. She drew in a breath. "Let me go," she said, her voice even and as clear as she could make it with the calloused hand over her mouth.

"Where the fuck that come from?" Nick moved back quickly, letting go of Xiuling as if she were on fire. His gun was drawn from his holster and aimed at her as he came to a stop at the bottom of the short stairs up to the shuttle. "You put that down, you bitch."

"I'm a bitch? You're lucky I gave you a chance to let go before I stuck you in the thigh like the disgusting pig you are!" She shouted.

"Hey, why don't we all just calm down," Reeve said holding his hands up and taking a step back. It was one thing when she wasn't resisting, but when someone was about to get seriously hurt.

"Calm down? You were about to drag me into a shuttle and rape me!" She continued in her raised voice. "So no, I am not about put the knife down, because I'm not going to give you back the advantage, and if you shoot me I'm going to scream... really gorram loud, and if there isn't someone on their way already then there damn well soon will be,"


Qi emerged onto the catwalk from the fore section of the ship. "Nick, where you at, you gorram filthy piece of shit?" It only took her a moment to zero in on the port shuttle and the standoff that was occurring. A string of curses danced from her lip as throwing knives were produced from holsters on her thighs and one sailed past Nick as Qi ran over. "Drop your gun right now, you piece of shit, or the next one goes in your gorram throat."

Nick pointed his gun at the ceiling and took a hurried couple of steps back until he bumped into the railing at the edge of the catwalk. "She pulled a knife on me."

"Yeah I did, cause you snuck up behind me while your friend here distracted me, so that you could grab me and drag me into a shuttle so that you and Reeve could rape me," she spat, her voice even and refusing to let it break as she spoke through gritted teeth.

At this point Reeve knew the game was up, Xiuling wasn't the crazy one of the pair of passengers, and they'd know from the abandoned guitar case the tears in her eyes... They just weren't going to believe the lie Nick was spouting. Their positions on the ship had been tenuous at best before this, but now...

"Put your gun down on the catwalk, and walk the fuck away. I will give it to the Captain, and he can decide if you'll get it back. Both of you get the fuck out of here before I decide to end you myself, or hold you so that Xiuling can do it if she wants." Qi bared her teeth as she continued to stalk forward, looking from Nick to Reeve. Nick dropped the gun and ran off, stumbling as he went and having to grab the railing a couple times to keep from face planting.

Reeve at least managed to leave without almost falling over, he walked, albeit quickly and headed back to their cabin. May as well make it easy for Luke to find them when he decided they were worth wasting ammo on.

Xiuling watched both of them go, trying desperately to stop her hand from shaking as she watched the retreating backs. Once they were gone she took a deep breath, sheathed her knife and put the leather restraint back into place. She wanted to cry, she wanted to beat the living crap out of something, she wanted to scream and shout and slit both their gorram throats. But with all that swirling around inside her she just kind of... stood there, breathing heavily with relief as her heart pumped unneeded adrenaline around her body.

"Hey, you're okay." Qi slowly approached Xiuling, quickly putting away her own knives again, then held out her arms in offer of a hug. "It's okay. I'll be surprised if they don't spend the rest of the trip locked in their bunk, assuming Luke doesn't just flush them out the airlock."

Even as she grit her teeth and tried to hold it back her bottom lip started to tremble, she clenched her hands into fists but that didn't stop them shaking. She looked away and squeezed her eye shut tight but all that did was cause the liquid building in them to start falling down her cheeks. Without a word she stepped into Qi's arms and wrapped her tightly around the smaller woman's waist. Despite being a nearly six inches taller than her she buried her head in the older woman's shoulder and cried.

"It looked like you had those idiots well in hand when I got here. That ain't nothin', especially since they're both bigger than you and had you outnumbered." Qi gently rubbed Xuiling's back. "But I'm so sorry it even got that far. You have a good cry, get it all out. Then we'll go see the Cap'n and have him deal with them, okay?"

Daddy'd always said, don't go anywhere without a knife strapped somewhere no one knows where it is but you... She thought she'd understood why when they lived on Ezra, but this was worse. Back then she'd had her brothers watching out for her, she was part of a community... Right now? If it came down to it there was no guaranteed if Tabitha would fight tooth and nail to get out of something or fall apart... Even when Pieter had shown up in the settlement she'd managed to hold it together pretty well, but this was different. This was like when Nikolai had tormented her, only she didn't have Sergei's wish to be the first to bed her protecting her out here.

It didn't take too long before she sniffed and straightened up, taking a step back from the pilot and wiping her cheeks with the end of her sleeve. "Thanks, I'll be honest, I've been up against worse odds, let's go find the Captain,"

"Just 'cause you've seen worse don't mean this is just a walk in the park." Qi bent over to collect Nick's gun, checking its safety before stuffing it down the waistband of her pants at the small of her back. "I think I saw the Cap'n in the cockpit a little bit ago, so that's probably a good place to start, but we can go through the galley on the way, though I doubt he'd be there. He would have heard what was happening, more than likely, and been out here by now."

Xiuling Brooke

Zhong Qi

NPCs - Reeve #WanderingHands & Nick #CantKeepItInHisPants


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