A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.


Broken on the Floor

Posted on 20 Jan 2020 @ 9:55pm by Xiuling Brooke & Tabitha & Sebastian Reeve

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

Xiuling was humming as she moved around the cabin, it was late, but she wasn’t tired, so she’d been tidying, and had spent a good fifteen minutes looking for her hairbrush, so that she could brush her hair before going to bed. With a sigh, she stood in the middle of the cabin with her hands on her hips, her skin was a little flushed above the collar of the black check short romper she wore to bed.

With a spark of realisation, she decided she must have left the brush in the head when she had a shower that morning. Shaking her head at herself she shoved her feet into unlaced boots and stepped out of the cabin, her boots clumping loudly because they were loose on her feet and started making her way to the shower.

As Natalia was handling the muscle head of the captain, and Adam was preparing to secure the rest of the crew in their bunks, Bast was headed down to the passenger dorm area. He wasn't sure why the little bitch wasn't in a bunk like the others, since there was an empty one up there, but when Adam told him to see to her, Bast wasn't going to argue. She'd cost his brother his job, and even though Dominic didn't ask him to, he aimed to make sure she understood her mistake real clear.

He was supposed to wait until Adam told him the others were locked away, so that if she made a fuss they wouldn't be able to come running. So Bast had been headed back to his bunk under the pretence of grabbing something, so he had an excuse to be down there. He paused as he heard the clump clump of loose boots on the ship's deck. She was the only one that should be down here, especially since he knew where Natalia and Adam both were at the moment. Bast lingered and watched, had to be sure it wasn't someone else that was going to muck up the plan.

Xiuling walked out of the end of the port guest corridor (the actual guests had been placed on the starboard side so she was using the corridor they didn't) humming the tune she'd been playing on her guitar earlier. She moved into the guest lounge, her figure highlighted by the working light coming from the medical bay and turned towards the door that lead to the head and shower facilities.

Bast waited until she was out of the corridor, watching from the stairs down next to the med bay, and he moved into the lounge area himself once it was clear where she was headed. He positioned himself to limit where she could go in response and cleared his throat. He wasn't sure if Adam and Natalia had done their parts yet, so it might be better if he tried to catch her quiet like.

"Nice night, right?" He forced a smile as he waited for her to turn around to face him.

Xiuling didn't hear him approach, but then she wasn't exactly being quiet herself so that wasn't surprising, she had been in her own little world. Still she jumped a little in surprise. She turned to face him, a tired but genuinely bright smile on her lips as she looked up at him. "Yeah I guess it is," she tucked her hair behind her ear and used her other hand to sweep it over her other shoulder where she twisted it round her fingers absent-mindedly. Honestly one night out in the black was the same as any other, but the conversation over dinner had flowed rather nicely, which was nicer than any dinner while Nick and Reeve had been on the ship. "Sorry, did you want to use the head, I don't mind waiting," she offered, unless he was going back to his cabin there wasn't much other reason for him to be loitering in the guest lounge, especially if he wasn't sitting down.

Having left Natalia and Luke in the cockpit Adam double checked the panel for the crew door controls. It still firmly indicated that they were locked. He smirked, this had been too easy, and what could a tiny little slip of a cook do to mess things up now? He'd wanted to lock the crew in earlier than he had, but with Luke able to hear the locks he hadn't been able to risk it. He made his way along the top of the ship, and paused at the rear staircase down to the passenger dorms. He listened intently, not wanting to startle if Bast was about to catch her unawares. It seemed, however, that they were talking Bast likely trying to lure her into a false sense of security before he pounced. He grinned, the cook was his favourite kind of mark, so trusting and gullible. With deliberately heavy steps he made his way down the metal staircase, a smile on his face as he came into view.

Xiuling jumped at the loud footfalls, turning to look at the metal steps heading up towards the engine room and the galley, turning her back on Bast as she did so. For a moment she was tense and then when she saw the easy smile on Adam's face she smiled back. "Good evening," she said with a nod.

"Are we starting a queue for the Head?" he asked with a smile. "I'll wait, best warn Natalia before she comes out here with far too little on..." he winked jovially, but the meaningful look he paired it with over Xiuling's head was for Bast, the rest was done, it was his turn to do his part and he wasn't going to get a better opportunity than now.

It took Bast a long moment to catch what Adam's look meant, and he'd started to chuckled at the comment about Natalia before he suddenly swallowed it, and instead stepped forward. He awkwardly wrapped one arm around Xiuling, and roughly placed a hand over her mouth — not that anyone who could do anything about it would hear her, but he didn't like the idea of hearing her scream if he could help it.

“I was just asking if Bast wanted to go first,” she said with a smile, and was about to turn around to ask for his response when he grabbed her from behind. It felt awkward, like he wasn’t really sure what he was doing, unlike when Nick and Reeve had ambushed her. Her eyes widened in shock and she sucked in a breath to scream, but as she forced the air back out of her mouth his hand clamped over it, muffling the sound. In front of her, Adam just grinned.

She twisted and squirmed, swinging her leg forward to swing her heel back at his shin. Adam chuckled. “Well, they said she wouldn’t go down easy...”

Bast directed a sharp look at Adam. "She's feisty. You could help instead of laughing." Bast winced as her heel caught his shin. "At least take her boots off so she won't bruise me anymore than she's already done."

Adam continued to chuckle as he stepped closer, bending to grab her leg, and she immediately swung her foot at his face, her boot flew off and landed on the steps behind Adam with a clang. He laughed a little harder and grabbed her other ankle, pulling the boot off and dumping it on the floor.

Xiuling's mind was racing, they'd been told about her, told enough to appear innocent enough to ambush her, from what they were talking about they were specifically here to get her. Could it be that the man she'd seen in the market place before getting on Valkyrie had seen her and managed to trace them here, sending people she didn't know about to come and retrieve her. One thing was for certain, she wasn't getting out of this alone, partly because her knife was in her bunk and not strapped to her thigh. She knew the only thing she could do to help herself was scream, she turned her head this way and that until Bast's grip loosened enough that she could draw in a full breath. She opened her mouth and let rip.

Bast made a face. The screaming wasn't going to do her any good—not that she knew that—but that didn't stop it from echoing in the confined space of the ship and being grating on his ears. He couldn't easily slap her with the way he was holding her, so he settled for trying to cover her mouth again.

"Won't do you any good — even if they can hear you, they can't get out of their bunks." As she fought against his hold, it was all he could do to keep a grip on her as he started for the stairs up to the galley. He'd left the rope up there because he knew carrying it along with him when he went to grab her might have tipped his hand. "Now, we need to have a bit of a chat about my brother."

"Ruttin' Hell," Adam exclaimed as the girl screamed, he was definitely glad they'd locked everyone else into their bunks right now. It would have been a hell of a lot more convenient if she had been in a crew bunk too, but Bast was pissed as hell on his brother's behalf, the brother who hated his guts... well, little brothers were want to prove themselves.

He gripped each ankle tightly, tucking them under his armpits and holding them fast, reducing the amount of struggling she was able to achieve, it would also mean that if Bast dropped her she'd hit her head and likely knock herself out. Xiuling knew this, and therefore resisted the temptation to bite Bast's hand instead she settled for continuing to scream through Bast's hurriedly and sloppily reapplied hand. Maybe she was hoping that by waking everyone up they'd find a way to get themselves free, and help her sooner, and she could only hope that Tabitha might, somehow, have the composure to do more than panic and hide.

It took them a couple of minutes with the struggling body between them, but they were soon in the galley. Adam dropped her feet and stepped away. "Are you good now? or do you still need help controlling the little wildcat?" he asked, bored. He was a conman, not a kidnapper, he didn't generally beat on people unless it was required, he stole things and swindled people and the only reason he was here was out of the shred of loyalty to the pair of mechanics who'd done them solids on so many occasions. Still he'd never been above a threat or two, and it had been a long time since he'd had to follow through on any of them. This was something Bast had wanted to do, and for once in his life Adam was just along for the ride...

"I, uh, I think I got her from here." Bast was suddenly a lot less sure of himself. He was angry with what she'd cost his brother, he knew he needed to do something about it, but this was a little out of his normal comfort zone. All that said, he couldn't help but suspect that Adam would think less of him if he couldn't handle one little girl. No need to ask for help, he could handle it. He fumbled into his pocket for the pair of handcuffs he'd stuffed there earlier, having to dare let his hand off her mouth to do so.

Adam nodded and turned away, he wanted to go through the cargo, see if there was anything he could squirrel away for profit.

Xiuling watched the larger man walk away, and decided that she would be better to lure Bast into a false sense of security. She struggled when he let go of her mouth but less than she had been. It didn't stop her shouting though. "Let go of me you creep!"

"I'm not a creep." He made a face as he said it, as if it was the most logical statement in the 'verse, and roughly slapped one of the cuffs on her wrist while still holding her with his other arm wrapped around her to keep her arms pinned to her side. "I don't want anything untoward, you're the one who ruined things for my brother."

Were she not in such a sticky situation she would have laughed, creep or just nuts, no one grabbed people and started putting handcuffs on them without good reason if they were in their right mind. Then he told her this was about something he'd done to his brother? What the hell was that about. "I don't even know who your brother is!" she shouted indignantly, as she tried to keep her other hand out of his reach.

See now that, that pissed him off, she'd fucked him over and was now protesting that she didn't even know what she'd done. The stupid little tramp. With a growl of anger, he firmly gripped the already cuffed wrist and wrenched it behind her back, using the momentum from that movement he grabbed her other wrist and forced that behind her back too.

Xiuling cried out in pain as her arms were twisted against their normal patterns of movement, loudly enough that she felt rather than heard the snap of the handcuffs on her other wrist. The moment of pain was over, but with her hands now secured behind her back she was starting to panic, if he'd been looking to limit her options to fight back he had succeeded. she still wasn't sure what this was about, why this guy was going on about his brother, and the only enemies she had were the Rokovs. Sergei didn't have a brother, so what the hell was this about? It didn't feel like a Rokov approved operation, the guy who wanted her specifically wasn't as smooth an operator as she would have expected. She had to get out of here, find Tabitha and get the rest of the crew free, take the ship back. She couldn't just let this happen.

"You lost my brother his job you disgusting little harlot," he growled in her ear, anger suddenly taking over, despite not really knowing what he was doing, holding her arms tightly just above the elbow. "And you're going to pay for it," the intention had been that they were going to meet up with his brother and let him really dish out the punishment but... everything she did, everything she said...

"Maybe he deserved to lose it!" she spat back, because honestly she couldn't think of anyone whose job she could have fucked with except maybe the guards at the Rokov complex and honestly, they had let her escape. After everything they'd done and said to her they deserved what they got. She had to get away from this guy, so she did the only thing she could think of, she brought the heel of her bare foot down on the top of his.

It didn't do much damage, but the force was enough that it caused him to bend over a little in reaction as he pulled his foot out from underneath hers. And she used that opportunity to slam the back of her head into his face. It hurt her too, but clearly not as much as it hurt him judging by the scream he made as she heard his nose crack.

Not thinking, he let go of her with one hand, his hand moving to his nose as blood started to flow onto his lips. Xiuling took the opportunity to wrench her other arm out of his grip, and start to run away. Bast wasn't that blinded by pain, however, he reached out and grabbed her by the hair, dragging her back and she cried out as her scalp erupted in fire, struggling to stay on her feet. Furious, and in pain, Bast slapped her hard with his bloodied free hand.

Pain and heat blossomed across her cheek as her head snapped around with the force of the slap. She didn't scream this time, she gasped in shock and was immediately looking back at him, her eyes narrowed in a glare.

His bloodied hand now closed around her throat, his eyes now ablaze with fury. "You really aren't helping yourself you stupid whore," he spat down at her, a sickening smile starting to twist his features. "You're going to regret fucking my brother over, that I promise you," he said, his voice lower and quieter than it had been before, his convictions were sure and steadfast now. This bitch deserved everything she was going to get.

For the first time, Xiuling was scared, not just panicked by the situation, but actually scared of what the man standing front of her was going to do. Her wrists started to twist in the handcuffs, as though searching for a weakness. She seemed to shrink in on herself as her mind started to recall all those times Nikolai had grabbed her by the throat or the hair, made threats that he loved to follow through with. She fought to keep her bottom lip from trembling in fear, she couldn't believe that she was back here, in another situation like this, with no way out, no one to help her.

Did this bitch really think that crying was going to help her? Annoyed, he pulled back his hand, and punched her in the in the gut. The soft flesh gave way under his hand easily, and he watched as she doubled over in pain with a grunt.

She'd been here before, doubled over in pain with her head pulled back so that Nikolai could see the expression on her face. Only the face she was now looking up at was younger, angrier, less calculating, more vindictive. She couldn't help the sob she let out as he punched her in the gut again.

Disgusted he threw her into the table as she started to sob. The edge of it slammed into her side before she crumpled to the floor, unable to stop herself falling at all. She lay on the floor, groaning, already attempting to push herself away across the harsh metal floor.

Reaching down, Bast grabbed her ankle and pulled her back, sneering down at her, he paused before swinging his own booted foot at her in return for what she'd done earlier. His face was throbbing where she'd broken his nose, and he wanted to pay that back to her tenfold now.

His foot connected with her face, and she screamed in agony as her head snapped back, her lip split and eyes watering as pain radiated up from her chin. He kicked her in the stomach then, her whole body convulsing around his foot as she cried out in pain once more. His foot continued to swing haphazardly, not caring where he hit and where he didn't. She tried rolling away and he just kicked her in the back instead, he steped over her and was about to swing his foot at her face again, when someone grabbed him from behind, pulling him back.

"Enough, Bast!" Adam shouted as he dragged the younger man off the whimperng groaning mess on the floor. "Are you trying to kill her?" he asked, grabbing the front of his shirt. "Slapping her about a bit before taking her to Dom is one thing but this?"

"She said he fucking deserved it, she broke my fucking nose!" he screamed back. Bast had a nasty smear of red down onto his chin, and dripping onto his shirt.

"So that means you're going to kick her to death does it?" Adam asked, growing less and less happy with this arrangement as the entire thing went on.

While this was going on, Xiuling was just trying to catch her breath, feeling like she was sucking air in through a straw. Tears were blurring her vision, and she felt sick, like she was going to throw up all over the floor. But as she looked over at the doorway at the other end of the room, she saw something, and blinked and her eyes widened in surprise. Tabitha was peaking through the doorway at her. The reclusive redhead had heard the screams and come to investigate what was going on. Of course she would have done the same with anyone, Tabitha knew everything that was happening on the ship, even what some of the crew looked like naked unbeknownst to them. But because, even in extreme pain and anguish, she recognised the sounds as coming from her only friend in the whole 'verse she had left the relative safety of the ships' crawl spaces behind and had carefully made her presence known to Xiuling. Her pain and wrecked appearance and the fear in her eyes put Tabitha in mind of the crew of her first ship as the Reavers had fallen upon them. Images blitzed her minds eye like a cruel mash up of an art gallery and a haunted house. She wanted to go and hide, for the pain and the invaders to just go away. But she couldn't. Unlike the previous ship invasion she had endured this time there was a chance control could be restored to the proper crew. That chance was her.

"Enough Bast!"

Bast. The smaller one. The stupid one. She hated him. Her only friend was suffering because of him. Xiuling shouldn't be suffering. It should be absolutely anyone else. Tabitha blinked a couple of times at her friend and the galley's lights shone, reflected from her light blue eyes and from the edge of her combat knife that she drew, the fear and upset in her expression visibly changing through blame to rage.

Seeing the change come over her friend, Xiuling shook her head slowly and carefully, "Luke," she mouthed with a whisper as the two men kept arguing behind her. Tabitha was no match for the pair of them, they needed someone who could get them out of this. "Find Luke," she added, unsure if Tabitha was even in a state of mind to register what she was saying at all. Tabitha was their only chance at getting the ship back, and Xiuling hoped she understood that.

Adam was lost for words, Bast was a good engineer but it was clear the guy had lost it. "Go to the engine room and make yourself useful, before I start kicking you," he told him firmly, using his size to make sure that Bast did as he was told and didn't decide to try and fight back. With a glare, and a long look as the whimpering figure on the floor he turned on his heel and clomped back to the engine room.

If any member of the crew could have gotten through to Tabitha it was Xiuling, not because Tabitha was reacting by instinct at this point, she was under no direct threat and remained relatively rational (besides the emotion of seeing her only friend being tortured), but because of what the two had been through together. Xiuling had never led them wrong, they were still alive, free, well fed and even had jobs and all of these were plus points as far as Tabitha was concerned. She trusted Xiuling and if she said the best plan was to find Luke than she would shelve her emotions, sheath her knife and go find Luke. Blade stowed she crept back down the corridor towards the appropriate vent and silently unclipped it from the wall, but something made her pause before she went inside. Her eyes met Xiuling's and held them for a moment.

"Hold on," she mouthed, making an action with her fist as if holding onto an object.

Xiuling gave her as much of a smile as she could, before covering the closing of the grille with a loud moan. Adam ran a hand through his hair and headed over. Without a word he picked her up off the floor. Xiuling had the good sense not to struggle, from the argument he and Bast just had she sensed he was feeling guilty for having left them alone. He placed her in one of the crew emergency seats, and strapped her in so that she couldn't move. Everything hurt, and she'd honestly rather she'd been locked in a cabin like everyone else. Adam's jaw was tight as he turned away. Never again was he going to take a job he hadn't personally vetted and planned right down to their gorram toilet breaks.








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