Friday, January 27, 2012

Koreshi Chronicles – Chapter IV: Captive Audience

"Look," said Lyta, dangling a leg off of one of Feller's packing crates, "it's nothin' personal."

Sun Fau and Francine said nothing.

"I mean, it serves you right for trying to take advantage of a poor, defenseless, underage girl like me."

Sun Fau and Francine continued to say nothing.

Lyta looked down at the slumped-over woman. "Sorry ‘bout your ribs," she said apologetically. "That'll probably hurt like hell when you wake up." She shrugged. "I thought you were wearing armor."

She got up and walked around Feller's storage room. She'd relieved them both of their money and their weapons, tied their hands, and propped them up against the wall, and now all that was left was the waiting. It wouldn't do to go upstairs too soon, or the rest of Sun Fau's men would know something was up. So she walked, poked into boxes, and chatted with her would-be johns.

She stopped her circuit of the room in front of Sun Fau. "You know," she said, "for all that I told Lukas I wasn't sure I wanted to do this anymore, I have to admit that beating the crap out of you both was kinda satisfying. Maybe you'll learn your lesson." She paused, considering this. "But probably you won't. Ain't nothin' I can do but try to put the fear of the Prophet in you. Can't do nothin' more than that."

She stopped, looked around the room. "Well, I could kill you, but that wouldn't get us anywhere. Probably give Feller more trouble than you're worth." She shook her head. "I don't know how Lukas and Todd do it so easily. Killing, I mean." She sighed and sat back down on one of the packing crates, one leg tucked against her chest and the other kicking lightly at the side. "Don't get me wrong, I'll kill someone if it looks like he's gonna kill me first. Or if he's goin' after my brothers, or something. But you," she stared down at her charges, her expression a mix of pity and disgust. "Like I said, more trouble than you're worth."

She jumped off the crate and prowled around the room again. She hated waiting. She wondered whether Lukas was doing something stupid upstairs, and decided that most likely he was. She wondered whether Todd had finally emerged from the bathroom, or whether he'd decided to take up some sort of overwatch position from the roof of behind one of the vehicles.

She turned around and faced Sun Fau. "You could do something else, you know. Some sorta more honest work. I can't speak to your skills, but I'm sure there's somethin' you do other than terrorize the locals." She paused again, thinking. "Or maybe there isn't. Maybe you're just a leech."

She walked up to Francine and knelt down, so that she was barely a foot away from the unconscious woman. She smelled the alcohol on her breath and wondered how much Lukas had been doling out. "You," she said sternly, "would never get onto Ti's team. Not in a million million cycles. Because you don't have any sorta morals at all. He doesn't stand for that." She looked over at Sun Fau. "Also, your boss is an asshole."

She straightened and did another circuit of the storage room, checked that the guns were well hidden in their crate. She'd kept Sun Fau's switchblade, though she'd probably give it away at some point. It was a nice little weapon with his initials embossed on the handle. She flipped it open and closed a few times, then put it away again, tucked into one of her pockets.

"Lukas has probably fucked up your boys pretty bad by now," she said to Sun Fau. "Or maybe he's just tryin' to get more of them to come down here with me." She bit her lip contemplatively. "You really shouldn't have done that, by the way. Just a friendly word of warning in case you ever find yourself in a like situation."

She knelt down next to Sun Fau. "You can't hear me at all, but I just wanna say you're the ugliest, most disgu—"

The sound of a gunshot reverberated through the basement door. Lyta's head snapped up at the sound, and a second later she was sprinting up the stairs. Waiting was well and good, but Lukas might be in trouble. She slammed the door behind her as she left, and the cellar lapsed once more into silence.

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