Mobley Eats

Consume. Smother your doubts. Be fulfilled.
Original poster
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female, No Preferences
Genres
Modern, Romance, Fantasy, Scifi, Drama, Action.
Collab: Courtyard Press | Location: Courtyard | Interactions: Guards, Beddington, Chiko, Amit, Chloe, Bah, Luca


As Chiko waited for Bah’s response (aka the fate of her long awaited and desired victory), Amit just shook his head and tried to focus on other prisoners milling about the Courtyard. They seemed to be doing the usual; a couple were knocking back shots at the singular basketball hoop on the other end of the chamber, some other smaller groups were huddled together at tables, scouring the area like predators in their territory, while individual inmates roamed aimlessly. And, of course, Amit caught the venomous glares tossed his way, no matter how furtive they were.

Ah, his reputation did indeed take a nosedive over these past few days, didn’t it. Not only because of the stunt her pulled during the boiler explosion, but also because of his weak performance in Dog Fights. However, the terrorist was surprised by how… toned down the hostility was. He half-expected someone to pounce him by now.

Perhaps it had something to do with hovering near Bah? He is indeed of large and intimidating stature… Something about the beneficial setup annoyed Amit, so he tried to clear his thoughts of it--

”All available staff hands, call to attention. All available staff hands, call to attention. This is a Code Blue. I repeat, this is a Code Blue. All units launch into search parties immediately. Crate #ZH450. Crate #ZH450. I repeat. All available staff hands…”

All at once, the peace shattered.

Guards barked out orders and rushed through the hallways, the boots so eclectic that the noise threatened to echo throughout all of Hagur. A swarm of them bustled into the Courtyard, their Blazers and batons in hand, and formed three full rows in front of the entrance, banning the prisoners inside. From the corner of Amit’s vision, he saw one of them swipe a card over the newly installed scanner and a red light appeared, followed by the click and hiss of a lock.

“...Shit.” Cursing under his breath, the terrorist stood, though he faltered. He… It’d be unwise to try anything, especially when he had no idea what was going on. All that he knew for sure was the headache these employees were about to bring. Cautiously, he scooted over to Chiko who was completely oblivious and still invested in the game.

“Line up, dogs!” A guard yelled gruffly, his Blazer whirring to life.

“Line?” Chiko’s head popped up… Only for heat to fill her face at the slip up. That, uh… That definitely wasn’t the kind of line the guard meant, obviously. She glanced at Bah and Amit. “Yo, guys. What’s all this shiz going down?”

One arm looped gingerly around Chloe’s shoulder, the other twisting a strand of blonde around his fingers, Luca watched Bah and Chiko’s game with mild interest. She’d yet to defeat the gentle behemoth, and he might’ve been more invested in her potential victory, had the idea of competition not still left such a lingering distaste in his mouth. Things were… different. He could feel it. Not just between him and Clo, but everywhere. There was an air of edginess… a lingering sense of something building, brewing. The Dog Fights always led to some drama or another and this year wasn’t shaping up to be the exception…

A sudden commotion stole his attention from the game at hand, and shifting, letting his fingers untangle from Chloe’s hair, he pushed slowly upright, easing himself slightly in front of the blonde.

“...Don’t look promising…” He noted to Chiko’s question. But after Romana’s ridiculous exhibition a few days prior, he wasn’t looking to start trouble. Holding out a hand for Chloe, he nodded to the others, “Let’s find out...yeah?”

Bahram was ready to take down Chiko yet again as he reclined and lazily pulled back his newly braided hair(when Chloe was able to uncurl herself from Luca for a couple of minutes she was able to perform miracles). His lips puckered up and he occasionally sent mischievous glances from Chiko back to Amit. He had to admit(heh, Admit about Amit), that the terrorist wasn’t the worst person to spend time with. Telling that to the lasses back home was surely gonna give him head tilts, but he was honest. Chiko seemed comfortable around him, so Bahram wasn’t too wary around the man. Well. Trying not to be too wary.

However, the sudden commotion of guards caused his head to peek up from the job at hand. Oh. No. This wasn’t good in the slightest. First the Dog Fights was a total clusterfuck(as per the usual) and now this...well, Bahram didn’t wanna connect red strings where they didn’t belong, but for the meantime, his mental conspiracy board remained slung up. Slowly standing from his seat, he gave Chiko a reassuring smile. “Probably just wanna make sure none of us did any stupid shite. My guess is this won’t take long. Stay close to me and Amit tho, aight?”

Chloe had to admit, her body had relaxed and fallen much more at ease than it had in a long time. Despite the small misstep the night prior, that memory was close to melting away. Even if it meant a small ping of embarrassment lingering in her head.

Humming against Luca’s touch, Chloe’s eyes threatened to droop close, just relieved to have a moment to them and without the fear of the second round. As guilty as she felt for not furthering Luca into the fight...there was a heavy amount of relief flooding through her system.

That is, until the guards voice rang through her ears and her eyes pried open. “L-Luca w-what’s going on?” She stammered, rubbing the sand out of her eyes before grasping his hand and pulling herself up. “L-lets n-not g-g-give too m-much of a p-protest. I-I d-don’t w-wanna g-get shot…”

“Err…” Chiko switched a glance unsurely between the game and everyone else’s reaction, the tiniest hint of a war raging in her mind. “Mmkay then.” Crap--just as she was about to finally beat Bah! Then this had to happen. The timing of these guards just flat out sucked. Swallowing back a pout, she stood and followed the others as they formed a long line of prisoners. It reached from one end of the massive courtyard to the other, their jumpers nearly brushing at the shoulders. Chiko had heeded Bah’s word though, and wedged herself in between him and Amit, watching the guards curiously.

A single officer pulled herself from the masses, her posture aloof yet radiating confidence so self-assured that it was initially jarring. Her wild dirty blond mane was pulled back into a puffy ponytail, putting her indifferent expression on full display. Lazy. A nametag rested on the right of her chest, which read Lieutenant N. Beddington.

“Alrighty ladies and gents, we’re gonna keep this nice and clean. Meaning your backdoor orifices are in the green today, so unclench and relax.” Her voice carried over the prisoners like a whack to the face from someone’s ornery grandmother. She paced back and forth, sizing up each inmate. She momentarily gave pause while passing Bah, lips pursed as if she was impressed by the giant, then kept it moving. “Don’t try holding onto those tongues, though. You hear that siren, shit’s amuck. Even more important shit has gone missing. And uh…”

Beddington scratched her nose, sniffling sharply. Whew--she almost sneezed and ruined the atmosphere. “Our favorite bitch upstairs ain’t too happy about that. Entire ship’s on lockdown until we find it. Now guys… I love your company just as much as ya can’t live without mines, but why don’t we speed this up?” The Lieutenant came to a stop at the center of the line and folded her arms. “If you know anything, better wise up and confess now.”

Luca’s fingers curled around Chloe’s as he spaced her just slightly behind his shoulder. He had recognized three of the grunts behind the good Lieutenant… familiar faces he had rather hoped never to see again. The same creeps that had taken him, Bah and their favorite terrorist for a post dinner stroll. If these numbskulls were involved, whatever reassurances Beddington was spewing were swiftly lost on Luca.

He shot Bah a look, before tuning his focus, taking in the woman’s words with a sense of irritation. Ramona was always unhappy. How anyone could tell the difference, he didn’t know. As she continued, however, his eyes narrowed just slightly, “...Way I remember it, last time there was a shake up, it felt a whole lot like Romana’s doing… Used it to drag our asses into the Fights, anyway. Who’s to say she didn’t orchestrate this, too?”

“Thank God. I didn’t think any of ya lads were feelin anal today anyway.” Bahram shot with a light smile, although felt a tremor of disgust roll through his shoulders with what he had said. Heh. Pun intended. “Oi, I don’t know anything about no missing shite.” He caught the guard giving him a quick glance, merely nodding his respect to her as she went along. She was an amusing character from what he remembered, and he wasn’t so concerned with the rest of the group getting blazed. Then again, his brow did furrow in concern. It didn’t necessarily surprise him that someone was pulling this shite close to round two. Romana didnt tend to let shite like this happen, though, so concern leaped into his throat. Not to mention the three familiar guards who tried to pay them off for their bets in the fight. Aye. This was about to go swell. “We have no reason to steal, believe me, after yesterday’s beatin none of us wanna risk getting some steel in the head. I just wanna beat by favorite co prisoner at battle ship.”

Chloe shifted uncomfortably. This...this wasn’t good. Wouldn’t they have the security cameras to show who stole what? Unless Ramona was really being a bitch today, or, well, this was much worse than she thought. She swallowed and pressed her knuckles to her throat. “D-dont t-think a-any o-of us d-did m-m-m-miss. N-nor d-do I-I th-think any of u-us had t-time.”

“Ahaaa, jeez!” A powerful shiver coursed through Beddington’s body, before shaking off the last of it with some impressive jazz fingers. “You saw that, Freckles? That’s what you call catching the holy ghost. Whew--never thought you could outshine Pastor Reynolds, but that was some heavy truth, buddy.” A round of grimaces crossed the faces of guards and inmates unlike, far from amused by the Lieutenant’s antics.

She didn’t pay them any mind. Grinning, Beddington strutted up to Luca and scanned him up and down the same way she had done with Bah. “Just a shame you’re misplacing all that weight, aye? Romana’s a manipulative bitch, but she’s a damn controlling one, too. So, uh, like ole shamrock said…” She took a step back from Luca, giving the man breathing room again, and flashed an easy smile. “We all just wanna play battle ships and let this shit show blow over.”

“Wait… who?” Chiko’s brow furrowed in confusion, before Bah’s statement finally clicked in her head. “Oi! The fuck you mean by that? WAS I EVEN GONNA WIN THAT ROUND--”

“Easy, doll!” Beddington said with a laugh. “Your head explodes and it’s on your friends to clean that up. I don’t think they’ll appreciate the stress. But anyway…”

In the next fraction of a heartbeat, her mood sombered in tandem with her expression, falling into something beyond unreadable. “Gluckman! Kolkowsky! Price!” She barked out the succession of names with unwavering authority and the trio of guards were helpless to resist an obedience so deeply drilled into them that it was instinctual. Posture erect, they squeezed through the crowd and stood at attention to Beddington’s right, awaiting her orders.

She nodded towards Luca and Bah. “These, uh… These the ones, yeah?” she asked.

The guards stiffened further, before a dark and deeply ingrained agitation burned them from the inside out, shooting harsh glares into the men’s form. “Sure are,” Gluckman growled.

“What of it, Lieutenant?” Kolkowsky grumbled.

“What of it? Really?” Beddington heaved a snort of disbelief before smacking all three men in the chest. “C’mon, now! Ya damn three stooges couldn’t keep your heads on straight yesterday, all cuz of them! Heh,” she pointed at Amit, who nearly jolted at the action, “You too, Lil Tic Toc! Done went and sent my entire crew up into flames. Chili faces and everything; was a damn show.”

“With all due respect, Lieutenant…” This time it was Price who spoke up. “What’s the point of bringing this up now?” He shot a quick glance at Amit, pure hatred kindling behind his eyes. The terrorist swallowed dryly and tried to avoid his gaze with the iota of effort his body could muster. Tried to forget the beating he’d branded so harshly into the prisoner’s nerves that he would catch phantom pains for the next few months.

“You tryna say I’m wasting time, Price? Huh?” Beddington scratched her scalp, pinning the man down with a placid stare. Price fumbled for a response.

“I… No. N-no, not at all, lieutenant. I’m just, err, we’re failing to understand what you’re--”

“Well here comes the sun, do do-do do,” the woman interrupted, “Hand over your Blazers and batons. All three of ya.”

A brief pause.

“Wait…” Gluckman’s brow pinched. “What? Why?”

“Cuz I said so...” And just like that, ice coated the back of Beddington’s throat and she pierced the men with a glare so frigid that they suddenly lost the ability to produce body heat. Breaking out into a cold sweat, the guards obeyed and relieved their weapons to another guard, who held onto them dutifully. Beddington grinned. “Great! So, uh,” She looked back at the inmates, “Freckles, Freckles’ lil Sugar Bottom,” A knowing look shot in Chloe’s direction, “Shamrock, and Tic Toc… Step forward.”

Chiko frowned. “Heyyy, what about me??”

“Denied,” Beddington sang coyly.

“Lieutenant!” Gluckman pressed, his face burning pink with annoyance. “Could you please tell us what the hell you’re up to?!”

The woman shrugged. “What can I say? I’m no control freak like Psycho Madame, but I like a crew with clear heads. But your noggins? Phew!” She unleashed another chuckle, arms folded. “Shit’s spilling over with the ole gambling blue balls.”

“Shouldn’t we focus on the fucking cra--”

“Step on forward, lucky contestants!”

Jaw clenched like melded steel, Luca didn't remove his eyes from the woman, even as the show went on. Freckles. God. How long had it been since…

Nope. Not important.

His grip on Chloe tightened, and as the guards were relieved of their weapons and they were addressed to step forward, Luca's brow twitched. She was a shark… but for the first time in a long time as Hagur, Luca didn't feel like dead meat walking.

Probably a mistake, but hell…

Slowly, giving Clo, Bah and Amit a slow nod, he took a step forward.

Bahrams lips ripped into a grin as Chiko commented about their game, trying to keep a poker face on as to not reveal his win. Score. It’s alright Chiko, he was more than happy to play another round. And so was Beddington, it appeared. Bahram had to admit, this was the first line up he felt airy. At ease. Despite seeing the three guards, he merely gave them a cheery smile. But, the amusement soon faded as the woman took away their weapons, bewilderment coating his features.

“That was a plot twist I didn’t see coming.” He commented slowly without another pleasant grin, although an iota of worry danced in his stomach. This didn’t make much sense now did it… however Bahram didn’t question it, stepping in toe and bobbing his head respectfully towards Beddington. “Yes miss?”

Chloe blinked. How were Bahram, Luca and Amit affiliated with the guards in question? Understanding crept into her mind as soon as questioning appeared. Luca and guards. Don’t ask. Something stupid happened, she was sure. Swallowing hard, she squeezed his hand and couldn’t help but grin at the guards behavior. “L-little m-miss s-sugar b-bottom. T-thanks.” She stammered with a tease, swallowing after a moment er, hopefully that didn’t step over anything.

Beddington slapped both hands over her heart, faking a swoon. “Aw, don’t go giving me that look now, Sugar Bottom. Not when your boy toy’s lookin’.” She shot a wink at Luca before waving off Bah’s comment. “It’s nothing, it’s nothing. I’m all for plot twists, Shamrock. It’s what I do. Now then…” She adjusted her waistbelt, the motion exaggerated and a tad goofy, as she scanned over the presented inmates. Then to her baffled guards… Alrighty.

“Mmkay. Gluckman to the happy couple! Kolkowsky, start hiking and don’t keep Shamrock waiting! Mr. Price is Right--you’ve got Tic Toc! Rest of you Dogs? At ease, fuck off, whatever speaks your language.” She flashed a grin that was borderline devilish. “I think all of you need a little heart to heart, yeah? Talk out feelings and all that good shit?”

Gluckman blinked. “...Lieutenant, you can’t be serious.”

“Oi!” Beddington presented herself, arms splayed as if she was a New Yorker setting up for a fist fight. “My comedian days are behind me! This ain’t no joke. You guys got beef? You better sort it now while we’re all here. Not like they know where the crates are anyhow.”

The trio of guards shifted uncomfortably, casting glances at their silently amused coworkers. As always, they were beyond confused and had no idea what their superior was planning. Regardless, orders were orders, even if they were from a new officer like Beddington.

Reluctantly, Gluckman approached Luca and Chloe, Kolkowsky shuffled up to Bah grumpily, and Price stomped up to a sweating Amit like a bull. The terrorist swallowed dryly, casting a glance back at the dismissed prisoners; however, instead of returning to their seats, they remained hovering about, watching the show curiously. Among that crowd, his gaze landed on Chiko, whose features were pinched in equal parts concern and bafflement.

...Gods. Amit had failed to pray since coming to Hagur but right now, he desperately needed the blessing of a higher being. He parted his lips to speak. “I…”

“Shut. The fuck. Up,” Price growled, his arms folded and making the muscles of his biceps bulge. It was moments like these that Amit wished he had enough patience to attend the gym. The terrorist clamped his mouth shut, sweat rolling down his temple. Satisfied with the compliance, Price loomed closer and his whisper oozed with pure venom. “Looks like the wacky bitch wants us to talk… I don’t know what the fuck for, but fine by me.” His eyes narrowed. “I got a bone to pick with your Ala loving ass anyhow.”

“Well, if it isn’t the lovely losers of Hagur,” Gluckman drawled, a mixture of boredom and annoyance clear in his tone. Something mocking slithered into his words. “Damn shame you couldn’t even make it past round one… Guess neither of you were worth the bets after all, let alone worth anything to begin with.”

Meanwhile, Kolkowsky stared up at Bah’s massive stature while internally wishing he at least still had his Blazer handy. This was bullshit.

Beddington meandered around the conversing groups and watched them like a predator, her pace sluggish and preppy at the same time. She hummed something unrecognizable under her breath, though it was easy to tell that she was terribly off key.

Games.

Everyone wanted to play games. This wasn’t prison. This was a joke - at least to the people running it, and Luca was beyond tired of being treated like a freakin’ puppet. Romana. Beddington. They were all the same. Sadistic children with a full toy box. And he was over it. As Beddington barked out orders to the guards, Luca’s grip on Chloe tightened and a frown crossed his lips. Subtly, he leaned closer to her and his lips brushed her temple in a kiss, as a whisper escaped, “...Follow my lead.”

A moment later, the guard was in front of them, and opening his fat yapper, the vitriol escaped in an unintelligible clot of idiotic word vomit. Holding Chloe’s hand, staring at the man with as blank an expression as his freckled face could manage, Luca said nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

“Ah! Hello good sir! It is good to see you well, I am so sorry that you have had the misfortune of such a...chaotic morning.” Bahram beamed warmly at the man who had attempted to sway him into killing innocent(well, not innocent. Not by the law. Innocent as in they didn’t do anything to him in particular) prisoners. He placed out his hand in a friendly gesture, head tilting. “No hard feelings, yes? It was a good thing you didn’t have us do that, aye? And for shame too. I’m sort of glad I didn’t win that fight. If I’ve learned anything, you bet on the underdog. Gotta mix up the arena every once in awhile.”

Chloe blinked in confusion and a small trace of horror as the man approached them, her hand squeezing Luca’s in warning. “W-what t-the h-hell I-is going o-on?” She hissed in response, surprised to find that Luca went silent(for once. She loved that man. She did. She promised she did). She swallowed hard at the guard and merely gave him a small beam. “T-thanks f-for t-the r-reminder s-s-s-sweetie. G-glad t-to s-s-see y-you a-are c-chip...ch-chipper. Y-your I-idea t-to e-even th-th...think about b-betting f-for the s-stammer…” she took a deep breath, realizing her cheeks were red with effort. She grinned. “A-and the m-man w-who m-missed”

Kolkowsky grimaced at the outstretched hand, nearly reeling back as if expecting a punch to knock his lights out. He couldn’t fucking stand this giant’s “polite” attitude; it never failed to irk his nerves, along with several other staff members around the ship. Grumbling, the guard took a step back and sliced into Bah with the deadliest glare he could muster. “I swear you’re more annoying than my shit for brains sister, and she’s adopted,” he muttered. As the large man went to explain how grateful he was for skipping out on taking lives, he bared his teeth with a hiss, “Maybe keep your fucking voice down!”

But it was too late.

“And that’s one.”

The comment came from Beddington, who circled past the pair without sparing them a glance, her path casually taking her over to Luca, Chloe, and Gluckman next. As she left, Kolkowsky could feel the back of his uniform soaking up sweat. That… That wasn’t good.

“Oh, trust me, sweetheart,” Gluckman sneered while rolling his eyes. “The only bet me and the boys had on you was dying the moment that Timer went off. Soggy paper had more chance at surviving than you did.” He skimmed her up and down. “It’s a miracle you’re in one piece, though my money sure wish you weren’t.”

His gaze then strayed over to Luca. “...The hell is your problem? Suddenly the Dog with the biggest mouth on Hagur can’t speak up?” He had failed to notice Beddington hovering nearby, her smirk lop-sided and curious as she listened in from a safe distance. All the drama. Drama, drama, and more drama. Where was the popcorn when she needed it?

Fortunately for Price, that gave him free reign to spit some fire in Amit’s face, his face turning red with bubbling agitation. He had closed the distance between them significantly, a fist curling into the terrorist’s jumper. “You had one job,” he growled, “One. Fucking. Job. How hard is it to make a simple fucking bomb when you’re a terrorist?” He heaved a yank, nearly ripping oxygen from the smaller man’s lungs. “And what the hell was with that fire?” His gaze narrowed. “Don’t think I’m stupid. They didn’t burn a single thing… What kind of shit did you pull? Are you suicidal? Huh?”

A weak defiance invaded Amit’s features. “You’ll never know,” he muttered tightly.

Or not.

In a perfect world, maybe it would've worked, but apparently not today. As Chloe took the bait, Luca fought a grimace. So much for the silent treatment. Releasing her hand, Luca eased closer to the guard. A slow, calculating step, his eyes skimming the man with a shake of his head.
"Last I heard, Precious, it was you with the biggest mouth on Hagur, but maybe that's something else you wanna keep on the DL?"

“Oi. You can come after me but comin after a man’s sister is crossin a line.” His eyes narrowed and features darkened slightly as his arms came to cross. He straightened his back, making himself as big as possible, before an absolutely pleasant smile ripped across his features. He loved the sound of the guard’s voice as he spoke of his mistakes. It was music to his ears. “Oi? Sorry about that lad. Sometimes I talk louder than I mean to. Did I say somethin not to your likin there?”

“Y-yeah. I-I’m n-not g-g-g-gonna l-lie, I-I’ve g-g-got the s-s-strength of t-t-two l-layered t-t-t-toliet p-paper. M-makes m-me g-g-g-good for s-s-something t-t-though. I-I r-r-respond w-w-well to the sh-shit t-that c-c-comes out o-of your m-mouth.” She grinned, finding a small amount of fear escaping her. However, the moment that Luca had stepped forward, her hand grasped around his arm pleadingly, trying to pull him back to no avail. “Don’t. You. Dare. Carino.” She managed, patient, smiling.

Kolkowsky’s face pulsed beet red, teeth gnashing as he glared up at Bah. This fucking, manipulative mutt. On instinct, his hand flew down to his holster, intent on zapping the giant until he was foaming at the mouth… Only to remember that Beddington had rid him of his weapons. He expelled an exasperated huff. “You have no clue what you’ve just done, idiot!” His desperate gaze snapped over to Beddington, anxiety bubbling up his gut.

The woman in question had meandered over to Price and Amit again, as silent as ever. Unlike the guard himself, whose ire was building more and more by the second. “Don’t act any dumber than you already are,” Price grumbled. He still had a steel grip on Amit, who allowed the treatment with a dull glaze in his eyes.

“What’s done is done,” he muttered. “You cannot fault me--”

“But I fucking will!” Finally, Price released Amit with a harsh shove, staring down the man with blatant disgust. “And so will Romana… Enjoy the time you’ve got left, cuz it won’t last long.”

“And that’s the Second Coming.”

Again, it was Beddington. She tip-toed past Price and around behind Amit like a sloth fairy. Or fairy sloth. Whichever. Regardless, like before, she didn’t say anything else and paced back over to Gluckman.

The man in question glared at Chloe’s comment, his jaw clenching like steel. He nearly pounced on the woman until Luca sauntered into his personal space. A cold indifference rolled over the man, staring at Luca like he was a dead fly on his windshield. “The only thing I’m itching to put down is you and the dandelion fighting your battles.” His gaze hardened. “Honestly sounds much better than that stupid list. Just you wait, mutt--”

“And that is strike three!” Beddington cheered with a power crouch and fist pump, before throwing her arm out like a baseball referee. A smile brighter than the sun graced her lips, hands on her hips as she shook her head. “I call this meeting adjourned!”

A pause.

Beddington’s smile disappeared. “Hand over your badges, boys.”

There it was. The threat. These chumps were all the same. Hiding behind their big mouths and fancy weapons. Only there were no blazers now, and it was with every ounce of strength Luca possessed that he held himself back. They couldn't get a rise out of him that easily… not when he didn't know the rules of whatever twisted game Beddington was playing. What mattered was keeping himself between the meat head thug… and Clo.

He could understand her hesitancy to trust his judgment. He'd never been accused of having a cool head… but there was no reason to jump the gun. Not yet. And it stung just slightly that for the second time she seemed apprehensive to rely on him.

As the threat was issued, Luca's fists tightened slightly, but he didn't budge, and as Beddington interrupted, a brow rose in suspicion…

“Oh, I knew exactly what I was doing sir. Did you?” Bahram questioned, a mischievous grin blossoming across his features as Beddington demanded for their badges to be handed over. Damn. He should have known this was gonna come back one way or another. Just...not this way. He didn’t think he’d even have a good day here and yet...he was grinning almost ear to ear. “I wish you the best, sir.”

You say these things about me without knowing what sort of shit I survived. You try having a six pound baby rip through your body that was barely grown to be able to carry it. Dumb fuck.

Chloe simply kept the smile. “I-I’m a w-w-w-weed in t-t-the g-g-grass, b-babe. K-k-keep c-c-c-coming back.” She cooed, wriggling her fingers at him, noting the small amount of disappointment that rolled off of Luca in waves. She swallowed and went to grasp his hand. Was she sorry? Perhaps. Did she regret it? No. God. As scary as it was...it felt good. “O-oh, b-by t-the w-w-way. I-I c-c-can finally s-s-say this. Fuck. You. Ass. Hat.” Her face went pale. “H-have a-a-a n-nice day.”

The guard trio fell silent, so much so that one could hear a pin needle drop. The three men paled in shock, finding themselves speechless and unable to figure out what to do with themselves.

“L… L-lieutenant,” Gluckman stuttered in utter disbelief, whirling around to face the woman. “Y-you can’t be serious! Why do we--”

“Yeesh!” Beddington scratched her wild mane again. “This is why I’m not a cat lady, all this kitty hissin’ is giving me a migraine. You heard me loud and clear, Gluckman.” She held out her hand expectantly. “Badges. Don’t be shy now.”

“No… No! Hell no!” Kolkowsky also stepped forward, stomping up to stand next to Gluckman. “Not until you tell us why! We’ve been dealing with your crazy shit the moment you got here! If anything, it’s these disrespectful mutts that need the punishing! Not us!”

“Wowww…” Beddington cast a glance at the inmates while jabbing a finger at the guards. “Sorry you had to share oxygen with this batch for so long. Seriously. Hope the dumbassery isn’t airborne.” She turned her attention back to the trio, eyebrow quirked. “Mmmm-righty then. You want an explanation that bad? Fine. I got no problem running my mouth, if ya couldn’t tell.” She barked another laugh, before sobering up quickly and tilting her head. “Look… I don’t know what kinda management your unit had before me, but I’m not gonna walk around and let ass crumbs like you bribe people to kill. You wanna place bets? Hell,” she shrugged, “Be my fucking guest. But the moment you wanna turn this into a rigged blood bath?”

She raised her hands, lips pursed with indifference. “You gotta go… Been meaning to trim off the fat--that’s you, by the way--for a while now. So hey! Everything works out!”

The look of uncertainty lingered as Luca watched the display, lip twitching into a frown at the woman’s words, “...Trim the fat…” He repeated, shaking his head, “You think giving the boot to a few garbage guards is gonna fix this place? Your boss probably hired these idiots to rig it. Not like it’s the first time she’s done it… and hell if anyone seems to give a damn what happens to us. Screw the fights… This whole place is rigged…”

“Lad...don’t think the Lieutenant can exactly overthrow the Queen here…” Bahram frowned, curious as to why she would want to, as she said, skin the fat from the prison. Was she a righteous guard? Seeming bizarrely friendly with the prisoners, and not that Bahram was ungrateful, no, he was rather humored by her gesture, something just tickled the back of his head. “But uh, heh, thanks for that lass. I’m sure these gentlemen would be happy to get back to earth anyway…”

“S-so...w-what e-exactly w-was this b-betting a-about?”

God, there was nothing Beddington loved more than the sound of ungrateful brat in the morning. Or was it afternoon? Eh, time was irrelevant when in space, she figured. Grinning, she winked at Luca and said, “You’re welcome, Freckles. And uh, if you got anymore ground-shaking epiphanies to share, please, don’t hesitate to come find me.” Despite her words, her tone failed to hold any sarcasm and she bored into the prisoner with a meaningful look. “Just look for the lion’s mane and keep an ear out for this sexy voice, yeah?”

At Bah’s comment, her smile made a comeback, and she shot finger guns at the man. “Ayyyye, now that’s what I like to hear! Good to know some trees still got manners these days. And Sugar Bottom…” She shook her head in playful exasperation, hand on her hip. “You telling me ya don’t know? Some of these idiots ‘round here,” a head nod towards the guards, “Like to bet on who wins and who loses good ole Dog Fights… Just a damn shame that they gotta play dirty in a game that’s already dirty as hell. Anyways,” She snapped her fingers and pointed at Gluckman. “You first, twinky. Badge.”

Heat flooded Gluckman’s face, his fury growing palpable. There was no way he’d let some loud-mouthed, cocky, unprofessional newbie embarrass him in front of the staff and strip him of his job. Teeth clenched, he started advancing on the woman, his form straightening menacingly. “Over my dead body!”

Like mindless minions, Price and Kolkowsky also stood their ground, glares trained on Beddington.

The Lieutenant guffawed. “Oi, you kidding me?” In an instant, the rest of the guards raised their Blazers, leveling them on the men and making them halt where they stood… Only for Beddington to raise her hand. “Nah, nah, it’s fine. Might be fun.” There was a moment of hesitation; however, they heeded her orders and lowered their guns, eyes trained on the ex-guards.

Gratitude. What a damn funny concept. He couldn't tell entirely if the woman genuinely thought she was helping, or just didn't care that she was painting a bigger target on the four of them. Romana loved nothing more than discord… Especially when it meant beating on the prisoners. Firing the guards… it wouldn't stick unless the Devil's mistress saw a reason for it.

But as they started forward, Luca didn't hesitate to step up beside the Lieutenant, fists knotted, "Maybe let's not do this…”

“I. Don’t bet. On. You. Lasting a moment.” Chloe called to the man, Gluckman, eyes narrowed as she took a short step forward. “I. Think. You’d rather.” A deep breath as the strain became racketing against her skull. It took every iota of her energy to concentrate on getting her words clear. She had to be clear. “Give up. Your pride. Then. Get shocked. To piss. In front. Of. Your. In...inferiors. Funny end. I’d bet. On it.” She smiled. “Pussy.”

Gluckman’s stride faltered the moment Chloe’s words hit his ears and against his own accord, blood drained from his face. What in the actual Sam Hell was this mousey woman going on about? Even with her words coming through clearly, the disjointed and chopped manner of them came across as… disturbing. He pivoted to face her, eyes widening a tad with anxiety, before looking back at Beddington and Luca. Then down to his empty waist holsters. That bitch inmate wouldn’t do anything, would she? The Lieutenant was a joke and Luca was barely a problem for him to bat an eyelash at, but now, doubt began to gnaw at his thoughts.

Move? Or not to move? He couldn’t afford to freeze up now, not when his enraged comrades were already following his league…

Trapped in his own head, the man fell to a stand still, only for Kolkowsky and Price barrel forward like angry bulls. The former tried to bulldoze into Beddingtong, while the latter did the same for Luca.

“Oop, hello,” Beddington muttered while whipping out her baton. Kolkowsky’s meaty fist swung wide, aiming straight for her temple…

His fist sliced through air. Kolkowsky blinked and stumbled forward, his brain failing to comprehend what just happened. Before he could do anything else, a baton rammed into his jaw with bone-rattling impact, forcing him to keel to the side. Then another blow rammed into his kneecap. A loud pop emitted from his leg.

“Ah, shit,” Beddington hissed in sympathy while watching the man writhe on the floor, heaving guttural cries while cradling his knee. She grimaced. “My bad. Forgot to hold back. I blame it on the coffee.”

When the men bolted forward, Luca’s back straightened, and bucking to the side, he slid out his foot, to hook Price’s ankle as the idiot guard stumbled past him, “...Generally apprehensive about your kinda people, lady. But you’re growin’ on me.” He muttered, “Hell if I know that’s a good thing or not in this place.”

For the first time since she got here, Chloe was severely considered taking a heavy amount of alcohol into her system. Rolling her eyes as the two guards approached her, surprised that fear didn’t grab hold, she hobbled beside Luca as the man tripped over his foot, and raising her own, she prayed that her aim remained true…

Grimacing as her foot both miraculously and horribly connected with the man’s unmentionables, Chloe quickly retracted herself from his curled up form. “T-that w-was fun.” She paused. “I-I m-mean I-I’m s-s-sorry!”

That trip and kick combo was more than enough to put Price out of commission. He remained curled up on the floor, heaving pained coughs. Beddington chuckled at the sight, just soaking in the display before flashing Luca and Chloe a lopsided grin. “Very nice. Your Love Bug’s got a knack for gonad kickin’, Freckles. Much respect. And hey,” her eyes twinkled with mirth, “What can I say? I’m like a weed. Growing’s my job. Just don’t rush the process.”

Gluckman, who was still frozen in place, gaped in horror as his friends fell over defeated in the blink of an eye. This… This was not good, at all. He was all alone, pinned against three people, and entirely weaponless. He needed to do something. Anything besides standing there like a deer caught in headlights.

However, he jolted in surprise when something collided into him from behind. It wasn’t much, nowhere near enough strength to knock him over, and growling, he turned around to face Amit. The terrorist flinched away, immediately regretting his decision.

Oh gods. Oh gods. That wasn’t wise in the slightest. He should’ve learned about controlling impulses ever since speaking out against Romana but, apparently, he hadn’t. The terrorist stumbled back, trying to out-pace Gluckman as he approached, but his efforts were futile. A heavy punch drove deep into his gut and he heaved a cough from the pit of his lungs, keeling over. Regrets. So many regrets. Gluckman’s hand then curled around the terrorist’s throat, raising him up to eye level.

“If I’m getting booted from this ship, there’s no way in hell I’m letting your traitorous ass off easy,” he snarled.

Stepping away from the crotch-crushed guard, Luca’s eyes narrowed at the third and final idiot, fists balling as he moved closer, “You guys really just don’t learn, do you…” Eyes on Amit for a moment, on the hand wrapped around Amit’s throat, Luca bolted without warning, colliding into the guard’s side with what he hoped was enough force to jar the man away, without hurting the terrorist…

Which was just a damn crazy thought…

Bahram pushed himself forward as Amit was handled by Gluckman, grasping the guard by the collar as he lurched forward, unable to quite rip the man from Amits throat. “Oi! Off ‘em!” He exclaimed, syllables blurred and garbled as he tugged once again, surprised to find that the guard had an iron grip on the poor boy.

Chloe’s mind didn’t quite process the exact events that led to her behind Gluckman, her heel digging sharply into the back of the man’s legs. “C-c-c-come o-on d-d-dandelion…” She hissed, retracting from him when she found this didn’t work.

Gluckman grunted and stumbled with every push and pull, his teeth gnashing in annoyance. And yet, his hold on Amit remained, his balance cemented into place, and his festering rage the only thing giving him the advantage over the prisoners.

Until a small form squeezed into the tight space between him and the terrorist. And drove a monstrous punch into his gut. The ex-guard heaved a cough of surprise while doubling over, releasing Amit to cradle his stomach. Chiko shoved him back, standing protectively in front of the terrorist as her eyes glistened with tears of frustration. “Back the fuck off!” she yelled.

The combination of shock and force behind the push sent Gluckman peddling straight into Beddington’s reach, who casually used the momentum against him to kick the man’s feet out from underneath him. At the same time, her fingers crooked into the vulnerable flesh of his throat and slammed him back-first to the floor, knocking the wind clean out of him. “Ah, all these fucking impulses, I swear,” she chuckled.

Gluckman didn’t move after that, completely knocked out like a light.

The lieutenant took in the fallen men, lips pursed like a duck and wholly impressed. “...Hokay. That was a shitshow, but it was a damn fun one--”

Security breach… Security breach… Security breach…

All of a sudden, red strobe lights descended from the ceiling and filled the Courtyard, followed by a distinct click from the doors. They peeled open with a hiss, allowing the chaotic noise of freed prisoners to spill into the area. Immediately, the remaining prisoners in the Courtyard began to bustle and shift about restlessly, growing antsy as they heard their brethren bask in the freedom. Noticing the calm before the storm, Beddington raised a hand, a silent command for the guards to raise their Blazers.

“Oi! Don’t do anything stupid! You all keep calm and stay here!”

But it was no use.

Not a moment after the last syllable escaped her, the inmates exploded into a mad dash for the exit, cutting through the guards and Beddington’s defenses like hot butter. “Sonuva--!” Beddington immediately flopped to the ground, arms barred over her head as she prayed for a crushed-free fate. Miraculously enough, the prisoners had enough awareness to sprint around her while tackling guards out of the way, their howls spilling into the halls. She sat up, staring at the retreating men and women in disbelief.

“...This day. This fucking day, ladies and gents,” she muttered breathlessly while staggering to her feet. Huffing, she turned to face the remaining prisoners and, for once, she didn’t have an immediate reply or snarky comment to toss out. She watched them with muted caution, muscles prepped in the case of any of them pouncing in the light of a fresh rebellion.

Amit was too frozen with shock to do much. All his body could register was Chiko’s tight embrace around his middle, face buried into his chest, while his arms looped subconsciously around like a protective cocoon. “Wh… What is this?”

"It's a riot…" Luca answered grimly, instinct driving him closer to Chloe, a hand resting on her forearm, "And it ain't good. Happened once, back home… mi hermano... It's like they all go loco. Like animals." Turning, Luca looked first to Amit, then Beddington, "You two? You need to stick with us. This is about to get ugly."

“Nice shot there lass.” Bahram called out gingerly to Chiko, sensing the anger and frustration rolling off of her. As much as he was prideful of her, he didn’t want to infuse too much enthusiasm just yet. That would come at a later date, he knew for certain. However, as the bundle of prisoners rushed past him and his...ragtag group, he kept a hand on both Amit’s shoulder and on Chloe’s wrist as to keep them beside him, just in case it would turn into a Stampede. He stayed put, however, knowing that it was no use to get into the anarchy now. They would be punished, he was sure, and he was not the one to get into the fray (except that band from what, a thousand years ago? But that was beside the point).

“Oi, lad, you aight?” He inquired to Amit after a moment.

“T-t-this i-i-s a f-fun morning.” Chloe stammered, stiffened as a variety of other prisoners rushed past them, relieved for both Bahram and Luca in that moment. As much as she had considered death by blazer before, and this wouldn’t be the worst time, she found her feet stuck to the floor and a lump in her throat. “Y-y-y-you d-d-deserve a-a-a va...vacation, m-miss.” She claimed to Beddington, watching the prisoners rush out into the hallway. God. Bless. All of them.

Beddington allowed herself to visibly relax. No, made a conscious effort of it. She could appear as unguarded as the inmates wanted, but there was no way in hell she would actually drop it while in the middle of a prison riot. She quirked an eyebrow at Luca’s comment, a hint of amusement spreading across her otherwise unreadable face. “Oh? So uh, I’m guessing my crew is chopped liver, then?” She managed to tag on a hasty “They’re more like chopped morons” under her breath and blatantly ignored some of the grumbles escaping her fellow officers. Heh, she couldn’t help herself. She folded her arms. “But seriously, Freckles, I got a code to live by. I’m still Lieutenant and you’re still a prisoner; I’m obligated to have all of you detained and back in your cells immediately.”

Her thought process was disrupted by Sugar Bottom’s sweet talk. “Damn, you sure know how to stroke my ego, huh? Who taught you how to ass-kiss, my ex?” With a sigh, she reached around to free her hair of its band, a giant mane of dirty blond sprouting like a bush from her head. The strain was starting to inspire a headache--well, that and the bullshit going off around her like canons. Details, details.

The violent screams and noise of fists clashing into flesh pulled her back to reality. Oh yeah. Right. Hell on Earth.

Wait… Screw it. The audience knew what she meant. Everybody was a heckler.

“You come with us quietly, get these cuffs on, and cooperate, yeah? Don’t make me work as much as my position actually requires. That’s for the birds.”

“All due respect, lady… and I mean that, truly, but I ain’t puttin’ on cuffs in the middle of a damn prison riot. Your kind… you’re outnumbered right now, three-to-one, and the difference between you and them is they don’t give half a rat’s ass about no code. And in here? They get ahold of someone like you, they’re not just gonna kill you like they will your crew, if you catch my drift? You wanna get through this, you’re gonna need to trust us. You can chuck us in a cell, later, if you want. For now… we may be your best shot at gettin’ out of this alive.”

“If I may...um, as much as I appreciate the work you do here lass, and yes, that be a kiss up if there ever was one.” Bahram granted the lieutenant a playful wink, pleasantly clasping his hands in front of him. “If...well, that door be broke, I imagine the cells are too, and keeping us in there aint gonna go the way ya think. Believe me here Lucky is...a favorite of AM, not gonna lie to ya lass about that, he ain’t gonna stab ya in the back. I’ll whoop his sorry arse if he does.” Bahram rubbed the back of his head, eyes gazing to the guards back to his group. “Doesn’t mean you have to trust us implicitly, but believe us lass, we want this chaos as much as you do.”

“Y-you k-know L-Lennon?” Chloe cooed teasingly, although the moment that name escaped her mouth chills climbed down her spine. She rubbed her arm awkwardly, tempted to hold out her hands for the cuffs, until Bahrams words rang true in her head. “M-miss? I-I u-under...f-fuck…” swallowing down as her words became difficult to breathe, she huffed in frustration. “J-just...d-don’t w-want a-a-any o-of us t-to d-die, ya? I-I j-just w-wanna g-go b-back t-to my c-crochets...w-we c-can h-help. A-a little m-more a-assistance, ya?”

“Do ya know Cotton? Good kid; might be your cousin? Kinda Jewish looking?” Beddington said while shooting Chloe a quick grin, then switching attention back to Luca and Bah. They were making… a hell of a sound argument. And she didn’t exactly care for it. Nothing about this set up sat well in her gut, although she could admit there was plenty of potential “fun factor” involved.

“Christ, you two. Don’t you know a woman doesn’t like to sound wrong? Then again, I doubt that’s the last thing they teach ya in Social Etiquette.” They should though. It’d be far more useful than whatever the hell the prisoners were learning now, in her opinion. Turning back to her crew, she scanned over each face. Leroy… Cassie… Jamal… Edison… Burt. She knew everyone in her unit, right down to their favorite goddamn color, which made her next order that much harder to do. Lips pressed into a thin line, she barked out, “All of you! Take to the halls and settle down as much of this clusterfuck as you can! And. No. Casualties.”

Her crew nodded stiffly in understanding, more than acquainted with the woman’s dislike for death after only a few weeks under her supervision. They marched out of the Courtyard in groups; however, before the last of them dispersed, a last minute thought struck Beddington. A finger shot out and landed on a single guard. “Except for you, Ross! You stick with us. Your coworkers can take the three traitors into temporary lockup. Err… If it’s still locked up.” Shit, was it still locked up? She sure hoped so.

Either way, her men followed her orders and dragged the ex-guards out without much hassle. All that was left was Officer Ross, who had visibly jolted at being called out. She was a small and squirrelly woman, big doe eyes just widening even more with silent questioning. Shakily, he saluted Beddington, a completely unnecessary gesture. “M-Ma’am, yes ma’am?!”

Beddington deadpanned at the woman.

“Uh… At ease or whatever. You stick with us, Ross. You’re, um…” Way too innocent to deal with the bloodbath going on outside--that was what she wanted to say, but didn’t quite have the heart to crush whatever confidence Ross had managed to scrape up today. “Yeah. That. Anyway, guess you get to cozy up wiiiiith…” She scanned the inmates one by one… Oh. Duh. The only single pringle here. The lieutenant smirked. “Good ole Shamrock here! He’ll keep ya safe and cool with some shade, yeah?”

Ross eyed Bah nervously, a hand twitching towards her baton, before clenching her fist to force away the motion. No, no. None of that. That was mean. “U-uh… O… kay?”

“Good.” Beddington turned back to Luca, brow arched. “Happy now, Mr. High ‘n Freckled? Or do you want me promoting you to Pope next?”

Luca was glad, to say it mildly, that the woman guard had been recalled. He wasn’t the sort to suggest women were in any way weaker than men - hell… Chloe had proven that in more ways than one, just that morning - but in this particular circumstance, she’d be eaten alive (and with inmates like Jumbo, that wasn’t entirely a figurative possibility). Maybe he couldn’t protect everyone… but hell if he wasn’t gonna try.

“...Me? Oh, hell no, Miss. I’d make a crap Pope. Mayor, maybe…” With a small smile and a quick wink, he turned and reached for Chloe’s hand, before a thought struck him that drove the smile away swift as it had come. Swearing, he turned to Bah, “...Have you seen River?”

“G-g-g-grandson o-of L-levi S-s-s-simeon S-s-simon?” Chloe stammered with a light grin at the woman, surprised to even feel at ease around any guard. Her shoulders slumped, despite the fact that the prison was a total mess and was probably going to end in some major bloodshed at the end of the day. But then again...details are just details. For the moment, at the very least.

“Ah! Hiya there lass.” Bahram greeted pleasantly to the...much smaller and mousy looking guard. The poor dear, he could sort of understand why Beddington pulled her aside..Bahram didn’t want to think about the outcome had she not, giving the woman a very patient and light smile, not wanting to scare her off as he noted she reached for her baton. “Oi, lass, I save the bitin for the cellmate.” He replied cockily, sending Luca and Chloe a playful wink before Luca’s words slammed into his ears.

“Christ...you as any holy or upheld member of society would lead to tyranny. Shite! River!” Bahram combed his hands through his hair and shook his head. “Oi I could have sworn he was in here earlier?”

Ross flinched the moment Bah spoke to her, before forcing herself upright and puffing up her form as much as she could physically muster. Which wasn’t a lot. At all. But she was still giving it her all. She had always been small but standing next to this behemoth somehow made her feel inferior to an ant. “Th-that’s Officer Ross to you,” she eeked out, voice cracking midway like a teenboy going through puberty. Wonderful. Great. Might as well add her badge to the traitorous trio’s while she was at it--

“Meh, you can just call her Julian,” Beddington chimed casually.

Ross turned red. “L-lieutenant!”

“What?? We’re balls deep in space discord, lemme loosen up when I can!”

The guard heaved a groan behind her hands, though she peeked up again at the mention of… River? Who the heck was that supposed to be?

“Ah, you mean the Ramirez kid,” Beddington said, scratching at her scalp. “Bourbon and Clyde wouldn’t shut up about him either… Heh. Just more and more fat to trim off, I swear.” She shook off the thought. “Anyway, hell if I know, but he ain’t in here. So let’s head out and see where the yellow brick road takes us--”

A crackle emitted from the comm clipped to her vest but… echoing? No. It was just more than one resounding at the same time, coming from each communicative device of every guard on Hagur. Brow furrowed, Beddington leaned into the speaker, straining to hear.

Then, her eyes widened with unfiltered shock and confusion. “...” She parted her lips to speak, yet words momentarily failed her. She looked back at the others. “...Well that’s… new. Oi, Mayor and crew, Chief Guard just sent out the word… We got ourselves a full out Civil Surrender.”

A chuckle of disbelief. “From us.”



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