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Status Quo - Chapter 10

Written by: Paullell

 Daray sees the questioning, thoughtful look on Lana’s face as they start to jog toward the ugly lump of a ship, sitting on its landing platform like some sort of malignant growth. 

 

“I’ll tell you more later, I promise.” She breathes easily as they rush across the distance between the stairs and the ship.

 

As they approach the landing pad, an skinny, dark-haired, greasy man turns around in the process of directing a few thug-like workers, and catches sight of the two women approaching him. His mouth curls into a wolfish grin that says he is about to let go with some ludicrous line when a spark of recognition arcs across his visage. His countenance instantly changes to one of anger and hurt pride and he points at Daray angrily.

 

“No!” He shouts at them when they are still more than fifty feet away. His words still seem to make it to the pair just fine through the busy crowd of the docks.

 

Daray glared across the distance even as they hastened to get to him. “C’mon Tor! My friend and I need a lift to Mars. I know you’re going to Achilles, so it isn’t exactly out of your way.”

 

He pressed his lips into a hard line and shook his head, greasy black hair waving back and forth in front of his face. “Not going to happen bitch.” He pointed at her accusingly. “No way. No how!”

 

They finally closed the distance and came to a stop in front of him. Daray folded her arms across her chest and raised an eyebrow as she looked him over. It was very possible that he could be quite handsome, if he’d take a shower, groom himself, and put on some clothes that didn’t look like they’d been fished out of a refuse bin.

 

“I’ll pay you 2k in platinum Tor.”

 

His eyes glittered at the mention of the money, but his stance remained resolute as he folded his own arms across his chest and planted his feet in defiance. “Go fuck yourself, you skanky, freak-job!”

 

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Lana assess the ship and the captain of it calmly and thoroughly before stepping forward  and touching Daray’s shoulder gently.  “I’m not in that big of a rush Daray.  We can wait for the next ship if there is that much animosity between you and the Captain.”  She makes certain to give his title the proper level of respect, everything she has seen says the best way out of this is to try to soften the blow Daray previously dealt to his ego. The biggest challenge being how to do so without drawing too much of his interest to her.  “I’m sorry that we bothered you Sir.”  She tugs on Daray’s shoulder again and points to the next ship over which is in far better condition than Tor’s ship.  “What about that ship Daray, You said he was going to Earth station right?  That gets us half way there and it should be a simple jump to Mars after that.  You know I’ve never seen Earth station before, maybe even get a glimpse of Earth itself…”  She smiles at Daray  and flicks her tail, keeping her banter light and not giving away how important a quick trip was to her.

 

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Tor eyed Daray for a long moment before his eyes slid over to Lana, lingering on her breasts, hips, and waist. It was easy to see the gears grinding away in his head as he drank her in. He even went so far as to lick his lips.

 

Daray put everything she had into restraining herself. She wanted to break his slimy face, but she knew that Lana could handle people a lot better than she could. Her typical methodologies of ‘shoot first, shoot some more, and then maybe ask a question or two’, and ‘he who runs away…’ were not going to win the day here.

 

She put on her best smile and nodded to Lana’s question. “You’re right. I knew this was a long shot anyway.”

 

She started to turn toward the ship Lana had pointed toward and took a step, “I’m sure Captain Olo will be alright with us hitching a lift to Earth Station.”

 

Tor let them get two or three steps away before stopping them. “Hold up there. Maybe we can work something out.” There was a perverse hunger in his voice as he spoke to their retreating forms.

 

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Lana ignores his gaze so well that it is difficult to tell whether she is unaware or simply impervious to his obviously perverse thoughts as he checks her over.  She turns with Daray and confidently walks away.  When Tor calls out she pauses first and then slowly turns around.  She smiles in a friendly manner.  “Well Captain.  If you think we can work out a business agreement and we can all remain professional we will be happy to listen, wont we Daray?”

 

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Daray was almost visibly shaking with anger when Lana stopped. It was obvious to anyone looking that it would take no effort what-so-ever to convince her to throw Tor off the platform, into the shaft. She stopped as well, trying to keep a calm face as she turned to watch the interaction.

 

Tor leered at Lana, running a hand through his filthy hair as he stared at her. “The pair of you look like working girls to me. I’ll take you for your 2k plus a roll in the sheets.”

 

Daray instantly took a step toward him, raising her right hand, intending to punch him in the nose.

 

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Lana puts her hand calmingly on Daray’s shoulder.  She raises a skeptical eyebrow and looks over Daray’s frumpy clothing and her own masculine shirt and simple black pants and grey boots.  

 

“I’m not certain what places you frequent captain, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a news reel or an add vid that had working girls that were dressed like we are.    Judging by the condition of your ship, she has been flown successfully for many years which means you are obviously a competent captain.  We came here because your ship was the most convenient for our schedule and had been told that you were a competent pilot. But I would rather deal with someone who is professional and use up a few extra days than deal with someone who makes accusations that by many would be considered insulting.  2K is a very reasonable offer for the distance we wish to travel; in fact I believe Daray has offered more than the usual amount due to the unfortunate circumstance of your previous altercation.  Now if you are not interested in a reasonable bartering session we will not waste any more of your valuable time.”

 

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Tor’s leer turned into an outright grin as he listened to Lana’s words, then he shook his head with a triumphant air. “No. You won’t be taking any other boats out of here. I know this because, as you say, I’m a competent Captain, and any competent Captain would be well advised to keep up on events.” He pointed accusingly at Daray then and continued. “See, I saw her picture come up on the net this morning. Something about breaking into an Aegis facility wasn’t it?”

 

Then he shifted his gaze to Lana, drinking her in and licking his lips again. “And you, little one… Your name came up this afternoon for harboring a fugitive from the law, and sympathizing with Dissidents.”

 

He grinned from ear to ear, planting his hands on his hips triumphantly as he reveled in his own grandeur. 

 

Daray nearly took a swing at him, but Lana’s hand still resting on her shoulder seemed to calm her just enough to prevent it. Instead, she turned to stalk off, then stopped in her tracks as she saw a contingent of armed soldiers moving across the docks, heading in their direction.

 

“Shit.” She breathed under her breath. ‘APRIL, tell me there isn’t an APB on us.’

 

-I removed any images of you shortly after they were posted this morning, however, Lana is wanted, and a computer-generated image of you has appeared on the net in the last 90 minutes.-

 

‘So, there is an APB out on us.’

 

-Yes Daray. And there are several other contingents of soldiers entering the docks at various entry points.-

 

“Shit.” She swore again as she turned back around to face Lana. Leaning in to her friend’s side a little she whispered, “We’re in trouble. There’s warrants out for both of us, and soldiers are pouring onto the docks. We’re running out of options here.”

 

“So, what’s it going to be ladies?” Tor asked with a triumphant tone.

 

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“¡Hijo de un chacal sin madre!”  Lana swears under her breath, in Spanish this time. “I hate wasting breath with things that won’t work.”  She holds out her hand.  “I need a recording device, Now!”

 

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-Son of a motherless Jackal.- APRIL translated.

 

“Um. I can record.” Daray replies as she listens to APRIL’s translation. Then she blushes furiously as a thought occurs to her. “Look Lana. There is no way in hell I am sleeping with that guy. I don’t think I’m really ready to sleep with ~any~ guy, but I’m certain that when I am, Tor will never be on the list of candidates. But…”

 

She pauses as if she’s gathering her strength for a huge leap. “...he seems like the kind of guy who’d be OK with…” She sighed heavily and dropped her eyes to the metal floor, “watching…”

 

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Lana shoots Daray a look that clearly says she wasn’t stupid. “Fine Tor, my counter offer is this.  For safe and prompt passage to Mars station with all standard services including fresh or legally packaged meals and private sleeping quarters we will offer 2k of platinum bars and either one roll in the sheets, as you put it, with me and only me, lasting no longer than an hour of standard Earth time.  Prior to that hour you will bath and all services to be rendered will fall under the normal allowed services at any licensed brothel within the conglomerate.  Or if you prefer you can watch Daray and me for the same standard of time but will not participate in any activates that we take part in.”  Lana points to the soldiers that are across the dock.  “Think quickly because I will happily make that same offer to one of the soldiers down there knowing that at least he will keep to the military standard of cleanliness.”

 

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Daray withered a bit under Lana’s look, not even sure if what she had just offered, was something she could ever do. But it was certainly preferable to any sort of physical contact involving Tor, excepting maybe a good beating. As Lana described in words, the physical acts that were being proposed, using such clinical terms and conditions, she began to feel as if she was shrinking away into nothing. without realizing it, she suddenly found herself hugging her arms about her body tightly.

 

For his part, Tor was eyeing them both hungrily, licking his lips and glancing back and forth between them. It took several long minutes before he finally nodded at Lana and said, “Yeah, alright. Much as I’d like to get into her pants,” he pointed at Daray, which caused her to shrink even more, “it looks like she might actually get into it with you. It’s funny, I never imagined I’d see the likes of her all folded in on herself and mousy like that.”

 

He pointed at her again and grinned. “Right. You better get on board before those soldiers get over here.”

 

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Lana grabs Daray’s shoulder, not liking the hurt and lost expression that she has on her face but seeing no way out of it at this point.  She hurries onto the ship, pulling Daray along behind her and quickly gets out of Tor’s way so that the ship can take off.  Once the door is closed and Tor is out of earshot she looks back at Daray apologetically.  “I wish you hadn’t mentioned that, I had to include it as on offer once you had spoken it but I probably could have bartered him down to just me. Although I would have ended up having to give him more than an hour.”  She thinks for a moment and then offers, “I still can try if you prefer.”

 

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‘The End’ is not any prettier inside than it is outside. They enter through a narrow stairway underneath it that leads into a circular hallway running around the ship’s interior. The outside wall of the hallway is connected to a series of doors that lead to the various quarters, the galley, heads, the bridge, and the engine room. There are two doors on the inner wall of the hallway, on the extreme east and west points of the circle, that lead into the cargo hold that occupies the center of the ship. The cargo hold, bridge, and engine room doors are all locked securely, and Tor informs the pair in no uncertain terms that they are all strictly off limits before he moves to the bridge to launch the ship.

 

The interior of the ship is dark, gloomy, claustrophobic, and cluttered with every kind of discarded junk imaginable. The pair find themselves in a tiny cabin with equally tiny bunks along one wall and the floor littered with more discarded junk, trash, and soiled laundry.

 

Daray swept all of the garbage from the upper bunk and  sprung up onto it, dangling her feet off the edge with her shoulders slumped forward and her face cradled in her hands as Lana admonished her.

 

“I know.” She replied, speaking through her hands. “I panicked. I just kept getting these images of my first time being with that slimy bastard. I didn’t know what to do. Then you started actually considering it and I suddenly got a bunch of images in my head of him and you! I couldn’t let you go through that!” If such a thing were possible, Daray seemed to get even smaller as the weight of the situation pressed in on her. “Oh god. Why couldn’t have been a fight to the death, or a run through the gauntlet? Why this?”

 

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Lana eyes the room with disgust.  Her first impulse is to begin cleaning at least their quarters so that the trip will be tolerable but she doesn't want Daray spending the whole trip suffering in depression like she seems to be right now.  She first locks the door before making her way fully into the room.  She starts to clear off the lower bunk but she changes her mind and climbs up onto its edge like a step stool, nudging Daray's knees apart so the she can stand between them and directly in front of her. She braces her hands on Daray's legs to keep from falling backward and makes the other woman look at her.  

 

Lana gives Daray a comforting smile. “It's alright.  At least anything with him will be better then with one or more of the soldiers.  We have him on record agreeing to the galactic standard disclaimer for this type of transaction.  Especially if you always have the ability to record what goes on around you he's in a pretty tight contract.  Which I wouldn't have had with the soldiers. Unfortunately it binds us as well.”  

 

Lana reaches up to run her fingers lightly across Daray's cheek.  She begins to speak softly and earnestly, the Italian language spilling from her lips like a seductive caress against Daray's ears.  “Avete tali bei pelle ed occhi. Sto andando provare ora a sedurrlo. Voglio la nostra prima volta insieme essere qualcosa che vogliate e non qualcosa che dobbiamo ripartire con qualcuno come lui. Perdonilo.”

 

Lana uses all of her talents; her empathy, her read aura and every ounce of skill she has ever learned over the many years to coax Daray's lips down to hers.  Her other hand slides up Daray's leg and hip until she can warp her arm around Daray's waist and rest her hand against her back where her hips meet her spine. 

 

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Daray is so lost in her own misery and confusion that she barely hears Lana's words. But when her friend steps up to her, perched on the edge of the lower bunk and pressing her body between her legs, she almost shrinks away. She's stopped by the fact that the narrow bunk affords her almost nowhere to go, but a moment later the soft caress of her fingers along her cheek cause a welling up of emotion in her. She finds herself leaning into the caress's gentle but purposed contact and lets a faint whimper loose from her lips.

 

Her eyes lock on Lana's as the taller woman's perfect face grows nearer and nearer, and her warm breath can be felt all across the skin of Daray's face. When she speaks in Italian, APRIL is quick to translate, -You have such beautiful skin and eyes. I'm going to try now to sedurrlo. I want our first time together to be something you want and not something that we share with someone like him. Perdonilo. I apologize Daray but my database seems to be missing a few key words from this language.-

 

'I think I've got this one figured out APRIL.'

 

As they come together, arcs of electricity shoot up and down her spine and make her tremble all over from the sheer tenderness and silken feel of Lana's skillful lips. Her hand pressing on the small of Daray's back sends a wash of heat through her body that merges with the electric fire in her spine and lights up her nerves. Her strawberry hair drapes down on either side of her face, shrouding their kiss in half-darkness and creating a world all their own for them to enjoy themselves in.

 

Her veins pound out a staccato rhythm in her chest and head as their tongues meet and she finds her arms mysteriously wrapped around Lana's back, pulling her up against her own body and pressing their breasts together again. Her mind begins to go fuzzy, washing out the rest of the world and all of their problems as their bodies feel like they are becoming one.

 

"I KNEW you two were hot for each other!" Tor's harsh voice came over an intercom in the cabin, shattering the room and instantly causing Daray's entire body to tense with anger. She doesn't even seem aware of the fact that she's bitten off a large portion of her own tongue and left it in Lana's mouth as she sits bolt upright, raises her left arm and fires several blasts of some sort of energy from her forearm into the wall. 

 

"Go ammi or!! Op whing uhh!!" Her mal-formed words don't even seem to register with her as she watches showers of sparks cascade from the destroyed monitoring equipment on the wall.

 

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Lana relaxes into the kiss, letting Daray set the pace that she is comfortable with but still urging her one step at a time to go further.  She sighs into the silken heat of her Daray's mouth.  Electricity sparks through her veins when Daray grips her and pulls her closer and she leans happily into her embrace.  The hand that had been caressing Daray's cheek slipped to her shoulder and would have traveled lower to her breast next had Tor's voice not interrupted them.  She startles at the sound of Tor's voice but does not withdraw until the she tastes the blood from Daray's severed tongue in her mouth.  She leans back, concern in her eyes as she quickly fishes the bit of flesh out of her mouth with her fingers.

 

Once she has determined that physical injury is not going to be the biggest trouble from this event she turns to where she assumes the camera must be.  “Captain Tor.  The agreement that we reached is for a private room.  If you continue to intrude I will have to deduct this time from your payment as having already been satisfied.” 


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