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Status Quo - Chapter 36

Written by: Paullell

 Lana doesn’t even notice Raoul’s roughness.  Her focus is taken up by the pounding on the door.  She tries to stop him when he goes to set her aside.  She had wanted the police to barge in and catch them in the act but he doesn’t notice her attempt to grab him.  She adapts quickly and calls out with a heavy Spanish accent, slurred as though she had been drinking.  “Bebé, where you going?”

 

“Chica, there is someone at the door.”

 

“It’s next door, Bebe…” She starts to say when the soldiers burst through the door.  She shrieks just as April’s voice comes through her earpiece.  It’s all she can do to keep from smiling at the news that April is speaking to Daray again.  She throws herself into the role even more thoroughly knowing that Daray’s safety depends on how well she can distract the police.  “Policia!”  She throws her arms around herself as if trying to cover her nakedness.  “What the hell Raoul?  What did you do?” 

 

Raoul looks at her like she’s insane.  “Me?  What the hell did you do?  Probably shaking your inútil ass out on the corner again without a license.  You can take her guys.  I don’t want no trouble with the policía ”

 

Lana pretends to try to stand at that point but she makes herself stumble drunkenly and falls back on the cushion, her arms and tail seemingly flailing wildly and exposing her again to the soldiers view before she grabs her tail and pulls it in front of her body; all the while she is sputtering and streaking loudly like a fishwife.  “How dare you call me a puta, híbrido!  I should go tell your prometido all about us.  Eh Raoul?  How would the little fiancé like to know how you can’t keep it in your pants?  Think your abuela would be so proud of you then?”

 

Emil takes this moment to follow behind the soldier.  He takes in his brother and Lana’s nakedness and reacts like a typical teenage boy.  “Eh hermano!  Nice tits on that one. If you all done with the puta can I have a turn?”  He waggles his eyebrows at Lana, a big goofy grin on his face

 

Lana shrieks with fury and throws a pillow at Raoul badly.  “That’s it! Where did you throw my clothes?” She kneels up and leans over the back of the couch, exposing her rear to the room and pretending to search for the aforementioned abandoned clothes.  

 

The three had held their very vocal argument so fast and so loudly the soldiers would have not had a chance to butt in edgewise even if they had wanted to. Raoul turns to his brother and grows at him. “Yo, pequeño hermano.. Take your damn snacks to your room and don’t come back out.  We’ll talk later about you skipping school again.  He then finally turns his attention back to the soldiers and he winks at them conspiratorially as he catches one or two of them admiring Lana’s exposed ass.  He speaks softly, as though trying not to be overheard.  “She’s an estúpido perra.  But boys, that don’t mean a thing when your pumping away into a hot ass like that.. Eh?  Your timing stinks.”

 

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Daray can hear the commotion going on in the other room, but her arms and legs still won’t obey her commands. She can fell them, in as much as she can tell that they are there and whole, but they won’t move. She wants desperately to rush into the next room and rescue Lana from what is happening, although a voice in her head tells her that things are well in hand. Lana seems to have an excellent command of how to get people thinking about things other than they should be.

 

‘APRIL, I can’t move.’

 

-I am aware of your immobility Daray. My apologies. I did not want you to awake with a start.-

 

‘You are doing this?’

 

-I am.-

 

‘How? I thought you said you couldn’t control my body at all!’ Panic was seeping into her mind as the realization settled in on her that APRIL could seriously affect her mobility in such a way.

 

-My ability to control the X-07 Bio-Mechanical Skinsuit allows me to restrict your movement, but only when you are not consciously able to prevent it. Such as when you are unconscious, or otherwise not in complete control of your faculties.-

 

‘When else am I not in control of my faculties? And why can’t I get free now that I’m awake?’

 

-You seem to loose conscious control of yourself during particularly energetic acts of copulation. You can not get free now because I took control while you were unconscious. It would seem that I can hold on after you become aware, although I have never been able to initiate such gross control while you were already awake and in control.-

 

For their part, the soldiers seem to loose interest almost entirely in their original purpose for being there. Especially when Lana gets on her hands and knees, presenting herself to the room with her tail in the air like a curious cat’s. 

 

“We’re er… Sorry for the interruption. We’re searching local residences for any people or information associated with the explosion in the building across the street.” The speaking soldier eyes Lana’s ass appreciatively before continuing, raising an appreciative eyebrow behind his helmet’s faceplate. “I uh. Don’t suppose you were in a position to notice anything unusual going on?”

 

The other soldiers make a sort of minimal attempt to fan out into the house and search, without getting out of sight of Lana’s nakedness.

 

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Raoul nods as he watches Lana search around the couch.  “Is that what that noise was?  Nah, sorry sir.  We were here.  I heard it but I was a little preoccupied, if you catch my drift.  Have you checked out the local gangs?  We got los Diablos in this area and the Lobos Negros.  They’ve been talking about going to war for a while, but you didn’t hear it from me.”

 

Lana is well aware of the soldiers ogling her body and she maintains the drunken swaying that she has affected earlier.  Emil picks up the bag of protein bars and water and carries them into his bedroom.  He drops the bag on his dresser before flopping down on his bed and pulling out a lewd magazine.  He doesn’t even realize that his weigh makes the box springs bow until they are only an inch from Daray’s nose because he is not aware where his brother stashed her and even if he did, he would still assume she was just a dead body.

 

Lana finally picks up Raoul’s shirt and attempts to put it on.  While she fumbles with the shirt she makes doe eyes at one of the soldiers.  “Eh hermoso.  You see how mi novio treat me?  Want to take me home?  Big strong hombre like you. You show Nina a good time sí?

 

Raoul glowers at Lana’s flirting with the soldier, he turns back to the one he had been speaking with.  “I have to go take care of her.  You search where you want. Try Emil’s room. Mi hermano’s so messy it smell like body died in there, little brothers.. am I right?”  He makes the comment in an offhanded and negligent manner and then goes over to where Lana is primping for the soldier.  “Eh Nina, you know I didn’t mean it. You’re my girl.  Mi ángel hermoso.” He leans in and starts to nuzzle at her neck.  She sniffs and turns away from him although she still hasn’t managed to fasten any of the buttons on his shirt.  He pulls her back against him and pins her body to him so that her back is pressed to his front and her arms are pinned in such a way that she can’t close the gaping shirt.  He reaches around with one hand and slips it into the shirt to fondle her breast, ignoring the soldiers completely. 

 

Lana moans like a cat in heat and spreads her knees a bit further apart on the couch.  Her eyes narrow though and she hisses in response.  “You think I let you touch me after that?  You loco.”

 

“Ah, Babe.  I was stressed.  You got me all hot and then we was interrupted before I could tell you.  I ended mi contrato.  I’m free to be yours.”

 

Lana’s eyes got wide as she forced a delighted grin across her face and immediately stopped struggling.  He let her go then and she turned and threw herself against him and kissed  him passionately.  When she finally comes up for air she looks around at the solders.  “Why you still here?  How long it take to search little two bed room apartamento?”

 

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The soldiers mill about for as long as they seem to think they can get away with before their leader calls them off and they filter out of the apartment, craning their necks for one last view of the inebriated, half-naked woman.

 

“Pardon out interruption sir, everything seems to be in order here.” The man grins as he backs out the door and closes the panel behind him. The troops can then be heard hooting and hollering as they move off down the hall, offering commentary on what a fine piece of ass that vato had scored.

 

Daray heard the dull hubub murmuring around and then dissipating, the reality of not knowing what was happening started to get the better of her. She actually starts hyperventilating as she imagines the worst. Straining against her own skin to break free of her immobility. Her panting and grunting is quickly noticed by Emil who rolls of his bed and begins poking through the debris that had been piled up around her.

 

“¡Mierda! Hay un zombi debajo de mi cama!” He screams, bashing his head against the bed frame as he tries to scramble out from under the furniture in a panic.

 

“Let me go APRIL…” She grunts as she pushes against her immobile limbs with all her strength. Finally, her bonds release and her limbs lash out, scattering objects around the room with a crash. She rolls over and starts clawing her way out from beneath the bed, which only serves to further Emil’s panic.

 

“Hermano, viene después de mí! El infierno demonio viene detrás de mí!” The fear of seeing Daray come back to life after watching Lana remove chunks of rebar from her skull and body is obviously too much for him to process. 

 

“Lana! Where is she? Who are you?” Daray’s eyes lock on the boy and her claws peel out of the sheathes in her fingertips to help her find purchase in the carpet and drag herself out from under the bed faster, which only adds to the boy’s panic as he scrambles backward, on his haunches, into a corner, yelling incoherently about el diablo.

 

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Tor hadn’t been difficult to find, and upon seeing Bob approach, he’d almost instantly given in to his demands. Now, the ex-soldier found himself winging toward Mars in the pitiful little vessel that had been saddled with the rather unfortunate nom de guerre ‘The End’.

 

Chet had been good enough to provide the address of a hacker in Hector who he was going to see about the two most important women in his life. The women he was going to kill. After he took payment for his own pain and suffering out of their hides of course…

 

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Lana relaxes as she hears the soldiers retreating down the hallway.  She looks hesitantly at Raoul who is still holding her pressed against his chest.  She blushes a little bit before finally stammering out.  “Thank you so much.  You rolled with that really well, you should be an actor.”

 

She has no idea what he might have said in response because at that minute they hear Emil’s screaming.  Lana is across the room and through the door before she is entirely certain how she managed to extract herself from Raoul.  She throws herself on the teenager, her hand wrapping around his mouth to muffle his screams and she prays that the soldiers didn’t hear.   She looks across the room to Daray clawing her way out of the bed and smiles as she chides the youngster.  “Emil, I told you she wasn’t dead.  Shut up before you bring the soldiers back.”

 

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Raoul rushes into the room behind Lana and quickly moves himself between Daray and the other two, eyeing her suspiciously. “She don’t look too dead to me hermano. You didn’t get hit by a chunk of that building when it went up did you?”

 

“Lana! Are you OK? What happened to your clothes? Did they hurt you?!” Daray pulls herself to a crouching position, the spots on her forearms glowing brightly as she narrows her eyes at Raoul, ready to strike.

 

-Calm yourself Daray, let her explain.-

 

“That punta was muerte, hermano! She had a metal bar jammed through her cráneo!” Emil mumbles through Lana’s hand. He is obviously very upset about the situation and shows no signs of calming down, which only seems to raise Daray’s hackles as she stands up and places an open palm on Raoul’s chest, raising her other arm and pointing her fist at him, glowing spots crackling with energy.

 

“What did you do to her?!” Suddenly her limbs seem to stiffen, although she is still growling at Raoul, which quickly changes to a general frustration at not being able to move again.

 

-Lana, I can not stop her from firing on them.- APRIL adds in a rather fevered tone for a computer.

 

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On the inhaled breath to answer Daray’s first questions, Emil’s struggles hit her I the solar plexus and the breath is knocked out of her.  Raoul’s standing between them is not helping.  She gives Emil a shake and gasps for breath.  “Stop it.  Everyone stop it right now!”  She shakes Emil one last time and then lets him go.  “For the last time… She wasn’t dead and I told you that.”  She wraps the shirt around her body and steps around Raoul, pushing him out of the way.  She puts herself in front of the fist that is starting to glow and reaches out to rub Daray’s arms.  

 

“Daray, calm down.  I had to undress because the soldiers were coming too fast and my bodysuit was covered with blood and debris.  I used my body to distract the soldiers so that they didn’t search the apartment thoroughly, Raoul and his brother helped hide us at great risk to themselves.”  Lana looks around the room briefly and spots the forgotten bag of bars and water.  “Ah ha.  Your protein bars are right behind you.  Why don’t you sit down and start in on them I know how depleted you are after healing.”

 

Lana looks back at the brothers and tries to offer a calming smile to them.  “She’s not quite herself until she eats.  Please don’t worry she wont hurt either of you.”

 

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Daray’s face softens a bit as Lana begins to take command of the situation. The instant she steps in front of her, the glowing begins to abate, and at first contact with her, Daray suddenly slumps against Lana, panting and shivering.

 

“I’m sorry. I just… I heard some of what was… and the soldiers… then you were naked and I feared the worst…” She looks at Emil and Raoul for a moment as she hangs on Lana, then slumps further, crumpling into a heap on the floor and leaning against the disheveled bed. “I’m sorry. Thank you both…”

 

She eyes the food and reaches out a slightly trembling hand to drag the bag toward her. It takes her a few tries to finally get one of the protein bars out of the bag, then several more to open it. Finally, she resorts to tearing into the packaging with a claw, then descending on the poor thing like a ravenous animal.

 

“OK then. Well, I”m going to go get dressed. Emil, why don’t you come help me in the kitchen and we can leave these two to plot their harrowing escape.” Raoul comments as he slides out of the room, careful to grab his brother by the collar and drag him along. “I know you chikas are paying us, and you seem nice enough and all, but if you could vamonose as quickly as possible, I would take it as a kindness.”

 

He disappears before anyone can respond, and can be heard whispering in harsh tones to his brother as he rummages through a drawer or two in the next room.

 

Daray eats easily twenty of the bars before she finally slows down and looks as if she may actually be chewing her food. She also takes a moment to look around the room and get an idea of her surroundings. 

 

“I’m sorry Lana. I panicked… I…” She rubs the back of her head idly. “I’ve got a splitting headache.” Taking her hand away she looks at it and rolls her eyes at the sight of the drying blood. “This is becoming a bad habit.”

 

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Lana happily holds and rocks Daray in her arms until Daray reaches for the food.  She nods at Raoul’s parting words.  “I understand… Thank you.”  Lana watches as she eats, looking for a more healthy pallor to return to Daray’s face.  Finally satisfied she gets up and rummages in the closet until she can pull out the backpack.  She grabs out eight more platinum bars to add to the two she had given to Raoul earlier brining the total she had given away today to 14.  She walks back out into the main room and retrieves her bodysuit and jacket and leaves the bars in their place on the couch.  She can hear the brothers talking in the kitchen but she does not intrude.

 

Once back in the room with Daray, Lana quickly dresses again.  She nods as she listens to Daray, wincing when she pulls away the dried blood from the back of her head.  She is wrestling with the choice between continuing on their investigation or giving up and just taking a different identity.  Lana doesn’t want to abandon her look which is so similar to her mother but she can’t bear to see Daray hurt any more on her behalf.  She walks over and gives Daray a hug.  “We should get going.  There is a chance the solders will come back when they find the incriminating blood in the attic.”

 

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“Yeah. You’re right. Do you think we can trust these two to stay quiet about us after we’re gone?” She stands up, the skinsuit shifting and writhing around her body again to form into a new outfit, similar to Lana’s.

 

“APRIL, can you get a line on where the soldiers are out there?”

 

-Sensors in this structure are limited Daray. I can tell you that there are eighteen armed soldiers in the street, with two heavy VTOLs and the rescue crew. However, my visibility within this structure is essentially zero. Acoustic analysis indicates that they headed toward the roof level ten minutes ago and have not, as yet, returned.-

 

“Great. Maybe we should look for aback door…” She turns to Lana and offers a quirky smile. “So, how are you doing? Not too roughed up I hope?”

 

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Lana carefully considers her words.  “To a certain point.  They will not volunteer any information but if trapped they will turn us over rather than get in trouble themselves.”  

 

She listens calmly to April and Daray discuss their options and bends her injured wrist experimentally at Daray’s question. It twinges and she winces with pain.  She does her best to hide her reaction, not wanting her injury to slow them down or worry Daray excessively. “I twisted my wrist a little in the fall but I should be alright.  Do you think there might be a fire escape?”  She adds as she tries to contribute to the conversation at hand.

 

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Daray eyes Lana seriously as she rolls her wrist about. She sees that something is not right, especially with the sharp intake of breath and stern face that accompany the action, but she trusts Lana to say when enough is enough, although it causes her some pain and discomfort of her own just to see Lana in pain and discomfort.

 

“Maybe we should tie them up or something. That way if the law-dogs come back, these kids can plead kidnapping or something…” nodding to Lana at the suggestion of a fire escape, she moves to the bedroom window and peeks out, looking down while exposing as little of herself as possible through the transparent pane.

 

“Good call Lana. Looks like there is a fire escape, and I don’t see anyone behind the building. I think we’ll make a proper scoundrel out of you yet lady!”

 

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Lana shakes her head.  “No, lets not do that.  Once we are gone there shouldn't be anything else here to link us to them.  I don't want to leave them like that after they helped so much.”  

 

Lana blushes at Daray’s compliment.  “A scoundrel, is that what we are making me into?”  She gathers up the backpack and hands it to Daray knowing the other woman will be able to carry its weight more easily.  

 

She looks out the window and gauges how high up they are.  Her eyes cross a little and the tip of her tail twitches with nervousness but she forces herself not to tense.  She breaths out one calming breath and nods before prompting.  “Ok, open it.  Lets get going.”


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