Dion asks Bronwen and Mac for help in rescuing Ceri after she’s discovered and captured by Morgan’s men.
Ma Hessing: She looks mighty fine, sweetie. *She kissed his cheek and then threw her arms around Fa Hessing!* And you haven’t gotten rusty at all, have you, love?
Fa Hessing: Aye. *He muttered out with his usual gruffy growl. The ship did look like a nice piece of work! Probably one of his best!*
Duncan: *His cheeks went red!* Ma … *He got himself together.* But yeah, we did a great job on the Briar Rose. It’s a good thing Cassius installed that engine from McRaven!
Ma Hessing: Oh that old engine. I had to torque things a bit. Just because it’s new and such doesn’t mean you can’t make it better.
Duncan: MA! *He winced.* Just how many things did you … torque? *He asked slowly. He was already pretty sure he wouldn’t like the answer!*
Ma Hessing: *She blinked and turned to look at Duncan!* … Oh, Duncan. You worry too much. Your Fa and I are just looking out for your welfare and those of your crew-mates.
Fa Hessing: *Fa snorted loudly, but his cheeks were good and red! He only grumbled as he crossed his arms over his chest!*
Ma Hessing: *She gave Bronwen a cat-like grin.* Ah, the cannon. It reminds me of the time Fa stuffed me into one and tried to blow me into the icy, deep, soul-sucking, never ending emptiness of space.
Duncan: *He grinned sheepishly.* Sorry. *He mumbled under his breath. He didn’t seem surprised to hear that coming from his Ma about being stuffed into a cannon!*
Dion: That couldn’t possibly be true. *There was Dion, as if he had appeared out of no where… and he didn’t look too happy!*
Dion: *He was frowning.* Do we want to start where I found out there’s a leak with those galactic officials, the part where my girlfriend got herself captured, or my favorite; a planned public execution?
Duncan: *He blinked!* Oh crap … Wait, Ceri isn’t a secretary somewhere?
Tiny, in large form, grabbed another basket from Ma Hessing and was already getting on board!
Dion: *Dion gave a wry smile as he rubbed the back of his head.* No, Duncan… I’m afraid not.
Duncan: *His mouth kept opening and closing, like a fish out of water!* Bu … Wha … Huh … She …
Dion: They don’t know. Rescuing someone isn’t exactly Aaron’s strong suit. That, I believe, is yours. …are you going to give me a hand?
Ma Hessing: *She smiled and waved.* Have fun, kids. And be safe.
Tiny put the basket in the cargo hold and prepared for what could be a rocky take off!
Duncan: *He blinked! This made no sense to him whatsoever! Ceri was the most normal girl he’d ever known! She didn’t do stuff like this! … Did she?*
Dion: *With a sigh of relief, Dion wasn’t wasting no time getting his ass on the ship!* It’s a space station off Corasoa. And damned likely to be a trap. The whole thing was practically broadcasted across the damned galaxy.
Duncan: *SMACK! His head whipped to one side and he rubbed his cheek. But he finally nodded!* Yeah. Got it. Thanks. *He started the ship as Mac sat down.* Okay, everyone, buckle up!
3 … 2 … 1 … BLAST OFF! The ship took off, headed for Corasoa Space Station!
Dion: *Duncan was lucky enough to find himself a seat before getting flung to the back!* Pretty damned resourceful, I have to admit. Didn’t think you’d already have a ship when I showed up.
Duncan: We should be there pretty soon. *He looked over his shoulder at Dion and beamed!* It’s the Briar Rose. My own fine ship. We found her and fixed her up.
Dion: …Basket? *…Dion decided to save that question for later!* Look Brownie, I didn’t agree with Aaron’s choices and I’m pretty damned sure Bree didn’t either. But it ain’t likely either of us would have made much a difference.
Tiny was there, curled up around the basket in its large form, sleeping!
It woke up and lifted its head when Mac came in!
Duncan: *Checking the engine, the filters, everything! He should probably leave Dion and the captain alone but … he was the pilot. He had to stay at hand in case something happened!*
Tiny sniffed the jerky and then ate it! It shrunk into its small form and left Mac alone with the basket, finding its way into the control room to curl up on Mac’s vacant chair!
Dion: …compliments and cash. *At least that was confirmation that he was forgiven. …enough to wear he wasn’t going to have to worry about her kicking him off the ship, or worse… sicking MacBeth on him!* Well, my charming, brilliant sister… I hope you like compliments the best, I used the last of my cash to get us security passes for that space station.
Duncan: *He glanced over his shoulder!* Wow, security passes. Uh … Speaking of which, we’re almost there, Captain.
Duncan: *He was watching Tiny chew on the bone.* It’s too bad we can’t have Tiny just sniff Ceri out. I bet Tiny’s got one hell of a nose.
Dion: *Dion was getting out of his seat and pulling some datapads out of his back pocket, as he cast a quick look at Tiny!* …if Tiny COULD sniff out Ceri, and Brownie pulled one of her ‘big bangs’, how fast do you think we could make it out of there?
Duncan: Thanks. *He told Dion as he took the codes.* So, Tiny, is your nose up to it?
“Greeoww! Greeoww!” mewed Tiny!
Dion: That’s not going to be a problem. I want Ceri out of there as fast as possible, if I have to strap a rocket to my rear to get there. *And damned if he wasn’t serious. If Cassius were on board he’d have a jetpack!*
Duncan: *He looked up as the space station came into view.* So … our usual Duncan-stays-everyone-else-goes routine?
Duncan: *He scratched his head.* I don’t know. Then again … there’s lots of things I don’t know about Ma and Fa Hessing. *He was starting to think all the bedtime stories she told him as a child were true after all!*
Dion: Good to know. *He didn’t hesitate to get up, allowing Bronwen to lead the way to this mystical “basket” they keep talking about!*
The basket was right where Tiny had placed it! There were a few boxes stacked on either side of the basket already. One side was food. The other side was everything else!
Duncan: *Meanwhile the Briar Rose had been hailed by the space station! The security passes were accepted! He flicked on the intercom.* Alright. So they accepted those security codes. We’re about to dock.
Dion: *That basket didn’t look anything special. But he was more concerned with armoring up! He wasn’t about to get himself shot on this rescue mission, not with Ceri at risk! And then when he got her, he was probably going to yell at her for a few hours while he made sure she was in one piece!* All suited, Captain. *…complete with one nasty gun.*
Up front, with some tinkering on Duncan’s part, a screen appeared showing a large crowd gathered in front of a stage. Someone off screen announced, “Ladies, gentlemen of all shapes, sizes and colors! We’re here to witness a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime event! A public execution of a traitor and the worst kind!” There was no picture of Ceri but the crowd was getting wild!
Duncan: … Holy crap. *Morgan spared no expense! He was beginning to worry a bit as he docked and the ship parked but … he was going to handle it fine. Just fine!*
Duncan: *A sheepish grin!* Thanks, Mac. *He turned to Tiny.* Okay, Tiny, it’s up to you to find where Ceri is. I know you can do it. *He gave Tiny one last scratch behind the ears for good luck!*
Dion: *A slow deep breath.* All right then. Lead the way. Just make sure I don’t have to come rescue you too.
“Greeoww! Greeoww!” Tiny was in small form and as soon as the door opened, it ran down, stopped and sniffed the air. It turned its head one way and then another. And then it ran off down the corridor at their left!
*after getting something Ceri had touched from Dion to sniff!
Dion: *Fuzzy critter was fast, but Dion was on his heels in an instant with that gun ready to shoot down anyone that met in the halls!*
Security was light but there were always a few guards about! The first few guards Dion met were caught unawares, in the middle of taking a smoke!
Bronwen found a few guards as well! Man, they really wish they could have gone to that public execution!
Dion: *Dion didn’t even stop in the halls when he ran in to someone. A few quick shots was all it took as he darted after Tiny down the corridors!*
As Bronwen drew closer to the arena where everyone was gathered, the noises of the crowd were getting louder! She approached the first pair of doors that led inside the arena! There were a total of sixteen pairs of doors down the hall, all leading into a different seating section!
Tiny skidded to a halt in front of a door at the end of the hall. The door was marked “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY!” but all Tiny could do was scratch at the door! Unfortunately it was a door with another DNA signature lock, so only Morgan and her trusted goons could come and go without setting off a nasty alarm!
Down below, four guards and a man in a suit stopped in front of one of the cells. Unlike the others, this one was occupied! The man in the suit smirked down at the woman in the black uniform now stained and torn in many places. “Show time, love,” he sneered. He used his handprint to open the door and gestured for the guards to grab her!
The guy looked at the grenade for a bit. No one ever expects someone to hand them a grenade in the middle of a busy crowd! When he finally realized what it was, he swore and tried to throw it but it blew up before it left his hand! BOOM!
Dion: Never makes this easy does she? *He couldn’t shoot the damned thing out but… Ah ha! He had MacBeth!* Hey, magic hands, I think this one is for you.
Ceri: *Hands cuffed behind her back, her wrists were raw, her lip was bleeding, she had nasty bruises and don’t even get her thinking about those nasty lashes on her back! She clenched her teeth as they grabbed her arms and pulled her up! She stared at the monster in front of her. Oh, if only half the people who thought they knew him really knew who he was.*
BEEP! The lock glowed green and there was a CLICK! of the door! As soon as Dion had opened it, Tiny scurried into the elevator and scratched at the lowest floor’s button!
There were shouts of “Where?!” and “A Shadowstar!” all over the place! The guy Bronwen gave the grenades to panicked and threw them into the air! They blew up in mid-air! BBBBOOOOMM BBBBBOOOOMM!!
Dion: *In to the Elevator he went, and he might have grinned if it weren’t HIS woman they were after! This wasn’t going near fast enough for him!*
Henrik smiled. “Smile. You’re about to be a celebrity.”
Ceri: … You are disgusting. *She replied, wishing she could spit in his face. Then again, he’d probably get a kick out of that! She was suddenly dragged toward the elevator when Henrik tilted his head to it.*
The elevator stopped! Tiny streaked out, to the left! They’d been running for awhile when there were shouts “Hey, what the hell is that!” and “Shoot it!” Henrik grabbed Ceri as the four guards rushed between them and the rescue party.
All eyes would have been on her … if everyone hadn’t been too busy, panicking to notice! The guards around the arena were pushing down everyone and going for Bronwen!
Dion: Devour and conquer! *Dion shouted to Tiny! His own gun was raised and he was firing without mercy! And with his armor on, he had no damned problem rushing in at them!*
“Greeoww! Greeoww!” went Tiny. It was here. That scent was here! It was too small and quick for it to be hit by the soldiers’ shots!
Tiny morphed into its larger form and tackled the last guard to the ground! The guard was yelling and trying to shoot at Tiny before the gun was knocked away by a big claw! One guard went down from getting shot by Dion! The other two began to retreat as Henrik began dragging Ceri further, back the way they’d come!
Ceri: *She didn’t think much about the guards shooting at something but she blinked when she heard Dion’s voice! Surely this was a dream!* D–Dion?! *She strained to see him but Henrik had a death grip on her arm and was dragging her away!*
Down went the guard Bronwen hit with the mic! People clapped their hands over their ears but kept running! This wasn’t the type of “entertainment” they had in mind! More guards arrived to fire at Bronwen!
Dion: Ceri, I’d like to apologise for my sister’s language! *He said, gunning down after those other guards! It was that guy holding Ceri he REALLY wanted, but he sure as hell didn’t want to risk a shot at her!*
Ceri: *She was blushing! Even in the middle of a gunfight, he was sweet enough to apologize! She found herself hoisted up with Henrik’s arm around her waist and then she was moved over his shoulder! It must have looked ridiculous as Henrik was a head shorter than she was and looked as thin as a twig! Oh, if only people knew!*
BANG BANG! Those guards went down, one after another. But for a guy with a woman over his shoulder he was moving really fast! He seemed to have disappeared when Dion and Mac found themselves at the end of the corridor! There was no other way out, just the rows of cells on either side of them!
By now, only the guards remained! There was a rapid succession of explosions and seats blowing up!
Dion: *He slowed… last thing they needed was an ambush!* …MacBeth if you can shoot the bastard down and not hit Ceri, I’ll owe you one mighty big favor. *Dion muttered quick… He didn’t trust his own shot, but MacBeth’s..! Once they grab Ceri, he was going to shove a grenade down the guy’s throat!*
Tiny trotted up to them, in large form. It started to sniff around and finally stopped at the last cell on the left!
The shot took down a guard! The others quickly began to scatter and shoot in the direction the shot had come from!
Dion: *Gun aimed, Dion rounded that cell door with a scowl!* End of the line. Let her go and we might not kill you. …painfully.
Henrik was there, holding Ceri against the wall with one hand squeezing her neck! The other was covering her mouth to keep her from giving away their location! He smirked and snorted. “I think I’ll just go ahead and execute the bitch.”
Dion: You don’t want to see what happens if you do that. I can promise it’ll be worse than what Morgan’ll think up for ya. *And he was dead serious. More serious than he’d been his entire life! That trigger finger was itching!*
Ceri: *Henrik had one hell of a grip on her! She finally managed to twist her head slightly and bite down on Henrik’s hand!*
Henirk howled in pain! He glared at Ceri and slammed her against the wall, knocking her unconscious! BANG! One shot of Mac ripped into the arm holding Ceri to the wall! BANG BANG! Two more shots severed his arm entirely and he dropped Ceri!
Dion: *That was enough! Dion was rushing forward, but it wasn’t to catch the girl! He was ramming the muzzle of his gun right in the guy’s mouth and pulling the trigger! Of which later he was going to be worlds glad that Ceri didn’t see!*
SPLAT! Henrik never knew what hit him as Dion pulled the trigger and then his body fell to the ground!
The guards decided to play it smart! They started to fan out. One of them was bound to get the little Shadowstar female and then Morgan would have her public execution!
Dion: *He hit his comlink!* We’ve got Ceri and we’re heading for ship. *Then he moved to take Ceri from MacBeth! Not that he didn’t trust him, but damned if he were EVER going to let her go again!* You cover fire, me carry.
Duncan: *He was beginning to get a little nervous … more nervous than when he’d first felt the space station shaking or heard the panic outside! Staying in the ship while everyone was out on a mission could be nerve whacking!*
Oxymoron, indeed! The guards hadn’t noticed her creeping for one of the doors yet! They were jumping at their own shadows or the slightest noise!
Dion: *That sister of his was something else. He’d be sure to thank her later… and possibly be very VERY afraid of her in the future. With Ceri as his top concern, he rushed back the way the came, heading for the ship!*
Duncan: *He looked up as they came in!* Phew, you guys are here. *He started the ship up but he was going to wait for the captain before taking off!*
Dion: *First thing he did was take Ceri straight to the Infirmary! She looked like hell, and if Bronwen blew up the whole station he’d be pretty damned glad of it!*
Duncan: Aye aye, Captain! *Now he started flicking switches and buttons and took off!*
Duncan: *He blinked! There was no way he could have gotten shot!*
Dion: *Having Ceri in the Infirmary was a bit of a weird predicament, so he was damned happy to see his sister in one piece. He thrust a medkit in to her hands.* Fix her.
Dion: I’m not going anywhere. *He just wasn’t going to mention that he’d like to avoid accidentally killing his girlfriend with those damned things. Dion grabbed a chair and sat it down next to the bed. He at least helped get some of those clothes off Ceri so they get tend those wounds better.*
Ceri: *Bad condition, indeed! They had to get those cuffs off of her and then it took awhile to patch her up! She still hadn’t stirred!*
Dion: A sad greatful puppy. You’re my hero, Brownie. A merciful goddess. A divine angel. The shining light of space that graces us with her ever-
Dion: Thank you, Brownie. *He called after her, with a grin.*
Duncan: *He had set the ship on auto pilot under invisibility cloak and was pampering Tiny!* Who’s the adorable, fuzzy furball? *Petpetpet!*
Ceri: *It seemed like ages before she stirred and began opening her eyes!*
Dion: Ceri… *Dion had been sitting there, watching her carefully… Trying not to give in to that urge of flying off in to a crazy man-killing rage! It’s surprising how pissed off you can get about these things!*
Ceri: *She opened her eyes, still feeling a little groggy. She didn’t know where she was but she was too weak to do much of anything but lie there. When she heard Dion’s voice, she turned her head and opened her eyes a bit more.* … Dion …? *She winced as she started to sit up but couldn’t. She was bandaged up and she was itchy.*
Duncan: *His cheeks went red.* Heh heh. Thanks, Captain. *He looked up and watched as she walked out. Then he went back to giving Tiny much petting!*
“Greeoww! Greeoww!” went Tiny! It looked mighty proud, lying in Duncan’s lap, as majestic as any lion!
Dion: *Don made sure she wasn’t moving anywhere. And as much as he wanted to kiss her, pet her, and do many other things… he had a very cross look on his face.* My sweet, I hope you realize I am never letting you out of my sight ever again.
Ceri: *She closed her eyes. He sounded very serious and she couldn’t blame him. She was surprised he wasn’t flying off the handle … yet. He probably would in a little while.* I’m … sorry, Dion. I shouldn’t have gotten you involved. *She said after a moment or two of silence.*
Dion: *He had to lower his head and hide the sudden grin that came across his face.* I believe being a Shadowstar makes me already involved. *He replied, just barely keeping that stern tone in check.* Have you any idea how scary it is to try and rescue a girl while your sister is throwing around grenades?
Ceri: *She blinked and although she was tempted to smile, she knew this was probably not the best time to.* I … can only imagine. *She tried to sit up but then she realized …* Where are my clothes?
Dion: *Clearing his throat, that stern and serious expression had suddenly vanished to be replaced with a deep red blush. Dion was no stranger to women, but for some reason this case just seemed…. different.* Er… well. There were a lot of cuts and bruises that we needed to get to and… I can fetch you something.
Ceri: *She blushed a red as deep as Dion’s face! She’d assumed Dion’s sister had taken her clothes. But … he had and …* It’s … quite alright. *She drew the blanket a little further up her body.* Right now I’m too itchy to put anything on. *She looked at him thoughtfully.* Dion … what happened to Henrik?
Dion: He is dead. *…he would spare her the details about how. He hadn’t quite been thinking when he did it, but he sure as hell didn’t regret it either.* You won’t have to worry about him again.
Ceri: *The look on her face, the shock, said it all! But then she suddenly sat up and winced. Sitting up like that … not a good idea when one was injured so badly.* Oh Dion … He’s … He wasn’t the one to worry about. *She stopped, trying to figure out how to put this.* … Do you know Tsugoro, one of Morgan’s worst men?
Dion: Ceri, stay still. *He muttered, pushing her back gently on the bed.* I know of him, yes. …I didn’t just earn m’self another black star on someone’s hit list, did I?
Ceri: *And back onto the bed she went! She had such a sad look on her face.* Henrik was Tsugoro’s younger brother … *There was a few moments of silence. She smiled a bit.* I’m more trouble than I’m worth, aren’t I?
Dion: *Ah… Killed a man’s brother. That was going to be a problem on down the road. But… he’d handle it.* Trouble, you say? Anything worth having is worth a little trouble, but I think I owe you some change. *He smiled, leaning to brush a kiss over her forehead.*
Ceri: *She blushed!* You’re the sweetest. *She looked up at him.* … Where you serious when you said you’re not letting me out of your sitght?
Dion: I intend to keep you for a good long while. *He hesitated a moment.* ..That is… if you want to be kept. ..I mean, not KEPT but… *Cough! There went his elegant approach!* Exclusively my lady. …girlfriend?
Ceri: Sweet! I … oh dear … *She was blushing! Oh dear! But it was hard to look dignified when one was stuck to a bed and pretty much naked!* I uh … What I mean to say is … *She cleared her throat.* I would … love … to be your girlfriend.
Dion: *Dion laughed softly, leaning forward to give her a quick kiss… Anymore than that and he might carry off her of, and she was in no condition for that!* Then, Ceri my sweet… I am yours. There will never be another lady for me.
Ceri: I must be dreaming. There’s a real hot guy who just said he’s all mine. Maybe another kiss will prove I’m not dreaming after all? *She said with a smile.*
Dion: I don’t know. My mother always said you should never wake a lady when she’s having a good dream. *That didn’t stop him from leaning and kissing her again, this time lingering a bit longer.*
Ceri: *Her cheeks were red again! She laughed softly and kissed him back, then rubbed her cheek against his.* Your mother sounds like a very intelligent woman. I’ll have to hold onto you.
Dion: That would be wise. I am afraid the only other Shadowstar worth dating is Bronwen and I just don’t think Cassius is going to let her loose. *Dion brushed the hair from her face, casting her grin.* …are you sure you’re up for this kind of insanity?
Ceri: *She smiled.* I think I’ll survive. We undercover cops have to be tough after all. *She nodded matter of factly.*