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Sharpening the Rusty Blade (Firesblood x Jabba)

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Offline Firesblood

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Sabine waited until 4052 closed the door, then relaxed slightly.  She kept the shield up on herself and Mundy to be safe, though there didn’t really seem to be a point in the matter given what she was planning to say and do.

“Have a seat, Zyad,” she instructed, gesturing to one of the chairs.  When he had done so, she withdrew the piece of paper that she had written instructions on and slid it across the desk to him.  “First of all, I am not a real Director.  I’m a reconnaissance agent for a man named Brion Kohl, a former slave of this system.  I am sure that you have heard at least something of him, as he’s been a pain in the neck of every Director alive for the last thirty-odd years,” she paused, letting it sink in a little.

“I called you here because I uncovered some important information that pertains to 60.  According to her files, she’s slated to be induced two months from now.  After your child has been safely delivered, she is scheduled for vivisection by Director Shaad.”  Sabine pointed at the paper.  “Because I’m not a true Director, Zyad, I can’t do anything in any official capacity to help you as you’ve asked me to do before.  That paper, however, holds the coordinates of the nearest safehouse belonging to my people, and the access codes that will allow to you gain entry.  If you and Malek can work out a plan to get yourselves and 60 out of this place, you will be safe there until we can retrieve you and bring you to Kurmaraja.  It’s fully stocked with everything you could need to survive for 6 months at the very least.”  She frowned.  “I’m sorry that I can’t do more for you.  I very much wish that I could.”   


Offline Jabbathejack

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Zyad slid into the offered chair, frowning as he listened. His eyes widened and he shook his head in disbelief, but remained silent, hearing her out.

"Vivisection?" Zyad was on his feet in an instant. "But why would they do this? There's the chance that she could have more evolved children. Why destroy what they need? I don't understand."

Zyad paused, visibly reining back his emotions.
"Thank you for telling me, I know that..." He paused again, swallowing. "You didn't have to do that, but I thank you."

"Wait though, please." He frowned, shaking his head, pacing along the room. "You know that 60 can't make that sort of a journey, not in her condition. They're continually watching her, Shaad made damn sure of that."

"I understand that you can't prevent this, not as a director. But, when you leave, there is nothing stopping us from stowing away with you, this is our best chance and you know it."


Offline Firesblood

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Sabine's eyes closed briefly, his upset evident.  She couldn't blame him; she had been angry when she had discovered the information as well.  Like him, she did not understand why they would do such a thing, potentially destroying something that should have been precious to them.  After all, wasn't the point of the breeding program to make more evolved?  If their own kind could give birth to them, wouldn't things work a lot more smoothly?  "I'm not sure why, Zyad, but from what little I know of Shaad, she seems unstable and cruel.  It could be any number of reasons, none of which would make sense to us," she sighed. 

Sabine waved off his thanks, shaking her head.  "Don't thank me.  I've done nothing but bring to light information you probably would have eventually discovered anyway."

At Zyad's insistence, her eyes traveled to Mundy, fixing on his face.  Any extras would put not only her own life at risk, but his.  It was one thing to get away clean with just themselves.  It was an entirely different matter to take one of their most closely watched slaves and her keepers along for the ride as well, especially when Sabine's own cover could be blown at any time.  They were so close to escape.

But if she refused...She couldn't run the risk of Zyad outing her, and she did not know him well enough to rule such a move out.  She was sure that it could be done, but they would have to be careful.  More, she couldn't make that decision on her own; her own life wasn't the only one hanging in the balance if things went wrong.  In perhaps the most brazen display yet that suggested the relationship between herself and Mundy was different than Master and Slave, she spoke up.  "Mundy, what are your thoughts?  This is more than just my life on the line here, it's yours too.  I think we could swing it, but it'll be way more dangerous than anything we've done here so far.  I want to know your perspective on all of this."   


Offline Jabbathejack

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4052 tried his best to ignore Zyad's surprise that Sabine asked his opinion directly. He cleared his throat before he replied, his voice soft.

"I don't care about the danger, you know that."

He shrugged, without Sabine's intervention, who knew how long he would have survived as a slave at that complex? Certainly, no slave ever lifted to old age. He frowned lightly, thinking of the situation.

"I know where the outer access ports are. There's a number of maintenance hatches on the lower levels, for slave access to the surface. They're generally not monitored, not beyond the basics. As long as a slave has the correct access code, granted by their overseer, access is granted."

There was no point in rounding up wayward slaves beyond the basics; escape would be impossible on foot in such harsh conditions as the surface world.

He met Sabine's gaze directly.
"As a Director, obtaining a code would be easy. We would leave as planned, then there would be nothing stopping us from pausing beyond the standard sensor ranges to let them on board."

4052 fell silent, well aware that this was perhaps the most that he had said in any given time, definitely the most he had ever dared to say in front of someone who was not Sabine. Zyad stared at him, his mouth practically falling open, yet 4052 could see the hope there on the young man's face. 4052 dragged his gaze away, resuming his neutral expression as he spoke again.

"It is your decision, Director."


Offline Firesblood

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Like 4052, Sabine ignored the look of shock on Zyad’s face, though it was a tempting thing to bask in the momentary satisfaction that resulted in his reaction.  Up until this point, Mundy had been nothing more than a Director’s obedient slave, something which they had played up.  She did not, however, resist the feeling of pride that came when Mundy answered, his tone holding a touch more assertiveness than she had heard from him in the time leading up to this moment. 

4052’s knowledge of the compound would be invaluable if they were truly set on this path, and already pieces of a plan were beginning to formulate in her head.  He was right; as a Director, gaining the appropriate access code would likely be the easiest part for them.  If they worked together, they might just be able to pull it off. 

Getting 60 out of the medical floor, on the other hand, would be the most difficult part.  The woman was monitored constantly, thanks to Shaad’s invested interest, and Sabine was reluctant to get involved with that part.  The thought occurred to her that she could produce a fake order of transfer, but she had no idea how thoroughly such things were checked or confirmed, and Sabine had little doubt that Shaad would fight it.  If it failed to hold up, it could cost all of their lives. 

Worrying her bottom lip between her teeth, Sabine sighed and rubbed at her chin, moving her gaze from 4052 to Zyad.  “Alright.  If you can get 60 out of this compound and to a meeting point outside of the perimeter, we’ll do it.  It’s not much, but potential death aside, I’m not here to liberate slaves—I’m here to collect vital intel for a later date.  Mundy and I will help you to work up a plan of escape, but the actual getting-her-out is on you and your friend.  Is that satisfactory?”   


Offline Jabbathejack

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4052 frowned, going over the situation in his mind. His eyes widened as another thought struck him; it was an important thought, but it was hardly a pleasant one.

"Malek." He whispered, his voice reduced to a hoarse whisper. 4052 shook his head, as if to rid himself of his fear. "He's powerful. When he had me... I didn't have a chance."

He trailed off, thinking of that moment. He had just followed the suggestions implanted in his mind, utterly unable to think and stop himself from acting, just like a puppet. Just repeating the same line, even though he knew damn well the trouble he was diving into.

4052 forced himself to lift his gaze from the floor, fixing Zyad with his bleak and intense stare. When he spoke, his voice was stronger.
"You're working together, yes? Use him."


Offline Firesblood

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Sabine immediately shook her head, her anger betraying itself in the sudden tightness of her features. "Absolutely not.  That bastard put you in danger with that stunt he pulled, and I could have lost you because of his recklessness.  I don't want him anywhere near this."

It was a purely emotional reaction, and she knew it.  She hadn't forgiven Malek for manipulating 4052's mind the way he did, and the way she viewed it, Malek was fortunate to still be alive.  She knew that his abilities could only help them see this new plan through, but she didn't trust him.



Offline Jabbathejack

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The slave's stare was unsettling in its intensity and Zyad knew immediately that he meant exactly what he had said, despite what had happened to him at Malek's hands. After a moment, the spell was broken and the slave turned sharply towards his master, although Zyad was beginning to realise that this was no slave, giving the way that he was responding.

"We would be foolish to ignore what he can do for us. I can withstand the discomfort of having him with us if it means that one of the monitoring technicians upstairs doesn't follow up an anomaly that they've just noticed or an overseer coming down the wrong corridor at the wrong time. We know that Malek cares for 60 enough to ensure that she remains safe and if we are with her, then that means us too."

"I do not trust him either; I have good reason not to, but knowing that we have a common goal with 60, that will keep him on our side."

Zyad could clearly see his passion, but beneath that, Zyad could sense his fear, despite the director's attempts to shield him. It stood to reason that, considering his recent punishment, he would not want to be caught again.


Offline Firesblood

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For a long moment, it looked as though Sabine would refuse again.  She was quite obviously torn, and her carefully constructed shield cracked under the weight of what was running through her mind.  Her anger was a red stain on her emotions, permeating everything else.  She hated this; hated where they were, the people that surrounded them, hated that they had landed themselves in a situation that even she knew she couldn’t just walk away from.  Fear was dominant, as was uncertainty, but the fear was not necessarily for herself.  Most of it was connected to her apparent slave; she feared for him because she loved him.  Getting him out of there and to safety after what Shaad had done to him was important to her, and the business with 60, Zyad, and Malek could potentially interfere with that.

Finally Sabine shook her head, features tight.  “If you’re fine with it, then I’m fine with it.”  She was not fine with it, that much was clear, but she could recognize that their chances of escape went up when Malek’s gifts were included in the plan. 

“Talk to Malek.  We’ll work up an escape plan.  You two get her out, and we’ll take you with us.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Zyad nodded grimly, feeling as if they had just fought an intense battle to simply get to this point.
"I'll talk to him. I'll set up a meeting."

Yet convincing Malek that a meeting with someone who had managed to crush his throat with her mind alone might not be the easiest of tasks that he had ever undertaken.

He stood up, nodding at both of them.
"I'll be in touch."

He made his way down the corridor to where Malek was stationed, pressing the buzzer on the door and waiting. After his injury, he was still resting, although it would not be long before he was placed back on his patrol detail. Zyad grimaced; it was a large step down from one who had once been an experienced host.



Offline Firesblood

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Malek called out to ‘enter’, and waited as Zyad came in and shut the door behind him.  Rather than reclining in bed, the man had his issued weapon broken down into pieces, as was cleaning each part with the utmost care.  It was something to do, something to occupy his mind. 

Grateful as Malek was to see the younger man, it was plain to see that he was concerned.  “To what do I owe the visit, Zyad?  Is everything alright?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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"It's really not." Zyad pulled up a chair and sat down, rubbing at his face with his hands. "I've heard that they're planning on taking 60 for dissection, before she reaches full term."

He shook his head, his expression grim.
"I couldn't believe it, but it's looking more and more true. There's nothing that we can do to stop it from happening."

"I've just been speaking with Director Chase. They're planning on leaving as well, it makes sense that we all sneak out with them. I think this a way forward, but it might be our only way."

"Obviously, they're not happy with what has happened, but they have agreed to let you come with us. We can do it, but we'll have to move fast."

He frowned, wondering if Malek's injuries were enough to prevent their journey.


Offline Firesblood

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Malek sat upright immediately, dark eyes flashing in rage.  Dissection?  Why?  What could they possibly hope to gain by killing her?  Was she not exactly what the Directors had been searching for all of these years?

Malek stayed quiet as Zyad went on, detailing the plan to sneak them out of the compound when they left.  It was perplexing; why in the world would a Director be helping them to escape?  What did the woman get out of it?  Would that not cause trouble for her?  Obviously he had his doubts; after what he had done to the Director’s slave, Chase seemed more likely to murder him and leave his body to rot than help them, but if Zyad had worked something out…

And if it saved Emily’s life…

Nodding once, He shifted to the edge of the bed with a wince of pain.  “Alright.  Tell me what I must do and when.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Zyad didn't have to be an empath to feel the rage coming from Malek; it was a feeling that he understood only too well. He felt it himself, along with a heavy dose of fear and worry. His first chance at offspring, being deemed a failure before they even came to term. The injustice of the entire situation upset him immensely.

"The more that I talk to them both, the more that I realise that he's no more her slave than I am." He looked up at Malek, knowing that he had his full attention. "Even with everything that happened, it was the so called slave who convinced the director. Without him, she'd never have agreed."

"It was him who suggested that you could distract any guards that might happen our way. In the same way that you pushed his mind in a way that he did not want to go."

Zyad spent the next minutes detailing the conversation that he'd had earlier, suggesting the different roles that they could perform in the escape.

"I don't know much about where it is they're heading, but if it gives her a chance. With the director's transport, we'd be able to cover a lot of distance."


Offline Firesblood

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Malek nodded grimly. “I can do that.”

The rest of the evening was dedicated to planning.  Much of the details were glossed over, as it was impossible to predict exactly how things would go, and even less possible to prepare for every circumstance.  Malek was confident in his ability to sway anyone who may get in their way, and for now that was enough. 

They were meant to get Emily out of the hospital level and above ground, where they would leave the compound and meet the not-Director and her not-slave for the escape.  Malek had misgivings about whether they would really do their part, but if Zyad trusted them to be there, then Malek would go along with it.  What mattered was that they escaped, and that Emily and the twins would live.

When morning came, Malek made his way to the hospital level and made himself look busy, subtly nudging the mind of anyone who passed him into believing that he was not there at all.  He also implanted the same block for Zyad, so that he would go unnoticed when he arrived to spring Emily from her room. It worked, and he went unnoticed after his initial arrival.

He nodded silently to Zyad when he spotted him, and ventured to the room where Emily was being kept.  His anger burned hot again at the sight of all the leads, wires, and tubes they had put in her to monitor her pregnancy.  She looked thin and weak, paler than normal, and it made him fear her ability to make it beyond the hospital level, let alone the unforgiving harshness of the surface.

Malek captured the attention of the medical staff currently checking her out.  “Remove all of this from her—safely.  Do not argue, do not question, just do it.  And once you are done, leave this room and forget that this ever happened.”