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Sharpening the Rusty Blade (Firesblood x Jabba)

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Offline Jabbathejack

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4052 found it hard to sleep that night, his thoughts constantly scrolling through the many things that could go wrong. It made perfectly logical sense for them to work with Malek to ensure their escape, yet he could not help but think about how it had been to be held under his spell, being able to see how he was being steered towards a horrible situation, yet being unable to stop himself from digging still further.

In the end, he could stand it no longer and he got up off his mat, moving quietly to avoid disturbing Sabine. He was already busying himself with getting everything ready by the time she woke up.

"Good morning." He murmured softly, his attention still focused on packing the Director's belongings. "I didn't think you'd mind."

He hoped not, but he needed something to keep himself busy.


Offline Firesblood

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Sabine woke to find that Mundy had already gotten up at some point.  Despite how he worked to hide it, Sabine could tell that he had had a restless night, and the evidence of it was in the fact that he had already packed them up.  Sitting up and scrubbing at her face with her good hand in an effort to banish the sleepiness from her eyes, Sabine shook her head.  She wasn’t going to make him uncomfortable by prying.  “I don’t mind at all, Mundy.  It just means that we can get this over with sooner.”

She got up and dressed, trying not to let her own nerves get to her.  They were meant to leave soon, to drive out of patrol range for the compound and wait for Zyad, Malek, and 60 to meet them.  She hoped that things worked out on their end; Sabine had no intention of waiting all day for them to arrive.  She wanted 4052 and herself as far away from this place as they could get.  This, of course, she made no mention of out loud. 

When Sabine was finished with her morning routine, she finally spoke.  “Are you doing alright?  Are you ready for this?” 


Offline Jabbathejack

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4052 looked up at her question, smiling bitterly.
"I'll be a lot better once this is down and we're out of here safely. All of us."

He turned back to his packing, making sure that everything fitted together neatly.
"The best way of feeling better is to make sure it's done."

He focused on his hands; by keeping them busy, he managed to keep control over the fear of what they were about to do, who they were going to do it with and what would happen to them all should they fail.


Offline Firesblood

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Sabine nodded, finding that she had nothing to say to add to 4052’s assessment.  It wouldn’t be better until they were out.  Giving him a short nod, Sabine set about collecting what little was left to pack away or take with them; Mundy had been effective, and there was little left for her to do in the end before everything was ready to go.  The last part was something that Mundy couldn’t do, however, and the one that she was least looking forward to.

The only thing left unpacked in the end was her datapad, with all of the information that she had collected during their time there.  Sabine peeled the glove from her prosthetic arm and shoved the sleeve up to above the elbow, grimacing.  She had always hated the look of it; dull and gunmetal grey, the replacement mimicked the look of an arm without skin, patently obvious and unnatural.  Nestled in the underside of her forearm was a flat, rectangular shape the size of a gun clip, which stood out noticeably against the fine metal threading of inorganic musculature. 

That done, Sabine opened the back of the datapad and removed the data memory chip upon which everything had been saved, setting it on the table.  Digging her fingers in on either side of the rectangle set in the prosthetic, she did something that caused a shrill beep to sound, followed by several small panels in the rectangle's face to slip back and open. 

Sabine inserted the chip into a cradle within, then closed the compartment up in the same way she had opened it.  In two beats her sleeve was rolled back down and she was in the process of yanking the glove back in place, tossing the datapad through the sliding door that led to the rubbish incinerator.  When that was done, there was nothing else left to do but get out. 

“Lets go,” she said, waiting a beat or two for Mundy to collect the bags despite her urge to collect one of them herself.  One more reason she would be glad to leave this place; she hated watching 4052 still stuck in the position of slave, and serving her no less. 

Sabine forced herself to keep an even easy pace from their quarters to the garage where their vehicle waited.  All she wanted to do was run, but anything more than a brisk walk would look suspicious, and they were far too close to getting out to risk it.  She half expected problems in that stretch, eyes lighting vigilantly on every branching corridor, on every person they passed, but no one stopped them or bothered them.  Few even bothered to look at them, and those that did acknowledged Sabine’s presence with the salute that a Director would expect and nothing more.  Mundy seemed completely invisible altogether. 

When they reached the garage, the mechanic on deck indicated which vehicle had been prepared for her use and wished her safe travels to the next compound, and Sabine got into the drivers seat, waiting for Mundy to load up their wears and join her. 

Snow was visibly falling outside when the door slid open to allow their exit, and it wasn’t until they were well outside of it and through the gate that Sabine let out a sigh of relief and relaxed a touch more. 

Their meeting point with Zyad, Malek, and 60 was not far, just out of range of the compound where nobody would see a vehicle idling and wonder.  Sabine pulled off to the side of the road when they reached it and leaned a little closer to her window, scanning the bright white immediately visible to her for any sign of the others. 

--

Malek waited in silence as the last of the sensors was removed from Emily.  His eyes slid every so often to the door, watchful of anyone that wasn’t Zyad coming in.  At the last, the doctor bandaged Emily’s arm where the last IV had been, got up, and left the room to carry on with his business, completely unaware of what he had just done.

“Malek, please speak to me,” Emily whispered hoarsely as Malek bent to help her out of bed.  Her legs were unsteady and weak, having been forced abed for much of her pregnancy so far, hooked up to so many things that she could hardly move.  He kept a steady arm around her, while his other hand helped to pull a thin hospital robe over her. 

“We’re getting out of here, Em.  Zyad will be here any minute now, and then we’re leaving.  All three of us.”  He paused, resting a hand briefly on her distended belly. “All five of us.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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4052 watched with silent curiosity as Sabine bared her mechanical arm, revealing a hidden panel; the idea space to hide some important data safely and securely.

He was on his feet an instant after the command, reaching for the bags immediately. He gave a faint grunt at the weight, but other than that, he was silent. He followed Sabine, moving a few paces behind her, his head down.

Once they were both safely inside the transport vehicle, 4052 exhaled slowly, but they were hardly safe right now.

***

Zyad made his way over to the medical wing. On the face of it, he looked exactly the same as he always did, yet inwardly, he was far from normal. He was anxious, keeping his gaze directly in front of him with an effort. Of course, his mind was reeling; what if he encountered another empath and was discovered? What about a mind reader? What if he simply looked suspicious enough for someone to think he was out of place and stop him? What if his flimsy excuse for being there didn't hold up?

Enough. He told himself firmly. There was no point in worrying himself so much he ended up making a mistake. He reached the door to the medical wing and poked his head inside, nodding at the others.

"We're clear, for the moment."


Offline Firesblood

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Malek looked up at Zyad, feeling a touch of relief at the sight of the other man as he finished tying the robe over Emily.  Keeping hold of her, the man gestured to Zyad to come in.  “She’s ready to go.  We should hit the labor level—get ourselves coats and boots to fend off the cold.”

“Is this really happening?” Emily whispered hoarsely, looking between the two of them in bewilderment.  She held on tightly to Malek, still off-balance from the sedatives that Shaad had been pumping into her system to keep her complacent.  The question was serious; right now, she couldn’t tell if the men were really there, or if it was some dream inspired by the drugs. 

“Yes,” Malek murmured, guiding her towards the door.  “Zy, can you take over helping her?  I want to make sure that I can head off anyone who might try to stop us.”

--

Sabine had never been a creature of patience, and that much became clear while they waited.  She kept her eyes on their surroundings—switching from looking in the mirrors to turning in her seat to get a good look out the window. 

Still no sign of them, but she knew it would take time.  Her hands tapped lightly on the steering wheel, ill content with remaining stationary.  Finally, when sitting fully lost its appeal, Sabine opened the door and got out of the vehicle, taking up pacing in the snow instead; the cold, at least, provided some distraction from the thoughts of how wrong their plans could go.  She wanted nothing more than to be on their way, getting Mundy well away from the place where he had spent so much of his life in torment. 

Suddenly, pain unlike anything she had ever felt before seized her, and the mutant dropped like a stone to her knees with a cry of surprised agony.  It encompassed her mind, all thoughts of anything else fleeing and leaving her, for the moment, helpless. 

“I knew there was something off about you, from the moment we met,” Shaad said by way of greeting.  A glance towards the back of the vehicle saw the medical Director step into sight; how she had managed to sneak up on them without Sabine noticing was beyond her.  Shaad kept the pain going, and Sabine felt close to passing out from the intensity.  “Overseer 48, if you would be so kind as to retrieve this trash’s slave for me?” 


Offline Jabbathejack

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Zyad nodded to Malek as he moved over to 60, sliding his arm gently around her to support her weight.

"We'll be all right." He smiled to her, trying to mask his nervousness. "We've got to be quick. We can't afford to miss our window."

***

4052 stared in shock as Sabine collapsed. His first instinct was to run over to her, dropping to one knee in the snow as he tried to help, but he wasn't sure what he could even do. How could you help when you can't even see what the problem was?

He turned sharply at the voice behind them, climbing to his feet as he stared mutely at the director. His gaze flipped to the overseer, taking a step back as 48 advanced. He recognised the smile on the man's face, driving a cold shard of ice into the pit of his stomach.

The overseer removed a set of cuffs from his trouser pocket as he closed the distance, opening them up ready.
"Turn around." He barked and 4052 obeyed, moving slowly.

His breath was like a foggy cloud in front of him, from the cold air, but 4052 just felt numb. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Sabine, still on her knees, still in agony, but there was nothing he could do. Nothing.

He jumped as 48 clamped a hand on his shoulder, puling his arms behind his back with a rough jerk. He felt the restraints close around his wrist, smelling 48's hot breath on his neck as he chuckled, dragging the other wrist back.

4052 brought his head back with a sudden jerk, slamming his skull hard into the overseer's face. He felt a crunch as the larger man's nose broke at the impact. There was a cry of pain and 4052's hand was suddenly free. As he turned, he was already reaching for the stunned overseer, his bare fingers like claws. Pushing the man's face away to one side, 4052 used the only tools he had available, sinking his teeth into his throat, drowning out his screams with blood. Throughout the brutal and sudden attack, 4052 was completely silent.



Offline Firesblood

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Sabine bit back against her agonized screams, feeling rage and hatred boil inside of her when she realized who it was.  Shaad’s mutation was pain—pure, undiluted pain setting fire to all of her nerve endings at once.  There was seemingly no end to it—Shaad knew that the moment she stopped, Sabine would have the window she needed to retaliate. 

Sabine glimpsed Mundy at her periphery, turning as the Overseer came forward to capture him.  That, to her, was even worse than suffering Director Shaad’s torture.  She didn’t want to imagine what they would do to 4052 once they had him, the ways he would suffer after being so close to freedom.  “N-no Mundy—don’t—" she managed, before the pain doubled.

“Be quiet, Traitor,” Shaad hissed. “You dared to come to my complex, steal my property, and try to damage my life’s work?  My only solace is that while I may not be able to take my time with you, I can certainly draw it out for slave 4052.”

There was a commotion and the half-drowned scream of a man choking on blood, and suddenly the pain disappeared.  Shaad stared in horrified shock as 4052 seized Overseer 48 and bit viciously into his throat.  Without missing a beat, Sabine shifted and extended her hand, and Shaad’s scream joined the Overseer’s.  The Director’s body snapped and compressed on itself, as if something had imploded at her core.  The process took almost thirty full torturous seconds, and ended with an unrecognizable mass of twisted and torn flesh and broken bones bleeding all over the snow. 

--

60 nodded and held just as tightly to Zyad as Malek moved ahead of them, peering out the door.  When the corridor cleared, he waved them forward. “Right, lets go.”

Taking lead, Malek opened the door and, after making sure they were following, headed for the lift at an easy pace.  His manner was hyper-vigilant, prepared to move the moment anyone came out and caught them on the move. 

As they were nearing the lift, one of the doors opened and a medical aide stepped out, eyes widening at the sight of them.  Before she could say a word, Malek spoke.

“Don’t say a word.  You never saw us.  Go about your work,” he murmured in the same soothing tones one might use for an upset child.  The aide blinked once, eyes skating beyond Zyad and 60, and promptly did as Malek demanded. 

Malek pushed the button to summon the lift, exhaling softly.  So far so good, but the hardest part was yet to come.   


Offline Jabbathejack

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Breathing hard, 4052 stumbled towards Sabine. Slowly, he reached out a hand and helped her to her feet. The lower part of his face was drenched in blood, along with both of his hands, but none of it was his own.

"We need to go." He hissed urgently. "Now. If the others aren't ready right now, then that's on them."

Director Shaad would be missed, as well as Overseer 48. They did not have long.
"Come on."

He ran towards the vehicle, throwing open the door ready.

***

The lift carried them up to the surface level and as the doors opened up, Zyad looked up, his eyes widening. He could feel a rush of energy nearby and he knew that something awful was happening. He ran out of the lift as quickly as he could, moving ahead of the others. There was no time to explain, not that Zyad could even if he had tried.

As he reached the outer door, the feeling suddenly cut, as abrupt as a life support line being removed. The feeling was enough to stop him in his tracks. Shaking, Zyad forced himself to reach out and open the lock on the outer door.