Lina, Part 8

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DukeNukem 2417
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Lina, Part 8

Post by DukeNukem 2417 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:36 pm

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I hope nobody here is afraid of flying.....also, the "Director's Cut" of Part 7 will be up on the wiki soon....
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As much as I'd love to say that I slept easy after that dream with Lina, the fog maze and getting jumped by that bastard with the mohawk....yeah, I'd be lying through my teeth if I did. A lot of this had to do with the fact that it was, in fact, morning—my weird-ass dream, vision or whatever had gone through the whole night, and I'd managed to lose track of time in the process. It didn't help that I could hear everyone out in the hallway, carrying on about...something or other. I knew right then and there that I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, so I just rolled out of bed and got dressed.

…..well, replace “got dressed” with “threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt”, and...yeah.

Out in the hallway, everyone was running. Fenton, Dani, Ashwyn, Millie, Lucy and Uncle Frank (oh, and I couldn't help but notice how Lucy and Uncle Frank both came out of Uncle Frank's room....) were all heading for the elevator, with none of them really saying much of anything—apart from the occasional scream of “MY PLANE!” from Uncle Frank.

We all reached the elevator to the hangar in a state of what I can only call mass panic—if I had to guess, that roar I'd heard probably had something to do with it. Thankfully, there was enough room for Ashwyn, Lucy, Millie, Uncle Frank, Fenton and I to all fit on the thing without hitting any light fixtures on the way up (Fenton had talked Dani into staying below ground until everything was sorted). “Whoever's up there is using Corona Ansata,” Lucy stated, without any preamble. “Since I'm the only one shielded against it—”

“You can't seriously suggest goin' up there alone,” Millie countered.

“Of course she's not. I'm going with her.”

Nearly everyone was pretty surprised at my statement—I'll admit, I was pretty shocked at how ready I was to jump on that plane. “The bastards up there are probably the same ones who took Lina from me...I'd be a damn fool to not get after them now.”

“You've got nothing to fight them with, Matt!” Uncle Frank countered. “We can't just—”

“They stole Lina.” I couldn't help the bite in my tone—I wasn't pissed off at Uncle Frank, but he took the brunt of how pissed off I was at that moment. “I'm not about to stay down there and sit on ass while they try to bust out of here with your plane.”

“And what if you get yourself killed up there?!” Fenton cut in. “Who's gonna get Lina back then—”

“He's not going to get killed,” Lucy replied. “If he does, I'll kick his ass myself.”

I couldn't help but laugh at that. “Just promise not to get yourself wrecked, okay?”

“You do your thing, I'll do mine.”

“So you two are going up there by yourselves to get on the plane?” Ashwyn asked, somewhat awed. “I mean, you don't know what you're even going to be facing!”

“We'll figure it out as we go along.” I managed a shrug—not easy, given how close everyone was standing together.

“And if your figurin' it out doesn't pan out?” Millie inquired.

“Then I'll take over.” Lucy smirked. “We're in this together, remember?”

“Like I'd ever forget.”

The elevator finally reached its apogee, revealing.....

MY PLANE!” It was amazing that I could hear Uncle Frank yelling at all, what with the roar of the jet engines so close by; he nearly fell over trying to get off of the elevator, and it was all too obvious why. Several trucks, all identical to the ones we'd spotted at the warehouse complex, were lined up by the closed cargo door of the DC-10, with most of them having already dropped off whatever they were carrying. That surfer prick was standing in the boarding door, his back turned to us—for a momet, at least, until he turned and walked out of view.

Barely a minute later, the plane started rolling towards the closed hangar door.

On instinct, I grabbed a length of pipe as I made my way past the tool boxes, seeing as how I had no intention of going up against anyone or anything on that plane without a means of self-defense. Just off to my right, I saw Lucy do the same, grabbing a ball-peen hammer. “....HOW DO WE GET ONBOARD—”

I felt someone grab my shirt collar, just as Lucy shouted “HEY!”....

….and seconds later, we went flying, and came down on one of the wings, only to go flying again, and get effectively chucked into the boarding door—seconds later, Ashwyn landed next to us.

“Are you insane?! I told you on the elevator that the prick in charge of this plane is using Corona Ansata—”

Lucy's protests did little to dissuade Ashwyn. “You both wanted to get into the plane, right?”

“....she's got a point there.” I shrugged. “SO, ah.....now that we're in....”

Lucy sighed. “Get back down to the elevator and tell the others to get back underground, okay, Kitty?”

Ashwyn nodded. “Where's that surfer guy?”

Off in the distance, through a crack the cockpit door, someone spoke: “Like, we could've taken off so much earlier if Ivan hadn't wasted so much time packing....I bet he, like, broke the cargo door when he pushed that lock in place.”

“That voice....I've heard him before.” My fists clenched. “He was at the restaurant, when Doug and I were there....and he was at my house, during the party...”

Ashwyn's eyes went wide. “He was at the party?!”

“Andrew Sommers.” Lucy scowled. “He showed up at the university, asking about Corona Ansata, which was Red Flag Number One, since he shouldn't have even known it existed....”

“Him and that girl on the tape....they were the ones running the warehouse complex.” I actually growled. “Of all the...”

Lucy rested a hand on my shoulder. “He might've started this, but we're ending it.” She glanced at Ashwyn. “This is where you get off, Kitty.”

“But—”

“If he uses Corona Ansata on you, you'll do anything he tells you to—whether it's giving him a lap dance or killing Matt with your bare paws. You have to sit this one out.”

After a few seconds' hesitation, Ashwyn nodded. “So this is it, then....you're really going to take him on all by yourselves, with....a pipe? And a hammer?”

“Not everybody can pull a Rambo at a time like this.” Lucy shrugged.

Ashwyn looked at the pair of us in something resembling awe. “Wow.” She turned towards the boarding door, taking one last look back at Lucy and me as she prepared to jump out through the boarding door. “See you when the plane lands!”

Without another word, she leapt out of the boarding door.

“.....so.” I took a deep breath. “....we're on the plane, it's already rolling....”

“Focus, Matt. Right now.....” She paused, chuckling.

“What?”

“....the door was open this whole time. Either Andrew's deaf as a post, or there's some kind of freak wind shear to where he hasn't heard us, or he's just stupid....” Lucy smirked. “....I'm going with the latter—especially since he's part of this damn smuggling operation....”

I nodded, grabbing the length of pipe off the floor (I hadn't even noticed it fall from my grasp after Ashwyn had thrown me into the plane). “Let's commence with kicking his ass, shall we?”

“I believe we shall.” Lucy nodded, picking up the hammer she'd dropped. “Time to kick some ass, Matt.”

Despite the fact that we both had enough bravado for a whole platoon of commandos, it would've helped if we'd been armed like commandos—an M-60, a K-Bar and a belt or two full of grenades would've been a lot better than a length of pipe and a ball-peen hammer, but we didn't exactly have time to do the Rambo. Once we were in the plane, a quick check revealed that Andrew....wasn't anywhere in sight, and that we were in what was probably meant to be the passenger section. Off to the left, all the way at the end of the aisle, was a security door meant to keep the likes of us out of the cockpit; a curtained-off area was off to the right. I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the seats in the rear of the cabin, where Lucy and I were, had been removed—which probably explained how Uncle Frank was able to get the plane so cheap. Crates had been stacked wherever they could fit, especially where the seats had been removed.

I considered our options as to how, exactly, we were going to proceed with these circumstances—either Lucy and I could rush the cockpit and start beating down on Andrew while he was guiding the plane towards the hangar door, or we could hide in the curtained area, wait for him to come back down the aisle and beat the piss out of him there. I was on the cusp of figuring out which option we'd take.....

...and that's about when the plane busted through the hangar door, knocking me on my ass and sending Lucy into a wall.

“....what.....” I managed to push myself up into a sitting position, shaking off the pain and groaning. “....he just....he put the damn plane through the hangar door!”

Lucy had already pushed herself away from the wall, and managed to close the boarding door. “Yeah. He did.”

“.....that stupid surfer prick just stole Uncle Frank's plane.....” I was still trying to wrap my head around it—one minute, I was seeing Lina in my dreams and running through a fog maze, the next....

I happened to glance out a window, and groaned. “....we're airborne. We're already airborne.”

“Could be worse,” Lucy mused, helping me up. “If the idiots flying this thing hadn't tipped us off by firing the engines, the plane would've left without any of us knowing it until later. Just be glad we're onboard, so we can get to Andrew and kick his ass...”

“.....yeah.” I managed a chuckle. “Talk about fucking fresh eyes at sunrise....”

Lucy frowned. “Just because I've stopped swearing, that doesn't mean you have to pick up the slack.”

“....can you blame me?! I haven't even had breakfast yet, and I'm on a damn plane that just busted through...the door of.....a hangar.....” I groaned again. “I'm not paying for this. No way in Hell am I—”

“Are you seriously thinking of who's going to pay for replacing the stupid door?”

I knew I wasn't about to win this argument, so I figured it'd be better to just change the subject. “That discussion can come later. Right now, we need to figure out.....a lot of things, really.” I shook my head, trying to clear out the last of the morning fog. “.....okay, so we're on the plane, it's already in the air....I've got a length of pipe, and you've got a....what is that, a hammer?”

“Ball-peen.” Lucy shrugged. “It'll hurt a lot if I swing it hard enough.”

“Just make sure you swing it at someone other than me.” I brushed myself off and took a good look around. “Okay, so, ah, the ...I guess it's the kitchen...is....that way....” I nodded to the right of us. “....and the cockpit—”

“I've been on planes before, Matt,” Lucy cut in. “I know where everything is.”

“Right, right....just making sure. So, ah....I'm guessing we should probably....I dunno, hide?”

“....If you think it'll work.”

Lucy and I headed through the curtain at the far end of the cabin, doing our best not to make any noise. I could tell that whoever had closed the hatch leading down to the cargo bay had jammed the damn thing shut, nearly breaking the lock in the process. A pretty damn big metal crate was secured nearby, just far enough away to not rest on the hatch itself; I nodded to Lucy, and she headed over to hide behind it with me. Seconds later, the curtain was pulled back, and Andrew just ambled right on in. He was too busy looking around the room, and then staring at a tablet, to tell that he had a pair of stowaways....

….given the fact that he'd probably given the orders for Lina's abduction, I didn't really care.

Without even bothering to ask Lucy if she was ready, I started towards Andrew. Lucy matched me step-for-step, even as I broke into a run. He was still nose-deep in the tablet—he only just saw me right before I slammed into him and took him down. Lucy was on him in seconds, kicking him in the shins to keep him down.

Andrew made some weird, panicked squealing noise as he scrambled to get away from Lucy, but I grabed him by the shirt, hauling him up from the floor. “Hey there. Remember me?”

“.....what—”

“WRONG ANSWER!” I kicked him in the stomach, sending him further back and nearly knocking over a crate. I hadn't really paid a lot of attention to the interior of the plane, when Lucy and I were running in; as I shoved Andrew towards Lucy, I could see that even this place—probably meant to be a kitchen or something—was lined with a lot of crates—all human-sized, and mostly locked—either secured to the walls of the plane or just stacked up all around us.

Andrew hit the floor again, wincing.

“Get up.” I could tell his ears were ringing, especially if Lucy had nailed him in the side of the head with the ball-peen hammer. “I SAID GET UP, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!” Again, I hauled the guy to his feet. “Where's Lina?”

“...I don't...I—”

Another punch. “Either tell me where Lina is, RIGHT NOW, or—”

He shoved me aside, dove for the tablet and aimed it at Lucy, smashing his palm into its surface. I could see what very well could've been hope, in his eyes....

….which died as soon as Lucy just rolled her eyes at him. “That's Strike Two. You already made Strike One.”

“....what—”

I punched Andrew in the gut. “WHERE'S LINA, YOU ASSHOLE?!”

He staggered backwards, trying to put as much distance between himself and me as possible. “...you don't...I—”

I snarled, and flat out hurled the pipe at him like a javelin. HE ran, of course....but not fast enough. The pipe nailed him in the shoulder, sending him to the floor. “AAGUGH! DAMN IT!”

“You should've run faster.” I strode over to where he'd fallen, fully prepared to keep laying the beating on him...

….only to stop as he wrenched the pipe out—I'd thought he was either insane, high off his ass or had no fear of death, at first, but then I saw the sparks, wiring and a bit of broken metal where the pipe had gone in. “...damn it—”

I ran forward and nailed him in the face with an elbow, sending him back even further. Lucy charged past me and bashed him in the gut with the hammer, doubling him over. With both of us on either side of him, he tried to throw a few piss-poor punches our way—Lucy and I just stepped back, and I actually flipped him off. “Get up...GET UP, you PRICK—” He took another swing at me, but went wide, so I pretty much grabbed him by his shirt collar, spun him around and threw him through the curtain, into the cabin of the plane.

The surfer idiot went for something on his belt, but I kicked him in the gut and stepped on his hand.

“I have no idea if you even felt that, and to be frank...” I had to chuckle at that one. “....I couldn't care less—”

Andrew tried to scramble away from me, but I stomped on his spine.

“We don't have all day to put up with you,” Lucy informed him, “so why don't you just tell us where Lina Sievers is, and we'll do our best to leave you mostly intact—”

The prick actually scrambled back into the cabin before she could finish, half-crawling, half-scooting to get away from us, but I grabbed his belt and pulled, hard, to keep him from running off. All that did was break the belt—and showed off that what he'd tried to grab before I'd thrown him was a pistol. “Well, shit...” I jammed it into the waistband of my jeans. “As for you...”

“He's running for it, Matt!”

I'd barely even noticed the idiot running for the cockpit while I was checking the gun—by the time I actually saw him, he was halfway down the aisle. “Oh, you SON OF A...GET BACK HERE!” I raced up the aisle to catch him, and managed to actually tackle him into the cockpit—or at least, into the door. Now, finally, Lucy and I had him cornered—and there was no way in Hell we were letting him get away.

Considering my only experiences with such things were in flight simulators, I had no clue how any of it worked—and by the time I caught Andrew in the face with a flying forearm, the DC-10 continued to climb.

Of course, I was too busy kicking Andrew's ass to notice—at least, until Lucy spoke up.

“....ah, Matt, we might have a problem....”

I was too busy smashing Andrew's face into the cockpit door to hear her. “WHERE'S LINA?!”

The surf guy android (any surprise I felt at that was drowned out by my desire to utterly kick the piss out of him) was still trying to run like Hell, but I wasn't giving him room to give orders, and just punched him in the face again. “Do us both a favor, okay? Either tell me where Lina is, or SHUT THE FU—”

Everything shook, Lucy nearly fell on her ass and the plane continued gaining altitude. Somewhere further back, a voice calmly declared that we were now approaching cruising altitude.

My attention, of course, was focused elsewhere. “Either tell me where Lina is, RIGHT NOW, or we'll see if you can fly!”

Andrew tried to hit me again, so I stomped him in the groin. “You really need to quit doing that, otherwise...” I stepped over him and picked up the tablet. “So this was your big game plan, wasn't it?”

“GIVE ME THAT! You don't even know what it is!”

“Oh, you're gonna have to ask a lot nicer than that, pal—” I had to kick the idiot in the stomach to keep him down; for an android, he was pretty crap at fighting. “The Hell is so special about this thing, anyway? You could just get another one down at Best Buy—”

“JUST GIVE IT BACK, YOU DUMBASS!”

“Oh, I'm a dumbass, now, am I?” I dropped the tablet, smirking. “Guess I'm clumsy, too...”

“YOU IDIOT!” The surfer android tried to lunge at it, but I kicked him square in the face. “No, no, no. You wait your turn.” I tossed it to Lucy, who regarded it with a wicked smirk. “Let's see just how special this thing is when—”

I probably should've been paying attention to what was happening outside—as in, through the windows—because my attempt at being dramatic was rather abruptly cut off by the DC-10 very rapidly climbing. “Oh, what the Hell...” Lucy managed to find her way into a seat, strapping in as the plane started to ascend. Andrew, on the other hand, was sliding down the aisle and bashing his head on everything in his way; by the time he finally came to rest at the curtain, he was a twitching, stuttering wreck. Oh, and a lot of the unsecured crates were sliding all over the place, too.

Me? I'd grabbed hold of an armrest and worked my way into a seat just as Andrew went on his little slip-and-slide run, which meant I was safely secured while he was getting knocked around like a pinball.

Eventually, the plane leveled out—and the cockpit door opened to reveal.....

“....there's nobody in there.” Lucy frowned. “He must've set it to autopilot after it broke through the hangar door....”

Unfortunately, we had a far bigger concern to deal with at the moment—the radio had just kicked on. “THIS IS THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, REQUESTING IDENTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION—”

I scrambled for the headset. “Ah, this is Matt Harker, in my uncle's DC-10...sorry about the hangar gate, and, ah...”

“Are you a registered pilot?”

“In all honesty—

“BACK OFF, YOU IDIOT!”

I glanced back; Lucy had just kicked at Andrew, leaving him sprawling. I shook my head and turned my attention back to the radio. “....ah, I'm not the one who set this thing up, and, ah, I'm in here with one, potentially two...ah, hostiles, I guess...some surfer idiot and a possibly big guy with a mohawk.”

“....and you have no idea how to fly the plane yourself?”

“From what I can tell, I, ah, think it's on autopilot....” I glanced over the controls, which were about as complex to me as the setup to play the original Steel Battalion, multiplied by probably 10. “....no idea where we're headed—”

Something purple and pink shot past the cockpit windows, then circled around. “...the Hell?!”

Another voice kicked in on the radio, sounding weirdly familiar: “You can relax, guys...he's not hostile, and neither is the one who was yelling earlier. The two onboard with him are, though...I could try to board, take 'em out—”

“Too risky. Fall back and monitor, but do not engage. Mr. Harker, are you still there?”

“...yeah, I'm here—and, ah, just for the record, I'm not a threat. I repeat, I'm not a threat to anyone.”

“Do not try to alter the plane's flight path in any way, unless you have no other viable alternative. We'll try to keep tabs on your flight path until you reach cruising altitude, but after that...”

“....I get it. Thanks—

“GET OFF OF MY LEG, YOU IDIOT!” Back in the aisle, Andrew had tried to grab Lucy's leg and pull her to the floor. “Son of a...LET GO!” She kicked him, hard, and he finally let go of her.

“....ah, one of the hostiles is trying to regain control of the, ah, craft....plane, whatever—”

“Scanning now.” That familiar voice, again... “Identity verified—it's Andrew Sommers. He's got BC-43517 with him.”

“....can you confirm this?”

“I'd recognize the digital signature anywhere. It's BC-43517....Matt, you still there?”

“....yeah—wait, how do you—”

“I'll explain later, once the DC-10 is back on the ground—don't worry, they're not going to shoot it down. You're heading for cruising altitude right now, and once the DC-10 hits that height, I won't be able to track you...well, track the plane, but you get the idea. Whatever happens next, don't let Andrew or BC-43517 get to the controls at all before you reach cruising altitude, otherwise...”

“I get the—

“DAMN IT, GET OFF!” Andrew was getting grabby at Lucy's leg again, until she kicked him in the head

“As I was saying, I get the picture.”

“....you sure you're okay in there, Matt?”

“That freaking Andrew, or whatever his name is—” I felt a sharp pain in my left foot. “AAUGH!”

“What happened?”

“HE BIT ME! THE FREAKING IDIOT BIT ME!” Somehow, the android prick had crawled into the cockpit and sunk his teeth into my foot. I kicked down, hard, at his head. “Stupid freaking surfer airhead punk android biting me on the damn stupid foot...”

“...other than that, you're okay?”

“Lucy and I are trying to keep him from getting at that stupid tablet he had with him...Corona something...”

“Corona Ansata—it's a program, not the tablet itself.”

“Did you just mention Corona Ansata?”

“I did, Colonel. Looks like that's how Andrew was able to keep BC-43517 under control, and it might explain how he was able to keep this little operation going for so long...well, him or whoever the girl was from that tape at the Greensfield complex, when they visited Singleton...”

“....so this guy is connected to why Lina got taken?”

“....son, you're going to have to explain—”

“My girlfriend, Lina...she's, ah...”

“A gynoid. Humanoid female robot—like me. You don't have to self-censor, Matt...I'm guessing you're getting all of this, right, Colonel?”

“....I am.”

“If anyone wants to tell me how much trouble I'm in for all of this, can it please wait until after the plane is back on the ground?!” I kicked Andrew again, just to make sure he didn't get his hands on the stupid tablet; Lucy—apparently having been taken out of the action by a lucky shot from the surfer prick, dragged him back into the aisle.

“....Mr. Harker, we've just received the full report of the situation from Regional Director Caine. Apart from some mild property damage in regards to the hangar gate—”

“Again, not my fault!”

The familiar-sounding female voice giggled. “I think you're off the hook for that one, Matt.”

“....thanks—

“GYAHHAAAHH!” Andrew lunged at me, trying to grab the radio from me or something, but Lucy intercepted him with a tackle. “SUCK ON THAT, YOU AIRHEAD PRICK!” She kicked him again, for good measure, and dragged him out....

...just as I remembered the radio was still on. “...ah...”

“I'm guessing you're still having trouble keeping Andrew out of the cockpit.”

“....yeah, that—and while I'm thinking about it, who are you?!”

“Look to your right—well, through the window through your right.”

I turned, glancing through the window on the right side of the cockpit....and stared.

The figure flying alongside the DC-10 looked like something out of an SNES game, or an anime—female, armored up in purple and pink, with metallic silver “skin” for her hands, face and head, and neon purple hair with pink streaks going through it. “....whoa....”

“I'll take that as a compliment.” The purple-and-pink figure dipped out of view. “You'll hit cruising altitude in a few minutes, and I won't be able to keep the link open after that...if you were on a more up-to-date plane, I would...in any case, the best you can do now is keep that tablet away from Andrew and keep him away from the controls.”

“...I'll do my best on both counts....and, ah, thanks.”

“No problem. Stay safe, Matt!”

“Mr. Harker, this is Colonel Drake. You'll be outside of our communication range soon, and we can't provide any further assistance with detaining or incapacitating Andrew Sommers and BC-43517, but I wish you the best of luck in returning safely and reuniting with your significant other.”

“....thanks, Colonel. Hopefully, the autopilot won't die on me, or anything...and, ah, thanks for not shooting me down.”

“Regional Director Caine told us the full extent of your situation, Mr. Harker. As previously stated, you're in the clear.”

“Glad to—

“GET OFF, YOU SCUM!” Andrew was crawling for the tablet again, and the kick Lucy aimed at his face ended up hitting him right in the left eye. “Damn stupid....

I scrambled for the radio handset. “Ah, that was that Andrew idiot, again...and I'm guessing from all that beeping, I'm about to hit cruising altitude.”

“Indeed. Godspeed, Mr. Harker.”

“And to you, Colonel.” I sighed as the radio went silent—and, as I unstrapped myself from the pilot's sea, I reflected on the sheer insanity of what had just gone down. The Air Force must've been ready to scramble the jets and blast the DC-10 out of the sky after it blew through the gates of the hangar, but Simon Caine had apparently been in touch with them to fill them in on what was going down, and that gynoid (there was no way she wasn't one) who'd flown alongside the plane had done her best to keep them updated, too....absolute craziness. At least they were on my side....

“Hey.” Lucy made her way into the cockpit, grabbing for a radio nearby. “Who was that?”

“....the Air Force. They nearly shot down the plane.”

Lucy's eyes went wide. “You're kidding.”

“Wish I was...but, ah, some....” I chuckled. “...someone else intervened on our behalf, which is why we're still here.”

“And who—” Lucy groaned as Andrew tried to charge in; she spun around to kick him in the stomach before resuming the conversation, like nothing had even happened. “...actually, never mind.” She looked around for a bit, found the radio controls and started tuning. “....might as well see if we can reach Frank, let him know we haven't crashed or anything like that.....”

After a few seconds, an unmistakable voice shouted: “RIGHT THROUGH THE HANGAR DOOR! Of all the—”

Lucy actually burst out laughing. “And hello to you too, Frank!”

“....Lucy?! You're—”

“Not scrap. I've got Matt with me, and we're in the cockpit....the Air Force just scrambled jets to make sure we're on the level here.” Lucy handed me the handset. “Say hi, Matt.”

“....ah, sorry about the hangar door....”

“Oh, that's the least of my worries right now, Matt! You're sure you're okay up there?”

“....well, ah, other than having no idea how the Hell I'm going to keep this thing in the air if the autopilot disengages, I'm pretty good.” I managed a smile, not caring that Uncle Frank wouldn't see it. “...oh, and Andrew's an android, so...ah, anyway, here's Lucy again.” I passed the handset back to Lucy, earning me an eye-roll. “....you get all that, Frank?”

“I did, yeah.”

“Good. We'll try to get this thing landed safely, and the ALPA can have whatever's left of Andrew—”

“You're not gonna kill him, are you?”

“He sent his stupid drones to take me, and they ended up taking Lina.” Any and all levity had gone out of Lucy's voice as she spoke. “He deserves every bit of the beating Matt and I have handed him—”

“And how's that gonna help you two get Lina back?”

Lucy inhaled sharply, still royally pissed-off.

“....just promise me that you two won't go overboard in dealing with him, okay?”

“.....I'll do my best.”

“All I need to hear. And Matt?”

“I'll try not to bust him up too badly, Uncle Frank.”

“Glad to hear it. Let me know when you're close to landing—and where you're gonna land, okay?”

“I'll do that.” I switched off the radio, turned around—and nearly fell over. Apparently, Lucy's brawl had done a number on him, tearing up his arms, his back and his face with every hit she'd landed. Either that, or his sliding around on the metal floor was like getting dragged across a cheese grater. “Either tell me where Lina is, RIGHT NOW, or—”

“Just....give me....the tablet....” Andrew managed to get back to his feet, his left eye pretty much ruined.

“....all you care about is the damn stupid tablet?!” Lucy grabbed him by the shirt. “YOUR STUPID DRONES TOOK LINA!”

“....not...mine....”

“.....what?!” He'd been ordering BC-whatever around, and the drones in the factory had attacked me, Uncle Frank and the others as soon as he'd noticed us....and they weren't his?

“....just...the bodyguard...” Andrew was having trouble staying on his feet. “...it was—”

I shook my head, getting tired of the runaround. “I can't believe this...you're passing the buck even now?!”

Lucy was evidently a lot more pissed off than I was. “I don't care whose idea all of this was. Either tell me if Lina's on this plane, or you can French kiss the floor again.”

“...I don't know....” Andrew took a step back, and his shoulders started twitching. “...oh, Hell....”

Whatever malfunction was taking a hold of Andrew, I didn't really care—I pulled his pistol out of my waistband, doing my best to keep my finger off the trigger as I checked it. “....tell you what, I'll make you a deal. You tell me where I can find Lina, and I won't...” I looked up, expecting to see Andrew panicking at my threat—instead, he was glitching out, blindly scrabbling around for the tablet and falling all over the place. “....seriously?”

“Object-ject-ject-ject-ject not-not-not-not—” Something in Andrew's torso rizzed angrily, and he siezed up for a second or so before collapsing. “....not found...not found...not....DAMN IT!” He tried to get back up, but his left leg buckled under him. “IVAN—” I kicked him in the head again, hard. “....I don't know where she is!” he insisted.

“Whoever's pulling your strings is the one who had Lina taken, and the one who stole my uncle's plane—”

“He's going for the tablet again, Matt!”

Lucy's warning gave me enough time to kick Andrew's arm away from it. Once I was sure he couldn't grab at the thing and try something stupid with it, I kicked him again, sending him back into the main cabin. “Y'know, you never told me just what that stupid tablet even does, anyway....”

“None of your bus-bus-bus-bus—” Sparks fired from Andrew's nostrils. “....why do you care?!”

“...to be honest....I don't.” I walked over to where the tablet lay on the floor, picked it up and basically pinned it to the wall with my left hand. “But I do know that I have this sudden, uncontrollable urge to break it—”

“NO! You'll—” Andrew tripped over his own feet trying to jump me, siezing up and twitching again.

I stared at him for a bit. “I have this....feeling,” I casually informed him. “I've got this feeling that you've been lying to me about not knowing where Lina is. And because of that feeling, I don't think you deserve to get this back.”

“Just give me the tab-tab-tab-tab—” Andrew tensed as something in his back locked up.

“....see, you're pretty much shot to shit right now, too,” I continued, “and this tablet really isn't gonna do a whole lot to change that....” I stood back up and nodded to Lucy, who reared back with her right fist. “So, because you've been lying to us all this time—”

“I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO LINA IS!”

I turned to stare at Andrew, feeling more pissed off in that moment than I'd felt since Lina had been taken from Uncle Frank's shop. This idiot, low-sentience surfer dude airhead android prick, who'd barged into my room while Lina and I had been talking, didn't even know her.

Before I could even suggest it, Lucy punched the screen of the tablet.

“NO!” Andrew feebly reached out to stop her, but his arm locked up before he could grab the leg of her pants.

She punched the tablet again, and again, and again.....I could tell she didn't care that bits of it were flying past her and cutting her face (a few flew far enough to hit me, but I wasn't about to complain). She just kept punching the stupid thing until the screen cracked—and as that first spiderweb formed across the formerly flawless surface, she threw the tablet to the floor and stomped it, just inches away from Andrew's hands.

“No....you IDIOT—”

I angled a punch downwards, nailing Andrew in the side of the face and falling over him in the process. I pushed myself up off of him, getting a few free shots in, while Lucy went right back to stomping the Hell out of the tablet

Within...I'd say two minutes, the thing was utterly ruined.

“There.” Lucy kicked what was left of the tablet towards Andrew, nodding. “There's your stupid tablet. Happy?”

Andrew pulled himself towards the wrecked tablet, scooping up the bits in his hands. “....you...you broke it....”

“Yeah. She did.” I hauled Andrew up from where he tried to gather the pieces of the tablet. “And now, since you've pissed me off so damn much, I think I'm gonna break you.”

“You can't....you don't know how to fly the plane!”

Lucy scoffed. “Pretty sure 'Ivan' can fly it on his own. He'll—”

The hatch leading up from the cargo bay exploded, and both Lucy and I turned to see what Andrew was staring at.

BC-whatever, aka Ivan, aka I couldn't give less of a crap, was standing in the middle of the aisle, staring at the ruined tablet, then at Andrew. From what I could tell, he didn't even seem to notice that Lucy and I were there; sensing an opportunity, I let go of Andrew, and signaled to Lucy as I edged my way past him, past the prick with the mohawk. She did her best to follow me without brushing against him, and we both hurried to the far end of the aisle.

“Ivan....I, ah....I can explain....”

The big guy stalked towards Andrew, never saying a word.

I silently nodded to the curtained-off kitchen area. Lucy nodded and opened it; both of us proceeded to slip in as quietly as we could, just as Andrew started screaming.

The minute I stepped back down into the kitchen area, my phone went insane—FCon, yet again, was going nuts, with notices seeming to come from every single crate there.

“...this....might come in handy....”

Something made a really loud, really sudden clunk sound, and I nearly fell over—until I realized it was the lid of a crate hitting the floor. Another clunk followed, and another—the crates that had been on top when everything was stacked up were all opening! Slender, feminine arms reached out, and various voices stated that model so-and-so had just rebooted, or was online, or whatever....

“If none of these know anything about flying a plane,” Lucy muttered, “we're—”

“....this isn't John's place....” I turned around to see a curly-haired, blonde gynoid in a tight-fitting pink top sitting up in one of the crates. “....where...” She noticed me...well, noticing her. “....hi...”

“Hey.” I nodded, trying my best to look nonchalant. “Matt Harker.” I nodded to Lucy. “And Lucy Sievers.”

“...Mina West.” The blonde glanced at my phone. “....are you—”

Somewhere closer to the cockpit, something—probably Andrew—hit a wall and screamed.

“Not the reason you're here right now.” I went to help her out of the crate; she was dressed for what I can only assume was some kind of “sexy costume party”, looking a bit like a stripperized princess in pink and white. “Long story short, my girlfriend got abducted, and Lucy and I are trying to get her back. We're in a plane at the moment, and I have no idea when or where we're going to land, so—”

“A plane?” Mina echoed. “John got me a pilot programming suite as a gift last year!”

“....so you can fly this thing? I mean, it's a DC-10, not a Cessna or anything like that—”

“Got another one over here!” Lucy was helping someone else out of another crate—a pale, redheaded chick with a smattering of freckles and a green one-piece swimsuit and tights (I guess it was her “default outfit”, probably what she'd be wearing for shipping purposes). “You're the one who broke the tablet with Corona Ansata, right?”

“Technically, she was...” I nodded to Lucy. “I'm Matt Harker, she's Lucy Sievers.”

The Irish gynoid (her voice pretty much gave that away, if her looks hadn't done enough to ram the point home) shook Lucy's hand, then approached me and did the same. “SBN-QN-7953. Call me Siobhan.”

Lucy looked her over, nodding (and ignoring another scream from Andrew). “Where'd they grab you from?”

“Oh, I was on my way to another exhibition bout...took one detour to not have to stay at the AutoLodge, and the feckin' bus gets ambushed.” Siobhan rolled her eyes—just as something (again, probably Andrew) was slammed into the ceiling of the cabin. “Last thing I saw was some lunkhead with a mohawk, standin' over me with a pillowcase....”

“And then you rebooted in the galley of a plane,” Lucy finished.

Siobahn's eyes went wide. “....we're on a feckin' plane?!”

“Startup sequence complete.”

Lucy, Siobahn, Mina and I turned to glance at another crate; a tall, blonde chick, looking like nothing short of a Viking goddess in her white....it was kind of a toga, kind of a robe—anyway. She sat up in the crate, looking around. “This location is not my intended destination...”

“You're on a plane, luv,” Siobahn called out. “Looks like we've been taken for a bit of a flight.”

I made my way over to the crate, helping the blonde out. “I'm, ah, Matt...Matt Harker.”

“Is this plane yours?”

“.....it's my uncle's, but it's being used without his permission...a bunch of pricks are trying to run a smuggling—look, I'll explain later.” The blonde was out of the crate by now—and stood a good inch or two taller than me. “...and you are...”

“My standard name is Hera. My technical designation is—”

“Just the name, thanks...” I fished my phone out of my pocket—weirdly, Hera was already in Debug/Diagnostic mode, despite having been in a crate for the whole flight. “...do you, ah, have a standard human emulation mode?” Just as I was working out how to phrase the “reactivate human emulation mode” request that I'd hoped would get Hera out of her Debug/DIagnostic mode, another crate opened a few feet away

“Another one?” Lucy sidled over, regarding Hera with a frown. “Not as chatty as the first two we found in here, but that may not be her fault...” She arched an eyebrow. “Ah, Matt, is she...”

“Debug mode. Or Diagnostic. Can't figure out how to get her into human emulation mode...”

Siobahn strode over to the statuesque gynoid, parting her robe in the back. “I'll take a look...you help that one out of her crate, let her know what's up.”

“Got it.” I headed for the newly-opened crate—and had to firmly remind myself not to stare.

The gynoid inside was an even 5-feet tall (just guestimating from her prone position); her overall aesthetic was obviously Asian (facial features, skin tone, etc.), her figure was a healthy balance between athletic and cartoonish (mid-C cup, slim but still realistic midsection, toned hips, definite muscular definition in the limbs without going overboard), and her attire was barely there—a blue lingere set with stockings, heels and a few bits of jewelry.

I extended a hand to help her out, hoping she wouldn't think I was the prick who'd put her in the crate to begin with.

The Asian gynoid blinked a few times, the glow in her eyes fading. “....what...”

“Long in a short: you've been abducted, but not by me, we're both on a plane at cruising altitude and the big prick with the mohawk is with the assholes who took my girlfriend. I'm Matt.”

After a few seconds, the gynoid accepted my hand, easing herself out of the crate. “I'm Mai—”

“And I'm Lucy.” Lucy stepped up, shook Mai's hand and pointed out the others. “Peach, Siobahn and Hera.”

“...how'd you guess what my costume's supposed to be?”

“Your outfit does look kind of...Peach-y,” I admitted.

My remark was met with a shrug. “...well, John said it looked great, and it fit with my nickname—”

“Wait, he actually calls you Peach?”

“Can we get back to the point, please?!” Lucy groaned. “We're all in a plane, there's two android jerks in the cabin, and they're the ones who stole Lina and put all of you in here—”

A gasp cut her off; Hera had apparently finished booting into her human emulation mode, and she looked pissed.

“....I'm guessing you remember the androids Lucy just mentioned, ah, taking you...”

“I do indeed.” Hera's voice had a trace of an accent that instantly made me think of snow-capped peaks, fur-lined cloaks and mead halls. “One of them attempted to 'take' me in more ways than one....”

Siobahn made a face. “A bit too much information, luv.”

“So...we've all been stolen?” Mai asked; I could tell she was worried about her predicament, and for more reasons than BC-whatever swearing threats of grievous bodily harm against all of us.

“Pretty much—well, Matt here's lookin' for his girlfriend...” Siobahn jerked a thumb at me. “...and he's human, so...”

“And I'm the one who built his girlfriend,” Lucy clarified. “So I've got just as much riding on getting her back safe and sound as he does.”

I nodded. “The pricks who took all of you are the ones who took Lina from me...and they flat-out stole this plane—”

Another crate lid hit the floor with a thud, and a toned (and tanned) arm reached over the edge of the box. Within seconds, an athletic, tanned chick emerged from the crate, sporting tribal tats and wearing a sports bra, yoga shorts and an overall Hawaiian (with a hint of African) look to her. “....what is this?”

“Short version,” Lucy declared, “you got stolen by some pricks, and you're on a plane.”

Siobahn rolled her eyes. “A bit too short....” She regarded the just-activated gynoid. “You a fighter?”

“Bodyguard.” The new arrival took a few seconds to acclimate herself to her new surroundings. “He stole you, too?”

“He stole all of us,” Hera replied. “And his girlfriend.” She nodded to me, prompting the Hawaiian Amazon to regard me with an arched eyebrow.

“....hi. Matt Harker, my girlfriend got abducted by the ones who stole this plane..”

The Hawaiian chick, now fully out of the crate, touched her right fist to her left breast and did a ceremonial bow. “K0N4-3218. You can call me Kona.”

I nodded, gesturing to each of the other gynoids. “Peach, Siobahn, Hera and Mai—”

“And Lucy.” Lucy stepped forward, nodding. “I'm the one who built his girlfriend...and the ones who took her wanted me, initially, but...” She shrugged. “Basically, we're in a plane right now that's on autopilot....” A frown crossed her face, almost as if she'd just realized something.

“...what? Lucy, what's—”

“This is a DC-10, right?”

“.....yeah, but—”

“Peach, get to the cockpit—there'll be two androids in the cabin, a surfer dude and some prick with a mohawk, so try to not get their attention at all. Once you're in the cockpit, turn the autopilot off and figure out how to land this thing somewhere so we can offload the rest of the 'cargo' from here—”

Another scream from Andrew—followed by him being slammed into something else, cut her off.

“You want her to run through that?” Siobahn glared at Lucy. “If anything, let me and Kona go in there first, give her a bit of a buffer to get to the cockpit....come to think of it, how the Hell'd they even take us in the first place?”

“Corona Ansata. A debug program.” Lucy didn't look away. “I wrote it—and it's supposed to only be used in controlled environments like repair shops and maintenance centers, not by toolbags trying to run a two-bit smuggling operation or anything like that. The ones who took all of you stole Corona Ansata, too....believe me, I never had anything remotely resembling this in mind when I wrote it.”

After a few seconds, Siobahn nodded. “Hera, you're with me. Peach...let's try to get you to the cockpit.”

“But how do you—”

“I can tell in her eyes that she's not lyin'.” Siobahn glanced at Hera. “Let's get through that cabin, get Peach to the cockpit, and—”

Something hit the floor with a thud, prompting Siobahn and Hera to back away.

“If you three are gonna go out there, you might as well do it now. Andrew's getting stomped, and I have a feeling that bastard with the mohawk will be too busy kicking his ass to do anything against you.” I handed Siobahn the length of pipe. “I have no idea if this'll even do anything to him...”

“It's the thought that counts, innit?” Siobahn grinned. “You lot just stay back here, and once Peach is in the cockpit—”

“Why are we calling her Peach?” Mai cut in, somewhat confused.

Lucy rolled her eyes, and Siobahn walked over to drape an arm around the shorter gynoid's shoulder. “Look at her, and the outfit, then think of who else looks like that and has that name.”

“.....I don't—”

“Apparently, you're not into video games.” Siobahn sighed. “I'll explain later—”

Out in the cabin, Andrew was getting slammed something (either the wall or one of the seats), screaming “PLEASE!” between hits. “Right,” Siobahn declared, “like the man said—if we're gonna do this, it's gotta be now.” Peach and Hera nodded their agreement, and Lucy handed over the ball-peen hammer to Peach. “If you can get to the cockpit without any problems, I'm gonna want that back—OH, and one more thing. Use the radio to call Frank Holmwood..tell him who you are, that you're with Matt and me, and that you're trying to keep the plane on course to....” She shrugged again. “I dunno, just tell him you'll try to find somewhere safe for us to land.”

I nodded my agreement with her idea. “And keep us posted on stuff like turbulence, if at all possible.

Despite that rather substantial level of requests, Peach just nodded. “I'll do my best. Wish us luck!”

Siobahn counted to three on her fingers and flung open the curtain, rushing up into the cabin with Hera following close behind. Once they were in, Peach flashed a quick thumbs-up and ran up after them.

I only got a quick glimpse of BC-whatever and Andrew—they were on the left side of the aisle.

Well, I can only assume Andrew was, what with BC-whatever leaning over and probably crushing his throat in his bare hands. Seriously, the one thing on my mind at that moment was that if Andrew was human, he'd have been dead ten times over just from getting choked out by that prick with the mohawk.

Lucy pulled the curtains closed, looking only mildly pissed. “.....well, this is probably about to get really interesting....or really stupid.”

“Why did you tell Peach to get to the cockpit?” Mai asked, somewhat confused. “I thought someone was already—”

“When Matt and I got up there,” Lucy explained, her voice surprisingly calm given the circumstances, “Andrew had just run off to do his part in flying the plane—I'd thought that big prick with the mohawk was going to be at the controls, but...” She nodded to the massive crate. “Pretty sure Andrew used Corona Ansata to force him into that crate and get him out of the way. Andrew got the plane off the runway, then kept it on autopilot to come check the cargo hold hatch.”

“And that's when we started kicking his ass,” I finished. “Oh, and the Air Force nearly shot down the plane earlier.”

Mai and Kona looked horrified, but I kept talking. “Someone talked them out of it, and they got the official report from Simon Caine.” The abject fear Mai and Kona had shown was replaced with confusion, so I continued: “He's with the ALPA. Regional director, apparently....”

“Basically, we've got friends in high places.” Lucy rolled her eyes. “Anyway, we broke the tablet that Andrew used—”

On the other side of the curtain, something (hopefully, it was just Andrew) was thrown into a wall of crates.

“....we broke the tablet that prick used to control all of you and get you here,” Lucy continued, undeterred by the sudden interruption. “And that kinda sorta maybe freed the prick with the mohawk to get out of his crate, stomp up to the cabin and start kicking the scrap out of Andrew himself.”

“And we got in here,” I added, “to find you two, Peach, Siobahn and Hera all getting out of your crates, and...”

After a few seconds of glancing at each other, Mai and Kona nodded. “So what happens now?” Mai asked.

“....well, if all goes according to plan, Peach will be able to find a nice safe place for us to land, and we can get this plane back on the ground without any problems.” I sighed. “Hopefully.....”

My train of thought was momentarily derailed by the sudden and painful realization that, in the rush to get to up to the hangar, I hadn't put on any shoes. “.....okay, my feet are killing me right now.”

Lucy scowled. “We're in the galley of a DC-10, at cruising altitude, and you're worried about your feet?”

“Yeah, because my feet fucking hurt, okay?!” I took a moment to sit down, massaging the feeling back into both feet as best I could.

“You weren't complaining when you were kicking Andrew in the head earlier.”

“There's this thing called adrenaline. I was so focused on kicking his ass, I didn't really have an opportunity to stop and realize 'oh, my feet really hurt right now'.....” I grunted. “....and none of the others in these crates are male, since FCon is still going totally crazy with notices—”

The curtain separating the cabin from the galley opened, with Siobahn and Hera rushing down to meet us; Siobahn's left eye was rolling back of its own accord, but she just pushed it back into place with her finger. Hera, meanwhile, had only sustained clothing damage—her robe/dress/whatever had been ripped near the knees. “Peach's in the cockpit,” Siobahn declared, tossing the hammer back to Lucy. “That Andrew guy's taken a real beatin' up there.....”

“They didn't try to stop you three?”

“The bigger one paid us no heed,” Hera replied, “but Andrew....” She scowled, gesturing at her attire. “He tried to 'hitch a ride' with us—or at least me—to get back here.”

Lucy arched an eyebrow. “So the big lunkhead never even looked your way?”

“Not even a glance. He just kept beatin' on Andrew, throwin' 'im this way an' that.....” Siobahn scoffed. “Andrew tried to fight back, even....not that it did 'im any good.”

Hera nodded. “He is woefully outmatched compared to the bigger one.”

“BC.....oh, the Hell with his stupid number.” I shook my head, wincing again. “....did Peach say if she'd figured out where we can land this thing?”

“Not yet.” Siobahn frowned. “Somethin' wrong?”

“My feet hurt like Hell.” I closed my eyes, trying not to think about it. “I didn't even grab my shoes this morning...”

“Because we kinda sorta maybe had to get on the plane,” Lucy reminded me.

“I get that....” I sighed. “Siobahn.....think you can give me cover to get to the cockpit with Peach?”

“You were just complaining about your feet—”

“Landing the damn plane is more important than how badly my feet are hurt, Lucy.” I drew in a sharp breath. “If we're gonna get out of this alive, intact and all that good stuff, we need to figure out where we can land this thing, and how we can get there fast....unless any of you have any better ideas.”

Mai glanced around for a bit, then spoke up: “....maybe we could free some of the others in here?”

Siobahn shook her head. “Not gonna work. If they all get out of their crates, they're all gonna want to head out and take their seats...and as long as those two lunatics are beatin' the scrap outta each other—”

“But we activated and got out of our crates!” Mai countered. “Why can't we—”

“FCon says you five were the last ones put in before takeoff.” I held up my phone. “Probably by 'Ivan'/BC-whatever.”

Lucy nodded her agreement. “The others might've been packed up before they were loaded onto the plane—I'm pretty sure Andrew used Corona Ansata to shut you all off in the plane, which is why you reactivated after I broke the tablet he had it loaded on.”

“Makes sense to me,” Siobahn mused. “But back to the matter of Matt here wantin' to get to the cockpit....”

“Like I said, we need to find a place to land, since this plane can't just keep flying forever—”

Beyond the curtain, something splashed—followed right after by Andrew screaming for “Ivan” to let him go.

“.....and I'm pretty sure that's Andrew in the can, so...” I shrugged. “Better now than never, right?”

Siobahn stared at me for a full minute. “....if you get wrecked out there....”

“I'll be as quiet as possible. Hell, all you have to do is stand back and tell me if anyone's coming my way or not.”

After another minute or so, Siobahn nodded. “Just don't faff around up there.”

The two of us headed out into the cabin—lo and behold, Andrew was still getting a toilet bowl shower, meaning I had free run of the passenger aisle. I carefully made my way through the seats and around the crates, heading for the cockpit as quickly and quietly as I was able to. Under other circumstances, at another time, I might've winced at the sounds coming out of the bathroom—of course, Andrew was the prick who'd been responsible for Lina getting abducted. He was also an android, so he wasn't exactly drowning or anything like that....

He didn't even know who Lina was. She's just “inventory” to him.

It was that last thought that pretty much cemented my lack of sympathy for his situation. I knocked on the cockpit door three times and announced my presence to Peach: “It's Matt. Any chance you can open the door?”

“Matt? Hang on....”

A few seconds later, there was a loud, heavy click, and the door opened. “Thanks...” I headed into the cockpit and sat down next to Peach, taking a moment to collect my thoughts. “So, ah....what's the current situation?”

Back down the aisle, something shattered.

“....well, I was able to get Frank Holmwood on the radio,” Peach explained. “I told him everything you'd asked me to, and he suggested that we head northeast to try and find a good landing site.”

I nodded. “...and what possible landing sites could we possibly get to?”

“Judging from our current position, airspeed....” Peach blew a few strands of hair out of her eyes. “I think our best bet is to land at Portsmouth International Airport—and if we can't make the civilian side, then our safest bet would be to head for Pease Air Force Base.”

“And they'd actually let us land there?”

“Just let me contact them first...”

Something else in the bathroom exploded, and I could hear what sounded like an electrical device going haywire. “I, ah, don't think we've got a whole Hell of a lot of time....”

“Then you'll want to get back to the galley and tell the others where we'll be landing...uh oh.”

“What uh-oh?”

Peach didn't look away from the dials, gauges and other instruments of the control panel. “We're going to hit turbulence in a few minutes, Matt.”

“I'll figure something out. Just keep us level, and hopefully we can get through it without any problems.”

Again, without looking away from the controls, Peach nodded.

I left the cockpit, waiting to make sure Peach shut the door behind me before I headed back through the cabin to the galley. Just before I made it, the door of the bathroom flew off the hinges and hit the wall—with Andrew crumpled against it. Since I didn't feel like getting killed by BC-whatever for waiting around, I ducked back into the galley ASAP, pulling the curtain closed behind me.

“I'm hopin' that noise wasn't your fault,” Siobahn mused.

“The bathroom door got knocked off.” I headed for the big crate. “Also, Peach told me we're about to hit turbulence, so all of you might want to find something to hang onto.”

“And how're you gonna deal with it—”

“I'm getting in this crate and closing the lid. Lucy, Hera....once I'm in, come sit on the lid and do your best to hold it down so I don't go flying out.” The “tray” inside the crate hadn't exactly been sized for someone with my own proportions, but I did the best I could to get in and hold onto the sides.

I'd barely had time to close the lid before the turbulence hit—thankfully, the interior of the big crate was padded enough to keep me from bashing my face against metal or anything worse. Lucy's muttering and Hera's quiet....I couldn't tell if she was chanting some kind of mantra or flat-out praying, but whatever the case, it was the only hint I had she and Lucy were in fact sitting on the crate to keep the lid from flying open.

After a few minutes of hoping the padding in the crate wasn't worn too thin where my face kept hitting it, the shaking came to an end. “....you two can get off the crate now.... “

Lucy and Hera lifted the lid of the crate—just as something hit the wall just outside the galley.

Seconds later, Andrew fell through the curtian and hit the floor. “P-p-p-please, Ivan, I just...I wanted to...”

I gestured frantically for the gynoids to back off and hide amongst the crates, just as that android prick with the mohawk strode into the galley.

“You really think I give a damn what you wanted, Sommers?” He walked right up to Andrew, smirked, and backhanded him to the floor. “You read my file...knew I didn't like being controlled....and you did it anyway. Put me on a leash when you could've just paid me for the same thing....either you're really cheap, or just really stupid.”

“Ivan-an-an-an....just let me-me-me-me-me—”

“You controlled me. Used me like one of your drones....and don't even tell me you weren't going to sell me off after this was all over with.” BC-whatever grabbed Andrew by the leg and threw him across the galley. “I would've expected this kind of crap from a meatbag, but not from you....” Even Lucy couldn't help but wince as Andrew slammed into the big crate by the now-ruined cargo hold hatch, practically vibrating as he tried to sit up.

Andrew was trying to talk, over by the big crate, but it was pretty obvious that his systems were failing.

“I've been looking forward to this,” BC-whatever stated. “Ever since you pointed that tablet at me...”

“You....you don't-don't-don't-don't-don't—”

“You could've let me off the leash, like you did when Singleton nearly blew the whistle on us..I wouldn't have even asked for a big cut of the profits. 15%, maybe.....” BC-whatever shook his head. “A bit too late for that.”

“Just let-let-let-let me-me-me-me-me—”

“Shut up.” BC-whatever glared down at Andrew. “I'm going to enjoy this....”

“PLEASE.....just-just-just-ju—” Andrew's head kinked to the side, and something in his neck sheared off.

“....the Hell with it.” BC-whatever grabbed him in a one-handed choke to bring him to his feet.

“....you...you don't understand, I was.....I was just doing what she told me to do!”

“Then she's next.”

The mohawked prick smirked, letting go of Andrew's neck....only to wrap both his hands around his head. As Lucy and I watched, horrified, BC-whatever crushed the surfer guy android's head like a tin can, his screams of protest basically fading into gibberish in a matter of seconds. Once they cut out entirely, BC-whatever threw Andrew's useless body to the floor....

...and then, finally, he turned to look at Siobahn, Hera, Mai, Lucy and—of course, me.

“Matt....” Lucy's grip tightened on the ball-peen hammer.

“....so. You two broke the tablet.” BC-whatever strode towards Lucy and me, nodding; he either didn't notice the others forming a semi-circle around him, or didn't really consider them a problem. “I could thank you....”

A wicked smirk formed on his lips. “....personally, I'd rather kill you.”

Stay tuned....
"No one steals our chicks.....and lives!"

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Re: Lina, Part 8

Post by DollSpace » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:39 pm

*lets out a big sigh* yay! Was very good action-packed chapter. I look forward to the next installment. :)

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