Lexi fidgeted with the tight cuffs on her hands. 'Not Again' she thought to herself, the anger boiling inside. She'd been a sex toy to two madmen already and who knew what terror these captors would bring.
"You!" Disciple Lynn addressed her. "Stop now." He didn't like how she was trying to wiggle her arms out of the cuffs. The trio were sitting in the Redeemer's troop bay with cuffs on both arms and feet.
Lexi's face turned red and she was about to bark an insult when Juliana broke her concentration. "Lexi" She pleaded. "Lex" The voice finally catching her attention. "Lexi live for another day." Juliana spoke softly. As Lexi's eyes met hers, she offered a sympathetic smile and nodded over at Eyanosa. "He needs medical attention."
For the first time in a long time, Lexi felt a sense of compassion and comfort. Juliana's looks was comforting. Deciding she was right, Lexi sat back digging in for the ride. At least whatever come next, she'd be with friends, her makeshift family.
Lexi's stomach gave out as the ship lifted off the Pirate Base hangar floor and headed out to space.
** Twenty Minutes Later **
The Redeemer jerked yet again and her passengers could hear a loud clang as it docked with another ship. A few more minutes passed as Lexi impatiently waited. Two of the soldiers, the one named Big John and one she didn't catch the name of brought in a stretcher. Quickly, they placed Eyanosa onto the board and carried him out of the ship. A sense of panic filled her gut, but she could do nothing more. "Where are they taking him?" She demanded.
"Infirmary" Initiate Viv Peters responded. "Relax, the Doc's a capable healer. Patched up more than a few of us."
A few more minutes passed as six additional soldiers entered the room. "Just these two?" One asked. "Yeah" Disciple Lynn responded. "Preceptor wants to see them before you lock em up."
"Roger" The soldier responded then the men began unhooking Juliana from the seat and lifted her. The trio surrounded her and began walking her out the same way Eyanosa had been carried out. The remaining trio began to unhook Lexi and lifted her up. They pushed her out towards the same exit.
The two captives were escorted through an airlock and into a larger craft. The opening housed several fighters and a score of crewmen working to repair those ships. Following closely behind Juliana's group, the party slowed and shifted her to the left revealing several figures huddled around a man. They seemed to be receiving orders as well as inspecting the two prisoners. No sign of Eyanosa anywhere, Lexi noted.
As the man turned around, Lexi's stomach churned, as if she'd been punched in the gut. "Dad" She muttered louder than she'd have liked. Several soliders and Juliana turned astonished at the claim.
In truth it would not have mattered. Matthius dropped all protocol and rushed over to the sixteen year old. "Lexi" Tears streaming down his face, something the present crew had never seen. "Two years! How?" It didn't matter. "Uncuff my daughter. He ordered, take the other one to the brig."
Juliana stood in shock at the turn of events. At least until the back of a rifle prodded her forward. The trio surrounding Lexi began uncuffing the girl as she slumped to the ground. "Release her." Lexi pleaded. The brief moment of weakness subsiding. "She's my friend." She pleaded with Matthius. "Lexi she's a pirate. She held you captive." The words from her father stinging like lashes of a whip. Lexi began to protest then she heard the words once more in her mind 'Lexi live for another day'. Juliana's words comforting her.
"Let's get you cleaned up." Matthius helped her off the Idris hangar deck putting his arm around her as the two began walking towards the Idris' medical facilities. "Saskia" He turned towards one of the females who had previously been huddled around him. "Get the fleet ready to leave system."
Hours passed as Lexi spent some time being poked and proded in the infirmary then came the endless questioning by her father.
"Lexi what can you tell us about the pirates?"
"What's the the burning flame signify?"
In truth she had no idea, so Lexi sat lifeless on the table.
"How did you end up in this system?"
"What's the name of the system?"
Matthius pushed the girl too far, forgetting his role as father and adopting his role with rebuilding the XSO - Xi'an relations.
"Why are these pirates attacking the Xi'an?"
"Who's the leader of this pirate organization?"
She'd had enough of vital signs and questions, but was relieved to see that Eyanosa was being cared for in the other room. "ENOUGH!" She yelled out stunning Matthius.
"Ok Lexi. Let's get you a hot shower and some food. It's so good to see you again." Matthius gave her another hug which wasn't reciprocated.
For Lexi, The day continued with a long hot shower, fresh food, and a new set of clothing. All things she'd taken for granite before this moment. Particularly the hot fudge Sunday she was enjoying along with eleven year old Liz. Her sister, she had thought dead brought tears to her eyes briefly. She cared for her sister, yet this life was so foreign to her now. Her heart still couldn't forgive the father who had abandoned her.
"Liz", Lexi spoke softly.
"Yes Lexi." The girl's face covered with chocolate syrup smiled.
"How about you show me around the ship?" Lexi smiled.
"OK" Liz's face lit up with purpose.
Liz escorted Lexi the rest of the day around the Idris. Lexi spent the time getting familiar with her new quarters and the ship's layout. This ship was smaller than her father's former ship, but larger than any she'd been on over the past two years. Certainly compared to the rooms she'd been confined within.
*** Later that night ***
Lexi tossed and turned. The smell, the bed, everything was just too unfamiliar. She sat up, giving in to defeat.
She slipped out of bed and put on the XSO fatigues she'd been provided. While not her style from a few years ago, these fit nicely and provided the comfort she'd need in the coming hours.
Rummaging through the room, she found a few items of use and left the stateroom. Across the hall, she entered Matthius' stateroom using Liz's key card she'd gotten from her sister earlier. The lights were off and everyone was asleep. She picked up Matthias' Mobiglas off the entryway table, reading it's time, it said '2:34 AM'. Lexi slipped the Mobiglass on her head and walked over to the family portrait on the wall, center of the stateroom's family room. She looked at the picture for a few seconds fighting back tears. Matt, Liz, Her Mom, even Lexi were on the picture with Matthius.
Turning her attention back to her current task, she listened intently at Liz's door. She could hear faint breathing. Her sister must still be asleep. She then made way to her father's office and looked around. There just like she'd gleaned from Liz, the weapons locker. Lexi hurried over to it and began inputting a few codes. First her parent's wedding date. Failure. Then Matthius' birthday. Failure. She tried a few more important dates in the Stormfury family history. All failures. Then Lexi tried birth dates. Liz. Failure. Matt's Failure, even her own. Failures. Frustrated she started to give up, but something told her to try one last time. Mixing the days of her birth, Matt's and Liz in order. 'Click' the tumbler unlocked allowing her access.
Inside a variety of weapons and ammunition. Lexi grabbed her father's Arclight Model II. His favorite weapon, how fitting. Lexi smiled.
Running on adrenaline now, the next few minutes were a series of blurs. She checked one last time on Liz. Still Sleeping. Moving quietly but swiftly she found herself standing over Matthius' bed. The man was sound asleep, snoring even. The rage in her heart swelled up once more. The man who had left her to die, to become a slave, a sex toy for maniacs. She'd save Liz from this inevitable future and unfit father. Her arm outstretched, the Arclight pointed at Matthius' head, she squeezed the trigger tighter.