daredevildaring: (waiting)
Five thirty A. M. ship's time found Kara walking. She'd drawn the short straw and ended up on the graveyard shift; even with Katniss and Sandor added to the rotation, it was still a six-hour stint trawling the corridors for disturbances that most often never actually showed up. She had music for company, one earbud in, one out, and a cigarette in one hand. The night was winding down to becoming morning, and people like Alain and the President were probably already awake. Half an hour to go meant she could make her way to the kitchen, where Jes was likely to be starting coffee.

It was still strange, sometimes, to walk toward doors that opened ahead of her, to turn a corner thinking kitchen and find herself not in the kitchen of the Argo. The Heirax's kitchen was larger, with square windows along one wall showing the stream of stars passing them by. And, apparently, sometimes inhabited by snoring Captains at five-thirty in the morning.

Bert had dropped like a stone, his head on the crook of his arm, the other arm outstretched on the table top. Papers lay in a haphazard pile underneath his face, and a glass next to him that had once contained either beer or root beer, judging by the quarter-inch of liquid left in the bottom.

Kara paused, wondering if she should wake him, or if it would be better to let Jes do it, who would undoubtedly do a kinder job of it. She was having a hard time convincing herself anyway; she could see from where she stood how exhausted he was, and if he'd slept the night here and not even stirred to go back to his own bed, he must be more overworked than she was giving him credit for.

Just as she'd decided to slink away and let Jes take care of seeing the captain on his way, Bert jerked upright with a snort and looked around, equal parts confused and sheepish. Kara couldn't help it; as soon as his eyes fell on her face, she burst out laughing.

game over

Oct. 24th, 2010 09:56 pm
daredevildaring: (whatthefrak?)
Flagg's henchmen were smart enough not to put their hands on her as they led her away. They stayed close, though, and Kara held her head high between them, swallowing the growing lump in her throat. The door clicked shut behind her, leaving Bert and Alain and Gert to continue playing his game alone, and it seemed to echo down the hallway.

"Where is he?" she asked as they walked. "Your buddy Randall Flagg. I mean I'm assuming he's not actually here," she said, scornful. "Wouldn't want to take the chance one of us would get free and go on a rampage with him actually close enough to get hurt."

He must've coached them not to respond, though; either that or they were borderline catatonic and didn't quite get that she was looking for a response. A minute later they stopped outside a door, though, and Kara's stomach clenched. He might be in there. The idea that she might be about to confront him in person-- the idea that Claire, Kate, Jes and Jim might be in there with him too-- she stood up even straighter and set her jaw tight. "Open the gods-damned door if that's where I'm going," she said.

One of the henchmen sniggered as the other did as she'd said. Kara had only a moment to register a very small, very dark room before she was shoved inside and the door shut behind her. "Oh come on!" she yelled, kicking the door and banging on it with her fist, listening to the futile sound of retreating footsteps.

Then her voice wasn't the only one in the cell anymore.

"Come on Kara, lighten up," he said, the recording bouncing off the walls so it sounded like he was murmuring in her ear. She went still as stone, fists balled tight at her sides. "It's all in good fun. I get what I want-- that's the glasses, for the record, not to mention a stellar night's entertainment-- and you get what you want-- all your nearest and dearest alive, safe and sound. Speaking of near and dear, that was a pretty impressive display of emotion you put on back there-- Ruby and I were all choked up. But I'm disappointed-- you lost me a bet. I was so sure you'd lay one on our dear Captain Bert-- a real Hollywood goodbye kiss. Oh well. Guess we'll just have to hope the reunion's as heartfelt as the departure. So just sit tight for awhile, don't waste your time trying to get out, we'll be letting you go free soon enough. And hey, thanks for playing! You really made it worth my while."

The voice went silent and Kara realized she had her eyes squeezed shut and her lips pressed tight together, her breaths coming short and sharp. She was so angry she couldn't have formed words if she'd tried. She jammed her hands into her pockets, pacing the cell, three steps across and three steps back. She couldn't get their faces out of her mind, and the more Flagg's words ran through her head the hotter her rage burned. The worst part about him-- and he knew it, of course he did-- was that he spoke just enough of the truth to make it really hurt. She lashed out with her foot, kicking the door with a low, furious grunt. It didn't move, and it didn't make her feel any better.

It hadn't even been half an hour of pacing (and alternately throwing herself against the door of the cell) when there was a loud click. This time when she kicked the door, it bounced open, flooding the room with amber light. Blinded for a second, Kara threw up her arm in front of her face, blinking. Once her vision had cleared, she left the room, digging in the inner pocket of her vest.

She hadn't been kidding; it was a very tiny gun. And until she saw someone else from the ship, she was keeping it up and ready to shoot. She'd been taken advantage of enough for one night, and was half hoping some of Flagg's minions were still hanging around so she could vent some of her fury on a worthwhile target.

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Kara Thrace

April 2011

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