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Yelling Timber

Posted on Apr 09, 2015 @ 11:41am by Captain Kassandra Thytos

Mission: Limbo

“Yelling Timber”
(cont. Back Alley Brawl)


“One more shot, another round,

end of the night, it's going down

It's going down, I'm yelling timber,

you better move, you better dance” -Ke$ha, and a song Kass would hate so badly.


Location: Limbo

Scene: The Pits

Stardate: 2.150408.2252

Selyara didn't stop to count her extraordinary luck.

Raxl and Rawyvin be damned.

With any luck they'd make her life easier and kill each other. She would feel guiltier about leaving Raxl to his fate if he wasn't hellbent on taking her back to face the tender mercies of Edgerton and what passed for the Federation justice system.

She made her way quickly away from the pair, her hands swimming blindly through the sea of people flitting from flesh to flesh, infecting each mind with irrational hostility towards Raxl, Rawyvin, and for good measure, anything with a Starfleet insignia. She wasn't sure it would work, but it couldn't hurt.

She had to head to the Shadow Market. Once Rawyvin had finished with Raxl he'd follow her, and the Romulans and Tella Yavin would be there waiting for him. Rawyvin would meet a messy end there, and she would be able to book discreet passage to somewhere else. Perhaps Risa again, or maybe deep into Romulan space, see the galaxy, safe and free.

She pulled out a pair of compglasses out of her pocket and placed them over her eyes. The displays flickered to life showing lists of goods for sale, starting bids and the handles of sellers and buyers. Never mind the setbacks of Rawyvin and Raxl, everything here was orderly and planned, the trap was set and baited.

She smiled and switched on her microphone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Shadow Master has arrived. The Shadow Market is now open for business." She whispered to herself, feeling an exhilarating mix of adrenaline mixed with mania kicking in as she used her wristband to activate the network that connected one criminal to another.

She WAS the Shadow Master, the puppeteer behind the curtain, the dark power that threatened Tella Yavin's control of LIMBO, the woman that knew secrets that could destroy the illusion of the Federation. Rawyvin Seth would die, and she would fade into the velvet blackness of space as though she had never existed.

* * *=/\=* * *

Kassandra flitted from rack to rack hefting each of the exotic weapons and giving them an experimental swish. Aerdan watched her silently, waiting for a break in her frenetic energy.

"So?" The redhead asked abruptly. "What'd you find out? I'm guessin' you didn't just pop out for funsies. You seem the worryin' type."

"I found out that Kalenda the Black outweighs you by about a hundred pounds, and is about a foot taller than you," Aerdan studied the woman. She seemed unconcerned by this revelation, but then she'd grown up on Sherman's Planet, so she was likely well acquainted with the physiology of Klingons. "I also found out that she is fighting you because Tella Yavin is punishing her for keeping a stash of weapons and latinum hidden from her. Rumor has it she was worked over by the Black Suns before they tossed her in here."

"And? They probably had a medic heal her."

"Even so, modern medicine doesn't heal a wound instantaneously. She'll still have weak and tender spots," the Andorian saw a spark of understanding dawn in Kassandra's glassy blue eyes. "You should look for loose collagen fibers arranged haphazardly instead of linearly, and excess intracellular fluids. Can your sensors do that?"

"Yeah, If I know what I'm lookin' for," she hefted her weapon thoughtfully. "Sometimes I really wish I had the whole positronic brain thing goin’ on. It’s real annoyin’ to often have no idea exactly what you’re lookin’ at. Thanks for the tip, I can probably use all the help I can get on this one.”

“Are you worried?” Aerdan cocked an eyebrow.

“Worried? Me? Nah. Worst she can do is kill me,” the woman’s voice was rough with false bravado. “I’m faster, that’s for sure, and I haven’t been worked over, so there is that. Hey, if worst comes to worst, I got two kids back on TERRA, see? You gotta make sure to let ‘em know what happened to me, and maybe mention that I’m not a complete fuckup.”

“I will, Major,” Aerdan said gravely. “But I’m hoping I won’t have to.”

“Guarantee you, not as much as I am,” Kassandra muttered.

* * *=/\=* * *

Time Index: Several hours later.

The lights in the Pit were blinding. The dust of the arena billowed in a cloud with each footstep, choking Kassandra’s throat with grime, and mixing with the sweat on her face to create streaks of filth down her face. It was hot, uncomfortable, and the jeers and boos from the crowd was deafening.

It was somewhere in the first few minutes of the first fight that Kassandra came to the realization that her situation was closer to the bullfight she had described to Aerdan earlier than a gladiatorial contest. Unfortunately, in this scenario she was the bull, and Kalenda the Matador. The first fight was against some idiot Romulan, eager to gain favor with Tella Yavin and win entry into the Black Stars, and it became quickly apparent to Kassandra that his purpose was not to whet the crowd’s bloodlust, but rather to tire her out, wound her, and allow Kalenda to observe her fighting style so she would have the upper hand in the main fight.

So Kassandra purposely made amateur mistakes, making each near miss seem like a lucky accident; A stumble that managed to take her out of the way of a kick, a poorly timed attack that just happened to block a punch. She made her strikes sloppy and haphazard, and faked injuries that required favoring. Even the finish seemed an improbable idiot’s luck: She was sent rolling across the ground with knee strike by the Romulan, and blinded by the dust of the arena accidentally barreled forward into the center of the Romulan’s chest as she tried to escape. He flew backwards, his head cracking against the wall of the arena, and she feigned dazed confusion as the referee held her hand up to signal the end of the fight.

She was convinced at least Kalenda wouldn’t have been able to analyze that performance, but it did mean that she’d expended a lot more energy than she’d intended. She was tiring, somewhere between sore muscles and her second wind.

Kassandra tongued the capsule in her cheek. At least she had something of an ace in the hole for this one if things got too bad. Every Marine was issued several of these capsules, they were known as ‘Fight/Flights,’ a heady cocktail of painkillers, adrenaline and other hormones, and a dash of amphetamines. If they were stuck in a life or death situation, wounded, tired, and in need of the ability to push past their limits, Fight/Flights would give them that boost to keep going.

She scanned the crowd in the arena, her sensors picking up her fellow crew, they all seemed to be there, they all seemed to be waiting for… something. Kassandra had a very bad feeling about this, like she’d been played, like they’d been played, like somehow everything was about to go to hell in a handbasket.

[[And now, the main event you have all been waiting for! Kalenda the Black, versus The Butcher! Ladies, gentlemen, others of indeterminate gender, please finish making any last minute bets now, and may luck be on your side!]] Alket Daheel’s voice echoed around the pit. Kassandra turned back to the equipment bench behind her and removed the padded armor she’d worn for the fist fight. She’d need to be completely unencumbered to make the most of her speed advantage. She picked up her chosen weapons and looked glumly at them, suddenly having second thoughts.

**Should have chosen a bladed weapon, you idiot. She’s gonna have a Bat’leth, you know she is, and now you’re gonna to be trying to beat her to death with a pair of sticks,** she set the titanium tonfas down, and re-wrapped her fists in new dressings. **When are you going to learn Kass? Biting off more than you can chew, you deserve all of this. Fuuuuuuuuck.**

She took a deep breath and walked towards the center of the ring. Too late for regrets, she would just have to suck it up and kick some klingon butt.

Kalenda strode to the center, a swagger in her walk.

“Today is a good day to die, are you ready Butcher?” Kalenda said with a sneer, swinging her weapon.

“Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant,” Kassandra countered sarcastically, turning to salute the box seats of the arena. “Hail Caesar.”

The Klingon clearly didn’t get it, and instead took up a fighting stance at the edge of the central ring. Kassandra’s brows knitted in a mixture of concentration and irritation, and she raised her fists up in front of her, the weapons braced against her forearms. Kalenda gave a bark of laughter.

“You’re going to be me with two piddly twigs? You’re dumb, even for a human. And I’m disappointed, you fight like a Klingon toddler. I expected more from the Butcher, but then I suppose it doesn’t take much fighting skill to massacre a bunch of women and children.”

Kassandra didn’t dignify this with a response. Her temper was one of her achilles heels, and the last thing she needed was to let Kalenda get under her skin. She bounced from foot to foot and dropped her back hand slightly, as though experiencing fatigue. Kalenda’s eyes sparkled sharply, and Kass’s sensors picked up the Klingon’s muscles tensing infinitesimally underneath her skin. Kalenda sprung towards her with a vicious strike of her Bat’leh, Kass brought her hands up and blocked it with her tonfas. The impact of the blow set the metal humming, her fingers felt a little numb, and the squeal of metal on metal set her teeth on edge.

Kassandra hooked her heel behind Kalenda’s knee and yanked forward, Kalenda twisted slightly, bringing her into the range of Kassandra’s leading arm. Kassandra slammed the short end of her tonfa into Kalenda’s ribs, and used her forward momentum to bring herself behind the Klingon. As Kassandra’s back hand passed Kalenda’s torso she swung her elbow, reinforced with the metal stick right into Kalenda’s solar plexus.

Kassandra pivoted quickly on the balls of her feet and reversed her grip on the weapons, using the short handle as a hook to simultaneously smash Kalenda’s fingers and yank the Bat’leth out of her grip. It went flying through the air of the arena, coming to rest somewhere in the dust.

Kalenda took the loss of her main weapon and barely missing a beat spun around, pulling a knife from her waistband.

“Not so bad for two piddly twigs, was it?” Kassandra felt a little better on her choice of weapon, they felt natural in her hands and acted as extensions of her arms, which was better than a clunky bladed weapon she wasn’t familiar with anyway.

“Perhaps I misjudged you, but I can still crush you with my bare hands, puny human. You’re the size of a runty Klingon child. If you were one of us, we would have put you out on the mountain side at birth to die,” Kalenda taunted.

“Whatever,” Kassandra snorted insolently. “When I finish beating your ass into the ground I’ll make sure to let the Klingon High Council know that your House breeds weaklings and idiots.”

Kalenda snarled and struck out with her fists and feet. Even with advance warning, Kassandra could only avoid one, and she reeled back with a blow to the stomach that would have broken ribs if she hadn’t already been in the process of flinging herself backwards. She hit the dirt of the ring and slid, feeling the grit and dirt of the Pit giving her one hell of a case of road rash.

The fight went slowly after, Kassandra landed blow after blow on Kalenda, but she was tired, and even though she was strong for a Human her strikes seemed to have little effect on Kalenda, who might as well have been an immovable mountain.

Kalenda seemed to be flagging, and the two fighters circled each other warily, when Kassandra’s sensor nets suddenly picked up the telltale signature of disruptor fire up in the stands.

Kassandra came to a screeching halt, reorienting her sensors in the direction of the commotion. Her blood ran cold, Russ, Jake and wingboy were on the outskirts of the mess the Romulan Commandos and the Black Stars were kicking up. Kane and Drake were away from the line of fire, but it was advancing quickly, and making his way up towards them was Rawyvin Seth.

She had to end this quickly. She crunched the tablet in her mouth, feeling the heady effects of it pulsing through her veins. She spun back to Kalenda and suddenly went on the extreme offensive, blows raining hard and fast. Kalenda’s hits no longer pained Kassandra, and she shrugged them off. Kassandra took a flying leap and brought her weapon and forearm crashing into the Klingon’s nose, with the other hand she used the short end of the tonfa to punch Kalenda in the throat.

Kalenda went down like a pile of bricks, and the crowd roared for blood.

Kassandra stood over Kalenda’s body, breathing heavily. She hooked her weapons into her belt.

“The Butcher is dead,” she screamed at the stands, her voice echoing through the sound system. “I’m not killing anyone for your amusement. I’m not killing someone who can’t fight back. I don’t fucking have time for this.”

Kassandra ran towards the edge of the arena and hauled herself up over the wall. The spectators parted as she raced towards Rawyvin Seth. She finally caught up with him and yanked him around.

“Rawyvin, you fight me right now,” she bellowed in his face, “come on, don’t you want a challenge?”

“Why Counselor- or should I call you the Butcher? How nice to see you again. Regrettably I have far more pressing things to attend to, which preclude me from taking you up on your offer of a fight,” Rawyvin smiled at her with infuriating calm.

“You’re gonna fight me. Pick on someone who can fight.” She swung at him, and he deflected her blow with a neat twist. She drove towards him, weapons flashing, but suddenly she felt a sharp pain across her back, and a sharp stab in the side.

Kassandra slipped and looked down to see a dark stain of blood on the floor. In confusion she turned around to come face to face with an angry, snarling Kalenda the black.

“I will not be dishonored in front of everyone here, Butcher. How dare you make me live with the shame of my defeat? Well I will take what honor I have in the eyes of others back!” Kalenda punctuated that statement with a shove that sent Kassandra sliding through her blood on the floor. “Die, and think about Barbossa.”

Kalenda left and Rawyvin leaned down to look at Kassandra.

“You know, I always thought you were a rather plain woman, but when you’re in pain you’re positively radiant,” Rawyvin said in a manner Kassandra distantly felt was rather creepy. “Maybe it’s because you know exactly how bad it is. You know how intimately death is cradling you. But you’re not scared. You know you’d be positively transcendent if you were scared. Tell me, Counselor, are you still scared of the dark?”

“What the fu-” Kassandra coughed, blood filling her mouth. She tried to move away, sensing he was planning something, and that she wouldn’t like it. He pulled Kalenda’s dagger from her side, and drove it home into the processor for her sensor nets. The world went dark.

“I’ll have to come back after I’ve finished my work,” Rawyvin’s voice was like velvet and sickly sweet poison in one. “You really will have to tell me what it’s like to have the people who trust you with their lives wiped out while you were helpless not once, but twice, my dear.”

“Go to hell.” She whispered. She felt her heart going haywire, pumping more of her blood out with each beat, her fear betraying her ten times over.

Then everything went black.


Alexandra Fowler
writing for...
Kassandra Thytos



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