Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chain of Command


Shape-shifting was the best power, ever, as far as she was concerned. She had wings she needed them, the ability to lift herself above all the petty mortal problems and soar to the heavens that would never accept her. She had claws when she wanted to feel flesh submit to her whims as she tore gaping gashes in those who opposed her. She could even have fangs if she wanted to savor the coppery flavor of her enemies' defeat. She was a badass killing machine, and it was awesome.

Until she ran out of things to kill.

There is something unsettlingly serene about being the only living person in a room, a scene made all the more disturbing when the survivor's outfit was little more than copious amounts of blood in varying degrees of coagulation. It was almost poetic, like an illustration of Darwin's Law in action. Survival of the fittest.  

Once she ran out of combatants, either willing or otherwise, Shemo's morbid glee was stripped away as effectively as her talons removing faces. Something was very, very wrong with this picture. She had been too wrapped up in the slaughter of their foes to notice when it happened, but now it was painfully obvious. 

Rani's scent was gone.

"Guys, we have a problem. Rani's gone." Just saying the words made it reality, and the reality was painful. Rani died the last time he went missing; she couldn't let that happen again.

"What do you mean he's gone?" Shemo could hear it in Donut's voice - he was fighting the wave of panic threatening to rush over him, too. This was bad, this was very fucking bad. This was worse than dinner when ex's parents that always hated her, after the break up. This was worse than peanut brittle.


Shit, another of Rani's half-ass plans failing. It shouldn't have come as a surprise to her; nothing ever went according to plan for them. And yet here she was, dragged into Rani's mess that would probably get them all killed. It was times like this that she was thankful that Rani hadn't knocked her up. She didn't have to be here. She could still leave.

"He probably left without us to confront the big bad and save the day." It was the type of stupid, melodramatic heroic Rani would do. He was always trying to take on the toughest roles himself, so desperate to make himself a martyr. When they were younger it was almost cute. Now it was just annoying.

"That wouldn't take away his entire scent trail." Shemo argued, always the dutiful supporter. Those two needed to just hook up already, no other woman would stick around through all of Rani's chaotic misadventures. Maybe Shemo was okay with this wild fantasy, but Sabine needed stability. Reliability. She was too old for this bullshit. "Something happened to him."

No shit, Sherlock. Something was always happening to Rani. He said it himself; the worst experiences make the best stories. And everything had to be a story with Rani. The reality Sabine offered him apparently wasn't good enough; he decided to stay on total drama peninsula.

 Sure, she could rush off in some suicidal rescue mission. There was no impending danger left looming in the backroom, she had secured that with relative ease despite her rocky start. There was no real need for her to continue guarding the exit, as the enemy resistance appeared to have dispersed. But that didn't mean she had to go looking for more trouble. With no immediate threat left, there was no reason for her to stick around and watch the scene implode. 

"Maybe he lured them all off somewhere. Maybe all the blood and sweat is masking his scent. From where I'm standing it looks like we're the only ones left. Let's just get out of here before more arrive and call it a day. Rani will turn up after he's saved the day."

"But Sabine, where did they all go? No one has left the building since we hit it." Why was Sky even here? Sabine understood why Donut was devoted, and even Shemo, but she didn't even know who Sky was. Clearly she was someone that important to Ray at some time to be included, but it was weird that Sabine didn't know anything about her. Then again, it had been a long time since she paid any attention to what was going on outside her own life. Every time she met Rani he was a different person, and every time he had a different group of followers. Shemo and Donut were the only alumni that stuck around. Hell, Donut had seniority on her.

"It doesn't matter. We don't need to be here. If Rani needed us, he would've taken us with him." She was through with this story, and everything it entailed. She was through with Rani and his heroics. This wasn't her life anymore. He wasn't her life anymore. And maybe that was best for all of them. He had his chance. It was all or nothing. He made his choice. "I'm out. If you're smart, you'll leave before you fall deeper down the rabbit hole."


The situation was unraveling, it was time for someone to step up and take charge. With Rani out of play, that meant it was time for Donut to get some play. After he saved Rani's ass, of course. Unless Donut had a chance to take a break to get some while pulling Rani out of whatever proverbial fire he had fallen into. It was time for alpha mode.

"Alright, new plan. Sky says no one left the building, so the action is still going on here somewhere and that means Rani is probably in the center of the shit storm. Rani was going to search the cash office at the front of the store, and the ammo storage back here. Sky and Shemo, you two take the cash office. Hit it like an angry quickie and report any resistance or sign of Rani right away. Sab, you're going with me to check the ammo room. The mission isn't over yet, and you're staying to finish the job." It was time for decisive action; they had wasted enough time talking. It was time to get back to stabbing and slashing with the vortex sword.

"Sky, why are you listening to this? Rani got himself into this mess. He can get himself out of it. We're both too busy to entertain this charade and pretend that we give a damn. We have our own lives; we don't need to be a part of these shenanigans." Donut had forgotten how difficult Sabine could be, and now he remembered why he never harbored any attraction for her. Aside from her history with Rani, he had no time or patience for difficult women. He preferred them easy.

"We don't have time to chat. We're going to finish the bloody mission, find Rani and deal with his damn gingerkin." Assuming command wasn't working out as well as he had hoped.

"Screw you. I'm done." So much anger, clearly she hadn't been screwed in a while. Maybe that was why she was so mad at Rani. If he had just given her the D, she might be more willing to save his A. 

"This changes nothing. Sky and Shemo scope out the cash office and I'll take care of the ammo room."

"I can't; Sabine's right. I'm sorry."

Donut imagined this is what it felt like to be fucked sideways. By Hodor and Deadpool. At the same time. Why couldn't Ray just write erotic fiction starring him, was that too much to ask for?

"It's just you and me, Shemo. We'll hit them together, ammo supply first since we're both here, and then the cash office. We'll go radio silent, no point in keeping them on if it's just the two of us."

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