Shanghaied Part 2

Demen didn't have much trouble acting like he couldn't keep from weaving as he followed the Ni-Kunni woman in front of him into an abandoned section of the station. Everything had gone perfectly. One of the crew had been approached in a bar by the woman, who Demen had to admit was one hell of a specimen. The man had been hustled out of the place, while Demen had been called in to dangle in front of her. She managed to be fetchingly pale, rather than sallow. Green eyes, dark brown hair. White blouse, short jacket, skirt, everything else green. They'd coached him for hours so he could drivel on about how exciting graviton reactors were. It'd been a relief when he had finally felt whatever she slipped into his drink start to catch up to him. She - he couldn't even remember the name she had given, the Green Woman - was good too. He hadn't even seen her do it. Now he was still feeling a little woozy despite specialist implants working to scrub the drug out of his system. Strong stuff.

Now she tugged him along by the hand and he tried to keep track of the twists and turns. He kept getting distracted by the hints of rust on the patterned steel deck plating, trying to avoid the occasional junkie slumped against the wall or shambling along the corridor in the opposite direction, human detritus too fouled for even the Blood Raiders. He did notice that they all moved to slink out of the Green Woman's way. He nearly ran into her as she stopped and rapped on a door, identical to the others spaced along the hall. It slid open and she turned to him and spoke, "Here we are baby. Just through here. Paradise waits."

Demen stepped through and was immediately grabbed by hulking bruisers of men, so alike in every other way that the fact their facial features were totally different was hardly enough to differentiate them. Still muddled by the drug, Demen forgot his mission momentarily. He stepped into the knee of the man on the right with a crunch, freeing his right arm with a jerk, and aimed an elbow at the man's throat as the man fell. Everything seemed to float, slowly, as if in thick oil. It was hard to focus, and Demen watched fascinated as the elbow broke the man's jaw and the same movement continued around to take the man still holding him with an uppercut to the stomach as Demen pivoted clumsily, his body seeming to belong to someone else. Demen had a moment to feel a strangely distracted satisfaction as the man folded and lost his grip. Then there was the touch of something cold at the back of his neck and he blinked.

Demen stumbled as he ran into a wall and glanced around. Back in a well lit part of the station. Everything was fine. He had a headache, and the uniform he was wearing didn't seem right somehow, he was sure. Didn't matter. He had to pack. Tugging the jacket closer around himself he hurried back toward the docks.

Walking through the docking collar onto the Utopian Ideal, everything seemed slightly surreal. The ship had become strange to him, even though he knew it like the back of his hand. He couldn't draw attention, and he had to leave soon. They were waiting for him. He ducked through back passages and avoided common areas as he made his way to his quarters. The feeling that he was being watched slithered across the back of his neck the entire time, and it was all he could do to avoid glancing around constantly. It would be over soon, he would be away from this terrible place, he'd finally be safe. He couldn't remember when he last felt safe. Didn't know how he had stood being here already... however long it had been. It had all been a terrible blur, but things were clearer now. He knew where he needed to be, and everything would be wonderful after that.

As he left his quarters he nearly ran into a short, slight looking officer with the insignia of a full colonel on her collar, flanked by a pair of Marines in 'light' powered armor. Her name tag read 'Voutelen.' She glanced at the duffel, "Going somewhere, Master Gunny?"

"I, uh, excuse me sir." Demen turned and tried to walk the other direction down the hallway, eyes on the floor, but was jerked to a stop as an armored hand wrapped all the way around his bicep.

"Take the Master Gunnery Sergeant to Medical corporal." The woman spoke from behind him, but when he turned she had disappeared. He docilely let the two soldiers march him off, brutally suppressing his growing panic and knowing that, without a hint of doubt, whatever else he felt, trying to fight, or hurt, the men and women on this ship would be the wrong thing to do.

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