Dangerous Consequences

Started by Sloane Breene, May 20, 2020, 10:57:38 pm

Sloane Breene

May 20, 2020, 10:57:38 pm Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:13:33 am by Sloane Breene
Year 2508

Normal girls her age would be getting ready for graduation from school, looking at possible prom dresses, being advanced by boys and even applied for Academy's on planet and off for continuing education. Young Sloane Breene was doing none of those things because of her large damn family. In-between her parents who restricted the kids to home school only and her social life would have been completely none-existent if she hadn't taken matters into her own hands once she figured out that her brothers and parents would never allow her to life a normal life. She was the youngest, therefore, Sly always seemed to have eyes on her. If it wasn't her older brothers or her parents, it was friends of the Breene Family. The sister felt she couldn't never have a moment to herself, so she finally started to claw out her own. Only standing at 5'6', Young Sly used her small stature to her advantage and attempt to sneak out from under her family's prying eyes, even if it was for an hour or two, at least she'd feel normal, even if it was only for a little while. Sure, her family would scold her for running off and another futile attempt of convincing her that it was dangerous out in the rest of the world. Falling on deaf ears, Young Sloane processed the information given to her, the usual 'you don't know what the rest of the world is like outside these doors' bit and stored it away in the detailed structured storage system in her brain. Just another piece of the same piece of paper thrown into the desk drawer with many just like it, but she did keep it, she didn't throw the data away. Sloane processed it through that big young brain of hers and understood the risks and decided it was worth it. Little did she know what fate had in store for her one sunny day in New Dublin.

Successfully escaping the family docked ship undetected, Sly took the next several hours to spend walking around the downtown square plaza that included shops, cafes and benches stuck all along the square. Feeling the sun on her face and actually being among actual people, the Breene Sister took her time and strolled around the pathways. It was rare that these outings actually included any of her real-life friends she had. The windows she was able to sneak off were so random, by the time Sly was actually able to call one of them, their timelines would never match up, but sometimes she liked it that way. The solitude, sometimes she was thirsty for it some days. Sitting on a bench over looking a park flush with crisp green grass and beautiful shinning sun, Young Sloane sat with her downloaded ebook she was completely engrossed in, she didn't even notice the large body sit down next to her. The dark eyes that were burning a hole in her face until she finally looked up and saw taller, bigger man sitting strangely close beside her.

"Good book?" The man flashed a grin, but something about it put Sloane off. It seemed fake to her and she immediately got a nasty feeling in the pit of her stomach. She just softly nodded politely and began to gather her things in her bag to leave. But the strange man kept trying to interact with her, even slowly scooting closer to her on the bench. "Hey I know that tattoo!" The sister felt her whole body suddenly freeze. The Breene family crest was inked on her arm, she slowly covered with her bunched-up jacket sleeve, yanking it back down cover her arm again. "Breene right? You know a Billy Breene? He's an old friend of mine. Ya know I've been trying to get a hold of him. Any chance he's in town?" The stranger's words sent a chill down her spine. Something felt off and this man was offering a lot of info up to try and strike a conversation with her. She didn't like it and tried to get up, but his hand violently snatched her arm, keeping her in place. It hurt and felt he was stronger enough to just snap it in half if he wanted. It hurt and she could already feel a bruise forming, "Alright Jìnǚ," he spit quietly, the entire dementor completely changing into something darker, more sinister, "I'm done playing nice. You're gonna call Billy or else I'm really gonna get mad..." Terrified Young Sly desperately glanced around for any sort of help. The plaza had barely any people in it and the ones who were around, were too far away to do any good. With his other hand, her aggressor snatched her bag from her shaky hands in a growl and coldly fished around until he found what he was looking for. Her communicator and slammed it on her lap hard enough to make her legs buckle a little under his strength. "Call him. Now," he aggressively hissed at her. This is exactly what her family tried to warn her about. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Her eyes beginning to swell up with tears, her shaky hand picked it up into the palm of her free hand and her trembling fingers slowly dialed his number. Once it started ringing, his grip around her arm tightened even more and yanked her physically closer to him on the bench. She felt the tear detach and slowly roll down her cheek. Suddenly all she thought about was: Home. All she wanted was to go home. They heard the line pick up on the other end and before she knew it, a sob forced its way out of her throat once she saw her brother's face on the screen, "Billy.."

Billy Breene

May 21, 2020, 10:52:09 am #1 Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 10:54:53 am by noseatbelts
"Ye better get dem crates loaded up 'fore I get back. Should be two hours or so. No dawdlin' now, Bill. I mean it." His father had said an hour and fifty minutes ago.

Leaving Billy in charge had been Breene the Senior's first mistake. Leaving him with some easily duped crew hands just after payday had been the second. Billy Breene squinted down at the cards in his hands and liked what he saw. He glanced down at the pot between him and George and Ellory and liked what he saw even better. It was almost too easy, gambling this way with guys that dumb. But Billy wasn't picky. He grinned and set his cards back down before him on the makeshift table they'd made from one of the crates they were supposed to be loading up into the good ship Bobby Sands. "Well, boys. Check." He said, full of confidence.

George looked at Ellory, unsure. "Gee I dunno. Whataya think El'?" The mustachioed dope showed his friend his cards. Ellory scratched at his stubble, looked at his own cards, and then back at George's.

"Hey!" Billy said. "That's cheating!" The idiots looked at him. "No doubling up. Look at your own damn cards." Way too easy.

"I fold." George said after a look from Ellory.

"Me too." Ellory said after a look from George.

Billy sighed. "You guys..." Saved by the bell, or rather the ring, Billy looked at his cortex pad and saw an incoming message from his baby sister, Sloane. He started to get up, leaving them to the game, but changed his mind at the last second. "Better get to work before my dad gets back. If this isn't done he's gonna be real mad at you." Fearing the retribution of William Breene Sr they scattered and began loading the crates. Billy, one hand on the cortex pad, the other stuffing the money on the table into his pockets. "Hey Slowpoke." Billy said, using his old childhood nickname for Sloane in greeting. "What's up?" And then he saw her face. "What's wrong?"

Before she could answer, the video jostled as if changing hands and a familiar face filled the screen. "Hey, Billy." The man said with a devil's grin. "Long time."

Billy went stone cold. "Rodrigo. I thought you were dead."

"I know you did. You shot me."

That was how Billy remembered their last meeting. His old outlaw crew on a boat called [/i]Scarecrow[/i] had just run a progressively worse run of bank robberies. When some of the crew opted for a lay-low policy, hotter heads prevailed and bullets were exchanged. Billy was the only one who walked away. "Why don't you tell me where you are so I can do it again?"

Rodrigo laughed. "Where's the fun in that?" The feed ended.

Billy jumped into action. He grabbed his guns, hanging casually by the belt on a nearby crate, and quickly wrapped them around his waist. He couldn't be sure, but he thought he knew where they might be. Sloane had a place she liked to go and read. And if Billy knew Rodrigo, which he did, they'd be on the move fast. He stopped short before taking off, and turned back to George and Ellory. "Uh, I'll be right back." One more thing. "Don't tell my dad." If William Breene Sr knew his one and only daughter was in trouble and that trouble was because of Billy's outlaw past, once Sloane was safe he'd kill Billy for sure. He had to take care of this himself and do it quick.

Sloane Breene

"Hey Slowpoke." Hearing her brother's voice over her communicator after seeing his face on the screen, Sly felt more tears streaming down her face and her entire body start to tremble. His little nickname for her growing up since she was always last in all family functions, dinners, gatherings, dinners, etc. She was always the last one to sit down at the table. But in her defense, it was hard for her to race with her brothers being a quarter of their size, although she did her best. She was still a slowpoke. But didn't stop her from trying. She saw Billy's face immediately switch to concerned. 

"What's wrong?" Suddenly her attacker violently yanked her comm from her hands, still keeping a crushing iron grip around her arm and keeping her place beside him while Billy and him exchanged some words and threats. This was all her fault. Her family tried to warn her and her stubborn Breene blood made her refuse to believe just how bad things were outside the Breene compound shipping dock and just what having the last name Breene really meant. She heard Billy address his enemy by name, Rodrigo. 

"Why don't you tell me where you are so I can do it again?" Billy pressed them for their location. The sister had confided in Billy and Willy one day some of the places where she'd escape to when she'd slip away. She never thought her life would rely on her doofier older brother's memory. 

"Where's the fun in that?" Her assaulter finished after laughing at Billy's question and ended the call. Dragging her up along with him, her arm still pinched in his grip, Rodrigo jumped up from the bench and smashed her communicator onto the ground. The Scared Sister couldn't stop herself from yelping audibly and flinching from the comm hitting the pavement into pieces next to her black/red colored messenger bag, still leaning up against one of the bench legs. He then started to drag her along beside him, marching out of the park, whimpering quietly from the throbbing pain of his iron grip wrapped around her little arm. Sly felt if he pulled her any harder and he'd rip her arm from its socket. "Please.. Don't-" she managed to force out of her quivering mouth. "Shut up," her kidnapper snarled back, continued to drag her along hastily down the street out of the park, almost too fast for Sly's feet to carry her and nearly tripping her up. Her wet blue eyes desperately scanning around for any sort of help. Why did she think those stupid Breene family combat training sessions were a waste of time? If she got out of this, she would put in the work every training session she had going forward. Her big brain, shuffling around trying to find an idea of what to do, anxiety beginning to build. What's the point of having her mental storage memory system if she couldn't retrieve the information when she needed the most, think, Breene, think! 

Suddenly a memory popped out of her mental file cabinet. Her brother, Willy. In the Cargo Bay. He looked ridiculous. "Okay kid, we're practicing for realsies! When all else fails, what do we do?!" Her eyes immediately widened. That's it. Her feet found their stride along with Rodrigo's and picked up the pace, managed to squeeze in front of him and quickly smashed her knee right in-between his legs. All within seconds. Her attacker howled in pain, releasing her from his grasp. Sly didn't waste any time and immediately took off sprinting as fast as her legs could take her back in the direction they came from. She escaped. Or so she thought. She didn't see the his fist shoot out of nowhere and knock her square in the side of the head from behind. Her vision immediately went black.

Billy Breene

May 22, 2020, 10:47:53 am #3 Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 11:54:28 am by noseatbelts
Cobblestone met boot as Billy ran as fast as he could to the park where Sloane was known to steal away to. He skidded to a stop, a frantic glance to every direction. "Sloane!" He said, cupping his hands around his mouth, though he knew no matter the volume she was unlikely to hear him. Rodrigo would guess that Billy knew where to find them, and would have been long gone by now, even though Billy arrived at a full sprint. Speaking of which, his heart thrummed in his ears and his breath labored in his chest as his body became sticky with sweat. "Lā shǐ! Cāo tā mā de gǒu shǐ." He wanted to kick something but there was nothing. He wanted to punch anything but he found only strangers looking at an outlaw with a foul mouth. He wanted to rip and tear and shred and bite but frustration and failure were all he had. His little sister - baby Sloane with the big eyes - was dead and it was his fault.

He saw Sloane's bag, a small pile next to a nearby bench. And close by, her cortex pad, smashed. It wasn't much to go on - nothing at all, really - but it was something. She had been alive moments ago. She could still be alive now. But Billy had to think, which was never one of his strong suits. Where could they go? Where would Rodrigo take her? Rodrigo had met Billy in New Dublin when they were both younger, recruiting the would-be outlaw to the Scarecrow. They'd become fast friends over the years, Breene being the youngest on board but Rodrigo was only a year or two older. The day they met was so clear to him. Billy, shirking his chores, dreaming of a more exciting life, was drinking at a dusty bar in the middle of the day. Rodrigo had walked in and bumped into Billy, making him spill his drink. A fight ensued and, by the end of it, they were drinking together and Billy left New Dublin that very night with his new friend.

Billy knew where they were. "Malarky." He said, and took off.

Sloane Breene

May 22, 2020, 10:16:46 pm #4 Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 07:14:40 am by noseatbelts
The first thing she felt as her brain slowly regained conscious was immediate throbbing sharp head pain on the left side of her head, some of her face feeling sticky, wet and reeked of copper, blood. Her wrists bound together and pinned behind her and the cold floor beneath her, lying on her side. Her ankles were tied. Letting out a small soft groan, Young Sly's eyes fluttered open, her vison still a little dazed from the blow to her head and her brain immediately went into sensory emergency mental overdrive, taking in every detail it could find, cramping it into her unready mind. The floor under her was gray dirty concrete stone. The room had no windows and one black painted metal door, but the paint had been fading for a while now. It smelt like stale beer and musty. The shelves were filled to the brim with supplies from everything from alcohol to cleaning products that looked like had never been opened. Small random sections of the wall that had caved in with a couple fist sizes holes and a steel sat chair under it. There were two male figures standing near the door, once her brain recognized as her kidnapper, Rodrigo and the other was an older man, bald, aging more graceful than most his age and they appeared to be arguing in hushed tones on the other side of the room, right in front of the door. The ringing in her ears slowly started to die down as the dizziness dissolved into slight tipsiness and their conversation slowly start bleeding through.
"Ya don't know what you've done, boy-!"
"Samuel, listen-"
"Ya get her the Tā mā de outta here, now!"
"Just hold up a sec, man-"
"Do ya know who her *daddy* is?!"
"Yeah, but her Méishì biàn shì hǎoshì brother-"
"Ya better pray to whatever Gōngniú god she don' remember any of this or ya better start start diggin' now, Rod-"
Samuel stopped talking and hushed Rodrigo, the two listened up against the door. The older man swore under his breath sharply then jammed his index finger up against his lips and gestured in her direction. Rodrigo turned to stare at her and it sent chills up her spine. The bartender quietly opened the door and shut it after him. Sloane's heart began to pound, louder and louder until she felt it in her ears. Her attacker approached the bound frightened girl on the floor and knelt down right in front of her while reaching behind him. He yanked out a knife, Sly's eyes widened like a fawn and the tears resumed back up, wet trails trickling down. Rodrigo pointed the tip in her direction, staring daggers, whispered the words covered in venom, "One word, Ch zi, ya brother's gonna find pieces of you, starting with those big blue marbles of yours, Míngbái?"She managed to nod the best she could resulting in more of her face vibrating. He grinned and it terrified her. "Good girl." Her inner brain running her mental overdrive came to a slamming halt and shut down. It was just the scared sad little girl inside her active conscious now, the four-year-old who's sad Welham broke her communicator on 'accident' and Teenage Billy was making funny voices at her until she smiled again. That child wanted one thing and one thing only.
"BILLY-!" Her voice shrieked sharply as loud and long as she could before Rodrigo shoved the palm of his hand around her mouth and jabbed the knife up against the side of her neck. She went silent, feeling the sharp pain of his fingers fastening on either side of her jaw, assuring her silence if the knife wasn't enough encouragement. No one moved, both sets of eyes completely fixated on the door in front of them.

Billy Breene

May 26, 2020, 08:13:18 am #5 Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 11:55:06 am by noseatbelts
Sam Malarky's, as rough a dive as Billy had ever been, sat smack dab in the center of New Dublin and was frequented by men who didn't care about watered down liquor and stale beer. They just wanted a place to get into trouble. Fights were as common as spilled drinks and it was here that Billy and Rodrigo had first shared both. Well trouble had come knocking today. Literally. The door was locked and the light out front with the owner's name in green neon was turned off. This was an unusual state for Sam Malarky's to be in, and Billy's hackles were on the rise. "Sam!" He said, pounding on the door. He cupped his hand around his eyes and peered inside, trying to make anything out through the tinted glass into the dim of the bar. "Sam! Open up!"

Billy saw movement at the back of the bar. A shard of light quickly extinguished as the door to the back swung open and closed. Out of the shadows emerged a balding man in a bartender's apron, a towel draped over one shoulder. "I'm comin' I'm comin'..." Billy could see him muttering under his breath. The proprietor made it to the door, undid the deadbolt, and cracked the door open. "We're closed-" He said, cutting himself off when he saw who was standing at the door. "Billy. Um. Long time."

"Closed? Sam. I've been coming to this place since I could walk. My family has been coming to this place since it opened. You never close." Billy said.

"Well I'm closed today. I ain't feelin' well. Go away, now." Sam said, and tried to close the door.

Billy slammed a foot in the way and gripped the door jam tight. "Sam."

Sam knew what was coming, but kept it up anyhow. He wasn't sure why; stubbornness maybe? "What, Billy?" He said, his eyes down at the ground.

"We've known each other a long time, Sam."

"That we have."

"Since I was a tyke, like I said."

"Like you said."

"A lot of good times."

"Good times."

Billy leaned in close for this next. "Sam. Look at me." The bartender's eyes, reluctant at first, danced their way up to Billy's baby blues. "Whatever Rodrigo's paying you, I'm sure it's a lot. I mean, not a lot a lot, he's not a rich guy. Terrible with money when he has it. You 've seen him spend his paycheck in one night on beer, right?"

They shared a laugh.

"Well, I'm not going to pay you to let me in. I bet I can't beat what he put in your pocket. You let me in or I kill you." There was no humor left and with one look, Sam knew Billy was deadly serious. His grip softened on the door. A smile crept to Billy's lip until he heard Sloane's scream from the back. No more mister nice guy. Billy shoved his way into the bar, knocking Sam out of the way and to the ground. "Sloane!" He said, calling to his baby sister, his aim narrowing on the door Sam had appeared from. A sound to his right, where Sam had fallen. Billy pulled Susanne from her holster, cross-draw on his lap, and shot Sam twice in the chest without looking. The bartender dropped the scatter gun he'd found behind the bar and clutched at his wounds, falling out of site, presumably dead. "Told you, Sam." Billy said, focusing back on the challenge at hand. "Rodrigo. You're next, amigo!"

Sloane Breene

May 26, 2020, 11:44:35 am #6 Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 02:11:44 pm by Sloane Breene
"Sloane!" Hearing her brother's voice answering her call to him through the door, outside the room, caused her to start visibly shaking and sob a little, her mouth still covered by Rodrigo's palm. Billy found them. He actually found them. He was coming for her, like he always did when she needed him.

Hearing the gunshot, Rodrigo swore under his breath and immediately changed his position, still keeping his grip around the tied-up Sly, who's entire body tightened up hearing the commotion out in the bar and then nothing. Did the bartender get the draw on him? No way, Billy was one of the fastest draws Sloane had ever seen, no way *anyone* could get the drop on him. It had to be her brother, blowing his way in to save her. Keeping the knife tight up against her throat and his rough dirty hand shoved over her mouth, her kidnapper quickly rotated to behind her on her side, dropping to the ground and positioning her small body in front of him like a human shield. She could feel his body pressed unwelcomed against hers from behind and it made her skin crawl, her tiny bound hands shoved against his waist. He must have known how big he was and how much of him was actually still showing because he let go of her mouth and grabbed a fist full of her head, yanking it backwards, exposing her neck more. She yelped in pain, but the knife tightened its position against her throat silenced any other sounds she might have accidently made. 

"Rodrigo. You're next, amigo!" Billy yelled through the door, assuring both people in that room that Samuel was probably the person who met with Billy's bullet earlier and most likely dead outside. The two on the floor froze, his fingers still intertwined in her hair, pulling her head backwards and blade dangerously close to her neck, one quick flick and it would be all over. Billy was fast, but she was hoping she was as fast as she needed him to be right now.

"Try it an' I'm gonna paint this room with her blood!" He angerly roared loudly, hurting her ears a little being that close and the volume he used, "It won't be fast, Bill! I'll take my time!" Young Sly's eyes flooded with tears, eyes fixated on the storage door open separating them. If they get out of this alive, Sloane was never leaving home again. She'd even go dress shopping with her mother, like she wanted and do the work with her family's combat training. Her whole life she felt like her brothers' weakness and now she was. Never again would one of her brothers have to put themselves in harms' way because of her. "Put down your guns and open the door slowly!" Rodrigo barked loudly "Don' try anythin' or ol' blue eyes here is gonna look more red!" 

Billy Breene

Billy guessed that Rodrigo had a knife to Sloane's throat. While painting with blood isn't a medium that is done with just one instrument, Billy knew Rodrigo liked knives. Always flipping them around on his fingers, tossing them up with a flourish and catching them, daring their razor sharp blades to slice their master. With a knife to her throat, Sloane would be dead quicker than Billy could pull a trigger. He put Susanne away. "Come on out, Rodrigo. We'll have ourselves a drink. Maybe cool off a bit." He noisily pulled a bar stool out and sat upon it, reaching wildly across the bar top for the first bottle he could reach. Gin. Billy made a face. "You like Gin, don't you? I don't. Tastes like floor cleaner." He reached for another bottle. Whiskey. Good stuff, too. Aged scotch, or so the label said. Billy remembered that Malarky's didn't often serve what was in the bottle. He poured himself a drink and shot it back.

"You drinking out there? When you going to take this seriously, eh? I got a knife to your baby sister's throat, man."

It burned like hell, not altogether unpleasant but not like how you want aged scotch to taste. Billy didn't much care. Billy settled back onto the barstool and poured himself another drink, this one for sipping, which he did. "Now, I'm a whiskey man, you might recall."

"Cāo nǐ!"

"Language!" Billy said with a smile. "Rodrigo. I'm not going to come in there, because if I see you holding a knife to my baby sister's throat, I won't be able to help myself but shoot you. You come out here, though." He pulled Sheila and set her on the bartop, ready and quick to grab. "No knives on throats. Maybe we can talk this out."

"I come out there, you'll shoot me."

"You think I won't shoot you in there, cuz I damn sure ain't comin' in there without The Sisters."

A moment of silence before Billy could hear sad laughter trickling out from the back room. "The Sisters? Your guns? You always were a Tā mā de báichī. Poser wannabe jackass."

Billy didn't like that, resting a hand on Sheila as if to cover her ears. "You take that back!"

Sloane Breene

Hearing the two men yell through the door at each other, terrified Sly kept perfectly still, the blade sharp on her throat and his hand still holding onto her hair, forcing her head back into him, her throat displayed like an animal getting ready to slaughter. She was doing her best, although she was absolutely freaking out on the inside, not to keep her body perfectly still, afraid the knife might catch her if her head twitched too fast in the wrong direction. But her anxiety had been building and building to unsafe levels. Her strong survival mentality was starting to crack and it was sending warning signals to the rest of her, it was going to happen and it was going to happen soon. Frustrated that his plan wasn't working out how he wanted, Rodrigo dropped his grip on her hair and yanked the knife away, slicing the tape around her ankles, setting them free, she felt her feet fall apart, still on her side. She already pieced together that if he was going to kill her, Billy was going to witness it.

"You think I won't shoot you in there, cuz I damn sure ain't comin' in there without The Sisters." She felt him suddenly move away from her and grasp the back of her shirt, pulling her up to her feet as he climbed up as well. It took her a minute to get her feet settled back on the ground again. A laugh shot out of his mouth at the comment of Billy's guns and their lady names. Sly wasn't sure why they had 'S' names, seeing how her first name started with one as well, she honestly never knew it Billy had named his beloved pistols after her, but doubted he put that much thought into it. "The Sisters? Your guns? You always were a Tā mā de báichī. Poser wannabe jackass." Once she was on her feet, annoyed Rodrigo started to shove her quickly towards the door, keeping the back of her shirt still bunched up in his fist with the knife still in his other hand. It looked like Billy wasn't going to take the bait he was dangling in front of him and the kidnapper appeared to be stewing over a new plan. "You take that back!" She felt him cut the bounds around her wrists, freeing her hands as he forced her to move, but yanked her back into him and tucked the blade back against her throat, just under her chin. He positioned himself directly behind her, her hands slowly naturally fell back on either side of her, hands trembling greatly.

"Open the door, Ch zi, slowly," he hissed at her quietly, feeling his hot breath hit the side of her face. This was it, her anxiety brain had her convinced. She felt her throat lock up and sudden weight on her chest, she couldn't breathe, her gasping for air quietly. She felt him shake her, using her shirt to push her about. "I said open the Gāisǐ de door!" He snarled again, but she still didn't move and her body started hyperventilating, she couldn't catch her breath, she was having an attack, she couldn't open the door, even if she wanted to. She gasped as her lungs filled too quickly and shoving the air back out, her body not having time to process it. "Hey, what the Wǒ lēi gè qù?" He swore, his voice getting louder. Suddenly, Sly dropped to the ground like a sack of bricks, hard and loud. Rodrigo, surprised at this, actually flinched backwards as she fell, not expecting it, knife still in his hand. Now on her back, Sloane struggled to breathe, entire body quivering heavily while Rodrigo looked down on her and smirked at her bad luck. "Ya better get here, Billy, ya girl's having a fit!"

Billy Breene

Billy was off the stool in a flash. So quick, in fact, that he left Sheila where he'd set her on the bar. Stopping short of the door, he contemplated going back for her, but he had Susanne to keep him company. Afterall, it could be a trap. Rodrigo wasn't above lying to get what he want. To be fair, neither was Billy. He pulled the gun free and reached for the door. One. Take a deep breath. Two. Susanne at the ready. Three. Door open. Billy swept the room and saw that it was just Rodrigo standing there with a knife and Sloane on the floor. Susanne, cocked and ready, wanted to shoot Rodrigo on sight, but a desperate cough from Sloane drew Billy's attention downward.

"Don't. Move." He said, the warning clear. If Rodrigo moved, something was going to happen. Okay, maybe not crystal clear but one could guess what Billy meant. He wasn't exactly a subtle guy. The gun held in his left hand, pointed at Rodrigo, Billy knelt and cupped Sloane's face with his free hand. "Hey there, Slowpoke. It'll be okay." He remembered when she'd have attacks like this when they were kids- hell she was still a kid in his eyes. "Just breath, Slowpoke. In and out. That's right, through the nose." In as calm a voice as he could muster, Billy shot a dagger of a glare at Rodrigo. "What did you do to my sister?"

"Listen, man." Rodrigo said, holding his hands up in innocence. "I barely touched her." Billy looked at the bruise on the side of Sloane's head forming, then back at Rodrigo."Alright, well, she hit me first." Annoyed, he continued off-hand, pleading his case. "I think she's just scared or somethin', I dunno."

Once Sloane's breathing began to even out, Billy rose from his crouch, gun still trained on Rodrigo. "Any last words?" Billy had always wanted to say that, and now he had. He pulled Susanne's hammer back, his aim more forceful and earnest. This was the end.

Rodrigo's hands rose, but he smiled. "You really gonna shoot me in front of your baby sister?"

"You gave me no choice."

Rodrigo shrugged, still smirking. "Maybe. Maybe I do deserve to die. Maybe I deserved to die when you shot me three years ago." He paused, raising his eyebrows. "Maybe you did, too." Rodrigo's eyes, dark, foreboding, fell on Sloane. "She know what you did, Billy? She know who you are?"

Billy hesitated.

"Didn't think so. Well now she gets to find out, huh?"

Sloane Breene

Whenever Young Sloane would have these 'attacks', it was difficult for them to bring her out of it, her anxiety would just boil over and reach dangerous levels in her brain that overload the rest of her body, bringing on these 'fits'. She had been going to a doctor, at the dismay of her farther, but after the third attack in public a while ago, her mother demanded that they go see someone. It was awful and embarrassing and one of her brothers ended up having to carry her home. It was Willy. Since he had been there when the first one happened, he was one of the only ones that can help her calm the anxiety once it gets high enough to start an attack. He could even help her mentally maneuver out of one if it sparks. But the oldest Breene brother wasn't always around, she had to do something to combat this ineffective part of her big brain. The older she got, the tools appeared at her disposal to a point where she herself could bring herself mentally and physically back or even completely preventing it from happening at all. This was obviously not one of those times and it was getting worse every moment she tried to breathe.

The door to the room swung open and there stood her brother, one of his pistols cocked and ready, directed to her kidnapper, who had been standing off to the side, watching her suffer and honestly making her anxiety attack much worse. Billy dropped to his knees and cupped the side of her face lovingly while trying to talk her through it, the minute he touched her face, he became real for her, he was really there with her and Big Billy wouldn't allow any more harm come to her. "Hey there, Slowpoke. It'll be okay." Her blue eyes locked onto him and tried to force out words in-between her struggled breaths, but ended up just sounding like choking sounds, her voice lost somewhere on the way out of her mouth. She wanted to tell him how sorry she was that all of this had happened, this was all her fault and he had to come rescue her all because of her mistake. A mistake that almost costed both of them dearly. She was so scared he was going to kill her. "Just breath, Slowpoke. In and out. That's right, through the nose." She followed Billy's instructions as much as she could, forcing the air that wanted to sprint out her mouth and funnel it through her nose instead. Her breathing started to slow down, her body's state began to settle down from her trembling to more of a gentle vibration. But with her assaulter still in the room, Sly wasn't completely out of the woods yet.

Rodrigo argued his innocence to Big Billy with the gun cocked and pointed at him. Her brother didn't see the look in his eyes when her attacker threatened to send her back to Billy in pieces, there was a thrill to it like he was going to enjoy her torture. Once her breathing became steady again, Billy rose to his feet and dealt with the huge problem still in the room. "Any last words?" The look Billy flashed Rodrigo when he saw the bruise he gave her as she tried to run away made it completely clear to her that her kidnapper wasn't leaving this room alive, but was he right? Was he going to shoot him in front of her? Up until that point, she's seen people get shot before, but had she ever seen it this close up? Sly couldn't move. "She know what you did, Billy? She know who you are? Didn't think so. Well now she gets to find out, huh?" Sly didn't think her mentality could handle witnessing her brother kill a man in a supply closet in the back of a shady bar. Still lying on the ground, knowing if she tried to stand she's probably fall back over again. Sloane gently placed her shaky hand on the back of her brother's leg and her scared voice finally spoke, a quiet plea, "Billy... I wanna go home..."

Billy Breene

Finger tensed on the trigger, Billy found the six pounds of pressure required to take a life suddenly far heavier than it had been since he'd taken up the mantle of an outlaw. His aim was on Rodrigo, but his eyes were on Sloane. The Breenes were no saints. Running a shipping company in the 'Verse rustled up some scrapes. They had enemies though, as William Breene, Sr. liked to say, "Not for long." Somewhere deep down, Billy knew that Sloane knew. Knew that he was a thief and an outlaw and a murderer. That he was not a nice man. That he had deliberately sought out that life and relished in it up to and even after having to lay low because the heat was too high. That he longed for its return. His finger tensed on the trigger and Billy knew it would be so easy to kill Rodrigo. That it was the right thing to do. But while he knew that Sloane knew, he didn't want to be the one to tell her.

"C'mon Slowpoke. Let's go home." He said, reaching for her. Susanne's hammer stayed pulled and her barrel still pointed at Rodrigo, daring him to make a move as Billy helped Sloane to her feet and held her close as they backed out of the room.

Rodrigo let them go. "This ain't over, Breene." He said. The certainty of his words were clear that this truce was temporary. There was an unspoken agreement that involving the family had been a mistake, and until it was rectified, there would be a sort of truce.

"I know." Billy said. Once clear of the door, he turned, his arm wrapped tight around Sloane to guide her quickly out of the bar. They stopped only to pick-up Sheila, and left Malarky's behind, the bell above the door marking their exit.

Rodrigo was slow to step out into the bar proper. The look on his face was not one of vindication. He had not won this battle, not even close. He now worried about letting Billy go. He sidled up to the bar and picked up the bottle of gin, popped the cap off and let it fall to the floor before taking a full-throated gulp of the liquor. He smacked his lips as the gin burned his throat and smiled. "And now... phase two."

Sloane Breene

"C'mon Slowpoke. Let's go home." It was the words she had been longing to hear since this whole nightmare had started. Home. A desire to hug her parents and never let go. She wanted to cry in her father's strong arms, feel her mother's gentle touch that seemed to be able to heal whatever was ailing her and planned on never leaving home again or at least until her mentality was under control again. With how far she has come to being able to control these attacks, sadly, this was a large step back in the wrong direction. Sloane just hoped that she could make up from the ground she lost, surrounded by her family, she hoped it progressed sooner rather than later. 

And with that Billy reached for her hand on the ground and gently pulled her off the ground and tight into his arms with his gun hand still extended at their attacker, her legs taking a minute to start working again. The minute she was in her big brother's arms, she felt every bit of her that had been fighting so hard to keep going, knowing Billy was coming to get her, just completely fell apart. She was finally safe and her body needed to recover from this crazy anxiety-ridden adventure that she was thrusted into. She instantly and weakly grabbed onto her brother, doing her best not to let go as he secured her tightly out of the bar and onto the street. But the more he rushed her down the street, the weaker she was beginning to feel. "...Billy..." she breathed weakly, attempting to alert him that something was wrong and felt her grip on him start to loosen, then it happened. Her entire body dropped, the last thing she remembered as she blacked out was Billy's voice calling her name.

Billy Breene

Some time later...

Billy leaned against a wall in a wooden chair, his guns hung from their belt off the back. The room he was in was dark, though the glow of the window coverings indicated it was still day time. It was a cozy room, with little room for anything other than a few dressers, a wardrobe, and a large comfy bed. In the bed lay Sloane, asleep. Billy's eyes were likewise closed, his breathing easy and still. If one didn't know better, it might appear that Billy had fallen asleep watching over his little sister, but that couldn't be, could it?

As he slept, the door to the room creaked open ever so slowly, spilling light from the next room inside. A hand appeared, holding a gun, and led a body inside of the bedroom. Rodrigo's face was the last thing to appear. With a wicked smile at his sleeping foe, he walked over to the bed and picked up a pillow, placing it over Sloane's face. His gloved hand pressed down as Sloane began struggling. Rodrigo lifted the pillow to reveal that it was Billy beneath all along. "There you are." He said, his pistol raised and pointing dangerously at Billy's face. Rodrigo pulled the trigger.

The leaning, precarious as it was, could only last so long as Billy's subconscious took his imagination and ran wild. "No!" Billy said, shaking himself awake and from the chair in one quick movement. The chair crashed to the floor as Billy reached for whichever of his guns was closest, trying to find where Rodrigo had gone in his sleep addled state. It only took a moment for Billy realize what had happened, but it was too late.

A woman appeared at the door, pushing it open, her big brown eyes wide with concern. "What was that?" She said. Seeing the state Billy was in, she figured it out. "Did you fall? I told you not to lean back like that. You better not have broken my chair." She bent down to investigate it. In doing so, she picked up Billy's cortex pad from the floor and glanced at it. The woman, who had told Billy her name was Cinnamon when they met but was actually called Flora, handed the device to Billy. "You've got like ten messages on there."

Billy picked himself up off the floor. "Yeah yeah. I'm fine by the way." He said and looked over to see if his ruckus had woken up Sloane before glancing at the messages. All of them were from his brother, Willy, no doubt about him and Sloane disappearing. "That's not good." He left them unread for now and stuffed the device into his pocket.

"You said you'd only be here a few minutes." Flora said, crossing her arms over her chest. "I don't mind seeing you-" Her face softened. "-You know that. But if you're in trouble I can't afford it." At his insistence, Flora crossed the space between them. Billy wrapped his arms around her as she rested her head on his chest. Before he could whisper sweet nothings or sweet somethings or sweet anythings, really, she cut him off with a kiss. When it was finished, probably prior to Billy's desire, she said, their lips an inch apart. "Billy Breene. You get your pi gu out of my room or I'll kill you myself." One more peck on the lips and Flora sashayed out of the room, a coy glance at Sloane before she did.

Billy took a deep breath. "She's a pepper." He said under his breath, trying to clear the amorous thoughts from his head. He cleared his throat. "You awake, Slowpoke?"

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