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Aberrant: Dead Rising - Chapter 10a: Hell [Mature]


Dawn OOC

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[OOC: This thread contains images and descriptions of extreme sadism and violence, some of a sexual nature. If this bothers you, or you are not legally allowed to view this material, please exit the thread now.]

A Girl Like You blared over the barren landscape with a churlish disregard for other’s listening preferences. The few animals around to hear it didn’t mind; nor did the undead skittering around the area. But for the women who heard it, it was a terrible, cruel irony.

A circle men stood in a ragged circle around a hunched form. Blood-slicked bats pounded with disjointed rhythm into the downed form, occasionally earning themselves a grunt or a moan. The form had probably been human when they started. Now, it was a twisted, bloodied form – but even as they stared at it, it moved again, air hissing into and out of bruised lungs.

“Leave off, boys,” a new voice said. The men stood back, giving room for the watcher to join them. Grinning, he knelt next to the broken body. “Good girl,” he whispered, then moved behind her and opened his pants. The previous attackers now because the watchers as Hornsbeck did what he did best – destroyed the self-worth of a living being.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The super-powered members of Fox’s Refuge gathered for a important meeting. It was time, it had been decided, for them to move on the prison. Now, the only question was what was the best way to do it while minimizing losses to their side and maximizing losses to their side.

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She couldn't stop the moans and groans that escaped her as bones withdrew beneath the skin, flesh knitting back together with a maddening itch, bones mending with audible pops. Her breath rasped as her body fought for life once more - how she wished it would give up already.

Once, she had been strong, strong enough to bear anything, but she wasn't strong enough to bear this. If she wasn't though, something worst would happen, something bad always happened when she wasn't strong enough. But it was hard to remember what - she had been too long in Paradise.

... Ashley... She wasn't sure if she whispered the name or only thought it, a vague image of a face flashing before her eyes.

"Good girl," Master whispered in her ear, and she felt bile rise up her throat (or maybe it was only blood) even as her body betrayed her and flushed with unwelcomed pleasure at the compliment.

Once, she had had a name, but she had hidden it away so Master couldn't steal it, but she was afraid she had hidden it so well, she wouldn't be able to find it again. She was finding it easier just to respond to 'girl' or 'bitch' or 'whore' or 'slut' or all the other names.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Master move behind her, then heard the sound of his zipper. Immediately, she went to her hands and knees, then barely caught herself from smashing her face into the ground as one damaged arm refused to support her weight. A spasm wracked her body as her ribs crackled back into place. She hastily went to pull down her denim cut-offs, but her hand slapped bare flesh - she forgot that she had lost her shorts earlier.

She cocked her head, listening intently for the hum of the cattle prod or the sound of the skinning knife leaving the sheath. She stifled a sigh of relief when she didn't hear them - that was a sure way to make him change his mind.

Her hands dug deeply into the dirt and gravel as she felt one of Master's hands grasp cruelly at one of her breasts, the other yanking back savagely on the short length of chain still attached to the metal collar welded around her neck. A shudder ran through her at the sound of the chain links jingling, Master chuckling at her distress before plunging into her all the way to the hilt with one brutal thrust.

She bit a lip hard enough to draw blood to keep from screaming as Master continued to take pleasure in her pain. Despite all the times she had been raped, she never got used it, it hurt now as much as the first time. It hurt worst even, though she wasn't sure how. One of her hands tightened around a small rock in the dirt, shattering it with a sharp crack.

Once, she had been stronger than anyone she knew and zombies couldn't even hurt her. It took a normal man to do that.

This time, she wouldn't scream, she wouldn't, she wouldn't, she would not...

She screamed.

Men laughed.

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James had a room filling presence and he'd been thinking about how to do this for a while. Seeing how everyone seemed to be waiting for everyone else to start, James said,

"OK, let's get started. We're going to take out the prison. The way I see it our big problem is a lack of information. We don't know how many people are there. We don't know how many prisoners they have or where they are. We don't know if they have any supers running the show."

"One way to do this is to just wing it. Scout out a bit and then storm the place at 4am some morning. Fox warps us in to multiple spots, we run amok and hope for the best. It'd be bloody but it'd probably get the job done."

"Another is to scout for a while and take out any raiding party that they send out. The obvious problem is there's no telling how long it'd take."

"My preferred solution is easier. We need someone on the inside who knows what is going on, so let's get someone. I'd like to approach the prison and try to buy one or two of their slaves. I could trade alcohol, gold, canned food, and/or a pair of generators. Hopefully we'd end up with someone who could tell us a lot more about what's going on."

Click to reveal..
James has increased his Mega-Chr to two.
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Dan nods. The only problem there is that what if they decide to take it all from you, including your life. Then you're forced to reveal the truth to them." I'd say we amend that to include keeping several of us onsite as well, discreetly, just in case. You and I could take my Humvee, along with whatever supplies needed. Or you and fox could take it, and I could bring the others on the sled while it's dark."

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"Agreed." If Jas seemed tense, Bond was calmly collected, even slightly insouciant to the casual eye as he sat with his feet up on a chair in front of him. He smiled broadly at James. "I do like the inside-man idea, though. I also think it will need a few days, maybe even a week of patience in order to be fully effective. But Jasmine is right: we should examine all the intelligence at our disposal."

He appeared to be done with his two cents worth, then shifted in his seat as another thought occured to him. "I also think that whoever we choose as a point-man, or woman, should be able to pass for a mere mortal. Not just because some of them might have seen a 'super' before, but even if they just think of you as an imposing presence they'll put you on their threat-radar immediately." His pale blue eyes sparkled at the gathering as he smiled.

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James considered, *He means himself as inside man. Let's hope he's kidding about the 'inside-woman'. No way am I sending any of mine... right, it's just Jo now. ... That's a different problem. Jill and V don't deserve that prison.*

*Could I pass as normal? Muscles that were unusual even before the plague. I don't know, maybe if I stop burning off my facial hair and wear something that makes me just look heavy.*

*...I've never even thought about trying to pass before now.*

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Fox listened to the discussions then added, "I'm good with the inside man idea. The problem is, to be effective the inside man needs to be me. I'm the one that can make the gateways, so to be aimed properly I need to have seen the place I want to go. I can do it without going there first, but that's way harder and I don't always end up where I want to be that way." He thought for a minute then said, "I suppose I could scout the place out at night from the air and pick places on the roofs to open the gates or in open spaces that I could see into, then whoever gets inside could report to me the best places to go that I can get to."

"Keep in mind that we need to hit them as strategically as possible. That means taking out any leaders or threats first."

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Myfwany spoke up then.

"I can tell which of them has powers, most likely," she said. "But I will have to be able to see them first. It may not be a hundred percent...if they're not using any abilities, I can't always tell...but it seems like most people with powers are constantly using them to boost themselves one way or another, most of the time."

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"That's why I propsed a to man team going inside the other day. Either you, or I, James, should be more than enough backup for Morgan. If Fox needs to see the layout first hand to use his power so be it. that makes evacuating people alot easier later, for up front risk he's willing to accept."

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Jas suppressed a sign, although she couldn't quite resist a roll of the eyes. There was nothing like watching a bunch of men posturing over who should stick their neck on the chopping block to drag out a strategy planning discussion.

"James, no offense, but you're both conspiculous and threatening-looking. Not only that, but you're not known for your ability to think before you act in stressful situations. I'd rather someone who's better at keeping their cool and being observant be the one to accompany Fox. Dan or Jim seem like better options, if you're sticking to the males of the species."

She might not be as subtle about her suggestions as Jim had been, but the argument with Violet had taxed Jasmine's ability to be patient about people's feelings at the moment, save perhaps Pumpkin. She didn't give a damned what James thought about her anyway - the hell if she was going to entrust women's lives to someone who'd almost blown up an entire community.

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James said to Myf, "You're amazingly valuable to the community and you'd also shoot a hole in the women as slaves image we're going to try to project."

James frowned at Jas, decided she had a point, then decided to reply anyway, "Jas, yeah, point, but here threatening-looking is probably a good thing. Similarly, if they decide to just shoot us then acting first will be good."

"What I'd like to do is put Bond on point as the trader with me as thug bodyguard. I'd think he's allowed one, it's traditional."

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Fox nodded. "That's a good suggestion James. You and Bond would make a good pair to go in. I'll scout from the sky at night and find places to pop into. Their guards will be looking for intruders on the ground, people rarely look up. I'll pick late at night to do it when any guards on duty will be at their least watchful. I'd like to do this before anyone else goes in so that I am sure I can get in after you if something goes wrong. I don't think it would be out of the question for Bond as a business man to have a transmitter open to his people. He'd want to have some backup close if the deal turned sour, and the scum in the prison shouldn't have too much of a problem with it."

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"Agreed. Trust is something that bandit enclaves are short on, so they don't mind overmuch if no-one trusts them. They mistake it for fear, and they like being feared." The British mercenary nodded at Fox's suggestion. "I do have one or two points to add, if I may?" The Captain nodded, and Bond lazily stood, regarding the others present with a faint smile.

"Doctor Shattuck, if you can indeed gather the data you've stated you can, you will be invaluable. In fact, anyone here would be useful as part of the insertion team, with one thing borne in mind." He paused, cool blue eyes sweeping over them all. "Can you play the part?"

He glanced to James. "You're strong, but are you strong enough to be amused or, at best, callously unconcerned when you see a woman or child suffering horribly at the hands of these filth. That goes for any of you." He turned to the room at large. "The success of the point team depends on being able to make the men of this prison believe that we are good ol' raping, killin' and lootin' types just like them. People they can do business with. If we can do that, we have a chance at taking them with their pants down."

Bond started to pace a little as he talked. "My tentative plan is to attract Hornsbeck into a face to face meeting, using bait: female bait. I'll wager a man like that is always looking for fresh meat: most slavers I've dealt with in the past are. As such, Myfwany and one or two other women can be part of the point team, as captives of myself and, if he's up for the job, James here. If Hornsbeck is a super, Myfwany will have a shot at knowing. If he isn't, he'd be damn sure to have any super working for him at the meeting." He paused his pacing and looked at the others. "So far, so good. But lets not forget Elijah, hmm? It's possible, even probable, that Hornsbeck has measures in place to kill his captives rather than let them be set free by adventurous do-gooders, so we need to find out what, if anything, stands between those captives and freedom."

Bond plopped back into his chair. "A man in his position will need as many safe contacts to the outside as he can get, and I can certainly offer him all manner of guns, ammunition, food and medical supplies." He grinned merrily. "In short, give me an hour or two with Hornsbeck and I'm reasonably confident that he'll regard me as a friend and trading partner for life."

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Violet listened to the plans and the conversation not sure if she should share her thoughts about it or not. When Bond mentioned something about female bait she got an idea but wasn’t sure if it would be well received. She carefully leaned closer to Dan and whispered to him.

I could go as Jennifer… if you need volunteers. But I’m not sure if that’s a good idea…

Violet nervously looked at the others hoping that no one picked up what she just suggested to Dan.

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James nodded to James' talk and said quietly, "Yeah, I can do it." I've done it before on a larger scale.

Quote:
James looked around at the city buildings and realized every one had dozens or hundreds of people trapped inside. For every person he picked to live thousands were going to die, and it wasn't going to end here. Most of the survivors of this week would freeze or starve. The world had become an endless ocean of suffering and his powers gave him a bucket. If he wanted to live, he'd accept he had to put himself and his family first and not care excessively about the rest.

It was a problem that they suffered, but it wasn't his problem. He'd do what he could and live with that.

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"You have all the bait you need right here," Jules said, trying to look calm despite the tension that sang through her muscles. "Hornsbeck lost one, not on his own terms, and I'm sure it's been eating at him. He wouldn't know how strong I have become, so he wouldn't now that Bond couldn't just chain me." Her back crawled where the scar from her brand pulled it tight. He'll brand you again, if he gets the chance.

I can undo it again.

She looked at Bond. "Mind you, I just want to rain fire and hell on them from above. Forget scouting. But if you want Hornsbeck's trust, returning a favored toy should make him happy."

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Jasmine was quiet for a moment, but she saw the expression on Violet's face as she whispered something to Dan, and a frown flickered across her expression. Then she listened to Jules talk, and took a deep breath.

"Seems like a good plan - but if you're going to take any women in there besides Dr. Shattuck - since she would be really useful to finding out if Hornsbeck is a super or not - it should be someone who has the highest chance of being able to get out of there okay, should something go wrong."

She studied Jules intently for a moment, and bit her lip nervously before she finally spoke.

"Do you really think you can do that again, Jules? Play along like that? Besides - no offense - don't you think you'd be opening yourself up to extra punishment that way, since you've gotten away before? You and I are the best options, because we're both strong and resilient. But.. I'm fast, too. I could probably get out of there a lot easier if something went down. Although.. I do understand. Why you'd want to do this, I mean."

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Dan listened,and shook his head. "if you get into trouble you'd have to change and things would likely get out of hand quickly." His hushed whispered answer to her.

He looked to the group. "I would not be someone who would go into the Prison. Scenes of cruelty to children and women aren't something I take with a grain of salt, and my acting skill can only hide my disgust so far."

"We need to keep this initial team small, unless we're planning to immediately launch the liberation afterwards."

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"No woman should go but Myf, really," Jules said, making her voice hard. "Violet can't gather any data we can't get another, safer way. Jasmine shouldn't be exposed to these shits. If you wanted any other woman to go, it should be me. I can get you in the gate faster and with fewer questions, like how did you guys learn about them, or who said we were slavers? They're presenting to everyone else as a normal enclave. Once you're inside, then you learn the truth.

"Also, I've been through that once, and we should limit who goes through it again." She looked at Jasmine. "Do you really want to know what it's like to be raped by several men, after being branded?" She glanced at Violet. "Would you really want to be helpless and human in these fuckers' hands?" She looked at Myf. "Being a doctor won't save you from being broken first. Are you really ready for this?"

She looked around the room. "I am. I've been there, I've survived it once. I can do it again. I'm more worried about you guys being able to watch Myf and I taking it."

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Bond met her gaze and nodded. "You're right, on a lot of fronts. You being with us would cut through a lot of suspicion and establish us as bona fide arseholes. You're also right that anyone going in there is going to be in deep trouble." He folded his hands behind his head and set his feet up on the table. "I have some ideas to minimise that trouble: all I require is that Doctor Shattuck and James play along." He looked over at Fox. "I don't think the advance team needs to be any larger than us four, assuming that James and Myfwany are still game."

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Morgan had some serious reservations about letting Jules go in there, but at the same time he thought it might be just what she needed to heal in the long run. The only way to stop being a victim was to confront your abuser. Doing this would allow her the best opportunity to show him she was strong enough to beat him. Going in with a later assault group wouldn't have that impact and might not afford her the opportunity should Hornsdick die before she got to him.

That was a lesson that his father, the bastard that he was, had taught him in Elementary School. Morgan had been picked on by the biggest kid in the grade all year and finally had come home with a black eye one day. When he whined about it to his father, the bastard had marched him over to the other kid's house and when the other kids parents had apologized his own father just said, 'I'm not here for apologies, I'm just here to let you and your son know that if it happens again, Morgan has my full permission to beat the snot out of your kid.' That had gone over like a lead balloon but the end result was that he had had to face the bully and beat him. That was the only thing that could really heal Jule's scars, the ones that wouldn't fade with the healing of her skin.

"I'm on board with the plan. The insertion team will be Bond, James, Mwf and Jules. Here's my suggestion on approach, but you can handle it as you see fit Bond. Tell them you are there for a trade, you are bored with your women and want more. You bargain for 10 or so in exchange for your two and stall to make the deal last as long as you can to inspect all the 'goods'. That should allow you to deny them access to our ladies long enough to make the assault. I will have already scouted out the place by night and know as best as possible where to open the warps. If you take Jules in I don't think there will be any chance you can get back out to make a report before we make an assault. I doubt Hornsdick will let her go without a fight but if you can do it more power to you. I just don't our people left at their mercy at any point. You'll have to check in with us every 30 minutes, Just a simple click of the radio should do it, but if we don't received the signal within 5 minutes of the check in we'll come in guns blazing. Three clicks for immediate assault if things look like they are going badly."

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This was going to be a rough mission, and it was looking more and more like the hardest part was going to fall on his three comrades.

James commented, "10 for 2? If that's what we're going for then we should let them know Myf is a Doctor. That might be best in any case."

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Jasmine nodded at Fox's decision - after all, if Jules felt she could handle it again then she was one of the best to go. Physically, it was only her and Jasmine who would have a chance of getting out of there if things got violent, and she'd never been in that situation so she didn't know how much she'd be able to deal with before she lost it. Especially if any of her family was.. well, she wouldn't think about that. She wasn't going in.

"James does have a point there, to be fair. What makes you think asking them ten for two isn't going to get you laughed right out of the place?"

At least I'll get to wail on some of these bastards. They deserve for what they're doing to these women. This is the first time I haven't been nervous about facing other people. If any sons of bitches deserve to die it's these guys.

If she was a little surprised at the direction her inner dialogue was taking, she didn't show it. She imagined it probably had something to do with Jules' harsh descriptions, and the images it put in her mind of what could happen if her family had fallen into these bastard's hands. They would have had a reason to keep her mother and sister and aunt alive, but her baby brothers.. she couldn't think of any reason why they would have even bothered with them. The only tension the young woman showed was the inadvertent lightening of her knuckles as her skin drew tightly over them to the tune of a clenched fist.

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"A few things, actually." Bond was watching her out of the corner of his eye as he answered the question. "One, Myfwany is a doctor. That immediately raises her value. Two, Myfwany is fresh meat, and to slavers, fresh meat is worth more than broken goods." His coldly matter-of-fact tone hung in the air for a moment. "Three, Hornsbeck will want Jules back badly, as we've already discussed. And fourthly: 10 for 2 is just our opening position. It's a haggling posture, which they will seek to narrow."

He let Jasmine and the others digest that for a minute.

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She seemed to mull that over for a moment, and then she nodded, as if his explanation had made sense to her. If she was startled by the matter-of-factness of his comments, she didn't show that much either. With all the thoughts running through her mind at the moment, thinking of someone as "fresh meat" didn't seem all that extreme. And she wanted to make sure everyone stayed focused on the task at hand.

"Okay. That makes sense. But from the sounds of it, we're not going to be leaving people in there if we can help it, so maybe we should try and go over what we'd like to happen, so the rest of us know what to expect. I mean, the idea is to gather info so we know the best way to get in and deal with it, right? How are we gonna get you guys out of there without leaving anyone behind? That's what you want to do, right Captain? But if he gets a hold of Jules, he sure the hell isn't gonna want to let her go - or Myfwany either, since she's a doc, you know? So how are you guys gonna get out of there and get us info without leaving either Jules or Myf? I mean, no plan is infallible, but it's best understand what it is regardless, right?"

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"Who's going to stay here and stay on guard in the Refuge... I mean just in case something happens? You're not all planning to go, are you?", Violet suddenly interrupted raising an eyebrow.

If they all went on this mission, who'd be at the base and defend it? They were moderately safe here but that was mostly because of the resident supers...

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"Well, for one Bond tells them going in that he has the rest of his men stationed just out of sight with heavy weapons in the event he doesn't check in on a regular basis. That will give them pause before doing anything rash. We'll be on the other end of Bond's radio so Bond can comm us for verification. Their not knowing our numbers or weaponry will make them hesitate if they think they can get their way without a fight. Under no circumstances do I want Mwf and Jules left in that compound. We will attack directly if it comes to that."

"As for the Refuge, Walker and Ger will be in charge, but I'm bringing Markham and half the security force. That's 15 men, plus us Supers. That should be overwhelming force, especially considering our guys are armed with military hardware. We'll have flash bang grenades, tear gas, you name it."

He looked very serious, "I'm not going to lie, this is going to be an ugly mission no matter how it turns out, but it's the sort of thing that Dan and I did for a living before Z-day, and I've trained my security guys well."

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Myfwany takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. She'd never been as scared as this...never once in her career or schooling. This would be infinitely worse than facing down zombies. Zombies were only cruel in way that any stupid animal was unthinkingly cruel.

"All right...I should let you know, in case it helps the planning, I can do more than just heal people and see exotic energy forms. I have influence over the weather..." She grimaced and shook her head. "And by 'influence,' I mean I can stop a storm in its tracks, or pull one out of a clear day. On Z-day, when my life was in danger, I instinctively created a tornado that ripped half a hospital wing open and let me escape. Now I've never since been able to do anything like that, but the potential may be there."

Myfwany turns her eyes to the tabletop, cheeks flaming with embarrassment. "I can...direct electrical discharges through the atmosphere. I can cause water vapor to rapidly condense out of the air to make a thick fog. I'm not -completely- helpless if things turn ugly."

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James replied, "Myf? That's just it, there's a good chance if things turn ugly, you're going to have to be helpless. Can you let yourself be raped, especially if it's in your power to stop it, to keep up the pretense of being a helpless slave? Gang raped? Tortured and gang raped?"

"Maybe Bond can finesse things so that doesn't happen, but maybe not to."

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"Let me make something very clear." Bond's voice took on a less-casual tone. "No-one who goes in there with me is getting raped, gang or otherwise. If Hornsbeck and his friends are so eager to try the goods, well that's what Fox and the others waiting over the hill are for." He frowned faintly at James.

"Mywany and Jules, you have my personal assurance that, bad and scarey as things might seem to get in there, I will be dead and in hell before things get to the stage of either of you being harmed." China-blue eyes gazed seriously at the two women, even as the Brit's habitual half-smile returned. "The role you will be playing is that of slave, true, but you will be my property, not theirs. Trust me when I say that, unless they're stupid enough to try naked brute force, I will be able to keep the negotiations and talking going for quite some time."

He regarded the others. "Worst case happens, I plan to take Hornsbeck hostage and call in the cavalry. That's also my best case scenario, but in the best case its at a time of my choosing."

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Myfwany holds up a hand at that.

"Alright, hold on. No one said anything about that. I was under the impression this was a question of us going in pretending to be your captives, having you haggle while we get some information, then -all of us- leaving for the day with plans to return the next day to finish the deal...which is when we do the coup."

She looks at Bond, then Fox.

"I think it's time everyone stopped equivocating and put the plan on the table, because -clearly- there's been some miscommunication."

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Violet spoke almost at the same time as Bond made his explanation – she obviously ignored his words in her anger as she yelled at them.

“Are you out of your fucking minds? No one should volunteer to that – not even for pretence or as bait. This is…this plan is severely flawed. How can you even think about that and dare to even suggest it?”, Violet quickly turned to Myf.

“Listen to me Myf, you don’t have to do this. This is crazy – you understand? You can’t undo any of this shit if it happens.”, Violet was really imploring Myfwanny and hoped she wouldn’t agree to this crazyness.

“Forget about the bait-plan – go in there and kill those bastards. No one is worth the sacrifice to go through that hell again. End it, don’t give them more time to do what they do, even if it’s part of the plan to kill them – not like this. No raping of women, is that clear?”

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James returned Bond's gaze evenly. Clearly they differed on the amount of control they thought Bond was going to have over the situation. James shrugged and shifted his gaze, Bond was the expert, Bond was also in charge... but James still felt it could get bad.

Ignoring Violet, James said quietly, "Buying slaves for goods is still an alternative. We could even bring in pictures of the girls and say we didn't trust Horn to not just take them."

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Fox considered and decided it just wasn't worth the risk to have Mwf in there in danger, she was just too valuable to the cause of rebuilding civilization.

"I think Violet and James both have a point here. You can take pictures of the women in with you and say they are over the hill with the rest of your men. You got the story of what the prison really is from Jules and you want to do business. Then offer your two women in trade for 10 of theirs. That dangles the bait and keeps them at bay at the same time and gives you a great excuse to get out of there."

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"I think everyone's gotten just a bit turned around here. The only reason bringing women in there at all was even considered was because Myf thought it would be a good idea to find out of there were any supers present. So the idea of taking in women slaves was mentioned. Which was why I volunteered in the first place - I assumed that if things went south, it would be better to only have people in there who would be able to get out easier, and get Myf out. Not someone who could just take it. But if we're not taking the doc in because we don't want to risk it, then at that point wouldn't it be best just not to mention any women at all? It might arouse suspicion, and you could just as easily go to trade materials for materials, and "find out" what they are once you get in, right?"

She shook her head, looking slightly annoyed. Every time they had one of these planning sessions, it just turned into a big disaster, with everyone making assumptions that contradicted other people's.

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Fox nodded, "Yes, but unless they go to specifically buy slaves they might not get the opportunity to inspect the prisoners there. Doing that will get them a good tour of the facility and an idea of where the people we need to protect will be located. That way we can avoid collateral damage in those areas if possible."

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"She's not arguing that point," Myfwany says. "She's just saying, if I'm not going in at all, there's no reason for -any- woman to go in during the fact-finding phase. The only reason it ever came up in the first place was to give me a chance to use my abilities inside the prison."

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