Ok, hehehe, my turn... here's the second part of the Flynn/Ryence fic.  Flashback time, duh, duh, duh!  Have fun with it.

Friends or Foes: Inner Vision part two

Ryence’s first impression about the abandoned shuttle bay on the resources satellite was that it was too close to the functional mining colonies.  He frowned, returning from looking out the window and looked at Xia, a small Chinese guy who was a trainee for this particular exchange.  But he shrugged off the feeling, looking at the boxes of illegal cargo.   Orders are orders.  Red, the pilot, called from up front.

            “Batton down.  We’re landing, the merc’s already there.  We get in, drop the boxes, and then get out.  Sound good?”  Ryence scowled.

            “Come on, man.  What about a quick smoke break?  We’ve been stuck in this tin can since 5 this morning.”  Red frowned.

            “Fine, but one minute.  Then we’re going.  I don’t like the looks of this place.”  Ryence nodded, definitely understanding that.

            The small cargo ship circled the place for a moment then landed, touching down inside the hanger.  Red flipped some switches then turned back to open the tailgate.

            “It’s air tight, so it’s safe.”  Ryence and Xia nodded then stepped out into the large hanger.  The large mercenary ship was landed across from them and three fighter escorts were parked in a row along side it.  Their cargo door was let down.  Pilots were beside their jetties, checking the panels and instruments.  Ryence signaled to Xia. 

            “Let’s get these off.  The faster the better.” 




            Ryence finished hauling the last of the crates out of the cargo plane and set it down on the floor, inhaling as he did.  He looked around quietly.  It looked like everyone was busy doing other things so maybe he could just sneak a quick smoke, then get another one after.  He leaned against the crate, pulling a pack of cigarettes out of one pocket, a lighter from the other.  Quickly he inhaled the lighted cigarette and then exhaled, pulling it from his mouth, blowing the smoke in the air casually.  He sighed.  Thank God for nicotine.

            “It’s your job to move these things so I suggest you do so... and smoking in a place where things are refueling is a faster way of getting your ass deep spaced.”  Ryence blinked as the cigarette was plucked from his hand.

            Ryence growled looking down at the person who had rudely taken the cigarette.  His eyebrows lifted slightly as it was an extremely short person in pilot gear.  He smiled with annoyance and grabbed the cigarette back. 

            “Look, short stuff.  I’ll get to it in a second.  I’ve been dying for a smoke since 5 this morning.  It’s one crate and one cigarette.  I’ll take care of them both, so BACK OFF.”  The pilot glared though the helmet, then removed it, showing a pale, dirt and soot covered face with bright blue hair down to her shoulders and piercing blue eyes.  Ryence blinked, not only because of the color of her hair but because she was a kid, no older than fourteen or fifteen.

            "I’ve been in space since last Monday, your break can wait another 45.7 seconds pal. And don’t call me short." She spat out, looking even more like the child she refused to be.  He laughed, looking at her. 

            "I bet.  They letting smurfs work as pilots now?  Don't waste my time, kid."  Flynn growled, her hair standing on end.  She ripped the pack of cigarettes out of his hand as he pulled them from his pocket to get a second one.

            "Watch it there smokie... don’t want to have to send you home in a plastic bucket.”  He paused, looking at her.  She was a funny kid, damn annoying, but hysterical.

            "Is that a threat?" he replied, finishing off the first cigarette and flicking it at her feet.  She glared at him. 

            “Just a promise, loser.  Just because you have to rank up the air with your noxious habit doesn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer because you’re a fucking moron.  You would be better off without the habit.”

            He stepped on the smoldering cigarette with the sole of his boot then smiled at her, grabbing the pack back from her.  “Well, I’ve learned so much from this wonderful lecture and out of my consideration for my fellow man, I’ll leave your loud mouth alone.  Maybe you’ll take the hint sometime.”  He patted her on the head before walking off.  “Now be a good little girl and go play with your dollies,” he called behind him.

            "That’s it..." Flynn hurled her helmet at the back of Ryence's head as hard as her biological hand could. Ryence's eyes flew open as the helmet impacted with the back of his head.  He stumbled forward, a blast of pain ripping along his skull.  He staggered for a moment.    "What. The. Hell?!" he yelled, turning to look at her.  "Who the hell do you think you are?  Fucking Randy Johnson?!"  She grinned, a pissed-off look on her face.

            “What are you going to do about it, ramp rat?!” she yelled.  Everyone in the hanger turned to look, seeing the commotion going on.

Ryence put his hands on his hips and looked at her. 

            "Did somebody train you in how be a little rude brat?  I thought they gave children like you spankings when they talked back to their elders."

            Flynn shot the attitude right back at him.  "Hmmm, so who’s the elder here anyway?  Sure isn’t you, twerp... and I dare you to try and give me one.”  He laughed. 

            "Don't even start kid.  You don't know what you're up against."

            "And I advise the same, you chain smoking twit who’s gunna die of suffocation with your foot in your mouth before those kill you," she spat back, pointing to the cigarettes in his pocket.  He sighed, his patience worn thin. 

            "All right, you think you can take me?  Come on, I'll give you one hit, you pint-sized mouth on legs."  He beckoned her rolling up his sleeves mockingly.  Flynn smirked and took one of the flight suit gloves off.

            "You sure you want to do this?  It’s not my fault if your ass ends up in the infirmary, you know."  Ryence smirked. 

            "Yeah, like one hit, from you of all people is going to put me in the infirmary..."

            "We’ll see... one shot right?  I can handle that." She smirked a little wider and stepped back from him.  "Should I play above or below the belt?  It’s all a matter of how you’re going to explain this to your future wife.  A big old scar... or impotency...."  He stepped back, putting his hands on his hips again. 

            "You just don't shut up do you?"  Flynn grinned. 

            "Make me...." she replied.  But before he could do anything, she drew her right fist back and slammed it into his stomach, the solar plexus region, and drove it in as far as she could on 3/4 power, feeling to him like a pissed-off donkey kicking him in the stomach.  Ryence recoiled from Flynn's hit and crashed with the ground.  "Holy shit!" he yelled, pain coursing through his abdomen and up his ribs.  At that moment though there was a sound of alarms and everyone that had been watching suddenly scattered.  Ryence looked up, gritting his teeth against the pain as he struggled to his knees, clutching his stomach.  "What... the hell... is going on?" he gasped.  Flynn turned and gaped. "Shit!  Port authorities... come on." She grabbed Ryence by his shirt and practically lifted him to his feet then pulled him away by the arm.  "Come on!  Don’t want to get arrested do you?!" she yelled, knowing gull well that if she was caught, being a mercenary wasn’t exactly the most legal thing in the universe.

            Ryence looked behind him for a second then tried to keep up with her, her grip on his arm, more than tight... <Holy shit, I can't get arrested, for the love of.... why now?>

      Police started to pour in from all sides of the shuttle bay now.  People were running like crazy.  Flynn looked about for a way out, seeing an emergency conduit access door.           

            "Bingo."  She ran over to it and let go of Ryence then ripped the door open despite the lock.  "Get in!"

            Ryence scrambled in without thinking and ran down the corridor, following her.  Flynn stopped at a juncture.

            "Think they are following us?"  The sound of footsteps and shouts answered her question.  Looking down she saw a grate; pulling it loose she climbed in.  "You coming bub?  Or you want to spend the night in lock up?"  He found himself grinning.  "Hell no," he replied following her and putting the grate back in place above them.  He wobbled on the rungs he was clinging to for a second.  This ladder was NOT secure.  He looked down at her as they climbed. 

            "Are you sure you know where we're going?"  He whispered.  Flynn eased her way down, until the rungs gave out beneath her feet.  <Nothing left here... have to jump.>

            "Not a clue... but I can find a way out...the ladder ends here. I’m gonna jump."  Flynn gulped and jumped down waiting to hit bottom.  Ryence looked down to see if she had made it then froze looking back up at the grate as he heard footsteps and yelling. 

            "Did they go this way?" 

            "I don't know." 

            "Check down that way!" 

            Ryence clung to the ladder silently, praying they would leave.  Eventually the noise settled down and died away.  He looked back down into the darkness but he couldn't see. 

            "Are you alive down there?" he whispered.  Flynn looked up, eyes focusing on the moving shadow above her.

            "Yeah... I think I hurt something though.  I can’t get up....”  Ryence nodded, climbing down to the end of the ladder.

            "I'm letting go!" he hissed then let himself go.

            "No wait a sec!  Shimatta!"  Flynn watched him fall and scrambled to get out of the way.  She heard him thud on the ground only a few centimeters from her.  He landed awkwardly, tottering for a second, trying to maintain his balance.  He toppled the other way, successful in not falling on her and landed on his butt. 

            "You ok?” she asked.  He tried to see her in the darkness.         "Yeah, I'm fine.  Are you?"  Flynn tried to stand and failed miserably, falling over into his lap.

            "Sorry... I think I twisted my ankle... hurts to stand"  He nodded, not being able to help smiling as she lay in his lap.  The thought finally occurred to him of what had happened in the hanger and he almost laughed.  The girl had beaten the crap out of him and then helped him escape.  It was an interesting situation.  He sighed, putting the past behind him and stood, hefting her up to a standing position and wrapped a strong arm around her waist.  "Can you walk like this?" he asked.  She had helped him out though he had been a jackass to her.  It was time to return the favor. 

            Flynn hissed in pain but quickly silenced herself.  <Don’t make a noise.  More pain comes that way, it always has> 

            "I think so...."  He nodded then looked around, squinting his eyes. 

            "It's too dark down here, I can't see a damn thing."  He looked back up at the ladder and the small, lighted grate at the top.  He shook his head.  "Even if I could reach that again, there'd be no way I could carry you back up."  Flynn looked up at the ladder.

            "It’s about ten feet up, there’s no way we could reach it. I can see a little bit down the tunnel, and feel an air current to the left.  You help me walk, I’ll help you see."  He nodded, helping her down the tunnel slowly.  As they walked, he smiled slightly.  "You're not so bad when you're not beating the crap out of me," he replied.  Flynn smirked a little bit.                 

            "When my life is on the line I tend to calm down.  Sorry about that.  You just got on my nerves."  He nodded slightly.     "Understandable.  I was being a jackass.  And the nicotine cravings weren’t helping my bitchiness either."  He stopped as they came into the draft of air.  "Ok, where to now?"  Flynn looked around then down.

            "Well I know where the draft is from.  There’s a hole in front of us, half a meter.  There is a tunnel to the right, one to the left and one in front that angles up a bit.  I say we go right"  He paused for a second, but nodded. 

            "I'd argue with you," he replied.  "But hell if I know where I'm going either..."  Flynn smirked and brought one of his hands to the wall.

            "The worse thing that could happen is we’re stuck here for a week... or get spaced... or found by the cops... that would be lovely."

He shook his head, a slight cough in his throat. 

            "I'll fight them all before they take me.  They'd have to break every limb in my body before I'd let them take me."

            "If I had my gun I’d concur with you."  She eased her way around the hole and to the other side, biting her tongue in pain.  "You’re kinda crazy, aren’t ya?"  Ryence grabbed her by the waist, without thought, and lifted her up, carefully crossing the hole.  Flynn meeped and grabbed onto him automatically.                                        "Probably," he replied.  "No, it's more just like I have too much to lose if I ended up in prison and no where to go if I don't keep this job."

            "What do you have to loose?"  He squinted, looking ahead.       "Well," he said preoccupied with moving forward with her while avoiding objects on the ground, "everything in my world basically.  I have a little sister who is helpless without me."  Flynn frowned.

            "Then it’s important that we avoid being caught.  You can put me down.  You don’t have to carry me the entire way."  She was glad for the darkness, her face turning red, she could feel it.  He looked down at her.  The sincerity in her voice when she said they couldn’t be caught made him smile.  He was concerned for her and her injury.  She was bigger than Peace but he could probably still carry her without trouble. 

            "Does it still hurt?" he asked.

            "Yeah it does.  Don-don’t tell me you’re getting all mushy on me tough guy?  I can take care of myself... mostly.  I am a merc."  She halted herself from finishing her thought.  <I’m not my parents’ child anymore.  I’m free of them and will prove I can take care of myself> He smiled slightly. 

            "Well, I respect that and all but you're just going to slow us down if you insist on walking.  You're pretty small... as... I've mentioned before.  If you hop on my back it would go faster.  I promise not to purposely hit your head on the ceiling or anything.”  Flynn scowled at him. 

            "All right... but enough with the short cracks, and don’t worry. My head’s a lot thicker then you think, titanium thick...."  He laughed, bending down for her to climb on.

      "I figured that out pretty quickly.  What's up with that?  Is your whole body like that?"  Flynn got on his back, hooking her arms around his neck though not to choke him.

            "Not all of me.  Just parts.  I had an accident in a mining colony.  Let’s just say Gravity and I aren’t friends any more... and I know mecha on a first binary code basis."  He nodded.  "How do people think of you?" he asked as they walked along.  The air was getting cooler.

            "I usually don’t say anything.  Some freak out like you did, some get all KKK on me, and, well, I’ve been in worse scrapes then this I’ll tell you now...but the mercs I’m with all know the potential I have for being a damn good pilot, and can use my talents."  She shivered a bit, pain throbbing in her ankle.  "Stop for a sec."  He nodded. 

            "Do you need me to set you down?"  Flynn nodded.

            "Yeah, I wanna check my ankle and get my bearings back.  It’s getting colder which means one of two things.  We’re either nearing the environment control system... or getting closer to the vacuum...."  He set her down gently on the ground, then turned to help her. 

            "Neither of those sounds too appealing," he replied.

            "Yeah... though if we get to some place hotter we’re probably near the heating systems.  That’s better.  Hotter, yes, but better...ahh!"  Flynn reached down with her left hand, going over her ankle.  <Oh it might be broken... crap.>  He kneeled down, feeling for her leg and gently ran his hand over her ankle. 

            "Does this hurt?" he asked.  Flynn whimpered a bit.

            "Yeah, not good huh?"  <I will not make it sound worse then it feels, crying out only makes it hurt more...>  He smiled gently.  "Man, if Peace were here right now, she'd have you back on your feet in seconds."  He smiled.  "You're not the only one who's unique."  Flynn smiled a bit. 

            "Hey, she must be if she puts up with a guy like you... heh."  He smiled slightly but nodded. 

            "I completely agree with you there," he replied.  "You ready?" 

            "In a sec."  Flynn looked around, trying to see if her minor optical sensors could pick up any heat.  "There’s a corridor behind you.  We can take it.  I think there’s a high heat source that way."  He nodded, letting her get back on his back then walked the way she indicated.  "You're light, you know that?  How old are you?"  She thought it over for a second, sighed, and put a little attitude behind her voice.  "I’m about thirteen.  So what?"  He blinked, stumbling but caught himself.

            "Wow...  I just didn't figure they hired kids that young..."  He was silent for a moment.  "You know my kid sister is two years younger than you?"  Flynn held him a bit tighter in reflex.

            "She is?  They hired me because of my abilities...and my papa arranged it... after I left home...."  She rested her head against his back, falling quiet.  He could see a bit better in the dark... the tunnel lightening just slightly somewhere.  He ducked under a pipe.       "When did you leave home?" he asked.

            "Two years ago... after the accident...I... I was removed from my home, because it wasn’t safe for me... or they just didn’t give a fuck... one way or another I’m happier where I am...."  He nodded then laughed slightly, bitterness tainting his voice. 

            "Wow... that's just interesting... I was on my own at 14.  Parents are just too messed up to care for their own kids anymore I guess," he murmured.  Flynn understood him, all too well.  She looked up ahead and saw more light, heat emissions, and a ladder.

            "There’s a ladder up ahead.  I think we’re near the altitude control room.”  Ryence squinted up at the light then walked ahead till he was next to the ladder.  Thank God it ran the whole length of the wall.  He put a hand on one rung and his foot on the other.

       "Hold on, K?"  Flynn wrapped her arms a little tighter around Ryence's neck, also holding onto him with her legs.  She had no intention of falling again.

       "Ready when you are...."  He nodded then began to ascend the ladder rung by rung.  He made it to the top and stopped at the grate.           "Can you push that grate off?" he asked.

            "I think so."  Flynn reached up and pushed against the grating, it began to give way and eventually came off. She got to the point where she could see up and into the corridor of the station.  She looked at the electric signs that lined the hallway.  "We’re near the engineering section. We can get out through here and to the infirmary... or back to the hanger."  He nodded. 

            "Can you pull yourself up?  Here, I'll help."  He reached back and pushed her legs up, avoiding her ankle.  Flynn hooked the edge with her arms and pulled herself up the rest of the way, once up she turned to Ryence. 

            "Coast is clear.  Come on up."  She offered him one hand to help pull him up and out of the hole.  He took her hand, scrambling out of the hole then picked her up in his arms before she could do anything.      "You're going to the infirmary... I'm getting out of here."  Flynn struggled a bit.

            "Yamatte! Hey I can walk there you know!  Where are you going to go anyway?"  He carried her down the hallway. 

            "Well, I don't know.  I'll figure it out."  Flynn made a face at him. "A guy like you should know where he’s going... what he’s gunna do... You have a sister to take care of so whatever you do it should be to help her... and keep in contact with her.  Nothing worse than becoming a stranger to those closest to you.”  Ryence smiled,

            "Don't worry," he replied.  "There's nothing that will separate me from that kid.  Not police, not wars, not death, nothing."  He entered the infirmary and looked around, holding Flynn.  Flynn frowned at the infirmary in general. <I hate these places.>  A nurse walked up.  He looked at Flynn.  "Her ankle’s broken."  The nurse nodded. 

      "You can set her down there," she replied, walking to grab a clipboard.  He nodded, setting her on the gurney.  She looked back up at Ryence. "You’re crazy you know that?"  He grinned and shrugged.  She smiled. "I hope I run into you again. Someday."  He smiled, and then his expression softened, something about her making him think. 

            “I never got your name,” he said.  She smiled. 

            "Names Flynn, though most people call me Angel. Call sign among the roughnecks.  What about you Bub?"  He smiled, heading for the exit. 

            “Ryen,” he said, looking out the door to see if the coast was clear.  He turned to look back at Flynn.  “I hope you have a good life.”  He smiled a sec and ducked out the infirmary door.  Flynn smiled slightly and found herself blushing.