Rose sat at the bar and listened to her Mistress talking with the clubs owner. Her eyes and ears roamed, looking for threats, familiarity, and.... just waiting. Already she had spotted the plants in the club, those who were security, those who had something to hide. And those who were hiding in plain sight.
She sipped her quaffe and talked softly to Hana, the girl behind the bar. Something about her brought a kinship to mind, they were both after all of the same status it seemed. She wished, above all else, that Orchid was here. The bond she shared with her, once they both had been bought from the slavers pit was forged in love and respect, and a necessity to fight. Whisper too, shared that bond. And their Mistress, after a fashion.
Watching and listening she observed her Mistress and smiled. It was rare to see some happiness in her these days, and the Corvidae Club seemed to make her smile. It even seemed to make her forget her addiction. Pulling a small datatablet from her pocket she messaged both Orchid and Whisper and excused herself and headed to the toilets.
Her instincts served her well. She was already moving before the shadow detached itself from the wall, and before two of them had her pinned against it, two more were down on the floor, the scuffle deadened by the music nearby. Strong hands pulled her into the corridor to the slaves quarters while another hand covered her mouth.
"Stop struggling, sister. We mean you no harm!"
The voice was thick sebiestor, male and a familiar trace she couldn't place. His face, when it appeared infront of hers was handsome, once. Now it was scarred, broken, but the eyes were bright and hopeful. She had seen such hope before, seen it crushed. But, she stopped struggling.
"I know you. I knew you from before. I was there when you were taken, bought like cattle."
"Impossible, only slaves were there."
"Do I look like I am not? I swore on my clan, those that live still, that I would make it strong again. But for that I need women to join me."
She laughed softly at him, with no ire.
"You want me for your bed? There are ways to do that without trying to abduct me."
"I want you free. Do you not want to be free again? To once more walk on our homeworld and feel the wind in our hair?"
"You are freedom fighters?"
"And what makes you think I want to be free?"
He looked at her, a strange look in his eyes.
"We know well your Mistress," he spat the word out,"A pariah and a traitor to our people, a slaver and a murder. Her crimes are too long to list. We would see her dead. We want you to help us."
There are moments of clarity when we can see the future with an accuracy that is profound. She saw the Geisha House burning, the patrons executed on the beach, or dying from the fires that tore through the buildings. The gardens one large mass grave and above all Him standing there, directing the massacre from atop the matari landing craft. Carmilla and the geisha bound and gagged, captured awaiting a trial back in the republic that would be a farse, and a fate worse than death.
This man, was no freed slave, she thought.
"Tell me what you need,"she said cautiously, already knowing the answer.
"We need the codes to land on your whore house. And we need to know when she will be there so we can capture her."
"You dont want to kill her?"
"No," the look in his eyes however said something different.
"Rose?" The voice echoed down the corridor and the people blended back into the shadows
"We will be in touch.... depend on it."
Rose leant back against the wall, shuddering slightly and looked up. Hana was standing by her, looking up into her eyes with a kindly smile.
"Your Mistress is expecting you, you must come.... Are you allright?"
"I'll be fine. I just need..."
Hana held out her hand and took Roses and kissed it gently and held it to her cheek.
"I know, don't worry. You will be fine."
Rose walked back to the bar with her, but at the back of her mind was the talk with the strange Matari. Things were happening. Pieces were being moved into position. She had to be ready when they made their final move. They all did.
"Orchid... where are you my sister?"
Carmilla looked on as Hana and Rose came back and patted the seat next to her, concern on her face.
"Rose, is everything okay?"
"Mistress, we need to leave here. Please."
Carm looked at her girls expression and nodded. She knew her girls, depended on them. Now, more than ever.
"Don't worry, we'll go get Orchid. I know you are missing her, I am too. But she is doing a vital job for me with my husband. But yes, we'll go home."
As they walked out Rose noticed a face looking at her from the crowd of people. She shuddered as she saw the matari, his knowing smile and then it was gone in the throng.