Chapter 2 : The Dionysian

Welcome aboard the Dionysian.

It was very quickly after he’d said the words to the doctor, their newest kidnapped crew member, that Cyrus realized he was leaving her with more questions than answers. The shocked look on her face told him that much. But just as he was backing out of the alcove, the young woman found her voice and demanded, “The Dionysian? Am I supposed to have heard of that?” And then, hastily, “Listen — we won’t be able to take-off from here, security won’t allow it, this won’t be a clean exit — “

At that, Cyrus groaned in agreement and muttered, “I don’t think anyone expects a clean exit.” But there was no time to explain, he thought furiously as he backed out of the alcove and turned into one of the hallways (the doctor was right on his heels), no time to explain now, not when he had to be downstairs, not when —

Above both their heads, a crackle sounded through the intercom speakers, followed by the familiar sarcastic voice of his brother. “Now I’d love it if someone could explain to me how to get my ship in the air without a damn engineer in my engine room,” said Fiearius. “Really, please, suggestions welcome.” It was followed by another crackle and a loud screeching click.

Throwing a hand at this forehead, Cyrus did not hold back another groan. Another impossible escape — of course it had come to this moment, even though the whole mess had started some weeks ago now.

Really, it had been a normal job. Nothing out of the ordinary. A quick run across border lines and a swift delivery. Naturally, with almost every normal, ordinary job, the delivery ended in gunfire. No casualties on their end, but Fiearius had been slightly off his game, slipped for just a moment and been shot in the shoulder. Even that wasn’t too unusual and neither he nor Cyrus nor the rest of the crew had thought any different of it. There was no, nor had there ever been, a doctor aboard the Dionysian, though Fiearius fancied himself a decent field medic who could, at the very least, rip out a bullet and sew together the wound. Usually, he could. This time, apparently not so much.

He’d started noticing something off about his elder sibling a couple days ago, on a backwater little planet called Torfin. They’d been in the middle of alleviating some rather worthy goods from a local merchant. Cyrus had just been in charge of watching for passing witnesses, so he’d missed most of the confrontation, but what he saw was enough. It was a grand mansion with wide brick stairs leading up to a great and unnecessarily massive wooden carved door. Fiearius and a couple members of the crew had gone inside to take care of business and disappeared for a good ten minutes doing so. It was to be a fairly straight-forward task. The merchant in question was known to be a coward of the most convenient sorts. Show him a gun and he’d be apt to back down immediately. The best kind of job, really. Which was why Cyrus had been so surprised when, ten minutes later, that very merchant had emerged from his gaping doorway, sobbing uncontrollably, Fiearius behind him with a gun to his head, yelling at the top of his lungs incoherently.

His brother angry wasn’t exactly a rare sight, but it was clear that this was no regular anger. This was plain unmaintained fury and, from Cyrus’ point of view at least, he could see no reason behind it. Regardless, there was no doubt in his mind that, at any moment, that gun would go off and the weeping would stop. Never one to allow needless killing and this, surely, was needless, Cyrus abandoned his post and stomped up the stairs. “What the fuck are you doing?!”

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