I’m going to go ahead and admit to serialising this story over the past few WWIs. I’ll do the appropriate linking later today and hopefully will remember how to write other things.
Somewhere between a tiny Greek island and Turkey, things go very, very wrong.
It’s early morning and they are boarding what they have been told is the safest and most reliable ferry transport between Greece and Turkey (but which, in reality, looks 20 nautical miles away from collapse) and Robin and Marie are about to have a fight. It’s been coming for a while. Robin is muttering all sorts of statistics about sinking ferries, careless crews and unthinkable sanitary conditions and Marie’s disregard for them thereof and Marie’s had enough.
“Have you ever heard of the fable of the Chicken and the Pig?”
Robin replies that she has not.
“A chicken and pig decide to make breakfast for their owner. The chicken lays the eggs and the pig provides the bacon. The chicken walks away without a mark because the chicken is only involved and not committed like the pig is. That’s just like us. I’m the pig and you’re the chicken. When I took you from the facility, I risked everything, I continue to risk everything. I don’t have a convenient control-Z function to use here – I can’t take backsteps. The second we walked out of there it has been my neck, my life on the line but you are the bloody prize hog – all they want is to get you back but they’ll crucify me on sight and it absolutely drives me up the wall the way you keep criticising everything I’m doing to keep us both away from there. Please don’t ever forget, it was you who asked me to get you out. If you’ve got a better plan, then speak up.”
They share long, furious seconds with eyes locked before Robin says. “Technically it would have to be a hen to lay eggs.”
“A hen is a kind of chicken you stupid, selfish, ungrateful idiot,” hisses Marie. She is so angry and feels so helpless and so panicked that this might have been completely the wrong thing to do – teaching a semi-Alien, semi-engineered sentient being how to be human? She must be out of her mind. It’s all she can do to stumble away to the other side of the boat so she doesn’t strangle her with hot shaking hands.
Five minutes later and they are speeding across the Mediterranean Sea when a speed boat pulls up along-side them and a dozen stocky, masked men forcibly climb on board. They’re yelling in a combination of Greek and Turkish and Marie is scrambling for her basic translation book when Robin turns up from nowhere.
“Put it away; put it back in your bag. Don’t speak,” she mouths hotly into Marie’s ear. “They’re here for us, they’re looking for me. Don’t do anything illogical or you’ll be killed. We can both be the chicken.” Marie slowly puts the guide back in her bag. The men produce fire arms and gesture for everybody to line up along the side of the boat. As everybody crowds and screams, Robin takes her hand, skin still so impossibly soft, so impossibly elastic and strong as well, so much so as to be able to stretch right over the Port side of the ferry and drop her into the warm water below.
“Wait,” she mouths, Catherine Wheel of hair flying around her face.