The hulk of the Russian freighter seemed to slip out of shadow as the motorized dinghy called the Zodiac came to a stop next to the huge ship. The faded Cyrillic stencil hung ghostlike over the water. Xander and Revy climbed from the dinghy on to the dark surface of the ship's deck. Revy's guns searched the shadows while her hyper-acute senses rifled through the many smells and sounds looking for trouble.
Xander loaded rounds into a shotgun. "Well here we go again." he sighed as he chambered a round.
"You interrupted my drinking you know that right?" Revy hissed. "I'm still not sure why you were so hot for my help."
"Cause I'm hoping you'll see or smell a trap before I do." Xander answered, "Besides, according to you, Harmony already ruined your drinking. How'd that go by the way?"
Revy snickered, "Beating the tar out of that bitch felt better then anything I've ever shot-up, drank, snorted or swallowed - I felt like ..."
"...That would be the Hyena, I remember the feeling, defending your territory gave you a high better then sex."
"So you know huh?" Revy growled, "If you're going to piss and moan about me and the Hyena, save it, Just cause you couldn't handle it doesn't mean I'll screw up."
"Wow I wonder how I didn't notice it before. You really didn't fall that far from the family tree. Dad lives in permanent denial too."
"Screw you, you got a taste of this power and got scared. I hope your precious cheerleader made it all better."
"It turned me into the kind of raging douche-bag I've hated my entire life, Revy, Oh he spun it as me establishing dominance but that was where it was leading. The only reason you haven't screwed up with it so far is even the Hyena can tell who the top dogs are in this city."
"Fine you ain't linking me to that loser sperm donor of yours though."
"I'm practically jealous, He didn't get a chance to screw your life up the way he did mine. Everything I am , everything I ever accomplish is either because of him or in spite of him I can never get away from that but you..."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Revy asked him suspiciously.
"Youre the best gunslinger in this city which pretty much makes you one of the best in the world. You got the Hyena and you're learning to control it."
Revy snorted, "Yeah I control it so well I was cowering like a little bitch in front of that asshole bounty hunter."
"Yeah, what was up with that anyway?"
"According to the old wolf guy, Dude has some weird freaky lion-head necklace thing, the hyena is scared of it so I'm scared of it. if I'd known that shit was going to start happening..."
"Xander nodded, "Primal magics , Lucky for you that's one of the easier things to beat. Just remember who's in charge."
"Hey dumbass, the hyena is what makes me stronger, if its going to turn pussy at the sight of that idiot..."
"The hyena doesn't make you strong Revy, You were already strong, that's why it wanted you, why it came to you. If you were weak, it wouldn't have approached you in the first place. YOU are in control, you always have been. It like ... customizing a gun, if the weapon is crap to begin with you can add all the extras you want and it's still going to be a crap weapon, if the base weapon is the bomb however... "
"Modding it just makes the fucker more deadly by adding goodies to the package."
"I'm not judging you Revy I'm jealous. You are stronger then a lot of people give you credit for. Guess you've had to be."
Revy turned a disbelieving eye on him, "You think you can fool me," she growled, "you with your little white picket fence life and your little demon slaying girlfriend, you have no idea of the hell I had to live through.
Xander chuckled at her worlds, "Revy no offence but you lived in New York City not Hell." He said with a sneer, "I'velived on The Gates of Hell, and I fought the baddest of the bad that came out of them while you were still figuring out which end of a gun the bad stuff comes out of."
"Fuck you, like you know anything, My whole life has been one long drawn out screw over."
"First vampire I ever killed was my best friend. My other best friend since childhood blames me for the death of the only woman she'll ever really love, First woman Iever loved didn't realize I was alive as a man until she'd shagged her way through two vampires, a genetically altered super soldier and another girl and those are only the highlights of the long line of screwed up things that have happened to me. You want to compare war scars Revy you'd better know - I can match you every step of the way."
"OH yeah , Your dad get his kicks by beating the hell out of you too huh?"
"Revy he practically turned it into a spectator sport. How many lovers have tried to kill you?"
"I've had three , four technically but I promised Faith I'd try and let that go."
"Seriously ... four? No wonder you hooked up with that skank-tastic nun."
"At least I know what I'm getting with Eda. If she tries and kills me its not like It'll be that much of a shock."
"Still you didn't have to put up with the depraved sick assholes social services used to laughably call foster parents."
"Social Services in California is a joke You think I slept on the front lawn of my own home cause I liked being there. Sometimes sleeping out on the lawn was safer then trying to sleep in my own bed. Most of the time even Dad wouldn't mess with me in front of the neighbourhood ... emphasis on the part Most Of The Time."
"Really you did that too." Revy whispered, "I used to stare up at the sky and pray the nightmare would end and I'd be somewhere, anywhere other then the shithole that was my life back then."
"I always wondered what it might be lake to have a little sister."
"Keep wondering Little Brother."
"We're the same age Revy, I was probably born few weeks before you. Which make me the big brother."
"Fuck you LITTLE Brother don't make me have to kick your ass." Revy growled, an almost smile on her face.
Suddenly Revy pulled her guns out."Alright get your ass out here now before I come in there and pop a cap in it." She shouted into the darkness A figure shuffled from the shadows, "... Both of you I can tell there's two of you."
"Dad?" Xander gaped at the new comer, "What the hell are you doing here?"
"What am I always doing," Tony snarled, "getting screwed over the messes you leave behind."
"What the fuck, you mean this waste is your Dad?"
"... Worse, he's yours too."
"Who's your friend?"
"I'm not his friend Alexander. My name is Sheldon, officially I'm his nanny. Madam has a sense of humour."
"Excuse me his what, his nanny?"
"Look leave it alone Alex just give us the money and I can be on my way and you can go back to screwing up your life."
"Money? what money"
"Quit screwing around Alex," Tony hissed, "the two hundred and fifty million you stole from the International Lenders Bank in Switzerland - you have to give it back."
"Oh you mean the bank with a client list that included four warmongering despots, three criminals-for-hire, two hedge fund managers and a guy who if he isn't an honest-to-God Bond villain should really think about suing someone for copyright infringement, Besides DAD, it's two hundred and fifty million dollars, you don't just GIVE that back."
"You do when the people you stole it from are some of the most dangerous scumbags, despots, and criminals on the face of the planets and the bank's boss is the worst of all of them."
"What I'm supposed to be afraid of a little old lady ... countess something or other?"
"Countess Katerina De Souza-Fossberg," the big man smiled,
"That's the name, didn't she kill her second husband?"
"The Count had a well known heart condition." Sheldon replied.
"So I guess the Viagra was just poor planning on his part right?" Xander sneered,
"The Viagra was just a means to an unfortunate end." Sheldon said with a sneer, "Thinking Madam would not care about his infidelity was the poor planning."
"Guess hubby stepping out on her was a little embarrassing."
"Madam understands the need for ...recreation, however several the Count's bedmates had ... questionable loyalties. You father can testify that Madam doesn't respond with mercy to anything that compromises her power."
"I guess the old lady is pissed with me, as in sending-people-to-kill-me level pissed?"
"She was understandably upset with you Alexander but upon learning your relationship with your father she's decided to add letting-you-live to the list of her options for dealing with you."
"Aww the little old lady who launders the slush funds of crooks and thugs all over the world likes me - should I be touched or nauseated?"
"Now Alexander is that anyway to speak about your grandmother?"
Xander gulped, "Excuse me ... my what?"
Sheldon snickered before turning to Tony,"Anthony, you really weren't lying, you really didn't tell him."
"I've been trying to tell you that since you kidnapped me." Tony snarled.
"My Grandparents are dead, That's what you told me " Xander insisted, "I asked you about them when I was a kid and you said ..."
"I know what I said I was there remember, She didn't want to have anything to do with you. So I lied."
Sheldon aimed a smack at the back of Tony's head, "Actually Anthony it's YOU she didn't want to have anything to do with. She didn't particularly care about Alexander until he stole from her. As for Rebecca, Madam has been aware of her since at least two of Madam's clients had their business in the region unravel specifically because they crossed paths with Lagoon Company and Rebecca in particular. Madam's interest was piqued by the co-incidence that they had sought refuge together. Thus my being sent to find you."
Revy cackled, "Oh this is rich!" she said to Xander, "They thought Old Man Harris put you up to ripping off the Old Lady's bank. ... I guess the jokes on you TONY."
Tony scowled at Revy, "You really are a bitch you know that, your MOM was the same way." he snapped.
"So Alexander if you would just give us the money or tell us how we can get it back all your problems can be over."
"That money helped set up most of the current Watchers Council operations, There are a lot of people who are alive because I stole that money. Its done more good in our hands then it ever did sitting in a bank vault earning some drug lord a nice little kickback."
"This is the real World Alex," Tony protested, "you don't just steal money cause you don't like the people who have it."
Xander's eyes narrowed dangerously, "I'm getting a dad talk from the all-time champion for worst father figure ever." he growled.
"Shut up a minute." Revy snapped, "I hear something " she pressed her hands against the deck "Boats, a lot of them - coming in hard and over top ... holy shit, are you serious..."
Revy darted toward the railing with Xander in hot pursuit. Xander promised himself he'd ride the old man relentlessly about the whole nanny-thing later, assuming there was a later.
Revy leaned out over the railing looking into the darkness. plain as day to her was the several watercraft approaching at high speed. Cutting across the water above them was an attack helicopter bristling with mounted defense guns and at least one missile pod.
The helicopter's loudspeaker crackled to life, "Harris this is Hound, I'm taking you in. Give yourself up to my agents down there and you and your little friend might walk out of here...if you resist, you can deal with Mister Gunship."
"We have to get out of here." Tony shouted.
Sheldon didn't move however, "So what is it to be Alexander. You Father is a coward and a liar, Your Grandmother is hoping you're ... not a chip off the old block."
Xander looked at the approaching squad of killers. "Well How do we do this?"
Revy checked her guns, "You kill the crowd on the right I do the ones on the left and whoever gets their killing done first takes out the Gunship." The Gunslinger smiled. then scowled, "Shit no music, I like to do my killing to music."
Xander dug into his pocket pulling out a music player, "I stopped off on the way to meeting you."
Revy shot a weird look at Xander who shrugged, "What kind of a big Brother would I be if I didn't look out for my little sister."
"Fuck you LITTLE Brother. Try not to get dead. I'm the only one who gets to kick your ass."