A Mirror Shattered #114, 115 - Cinderella Story

ON: <<Grounds outside of the Casino>>

The large bulky feline stood there, listening as a ragged looking middle aged woman stood and yelled out her own name.

"Nothing like telling the authorities who you are you dumb broad." He grumbled to himself, he watched as she stood there hysterical, her hands smeared in some reddish liquid that he knew was blood. He had heard the forced moaning and knew what had happened. His superior hearing had grown even more advanced since he lost his eye in that bar fight on Altair VI before the Dominion War had started.

People whispered among eachother. The Casino bouncers frowned and stepped a bit closer to eachother, hoping that this crazed woman wouldn't decide to pay the casino a visit. One called the authorities. People moved to avoid the woman, who was hysterical. She sank through her knees on the middle of the street, hiding her face in her hands, sobbing wildly. "my name is not mouse .. Not mouse .. I am I am Kristiana .. "

The large feline noted the behavior of the guards and walked over just as two patrol officers came walking towards her and Ryylar moved over to her, quickly taking her hand that held the knife.

"Of course you are. Now shut up." He hissed as he gripped her wrist tightly to force her to drop the knife.

"Aaaah !" She startled, and stared at Ryylar, wide-eyed, a bewildered expression on her face, now also bloodied, from her hands. Her arm twisted "G'ah ! you're hurting me !" she'd try to struggle, but was forced to drop the knife. She noticed the two officers approaching, and tried to hide behind the feline.

"Now what did you say about killing that rat that attacked you?" He asked her, loud enough for the officers to overhear as he turned and he held her upper arms.

The officers halted, glancing at eachother, then back at Ryylar and Kris. She sobbed a bit. "Well, it - it - bit me .. So I killed it dead, I did !" She was smart enough to play along. ".. Can we have it for dinner ?"

"Maybe... I think we can scrounge up enough stuff from the Casino dumpsters to make a good stew." Ryylar said in return, hearing the officers turn promptly to begin walking away, one making the sounds as if he was going to lose his lunch.

She muttered, and waited for the officers to be out of sight and earshot, before she'd turn around and punch Ryylar in the face. "Get yer furry hands off of me." as she tugged at her arm to get free again. He let her go.

"Fine you dumb bitch... you're welcome." He snarled and nipped at the air in front of her face as if he would have bitten her face straight off, turning and walking past her, his shoulder shoving into hers as he walked away.

She oomphed a bit and staggered some as his shoulder smashed into hers. She frowned as Ryylar just turned and walked away, she's spent so many years just expecting people to take from her what they want, without anything in return .. A hesitant step taken in pursuit of the feline. ".. .. Thank you." she spoke, quietly, glancing down. It took a lot of strength to say that.

"For what?" He turned and whirled around with surprising agility, he was snarling and his one eye glowed with an unearthly light. The other covered in a dark black fabric patch.

".. F-for helping .. me .." She spoke quietly, still glancing down, then daring to look at him. "D-do you .. have some food ? I can make it worth your while .. Just give me some food, please ?"

"Yeah, but you don't need to give me anything. I don't like the taste of mice..." He said, turning and moving back over to his area of the alley behind the casino where he pulled a bag out, in it lay the tattered remains of an old Starfleet uniform, a red collar with three gold pips on it were visible. He pulled out a small combat ration and handed it over to her.

"Here..." He said gruffly.

She followed him - people still regarding her with a measure of unease - and she snatched the ration the moment he held it out to her, plunking her behind down right where they were, opening the packet and starting to eat, hungrily, messily. She had several bruises visible even underneath the dried blood and the dirt. Her auburn hair was a tangled mess, beyond saving - only a sharp pair of scissor scissors would be able to save it. Her clothes were cheap old pants and a t-shirt, no shoes or socks.

He shook his head and watched her eat.

"Here..." He said, pulling out his old uniform and tossing it to her.

"Wear this... You'll probably be able to get into the Casino with that and maybe clean yourself up. All the businesses are offering 'fleeters free room and board." He said, picking up his knapsack as he started to walk off.

She blinked as she caught the uniform, just staring at it, dumbfoundedly .. Then watching Ryylar walk off. She quickly rose and started after him, still eating, clutching the uniform, almost tripping.

"Hey ! Hey, wait! Wait .. " as she caught up.

"Why are you helping me like this ? What do you want in return .. ? What's in it for you ?"

"Escape... That uniform isn't comfortable for me anymore." He said, turning and looking at her.

".. Well .. uhm .." She frowned, finishing the ration he'd given her. ".. You saved me - " she spoke with her mouth full. "So now you've got to take care of me .. Take me with you ? Please ? Away from here .. " though in her heart she wanted to do nothing more than putting on that uniform and heading into the casino, to catch another glimpse of Evans, she knew that the guy had been right - she did she didn't stand a chance with him.

"I just did didn't I? This universe is way too big for people to be taking care of each other. You gotta learn to take care of yourself first. Now get in that uniform and get into that casino." He said, narrowing his eye at her. He would like nothing more than her company, someone to share those cold lonely nights when all he had to keep him company was the utter silence of the dead he left in his wake. Someone to help him fill that forsaken hole in his heart that he had carved out with murder.

Shoulders slumped a bit as she frowned, then dropped the uniform. ".. If you send me away now, it would be the same as if you hadn't saved me when those cops came. I .. can't .. do it on my own, Sir. Please. Don't send me away." as she took a step closer, looking him up and down a bit, then reaching for his hand and placing it on her behind. ".. I can make it up to you .. I can make you happy .. I I know how, I'm very experienced .. " she tried to sound as seductive as she could.

"I don't want you... don't you get that? Look... if I took care of you... you couldn't handle it. I know you couldn't all right?" He said to her, the pain evident in his one eye which switched from that unholy green to now a much softer pale green.

".. Fine." She spoke coldly. ".. If they find me dead one of these days, it'll be Your fault, understand ?" she sighed, reaching down to grab the uniform and tossing it at him. " .. And I don't want that, either. "as she turned with a huff and started walking away. "... Bastard."

He sighed and shook his head. God damn his guilty conscience.

"All right... all right..." He said, holding the uniform as he walked up behind her. He couldn't just abandon another helpless soul. Not another voice to add to the throngs of billions. Not like Cait.

She halted and turned around, looking at him. He was stronger than the other guy. She wouldn't stand a chance if he decided to just take from her what he wanted. But maybe - she hoped - he atleast wouldn't hit her. She glanced at the casino again, frowning, and offering a slight wave. ".. goodbye .. Evans .. " before turning towards Ryylar again, reaching to take his hand, to go with him.

"Who is Evans?" He asked her, wondering what she meant, if she was saying goodbye to the jerk who had just finished raping her not long ago.

"Eh .." She sighed, shoulders slumping, though the hurt, the longing was evident in everything - her eyes, her voice, her words .. " .. Just some guy. Not important. I'm Kristiana .. Who are you ?"

"The name is Ryylar. So tell me who Evans is." Sensing the want in her voice. If he could help her get this Evans and he was sure she'd be taken care of, he could avoid dragging someone else into his private hell and maybe make someone's life a bit better rather than horribly worse as he inevitably did with everyone.

A deep sigh. "He owns the casino .. He's rich, and lucky, and has all these gorgeous women, and he's handsome, and dreamy, and handsome, and tall, and handsome .. and .. " A deep sigh. ".. Way beyond me."

"Well let's just test that theory... come on." He said, grabbing her wrist and stuffing the uniform in his bag quickly as he made his way to the casino with Kristiana in tow.

"Wah !" She blinked, struggling a bit, eyes wide "No .. Nooo no no .. Noo .. Please, not like this ! I'm all filthy and dirty and .. !"

"And so was Cinderella before she went to the ball now shut up and don't attract attention to yourself just yet." He said with a grin that just reeked of having a plan. He paid the bouncers to let him in and nodded.

She looked a mess - dirty, bloodied, tearstreaked, thin as a rake .. But she obediantly followed Ryylar, despite all the looks that EVERYONE gave them ..

He ordered a small hotel room for one upstairs and then called in an order as Commander Ryylar from Starfleet. He furnished his ID and ordered a beautician sent up to the room in twenty minutes. He dragged Kris along to the turbolift after getting the key and checking into the casino's hotel and looked over at her.

"This is going to be a win win for us." He said with a nod.

She'd simply blink and then blink again, confused, overwhelmed, but she was gonna let him do as he wanted - things couldn't become much worse than they already were, for her - and if he ended up murdering her like a lunatic - well, atleast, she would have found peace, then. She obediantly went up to the room with him, as instructed.

After a half an hour the beautician walked in and took one look at Ryylar and looked back to Kris.

"Oh we're going to have a project..." He said to Ryylar, shaking his head with widened eyes.

"Do whatever it takes to make this woman the most attractive female in this casino. You'll be well compensated." He said, walking over to relax on the bed.

Kristiana looked out of her depth, still. She was wearing a bathrobe now, and had atleast washed her face and hands a bit, most of the dirt and blood was gone, now, which just showed more what a state she was really in ..

The beautician went to work .. Starting to thoroughly wash her - completely - she semed selfconscious about her own body but submitted to the entire washing. He struggled with her hair for quite a while, washing it thoroughly till her deep auburn color came out again, then eventually gently cutting away some of the worst tangles, and making her hair look presentable, doing it up. He spent a good while working on her hands and nails, cutting them, grooming them, putting nailpolish on. Kristiana seemed to relax, and very much enjoy the attention given to her, the manicure, everything around it. She totally loved the facemask she was given, eventually falling asleep underneath it. And then, finally, a good six hours after the beautician begun his campaign to rescue this woman's looks, she emerged again, looking as beautiful as she hasn't looked in over 10 years. Age and homelessness had taken their toll on her skin ofcourse, as well as her pose, but once she was all cleaned and made up - subtle make-up, highlighting her natural face - she remembered again what it meant to be a Lady, and her poise improved dramatically .. Such a difference, from bloodied, muddied homeless drifter to quite a goodlooking woman in her late thirties, with a somewhat sad look in her eyes and mouth, but fair skin, gorgeous auburn hair, and a lean body to die for.

Ryylar smiled and crossed the floor to Kris, leaning down to kiss her forehead.

"You look beautiful. Now... put this on." He said with a smile, handing her the near pristine uniform.

She blushed softly at the kiss and glanced away .. She'd never been so pampered in her entire life as she has been today - and that after everything that had happened in the park. Was she a murderer now ? Who knew .. She'd find out, later, whether the guy had lived or died. "Alright .. " as she took the uniform, dropping the bathrobe, showing her nude form to Ryylar without shame, as she put the u uniform on .. Modeling it a bit for him, when she was wearing it.

He grinned and snapped to a salute.

"Well Commander Cinderella... You have your gown. You have your palace. You have your beauty. Now let's go snag your Prince Charming." He said with a smile, gesturing to the door.

"Oh I couldn't - I mean, I - .. " She paused, then slowly nodded. "A- alright .. I'll try .." as she turned to the door, pausing a moment to gather her strength .. And stepped through, elegance in her steps, remembering what it meant to be a Lady.

He grabbed her shoulder and frowned at her.

"Are you a mouse?" He asked her, narrowing his eye at her. She'd never pass off as a Commander in Starfleet with a meek little waifish attitude like that.

She blinked and pulled her shoulder free from his grasp. "I am Kristiana." she bit at him, giving him a Look. Last one to call her a mouse, now lay bleeding in the park. He grinned broadly.

"You're Commander Kristiana... remember that and if that Evans guy blows you off, then obviously the little human worm isn't worth your time." He said, making the intent behind his statement apparent.

".. Commander Kristiana Petrova .." She repeated that to herself, to try it on. ".. Commander Kristiana Petrova .. " then frowning ".. Is Commander a bit Too much ? Shouldn't I be - Idunno - a Lieutenant or something ?" "YOU'RE A COMMANDER AND DON'T YOU LET HIM FORGET IT!" He barked back at her.

"G'ah !" She startled and stepped back, then narrowing her eyes. "Hey now. I'm not Deaf .. " She muttered a curse in russian, and turned to head out the door. He smiled and followed along to make sure she didn't get in too much trouble.


Not-Kristiana Not-Commander Not-USS Pegasus


Not-Ryylar Not-Morale Officer Not-USS Pegasus