Leonis, 1:12, 2:14 - Roach Hotel - Avast Ye Scabies

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Evening had fallen over the island and after walking to the opposite side of the volcanically created chunk of land, hopefully far from Fletcher Christian's newly arrived immigrants, Kate, Cameron, and Gerald decided to stop and make camp. A crescent moon hung in the clear sky above and created an inverted image of itself that shimmered over the surface of the ocean. The beauty of the scene, however, was completely lost on the trio, who were now, totally engrossed in a heated discussion.

"...I hate to repeat myself, Kate, but that's all I've been authorized to tell you," Gerald said as he watched the woman pace around the campfire. "Anyone want anything to eat? I have some stuff in this bag."

"So, you can tell me all about your 1950's world and this process of time-traveling, but you won't even hint as to how my sister's doing?"

"Don't forget it's really called shifting."

"Here we go again," Cameron sighed. "Gerald, come on! You're making this much worse than it has to be!"

"What? I was just trying to be clear!" Gerald said attempting to appear aloof. He removed an NWUS officer's MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) from his backpack and held it up as an offering. "You guys sure you don't want anything?"

Kate froze in her tracks and glared at the Secret Service agent through the flames. She raised the corner of her lip, exposing the white teeth beneath and growled in frustration at him. "No, I don't want anything to eat and I can tell you are deflecting, you massive, insensitive dick!" she cried out in frustration and flipped him off with both hands. "So, just stop it!"

Gerald looked down at a burning log crackling away in the campfire and poked at it with a nearby stick. "Honestly Kate, if it were up to me, I would tell you everything, but you know how things like this go, we have our orders and I'm just trying to make sure you're up to speed, so, when we get you home you'll be prepared," Gerald said with a look of sadness on his face.

"Prepared for what?"

"A life in 1950. At least that's what your sister wanted for you."

Placing her hands on her hips, Kate stood erect and tilted her head at Gerald. The glimmer of a tear appeared in the corner of her eye. "Wanted!?!! Don't you mean wants?"

"Oh shit," Cameron mumbled and realized it was time for him to run interference. "I'll take that MRE, Gerald."

"Answer me, what does wanted mean?" Kate repeated with an emphasis on the 'ted' in the word, wanted.

Before Gerald could stutter a reply, a strange man wearing a loose fitting shirt and muddy knee high pants emerged from the dark jungle followed by another. The latter carried an antique firearm in his hand and held it to Gerald's head.

"I wouldna go fer that queer lookin' flintlock, lad. Ye won't make it," he said sporting a smile of intermittent teeth.

The Secret Service agent retracted his hand from the energy gun's handle.

Cameron turned and found another pair of men holding swords flanking him on either side. These individuals appeared to be of Polynesian decent and both mirrored the Marine's massive frame.

Four more men stepped into the light and were immediately bathed in the amber glow of the fire. They each wielded a bladed weapon of varying lengths and all eyed Kate with lust in their eyes. Cameron, Gerald, and Kate were now surrounded with nowhere to run.

<<*>>

The following evening, Gerald watched a handful of mutineers walking around with torches. He caught glimpses of some of them carrying supplies from one place to another through a break in the trees. He narrowed his eyes as he thought of escape. Unfortunately, the Secret Service agent was seated in a jungle clearing with his back against a palm tree and struggling against some sort of rough object restraining him at the wrists. His fingers told him this restraint was in fact a rope and without any visual evidence to the contrary, he simply accepted this assumption as truth. Now, he wondered, was what he was going to do about his team's untenable situation.

The sudden expulsion of one of the energy pistols lighting up the night followed by the whooping of the Bounty's mutineers tore Gerald's mind away from his predicament. He now found himself considering the fact that the devices the foolish Englishmen were playing with in the jungle were never supposed to exist in this primitive world, especially at this point in time. Gerald reassured himself that if anything did happen to him, Cameron, and Kate, at least there would be several decades before anyone found this remote island and many chances for the high tech items to be lost or become damaged.

"Hey, Gerald," Cameron said in a low voice. He was seated in a similar fashion, under an adjacent tree. "I count around twenty-six people not including us. Only eleven are female."

"And?" Gerald whispered back, his eyes attempting to catch a glimpse of the Marine's face in the dark.

"Do the math, Gerald. That means me and you, we have zero chance of making it out of this alive. Kate on the other hand, well..." Cameron tilted his head toward the lust-filled gaze of their guard practically undressing and molesting Kate with his eyes.

"Hey asshole, take a picture!" Kate spat at her guard, a filthy young man in his early twenties. He was perched upon an overturned log and stared at her intently. "Pervert!"

"Pervert? When I get me go at ye, strumpet, I shall make sure I work out ev'ry bit of that defiant streak you've got in ye," he said in an angry snarl.

A slightly older man with dark wavy hair emerged from the shadows and stood next to the stone-encircled campfire. "You'll do naught of the sort, Mr. Quintal. Now, I insist ye walk away. Yer watch is o'er, they could use you down a' the beach."

The sailor stood up, nostrils flaring and his fists in a ball. "Mr. Christian, I shall nah be disrespected by that...that whore!"

"I do not believe she is as ye say, brother. Just look at her. Rather, if I had to guess she be more of a fighter than a lady." Fletcher placed one hand on the handle of his cutlass and lifted the other to point toward the moonlit beach. "Now, once more, I insist ye walk away."

Mathew Quintal sneered at Fletcher and with a snort, stormed off into the night.

Gerald breathed a sigh of relief. To him, it appeared cooler heads had prevailed. "Thank you very much, Mr. Christian. Mr. Christian...?"

Fletcher ignored the Secret Service agent and stepped over his outstretched legs to kneel before Kate. An ocean-borne gust of air dislodged a lock of Kate's brunette hair and laid it over her face. Fletcher swept the strands aside and took her chin between a pair of dirty fingers. "Where did ye come from, hmm?" he asked as he examined the woman's smudged face, and then lifted his other hand to separate her lips and examine her teeth. "The colonies?"

Kate snapped her pearly whites at him sending the man backing away in light retreat. He raised his hands in the air and laughed aloud. "Aye, definitely a fighter!"

Gerald's mind was reeling. He could do the math, as Cameron mentioned. They had to get Kate away from these men and noting the sliver of a moon hanging in the sky, even if they did, they still had at least a week to go before they could shift. Add to that, less than four kilometers of island, east-to-west, in which to hide, the odds were even less favorable.

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