(Qannen) are you thinking this is a sex thing

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"I do actually like that better," Qannen says.

"We're not ask-." Eyes exhales deeply. "Fine."

"What show is this for, anyway?" Qannen asks.

"It's not for a show," Eyes says. "OK fine. Tight close up on her, then pull back, then both us while I'm talking."

"It's called a two-shot," Qannen says.

"OK ready?" Hair asks.

"Countdown from 3, remember we decided," Qannen says.

Hair motions 3, 2, 1, then waves hands vaguely and swipes his screen.

Qannen immediately goes into ON mode. "Hey you guys what's up, it's ya girl Qannenase Qrrasshiclan, coming at you live from a secret hovel that's clearly somewhere in the Thornes. As you can see I'm in a very dire situation here, tied up by my terrifying captors, The Boy with the Cute Hair and, the Other One, and they've got a really important announcement about a new show that they want you to hear, so just sit tight and prepare to have your minds blown after a word from, um, sorry,, wait. I should have asked who's sponsoring this before we started. That's my bad."

"STOP," Eyes says. "What tf was that?"

Qannen looks at Hair like Did I screw up? "We all agreed a warm intro from me would-"

"You are our prisoner," Eyes says. "You have been kidnapped. Your life is in danger."

"...IT IS?"

Hair: "And don't say where we are."

Qannen: "I guess I don't really understand the motivation behind this scene."

Eyes: "It's not a scene, it's a thing that is happening to you against your will."

"OK well. If you say so." Qannen shrugs. "That's helpful information, thank you. Should we take 5 and reset? Who's hungry."

"We have to escalate this," Eyes says. "We'll have to torture her on camera. Start with her, quick intro, torture, and then the speech."

"Wait what?" Qannen says.

"Torture her with what?" Hair asks.

"Do we have a knife?" Eyes asks.

"What's a knife," Qannen asks.

Hair shakes his head. "We lost it on the way in. We have the gun."

"What's a gun," Qannen asks.

Eyes shakes his head. "We should save it. We'll definitely need it."

Hair holds his hands out like he's grabbing something. "We could just choke her?"

"I thought you said torture," Qannen says.

"What about the multitool," Eyes says. "Use it to break some of her fingers."

"Ew, not a fan," Qannen says.

Hair hesitates. "OK, yeah, I guess."

"You guess?" Eyes asks.

"OK yes," Hair says.

"OK yes good." Eyes motions to the other room. "You go get the pliers out of my bag, I'll retie her arms so it's easier to break her fingers."

Hair goes to the other room while Eyes fees one of Qannen's hands, then reties her wrist flat to the arm of the chair.

"Don't be so frustrated at him," Qannen says.

"What?"

"He's wildly in love with me. This is hard for him."

"Seriously, shut up," Eyes says, replacing the gag over Qannen's mouth.

Hair returns, hands a metal thing to Eyes, which Eyes turns into a pair of pliers. They take their places, pause and breathe, nod at each other. Hair gives the countdown and swipes the screen.

Eyes takes one of Qannen's fingers in the pliers and squeezes, hard. Not hard enough to break, but enough to suck. Qannen yells through the gag.

"People of Wood2," Eyes says. "We have infiltrated your city to expose the lie you have been living your entire lives."

Eyes tightens his grip on the pliers and Qannen yells louder, twisting in her chair.

"For too long the people in the unincorporated areas have suffered while wealth flows uninterrupted into your city. We scrape by with no resources while you enjoy comfort and an ease of life that is frankly unimaginable to most of us. We demand The Panel's attention. We demand access. We have captured one of your celebrities and will torture her until our demands our met. Starting now."

The speech seems over. Eyes pauses, relaxing his grip on Qannen's finger. For a moment she feels the relief of the blood flowing cooly back into her finger, then Eyes reaffixes the pliers squeezes, and begins pulling the finger back.

Qannen screams and screams, as best as she can with her mouth gagged. She's trying to twist her hand away but it's pointless. She looks up at Hair, crying, her eyes pleading.

Eyes pulls back on the pliers, farther and farther, and just as Qannen's finger feels like it's about to wrench clean away from her hand, there's a loud, low noise from somewhere deep within the walls of the building. The room shakes briefly, there's a metal clang. And then, suddenly and all at once, the room starts filling with water. It sluices up from edges of the room where the walls meet the floor, water coming at them impossibly fast, from all around them.

By the time Eyes stops being shocked long enough to release the pressure on Qannen's finger, the water is lapping at their feet, the floor almost covered.

Eyes and Hair look at each other, at the walls, at the floor, both very confused and slightly terrified. "What is happening??? What's going on?"

Qannen does not look surprised or worried. She's just relieved to have her fingers back, and looks back and forth between Hair and Eyes to see what they're going to do. The water is relentless, and freezing, already up to their ankles.

"What tf is happening," Eyes says again. He looks at Qannen and notices her face doesn't mirror his concern. "What's happening?" he asks.

"Hghnnh hghnnh hghnnh hghnnh," Qannen says.

Eyes pulls the gag from Qannen's mouth.

"They're flooding the building," she repeats.

Eyes blinks, looks at Hair like Did she just say what I just heard. "They're what??? WHY???"

Qannen looks at him like it's the dumbest question anyone has ever asked. "What do you mean, 'why'?"

She gives Hair a look like Do you believe this guy? as the water reaches their knees.

///

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