Chapter 45: Citra
Alex groaned, her head throbbing like crazy, but somebody was nudging her, calling out to her. She opened her eyes to see everything spinning, and she shut her eyes and groaned again.
"Take your time, baby girl." She heard someone speak. Kidd. "Take your time, that medicine packs a wallop, doesn't it?"
"Kidd?" She muttered, before opening her eyes again and willing herself to sit up, "What are you… doing here? Where are we?"
"I don't know kiddo." Kidd answered back, helping her to sit up and he rubbed her face. Her eyes finally focused on him, and she sighed in relief to see him unscathed. "That fucker… Jose. He injected me with the same thing. I've had hangovers worse than that shit, but it was still unpleasant."
Her vision stopped spinning and she looked around, feeling a sense of déjà vu, when she found herself in a bamboo cage again with Kidd. But at least she wasn't bound or gagged.
The place wasn't like Vaas' camp; in fact she gazed in wonder of it all. Their cage was situated in front of a temple, slightly being taken over by nature, but it was still pretty beautiful amidst the light of the torches. It was high, several feet high with a long stair leading straight up to the inside of the temple. Men with dark skin coloring, black hair, intricate tattoos and jeans walked around the camp, looking at them with indifference, holding small caliber weapons and rifles. Alex watched as a woman came out of the temple, going down the temple's high stairs, being followed by two men.
The woman looked… amazing. She wore a short skirt and a halter top, beaded to extravagance. She wore several bracelets and necklaces, and had various tribal tattoos on her shoulder, left hip and left leg. She had bright green eyes… Vaas-like eyes, and her rounded face was beautiful. Her hair was long and braided, but it was shorn on the sides like a Mohawk… similar to Vaas.
"You're Citra." She said, and the woman blinked, before looking down at her.
"And you are Alex." The woman said, her deep voice possessing an accent distinctly different from Vaas', "My men tell me of you. The sniper. Vaas' woman."
"I am nobody's woman." Alex said, looking bravely back at her, but Citra merely smiled.
"No. You are Vaas' woman." Citra insisted, "He paid for you. That makes you his." She began going around their cage, watching them, "I can feel my brother's essence on you. He has touched you."
Alex shivered, and scowled. "So what if he does?"
But Citra merely smiled, making her shiver. "Vaas touches a lot of women. From Badtown. From his captives. But I sense something different about you. A darkness… being outshone by a light." She brought her form closer to the cage, peering at her, as if she was trying to read her soul. "Vaas values you? I cannot understand why, but I will find out."
"What're you going do to us?" Kidd asked standing up beside her, and Citra looked at him.
"You are Kidd. The teacher." She almost purred, looking at the man's arms and grizzled appearance, "They say you are strong. Powerful. A worthy warrior." She reached out a hand and beckoned to him seductively, "Fight for me, warrior. And I will give you everything you ever wanted."
Alex blinked at Citra, before looking up at Kidd. The older man looked… tempted, as his gaze lingered on the woman's breast and her short skirt, so she nudged him on the ribs hard. Kidd let out a huff of air, looking down at her, and she scowled in reprimand. He coughed, and scowled at Citra. "No, thank you, woman. I'm sticking' right here with my kiddo."
A flare of anger entered Citra's beautiful features, and she snarled at the two of them, "You think Vaas will save you? You are nothing to him. You are flesh he could sell. Flesh that he could use and dispose of." She looked at Alex, and she shivered, "You must not owe allegiance to him. Can you not see? He knows no mercy. He will kill you both. You are nothing to him."
"If we truly mean nothing then he wouldn't have bought us. He wouldn't have allowed Hoyt to purchase Kidd, and he wouldn't have used his own money to buy me." Alex said, looking back at her.
Citra stayed silent, looking at her, and her green eyes widened, "You think there is still good in Vaas, and you wish to save him."
Alex's face turned red as Citra laughed, "That is ridiculous! There is no good in Vaas left, Alex. Yet you act like you could dig him out of the darkness."
At this Alex bristled, "There is light AND darkness in everyone, Citra. At least I know that Vaas has too much darkness in his heart." She smirked as she looked at the woman, "But you… you hide your darkness behind your light… acting like it's not even there… tricking these people into thinking that you are that magnificent."
Citra stopped laughing, her green eyes flaring in anger as she looked at Alex, "I shall restore the Rakyat to its full glory."
"At the cost of blood." Alex said, walking nearer to Citra with the cage between them, "How many of your men have died in the hands of the pirates or of Hoyt's privateers? Didn't you even think about that, Citra? You tell your men… your children… to raid Vaas' pirates, and yet you cannot see that the people you're sending are heading into certain death. You send in these men, telling them to prove their worth… against a monster you yourself had created."
Citra snarled and lashed out a hand into the cage, wrapping her hand around Alex's neck, pulling her towards him. Alex remained glaring at her, her gaze unflinching. Vaas choked her plenty of times, and each time she resisted him. With Citra, it was easy as pie.
"You… know nothing of us." Citra seethed at her, her breath against her cheek, but Alex remained staring her down. She smirked, and Citra blinked in surprise at her lack of fear, letting go of her neck.
"Oh, believe me. I know plenty of you, Citra." Alex said, and she held the other woman's gaze, "And I know for a fact that for every man Vaas and his men lose, your Rakyat warriors lose three. Is that restoring the Rakyat? By sending them to their death to your brother? That is not leadership, Citra. That is murder."
Citra growled and reached out to her, but Alex sidestepped her arm, and grasped it, twisting it and making the other woman cry out in pain. Alex pulled, bringing Citra's face closer to her despite the cage, and she smirked evilly at her.
"You'd better be careful…hermana." Alex said, and Citra blinked, "Don't you fucking think that I am afraid of you, because I'm not. Your brother taught me better than that. So… get the fuck away from us. Before I shoot you…" She put a finger on her temple, and clucked her tongue, and Citra's eyes widened, as she recognized it as something Vaas usually did. "And stick your head into a fucking pole."
She let go of Citra's arm, and the woman scampered backwards, staring at her, and Alex smirked when she saw a hint of fear in the woman's eyes. Citra moved back into her temple with her guards, and Alex blew out a sigh of relief, and Kidd let out a loud guffaw before patting her hard on her back.
"Goddamn, girl. Looks like Vaas' influence is rubbing off on you." The elder man said, grinning at her.
"Yeah, well… I hope his influence on me isn't going to get us killed." She said, sighing, "It seems like crazy runs in family."
"You damn right." Kidd said, looking around them, "But at least they didn't chain us."
"I don't like this at all, Kidd." She admitted, before sitting down on the ground, and hugging her knees, "I don't think Vaas is going to get us out of this."
Kidd huffed out a breath, "You'd be surprised, kid… that guy is capable of anything."
Alex's head rose at the sound of the voice, before standing up from her seat on the ground again. Kidd stood up beside her and grinned. "See? Told you he's capable of anything."