Chapter 8: The Kingslayer
Kidd laughed out loud before coming forward and, to both Alex and Vaas' surprise, hugged Hoyt. The other man hugged him back despite his chains, and patted him on the back, "It's been years, my friend! Such a small world it is, that I found you here… on Rook Islands!"
"Found? Captured you mean." Kidd said looking at Vaas, "Your boy here ambushed us."
Hoyt looked down at the man's chains and looked angrily at Vaas, "What the fuck are you doing? Chaining a man like this? Release them, release them both!"
Vaas looked grumpy as he took the keys from his pocket and unlocked the shackles from her wrists and legs, doing the same with Kidd. When he was done, Hoyt mentioned to the pirates behind them. "Tell your boys to leave, Vaas."
Vaas whistled and waved a hand, "Disappear." He ordered his men, and the pirates left the tent. Vaas looked annoyed as he sat down what looked like a wooden chair at the corner of the tent, and took out a cigarette, "Friends of yours, boss?"
"This man, yes. I owe him a bit of a debt." Hoyt laughed as he sat back behind his chair, and he opened his hands and gestured to the chairs in front of them, "Sit, sit! This is such a good surprise!"
Kidd grinned at Alex, but his grin seemed a little tense as he sat down one of the chairs. She sat down on the other, folding her hands nervously on her lap. Hoyt had begun pouring brandy into three glasses, getting one for himself, and the other two for them.
"Thank you, but I don't drink." She replied, but Kidd had already downed his glass.
"How long has it been, Hoyt?" Kidd said as Hoyt lit a cigar, "Fifteen years? I can't seem to remember."
Hoyt nodded, "Yes, fifteen years, exactly. I am surprised to see you bound by Vaas' men, old friend."
"It's a matter of circumstance." Kidd said, waving a hand carelessly, "I was hired as protection by the people I was with. Didn't protect them much though, they didn't pay me enough, the motherfuckers."
"I see. You always were about the money, Kidd." Hoyt said, looking at Alex, "And the woman? She seems to be a little too young to be your wife."
At this, Kidd guffawed, "Nope. This woman is Alex Steele. She's the daughter of an old friend of mine… before I met you."
Hoyt took out a hand, looking at Alex, and she took it, her touch light. She didn't feel right with Hoyt, "Mr. Volker." She said.
"Please, call me Hoyt." The man said, waved at her, "A friend of Kidd's is a friend of mine. So, tell me… what brings you to Rook Islands?"
"The men who hired us…" Kidd said, and Hoyt turned his attention to him again, "They were treasure hunters. They were looking' for something called the Chaoyang, when this guy's men ambushed us."
"Ahh… the fabled treasure. I've had a lot of them come here, too." Hoyt waved a hand, "They had their uses, before I shipped them off. They made a good profit, though."
"You head of this operation now?" Kidd asked, "Seems like a huge jump from the mining business to human trafficking."
Alex looked in shock at Kidd as Hoyt laughed, "It's more than just human trafficking, Kidd. Drugs… guns… weapons… knock-off bags… if it's illegal and you want to ship it, then you call me. It is a good business."
"You always did have a mind in this kind of thing." Kidd said.
Hoyt nodded, "I was actually very surprised, you know… when Vaas showed me your ID. 'Kiddleston Humphrey', it said. And I said… I said, it cannot be! So, I had the both of you brought to me." He laughed, "You don't like those men who hired you, Kidd? No problem, I fix it, yeah? Once Vaas gets the money for the ransom, I sell their asses. Easy, yeah?"
Alex blinked when she realized that it wasn't Vaas who headed the operation, that it was Hoyt. While Vaas held the ransom for the captives, he would keep the money instead and give the captives to Hoyt, who would then sell them as slaves, prostitutes… or whatever the buyer needs.
And after knowing that Nigel and Gunther had a much worse fate than hers, she couldn't help but mumble out, "Yeah… easy."
Hoyt turned his attention to her then, "Ah… Alex wasn't it? I heard that you've struck a bargain with Vaas about a couple of his hostages."
"Yes… I have." Alex said, straightening up and looking bravely at Hoyt. She put on a professional air as she spoke, "Nigel and Gunther's bank accounts have a substantial amount in them. I managed Nigel's accounts, so I am able to transfer the money to anyone you want. Including yours or… Vaas'."
Hoyt leaned back from his chair to look at her, "Interesting. And you can do this to everyone?"
She shrugged, "Given the right equipments, data connection and personal codes, yeah."
Hoyt clapped and stood up, "You hear that, Vaas?! This little lady is our new best friend now!"
Vaas nodded distractedly from his corner, "Yeah, sure, boss."
The elder man laughed again before coming around and putting a hand on Alex's shoulder, making her shiver a bit, "So, little lady, you tell me what you need, huh? You list it down, give it Vaas, and I make sure you get them as soon as possible so you can start."
Alex looked over to Kidd, who nodded at her, and she answered, "Yes, sir."
"Good!" Hoyt said, patting Alex's head before coming back to his seat, "In the meantime, Alex and Kidd, you stay with Vaas here on the island, okay?"
At this, Vaas' temper flared again, "No, no, no, no, no, please… boss, I got way too much already to take care of these fuckers."
"Kidd here is one of the best trainers I know in armed and hand-to-hand combat." Hoyt said as he settled down on his chair again and grabbed his cigar, "And let's face it, Vaas, your boys can't shoot for shit. As for the woman…" He pointed over at Alex, "She can get you plenty of money, and if you want you can make them both help in the kitchens. Kidd used to grill the best barbeque around, and I'm sure the woman could cook as well."
Vaas glared at them both, "I get plenty of money from other captives, and I got others to fucking cook for us. I don't give a fuck about them."
The table shook as Hoyt slammed his hand down, and Alex jumped a little at her seat as the man's face contorted in anger at Vaas, "Now you listen to me, you little shit! You WILL keep them, and you WILL take care of them, do you understand?! It is by MY GRACE that your head isn't IMPALED on the FUCKING antenna of my CAR! Therefore, I would LIKE it if you gave a FUCK about my GUESTS!"
The pirate glared back at Hoyt, "Okay, Hoyt! Okay… alright."
Hoyt's angry face suddenly turned happy again, "Good! Now off you go! Take care of them for me, Vaas!"
The pirate nodded sullenly as he looked at Alex, before inclining his head towards the flap. Alex and Kidd stood up; starting to head outside, but Hoyt stopped them. "Oh, by the way…"
The three of them turned around to look at Hoyt, who was looking suspiciously at them, "Make sure you do things right. Fuck anything up, and I'll kill you both."