Hello people! Here is the second chapter. The update for 'Hellions' should be early this weekend if everything goes to plan. Please review, even if its just to say hi or to correct a mistake, I love hearing from you guys.
Tata for now! :)
It was curious that the first time Sulu got a good look at the youth, was when the boy in question was hanging upside down, swinging gently in the breeze while swearing colourfully in Russian as he flailed his arms helplessly.
As Sulu had previously noticed, he was young, likely early teens and appeared to be quite small for his age. His eyes were incredibly sharp and perceptive, an intelligent mix of blues which created their own unique shade. A well-kept pair of steampunk goggles were nestled atop his head amidst a mop of brown curls which were now clearly visible since he lost his hood. Thin hands were encompassed in a ratty pair of dark, fingerless gloves that looked about ready to fall apart, the amount of holes and scorch marks in them. While the long brown coat he was cloaked in was worn and ragged, falling about his head as he hung there.
Sulu wobbled towards the control panel on legs that threatened to give out at any moment. Everything was becoming unfocused, as though he was viewing everything through a pane of frosted glass. He wasn't stupid; he knew that he was going into some form of shock
As soon as he had pulled the lever and started Pavel's slow descent back down to earth, his legs finally gave out and he sagged down against the side of the forklift.
There was a shrill ringing in his ears and his hands trembled violently, his breath came in harsh ragged gasps as he put his head in between his knees like he was taught.
His breaths, the wind and Pavel rattling the chain were the only discernible sounds he could identify through the white noise in his head.
A lightly sharper rattle, a thump and irritated cry of "Черт побери!" told Sulu that Pavel had managed to free himself and had fallen the last little distance.
A few moments later there came to sound of lightly crunching snow and a definite presence setting before him, not announcing itself overly, just waiting patiently a foot or so away from his knees. Raising his head slightly so that one dark eye was free to work, he was greeted with the sight of the small Russian sitting on his heels in the snow before him with his head cocked and a quizzical expression on his face that made him appear oddly like a curious puppy.
"Are you ok?" he asked innocently, and such a simple question asked with the naivety of a child in light of the recent events snapped something in Sulu's head.
A rough, humourless laugh made its way out of the ball of limbs Sulu had turned himself into. "Me ok? I think I should be asking you that! The bear hit you ten feet!"
"Did eet?" Pavel asked, looking genuinely surprised. It was as if he didn't actually register the pain that was sure to have come with such a hit. With furrowed eyebrows he quickly pulled at the hem on his too big shirt and glanced down at his side.
Sulu winced in sympathy: a definite bruise was growing, all dark browns and blues, and a few shallow scratches from its claws, but nothing to bad considering what could have been.
"Oh, I am fine, eet will heal vithin ze veek." Pavel dismissed with a careless hand wave to Sulu's complete astonishment, but before he could voice his doubt on the kid's analysis Pavel's expression became serious again. "You do not look wery good." He stated bluntly.
Once again, Sulu laughed, a high pitched sound bordering on hysterical. "I bet that's putting it mildly, kid." He sniggered as he pressed his face further in to his knees.
Pavel scowled deeply, an expression that looked quite strange on such a youthful face. "I am not a kid," he argued, crossing his arms in an incredibly childish show of petulance.
"Oh yeah?" Sulu countered, one dark eye becoming visible again as he raised an eyebrow. "And exactly how old are you then?"
Pavel tilted his chin up and puffed out his chest as if to make himself appear more mature and important as he proudly stated, "Fourteen."
Despite knowing that he was going to be young, Pavel actually stating his age made it all the more apparent and Sulu could not erase the surprise and concern than clearly showed on his face. "Then you are most definitely a kid, kid."
Instead of the angry retort Sulu was expecting, all he got in response was the defeated sigh and visible slumping of the boy in front of him as he pointedly looked away and stared as some point behind Sulu with sad eyes.
Clearly, his age was a sore spot and Sulu made to apologise for dismissing him so quickly when Pavel jumped to his feet and grabbed one of Sulu's arms in a deceptively strong grip.
"Come on, eet ees getting dark. You vill stay here tonight. Ve must go now, or zhey might come back."
Surprisingly, Pavel did actually manage to pull Sulu to his feet, despite the older man being unable to assist. Indeed, the sun was beginning to set, turning the sky into an explosion of reds, yellows and pinks, a warm display that opposed the building chill of the night.
Together, the ambled forwards at a snail's pace, heading determinedly towards the main control tower, which looked like a three story concrete cylinder rising out of the middle of the site.
"Ken you climb?" Pavel's voice sounded like an echo in Sulu's head. Blinking sluggishly, feeling like everything was floating away from him, he saw that they had indeed made it to their destination and he was facing a rusted metal ladder that went straight up the side of the structure. Pavel was already a few feet up, his arm wrapped around the metal as he looked down with a worried glance.
Slightly touched at the boy's obvious concern, he nodded his head as solidly as he could while it felt as though it was stuffed with cotton wool, "Yes, I think so."
Pavel smiled bright. "Good, zhen I vill meet you at ze top and giwe you a varm velcome, da?" And with that, he shot up the ladder like a squirrel on caffeine and left Sulu to begin the torturous ascent.
It took far too much time and effort for Sulu to make it to the top of the tower, and when he did reach the peak, he was shaking and sweating and felt it was a distinct possibility that he would just pass out then and there, falling to his death.
But then there was a thin hand gripping his wrist and he was assisted into the interior of the tower, where he just lay where he fell and simply revelled in having something vaguely solid underneath his body again.
Despite its rather cold and unwelcoming exterior appearance, the interior of the control tower was surprisingly cosy. A small fire was crackling merrily in a small indentation in the floor, casting flickering shadows on the walls as it devoured scraps of paper and a few short sticks. A large desk stood against one of the walls, upon which sat an actual computer that looked considerably more well-kept than the rest of the items in the room. A worn tan sofa was on the other side of the room, absolutely covered in blankets and sheets in a tangled pile.
There was a painful jolt in his chest when he realised that this was where Pavel lived, and that nest of blankets must be where he slept.
A loud 'thud' rang through the room as Pavel managed to shut the heavy metal door with some effort and then all of the sounds from outside just stopped, it was like the room was a vacuum, a perfect escape from everything outside.
Sulu blinked sharply as a hand on his chest pushed him back onto the sofa and a shot glass containing clear liquid was held in front of his face.
"Here, drink," Pavel coaxed, holding his own glass in his other hand. Deciding that if the kid had some it couldn't be all that bad, Sulu took it with a nod of thanks and tossed it back…
Only to have to fight not to cough it back up. The burn coated his throat and his eyes stung madly at the strength of the liquor and the lack of preparation for it.
"What the hell was that!?" he managed eventually, when he managed to make sounds that sounded vaguely like words.
Pavel just looked at him as if he was slow. "Wodka," he stated simply. Then, to Sulu's surprise, downed his own shot, his face showing no indication of the burn that must have accompanied it.
"Why did you just give me vodka?"
"Eet ees vhat you do vhen people are een shock, giwe zhem alcohol, nyet?" Pavel stated distractedly, as he took both empty glasses and deposited them on the desk amidst countless little half-finished inventions.
As unexpected as it was, Sulu had to give him that one. "Oh, yeah right, thanks." came his eloquent response.
Pavel raised one hand in indication that he had heard and began rooting around in the deep draws of the desk before pulling out numerous bottles of vodka, all full and unopened.
"Whoa, whoa!" Sulu barked, hauling himself up some difficulty and snatching the bottle Pavel was holding out of his hands, to the kid's obvious annoyance. "Why the hell do you have all of this, you shouldn't even be drinking!"
Pavel gave him a disapproving look. "Zhese are not for drinking, Zhat vun ees." With that he snatched the bottle back and placed it with its fellows before gesturing vaguely to the sofa, where Sulu could see another bottle sat on the floor, still three quarters full.
Sulu would normally class himself as a pretty laid back guy. Popular enough but fairly introverted. The sort of guy most people liked, but he didn't often go out of his way to socialise with people or butt in to their business, out of respect and a healthy dose of disinterest. However, this kid, he had known for barely an hour, was already making him break these self-appointed rules without even knowing it.
"I am Russian," Pavel continued proudly, "I vas practically raised on Wodka."
Sulu didn't have the energy to argue with him, and just shook his head in exasperation. "You know what, fine. I ain't your father. If they aren't for drinking, what do you need them for?"
"Molotov's," came the immediate response as Pavel began separating the alcohol until each bottle was only half full, bringing out other empty bottles to help with this.
"Molotov's…" Sulu repeated stupidly, not quite sure he had heard right, and also slightly unnerved by the intense expression Pavel had donned as he began ripping up rags and stuffing the strips of cloth down the necks of the bottles before putting the finished bombs to the side. "What would you need Molotov's for, exactly?"
Pavel actually stopped his work and turned to face him, an expression of pure disbelief on his face.
"Een case zhey come back, of course." His voice was far too condescending for a fourteen year olds and Sulu felt a surge of self-defence brewing.
"Hey! If you can't tell, I'm kinda not from around here, so don't look at me like I should know everything that's going on!" he huffed, feeling quite immature as he did so. It didn't help that Pavel had set his bombs down and was starting at him with his arms crossed and a disbelieving expression on his face, one that again, truly did not fit his age.
"Da, I ken tell you are not from here, I'm not stupid. You mean to tell me zhat you came all ze vay to Russia vithout hearing about ze Оборотни?"
At Sulu's blank stare, Pavel sighed and shrugged his thin shoulders helplessly, trying to grasp the correct word in Standard. "Um, Оборотни… Verevolves!" he eventually crowed, looking incredibly triumphant.
"Werewolves?! You've gotta be kidding me, Kid! You're young, but you should know by now that they don't exist." Sulu snorted, burying his head once again in his hands.
Of course he would be stuck for the next few days with a tiny teenage pyromaniac who has free reign to Vodka and believes in fairy tales; whole heartedly apparently, judging by the heated blush covering the boy's cheekbones and angry glare he was receiving.
"Zhey do exist! I just sawed you from a particularly nasty one! Ken you honestly look me een ze eye and tell me zhat vas an ordinary bear?"
Ok, scratch that. A tiny teenage pyromaniac who has free reign to Vodka and believes in fairy tales; who actually has a valid point.
"So they were biting people to what? Infect them." Sulu chuckled nervously, slightly more unnerved now that the ridiculous notion appeared to have a bit of backbone.
"I vould imagine so, Da." Pavel had gone back to making his bombs, pleased that he had eventually gotten through to the stubborn man.
"But it's not even a full moon, don't they need that to transform or whatever?"
"No, Veres ken change anytime of ze day eef zhey vant to, especially eef there ees a pack of zhem."
"But how come they aren't killing the people they bite, and aren't, you know, eating people?"
"They hawe more control zhan people zhink, zhey aren't completely mindless beasts, and as for ze second question," Pavel turned slightly, his face slightly more amused than the situation called for. "Maybe, zhey are wegetarian Verevolves."
Funnily enough, it was that comment that sent Sulu over the edge into blissful unconsciousness.
Russian Translations (By Google Translate, so likely nothing like the actual translations.)
"Черт побери!" = "Damn it!"
"Оборотни" = "Werewolves"