DiabloCat: Short little tale on Skinner's thoughts when he found out the League thought he was betraying them. Basically the inside of a grumpy thief's mind.

SKINNER'S LAMENT

I'm pissed. In fact, I don't think I've ever been this mad.

Bloody League. They've got no right...

I don't even want to be here. The world can go to hell in a hand basket for all I care. So what if there's a world war? Won't change my life much.

But they don't care about that. Instead, I'm dragged into a battle against sharp-shooters with automatic rifles, alongside mutating doctors, sword-swinging pirates, snotty immortals – I bet he's gay – and cocky Americans. Not to mention the fact that the only lady on the whole freaking ship is a bloody VAMPIRE!

Like I said before, I don't want to be here. The only reason I came was to get the antidote. Then it's back to the streets for me.

Okay, so life on the streets ain't a barrel of laughs. But it's better than being shot at by psychopathic soldiers.

I don't mind being on this floating tin can that much. Good food, comfy bed – even the occasional chance to gander at a pretty lady. Which is DEFINITELY a good thing. But the company sucks.

No one ever considers how I feel. Don't think I'm getting soft, mind. I don't really care that much. But it does start to grate on your nerves after a while. I mean, if anyone decides to notice me, it's only to shout, 'Shut up Skinner', or 'Put some clothes on Skinner,' or some variation of those two phrases.

I know I'm invisible, but honestly! Doesn't mean I'm not there. I hear every word, loud and clear.

And now, on top of the fact I'm an unwilling fighter AND abused at every possible moment, they've decided I'm a traitor. A traitor! I may be a thief, but I have my honour. Hence the title 'gentleman' thief.

I'm not the most trustworthy person. I know that. And I'm not as high-class as, say, Jekyll. But I'm not a traitor. It ain't worth betraying your mates. They'll get you eventually, and they won't play nice when they do. Even I know that.

Obviously, the League doesn't. So now I have to cower in a corner of this stupid ship, out of the way. It'd be no use trying to explain myself. Who'd believe the word of a thief?

Bloody reputation.

Everyone thinks I'm a double-dealer. Everyone, from old Quatermain himself to the lowliest sailor. I suppose this is the one time being invisible is helpful. Means I'm still alive to find out the real traitor.

Yes, there is a traitor. Ain't me, but he – or she – is real. They're not just a figment of the League's delusional imagination. They're definitely at work.

Strange powder on the deck – apparently caused by a camera flash. Even though they didn't know it, I was there when Mina said the. Just like I was there when Jekyll called me a 'sneaky blackguard'.

That actually hurt. I was surprised at that. Didn't think I cared enough about them to care what they thought of me. But I do.

And that's why I'm going to find the real turncoat. Yeah, that's right. I – Rodney Skinner, gentleman thief, invisible man and pincher-of-lady's-bums – is gonna go all noble and track down a bad guy.

Y'know, I think I'm going insane.

Only problem is, it's sort of hard to look for clues when your one special ability is now world-wide knowledge. Truth is, although I can slip around lots quieter than most, I have an uncanny knack for knocking things over. Just look at that time on Nemo's deck! Just when they were feeling all tense cos they'd found the powder, I go and knock over a suitcase. I practically framed myself.

Come to think of it, I did a lot of stupid things. Sneaking into Quatermain's room was dumb. Had to satisfy my bloody curiosity, didn't I? Still gave the guy no right to attack me like that. You'd think he'd have realised it was me! But no, he had to go all macho, and smack me against a wall a few times. Still got those bruises.

And you know what he said to me when he threw me out the door? "I want you clothed at all times."

See what I mean? Never, "Hello Rodney, how are you today?" If I got paid every time someone said something like that to me, I'd be able to quit thieving.

You're probably asking yourself, if you hate the League so much, why are you gonna risk your life? There's no simple answer. I blame it mainly on my conscience. It keeps yelling annoying things at me like, 'You do owe them. They took you in. They haven't killed you for all your infuriating remarks. And if you're so snippy about being falsely accused, find the real traitor. Clear your name!'

So, I'm going to do it. Shut that stupid voice up. I'm going to serve my country, and help the League conquer all evil.

Bloody League.

THE END