Okay first off here's a message to my readers that I just can't hold back to say anymore: You are all wonderful people!

I can't possibly thank you enough for all the nice reviews and comments you left for me on my previous stories, be it on deviantart or on here. You're in my heart.

Also big thanks to eight_of_hearts for test reading and fixing my story!

So here's the first part of the XXL story I promised ya'll.

A/N: Prepare for four bully OCs, some violence and swearing. This story is written in a mix of Snippy and Engie PoV.


Chapter 1: Assault

In search of answers on the mysteries of Captain, Snippy warily snuck through the city, his target within sight. It was one of those days when Captain would decide to go on a long walk alone, then suddenly disappear and not return again until late in the evening. Nobody ever found out what he did or where he went. But this time, Snippy was following him imperceptibly.

Asking never revealed the answers to his questions, for Captain would feign ignorance and simply change the topic to pull his head out of the loop. So now Snippy was on a... discovery mission (which totally didn't count as stalking), close enough to keep the leader in vision and just distant enough to avoid being seen.

At the end of the street, the man in the gray wool coat stopped to take a look around.

Suddenly alarmed and afraid of being seen, the marksman quickly dropped down behind a pile of rubbish, waiting there in a crouched position for something special to happen, his target in the vision of his rifle's scope.

Unsteady footsteps became louder behind him and it didn't take him much to tell who they belonged to.

"Charles, look what I've found!"

Slightly irritated, the blue-eyed sniper turned around to see Engineer approaching, carrying a box with a lace of lights hanging out of it, which quickly piqued his interest.

Some lights and a few colorfully glowing bulbs will probably make everyone feel a little happier in this gray world, he thought before he spoke up.

"Nice find! But where are you gonna get the electricity to work them from?" Snippy asked, standing up to take a closer look at the lights.

"Hah, that will be the easiest part. I can probably find a few parts out here to build a battery with," Gromov said with a dismissive wave.

For a few seconds Snippy stood lost in thought, staring blankly at the little light bulbs, until Engie picked the conversation up again.

"So what exactly were you doing out here in the first place, if I may ask?"

Upon that question, the marksman jerked back to attention and spun around quickly, only to see an empty street with no Captain. The distraction had caused him to lose track of his target and now he was gone.

Another chance to find out more about their mysterious leader wasted. Irritable about his failure, Snippy let out an angry groan and tensed up his hands beside his head.

"Is something wrong?" the engineer inquired curiously, not quite sure about the sudden mood change of his comrade.

"Never mind, he's gone," the sniper muttered, slightly disappointed, and calmed down again.

"Spying on Captain, eh? That's so wrong."

"Don't blame me; asking never got me anywhere. I'm just trying to solve the mysteries about him by myself, since he won't talk. For example, where does he keep going? Why doesn't he sleep? And, of course, why does he never eat with us?" the blue-eyed man explained and looked down at the ground, kicking away a rusty can with his foot.

"Uh, good luck with that. I gave up on that long ago. I think he wouldn't even trade his secrets for gifts, just so you know where you're at," Alexander informed him briefly.

"Well, since he's disappeared for good now, I guess I'm done here. I'm gonna head back to the base to see what Pilot is up to. Haven't seen him for quite a while already," the marksman pointed out and walked past the engineer.

"Alright. I'll be looking for those few missing parts for the battery. See you later at the base, Charles."

A quiet "bye" came from the sniper as he left him alone.

On the way there, thick snow flakes started falling from the sky and gathered on the road.

As he walked, Snippy forged new plans to find out more about Captain. Finally he reached the modest but cozy hut they called their home – the place where they stored all the stuff they found that was in some way valuable to them.

Captain preferred to call it a base, since they were his squad, his little army. Snippy never understood why he was so into all this military stuff. He personally thought war was a horrible thing.

As he stepped through the doorframe and stopped just inside to take a deep breath and stretch his stiff joints, he heard a strange sound coming from the other room.

"Pilot, is that you?" he asked uncertainly, already taking the possibility of another stupid prank into account and stepping farther into the dusky house with wary eyes.

As Snippy made out a movement in the room behind the arch, he sighed irritably.

"I hate this kind of game... come out, I saw you already!" the marksman snorted and headed into the room.

Upon entering, a strange feeling overcame him. The person looming above him wasn't Pilot. About to grab the rifle from his back, a hand suddenly latched on his right arm and wrenched it against his back in a painful way.

As he felt a rope being pulled up against his neck in order to suffocate him, his first reaction was to counter with a swift kick rearwards. The back of his boot effectively struck someone who seemed not to have expected this sudden attack. After the pressure stopped, the rope slid down to the floor, but his feelings of victory didn't last long as another hand grabbed his left arm, further constricting his movements.

Resisting his struggles, the two held him firmly as a fourth, dark figure came dangerously close.

Not even thinking about giving in, Snippy kicked around with his legs, managing to land a hit on one of them, and got his left arm free, but soon he felt the consequences.

He was caught off guard as an elbow smashed down on his back and a knee collided with his abdomen, causing a paralyzing pain.

"Fuck..." he groaned out as he collapsed in defeat and was pressed down to the floor by a foot on his back.

They were four against him – fighting back was out of the question for now.

Strong hands and feet pinned Snippy down while the men took away his rifle and searched his pockets for anything of interest to them.

Something inside him refused to just let this happen, but he was aware of the hopelessness of his situation. Still, there had to be a way and that thought didn't leave his mind.

Even though he knew he wouldn't stand a chance in a fight, the sniper started pushing and tearing against their grip in frustration, but the grasp of the hands only became tighter and the pressure stronger.

"Porco cane, quit it, will you? Or you will end up like the retard with the green goggles laggiù, who too wouldn't stop fighting back," a voice laced with Italian accent sneered.

A pudgy man wearing a white tuxedo and a full gas mask walked over to a person who lay on the floor motionless, and pushed him over with his foot. His hands and feet were tied and he seemed to be unconscious. It didn't take long for the sniper to recognize his crew mate.

"Pilot!" Snippy screamed, feeling his frustration turn into anger. "What did you do to him, you bastards!"

"Oh, so you know that retard? Siete amici, giusto? How does he even get friends with that attitude of his?"

Driven by rage the marksman yanked his right arm free and landed a hit on someone's face with his elbow. Someone who failed to hold him down with his foot ended up with a kick in the crotch.

The third man backed away from the sniper before he could get hit. Finally free again, Charles got up from the ground and rushed towards the Italian, ready to punch him in the face.

But the other men didn't let it get that far.

One of the two he had just knocked out quickly got back up and joined the other one for a counter attack.

Just before Charles could reach the chubby man, they got hold of his arms and he was pulled back down to the ground with a swift tug, landing heavily on his back.

One held the sniper's arms down by the wrists while the other one tied them together. After that, they did the same with his feet.

"You should have listened to the boss when he told you to stop. Now you'll get to feel the consequences," one of the men said in a rough voice and held him in place. "It's nothing personal, but you asked for this."

Afraid of what might come now, Snippy silently cursed himself for always making the worst decisions in the worst situations.

An unexpected kick in the side made him cringe in pain and more blows came in quick succession. Gritting his teeth, he figured that this was just the beginning and he was prepared for the next kick, but they started to get harder now and each one brought new, intensified pain.

"How does that feel?" a rough voice mocked with a laugh.

The next, violent kick finally made him cry out but the tormentors only seemed to see that as a motivation to go on.

"Stop... please..." he quietly formed the words in agony, but they didn't listen.

The next row of heavy attacks brought his body to the limits of endurance. He feared that his ribs wouldn't stand this exposure for much longer and break, leaving him to die from inner hemorrhage.

As soon as he thought it had stopped, a final kick was aimed at his face.

"That one was for trying to hurt our boss," a ratty voice said.

Luckily his mask had caught most of the impact, or he would have probably ended up with a broken jaw or nose, though it still hurt like hell.

Two men lifted the sniper up and threw him against a book shelf that he struck full force without a possibility to catch himself.

After he hit the floor, the immense pain from the collision made itself noticeable in his body, making him hiss in agony.

Trembling violently, he tried to lift himself up from the ground, but he fell right back down as his muscles gave out. With a soft groan he curled up on the spot, panting shakily. In pain from all these attacks, he wished he would just pass out, but he wasn't so lucky.

"I hope that was a lesson to you," the man with the deep voice said roughly.

After this he didn't dare to move anymore – not as though he had the mental and physical strength to do so anyway.

Instead he silently observed the situation. A feeling of relief came over him as he noticed that they left him be for now and gathered in the middle of the room for a conversation.

"Boss, what are we gonna do with them?" the rough voice asked.

Snippy couldn't really tell who the voice came from since they were all wearing full gas masks. All he could use to tell them apart were voices, height and look.

One was tall and muscular, the Italian was pudgy, one stood hunched and was a bit taller but didn't look very heavy, and one looked kind of small for a man, but the sniper was sure it wasn't a female. They all wore different leather jackets and gray clothes, except for the chubby Italian one who went with something more formal and elegant.

"I have no use for failures like him. Lui é inutile," the fat man growled while nodding in the sniper's direction. "I'd love to have some more strong men like Stan for my army, not such bony weaklings like that guy over there."

"What about the other one?" the ratty voice inquired. "He seemed quite strong to me."

"Quell' idiota? He's a total retard," the boss stated and pointed at the aviator. "Probably can't even count to ten."

Upon hearing that, the group burst into raucous laughter. Suppressing his anger, the blue-eyed sniper gritted his teeth as he listened to their insults.

"I think we should leave them both to Stan," the rough voice suggested, snapping his fingers.

"Sounds good to me. It will be fun," the tall, strong man with Snippy's rifle in his hand chuckled and turned in his direction. He must be the one called Stan.

"Alright, but wait until when we are done here. Sapete, I don't like blood splatters all over my clothes and loot," the boss said with a sly grin.

Sighing in defeat, Snippy closed his eyes. He now knew what they were up to: they would put he and Pilot against a wall and shoot them, probably to avoid any act of revenge.

In his mind he thought up possible ways to escape. His absolute priority was to find the others and warn them... then he could rescue Pilot from these brutes' grasp, if it wasn't already too late. But first he had to get out of here somehow, as quickly as possible.

With his hands and feet bound, the only possible way to move would probably be to roll and push himself forwards in order to get outside. But the Stan guy was still standing right next to him with his loaded rifle.

If he could only get up somehow, he could probably manage to knock him out, but then the others would instantly notice and kick him to death for good this time.

Snippy swallowed at the thought but banished it instantly. There simply had to be another solution.

As he looked up, he made out the position of Stan, the chubby one, the hunched one and the short one, but suddenly he spotted a fifth silhouette through the arch, standing in the doorway. At first he didn't believe his eyes but after he blinked disbelievingly, the figure still stood there. The person entered the house and as Snippy finally recognized the coat, his heart almost stopped.

"Stay away, Gromov! Don't get any closer!" the sniper screamed, lifting himself up with difficulty to get a better look.

Upon hearing his voice, the engineer instantly looked in his direction.

"What's going on here?!" he yelled, seeming very confused.

"Run away, it's a trap! They will- ugh!"

His voice broke as Stan violently picked him up by the neck and threw him across the room where he lay, coughing and gasping for air.

"Shut up, you failure!"

Alarmed by his warnings, Gromov dropped the box he was holding, took a few steps backwards and finally dashed off.

In silence the sniper hoped Alexander would escape and find Captain.

"Get him!" he heard the Italian command and watched Stan go after the helpless engineer.

The other two men immediately followed, leaving their boss behind with his two captives.

Quite a while passed, but they didn't return. By now the boss had walked his third circle around the room, until he finally sighed and headed for the door.

"I'll be back in un minuto. Don't do anything stupid. Capito?" he said, giving Snippy a disgusted look. "Filthy scum..." he murmured before he left.

Charles wouldn't leave this opportunity unused. It was now or never and he decided to take action. The moment of Stan's return was like a deadline, because then they would all face certain death. His plan simply had to work.

Stealthy as a snake the sniper pushed and dragged himself across the floor, which turned out to be quite challenging as his movements were very restricted by the ropes, but he eventually made it to the wall near the window. After he sat up and leaned against it with his back, he pushed himself up into a standing position. Finally on his feet again, he hopped over to the closed window.

Pushing the long knob with his tied hands up into a horizontal position, the window opened a crack.

Overwhelmed by his success so far, he was about to open it and escape, but his joy instantly died down as something hard was pressed against the back of his head. An ominous click brought a shiver down his spine, as he realized that it was a gun.

"Trying to escape? Ma perché? I thought I told you to cease any stupid actions, but once again you didn't listen. When will you ever learn?" the boss asked, his voice making the sniper freeze in fear. "If you thought you can just get away with this, you thought wrong, you little contrast freak."

The seconds were ticking by and Charles made his final thoughts. Was this really it? There was a high chance he would get killed in the next few minutes and he blamed it on his horribly bad luck. For a moment he simply refused to accept this.

"This isn't fair..." the blue-eyed sniper muttered.

In response the man behind him started laughing and he completely understood why. Snippy's situation really was ridiculous and laughable, if only it weren't so sad. Because if he died, it would mean that he had failed his crew and they would probably soon share the same fate.

"Seriously, have you taken a look around you?" the man said in a mocking tone. "All morality has ceased and people make their own rules now. Nothing in this world is fair, not like it ever was anyways. Only the fittest one survives."

You don't look fit to me at all, Snippy thought in disagreement, hiding a smirk behind his mask. But his smile soon died down again at the seriousness of the situation. Thanks to the gun pointed to his head, every breath could be his last one.

"Snippy?" a voice said from the corner. "Snippy! Who is this ugly fat slug by your side? You two seem to get along very well because I hear you chatting a lot. Is he your friend?"

As he noticed the gun suddenly being put down, the marksman took a careful look over his shoulder and slowly turned around.

"You..." the chubby old man snarled. "Porco cane, I don't let a moron like you call me fat! If you were at least a little bit sane, you'd know who you shouldn't mess with in your position."

"What?!" Pilot shouted back, suddenly upset. "You're the moron here, thinking you can just mess with Captain's minions and dig through our pockets! Go back home and take your smelly shoes with you!"

"That's it! You've gone too far this time! Preparati..." the man yelled, pointing his gun at Pilot.

This was serious. Filled with a sudden burst of adrenaline, Snippy suddenly launched himself at the man, tackling him down before the trigger was pulled. The unaimed shot was ear-splitting as the bullet left the gun and hit the side of the wall behind Pilot with a resounding crack.

The sniper landed on the floor and was immediately kicked away by the other man, knowing that he was in for it this time.

Surprisingly agile for a man of his stature, the boss was back on his feet again and pointed the gun at his attacker.

"You really shouldn't have done this. You know what's coming now, so I hope you regret your actions in the moment you die," he told Snippy.

"I regret nothing," Charles spoke coldly as he sat up, finally looking up at the man who seemed suddenly surprised.

He looks like a man who has taken many lives before. He shouldn't hesitate now, Snippy thought. But for some reason, he did.

A mix of noises suddenly drew the pudgy man's attention to the door and he put his gun down. The sniper recognized some of the voices, especially one with a russian accent that sounded very familiar.

Two men held the engineer by the arms and the tall one was at the ready to take action in case of an escape attempt.

"Do you even know who I am? You have no right to take me with you against my will! Let me go!" the engineer scolded.

"I don't give a damn about who you are, or were. You play by our rules now, smartass," the ratty voice rudely said to him from the left.

As Engie was pulled into the house and made out his two comrades lying there on the floor and an armed man standing beside Snippy, he just stared at the beaten marksman with a strong feeling of concern.

Oh god, what did they do to him? Is he injured? Will they do the same to me? The thoughts shot through Engie's head all at once and triggered a burst of panic.

Like a frightened animal he pressed himself into the opposite direction and started yanking away from the tight grasp around his arms.

Unexpectedly the butt of a rifle was rammed into Gromov's middle with brutal force, making him double over in pain. He staggered back, barely able to stand on his feet anymore.

He would have wrapped his arms around his abdomen if they weren't held firmly by the two other men who accompanied the muscular guy with the rifle.

"You're no better than the other jerk," the tall man noted.

As they pulled him up and made him move, he just allowed them to lead him along. There was no point in responding anymore, because it would probably only end up in more physical violence against him. Within a few seconds the room was filled with people. The four guys stood around him, Snippy lay on the floor and from the corner Pilot was watching the happenings.

The hunched man with the rough voice picked up a rope that lay on the floor and cut it into two pieces, just long enough to serve as manacles.

Putting two and two together, Alexander soon figured out what lay ahead. Biding his time, he yanked his arm free and backed away as Stan tried to catch him. A wall soon hit against his back and the foes circled him. Alex kicked at the small guy as he approached, but he dodged and avoided the attack successfully.

Without hesitation he used the gap in the chain to slip through under his attackers' arms but the way out was suddenly blocked by a man in a white tuxedo.

"Wowowow, what do you think you are doing?" Stan asked, approaching the terrified engineer carefully. As soon as Gromov dropped his guard for a second, the chubby man pushed him into Stan. Taking advantage of that he got hold of the engineer's arms and viciously shoved his feet out from under him.

For a moment his surroundings turned so fast that he lost track of them and found himself face down on the ground.

"Quickly Tom, the ropes! This one is just as persistent," the strong man exclaimed while he held his helplessly wriggling victim down by the neck, making sure to keep the man's legs on the ground to avoid any more uncontrolled kicking.

"Let me go!" he shouted.

This all felt so humiliating to the engineer that he saw no way to accept this and no reason to stop.

Why, oh why did you get yourself caught, Alex? You should have taken the other way, then you wouldn't have ended up in a dead end, the man thought and silently cursed himself.

"Snap out of it, Alex!" Snippy suddenly advised him. "They're going to hurt you even more if you keep fighting back!"

That left a good warning on him and he wondered if it wouldn't be better to listen to the ex tour guide this time. Finally he stopped and felt the bonds being tightened around his wrists.

"Oh? What was that?" the pudgy man mocked in a high pitched voice. "Looks like all the beating made our little contrast guy here see reason and give in to us! Again, physical violence has proven itself as the best method of education."

Once again the group burst into degrading laughter.

"You heard your friend, fatty," Stan said to the side of Gromov's head. "You better cooperate if you like your bones in one piece."

The man chuckled and pinned him down harder, which made the engineer groan under the pressure that clamped off the nerves in his knees. In defeat he gritted his teeth as his ankles received the same constraint as his wrists.

"Get up," the strong man demanded after climbing off him and threatened him with his rifle.

Without a word the engineer obeyed, even though standing up turned out to be a challenge with these bonds.

A sudden push knocked him right back down on the floor, for he was unable to catch himself all tied up like that. Lying there with all eyes on him was more than embarrassing.

"Look how clumsy he is!" the ratty voice pointed out and laughed.

"And I thought he already was a clumsy sissy before..." the old man added.

Shattered by the humiliating treatment, the engineer just turned onto his back and sat up on the floor, hoping for this bullying to stop.

"You!" Stan shouted and jabbed the point of his rifle into his back. "Move your ass over to that wall."

He pointed at the spot next to where Pilot lay and moved the point of his weapon over to Snippy, who flinched slightly as he noticed it.

"You too, weakling! I want to see both of you at the wall with your friend here. Come on you lazy bastards, move!" he shouted at them.

Afraid of more punishment, Engie did what the man said and pushed and wriggled himself along with Charles across the room to Pilot, staying silent while the men above them laughed and degraded them with various insults.

As all three of them sat in a line against the wall, the boss looked down at them with satisfaction.

"Benissimo! Now let's see what kind of treasures you guys are hiding here. Maybe there are a few things you can pass down to me and my men? Oh, of course you can! Because you won't need them anymore when you're dead," he spoke maniacally and motioned his crew to spread out to search the house.

Pulling himself together, Gromov drowned another panic attack in fast breaths.

As the other three left the room, the boss took a quick look around and spotted something on the table in the other room.

"Che bontà! Where did you find this marvelous, black painted mug with the red heart on it?" he asked and lifted it up with one finger.

"Put that back down, you shoe! You're not allowed to touch Captain's glorious mug!" Pilot yelled and would probably have jumped at him if he wasn't all tied up.

"Pilot, shut up!" Snippy hissed at him.

"Captain? Who is that?" the Italian asked.

Don't you dare mess everything up even more than it is now, the engineer added in thoughts and frantically tried not to think about what would happen to them if Pilot did.

"Captain is the awesome ruler of Captainia! He is magnificent and he will crush you with his greatness once he gets his hands on you!" Pilot threatened with moronic courage.

"Damn it, do something, Charles!" Gromov desperately whispered to his crew mate.

Snippy thought fast. If he allowed Pilot to babble out the wrong thing, their Captain would be in danger. Once the hostiles found out that there were more than just the three of them, they would go hunt him down too. No matter what, Charles couldn't allow that to happen.

"I don't understand... where is this person you call your captain?" the confused boss asked.

Snippy's time to think was over and the plan he came up with in the past few seconds looked miserable, but all he could do now was go by it and pray it would work.

"Right here. I am their captain," the sniper spoke up and the other two stared at him in disbelief.

"What the fuck are you doing?!" Engie nervously hissed into his ear. "We're so screwed!"

"Just trust me... I've got a plan."

The boss started chuckling quietly, which soon turned into loud laughter.

"Sul serio?" he asked and slowly caught his breath again. "You're their captain? If that's true, you're a really pitiful, desperate one. You don't look like you're going to beat me up anytime soon, so I'll just take that mug."

"No! Don't do it!" Pilot pleaded as the man lifted up said mug.

"This is all your fault!" he hissed and shoved his elbow into Snippy's side, who suppressed a painful cry and shuffled away from him to stay out of range of his elbow.

"Don't underestimate our captain!" Engie suddenly played along. "You will get to see his real powers soon enough!"

"Oh, davvero? I don't think so," the chubby man chuckled as he came closer. "Because Stan has more than one bullet ready for you all. That should take care of you clowns. But I will tell him to give your o so glorious captain a special treatment," he promised and paused, bending down to the sniper's face. "I'll tell Stan to kill him after the others, so he'll get the honor to watch his crew die."

Snippy's heart jumped and he could feel it start to beat faster now, deeply wishing he hadn't brought himself into this situation. The mere thought was terrifying to him and it visibly stirred him up.

"You monster..." the engineer growled, but his words left the man cold.

"Ti ringrazio. Now excuse me while I go check for my men," the boss said as he passed through the arch.

Hearing a call, he drew to a halt there.

"Boss!" the small man called as he came trotting towards him.

"What is it, Ratty?" the man replied.

"Along with a few other things we found a bunch of canned food, fresh clothes, a first aid kit, ammunition, some red balloons, a bottle of helium, a set of knives and a toolbox. Stuffed it all into the two huge backpacks," the small person reported and the other two appeared behind him, carrying said heavy cargo.

"Pst! Pilot!" the sniper whispered and slid closer.

"Huh? What have you got to say, shoe?" the aviator muttered, staring at him.

"Alright Pilot, listen carefully now. I've got a plan that might get us out of here alive," Snippy explained quietly enough that the others didn't notice their conversation.

"Why should I listen to you, Snipster? Your stupid plans never work!"

This was a bad time for Pilot to be stubborn and the sniper had to find a way to satisfy him.

"If you don't do what I tell you, you won't get to see Captain ever again! I swear to you, this is not a joke!" Snippy scolded and almost felt sorry afterwards as he felt Pilot shrink back beside him.

"Never see him again? But... Captain always finds a way, doesn't he?" the aviator asked, desperately waiting for confirmation.

"Let's see it like this... if we don't escape from here now, we'll be dead in less than ten minutes. Captain can't save us now, because he is far away," Charles tried to explain to him. "I'm sure he would want us to find a way out of this dilemma by ourselves. See this like a mission. A mission to... uhm..," he racked his brains for a fitting name. "A mission to save the mug!"

Upon hearing that, Pilot rose his head with newly gained motivation.

"A mission... Yes! I must retrieve the mug from the thieves!"

"Okay Pilot," Snippy continued and started explaining his plan. "There is a hunting knife in the left pocket of my jacket. On my signal I want you to take it and cut the ropes on your ankles."

Meanwhile the scavengers were still talking about various things like what this house was lacking and whatnot.

"Have you seen their bathroom? I swear, it's got a huge mirror in it. Come check it out, it's just around the corner here!" the old man told his colleagues with fascination.

"Davvero? That I gotta see!" the boss said and exchanged a few looks with his group.

Snippy watched their every step carefully and waited until the men had left the room. This would be his only chance. The last man had just disappeared when Charles shot a whisper to the aviator.

"Now, Pilot!"

With tied hands Pilot reached for Snippy's jacket and fumbled around in the inside of its pocket for a while, bringing forth a bunch of other things that fell on the ground as he pulled out a thin, wooden shaft with a button at one side. Pressing it by pure coincidence made him jump and drop it on the floor as the blade emerged from the side.

"I have it!" the man with the green tinted goggles said joyfully as he picked it back up, looking over to the other man, waiting for approval.

"Okay, now cut the bonds and free yourself!" the sniper pushed.

With the tiny knife in his hands, Pilot hastily sawed through the rope that held his feet together and spread them as he was finally free again.

"Awesome, you made it! Now hand over the knife so I can-" Snippy began, but was cut off.

"No!" Pilot disobeyed. "I still need it..." he murmured, trying to cut the bonds on his wrists but failing due to the awkward angle.

The blue-eyed man sighed, praying the hostiles would take their time and not return just yet.

"Remember what I told you before about what happens if you don't cooperate with me now?" Snippy reminded him.

After a slight pause, Pilot finally decided to give the sniper his hunting knife back and leaned back like a child that had lost an argument with his parents.

"Good. Let me free your wrists from these ropes..." the marksman offered and his crew mate held up his arms towards him. "Where is your sword, Pilot?" he asked while working his way through with the knife.

"Uhm..," he started, probably trying to remember where he had deposited it. "I think it's over there on the chair, under the dirty laundry."

The rope fell to the ground as the blade finally cut through, and at last Pilot's hands were finally free again as well.

"Go get your sword! Hurry, but be quiet!" Snippy hissed and watched Pilot get up on his command, attempting to sneak across the room.

"I think they're coming back!" Engie warned and exchanged quick glances between the door and Pilot. "He won't make it!"

"Shit... Pilot, get back here right now and sit down!" the sniper ordered and hid the knife and the other stuff on the floor behind his back.

Stopping in the middle of the room, the aviator almost stumbled backwards before he planted his bum right next to Snippy again. Quickly the marksman picked up the remains of the ropes and loosely threw them over Pilot's feet and wrists as he sat, to at least make it look like he was still tied up.

Just as he finished, he saw the boss coming back through the arch and felt a sweat drop run down his face as the chubby man gave them a quick glance before he turned to his men.

"Bene, we are done here. Ratty, take Stan's backpack. He's still got business to do here," the boss informed him.

"Yes, Sir!" the short guy with the strange nickname Ratty said as he lifted up the backpack that was almost bigger than him. "Tom and I are going to carry the loot to the base."

His boss nodded at him in approval before he looked the direction of Stan, who waited for an order.

"Oh, right. Ho quasi dimenticato!" the leader exclaimed and spun around to the captives. "We've had a special agreement before. The captain always leaves his ship last, right? Therefore, the contrast guy shall get the bullet last. Hai capito?"

He received a nod from the strong man.

"Well then... have fun! They're all yours now," the boss told him gleefully before he headed to the door and left his executor alone with the three tied up men on the floor looking towards their end.

End of Chapter 1