Bonded By Crime
Dutchess slipped onto the roof of the pond, relieved to get some breathing room. She hated thinking of lies on the spot. It’s my own fault. Should’ve known I’d need a good story to tell them.
Footsteps behind her. Silent and familiar. She grinned.
Duke smirked. “Never have been able to surprise you.”
“And you never will.” She turned to face him. “What brings you out here?”
“Same as you I guess. Get some breathing room. Wing and Mal questioned me about you, Wing just to make sure we can trust you and Mal to see if you have the questionable past I do.”
“Some might say I was worse.”
Duke fidgeted. Why’d I let her get involved with the Brotherhood anyway? What if she won’t go straight, like I did? “Yeah, I know. Like Tanya. I heard her complaining about Wolfstar’s work a few times, saying that whoever Wolfstar was had destroyed her work.”
“Tanya Vanderflock? She begged to have her stuff messed with. She was good at setting up blocks for hackers.”
Dutchess eyed her brother. “What’s wrong Duke? You’re acting different.”
Duke sighed. “It’s because I am different Dutchess. I went straight when Draguanus attacked Puckworld, and I’m not changing that. The team actually trusts me. I don’t have to run from the cops anymore. I help put crooks behind bars now.”
Dutchess couldn’t believe her ears. What happened to him on this planet? Help put people behind bars? Duke… how could you? She turned her back on him, feeling more betrayed than ever, even when Falcone had done his despicable deed. Duke was her enemy if she kept up her normal activates, and she’d sooner die than help lock people up.
Duke stood in silence. He’d known that Dutchess would take his news hard, but not this hard. What do I do now? Silence extended into an uncomfortable amount of time. Duke sighed, deciding to play his last card in the discussion and hope for a chance to keep from locking his sister up.
“The guys don’t know anything about you. You could help us-“
Dutchess whirled to face him, angry. “What are you saying Duke? I'm a hacker and a thief. It's the best of both worlds. Now you want me to change that because you went good? To betray everything I grew up doing? I don’t think so.”
“It wasn’t my idea for you to become a thief or a hacker. You did that behind my back. All I’m asking is that you live inside the law. You don’t have to help us, just don’t make us lock you up.”
Dutchess’ eyes flared. “You’d lock up your own sister?” The hurt in her voice cut Duke deeply.
“I’m asking you not to make me Dutchess. Please. There’s no reason for you to steal, and you can hack Draguanus’ computer if you feel the need.”
“Duke, I’m far past the age where you can order me about.”
“I’m not ordering you to do anything Dutchess. I’m asking you. As your older brother, I’m asking for a favor. You don’t have to like it, just promise you won’t break the law here.”
Dutchess turned from him, considering. Until she found a way to survive on this planet, she didn’t have a choice. Either go with her brother or starve. She sighed in defeat.
“Alright. For now. But I won’t help with anyone besides the Saurians. I have a debt they owe me.”
Duke refrained from showing how relieved he was. He was different from on Puckworld, he knew that, but he hadn’t realized how much he had changed until now. If I show too much change, Dutchess may decide that she doesn’t have to listen to me anymore. Never could punish her…
“Alright. That’s all I ask. Thanks Sis.”
Dutchess nodded, not feeling very hospital at the moment. How could he do this to me? She felt repressed. She needed to do something with her hands, preferably not kill her brother as she felt like doing. “I’m going to bed.” She headed back inside.
Duke sighed. Went better than I thought. Wish I could change her mind for good…
He stayed out for a while longer.