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View character profile for: Cassandra Jones
It took her a while but she cried herself out clinging pathetically on to Alex, a man whom she barely knew but who at least had the decency to show her some compassion
She gently pulled away from him after she had managed to regain some of her usual composure, Alex wordlessly letting his arm slip from around her shoulders and politely looking away as she wiped the tears from her cheeks with the cuffs of her jacket sleeves
“Thanks” she managed, her voice still thick with emotion “Sorry”
“S’okay” Alex shrugged, slipping another cig between his lips while he fumbled for his lighter, Cass absently tucking a stray lock of hair back behind an ear and smiling weakly at him in the gloom
“So much for me being dangerous” she muttered “Pitiful would probably be more accurate”
Alex snorted humourlessly at this as he flicked his lighter on and shot her a sideways glance, her eyes, washed crystalline green by her tears, colliding with his in the gaslight for a brief instant before they both looked away
“Honestly?” he asked as he lit his cig and snapped the lighter off again “I don’t know what to make of you”
Grimacing, Cass made a show of busying herself with lighting a cig of her own before drawing her long legs up in front of her and leaning back against the wall, gently exhaling smoke
“You know?” she murmured sadly “This last week or so has been smegging shit”
“Yeah” Alex agreed “I was going to suggest we all had a holiday or something; although after today, I can’t see everyone being mad keen”
“I’m not even one year old” Cass suddenly blurted in the silence that followed “Even Chrysler’s kid, Max is older than I am, and yet I’m damned by a headful of memories that aren’t even mine!”
“That must be kinda tough” Alex murmured carefully
Cass sighed despondently and took another drag on her cig
“I've been trying so hard to play nice as well" she said "I mean: The more I've heard about Brittany, the less I've wanted to be me; but the worst thing is that these smegging memories, even as crap as some of them are, are the only things I've got to make me who I am – Without them I’m nothing, and... and...”
She fluttered a hand in the air, her eyes suddenly welling with tears again
“Hey...” Alex soothed, reaching a hand out to towards her, only to have her shy back away from him
“Am I so awful?” she asked in a tight voice “I can’t believe he tried to kill me”
Alex, unused to twist and snap of her mind's inner processes, found himself momentarily taken aback by the intuitive leap he had been required to make to keep up with the conversation
"Jay... Jay's military, but he's not a killer" he said scrambling to recover as Cass took a couple of deep, shaky breaths to try and calm herself "He looked ...defeated the last I saw of him, but even then, I don't think he'll try to kill you again; although I think it's fair to say that you won't be his favourite person for a while"
"...but I wanted to be" Cass whispered, crestfallen
"Maybe you should talk to him?" Alex suggested, already guessing her likely response "Tell him what you've told me - I'm sure he'll see the mistake he has made"
"I don’t think so" Cass gave a short, bitter laugh "He has barely even bothered acknowledging my existence since his smegging wife turned back up, and when he has, it was only to hurt me even more; so why would he even want to bother with me now he's got his smegging family back together and Brittany has punched all the right buttons to make him hate me?"
"All the same, don't you think it's worth a try?"
"My neck's killing me as it is" Cass said tiredly as she suddenly hauled herself to her feet and turned to look down at Alex "That's warning enough for me - I'm not going to antagonise him by trying to discuss the finer points of my existential angst"
“Fair enough...” Alex flicked the glowing butt of his cigarette away into the gloom and stood up “We should make a move - It’s dangerous down here”
In the silence that followed, Cass shocked him by suddenly stepping forward to hug him and plant a clumsily unexpected kiss on his cheek
“It was very brave and very kind of you to come down here after me” she said as she released him from her embrace and stepped away “I'm so grateful to you for doing it; but I’m going to stay down here a while longer - there's ...stuff that I need to attend to”
She turned to leave but stopped at the sound of actuators whining to life as three black, dog sized, spider-like robots, all armour and vicious claws, skittered down the walls from where they had been concealed up in the gloom of the darkened ceiling, Alex realising to his shock that any one of these could have killed him in seconds
"Unit one" Cass instructed "See Mister Solvay back to the residential decks and then rejoin us; kill anything that threatens him"
"Jesus..." Alex breathed, suddenly cold "What the hell have you been doing down here?"
"Just stuff..." Cass shrugged "They're from the manufactory; I was going to use them to start monitoring the Huzards but they work well as protection while I'm down here"
She turned to leave, the two other robots skittering along in her wake
"Thanks for everything Alex" she called back to him as she walked away "I won't forget it"
Suddenly alone, Alex stared down at the mechanical horror crouched at his feet
"Shit" he sighed