MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - Chapter 3

MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

by Sleethr

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Sequel to: MAU: More Than Meets the Eye

Jenna wonders if she has been transported to a pirate movie.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents
are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright  © 2013 by R. Nelson aka Sleethr
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


 

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Chapter Three

 

By the time Mr. Mike ‘Mojo’ Powers boarded the yacht, Jenna found the gossip rag’s news story to be kind of funny. To think that they thought she would date Mike and that it was worth being splashed on the front page. She expected the accompanying ‘Breaking News!’ article to make it look like she was just arm candy, but it didn’t. Instead, the article used buzz words like, ‘natural beauty’, ‘skilled martial artist’, ‘vibrant’ and ‘independent’ to make it sound like she was going to be a big star.  

“Pffft!” She laughed derisively as she sipped her fourth cocktail.  “These guys are so full of it. We haven’t even finished filming the movie. How in the hell can they think I’m going to be the next big female action lead?”

She felt a very mild buzz from the alcohol, but that was only because of how fast she had downed the first three drinks. Based on her past experience with trying to get wasted, her regen would have her pleasantly buzzed feeling gone in only a few minutes, but she could enjoy it while it lasted.

Kelly giggled before covering her mirth with a cautious sip from her second cocktail. “My bad...I accidently on purpose leaked a few seconds of the early post production shots from your last fight scene to a few of my sources.”

Before she could react, Mike chose that moment to make his appearance on the deck. “How’s my favorite PR chick?” He roguishly grinned at Kelly, causing Jenna to feel a slight pang of annoyance over his use of the sexist chick term.

Kelly laughed, jumped up and gave Mike a quick hug before pointing to the offending gossip rag. “Just peachy, ya big stud muffin!  Check out the headline. Isn’t it great!?” She gushed as she sat back down and gestured for Mike to join them.

Jenna didn’t know what to think of the scene she just witnessed. It appeared like the two knew each other a bit more than she expected. Could Kelly and Mike be a couple? If so, was that the real reason for Mike and Gisele’s breakup? Kelly was an attractive woman, but not super-model attractive, not that looks should matter. Deepening the mystery was the fact that she didn’t smell any sexual pheromones coming from either of them.

Maybe they were just friends, but more alarming to her was the tiny note of concern Jenna felt when the two hugged each other. No, she wasn’t jealous. It had to be a remnant of Mike’s use of the chick term, right? She smirked at the mere idea that she could be jealous, because even if the two were a couple, why would it matter to her? She was going to be a married man in less than a year.

Oblivious to Jenna’s inner turmoil, Mike sat down next to her and glanced at the cover before dismissively waving away Kelly’s excitement. “It’s a start, but we still have a few more months of filming to complete before we can really start trying to promote the film.”

“True, but the early buzz is encouraging. We’ve never had this kind of a bump so soon,” Kelly smiled and affectionately patted Jenna’s arm, “and we can all thank our wonderfully talented and kick-ass Jenna for that!”

Jenna squirmed in her chair from the unjustified praise. “I’m not that good…”

Mike surprised her with an encouraging hug. “Hey, don’t be so down on yourself. You’re awesome. The best female co-star I’ve ever worked with.”

Now Jenna knew he was full of shit. “Bullshit, I’m not a real actress. This is my first film and dare I remind you, Mr. Mike ‘Awesome’ Powers, that you almost shit-canned me.”

There was no way that she was the best. Prior to this film, she had zero acting experience and zero stunt experience. She would’ve said zero fighting experience, but that wasn’t true. She lacked fake fighting experience, which kind of fell under the acting experience part, because performing the highly choreographed martial arts fight scenes took a lot more work than she expected.  

Mike chuckled and pointed back to the attention grabbing headline. “Well, I’m glad you proved me wrong and don’t worry about the gossip rags, Jen. Their editors and readers have a very short attention span. By the time we are done shooting, they will have completely forgotten all about this.”

Jenna thought about it over and realized Mike was probably right. The headlines changed daily and no one remembered who was dating who because some celebrities changed sexual partners almost as often as they changed their underwear.  She wasn’t sure she liked him shortening her nickname to make it sound even more familiar, but the sense of relief, plus the still present and rapidly fading alcoholic buzz helped her push it aside. “Okay, I guess so…”

The trio was joined a few minutes later by Mr. Stevens and Mr. Herbert, or John, as he insisted Jenna call him. The conversation drifted to the proposed script changes, which Jenna liked hearing about.  Forty-five minutes later, the yacht got underway and the men drifted away, but not before Mike once again surprised her with a quick, friendly good-bye hug.

The hug felt good and it was only few seconds after he was gone that Hector surfaced enough to cause Jenna some angst. “What in the hell? I just got hugged by a dude and I’m not freaking out. What is wrong with me?!?!

Her eyes absently followed Mike’s retreating back until Kim, her makeup artist, walked up from below deck, looking a little lost and shy.  Kelly reflexively turned to see what caught Jenna’s attention and spotting Kim, motioned for her to join them. “Kim! What are you doing here? I thought you were going to catch the flight back.”

“Oh, I was, but Mr. Powers,” Kim glanced down to Jenna, “insisted I join you all on the yacht.” She hesitantly paused and apologetically cringed. “They put me with you. I hope you don’t mind Miss Vasquez.”

While not happy about the surprise roommate situation, Jenna could tell Kim was horribly worried about sharing the cabin with her. Kim hadn’t called her Miss Vasquez since the first week on location. She jumped up and gave the poor, nervous woman a reassuring hug. “Having you as a roomy will be great! I was feeling guilty for taking both bunks.” She gestured to the open seat at the table. “Come on, join us.” She waved over one of the stewards. “What would you like to drink? The bartender makes a mean mojito.”

Kelly used the opportunity to shift the conversation to ‘girl-talk’, but Jenna felt out of place as the pair started discussing men, fashion, hairstyles and makeup techniques. Instead of looking like the lost lamb she was, she followed the sage advice of staying quiet versus opening her mouth and removing all doubt at how clueless she was about the topic.  She lasted another thirty minutes before she couldn’t take it any longer.  The estrogen poisoning reached fatal levels when she found herself wanting to learn more about eye shadow techniques.

Jenna stood. “I’m sorry, but I need to, umm,” she desperately searched for a reason to leave the table without sounding rude, “go to the head.”

Kim and Kelly both looked confused. “The what?”

“Sorry, bathroom.” Jenna winced as she realized her exit strategy mistake when both women abruptly stood and joined her.

“Oh, me too! Let’s go.” Kelly took charge, grabbed Jenna’s hand and momentarily pulled her along, with Kim following.

Jenna found it simultaneously alarming and amusing that it was expected for all three of them to enter and use the single stall bathroom at the same time versus each woman taking a turn in privacy. The bathroom was small, with just enough room for the head with a washbasin and mirror. It was a tight fit for all three women.

Jenna could understand why Kelly might be less inhibited; she had just finished her third cocktail, but Kim was still nursing her first cocktail. Why didn’t she think there was anything wrong with sharing the same tiny bathroom? Hector never had to worry about having an audience while relieving himself. It just never happened with men.

Oh well, when in Rome, and since it was her idea and neither of the women seemed to be getting ready to leave, Jenna went ahead and did her business. Kelly followed and while she sighed with relief, Kim thought nothing of continuing the makeup discussion by insisting that Jenna show her how she preferred to do her own makeup.

“Okay Jenna, what colors do you normally use?” Kim asked as she rummaged through her purse.

“I dunno, the darker colors?” Jenna was completely lost. She never expected to be asked such a technical question about makeup because she had never once applied her own. Natalie or Kim always did it for her. If they wanted to know which grader to use or which bulldozer was best for a specific job, she was your man, err, woman, but this was way out of her comfort zone.

Kim offered her a chocolate bar shaped compact with a large assortment of strange colors like Gilded Ganache, Milk Chocolate, Black Forrest Truffle, Triple Fudge, Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet, just to name a few. Those were not colors in Jenna’s vocabulary, they were foods. Unaware of just how lost Jenna was, she also opened her kit of professional makeup brushes. “These are my best brushes. Which one do you wanna start with?”

Did Kim carry a makeup kit everywhere she went?

Jenna pretended know what she was looking at and after studying the various brushes; she couldn’t even begin to guess where to start. “They look so expensive and I wouldn’t want to ruin them. How about if we do this some other time?” She smiled and hastily tried to give Kim back her compact with all the good tasting colors.

Well on her way to feeling no pain, Kelly abruptly stood, pulled up her panties and intently studied Jenna for a few seconds.

“What?” Jenna asked, afraid that in a drunken moment of clarity that Kelly had somehow figured out she wasn’t a real woman.

“I don’t believe it!” Kelly pulled Kim to her side and pointed at Jenna, mouth agape as if from a sudden and dramatic realization.

A concern flashed through Jenna’s mind. “This is it; she knows I’m a guy.

“Kim, is it possible that our sweet and innocent Jenna was a nun?” Kelly’s outlandish question was almost a relief to hear.

Kim glanced over the Kelly like she might be onto something, but wasn’t sure either. “Umm, I don’t think so. She doesn’t act like a nun.” She giggled. “Well, not that I would know because I’ve never actually met a real nun before.” She smiled dreamily. “Maybe she grew up and learned martial arts at one of those monkey temple places?”

Jenna wanted to correct her, but it was kind of funny how she confused ‘monk’ with ‘monkey’. Kelly stepped forward and stared up at Jenna, as if daring her to deny the charges. “Just admit it; you don’t know how to put on makeup, do you?”

Jenna felt a touch of guilt because she knew how much time, energy and money most women put into looking their best. School age girls self-indoctrinated themselves with slumber parties, fashion magazines and online video tutorials. She wasn’t a real woman. Jenna was what Hector thought was his perfect dream girl made real by an impossible alien machine.

Her eyes began to tear up and her throat constrict. She felt like a fake and didn’t like lying to people she considered her friends. The fact that she considered these two women friends and desired their approval made her feel even worse. “I’m sorry, I never thought it was important…” She glanced down, ashamed.

Kim hugged her. “Hey, don’t be like that. It’s a little weird, but not a big deal.”

Jenna glanced up, feeling a little bit of a reprieve. Maybe she wasn’t the only woman Kim knew who didn’t know how to apply their own makeup.

“Well, okay, it is, but you’re the nicest actress I’ve ever worked with and with your perfect skin, you’re saving the studio a ton in makeup supplies!” Kim giggled happily and pulled Kelly into the Jenna sandwich.

“Yeah, a few hundred at least!” Kelly happily supplied the cosmetics budget numbers. “But, you know what this means, right Kim?”

Kim put her finger to the side of her mouth and made a cute little moue expression as she pretended to think it over. “Ummm, g-”

“Girl Time!” Both women chorused as they dragged Jenna down to her cabin for an all-night and well into the early morning makeup marathon. After the initial panic subsided, she found the education/indoctrination to be surprisingly interesting and the women’s company endearing and enthralling.  Together, Kim and Kelly were a fountain of Hollywood gossip and they had zero qualms about sharing all the dirty details over a few bottles of wine.

The first two days of the cruise proved to be surprisingly enjoyable for her. Jenna started morning with a workout that included her katas, some cardio to work up a good sweat; some unneeded strength training just to keep up appearances followed by a little bit of sparring with Mike.  The sparring part of her workout always drew a crowd and even though it wasn’t about winning, the competitive side of her chafed at the restraints she built for herself. She wanted to win, but she knew better than to make the star of the movie look bad.

After the morning workout, she would shower, dress, try her hand at applying her own makeup, wake up Sensei Kim, the makeup black belt, for a critique, followed by breakfast and then, spend the rest of the day wearing next to nothing while sunbathing and socializing with the girls. She never expected to have so much fun, feel so close to other women and not want to have sex with them.  It felt surprisingly liberating and she even enjoyed joining her new girlfriends teasing the men with a little topless sunbathing on the upper deck.  Well, not fully topless, but undoing the straps to avoid bikini tan lines and occasionally forgetting to clutch her loose top tightly to her chest before she rolled over.

On the second evening, after another excellent dinner, Jenna decided to take a break from the girls and visit the very front of the bow for a few minutes of alone time. She enjoyed the wind in her hair and the sound of the yacht’s bow slicing cleanly through the waves as it chased the slowly setting sun. Natalie would love this. She sighed with frustration and hugged her arms to her chest while wishing it was Natalie who was hugging her.

She casually glanced over her shoulder as she sensed Mike approaching from behind. He smiled as the stiff wind caused her billowing hair to wrap around her face. “Are you cold?”

Annoyed with her hair, Jenna turned back to face the wind. “No, not really. I was just enjoying the view here.”

Mike’s body lightly brushed up against her side as he joined her, carrying a brief whiff of his masculine scent before the wind took it away. She watched him out of the corner of her eye as he deeply inhaled the fresh salty ocean air. “Ahhh,” he exhaled and glanced sideways to her, “yeah, it’s a stunning view up here.”

Wearing a bikini top with only a small wrap around skirt to cover her bikini, she felt a little exposed and somehow, vulnerable. Mike was close enough that she could feel his body heat against her bare skin and she found herself fighting the urge to lean in and steal some of his warmth. She pulled away, grabbed a handful of hair to keep it under control and turned to face him.

“Yeah, it can be kind of nice,” she ignored his innuendo as her voice started out soft but changed as mischievous smirk formed on her lips, “but if you are expecting to work your ‘mojo’,” she put her hands up and sarcastically air quoted him, “on me and do that scene out of Titanic, you’ve got another thing coming, buster!”

Mike took a step back, held up his hands and chuckled. “Whoa there tiger, I’m just out here to enjoy the view, but I can come back later if you want some alone time. I know how hard it can be to get some personal space on a small,” he grinned as he glanced meaningfully at the large yacht’s deck, “boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.”

Jenna couldn’t help herself. She giggled as he pointed out their luxurious surroundings because if you had to go by boat, this was definitely the way to travel. “No, it’s okay. You can stay, if you want to.”

She turned back to face the wind, watch the waves and listen to the soothing sounds of the water crashing against the yacht’s powerful bow. Jenna expected him to stand next to her, but a few seconds later, she felt his warm hands against her shoulders. She momentarily tensed, but quickly found her body relaxing --almost against her will-- as he began to expertly massage her shoulders.

“How does this feel?” Mike leaned forward and whispered into her ear.

“Mmmm...nice…” Jenna leaned back, against his strong chest and savored the warmth of his body. His touch, combined with his warm breath against her neck and the strong, masculine scent of his cologne gave her goose bumps. Under the shelter of his arms, she felt her body responding to a man in ways she never expected and it confused her.

The closeness allowed her to catch a hint of sexual arousal in his scent. Mike had never smelled that way to her before, not even when she had been lying naked with him during the filming of their sex scene. Admittedly, there wasn’t really anything sexy or comfortable about be surrounded by all the people and cameras and she couldn’t blame the man for feeling a little performance anxiety down there. Hell, Jenna thought even Hector would’ve had trouble getting it up under the same conditions.

Mike must be a little drunk or something, but she didn’t smell any alcohol on his breath. No way, no how, her body might be a little confused right now, but she was not going to have sex with a man, ever.

Jenna briefly felt something hard brush against her butt before Mike twisted his hips away from her in an effort to hide his growing arousal. She gently elbowed him in his stomach and twisted away from him. “Not. Going to. Happen. Pal!”

Jenna stormed off, upset with her traitorous body and her lecherous co-star. She heard him try to apologize, but she wasn’t in the mood to listen. He was a man and all men were the same, well, except for maybe Greg, but that didn’t matter because Greg wasn’t really himself anymore. Jenna knew that most men thought with their dicks because that was what drove Hector’s sex life and since she knew Mike had Hector beat for the role of best male gigolo, he was definitely not an exception to the rule.

I swear, the next time he tries anything; I’m going to gut the bastard and I don’t care who sees me do it!” Jenna muttered under her breath in Spanish as she made her way to the stern of the yacht. In the lounge area, she spotted Kim and Kelly watching TV, laughing and chatting together on a couch. The sight of her friends brought an unexpected smile to her face and a spring to her step.

After a few more drinks, she began to relax and feel like maybe she had over-reacted. She knew from personal experience that sometimes Mr. Happy had a mind if his own. It wasn’t really his fault that his body reacted the way it did and the back massage did feel good. Thinking about it made her feel a little guilty for enjoying it --like she was cheating on Natalie-- and the guilt was compounded by the growing desire for some sexual relief.  

Kim and Kelly were definitely not candidates for sexual partners and neither was Mike. That made Natalie’s surprise going-away present begin to not seem as repulsive and she felt less of a desire to be rid of the thing. Just thinking about it made her consider giving it a test drive, but she had very little private time in their shared cabin and she was worried what Kim would think if she accidently walked in on her.  

“Umm, Kim, I’m feeling a little tired. I’m going to run down to our cabin, take a shower and maybe read a book, or something...” Jenna turned away as she felt a blush starting to form as she thought about what she could do with a few minutes of alone time.

“Take your time, girlfriend.” Kim gave Jenna a knowing smirk as she gave her a quick goodbye hug. “The party’s just starting and I’ll make sure I knock.” She suggestively glanced over to Mike.

Jenna laughed. “Seriously, you two,” She glanced down to Kelly, “there’s nothing going on between me and Mr. Powers and there never will be.”

“Never say never!” Kelly sang as she and Kim toasted each other with a light clink of their cocktail glasses.

“You guys are impossible!” Jenna laughed and dismissively waved good-bye to the troublesome duo.

Reaching her cabin, she carefully closed and locked the door. Secure in the knowledge that she was alone, she dug through her suitcase and extracted Nat’s gag gift.  Her pulse began to race, her lips felt dry, her nipples began to tingle and she began to have a curiously warm feeling between her legs, but when she unwrapped and revealed the realistic dildo, everything stopped.

“I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this thing! It looks so...wrong!” She muttered with frustration as she quickly wrapped it back up and stuffed it into her suitcase.

Still feeling a little frisky and very frustrated with herself, she decided to take a cold shower. The initial blast of cold water had the desired effect on her libido, but she couldn’t punish herself for long and shivering, she turned on the hot water.  After the shower, she dried her hair and pulled it back into a simple pony tail to help keep it from getting tangled.

Jenna debated on whether or not to rejoin her friends, but decided to read a book instead. She pulled on a pair of silk, boy cut panties and the women's sleep shirt Natalie insisted she buy. Jenna thought the long sleep shirt made it look like she was wearing a men's long sleeved shirt after waking up from a one night stand, but somehow, wearing it made her feel closer to her fiancé and it was comfortable.  She also liked the fact that it covered her butt.

As she got into her book, Jenna lost all track of time. Even though it was the third time she had read it, she still found the gritty and realistic military science fiction novel about Earth being invaded by an alien horde utterly captivating.  Her only complaint was the fact that the main protagonist’s name was Mike.

It was getting close to midnight before Jenna felt the need to take a break from reading and wonder where her roomie was. “Oh well, I guess she’s having fun.” She shrugged as she decided to brush her teeth for bed.  She was rinsing her mouth when the lights went out and she was forced to brace herself as the yacht suddenly slowed to a stop.  

“What the hell?!” It was pitch black in the small bathroom.  She tried the light switch a couple of times before opening the door and stumbling out of her cabin.  The passageway was lit with only the ship’s emergency lights and she considered returning to her cabin for her sat phone and sweat pants, when the emergency lights flickered and died.

Now she was really worried. The emergency lights should’ve never died. They were tied into the ship’s batteries and on a redundant circuit. Once again, she thought about going back for more sensible clothes, but her instincts were screaming to her that something was very wrong and time was of the essence. They were dead in the water and the lack of the ever present vibration caused by the big twin diesel motors added to her growing sense of dread.  

Could there be a fire in the engine room?  Jenna didn’t smell any smoke, but her cabin was near the bow of the ship.  Thanks to her father’s auto-shop and time in the Army, Jenna felt that if there was a problem with the yacht’s engines, she could help fix them. She heard some laughter coming from the upper deck. It sounded like the party was still going strong, and there was nothing that made her think the ship was on fire or sinking. No sounds of groaning steel, people screaming, the ship listing, or the passageway filling up with water.  The mystery deepened.

From the open hatch leading into the engine room, Jenna spotted a crewman with a flashlight. “Hey, what’s going on?” She asked, drawing the man’s attention to her as she stepped into the room and into a spot of unknown liquid on the deck.

Her nose identified the liquid; it was the sharp, iron metallic smell of blood and it was still warm. “What the!?”

“You shouldn’t be down here ma’am.” The crewman shined his flashlight in her direction, causing Jenna to turn her face away. “But,” The unknown man chuckled mirthlessly as the distinct sound of a knife being drawn from a sheath made it to her ears, “I’m glad you’re here because a fine piece of ass like you will make my job here even more enjoyable.”

Jenna stepped fully into the engine room and turned to face the man. “Drop the knife and I’ll let you live.” She softly growled giving the man a chance in case this was just some prank. She was on a ship full of movie people. It wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility for this to be some weird method-acting exercise by Mr. Stevens, but she felt pretty sure he wouldn’t go this far.

“Hehe, ya got some spunk girl. I’ll give ya that, but your fake movie martial arts won’t help you.” The man shined his light off to Jenna’s left, showing her the body of the chief engineer. It was his blood she had stepped into.  “Now, just head over to that console over there, turn around and show me that fine ass of yours. If I like the merchandise, I might just let you live.”

“No.” Jenna stepped to the side and out of the dead man’s blood. The chief engineer was really dead. Her nose confirmed it for her and that meant that the man with the flashlight was his killer. This wasn’t some Hollywood prank, but what was it?  

The man sighed with resignation. “Fine, but it’s a crying shame...”

Jenna caught a glint of the man’s knife as he charged her. His right hand held the large combat knife while his left clutched the flashlight high to his chest, aiming the beam of bright light at her.  If the man expected her to scream and panic, he was sadly mistaken when her left hand shot out and locked onto his right wrist.  For the first time in months, she used her full speed and strength as she twisted her hand downwards, snapping the man’s wrist in the process of keeping the sharp end of the knife away from her body.

The man gasped with shock and pain before Jenna swung a right hook into his lower jaw, breaking it with an audible crack and instantly knocking him out. “Fake martial arts, my ass!”

The man collapsed to the deck and Jenna wasted no time grabbing his flashlight and searching his body. On the deck, next to the man’s left ear was a small, tactical ear bud radio with a small boom mic. The force of her punch and the fall knocked it out of his ear.  

Due to the man’s crew uniform, there was still a teeny tiny amount of doubt in her mind about this being a prank gone horribly wrong, but the loaded 9mm pistol in the man’s shoulder holster along with its two extra magazines completely dispelled those doubts.

“What to do, what to do?” Jenna muttered as she shined the flashlight around the engine room, looking for what might be wrong with the ship’s power. She didn’t spot anything obviously broken or leaking. The engines were probably shut down and the power mains flipped off.

[pop-pop-pop]

The muffled, yet distinctive sound of an AK-47 firing along with a woman’s scream from above decks decided Jenna’s next course of action. She considered shifting into Hector and going full ninja-Snake Eyes to prevent anyone from recognizing her, but it would take thirty seconds to do the shift and there was no time to waste. Kim and Kelly were on the upper decks and they needed her help now.

Jenna didn’t need to be Hector to use the Snake Eyes costume. It worked just the same no matter which sex she was. Even better, it took only seconds to activate and the built in armor and weapons were hard to pass up. As the costume activated, what little she wore was instantly transformed into a full, form fitting ninja costume, complete with the blackened, super-sharp katana. She marveled at what Greg had been able to accomplish with the MAU, but she realized that her secret was going to be busted because the available pool of female ninja candidates was a little small.

“This better not be a fucking joke...” Jenna softly grumbled as she left the flashlight behind and silently padded out of the engine room, making her way toward the upper decks. She spotted a man carrying an AK-47 coming down the stairs from the upper deck. It looked like he was heading to check on his pal in the engine room.  His flashlight’s beam was focused on the stairs and that gave Jenna a second to hide.

Instead of going back to the engine room, she silently jumped up and braced herself, back against the ceiling by pressing her hands and feet against the walls of the narrow passageway. When the man passed underneath, she noiselessly dropped down and after running through a small checklist of possible attacks, decided to simply punch him in the back of his head.

The human skull is kind of hard and her hand stung for a second, but her punch had the desired effect. He fell to the deck like a puppet with its strings cut, his weapon clattering noisily against the steel deck caused Jenna to cringe. She quickly padded to the end of the passageway and glanced up to see if anyone had noticed.  All clear, but she heard more than a few men yelling orders in badly accented English for people to get down.

Who in the hell were these people and why were they on the yacht? The man in the engine room looked and sounded American, but the second man was Asian. When the men upstairs weren't yelling at her friends, it sounded like they were speaking some form of Chinese, but she couldn’t be sure. It certainly wasn’t Spanish.

“I’d give anything to have Wheelie and Sadie here right now.” Jenna softly muttered as she considered going back to her cabin for the sat phone. Even if she called Sadie, there would be no way her friend could make it here in time. She was more than a few thousand miles away and even if she broke every law in the US and went suborbital, it would probably still take her thirty minutes to an hour to get here.

Jenna slowly poked her head up and spotted two men, armed with AK-47’s, threatening Kim and a few of the crew. Her blood began to boil at the sight of the bullet riddled body of the second officer. She didn’t see Kelly, Mike or Mr. Stevens, but assuming the pirates or whoever they were would take the bridge, maybe they were there with the Captain.  

“Time to bite the bullet and get this over with.” She sighed with resignation as she consider how risky this was going to be for her friends and how it would probably get her kicked off the movie once Mike and Mr. Stevens found out.

Jenna reached down to her belt pouch and extracted two shurikens. Her first target was the man furthest away from her and with a rapid flick of her wrist, her shuriken made a soft whirring sound as it traveled almost as fast as a bullet through the air and into the man’s throat. A second shuriken followed less than a heartbeat later, striking the throat of the second man just as he was beginning to wonder what the sound from the first shuriken might have been.

She rolled over to the man closest to her and punched him in his temple to knock him out and end his misery. The second man and her first target were already face down on the deck and starting to twitch.  Once again, Jenna felt very impressed with Greg’s creativity regarding Hector’s Snake Eyes costume.

Jenna held her finger up to her mouth to signal everyone to be quiet and then, once she had their attention; she motioned for them to stay down and get below decks via the passageway she just exited.  She knew that it was safe for now and if not, below decks was probably a lot safer than being out in the open.

No one wanted to move and Kim looked petrified, but her eyes widened with shock as she recognized her friend. “Jenna?” She mouthed silently.

Jenna prayed that no one else recognized her, but at the moment, she was in no position to deny or explain. She curtly nodded as she once again motioned for Kim to be quiet and motioned for her to get below decks.

Kim’s eyes expressed her intense relief and she rapidly nodded her acceptance of Jenna’s request. She anxiously stole a glance back toward the bridge area before taking a deep breath and moving in the direction Jenna indicated.

Jenna breathed a sigh of relief when the remaining passengers and crew followed Kim’s lead.  With the lounge area clear of potential hostages and enemies, Jenna risked a quick glance toward the stern to ensure there weren’t any pirates behind her. There weren’t, but there was a powerful, twin engine ocean going speed boat tied up to the port side of the yacht and gently bobbing alongside in the waves.  

It looked expensive and based on the weapons and organization she had witnessed thus far, the pirates were definitely not the run of the mill, desperately poor pirates that had been making the news over in Africa. What was going on?

The pirates failed to leave a rear guard with their boat and Jenna felt extremely grateful about that oversight because it also meant there wasn’t anyone to spot her. She felt a little concerned about the size of the boat because it looked like the craft could have held anywhere from eight to fifteen pirates. Without running over and inspecting the boat, it was hard to for her to tell and she didn’t think she had the time to give the craft a full inspection. If there were any pirates still on board the boat, she would have to deal with them later.

Three, no four down and who knew how many to go. With that cheery thought in mind, Jenna drew her blackened katana as she cautiously crept forward and toward the bridge.

“Thank you for your cooperation, gentlemen. This yacht will fetch an easy twenty mil on the black market and once my men have the power restored we will begin the final preparations for your crew and passengers.” A man said in Australian or maybe New Zealand accented English.

“What do you plan on doing with us?” Kelly asked, her voice trembling with panic.

The man chuckled. “Don’t ya worry yer pretty little head about that love. A fine Sheila like yourself will be well taken care of by my men. Won’t she, boys?”

Jenna heard a couple of predatory laughs. “Oh yeah. We’ll treat the lady right...”

In addition to the man she figured was their leader, there were at least three more men in bridge, maybe more. “Great, just great. How in the hell am I going to do this?”  She reached into her pouch for her ninja smoke-flash bombs. “Hmmm, I think I have an idea...”

Once again, Jenna thanked Greg for his costume ideas because the ninja inspired flash bombs were just what she needed. The flash and instant thick smoke should temporarily blind and confuse her targets and thanks her goggles’ thermographic vision mode; she would be able to see through the smoke.  Hell, with the handful of smoke bombs she planned on tossing into the bridge, she might even get lucky and not be seen at all. She briefly lamented the fact that Kim recognized her and it was going to be pretty hard to deny that she was the female ninja to the rest of the folks.

“Vic, go see what’s taking Jerry and Cho so bloody long with the motors of this tub.” The leader forced Jenna into action.  She had to move now before the element of surprise was lost.

[Pffft!][Pffft!][Pffft!][Pffft!][Pffft!][Pffft!]

Jenna tossed a handful of smoke bombs into the bridge and katana ready, she dove into the smoke filled room.

“What tha fu-huugghf”

The shocked cry of the man closest to her was cut off as her sword effortlessly cleaved the man almost in half from the top of his left shoulder and through the bottom of his right rib cage. Before the corpse hit the deck, she was past him and with her left hand; she threw a shuriken at the man holding Kelly.  

“Gurck!” He instantly fell to the deck as her shuriken punched through his windpipe and stopped when it partially severed his spine.  

Their leader lost his hand as he switched the aim of his pistol from the general area of the first man she killed, toward the second.

“Ahhhh!” He screamed in agony as he fell to his knees clutching the spurting stump of his arm in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

Mike erupted into action and lived up to his action star billing by grabbing onto and taking out the pirate closest to him, but that left the third and final pirate to her.  His firing discipline was excellent, far better than she expected. Instead of simply spraying and praying, the man slowly duck walked backward, toward the side door of the bridge, his weapon’s stock tucked into his shoulder, ready to aim and fire at any target.  Jenna watched as the barrel of his AK-47 tracked toward the sound of Mike beating the crap out of his fellow pirate.

Trusting in her armor and regeneration, she yelled to draw his attention and charged across the room. It had the desired effect, the pirate’s weapon rapidly switched toward her.  

[crack!][crack!][crack!][crack!]

The man got off a controlled, four round burst. The first round proved to be the “Golden BB” when it struck her in her lightly armored abdomen and between the hard armor plates. If she had been further away, her armor would’ve stopped it cold, but from point blank range, the heavy, 7.62 round managed to punch through the bullet resistant material. It helped reduce the speed of the round, but not enough to keep it from being a critical wound for a normal human. Before stopping, the round bored through her intestines, ricocheted off her spine and up, into her left lung.

As the AK-47’s barrel rose, the second round bounced harmlessly off her chest plate while the third round managed to impact on the weak point of her shoulder armor and penetrate into her right shoulder. The round was stopped by her shoulder blade with an impact felt like a mule kicked her, causing her body to spin to the left. The fourth round went high and ended up punching a hole in the ceiling.

Jenna was hit and hit badly, but she couldn’t stop. She had closed the distance and put everything she had her swing. She felt the barest resistance as her sword separated the man’s head from his body and continued through the upper receiver of the man’s AK-47.  The weapon and the man fell onto the deck in two pieces.

She attempted to take a breath, but instead coughed and gagged on her own blood. Desperate to avoid being seen by anyone, she staggered through the smoke, past the headless pirate and into the open air of the upper deck that surrounded the bridge.  Her chest felt like someone was squeezing it with a giant vise. She couldn’t breathe and she fell to her knees, dropping her sword as she struggled to get air into her lungs.

Hmmm, maybe my regeneration isn’t going to work. Sorry Natalie.” She thought as she continued her struggle.  “I have to get away now!”  

Using the railing, Jenna tried to pull herself to her feet, but the effort only caused her to cough and wheeze again. “Oh yeah, nothing tells you to --*cough* *cough*-- slow down like a sucking chest wound…”  She muttered as she fell to the deck on her hands and knees, barely stopping herself from face planting on the deck as her weakened left arm momentarily buckled. “Ouch…--*cough* *cough*--

Her chest was starting to feel a little better, but all the blood trapped in her mouth by her mask wasn’t helping. Jenna pulled up the bottom of her mask and spit out the blood. It splattered all over the pristine white deck and caused her to cough a few more times. Each successive cough cleared more blood from her mouth and the pain rapidly subsided from a searing hot knife edge to a dull throb.

“Okay, now I really have to get out of here…” Jenna glanced back over her shoulder and noticed the smoke was rapidly dissipating.  She dropped a fresh smoke bomb at the door and rolled under the lower rails. Hanging down, she dropped to the deck below the bridge.

Still feeling woozy and out of breath, Jenna fell ungracefully backwards and onto her butt, leaving a smeared, bloodstained handprint behind when she pushed herself back onto her feet. “I’m not being very ninja-ee am I?”  

She heard the sound of a man coughing and heavy footsteps exit the bridge from above. He sounded like Mike and to avoid being seen by him, she hugged the wall and dashed into the nearest hatch.  Closing it softly behind her, the little bit of starlight from outside cut off, leaving the passageway completely black to normal vision. With a thought, her mask’s thermographic vision cut through the darkness, showing her the way toward her cabin.

For being critically shot less than ten seconds ago, Jenna felt surprisingly healthy and very grateful for her comic book hero regen. She cautiously padded through the pitch black passageway. She heard some whimpering and crying, followed by a desperate shush echo down the passageway from the stern of the ship. She guessed it was Kim and the crew she had directed to hide.  She made it forward and to her cabin without being spotted, but realized she had dropped her sword and left it behind as evidence.

“Son of a...” She swore under her breath as she briefly debated going back for it. Instead, she willed her costume away and prayed the sword would follow suit. The cabin plunged into pitch darkness, causing her to stumble and hit her shin against her bunk. “Damn it!”

Jenna worked by feel to find her suitcase and extract her satellite phone. In her cabin, it was useless as a phone, but the glow from the display worked perfectly with her enhanced vision as a flashlight. First, she inspected her nightshirt for bullet holes and blood and breathed a sigh of relief when she found neither.

“Thank MAU! This is my favorite sleep shirt.” She softly giggled as she considered how much she sounded like a woman, more worried about her clothes than getting shot.

Next, Jenna made her way into the bathroom and checked her face in the mirror for blood. She spotted a few traces of blood in her nose and around her mouth, but without power; there was no water pressure and no way to wash her face.  She had a bottle of water next to her bunk. She quickly used that to rinse out her mouth and wash away the blood from her face.

Exiting the bathroom, she spotted something shiny on the deck.  It was a bent AK-47 round and evidence that would place her on the bridge. Her body must have rejected the foreign object and thanks to her super-powered regen, she didn’t need surgery to remove it. She shuddered as she thought about how freaky it must have looked to see the round pushed out of her body all by itself.

Jenna shrugged, grabbed the round and spotted a second, misshapen and flattened round lying nearby.  It must have been the one that hit her shoulder. She policed those up and tried to figure out what to do with them. Her cabin lacked a porthole to toss the rounds out and into the ocean. Flushing down the toilet and into the ship's bilge tank seemed like a good option, but not without water pressure.

The toilet still seemed like the last place anyone would look for evidence. So, she dropped them into the bowl, ripped off a few sheets of paper to cover them and closed the lid. Hopefully, when the power was restored, the water pressure would be strong enough to handle the rounds and she would get a chance to flush them down before anyone noticed.  With the last bit of evidence temporarily taken care of, she pulled on a pair of sweatpants and made her way back toward the engine room. There was no way she wanted to be caught without pants on when the lights came back on and the police or Navy got here to investigate the hijacking attempt.

She ran into the body of the second man she took down. He was right where she left him and didn’t appear to be breathing. She tested for a pulse and unfortunately for him, it looked like her punch to the back of his head killed him.  She felt a twinge of guilt, but quickly dampened it down with the realization that he would’ve killed her if he had the chance.  Based on their leader’s comments, it sounded like everyone on board would’ve been ‘disappeared’ to prevent messy inquiries about the missing ship when they sold it. They and all her friends would’ve just been another lost ship, presumed sunk by the weather or some other calamity at sea.

“Jenna?” Kim whispered from about fifteen feet away. She and the rest of the crew and passengers were all huddled together at the bottom of the stairway that led to the upper deck.

“Kim, what’s going on? Are you okay?” Jenna whispered back as she fell back on all the acting skills she had learned over the last few months.

“What, you don’t know? I thought you were...Who’s he?” Kim cautiously came forward, but halted a safe distance away from the body.

“Dunno, but he’s dead. I woke up to the sound of someone shooting AK-47 and realized the power was out.” Jenna directed the phone’s light further down the passageway and toward the engine room. “My dad is a mechanic. So, I thought I’d see if I could lend a hand with the engines.”

Kim looked confused. “But, but, I thought...”

Jenna needed something to distract her friend. “Hold this.” She handed her phone to Kim and picked up the fallen man’s flashlight and AK-47.  She debated keeping the AK-47, but decided it would only get in her way. Instead, she offered the weapon to Kim. “Do you know how to use one of these things?”

Kim reflexively reached for the offered weapon before her eyes widened with shock when she realized what Jenna was offering her. She shook her head from side to side and backed away. “N,n, no, I don’t know. You keep it!”

“Umm, I’ll just leave it here then.” Jenna set the weapon down and pointed the flashlight toward the engine room. “Okay, I’m going to check the engines.”

She only made it a few feet before Kim broke down and followed. “Wait for me.”

Knowing that there was a still hopefully unconscious pirate in the engine room, Jenna glanced over her shoulder. “Stay out here.” She said as she peered through the hatch and aimed the flashlight’s beam to where she left the body.  He wasn’t there.

“Merde!” Jenna muttered. Where in the hell was the guy?

“What’s wrong?” Kim’s voice trembled with barely suppressed fear.

“Nothing, stay here.” Jenna cautiously stepped into the engine room, avoiding the chief engineer’s blood this time. That reminded her that she had stepped in the blood the first time here and a quick glance down to the floor showed her bloody footprints as well as the dried blood caked onto her foot.

[Papow!][Papow!]

She spotted the fake crewman just as two shots rang out, striking her in the abdomen and chest, the shock of the impacts caused her to stagger and trip backwards on the lip used to seal the engine room’s hatch.  She landed on her back in the passageway, dropped the flashlight and reflexively clutched her stomach from the pain.

As she struggled to deal with the pain of getting shot, she heard a garbled. “uck u isch!” As the fake crewman, clutching his pistol in his left hand and cradling his broken right wrist against his chest stalked toward her, his jaw askew and clearly broken. She broke his wrist and jaw, but forgot about the bastard’s pistol.

Jenna dimly registered Kim’s scream of panic as she dealt with getting shot a second time. If only she had been wearing her costume, it would’ve easily stopped the puny 9mm rounds, but no, she had to be the hero. The round to her chest didn’t feel too bad, she figured that it must have hit a rib and been stopped instead of puncturing a lung like the AK-47 round did. The round in her stomach, that one hurt like a son of a bitch. The asshole must have been using hollow point rounds because instead of a narrow, hot knife in the gut pain she got from the 7.62 round. She felt like she had just been punched in the stomach with a sharpened baseball bat, but even as she groaned from the pain, she felt it starting to fade.

She watched as the fake crewman slowly walked over to her side. He pointed his pistol down to her with a broken, pain filled smile that seemed to say he was going to enjoy watching her suffer.

That was what she was waiting for. The small pain from the round in her chest was gone and the baseball bat sized pain in her gut was now down to a punch in the gut sensation. Now that the asshole was in range and not expecting anything, it was time for her to go on the offensive.

[Snickt!]

Jenna grimaced with pain when the claws in her right arm erupted from her knuckles as she began to rotate toward the man, intending to rake his left arm and maybe cut it off to disarm him.  She knew the claws were sharp enough to cut through steel, but wasn’t sure if they would cut through flesh and bone with a simple swipe.

[Crack!]

She never completed her action. The man’s head exploded as a 7.62 round entered from the base of his skull, showering her in a fine mist of hot blood and bits of brains before his body collapsed on top of her.

“Eeek!” Kim screamed and dropped the AK-47 on the deck like it was a snake about to turn on her.

Thankfully, it didn’t accidentally discharge, but now Jenna was pissed. There was a dead guy pinning her to the deck, she could feel the tiny droplets of blood on her face, but worst of all, she had two, blood stained bullet holes in her favorite sleep shirt.

[Snickt!]

Jenna retracted her claws and with a groan, pushed the dead guy off her. “Eeew, gross…” She sat up and heard two, dull metallic clunks as the 9mm rounds rolled out from under her ruined sleep shirt and hit the deck.

“Oh my god! Jenna, are you okay?!?!” Kim rushed forward, but stopped herself when she caught a glimpse of her friend’s blood soaked face and attire.

“Yeah, he missed, but where in the hell did you learn to shoot like that?!” Jenna palmed the rounds as she stood.

“Umm…it was, a-an accident?” Kim broke down, forgot about the blood covering Jenna and began to cry on her shoulder.

The flashlight was still on the deck and pointing away from the dead body. It was probably a good thing Kim couldn’t see the top of the man’s head due to the lack of light.  Jenna turned Kim to face away and hugged her tight. “Shhhh...it’s okay. It’s over now.”

Jenna tried to let go of Kim, but she started to panic and held her tighter. “No, don’t go!”

“Kim, it’s okay. Look at me,” Jenna looked down at Kim and gently pushed her face up so she could look into her eyes, “you saved my life and I know it’s not easy taking a life, but you did what had to be done.”

“I did?” Kim asked with a small, hesitant and frightened voice.

Jenna nodded and smiled, trying to encourage her friend. “Yes, you did and you did good.”

“I had to. You saved us all up there,” Kim relaxed a little, pulled away and looked back, over her shoulder toward the general direction of the upper deck.

Jenna patiently smiled and tried the Jedi mind trick. “That wasn’t me. I’m not the person you thought you saw.” If only the Jedi mind trick could work in real life. Was it even possible for the MAU to give someone Jedi mental powers?

“What? But I saw…” Kim’s eyes rapidly scanned Jenna’s blood spattered face as if she might find something recognizable.

Jenna slowly shook her head from side to side. “You know I would do anything to keep you guys safe,” Kim slowly nodded with agreement and Jenna could see a bit of hero worship in her eyes, “but what you thought you saw, it wasn’t me and you don’t know who it could’ve been, got it?” Jenna asked, praying that Kim would back her up and help protect her identity.  If not, things could get very tricky when the police or the U.S. Navy arrived.

Kim surprised her by slowly nodding with agreement. “Yeah, umm, you’re right Jenna. What could I have been thinking?” She giggled, causing a little of her haunted expression leave her face.  “You’re just an actress. It would be absolutely impossible for you to be this super-secret kick-ass ninja. I mean, I’m your roommate here and there is no place for you to hide a freaking ninja costume and sword in your suitcase. Completely impossible, right?!?”

Unsure where her friend was going with her line of reasoning, but feeling hopeful, Jenna nodded with agreement. “Yeah, totally impossible…”

Kim laughed and her eyes glowed as she tried to contain her excitement, and failed. “This is so cool and now I know why you didn’t know how to use makeup. You weren’t a nun. You were raised at one of those ninja places!”

Jenna wasn’t sure if her new theory was better or worse than the nun theory, but in light of recent events, it was probably more believable. “Kim, listen, you can’t tell anyone, not even Kelly. It’s a ninja clan secret, okay?” She held her friend by the shoulders and intently studied her eyes, forcing her to meet her gaze.

Kim took a deep, calming breath. “You’re right, I can’t because no one would believe me,” she smirked mischievously, “okay, maybe a couple of people would, but I won’t say a word. Promise.” She solemnly nodded.

Jenna sighed with relief. “Good, now I only need to hope everyone else believes it would be impossible for me to be this female ninja that miraculously appeared on this boat, but no one saw leave.”

It was only then that she remembered the pirate’s boat. She could’ve tried making it look like the unknown ninja escaped using the boat, but she wasn’t entirely sure how the logistics of that idea would’ve worked out.

“I dunno, but I thought the ninja I saw was a dude.” Kim pretended to be confused.

Jenna laughed and hugged Kim. “I doubt that will work, but thanks!” She released her with a defeated sigh. “Regardless, I need to see if I can turn the power back on and you don’t want to see what’s in here. Can you go to the bridge…” She considered the number of bodies she would have to pass to reach the bridge. “On second thought, back to the stairs and wait for me? Let the crew know what’s going on and what you ‘thought’ you saw?”

“Oh, I will, but you might wanna get rid of your shirt before anyone else spots you.” Kim pointed to the blood stained holes in Jenna’s night shirt. “Even in the dark, I can see those holes in your shirt and girlfriend,” she paused, glaring up at her with determination, “you’re totally going to tell me everything.”

“Umm, sure…” Jenna glanced down at her night shirt with dismay before turning around and picking up the flashlight. She turned and watched Kim gingerly make her way back toward the stairs. Dealing with alien machines, secret government agents and horn-dog movie stars were bad enough, but why did these greedy pirates have to go and make her already complicated life even more complicated?

“Cabrón…” Jenna muttered with frustration and instead of stepping over the dead pirate’s body to enter the engine room, she took it out on him by moving him out of her way with a less than gentle kick.

 

~o~O~o~



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