A Day At The Races pt 2
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kaylee of course, was not in the stables – hadn’t even occurred to her – instead she was mixing as best she could by the refreshment tent, enjoying the tone of the banter and the fine threads on display. She had walked arm in arm with Shepherd Book, (“You really got a steady arm there Preacher!” – She had told him – “You oughta have someone to hang on it more often.”) but he seemed to disapprove of what he saw and melted away.

Jayne was also not in the stables – didn’t like horses AT ALL. Weren’t over fond of any animal (‘cept females) and horses had kind of a mean look. Wild. What he did like was gambling – the winning part anyways, reckoning odds and names using an arcane system all his own.
“Yeah, sounds kinda eager – I’ll take her!” he informed one betting Sergeant.
He was oblivious too to the glares of the people around him – togged as they were. Told he was ‘possibly in the wrong enclosure’ he simply pulled out his piece, sat with his legs up on the nearest table (didn’t look like it’d hold a manly leg but it did) and growled. “My enclosure now.”
The betting sergeant had come to him.

“Y’know I should really come here more often…” Jayne enthused – making the Sergeant quail at the prospect. “Now you got any REAL drinks – or is this Skunk Juice all y’got offering for a man with a thirst on him?”


Pushing his way through the claustrophobic throng under the marquee, Simon Tam smiled with relief when he saw Kaylee. She too smiled – the natural flash of bright that could bring down a light aircraft over a dessert. The Doctor came up to her, close. “Where’s River – have you seen her?”
“Oh.” Air traffic was safe once more. “No – I mean – she was with Zoe right? Before? You need her? You need me to help go find her?”
Simon nodded awkwardly. “Please – I guess – You think… I’m concerned – being separated too long… I don’t know how it might affect… her.”


Inara was admiring the delicate flowers fringing the entrance lane to the racetrack when there was a sound of wheels and hooves and a voice calling to her. “Why surely it is – Inara Serra!”

She turned to see a dark purple buggy pulled by a sturdy looking dray and driven by a uniformed anonymous-looking man. The buggy itself had decorative Alliance markings and from the passenger seat a white haired face was beaming at her from behind a pair of half rimmed spectacles. For a moment she could place neither face nor voice.

She kept the uncertainty out of her own however, “Professor Adams”, she smiled neatly. “Selby.”
The wagon was alongside her now - she could see the eccentric features more clearly now, “Inara my dear” said the man affably, “it seems an age.”
“Yes – yes it does. Are you here for the race?”
The white hair shook like a ragged duster. “No, no - simply enjoying the scenery and a turn in the wagon.”
Inara nodded. “Still hard at work on your writing?”
“Yes, yes, the fundamental non-connectedness of things is easier to grasp than to elucidate I fear…” He chuckled.
Relationships are perceived where none exist – I remember.” Inara made it sound like a catechism.
“But I have a new mathematical muse. May I present Dorian, my companion?”
There was a tussle haired lad beside him. “Your reputation precedes you Lady – and the Professor has spoken of you warmly many times.”
The Professor himself laughed uproariously. “Always as ‘the one that got away’ I might add!”
Inara graced him with a winning smile. “But my interest in your work was genuine, Selby – even when we argued.”
“Of course, of course - but I would hardly expect a respectable denizen of Sihnon and her Mother Buddha to embrace my theories.”
“And I’m afraid Mathematics was never my strong suit.”
The Professor shook a finger. “That - my dear - is well trained false modesty. Ah”, he sighed ruminatively, “the equations you could have inspired… well, never mind. Dorian works wonders. A pleasure, my dear, a pleasure.” The Professor waved again and the wagon rolled off. Inara’s face was unreadable as she watched it go.


“Cold day in hell Badger – I told you that.” Malcolm Reynolds raised a hand to his eye. “You see snow? I don’t think I see any sight a hell freezing over just now.”
Badger glowered back. “Y’think yer so gorram funny. Stop poncing around – this is a straight business proposition.”
Mal in turn affected blandness. “Really? Straight… Interesting. I seem to recall, all kindsa bendy, many forms of crooked, several shades of shifty – but can’t put my mind on a moment of straightness where you and business have been concerned Badger – most specially in regards to myself truly.”
Badger spat on the grass. “Insulting me won’t bring you nuthin – you can walk away from ‘ere all big headed and empty handed, your choice Sergeant.”
Mal contemplated the space between Badger’s eyes a while for before deciding.
“Well, since Zoe sacrificed a good seat and a view of the race – I’ll stretch to charitable and hear you out. But speak plain and speak swift.”
“Yeah yeah yeah – one of these days Reynolds. Look… horses, gambling, money - everyone loves the gee-gees right? Everyone loves a race. What if I was to tell you that one o’ them stallions in the paddy is mine – eh? And a guaranteed winner…”
“I’d say, lay down your coin and good luck to you.”
Badger adopted his most confidential manner. “Yeh – but what if I was to also tell you that a certain party is willing to pay me a lot more – not to let to the ‘orse actually race…?”
“Mangling your own animal? That’s pretty low - even for you Badger…” Mal showed his disgust – but Badger was affronted.
“Oy! Aint never said nuthin’ bout hurting the ‘orse, alright. It just needs to… disappear for a while – and no lead back to me – some major players have shifted silver already – any funny business an’ it could get nasty all round. Nasty aint my style.” Badger paused to eye the Captain narrowly. “Less it’s personal o’course.”
“We aint never got personal to my recollection.” Reynolds resumed neutrality.
“Exactly my point. Everyone knows we aint friendly… so you nick me ‘orse an’ I get sympathy – not tortured. The Man gets his pay off on a win and you get paid for the assistance.”
Mal snorted instinctively but the predictable words of rebuttal died in his throat. Instead he eyed the swarming denizens near the track.
“Out from under the noses of the fine and upstanding? Well now…


Last one next week:
Rip Rollicking, pick pocketting - pea rocketting (i kid you not!)
conclusion to a whimsical l'il fic.

DESSERT was spelt on purpose - NOT Desert.

written for fun on the side of boxes... thanks to those who read the first bit. still no personal net access so apologies for slow replies...



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