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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - SUSPENSE
The crew lands in the Common, does some shopping, meets with an Elder and discovers there's more to Chase and the Creoles than they thought... (Post-BDM)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 969 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Okay, so...not mine, but what is is donated to all.
I'm not so sure about this part (that's what I get for writing after midnight!), but it does help me set up for the next few parts.
Comments appreciated--critiscm is good, guidance is better.
The first thing the crew noticed was the smell. There was the smell of bread; of leather and gasoline; of roasting meat and a strangely spicy smell that made the rest seem like heaven.
The second thing they noticed were the sounds. “Can’t make out a word anyone’s sayin’!” Jayne complained. “Someone could get a jump on us, all we’d know about it.”
“Somehow I don’t think that will be a problem,” said Inara. She seemed rather taken with the bustling narrow streets of the Common, and began making her way toward an elegant looking building that resembled a peach sand castle.
“Um, Chase? How exactly are we supposed to make our purchases? The captain’s right---we don’t have any money, and we can’t get yours out of a bank…” Simon’s face looked genuinely perplexed.
“It’s simple. See that list of numbers I gave you?”
“Well, yes, but…”
“Don’t tell me they didn’t have numbered accounts, back where you’re from?” Now it was Chase’s turn to be surprised.
“Actually, they didn’t,” said Simon.
“How’s it work?” asked Kaylee. She peered at the strange configuration of numbers on the slip of paper, trying to make meaning out of them in any way she could.
“It’s simple,” said Chase, trying hard to suppress her amusement. “Just go up to the banque de arrondissmont, hand over that piece of paper, and voila!”
“That’s it?” Kaylee was impressed.
“That’s it. No more, no less.” Chase spoke a few hurried words in Creole to the dock attendants, then pointed Simon, Kaylee, Jayne and River in the direction of he bank. To Mal and Zoe, she tipped her head in the direction opposite of Inara’s destination. “Come. I fear that time may not favor us.”
“Because?” Zoe’s eyes began scanning for something out in the crowds. Chase figured she’d done such a thing many, many times before. Likely, it was second nature for her.
“Because I’ve seen at least five different plainclothes walk by since we landed. It’s best we avoid them like the plague.”
“In time. Nicholas is waiting.”
They followed her, questions brewing. Chase walked fast and kept ducking into the odd shop or two every couple of blocks to avoid being followed by anyone for long. Mal watched as the girl kept eyeing china or sampling some strange bits in bake shops or stopping to gaze at a Cortex screen that flashed in her strange language. After awhile, it became harder to tell who was doing the better job---her for doing the ditching or those that would be following for keeping up with her. Hell, Mal thought, could learn a thing or two from her on the subject of keepin’ low.
After what seemed like the seventeenth dive into an open door, Chase finally stopped and stood still. In front of them was a red door, and a doorman to boot. Chase spoke to the man, and instantly they found themselves being ushered down a grand hallway and into an oak-paneled room. Behind a solid ebony desk sat a round, wizened old man that reminded Mal a lot of Santa Claus.
”Bonsoir, Elizabeth,” he said, looking at Chase.
”Bonsoir, Nicholas,” she returned. Then, switching to English, she continued. “Might I present…”
“Captain Malcolm Reynolds,” said Mal. “This here’s my first mate, Zoe,” he finished, motioning towards Zoe, who said nothing.
”Bonsoir…” the old man began, then caught himself. In a heavily accented English, he continued: “Did you say Malcolm Reynolds?”
Mal looked at Zoe, then at Chase, then at the old man. “I did.”
”Dieu compatissant, de toutes les personnes...” the old man said half aloud. “My dear Captain, I must thank you for bringing back one of our gifts. Elizabeth is a remarkable child, and her abduction was taken hard by most of the people here.”
Mal started to say something, what the old man said next stopped him. “However, like Elizabeth, I’m afraid your life is in great danger.”
“Trois pains de Français, deux pains de blanc, et cinq douzaines font frire des gateaux,” said River, looking up at the shopkeeper. She had been able to figure out the entangled language that the people on this planet spoke, and found it to be better even than her own invented language. This language required knowledge of dead language, idiomatic speech, metaphor, doublespeak, and the occasional creation of words on the spot. The thought of learning more of it fascinated River.
Jayne poked at a large wheel of cheddar, wondering just how many they might be able to fit on the ship. “That list got one o’ these things on it?”
River scanned the list. “No, but we could get a half of one. Space on the ship precludes us buying a full wheel---“
“That won’t fit on the ship.”
Jayne shrugged. “Well, man can dream, right?”
River shook her head, then returned to the list. “She wants two pounds of butter, and three crates of eggs.”
Jayne found the butter, marveling at how each roll was shaped into a different sort of creature. He chose one that looked like a dragon and another that looked very similar to a panda bear. “Pound apiece, right?”
River muttered a few words to the shopkeeper, then confirmed they were. “Also need crackers and a two cases of dried milk---one buttermilk, one plain.”
After they’d paid for the food and had it delivered to the ship, River stood outside considering the rest of the list. Chase had put in a tall order: there were different kinds of dried meats, cases of vegetables, boxes of fruits, and even a concoction Chase called “soda”.
“What’s that? New kind of alcohol?”
“Oooh! Look, Simon! New compression coils!”
Kaylee was a kid in a candy store. There wasn’t one aisle in the place that she didn’t find some new part or tool she claimed she ‘absolutely needed to have.’ Simon smiled at the thought of Kaylee being able to let herself loose in a parts bazarr for once.
“Kaylee, I’m sure Chase wanted us to be practical about what we bought.”
“Yeah, but didn’t she say somethin’ bout cleanin’ out her account?” she replied, a little mischeveously.
“I’m pretty sure she meant she needed some of this money herself.”
“Oh.” Kaylee’s face fell a little. “Do ya think I can still get the extra buffer panels and the socket wrenches?”
Even Simon had to laugh. “I think we can arrange that. After all, I vaguely remember slipping a few cases of antibiotics and asprins into my order.”
Both of them chuckled. Neither one noticed the pair of men that had followed them inside from the street, that had been watching them from afar for the last hour or so.
“They’ll make a nice pair,” said one, pretending to look through a bin of reclaimed bolts. “Couple of skilled workers; fetch a handsome stack of marks, ne’cest-pas?
“Depends,” said the other, who had been scanning the aisles. “There’s all sorts of things those two might be good for.”
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 1:23 AM
Friday, January 12, 2007 4:10 PM
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