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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
In which the crew of Artemis gets a job that looks a little too familiar…
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1200 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Saul's eyes shifted slowly, right to left, taking in the chaos around him. He'd never thought it could get this out of control, but now with every flash of color, every new catastrophe, his hands moved automatically, knife flashing before he even had time to think. And it was all Mona's fault.
No, he corrected himself. It was his fault.
She might have said "Ain't no way you can make a omelet with protein packs," but he just had to prove her wrong.
The last of the freeze-dried vegetables finally thawed, he turned his full attention to the process of mixing them with the slurry of hot water and blended protein. A quick hover with his free hand confirmed that the pan was hot enough, and he began to pour the mixture. It released a hiss and an acrid smell immediately, and Saul growled aloud. He hadn't mixed it well enough; the water was boiling off to fast, and the protein was burning. "Li ni niu yao mo!"
Mona smiled smugly as Saul's increasingly colorful curses echoed down the forward hallway, and Rachel shook her head. "You're gonna be the death o' that poor man, mei mei."
"Yes, Miss Wu."
"You realize we ain't gonna be able to get 'im to concentrate on anything else for the rest of the gorram day?"
"Yes, Miss Wu."
"Hey, Saul, what's wrong?"
"Ding yao mo ai zi!"
As Saul's response followed Dex onto the bridge, Mona began to shake with laughter. "What's his problem?"
Mona cackled, eyes squeezed shut, and Rachel sighed. "Don't even ask. Mona, that wave come through yet?"
The pilot managed to straighten herself out, clear her throat, and almost take on an air of professionalism. "Not yet Miss Wu. He's over…wait." Mona tapped a few buttons and glanced at a side panel. "Incoming now."
The captain took Mona's chair and flicked a switch, then smiled at the small, dirty face looking up at her from the screen. "Spencer Capshaw, you crook. You ain't got yourself shot yet?"
The middle-aged man grinned back. "Good to see you too. Dex, Mona, long time."
"All right, Spence, you give us these rendezvous coordinates by courier, beam a secure channel, what's up?"
Spencer's grin widened. "History."
Mariah cleared her throat as the Companion leaned in. "Well, not…never ever never, but…not…recently." Daphne nodded thoughtfully. "What?"
"I just figured you and our young mechanic were doing a good job of hiding it." Daphne smiled in spite of herself as a flaming blush crept up the dilettante's cheeks.
"Well, I mean…Dex is…but he doesn't…I mean not that I'd…but we don't…"
"Sorry, sorry. Breathe."
Mariah gulped a breath and nodded. "Where was I?"
"You and Dex are just friends."
Daphne decided to let it slide for now; part of the problem with Companion training was how obvious these things were to her. "Besides, it's not as if you don't have options."
The redhead's gaze drifted to the infirmary door, behind which Leo and Sir Anderson were speaking casually. As Mariah followed, she caught the doctor's eyes as they snapped from her back toward his uncle. She blushed again.
"Just friends with the good doctor, too?"
The Companion raised an eyebrow. "But?"
"He just reminds me…" She cleared her throat. "There are memories."
Daphne nodded in sympathy, unsure how else to respond. It did seem as if everyone onboard had some bad memories of the Core.
"So…does that mean I can have him?"
"Stop by next time you're in the world?"
"Bank on it." With a smile and a nod, Spencer's picture blinked from the screen, and Rachel turned to look at her crew.
Mona let out a breath. "Wow."
"That's one way of puttin' it."
The captain turned from the vid screen. "Dex?"
The mechanic shuffled nervously. "Well, I mean, it's a hell of a job, Rach, but…don't you think it's a little…"
"What? Dangerous? Illegal? Ain't hardly in a position to choose these days, Dex. Fish ain't exactly jumpin' into our boat."
"I was gonna say 'out of our league,' but point taken."
"Oh, come on, we can pull this. We've done heists before," Mona chirped.
"Never done anything this big."
Rachel spun the options around lazily, then made up her mind with a quiet sigh. "Spencer wouldn't steer us wrong."
"When you wanna announce it?"
The captain cast a glance back at the kitchen, where Saul was laying out the miscellaneous cutlery the crew had managed to collect over the past year. "Might as well do it over breakfast. 'Fraid we might need Daphne's help on this one, and I'm sure his lordship'll get suspicious we don't say anything. Best to let everyone know now."
Dex nodded as Saul's grumbling voice snapped over the comms. "Breakfast is served. Come and get it."
As the passengers trickled in from the stairwells, Mona flashed the cook a broad smile as he slopped oatmeal and synthetic bacon onto her plate. "What, no omelets?"
Saul stiffened. "Bu liang bu you jian," he mumbled as he passed. Mona grinned.
Once everyone was seated and served, leisurely conversations picking up around the table, Rachel tapped a fork against her tea mug. "Can I get everyone's attention, please?" The chattering stopped. "Just want to announce that we got us a job." Approving murmurs came from some quarters, even among those who wouldn't be paid for it.
"I suppose this isn't a legal job?"
Rachel was ready to strike, but held her tongue when she didn't detect the vitriol that would have accompanied Sir Anderson's question a few months ago. Merely curiosity.
"No." The aristocrat nodded matter-of-factly. "Ain't gonna force anyone to participate, but trust me when I say it'll be worth it."
Mariah took a timid bite, swallowed, then spoke. "Where are we headed?"
"What's on Bellerophon?" Daphne interjected, "Besides, you know, lonely rich men. For whose sake I completely approve of this decision."
Rachel spun the printout of Spencer's data into the middle of the table, giving everyone a good look. "This is the Lassiter. The original laser pistol, one of only two known to still exist.
"We're going to steal it."
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