Sunday, November 11, 2007

A repost of letters between Mal and his Ma after he has been in the Independent training camp for a while.


Dear Mal,

You don't know how much I've missed you these past weeks. It seems like you left Shadow so long ago, yet it's only been four weeks. I can't wait for this war to be over and you're home where you belong.

Wish I could send you a 'wave, but I'm not quite sure exactly where you are on Persephone, or if you could see it anyway. Shadow still has Cortex access but we're expectin' it to be cut off any day. Maybe the Alliance keeps it up to show all us Independents what we're supposedly missing out on. I try not to look at their lies except when I have to see what's goin' on.

Things keep goin' around the ranch. Janey had her foal 'bout two weeks ago. He's a big 'un and them black and white spots on him are sizable and loud enough for a body to see him a mile away. He looks a lot like his grandma, Lucy. His spots look just like a shadow. If he's inherited half her cow sense I'm thinkin' that he'll make a good stud for a cow pony breedin' herd you want to start when you get back. I'll start lookin' for some good mares. Of course, you'll have the last say on 'em.

Gave a milkin' cow to the Grays. It should keep them in milk for a couple of months if they're careful. Mrs. Gray just had another daughter two days ago. That'll make 3 boys and 2 girls and Joshua Gray is out of work again. You know, he works just long enough to pay some bills, then gets a fit of vapors and quits on ya. I don't know how Virginia Gray puts up with him, but she does.

I may end up hirein' him despite my misgivings. Only got 4 hands left, except of course for Chi Linn. The rest went and joined up during the recruitin' drive right after you left. Not sellin' any cattle to the Core and they still need to be looked after so I may sell a few head in New Johnstown just to thin the herd a bit. People need to eat somethin' and it might as well be steak.

The vegetable garden is producin' good. The squas is ready to pick and the corn will be comin' in soon. Needs weedin' mighty bad before harvest.

Thinkin' of that, I know you're gonna drink, especially now that you're grown now. Just don't do anything foolish like you did at the Carter's party. I know you had more whiskey spilled on you than you drank, but a 16 year old shouldn't have been drinkin' what passes for whiskey, much less coming home smellin' of it and getting' sick all over my sofa. I guess weddin' the whole acre was punishment enough. It was the worst I could give you short of a whippn'. Especially since you got too big for me to give you one. I tell you, I almost cried seein' you out there all dirty and sad and mad all at the same time. And missin' the picnic, but you learned your lesson didn't ya? Don't know what they do in the militia but I guess your sergeants come up with somethin' a bit more interesting than weedin' when you need it.

Becky came over yesterday to bring me a fresh berry pie. After a few pleasantries she wouldn't stop talkin' 'bout you. It was Mal this and Mal that for over an hour. Hardly got a word in myself. She wouldn't let me alone until I promised to send her letter to you. You'll find it enclosed.

Mal, that girl wants your ring on her finger as soon as you get back. You better watch yourself or you'll find yourself hauled in front of the Shepherd for marriage vows before you know it. Either willin' or with her daddy's shotgun pointin' at you. Becky's a sweet girl but she's no where near good enough for you. Take some time and have yourself a good look 'round. You'll know it in your soul when you find the woman that you want to settle down with. I've enclosed a few Credits, just in case you need it to get some sundries. I know the militia'll provide most everything, but surely you'll need to pick up a few things. If you need more, just let me know. As long as the Alliance keeps the Cortex goin' I can transfer a bit to you. That is if you're any where near a bank.

Keep yourself safe and I'll be prayin' for you. Do all you can to get the Alliance outta our hair but come back in one piece.

Your Ma.

Dear Ma,

Your letter finally got to me at the Independent training camp. We're somewhere out in the sand, quite a distance from the city. It's just sand and more sand,'cept of course for the camp.

I've never seen anything like this in my life. Militias from all the Independent planets and moons are here. Row after row of tents and lots of people. More than I've ever seen together. The most are from Hera and of course Shadow with quite a few from Persephone and other places that I ain't ever heard of before. There are even a few from the Core planets that don't like what the Alliance is doin.

The Shadow militia has been combined with the Hera militia and they are calling us the 57th Overlanders. I sorta like the name. We even gotta flag with the name on it. Makes us official and all.

They have us goin' from sunup to sundown. Lots of runnin' and drillin' in addition to shootin' and hand to hand fightin.' The only thing I don't like is the drill. I don't understand why we have to march pretty 'round a field to fight the Alliance. It's wasting valuable time and sometimes I can't remember my right from my left foot and I end up goin' in the wrong direction from everybody else. The sergeant put a big red spot on my left hand to remind me which way was which. I gotta say I only needed it for an hour or two 'fore I got my feet untangled. Things went pretty smooth after that.

I'm doin' pretty good at the shootin' but Maise still beat me today, like she does every day. That girl's more than a fair shot. She told me that one of the sergeants talked to her about joinin' a unit of sharpshooters but she doesn't want to leave the rest of us. She's gotta choose by the end of this week.

The food here is lots different from what we have at home. The only hot meal we get is at the end of the day and that's mostly protein mash and a few vegetables if we're lucky. Breakfast and lunch are protein bars with maybe some of what passes for coffee at breakfast. What I wouldn't give for a nice thick steak, some homegrown vegetables out of the garden and a piece of your apple pie. I'd even weed that gorram garden for a month for the chance to eat some Shadow vegetables.

I've been thinkin' on things since I've been here. Before I left all I could think about was marryin' Becky, building a house,and expandin' the ranch. I still want to do all that, but first I gotta get rid of the gorram Alliance. Life's not worth livin' with the Alliance breathin' down our necks and poking their noses in our business.

Rumors goin' 'round is that we get to go into the city itself in a few days so that we can buy some things before we move out, so the credits are more than welcome. A few more though would be more than welcome, just to keep in my pocket.

After that I don't know where I'll be. Hopefully it'll be somewhere where we can kick the Alliance's pi gu all the way back to Londinium. Everyone is getting restless and wants to get this war over with.

I'll write you again when I can.



Sunday, November 11, 2007 3:53 PM


As good as the previous one.


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Quick fic done at the request of a friend as a Christmas present. Enjoy!

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