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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Needy is a male companion working at the companion house at Kara, Londinium. When his beloved Frankie mysteriously disappears, Needy takes it upon himself to track her down. But in getting involved, he may be putting his own life in danger.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 928 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Needy's Destiny II: The Legend of Fox Cipher
Chapter 1: Passengers
19. 12. 22.
Three numbers sat placed on the shoulder of a passenger. Three numbers that ruled her life, determined what kind of path she would walk – three numbers that gave her purpose. For years she had dedicated her life to a mission, living not to please herself, but to serve an agenda. To serve an organisation. To serve the greater good.
There was no greater meaning for her than this, to simply do what others could not. Complete the mission. Destroy the enemy. Restore order.
The woman, whose worn and dusty brown trousers, plain grey tank top and lightweight sand-coloured jacket enabled her to blend in with the other passengers, sat still and quiet during the entire duration of the journey – all three hour and twenty one minutes of it. She didn’t stand up and take a walk in the aisle of the train car in order to stretch her legs. At no point did she swivel her body round to the side in order to gain extra leg room in the cramped and sweaty space of this public transport vessel. In fact, not once during the two hundred and one minutes, despite being surrounded by an endless barrage of coughs, cries and general noisy disruptions, did she so much as flinch from her position in the seat.
Instead, she was still, she was focussed, and she seemed to be taken a great interest in the eighteen year old man that sat across the aisle four rows in front.
The train station was bustling with activity. Staring out the window as the train started to come to a halt, I started to feel uneasy about joining the crowd outside.
With vagrants begging for money from passersby; children crying over being shouted at by their frustrated parents; and the various train departures being announced over the Comm system, it was a wonder one out there could hear themselves think.
But stations like the one in Tamsborough were hardly places of refuge for thinkers.
The station was small and only served as a point of transit – for loved ones to say their goodbyes, and for new citizens to be welcomed to their new home
The only welcome I got arriving at Tamsborough was from what smelt like the combined stench of vomit and urine coming through the open window.
Londinium may be known as one of the most desirable of the core planets to live on, but what the holiday brochure fails to mention is what life is like a few thousand miles away from the main city.
I’ll admit I grew up in a poor district but, compared to Tamsborough, “The Dirts” were a considerable improvement
This was where people fortunate enough to be born on this central planet, but unfortunate enough to have no money, or perhaps a deforming disability, were shipped off to. It was far more convenient and cost-effective for The Trust - The Alliance’s community organisation - to pack people into train-cars and forcibly relocate them to a mangy dilapidated district, than it was to ship them to one of the outer planets where they might, god-forbid, actually bring reproach on the good name of Londinium.
Nobody would move here by choice. They’d have to be insane - which made the fact that the station was so busy that much more surprising.
A businessman wearing a finely pressed grey suit moved quickly through, as if in stopping for a millisecond he would contract one of the four major viruses rumoured to be circulating amongst the townsfolk
The businessman’s hands were wrapped tightly around his briefcase, one clutching the handle, the other cradling it close to his chest. Not that it mattered, nobody would even think about stealing his case. Whatever it contained could hardly have been important. Even if there were important business matters needing to be attended to here; important businessmen with important files in important cases… do not travel on public transportation.
As for me, I wasn’t there on business. But I wasn’t there for pleasure either (assuming that there was any sort of “pleasure” to be had out there). I was there for one reason and one reason alone - I was searching for a woman that had walked away from Kara a long time ago.
Samaire Huizhong was held in high regard at Crescendo, she’d trained hundreds of companions-to-be during her time there, provided them with personal advice in times of need and, during the Battle for Pamuya, actually personally joined the fight to defend the city. Frankie was only twelve when Samaire retired and moved away to live out the rest of her life, but the wise counsel she’d been given continued to define the character of the woman I loved.
Samaire, it seems, was loved by everyone, but she never returned to Crescendo. I had never met her, nor even seen images of what she looked like. Nevertheless I knew her name. Occasionally it had been mentioned in chatter - she was referred to as being wise, beautiful and painfully missed - but other than that, she wasn’t really talked about. Nobody talked about having seen her recently nor presumably kept in contact with her. It was as if for all intents and purposes she was dead.
The thought that Frankie would be viewed in a similar fashion in the years to come pained me to my very core.
Samaire wasn’t dead. But, for some bizarre reason, she had chosen to relocate and set up home in a small house on the outskirts of Tamsborough. Nobody knew why. Or if they did, they never said.
I probably wouldn’t have even thought about Madame Huizhong, had it not been for something Frankie had said a year or two before. That, even after all these years, she said she would always remember her. That if she was ever in trouble, not meaning any offense to me, Samaire was the one she could depend on for anything. And she stressed that. Anything.
I didn’t know if Frankie had gotten herself in trouble. Maybe the altercation she had had with Maxwell Laurel had something to do with it, maybe not. But I had to know.
I couldn’t exactly go to a well-protected politician and expect him to spill whatever issue he had with Frankie to me.
But Samaire? I could find her, talk to her. Maybe she knew something I didn’t. Maybe she’d have some inkling as to what Frankie would do, where she might go if she was ever in trouble. Samaire was my only lead. I just prayed finding her would lead me to Frankie.
Tamsborough Station and finally the young man has made a move from his seat and is making his way towards the opening doors of the car - joining the queue of people that had gathered.
Inconspicuously keeping him in her line of sight without actually staring at him, the interested passenger stood up and made her way to the back of the queue, mere inches away from the male companion.
“You’re a long way from home Mr Needham” the passenger thought to herself as she prepared to step foot on the dirty pavement of Tamsborough Station.
She had entered many sleazy establishments in her time, had witnessed the finest selection in sins man had to offer his fellow, but never had she felt such repulsion as she had upon entering Tamsborough. She had heard a great deal about this town long before joining the organisation, unfortunately much of the hearsay was actually true. It left a bitter taste in her mouth.
If there was ever any doubt over whether mankind was indeed a plague in God’s universe, then this was the place to come to be convinced. Its occupants were a sin unto themselves for their abhorrent detestable morals but they also served to expose the sins of those responsible for their placement there.
After all, Tamsborough was the rug beneath which The Alliance swept all its dirt.
It was quite fitting that this so-called infallible government had been founded upon the union of the two leading world powers, because it was, when it came down to it, a beast with two faces. The face it kept in the public eye appeared peaceful and caring, putting the needs of others ahead of its own, protecting those incapable of protecting themselves. But its second face was something other, something sinister – a wild predator, killing anything that stood in its way or anybody that dared stand up to it.
The Alliance was made up of imperfect men who, like their amalgamated form, also had two faces. One for the public and one for their enemies. These men turned up for work with a smile on their face and a shiny new suit for each day of the week.
But whilst they promoted their fine altruistic aims to the people, their white suits, if examined, could be seen as stained red with blood.
They were more guilty than the degenerates that had made Tamsborough their home.
But in time these ones would be taken down.
This was what the passenger fought for. This was also her group’s primary concern.
The Expendables, as they had become known, were quickly becoming a formidable foe of the Alliance, threatening to shake the very ground they walked on.
Only now, this passenger had other concerns, other objectives. The young male companion she trailed so assuredly had voluntarily chosen to get involved in politics that didn’t concern him. Devotion to a friend or not, he was putting himself in unnecessary danger. And for what? For love? It was an admirable sight to see, The Passenger had to concede, but it was foolish nevertheless.
Francesca Lhong had chosen her fate, for her friend to choose the same out of a misplaced sense of loyalty would be tragic. But if that is his choice, then she cannot stop him. He will just have to face the consequences.
As for her own fate, The Passenger’s, well that had been sealed long ago.
19. 12. 22.
Her time was running out. Sadly, she began to feel that she might not get to experience for herself the better world The Expendables were creating.
Saturday, March 01, 2008 1:18 AM
Saturday, March 01, 2008 12:06 PM
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