The Scent That Attracts Birds Part 1
Friday, October 30, 2009

A little story taking place between " The Train Job" and " War Stories" think it will be 3 or 4 chapters long and as always of the things that I write I hope to involve and engage the reader into the question of what they feel is happening and what will happen next. If you have an idea of what you think is going on in this story and where it’s headed I have no problem with you posting what you think. I had a lot of fun with Bytemite and my previous story “To Quote Inara” . He was able to figure out the direction I was going before hand and I tip my hat to you Byte. So without more delay…..on to TSTAB part 1 As always, characters and the Firefly verse are the creations of the very talented Joss Whedon and the great folks that helped him make the Firefly universe the best Si/Fi entertainment the world has known. Thank you Joss Z


The Scent That Attracts Birds

Part 1

“ Look there boys, see that?”

The older man pointed into the air and squawked as he trudged his way along the rugged landscape. The two young boys (ages 13 and 15 following behind him at a distance) looked up into the noon-day sky.

“ Those are buzzards! They ain’t birds of prey. There’s an old saying on this planet……..follow “ the scent that attracts birds” and you’ll find what you’re looking for.”

They were out to find a hog that the old man had shot with his bow and arrows two hours earlier. The injured beast had ran off but it was only a matter of time before blood lose and it’s lifes energy seeped onto the ground and the trackers would be able to find it. The birds were a good indicator of where it might be found.

This old saying wasn’t unique to Boros… sir, it was a phrase used widely across the rim worlds and it usually meant that if you follow the buzzards, vultures or scavengers that you’d most likely find the animal you were hunting. This phrase was used mostly on the ranch planets. The folk that cultivated a living out of sheep, cattle, pigs, horses, goats and buffalo, or any other critters that were groomed in that fashion. Ranchers who’d lost cattle in storms, floods or most any natural disaster could usually find their livestock if they followed the scavengers.

Funny thing, it was often used by bounty hunters and reward hunters too when tracking men.

Ironic how a phrase that was used for one purpose translated so well into another.


17 years later

The big fellow sat across the desk from the old man, each eyeballing the other, searching for that clue that would give him an advantage to the understanding of who the other party really was. That first encounter probed for weaknesses and strengths. They were both good though. Not much to gain by just looking at the one sitting across a tranquil table surface. Neither man gave much ground as to the weight of his true self or the darkness of his tortured soul. A trait acquired through many such encounters and years of experience.

“ So my good man,” The older man began speaking with an obviously regional dialect, he stopped a second, “ Your name please….”

“ No names.” The other spoke sharply.

“ I see, Ok to continue……..Dominic here.” The older fellow pointed to a bodyguard standing close behind him, “……brings you to me and tells me you requested an audience which will enlighten me and help me to recover funds that may have become delinquent in payment?” The old man stopped a moment. “ So my friend it is up to you to inform me of your activities on the subject and how you can prove me this to be so? You can begin explaining at any time and…………it might work out better for you if you did.”

“Well Mr……..ONE, I would like to begin by telling you that I am a man of few words,” He paused a second, “ …..and I’m here seeking employment.” He looked at the bodyguard,” I prefer that my deeds talk for themselves to explain who I am. So with that stated, if there is anyone that you feel needs attention to make good on his payment, just let me know and I’ll get it for you. A gesture of good faith on my part. Afterwards if you feel that I can be trusted, and I can of you, then maybe other endeavors might be perused.”

Mr. One looked at the fellow sitting before him a while. He was satisfied with the answer. There was something about him that seemed familiar. What it was he wasn’t sure. In a short while his mind made up Mr. One spoke aloud his decision.

“Ok, Dominic bring me the files, I through N.”

In a matter of a moment or two a couple of small boxes were brought and set on the table before the younger and older individuals.

The older fellow turned the boxes so that they faced the younger.

“ Ok, an opportunity has come to your advantage Mr………..Mr. U. Best make an impression of it.”

U opened the tops to the boxes. Inside were contained a file card lists. Looked to be some sort of catalog of names. A catalog of names that owed Mr. One a debt. Either money, substance of acquired wealth or maybe even ……their life. The cards were tabbed with a small color code on top. Green, Yellow and pink. It became clear to U as he read through them that the yellow tabs were of more importance and held the bigger valve. He pulled one of the yellow cards at random.

Ian Suitor Perspective the name read on the card. He handed it to Mr. One.

“ Excellent!” The older man said. “ This individual owes me 50 credits. A fine choice indeed. Collect this debt Mr. U and I think I may have a job for you.”

“Agreed Mr. One.” The cavern of a man stood and extended his arm for a handshake of agreement.

Mr. One took his hand. The contract was set. Mr. U was well aware of those folk who broke their contracts with Mr. One. His plans were to, by all means honor the contract.

Mr. U turner to exit the office of the person he’d just acquired an employment opportunity from. He was about to walk out of the door when…….

“ Oh……Mr. U! The debt collected from Mr. ISP can be in a number of forms and I will be happy with any one of them. Cash payment, or item of equal or more value and/or last but not necessarily the least his life.”

Mr. U nodded that he understood.

“ One last thing. Can you give me something so that I may understand the temperament of individual that I just hired to do a job for me?”

“ There’s an old saying Mr. One, “The Scent that Attracts Birds”. My father used to say that phrase often to me back in the day. Here was a man that abused me, my mother and my brother for years. He seemed to take pleasure in the beatings we received. That was the last phrase I remember him saying before the day that I killed him. Now I apply that phrase to things with a different meaning.” That was all U said as he exited.

Mr. One had heard the phrase. He didn’t understand Mr. U‘s last statement but in time, if the arrangement worked out he thought he would learn. He smiled, he might could use this fellow.

End part 1


Friday, October 30, 2009 5:17 PM


Got nothin' yet. Darkness of souls and an older gentleman... But I don't get a Niska vibe here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009 4:25 AM


Byte, as is said in Easter Egg hunting…….”You’re Lukewarm!”




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