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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE
A story of Serenity told from the perspective of a brand new character.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1399 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
I stood outside the rather shiny cathouse, dust swirling around me. I cursed. Meeting the captain of my ride while covered in the loose soil of this lonely shithole was going to ruin the carefully cultivated image that I tried to maintain.
At the time, I was a courier, with a pretty solid reputation to uphold. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Due to what Petaline and the other residents of the Heart of Gold had told me, I had almost expected a ship of shining white with a crew of only the most pure-hearted bastards in the solar system.
As it turned out, the ship was a bit battered and worn. Grey and cold, the bird descended from on high like and aged, but still graceful dancer. She wasn’t in the best of shape, but there was an elegance to her.
“An elegant piece-o-shit.” I thought, and smiled to myself. Serenity, the working girls had called her, as if it was the name of God. Or his wife. Their opinion of most regular, straight men wasn’t something that ought to be repeated in front of children, and considering their experiences, I could hardly blame them.
Their more than slightly glowing recommendation of Serenity and her crew was enough for me. The girls (and guys) had played fair in our one small business dealing, and they didn’t seem like the type to bother lying about much of anything, if they didn’t have to.
As the transport touched dirt, I began walking toward the door of the cargo bay. The ramp lowered slowly, revealing a man who I guessed to be in his thirties. Short brown hair, Caucasian, thumbs hooked on his suspenders where they met his jeans. He practically screamed salt of the gorram Earth-that-was.
Beside, and little bit behind him was a tall-ish woman of African descent. She was, in a word, fierce. I made a mental note to avoid crossing her.
On the captain’s other side, and I was pretty sure that the man in front was indeed the captain, was a tall man with a beard, and a gun so huge that I instantly labeled it “The Compensator”. He also looked fierce.
Or rather, he tried very hard to look fierce. A stretched and worn orange hat that looked like it had been knitted at home by some relative of his ruined the effect. For all intents and purposes, he looked like the kind of stupid hired muscle that every good transport ship needs.
I chuckled mentally, I was gonna have so much fun with him. My mouth will get me killed one day.
The captains eyes were intelligent, though, and so were those of his female companion. If the descriptions I had gotten were correct, these would be Malcolm Reynolds, Zoe Washburne, and Jayne Cobb, respectively.
I hauled my small bag of belongings along with me, and placed it down in front of me as I sized up the three people in front of me. They did the same, staring openly, making assessments and assumptions, which were probably only half-right.
I let my voice slip into a slight border-world accent. It’s not where I’m from, but I’ve picked up the habit of adopting the speech patterns of the people around me. It has served me well time and again.
“You’d be Captain Reynolds, I presume.”
He nodded. “And you’d be the kid who needs a ride.”
I took no offense at his description of me. I’m twenty-one years old, and even though I look a bit older, this man was clearly at least a decade my senior, and I’d been told he was a veteran of the war. I figure that when you’ve fought a war, you have the right to call pretty much everyone who hasn’t a “kid”. Especially if you were on the side that lost.
“That’d be me.” I said.
Zoe asked, “We’re told you wanna go to Blackwater? Why in the hell would you wanna go to the ass end of this solar system?”
I grinned. “Not for the scenery. I got a delivery to make.”
Cobb snorted, “Ain’t drugs is it? ‘Cause while I personally don’t care...”
“Bi zui.” Interrupted the captain. “I’ll ask the questions. It ain’t drugs is it? ‘Cause while Jayne personally don’t care, I kind of do.”
I was getting really, really tired of having dust blowing into my mouth every time I tried to talk, so I said, “’T ain’t nothin’ that’ll get you tried and hung by your balls. Do you mind if we talk inside, though? It’s gettin’ damned dry out here.”
The captain jerked his head towards the interior of the cargo bay. We walked inside a ways, and Jayne pulled some loose crates into position so we could all sit down.
As I’d expected, he lined up three side by side, and put one in front of them, so from where I was sitting, it would be almost as though I faced a panel of judges. I sighed mentally. Scare tactics were the same everywhere.
I’ve found that it’s more effective to crowd the personal space of the person you want to question. They’ll almost always inadvertently let things slip in their attempts to make you go away.
We all sat down, and the captain finally asked, “So just what is it you’re carryin’?”
I just shrugged. “Like I said, it’s nothin’ the law’ll want you for. I’m just not sure I should tell you.”
He raised an eyebrow, and I continued. “Nothin’ personal. It’s just that while The girls and guys down at the Heart of Gold give you nothin’ but the highest recommendations, I’ve heard that you’ve also done some acquisitions jobs.
Mal just cocked his head to the side, not admitting to anything. Smart. For all he knew, I could have been a cop.
I went on. “Well, your reputation is that when you commit to getting a job done, you get it done, even if you did pull a fast one on Niska.”
All at once, all of their faces darkened. Zoe said, “You’d best get to the point kid, and maybe tell us how you know so much.”
I smiled easily and shrugged. “I ain’t heard much, just some stories, you know how spacers are when you get them drunk. I did a little research in the local spacer bar is all.”
All of this was true, and my audience seemed to believe me. They relaxed their postures and Mal motioned for me to continue.
“Well, you know that local asshole that Petaline shot in the head? Turns out he actually had a son before, another illegitimate one. It took the lawyers a couple of years to track him down, but they did. He’s a small-time landowner on Blackwater. I’ve been paid a considerable chunk of money to deliver a part of his inheritance, and to tell him where to get the rest. I’ve also been given another considerable chunk of shiny cash for expenses. That can be yours if you want it.”
Looks ranging from amusement to mild surprise showed on the faces of the three spacers in front of me. When Mal recovered his composure, he asked, “And this inheritance that you’re carrying with you?”
I responded, “Valuable jewelry-ish things and other trinkets. I don’t have’em here with me, obviously, they’re locked up in town.”
Mal nodded. “I can see why you didn’ wanna tell us the details until you’d met us. We gotta go near Blackwater in any case. We’ll take the job. We’ll drop you off on Blackwater, go take care of our business on Whitefall, come back and pick you up. How’s that sound?”
I noticed that the expression on Zoe’s face was that of worry, while Jayne grinned maliciously, and that was all due to the mention of Whitefall. it wasn’t my business, though. I shook the Captain’s hand, and that was that, except for one thing.
Before I left, the captain asked, “I know I heard your name when Petaline contacted us, but what was it again?”
“Ezekiel Greyman.” I said as I turned and left.
Sunday, April 24, 2011 9:38 AM
Sunday, April 24, 2011 11:22 PM
Monday, April 25, 2011 1:22 AM
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