If there’s one thing I love ’bout Fireflys, it’s that the engine room sits all the way back. No one comes here unlessen they have somethin to say special. It’s not that I’m a hermit or nuthin. I just like the quiet. It is a change and no mistake from the life of a miner. Mining is, well, it ain’t fun. And it don’t pay much, at least not after the bombing. Verbena was a nice place. All lush and green and the like. Not like most places, them that’s all the shades of brown.
I miss the green sometimes. And hearing the rain drip from the leaves in the Wet season. But I ain’t on Verbena no more and thank the heavens for that! Being from Verbena is nice. From being the key in that sentence. Don’t get me started about the Cheong Bao Ho Tze Alliance and the mess they made of my home planet. I didn’t let Miss Von Schindler finish asking me to come on as mechanic ‘fore I said Yes indeedy!
I was tinkerin with my toolkit when I heard the ‘com. “Swei, do you have a moment? I wish to speak.” Miss V is always real polite that way. I made my way up to the front hall. The doc was there, Maggie, the pilot and Roark the hired man.
“An old friend has asked that we look in at The Ace in the Hole. A friend of his is trucking with the wrong sort and we can perhaps help her out.” Roark started to speak, and Miss V held up her hand. “It’s worth a little money to us and I can make some contacts within the mining community there. We can do some good for the people. I already said yes. So Maggie, get us there.
“Everyone else, here’s what we know. Her name is Prudence and she’s an advocate for the mining union, but she just quit her job and she’s fallen in with a rough crowd. She’s got a rendezvous tonight at the Ace and we need to be there.” She passed around her databook.
“This Ace in the Hole. They serve liquor?” I was glad that Roark asked because the look he got from the doc was priceless. She crossed her arms and said, “Let me think. Rim planet. Mining community. A place called The Ace in the Hole… Hmmm, seems likely that they will serve liquor, Roark.”
“And um, Miss V, when’s my payday? I’d sure like a little flash for the evening.”
“Please, I have told you not to call me that, Swei. You can call me Brigid. We don’t stand on ceremony here.” She shook her head. “No frivolity tonight. I will make sure that we blend in at the tavern but we are working, so there will be no flash. Are we clear?”
Silence and a gloom descended on the room.
to be continued…………
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