That Frida, she had some good grub at the Noble Grape, but boy was she a mean one! Can’t say that she hires for niceness neither. There was this one old gal who kept yelling in my ear. I ain’t that deaf!
But Frida, not much gets past her ear — even when she ain’t in the room — which is a 9 days wonder to me and so she had our number pretty quick.
When that agent feller showed up at Miss V’s room the night we found the diamonds, I thought we were treed like a raccoon.
Later Prudence got collared by Frida, right at closing time (I could hear that Camptown Races song banging out on the piano). She shook her down something fierce and we lost a mite of money buying Frida’s silence. We did get some intelligence from her, as they say in the vids. The Tong are real interested in that wine we got on board and in Frida’s “honest” opinion, the Alliance beat the Tong any day. Hmmmm, don’t know that I agree, but to each his own. She’s got to sleep with them that brung her, as my Ma used to say.
Frida sold us some disguises which was real kind and only cost us probably triple the goin’ rate.They looked real, of course, and helped us sneak away to D-VA whilst giving the Tong the slip.
Well, after the Alliance got their claws into us, but as I say, only a little ’cause Prudence bluffed ’em into thinking we found one cache of diamonds, we left Greenleaf. In the Black everything was dandy, until — you guessed it — old Agent Sanders showed up again.
Miss V fed him some of her famous grub and he was smiling like a picture. She is a real good cook. I’d like her to learn me some of the recipes. The cold potato and protein powder soup is delicious. He had some rigmarole about invites and transmitters and the like. I got a look at the brooch that he gave to Miss V. Bah, a kiddygarten coulda slapped that together. I thought those Alliance folk held all the cards. Lordy me.
We had a spot of trouble when some old pirate tried to head us off course. That Maggie, I’ll give her this: she is a helluva pilot. We barely lost anytime at all from the evasive maneuvers. And the old gal (D-VA) showed her stuff and gave Maggie everything she needed and then some.
Night before we was to land, I just couldn’t sleep. I took a chance and knocked on Miss V’s door. She was sound asleep and I know she likes her beauty rest, but I was worried about how the planet fall and the gala would go. Not long after, other showed up and we had us a regular confab.
Miss V showed her stuff in that impromptu meeting. We was bouncing around about the diamonds. Do we come clean with ol’ Agent Sanders? Do we try to warn the Baron and make us a new friend? Do we keep ’em all for ourselves? If we do keep ’em, where’s safe, right? Miss V got a glint in her eye and went off to make a call. She came back a few minutes later. “I called in a favor from a friend. We have a lakeside cabin on Osiris for the next two weeks. We take the diamonds and we plop them into ice cube trays and freeze them. Then (she stopped and scanned the table) Roark — you and Swei can take the ice to the cabin and meet us at the Gala.”
When we made planet fall, we helped the gals load up the mule with the wine.
The Doc was in her nicest clothes and she was real careful to not get it mussed. “Swei, where’s your dress?” Prudence looked at me funny. “I got it here.” I jerked my thumb at my backpack. “I’ll change at the Gala.” Prudence walked over and straightened Roark’s tie. “You look nice, Roark.” She patted his chest. “Very…. handsome in that suit.” Then she got in back with the Doc.
We were a few minutes late in delivering the wine and later Prudence told me that they had to go ’round front and get someone to open the dock doors for them. No one offered to help, so Pru loaded up the handtrucks herself and went up that freight elevator. What a gal, huh?
….. to be continued.
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