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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Jayne's pretty little Lucy shows another side.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 917 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
I’m truly grateful for readers’ patience with the endless succession of OCs at the moment, and should probably warn that this chapter doesn’t have any BDHs at all.
Many thanks to Bytemite for sharing Verse expertise on worlds and their location.
It tickled Lucy Lee no end when Harlon Leech parked his fat backside on the very couch where the burly newcomer had had her the night before. Who could say, maybe that was why she’d done it: Leech was disrespectful to her face about her ideas on Warminger’s growth, so she found it particularly delicious to make her feelings towards him known in a way that would never be known to him.
Leech leaned right back on the couch and laid his head perhaps on the very spot where the man’s big, strong hand had been.
“Let’s have it then,” Leech said to Ignatius Pimm, the Development Committee’s secretary.
Pimm began to read from a list, starting with numbers of incomers to Warminger itself, including the last month’s births and deaths, and to the world as a whole.
“You including the people of Pity?” asked Martin Grote, another Committee member.
“Not yet,” said Lucy’s brother, Osborne, in reply. “Hard to see how that’s going to pan out.”
Usually, once they’d revised their figures for the planet’s population, they focused on statistics relating to Warminger’s transit facilities: numbers of freighters making stops and resulting toll revenue, plans for the construction of a new warehouse and repair shop to enable longer stopovers, with some discussion of the shipping and financial regulations being drawn up by the town’s lawyer and banker, also present at the meetings. There was always mention of Meridian, the system’s capital, since it was the ambition of every person in the room to see their own world of Highgate overtake its rival in terms of power and wealth.
Today, however, there was a desire on all sides to stay with the subject of Pity.
“Any sign they want to stay?” Leech asked.
“They got a mine for sure,” said Lee. “Reynolds as good as said so. Least he didn’t deny it. The whole area where Pity was has been toasted. But they’ll want to stay close, on account of the mine.”
Leech scratched his chin. “Makes you wonder what else might be under this planet’s shell. Could be we’re selling the parcels too cheap.”
Warminger had been the first settlement on Highgate and as such technically had title to all the land on the planet. The settlement’s founders, as soon as they were able, had put all their resources into advertising parcels of it on the Cortex. It was in this way that the recent settlement of Pity, and many others before it, had come about.
“Those people are at a low ebb,” Lee went on, without addressing Leech’s comment. “Could be the time to take their land back into the hands of its original owners. Seeing how they’re breaking Mining Consortium regs.”
“Osborne!” said Lucy.
Lee made a ‘you-would-say-that’ face. “Come on Luce. We got the bum-end of an Alliance unit in Olsen’s barn.”
“Doesn’t mean they’ll stand with us,” said Grote.
“Doesn’t mean they won’t. Tell them the mine hasn’t been registered, they’ll be happy to help.”
“What about the others, the Firefly people?” Grote asked.
Lee shrugged. “They were just doing a job here. Got word on Meridian that Highgate’s a place to find work. Pity took them on to move something to a sister settlement they’ve got on Coldstone.”
“They for hire?” Leech asked. “Any redistribution of land’s goin’ on they could be the muscle.”
Lucy felt a deep flush between her legs at the word.
“Reynolds is, um,” Lee sighed, “seems to me he’s something more than a businessman.”
“How so?” asked Leech.
“Was talking to one of the Pity folk. Said Reynolds and his crew were on Miranda, sent out that Wave about the gas.”
Lucy made an effort to conceal her reaction to this news. She enjoyed the feeling of being involved in a great enterprise – of bringing Highgate and its capital to pre-eminence in the Blue Sun system, of playing a tiny part in the building of civilization – and knew that she had to keep attending the meetings of the Committee lest she lose any of the influence she had. But ever since Pimm had played them a recording of the Wave giving an entirely new explanation for the demise of Miranda she had lobbied that Reaver defence be put at the absolute top of any plan for growth. It wasn’t that she hadn’t had concerns before; but something about the woman in the Wave augmented and crystallized them. Probably the way that Reaver had bitten into her face . . . an image she feared she would never forget. Warminger was growing. It was getting bigger and fatter and juicier; transforming itself into a target worthy of Reaver attention.
What was it about the rest of the Committee that they refused to invest further in defence? Supreme confidence – that had always been her brother the Mayor’s greatest strength and biggest failing. And Grote, and Birmingham the lawyer – their reluctance seemed to be fuelled by a lack of imagination, a narrowness of view. With Leech, undoubtedly, it was greed – she saw that in the way he whipped and drove his own enterprises for every last credit. Whatever their reasons, they blocked her at every turn, maintaining that defences and the contingency they’d put aside for emergencies were adequate, that the Wave itself was implausible. And in this opinion, about the Wave, they were not alone. Most people in town, when they talked about it, agreed: that why would the Alliance, and the Blue Sun Corporation do that, after putting so much time and effort and money into populating Miranda? Had to be it was a terraforming failure, made more sense.
Leech laughed, flashed a mocking look at Lucy. “Noticed that, about Reynolds: saw he had a sort of scar, right here” – and he took hold of his jowl, right where the woman in the Wave had been savaged – “looked like, I don’t know, teeth marks, something like that.”
Lucy smiled, said nothing.
“’s not funny,” said Lee mildly – Lucy would kick his ass if she got a whiff of him defending her.
“We should buy the land back from them,” she said, as though Leech had said nothing. “They’ve lost everything. Give them a fair price. That way they get to start up again, here or on Coldstone or both. And we get the mine for Warminger, whatever it turns out to be.”
“Fair price is what they paid for it,” said Grote.
Birmingham the lawyer spoke up. “It’s possible they’ll say the value has appreciated, owing to the discovery of the mine subsequent to purchase.”
“I’m with Lee,” laughed Leech. “Make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.”
“They’ve got kids,” said Lee, glancing at Lucy. “Wasn’t talking about using force, just showing some.”
“I’ll look into the purchase,” said Birmingham. “See if they’ve got grounds for claiming on the mine.”
Lucy nodded; and the meeting moved on to freighters and freight.
Friday, March 19, 2010 4:50 AM
Friday, March 19, 2010 8:08 AM
Friday, March 19, 2010 9:16 AM
Friday, March 19, 2010 12:17 PM
Friday, March 19, 2010 1:58 PM
Saturday, March 20, 2010 11:18 AM
Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:06 PM
Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:09 PM
Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:31 PM
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