An Altered Perception - Chapter 7
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A spot of shopping and an invitation. (sorry for the huge delay, i had serenity on the mind and real life in the way)


Chapter 7

Mal and Juliet wander through the Eavesdown Docks stalls, occasionally picking something up and considering it, sometimes handing over credits, sometimes simply pocketing it. Generally it depended on the quality of service. "Hey, Mal," Juliet calls from one stall as he frowns over an odd looking two foot replica of an alliance cruiser. "HEY! MAL!" "Wha- oh, sorry, what?" He wanders over to where she's standing. "Now you're listening." "Well, they got the proportions on that thing all wrong. Guns are too small. Ain't nobody could beat me with puny li'l guns that size." "Ok, no, you're not listening." "Were way bigger'n that when I saw 'em last. Crap model that is." "Mal, who cares?" "Huh?" "Anyway. AS I was going to say, I think Kaylee would like that." She points to a sparkly pink box with a red bow on top. "Might even buy you a forgiveness, you present it nice enough." "What she gonna want with some crappy pink box?" "Not the gorram box, you numbskull." She rolls her eyes in frustration. "What's in the box." "Why, what wonder would that be? As there doesn't seem to be a sign for numbskulls anywhere, maybe you can use your great powers of perception and tell me." Juliet points to the large sign above the box. Mal looks stonily unamused. "Grown on the wonderful and bountiful plantations of Beaumonte, real, unprocessed, juicy, ripe, genuine strawberries! Over sellin' it a tad, ain't they?" He grins at her. “Yeah, she’d love that.” He pays for the box after haggling the seller down to about half his asking price. He may have a boatload of hard cash in his pocket, but that was no excuse to start throwing it all away. That kind of activity attracted unwanted attention. Plus, he wanted to be rich and prosperous for a little longer. It felt good. They make their way further on, reaching the heavier goods stalls. Mal looks around for a replacement for the mule. Kaylee’d been trying to repair the old one in her spare time, but he’d now pretty much be content with selling it for spare parts, or if that didn’t work, simply blowing it out the airlock had it’s advantages too. Finally, after much deliberation, and quite a number of rejections based on Juliet knowing exactly what the sellers were thinking, he found the perfect vehicle. It was about third hand, and had a beat up appearance, but that could be an advantage as it was less likely to get stolen. The yellow four-seater was much faster than the mule, could carry more and could be taken over rougher ground, considering it was a hover-speeder. He’d always wanted one. Juliet had one deliberation. “Where’s it gonna go?” “I dunno, we’ll hang from the roof or summat. Don’t much care right now, ‘specially since we’ve been round ‘bout eleven hundred stalls today and this is the best thing we’ve found. Ok?” “We have been round fifty five heavy goods stalls counting this one.” “I hate it when you go all genius on me.” “Why, does it make you feel inferior?” “No, just stupid.” “Same difference, really.” “Yeah, well…” Mal gets stuck for words, to his own severe irritation.


They arrive back on Serenity in style, driving into the cargo bay in the new hover-speeder. Zoë greets them as they jump down, mouth hanging open. “Well, you kids obviously decided walking was beneath you. Where’d ya find this pile of parts?” Mal grins at her. “Like it? Thought we could use a replacement for the old one. Although, one tip - NEVER go shopping with a psychic. Take you months.” Wash wanders in, stopping to gape at the vehicle. “You got a speeder?! You got a speeder and I can’t even buy my wife a slinky dress?! There’s somethin’ to be said for unfairness here, definitely.” Juliet starts, remembering something. She pulls her bag off her shoulder and begins rummaging in it, finally withdrawing a folded square of white cloth. She hands it to Zoë, who lets it fall open in her hands and holds it up. Wash’s eyes seem to almost pop out of his head. It’s a slinky dress. A very slinky dress. Exactly Zoë’s size. “Oh my…” Zoë breathes, holding it against herself. “Oh, oh, my…” Juliet is beaming, watching Zoë’s reaction. “Wondered if you might like it.” She glances up at the thunk of Inara’s shuttle docking. “And you may just get to use it, too.” “Huh?” “Goin’ to a party!” River’s excited voice fills the bay as she bounds through, eyes wide, smile beaming. “What?” says the captain, looking mightily distressed at his lack of information on the subject. “What is goin’ on?” Inara steps out of her shuttle and everyone turns to stare at her. She smiles gracefully. “Oh, what’s the new speeder?” “Yeah, yeah, sure, I got a gorram speeder. Now what’s the party?” “What?!” Inara looks rather surprised. “How did you find out about that?” “Never mind that, what is it?” “Well…” Still looking slightly freaked, she descends the stairs. “Petalein from the Heart of Gold waived me; they’re holding a party to celebrate the opening of the new local hospital and they want us to come.” “What hospital?” Zoë asks, slowly folding up her dress. “They built a hospital with Rance Burgess’s money. And they’ve plans to build a school too.” “Wow. That’s good.” She hugs the neatly folded material to her chest somewhat possessively. “And us petty thieves are invited then, eh?” Mal claps a hand on Wash’s shoulder. “Set a course then, I ain’t been to a shindig since I ended up in a gorram duel. Be fun.” Inara shakes her head at him and turns back into her shuttle. Wash goes up to the bridge to set the course, with Zoë following. Mal and Juliet stand in the now deserted cargo bay. “Well. Can’t say I expected that.” Juliet sighs, beginning to remove purchases from a multitude of places about her person. “And I don’t even have something to wear.”


Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:02 AM


nice... where'd you get the party idea, hmm? oh, and if jayne meets his old whore-friend, don't bother, honey

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:07 AM


And now for the party! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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An Altered Perception - Chapter 7
A spot of shopping and an invitation. (sorry for the huge delay, i had serenity on the mind and real life in the way)