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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Wash's first glimpse of Zoe. He likes what he sees, she--not so much.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1494 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
No beta so the faults are all mine.
tian huo lun [sweet cargo ship]
Wash plodded though the hard packed dirt towards the drydock at the edge of the ship yard. He had been on Persephone only a couple of days when he had run into Mike Tanaka at the hiring hall. Mike was looking fit; hardly know he was just out of an Alliance POW camp. They had lost touch in the early years of the war.
When he couldn’t make a living as a free trader, Mike had enlisted with the Independents. Wash was in a protected profession and as apolitical as a cat. He’d just wanted to fly and that’s what he’d done. Flown food and medical supplies all over the ‘verse, it seemed. Wash had met the older man right out of flight school when he’d taken a berth with Tanaka. Wash had learned a lot from him, not the least of which had been the fine art of avoiding excise officers and customs inspections.
“Wash Washburn, what are you doing here in the wilds of the hinterland? Last I heard you were co-pilot on the Sihnon Dream. What happened, seduce the captain’s daughter?” Mike asked with a knowing leer.
“Mike! You wrong me! I would not look at the captain’s daughter. Well I might if she wasn’t the spitting image of the captain. Well even then, if she wasn’t 9 years old,” he said with a good natured grin. “Nah, I just got tired of worshipping at the altar of some automated console on the run from Osiris to Sihnon. I didn’t go to flight school to be handmaid to a computer. Looking for a bit livelier gig.”
Mike looked thoughtful.
“I put out some feelers ‘while back. Got a wave couple of weeks ago, fella’ name of Renshaw might have a job for me. Figured ‘What the hell’. I’m a half-way decent pilot, if he don’t work out, I’ll find something.”
“You committed to Renshaw, yet?”
“Hell, no. I ain’t committing to anything until I see the boat.” He smiled meaningfully at the older man.
Mike grinned in return. Wash was a real stick-man. For him the joy of flying was in knowing the ship was a physical extension of himself. Oh, he could do the math. No point in having a pilot on the Border who couldn’t, but he wanted to feel a boat, couldn’t do that on no luxury liner on a resort run. ‘Yeah, Wash just might do,’ he thought, ‘no harm in trying.’
“I know a fella, just bought himself a Firefly, tian huo lun. He ain’t born to it, used to be a sergeant with the Browncoats, raised on a ranch before that. Met him in the camp. He and his partner are putting together a crew.”
Wash cocked he head and looked at Mike before asking, “Is there something you are trying to tell me here?”
Mike grinned. “I know both men. Renshaw’s ship is spaceworthy, he’s got a crew if you could call it that. Mal--Malcolm Reynolds is the other fella’s name--his boat, Serenity’s still in drydock-- could get in on the ground, so to speak. Go look at both ships. I know which crew I’d rather sign with. Make up your own mind.”
So they’d had a drink and caught up on the past seven or eight years and Wash had promised to check out Malcolm Reynolds and Serenity
Wash strolled up, banging a wrench against the hatch to get somebody's attention. When she popped the airlock hatch, shotgun cradled in her arm and revolver on her hip, he had given her a wide, open, and frankly admiring grin. He had to say he liked what he saw. It was pretty obvious that she couldn't say the same. He had on an orange flight suit, with the loudest shirt he could findon top of it. She made a face like it nearly crossed her eyes just to look at him. So he leaned casually against Serenity with his arms crossed and one ankle resting on the other, like a man with nothing to do and all the time in the world not to do it in.
"Hi--Mike Tanaka says you folks might be needin' a pilot? Name's Wash—Wash Washburn--and I'm lookin' for a berth." He smiled as he said it, and that seemed to bother her too.
"Captain Reynolds' expected back anytime. He says the yay or nay.” She’d taken her time looking him up and down appraisingly. “Guess you can come in to wait, but I’ll have to search you." She said it so briskly it bordered on rude, pehaps in the vague hope that this xiao chou would get insulted and walk away. But all he did was push off from the bulkhead, plant his feet the regulation shoulder width apart, hold his arms out from his sides, and grin an invitation. He made it pretty apparent he'd been through the drill before. She was rough enough to let him know she had too.
When she stepped back after it was over, he grinned unrepentantly, enjoying the experience. No, she didn't seem to like him.
She had led him to the galley and offered him a cup of the morning coffee, stewed by now after being on the hob so long. Apparently she didn’t want to let him out of her sight so, she poured herself one as well.
“How do you know Mike Tanaka?” she asked as a neutrally as she could bring herself, which was not very.
“Shipped with him out of flight school, before the war.” He said cheerfully, ignoring her tone.
“So, didn’t fight in the war yourself, then?”
Grinning even wider at the question, “Nope, didn’t see it as my fight one way or the other. Suppose that’s gonna be a problem, do you?”
“Not for me to say. Should know, Captain did see it as his fight. Might color his thinking.”
“I expect it colors yours as well.” He had said it without any defensiveness, just in recognition of the likely state of affairs.
Before she could decide what the answer to his question would be, they heard Mal shouting from the cargo bay.
“Zoe, . . where are you, woman? I just ran into Tanaka, the Katana Maru’s in port. Zoe?” as he took the ladder to the galley two steps at time. "Zoe . . ." he was still hollering as he came into the mess and pulled up short at the sight of her having coffee with the pilot.
“You must be the pilot Tanaka sent our way? I’m Malcolm Reynolds, master of Serenity—I see you already met my first mate, Zoe.”
“Zoe is it? She didn’t seem to think I’d be staying long enough to need her name."
Monday, March 20, 2006 9:45 AM
Monday, March 20, 2006 1:14 PM
Sunday, May 28, 2006 5:25 AM
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 5:51 PM
Sunday, April 18, 2010 8:24 AM
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