Adventures in the ‘Verse – Through the Looking Glass 1.38

jack_av“So…this is what I need you to do. All the parts we could use, you need to tell me what’s good about them, what’s bad, good prices, and bad prices. I gotta know what we’re working with,” Mason said to Jackson as they walked. This was just like the last time he was here before hoping on the Repose. Maybe with some luck they’d run into someone he knew.

Jackson nodded “I think I can handle that. I think the only part we are going to have to get new is the compression coil. We don’t want a repeat performance of our landing earlier.”

Mason agreed, “Anyway you could call up the Captain and find out if anything else got damaged along the way? If we’re lucky maybe I can get a few names on some good lodging on this rock.”

“Spend some time on Regina before?” Jackson said as he squinted his eyes against the sun while surveying parts.

“No. Before the Repose I spent a good year on Persephone…gets kinda hazy the further back you go. A conversation kept in doors at a later time,” Duke said looking over the parts trying to act like he knew what he was doing, but deep down was completely clueless.

“Can I help you boys? cried out a man from behind the two of them. Readying his rifle behind them showing he wasn’t playing around.

Standing completely straight Mason made no sudden movements other than a smile, “That’s military issue. Civilians aren’t supposed to have those. And taking a guess, I’d say you’ve fired off a few rounds and have plenty of ammo. Enough to keep you worry free about the occasional miss.” Slowly turning around so the junkyard owner can get a good look at him.

Hearing a stranger talk about the type of gun you owned before they even got a look at it can send shivers down anyone’s spine, especially when they know the gun is not exactly illegal due to Alliance enforced rules. Especially when this stranger has made it known to have ties to the old homestead that’s angry with you over private matters. William Sellick was no exception to the fear and shivers, and then calm surged through his body as he saw a very familiar face with a different voice stare at him. “GORRAM IT KAYIN! NEARLY GAVE ME A BLEEDIN’ HEART ATTACK!!!”Sellick moved quick to the fence offering his hand.

Mason smiled back, “Will. This is my friend Jacks, he nodded towards Jacks. “Sorry to scare you about the gun, I couldn’t resist. But, you know me and weapons, and other goods according to certain rules shouldn’t have…So what the hell are you doing out here?!,” Mason spoke letting the tongue of his old ways take over. He smiled at Jacks gesturing him to come close, “Tell the man everything we need.”

“First and foremost,” Jackson pulled a data pad out of his jacket, “we need a harmonic dampener, bearing and housing, some new belts for the fan coupling. And to top it off, a brand new compression coil.”

The older man whistled under his breath, “That’s a tall order kid. The dampener alone is going to cost about five thousand platinum, all in all it’ll be about twenty five thousand.”

Jackson’s jaw nearly hit the ground. There was no way box or no, that they would have that kind of money. They were humped.

The galley looked like a small tornado had ripped through the enclosed space. And, while Tyler and Durden had been smart enough to stock only few breakable items, the lack of shattered cookware on the floor did little to minimize the mess. Though her efforts did nothing to get Alice back on her feet, cleaning was the task Vanya set herself to. Burgundy hair wound in a shimmering blue and gold scarf, she knelt on the floor, cleaning the remnants of a tragically wasted pot of coffee.

“That’s something I thought I’d never see,” Copper said smiling as he walked in, his sleeves rolled up, “All the companions I’ve known in my time didn’t even know what a dustpan was, let alone how to use one.”

“Then offhand, I’d say you’ve known the wrong companions.” Violet eyes sparkling, she smiled up at him, assuring him that she was in no way offended by the observation. “But I guess that makes you lucky that I’m here. Since I not only know what a dustpan is, but that it’s the wrong tool to use for cleaning a wet spill.” Chuckling to herself, she wrung out the coffee-soaked rag into the bucket by her knee.

Copper chuckled, “I see why the boys like you,” he crossed the room and started straightening back up the chair around their kitchen table.

“My cleaning prowess?” she teased lightly, leaning over to mop up the far edges of the spill.

The old sheppard laughed, “No, you’re ability to give as good as you get. That is a very admirable quality, especially around those two.”

Her silvery laugh echoed off the floor. Despite her amusement, she answered him with complete honesty. “Family. They can bring out the best or the worst or the parts of your personality you didn’t even know existed. I’m sure my admirable qualities, and the less admirable ones, have changed over the years I’ve known them.”

“Amazing how that happens isn’t it?” He chuckled again. A silence fell over the two for a few moments as they both went about their work. Finally, Copper spoke up again, “I have another question.”

One perfectly sculpted brow arched ever so slightly. “Go ahead.”

“Kayin,” Copper’s own eyebrow raised, “Is there a history between the two of you? If it’s none of my business just let me know, but the kiss he gave you seemed awfully friendly.”

To her credit, Vanya didn’t wince at Kayin’s name, though not even years of companion training could hide the sadness in her eyes. “The history is the easy part. The present… that’s a little more complicated.” She gave a small shrug. “We were all faced with the possibility of death. I imagine that’s what prompted that kiss.”

Copper nodded, “I would imagine so,” Copper stood up, “Well I should prolly get back to earning my keep around here. You ever need a friendly ear, you know where to find me.”

She almost let him leave. “Copper…” Her hands hovered over the bucket of dirty water. “I know a Shepherd would tell me that it’s our place to live in the present. Not the past. Not the future.” As she raised her head to look up at him, she suddenly looked very young. “After so many years I was finally ready to let it go, to stop living in the past. I was going to be done with it. And now it’s everywhere around me.”

The shepherd walked over to Vanya and extended his hands to help her up, “My dear,” he said gently, “Our pasts make us what we are today. The trick is to embrace our pasts, understand how they have made us the people we are today.” He placed his hand on her cheek. She looked into his eyes and could see that he knew exactly what she was feeling.

She placed her hand over his for a moment before pulling away, not entirely wanting to be touched.”That is the trick,” she agreed. Shrugging off the emotion again, she turned to go back to her cleaning. “I’m sure I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if things weren’t complicated.”

Copper smiled, “If the good lord didn’t complicate things, it wouldn’t be as interesting.”

“TWENTY-FIVE!!! TWENTY-FIVE!!!” Mason cried out in shock, even he knew that was too much and he didn’t know anything that would help keep a ship a float in friendly skies.

“Tough times old puhn yoh. Think of the economy these days,” the junkyard proprietor said firmly unaffected by the concern in Mason’s voice.

Mason’s hands folded in his face, “Those can’t be more than five thousand and that’s being kind, and you know it!” He watched Sellick move about suspiciously.

Laughing was the reply to Mason as Sellick watched, he knew the routine they’ve done this dance before. The first time concerned the very same gun he had just pointed at them earlier. “Haggling Kayin? You poor deluded chwen. Do you take me as some sort of Sa Gwa? You throw out a price and I’m supposed to follow? Until it gets close enough to what you really want? Chween ni duh.”

Panic filled Mason’s eyes before he looked at Jacks then at the parts scrambling for a new plan and coming up with nothing as defeat filled his face. He suddenly sat down watching his friend, “Tell me the name of some of your competitors, and pull out the good stuff I know you’re hiding somewhere.”

Sellick moved to his office pulling out the finest bottle of bourbon he had along with three glasses. He handed each of them a glass and filled them up, “Bottom’s up boys. Quickly Sellick’s glass went down and Mason’s a little bit slower.

Jackson took the glass and downed the bourbon, “So,” he said hoarsely, “Wow that was harsh,”Jackson shook his head.

“Remember that time we went to Gallifrey? Little place on Londinium.”

Sellick chuckled, “The women. God, what a good time,” and with the fond memory he poured more drinks before giving a toast. As another drink went down quickly for the dealer and slow for the former fence.

“I think the women deserve their own toast,” he grinned waiting for Sellick to fill his glass on cue. The third drink never made it to Mason’s lips as he raised his brow at Jacks for a moment.

Jackson nodded and did the same thing.

More drinks continued and Sellick started to feel even better about things. Mason smiled, “Want to tell me about those competitors now…I mean unless you’d rather get our money.”

A now slightly intoxicated but still feeling coherent enough to deal, Sellick stared at Mason and laughed “Course I want your cred! What kind of a man these days or any other day would turn down cred?”

“Your first price was a little too high, let’s be reasonable.”

“What was it again? Can’t stop thinking about Gallifrey..” the man’s words were slurred, drunken, and Gallifrey sounded more like Goullafreay. Still intoxicated words sounded normal to him and he continued to deal anyway.

“15 thousand, I was thinking more along the lines of 8.5 maybe 9 thousand.” Mason lied with a smile as haggling resumed.

“Bah! Too low…12 and a half.”

Mason looked at Jacks wondering if that was good enough or still a little too steep. Jackson nodded and gave a gesture of that’s not bad to Mason. The former fence gestured to Jacks if he should stay or try to go a little lower. He wasn’t entirely sure how much funds the Alice crew could part with. Jackson shrugged, then made a gesture for lower.

Nodding back toward Jacks, Mason then looked at Sellick again, “Still too rich for my blood. 9 and a quarter plus a bottle of the finest I can find next time I hit a major city,” he offered.

Drunkenly shaking his head with disapproval, “What do you think I am charity?!”

“Hmm…10 and a half, and instead of a bottle I get you a case instead.” As Sellick thought the price over Mason looked back at Jacks trying to figure out of that was good enough.

Jackson nodded in agreement.

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