Monday, July 22, 2013

The Black Market: Part Four

            Jessica Jenson (a.k.a. Saber) was standing on a cat walk welding as the skiff pulled into the Safe Haven's cargo bay. Welding was something that she was good at, despite her background in security. It was a skill that had come in handy when she had been assigned to the Safe Haven as its Loading and Cargo Master. Though it had taken here a while to learn the ropes of the new job, she was now comfortable in the position and was fixing up the cargo bay more to her liking. And that meant a lot of welding.
            As the ship's skiff entered the bay, Jessica turned off her welding torch and flipped up her mask. She waited for the skiff to come to a stop and the passengers to disembark before asking any questions. She would have to yell at them anyway as she was most of the way across the cargo bay.
            "How did it go?" she called. The Captain, Santa, and Killjoy ignored her completely and made a beeline for the door into the rest of the ship. Grady was the only one who paid her question any heed.
            "I don't know exactly," he called from the ground, looking up to where Jessica was perched. "I do know that we don't have a new core, so it couldn't have gone too well. Also, they wouldn't say anything on the way back, so I think they must have screwed up big time."
            "What do you mean screwed up?" Jessica asked as she took off her mask and dropped it on the cat walk. She walked to a ladder and slid down it the twenty five or so feet to the bay floor. Grady didn't even blink anymore when Jessica showed off; he was getting used to stuff like that from this woman.
            "Well, when I was coming to pick them up after the deal went down, however that happened, I got stopped at a traffic signal by a half dozen armed men," Grady said.
            "Half a dozen?" Jessica asked. Though she tried to mask it, the worry still showed in her voice. She had become friends with the rest of the crew in their short time aboard the Safe Have, but Grady was somewhat more than that. She didn't know exactly what, but the whole thing was very confusing to her, and so she tried her best not to show any of it. Luckily for her, Grady was oblivious to the whole thing.
            "Yeah, six guys, all with laser pistols," Grady said. Any other guy would have tried to play it off like it was no big deal, but not Grady. "It was probably the scariest thing that I've experienced in my whole life. I think I just about wet my pants." He said it in such a way as to admit that he was scared but not a big deal out of it.
            "Actually now that I think about it, I had a blaster on my hip the whole time and didn't even think about it," he said with a laugh. "A lot of good I'd be in a fight."
            "That's because you're not a fighter," Jessica said, insulting Grady somewhat without realizing it. He knew he wasn't a fighter but to hear someone else say it was still emasculating, particularly so because it was Jessica. He thought he might like her a bit more than just as a friend, but he wasn't sure. Then there was the fact that she was a warrior to the bone and he was just a medic. It was all very confusing to him, and he tried not to show any of it. Luckily for him, Jessica was oblivious to the whole thing.
            "They had no business putting you in that situation." Jessica was still talking, continuing her insults without realizing it. "You could have been killed."
            "I'm part of this crew and have to do my job," Grady said, trying to ignore the insults. "Besides, I can handle it."
            "You could have gotten killed," Jessica said, her emotions clearly showing now.

            "But I didn't," Grady responded. "Look, I can handle myself. Just don't worry about it." He spun on his heel and practically raced out of the cargo bay. Though he had a better poker face than Jessica, he still felt as much as she did, and right now what he felt was anger. Anger at her for worrying about it, anger at the Captain for taking him on the mission, but mostly anger at himself for his performance earlier. How did he expect to win a girl like Jessica if he couldn't even take care of himself? The door slid shut after he stepped through, and he leaned against the wall taking a few deep breaths. These arguments were becoming more and more common and he did not like them, not one bit.

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