Monday, January 24, 2005

Twenty Four; Freedom Fighters Inc

After a moment's silence I asked, “What now?”

“What do you mean?” Kira asked.

Wishing to avoid thinking about my fate for a moment I asked, “About the fire crystals, Ziggy and Zain?"

“What about them?” she said with a frown.

“You’re just going to leave all those poor people to their lot?"

“Yep,” Tex answered for her. “Unless somebody pays us to do otherwise. We were paid by the government to get dirt on your boy Zain, and we got it.”

“Much good it’ll do them now,” I said.

“Not our problem,” said Kira, “We’ve already been paid.”

In a voice that sounded far too small and pathetic to my own ears I asked, “And what about me?”

“Yeah, what about him?” the other woman asked.

“Well,” said Kira, “I thought...”

“No way!” said tex and turned back to stirring whatever was bubbling away in the small pan.

“Ah come on,” protested Kira, “He’s perfect.”

An unwanted grin incapacitated my ability to control my facial expression.

Kira saw me and shook her head, “Look at him!” she urged the others, and they did. I felt the grin slide off my face as, Tex, Wrench, Bubbles and the man whose name I was yet to learn turned scornful gazes my way.

“He’s completely hopeless,” continued Kira, and what was left of my grin turned into a frown. “We won’t have the same trouble we had with Jax.”

“Well, that’s true,” said Bubbles.

“Can you cook?” Tex asked me.

Sensing this was a break or make moment I lied, “Oh, yeah,” the gambler in me sensing that was the correct answer.

“What do you say?” Kira asked Tex who seemed to be in charge.

Tex looked at Kira for a long moment then asked, “You’re not going soft on us are you?”

Kira shook her head.

Tex turned to look at me. “Okay, this is how it works. We are Freedom Fighters Inc. We’re a six man crew. I’m the gaffer, Kira is deep cover ops, Bubbles over there,” he indicated the other woman, “Is our pilot. Wrench is the tech, and Axel,” he nodded his head in the direction of the fifth member, “is our weapons specialist.” He paused for a moment then said, “We lost the sixth member of the crew a few days before we took this job so we haven’t had time to replace him. The bastard ripped us off and jumped ship, so we’ve got a spare seat on board if you’re interested.”

I thought about it for a moment, and then asked Kira, “You’re certain I can’t get home?”

“Unless you want to go back in there,” she pointed down the corridor we had just left, “try and find Ziggy and Zain, and persuade them to send you back.”

I took a deep breath and asked, “What do you need me to do? Man Ops?” Wrench raised an eyebrow at me so I pressed on, “Work at tactical?” this time Axel turned a stony gaze on me. I’d seen a few episodes of star trek in my time so I wasn’t concerned; I hazarded another guess, “Engineering? Science station?” I was starting to run out of ideas, “Alientology?”

“No, I need you to cook, make our beds, wash our sheets, clean the heads, polish the silverware and stay out my way as much as possible. Got it?”

I nodded, “Yup.”


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