Last Chance Saloon

A Pink Dormouse Production

 

Yes, I was shocked. Call me a hopeless optimist but I thought that Avon’s recovery would signal a change for the better. Oh, I knew Tarrant would put up a fight before he agreed to Avon’s plans but I never expected him to react like that on just seeing the man.

It was obvious that Avon was dead even before I checked. Tarrant just stood there not really believing what he’d done. Dayna helped me move Avon’s body but she looked like she was only just keeping it together. And Vila, none of us saw where he went, but I expect he needed some time to himself. I decided we all did once I had a chance to think about it.

So by it looked like I was on the way to being the only sane one left on the ship, meaning it fell to me to take responsibility for our situation. Avon had talked about getting another, smaller, better ship, something we would have done long ago if we’d been thinking clearly, and between us we had come up with a Space Station where we might find one. The money Dayna had brought back from the last run would be enough to secure a deposit on some sort of mercenary craft, then we could keep on gun running or, captain willing, get back to fighting the Federation ourselves.

I called a meeting. Had to hold my clip gun to Vila’s head before he’d be in the same room as Tarrant but I could understand that. I call it a meeting, that sounds like we actually discussed things rather than me putting my case and everyone else just going along with it. But at least I consulted them; they can’t blame me if things go wrong.

***

Barker’s Station is not a very nice place. I expect the crew of our old ship feel quite at home here. We got a good price for the ship too; easily enough for us to pay a year or so advance on any new one and still have credits over for supplies. Tarrant and Dayna headed off together. Vila disappeared into the nearest bar, promising me he’d be back with his liver intact in a day or so. As for me, I decided to go and drink somewhere a little more upmarket. And that’s where I found The Commander.

From the look of him he’d been around a fair bit but then he was still alive, which had to be some sort of recommendation. And he had a ship but no crew, which was exactly what I’d been hoping for. Turned out he knew friends of people I used to know and a couple of comm-calls to the right places backed that claim up so I gave his ship the once over then hired him on the spot. It went without saying that he was madder than Dorian but it had been a long time since I’d had a man in my bed and I had another twelve hours to kill before meeting up with the others again.

He was considerate; I’ll say that for him. So that put him above Dorian in the rankings straight away. I’ve seen most things in my line of work so I was hardly going to be shocked by a bunch of war-wounds and a few cybernetic adaptations. Not that I’ve got a kink for that sort of thing either, just doesn’t bother me. So he seemed happy enough with the situation as well.

Next day I introduced him to the others. Vila acted a little oddly but maybe that was just his hung-over. He kept muttering about the dead still walking and how Blake would be spinning in his grave if there was enough of him left to spin. No one raised any real objections though so I left it to The Commander to decide where to strike first.

Things are definitely looking up.

 

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