|Meet the Fortune Hunters
Author: Nathaniel Keys PM
A little one shot introducing Phred to the Fortune Hunters.Rated: Fiction K - English - Humor - Words: 1,302 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 04-19-06 - id: 2901521
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
First off,Microsoft owns the rights to Crimson Skies, not I.
Secondly, everyone else mentioned in this fic besides Phred are characters in the Crimson Skies PC game. I didn't just make them up.
Thirdly, I might revise thisstory in the future.
Phred was sitting and eating lunch in the galley of the Pandora when a stocky red haired man approached and sat down in front of him.
"I saw you shoot down Devro Cooper the other day," he said, "That was some fancy flying. Only next time you might want to save some ammo instead of unloading all of it on one plane. Short bursts, kid. Short bursts."
"Jack are you shootin' y'r mouth off again?"
Phred turned to find where the sweet feminine Texan accent was coming from and his eyes stopped on a little curvy woman with curly honey-blonde hair. Next to her was a towering (Phred must have judged him to be at least six foot) muscle ripped black man. Next to him was a young sandy haired man and a petite younger woman that Phred judged to be just out of her teens. The Texan looked at Jack and smiled.
"I don't think Phred has heard about the time we were raiding that warehouse in the Industrial States."
"Aww come on Tex," groaned Jack, "I wasn't the genius that parked our trucks full of stolen loot next to those fuel tanks."
"No, but you were the genius that let off a high-explosive rocket after one of them security autogyros and missed." The standing entourage laughed.
Jack's face flushed red. "I'm just giving the kid some pointers," he muttered. The youngest in the group said in a New York accent, "We're just needlin' ya Jack. We know you've got it right."
"You know what?" said the ebony giant, "We've forgot to introduce ourselves to the kid.:
"Good idea Big John," said Jack as he stood up, " I'm Jack."
Tex whispered loudly to Phred, "Jack is pretty much Nathan's best friend. Don't know what he sees in him." She flashed Jack a smile.
Jack continued unfazed however. "You've already met Chatty Cathy…I mean 'Tex' Ryder."
Tex opened her mouth to return fire but Jack pressed on.
"Next to her is John Washington, but for reasons no one needs explained we call him 'Big John'. Beside him is Betty Charles and because she talks," Jack slipped into the most nauseating New York accent, "like this, we call her 'Brooklyn'."
He faked a cough and changed back to his normal method of speech. "And the quiet guy over there is Bob Deere or 'Buck'."
"Deere?" asked Phred, "Like the tractor?"
Buck laughed and rolled his eyes. "Yeah…no."
"So Phred," asked Jack, "where are you sleeping? I haven't seen you around the airship much, so I assume you've been spending time in your cabin."
"Storage closet," said Phred quietly.
"Nathan asked if I wanted a private cabin but I said I didn't want to be a disturbance so I opted for a hammock in a storage closet."
"Well golly Phred that was sure nice of you," said Jack sarcastically, " especially since we run such a strict operation around here." Jack and the others laughed.
"There really ain't no need to walk on eggshells around us, Phred," said Betty
Big John chimed in, "Yeah. We're pretty much just normal folks here."
"With the exception that we're a bunch of thieves, "replied Jack.
"Well we only steal from those who can afford it," Added Buck.
"Or at least those who deserve it," said Tex.
Buck laughed, "Yeah, like the way we snuck the Top Hat's loot out from under their dumb noses!"
"That's going to make a great story," said Big John.
Jack smiled, " Speaking of which Phred, how are you going to portray us in this comic book of yours?"
Tex sat down and leaned in across the table towards Phred. She batted her eyes. "I get to be the gorgeous, mysterious dame with big full lips and legs that go on forever right darlin'?"
"Easy there sister," said Betty, "If anyone gets to be the gorgeous dame here, it's me."
Tex glared at Betty for a moment before the tension was broken by the appearance of a rail thing young man.
"What's the news Sparks?" asked Jack. He turned to Phred for a moment. "This here is Eddy Conroy, aka 'Sparks'. He's usually up on the bridge navigating or working the radio. In a pinch he's also a pretty decent pilot too."
"Nathan wants to brief us on what to expect in Arixo. He's expecting us in fifteen minutes," Sparks replied his high-pitched voice. He turned to walk away, stopped, then turned to Jack and said, "A decent pilot? Have you forgotten what happened in the People's Collective?"
Jack slapped his forehead and groaned.
"As much as we'd all love to hear that story again Sparks," said Tex, "I think we'd best get this place organized for Nathan's little meeting."
"And I've got to get back to the bridge," remarked Sparks. "It was sure nice meeting you Phred." And with that he turned and left.
"Jeez, you just can't seem to get a break today, huh Jack?" laughed Tex
"Like everyday," he sighed.
The group laughed and as they did Phred couldn't help but smile.
"You think that's funny do you?" chuckled Jack, "Just wait till you do something regrettable enough to be remembered."
"If he lives long enough," remarked Big John, "Some pirate lives are notoriously short."
Phred's smile went from zero to grimace in sixty seconds flat. His mouth became too dry to gulp nervously.
"B-b-but I-I'm no air p-pirate", he stammered.
"Of course you are Phred. You fly with us, you're pretty much an air pirate," said Jack flatly.
"At least that's the way air militias, private security companies, and other pirates will view you," added Buck.
"Yep. You'll get shot at just as much as we do," laughed Big John.
The rest of the entourage began to chuckle again. Phred didn't see what was so funny. It seemed like anytime the possibility of buying the farm came up all these people could do was to laugh at it. Was it a defense mechanism or did laughing at death make these people more fearless? Did that actually work? Phred couldn't say. The others seemed to have that un-namable, special, quality that allowed one to be joyful and jolly even when the possibility of sudden death could be looming around the next corner, a quality that could be used all too well in ordinary life, and it was a quality that, for whatever reason, Phred just didn't seem to have.
"Why shouldn't I have it?" he thought as he left the galley. He walked out of the galley to the promenade, a long hallway with windows looking outside, and stopped to wonder. "What is keeping me from living my life to the fullest? What's keeping me from living each day as a new adventure?" Phred looked out at the clouds rolling by. He sighed. He didn't know. He caught his reflection in the glass. He saw himself, so weak looking, so puny and was disgusted. His face tightened into a scowl. He didn't know what it was that gave the Fortune Hunters so much pluck, but he was a journalist-after a fashion- and he was going to find out just what it was, and maybe, just maybe, get a little for himself.