Title: The Charter
Author: Beer Good
Word Count: 580
Disclaimer: Mal is the property of Joss Whedon and ME. Jerry et al are the property of Jerry Seinfeld and NBC. I make no money off them, which is a good thing, or Frank Costanza would want a cut.
The spaceport was busy with people of all colors, classes and languages milling, bustling, crowding and shoving everywhere. Get your spacesuits here, get your hookers here, wanna buy some black-market carrots, this way to learn the mysterious secrets of Earth-That-Was, win a free trip to Higgins' Moon, Alliance patrols doing spot checks, and both freighters and passenger ships arriving and leaving in a complex dance of rocket engines and near-collisions which, to the untrained eye, looked like complete chaos.
The six New Yorkers – two elderly couples and their adult sons – who made their way through the crowd weren't too impressed, though.
"Meh," Jerry shrugged. "Not exactly Kryptonopolis, is it? Looks more like Grand Central Station at rush hour. If Grand Central was in Chinatown."
George looked about, trying in vain to look both inconspicuous and tough at the same time. "Yeah, well, do you know how many people get mugged at Grand Central every day? I can't believe we were stupid enough to get into Kramer's time machine."
"I can't believe you were stupid enough to suggest bringing our parents."
As if on cue, Mrs Seinfeld turned to her son. "Jerry, did you bring enough interplanetary traveler's checks?"
"Are you sure?"
"Ma, I make more money than the two of you put together!"
"Morty, give him some extra checks."
Jerry could only roll his eyes as his father slipped him an envelope, and then turned back to George. "Yeah, I'll be going on another family vacation real soon. But I guess we'll be fine as long as we don't draw too much attention to -"
"GEORGE!" Mrs Costanza yelled, causing a nearby Alliance patrol to give them a very long look. "KEEP UP! WE'RE ALMOST AT THE SPACESHIP!"
And so the six stood looking up at the Firefly class transport – or rather the four parents did; George and Jerry were all too aware of the various lowlives casting hungry eyes on their bags.
"So this is it, huh?" Frank Costanza shook his head in disapproval. "Looks like a rustbucket to me."
Mrs Seinfeld turned to her husband as one of the crewmembers came down the landing to meet them. "Morty, do you have the tickets?"
"Of course I do. I told you this morning, they're right here in my pocket... Uh..." He searched his pockets for a while until his wife found the tickets in her handbag. "And the ship looks fine to me, Costanza."
The brown-clad crew member had reached them and held out his hand. "Mornin', folks. I'm assuming you'd be our new passengers? I'm Captain Reynolds, and -"
Frank ignored him completely and instead got in Morty Seinfeld's face. "Well, maybe you're less picky than I am, Seinfeld, but I'm used to the finer things in life! My son works for the Yankees, you know! And I'm telling you," he pointed an accusatory finger towards the spaceship and almost hit Mal square in the face in the process, "WE'RE GOING TO DIE IN THAT THING!"
"FRANK!" His wife yelled. "THE CAPTAIN IS TALKING TO YOU!"
"Oh boy, here we go!" George snorted with exasperation.
"Jesus, woman, you are KILLING me!" Frank raised his arms to the sky and screamed out his frustration loud enough for the whole spaceport to hear. "SERENITY NOW!!!"
Mal blinked and took a step back to avoid getting spittle all over him, inwardly cursing Kaylee's idea to sell tickets in advance. And he did not like the appreciative look that Jerry shot Inara as she walked past them into the ship. He glanced nervously at the patrol sauntering in their direction, unclipping their holsters all casual-like. "Well, normally we just say 'Welcome aboard Serenity,' but I reckon that works too... You folks wanna get inside?"