Inara Serra's Travel Guide for the young Companion
Author owns no rights to Firefly, and no copyright infringement is intended. Fanfic only.
I decided that it was time for me to leave the House for a while, and perhaps see some of the 'verse. It was an opportunity for me to expand my client base as well, something no Companion should turn a blind eye to. There are many times when good contacts are a boon to the Companion, aiding not only herself, but others as well.
I looked at my options for a good while, before opting to rent/lease space on an already working vessel, rather than acquire one of my own. In retrospect, this may have been a mistake.
In truth, many ship Captains are delighted to have a Companion on board, as it gives them a sense of legitimacy, and often opens core worlds to them that otherwise are difficult to land upon. Thus not only are they making money by leasing you space, they are, themselves, profiting by your presence. This is something to keep in mind as you negotiate rates.
I learned several lessons the hard way, in not seeking advice from others before setting out on my own. These are a few of the things I have learned, and hope they will aid you as you travel, should you decide to do so.
1) Never lease a shuttle from a man who calls you a whore. A Companion is not a whore. Never forget that.
2) Do not stoop to the levels of those you may find yourself flying with. Many of them are certain to be crude, even lude. Some will be abrupt, even hateful. Always respond with composure.
3) Never contract with the crew of the vessel on which you are traveling.
4) Never offer to help the Captain with anything. He'll likely insult you, and refuse your offer. Especially if he's the Captain of a near derelict freighter whose design name is derived from an insect.
5) Avoid ships with mercenaries, especially tall, loathsome, well-muscled ones. That simply insist on working out in plain view of the entire crew, and going about in sleeveless shirts that allow his musculature to be viewed best. I mean unobstructed. No, I meant juvenilely. Yes, that's it. It's juvenile.
6) There is no reason why you cannot be civil, but remember to maintain a barrier between yourself and the Captain. This is especially important if you find yourself on the afore mentioned bug class freighter.
7) A handsome thief is still a thief.
8) Do not expect everyone to treat you as well as you are treated in a House. The 'verse is over run with people who cannot, or will not, distinguish between a properly trained Companion, and a simple prostitute. Like, for instance, certain Captains who insist on living in the past, and treating those around him in an abrupt manner, no matter how well intentioned they are.
9) Never discuss business with the crew. They won't understand, and you shouldn't be talking about your clients with them in the first place. Generalization is acceptable to those with honest curiosity, but never personal.
10) Never, ever, allow the crew to meet your clients. Especially certain types of Captains. Certainly one who lives on a freighter named after a battle which he lost.
11) Try to avoid traveling with former Independents. No matter how nice they are, they aren't likely to respect you, simply because the Guild is an officially recognized part of the Alliance. They don't really mean anything by it, it's a conditioned response. Thus there is no need to feel offended.
12) Avoid emotional ties with the crew on the ship. When the time comes to leave, those ties will make your departure difficult on you.
13) Do not allow your personal feelings to be your guide, especially where petty thieves and scoundrels are concerned. Make all decisions based on sound logic, firm business principles, and how well the Captain's clothes seem to fit when he. . .no, no, no, that's not important. Never mind.
14) If you feel yourself growing too close to the Captain, or any of the other crew members, it is best to depart immediately, while you can. No, I meant before you feel trapped. No, no, no, not that. I meant. . .just leave. Trust me.
15) Remember these words, in the event that the Captain and his merry men are captured while committing some ridiculous act of petty thievery; 'I'm a passenger, and not privy to the acts, or intentions, of this idiot'. I mean person. Yes, person, that's better.
16) Never attend a function of any kind where any of the crew may show up, especially the Captain. In the event they do show up, leave at once. If you're too late to avoid the duel, I mean the commotion, then grit your teeth, and leave as soon as possible thereafter. It's far better that way.
17) Do not let a pair of pretty blue eyes and tight pants distract you. Ignore them. They should have no effect on a properly trained Companion. None at all. I assure you that I am not at all interested in the azure tone of. . . .
18) There's no reason at all to assume that the Captain likes you. Playground humor is not an acceptable form of flirting, so do not lower yourself by thinking that it is. And you certainly should never respond in kind.
19) If you find yourself wondering what life is like outside the Guild, you've stayed too long. A Companion's place is within the Guild, and always will be.
20) Unless the Captain finally admits he loves you. Then you can rethink rule 19. Not before. Certainly not until. Unless you feel him wavering. Some. Any. At all.
Remember that you are a representative of the Guild, and by extension, all Companions. Your behavior should be above board, and beyond reproach at all times.
And if all else fails, just kiss the hundan and hope for the best. It's what I did.
Bhuda guide your journey.