I had not intended on posting the story, but then I figured it might help my creativity with other projects. For those of you who've read the previous entries, there's a gap in action between excerpts 2 and 3. I left out a scene 1) because it seemed boring, and 2) it's contents would be implied by what happens next. (But, since this is a work in progress, anything can change!)
And now, on Space Pirates:
A sleek blue merchant approached astern the Martina Vega. Finney watched on the screen, saw the government insignia on the nose marking the vessel as a constabulary presence, but did not acknowledge the ship until hailed.
“Ahoy the Vega. This is Captain Iona Zoltana of the Orpheus, requesting permission to dock.”
Ungritting her teeth, Finney loosened her jaw a little before acknowledging. “Aye, Captain Zoltana, the Vega welcomes you aboard.”
“Well done,” said Kristoff’s quiet, amused voice behind her. “You told that lie with a straight face.”
Finney guided the Vega gently to starboard aft, pleased when the craft obeyed and met the Orpheus with so gentle a kiss that neither ship so much as squeaked. “How’s the headache? Thought Doc told you to stay in bed a day or two.”
“Nothing to do there.”
“You could think of something.”
“Not without company.”
“Hope you wore your best shirt. You know how starchy Zoltana is.”
“That’s not the company I meant.”
“Well, it’s all you’re getting, captain.”
Kristoff stepped closer, his voice near her ear vibrated down her backbone, and his breath ruffled her hair. “One of these days, Fiona Grace.”
She refused to shiver, or to let heat rise up her neck. “Yep. One of these days, I’ll jump ship and hire on to a courier vessel.” She smiled. “Faster, prettier, and with a better-looking crew.”
He drew back. “That a hint to raise your pay?”
“You know I never turn down cash.”
“A girl’s gotta have principles.”
“And a good ship.”
“And a good ship.”
Finney waited until his footsteps faded before she relaxed her grip on the controls and slumped in her chair.
One of these days, Fiona Grace.
c. 2008, Keanan Brand