“I hate the rain,” she grumbled, “almost as much as I hate Anodalii. Not much here, is there?” Kip walked up behind her
“Nope,” Kip answered without even thinking, “Nottin at all.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Ace sauntered into the hatch to load a few empty crates onto a trailer behind the pod, which was now a gleaming shade of silver, instead of the yellowy dust it had been two weeks before. “Anodalii is full of culture, and color.”
“Both of which being inside, and neither of which we get to see on this trip,” Kip said resentfully.
“Spoil sport,” Ace grumbled, loading the last of seven crates onto the trailer behind the pod. Colton walked down the stairs at the back of the cargo hold, black leather coat billowing behind him.
“Sana’, you’re staying behind with Kip this time. Lona, Hawkins, and Ace are coming with me this time,” Sana’ huddled herself tighter in Kip’s trench coat and walked inside next to him.
“I hate the rain,” she grumbled, “at least on this planet.” Kip, being Nan Kari couldn’t disagree.
Ace was sitting contentedly on the back of the pod, facing the crates.
“You alright there, Ace?” Colton asked as he sat in the drivers’ seat and leaned back to talk to her, his arm over the back of the chair.
“Right as rain,” Ace breathed deeply. “Not that that has anything with the fact that it’s raining. An here comes Lona!”
Indeed, Lona floated down the stairs wearing an emerald green robe around who knows what she was wearing, presumably something elegant, seeing as how that was what Colton had asked her to where. In fact, he had asked Ace to wear something nice, which she did; a billowy pair of gray pants, and a fitted blue shirt tied together on either side of her waist and flowed to her knees. Lona slid into the passenger’s seat next to Colton.
“Hawkins is on his way, he’s having a hard time trying to figure out what you meant by…” the sentence didn’t need to be finished. Hawkins was wearing what appeared to be a pair of black trousers, a green and blue striped shirt, a black vest, and a long tailored trench coat. He climbed on the back of the pod next to Ace, and declined his head to Colton.
“Sir, I’m hoping that this will suffice.”
“Yeah, that’ll do just fine. You clean up right pretty, Hawkins.” Hawkins gave a little bow again. Colton seemed more surprised, however, not at how nicely Hawkins dressed up, but at how much his human side showed when he did. “Let’s just hope that you meet up to Sheridan’s standards.”
Colton revved up the engine. The pod slid out of the cargo bay into the rain and then swiftly to the dryness of the covered streets. Joppa was more or less a clean white city of spires and domes with no need for exterior cleaning, due to the almost constant rain. The main plaza, which on any other planet would have been out of doors, was covered by an enormous high fiber-lace Plexiglas dome. Due to some miracle of science the rain could physically be seen falling through the glass, but didn’t make contact with anything below the sixth story up. Colton continued to drive the pod in silence through the not-so-crowded streets around the corner to a large gray building that stuck out like very sore thumb on a bubbly, liquid looking hand. They pulled around the back of the bubbly building and Colton parked the pod with the empty crates near the back of the building’s parking complex.
“Head ‘em up, move ‘em out,” Lona said to herself as she got out of the pod.
“Raw hide!” Colton answered, Lona giggled, but she seemed to be the only one who got it, for Ace stared blankly at the two of them, and Hawkins was setting the alarm on the trailer’s security system. “You heard the lady,” said Colton taking an irate tone, “get a move on it!”
Hawkins helped Ace out off the pod and offered her his arm in a gentlemanly fashion. She refused. “You take his ruddy arm, he’s to be playin the part of an honest gentleman, an’ he can’t very well do that if he don’t have some kinda respectable lady on his arm, can he.” He turned to Lona. “Milady?” She took his arm gingerly, but glanced behind his back at Ace with a look that clearly read “Yeesh!”
“Yes sir,” said Ace in an undertone, though it was unlikely that Colton heard her.
“Ace,” Hawkins said testily, “what’s…”
“Shh,” she interjected, “does Cap seem different to you?” Hawkins took a moment to look him over. Colton seemed to be the same old Colton, as far as Hawkins could tell.
“Yes, he seems just fine to me,” Hawkins answered.
“Look at the way he walks,” Ace suggested. Hawkins looked more closely. Indeed, Colton’s usual swagger was replaced with a strut that said in an underhanded way: “I’m the supreme overlord, now if you’d please get out of my way; I’ll try not to hurt you…too badly.”
“What do you suppose…?”
“Shh,” Ace interjected again. The four of them had just walked into the elevator on the other side of the parking garage and all went quiet, that is, until Ace started asking questions, lots of questions.
“Yes Alimah?” Ace stepped back and cocked her head at him.
Colton said in an agitated tone, “That’s your name, and that’s what everyone will be calling you until we’re safely out of the city, yuh hear?”
“Yes sir,” Ace nodded, slightly confused. “Erm...Cap?”
“Yes Alimah?” This time his tone was flat.
“Who is this Sheridan, that we’ve gotta be getting’ all dressed up like this?” Ace let go of Hawkins’ arm.
“Just…an old friend,” was all Colton answered. Ace stepped around Colton and pushed his shoulder until he was looking at her. He stood a full head over her.
“Who is he that he scares you into being a gentleman?” Colton’s hard chocolate eyes met Ace’s soft compassionate blue ones and everything seemed to make sense. Lona and Hawkins migrated away from the two of them by the door, and awaited the conflict in the far corner. Ace pushed the button that stopped the elevator, her eyes never leaving his; it came to an abrupt halt.
“Sheridan…well…he…he was the one that convinced me to join in the war. It’s…well it’s…” Colton was at a loss. How could explain the deep seeded bitterness that stood between the two men? Luckily Lona interjected, in a short timid tone.
“Then why did we take the job?” Ace asked in her innocent way. Colton breathed deeply, closing his eyes in agitation.
“Because we got a direct K-line from an old friend sayin that there was good work to be had at Anodalii, and that the guy with the job was a real classy type of guy. Ruddy traitor! Never woulda suspected him to make it this far in anything.” Colton opened his eyes, Ace was still staring gingerly up at him, and he couldn’t help but smile.
“Uh…” was all he managed to say, he was fairly unskilled at semi-touching moments like this. Ace feeling the sudden impropriety of the moment – seeing as how they were about to meet a new and disposable employer – looked away.
They were then greeted by a calm voice that was slathered with a lithesome sweetness that said: “Please do enter.” Ace cringed at the sound of it, hunching slightly and staring at Colton’s navel. Then abruptly Colton cleared his throat, and Ace looked up at his face once again. He gave her a look that clearly read, “Oh boy, here we go,” and offered her his arm. She took it gracefully.
“Please,” the sultry voice spoke again, “come in, come in. Have a seat.” Oddly enough his voice sounded similar to an old friend of hers, which threw her off slightly.
Last edited by Alethearia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total