Betting on It

To [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt to this card for [community profile] trope_bingo.

This fills my “Bets/Wagers” square.

This is in my Space Accountant setting.

It comes before Accident and after Taking Chances.

Genique planted herself between two handsome young pirates sitting together at a table Quartermaster Marist Irio had identified as the “young bucks” table. She looked between the two of them – they were less fresh than Basi, but still shiny, new, and very handsome.

“Hello.” She offered the taller of the two her hand. “I’m Genique. I’m the new bookkeeper.”

He stared at her hand for a moment. Genique looked him over quickly. Ah, blue tattoos around each ear and down into his coverall. Trenciscot Tertius.

“My apologies.” She folded her hands into what, on her home planet, would be considered a “prayer” stance and nodded her head over her hands. “Genique Wadevier, from Maymonta. I’m the new bookkeeper.”

He folded his hands in a similar-but-different way, one curled over the other, and bowed a little bit deeper than she had. “Marsey Wilswoodronny. I’m a hitter and, more importantly, I do the tunnels and chutes. This is Darretchon; he does security systems and computers.”

Genique twisted to look at Darretchon; he was blonde where Marsey was brunette, his skin dark-tanned where Marsey’s was naturally chocolate, and he had a long, braided beard, where Marsey was smooth-shaven. More importantly for the moment, he had bone plugs in his earlobes and three silver rings in his left ear.

Bookkeeper did not out rank security systems, not on a pirate ship. Genique pressed the heels of both hands to her forehead and lowered her head. “Darretchon.” The Abrandell system was known for its rather stringent rules.

That did not, it appeared, apply to pirated. “Please, please.” He touched one hand to his forehead. “Genique. Miss – Miss? – Wadevier.”

She dropped her hands and smiled at him. “Definitely Miss. You?”

“Ah, still Misten. Wives aren’t really… well, it’s a pirate ship. And I’m a pirate.”

And the Abrandell did not look any better on piracy than anyone else (except perhaps Trenciscot Tertius, but they were, after all, founded by pirates of one sort and another). “Well. It appears that I am, too.” She lifted her glass. “To piracy.”

The young men seemed startled, but Marsey grinned at her wide enough to show two gold-covered teeth and lifted his glass, which got Darretchon to lift his glass, and then they were drinking.

“So.” Genique had been gifted with a deck of playing cards from the Pit Master (gifted or bribed, who was counting?); she pulled them out now. “I know they know the game Flotsam on Trenciscot Tertius, because it was a Trenciscotian who taught it to me. Do you know it as well, Darretchon?”

“Flotsam? Yes. But what are we wagering? You’re new, aren’t you, Miss Wadevier?”

“Please, call me Genique. And yes. I have very little more than what you see on me right now.” Which was true, so long as you had a broad definition of very little. Gifts and bribes were in not short supply around here.

“Flotsam doesn’t really work without wagers.” Marsey was already hooked, leaning forward. “What do you have in mind… Genique?”

She pulled out a set of chips from her pocket, the other half of the Pit Master’s gift. She watched their faces fall – nobody wanted to play for tokens. “Why don’t we say…” she pushed a white chip forward. “This is ten minutes.” A red chip: “a half hour.” Blue: “A night.” She’d skip green; she pushed forward one black chip: “A week.”

Darretchon swallowed. The Abrandell were sometimes prudish… “Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Miss… Genique?”

“I think she is.” Marsey was almost purring. “I’m game. Come on, Darret. It’ll be fun.”

Darret looked between the two of them and, finally, nodded. “I’m in.”

Betting Time

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