Pirates and Bad People

This is to kelkyag‘s and cluudle‘s prompt here to my February Giraffe Call.

It takes part in my Space Accountant ‘Verse.

Names from Fourteen Minutes’ name generator.

It was easy, when the ship wasn’t raiding, for Genique to forget that she worked for pirates.

It wasn’t even that hard when the ship was raiding, because support staff like Genique were locked into their rooms while the raids happened, for reasons that were entirely unclear but that, to be fair, Genique didn’t look too closely at that lack-of-clarity. Numbers were where she focused.

It was very easy to focus on those numbers. The ship had such a tangle of them, such a jury-rigged bureaucracy, as if they had just picked someone and given them an office and a budget any time a need came up – and, looking at this place, they very likely had done just that.

So, when Genique was meeting withCleonorayen Clyd and a strange man walked in, it did not faze her or strike her as strange – until Clyd was bowing and so Genique was too. Clyd was the First Mate; that meant this had to be-

“Captain Anson.” Clyd rose from her bow.

“Who’s the new girl?” The captain didn’t look like a pirate, although none of them really did. He was clean-shaven, snappily dressed…

“Genique, sir. She’s an accountant.”

“Everyone starts in the Pit. Or in my cabin.”

“Yes, sir, but she’s been helping with the books.”

Everyone starts in the Pit, Mate. Everyone. Send her to the Pit.”

Genique cleared her throat and risked a full glance at the Captain. Ten earrings in one ear, seven in the other; his skin was golden brown under black hair; his eyes were blue like the sky she could barely remember. Jayssey, then, and she was wearing no jewelry at all.

“If this one might be permitted to speak to the Captain?”

“Speak.” He was smiling, and his voice was amused. Good.

“This one has already done time in the Pit.” The Pit-Master had given what he called the short tour, but it had been twenty-four hours she would not forget.


“Yes, sir.”

“Then I guess you’re coming to my cabin.”

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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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This is to [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt to this bingo card.

It fills the “Accidental Marriage” square.

It is part of my Space Accountant setting and comes after Taking Chances.

“So you see…” First Mate Cleonorayen Clyd looked uncomfortable. Genique would have felt bad for her, but she was rather busy feeling bad for herself.

“No, I don’t see.”

“It’s space law. It only has to last a year – but it has to last a year.”

“Do you have any idea how much a kid could bankrupt me in a year?”

“I don’t suppose ‘you should have thought of that before you signed the bunking form’ will fly, will it?”

“I was asking for a bigger bed! The Quartermaster said I had to!”

“Ah.” Clyd laughed. “That explains everything.”

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Taking Chances

This is to kelkyag‘s prompt to my December Origfic Bingo Card.

Genique is the protagonist of the Space-Accountant series.

This follows after Tradeoffs.

The Quartermaster, Marist Irio, had given Genique not only a well-tailored wardrobe but also some food for thought and some tips – and piles of bookkeeping.

She’d also given her references to several other people on the ship who had paperwork – the head Chef, for one, the head of Navigation, and the director of the Pit.

Everyone starts out in the Pit, but… Genique was under no illusions. Eventually, they would run out of paperwork that had been waiting, and she would go into the Pit. She’d given quite a bit of extra attention to the paperwork she did for the Pit. Drugs – sensation-enhancers, mostly, and contraceptives, some antibiotics. Drugs, and oil, and clothing – that last one surprised her. And cameras.

And, of course, people were skimming off the top, the sides, the bottom, and everywhere else. People were stealing from the pirate ship, and, if she hadn’t thrown her lot in with them, she’d have found it amusing.

As it was, she’d had to carefully ask the Master of the Pit, do you want me to note the places you’re stealing, or just make them less obvious? He’d patted her head and called her a good girl, which she really wanted to mind, but she’d noticed the way it had covered up a nervous surprise on the Pit director’s face.

That had been one sort of taking a chance (the second chance there had been in the way she’d not mentioned it directly to the First, and made sure when she did mention it, it was in a way that couldn’t be traced back to her, hopefully.

This was another kind of chance. She had dressed for dinner carefully, in the best of the jumpsuits that Marist Irio had tailored for her and the red silk Basi had gifted to her. She had done her hair, inasmuch as she could without spending money in the shop (the Head Chef had given her a wooden-handled brush that he’d pirated. Being bald, he had no need for it or the wooden barrettes he’d also given her), and used a tad of the cosmetics the Pit-Master had given her for her service. In short, she looked as good as she was going to get.

She strode into the lunch room and sat herself down, as if she belonged there, as if she had every belief that she was welcome. She smiled brightly and cheerfully, once sat, at the two young pirates already there. “Hello.” She offered them her hand. “I’m Genique. I’m the new bookkeeper.”

Next: Betting On It

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My Giraffe Call is Open here! Stop in and leave a prompt!

This is to kelkyag‘s prompt.

The Space Accountant has a landing page here

Genique woke out of a sound, somewhat drunk sleep in a startled panic. She was back in the box, she was back in the chain, she was choking…

“Genique? Miss Wadevier?” Someone was pounding on her door. Nobody had knocked before. And that wasn’t Basi. “Are you in there?”

The chain… She was laying down. The chain normally pulled her into a sitting position. She touched her neck, wondering what was going on. “Oh!” She’d twisted her bedding around her throat in her sleep.

The night began to come back to her. The beer. The beers. Lots of beers. She pulled herself to her feet and opened the door.

It wasn’t so much that she recognized the woman on the other side of the door, as that she could match the face with splintered memories. “Am I late?”

“Oh, no, the First won’t be calling for you for for at least an hour. Oh, I’m Marist Irio. I’m the Quartermaster.”

She was, Genique noticed, carrying a small box. “How can I help you?”

“I know First’s got you working on some paperwork, but she’ll probably send you to the Pit as soon as you’re done. And I have some numbers I can’t get to line up…”

“Aaah. Come on in.” Her new room wasn’t much more than her old room, but it had a real bed, and a real desk. “What’ve you got?”

Marist pulled a data pad out of her box. “Supply numbers aren’t adding up, here… and here.” She tapped at the lines in question.

“Hrrm.” Supplies had been part of the question in the First’s missing funding. “I’ll see what I can do.”

“Basi mentioned you were thinking of taking in your jumpsuits? I’ve got a pocket machine… I can work on your suits while you look at my numbers?”

“Oh, that would be great.” A less-bleary glance at Marist’s uniform showed that it was tailored far better to the dark woman’s curvy figure than the off-the-shelf jumps. “That would be really great.”

This was how things happened, she supposed; half an hour of paperwork while Marist’s hand sewing machine zipped along, trimming Genique’s jumpsuits into something trim and fitted.

“You seem so normal.” That was after half an hour, and six jumps’ worth of sewing, seven months of purchase records studied. “I mean…” Marist flailed a bit. “You seem too ordinary to be here.”

Genique didn’t want to laugh at the woman, she really didn’t, but a little snort escaped anyway. “If my family could hear you say that…”

“It’s just… you’re an accountant. You’re the very definition of white bread, sitting here in the middle of a pirate ship doing the paperwork. It’s surreal.”

“Story of my life.” Genique sighed, and put down the pad. “Why do you think my family didn’t find the money for the ransom? Why do you think I’m sitting here waiting for whatever the Pit is?”

“Normal’s different on a farm planet?”

“Normal’s different everywhere you go, I think. At home… I was the black sheep. Unmarried, at my age. Bookish, not that good at the farm work.” She smiled dryly. “Afraid of bugs. Here…”

“Here,” Marist tossed her the final jumpsuit, “you’re bookish, which we desperately need. Put-together, adult. We’re not a very adult crew, you may have noticed, aside from the First. So… normal-seeming, I guess.”

“The old maid once again.” She highlighted the final error in Marist’s bookkeeping.

“Hardly.” The look the younger woman gave her was surprisingly steamy. “Try that on, would you?” Genique turned her back to comply, and Marist continued. “If we’re going for old-fashioned terms, have you heard of ‘cougars?'”

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Excerpt 6 today – from a Space Pirates story

From a project I’m working on for a friend; in the same setting as the Space Accountant stories.

And that was the last of the signals. There were times Lind and her partner paid buckets of cash for what they were about to do, and times they were paid in bucketloads; there were times they just used their sidearms and quick wit and no money crossed hands at all.

Are these excerpts causing anyone enjoyment?

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Dinner, a drabble of Space Accountant (Donor Perk)

And a new art of Genique from [personal profile] anke! See full image here!

“Dinner?” Basimontin offered. He was standing in the doorway of the closet that was serving as Genique’s temporary office, leaning, actually, possibly posing.

“Dinner?” She blinked at the stack of data pads. “Yes, dinner. Let me just get this data to First Mate Clyd, and I’ll be with you.”

“Clyd’s already at dinner. Here,” he tossed her a key. “Lock it up and report it to her tomorrow.”

“But she said…”

“Did she say she wanted it done today?”

“She…” Genique shook her head. “Just that she wanted me to handle it before she sent me to the Pit.”

“And you’ve been working since breakfast?” He shook his head. “You’re either crazy or really dedicated.”

“Or want to figure out the system so I don’t end up working here until my grandchildren are dead.” She was being shorter with him than the poor boy deserved. She rubbed her eyes. “Does that dinner come with something caffeinated?”

“There’s coffee, but will you sleep?”

“Who’s sleeping? I’m not done yet.”

“You are. Come on, dinner. I’ll buy you a beer.” He took her arm to guide her, then, embarrassed, dropped it like it was on fire. “Sorry, ah…”

“No harm, no foul.” She locked up the office, tucking the pad she’d used for notes inside her jumpsuit. “Maybe you can help me figure out how this place works.”

He tilted his head and studied her. “The official stuff or the unofficial?”

“Both.” For the first time in hours, Genique smiled. “You’re pirates, after all.”

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Description of Genique

She’s a thin dark-haired woman that’s all points, looking a bit like this icon here, a bit like this image, but with dark eyes. Chocolate-brown eyes, dark-chocolate hair. Normally, it’s pulled back into a tidy updo; she wears it about half-way down her back.

In the Pirate ship, she’s wearing a one-piece jumpsuit, something like this – – or this only in a dark denim indigo. The suit is unbuttoned to mid-torso, over a rich red camisole (this, in red); the matching scarf is tied around her narrow waist.

She’s holding a pen, or a data pad (think tablet, nook, kindle)

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Lucky Day

For [personal profile] haikujaguar‘s prompt; this is the character/setting from these stories (and on DW)

After “Silk” (and on LJ)

Basi was blushing as he led Genique back to the First Mate’s quarters.

“We really screwed up your Christmas, didn’t we?” he asked quietly.

“Well, you kidnapped me, kept me locked in a room for thirty-one days, took my clothes, chained me up… and gave me a job. And a pretty shirt.” she plucked at the camisole. “So far, I’m not doing all that badly.”

He stared at her. “Kidnapped, enslaved…”

“Employed forcibly. And…” she shook her head. “They could have taken out a loan. My family. My employers. My friends. I would have been good for it, over the course of the loan. And no-one did.” She smiled at Basi, even as she knew she shouldn’t encourage him. “You cared.”

“I care,” he agreed, his blush only darkening his space-bleached skin. “Uh, here’s the First’s.”

“Thank you, Basimontin.” She made her escape before either of them could say something they’d regret.

In the First’s office, she was shown to a chair, much more comfortable for the jumpsuit. “Everyone starts in the Pit,” Clyd told her again, “but I’ve got some stuff I’d like you to look at before we send you down there.”

“Stuff?” Genique looked at the piles of data chips curiously.

“Stuff indeed. We have a money leak somewhere, and I can’t find it. I didn’t sign up to do the accounts. If you can find it, I’ll give you a bonus to your salary and…” she looked at the red chemise thoughtfully… “I think I have a pair of silk socks that will match that. Never worn, red’s not my colour.”

Genique smiled slowly. She was beginning to understand how things worked around here. “I could take a look,” she agreed. “Somewhere in these chips?”

“It’ll probably take you a few days. Call it three, and I’ll set you up in the office next to mine. There’s no-one there right now.” Clyd gathered all the chips together with a reader and stylus. “Good luck.”

Taking the pile of things, Genique felt herself smiling. “I do think this is my lucky day.”

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Merry Kinkmas – The Pit

From my card, 17th and 21st blocks (random choice)

100 words each, Space Accountant

Content warnings: …slavery, drugs, dub-con touching, suffocation….

“There you go.” Genique didn’t know how long Edgarris had been gone, but he was suddenly back, pulling a hood over her head before she could stop him, zipping it shut over her face and buckling its collar tightly around her throat. The hood fit like a second skin, pressing against her cheeks, against her lips, against her eyes. She was engulfed in blackness, with nothing but the smell of leather oil in her nose.

She gasped, the collar pressing her windpipe as Edgarris used it to pull her to her feet. She gasped, fighting for air that wouldn’t come.

“Please,” she gasped, the hood eating the sound and forcing her lips shut. “eeesse…”

“First lesson of the Pit.” Edgarris’s mouth was right next to her ear, and yet she could barely hear him. “Everything, everything you get here, you must earn. Even air, pretty. Even a name. Even the right to speak. Do you understand?”

Even the right to speak. Light-headed and lost in the drugs, she still understood. She nodded mutely.

“Good.” He released the collar, dropping her to the floor. “Show me.”

She crawled towards where his feet must be, pressed her face to his toes. Please.

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