When Ed met Jed - pt2

<snip>"I've been assigned to the Blue Dwarf!"What Jed said next was unrecorded, but several shots were heard tohave been fired.<end snip>    Who: Jed Calvert and EddieWhere: Mars, Crash siteWhen: 20 minutes laterJed
was fuming. He sat on the other side of a large twisted and
charredpiece of broken spaceship with his head in his hands. He rubbed
hissemi-permanent stubble, to anyone else his unwashed dusty facial
hairwould probably felt like a thick nest of thorns, but to
histhick-skinned dirty fingers it felt exactly how it should. He got
upand kicked a charred can into the rubble.How dare he? How dare Eddie join his ship? There
were body parts spread across the wreckage, and Jed vented hisanger on
a poor disembodied hand. He stamped on its fingers and grindedthem into
the burned floor. Then he sat down again.Jed didn't realise it,
or want to admit it, but really he was angry athimself. It was he who
had employed Eddie to do this job for him, andnow he was stuck with the
man. Everything about the man irritated him.The way he looked
constantly unshevelled like he didn't give a shitabout his appearance,
the way he drank vile whiskey-substitute, the wayhe didn't care about
anyone but himself, and getting wasted. Jed didn't want to admit it, but he hated Eddie because he reminded him of himself. And the thing he hated most about Eddie was that he kept calling him "mate".Jed
punched a wall, making some fuselage fall within earshot. He hopedthat
wherever Eddie was in the rubble, that it had fallen on him andkilled
him to save Jed from the suffering of having him on his ship."Mate." Jed spat. "I `ain't the mate of no priest!"Jed and Eddie actually went way back. Back
before Jed had ever heard of the Blue Dwarf, and certainly had nodesire
to be Captain. As a teenager on the planet of New Texas, Jed gotin with
a very bad crowd. He joined in with a gang of smugglers andcut-throats,
it was they who taught him how to kill a man, and how tosteal and
smuggle.The gang was called the "Black Buckaroo's". Jed used to
steal shipmentsof hooch from the hovertrain that crossed the New Texan
dessert andsell them for double the price to desperate saloon owners. Jed
remembered the first time he met Eddie. It was in a very low
classsaloon at the end of one of New Texas' small towns. Jed had been
sentthere by the Black Buckaroos to meet someone for some shady
businessdeal.--------<begin flashback!>-------------Who: JedWhere: New Texas, a saloonWhen: About 10 years of hard drinking agoJed turned up at the bar. He was used to drinking in dirty skanky hovels, but this was by far the worst he had ever seen. He loved it. Almost
immediately he was approached by a fat hooker with too muchmake-up. She
offered him a cheap deal. But Jed was on a business deal,and knew there
was a time and a place for hookers. "Gimme 20 minutes." He told the prostitute. "Ah gotta sort somefin out first."He asked for Eddie Monsoon and the barman pointed to a drunk in the corner.Jed
walked over. Eddie was not what he expected. He looked like apathetic
drunk. Jed had expected to meet a fierce looking stone-coldkiller drunk.Jed
is the kind of person to not suffer fools gladly. He's also thekind to
brutally judge people based on first appearances. He sat downopposite
Eddie and got straight onto business. "Okay shithead, tell methe job
and I'll go do it."Eddie's eyebrows raised. "Ah the direct
approach, I like it!" He tookanother gulp from his bottle and
introduced himself. "My name is-""I don' care what your name is."
Said Jed. "I just want to do a job,get paid, probably rough a few guys
up along the way, then spend themoney on getting wasted and sleeping
with dirty hookers.""Then good news!" Said Eddie. "I've got a
good job for you. There's aconvoy coming past this planet in two days
time carrying an ancientAztec statue called `The idol of Chantico' or
something.""Spare me the history lesson!" Said Jed, yawning."We're going to steal it!" Said Monsoon."What do you mean we?" Said Jed.Eddie leaned across the table. "I'm your new pardner!"Jed groaned.< Tag Grant! >

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