Billy Get Your Guns (The Ballad of Drake Valari Day 2 - Afternoon pt 1)

“Billy the Kid, is this the part where I’m supposed to say this town ain’t big enough for the two of us?” Riley quipped, holding out her hand.

The Grenadier was exactly the sort of place Drake would call home-away-from home, Riley thought with a chuckle as she entered what could best be described as a pilot bar. Close to the docking bay, it was littered with pilots and ‘ship wrecks,’ men and women who essentially looked to have a stand.

“Oh hey look what the salvage crew dragged in!” Drake jibbed popping out of his seat to greet the red-headed pilot. “Dizzy, where have you been hiding this whole time! GUESS WHOS HERE BOYS!” He said over the din set to drag her to the table filled with a motley crew of military and ex-military folk.

“In the black, like any self respecting pilot, instead of in the bar like… well… you.” She kidded, giving a nod to his friends. “Should’ve known you’d show up for the biggest whiskey festival this side of the verse. You starting early?”

“It’s called ‘socializing’ Lieutenant … and I ain’t starting early … your starting LATE.” He said passing her shot. “Pilot time ain’t time right!” He cheered the crowd laughing and cheering in response. Drake apparently had chanced little and seemingly had not yet gotten to the “mellow” part of a pilots life. Then again once a fighter pilot always a fighter pilot!

“How did you survive the gorram academy?” She laughed, ordering herself a drink.

“Luck, Grit and dashing good looks.” He said snicker downing his drink. “Sit! When was the last time we actually got to see each … in PERSON.” He said pulling out a chair for Riley with gentlemanly flair.

“You make me fall on my ass I will punch a hole in your neck.” She warned. “Been what, four years? Unification Day -- you were still chartering that Arrowhead, the Zephyr, I believe?”

“Me? Never! I value my neck far too much.” The thought did cross his mind but he kept that to himself as he ALSO valued his ability to speak. “Four years? Already? Buddha, I’m gorram old.” Drake chuffed. “Now we fly nothing more than glorified boxes with thrusters. When did THAT happen?”

“You ARE Gorram old. And A Firefly is actually a step up from the shit box transports I used to fly. Not a big step, mind you, but a step.” She replied. “You’re gonna love it.”

“Ooo a Firefly, the Clydesdale of the sky. Wait love it? You jumping ship or something?” Drake as eyeing her as he passed her another shot.

“My own ship? Rut no.” She shot back. “I want you to help fly it. I got a kid wet behind the ears I let tend to ‘er at night, but two pilots? Twelve hour shifts? Cover twice as much territory, quicker we get places, the more credits to be made. Let me dumb it down for the jet jockey, I’m offering you a job.”

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