A/N: I love you all, you wonderful reviewers who review. It makes me happy to open my email box and see not only spam telling me to 'click here and increase your size' (I know, it's weird! Usually people market things to make you lose weight and clothing sizes, not increase weight and clothing sizes!) but Review Alerts! from all of you.
Sami ran into the bar purposefully. She ran past the random groups of people planning adventures. This always, always happened in bars. It was absolutely required. On your census, you had to pay a tax if your latest adventure hadn't started in a bar.
"Ya, what can I getcha?"
The barman quickly hurried to fill her order with the most expensive poison in the house. When he returned with a large glass, Sami asked him, "Is it really necessary to have a dancing girl on premises?" She nodded over at the platform on which an alien woman danced, dressed in less than would be comfortable in a cool room.
"Ya, in order to getcha our cer-tif-i-ci-kay-shun as a ba' we gotta have dancing girl, on weekends two. Costs plenty money, but brings people in, ya."
"Looks like some never leave," Sami mumbled to herself, watching a group of men with at least a seven-days' growth of beard. They stared intently at the dancer.
"HEY! Could we get a Adventure Certification Form over here?" a man called from a booth.
"Ya, go get chim one," the bartender said, pointing at the pile of triplicate forms on the long bar while polishing a glass with his other two hands. Sami sighed, picked one up, and brought it over to the table. The man who had called for the form looked over it, then groaned and turned to his boothmates. Sami looked over his shoulder.
"Okay, in order for our adventure to be certified and be eligible for Scheme Security we have to meet all these requirements. Let me start with the personnel reqs. We have to have an angry, neurotic antihero who has a dark former life-"
"That's me," smiled the pale white woman sitting in a corner. She was dressed all in pink and was wearing a cowboy hat over a beret. The man checked the personnel requirement and moved to the next.
"- a young, inexperienced guy under the age of twenty five who has just come across a deep dark secret, or is the sole survivor of a horrible accident/attack- okay, that's me-" he said as he crossed that personnel requirement off as well.
The slightly older man across the table from him smirked. "Actually, you came across the deep dark secret, told the wrong people, and then you were the sole survivor of a horrible attack."
The younger guy growled and moved to the next requirement. "Person who serves as a foil for the above mentioned guy. You fit that, Gustav." He noticed Sami standing beside him. He 'helloed' her cautiously.
"'Ello. This your first adventure?"
"Yeah-" said the young man.
"Lemme help," said Sami, always happy to help people on occasion. "Your next requirement is… an intelligent android of some sort. Now, that sounds hard, but it's not. That android part just means something that's a machine, and the intelligence is relative. Get a toaster and carry it everywhere. You can say it's intelligent by, say, DrumDrum standards, and that's true," she finished. The two men had whipped out notepads and were taking notes. The woman had begun to sing a song while clapping her hands softly together and staring out into space.
"Okay, and for your next personnel req, you've got 'a strange alien.' That's pretty open. If you really want, you can actually get a sentient strange alien on your crew, or you can go to your nearest pet store and get a strange pet from another world and carry it along with the toaster."
Gustav, the foil for the young man, smiled at her. She gave him a look, and he quickly averted his eyes.
The young man smiled at that.
"That's all your personnel reqs, now you need a ship."
"We don't have one!"
"Here, have mine," Sami said, feeling genuinely kind. She tossed the key and the lot number at them of her own ship whose cargo bay was filled with stationary sets she was planning to sell but that she conveniently forgot about and walked back to the bar as the threesome discussed the next question, 'State the nature of your adventure.'
It was exactly when Khaki showed up with two Oriental rugs in tow that she remembered about the ship.