“Jibber-jab” (AKA “Skip to next ‘track’ to start story”):
Yeah that’s right. I know plenty of you are thinking “What the hell? ‘Jibber-jab’ in a fanfic?” Well I figure since I’m posting a Scott Sigler fanfic I might as well go all the way as far as emulation is concerned. So first off: while this is a Rookie fanfic, I am currently NOT a football fan (although the Rookie has made me consider looking into it), nor a fan of any other sports. So any discrepancies or stereotyping of actual sports fans can be blamed on that. I AM however a proud junkie, with the Rookie at the top of my list. So when I saw the Fanfic forum I figured I would give it a go. The second thing is that, while I am using the “Siglerverse” as the setting, I am not necessarily trying to copy Scott’s style (honestly who could?). I am going to write how I try to write my other (unfinished) projects, accept that I am going to force myself to finish this one. Also I am going to post this in parts on this topic, since I’m writing it as I post. So I made another topic for comments, please post your praise or insults there thanks. That’s it, thanks for reading through my pre-emptive excuses, and I hope you enjoy the story…
Gerald Everet sat in the stands at MCOVI stadium, waving his worn black and silver Raiders pennant energetically. He cheered as Quentin Barnes, the young star quarterback, barreled his way past the defensive line. Gerald’s seat was up near the top of the stands, and even with the battered binoculars the teams still looked like opposing swarms of newly hatched roundbugs.
Of course Gerald could see the game on the massive screen that dominated one end of the stadium, but that just wasn’t the same. The cameras only focused on one or two players at a time, and never on the ones that mattered. That or they displayed stats and stupidly smiling pictures of whoever had contributed to the last play. Just like now, the screen was dominated by the gap-toothed grin of one of the Corsairs’s linemen. But Gerald had focused his binoculars on the players. He thought he could see a small gap in the Corsairs defensive strategy, but wasn’t quite certain. Then he panned back to the Raider’s and quickly found Barnes lining up for the snap. He watched as Barnes tapped a quick rhythm on the centers ass and smiled to himself. I must be getting better at this; Gerald thought and sipped his soda.
Suddenly the lines erupted into action, battling each other for every inch of ground. Barnes darted to his left and down the far side of the field. Gerald cheered as Barnes dodged the line backer, was grabbed by and tore free from the defensive end, dodged another blocker, and pounded the free safety into a 10 yard arc through the air. The limp, unconscious body of the free safety crashed to the ground just as Barnes passed into the in-zone, completing the unbelievable touchdown.
The game was over shortly after. The Raider’s fans laughed and jeered as the Corsairs supporters fled from the stadium. Gerald chanted right along with the rest as they filed out of the stands, but he remained in his seat. He knew from many long years in the cheap-seats that it would be at least two hours before his area would be able to get out anyway. He leaned back against the hard plastic bench and sighed with contentment. The MCOVI Raiders were going to the championship. He had waited most of the twenty nine years of his life to see his home team stand tall with the Purist Nation trophy, and with Quentin Barnes it was a certainty. And to top it all off Gerald would be there. He had bought the tickets in advance the day he had heard that Barnes had been raised up to first string.
Outside of the stadium Gerald tossed his empty soda into the incinerator can and started on the long walk back to the mines. His shift wouldn’t start for another three hours, but he had one more obstacle between him and the championship game. Donald Ferguson, the overseer of the mines. The man was an asshole, but he was at least a buyable asshole. The rectangular package Gerald carried contained the finest booze Purist Nation credits could buy. That had been the deal: one week of freedom, complete with a passport (forged of course), in exchange for four cryo-canisters of Quith made gin. The stuff was a double sin, one for simply being alcohol. The other was much worse: the fact that it was a product of one of the satanic races. It had shamed him to his core to contact, and even bargain with, the grotesque one eyed thing, but this game was a once in a lifetime chance. He had to take it.
Gerald had found the Quith warrior Vyrak the Mean through one of the few contacts he had retained from his time before the mines. Gerald had been a hacker once, and he had been damned good at it, especially for a thirteen year old kid. But somewhere along the line he had screwed up. Even after fifteen years Gerald still couldn’t figure out which hack had finally landed him in the none to gentle hands of the Purist Nation justice system. He had always covered his tracks flawlessly. Gerald sighed and looked at the bland concrete structures that lined the streets of MCOVI. One whole week away from this dump; it was worth any sin.
When Gerald had turned up early the morning before the game to meet with what he assumed was his human contact, at the stadium of all places. He had been appalled to see the six foot form of Vyrak himself lurking in the shadows near a service entrance. Gerald had nearly turned and ran for his life, but before he could the beast spoke to him.
“You have the money?”
“Y… yes…” Gerald stammered and offered the thin plastic card with a trembling hand.
Vyrak took it and pressed the small button in the top left corner. The card lit up, displaying the value. “Nice doing business with you.” The Quith said in a tone Gerald thought might have been humor, and tossed him a clear plastic box holding the four canisters. Gerald had stuffed the box into his backpack and all but ran back to his tiny one room apartment.
Now, backpack in hand, Gerald climbed the exterior stairway to Ferguson’s office. He rapped twice on the metal door and when he heard an acknowledging grunt from within, stepped inside. Donald sat at his desk typing vigorously on the keypad inlaid on the top. Behind the man Gerald could just make out the stained back of the old couch that Donald used in place of an office chair. Donald easily weighed 350 pounds and not an ounce of it was muscle. He looked up from the screen just long enough to see who it was then turned back to his work.
“Well, if it ain’t my boy Gerald, come to visit me. I assume you have something for me?” He said grinning around a cigar that protruded from his fleshy lips. Gerald nodded, and Donald waved a chubby hand at a stiff backed chair that sat against a side wall. “Well then grab a seat and lets talk business.”
Gerald pulled the seat out into the middle of the room, across from Donald and sat. Donald finished typing and rummaged through his desk. He pulled out a manila envelope and set it on the desk. Donald untied the string and spilled the contents out among the other stacked papers that littered the space. Among them was an ID card with Geralds face, but the name read Nasir Gimal.
“As you see I kept my end of our little arrangement, at great risk to myself. How about you?” Donald’s voice was light, like an old friend asking if Gerald had brought him back a borrowed shovel, but the look in the fat man’s eyes spoke volumes about what exactly would happen to Gerald if he answered wrong.
“I have it right here… straight from the source.” Gerald said pulling the case out and turning it slowly to show all four canisters. He leaned forward and set it on the desk. Donald broke the seal on the case and pulled out a canister. With a deft flick of his wrist Donald popped the latches and pulled off the lid. He gave the contents a quick sniff and then a taste. Gerald sat nervously as Donald swirled the contents in his mouth then relaxed as a pleased grin creased the man’s fat face.
“You got me some good stuff here. Must of set you back a pretty penny.” Donald scooped the assorted paperwork carelessly back into the envelope and slid it across to Gerald, and for all purposes forgot about him. Gerald quietly left the office.
On his way down the stairs he passed Kevin Pareshi. Kevin was a big man with an angular face that looked carved from stone. He had worked in the mines once, but when his reputation for brutality caught Ferguson’s ear he was “promoted” to a position that better fit his personality. Now he was an enforcer for every petty rule Ferguson dreamed of, as well as a collector for debts built up from any of a number of immoral, or in some cases plain illegal, enterprises Ferguson dabbled in. In the old days it was said he could even go toe to toe with Quintin Barnes, and seeing Kevin made Gerald believe every word.
“Hello Gerald. I take it that I won’t have to make any special visits tonight…” Kevin growled in a deep voice that sounded like the mans throat was filled with gravel.
“Uh… No. No sir mister Pareshi.” Gerald said clutching the envelope to his chest and squeezing himself against the railing to give Kevin plenty of space.
“Good to hear.” Kevin said in a pleasant way that was completely at odds with the look of disappointment in his eyes. He continued on up the stairs and into the office.Gerald slipped back down the cracked sidewalk to the dorm and hid the folder in a little niche he had carved into the wall. He let the Raiders poster fall back into place. Only once it was safely tucked away did Gerald relax. The excitement he felt for his coming trip seeped back into him as he dressed for work. One more week, Gerald thought as he gathered his tools, one more…