Beating Old Friends
September 15th, 2008

Beating Old Friends

With one stride Parvo loomed over the older man. “I got a message says my new job is here, I had to come see who was peeing into my life this week. I got a job, Buchanan. I don’t need or want your handouts! What I need and want to do is to kick your liver-spotted ass!”

Buchanon touched a few more keys on his desk, tapping the last one with a final flourish. “You had a job. Now you’re working for me. Show some gratitude, I had to practice saying that in front of a mirror for three days before I could do it without throwing up.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Right, sorry. Small words. We. Need. A. Captain. I chose you. Do you still fit into a forty-six regular?”

Parvo stared at him for a long moment. “Alzheimer’s, huh? Or maybe you’ve been resting your forehead against engine cores. I don’t work for you! We served together! That was it, end of story!”

“‘Served together.’ That’s certainly one way of describing it,” Buchanon said amiably. “I notice you left out the word ‘dishonorable.’”

“You were a lousy captain!”

Buchanon chuckled. “Oh, I was,” he agreed. “I was far too lenient on my insubordinate crew, for one thing, especially when it came to landing parties and personal responsibility. Hey, I hear plant life is just starting to come back in that crater you left during the peace mission back in ‘52, so there’s some good news.”

“Stop! Stop talking to me!” Parvo yelled. He clapped his hands over his ears. “Stop messing with me! I’ve got a respectable, high-paying job and an amazing, supportive girlfriend and a nice life going, and I’m not risking any of them for your insane meglomaniacal fantasies!” He let go of his head and balled his hands into massive fists. “Now, I’m going to punch you for a bit, so–”

“You might not want to assault the only guy who’d hire you. Little business tip. You’ve been fired.”

“–I’d advise going limp early on in the beating, you’ll avoid serious… what? When?”

“Depends. How often does your boss check his e-mail?”

Parvo looked down at the keyboard, then back up at Buchanon. There was a brief pause while certain painful thoughts slotted themselves together inside his head with nasty little clicks, and when he finally located his voice again it was a small, tortured thing. “What… the hell… have you done?”

“I have to hand it to you, Vincent. You did, somehow, manage to score a great job. Your employers are fine people. Salt of the earth, the type who would never employ someone who’s done what you did.”


“How old did your new girlfriend tell you she was?”

“She’s…” Parvo started to say, and then Buchanon’s smirk drilled right through his brain. He staggered back and collapsed into a chair. “Oh, God… Kelly…”

Buchanon stood and came around the desk. “Don’t worry, the police will break it to your family and friends gently. Now, most of the stuff in your apartment was crap, but I had my people pack a few things you probably think are worth keeping.”

“…I have to call her…”

“No, you really don’t,” Buchanon said. “Come on, let me show you your brand spanking new destiny.”


  1. Samatwitch

    What fun! I’m really enjoying this, Chris.

  2. SoulOfSerenity

    Ha!! I am loving this!

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