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Courier Chronicles

Summary:  The first of many shorts set in a time in the future where there is no postal service.  Everyone must rely on courier companies to get packages anywhere.  One of the best couriers is Jessica James.  She hasn't lost a package to theft or the elements in four years and she isn't going to start now.  On this run, Jessica's delivering a package that's wanted by a few people.  Her boss owes her big for this one.
Rating:  13 and up due to swearing and a bit of off screen violence
Length:  1000 words

She tried not to breath through her nose as she lay stomach down on a pile of garbage conveniently located beneath the fire-escape she had just plunged from. Yes, Jessica James, world class courier who had never lost a package in her five year carrier, twitched involuntarily as she thought over what had brought her to being face to face with yesterday's dinner and rotting banana peels.


“Simple delivery my ass,” she growled and glanced up as footsteps sounded above her. She scooted back further into the shadows cast by the apartment building that overlooked the alley. She stopped breathing and hoped that the person with the almost blindingly polished shoe wouldn't notice her.


Things had been so easy when this delivery started. Danny, owner of Black Wisp Couriers and her boss, had handed her the slip for a pickup and delivery in some little out of the way town called Paris, Illinois. An elderly gentleman had handed her a metal bow, similar to a lock box, and looked around like he was expecting to be shot. Thinking back on it, he probably was expecting that.


No sign of her,” one of her well dressed, well trained pursuers spoke over his com device to his fellows.


Well, spread out. We can't loose the box!” a female shriek made her wince. The brains behind the operation had yet to show herself, and Jessica had no want to meet her if that was what she sounded like.


Acknowledged,” the man in the black dress clothing replied and leapt down from the fire-escape. Her heart froze. Her breathing stopped. Her muscles tensed, but she did not move. She knew it would be the last thing she did if he spotted her. After an agonizing few seconds that seemed to drag out like molasses on a cold day, the man walked out of the alley. The gentle thrum and high pitched, nail-on-chalkboard whine of an antigrav engine booting up followed moments later. Still, Jessica remained as unmoving as a statue.


After an eternity, or five minutes laying face down in garbage while clinging to a metal box that has cause way to much trouble for something its size, she cautiously made her way out of the garbage pile and out of the alley. Her eyes instantly sought out her ride, her beloved Magnabike in its shimmering black and silver flecked paint job she had done three weeks previous. She let out a sigh as she caught sight of her baby. That bike had saved her life more times than she cared to dwell on. Why, oh why, did she have to get the jobs that went to hell each and every time? Next time Danny gave her a “simple” job, she was running in he opposite direction as fast as her legs could carry her.


The bike was none the worse for the merry little chase through Indianapolis she had done in the past, she glanced at her watch, hour and a half. A few stray marks where bullets had manged to get through the weak points in her projection shield and scratched the paint. Thankfully, nothing vital had been hit. Now, she just had to go a few more blocks, deliver the package to the recipient and high-tail it home before the men in black suits found her, again.


The next block over and Jessica began to relax, if only a little. Th apartment she had been looking for was just up ahead on the right. Her eyes scanned the surroundings as she wove around cars zooming pass. Stopping her bike, she walked up to the complex and looked over the name board that told all visitors who lived in each apartment. Her eyes lit up as she came across a familiar name. Rosalind Anderson. The recipient of this damned box.


Tucking the cool metal under her arm and shivering at the contact, she remembered to make Danny pay for a new jacket. Her old one had been trashed in a fight with the well dressed men back in Paris. As she came to the elevator, she paused. She didn't like to take elevators. They were far to easy to sabotage and most henches hired to take packages didn't really care about leaving the courier alive. That's why there was such a high turnover in the business. She had been to three funerals in the last month of people she had worked with in the past.


The stairs it was then.


The stair well was normal and nonthreatening. The hallway she entered was normal by all means. The door she knocked on would have stood out no where. The lady who looked to be over a century old could have been her grandmother.


What in the world was this woman doing with such dangerous material?


Yes” the old woman asked in that high pitched, whisper voice that almost all of the elder generation Jessica had ever met. The old woman's eyes raked over the courier's filth covered form. The once pristine uniform of black collared shirt and black pants had been smeared and stained with things she did not want to contemplate.


Package for Rosalind Anderson,” Jessica piped up in her most cheery voice. “There were some problems getting it here, but everything should be in tact. If you could just sign this.”


The holo pad passed from one to another. Then, the metal box was in the recipient's hands. The old woman smiled toothlessly at the female courier as she opened the box and brought out a book, and old spiral bound book with papers sticking out ever which way.


Thank you, dearie,” she grinned. “I thought my good for nothing granddaughter would get this after my sister died. I am not giving up the family recipes to her. She's stolen enough from her poor auntie. Thank you.”


The door closed before the old woman could see Jessica's reaction. The courier felt her left eye twitch and she clenched her hands tight enough to draw blood from her palms. Grinding her teeth, she stomped down the stairs and mounted her bike in such a huff. A snarl made its way across her face as she activated her comlink.


Danny, you so owe me for this one,” she literally growled at her boss. A small whimper answered her back. She loved scaring the idiot. It wasn't like she was actually going to hurt him. Her sister would kill her for that.




( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
This sounds really good.
I commented on this post in the fiction writers community as well and I wanted to come to the source to see if you had anything else. I'm actually in the process of writing a novelof my own and I have so many ideas for them that it's difficult to organize them all. That's what I'm using livejournal for but, any way, I really enjoyed reading this I hope you post more.
And I was wondering if you could give me a bit of feedback on the things that I post. You seem to have a lot of experience,with your own completed novel and all, and I think you would have some good advice for an aspiring writer like me.
Aug. 6th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi!
Sure. I love helping new writers out. I'm best at editing works that are not my own. I tend to have a blind spot the size of New York when it comes to my writing. I check some of your stuff over and see if i can help any.
Aug. 6th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi!
Thank so much. Heres a link to my journal if you need it, I'm just starting out so I don't have much right now, just what I'm posting today. Thanks again,

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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