Nico (vilakins) wrote,
Nico
vilakins

Fic: Five things that happened to Jenna Stannis

These were for the Jenna Stannis, Free Trader challenge on b7friday, all set pre-series.

1. Early Days

They weren't supposed to have any of the things Jenna thought made boarding school life bearable, but she managed. Coloured lip gloss and mascara, hair-lightener and spray, some good juicy tunic-rippers--all of these things were hidden in an extra compartment of her suitcase under her bed. All well and good, but when other girls offered to pay her to smuggle in things for them too during her exeats, that was another matter.

You see, well-brought-up Alphas weren't meant to go in for commerce. But it turned out to be more fun than anything else in her life so far.

2. Run

Message for you, Stannis," said the duty officer.

"Thanks. Send it to my pad." Jenna flicked her datapad on and looked at the sender code. Her mother. She sighed and touched the 'open' button.

It was just one word. "Run."

They'd got her at last. Jenna sat still, hoping her face showed nothing. Her mother had always 'spoken her own mind' (Jenna could hear her saying it now, all smug self-righteousness), ignoring all warnings to be more discreet. Everyone was fair game: the regime, local authorities, politicians, even the schools Jenna attended. Her father had left when she was five, and Jenna hadn't wasted time applying for the Merchant Fleet and getting as far away as possible. They'd both known it would happen one day, and unfortunately, when it did, Fenella Stannis's family would be considered just as liable.

She got up slowly, trying to look casual, and strolled out of the rec room. By the time they missed one of the shuttles, it would be too late to track her.

3. Family Ties

Jenna checked the payment for the arms delivery had gone through. "Right, that all seems in order." She pocketed her datapad and hesitated. "What about the other matter?"

"Oh." The woman's face closed. "Avalon will see you about that." She waved to someone behind Jenna. "Avalon?"

Like most of the Federation and many outside it, Jenna had heard of the rebel leader who had started uprisings on several worlds. She didn't expect this slight, pretty young woman though.

"You wanted to know about--" Avalon frowned, trying to remember the name, "--Stannis?"

"That's right."

"My contacts tell me they consider her to have been part of a resistance group, but she never revealed anything under questioning."

Because there hadn't been anything to tell. She'd just been one stroppy woman on her own.

"She died five days after they arrested her." Avalon looked at Jenna sympathetically. "Someone you were close to?"

"Not really. Just someone I knew once. Thanks."

Nothing more than what Jenna had expected, but all the same, she felt as if someone had hit her. Keeping her face calm and business-like, she nodded to Avalon and the other woman and left.

Not close, no. How could they be when her mother's opinions had mattered more than her family and their safety. All the same though, there was that message--and at what cost? Could she have possibly escaped if she hadn't sent it? Still, that risky arms delivery ought to cover it. "Consider us even," Jenna said out loud as she broke orbit.

4. Free Trade

Jenna scrambled up the slope, loose stones giving way under her feet. There must be at least three hundred customs guards after them which seemed excessive, but then the importation of alcohol wasn't just illegal on Zolaf 4; it was against their religion. It was against Tarvin's too, but he regarded his as the only true one.

Jenna laughed briefly. "You're a hypocrite, Tarvin. But one with an eye to a good profit, and I like that in a man."

There was no answer. She stopped and looked back. The fool was struggling to climb in his ridiculous flowing robes and the guards were gaining on him, several close enough to shoot at him. Jenna thought fleetingly about getting away with a hundred percent of the profit but rejected the idea. Tarvin put a lot of business her way and besides, he was an amusing companion. She aimed carefully and blasted several rocks behind him, enough to start a fall which gathered momentum, carrying larger pieces and quite a few Zolavian customs employees with it.

Tarvin caught up, his grin brilliant against his tanned skin. "Thank you, Jenna. You saved my life."

"Yes. And I'll probably live to regret it."

5. The Arrest

Jenna stared in disbelief. "You're arresting me for carrying medical supplies?"

"Yes." The grey man behind the desk with the nameplate saying 'Inspector D Bubin' looked back expressionlessly.

"How can that be illegal? They help people!"

Bubin sighed. "They are Federation supplies and you were taking them to a planet that is no longer considered to be part of the Federation as they are in a state of rebellion." It sounded as if he had said that sort of thing so often he could reel it off without thinking.

"They need those supplies. Sick people, dying people, children!"

"Not my concern. Smuggling however is."

Jenna curled her lip. "You don't care, do you. You must be dead inside."

After they took her away, Bubin picked up a stamp and imprinted the arrest document with his personnel number and the date, then sat looking into space. "Yes," he said to the closed door. "And it helps."

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

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