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By Elizabeth Buchan-Kimmerly

Action / Scifi

A TON OF MONEY


A TON OF MONEY

Mal glared at Badger.

’What d’ya mean the cargo is bronzers? ”

“Puts new meanin in the name two-bit thief, don’t it, sir?”

“Naow, naow, Mal. Don’t get yer knickers in a bunch. We’re not stealin a few coins here. There’s a tonne …an acktuel ton. …of coin available.”

“What is that in value?” asked Zoe.

“Ah, naow that’s the right question. It’s one an a half million twobyte coins. Total value three million.”

“An our cut?”

“Twenny five percent, on accounta the biggest problem will be disposing of them all. But that is my problem.”

“So. Seventy five thou. In bronzers?”

“Nah. In platinum, or notes if ya want.”

“Coin, any day.”

“So, we’re agreed?”

“Let’s look at the plan, anyways.”

Jayne surveyed the dockyard. At this late hour, it was quiet and locked down. Bright lights flooded the place.

“Do they got dogs?” he asked Mal.

“Badger sez it’s took care of, same as the watchman.”

“Dogs don’t take bribes.”

“But they like high meat, even if it’s doctored. The watch is givin them something special with their dinner t’night. And then he keeps his back turned and we chloroform him, just a little.”

Kaylee had hotwired a stolen truck for the container-trailer. Zoe, wearing the same thin leather gloves as the men, swung into the van whose door had been crudely jimmied.

“I hate lookin so unprofessional, Mal.”

“Stop callin me by name, durin a heist then. We don’t know that the yard ain’t miked too.”

“There’s cameras?”

“Course there’s cameras. That’s why Zoe has the pregnant belly and blonde wig. That’s why the full beards. An’ why the burnooses. An why the truck hasta look like some amateurs took it.”

Zoe checked her watch. “Showtime, sir.”

The plan went smooth. Jayne ‘overcame’ the watchman and duct taped him to an office chair, with just enough roughness to keep the cops from suspicion. The stolen truck was hitched to the container-trailer easily, since hitching and unhitching containers was a normal task for the crew of a transport.

Then they were out of the gate, closing it behind them, and driving quietly into the centre of the city, where it was easy to get lost in the traffic. After an hour or so of random driving, they headed over a bridge to the pickup point, another transit yard, this one near the spaceport.

At that yard, a new crew took over unloading the container into four smaller vehicles. One of Badger’s men, took Zoe’s belly and wig and drove the rig back into the city. He would abandon the rig near where it was stolen and dump the disguise in the washroom of a fast food restaurant. With luck, a tired cleaner would just toss the washroom trash into their dumpster and it would not be found.

“Providin he don’t decide to choose a bar instead. Cops will check those first.”

“His problem, not ours.”

Badger had sent one of his gangsters to deliver their pay. Each got a heavy purse with 25 000 in platinum coin, which took a lot less room and weight than the bronzers had. The purses were still heavy, Mal gloated.

Wash picked them up walking a few blocks from the transit yard in the mule. The burnooses went into a charity clothing bin on the way back to the spaceport.

“Now we make a quick getaway in case the feds catch on to us, but we ain’’t got nuthin with us that connects us to the caper.”

“Ooh, we did a caper! We never get to do a caper!” Wash and Kaylee high fived.

Mal groaned. “Don’t celebrate yet. Badger is still using us. If the Feds manage to connect a ship leaving port quick after the ….robbery….” Kaylee looked disappointed that Mal hadn’t said ‘caper’ again.” We could still be in trouble. We gotta stash the coin for a while.”

“We’re not far from my folks, capt’n. I could go for a short visit.”

“There someplace to bank this coin?”

“Easy peasy. My daddy’s got more outbuildin’s that he got kids.”

“Thank you for bringin my lil girlie back for this visit, Captain Reynolds.”

“Thank you for lettin me take her in the first place, Mr. Frye.”

“An the money she’s been sendin home, I can’t say that hasn’t been a help. Her lil sister is as smart with her head as Kaylee is with her hands. We’re hopin we can afford to send her to Academy after she finishes her Twelve. All the kids is putting in a bit for her tuition.”

Mal took the plunge. “Mr. Frye, I gotta proposition for you. We done pretty good on our last job, pulled in some good coin. I don’t like banks an I don’t like carryin too much cashy money around with us.”

“Mmmphm.”

“Would you see your way clear to letting us keep a good portion here. Kaylee says you got lotsa outbuildings for storage.”

“This cashy money wouldn’t be in bronzers, would it, Captain Reynolds?”

“Nossir! We got paid in platinum.”

“You heard about the Great Bronzer Robbery on Boros?”

“We don’t pay much attention to newswaves in the Black, sir.”

“Not exactly an answer to my question. Which is an answer in its own self. You ain’t putting my sweet girl in any danger?”

“No moren any of us workin out here on the Rim. Things can get hairy at times and the Alliance ain’t too fond of us Independents, but seriously I never want any harm to come to your girl. She’s…. she’s our sunshine.”

“That muscle ain’t givin her a hard time?”

“Jayne? He tries anything, he knows I’d space him. Or worse, tell his ma on him.”

“That kind of tough guy, eh? Alright. Pick a shed and put your stuff in it. Don’t tell me which one.”

“Thank you, sir. An we’ll be making a contribution to the Academy fund.”

“Yes, you will.”

“So Daddy was okay with leavin our money there?”

“Once he was clear on Jayne’s intentions towards you, yep.”

“Jayne’s? He didn’t ask about yours?”

This story is based on an actual theft. In 1996, just after Canada dropped the $2 bill in favour of a $2 coin (the toonie, because the existing $1 coin which has a loon on the back, is the loonie), a truckload of newly minted coins was stolen from a rail siding in Quebec, never to be seen again.

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