Me, a spy?

From theatrical_muse: Would you make a good spy?

I don't think so. Thing is, I'm a bit too honest. You might think that's an odd thing for a thief to say, but I've always been hopeless at telling lies, mainly because everything I think and feel shows on my face, so I gave up as a bad job early on. I could do you a few security breaches and safe-crackings though, usual rates.

I know a bloke once who said he'd applied for the Secret Intelligence Service (and no, it's not for those who keep their intelligence well hidden, thank you Avon) also known as Grassers Anonymous. They told him he'd spend most of his time checking and filing data and would have to call himself a government clerk (no impressing people at school reunions or wearing long black coats and a mysterious expression, then). Besides, he said, they only offered retirement or death, deciding you'd like a change of career not being an option. So he said no. Last I heard, he was flying a pursuit ship for Space Fleet which was giving him the adrenaline fix he liked.

Me, I prefer my adrenaline with some soma in a glass, thanks. So I think your answer's no.


The first thing I remember

From theatrical_muse: What's the first thing you remember?

My mum making toast.

She was standing at the bench, humming to herself, long gold-blonde hair falling forward to hide her face. I sat there in the warm kitchen, swinging my little legs happily as I savoured the wonderful smell.

"Toast," Mum, said to me, smiling. "Hot toast for me and my little man." She picked me up, swung me towards the ceiling, then hugged me tightly before putting me on her hip. She picked up the slice of thick brown toast. "One bite for me," she took a little nibble, "and one for you."

I grinned at her and bit into it. "Mmm, yum."

She kissed me, tasting all warm and nutty and buttery like the toast.

It makes me smile to remember it, and it hurts too because I wish I could go back to that time and recapture that whole feeling of being safe and loved and happy. My mum died when I was on CF1 (that's Correction Facility 1) when I was 15. I got back to Earth too late. I never said goodbye, but she knew I loved her as much as she did me.

Toast is still my favourite comfort food.


I do have 'em, you know!

From theatrical_muse: What principles are sacrosanct in your opinion?

Never steal anything from anyone who can't afford to lose it. Banks, corporations, rich bastards though? It's open season on that lot.

Don't piss in your own tent. In other words, don't nick stuff from people you know. Well, unless it's Avon and you're teasing him.

Never take anything personal. Even if it's a rich bastard. You never know, they might have feelings.

Never grass on your mates. Exception granted for torture or mind draining and wiping.

Never leave your mates in the lurch. Even if you think they'd do the same to you. Many's the time I thought about it, but I knew I'd feel bad about myself if I did. Sometimes I wish I had though.

Assume everyone's out to get you. Because they are.

And my old favourite: live forever--or die trying. :-)


Perfect birthday

From theatrical_muse: If anything were possible, what would be your perfect way to celebrate your birthday?

At 110 with wine and my woman, of course!

Oh, all right. I suppose must of all I'd like to be alive. Oh, and free too. Anything else is a bonus, but since you're asking, I'll go for a slap-up dinner with my friends accompanied by some decent plonk. Wine, mates, food, a good party, and someone who loves me to spend the night with--and the rest of my life for that matter. My very long life, that is. Look, you did say "perfect".

And since I'd have all that, gifts would be an extra. I'd be happy with anything because I haven't had enough presents in my life for it not to be a novelty that someone would want to give me any. Mind you, I'd be careful opening Avon's.

faint smile


From theatrical_muse: utopia

You what? No such place, mate. Me. I'd settle for somewhere quiet with good pubs and friendly people in them. And you know what? That means the closest I've come to it is the Delta levels on Earth. Sad indictment on the universe, that is.

Besides, shouldn't that be spelled 'eutopia'? I mean, words that mean something good start like that, like euphony and euphoria and euphemism and eunuch (no, not that one!) and eulogy (means good words itself, and me, I'd rather live a very long time and have bad ones at my send-off). Wait, I'll look it up. Nah, it’s spelled right, and I was right too, first time. It means 'no such place', not 'good place'.

Might've known.

black blue

Black and white, but mostly black

From theatrical_muse: black and white.

Ha! I bet you're think I'm going to write about morality or skin colour, though people are usually brown and beige come to that. Actually the first image that springs to mind is Avon's clothes. Always fancied the old black and white, he has (or black and silver) and if I remember right, he even started out in shades of grey. I still have a bit of a snigger when I remember that sailor suit. Actually the grey wasn't bad, but I think all that black leather got to him in the end. I mean, some clothes wear you, don't they? Especially with all those studs and thigh boots. Had to live up to them, didn't he? I'm just surprised he never got one of those spiked dog collars; he needed one to worn people off, especially after we lost Cally and the Liberator.

I suppose it's a sign of hope that there's always a bit of white or silver in all that black though. You know what though? Never thought I'd say it, but I miss the old red lobster suit.


Three things I'm looking forward to

From theatrical_muse: Name three things that you're looking forward to in the near future and why.

Three things?

Well, first up is my dinner, and why? Because I'm getting a bit peckish of course, and because my watch on the flight deck'll be over, and because the others will be there and I can have a nice chat. I like a bit of conversation with my food. And vice versa for that matter.

A game of chess with Avon. It's accompanied by insults, but funny thing--they're never about my game and I win often enough to make us fairly evenly matched. I'm not bad at chess either.

Avon's face when he finds out that some of his proddy tools are actually made of rubber painted to look like metal. Ah, Avon's a great source of amusement. He reacts so well.


Teleports through time

From theatrical_muse: Sleeping on the couch

Let me tell you, the worst thing about shipboard life is night watch, especially for a sociable fellow like me.. Eight hours that stretch into the far distance like a dry and wide desert (just like most of the planets we visit in fact), and about as hard to cross.

I've tried talking to myself (a bit predictable really); pacing the deck as Rebel Captain Restal, hero of the space ways; getting Zen to display viscasts from local systems; playing chess against myself (too evenly matched), but nothing quite fills the silence and emptiness. The hours crawl. Funny, really, when they rush by if you're on a bank job or one of Blake's lunatic missions.
So I feel justified in resorting to naps. They're like teleports through time: make yourself comfortable on the flight-deck couch and close your eyes, and suddenly you're a couple of hours in the future. It's not that risky either: I've had plenty of practice sleeping lightly in prison, and besides, I ask Zen to warn me of any danger, no matter how small, after all, I have a healthy sense of self-preservation. And you know, I think he likes being in charge for a while.

And now it's time for a snooze on the old white leather. Tired me out, writing all that.



From theatrical_muse: Headlines

One of the consolations for getting caught, headlines are. Well, all right, the only one. See, if I never got arrested, I'd've been well known only to assorted fences and cracksmen, but a headline like "MASTER THIEF RESTAL NABBED" almost makes it worthwhile. I collected them: "TOP SAFE MAN CAUGHT" (not that it was a particularly safe life, mind), "JEWEL THIEF SENT TO CF1", "ART GALLERIES SAFE: RESTAL IN CUSTODY (bit wordy, the old Londondome Crier, or the Londondrone Weeper as we called it), and "RESTAL EXILED". Very pithy that last one.

Funny thing though: you only get your name in print as a thief when you're nicked or sent down, but turn rebel and it's always up in caps. "RESTAL LEAVES SIGNATURE" (well, I like to scratch my initials on the hard ones), "ACE RESTAL" (a favourite one, that, from the Lindor Times, after I told Tyce I'd got Zen to put well over the minimum 25 little pursuit ships on the side of the Liberator), but the best one of all is "RESTAL STILL AT LARGE".

And long may it remain so.