Taking the Bus to Work, Joss-Style

Taking the Bus to Work, Joss-Style

Bad enough having to go to work. Having to work to get to work? That really sucks. But the subway didn’t come, so Joss has to find an alternate means of transportation. This is from Queen’s Man, coming soon from awesome online places!

Chivas, as far as Joss knew, were unique to Kari’s Star. Anyone who got his hands on a bus could paint it up and turn it into a chiva, and make a living driving people and their things and sometimes their livestock where they needed to go.

“Where you going, hey?” The porter was a tall thin man with black hair and a curled mustache. He looked Joss over from damp hair to good but scuffed shoes, noted the dragon-headed cane and the gold hoop in his ear, and jerked his head. “What tribe?”

“Fukuyo headquarters. How much?”

“Get on.”

There were advantages to being a tribe-man. Joss stepped on the back wheel and up into the open-air bus. One glance at the line still waiting told him to head for higher ground, so Joss found a spot on someone’s laundry in the front corner of the luggage rack above the driver—both so he could signal when he needed to get off, and because near the driver was likely to be the safest place on the bus. Joss had heard a chiva needed four different licenses to operate legally, but greased palms in the right places worked just as well while costing less.

As he’d expected, the driver and his partner packed people into the chiva until the line was gone. Joss shared the luggage rack with an old woman and her crate of chickens, a lot of bags and boxes, and a young couple cuddled together in the back. The rest of the passengers were crammed in below with a big barky dog, a goat, a whole lot of human kids, a fetid-smelling “holy man,” and his four filthy disciples.

Better to be on top.

Finally the chiva lurched into motion. Joss watched Kari’s Port slide by and thought nasty thoughts about the whole damn planet.

On BFR, walking out of the spaceport was walking into the jungle, untouched and amazing. Wild anything scared Kari’s people, though, so they’d built their capital—and their damned spaceport—on an island, and tamed the whole damn thing. The entire place was buildings and parks and gardens, everything growing where it should and nothing left that was mean enough to take a hand off a fool who wasn’t paying attention.

Unless the fool ran crosswise of a major tribe, anyway. Here and there among the crowded buildings lay a pile of rubble no one had got around to reclaiming yet.

Mmm, scene-setting fun…

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Writer, mom, widow. Anything else is transitory.

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One comment on “Taking the Bus to Work, Joss-Style
  1. Oh cool. I want to see more of Joss’ world. You’ve set the scene very well here, giving us an idea that Joss’ world isn’t as “civilized” as the people want it to be. The description of the buses is interesting too. They sound like the buses you’d find in some Latin American country. At least, that’s what it seems like from the descriptions I’ve read and seen on tv of those types of buses.

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