Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the TV programme "Space: Above & Beyond" are the creations of Glen Morgan and James Wong, FOX Broadcasting and Hard Eight Productions and have been used without permission - no copyright infringement intended.
Everybody's Got The Right To Sing The Blues
For once McQueen was glad of the senseless bigotry against all InVitros that forced the Shore Patrol to give him his own holding cell. Even if the buzzing, flickering, fluorescent lights never went off, even if he were still shackled like an animal, even if the place stunk of piss and puke, he might still be able achieve a small modicum of peace.
Once the dark-skinned SP sitting with his feet propped up on his desk quit strumming his guitar that is.
Eyes closed, the man seemed lost in the soul-deep, mournful tunes he plucked from the strings of his instrument. McQueen wanted to sleep, but the music stirred up feelings that, although definitely of the grimmer variety, seemed to relieve some of his pain, some of his loneliness.
"That one's called `Fat Anthony's Blues'."
McQueen turned his head and found the SP staring back at him.
"I wrote it."
"s'nice," T.C. mumbled.
"My daddy always used to say that at some time in his life every man's got a right to sing the blues."
Not knowing what to say to that, McQueen remained silent.
" `a course some gotta harder row to hoe than the rest. From the looks of you, I'd say you been set to hoe up on concrete that's been laid six feet deep"
T.C. squinted at the other man in confusion.
"What's your story,..." The SP glanced down at the file on his desk. "...McQueen?"
"What do you care?"
"Let's just say I'm looking for inspiration."
The InVitro peered through the bars at his jailer, gauging him for honesty. That wasn't what he saw, but that was all right. He realized that the other man was actually sympathetic to his plight.
"Gimme a blanket."
As he stood, a smile tugged at the dark-skinned man's lips before he could stop it, but he covered his lapse with a cough.
"I'm... uh... not supposed to do that."
"You want a song? I want a blanket."
The SP paused for dramatic effect and then walked over to a closet door, pulled it open, and retrieved a gray, woolen blanket. He stared hard at McQueen through the bars then tossed it to his prisoner.
"No funny business," he warned.
"No, sir," T.C. said with a sigh as he tugged the blessedly warm material around his shoulders.
The SP resumed his position at his desk and picked up a pencil. "Just in case you were wonderin', you have the distinct honor of being immortalized in song by Glenn Van Ross, Delta Blues Guitar Player Extraordinaire."
"Do you want me to start with my stats or just move on to where I was decanted?"
"We'll get to that eventually. How about you just tell me what went on tonight? Six to one? All you need is a no-good woman and you've got yourself a blues classic."
"It's funny you should mention a woman...," T.C. muttered as he laid back on the bench.
"What did I tell you? A classic."