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I Am Rolling, I Am Hiding, I am Running (You Can't Stop Me)

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So, one evening around the dinner table of the Rocinante, after pleasantly stuffing themselves on a dinner of spaghetti, meatballs, and garlic bread -- courtesy of Amos -- the subject of vintage Earth music somehow comes up, specifically, stuff that's not the nursery rhymes and children's songs they all heard as wee tots. (And weren't those some strange things, because they were about concepts that mostly made no sense to them as small children, due to the fact that the world had changed so much in the hundreds of years since they were first sung, or because they were so Earth specific.)

"I didn't hear any nursery rhymes or kiddie songs growing up," Amos grumbles in reply.

And it turns out he really doesn't know any of them, not even things like "Row-Row-Row Your Boat", "London Bridge", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", or "Rockabye Baby" and that includes knowing the Mars or Belter variants, too.

"But," Alex continues, "if you have to pick one classic Earth song, in English, that's your song ... what is it?"

Holden laughs. "I don't have just one song --"

"Of course you don't," Amos cuts in.

Holden piffs at him and continues, "It's an album, the soundtrack to Man of La Mancha."

Naomi arches an eyebrow. "I am not your Dulcinea."

"Kyuss," Amos says before anybody can speak, "'50 Million Year Trip, Down Side Up.' It's the story of my life."

"I'll bet," Naomi says quietly. (Amos has shared more with her about his past than anybody else on the Roci, and what Holden knows, he mostly overheard by accident.) "On that note," she continues, "I'll have to go with 'Girls' by Beyonce. We didn't listen to a lot of Earth music of any kind growing up, but I remember one of my Tias had a thing for that song, and now that I'm older, I see why."

"Was that the song you played the other day while we were fixing the air recycling system?" Amos asks.


"Yeah, sounds about right," Amos smiles, for real, which is rare. A blink later and it's gone.

"I dunno ..." Alex drawls, "Naomi may run the world and keep our engines humming, but where would any of us be without Amos's keeping the coffee maker running?" He raises his bulb in a toast. Holden hefts his too before taking a generous slug.

"Well, Alex?" Holden asks.

Alex smiles a little crookedly. "Go big or go home," he says almost under his breath. "I have to go with that theme song from 2001 -- you know that classic old movie? -- every time I hear it, I'm reminded of the first time I saw the sun rise over the edge of Mars while at full burn. I never thought anything could be so beautiful. It's a moment I'll never forget."

"And now you're getting all poetic like Holden," Amos says, shaking his head, but there's no heat in it, only amusement.

The conversation turns to plans for their rendezvous with Tycho Station, but before they have to strap back into their crash couches because Alex is going to them back up to a 1.5g burn -- which they normally wouldn't be doing but they're really time crunching on this run -- Holden quietly finds a moment to slip away and play Amos's song. And, yeah, from what he knows about Amos, it kind of confirms what he suspected all along.