In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 8
Thursday, May 4, 2006

Samson's going to jail, Jayne gets a sandwich.


Thanks again to everyone who has posted reviews.

This is a big episode, but again I had a specific place I wanted to get everyone to so my apologies if you find it too long.

I have used a lot of Chinese in this one and have tried putting the translations in brackets after the phrase to save constant scrolling to the bottom of the page; I hope this is not too distracting. The translations in the brackets are what I hope I’m saying; the translations at the bottom of the page are the literal ones.

The fact that some of the charecters won't come out is hugely frustrating, if anyone can suggest a solution to this i'd be grateful.

The Firefly characters are someone else’s property, I am not getting paid for this.

All reviews welcome.


It was kind of comical to watch Chilli’s face fall,

“Āi yā, bǐ rén hú lái, ǎn yǐn jūn zǐ. (Ah my God, I make a complete hash of things, I am a drug addict who believes his own lies.)” Chilli wiped his hand over his face, “Zen me bàn? (What’s to be done?)”

There was the sound of an engine approaching.

“What…” Started Mal

The Mule came skimming round the corner and came gracefully to a halt. River gave them all a sunny smile.

Jayne was perched on the back of the Mule, gripping Vera who was sitting in some kind of Heath Robinson arrangement that turned the Mule into a scrap yard gun ship. He was grinning nearly as wide as River.

Mal didn’t ask questions, “Mule can take five at a pinch, Chilli, Al, you get Samson on that Mule get him back to the Jail fast. Zoë n’ me gonna swing by the Doctors office see what’s going on, be with you slick like. “You fly straight and true little ‘Tross.” Mal flicked River’s cheek affectionately.

River gave him a happy, happy smile and gunned the Mule, turning the first corner fast enough to send Jayne sprawling.

************************************************************************************** Simon came out of the treatment room, drying his hands on a towel. He started when he saw Owen, then saw Marie. His professional instincts took over.

“Have you brought me a new patient?”

“Seemed the best place to bring her, wasn’t expecting to see you, thought you’d be at the Jail House.”

“As a patient?” Persisted Simon, not wanting to pursue how Owen knew where he was likely to be.

Owen thought for a moment, “Don’t know, better ask her, she might appreciate a Doctor who don’t tell her husband everything she says.”

Dr. Downing flinched.

Marie was regarding Simon gravely, “You here to stand up to my husband?”

Simon was a little flustered, “Not me personally, but I’m with some people who…who think kindly of the Sheriff.”

“Then I would like you to examine me, I have a whole lot of questions I want answered.”

Simon gestured for Marie to precede him into the treatment room; he’d only just made it through the door when Agnes shot out looking pugnacious.

She looked Owen up and down.

“You this Owen Thomas I heard tell of?”


“You one of Samson’s men?”


“But you brought Marie here.”

“Yes.” Internally, Owen was getting amused.

“Why in hell you done that? Samson’s gonna be madder than a wet hen when he find out. Stands over the Doctor every second she’s with Marie.”

Owen’s face creased into a rueful grin, for once a little warmth hit his eyes.

“I don’t know.”

“Was beginning to wonder whether you said anything other than ‘Yes’,” Agnes snorted, “You changing sides?”

“I…don’t know. Generally I’m stick to my side.”

Agnes snorted again, “Best you leave Marie to me then.”


Agnes looked surprised, “Why not?”

“I’m obeying Samson’s orders, just a mite more literally than he might have intended.”

“What did Samson order you to do?”

“To become Marie’s Champion.”


Auntie Meg was struggling out of her underwear, the final hook gave way and her figure settled into a far more natural shape, she wrapped herself in a yellow robe.

She sat at her dressing table, scrapped of the layers of makeup, removed her complicated hairdo and placed it on a stand.

She caught movement in the glass and jumped, Lizzie Appleby was standing uncertainly by the door, a desperate smile on her face that prominently displayed the gap in her teeth.

“Reckon we’re gonna have to let you work cut price ‘til we get that tooth fixed tián mì. (Honey.)”

Lizzie’s face froze in despair; she burst into tears and threw herself at her Auntie’s feet, burying her face in Meg’s lap. Meg patted her head gently, she sighed.

“Bǎo bèi, you aint cut out for this life, if that biàn xīn zhàng fu (faithless husband) of yours hadn’t run off…well it does no good to wish. You used to cook good, I could ask around, see what I can do.”

Lizzie sat back on her heels, a look of hope dawning, and then her face set hard,

“I gotta do some things first.” One finger touched the gap in her teeth.


River pulled up outside the Jail, she didn’t see the gun pointing at them, she just felt it, and the intent behind it.

Samson and Chilli were pretty much surrounded as the group entered the jail so she didn’t see the need to give a warning; she just waited until everyone was off the mule and drove it round the back of the jail house.

Once she’d got it parked and covered, River skipped across the street making sure she was out of sight of the stable block that sat to the right. She found an alley way that led round the back and a door swinging open, River floated through, feet barely touching the ground, light and silent.

The stable was empty and unused, only the odd tuft of straw scattered across the paved floor. There were some crates and bundles against the left wall suggesting that someone had been using the building for storage.

One of the crates had been moved in front of a window, a young man about her own age was perched there watching the street, his rifle no longer aimed at anything, slack in his hand.

She danced up behind him, kicked the gun out of his hand, caught it and levelled it.

“Little boys shouldn’t play with guns, it encourages aggressive tendencies.”


“Shì xì, néng gē shàn wǔ. (Am flowing water, good at dancing.)”

“What I do with a gun is no business of yours!” His voice had the crisp accent of high class or at least high class education.

“GĀO céng xiǎo zi, (High level boy,)”

“For god’s sake speak English, I never learned Chinese.”

River grinned infuriatingly, “nǐ, zhuàng xiǎo zi (you, stupid boy)”

The boy made an impatient noise and made a grab for the gun, River smacked him carefully over the head with it.


Dr. Downing was inadequate in many ways but she had a well equipped surgery with separate treatment and recovery rooms, the Ran’s all being in the recovery room, Simon was able to examine Marie in privacy.

He ran through all the tests usually done during pregnancy, including an ultrasound.

“Your baby appears perfectly healthy Mrs. Samson.”

“For god’s sake call me Marie.” She hissed through gritted teeth, she swung her legs down of the examination bed, cradling her belly in the universal gesture of a mother protecting her unborn child.

“Marie, the female body works hard to protect the foetus, but there is only so much… We must find a way to stop you being beaten.”

“You got any poison to hand?”

“N-no, I think that there are people working to control your husband, I am assuming that it is your husband that’s doing this?”

“You assume right. Ha!” Marie gave a mirthless bark of laughter, “I’ll believe that hún dàn is dead when I can dance on his grave. Likely I’ll be in my grave first, gotta question for you Doctor.”

“I will try to answer anything I can.”

“Can you check the paternity of this child, cos before long Samson’s gonna be asking that question of Dr Downing and if he finds out that there’s a cuckoo in the nest it’ll be my grave you’ll see first.”

“DOC!” it was Mal’s voice coming from the outer office, “YOU DECENT?”


Kaylee was feeling a little better; setting up a cradle for Vera on the Mule had taxed her ingenuity some. As they were leaving, but only when Jayne was out of earshot; River had thoughtfully suggested that she might want to service the wide selection of guns that Jayne brought with him.

This kept her busy enough, she didn’t like guns on principal, but they were just a machine when all’s said and done. She sat on the floor, legs out like a child, bottles of fluid, rags and tools scattered across the room, all the guns laid out pretty on a cloth.

The Shepard, Dennis Baedillion Treahearne had dropped off into an uneasy doze in one of the chairs.

Inara was watching the street through a crack in the shutters, “Kaylee their coming back.” Kaylee bundled the guns, tools and other items up in the cloth and threw them onto a chair.

Inara had the door open and everybody other than River came in fast, Jayne kicking the door shut behind him. Inara slammed the bolts home.

Chilli shoved Samson through the open door of a cell and swung the door home, it locked automatically when he pressed a button on the wall.

Samson crossed his arms and looked arrogantly at them all, “I have this town by right of conquest, my men will set me free and I will see you dead and dammed.”

There was a hunk of cheese and some bread on the table, Jayne sliced of a chunk of both, folded them into a sandwich and took a huge and savage bite. Pointing his knife in Samson’s direction and spraying crumbs he said,

“Anybody care to tell me why this fella’s still upright and breathing. I aint bin follarin things too close but seems to me he’s a blight on this town.”

Nobody had been paying much attention to Dennis, he threw himself at Jayne and attempted to shake him.

“Vengeance is mine sayeth the lord, we must not judge lest we be judged.” Dennis was so frantic he was spitting.

Jayne looked over the top of the Shepards head, “Someone care to get him of me?”

Inara put soothing hands on Denis’ shoulder and pulled him gently away, he went fairly quietly, muttering under his breath.

Al just looked at him, shook her head and turned away.


The morning was well underway and people were getting to their work or visiting the stores, word spread fast that Samson was in custody, some of the townspeople knowing that the Master was in jail became brave and began to harass his men. Others, like the owner of the general store, aware of their complicity kept their heads down and their mouths shut.

Some of Samsons men stole away, some just lay low in Jenny’s Bar and Boarding House, their guns on the table in front of them, waiting on events, waiting for someone to lead them.


Inara had just asked, “Where’s River,” when she came through the back huffing under the burden of an unconscious young man. She dumped him across a spare bunk and threw his gun in a corner.

“Silly boy,” She stated and made purposefully for the bread and cheese. Like Jayne she sprayed crumbs as she explained herself. “Was going to try and fight me, thought it better to send him to sleep, pulse is strong, will wake up soon all sore head and grumpy.”

“Why that’s Lucius,” said Chilli surprised, “Marie’s son, thought he’d be smarter than to come anywhere near town. Patience sent him to an off world fancy school. Education, ha!” Chilli shook his head at the prone form, “Don’t teach you nuthin ‘bout life.”

There was a hammering on the door, “Hey the Jail, let us in, you got company.”

Inara went to open the door.

“How many more folks do you reckon we can fit in this pokey hole?” Groused Jayne, “anyone ‘cides to shoot at us sure as hell gonna hit someone.”

Mal stepped through the door and handed Marie through. Chilli just stood there with his mouth hanging open, and then his face set like granite as he took in the bruises. He took moved to Marie and took her gently in his arms, stroking her hair. Marie clung onto her foul smelling lover like he was lifebelt tossed into a river.

“I aint had nuthin, ‘till I had you.” Murmured Chilli into her hair.

For the first time in five months Marie started to cry.


Owen Thomas stepped into the bar of Jenny’s bar and boarding house to be greeted by a sea of expectant faces.

“Bore da foneddigion a boneddigesau, pa hwyl sydd? (Good morning ladies and gentlemen, how are things?)” Everybody looked blank. “Phillistiads, (Phillistines),” Owen muttered.

“What the hells going on Mr Thomas?” piped up one of his goons.

“Samson is incarcerated in the town jail, Sheriff plans to see that elections are held for a new Mayor, in the mean time I’m told that Patiences daughter in law, being her nearest kin of full age acts as Mayor.”

“Samson promised to pay us big Mr. Thomas.”

“Samson is in no position to pay anybody anything right now,”

“We could bust him out…”

Owen Thomas grinned “That we could.”


Zoe and Agnes were walking companionably towards the jail, still wary but emboldend by the party atmosphere spreading at the news of Samson’s arrest.


Inara and Kaylee were smiling kind of mistily, Mal’s face was half way between approval and embarrassment, River watched Chilli and Marie embrace with her head on one side, her eyes narrowed and Jayne cut himself some more bread and cheese.

Dennis got up shakily from his chair and left through the back without a word. Al just watched him go, then shot the bolts after him.

Marie got control of herself quickly and took the time to look around.

“Lucius!” She shrieked and ran over to where he lay. “What’s wrong with him?”

“I hit him, but very carefully, he will wake up soon.”

Marie looked at River bemused, “You hit him very carefully, you gonna tell me why?”

“He had a gun, mind all wobbling about, couldn’t decide who he wanted to shoot first.”

“Do you understand this?” Asked Marie of Chilli.

“Can’t say as I do.” Replied Chilli scratching his bristly chin and thinking longingly of his razors and a bath.

Mal cut in, “River, can you explain yourself clear for all the dumb folk, including me?”

River rolled her eyes, “He wanted to shoot Samson real bad, but he couldn’t get a clear shot, then he wanted to shoot Chilli real bad but he still couldn’t get a shot.”

Sitting on her heels Marie looked round the room with confusion. “Why would he want to kill Chilli?”

“Because he was your dirty little secret Mother, Father told me all about it when I came home last spring, how you were behaving like a whore, how he could barely hold his head up for the shame but still he would stand by you.” Lucius was hissing the words through clenched teeth, his eyes just slits in his face.

“Then you stood by and watched that murdering piece of shit kill my Father and my Grandmother, that is assuming that you weren’t playing Father false all along, or am I a little bastard along with that thing in your belly?”

Chilli took some rapid steps forward and grabbed Lucius by the collar, “You’re a little bastard boy, but that aint got nothing to do with your parentage, at least not in the way you mean, way your Pa and Grandmother bent over backwards for you might have had something to do with it.”

“Chilli no…” Marie stood up and looked at her son through a strangers eyes, “I wondered why you were so strange…I can only tell you that your Father played me false a long time before I ever knew Chilli existed, he… he was not a happy man and perhaps telling you these things made him feel better.”

“It’s all jaggerdy in here, I want Simon.” Announced River and she went out the back taking Lucius’ gun with her.

Lucius looked both baffled and sulky, he sat up and his mother held out her hand to him, he allowed her to hug him, though he stood stiff. He squeezed his eyes tight shut as if he was holding back tears.

Jayne, sandwich half way to his mouth looked at him in disbelief, “Ain’t anybody round here got nothin better to do than cry?”

“Jayne!” Snapped Inara, Kaylee and Mal with one voice.

Lucius pushed his mother away so hard that she overbalanced and fell back onto the bunk; he started towards Jayne a belligerent look on his face his hands bunching into fists.

Mal stepped between the two of them and Al went to help Marie up.

Samson, ignored had been glowering at everybody from the back of the cell, he moved like oil, snake fast, his hand shooting through the bars.

He got Al by the collar and yanked her back hard, slamming her head and snatched the knife from her collar sheath.

Mal sent Lucius sprawling on the floor.

Al slumped dazed.

Jayne dropped his sandwich and went for his gun, the hammer clicked home uselessly, out of ammo; he looked frantically round for his other weapons.

Samson snatched through the bars at Marie’s hair, dragged her screaming upwards so that she was half standing on the bunk with the knife to her throat; her body effectively shielding him from Mal and Chilli, the only two in the jail house with a usable weapon.

“STAND STILL!” Commanded Samson


Āi yā - Damn; Ah; My God bǐ rén - your humble servant; I Hú lái - (v) make a complete hash of things; cause trouble Ǎn - I Yǐn jūn zǐ - opium eater; drug addict; chain smoker Zì qī qī rén - deceive, fool oneself and others; believe one's own lies Zěn me bàn? - what's to be done Tián mì - sweet, honey Biàn xīn - cease to be faithful zhàng fu - husband Shì - is; are; am; yes; to be Xì - flowing water Néng gē shàn wǔ - (saying) good at singing and dancing GĀO céng - high level; high class Xiǎo zi - (n) boy; (n) an impolite term for a person; bloke nǐ - you Zhuàng - simple; stupid Hun dàn - bastard


Thursday, May 4, 2006 8:25 PM


When I have writers block, or when the characters just won't speak to me i find it useful to get up and go make a drink. Soco and a lime, grab a beer, watch firefly. That usually helps me out...:). Can't wait for the next instalment. :D


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In sunshine and in Shadow Part Nine
The finale.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 8
Samson's going to jail, Jayne gets a sandwich.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 7
A trail leads to a Rat's nest and Chilli finds his guts again.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part Six
Chilli is mostly upright, Samson get's madder by the minute.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part Five
There's a drunk to sort out, River has fun with Jayne (Not the rude kind)and Lizzie Appleby's Auntie turns out to be a right little Madam.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part Four
Mal brings his people to Whitefall, into a situation which looks darker and nastier than before.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 3
A nice dinner and a little gun fight.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Pt 2
A new passenger has come aboard, Jayne's had one of his itches scratched, a dangerous gunman is due for dinner and something nasty is brewing ready for the crew....

In Sunshine and in Shadow
Plot partially stolen from the favorite Western of my childhood. Please review but be a little gentle, it was written during a bout of insomnia last night.