Sailing Beyond the Sunset, pt 07
Tuesday, May 9, 2006

The trouble deepens as River finds a forgotten treasure and Simon unknowingly takes his life in his own hands.


with apologies to Robert Heinlein for the bastardization of one of his titles…

previous story segments: pt 01,pt 02,pt 03,pt 04,pt 05,pt 06

- - - - -


Though she knew he was not even on the ship, there was some measure of comfort in crying out for him. She was all alone with her thoughts, which were many and varied.

She remembered everything, too much for her to process sometimes. Sometimes she knew about things that happened galaxies away as instantly as the people experiencing them firsthand. She could even remember back to those first few days, though they were not pleasant memories…

The next time she was awake they took her to a large room with a reclined chair in the middle. They had strapped her in, and a device that looked like a camera came down and began to rotate around her head. There were two men in black suits behind the counter, where the controls for the device were obviously located. As she focused, she could see the men better.

One was older, with lightening hair, and his face would almost appear kind if he would ever bother to smile. He wore blue nitrile gloves as he typed on a little keypad. The other appeared younger, with dark hair slicked back and a scowl on his face, also wearing the blue gloves.




As she faded from consciousness, more drugs being injected into her system, she had a peculiar thought about the men with the blue gloves. They seemed to function as one, at least on a mental level. She didn’t know how she knew, she just did.

“SIMON ?!?!?”

- - -

The table collapsed under the weight of the massive man, his friends moving toward Mal and Zoe. Jayne had pulled himself up, picking up his chair as he rose. Holding it by the top. he smashed it across the chest of the goon nearest the crushed table, shattering it and knocking him down on top of the first man. He picked up a chair leg, tossed it to Mal, then drew his knife from his back and stepped toward the man on the other side of the table.

As Zoe moved to cover their flank, a wiry man in a green and grey shirt launched himself at her, wrapping his arms around her waist as his momentum propelled them both to the floor. She hit hard on her right hip, trying to roll out of his grip. Grabbing the back of his hair instead, she slammed his face into the concrete floor a few times, until his arms became limp and she could free herself.

Two other men, also dressed in the green and grey shirts, advanced on Mal. He knew they were only ok so long as none of these guys got to the gun check before he did. They had a job, now they just had to live to pull it off.

Aside from the two men moving in on Mal, Jayne was wrestling another man down after they had disarmed each other, and Zoe was moving toward the two men stirring on the destroyed table. Mal looked up in time to see the knife that had been hurled at him. It hit him in the upper left shoulder, knocking him back a step, then the thrower made for the door, neglecting the gun checker as he ran down the street. The other two moved in as Mal brandished the broken chair leg, staggering to regain solid footing after the impact of the knife.

The two men closed in on Mal, both wielding broken beer bottles. One made a thrusting attack, and Mal dodged while smashing the remains of the bottle with his broken chair leg. The man screamed, dropping the glass fragments, a few of them sticking out of his hand at odd angles. After only a second of being stunned, the man took a whole chair and hurled it at Mal as the other one tried to get around the side. Mal backed up, dodging the hurled chair, until his back hit something solid.

Jayne and Mal turned toward each other, almost swinging before realizing who the other was. Jayne had a chair leg in each hand, his own knife back in his belt, and he moved around Mal to get to the two men who remained on their feet. Zoe had restrained the two in the table and was moving to get to the door, pulling out the key to the compartment that held her gun. Jayne held the two men at bay while Mal joined Zoe at the door, retrieving their sidearms. Zoe kept her gun trained on the two men as Jayne came over to grab his gun and Mal pulled the thin blade out of his shoulder.

As they looked out the door, they saw a dozen men running down the street toward them, all wearing the same green and grey shirt as the men inside, and all of them with their guns already in their hands.

‘Why can’t it ever go smooth?’ Mal thought, ducking back into the bar with Zoe and Jayne.

- - -

Simon and Kaylee saw the group of men run by, guns in hand.

“I hope the captain is ok,” he said, arms loaded with food and protein. “He’s pretty good at getting himself into and out of trouble,” he added with a smile.

“He’ll be fine, he always seems to make it through. He’s got Zoe and Jayne with him too, and they are pretty good at getting each other out of trouble.”

“They’re pretty good at getting each other into trouble as well,” said Simon, another smile playing across his face. “Let’s get these supplies inside and maybe we’ll have a few minutes to spare for just us before they get back.”

- - -

River stormed through the ship, stomping her boots for extra measure. She was going to find the shiny presents if it took her all day. She had locked the outer doors so that no one would catch her, then started taking apart and opening all of the secret compartments she could find, looking to see where they had hidden them.

She had already uncovered a lot of things: a crate of gun parts, some old display screens, even a few blocks of compressed foodstuffs, complete with vitamins and other supplements.

Then she found it: buried deep, in a secret hatch that only the Captain and Zoe knew about. It was the most shiny present she could imagine. She took it out and held it, feeling the weight in her hands. She noticed a switch on the side, so she turned in on and pointed it at a random crate. Squeezing the trigger, it made a noise but nothing else happened.

River looked down, disappointed, but then a huge smile lit up her entire face. “I can fix this!” She proclaimed to an empty ship. “I WILL fix this!”

- - -

Simon banged on the door again, almost dropping his armload of food.

“River, this isn’t funny! Let us in please!” No response.

Kaylee tried the door again, pulling it with every bit of force her body could muster.

“River, sweetie, please let us in. Simon got me some strawberries, and I would love to share them with you.” Still no response.

“I wonder what she has gotten into her yu bun duh mind this time.” Simon said, aggravation creeping into his voice.

“Well, if we can’t get in there, we won’t be able to have that alone time we were talking about.” Kaylee said, disappointment on her face.

Simon set down his groceries and began to climb up to where he could see in to possibly get a glimpse of his sister.

- - -

Four of the sentries burst into the bar, led by the one who had gone for backup. Mal and Jayne had already taken up positions behind overturned tables, guns angled low. With two well placed shots, they took out the legs of the first two sentries. Zoe, who had positioned herself right inside the door, took out another one by applying the butt of her gun to his head. As the fourth rounded on her, he noticed that her boot was already at his head level and descending.

Zoe dove behind an overturned table as six more men gathered around the outer door, taking up positions and talking on earwig radios. Mal knew that they could not keep this up forever, having no idea how many more men they could send in. He caught Zoe’s eye, nodded to the back door, then hit Jayne on the arm as they started the retreat.

The three of them got to the door to the back room as two canisters of a noxious green gas sailed into the room. They locked the door, loosely blocking the edges with some grimy towels, and turned to look for the back door. As they turned, the door burst open, kicked in by one of the remaining two sentries, who both had guns leveled and were in crouched positions.

Shots rang out all around them as the green gas started to seep into the room around the towels. They moved behind counters toward the door, each taking a separate route through the room. Mal waited around a corner as one sentry moved into his range, waiting until he was almost on top of him before knocking him cold with his gun. Zoe managed to sneak up behind the other one, again applying her gun butt to send him into the realm of unconsciousness.

They ran out the back door, heading down an alley that would get them back to the docks. As they ran, Mal shouted into his transmitter, “River! Get the ship ready, and have Kaylee heat her up. We may have a little pursuit on our hands…”

“River can’t hear ya cap’n,” Kaylee’s voice came over his earwig. “She took out her transmitter and locked up the ship. We can’t quite tell what she is doin in there, Simon climbed up to have a look.”

“Ta ma duh, can this day go any more wrong?!?” he exclaimed loudly as they ducked down another alley. This was something else they couldn’t keep up forever. Eventually they would be cornered, and he didn’t like the prospect of any outcome that could possibly lead to.

- - -

She pointed and aimed the gun at an empty carton in the cargo bay, letting out a squeal of delight when a fine blue beam shot out and nearly disintegrated the carton.

Now, where were the others, anyhow?

- - -

Kaylee felt the cargo door opening before she heard it, and quickly gathered up as much as she could to carry aboard. She dropped them hastily on a table as she ran to the engine room to get everything fired up, explaining to River as they ran. River broke off, knowing that the Captain would want the ship in the sky as soon as he set foot on board, and went to prepare the engine room.

“Captain, we are ready to fly, lemme know when you are on.” River sounded distracted, but Mal was just thankful that she hadn’t blown herself up, or worse, his ship.

Mal, Zoe, and Jayne ran up the ramp thirty seconds later, the bullets of the sentries close behind. Before they were all of the way up the ramp, River began to lift off, heading east and away from town.

As the others made it up the ramp, Kaylee headed back down to check on them. When she got to the cargo bay, having felt Serenity take off several moments ago, her one paralyzing thought was,

“Where’s Simon?”

- - - - -

pt 08

- - - - -

Translations ( from ):

yu bun duh – stupid

ta ma duh – fuck me blind


Tuesday, May 9, 2006 8:48 AM


Hmm, sounds like River found something similar to the Lassiter since whatever she shot had a laser beam.

And Simon - hmm, where can he be? Still on top of the ship looking for his sister? Surely, he heard the cargo bay doors open?

Nice little cliffhanger to end this chapter on.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 9:07 AM


Nice cliffhanger again :-)

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 12:28 PM


Again with the cliffhangers! Is there a 12-step program for that?!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 3:41 PM


Liking the Blue Hands Men exchange thru River's mind's eye: all caps dialogue, River knowing they think/function as one, physical description...Nice.

A plethora of great scene-painting in this chapter. My fave bit is: "Zoe, who had positioned herself right inside the door, took out another one by applying the butt of her gun to his head. As the fourth rounded on her, he noticed that her boot was already at his head level and descending."

Gotta tell ya: when River found the device, decided to fix it, and the crew were locked outside worrying about what she was doing, I was right there with 'em sweating. :0)

Your stories manipulate me very well, and that's a compliment.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 5:47 PM


Great writing River!

And a compliment like that from Wash is something to be treasured! Believe me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5:14 PM


Did she fix the Lassiter? Where is simon, oh no. You best hurry up.

HURRY. I love mal in this BTW so funny

Keep writing

Thursday, May 11, 2006 6:51 PM


Oh crap....River's got the Lassister working? Uh...didn't they have to sell it to get the new HoverMule?

Still...great stuff here, with the flashbacks to the Academy and the crazy barfight involving Mal, Zoe and Jayne:)



You must log in to post comments.



From Bad to Worse, chapters 1-10 (COMPLETE)
This is a re-post from before the BSR got hit a few weeks ago.

The story takes place in between ‘The Train Job’ and ‘Bushwhacked.’ According to Inara, there is a three-ish month gap here, so I thought it would be perfect for this little story and its epilogue.

From Bad to Worse, pt 10
Thrilling heroics ensue.

From Bad to Worse, pt 09
Mal, Zoe, and Jayne come to the rescue, and backup from the engine room arrives.

From Bad to Worse, pt 08
Claire is put to the ropes, though the cavalry is on the way.

From Bad to Worse, pt 07
Mal, Jayne, and Zoe make their way back to Serenity, and Claire and her posse run into even more troubles.

From Bad to Worse, pt 06
The fighting is ended for now, though revenge is on more than one person's mind.

From Bad to Worse, pt 05
The feds arrive, a shootout involving the BDHs and Claire's posse ensues.

From Bad to Worse, pt 04
The gold is recovered, and a getaway is planned.

Sailing Beyond the Sunset, pt 17
Several crew members dwell on things past while one reunion is made and a wave from an old aquaintence is received.

From Bad to Worse, pt 03
The crews search the wreckage for their valuable treasure as Wash and Book attempt some thrilling heriocs.