Death By Any Other Name - Conclusion
Sunday, April 11, 2004

Mal has a little fun


Disclaimer: Firefly and characters belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. Highlander belongs to Davis/Panzer Productions, Inc.

Part 6 Laji- garbage. loatou-old geezer

Zoe and Mal stood alone on the ship's bridge discussing Methos's story. "So what do you think Zoe? Beyond the ill-advisedness of ever taking on passengers."

Zoe leaned against the lockers as she looked out into the Black. "We obviously can't go to Dyton, sir. If those Watchers are really determined, they or someone will be waiting there."

"Assuming they don't just ambush us along the way."

"Saying that, I still think it's a bad idea to let him stay on the ship any longer than necessary. Beyond the trouble he brings, well, quite frankly sir, his influence on River scares the hell outta me."

Mal grabbed one of the ceiling straps as he leaned over the console to get a closer look at the black. "You and me both Zoe. I definitely plan on keeping those two as far apart as is physically possible on this ship. Hell, might just tie him outside an airlock."

Zoe smiled at the image. "Can't say that wouldn't make me feel better, sir."

"I looked at the maps. The planets of Gibson, Trysdale, and Kang are all about the same amount of burn time as Dyton. Our friend might not care too much for all of their climates, but he can complain as Jayne and I throw him out on the ground."

"Trysdale is the furthest away from Dyton, so we might miss anyone looking for us en route," Zoe offered. "Don't know that it would be a good idea for them to link Serenity too closely with him though if we're going to help him get rid of his stuff."

Mal nodded. "I got a plan to deal with that, don't worry. Tell Wash to change the course and make a hard burn for a couple of hours afterward. I'll go inform our guest as to the change in plans."

Zoe gave Mal a questioning look. "And this plan is so fool proof I don't need to hear it?"

Mal smiled enigmatically. "Plan's fool proof and I'm gonna enjoy the hell out of it."


Methos cursed loudly as the Captain left his room. They wouldn't be going to Dyton after all, which would mean that the Watchers would have no trouble at all tracking him. He'd be forced to maintain his identity if he wanted to have any monetary funds whatsoever. Of course, Reynolds kindly offered a loan in return for some of his antiques if he was so inclined. On a positive note, the man agreed to stop on an asteroid or moon on the way, so Methos could at least take comfort in the fact that the items symbolizing the collective past he shared with his friends would be safe.

Lying down on the bed, he gave up on the idea of gutting Mal and taking his boat. Too many of his crew knew about him and they were all too loyal for it to work anyway. And to be honest, the number of people he'd already killed today weighed heavily on him. Death was usually absent from his psyche of late; that particular aspect of his personality had not emerged for at least three hundred years before Macleod had been taken.

He nearly yelled when he felt a body lay down beside him. Diyu! It was the girl; the crazy loon was going to get him spaced. Sitting up, he tried to extricate his limbs from hers, but she wouldn't cooperate. "River, you're in the wrong room."

"I'll stay and you'll protect me. Death wears blue, but it's just a mask, the hands are flesh."

"I won't let anyone hurt you girl, but I can do that just as well with you in your own damn bed."

"Blue hands, blue tattoos, purple bellies, they all join. They seek the secrets of death, want to know how death works. They'll leave bodies behind as they take yours and your head will never leave its neck."

Her words were making him sweat with fear. He'd thought she could only read the thoughts of those near her, but it seemed as if her reach might be boundless so long as the plans she picked up involved those she knew. Or were these just idle phrases given power to due to his experiences with Cassandra's visions? "River, who is coming? When will they find me?"

She smiled at him as her eyes gazed at something only she could see. She ran her fingers through his hair. "He didn't like Jayne's hat, said it made him look like an idiot. Kaylee was very upset at how he treated Serenity."

Methos reached up and claimed River's hand from his hair. "Listen, bao bei, I can't protect you if I don't know who it is. Who are you talking about?"

River's eyes changed focus, but Methos was uncertain if the girl was back in reality. River put a finger to his lips and pushed him back on the bed. "Shhh, old man. Lie back and trust in the gods of old to watch out for you. They'll protect both you and the child if you are worthy." Methos just watched River leave his room, almost too frightened to move. He had been right - she was picking up some of Cassandra's quickening.


Jayne was pissed off. There were no two ways about it. There was no good reason why he was being forced to help that fancy-assed walking corpse dig a bunch a holes on an asteroid in a space suit. Hell, if Mal was even half as smart as he acted, they'd dump the freak here and sell his stuff. But no, he's a passenger and he don't want to sell his precious laji, so we're gonna all help him bury it. Jayne snorted as he pitched another shovel full of dirt on the pile beside him. The stupid laotou probably wouldn't ever be able to find this asteroid on his own any way. They were burying perfectly good money.

"That's the last of it Jayne. You can go on back to the ship, we'll finish up," Mal told him as he lowered the last small crate into the trench Jayne had just dug. Jayne shook his head once more in disgust before heading in the direction of Serenity.

"He doesn't seem to enjoy exercise in the fresh air," Methos remarked sarcastically as he placed a small radio transmitter in each of the three trenches.

Mal took the shovel that Jayne had left and began to fill one of the trenches as Methos did same. "Jayne's straightforward – if he don't see the profit in an action, he generally don't care for it."


Womack watched the radar screen over his pilot's shoulder. Serenity still had a good one hour lead on them, but soon enough he'd have them in his sights. Then get the cargo, teach that uppity crew a lesson, and find out if Pierce got to go back to the Watcher's dead or alive. Womack's plans were interrupted when the control panel beeped and the image of Serenity split into two pieces.

"What just happened?" Womack demanded angrily.

"I can't be certain from this angle sir, but I believe a shuttle just took off from the main ship," the young pilot explained nervously.

"Is there a planet it can reach?"

"Checking. Given its trajectory and range, it should be able to hit the atmo of Trysdale in another hour or so."

"Follow it. I doubt Captain Reynolds would completely abandon a shuttle." First order of business, Womack thought to himself, secure the money. Afterwards, there would be plenty of time to settle his score with that ship and its crew.


"I do not appreciate being pulled from my bed and ordered into a shuttle without a word of explanation Captain," Methos stated coldly.

Mal kept his eyes forward as he guided the shuttle into the atmosphere. "Quite frankly, I don't give a damn. So sit tight and shut up, you'll be outta my hair and free to annoy and endanger other folks all you like soon enough," Mal replied.

Jayne sat beside the Captain smirking. He had almost begged Mal to let him go on the shuttle when Mal finally explained his plan to him, Zoe and Wash. When the shuttle was close to landing, Jayne stood and trained his gun on the immortal. The other man continued to glare at the mercenary, but Jayne didn't care. He was too busy looking forward to seeing the smug smile wiped off the rich man's face.

"End of the line Methos. Hope you enjoyed the trip," Mal told the other man as he powered down the shuttle. "Escort the fella out Jayne, wouldn't want him to get turned around." When the two men stepped off the shuttle, Mal followed them pausing only to grab a shovel he'd placed on board with the immortal's luggage.

"I don't suppose I get a refund seeing as you failed to deliver me to my destination of choice?" Methos questioned when Mal joined him.

"Actually, thought I'd ask you to do a bit of work for me first. Seeing how you've gotten my ship shot at and drawn the attention of unsavory types to it, I figure you owe me." Mal tossed the shovel to the immortal before he continued. "I'd appreciate it if you could dig me a hole about six feet wide and at least a foot deep." Methos stared at the Captain in astonishment. "Jayne, looks like he needs a little incentive or a demonstration. Help him with that before our company arrives, would ya."

"Be my pleasure Captain," Jayne replied as he eagerly advanced on the immortal.

Methos glared at the larger man and then began to dig the hole as instructed. The entire situation was out of control and Methos could not predict what Mal's motive or even the man's next move. He would expect Jayne to kill him and sell the items they had buried the previous day, but he hadn't picked up that the impression from Mal. Sighing to himself, Methos concluded that he had no choice other than to cooperate at least until either of the other men attempted to kill him.

Mal looked up when he heard another ship approaching. "Jayne, time to go."

"But Mal, I wanted to watch," Jayne whined. Mal raised an eyebrow and gestured with his gun. Methos watched the interplay between the men still uncertain as to what was going on. Jayne left the clearing and entered the woods before the Alliance scout vessel came into visual range.

Mal watched the ship land, somewhat surprised that it was an Alliance craft that had pursued them. The reactions of their pursuer were the only variable that he couldn't control in his plan, but he hoped that the immortal's secret was unknown. Otherwise he'd feel mighty guilty on the return trip to Serenity. Mal groaned when Womack and his large sidekick exited the ship. This new development certainly made his plan a mite more interesting.

Womack smiled when he saw Malcolm Reynold's dismay at his own arrival. "Well Captain, so nice to meet you again."

"Can't say I feel the same Womack. Taking side jobs out of your sector again?" Mal asked pointedly.

"As fate would have it Captain, we're in my sector. And you happen to have exactly what I'm looking for in perfect condition this time," Womack replied.

"I love reunions as much as the next guy, but really, I'll leave you two alone to catch up," Methos quipped as he started to step out of the hole he had dug.

"No," both men told him.

"Is there a reward for this one?" Mal asked. Womack shook his head. "Damn, guess there's no reason to turn him over in perfect condition then is there?" With that, he shot Methos in the chest and again in the head as he fell.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Womack yelled as he and his sidekick pulled their weapons.

"Man pissed me off; I'd been looking forward to killing him for quite sometime. Unfortunately some of the women on my ship took a liking to him so I couldn't just throw him out an airlock like I did all of his belongings, now could I?" Mal explained with a shrug. "Oh, and point of interest, you might want to put those guns away before someone gets hurt." As he spoke, a bullet hit the ground between Womack and his associate. Both men quickly lowered their weapons.

"I need his head to show my bosses," Womack stated as he started to walk towards the dead body. Another bullet hit the ground in front of him stopping his progress.

Mal walked over to the hole and roughly kicked the body into it. Finding the immortal's sword in his ever present coat, he threw it to the two lawmen. "That should do for proof, idiot never would go anywhere without it. Course, only a rich man would think a sword could protect him from a gun. Now, how 'bout you folks leave so I can bury this body and get off this rock."

Womack leaned down to retrieve the sword. "This isn't over Reynolds," he said before getting on his ship. Mal smiled to himself as he made a show of covering the immortal's body with dirt.

Shortly after Womack's ship had left, Methos revived. Unfortunately, Mal had been watching him closely and placed a well timed shovel full of dirt directly on his face as Methos gasped his first breath. Jayne laughed loudly at the immortal's indignant reaction. Methos stood and brushed off the dirt that Mal had deposited on him. "Was it entirely necessary to shoot me twice?"

Mal smiled. "No, but it sure made me feel better."

Methos rolled his eyes and walked with the other two men towards the waiting shuttle. "Since that's out of your system now, could someone please fill me in on the rest of the idiotic plan?"

"Now we dump you off on a moon and see how you fare," Jayne answered. Methos stopped suddenly forcing Mal to push him forward into the shuttle.

"It's not how it sounds granpa. Someone will meet us there to take you wherever you want to go," Mal explained.

"Oh." Methos suddenly glared at Mal, "Wait a second, you gave him my sword!"

Mal started up the shuttle as he replied. "Game's over old man. You don't need it anymore."

The End.

Author Notes: Okay, so I left a few strands hanging but it's not my fault -- all the plot bunnies hopped off somewhere else and forced me to tie things up on my own. If they decide to return, there might be a sequel in the future (I think River has a crush on Methos). So if anyone has some spare bunnies, feel free to throw 'em my way.


Sunday, April 11, 2004 3:52 PM


Mal is an evil man...LOL

And you know, I think you might be right about River having a crush...hmmm

I hope the plot bunnies return!


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