Hero[es] of Beltane: part 5
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Not so much sexing-up in this part. Simon, Kaylee, River and some babies; plans hatched to get Vera out of Alliance hands.


PART FIVE All my life I've been waiting for somethin' All my life I've been waiting so long Spend my life am I looking for nothin' All my life I've been waiting so long [Venice; All my life]

Jayne turned to Cliff, “What was all that about?” Cliff grinned, “Vera’s ‘insurance policy’. Things to get or buy her out of a mess if it all went pear-shaped.” His face sobered, “Trouble is, she never told me exactly where the stuff she needs now was, eh.” A small smile began to form on Jayne’s mouth, “Reckon *I* do!”

*** Auckers

Simon checked in on the heavily pregnant mother first. Her name was Rebecca and she lived with her handfasted man, Matthew. As she was stable and not in advanced labour just yet, Simon and River went to the bay so that Kaylee could buy or order the parts she needed for Vera’s launch. That took some hours and by the time they got back to the mother, everything had really started. Kaylee made some tea whilst Simon checked Rebecca. “Well, you’ve definitely got twins in there. The second one is breech at the moment, but I’ll see if he or she can be turned when the time comes. First one’s the right way round and fully engaged. You’re about five centimetres dilated; I can give you something to speed that along a little, and pain relief.” “Just need Matthew or someone to rub my lower back really hard...ohhhhh...” Matthew got in place and began rubbing. In due course, both Kaylee and River had a turn when he needed a rest. The hours wore on.

It was past eleven o’clock that night when Rebecca was ready to deliver the first twin. Kaylee helped Simon get things ready and Matthew offered emotional and physical support to his lover. Simon looked at Rebecca, “You’re ready to push, Rebecca.” As the head came down, he checked the neck and then the baby girl was suddenly there, squirming and red with yelling. Kaylee grinned, “She’s breathing!” Simon smiled gently, “All fingers and toes present and correct. Congratulations, it’s a girl.” He showed Matthew how to tie and cut the cord safely then helped lift the little one into her mother’s arms. He helped Rebecca pass the first placenta and then gently tried to turn the second baby. “Sorry, this little one is being stubborn. Delivering breech is certainly possible, but I’d recommend squatting more to help gravity. Need to try to get this one out quickly, Rebecca.” Matthew took his daughter into his arms, “I’ll hold her for a while. Hello bao bay.” It was just gone midnight when baby number two started coming. Amid urgings to push, River touched her brother’s arm. “Can’t breathe. Stuck. Something tight here...” She indicated her neck. Simon looked at his sister and then Rebecca, “Stop pushing! I think the baby’s cord is around its neck. Hang on, there’s a bottom. Well, it’s a boy!” He reached in very carefully, “River was right. Just a moment... Push very gently now; yes, that’s the way. Just a moment, hold it... Okay, push hard now!” Rebecca strained and the little boy flopped out looking blue. Simon hooked his little finger in the boy’s mouth, then did the classic of picking the baby up and gently patting his back. The baby roared and pinked up in seconds. “All right now,” River commented, with eyes as big as saucers. She turned, suddenly, distracted by something on the nearby dresser. She picked up a strange metallic brooch and looked at it, “Goes in something.” Kaylee tore herself away from the babies and looked at what River had in her hand, “Looks like a metal Alliance key. Sort that gets used on old-fashioned spaceships and holding cells.” Matthew laughed, “Belonged to my Dad. He did a favour for an Alliance prison ship way back and they gave it to him as a keepsake. He got it made into a brooch because its kinda pretty and gave it to my Mum. River can have it as a gift; she helped save my boy.” Simon, River and Kaylee stayed until Rebecca, Matthew and the twins were settled and then walked back to their hotel.

*** Cliff and Jayne were in the fast shuttle going back to Beltane. All the others had elected to stay put to help Iona and Jasmine. Jayne’s mind went back a while, “Time for some thrillin’ heroics.” Cliff nodded, “If we get the things to help free Vera. Any help with that location you were mentioning, eh?” “Vera’s got this place in the hills, all tucked away like. There’s a locked cupboard in there from which she gave me my *other* Vera.” Cliff nodded, “It was Maaka’s secret place before, but I’ve never been there out of respect for my late friend and Vera’s privacy off-duty. Think you can find the place?” Jayne just slashed a grin at him and Cliff understood.

About four hours later they were parked outside the ‘hidden’ valley. Jayne led Cliff to the cave. He closed his eyes, trying to remember the sequence for the lock on the door. He grinned as he punched in the right code and they entered. Jayne flicked the light switch. Vera had changed the sheets on the bed to what looked like very expensive red silk and he briefly appreciated that before heading for the cupboard. “Trouble is, I only saw Vera open this once.” “Maaka would have used a combination that I would know, if there was an emergency. These buggers are difficult to reset, eh; so I’m going to try for a number that meant something to both of us.” Cliff closed his eyes and tried one sequence, which didn’t work. A second failed too. Cliff frowned in frustration and looked around the cave, seemingly for inspiration. Then he grinned with understanding and the third number popped the cupboard. “Gonna explain?” Cliff chuckled, “The year in Maori reckoning when we both lost our virginity!” Jayne grinned back, “A guy’d remember that all right!” Cliff looked at the contents, “Gold, some nice jewels. No use; bribing the Alliance carries a stiff penalty. Ah, vidpods. This one will do. A senior ranking ‘happily married’ Alliance man from a few years back getting spanked by a rent boy.” “Wuh de mah! How did that get here?” Cliff chuckled, “Perks of being a sheriff, eh. Things get confiscated, perhaps used as evidence and...erm...put in a safe place.” Jayne couldn’t help looking, “Any other interesting vidpods there? Hey, what’s this?” Jayne looked at the label, “‘Stripping and enjoying my toys: two hours; Vera’. Merciful Buddha and all the holy angels!! Gonna be in my bunk a long, long time with that one...” Cliff slammed the door shut as Jayne snagged his booty, “Vera will skin me alive if she finds out I let you take this. Though, if she ever gives you the royal order of the boot, you’ll have something to remember her by.” Jayne grinned, “She’s not gonna shift me that easy, Cliff!”

As they were nearing Cliff’s shuttle, Jayne’s Serenity pager beeped. “It’s Simon. What in tyen shian duh does he want? Simon? You’ve got an Alliance key? What in go se am I gonna do with that?” “Actually an Alliance key might be useful. What kind is it?” “Cliff here asks what go tsao de type of key it is. Prison or holding cell.” Jayne’s brain finally joined the dots, “Actually, Cliff could have a point there. How the shiong mao niao did you come across that? River? I could have ruttin’ known. Yeah, we’ll pick it up. Yes, it could well come in handy. Kaylee took off the brooch bits? Well, thank her for me. You can figure out how, you closet wan nao.” Cliff considered, “A detour via Auckers won’t detain us too much.” “Better not. I got me a reunion on hold here!” So they picked up the key from River and headed towards Venice, keeping an eye out for the Alliance vessel. When they were getting nearer, Cliff got on the radio. “Cliff calling Malcolm Reynolds. Are you receiving me?” He repeated this message a few times. Eventually Mal was found and came on the other end. Cliff with Jayne interjecting filled him in on the salient points. “Well, if you could use a hand or three, Jasmine’s found us a transport of our own, seeing as we can’t get to Serenity that quickly. Won’t be quite the same without my ship, but reckon I’ll manage to kick some Alliance butt all the same. They’re still in orbit, questioning people and hauling all kinds of go se luh-suh outta that bunker.” Jayne grinned and broke out a couple of cigars, “We cookin’ with gas!” Cliff grinned back, “One step nearer and I think we gotta really good shot at finding and rescuing Vera!”


Wednesday, May 31, 2006 2:26 PM


Just knew the key broach River found would have some special use...just logical;)



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