Those Left Behind Ch. 3
Sunday, May 2, 2004

Concealed Mutiny


See Ch1 for Disclaimers. Thanks to my beta reader, Neroli.

Chapter 3: Concealed Mutiny

"So Mal hasn't started planning a rescue yet?" Inara asked Zoe as they stood on the catwalk outside her shuttle.

Zoe closed her eyes and mentally asked her Captain to forgive her. Normally she'd let the man take his own time, but they couldn't be sure they had any left to spare in this instance. "So far as I know, no. He's still stuck on what to do with all of them if we managed the impossible."

"So if we can answer that, then he won't have any reason to refuse," Inara suggested.

"Less a one anyway. We'd still have a lot of planning to do and would probably need to find more manpower as well." Zoe sighed. She knew that Mal was hesitant to even broach the topic with any of their old friends. One bad apple and Serenity would be running for the Rim in order to keep River safe. Or even worse, more dead and wounded on the Captain's conscience. This entire fiasco was quickly developing into a nice little nightmare. She wondered if Simon even comprehended how much his sister's predicament weighed on the Captain. Mal had certainly taken more than his share of shifts watching the girl these past few days. "Even if everything magically falls into place in the next week, it would probably be 6 months or a year before we could dare to pull of the job."

Inara pursed her lips as she considered the first mate's words. "Well then, we'd better get everything squared away immediately, right?"

Zoe smiled. Leave it to the Companion to take charge immediately. The Captain would definitely throw a fit when this came out in the open. "You have some ideas, I take it."

Inara nodded and began to explain what she and the Preacher had begun to set in motion.


"Zoe, Simon will never tell me that!" Wash protested.

"Which is why Jayne has so selflessly volunteered to help you question him," Zoe countered. Jayne smiled at the smaller man over her shoulder.

Wash turned back to the piloting console as he desperately tried to think a way out of this mess. Mal would skin him alive if he found out Wash was involved in this plan, even if Zoe was the leader of it. He knew the other man blamed him any time his first mate disagreed with him. "Why don't we just have Kaylee wheedle it out of him? I'm sure she'd even enjoy the process."

Zoe shook her head. "No, Simon would never tell her. He wouldn't want to worry about putting her in danger."

"Besides, Cap'n would really be pissed if he found out that we made Kaylee listen to that tale of woe," Jayne interrupted. Zoe gave the man an odd look; sometimes he managed to convince her that he actually had a functioning brain.

Wash groaned and dropped his head against the locked control stick. Mal was going to seriously maim him when this was all over. "Fine, I'll do it. Just remember to put into your log that I'm an unwilling member of this mutiny but I crumbled in the face of peer pressure."

Zoe smiled and gave her husband a kiss on the back of his head. "Will do husband."


Jayne, Simon, and Wash sat in an isolated booth in the relatively deserted bar. Kaylee had managed to finish her repairs early thanks to extra help from Mal and Wash. As a result, they still received an early delivery bonus and Mal had been pleased enough to allow the crew a short time of liberty on the sparsely populated moon before taking off to find another job. Zoe and Inara had made it clear to their conspirators that this was the perfect time to implement their plan. Thus, Simon had been forcibly removed from the ship while Inara and Zoe assured him that his sister would be happier for a little girl time.

Wash shook his head as the waiter delivered three large pitchers of the saloon's stoutest beer. Thank the goddess that Simon was completely oblivious; otherwise, the doctor would realize that something underhanded was about to take place.

Two empty pitchers of beer later, Wash was still nursing his second glass and Jayne was also surprisingly sober. Simon on the other hand was completely smashed. Time to see if alcohol could accomplish what a year of living on the same ship couldn't. He nodded at Jayne, Simon would be less suspicious if the questions came from someone he underestimated.

"So, doc, how 'bout you tell us some of your war stories from the past," Jayne suggested.

Simon cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. "Huh? Okay, well in the ER things could get pretty hairy," he began.

Jayne shook his head and slapped a hand on the doctor's back. "No doc, not your hospital stories. I'm talking about how you got your sister free. That's gotta be an interesting story."

Wash could see the doctor struggle to understand what the mercenary was getting at. He kept his mouth shut in case the doctor was more coherent than he appeared. "Well, I told it when I joined the ship," Simon offered.

Jayne smirked. This was going to be almost too easy. "Nah ya didn't doc. You told us how you came to possess that fancy crate and told us that a lot of money got her out. I wanna hear how a fancy-dancy doc managed to meet up with people like that. Must have been a pretty exciting time."

Uh-oh, Wash thought, Jayne was overdoing it. The doctor looked like he understood what the big man had said enough to take offense. "I think you both need another drink," the pilot interrupted as he poured more beer into all of their glasses. "We're not making fun of you doc, we're just curious. I'm sure going into black-out zones while you didn't really know what was going on with your sister was pretty exciting."

Simon turned his head toward the pilot on his other side. "Terrifying is more like it," he slurred. "The first time I went, I was so glad when the feds picked me up. I thought I was going to die before I got out of there."

Wash kicked Jayne under the table when he saw the other man open his mouth. They had him talking now; anything the mercenary said after this point only risked screwing the entire plan up. Wash whistled before replying. "I can understand that. I've never been in one myself, but the tales I've heard…Well, let's just say if I ever do enter one, I plan to do it with Zoe right beside me. And she'll be carrying a very, very large gun!"

Simon smiled drunkenly at the pilot. "Yeah, that would have been nice. After that first time though, I got the hang of it more or less. And every time, I'd be a little bit closer to getting River out of that place."

"How'd those people contact you in the first place," Wash asked.

"An anonymous cortex message gave me a time and a place attached to the photo that River had used in her school application." Simon stared off into space for a few minutes before continuing. "That first time, they only told me that my suspicions were right and that they might be able to help me. I nearly went out of my head waiting for them to contact me again."

Wash rolled his eyes as he saw Jayne pick up the pace of his drinking. Apparently the story wasn't interesting enough to keep his attention. "Did they ever tell you how they managed it?"

Simon shrugged. "They said they had someone inside the school. Beyond that, I don't have a clue."

Wash pulled Simon's glass away from the inebriated man when he started to giggle at his own statement. They had almost everything they needed. After one last question, Zoe should be able to get more specifics from the doctor just by pointing out that he'd already spilled most of the story. "Do you think that you could contact them again?" Simon looked alarmed at his question, so he hurried to reassure the doctor. "I imagine that if they were ever to smuggle another kid out, the meds and other info about your sister might be helpful," he explained.

Simon nodded. The pilot made a good point. "There are still a couple of bank accounts that I never got around to depositing payments in. Beyond that, I doubt any of the addresses would still work. They didn't seem to think I would manage to stay free for long."

Wash nodded as he felt his communicator vibrate. Zoe must be having trouble covering for them. The Captain was bound to be suspicious if he found out that Jayne had taken the doctor out drinking.


TBC in Chapter 4: Realizations


Sunday, May 2, 2004 11:32 AM


This is certainly developing into an interesting story.

Sunday, May 2, 2004 6:45 PM


I love the Wash and Jayne interrogate Simon scene. :-)

Monday, May 3, 2004 12:35 PM


Just hope this is not all going to blow up in the conspirators' faces. While they mean well it could scupper what the Captain may be planning. Always supposing he is planning anything. This is very shiny, keep going! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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