Sailing Beyond the Sunset, pt 15
Friday, June 23, 2006

Mal begins his recovery as the War Horse finally lands on Greenleaf.


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

Plot / Setting got you confused ??? Read these:

previous story segments: pt 01,pt 02,pt 03,pt 04,pt 05,pt 06,pt 07,pt 08,pt 09,pt 10, pt 11,pt 12,pt 13,pt 14

- - - - -

“Captain, come back to us. You know we are lost in the woods without you.”

Mal heard Zoe’s voice clearly, though it seemed to come from all around him. He was still floating in an endless sea of grey nothingness. He remembered everything, up to seeing that strange ship, then the horrible memories that followed, including seeing his Serenity destroyed. He felt in his gut that the last one was somehow not true, because he remembered the others happening before, but his brain told him that he had lost her forever.

He knew there was a way out of this, and that all he had to do was to focus on something. His first thought was Inara. Beautiful, seductive, enchanting Inara. She was certainly a pleasure to think about, and focusing on her, he could start to sense things. He smelled the cold smell of a hospital room, sterilizer and disinfectant vapors filling his nostrils, as well as the faint remembered scent of the pungent incense Inara would burn in her shuttle. He still couldn’t see or feel anything, and the only sound was of his own breathing, Zoe’s voice having disappeared into the infinite void. Taste and smell, however, seemed to be working ok, but the fact that he smelled hospital worried him until the blackness took over once more.

- - -

Monty stood on the bridge, one of his twin pilots at the helm. They were approaching the planet of Greenleaf and would be there in a couple of hours. He would be glad to get the rich, arrogant, loudmouth, wanna-be cowboy off of his ship. Yes, his fare had helped a little, but it was almost not worth it for the annoyance he had been. Then again, he had an entire boat full of strange folk, or so it would seem.

Something was definitely not quite right with that kid Thomas. He spouted out all kinds of gibberish, and what scared Monty more was that some of it made perfect sense. The boy knew things, things he shouldn’t, things he couldn’t. The grandfather was alright, if a little senile, but having to watch a kid like that, who wouldn’t be? They hadn’t really caused any trouble, and they weren’t annoying at all like Andrew. They also hadn’t specified where they were going, only that they would know when they got there, but they had continued to pay for each leg of the trip, with a couple that Monty had refused payment for, on days that he felt especially generous.

Gates and Grace were somewhat of a mystery to him. They also hadn’t specified where they were going, and he could tell that they were putting op some kind of front to cover what they were really doing out here in the Black. Grace had seemed unusually interested in Mal, so he had pretended to get drunk as he told her about him, trying to gauge her responses to figure out what she wanted with his little brother. He hadn’t told her anything that could get Mal in trouble, but he also hadn’t figured out what exactly she wanted.

“Monty, there is an interesting beacon near the capitol city.” Ara announced, still looking at the screen. “It looks like a Firefly, and if I am not mistaken it is Serenity.”

Monty smiled, knowing that he still owed Mal one for opening his eyes to the true nature of Bridget and lamenting the loss of his beloved beard. A dark look crossed his face as he realized he might be bringing the younger Reynolds harm, and decided to keep a close eye on all of his passengers as they set down on the planet, especially the couple they had picked up on that Core world several months ago.

- - -

Waking once more in the grey limbo, Mal remembered at once his previous attempt to focus, and decided to try it again. This time he picked Zoe to focus on. Dedicated, loyal, deadly Zoe. She had gotten him out of trouble so many times, and he had returned the favor more’n a few. They had even tried a romantic relationship, but it didn’t do anything for either of them. The fact that they could admit that had made them closer friends, and there wasn’t a soul in the ‘verse to whom he would more readily trust his back. Always watching, always listening, catching minute details before anyone else did, she made the perfect scout, and he was proud to have her on his crew.

Mal heard voices, though they seemed to be far away. One was familiar, the other very foreign to his mind.

“I think ... consciousness is trapped ... ... ... brain, a ... nasty reflex ... implement in .... I’ve stimulated ... ... parts of ... cortex, he ... be able ... ... ... muscles now”

“... ... to wake him, what ... ... the brain controls ... consciousness?”

Simon! Mal knew that voice. Somehow he had to tell Simon that he was trapped inside his own brain. He tried opening his mouth, but the mouth here in the barren space he was stuck in was obviously not connected to his physical mouth. He turned his focus back to his first mate, hoping that it would help him to regain more control of his body.

His eyes, slightly open from the doctors’ examination, slow began to focus on his surroundings. They only confirmed what his nostrils had already begun to tell him. He saw a bright light over the table, and could see the tops of cabinets and an x-ray screen. He seemed to be lying at some sort of an angle, and his heart felt like it leapt into his throat as Zoe came into his view, looking down on him with grave concern on her face.

“Steve! ... heart rate ... spiked! ... ... you do?”

“Simon, ... ... do anything. Zoe, did you ... ...?

“Just walked over here to look at him again”

“I ... his eyes ... working! We need to ... ... ... and we should ... ... to bring him out of ... ...”

“What ... we need ... find next?”

“... think if we ... some of ... receptors in ... Cingulate Gyrus ... may be ... ... bring him ..., but ... should ... ... he ... strapped down well ... he ... hurt himself or ... with ... ... movements”

“Sir, if you can hear me, you hold. We are coming to get you, you just hold until we get there”

- - -

River’s sight was blurry, and as her brown eyes came into focus, she almost screamed again. The last person she expected to be helping her had cradled her in his arms, a look of genuine distress on his sweaty face.

“What’s wrong now, crazy girl? It ain’t more reavers, issit?”

She shook her head slightly, causing Jayne’s face to relax a little. He propped her up against the wall of the cargo bay, stepping back as Kaylee knelt to give her a drink of water.

“You ok sweetie?” she asked, turning to scowl at Jayne for a second. “We heard you scream and then found you on the floor here.”

River smiled faintly, gazing distractedly at the metal floor. She couldn’t tell them what she had seen. Even if it wasn’t true, it would scare them all, and they would go back to treating her like they used to, instead of one of the crew.

“Saw images of the Academy, that’s all” she lied. “Still can’t get over some of the things they did.”

Drinking the water that Kaylee offered, she turned her thoughts away from the images she had seen. Why had her father been there? Thinking about him, a huge smile suddenly broke across her face.

“They’re almost here!” she exclaimed, getting slowly to her feet.

“Who’s almost here, moonbrain? I thought you said there weren’t no reavers.”

“Reavers? It can’t be, not here, right? I mean, we are so very far away from Miranda, and there are a lot less of them now that the Alliance ships had that battle in the sky, right?” Kaylee looked worriedly at her young friend, an almost pleading look in her eyes.

“No, no reavers. It’s a happy surprise for Mal. Simon too. Woulda been for me as well, but, well, you guys know how I am with surprises.”

Jayne and Kaylee exchanged confused glances at the child-like expression on River’s face as she bounded up the stairs two at a time, headed to the bridge.

- - -

Mal came out of the black to find that he could still see. He could still hear and taste and smell as well, but had yet to regain control of his muscles or his ability to feel. He could make out Simon talking to the man Mal assumed was a doctor, seemingly specialized in the brain. ‘At least he finally has someone to talk medical jargon with, he thought to himself.’

Mal smelled the familiar scent of exotic perfume and could barely make out the padding of near-silent footfalls. Her face came into his view, framed by her thick curls, her voice a soothing melody to his ears.

“Doctor, I want you to know that payment won’t be a problem. I have made arrangements with...”

“I’ll be needin’ no payment miss. This man is a brother-in-arms, and the unspeakable things the Alliance has done to him need to be righted. Besides, it’s not as if I’m exactly hurting for cash right now anyhow.”

With the slightest of winks, he turned back to Simon and the data they were examining as Inara’s jaw went slack, stunned by the dual revelation that no payment was needed and that the Alliance was to blame for Mal’s condition, though the latter didn’t surprise her nearly as much. She stood beside the bed, squeezing his hand and placing a soft kiss on his forehead. She then retreated to a corner of the room to observe without being in the way.

He tried focusing on a person once more, this time on someone he hadn’t seen in a while. Monty, what have you been up to? He wondered how his brother was faring, hoping he hadn’t gotten hisself killed or pinched by the feds again. He remembered back to the battles they had fought in together, remembering how it felt to have to carry a comrade who was bigger than him by far while trying to walk off the bullet wound in his thigh. He knew that he had saved Monty that day, but the reason that he was hurt was that he had shielded Mal. Mal figured that made them square, at least for that moment.

Mal’s thoughts wandered to the more recent past, of finding that boo hway-hun duh puo-foo trying to take advantage of Monty. It had been good to see him on that desolate rock, though the reunion was brief. The bear hug he had received had made him realize how much he had missed him, though the fistfight he had gotten into with YoSaffBridg had somewhat overshadowed it.

Zoe stood by his side again, looking solemnly down at him. As she turned to pace back to the other side of the room, his hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist...

- - -

The War Horse landed at the docks just outside of New Venice, within a half an hour’s walk of where Serenity was. Their cargo didn’t need to go into the city, as it wasn’t a completely legal transaction, but their contact wouldn’t be here for at least another day. He planned to get everyone settled in then head over to see if he could find Mal. Graham and Sara were waiting with the ship for word from the contact, and Ara had been persuaded to follow Gates and Grace into the city, keeping him apprised of their movements while she looked for more work.

Monty donned his large, tattered brown duster and a black cowboy hat. Andrew had come down from the passenger quarters, his one duffel bag slung over his shoulder, a dirty white cowboy hat on his own head. Monty plastered his fake grin on his face one last time, shaking the man’s hand and wishing him well. After he disappeared into the somewhat sparse crowd, Monty climbed onto the all terrain vehicle in the back of his cargo bay, heading off over the wild landscape toward the familiar ship in the distance.

He arrived in a third of the time it would have taken him on foot. Seeing the closed cargo bay doors, he did the only thing he could think of. Monty knocked on the door, hearing the sound reverberate through the walls of the ship. After a few moments, he heard the grinding of metal on metal as the door was opened from inside.

“Uncle Monty!” a lithe young girl exclaimed as he saw a giant of a man behind her cock a shotgun that was pointed at him.

- - - - -

pt 16

- - - - -

Translations ( from ):

boo hway-hun duh puo-foo – remorseless harridan


Friday, June 23, 2006 7:09 AM


come back to us mal... *sniff* you can't leave us!!!

Uncle Monty???

I am so flippin' curious!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006 8:54 PM


Kinda makes sense if River calls Mal "Captain Daddy," that Monty be "Uncle Monty" to River;)

Great stuff here, River...Goddess! Can't wait for Mal to get back on his feet and opening cans o'whoopass:D


Sunday, June 25, 2006 6:39 AM


Ahhh, I've got SO many stories to leave reviews for! Been gone for a few days partying with fellow Browncoats in honor of Serenity Day! Don't you feel special, being the first on my list of reviews to leave....? :P

This was far too short. Poor Mal. Hope he gets better soon. And Monty has arrived...hmm, wonder what fun role he'll have to play . . .


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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.