White Lotus, Tiger's Eye [Part 2]
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The crew discover two members are missing whilst on Dionysus. Jayne and Vera in the hands of the Triad. Jasmine from 'Heroes of Beltane' offers translation and other services. Warning for torture and imprisonment scenario.



We saw the heavens break and all the world go down to sleep and rocks on mossy banks drip acid rain from craggy steeps Saw fiery angels kiss the dawn Wish you goodbye till further on Will you still be there further on? And further on – Jethro Tull

Hori frowned at communal breakfast the next morning, “It's not like 'Grace' to be this late for breakfast, eh. Even when she's getting sexed up!” Mal knew that Hori was using Vera's new public name – as they all were – to keep her real, and supposedly dead, identity secret, “Jayne's late too. Probably showing her some new moves.” Mal didn't want to know what they were, he dreaded to think where Jayne's sexual tastes ran. He might have been pleasantly surprised – or horrified - to find they were fairly vanilla and not dissimilar to his own. River looked in that direction, “I don't smell them. They're not making love. There's some other smell there, like dreaming.” Mal frowned, but got up and went to knock at the motel room door, “Jayne? Grace? You in there?” He gingerly opened the room and took a look, then got a whiff of something else, “Simon?” The doctor came running and got the traces of the scent in his nose, “Sleeping gas. Very quick acting and long lasting. Whoever took them knocked them out first.” Mal commented softly, “I can't imagine either Vera or Jayne being taken whilst conscious without a major fight breaking out.” He had another thought, “Is it safe to go in there yet?” Simon nodded, “But not for long. Open the windows and keep this door open too.” * Mal, River and Hori went into the motel room, collecting all Jayne and Vera's personal effects and looking for clues. Once all the personal items had been put in another motel, they returned to the breakfast tables for a conference. “River? Get anything?” “They came from a long way to get Jayne and Vera. Very angry. Vengeance in mind.” “No idea who?” Hori commented, “I'd guess Triad, eh.” Mal sighed, “Time to call in those favours with the Chinese community. Get some ideas on where the whore-son hwoon dahn have taken two of my crew!”


Jayne felt cold water splash him in the face. Wasn't he in bed? Was Vera giving him a bed bath in a rather messy way? No, there was metal under him. That couldn't be right. He shook his head just as another bucketful of water splashed over him. He tried to move and then felt chains. Good, solid, heavy metal chains on arms and legs. Metal floor, probably metal walls by the feel of the place. The place smelt totally different to anything on Dionysus. He blinked his eyes open. Check for the metal floor and walls. Check for being as naked as the day he came crying apart from the chains. He had some movement, but not as much as he would have preferred. A bright light suddenly shone in his face. “So, Jayne Cobb; you're awake.” Chinese, male. Then he realised that he was alone in this room with the other man. Had to try to think, had to keep Vera's real name secret. He buttoned his lip, reverting to stubborn and uncommunicative as he did if anyone tried to prise information out of him. He would have folded his arms if it had been physically possible to do so. The unseen guy tried threats, then emotional manipulation, then went to sympathetic and conciliatory. Jayne knew all of the techniques; he'd been put under them often enough. After an hour of silence on his part, the man and the light withdrew. * There was thin, greyish light coming through a tiny window high up behind him. Jayne let his eyes adapt. The metal room – cell – was about fifteen feet square. Facing him was a big metal door with a small grill at the top and something like a cat-flap at the bottom. Both far too small to crawl through. By his side was a very basic metal toilet and paper. Jayne looked intently at all four walls. He reckoned that there could be a hidden camera recording his every move, or a bugging device somewhere. He daren't call out Vera's name, though he wanted to; wanted to see if she was somewhere nearby. He tried the chains, but he knew trying to pull himself free was a waste of effort. Jayne sat on the floor and made himself relax into his slow breathing technique. Deeper and deeper inside the mental space inside himself. They - whoever 'they' were - couldn't get him there. * Jayne said one word in his mind, 'Vera?' To his utter surprise, he 'heard' an answer, 'Jayne?' He boggled, it had never happened to him before; but he knew in some way he couldn't quantify that she was somewhere not far away and – thank Buddha and all the angels – still alive. 'You hold, darlin'!' 'You too!' Then the connection – or whatever it was - was broken. Jayne raised his head up. They could put him through all manner of seven hells now, his own resolve and the hope of seeing Vera again would combine to make him stronger than he'd ever been before. He might bend, but he'd never break. He went back to that deep place inside himself and started remembering all the good times he'd ever known, right from the beginning. * Vera woke up in a similar situation to Jayne. Chains, metal box of a room and a fierce light in her eyes. Lots of questions which she didn't answer. She recognised the techniques as well, heck she'd used most of them herself as sheriff and bounty hunter. She was more concerned about what being naked and female might lead to; being raped or coerced into sex was something that could happen. And dammit, she didn't want anyone else inside her apart from Jayne and maybe her toys. And he wasn't here, not even to see or touch. To her relief, it was just questioning from the Chinese guy for now. Left alone, her thoughts went to Jayne. Suddenly there was a very familiar 'voice', in an intense whisper in her head. Vera laughed with relief, 'Jayne!' She thought the word to him with all the love in her. After the brief contact, Vera wondered what the heck had just happened. Best she could come up with was they somehow connected at the same level as just after that first glorious session of Tantric sex; soul to soul, or something like it. She didn't care about the details; Jayne was near and he was alive. That would do for now. ***

Dionysus * Hori turned to Mal, “Shall I alert the Dionysian authorities that they've had a kidnap?” Mal considered, “Yes, the motel people too. Someone may have seen something. Get on Serenity's comm; if you can do so discreetly with the workmen there. Start putting the word out very cautiously. Someone out there is bound to know more about the Triad.” He frowned, “What was the name Ping Han used?” Inara answered, “White Lotus.” “Anyone?” But they all shook their heads. Mal turned to Simon, “Any chance of Zoe and little Sarah being ready to move a bit quicker?” “I'll give her a check up. Everything's going well at the moment, breast-feeding well established, womb shrinking back to normal. Sarah's putting on weight already. Might be possible if Zoe's agreeable.” * Hori put in a carefully worded wave message to the two courtesans on Venice, 'Help needed. Trouble cultivating White Lotus. Need to find right spot for it. Two seedlings gone 'wild'.' Jasmine came on herself a little while later, “Got a secure line here. What's this about the White Lotus? Triad problems?” Hori quickly put the scrambler on at his end and gave her the bare facts. “Ah. Dangerous. Trained Sensei and torturers in their employ. Keep people alive with them. Need a translator?” “Something like that, eh. And a possible location.” “Ariel. In the pay of the Alliance – though the Alliance don't know that – fingers in gambling, whoring, money laundering, the usual vices, people in top positions.” “How do you know this?” “Chinese clients who talk in their sleep, plus my father was in it. I was orphaned early, but I remember; and the Triad keep half an eye on their own. Could be dangerous as well as helpful to have me on board.” “Thought you were Japanese, eh.” “Half. Helps me pass for either Chinese or Japanese in many places.” Hori rounded off the conversation and went to tell Mal. River just looked at Mal and he knew what he had to do. “Invite Jasmine to come and be our 'new' Companion, since Inara's 'retired'.” Inara looked at him, “Jasmine's not a full Companion.” Mal shrugged, “We say she is, she is. Way things are going to hell in a handbasket, I doubt anyone will be asking questions.” * By the time Zoe and Sarah had been packed up and brought on board and Serenity was ready for lift-off, Jasmine's shuttle was with them. She installed herself in the opposite shuttle to Inara's. Inara had moved out to share Mal's bunk, so there was room to use her old space as a runaround. Jasmine was with the crew in the bridge as they orbited around Dionysus, making plans. “The White Lotus are dangerous. 'With one hand they cover up the sky'. That's an old saying about them.” “We held our own against an Operative.” Jasmine waved a delicate hand, “Him, you could understand. He would have had purpose and intense direction. He believed what he was doing was right. To a certain extent, the same is true of a Triad, but they will turn and bend any way they want to in order to achieve their ends. 'Unity of will is an impregnable stronghold'.” “I believe we've got that too. Rescue Jayne and Vera, kick some ruttin' Triad butt!” There were nods all round. “Any of you learn martial arts?” Inara put up a hand, “Companion self defence.” “Maori martial arts.” Simon added, “Know a few spots on the body where a quick kill is possible.” He shuddered slightly. Mal gestured to Zoe, “We were in the war; both pretty damn good with a gun and in fist fights.” Jasmine nodded, “It's a start, but I think we need to have regular Tai Chi sessions and I've got a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Picking up as much as possible might just help you hold your own against a Sensei, but they are better than you can possibly imagine. Trained practically from birth, day in and day out.” “Tai Chi?” Mal sounded incredulous. Jasmine nodded, “Think it's just old guys in parks? Not so. The breathing aids concentration and the slow fluid movements train your body to be both graceful and flexible. Plus every move has a martial application. I can show you the sword form, and then you will probably 'get' it.” * So Jasmine took the crew martial arts training in shifts when they weren't doing other jobs or sleeping. She showed Mal the sword forms first and he immediately understood the martial implications and started learning them. Inara joined him very soon afterwards. Kaylee and Inara were the first up for Tae Kwon Do, but the men of the crew weren't far behind once they saw the moves. Hori added his own Maori disciplines to the mix in spear and staff training. Mal decided to contact the Superior of the Male Training house for extra assistance with Chinese peculiarities. He used a carefully worded wave, just like Jasmine had. It turned out the Superior was called Chow Hu and wrote excellent Pig Latin. So Mal gave him the information that way, but spelt backwards. Hu and he became wave buddies very quickly and Mal relayed information to the rest of the crew. Hu confirmed that Triads liked to keep their hostages alive, if uncomfortably so. Serenity travelled in a carefully plotted course, heading to Ariel by an indirect route and picking up jobs along the way. They all wanted to get to Jayne and Vera, but realised that just storming in there without preparation would be suicide, especially on Ariel. *** Ariel * Jayne tried to keep an idea of the passage of time, but without much outside stimulation, it proved difficult. Meals came about three times a day. The 'cat flap' opened and a tray was pushed in with rice, vegetables, tofu and green tea on it. It came near enough for him to pick up and get to grips with the chopsticks provided. Sometimes he didn't bother with them and ate with his fingers. The grey light dimmed to what it was reasonable to assume was the first night, at which point someone threw in a couple of blankets via the upper hatch in the door. He managed to find a half-way comfortable position for sleeping. Every morning, Jayne did his best to ease out the kinks and exercise. The guard or questioner came back most days and threw what seemed to be the obligatory bucket of water over him. Sometimes he got the blankets out of the way first and sometimes he didn't. After a few days, he smelt something strange and passed out. Jayne came to flat on his back, manacled to a metal table by arms and legs. Then the fun stuff started. The hwoon dahn idiots tried physical torture. Not stuff that would damage him permanently, but it was very painful. Beatings administered so as not to leave a mark, but cause the most hurt. Being twisted into tortured shapes. Jayne kept breathing, going to his safe place deep inside and planning several nasty kinds of payback for when he got free. *** Serenity * Simon came to Mal when the latter was on cockpit duty, steering the ship. “We'll be going fairly near Osiris, we could have a stop-over to see if my parents will help.” Mal nodded, “But not too much time. The game pieces are set near the board and I've got a powerful need to deploy them.” “We could, of course, take some goods from Osiris marked for delivery to Ariel.” Mal smiled slightly, “You're learning! Consider it done!” * Simon held Kaylee's hand, “Just remember, they're even more stuck-up than I was. They'll look down on you, likely as not, but I'll be there.” “I'll be shiny as long as you're with me.” Kaylee was as irrepressible as usual. River wrinkled her nose, “Doesn't smell like home any more.” Simon turned to her, “Hasn't been home in a long time.” He walked with the two women he loved up to the palatial mansion and rang the doorbell. A servant he didn't recognise opened the door. Simon took the initiative and barged past in a manner most unbecoming in relation to his original status. “Mother? Father?” “What's the commotion? Jarvis?” “Your...son, sir.” Jarvis dripped contempt. Gabriel Tam came out into the hall, “I believe I disowned you when you threw in your medical career to find...” His eyes widened as he saw his daughter for the first time in years, “River!” River responded, “Happy to see me, Father?” Gabriel just stood there, stiff and unbending. Simon bent to Kaylee's ear and whispered, “See what I mean?” Kaylee couldn't help herself. She just blurted out, “Didn't they enjoy having sex to have babies?” There was an audible gasp. Regan had joined her husband, “Young lady, I hardly think...” Simon stepped forward, “This is my fiancee, Kaylee. You have two choices; take her into your hearts and help us or shun us and never meet your grandchildren.” Gabriel went white, “You got this young...person...pregnant before marriage?” Simon grinned. A whole lot of Kaylee had rubbed off on him by now, “Oh, yes. We've been at it, having glorious, wonderful sex morning, noon and night. I recommend trying it.” “He's right,” River chipped in, “The sexing up has been very good. Same as Mal and Inara and Jayne and Vera, they've been getting sexed up too!” Regan looked at her daughter, “You're barely old enough to understand...” River cocked her head, “I could hear you having sex; even before I left to go to the academy. Dry, lifeless... Now Simon might be a dummy sometimes, but he knows how to pleasure a lady. Since they altered me, I've become psychic. I know how all the crew on Serenity like to have sex, whether they're having it or not. I like the scent of it, when it's fresh. Tells me a lot about a person, that smell.” Gabriel pointed at the door, “The ban still stands. I will *not have that kind of lascivious, disgusting talk in this house!” Simon looked at his father, “Then your baby grandchildren will never know you. Your line will go on, but you'll be cut off from it forever.” “So be it.” Simon turned on his heel and the three of them left the house. Kaylee dissolved into giggles that were a mixture of nerves and genuine humour. Simon's lips curved into a tender smile as they got back to the shuttle, “Now you understand why I tell you that you opened my eyes, bei-bei. I was running empty and cold and you smiled at me and everything lit up inside.” Kaylee gave him a big, melting smile, “I understand, sweetie.” River stared at her old home, “So cold, so alone. No passion.” * Hori was getting ready for bed, it was his turn for down time. Jasmine knocked and entered the shuttle. She was wearing a sheer dressing gown. Hori rose to his feet. Standing, he towered over her by more than a foot, plus there were Jayne-sized muscles and long jet black hair. Hori may not have been classically handsome in anyone's books, but he was impressive. Hori smiled, “Kia ora!” Jasmine smiled and let the robe slip from her shoulders. She was naked underneath, “I'm hoping this might be welcome?” Hori pulled off his shirt, “Haere mai! Tuia i runga, tuia i raro, tuia i roto!” “What does that mean?” Hori pulled her closer to the bed, “Welcome. And 'Unite above, unite below, unite within'.” Jasmine smiled, “Unite three times?” Hori's grin widened as he began to kiss her, “Been a powerful long time since I had the pleasure of a woman's company. Maybe more than three, eh!” *** Ariel * Jayne was back in his cell when he smelt something that was vaguely familiar, but lack of sleep and being disorientated kept him from identifying it. As he began to lose consciousness, he understood. Sleeping gas; again. He woke up in the desert. He had a basic loincloth on and that was it. No chains. He jumped up and stretched fully for the first time in days. Then did a good few press-up and sit ups. “Hey, sweetie!” A woman's voice, and not Vera's. She had masses of fiery red hair and the biggest natural set of breasts Jayne had ever seen. And she was poured into a green dress made of something like tee shirt material, which let her breasts bounce softly as she walked. Another time, another place and he'd have tried to be all over her like a bad rash. Jayne may not have had much regular schooling due to circumstances beyond his control, but he could smell a set-up when he encountered one. She came closer and Jayne had to admit that whoever had put him here had provided a vision from one of his earlier hot fantasies. But 'they' didn't know about Vera. Okay, a tiny part of his libido was appreciating the floor show. He was male, horny and hadn't been getting any - not even with himself - for too many days. But his sensible head was reminding him about Saffron, or whatever her real name was, and that metal cell and the torture. *This* was just different torture. He wondered how far she'd been instructed to take things. She came up to him and tried to touch him but he fended her off. * “Not gonna happen, woman!” She fondled her own breasts, “Don't you want to touch me?” The move was one he'd enjoyed watching in the past, but not now, “Actually, I don't.” He wasn't lying. His libido had switched firmly off and she was about as arousing as a snake. Probably even more dangerous, if pushed. She darted and held him expertly right in the danger zone and fondled. Nothing, not a flicker. She was making the right moves, but his interest and libido were registering a big fat zero. He picked her off him and threw her down. “I said no!” He felt a tiny sting in his arm. Blow dart, shot from some distance. Then everything went black; again. * He woke up in his cell, naked under the blankets. He guessed he'd 'passed' that test. His thoughts went to thinking about what Vera might be experiencing. In an instant, his libido was shouting at him that it had only been asleep, thank-you very much and he was as hard as a rock in seconds. And he absolutely had to do something about it, the forced abstinence had built up quite a bit of pressure whilst his mind and body had been distracted by the cell and the torture. He tried various positions, and finally managed to curl himself enough to get his left hand...there. He imagined Vera doing the moves the red head had done. Oh yes, right on the edge now. He bit his lip, this was going to be a big one. He stroked once, twice and his teeth drew blood as the release he needed slammed into him. He'd probably be in 'trouble' for that later, but right now he was a lot happier. ***

Mal set Serenity down in Osiris' main port. They needed a refuel about now and he wanted to see if there was a legitimate package for Ariel so that getting past the administration, customs and other controls would be a bit easier. He considered it a small spot of fortune when some rich Chinese toff wanted to send a silver plated Buddha to his home shrine on Ariel. Didn't quite make Mal a believer again, but it certainly gave him hope that the 'verse was tilting in their direction. The next part was going to be the hardest. Find exactly where Jayne and Vera were on Ariel and perform a half-way decent rescue from the Triad. And all under the noses of the Alliance.


Thursday, July 13, 2006 5:48 PM


Oh...whole lotta fun going on;)

Loving this series, Vera...keep it up:D



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