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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Several crew members dwell on things past while one reunion is made and a wave from an old aquaintence is received.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1062 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
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,pt 15,pt 16
- - - - -
River deftly took the spare shuttle into the city, flying more flamboyantly than was necessary to reach their destination. Jayne grumbled incoherently at her, and Kaylee squealed a little, but Monty seemed to be really enjoying himself, happy to find another woman pilot whose skills were comparable to the twins he employed. Thinking back to them, he grew a little concerned that the couple he had sent Ara to follow, afraid that he might have brought more harm into his little brother’s life.
“Not here for him,” River’s quiet voice interrupted his thoughts, a slightly puzzled look on his face. He still had yet to figure out how she could know these things, and why it didn’t creep him out nearly as much as the kid on his ship. “Well, they are here for him, but only because they are looking for someone else.”
Monty’s look of astonishment was somewhat mirrored on Kaylee’s and Jayne’s faces, even though they had come to expect those sorts of things from her. Worried that they might be Alliance goons coming to find Simon and River, Kaylee immediately felt an urgency to get to where they were going.
“Well, who are they lookin’ for moonbrain?”
“Me. Well, me and Simon.”
Kaylee gasped in horror as she heard the revelation, assuming that her thoughts were indeed right. She worried that it might already be too late, and cursed the shuttle for not being faster.
“Calm down, it’s ok.” River admonished without looking back. “They don’t mean us any harm. Do you remember the surprise I mentioned when you and Jayne found me on the floor?”
Silence filled the shuttle as River landed it on an empty pad at the hospital.
“It’s my dad. He’s finally caught up to us.”
- - -
Inara sat alone at Mal’s side, Zoe and Simon having left for a while to stretch their legs and take a few hours of rest. They had all been awake and active for at least thirty-six hours, and the tension that was relieved when the Captain finally woke up was visible on both of their faces.
“He’s gonna be ok, right Doc?” Zoe asked, absentmindedly fidgeting with a loose string on her shirt as she relaxed in a plush chair. “I’ve seen him come through plenty, more’n I care to talk on, but I am always concerned that one of these might be his last.”
“He should be fine. Another few days and he’ll be the pyen juh duh jiou cha wen that he always is, though I imagine he will be bent on getting back at the guys who did this to us.” Simon leaned forward in his chair, setting his styrofoam cup of tea down and rubbing his temples lightly. “The scary thing is, I am completely in support of the idea, though I have no idea how we are going to find them. Maybe there are clues of some sort in the things that Shepherd Book left for us.”
Zoe’s mind wandered back to the white pistol she had received from their late friend. She had been admiring the craftsmanship when the attack had happened, and the new acquisition had been all but forgotten as she had busied herself on the ship, unable to help her Captain and friend. Her thoughts after the attack had naturally been focused on Mal, but since then she felt her defenses weakened and the painful thoughts of her late husband had flooded back to her.
Wash’s face had looked so peaceful when they went to retrieve the body. Zoe had thanked the god that she no longer believed in that the Reavers preferred their meals alive and struggling. Walking up that hill to the marker had been the hardest thing she had ever done in her life. Though there was no hope of resuscitating him when they found his cold body still pinned to the pilot’s chair, she didn’t really admit to herself that he was dead and gone until she had seen the stone pillars awaiting her at the top of her climb. After lighting the rocket with her ceremonial candle, tears had freely flowed down her face as she said her last goodbye to her loving husband.
Shaking her head, she returned her focus to the sterile waiting lounge, her steaming tea slowly cooling on the table beside her. She thought about the intricate designs on the ivory-handled gun, Chinese symbols interwoven with fire-breathing dragons. Thinking back on it, she couldn’t recall what the Chinese characters were, and was a little anxious to look them over more carefully. She looked up as she heard several sets of boots echoing along the hallway leading to the room they were in.
“River, what are you doing here?” Simon blurted out. “I thought you were going to watch the ship.”
“Got a surprise for Captain daddy, you’ll get yours later today, maybe tomorrow.”
“A surprise? What do you mean? And I’ll get mine? What is tha...”
“Monty!” Zoe exclaimed, interrupting Simon, her eyes lighting up a little. “What in thirty worlds are you doing here, you ol’ Sasquatch?”
“Someone told me my kin got himself roughed up once again,” he smiled, winking slightly at River. “But I really came to see your smiling face. You do smile now, don’t ye? I think I heard that somewhere.”
Zoe blushed, almost imperceptibly, then stood and walked over to her friend. He lifted her off of the ground in a giant bear hug, squeezing the air out of her, then set her back down.
“So, where is that runt of a brother of mine?”
Gates and Grace headed back toward the edge of the city, bundling their coats around their necks to keep from being too chilled by the wind. They walked through the semi-crowded docks, headed back toward the War Horse. Grace knew that Monty had seen Serenity from where they had landed, and that it was about a half hour’s walk from there.
“I know you’re all jittery and anxious, but remember, there is no guarantee that they are on this ship, though I have a pretty good feeling about it. Either way, you need to make sure to keep up the mannerisms and accent I taught you. On a border planet like this, people will definitely notice the Core in you if you aren’t careful, and we never know who is watching us or listening in.”
Gates nodded, keeping his retort to himself. He had been trying as hard as he could for several weeks while aboard the ship, and it was starting to wear on him. He still couldn’t fathom how his two children, with the finest upbringing he could afford, could have found a place out here. Dwelling on that thought, he was reminded that the upbringing and his stubborn pride had caused all of this in the first place. He just hoped he would be able to see them, to explain himself, and to beg for their forgiveness. There was an infinitesimal glimmer of optimistic thought that they would be willing to come back to Osiris with him, but knowing some of what River had been through and most of what Simon had done to rescue her, he wasn’t holding his breath on that one.
“Penny for your thoughts, they seem to be pretty intense.” Grace had noticed the expressions playing across her compatriot’s face, and they had concerned her a little. “You worried about somethin’?”
“Just apprehensive about finding my children, hoping they’ll let me speak my piece when I do find them. Grace, I am responsible for whatever horrors have been inflicted upon my little girl as well as her brother’s hasty actions to rescue her and make them both into intergalactic fugitives. ”
“I am sure that they will at least let you say what you need to,” she said plainly to him, trying to reassure her somber compatriot as they passed the end of the docks and headed across the windy plain to where she knew Serenity was. “Though, I do have a couple of questions for you.”
“Alright, let’s hear ‘em.”
“Say you do find your kids, and get to speak to them, what then? Are you going to be able to go back to living on Osiris, living with the lies, the phony facades, the useless dinner parties?” She steeled herself for his answers, hesitantly asking the final part of her question. “Do you think we, uh, I mean, you, could make a new life out here in the Black?”
At her last question, he stopped in his tracks, turning to look at her, a half surprised look on his face. “I, uh, well, I guess I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Honestly, I don’t know that I would want to go back to Osiris, but I also don’t think I could do much of anything to make a living out here. I was brought up having money, and lots of it, and having only what is left in my accounts...”
“Wuh de ma! Gates, the money that you put away in the various accounts will keep you more than comfortable for the standards we have been living by these past few months. As I am sure you have noticed, the money goes much further when you don’t have to buy a new outfit for every occasion, pay to have your house immaculately cleaned, or provide wages for a dozen cooks and chefs to make your every meal. Of course, it will still take some getting used to, but with what you have saved, you will not need to work to make a living, unless you want to have something to do.”
He looked down at her, grave concern melting away into slight surprise at her disclosure. Life since they left Osiris had not been all that bad, though he still hadn’t gotten used to the protein they had to resort to eating in the long spans of space in between planets. Thinking about the choice at this point seemed like a no-brainer, his life being much easier now that he was no longer in the public eye every day. A voice in the back of his mind told him that it was stupid to even be considering the option that had been presented, but that voice had become easier and easier to ignore the longer he stayed out here in the Black.
“Let’s just focus on finding River and Simon, we’ll see where it goes from there.”
They walked on in silence, seeing the top of the cockpit of Serenity peeking over a hill in the distance.
Zoe led Monty, River, and Kaylee down the hall to Mal’s room, leaving Jayne behind with Simon. He’d seen Mal laid out plenty of times and he figured the doc would make better company than a bunch of emotional saps fretting over a man who he knew would not want to be fussed over. He stomped over to a set of vending machines, wanting something to distract him from the uncomfortableness of being in a hospital yet again. He shoved in a couple of spare coins, punching lit up buttons on the machine. A cup dropped and scalding hot tea began to fill it as a packaged chocolate bar dropped into the recovery bin.
Jayne pulled the bar out, opening it with a fervor he usually reserved for killin’ and ruttin’. It wasn’t every day that he could have real chocolate, and this hospital was high class enough to stock it in their machines. He took a huge bite of the sweet, soft darkness, closing his eyes savoring the taste for a moment before biting down to crush the salty, roasted peanuts between his teeth. The taste reminded him of Christmas at his ma’s house, one of the two times a year they could splurge on the rare treat, and it brought a small smile to his face.
“What in the name of suo-yo duh doh shr-dang are you up to?” Simon asked, eyes wide with disbelief at the extremely rare expression on the mercenary’s face. “They put some new ingredient in those that I’m not aware of?”
The smile instantly vanished from the larger man’s face, happy thoughts of a faraway home turning to methods of slowly inflicting excruciating pain on the Core-bred doctor. He managed a bit of self-control as he turned to retort.
“Well doc, I am sure that you could have fancy chocolates and other tasty treats any day of the week when you were bein’ reared, but for me and my brothers an’ sisters, well, sometimes it was all ma could do for our birthday to get us a little square of chocolate. Even when I started rustlin’ cattle to support them, I couldn’t always get my hand on much in the way of treats.”
Taken aback at Jayne’s defensiveness, Simon decided to keep his retort to himself. Before he found Serenity, he would not have been able to comprehend Jayne’s plight in the least. He had never gone without, never had to want for any material goods. What he had always longed for, however, was genuine love and affection from his parents. They always seemed to be out at some social function or another, and Simon and River were essentially raised by the hired help. The fact that they only had one another is what made their bond strong, but Simon found himself actually feeling jealous of Jayne and the obvious loving relationships he had shared with his family.
Simon stood, smoothed out his creased slacks as best as he could, and turned to Jayne. “I’m sorry for my outburst, I guess I am just frazzled from being awake too long and from the stress of trying to wake the Captain. I think I just need some fresh air.” Simon turned and headed down the corridor, leaving a dumbfounded Jayne in his wake. Jayne continued to wonder about the doctor’s sudden change of attitude until he remembered the softening bar of chocolate in his hand, taking another bite as he grabbed his tea and sat down heavily, propping his dirty boots upon the table.
Monty walked down the wide hallway, accompanied by three of the four lovely ladies of Serenity. He loved how Kaylee’s mood was so infectious, her bubbly laughter ringing throughout the hall, making him want to join right in. His apprehension about seeing Mal had all but vanished, being in the fine company he was in and now knowing that he was awake and doing well.
Zoe reached the door first, holding it open for everyone else to enter. River and Kaylee almost ran to get to his side before the other, and Monty slowly walked in, standing behind the girls and looking over them. He noticed another woman, a Registered Companion dressed in what looked like casual fineries. His eyes wide with approval, he turned to smile down on his little brother.
“M...Monty?” Mal asked looking right past the worried faces of his younger two crew women. “What the ruttin’ hell are you doin’ here?”
Before Monty could answer, Zoe rushed to the side of his bed, a portable Cortex screen in her hands.
“There’s a wave for you sir.”
“Well who’s it from that makes it so important that you have to interrupt my bear of a big brother?”
“Jubal, Sir. Jubal Early.”
Translations ( from http://fireflychinese.home.att.net/episode.html ):
pyen juh duh jiou cha wen – stubborn martinet
wuh de ma – mother of god
suo-yo duh doh shr-dang – all that’s proper
Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:38 AM
Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:59 AM
Friday, July 14, 2006 2:09 PM
Thursday, July 27, 2006 8:46 PM
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