Tea With Mrs. Niska
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Follow up to Right Through you. Jazmine Li revealed. The female is the deadlier of the species.


Standard disclaimer: Joss’ profit...don’t sue.

Tea with Mrs. Niska

Scene 1 (Mrs. Niska’s parlor, they are taking tea and are finishing up pleasant chat to get down to business) MRS. NISKA: So, Jazmine. Tell me what brings you here. Surely it was not only the tea cakes. JAZ: They are delightful as ever, but no Anneke I do have reasons for being here. MRS. NISKA: More than one, darling? JAZ: They are connected. MRS. NISKA: Go on, I am listening. JAZ: I am afraid I may not have much time before the point is moot, so I will be brief. Adlai has something I want back. MRS. NISKA: So why come to me instead of Adlai? JAZ: That is where it gets complicated. Your husband has a reputation for not letting emotions get in the way of business. This is being brought into some doubt at present. He once hired Captain Reynolds to do a little business for him. The captain did not finish the job, but refunded every penny of the advance. Mr Niska later took cargo of a similar nature from this man, and also took the man and a crew member. He sold the cargo for far more than the original shipment was worth, and took out his displeasure on them. The crew came and paid for the one man, but Mr Niska did not feel there was suitable compensation for the captain. MRS NISKA: I am remembering this now. They came again and took the captain and made quite a mess. JAZ: So I have been advised. Most men would have been willing to call accounts settled at this point. Adlai apparently is not one of them. He is acting like a spoiled child beating the ground for hurting him when he fell. He has taken the captain again. I am now part of the crew of his ship. I have come to negotiate the release of Captain Reynolds. MRS NISKA: What would you have of me? JAZ: Anneke, being a widow is not an ideal state under most circumstances. There are, however, certain advantages after you get over the initial shock and grief. You are able to run the family business as you see fit, and nobody tells you you can’t have that delicious hat. I will be blunt. Your husband is threatening the stability of local trade with his erratic behavior and it is making many interested parties nervous. They are wondering why they are dealing with Mr Niska and starting to look elsewhere for business. This affects your family directly, I thought you would take an interest in this information. MRS. NISKA: I have noticed certain.. irregularities.. in his behavior lately. I am afraid it may be time for myself or one of my nephews to take up the reins and let Adlai have a little rest. I will speak to him about your captain. JAZ: Thank you. Should you ever find yourself in my regrettable situation I can recommend a financial adviser to you. She is par excellence in all respects. Here is her card. MRS. NISKA: Thank you Jazmine. You are always so thoughtful. Julia will escort you to Mr. Niska’s office. (Maid detaches from wall) I will call him before you get there.

Scene 2 (Outer office)

MR. NISKA: ( over com) Yes, dear. I understand. (looks up as door opens) She is here now. (Jazmine enters) MR. NISKA: Jazmine, always a pleasure to see you. JAZ: Can the crap, Adlai. Where is he? MR. NISKA: In the other room. As he has been slowly draining my lifeblood and leaving me paralyzed, I have paralyzed him and am slowly draining his lifeblood. JAZ: Is he still breathing? MR. NISKA: Yes, yes. So you are here to negotiate? JAZ: Newest crew member gets the honors. MR. NISKA: What, not the lovely Zoe? JAZ: She said she does not much care for your refund policy. MR. NISKA: And what is the Widow Li willing to give up to entice me to let go of my toy, hmm? JAZ: You get nothing. The Widow Li has spoken with the not yet widow Niska and is giving up nothing. As the Widow Li does not wish the good captain to know of her other hobbies at this juncture she is going to give up a valuable artifact to ingratiate herself further with her fellow travelers. The profit from this sale will be used through the established channels to move medical supplies from the warehouses at the core to a location to be named. The transport of this cargo will be given to Serenity. Mrs. Niska’s share of the profit in this venture will be a mere two percent for her troubles, which she agreed to in light of the derailing of the agreement we were in the process of completing when the captain of my ship suddenly disappeared, and I was hit on the head. (last aimed at contact/thug). MR. NISKA: Dear Jazmine, I really do not see why.. JAZ: Zhu yi!! The ship Serenity and her crew are under my protection until further notice. I will not tolerate any additional tampering with her operation. The business that has been sent your way can and will dry up like rain in the desert. The firm of Li, Shaugnessy, and N’Goro’s above board relationship with you can also be terminated should I be crossed in this matter again. Do we have an understanding? MR.NISKA: You are very forthright. So what is this valuable prize? JAZ: This. (places instrument on desk). Earth That Was. Never could figure out all the damned buttons anyway. Now transport Captain Reynolds and everything he came in with, including his ears, to Serenity’s shuttle without further delay. (Niska motions to thug who goes to arrange this) MR. NISKA: Always a pleasure doing business with you, dear Jazmine. JAZ: I suggest you ensure it remains so, Adlai. I am not pleased. Neither is your wife. (Over com) Serenity, we’re coming in. I’m going to be in a little hurry. Have the doctor at the ready for a code. RIVER: Copy Shanty, will do. MR. NISKA: Thank you for your visit Widow Li. JAZ: Xian sheng.

Scene 3 (shuttle. Jayne and Zoe assisting in bringing in Mal on back board).

ZOE: River! Kaylee! We’re aboard, get us out of here! JAYNE: He don’t look so good. SIMON: (looking him over)He’s in shock Jazmine. JAZ: Really, I hadn’t noticed. (starting IV). I should have had someone driving the shuttle so I could have started this sooner, gorrammit. Simon: You can’t foresee everything. JAZ: (spiking bag)Good thing we’ve got these plasma expanders, he’s down a couple quarts. Did you get the packed reds? SIMON: Right here Doctor. JAZ: Sorry . SIMON:Forgiven. Piggyback it. Open it full throttle and keep an eye on those vitals. (Attaches Mask)We’ll get him on O2, six liters please nurse, to help until the e-poetin I’m giving him (injection into line) kicks in. JAZ: Yes, doctor. JAYNE: Did they just have a fight? ZOE: I think so. How long till we have him stable? SIMON: My sister’s the psychic. I’d say it’s still an “if” at this point. JAZ: Bhudda’s bellybutton lint I hate these gorram stairs. ZOE: Knew we should have gotten that elevator installed when it was on sale. SIMON: Let’s just not drop him,OK?

Scene 4 (Infirmary)

RIVER: Welcome back. SIMON: (checking) He’s awake. KAYLEE: Hey you. Ni hao ma? MAL: Hey. Why am I lying down? Why can’t I move? SIMON: Long acting paralytic. It’s starting to wear off now. ZOE: Captain, you really need to stop doing this. MAL: What’d I do? JAYNE: You mean other’n just about dyin’ then not wakin’ up for two days? MAL: Oh, that. What hit me? ZOE: Niska. MAL: Deng yi miao... I’m still breathing. What hit him? RIVER (giggles): Mrs. Niska MAL: Renci de fo zu. What hit her? JAYNE: Queen Bitch Goddess. KAYLEE: By herself. ZOE: You might want to stay on her good side Sir, she’s got a bit of a temper. MAL: Ai ya! I guess so. Jazmine? (trying to look around but can’t) Where are you? SIMON: On the couch. I had to sedate her, she refused to leave your side for over 36 hours and was about to collapse. I decided she’d probably kill me if she woke up any further away, which should be fairly soon. Speaking of which, we should all be getting some rest. Out unless you’re equipment. (others exit) MAL: Zoe...gorram...Niska? ZOE: (at door) Didn’t even blink, Sir. MAL: As soon as she wakes up... SIMON: I’ll let her know you want to see her. Get some rest. MAL: Fang xin.

Scene 5 (Infirmary. Jazmine and Mal)

MAL: Doc says that was a close one. JAZ: You are as hard to kill as bamboo. You share many qualities with it. Decorative, functional, and will quickly overtake any landscape and refuse to leave. Maybe I should call you that from now on. Bamboo. MAL: Bamboo and Lotus. Shuai. Wa. JAZ: We can start a garden center. MAL: I hear I owe you my life. What’d you trade me for? JAZ: I traded you for a song. MAL: A song? JAZ: It was a tango. MAL: No, really. What’d you use for bait? JAZ: An earth that was artifact. Portable and fairly easily hocked. Bandoneon, still plays..mostly. MAL: QBG, I think you got robbed. JAZ: Well you’re still talking. MAL: (reaches up unsteadily to pull her down for a kiss) I think it might have been in better working order. JAZ: Hey, your arms are working again. MAL: Let’s see how long it takes until every.. JAZ: (stops him)You need to not exert yourself for a while. MAL: You can do the exerting. JAZ: Later. (kisses him, then pulls away, becomes serious) I need to talk with you away from the others. There’s something I’ve been keeping from you. MAL: And here I thought I’d seen it all. JAZ: Malcolm, please. I need to tell you this. After the Alliance managed to repay my devotion to duty by destroying my life I received a large settlement. I was not a lawyer’s wife for nothing. MAL: How large? JAZ: Gigundus. Well, it was really only disgustingly large. I have spent the intervening time investing it well and making it gigundus. MAL: You don’t seem particularly well heeled. JAZ: That’s because I don’t spend it needlessly. Family tradition of thrift. MAL: So how big is your rice bowl? JAZ: I can’t rival major conglomerates, but I own a lot of shares in several of them. I am doing this for a reason. MAL: She’s got motives too? JAZ:There’s a bit more to what I’m doing here on Serenity than meets the eye. I’ve been watching the political landscape for years now. It is becoming fluid. Factions in Parliament are beginning to destabilize each other. Petty feuds and land grabs are giving Blue Sun leverage. It is practically a vested member, and I’m not sure there is anyone left with the power base to keep them in check. MAL: Go on. JAZ: I’m a member of a loose association of people who are seriously worried about what is going to happen to the people on the frontier, and what is going to happento the people in the core, when it hits the fan. MAL: Sort of a mutually concerned society. JAZ: More like the Quakers, but without the religion. MAL: The who? JAZ: Never mind. What it boils down to is this. The brown coats were underfunded and their leadership was unprepared. My associates wish to avoid repeating that mistake when push comes to shove. There is no major underground movement, there are no masterminds, just people with enough money and influence to try saving for a rainy day on a multi planet scale. Storm’s coming. Big one. Five hundred years is a long time for any government to hold up. The Alliance is due for a major remodeling. We’d like to make sure as many people come out of this alive and unharmed as possible, and keep the damage to Humanity’s future to a minimum. I’ve been traveling around the outer planets gathering information and strengthening the network. I’ve been stocking up on a small scale when I could. Food, medical needs, supplies to keep people going. We need to pick up the pace now. Serenity turned out to be a boon to me. MAL: That what brought you here Jazmine? You needed a ship to go saving the ‘verse in and we were the most likely looking suckers? JAZ: No, Malcolm, that is not it. I didn’t have plans for Serenity or her crew when I boarded. I’m not trying to pirate your ship or suborn your crew. I wasn’t going to involve you at all, but then I saw that there were possibilities for a mutually beneficial arrangement. You probably have even less use for the Alliance than I do, but you know what rapid destabilization can lead to. Drop a stone on a steep slope of loose rock and the next thing you know you can have a landslide headed right for your house. You were in the war, you know what is coming. I think you’d be willing to try mitigating the damage for the sake of them that can’t defend themselves. MAL: And when is this scheduled to occur? JAZ: It’s coming up fast. Maybe a few months, maybe several years. One heart attack, one duel, one election could be all it takes to trigger it. I aim to start stashing supplies on a large scale around the outer rim very quickly. I also aim to see to it that the lines of communication between like minded people stays open. Mr. Universe would have been perfect, but Alliance’s got his hardware and they’re not giving that equipment up to anyone again. There’s one group I know of that’s organized enough and has access to higher levels of society. Some support the cause, some couldn’t give a hump about settlers. Other people are dealing with them. I can be a go between. Serenity’d be a good ship to do all that on if you’re amenable to helping. MAL: You were just waiting to jump in and volunteer to start a revolution? Throw my crew in harm’s way without even warning us? JAZ: I would not put anyone at risk without fair warning. MAL: I should have left you on that gorram moon. Have you been lying to me from your first words in that bar? JAZ: I have never lied to you about anything. MAL: Never? Not one single time? JAZ: What I told you about my motives when I first came on board was truth. MAL: Your past? JAZ: Truth. MAL: Being like family with my crew? JAZ: Truth. MAL: Me? How’s about us Jazmine, is that just an act? JAZ: Everything I’ve said to you is true Malcolm. Everything. I’ve just left out a bit of detail as discretion required. MAL: You never exactly came right out and said “hey Mal I’m a rich widow who’s out to topple the Alliance”. There’s some as might consider that a fairly large detail. JAZ: Rich widow, yes. Out to topple the Alliance, no. Let’s get that straight. MAL: You still never mentioned it! JAZ: You never asked me! MAL: And if I had?! JAZ: I’d have told you!! Well, I might not have mentioned that last bit the first month. MAL: Really? JAZ: Really. You deserve to know, you’re the captain and what affects you affects the crew and ship. If you want me off, I understand. If you’re angry with me that’s fine, I would be too in your place. I regret not telling you sooner. I wanted to, but I needed to be sure I could trust you first. I hated keeping things from you, especially personal things. If you’re willing I can arrange for a good bit of business to come Serenity’s way. I’d appreciate if if the rest of the crew didn’t know for as long as possible for security and personal reasons. Zoe’s probably going to twig to it soon if she hasn’t yet. People think you’ve got a large amount of funding they start treating you differently, even if they don’t mean to sometimes. It’s nice to have friends just for my own sake. They’re a good grounding so I don’t get too heavy handed with my efforts. Besides, I like them, and they like my cooking. MAL: The food has improved considerably since you got here. JAZ: That’s not saying much. Do you know how hard it’s been for me, not spoiling you all rotten? MAL: Can I have a pony? JAZ: No. MAL: Can Kaylee have a pony and I’ll borrow it? JAZ: No. MAL: Well then what good are you? JAZ: Malcolm P. Reynolds! Qu ni de. MAL: Promise? JAZ: You’re all under my wing if you’re willing. I’ll still keep a weather eye out for you if you’re not, let you know when it looks like it’s getting bad so you have a little time to prepare. Keep a safe place for you to run should you need it. MAL: ( relents after a moment) You haven’t lied. I’d have probably done the same in your place. I wanted the Alliance to just leave me in peace, but that’ll never happen if things are going the way you say they are. I just don’t like complications. Or secrets being kept from me. JAZ: You’ve seen it yourself Mal, you know what’s coming. I promise you here and now I will not keep any more information from you, ever. I can trust you with anything. MAL: Gorram straight you can. Serenity’s up for work, but I’ll let the crew know what I think they need to know when I think they need to know it, whether that’s according to your time table or not. Just don’t ever deceive me Jazmine, I can’t take that from you. Wuh de ma. Not when you share my table as crew. Not when you share my pillow. JAZ: (giving him a deep kiss) You have my word, that will not ever happen again. MAL: Quing zai lai. (she does) JAZ:That being said there’s one more thing I need to tell you that has been very hard for me to keep from you. MAL: How can there be more? Let me guess: Niska killed me, you’re really God, and I’m getting an accordion and the boot? You got me a pony? No wait, YOU MADE PIE!! JAZ:For somebody who’s not speaking to his maker you certainly are trying to meet him awfully hard. If you think you can put it off a while longer there’s somebody I’d like you to meet. MAL: Who might that be? JAZ: I’m not sure yet but they may have your nose, possibly your eyes. MAL: (realization dawning on him) You’re? I’m? We? With a? In there’s a? When? JAZ: About another thirty weeks, give or take according to junior’s whimsy. If you wish to engage in parenting you’re welcome, but I have no expectations of you. You’re not trapped. I lost everything once, I’m not afraid of trying again on my own this time. I got what I came for, but I’m getting more fond of you by the day and not minding a bit. I wouldn’t mind staying on and keeping you company. MAL: Sort of a poorly paid companion? JAZ: How about a lover and a mother to your offspring? MAL: Sounds even better. (Kisses her) Lotus you are purely full of surprises today. I don’t know what the Doc’s got me on, but it’s making me dewey about the eyes. JAZ: Rapid extremes in emotion and a neurotoxin working its way out of your system can do that. Oh, and shock. Luckily we’re overstocked on nose wipes. Move over and I’ll block the view ‘till you get that leak plugged. MAL: Could you hold me a while? JAZ: ‘Till you ask me to stop, or my leg falls asleep. A little catharsis is good for you. You sure you’re all right with this arrangement? MAL: Zhu fu ni. Woman I love saves my life, then tells me she is carrying my child and asks me if I mind? Good gorram, I’m better than all right with it Shanty. JAZ: Love is it? I was thinking that was what this felt like. Then I will hold you love, while you heal. (Takes him in her arms) MAL: I will face the storm with you, and watch our child grow. JAZ: Will you change the diapers too? MAL: Some, but I ain’t breast-feeding. JAZ: Fair enough. Now have a good cry, blow your nose and then get some rest so’s you don’t drop dead on me. MAL: ‘k. (end with view from outside infirmary window of Mal letting loose much pent up emotion, and Jaz rocking him in her arms.) RIVER: (revealed watching with tears. Smiles, nods in satisfaction, walks off. To herself:) Anchor in a storm. She’ll hold.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006 4:20 PM


This fiction could have been prevented by spcondoms.
Do they have spcondoms 500 years in the future?

"No spglove, no splove".

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 4:35 PM


JAYNE: Did they just have a fight?

it must be said--i just love your sense of humor. it's sharp and witty and very fitting for our favorite 'verse. i love Jaz too--she's a very strong character. my only...qualm, that sometimes she seems a little 'too' strong. i guess my philosophy on firefly is that it's mal's show--he's our big damn hero--and he needs to be calling the shots. in a way he's not a typical hero--his goal is basically to be left alone. but he needs to be in charge, be the leader. sometimes it feels like jaz is leading and the rest are just following. i guess i'm suggesting that she and mal clash a bit more? i'd also like to see her have some weaknesses. having said that, i absolutely love your writing style, so write on. thanks~

Thursday, September 7, 2006 2:04 PM


Thanks! I'm new to the whole writing thing, so gentle and constructive criticism is always welcome.
Jazmine and her role with the crew are still developing. She's been with them about three months or so at this point. It's still new and rosy. You learn faster in closed environments, they'll probably butt heads again. (Probably? Hah!!)
I could have improved things by giving a little more direction (Mal- outraged to the point of near violence) that sort of thing, but didn't.
It is definitely Mal's ship, Mal's crew, and she is there on his sufferance alone. She is well aware of this. She is a very strong woman and needs to be. I don't think Mal would be attracted to her otherwise. For what I'm contemplating I need her to be able to go toe to toe with him and win once in a while. She'll pick her battles though. There's a fragile male ego at stake here.
Now seeing how she fares with Inara...that should be fun.

Sunday, September 10, 2006 9:26 AM


So Inara's gonna be coming back into the fold, huh? Ooh...that's gonna be a fun sight to see;)

I am loving your OC of Jazmine Li to bits, stinkingrose. Definitely someone I can see Mal falling for, especially since she isn't bound to a facet or partner of the Alliance like Inara is via her status as a Companion:)



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