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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
First in a multi-parter following BEGINNINGS, ENDINGS, THE DANCE. The past catches up with Serenity ... The next parts of this could take a while, so bear with me! And my muse needs feedback ...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1360 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Five months ago … Khaled Fed Base
“A report’s just come in from Shepherd Delrani at Bathgate Abbey.”
“Delrani? What does that old scoundrel have to say?”
“They’ve had a visit from some suspicious individuals on board a ship called Serenity.”
“Visit. What kind of visit?”
“A sabbatical. Only I cross referenced the names he gave, sir.”
“River and Simon Tam.”
“The Tams? Are you sure?”
“Yes sir. There were unconfirmed reports of a Firefly with the fugitives on board taking off for Persephone nearly three years ago, and some sketchy sightings around the time of the Miranda incident.”
“Three years. You don’t really think they’re still on board?”
“The names tally, sir. Don’t you think we should report this to the Commander, sir?”
“No. I think the names may be a coincidence. Just mark it received and file it. There’s been no new warrants on the Tams for two years. I hardly think that would be the case if they were still a threat, would you?”
“But sir –“
“Just file it. You’ve done your job. Now leave it.”
Two months ago … IAV EXCALIBUR
“I came across this in the files. It doesn’t look as if it was ever acted upon.”
“Serenity. So? Just another smuggling ship.”
“The names, sir?”
“Private, it isn’t our problem. If the high-ups wanted to chase this up, they would have. Just put it back in the archives and get on with your work.”
One week ago … Alliance Control, Persephone
“You wanted me to let you know if I found anything on the Tams?”
“There’s a report from a Shepherd Delrani, Bathgate Abbey, about some people named River and Simon on board a ship called Serenity.”
“How old is this report?”
“Nearly five months, sir.”
“Did anyone ever investigate?”
“Well, leave it with me. And I wouldn’t worry. I think it’s just coincidence.”
The lieutenant waited until he was sure he was alone before dialling up a very secure, highly secret Cortex address.
“Yes?” said the man who appeared on the screen.
“I’m sending you information.” The lieutenant pressed ‘forward’.
The other man read, his surprise shown only by the merest twitch of an eyebrow. “The Tams?” he said. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. We know where they are.”
“No, you don’t. Delete the file.”
The lieutenant paused for only a nanosecond. “Of course. And my payment?”
“As usual.” The man closed the connection then turned to his colleague. “He’s becoming a nuisance,” he added.
“We’ll deal with him in due course,” the second man said. “But he has delivered us something very important.”
“Shall I send out a team?”
“Yes, I think that would be a good idea.” He looked down at the screen. “This could be very profitable.”
Kaylee looked down at the display on the stall and smiled happily. Pretty things, little bits of nothing that she’d be able to wear again soon. The smile widened. Not that it mattered, she thought, her hand on her swollen belly. Not with a child soon to look after.
“Kaylee, honey, I’m really not so sure this is a good idea,” Simon said next to her.
“Why not?” She pointed. “Ooh, that’s nice.”
He glanced down but didn’t know what she was referring to, so went back to the matter in hand. “It’s so close to your time …”
She turned to look at him, love on her face, with a slight touch of humour in her eyes. “Simon, it’s over a week yet. And there’s some stuff I need.”
“Stuff? Look, couldn’t River and I –”
“No.” She patted him on the arm then slipped hers through his. “Now come on. Time you get moving this baby’ll be clamouring to be born.” He looked so scandalised that she laughed.
“Kaylee, I was the one who –“
“Simon, honey, I just need to get a few things and we’ll be back on Serenity sooner than you know. Just bear with me, okay?”
He looked at her and sighed. “How did I ever get myself tangled up with someone like you?” he asked.
“Because you stopped running long enough,” River said, appearing like a ghost from nowhere.
Kaylee laughed. “That he did.” She turned her bulk towards the other stalls. “Come on, I’ve got a long list.”
“You said it was a few,” Simon accused.
“So I lied. That’s why you have to come along so you can carry it all for me.”
The stallholder handed the ring back, a grin on his face. “Hope it fits,” he said, his voice gravelly.
Mal nodded and turned to look at Freya at his side. She lifted her left hand and he paused a moment.
“Thinking better of it?” she joked.
His lips twitched. “After going to all this trouble to get it resized, I don’t think so,” he said, and slid the ring onto her third finger. He smiled as it fitted perfectly. “Good job,” he said approvingly, turning to the stallholder and pulling a small wad of bills from his pocket. He peeled off two and handed them over. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” the man said. “Anything else takes your fancy while you’re here?”
“I don’t think I can afford it,” Mal said, watching as Freya picked up a silver bracelet. “I said we can’t afford it,” he repeated.
“Just looking,” his fiancée grinned, dropping the jewellery back down. “I’ve got the only piece I want.”
Mal smiled and put his arm around her waist. “Me too.” He squeezed. “Now you’ve just got to name the day.”
“I will,” she promised. “I will. Soon.”
He groaned in exasperation.
“Are you sure you need all this?” Simon asked, struggling with a large bag and two boxes as they made their way through the shanties back towards the landing area.
“Absolutely!” Kaylee said.
“It’s just that it seems as if we have an awful lot of everything.”
“Do you have any idea how much a baby gets through?” Kaylee asked, checking her list. “And I’m having to make do with a lot of stuff. The Cap’n only came here to drop cargo, and there’s no real shops.”
“It doesn’t seem to have stopped you,” Simon said, one of the boxes slipping. He grabbed for it only to find the other falling out of his grasp.
River was suddenly there, plucking the box out of the air. “Always have to be around to pick up the pieces,” she said smiling.
Kaylee looked up. “Oh,” she said, her face intense.
“What? What is it?” Simon asked, his doctoring kicking in.
“I think … she’s moving.” Kaylee looked at him, a smile forming. “She’s doing a somersault.”
Simon exhaled, relieved. “Babies do that,” he said. “She’ll be settling into her birth position soon.”
“She’s happy,” River said unexpectedly.
“What, sweetie?” Kaylee asked.
“The baby. She’s happy.”
Simon and Kaylee exchanged glances. “Can you hear her?” Simon asked.
“And is everything … all right?” Kaylee put in, her hand on her belly, her eyes hopeful.
“Mmn. She’s happy that you are her parents, and she can’t wait to meet you.” River did a couple of dance steps, then turned around to look at them. “She’s happy.”
“River, are you making this up?” Simon asked, grabbing her arm, needing to know desperately.
“Not making anything up. I wouldn’t lie about this,” she said, giving her brother one of her looks and pulling free. “You don’t need to worry about her,” she went on, skipping forward. “She’s going to be so -” She stopped in her tracks and turned slowly.
“River? What’s - River!” Simon dropped the purchases and rushed across as she fell. He rolled her over gently, shocked beyond measure to see a line of darts down her neck and across her chest. Her eyes were already glazing. “River!” he shouted but she didn’t respond.
“I’ll get Mal,” Kaylee said, turning to hurry as fast as she could towards Serenity when three men came from the dark behind one of the buildings, knocking her down in their bid to get to Simon.
“Kaylee!” the doctor screamed, jumping to his feet but grabbed from behind. “Let me go! I have to -” He tried to pull himself free but the man’s grip was too strong. Struggling futilely he saw one of the other men pick River up like she was a rag doll, slinging her over his shoulder.
Kaylee was on the ground, her arms wrapped protectively around her belly, but her face was turned to him, and he could see pain and torment. “Simon!” she shouted as the other two men went towards him, physically trying to haul him off the ground. He pushed backwards, using the man behind him as a solid point to lift himself up, kicking out. He caught one of the men in the chest, and in the process broke free from the hands holding him. He tried to run between them, to get to Kaylee, but one of the other men pulled a gun from inside his jacket and hit Simon on the side of the head. His vision darkened and the last thing he saw was Kaylee in the dust, one hand on her swollen abdomen, the other reaching out to him, screaming his name.
Mal looked up as a small, sleek craft blasted off into the blue, and felt something raise the hairs on the nape of his neck. He looked at Freya, also watching as the vessel disappeared, an odd look on her face. “Mal …” she said.
He nodded, then turned at the sound of people running. “Got a bad feeling about this,” he muttered, following the noise.
The other side of the market, a ways off, was a crowd of people, clustered around something on the ground.
“What’s going on?” Freya asked.
“Don’t know,” a woman said, trying to peer through. “Someone said murder’d been done here.”
“Kidnap,” said one of the other men, correcting her. “Happens around here occasionally.” He looked at Mal. “Slavers, that kind of thing. Though they didn’t look like the usual sort.”
“What do you mean?”
“Mal.“ Freya grabbed his arm as the crowd had parted a little.
“Wuh de tyen, ah.” He pushed through the people, going down on his knees. “Kaylee?”
His mechanic, her face anguished, rolled to look at him. “They took him, Cap’n,” she managed to say. “They took Simon and River.”
to be continued
Monday, November 06, 2006 9:00 AM
Monday, November 06, 2006 2:06 PM
Monday, November 06, 2006 6:26 PM
Tuesday, November 07, 2006 7:11 AM
Wednesday, November 08, 2006 2:45 PM
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