"The Journey"
Sunday, November 26, 2006

"Shepherd Book decides its' time to leave Southdown Abbey and go out in the world."


TITLE: "THE JOURNEY" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: No specific pairing. RATING: G. STATUS: Standalone ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE:

SUMMARY: "Shepherd Book decides it is time to leave Southdown Abbey and go out in the world." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

"You think you failed?"

Book didn't even have to consider his reply. "For each one that flounders I have failed but for each one that pulls back from the abyss I am redeemed."

The Abbot raised his eyebrows, the short fringe of white hair circling a bald pate like a halo. "Ah. But in whose eyes, my son? Verily I say unto you, is it true redemption or the artifice of a desperate man?"

He was too tired to dance with semantics and respected the Abbot too much to lie to him. Neither heart nor mind were tranquil any longer within the sanctity of the Abbey walls. Southdown Abbey had become Sanctuary not Home to him and the prick of guilt while subtle undermined his ability to ignore that fact. The longer he stayed in presumption of the latter the heavier the guilt weighed. As if he was hiding from that which must be confronted. Cowardice had never been a cornerstone of his faith yet what Book was contemplating made him wary. "I can do no more good here, father."

"Do you think so little of the benificence of prayer, my son?" Said Abbot Paul mildly.

"*Bu qu*, but it is time I walked in the world again. If only for a while."

The Abbot was silent for a moment, considering the man and his words. "Then it is time for you to go. This is a place of meditation and contemplation in the Lord not incarceration, my son. The only prison is the one we make for ourselves." The Abbot blessed him, the holy water calming Book's inward fears as if another had momentarily lifted the burden from his shoulders. "His Mercy be upon you always, my son."

Without another word the two parted. The big old heavy Abbey doors closing behind Book like a compact with the Almighty. Book took a deep breath and with a smile embarked upon the road less travelled, his few possessions heaped together on a small wheeled cart. First he needed to wander the world a little, see who and what would call upon him. The direction and destination not important. How he got there being the worthier part. What he needed to know was whether he was up to the challenge. Book thought about that for some time as he walked, mulling over his decision and the reasoning behind it. Seeking out the flaws and whatever human frailty might be causing him to fool himself. He needed this. A clensing of the body as much as the soul and spirt. A journey into the heart of the human condition. Seeking. Searching. Content to simply be wherever his Lord God led him.

Silently praying for guidance, Book made his meandering way towards the heaving mass of humanity crowded into the busy hub of Eavesdown Dock. It felt good to be out in the world but also somewhat terrifying after years spent in the comforting arms of the Abbey walls. Now he would once again be exposed to his own sins through the exacting and unintended mirror of others. He would be tried and tested again and again. With a shiver of excitement and apprehension, Shepherd Book vowed to undertake whatever challenges assailed him with a good and willing heart. All he had to do was find the right mettle to test him.

* * * * *


Sunday, November 26, 2006 1:35 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER this is some might fine work, AMDOBELL! Really could see this as a missing scene for "Serenity" about Book's decision to work the world for a spell;D


Sunday, November 26, 2006 2:03 PM


Always a pleasure to read your stories. I could see Book having a similar look inwards at his place in the verse before deciding to leave Serenity too.

Monday, November 27, 2006 8:19 AM


Nice, this is great insight and the verbal imagery is just astounding. Thanks for sharing!

Friday, December 22, 2006 1:43 AM


Beautifully constructed piece, all of it.

But your abbot - is extraordinary.


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The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

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If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

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Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

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Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 6. "Friends You Choose"
It was a sound he recognised from the War, didn't forget the sound of a man drowning on his own blood.