Shadow War - Chapter Four
Monday, July 5, 2004

An argument between pilot and mechanic before getting to the real problem at hand.


As Mal stepped back onto the bridge of Serenity the next morning, he heard a heated conversation taking place exclusively in Chinese between his mechanic, Kaylee, and his Pilot, Wash. He turned the corner just in time to see Kaylee slap something out of Wash's hand. Mal caught it just before it whapped him on the nose. It was a small plastic dinosaur. Mal only had time to roll his eyes and think : Not again. "You know damn well that there's a crack in the port extender. Do you know what will happen to Serenity if things get any worse?" Kaylee hollered in Wash's face. Wash, for his part was trying to keep a litle humor in the mix, but, Mal knew that it was not the kind of thing that Kaylee would appreciate as much as the rest of them would. At least they had stopped yelling at each other in Chinese. Knowing these two people as well as he did, he knew that when Mandarin snuck into their speech, it was usually when they were both very nervous, or very angry. "Yes I do. We'll all likely die. Or spin in circles. Whichever's funnier as God seems to think things going around in circles is funny." Kaylee, whose frown deepened as Wash said this stared at him for a second, turned to her tool bag a grabbed a large torque wrench. Wash must have really upset her, because she had stopped talking, and was about to threaten him with one of her favorite tools. Mal stepped in between them, even though he knew that Kaylee would never hit anyone with that wrench. The wrench was too expensive. "I no longer officially care what this fight here is about. What I do care about is whether or not we can make it to our mysterious destination. Kaylee?" Kaylee Frye, never taking her eyes off Wash, who had comically hidden behind Mal at this point, lowered the torque wrench and began to talk to the captain. "Its his fault, Cap'n. He knows there's a crack in one of the extenders, and he knows that most of the grav booster's wiring is in there, and he's up here spinning barrel rolls. Just ask him why." Kaylee was probably the nicest person Mal had ever met in his travels, and it pained him to see her so angry. He curbed his impulse to immediately take her side over his pilot's. He turned to Wash. "Wash? Why are you spinning barrel rolls when you know there's a crack in the extender?" "You see Mal..." and he paused. Mal could see him trying out his explanation in his head, and seeing that it was something Mal wasn't going to like. Wash drew a deep breath and continued. "It just so happens that an eartquake has hit Dinosaur Land and..." "And for that, you were willing to to strand us all out here in the Black? I've seen irresponsibility! But, I..." Wash interrupted Mal, who had turned and grabbed the wrench from Kaylee, whose face was smug, and more than a little worried as she stopped watching Wash and kept a close eye on her wrench. "I know the tolerances of that crack. I would never do anything that would put this crew or this ship in jeopardy," his speech quickened as he saw Kaylee getting ready to rejoin the fray,"I'm sorry." he added, lamely. Mal stood silent and glared at Wash for a full minute. He turned to Kaylee. "Go on back to the engine room, mei mei. I've got a handle on this. The next time you ahve a problem like this, come see me first before things get too hands-on. Dong ma?" Kaylee rolled her eyes and took the wrench from Mal. "Yeah, yeah." she sighed as she made her way to the engine room. "Wash, you know that an extender crack is very serious, don't you?" "Yes, Mal, but..." "And you know that the grav boost is very serious too, right" "Yes Mal, but..." "Good. Then I don't want to be having this particular conversation with you again." Mal turned and started off the bridge. "You still have my dinosaur, Mal." Wash said." "That I do, Wash", Mal said without turning back,"and you can have it back when you learn to straighten up know the rest." "Why, is it going to take you that long to play with it?" Wash said, very quietly, under his breath as soon as the captain was out of sight. Wash sat heavily in his pilot's chair and exhaled. Reaching into the pocket of his flight suit, he extracted another toy dinosaur. Around the corner from the bridge, Mal ran into Zoe, his first mate, and Wash's wife. She looked down at what he carrying and stifled a laugh. "You think this is funny? Do you know what your husband was doing up there?" "No, but we're all still alive, so it couldn't have been that bad." Mal opened his mouth to say something, and thought better of it. He handed the toy to Zoe. "I told him he could have this back later." Zoe let the captain get a few steps away before saying "Why, is it going to take you that long to play with it?" Over his shoulder, Mal called back "Not funny."

* * * On the proximity screen in the I.A.V. Durmstrang, a small blip representing a wayward ship headed for Pegasus flashed on the screen. It moved out of range quickly, and the very tired person in the seat, not watching its progress missed it. The crew and passengers of Serenity never knew how quickly everything came to ending that day.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004 8:48 AM


"even though he knew that Kaylee would never hit anyone with that wrench. The wrench was too expensive."


Monday, May 9, 2005 10:02 AM


*giggles uncontrolably* absolutely brilliant! ;)


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Somnambulism - Chapter Fourteen
It's back...well, this is actually a reposting of a lost chapter. Hey! I just refound it myself!

Somnambulism - Chapter Thirteen
Trap. Hunt. Enemy. Trap

Somnambulism - Chapter Twelve
The Plan, Negotiation, Landing, Hunt

Somnambulism - Chapter Eleven
Wash's Orders, Mal's Revelation, The Other, Captiulation

Somnambulism - Chapter Ten
Mal's Dream. Walt's Problem. River's Regain.

Somnambulism - Chapter Nine
Safety. Recollection. Explanation.

Somnambulism - Chapter Eight
Simon's Dream, Mal's Choice, River's Verdict

Somnambulism - Chapter Seven
Memory, Atavism, Hera

Somnambulism - Chapter Six
History, Discovery, Purpose

Somnambulism - Chapter Five
Malice, Theory, Opportunity