Down the Rabbit Hole - Chapter Six
Monday, January 8, 2007

Mal and Simon on the run from the Feds. Not slash. This chapter: Are you ready for the Mal Reynolds School of Acting?


Back to Chapter Five *******

“All right, let’s see what else we can find might be useful. Here, hold this up.” Mal handed Simon the engineer’s flashlight. “Red end,” he corrected, turning the light around before Simon could activate it. “Less reflective. Makes us less targety.”

He slid open a storage compartment in the hover’s console, and Simon moved the red beam close to reveal a dress jacket. Mal lifted it out and neatly caught a bottle that had been folded inside.

“Huh. Did have someplace to go after all,” he said quietly, examining the Core-grade whiskey. “Wish he’d a packed some water. Maybe a sandwich.”

Simon resolved to shut out Mal’s comments as the captain rummaged through the dead man’s belongings, but further inspection revealed nothing more than a deck of playing cards, a book, a few light sticks, and a year’s worth of official memos littering the bottom. Mal stuffed the finds back into the compartment and closed it. “You want to stand to the side, Doc. I’m gonna wave Zoe, don’t want hide nor hair of you onscreen.”

“You’re sending a wave? Isn’t that - won’t they trace it?”

“Possible. Risk we gotta take. Crew needs to know our departure requirements, and time ain’t on our side.” Mal glanced into the darkness around them, mouth pressed into a thin line. “Gotta wave ‘em now. Shut that light off and stand back.”

Simon backed well away from the screen as Mal activated the connection, then launched into a convincing performance of a man who had overindulged.

“Alleyne!” he greeted jovially, tempting Simon to lean around and see who had appeared on the screen. “Hey! I am havin’ myself a great time, but I gotta – hee – I gotta file a change in travel plans.”

“You’re wavin' me for this?” Simon was relieved to hear Zoe’s voice, laced with disapproval. “I ain’t runnin' a taxi service.”

“C’mon!” Mal wheedled, so convincingly that Simon smiled at the charade. “You know there’s whiskey in it for ya. Never turned it down before, ‘n’ I got some with your name onnit. Come on down, ‘n’ bring one a your fancier rides. Don’t wanna be embarrassed in front a my friends by that ugly bird a yours. Bring one a…bring one a them fancy boats as takes folk out to the cruisers!”

“You’re lucky if I send anything to pick up your ugly shi shou.”

“Aw, come on, don’t say that. ‘Cause, listen, you don’t spring me by 0600, I’m gonna get dragged off to all manner a undesirable social engagements, me ‘n’ my friend. Ya know how I feel about them fancy dances. ‘sides, I ain’t dressed right. ”

“I’ll consider it.” Zoe appeared to waver. “But it’s gonna cost you.”

“There’s my girl!” Mal crowed, and Simon thought that would certainly cost him. “Hey” Mal continued, “hey, my hosts say to tell ya allow some time for processin’ or somesuch. Some ‘lliance trouble in town, so they’s checkin ships an’ IDs.”

“Don’t need to tell me how to land on a planet. Just better see that you’re not locked up in the drunk tank when I get there.” “Hoo no, I’ll be here. Good as gold. I mighta been a touch rowdy earlier, but I’ll see if I can’t be well-behaved rest a the night, so’s my friend Al ‘ll let me use his connection again later. Meanwhile,” Mal leaned close to the screen, “best only call here if ya need me. We wake ol’ Al up, there’ll be hell to pay.”

“You wake me up there’ll be hell to pay. But I suppose I’ll look to hear from you later.”

“Thank you, darlin’.”

Mal cut the connection.

“Well?” Simon moved back toward the Fed’s patrol unit.

They’ll come up with a plan,” Mal’s voice was back to a somber whisper. “We keep our heads down til then. We’ll take this,” he started the hovercraft, which rose a few feet off the ground with a quiet whoosh, “gives us the Cortex if nothing else. Stick to the tree cover, move round to those buildings. Could be something helpful there. If nothing else, we got a bit of shelter while we think on what to do.”

“Do? I thought we were waiting for Zoe?”

“Unravel a problem faster we work it from both ends.” Mal started walking on one side of the craft, guiding it slowly through the trees. “ ’bout now, we need every strategy catches a brainwave.”

Simon positioned himself opposite. “I expect that rules out Jayne,” he offered.

Mal snorted softly. “I expect it does.” Simon grinned, and the woods exploded with the sound of gunfire.

Chapter Seven


Monday, January 8, 2007 1:31 PM


Mal's coded info was just brillant, and I love Zoe done right! Here she was perfect.

And just the right amount of snark from Simon, too.


Monday, January 8, 2007 8:25 PM


Oh...that ain't good. Ain't good at all:(

Still...mighty brillo acting work on Mal's (and your) part, homespun:D


Monday, January 8, 2007 9:20 PM


Loved this, but uh oh, they are back in deep *goushi*, right in the middle of the very trouble they were trying to avoid. Can't wait for the next part and I loved the conversation between Zoe and Mal. Ha, drunk tank! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 3:19 AM


Excellent work - I sooo love your dialog - it sounds like Joss wrote those words. What a story!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 4:17 AM


Fake drunk Mal and Zoe picking up on it without a blink (as I imagine it) are perfect! Excellent dialogue - and his friend Al. Clever clever.

But what a way to end it. I was just beginning to think this installment was over too soon, and then you go and do that to make it worse! Soooo evil!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 5:27 AM


Like I always say, leave 'em wantin' more...

Excellent dialogue, as always.

"No, son, you killed yourself. I just carried the bullet awhile."

Rob O.


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