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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
"Zoe wants to question the bar's patrons but Book has a better idea."
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1816 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
TITLE: "BARE BONES"
AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL
STATUS: SEQUEL to "THIS"
ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where.
SUMMARY: "Zoe wants to question the bar's patrons but
Book has a better idea."
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.
Written by Alison M. DOBELL
* * * * *
"Why d'you leave him?"
Jayne blinked. Even though he was up and about he was stiff and sore, had a tendancy to get a mite dizzy if he moved too quickly. Simon had given him a clean bill of health, just advised him about taking it easy over the next day or two. Had intended to lie down in his bunk for a spell only to find the first mate blocking entry to his bunk, her hands on her hips and a look in her eye that made him all manner of wary. "*Shenme*?"
"The Cap'n. You were with him, now you ain't." Zoe paused, eyes narrowing. "Funny how the Cap'n got pinched but you didn't."
"*Wei*! Ain't my gorram fault, how'd I know he was gonna pick a fight in an Alliance bar? Man must have a gorram death wish."
Zoe moved so quickly that Jayne actually took a step back. Kept telling himself it was surprise not fear. "I find out you set this up we'll be sharin' more'n words, Jayne."
The big man looked more than affronted, a hurt expression flickering in his eyes before he could mask it. "Got no problem with the Cap just the ruttin' fugees. Wouldn't've left without him if I hadn't passed out. Woke up in the gorram street. Bar was shut an' Mal was gone. Asked folks what in the nine hells had happened but they just glared an' spat at me like I should know. Then I found a girl who'd talk. Told me they took him off world, heading for some *jianyu*."
"Gorramit Zoe, I can't remember! Head was spinnin', could hardly take in what she said."
Zoe leaned in close, her voice low and deadly. "Which bar?"
It took Jayne a moment to switch tracks. "Can't remember the name but I can show ya."
The first mate leaned back and yelled. "Kaylee!"
The mechanic came running fearing something else awful must have happened. "Yeah, Zoe?"
"Want you, River an' Simon to stay on Serenity. You don't stick so much as your nose out the door, *dong ma*?"
The girl looked worried. "What'cha gonna do?"
"Try an' find out where they took the Cap'n."
Simon walked along the catwalk towards them, just catching the tail end of the conversation. "Is that wise?" Seeing Zoe's look he hurried to explain. "It was an Alliance friendly bar, I just think that going back and making a fuss might cause people to take more notice. Word might get back as to who was asking and someone might mention the ship you came from."
Kaylee looked stricken, the thought hadn't occurred to her, but Zoe was looking at Simon with a thoughtful expression on her face. After a moment she nodded slowly. "*Hao zhuyi*, Simon. We make enough fuss someone'll come lookin' for us."
Alarmed, Simon waved his hands in distress. "No, no, that was NOT what I meant!"
"Still a good idea." Said the first mate calmly.
"What's a good idea, *bao bei*?"
Zoe gave Wash a stern look as he joined them. It was starting to get mighty crowded on the catwalk. "Thought you were on the bridge?"
"That was then, this is now. What's a good idea?"
Her eyes narrowed slightly but there was no malice lurking just a bit of frustration. "You stayin' on the bridge, *zhangfu*."
"No, not that. I wanna hear what Simon said."
"I said it might not be wise to go back to the bar and make a fuss about the Captain. It could provoke the kind of attention we've been trying so hard to avoid."
"You mean, attention you an' that moon-brain sister of yours been tryin' to avoid."
"*Bizui*, Jayne!" Zoe turned and began jogging down the metal stairs, the others following her. They were still arguing about what to do when Shepherd Book looked up from where he was getting the mule ready.
"I take it we have a plan?"
Zoe nodded and checked her sidearm and ammo. "We do, the bare bones of one at least. We're goin' back to that bar, ask a few questions."
The Shepherd raised his eyebrows. "Might not be needin' to do that."
Everyone stared at the Preacher. The only one missing was River. She was up on the bridge re-enacting the last days of the dinosaurs - with sound effects.
"Best explain, Shepherd."
"They took him to the Argent Penal Colony. It's an Alliance maximum security prison. The place they send their dissidents and other trouble makers when they want to throw away the key."
She gave him a long stare. "Someday you're gonna tell me what you did before you became a Preacher."
"I promised the Captain he'd be the first to know."
That drew a raised eyebrow. Book ignored the question in her eyes. "It won't be easy and I should warn you the planet has so many orbiting satellites a fly couldn't slip through undetected."
"What do you suggest? Ain't gonna leave the Cap'n to rot in there."
"I wasn't suggestin' we should." Book paused as if choosing his words with care. "Sometimes the best way is the most direct."
Jayne frowned. "Huh?"
The Shepherd gave Zoe a small smile. "If you want a door to open sometimes all you have to do is knock."
"That's all very well but I want more than to see someone squintin' at me through the gorram gap. I want inside that prison."
Book had known she would, sure as the turning of the worlds. Where Malcolm Reynolds walked Zoe Washburne followed. Inwardly he marvelled how a man as dysfunctional and psychotic as their glorious Captain commanded such loyalty from his friends and crew, himself included. "*Wo zhidao*, which is why you won't be the one doin' the knockin'."
CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)
*shenme* = what *wei* = hey! *jianyu* = prison *dong ma* = understand?
*hao zhuyi* = good idea *bao bei* = precious/treasure *zhangfu* = husband
*bizui* = be quiet/shut up *wo zhidao* = I know
Sunday, March 25, 2007 6:09 PM
Thursday, March 29, 2007 9:39 AM
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