HELLBOUND Series: 8. "Truce"
Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Shepherd Book reveals more of his plan. Meanwhile, Mal discovers why he has become irresistable."



SUMMARY: "Shepherd Book reveals more of his plan. Meanwhile, Mal discovers why he has become irresistable." 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

* * * * *

With little to do but wait until they got to the penal colony, Zoe went in search of more information. The little they had found out about the place on the cortex was less than encouraging. She found the Shepherd not in his bunk praying but in the infirmary talking to Simon. The frown on Zoe's face deepened.

"I sure hope you ain't injured, Shepherd."

Book raised his head and looked at her. "*Bu qu*."

"Shouldn't you be gettin' ready or some such? Wash says we'll be coming up on Argent in a few hours' time an' I'd also be happier knowing more about this plan that knockin' on the front door."

"You're right an' perhaps it is time I explained." That surprised her. She glanced at Simon but he had a pretty good poker face. Book decided it was best they all gather in the commons room. He only wanted to have to explain this the once. When he had everyone's attention the Shepherd cleared his throat softly.

"The Argent Penal Colony is a state of the art prison complex. The security is as high as it gets and then some." Jayne didn't like the sound of that. "Then how ya gonna get in?"

"I'm a Shepherd which opens doors not available to others."

Zoe made no comment about that, thinking about the ident chip the man carried rather than the collar around his neck. "Okay, so you can get inside, then what?"

"This won't be any quick fix, you need to realise that. If this is to work they have to believe that I am a simple man of God giving what small comfort and blessings he can give to the dead and the dying."

"Cap'n ain't dyin'!" Kaylee blurted out. When no one said anything her look turned to one of distress. Her eyes grew round as saucers. "He ain't, is he?"

"Kaylee, this prison is a very bad place. They don't just lock you up and throw away the key, leave you to rot in peace."

"Gorramit, if he's already dead why we even goin' there?" "Jayne!" Zoe's furious snap closed his mouth like a sprung trap. The first mate glared at him a moment or two to make sure he was not going to say anything else then looked at the Preacher. "That's not what you're sayin' is it, Preacher?"

"No, but it might not be far off the truth. We know from Jayne that the Captain was beaten pretty badly." He raised a hand to stop any further interruptions. "I think they want to punish him not kill him and that gives us a window of opportunity. I will be going in alone, it shouldn't take more than a few hours before I return then we wait."

"For what?"

A slow devious little smile played on Book's lips. Simon wanted to laugh at their expressions. River started to dance around the table, her voice softly singing an old rhyme from Earth-that-Was. "Ring a ring a roses a pocket full of posies, atitchoo, atitchoo, we all fall down!" As she got to the last word River gracefully sank to the floor and laid down.

The crew looked at each other. Jayne gave the Shepherd a long considering look. "That mean what I think it means?

* * * * *

It was still dark. Or maybe the light was left off on purpose, he couldn't tell. Being incarcerated below ground in a windowless room was not Mal's idea of good or normal. Slowly, as if responding to his thoughts, the overhead lighting dimmed into reluctant life. It got no further than a faint glow as if electricity could not function properly down here but it was enough to illuminate the waxing planes of her face as soft breath inflated sleeping lungs. They lay close, him on his back and her half draped over him. The lliving blanket was all manner of comforting to him not just for her warmth but having the presence of another human being in close proximity. One that *didn't* want to rutting kill him.

*Wode ma*, what in the nine hells was he going to do? He could hardly walk unaided, had no way of contacting his crew or telling them where he was. And now he had a pregnant woman to worry about as well. With a jolt he realised he had forgotten something. Or rather, someone. He blinked: Jayne. Ashamed at having forgotten about the big man Mal wondered what had happened to him. Was he in another cell or had the mercenary opened his mouth and been left behind in a pool of blood? The Captain tried to think to the last time he had seen him and hoped that not seeing him meant the man had got away.

He felt her stir against him and was about to speak when he felt her hands on him. Gentle, soothing mostly, but seeming to have a purpose of their own. "I thought we already spoke about this, it not bein' a good idea an' such?"

"We did, I said when we make love I want you conscious an' breathin'."

Mal's breath hitched. "You sayin' you want that we should...?"

Casey breath was warm on his face, her gifted fingers undoing his shirt and sliding over his chest. She looked him in the eye. "Yes." "But you're..."

"Pregant, *wo zhidao*."

"I ain't no doc but ain't that bad for the..." His voice trailed off, something in his back brain clicking into place. A look of horror stole over his face as he stared at her in shock. If he could have edged away he would have. "*Tian Yesu*, you wanna lose the baby!"

"Ain't mine."

He reacted to the hard flash of anger accompanying those brief words. "You're the mama."

"Not by choice." A sick look flickered in his eyes, searching hers and hoping his suspicion was wrong. "You mean they...?" He couldn't say the word.

"Raped me, yes." She hissed back. "When are you gonna complete a sentence, Mal? I'm gettin' weary of carryin' both sides of the conversation."

Her attempt to lighten the mood did not work. The Captain couldn't get passed the sickening revelation that she wanted to use him to kill her unborn child much less dwell on the fact that they would be repeating the act that had put her in this position in the first place. She was probably all tore up inside too. He didn't even want to think about how many times she had been taken against her will or whether it was just one man or the whole gorram lot of them. He felt ill. Staring at her it was as if all his thoughts were in slow motion. "Huh!" He could almost feel the slick slide of her blood on his hands.

"Eloquent as always, Mal." Casey kissed his cheek, her lips gentle.

"I ain't gonna be no baby murderer."

"Not askin' you to do that. Just need a little help is all."

He shook his head. "Not from me. You need a doc an' not a medical one neither. Need that pretty head of yours examinin'."

She blinked then smiled. "You think I'm pretty?"

The Captain closed his eyes and counted silently to ten. "*Bang ji le*, the on'y time she listens to me is to seek compliments."

"From your mouth to my ears, Mal." She murmured into his left ear, her tongue licking slowly round the shell before blowing in his ear. As he shuddered, her tongue slid in the ear canal, her teeth nipping playfully at his earlobe.

"Don't remind me. Look, baby gets born I'll help you *dong ma*? Don't gotta worry 'bout what happens after - long as there is an after. Got friends who'll help."

The woman drew back so she could look him in the eyes, her tone touched with genuine amazement. Not that he had made such an offer but that he could even imagine being able to follow through. "Malcolm Reynolds, you're a prisoner of the Alliance. Incarcerated in a top security prison. We are stuck so far up the ass end of the 'verse that even God couldn't find us! How in *diyu* are you gonna be able to help with this child?"

For the first time since the insane conversation started the Captain smiled. "*Fang xin*, I'll find a way. Always do."

Maybe it was how smug the words came out or the refusal on his part to face the limitations of their situation, but it was so surreal it was funny. "Been in prison with many pregnant women have you?"

"Nope, you're the first an' no offence Casey but you're gonna be the last."

Casey laughed, her mood inexplicably lightened though she could not fathom why. She shook her head gently, "You are quite a man, Malcolm Reynolds."

"As fine as that may be I still ain't helpin' you lose that child an' the answer to you bein' raped *bao bei* is not to rape me, *dong ma*?" Seeing how his words hit home he tried to modify the hurt and pain coming off her. "Let's make a truce. I'll be your *pengyou*," he said softly "but ain't gonna be no one's doxy."

She laughed, a brittle sound holding back a wall of pain but her eyes were not accusing, just sad and oh so sorry.


Odd how her eyes had all misted up, maybe it was the dimness of the lighting? Not like it could be anything else. "Deal, we got ourselves a truce."

"Come on." Mal opened his arms.

Obediently Casey lay her head on his shoulder, felt a sob break free as he gently put his arms around her. Held her close without demanding a thing back in return. And no, that wasn't mist in her eyes and it wasn't gorram tears either rolling down her face. All in all, felt like something of a relief, though what in the nine hells tomorrow would bring she had no idea but one. That she wouldn't have to be facing it alone.

* * * * *

"Did you get all that?"

Jordon looked at Maltby. "What just happened?"

Maltby shook his head, his lips twisting. "The stupid *baichi* just turned down sex. FREE sex. What kind'a man does that? No wonder the gorram Independents lost the war."

"Maybe he's just too hurt, you know? Could be he needs a doctor."

"What he needs is puttin' down."

Jordon said nothing. Just stared at the dimly lit image and wondered why he was the one feeling shamed. He wanted to protest that giving the prisoners medical assistance was not a sign of weakness but Maltby could be mean and unpredictable. Best not to push that meanness into something worse.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*bu qu* = no (lit. no go) *wode ma* = mother of God *wo zhidao* = I know *tian Yesu* = sweet Jesus *bang ji le* = wonderful *dong ma* = understand? *diyu* = hell *fang xin* = don't worry (lit. ease your heart) *pengyou* = friend *bao bei* = precious/treasure *baichi* = idiot


Thursday, March 29, 2007 5:31 AM


Oh, not good. I mean the plot twist of Casey wanting Mal to help her abort her child. I want to know what happens next!

Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:58 AM


Now that was just all kinds of interesting, I must admit.

While it does worry me that Casey was trying to boink Mal to abort her bigger concern is her own suicidal tendencies, since as Mal points out...she needs a doctor to help with the process, not him. Too much chance of something going wrong and her dying:(

What really creeped me out though was Maltby's little diatribe about Mal's intelligence. Really does not say much about the man when he thinks Mal's a moron for turning down free sex...


Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:02 AM


Dum Dum Dum...Curiouser and Curiouser.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:03 AM


Didn't mean the dum dum dum in a bad way by the way. Just the uprising in beats as the scene fades to black.


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His head still ached from the rutting probe but after the men had satisfied themselves that his story was true a thousand questions peppered the air like machine gun fire.

The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
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.

What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

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.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
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.