Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Once inside the prison, the crew find the Captain and set about covering their tracks before they leave."



SUMMARY: "Once inside the prison, the crew find the Captain and set about covering their tracks before they leave." 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

* * * * *

It was chill inside. The air all manner of cool but not refreshing. Just sort of hung like an invisible odour, stale and ominous. Everywhere bodies lay where they had fallen conspiring with the praeternatural silence to make the atmosphere all manner of creepifying. Jayne didn't like it. Zoe didn't care. Woman with a mission. Shepherd Book showed them the way, pausing only to tell Kaylee the best place to hack into the monitoring system. No one asked how he knew what he did or queried the ease with which his ident card gained him access to the most secure prison colony the Alliance had. They were just grateful to be able to get inside though what they saw once they did so killed any desire for conversation. Zoe's angry glare was laser sharp, her look hard and unforgiving. All of them sharing the same concern. Simon almost had a fit when Zoe told him they were taking River. Had then demanded he come as well and was surprised when agreement came readily and without hesitation. He should have been suspicious but his concern for River blinded him to ulterior motives. Now he got to stare that fun little detail in the face.

The Captain was lying in a half curled heap on the cold metal floor, a dark crimson tide lapping his sleeping shore. Book was glad that Kaylee was otherwise occupied and knelt one side of the Captain while Simon knelt on the other. Despite all the times the two of them had clashed Simon would not wish this kind of treatment on anyone. And it wasn't as if he hated the man, they just rubbed each other up the wrong way more often than not. Their outlooks and backgrounds as diametrically opposed as it was possible to be. Gradually though their viewpoints were shifting, aligning. The more the Alliance pursued and marginalised them, the more they stuck together. The friction a sarcastic rub often tinged with a growing if grudging respect, slowly blossoming into a tentative but genuine friendship.

Zoe hung over Simon's shoulder until the doctor confirmed the Captain was still in the land of the living. The tension in the room eased a mite. Jayne paced around the room, his eyes taking in details the others were too busy to note. His anger mounting when he saw the cuffs binding the Captain's hands behind his back, his eye fixing on the shock stick still in the guard's hand where the *tamade hundan* had fallen, arm outstretched as if interrupted mid blow. River stood by the door, head tilted as if listening. She gave Zoe a little smile. "Have to go, help Kaylee."

"Need you to show us where the woman is."

She nodded. "I will. Kaylee's close but the sequence is wrong. Back in a few."

Without waiting for Zoe's response the girl left. A low moan from the floor diverted the first mate's attention back to her fallen Captain. The small sound of pain seemed to act like a taper lighting the mercenary's blue touch-paper, Jayne's anger errupting in a sudden outburst of violence. His boot connecting with the unconscious guard's gut before Book could stop him.

"Jayne, *Zugou*!"

Simon took no notice of the drama, carefully checking the Captain's injuries as Zoe got the cuffs off him. Her stony face at odds with the gentleness of her hands as she helped straighten her friend's slack body. Simon checked the pulse again, not happy with the thready response but unsure how much of that was due to his physical condition and how much to the drug he had inhaled. Shepherd Book was standing now, physically putting himself between Jayne and the prison guard.

"Give me one good reason I can't beat the livin' *diyu* outta this sack of *goushi buru*?" The mercenary growled.

"Because if you do the efforts we are taking to keep our presence unknown will have been for nothing."

The big man blinked at him. "*Shenme*?"

"Jayne, we're all upset and angry but we need for the authorities to concentrate on what they can't see not on what they can."

Even more confused than ever Jayne shook his head. "That don't make sense, Shepherd."

"This is supposed to be the result of a medical outbreak, *jide*?" A light came on in Jayne's eyes. "If the Alliance intelligencia arrive and find even one guard covered in bruises and cuts we will all be in more trouble than you can possibly imagine."

* * * * *

Back on Serenity Inara could not stop fidgetting. She understood the need for radio silence but not knowing what was happening was killing her. Wash divided his time between checking the long range sensors and watching the Companion. Normally Inara was the calm one, the person most in control and radiating confidence and tranquility. He saw none of that now. Instead he saw a woman eaten up with anxiety, the concern in her eyes a feeling he knew well. It was how he always felt when Zoe was out on a job. She was pacing now.

"What's taking them so long? We should have heard something by now."

"It's complicated. They have to get in, locate Mal an' that mystery woman, wipe the tape footage an' doctor the air on the way out."

Inara blinked. "Doctor the air?" That detail was new. How come she didn't know that?

The pilot nodded. "Book said they needed to leave the Alliance a trail to follow, one that wouldn't involve any outside forces." At her look of non comprehension he explained. "Us."

"I thought we already did that?"

"*Bu qu*, that was just somethin' to knock them out. Give us the chance to go in an' retrieve the Cap'n. This is somethin' else, somethin' Simon concocted to make them sick."

Her eyes darkened, not pleased with what she was hearing and wondering how strong a stomach she was going to need before this was over. "We're going to kill them?"

Alarmed at her assumption Wash waved his hands. "No, no, NO! It's a virus Inara, can't remember what Simon called it now but it's common on the Rim worlds. Makes folk real sick an' sweaty. You know, sweaty? High fever, vomittin' an' such like?"

"Then no one will die?"

"Not unless they were gonna die beforehand."

She blinked and steadied herself with one hand on the edge of the pilot's console. Wash frowned.

"Hey Inara, you okay?"

Inara nodded, reluctant to admit that the reason she hadn't known that part of the plan was because she had been too busy worrying about Mal to listen properly to all the details. Aware only that time was passing and it was one more delay. In all her life she had never known a man so prone to getting himself into trouble as Malcolm Reynolds. He infuriated and intrigued her. Drawing her to him even as his foolish comments and actions repelled her. And yet. In some things they were so alike. Their need to nurture and protect others. Their dislike of complications. Their sharp often abrasive wit. She had tried to leave but an invisible chord kept drawing her back. Even now she was not about to admit, even to herself, what it meant. "*Wode hao, fang xin* Wash."

The pilot raised his eyebrows. "Who's worried?" He quipped softly.

But Inara Serra did not hear him. She was staring at the console as if the very gates of *diyu* had opened. Wash followed her look and swore.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*tamade hundan* = fucking bastard *zugou* = enough *diyu* = hell *goushi buru* = lower than dogshit/lowest of the low *shenme* = what *jide* = remember *bu qu* = no (lit. no go) *wode hao* = I'm good *fang xin* = don't worry (lit. ease your heart)


Sunday, April 15, 2007 1:36 PM


You certainly love the cliffhangers, don't you?

Sunday, April 15, 2007 1:39 PM


What can I say, Katesfriend? Cliffhangers are addictive! - Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:07 PM


Oh....I presume something like a surprise arrival by an Alliance cruiser has just occurred. Just hope the crew can evac quickly:(

Still...this was all kinds of shiny, AMDOBELL. I especially loved Inara's moment in the cockpit with Wash that gave us a look at just how affected she is about Mal's status. Just kinda wish she could be honest with the galoot;)



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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.