BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Eden - Prologue
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. An old friend is around, and the crew are about to land at the Wayborn Skyplex to pick up cargo ... Just the start, folks, so let me know what you think!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2393    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Freya stared into the empty shuttle, devoid of everything that had been Inara. Except the scent of incense.

“Odd, isn’t it?” Zoe said behind her.

“Mmn.”

“It’s going to seem strange for a while, ‘til we get used to it again.”

“When she left before, how did … how did everyone cope?” Freya asked, looking over her shoulder at her friend.

“Mal was grumpy, Kaylee was upset, Jayne was abusive –“

“So pretty much like now.”

Zoe smiled. “It ain't like she’s dead. And we’ll be back in a few weeks.”

“I know.” Freya sighed. “You know, this is the longest I’ve ever been in one place in my entire adult life.”

“You thinking of going somewhere?”

“No, it’s just –“

“I mean, you’re married. That probably makes a difference.”

Freya laughed. “Could have something to do with it.” They left the shuttle doorway and headed towards the galley. “I don’t see me moving on any time soon unless Mal does. And I don’t see him moving on at all.”

“Would you want him to?”

“No,” Freya admitted. “I love this boat. So I tend to see us getting old and grey on board.”

“And are we in your vision?” Zoe asked, her lips lifted.

“Oh, sure. You and your eight kids.”

“Only eight?”

“You got Hank fixed.”

“Ouch.”

They laughed together.

“So how’s it going?” Freya asked as they stepped into the dining area. “Morning sickness still an issue?”

Zoe sighed. “You know, it must be being out here in the black. No natural light. Only my body doesn’t seem to know when it’s morning, and I throw up all sorts of other times.”

Freya nodded. “I know what you mean. I had the same problem.”

“Did anything Simon gave you work?”

“Honestly? No. I just had to put up with it.”

“Yet you want to go through it again.”

Freya grinned. “For what you get at the end? Hell, yes.”

Zoe stroked her belly. “Kinda interested to see what he’s gonna turn out like. Me or Wash.”

Freya’s smile froze. “Wash?”

Zoe went pale. “I didn’t … I didn’t really say that, did I?”

“Actually, yes you did.”

Cao.” Zoe sat down heavily. “Don’t tell Hank.”

Freya went down onto her heels next to her friend. “Zoe, it was a mistake. You didn’t mean it.”

“It was an accident.”

“Hank won’t hold it against you.”

“He might. Me thinking about my husband while the father of my child barely gets a look in.”

“Is that the way of it?”

“No. But he might think –“

“Zoe, Hank loves you. He’s also insane, but I’m sure those two things don’t go together.”

“Then why do I want to burst into tears?” Zoe asked, sniffing slightly.

“Hormones,” said the voice of experience.

“That it?”

“Zo, I was crying so much Mal had to keep a towel by the bed.”

The thought of her captain wiping up a sea of tears was enough, and Zoe laughed. “A towel?”

“Okay. Maybe a flannel.”

Hank took that moment to stroll into the galley. “Hey, you okay?” he asked, looking at his lover sitting at the table, apparently upset.

“It’s just hormones,” Freya said, standing up.

“Oh, well, yeah, I get them,” Hank said, walking towards the coffee, but keeping an eye on his woman. “Plays hell with my ankles.” He paused. “Wanna see?”

Freya put up a hand quickly. “Thanks for the offer, but … no.”

“Your loss.” He poured himself a mug. “I’ll have you know I have a fine pair of legs. Ain't that right, Zoe?”

“Actually, yes,” the first mate admitted. “And just the right length.”

“Yep,” Hank agreed. “Otherwise they’d never reach the ground.” He grinned. “So, you two ladies looking forward to doing some shopping?”

“I thought Mal said we didn’t have the money to go spending,” Freya pointed out.

He might not, but I’ve still got my share of the Magdalene haul.” Hank sighed happily. “I’m thinking I might buy some stuff for my son.”

“Son?” Freya looked quickly from Hank to Zoe.

“He’s been dying to tell someone,” Zoe explained. “Only it ain’t common knowledge yet.”

“A boy?” Freya grinned widely. “That’s great!”

“You mean you didn’t know?” Hank asked.

“No. I … it’s sort of personal.” She coloured a little.

Zoe smiled. “Just don’t tell everyone else yet. It’s our secret. Simon only told us a few days ago.”

Freya nodded. “Of course not.” She licked her lips. “Any … um … ideas on a name?”

“Well, I was thinking –“ Hank began, but Zoe interrupted firmly.

“No.”

“I just want gonna say –“

“I know what you were gonna say, and I said no.”

“I just think it would be nice if –“

“He is not going to be called Hoban.”

“Really?” Freya was surprised. “Why not?”

“Because Wash hated that name, and I ain’t gonna call my son something his … whatever he might have been … hated.”

“Whatever he might have been?” Hank prompted. “What the hell does that mean?”

“Well, you think of a way to describe Wash.”

Hank opened his mouth, then closed it again. He thought for a moment. “Uncle,” he finally said.

“Uncle?” Zoe looked up at him.

“Uncle,” Hank repeated firmly. “So far I’m Uncle Hank to Bethany and Ethan, like you’re their Auntie. So I reckon it’d be right for him to be Uncle Wash. Hell, if Jayne gets to be, then I think it’s fair.”

“Uncle Wash.” Zoe tried it out for size, rolling it around her mouth. Then she smiled. “You know, I think he’d like that.”

“Then it’s settled.”

“What’s settled?” Mal asked, coming into the dining area. “And I thought you were just gonna grab a coffee then get back to the bridge?” he asked his pilot, quite pointedly.

“I got caught up in a discussion on the relative merits of nomenclature,” Hank said grandly.

Mal glared at him. “You’ve been spending too long talking to River,” he said. “Go on. We’ll be at Wayborn in less than thirty minutes, and I’d kinda like not to hit anyone on the way.”

“As if we would,” Hank scoffed, before hurrying back to the bridge.

Mal watched him go, then turned to Zoe. “This is what it’s gonna be like from now on, ain't it?” he said, shaking his head. “Right up until that one’s born, I ain't gonna get a word of sense outta my pilot, am I?”

“Did you ever?” Freya asked, leaning on the counter.

“True.” He settled himself into the seat next to Zoe. “You okay?” he asked, almost as if in passing.

“I'm shiny, sir,” his second in command said.

“Good. Just you keep it that way. And don’t you overdo it.” He tipped his head towards her. “You need anything, you just ask.”

“I will.” Zoe got up. “I think I’ll go and keep Hank company for a while.” She strode to the door.

“Okay. Just don’t put him off flying my boat,” he called after her. Turning his head he grinned at Freya. “Do you think I embarrassed her?”

“Oh, only a lot,” his wife said, taking the vacated seat. “Was that the intention?”

“A little bit,” he conceded. “But I really do want her to take things easy.”

Freya moved closer to him, putting her arms around his shoulders. “Mal, no-one on this boat is going to let her lift anything heavier than a mug of coffee. And only then if it’s only half full.”

He smiled at her, the corners of his blue eyes crinkling in just the way that made her heart beat faster. “Mother hen,” he teased.

“Cluck. Cluck,” she said, reaching forward to kiss him softly.

---

The man stood in the small airtight capsule, beating on the thick plastic with his fists. The two men outside watched impassively. They could see he was screaming, probably obscenities, perhaps pleas to be released, begging them for mercy, but there was no sound.

“Is the best you could obtain?”

“Well, I can get any type we want, but sometimes it’s easier to go with what’s available. After all, it’s not like we’ve been that successful so far.” The younger man looked almost apologetic. “So it doesn’t matter that much, does it?”

“Is true. I am, how you say, disappointed with our progress so far.”

“This one might be better.” He pulled the cuff of his shirt a little further from inside his jacket sleeve. “He’s a thief. Apparently quite successful himself.”

“But not enough.”

He smiled. “No. Not enough.”

The old man shrugged a little. “Without success I am not able to work. And you are paying me a great deal to work.”

“There’s time.” He stepped closer to the capsule. “It’s not as if someone’s going to jump in and stop the project.”

“No indeed. And the other? With the loss of the shipment …” He waved his hands expressively.

“That won’t be a problem.” He tapped on the plastic, his breath fogging it for a moment. “Always more where they came from.”

“Good, good. Now, to work.” He turned to the operator in the booth and nodded.

There was a hiss, and a thin vapour began to fill the capsule from the vents in the floor. The man inside tried to back away from it, but there was nowhere to go. The mist swirled around his knees, his thighs, up his body. He tried to push it away, but as it reached his chest he covered his mouth, holding it as long as he could as the haze submerged him entirely, finally having to take a deep shuddering breath of gas.

The older man stood and gazed, his eyes unblinking behind the thin steel-rimmed spectacles. He was holding his own breath in anticipation.

The subject collapsed against the glass, his face contorted, lips smearing down the inside of the capsule as he slid to the floor.

“Good, good,” he muttered, clapping his hands lightly together.

The gas cleared, sucked away to be replaced by clean air.

“How long does it take?” the first man asked, curious to see the effects first hand.

“Not long. Our experiments have proved it is almost immediate.” He stepped closer to the capsule. “Soon.”

The man inside stirred. Then, with a speed that made the first man take a step backwards, he launched himself at the wall of the capsule, roaring with rage, his face twisted into the macabre semblance of a man, but with no humanity left. Or sanity.

Ga ni niang,” the first man muttered, staggering back, staring at the plastic. “Is this … it will hold?”

“Is fine. Strong. Built to protect us, not him.”

“Well, that’s …” He pulled a linen handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed his lips. “So now what?”

“Is part one. Only first part,” the older man explained. “We have to know about the control.”

The other man watched their victim tearing at his clothes, his skin, screaming with anger now as his fingernails dug gouges in his own flesh.

“Is good.” He nodded once more to the man in the booth, then turned to his companion. “Now for the rest.”

--- to be continued

COMMENTS

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:01 AM

TAMSIBLING


Um ... yikes?

This does not bode well for our intrepid crew, especially given the fact that they're landing on a skyplex and one of the two men at the end was Niska. No one better get taken ... and I mean that in the nicest, most non-threatening way.

The banter between Zoe, Mal, Freya and Hank was so natural I could see it being peformed in my head. So wonderful to see Freya and Zoe having a chance to rely on one another and to see Hank being so witty. He cracks me up.

Great, foreboding start - brava!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 9:34 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


Great start. I don't like the scenario that I think you're setting up. Scares me to death. Not too many ways for our crew to come out of this unscathed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 10:46 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Niska has gotten his hands on some Pax? Oh cao....this is the epitome of "not good," know what I mean?

:(

Still...definitely loved the banter between the crew, and the conversation between Freya, Zoe and Hank totally had me busting a gut chuckling;D

BEB

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 11:46 AM

AMDOBELL


I loved the banter between the crew, gave their scenes a lovely energy which makes the scenes with Niska even more chilling. The words Niska and Pax are so not good together and I have a feeling you are going to put our heroes through the kind of wringer that will squeeze tears from a stone god. I am getting my incense and prayer mat ready. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:23 PM

SLUMMING


I've gotta admit, Niska's my favorite of the baddies, but it's a kind of love/hate relationship, you know? Eagerly awaiting the next part!


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