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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. 2BF. Hank's situation just gets a whole lot worse ... Please read and comment - you know you want to!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2199 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
“Look, I didn’t do it,” Hank said as he walked between the two men who’d come for him, his hands cuffed behind his back.
“That isn’t a problem,” one said.
“It’s not?” Hank felt a surge of hope.
“Not for us. For you, maybe.”
“I don’t –“
“We don’t make the decisions, Mr Mills. All we were told to do is come and pick you up.”
“I just thought, if you knew, you might –“
The administrator hadn’t been keen on the cuffs. “This man’s just recovering from concussion. Are those really necessary?”
“Protocol.” He tightened them a little further. “Don’t want him running off on us, do we?”
“I’m sure he won’t be any trouble.”
“Of course not. Murderers never are.”
The administrator found a little backbone. “Every man is innocent until proven guilty, though, isn’t he? Even under Alliance law.”
The man took a step forwards. “That makes it sound like you don’t approve of Alliance law. Perhaps we should take a look at you. There might be something you don’t want us to find.”
He shook his head. “No, no, of course not. And if it’s protocol …” He shot Hank a regretful look.
“Ain't your fault,” Hank said, wincing as the cuffs bit into his wrists. “But thanks for your hospitality.” He looked at the two men. “Can I call my ship? Tell ‘em where I'm going?”
“Soon as we get you back to the station.” The first man pushed him, making Hank take a sharp breath from the bruises he still had. “Get moving.”
Hank had to comply, and now they were walking down a dark corridor, lined with discarded cargo containers.
“I really didn’t kill anyone on Ibis,” he said, glancing from one to the other. “I hate violence. It does something to me, makes my stomach …” He stopped talking for a moment. “Hey, wait a minute. This isn’t the way to the Fed -”
They grabbed his arms, but he fought back, just as he had the men who tried to take his coin. Only this time he was realising they were after something far more precious. He managed to kick one of them, who let go with a yell, giving him the chance to attempt to headbutt the other, but his opponent was too fast. Stepping out of the way the man let Hank’s own momentum carry him forward, slamming him face first into a stack of heavy crates, unable to stop himself.
As he felt the skin above his left eye part and darkness come slipping in, his thoughts first flashed to a disbelief that this was happening for the second time, then on to hoping that someone might have heard. Finally, as he slid to the floor, his last conscious notion was of Zoe.
Zoe strode to the desk. “I want to see Hank Mills.”
The nurse took one look at her, the apparent stoicism of her face warring with the determination in her eyes, and punched the call button for the administrator, who hurried out of a side office.
“Ah, Miss …” He hadn’t caught her full name the last time.
“I want to see Hank Mills,” Zoe repeated.
“He’s … he’s not here.”
Zoe glared at him. “What are you talking about?”
“Didn’t they call you?”
“The two men who came to collect him. They said they’d let you know as soon as they got back to the Federal station. I assumed they meant our local office on the second level.” He smiled but this Amazon didn’t respond. If anything, her gaze got colder.
“Who were they?”
“Alliance officers. They’d been sent to pick him up and await transport to Ibis.”
“You said -”
He held up a hand. “I know. But they had orders.”
“What orders? Who from?”
The administrator considered telling her that it was none of her business, but decided that he actually rather liked living, and she looked like she could stop that right here. “Let me check.” He stepped behind the desk, the nurse moving out of the way so he could get to the computer terminal. He raced his fingers over the controls, stopped and stared, then ran the commands again.
“What is it?”
“I … I don’t understand,” the administrator stammered. “The records … I can’t find them.”
“Can’t find them.” Zoe pushed him to one side, checking the screen for herself.
“There’s no mention of a Hank Mills being brought in at all. Not even the DNA flag.” He rolled his hands around each other. “I don’t know what’s happened here.”
Zoe stood up and glared at him. “So who took him?”
“Two men. Their paperwork was all in order. They said –“
“Where is this paperwork?”
“They … they didn’t leave it. We had all the necessary documentation on the system …” He glanced down at the screen, almost praying for it to appear, waving its fingers and saying it had only been hiding.
“How long ago did they take him?”
The administrator glanced down at the watch on his wrist. “It was shortly after you left,” he admitted. “Five, perhaps six hours ago.”
“Six hours …” Zoe turned on her heel and ran out of the sickbay.
The nurse looked at the administrator. “What’s going on?” she asked.
He stared after the departing warrior woman. “I think it’s best we don’t know. We forget all about this.”
“I said to forget about it!” He glared at her then stamped back towards his office and the bottle of whisky he kept hidden in his bottom drawer.
“Was he okay to be moved?” Mal asked Simon.
“The concussion was minor, and the rest … I wouldn’t have kept him in the infirmary.”
“Then at least he’s gonna be on his own two feet. That’s something.” Mal stared into nothing. “But if these guys weren’t Alliance, then they wanted him for something else, and that don’t make me feel all warm.”
“Do you think that’s why they wiped the computer core?” Freya asked.
“Don’t see no other reason than to clear out their tracks. If they were Feds, it wouldn’t matter.”
“But why would anyone other than the Alliance want Hank?” Kaylee, scared for her friend, was also indignant. “And go to all this trouble.”
“People disappear every day,” her husband said, putting his arm around her. “A lot by choice.”
“I know that. But it wouldn’t be easy to hack the Cortex, wipe out all records of him. It’d take someone who really knew what they were doing.”
“Someone with a real yen for that man …” Mal felt his skin begin to crawl. Something bad was going down, and he hated not knowing what it was.
“I say we search,” Jayne put in, settling his gunbelt more securely. “He ain't in the Fed station but he might still be around.”
“Do you know how many ships are docked right now?” Zoe asked.
“Twenty-seven,” River put in. “But some of those are too small for more than two people or arrived less than five hours ago.”
“How many left, albatross?” Mal asked.
“Right. Okay, Jayne and Zoe, check the ships. Simon, you and Kaylee take a look around the top levels, me and Frey’ll take the lower.”
“And me?” River asked, stirring on her chair.
“You take a look at the Cortex, see if you can figure out what they did. If you can’t, see what ships’ve left here recently. If he’s been kidnapped, ain't no reason for him to still be here that I can see.”
“But we’re still gonna look?” Jayne asked from the doorway.
“Still gonna look.”
Hank could hear a noise. Some kind of tapping mixed in with the normal sounds of Serenity’s engine. Have to remember to mention it to Kaylee, he told himself. Might be something working loose that she needed to fix. He went to turn over in bed. Only he wasn’t in bed. And that sound wasn’t Serenity.
He forced his eyes open.
“Ah, you are back with us.”
Focusing was still hard, but he managed it. “What … who are you?” he asked, seeing an elderly man standing in front of him, a beneficent smile on his face.
“I am Adelai Niska. You have perhaps heard of me?”
Hank swallowed, and realised he was strapped to some kind of metal stand, his wrists and lower body held firmly. “I … the name rings a bell.”
“Good, good. You have wit. Unfortunately, when I am finished, you will have nothing else.” He beckoned to a man standing in the shadows, and Hank blinked a sudden cold sweat out of his eyes.
to be continued
Saturday, April 28, 2007 10:28 AM
Sunday, April 29, 2007 2:29 PM
Monday, April 30, 2007 2:52 PM
Wednesday, May 9, 2007 9:45 AM
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