Underground - Chapter 7 (repost)
Monday, November 19, 2007

Action Ensues


Summery - Action ensues Disclaimer – They all belong to Joss, I just enjoy hanging out in their midst. This story is a hundred times better because of all the wonderful betatype advice given to me by Mal4prez. I throw many thank yous in her direction.

Pairings/Setting/Storyline – You should all know by now :) Just this chapter and the epilogue left. I can’t believe I am almost done posting. But if you haven’t read from the beginning, or you’re completely lost and want to start over, here’s the link to the Prologue.

All the pertinent info is there as well. It’s also in my blog.

Thanks so much to all of you who have taken the time to leave me such shiny comments. It just makes my heart go pitter pat when my email downloads notifications from FFN.

******** Underground Chapter 7

The gray light of false dawn was just beginning to emanate around the Tridenthian Mountains surrounding the Lazy Moon Mine. The sky was cool and crisp this spring morning. Mal, Zoë and Katra crept through a narrow grassy field holding only the slightest hint of dew. Located at the front entrance of the mine was a small compound of seven or eight buildings; two of these were surrounded by a tall wire fence with a guard tower. “They don’t want any workers sneaking off in the middle of the night,” Zoë said in response to Katra’s questioning look. Katra seemed thunderstruck, Mal had gathered last night that she had never believed the shepherd’s insinuation that the mine had been run by slaves. Perhaps that mistaken belief had made her more able to consider using the gold. The more Mal thought about it, this mistaken belief of Katra’s was probably why she was so insistent on the sweetheart rouse. Well here’s her proof, she can’t hide from it anymore. Slowly and quietly they approached the closest building, moving forward one by one. All they would need now is to get caught before they could make it to their destination. “What we want is in the third building, the small gray one with the blue roof and the big bay doors,” Katra whispered to the others as they got close. Mal repeated her statement into the transmitter he wore, and within seconds the two guards posted outside its door dropped to the ground, bullet holes in their heads. Together they crept up to the building, hopping from shadow to ever decreasing shadow as dawn became closer to breaking. Around them all was still, except for the beginnings of stirring in the worker’s compound. Five guards with large semi-automatic guns walked in seemingly random patterns throughout the compound. One of these men walked in their direction, but didn’t get far. Before he spotted the thieves hiding in a shadow, he was also hit by the sniper. They approached the building Katra had indicated without further incident. Mal was the first to reach the building and he squatted near the wall, listening intently for any sounds inside. It was still. Unholstering his pistol, he crept around the corner to the door. The other two followed his lead, also getting out their weapons and sneaking around the corner behind him. When they reached the door, Mal reached out and tried to turn the knob. “Dang-ran, they couldn’t just make it easy for us, could they?” He whispered as he reached into his pocket for a pair of lock picks. Mal had just got the lock picks in the right position when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around, dropping the picks and reaching for his weapon, but let go when he saw who had startled him. Katra reached into her pocket and brought out a key tied to a yellow silk ribbon. Smiling at her in approval, he grabbed it and fit it into the lock, while she reached down and picked up the dropped lock picks. The key turned with a click allowing Mal to inch open the door. Stealthfully, the trio slipped inside, closing the door behind them. As they closed the door, a small green dot to the right of the entrance began blinking. Mal didn’t pay any attention; instead he switched on his portable light and aimed it at the large pallet on the floor surrounded by iron bars near the bay doors. Katra switched on her torch as well, although she focused on the green flashing dot. She stared briefly at the keypad upon which the blinking light was located as it began to flicker faster. Quickly, she reached up and typed in a series of numbers. The light blinked from green to blue and Katra let out an audible sigh. Slowly, the iron bars on two sides of the gold pallet began to lift. “Weren’t sure you remembered the code, were you?” Zoë jibed her. “Was it that obvious?” Katra whispered back, then backtracked. “Actually I was more worried they had changed it, but I figured neither of them were tech savvy enough to figure out how.” All of a sudden, the lights in the building came on. The trio heard the sounds of guns being cocked, and a voice came out of the shadows. “I think we shouldn’t take that kind of insult. Do you, Vetch?” A man’s voice filled the room from the far corner where he was sitting. Mal straightened and looked over – the speaker had dark curly hair, and his left shoulder was wrapped in a large bandage, which appeared soaked through with blood. His right hand held a revolver. “No, I defiantly think they shouldn’t get away with that,” the other man replied, firing off several shots. Each landed within a few inches of the three would-be robber’s heads. Mal dove behind the pallet of gold. Zoë flipped a table onto its side and jumped behind it, drawing her gun and firing shots at her assailants. Katra did neither. “You know, one of these days we’re gunna have a job that goes smooth.” Mal said to Zoë under his breath. “No one gettin' kidnapped, no one aimin’ guns at us, no one runnin’ off to play avengin’ angel.” “You think so sir?” Zoë replied, calm as ever. “Sure, one day. Of course it’s also possible that the Alliance ‘ill implode and someone ‘ill discover the location of Earth-that-was.” “Yes, sir. Is it also possible that your girlfriend can bend space so that bullets never hit her?” Mal looked up at Katra standing defiantly before the two armed men. “Girl, didn’t anyone ever teach you to take cover. Get down!” But Katra didn’t even acknowledge he had spoken. “I’ve come for what’s mine, you huh choo-shang tza-jiao duh tzang-huo,” she said aiming her gun at the two men. “See Vetch, what did I tell ya? Greed always wins out, don’t it?” Datron commented. “Vetch and I had a little bet. He had some information that you were going to blow the mine, but I said there was no way you would visit this compound without trying to take some of the profits. Really, you should have accepted my proposals. Deep down inside, you’re just like us; you’re in it for the proceeds.” “You’re wrong,” she replied. She looked over at the gold, her eyes giving away her wavering resolve to steel the gold. Mal could hear her whispering, ‘I am not like them. I am not like them.’ “Don’t think so,” Datron replied. “You want the gold and you’re not going to destroy anything because you want it to keep flowing. Why else you been parading around town like a cat in heat?” “You’re wrong,” she said again. Mal looked around the gold at the two men with their guns trained on Katra. There was no way he could get a clean shot without exposing himself, and also doubted he could get both before one of them fired on Katra. “No, we’re not. You’re here to steal this here gold that your friends and neighbors toiled to liberate from the ground. And now Vetch here owes me - what was it you owe me?” “My red guitar.” “Right, Vetch here now has to give me his fancy red guitar.” ‘Great,’ Mal thought. ‘Damned if I’m getting taken down by evil megalomaniac musicians.’ “And I’m sure you’re going to play it really well with that shoulder wound,” Katra replied, then she raised her gun and took aim at his hand. It was then that they heard the first boom. Both men turned to the window and stared out the window at the dust cloud radiating from the mine entrance. Immediately, shots filled the room. Both Mal and Zoë were standing firing rapidly at the two men. Vetch fell in a pool of blood, but Datron Howard dove safely behind a desk. “You think you’ve won, but you’re wrong!” said the voice coming from behind the desk. “And how do you figure that?” Mal asked as he approached the desk with his gun drawn. “The minute you move that gold, the worker compound goes up in smoke. You may be greedy, whore girl, but you’re a ‘love the people’ person. The only way to stop their deaths is typing a code only I know, into a remote pad which only I have.” ************ “River!” Simon shouted into the cloud of dust emanating from the mine. Just then he saw them: four people, hand in hand, covered in dirt and debris, running out of the growing dust cloud. “River!” Simon shouted again, then he rushed forward to grab his sister. “Told ya,” she said smiling up at him. “Back to front, plenty of time.” Wormfood also came forward to gather the last of the spiders. Holding out his hand, he gestured the way they would need to walk to return to the far house. River knew Wormfood wanted to finish the repatriating of the workers himself. She was happy for him as she watched them walk off into the woods. Simon didn’t say a word to her; he was angry. He just grabbed her and ran towards the waiting shuttle, which took off at a steep angle before the hatch was even closed. Five minutes into the flight, River wriggled out of her brother’s arms and raced up towards the pilot’s seat. She grabbed the com unit and flicked two switches over her head, keying into the transmitter. “Captain” she said urgently into the mouthpiece she picked up from the consol. She glanced back at Book, Kaylee, Sorla and Simon sitting on boxes in the back of the shuttle. They were starting to get up and move towards her. River reached over and jostled Mira, causing the shuttle to bank sharply and Simon to fall to the ground. “Captain – the one whose brain is green and heart is black. Deaths are not inevitable! 68546258. The right breast pocket holds the treasure, 68546258.” She finished her message just as Simon grabbed the transmitter away from her. “Sorry about that, Captain, we’ve got her now.” He turned off the transmitter and dragged his sister back to the rear of the shuttle. ************ Mal raised his gun and shot Datron Howard right in the face. Katra screamed, but Zoë just looked amused. “Thank you, Angel,” Mal said into his transmitter. Reaching into the man’s jacket he pulled out a key pad and typed in the number. Immediately the yellow lights blinking across the top stopped flashing. “Wash, bring in the long line,” Mal said into the transmitter. “Got the guards around the worker compound, and shot the lock,” Jayne said, running up to the building as Katra pushed the big yellow button that opened the bay doors exposing the scene to the outside. “Them workers should figure out fairly quickly they are free to go.” “We had best be gone by then. They’ll be wanting a payday. Sure wouldn’t want to be these two once they get here and find this place empty,” Zoë said as she finished wrapping the cables she’d been carrying around the pallet when a large hook descended from the sky outside the building. It took all four of them to catch the hook because of how Serenity was rocking. But she was there, and Wash was holding her relatively steady for a ship with only one engine. With an outrageous jump from an overturned desk, Mal finally grabbed the wavering hook and clipped it onto the pallet. All four jumped on, hooking their belt harness’s into the longline just as the pallet lifted skyward, heading towards the meadow on the other side of the mountains where they would rendezvous with the shuttle.

. Comments posted before the evil hack…… . AMDOBELL Saturday, June 23, 2007 - 03:55 . Oh wow, great work! Loved how for once our Heroes defeat the bad guys, get freedom for the slaves, AND get the gold! Um is this the right series? Very nice change, Ali D :~) You can't take the sky from me . ………… . Lambytoes Sunday, June 24, 2007 - 08:34 . The second Datron said that only he knew the code for the remote pad that he had, I was like "So when's River gonna tell them where it is and what the code is?" Great stuff. . ………. . BlueEyedBrigadier Saturday, June 30, 2007 - 15:04 . Ha! Totally agree with Lambytoes' comment about Datron dooming himself as soon as he boasted about the keypad and code;D

Utterly beautiful work here, Desertgirl! Can't wait to see the epilogue;)

BEB . ………… .



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