BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

HERMITSREST

Shan Yu! I Bite My Thumb At You - Part One
Thursday, December 13, 2007

NEW! The crew are building their bolt-hole on Deutschland, but is it really a safe haven? 17th fanfic featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Grateful thanks to BlueEyedBrigadier for the beta. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment. Part 1 of 2.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1538    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Author’s Note: This is the penultimate one of the series, folks, but don’t be disheartened. There’s plenty more to come, but after number 18, I’m going to skip ahead a few years. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * After delivering Hannover’s goods to Persephone, Serenity had taken a trip to Greenleaf for building supplies, before returning to their new refuge to start construction, a month after leaving. Jayne and Esper had stayed behind and, with the help of Hans, had marked out the plots, as well as buying a supply of local bricks. They all agreed that they wanted the place to look like all the other houses in Hannover and the wider community, one of the reasons being, they did not want to draw attention to themselves. All of the remaining crew were in the cockpit as Serenity came in to land, viewing their new haven with enthusiasm, despite it being little more than just earth and scrub at the moment. Bane was the only one not in the cockpit, having been working all hours for the past few weeks, on the construction of her first batch of munitions, made completely blindfold. No one but her and Karl knew it, although Bane had an idea that River did, but she had said nothing other than do all the piloting, as promised. She had finished too, that morning, but still did not want to go up to the cockpit, preferring to catch up on some sleep instead. Jayne and Esper, with Hans and his son, were there to greet them as they walked out into the sunlight. Zoe, carrying Marcus, welcomed her man with enthusiastic longing. Knowing that Serenity was where they would all be sleeping until any of the houses were built, she had finally sorted out her quarters, packing away the last of Wash’s stuff. There were some of his things she had given to Karl - things from his childhood - although there were precious few. She kept the dinosaurs though, as they belonged to Marcus now. He had quite a collection, including a few new ones from the crew. There was another reason too that it was important for her to fully move on, tomorrow was the first of April, the day she had met Hans and the day on which Marcus had been conceived. Jayne had already started construction on one of the barns that would house some of the tools and materials they would use for the rest of the place. Mal could see that Jayne had been busy, and the man went consciously up in his estimation, though if he thought about it, that had been happening over time already. Mal was impressed by Jayne’s accomplishment and industry, not only had he marked out the plots and started construction, he had also set up their sewerage and water supply, laying pipe and constructing a well. “I think he’s found his calling,” stated Inara perceptively, taking in the surroundings herself. She watched as Ishmael introduced himself to Hans’ son, Lukas, and the two boys ran off together to explore the river. She was glad he was not the only child around, as she was fully aware that there was a considerable amount of work to do. Mal took Inara’s hand and walked over to his plot. Since being back on Serenity, they had met each other half way and both benefited from the reunion of body and mind. “This is ours,” he said quietly. Inara swallowed the emotion that rose in her throat. “Ours?” she whispered, barely able to get the words out. The last month had been one of the happiest, living with Mal and being with him. They still had their arguments, mainly because she was the only one who second-guessed him, but it was part of being together. Mal squeezed Inara’s hand. “Ours,” he confirmed. She looked at the markers and then stepped over them into the imaginary house. Karl kissed Esper warmly on the cheek in welcome and then shook Jayne’s hand. With all the arguments he had with Bane lately, he was more than glad to see his friend again. Esper, astute as ever, could see that he needed time alone with her husband. She had been more than busy her own self during the last month, learning German, making firm friends with Berta, which in turn led to many useful contacts within the Hannover community. Now that Serenity had returned she was excited that they could start constructing a home, as staying with Hans’ mother had been useful, but not very private. At least they could now spend time in Jayne’s bunk while the ship was around. “You’ve bin busy,” said Karl, as the two of them walked to Jayne’s plot. Jayne was browned considerably by the sun and already looked every inch the rancher. “I gotta purpose, an’ a wife to support. No use sittin’ on my backside.” “Interestin’ way of viewin’ a honeymoon,” Karl chuckled and Jayne laughed with him. “Not much of a honeymoon with Berta knockin’ on the door every two minutes. We got more privacy out here.” Karl snorted, and Jayne gave him a sidelong glance. “Looks like you’ve had it rougher than me,” he said leadingly. Karl did not meet his gaze. “She’s so gorram stubborn,” he said quietly. “Cuz she won’t build her own house, or share yours?” asked Jayne. Karl wished he could just offload about Bane’s onset of blindness, getting worse by the day, but he could not, he had made a promise. “Among other things,” he answered finally. “Where is she?” “Sleeping off a month’s work of munitions.” “Ye Soo, how much has she been making?” “Triple the batch that Monty ordered, but there’s some new tricks. She’s going for volume now, rather than variety.” “Aren’t you afraid she’ll burn herself out?” said Jayne, kneeling down to dig out a large stone from the earth inside the markers. He knew Bane well enough now to know that the busier she was, the more she had on her mind. “More than you realise,” Karl said mysteriously. Jayne did not press further, as it was obvious there were other things going on between them that he was not willing to share. He stood up and put his hand on his shoulder. “Well, now you’re here, I’ve got a few things that’ll take your mind off those kinda women problems. Nothing like a bit of physical labour.” Karl shook himself out of the dark thoughts and grinned. “So what’s the plan? Build your place first, then get started on mine?” “Nearly. Gotta finish the barn first, then I figure to begin on mine.” “Let’s get started then,” Karl said, taking off his jacket. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * When Serenity lifted off again at the end of April, and Jayne and Esper were not the only ones who stayed behind. Inara had put Ishmael in the same school as Lukas Kifelder in München. Deutschland had an interesting school calendar; it was every other week for the whole year, with two weeks off at Christmas, Landing Day and harvest time. In the last month, she and Mal had managed to construct two complete rooms of their house. After she had got over the initial shock at her blistered hands, she found herself incredibly swayed by the idea that she was helping to build their own home. She was also amazed at all the compromising they were doing together, now that they were attuned, there was no need to battle against each other like they had before when they had led separate lives. She was not the only one to be affected by building something, Simon had stayed behind planet-side to continue building the home for him and Kaylee. Inara passed Simon the ale and he drunk deeply. “How’s that splinter?” Jayne asked, bringing Inara out of her reverie. She looked down at her bandaged hand. “Hurts, but I’ll get over it.” “Have some more stew,” put in Esper, passing over another brimming bowl. The amount of physical work they were all doing, worked up a considerable appetite in all of them by the end of the day. Inara took the second bowl and delved into enthusiastically, briefly wondering if Mal would mind if she had gained a few extra pounds by the time he returned. Jayne yawned loudly and blinked, he was exhausted, as he was every night, but the house was almost completed. They had the second floor finished, and all he had to do now was wait for Karl to return to help him with the roof. Simon had tended to Inara’s large splinter, as well has his own collection of injuries, and sunburn. Though he worried about Kaylee and River being away from him on Serenity, and all the possible injuries they and the others could incur, he wanted them to be able to come back to a home. He had finished constructing his small surgery, attached to the side of the house, which Jayne had helped him roof that day. Tomorrow he planned to go into München and purchase some supplies and appropriate clinical furniture. As it was the end of the week, he had also offered to pick up Ishmael from school, who stayed at the Mayor’s house with Lukas during the week. On the various deeds and agreements they had signed in order to authorise the land, Simon had made sure it was all in Kaylee’s name, and on Deutschland they all knew him as Doktor Frye, or Herr Frye, which did not sound as good, especially when Jayne cracked up with laughter every time someone asked for him by that name, pointing that Doktor Hair Frying was over there. Esper gave her own yawn of tiredness and leaned against her husband, whose arm came around her shoulders automatically. A year ago, she would never have imagined that she would be married, living in her own home, and possibly with a child on the way. She had not said anything to Jayne yet, but her whole life she had been regular as clockwork. She was glad that the house was almost finished, as doing all that physical labour in her condition was probably not a good idea. There was much planting to do though, and that was gentler work. She had already done her own garden, and now she helped plant the other gardens with herbs and flowers, as well as some trees. With the possibility of cattle and horses roaming all over the place, the trees needed to be protected until they had grown enough not be affected. That night Simon, who usually slept in one of the rooms in Jayne’s house, now slept in his newly finished surgery. These days none of them had problems trying to get to sleep at night, it was pretty much instant, with them all getting up as soon as it was light. He jerked awake moments after dozing off, as he heard the sound of a space craft, a large one, coming in to land. He grinned as he shoved his feet into his boots and ran outside without tying the laces. He saw Inara, Jayne and Esper emerging from the house opposite him. They all looked up and their hopes died, it was not Serenity. Jayne cocked his guns, having been the only one with any sense to arm himself. He waved Simon to get back inside his place, before shoving Inara and Esper back indoors as well. Jayne, wearing only his pants, ran out and along his house to the partially constructed wall of one of Karl’s rooms. When the lights from the ship passed over him, he dashed across the space between the two rows of houses and ran into Inara’s house, setting up a firing position. He watched the ship land and checked his weapons. Moments later, he swivelled in alarm, as Esper, Inara and Simon burst into the room. “Gorram it, I told you to stay put,” he said angrily. Esper handed a gun over to Simon, before taking up position next to her husband, bringing her own up. “Ain’t no good doin’ this on your own. We gotta stick together,” she said firmly, and Jayne did not argue. With her hair unbraided and loose around her shoulders, she looked all kinds of pleasing, but he had to concentrate. Unlike the settlements, they had no early warning system if a ship broke atmo without authorisation. If it had, then the Law would arrive, but by then it might be too late. In the darkness they could not even make out what type of vessel it was. The ramp of the ship came down, shedding some light, but it was landed several hundred yards away. “Do you recognise it?” said Simon in a whisper. “It’s kinda dark,” stated Jayne with annoyance. “Will this be any good?” said Inara, holding up a high beam light that they used for night working. Jayne looked at her in surprise, astonished at her quick thinking. Inara bit back a retort due to the severity of the situation, annoyed at his assumption that she was still first and foremost a high-priced whore in his estimation. “That’ll do right well,” answered Esper, with her own reproachful glance at Jayne. They crouched around the un-paned window frame and waited, as the crew of the unknown ship walked towards their homes. “Now!” said Jayne, and Inara flicked the light on shining it directly on the men. They all covered their eyes. Jayne lowered his weapons and shouted. “Gorram it, Monty!” Monty Reynolds took his hand off the gun holstered at his waist and grinned, as he watched four people emerge from the building in various states of undress. “Jayne! Good to see you. Is that the missus? Mal said you was hitched, but I dint believe it.” Monty had his crew made up the distance between them so they could shake hands. Jayne was more than relieved that it had turned out alright, but it made him aware of how vulnerable they were. “Hope you got authorisation, otherwise we’ve got all kinds of Law arrivin’ soon.” “Got Barstow to speak the German, don’t know if they understood it, but they let us pass.” Jayne’s shoulders relaxed. “In that case, meet Esper, my wife. Esper, this is Monty Reynolds, Mal’s cousin.” “Heard a lot about you, mostly from Bane though.” Monty shook her hand, momentarily distracted by the sight of the blond hair floating around her down to her knees. “One of the reasons I’m here. Mal said he’d meet us, guess we beat him to it.” “I’m guessing the other reason is you are needing a place of refuge from a heist?” asked Simon. “That’s it, lad. If’n you’re amenable to that.” Esper smiled. “There’s some home cooked pork stew which won’t take long to heat up, if your hungry,” she suggested. “Real pork?” said Rocky in amazement. The emergency over, Jayne saw Monty to the fire and then went to bed. There were a pile of things he had to do the next day and losing sleep was not going to help him none. The three others followed suit shortly afterwards, leaving Monty and his crew eating by the fire. Serenity arrived late afternoon the next day, having only been away a couple of weeks this time. Jayne had put Monty and his crew to work, figuring that if they were going to be around for a while, eating their food, they might as well earn their keep. Jayne looked up from his work as he heard the sound of the mule. It was Mal. Jayne used his shirt to wipe the sweat pouring off his forehead and Rocky and Eric stopped for a break as well. “How’s it going?” Mal asked, as he cut the engine. “’Bout another day’s work and the perimeter fencing will be finished,” answered Jayne. Mal walked along it, away from the others and Jayne followed. “You run into some trouble?” “Little Alliance difficulty, but nothing we couldn’t handle. River hid in Bane’s workshop and they never detected it, despite the standard sweeps they did. Guess I know for sure it works now,” he joked. “You come ta help now then?” Mal looked over the fencing. “Reckon we’ll be ready for them cattle and horses soon,” he said, not answering the question directly. Jayne grinned. “Reckon we will. Bin reading up on the matter as well. Wanted to talk to you about buyin’ feed an’ such.” Mal’s eyebrows raised and then he checked himself. “Listen, Jayne, you’ve worked harder at this than all of us put together. If there’s decisions to be made for this place and its running, then you need to make them. You can’t be waitin’ for us to come back from a job.” “You sayin’ I’m Captain of this place?” Jayne smirked, causing Mal to laugh. “Well, I suppose…yes. You need advice then Hans or any of the farmers in Hannover would be able to help, but ultimately, if you don’t plan on comin’ out on jobs anymore but stayin’ here, then the decisions rest with you.” Jayne was more than a little surprised at Mal’s words. “Zoe say the same?” “It was her idea,” he admitted. “Just had a word with Hans as well. He’s still Mayor which means he has commitments, but he’s just as sure you’re the best person for the job as I am.” Jayne stood a little straighter, his aching limbs suddenly not aching anymore. “Look, Mal. Last night when Monty came in, we were completely unprotected, shy of the guns I had with me. We need to look at some kind of defence system. I talked to Hans this mornin’ ‘bout puttin’ in one of them sirens that they have in the settlement that warns ‘em of unauthorised atmo entries.” Mal considered. “It needs to be done. Bin thinkin’ a little on it myself. Reckon Bane would be a good one to look at the physical security on account of her breakin’ into so many places.” Jayne nodded in agreement. “You know them Deutschlanders got two signals on those sirens? The long continuous one is for intruders. Then they have another which are four short blasts – signals that it’s Alliance, so’s people have time to hide all the contraband!” Mal laughed. “Good to know. We’ve several people who’ll find that signal very useful. While you’ve been breaking your back, I was also doin’ some other thinkin’.” “You ain’t gettin’ married too, are ya?” interupted Jayne jovially. Mal’s eyes widened. “Oh, no. Not yet, anyways. Was thinkin’ that this place needed a name. Got any suggestions?” Naming, now that was a tall order, thought Jayne, he knew from the personal experience of naming his guns. “Not sure I want that responsibility.” He grasped on an idea, “Reckon River’ll be the best one for that. If a ruttin’ moonbrain genius ain’t up to the task, then we might as well all pack up now.” Mal produced a small flask of brandy from his pocket and unscrewed the lid. “I’ll drink to that!” * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Come Deutschland’s Landing Day celebrations at the end of July, Jayne’s house was still the only one finished, but Simon’s, Mal’s and Zoe’s now only had the roofs to do. It was a new experience for them all, to be able to build something with their own hands, build their hopes for the future. A month earlier Serenity had delivered their first batch of cattle and a few horses, and now had reason to want to join in the planet’s celebrations. Bane had been given the task of making their new parcel of land secure, or ‘Bane-proof’, as Mal jokingly put it. He did not want to prevent people coming to see them, but he did want to know who was coming to see them. Bane, Kaylee and River started the mammoth task of wiring up all the fencing. River was not so keen on all the physical labour, and she ended up being the one they always sent on errands. Mal’s request to her had been to name the place and it kept her thoughts occupied for most of the days and weeks, to the amusement of the rest of the crew. If there was one task River was not sure she had the genius mind to ever work out, it was finding an appropriate name for their new sanctuary. She studied Simon’s encyclopaedia, looked at different languages, learnt a few ancient languages in the hope of finding something, studied old Earth-That-Was history in depth. It kept her awake through the night and day, and once she went up to Mal, pushing him over in the deck chair he was resting in, and berated him for giving her such an impossible thing to do. Mal laughed and said that it was her true punishment for all that pi hua with Stan Togashi on his ship. River stormed off angrily, but not before realising from Mal’s thoughts that he wanted his albatross to come up with something special, and he trusted no one else. It still kept her awake at night and she now had a journal of words to rival Bane’s. ~ * ~ Karl stumbled back to the ship more than a little inebriated, Jayne could be dangerously insistent when it came to persuading him to have one more drink. After six ‘one more drinks’ he had finally got unsteadily to his feet and comically sauntered back to Serenity. Bane woke and sat upright in bed as she heard the noise in her bunk. She knew the lamp was on, but she could not see – it was another blackout. They did not fill her with such panic now, as she had started to take precautions and get plenty of sleep, so they did not come on at unexpected times. She had been getting one of those restful sleeps when the noise had woken her. “Karl?” she whispered. She was answered with a light snore. She got out of bed and walked towards where the ladder was, tripping over Karl’s sprawled leg. “You stink,” she wrinkled her nose. The light returned to her vision slowly and she could now see him sprawled in the well of the ladder, unconscious. She pulled him out of the corner and he came groggily awake. “Itsh my pixie,” he slurred, groping with his free hand for a familiar buttock under her short nightdress. He must try and get her another silky one, as it was getting a bit threadbare – before she decided to cut up another bed sheet. “Come on, let’s get you into bed,” placated Bane. She would be having words with Jayne in the morning. If he was going to get Karl drunk, he could rutting well keep him for the night as well. Karl used the edge of the bed and Bane to bring himself to his feet causing her to stagger and she pushed him onto the bed. He giggled and rolled onto his back. Bane untied and removed his boots dropping them to the floor noisily. Karl opened his eyes again, his conversation with Jayne still whirling around his mind. “Marry me, pixshie,” he asked, slurring heavily. Bane stopped what she was doing and lifted her head to look at him sprawled out on the bed. His eyes kept slowly opening and closing, but he was looking at her. There was no way she was getting into one of those conversations when he was unlikely to remember what he said. Hopefully he would forget by the morning. “Get to sleep, drunkard, an’ if you remember this in the morning I’ll eat my hat.” Karl frowned. “You ain’t wearin’ hat.” Bane rolled her eyes and sat on the bed. She massaged his forehead gently and he relaxed, forgetting everything else but the soothing magic munitions genius fingers. Within minutes he was snoring loudly. Bane looked at the clock, two thirty in the morning and now she was wide awake. Cheers, Karl. She went to the table and tried to do something, but her mind kept coming back to Karl’s words. He had never so much said he loved her and now he wanted to marry her? He was drunk admittedly, but that did not mean it was not on his mind. Bane did not want to go there, things were too complicated. She was going blind for one thing, and no one knew except Karl and River. Plus, their relationship had been decidedly stormy in the most recent months, mainly due to arguments about her doing too much. In frustration she slammed the scrap metal she was holding onto the desk, realising then that she was not alone. She looked over, but Karl had not even stirred, his mouth was wide open and he was drooling onto the sheet. He still looked damned good though. Bane sat on the edge of the bed and traced the outline of his moustache, watching his mouth wiggle which made her own quirk into a smile. She guessed she did love him, though she had never said it either, but she could not let him bind himself to a blind woman. It would not be fair on him. She got dressed and took the parts on the desk she was working on and left her bunk for the workshop. ~ Karl came awake and ran to the toilet as fast as his shaky legs could carry him. It was only when he washed his face after vomiting, that he realised he was in Bane’s bunk. He climbed out of Bane’s quarters and into his own, before making his way to the shower, not remembering what time he had left Jayne’s. Jayne had told him last night that Simon had confirmed that Esper was four months pregnant and they were both overjoyed. Which was why, Karl remembered, they had kept drinking and toasting. He recalled how jealous he had felt about the news, and what Jayne had now, never realising until last night that he wanted the same things too, eventually. “Oh crap,” he said out loud, as the rest of the night’s memories came back to him. He had fallen down the ladder to Bane’s bunk and then asked her to marry him. Drunk. “Stupid son of a whore,” he said to himself. “Huh?” said Kaylee, coming into the bathroom, not having one fitted in their house yet. “Nothin’,” replied Karl, walking out dripping in a towel and back to his bunk. He changed and then went down to the cargo bay. Everyone was looking really smart and he remembered it was the Landing Day celebrations. “There you are,” said Zoe. “We’re just about to leave for Hannover. Come on.” “Where’s Bane?” he asked. “She’s out at the München gate wiring. She left a note in the galley. Says she’ll join us in Hannover later.” “She’s out there on her own?” Karl said, frowning. Zoe was in the passenger seat of the larger mule holding her wriggling son. Ishmael was squeezed between her and Mal, who was driving. “Yes,” Mal put in. “Now are you coming with us, or takin’ a horse?” Karl shoved his hands in his pockets and looked at them all rammed in the mule like sardines. “Horse.” Mal did not try and persuade him further, and the mule left the cargo bay for Hannover. Karl walked down the ramp behind their wake and then wandered over to Jayne’s. With no modern conveniences yet installed, Esper was walking towards him carrying a basket of washing to do on Serenity. “Hey, Karl,” she said cheerily. “You’ve not gone with the others – too much to drink last night as well, eh?” He nodded and Esper laughed. “Jayne’s worse,” she continued. “He ain’t even standin’ yet. I reckon we’ll be giving the celebrations a miss today. Are you goin’?” “I was workin’ my way to it, but I wanted to find Bane first.” Esper’s light mood had made him feel a little better. “She’s apparently out by the West gate,” said Esper helpfully. “So I’ve been told. How long’s she bin out there?” “Well I heard a mule at dawn, so I guess that was her.” “She’s been out in the sun for over five hours?” Esper looked at him strangely – Bane was not a child and could look after herself. Jayne had not mentioned that they were having problems, but since they had returned from their last job, Karl had seemed even more protective. “I presume so. Don’t worry, I think she’s got a hat.” Karl was already running off to the makeshift stable. “That’s not what I’m worried about,” he said, when he was out of earshot. ~ By the time they got to Hannover, Mal was beginning to wish he had taken the shuttle, as they were all coughing from the dust intake, as well as being covered in the stuff. There were banners and flowers adorning every street and house in celebration of the time, some hundred or so years ago, when they had first landed. As they all piled out, Hans came up and took his son out of Zoe’s arms, throwing him up high in the air as he screamed in response. Inara brushed herself down, giving Mal an annoyed glare, as her dress was ruined. She managed to grab Ishmael by the collar before he ran off to find his friends, and brush him down too. “No shovelling shit, young man,” she said firmly. Ishmael yelped as she gave an extra warning tug to his collar. He then ran off, leaving the others to walk at a slower pace towards the music and festivities. They had barely said their greetings before the sirens sounded continuously, puncturing the air with their warning. Mal looked to River for explanation. “Not Reavers,” she said, but her face was still full of fear. Small vessels, numbering about ten came down from the sky towards them. Mal and Zoe ran back to the mule for their weapons. ~ Bane took off her hat and wiped her forehead, before taking a long drink of water. She looked at the watch she had bought with her, and realised that she better be heading back to shower and change before going to the celebrations. She had got the West gate almost connected up with a camera sensor and remote feed antenna. Her early start had also meant that she had rigged up the whole west section of fencing with a trip alarm. Anyone cutting it would be detected back through the same remote system. It was installed to look just like cattle fencing, so it would also work if the cattle themselves broke the fencing. She rubbed her one good eye distractedly, so many things going through her head, that she did not take notice of the usual warning signs of her blackouts. She turned as she heard a noise and saw someone on horseback cantering towards her. She walked back to the mule, straining to see who it was and wanting to be close to her gun just in case, although they were coming from the direction of Serenity. It was Karl, she finally saw as he was almost on her. She had never seen him on horseback before and was kind of impressed at the figure he cut. Bane hoped he was just coming to escort her to the celebration, his words last night hopefully forever lodged in his subconscious – though she knew they could surface again quite easily. “What the hell are you doing out here on your own?” he shouted, as soon as he knew he could be heard. Bane waited for him to get closer. “Get out the wrong side of the bed, did we?” she countered lightly. Karl was in no mood for Bane’s levity. He jumped down off the horse, tied it to the mule and grabbed her roughly by the shoulders. “Ye soo, Bane! You can’t be going off on your own in your condition.” It was Bane’s turn to get angry. She ripped herself out of his grip and pushed him away. “You’re not my babysitter, an’ I still have a job to do.” Gorram the rutting stubborn woman, thought Karl. “And what happens if you have a blackout here?” he shouted. Bane walked to one of the mule’s compartments and wrenched it open. Inside was food, drink and a com for emergencies. It was Bane’s turn to shout. “I’m not completely stupid, you know Karl. If I got one I was gonna wait it out or call for help. I did survive in this ‘verse a bit before you came along.” “Some survival,” he said darkly. Bane slammed the compartment shut and got on the mule. The engine noise frightened the horse and Karl had to take hold of its rein to hold him steady. “Where are you going?” “To do the north gate – suddenly I’m not in the mood to go dancin’.” “Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze!” he swore, knowing full well that she never passed up having a dance. “I can’t believe how stubborn you are.” He mounted the horse. “Fine, go and fix your ruttin’ gate.” He reined the horse around and started riding back towards Serenity. Gorram the man, thought Bane, she could not just sit in a corner and wait to become blind. She drove away parallel to the fence, heading towards the north gate which was about five miles away. She then heard the loud noise of a ship and looked up, blinking. It was about six times the size of Serenity and what’s more, with mounting fear and horror, she recognised it. Failing sight or no, she could never forget that ship. “Tianna, gu zao de.” If it had come to Deutschland, then it had come to harvest for slaves and was headed towards Hannover. Bane stopped the mule and got out the wire cutters. It would take too long to drive to the north gate, better to follow the ship and watch where it landed. They would have already sent out shuttles to do the human collection, that was the way they worked – giving people the impression they were being attacked by Reavers and taking advantage of the panic. She cut the wires swiftly and drove through the gap, following the flight path of the ship. Karl had calmed himself a little, something which ambling on a horse was easy to achieve. Bane was always going to do things at a push, it was how she was built. She was still stubborn, he mused, and looked upwards at the sound of a ship. It looked large and industrial and he fleetingly wondered why it was not heading to München, when that was where the industry of Deutschland was. He followed it’s path and then noticed that Bane’s mule had stopped. On the flat ground, he could just make her out jumping back on to it and driving straight through the fence. Something was wrong. He turned the horse around again and picked up speed, knowing that he would never catch her, but at least he could follow. ~ Bane’s memories raced through her head as she struggled to keep up with the ship. It had about the sickest nickname ever conceived; Mamma or just the Mothership. A slave ship, rarely seen except by those who ran it, got purchased from it, or were imprisoned on it. The most lucrative commodity in the ‘Verse was people and this ship was the true rock bottom of the human trafficking scale. That was how Bane had gotten to be on it, only discovering afterwards that beneath rock bottom was several other layers of scum. Adelai Niska had a large interest in it and that was where he had bought her. Lined up in its cargo bay, she had dared stare him out – challenging him to make her feel worse than she already did, instead of looking at the floor, like all the other miserable excuses for living standing beside her. It was a place of death and suffering and soon some of the people of Deutschland would experience what it was like inside. Despite the chill to her very soul, Bane could not let that happen.

COMMENTS

Thursday, December 13, 2007 4:52 AM

HERMITSREST


Please please post your thoughts as (good or bad) it inspires me to keep writing.
For a quick synopsis of crew members Bane Pye and Karl Jacobsson, see my log.

Friday, December 14, 2007 1:58 PM

SLUMMING


Slavers! I hate those guys!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 7:26 AM

LADYSAGE


Great to see Jayne coming into his own and becoming a leader - that's lots of fun to read too. I love how you've written Esper, Bane and Karl like they should always have been part of the series...as if the future would have brought this about anyway!

Thanks for sharing!
:-)


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