Spiritual - part one
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NEW FIC – one reg OC, a shake, cheese and easy on the sauce.


you definitely don't NEED to have read any of my other fics - but i thought backstory might add a layer or two - so you can find some here :

part one

The two men sat on a bench at the edge of a park and watched the fluorescent light dance from the wide white wings of the swans up and across the opaque plastic of the roofing dome. There was a family standing by the edge of the demarked area – a red line – they were throwing breadcrumbs into the swan’s welcoming beaks. A child hooted with hysterical delight as one of the swans reared up on its legs and fanned out the long wings – flashing the black undercoated feathers. “It’s a dangerous game”, remarked one of the men. The other man gave a twitch of the mouth in reply. “Subtle – perhaps, but dangerous? I hardly think so.” The first man took a rolled sandwich and spread it on his lap, which he had carefully covered with a neat silk handkerchief. He sniffed – yes, that was good cheese, his wife was right. He blinked across at the other man. “Then why all this – cloak and dagger.” The other man smiled slowly as he stared at the swans. “Oh, one can’t be too careful – if you are planting a trail, it’s always best not to leave your footprints next to it.” He waved as the swan-feeding child caught his eye. “So we meet like this instead. Isn’t it rather” - “Old School?” “Fun – I was going to say. But – old school… hmm… perhaps. I always loved history – I like to think this is a classic approach.” He nodded at the child once more. The cheese man sighed and bit into his sandwich. “HRRmmph ahhh ess ful Nmeport?” he murmured, his mouth full. The other shook his head in distaste. “If I understand you correctly, the answer is yes – the first test was successful and no, there is no report.” He eyed the alarming pile of cheese fragments and bread that his associate was beginning to create – a small avalanche from knee to ground it was drawing the swan’s attention. “No traces, after all”, he said. “Remember?”


First drop of the new season – Always was a precious thing – Down by Findings water Where I went to him

Dear Diary – an I hope you don’t think me but a vain and silly child for confiding in you these lines of song – song I heard first years ago – and always meant so much to me since I came here Diary – as you know. Funny since it weren’t like I got borned hereabouts – but it do seem my life, a new life, began here – and I’m grateful Diary believe me – don’t be mistaking me – I know I may be lonely, a little lonely and folks say as how I don’t rightly fit, don’t dwell amongst them contented like I should, but I am a good girl and am grateful for this second life – a home. It aint nuthin but natural if I can’t appreciate it ‘in totality’ as Dr Brink would say. Him and his telescope! I wonder what he watches through that old thing – I don’t rightly feel it to be just the stars and Marie said one time she thought he spied on us girls. He must be lonely too maybe. I remember when I was swimming once and I did see the sun glint off that old scope of his – bright gold between the trees. Well, I don’t mind. Does they make me a bad person?


Forgetting that he was supposed to be in a bad mood, Captain Malcolm Reynolds was gazing with interest at the staggering form of Shepherd Solomon Face. Approaching down the narrow Serenity walkway – Mal had thought for an amusing moment that the Preacher might be drunk. Actually, the truth of things, as so often, was funnier yet. Admiring the bruise on the side of the man’s chin, and his scuffed looking forehead – Mal knew the Shepherd had been sparring again. Zoe was on the flight deck. Jayne was in the engine room with Kaylee, so that just left… Face shook his head. “Don’t seem right.” River. Mal smiled at that. “How’s that again – you mean whaling on a girl or getting beat up by one?” The Shepherd was still looking at a loss. “Does she really have to…?” As often, Mal’s smile went out like a light. “She’s a weapon – I need my weapons sharp… not that she don’t know her own mind, at least sometimes – well, ok, on occasion at least. And if she aint minded to… you’re not liable to make her.” The Captain seemed to pull his thoughts back from someplace far off, he grinned again at Solomon. “Crotchety aint her best feature Shepherd. My advice? Stay on her sunny side – and, er, duck every once in a while.” “Yeah…” Face nodded ruefully, “I kinda figured that last part out.” Mal was intrigued – getting more than a few words from the Shepherd could sometimes be a chore – and other times like now, he could run on some. Reynolds himself liked to grab the threads of a conversation and see what kinda coat it led to. “Not quick enough though right?” He indicated the redness on the side of the Shepherd’s jaw. Face rubbed his fingers against the tender area. “Hmm… Special training, you said… What sort of special training did she get exactly?” Then again, Mal was thinking – seemed like every talk on River ended the same, the Captain folded his arms. “Kind we don’t like to talk too much about. Not these days anyway.”

The Shepherd noted Reynold’s posture but decided to ignore it – been doing that on and off since we met , Mal was minded, remembering the carry on in the Seleni cells where the two men had first been introduced. Face’s eye had been twinkling and mischievous then – but they were clouded and thoughtful now. The Serenity effect no doubt – well, aint like we didn’t warn the man . The Shepherd was regarding his fingers tips – as if they carried the mark of his bruised jaw on them. “I mean”, he was saying, “I know you said she’s a… a reader, right - but she’s fights this nasty barehanded? I don’t think she got that from a book!” No disagreement there, it was Reynolds turn to nod. “Weren’t just that disconcerting noggin a hers, the Alliance messed with – they did a bang up job all round.” “Huh.” Mal decided it was time to press a point. “Anyway preacher – you’re a fine one to talk – why’s every Shepherd gotta be so combat minded? What happened to turning the other cheek?” To Mal’s surprise Face laughed out loud. “I can do that – I just do it quick is all – quick enough and some fool ends up on the floor – that’s the beauty of Wu-Shu.” Well now! Mal looked at the floor - “And I really put the two of you in a room together?” The Shepherd had half turned back towards the rec’ room. River’s voice could be heard floating out from there but the words were difficult to catch, the Shepherd had been up close though and he turned back to Mal with his eyebrows raised. “Got quite a tongue on her too…” Ah. “Yeah…” said Reynolds slowly, “I don’t know where she picked that up from exactly…” At that moment Serenity bucked – flinging both men against the iron of the inner hull, there was a groaning of metal as the shaking ship made efforts to right itself – then another stomach tossing lurch – this time throwing the men onto the floor. “Jayne! Kaylee!” roared Mal – getting to his feet angrily “Wuh de Mah Ta ma duh!!! Go tsao de -” his voice trailed off as he dashed toward the engine room. Face sighed and headed for his room.


In comparison, the flight deck was serene. Calmly piloting and ignoring the protesting throes of the ship, Zoe was checking the scope equipment and various tracking sensors. Blank. A good thing. Always. Captain might like a distraction, often hid his delight poorly at whatever – whoever – would suddenly flash up in Serenity’s path, Zoe was different, she preferred a fair sail and no surprises. Weren’t like it was dull in the calm times – quite apart from the constant scrapping of the crew and the novelty of a new Shepherd – there was the straight forward joy of tracking through the starry wastes.

This was a side of her late husband that Zoe had never really got to before – just left him to it – flying had been his thing, soldiering had been hers. Weren’t indifference – just made sense to keep what was personal… well, personal. They had loved each other for the passion they shared – didn’t have to be for the same things… but now, maybe – Zoe wished she could’ve understood earlier – it WAS a joy. Flying. And she was good at it... might not be showy like the Tam girl but she was a better PILOT. Captain knew it too.

So, - even a straightforward job like this was good. Didn’t need no additional excitement – didn’t much need the see sawing power fluctuations from the engine room either though. Satisfied she clicked the ‘magic switches’ and reached for the comm.

“You finished Jayne? Or you gonna give Serenity hiccups next?”

The reply came from Mal – his irritation obvious even through the comm. static and flattening. “My ship don’t get hiccups Zoe. My ship don’t get anything ‘cept where she’s going OK?”

In the engine room Kaylee was pulling back her goggles and waving an unlit arc-welding torch. “Stop blaming Jayne”, her voice was heat husky from the work. “These power converters been needing a real haul for an age or more – like I told you Cap’n.”

Jayne was puffing himself up – glad of Kaylee’s support. Gorram snipes thought Mal – sticking together when the big bad Captain comes a calling. “Girl’s right Mal – aint my doing – this pile of go-se’s kicking real hard all on its own.” “But that’s your job – less I’m mistaken as to the meaning of the word CREW. You keep my ship in the air – and you keep her from kicking, or am I wrong?” “Hey now, don’t be taking it out on us” – Kaylee began but Mal cut her off with a low blow. “And I don’t wanna be suspecting”, he prodded towards the still smoking converters, “that you’re taking it out on me just cuz your Doctor boyfriend aint here.” Kaylee’s mouth clamped shut – her lips whitened. Jayne shook his head. “She aint – I mean – he aint… is he?” The Captain never could take looking at Kaylee when she was upset – there weren’t many as could. “It was his call Kaylee,” he said, trying to soften himself now, “He owed me directions but that’s all…” Kaylee’s voice was small, she wasn’t looking at Mal. “You musta said…” “Not a thing Kaylee. Doc’ just didn’t think this was important enough – I want my money, that’s my business, not his. The man had a point.” Kaylee still couldn’t look at Reynolds. Slowly she pulled her goggles back on – and with a livid hiss re-lit the torch. Reynolds sighed, turned on his heel and ducked away. Jayne watched him go – then turned back to Kaylee. “Doc’ must really love TV huh.”


Anyhow Diary I am rambling on some here – so I’ll get back to the point – which we started with – which was that song.

Well, today I was there – down by Findings water and I did spy the first Drop of the season, looked a little shivered in that tiny white bonnet, tiny flower just peeping through the white frost under the white of the sky – I could’ve missed it easy. I think I was, y’know, guided maybe. Like the Spiritual folk – one of them’s a young girl I’m told.

They do say as how the Spirits like a young girl – and I aint too old yet – and there are some as have marked me out for fey. Maybe they’re right – we’ll find out soon enough I’m guessing. Tomorrow when the Spiritual folk arrive. Then we’ll see – and then I’ll know if there’s peace for my boy. Finally. I’ll know. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Dear Diary help me make the hours move faster till tomorrow comes – and the Spiritual folk - and the Star-ship.

………………………………….. end of pt one. .................

next chapter: Mal takes it to the stage - Jayne gets a shock...


thanks are due to the various board posters who helped inspire this tale:)

all feedback appreciated!


Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:31 PM




What the frack happened to Simon? Why'd he leave?

Must. Know. Why.

Friday, January 25, 2008 8:55 AM


Nice start. When are people going to learn you don't fight a reader. She knows what puch your going to throw.


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