BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

HERMITSREST

Killing Time
Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Operative gets an assignment that she’s not particularly fond of because it brings her into contact with her past. A ficlet to follow Killing Spree. Feedback would be much appreciated.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1501    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

“Come on, Jim. We’ve only got another five minutes before the watch changes over. Ma-Shong!” Lon called into the cell, starting to panic. The man took longer each time to get his kicks and pretty soon they wouldn’t have time at all. Well, he would have plenty of time – he just liked a nice willing bit of jailbait who was willing to service him for a few credits or some smokes. Jim had rougher tastes and usually picked the women in solitary, cuz it was where no one could hear them screaming. He was getting worse but that was none of his matter, he wasn’t the man’s keeper. “Jim!” he said louder. Another minute and he finally appeared zipping up his pants hurriedly, knuckles still bloody. “Let’s go.” They ran along the corridors, turned into each next one until they reached the security station. “Jesus, Lon! You guys are cuttin’ it close. Get lost quick – the new shift’s due any second.” “Thanks, Asi. See you next month?” “I’ll let you know.” “You still on for pool on the next shore leave?” “You bet,” Asi replied genially, watching them go. Fortunately the next shift was a few minutes late. Asi and John did the usual chit chat and then made their escape. John unbuttoned his tunic as they walked outside. “Reckon there’ll be another clean-up in solitary?” “Yeh. I don’t mind Lacey, but that’s Dedham’s gonna get us all noticed.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Two months later: The message was just coded this time with no accompanying wave. 24245 – Proceed to Penal Moon. Review security.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Well, if it isn’t the Ice Queen…” “Huh?” said Lacey. Dedham nodded in the direction of the door and Lacey turned around, mouth still full of his breakfast. “Penney,” he answered before Lacey had made eye contact. Abigail saw the two men without difficulty, acknowledging them with a feint nod that gave them nothing. If she was disconcerted at seeing a couple of familiar faces then it didn’t show. Lacey turned back and continued the conversation they were having before she walked in. “This is still a crap job, even with the perks. All we do is look at screens all day - can’t get anywhere near the inmates.” “Yeh, but the perks…,” argued Dedham. Lon looked at his friend. “Not if you keep beating the shit out of them. Asi’s told me that he doesn’t want you coming anymore. The last one’s still hooked up to an IV.” “A whore’s a whore. Who gives a chiang-bao hoe-tze duh crap? Long as he’s paid well, neither should he.” Dedham stood up, picking up his tray. He limped ungainly over to where they were disposed off, Lacey following behind. He saw the other man wince as he turned back around. “Leg still bothering you?” “Some,” Dedham said as an understatement. “I feel better knowing that one day I might find the danxiaogui zhazi who did this to me.” The Deutschlanders had patched him up poorly, leaving him with an unsightly bend in the middle of his forearm and a permanently painful limp. That’s Rim doctoring for you, he couldn’t expect more. Unfortunately, by the time he did get to a decent doctor, the problems were irreversible. “That what you think about when you’re with those women? Revenge?” Lon continued as they left the canteen, heading for their posts. “Yeh, well. Me, that Neanderthal hun dan and his Pye bitch have a date with destiny. I plan on re-making her acquaintance first chance I get.” “Are you sure that’s wise?” “Nothing to do with wise, Lacey. It’s just something I have to do. Rim scum don’t get the better of me, especially not that po fu. If I can’t get her, then I’ll settle for another nice young family relation of hers.” Dedham thought about the big blond man, the one who’d shot him in the leg and broke his arm without even breaking a sweat. He’d seen him before, along time ago, when he’d arrested Bane on board a Firefly vessel. Years had gone by and he’d still not remembered the name of it though. Likely the two of them were still aboard flying round the Black. He had a way of finding out, and the first on that list was Uri Kostova. “Planning your list?” Lon added perceptively. Dedham laughed and slapped him on the back. “We should get hitched – you’re starting to know all my moves.” Lon made a disgusted sound. “I’d rather be the dessert at a Reaver tea party.”
~
“We review the tapes from here,” the Warden pointed, and once again Abigail saw Dedham and Lacey sitting in front of the screens, looking bored. If there were security issues with the Annexe, then these two were likely either the cause, or they knew about it. She viewed the two of them with contempt, bile almost rising in her mouth. She could keep her secrets because she knew she was protected. Dedham and Lacey were cannon fodder. As soon as the day came when they were no longer needed, they would be flushed away with the rest of the effluent. “Hey, Colonel,” said Dedham genially. He hadn’t really known her, except from Lacey’s stories but he did like to see people uncomfortable. Unfortunately the Ice Queen wasn’t playing ball and barely gave them a glance. “Yes,” continued the Warden. “This is Lacey and Dedham,” he introduced without joy. In fact with the same amount of contempt in his voice that she had in her head. “Thank you, Warden. I’m sure I’ll be fine.” “Right, well. I’ll leave you to it.” He left shortly afterwards and Abigail turned to the two men. “How are you enjoying it here?” she addressed Lacey, rather than Dedham. The man was as easy to turn as milk, but at least he didn’t have the same vindictive nature as Dedham. “Not much to do. You got any work going with you?” “Sorry. I work alone.” “So, why are you here? Are you the new boss?” “I’m just reviewing security. To make sure there’s nothing to jeopardise the Annexe.” Both men looked back at her blankly. They really had no idea of what they were doing inside, having only been given the task of monitoring the feeds in the entrance and exits.
~
The Annexe was a separate part of the Penal Moon’s main facilities and completely sealed off. Separate guards The staff at the Annexe weren’t supposed to come into contact with the staff of any other parts of the prison. It took a few weeks, but the Operative found out that Lacey and Asi were old friends who meet up during shore leave, exchange money and shift details, arranging visits to the women’s section of the main prison. With this information she reviewed the tapes, in particular Dedham’s activities. In any other circumstances, he would make the perfect Operative, but for the fact that he was completely self-centered and had certain tastes that would get him noticed. He was a high security risk to the facility and Lacey was nothing more than his pet monkey. She called them to the office that she’d been hurriedly given on her arrival. Both men stood in front of her looking unrepentant. “I’m reassigning you both. You leave tomorrow. You’ll report to Foley in Acquisitions on Osiris in three days.” “Hell, yeh,” cheered Dedham. Abigail gave him a cold glance. “She died you know – that last one you were with.” Dedham shrugged without remorse. “Was just jailbait. I did the prison a favour. Now they’ve another cell they can use.” “Carry on drawing attention to yourself and you’ll be the dead one. Blue Sun can’t use people who shine spotlights on their other dealings.” She stood up and moved to stand in front of him. “Let’s hope Foley can keep you out of trouble.” “What if I decide to resign?” he tested belligerently. Abigail looked away to the door, drawing their attention to the same spot. When she turned back Dedham felt the point of a knife under his chin. The sweat formed on his back in an instant as met her cold dead eyes. “There’s only one way out now, James. You know that. Both of you do. Screw up again or get yourself noticed and you’ll be flushed. And believe me, it won’t be pretty.” Penney flicked Flamenca across the base of his chin, making a deep but precise cut. Dedham flinched, barely feeling it, but the aftermath of stinging was getting stronger. “Shit!” he gasped, pulling his hand away and finding it drenched in his blood. Penney went and opened the door so they could leave. In case their had been any exchange of information, Asi and his shift partner had already been disposed of during their shore leave. The mission was complete. There was just one more thing left to do before she left.
~
Abigail swiped her card to open the cell. Inside was a man who looked twenty years older than her. An idiot savant - genius - and the reason this was all started up. He was her brother, Nigel. She viewed him drooling onto his arm, motionless, his head a patchwork of shaved and growing hair and surgical scars, and felt the bile rise in her throat. She turned around to walk back out, deciding that it had been a bad idea to come in the first place. Help me! came the plaintive voice in her head. Abigail turned back, viewing her brother from the distance, not wishing to get any closer. He remained still, eyes following, the drool still flowing its same path. He wasn’t her problem. Sometimes she wondered why her parents didn’t just have him put down instead of just endlessly drilling into his brain. Because I’m the beginning and the end the response came in her head. Abigail didn’t show herself to be disconcerted at her brother’s voice sounding in her mind. He just didn’t concern her, especially since she hadn’t laid eyes on him in more than fifteen years. The door gave a reassuring thud as she shut it behind herself and walked away. Beware the Fortunate One, mei mei, he brings your death. May you rot in the Seventh Hell…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
24245 – Mission complete. Reassignment and disposal initiated where necessary.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Author’s Note: For back story on Abigail Penney, read Shan Yu! I bite my thumb at you & Reavers Return from series 1 of my stories. Not sure how well these ficlets are going down, so more detailed comments would really help me as I'm penning the next one as we speak. Pretty please :)

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