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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
It's the end, folks. Loose ends get tied up and cut off and left dangling. Xiaofan confronts herself, and River.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 915 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: self contained
Genre: Drama-y, Romance-y, Angst-y (very little), Adventure-y
Pairing: Mostly Simon/Kaylee
Spoilers: All the way to ‘Objects in Space’. But no BDM spoilers. In this story that hasn’t happened yet. We can, however, assume that things have gone all canon-like after ‘Ariel’ and up til this point.
Summary: A continuation of ‘Anti Hero‘. Set significantly after ’Objects in Space’. Xiaofan has to make a quick exit after thugs bust into her practice. She assumes it’s just a robbery gone wrong. But is it ever that simple? It’s now her turn to call on the help of her old friend Simon Tam and the crew of Serenity.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Firefly, the crew, the ‘Verse, any of that stuff. I just like to tell stories. Joss and The Man own the stuff. All the OFC’s are mine and I reserve the right to use them any way I please. I make no money, I expect none. Peace and Blessings.
Thanks: To everyone who read ‘Anti Hero’, much thanks. Makes me all squishy inside. And to those reading this who continue to read, yes, more squishiness.
Distribution: Any where, just let me know so’s I can do a little dance.
Feedback: Please and Thank You. Read and review at your leisure.
They were in the dark, literally. They were ‘standing’ in the occluded part of Xiaofan’s memory. It was dark.
River stood to one side, while Xiaofan paced. It was part of the process. Xiaofan’s, anyway, River was standing there patiently, as if she could take it or leave it.
‘I’ve had enough!’ Xiaofan thought, and then said, “We’re going to start from my comfort zone. The scientific method is a good enough place to begin.”
“Yeah?” River said, uncertain.
“It’s one of the more useful things I learned in med acad. Well, it’s the basis of the edu-” She shook her head, “Never mind, Step one, use your experience. Of which I have very little.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” River said, and the view changed. They were in a stark, white room, the only furnishing a pedestal with a book on it.
“Did you do that?” Xiaofan asked, as they walked towards it.
“We did it. Now I’m guessing that,” she motioned to the pedestal, “is your book knowledge.”
“This is your brain.”
“Okay, well, how do I…” She thought and the pages of the book flipped. “I remember this… Case studies… Yes…” She was lost in thought for the next several minutes, wherein River entertained herself by doing several somersaults and standing on her hands.
River glanced inquisitively from her position on the floor, this time in the midst of a complicated yoga pose.
“River, will you please access the memory of… Oh, damn! Wait,” she stood stock still and then paced. “Almost there… River, we need to access the neural pathways that relate to my long-term memory.”
The sense of vertigo overtook them and they were in a room with a computer port.
“I am seriously literal.”
Xiaofan sighed, “Long term memory storage? Here we are in room with a computer to access my memories.”
“You need to read more fiction. I suggest you start with romance novels, far less fact based.”
“I’ll take that into consideration.”
“So, what now?”
“Sit at the terminal, access the memories.”
“So a new approach?”
Xiaofan sat at the terminal and started going through the files. River sat, tensely, in a corner as far away from the other woman as she could get.
“Xiaofan, could you please make this room bigger?”
“More room for you to run away.”
‘I’m getting close.’
She tracked her memories in a linear fashion. She skipped quickly over childhood, between years, prep school and med acad on Osiris. She moved fairly quickly to the surgical rotation of her internship.
River paced, running her fingers through her hair, whispering to herself.
Day after day, work and more work, surgery and more… There was a face, just a flash, but-
“Hello,” Xiaofan said, concentrating hard. “I don’t recall you.”
Suddenly the terminal disappeared and Xiaofan found herself on the floor, River advancing on her.
“I’m getting close, right?”
Soon, she was on her back, River crouched over her, being shaken until her teeth rattled.
Xiaofan focused her mind and forced her energy against River. The waif flew away and Xiaofan was able to stand. In a second, however, River was back on her, landing blows the doctor had a hard time dodging.
“No!” Xiaofan screamed, and quickly there was stillness in her mind. “This is my brain, and there is no way in rutting hell that I’m going to beat myself up without a fight.”
River was on the floor, bound by invisible chains. It didn't last, a moment later she was back up, poised for attack.
'Forget sitting at the terminal, I’m going to have to do this on the fly.'
She took a chance, called up the computer again and dove head first into the terminal screen, River close behind. They raced through her memories. Days and nights passed in a whirlwind, in the background the routine of Xiaofan’s daily life from some years ago.
As they moved, River became increasingly enraged, speeding up. Intellectually Xiaofan knew it was not actually River, but the mental blocks put in place to keep her from discovering the truth. It made the young woman no less lethal, so she ducked into rooms, checking dates, remembering where she was, trying desperately to avoid River.
“Langley?” she closed in on herself with a colleague, walking down a hall to an unmarked room.
River pounced and they slid the rest of the way down the hall into the room.
As River pummeled her, the memory raced back. The problem lay in whether she would live long enough to see the answer.
Langley was an imbecile. A well connected, well heeled imbecile.
He was contracted by the Blue Sun Corporation to modify some rather virulent strains of several diseases. The standing forms were bad enough, but with meds, a strong person could survive them. Langley was snipping here and there in the DNA to combine several strains and make onset a matter of minutes rather than days, and death a certainty. Which was all there in his files, which he stupidly left open to view.
Well, not exactly open, but his pass codes weren’t hard to guess.
Blue Sun wanted these new strains, for ‘research purposes’. That was as transparent a lie as Xiaofan had witnessed. Hello, there were test dates and planets noted. Which would bear out as dates that terrible illnesses tore through communities and whole worlds.
Langley had been chosen for a very specific reason. As careless as he could be, his family was so entwined in Blue Sun, he couldn’t come forward with out exposing his entire family and probably getting himself and many others killed.
Langley was a moron, but when he found out Xiaofan knew, he sicced Blue Sun on her. She was picked up and interrogated. She found out that the conspiracy was deeper than she knew. Langley was acting on directions from the hospital’s board of governors, who were in turn the puppets of Blue Sun.
She was going to be put to death, but first they wanted to try a new form of memory modification that they had begun and were now close to perfecting. After being ’wiped’ she was taken under the wing of a young nurse, who most likely had no business being there. Her terror had brought out the young woman's sweet, sympathetic nature. Xiaofan was fairly sure that woman was dead, after assisting her to escape from the facility.
At the time, she couldn’t remember why she was running, but she ran. She knew she couldn’t go back to Osiris, so she built a life on Persephone, dealing with criminal patients, and occasionally trafficking in black market drugs.
River struck her one last time. Xiaofan lay in a pool of blood, nearly unconscious in her own mind. The last block was gone now, the memory was revealed, River was no longer compelled by the inhibitors of Xiaofan’s memory to cause her harm.
But it was too late. The damage was done. River repaired as much as she could, which was considerable. But still, there was a raw and bloody wound in Xiaofan’s psyche.
“I’m so sorry…” River said and faded from the other woman’s mind.
The young psychic came to with a start. Simon checked her out, but when Xiaofan didn’t move, he began asking questions.
“I don’t know, Simon. It’s up to her now.”
“But you went in there with her-”
“And I didn’t want to, I knew something could happen. I knew the blocks in her mind would choose an avatar. I knew it might be me. There was a certain statistical probability that Xiaofan would fail anyway and die. She has to heal on her own. Like me,” she said pointedly and left the shuttle.
Simon went back to Xiaofan and continued to monitor her vitals. He sat a silent vigil, holding his old friend’s hand.
It had been three months and Xiaofan was still feeling the effects of her mind battle with what she was referrring to as 'Avatar River'. Well, mind rout, that River kicked her ass, hands down.
She was occasionally disoriented with an altered level of consciousness, but she and Simon had found a good combination of drugs to keep it under control. There was that and the rare seizure, but otherwise, she was healing well.
She was living on Serenity now. And that was no guarantee of safety, but the ship kept moving, and at the moment there didn’t seem to be any attack vessels on their tail.
One of the big problems was what to do with the secret she'd uncovered. Blue Sun hadn’t tried to wipe her mind to cover it up, they done it to try out a new toy. She had been an experiment, and by a very lucky twist of fate, she got away. She’d been living on borrowed time since then, still was.
She’d asked the captain to drop her off somewhere, but he’d declined. Said something about anyone looking for her would probably start with Serenity anyway… Which was a convoluted bit of logic at best. But Xiaofan decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
She found ways to be helpful. She knew who certain fences for certain items were, she just did not divulge her presence. She gave the crew information and they used it. But it paid her way.
This week, they were out on a Rim world, far from ‘civilization’. She took a few deep breaths and left the bay. It was the first time in three months she’d been off the ship on her own. She was blatantly defying… well, everyone. But she wanted to be alone. Truly alone in the way you cannot be with seven other people in one enclosed place.
She also wanted to get a few things for herself and the crew, to thank them for taking care of her. It would be meager at best, but she wanted to try.
She turned a corner about one hundred yards from the ship and was forced into an alley, the muzzle of a weapon in her back.
‘Of course,’ she thought, 'the second I leave.'
“Keep going,” her assailant said, pushing her until she was at the end of the darkest, loneliest alley she'd ever had the misfortune of coming across.
She stood with her back to a wall, looking on the prettiest man she’d ever seen. Too bad he was about to kill her.
'Brazen hadn't hurt before, why not try it.'
“Real quick, before you shoot. Is this random? Or did someone send you after me?”
The man rolled his eyes and motioned Xiaofan to her knees.
“I mean, because, if you are just going to kill me for no reason, you picked a hell of a time.”
The pretty man finally spoke.
“I was hired by Blue Sun.”
Her mouth fell open.
“And you didn’t wait for me to get back to the ship so you could kill us all?”
“It’s not my thing, that was just the tall man and his pet monster, Two. They liked to kill, and... other things… I like to get paid, with out wasting it on mercs and ships and other bollocks.”
He took a deep breath, “I normally don’t conversate with my mark, but as I’m about to paint the wall gray matter pink, I think I might.”
“You were at the end of a very long list. They got to you when they could. I got a wave about a week and a half ago, that‘s how long it took me to track you down.”
“You’re not going to torture me to break down any mental blocks I might have remaining?”
He shook his head.
“I just get paid to kill you. I don’t know anything about any mental block. But the tall man liked to… experiment. So, he might have done it for fun.”
Xiaofan looked relieved and panicked at the same time.
“Now, lady, I’m going to do my job.”
From the mouth of the alley, Jayne saw the two conversing. He ran when he saw the killer draw down on her.
A shot rang out, a body slumped, Jayne swore.
“How’m I gonna explain this ta Mal?”
TBC....in part 3
A/N: Thanks everybody who reads and reviews. And specifically to those who rrsponded to my blog about feeling obstructed. I hope I worked it out.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 3:55 PM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:34 PM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:40 PM
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