Part and Parcel (Chapter Five)
Monday, May 26, 2008

Things clarify, Bo opens up, A hardy breakfast


Bo meandered around the ship, his booted feet actually silent on the metal paneling. He watched River through the door as she flew the ship with as much grace as she moved with. He smiled and moved on, his mind venturing to parts of the ship his body couldn't reach. His new gun rested in the holster at his chest comfortably. He grinned as he remembered Jayne's face when he won it from him in that game of cards. He could still feel Jayne's dismay over losing one of his favorite hand guns. A thought that wasn't his own entered his mind. "Can I trust him?" Mal's voice echoed in his head. Bo felt Mal's instincts twist and turn with thoughts fighting feelings. His own heart twisted as he thought that his oldest friend couldn't trust him. It was more painful than almost anything he had felt before. He felt the confusion and the pain. Bo withdrew his mind and went back to the cargo area. He was alone here, though he could feel River's mind wandering the ship just as his had. A smile crossed his lips for a moment as he marveled at the young girl and how she continued to find her abilities. His own reading skill was more manufactured than anything. Pain shot through his mind as he tried to delve into a memory that he wasn't supposed to have. A needle flashed in his memory, a reflection on the scalpel cutting into him flashed brightly. Blue eyes stared at him as the memory whisped away. He opened his eyes and he was on the floor. He felt River's mind brush his as he got up. He let her feel a calm resonate from him as he wiped the sweat from his brow. He moved to stand under the catwalk and grabbed the handles there. He wrapped his hands tightly around them and lifted himself from the ground. He cranked his legs up to his chest then lowered them down again. He heard a hatch hiss open and felt more than heard the Companion enter. She was graceful and so imperfect it was enticing. Her smile was flawed ever so slightly. Her movement just graceful enough to draw your eyes along her body, which was sculpted to be seductive and sumptuous. Bo watched her as she moved, he saw the tide swaying with her hips, and he saw a world of possibilities reflected in her eyes. He'd only seen that one other place in his life. Bright green eyes flashed through his mind as he rose his knees to his chest again. She smiled at him from the stairs. "You don't grunt like Jayne does when he works out." Inara said with a slight laugh. Her gold gown rippled around her ankles as she moved down the stairs. "He's got a few pounds on me, not to mention a few years." Bo laughed as he let his knees rise and fall again and again. "I guess thats true. Mal said you were young when you entered the war with him." Inara said, prying without doing so. "Young is an understatemant." He said with a sarcastic laugh, " I was drafted at sixteen. Nothing but a boy who knew about guns and horses.-" he took a breath, then began doing pull ups-" They drafted me after Mal joined. Turns out they did their homework on brothers and next of- huff- kin. Found out Mal and I were as close to related as could get, and that I had no record of my parents or of my birth. So I became part of the Independants. Mal was my sargeant, as well as Zoe's.-huff- We were at a close rim planet when we got sepparated. We were taking heavy fire when a tank came in from behind us. Mal and Zoe left when I told them they were coming. The tank rolled in on a grenade the Alliance troops had dropped when they turned tail. It exploded and took half the complex down on us. I thought Zoe -huff- and Mal were still inside. I kept searching for them, then-" he stopped and stared into her dark brown eyes. She had made him open up in less time than it took someone talk about the weather. He marveled at the companion ability to make people give their inner most thoughts to them. Bo grunted as he dropped to the floor. He reached down and grabbed the weight bench. He bent his knee slowly lowering his body to the bench and heard his tendons stretch as much as felt them. He switched his legs and lowered himself again. He felt Inara's eyes on him as he flexed his arms and back. He could hear her thoughts on how he was different from Jayne, how his muscles were lean and taught over his body. He stood and moved past her. "Can I treat you to breakfast?" He asked with a genuine smile. "I'd enjoy that." She answered and followed him to the dining area. X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

Mal woke to the smell of fried potatoes. His mouth watered at the smell. He looked up at the open hatch and stood from his bed. He pulled a shirt from his drawer and strapped his suspenders over it. His boots thudded up the ladder as he followed the delicious smell. He found himself in the dining area, staring at a full table of food. There were meats and potatoes as well as vegetables and fruits. His mouth flooded as the rest of the crew was lured in by the enticing aroma. "Mornin' all. I was hopin this'd wake ya. Thought I'd do you all a favor and make you a real home breakfast, just like-" "Just like ma used to make us, back on Shadow." Mal finished for him. Bo grinned at him from the stove as he slid an egg into the metal pan. "Where'd all this delicious food come from?" Kaylee asked as she eyed the table with hunger. "Had it in those bags I brought on from my transport with me. Had those, my knife, some clothes, and a bottle of something that's worth alot out here. I hope y'all don't mind a bit of kick." Bo smiled as he looked across the counter at the crew. They all looked at him for a moment then began to fill their plates. Fried hashbrowns floated onto plates and tomatoes flew from the serving plate. Eggs were cut and served while Bo took the empty seat beside Mal. His plate filled along with the others and the only noise to be heard was that of chopsticks and cutlery on metal and ceramic plates. Bo watched them all. Mal ate, still, like he was eating in a foxhole. Zoe was the same. Inara ate with a dignity that matched her regal manner. Kaylee ate with a carefree joviality that suited her. Simon was almost as dignified as Inara. Jayne was shoveling food in his hole as though it would never fill. Bo's eyes finally fell on River. She could feel his eyes on her and looked up at him. When their eyes met he felt a jolt as something flashed. A scalpel blocked his view of the rest of the sterile room. The room smelled of blood and pain. His eyes flashed in the scalpel. Blue eyes, so blue he could only say the sky on Shadow had been bluer. His eyes were reflected in the scalpel before it was covered with crimson. He felt himself scream but couldn't hear it. Around the table, everyone's eyes jumped to Bo. He was silently staring at his food, though each one could have sworn they had heard him scream. Bo took another bite from his potatoes then excused himself from the table. He went down the stairs quickly and went into the cargo bay. Lights danced in his eyes as his world swirled. Something grappled at his mind but the visions came anyway. The blade cut deep, blood welled up from an artery. Pain flooded his head as he felt a small pair of hands grab him. Then a larger set wrapped around his arms. He watched the blade dig deeper into his flesh and felt it on his brain. His body convulsed and he wretched all over the grated floor. The man looked at him with a plan in his eyes, he cut into Bo with so much thought and precision. There was a darkness about it, a darkness about the pain, about them wiring him up. The man was getting so much pleasure from carving on Bo's head with that surgical knife. Bo screamed in pain as his mind remembered the pain it went through. "That's right Cheek. I remember what I made you, as do you. And before long, they will know too. You cannot hide it from them for long. The little one already knows. Soon so will your beloved Sargeant." a heavy voice said in his ears. "No. Not you." Bo muttered as blood dribbled from his mouth. "Get him to the infirmary!" Mal yelled from somewhere far off. Someone hauled him through the cargo bay, into the common area. He wretched again. "It's nothin', it's nothin'." Bo muttered to who had to be Jayne. "Kid, I know nothin'. It's what I get paid. An' what you got ain't nothin'." Jayne responded. Bo felt more smooth hands take hold of him. His blurred vision showed short black hair. "Simon. My bag in my room. Got med tech. Green pouch with a needle and serum. Need it now." Bo muttered to him. "You heard him Jayne. Go!" Mal yelled. Heavy boots thudded out of the door as he began to shudder again. His eyes flashed and he felt his control loosening on his conscious mind. He'd not do this again. That they were making sure of. Bo fought to hold on as he felt a piercing in his arm. His mind quit spinning, and his vision cleared. The fog lifted slowly. Mal was leaning over him. He was staring into his eyes. Bo felt uncomfortable with his brother staring so intently at him. Odd, because he had never been as such before. "Everyone out. Now." Mal said. "Mal." Inara said from the door. "No, Inara. I've got something to discuss and I think it's best discussed between myself and Bo here. So go." Everyone stepped out except River. Mal stared at her as she slowly moved out the door, looking at them both. Mal closed the door then looked to his friend. "Looks like you got some story tellin to do, little brother." Mal asked without really asking. "Not particularly interested in tellin cap'n." Bo responded. "Now I find it funny that I can call you brother but you still seem to need to call me somethin of an authority. Seems not too terribly long ago that you and I was racin through a wheat field on horses, laughin an merry as such. So what are you keeping from me little brother?" "Not a thing Mal. Got some food issues. Other than that I'm shiny." "Odd seein as how the whole rest of us ate the same thing as you. Now, we're gonna have serious trouble if you keep lyin to me, dong ma?" Mal insisted as his hand went to the pistol at his thigh. Bo had the pistol drawn and the laser point on Mal's throat before Mal's fingers brushed metal. Mal stared at the young man he used to adore and removed his hand from the gun. Bo let his eyes close and his head dropped to the pillow as the gun hit the floor. Mal grabbed the gun from the floor and left the room, sealing the door behind him. "Sanguine?" River said from behind him. "One way or another little one." Mal said without turning around. "He can't help himself. Needs you to steer him right. Been needing you for a long time now." She whispered as she looked in at Bo through the window. "I can't be sure River. He seems good one moment, then like a machine for a time. Like-..." Mal stopped. "Like me." River finished for him.


Bo laid there for a long while and thought. His head clear from the medlings for now. How long though, he couldn't know. His fingers pulsed as he looked to his missing fingerprints. They had mangled his mind and tortured his body with tests and operations. They had tried to make him like they had made few before him, like they had tried to make River. Bo was precise, he could kill quickly and cleanly, he was an assassin wired to be nearly perfect. He, however, had known human emotion and still knew it. He reached down and grabbed the knife from under his pantleg. He cut his pant leg and wrapped the fabric around his arm. He inserted the needle Mal had used on him and squeezed the rest of the blue serum into his arm. His vision swirled again and his mind went black. He slept as he waited for the mood to pass.

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X The com-link sputtered with static as the shadow on the other side spoke. The shadow on the screen reflected in his blue eyes spoke with an altered voice. "I understand there have been complications." "True enough," the man looking to the com-screen said. "Looks like our little raven found his way from his little coop." "So he's not your canary anymore? You will be implementing propper procedures of course?" the scratchy voice from the screen asked. "Of course. It's what y'all paid me for. I just needed the boy to get close to him. Now I'll get done the rest. An' nah. Canary ain't right for my little one no more. He done got tricky on me." The screen screeched and went black. The man's face was veiled in shadow as he followed the Firefly further towards Sarro, the moon where the crew's supposed job had been set to be. His small ship was equipped for long journey's such as this one. It was modeled after an Earth that Was machine called a helicopter, an Apache Helicopter to be specific. His drive mehcanisms were more advanced than most Alliance technologies. He had developed many of them himself, but his crowning achievement was aboard the ship in front of him. The boy had been an achievement that couldn't be duplicated. They had tried on multiple subjects. One had shown potential, but other minds had torn the girls brain practically to shreds. Tattered it so much that she was on border line dementia. He hadn't liked that. He felt a weapon should be functional one hundred percent. His hand typed in a communication link. A face flashed on the screen. "Aries, it's Skoal. I'm gonna need one of your boys to help me with a run in a few days. Think you could spare me a good one?" "Sure thing my friend. Mind if I wonder as to what you need him for?" The man on the screen ask. "Wonderin ain't a crime. But I'm gonna have to tell you that that information is classified." Skoal said to the screen. The man on the other side laughed as the feed died. He flew his ship away towards a dark station that was about three clicks south from their destination, still close enough to go get his little experiment when the time came. His darkened teeth hid him in the black. Only his blue eyes shone darkly in the shadows.


Bo stepped out of the now unsealed door into the common area. His knife was held tightly in his hand. He had no clue what the crew would do on sight of him now. The best thing to do would be to get his gear and get off at next port. Whether that was how it was going to happen or not was up to the rest of them. The stupid idea that he could protect Mal in his weakening condition had been ludacris in the first place. Monte had said it, so had Smiley. He wouldn't listen. He jumped at the chance to see his brother again and yet he had fallen exactly into the situation he had wanted most to avoid. Monte knew how to deal with him in his states of demintia. She would have just laid him out and given him the serum. He looked down at the vial that was in his pocket. It had taken them a long time to find that solution. It allowed him long moments of clarity, though he knew he was no good to Skoal if he ever turned out like River had been. The man knew that Bo was better off knowing what was going on and moving with his own body. Skoal had perfected the control to where he controlled Bo with ease and persiscion. Skoal had always been a perfectionist, never letting the other scientists touch Bo's exposed brain or stick him in that infernal "machine". No, Bo had been his crowning achievement. Now the doctor wanted his lab rat back. "Too bad, old man." Bo muttered to the silent room. The gun clicked as the hammer was pulled back and it was pointed at the back of Bo's head. "Mal, you were never one to shoot a man in the back." Bo said. "So turn and face me then." Mal said with anger in his voice. Bo turned and was hurt by the rage he saw in Mal's face. He ventured into his brothers mind and found the reason to his anger. "Right, so she read me while I was out." "On my orders. She didn't want to tell me at first, but she knew I needed to know. Found memories you weren't supposed to have. Killing women and children. All because they pushed that button. I ought to drop you right here and now for what she says you done. But I can't." He slid the gun back in it's holster and crossed his arms. Bo's knife went back to his boot as he eyed Mal for tense muscles or a nervous glance. He listened for Jayne or Zoe on the stairs or behind him. Nothing came. It was just Bo and Mal. Just as it had been, just as it should have been. "I can't drop you cause I know it weren't you that did those things. It was the same people that did it to her. But they twisted you, Bo. They tortured her and tore up her brain. Fried it with secrets that no one should have to bear. But you, they did something worse. They gave you a switch. A switch that turns off your thought process and that makes you their dog. They tell you to bark and you bark, tell you to bite and you bite, tell you to kill and you kill whatever's in your way. No thought as to right or wrong. They didn't get that far with her I imagine, but it ain't River I'm worried about." Bo stood there. He listened to Mal, heard him tell the things he already knew. He wanted to tell Mal that he was right. He needed to, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Pain flooded Mal's eyes as they stood staring at each other. "What am I supposed to do now Bo? You're a danger to me and my crew. Those that I love and care for. You among them." "I'm leaving after this job is done. I'm not going for the money either. They are out to get you because they know how much I care about you Mal. They know you were like a brother to me. They want to break me Mal. I left them, see? Made 'em realize I wasn't as perfect as they wanted me to be. That they had others better," - Mal blinked at this, a remembered moment passing through his mind-, " Others that were more perfect for these jobs than me. But not him. He was convinced I could be made better. He took to me Mal. Found me interesting. Thought he could make me better than the others. When they got rid of him, it didn't sit well. So now they want you dead to break me, bring me back, fix me the way they want me. So I won't fight them, won't stand up to them, won't have a mind of my own. Be the perfect weapon they want me to be." "But you're here now. Cognitive enough. Talkin of your own free will." "The serum you gave me. I found it on Persephone. It was expensive to make, but I made the money to get it. It's been working up until now. It seems to be slipping a bit. I used to only use one vial a day, now I'm up to three. My stock is running dry quick. It's the only thing that keeps them out of my head. Like a lead seal on my brain." Mal looked at him long and hard. They stood in silence for a long time, both staring deep into each others eyes. Bo knew what Mal was doing. He was looking for a flaw or a crack in the armor. He knew Mal knew he was doing the same. "I believe you." was all Mal said as he turned away and went back up the stairs. Something happened then that Bo hadn't felt for a long time. Relief washed over him and he collapsed on the couch. He looked at the puncture wound and then at his watch. "Enough for three days." Bo said to himself. "Three days." He estimated they'd be at Sarro in a day and a half, if they didn't slow. He'd be pushing his stock, especially if he started needing more. They flew through the black. All aboard wondering what the next few days held for the ship and crew.

(Hope you all enjoyed, Thanks to Angellemarcs for the beta read of the first part of this installment.)


Monday, May 26, 2008 12:17 PM


So... Here is more... Thanks again to Allegemarcs for the beta read and all my readers who are making my first fic a small success... I hope you all enjoy flying with me...

Monday, May 26, 2008 1:49 PM


Very good. Nice small reference to Cat. LOL

Monday, May 26, 2008 11:23 PM


I really like this and you quite masterfully show the complex feelings and emotions that Bo is trying so hard to handle while he struggles to keep control. I really hope that Mal and the others stick with him and help him stand up to Skoal and maybe Simon can find a way to help Bo until they can get a more permanent cure. I also really liked how you showed Mal not simply flying off the handle and killing his friend but reasoning it through the same way he did when he found out about River. My only tiny nitpick is some unique spelling, for example 'ludacris' should be ludicrous and 'persiscion' should be precision. Look forward to reading more and well done. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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Bo and Damian go at it, like the old days.
Raven lets us know why she's so stuck on beating Bo. Jacob takes a shot.
I know it's a little short, but it is really only the finish for This Place, That Place.

This Place, That Place
Things begin to look bad as the new Handlers show up to take Bo back. Sorry it's a bit short, but it's leading up to something fun. Thank Angelle for pushing me, and everyone else that reads it for doing just that.

Rough Landing (Fixed)
Bo's necks on the line. Jacob is ready to leave. Nik has things to get. Life as normal on the Valor.

New Parts, Same Ride

Cynophobia (Chapter Fifteen)
Aries meets his demise. Very short, just another that had to get told.

Playing God (Chapter Fourteen)
A short installment to cross bridges to the next. Hope you enjoy. Bo makes things go BOOM.

Uncaging A Beast (chapter 13)
Sorry I've been gone for a while, had a spot of trouble, and a bit of writers block. Hope my fellow writers and riders don't mind the lag, I'll get more up soon, but for now... here you go.

Searching (Chapter Twelve)
Here it is, next in the big story. Hope you like, and thanks again to Angellemarcs for the use of her character. Make sure to read her amazing stuff.

Changing (Chapter Eleven)
Bo leaves Serenity for the safety of the Crew.

Getting Paid (Chapter Ten)
The job is done, time to fence the artifact, get paid, and get the hell off this gorram rock. Maybe for once things will go smooth.