Horse You Rode in On
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

part 43...for all my riders and all my friends, I appreciate you taking time to read my beta reader, friend and loaner of 'Ski, you are so awesome....anyway, Cat rides Sliepnir...


And the Horse You Rode In On -----------------------------------

based on the world of Firefly by Joss Whedon

"You know I hate horses." 'Ski complained as Cat checked the saddle on the black stallion she had chosen. His feathered hooves were as big as dinner plates and the red eyes looked warily at 'Ski. "I thought that's why we had the Mule."

"The Mule can't travel through the mountains and that is where the first entrance is. Zoe will meet us at the docking bay when we gain entry." She turned to him, her chains resting by her feet. "If they bother you so much, ride in the Mule and I'll get Jayne to go with Mal and I."

"Damn it, Woman, one day soon, you will be the death of me." Her partner continued to cuss, walking over to the buckskin chosen for his mount, the horse snickered at him, but 'Ski just huffed at it. "What are you looking at? You all are on her side."

The black and white paint stirred next to his nodding his head and scratching his foot on the ground raising dirt. Mal walked over and patted the gelding's neck, his hand filled with a pick of fresh grass. "Horses are like people, 'Ski. Just got to treat them decent."

"There's a reason why they were replaced by the motor." 'Ski grumbled, but stopped to stare at Cat, as she mounted the large stallion. It shifted its weight under her as the long chains seemed to wrap her in their protection. The view of her scantly clothed body bending to mount the stallion had been reason enough for him to be riding this stubborn animal and he made sure Cat knew exactly what he was thinking when she turned to give him a dirty look. He smiled then and reached into his pocket for a smoke. As much as he figured, if she wanted a puff, well, Cat would just have to come and get one, off the horse.

The Mule revved up it motor as it descended from Serenity, Zoe at its wheel. Tuck followed after it as well as Kaylee, Inara, and Simon, River and Jayne taking up there positions in the Mule. "You sure you don't want me to come?" Simon called as Cat walked her steed toward him.

"Honestly, it's up to you. There could be some very valuable info that could greatly help your sister, but it will be dangerous and eye opening to say the least. I won't be there to protect you this time."

"Understood, but if I can somehow help River, then I owe it to myself and her to risk it. If that's okay..." He looked to Mal more than Cat.

"Kaylee has this say so, Simon. She's the one you're leaving." His captain commented as Simon turned to Kaylee placing his hand in her folded ones.

"I need to know what they did and I can't just waiting here."

"I know that, Silly. Me and 'Nara will keep Serenity warm." Kaylee smiled and kissed Simon on the cheek. "You just stay around Zoe. We all know you can't shoot straight."

"I'll keep them company, if you two ladies and the captain don't object." Zane looked toward Mal, who nodded, but also shared a nod with Inara, a nod that meant to keep on eye on the doctor.

"We'd love to have you, Sir." Inara wrapped an arm in his and smiled.

"You can call me Tuck, Ma'am. Haven't been a sir in a very long time." He looked toward Cat. "Remember he knows you're coming. Put up your mental walls. Falcon has no interest in the girl, even though they want him too. He's solely gunning for you."

"I can feel that, but he's not the only one I need to worry about."

"True. By the way, Batha escaped her cage recently. Heard about it through the channels. She's still in the facility somewhere. It's been awhile and not sure she'd recognize you if you encounter her."

"Was the experiments on her successful?" Cat asked, her eyes trying to hide the sorrow filling them. Batha had been there always for her and damned if she was going to kill her just because she had gotten loose.

"Yes, but there were a few side effects. None of which would they tell me."

"They better not have hurt her." She growled and swung the large horse toward their destination, letting him walk up to the Mule. He twitched a bit being so near something with an engine, but calmed as cat reached out with her mind willing him it was okay.

"If we don't hear from you by morning, come back and consider you dead." Zoe repeated the words, though not ready to believe them or obey them.

"Shiny thought." Mal replied under his breath, 'Ski nodding in agreement.

"You'll hear from us, but make sure and lay low. Just because the entrance you're using is an old one, doesn't mean they won't patrol it. Make sure you belly up against the rest of the garbage and they should pass right over you."

"Sound pretty confident." The warrior replied.

"How do you think I escaped the first time?" She winked. "Just remember not to open fire, no matter how tempting it is...Jayne."

Zoe smiled as the big man stared at Cat. "Why you all always blame me? Just cause I like makin a little noise, you all think I'm trigger happy."

"Are you?" River asked, even though she knew the answer.

"Well, ya, but you all could give me the benefit of the doubt, Moonbrain." The name he used for her had once been meant to be harsh, but now, the more he got to know the crazy girl, the more he could relate to her. She had become the sister he needed while away from his tight knit family. Too bad, she also had to come with the doctor.

Cat watched as Simon bid another goodbye to Kaylee and moved to sit next to his sister in the five passenger Mule. She cast a nod to Zoe and brought the steed toward her men, 'Ski giving her his 'you and your damn horses' look again.

She smiled and looked toward Mal before urging the stallion into a gallop, the large chain of mountains looming in the distance. It was going to be one helluva day.


“Not sure I like these mountains,” Mal whispered as trees that had been dead for what seemed ages reached out to grab at clothes and hair. His horse wasn't so sure of the path either as it neighed its reproach.

'Ski grunted behind him, having gotten use to the odd places his wife seem to take them to, but even he had to admit, there was too many places to be ambushed in this mess of land.

“It'll widen in a minute.” Cat called back, 'Ski's thoughts being broad casted in her head with each passing step. Their link was almost constant now, a protection that both had decided would be safer, especially with Falcon so near.

“Haven't heard from the Mule in about an hour.” Mal stated, checking the pocket watch he had carried for years.

“We won't.” She nodded toward a large wooden pole that seemed out of place in the middle of a mountain. “They block the transistors. For the rest of the journey, we'll be in the black.” If only the two realized just how much black there was to be seen, they would be as frightened as she pretended she wasn't. Her fingers felt for something in her pocket, small and cold, but very reassuring...Mal's cross. She had found it buried deep behind a few books and his old uniform, the one he didn't want to throw away because Mal was the one who would never let himself forget.

“You okay up there?” Mal called to her as the scenery changed from closed to open, the sky turning the brightest shade of blue. His voice startled her thoughts and calmed her fears, the stallion, she had taken to calling Sliepnir after Odin's steed that Loki had given him, he stirred under her as her chains twitched due to her restlessness.

“No.” She spoke quietly, her stallion stopping as she peered over the cliff into the valley. The green pastures and beautiful landscape ended like someone had cut it from the earth, replaced by a stone complex, much like the prisons that keep the most evil of convicts. High fences lined the ground like lines on a chalkboard, bodies moving along the ground appearing as ants in an ant hill.

A growl issued from Cat as her fangs lengthened slightly, knowing what had been gone to her and so many others that had pleaded to be freed. Memories were coming back, flooding her with an anger that caused her beast to awaken. 'Steady there, Babe.'

His voice entered her head, but it was as foreign as the other near her. The metal of the chains echoed their desire for death and she answered them with a simple 'wait' command. 'I'm here, Husband.'

“That's the hell we're marching into?” Mal spoke as Cat calmed herself.

“Yup.” She whispered.

“We're gonna be as outnumbered as we were in Serenity.”

“Probably.” She turned to him and reached out to place the cross in his hand.

He looked down at it and then up at her. “Didn't work there.”

“Not sure it will here.” She stared down at it as the old metal caught the light of the setting suns. Her mind played through some of her teaching and some of the material she had read about faith. “But, you were a better man when you wore it. You believed in something and you fought to protect it at all costs. I need that man again, the one I loved and the one I still do.”

Mal looked at her, his eyes catching the light in hers. His hand squeezed hers before he slipped the chain over his neck and kissed the cross and then her hand. They sat for a minute and stared at each other before a clearing throat caused them to turn toward 'Ski.

“Sorry to break this wonderful moment of mushiness, but when exactly were we planning on dealing with these guys?” He motioned behind him as several guards surrounded him.

“Damn scouts.” Cat cussed as her chains came to life around her and Mal reached for his gun.


*not to be riding a dead horse here but....LOL

feedback please and thank you and encourages me to keep writing and bothering you to leave feedback...

it's a vicious cycle. :))


Wednesday, June 18, 2008 7:30 AM


Coming late to this fic...I've now got a weird combo of David Gemmell's Joinings and the tentacles of Doc Oc in my head...and I thought I could come up with some weird stuff...;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 8:50 AM


I'm sure the riding of dead horses is a custom in some crazy culture! Hey, some people juggle goslings!LOL

I liked the comparison to Serenity valley. I now slaveringly anticipate some thrilling heroics. Probably bloodshed, possibly some explosions...? I'm going to shut up now, and wait quietly for the next installment! Very curious to see what role the chains are going to play.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 12:23 PM


Gorramit, what a place to stop! Really can feel the tension mounting up as they reach the one place they would all rather not be. Hope the next part comes along soon while I still have fingernails! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, June 19, 2008 6:06 AM


I like the way you think Mal's cross is still with him, even if not always on his person. And who is Betha? Sounds like someone else Cat is going to have to fight, or maybe this time it will be Mal. Good stuff.

Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:04 AM


"You know I hate horses."
"What are you looking at? You all are on her side."

*lol* I love Ski!

Keep flying ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:30 PM


I'm ready, lady, whenever you are... Can't wait to see what happens next.



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