Into the Blue -- Chapter 17
Saturday, August 9, 2008

Enroute to Belepheron, the crew bumps into some slavers.


Into the Blue Chapter 17

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. I’m just playing. No money being made.

This fic takes place just over two years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/OC and Jayne/River.


Thanks again Chris for the Beta.

Into the Blue

Chapter Seventeen – Slaves

“Mornin Mal,” Allan said as the Captain entered the bridge.

“Mornin Allan, What's out ETA to the fueling station?”

“Bout two hours,” Allan replied, “But there's a bit of a problem.”

Mal's face fell, “What kinda problem?”

“Gonna be a forty eight hour wait for fuel. Just got off the cortex with the dockmaster. Seems an Alliance cruiser was through yesterday for a top off. Drained the tanks dry. Tankers won't be arriving until late tomorrow. We're number eight on the waiting list for fuel.”

“Why can't things go smooth for once?” grumped Mal.

“There is some good news, I got us a berth for the wait. At least we can get off the ship and walk around some.”

“Better than nothing I reckon,” Mal said quietly.

“Sooooo, How's Inara taking to being an engaged woman?”

“Like a duck to water,” Mal replied, “Seems like weddin fever around here though. Everyone's getting hitched.”

“I think you're right Mal, “Allan replied, “Maybe we should just do one big wedding for everyone.” Allan chuckled.

“No way in hell,” Zoë growled from the entry.

Mal started to laugh until he saw the expression on Zoë's face.

“Just kidding baby,” Allan replied with a small smile.

“Best keep it that way,” Zoë said sternly.

“Yes dear,” Allan said submissivly.

“Guess I'll leave you two lovebirds alone,” Mal said as he turned to leave.

“Good idea Sir,” Zoë snapped.

“Good luck Allan,” Mal said with a smirk.

“Thanks, think I'm gonna need it,” Allan replied.

As soon as Mal left the bridge, Zoë closed and locked the door, turning back to Allan she looked him in the eye.

“Need help huh?”

“Well maybe not...”

Zoë giggled, “I never thought he'd leave.”

“Me either, Mal has lousy timing,” Allan replied as he pulled Zoë into his lap. Zoë wiggled her bottom in Allan's lap eliciting a groan from his lips.

“Well at least they'll be leaving us alone since Mal thinks we're arguing.”

“Thats why I planned it like this,” Zoë said as she stood and turned to face Allan, “What's our ETA?”

“Two hours,” Allan replied.

“Plenty of time,” Zoë said as she started to unbutton her shirt.


“Hi River,” Zoë said nonchalantly as she passed the young pilot in the forward corridor.

“Hello Zoë. Are you and Allan finished arguing?” River replied with a grin.

“Um, yeah, everything's shiny.”

“I can see that,” she replied, “Including your forehead.”

“Huh?... oh, the sweat, well it was a... heated argument,” Zoë said quickly.

River giggled, “Your secret is safe with me Zoë, Jayne and I have christened the bridge a few times ourselves... Just not two hours before docking and in the middle of the afternoon.”

“Thanks little one,” Zoë said grinning, “I'll return the favor.”

“You had better,” River replied as she skipped up the stairs to the bridge.

“Hey River,” Allan called as the young psychic entered the bridge.

“Hello Allan... argument settled?” she replied with a mischievous grin.

“Uh.. Yeah, it is.”

“Good, I'd hate to see you two miss out on the makeup sex,”

Allan's jaw dropped. Staring at the young girl next to him, Allan was finally able to speak.

“Simon's right... you are a brat.”

“Of course... I'm an expert,” she replied grinning.


Serenity docked with the fueling station on schedule. After confirming with the station personnel that the wait for fuel would be nearly two days, Mal decided to let the crew have some time off on the station.

Most fuel stations were fairly bare bone's operations. Virtually an equivalent to a space born gas station/convenience store from Earth that was. This particular station being close to the core was much better equipped. It had a few small shops and restaurants and even a few decent bars. They had a well stocked ships outfitter and parts house along with a top notch maintenance shop. Allan thought that this fueling station reminded him of the huge truck stops he remembered from his youth on Earth. Suddenly the song “Space Truckin” popped into his head. It was appropriate for what they did with Serenity.

Allan felt a bit like the filling in an Oreo cookie with Zoë on one arm and Alisha on the other. The trio were making their way to a bar called the Londonium Pub.

Zoë was dressed a bit softer than she normally did. Forgoing her usual leather vest and winchester. Instead she was wearing dark brown pants and a maroon shirt. Her hair was looser than normal.

Alisha was dressed in a skirt and blouse with her longer hair done up in a loose pony tail. Allan was dressed in his usual jeans and polo shirt. Sneakers and a ball cap rounding out his appearance.

All three were discreetly armed. Zoë carrying a small pistol in a fanny pack while Alisha carried a gun in a pocket in her skirt. Allan's gun was in an ankle holster.

Allan, Zoë and Alisha entered the pub and found a quiet booth in the corner. Zoë always liked to sit where she could see the door.

A moment later the waitress came to their table and took their drink orders.

“So, Allan?” Alisha asked, “Where are you from anyway? I can't place your accent.”

Allan grinned at Zoë who rolled her eyes. Alisha noticed her sisters reaction.

“What?” Alisha asked.

“It's a long story that started a long time ago,” Allan said.

“Okay... I'm confused,” Alisha admitted.

“I'm from Earth that was Alisha.” Allan said simply.

The young woman just stared at Allan.

Allan chuckled and continued, “And your sister is marrying a much older man. I'm over four hundred years old.”

“This is a joke... right?”

“Fraid not Sissy,” Zoë answered.

“But how...”

“I left Earth in my own ship four hundred years ago in cryo sleep. I was supposed to arrive just before the ark ships did. My ship had a problem and didn't get up enough speed. Took four hundred odd years rather than the one hundred I had planned on. Serenity ran across me in space near Boros about what, eight months ago now?”

“Almost nine,” Zoë replied.

“Thats quite a story... kinda hard to take in all at once,” Alisha said quietly.

“It is,” Allan admitted, “But since you're about to become my sister in law, you needed to hear it.”

“I appreciate it Allan,” Alisha replied, “How long have you been engaged?”

“About a two weeks. I proposed to Zoë just before we landed on Deadwood.”

“Was it romantic?”

Allan grinned, “Not terribly.”

“We were in bed,” Zoë said with a giggle.


The waitress returned with their drinks and Allan ordered a big plate of potato skins. To go with the beers they were drinking. Allan relaxed back in his seat while Zoë and Alisha chatted about something. Allan's mind was wandering a bit as he tried to come up with a plan to get Blue Sun.

“Baby? Allan!”

“Huh? Oh, sorry Zoë, spaced out there for a sec,” Allan said.

“More like five minutes,” Zoë teased.

“I'm sorry, I've been trying to figure out a way to get to the board of Blue Sun.”

“Why do you need to do that Allan?” Alisha asked.

“I need to get my company back from the monsters that run it.”

“Your company?”

“I founded Blue Sun on Earth over four hundred years ago. From what I've been able to research and from what they did to River at the behest of the Alliance, Blue Sun either needs to be shut down or at the very least reigned in.”

“But Blue Sun is the biggest corporation in the 'verse,” Alisha exclaimed.

“I know, it was the largest aerospace and computer company on Earth before the exodus. The factory ships of the exodus were all run by my company. So, I guess it's all really my fault.”

“We are not going down that road again dear,” Zoë said testily, “You couldn't have stopped it iffin you wanted to and you know it.”

“I know... I'm just getting frustrated.”

“My foster daddy used to say that the solution to a problem will usually present itself,” Alisha quoted.

“Good advice,” Allan agreed.


After Zoë, Alisha and Allan finished their drinks and some munchies, they decided to wander a bit before they went back to Serenity for the evening. Mal had given Alisha the night off from cooking so there was no need to return to the ship right off.

Zoë was enjoying herself. She never had thought that she would ever find her sister again and now that she had, it was enjoyable to learn about the young woman she had become.

As the trio made their way down a narrow passageway, two obviously drunk spacers bumped into them.

“What don't you's watch where yer goin,” snarled one of the men.

“You bumped into us friend,” Allan replied.

“Ain't yer friend,” was the reply.

“Not sayin you were. Now why don't you fellas wander off to where ever you were going.”

“You tellin me what to do?”

“Nope, just making a suggestion,” Allan replied. He had hated dealing with belligerent drunks as far back as his college paramedic days.

Tiring of the conversation, the drunk sputtered something as his partner dragged him down the corridor. Alisha got a good look at their faces and she recoiled in horror, stepping behind Zoë as the pair of drunks shuffled away.

“Sissy? What's wrong?” Zoë asked her frightened sister.

“Those... those men, they were on the ship that captured me.”

“What?” Allan asked.

“Are you sure Mei-mei?,”said Zoë.

“I'm... I'm sure. The one who spoke is the first mate I think.”

“Do you know what kind of ship they fly Alisha?” Allan asked.

“Never saw the outside. I just know it was about twice the size of Serenity.”

Zoë had a look of fury on her face, Allan knew what she was thinking.

“Baby, why don't you take Alisha back to the ship,” Allan asked.

“Why don't you?” Zoë replied, an edge in her voice.

“Because as much as I love you I know you too well. You're more likely to blow their brains out than follow them back to their ship. I'll recon the area and report in. Once we know what ship their in, we can figure out if they have any slaves on board. Okay?”

Zoë nodded in agreement. Allan was right, She would probably just walk up behind the drunks and shoot them for hurting her sister.

“Okay, Allan, but don't you go do anything rash.”

“Not plannin on it, Let Mal know what's up. As soon as I have their berth, I'll call in on the com. Now, I gotta get goin before we lose em'.”

“Be careful Baby.” I will and I love ya.

“Love you too Allan.”


The drunks weren't hard to follow. It took them nearly fifteen minutes to stagger back to their ships berth. Thankfully it was less than two hundred meters from Serenity. As Allan watched, the two men banged on the hatch to the ship. A few moment's later a tall dark haired man opened the hatch and began to yell at the pair.

Must be the captain,Allan thought. Keying up his com, Allan called serenity giving his position.

After a few minutes of yelling, the two men staggered into the ship. Seeing his opportunity, Allan approached the captain who still stood outside the hatch.

“Evenin,” Allan said as he approached.

“What do you want?” the captain snarled.

“Huh? Oh, sorry. I was wonderin if you're takin on passengers?”

“No passengers,” the man replied tersely.

“How about crew?” Allan asked, “I'm a fair hand in the engine room.”

“Ain't lookin to hire,” the captain replied.

“Fair 'nough,” Allan replied as he turned to leave.

The captain had second thoughts for a moment, “What kinda ships you worked on?”

“Mostly firefly's,” Allan replied, “But I can figure out most things out iffin I got's the manuals.”

“Ship's plant's a bit like a fly,” the captain replied, “My idiot mechanic can't seem to nail down a overheatin problem. Tell ya what, you take a look at it and see if it's somethin you can fix. If ya can't, no skin off my nose, if ya can, I might have a job for ya.”

“Sounds good, lead on sir,” Allan said smiling.


Zoë, Mal and Jayne rounded the corner to the docking bay where the slaver's ship was berthed in time to see Allan enter the ship behind another man.

“What in the special hell is Allan doin?” Mal snarled.

“I don't know Sir, but if he don't get himself killed, I might just do it for 'im.” Zoë replied.

“Gramps is smart enough ta not get in over his head,” Jayne commented.

“I hope yer right Jayne,” Mal grumbled.


As the captain led Allan through the ship, he noticed that the cargo bay contained around eighty to ninety large metal boxes, about the size of an office cubicle. Each was ruggedly built with a solid door. Ductwork was attached to the top of each box. Allan had a sinking feeling as to what these boxes were for.

“Interesting cargo,” Allan commented.

“Never mind what the cargo is. Iffin I hire ya', then you'll find out what we carry.”

“Fair, nough,” Allan replied.

“Here's the engine room,” The captain said as he led Allan into a room not unlike the one on Serenity. It was however a bit bigger than the engine room on the old firefly.

Looking around, Allan noted that the area was dingy and dirty. Junk littered the floor. Kaylee would have been appalled at the condition of the engine room.

“What's she been doin?” Allan asked.

“It's strange actually,” the captain said, “Tween, fifty an eighty percent, she runs hot. Once we get above that, she cools back down.”

“Hmmm,” Allan mumbled, “I've got an idea or two. Got a cooling system manual around here?”

“Yellow binder on the bench there,”

“Thanks,” Allan replied, “I'll just be a second.”

Opening the manual, Allan made a show of looking at the diagrams for the cooling system. As soon as the captain had described the problem Allan knew the cause. He just needed to draw things out a bit. He didn't want to appear too smart.

“Ah, here we go,” Allan, said suddenly, “Just what I thought it was.”

“What is it?” the captain asked.

“Primary cooling loop is partially blocked.”

“What I thought m'self. But she runs cooler if we give her full power. Don't make sense.”

“Actually it does,” Alan said smugly, “Above eighty percent with temps that high, the backup cooling system kicks in automatically. It's got near as much capacity as the main so when you step on the gas, the backup kicks in and the temps drop. Problem is that once that happens the mix is too cool and you burn more fuel.”

“Damn, thats why I been runnin low lately.”

“Most likely,” Allan replied.

The captain got a strange look on his face, “So you interested in fixin it?”

“Might be,” Allan replied, “What's the pay?”

“Eight percent, and your own bunk. There's also some... side benefits.”

“Such as?”

“Well, yer pretty smart. I figure you've conjured what we carry?”

“People I reckon. But not payin passengers.”

“Smart man.”

“So... what's the side benefit?”

“We only take on women.”

Allan smiled an evil smile, “Nice fringe benefit.”

“Thought you might like it,” the captain leered.

“Got any cargo now?”

“Bout twenty, bound for Belix.”

“Sounds good. Ain't been to Belix before.”

“You interested?”

“Yep, I think I am. How may more crew ya got?”

“Five besides yerself an me. You got any other skills?”

“I can fly a shuttle and I'm a fair shot if I do say m'self.”

“You got any gear?”

“Got it in storage, I can be back in about half an hour.”

“Good enough, I'll see ya then.”

“That you will captain, that you will,” Allan replied with a sly smile.

Allan quickly exited the ship and made his way around the corner, nearly knocking Mal over.

“Hey guys,” he said grinning.

“What the hell are you doing?” Mal hissed.

“Getting the lay of the land.”

Zoë was glaring at Allan, “I oughta hurt you,” She said, fire in her eyes.

“You want to shut these animals down or not?” Allan said, steel in his voice.

“O' course,” Zoë replied.

“Well, here's the plan.”



Saturday, August 9, 2008 3:23 AM


I like where this is going.


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