BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

JANE0904

Prospero's Legacy - Part I
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Maya. Post-BDM. Prologue. Now we start to get to the nitty gritty ... and meet two old acquaintances. NEW STORY


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2202    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

:Open Data Transmission: TOP SECRET – CLASSIFIED – A1 or better – EYES ONLY: Transmission begins:

As ordered the Alliance Scout Vessel Normandy was dispatched to the area of space adjacent to the Burnham Quadrant, near the planet Miranda. A full complement of officers, enlisted and medical personnel were on board, numbering some fifty-two. As they approached the area, a constant communication stream was maintained, with full telemetric scans and medical data being transferred over the link. Commander Allard reported an initial sighting, stating the vessel appeared to be a modified Avocet with magnetic grappler. She informed her crew to remain calm and at their stations. The following are excerpts from the recordings made at the time.

“...they’ve attached. I can hear them burrowing into the hull. My crew are tense, but holding well under the stress. Dr Parker is ready with the transmission units ...”

“...they have broken into the main cargo bay! Initial reaction to the ... Mother of God! It’s not working! The damn gas isn’t ... All personnel, open fire! Franchot, get us out here! Rip us open if you have to, just ...”

“…My God, please no! Someone, someone help us! They’re killing us! It isn’t working! It isn’t …”

At this point all contact with the ASV Normandy was lost. The IAV Heigl was dispatched to the area, and they obtained evidence (attached in separate file) that Commander Allard operated the self-destruct sequence. However, three weeks after this incident, a Reaver vessel identified as the same that attacked the Normandy was downed on the third moon of Albion, during which all occupants were destroyed. DNA tests on various remains found on board indicate that at least a dozen of the Normandy’s crew were taken during the attack, including Commander Allard herself. It appears they were kept as provisions. There were no survivors.

It should also be noted that the Reaver attacks have been increasing in number, and also moving closer to the Core.

:Close Data Transmission:

---

Gabriel Tam sat back in his chair and ran his hand through his dark hair. He’d noticed lately that it was thinner than usual, but he wasn’t surprised. The illness had made him more gaunt, taking a lot of his body mass, so it stood to reason that his hair would go as well.

Not that it mattered much. Regan was hardly speaking to him again. Nothing new about that since she’d been estranged from him for years, only coming back when he’d almost pleaded, telling her he was sick. They had nothing to talk to each other about, though. Every night they sat at either end of the table, politely asking each other to pass the salt, how their respective days had gone, and never saying what they really needed to.

Leaning forward again, he studied the decoded message. He’d heard about the death of Anton Kendrick, of course, and said a small prayer. He never really liked the man – something to do with his politics, Gabriel always told himself, but the truth was Kendrick had made him look at himself, look at what he’d done ... or rather, what he hadn’t. He’d tried to atone, tried to make things right, but for some time he’d wondered if he’d have time to see it through.

And now, he was pretty certain he wouldn’t. If this was right, Quintana was much closer than he had imagined to completing his plan. And if he did that ... there was nothing anyone could do to stop the abominations from getting loose.

“Gabriel.” Regan stood in the doorway.

“What?”

“I’ve been calling you for ten minutes.”

“Sorry. I was working.”

“It’s time to eat.”

“I'm not hungry.”

She stepped into the study. “You know the doctor said you had to have enough calories, or the treatment won’t work.”

“It’s not working anyway.”

She shook her head slightly. “I don’t remember you ever giving up before.”

“I gave up on Simon and River, though, didn’t I?” He fixed her with a glare. “Isn’t that what you’ve told me, over and again?”

Regan closed her eyes for a moment and sighed. “I thought we’d decided not to talk about them?”

“You brought it up.”

She bit back on her response. “Whatever, you still need to eat.”

“I suppose.” He stared at the screen again.

“Gabriel.”

“What?”

She slid into the chair opposite him. “It can't be as bad as all that.”

“Can’t it?” He tried to keep the bitterness out of his voice, but it came through loud and clear. “You tell me how it can be better, Regan, because I’d like to know.”

“Fine.” She went to get up.

He couldn’t let her. “Regan, wait. I'm sorry.”

“Why do you shut me out?” she asked, her eyes studying him, trying to see the man she’d fallen in love with, the man she’d so desperately wanted children with that she’d agreed to his decision to go to the agency. “Gabriel, tell me what’s going on. Maybe I can help.”

A small smile twisted his lips. “I don’t see how.”

“Try me.”

He stared at her for a long moment, then shook his head. “I drove him away, Regan. He told me what they were doing to River, and I told him I wouldn’t come for him again.”

“Simon.”

“Simon.”

“Is this to do with him, then?”

“I ...” It was no good. No matter how willing she was to listen, to support him, it wasn’t fair to drag her into it. “No, Regan. And it isn't anything for you to worry about.”

“But it is for you?” she asked shrewdly. “You can’t protect me, Gabriel. I know those men have been here again. And I’ve seen the guards you’ve got in the grounds, a lot more than ever before. What are you so afraid of?”

“Hurting you. Seeing you hurt.”

“I thought you didn’t care about me any longer.”

“Oh, Regan. I never said that.”

Her eyes widened. They hadn’t talked about their feelings in a long time, probably even before Simon kidnapped his sister and disappeared. The look on his face disconcerted her too. “Gabriel, I –“

“Hadn’t we better go in to dinner?” he suggested, giving her an out, and – if truth be told – giving himself one too.

“We have to talk sometime.”

“Well, it will have to be after I get back.” He levered himself to his feet, holding onto the edge of the desk for a moment as a wave of nausea warred with the light-headedness.

“Get back?” She ignored the blood rushing from his complexion – he hated anyone drawing attention to his illness. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I have ... business dealings to attend to.”

She stood up. “Gabriel, you haven’t had business dealings for more than a year, not since you retired.”

“Don’t.”

“What?”

“I didn’t exactly have a choice.”

“You’re sick. I'm not accusing you of anything.” She looked down at the large diamond ring on her finger, the ring he put there the day he’d asked her to marry him. God, had they ever been that young? “Except perhaps keeping too much to yourself.” She moved closer to him. “Gabriel, I'm still your wife. No matter what’s happened between us. And I want to help you. That’s why I came back.”

“Because I'm sick.”

“Partly.” She reached for his hand, feeling the bones under the thin flesh, the wedding band now so loose. “But I still care. When I heard you were ill –“

“We knew it was going to happen, Regan.”

“No. You’re not going to get away this time. You’ve spent half your life running from things you didn’t want to see. It’s time to stop.”

“Oh, I have. And I won’t put you in any danger.”

A thrill of something ran up her spine. “You really think I’m –“

He squeezed her hand. “Regan, stop. Please.”

“No. And wherever you’re going, I’m going with you.”

This time he backed away. “No. Forget it.”

“I won’t forget it. If I’m in danger then so are you, and I don’t want to be sitting here or anywhere else wondering what’s happening.”

For a long moment he didn’t speak, then when he did it was as if he was repeating a mantra. “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

She looked at him, an expression he hadn’t seen for a long time on her face. “And you think that’s what’s happening?”

“We’ve allowed it already, Regan.”

“I don’t understand.”

“We’re supposed to live in a democracy, where freedom of speech is allowed, even encouraged … When was the last time you saw someone stand up and say the Alliance has done something wrong?”

“Well …” She shook her head. “Perhaps no-one feels that way.”

He smiled sadly. “My dear, don’t pretend. No-one says anything because they’re not allowed to. Even the so-called free press aren’t anymore.”

“But they report all the news - it’s on the Cortex all the time.”

“They report what the Alliance wants you to hear.” He led her to the sofa, making her sit next to him. “Did you know the Reaver attacks are increasing?”

“Reavers?” She seemed surprised. “They’re just a story to frighten children.”

He laughed, just a single, pitiful sound. “I wish they were. They’re real enough.”

“But the Alliance –“

“Have been lying to us. To all of us for a very long time. Only I was too blind, and too stupid, to see it.”

“Gabriel –“

“You saw the Miranda broadwave. We all did. Didn't you believe it?”

She looked down at her hands. “I ... I didn’t want to.”

“Oh, my dear. That doesn't make it false.”

She looked up. “But you said about attacks. There’s not been any mention on the main news –”

“Exactly. Oh, it’s there, but you need to know where to look. The more … subversive channels.” He sighed. “Now I know how Simon felt when he tried to tell me about his sister. I believed he was wrong. Only now, God help me, I believe he might have been right.”

“About them hurting her?” Regan’s hand flew to her mouth.

He could see the pain in her eyes, and wished he hadn’t said anything, but it was too late to stop now. “I’ve talked to people, people we’d never have let through the servants’ entrance, let alone the front door, people who know things. Regan, if the Alliance knew I’d been speaking to them, I’d be locked up.”

“What … what did they tell you?”

He squeezed her hand. “It was true. All of it. They were hurting our little girl, and I didn’t do anything to stop them.”

“We didn’t know, Gabriel.”

“No?” He stood up, feeling stronger now the truth had come out. “I think it’s more that we didn’t want to know. Didn’t want our lives disrupted, disturbed, disarranged.” He leaned on the fireplace, looking deep into the flames. “He put me to shame, Regan. He gave up everything for his sister, and I let him.” He shook his head. “He might never have been my genetic son, but he was more of a man than I will ever be.”

“You’re going to find him, aren’t you?” Regan said slowly.

He turned quickly, surprised at her insight. “And if I am?”

“Then I'm coming.”

“Regan –“

“He may not be ‘ours’ as you put it, but I carried him for nine months. Him and River. I gave birth to them, loved them. Maybe not as much as I should have, but I still love them. I long to see them again. I have, since the moment Simon vanished.” She stepped forward. “Do you know where they are?”

“I …” He was suddenly afraid. Not of Regan, but of the very air around them. “No.” He was willing her to understand, not to press him.

“Then I can’t let you go.” She seemed more forceful, taking command of the situation. “In fact, I think we should go to the cottage for a while. Take your mind off these fanciful thoughts. And I can look after you properly.”

He stared at her, then realised her right eyelid was moving, just a tiny amount. She was winking at him. She did understand.

“The cottage?” He made himself appear to consider. “It’s been so long since we’ve been there. I don’t even know if it’s in a fit state to stay in.”

“Then we’ll make it fit. It will be good for you.” She crossed to him, putting one hand on his shoulder, the other on his arm. “And you can forget all this nonsense.”

“Perhaps it is. I … I find it hard to think sometimes,” he admitted, playing along.

“It’s the illness, Gabriel. As soon as the treatment starts to work, you’ll feel better, so much more like your old self. I’ll see to that.”

“Will you look after me?”

“Of course. ‘Til death do us part.”

“I thought you’d already parted from me.” This was him, not the Gabriel Tam he was portraying for any hidden surveillance devices that might have slipped past his net.

“Perhaps I did. And perhaps I'm regretting it.” She smiled. “If you’ll let me come back.”

“I wish you’d never gone, bao-bei.”

“Then I’ll get us packed. The sooner we get to the cottage, the better.” She walked to the door. “And I’m not letting anyone have our address. This is our time, Gabriel. Yours and mine. And no matter who calls, we won’t be answering.”

“Of course, my love.” He watched her leave the room, admiring the metal inside her, then turned back to the fire. The truth was, he didn’t believe there was anyone listening in, but after the last time those men came, he couldn’t be entirely sure. But at least he knew now what he had to do to make things right.

to be continued

COMMENTS

Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:34 AM

AMDOBELL


Oh fabulous! I really *love* the idea of Gabriel finally coming to his senses, realising just what is going on then stiffening what remains of his backbone in a determination to do the right thing. Also love Regan still loyal enough to return to him in this desparate time. And the resurgence of the Reavers? Can't same I'm wholly surprised as it makes sense that they would be harder to kill that cockroaches, and we all know they can survive pretty much anything. Can't wait for more! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:36 AM

AMDOBELL


Sorry, that should be 'say' not 'same'. This computer keyboard can't spell! LOL, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:47 AM

SLUMMING


Interesting beginning...and a little creepifying, which I assume is just the prelude to major creepifying later! LOL

Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:59 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


Now, that was a good start to this new ride. I like the aquaintances you brought back. It adds to the suspense and the mystery. Top rate!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:48 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


To expand upon Angelmarcs analogy. I feel like we're on the first uphill slope of a very wild roller coaster.

Friday, August 22, 2008 8:10 AM

KATESFRIEND


Whoa, this is going to places deep and dark, and scary, isn't it? Well, I'm in for the ride.


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