Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
With Jim’s life hanging in the balance, the crew tries to find a way to save him, and Mal’s family begins to question what exactly is going on.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 734 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Harken grabbed Zoe’s arm, frantic to tell her he was profoundly sorry for the way things had escalated during the hearing. Zoe looked at his hand pointedly and then met his troubled gaze. One look into her eyes made Harken drop his hand as if he’d been hit with an electric shock. “Mrs. Bowden, I……”
“Save it,” Zoe hissed, pushing past him into the corridor where the others waited.
Seeing her entrance, Mal, Jayne, and River stood up. “Zoe?” Mal asked.
“The hun dans plan to kill him,” Zoe said through clenched teeth.
“Kill ‘im?” Jayne asked, looking back and forth between Zoe and Harken in disbelief. “That’s sorta drastic, ain’t it?”
“What happened?” Mal asked over Jayne’s observation.
“He refused to report for a duty assignment,” Zoe said. “And then he told them what he thought of the Alliance.” She paused, thinking how proud she had been of Jim in that moment. “And next thing, they’re accusing him of treason and sentencing him to execution.”
“We’ll appeal the decision,” Harken interjected hastily. “There’s no way what happened in there today will stand review.”
Mal looked at him as if he were speaking a foreign language. “When?” he asked, turning back to Zoe.
“Didn’t set a time,” Zoe replied.
Zoe frowned. “Don’t know that either. All to be determined later, according to the hun dan who was runnin’ the show.”
“Jayne, make sure Mr. Harken here gets back to his office. We’re headed back to the ship,” Mal said, turning on his heel.
“But…we need to discuss an appeal,” Harken said.
“Jayne,” Mal said.
“I got it,” Jayne said, wrapping a large hand around Harken’s forearm. “Best you come along with me,” he said easily. “Don’t think there’s gonna be an appeal, exactly.”
Harken, feeling Jayne’s fingers clamp around his forearm like bands of steel, knew he had better comply.
“They’re gonna kill him?” Kaylee asked, her eyes wide with worry.
Zoe looked around the galley table at Serenity’s crew, every eye fastened on her as she related what had happened in the hearing room.
“No, they’re not,” Mal said grimly, a muscle in his jaw flexing with anger. “’Cause we’re not gonna let ‘em.”
“How are we going to stop them?” Anya asked in a small voice, looking up at Mal with all the certain hope of youth in her eyes.
Mal smiled at her, though to River the smile seemed forced somehow. “Well, little one,” he said. “We’re going to go back to the outpost and get him out of jail. Simple as that.”
“Don’t sound so simple,” Adam observed solemnly. “There’s lots of soldiers at an outpost, right?”
“Not so many we can’t handle them,” Mal said firmly. “Dong ma?”
Both children nodded, though the adults looked rather more skeptical. Mal continued, “Best you all be getting back to your lessons with Miss Inara, and let us suss everything out.” When they hesitated, he said firmly, “Go on.”
Adam took Daniel’s hand and Anya retrieved Hannah from River’s arms. And together the children walked glumly to their lessons, each harboring the disquieting thought that something was not quite right in their small world.
“It’s suicide,” Jayne said, his brow wrinkled in consternation. “”Our guns against an entire outpost?”
A vein throbbed in Mal’s temple. “You got a better suggestion?” His blue eyes blazed with irritation.
“We could wait,” Jayne said slowly. “Wait until they’re transporting him wherever he’s gonna go for the execution. There’d be fewer of ‘em to deal with that way. Might catch a break.”
“And we might not,” Mal said shortly. “We don’t even know if they’re going to transport him at all. For all we know, they’ll do it right there in the gorram cell.”
Zoe closed her eyes for a moment, the mental image of Jim hanging from the ceiling of a jail cell making her momentarily nauseous. Willing her mouth to move, she said, “Jayne’s right, sir. Supposing we could miraculously outshoot an entire outpost of Alliance soldiers. We couldn’t just walk calmly back through half of the Skyplex and take off.”
“And there are the children to consider,” River said, adding her dissenting voice to the mix. “If something goes wrong, what would happen to the children?”
Mal’s lips thinned into a straight line. “We make sure nothing goes wrong then. Zoe, he’s your husband, and he’s my crew. I ain’t standin’ by whilst they take him out. Dong ma?”
“Nor am I, sir,” Zoe said, the faintest tinge of steel in her tone. “But I want to be gorram sure that whatever we do has a better than average chance of success. And goin’ in guns blazin’ doesn’t, to my way of thinking.”
Kaylee looked anxiously between Mal and Zoe, having never seen them so obviously at odds about anything. “Maybe we could get into the outpost in some kind of disguise,” she suggested, hoping to defuse the tense situation. “Get to where Jim is and…spring him.”
“This ain’t a game, li’l Kaylee,” Mal replied sharply.
Kaylee ducked her head, shocked that he used that tone with her. The others, similarly startled, said nothing for a moment. Mal swallowed thickly, giving her a pat on the shoulder. “Didn’t mean to snap at you, mei mei. Just think security’s gonna be tight enough around Jim that we couldn’t just waltz in there and ‘spring him’ as you call it.”
“Perhaps we could get to him another way,” Simon said, thinking aloud. As everyone turned to look at him, a faint flush rose to his cheeks. “I mean, perhaps it would be easier to just walk in the front door instead of trying some kind of subterfuge.”
Mal crossed his arms over his chest. “Go on,” he said, leaning his hip against the galley counter.
“Well,” Simon began. “It’s a matter of record at the outpost that Jim is recovering from brain trauma, correct?’
“Yes,” Zoe said. “Spent hours hashing through it at the hearing.”
“So,” Simon said. “It would not be completely unreasonable for his personal physician to be called to examine him should he have a health emergency, correct?”
“I expect there’s a military doctor assigned to the outpost,” Mal said. “Not likely they’ll let you in if he’s available.”
“Then we make it so that he is not available,” Inara said softly. “Suppose he was out of place for some reason.”
There was silence as they all considered the possibilities. “Lot of maybe’s and surely’s in this plan,” Mal said dryly. “And we don’t know how much time Jim has before…”
“We can buy some time with Harken’s appeal,” Zoe said quietly. “Probably won’t give us long, but maybe it will be long enough.”
Mal nodded shortly, though he looked less than pleased. “All right. River, you find out what you can about the doctor’s schedule and habits. He’s bound to leave the outpost sometime. And when he does, we can be there to ensure he doesn’t report back in for duty.”
“Simon,” Mal said, turning to the doctor. “Need you to figure a way to give Jim a health problem that’s convincing enough that they’ll let you in. Only one of us they’ll let in to see him now is Zoe. So, it’ll have to be something she can get to him without detection. Think you can come up with something like that?”
Simon nodded. “I’m certain I can.”
“Jayne, you and I will take another look at the security at the outpost. I ain’t firmly convinced there won’t need to be some shooting.”
Jayne nodded, more than happy with the thought of having a plan that had at least a minimal chance of success and the possibility of taking Vera out to play.
Mal scrubbed his hands over his face tiredly. “All right, people, let’s go. Jim may not have much time.”
Matching action to his words, he left the galley, heading back to take a look at the layout of the outpost once again.
River sat on the bridge looking through the duty roster she’s hacked from the Alliance outpost earlier in the day. The system had been woefully inadequate to fend off her inquiries and she was grateful that at least one part of the plan was going smoothly. Engrossed in her work, she almost missed the small burst from the console. She turned her attention to it immediately, realizing that it was indicative of a transmission being sent from somewhere on Serenity. She frowned as she tried to identify the source of the transmission and its destination. Both were encoded in a complex code she did not readily recognize, and before she could make any record of it, the burst ended abruptly.
Making her way to their bunk, she found Mal sitting at his desk looking at the blueprints for the Skyplex. He looked up and smiled. “Everything shiny, bao bei?” he asked.
“Don’t know,” River replied. “Something strange just happened on the bridge.”
“Like what?” Mal asked, though he did not seem unduly alarmed by her statement.
River frowned, filing his reaction away for later contemplation. “There was a transmission from somewhere in the ship.”
“So?” Mal asked. “Probably just one of the crew talking to someone on the Cortex.”
River shook her head. “No,” she said. “It was a coded transmission, sent to a destination I couldn’t decipher. It disappeared before I could record it.”
“You sure you weren’t just…imagining it, darlin’?” Mal asked softly, rising from his chair to reach for her. “You’ve been a little…..off today.” His hands ran gently up and down her bare arms. “Maybehaps the stress has been a little too much. Why don’t you lie down? Tomorrow’s soon enough to figure out what happened.”
“I know what happened,” River said sharply. “I know what I saw.”
“All right,” Mal said, holding his hand up in a defensive gesture. “No need to get tetchy about it. But if you didn’t get a fix on the transmission, I don’t see as we can do anything about it. Just…you know…keep your eye out to see if it happens again.”
River nodded and allowed herself to be drawn into his embrace. She laid her head on his chest, listening to the usually comforting rhythm of his heart. But somehow, somewhere in the nebulous regions of her soul, she found no comfort in his arms, just a vague sense of unease. Perhaps the stress was truly getting to her, she thought tiredly, forcefully banishing her disquieting thoughts from her mind. He was right. Tomorrow would be soon enough to figure out what was going on.
Adam lay in his bed, unable to sleep. Usually, when he had trouble sleeping, his father would come into his room and read him a story or tell him something about when he was a little boy. But Daddy had been very busy tonight, and Adam knew he shouldn’t expect him to come. Still, the thought occurred to him that Daddy always came, regardless of what was happening. He frowned.
“You still awake, little fella’?” he heard from the corridor. Mal stuck his head in the door. “Seems to me your Mama told you to go to sleep about an hour ago.”
“Can’t sleep,” Adam said, though his wide yawn belied his statement.
“I see,” Mal said, smiling. “Think a story might do the trick?”
“Maybe,” Adam grinned. “We could read the next chapter, if you wanna’.”
Mal looked at him blankly for a moment.
Adam rolled his eyes. “You know, the next chapter,” he prompted.
Mal glanced around the room and saw the book sitting on the small nightstand beside Adam’s bed. Picking it up, he opened it and frowned. “Remind me where we left off,” he said, smiling.
Adam took the book from his father’s hand and obediently turned to the correct page. “Here,” he said.
Mal grinned, sat down on the edge of the bed, and started to read. Adam watched him closely, a little disappointed that his father had forgotten what they had read together just two nights before.
To be continued
Thursday, September 11, 2008 2:28 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008 2:31 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008 3:00 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:24 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:47 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:24 AM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.