AIB 15 "Sacred Monster and the Damsel In Distress"
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Angelle give Hoban a new home, but all is not well with our beloved Companion....thnks to AMDOBELL for the idea of makin' Hoban special among the people.


Angelle's mine, but the rest belongs to Joss. ------------------------------------------------ the old Irish tongue, it meant sacred and as the plow horses pulled the sled holding Hoban, all around us it was chanted. Most of the villagers were religious in some form or another. Being surrounded by creatures so vast and powerful one tends to find that either you believe in a Creator or you go crazy thinking on the science of the thing. How anyone can think that something comes from nothing is beyond my scope of thought.

"What are they sayin'?" Mal whispered in my ear, walking beside me with his upper arm wrapped in a bandage.

"That it's a good thing you didn't kill it." I laughed. "Means sacred in Gaelic. Several of these settlers are Irish decent and so we tend to use the old language here. Be the reason you don't hear much Chinese."

"And you're fluent?"

"Hell no. I understand and speak enough to get by. If anything, I speak swamp." I waved to my dad as he approached us, looking first at our catch and then at us. "Been awhile since I seen a whitey and that shot is one in a million. Hit the tear duct and not the eye. Risky if ya missed. Would've blinded the bastard."

"Wasn't much choice in the matter, Sam. It was either shoot or let it tear your daughter to pieces. Be glad it was the tranq I picked up and not Vera." Mal rubbed his bandage as I slapped his hand away.

"You?" My dad shook his head." Wonders never cease with you, Malcolm. Come to my home, bag a gator, and my daughter." He winked as I turned about four more shades of red. "Scouts saw, not that they were lookin' mind you. I'm all for you two getting along, but next to a sleeping gator with a chance for more in the area."

"What's the use of living if you can't take a risk now and again. Seemed like good a place as any." Mal took it all like a trooper, making me wonder just what it would take to embarrass the man beside me. "Besides, way this place is, doing it the traditional way is all but impossible."

"Guess it's a damn good thing you're not a traditionalist, huh?" My father smiled as he walked over to slap the back of the white monster. "So, if I know my daughter like I know I do, this behemoth already has a name."

"Mal called it Hoban." I caught an eye from Zoe as she walked up to look at our catch.

"Interesting choice of name, Sir." She walked around the beast, not touching it, but almost as if the warrior woman was examining him for purchase. Finally, Zoe bent low, her long legs bending at the knee and a single beautiful hand fell gently to its snout. "Wear that name well. You got big shoes to fill." Maybe it was my imagination, but as she knelt there face to snout with that big white lizard, I swear I saw a tear fall from her eye.

“Do I get the general drift that the name has some kind of significance?” I whispered to Mal. “Remember the pilot I told you about.”

“Oh. Well, I hope he realize the honor he's been given.”

“Wash or the gator?”

“The gator...anyone brave enough to fly your ship had to be quite the man.” I smiled as my feet carried me over to lay a hand on Hoban's tough hide.

“Did she just insult me or compliment my dead pilot?” I heard Mal asked my father, who chuckled a bit.

“I'm thinkin' a bit of both.” He cuffed Mal on the back before walking away.

“He's not sure what you want from him.” River spoke at my side, her hand mimicking mine as I checked Hoban's breathing, but her eyes looking toward Mal.

“I want whatever he does. Freedom to be himself.”

“I wasn't talkin' about the captain.”

“Hoban? He just needs to live the life of a gator. Nothing special?”

“He knows how to do that, but he's afraid that living free will take him away from his heart.”

“Hoban?” I looked at her. Never thought any gator was that complex.

“Mal.” She smiled and then stood, walking away. Sometimes, readers made sense and then other times, they left us scratching our heads while the fuzziness cleared. If it cleared...

“So he named it after Wash.” Jayne looked down at the brute and itched his own head. “Looks more like a Jayne to me.”

“How you figure?” I grinned at the thought running through my head. “I think Hoban is a good name. After all, you'd never catch him running around in rubber duck boxers.”

“Hey, those were a present from my Ma,” I heard him commented as I went to find a map to find a location to transfer the albino gator.

* * * * * *

“So here's to a job well done.” Mal lifted his tin cup of swamp beer knocking my own as we sat on my house's front porch.

“I think Hoban will enjoy his new home and with the tracking chip in him, we will be able to monitor his progress.”

“Your people really think he's special, huh?”

“Kind of like a good omen and protector of the land rolled into one.”

“Mighty big responsibility for a lizard.” He laughed and draped his arm over me. “So, what's your plans after this? Still going after that corpse on Whitefall ?”

“It is what I do. Man needs killin'.”

“Got a good reason?”

“Yup.” I didn't give it, maybe because the reason wasn't any of his business or because if I brought it to light, my heart would convict me yet again over why I wanted him dead and no one else.

“Care to add to that?” His eyes stared into mine, and as I shook my head, the pain from my lip made me aware of the fact I was biting on it. “Must be quite the reason then.” I couldn't really tell if he was hurt, but with a loud sigh, I opened my mouth to speak it out when...

“Stix,” the radio at my side squawked loudly as I reached for it.“Come in, Stix.”

“Hey there, Spaceman, what you need?”

“Seems we intercepted a message and it looks like something you might wanna see.” The static rumbled as he went on. “We think it was destine for that ship we have on our pad.”

“You mean Serenity?” I responded, a bit peeved that they would call her just a ship, but remembered that these boys rarely left the bunker.

“Sure. Anyway, it looks important. Should I keep it on stand by?”

“I'll be right over. Out.” I sat down my cup and threw on my jacket as the radio cracked again.

“Uh...Stix. The message ain't for you. The pretty girl is askin' for the captain.”


“Mal, please, dear Buddha, I hope you get this. You were right about Atheron and now, he won't let me go. I'm not sure how you are getting in here, but please come get me out. I have guards surrounding me and the one reason why I was able to record this was because they fell asleep after the wine I gave them. He's got the whole place on lookout for you and the crew. Please, do what you can. I don't think I can hold out much longer before I go crazy. I've got to go, someone's comin'...” The transmission went blank as Mal just stared at the screen, Zoe on his left as I stood in the back.

“How we gonna get her out, Sir?” She spoke as he continued to just stare. “Everyone there knows who you are. Especially after your last show.”

“I know, but she's our crew. Makes us beholdin' to her.”

“We could call The Guild.”

“It would take too long.” He ran a hand through his hair and then slammed a fist down on the table.

“I could get you in.” My mouth muttered it before I had time to convince myself against it. She was a good person and part of his crew, but would I learn to regret what I had just agreed to. “I have connections in that world, ones that are higher up the scale than your Atheron and they aren't to keen on his way of life.”

Mal turned toward me along with Zoe. I stood, my long legs shaking a bit under me as I rubbed my hands nervously. “We can find another way,” he spoke.

“Not in time to save her. Best get your shi...Serenity ready.” I turned quickly, heading out the door before my eyes betrayed that which I knew was coming. My legs hadn't carried me far when I felt a hand on my shoulder. With enough force to spin me around, lips engulfed mine and that burning sensation from last night returned.

“I know what you're worried about. Ain't gonna happen, Ange.”

“Didn't say I was.” I smiled as big and as fake as I could.

“As tough as you want to be, darlin', your eyes still betray you. Might be true that I had a few feelin's for Inara, but it ain't her bed I was in last night.”

“Wasn't quite in mine either.”

“Trust me, I would've been had that gator not interrupted.” He finally let me go. “Now, you sure 'bout leavin' your people with those purple bellies still patrollin' the area?”

“Boys will call if things get too hairy. Besides, I can get you within breathing distance of this bastard.”

“You know I thank ya for this.”

“Yup, but I ain't doin' it for you. She doesn't deserve what that asshole's puttin' her through. 'Nara is a good woman.” As long as she keeps her claws out of you...okay, so that last part I left unsaid. You could say I wasn't quite ready to commit that to the world. Could I spend the rest of my life as Mrs. Malcolm Reynolds? I wasn't sure. He was definitely someone I could live with waking up to but it would also mean a life spent on Serenity. My love for the ship was great, but it didn't equal the love I had for my home. And just between you and me, I don't think Mal would let Old Scar become a crew member. Tryin' to eat your crew mates would be grounds for going on a one way trip out an airlock, plus I don't think Old Scar would like bein' cooped up in some cargo bay.

“Better go tell the crew we're shippin' out, though I'm sure Zoe done told them already and we best make peace with your daddy for we leave as well.” Mal grabbed my hand lacing his fingers around mine. As we walked toward my father's house, I heard him muttered at my side. “Guess I'm gonna have to wear those blasted tight pants again.”


Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:36 PM


So what we all knew was going to happen has happened! Inara seems to attract trouble, but this was entirely of her own making. I loved that you made Hoban something of a sacred thing, although I'm not sure about Mal being quite so open with Angelle's father - I've always seen him as slightly more strait-laced ... although the last line made me laugh!

Thursday, January 15, 2009 3:29 AM


When will Inara learn? Totally avoidable trouble with Atherton but she just never listens, especially to Mal, yet she always expect him and his crew to get her out of whatever mess she gets into. Let's hope that this time she is actually grateful and doesn't throw it back in his face. As for how things will progress with Mal and Angelle, if the love is strong and true nothing will break that connection. A life lived between Serenity and the Swamp could be made to work, giving each a little of their own space as well as doubling the pleasure the times they are together. I don't think Ange has to worry about Inara screwing things up, she just needs to have faith in herself and Mal. And I really loved what you did with Hoban, kudos to you! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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