BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

Relics - Chapter 3
Monday, February 9, 2009

We see more of what happened on the Kansas and Mal has an adventure in babysitting.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1565    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Allan and the kids. they're mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.

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This story takes place nine years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/Allan and Jayne/River. Takes place five years post “The Bash” -

A/N: New story arc. Set five years after “The Bash”

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Woonsocket's gone MIA so this is un-beta'd No worries once she gets the edited version back I'll fix what's broke.

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Relics

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Chapter Three

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EES Kansas, October third, 2114:

Captain Sylvia Marsh lay back on her bunk, staring at the ceiling. Absently, her hands moved to her still flat stomach. While on the bridge, she had to be Captain. In her quarters she could be a woman. Silent tears ran down her face. Not just for the lives lost in the collision, but two lives in particular. Her unborn child and that child's father, Kansas' Chief Engineer.

They had kept the affair secret. It wasn't good for morale to have two senior officers in a relationship. That was the catch 22. Kansas was supposed to be a generation ship. Everyone on board who was not already married was supposed to find a mate and have children.

Derick was a good man. The kind of man the crew looked up to. Not because he was an officer but because of who he was.

Derick was in the primary engine room when they had collided with the comet fragment.

Sylvia wiped her tears away. Derick was gone. In three months, she and her unborn child would be joining him in death. There was simply no way to she could think of to salvage the situation.

A knock at her door snapped the Captain back to reality. Sniffling, she tried to compose herself. She rose from her bunk and opened the cabin door. Outside stood her first officer, George Tashima.

“You got a minute Captain?”

“Come in George.”

As soon as the door closed, the first officer looked at his Captain, “You okay, Sylvia?”

“I'm fine George,” she replied, her tone of voice not conveying the meaning of her words.

“Bullshit.”

“Excuse me?”

“Damn it Syl... I knew about you and Derick.”

“Oh,” She replied, looking at her feet.

“And I approved.”

George got a wan smile in return.

“I also know about the baby.”

“How?”

George smiled, “Derick told me.”

The Captain nodded and smiled slightly, “Never could keep his mouth shut.”

“That's Derick.”

“Yup.”

“I... I just wanted you to know that if you need a shoulder to cry on... I'm here.

“I'm the Captain. Not supposed to cry.”

“I did, not two hours ago. And if that leaves this room, I'll deny it to my dying day.”

“Ain't going to be long then.”

George nodded gravely, “I know. But the Wunderchild is working on something.”

“What?” the Captain asked.

“Won't tell me yet.”

“I'll go talk to him.”

“Lead the way Boss,” George smiled.

They found the man they called Wunderchild in the main computer lab. Manfred Ditz was a genius, particularly in the field of astrophysics. His official title was lead navigator. Ditz could do complex physics equations in his head. He had originally been assigned to The Manchester. The first Exodus ship to leave orbit. But appendicitis had sidelined him until the Kansas launched.

“You got something, Manny?” Sylvia asked. She was the only one who could call him that and get away with it.

He looked up from his computer screen, “Perhaps Captain.”

“Spill it.”

“I can get us to our destination.”

“How?” George asked incredulously, “We don't have any engines, remember.”

“In a way, we do,” the little man replied. Manfred stood only five feet tall, “We still have working thrusters, correct?”

“Most of them,” George replied, “But how does that get us back on our course?”

“They don't.”

The Captain stared at Manfred. He gulped and continued, “But I've plotted a new course.”

“Care to explain that Manny? And how do we get around the little problem of not having enough fuel for the fusion reactor?”

“First. We need to rig a new fuel line from the main fuel tanks to the thruster system.”

“That's a pretty tall order, Manfred,” George said.

“We have the materials. In the terriforming supplies. I'm sure Derick can rig...”

“Derick's dead,” The Captain replied coldly.

“Oh... who's left from engineering?”

“Lee Wong and Jessie Knowles. Along with about ten techs,” George replied.

“They can do it,” Manfred insisted.

“So, what are we going to do with the thrusters once they have fuel?”

“We'll need a thirty five day burn.”

“What?” George exclaimed.

“That's just to get us on my new course. That will get the ship there. I'm afraid however it will take a significant longer time than the planned one hundred years.”

“How significant?” Sylvia asked.

“Four hundred thirty years... give or take.”

“You're nuts,” The Captain growled, “What about the little fact that we will run out of fuel for the fusion reactor in three months?”

“We can rig a fuel line from the remaining tanks. The burn will consume most of the fuel remaining in tank one. The remaining fuel in tank five will run the reactor for approximately five hundred eight years... if it's only powering the remaining cryo chambers.”

“Let me get this straight,” George said, “We condemn everyone to a slow death by suffocation, except for those in cryo.”

“Yes,” Manfred replied.

“I...” George started to say.

“At least someone might survive,” the Captain said quietly, cutting her first officer off.

“Captain... you can't seriously consider...”

“I am George. And no one will suffer.”

“What are you going to do? Order euthanasia for everyone?”

“Yes.”

“Captain... Sylvia. I must protest.”

“So noted, Mr. Tashima. But make it happen. Get that fuel line rigged.”

George nodded. The power invested in the Captains of the exodus ships was truly the power of life and death.

“I'll get on it Captain,” George replied. He turned slowly to leave.

Sylvia placed her hand on his shoulder, “If there was any other way...”

“I know Sylvia, I know.”

XXXXXXXXXX

The present:

Zoë was bored. Not at this particular moment as she was shopping with Inara and Kaylee. But life in general had lost some of it's zing. Not that she didn't appreciate having money, not having to eat protein or getting shot at on a regular basis. Still, a little excitement once in a while wouldn't go unappreciated.

Sara provided some excitement to be sure. She had a penchant for mischief, particularly if there was machinery or electronics involved. Still...

“Earth-that-was to Zoë. You in there somewhere?” Kaylee asked.

“Hmm? Sorry Mei-mei, Just 'thinkin.”

Inara looked over at her friend as they walked down the sidewalk of the most prestigious shopping district on Shinon, “What's wrong Zoë?”

“I 'dunno,” Zoë replied, “It's like... I feel like life is 'passin me by.”

Inara nodded, “I have to admit, the last five years or so have been a bit... quiet.”

“Now that you mention it...” Kaylee trailed off.

“I think we're all 'startin to feel like that,” Zoë admitted, “Even Allan's a might... restless.”

“You two aren't having problems, are you?” Inara asked, suddenly concerned.

“Nothin like that,” Zoë replied, “I just see Allan in his study all day on the cortex 'runnin Blue Sun. He just looks... trapped.”

“What about you Zoë?” Kaylee asked.

“I love him. Plain and simple. But I'm feeling there should be somethin more than being a wife and momma.”

“We are all people of action,” Inara said, “A little adventure now and again is a good thing.”

“Keeps the blood 'movin,” Kaylee agreed.

“'Speakin o' adventure. I wonder how the Captain's 'managin, 'playin babysitter?” Zoë wondered.

XXXXXXXXXX

Mal collapsed onto the sofa in the common area across from the infirmary. He finally had gotten the little ones to settle down. Emma was sleeping in her crib, Jack was likewise asleep, curled up in the big recliner while Sara, Jeff and Becca shared a bowl of popcorn as they watched some cartoon movie from Earth-that-was, on the big cortex screen in the corner. Something about a family of superheros or some such.

Soon as someone got back, maybehaps he could catch a nap...

XXXXXXXXXX

Please... no more,” the midway barker said as he handed a huge, stuffed pink teddy bear to River.

The young wife grinned up at her large husband who was laden down with several other stuffed toys.

“You are correct. I have the required number of stuffed animals. I should point out however that your air rifles sights are off by two degrees,” River stated.

“Ummm, thank you for pointing that out... I'll see to it.”

As the couple walked off down the amusement parks midway, Jayne looked over at his wife, “You know he was 'tryin to cheat ya' don't you?”

“Of course. That's where I got the two degrees from. It was at the forefront of his mind. I just compensated.”

“We could've gone to a toy store and bought all this go-se, ya' know.”

“What fun is there in that?”

“Well...”

“Come Zang-fu. I wish to ride the roller coaster...”

Jayne muttered something under his breath as he followed River through the crowds.

XXXXXXXXXX

Allan and Simon entered the ship and looked around.

“Awfully quiet,” Simon commented.

“Yeah... I expected to find that the girls had hog tied and hung Mal from the catwalk or something.”

“My daughter would never do such a thing,” Simon pouted.

“Mine would. And you know just as well as I do, Becca would have followed right along with a smile on her face,” Allan said with a grin.

“True...and Jeff would just watch.”

“Yep,” Allan replied.

The two men made their way aft to the common area. Both broke out in smiles when they saw what had happened.

Mal was asleep on the sofa wearing a wonderful shade of pink lipstick. Not to mention rouge, blue mascara and eyeliner. In front of him stood Sara and Rebecca, admiring their handy work. Jefferson and Jack were no where in sight.

“Ahem,” Allan said quietly.

Both girls nearly jumped out of their skins. They turned as one to find their fathers staring at them with bemused smiles.

“Hi, Daddy,” the girls said in unison. Some days, it seemed the two of them shared a brain.

“Where are Jeff and Jack?” Simon asked.

Mal snorted and rolled over.

“In Jeff's room.. takin a nap like Uncle Mal,” Becca replied.

“Did they get makeovers too?” Allan asked, trying not to laugh.

“Nah... that ain't funny,” Sara grinned evilly, “Uncle Mal... now that's funny.”

Simon snorted, trying not to break out in laughter. Allan was also fighting a loosing battle.

“Okay girls. You've had your fun,” Allan stated, “Sara? Want to help me start dinner?”

“Okay Daddy.”

Simon looked down at his little girl. She looked back with puppy dog eyes that were entirely too much like her mother's.

“You ain't mad?” Becca asked.

Allan and Simon shared a look and then they both shook their heads.

“Come on Rebecca, you can help me in the infirmary,” Simon said.

“Okay Daddy.”

Allan scooped Sara into his arms and began climbing the stairs to the upper deck, chuckling slightly as he climbed.

Simon just shut the door to the infirmary and began laughing hysterically.

Throughout it all, Mal dozed on the sofa.

XXXXXXXXXX

Mal awoke to the smell of dinner drifting down from the galley. Suddenly realizing he had fallen asleep, he swore to himself quietly. Glancing around he saw that the kids were no where in sight and Serenity looked to be intact. With a grunt, he hauled himself off the sofa and headed for the upper deck.

Entering the galley, he saw that his entire crew and family was there. He wondered why all conversation stopped and everyone except Simon, Allan, Sara and Becca were staring at him.

River did her best not to laugh. Instead she put her head on the table. Jayne grinned and then looked away.

Zoë began to snicker, Kaylee followed her example.

“That... that's a lovely shade on you Ai-ren,” Inara said, while trying not to laugh at her husband.

“Huh?”

“Daddy looks like a clown.” Jeff stated. Sara and Becca began giggling.

Mal ran a finger down his face and it came back with that looked like makeup.

“What the hell?” Mal muttered as he headed for the crew head in the forward passageway.

A few seconds later, he bellowed, “Zoë! Kaylee!”

“Uh, oh” little Jack said.

Mal stormed back into the galley, “Which one o' you little ragamuffins did this?”

Sara and Becca shared a look.

“I thought so,” Mal growled.

“Serves you right, Mal,” Allan chuckled as Sara did her best to hide behind her father's legs.

“Fer what?”

“Falling asleep while babysitting.”

“Gotta agree with my husband on this one, Sir,” Zoë chuckled.

Simon was grinning while Jayne and Kaylee were almost rolling on the floor with laughter. River, head still on the table, beat the wooden surface with her fist, trying to not laugh out loud.

“I... but... gorramit, I'm the Captain!”

“Gorramit,” Jack parroted from his high chair.

“Thank you, Mal. You just taught my son his first bad word,” Simon grumbled.

“Go-se!” Jack exclaimed, grinning.

“Maybe not...” Simon trailed off as he looked pointedly at his brother-in-law. Jayne looked back at him with a look that said, 'don't look at me'.

Mal's face was turning red, and not from the rouge.

“Come along Mal, I have makeup remover in the shuttle...” Inara said as she dragged her husband down the corridor.

“So... who wants to set the table?” Allan asked as he went back to cooking.

XXXXXXXXXX

Mal had calmed down considerably by the time their meal was done. He actually began to see the humor in it and like Allan said. It was his own fault.

As desert was served, Allan spoke up, “I saw something on the news today that requires my... attention.”

“What's that Baby?” Zoë asked.

“Seems a very old ship was found adrift out near Angel.”

“So?” Jayne asked.

“It's an Exodus ship.”

Jaws dropped around the table. Even River seemed surprised. She had been a bit distracted lately.

“Must be wrong,” Kaylee said.

“Confirmed by the PM when I called him.”

“As I recall, all the Exodus ships got dismantled to build the first cities on Shinon and Londonium,” Mal stated.

“All but one,” Allan replied.

“You can't mean the Kansas?” Inara asked.

“I do.”

“Kansas blew up on the Exodus... least 'accordin to the history books,” Kaylee said.

“No one actually knew what happened,” Inara replied, “Only a faint and garbled distress call was received by the fleet.”

Allan nodded. “That's why I need to go check her out. See what happened.”

“How do we even know that this ship is what they say?” Jayne asked.

Allan picked up the remote for the holo unit they had installed in the galley. A moment later the 3D image of a battered ship swum into view. Painted prominently on her hull was the word; Kansas.

“Looks like an over sized football on a stick,” Jayne commented.

Allan glared at him. The Exodus ships were the culmination of his life's work.

“All the ships looked like that,” Allan replied, “I used a common design for the hull and systems. Only how they were outfitted internally set each ship apart. With eighteen to build, we could almost mass produce the basic space frame.”

“An efficient use of resources,” River said.

“Thank you River.”

Another image appeared over the table. This showed the extensive damage to the ships engineering spaces.

“Took a right 'poundin,” Kaylee said, almost in awe.

“Looks like a collision,” Zoë said, speaking for the first time.

Allan smiled at his wife, “My thoughts as well.”

“Why are they in such a rush?” Mal asked.

“Because in a little less than six months, She's going to hit Ariel.”

“So?” Jayne asked, “She'll just break up in atmo.”

“When I say hit Ariel, I mean it. Kansas is four kilometers long and just over one and a half wide. At full load she massed over two billion metric tons. She's going so fast that the atmosphere won't matter. She's going to hit Ariel like a meteor... A very big meteor.”

“Can you fix it, Daddy?” Sara asked.

“Maybe not fix, Princess,” Allan smiled, “But maybe we can slow her down enough to enter orbit.”

“You can do it, Uncle Allan,” Becca proclaimed. Jeff nodded in agreement

Allan chuckled, “Looks like the kids are on board.”

“Awful big target for scavengers,” Jayne said.

“That's why her exact location is being kept secret. Only the ship that found her and the Alliance fleet know where she is.”

“Do you foresee any danger, Allan?” Simon asked.

“Shouldn't be. An Alliance cruiser and two destroyers should see to that.”

“I'm up for it,” Kaylee chirped.

“You just want to get your hands on the ship, lil' Kaylee,” Mal chuckled.

“Well...”

“If you reckon it will be safe for the kids 'bein with us. I'm for it,” Zoë stated.

“Simon?” Allan asked.

“I say go.”

Allan looked at Mal.

“Got some time before foaling starts on the ranch. My hands can handle things for the moment. Kinda interested in seeing this ship for m'self.”

“Jayne? River?” Allan asked.

“I'm good. Ain't had a decent adventure in a while,” The big man replied. A low chuckle shot around the room.

“Needs to be done,” River stated.

Mal clapped his hands, “Lets get to it people. River get us fueled, Kaylee, parts and consumables, Zoë, food. Doc, get the infirmary squared away. Allan get whatever you're gonna need for supplies and equipment, Jayne. See to the armory. Can't be too careful with the little ones on board.”

There were nods around the table.

“Start getting stuff in the 'mornin. I want to be in the black late tomorrow afternoon,” Mal ordered.

“What about Reggie and Alisha?” Kaylee asked.

“Londonium is in the wrong direction right now,” Allan said, “I'll wave them and send enough money to keep them set until we get back.”

“Sounds good,” Mal replied. Everyone get some rest. Got a lot to do in the mornin.

TBC

COMMENTS

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:23 AM

GWG


Technical note: 2%C = 13.4 million MPH while 5 months x 1 MPH = 3,600 Miles or an earth radius.
Missing a planet is easy, recovering power & life support harder, while loosing 2%C velocity would take a while.
Good series as always.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:35 AM

BRIGLAD


I know... should have left out an exact velocity... I'll edit to make it a bit more vague... :-)

Brian

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:27 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


LOL!! I'm not too techy so I would have totally missed it. I just loved the babysitting. I could so see my kids doing that to Mal and it would have been just as funny. Wonderful new series and I can't wait for more!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:07 PM

GWG


1.5 G's for 5 months will do 14 million MPH

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:12 PM

GWG


Would need a lot of tugs for a while or a complete repair of the Kansas

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:38 PM

GWG


And you need at least 2%C which for 450 years gives only 9 light years travel

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:11 AM

BRIGLAD


Thank you gwg for the mathematics lesson.

Perhaps you have heard of the term 'Willing suspension of disbelief'?

Thank you.

Brian

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:15 AM

GWG


Even with Fusion power (not invented yet but is being worked on) intersteller flight is hard to do

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 8:22 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


Wow, someone's gettin awful techy about a story that takes place in the future and that is clearly fiction. Sometimes we just need to enjoy a story for just that and leave our scientific selfs at the site's door, if you get my drift....

Still think it's awesome, Brian. Now, where's my chapter four?! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:13 PM

JANE0904


Fiction at it's best. I love Mal being the brunt of the babysitting, but I want Sylvia to survive. After all, she's pregnant, and I somehow doubt ... well, we'll just have to see.


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