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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
On the Kansas, there is a small mutiny and on Serenity, River has an announcement.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 819 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.
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”
Thanks again to Woonsocket and Chris for the Beta work
EES Kansas, November fifteenth, 2114:
Kansas was a ghost ship now. Captain Sylvia Marsh sat in the command chair of her first ever space command. Slowly she turned the Lassiter laser pistol over and over again in her hands.
She felt like vomiting. Sylvia wasn't sure if it was morning sickness, or the fact that she had killed thirty-eight hundred odd passengers and crew less than four four hours previously.
It wasn't really murder, she tried to rationalize. Every person on the ship had been told exactly what was happening. She was proud of the people on board Kansas.
There had been very little hysteria when she first informed the ship’s company about the situation. She further explained that, if run at minimum power, the reactor would provide power long enough for the souls within the cryo chambers to possibly survive.
A few had protested. Asking why those in cryo should be given preferential treatment. The captain explained that Kansas would run out of fuel for the reactor in less than six months if they didn't turn everything but the cryo chambers off.
That shut the nay-sayers up fairly quickly.
She gave the people on board Kansas options. In the end, a committee had been formed. In some bizarre twist of logic, they had decided that there should be a huge party. A barbecue and picnic held in the starboard pasture.
A party where the food would be laced with a strong narcotic compound. Drugs that would ensure that everyone would be completely comatose when the captain threw the switch that depressurized the huge space. With tears in her eyes, Sylvia had thrown that switch and watched as the air hissed into space through the view port built into the airtight door.
That sight would haunt her for the rest of her days... well hours anyway. There were a few last details to attend to before she would be the last person left aboard who was not in cryo. Her own death would come from the Lassiter in her hands.
With a sigh, the Captain looked over at the haggard face of her navigator. He and George Tashima, her first officer were the last ones left.
“Are we on course, Manny?”
“Do you honestly think this will work?”
“The math works. It's the long way there, but in four hundred thirteen years, Kansas will enter the system after the slingshot around that brown dwarf star three light years from our original destination.”
“Thank you Manny... Manfred.”
“You're welcome, Captain.”
“How... how are you going to...” the Captain trailed off.
“Doc gave me two hundred milligrams of morphine. I'll go out with a smile on my face.”
“It's... it's been an honor, Sylvia.”
“The same, Manfred.”
The young man smiled and turned to exit the bridge. He paused a moment when George Tashima entered. He motioned to the navigator to wait a moment.
“What is it George?”
“I wish you would reconsider.”
“You meet all the qualifications.”
“Doesn't matter. I'm the Captain.”
“You're being pig headed.”
“And you, are very close to insubordination,” Sylvia growled.
“So court marshal me,” George snarled back.
“Just... go away.”
“Not going to happen, Sylvia,” George said before lunging forward with a hypo and plunging it into the Captain's arm.
“George! What the hell...” the Captain trailed off as she fell unconscious. The Lassiter clattered to the deck.
“What the fuck, George!” Manfred swore.
“Help me get her down to cryo.”
“No! What the hell is happening?”
“Captain's pregnant. Derick was the father.”
“Son of a bitch. That's what you meant when you said she fit the qualifications.”
“Yes. Now help me carry her before she wakes up.”
The navigator nodded and grabbed Sylvia's ankles. With effort, the two men carried the captain off the bridge.
Kansas had fifteen unused cryo chambers. Ten of those chambers had already been put into use for the same number of women on board who were pregnant and not yet into their third trimester. Any later in their pregnancies than that, and the fetus would not survive the the cryo process.
Captain Marsh was only three and a half months pregnant. It was her duty to be the last officer alive on the ship. A duty stolen from her by her first officer.
“She's gonna be pissed when she wakes up,” Manfred remarked as he and George carefully laid the nude body of their captain in the cryo chamber.
“Not like I'm going be around for her to yell at me. And at least she will wake up.”
“You have a point.”
George inserted the IV needle into Sylvia's arm like the ships chief medical officer had instructed him. He began administering the chemical cocktail that would keep ice crystals from forming in the captain's cells when the freezing process began.
Drugs administered, George closed the cover to the chamber and activated the automatic systems. The clear front of the chamber frosted over as liquid helium sprayed on the the captain's body.
“Godspeed, Sylvia. Don't be too mad at me,” George said quietly, his hand resting on the chamber. Turning he looked at the navigator, “See you on the other side, Manfred.”
“You too, George.”
The two last members of the crew of the Kansas walked side by side back to the command section of the ship. With one last handshake, Manfred entered his cabin.
Laying on the bed, he calmly pulled out the syringe containing the morphine that the ship’s doctor had given him.
Manfred was dead less than a minute after he had administered the drug. A slight smile on his now placid face.
George sat in the command chair. He looked around the bridge one last time before keying in commands on the screen built into the arm. Moments later, alarms began to sound as the life support systems were shut down. He silenced the alarms.
George fastened the seatbelt to keep him from floating away from the command chair as the gravity shut down. He had one last thing to do. Flipping on the log recorder, he began to speak.
“This is the last log entry for the EES Kansas, First Officer, George Tashima recording...”
After he had finished speaking. George shut off the recorder and sighed. He reached out and grabbed the Lassiter pistol floating next to the chair.
The last sound heard on the bridge of the Kansas was a small pop as the crimson beam bored a hole through George's skull.
Maybe this hadn't been such a good idea. Keeping two six year olds, a five year old and a one year old entertained and out of mischief had turned out to be a daunting task.
The kids loved space travel, but this was the longest they had been cooped up in the ship in their short lives. Previous to this, the longest trip had been two and a half weeks when they flew to Kerry so Kaylee's parents could meet their new grandson. That was a year ago.
Now, three weeks into a five week trip, the kids were bouncing off the walls.
Little Jack was fairly easy to keep happy as the one year old didn't require quite as much entertainment as the older kids did. Jefferson wasn't too bad. He was content to play games with his cousins, read and watch cartoons.
Becca and Sara were the problem. A five year old with an IQ over 150 and six year old with a similar level of intelligence could get into trouble just playing a game of cards in the crew lounge.
Something about Sara figuring out how to count cards, which led to her cheating her Uncle Jayne out of most of his cash and, until Zoë put a stop to it, Vera.
Allan was receiving regular waves updating him on everything from Kansas' current position to Marion berating him for going into something like this without her to watch his back.
Allan sighed. Once again he pulled up all the information he had about Kansas on his laptop computer. He manipulated the data and overlaid the images taken by the Sutherland. How in the hell was he going to slow the Kansas down?
The tugs enroute would help. Normally used to move the huge, Alliance fleet cruisers, they had the engine power, but docking them to the Kansas was going to be the problem. Fuel was another consideration.
The tugs were not designed for long range travel. They were being accompanied by a fuel tanker just so they could reach the wreck. Another tanker was following the first, so that the tugs would have enough fuel to hopefully decelerate the Kansas enough so she would slide into a solar orbit.
Once in orbit, there would be enough time to go through her, compartment by compartment. That alone could take months.
Another fact Allan was considering involved the people in cryo on board Kansas. Were the chambers still functioning? Could people still be alive after all this time? Part of Allan dreaded and another part hoped. If there was still power on board, there was the strong possibility that some may have survived.
It was a crapshoot, however. There was a statistical chance that as many as twenty percent of the chambers could have malfunctioned during the one hundred year normal voyage. Increasing that to four hundred years meant that as many as eighty to ninety percent may have malfunctioned. The fact that Allan himself had survived that long in cryo on his own ship was simple dumb luck.
The course the ship was on troubled him as well. Kansas was coming from the wrong direction to have come directly from the Sol system. It looked like she had looped around a super dense, brown dwarf star three light years distant. There was only one man Allan could think of who could have calculated a course like that, Manfred Ditz.
Thoughts of Manfred brought him to thoughts of the Kansas' Captain, Sylvia Marsh. Allan had picked her for the job personally when she had just been an Alliance Aero Space Force test pilot. It was one of the few concessions the government had given him back when it was assumed that Allan himself would be traveling in cryo on the Kansas himself.
Then the political winds had changed and Allan was prevented from joining the Exodus. He circumvented that by building Freebird and coming anyway.
Allan knew that Sylvia was dead. As Captain she would have been the last person alive if she could have helped it. Allan also knew in the back of his mind that she would have been dead by the time the Kansas reached the Blue Sun system from old age anyway. Sometimes however, logic didn't overrule friendship.
Allan was interrupted from his musing by the sounds of something scraping through the ventilation duct over his head.
The scraping noise stopped.
“Are you and Becca playing in the ventilation system?”
There was a small noise as whatever was in the duct moved slightly.
With a sigh, Allan stood up, walked to the nearest vent outlet. Pulling over a crate, he stood on it and pulled the vent open. Ten feet away down the duct on their hands and knees were two very grimy little girls carrying flashlights.
Before Allan could scold them, his wife entered the common area.
“Baby? You seen our daughter?”
In the duct, Sara held a finger in front of her lips in a shushing motion.
“That depends, Hon.”
“Depends on what, Husband? And why are you looking into that vent... oh, don't tell me.”
“Yep. Serenity has rats. Big ones named Sara and Rebecca.”
A muffled voice whining the word, “Daddy...” was heard coming from the opening.
Allan stepped back as Zoë stepped up and stuck her head into the duct. Immediately she pulled her head back and sneezed from the dust.
She didn't know whether to laugh or scream. Zoë chose the middle ground instead, “Girls, get your filthy pi-gu's outta that duct right now!”
Muffled words of, “Yes, Momma,” and, “Yes, Aunt Zoë,” came out of the duct. The sound of scrambling hands and knees was heard and two grimy faces appeared at the opening.
Allan pulled the girls out and stood them in front of Zoë. He stepped around the tots and stood beside his wife, trying his best to keep a serious scowl on his face.
“What, pray tell, were you two doing in there?” Allan asked.
“Spelunking,” Sara replied.
Surprised that his five year old even knew that word, Allan shook his head, “Serenity's ventilation system is not a cave. What if one of you had gotten stuck, or fallen in one of the vertical shafts? Who would be able to get you out?”
“Aunt River?” Sara asked.
Allan rolled his eyes and sighed.
Zoë snickered once before regaining her stern demeanor. Making sure she was frowning, she addressed her daughter and niece, “Look at you two. Water is at a premium this trip and now both o' you need a bath. Something I remember givin’ to Sara, at least, this very mornin...”
“Sorry, Momma,” Sara replied, eyes downcast.
Both o' you girls get in the shower room and strip. I'll be there in a minute with clean clothes for the both o' you.”
“Yes'm,” the girls chorused before running to the shower.
Zoë looked at her husband and grinned, “And you wanted a kid.”
“Don't look at me. You wanted one. I just agreed,” Allan grinned back. It was the same thing they said to each other every time Sara did something that got her into trouble.
Freshly scrubbed and dressed in clean clothes, Sara and Becca followed Zoë back upstairs to the galley for supper. As the two girls entered, Mal gave them a very stern look.
“I'm beginnin’ to see that you two ragamuffins ain't worth the air you breathe...” he growled.
The two girls eyes got as wide as saucers.
“But since you're family, I can't put ya' out the airlock. That said, you go crawlin places you ain't supposed to be, you ain't gonna be able to sit down for a week... Dong-ma?”
“Dang-ran,” the girls replied in unison. Zoë swatted Sara's backside as she shooed the girl to her seat at the table.
Rebecca walked meekly to her chair and sat in it, unable to meet her father's gaze. Kaylee tried to keep a stern look on her face as well, but just couldn't.
As Allan dished out the food, the dinner conversation picked back up to it's usual dull roar.
“Any updates, Allan?” Mal asked as the older man sat next to Zoë.
“Nothing new yet. The Eagle is due to arrive sometime tonight, our time. With her sensors, we might get a better idea what's happening.”
“How are you planin on getting aboard?”
“I finished the plans for a docking adapter for one of the shuttles this afternoon. We've got the materials to build it already on board. Kaylee and I just need to fabricate it.”
“Sounds good to me,” Mal replied.
Allan looked down the table to where Jayne was playing spaceship and docking bay with his nephew. Jack was a fussy eater but his Uncle Jayne could get him to eat. River sat quietly next to her husband, a look of longing on her face. Her food was untouched.
Allan frowned, “You okay, Kiddo?”
“I'm fine,” River replied, “Just not very hungry.”
Jayne set the spoon down on Jack's high chair, “Riv?”
“I'm fine, Zang-fu,” River smiled.
“Mei-mei?” Simon asked.
“I said I'm fine!” River exclaimed before running from the table.
Jayne and Simon jumped to their feet, but Mal held up his hands, “Hang on you two. Why don't we let someone ain't related or married to her, check on Albatross.”
“I'll go, Sir,” Zoë said as she smoothly got to her feet.
Simon looked like he was about to protest when Allan looked at him and shook his head slightly and the doctor backed down.
Zoë headed in the direction River had run. She found her in the pilot's seat, knees drawn to her chest.
“Go away, Zoë,” River sniffled.
“You know that ain't happinin. What's wrong girl?”
“O' what? I seen you do things that'd turn my hair white.”
River picked her head up and gazed out through the bridge windows. A tear ran down her face, “Scared I won't be good enough.”
Zoë knelt down next to the chair, “Good enough at what, Mei-mei?”
“A good enough mother.”
Zoë's eyes shot wide, “You tellin’ me you're...”
Zoë smiled wide, “Congratulations, Mei-mei.”
River just sniffled and Zoë's face fell.
“I take it you ain't told Jayne yet...”
River looked down so her hair hid her face, “No.”
“River... look at me,” Zoë ordered.
River looked at the older woman and began to cry.
“Shhh, girl. This is a happy time.”
“Don't know if I can do it. What if... what if I go crazy again?”
“River. You been stable the last nine years. This ain't gonna change nothin’.”
“What if she's like me?”
“What? Pretty and smart?”
“Thought the Alliance did that to you.”
River shook her head, “I could read before I went to the Academy. They just made me stronger and... programmed me.. Before I went, I could shut my reading off. Now I can't, unless I try very, very hard. I don't want my baby to go through that.”
Zoë pulled River into a hug, “You ain't gotta worry. Your little one's gonna have a whole bunch o' aunts and uncles to keep her safe. Not to mention her momma and daddy. No one's gonna do to her what they did to you. And if she's like you and can read, you'll be a great teacher for her,” Zoë paused a moment, “You did say, her, right?”
River nodded and a faint smile crossed her lips as she pulled back, “I think so.”
“How'd you find out?”
“Felt something. Like when I felt you and Allan conceive Sara.”
“You... felt... that?”
“The conception, silly,” River giggled, “I try not to watch.”
Zoë snickered and after a moment so did River. They began to laugh together, “Only try?” Zoë asked.
“There was that one time...” River replied. With a sincere smile, she began to tell the story of how she had been working in the ceiling of the engine room when Kaylee and her brother had finally 'sealed the deal' after Miranda.
After a few more laughs, the two women composed themselves. With a shared smile, River and Zoë headed back to the galley.
Jayne and Simon stood side by side in the doorway, waiting.
“Baby girl?” Jayne asked.
River smiled at her husband. The smile that could melt his mercenary heart. Zoë moved back to the table and sat next to Allan with a knowing smile on her own face.
River stood on tip toes and whispered in Jayne's ear. A moment later, the big man let out a whoop that made the bulkheads ring as he scooped River into his arms and kissed her long and deep.
Everyone around the table looked at each other. Kaylee had a twinkle in her eye like she thought she might know what it was. Her suspicion was confirmed moments later.
“Everyone,” River began after Jayne set her back down, “Jayne and I... we... well we are going to be parents.”
Kaylee's squeal nearly pierced everyones eardrums. A moment later, everyone was congratulating the couple. Other than the kids that is. The three oldest shared a look and Sara spoke, “Terrific... another baby,” She said with a pout on her face.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 5:02 PM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 5:17 PM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 5:52 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009 1:38 PM
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