The DUPLICITY Series: 60. "Firestorm"
Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Inara decides to act and hopefully rebuild her reputation at the same time. Badger finds out about his inheritance. General Franks comes up with a solution which the Minister cannot resist. Meanwhile the crw find out more about the Alliance, Blue Sun and Gabriel Tam."


TITLE: "FIRESTORM" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Zoe/Wash. Kaylee/Simon. Mal/Inara. Paul/Natalie. RATING: G. STATUS: Sequel to "THE GATHERING STORM". ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE: None. All Firefly stories archived at

SUMMARY: "Inara decides to act and hopefully rebuild her reputation at the same time. Badger finds out about his inheritance. General Franks comes up with a solution which the Minister cannot resist. Meanwhile the crew find out more about the Alliance, Blue Sun and Gabriel Tam." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

Inara had to do something. With her standing among Serenity's crew at its' lowest ebb she would have to look elsewhere for any support. Much as the Companion disliked the idea there had only ever been one option open to her. Putting it off did not make the choice any easier to accept. Going to her dresser Inara removed the flimsy from the secret compartment, the thin file looking so innocuous in its' plain buff folder. She wanted the crew to trust her again, to know that she really was on their side. It was time to let actions speak louder than words and she knew just where to go to start getting the answers.

* * * * *

It was not often that Badger was left speechless but Annalise accomplished what even the little king-pin's deceased mother had not. She watched his reaction without expression, giving nothing away of what she was thinking. He blinked, his reactions slow as if in shock. In a way he was.

"She what?"

Annalise would have liked to oversee the arrangements for Cyan herself but this was a delicate matter and given the circumstances being presented to her it was her responsibility to carry out the former House Mistress's wishes. "A year ago Mistress Barbette added a codicil to her will naming you her legal heir but with some privisos."

The look on Badger's face changed from disbelief to a flicker of greedy anticipation then caution. Uh oh. "Proviso?"

Annalise sat with elegance and simplicity, the kind of grace born of practicality rather than artifice. Upon her desk lay a thick wad of papers. Not flimsies or digital records but actual gorram paper. Wood pulp. The genuine ruttin' article. Badger couldn't take his eyes off them or stop his mind calculating how much that had cost the old witch to seal her last will and testament in such an archaic fashion. Or was it simply a last flash of wealth to underline not simply what she had accomplished but how far she had come? With a start he realised his mother's head honcho was speaking.

"Given your mother's long years of service," Annalise pointedly did not refer to the late House Mistress's age "there is no residual sum owing to the Guild. In fact the opposite is true in this case." A small sad smile flirted with her lips then vanished. "You will inherit a considerable sum, Stephen."

He wanted to yell at her that his name was Badger but caught himself just in time. Wasn't his fault his mother had given him a name he couldn't stand. Not that the name itself raised his hackles, it was more complicated than that. Just this once he would suffer the monicker. "How much?"

Annalise's carefully schooled expression soured and Badger wanted to kick himself. "Most of Cyan's estate is bound up in land acquisitions and Alliance bonds but there is also an account with a not inconsiderable sum in it. It will take a few days to have the account closed and the money deposited in your own account."

Badger felt uncomfortable, suddenly realising how he must look. Grubby, more than a little filthy and probably smelling none too sweet either given the way he had been on the run for most of the last month or so. A change of clothes might have been a good idea but when the idea had struck him to come and see what if anything the scheming woman had left him, clear thinking had been pushed out of his mind by simple purile greed. "I don't have no account."

The senior Companion just stared at him. Badger fidgetted. Wished to good gorram she would just get on with it so he could escape but this was ready funds. Property she had said. With luck there would be enough to set him up in business again. Make up in some way for everything he had lost. Not once did he count his deceased mother among his losses. He figured she owed him anyway and it wasn't as if he had meant for her to die. Wished it a time or too, yeah, but never with the intention of doing anything about it. She had been his mother after all and as much as he disliked the connection that made her family.

"Suppose I could open one?"

"That would be a start."

Now he flushed and glanced away. "Not that I have any money right now to do that."

Annalise stared for a minute or two then clucked her tongue against the roof of her mouth before speaking. "There are some funds among her personal papers, Stephen."


His eagerness and hopeful expression made Annalise want to kick him out but she couldn't. "Yes. Just under three thousand Alliance credits."

Badger just managed not to whistle. Three thousand! Not a King's ransom right enough but it would get him on his feet. Suddenly the future looked a lot brighter than it had a few hours ago.

"Would I be right in thinking you have no money of your own, Stephen?"

He wanted to snap at her but didn't dare. Not until she passed those purse strings over to him and even then it might be wise to be a bit diplomatic like. He didn't want anyone suspecting there had been any foul play even if there hadn't. The guilt that stuck to him was not for anything he had done but what he hadn't. "Nah. Alliance closed me down, see? They was after folk that I once did business with. My mother helped, see? But it was hard on us both."

"I don't pretend to understand what was going on but she seemed to be very concerned about your protection."

That shouldn't have surprised Badger but it did. The rest of the details were explained in simple terms. Annalise had training in accounting and promised to ensure the transfer of property and funds went smoothly. As Badger got up to go the Companion rose with him and raised a hand. "*Deng*. There is one thing more."

Badger felt himself go cold. What nasty little surprise had his dearly departed mother left for him? He watched Annalise turn and walk over to the safe to retrieve something. She returned with a carved wooden box, some keys, and a file. Annalise looked at them for a moment, sadness washing over her face. Then the box was placed on her desk and gently pushed towards Badger. "These are your mother's effects."

"An' what's this?" "A file."

He wanted to snap that he knew what a gorram file looked like but the expression on Annalise's face stopped his tongue. Annalise motioned him to sit back down but remained standing herself. "*Qing*, feel free to take a few moments to go through them. I'll leave you alone and return in an hour."

"*Xie xie ni* I should apologise for bein' so scruffy an'..."

She waved off his apology, a thing that startled them both. A small sad smile bowed her lips. "*Mei shi*. While I am gone I will arrange to have a bath drawn for you and a room made ready."

He was about to refuse then realised there was no way he could do that and not blow his cover. Hopefully, Liam would use his head and stay out of sight. Wait until this was over and Badger could go and get him. That gave him an idea. "I know I got no right to ask but could I use the shuttle you lent me to go into town? Need to open that account an' get some clothes."

Annalise must have thought he meant to make himself decent for the funeral. Her smile this time reached her eyes and beaming at him she nodded her consent. "*Dang ran*. When you are ready I will have a meal prepared."

Before he could thank her again the diminutive woman left, closing the door softly but firmly behind her. It was odd. Annalise was pretty much the same height as himself, maybe an inch or two shorter, yet to Badger she was one of the tallest most imposing women he had ever met. Huh. Maybe it was wiles?

* * * * *

No one knew quite what to say. While things had become more and more uncomfortable between the crew and Inara it had not turned into open warfare. At least, not yet. She knew that Simon was still wary of her and the wounded look in Kaylee's eyes was one that would long haunt her. Shepherd Book seem sad but resigned as if this was a journey he had known she would have to take and wasn't that disconcerting? Jayne seemed more puzzled than sorry, as if her going or staying made no difference to him but she could tell that he did not understand why she had to make that decision now. In Jayne's eyes she could at least have waited until the Captain had recovered. Thankfully he didn't say what he was thinking but the dark scowl was more eloquent than words. Paul and Natalie were polite but remote making her feel as if she had already left. It was almost like someone walking over her grave - deja vu. Wash looked sad but nodded as if he understood. Zoe didn't try to talk her out of it, didn't suggest she say goodbye to the Captain either though Inara was torn as to whether that would make things better or worse. In the end she decided to save upsetting him and make a graceful exit, all the while hoping it would be a temporary one.

"Where will you be goin'?"

Inara blinked. She had not expected Zoe to ask still less want to know not that the first mate gave any clue as to what she was thinking. "*Wo bu zhidao* - yet. I thought I'd travel a little before making that decision."

"Ain't you travelled enough?"

Her heart almost stopped. Slowly Inara turned and watched as the Captain made his slow painful way down the metal steps to the cargo bay where she and the crew were gathered. Simon took a step towards him but the Captain waved his hand and the doctor froze, pleased that at least the *wangbu sishengzi* had at least put the leg braces on. His critical eye watched the Captain's progress as he reached the bottom on the staircase then paused to take a breath or two before moving to join them. River came up to his left side and took his arm. The Captain gave her a startled look then smiled and let her accompany him, not that he needed the help. Just humouring the crazy person. Her grin swallowed her whole face with merriment and her eyes shone with mischief as if to say *which* one.

"I think a break would do us all good, Captain."

With a huff he stopped a few feet from where she was standing. She watched those eyes turn a muddy blue as if the notion displeased him. Part of her hoped that it did. Wanted to feel that her presence on his ship was important to him, like a necessary piece of the puzzle that made his life complete. But the Captain was nothing if not a survivor. Inara had thought she was one too but Nandi had been right. When you started to care about people you got tied to them and now she was cutting the strings.

"That all you got?"

She blinked. Stared. The crew made no attempt to give them any privacy. Whether it was because they thought it unnecessary or through some misguided notion that she would try to hurt their Captain before she left Inara did not know but she had no such thought or desire. What she did feel was far more complicated than that and being this close to Malcolm Reynolds was doing things to her resolve that was dismantling years of Companion training when she had to be strong. For both of them. "*Ni shi shenme yisi*?"

Mal jerked his chin in the direction of the single solitary travelling bag. "Looks a mite small to be takin' all your silks an' doo-dads."

"That's because I only need a change of clothes."

He blinked. Kaylee hesitated, she so wanted to say something, ask Inara if that meant she was coming back but her eyes kept flicking to Simon as if waiting for some sign from him to tell her how to act. Inara had no idea what was going on between those two but had the horrible suspicion that she was the thorn between two roses for perhaps the first time in her life. She didn't like it and that solidified her resolve.

There was a long moment that began to stretch into awkwardness when Jayne moved up to the open cargo bay door and squinted outside . "There's a shuttle comin'."

Inara smiled. It was such a contrast to all the grim looks around her. As if that was a signal the crew began to move. Shepherd Book wished her well and hoped she would be back soon, the words causing a shiny glimmer in her eyes before she caught herself. Kaylee finally gave in and ran to her, hugging the Companion as tight as she could while tears ran down her cheek. Jayne just grunted. Couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Simon nodded and River stared but said nothing. It was unsettling how much she had been hoping the little Reader would tell her that it would all turn out right in the end. To her surprise Natalie stopped in front of her.

"No matter how hard the road, when it is the right one no distance you travel will be too far. Returnin' will simply close the circle."

The Companion blinked. Uncertain whether to thank the woman or ask if she had hit her head on something. Paul stepped up beside Natalie and took her arm, his eyes caught Inara's and he gave a nod then moved away taking the woman with him. Zoe didn't wish her well or ask when she would be returning. Her expression was closed, detatched, as if the Companion was already gone. That left Mal. The Captain looked weary and Inara realised he had walked too much and stood too long. "I'll call when I'm on my way back." She paused and resisted the urge to shoot a glance at Zoe. "That is, if I'm still welcome back?"

It was as close as Inara Serra would come to begging. The Captain shook his head a little. "Ain't gotta ask 'Nara, sides all your things are here."

His words brought another memory to mind and she had to blink rapidly.

"Don't know why you're goin' but 'spect you got your reasons. Anythin' you care to say about that?"

Inara shook her head. "I've made a lot of mistakes, Mal, I know that but none of them were intentional."

Even as he nodded she was moving, body turning away from him, long precise steps taking her away. He couldn't move and not because his legs had been shot to pieces and were now held together with metal pins and newly grown muscles and such like. The Captain stood and watched as a Companion walked from the shuttle and greeted Inara, the two women linking arms and going to the shuttle without once looking back. As soon as they were inside the hatch closed and shuttle powered up and left but Malcolm Reynolds watched until it became the tiniest speck in the 'verse then nothing. Jayne was right. Was amazing what nothing could do.

* * * * *

It had been a long time since Minister Jacob Rosenbaum had been surprised. People were so parochial, predictable and short sighted. Politics demanded the longer view, the focus of tens or hundreds of years to bring carefully laid plans to fruitition. To build a better 'verse. Now here was this man, this General, doing something so unexpected that it left the Minister momentarily off balance. If he was honest with himself he would have confessed to being more than a little impressed and that was something so rare it should be savoured.

"Forgive my surprise, General, but I thought Commandant Shair was your friend?"

"Commandant Shair is dead, *shifu*. My respect for him is not diminished by acknowledging that sometimes the pragmatic view must supercede that of sentiment."

"You said Captain Foster had intimated that the widow wanted her husband buried in a family plot?"

"His ashes will be as treasured as much as flesh and bone. Even in the grave the body succumbs to mortal decay. While I would normally insist on following the requests of the next of kin, *shifu*, it would raise more questions than answers for anyone outside of this establishment to see the body."

The Minister's eyes narrowed, easily hearing in his mind what General Franks did not say. The implication being that the marks of violence done to the Commandant would then become common knowledge with the family no doubt pressing for a public enquiry the like of which could unseat certain members of the government. Even if they never found out the full details of Niyan Shair's illegal detention and subsequent torture, the less they knew the better for everyone. Rosenbaum had no desire to raize the family home to the ground taking everyone with it. A tragic accident to be sure but one no less equal to his appetites should the need arise to silence any opposition. He preferred the simple solution of it not being necessary. General Franks was handing him the perfect way to close this matter and in doing so providing him with a scapegoat should any of the details ever come to light. After all. Everything was recorded including every word spoken in this room.

He smiled slowly, his lips more frost than warmth. His eyes cold but sharp. "If you think that is the right thing to do, General?"

Franks raised an eyebrow and immediately realised what the Minister was doing. Clever but ultimately flawed. He did not smile back. Effortlessly the General shifted gears. "I merely present a solution, *shifu*. When Captain Foster was so adamant that he be permitted to change the Commandant's clothing and prepare the coffin for transport to the family plot I grew suspicious. Once he had left I decided to check the body for myself, what I found shocked me. Commandant Shair's body was covered with cuts and bruises, swellings that indicated internal damage and major trauma from the neck down. Naturally I did not completely strip the body nor turn it over onto its' back but I saw enough to realise that something terrible had happened to him. I do not think it would serve anyone's interest for the bereaved family to see him in that state."

The Minister felt a deep rage fill him. A desire to reach out and strangle General Franks which he buried as deep as he could. Showing any sign of anger would make the General even more suspicious than he evidently was. The fact that Franks had come to him was good, it gave him the opportunity to mitigate the amount of damage control he would need to do. Rosenbaum schooled his face into one of sorrow, his voice softened as if the news was a personal blow. "You are asking me to authorise cremation?"

"*Bu, shifu*. I merely present it as an option. I would never presume to take the iniative for such a decision out of your hands. You may have a better solution."

Rosenbaum stared at him. *Congming hundan*. "I confess to being shocked at this news but you are right. It would simply distress the family too much to see him like this. Very well, General, make the arrangements. I suggest within the hour. Once the ashes are properly cooled they can be placed in an urn ready for Captain Foster to take with him back to the family with our sincerest condolences."

General Franks snapped off a sharp salute, turned and left. For several minutes Rosenbaum just stared at the closed door, his mind a whirl of possibilities. General Franks was right about one thing. The family did not need to see the evidence of body trauma on Niyan Shair but neither did he need to have one more person with knowledge, however limited, at his disposal. It made Franks a security risk and by extension Foster too. It was a shame. He liked Foster. The man was smart and totally dedicated to the Alliance. But he could not allow any weak link to develop in the command structure. Franks might keep his silence or he might not. Foster would certainly become suspicious at the sudden change in the status of Commandant Shair's body though Rosenbaum was confident he could find someone to blame for *accidentally* cremating a man due to be buried. That wasn't good enough for him though. Only complete control would satisfy him which meant that once the body had gone through the fire, it would need to be stoked up to cater for two more.

* * * * *

They were in the commons room, the crew seated around the table with the remains of a meal. Cups of steaming tea cradled in hands in need of something shiny to hold on to. Paul and Natalie pulled up a couple of spare chairs and sat at the far end. The Captain was relieved to be sitting, his knees aching from all the exertion but it was a pain he relished. Could already feel the new muscles getting stronger, the exercise and daily massages helping his recovery. But it was still early days and he knew he would have to take this a mite slower than he wanted or risk putting himself flat on his back again. It was a possibility he would not allow to happen. Simon had checked him over, tutted at his stubbornness but allowed him to sit at the table with everyone else which was something of a small victory for the Captain.

Now somehow the discussion had moved to the doctor himself, one which Simon had tried to deflect early but failed. It didn't help that his sister was only making things worse.

"I told Jayne I could kill him with my brain. I can't, Simon can."

Zoe looked shocked. "*Shenme*?"

River was amazingly calm considering what she was saying. "Simon has telekinetic abilities."

Her brother was shaking his head, his mouth opening and closing without any words coming out of it. Wash stared for a minute at Simon's landed fish impressions then looked at River. "You mean he's psychic?"

"No. It isn't natural. They tried to re-wire his brain, create the ability to kill with a thought but it back fired."

It was Zoe who put two and two together. "Your brother wanted to heal."

"It's in his nature. They thought they'd failed, were going to scrap the experiment to turn him into the perfect assassin. He would have been perfect, everything happening inside the body, no smoking gun. It would look like a natural death, heart just stopped beating, but Simon wouldn't do it. *Couldn't* do it. To kill is anathema to him, as unnatural as breathing under water. They decided he had to disappear. Couldn't have anyone find out what they had been up to. Our parents would be compensated only father was distraught. Made a deal."

Simon had gone so pale that Kaylee forgot they weren't speaking and put her hand in his, giving him an encouraging squeeze. The Captain listened to River in horror.

"Don't tell me..."

River nodded. "A trade. Me for Simon." She ignored the choking sound coming from her brother's direction, content to let Kaylee comfort and calm him. "Simon didn't know, neither did I. The school was bait. Simon went back to his medicine, his memory of the academy erased and the blanks filled in with medical training that never happened until he got to MedAcad. He became a star medical student. Fast track to becoming one of the medical elite. Future planned out for him, a success. Everybody wins."

"Except you." The Captain choked out, his voice pained.

Shepherd Book could not believe his ears yet listening to the matter of fact way in which River told the story he could not disbelieve it either. The Alliance being what it was the information chilled him. "*Wode ma*!"

"Huh." Jayne shrugged. "Lucky it didn't work."

River's eyes widened as she turned to look at him, her skin taking on an almost ghostly sheen. "It did."

"*Shenme*? I thought you said Simon wasn't a killer?"

River shook her head at Zoe, her voice quieter than it had been as if every word she spoke hurt her. "He isn't which is why they thought they'd failed but they hadn't. Simon has always been passionate about medicine, the need to help people. He would heal the whole 'verse if he could."

The Captain glanced from an almost trance-like River to the shocked expression on Simon Tam's face. Being truthsome Mal felt sorry for the both of them. "River, what they do to Simon an' how can we fix it?"

"Can't fix it. They created a very focused telekinetic ability but Simon wouldn't use it to hurt people. It wasn't a conscious decision, Captain, just who he is. His instinctive resistance blocked all their efforts to train him to be an assassin. When Simon returned to medicine he unknowingly used the ability to augment his surgical skills."

Simon was blinking, his face wet, but a little faint colour was returning to his face. It looked like he was struggling to take it all in. Kaylee could sympathise with him but she was also relieved that he was not a killer. Made her so gorram proud of him and mad as *diyu* at the rutting Alliance for putting him through such a nightmare. What right did they have to meddle?

"They always meddle." Said River, her voice a dull echo.

A little shudder went through Kaylee, knowing that her friend had plucked the thought out of her head as easily as if she had said the words out loud. Shepherd Book gave Simon a speculative look, his deep voice mild and more curious now than horrified. "Are you sayin' Simon used this telekinetic ability to heal people?"

"Not heal. Put people back together again, more specifically in surgery - Simon's speciality. It was a perfect marriage. Simon didn't know he was doing it, thought his skill was natural ability."

"That's some story." Mal muttered.

"Creepy-assed if ya ask me." Said Jayne.

River shook her head. "Simon's still Simon."

The Captain nodded, wanting to reassure both siblings. "That he is, little one."

Wash turned to stare at Simon, curiosity just bubbling up out of him. "How can you not know?"

"They muddled his mind." River explained.

"Can't he talk for hisself?" Growled Jayne. He was getting tired of the girl acting as if the doctor was incapable of speaking plus he wanted to hear what Simon had to say not what River was telling them. Might be she'd got it wrong. Leastways that notion sat better with the mercenary than the thought that Simon really could kill him with his brain.

The Captain looked at Simon but the doctor still seemed to be in a daze. Mal could relate, he really could. He turned back to the font of all knowledge on things creepy and Alliance related, after all, took crazy folk to understand crazy folk. "They tinkered with Simon's memories as well as his brain?"

River nodded. "It was the only way they would allow him to come home."

The first mate was frowning, her mind sticking on culpability. "An' your father knew this?"

"It was his idea."

"*Wode ma he ta de fengkuan de waisheng dou*! How could he do that to his own son? An' you - sendin' you to that gorram torture camp!" The Captain paused, clearly upset. "The men that did this, *tamen shi shui*?"

"Two by two, hands of blue."

At River's words Simon pushed himself roughly to his feet and rushed to the kitchen sink, Kaylee pausing for a stunned moment before hurrying after him. No one spoke for a moment as Simon was violently sick. Kaylee ran the tap and gently washed his face clean, Simon's face hidden from them, his head down as if drowning in horror and shame. Not that any of it was his fault. The Captain's expression tightened, a hard edge to his eyes which darkened almost to black.

"You want I should kill the sumbitch for you?"

Shepherd Book looked confused. "I wasn't aware we had a name, Captain?"

He shook his head and looked hard at River. "I'm talkin' 'bout Gabriel. That *tamade hundan* got no right to do what he did to either of you. You ain't possessions but people, got the right to be treated as such, *dong ma*? Wouldn't be no trouble. Probably a mite messy but it ain't like he wouldn't have it comin'."

River looked so sad that the Captain wanted to go right now and find Gabriel Tam, put a gorram bullet in his head only that was too rutting good for him. "He wanted Simon to be smart, to have every advantage. They promised him a genius."

"He didn't need to be meddled with to be that." Said Wash.

For a moment no one spoke. Kaylee brought a subdued and sickly looking Simon back to the table even though it was obvious from his body language that he would have preferred to hide out in his bunk. Kaylee, however, knew he needed to hear this. The Captain waited until they sat down then turned back to River, his eyes dark with concern, his voice low and coaxing. "What about you, little one?"

She shrugged. "Not so important."

Kaylee looked affronted. "That ain't true! Cap'n, tell River it ain't true."

"Not nobody on my boat not important an' that includes you an' your brother both, *dong ma*?"

River gave the Captain a watery smile then looked at her brother. Simon lifted his head and for a moment time seemed to stand still, the two siblings staring at each other, lost in a world no one else could share. River now spoke directly to Simon, her eyes not leaving his. "He was obssessed with having a son to carry on the family name. Make him proud."

"Yeah, well I'll make him dead I ever set eyes on the worthless piece of *wuneng de ren*." Growled Jayne.

The crew turned their heads and stared at him. Unsettled by the sudden attention Jayne looked down to see if his flies were open. Fortunately they weren't.


Wash shrugged. "Thought you didn't want River an' Simon on Serenity?"

"They're here now." Jayne shrugged, trying to act like it was no big deal. "Besides, they're on my crew."

No one corrected Jayne that he wasn't in fact the Captain, they all understood the underlying sentiment and for once no one felt like making fun of him. The Captain looked at all their faces, every one of his crew as solid in their condemnation of what had happened to the siblings as he was. Someone would pay for this or his name wasn't Malcolm Reynolds.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*deng* = wait *qing* = please *xie xie ni* = thank you *dang ran* = of course *mei shi* = it doesn't matter *wo bu zhidao* = I don't know *shifu* = sir *wangu sishengzi* = stubborn bastard (bastard not meant as an insult) *bu* = no *ni shi shenme yisi* = what doyou mean? *congming hundan* = clever bastard *shenme* = what *wode ma* = mother of God *diyu* = hell *wode ma he ta de fengkuan de waisheng dou* = holy mother of God and all her wack nephews *dong ma* = understand? *tamen shi shui* = who are they? *tamade hundan* = fucking bastard *wuneng de ren* = trash (despicable person)


Sunday, May 3, 2009 3:51 AM


Inara, Inara ... off once more to do something she probably shouldn't without telling anyone! When is she going to learn that she needs to explain, that the crew will understand, probably help? As for Badger, how can a weasel fall in such deep cao and come up smelling of roses? And Simon ... no wonder he was sick - finding out his father traded his sister for him. I love Jayne's reaction, though.

Sunday, May 3, 2009 8:37 AM


Poor Simon. At least he knows all the integrity was on his side.

Sunday, May 3, 2009 9:36 AM


Yes, Jane0904, you would think Inara had learnt by now but she is trying to prove something. As for Badger often the most odious characters seem to be the ones that land on their feet. As for Simon you are right Katesfriend he does have great integrity, it is one of the qualities I most admire about him. Thank you for the feedback! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, May 3, 2009 10:27 AM


Ooooooo.....Simon is the killin' one. Niiiiiccccceeee touch! As for Badger, ain't it just all him that little old Stephen get left a nice inheritance, but I wonder what this file has in store for him...

Sunday, May 3, 2009 12:34 PM


Hello angellemarcs, I just loved working in the twist with Simon. As for Badger - watch, listen, learn! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, May 4, 2009 6:08 PM


Late to the party once again, but still very interested in this story! Good work! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 12:43 AM


You're not that late slumming and your input is always appreciated. Glad you are enjoying the journey. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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His head still ached from the rutting probe but after the men had satisfied themselves that his story was true a thousand questions peppered the air like machine gun fire.

The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.