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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Co-written by Midnight Obsidian. Jayne makes it back to the Hit or Miss, and River reveals something Marcus did not know.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 766 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Jayne banged on the door of the Hit or Miss irritably. It opened to reveal Bear and Zoe standing on the other side. Zoe’s hands were on her hips and her face was perfectly blank. Jayne, from long association with her, knew that was not a good sign.
“Mind telling me where you went?” she said blandly. “Seems I recall the Captain telling you to stay with that ship.”
“Weren’t like I had a gorram choice,” Jayne said defensively. “I was standin’ there, looking out for the hundan as done the deed, and up come the Feds. Next thing I know, I’m being hauled off for questioning. When the ruttin’ geniuses finally figured out I wasn’t the guy, they couldn’t be bothered to drop me back here, so I had to walk back from the Fed station.” He grimaced. “And they made out like they were gonna keep Vera. Took near an hour to straighten all that out.”
Zoe raised an eyebrow.
“Well, I weren’t gonna leave Vera,” Jayne said. “Not with a buncha piss-ant…” His words trailed off for a moment. “So,” he said finally. “You found the lady doc and she and Mal are okay, right?”
Bear sighed. “They’re both aboard, at least,” he answered, worry lacing his tone.
Without another word, Jayne headed toward the infirmary to see what was going on, Vera still slung across his back.
Marcus wearily peeled the shirt from his back and sank down onto the edge of his bed. Simon’s words repeated in an unrelenting loop in his mind. He stared down at the shirt still in his hand, covered with Elizabeth’s blood. At least she was alive, he thought doggedly. She was, after all, breathing on her own now. Simon’s efforts had restarted her heart, and the monitors beeped steadily now with what Simon assured him was a good rhythm. But for all that, there was another heart wrenching thing to worry about. Simon, exhausted from hours of surgery, had told Marcus solemnly that there was no way to tell whether her heart had been stopped long enough for her oxygen-deprived brain to begin to die, no way to tell if she would even wake up at all. And if she did, there was the horribly real possibility that she would not be the Elizabeth he had known. Marcus closed his eyes, unable for the moment to face, in this most private place on the Hit or Miss, the possibility that he might very well have lost his lover forever in Serenity Valley.
A soft knock on his door pulled him from his morose thoughts. He gently placed the soiled shirt into his hamper and pulled on another one quickly. “Chin jing,” he called out.
River entered gracefully, as if she were practically floating just above the floor. Marcus wondered how she was able to do that, considering the stress that was bound to be weighing her down. She smiled softly, and he wondered if she had just read his random thought. “Mal all right?” he asked tiredly.
“Broken, but not permanently,” she replied, pulling up a chair and sitting down daintily. “Simon made me leave while he sets the bones. Thought I would hear some language that his mei mei should not have to hear.” She rolled her eyes. “He’s such a boob.”
Marcus smiled. “Just not wanting to expose you to more stress than you already have to deal with. Probably a big brother thing.” He fell silent for a moment. “So, what can I do for you?”
River sighed. “You’re planning to track him down, aren’t you?”
Marcus shifted uncomfortably. Figuring there was no reason to attempt lying to a Reader, he answered. “Yes, I am. Conjure I’ll hire a small scouting vessel, and go, soon’s I see everything is taken care of here.”
“I’m going with you,” River said.
“No, you ain’t,” Marcus said without hesitation. “Don’t wanna be responsible for anybody else. This is a one-man job.”
She sat motionless, her huge brown eyes staring unblinkingly into his.
“You can look at me like that ‘til you’re blue in the face,” he said flatly. “I aim to go alone. Dong ma?”
She sighed, reading his determination easily. “You don’t know what he is.”
“And you do, all of a sudden?” Marcus asked tightly.
River rose and walked to the cortex link in the corner. “Look,” she said, her fingers flying across the keys.
Marcus leaned over her shoulder. “What am I looking at?” he asked, as news items from dozens of worlds began to scroll across the screen.
“I believe they’re all him,” she said softly. “These are reports of unsolved murders across the ‘verse.” She shuddered. “There are over a hundred of them.”
Marcus looked at her in stunned disbelief. “What would make you think that these are all related to this man somehow? I mean, how did you….?”
“I saw….fragments when we were close to him,” she explained. “And there is the fact that Adam had been having his nightmares for some time before Mal and Elizabeth were taken.”
Marcus sat down beside her and began to read with a growing sense of horror.
River waited in silence for several minutes. “You see the similarities,” she said. “The victims were mostly Independent war veterans, the method of killing was the same.” She swallowed back the bile that rose in her throat at the images that floated back into her consciousness. “Bodies broken and hacked to pieces, strewn out in a certain pattern.”
Marcus thought of Mal’s injuries, the broken bones and the knife marks all over his body. “How did all this happen without anyone else connecting these killings?” he asked. “I mean, killing on this scale…it’s…..”
“Happened on different worlds, in different jurisdictions. And many of the victims were drifters of sorts, people who might not have families to miss them. Making their living in the Black, like us.”
“Not like us,” Marcus said with a little more force than he’d intended. “We’ve got people.”
River nodded, acknowledging the point. “Which is why Mal and Elizabeth are still alive,” she said with certainty.
Marcus pushed back the chair and stood up. “I appreciate you tellin’ me this, River, but it doesn’t change my mind a mite. I’m goin’ alone, and that’s an end to it.”
“No buts,” he said firmly. “Especially not now that I know what the hundan is. Think Mal wouldn’t shoot me his own self if I let you get close to this?”
“Can’t shoot,” she said stubbornly. “Broken fingers.”
“Yeah, well, broken fingers heal, and I’ll wager they’ll be long healed before he would forgive me for taking you along if I did. The answer’s no. Besides, you’ve got Adam and Hannah. Can’t be depriving them of a mother right now, can we?”
“You don’t play fair,” River said accusingly.
“That’s ‘cause I aim to win,” Marcus replied.
“I could help you find him more easily,” she said in one last attempt.
Marcus shook his head. “Had Bear to get the registry number from his ship when we were there. And Murdocke’s figured a way for me to track it across the system with a subroutine in the nav console of most of the newer ships.”
“Finding the ship might not lead you to the man,” River pointed out. “But a Reader could…”
“Got an idea about how to handle that as well,” Marcus said, interrupting her.
She nodded and walked toward the door, acceding to his wishes. “Be careful,” she said seriously. “He’s much more dangerous than he appears.”
“So am I,” Marcus answered, opening the door and ushering her out.
“Do you feel this?” Simon asked, gently poking Mal’s skin with a needle.
“Yes, gorram it,” Mal said irritably.
“I mean, does it hurt?”
“Oh, yes,” Mal said in his most aggrieved tone.
Simon frowned. “It would be dangerous to give you many more pain meds right away,” he said. “But I need to reset these bones as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the more likely there are to be complications.”
“Well, we wouldn’t want any of those, would we?” Mal said peevishly. “I mean, since everything so far has gone so smooth and all.”
“I see that the madman left your sarcasm intact,” Simon replied in kind, placing Mal’s hand gently down under a small scanner. “You should just be glad that we’re in Elizabeth’s infirmary and not on Serenity.”
“And why is that?” Mal asked, a little offended at the notion.
“This scanner is much more sophisticated than ours,” Simon said, taking a moment to admire it. “With this, I will be able to get an image with much sharper resolution than the standard scanners. I’ll be able to set each bone in precisely the right way for optimum healing, thereby increasing the likelihood that you will have full range of motion when they are healed.”
“Sounds good to me,” Mal said, shifting slightly and wincing with the pain it caused.
“But it will only work if you stay completely still,” Simon warned, giving him a stern frown as he repositioned the hand in question. “So, am I going to have to sedate you to get this done correctly?”
Mal swallowed nervously. “Just do it already,” he said. “’Cause I’m already feeling kinda’….” His words trailed off as the smoother did its job.
Simon allowed himself a small, satisfied smile. “That’s what I thought,” he said, carefully setting the first bone into place.
The boy awoke with a start. He rose slowly and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He realized that he was still on the ship, the one where bad things happened. Shuddering, he looked around quickly in search of the monster that haunted him.
Seeing no one, he breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t remember the last time he’d eaten, but that did not concern him unduly. He was accustomed to forgetting things, simple things like where he was and why he was there. As most children are, he was adept at adapting to whatever situation he found himself in, and over the course of time, he had begun to accept that there were large portions of time for which he simply could not account in any reasonable way.
His stomach growled, and he rubbed it absently. Scratching his head, he went in search of a kitchen. In minutes, he found it and began to eat. As he ate, he thought of the woman chained in the scary room. She had told him that he must help her if they were ever to talk together again. He liked her very much. She was pretty, and she had a soft, pleasant voice. She was probably good and hungry by now, he thought, chewing on a protein bar. Maybe he would give her one. And then she would talk to him some more.
Thus decided, he grabbed another protein bar and slipped it into his pocket. He walked the length of the corridor quietly for fear of waking the monster. But all was silent around him, and he found himself at the door of the room within moments.
He drew a deep breath, needing a minute to work up his courage to enter. Then, slowly he opened the door and stepped inside. “I’ve brought you something,” he whispered in the semi-darkness.
There was no answer, and he began to get more nervous. “Elizabeth?” he called out a little louder.
“The pofu’s dead,” he heard from somewhere behind him. “I killed her myself. Took my knife and plunged it into that soft back of hers. Bled like a pig, she did.”
“No,” Bobbie said, horrified by the thought. “You’re lying.”
“No, I’m not,” the voice said nastily. “Killed her just like I killed your mother. Remember that? Your precious little mommie, lying there on the bed, strung out on drops. She was a bad mother, wasn’t she? Always screaming, always hurting you. Until the day I killed her for you. Stabbed her through the heart, easy as pie. Watched her bleed out right there in that big bed of hers. And you were there. Remember that?”
Bobbie put his hands over his ears to stop the dreadful voice. “No,” he whispered, tears streaming down his face. “No!”
“They’re all like that, just like your whore of a mother,” the voice went on as if he hadn’t spoken. “Good for nothing pofus, the lot of them.”
“Elizabeth was nice,” Bobbie said feebly. “She talked nice to me.”
“Oh, they all talk nice,” the voice said. “But they lie. Just like your mother. Elizabeth tried to get you to let her go, didn’t she? You think she would have taken you somewhere safe if I’d let you do it?”
“Yes,” Bobbie said. “She would have. I know she would have.”
“You little fool,” the voice replied harshly. “She was one of them. She was with the Browncoat, wasn’t she? Wasn’t she?”
Bobbie dropped to the floor, whimpering. “She wasn’t like the others,” he insisted.
The voice howled with derisive laughter. “Oh, yes, she was,” it said. “Bled out just the same color as all the rest.” The maniacal laugh reverberated in the small space.
Bobbie felt his world narrowing to a small black dot, and then he disappeared again.
To be continued
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:42 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:35 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009 11:50 PM
Monday, June 15, 2009 12:19 AM
Monday, June 15, 2009 2:12 AM
Monday, June 15, 2009 1:15 PM
Monday, June 15, 2009 4:19 PM
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