The Empty Reflection, Ch. 2
Monday, July 20, 2009

In which Dicey finds her freedom, but not for long; Weasel and Mountain show up to take her in, and a rescue comes from an unexpected source. (revised and updated 7/23/09 9:05pm)


The car got her to the dockyards, and she got a bunk on a small ship, off Osiris to Sihnon. From there, she got another hop to another world, and another, until she found herself on Persephone. Twice, she spotted the Man Mountain in a crowd, and both times, she managed to hide and get to her ride in time to escape. By the third planet she was going by the name Dicey Morgan. Her money was getting tighter, and she knew she might have to finally take a risk, and try and get some from a bank. She was shocked at how easy it was, and walked out with a substantial amount, more than she had expected to be able to get. From there, she knew she had to move and fast. The rottweilers would be on her trail in no time, and she needed to get as far away as fast as she could. She made it as far as the dockyard when she felt something... off. A few minutes later, she spotted Man Mountain. She thought his name might be Perry, but she never really had the opportunity to talk to him. Not when he wasn't, you know, trying to kill her. She ducked behind a pile of cargo, eyes quickly darting along the line of ships docked in the dust. She should have arranged for passage before she went to the bank. Stupid. She swore under her breath at herself, and tried to decide if she ought to hide, or try and get a bunk. If she got a bunk, she could get on board, hide, and they wouldn't know where to find her. She moved quickly, occasionally ducking behind stacks of cargo, or groups of people, trying to stay inconspicuous. She lost sight of her pursuers, and a ray of hope lit her heart - she might be able to get off planet before they caught up to her after all. She ducked once more, behind a stack of crates, and peered around them, scanning the crowd from her hidden spot. No sign of either one. Not that the Weasel was visible above the milling people, but you couldn't miss the Mountain. She bit her lower lip, smiling a little. Maybe her luck was looking... She turned back, and nearly choked. Weasel and the Mountain stood blocking her path. Tucked around the corner, most of the passersby couldn't really see the trio. Dicey didn't need a memory to tell her this was not a good situation. She tried to smile, forcing her voice through her throat, "Hey.. uh... guys!" She made a move, a single step toward the busy street, but the mountain took one step, and managed to completely block off that escape. Weasel gestured, "Grab her." Dicey nearly screamed when the Mountain reached out, and engulfed most of her upper left arm in one meaty hand. She looked down at his hand, and then up at him, and frowned, "You ought to let me go. It would be a REAL good idea, if you let me go." Weasel answered, his voice somehow... slimy, "No way, girlypants. Boss wants you home and safe. Just come with us, and he'll take real good care of you." He stepped forward, reaching out to grab her right wrist. Dicey yanked her hand back, her expression going angry and frightened at the same time. She swung instinctively. Her fist seemed to know what to do, and it drove itself hard into the little Weasel's nose. Blood spurted, and she laughed, "How does it feel? Nice to see it on someone ELSE for once!" Weasel snarled, "At least I'm not passing out like some little Ji Bai!" He snarled back, one hand over his nose, the other reaching into his coat. Dicey's eyes widened, both at his words and in fear of what he was reaching for. She struggled, beating on Mountain's wrist to no effect. She was not relieved to see Weasel produce an injector instead of a gun. She struggled harder, twisting away as Weasel closed on her. He held it up, and pointed it at her. She knew he only needed to make contact with her skin for a second or so to inject her, and send her right back into her coma. For good. She struggled harder, her arm aching from his tight grip. Mountain gave her a jerk, wrenching her shoulder, but she kept struggling. Weasel tried to get a good angle, looking for a square of skin. Dicey whirled and kicked out at him, catching him a glancing blow off the knee. He swore, wiping at his face with one hand. In a panic, Dicey reached into her hair, grabbing the small metal stick she'd used to keep the heavy dark red mass out of her way, and spun the stick, driving the smaller end into Mountain's meaty hand, driving it deep. Suddenly, she was flying, her shoulder screaming in pain. Then was felt all the air suddenly forced from her lungs, the ground flying up hard to pound her body from head to foot. She lay for a second, gasping, coughing, trying to get her bearings. Before the world could make sense again, a huge foot came down on her neck, forcing her face sideways. She could see people passing, for a moment, before the pressure made her eyes squint, her hands gripping the edges of the big shoe. Mountain bent over, the pressure so hard she almost couldn't breathe, her struggles increasing, panic making her too terrified to think. Where was Weasel? Where was the injector? She was waiting for the hand on her leg, on her arm, on her body somewhere, baring a square of skin, and pressing the cold tip of the injector against it. The fear of sleeping again, forever, made her heart pound. Mountain spoke, the deep, gravelly voice no surprise coming out of him, "That hurt, you little bitch." He was surprisingly eloquent, considering he seemed quite stupid most of the time. She finally felt it - Weasel grabbed her ankle. She kicked, hard, just enough to throw him off, but Mountain pressed harder, and she knew she was going to pass out one way or the other. The fight was over, and she'd lost. "Step away from the lady." *click* *click* "Ah, hell... " She managed to open her eyes, seeing a trio of people standing in the area behind Mountain. A man and a woman held guns, pointing at Mountain and Weasel. The third man, who had apparently just spoken the last words, was pulling a gun out, looking vaguely annoyed. Weasel whirled, snarling, "This ain't none of your business!! Get lost! Go to hell!" One of the men - the smaller one - stepped forward, a hard look coming over his face. This drew a change from the larger man, who seemed to think this was apparently serious, and suddenly looked very dangerous. The first man spoke again, "Step away from the lady now, or there's gonna be some real trouble here." He frowned at Weasel, but Dicey wasn't sure what caused it. She was feeling lightheaded, dizzy, she was seeing actual spots. She'd thought that was only a saying... She beat on Mountain's ankle, weakly, and suddenly, the foot moved, and she rolled away, coughing, gasping, struggling to get to her feet. Weasel was sputtering, but he couldn't argue with the three guns pointing in his and Mountain's general direction. She half crawled toward them, more because the crowd lay beyond, but also because they seemed to not be on Christian's - or at least Weasel's - side. Weasel couldn't resist, and took one last swipe at her, but the gun suddenly touching his still bloody nose caught him up. "My boss wants her brought home... and we're gonna bring her home. You're makin' a real mistake here." he whined it out, but the men - and the woman - didn't seem impressed. As Dicey neared the woman, she removed one hand from her gun, and pulled Dicey up and close to her, giving her support. Her head was still spinning, her throat and shoulder were in agony, and her heart hadn't stopped racing. This was all... more violence than she'd ever witnessed, first hand. She let the woman help her, her only thoughts of getting away from here. She moved when she was urged, mostly watching her own feet rather than where they were going. She knew they left Mountain and Weasel behind, she knew when the ground under feet became a metal plate, and she looked up as she was ushered into a cargo bay. She was deposited on a crate, where she slumped slightly, her left arm limp, her right hand gingerly touching her throat. The airlock was closing, the man in charge was barking out orders. He seemed angry. She was impressed. He obviously didn't agree with people hurting innocent women. Suddenly, he was in front of her, and the ship around her was vibrating, the engines powering up. Dicey looked up at him, her long hair a mess, her throat already turning purple, her left arm useless and her brain making a sort of white noise that seemed to swallow any real thought. He caught her eyes, his hands somehow obviously held away from her, his expression thunderous. "Who. The Hell. Are You?" She found it amusing and fascinating that he could pronounce punctuation like that. She looked up at him, blinked once, and managed to get herself together enough to remember the fake name was using - her mother's maiden name, from inside her coat. "D-dicey Morgan." She almost continued, words ready in her mind, heading for her mouth, when he stood suddenly, speaking in a strange, angry voice, "That's not possible." She frowned, "No, I mean, it is, I am. I mean.. Dicey Morgan.. is my name." She looked down, suddenly very afraid. She realized there were other people in the cargo bay, and the ship had.. moved? Taken off. She was distracted, didn't see the hand that swung towards her. He pulled it, she could tell, even as the back of his hand caught her cheek. He'd tried to stop himself. He was.. enraged. She was off balance already, and his blow knocked her slightly sideways, where she stayed, sitting on the crate, body turned to the right, hair over her face. There was silence, aside from the sounds of the ship. She finally moved, turning back forward, looking up at him. He looked a bit shocked, both at himself and the situation. She sighed, feeling... defeated, "You're right. I'm lying." That seemed to evoke a different reaction. Angry, but more... justified. He gestured sharply, and the big guy moved forward, "Put her somewhere," He said. "I can't.." The dark skinned woman moved forward, "Sir?" He shook his head, "I just can't," and strode out of the cargo bay angrily. Dicey caught a glimpse of other faces, most peeking out as if afraid to come fully into view. The big guy started to reach for her, but the woman fended him off. She eyed Dicey oddly, then helped her along as she had before. They took her through the ship, past an Infirmary, and into a passenger bunk in the aft part of the ship. Dicey was deposited on a bed, and for a moment, the woman bent over, looking her over. She looked at the bruise on Dicey's neck, the red mark on her cheek, and gently probed her shoulder, at which Dicey hissed in pain. Mountain had wrenched it rather hard, but it wasn't dislocated. Then, she focused on Dicey's face, and That Spot, above her right eye. Dicey got real uncomfortable. The woman reached out a finger to touch Dicey's forehead, and that was too much. Dicey jerked back, "Knock it off. I..." She scowled a little, half hiding behind her messy hair, wondering what made the woman interested in that particular spot on her head. Distracting the woman, she spoke again, "I said I lied. I admit it. Only do it to keep my brother from finding me. I.. how did he know?" The woman's expression darkened, and she pulled away, looking somewhere between offended and angry, "You look like that, and you use that name..." she shook her head, brows drawn down. "You're lucky he didn't shoot you himself. I don't know what game you're playing..." Dicey interrupted her, anger giving her the strength to sit up straighter, looking up and unconsciously sticking out her chin. Her voice was still quiet, but stronger, "Game? This is my life now.. I'm not playing any games." The forceful words made her head spin again. She subsided a little, "Just let me off somewhere, and I'll never bother you again. I appreciate.. " she frowned, "You saved me from my brother's rottweilers. I didn't ask you too. I didn't even know you all existed till you stepped up there. This.. " she sighed, seeming to crumple a little, "This doesn't make any sense. I don't want anything from you... any of you.. just.. just leave me off somewhere and I'll never bother you again. I swear." The woman narrowed her eyes, glancing over her shoulder where the Large man lounged against the door frame, looking mightily bored. She looked back, "What is your real name, then?" Dicey answered softly, "Dicey... errr, I mean, "her voice turned a littl odd, like she was reciting something memorized, "Eurydice Pandora Venice. Dicey for short. Morgan was my mother's maiden name... stupid I guess, but I didn't figure Christian would think of it. He isn't the sentimental type. If he sees my name on a registered manifest, or finds a trace of it, he could find me." The woman stood straight, turning away, "I don't want to hear your story. I don't know what you think you're going to accomplish here. You'll be lucky if the Cap'n doesn't space you." Her voice was dead and low, and as she left, closing the door behind her, Dicey sat there, stunned and confused. What the hell had she gotten in to? She gingerly moved her left arm, and found if she was careful, she could move it ok. It hurt like hell.

With the door to her cabin closed, although she could see she had a guard dog outside, she slid the strap of her bag up over her head and dropped it on the floor beside her. She slid her mother's coat off, hissing at the ache in her shoulder as she bent her arm back, pulling herself free. It hurt to bend her neck too much, but she quickly ascertained she had a large hand shaped bruise on her upper arm, and her shoulder was wrenched. With her right arm, she shook the dust off her coat, laying it over her bag. Instead of lying down, she scooted back till her back was against the bulkhead, and pulled her legs up. Her head lolled back gently against the bulkhead, wincing slightly where her head had banged against the ground earlier.

Weasel had gone after her with an injector. Andre had said Christian wanted to put her back to sleep. If she'd died in the coma - if she went back to sleep, again, and died - he got all the money. She wanted to give it to him, wanted to just give it up and run away, anything for her freedom. Her right hand clenched. What would Christian do with un-fettered access to so much money, so much power? He had to deal with a board of directors now, a group of men hired by their father to temper Christian's reign. It was only supposed to be until she woke up, but no one had expected her to still be broken.



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The Empty Reflection, Ch. 3
Dicey meets the nice young doctor, and Zoe finds out who this girl really is.

The Empty Reflection, Ch. 2
In which Dicey finds her freedom, but not for long; Weasel and Mountain show up to take her in, and a rescue comes from an unexpected source. (revised and updated 7/23/09 9:05pm)

The Empty Reflection, Ch. 1
In another alternate history, Dicey Morgan leaves home, without a past, and with a brother that wants her dead. She has to figure out who she really is; someone new, or the reflection of a dead woman.

A House of Healing
A wartime story of tragedy in a Companion House, taken over by the Alliance as a hospital.

Reports of my death...
A few short scenes detailing the past of Captain Dicey Morgan. From Alliance Soldier, to Browncoat - a spy? a turncoat? - to her First Death... (Backstory Snippets from Dicey Morgan, Captain of the Oberon -

Mirror, Mirror / Reflection
A chance meeting in the dockyard, told from the point of view of first Malcolm Reynolds, then from the point of view of Dicey Morgan. Not canon, written mainly for my own amusement.

Tiger Moth - Chapter Five
The Job Begins

Tiger Moth - Chapter Four
The First Job

Tiger Moth - Chapter Three
Josh, The Mechanic

Tiger Moth - Chapter Two
Maurice The Cook