BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

THEHAPPYTRADER

Secret Agent Tam? chapter 5
Monday, August 2, 2010

Shortly after the BDM, a pair of strangers who find our BDH's 'uniquely qualified' for job, hired/blackmail them. Freedom in the 'verse may lie in Simon's prowess as an undercover operative. Wait a minute, Simon?!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1420    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

Chapter 5

Kaylee plopped down into her favorite lawn chair as she watched the rest of the crew gather in the cargo bay. Jayne and Mal were dragging crates and containers over to serve as makeshift benches arranging them in an arc with the speakers assumedly standing in the center. Simon let out a pained grunt as he sat down beside her. Poor guy's gonna be pretty tender for a few days she thought. Then a mischievous grin came to her face as she thought of Simon being completely at her mercy.

"What are you thinking about?" Simon asked, smiling at her. That boyish grin of his made her giddy all over. It just made her want to jump 'im and do things that were decidedly less innocent. She was happy to see that his swollen eye was finally starting to open. Kaylee wasn't sure how long she stayed lost in his eyes before remembering he had asked her a question.

"Oh, nothin' really." She let out a short mischievous laugh. "Just thinkin' that you better be real nice to me, seein' as how I have you at my mercy!"

"You know, doctors take an oath. They're not supposed to harm their patients," chided Simon.

"Don'cha remember? I'm a nurse!" She leaned in close and whispered in his ear. "A very. Naughty. Nurse."

Kaylee leaned back and giggled at his obvious arousal and embarrassment.

Mal pulled the last crate into position and glanced at Simon, remarking, "They must have knocked you around harder than I thought. Your face is still redder than a tomato!"

Jayne snorted and added, "I think he's still swelling."

Kaylee felt a little guilty for finding Simon's embarrassment so adorable but she was unable to contain her laughter. Of course, she wasn't feeling guilty enough not to add to his misery. "You should relax Simon, if ya took things easier you wouldn't be so stiff!"

Before Jayne could sit next to Simon and ridicule him further, River pushed him out of the way and stuck out her tongue before stealing the seat next to her brother. She said, "Simon needs me here," as she smiled and hugged her brother, "for when he worries."

Mal asked River, "So uh, miss pilot-doctor-captain River Tam, why wasn't I notified when our contacts sent us a wave."

River looked at Mal as if he had spoken complete nonsense and responded, "They didn't send a wave."

"Then how-"

"They're here!" River interrupted as a fully enclosed black hover sedan came to a stop just outside of Serenity's main hold.

The rear door of the black hover car opened and two figures stepped out. They were wearing dark suits and trench coats with hats and glasses that obscured most of their features. Simon had a very bad feeling about this, and not only because Kaylee was griping his arm uncomfortably tight. Although he could not make out any distinguishing features, Simon was somehow certain they were the same two he saw in the bar last night.

One of the strangers spoke "We appreciate you agreeing to meet us on such short notice."

Mal countered angrily, "What notice? You didn't send a wave or anything."

The other stranger said, "And yet here we are, clearly expected, and you are not the least bit unprepared."

The first stranger continued as if no one had spoken,"As I mentioned earlier, we have a job for which we believe your crew is uniquely qualified. First we'll discuss payment. We can pay you 6,000 platinum up front and can give you access to an unlimited credit line to cover you expenses."

"That's a hefty chunk of change there." Mal said "Course we can't spend it if we get ourselves Imprisoned or killed. And what makes you so sure we won't just take the platinum and disappear?"

"You're reputation speaks otherwise, also there is the matter of payment upon job completion." The stranger paused for dramtic effect, and continued, "A negotiable monetary sum, as well as your continued freedom."

Mal replied angrily "Now, I know you did not just step on my boat and threaten my crew!"

The second stranger confirmed, "That is correct Captain Reynolds."

"Yeah," Mal replied, suddenly at a loss for words, "You're gorram right it is."

The second stranger clarified, "It was a warning. The alliance is close to completing a project that will make it possible to track anyone at anytime by their D.N.A."

Mal asked uncertainly, "There D.N.A.?"

Jayne supplied, "That's Drinking, Narcotics and Aphrodisiacs right?"

Simon stared at Jayne unbelieving and asked, "How can you know words that big and still get it completely wrong?"

Jayne stood up and shouted, "You wanna go little man? I'll beat ya till you're as moonbrained as you crazy sister!"

"Sit down Jayne!" Mal ordered before turning to address to the first speaker, "When you say tracked by their D.N.A., do you mean forensically? As in they can read blood, spit or-" Mal pointedly avoided looking in Simon and Kaylee's direction, "-or other bodily fluids to tell where we've been?"

"I'm afraid it is much more complicated than that. If successful, they will be able to recognize a person by analyzing the way high frequency-"

"Please" Mal interrupted. "Give it to me in captain dummy talk."

River pouted "Thought I was captain today. I have no problems understanding." Mal glared at River and she stuck her tongue.

"With the proper equipment, an Alliance cruiser could scan an entire planet for a weak from orbit to identify every person on it as well as determining their general location. If they narrow the search to look for a specific D.N.A. sequence… the process works considerably faster."

Panic enveloped Simon as he felt a sharp pain in his chest and briefly wondered if he was going into cardiac arrest. There will be nowhere left to run. How can I keep River safe? Simon was brought back into the real world by a sharp pain in his arm. After a moment he realized Kaylee was squeezing it while watching him with open concern and whispering his name. He gave her a weak smile and then realized his other arm was stretched out protectively in front of River.

River giggled, placed her palm along the side of Simon's face, and assured him soothingly, "Don't worry Simon, you'll protect me. You always protected me."

Simon reoriented himself and tried to focus his attention on what Mal and the strangers were talking about.

"Okay let me get this straight," Mal said, "The project is not quite finished. The public is completely unaware as they'd rightly be unapprovin' and you want us to steal or as a last resort destroy the prototype?"

The stranger answered, "That is correct captain. If it can be stolen, then we can make sure the evidence becomes public knowledge and that the project will never garner the support necessary to become implemented."

"And our crew is uniquely qualified…how?" Mal asked and then hastily amended, "Aside from our fugies makin' us a prime candidate for blackmail."

The stranger explained, "We need someone to infiltrate the private ceremony where it will be unveiled to a select group of government and business leaders with the intention of intimidating them into compliance. They are hiding this private meeting within an exclusive but public event, more specifically, the sapphire ball which is said to be the social event of the season. We could not obtain the information necessary to infiltrate this meeting, which is why our agent must also be a reader. A reader could pull the relevant information out of another's thoughts and bluff their way through."

Simon rose quickly and stood protectively in front of his sister. "No! It's too dangerous! I will not let you throw her at the alliance to further your own political ambitions! Simon shouted, momentarily silencing the entire group with his angry proclamation.

After a few moments, the second stranger broke the silence "I agree. River is very talented, but alliance conditioning has made her dangerous and unpredictable. There is also a chance someone could trigger her to fall asleep or go berserk. I was referring to another reader."

The stranger's words replaced Simon's righteous fury with confusion. His legs felt tired and unstable has he lost the raging adrenaline that was sustaining them. His head became very light and unfocused and he began to regret standing up so suddenly.

When the stranger finished his next sentence, the cargo bay was silent enough to hear a pin drop.

"I was referring to Dr. Tam."

What dropped instead was larger, louder, and decidedly more Simon shaped.

Jayne pointed to Simon and asked, "Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?"

Zoe looked to Mal "Sir, Am I being a delusional grief ridden widow, or did they really think Simon is a reader?"

Mal thought No way in hell these two are on the level and said "You an' me both Zo, Simon can't be a spy, he's the easiest mark I ever met."

Jayne prodded the unconscious doctor with his boot. Kaylee slapped Jayne's leg and rolled Simon onto his back.

Inara said calmly, "I think there's been a mistake. "

Kaylee pouted as she cradled Simon's head, "If he was a reader he coulda' read me a lot sooner!"

Simon stirred, "Hmm, bao bei?"

"Shhh," Kaylee soothed, "Everything's fine, we're just havin' us a community delusion is all."

The second stranger spoke "The trait is not as pronounced as it is in River, but it is there, lying dormant. If it has surfaced at all, it likely only occurred when he was most comfortable or with those he was most familiar."

Mal contemplated his words and remarked, "Well, when you put it that way, I'm not sure we've ever seen the good doctor looking remotely comfortable. Still, this tale you're spinnin' is gettin' awfully tall." Mal turned to River and asked, "Lil' albatross, you mind lookin' into his brainpan? Make sure he's not of like to lyin' to us." Mal grinned in satisfaction when he saw the stranger tense in anticipation.

River giggled, "It's true but shhhh," River whispered conspiratorially "Simon doesn't know."

Kaylee replied thoughtfully, "I thought he was rather…gifted… for his first time."

Mal grabbed his head in his hands and said, "Oh God! I don't need to know that!"

Jayne interjected, "Maybe you wasn't his first time."

"Jayne! I hardly see how that's relevant." Inara said curtly.

"Not like that Jayne!" Kaylee laughed, absently played with Simon's hair, continued with a happy sigh, "I meant his first time with me. Somehow he just knew where to find all my buttons."

"Kaylee!" Simon admonished, clearly embarrassed.

Mal proclaimed incredulously, "This must be what going mad feels like."

River proffered, "Simon heard me in the academy. Hear me calling, but didn't understand. I had to send him a code, cause he's such a boob."

Mal knew he had to take charge of this situation before he lost what remained of his sanity. "Okay, so he's a reader... kinda sometimes… and only amongst those he knows well. Now I'm not exactly an expert in all things cloak n' daggery, but I'm pretty sure listenin' to his crazy sister and doing… somethin' else to my mechanic don't make him qualified to be an operative!"

Jayne added, "Not to mention he's soft as Inara and already been kidnapped twice!"

"I'm right here you know, and I'm fully conscious." Simon stated indignantly from the floor.

Zoe commented, "He ain't no Dusty."

"I'd say he's down right immaculate," Jayne replied.

The first stranger asked impatiently, "Captain, is your crew always this orderly?"

Mal responded with a smile, "Nah, today's a good day."

"Sir, If I may," Zoe said as she waited patiently and waited for Mal's assent to continue. Once given she continued, "River's confirmed what he's saying to be true, least aways far as he knows it, our doctor is passing in and out of consciousness, and it looks like we have an awful lot of planning and negotiating still to come. Can we move this conversation to the infirmary?"

Simon lay on the infirmary bed and winced as River began an IV drip. River said "Brought this on yourself, didn't obey the doctor's orders."

Jayne grunted in amusement, as he did most every time he saw the young doctor in any form of pain or discomfort. Jayne didn't hate Simon, but he did hate everything about him. Jayne hated his fancy core speechifyin' and his lily white skin and his fancy manner of dressin'. Simon wasn't good at anything manly like fightin' or drinkin' or shootin' and still Kaylee chose him. Though Jayne had to admit, Simon wasn't weak, he would do anything for his sister, even stuff like fightin' or shootin' that he wasn't good at and were dangerous. That kind of bravery earned Simon a lot of respect in Jayne's mind. After all, it wasn't the doc's fault he was born a sissy. So Jayne didn't hate Simon, he just hated everything about him.

"We have already obtained a false identity and an invitation for Dr. Tam." The stranger one said.

Zoe said, "I don't like the idea of him going in there alone, even if we are nearby."

The stranger sighed, "I wish he didn't have to, it makes his task much more dangerous. Alas, we were only able to acquire one invitation."

Inara suggested, "I can go with him as his personal escort. Many a guests will arrive with a registered companion and my being there would likely draw less attention than his going alone."

Even Inara's throwin' herself at him Janye thought with no small amount of disgust. Then he thought about how much this would irritate the captain, and that thought brought a smile to his face.

"Yes! That is an excellent idea!" Stranger one agreed. "My assistant will give you the details on the tools you'll have at your disposal."

Stranger two pulled a datastick out of his pocket and handed it to Kaylee. "Those are bluebrints of the building in question" He reached into another pocket producing another datastick "And these are blueprints of devices that may help you in this operation. Use the platinum or credit line to acquire any materials you need to build them."

Mal inquired with annoyance, "What about the part where he's needin' to be a reader? We can't just have Inara go whore 'im up to relax him every time we hope to get a read on someone."

"Unbelievable!" Inara said in exasperation. "I had thought we were beyond that Mal, and I thought you could at least respect your crew, even if you couldn't respect me."

"Captain, that was mean!" Kayless said. Her words seemed to cut into Mal the most.

Jayne let out a chuckle and found himself at the receiving end of many angry stares. "What? I think the Captain's mean to."

Stranger two spoke up again "If I may continue, I have a much more practical solution to that problem." He waited patiently until he had all their attention and then spoke directly to Simon. "I have an experimental drug that will bring out your dormant psychic ability, but it is not without side effects. The effects are temporary and there is a chance of developing a dependency, a chance which increases dramatically with each use. There is no data on withdrawal and detoxification as none of the test subjects were taken off the medication before being terminated. I sincerely hope you will only need to use this once."

"No!" River screamed and hugged Simon fiercely. Simon groaned has her embrace agitated last night's injuries. Jayne thought this was quite possibly the most painful looking hug he had ever witnessed. River's voice was muffled as she cried into Simon's chest, "Don't do it! Can't do it!" Simon held her and stroked her hair as she continued crying, "You're supposed to help me! Can't help me if they break you. I don't want you to be like me."

River sounded so scared and helpless. For the first time that day, Jayne took no pleasure from Simon's misery.

"There, there mei mei." Simon soothed. "I'll be alright. I know it will tough, but we can do this. It's the only way I can keep you safe, the only way we can keep everyone safe."

"But-"

"Shhhh. It'll be fine. Whatever happens, we will deal with it together." Simon kissed the top of her head. "I promise."

Stranger two cleared his throat and continued. "As I said, the drug's effect is temporary, side effects and duration varied greatly from subject to subject in the trials. It is my estimation that you will possess the ability to read a person's for a time of five and forty minutes. While the drug is still active, you will need to listen to the guests' surface thoughts until you find someone who knows when and where the secret gathering will take place, and you must accomplish this without attracting attention to yourself."

The stranger sighed and then continued. "In addition to all of that, you will have to deal with the drugs side effects which could be any, all or none of the following – hell, you might even add something new to the list—dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, vertigo, increased libido, decreased libido-"

Jayne interrupted, "I thought they was trackin' us by our aphrodisiacs."

Mal offered, "If that stuff happens just play it off like you're drunk."

The first stranger said "Aside from money and drugs, I'm afraid there's not much more we can do for you. The rest will be up to you. I wish you all the best of luck-"

"Just one more thing before you go" Mal interrupted "Doc said somethin' bout this furtherin' your political ambitions while he was busy gettin' ready to pass out. Care to elaborate?"

"No I don-"

"He's a member of parliament," River said, "Other one's his doctor. They think that part of the Alliance is wrong. A scandal would set them back and put this one's party in favor. They hope we succeed but they will deny knowing us if we get caught. Big risk big reward." River stared at Jayne with those moonbrained eyes and said, "Time for some thrilling heroics."

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