BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

THEHAPPYTRADER

Secret Agent Tam? Chapter 24
Wednesday, October 13, 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: 1977    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Chapter 24

The shuttle had just taken off for the skyplex and Lien could feel Simon's nervous energy as she reached over and squeezed his hand. Simon never was any good with heights or space travel. It was a wonder he retained most of his sanity after spending the better part of a year out in the Black. Despite this apparent fear, Simon was very adamant on accompanying Lien to this secret meeting. That man will do anything for his little sister, Lien thought to herself. She found it both infuriating and adorable. It was obvious Simon was interested in the technology that could find his sister. Perhaps the demonstration will calm his nerves, Lien thought. Once Simon was assured his sister would be found and attended to, he would be able to focus on starting his own life with her and all would be right in the universe.

***

Malcolm Reynolds flipped a few switches on the pilot's console and all but slammed the wheel back into its neutral position. They were now within five miles of the skyplex Simon had boarded. He turned to have River and asked irritably, "Happy?"

"Not happy." Mal's jaw dropped in disbelief and he was about to voice his frustrations before River cut him off and continued, "However, I am satisfied."

"Always gotta be so gorram literal… what are you doing?"

River's hands flew over the communications console she had connected to some jerry-rigged device. Without looking up from her work she informed the captain, "I am working on my brother's escape plan, since he was too lazy to come up with his own."

"Are you hacking? You better not be hacking. I did not give you permission to start hacking."

River's hands suddenly stopped and she said calmly, "I am not hacking at the moment."

River may have been a genius, but she was still a little sister and Mal had years of experience reading little sisters. River was not any better at lying than Kaylee in that respect. "And you weren't hacking just a moment ago?" Mal pressed.

"You may assume as much."

"That don't 'xactly answer my question."

"You have provided insufficient parameters with which to interpret your query," River responded almost angrily, "She cannot answer to your satisfaction."

"That's BS and you know it!" Mal said before sighing dejectedly and adding, "You get us caught, I'll turn you in myself. Collect a big reward, buy a shiney hat and become King of all Londinum."

"Xie xie, Captain Daddy," River said as she returned to her work.

***

"Excuse me, miss, but only authorized-"

"She's with me," a well dressed stranger cut off the shuttle guard as he looped his arm through Inara's. Inara recognized this man at once by his posture and voice. He was one of the strangers who informed them of this meeting back on Beylix.

"Thank you," Inara said.

"The pleasure is all mine. These meetings are rather boring and, as they say, misery enjoys company," he responded with a wink. He was obviously more comfortable in this setting than where she had last laid eyes on the man, and, like any politician worth his salt, could flawlessly feign ignorance. For all intents and purposes, Inara was merely a spontaneous diversion for an amorous man in power. They took their seats in the shuttle. As it began to take off the stranger leaned in close and asked her, "How is our favorite doctor?"

Inara silently cursed the companion training that suddenly abandoned her as she tried and failed mask her fear and worry. Might as well tell him the truth, Inara thought, he cannot turn us in without endangering himself and he may just be able to help. "I don't know… Last I saw him, he was looking a little worse for wear, but he appeared to have found his own way to this meeting. We became separated. To say we are worried about him would be an understatement. I believe he is on one of the shuttles ahead of us."

"I see," the stranger said gravely. "You must understand that I would like to help, but I cannot afford to risk my position in the parliament. If this is to accomplish anything, we need someone inside the parliament who can keep this information from being buried with so many other secrets." He grasped her hand tenderly and secretly slipped an item into her grasp. "I am afraid my assistance must remain indirect."

***

Mal's com unit beeped to indicate an incoming transmission. He pulled the device from his belt and answered.

"Mal?" Jayne's voice came through the device.

"Yeah?"

"There… somethin' I could be doin'?"

"Since when are you this helpful?"

"There's nothin' to do here! No whores, no drinks. Well, not the fun kind anyway-"

"Jayne, we need a safe location dirt-side to fall back to in an emergency-"

"I'm bored! It ain't goin' no where-"

Mal abruptly ended the transmission. He turn to River and said, "See what you done? Now everyone thinks they can question my authority, debate my decisions."

"Not new," the young psychic responded with a sing song lilt in her voice.

"This is what happens when ya go soft," Mal grumbled, "They don't respect you. You remember that little albatross, when you grow up and run your own ship, you gotta be a hundan." River giggled and Mal continued more emphatically, "I'm serious! You've seen it on this very boat, what happens when the captain ain't mean enough. Kaylee and your brother have commenced fornicatin' at every spare moment and in places NOT their bunks. Inara decided she can do my job better than I can. Jayne questions my commands… okay that's nothing new but…" Mal's voice trailed off as River began laughing uncontrollably.

Finally, after a moment, she got a hold of herself. "Thanks Captain Daddy, I needed that."

"You're um… welcome," Mal answered awkwardly, still finding his title of 'Captain Daddy' more than a little uncomfortable. "You uh… you take that advice to heart, lil' one. Respect your elders, cause we know a thing or two. Might know something you psychic genius types ain't thought up."

Mal's com unit beeped again and he answered angrily, "I don't care how gorram bored you are, you can stick your head up-"

"Sir?" Zoe's voice interrupted him.

"You're… not Jayne."

"Decidedly not, Sir."

"You um… yes?"

"We've tracked been tracking Simon by his eyetap glasses and his shuttle has landed at the station."

"Good, we observe for now. River's put together a little distraction, should make it easier for us to slip in and extract 'im when the time comes-"

"There's something else you should know, sir."

After a pause Mal responded, "Now why do I get the impression you are about to tell me something I really don't want to hear."

"Inara's there too, sir. We caught her image when Simon glanced at her before quickly turning away. 'Probably so as not to blow her cover."

"So, now we have two we gotta rescue, and we can't even track one of them?"

"That's correct, sir."

"Ta ma duh!"

***

"If everyone could please take their seats, the demonstration will begin momentarily," the speaker announced from his podium in the conference hall of the skyplex.

This is it, Simon Tam thought to himself. Just stay calm, River and Kaylee and the crew are all counting on you. As soon as Simon was sure he saw the device, he would hurl an optical bomb at the platform and charge the stage with his eyes closed for approximately three seconds. The optical bomb would blind anyone who did not cover their eyes in time, causing chaos He was hoping to take advantage to snatch the device and, hopefully, make his escape. He had not counted on Inara following him here. He could really use her help but, unfortunately, he was in no position to inform her of his plan. Simon just hoped she could escape without drawing to much notice or suspicion.

"As you all know," the speaker began, "the Miranda broad-wave has made it increasingly difficult to maintain order, especially on the Rim. Even in the core, pirates and gangs have become bolder and their numbers have increased. However, denying the existence of 'Reavers,' as they have come to be called, was never a permanent solution and our overall plans remain unchanged. We must merely change the order in which we accomplish them, which is what brings us all to this station."

The speaker paused for dramatic effect while two assistants wearing formal attire and blue gloves entered a room holding a struggling Reaver between them. There was a collective gasp as the audience stared in horror at the raging disfigured humanoid. "Calm down everyone, there is no cause for alarm," the speaker said calmly as he pulled a hand held device out of a suit pocket. "This device is a prototype capable of interfacing with a ship or station's scanning equipment and detecting humans that have been affected by the paxilon hydrochlorate, such as this 'Reaver.' Allow me to demonstrate."

This can't be right, Simon thought with panic, I must be in the wrong place somehow. I must find the device capable of tracking River.

The speaker pressed a button and the operating system and process was projected into a hologram for the audience's convenience. After a moment he pressed a finally key and said, "And as you can see the device has detected the paxilon hydrochlorate within… three creatures in this room? There must be some mistake. I apologize but we seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties."

Simon had risked everything for this chance to save his sister and he had to know if this was indeed the device capable of tracking them. Desperate for answers, he grabbed his right bicep and squeezed the armband device through his sleeve, administering the psychic enhancing dose of experimental medication.

(Quick author note, as the plot has thicken there are a few points that may appear inconsistencies I am hesitant to describe directly as it could be somewhat a spoiler to anyone who has not already figured it out. Just remember that the Alliance is a big government and it's less than perfect communication with its various parts is intentional in my writing.)

COMMENTS

Thursday, October 14, 2010 5:21 AM

BYTEMITE


Well... Politician. Helping? Unknown motives as of yet. Fun.

Pitch perfect Mal and Jayne argument with Zoe getting in the middle. And Zoe's response.


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