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HANDFUL OF STARS: 4. "Captains Outrageous"
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Landing on Cheverell the Captain decides to find out what kind of job the Sheriff needs doing."


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1760    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

TITLE: "CAPTAINS OUTRAGEOUS" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: None. RATING: PG-13. STATUS: Sequel to "MIDDLE OF NO AND WHERE". ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: AlisonMDobell@aol.com WEBSITE: None. All Firefly stories archived at Fireflyfans.net

SUMMARY: "Landing on Cheverell the Captain decides to find out what kind of job the Sheriff needs doing." 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.

"CAPTAINS OUTRAGEOUS"

"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

Something in Mal's eyes sparked a warning in Monty's head. The news about the job should have had Serenity's Captain happy but the reaction was wary, muted. Was all manner of disappointing in fact. Here he came bearing gifts only to find Mal reacting as if he had pulled the pin out of a gorram grenade. He didn't know what was wrong but Monty Reynolds aimed to find out. Not that he had any intention of telling Mal that. The man could be downright ornery if he thought anyone was checking up on him even if it was to ensure his own well being.

For a minute or two Monty stared at the now dark cortex screen. Slowly he stroked a hand down his bushy whiskers, his look thoughtful. The pilot, Denny Carter, broke into his reverie. "Where to, *laoban*?"

"Cheverell."

Denny's eyebrows disappeared up into his hairline. "What d'we wanna go there for?"

"A hunch an' we're not discussin' this, *dong ma*?"

The pilot turned back to his controls and began to prepare for descent. The Kingfisher was a mite old in the tooth as ships went but like Serenity what it lacked in flash it made up for in character.

"Not too close, Denny. Don't want Mal thinkin' we're followin' him."

"Aren't we?"

The big man scowled but didn't reply. One look at his boss's face kept Denny silent. Discretion being the better part of valour or somesuch. That and a healthy regard for not pissing off a man with the strength to squeeze the life out of a gorram grizzly bear. Nope. He was the pilot and liked that job fine. He'd leave the back chat and dumb heroics to folk like his boss's cousin.

* * * * *

Rootham was a small but pleasant looking town. Even with the lights out there was a kind of attractiveness about the place or maybehaps it was all the gorram candles in the windows and woodsmoke scenting the night air and adding to the aroma of evening blossoms.

"Aw, Cap'n, it's so 'shuai'."

"It's a town in the back end of No an' Where, Kaylee. Towns ain't *shaui*."

"Sure they are. Look at all them candles in the window, all flickerin' warm an' invitin'."

Jayne snorted but stayed watchful. With the Captain wound tighter than a watchspring he wasn't about to take any chances. He didn't like the darkness, too many places for unfriendly folk to hide and experience had taught him that Mal had a whole army of unfriendlies scattered across the Black. Zoe was to the Captain's left with Kaylee and him behind them. Everyone else was back on Serenity.

"Remind me again why you ain't on my boat?"

Kaylee beamed at the sour look on her Captain's face knowing he wasn't angry with her, just being overly protective. As sweet as it was to have him worry about her safety it was also kind of stifling. A body needed to touch solid ground and breathe unrecycled air every now and then. "Serenity needs some parts - nothin' expensive," she hurriedly added "so makes sense to see if there's a yard we can use."

"Kaylee, they ain't gonna stick a junkyard in the middle of their fine an' shiny town."

Her face lit up, happiness and bon homie fairly sparking off her like a solar flare. "See? I knew you thought she was *shaui*."

Mal was about to correct her when Zoe butted in, her voice low and flat beside him with a faint underlining of dry humour. "Don't, sir. You know you won't win. Not with Kaylee."

He turned his head slightly and glared at her. The impact lessened somewhat by the fact that she couldn't see his gorram face.

"Three o'clock." Murmured Jayne darkly, just loud enough for them to hear.

Snapping his head to the right the Captain saw him. A dark upright shadow moving towards them with the confident gait of either the heroically brave or the terminally stupid. Only when the figure got real close did he realise it was the latter not the former. He tried to hide his disappointment. "Heard tell you have a job for us?"

The Sheriff sighed, knowing Mal was not happy to see him. "When you gonna let the past go, Mal?"

"That's Cap'n Reynolds to you!"

"War's over an' I didn't send that wave 'cause I wanted a fight."

"Then why did you send it? I ain't no electrician."

Kaylee opened her mouth to offer her services when the Captain spun round and raised his hand to stop her jumping in. "An' no, you ain't volunteerin'."

Frowning in irritation it took all of her control not to yell at him but the Sheriff was speaking again and she didn't want to miss anything. Why there was such bad blood between him and the Captain was mystifying. Beside her, Jayne was fairly thrumming with tension his own self. It would take but one careless word to light the tinder of their low expectations. Feeling her happy dim, Kaylee resolved to listen harder. Maybe things were not going to end the way she feared? After all, the Sheriff had called them for a job so how bad could it be? Or rather, had called Monty to contact them for a job. Huh. Now she came to think on it, that was odd.

* * * * *

"Think he suspects?"

Silence stretched until it was uncomfortable. Lincloln James Petrie just stared at him.

"*Shifu*?"

Petrie considered just ignoring him but the trouble with minions was their inability to detect subtle unless it had a ten ton brick attached to it. Why was he always surrounded by idiots? Oh. Yes. Cannon fodder. "He's paranoid."

The lackey wrinkled his brow in concentration. Petrie half expected the top of his head to cave in from the effort, after all it was pretty much empty anyway. "So, that mean he suspects?"

Only the fact that Petrie wasn't finished using the man saved Elliot Brown's life. Not that anyone that low down on the food chain would know that. "I don't pay you to speculate."

He got a blank stare back. Petrie would have ripped his hair out in frustration if he had any. All he had left was scars and those he knew as intimately as any lover.

"Just do as you're told and ask no questions, *dong ma*?"

Brown opened his mouth to stick his other inane foot in it when something in Petrie's expression brought it to a close with a snap. A slow nasty smile broke out on Petrie's face, pulling the skin tight and shiny over old wounds poorly healed. Not that he cared what he looked like but once he had been a handsome man. He might never have met Malcolm Reynolds in the flesh but every inch of his body had a score to settle. Memories haunted a photographic memory that tortured him each night anew. His revenge had been months in the planning but nothing in the 'verse would make him rush now. Not when he was so close to getting everything he wanted.

"Go, keep a look out. When Chapman returns make sure he wasn't followed."

A grin split Brown's face, his eyes lighting up. With a happy nod he fingered the long knife in its' sheath on his belt. The boys would be happy to oblige. While the money was good none of them liked kicking their heels and just waiting for something to happen. His little gang of fellow cut throats and foot pads would be glad of the action.

* * * * *

Monty couldn't see anything wrong. Ritchie Thomas wasn't smart enough to think of double crossing anyone but he was a pretty good shot both with the rifle and hand gun. Not as good as Mal of course but you didn't have to be if you were gonna shoot someone in the back. Fortunately Ritchie wasn't the type. Eavesdropping shamelessly, Monty could have predicted how the conversation would go. Mal was nothing if not stubborn and Ritchie had never been his favourite person but money was tight and a job was a gorram job. *Don't blow this, Mal* he thought, eyes flicking from side to side while being careful not to be seen. It wasn't the detail that got you spotted but the movement and both Zoe and Mal were sharp enough to pin his backside to wall if he was caught sticking his nose where it didn't belong.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*laoban* = boss *dong ma* = understand? *shuai* = handsome/snazzy *shifu* = sir

COMMENTS

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 3:31 PM

ANGELLEMARCS


Kaylee Bird wants to volunteer. She's such a sweetie. She'd fix the electric problem in a heartbeat. As for Monty... here's hoping he doesn't get the crew into any more trouble. Of course, Mal seems to do it very well all on his own. Good stuff!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010 3:18 PM

BRUCEPLUTO


Great story Alison!! Glad to see who’s pulling the strings now. LJP using the sheriff to lure Mal into some trouble. Revenge is a dish better served hot, cold, or mild with hot sauce….doesn’t matter as long as it’s yours right?

Glad that Monty has his cousin’s back, even if Mal isn’t aware of it. Nice to have a relative lookin out for ya…..especially one that can squeeze the life out of a grizzly……

More please…BPZ

Monday, November 22, 2010 10:05 AM

NEESIERIE


Ah, revenge! I had a feeling that was the motive for the death threat. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out. I know for certain that it won't go as planned. After all, Mal's involved. *grin*


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