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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Section 1 of 2
Let the games begin . . .
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1950 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
The usual disclaimers. This is a work of fanfic, not intended to entrench on any parties registered copyright interests. With apologies to Joss Whedon, Sei Shonagon, Lord Byron, Machiavelli, and all other sources whose brilliance inspired this work. Thanks to Oldfan45 for his detailed editing work (he’s a god) and Mai who remains my constant source of support (she’s my muse).
Authors Note:. It’s been more than three months since I posted the last chapter of this piece. The people at my job just don’t seem to understand I have better things to do with my time. For those of you who have been following or have just started, the story thus far is this:
This story takes place a little less than 20 years after the end of the show. Mal and Inara finally got together and even had a child, Serenity. The Second War for Independence breaks out. Unfortunately, Mal loses Inara in the early days of the War. The circumstances leading up to her loss are such that Mal hates her memory and even their child. Mal and his new crew, including Wash and Zoe’s son, Josh, are a special forces unit known as the Suicide Squad. They specialize in “anarchy.” The remaining original crew including Kaylee, River, Jayne, and Serenity have been living on Mal’s home planet of Shadow. Tensions tend to run high on the home front. On the other side of the verse, old (Atherton Wing) and new enemies (Ambassador Kali and Chancellor Lang) conspire to crush the Independence and bring victory to the Alliance. As part of their mackintoshes, an invasion of Shadow is about to begin. This story takes place in the final year of the war with lots of flashbacks.
This story contains strong language, sex, drug/alcohol abuse, violence, adult themes, and permutations there of. If it were an episode, it would incur heavy fines from the FCC. It should not be read by children or those who take offense to the aforesaid subject matter.
I’m long winded and html illiterate, so the second half of this chapter is posted separately.
22. When I Make Myself Imagine
When I make myself imagine what it is like to be one of those women who live at home, faithfully serving their husbands – women who have not a single exciting prospect in life yet who believe that they are perfectly happy – I am filled with scorn.
– The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
I was one of those women. At least, it was my fate allotted by birth to make a brilliant marriage, bring honor to my family: Marriage to a stranger I barely knew, who would use my body and then seek solace in the arms of another, mourning the empty nature of his life. I was supposed to produce strong solider-sons to serve the Alliance and dutiful daughters to breed for them, generation upon generation of sleepwalkers performing the same dance. My fate changed because he loved me.
Clichés become so, because they are true. Love is strongest power in the ‘verse. When you live with that kind of strength, you get tied to it. You can't break away and you never want to. Even when it’s wrong. Even when it makes you hate yourself.
Now, I am drowning again. The waters are closing in fast, pulling me down. “Freedom” suffocates me. I cannot breathe for wanting to belong. My only choice is to run. Nandie freed me once. She is gone now. I will not squander her gift.
The Pillow Book of Inara Serra
Part III: The Book of Games
“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.”
“Hey, cut that out! Damn caterwaulin’ scarin’ the fish away,” Jayne snarled with his cigar firmly clenched in his teeth.
“Sorry,” Serenity muttered.
“What was that anyway?”
“Brian or somethin’ like that. I don’t know, Simon taught it to me.”
“Well if yer gonna sing, sing something catchy, not somethin’ that makes you sound like you been eatin’ Kaylee’s cookin’.”
“Gonna tell Kaylee you said that,” she teased.
“No you ain’t.” That was all Jayne needed, Kaylee on his back given him another speech about dealin’ with the kid. “Not if you want me to take ya fishin’ again.”
“C’mon Jayne, I wouldn’t rat you out,” she promised, giving him a sharp right jab in the arm. Girl had some good fists. Jayne rubbed his arm, hoped she’d never have to really use them rocks serious. “Won’t rat you out if you let me have a puff of your ceegar,” Serenity wheedled.
“I was just kiddin’,” she promised earnestly. “Sides, narkin’ ain’t what good soldiers do,” she said with a certainty that belied her experience. Jayne didn’t have the heart to laugh at the kid’s innocence.
Serenity liked hanging out with Jayne. He was the only person on the ranch who didn’t treat her like a dumb kid. Talked to her straight and plain. None of that ‘when you’re older’ or ‘ask your father’ or ‘young ladies don’t blah, blah, blah,’ that Kaylee was always feedin’ her. None of the crazy riddles River tortured her with. Best of all, he was the only person who didn’t look at her like she was someone else. In fact, the only thing Serenity liked more than wastin’ time with Jayne, was egging him on.
“Our love for him ain’t hard to explain,
The hero of Canton, a man they call . . .”
“Cut it out!” He snapped, really nettled this time.
“Jaaaaayne . . . catchy ain’t it?” A sly smile stole across her lips.
“I said quit it, or so help me I’ll turn this boat around and head for shore!” Jayne threatened.
“Okay, okay. Ain’t call no for getting all tetchy. I swear sometimes ya sound just like Pa.”
“Do not! I ain’t go no stick stuck up my . . . well like yer Pa.” Serenity laughed and went back to fishing, humming The Hero of Canton lightly to herself just to annoy him. Brat! For all her yammerin’ and singin’ off key, Jayne liked being with the kid. She was the only person on the gorram planet who ever game him any respect. Looked up to him, treated him like he was some kind of ruttin’ hero.
Mal’s visit had always been hard on the kid. This time Jayne had found her in the hills, half frozen from sleepin’ outside without a thermabag trying to avoid her pa. Brought her home, where it took Kaylee the better part of an hour to thaw her out. Woman didn’t even have the heart to chew the kid out over yet another pair of ruined boots. Serenity spent the rest of the week hiding in Jayne’s cabin, not even coming out for meals. He had to bring her food just to make sure she ate right. Now it was nearly two weeks and she was still mopin’ around like a beaten dog. Damn Mal! Jayne didn’t see what the man’s problem was. ‘Cept for being a girl, Serenity was near perfect as far as he could tell. She could fight, cuss, track, and shoot with the best of them. Hell, Jayne thought, I’d be proud if she were my critter.
“Jayne,” Serenity began pensively.
“What?” Not that he would ever tell her that. That might just make her gorram head to big to fit through the door.
“What are we doin’?”
“It’s called fishin’. Ya see, you put the worm on the hook. Then you put the hook in the water, now the trick is . . .”
“That ain’t what I’m talking about. I mean, the war? Why’s pa and all of them fightin’ the Alliance again?”
“You heard Mal before, they’re . . . we’re fightin’ for freedom.”
“I know and if I hear one more speech about the evils of the Alliance I might puke. I mean how’d all this get started.”
Jayne took a good swig outta his flask. He couldn’t believe no one had ever explained this to the kid before. Guess we all lived with the war for so long we just plain forgot she was a young’un when it began. “Here take a swig of this,” he said handing her the flask. She was gonna need it if she was to get a history lesson. “It all started ‘bout ten years ago on Leda, a moon off Europa.”
House Hetaira, Londonium
A tight silk cord around her upper arm, she pumped back and forth waiting impatiently for the vein to appear. If this kept up, thought Kali, I’ll be using the spaces between my toes like a common burnout. That would never do. Ah, there it was, all plump and aching. She pressed the needle into her arm and pushed the plunger down, instantly feeling the serum coursing thick and hot through her system. Pax was the most divine of narcotics. It heightened the senses, granting the user crystal clear sensation while maintaining total control over one’s physical and emotional responses. It was the drug of choice amongst companions and had ruined not a few careers. Kali told herself that she was not an addict, just a strategic user. I only use for council meetings, times when the Chancellor might be a bit too ardent in his affections, and for special occasions like this one.
“Send him in.”
The doors opened as she straightened her veil and sleeves. A young Adonis swaggered towards her. He was beautiful. In another life he would have enjoyed enormous success in her profession. His gray uniform accentuated his muscular, but not bulky, six foot-plus body. He could have been a swimmer or dancer in his past. The mop of blond hair, flopping in his eyes made the pleasing package complete. A shame, the eyes are his most captivating feature, such a deep shade of blue. It didn’t escape her notice that they were touched with just a hint of pain that contradicted the sardonic lips-only smile. But then, she always had a weakness for sad blue eyes. Kali would have considered with the idea of using . . . other forms of influence over the creature just a few years ago. . . Alas. The proverb holds, ‘since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.’ What's more she had gone to such trouble and expense to arrange a different mode of persuasion.
He plopped down uninvited in the chair facing her, looking around, taking care to seem vaguely bored with his surroundings. She inclined her head fractionally. It was really his place to pay her respect first, but she saw awed deference was obviously was not the game he was playing and she did enjoy fencing with another master. “Lieutenant Summers,” she said in a carefully wrought tone, a mixture of lust, fear, and power.
“Ambassador Kali,” he returned the greeting, perfectly mimicking the cadence of her voice. Dangerous to play a trained player of the game. . .
“May I offer you some tea?”
“No thank you,” he said, his perfectly poised body exuding sensuality. “And there’s no need to stand upon ceremony . . . or use your famed wiles. It would be my pleasure to serve you, in any capacity you may desire.”
How trite, she thought, false seduction. She had been hoping for something slightly more creative from a product of the infamous Academy. Kali laughed, he was far too bold and sure of himself. He exuded the overconfidence of the young, the easily manipulated, the barely trained. “Thank you Lieutenant, you may go,” she said, the amusement she felt showing in her voice and posture, dismissing him.
He didn’t move, only deeply inhaled, savoring her scent. “You smell of lavender and loss and . . . something I can’t quite place. Love? Peace, perhaps?” He waived his hand as if to discard the ideas as ludicrous. “It’s an intoxicating combination,” he said, his voice thick with carnality as he watched her through hooded eyes. “What are you hiding? What do you yearn for, Excellency?”
“This is a dangerous game you’re playing, xiong shu,” she stated, all amusement gone.
“The very best games are.” He leaned in closer as if to whisper. “What else would we play in a whorehouse?” He watched for her reaction, noting with interest that she exhibited none. Cold as snow. Maybe she deserves her reputation. He couldn’t get a proper read on her, just snippets of images that bled from her pores. Fascinating as she was frustrating, Summers wanted more and knew he would have to push to get it. “Why don’t you tell me why you called me here?” He finished in a business like manner.
Kali opened the thick file sitting on the desk before her pretending to study it, though she had already memorized its contents. “You graduated first in your class from the Academy.”
“Yes.” He leaned back in his chair, draping his leg carelessly over its arm.
“You have received extensive medical training.”
“All the better to kill for you, my dear.”
“You excelled in intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, amongst other more unsavory pursuits.”
“Yes.” He shifted his leg slightly, drawing attention to his thigh muscles.
“You were sent on several missions while you were in training. The first was to Boros where you assassinated . . .”
“Bored now,” he said cutting her off. “Let’s talk about you. Did you like it when he hurt you? Did it make you feel alive?”
“Very well, we’ll start with easier questions: Your first time, did he rape you? Or did you welcome him to inside?” His expression changed slightly, almost taking on the semblance of sympathy. “You were such a lonely little girl, so anxious to be loved. So willing to do anything to keep it.”
She skipped ahead in the lists of questions. He’s fishing, dropping lewd suggestion waiting to see which stings. Or he could be more talented than the others. Either way she did not want to risk her mission to find out. “So much success. Why did you run away from the Academy?”
“I didn’t like the way they played. A bit too rough, even for my taste,” he said, never so much as twitching. “But you like it rough, don’t you? You love it when they call you a whore?” He asserted trying to take control. Beneath her veils, Kali smiled sure of her victory.
“Why did you come back?” She allowed her voice to relax into warmth and empathy.
“The ‘Professors’ took my family. I returned as soon as I found out. That didn’t keep them from torturing my father until he gladly took his own life,” Summers responded in the same casual fashion, shifting again to draw her attention back to his thighs. “Why were you always running away, when you so desperately want to stay?”
“And how did that make you feel?”
“All mixed up. It’s very crowded in there. Can you even tell the difference between them?”
“Watching your father kill himself. Knowing that it was your fault! How did . . . does . . . that make you feel?”
He shrugged nonchalantly, “Huai dan sent me there. Some people deserve to die.”
“True enough,” Kali nodded in agreement. “And the rest of your family?”
“I killed them. Love means that someone else can always control you. But you already know about those kinds of . . . complications, don’t you Excellency.” He was studiedly casual now, but his thighs stopped their too-obvious flexing.
A small vid console, displaying the interior of a ship, rose up from the desk at Kali’s barely perceptible touch. An older woman with a teenage boy appeared on the screen. “Funny, they look very much alive to me.”
Only a slight tremor along his jaw line betrayed any emotion. The delighted expression that spread across his face sent shivers down her back the Pax barely concealed. “And I heard you didn’t play in innocent blood.”
“Bi yi shi ci yi shi.”
“So it is. What do I have to do to get them back?”
She had all the information she needed. He was perfect. “Can you use the term ‘ain’t’ properly in a sentence?”
Summers actually looked confused. “Excuse me?”
In spite of herself, Kali gloated. It felt good to finally score a hit. “There is a small situation on Shadow I need seen to.” Her musical laughter only served to increase Summer’s confusion.
The Eumenide, One Day Outside of Persephone
A detailed map of Persephone and its Alliances strongholds sent to him by Parvati was spread across the table. Back in the day they had had some good times there. ‘Cept for the fact that it was filled with people lookin’ to kill or stiff ‘em (not that there weren’t many places in the ‘verse that didn’t meet that criteria), the planet had almost been like a second home. Now he was flying there to blow up a munitions plant. My, how times change when you’re not lookin’.
“Okay, I’d like things to go smooth, for once, so lets go over this one again,” Mal announced to his assembled crew.
“Josh, you, Chandara, and Walt are comin’ with me. Gonna be goin’ in at night, between shifts. Should keep the collateral damage down. We got them charges all set and ready to go?”
It was good have the old Mal back. Nothin’ lifted the commander’s spirits like the promise of imminent violence directed at the Alliance. “Yes sir. Gonna blow that plant straight to hell,” Josh said. Mal had been dry since the moment they left Shadow. It was sad. Family should bring out the best in a man. But Mal only seemed to really be himself here, faraway from home, in space.
“Just levelin’ it will do for now, boy. Shih, you’re stayin’ with the ship. Use just enough power to keep her in orbit. I don’t want us poppin’ up on any of the Alliances scanners.”
“But sir, I was looking forward to shooting some purple bellies,” Ching Shih whined.
“It’s good to want things. Right now I need you here on the boat ready to get us the hell outta dodge, dong ma?” Shih gave him a sharp salute. Satisfied, Mal returned to the business at hand. “Juanita, I want you prepped in the infirmary. Ain’t plannin’ on anyone getting’ hurt this time around, all the same I want you ready to go.”
“Si mi capitania,” Juanita saluted, delivering her best impersonation of a Spanish pirate.
“And I told you not to call me that,” Mal snapped.
“A sense of humor is the mark of a great man.”
“Yeah well, I ain’t great cause I ain’t got one. Sue Ellen, you, Said and Baby Ray Ray are taken down the power plant. I want that whole gorram city blacked out. Think you can handle that?”
Sue Ellen sidled up, draping her arm meaningfully over Josh. “I was hopin’ for a different assignment. But I never met a machine I didn’t like.”
“Tell us something we don’t. The buzzing sounds from your room keep me up all night,” Ching Shih grumbled.
“I could show you how to use one, maybe then you wouldn’t be such an uptight mai yuan.” Sue Ellen replied with a derisive sweetness.
“That's quaht all raht, darlin’,” Ching Shih condescended mocking her rival’s accent. “I don’t want anything that’s been up your yin hu. I haven’t had my immunization shots this month.” Stung at last, Sue Ellen opened her mouth to deliver a cutting retort.
“Ladies, ladies,” Mal said interrupting their squabble. “I’m sure you’ve given the boys here a lot to think about in their bunks tonight. Can we please get back to plannin’ a little anarchy!”
“Sorry sir,” they mumbled in unison, still glaring at each other. Mal sighed.
“People this is the closest to the Core we been for a while now. There’s no need to get all uppity or sloppy. Just get in, do the job, get out and keep flyin’. Got me?”
“Yes sir,” came a chorus of over eager voices. Like before, there were nine of them altogether. His crew was young, dumb and full of cum . . . well at least the boys were, Mal pondered; the girls seemed to be holding their own in this round of the battle between the sexes. He prided himself on being able to keep them alive. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them that way.
“Alright. We got big day tomorrow filled with all sorts of crime and wrong doin’, so I want you all to turn in early. No playin’ with machines, or each other for that matter. Dismissed!”
They all started to walk off to various parts of the ship. He noted that Sue Ellen was following Josh to the cargo bay rather than headin’ to the engine room where she belonged. He also noticed that Ching Shih looked ready to kill. “Shih, I need to talk to you.”
She stomped back in his direction, obviously not pleased with the lecture she figured she was about to receive. “What?”
“Now missy, you always been my kind of stupid. That’s why I took you on in the first place. But this boats small enough, it ain’t got no room for your attitude. You’ll keep a civil tongue in that mouth or, so help me, I will sow it shut.”
“It isn’t attitude, Commander. I’m the best damn shot on this rutting boat, but you’re always leaving me on board when action could happen.”
“Shih, I know you love killin’ Alliance more than anything else in this ‘verse, but you’re also the only one who can fly this hunk o’ junk proper. Makes you a might precious.”
“I guess you have a point, Sir,” she relented reluctantly.
“Usually do. So no more smart lip and no more barkin’ at Sue Ellen.”
That just pissed Ching Shih off, why was she the one always getting the speeches. “But she’s the one running around this boat like a cat in heat. Not a week ago she was shacking up with Chandara, now she’s chasin’ after Josh.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that. Josh has already had one bad case of crotch burn. Don’t think he’s lookin’ for another. ‘Sides, I would me more worried about Walt, if I was you.”
“Walt’s to in to his bible to be sly.”
“Really. Last time I check, not even God put a dent next to Walt’s pillow.”
Shih smiled at the though of holy than thou Walter having a remotely sexual idea. “I’ll be on the bridge if you need me, Commander.”
“That’s alright, I’ll take the first watch. Why don’t you go tell Josh how you feel.”
Shih laughed. “I don’t feel anything, Sir. That’s what so special about being me. Anyway, on my planet we had something called taste.”
Mal shook his head watching his pilot walk away. Shih reminded him of himself, too hurt and hard for her own good. Hope she gets better luck, her and Josh would make a descent pair, if they ever stop torturing each other. Not that he approved of shipboard romances, made things too complicated. Hadn’t changed his mind ‘bout that. But he knew from experience that lovesick pilots often screwed up the navigation. It was simply a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.
Mal headed up to the bridge. He sat comfortably in the pilot’s seat and gazed out into his beloved black. Yep, tomorrow was gonna be a big day, he thought yawning. After this, best take my own advice and get a little shuteye too.
“We understand each other then?” Kali asked any trace of humor gone.
“Gao chao,” she said tossing him a heavy silk purse filled with platinum. “You belong to me now. So much as a word to the Academy, the Chancellor, or anyone for that matter, and your family will learn that the Blue Gloves were merciful.”
“Naturally.” He rose to leave. “And you will release my family unharmed, once I accomplish my mission.”
“Blood for blood, that is our deal. My agent will contact you with further instructions. You leave tomorrow.”
He flourished an extravagant bow. “I am you most obedient servant, your Excellency.” He walked away whistling a folksy tune plucked from the Ambassador’s mind. A rare and graceful businesswoman. I’ll so deeply regret slitting her fragrant throat when the time comes. Well, maybe not deeply. Nobody threatened what was his.
“Oh, and Summers, one last thing.”
“Don’t play the girl . . . in any way.”
Never breaking stride, a dazzling smile spread across his lips. “Don’t you worry ma’am. I ain’t gonna toy your xiao bao,” he called in a halfway decent twang leaving the room.
He was a dangerous little sociopath and Kali hated that she was desperate enough to use him. She stared the images on the vid screen, wondering how many she would have to destroy before all this was over. “He’s good, but I’m better. I can control him. He can be controlled,” she prayed softly.
Mai returned in the creature’s wake. The girl shivered, her training making her attuned to all that had passed in the room. “He frightens me, Lady.”
Kali lifted her heavy veil so she could rub the crust of his filth from her face. “The die has been caste, all we can do now is play the moves we have left.”
“But he is a monster.”
Kali shook her head, “Unlike the other candidates, he still bears traces of humanity. We can use that to govern him.”
“Shall I dismiss the others then?”
“No. Give them the run of the house. I’ll pay for any companions that will have them.”
Unused to seeing random displays of kindness from her mistress, Mai cautiously stated, “That’s generous.”
“One’s last night on should always be filled with pleasure. Don’t you think?”
“My Lady . . .”
Kali saw her ward’s distress and was momentarily moved to pity. There had been a time long ago when she had balked at the thought of killing, even placed her own life at risk to stop it. She could have the other candidates wiped and dump them on some outer planet, but the risk was too great. There was no telling what the Academy conditioning had done to their minds. “I’ve spoken to them. They may know too much.” She reasoned with herself as much as Mai. “They are assassins. They live for nothing. They have no anchor, no code. They would turn on us for any scraps the Academy, or anyone else, might throw.” Her companion still looked sick at the sight of her cruelty. “Mai,” she cajoled, “their souls died a long time ago. Killing the body is a mercy.”
The less experienced woman bowed in uncertain acknowledgement of her mentor’s power over life and death and the seeming ease with which she exercised it. Best just to let it go. “The Chancellor waived a short while ago. He wants you back at the villa.”
“Then I must go to him.”
“What about the serum?”
“He won’t be able to tell. Like most men, the Chancellor is only interested in his own pleasure,” Kali declared dismissively. “Besides, the more control I have, the easier these little amusements are.”
Serenity’s head was spinning. She couldn’t tell if it was from spendin’ too much time on the lake in that tiny row boat, the rotgut she and Jayne had been swilling for the past hour, or the overload of information.
“So whatcha sayin’ is that we killin’ each other over,” she broke to take another drink, “geese?”
“Well . . . goslings actually.” The notion even sounded stupid to Jayne, which was sayin’ somethin’. He’d never seen much purpose in killin’ over causes. Now profit or fun, that was different story altogether. Ideals he left to Mal and the other pretentious bing quan of the Independence.
“But why?” Serenity asked still struggling to understand. She had been raised to hate the Alliance and all it stood for. But now, after hearin’ Jayne’s story, she was starting to hate the Independence. Bad enough that her mother had died in its service and that it had stolen her father, now it threatened her a ge, Josh. She couldn’t stand the thought of them dyin’ to protect some ben dan’s tomfoolery.
“People always fight over all kinds of ruttin’ foolishness,” he tried to explain, not really understanding himself. “Hell, I hear tell that on Earth-that-was a whole war started over tea and stamps. Had a couple that started over their version of fuel cells.” The look on her face told him, she wasn’t sure of the truthsomeness of his story. “You can only push people so far. The Alliance and their governor near worked them people to death in the mines. Juggling goslings was the only form of joy they had. When the governor banned that, well I guess that blew the compression coil that busted the engine. They rioted. Must been somethin’ to see . . . they dragged that huai dan outta his big house on the hill and strung him up. The Alliance didn’t try ta negotiate or punish them that did the lynchin’. They just pulled their people out and terra bombed ever’ inch of Leda back into the stone-age.”
“I don’t get it. If all this started on Leda, the Alliance destroyed it; then why we still fightin’?”
“Gov’ment destroyed Leda ta scare people inta obedience. Gorram gov’ment fools didn’t figger on a rebellion. Leda were made up a mainly poor miners, but there were plenty of bougies too. Suddenly some o’the rich folk realized what the poor always knew, that their lives didn’t mean shit and that the Alliance would snuff ‘em out ‘less it weren’t convenient. People got all tetchy-like and things just go worse ‘n’ worse from there.
“Shepherds preached against the purplebellies. All kindsa folk protested in the streets. Everyone and their grandma started runnin’ guns. Most did it for the money, cause let me tell you there was money to be made. Do gooders, like your pa, started doin’ it for free, so people could protect themselves.” Jayne shook his head, still perplexed over Mall all these years later.
Serenity hung on Jayne’s every word. This was the first time anyone had spoken to her about this. She took another swig from the flask, not noticing the burn of the liquor as she waited for him to continue.
“Well, what can ya expect with everyone runnin’ around scared’a their shadows packin’ more explosives than brains. They started blowin’ shit up, bitty little body bits flyin’ every which-a-way. The more the Feds cracked down the more the border planets revolted. Torture, camps, wipin’ out entire towns, nothin’ seemed ta work. See, dumb-ass purple bellies blew their wad too early in blowin’ up Leda, had nothin’ left to threaten people with. Weren’t but a few years later had us a full scale war on our hands. Nothin’ off limits now. Both sides’re willin’ to do they gotta do, winner take all- if there ever is one.” He lifted the flask from the kid’s limp grasp and took another mighty swig. Then he held it up in mock salute, “Here’s to the Second War for Independence and the poor fang pi fightin’ it, may they rot in peace.”
“What happens if they come to Shadow?” Serenity asked quietly. She looked scared. She had that look Kaylee used ta get right before she let loose with the water works. Gorramit! Organized this little fishin’ trip to cheer her up an’ now we not only caught no ta da me fish, but she’s frighten half ta death.
“Ah, Nitty, purplebellies ain’t comin’ ta Shadow. Ain’t nothin’ here worth takin’ or fightin’ for. ‘Sides, they ever do come, you, me, and Vera’ll make ‘em sorry they ever set foot here.”
She nodded and sat on her end of the boat quietly. Jayne couldn’t think of anything to say, so he picked up the oars and began to row. They were all the way back at the shore before the kid even noticed. “Where we goin’? Kaylee and Sarah’ll be mighty feng if we don’t bring back dinner.”
Jayne grunted, Kaylee’s gonna her panties in a twist over more than fish before this night is done. “Nitty, you ain’t a kid no more. And trust me, bein’ all grown up sucks somtin’ fierce. But it does bring certain pleasures. ‘Bout time you gotta taste of ‘em.”
Thursday, March 17, 2005 8:40 PM
Friday, March 18, 2005 7:39 AM
Friday, March 18, 2005 8:04 AM
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