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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
A week after preventing Jubal Early from obtaining River and Simon, Serenity crew is still searching for its next job.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1268 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Everyone on Firefly transport ship Serenity is standing shoulder to shoulder in the cargo bay - except River Tam, the genius child saved from Alliance experimentation by her doctor brother, Simon. Those in the line are blindfolded, many near sleep as supper was finished just moments before. River stands at the front of the line holding a large brown bowl. River, starting with Serenity captain Malcolm Reynolds, playfully asks each person to hold out a hand. Upon reaching each crew member - in order of Mal, first-mate Zoe Warren, her husband and pilot Wash, muscle-for-hire Jayne Cobb, ship preacher/counselor/conscience Shepherd Book, Simon and ship mechanic Kaylee Frye - eases each offered hand into the bowl, allows each person a few seconds, then removes the hand and asks each person to keep that hand by their side. At River's request, no one speaks while performing this task. Wash chuckled a bit as his turn came, Jayne gave his usual grunt, but no conversation was shared.
River (still playful): "Anybody?"
No response. Crickets, even.
River: "C'mon, it's easy."
Wash: "How 'bout a clue?"
River: "No clues. Too easy." River starts humming the Jeopardy theme - of course, no one else recognizes it. It's the future.
Jayne: "This is stupid. I'm taking this gorram thing off." River, in a flash, rushes to Jayne and slaps his hand.
River: "No peeking." Jayne grunts some more.
Several seconds pass. Still, no one speaks. Unheard, Book has been sniffing.
Book (with a hint of confusion): "River, did you just stick our hands in a bowl of mashed potatoes?" Everyone rips off their blindfolds.
River: "We have a winner!" River starts dancing around, runs up and hugs Book while the rest of the crew is cursing in Mandarin - Mal, Wash, Zoe, Simon and Kaylee in a dejected "I can't believe I didn't guess that" manner, leading to a good bit of laughter. Jayne is pissed.
Jayne: "What's so gorram funny? We been eatin' nothin' but raw protein for weeks, finally get somethin' worth enjoyin' and she wastes this on a game? We coulda had this at supper! This is just ... (interrupted)
Book: "As I understand it, Jayne, there was a saying on Earth that Was that applies to this situation - 'God made dirt, dirt don't hurt.'"
Kaylee: "Little engine grease never stopped you from eatin' anything before."
Beat. Jayne snatches the bowl from River and starts to stomp away.
Jayne (still pissed): "I'll be in my bunk."
Mal: "Thought we's havin' fun? What's up his *pigu* all of a sudden?"
Zoe: "WE are having fun, Captain. HE'S not having fun unless we're good on cash, and we ain't had a job in a while."
Mal: "Too long a while. I'm gettin' a bit tired of doin' nothin' but playin' games all day myself."
Wash: "Badger's always got something for us. Why haven't we ..." (interrupted)
Mal: "I ain't itchin' to go back to Persephone anytime soon. Can't even punch a guy without him thinkin' it means I wanna cross swords."
Zoe: "Well, we're further out on the rim than I can remember. Don't know much of anything about most of the planets around here."
Mal (a bit sarcastically): "Simon, surely you're schooled enough to know something about some of the places around here, somewhere where our services might be utilized?"
Simon (a little surprised): "You're asking me to scout planets for our next job?"
Mal (almost congratulatory): "Don't forget, boy, you're responsible for our highest-payin' bit of crime since you and your sister joined up with us. I bet you know enough about how things are in this part of the 'verse ..." (interrupted)
River (staring ahead, but not looking at anything in particular, speaking in a bit of a monotone): "Sedalia. Hard burn gets us there in six hours. Not that I'd suggest a hard burn for six hours, might be a bit risky." Beat. "An old trade route, no one uses it anymore. Not heavily populated, but plenty of people." Beat of silence as everyone just stares at her, dumbfounded.
Simon (with a jarring break of silence, giving his sister a bit of a weird look): "It's the last of the first planets to be terraformed after everyone left Earth that Was ..." (interrupted)
Wash (re-lightening the mood): "'One of the last of the first.' Fantastic bit of wordplay there, doctor."
Simon (matter of factly): "I thought so."
Mal: "Sedalia. Don't sound like much. (to River) What's it got to make it worth our while? 'Unused trade route' has 'Reavers' written all over it. I don't wanna take us toward any trap that gets us all skinned an eaten."
Wash (a bit disturbed): "Wow. MORE great wordplay." Annoyed look from Mal, wink from Zoe.
Mal: "It's gotta be something really ..." (interrupted)
River (breaking out of her stare, eyes lighting up): "Gold." Several beats of silence as heavy thuds quickly go from barely audible to annoyingly loud. Jayne pokes his head out from around the hall behind the cargo bay, mashed potatoes in his goatee.
Jayne (loud, excited, garbled from a full mouth): "Someone say 'gold'?"
An hour after Book won River's little game, Serenity is on its way to Sedalia. Jayne is in his bunk, taking time between bites of mashed potatoes to clean Vera and her friends; River, Kaylee and Simon are in the infirmary, supposed to be giving River another checkup, but really just goofing off; Mal and Wash are on the bridge doing captainy and piloty things, and Zoe and Book are leaving Shuttle 2 to go check on Shuttle 1.
Book: "I'm still not entirely certain the Captain completely understands why she left."
Zoe: "I know he doesn't. He hasn't tried to understand it yet."
Book: "Why do you suppose that is?"
Zoe: "It involves his feelings. He doesn't focus on feelings. He focuses on work. Figured that was obvious."
Book: "I know he had feelings for Inara ..." (interrupted)
Zoe (not mean, but straight): "I don't think you do, preacher. He may not act like her being here and leaving changed him at all, and it didn't on the surface. I know him a bit better than just the surface."
Book: "So it's not so much that he doesn't understand, it's that he doesn't care to."
Zoe: "Not a bad way of saying it."
Book: "Maybe I should ..." (interrupted)
Zoe (adopting a lower, Book-ish tone): "'Talk to him, ease his pain, blah blah blah.' Not a good idea, and you know it. He wouldn't have that from me, much less ..."
Book (returning her impersonation with one of his own): "'The man who personifies the faith Mal doesn't have anymore.' I can't give up on him. That faith is still there. It's just ... misplaced."
Zoe: "Maybe." Beat. (voice lifting) "You've become a bit of a smartass, preacher."
Book (startled): "Really? I mean, I didn't mean to ..." (interrupted)
Zoe (chuckling, hand to his shoulder): "It's fine, Book. It's actually a bit refreshing. You're starting to act a little like the rest of us."
Book (drops his head behind his hands): "Oh, Lord, help me." Zoe laughs harder as they reach Shuttle 1.
Mal and Wash are checking readouts and such on Serenity's equipment on the bridge.
Wash: "Simon can tell us she's getting better until he's blue in the face, I just don't see it."
Mal (uncharacteristically lighthearted): "Wash, I'm telling you, she's getting better. I didn't really start noticing until she and I got back in Serenity after we dumped Early out. She joked about Simon, and it actually made sense to me."
Wash (chuckling): "A joke? You're pinning your hopes for the mental stability of a girl whose brain got poked more than a dead body in a lake on a joke?"
Mal: "Poke dead bodies much?"
Wash (sarcastically, without hesitation): "First thing me and Zoe did on our (making airquotes with his fingers) 'vacation' last week."
Mal (sarcasm, again): "You sick bastard." (seamless transition) "How far away are we?"
Wash: "Weirdo River was right on her calculation of six hours on hard burn, and I'm running a good bit slower than that. I'd say we've got time for a good night's sleep and breakfast before we're within visual range."
Mal: "Good. I'm gonna go find Simon's encyclopedias and try and find some information on Sedalia. Put Serenity on autopilot in a bit and get some sleep."
Wash (even MORE sarcasm): "Aye, sir." Walking away, Mal scratches the back of his neck with his middle finger, garnering a chuckle from Wash.
Kaylee is tickling River while Simon makes with a bit of a fake inquisition.
Simon: "I'm serious, River. How do you know so much about a non-Core planet I've barely heard of?" River is laughing almost uncontrollably.
Kaylee (with a bad, fake bad-cop accent): "Tell us, little girl, or I'll keep a-ticklin.'" Beat.
Simon (almost laughing, but not quite): "That was really bad."
River (still laughing big-time): "Not telling!" She breaks away from Kaylee's grip and starts to quiet down. Kaylee and Simon laugh, shoot a few significant glances and do a bunch of other "lovey-dovey" crap. River notices and starts with the fake yawning.
River: "No more games. Tired." To Simon, matter-of-factly. "I'm taking your bed tonight."
Simon (incredulous): "Oh, really? And what makes you think that ..." (interrupted, as River walks out)
River: "Your's is more comfortable." She's gone. Kaylee's Indian-style on the floor and still laughing, Simon is smiling and taking a seat on the exam table. A few beats of light laughter, then silence.
Simon: "That's the first time she's wanted to go to bed on her own." Quick flash of realization. "I didn't give her her meds." Simon grabs his stuff, but Kaylee gets up to stop him.
Kaylee: "Simon, she don't need 'em. She's feelin' better. She's got to be - we've all seen her lately. Havin' fun, talkin' more, it's almost like she's ..." (interrupted)
Kaylee (startled a bit): "I didn't mean it like that, Simon, I just mean it's like she's ..." (interrupted)
Simon (soothing): "It's OK. You're not wrong, she is getting better. She'll still need the meds every now and then, it's just going to be hard to break the habit of giving them to her every night." Beat. "Not sure what I'm going to do with all the extra time."
Kaylee (starts actin' all sexy without trying like Kaylee does, walking slowly toward the doctor): "Well, Doctor Tam ... I've got a few ideas." As that kiss everyone's been waiting for starts to become a reality ...
River (as she gets into Simon's bed): "Geez, get a room."
After a week of slowly rotating in the black with nothing but his purple-ish spacesuit to keep him company, Jubal Early is shifting in and out of consciousness. Any good bounty hunter knows to keep plenty of compressed oxygen in his suit in case of an emergency like this, but that air is starting to run out. As he slips back into the now, he spots a ship similar to his Death's Head coming up slowly to it. He immediately recognizes it and even cracks a bit of a smile as the ship stops, the hatch opens and the ship's only occupant floats out to bring Jubal in.
Inside the ship, Jubal leans against a large square box sitting next to the hull. Motionless but breathing, Jubal watches as his helmet is removed and set beside him, the smile still on his face.
Jubal (weakly): "Mom." Her helmet is removed to reveal ...
Neriah Early, Jubal's mother (smiling herself): "Well, here I am."
Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:12 AM
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Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:39 AM
Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:12 AM
Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:18 AM
Thursday, May 12, 2005 5:42 PM
Thursday, May 12, 2005 9:48 PM
Sunday, May 15, 2005 11:00 AM
Monday, May 16, 2005 5:47 AM
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