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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Inara is re-introduced to Jubal, and Serenity crew prepares for some gold diggin'.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1022 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Inara couldn't see anything. It had been eight days since she said her goodbyes to Serenity and her crew. She'd only been away from them five days when, while shopping for a small, one-person ship on Paquin, she was struck in the back of the head by a blunt object and taken away. The blow didn't immediately knock her out, but it made her woozy enough that she couldn't see anything for a while. She could make out only a little bit - everything was very fuzzy - at the time she lost consciousness.
When she awoke, she couldn't see anything. She was lying on her back, her head throbbing. After feeling the large knot on the back of her skull, her hands began to explore her surroundings - she was sitting on some sort of thick, sturdy wood. To her left was a wall - same wood, about seven feet in length. To her right, the same. In front and behind, same wood, about three feet. As she went to stand, another bump to the head - less violent than the one before - sent her to the floor. She felt above her - more wood. She hadn't thought to feel UP on the walls surrounding her until now. A coffin. Makeshift at best, but it was doing its job.
Inara didn't panic. She wasn't thrilled with her situation, but further exploration of her new "room" resulted in the discovery of two items - a large bowl and what had to be a personal oxygen unit. Immediately, she began using it, making sure not to be wasteful.
She had no method of time measurement. She drifted in and out of consciousness, never hearing much more than the muffled sounds of a ship's control panel. "I'm on a ship. At least I know that," Inara thought. "What else do I know? In a dark coffin - maybe I didn't go blind. My captor has given me air and … a bowl. Thanks for the bowl. Sure I'll have fun with that."
After what seemed like an eternity, the box was opened. Inara didn't attempt to escape - she wouldn't have had the energy for anything like that even if she had tried. Her assumption that she was not blind was confirmed when she saw the inside of the ship, then her captor - a thin, mid-sized, middle-aged woman of color, with long, dark hair tied back in a ponytail. Dark green leather jumpsuit. Light blue, probing eyes.
Captor: "The bowl is for your bodily functions. I'd be glad to empty it periodically for you."
Inara (ignoring the statement, calmly): "Who are you? Why did you …" (interrupted)
Captor (ignoring her question): "That unit should have plenty of air for you. Otherwise, if you need anything, just ask. I'm not likely to acquiesce to any request you make, but we'll be alone for a few days, and I didn't bring a book or anything. I'll need some entertainment."
Inara decided not to speak anymore. She assumed sleeping position.
Captor: "Have it your way." She closed the lid.
Inara didn't use the bowl. Occasionally, the captor would open the lid, see the empty bowl and shut the lid again. No words were spoken for quite a while, until Inara heard the muffled sound of what had to be the ship's hatch opening. She heard the muffled sound of what had to be a body being placed against the outside of her "room." She heard a short, muffled conversation - couldn't hear enough to recognize what was being said or who the other person might be.
After several minutes of muffled speech, Inara heard the lid opening.
Captor: "The crew of Serenity would be better suited by maintaining complete anonymity, yet they let one of their own leave the ship of her own free will. That seem right to you?"
As Inara processed what she was hearing, she looked out the front of her coffin to see Jubal Early staring at her, a devious smile crossing his lips. Jubal slowly turned the smile back toward Inara's captor, then he turns and resumes his rest. Inara, a look of horrified shock on her face, looks at her captor who, wearing Jubal's smile, shuts the lid.
Inara didn't sleep in her box again.
Serenity has landed on Sedalia - mid-morning, not cold but cool, snow-capped mountains in the distance; grassy, but less than plush - about a mile from a small settlement. The crew is standing outside the open cargo bay door.
Mal (in his captain voice): "Wash, Zoe, you're on materials detail. Go to town, look for fuel, spare parts, any other supplies we might need. Only what we can afford - don't go crazy."
Wash (sarcastic): "But it's such a short trip to crazy." Zoe responds, slightly more than a love tap with an elbow to the ribs. Wash straightens up.
Mal: "Jayne, Book, you're with me. We're taking Shuttle 2 a little ways north of town, over near that mountain range. Wear your work clothes. We'll be doin' some diggin'. And better be prepared for some cold weather."
Jayne: "'Nara's shuttle's broke in better, why ain't we …" (interrupted by Book's hand on his shoulder)
Mal: "Shuttle 2. Already got a few cargo boxes loaded up." Jayne jerks his shoulder away from Book and assumes his "pissed off" face.
Mal: "Simon, River, Kaylee, you're to stay with the ship. Help Wash and Zoe when they get back, we shouldn't be gone too long. We'll be off this rock before nightfall."
Zoe: "Captain, I know we're way out on the rim, but Alliance just happens by …" (interrupted)
Mal: "We're way out on the rim, that's exactly why I'm leaving them alone on the ship. Call it a test for the doctor." Mal grins at Simon. "See if he can take care of the girls."
River (giggling): "Simon couldn't shoot a cow at point blank! Might as well leave me with Kaylee!"
Kaylee (laughing, but slightly hurt): "Hey!"
Simon (chuckling, not hurt at all; to Mal): "Shouldn't she be going with you anyway? She is the one with the visions of gold."
Jayne: "She ain't the only one."
Mal (to Simon): "Saw enough on our pass over the area to know where we need to be. I'll call if I need to pick her brain for anything." (to everyone) "Questions?" Silence. "Let's get to work, then."
River skips back up the ramp and onto the ship, followed by Kaylee and Simon.
Kaylee (fake upset): "Ain't nothin' funny 'bout what she said, Simon. Can't believe you'd laugh at me like that."
Simon (taken aback): "No, I didn't mean … I mean you could definitely … There's no doubt you could … " (interrupted as they stop walking)
Kaylee (not completely fake anymore): "You don't trust me to take care of River?"
Simon (still stammering): "That's not what … You know I would never … " (interrupted)
Kaylee (harsh): "Stow it, Dr. Tam." Beat. Kaylee mumbles as she stomps away. "I'd take care of her just fine. Better'n he would. Definitely a better shot than he is …"
Book (peeking around Simon's shoulder, playful): "Honeymoon over?" Simon just stares at him, wide-eyed confusion. Book laughs as he walks away.
Mal (coming up behind Book): "You'll be fine, Simon. I trust your instincts. Just make sure you do, too."
Simon: "Captain, I'm not entirely sure I understand why you're doing this."
Mal: "Well, we know you're a good doctor. We know you can line up a job, even if it's only rarely. Now, we need to know if you can keep watch over two of our crew and the ship while everyone else is away. Don't think you can handle it?"
Simon (matter-of-factly): "I know I can handle it. It's just … you say you can trust my instincts, but I don't know if that means you think you can trust ME."
Mal (grins): "Guess we'll see." Mal walks away, leaving Simon with that same look on his face as Jayne walks up.
Jayne (harsh, cocking Vera, who has been around his shoulder since they landed): "Nunna my stuff better be missin' when we get back." Jayne walks off, Simon still in a stupor as Zoe and Wash hop onto the mule and prepare to drive to town.
Zoe (almost soothingly): "*Fang xin* Simon, you'll be fine. Anyhow, we won't be gone long."
Wash: "Just don't go joyriding." Zoe slaps the back of his head. "But you usually like my jokes, dear." They drive off.
Simon: "Yeah. This will go great."
Book is stowing materials - large coats, gloves, boots, shovels - on Shuttle 2 as Mal enters.
Book: "Your spirits seem to have improved a bit."
Mal: "Got a job to do. Frettin' over what's done don't do any good when you're tryin' to work."
Book: "Well. When you decide you're ready to talk about it … "
Mal: "… you can damn sure know it won't be you I'm talkin' to." Beat.
Book (a bit angry): "You're quick to use my help for a large number of things you need, and you act as if you consider me part of your crew. Yet, I offer to help you and …"
Mal (even angrier): "Don't need any gorram help, preacher! I got a problem, the only people need in on it are me and the one I got the problem with, *dong ma*?"
Book (defeated): "Nevermind. Forget I said anything."
Mal: "Two steps ahead of ya."
Jayne (entering the shuttle): "What's all the racket? Got a job to do. Ain't getting' nothin' done with you two hollerin' at each other."
Mal (harsh): "*Bi zui*." Mal sits in the pilot's position, and Jayne and Book find their own seats as Mal takes the ship toward the mountains.
Jayne (to Mal): "So, you know where the gold is?" No answer, Mal continues to stare forward. (to Book): "What'd you have to get him outta his good mood for?" Book looks at Jayne, sighs and looks away. (to himself) "Great. Travelin's always more fun when nobody's talkin'."
Neriah Early has reached Sedalia and established orbit.
Neriah (to Jubal): "Serenity is parked about a mile east of Morton's Gap. Two are headed to town, three others on a shuttle headed north to the mountains. All that remains on the ship is the mechanic with the brother and sister."
Jubal (almost back to normal health, walking toward his mother): "How do you know they're on Serenity?"
Neriah: "Same way you did, son - instinct."
Jubal: "Changes your plan just a little."
Neriah: "Not much. Just enough to make it more interesting."
Jubal: "I'm not worried about interesting."
Neriah: "What ARE you worried about?" Beat.
Jubal: "Girl outsmarted me. Of course, I didn't expect her to be so troublesome. That's not an excuse, but it gives me reason to try and get her again. Bounty aside - I've got something to prove."
Neriah (thinking "You're not after them for the bounty. What's your angle?"): "Something to prove to who? You know how proud of you I am, don't you?"
Jubal (thinking "Proud … you ain't proud of me. You're playing a game. I'll play, too, 'til I find out what you're after."): "I do … Let's just get the job done."
Neriah breaks atmo, headed for the surface of Sedalia. Jubal walks to Inara's box and cracks the lid just enough that she can hear him clearly.
Jubal: "You left Serenity and everyone on it. Lord knows why, but you did. They didn't want you to." Beat. "We're about to see what lengths they'd go to just to get you back."
Inara: "I won't betray them. Do with me what you will - I will not help you."
Jubal: "Make no mistake, your body is mine, and I will eventually do with it as I please. But you will betray the crew of Serenity. And I don't even need you to do anything for it to happen."
Friday, May 20, 2005 10:29 AM
Friday, May 20, 2005 12:31 PM
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Friday, May 20, 2005 5:04 PM
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 11:30 AM
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