Somnambulism - Chapter Three
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wash's Dream, Simon's Step, Jayne's Blame


In the galley of Serenity, most of the crew tried to figure out what was going on with River. The young lady was seated at the head of the table, not because anyone wanted to try and stop her should she do anything, but because Mal wanted to guage her reactions to Jayne's explanation. Of course, Jayne was not helping his own case, by alternately bellowing, and pounding the table, to almost whipsering in disbelief at his own story. Throughout it all, River kept a steady gaze on Jayne, and Mal and Zoe noted that her eyes didn't change colors. Not once. Simon was standing just behind his sister, as he often found himself when she had done something wrong. He was her protector, through thin or flush. He would always be so. Though, she didn't seem to need that much protecting right now. "I'm ruttin' tellin you that she's the one who scratched my neck!" Jayne said for the third time, spinning his head around to show everyone. River watched this placidly, confirming or denying nothing. Her fingers were splayed in front of her almost as if she had offered them up for inspection before being asked. "I've seen plenty of scratches like those on Osiris" began Simon. Jayne interrupted him. "Nobody cares what you saw in your fancy hospital!" "Jayne", warned Mal. Jayne glared at Mal but said nothing, mercifully, for once. "And, if River had scratched Jayne like that, there would of course be blood, and a bit of flesh under her fingernails." Mal couldn't help but notice a small smile in Jayne's direction, as well as a slight bit of allaround smugness. If Mal didn't act fast, Simon was going to get pounded into the bulkhead by an irate mercernary. "Doctor, if you don't mind, we'll draw our own conclusions about what's goin' on." Mal said. "If she didn't do it, who did?" Zoe added in. "Wish I knew." Mal said, eyeing River carefully. He couldn't really see her face. She was looking over her shoulder at something only she could see. Her eyes were closed. This behavior was nothing new to the Captain. She often acted as though others were not in the room.

* * *

Hoban Washburn, the pilot of Serenity, was currently rising a vastly tiny Plesiosaur across a calm sea that filled the vast bellybutton of a vast Zoe. The sea was encompassed her in navel, and Wash couldn't have been happier. As he had began at her toes, he had ridden any number of dinosaurs on his way up her delicious body. He had a map, which was conspicuously written in his own handwriting. The implication was not lost on him. He knew Zoe's body like..., well, like his own handwriting! Wash lazily reached up and shifted his eyepatch from one eye to the other. He petted his Plesiosaur just behind the earhole. The dinosaur growled vastly and the echo hurt Wash's ears. He slid his large feathered hat further back on his head and pointed onward. "We're never going to get there!" squalled Kaylee from behind him on the dinosaur's back. She was wearing the frothy dress that she had worn to the party on Persephone that had led to a duel that almost led to Mal's death. It made her look more like a little girl than she already did, and this was how Wash saw her. Like some genius kid sister. Realizing that he was comparing himself to Simon in a way brought a ringing laugh to his throat. On a badminton court that was soft-mounted to the Plesiosaur's back (didn't want to hurt him now) Mal and Jayne were facing each other across the net. They were taking turns carefully loading the shuttlecocks into their respective handguns, levelling them at each other, and firing lazily. The shuttlecocks would arc slowly out of the guns and strike the other in the head, bounce off and land on the Plesiosaur's back. Then, they would reach down, reload, and fire again. "We'll be there sooner or later, Little Kaylee!" Wash called down. Kaylee rolled her eyes, and went back to shaping her nails with an emory board. Far off on the horizon, two small red dots appeared. Wash, who had had this dream several times (it was one of his favorites), didn't remember this particular aspect, but rolled with it anyways. He turned down to ask Kaylee about it, when he sensed something looming over him. He quickly turned, and was grabbed by the throat by something very large. He was lifted bodily, and turned to the side, where he could see Kaylee watching him disinterestedly. The presence that had ahold of him had large red eyes, and was clothed in a stench of evil. The presence grasped at the cutlass tied to Wash's belt. Wash tried to fight, but it was useless. The presence lifted Wash higher, drew the cutlass, and swung straight for Wash's throat.

* * *

Wash sat up in bed with cry. He clawed the air in front of him. After thirty seconds, he stopped struggling, but left his hands formed into talons. He blinked, realized he was holding his breath. He drew in air mightily, and quickly began throwing on clothes.

* * *

In the galley, Simon was listening to everything that was being said, but it was a lot of the same already. Mal yelling at Jayne, Jayne yelling at Mal. Zoe agreeing with Mal. Book playing (of all things)Devil's Advocate. Kaylee was staring at Simon and sighing. Simon was watching River intently. While she was known for staring off into space, this was a little more intense than normal. River's eyes opened slowly, blinked, and closed again. Simon backed off one step, but managed to keep his composure about him enough that no one else saw. Remarkable, really, considering what he had just seen. Jayne had been completely right. River's eyes were crimson inside of black. She opened her eyes again, and they were normal again, if a little bloodshot. She looked at Simon and smiled sweetly. Simon backed off another step, but thought better, and regained his two steps before anyone saw. But, someone did see. Kaylee saw.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005 5:47 PM


wicked awesome! i love 'stately confusion'.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 8:52 PM


I like where this is going.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 1:48 AM


Not sure about River's motives here and her messing with Jayne like that is just the wrong side of cruel. Have to wonder what she is really up to. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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Somnambulism - Chapter Fourteen
It's back...well, this is actually a reposting of a lost chapter. Hey! I just refound it myself!

Somnambulism - Chapter Thirteen
Trap. Hunt. Enemy. Trap

Somnambulism - Chapter Twelve
The Plan, Negotiation, Landing, Hunt

Somnambulism - Chapter Eleven
Wash's Orders, Mal's Revelation, The Other, Captiulation

Somnambulism - Chapter Ten
Mal's Dream. Walt's Problem. River's Regain.

Somnambulism - Chapter Nine
Safety. Recollection. Explanation.

Somnambulism - Chapter Eight
Simon's Dream, Mal's Choice, River's Verdict

Somnambulism - Chapter Seven
Memory, Atavism, Hera

Somnambulism - Chapter Six
History, Discovery, Purpose

Somnambulism - Chapter Five
Malice, Theory, Opportunity