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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Mal, Zoe & Jayne are still looking for River, who is awful hard on the not-s0-inocent bystanders.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1803 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
This belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy. Just borrowing...
"Gorramit, Mal, you're gonna get somebody killed!" Jayne scrambled off of the mule which was sliding back down-hill after the third attempt to follow the horse track over. Mal backed the mule around and cut the engine. He sat there glaring at Jayne, who stood his ground for about three heart beats before he decided to get busy looking for tracks.
"Sir, we're going to have to go after them on foot. We're only an hour behind-"
"About half!" Jayne interrupted. They both sent a dirty look in his direction, but he was oblivious. These tracks were old, they hadn't gone this way. He cast around to pick them up again.
"Alright," Mal said, through his teeth. "We're not leaving the mule sitting here. We've got too much coin tied up in fixing it, and little Kaylee would never forgive me-"
"Sir, she and Wash will never forgive you for not buying that hot new one on Detroit."
"The key word there was 'hot', Zoe. As in very. Fresh new paint job and all. Now, Jaynes' with me and you're taking the mule back to the ship. See about bringing a shuttle or the ship out, if we holler for help." He climbed off the mule.
"Sir, I don't-"
"Zoe, I've got to have Jayne and somebody has got to take the mule back, dong ma?" After a second, he added, "I'll watch my own back this once."
Zoe nodded. "Yes, sir." She slid over and took the drivers seat.
Mal started up the hill on foot. "Me and Jayne'll just take a stroll in the woods-"
Jayne called out from the trees off to the left. "No, Mal, they went this way, around the hill. Come on, we're burning daylight!"
Mal stomped into the woods. "I captain the snarkiest crew in the whole gorram 'verse..."
Zoe smiled and pulled out the boxy comm. "Wash? I'm checking in. The Captain and Jayne are still looking, but he's sending me back with the Mule."
"Glad to hear that, honey. Uh, listen, we sorta sent a shuttle out with Shep-"
Shepherd Wall dumped a load of dirty clothes into the laundry and started it filling, adding soap as he hummed under his breath. He was running late, these clothes would never dry today, he thought, going to have to set up a fan in here...
The door opened. Three men, one of them carried by the second man, and a girl, came in quickly, the first one closing the door. "Brothers, what has happened to shepherd Ka-" Wall's eyes widening as he saw the girl and took in the grave nature of Karl's wounds. "The Abbot is going to be very upset! Tom, you swore you had nothing to do with the bank robberies..."
"He lied." River said, from where she was idly exploring the far corner of the room.
"I'm thirsty. Got any water?" Karl spoke casually, but his eyes never left River, who turned around and gave him a bright smile. He shuddered.
"We'll be moving on as soon as Karl is fit to travel. Don't be worried, those Feds'll never bother us here."
Shepherd Wall didn't ask how he could be so sure of that. He just noted the way Karl smiled, briefly, and moved some baskets off of a long table. They set up a makeshift bed for Karl and got him a little water.
"I expect you're all hungry. I'll just go get you something-"
"And tell the Abbot. Yeah, well, I'll come along and help you. Mike, keep an eye on my cousin and our guest." He squeezed Karl's shoulder and nodded to River. "Ma'am." Then Shepherd Wall and Tom left. They heard the sound of a key turning as the door was locked.
"Well, now. missy, you've got Tom charmed and Karl shaking in his-" Mike stopped. "Sorry, Karl. Anyways, I'm not impressed nor scared, neither. You just have a seat."
River stuck her tongue out at him and perched on the edge of a crowded table. Mike got some more water and drank. He passed the cup to Karl who finished it. "What's the plan, Karl? Please tell me there is one."
"We're bugging out." He nodded towards River who was humming a tune to herself and dancing. "Don't want to talk about it in front of her."
Mike nodded. "I can see where she's gonna be a problem. 'Course, pretty young thing like that, she could be part of the solution, if you take my meaning."
"You're as touched as she is. No way we could- Uh, Mike?"
"Yes, Karl?" He looked where Karl was pointing and swore. The door was ajar.
Inara slowed the shuttle and brought it to a stop, hovering a few yards off the ground. As she set it down, she glanced at Book, who was staring at the Abbey. "What do you see?"
"Hmm? Oh, just looks more like a fortification." He caught her smile and hastened to add, "That's sort of traditional, in abbeys, that is, and, uh, I've studied a lot of layouts."
"Some of which were even of abbeys. Don't worry, Shepherd, we all have secrets. I promise not to pry."
Shepherd shook his head, a sad smile on his lips. He closed his eyes and bowed his head.
"If that's a prayer, Shepherd, I think I'll join you."
"Heavenly Father, please watch over our sister, River, as well as our Captain, the First Mate, Zoe, and my friend, Jayne. Help them to use the gifts that you have granted them. Move their hearts to be at peace and calm their troubled minds, that they may know your love and accept the gift of salvation. We ask these things in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen."
Simon was headed down to the infirmary. Wash and Kaylee were up on the bridge talking jargon about the ship. It was amusing to have the shoe on the other foot. Now he knew what it was like to not be able to follow a life-or-death technical discussion. It was gorram annoying-
Something was banging on the hull. It sounded like it was coming from the hold, down the stairs to his left as he came to the common area. "River?!" He could hear shouts behind him as he ran down the stairs, onto the catwalk and on down to the big cargo lock and ramp. By the time he got there, he had the presence of mind to wait for the others, who were yelling.
Kaylee barreled into him and they had to hang on to each other or fall down. Wash hopped down the last two steps. "Simon, my boy,Zoe and I have been meaning to have this little talk, the one where we tie you up and I reason with you, while Zoe just stands there and looks intimidating." He paused, he could not help himself. "She does that so well... Anyway, you have got to stop blindly running off to rescue River, so that we don't have to blindly run after to rescue you, too."
"Do you really think it's her?" Kaylee was looking from Wash to Simon and back again.
"One way to find out. I'll lower the ramp and we'll look through the window." Wash hit a button and the ramp started to come down.
"What if she's lying there..." Simon began and bit his lip. Wash stopped the ramp before it had gotten all the way down.
Kaylee let go of Simon and peered through the square port. "It's just a man, with some luggage..." She sounded disappointed, and Simon stepped up behind her to look over her shoulder. He was distracted as she leaned back against him and he smiled. As second later, he sighed.
"That's the corporal from this afternoon. In civilian clothes now, but, that's the man whose Sergeant and Lieutenant I couldn't save."
"Up, down, or do you want to go out there and look under ramp?"
"Yes!" Wash sighed. "I mean, open the inner door and I'll go see." Simon squeezed between the doors as they opened.
"Careful!" Kaylee said, and followed. Wash stayed by the controls.
"I need to buy pa- what're you looking for?" The man asked Simon as he crouched down and looked underneath the ramp. Kaylee caught him as he started to loose his balance and roll forward.
"Did you see a young girl out here?" Simon and Kaylee asked together.
"Doncha think she'd have sense enough to get out from under?" Claude asked. "I would! And folks are always sayin' I'm slow."
"Don't know what her condition is." Simon looked at the federal soldier. "Her name is Ri- I mean, Ariel, and she's the girl those criminals took hostage earlier. She's my sister."
Claudes' eyes boggled. "Well, gorr- I mean, why aren't you out looking for her?'
Simon blinked. "I was delayed. Then my captain went to look for her, and it was decided I should stay here, where I can do her the most good if she's hurt- uh, hurt badly," he finished lamely.
"Wash, let it all the way down." Wash did so and came walking out.
"What is this, who is he?"
"Claude Miller, pleased to meet you!" He grabbed Wash's hand and shook it with enthusiasm. "Are you the Captain? I need to buy passage home."
There was a strained smile on Wash's face. "Uh, Simon? Is he housebroken?"
"The corporal is a little slow. That sergeant told me a little bit about him."
"Well, he's certainly very cheerful and polite," Kaylee said. It was her turn to shake hands. "We already know the worst thing about him, that he's alliance," she murmured.
Simon was next. Claude hugged him like a long-lost brother. "Hey, Doc. Thanks for doing what you could for Jack." Claude let go and turned to pick up a canister on the ground with his luggage. A brass plate on it read-
Sergeant 1st Class Jacob Brin
Born January 2nd, 2489, Tempest Down, Pasadena
Died November 22nd, 2518, Dry Water, Rosalind,
Interstellar Alliance of Worlds.
It went on to list three purple hearts and an Alliance Star, only awarded by the Executive a few dozen times since it was created. Wash whistled.
"PFC Lang pulled some strings and got me discharged. He's gonna be acting sergeant for a while! I'm taking Jack home, if you're headed that way..."
"I don't know, Claude, we might not be headed to Pasadena." Simon looked around for help.
"Then you can take me somewhere..." There was a desperation in his voice, like he was about to be abandoned, again.
"We'll see what the Captain says. Here, Claude, let's get your stuff on board." Wash rolled his eyes, imagining Mal trying to tell little Kaylee no, and make it stick. Actually, he could, but it wasn't a very pretty picture. The crew was going to be miserable if Mal did say no... He and Simon lent a hand and ran out of stuff- there just wasn't all that much from a life in the Army.
"Won't this be fun..." Simon murmured.
Friday, January 02, 2004 9:40 PM
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