Preacher's Prayer - Ch1
Saturday, March 13, 2004

People who know of Book's past cause trouble for the crew.


Disclaimer: Characters do not belong to me. Until Joss's movie comes out, I'm just entertaining myself and others.

Set after Objects In Space, but Inara hasn't left.

Chinese dictionary Lese – garbage Ee-chi shung-hoo-shi – Let's take a deep breath. chusheng xai-jiao de xiang huo – animal fucking bastard ni meí shì bà? - Are you okay? Chunren – jerk qingwa cào de liúmáng - frog humping sumbitch diyu – hell yuchun- idiot hundan - bastard

At the bar, Mal smiled to himself. The job was over, they'd been paid and even better, this world was light on Alliance presence; yet, it still boasted enough attractions that all of his crew was happy after several days leave. The black was a good place to be, but now and then it was good to return to civilization and appreciate it. For once, things had gone smooth and all was right in his 'verse.

Signaling the barkeep for another drink, he turned on his stool to check that the rest of his crew was not getting into too much trouble. Jayne, Book, and the doctor were playing cards with some of the locals. The girls had suckered Wash into accompanying them on their shopping trip around the small settlement. Shaking his head, Mal returned to his drink. Better Wash than him, he thought. Mal could stand all the frippery only so long before he knew he'd do something to get all of Serenity's women mad at him. He'd definitely slipped up somewhere picking his crew – now that all of the women on Serenity got along, well, crew discipline seemed nonexistent until trouble started. Come to think of it, it was all Wash's fault. After Zoe got him to agree to their relationship, everyone seemed to figure that their captain was just plain soft.

Finishing his drink, he stood and made his way over to the card game. "Time to go folks. Let's go save Wash from breaking his back with packages."

"In a minute Mal," Jayne growled while glaring at the Captain. With a glance at Jayne, Simon and Book both folded. "Rutting hell, y'all didn't even bet yet," he cursed as the rest of the men at the table followed suit.

"Collect your money and let's go 'fore you find another way to lose it," Mal ordered as he passed them to go to the door. Upon hearing the click of a gun, he and everyone else in the bar froze in place.

"Not so fast. The rest of you are welcome to be on your way, but the Preacher here has an appointment to keep that's been a long time waiting," said a woman, whom he assumed was holding the cocked gun. Mal turned around slowly with his both of his hands out away from his sides. He was greeted with the view of an Asian woman pointing a gun at Shepherd Book's head. The Shepherd was still seated at the table while Jayne and Simon were standing. Jayne's eyes darted towards Mal looking for instruction. Mal shook his head slightly; the girl looked jumpy enough to blow a hole in Book if they twitched.

"Miss, if you need spiritual guidance, I'm sure that we can scare up a few extra Bibles for you. But that man is part of my crew, and he's leaving this rock with me." The woman didn't even glance at Mal as she was too busy keeping a keen eye on Jayne and Book. Although not short, the girl was shorter than any of the three men at the table and she wasn't as stocky as Zoe. If he could distract her a little from the target, there was a chance that Book or Jayne could disarm her without anyone getting hurt. Why didn't it ever go smooth, he thought to himself.

The woman tipped her hat off of her head so that she had a better view of those she faced. Considering that none of the locals had gone for their weapons or called for the law, Mal assumed that she must be known by the townsfolk. He just wished he knew if they were staying inactive because they liked her or if they knew she was homicidal.

"The only thing I'll need a Bible for is the funeral, assuming I decide to give this lese one. Now, you three can walk out of here anytime, but I do have some fellas coming to join me as are interested in seeing as I get to talk with the preacher. So go on while the getting's good," the girl said while carefully eyeing both Jayne and Mal.

"Ee-chi shung-hoo-shi," Book said calmy.

"Take as many as you like chusheng xai-jiao de xiang huo," the woman reply coldly.

"Woah, now, I think this is getting a little personal. I'm quite certain that the Shepherd told us that was against his vows, isn't that so boys?" Mal asked.

"Yes, sir. Said fucking of any sort was not allowed, poor sod," Jayne replied quickly. A second later, the woman was distracted when Zoe and the rest of the crew arrived through the door. Jayne reacted immediately by tackling her as Book grabbed the dropped gun. The merc continued to wrestle with the woman until once again all movement in the saloon ceased at the sound of guns being readied. Mal cursed silently at the fact that the guns were once again behind him. Looked like everyone's reinforcements had arrived, he thought.

"Mayli, ni meí shì bà?" a man called out from behind the crew of Serenity.

"What do you think chunren?" the girl shouted back. "Get off me you qingwa cào de liúmáng!"

"Hey Mal, this one seems to have a fixation with . . . owww!" Mayli interrupted Jayne's statement with a knee to the groin and then managed to push the large merc off of her.

"Captain, what's going on?" Zoe inquired as she and the rest of the crew stood with their hands raised.

"I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out, I promise," Mal replied sharply.

Mayli stood gingerly and leaned heavily on the table. After relieving Book of her gun, she looked behind Mal. "The offer still stands, Captain, take you and yours and go."

Mal shook his head. "Maybe I didn't make myself clear, but he's one of mine."

Mal felt a rifle barrel touch the back of his head. "No, it's you who isn't clear," a man's voice said slowly, as if to a child. "There's ten of us with guns trained on you, we're taking your preacher and there's nothing you can do but accept it easy or hard. We dislike digging graves, so we'd prefer you to take the easy way."

"Nahh, let's make 'em dig their own graves," another voice added.

"Captain, it's okay," Book offered.

"We ain't leaving no one behind today Shepherd," Mal informed him.

"Mayli?" asked the man holding the gun to Mal's head.

"I done the hard part, just taking a rest," the woman said as she lost her grip on the table and started to fall towards the floor.

"If any of 'em move, shoot," the man in charge ordered as he shouldered past Mal. "Diyu, Mayli. Why do you always wait till the gorram doctor's leave a place to get hurt?"

"Only way to see that funny look on your faces, of course," Mayli muttered.

"The way I see it, we might be able to work us a compromise here fellas," Mal offered. "Those guns get lowered and we all walk out of here in exchange for help for your friend."

"Or your doc helps anyway and we still get what we want," the man beside Mayli returned.

"Sure, if you're smart enough to be able to tell which one's the doctor, it could go that way," Mal taunted.

"Horace, take the preacher, the short one, and two of the women back to camp," the man ordered as he placed his jacket under Mayli's head.

"Yes, boss. Kill 'em or just tie 'em up."

"Just keep 'em quiet till Mayli and I join you yuchun!" The man in charge stood and rested his rifle on his shoulder as his orders were carried out. After Book, Wash, Zoe, and Inara had been led from the saloon, he walked up to Mal. "Now here's how this is going to work hundan, you are going to get your doctor to help her. In return, you get everyone back except your preacher. Dong ma?" The leader of the group punctuated his point by poking Mal in the chest with his gun as he spoke the last two words.

"I'll repeat myself," Mal said quietly. "I ain't leaving no one behind."

"Nate," Mayli called.

"I'm negotiating honey," he replied, never taking his eyes off of Mal.

"How 'bout what you said and then we have a trial. The crew can even be jury," Mayli suggested from her position on the floor.

Nate smiled at Mal. "My girl gets the most interesting ideas into her head and this one might actually be fun. What do you say?"

*** TBC in Chapter 2


Saturday, March 13, 2004 9:45 PM


An interesting start. I am intrigued to know what Book has done that warrants such a response. Love how you have drawn the Captain and his determination that he isn't going to leave anyone behind. *Xiexie ni*, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, March 14, 2004 2:33 PM


Woderful start, really grabs the attention and Mal is dead on!


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