BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JEBBYPAL

Preacher's Prayer - Ch. 3
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

People from Book's past cause trouble for the crew.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2621    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

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

Not beta-ed, so if there are too many glaring typos let me know. All the shiny feedback jumpstarted the dialogue again, so I figured I should stop dangling the plot quite so much. 

Summary: Inara, Book, Wash, and Zoe have been taken captive by people upset with Book. Mal is being forced to allow Simon to treat one of the captors.

Chinese Fei hua – crap talk ai ren - sweetheart nien ching duh – little girl Ma shong – fast, on the double

Preacher's Prayer - Chapter 3 By Jebbypal

"I told you I can walk!"

"Mayli, please, the doc just fixed you. We'll take their mule."

"Fei hua, I'm fine."

Simon rolled his eyes from where he stood behind the infirmary table. "If you can walk to the ramp, then fine, I'll be more than happy to let you walk to wherever you're going," he finally interceded in the endless argument.

"We're waiting, nien ching duh," Nate said as walked to the infirmary's door. Leaning against it, he shook his head at her stubbornness as Mayli grimaced when she got off the table and stood for several seconds to recover. "Ma shong! At this rate the hundan will die before we hang him!" Nate nearly yelled in exasperation. Mayli just glared at the taller man before beginning to slowly limp towards the door. Nate remained in the doorway forcing her to shift her weight in order to get by. She yelped as she placed her balance on her injured leg and Nate grabbed her quickly before she could fall. Swinging the woman over his shoulder in one move, he proceeded to the cargo bay. "Right-o, girlie. The mule it is."

Simon almost chuckled at the sight until he remembered where they were taking the mule. Grabbing a prepared medkit, he quickly followed. Jayne and Mal were waiting in the cargo bay with the other member of their adversaries' group.

"I figure the three girls can all take the mule, and we'll follow."

"You figure wrong," Mal replied shaking his head. He continued quickly before the other man could reply. "The girls will stay here. The youngest one got dropped on her head a lot as a child and just isn't right," Mal offered as explanation.

Nate considered this as he set Mayli down by the mule. "Fine, Reynolds you'll ride the mule with her as well as the doctor."

"How come I gotta walk?" Jayne complained.

"You got a problem with it and Weera can put a bullet in your leg," Nate replied as Weera grinned at him.

"Are we going or are we torturing Jayne?" Mal asked. "Just so's I'm clear."

Mayli laughed. "Get on the gorram mule Reynolds." Kaylee and River watched their preparations from the catwalk and gave hopeful waves as the group departed the ship.

***

The group arrived at the camp just shortly after dawn. Jayne and Mal were shown to where the others were sleeping while Simon went with Nate so he could check on Mayli.

"I'll be back soon ai ren, get some rest when the doc's done," Nate said as he sat her on the bed gently.

"I just want to check the bandages and sensation," Simon explained. "Is there much pain?"

Mayli laid facedown on the cot after she removed her pants. "Not bad now that I'm not on top of lousy suspension going over the bumpiest ground your gorram captain can find."

"I don't think he was trying to make the ride rough on purpose."

"I pointed out three of those rutting holes and more than mentioned the mini-boulder!"

"He went in the direction you instructed."

"Vaguely in the direction, there's a difference. Are you done yet?"

"Almost." Simon worked for a minute before speaking again. "May I ask you a question?" Mayli didn't answer one way or another, so he figured he might as well. "What do you think Shepherd Book did that you are taking so personally?"

Mayli remained quiet for so long that he thought she had fallen asleep. Finally, her voice quietly came to him. "Where were you during the war?"

"I was attending the medical academy on Os. . . on a planet in the core."

"So you never saw the fighting, never knew anyone affected by it?"

"Not at the time. But both the captain and Zoe. . ."

"I didn't ask if you knew any soldiers, Doctor!" she replied.

"No, at the time I didn't know anyone. So you fought in the war with the Independents?"

"For a doc, you're pretty dumb. Not everyone affected by the war was a soldier," Mayli explained snidely.

When she remained silent for a few minutes, he assumed she had said everything she was willing too. Simon pulled her shirt down over the bandage on her lower back and leg. He stopped putting his medkit away when he heard her sob quietly. "Do you need something for the pain?"

Mayli emitted a strangled laugh. "Nothing you have can touch this, doctor. I lay for two days in the wreckage the Alliance's bombing caused just because we'd sold food to the browncoats. When I wasn't praying for rain to ease the thirst, I was begging my family to hang on. Telling my husband that help would arrive soon and they'd be able to sew his legs back on as pretty as . . . Begging my son to keep crying so I'd know he was awake, know he was still alive. When Nate pulled me out, the sun was rising on the third day. I begged him to not go for the medics. I pleaded with him to get a body bag for me instead."

Simon was stunned. The image of what she must have endured was staggering. To have come through that and managed to retain even a semblance of sanity; he began to doubt that Mal or anyone would be able to talk her out of killing Book. "That, umm, sounds horrible. Still, Shepherd Book couldn't be personally responsible for what happened."

Mayli never turned her head away from the wall as she replied. "Convince me of that Doctor, and I'll even apologize when I let y'all go."

--

Nate was waiting for him when Simon finally exited the tent. "What's your prognosis doc?"

"She's recovering well. Given rest and no complications, she should have more mobility and less pain than she has had in the past."

"But not as good as new?"

Simon shook his head. "I'm sorry, but after this much time the amount of scar tissue is too great. I removed as much as possible, but with the equipment I have, I was forced to be conservative to ensure no nerve damage."

Nate nodded. "Fine, we got no problem then. You saw where I parked the rest, go join 'em."

"Wait, if possible, could I, umm, check on the shepherd?" At Nate's accusing glare, he continued quickly, "The strains of the past few days at his age, I'm only concerned about his health."

"Fine, come on then." Nate stopped at the front of Book's tent and turned to Simon. Grabbing the younger man roughly by the shoulder, he gave him a shake as he warned, "You do anything, and I mean anything, that even smells or looks like an escape or an attempt to help this man avoid justice, and I will personally hold your eyes open when we kill those two girls still on the ship. Dong ma?" Simon just nodded with wide eyes as he stared at the taller man. When he was finally released and Nate walked away from the tent, he let out his breath as he struggled to stay upright on his shaky knees. Silently, he prayed that Mal could come up with a different plan, because there was no way he would put his sister or Kaylee at risk.

After recovering somewhat, Simon entered the small tent. "Book? Are you in here?" The interior was pitch black, apparently their captors had not seen fit to leave a light source for the accused. Simon fumbled for a light from his medkit before advancing from the entrance flap.

"Simon?" a groggy voice replied after a few minutes.

"Yes, it's me. Hold on a second." Simon flicked on the pen light before turning towards the voice. He found Book sitting up on a small pallet of blankets on the ground. "Are you okay? Do you need anything?" he asked as he knelt down beside the man.

Book shook his head. "I'm fine Doctor. Just trying to appreciate the sounds of nature before we all return to the ship." Simon chewed on his lip at the preacher's statement. Mayli's conviction and torment had caused him to wonder if Book's prediction would occur. If she possessed any proof that Book's relationship with the Alliance connected him with planetary raids on civilians, he wasn't certain that Mal and Zoe wouldn't assist in the hanging.

"Have they told you, or do you know what it is they think you did?"

"Every man performs acts that he later wishes he could rescind Simon. There are many things, many facts that I would willingly give my life to change if I could. Unfortunately, the past is the past, but I believe only God is fit to judge my actions."

"I've talked to some people who feel very differently about that."

"Well, I hope that you will pray with me that these people do not commit any acts that would cause God to judge them harshly."

"Book, I need to know, were you ever involved in any attacks on civilian planetary targets? Like planets known to give the Independents supplies?"

Book looked sadly at Simon. "The past is the past Simon. I'm not that person." The doctor sighed and left the older man to his meditations. --

Mal was relieved to be reunited with his crew. Although their situation was precarious still, he preferred to enjoy the illusion that he could affect the outcome if events ended in trouble. Mal nodded to Jayne when the merc roughly insinuated himself between Zoe and Wash. Zoe's abuse for his roughness was aborted when she felt the small caliber pistol pressed into her thigh.

"So, is the chow good?" Mal asked conversationally.

*** TBC in Chapter 4 and 5

COMMENTS

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:34 PM

NEROLI


And once again I am hanging on the edge of my seat! :-)

Great chapter, left me wanting more, as always.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 9:42 PM

AMDOBELL


Very good though uh oh, looks like Book was party to all sorts of Alliance machinations during the war. Now the war is over the hand of vengeance is gaining ascendance, but for how long? Shiny story, *xiexie ni*, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 6:55 AM

ARTSHIPS


Am thoroughly enjoying the story. Can't wait to hear Book did!


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