In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 7
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

A trail leads to a Rat's nest and Chilli finds his guts again.


The Firefly characters are someone else’s property, I am not getting paid for this.

All reviews welcome


Jacob ‘Chilli’ Pepper paused to one side of the doorway of the tumbledown Church for a good wheeze.

There was a thud from above, chunks of plaster and brick dust showered down from. Mal shot a look upwards.

“Al hit the wall I reckon.”

There followed a good solid ‘TING’ from the bell above and a fairly solid stream of curses from the goon who was hidden up there.

Mal took a fast glance inside and locked eyes with a man on the upper level. Mal was a shade faster and got a shot off before retreating.

Chilli’s breathing was returning to somewhere near normal. He cracked open one eye with an effort and gestured to Mal to go left while he went right.

They shot into the interior of the church, goon number one who Mal had already got a shot at didn’t know where to fire first; and paid for it, he aimed at Chilli, missed, and got shot by Mal. Gravity took him down to floor level fast and terminally.

The last goon was sticking to the bell tower despite Al’s musical efforts.

Chilli gestured for Mal to take the stairs.

Mal gestured back, that Chilli could go and do something pornographic.

“How in the hell else we gonna get him down?” Hissed Chilli.

“You and Al keep him trapped, I go back to the Jail House get Jayne to bring some grenades, sure as hell he’s got some, and we toss them at the foundations of this dump till it falls down.”

Al was still out front, trying to get an accurate sight on the bell, which was swinging gently; when she became aware of some activity. All of a sudden the bell started to swing and ring in earnest. She frowned at it a moment then moved fast across the open ground and skirted round the base of the Church tower. When she got to the far side she found that the last goon had thrown the bell rope out of the far window and used to climb almost all the way to the ground. Sadly he hadn’t hurt himself, he was running too well. She raised the gun then swore, dropped it irritably and went for the knife at her neck instead.

He was really too far away and moving too fast to hope that she would do him much damage, he kept on going but with a bit of a hop in his run so she reckoned that she’d hit him in the calf or the thigh.


When they came up to her she was knelling in the dirt looking at something. She picked up her knife and showed it to them. There was a smear of blood on the blade.

“Reckon I sliced him a little.”

They started to follow the trail of blood, Al her eye’s glued to the ground searching for the tiny drops and smears, Mal and Chilli flanking her, constantly scanning the street, rooftops and alley ways for trouble.

“Whoa fella’s.” Al hissed and held up a hand, “Blood’s heading that way and there aint much need to guess where that bastard’s gone.”

There was a sound of footsteps off to the left; they looked to see Zoë catching up with them, light on her feet.

“Simon’s taken the whole Ran family to the local Doctor’s office, well, save the girl. We put her on the flatbed and covered her decent. Agnes is with them; she promises to blow that old bugle of hers if there’s any trouble.

“We got one fella holed up in here,” Mal pointed across the street to Jenny’s Bar and Boarding House.

“Problem is that’s the rat’s nest,” Chilli rubbed his nose, “That’s where Samson’s men hang out.”

“How many men he got in total?” Asked Mal.

“Last I can remember, bout twenty five.”

Zoë looked surprised, “How’s he keeping a town this size in check with so few? Even if Owen scared up a few men, didn’t seem like he was planning to bring more that five.”

Chilli gave her a mirthless smile, “Fear girl; and I can tell you it works just fine. For all I know that piece of shit Samson is in Patiences house slitting Marie’s throat right now, I aint never bin scared of nuthin like I am of that mó guǐ, difference is I’m scared in company now.

“Al, you stay out front and cover the door, I don’t want you firing a gun at close quarters, no telling who you’ll hit. Use your knife first but keep your gun handy, maybe you’ll get a selection of targets.

“Mal, Zoë you take the back, I’m going in the front and I’m banking on them not taking me too serious at first; you keep out of sight less you think you’re needed. We all clear?”

They all nodded.

“Well then, let’s move out.” @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Jayne was watching the street but he couldn’t get comfortable. He’d heard gunshots, the church bells and some distant shouting. He had the frustrating feeling that everything was happening somewhere else.

Plus the long streak of nothing that was the Shepard was giving him an itchy trigger finger. Since babbling out the warning that had sent Mal hot foot out the door with near enough everyone that mattered; Dennis had sat, hands loosely in his lap, tears and snot streaming unchecked down his face. Dint make a sound just stared blank at the floor.

River was in theory watching the other window, but she kept flitting around. Gorram ants in her pants.

Kaylee was fretting, with Simon out of her sight, no machines to fix and all too aware that she was no good in a fight she was near as fidgety as River.

Only Inara seemed to be coping well, sat cross legged on one of the cell bunks she seemed to be meditating.

River suddenly stopped her gyrations and stood like someone gave her an electric shock. Jayne could have sworn that her hair started lifting of her head. Then she smiled. “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”


Marie was trying to cut up bacon, but though her broken finger had essentially healed it was still stiff, plus there was fresh bruising on her hand. She quietly put down her knife and fork and picked up a piece of bread instead.

“Damnio ei oll at annwn.” Owen Thomas had lost patience with watching her struggle; he picked up her knife and fork and cut her bacon for her.

“Don’t it occur to you to ask for help?”

“No, it does not,” replied Marie flatly, “Experience tells me it’s a waste of time; at least if you need more than help with your breakfast.”


All the conversations died away when Chilli walked into the bar of Jenny’s Bar and Boarding House, the only thing that carried on was Frank on his piano.

Chilli’s appearance was still unlikely to get him any respect. He had a pair of britches over his foul combination; and if it weren’t for his suspenders he’d have had them round his ankles; a diet of spirits and drops being great for the waistline if hell for the rest of the body.

“I’m looking for a man, came in hear not ten minutes ago.” “Why honey,” purred Jenny, appearing from behind a beaded curtain “If I knew you had preferences that way I couldda found you a man purtier than any in here.”

That hit the assembled men right on the funny bone.

“Very amusing Jenny.” Chilli saw Samson sitting at the back of the room and his guts dropped pretty much into his boots then rose again with the realisation that if the Bastard was here he couldn’t be ordering Marie’s death.

Someone made an overconfident move towards their gun; Chilli shot him through the hand. The man started to scream so Chilli took two steps and knocked him out with the butt of his rifle, swinging back round to cover the room before anyone else could make a move.

“I will repeat myself once more. I want the man who came in here just now.”

Samson spoke quietly, “You are fooled friend, perhaps by the Devil, here…” He tossed something that landed at Chilli’s feet. “Perhaps these will help you see more clear.” It was a packet of drops, five pipettes, enough to knock a man out for a week and give him the wildest of dreams, until he woke up and started on the Nightmares.

Chilli took a deliberate step forward and crushed them underfoot. For a moment Samson blazed with anger and then he smoothed over like ripples disappearing from a pond.

“I repeat you are fooled friend. No one has come in here for over an hour.”

“Then why is there a trail of blood coming in trough the door?”

Everybody looked except Samson. He stared at Chilli as if he was trying to exercise his will against him.

That’s when the cramps hit, Chilli thought he was gonna drop his guts on the floor in a literal sense. His hands loosened on his rifle and he was halfway doubled over with the pain.

Several hands made for their guns but Jenny was suddenly shoved none to gently into the room and Mal and Zoë were there covering them all.

Chilli straightened up by act of will.

Samson’s anger was back in force.

“You forget I am your Master.” He spat.

“I aint forgotten it,” replied Chilli, “Couldn’t forget it, never knew it.

“I had a Mistress once, but you saw to her. She set it in the town charter that when she died or became incapable of filling her post her kin were to act as Mayor until elections were held; and that the Sheriff should carry on with his or her duties regardless.

“Guess the only kin left to Patience is Marie, even if it is only by marriage, and I guess that if apprehending murdering bastards was my job before she died, it still is now…Frank?”

The Piano player slewed round so that he could look at Chilli, his face rigid with fear his playing which had already been diabolical getting even worse.

“You seem mighty nervous Frank, you been hitting more bum notes that good one’s since I came in.”

“That’s very true Mr Chilli.”

“I reckon you want to move.”

“Yes I do sir, I truly do.”


The last Goon from the Church erupted from behind the piano; Chilli shot him straight between the eyes before he could get a hand on his gun.

Everyone remained frozen for a heart beat, then one man, quicker to the draw than the others got his gun out and pointing at Chilli, Zoë shot him; he went down hard taking his friends at the table with him.

“Now we all got settled again,” announced Chilli, “It behoves me to make an arrest. See Mr Samson, it aint just murdering bastards I have a duty to arrest, it’s those that send them, so you’re coming with me.

“We will get some elections going and if you are elected Mayor right and proper you can do what you like to me. But I reckon that’d be a mighty cold day in hell when that happens. Stand up; and if any of your friends were thinking to try and stop us taking you, might be worth them knowing that you’ll be the first to die, follared closely by them.”

Samson his face ablaze stepped out from the back of the room and allowed Chilli to take him by the shoulder.


“Yes Sheriff?” Came Al’s voice faintly


Chilli backed out of the door, forcing Samson to back out too, Chilli’s hand still on Samson’s Shoulder.

Zoë and Mall backed out behind them.

Al was waiting for them on the side walk.

“You realise we gotta get the dǎi tú back to the jail somehow…”


There was a knock on the Doctors office door, Dr. Downing flustered already by the presence of two seriously wounded men, their brother and sister in law, a strange Doctor who showed no inclination to bow to her seniority and a woman who’d known her since childhood; opened the door with a sharp “What now?”

Yet another stranger stood on the door step supporting a heavily veiled woman by the elbow. The veil went back and Dr. Alice Downing found herself looking into the eyes of the person she’d failed the most.

“Marie! Marie, come in, what is it, not…not the baby.”

“No.” Replied Marie baldly, “This is Mr. Thomas, he brought me here.”


Welsh translations Damnio ei oll at annwn - Damn it all to Hell

Chinese Translations mó guǐ - Devil Dǎi tú - Evil person who commits crimes


Tuesday, May 2, 2006 5:16 PM


"Kaylee was fretting, with Simon out of her sight, no machines to fix and all too aware that she was no good in a fight she was near as fidgety as River."
^^Best line in the story :) and ultimately good writing.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 6:50 AM


I love the dialogue here! It all sounds just so authentic! Gorramit, I've run out of chapters to read now! I wanna know how it ends!

Thursday, May 4, 2006 8:46 PM


Sadly missed the middle parts due to computer failure, but I am glad this series is still up and running, Pony;)


Saturday, July 8, 2006 6:30 AM


no, marie, don't you trust that bastard owen!!!



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In sunshine and in Shadow Part Nine
The finale.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 8
Samson's going to jail, Jayne gets a sandwich.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 7
A trail leads to a Rat's nest and Chilli finds his guts again.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part Six
Chilli is mostly upright, Samson get's madder by the minute.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part Five
There's a drunk to sort out, River has fun with Jayne (Not the rude kind)and Lizzie Appleby's Auntie turns out to be a right little Madam.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part Four
Mal brings his people to Whitefall, into a situation which looks darker and nastier than before.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Part 3
A nice dinner and a little gun fight.

In Sunshine and in Shadow Pt 2
A new passenger has come aboard, Jayne's had one of his itches scratched, a dangerous gunman is due for dinner and something nasty is brewing ready for the crew....

In Sunshine and in Shadow
Plot partially stolen from the favorite Western of my childhood. Please review but be a little gentle, it was written during a bout of insomnia last night.