the conclusion concluded!
Monday, November 26, 2007

The unexpected bid for freedom seemed to inspire the others – instantly there was uproar, neighing, whinnying and kicking. Two horses managed to kick doors open and charged into the enclosure, in a cloud of dust they circled each other – their eyes suddenly wild. Reynolds tried to keep a watch on his intended but the creature leapt over the enclosure gate and into the paddock. The other free stallions quickly followed – now it was indeed a race, albeit unintended, unlooked for and most assuredly unfortunate.

People were running down to see what was the fuss.
People became a throng – the throng became a crowd – the crowd began to turn into a mob.
At that point Captain Malcolm Reynolds gave up any notion of Horsenapping and took to his heels. Bringing ANY of the damn beasts back would take a better man than he.


Serenity – it was often pointed out, was a name both apt and ironic. Apt because every member of the crew looked to find some sense of personal peace therein - ironic since so little peace was there to be had.

The crewmembers in the loading bay, - Inara, Simon, Kaylee, Jayne, The Captain and his petulant looking associate, - were indistinguishable from their curses and accusations. Sarcasm, insult, charge, appeal and invective were being hurled with force. Most, it should be pointed out, in the director of Malcolm Reynolds and the man known as Badger. They gave no ground easy – and the metallic bay echoed and rang.

Only one figure, slipping in barely noticed from the furore outside to the hurly-burly on in, was quiet. Weren’t silent though.

“Flowers for the Lay-dee – Candy from a Baby…” River Tam was crooning to herself – not uncommon in the girl. The sleeves of her woollen jersey were hanging down, stretched well past her hands – and flapping in a manner all too similar to a strait jacket. This disturbed her. “Not wearing again – not fitting for a lady – lay-dee, candy from a baby.”

She came from behind the assembled crew – with the usual result that they jumped as startled, saving the Captain himself. Can’t startle the man, noted River carefully as she moved in front of him and released her fisted hands. A hoard of objects, bric-a-brac in the main, fell from each sleeve and into two loose piles.
She looked the Captain in the eye. “Within the parameters of an Imperial system – artificial currency has no value compared to the fair trade of skills and resources.” Reynolds looked down at the piles. “Candy from a baby,” River added.

Mal considered for a moment as he folded his arms - then looked up and across at Badger. “This your idea?”
Badger’s face appeared to be folding in on itself. “Don’t blame me – I might’ve joked about – and in the bother YOU stirred up - maybe she” - he was cut off by Simon, the young doctor grabbed him roughly by the lapels. Relief at River’s sudden reappearance had been replaced by concern – then anger. “What did you do to her?” he demanded.
River herself was laughing. “Just a game – too easy – takings too easy.”

Badger was poking Simon with a small pistol. “Back off sunshine – very touchin’ Mister, alright – but touchin’ is also dangerous when it comes to my person – y’got that? Don’t blame me if the lady has talents…”
Simon clenched his jaw, eyeing the gun warily. “Exploiting her – I ought to…” but
Badger was ignoring him now and smiling ingratiatingly at River.
“I wouldn’t complain about easy takings, Lady. Smooth aint to be narked at.”

Mal was looking amused and irritated at the same time. Of all the crew, only Inara could balance both emotions so perfectly. “Well – it’s done now – rightly or wrongly - or just plain oddly, as the case may be.” He nodded to Badger. “Mess with my crew again Badger and I’ll consider it unfriendly… Guess this loot’ll be ours now.”
He didn’t move to pick anything up – that would just be plain undignified - instead a gleeful Jayne scooped up two big armfuls. Mal let him know with his eyes to keep the stuff in plain sight – and the big man moved to a work surface and began picking through the treasure.

“Captain,” Simon began, “ this is – are we just…”
“Common thieves!” Inara interrupted.
“And if you take this from my Sister…” continued Simon, “then you’re no better than” - Badger growled at the young man - Mal however, seemed unperturbed.
“Ok, fine then,” The Captain’s sarcasm was overt, “I’ll just take this loot to the Race Officers and explain nicely – course that’ll mean folks rightly guessing your sister is a round short of a full chamber – which would lead, at the least, to a deal of unwarranted attention and fuss - we don’t much care for fuss do we? Or the crazy station…”

Out manoeuvred and frustrated Simon looked at the floor. There was a disgusted sound from Inara. Mal raised his hand and his face wore a mask of mock sympathy. “It’s a painful ethical dilemma, truly.”

Badger meantime had grabbed a helping of the booty himself. “My cut, innit?” He frowned at Reynolds. “Compensation right? – You didn’t deliver my…”

He in his turn was cut off – by the sudden clattering of hooves on metal. Shepherd Book lead a contented looking and distinctly co/operative stallion into the bay.
“You – you” – lost for words.

Shepherd Book sighed deeply. Stroked the horse once and made his way to the internal door and exited. All without comment.

It took a deal of time of time before comment was made by anyone. Longer in fact than it took Wash to gun the ships engines and put Serenity on the lam once again.
The first comment, when it finally came, was actually from the horse.
It was short, loud and pungent.


sorry to double post - twas too long for the blog space! hope any readers enjoyed this whimsical tale.
thanks for all comments:)



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