The Christmas Run - pt 1...
Thursday, December 27, 2007

Typical, thought Malcolm Reynolds as he stared into the muzzle of an Alliance issue rifle – and heard the heavy booted feet of the squad swarming in behind and filling the loading bay of Serenity. Typical.
Always the simple jobs - He would never learn. Uh huh? – And how many people had already told him that? Well, let’s be hoping for more to come…
The gun he was looking at whirred with the nasty electric hum of a wasp all too keen to get on with some mean minded wilful stinging.
Yep. The simple jobs. Always.


“It’s pretty”
Gazing out from Serenity’s windows, looking across the dark vacuum of space and into the long field of winking lights, Kaylee had smiled.
The trailer park was huge. Each stationary vehicle meant a home, people - family maybe. Any sense of regimentation long ago lost to an organic sprawl of out-houses, generators – communal areas and such. The metal conurbation hung across the void like tinsel across a black wall.
Broken solar panels, storage containers, ancient oxygen cylinders and pieces of indeterminate defunct machinery – all floated around like snowflake decorations.

“I lived in a place like that once.” She smiled.

Simon Tam leant in close beside her, peering for a moment intently through his new glasses. He was frowning, watching a battered repair ship off in the distance as it manoeuvred alongside one of the trailer homes. It was hard to tell which of them was actually the most damaged. It was a while before he spoke. “I thought they cleared all these… places.”
Kaylee caught something in the tone of his voice, concern? Disgust? She opened her mouth to say something but Jayne Cobb chose that moment to interrupt, striding into the cockpit and slamming down a large flight case. “Kaylee – Doc’…” He was smirking. “That IS the Doc’ right? Thought maybe Mal had got us transporting owls or – or – I’m sorry, is my Library book overdue?”
Scowling self-consciously Simon whipped his glasses off.
Kaylee muttered something but Jayne was still laughing even after she thumped him across the arms. Gorram it – the giggles could be infectious…
Simon sensed something. “Oh. Kaylee, you don’t think they…?”
“Hey, no!” The redhead’s reply was quick. “I think they’re… shiny.”

“Been watching too much TV?” In the Pilots chair, Malcolm Reynolds had been watching the three hoe-tze s bantering up his flight deck for a while now. He smiled at the Tam boy.
Simon looked relieved as he turned to the Captain. “It’s a Doctor’s lot – close work… runs in the family too…”
Mal nodded. “Can’t outrun your genes huh?” He didn’t mean to – but he had flashed a look towards his co-pilot before he could stop himself.
River Tam nodded eagerly. “A flaw – should be corrected – ruled out of the program – they could’ve…” She was staring now at her brother.
Simon held her gaze. “Yes they could…”
Jayne snorted. “What – you telling me your rich and mighty parents decided to go natural with their first born? And there was me thinking they made you in a jar.”
He yelped as Kaylee thumped him again - harder this time.
“That’s not funny.” She said.


Zoe Alleyne and Shepherd Solomon Face were fighting again. Fists and feet and all. The damp patches on their vests and the heavy humid air bore testament to their work out.
Already in his short time aboard, Shepherd Solomon Face had made an impact on Serenity. He had converted one storeroom into a kind of chapel and the empty shuttle bay, (empty since Inara’s departure) into a full time gym. “Helluva lot safer than than the damn loading bay”, he had said forcefully after one too many bruising collisions with River and Kaylee. He had looked pained, looked at the running women, looked at Mal. “They always like this?”
The Captain had played it deadpan. “No, on occasion they can actually be a little high spirited.”
“Dear Mother of God…”
So the Shepherd had done his work. Only Jayne had objected, and for why? – Face couldn’t figure. Cobb never even came down and worked out with him. Odd. Still, that was his loss and Face’s, uh, - he ducked under a vicious roundhouse kick from Zoe, - gain.
He let his breath out in a loud Whoosh!
Zoe narrowed her eyes. “Why is it – every man has to prove himself against me?”
Face, still keeping low, swerved out of reach. “Must get boring after a while huh.”
The woman nodded. “Men – you…”
Face lunged in suddenly with a flurry of rabbit punches under her guard. Zoe only just rocked herself back in time.
The Shepherd said smoothly. “Well, I’m sorry if I can’t keep your interest.”
Zoe danced backward, classic boxer style. “That,” she said, “was cheating.”
“C’mon woman – don’t you know the Lord moves in mysterious ways.”
Zoe had cunningly kept a leg straightened and the Shepherd blundered into it over balancing. Zoe struck him hard on the back. “Oh? So you’re the Lord now?”
Face crashed forward, sprawling.
“Just his servant -” he gasped, shaking his head to clear it, “cup of tea Madame?”
Against all her best efforts, Zoe realised she was smiling.
“Merry Christmas Shepherd.”
“Yeh, yeh, yeh,” muttered Face. “And also – Ow!”


The three women came down the riser from their shuttle as gracefully as the metal ramp would allow. Swaying as one. Clad fine.
“Ladies.” Mal gave a polite nod. “Merry Xmas.”
Jayne eyed each one in turn. “Ho, Ho – and Ho.” He grinned lecherously.
Mal gave him a withering look. “Excuse me ladies, been a long time in the black – some of my crew are starting to confuse rudeness with funny.”
The tallest of the three women gestured with a slim hand, the high spotlights of the bay dancing off the purple painted nails. “We are what we are, Captain.”
“So you’re not…”
“A Companion? No. This place is too poor to afford the registered kind. I have attended courses on Sihnon as much as my own moneys would allow… they don’t exactly offer scholarship.”
Reynolds was still in charm mode. “Well, don’t look to me like there’s much they could teach you anyways. Now – we have business to discuss I believe, can I offer you ladies anything? - uh, refreshments? Our Shepherd makes a helluva galley slave.”
“You have a Shepherd? Could be we have a need of him, no preachers here in the longest time…”
Jayne had been opening and shutting his mouth and now interrupted. “Could be you need a man sized gun loving protection minded kinda fella too…”
He was rewarded with a careful smile from one of the women and a neutral “Perhaps.”

Mal was back to glaring. “Well, let’s take our business to the galley then. Welcome aboard Serenity. I’m the Captain”, he said with emphasis for Jayne’s sake.
“I am Erren and then is Amora and Kaytee-Li.”
“Pleasures all mine.” The Captain smiled.
“Aint it always…” Cobb grumbled to himself as the women filed past his nostrils hungrily breathing the perfumed air in their wake – he moved to follow but yet another glare from the Captain stopped him.


“We really have to take the bus?” Simon Tam was incredulous, stood by the Loading Bay doors, med case in hand.
Jayne grinned. “Less you wanna walk Doc?” He turned to Kaylee. “I hear Space is nice this time of year.”

“This must be the bus now.” The mechanic was keen. There was a buzz through the tannoy and a clang from outside the loading bay. Zoe looked up from a scanner pack. “Pressure’s stabilsed. Should be good to go.”

With a tortured squeal of metal the bay days opened – and the bay was suddenly and swiftly flooded with purple armoured Alliance troops…


end of pt 1

Pt 2 – The Good Book proves its worth, Mal’s business and some details of Simon’s job are revealed and the plot gets twisty (as always).


Monday, December 31, 2007 2:42 PM


Shiny, I can truly see a trailer park out in the black, loved the description of it and further love Simon in glasses. I dunno why, I just like the glasses.

Enjoyed the chapter, curious as to where Simon and the others are going on the bus and why the trio of prostitutes have driven up some business with out crew. And since we don't have the rating system here I present you with nine shiny star symbols.



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