The Treasure of Lei Fong Wu -- Chapter Seventy-Four
Monday, May 22, 2006

Gamma Team finally succeeds . . . and Wash gets his waffle with a little somethin' extra on the side . . .


The Treasure of Lei Fong Wu

Chapter Seventy-Four


“That’s just about got it, Your Highness,” the young Guardsman said as he set down his splicers. “I rewired the input through the local feed junction box. I don’t know who the ham-handed idiot they got to tear this console down was, but gan ni lao shi! The whole control array is scragged. Luckily, I’m a genius. It will take a moment to establish the link with the main computer core, and it bypasses most of the local controls, but it should do the trick!” “Thank you, Corporal,” Johnny said, relieved. “I’ll be glad to put this behind us.” The others nodded emphatically. Johnny had arrived at the staging bay just twenty minutes behind the second contingent of Guardsmen, who Captain Wu had put to work hunting down the last remaining White Tigers – and Shan Yu, if they could find him. One the Prince had arrived, however, the work had turned more to repairing the console and stopping the clock on the impending doom of the whole ship. The damage the Hammerstrike men had wrought was severe, but the Guards attracted a number of men who had talents far outside of storming an enemy fortification or looking dazzling in uniform, and it didn’t take long for a corporal with tech skills to start work on the damaged instruments. The delay also allowed for some rest and recuperation by the remaining members of Gamma Team. Colonel Campbell located the bag with River’s meds and gave her the pre-measured dose, then followed it with a sedative – River was starting to get more edgy than normal, especially when she came in sight of the dead White Tigers, and she needed the rest as much as anyone. Jayne, of course, systematically began looting the Tiger’s belongings, as well as going through the pockets of the odd bounty-hunter as he came across them. He had assembled an impressive pile of loot next to his own pack. Mal had taken the time to radio back to Serenity and check in. Wash had reported back that things were well at the ship, but that Shepherd Book had run off and Zoe and Simon had chased after him. Other than that, there were really no surprises. So when Johnny showed up at the head of the third column of guardsmen, his face sporting some fresh bruises and a few hastily-patched cuts, it didn’t take much to lure him away from his bodyguards to chat with his friends in a far corner of the spacious bay. “Jesus, son,” Mal said, shaking his head. “So when did you become a Prince? Not that I’m complaining,” he said, nodding towards the crowd of busily working Imperial Guardsmen. “He is a Prince, for all practical purposes,” Campbell insisted. “He is a scion of the House of Lei, which was the last Imperial House these men knew. Their oath of loyalty was to the House, after the Empire.” “Yeah, well, don’t let on – they’ll realize the scam eventually,” Johnny said, nervously. “It’s no scam,” Campbell said with amusement. “You are a Prince.” “It is a scam, and the biggest I’ve ever pulled,” admitted Johnny. “Eventually they’ll figure that out.” “No, they won’t,” Campbell reiterated. “I have your birth records. We can establish your line from your father clear back to Lei Fong Wu. Where you grew up and how are not factors in this.” “The hell they ain’t!” Johnny said, heatedly. “I’m a thug and a gangster, Colonel, not a Prince. Especially since we seem to be missing an Imperial Planet, in case it has slipped your mind!” “We’ll deal with that as time allows, Your Highness,” Campbell said smoothly. “The Empire isn’t about real estate, Chin Yi, it’s about people. And three hundred or so Imperial Guardsmen have accepted you as their Prince – their Emperor. You are familiar with the principal of the Rectification of Names?” “Yeah,” Johnny said glumly, with a heavy sigh. “I missed that day in school,” Mal admitted. “Care to learn me?” “It’s a very old principal of Chinese law and custom. Simply put, if someone is acting in the capacity of a certain office, then regardless of his title or standing, he deserves the title that goes with the office. For example, if suddenly . . . Jayne was to be in command of Serenity, and you and Zoe were dead or captured, then according to this principal Jayne would have every right to name himself Captain and be treated accordingly. Conversely, if someone has an office or station, and they do not fulfill the obligations of that office, then they do not deserve the title and privileges that go along with the office.” “Kind of like how I got field-promoted, retroactively, by that Colonel at the end of the war,” Mal said, nodding. “He said I did a Captain’s job, I should muster out with Captain’s pay and Captain’s bars.” “Exactly,” agreed Campbell. “Young Johnny the Thug, here, has been acting like a Prince, making decisions and ordering his troops. Therefore, he should be accorded the title of Imperial Prince and Heir, because he has acted the part.” “Only I’m not the Prince and Heir. I just did this to come rescue y’all from certain doom!” “And don’t think we aren’t appreciative, Your Highness,” Mal said, smirking. “But we can’t stand in the way of your destiny.” “Oh, go se!” Johnny said in exasperation, rolling his eyes. “I don’t care what the Rectification of Names says, I am not a Prince!” “There are three hundred men over there who would disagree with you,” Campbell murmured. “And one standing right here . . . Your Highness.” “Oh, for the love of – ! Look, I’ll continue this little ruse until things are settled, but then I’m taking my share – my very generous share – and cutting out!” “We shall see, Your Highness,” Campbell said, mischievously. “In the meantime, if I might make a suggestion . . . you should dispatch a contingent of say, thirty or forty Guardsmen to the Bridge to relieve your Uncles, and they should be men with a passing acquaintance with large ship systems. That shouldn’t be difficult – the Imperial Marines fed the Imperial Guards quite liberally, and many of those men had to stand as watch officers. A few technicians might not be out of order, either,” he added thoughtfully. “Right, yeah, sure,” Johnny agreed unenthusiastically. “And perhaps a guard on Serenity wouldn’t be amiss – no telling what one determined White Tiger might do.” “Already taken care of,” assured the gloomy young man. “I sent back ten or so with some . . . loot. If we don’t get the computer fixed, we’ll at least have something to show for this whole messy episode.” “And if we do?” asked Campbell?” “Then it will serve as the payment that I promised Captain Reynolds, because I’m going to be so filthy rich that such a paltry sum won’t be missed,” Johnny said, eyes flashing. “Filthy, stinkin’, rotten rich!” “As befits a Prince of the Blood,” agreed Mal, smirking. “Oh, shut up!” the boy said miserably. While he had gone to oversee the technician repairing the computer console in the Engine Room, Mal had found Jayne making yet another trip back to his growing pile of loot. “Jayne, a moment,” he said, with a shake of his head. Jayne stumbled over, a grin on his face a mile wide. Jayne always felt better after a good loot. “Yeah, Cap?” “Just got off the horn with Wash. Thought you might like to know: Book up and took to his feet on his way back, out of his head on drugs. Don’t ask me how,” he said, holding up a hand to deflect the inevitable barrage of accusations. “Last anyone saw, he was alive and well. Just a little head-foggy. But Zoe and the Doc are out on the mule looking for him, about seven sections starboard and two levels down, last check-in. Over by that haunted snack bar or thereabouts. Now, I ain’t gonna order you, as you’ve been through as much as anyone and deserve a moment’s rest. But if you was to volunteer . . .” “I’m on it,” Jayne said promptly. “Hell, I ain’t even remotely tired yet – just a mite hungry. Luckily, them Tigers were well provisioned . . . and they don’t mind sharin’. I’ll pack up and head over there. No disrespect to Zoe an’ all, but she couldn’t track a three-footed mule through a snowbank.” He was already pulling on his gear. “I think she might take exception to that, but you are a fair tracker, most ways,” agreed Mal. “And I surely would feel more confident if you were around to help out. Hate to lose the preacher this far into the game. And there’s bound to be a few more kitty-cats prowlin’ around. I suspect you ain’t the only hungry one, so take a couple more ration packs to ‘em. I suppose the Doc has his medakit with him. Just go and keep an eye out, if you would.” “On my way,” Jayne said, a little more concern evident in his face than normal. Mal knew he and the preacher were friends. “Good. I’ll save you a bottle at the victory celebration.”


“And . . . we’re ready!” the tech said gleefully. “We are?” Johnny asked. “We are, indeed,” agreed the corporal. “Your Highness.” “Your Highness, would you do the honors?” asked Campbell. He had wandered back into the engine room after checking on River, who was sleeping peacefully in a small break room nearby. “Um . . . sure,” agreed Johnny, reluctantly. “Y’know, this don’t feel right,” Mal muttered. “What’s that?” “This . . . getting the code into the computer an’ savin’ the day.” “What’s wrong with it?” Johnny asked, anxiously. “Well . . . we still got the better part of twenty hours to go,” Mal supplied. “When you got a countdown to certain doom, ain’t you s’posed to wait to the last few seconds to do . . . whatever it is that will avert certain doom?” “You mean, I should wait to put in the code until the very last second?” Johnny asked. “It’s traditional,” Mal agreed. “Well, I’m not so sure I like that tradition,” Johnny protested. “It would heighten the dramatic impact of the moment,” agreed Campbell. “I mean, doin’ it almost a whole day early . . . it just seems like we ain’t tryin’.” “I’m willing to take that risk,” Johnny said emphatically. “But . . . but . . . don’t you wanna make it a more compelling story?” “Let’s see . . . wild treasure map hunt through three or four systems, dead planet, giant warship, booby traps, ancient evil psychopath, fanatical following of trained killers . . . maybe a last-second save is what the story needs. Y’know, to punch it up. Keep people awake,” he said, sarcastically. “Just sayin’,” muttered Mal. “Let me do this, okay? I’ll feel a lot better when we don’t have this ruttin’ countdown to doom. It might even make me less cranky about this whole ‘heir to the Empire’ thing.” “Well if it’s going to make you less cranky, then by all means,” mocked Campbell. “I concur. Although, I suspect a certain young princess might could take the edge off that attitude, too, if given half a chance,” pointed out Mal. “There is that,” agreed Campbell. “Just . . . let . . . me . . . do . . . this!” Johnny said through clenched teeth. As the two men giggled at his frustration, he turned to the tech. “Let’s do it!” “You’re ready, your Highness,” the corporal said. “Just speak here, into the mike, and . . .” Johnny snatched up the mike and belted out, “In the name of Emperor Lei Fong Wu, I hereby take control of this ship!” A red light on the board went green. The overhead lights went on all over as the huge reactors started to spin up to full power with a titanic whine. But that was all. “That’s all?” asked Johnny, amazed. “All of that trouble, and that’s it? The ruttin’ lights come on?” “What were you expecting?” asked Campbell. “Well . . . I dunno, trumpets or something! A heavenly chorus! Hell, a stanza of the Imperial Anthem would have been nice! I just saved the ruttin’ ship, and all of our ruttin’ lives, and this theoretical Empire, and all I get is . . . lights?” “Lights are good,” objected Campbell. “Someone’s getting cranky,” observed Mal with a smile. “ ‘Lights are good’ . . . Corporal, is the intraship intercom working?” “Yes, your Highness. Just tap here, and here for the section, and—” “Just raise the Bridge,” ordered Johnny crossly. “Yessir!” A moment later there was a beep, and Johnny could hear Master Lei’s tinny voice. “Uncle, this is Chin Yi. I am reporting that the Engine Room is under our control, that we have established the final computer code access, and the ship should be taking your commands, now. Can you confirm?” There was a moment’s pause. “Yes, son, we seem to have full control now – for what its worth. Plenty of systems are still down. It will take a while before we can be underway, but . . . we won’t be plunging to our deaths just yet.” “Out-ruttin’-standing!” he grumbled. “I saved the day. We got lights.” “How are your new . . . vassals behaving?” “They are a perfectly disciplined, perfectly loyal band of soldiers. And I’m going to send you a few score so that you can man the Bridge properly, and then join us back in Serenity for a drink. And to . . . meet someone,” he added. “That sounds quite appropriate,” agreed Master Lei. “I will join you as soon as they can arrive. That should be quick, as long as the lifts operate properly. Our besiegers pulled out about twenty minutes ago, and assuming they don’t ambush us on our way out, we will be there within the hour. Oh, your Uncle also will be sending a wave to the Revenge, to encourage them to dock and provide us with a proper crew at the first opportunity.” “Peachy,” Johnny muttered. “Well done, your Highness!” Master Lei said before he signed off. Johnny just groaned. “Get used to it, son,” Campbell said, slapping him on the shoulder affectionately. “You’re going to be hearing it a lot, I think.” “Believe me, there’s worse things to be called,” Mal agreed.





Wash looked out through the viewport at the bay at line after line of Marauders, over the steaming, sweet-smelling waffle that was Kaylee’s very best attempt to turn Type 2 Protein Base into a real confection, and sighed. The syrup, at least, was real, and drowned out the pasty aftertaste of the thing. It wasn’t exactly the fulfillment of a dream, but it was close enough to satisfy his craving. Technically speaking he wasn’t supposed to be eating at the flight console, but not only was Serenity not flying, he was also the pilot, which afforded him some privilege. Besides, after his ordeal there was no power on Heaven or Earths that could stand between him and his waffle. He almost spilled his coffee when the radio spoke, Mal’s voice coming through. “Gamma Team to Delta Team,” the Captain’s voice spoke, firmly. “Wash? Kaylee? If y’all are asleep. s’welp me—” “Cap’n! Wash, here! No, we aren’t asleep. Have you talked with Zoe?” “Zoe? Ain’t she with y’all?” Wash sighed. “No, she and Simon went looking for Shepherd Book.” “Wasn’t he with you?” “He took a little excursion on the way back, and my lovely wife is now tracking him down. According to Kaylee, their last position was . . . seven starboard, a little foreword of the Engine room, and down two levels. Or somewhere. Haven’t heard from them in a while though,” he admitted, trying not to sound worried. “Don’t fret: the Tigers have been wiped out, Shan Yu’s on the run. They’ll be safe. Hopefully in a minute or so we’ll have the Engine Room under control, and they can take a lift back.” “Oh! Big relief. Thanks, Cap’n.” “Did . . . Inara make it back?” “Yessir, the Ambassador and her guest are alive and well and cooking up waffles.” “I thought the waffle iron was broken?” “I used some of my political clout and convinced Kaylee that it would be good for morale if we had waffles.” “Ni jen duh sh tyen tsai. Save me some. Field rations are starting to taste a mite . . . like a field.” “Not a problem. Everyone come through okay?” “Mostly. Fue got messed up worse’n Book by Shan Yu, afore we were . . . uh, we rescued him. But apart from that, everyone’s shiny. We should be back there before too long, say an hour or so. Assuming the lifts work. Otherwise, it’ll be considerably longer than that. How’d things go with you?” “Oh, uh, pretty tame. Had to take care of some issues the gorram bounty hunters left behind – did you take them out, too?” “They chose to withdraw,” Mal said, implying there was some story behind the fact. “That was mighty hospitable of them,” Wash said, wondering just how happy they would be when they saw what he had scribbled on their ship. “And if you see some fellows in yellow coats, don’t shoot. Johnny went and woke up a mess o’ old-style Imperials from dreamland. Get this: they’re treating him like royalty!” “I was treated like royalty, once,” mused Wash. “I coulda even wore a crown, but that cost extra. Before I met Zoe,” he added quickly. “Copy on the yellow coats,” he added. “Friendlies.” “White coats are bad,” Mal said. “Shoot them. A lot.” “Yellow coats good, white coats bad, got it.” “Thanks, Wash. Dust of the good china, I feel a celebration comin’ on.” “I’ll see what I can do. Good to hear from you, Cap’n.” “You too.” He slumped back in the pilot’s chair and sighed. That was good news. Zoe could handle herself, but he preferred to think of her wandering around in an empty ship, rather than one full of enemies and deadly traps. It just made him sleep better – and sleep was high on his agenda the moment this waffle disappeared. Five minutes later, he was on his feet spilling his coffee again. Outside of the viewport almost a dozen Sinic men were entering the bay with a large load on a grav skiff. He quickly picked up the mike and hit the shipwide intercom. “Attention Travelers! We have guests – but not the shootable kind. Incoming friendlies, repeat, incoming friendlies in yellow coats!” He could feel the flurry of activity around the ship as he pushed himself out of the chair, mopped up the last of the syrup with the last of the waffle, and went aft to the bay. Along the way he encountered Inara and Nyan Nyan, coming out of the galley. Both were “casually” dressed in silk kimonos that put to shame Zoe’s fanciest dress, and both kimonos were spotted with flour-like dots of Protein Base 2. They both smiled and had the relaxed, just-been-had look that he recognized so easily on Zoe. He raised an eyebrow when the full implication of that hit him, but he continued – none of his business. “Ladies, we have visitors. Mal says to treat ‘em right.” He said, leading them down the stairs to the improvised machine gun emplacement that took up the forward section of the cargo bay. “They’re Imperial Guards!” Nyan Nyan said excitedly. Kaylee skidded to a halt just behind them, narrowly avoiding a collision. “Ooops! Gonna need more waffles,” she said absently as she stared at the line of neatly dressed soldiers. The wounded Imperial commandos had a different idea of how to greet them. They lined up (those who could walk) in formation, and as the Guardsmen walked up Serenities ramp they began belting out the regimental song of the Imperial Guards in honor. The Guardsmen grinned widely at that, and many of them bowed. Wash stumbled across the deck, absently thrusting his coffee cup at Inara, and presented himself as manly as he was able to their officer. “Welcome aboard,” Wash said, nervously. “I’m . . . Hoban Washburn. Friends and bosses call me Wash. I’m in command here . . . and you are?” “Lieutenant Wang,” the young officer said, bowing low. “I come at the behest of his Highness, and bring to you your payment for your assistance to the Throne at this difficult time,” he said. “Yeah . . . payment?” Wash said, his brain catching up. “From . . . his . . . Highness?” “Yes, Commander Washburne. He was most insistant. I am to deliver it to the commander of this . . . boat . . .” “Hey!” objected Kaylee, who was never happy when someone expressed anything but admiration for her girl. “. . . and guard it until better arrangements can be made. Is that satisfactory?” “You bet!” Wash said. “What is it, I wonder? More loot? A couple of paintings? New avionics? It wouldn’t be . . . toy dinosaurs, would it?” he asked, wryly. “No, sir. His Highness was most specific. Bring it up here, corporal. And . . . let it down,” he said with a grin. He swept the cloth covering off of the box, and for the briefest moment it was as if a sun had broken through the clouds. “That’s . . . molybendium?” Wash asked. “Oh, lao tien bu – that isn’t plutonium is it?” he asked, horrified, thoughts of acute radiation poisoning filling his head. “Nosir. It’s platinum,” the lieutenant supplied. “Nah!” Wash disagreed. “That can’t be platinum. I know platinum. I saw some, once. Hell, there ain’t that much platinum in the whole ruttin’ . . . ‘verse . . . oh, God, you’re serious, aren’t you?” “Yessir! I oversaw it being loaded from the vault myself, Commander. That’s about three thousand pounds – a little under fourteen hundred kilos – of .999 fine platinum bullion.” “Three . . . thousand . . . POUNDS?” Washed asked, his eyes growing big in his head from the shock of the figure. “Yessir,” agreed the lieutenant. “Three . . . oh, God, gotta sit down . . . three thousand . . .” “Inara,” asked Kaylee, who was likewise awestruck, “how much is that worth? In real money?” “Well,” Inara began, swallowing hard as she stared at the stacks of platinum bricks. “At the last exchange I recall seeing that would be . . . call it a smidge over forty thousand troy ounces . . . at three nines fine . . . call it . . . forty four . . . million . . . Alliance credits,” she said, her voice finishing in a reverent whisper. As used to affluence as she was in her glamorous life, that large of a number held power even for an experienced Companion. “Forty four million credits?” Kaylee repeated, her eyes as wide as dinner plates. “Oh my God!” “I believe your share of that would be around four million, if I recall correctly,” Inara said, smiling at her friend’s confusion. “Four million? Four million? I could . . . I could buy my own ruttin’ ship for that!” she said, gleefully. “I could . . .” “I could retire,” Wash said, dreamily. “Between me an’ Zoe, that’s eight million – eight MILLION! We could . . . we could have a mansion. A palace. Servants. Our servants could have servants. We could afford to have other people have our babies for us! Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed! That can’t be right!” “With his Highness’ compliments for a job well done,” Lt. Wang said, grinning. “His Highness?” Wash asked, confused. “About that . . .” “Wash, shut up and take the money!” Kaylee whispered, harshly. “His Highness has always been known for his generosity,” Nyan Nyan said, with loud, clear dignity. “Tell me, was he well when last you spoke to him?” “Yes, Ma’am,” agreed Wang. “Though a little worse for wear. He had just finished dueling his ancestor.” “His . . .ancestor?” Nyan Nyan asked, intrigued. “Major Lei, of the 35th Tactical Assault Unit. The Emperor’s younger brother. The old Emperor,” he corrected himself. “I . . . see. And he won the contest?” “Most spectacularly. He used a . . . bat? A baseball bat? Against the Major’s combat knife. Major Lei now lies unconscious, his Highness’ prisoner.” “Well, ain’t that nice!” Kaylee said, her eyes never moving from the pile of platinum. “Oh, God, I’m gonna have a special moment right here in front o’ God an’ everybody!” she muttered self consciously. “Forty four million ruttin’ Alliance credits,” Wash repeated. “I’m gonna have a moment, myself. God, I need to breathe . . . don’t forget to breathe, Wash . . .” he reminded himself. “That’s a lot of money,” agreed Inara, breathless. “That surely is. More than I ever expected to see, even with my wife being a hardened criminal and all.” “That’s more than . . .” Kaylee began, dreamily. “That’s enough, kids,” Inara said, breaking her train of thought. “Let’s not get too fuzzy about this. And I wouldn’t start spending it just yet.” “The hell I won’t!” Wash declared. “Hell, in my head I’ve already dispensed with a million and change, easily. Start with one of those sleek new catboat shuttles, the speedy ones, maybe a Harmony or a Swallowswift—” “Naw, you want a Skyhook,” Kaylee insisted. “Swallowswift has that problem with the thrusters – all the Cummins 450 model engines have it – piece o’ crap Rhinemark junk . . . an’ the Harmony is all composite. No titanium at all. Crappy way to build an airframe.” “Enough!” Inara said. “Let’s get these gentlemen some refreshment – I assume you’re staying?” she asked. “To . . . guard this?” “Those are my orders, ma’am,” Lt. Wang assured her. “Then . . . would you . . . care for a waffle?” “Ma’am,” Wang said, grinning, “I wouldn’t say no! I haven’t eaten in . . . oh, a hundred and twenty two years. I could eat,” he said enthusiastically. “And so could your men. I would recommend you post two guards directly on the . . . cargo, and rotate as needed. As a matter of fact . . . you might be interested in looking in on the men in the infirmary. I believe one of your . . . descendents is in there, now. A Corporal Wang Lin Wei.” “My . . . descendents?” the man asked, confused. “I had a younger brother, but . . . and Lin Wei was a popular name in my family . . . do you think?” “I believe you and your men will find more than one treasure aboard Serenity,” Inara finished. “See him, and compare genealogies. I’m sure you’re related somehow.” “Ma’am, I appreciate the offer . . . that would be interesting, wouldn’t it? But I’m afraid I wouldn’t feel right imposing on your hospitality without an introduction.” “Oh, forgive my rudeness. I am Inara Serra. I am a Companion. And this charming creature here is Nyan Nyan, also known as—” “Princess Hue Hsu Ling! Your Highness!” he said, blushing and bowing deeply. “Oh, get up – my family hasn’t been in power since I was a child.” “A princess born,” insisted Wang. “The destroyer of the Tyrant’s reign! And His Highness’ intended bride!” “I’m not a – I didn’t – did you say his ‘intended bride’?” “If half of what he speaks is true, he plans on proposing the next moment he lays his eyes on you,” Wang declared. “Well,” Nyan Nyan said, blushing slightly, “I guess my first dates are better than I thought!” “You shouldn’t be surprised, mei mei,” Inara chuckled softly. “I told you!” “Well, I’m not,” she confessed. “I mean, not really. But still . . .” “Oh, stop it,” Inara chided. “You knew full well that you were going to marry him.” “I . . . guess I did, at that,” the young princess agreed, reluctantly. “You did. So go an make up another batch of royal waffles, and I’ll see to the men finding suitable accommodations.” “Oh, and before I forget,” Wash added, “because that mountain of platinum and avarice there is about to drive all conscious thought out of my head, we’ve heard from Mal. The White Tigers are defeated and Shan Yu is a fugitive. The Engine Room should be fixed soon, and all that certain death stuff should be over with in the next hour or so. Also, we shouldn’t shoot anyone in a yellow coat,” he added. “That’s gratifying,” Lt. Wang said, grinning and looking down at his heavily embroidered uniform. “See to your men, Lieutenant, we shall feed you shortly,” Inara said. “Kaylee? You want to help? Kaylee? Kay-LEE!” “Huh?” she asked, startled out of her reverie. “Oh! I was just . . . coming! I’m coming,” she finished. “You girls go ahead,” agreed Wash, standing and staring at the stack of bars. “I’ll . . . catch up . . .” he trailed off. Before he knew what he was doing, he had climbed up the skiff and laid down upon the cool, heavy loot, much to the amusement of the Imperial Guards around him. “Oh, yeah, oh, this is nice . . . can’t wait to do Zoe up here . . . oh, it’s . . . it’s so . . . arousing . . . I . . . oh, God!” he said gleefully, as he pressed his face full against the cool metal. “Oh, this is really nice . . . really . . . I could so just sleep here . . .”


Monday, May 22, 2006 10:45 AM



That last line of Wash's...rotfl!

And their reation to all that money. Why do I get the feeling they won't be able to keep much or any of it?

Monday, May 22, 2006 12:09 PM


Heee heeeee!! Mucho lucre!!

But... wait. Is that a wealth-shattering climax I hear approaching?


Monday, May 22, 2006 3:37 PM


hee hee, I love this! God, if they do lose all that mula, there's gonna be some preetty crushed people on Serenity... but ooh, are we gonna get to see Nyan Nyan and Johnny's wedding? Cause that would be fun.

Monday, May 22, 2006 7:37 PM


Hot damn,'ve gone and done it again! You crafted a pitch perfect and hiliarious chapter with fleshed out and believable characters with spot on reactions....and you went and gave one third of the crew freaking stiffies over that much platinum:D

BTW, Wash's last lines were sheer genius. Sometimes I think Joss could learn a thing or two from ya!


Tuesday, May 23, 2006 12:05 AM


Loved this to bits but am I the only one worried that there is no sign of that evil despot Shan Yu? Call me crazy but I like my deadliest enemies kind of... dead. Wash and the money was hi-larious. Can't wait for all our crew to reunite either and Johnny has turned into a real live action hero! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:22 AM


Special moment anyone???

ROTFLMAO! 'High'-larious chapter. Very impressive StA

Sunday, May 28, 2006 6:12 PM


Don't fret too much over it, anon. STA started his writings before the Big Damn Movie came out, so it's hard to stay within the canon of the series AND the movie. I'm willing to regard this as an AU, just as I am with Hotpoint's writings.

Unfortunately, I have just finished re-reading Kaylee's Lament and the previous chapters of this work, so now I must learn the Way of patience and wait for further writing.

Oh well, at least my waffle iron is warmed up.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:24 PM


C'mon, now, I wouldn't do that to y'all. AUs are for sly caberet singers named Spike.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006 8:40 AM


"...there was no power on Heaven or Earths that could stand between him and his waffle."
'cause he's a man on a mission!!



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Unfinished Business -- Chapter Thirty-One
The battle begins, Rachel changes plans, and River meets the politest baboon she's ever met.

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Thirty
The Uprising Begins

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty-Nine
A whole lotta folks get ready to do a whole lotta stuff.

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty-Eight
The Confession of Dr. Rendell.

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty-Seven
River remembers her birthday and meets a monkey . . . sort of.

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty-Six
Inara Serra's Temptaion: The Lady, or the Tiger?

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty Five
Inspector Simon and Dr. Romano have a little chat, and Fate gives him a gift

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty-Four
The excitement of piracy, the agony of waiting, and the anticipation of a completely stupid stunt!

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty-Three
Serenity arrives on the Suri Madron.

Unfinished Business -- Chapter Twenty Two
Simon gets tested, Zoe gets quizzed, and Kaylee gets . . . satisfied. For the moment.