BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

RIVERISMYGODDESS

From Bad to Worse, pt 01
Friday, June 23, 2006

Set between The Train Job and Bushwacked, a figure from Mal's past will soon add many more complications to his life.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1928    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

This is a piece that goes in parallel with a piece by SillyLittleDuck’s piece You Can Never Go Home Again. Several plot elements are going to be the same, the rest is our own take on the situation. I think this should be about 10 chapters long, and hopefully it will not distract me too much from other stuff I am writing.

This takes place in between ‘The Train Job’ and ‘Bushwhacked.’ According to Inara, there is a three-ish month gap here, so I thought it would be perfect for this little story.

- - - - -

Mal stared out into the infinite Black, glad to be on the move. It had only been a week since the events in Paradiso, and his shoulder still hurt from where that qingwa cao de liumang Crow had thrown the knife and hit him. Chuckling to himself, he figured that he had gotten the better end of that stick, with his adversary being in millions of pieces after a trip through Serenity’s left thruster engine.

They were headed to Boros, finally making it to the destination they had planned to get to after leaving Persephone. Mal hoped the extra time it had taken them on Whitefall and in Paradiso hadn’t caused the elder Sanchez brother to go with someone else. Wash had cooking duty, so Mal was alone on the bridge. He sat in the pilot’s seat, flipping on the Cortex to wave his friend.

After a few moments’ wait, a dirty and darkly tanned face appeared on his screen.

“Ah, Malcom Reynolds, I was starting to wonder if you had finally gotten pinched, or if that lah-suh heap you fly around in had finally kicked. You still interested in a job?”

“Enrique, good to see you too. We’ve had no shortage of troubles since you and I last talked, but we are headed to you right now, assuming there is some work waiting for us.”

“Well, the original job I offered you is long gone, but I’ve always got work, and always seem to have a lack of good trustworthy folk to do said work. How’d you feel about some salvage instead of the smuggling you were planning on?”

“As long as there is some coin in it for me and mine, I’m game.”

“Now that’s the Mal I know. I am sending you coordinates for a moon base in the next system over from Boros. An independent supply chain ship, much like yours, crashed into the dark side of that moon. The crew and passengers died on impact, tragic I know, but there is substantial value in the cargo they were hauling. What I am interested in is a large box of gold bars. Here’s the deal: you bring me 25% of the gold from that box as a finder’s fee and you guys can keep the rest, plus whatever else you find of interest.”

“Sounds like a fine job with a big take, so what’s the catch?”

“The base on the moon is Alliance.”

Comprehension dawned on Mal’s face as Wash walked onto the bridge, announcing that dinner would be ready in five minutes and wiping sweat from his forehead as he took a moment to stare out into the Black.

“This gold wouldn’t happen to belong to that Alliance base, would it?”

Enrique Sanchez slowly nodded, a grim look on his face. He didn’t say anything as he waited for his friend’s response.

Turning to Wash and pointing to the coordinates, he asked “How fast can you get us there?”

Wash looked at the numbers, closed his eyes for a minute, then turned to Mal. “We can be there in 8 hours if we burn hard enough, so long as we get some coin very soon after the job so we can re-fuel.”

Turning back to the screen, Mal smiled and said “We’ll be there by the end of the day.”

- - -

Alec Graham sat across the dark table from his favorite mercenary. Having told her about the crashed ship and its precious contents, he leaned back to await her response, knowing she couldn’t resist a take this grand.

Claire sat casually in her chair, long red hair partially obscuring her fair face. She wore the same brown duster she always had on over a dirty green shirt that hardly did her slender figure justice. She leaned forward, her piercing emerald eyes coming into the light for the first time.

“We’ll take the job. Tom, Amos, let’s get moving. We’ve got some gold to find. Alec, we’ll be back soon with your 40%.”

She spun on her heel to leave, two gargantuan men leaving the shadows to flank her as she headed out the door and onto the street, donning her black cowboy hat as the sun mercilessly scorched the dry road beneath their feet.

- - -

The crew sat around the table, finishing the protein loaf that Wash had prepared. As everyone seemed ready to start clearing the table, Mal stood up and cleared his throat.

“We have a job.”

Zoe and Jayne turned to look at him, eyes brightening at the prospect of action and a payday. Wash continued with the clearing of his plate, having already heard the details from Mal on the bridge. Simon continued to look at his empty plate, lost in thought, though his head did turn slightly to listen to the Captain. Kaylee had been looking dreamily at Simon, and after sparing a quick glance toward Mal she resumed her quiet yearnings. Inara and Book both looked half interested, Inara knowing the type of work Mal had been doing lately and Book having just recently worked that out for himself. River was the only one who showed no obvious interest whatsoever in what he had to say as she balanced her plate on her cup, standing her fork up like a little teepee with her knife on top of that.

“The smuggling, er, transport of materials that we were going to perform has already been taken care of. We are going to Delphias, a moon on the next system from Boros’. There is a crashed transport ship there with cargo that is of substantial value, and we are going to retrieve it. Any questions?”

“Isshit gold?” Jayne asked, his mouth half full of his third helping of the meal.

“Actually , it is.”

At this revelation, Jayne’s eyes widened to the size of dessert plates. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get there already!”

Resisting the temptation to chide Jayne for his impatience, Mal flatly stated “The moon has a base on it. An Alliance base.”

It was Simon’s turn for wide eyes and a slackened jaw. “Mal, uh, Captain, well, we need to avoid the Alliance, not get closer...”

“I know that we need to avoid the Alliance,” Mal interrupted edgily “which is why you and your sister will be staying on the boat and out of sight. The base is on the other side of the moon, but there is a good chance they are looking for this wreck too, or will be when they realize it didn’t break atmo. We should be there in a few hours, and really the only ones who will be leaving the ship will be myself, Zoe, Jayne, and Kaylee.”

“Shouldn’t we alert someone, maybe someone who is closer who can help any survivors?” Book spoke quietly but firmly. “Those people could be in real danger, and all you are concerned about is getting paid.”

At the Shepherd’s words, Mal, Zoe, and Jayne all turned to stare at him, tension in the room increasing rapidly. River even looked up, taking in everything with her big brown eyes before she softly spoke.

“Dead. All dead. Crashed and died in fire and metal.”

A silence filled the room, everyone turning to look at the small girl. It was the most that any of them besides Simon and Mal had heard her speak since she emerged from the cryo unit.

After a very pregnant pause, Mal finally spoke up, his eyes never leaving River. “Though it chills me to my core that she knew that, she is right. Scans show that there were no survivors, everyone aboard died upon impact. As for my concerns, they are for me and mine, which right now includes you preacher. If you’ve got a problem with the way I run my ship, you are free to get off anytime you like.”

Book pursed his lips, saying nothing but keeping his dark eyes focused on Mal, a fire burning within them. Mal scanned his crew, looking at everyone’s face in turn. Their visible emotions ranged from giddiness to anger to depression, no two being the same.

“Any more questions?”

Everyone stared at Mal, the room descending into a profound silence.

“All right, you all have jobs, go do them.”

- - -

The mule cruised over the dry desert road, kicking up dust clouds and dirt as the thrusters whined. Claire piloted the small craft, her mechanic Anya sitting shotgun, Tom and Amos in the back, clutching large automatic weapons.

‘Wo de tian, a,’ Claire thought to herself. ‘How did it come to this?’ Less than six years ago she had been a sergeant in the Independents’ army, and now she was reduced to stealing spaceships to pick at the salvage of a wrecked ship. She absentmindedly thought back to her time in battle, thinking about one of her comrades in particular. Wondering what he was doing now, she hoped it was much more respectable than the life of crime she had adopted.

They reached the port shortly thereafter, searching for a small ship that would be fast enough to get them to their treasure and then far enough away to keep from being caught.

‘Ah, a Firefly. Perfect.’ She flew the mule past the ship’s open cargo bay slowly, visually reconnoitering any crew or guards that were around the ship. She flew the mule around a corner, parking in a temporary spot. The took a comm. unit, nodding silently to Tom and Amos, who took up flanking positions around the floating vehicle as Anya shifted to the drivers’ seat, in case a hasty escape was needed.

Claire moved quickly through the shadows, heading back to the ship she had picked. In days long gone, she would have held her cross and said a silent prayer for success, but that hadn’t worked on Hera, so why should it work here?

She approached the barker, a short Asian man, and began making small talk about the ship. She discovered that the Captain was out, and she could meet him in a few hours when he returned. She asked if she could see this ship, wanting to make sure it was suitable for her travel needs. The small man was more than happy to show her around.

Walking through the cargo bay, they headed past the infirmary, the small man spouting of details about how much it would be to travel with them and all of the stops they were going to make. He showed her to the passenger dorms, opening one to show her how much space she would have.

As he turned to open the door, she swiftly drew her gun, bringing the butt down hard on the back of his head. She dragged his diminutive form into the room, looking around to make sure that no one had seen her. She dumped his unconscious body in a corner, hastily closing the sliding door behind herself. She unmade the bed, ripping the sheets into long, thin strips. She tied his hands and feet, stuffing additional bedding into his mouth before blinding and gagging him.

She exited the room, looking around for any other passengers or crew. She was more than familiar with this ship, having spent almost a year on one with her old war buddy. She thought back to him again, remembering the stories he had told and the adventures they had together. The sex had been good too, she had to admit, but there was no way that could have ever worked out. The man was completely infuriating, getting angry if the slightest thing didn’t go his way. He could be very mean, and didn’t really care for anyone besides himself or his crew.

They hadn’t parted on the best of terms, and she was resentful of that. After all of the moments they had shared, both during the war and after, he had kicked her off of his ship without even ten words of explanation.

Shaking her head to clear the mixed feelings she felt, she quietly moved back to the cargo bay, hitting the control button to close the bay doors. She crept up the stairs, pistol at the ready, and headed for the bridge. After a few minutes of searching the rest of the ship, locking the crew quarters from outside to be as cautious as possible, she pulled the comm. from her belt.

“Anya, get Amos and Tom into the mule. We have ourselves a ship. I’ll be waiting with the cargo bay doors open, so get here mashang.”

Moments later, the flying transport roared up the ramp, the door closing immediately behind them. The engines had already been fired up, and Claire took the stairs two at a time on her way to the bridge as Anya followed her upstairs to travel down the hall to the engine room.

They lifted off, leaving Boros and the rest of this ship’s crew behind. She set a course for Delphias, sighing as more thoughts about Malcom Reynolds and his exasperating ways flooded her mind.

- - - - -

pt 02

- - - - -

Translations ( from http://fireflychinese.home.att.net/episode.html ):

qingwa cao de liumang (ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng) – frog-humping sonofabitch

wo de tian, a (wuh de tyen, ah)– dear god in heaven

mashang (ma shong) – now

COMMENTS

Friday, June 23, 2006 7:52 AM

SILLYLITTLEDUCK


hehe, Claire... how sweet is this. She kicks trash in both stories. I love how different our stories are!!!

"sex was good" lol... do i see a flashback come on?

keep going

Saturday, June 24, 2006 9:15 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh...why do I get the feeling that Mal had a good reason or two to kick Claire off Serenity? Cuz while Mal's a hundan when it comes to the social graces, don't recall him being less than polite to people (especially ones in his life) unless someone's cheezed him off rightly royally;)

BEB

Monday, July 3, 2006 8:59 AM

ITSAWASH


Okay, this fic might be your best yet. Your writing skill is shiny, getting shinier all the time, as proven by this new story. As always, only thing wrong with it is it ain't never long enough; could be 1,000 pages and STILL not long enough. On with the review.

Dang skippy on this bit: "...he figured that he had gotten the better end of that stick, with his adversary being in millions of pieces after a trip through Serenity’s left thruster engine." Great description of Crow's demise.

Crew's understandably het-up for info on the new job, River's not (lol, this is so good.) You always do right by your goddess: "River was the only one who showed no obvious interest whatsoever in what he had to say as she balanced her plate on her cup, standing her fork up like a little teepee with her knife on top of that."

Sigh. It's so good to read fic with Wash still breathing, and I can surely see Wash cooking for the crew *smiles* "Wash had cooking duty, so Mal was alone on the bridge."

More lovely Wash, this time using that pilot-par-excellence brain of his and then talking just like I know he would do it: "Wash looked at the numbers, closed his eyes for a minute, then turned to Mal. “We can be there in 8 hours if we burn hard enough, so long as we get some coin very soon after the job so we can re-fuel.”

I like red haired, green eyed Claire; her outfit too! And uh-oh! Looks like the BDH's got some competition for the job: “We’ll take the job. Tom, Amos, let’s get moving. We’ve got some gold to find. Alec, we’ll be back soon with your 40%.”

Hmmm, who could Claire's old comrade be? "She absentmindedly thought back to her time in battle, thinking about one of her comrades in particular. Wondering what he was doing now, she hoped it was much more respectable than the life of crime she had adopted."

"They lifted off, leaving Boros and the rest of this ship’s crew behind. She set a course for Delphias, sighing as more thoughts about Malcom Reynolds and his exasperating ways flooded her mind."~~YES YES! It IS Mal! Woot!

So glad there's part 2 out there all ready for me to go to. Will get it read another time soon though, got some necessaries to go shop for. Thanks for another great story-start.

Monday, July 3, 2006 10:17 AM

SPACEFULLOFOBJECTS


River, your writing always intriques me. Good job with nestling this fic in between a couple of really gorram good BDE's.

“Sounds like a fine job with a big take, so what’s the catch?”


“The base on the moon is Alliance.”

*this works well, because our Mal is alway's looking for opportunities to stick it to the man.

After a very pregnant pause, Mal finally spoke up, his eyes never leaving River. “Though it chills me to my core that she knew that, she is right. Scans show that there were no survivors, everyone aboard died upon impact. As for my concerns, they are for me and mine, which right now includes you preacher. If you’ve got a problem with the way I run my ship, you are free to get off anytime you like.”

*again...classic Malcolm Reynolds.

I think there are some interesting back stories you could dive into based on the first read of this fic.

Looking forward to part 2.


Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:11 PM

FAN01


wow sweet fic riv,,,im gonna read part 2

Sunday, December 17, 2006 7:54 AM

VALERIEBEAN


Good work, Riv. Very refreshing to hear fresh narration (as I've been hearing my own for too long). Good pacing. Claire's first intro ("Alec ... sat across table ... favorite mercenary.") could use a little fleshing out, because the transition from Serenity is somewhat abrupt. But nice addictive start.


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From Bad to Worse, chapters 1-10 (COMPLETE)
This is a re-post from before the BSR got hit a few weeks ago.

The story takes place in between ‘The Train Job’ and ‘Bushwhacked.’ According to Inara, there is a three-ish month gap here, so I thought it would be perfect for this little story and its epilogue.


From Bad to Worse, pt 10
Thrilling heroics ensue.

From Bad to Worse, pt 09
Mal, Zoe, and Jayne come to the rescue, and backup from the engine room arrives.

From Bad to Worse, pt 08
Claire is put to the ropes, though the cavalry is on the way.

From Bad to Worse, pt 07
Mal, Jayne, and Zoe make their way back to Serenity, and Claire and her posse run into even more troubles.

From Bad to Worse, pt 06
The fighting is ended for now, though revenge is on more than one person's mind.

From Bad to Worse, pt 05
The feds arrive, a shootout involving the BDHs and Claire's posse ensues.

From Bad to Worse, pt 04
The gold is recovered, and a getaway is planned.

Sailing Beyond the Sunset, pt 17
Several crew members dwell on things past while one reunion is made and a wave from an old aquaintence is received.

From Bad to Worse, pt 03
The crews search the wreckage for their valuable treasure as Wash and Book attempt some thrilling heriocs.