Stowaway, chapter 1
Sunday, August 20, 2006

Firefly/Andromeda crossover; Harper from Andromeda stows away on Serenity. You don't need to have seen Andromeda to understand (and hopefully enjoy!) the story, though. Comments always appreciated, good and bad.


There was chaos on the crowded, bustling dock, and the small, scruffy blond figure was able to throw himself between a large pile of hay and a stack of crates, hiding momentarily as he gasped for breath. He was too weak to run much further, and he knew his pursuers were closing in.

He heard a chillingly familiar voice not far away, asking everyone in the area if they’d seen a small runaway. “Been stealin’ everything in sight, keep your eyes on,” he was warning. Seamus Zelazny Harper shrunk further into the shadows and cursed internally. Nice move, branding him as a thief. Now anyone that saw him would be happy to lynch him on the spot.

He looked around him desperately, scanning the motley collection of ships docked nearby. He’d already considered the possibility of sneaking aboard one of them and leaving this planet behind, but he’d heard a few too many chilling stories about what freighter captains had a tendency to do to stowaways. He’d be lucky to get thrown out the airlock if he were discovered.

“Baxter! Check behind that stack of hay!” Harper heard the voice order, and he dragged his aching body back to its feet and ran for dear life. Dodging horses, chickens, children, and pedestrians, he ran for any cover he could find. Managing to slip out of view of his pursuers, he dove under the loading ramp of a Firefly-class ship.


Wash parked the mule with its trailer loaded with supplies at the base of the ramp and sighed in frustration. Mal had specifically told Jane to have the cargo hold clear for unloading by the time Wash returned with supplies, and instead empty crates were strewn about like an untrained man-ape had torn through the area. Which, Wash knew, was exactly what had happened.

He got off the mule and started dragging crates out of the way, stacking empties methodically to the side. He stopped and raised an eyebrow as Jayne marched down the stairs, looking considerably more aggravated than normal. Before Wash could get in a word, Jayne grabbed one of Wash’s crates, yanked it open, closed it, and threw it across the hold in frustration. The crate bounced down the ramp and crashed into the loaded mule, rolling off the side of the ramp.

“Training for some new sport I’ve thankfully never heard of?” asked Wash.

“I can’t find Vera!” Jayne exploded, pacing about like a caged beast. “Word is there’s a thief about the docks, an’ I figured a show of force might be in order. But I can’t find her!”

“And – you thought she might have magically transported herself into one of these crates you were supposed to stack?” asked Wash.

“Somethin’ like that,” muttered Jayne.

“And you threw the crate I just stacked across the hold to, what, interrogate it?”

Jayne made an ape-like growling noise and paced off, leaving Wash once again to stack his newly adopted crates.


Harper eyed the crate that had just fallen mere feet in front of his nose, wondering if it was a heaven-sent opportunity, or his tomb beckoning him forward. It sounded like he was already a suspect in some kidnapping, and someone very large was very angry about that. Stowing himself aboard this ship was not the most appealing notion, but he was in the mood avoid the doubtless painful death his pursuers had in mind for him. Might as well opt for a stay of execution.

Looking carefully around him, he opened the lid of the crate and slid in. It was large enough that he actually fit rather comfortably, although he wasn’t sure comfort was the most apt term for anything he was experiencing right now. He pulled the lid down quickly, and once hidden, awkwardly pulled the blanket he’d had tied to his back over his figure. Then he lay still, hoping the “cargo” wouldn’t be inspected too closely. He tried to ignore his parched throat, his body suggesting pointedly that now that it was out of immediate mortal danger, it sure could use a cold Sparky cola.


Wash finally had the cargo area cleared and was about to pull the mule into the bay when Mal and Zoe came walking up the ramp, and Zoe greeted him with a hug. “What you all sweaty for, husband? Jayne slacking again?”

“I’m not sure you’d call it slacking, exactly. More like demolition. Seems he misplaced Vera.”

Zoe shook her head in frustration. “Well, good news is, we got us a job, playing mailman. We got to courier out some confidential documents to Greenleaf.”

“Come on,” said Mal. “Let’s help Wash get these crates stowed so’s we can get this ship in the air.” Wash pulled the mule up into the cargo bay, and Mal and Zoe started unloading while Wash went to retrieve the crate thrown aside by Jayne. Wash grabbed hold of the crate to drag it forward, but it was surprisingly heavy.

Be nice if Jayne was as amiable as he was strong, thought Wash, popping the lid open out of curiosity. The cargo was covered with a blanket as though it was carefully concealed, and Wash opted to close the lid and not look any further. Mal tended to get a bit cranky when his often illegal cargo got messed with, and Wash was too hot and tired to contend with a cranky Mal.

“Um – Mal?” called Wash, tugging suggestively at the unmoving crate.

Mal walked down the ramp and picked up one end of the crate, helping Wash haul it up to the cargo bay. The three of them worked efficiently to stow the cargo, stacking the smaller, lighter crates of top of the mysterious cargo and strapping it firmly into place to avoid shifting in flight.


Harper finally allowed himself to relax slightly after all the movement had ceased, the roaring of the engines dimming as the ship left atmo and started humming steadily through space. It had been a long time since he had heard any activity in the cargo hold, and he decided it was safe to venture a peek around. He shoved gently at the top of the crate, then pushed harder. A sudden spike of fear rammed through him, and he shoved at the lid with all the force he could muster, crying out in pain and fear as his bruised body protested. Finally he conceded the inevitable and went limp, his heart pounding. He was trapped.


Monday, August 21, 2006 9:10 AM


Awesome beginning! The thought of Harper and Wash both getting under Mal's skin is very enjoyable.

The characters voice are easily heard and the chapter has a good pace to it. I can't wait to read more.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 7:37 PM


Ooh...wonder how Harper got separated from Andromeda?

Liking this mucho grande, jetflair;)



You must log in to post comments.



The Losing Side, Chapter 68 - Farewell to Bars
Mal is finally released by the Alliance, and says his goodbyes to friend and foe before being assigned a job in stapler quality control. In the meantime, Wash rebels against the perfection of his new job by buying dinosaurs and loud shirts. This is NOT the end of the story! :)

The Losing Side, Ch. 67 - Bombshells
Everything changes in the space of minutes when Mal is taken to Lee's office and confronted with two very different shocks to the emotions.

The Losing Side, Ch. 66 - Nature of the Beast
A long chapter full of conflict, trust, and musings....and a cliffhanger! An evil, evil cliffhanger.

The Losing Side, Ch. 65 - Trouble in Paradise
Wash wants to strangle the captain of the shiny new luxury cruiser he's flying, and Mal learns that something dangerous may be afoot....with his name on it.

The Losing Side, Ch. 64 - How to Win a Losing Battle
It's a tricky tightrope between trauma, rage, and finding yourself....but Mal is learning to walk it.

The Losing Side, Ch. 63 - The Art of Insanity
Mal may have more then he bargained for in Cody Patton, the mysterious and potentially deranged artist in his housing unit. Is the one real war criminal among them a threat, an asset, or just a damaged young soldier?

The Losing Side, Ch. 62 - Aiding the Enemy
Mal saves the life of an Alliance guard, and starts having serious doubts about his own mental state.

The Losing Side, Chapter 61 - Juggling Frustrations
Mal keeps on finding new and disturbing facts about one of his fellow prisoners, and Wash learns to juggle (and smuggle) goslings.

The Losing Side, Chapter 60
Wash gets a job, and Mal perfects his Alliance-taunting skills while developing an unlikely fondness for getting shots. Oh, and there's an artist who's a mite off.

The Losing Side, chapter 59 - Sharing the Night
Mal, Wash, and Zoe spend a sleepless night together, and Wash experiences some of the first joys of freedom.