BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

WASHPILOT

Firefly: The Past PART 1
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Remember how we never learned anything about Book Shepherd? Well, this is my take on his story. A work-in-progress. If I get reviews, I will continue, so please review.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 989    RATING: 6    SERIES: FIREFLY

Firefly: The Past

There was nothing like the sound of the ship when she was humming away perfectly. Wash’s fingers flew over the console, flipping and punching buttons to prepare for the ship’s take-off into space. He glanced through the wide window in front of him and immediately wished he hadn’t, for the sun glared into it at that exact moment, blinding him momentarily. He spat a guttural Chinese curse out and shifted his eyes back to the console, shaking the spots out of his vision. Much better.

The ship started to whine louder as it lifted from the ground, spewing dust and dirt from underneath it as it left the dry desert terrain. Wash placed his hands carefully on the controls and steered carefully upwards, picking up more speed as he left the planet far behind. The sky grew darker as he went higher, then totally dark as he breeched the planet’s atmosphere. Wash sighed with relief as he saw no problems arise in the display riddled with lights. You never knew what was going to break down on Serenity, the ship where he was employed.

The ship’s captain, Malcolm Reynolds, was an unusual man, Wash had to admit. Mal wasn’t kind half of the time, and he wasn’t tactical the other half. Which meant he displayed a tendency to not like anyone or anything. Which was probably not an act.

Footsteps sounded behind him, breaking his thoughts, and he glanced at the reflection in the windows in front of him. He grinned when he saw who it was. Think of the devil.

“Wash, excellent take-off. Do that more often, and you’ll be worth what I pay you for.” Captain Mal Reynolds stood behind Wash’s chair, arms folded in a great show.

“Thanks, Mal.” Wash tilted his head to the Captain. “I try not to get us killed.”

“I’m glad you think about it. That’s what I pay you for.” Mal said seriously.

“You mean what you want to pay us for, right?” A new voice split the air; gravely and dark. Wash risked a glance backwards and saw another shipmate, Jayne Cobb walk up. Wash averted his eyes once again, knowing that a fight was about to break out between Mal and the testy bodyguard.

Mal turned, rolling his eyes in the process. “Jayne, I want to pay you, but we need to get through with this job first. You’ll get your money, I promise.”

Jayne snorted and adjusted his gun in the holster that was strapped to his side. “Well, it probably won’t go to plan. Never does.”

“I don’t pay you to think, Jayne.” Mal said.

Wash winced as he sensed the air getting tenser. He turned and spoke up to save the life of them all. “Maybe you could take this little argument down to the kitchen? I’m trying to fly this boat, and I might hit a tree out here in space if you two start going at it in the back seat.”

Jayne and Mal glared at him. Mal straightened his vest and sniffed, showing his contempt at being thought of as someone who wouldn’t pay. “That won’t be necessary, Wash. I can handle my own from—”

Mal’s words were cut off as his head flew to the side from the punch that Jayne had landed on his jaw. Mal flew sideways and hit Wash’s chair, making the surprised pilot jump up and punch a button to save the ship from going off course. As Mal lay on the floor gathering his wits, Wash whirled around to Jayne.

“Gorramit, Jane! We’re in space! We can’t have horseplay on the bridge!” Wash angrily retorted at the larger man. Jayne narrowed his eyes.

“I can’t help it. I just want to get paid.”

Wash flopped back into his chair once more, his anger seeping off. “I know Jayne, we all want to get paid off for this. But we can’t get paid until we get to a job, and we can’t get to a job if the ship’s off course.”

Jayne blinked, not having thought of that before. Mal lifted himself off the floor, holding his jaw. He spoke delicately, trying not to move his mouth too much. “I won’t remember that little spat we had Jayne, because I know we’re all on edge. I’m going to see Simon. Wash, keep this boat on course until we reach that outer moon.”

It had been a long flight. Wash came up on the city and marveled at the huge white buildings and structures that were erected along the terra-formed ground. He saw the landing dock and nudged the ship over in that direction, making sure to line it up. A crackle came over the wave receiver, and Wash pressed the small switch below to transmit back.

A voice came in through the speaker. “State your name and business, please.”

Wash cleared his throat. “Captain Malcolm Reynolds and crew requesting to land Serenity on dock Alpha-Delta-Foxtrot 3-0-9. Permission confirmed?”

Silence sounded. Then static. “Permission granted. Welcome to Tyrr.”

Wash nodded and clicked off the device. He glanced fondly at the toy dinosaurs along his console dashboard. He had collected dinosaurs ever since he was a kid, and he had just recently started the collection up again, seeing as how his old ones were back home on his own planet. He played with the dinosaurs every so often, if only to get a laugh out of the rest of the crew members, especially one in particular. Zoe.

His wife was one peculiar woman, but Wash loved her to no end. His undying love had began almost the day he first met her, though he had learned later on that it wasn’t mutual. Many people didn’t get him and Zoe at first glance. One look at him with his Hawaiian attire and her with her beautiful dark skin; they didn’t look like a married couple. If anything, he looked like he was married to the ship’s mechanic, Kaylee.

As soon as the ship touched down gently, he shut it down and unstrapped himself, heading for the central kitchen. Mal had called everyone for a meeting about the job they were about to do.

Wash rubbed the back of his neck as he entered the hubbub of the kitchen. Voices were raised, and Kaylee and Simon were arguing with each other, while Mal and Jayne were finishing the discussion they had been having on the bridge earlier. Was rolled his eyes. The crew never seemed to stop fighting. He held up his hands as he entered the group.

“People, people!” He exclaimed loudly. The noise level diminished rapidly. Mal looked towards Wash.

“Well…now that everyone is here, I guess we can start the meeting.”

Wash glanced around the room. “Where’s Shepherd Book?”

Jayne cocked his head to one side. “He doesn’t want to be here.”

Wash shrugged and went to sit next to Zoe at the wooden table in the middle of the kitchen. Mal cleared his throat and fiddled with his gun holster on his hip. “This is a relatively simple job. It should go off without any hitches.”

Simon, the ship’s medic, forced back a laugh. Mal’s ability to attract trouble was infamous among the crew, and they were all amused at the thought that it would actually go off according to plan. Mal frowned, and Simon stopped the laugh. The captain continued.

“Anyway, the way I see it, we should be in and out within an hour. Our employer, Dark, has asked us to ‘borrow’ some money plates from the printing press in downtown Umi.”

Kaylee brightened. “Oh! That’s where they serve the best seafood in the ‘verse!”

Mal blinked. “We won’t have time to stop for shrimp, Kaylee.”

The ship’s mechanic’s smile went away, leaving on her face a sorrowful look. Mal continued, trying to get through without any interruptions.

“The plates are stored in the vault underground. Kaylee, I’ll need your mechanic expertise to get past the code guarding it.” Mal pointed to the woman. She brightened instantly, glad of the chance to do something. Mal turned to Jayne and Zoe.

“Jayne, I’ll need you to guard and tell if anyone’s coming. Zoe, you shoot the people that are coming.” Mal said. They both nodded. Then, Mal turned to Wash.

“Wash, I need you to—”

“—take care of the ship and make sure to pick you up on time. I know.” Wash said, grinning as he finished Mal’s sentence. It was always his job to make sure the getaway ship was there on time. The crew depended on him flying them out of there before they became Swiss cheese with lead. While Mal could fly the ship well enough, he didn’t compare to Wash. Kaylee had once said he could thread a needle while flying a ship, and Wash took it as an immense compliment.

“Good,” Mal slapped his hands together and rubbed them, showing excitement. “Let’s go be bad guys.”

“Inara! How could you! You didn’t have to throw out the cargo!” Mal exclaimed at the Companion, who flinched as his breath reached her face. The woman pushed back a few black curls from her face and regained her composure.

“Mal, you know very well that those Alliance Federals were about to search the ship. I had no choice but to get rid of the cargo. It was in my shuttle, and I could have had my Companion license rejected if they had found it.”

Mal muttered under his breath. “And we surly don’t want to get rid of that esteemed job you have as a whore.” At her shocked look, he continued. “Inara, I’m appreciatin’ the thought that you didn’t want us—more particularly you—in trouble, but you didn’t have to go to such extreme measures!”

Inara glanced at the rest of the crew, who were watching the exchange. She looked away from their stone faces and said quietly, “I’m sorry, Mal. It won’t happen again.”

Mal brushed a hand through his dark hair, leaving it slightly spiked from sweat. “I don’t think you realize what you’ve just done.” Mal looked at Jayne, who was fingering the bowie knife slipped into a sheath on his belt. “Jayne. Explain in a language she might understand?”

Jayne frowned at Inara and motioned to the rest of the crew with his free hand. “You screwed us all over.”

Mal nodded in affirmation. “Not a bad way of puttin’ it, Jayne.”

“Why, thank you,” the man said. Mal turned back to Inara, who was hanging her head even farther. “Inara, that cargo was the end of a deal for us. Every one of us worked hard for that cargo, and we were all looking forward to getting paid. You just flushed those hopes down the drain with this little stunt of yours. But we not only lose money.” Mal held up a finger. “We have to also deal with our employer. Who just happens to be a notorious dealer who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer for anything from anybody.”

Inara looked up. “Mal, I didn’t know…I didn’t think…”

“That’s right, you didn’t.” Mal interrupted.

Inara shut her mouth, not trusting to herself to speak anymore. Mal tilted his head back. “I’m not going to make you leave, partly for the fact that you’re renting my shuttle, and I wouldn’t want you to be without a transport. Especially if I don’t get any more money from you. But,” He looked her straight in the eye. “If our employer, Dark, comes looking for the cargo, you’re getting the heat. Not me or any of my crew. You’ll pay for it if he wants it.” Mal turned away, not waiting for an answer.

From the doorway, Wash and Zoe watched as Inara fought back tears and turned to go back to her shuttle. Zoe turned to her husband and patted him on the shoulder, his hand coming up to meet hers. “Honey, I’m going to sit with Inara.”

Wash nodded. “I’m not going anywhere.” He was tired from the job, and now that Inara had jettisoned the cargo, he was even more tired knowing it was all in vain. He looked at the indicator lights on the console. Seeing there was no trouble approaching, he flopped down in his chair and picked up one of his toy dinosaurs, a stegosaurus, in his collection. He moved it across the board, talking in a higher voice as the dinosaur.

“Now that This Land is inhabited, what shall we call it’s inhabitants?”

Wash grabbed a T-rex from the dashboard and slammed it next to the stegosaurus with a bang. He talked back to the stegosaurus in a guttural hissing voice. “The Landians will be called dead people! We don’t have to name the inhabitants for Your Grave!” The T-rex jumped for the other dinosaur. Wash made the stegosaurus jump back and reply,

“No! Oh, dear God in heaven, please, not you again!”

The fight went on for a little while longer, Wash completely absorbed in his playing. Then, another hand reached into Wash’s vision and picked up his Brach dinosaur. Was leaned forward in his chair and reached for it, trying to take it away from the person, but he saw that it was only Book. Wash relaxed and leaned back in his chair again, and grinned at the Shepherd, who held the dinosaur aloft in a questionable way. Wash shrugged.

“Gotta have something to pass the time with.”

Book looked at the toy. “And playing with dinosaurs is the key to no boredom?”

Wash nodded. “I’m guessin’ so.”

“Hmm…I shall have to try it sometime.” Book set the dino back where it belonged. He walked over to the co-pilot’s chair and sat down in it. Wash cleared the dinosaurs from the console and rested his head on his hand, elbow on the edge of the board.

“What is it, Shepherd?”

Book shook his head. “I was just coming up to see how you were doing.”

Wash blinked. “How I’m doing? Should I not be doing well?”

Book scratched his head. “No, that’s not it. I’m just honestly wondering how you were doing. Just trying to make conversation, son.”

“Oh, sorry. I’m doing okay, I guess.” Wash grinned and pointed out the windows of the ship. “At least I’m not out there.”

Book chuckled. “That is something going for us, I suppose.”

They were interrupted by a huge jolt through the ship, throwing Wash and Book forward in their chairs. A wailing shriek started to sound from the desk console. Wash quickly glanced down at the console and frowned. He reached up and flipped three switches—his magic switches he called them—and then held down another one.

“Kaylee, what’s going on down there?” He spoke into the intercom. A panicked voice sounded back at him.

“Wash! There’s something going on with Serenity!” Kaylee spouted some mechanical lingo. “You’ll have to land somewhere before I can do anything about it!”

Book, who was standing to the side, stared as Wash spat a Chinese line out at the console. He grabbed the controls, just as Mal came onto the bridge.

“Wash, what is going on? Are you damaging my ship again?” Mal asked, completely calm, for this sort of thing happened at least every other day.

Wash gritted his teeth, trying to concentrate on flying the bucking ship. “No…Captain, I just decided to have a stroke. We have to land the ship on the nearest planet. And I don’t even know if I’ll make it that far.”

Mal nodded tensely. “Very well. Just make sure to get there. That’s all you have to do.”

Wash blinked. “Very well, Captain.”

A planet started looming up in the windows. Wash nodded his head towards the planet. “I’m aiming for that one.”

Shepherd Book stood slowly, frowning. “Can we choose somewhere different, Wash?”

“Well, I’m not choosing at the moment, Shepherd. I’m flying to save the ship.” Wash clicked the intercom again. “Kaylee, I need an update.”

Kaylee’s voice came through, still panicked. “I’m keeping it under control, but any hotter, and she’ll fry the engine from the inside out. You have to hurry.”

“I’m flying as fast as I can. Just give me five minutes, Kaylee, five minutes!”

Mal stood behind Wash’s chair, and Book held onto the co-pilot’s chair as the ship rolled through the planet’s outer atmosphere. A roaring sound filled the bridge, and Wash narrowed his eyes, searching for a landing spot. A small outcropping of hills and rocky terrain offered no flat landing spot, but a little ways off, a small clearing showed itself.

“Hand on!” He yelled, boosting the speed a tiny bit. Just then, all noise stopped as they entered full atmo, and then, Wash realized that it wasn’t just from leaving entry. He jammed the com button.

“Kaylee, don’t tell me—”

“—Wash we have no power! The engine is shot; we have no power!” Kaylee interrupted.

Wash gulped. He was steering on air. He didn’t blink as he started falling rapidly towards the ground. They don’t cover these situations in Flight Academy!

“Wash…” Mal said, his voice getting tenser. He reached up to the speaker.

“This is your Captain speaking. If you haven’t taken a seat by now, please do so, and take emergency positions. We are about to land forcibly. Or crash. Whichever way you see fit to call it.” Mal clicked the intercom off as he ran for a side seat on the bridge and buckled himself up.

“Okay, gang. We’re coming in for a crash landing!”

Wash’s yell was cut short by a horrible grinding sound on the bottom of Serenity as she hit the ground. The ship started to spin sideways, but Wash grabbed the controls and kept her as steady as possible.

For about three seconds.

The ship spun crazily to the right toward a large hill, and Wash yanked on the controls to try and get it back under his control. For a split second, he thought they weren’t going to make it, but the ship just missed the outcropping of stones looming towards them.

The clearing Wash had seen earlier came into view, and he focused on trying to land Serenity there. The ground came closer…closer…until the bottom of the ship touched the terra-formed dirt.

The jarring force of the huge ship against the ground shook the windows. Wash’s teeth ground together hard, and he lifted up in his seat. He was thankful the seatbelts were double straps, for that alleviated some pressure on his shoulders. He grabbed the controls again and tried to get the ship to slow down. After a tense moment, Serenity responded and started to come to a halt.

Wash breathed a sigh of relief and flopped back in his chair, panting, when they finally stopped. He had used all of his skills on that emergency, and he was spent. He looked around to find the others, and saw that Book and Mal had passed out, or were dead. He groaned and reached down to his seatbelt to unbuckle it, when a sharp pain passed through his arm and chest.

“Great,” Wash grunted, then winced as the pain came back. He struggled out of the chair to see if Book was all-right. The man was breathing, so he wasn’t dead. That was good. Wash crawled over to Mal next. Mal didn’t seem to be hurt, but the G-forces had conked them both out. Wash fell to the floor when the pain got worse. He closed his eyes. I hope they don’t think I’m dead. Was his last thought before blackness took over.

XXXXXX

The lights in the infirmary were dimmed and the room eerily quiet. Mal leaned against the cabinet, his arms crossed and his posture casual, but his thoughts were completely opposite as he stared at the man lying motionless on the medical bed. Wash had brought in his ship safely, as well as the rest of the crew; putting aside minor scratches. But Wash had been found passed out on the floor. Simon thought there was some type of concussion, due to the fact that Wash had been at the console when the ship had crashed.

Mal was impressed with Wash’s flying job. He did hire the man for a reason, and he had more than paid his way. Serenity was fine, even though the bottom was pretty scraped up, and they had lost a rear stabilizer. But he wasn’t complaining. A lesser pilot would have lost his cool and let them all die. He turned his head when he heard a noise coming from the infirmary door.

It was Zoe. Mal nodded his head at her, but she ignored him and sat by Wash’s side. He cleared his throat, and she looked his way finally.

“Captain,” she quipped, then turned her head back to her husband. Mal pulled up another chair beside her and sat.

“He’s doing better,” Mal said, lacing his fingers together, propping his elbows on his knees. “I think that he’ll be fit to fly when he wakes up.” He shifted his eyes to his second-in-command.

Zoe had hung her head, and her shoulders started to shake, proving the tears weren’t being kept back as well as she would have liked. A loud sniff came from her, and Mal looked away, embarrassed. He hesitantly lifted his hand and placed it lightly on her shoulder.

As soon as he did so, she gave another sniff and raised her head strongly. “I’m fine, sir,” She said, her voice wavering slightly. Mal nodded and withdrew his hand. They sat quietly for a few minutes, when Zoe spoke again.

“Sir, why did this have to happen to him?” Zoe asked. Mal blinked and coughed into his hand.

“Well, I don’t rightly know, Zoe. Sometimes, things just happen, and things don’t happen. This time, something just happened to happen to him. I think he would’ve rather had this happen to himself than to you, though.” Mal said.

Zoe looked at him sideways. “That was nice, sir.”

Mal shrugged. “I don’t usually refer to myself as a philosophical person. Other than the works of Shan Yu, I don’t know much about old sayings and quotes. I just say it like it is, and what makes sense.”

“Yes, sir. You did make it sound quite poetical.” Zoe said tersely.

Before Mal could answer her with a comeback, Simon walked in. Mal and Zoe stood as he approached the unconscious man.

“Well, his vitals look just fine. Now all we have to do is wake him up.” Simon said, handling a needle that he drew from a nearby container. He walked next to Wash and inserted it slowly into his arm, making Mal wince. He hated needles.

After a few moments, Wash’s eyes twitched, and he opened them slowly. Blinking a few times, Wash looked around the room, confused, until he set his eyes on Zoe, who smiled. Wash smiled at her and winced from the pain.

“Hey, everyone,” Wash croaked out, from his unused vocal cords. Zoe patted his shoulder and he grabbed her hand.

“Hey, baby.” She said softly.

Simon stepped forward. “Excuse me, Zoe, I have to check something.” After she shuffled back, he took another needle attached to a thin wire and put it into his bicep. He looked at a machine on the other end of the wire and frowned.

“His brachial seems to be a bit swollen, but his anti-brachial is in normal condition. There might be a slight crack on the bone. It shouldn’t interfere with anything, but I’ll try and fix it just to be sure it doesn’t crack open even more.”

Mal raised an eyebrow. “Well, I’ll leave you to your work, doctor.”

XXXXXX

Shepherd Book sat in his room, pouring over his Bible. He flipped the pages rapidly, looking for comfort in the Scriptures. He found a couple that he meditated on, not looking up once. Book was a praying man, and he did so; fervently. Wash had no idea what had happened.

XXXXXX

“Daiben!” Kaylee slammed her hand down onto the part that she was trying to loosen from the main engine. It had been damaged from the crash the day before, and she was trying to piece the engine room back together, since it had taken the most damage from the crash.

XXXXXX

“Mal,” Jayne said to the Captain as he passed by. Mal looked at the muscular man.

“What is it, Jayne?”

Jayne hooked his thumbs in his belt. “When are we going to go into town? We gotta get supplied up, right?”

Mal blinked at him. “I’m not going anywhere until we get Serenity near working order.”

“Why’s that?” Jayne asked.

“Well, if I have to spell it out for you…” Mal sighed. “I figure if we go into town before Serenity is fixed up, we’ll have a greater chance of runnin’ into something not likely to agree with us; our being smugglers and the like.”

“Oh,” Jayne struggled to wrap his brain around the concept. Mal reached out and patted him once on the shoulder.

“But don’t worry about it Jayne, we’ll go into town soon.”

A pause came from the fighter. He squinted his eyes. “Can I bring grenades?”

“Iiya!” Mal shouted.

XXXXXX

“I think we have a problem.” Wash said to his wife. She brushed back some of her curly hair from her face.

“What is it?” She asked worriedly.

Wash looked to the side. “Book said right before we landed to choose a different planet. I can’t think of anyplace that a Shepherd wouldn’t be welcome, so…”

“You think something’s going on?” Zoe finished for him. Wash nodded gratefully, not wanting to voice his thoughts about his friend.

“Now that I think of it,” Zoe said thoughtfully. “Book has been holed up in his room, going over those books of his.”

A scuffle sounded from the infirmary door, and Wash and Zoe looked over to see River standing there, her head propped against the door.

“Scared.” She said quietly. “Books help. Book helps. Some people don’t like Books. Some people don’t like Book. Sheep run away. Wolf scares them off. They run. They get caught.”

When she finished, she slowly vanished from view. Wash looked at Zoe, who looked back at him with an equally confused look.

“A very interesting problem.” Wash said.

XXXXXX

“He’s here.”

Mal looked up at Zoe’s prompt to see Book walk into the kitchen. Mal smiled pleasantly at the Shepherd, who merely sat down at the head of the table.

“Why do you want to see me?” Book asked Mal, who sauntered down to stand beside him.

Mal placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. “Book, I’m an honest man fifty-five percent of the time. I don’t like lying that often, and I don’t like being lied to. And I’m getting all kinds of manner of lied to with you. Now isn’t there something in that there book that says not to do that?” Mal motioned to the Bible in Book’s hand. He leaned in closer. “There’s something you’re not telling me, and I want to know what it is, right now. No more “someday” or “maybe I’ll tell you, Captain”, but I want to know now. What are you hiding?”

As Mal got out of his face, Book sat quietly thinking. Jayne was in the room as well, and he narrowed his eyes at his friend. They had gotten closer over the past year of traveling together, and he and Jayne often worked out on the machines in the cargo bay. He didn’t like the thought that he had been working out with a traitor of some sort.

“Well, preacher man?” Jayne snorted out. “You gonna tell us if’n you’re somethin’ we don’t want to deal with?” He reached down to the pistol strapped to his hip, ready to draw if necessary.

“I can’t talk about it.” Book finally gave in.

Mal stood up straight and let out a wary breath. “So you’re admitting that there is something there that you aren’t—excuse me—can’t tell us.”

Book slowly nodded. Jayne turned and sat on the edge of the table and yanked out his knife from his sheath and started to clean his fingernails with the tip of it. “Can’t trust any ruttin’ preacher anyhow.”

Simon walked into the room and headed for the tea kettle sitting on a low flame. He passed by Mal, Zoe, and Book; when he passed Jayne, he stopped and stared at the man and his grooming process with no small amount of trepidation. “Uh…you sure that’s a good idea?”

Jayne glanced up. “Haven’t cut my fingers off yet, have I?”

Simon shook his head and kept walking to the kettle. “But when you do, you’re going to wind up on my doorstep.”

“Ai ya hwai la!” Jayne muttered. Simon glared at him and poured himself some tea.

Book remained stony-faced. Mal slammed his hand down onto the table. "Gorramit, Preacher! If you can't tell us what is going on, that means you're endangering me and mine. I need to know, that way I can relish in the fact that I can dump you on some God-forsaken planet."

Book looked up at the angry captain. "Captain. The very fact that I am on this planet does in fact endanger you and your crew. But it also endangers me. I have a delicate history that mustn't be told; for reasons I can't tell you." He stood up. "The crash was just the beginning. It's going to get a lot worse if we don't get off this planet soon. Very soon."

River glided into the room. She delicately put her hands into the air in front of her, as if she was trying to feel something. She grinned. "They are close. The wolves are almost here. Sheep running. One is hurt. It can't run; has to be eaten to save the others."

Jayne frowned. "We don't need any of your crazy talk right now. You ain't right in the brainpan, and I 'specially don't want to be hearin' any of it."

Mal rubbed his forehead and glanced at Kaylee. "How's the engine? Can you fix her?"

Kaylee nodded. "I can fix her up good, but I'll be needin' some help from Wash. He has to reroute some of the wiring in the console, and he has to do it at a precise time while I'm in the engine room. That way I can catch some of the backfire it's gonna produce."

Mal nodded. "Shiny. I'll get Wash to the cockpit."

Simon cleared his throat. "That...might not be a good idea. He still has a concussion. Plus, there's something else, but I can't place it."

Mal rolled his eyes. "There's always something," he muttered. Then he looked up. "Listen, I'm not going to endanger my crew. Either get Wash up there or we all die."

"If we get Wash up there, he might die." Simon said softly.

River blinked slowly. "Sheep...wolves are here. Now."

A huge banging noise sounded from the cargo bay. Mal instantly went to his gun at his side. Zoe stood beside him, her own shotgun at ready. Mal nodded to her.

"Let's go check it out."

XXXXXX

A quick check in the cargo bay produced nothing. Mal didn't find anything, and niether did Zoe. No stowaways, no rats, not anything showed itself. Then, Jayne sounded from the upstairs catwalk.

"What's that crate over there in the corner?" Jayne motioned with Vera, his prized gun.

Mal looked where Jayne was pointing. A small wooden crate stood against some other boxes. It wasn't the box that Mal, Zoe, or Jayne were interested in, though. It was what was on the side.

A bold Blue Sun logo was stamped on the side.

To Be Continued....

COMMENTS

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 5:31 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oooh...more of the mysterious planet where Book ain't welcome. Shiny;)

Probably will save you some time and some other Browncoats' ire...but posting the new stuff as a separate part? Probably a smarter idea. Cuz have to scroll down to find the newly added stuff gets a tad...irksome if you're in possession of a decent memory and can recall what came before;D

Still...can't wait to find out what's in the crate and who wants Book dancing a jig at the end of a rope:D

BEB

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 5:51 PM

REGINAROADIE


OK, you definitly have my interest now. This is one "book's past" storyline that has me interested.

Please continue.

Thursday, September 28, 2006 6:11 AM

AMDOBELL


Sorry but that part where Jayne gets angry at not yet being paid and knocks Mal to the floor of the bridge then the Captain gets up and says he'll forget it this time just isn't in character for either of them. Jayne has his moments but he isn't stupid and no way would Mal take Jayne's actions without there being repercussions. He is the Captain and for that to work he has to be able to control his crew. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me


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Firefly: The Past PART 3
part three of Firefly: The Past. This is a story about Shepherd Book's past.

Firefly: Alternate Universe PART 13
Part thirteen in an alternate universe for Firefly. A little bit of shuttle humor.

Firefly: Alternate Universe PART 12
Jayne has a bit of a problem with Kane and the chicken cargo. Wackiness ensues.

Firefly: The Past PART 2
This is part two of a story about Book's past. Make sure to read part one before this.

Firefly: Alternate Universe PART 11
Part eleven of an alternate universe for Firefly. Wash's past comes to the front of the room.

Firefly: Alternate Universe PART 10
Part ten of an alternate universe for Firefly. An Operative shows up and wants one of the crew members. Which one?