Fireflu - Part 5
Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fifth of Six - post "The Message;" the crew picked up a virus on St Albans, when they dropped off Tracey's body with his family. But this isn't an ordinary virus...hallucinations ensue...


DISCLAIMER: All characters and whatnot belong to Joss Whedon, any bizarre reference belongs to other owners of other rights. It's just something stupid-i-hope-fun that i wrote...try to just laugh and enjoy.

Remember the "laughing" part...and the "stupid-i-hope-fun" part...


When Inara received the 'wave from Wash, she wasn't precisely sure why he had chosen to speak in an accent resembling the German accent from Earth That Was, nor was she clear on why he was so very emotional about a plant dying. She hadn't even known he'd had a plant. Then he had stopped mid-sentence and resumed his normal tones as he informed her there was a virus affecting every last one of the crew...and if she was smart she'd remain on her shuttle even after docking until someone let her know the 'Going Crazy Flu' (as he'd called it) was over and done with. Since she had no desire to contract any new sort of disease, she had gratefully accepted the reprieve and, once docked safely in the shuttle bay, found a reliably enchanting book to read and settled in. She hardly noticed the sensation of the ship breaking atmo as it left Boros behind. Until River tapped on the door of her shuttle. Remembering Wash's advice, she spoke through the comm system. "Hello, River," Inara said as warmly as possible through the channel. "How are things out there?" "I seem to be the most normal person left," River said in her vaguely distracted way. "Which is why I find it necessary to appeal to you to handle the final detail." "Final detail?" Inara asked, her confusion evident in her voice. "The man is coming back to take the Serenity," River replied. "He seems to think we're incapable of stopping him. Flying is easy. Talking...isn't." Inara frowned. While Wash had explained that the virus made everyone dream while awake, it was hard to tell if River was still affected or not. "Fever's gone," River said, reminding the Companion again of the child's uncanny ability to know things that should have been safely tucked within Inara's thoughts. "Just back to before. Little gone. Little here. Little lost. Little found." "River," Inara said, almost instantly regretting her decision. "I'm coming out to help." This virus could only be so bad, right? Inara stepped out of her shuttle to find River waiting. She looked around, somewhat nervous before returning to the conversation River had started. "Tell me about this virus," Inara said softly. "Wash seemed a little out of it when he was trying to explain..." "Comes and goes in fits and fractures," River said, moving past Inara, obviously leading the way to the bridge. "Not important. The man is following. Watch out for Captain Reynolds." "What man is following?" Inara asked, picking up a corner of her skirt so she could shadow River with more ease. "And what do you mean I should watch out for--" She was slammed to the deck as Mal fell on top of her, his hand over her mouth. She struggled before noticing his hand was over his own mouth, as well. He was sweating, she could feel that, and yet he was shivering. River turned back and looked bored as she waited. Inara could easily see the "I-told-you-so" emanating from the young girl. Mal finally released her and shakily got to his feet, looking around. Inara was glad he helped her regain her footing, but was concerned when she saw him sway and nearly miss the railing he reached for. "Mal," Inara said firmly. The distance in his eyes faded and he looked at her, as though for the first time. "Mal, what's wrong? You should be in bed." "I,'re not..." he blinked and turned to see River. "Where'd Margaret go?" "Off with the dream," River answered. Mal looked back at Inara; he still hadn't let go of her hand. "You cover your mouth if they come back, okay?" he insisted. Inara nodded, not understanding, but agreeing for his sake. "Mal?" she managed finally. He blinked at her incoherently. "'Nara?" he whispered. He let go of her hand suddenly. "When did you...I...they were slitherin' all over th'floor and...I think I need t'sleep...or..." "Let's get you into bed," Inara said firmly, pulling his arm around her shoulder. "Now that ain't a bad idea..." Mal smirked. "Although...I think we shouldn't till I stop hallucinating...I might...say somethin' I don't..." His voice broke off when he saw River's look. "I'm not dreaming right now, am I?" he asked quietly. "Not as much as you hope," River responded before turning and leading the way to the bridge, and, coincidentally, to the captain's bunk. Inara supported Mal's stumbling walk past the infirmary and through the dining area before Wash found them. "What'd you do t'Will?" he asked, his voice taking on a different accent than Inara had heard before. "I'm sorry?" she asked, confused. Wash's eyes were bright with fever and he stumbled forward to take Mal's arm. "Will!" he hissed into Mal's ear. "Will! I can't find Roland nor Geoff! They're nowhere to be seen!" "Who're...what'd you say?" Mal slurred, his eyelids drooping. Inara stepped around him to focus on Wash's delusions. "Wash," she said, pulling his face to look at hers full on. "Wash, do you know where you are?" "...Eng...?" he started to guess, already his accent slipping. He blinked at her in confusion. "Inara? Is that you? Oh, finally! We've found the cure!" He threw both arms around her, dropping Mal completely. "Wash!" Inara gasped, pushing him off her. He slunk to the floor, joining Mal in a heavy slumber. Inara started to bend down to check on Mal, when River's voice interrupted her action.

"Man on the cortex," she said gravely. "Not taking nonsense." Inara bit her lip in frustration and stood, whirling around to face River. "What man?" she demanded. "Kavros," River answered. "Wants his money back. Tainted goods, he says." *** "Where is he?" demanded the slightly blurred image of a thin, haughty man. Inara settled herself in the chair River had indicated before responding. It would appear River had taken it upon herself to pilot the ship of delusionals off a soon-to-become hostile environment. While Inara was glad they were away, she wasn't sure if she should be glad River was the one to do it. "I am sorry, but it would appear the only person available right now is me," Inara wove her voice as charmingly as she had been trained, intending to throw off the man. "May I be of any service?" "Who are you?!" the man practically screamed. "Inara Serra, good sir," she smiled warmly. "And you are?" "Kavros, gorrammit!" he shouted. "Where in ruttin' hell is Reynolds?" "I am afraid Captain Reynolds is indisposed," Inara said, ignoring the anger the other man was showing. "How can I be of service?" "I want my money back!" he snapped. "He tainted the goods with his infernal disease!" "What disease would that be?" Inara asked, feigning confusion. She could hear Wash in the corridor screaming that he did not murder 'him' and, then, mumbling something about a toaster's emotional state. She saw, out of the corner of her eye, River shake her head in exasperation. "I'll tell him to simulate a new emotion," she said cryptically, as she stood and left the bridge. Inara didn't let her confusion show on her face. Kavros was still shouting at her. "I have a man down here who insists some bride is on her way to kill him, another one pukin' all over his own boots and another man swearin' everythin's 'inconceivable'!" Inara kept her face a complacent mask, although she was curious to know more about the murderous bride. It didn't sound terribly comforting. "I can understand your concern," she admitted. "But I assure you the, ah, goods are probably quite safe from the disease." She hoped. No one had told her what had been smuggled, and with this crew, it could be almost anything. However, the shuttle bay hadn't smelled as strongly as when they had transferred livestock, so she was scratching that off the list of possibilities. "I have locked on to your tracking beacon," Kavros snarled. "I will get my coin back or I promise you that--" "That's quite enough," Inara cut him off. "I have assured you your goods are safe, unless you were foolish to open the boxes in which they were stored," (she hoped they were stored in boxes; that clear concept of what had been transferred was still beyond her) "But if you were foolish enough to open the boxes before decontaminating them yourselves, then the blame lies with you." She waited for him to respond. He gaped. "If you so much as consider doing any damage whatsoever to this ship, I can promise YOU, Kavros, that you will most certainly never have a quiet night in your life again. We do not take threats lightly aboard Serenity. Is that clear?" "Now, Melinda, you needn't worry yourself," he said in soothing tones. Inara blinked. "Shuh muh?" "Don't you worry about it, I'm sure that Paul will take care of him..." "Kavros?" The man in the screen blinked and wiped a hand over his face quickly. "I think...we...have an understandin' now," he said uncertainly. "Yes," Inara said slowly. "You're going to leave us alone from now on." "I am?" he asked. "I mean...yes. I...that'll do. That'" The 'wave cut out. Inara leaned back in her chair and sighed. Sometimes, she couldn't understand why Mal chose a life like this. All the bickering and constant distrust among his didn't seem worth it. "Well, now, ain't this a sight," Mal's voice was soft in the darkness of the doorway. "One woman, all by her lonesome, deceivin' a man with her charms and pretty little words. Almost biblical." "Mal?" Inara said, moving from the chair. "Mal, are you all right?" "All right?" he laughed, moving closer. "I believe I am. And do you know what makes me all right? Well, I'm gonna tell you what it is. Power. It is the power that makes things come out all right. Power that comes from--" Mal's sermon was cut off as River hit him over the head with an empty bottle. Inara cried out and rushed forward. "Trust me," River said quietly. "That wasn't going to end well." "Peter?" Wash's voice strained from the dining room. "Garr, Peter, I don't wanna dodge traffic..." "That," River smiled, looking over her shoulder, indicating Wash's new, slightly odd accent-ridden waking dream, "Will be fun." Inara could only stare as River smiled at her. --- Shuh muh? = What?


Thursday, September 28, 2006 1:48 PM



Pity only one more chapter left :(

Thursday, September 28, 2006 2:46 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER Mal finally got to the Caleb manifestation, huh? Gotta agree with River...that would have been mighty dangerous:(

And one of Kavros' crew was one of the DiVAS from "Kill Bill"? Oh...wonder which one?



Thursday, September 28, 2006 4:44 PM


This whole series is just way too much fun! I eagerly await the next installment each and every day!

Thursday, September 28, 2006 6:32 PM


So River was the first sick so she's the first better? I was wondering if she was just trying to trick Inara out of her shuttle.

Inara talking to Kavros was just funny as well! Looking forward to the next piece!

Saturday, November 4, 2006 9:01 PM


that was so funny, i even recoginized most of the references :)


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