BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

WASHPILOT

Firefly: Alternate Universe PART 11
Monday, October 2, 2006

Part eleven of an alternate universe for Firefly. Wash's past comes to the front of the room.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 986    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Everything was quiet…so quiet it seemed even the chickens had stopped their clucking. The only sounds heard through the ship were the purring of the engine and the excited breathing of everyone in the cargo hold. The moment, although only a millisecond in length, seemed to stretch out into infinity.

All of Kane’s combat senses were alive and active. He could smell the fear, adrenalin, even stomach acid being secreted by those about him. He could even feel the pulse of the man before him reverberating through the pistol Kane had against his head. It was a slow steady throbbing, barely increased in this moment of tension.

Kane knew where everyone was, what they were doing and what they were likely to do if and when he pulled the trigger. He could see the fine beads of sweat forming on the operative’s forehead: not from fear, but from his own combat awareness. Kane knew the next moment could decide eternity for both him and the operative—none of which he wanted right now, but neither would he back away from it if needs be. His hand was steady, his aim solid. He knew that the moment he squeezed the trigger the man before him would drop. He also knew that within a moment after that, short of some sort of intervention, he would likely be dead too. But he could not and would not back away. His word had been given, his gun was now drawn, and the next moments would determine everything.

Through the tense stillness, Kane spoke, “So, it comes to this. I’m not looking to kill you or your boys, but I’m also not looking to have you walk off with any of my crew.

“I am a weapon, just like you. You know that. I am sure you know who I am, where I have been and the things I have done in my life. Not that I am proud of it, just stating the truth.

“You see your soldiers…I dropped hundreds of them from the other side during the war with less effort than I eat my breakfast. Those Browncoats fought hard in the war, but they had something to die for. Do your boys?

“You see my crew? They don’t want this either, but they aren’t going to back down.

“Out of everyone in the room, you and me are the only ones completely willing to go the full measure. You want your objective, I have to stop you. You want my pilot. I want him too. Problem is, we can’t both have what we want and you already know you aren’t going to get what you came for. You will die, I will die, your men will die, my crew will likely die and your objective, my pilot, will be lost to you.

“This can go however you like: death or life. But you aren’t taking Wash. I don’t want to kill you or your men, I don’t want my crew, my wife or myself to die, but you know…you know for certain, that prospect won’t cause me to hesitate.

“So, here we are two soldiers on the raggedy edge. Two warriors locked together at the moment of death. I stop you I win, no matter what happens after that. So, you don’t push me, I won’t push you. Your decision.”

The man didn't flinch. The man didn't blink. The man didn't move. He spoke softly, knowing that Kane would shoot him if need be.

"I understand your position, Captain Kane. I realize that I would indeed lose my objective if you were to shoot me and my men. I realize that I would die. You have the advantage over me. I admit that freely."

He looked to the left and the right, still not moving his head. The two men beside and directly behind instantly put their guns away with loud clinks. They turned and walked off the ship without a word. The Operative looked back at Kane.

"I will not push you. But understand that I must finish my objective one day. Today is not my day. Today is yours." He took a step back, then turned his back on the gun trained on his head. He started to walk across the cargo bay back to his ship. Then, for a moment, he stopped and looked over his shoulder.

"But there might be some days that will not be your days. I leave you with this: know that I will be out there. I will not bother you for right now. I am taking my crew and leaving." He glanced at Wash, making Wash look away quickly. Then the Operative looked back at Kane, making sure he got the point. He saluted calmly, then started to walk back to his ship.

As Kane watched the operative leave his ship he said in a low steady tone while lowering his gun, "And I will be here and I will be ready."

The airlock closed and in a few moments, with a slight jar of Odyssey, the operative's ship was away.

What must have been several minutes passed and still the crew stood in the same places and positions that had been when the stand-off began. Finally, Sanka could not wait any longer...

He reached into his pocket and retrieved an oval object. Quickly pulling it to his lips he said, "Thank you once again, lucky egg!" He then proceded to kiss the egg with great gusto.

Wash and Jayne turned their heads to look at Sanka. Sanka, noticing their gaze said, "It is alright, they are gone, ya know?"

Then offering the egg, "Would you like to kiss my egg?"

In front of these three, Kane still stood, pistol in hand.

Jade walked up and touched his shoulder to comfort him and bring him back from the edge.

Kane, being soothed by Jade's touch, straightened himself and turned to face his crew.

"Well, I reckon this makes for a whole new game. However, we don't have a lot of time to learn the rules. We need to get moving.

"So, everyone back to work. We are still a day out from Ariel and now we have new considerations in our journeys. Sanka, get us back to full power. Wash, after you get us moving again, I want you to meet me in my quarters. Jade, I'd like you to be there too."

Everyone still seemed to hesitate as if frozen by some magic.

Kane, with a bewildered look, said, "Well? Ok...let's go?!"

The assembly broke up at that point with Kane heading to his quarters and the rest of the crew heading to their duty stations.

XXXXXX

Wash trudged up to the cockpit, very downcast. He knew he was in trouble. He had endangered the crew, even though he didn't know he was endangering them, he still had.

Wash looked at his dinosaurs lined up on the dashboard, even too sad to play with them. He flipped a couple switches and got the ship on autopilot, looking through the window and watching the Operative's ship fly away.

He sighed, then turned. Time to face the music in Kane's quarters. He walked slowly down the hall and stood in front of Kane's room. He lifted his hand and hesitantly knocked, then waited for permission to go in.

XXXXXX

Kane had taken the time between leaving the cargo deck and Wash's arrival to put away his guns and make the room as inviting as possible. He did not want Wash to mistake anything that happened now as left over energy from the confrontation with the operative.

Jade passed by the infirmary to make sure their patient, Maxx, was still doing well. It appeared he had made it through the whole series of events unmolested. Once she was confident he would be ok, she moved to join Kane in their quarters and to await Wash's entrance.

Kane stayed quiet, save asking Jade to take a seat. Moments of confrontation with crewmembers had come before. Not quite like this, but they had happened. Kane sat at his desk, Jade on the edge of the bed.

After a few minutes there was a knock at the door and the familiar voice of Wash begging entrance to Kane's quarters.

"Enter," Kane said in a bland, but authoritative manor.

Wash walked in and Kane turned toward him. He motioned to him indicating he should close the door to the room.

Jade smiled a half-hearted smile--there was no way to do otherwise considering the circumstances. It was an ill omen.

However, Kane shocked Wash. Instead of flying off the handle at him, as Wash expected, he said calmly, "Are you ok? Are you thirsty? Do you need anything to eat or drink?"

There was a sincerety in this, but also a disturbing quietness that seemed to be masking a coming calamity...much like the heartbeat of silence between the detonation of a nuclear weapon and the blast wave hitting (and crushing) the structures surrounding it.

A pregnant pause hung in the air.

Wash shook his head, indicating that he was fine and needed nothing. He kept his eyes downcast, studying the rivets in the floor. After a moment, Wash looked up and cleared his throat.

"I...uh...I want to say I'm sorry, Cap'n, for bringing in the whole crew like this. I'm not real sure what's going on, considering I was told that it was cleared up." Wash said, rubbing the back of his head. "I know that I deserve whatever punishment I'm getting from this. I didn't know that this would ever happen though. The Alliance said it was fine now."

Kane nodded to Wash's ramblings and replied, "Well, I think we all understand that, but there is just one thing..."

With that, Kane rose up and grabbing Wash by the neck and pinned him against the wall. The force and violence of the movement caused a gush of air to escape Wash's lungs.

Kane continued, "Your failure to inform me of you past tribulations just about got a whole lot of people dead, Wash. Including your hero-friend who has only been on this ship a matter of days.

"Wash, I like you. I don't like a lot of people, but I do like you. However, you have put me in a bad position. I don't like looking over my shoulder and now it seems that looking over my shoulder is going to have to become habitual to me.

"Now," Kane said, tightening his hands about Wash's neck, "can you explain to me what just happened? That wasn't just a Federal or an Alliance Military Policeman...that was a gorram ruttin Parlamentary Operative. Do you understand what that means? Do you have anything to say?" Wash coughed, trying to talk from the pressure that was being exerted on his neck.

"Cap'n, I'm sorry!" He gasped. "It happened during the Battle of Serenity. I was an Alliance pilot, taken straight from the Alliance Flight Acadamy. They wanted me to fly one of their bigger ships in the battle. I refused to do it. I sympathized with the Browncoats for a personal reason. When I got back, I was sent to an Osiris prison for three weeks before my hearing. I was voted "not guilty" by a grand jury and released. Then, I was hired by you. Since I was released, and had army discharge papers, I throught it was over with--I have no idea why they would want me!" Wash pleaded, his hands trying to get Kane's hands off his throat.

Kane let out a breath and released the tension around Wash's neck. He placed his hands on Wash's shoulders and then lowered head for a moment before patting Wash's shoulder and turning to walk across the room. Kane took a seat and leaned back with his eyes closed.

"Wash, they don't send operatives after people that go AWOL, or desert or even someone that high-jacks a Fed ship. They will shoot you, they will torture you, if the mood strikes, but if they let you go..."

Kane drifted off in thought. He had had his fill of mysteries and problems in the past week. However, now, there was no getting away from this one. He might be able to just toss the box of rocks out into space or put off the confrontation with Ramona, but this operative...well, that changed everything.

"Wash, why did they let you go? Why did they vote you not guilty? From what you have told me you are guilty. Objector or not, guilty men don't get released by the Alliance once they are caught. I been there first hand for it, so I know. So, what makes you so special?"

Wash rubbed his neck and coughed. "I never really thought about it. I was surprised when they let me go. I didn't question it though; I mean, if you're being released, then you don't complain." He shrugged.

"I never met the Operative before. I don't know what he would want with me." Wash leaned against the door, trying to stay away from Kane.

Jade looked at Wash, a feeling of unease settling over her. In Wash's mind, he was being truthful about not having met an operative before, but something about his mind was telling her different. Had his mind been tampered with? Bits of memory erased? If so, why? If Wash's guilt was worthy of operative interference, why not just deal with him in court? Why all the psycho-meddle?

Whatever the case, she knew she had to tell Kane. She had to wait until they were alone, however, for she wasn't sure what he would do if presented with this tidbit of information at present...

To Be Continued…

COMMENTS

Monday, October 2, 2006 5:55 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Uh...yeah. Why would the Alliance meddle with Wash's casaba? If he was so valuable, why not just keep him under wraps? Unless he's a spy....

BEB


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