BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JAMESTHEDARK

Legacy 3:02, Seven Strangers
Wednesday, October 4, 2006

He came to his senses, staring at a blonde woman, in a large metal room. There are seven of them, and not a one of them knows what's going on, but they're going to have to figure out fast.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1338    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Yes, Season Three is still coming along, it's just doing so slowly. With everything goin' on in my life right now, this is the best I can manage. If you recall, there's going to be a lot more going on this season than both of the other two combined, so these first few are going to hold some seemingly meaningless bits and pieces of development, but trust me, in the end, they'll all make sense. Also, starting this season, I'm using scroll-over definitions for Mandarin phrases, so if you want to know what they're saying when they spout off, just place your mouse over it and it'll tell you. Finally, I have finally discarded my last restriction on my own writing, and doing so has changed the rating of this story. The story is now rated for adult language, especially right at the end. I just felt I couldn't do justice to Anne's mindset at that particular moment without relying on several choice, florid selections of vocabulary. Basically, what I'm saying is: Legacy is no longer family friendly. . Man, I love where this season's going to go... . Serenity and their like are property of Joss, all the rest is mine, gorramit! Feedback is appreciated.

Seven Strangers

There was a long moment, as he stared at a pair of blue-green eyes staring up at him, where he couldn't say anything. Then, after that particular moment, there was another one, where he wasn't sure what he was supposed to say. She stared back up, with rather similar a look on her own features. He glanced around the room he was standing in, a wide, open area completely constructed of metal, and none of it familiar in the slightest. He looked down to the woman he was cradling. "Are you alright?" he asked. She blinked up at him, her face pulling slowly into a rictus of pain. "My head hurts," she said, her voice hoarse, as if she'd screamed too much fairly recently. She tried to rise out of his arms, but was caught short, catching her forhead in a clawing hand as she grunted in pain and dropped back down. "What's wrong?" he asked. One blue-green eye opened up at him, then slid closed again. "I'm jus' gonna lie here for a bit..." she whispered. He wondered for a long moment whether he should let her go, and was interrupted when a blast, rather like a gunshot, rang out in the iron-clad area. "Oh, damn!" a new voice came, surprised and with an edge of pain. "aaah... What the hell?" He let the blonde woman lie against the plating as he went toward the noise. He found a young man, perhaps nineteen years if he knew anything about it, staring balefully at a gun lying on the ground. He favored one foot, as if he'd just shot himself in it. Dark eyes met dark eyes. "Who the hell are you?" The youth asked. "I think I'm the one ought be asking that question," He responded. "So... who the hell are you?" "I'm..." the youth began, but caught a hitch. His expression became one of confusion. "I ain't properly sure. What about you. Who're you?" He realized, right then, that he hadn't the foggiest notion his own self. He wiped a hand across his face, as if removing some of the cooling sweat would aid him somehow in recalling his own identity, but it was to no avail. He shrugged, then turned back to where the blond was lying, in a fairly uncomfortable looking position next to a heavy looking metal crate. As he crouched down next to her, he could see something clutched in her hand. Gently, he pried the fingers open, exposing the leather strap. This came to him with a touch of confusion, until he felt something dangling off of his own chest, and glanced down. An almost identical strap was looped around his own neck, and like the one clutched in this woman's hand, it held a bullet. He glanced back to the youth, then caught sight of a sofa through an open doorway. "Help me get her there," he commanded, helping to scoop up the woman as the youth took her legs. Together, they dropped her on the couch, where she'd be more comfortable, if nothing else. Jacob sat next to her, holding up the thong and bullet. "What is that?" the youth asked. "I'm not sure. It looks like a bullet," he replied sardonically. The youth shook his head, then pointed at the bullet. Or rather, something on the bullet. "No, what is that?" the youth asked. He brought it closer, letting the light hit it. Three characters in Mandarin script were etched and gilded into the casing. Ya gi bu. He pulled up his own, then. An neh. What did it mean. "I really don't know," he said. He rose to his feet, placing the thong back into its possessor's hand, where it belonged. "Do you know where we are?" "Not so much as a jot," the youth responded. He scowled, running clapping a hand to his hip in frustration. To his astonishment, he felt something there, and quickly delved into the pocket. A leather case came out in his hand, and he flipped it open. "Jacob... Northcutt..." he muttered. The youth clapped a hand to his forhead, and began to rummage through his own pockets. "Well, I guess that answers one question." "Daniel," the youth said. "My name is Daniel." "Ring any bells?" Jacob asked. "Not really. Still, it's a damn sight better than not havin' a name at all, right?" Daniel gave a pained laugh. As he limped around, a thin trail of blood followed him. Kid really was going to need that looked after. Jacob scratched at his ear as he sat down next to the blond woman's feet and kept reading. "Jacob Northcutt. Colonel... Hm..." he didn't feel particularly militant nor Colonelish, but he didn't ignore the possibility. "...I own a ship, and I have a wife..." Jacob felt something stirring in the back of his mind, as if somebody else was worrying at him. It was a damn queer feeling. And he knew, before even looking, that the blond was awake again. "You alright?" Jacob asked. She gave him a worried look, trying to shake off the pain he could practically feel rolling off of her. Even he knew it was like a white-hot railroad-spike being shoved into her eye socket. How he could know that baffled him. "My head hurts," she repeated, "but I'm alive." Jacob held out a hand to help her up, and she gave a start at seeing her own was full. She stared at the leather thong for a long moment, as if not understanding, which it was quite possible she didn't, now that he thought about things. "That's yours, as far as I can tell," he said, reaching down and lifting his own. "Seems we got a matched pair, Anne." Her eyes snapped back down to the thing in her hand, then up at him. Her eyebrow rose. Well, if she's my wife, he thought, I'm one lucky bastard. "You'd best temper that enthusiasm, Jacob," she said, a smirk showing through her pained expression. Jacob felt his skin pebble. "I didn't ever tell you my name," he whispered. Anne's look was one of confusion. She glanced around, "Yeah, you did. I heard it, plain as day." Jacob muttered under his breath as he took to his feet. This was a damn queer day, and he didn't like the prospect of it getting stranger. He already knew he was a Colonel, probably retired, and that he owned a ship. Didn't spell out where he was, and that was somewhat important information at this juncture. He offered his hand again, and this time she took it, shoving the leather into a pocket rather than looping it around her neck. As she took her feet, a voice echoed through the closed area, startling both of them. "Anybody what can hear my voice, go up to the big room in the center," Daniel's voice came from a speaker. "And Jacob, you'd best get up here doubletime." A quick glance showed droplets of blood traveling up the stairs, which made the way forward hopelessly obvious. With a subtle supportive grip on the blonde, he made his way up. At the peak of the stairs, he came to a junction. To his left was a dead end, filled with all manner of machines that he didn't like thinking about, and to his right was a large table. Already in the room were two people, one of them a tall blonde man who could have been Anne's brother, and another a tiny, extremely pregnant woman with night-black hair reaching her shoulders. "What in Hell's puckered sphincter is goin' on here?" the woman demanded, her dark eyes seeming to bury the room in authority. Maybe she was the captain? Jacob looked the blonde man up and down. The man stood like a coiled spring, and his eyes always seemed to drift around the room as he was watched, as if the man expected something to leap out and attack him at any moment. "Do either of you know where we are?" Jacob asked. The pregnant one scoffed, and took a step away when the tall man shot her a look. She let out a harsh exhale and faced Jacob again. She shook her head vigorously. "Do you even know your own names?" The mother-to-very-damn-soon-be let out a frustrated sigh. "Nothing at all. The only thing I remember is standing here with him," she cast a finger at the tall man, "and you coming around yonder corner. Shit, I ain't even got a clue who this belongs to," she growled, rubbing her distended belly. "Everything's going to be alright," Jacob said. "Just stay here, and I'll be back in a second. Anybody else shows up, just try to keep them calm, and we'll get this whole mess sorted out." Jacob wondered for a moment if he should bring his supposed wife with him, but she gave him a quick shake of the head, and lowered herself into a very comfortable looking chair. Jacob moved past the crowd and into the... Cockpit. He stared at the stars just beyond a transparent viewscreen, and realized that he'd been transfixed for several seconds, and that Dan had been trying to talk to him. With a start, Jacob returned to reality, and motioned for Dan to repeat himself. "Yes, it is pretty much as bad as it looks," Dan said in summation of a point Jacob hadn't heard in the first place. "Define bad." "Oh god, oh god, we're all going to die?" Dan offered. "The ship is pointed at a planet, and I'm fairly sure I don't know how to land this thing. The Cortex is locked, and with it, the Auto-nav, meaning unless you find somebody to land this ship in the next four hours, we're going to be very dead in a very large hole, dohn luh mah?" <> "Everything's going to be alright," the blonde woman said slowly. "I wish people would stop saying that," the pregnant one grumbled. "I don't even know my own name. What th'hell's up with that, I wonder?" "I'm stumped myself, to tell the truth," the tall one replied. A smile appeared for a moment. "Why not make something up. For all you know, it might be the right one." The pregnant one continued to pace impatiently, finally stopping with a wince and clutching her swollen belly. Both blondes almost went to point, but she waved them off. With a barked laugh, the woman turned to the man. "I know. Eve. Works as well as anything else." "I guess it does," the man replied. "Anne, Eve... and I'm still drawing a blank." "Adam?" Eve offered. "Why Adam?" "Why not?" Adam shrugged, not feeling like pursuing the point when the point could get him spitted. He looked to the other man in the room, a large, dark fellow with silver eyes. "What about you? Do you have a name?" The man stared back at him, grinding his teeth, and made as if to speak, but was absolutely silent. He even opened his mouth, but not so much as an exhale came out. Which was kinda strange, seein's how he was leaning against the door not five feet away. "I'm Anne, remember?" the woman with the braid answered. Then, she turned to where the other man was standing, and gave a start. "Where you talking to..." He was gone. Eve glanced between the two of them, an odd expression upon her, and shook her head, pulling up a chair and lowering herself into it, all the while muttering about crazy people and hallucinations. Adam moved to Anne's side, crouching down to be relatively level with her gaze. "You did see him, didn't you?" Adam asked. "For just an instant, yeah," she answered. She let out a hissing breath. "That means it wasn't a hallucination. We can't both be crazy," she looked up at Adam, "can we?" "Doubt it. Though why we ain't got so much as a childhood memory betwixt us is a cause for due concern," Adam offered. "So, what do we do?" she asked. Adam ground his teeth, not sure what to say. Behind him, he heard a noise, which he turned to face. And had to look up. Way up. Ducking into the room was the largest man Adam'd had the opportunity to meet. Which wasn't saying much in and of itself because he only knew a fistful of people at the moment, but he was hard pressed to think of anybody who would dare to overtop this man. Damn near seven feet tall, four-hundred pounds of solid muscle, the man barely fit through the door even stooping. So overwhelming was this one's presense that Adam barely even noticed the woman following in behind him. "Well, we're here," the giant said. He looked around, taking in the people. "So... anybody here remember what happened yesterday?" He was answered by a chorus of shaken heads. "Well, might as well introduce myself," he said, sitting on the countertop because the highest chair was currently being used by Eve as a stool. "My name is Casher Forsythe, and the stunning woman to my left is Friday. Don't know her last name, at the moment." "Oh, you get a last name. Aren't you special?" Eve groused. "How exactly did you figure that out?" Anne asked. Casher laughed. "I found something I wrote. Mentioned her too," he laid an appropriately large hand on Friday's shoulder, whilst she grinned like a schoolgirl. Eve glared between the two of them then moved toward the door Adam had seen the man near. She threw it open and stalked inside. Adam waved a hand to Anne, to remain where she was, which she was obviously going to do anyway, and went in after the pregnant woman. "Leave me alone," Eve said, facing the far wall. Adam pulled the door closed behind him. "Do you have a problem with me?" Adam asked. "No." "What about the rest of the people in here? You've been acting fairly harsh." "Harsh?" Eve demanded, casting a glance over her shoulder. "Abrasive, dismissive, unpleasant? Harsh. And I want to know why." Adam took a step forward. "Do you always have this bad of an attitude or are you making a special exception for right now?" That was when she started sobbing. Adam took an unsteady step toward her, and she threw herself to his chest, weeping against him. "My god... what's wrong?" "I'm so scared," she whispered between sobs. "I'm going to be a mother, and I'm in a place I don't recognize, and I'm all alone, and I don't know what to do..." Adam, at a loss for words, just ran his hand up and down her back for a while as she wept. "You're not alone, you know," he whispered, at the end of that awkward pause. "We're here for you. I'm here." <> Jacob scoffed as he looked at the chair, sitting before its array of swiches and screens and whatnot like a prisoner awaiting sentence. "It can't be that bad, can it?" Jacob said, lowering himself in the seat. Suddenly, he got a feeling, almost instictual, that this seat wasn't his. Despite how he tried to get himself comfortable, it was to no avail. It was as though the chair itself were rebelling against his presense. With a grunt, he lifted himself up, turning to stare at it a moment. "What the hell happened?" Dan asked. "I think I just figured out I ain't the pilot," Jacob laughed. He felt a grin light upon his features. "Lucky I'm the captain, then." "Who say's your the captain?" Daniel asked. "Process of elimination," he stated, letting the younger make of it what he would. He loped out of the room, down the stairs and back out into the kitchen. The number had stayed the same, but the occupants were, on the whole different. For some odd reason, he instantly knew that the blonde at the far end of the room was relieved the instant he came back into sight. After pulling his somewhat confounded glance from her, he found himself startled at one particular newcomer. "Holy hell, boy, you are one intimidatin' piece of humanity, ain't you?" Jacob said to the giant, who chuckled, scratching the back of his appropriately gigantic neck. "And I suppose, seeing by the fact you're wrapped around his arm, that you're with him?" Jacob offered to the incredibly attractive woman next to him. "I am, and she is," the giant answered. "The name is Casher. Forsythe, if it helps, and this fine lady is Friday." "Also Forsythe?" Jacob asked. "That's very likely a possibility," Casher responded. "How d'you figure?" Jacob asked. Anne gagged for some reason, staring at the odd looking couple with a face labled with confusion and disgust. He knew those exactly were what were on her face, because those exactly were what were going through her head. Casher grinned. "The situation we found ourselves in left little doubt as to the matter," Friday replied. Jacob realized that the look about her was decidedly post-coital, and he made a mental note not to examine the point any further, on pain of revulsion. "Well, while you two were having your fun," Jacob forced through, bombarded by disgust, confusion, and the having of information he really didn't feel like knowing at this particular, or in fact any, time, "we here have ourselves something of a situation." "What sort of situation?" Friday asked. "Where'r the other two?" Jacob asked. "The pregnant one went in there," Anne answered, with a nod of her head toward the closed room off to the corner. "The blonde one went in not too long after. Ain't heard a peep from them since. Figure we maybe ought leave them alone, though, Jacob. She is wound up and stressed the likes of which I pray I never become." "What sort of situation?" Casher stressed again, leaning forward with all his impressive stature. "The sort where everybody runs around screaming for about fourty seconds," Jacob said. "Do you remember if you know how to..." "Fourty seconds?" Casher asked. "What happens after fourty seconds?" "You explode," Jacob answered curtly. "Anne, do you know how..." "Explode?" Friday asked. "Explode..." "Yes," Jacob answered. "Explode." "I don't want to explode," she said, the afterglow vanishing under a wave of panic. "Casher, I don't want to explode." "Ni mun doh, bi zwei!" Jacob snapped, driving Friday back, and making Forsythe glower to shake down the ship around their respective ears. "And let me speak..." There was another long silence. "And?" Casher prompted. Jacob took a deep, calming breath. "Does anybody here remember how to fly a spaceship?" There was about two seconds of profund silence, the last of which that would be heard for a goodly long while. That was because it was that exact moment when the panic ensued. <> "Does it hurt?" Anne asked, pressing some ice to the swelling on Jacob's eye. Jacob shot her a look, and she instantly knew what it meant. Does it look like it hurt? That, in a rutting nutshell was what she could tell off of him. Sometimes, it was like she could read his mind. "Does it look like it hurt?" Jacob asked, a smirk on his swollen face. Attempting to restrain a near-seven foot, walking muscle mass was hardly the most brilliant idea, especially when he was in the midst of a protective, panicked rage. Words were exchanged. Fists followed. Jacob was on the recieving end of several people either wanting some form of physical release, or possibly retribution for some remembered slight, meaning he'd gotten his ass soundly kicked. Of course, she, with the blood leaking down from where the young 'un punched her square in the ear wasn't exactly proof to the insanity. It had pretty much flashed over in a few seconds of shouting, punching, and carrying about, then dissolved as everybody buggered off to private places to collect themselves as they considered their fate until they found somebody capable of landing the ship. Only the self-proclaimed Adam and Eve didn't bother taking part in the carnage. "That wasn't very smart," she pointed out, dabbing his various wounds. He had a lot of them, most of them old, a few newer, including a shocking one which puckered on his chest, seeming to run all the way through, and out the far side. Almost without her noticing, her fingers ran a circle around it. "Watch that... It's sensitive," Jacob grumbled as he pulled a needle back through his shirt, trying to close up a tear that he'd gotten when Casher threw a chair in random frustration. It was going to take a lot of work, and it would still look like hell when he was done, if he kept up the way he was going. "Do you remember any of these?" she asked, her attention focused on the inch-wide puncture. She got an image of lancing pain, of darkness and flickering light. She could almost feel cold, blasting pain shoot through her. She lurched back, her eyes wide, but sightless. Her skin felt, for just a moment, like it was on fire. Then it was gone. "No," Jacob lied, his attention focused on the needlework at hand. "Don't remember a one of them." Anne took a deep breath, surprised it didn't taste like blood, and moved to another. This one was a bullet wound. She braced herself for the torment that she expected to come, but this one time, it didn't. Nothing. "Stop it," Jacob said offhandedly. "Stop what?" she asked, her hands moving to the wide burn that ran up his right side. Jacob took a deep breath. "Touching me like that," he whispered. His eyes came up, sad and alone in the room. "I... don't know..." "No," She said forcefully, pressing down his needlework. "From the moment I first saw you, I felt a connection between us. Something always there and impossible to deny. It always feels like I'm a scant inch from remembering who you were. An' every time you look at me, I see that same thing, where nobody else has had it. Not even Casher and his concubine ever showed that look." "Anne..." "It feels like... you're a part of me," she forced out. Jacob's dark eyes seemed to bore through her, burning with everything he wanted to say which was tumbling around inside his head, indecipherable even before they were voiced. "I still don't remember..." Jacob's voice seemed to crack at the end. She moved closer, pressing her body against his as she twined her arms around his neck. "No, wait..." "I'm not in the mood to take no for an answer," she whispered into his breath. When did the room get so warm? She felt sweat begin to trickle down her back, down her belly, between her breasts. She pulled him even closer, wanting to consume him. To be consumed. When their lips touched, all she could feel, be it from herself or from Jacob, was need. Jacob suddenly pulled back, braking the vital contact. A haunted look ghosted across him as he said, "I still don't remember you... and I'm not sure I can..." "Then," she interrupted, shoving him onto his back on the wide, comfortable bed, "we'll make new memories." She pulled her shirt over her head, and as the cool air pebbled her bare skin, she felt herself drawn down into a furnace of passion and need, one she would never ask to leave as long as she lived. And if he tried to pull away again, she would go over to the guns hanging over the ivory elephant, pick one out, and shoot him with it. <> "Legacy." "Hmm?" Friday asked, as she nervously fried up some preserved food. Daniel had seen some of the other food on board, be it gellified or pasted protein in all the colors of the rainbow, and was glad that there was something which could, with imagination, actually be called food. He wagered it was a symptom of having a pregnant woman on board. "What?" Daniel asked. "You just said something," she responded. Casher sat on the edge of the table, since his chair was going to need some repairs before it could be sat in again. Daniel frowned, still idly prodding the odd bruise-like thing which he'd gotten during the brief melee which made the kitchen look fairly like a disaster area. "And you should stop picking at that. It'll just get worse, fester and make your face fall off if you pick at it." "Ain't that something of a worst-case scenario?" he asked. She smiled sarcastically. "What did you mean, Legacy?" "You just said it for no good reason," Casher pointed out. "It's the name of this ship," Daniel said, and then felt like somebody had just heated up a steel rod inside his skull 'till it was white-hot an' then pulled it out. He let out a strangled yelp, collapsing most of the way to the table. "Oh, god, are you alright?" Friday said, abandoning her cooking and moving to his side. Blindly, he waved her away, forcing himself back up on unsteady knees and waiting for his vision to clear. "What happened?" The blackness cleared, and for just a split second, Daniel saw an old man, staring at him. His hand clawed for the holster his uncle gave him... wait... uncle? The gun was out before he could even complete the internal question, and pointed at the ancient man with his malignant gaze. He sighted along the barrel, and watched as the hammer rose, almost as though in slow motion. The old man smiled. And was gone. Daniel stared at the particular patch of nothingness he was pointing a revolver at. There was nothing there except for an old, well broken-in chair, and he was aimed a bit above it. Nothing. Casher was leaning forward nearly at a launch. "What the hell?" Casher growled. Daniel's gaze snapped back to him. The world spun as he moved, his feet leaden as though weighted by concrete shoes as he took an unsteady step. Danial almost pointed at him before realizing he was still carrying the gun in his right hand. He hastily tried to put it away, resulting in it clattering to the deck. Casher leaned back a hair once the gun was out of Daniel's hand, but didn't look ready to relax by a damn long sight. "So," Daniel said, his skin feeling tingly all over. "You finally had sex with Friday?" "Finally?" Casher asked. "Who told you we had...?" Friday interrupted. Daniel turned toward the front of the ship, with the world looming steadily closer beyond it. Santo. The word, tearing through his mind, dropped him to a knee. He waved off the help that he wasn't exactly sure was going to be offered, staggering forward despite the disembodied feeling spreading through him. "What in the hell are you doing?" Casher demanded. Daniel turned, almost falling and catching himself from falling on the threshold to the cockpit. "You joined almost a year ago," Daniel said, sure of the truth of it. "Friday's been here from the beginning." "Wha... You're remembering?" Friday asked, her face brightening. A wide grin split her lovely features. "What else do you remember? What are we doing on this ship?" Casher asked. "What are our jobs? Does that mean Friday and I are really married, or was that just an assumption?" "One ruttin' question at a time!" Daniel yelped, staggering to the copilot's chair and collapsing into it. "First of all, y'all ain't married, just... Everybody was wonderin' when the two of you would actually start shackin' up, and looks like all it took to get things going was total amnesia. Shen shi mei, miao di jing shen cuo luan." "So..." Casher's expression became worried. "We're just..." "Appearantly, we're bunkmates now," Friday said with a smirk. She turned her dark eyes to Daniel, then. "What about me. If I'm not his doting wife, who am I?" "Friday Yiao. You're the doctor on this boat," Daniel said, unable to disguise the shock at feeling the veils parting from his mind. It was like everything was coming crashing back into place, all the memories that had gotten bottled up, being dumped back, unceremoniously, back into his waiting skull. "Well, things aren't as good as we hoped, but not nearly so bad as we feared," Friday said, attempting to hug Casher in the process. Her arms barely made it around him. Casher lost himself enough to laugh, then, draping one massive arm around Friday's shoulders in the process. "Do you remember who's the pilot of this ship?" Casher suddenly asked. "Of course it's..." Suddenly, Daniel found himself at a dead end. The information was there, he could damn near taste it, but he could peg down the specifics. Mainly, he couldn't remember, for the life of him, what that pregnant woman's name was. But she was the pilot. "It's?" "The pilot is 'Eve'," Daniel said, regaining his feet. It was still awkward and unsteady going. "So her name is actually...?" "No," he interrupted, "I just can't recall her real name, as yet." When he reached the kitchen, he realized that he was once more at a loss. "Where did she go, anyway?" "Last I saw, the blonde was talkin' to her in the nook," Casher answered. Daniel knocked on the door, and was about to open the door when he felt something slam against it from the other side. "Don't open the door," the blond man, still on the far end of the closed door, hissed. "Why not?" "Let her get herself back together, she's just had a very rough morning," the man whispered. Daniel waited, anxious enough to pace, but not confident of his ability to do so. Finally, after several minutes, the door slid open, and the man came out, leaning back with a sort of unrestful relaxation on the doorframe. 'Eve' was three steps behind him, and looked like she'd done quite a bit of crying, her eyes red-rimmed, and damp. "What do you want?" she asked, her voice a lot calmer, despite her eyes, then it was when she'd gone in. "You're the pilot," Daniel said. "Fei hua," she responded. "Not really," Daniel said. He glanced to Casher. "Back me up here." "What should I say?" he asked. Friday stepped into the breach. "You got shot twice on a job, once. And one time, before that, you got shot in the brain, and pulled through like it was nothing," she said, grasping the smaller woman's shoulders. "And while you were still on pain-medication, you managed to dodge two very ornery lookin' Reaver Trans-U's over Whitefall. Landing this bucket on a planet with dock-crews even half way awake shouldn't be but a niu nai shi ye." 'Eve' stared at Friday for a moment, then moved up toward the front of the ship in silence. Daniel was about to follow, when Friday gave a strangled grunt, forcing him to turn to her. She had a bewildered look on her face. "What is it?" Casher asked. "I have an identical twin sister," Friday replied. "Named Monday, no less." "Monday?" Daniel chuckled. "Your mother couldn't have been too inventive, eh?" Friday scowled at the younger man for a moment. "I'm fairly sure you're the eighth person who's flown on this boat what's said that." She paused for a moment, staring Daniel in the face. "What's wrong? You just got a look like somebody put a taser to your dangly-bits." Daniel couldn't help but stare at the hallway, with its many cabins. "Oh, my god..." Daniel whispered. "She's going to kill him..." <> Jacob took a deep breath, letting the heat of it burn its way down into his lungs, filling them with the sweet perfume of sweat and lust and need. She breathed evenly from her position tucked under his arm, her long, blond hair spread out over the dark sheets. It almost clothed her, it was so full. He could have just stayed here, playing with the lock betwixt his fingers, for the rest of the day. He would have, had there not been a planet preparing to make an intimate and unpleasant introduction with this ship. "You could get up," she offered, almost reading his mind. "But that would require..." "Effort?" "Breaking contact," she corrected. A lazy smile spread across her lips, and her eyes slid open, blue-green even in the low light. "Surely that can't be such a difficult thing, breakin' contact from a hideous slab of meat like myself," Jacob laughed sarcastically. "It's not so bad," she said, nuzzling against the largest of his scars, that old burn on his right side. "You say that," Jacob scoffed. "When I saw them, I couldn't even ruttin' believe it." "Well, you're going to have to get used to it," she pointed out. "This is the body you're stuck with from now on." Jacob grinned. "Actually," he corrected, "this is the body you're stuck with from now on." "No..." she said, trailing off. "No?" Jacob asked. She rose, pulling the thin blanket up with her, her eyes staring up and away from the bed. "What is it?" "The veils are being drawn back..." "Jeh shr shuh ma?" Jacob whispered. "Legacy." "Legacy? What's Leg..." he began, but was intercepted by the feeling of a white-hot railroad-spike being torn out of his brain. Jacob's grunt of pain was matched almost perfectly by the blonde's, who fell out of the bed, then began to scramble for her clothing. "No, no no... this isn't right, it can't be right..." she repeated as she concealed her pale, yet abundantly scarred flesh under her accoutrements. Jacob leaned up, trying to catch her arm, but she recoiled as though scalded. "What's wrong?" he asked as he made his way to his feet. "You don't belong here," she said, her voice breaking. She paused only long enough to pull on her pants before pointing to the ladder. "This isn't your room. It was never ours." "What are you saying? That we aren't..." "We never were..." she whispered, her eyes glistening. "But, the necklace..." he stammered. And he watched as she pulled it out of her pocket and stared at it for a long moment before holding it out to him. He felt almost numb as he plucked it up, and she clambered up and away, leaving him staring at the leather braid with the lettered bullet. He must have been standing there a damn long while, because he felt a lurch, and realized they should have hit that planet a little while ago. He ascended the ladder, shocked to see a sunrise streaming down through idylic skies just beyond. He looked to Daniel, who was headed down from the cockpit. "Did you get us onto the ground?" "No..." Daniel trailed off. "Who did, then?" Jacob pressed. "Anne did." "That's impossible, I was with her the whole..." now it was Jacob's turn to trail off. Daniel took a deep breath, and Jacob took him by the shoulders. "Where did she go?" "Who?" "Anne." "Real Anne or blonde Anne?" Daniel asked. Jacob answered him with a glare. "She's gone down to the hold to meet the newcomers." "Newcomers?" "That was our job, Uncle Jack," Dan responded. "We're here for William Kell." Jacob decided, at that moment, to ignore his nephew... nephew, when did that happen? He ignored his nephew, bolting down the stairway to the catwalks over the hold. As he reached the railing, he saw the inner doors slide open, and a lanky fellow with burnished gold eyes lope into the hold. Kell, the newcomer, glanced around the stocked hold, picking out Anne and... Sylvia... and addressing the shorter of the two. "Well," he remarked in his thick, Dyton accent, "if it ain't a wonderful thing to see you first, li'l Annie." "What?" Anne asked, her face beginning to go red. For a wonder, Kell didn't seem to notice. "Truth told, wasn't expecting that you'd be the first face I saw, Annie," Kell continued. He glanced over his shoulder and Kell's wife moved up the ramp, hauling a sullen looking toddler with her. "Anne...?" the pregnant woman asked. "I'm Anne?" "Yeah," William prompted, finally seeming to catch wind of the strangeness in the air. Anne, her face gone red with rage, turned to the blonde, standing not too far away. She took two brisk steps, to the taller woman's face. Jacob watched as Kell subconsciously sheparded his family behind him as Anne exploded in rage. "You..." she screamed, spittle flying as she glared holes into Sylvia. "You... filthy fucking whore!" Jacob was astonished as the four-foot ten, nine-months pregnant woman delivered a haymaker which dropped the ship's gun-toting telepath to the deck in a single blow. Jacob practically flew down the stairs, moving to his real wife, laying a gentle hand on her heaving shoulders. "Get the fuck away from me!" she shrieked, slamming her small fist into his sturnum and driving the wind out of him, and stalked her way away from him. Kell looked at the maelstrom with golden eyes gleaming with utter astonishment. "Mind telling my what in the hell happened here?" He asked, an uncomfortable laugh sneaking out in the process. Jacob just let himself slide down a crate until he was sitting on the deck, watching the door where the love of his life had just stormed out in a rage. He'd betrayed her. He'd broken her heart, something he'd sworn half a decade ago that he'd never do. His head fell into his hands, and he combed his fingers through his long hair. He didn't even pay attention as Friday showed the newcomers to their room in the back of the ship, and barely registered as Casher, Sylvia, Zane, Daniel and eventually Friday moved back into the hold, each taking a seat of their own. "What just happened to us?" Casher asked. "The old man," Daniel asserted. "What old man?" Sylvia asked. "All I remember were... cameras, and a city on Earth-that-was." "Legacy... It was a... what was it?" Friday asked. "I remember him, now," Casher interrupted. "That old man. He was on the set during our last..." "Set? What set?" Daniel asked. "The show, we were... actors..." Friday's voice seemed far away. "Right... and what was he doing there?" Daniel asked. He seemed to catch himself. "Forget that, what are we going to do now?" "The job," Jacob said mechanically. "Do the job... get paid... to hell with the rest." "Easy to say that," Zane said, speaking up for the first time since he'd arrived. "I still'd like to know what happened to us, back there." Jacob rose with a swung fist, slamming it into the crate so hard it cracked twice, once with the metal buckling inward, and again with with his knuckles sliding into a new configuration rather painfully. He turned to face these people... his crew... and took a deep breath. "You want to know what happened?" he asked. He waited for everyone to give their assent, then continued. "I've just destroyed us. I've just destroyed myself." The crew watched in silence as Jacob moved silently away, as quiet as the ghost he willed himself to become. <> The old man sat behind his desk, staring at the report, signed in triplicate, and the image above it. He clucked his tongue again at the impertinance of the whelp, but knew there wasn't much of anything he could do about him at this particular moment. He'd have to act soon, though. He was running out of time. "Sir, you asked to see me?" Hauser asked, leaning through the doorway. The older man waved him in, but did not offer a seat. "How are the arrangements?" "Blue will be making his announcement in a few days, sir," Hauser informed. "You have until then, I suppose, to make your claim." The older man turned in his chair, running his fingers through his long, greying blonde hair, as he stared at the emblem of the Blue Sun Corporation, hanging proudly behind his desk. "Blue and I see eye to eye on many things," he said over his shoulder. "We both understand that the divorce between the Corporation and the Alliance government was regrettable but inevitable. They were becoming dependant, and that is something we can not abide. Not now, not ever. It would go against everything this Corporation stands for." "Indeed it would, sir," Hauser replied. "Still, should things go poorly, may I take... precautions?" He cast a smile, cold and sterile as the sign over his head, across his shoulder. "Of course, mister Hauser. I wouldn't have any use for you if you did not, you understand?" "Of course, sir," Hauser said, his eyes seeming to catch on the file the older man had been reading. "Hmm..." "Pardon me?" the older man said, turning to face his lackey. "Oh, I'm sorry, It's just that I've met this man," Hauser said. "And what can you tell me about him?" the older man probed. "He killed my last employer, and I couldn't find any problem with him doing so," Hauser said. "So this man shot him?" "No, with a sword," Hauser corrected. "Wing was becoming... as you would say, a liability." "And his widow?" the older man inquired. "What about her?" "Banning Wing, formerly Banning Miller? She's a child with a woman's age and nothing else. Were she not rich, she'd be whoring herself on a corner," the older man smiled at Hauser's veracity. "I believe my questions were as to the nature of your employer's killer, mister Hauser." "Ah, forgive my wandering tongue," Hauser rubbed his chin. "He's dangerous, sir. And he is becoming more dangerous with every passing day." "Really?" "You asked my opinion, and that is it," Hauser said simply. The older man frowned running calloused fingers along the deep furrows age had settled into his face. "Indeed... See yourself out. And do try to be subtle, mister Hauser. No point in showing my hand too early, dohn luh mah?" Hauser excused himself, and the older man picked up the flexi and stared the scarred man in the face. "What are you getting yourself into, son?" Elias Greyson asked. "What are you getting yourself into?"

COMMENTS

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 6:51 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


To take up RealAnne's emotional thread: holy fuggin' shit! This was "Spin the Bottle" on nasty street drugs;D

Definitely can't wait to see how Jacob's understandable mistake is gonna ruin his life and Anne's. Cuz he's gonna be hating himself worse than Mal did/should have when Inara caught him coming out of Nandi's room in "Heart of Gold" :(

And Jacob's dad is the head of Blue Sun? Oh...that's deliciously dirty and perfect, JtD!

BEB


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