Labyrinth [Part 7]
Thursday, October 5, 2006

Continuing on Avalon. Vera and Jayne get a surprise via her lawyer. Garden labyrinth. River gets some 'practical help' [Adult warning particularly for the subject matter]. Big clue on possible location of 'high tower'. Time passes; Kaylee's pregnancy develops.



I'm not the same a warrior soul that burns away for love I'm in a haze but there's a light, riding from her face Maybe it could be love, 'cause you're the one who can move my heart, no more rain on us a new day will shine... Something inside: a strange feel I never had in all my life... Now I know it's love, 'cause you're the one who can move my heart, no more rain on us a new day will shine... ... I've left my old life behind...

Love – Labyrinth

[The town of Avalon is very similar to Glastonbury, UK. A fair scattering of CGI and Glastonbury would be the ideal location shoot! A thinly veiled Bill Bryson lookalike appears as a lawyer in this part!] * Vera and Jayne enjoyed the side benefits of a long lie in and then went to the galley. River was dancing on the table, bare-foot. “We gotta eat off of that!” Jayne protested, conveniently ignoring the use he and Vera had put the table to just recently. River stretched her arms up and her feet moved right to the area of table where Jayne and Vera had been intimately joined twice over, “Pleasure.” Mal came in behind them, “River?” “All better now. Pleasure and joining and release.” “I'm gonna skip right past the bit where I'd ask for an explanation and suggest you find a cloth and some stuff to clean the table.” River grinned, “My feet are clean!” “That's as maybe, but I want my breakfast to stay down. Please River, clean the table 'fore we eat.” * Vera was trying very hard to look innocent and *definitely not at Jayne. She was remembering dragging Jayne in here on the pretext of needing a stiff drink and then pulling him over to the table, dispensing with her undies and demanding that he make her feel alive again. There'd been a big aching need inside her and he'd been pretty eager to assuage it; especially since they'd had several hours on their own without interruption. The first time on the table had been pretty basic and animal for both of them, then he'd helped her out of most of the rest of her clothes apart from her stockings and shoes. She'd returned the favour with his clothes and then things had gone into the slow, detailed and drawn out seduction side of things, ending up with long, slow and intense coupling. After that, with her still sitting on him in the Lotus position, her grief had finally really hit and he'd held her and rocked her until her tears finally ground to a halt. Vera and Jayne had much later cleaned the table pretty thoroughly themselves. * River jumped down from the table and smiled at Vera and Jayne, “All better now!” Vera just about managed the right kind of smile, “I'm getting there; thank-you River.” “He holds you, makes you feel safe.” “Yes; sometimes.” “And you do the same for him.” Jayne automatically protested, “Hey! I ain't no lily livered weakling!” Vera gently punched his arm. River kept right on going, “You need her. She needs you. She wraps you inside her welcome and hugs you tight and makes you big and strong.” Jayne's grin went wicked. This was getting too close to talk of ploughs and furrows for Mal, “River, enough, please!” River turned to him, “What was that thought of yours about ploughs and furrows?” She had her head on one side, considering, “Oh. Never thought of sex in those terms before. I'll have to ponder about that.” Mal groaned, especially when Inara slipped past him, with a secret smile on her face, “River; the table! Everyone else, making the breakfast. Next person who breathes anything about sex won't get fed!” * “So; anything interesting in the psycho's effects?” Hori shrugged, “Not much, eh. Change of clothes and a bolt of very nice cloth, some coin and a whole raft of very carefully faked I.D.s.” Mal turned to him, “Any of those I.D.s adaptable to us?” “Maybe; though we'd have to tweak them a fair bit. I'll see what I can do, eh. The cloth would make dresses for all the ladies on board.” Inara looked at him, “There's that much?” “I think so, eh. It's blue and covered with Oriental scenes, maybe even silk or a good fake. I'll give it to you later, Inara.” Mal carried on, “And the other room cleaned up okay?” Hori nodded, “Zoe helped while Vera and the rest of you were dealing with the funeral plans. It's probably now the cleanest room on board, eh.” He turned to Vera, “Sorry I couldn't be in two places at once; you had enough to deal with.” River looked into the distance, “They're at peace now. All of them.” Vera put her hand over River's, “Thanks, River.” Mal looked at her, “You gonna be okay?” Vera nodded, “I've got to go hear the will read in an hour or so. Don't expect much money or any surprises. After that, we can go the the home to collect my mother's few effects from there and we can wander around the grounds and labyrinth, having a snoop.” “Sounds like a plan.” * Everyone left Serenity after breakfast. They climbed the modest, but rather steep slope to look over Avalon's main town. It lay nestled on about four hills, surrounded on all four sides by low, flat, lush green fields. From the main hill behind the east of the town, four monorails on stilts marched across the countryside in the main directions of the compass. Vera started speaking, “The sea or the big river often flood the whole plain. The monorail and air ships keep the town connected to other settlements. I used to have a small motorised boat when I lived here. The hills to the north give limestone and sheep in about equal quantities. Everything comes here for the space port, so Avalon town thrives. The mud from river and sea enriches the farming land. It's a muddy and wet existence sometimes, but profitable.” Kaylee pointed, “Is that a lighthouse on the big hill over there?” Vera nodded, “Lighthouse, watchtower and fortress all in one. The whole hill underneath is hollow and stocked with stuff to withstand a siege. Push comes to shove, the whole population can live under that hill.” They walked on towards the town. * Meanwhile, not so far away in the same system, a young man was seated in a hi-tech looking circular grey room, shirtless, deep in meditation. He was about twenty one years old and had the cheekbones and colouring to indicate some Chinese blood. Standing, he'd reach nearly six foot and had the rangy musculature usually associated with a gymnast or Tai Chi adept. Dark burgundy, almost black hair with whorls of the same covering his chest. He smiled warmly, deep in his mind. “Yes, sweetheart. I think I got your attention. Please think about what happened and listen out for me, then come and rescue me.” * Jayne went with Vera to the lawyer's office. Mr Williams was somewhere in his fifties, a greying redhead with spectacles and a jolly disposition. Vera smiled and shook his hand, “Nice to see you again, Bryan.” Bryan smiled gently, “Sorry it couldn't be under better circumstances. The will basically leaves what little estate there is to you as sole heir. I've got everything in this small trunk.” He lifted up a small metal trunk about two foot by one foot deep by one foot high, “It's mostly papers, plus a few items of your late aunt's more exotic Companion's clothing. The only surprise to me was a letter drafted by your late father some forty odd years ago. He had a passionate fling in his youth with a lady rejoicing in the name of Melchior Briggs.” Jayne sat up, suddenly alert, “Had me a distant aunt or summat of my Pa's called that.” Bryan turned to him, “That's why I asked you to be here. Did she have children?” “Just the one. Girl 'bout my own age called Jenneth.” Bryan produced the photos and Jayne boggled, “That's cousin Jenneth all right!” Vera got there before Jayne, “So, I have – or had - a half sister who's some kind of kin to Jayne?” Bryan nodded, “As far as I can tell from my enquiries, you're half third cousins once removed.” Jayne grinned at Vera, “We're kin?” Then his eyes narrowed, “We are allowed to be wed, aren't we?” Bryan nodded, “That far apart on the family tree isn't considered incest in anyone's books! You can rest easy.” Jayne turned a big, wide grin back to Vera, “We're kin! Ma will be thrilled skinny when I write her 'bout this! Yer a Cobb twice over, darlin'!” Vera smiled at that and then asked another question, “Is Jenneth still alive?” Jayne frowned, “Think so, though Lord alone knows where in the 'verse she is.” “It's been a long time since I had a sister. It'd be nice to think we could at least meet.” With a few more formalities and pleasantries, business was concluded and Jayne carried the metal trunk back to the mule outside. They proceeded to the home, where the others were waiting. * Vera put her hand on Jayne's arm as they were flying the mule over, “Can we keep this to ourselves for now?” His eyebrow flicked, “That I can call you 'cuz' and mean it?” She chuckled, “Yes. Though you do realise I'll be calling you 'cuz' right back!” His lips twitched, “Kissing cousins.” “Later!” “Like the thought of us mebbe pretendin' to fight a forbidden desire and not bein' able to stop ourselves giving' in ta it.” “As in, 'we mustn't, we shouldn't, it's not allowed, but we just have to...?'” Jayne grinned and nodded, “Yeah; like that!” “Well, give me a few days, Jayne. Still a tad fragile.” Jayne looked suitably abashed, “Done gone put my size twelves right in it again.” Vera touched his hand, “Not so much. It'll be...delicious. Just need a little breathing space and being held very close in bed.” “Hold ya close anyway! And with you being distant kin n' all; s'gonna take a nuke to prise me away from you!” “I know, darling wan nao. Till death and all that.” At that moment the mule was close to the rest home and they nodded to each other in silent agreement, before reverting to more mundane conversation. * It didn't take too long for Vera to collect the few things that had been boxed up from her mother's old room, then everyone went for a 'stroll' in the extensive gardens. “What are we looking for, Mal?” she asked. Mal shrugged, “Not sure. Anything that screams 'Alliance', anything that might direct us to the 'High Tower', anything that even hints it was made by the 'sky gods'.” Zoe responded, “And we don't know who they were, sir.” Mal shook his head, “No we don't. River?” “Her ears are listening to the music. It sings to her, calls her.” “Is in this garden?” “The labyrinth. Echoes of the music.” “To the labyrinth it is. Vera?” She pointed left, “Over there. It's made out of fragrant juniper and tall box and other hedge-type trees and bushes I don't know the name of.” Hori followed the direction with is eyes, “The big green mass of foliage with the ponga tree sticking up out of it?” Vera laughed, “Yes, Hori. I should have known you'd recognise an old Kiwi tree! It's in the middle with a circular seat around the bottom.” * So they walked across the grass to the opening of the labyrinth. The gap in the hedge was about five feet wide and marked by a decorative metal trellis with wisteria growing over it. The path inside went straight or some way, then turned to the right. “It's just trees 'n stuff!” Jayne complained. “Keep your eyes open Any little thing that doesn't look right.” Vera frowned, “Been in this labyrinth a few times, can't think of anything. But now I'm on the alert for strangeness.” They carried on, following the twists and turns right to the middle. There was the ponga tree, in a circular glade, with it's hairy brown trunk and floppy green leaves, a white circular wooden seat right around the base. Everyone set to searching the glade with great care. River stared at the tree, “It is like something else, something nearby.” Mal looked at her, “River?” “The tree is a sign, a clue. There is another twisting path with a tower at its heart. The tower of secrets, of resolution. The music comes from the tower made by human hands.” “The High Tower?” “Clouds, sky. And a prince, trapped by a wicked wizard,” River whirled and turned to Mal, “It is my destiny, our destiny, to free him.” * “Wicked wizard?” Vera questioned, “Sounds like that evil bastard Niska.” Jayne and Mal looked at her, “You know him?” “Only because he's got a rap sheet as long as my arm for muscling in on both Venice *and getting his mucky hands on the taboo Maori gems on Beltane about twenty years back. And as for that big, blonde, tattooed psycho of his...” She shuddered. Jayne broke in, “Don't you worry 'bout that blonde thug. Mal killed him!” Vera's eyebrows went up as she turned to Mal, “Gunfight?” “No, I kicked him into Serenity's engine while it was turning!” Vera grinned at him, “I knew there was a reason I liked you! Nevertheless if Niska's at the end of this, it'll be time for Sheriff Vera to dust off her badge and be suddenly found alive and well.” “Be right behind you, Vera,” Hori commented. “You need evidence against him, I've got a sewn-on ear he cut off says he deserves death.” Zoe added, “He tortured my husband *and Mal.” Mal carried on, back on the main topic, “Vera, do you know any tall structures in the system?” She frowned, “River said 'clouds and sky'. Sounds really tall. I don't know of anything, but I've only been back a handful of times since I was about seventeen. We'd better ask Doctor Cartwright or my lawyer.” * Doctor Cartwright proved helpful, “There's a very tall skyscraper overlooking one of the bays of Paravel on Narnia. It used to be a tourist attraction ten years ago, but the six month winters really ate into what little profit there was from seeing the spectacular view. It's been abandoned and strictly off-limits since then, *and it's got no visible means of getting into it from outside any more. The structure may be completely unsound by now. Problem is, winter's just arrived and there's no way you're going to get to Paravel until spring; not even in Serenity. Landings would be suicide in that weather, with it being utter night and fantastically cold. You'd freeze to death in seconds. Everyone on Narnia will be sealed underground in the winter thermal bunkers.” Mal frowned, “I don't want to twiddle my fingers till then! Any chance of some paid work to keep us going?” Cartwright nodded, “I could use another 'ambulance' ferrying patients in the system and supplies will need taking regularly to the moon bases. I'll contact the large goods' suppliers; we'll find you steady paid work.” “I'll contact my lawyer as well, Mal.” “Gonna be boring!” That was Jayne, making a point. “I have a feeling that spring will provide all the thrills you need, Jayne.” * On Serenity, hauling cargo in the Mythic system: four months later * River went to Inara privately, “Sex is pleasurable, I know that, but...” “What is it, River?” “I'm a virgin, but I feel everything from all of you when you're making love, so I know what happens. Thing is, I can't seem to do it by myself.” Inara cut to the chase, “You want to orgasm?” River nodded. Inara gave River some pointers. River nodded when she was done, “Yes; I get almost there and then...nothing.” “Ah.” Inara fetched out a small, battery powered object, “Try using that when you get 'almost there' next time.” River switched it on and felt it against her hand, “Yes. The oscillations should bring about the desired cataclysm.” Inara chuckled gently, “Something like that!” * Mal sat up in bed, “What was that? Felt like the ship rocked!” He got out of bed and clambered up the steps. Inara slipped into her robe, following him, slightly more certain of what had probably just happened. * Jayne's mouth was next to Vera's neck, “Was that you?” She sleepily shook her head and smiled, “Might have been, the pleasure you often give me; but I think that was River.” Jayne grinned at her in the semi-darkness, “Little Albatross Moonbrain was 'flying solo'?” “That's what I'd guess. With her being psychic and able to feel *everything, I'd guess the first time she managed it by herself, it might be a bit...overwhelming.” Jayne's large hand slowly cupped one of her her breasts, “Let's give her sommat of our own to think about right back!” * Simon sat up in the large hammock slung over the engine, “River?” Kaylee pulled him back down, “She was talking about batteries and sex earlier. Offered her one of my 'toys', but she said Inara had given her something did she put it...'make my furrow blossom'.” “My sister's...” Simon paused, getting his mind and mouth around the word, “masturbating?!?” Kaylee stroked his face, “She's in a ship with three couples having *very pleasurable sex and maybe two others at least thinkin' about it, it was bound to happen sooner or later. You've noticed the way her conversation tends to go t'wards sex?” Simon ran his hands through his hair, “But she's my little sister!” “She's eighteen, sweetie. And apparently not had an orgasm before, poor baby. It was more 'n time she learned herself how to do that. I was doing it fer myself at thirteen!” Simon grinned and turned to her, “I'll bet you were! I know I was; dreaming of a wild, passionate, earthy woman who would take me in hand and blow my mind!” Kaylee's smiled back at him, “You got yerself one of those, sweetie!” * Mal called a table conference next morning, “River?” “Sorry. It was Couldn't help shouting out in my mind with the pleasure.” Jayne slashed a grin, “Made the 'verse move, did ya, girl?” Vera looked at him, “Jayne, please. Any more teasing River and I'll go public on our love life.” Mal carried on, “River; I'd consider it a mercy if you could keep future...incidents to yourself.” River looked right at him, “Now you know how *I feel.” Mal had the grace to look uncomfortable, “Guess so; but we simple mortals can't control our minds yet. Thinking you can.” “I will. Sorry, Simon.” “Mei-mei; I suppose I knew it had to happen sooner or later, but you still seem like a kid to me.” * Avalon, flying on a delivery job: almost at the end of the six months' wait * Kaylee was tending the engine with Simon keeping her company. She looked up suddenly, “Simon!” Simon checked her over, “Oh, my goodness, your waters broke. Stay right there!” She managed a chuckle, “I'm the size of a house! I ain't going anywhere!” “Mal! We need a hospital and we need one now!” Mal turned to Simon, “It's time already? Those twins of yours can't be born in the air?” Simon had the distraught look of all first time fathers, “Well, the first one's breach and the second is lying crossways. I can deliver them, but there could be all sorts of complications. Could be hard on Kaylee too.” Mal sighed and went to where Hori was steering the ship, “Any hospitals with delivery suites in this part of Avalon?” Hori consulted the local information, “Brand spanking new hospital with maternity facilities at Ynis Witrin; it's an island about an hour away.” “Call 'em up and tell them they've got a mother with twins heading their way. Then tell our client we're making a small diversion, we'll be a little late.” Mal stomped back to the engine room and gave Kaylee and Simon the news, “Can you land this thing safely whilst in labour?” “I'll be shiny; it ain't hurtin' yet!” “Yeah, well tell Simon what to do just in case. I'll go get Vera to lend you a hand as well.” Vera nodded when she heard the destination, “Rich folks' holiday island. Was unoccupied and barren when I was a child, but I hear they found underground springs and now it's a 'des res' place to live if you've got the coin. The hospital will be the best money can buy,” She held Kaylee's hand, “Between the hospital and Simon, you'll be in the best hands outside the Core.” *


Thursday, October 5, 2006 9:47 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER! Now that would have been the pinnacle of post-Miranda episode hilarity if River's first orgasm came while she was flying ths ship...or did her powers just go offensive?


Definitely been missing this series, and I can't wait to see what you got up your sleeve next;)


Thursday, October 5, 2006 9:47 AM


Oh...and I think you meant "Between the hospital and Simon, you'll be in the best hands outside the Core," not "Between the hospital and Simon, you'll be in the best hands outside the Cortex"



Friday, October 6, 2006 2:59 AM


So I did <G>. Spoo for brains <G>.



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