Lost - Part I
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Well, my muse apparently only went away for a long weekend, but I still don't know quite where this story is going, so bear with me! And please leave feedback ...


They’d landed here because Kaylee had wanted to make some minor repairs to Serenity’s fuel feed system.

Although the way she’d put it was, “Cap’n, if we don’t put down now, we’re gonna explode into a billion itty bitty pieces, and I won’t be able to put her back together again.”

Hank had immediately changed course and set the Firefly down on this moon.

"How come you didn't fix it on Phoros?" Mal wanted to know.

"Because it weren't broken on Phoros," his mechanic said brightly.

“How long d’you need?” He watched her taking off all sorts of important looking parts from his engine.

“Won’t know until I see what the problem is, Cap’n.”

“I thought you said it was minor!”

“I didn’t want to worry you.”

“You also said we could blow up.”

She looked at him. “Cap’n, unless you plan on helping, and I don’t reckon you do, can you just leave me to get on with it?”

“Fine,” Mal said. “You just …” He waved a hand at the heart of his ship. “… get on with it.”

Xie xie, Cap’n,” Kaylee said with a grin and returned to her work.

“So we gonna explode?” Jayne asked as Mal stepped into the galley. “I don’t wanna explode.”

“Not today,” Mal assured him.

“Good. Got things I wanna do before that happens. Lot of skirt out there.”

“I ain’t even gonna dignify that with an answer,” Mal said, pouring a coffee and sitting down, although he did have a mental flash of Jayne and a queue of women stretching all the way to the horizon. He shuddered slightly as he sat down. Freya gave him a quick smile as if she could read his uncomfortableness off the back of his brain, which she probably could. He smiled back.

“So am I going to get to Persephone in time for my appointments?” Inara asked.

Mal looked down the table at her. “Better ask our genius mechanic,” he advised. “Although with the way she was taking us apart, I think you’d be wise to make your apologies.”

“This is the third time this month I’ve had to cancel clients,” Inara said with a trace of asperity in her voice.

“We go where the work is, and if it inconveniences you then you have my sincere regrets. But this time it weren’t exactly my fault.”

Inara glared at him then sighed. “No. I suppose it isn’t.”

“Thank you for your very gracious acceptance,” Mal said dryly.

There was a heavy pause for a moment, then they all laughed. It had sounded so like it used to, before Freya, and it brought back memories.

“Maybe you can just rearrange,” Mal suggested. “I’m sure they’ll understand, seeing as you’re in such demand.”

“I’ll speak to them,” Inara agreed. “And you’re right, of course. If they won’t wait, they probably shouldn’t be on my books anyway.”

“Damn right.” Mal looked around at the rest of his crew. “So. Looks like we’ve got some unexpected time off. What’re we all planning on doing with it?”

“I had been considering rewiring the vid,” Hank offered. “I’m sure I can get more range out of it. Got a coupla ideas I want to try.”

“I’ve got Bethany to look after,” River said. “She takes so much time …” She sounded so like a mother that Mal had to smile.

“Well, you do that, little albatross.” He looked around the table. “And the rest of you?”

“Inventory,” Simon said. “Once we get to Persephone there’s some supplies we need, and I’d really like to –”

“Doc, we’re stuck here for a while,” Mal interrupted. “You can do that any time. Doesn’t anyone have anything not usual to do?”

They all looked at each other, then Zoe spoke for them. “What were you planning on doing, sir?”

Mal smiled, glad someone had finally asked. “Treasure hunting.”

Jayne sat up. “Treasure? What treasure?”

“I checked this place out on the Cortex. There’s stories of a transport ship crashed nearby, carrying gold, jewels, fabulous artefacts. Course, most of it was salvaged, but –”


“Gold, Jayne,” Mal confirmed. “So I thought I might go take a look see, just in case they missed something.”

“How far?” Hank asked.

“’Bout half a day by mule. Have to stay overnight, come back tomorrow.” He grinned. “Make likes it’s an adventure. So who’s with me?”

Jayne immediately held up his hand. “I’m in.”

“The vid can wait,” Hank added quickly.

“Doc?” Mal asked. “How ‘bout you? You look like you could do with some fresh air.”

“I don’t know.” Simon shook his head a little. “I’ve been wealthy. Gold doesn’t exactly have the same attraction -”

“Simon, you got a little girl to provide for,” Mal pointed out. “And a soon to be wife.”

“Okay.” Simon smiled. “Should be fun. I used to go hiking with the other students at MedAcad.”

“Great.” Mal turned to look at his first mate. “Zoe?”

“Someone has to stay with the ship, sir,” the dark beauty said. “In case you all get lost.”

“Ain’t gonna get lost,” Mal blustered. “I know exactly where I’m going. I never get lost.”

“No, sir?” Her dark eyes glittered humorously.

Mal stared then backed down a millimetre. “Ok. Hardly ever. But we ain’t gonna get lost this time.”

“Well, I’m not coming,” Inara said. “The idea of going hundreds of miles across a desert to look for something that isn’t there is, well, childish.”

“That’s why the menfolk want to do it,” Freya said. “Gives them a chance to relive their youth.”

Mal glared at her. “I take it you ain’t coming, then?”

“I think I’d get in the way of the male bonding,” she said, putting her hand on his.

“I was kinda hoping –”

“No, you all go. We can have a nice girlie time together and talk about you to our hearts’ content.”

“You do that anyway.”

“Ah, but not in such explicit detail.”

He looked into her dark eyes and grinned. “If you’re sure.”

“Go,” she said, smiling herself. “Have fun. Who knows, you might bring back something wonderful.” ---

The hover mule hurried across the desert towards the distant hills, and Mal was enjoying the feel of the breeze in his hair.

“Shoulda landed Serenity closer,” Jayne complained.

“Come on,” Mal laughed. “It’s an adventure.”

“Or we coulda brought the shuttle.”

“Jayne, you could get off and walk.”

“I was just saying –“

“I know what you were just saying. But this is supposed to make it more fun. What fun would it be in getting there in ten minutes?”

“Might be rich quicker.”

“I doubt there’s anything there,” Simon said, pushing his hair back into place for the fifteenth time. “If this was on the Cortex, other scavengers would have long since picked it clean.”

“You calling us scavengers, doctor?” Mal asked.

Simon sighed. “You want me to get off and walk?”

“No. Just asking.” Mal grinned. “’Sides, it ain't exactly the reason we’re going.”

“Yes it is,” Jayne put in.

“It’s gonna be fun.”

“Is that an ‘or else’ hanging in the background?” Hank asked, steering around a small outcrop.

“Does there have to be?”

“You know they’re going to be ripping us to shreds back there, don’t you?”

“Probably,” Mal agreed. “Getting all our neuroses out into the light of day.”

“Who said I was neurotic?” Hank glanced over his shoulder.

“Hank, you ain't the only one,” Mal said, laughing, clapping the pilot on the shoulder. “As I'm sure Freya is bound to be telling everyone about now.”

“Just so long as it stays amongst them.”

“So how did the date go?” Simon asked. “I never really got the chance to ask.”

“Mal, you know that ‘getting off and walking’ scenario?” Hank said. ---

The sun was setting as they reached the crash site, throwing long shadows from the wreckage.

“Better get ourselves set up before it gets dark,” Mal said, looking around. “I reckon we should make camp in the lea of that section of bulkhead.”

A breath of wind moaned around the debris and Jayne looked up. “So did anybody die in this?”

Mal nodded. “The whole crew were wiped out. Didn’t get a chance to get to the escape pods, apparently.”

“Are they … still here?”

Mal looked at him in surprise. “I doubt it. Probably taken away when they salvaged the cargo. Why, Jayne, you scared?”

“I never said that,” the big man said, then jumped as Hank touched him on the arm.

“Looks to me like you’re afraid of ghosts,” the pilot said.

“I ain't afraid,” Jayne said firmly. “Just don’t like the idea of bodies underfoot.”

“Then I think I know what we’ll be talking about this evening, once we get the fire going,” Mal said, grinning widely. ---

“… and it is said that the operating theatre is always cold, no matter what the temperature should be, and, on a still night, you can hear the clank of the old gurney being wheeled inside, and a scream cut off in mid wail as the door swings slowly shut.” Simon let his voice fall away, then sat back.

“That was … pretty good, doctor,” Mal said, surprised.

“Ghost stories,” Jayne said again. “Why’d we have to be telling ghost stories?”

“Appropriate, don’t you think?” Hank said, leaning over and slapping him on the back. “Out here, in the middle of nowhere, in the dark … whoooooooo,” he moaned softly.

Jayne reached round and tried to hit him, but he dodged back in time.

“Can we not fight?” Mal asked. “Like having to deal with a coupla kids here.”

“It’s good practice, Mal,” Simon said. “For when Bethany gets older.”

“Are you saying I'm like a girl?” Jayne asked, bristling.

“Would I do that?” Simon asked, his face blank.


“What part of not fighting didn’t you two get?” Mal asked.

“Kids,” Hank said, smiling benevolently.

Jayne glared at him and stood up. ”I'm gonna get some sleep,” he said, stalking away from the fire towards his sleeping bag. “Wanna be up early to find me that treasure.”

“You know,” Hank said, watching him go, “I really wish I’d thought to pack some practical jokes.”

“He’d’ve killed you,” Mal pointed out.

“And Zoe’d have killed him for killing me.” Hank beamed, then his smile faltered. “Course, I wouldn’t have been around to enjoy it …”

Mal’s lips twitched. “I'm sure she’d have made sure it was long and painful.”

“Long as she did,” Hank agreed.

“So how did the date go?” Simon asked. “You still haven’t told us.”

“And I don’t intend to,” Hank said firmly. “That’s between me and Zoe. ‘Sides, you were too busy yourself playing that mean joke on Kaylee.”

“It wasn't mean!” the young doctor insisted.

“You made her think you were going to fight over her.”

Simon shrugged. “Okay, maybe it was. But I was mad.”

“I'm still surprised she said yes.”

“And you’re changing the subject.”

Hank started to get to his feet. “Looks like the fire needs some more kindling,” he said deliberately, then his head jerked up as he heard something. “What was that?” he asked.

“What?” Mal looked around. “I didn’t hear anything.”

“Like a moan.”

Simon sighed. “I thought we’d finished with the ghost stories.”

“No, I ain't kidding. I’m sure I heard … there it is again.”

This time they all heard the sound.

“Must be the wind,” Mal said.

“There ain't none,” Hank said. He was right – the night was still.

“What the ruttin’ hell was that?” Jayne asked, coming back into the firelight with his sleeping bag clutched in his arms.

It came again, a definite moaning.

“It sounds human,” Simon said, scrambling up. “Someone hurt.”

“Out here?” Jayne asked.

“Spread out,” Mal ordered, grabbing the torches from the pack and handing them out. “If it is someone hurt, they’re gonna need our help.”

They moved off into the darkness, each trying to follow the sound, until Hank shouted, “Over here!”

Mal got to him first. He was kneeling beside a figure on the ground, looking like nothing more than a rock, with sand and dirt accumulated on one side.

“I kinda fell over him,” Hank explained. “Otherwise I’d never've seen him.”

Simon went down onto his knees in the sand, turning the body over. “It’s not a him. It’s a girl,” he said, checking her vitals. “And she’s alive. At least for the moment.” He ran practised hands over her arms and legs. “She has fractures, and quite possibly internal injuries.”

Mal nodded. “Hank, get onto Serenity and get Freya to bring the shuttle,” he ordered.

Hank ran to the mule and the com.

“How the hell did she get here?” Jayne asked, looking around. “We ain't seen no ships or nothing.”

“Doc?” Mal asked.

“I think she’d been here a few days, from the general dehydration.” He opened the bottle of water and moistened one of the swabs from his bag, laying it gently on the girl’s lips. “That’s my main worry. If we don’t get enough fluids into her, her body will go into shock and she’ll die.”

“She looks like she’s been beaten up,” Mal said, looking at the damage to her face.

“I believe she has.” He concentrated on his new patient. “Pretty convincingly, and by someone who knew what he was doing.”

Hank ran back. “She’s on her way.”

“Good,” Mal said. “I want to know what’s been going on here.”

to be continued


Wednesday, December 6, 2006 1:20 AM


I liked the light hearted nature of this story and chuckled at the banter. I also don't believe the ship really needed to make this stop, I think Kaylee was stretching things to get a break so that makes me think the girls are up to something. The more I read Hank the more he sounds like a clone of Wash and I loved Jayne being teased about ghosts and stomping off to bed then coming out clutching his sleeping bag when the moaning started. So who is the girl, where is she from and what in the nine hells is really going on? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 5:02 AM


I loved this opening - I think you've done a great job of building up the intrigue while also giving us a nice "slice of life" moment for the crew.

Now is the girl a teenager, a child or an adult? That's my only question. I'm dying to see where you take this - wouldn't it be great if Freya could take her under her wing ... or if her name just happened to be Alice?

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 2:44 PM


And here I thought this was gonna be a humourous mini-arc where the guys get lost and basically beat each other stupid over minor things, forcing the ladies to come rescue them kind of story. Guess not;)

Still...definitely dialogue here and the yanking of Jayne's chain (of command, perhaps;D) about the ghosts was just great, Jane0904;)


P.S. Can't wait to see who our mystery OC is...bound to be someone interesting;D


You must log in to post comments.



Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]