Shadow in the Black -- Flashback Pt. 2
Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The stowaway has a close call with a member of the crew... (Post-BDM)


Usual disclaimers apply: I don't own the 'verse. Kudos to those who do.

I'm hoping to have the flashback last about five installments (of which this is the second). Please comment -- criticsm is good, guidance is better. ------------------------------------------------------- She made no sound as she stole up the stairs and toward the left. She took care going near the hatch doors, realizing that if anyone woke she’d have to think fast or start talking. She wasn’t entirely sure about these people yet.

She smiled at the wreath of white Christmas lights around on of the hatch doors. Whoever had strung them was obviously proud to live in that room. She read the hand-painted sign over the door as she passed it. Kaylee. La belle nom, she thought.

There was a sudden sound behind her---a clanking of sorts---and she realized that someone was at work in the far back room of this hall. She wasn’t quite sure what was in that room, but she thought it best to work herself away from the light and the noise. She continued, making absolutely sure that she made no sound that couldn’t be covered by the sounds of the ship itself.

As she stepped into the large room on the left (she gathered it was a kitchen of sorts, evidenced by the large table in the middle of the floor), she swept the space with a couple of well-timed glances. Though dark, it was illuminated by the expanse of stars that lay just outside the window.

There were hundreds of them, she thought. Maybe thousands. She allowed herself a small smile as she saw the brilliance of these tiny lights. She had spent much of her life in cities, in the Common. While she could find all sorts of uses for the crowds and the structures and the objects that it provided, she knew without a doubt that the sight of these stars in the black was worth more.

She broke her eyes off from the intoxicating sight. Back to business.

She began going through the tiny lockers on the right side of the wall. There she found a number of place settings, most mismatched and a few that looked as if they hadn’t been used in a long while. She carefully took out a pair of plain chopsticks, a glass plate, and what seemed to be a tin cup out of the lockers. She filled the cup with water, remembering to let the water stream just enough to not be heard coming out of the tap or into the cup.

Placing the cup on the tiny counter, she began methodically rummaging through the remaining drawers and cupboards in search of anything edible. What she found were two bricks of a solid substance that looked as if it had been cut away at a few times. One was brown, the other green. Realizing that eating scrap metal was a better alternative than starving, she sliced off two tiny pieces of each brick and laid them on the glass plate. She’d decided to eat them cold---even the thought of firing up the stove could bring someone in.

She chewed each piece of brick thoughtfully. They tasted a bit like rubberized beef and stale cabbage. Still, it was better than the slop she’d been forced to eat in that prison blanche. There had been times she wondered if her captors there had ever even laid eyes on a working stove and edible food.

She had finished the last piece of green brick when she heard footsteps echoing softly down the corridor. They were midgrade---not light, but not heavy footfalls either. She inhaled and held the breath as she listened intently.

She began taking slow, small steps toward the far end of the room, which was hidden in the darkness of the kitchen. Only someone who was intimate with the ship could find it, she reasoned. She had only noticed the space because of a faint outline of light that caught the left corner of the area.

She used her hands to see what was in this space, and found there was a petit divan along the far wall. She wedged herself between this divan and a small armchair, and waited.

She nearly cried out as the sudden burst of light blinded her temporarily. She caught herself, though, and said nothing.

She watched as the young woman strode lazily into the kitchen, her eyes focused on the stove. The girl filled a teakettle, set it on the burner, and lit it. She reached into one of the tiny lockers for a cup, and then proceeded to make herself something---perhaps tea?---and began drinking it as she moved to sit down at the table.

The girl stopped, though, when she saw the dishes that had been left. Her bright green eyes widened. “Now who went and left these layin’ about?” the girl said, half aloud. “Prolly Jayne; he said somethin’ bout a snack earlier.”

Contented with her reasoning, the girl picked up the dishes and placed them in the sink. The girl then picked her cup back up, brushed a strand of brown hair out of her face, and made her way out of the kitchen, muttering something about having a talk with this “Jayne” person in the morning. She exhaled slowly as she heard the girl’s footsteps recede into the back of the corridor and into the room on the opposite end of the hall.

That was too close, she thought. I can’t risk that again.

She placed her hands on the arms of the divan and the chair and tried to pull herself out of the crouching position she was in. However, she found that in the middle of everything else, she had managed to get herself stuck between the immovable pieces of furniture.

Brilliant, she thought. Now how am I going to explain this one?


Wednesday, January 3, 2007 1:31 AM


I did smile at the stowaway getting trapped by something as innocuous as a couple of pieces of furniture. Not that they will hold her for long. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 10:10 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER's always the little things that cack up a good plan;)

Definitely loving what you're doing here, horatiofrog...especially the development of the mysterious OC via her own (assumedly biased) thoughts :D



You must log in to post comments.



Faith and Love Alone
A long-awaited discussion is had between medic an dcaptain over a particular incident... (Post-BDM)

In the Bright
Parallels on dinnertime events in two very different places. Reflective. Set during the series.

There's a problem with the showers aboard <i>Serenity</i>... (Set during the series.)

Cross that One Off the List...
River's first attempt at chores. Hilarity ensues.

Things are Going to Get Much, Much Worse...Or are They?
Simon muses on the day he found <i>Serenity</i>. Slight spoilers for the pilot and 'Out of Gas.' Set during 'Out of Gas.'

A look at Book's thoughts regarding a certain pair of fugitives. Stand-alone, set anytime after the pilot and before the BDM.

Perhaps Someday...
Shepherd Book muses on Simon and Kaylee's conversation. Companion to 'Comparisons,' but stands well enough on its own. (Post-"The Message.")

Simon muses on the comparisons between himself and Tracey after the funeral on St. Albans. Slight spoilers for "The Message" and the pilot if you look. (Post-"The Message")

The Marble Room 5 & 6 (Repost)
Repost of an earlier fic now lost. This episode: Simon pores over the journal and tries to locate Kaylee.

Coffee with a Side of Conversation
Sequel to 'Coffee,' though it stands well enough on its own. Mal muses over a conversation with Simon while having a cup of coffee. (Pre-BDM)