Shadow in the Black -- Flashback Pt. 3
Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The stowaway is caught in a tight situation... (Post-BDM)


Usual disclaimers apply: i don't own the 'verse. kudos to those who do.

Please comment: criticsm is good, guidance is better.

A/N: How does one make links to other pieces of fic on this forum? ----------------------------------------------------- She allowed herself a small chuckle.

She’d managed to escape one of the most top secret institutions known to the ‘verse, had employed every skill she had learned in her time with the marchand de nouvelles, had been able to keep running when those closest to her were gunned down like stray rodents.

And now she was hopelessly stuck between a simple divan and a weathered chair.

She’d spent the last several hours trying in vain to pull herself up from the crouching position that had gotten her stuck in the first place---to no avail. She didn’t dare try to simply break one of the battered pieces of furniture from their positions in the floor---there would be too much noise.

Her legs were beginning to cramp from being squashed underneath her. Five years out of the game and I’m going to be caught because I couldn’t see my way into a dark room, she thought. Brilliant.

She began to play out all of the scenarios that could befall her, now that she would be discovered. There would be questions, certainmant. So far, the best case was that she could convince these people to drop her back at the Common and compensate them for the trouble; worst case was that she’d be sent back to le mans de bleu. She shuddered at that thought. Maybe one of them would be kind enough to just put a bullet in her skull before it came to that.

She scanned the tiny area, hoping there might be something that she could throw over her squashed form so as to delay the inevitable a few more moments. No such luck.

She tried to ignore the pain shooting up from her knees. At any rate, this had to be one of the worst positions to be stuck in.


She woke to the flash of the bright light. There were sounds of footsteps, the kettle being set to boil, the clatter of dishes. She stayed silent as she took in the number of people that had come in during her little nap.

The girl from earlier in the night was there, rummaging through the cupboards for something or other. Next to the girl was a young man, tres beau, who was setting places at the table. Both of them were quietly discussing something about “covers” and ice-cold feet. She smiled. It was plain on sight that these two were fou dans l’amour with each other.

She read closer into the young couple. The girl reminded her of sunshine. She was warm, bright, a happy presence. He was more guarded, harder to read. There were secrets. What did wash was that he was very kind, caring; he committed to things and people, even if he didn’t show it to them. It was obvious that this girl was one of those commitments, and he was proud of that.

Maybe I might get out of this in one piece, she thought.

Thankfully, neither one paid much attention to the little sitting area. She was still hidden---for the moment.

Suddenly there were two new sets of footsteps---these were loud and forceful. She watched as the two men from the day before showed up---the captain of this ship, still dressed in eight shades of brown, the other in just a shirt and jeans. The other man, at least a good six feet tall if he was a day, began poking through the pot of whatever the couple had put on the stove.

The girl turned. “You’re hungry again, Jayne?” she asked.

“”Course, why wouldn’t I be?!” Jayne said, puzzled.

“”Cause not mor’n a couple hours ago I was pickin’ up your dishes,” the girl said. “Ain’t like you ta jus’ leave ‘em there on the table…”

“Would be because I didn’t.

She swallowed hard. Perfect. Let’s rile up the hired help so that my head will come off cleaner. She silently cursed herself for not just eating the pieces of brick out of her hand the night before.

“Well, if you didn’t leave them, then who did?” asked the young man.

“The hell do I know?!?” spat Jayne. “Maybe it was that moonbrain sister o’ yours…”

“Not me. Someone else.”

The girl turned at this voice. There was something familiar about it---the light, faraway tone, as if the girl was present but lost in thought. Why do I know that voice? she thought.

The captain sat down his cup and looked at the sound of the voice. “Someone else?” he asked with a note in his voice that she found unsettling.

“Someone on the ship. Someone we can’t see. Doesn’t want to be found.”

“Well, hell, ain’t a one of us wants to be found,” said Jayne. “Not after them Reavers on Miranda.” He then paused, as if registering a point, then added, “Wha’ ya mean, ‘can’t see’?”

The girl carefully stepped inside the room and stood near the table, her eyes floating across the larger kitchen area and finally settling in the smaller sitting area. There was something about her---the long dark hair, the curious expression on her face, her ability to speak in half-riddles---she was certain she’d come across this little one before.

Little one. Her breath caught in her throat. That’s why…

She tried to make herself as transparent as possible---not that she could, anyway. This was her own doing, and she knew she had to try and own up to it. Shadows may tell half-truths in order to get what they need, but she personally tried not to lie if it wasn’t completely necessary.

By now the others had begun sweeping the whole of the ship, looking for any stowaways. The captain muttered something about things “not going smooth,” and the young man lit out for the lower decks with eyes the size of dinner plates. She knew he was worried about something, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it yet…

She sunk her head into her knees---the only place she could, really. So this is where the little one ended up. Good, she thought. On the whole, it seemed like a decent enough place to stay.

She remembered having to watch them cut the little one the first few times. She remembered the hundan telling her that if she didn’t cooperate, she’d have to watch them cut up the other Creoles until there were none left. In truth, they already had---test subjects before they began cutting on the prize pieces. There were no children in that place---only experimental subjects or government slaves.

She wished she’d been able to stop them…

“Worry too much.”

She felt the little one’s eyes boring a hole into her skull. “Nothing here but us end tables,” she quipped.


Wednesday, January 3, 2007 9:36 AM


Haratio - see this thread for how to link fics, and other little html things:

Nice fic, too! I'm always curious to meet other "graduates" of River's Academy. And her description of the crew is pretty entertaining. We'll see how the crew handles her though!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 10:14 AM


She's a very sympathetic character, your stowaway. I'd love for her to give us more of a read on Jayne!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 1:18 PM


I knew it would be River who would find her and it seems they know each other, at least by the stowaways thoughts when she sees River. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, January 5, 2007 7:00 PM


Well...always a positive sign when one can find humour in potentially deadly situations;)



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