Poseidon - Part VIII
Monday, January 15, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. A short chapter. Poison, I see, hath been ... well, Mal for one isn't going to see it being Inara's timeless end.


It was the middle of the night and fully dark when Serenity touched down at the Eavesdown Docks, but that didn’t mean it was quiet. The activity around the port was perhaps muted, but not so’s any casual observer would notice. Fires burned at various points, and maybe a little less crime happened, but it was only very little. Under cover of darkness nefarious deeds when unnoticed.

After a few moments the cargo bay doors on the Firefly opened, and Mal strode out, followed by Freya, Zoe and Jayne. Dillon Malfrey stepped forward from the shadows.

“Captain, Freya,” he said, nodding at Mal and smiling at Freya before turning to Zoe. “My dear, how are you?” he asked, moving forward so he could take her hand. “Should you be up and about?”

She smiled at him. “I’m shiny, thank you. Our doctor’s good.”

“Glad to hear it.”

“But not so good as to be able to identify the poison used on Inara,” Mal said shortly. “What have you found out?”

Dillon’s face became serious. “You were right. One of Wing’s men has been bragging about what they did, taking a woman from under the noses of Persephone’s aristocracy. No name, of course, but …”

Mal took a deep breath, the tendons in his neck taut. “Where’s Wing?”

“At his house.”

“Then we go there.”

“Captain, I must urge caution,” Dillon insisted. “Let me talk to the Authorities. Perhaps –”

“No Feds.” Mal’s tone brooked no opposition. “I ain’t running to them. They wouldn’t help us anyway. Our word against his …”

“Then how do you expect to get in?” Dillon asked. “Wing’s house is very well protected.”

“I know. Been thinking on those lines myself.”

“Mal,” Jayne said. “There’s always a back door.”

Mal looked at the big man thoughtfully. “Think you can arrange it?”

“Sure. Give me a little time, I’ll have us all inside.” He grinned.

“Time’s something we’re pretty short on.” Mal nodded. “Our best bet, though, seems to me.” He looked at Zoe. “Get Hank. We’ll take the shuttle, get as close as we can. Better bring Inara and Simon with us too.”

“Yes sir.” She hurried off into Serenity’s interior.

Freya went to follow but Mal stopped her. “Where you going?” he asked.

She turned a surprised face to him. “I’m going to get my gun.”

“No, you ain’t. You’re staying here.”

Freya’s jaw dropped. “Mal –”

“You’re better. Even Simon admits that. But the same goes as before. You ain’t coming. Besides, I need someone I can rely on here.”

“Mal, look –”

“Frey, I don’t have time to make a reasoned argument, and I don’t want Simon to have to dope you again. Please. Just do what you’re told this time.”

“Look, I can just –”

“Decision’s made. River and Kaylee’ll keep you company, in case we get visitors.” He turned back to Dillon, ignoring the furious look on her face. “Come on,” he said. “I’ve a notion you want to come with us?”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Dillon said, smiling a little, following Mal and Jayne towards shuttle two. As they climbed the metal staircase, he glanced back, seeing Freya still standing on the ramp, her head down, anger radiating off her like heat. “You know, Captain,” he said, “you’re a braver man than I thought. She is not pleased.”

“Whether she’s pleased or not ain’t your concern,” Mal replied. “She’ll get over it.”

“Still, the way she can be sometimes … you’d better be locking your door at night for a while.”

“Ain’t gonna solve anything,” Jayne put in. “Not when they‘re married.”

Mal glared at him but the big man was unrepentent.

“A good point, my big friend,” Dillon added.

Mal stopped at the top of the stairs. “Look, she’s pregnant, lost a baby before. So what do you suggest I do, then? Take her anyway? Risk her hurting?”

“I think that’s her decision, don’t you?” Dillon pointed out.

“No, I don’t. This is my boat. She’s my wife. And what I say goes. She stays.” Mal pulled the door to the shuttle open, glancing back to see Simon and Hank carrying Inara from the infirmary, Zoe behind them.

“Then let me call Warwick. He can at least come and keep her from doing something stupid. Like following us.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Mal admitted. “But we need to get moving. Time’s pressing.” ---

“He makes me so mad, sometimes,” Freya said, pacing the floor of the dining area.

Sir Warwick Harrow sat at the table, his hands clasped in front of him. “He cares for your safety.”

“I’m fine!” she insisted.

“Freya, you’re pregnant.”

She stopped her pacing to look at him. “How do you know?”

“The way you’re not quite standing upright, leaning back just a little. I imagine you have a very upright bearing. Well, had. And you rub your stomach when you think no-one’s looking.” Then he smiled a little smugly. “Besides, Dillon told me.”

Freya half-laughed. “I’m going to have words with Dillon. But I feel so useless just standing here.”

“Well, why don’t you sit down? Keep me company? I’m sure there are lots of stories you could tell me about this ship, her crew.”

“I’m sure there are,” Freya conceded, pulling out a chair and sitting opposite the older man. “But I don’t think I’ll be regaling you with them.”

“Do you think I might pass the information onto others?” Harrow asked.

“No. But I don’t know you.”

“I know Dillon.”

“And I’m not altogether sure I’d tell him some of our more interesting adventures.” Freya realised she was stroking her belly again and dropped her hand.

Harrow tactfully chose not to comment, instead picking up a pack of cards, saying, “Then why don’t we play a hand or two? I used to be quite the card sharp in my younger days.”

“I‘m broke,” Freya admitted. “Couldn’t play for money.”

“Then I’ll play with cash and you can bet a tale or two. Nothing too dangerous. Just to make it more interesting.”

Freya looked at him, calculating the likelihood that this stern, rather gruff man was anything other than he appeared to be. “You’re on.”

Harrow smiled and began to shuffle. ---

“Well?” Mal asked as Jayne materialised out of the night.

“He ain’t home.”


“He ain’t home,” the big man repeated. “He was but a private shuttle came and took him ‘bout two hours ago.”

Tah muh duh.”

“Is she sure?” Zoe asked.

“Saw him getting on with her own eyes.” Jayne shrugged. “She don’t know where he went.”

Mal stared at the dawn beginning to lighten the horizon. “We don’t have time,” he muttered, then turned to Dillon. “Can you find out where he’s gone?”

“I can try. But Captain Reynolds, you have to accept the fact that we may not be able to ascertain where he was headed, nor get there in time to save your Companion.”

“Inara ain’t gonna die,” Mal said angrily.

“Sir, what if the antidote is in the house?” Zoe asked.

“If’n he has one,” Jayne muttered.

“Could be. Jayne, can your girlfriend get us inside to take a look around? Maybe we can get some idea where he’s gone, too.”

“Sure. Long as we don’t break stuff.”

“Really don’t care too much about damaging goods,” Mal said quickly. “Zoe, get Simon. He knows what we’re looking for. Jayne, talk to your friend. Get us inside.”

His two crew members departed in opposite directions, and Dillon stirred uncomfortably. “Captain, I’ll see if I can find anything more. Callum is ready to … if you’ll allow me.”

“Go on. I think we need all the help we can get.” Mal watched as Dillon hurried off towards the shuttle, and he let his anger and frustration show on his face. This was not going well. It would take just one more problem to - something hit his neck, making his skin sting, and he clapped his hand to it, feeling a small dart, then the world span and he fell to the ground.

to be concluded


Monday, January 15, 2007 9:06 AM


Ohhhhh. The plot thickens even more! Thank god you're posting quickly.

I love your Sir Warrick - very plausible.

Monday, January 15, 2007 9:29 AM


Oh boy - so now Mal and Inara are going to be poisoned???

For the love of pete - Ahterton's got an ego as big as the day is long ... I cannot wait to read more, I hope you update soon!

Monday, January 15, 2007 11:13 AM


Uh oh, please tell me Dillion didn't fire that gorram dart? Of all the ways for things to go wrong, this one has it in spades. I love Sir Warwick in this but wish Mal showed a few touches of tenderness towards Freya rather than spouting the old refrain about it being his ship and he's the Captain. That might be fine for his crew but not exactly an endearing trait with his wife methinks. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:00 PM


Much as I want to agree with AMDOBELL...I really gotta back Mal up. Normally, Freya's one of the Chosen when it comes to pulling off something crazy...but when she's several months pregnant with Mal's kid after one miscarriage and potentially damaging injuries? His stated reasoning wasn't perfect, but there was no time to lay out a reasoned argument:(

And Mal's been drugged? Aw...crap on a mouldy protein cracker! Now the race for the antidote just got even more fugged up!




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