The Hunt - Part IX
Monday, February 19, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. The crew are trying to come to terms with the damage done to Freya ... please leave feedback/ratings.


Sir Warwick Harrow appeared on the screen, surprising Zoe. “Good to see you again,” he said, adjusting his sash a little.

“Sir Warwick. I didn’t expect -”

“Dillon and I are working together on this,” Harrow said. “Have you got any news?”

“We … we’ve found Freya.”


“On Whitefall. Wrapped in a tarp.“ Zoe took a breath. “He tortured her, Sir Warwick. For no reason other than to get at Mal. To make him feel …” She was trying very hard not to show the anger and turmoil inside herself, but only someone who didn’t know her wouldn't see it. She shook her head. “He thought he’d killed her, I’m sure of that.”

“But she’s alive?” Harrow’s face had paled.

“Barely. Our doc has her stabilised, but … they damn near broke every bone in her body.”

“Merciful Buddha.” He closed his eyes, offering a swift prayer. “But you’re sure it was Xavier Wing?”

“We know it was.”

“How can you –”

“Just take my word for it.”

“I just find it difficult to believe that even he would go so far as to orchestrate this.”

“We have proof.”

Harrow looked up sharply. “Then the Alliance – ”

“No Feds,” Mal said from the doorway. He stepped onto his bridge. “This ain’t anything to do with them. It’s between Wing and me.”

Harrow stared at the younger man, the total conviction emanating from him, and nodded. “Well, we can discuss that.” He glanced off-screen. “Wing is almost as much of a recluse as his son, but less than a week ago he was on Persephone at his estate. He left at the same time as … as Freya was taken.”

“And now?”

“We’re having trouble tracking him down. He pays a great deal of money to keep his movements secret, but he will surface again.”

“If you have to pay to find him, I’ll get the money to you. Somehow.”

Harrow shook his head. “No, captain. There’s never been any question of that. I’ll be in touch as soon as we hear something.”


“And … we’re all praying for Freya, please remember that.”


The screen went to static and Mal switched it off. “He’s a good man,” he muttered to himself.

“There are some around,” Zoe agreed. As Mal turned slowly to leave the cockpit she spoke again. “Sir … why didn’t Wing go after Harrow? Or Dillon Malfrey? They were involved in the death of his son as well.”

Mal turned back to look at her. “Who’s to say he wouldn’t have? ‘Cept maybe they’re too rich, too powerful to make it easy for him like we did.” There was bitterness in his voice.

“We didn’t.”

“Sure we did.” He stepped closer to her. “We fly around this ‘verse like we own it, like everyone else is existing just by our good graces. Time had to come when we got caught.” He closed his eyes. “Only it should be me down there. Not Frey.” He turned to head back to the infirmary.

“Sir …”

Mal didn’t even show he’d heard her.


“Why ain’t she awake?”

“I’m keeping her under.”

“Simon, I need to speak to her.”

“I’m not bringing her out just so you can ask questions!” Simon was outraged.

“I need to know she’s alive!”

“She’s breathing.”

“That ain’t enough!”

They faced each other off, each angry at someone else. Simon spoke. “It will have to be. Mal, the damage – she has to be kept totally immobile. Even bringing her back to Serenity … it might have left her crippled.”

The little colour Mal had in his face fled. “Did it?” He breathed again when Simon shook his head.

“No. We were lucky. But if she wakes up, moves even a little the wrong way … Mal, even I can’t heal a severed spinal column.”


“They cracked one of her cervical vertebrae. My guess is it wasn’t intentional, but … it was sheer luck the nerves there at least weren’t damaged.”

Mal looked down at his wife. “Then keep her out.” He swallowed. “Is there anything we … I can do?”


“I don’t –” The look on Simon’s face stopped him.

“Mal, I think right now I need all the help I can get.”


Simon was changing his clothes when Kaylee walked into their room.

“How is she?” she asked.

“Stable. For the moment.” Her husband slipped a sweater over his head and started to walk past her.

“Simon, stop.” She put a hand on his arm.

“I can’t, bao-bei,” he said apologetically, taking her into his arms, even if just for a moment. “I have to get back.”

“You need to rest.”

“I’ll rest later.” He gave her a half smile and hurried back towards the infirmary.

She followed. “Why did they do this?” she asked. “All of it? So much?”

Simon shrugged. “Because she’s Freya.”


He stopped outside the doors, turning to look at her, his hand on her waist. “Because she’s strong. And my guess is she didn’t give in. Didn’t die.”

“Oh, Simon.”

“Kaylee, this person, this Xavier Wing, took the wrong woman. And Mal’s going to find him, make him pay.”


Mal stepped down into his and Freya’s bunk, glancing through the open door into the nursery, at Ethan in his bed. His little fist was jammed into his mouth, and his hair was mussed, but he was asleep.

His father turned to the other bed, their bed, the place he and Freya made love until the room was filled with light, and felt a tear slip down his cheek. He knew she was in the infirmary, that Simon would perform miracles, but he still felt as if he’d lost her.

He opened the bottom drawer of the chest, rummaged around under his shirts and underwear, and finally pulled out a small leather bag. His hands trembled slightly as he tipped the contents into his palm.

It lay on his skin, tarnished, still smelling, even if only as a memory, of Serenity Valley. He’d ripped it from his neck one night when he realised they weren’t coming, weren’t going to save them, that his men were dying for nothing. He’d thrown it away, tossing his faith and dreams with it.

Zoe had found it the next day, brought it back, thinking only that he’d lost it, and he’d stuffed it into his pocket, wanting to ignore it, to grind it into the blood-filled dirt under his heel, but it was almost the last tie he had to his momma. She’d put it around his neck when he reached eighteen, and he couldn’t do anything else except hide it.

All through the camp, when everything else was taken away, they left him with that, thinking it was something important. It was, but only because it being in his pocket reminded him every day of the emptiness inside.

He’d kept it hidden, now on board his ship, thrust to the back of his drawer as he had his memories. Until Freya found it one day …

“This yours?” she asked as she folded away a clean shirt.

He stared at it, lying on the palm of her hand. “Not no more,” he said softly.

“Really.” She stood up, looked into his eyes. “Only it looks to be familiar. Last time I saw it, I seem to recall it hanging around your neck.”

“Long time ago,” he said. “A lifetime.”

“Maybe. But you kept it.”

“Maybe I couldn’t …”

“Couldn’t do that last final thing? Truly give up all your faith?”

“I don’t believe any more, Frey,” he said, moving so close to her that her hand touched his chest. “That went out of me the day the angels came.”

“And yet you keep this.”

He just glared at her. “Put it away,” he said finally.

“Oh, I intend to,” she said gently, leaning forward enough to put a kiss on his solid lips. “Until you need it.”

“Ain’t never gonna happen, Frey.”

“Then just in case.”

He wasn’t going to clean it, to polish away the years of living, of surviving, but he held it in his hand as he awkwardly went down, first onto one knee then both, and closed his eyes, seeing his wife lying on that bed, hooked up to monitors, liquids dripping into her veins, her very being broken …

He grasped the crucifix in both hands and began to pray.

to be continued


Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:19 AM


Oh Wow, poor Mal, poor Freya! If God isn't listening now I sure hope Book metaphorically kicks Him up his High and Mighty *pigu* into doing the right thing and saving Freya. I am also very happy to see Sir Warwick Harrow aiding the search for Wing. The man can run but he can't hide - not forever, and that is how long they will look for him. And then, God help him, because Malcolm Reynolds won't. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:52 AM


Wow, there is some unbelievable emotion running through this. I'm a bit worried about Simon though as well. The stress of not knowing what to do or how to help, will get to him and he'd better start listening to Kaylee and getting some rest!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:16 PM


Jane0904...please tell me that the next chapter of this story section will have Mal's prayer in its full form! Cuz personally? I need to see Mal at his lowest seeking out the connection he once had with God to help him deal with the pain and grief and fear he must be feeling right now about his wife:(

And I personally can't wait until Wing is located. Because he has declared war upon the family Serenity...and both Inara and Wing need to meet the "new" Malcolm Reynolds;D



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