Shadow War - Chapter Thirteen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Treasure hunt in a most unconventional fashion.


In the confusion following Shang's presentation, the crew almost lost Serenity on the ground, before she had even had the chance to get to the sky. The crew was amongst the last to get to their ship. The ground traffic was horrible, and more than one ship in the motley crew ran into each other. Wash kept a low hover immediately after getting everyone on board. He was kind of incredulous after Mal's last order. "What do you mean, take us out of the world?" "Well, not all the way out. I want a low orbit. We have some investigation to be done." He keyed the mic on the bridge and called for Jayne to join them. "Whatever you say captain. Might take a while. Don't want to hurt the lookeeloos." In the gaggle of ships that were running about without direction, several had taken to hovering as Wash was, but, it was obvious that they had done it out of confusion. Mal seemed like he had a plan. Then again, he always seemed like he had a plan. Wash was just worried what it would have to do with Jayne. In the distance, the Contessa was hovering as well, facing Serenity head on. Wash grinned and toggled his mic once, and hung it back up. He engage the throttle almost fully and charged at the green Firefly. "You might want to hold on to something." "Wash, we do not have time for any stunts." Mal warned. "Oh Captain, this is a quick one." The Contessa was charging at Serenity full on as well. Jayne got to the bridge in time to see something that looked like a miracle. Not that he saw that much of it. He closed his eyes as soon as it looked like the Fireflys were going to collide. But, they didn't. At the last moment, Wash said "Now!", and Mal and Jayne heard the voice of Fiona Raydor say the same thing. The pilots pulled their respective ships up into a twirling, revolving dirvish of motion that looked as spectacular as it made the respective crews ill. The two ships spiralled around each other, heading up all the time. It was something that Mal could have sworn Serenity was incapable of, and secretly, he was proud of Wash. He was appalled at the same time, that he would be so cavalier with Serenity. Also, he was having a hard time keeping his feet. It was the most brilliant piece of piloting he had ever seen, and he had seen Wash pull a crazy Ivan with Serenity. A motion he wasn't sure she had ever really been capable of, until he had seen Wash do it. He also saw the stunt for what it really was. Flirting. The Contessa pulled off and was left behind as Serenity continued up into the lower levels of the atmosphere. He leveled her off, and allowed Inara to engage her shuttle, as she had an appointment to keep with Shang Yu. As soon as the spinning stopped, Wash looked around proudly. It was short lived, as his tall, beautiful and exceedingly angry wife was bracing herself in the bridge doorway. If looks could kill, Serenity would have been pilotless. Mal started to admonish Wash, but saw no need to. He was sure that Zoe, and Kaylee would have words with the pilot later. Wash looked suddenly ill, and eased Serenity into the orbit Mal asked for. "Okay, Jayne. Time to earn your ten percent. Zoe, could you give Jayne the time you took down earlier?" "Yes, sir" she said, brittly. She handed Jayne the piece of paper. Mal could see Jayne struggling to read it. It didn't bother him. He didn't hire Jayne because he could read well. He hired him because he was the best tracker Mal had ever seen. "Wash, could you pull up what the facing orbit that ship would have had to approach from when it crashed?" "I can", Wash said, without much enthusiasm. This was just the kind of situation Mal had hoped to avoid when he had ordered Zoe not to marry their pilot. He would have to speak with them later. "Okay" Mal said, looking at one of Serenity's display screens "Good. Jayne, it looks like we're not far off of how that planet looked when that ship crashed here. Where do you think it is?" Jayne didn't hesistate. "How the hell should I know?" Mal swore in mandarin. "Just look Jayne. There's only a few places a pilot would try to take that ship to try and keep themselves alive. I'm guessing, since their ain't much else out here that this is where they were headed. They knew where they were going. So, where do you THINK they landed?" Jayne concentrated out the observation window. Momentarily, he pointed. "My God, Jayne, I think I can hear you thinking." "Keep talking, Little Man. You're wife's gonna squash you like a bitty bug once she's..." "Good" Mal interrupted. "Wash, head in that direction, but do it slowly. I don't want the Contessa knowing where we are. Zoe, you're with me, Jayne too. And Wash, if the Contessa is around us, and you should know from the bug we put on her, call me." "Okay Mal.", he said, disheartedly. He reached for Zoe's hand, but she turned and quickly ignored him. * * *

Sepia's Death's Head quietly pulled up behind Serenity. One good feature of this particular ship is that it was whisper quiet. Not literally, but it was hard to detect. Which is another reason it was a favorite of bounty hunters. She tuned one of the dials on her console and listened in on the bug she had planted on Simon Tam earlier. She broke off from the Firefly. No need in getting caught early. She had had some tricky manuevering earlier to avoid being seen by that shuttle. That was a surprise. She hoped to avoid any other surprises. Faintly, over the dead air between the two ships, she heard: "Sepia" It was the girl, River. Sepia didn't know what had prompted the calling of her name, and she didn't want to. This wasn't the first Alliance runaway she had dealt with, and she knew that from time to time, they had a knack for knowing things they shouldn't. She would have to be careful. If the girl tipped her off, she would have to be silenced. She had been Lawrence Dobson's last quarry, when he had been murdered. She was worth a boatload, but Sepia had other plans for the siblings. Plans that had been detailed by her father. While Sepia couldn't see what harming a girl could accomplish, she would do what she was told.

* * *

The Contessa was keeping a close watch on Serenity. From a safe distance. "What in the 'verse was that display all about, Fiona?" Raydor asked of his wife. "Don't worry. I wouldn't dream of hurting your precious old ship. It was an old routine Wash Warren and I worked out in pilot school. We were the best. Actually, I was the best. He was always number two." "I don't doubt it. Now, keep a close watch on that piece of crap ship. I have no doubts Mal will lead us right where we want to go in no time. And, when he does, we'll take what we want, and blow the rest out of the sky. Do you have a problem with that, dumpling?" "Of course not." * * *

Aboard the Durmstrang, while Remo was talking with the commanders of the other two ships, the Chief kept a close eye on what was happening planetside on Pegasus. The multitude of ships that were down there had zigged and zagged off in any number of random directions. He couldn't wait to hear what Sepia had to say about that. His son would have his posthumous justice. And, if they were very lucky, he would find a way to provide for Lawrence's widow and two children in the meantime.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004 2:36 AM


Things are heating up, I just hope Wash doesn't do somethng monumentally stupid in the 'not thinking' department. Hope Mal finds out about the bug on Simon in time not to fall into any gorram trap. Shiny, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 2:46 AM


Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up the pace I had been keeping with this story. I've been tasked for something else. I have to go to school to learn, among other things, how to write like a professional. But, it's quite taxing, and will be taking a lot of my time. I won't neglect the story, now that I know there are those that actually like it. What's wrong with you people?


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Somnambulism - Chapter Fourteen
It's back...well, this is actually a reposting of a lost chapter. Hey! I just refound it myself!

Somnambulism - Chapter Thirteen
Trap. Hunt. Enemy. Trap

Somnambulism - Chapter Twelve
The Plan, Negotiation, Landing, Hunt

Somnambulism - Chapter Eleven
Wash's Orders, Mal's Revelation, The Other, Captiulation

Somnambulism - Chapter Ten
Mal's Dream. Walt's Problem. River's Regain.

Somnambulism - Chapter Nine
Safety. Recollection. Explanation.

Somnambulism - Chapter Eight
Simon's Dream, Mal's Choice, River's Verdict

Somnambulism - Chapter Seven
Memory, Atavism, Hera

Somnambulism - Chapter Six
History, Discovery, Purpose

Somnambulism - Chapter Five
Malice, Theory, Opportunity