BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GUILDSISTER

Blue Sun Job, Part 18: Never Leave
Sunday, August 1, 2004

Not Mal's happiest chapter ever.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3361    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Blue Sun Job, Part 18: Never Leave

Sequel to the
Truthsome series (link is to part 1)
Blue Sun Job, Part 1: Plans and Schemes
Blue Sun Job, Part 2: Into the Lion’s Den
Blue Sun Job, Part 3: Going Smooth
Blue Sun Job, Part 4: Return to the Core
Blue Sun Job, Part 5: Life That Was
Blue Sun Job, Part 6: More Life That Was
Blue Sun Job, Part 7: ...and Robberies That Were
Blue Sun Job, Part 8: Zoe’s Tale
Blue Sun Job, Part 9: More of Zoe’s Tale
Blue Sun Job, Part 10: Going In
Blue Sun Job, Part 11: Home Again...
Blue Sun Job, Part 12: Waiting
Blue Sun Job, Part 13: Bushwhacked Revisited
Blue Sun Job, Part 14: Two By Two
Blue Sun Job, Part 15: Give the Devil His Due
Blue Sun Job, Part 16: The Edge
Blue Sun Job, Part 17: Going Through the Motions

Chinese:

No critical dialog using actual Chinese characters, just exclamatory expressions

他妈的 = ta ma duh = f*ck, or motherf*cking
哎呀 = Ai ya = damn
狗屎 = go-se = crap
混蛋 = hwoon dahn (hundan) = bastard


Blue Sun Job, Part 18: Never Leave
靑日 Job: Never Leave

Mal looked out at the starfield, deep into the heart of the Black. It was good to be back, to be home. It had been a close one. But, of course, they got away… survived… pulled off the damned heroic last minute rescue… He didn’t hear the footsteps, but did feel the presence arrive behind him, stepping into her place beside him. With a hint of a smile, he let the sense of her lap over him like waves.

“How’d you find me here?” he asked softly.

“If I was blind, I would see you,” Zoe answered, her hand reaching up to lightly touch his arm.

“Stay with me,” he whispered.

“Forever,” she said. “That’s the whole point. I’ll never leave.” Zoe looked up at him with her gentle, reassuring smile. “Not even if you kill me.”

Mal stared out into the Black, puzzled. Why did she say that? That was disturbing. “Never leave,” he echoed faintly. He felt the other presence around him, surrounding him. “Serenity?” Zoe had laughed when he first told her the name. He didn’t get the joke, just knew the name was right.

“No. Never leave. Serenity,” she said, her voice low and musical, yet somehow he felt the dark presence within, the phantom that wouldn’t die swirling up, surging to get out, to conquer him.

“Never leave,” he repeated, bewildered. He looked at Zoe. Wrong colors. Purple didn’t suit her.

“We’ll never leave,” the three presences said. “Not even if you kill us.”

* * *

Mal blinked back the blackness and wished he could retreat again. Lights too bright. Sounds sharp and painful. Colors… all wrong. Scary wrong. He closed his eyes again and tried to go away, but they wouldn’t let him. This was hell.

No, this could be fought. This wasn’t hell.

He must have said it out loud for a gratingly familiar voice answered. “Isn’t it? What is hell but the total absence of hope?”

“Oh, God…” Mal moaned. Not a name he’d said in years, unless it was to take it in vain.

“Do you believe in God, Sergeant Reynolds?” the voice asked. The questioning tone probed at him, demanding an answer.

“I believe in Satan,” he muttered. “All his works and all your ways.” They lifted his head and forced him to swallow something.

Harken--yeah, that was the devil’s name--Harken sounded vaguely amused. “Ah, the words of an old Christian creed. Never took you for the religious sort, sergeant, even though you had a Shepherd onboard. Many surprises await, I suppose. But you twisted those words a bit. That doesn’t surprise me.”

The floor became hard and cold beneath him. When had they put him on the floor? How long…? The lapping swells slowed and flattened into a tideless sea. Mal wanted to melt away into the deck plating, but Harken said, “Get him up,” and the cold hardness stayed with him as the MPs lifted him.

“You have no hope, Sergeant Reynolds,” Harken said in a tone that sounded like he was making it an order. “The war’s over. Your fight is ended. It’s time to lay down arms and surrender. Then you can rest.”

Mal almost laughed. Ooooh… can you tell me which word there you shouldn’t have said, Harken? Which word just automatically brings back the stubborn? A low moan, half-whimper, was all that escaped him as he slumped down in the chair while the guards again cuffed one hand down, attaching the clip to his finger.

“Strange readings,” the voice behind Mal said. Oh, yeah… Monty’s 他妈的 gorram 混蛋 betraying piece of 狗屎 Fed nephew. “He’s all over the place.”

“Why?” Harken asked, looking past Mal.

“Too many drugs still in his system, I suppose, Commander,” Monty’s nephew said. “Sedative, stimulant, whatever this stuff is… plus the physiological effects of stress and sleep deprivation all working against each other. I don’t know if I’ll get an accurate read.” Mal considered ratting him out. That could be fun. But that would only sell out Monty and give the Feds the Blue Sun job and his entire crew… Yeah… okay, he was starting to remember things.

Harken gave a small shake of his head. “It doesn’t matter. I’m told this drug is foolproof.”

Mal grinned. “Then it’s good they found a fool to use it.”

Harken scowled. “No more stray comments, sergeant. Just answer the questions you’re asked.”

“Hey, just telling the truth,” Mal said blurrily. “Kinda feeling a need to…” He trailed off. Truth… “Say, Commander, I ever tell you I think you’re an idiot?”

“Shut-up, sergeant.”

“ ‘s the gawdshonest truth. Drooling monkey son of a…” he lost his focus, but heard a couple of the guards suppress coughs.

“Sergeant Reynolds…”

“And, hey--how’d you like getting the blood of that man of yours splashed across your face. Talk about religious experiences. Kinda like a baptism, huh?”

“Sergeant…” Harken’s voice grew terse.

“Baptized into bloody reality. Bloodbath’s not just an expression, you know… Ow!” Mal glared up at the MP, surprised to see the ape actually looked a little apologetic. Probably wanted to hear Mal call his boss more names.

“Sergeant Reynolds. Answer my questions. Did you have anything to do with the deaths of the Alliance garrison on New Horizons?” Harken’s voice drove into Mal, requiring he answer.

“Don’t know,” he answered too quickly. That wasn’t a good answer. “Didn’t shoot ‘em. Didn’t murder ‘em. Didn’t even kill ‘em… I think…” Mal squinted. There was something about this he wanted to avoid. What was it? Oh… fire. Flying over in Serenity dumping flaming fuel down on the garrison’s building. Might have killed a few of ‘em doing that. Might could be. Couldn’t say for a sure as certain truth, though. Serenity providing air support. Serenity… air support… “Air support’s the thing. Can’t go amiss with good air support. Serenity…” Mal sensed a wrongness in his answer and stopped.

“What about Serenity and air support?” Harken asked harshly.

Which Serenity did Harken mean? “Didn’t have no air support. They pulled back. Too hot. Left us… just left us…” Mal said, puzzled as to why he was talking about that. Didn’t like talking about it. Tried hard not to think about it. Not never.

Harken made a small sound. “You’re talking about the battle of Serenity. You refused to talk about it before. Why’d you name your ship after it?”

Mal shook his head, not seeing the interrogation room, only the fire pouring down from the sky. “Never leave…” he whispered. Never understood that before, but it was a truth. Huh. That’s why Zoe laughed when he told her the name of the ship. She understood it. Understood it from way back.

“What happened at Serenity Valley?” Harken insisted.

Back in the darkness, in the crashing, crushing moment of abject defeat that never ends, Mal said, “Nothin’. Just nothin’. Everything taken, lost, gone, and just nothin’ left behind.” With an effort, Mal shook himself clear of the memory. A small ripple across the flat, dead sea--a drop of control yet remaining him. He focused on Harken. “You never were in a battle on the ground, were you?”

“No. I was in the space forces. Served on a ship, like this, throughout the war,” Harken said, staring at Mal intently.

Shaking his head, Mal said, “If you weren’t there, you can’t understand.”

“Mmmm…” Harken said, looking down to shuffle through his papers. “We’ll get back to that. Let’s move on to more pertinent territory. Are the names Justin and Joshua Vergas familiar to you?”

“Yes,” Mal answered quickly. Felt oddly good to be able to blurt out a simple truth. Feeling good was a good… good feeling… good thing.

Harken went on point. It amused Mal. Fella looked like a setter out duck huntin’. “How do you know those names?”

Now that was a purely stupid question. “You said ‘em,” Mal answered. “Yesterday.” He cocked his head, considering. Was that right? “Was it yesterday? I recall it getting dark but I but I don’t recall sleeping. Yesterday?”

With an exasperated sigh, Harken said, “Do you know the names from anywhere else?”

“No.”

Harken collapsed a touch and shuffled his papers again. “All right… Do you know the name of the sheriff from New Horizons--where you were arrested for smuggling--or the name of his son who was at Serenity Valley?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

Mal shrugged. “Don’t much ask for names in my line of work. Never did get the sheriff’s name. And there was lots of folks at Serenity. Didn’t get all their names neither.”

Harken stared at him. “The sheriff and his men were, or are, part of an Independent underground cell.” He looked down at his papers again. “I suppose I have to consider the possibility of a lack of overt complicity on your part in the destruction of that garrison, given your answers to questioning on that matter.”

Did that mean they were off the hook for that? Or out of the noose? “Played the sheriff,” Mal said distractedly, “to get him to let me go. His boy got killed by the gorram Feds after Hera in one’a them no-questions just lots-of-hitting ‘interrogations’.” Chuckling darkly, Mal added, “I ‘most broke the jaw of one of them sumbitches. ‘Course they almost killed me...”

“Those things didn’t happen,” Harken said harshly, paging rapidly through his paperwork. “Prisoners rescued at Hera were treated with due consideration.”

“Yeah,” Mal said with a twitch of a grin. “And Reavers ain’t real, neither.” Argh! Irony ain’t lying, shouldn’t make that crawly wrong feeling.

Caught up in his internal struggles, Mal missed most of what passed between Harken and Monty’s nephew. Something about the notion that the truth and lying caused different physiological reactions. The lie detector gadget only read the reaction but it ‘peared like creepy suit guy’s truth drug forced the reaction. Mal could’a told ‘em that if they asked. Hell, would have told ‘em that, wouldn’t have had no choice if they threw the question at him fast enough and sharp enough. It was like an electric shock making muscles jerk. Even if you knew it was coming, you couldn’t stop it.

Turning back to Mal, Harken said, “I know there’s another sort of connection you let slip that I must have information on. I already know the answer, but given your current compliant condition… Have you ever had any dealings with an anti-Alliance underground organization?”

“Yes,” Mal said. Ooooh… That was… oh 狗屎! He closed his eyes, remembering. Concentrate. Fight. Need the diversion. Cover fire. Insulation from the shock. Oh, Zoe… I’m sorry as hell…

Harken was back on point. More werewolf-like than setter-like this time. Smelled blood. Mal sighed and knew he was showing Harken way too much, but couldn’t help it. End of the line. Had to play the numbers game. Those boys didn’t play around--too much at stake. If he sold out any portion of any underground unit he’d be costing the lives of his entire crew anyhow. That’s why Zoe had warned Jayne off of those places, or of looking too close at anything he saw, or thought he saw. Weren’t just loyalty to old comrades (some… well, all right… a lot), or clinging to a lost dream (okay, maybe a bit), it was ice cold practical-ass survival (and wasn’t that always the bottom line). Sacrifice himself, okay, his price to pay… but couldn’t do it without taking Zoe down too. 他妈的.

“You don’t want to tell me about it, do you sergeant?” Harken asked in a mild tone, staring hard at him.

Mal scoffed softly. “Sure don’t.” 哎呀. This truthsome business had some real downsides to it.

“You’re very heavily involved in the anti-Alliance underground organizations, aren’t you?” Harken still sounded mild.

Shaking his head, Mal said, “No.”

Harken scowled, looked past Mal. “Is he telling the truth?”

“Yes. Near as I can tell,” Monty’s nephew answered. “He reacts most strongly to anything involving Serenity, but those answers don’t read the same as lies do--more just a… I’d have to say a resistance reaction. Not lying, but resisting revealing more. The faster he answers, the more even the reaction.”

While they talked, Mal slid down a little lower in his chair, trying to rest his head on the seatback. He closed his eyes and drifted. Wasn’t doing too good at the controlling part. Wasn’t managing to lie at all. So humped, and not in the fun way. With a shiver he realized he had to feed the story out willingly, at his own pace, to control the flow of info, rather than letting Harken jerk it out of him bit by bit, maybe--probably--getting more than he was willing to give. The only question was timing--when to let go. Harken had him at the edge once before, couldn’t let it go back that far again.

“Sergeant Reynolds!” That voice was becoming purely tiresome.

“Ow!” Mal glared up at the guard again. “Just leave me the 他妈的 alone, Harken. You ain’t gotten 狗屎 out of me so far ‘cause you’ve been just dead-ass wrong each and every step of the way. Just give it up.”

“A fine show of bravado, sergeant,” Harken said with a smarmy smile. “Or desperation. You know, however--and you are fully aware I’m speaking the absolute truth here--that if you don’t give me the information I’m after I will have to start working harder on your colleagues. Your first officer is being prepped for intensive interrogation right now. I’m out of this entertaining drug you’re finding so troublesome so when I go about extracting information from her, my methods will undoubtedly be far more crude. I imagine you know a thing or two about torture. From the war? A lot of ugly things went on. I haven’t forgotten that tale you told about questioning one of our scouts. Did that along with your first mate. I don’t doubt she has a high level of resistance, though. And I don’t doubt you left some details out of that story. Then there’s that young mechanic of yours, Miss Frye, I wonder how much she could withstand.” He stared hard at Mal. “Now you have to choose.”

Mal smiled and saw that reaction confused Harken. What did Harken know? Mal hadn’t spent any longer making his choice than Zoe once had.

“Ask your questions, Harken,” he said in a flat tone of surrender.

* * *

“Will you stop pacing and just sit still!” Inara glared up at Jayne.

“Can’t help it,” he grumbled. “This place gives me the uncomfortables.”

“You’re like having a child along. Stop that!” she snapped. “Do you have to touch and smell of everything?”

“I don’t…”

“Yes, you do.”

“Well, I…”

“Just sit down and try to look… civilized. Everything is going according to plan.”

“Yeah. And our plans always go so smooth.”

* * *

“Oh! Shepherd Book!” Try though she may to be brave and cool (at least when the gorram Feds were looking), the sight of the warmly smiling face started tears running down Kaylee’s face. She hadn’t seen anyone for days; didn’t know what was going on with any of the others. The worry was wearing a hole in her heart.

“There, there, child,” the Shepherd said, sitting down by her. He patted her hand soothingly.

“Have you seen the cap’n? Or any of the others?” Kaylee asked.

“No,” the Shepherd answered. “The only one they’ve let me see so far is you. But don’t worry. Everything will be all right.”

Kaylee studied him. “Will it?”

The flicker of doubt across the Shepherd’s face came and went quickly, but it was enough to unsettle her. “I’m praying it will,” Book said quietly.

“I don’t think praying’s gonna be enough,” Kaylee said.

The Shepherd’s smile returned, with it--or was Kaylee imagining it--a twinkle in his eye. “I know,” he said.

* * *

It was Zoe’s fault, in a way. Until the night they’d spent talking in that hotel room bed, Mal hadn’t known the details of how they’d gotten off Beta after robbing the prison guard’s payroll. That was the first time they’d had dealings with the underground, and the only time he could tell about safely, because he truly did not know the details of the contacts and connections and doubted if, after all these years, anything Zoe knew remained valid. Even still, every word was wrenched out of him in a long, draining process as he struggled to control the crux of the matter. Couldn’t give in until he’d worn Harken down--and the very brazen absurdity of that notion made him want to laugh. Who was wearing who down?

“But, why don’t you remember how you got on the shuttle off Beta?” Harken demanded, revising his phrasing for the umpteenth time to try to yank the information out of Mal.

“I was drugged,” he answered.

A frustrated sigh from Harken. “Why were you drugged?”

“Zoe said it would make me feel better.” Mal paused, closing his eyes as he delved into his own contorted memories of the time, rather than details Zoe had told him later.

“Were you sick?” Harken asked.

“No… well, yes, but no.” Mal struggled with the truth of the matter. Turned out pure truthsomeness was a tricky business. Full of twists and cul de sacs and things not looking the same from one side as another. Curious, it was. It was also more than weird to have these impulses firing a barrage after barrage in his head. He wanted to lie but even the thought of doing so created a barbed barricade he couldn’t breach. The impulse to speak quickly and truthfully created a smooth, tranquil sensation within. With the part he still held control over--whether through stubborn will or residual effects of the counteragent, or a little of both--Mal recognized that the very life he’d led, where ‘smooth’ and ‘tranquil’ were alien, and struggle was the norm, helped him resist blurting out as much as he could have, as much as he wanted to. It was devilishly hard to hold focus. So easy to give in, to drift...

“No, don’t hit him again,” Harken snapped. Mal saw the guard drop his hand. “It doesn’t seem to help.” Mal watched with disinterest as Harken shuffled though his papers again and again. “Should have just hanged him on the New Horizon’s evidence and never minded all this other 狗屎,” Harken muttered. “Never using a gorram drug like this again…” He looked up sternly at Mal, the frustration clear on his face.

Harken ran his hand through his hair as he lifted one paper. He looked back up at Mal. “You had a string of minor run-ins with the law on Beta about seven years ago. Fairly understandable why you left that world, why you wanted to leave. You were being harassed by the local authorities--even I can see the pattern. The question is of the timing--why you made the effort, or rather, why your first officer made the effort, of contacting the underground organization at that specific time. This seems to have taken place shortly after a robbery for which you were under suspicion, though apparently the authorities had no evidence against you save that you were a newly released ex-Independent soldier. That, and the suggestion that one of the robbery participants had been shot. I think I see why you are trying so hard to steer clear of this area of questioning...”

Mal stared at Harken. So worn-out. He drifted back to the night spent with Zoe talking about the past. Didn’t do that much. Talk. Sure as hell not much of the cuddling bit. Not since Shadow. Prettiest danged gal... and that weren’t so much cuddling as just good, enthusiastic screwing. Just dumb kids. Guess they both saw that the same way. Leastwise, way back then. Couldn’t say about now. Sure hadn’t gone back to being like that together, not after the war ended. Well, odd drunken nights with question marks and uncomfortables later, but nothing like it had been. Better not to do such like at all. Brought up bad old memories of how those romps on Shadow had turned into trouble. But they hadn’t talked on that since they met up again when Mal got Zoe out of that Alliance complex. Still never had. Nope. They’d held together to ease away the nightmares by talking about good times they shared. Not too damned many of those between Serenity and Serenity. That prison guard’s payroll robbery had been pure and utter goodness. So he’d thought. Didn’t recollect it the same way as Zoe had. Wasn’t that just the way of it. Different folks saw things different ways. He recollected it as a good strike back at the sumbitches who’d tormented them for better’n two years. Finishing one damned battle with a win. She had a whole ‘nother set of recollections--getting hunted and chased while she tried to keep him from dying of a gunshot wound. No wonder she’d gotten ahold of them underground fellas in that blackout zone. Zoe didn’t trust them underground boys, didn’t like ‘em. Didn’t want nothing more to do with them, ‘cept she was desperate and needed their help, but just that once. Remember that point. Just that once. No names. Dressed up as Feds with fake papers and I.D.s to get on a shuttle out. He remembered that shuttle. Zoe as a Fed. Scary vision. Thought it was the prison guards taking him back. Wasn’t. Robbed those bastards but good, him and Zoe. Got away clean. Not so clean. That’s what she said, wasn’t it? All real fuzzy to him, drifting in and out of the blackness like he’d been. Kinda like now…

He blinked. It was real quiet in the interrogation room. Harken stared at him with an odd--well, odder--expression. Uh, oh…

“Ummm… I say any of that out loud?” Mal asked. He knew damned well he had. The throw-himself-on-the-grenade 他妈的 diversion. Threw Zoe on it too, though. But Kaylee, Wash, the Shepherd, Jayne, the two he tried not to think about… hopefully they were out in the clear. His price to pay. But not just his.

Harken nodded slowly. “Yes. You did.”

Mal moaned. “What did I say?” Had to play it out. Had to play out that he’d spoken with an absolutely unwilling lack of control. Throw as much rambling flak in the mix as he could.

Did Harken seem regretful? “Among other things--mainly the somewhat strange relationship with your first officer--you just confessed to a robbery. And to the very underground connection we’d been discussing.”

“Yeah… I didn’t really want to do that,” Mal said. There was an absolute truth.

“I know you didn’t. That’s the point of this session we’ve been having,” Harken said mildly, sounding curiously more sympathetic than gloatingly victorious. “To take you to the point of no return. I think we’ve arrived.”

“We done then?” Mal asked.

“I’m afraid not.” Harken sighed. “You still have to tell me about the underground.”

Mal looked away. “Ain’t no more I can tell you.” Now that was pure truthsome semantics. “It’s not us. Just not. Still ain’t forgiven ‘em for what they did there, at the end. At Hera...”

“At Serenity Valley?” Harken asked quietly but insistently. “The Alliance? What the Alliance did?”

Mal shook his head. “No. Our side. What the Independents command did. Be-他妈的-trayed us. You really want to know? All right…”

It was easier than he’d thought it would be, telling the story of Serenity. He’d heard Zoe tell bits of it before, though he’d tried to ignore it--pretend like he wasn’t listening, or hadn’t heard. Had tried not to hear, not even think about it. But he found himself using her words to describe what it was like to take a hill and fortify it with walls of bodies… “Can you imagine piling up the bodies of soldiers--of friends--to build a wall 'cause you got no cover?” “...you'd slip in it half the time, find out bloodbath is not just a figure of speech.” Maybe it was the drugs, or maybe it was finally letting himself look into the dark place he held locked off within. He felt as though he stood at a distance, describing something that had happened to someone else and he was only an observer. Tactics, troop movements, desperation actions, taking down the skiff. “…not coming… too hot…” the first moment of betrayal. “…to lay down arms…” Disbelief as fire rained down. Bendis killed. Didn’t even notice. Not too pretty for God to kill. Then the week that followed. The purest hell on earth. Hell is the substance, the tactile proof of despair. They didn’t come back for them. “Both sides left us there…” The ones they trusted, the ones they fought for, didn’t come back for them. They were his people. His responsibility. He was helpless to save them. The dying… four hundred left… three hundred… two left… just two… just him and Zoe. “Whose colors are they flying?” His own words, “Don't matter none. One side nor t'other... ain't no difference...”

“…never leave,” he concluded.

Mal stopped. Harken stared down at the tabletop. Silent a long time. The MPs moved uneasily. They were too young to have fought in the war--had grown up on the stories of glory and Unification. What glory in walls of the dead or honor in a long slow dying after being abandoned--left behind--by your own?

Harken took a deep breath, shuffled his papers. Glanced up at Mal, then back to his papers. “There’s still the matter of…” He trailed off with a sigh. Tersely, Harken said, “All right. That’s enough.” He looked past Mal. “You can shut down your device. We’re done.” To the MPs, “Take him to the brig. See to it he’s tended and fed, then left alone.”

That sounded like the best idea Mal had heard in a long time.

As the guards hauled him up, Harken recited a familiar phrase, “You’re bound by law on charges of...” he hesitated and Mal saw him give an almost bewildered glance at his piles of papers. “Charges of... well, lots of things. We’ll sort it out later.” Harken gave a jerk of his head. “Take him out.”

The MPs led Mal toward the door, stopping when Harken added one more thing. “Sergeant,” he said, low. Mal focused on him with an effort. Standing brought back the swelling waves of black. Harken made a pyramid of his fingers and rested his forehead on them. “The search scans we do on prisoners are very thorough,” Harken said. Mal squinted at him as he neared and receded and neared again. Commander Harken looked up, meeting his eyes. “Did you know she’s pregnant?” Who? “Not even a week. Interesting timing. Doesn’t even know it herself.”

What? Who? The cell door slammed closed behind him. Mal stared at the blank gray surface, baffled. He couldn’t remember how he’d gotten here. That was unsettling. Harken had been saying something... What?

Blue Sun Job, Part 19: The Bottom

COMMENTS

Monday, August 2, 2004 12:43 AM

JEBBYPAL


OMG!!!!!!! Can I say this without seeming crazy .... I love you...well your writing, same difference right ?LOL. Great great great chapter...just when I think it can't get any better. Poor zoe....hopefully this stays Harken and Mal's little secret. Gorramit, Book, Jayne and Inara better hurry up...or to hell w/ it..River, let lose your mojo and get our peeps outta there!

Monday, August 2, 2004 7:04 AM

AMDOBELL


Wow! Powerful writing, had me in gorram tears with everything that *tamade hundan* put Mal through. Just not right. And that bit at the end, the gut punch about being preganant. Whoops, we talkin' Zoe here? Excellent writing if painful reading at times, I hope Mal gets some help soon. That twinkle in Book's eye is nothing but a sadistic twitch if he doesn't do something pretty soon. Ali D :~)
Think I'm gonna go pray for my Captain

Monday, August 2, 2004 7:33 AM

ARTSHIPS


Just goes from bad to worse - For our heroes, that is, not the writing! Hope Zoe Junior survives the visit with Harken.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 10:55 AM

CAT85


Amazing...love your work. Keep it comin'

Friday, August 13, 2004 12:42 AM

KISPEXI2


Yikes! So good, so very good. I just want to roll around in this for days.

Been away, have masses of work, reading and writing to catch up on - but golly, this is right up there in my priorities.

I adore the relationship between Mal and Zoe in this story. There's something so poignant about the careless innocence of the 'good, enthusiastic screwing' back when they were 'just dumb kids' contrasted with the present. And now Zoe's pregnant ... how unsmooth is that?

I'm curious about how you reconcile the fact that Zoe so obviously has - frequently and enthusiastically! *g* - slept with Mal with Wash's "War Stories" conviction that they never had an intimate relationship? However you play it, I know I'll believe it because you write So.Damn.Pretty!





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Mal and Book talk about some Big Damned Things.

Blue Sun Job, Part 31: The Heart of the Matter
Tales & stories come out into the open--more than a little dark. But not to worry, Jayne, the philosopher, also explains women.