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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - SUSPENSE
Inara and Shephard Book try to help a troubled girl who has lost her brother, and perhaps her mind
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2851 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Read Part 1 - Part 2
Inara pressed her forehead harder against the bulkhead, but the cold of the metal did nothing to relieve her raging fever; its solidity could not compete with the substance of her nightmare.
Change course. Run.
Hell with you.
You're not gonna let her.
Yes, I am.
Everybody's so mad...
Enough! Mal, do it.
Don't ever tell me what to do on my --
Kaylee screamed. Inara looked up, startled. No, not Kaylee. River. Another innocent. One still in danger. River screamed again. One whose nightmares surpassed her own.
Inara willed herself to rise, her companion training chasing the despair from her ageless face. She crossed quickly to the bed, catching River as she lapsed again into unconsciousness, and lowered her gently to the cushions. Inara pulled a blanket over her as Shephard Book stepped through the curtains that separated the cockpit from the rest of the shuttle.
“Sorry about the rough landing; it’s been a while since I’ve flown one of these.”
Inara smiled slightly. “We didn’t notice a thing.”
“How is she?”
“I’m not sure…she’s been through a lot today,” Inara replied, gently brushing the hair away from River’s face.
“You both have.”
Inara did not look up.
“She was a special girl,” he continued, sitting next to her. “We kinda got to be be friendly right a–”
“–will you hand me that bowl?” Inara interrupted, unwilling to risk losing what little control she had mustered in the face of his sympathy. “We should try to bring her fever down.”
Book nodded. “We need to find her some help,” he replied as he knelt to retrieve the shallow lacquered bowl. “The Alliance had her in that institution for a purpose, whatever it was, and they will want her back.”
“The guild scarcely has a presence here on Whitefall. We shouldn’t expect much help from that quarter.” Inara said, running a damp sponge across River’s forehead.
Book regarded the young girl. “I have some friends at the BathGate Abbey who may be able to care for her. If we can get her there.”
“Well, we’d never be able to make it back to the core in this shuttle,” Inara replied as she returned the sponge to the bowl. “We used up most of the fuel cells just breaking atmosphere.”
Book surveyed the elegant interior of the shuttle. “I hope you haven’t grown too fond of this shuttle.”
“It’s the only way to earn enough for transport off-planet,” he replied. “For all three of us, at least,” he added a bit uncomfortably.
“You’ll let me know if you feel that lecture coming on?” Inara asked, gently mocking.
“It’ll keep,” he replied, smiling. “We ought to–”
“…to Shuttle One…” a familiar voice crackled over the com.
“Wash?” Setting aside the bowl, Inara rose and followed Book into the cockpit.
“…if you can hear…get out of the area…”
“Wash, this is Shuttle – this is Inara – what’s happening?”
“…followed us…closing in…try…take the shuttle and…”
“Wash, you’re breaking up; who followed you?”
Continue to Part 4
Monday, August 2, 2004 12:34 PM
Monday, August 2, 2004 1:01 PM
Monday, August 2, 2004 6:50 PM
Tuesday, August 3, 2004 6:48 AM
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 8:38 AM
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