A Lost Art - Part 8
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Post-BDM; A letter or two (or five) were sent out from Serenity's crew and suddenly, they seem to find themselves in danger. It's all Joss's characters and 'verse, i'm just borrowing it for a spell... We're coming up to the end soon, folks, i promise...just hold tight a bit longer... As always, comments are so extremely welcome!!!


"What do you mean 'dead'?" Gabriel Tam asked coolly. Vincent took a deep breath before answering the man standing before him. "According to your son," he explained, still trying to deduce why the man was standing before him. "A stray bullet caught the child as he was being carried by your daughter. The mother of the child is still not speaking. The first mate says she's been like this since the boy was pronounced dead." "Why are they still alive?" Gabriel hissed. "I thought you might like to question them yourself," Vincent replied. "I had thought to bring them to you personally." "Where are they?" "Sir, I feel I must ask," Vincent began politely, but gave up. The money wasn't worth this much frustration. "Why are you here?" "River's letter indicated they could be contacted on this sad excuse for a moon," Gabriel sniffed. "I didn't feel you were getting the job done." Vincent's jaw clenched as he held himself in check. He smiled tightly and fumed inwardly. Not only had they lied about the child's whereabouts - for if they had landed here to bury the brat as they had claimed, the girl's letter would not have listed this as a reference - but this hun dan was still going to try to back out of paying him. He kept his thoughts to himself, though, and decided to let Tam figure it out on his own. "Of course," he said, smiling tightly. "Now, where are they?" Gabriel asked again. "Right this way," he indicated with open palm. There were significantly less men in his crew than he had started out on this job, and he felt no remorse in blaming Gabriel for that. The more he dealt with this particular group, the more he admired them. They were loyal to one another, not a one of them whimpered for their own life, and they were willing to die for a baby. A baby! This far from what was commonly believed to be the most civilized of the 'verse, they just continued to be decent folk... He shook the thought away. He was being paid to retrieve a baby, not to ponder the lives of those from whom he was retrieving said baby. *** Dear Kaylee, I was very happy to receive the letter from you, keeping me informed on the crew and what has befallen you since we said our farewells. It is good to know you're all still doing well. Thank you for keeping your promise to write. Haven is a dry planet, and where I'm staying now is pleasant mining town, with good and decent folk just trying to get by...although, in a significantly different approach than my flock (if you will) on Serenity. There is a lovely young couple here that has taken on the responsibility of showing me around and introducing me to the rest of my congregation in a manner that reminds me of you. They are expecting soon - twins, as a matter of fact - and asked if I had any suggestions for girl's names. I hope you don't mind, I put in yours as an option. I believe names often help mold the personality of a child and we could all use a few more Kaylee's. They plan on naming the boy after his uncle, a man after the Captain's own heart, who sends them money on occasion. I felt your namesake could continue to bring a brightness to one who might need it in dark times, as much as certain captains need those around them to brighten the darkest of days in the black. Don't let the Captain upset you, dear. He has his way and, I'm sure, it will lead him to find truth in time. I do not want you to think he had anything to do with my choice in leaving. I felt it was time to spread His Word to a new audience; perhaps a little more hungry than some you still travel with. Give my warm regards to everyone there. You are in my prayers. Your friend, DB *** He led Gabriel to the medical bay, where he had continued to allow Simon to practice medicine for the time being. The Companion and mechanic were cuffed and sitting on the floor, one on either side of River's cot (she had been tied to it, in the event she should wake) as the good doctor did everything he could to save the life of the first mate. She had been a bother...she had killed four more of his men, leaving only the three he had left on the first shuttle and the two who had survived her refusal to die. One of those men had been lucky - yes, he was admitting it was merely luck - and shot her through the smoke of the downed shuttle. And now he was letting Simon save her life. Only because he admired her loyalty, he insisted to himself. "Simon," Gabriel said, stepping into the room. Simon looked up, saw his father, and returned to barking orders at the guards aiding him in his surgery. River, on her cot, twitched and pulled at the restraints. "Son," Gabriel tried, stretching out his hand. Vincent was impressed with the sudden change in demeanor. He almost looked apologetic for hiring men to kidnap his grandchild. "It's funny you would use that term," Simon bit out as he focused on Zoë's body in front of him. His arm and shoulder were aching from his own wounds still not completely healed, but he ignored it as much as possible. "I thought you disowned me when I rescued River from those monsters." "I was angry," Gabriel went on. "And hurt. You were throwing away everything we gave you and sacrificed for you to--" "To save my sister!" Simon snapped. Kaylee started and blinked at her husband's tone of voice. She looked at River, still tensing under the thick straps and laid her head down by the girl's shoulder and closed her eyes. "To save your daughter!" Simon went on, his voice still filled with anger and hatred. "Do you have any idea of what they did to her?" "They told me she was excelling in all of her classes," Gabriel replied. "She requested more challenges, she--" "She requested to be cut up and experimented on?" Simon demanded. He spared a glance for his father's face. "You just believed everything they told you, didn't you? Them, rather than your own son?" "Simon, you were stressed and sounded delirious," Gabriel dismissed. "We thought you were over-working yourself and finding conspiracy theories in your breakfast cereal..." "Do I have to see him?" Simon asked of Vincent. "Is this part of whatever torture you've planned for us? Wasn't questioning me about my son enough?" "Simon, it was your son that brought us here," Gabriel answered for the bounty hunter. "Your mother wanted to see him and to make amends with you and with River." "So you sent bounty hunters?" Simon demanded, staring at his father. "What, writing a formal response to a letter wasn't in the Blue Sun handbook?" "Please let me see him," Gabriel ignored his son's question. The doctor shook his head and returned to Zoë. "He's dead," he muttered. Kaylee gave a short sob, causing Simon to glance at her. Vincent saw the pained love in the man's eyes and hated himself for a moment. He made the mistake of looking at the mechanic again...his stomach turned in - was that guilt? He closed her out of his line of sight and forced himself to think of the promised money. It wasn't enough. Vincent coughed politely, gaining Gabriel's attention and indicating they should leave. Gabriel looked to his son once more. "I would like to pay my respects at his grave," the older Tam offered. Simon ignored him as Kaylee tried to bite back another sob. Vincent watched as the Companion murmured quiet words of comfort to the woman over River's bed...and he wondered. He thought he knew the child was still alive, but the mechanic didn't seem the type to act that well. Either she was the one person he had underestimated on the ship, or she truly believed the baby was dead... But then where was he? *** "There's a 'wave comin' in," Jayne pointed out from the co-pilot's seat. Hobie waved his hands from his perch on the merc's lap and threw his head back into Jayne's ribs. He grunted slightly as Mal prepared Serenity to leave the crash site of Inara's shuttle. There had been no bodies, but plenty of blood... "Mal," Jayne tried again. Mal looked at the indicator, then to Jayne. "Take Hobie out of here," he ordered softly. "If this is them, I don't want to give an inch." Jayne nodded and complied, Hobie's eyes staring after Mal as he did so. The Captain answered the 'wave, setting his jaw in the process. A woman's face appeared on the vid screen. "Oh," she said, somewhat startled. "Are you...are you friends with...with my children?" "Depends," Mal said, slightly taken aback. He was not expecting this. "Who might your children be?" "Simon and...and River," she said nervously. She glanced at something off-screen and leaned closer to the monitor. "Please hurry, my husband doesn't know I'm doing this and I'm so scared for them..." "Ma'am, I don't--" "Please, they sent a letter," she went on, cutting off Mal's words. "A letter and it said Simon was a father and I...Gabriel took it from me, I need to warn them...he...he's trying to...I thought this would be where you know them? Are they there? Is the baby..." If this was a trap, they'd found the right woman to lead them into it, Mal thought grimly. She seemed honestly concerned for her children. "I think you might have me confused with someone," he answered, smiling slightly. "I'm not--" "You have to believe me," she interrupted him. "Gabriel has become obsessed with this! I just want them safe...if they are there with you, tell them I'm sorry...I'm so sorry...and never let him find them..." She crumpled into a series of sobs. Mal sat forward, trying to discern if this was a trap. She looked up again, wiping ineffectively at her tears. "Please just take them away from here," she whispered. "Far away so they can live happy...if they can..." "Do you know where your husband is, now?" Mal asked. The woman nodded. "We're on Kerry," she said, naming the planet on which Serenity now sat. Mal tried to hide his reaction as she went on. "In the letter, River - I think, no, I know River wrote it - River said we could contact her here, but Gabriel insisted we come here and find her. You need to keep them away from here! Please!" "You're on Kerry?" he repeated. She nodded. She glanced off-screen again and seemed to be listening for something. "He's hired men," she whispered. " Please, be caref--I have to go!" The vidscreen cut out, leaving Mal staring at a reflection of himself. "What now?" Jayne asked, coming in softly. He had twisted and tied Kaylee's hammock into a sling of sorts, keeping Hobie strapped to his back, the little head peeking from over his shoulder. Mal looked at the child's wide eyes, thinking. "We find the other shuttle," he decided. "And we get my crew back." Hobie made a sound that could have been a cheer.


Thursday, June 7, 2007 9:06 AM


I am in so much love with this fic.

Brilliant chapter, it's good to see Gabriel has some heart... albiet shrunken and small compared to a normal one. Kaylee's probably genuinly crying over the fact that she doesn't know if Hobie's ok or not. Poor Kaylee.

Loved Book's letter to Kaylee and that he sugguested her name. :D

And yay for thrilling heroics! They're going to get everyone. Plus, the thought of Jayne carrying Hobie on his back like that is all sorts of cute.

Can't wait for more!

Thursday, June 7, 2007 11:24 AM


I'm completely engrossed in this story. I hope Regan's warning was really meant to help, and not a trap set by Gabriel to catch them in a lie.

I like that Vincent might be seeing the error he made in taking this job. I like that we get to see a bit of humanity about him.

Of course, this must be the hardest on Hobie's parents. At least they're together. I hope Simon is able to spare some time to confort Kaylee in between taking care of his sister and hurling sarcasting remarks at his father.

Thursday, June 7, 2007 1:55 PM


Sorry, I don't believe Gabriel has any heart at all. That play acting he did for Simon's benefit was a despicable sham and I hope he gets exactly what he deserves. I absolutely loved Simon's reaction and his dialogue was superb and so very much in character with a certain dignity that he has always had coming to the fore and showing Gabriel up even more. I am hoping the bounty hunter ends up turning on Gabriel. Also can't wait to see what plan Mal comes up with. This is a brilliant story and beautifully written, bravo! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, June 7, 2007 5:36 PM


I've been looking forward to your posts, also, kacidilla. (busy with end of school)

Good work here as usual.

Nicely sentimental without being slurpy.

Love the image of Jayne with the baby in the homemade snuggly.

Friday, June 8, 2007 8:00 AM


Oh...I could just imagine the kinds of scenes Joss & Co. would have had involving Jayne doing his Big Bad Mercenary routine, but having it completely ruined by little Hobie strapped to his back in a makeshift papoose. Almost want to make an analogy to Chewbacca hauling the disassmbeld C-3PO around in the netting from "The Empire Strikes Back"...but Hobie's not quite as fussy as Threepio;D


Saturday, June 9, 2007 11:41 AM


Ok, the image of Hobie tied to Jayne's back was just frickin' amazing. Totally agreed with BEB's assessment of his big bad image being ruined, but in a really funny way, so it's all good!

Gabriel is an ass, wish he would die. Vincent seems to be having second thoughts about this job, I hope he turns on Mr Tam. Simon's snappy dialogue towards his father was brilliant, especially the line about torture.

I really hope Zoe lives!!

Monday, September 17, 2007 10:56 AM


Ooh, I love a good intrigue.



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