A Lost Art - Part 9
Friday, June 8, 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... Only one chapter left, now...take a deep breath and remember to let it out when the black spots start showing at the edge of your vision... As always, comments are so extremely welcome!!!


River opened her eyes to stare at the man in the doorway. She had known he was there. She wanted to startle him. She did. He recovered. "So you're River Tam," he said slowly. She didn't answer. She listened to his fear of her grow. "You know," he went on, his voice hiding his fear well. "If the child isn't found soon, your father may decide to kill your friends and your brother and take you back in its place." "The child is dead," she responded, pulling words from Kaylee's nightmare. "The blood...covered my arms...who would have much blood in him?" She cried out and strained against the straps that held her down so suddenly the man in the doorway backed away from her. Simon woke - he had been sleeping with his arms around his wife next to the cot - and began shushing his sister before he noticed the man in the doorway. "What did you do?" he demanded. Inara was now awake, as well, and trying to calm River. Kaylee woke from her dream but did not stir. Zoë slept on, the drugs seeing to it she rested. "Where is he buried?" Vincent asked from his safe distance as River's cry subsided. "He must be dead, I can see it in your eyes and in your wife's eyes...just tell me where he is buried so this can all end." "End?" Inara turned, her anger reaching its peak. "It doesn't 'end' with a burial. That child was...he was more than a life to us, he was hope and renewal and something pure! We will take his memory with us...forever...he has been carved into our hearts and you speak of his grave as the end?" She shook her head and turned back to River. Until Kaylee's heartbroken face, she had thought it was a solid cover. Now...she did not want it to be true, but...Kaylee wouldn't speak of her son. Vincent was right, Kaylee's hollow eyes gave away the fact that the child had died...and now River... Vincent turned and left the med bay, sick to his stomach. He had committed crimes - truly heinous crimes - in his life, but seeing them mourn a life that had not even made it to solid foods twisted something in his gut. And the fact that they had been willing to die for that same child...and were still willing to die before leading his men - and employer - to the grave of the child... He was shocked beyond belief that there were still those people out there. People like his sister and her husband had they would have raised their children to be... And here he was, stalling their executions because of the vague similarities to a family who had died in some gorram mining town more than a year ago. They had killed eight of his personally trained men. They deserved to die. Yet he could not give the order. He stormed his way to his bunk, and sat heavily on the floor once he achieved the safety of it. "A baby," he whispered, remembering the words from the original feed Gabriel Tam had sent him. A baby sharing the genes of the Tam boy. A genius before it can even pick up a pencil. If brought before the Alliance, the next step in evolution is only a few lab tests away. Certainly, if the child had been River's, the possibility of a highly developed race would be greater, but one must do what one can. Bring the baby back and kill anyone who gets in the way. They need the baby; it is the future. He sighed and shook his head, unable to shake the pain he had seen in the eyes of his prisoners. The baby was dead and keeping the parents alive was destroying him... *** "We got a plan, though, right?" Jayne asked suspiciously, checking Vera once more before glancing up at Mal. "How many'd you count?" Mal asked, tucking a small pistol into his sling. His .38 was strapped in its regular holster; he planned to ditch the sling at the right time, if and when it was necessary. "Five, on shifts of an hour each," Jayne responded. "But there could be more inside." "On hour-long shifts?" Mal asked, wincing as he picked up Hobie from the table. "Not likely. They're nervous. Or stupid. I'm plannin' on both." "Yeah, but this is the same group as those that ambushed us before," Jayne went on, following as Mal carried Hobie from the common room towards the docking bay. "They weren't stupid then." "They weren't nervous then," Mal quipped. "They are now. Nervous can make a man stupid. Stop arguin' this point already." "Why?" Jayne demanded as they descended the stairs. "Makin' you nervous?" Mal stopped and looked at him. "A little." *** "But why must I come?" Regan asked again. "If he won't speak to you, why would he speak to me?" "You're the boy's mother," Gabriel snapped. "You have a bond with him. You care about him. Deeply." They were standing outside Vincent's ship, the soft sounds of the night underscoring the argument. Gabriel had thought the appearance of an over-wrought, sleepless mother might move Simon's heart to tell where the blasted baby was. Regan, however, was proving to be difficult. Upon hearing they were in Gabriel's grasp, she had wailed and locked herself in her hotel room, smashing anything breakable in her reach. He had been forced to wait for her to emerge once she had it out of her system. "I won't lie for you," Regan said, trying to walk away from him. He caught her arm roughly and pulled her back to his side. "You will do this," he hissed in her ear. "Or I will make your last days in this life a living hell." She turned her face to him, her resolve strengthened by his action, and smiled an echo of River's careless visage. "You already have," she shrugged. He shook the smile from her face. She flinched when he released her...and she saw something in the darkness...a flash of silver? She darted a glance at her husband - he hadn't seen it. She straightened her skirt, feeling the weight of the revolver in her satin-and-velvet clutch once more, and took a steadying breath. That vile-smelling man Wardy had promised her the small purse would hide the firearm sufficiently, when he had sold her the name of the Firefly her husband had so desperately been searching. It had taken every ounce of courage and every last pill from her medicine bag, but it was going to pay had to. She looked at the man in front of her and nodded her assent. He gestured for her to board the ship. She saw from the corner of her eye one of the guards they had passed jerk violently and fall to his knees. She hurried to Gabriel's side and took his arm, pulling him with her to the ship's waiting door. "It will look better if we arrive together," she said quickly, responding to his confused look. He looked at her face closely before nodding. *** "That leaves two, and whoever else is with 'em on the inside," Jayne muttered to Mal in the darkness. The Captain nodded. "Let's head in," he said. "Do what you can to cover." "Lemme know when I can be louder," Jayne growled. "Vera's getting a mite itchy." "You'll know when," Mal replied, moving carefully from the safety of the shadows. He looked back at the merc only once. "Stay right behind me," he instructed. "Wouldn't dream of doin' otherwise," Jayne agreed. *** "Captain, the Tams are here," the comm crackled. Vincent looked up from the floor and grimaced before standing. He straightened his jacket and his hair before exiting the room. He caught up to them as they neared the medical bay. "Mr. and Mrs. Tam," he intercepted them. "This ship and its crew may be in your employ, but I must insist that we maintain, shall we say, visiting hours?" "She wants to see her son," Gabriel said loudly, obviously not for Vincent's benefit. Shuffling was heard from within the confines of the room. "She won't sleep until she sees him." "Please let me see them," Regan implored. Vincent saw the circles under her eyes, the desperation of a mother in pain. He patted her hands and noticed the involuntary flinching reaction in her as he did so. He glanced at Gabriel...was this man capable of abusing such a woman? He found himself unable to doubt it. "This way," he offered. "They may still be sleeping, of course..." "I just need to see them," she whispered. "I understand," he comforted. The door opened and the woman flew to the cot after only a cursory glance about the room. Her tears were already coursing down her cheeks as she placed her hands on either side of her daughter's face and she searched the young woman's eyes. River, for her part, smiled softly. Simon recoiled from his mother's touch, pulling Kaylee with him and behind him, as if to protect her from a snake's fangs. "Simon, Simon," she wept, putting the velvet bag on the cot near River's waiting hand and stretching further towards him. "Can you hate me so much?" Inara, who had moved to stand by Zoë's sleeping form only moments before the door had opened, watched as River's fingers worked the catch of the small purse and removed a familiar shape from the confines. Her eyes flew to their captor's face - his eyes were downcast, weary. She looked back to River and the kneeling Mrs. Tam. "Simon, your mother could not rest until she saw you with her own eyes," Gabriel was saying. "She needed to see her see how much we love you?" River turned her face to Simon's and smiled warmly. "Simon, it's Mother," she whispered excitedly. "Be a good son and kiss her cheek." Simon looked from his mother to his sister, aghast by the suggestion, and then noticed the item in River's hand. Regan nodded tearfully and smiled. "Simon, oh my son, Simon," she murmured. Simon moved forward, still on his knees, until he was swept into his mother's embrace. "Please, son," Gabriel pleaded from the doorway. "Let us help you mourn your own child." Simon's fingers curled around the revolver as he dutifully kissed his mother's cheek. "Kill him, please," she whispered. "I'm so sorry..." "Tell us where the baby is buried, Simon," Gabriel asked softly. Simon looked up to his father slowly as his eyes hardened. *** Captain Reynolds, I do hope you mind not the fact I sold your name to a woman. She came to me in desperation, all tears and apologies. I believe her case is true and that is why I am sending you word of my actions. She paid me for a revolver and six shots - her hands shake so, I think it will take her more than one attempt - and a means in which to hide it. And I send her to you...I leave her fate in your hands. Were it to remain in mine, I would not have the stomach to let her only shoot him...and you know how I abhor the sight of blood on my own hands. Help her achieve her goal and I will consider it a personal favor to me. I think I may love her...but you know me well. I love only the tragic victims, do I not? G. Wardy *** A shot sounded, followed by a scream. Mal ran towards the sound, Jayne on his heels. A second shot, men's voices and footsteps running. Mal twisted, pulling the pistol from his sling and firing at the men before him. His aim was off - he hit the corner and more of the wall. Jayne's aim was perfect. Two men fell dead to the floor. A crash came from their right; they turned to see a richly dressed man stumble from a room, blood pouring from his shoulder. A second man followed, his gun drawn and aimed at those within the room. Mal aimed true this time. Standing still helped. The armed man fell, his pistol clattering as it hit the floor. The Captain rushed into the room - the infirmary, as he discovered. Jayne finished the job on Gabriel Tam before joining everyone in the infirmary. Kaylee was sobbing over Simon's inert form and Inara bent over her, trying to pull the mechanic away. River was wriggling out of the straps that held her to a small cot and Regan Tam trembled at Zoë's bedside. The bundle tied to Mal's back kicked against his kidneys with painful accuracy as Hobie's wail harmonized with his mother's.


Friday, June 8, 2007 8:46 AM


Wow, talk about a confusing few minutes with mayhem errupting as Regan passes the gun to River then to Simon, doing the biggest bravest thing she has ever done in her life. Glad Gabriel the Monster is dead (please tell me he is dead) and that all our Heroes are coming together. And Regan's reward will be that she finally gets to see her grandson. Can't wait for the next part. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 8, 2007 9:31 AM


Wow, nice, tense, end to this chapter but....Simon fell too? Kaylee is crying over him! He better get to see his son again!

Friday, June 8, 2007 2:42 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER that's an ending worthy of Whedon, kacidilla! Definitely can't wait to see the last part of this tale, cuz Simon has to survive. He has to!


Friday, June 8, 2007 5:29 PM


You certainly kept up the excitement through this whole episode - loved the character Wardy vry much - you made him feel very real.

Friday, June 8, 2007 5:40 PM


Oh my, this is all kinds of tense and heart-breaking. Your description of Kaylee and the hollowness in her eyes because she thinks her son's dead is just unbelievable. And the whole interplay between Gabriel, Regan and Simon was unbelievably tense. I'm not sure I got all of the nuances, but it was still a heck of a lot of fun to read. You better not kill Simon, though!

Saturday, June 9, 2007 11:48 AM


Eeek! So much tension and angst, I don't know how to take it. I completely feel for Regan, I think she was so brave in doing what she did at the end there. Good for her! I just hope Jayne's shot was true and that Gabriel is actually dead.

I hope Simon isn't dead!!! Ooh, also I loved the camaraderie and interaction between Jayne and Mal, and the whole thing about being at each other's backs.

Great chapter!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 6:30 AM


Wow, I love the tension and the way the action builds up to the cliff-hanger ending!

I don't know why this question just now popped into my head, but if they are so keen to get their hands on more of River and Simon's bloodline -- why not harvest DNA, eggs, etc. from Regan and Gabriel? After all, they created their children. Not to be crude, but that's what a horse breeder would do to try and recreate a Kentucky Derby winner. It doesn't always work that way of course, but River and Simon are both brilliant so the odds are in their favor.

Just sayin' is all!



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