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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. And a new arc begins ... Mal and the crew head to Verbena for the job for Pickett, but a wave changes things ...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1072 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
“This ain’t good.” Jayne tested the ropes tying him again, but they still wouldn’t budge. If they hadn’t taken his knife, he’d have been able to cut them loose, but right now he was totally incapacitated.
“You think you could state something more than the blindingly obvious?” Mal asked, his own efforts at getting free only cutting into his wrists, making the rope slick.
“Just saying, Mal.”
“Figure the girls are out there?”
“Yeah, me too, but you think they are?”
“Probably.” Mal squirmed, trying to get his hand out of the wet bonds.
“You’re cutting yourself to ribbons,” Jayne said, glancing over.
“Yeah, well, don’t see you doing no better.”
“If’n I could get to ya, maybe we could do something.”
“Somehow I’ve a notion that’s unlikely.” Mal leaned back against the mine support he was tied to.
Jayne eyed the barrels of gunpowder. “Ya know, they could’ve been more considerate. Leaving that stuff so close.”
Mal turned his head. “You think?”
“I mean, it ain't like we’re gonna –“
“Shh.” Mal tilted his head.
“Don’t hear …” He stopped, his body totally still. “Shit.”
“Is that what I think it is?”
They both turned towards the slight sound, a susurration that barely registered.
From out in the darkness of the tunnel, sparking like a damn firework, the flame raced along the fuse, splitting as it headed for the barrels.
Six days earlier …
It had been nearly a week since the operation, and Freya was healing fast. She and Mal had been using their temporary quarters again, but right now Simon was just finishing his latest check up.
“I wish I could bottle your body’s ability,” the young man said, shaking his head at her as she carefully sat up on the medbed. “I could make a fortune.”
“Apart from the rest of us getting over the slings and arrows that outrageous fortune throws at us once in a while,” Mal added, smiling at his wife.
“Well, if I knew how, I’d tell you.” Freya held out her hand, and Mal helped her stand up.
“If you feel any excess pain, experience dizziness –“ Simon began, then grinned. “I think you know the drill.”
She smiled. “I have a pretty good idea.” She picked up the stick from against the bed. “I really thought I’d never be having to use this again.”
“Just a while longer, and you won’t have to.”
Simon sobered a little. “Well –“
“It’s okay, Simon,” Freya said, putting her hand on his arm. “I know it’s a case of wait and see. But I’m doing my best to control things.”
“I know. And keep doing the exercises whenever you get the chance.”
“Has to be done.”
“Yeah,” Mal put in. “But it’s me she shouts at after.”
“Go. Go away. Let me get on with my work.” Simon made shooing motions out of the door.
Mal grinned and stepped aside to let his wife go first when the com stuttered.
“Mal, got Pickett wanting to talk to you.” Hank’s voice filtered tinnily into the infirmary.
“Ain't that man got nothing better to do than chivvy us along?” Mal grumbled. He thumbed the response button. “I’ll be right there. Tell him to hold his horses.”
“Horses. Holding. Right.”
Mal looked at Freya. “You gonna be okay?”
“I'll be fine. I'm going to get something to eat.”
“Hungry again?” He shook his head. “You’re eating me out of ship and home.”
She pushed him gently. “Better not keep Pickett waiting.”
He kissed her, then hurried out.
She followed more slowly, Simon at her elbow.
“Are you sure you should be climbing the stairs?” he asked. “That’s a bit more than I had envisaged.”
“Simon, you know how I get if I have to stay in one room.”
He remembered all right, when she was confined to quarters during the early stages of her pregnancy. “I don’t think I could take the verbal abuse again,” he admitted.
“So you let me get on.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek before heading up towards the dining area.
River emptied out the last of the sacks of soil into the bins, then pushed her hair out of her face, leaving a streak of earth on her cheek.
“What are you doing, mei-mei?” Simon asked, leaning through the door to the storage locker.
“Making my garden.” She pushed again at a recalcitrant strand.
“Here, let me.” He stepped inside and clipped her hair back.
“Shouldn’t Jayne be helping you?”
“He did. He set up the lights for me.” She indicated the metal frames either side of the room. “This bit’s mine.”
“Where did you get the soil?”
“Lazarus. Jayne did that for me too.”
Simon ran his lean fingers through the earth, letting it trickle from his palm. “What are you going to grow?”
He laughed softly. “I don’t think there’s enough room for everything.”
“Then an equitable selection.” She smiled at him. “Some flowers, but mostly fresh vegetables. And strawberries.”
Now her brother grinned. “Kaylee will love you forever.”
“She already does.”
“What about water? Sometimes we’re not exactly awash with it.”
She pointed to another sack, this time filled with greyish granules. “Water retaining material, and then there will be covers … I estimate moisture loss at only 5%, possibly 5.3 depending on the ambient temperature.”
Simon put his arm around her. “I think this is a great idea.”
“Therapy. Stops me from killing everyone.”
Simon stared at her, then raised his eyebrows. “If you’re going to say things like that, at least sound as if you don’t mean them.”
She grinned at him. “Who says I don’t?”
“I do.” His lips twitched. “You’re my sister. I know you. If you were intending to murder us in our beds you’d at least have the courtesy to let us know first.”
“I’ll post a sign.”
“Good.” He looked down at the dark earth. “Do you need a hand?”
“You’ll get dirty.”
“For you, anything.”
“I thought you only ever said that to Kaylee.”
“Two of my three best girls,” he admitted. “I’d do anything for any of you.”
River laughed and handed him a small trowel. “I need it flat.”
“Flat it is.” He chuckled and started to work.
Mal glared into the screen. “Pickett, I told you we’ll be with you in about –“
“It ain't that I'm wavin’ you about. Reilly’s dead.”
“Meagan Reilly?” Mal’s brow furrowed. He thought she was long gone.
“No. Lucas Reilly.”
“Old Ironguts? I figured he was too tight to die.”
“Seems like maybe it finally caught up with him.”
“When did this happen?”
“Near a month.”
“So he’s buried by now.”
“If he ain't he’s stinkin’ up the place.”
“You need to show a little more respect there,” Mal said, his voice taking on the Sergeant’s tone he used to use.
“Why? He never did.”
“Anyhows, there’s a wake for him on Mead, day after tomorrow. Ain't too far from your current location, is it?”
“’Bout a day’s ride.”
“So I figured we’d all be there. Those as could.”
“What about that job of yours?”
“Coupla days ain’t gonna make that much difference.”
“You gotten hold of many?”
“A few. Monty, a’course, and Harry, then there’s Dwyer, Lann Chen, couple more. There’s some still to get back to me.”
“Are there that many left?”
“Fewer year by year, Mal. You may have got us through the war, but the peace keeps knocking us off.”
Mal suppressed a sigh. “We’ll be there.”
“Good. Knew I could count on old Sarge.”
“Not so much on the old.”
Pickett smiled. “See you in the world,” he said, saluting lazily and breaking contact.
Hank stirred at the back of the bridge. “New destination?”
“Yeah. Mead.” Mal shook himself. “You find us the best route, then come to the galley and I’ll let everyone know the change of plan.” He strode off the bridge.
Hank stared after him before sitting back down in his chair. There was a tale to tell, that was for sure, and made a mental note to make sure he was around when it was told.
“A wake?” Jayne glared at Mal. “You mean someone’s dead?”
“An old friend of ours,” Zoe said quietly.
“So we’re going to a party.”
“A celebration of the man, I’m thinking,” Mal said, sitting down in his chair.
“Will there be lots of drinking?” Simon asked.
“I’ll make sure I have a good supply of strong painkillers on hand.”
Mal smiled slightly. “Good idea, doc.”
“Somehow I can’t quite get my head around Reilly being gone.” Zoe was still surprised.
“He was a good man.”
“That he was, sir.” she nodded. “Although personally I thought he was too mean to die. Having to pay out for a funeral and such.”
Laughter bubbled out of Mal’s throat. “Exactly what I said to Pickett. And I know what you mean. Never did see a man so intent on taking care of his pennies.”
“Think he was worth anything?”
“Seems like we’re gonna find out.” Mal looked across at his pilot. “We got a course set?”
“Nothing but a few hours.” Hank glanced from one to the other. “So this man was a friend?”
Zoe nodded, her hands lightly clasped in front of her. “Lucas Reilly. Not one of original platoon, but he kinda got tagged on after New Casmir.”
Mal nodded. “Remember that time on … gorramit, what was that moon called … the one with the little temple that had those damn bells wouldn’t shut up.”
“That was it. Now why the hell couldn’t I remember that? Think I'm getting old?”
“Somehow, I think you gotta say that.”
“Wouldn’t say it if it weren't true.”
Mal smiled at Freya, who squeezed his hand. “Anyway he found this stash of something he swore was hallucinogenic weed, and started to smoke it. I thought he was gonna die from the noise he was making. Singing and shouting, calling out to the Alliance to come and try and take him. Ai ya, I'm surprised I didn’t shoot him myself.” He shook his head. “Can’t believe the old buzzard is gone. Kinda thought he’d live forever.”
“You know him?” Hank asked Freya.
“Of him. I don’t think I actually ever met the man,” Freya replied.
Mal put in, “And if she had, she’d remember.”
“’Bout seven feet tall and almost as wide,” Zoe said. “That man was big.”
“I have never seen anyone put away as much food as he could,” Mal laughed.
“More’n Jayne?” Hank asked in surprise, grinning at the mercenary.
“Let’s just say I wouldn’t have wanted to be around if they’d got into a contest. The fall-out could’ve been fatal.”
“Hey!” Jayne complained.
Hank laughed. “Sounds like a real character.”
“Oh, he was.” Mal sighed. “Just can’t believe he’s dead.”
“Well, you can get to say goodbye anyway,” the pilot said.
“Think everyone’ll want to come to the wake?” Zoe asked her captain.
“Up to them. I'm just glad we’re in the vicinity. Most times an old soldier dies, there ain't no-one around to hold their hands.”
to be continued
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:08 AM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 6:44 AM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:07 AM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:47 AM
Sunday, June 17, 2007 12:03 PM
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