Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE
What do you do when you run out of options?
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2206 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Annie M (firstname.lastname@example.org)
See part one for disclaimers and summary
Several seconds after Captain Reynolds had departed, Captain Santos stepped out of the shadows to put a hand on Choi's shoulder.
"You handled that very well, Commander; I'm impressed," he said.
"Just following orders, sir," Choi muttered unhappily.
Santos said mildly, "Orders you weren't willing to entertain twenty-four hours ago."
"I took your advice, and considered my options."
Santos smiled ruefully. "Accepting the truth can sometimes be difficult, Commander Choi, but I'm sure you can see now, that this is for the greater good."
"Yes, sir," Choi replied bleakly.
"Don't ever doubt what we stand for, Commander, and don't ever forget the sacrifices the Alliance have made to get to this point. Your wife and children will sleep better if you bear that in mind."
Choi turned to face Santos. "We can't go on telling everyone that Reavers don't exist, sir; that they're some sort of savage nightmare that colonists and spacers have made up--"
"That's exactly what we'll keep doing," the Hessen's captain interjected. "Out here on the rim; among the core planets; that's exactly what we'll keep telling them."
"But they were our own men! Surely we have a responsibility to put a stop to them? We have to face the truth," Choi demanded.
Groaning, Santos replied, "And let everyone in the Core know that Alliance soldiers couldn't handle the ravages of war? That they went mad and are now terrorising colonists? That truth?"
Choi had no answer.
"You'll do what you've been instructed to do, Commander, and you'll go a lot further if you remember it."
"And Morfan?" Choi asked miserably.
"We'll blow the entire moon back to Earth-that-was if necessary, but nothing that isn't already off the ground is getting out of there now. Serenity's crew aren't a threat, and in time this episode, like so many others, will simply be another campfire story to scare your children with."
Mal led Zoe and Jayne through the air lock linking Serenity with the Hessen. On entering Serenity's cargo bay they were met by the warm and welcoming smiles of Kaylee and Shepherd Book.
"It's good to have you back, Captain," Book said cheerfully.
Mal could barely bring himself to smile in return. His final meeting with the two Alliance officers was still too fresh in his mind.
Kaylee was standing before him on tiptoes, planting a kiss on his cheek, her eyes twinkling as she stepped back. "Those purple-bellies left us a pile a money," she said, winking and pointing to a corner of the bay.
Mal glanced over and saw two large purses, filled with coin. Alliance coin, guaranteed to be welcome on any planet from here right back to the Central Core.
"Yeah!" cheered Jayne, immediately heading for the sacks. "This is what I call a pay day," he triumphed, hefting the sacks in his hands.
Squeezing Kaylee's shoulder and turning to Book Mal asked, "Did we get boarded?"
Book shook his head, but Kaylee, still beaming answered. "Nope, they just dropped the booty where we told 'em. They didn't look around or nothing, Cap'."
"Good. Simon and River, okay?" he asked, moving away from her to the comm unit by the main doors.
Kaylee had moved to hug Zoe. "Just fine, cap', but we put 'em out of sight, just in case."
"Good girl," he said, and as he was about to hit the comm button Wash's voice blared throughout the cargo bay.
"Zoe, when you're done telling everyone about your thrilling adventures with psychotic and blood-thirsty maniacs, I'd appreciate it if you'd come up here and give your husband the kind of loving reunion he so richly deserves. You know, the kind that writers only hope to articulate and poets only ever scratch the surface of."
Mal stood stiffly as everyone gathered, including Jayne, laughed and snickered.
Zoe, grinning happily, moved to the comm and standing next to Mal she responded into it warmly, "Coming, dear."
Wash's voice reverberated around the bay once more. "Oh yes, baby, *you* will."
Watching Zoe ascend the stairs, Mal activated the comm again. "Wash," he called, "before you all start with that poetic lovin', I'd appreciate it if you got us under way for Talos; we'll pick up Inara, and then we're getting the hell away from this *fangui, chou, pihua dui*."
Silently Mal crossed the bay and held out his hands to Jayne for the money. Hesitating for the briefest of moments Jayne smirked before handing them over.
"Everyone back to work now, fun's over," Mal said following Zoe's path up the stairs.
Making a stop at the kitchen, Mal poured himself a cup of coffee. It was lukewarm, bitter and had the consistency of warm sludge, but he savoured the brew as he drank. Pouring himself another cup to go, he awkwardly carried his mug and the two bags of coin to his bunk.
Not wanting to intrude on Zoe and Wash's moment of reunion, he kept his gaze firmly on the grating below. Using a foot to open his cabin hatch he dropped one of the sacks down to the floor, climbing down after it he activated the cabin lock.
Grateful to be alone at last.
Being out in the black again was a good thing, a peaceful thing. The darkness beyond Serenity was like a familiar blanket, offering the assurance of warmth and safety wrapped up within its embrace.
It was ironic that the truth of that seductive, dark grasp couldn't be more contrary, but Mal couldn't stop looking out into it.
He sat alone on the bridge, shying away from dinner and conversation with the others under the guise of "captainy things" that needing doing. Not one of them had believed him of course, but he didn't expect them to or even care that much that they knew he was lying.
Ever since he'd bought Serenity Mal had felt like a free man, choosing where he worked and when, under the yoke of no other authority but his own.
But what was freedom truly, when you lay down for the highest bidder, or eked out an existence on the scraps of others?
Was that the kind of independence he'd fought for six years ago, to be used and spat out at the other end?
It was his fault. Flying under the radar, taking jobs that barely paid, letting the ship falter and run out of fuel--his choices, his decisions--all leading them to grovel for handouts at the door of the Alliance. Allowing himself and his crew to be exploited, playing their game of run and fetch like he was born to it.
"Figured you could use something to eat, sir."
Mal didn't need to turn to recognise who was calling out to him, besides, only Zoe called him "sir" on this boat.
Over his left shoulder a plate of mush appeared covered in gravy, a spoon buried within its creamy mound, and over his right a mug of coffee.
"I know you said you weren't hungry earlier on, but you ain't eaten all day so I thought you could use it."
"Appreciate it," Mal said, taking the dishes in hand. Turning towards his first officer he placed the mug on the floor and took a tentative mouthful.
"Mmm," he said digging back in. "Tastes like mash potatoes."
"It is mash potatoes, sir."
He shrugged. "Well, it's good."
"You can thank the Shepherd for it in the morning," she said, slipping gracefully into the co-pilot's seat.
Mal retuned to his meal, the first mouthful of the potatoes and gravy had fired his taste buds and alerted him to his previously ignored hunger. He'd catch Zoe watching him from time to time, but she let him finish his supper in silence.
Mal knew it wasn't just for his well being that she'd brought the food. Swapping the now empty plate for the mug of coffee at his feet, he stared directly at her.
"Shouldn't you be off being poetic with your husband?" he asked.
A smile of satisfaction lit up Zoe's face. "We'll get to round two in a bit," she declared confidently. Schooling her features, she leaned over in her chair, bracing her elbows on her thighs.
"Captain, I know the money for this job was good, and I ain't complaining about our cut--Wash and me are hoping to take a little break--but, sir, I can count as well as you, or Jayne for that matter, so I have to ask; why didn't you take your share?"
Mal took another sip of his coffee and leaned back in his chair. Not much got by Zoe. "Wouldn't be right," he answered. "I know we needed the money, and for now we'll keep flying, but it ain't brought me no peace, Zoe."
"It's not like you can give it back, sir."
"I know it."
"Sir, we knew this was gonna be bad business from the moment we signed on. You know," she said, leaning back and copying Mal's pose, "my Momma always used to say; 'Only Alliance I trust are the ones who are already dead.' And frankly, sir, I always found that quote pretty much the truth of it.
"We did what they asked and nearly got killed for our troubles. Captain, we earned every penny they paid us. *You* earned it."
Mal shook his head, Zoe was right, but that didn't make it any easier for him to accept. "Zoe," he confessed, "life like ours ain't ever gonna be smooth, but desperate or not, I don't ever want to have to take this road again."
Zoe picked up one of Wash's dinosaurs and sat it gently in her lap. "Any ideas on how we're going to avoid it, sir?"
Studying Zoe carefully and then the deep, beckoning, black beyond Serenity, Mal replied regretfully, "I don't know yet, Zoe, I really don't, but I'm working on it."
Pinyin Translations or as close to as I could find with LJC's help:
meimei - little sister
tamade - fuck
shi da koudai - sack of shit
shi gechu - shit all over
heng, edu nuren's hou bian - fat, malicious woman's backside
dongwu - animal
tamade diyu - fucking hell
quan zhou pa zhu zhengzai benren sou haishi mouwuma? - entire universe crawl into a hole while I was urinating or something?
zhuang pian - to swindle
gos se - dog shit
zhu bian xiang - hog in disguised form
shenme shibu duima - what's wrong?
duibuqi - I'm sorry
shenme á tamadema? - what the fuck?
xiaoxin, bao bei - be careful, baby
ni ye, zhangfu - you too, husband
dong ma - understand
wei ni tamade gan! - don't you fucking dare!
tamade dongwu - fucking animals
fangui, chou, pihua dui - foul, smelly, shit heap
Friday, June 06, 2003 3:16 PM
Friday, June 06, 2003 6:40 PM
Saturday, June 07, 2003 6:27 AM
Saturday, June 07, 2003 6:52 PM
Sunday, June 08, 2003 8:33 AM
Sunday, June 08, 2003 9:33 AM
Sunday, June 08, 2003 9:52 AM
Thursday, June 19, 2003 11:58 AM
Saturday, June 21, 2003 9:02 AM
Tuesday, July 08, 2003 12:09 PM
Tuesday, July 08, 2003 12:22 PM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.