Broken Wings: Chapter 12 (Repost)
Monday, November 12, 2007

Inara and Simon continue their work while a message gets out to those on the front lines. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.


Chapter 12

“Simon!” Cheung grinned widely as the young doctor entered his office. “How was your weekend? Well spent, I hope?”

Simon could recognize the prompting for information for what it was. He hadn’t seen Mai all weekend and he was certain that the older man wanted to find out what he’d done with his time. Thankfully, he wouldn’t have to lie if it came to that. He’d spent it home alone with his children.

“It was,” Simon said with a tight smile, glancing briefly at the flat cortex screen in the corner of the room. Some kind of news report scrolled across it, but he paid no further mind to it as he entered Cheung’s office.

“I was hoping you and Mai would come by for dinner.”

“I believe the ladies have planned dinner for later this week,” Simon answered as calmly as possible. His heart raced and he willed his tense body to relax. It wasn’t unusual in the Core worlds to visit a Companion.

“Ah, yes.” He glanced down at what Simon assumed was a calendar. “I see they have.”

A moment later, Cheung was distracted by the images flashing across the screen beside him.

“Ah, listen to this.” Cheung gestured to the cortex and the volume rose so they could understand what was being said. “It looks as if your work is already bearing fruit.”

Simon turned and watched as an aerial view of an Independent compound appeared on the screen. The ground was littered with dead and not a drop of blood could be seen.

Simon swallowed thickly and forced himself to remain calm. “The toxin?“ He didn’t turn toward Mr. Cheung for fear that the man would recognize the look on his face for what it was – horror.

“Worked well, it appears.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Simon could see the man frown. “Unfortunately, the news feeds got a hold of what we did to the civilians helping those traitors.”

Simon’s eyes widened when the picture changed to reveal civilians, like those Serenity had set down to help not so long ago. They were lying motionless on the ground, inside businesses, in their fields. Dead, and not a speck of blood on them.

“We’re working on cutting that feed, but it’s constantly being routed. Makes it difficult to trace.”

“I – see.” Simon couldn’t push anything else out of his mouth. Had the information he’d given River not made it into the right hands in time? Guilt crept up his spine and he felt suddenly very sick to his stomach. But he couldn’t show it. He couldn’t let Mr. Cheung realize that the very thought of having a hand in the deaths of so many innocent people disgusted him.


Mal and company crowded around the transport’s cortex screen, trying to make out the news feed as it crackled across an unsteady connection. Their location on a remote Rim world couldn’t be all that was to blame for the poor signal.

“They’re tryin’ to block it,” one of the newbie soldiers sneered. His eyes were glued to the screen, as were every one else’s.

“Ain’t havin’ much success with that.” Zoe held a head-sized bag in her lap and fingered it silently.

“Won’t do us much good if they drop some of that stuff at our next stop.” Mal’s jaw was set and his eyes were hard as the news showed everything bad about the war – of course, there was rarely anything good to report about a war either.

“Seems the reporters are on our side this time.”

“Ain’t the way of it, I’m sure,” Mal replied. “They go wherever the news is, broadcast whatever is the most interesting.” He fell silent as they continued to listen to the news feed. Alliance control on the Core worlds is slipping as more and more people discover what has truly been done to the innocents of this war.

“Those ain’t Alliance reporters,” Zoë leaned toward Mal to whisper.

“Sure don’t sound like it.”

Zoe scowled at a nearby marine who tried to shush them. This new information, coupled with the Miranda cover-up, has shed light on corruption within the deepest sections of the government. We’ve done our best to uncover the truth, but we’ve been stalled in every conceivable way. The reporter continued and the only noise that could be heard was the grinding of the transport as it made its way over rocky terrain. We’re broadcasting as we can, but they’re trying to jam our signals. We route and re-route them but there will come a time when this broadcast will go silent. We hope those of you listening can decipher the truth in our words and make the decision for yourself.”

Will you stand beside a government that feels it necessary to kill unarmed and innocent civilians to reach its enemies, or will you raise your voices in defiance of this thinking and fight for a better Union?

This reporter has supported the government for a long time. Now we’ve been forced to ground, or risk becoming a casualty of this war. Too many atrocities have been committed and its time for our government to answer for its crimes. “Never thought I’d see the day,” Mal said as he pulled open the drawstring on his own head-sized bundle.

The news report repeated in the background, revealing that it was just lopped and not a live report.

“Think they’ve been killed?” Zoe arched her neck toward the cortex screen.

“Be surprised if they haven’t. We know first hand how the Alliance handles those who do as they want and not what they’re told.” He pulled out the mask and began to check it for stability.

Zoe pulled her own mask out of its bag and turned it over in her hand. “Think it’ll protect us?”

Mal cocked his head and shot her a wry grin. “Best on the second hand market.”

Zoe nodded, but he knew her well enough to recognize the doubt in her eyes.

“That weapon our people been workin’ on should tip the scales in our favor.” It’d been a long time since he’d felt so optimistic.

“Providin’ we don’t get gassed off them scales ‘fore enough of them weapons are deployed to protect us.”

Mal pursed his lips and sighed. He could always count on Zoe to point out the uncomfortable obvious.


In the opulent penthouse, Inara was not concerned with the man lying in her bed, but instead her eyes were glued on the cortex feed he watched with increasing irritation.

After he’d finished, Inara faked her own satisfaction and then went to freshen up. It had given her the chance to regroup her emotions, and to clean his scent from her body. When she returned, she found her client lounging in the large bed, his eyes glued to the cortex screen.

She didn’t immediately move forward. Instead, she watched the feed with increasing horror and disgust.

Bodies lay strewn across the ground, no blood to be seen. It wasn’t a battlefield, but a massacre. No better than the one that had occurred on Miranda – except this one had been deliberate.

Delicate fingers came up to touch her lips, to keep the gasp of disgust lodged there.

She stood outside the makeshift tent, watching as Simon tended to the injured. There weren’t many. The chemicals the Alliance had used on this town had been swift and deadly.

She could feel a body stop beside her a moment before Mal said, “They don’t care who they hurt to get what they want.”

Inara watched sadly as people milled about them in a daze. She shook her head and exhaled deeply. “So many blindly support this government.”

“You used to.”

Inara clamped her mouth shut for a moment before turning to him. He’d been under a lot of stress, they all had, but it didn’t give him the right to be so cold toward her and her former way of life..

Her retort was perhaps harsher than she intended. “It’s easy for even the most intelligent to be swayed by pretty words and things.”

“Tellin’ the population what they want to hear. Shoulda been the first clue right there.” He hesitated for a moment, as if considering that perhaps this wasn’t an acceptable topic, but then barreled on. “Some things really are too good to be true.”

Inara’s jaw tightened and she fought to calm the rising ire. They were all under an immense amount of stress. But that didn’t give him the right to put down how and where she’d been raised. She was incensed, for herself, for Simon, for those who truly didn’t know the lengths their government would go to keep their way of life stable. “We don’t live in a completely utopian society, Mal.”

“Not out here we don’t. But most prissy Core folk don’t ever leave their mansions to come see how the majority live.”

Inara inhaled sharply when her client’s hands circled her waist and gently coaxed her back to the large, plush bed. Opulence surrounded them, not only this room, but this building and this world. It was as close to a utopian society as the Alliance could make it – force it.

“My apologies, Lady, for bringing such disturbing news into this suite.” Her client dipped his head and tasted her smooth neck while gentle hands parted the folds of her robe and began to explore the softness of her skin. “Let me wipe it all away.” His mouth covered hers and she forced herself to become pliant beneath him, to forget what she had just seen and pretend, yet again, that she enjoyed his touch.

Her thoughts turned inward as her body moved in the familiar way, as her fingers taunted and teased her client into fits of pleasure he’d paid handsomely to receive.

In the middle of all this, as her client’s mind turned to whimpering mush, She wondered about Mal, Zoe, Simon, River, and even Jayne. Wondered about where they were, if they’d been anywhere near those chemical attacks. She prayed to every God she knew to keep them safe. And when her client pushed her thighs apart and entered her for the second time, Inara squeezed her eyes shut and clutched his graying hair, wishing, hoping that she would get the chance to see her family again.


Cheung stared at the cortex screen in front of him as a middle-aged man continued with his report. “He was there for a little over an hour and then left.”

Once the report had finished, and the screen winked off, Cheung flipped on a small device at the corner of his desk. A distinctly female voice answered. “Please send Doctor Tam to my office.”

“Yes, sir.”

He leaned back in his chair and contemplated just what he was going to say to the young man about visiting Companions. It wasn’t shameful in any way. He himself had visited countless of them. Mistresses of seduction, intoxicating beauties held up so high on their pedestals that anyone who could afford their services felt as if he was the king of Londinium himself. But – he wanted Simon to seek out his daughter should he have such needs to be slaked, not some Companion schooled in telling a man what he wanted to hear.

His door chimed and Cheung stood, briefly wondering how Simon had so quickly made it from his lab to the office. But instead of Tam, two security officers walked uninvited through the door.


“Sorry to interrupt. But we’ve got a few questions we need answered.”

Cheung raised an eyebrow and motioned for the men to sit.

“We’ve monitored a few untraceable communiqué’s originating from this office. Do you know anything about this, Director Cheung?”

Cheung had the decency to look incensed. “I most certainly do not.”

“We didn’t think so. You’ve been such an asset to this division since your appointment. Has anyone else had access to this office or your cortex connection?”

Cheung inhaled deeply, considering, but giving no information. “None that I can recall.”

“You understand that we will need to monitor all communication more closely until such time as we can discover who is using government equipment without authorization.”

Cheung’s eyes narrowed spitefully. Top secret communication came in and out of this office on a regular basis, scrambled to keep the content of those messages private. He couldn’t notify his superiors. He didn’t want them aware that there had been a security leak somewhere within his facility. He would have to let internal security handle it. “Of course. You will have my full cooperation.”

The head of special security rose and extended his hand. “We expect nothing less, Doctor. Thank you. We will be in touch.”

Cheung watched them go with a mixture of annoyance and rage. He wasn’t sure with whom he was more annoyed: security for even daring to suspect such an upstanding citizen like himself, or that someone would have the gall to use his property to make unauthorized communications.

Just as he resumed his seat, the chime rang, indicating he had yet another guest.


“Doctor Tam for you, sir.”

Cheung leaned back in his seat and set his jaw. Suddenly, he had more than one item on the agenda to discuss with his newest recruit.

“Send him in.”

TBC ----------------- Reviews before the hack. -----------------

KiMbEr Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 07:37

The scene of Mal and Zoe and the feed was brilliant!! But I'm really pitying Inara and praying she would be reunited with them soon, god knows what'll happen if something in her plan goes wrong :S Can't wait for the next part!

Keep flying ;) -----------------

KiMbEr Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 07:38

First comment, YAY :D -----------------

abbeygirl Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 07:51

I haven't commented yet, but I thought I would take the chance to do so now.

This series is... AWESOME! I can't wait for the next installment. -----------------

MerryK Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 09:06

Ooh, the plot is really thickening. Simon's caught up in so many tangled threads, I have no idea how he'll escape, and the same with Mal and Zoe. -----------------

Platonist Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 11:19

getting caught-up, time to comment.. River as the veiled visiting Companion seems to be the role she was born to play, with her obvious beauty and graceful mystery; she could easily eventually run the Guild.

And Inara, oh my, poor Inara, how much longer can she sustain the emotional torment her Intel seeking is causing her?... using her clients to gain info, for the cause, while the whole time thinking on a reunion with her family, almost keeping her able to go on... inner conflict galore for her, considering she supported Unification. love the character arc you're creating for her, a necessity in any post BDM sequel, IMHO.

And, Simon getting questioned now, oh no! Zoe, Mal, and Jayne doing what they do best, shooting and blowing up things. Everyone is included and characters are spot on... AWESOME, to say the least.

waiting on more, post away


AMDOBELL Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 11:23

Oh dear, methinks Simon is about to be unmasked. And what an evil piece of biological warfare the odious Alliance are unleashing on people. Just when I think they could stoop no lower. Ali D :~) You can't take the sky from me -----------------

BigBadJayne Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 14:08

I am one hundred percent going to go nuts until the next one's posted.....what a way to end the chapter! This is all so believebale and what Platonist said is right, this is spot on. Excellent! -----------------

Desertgirl Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 16:57

I feel the need to just get this posted and be done with it. So – guess who benefits?

Does ths mean your going to post the whole thing before you go on vacation??? She asks fingers crossed.

Yet another awesome chapter, thanks -----------------

ncbrowncoat Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 17:28

I'm really glad we'll see what's going to happen soon. -----------------

Jaynesgirl212 Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 00:45

There goes another bottle of Rolaids! -----------------

LadySage Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 06:15

Good suspense and a fun read - I'm really looking forward to more of this!



TamSibling Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 07:07

Oh the intrigue! This is building nicely. I am super worried that Simon will be unmasked soon and that cannot bode well for anyone, especially his children. I am worried for all of our BDHs because, aside from Zoe and Mal, they are forced to chart this hostile 'verse alone, no longer near the comfort of one another. Oh boy! -----------------

wytchcroft Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 11:25

getting stronger and stronger - you're playing confidently with form now too! very tasty fics:) -----------------

SwedishMystery Friday, September 21, 2007 - 01:50

I just wanted to pop in to say that I love this story. Keep it coming :)



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Simon and Kaylee discuss other - avenues, as they lay in bed. Oddly, this is a pretty PG story.

Simon and kaylee disturb the ship with their nocturnal activities. Post BDM. Part of a challenge table. Rated NC-17 for adult content.

Broken Wings: Conclusion (Repost)
The crew take Kaylee home to be buried and the reason for Simon's secrecy is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 18 (Repost)
Simon, Mal and Jayne have a moment with Kaylee. Inara and River are reunited with the rest of the crew. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 17 (Repost)
Simon has a conversation with Zoe, Mal and Jayne - separately. Sequel to 'On the Edge.' Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 16 (Repost)
The crew is reunited - mostly, as Simon arrives to treat the wounded. River rushes to Inara's aid before her deception is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 15 (Repost)
Simon's escape is halted by his father. But River comes to the rescue. Jayne - sees the light - far too up close and personal for his safety. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 14 (Repost)
Simon and Inara's deception is discovered. Mal, Jayne and Zoe continue to fight what looks to be a losing battle. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 13 (Repost)
Simon has some unexpected help with his fussy son and River receives another assignment. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 12 (Repost)
Inara and Simon continue their work while a message gets out to those on the front lines. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.