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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
The crew of Legacy faces further dire straits in its bid to complete its mission. On Londinum, Eli comes to a hard decision.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 694 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Preamble preamble. Yadda yadda yadda. I've edited this a touch since I put it up initially, but it won't be anything major. A few tweaks here and there. Notable is the new ending, to let you know that yes, Jacob did deliver the package. The implications are startling.
Also, tomorrow, I'll be putting up the new chapter, so keep your eyes peeled for juicy new stuff, plenty of Reavers, and the last time you'll hear from Monday in a long while.
Niflheim=Mal4Prez, the rest be mine.
Feedback me. It's just the polite thing to do.
The Ecstasy, Part 2
The soft squeak of the brakes engaging on her primitive conveyance dragged her out of her distraction. She never understood why Eli loved these old 'cars' so much. They were noisy, they were about as maneuverable as a saddled, drunken priest, and they belched out fetid pollution wherever they went. Eli always favored their use, though. She reached over and took Adam's hand, causing him to look up and realize where he was. The two of them shared a smile before she opened the door and stepped onto the over-grown path that lead to the 'front door' of the eccentric house.
“Adam, come along,” she called as she moved, skirting the puddles that had formed from the early evening rain. Eli could easily afford weather mitigation, so there wouldn't be any puddles at all, but instead he let the rain fall as it would. Ever the oddity, Eli Greyson was.
“I'm coming, Mama,” Adam replied, gathering his things. It had been a long trip, but at least a happy one. Adam was fine. For once, in her life, she could think of her child without fear or worry, or in previous instances, hate. She couldn't hide the smile that had been wormed inside her all day. Adam was going to be alright. Years of worry, evaporated into a cloud of giddiness. She felt like leaping about and squealing with joy. Indoors, though. Out here, she could fall and hurt herself. And people could see her.
Not even trying to cloud her grin, she opened the door.
“Eli?” she called. “Elias, I've got great news!”
She paused for a moment, to catch his doubtlessly smart-assed reply, but it didn't come. Perhaps he hadn't heard her. She moved toward the circular stairwell which dropped directly into his study, rather than the massive edifice which lead to the rest of the building.
“Come on, Eli. I'm not going to yell a...” she trailed off at the sight of blood. A lot of blood. She turned, running back to the front door, barely catching Adam by his narrow shoulders before he made it in. She forced her smile back onto her face, a difficult task, now. “Adam, why don't you head over to the Marsters' house?”
“Mama?” Adam asked, a bit confused.
“You always wanted to stay over there,” she rationalized, “and seeing how now you're so tough and healthy, I can't think of a better time, can you?”
Adam looked skeptical, but nodded. “I guess so, Mama,” he then shrugged and cast up his little arms, and she clutched him tight into a hug. “I'll see you tomorrow, Mama. I promise I'll be good.”
She stifled herself before she started to cry. “That's my good boy,” she whispered. “I'll see you in the morning.”
Adam then turned, and full of the confidence that only the blessed ignorance of youth could bestow, moved back down the path to where the driver was trying to scrape mud off his shoes onto a rock. She waited until Adam started to talk to the man before she pulled the door closed and rushed back to the room with the stairwell, with blood leading away toward the window. Carefully, she edged up, peering outside. The trail ended at the sill. Likely, any trail that had been left outside had been obliterated by the rain.
Just as quiet, just as afraid, she turned and crept, step by step, down the stairs. The room below was dark, no sources of light filling the naturally black chamber. Buried underground, only the scant light from above could be seen, casting a pool around the foot of the stairs. Other than that, there was nothing her eyes could discern.
She could hear something though. Like a rasping of breath, but unsteady and thin. With silent steps, she moved to the reading lamp Eli kept next to the bookcase, and flicked it on. It took her eyes a moment to adjust back to the light, and when she did, she had to bite her thumb to keep from screaming.
Eli was slumped against a wall, a crimson pool around him, his head hanging low. The wheezing sound emanated from him, and as she rushed toward him, she realized that in his delirium, he was laughing.
“Eli!” she gave him a hard shake, trying to bring him back into coherence. “Eli, please, are you alright?”
“heh...” Eli trailed off. Finally, he spat, a gobbet of blood landing on his leg. “I got him, Soyi. I got the bastard good.”
She hesitated a moment at the name. “Of course you did, Eli, of course you did,” She carefully prodded him, seeing where he hurt. “When did this happen?”
“Get'm back on the boat,” Eli murmured. “The riots are comin'...”
“Eli, there's no boat,” she began, “And my name is...”
“Tell... Zhuge... that nephew of yours... doesn't get here, were leavin' him...” Eli continued, completely heedless of reality.
“Eli...” she whispered. She shook him again, he didn't respond, he just kept laughing. “Eli, my name is Mai. Mai Yiao. Soyi's gone. Eli? Eli!”
He didn't even notice her.
She glanced around the room before settling on his computer. She flicked it on and waited a moment while it readied itself for her.
“That's not the first time I've heard that name,” she whispered to herself as she waited for the screen to coalesce. Finally, she located the receiver she'd sought, lying next to Eli in his blood. She plucked it up in hesitant fingers, unwilling to sully herself, as she hit the emergency button. Nothing happened. She pressed it again, turning to the screen next to her, but still, there was nothing.
“Fine,” she said, turning to wipe the blood onto his chair, “I'll do it the old-fashioned way.”
When she turned back, to key in the ambulance, a chuckling man's face appeared on the screen, still smiling from some unheard utterance. The man was in his thirties, and had a distinct Asian look about him. When he saw her, his smile vanished, and a suspicious look lit upon his features.
“Who the hell are you?” he demanded.
“Since you're not E.M.T.'s, I could ask the same of you,” she pointed out.
“I asked first,” the man countered, leaning in. “Who are you, and why are you calling me from Uncle Eli's private line?”
She gave a glance to Eli, laying next to her, then with a scowl, lifted up the screen and pointed it at her delirious benefactor. After a moment, she pulled it back. His suspicion had turned to hard focus. “I see. And I'm not going to ask why you're there. Not my business. Apply pressure to any wounds you can see, and don't panic. I'll be there in four minutes,” he rose from his seat, and vanished from the screen. After a second, he leaned back over, into frame. “Oh, and I'm Zhuge Baihu. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
Baihu. She remembered, when Eli was waxing historical, that he'd spent a good chunk of his life working for a bear of a man named Yang Baihu, before he'd struck onto his incredible wealth. What manner of fate was it that his family was on Londinum, and so close at hand? It didn't bear thinking on. She knelt down, her knees displacing nearly coagulating blood. When she began to press hard on the bloody wound, Eli's eyes snapped open, and he stared about in panic. His arm reached for something, but she couldn't see what it was in the uneven illumination, and his reflex aborted a soon as he realized who it was. Suddenly and unexpectedly, he let out a wet laugh.
“Are you out of your mind?” she asked. “What's so funny?”
“Regretting your choice to live under my roof?” he countered, a bloody smile on his lips. A very near miss that had grazed his scalp sent a cascade of scarlet down his face, making him seem a very savage figure. She knew him to be anything but.
“Strangely enough, I still don't,” she admitted. She favored him with a mock-stern look. “But you owe me a new dress and an explanation.”
Eli's smile grew as his head leaned back, until it had transformed into a rictus of agony. After a moment, he wiped some of the blood from his forehead with a sanguinary hand, only resulting in spreading the mess across his face. “And here I thought,” he whispered, “that my gettin' shot days were over.”
“Eli?” she asked, drawing his eyes up to hers. “Who did this?”
Eli's chuckle raised the hairs on her neck. “A snake,” he whispered, “run amok in the Garden.”
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