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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Repost of an earlier story now lost. This episode: Kaylee's testing begins as the crew finds ruins where a mansion once stood...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 595 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Kaylee had paced the walls of the tiny room dozens of times, looking for the faintest crack in the wall to work with, but each time she came up empty. Every time she tried going near the corner with the holo-door, the silver bands around her wrists would stop her arms from touching it.
She had thought about using parts from the recessed lighting to devise a method of escape, but even if she could reach the panel, the light covering was too hard and thick to break with her bare hands. There was no hope of a tool of any kind, either---every time someone brought her food, the dishes it came on were made of cheap plastic that broke under even moderate pressure. What’s more, the hundan that had locked her up here seemed to think she couldn’t be trusted with a plastic knife—if there was meat of any kind, it came already cut into pieces.
She’d cried herself to sleep the first few nights (or, at least, what she thought was night, as there was still no way for her to tell time in this prison), her energy completely spent. She remembered Simon warning her to take things easy and nap whenever she could, but that was before she’d been locked up by a deranged lunatic who wanted to do Lord-knows-what with her baby.
Kaylee had made herself sick with worry over that thought. Her dreams were haunted with images of needles poking and prodding her child’s tiny little form; of wires protruding from a tiny little head with dark hair and beautiful blue eyes… She’d tried to push the thoughts from her mind, mentally reminding herself that Simon would come for her, that the captain and Zoe and Jayne and even River would come for her, that the tamade xio de lioumang that resembled her husband would never get the chance to hurt her baby—not ever.
Her teeth chattered, and she drew the comforter up around her neck. The thin gown she wore was not enough to keep out the persistent chill in the room. Kaylee had asked—even pleaded—for something warmer, but her guards merely shook their heads and left without ever letting slip a word of conversation.
Every day there was some new test; some new experiment that the elder Tam wanted to try, and though she’d fought and screamed and resisted with all her might, the silver bands still drew her hands behind her back. She’d still been pushed out of the holo-door into a long, dark hallway that led to rooms with cold exam tables with restraints on them, where needles poked her in so many places Kaylee felt like a breathing pincushion. The first time she’d been “examined,” she’d screamed and cried so much her throat was ragged and finally she found a gag shoved in her mouth in an attempt to keep her quiet.
She tried to curl her knees underneath her chin, trying to generate more heat under the thin blankets. Why’s it got to be so cold? she thought. She clasped her hands around her growing belly, and softly began to sing a lullaby. She’d asked Simon not long after they’d found out if the baby could hear her when she sang, and though he’d said that it was probably too early to tell, he thought the baby would probably like to hear her as much as he did.
She sang, in a voice barely above a whisper, trying to sing both herself and her unborn child into a dreamless sleep.
“The tests look promising,” said a voice. Gabriel turned to see the young man holding a copy of the girl’s chart. “The child is showing even better initial response than we thought—and it’s only five months along. With luck, you may have an extraordinary find on your hands, Dr. Tam.”
Dr. Tam. No one had called him that in ages. He wished he still had the capability to perform the tests on the little space whore himself. Gabriel had seen hundreds of lovely young women that would have looked stunning on his son’s arm. But what does my son do? Rants about torture and conspiracy, destroys not only his life but his sister’s as well, and shacks up with some Rim-world tramp on a freighter full of criminals and thieves. He shook his head at the thought.
Every action, every result from the time of Simon’s birth, had been carefully planned. He owed his political benefactors a child, and that child was supposed to be his daughter. The talent she possessed was unsurpassed. Didn’t they understand that there were standards to uphold? Sacrifices to be made in the name of advancement?
He settled back into a large chair, and smiled at the thought of presenting his benefactors with a child the likes of which they had never seen. Only five months in the womb, and already it was showing strong signs of being a Reader…
“You sure this is the place?”
Simon looked at the charred hull that had, at one time, been a sprawling estate. The entrance gates looked as if they had been torn away long ago; there were ragged stumps where there once had been a grove of birch trees; and the remnants of the house had become a place where birds and other small creatures nested. Even Zoe commented about the place looking a bit like Serenity before Mal got his crew together and fixed it up.
“This is it…” He stopped a moment, remembering the splendor that his parents had always kept the place in. “...I guess,” he finished.
It had been a month since Kaylee’s kidnapping, and the crew had just barely made it to Osiris on the proceeds of their job on Elgin. Simon realized quickly that in order to find her and the baby, they would need to either pull a few quick jobs, or find something of value by looting his parents’ estate. From the looks of things, though, someone else had beaten them to the job.
“This how all rich folk act? Go all crazy and torch their beds for fun?” Jayne asked, carrying no less than six of his favorite pistols. He’d wanted to bring Vera, claiming that Gabriel Tam might still be inside, but Mal had firmly put a halt to that notion. “Don’t need you wakin’ up the neighbors, Jayne,” he’d commented.
“Neighbors?!” Jayne had cried. “You see any ruttin’ people livin’ here?” He swept his hand over the landscape, using a gun Simon only knew as “Lisa” as a pointer.
They managed to brave the debris left strewn over the floor. Broken glass, bits of paneling and plaster, and even twisted bits of metal lay pell-mell over a foyer carpet that Simon remembered as spotless.
“Why would anyone leave their house in this condition?” Inara asked as she managed to walk into a layer of cobwebs. “Especially one as…opulent as this one appears to have been?”
“Oppo-huh?” Jayne was confused.
“Opulent. Means fancy,” supplied Zoe.
“It was. The place was like a museum—there were only two or three rooms River and I were allowed in outside of our rooms.” Simon began picking his way up a dilapidated staircase. “My father’s study should still be up here, I think.”
“Something up there?” called Mal, deciding to follow him up the rickety steps.
“If we’re lucky, his desk. Maybe there’s a clue to where he’s hiding out now.” Simon had to suppress a chuckle at this thought. He and River were “hiding out” after what their father had done, and now the hundan seemed to be doing the very same thing.
There was a creak and shudder of rotten boards, but the two managed to make their way to the second floor. “Last door on the…” Simon began, trying to remember. “…left,” he finished, starting to make strides towards an oak and ebony door.
Just then, there was another creak…and the floor suddenly disappeared from underneath the young doctor’s feet. He managed to hold onto the boards surrounding him, but he knew that the rest of the floor might cave in at any moment…
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