BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

SAFEAT2ND

The Old Girl
Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Firefly/Battlestar Galactica old and new crossover that I've been toying with for some time now. Not sure if it's on the mark character wise, or worth finishing. Please let me know. Also, I've used 'shepard' as a description for Book, but would holyman or preacher be applicable? Seems to me Jayne would call him something other than shepard.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2154    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

The sky, lit only by the warm glow of the night cycle, failed to ease the growing tension between the two dinosaurs below. They circled each other warily.

A single palm tree in the distance was the only witness to what happened next.

“So, you’ve returned.” The T-rex growled at the Brontosaurus.

“Yes, I’ve come to take back This Land.” The Brontosaurus replied.

“HA! You? You are no match for my awesome might and sharp pointy teeth.”

“Maybe not alone, but I brought a friend and he has a really big gun.”

The T-rex turns slowly. Behind him an orange Stegosaurus sits atop a green army tank. Before the T-Rex can say a word, the air is filled with the shrill sound of alarms and the ground beneath their feet lights up as words scroll across it.

“Yeh-soo, ta ma duh..." The sandy haired pilot curses and brushes the plastic dinosaurs off his monitor with his arm. Grabbing the yoke, he fires the reverse thrusters angling his ship to avoid collision.

“C’mon baby… duck like a good girl…” The pilot grunted through clenched teeth. Even though space offered no resistance, countering forward momentum in a short distance was a tricky maneuver.

The proximity alarms finally silence as the small ship narrowly avoids the collision. It is then that the pilot hears the com.

“WASH! What’s going on up there?”

“Mal, you might wanna see this…” Wash says as he flicks on the external spot lights.

***

The spot lights play across the surface of the other ship. Wash lets out a low whistle, “She’s a monster…”

Wash and Mal peer out the window taking in the scene. They are slowly joined by the rest of the crew, rubbing sleep out of their eyes.

“It ain’t Reavers is it?” Jayne, the big mercenary asks quietly.

“Nope. Ain’t no bodies strapped to the outside.” Mal says never taking his eyes off the ship. “Sides, as patched up as she may look, she is still patched up. What I can’t figure out is why she hasn’t hailed us.”

“Probably doesn’t know we’re here. We’re too close.” The second mate prompts from the doorway.

“Zoe,” Mal turns at the sound of her voice, “Do you recognize the ship’s class?”

For someone who had just woken up, Zoe had the air that she’d never been asleep, alert and clear-eyed. Her dark skin showed no evidence of sleep scars. “She’s definitely not Alliance, unless they’ve developed a new style of ship.”

A slight wisp of a girl enters the cockpit unnoticed by the others, her bare feet silent on the deck. The cotton of her dress floats around her, giving her an almost ghost-like appearance. “A tribe without a home…” Her voice is soft yet clear and cuts the silence like a church bell.

“Aiya!! Mal! Tell her to stop doing that!” The big mercenary barks, startled by the girl’s sudden appearance at his elbow.

“Shepard!” Mal calls, choosing to ignore Jayne and River for the moment. Truth be told, the girl unnerved him a mite as well, but the advantage of her brother’s medical skills out weighed his fears.

“Captain?” The Shepard responds with a bit of a smirk.

“Oh, there you are.” Mal says brushing aside the Shepard’s barb. “I don’t have time for our fancy word dance around what you may or may not know. I need your uncluttered input. I want to know what we’re dealing with here. We can’t stay hidden forever.”

“What do you want to know captain?” Shepard Book says crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow. “Is it Alliance? No it’s not. Although, I’m sure they’d like it to be. It’s better armed than anything they have, but it’s too old. Alliance prefers to be shiny and new, sets them apart.”

Jayne’s eyes narrow as he studies the Shepard. “Why you askin’ a shepard ’bout this Mal? And how does a shepard come to know so much about Alliance ships?”

“I’ve told you before, son, I wasn’t always a man of the cloth.” Book smiles benignly at Jayne.

“Ya? Well what exactly were you before?”

“Just another man, son..., just another man.”

“Zip it Jayne!” Mal snaps rapidly losing patience with the situation. “So you’re sayin’ you don’t know if when we poke our heads up t’say hello, they’re not gonna shoot it off? Great...”

“Oooo… she’s pretty.”

“Not now Kaylee.” Mal snaps at his mechanic and like always regretted doing so.

"Ummm... Mal, when you’re through yelling at everyone…" Wash interrupts then pauses at Mal’s glare, "and I mean that in the nicest possible way... I have an idea."

All eyes turn to him.

“She’s leaking some sort of radiation from the engine. If we drift back along the ship, we can coast out with the radiation. It should hide us from their sensors for a bit.”

“Do it. Then we can say hello from a goodly distance.” Mal nods at Wash.

“Leaking radiation? That screams Reavers to me.” Jayne says looking around trying to convince the others to agree with him.

“Nah, she’s to pretty to be Reavers.” Kaylee says craning her neck to take in more of the view. “If she was Reavers, she’d be broke up more.”

“But…. The radiation…”

Kaylee squints her eyes as they pass under the massive engines. “She’s just got a leak. Mostly likely the engine threw a fit, bein’ as how it’s so old.”

Once clear of the ship, its grand scope becomes evident. The ship is a monster indeed, at over 600 meters in length. Gun metal grey armored panels cover its exterior, showing signs of battle and numerous repairs. Two pontoons, one on each flank, run the length of the ship starting just shy of the bow section and ending just before the massive engine block in the aft. Each pontoon looked large enough to dock Mal’s ship, the Serenity, inside several times over. The bow resembled, if nothing else, a blunted arrowhead and massive guns bristled the exterior.

The sight hushed the assembled crew of the Serenity.

Wash is first to break the silence with a low whistle. “You still wanna say hello?”

The more Mal looked at the ship, the more it looked like an Alliance military vessel and that gave him pause. Alliance or not, he wasn’t about to poke the hornets nest to find out. “We’ve got a job to finish, and while it may be a legitimate job, it doesn’t pay well enough to afford any delays. Wash, get us planet side, so we can off load our cargo and get this job done on time for a change.”

Mal looked around at the assembled crew. “Don’t you people have something to do?” He snapped and stormed out of the bridge calling back over his shoulder, “Jayne, get the cargo bay ready and prep the mule.”

Jayne grumbles but exits to follow his orders.

“What’s got his panties in a bunch?” Wash nods at the departing Mal.

“Oh, he always gets ornery when ‘Nara’s on ‘business’.” Kaylee says with a smile. “He’s been this way since we dropped her an’ Simon off.”

“I fully can understand.” Wash says with a sly smile at his wife, Zoe. “You’d get that way too if I was off servicing some fine upstanding ladies.”

Zoe rolls her eyes and shakes her head. “We’ve only an hour before we break atmo, no point in trying to get back to sleep. I’m gonna make a pot of five month old coffee. Anyone who’s not my husband want a cup?” Zoe smiles heading for the kitchen.

“Do we have any of that powdered cream left?” Kaylee falls into step with Zoe.

“Powdered cream? Sounds…err… delightful…I’ll have a cup.” Book says sarcastically and follows Zoe and Kaylee.

“What?” Wash calls in mock indignation. “Was it something I said?”

“They’ve come so far…” River says quietly, as she watches the other ship until it’s out of sight.

***

Serenity sways slightly as her attitude thrusters settle her onto the landing pad.

Mal stands waiting at the cargo door.

A resounding boom echoes throughout the ship indicating that the docking clamps had clamped on, anchoring them in place.

Mal punches the button opening the airlock doors and lowering the loading ramp. He doesn’t wait for the ramp open completely before striding out and hoping lightly off it’s still lowering edge onto the landing platform.

Already waiting for them is an idling cargo mule. It had seen better days. Rust is quite evident on the sides of the cargo container and the grime nearly obscures the company logo on its side. One of its hover thrusters had to be on its last legs as the vehicle leans to one side.

Seemed everyone nowadays needed to have the hover type craft, or mules. It was a status symbol and regardless of its condition, one was considered better off by owning it.

Mal shakes his head in wonder. To make matters worse, for Mal at least, a teenaged boy jumps out of the waiting cargo mule. He proudly wore a smock bearing his workplaces logo “Mr. Chen’s Fresh Produce” and badly taped together glasses… Mr. Chen’s apprentice, Walter.

“Captain Reynolds!” The boy calls grinning and waving furiously. Well… there went any pretence of keeping this low key. It wasn’t that Mal was ashamed of hauling vegetables, any work that paid was good work, but truth be told it was mundane, low paying, dirty work. He did have a reputation after all. Not that he encouraged such talk, it’s just that he’d secretly become proud of his newfound status. It had been a long time since he was actually proud of something he did. Not since he’d join the Corp. In fact, he was beginning to feel like the clouds, which had for so long provided the backdrop of his life, finally looked to be clearing. “Jayne, help Walt off-load the cargo.” “He ain’t no help. Might as well do it myself.” Jayne grumbles. “Hey Reynolds! You’re losin’ yer touch. Y’ been reduced to a turnip hauler now! HAR HAR HAR!!” Mal cringed.

“Creeg, I see you’re still trying pass-off your flying bucket of Go-Se of as a cargo ship.” Mal turns slowly. On the adjacent docking platform, Creeg leaned against the hatch to his ship, The Gryphon, the last quarter of a large cigar protruding from the corner of his grinning maw. Mal suspected that the cigar was the same one he had when they first met years ago. “Oh, that hurt.” Creeg says adopting a hurt expression and putting his hands over his heart. “No need to get all personal…” “Personal? I mean that as a compliment, I surely do.” Mal replies mimicking Creeg’s poor acting. “And you know as well as I do, that’s not where your heart is. What are you doing here anyway?” “Jes refeulin’. Gotta run to make. Seems an Alliance frigate run a foul of someone or something and got all broke up. We’re workin’ the rescue.” “Rescue?” Mal snorts, “Don’t you mean salvage?” “Salvage, rescue, it’s all the same ta me.” Creeg shrugs his shoulders. “See? That’s why you gotta keep runnin’ the grocery getter. You got no sense o’ timin’.” “No… I’m no vulture.” “Suit yer self, I got me some money ta make.”

As Mal watches the Gryphon take off he is joined by Kaylee. With its forward docking/loading clamps, its squat semi-circular shape and its dual pilot domes set above and just back of the clamps, the Gryphon less resembled its namesake than it did a flying crab. And watching it take off, Mal is reminded of an old Earth-that-was saying his mom used to tell him how pets often resemble their owners. Of course at the time she was referring to a particularly stubborn old bull that Mal’s father used to have trouble with and not a large and ungainly spaceship. As always, these echoes of the past were accompanied by the familiar sharp pang of loss. Every day, every minute, that passed since Shadow, his home, had been destroyed for some senseless war, weighed heavily upon him. Kaylee interrupts Mal’s reminiscing, “That’s a right ugly sight.” She says indicating the departing ship. “Which? The ship? Or the man what owns it?” Mal says turning to look at his mechanic. It never failed. Whether it was her sunny disposition, bubbly personality or optimistic outlook, she always raised his spirits. “I’d have to say both.” Kaylee says with a small shudder. “Kaywinnit Lee Frye…” Mal stares at Kaylee in mock admonishment. “That was a right un-neighborly thing to say about a man and his flying outhouse.” Kaylee dissolves into laughter. “Why Captain, is that a smile I see on your face?” Zoe says as she and Wash walk down the ramp. Not waiting for, nor expecting, a response Zoe continues on. “My hubby is taking me out for lunch. We’re having real food.”

Scene:2 The bridge of the large spaceship is a picture of choreographed chaos. Alarms chime, consoles flash and people hurry about carrying various paper reports and printouts.

A man stands amongst the chaos, calmly watching the two Commanders pour over star charts. He stood so calmly and quietly, it looked as if the world around him had been sped up. He steps back out of the way as a technician rushes past, and leans against a support beam. He reaches up absently, touching the cylindrical object in the breast pocket of his flight jacket, his last cigar. It is his only tie to home. He had smoked the second-to-last one, years ago. Yeah, he had been tempted many times and there had been cigars from other civilizations they had encountered over the years, but if nothing else, he was true to his brand of cigar.

It seems like a lifetime ago that the metal monsters had destroyed their home and driven them to the stars.

“Starbuck.” He looks up at the mention of his name. Time had salted his once blond hair and had added character lines to his still handsome face but had failed to dim neither the spark in his eyes nor the swagger in his walk.

COMMENTS

Thursday, February 14, 2008 4:09 PM

VAUGHNNIE


Oh wow, this was nice. I can't wait to see more! I anxiously await the next chapter.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 4:37 PM

BADKARMA00


Well, now, this has po-ten-tial written all OVER it. Nice work so far! I'll be watching for more:)

Friday, February 15, 2008 1:26 AM

WYTCHCROFT


been waitin' on this for the longest time... glad there's a new chapter at last!:)
a fine one too!

Friday, February 15, 2008 2:44 PM

ADMIRALIRONWING


Very excited can't wait for the next chapter.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 8:01 PM

SAFEAT2ND


Thank-you for the kind words!

I had written this a while ago and all but given up on it.

I feel obliged now to continue it. One question though, how much crossover is too much?

Monday, February 25, 2008 4:54 AM

NEEDY


This truly is fantastic work Safe
You've perfectly captured the voices of our favourite crew, and I can't wait to read your interpretation of the new/old BSG crew.

Fantastic writing.

As for how much crossover is too much, I think any crossover which features two different verse collding together has an air of suspended disbelief about it, but you've pulled this off nicely. I don't think it would be crazy if you wanted to include Cylons in the SerenityVerse. Yes in the hands of a lesser writer it could go wrong, but you're already proved with this first chapter that you're more than accomplished for the task

Friday, October 1, 2010 6:39 AM

SAFEAT2ND


Sorry for those waiting for more. Rest assured this story remains close to my heart and I want to continue it. In fact I have it all mapped out but my creative energies have been focused lately on more original works. Thank-you for your kind words!


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