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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
In which Early is faced with the crew, and reveals how he knows Book's past.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 606 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
“Why are we all gonna be in there?” Mal demanded. He was glaring at the cluster of people at his back.
“Whys he gotta be there?” returned Kaylee, folding her arms. “Let’s move ‘im to the cargo bay, ‘cuz I know we all want a shot at him.”
“He can’t die,” interrupted River.
“He can hurt, can’t he?” growled Kaylee, tapping her foot impatiently.
“We get to torture ‘im?” Jayne asked enthusiastically.
“I vote for the cargo bay,” Kaylee said.
“Since when is my boat a democracy?”
“Can we just get to the torturin’?”
“Gosh, Captain Tightpants, what’s wrong with a democracy?”
“Everybody shut the hell up!” River finally yelled over the rising clamor. “What is wrong with you? We have a violent psychotic in that room, and you’re bickering with EACH OTHER!!”
For a moment, everyone looked ashamed, and then River started yelling again.
“Just put him in the cargo bay! We just need his information!”
Jubal Early looked calm for someone facing the entire crew of Serenity….Sans a few.
River and Jayne were glowering at him from above, and Kaylee and Simon were lurking in the shadows with Zoe. Mal was standing in front of Early imposingly, an angry look on his face.
“Honestly, Malcolm, what did you think I wanted?” he asked. “The girl’s blood on my hands.”
“Liar, liar,” said River in a singsong voice. “Tell the truth.”
“You can’t die. Somethin’ all manner of unnatural ‘bout that,” Mal said. “I think we deserve an explanation before we find a way to kill you.”
“What happened to that man with you, the one claiming he was a Sheppard?” Jubal asked.
“Dead a while now. Operative killed him,” Mal said shortly.
“And he was a Sheppard,” added Kaylee coldly.
“Nobody’s born into that life,” said Early.
“So I’ve heard. How did you know him?” asked Mal.
“Like I would tell you,” Early laughed.
“Couldn’t drag it from him with wild horses. I know the truth. Couldn’t regenerate lost body parts,” River called down.
“Is she sayin’ what I think she’s sayin’?” asked Mal somewhat gleefully.
“Cut off his head and he’s dead,” intoned River.
“River, are you saying that-,” began Simon.
“The medicine administered to him doesn’t regenerate lost body parts. Reanimate injured body parts, but once his heart or head is gone, he’s dead,” explained River.
“Ain’t that somethin’?” Jayne snarled, but he tugged River closer to him, as if to hide her eyes if anyone’s head did get cut off. This gesture did not pass unnoticed by Simon, but there were more pressing matters.
“Let’s start with his foot,” suggested Zoe cruelly.
“I knew Derrial Book’s father,” Early finally said coolly. “High ranking in the Parliament, and Derrial was slated to be an operative.”
Everyone froze at this, as if a glass of ice water was dumped over their heads.
“Didn’t know that? Ever wonder what he wasn’t telling you about his life? He and I were enrolled in a training academy, not like the one your psychic went to, but where we were trained to kill….and never ask why, to believe in our cause so hard that we would murder children.”
“Derrial was by far the best at combat, but he was a wild-card. There would be no way he would kill a child. There was another boy, one I know you’ve met, the operative set on keeping the Miranda secret, even though he didn’t know it, and his name was Marshal. He excelled where Derrial didn’t- in not caring about why he was killing. Derrial quit soon after his twentieth birthday and joined the Abbey. I got kicked out a while after that.”
“Ain’t there supposed to be some explanation on how you ain’t dead?” demanded Jayne from above.
“It was part of the training program. They administered the dose to us, and we became immortal. Three things could kill us- old age, decapitation, and after the antidote. I found out your friend Book woke up soon after you left. He managed to get to Persephone and……The Alliance caught up to him, and administered the antidote,” Early said.
Mal stood back and pondered this when, all of the sudden, River vaulted herself over the railing and sliced Jubal Early’s head clean off in one fluid motion.
“What was that?” Mal screeched.
River pointed simply to the pistol that had fallen out of Early’s hand.
“Reckon we oughta get to Persephone and see if maybe Badger has some work for us?” Mal asked Zoe quietly.
“Don’t got much choice. Badger’s the only one that’ll put up with us after Miranda,” Zoe answered.
“What about Fanty and Mingo?” River asked. “They’ll deal with you if try to contact them again. Take a larger percentage than normal, but Badger will treat us worse. Like we aren’t even human.”
“Well, then….Try Fanty and Mingo again,” Mal conceded.
River danced off the bridge, leaving Mal and Zoe to beg for a paying job.
Kaylee studied the ancient boom box and gave it a good natured kick. Almost immediately, old Earth-That-Was music came blasting out at her and she smiled, flopping back down in the hammock next to Simon. The engine was revolving happily beside them, but Simon was eying the boom box apprehensively.
“I’m not sure that’s the correct way to fix it,” he finally said.
“Aw, go se. Kickin’ the Cortex fixes it, don’t it?” she laughed.
“Just be glad I don’t fix people that way,” Simon replied dryly, and Kaylee burst into a fit of giggles.
“Gonna help me dispose of the body?” Jayne grumbled at River, who was perched cross legged above him on a cargo crate.
“No, not really. Here for emotional support,” she explained.
“I ain’t got gorramn emotions,” Jayne growled.
“Why does everyone lie to the psychic?” she reminded him. “I know everything.”
“You know too gorramn much.”
“You wish you knew how much I knew about you,” said River. It wasn’t really that cryptic, but it made Jayne feel confused.
“He knew more than he was saying,” River said, gesturing to Early.
“Well, maybe we woulda found out if you hadn’t chopped his head off,” snarled Jayne.
“He would’ve shot me first, and the rest of you would’ve been almost helpless, because none of you know how to handle a sword well enough to cut off anyone’s head,” River enlightened.
“How do you do it? Knowin’ everything, the stuff ain’t anybody ‘sposed to know, stuff that tears up your mind”? Jayne asked, a trace of concern coloring his voice.
“It’s hard. Makes you feel afraid of everyone, afraid you’ll find out about things….Things like Miranda. A dozen secrets like that, buried in my mind, and they surface from time to time,” River said, bending her head down and nearly weeping, but when Jayne moved to put a comforting arm around her, she shot her head up and glared at something across the cargo bay. “If I wasn’t like this….”
“You weren’t like this, you’da never gotten on board this ship, and then where would you be? A normal, boring Core girl? What about your brother? He’d never’ve met Kaylee, and he would still have that stick so far up his ass- None of us would have never met,” Jayne finished her sentence for her.
“Chaos Theory on Earth-That-Was. Something as small as a butterfly fluttering its wings could cause a tsunami on the other side of the world. Means that if you went back and killed the butterfly before the tsunami, you could change everything,” River said thoughtfully. “Butterfly Effect.”
This time she let Jayne wrap his arms around her, and she pushed her face against his chest, as if to tell him not to let go.
Inara sat in her shuttle expectantly, waiting for Mal to come barging in. He had said after he’d cleared the job with Fanty and Mingo they’d needed to talk, and so here she was…
Three sharp raps on the door broke her silence in a most urgent manner, and she shot up, letting him in.
“What’s wrong?” she demanded.
“Nuttin’. Why’d anything be wrong?” he replied, bewildered.
“You knocked,” she told him, rolling her eyes.
“Ah. Anyway, I just wanted to say….I want you to stay. We’re within three hours of Sihnon, and if you do want to leave, now’s the time. But don’t leave. Please,” Mal said.
“Mal, I told you two days ago I was staying, and you even said ‘Good answer’,” Inara reminded him.
“Yeah, well, just makin’ sure of you,” he responded. “Just makin’ sure.”
And so, for the second time in her life, Inara kissed him.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 4:51 AM
Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:27 PM
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