Thursday, March 6, 2008

Serenity hands off one of their contacts to Monty and encounter some trouble along the way from an old adversary – guess who!. No.4 of Series 2 but pretty much a standalone, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment.


“Galley in five minutes people!” Mal’s order came over the com. Seven minutes later everyone was assembled at the table with the Captain at the head. Mal instinctively looked for Zoe before he remembered why she wasn’t there. She was back at Gang Kou nursing a broken ankle. Why was it he who felt like he couldn’t walk without her though? “Monty’s waved us to say he’s gonna be a bit delayed at the rendezvous. So we’ll all just haveta sit pretty with Dura an’ wait for Monty when we get to Regina.” “Can’t say I’m a fan of sittin’ pretty on Regina. Last time we did that we were almost hijacked,” commented Karl. Of course, it was that almost-hijack that had largely been responsible for Jayne and Esper getting together. Kaylee had missed all the fun, having been on her honeymoon at the time. “Well this time…” Mal reasoned. “…we’ll land near enough to Dura’s ship to give joint protection, should any trouble arise.” Mal turned to River. “As an extra precaution, I want you to stay up in the cockpit and monitor any space traffic that might be comin’ in an’ out of atmo -” “-That’s not Monty,” finished River. Mal nodded and opened his mouth again. “And I’ll keep the door locked,” she added after reading his thoughts. Kaylee smirked at Mal’s good-natured frowning. “You want me to stay locked in the engine room too, Cap’n?” “I see anymore evidence of them space monkeys you’ve had lately, an’ I’ll lock you in there myself,” quipped Mal, just as quick. “What exactly are you doing in the engine room?” Kaylee flushed with righteous engineer indignation. “I’m tryin’ to find out why the left thruster power fluctuations are affecting the hydraulics. In order to do that I have to re-route the-“ Mal held up his hand to stop her from speaking fluent mechanic any further. “Yes, all right, Frye. Jus’ make sure there’s nothin’ so wrong that it’ll get us stuck on Regina if we really need to get outta of there.” “Course I will, Cap’n. I woun’t do nothin’ –“ “I’m jokin’, Kaylee. You leave your sense o’ humour back at Gang Kou?” “She gave it to Zoe for save keepin’ along with yours,” put in Karl and Bane sniggered. Kaylee gave him a grateful smile, and Mal a glare. Mal rolled his eyes, again wishing Zoe was sitting right there next to him, before turning his attention to Bane. “This delay’ll hopefully mean you can finish his order?” he asked. He pressed his lips together to prevent himself from saying anything further. Bane had been distracted for some months – as if she was living with her head in the clouds. Unfortunately clouds don’t rain coin and it was time for her to focus. “I got a coupla more crates to go, Cap’n and then I should be done,” she answered him easily. The truth was Bane had more than a couple of crates to go - more like ten. She was having trouble concentrating on getting the job finished, but that was partly Karl’s fault. “See that it’s done afore Monty gets here.” Bane nodded.

~ * ~ * ~
“…so see you in the usual place on Regina,” Mal said. Saffron cut the wave and leaned back in the pilot’s chair, a fond reminiscent smile appearing on her face. It had been how many years since they’d crossed paths? At least eight, if not longer. How time flies, specially when you’re havin’ fun. What a beautiful lucrative reunion it could be, she thought, as Mal was unlikely to disappoint. “Cap’n?” Saffron turned to see Killdeer’s head hung around the cockpit door. Saffron pivoted around in the chair to face him. Previously masking it to a serious expression, she now let the wide smile show. “We’re on,” she said, vacating the chair. “Get us to Regina as fast as possible.”
~ * ~ * ~
“You need some help with these space monkeys, Kaylee?” asked Bane, tentatively feeling her way into Kaylee’s domain. The expert mechanic popped up from behind the main turbine. “Hey, Bane. You finished your order then?” she asked and Bane looked a little guilty. “Ah, no. I’m jus’ takin’ a break and wondered if you needed a hand?” “That’ll be shiny,” she said grinning widely. She took Bane’s hand and placed it on some wiring. “I need you to check these feeds for breaks or wear. There’s a problem somewhere, I just can’t find it.” Kaylee watched the other woman as she started work, humming to herself. Kaylee went back to work under the turbine, looking briefly back at Bane before returning to her task. “You an’ Karl tryin’ to make a baby?” she asked perceptively. Bane stopped humming and turned around slowly, ready to deny it. She was worried if she said anything it might jinx it, but then it was Kaylee, and Bane always felt happy when she was around. “How’d you know?” she said finally. “We bin livin’ next door to Jayne an’ Esper for years, an’ you ask me that? Ever’ time they get to bein’ broody Esper walks around like she’s floatin’ on air, an’ Jayne like he ain’t bin asleep for a year.” Kaylee was enjoying watching Bane’s incredulous face. “Now Karl, he looks like one of Mal’s unbroken horses kicked him in the stomach, an’ last night he feel asleep at dinner. You? Well you look like you’re about to pop with happiness. So, are you in the family way?” Kaylee asked, her voice falling to a whisper. Bane’s growing smile fell a little. “No. Not yet.” “How long’s it bin?” “’Bout four months since we started tryin’,” Bane said, obviously a little disappointed, before reverting back to optimistic. “Ain’t like we’ve a Landing Day party comin’ up any time soon,” she joked. It was Kaylee’s turn to flush, as most people knew it was the reason that baby Tam came along, and Mal’s youngest, Gavin. “The way you two are goin’ it ain’t gonna be long.” Bane smirked and returned back to her task, starting again, as she’d lost her place feeling along the cable. “Well, Karl’s mainly the reason I keep gettin’ interrupted. He may looked tired, but he ain’t bin no slacker.” “Oh, yeh?” Kaylee asked, really interested – it being one of her favourite topics of conversation. “Simon’s usually a twice a night man when you get him goin’ – Karl the same?” “Nah. Jus’ the once has us both knocked out exhausted. But they’ve bin times…specially lately…” “Quickies?” Kaylee interrupted. “I like quickies. Specially on Simon’s med couch.” Bane giggled. “My favourite is in my workshop. Or late at night by the river. “On the bench?!” asked Kaylee and Bane nodded. Kaylee picked up a screwdriver and reached further in under the engine. “As far as quickies go though. Anywhere spur of the moment is fine. Long as no one’s watchin’,” she concluded. “I kind of have to trust Karl on the no one’s watchin’ part.” A noise made them both stop talking and turn. Mal was at the door to the engine room, leaning on it like he’d been there for hours. “Cap’n? How long you bin there?” “Long enough to make me wanna wash my ears out with soap. An’ never want to sit on that bench by the river ever again.” He smirked inwardly at viewing both women’s red faces, but was doing his serious Captain impression on the outside. “I want the rest of those crates finished by tomorrow evenin’, Bane. Don’t much care if you an’ Karl are goin’ at it like –“ “Yes. Mal – I get the picture,” interrupted Bane. “No more sexin’ til I finish the job.” “I don’t reckon I could stop you even if I made that kind of order. You made a commitment to Monty an’ that’s somethin’ you have to deliver on. Won’t get you a good reputation if he finds out he takes second fiddle to baby-makin’.” Kaylee frowned at Mal’s obvious enjoyment in making Bane feel about as uncomfortable as he could. “Monty won’t care,” she said defensively. Mal turned to his mechanic, who he wouldn’t change for all the tea in the Verse, but like any crew member needed to be kept in line. “Monty’s a businessman, jus’ like me. You need to step up your repairs in here as well. Shiny engine room first, gossipin’ an’ sexin’ second.” He turned around and walked back along the corridor. Before speaking again, Kaylee checked down the corridor that Mal wasn’t in earshot. “You know if you get worried that you ain’t havin’ any success creatin’ a baby, you can always get Simon to check you out.” Bane shook her head firmly. “No I can’t,” Bane said, afraid before taking a breath and coming clean. “It’ll mean tellin’ him about the time before. An’ I don’t want him to know less’n I choose to tell him.” Kaylee took Bane’s hand as she spoke, desperately wanting to help. “You’ve had a baby already?” “Yes,” Bane answered slowly. “When I was on that slave ship. It died cuz I tried to escape and it came too early. I killed it an’ nearly killed myself in the process. I know that Simon had a real hard time dealing with those women he found in The Farm. I don’t want him to…to think of me in the same way.” Kaylee couldn’t deny it, Simon had spoken of it at length with her. The factory line farming babies for slavery or backstreet adoptions and the women no more than sacks for safe storage. She imagined that Bane knew how little she or any others had been regarded on that ship – no sense in rocking the boat. “I won’t tell him. But if you won’t see Simon – go see another doc. Someone you don’t know…Jus’ don’t tell him I said so.” Bane allowed herself a tiny smile and hugged Kaylee. “I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
~ * ~ * ~
Killdeer landed the vessel out of range and shut her down quickly before hurrying down to the exit to join the others. Saffron was in charge - had been since the last Captain got himself shot. The fact that she was the one who’d shot him was just by the by. Had they been any other type of crew then one of them might have tried to assert their authority, but in truth it was just easier to accept the change of leadership. She was more pleasing to look at and got them shot at far less than her predecessor. “Everyone ready?” Saffron enquired firmly, checking her own weapon and armoury scattered about her body. “Yes, boss,” answered Yanvic, who favoured a long barrelled laser rifle as well as never washing. Richard, who’d only allow himself to be called that (and fought anyone who called him by any other name), preferred a highly polished pair of Müllers that he slept with. Killdeer was sure he was Core-bred once upon a lifetime ago. His own favourite was a faithful old Buhnder which he most definitely didn’t sleep with. He still held the wish that Saffron might one day look in his direction with more than just Captain-y regard. “Ready, Cap’n,” Richard answered. Saffron turned to Killdeer, her favourite, on account that she knew he had a crush on her and was a malleable as putty. Killdeer nodded at her unasked question showing in her face. They all climbed in the tight fitting mule and set off through the forest. “Let’s go. An’ practise that stealth you’ve all assured me you have or you’ll be feelin’ my wrath.” It was a long ride to the other ship, having landed far enough away to not be detected. About a mile from their target they left the mule and continued on foot. As they approached the clearing, Yanvic gave two clicks using his fingers and they all crouched low, heading forward slowly.
~ * ~ * ~
Bane heard the hatch open and the smell of hot food, her mouth watering with the prospect. She estimated that she must have been working for about six hours straight. She had pretty much finished now and was just doing batch testing with each box. “You bought me dinner,” she turned towards him and Karl stood up. “Just making sure you’re keeping up your strength,” he answered. Bane put her tools down and took off her gloves. She held out her hands for the plate but found that Karl kissed her instead. She responded quickly, pushing the trays away hurriedly with her hand, breaking briefly and giggling. “Not sure that this is the best way of keeping up my strength.” Karl didn’t respond, he just felt the need of her, just like this morning. These last few months it was like something had got into his mind making him moonbrain. Jayne had told him it was his caveman urges coming through. It wasn’t like him to be so insightful, but then he did have four children and counting to go by. Karl also thought it was because he and Bane had been through the mill some and now that things were finally on the norm, he was convinced something might happen to ruin it all. Of course, there was also the fact that being with Bane was like a drug and he was well and truly an addict with no hope of being cured. It wasn’t the first time her workshop had been a place where they got together and he shifted her quickly so that she was astride him, then he worked his hands under her long skirt - quick to notice that she wasn’t wearing underwear. “Did you leave something behind when you started work this mornin’?” he asked, sliding his hand from the top of her thigh back down to her hip. Bane wiggled on his lap enticingly and caressed his jaw line before putting her lips to his neck. “May’ve done. What am I missing exactly?” and Karl joined in the highly amusing game of clothing inventory. Bane thought that maybe she should take to wearing no underwear more often as it seemed to have an extraordinarily sexing effect on Karl. He surrendered to her kisses thinking his head was going to explode.
“You gonna take those headphones off anytime soon?” Mal asked River in the cockpit. She didn’t respond and was just concentrating on coming into land neatly beside Dura’s Seagull class vessel. “River!” Mal shouted, kicking her chair. River ripped the headphones off and spun round to him. “What!” “What? Why you keep wearin’ them headphones? That’s what!” “Too much sexin’ that’s what. It’s Neanderthal man goin’ moonbrain again.” She rolled eyes dramatically. “Hui tou shi an!” Mal said, getting to his feet angrily. As he left the cockpit and turned. “Lock up and scan for other ships.” “Yes, boss,” she said before putting her headphones on again to block out the passion which seemed to be permeating the ship. It wasn’t the first time she had to put up with sexin’ crew members – her own yuckie brother included - but in truth she found Karl and Bane all too reminiscent of her and Stan, especially at the moment. The mind numbing glorious amnesia which makes you forget everything but taste, touch and sensation. And she missed those feelings.
When Mal reached the cargo bay, Kaylee was already there standing by the control panel. “Get it open, Kaylee. Keep Dura entertained while I sort out our ruttin’ rabbits.” Kaylee hit the button and the hydraulics kicked into familiar action – she always loved that sound. The laugh in the back of Kaylee’s throat died as the descending ramp revealed four people aiming their guns at her. At the other end of the cargo bay, Mal kicked at the secret panel as a pre-warning and then lifted it. “Get you’re gorram asses out here!” he hiked the hatch upwards and propped it open. He stepped back and waited. Karl came out first and then Bane crawled out behind him. They certainly looked like Mal had caught them in the act. Karl was open shirted and Bane, well, dishevelled was probably the kindest word to use. “I finished the order, Mal. We’re all set for when –“ she tried to placate. “Bi zui! I don’t give a good gorram. I send a message out on the com an’ I expect it to be obeyed. I tell you to meet in the cargo bay for landing, that’s exactly what I mean. Not for you two to finish sexin’ first afore you grace us with your presence.” “Cap’n…” tried Karl, and then found he had no excuse. Then, behind Mal, he saw the unfamiliar people entering the cargo bay and froze briefly before reaching for his gun. Mal, anger forgotten, took his cue and drew his as well, spinning around. Karl stepped up next to him. “Domestic troubles, sweetie?” said Saffron, pointing her gun at him. Mal did a quick glance for Kaylee and saw she was alright – a gun aimed at her head by some unwashed scum, but alright. Mal edged forward and Karl mirrored him, face white with shock. Bane edged forward quietly behind him, her hand lightly pressing Karl’s back for distance. “Nothin’ I can’t handle. What brings you to these parts?” “Oh a little piggy backing. Intercepted your wave to Dura. Thought a little reunion might be in order.” So that was her game now, Mal thought. Piggy backing was the common term for stealing ships but leaving the old one behind for the stranded crews – for the most part. All too often crews were murdered and the dead ship was harvested for parts. He certainly wasn’t going to let this woman piggy back off in to the Black with Serenity. “Did you kill him?” Mal asked, never taking his eyes from her. “Me? Come on, Mal, you know me better than that.” she queried innocently. Mal and Karl stepped closer, bringing them into the full light of the cargo bay. “One of them do it?” he questioned to her crew, but Saffron didn’t answer. She was looking at Karl, her eyes screwed up trying to remember. Then she did. “Well Karl…Jacobsson…isn’t it? Don’t you scrub up well?” “Can’t say the same ‘bout you, Mackenzie,” Karl replied, his voice harsh. The name was etched into his brain as one would imprint a tattoo. Her and her ‘brother’ were the reason he first landed in jail as a green lad. They did a bank job on Harvest and the two of them left him to take the rap. Bane heeded the tone of hatred in Karl’s voice, something she had never heard before. Mal couldn’t believe his ears, the exact details of the escape plan still beyond reach in his mind somewhere. “Mackenzie, is it?!” he exclaimed. “Don’t tell me you married him as well?” Saffron opened her mouth to answer Mal’s question, but Karl jumped in. “I wouldn’t be stupid enough to marry this fong luh gai if’n you paid me. Just shoot her now, Mal.” Mal pressed his lips together at the jibe. It was kind of hard to shoot when they were in a standoff and down several people on their side to make up the numbers. “I’m aware on her untrustworthiness, Karl,” he answered stiffly, turning to Saffron. “So how do we come outta this one, wifey?” Saffron threw him a sly look. If she was phased at seeing another former lover it didn’t show. “Simple, Mal honey.” She nodded to Killdeer who placed a small box on Serenity’s control panel and pressed the large button. All the ships systems ground to a halt, the lights went off for a nanosecond before the emergency lighting kicked in. Up in the cockpit River, who had just ripped off her headset and run for the door, was now locked in and unable to assist. “Now hand over the goods you were gonna give Dura an’ maybe I’ll play nice.” Mal ignored her and nodded to one of her crew. “What name she go by now?” “Saffron,” answered Richard. He wasn’t liking this setup. The Captain hadn’t said nothing about knowing the marks. It meant she was likely to start bargaining and that signified less of a stash for them. Saffron used one shoulder to shrug. “I kinda like the name,” she said with a smirk. Mal capitulated, he was outnumbered. It was just him and Karl armed. Had Zoe been here he might have tried something, but without her he didn’t want to risk it. Fortunately Kaylee was now out of the line of fire, having moved behind him next to Bane. They could wait them out – possibly - until Monty arrived and wouldn’t that be a shiny family reunion? It was obvious that Saffron had no idea they weren’t actually doing a drop with Dura. “So how’d you know Karl here – was it love at first sight? Or did you trick him inta it with them enticin’ bible quotes?” Saffron knew that Mal was stalling, but she also knew she had the upper hand, plus she had enough ego to want to show off a little. Something Mal was counting on. “We were all a lot younger then, weren’t we Karl?” “Tah-shr suo-yo dee-yure duh biao-tze duh mah,” Karl snapped. Saffron gave a short laugh, enjoying more her banter with Mal than the reunion with the gullible ex-con. He’d been no contest, whereas Mal was hard work and just downright fun. “He had it bad, Mal. Worse’un Monty.” “Shut up bitch!” he shouted, tensing his hand on the gun. Bane stepped out from behind Karl, causing Saffron to swing her gun in that direction. “Don’t move,” Saffron stated, narrowing her eyes. “She can’t see you,” urged Karl, moving into the line of fire. Saffron saw the worried concern in his face and gave a knowing smile. “Got yourself a little blind girl now?” Bane changed role at Saffron’s suggestion. She moved forward, tripped convincingly and sprawled on the cargo bay floor. She cried out as she landed, but got up and showed a face that was afraid. She continued walking towards Saffron before Karl or Mal could stop her. Saffron and her crew moved towards them, towards Bane. Mal spoke. “Bane – get back now, that’s an order.” Bane did her best Kaylee impression. “But, Cap’n. There’s no need for this. Jus’ give the woman the goods an’ she can be on her merry. There’s no need for violence.” “Bane, stop,” ordered Karl, but it was too late. Saffron had come towards her and in moments had her in a head lock. Mal lowered his gun just a little and glanced at Karl in reproach - not that it was really his fault, but it wasn’t like Bane could see the look. They could both see she was playing a role, but weren’t sure what she was up to. “Shoulda listened to your Captain Reynolds, sweetie,” said Saffron unkindly. She looked into Karl’s eyes and saw the fear there. He may never have looked at her with those eyes, but he would do pretty much anything to ensure Saffron didn’t hurt his woman. “Please don’t hurt me,” Bane cried in anguish, giving a token struggle to test Saffron’s grip. Firm, but not strong enough, she confirmed. She then went loose, her body dropping so suddenly that Saffron went off balance. In a blink Bane stiffened, ramming her head upwards under Saffron’s chin so that it snapped back painfully and she staggered. Bane reached out with one had, twisted and pulled the knife from her holster in one swift movement. Before Saffron’s men could conjure what had just happened, she had a firm grip of Saffron’s hair, the woman being on her knees with Bane’s knife at her throat, just breaking the skin. “Drop your gun,” she ordered. Saffron let go quickly and Bane heard it clatter to the floor. Saffron was all kinds of unhappy and not just because it felt like she had bitten a chunk out of her tongue. Bane carried on speaking, “Now the rest of you, or the bitch here goes home with a nice red necklace.” She kept enough control to her voice but there were little white dots swimming across the blackness of her vision from the head butt. Mal and Karl, now with the upper hand, quickly collected all the guns and disarmed them completely. Kaylee decided to stay well out of reach until they were all restrained. “So the poor little blind girl’s not so blind,” stated Saffron, annoyed that she’d been foxed so easily. She could taste the blood in her mouth and spat it out. Bane tightened her hand in the woman’s hair. She’d heard Mal’s stories about her but until a few moments ago had no idea that Karl knew her as well. “Oh, I’m completely blind, can’t even tell if you’re pretty stunning or pretty ugly – I’m imaginin’ ugly. Warts an’ things. That right Karl?” Karl looked behind him and then at Saffron/Mackenzie with distaste. “That’s right. Warts, spots and buck teeth.” Mal snorted and Saffron glared, unable to move with the knife breaking her skin. She felt a small blood trail trickling down her neck. “Thought as much. Let me know when you’ve got ‘em all under control, Cap’n, an’ I’ll let go.” “Will do,” confirmed Mal chirpily. “Then again, it’s nice to see Saffron all biddable like that,” he came up to the two of them briefly. “Jus’ like on our weddin’ night, honey.” Saffron seethed but still didn’t move. She wasn’t down yet though and looked over towards Karl. “You know, Karl, I can’t quite believe you fell in with this lot. You were always such a loner. But I must say I did enjoy you while it lasted. This woman of yours – Bane, was it – knows what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.” Karl strode towards them. “Shut it, bitch,” he said in a low angry voice. “Karl,” warned Bane. “She make nice little wifey noises when you touch her –?“ Bane dug the point of the knife in ever so slightly further into Saffron’s neck and pulled her head back. “It’s not Karl you need to worry about, sweetie,” Bane emphasised sarcastically. “I heard all about you an’ I ain’t lettin’ go til the Cap’n says. So talk all you want an’ I’ll start makin’ that necklace I mentioned.” Bane was unaware that she had the attention of everyone, including all of Saffron’s crew. Karl, painful memories still at the surface, went back to the task of tying them up. He had thought all his worst nightmares had come true when he saw Saffron get Bane in a headlock. It was so easy to think of Bane as vulnerable, but he should have known she wouldn’t have risked their lives without being certain of success. Well, as much as him, Zoe or Mal would have done in the same position. It gave him little vindication for the five years he’d spent in jail because of her. Monty walked up Serenity’s ramp with his crew, surprised they hadn’t been out to greet him on landing as was normally the way. Bane’s order was one of the biggest he had asked for, so he was a little worried that there was something wrong. “Ta ma de!” exclaimed Eric and Monty looked up. The devil woman Bridget was on her knees in front of Bane who had a knife at her throat. Something had gone down then, and he wished he could have been there to see it – would have paid good money too. “Mal! Thought you’d disposed of that po fu?” Mal tied the last knot and stood up, walking to Monty to embrace him. “Monty, good to see you ol’ pirate.” He turned around and viewed the sight that Monty held. “She jus’ keeps turnin’ up like a bad smell.” “Good to see you, Bane,” Monty shouted over. “You too, Monty,” Bane grinned. Saffron watched Mal and Monty whisper together. She was pretty sure they wouldn’t kill her, but not so sure they wouldn’t try a little maiming. Mind you if the knife at her throat went any deeper then she might be looking at some serious blood loss.
Kaylee, even though it was against her mechanic religion, disabled Saffron’s ship enough so it would take her crew at least a week to get it up and running again. It wasn’t that hard as they didn’t have enough mechanic knowledge between then to feed a cat. She walked back to the clearing where Mal and Monty stood around Saffron and her crew who were still restrained. The pair of them looked real serious. “Go back to Serenity, Kaylee.” She looked at the gun in Mal’s hand and the hard look to his face. “But, Cap’n. You can’t shoot her. That wouldn’t be right. She’s unarmed.” Kaylee walked away hurriedly back to the ship. Monty checked the bonds of the other crew before walking back over to Mal. “This woman ain’t bin unarmed since the day she was born,” stated Monty. Saffron glared at him and said a few things through the gag on her mouth. Mal raised his gun and pointed it at her face. “I just can’t kill her,” he said lowering his gun. “Why the hell not?” Monty argued. Mal sighed and threw Saffron’s empty weapon next to her. “Because she’s too much like us. Just tryin’ to survive.” Monty grumbled into his beard, but they both turned their backs on her and started to walk away. Saffron, quick as a flash, pulled her hands from the bonds she’d been working on. She removed a bullet secreted in her belt, loaded the gun and fired. Mal fell forward and Monty spun around, gun drawn, to find Saffron had her empty hands raised in surrender and a very satisfied smirk on her gagged face. “Shun-sheng duh gao-wahn!” Mal swore. “She shot me in the gorram back!” “Don’t worry, Mal – she’s just like us. I’m sure she didn’t mean it,” he mocked. Mal got shakily to his feet with the help of Monty. The shot, as far as he could painfully feel, had caught him in the upper shoulder area. He walked awkwardly over to Saffron, who was still sitting calm as you like on the ground, and kicked her in the side of the face, knocking her out. “Let’s go, Monty. Before I change my mind about killin’ her.”
“What’s the damage?” Mal said, trying to twist his head around to see the injury. Not life threatening unless you keep moving like that and I kill you myself, thought River. She finished the neat sewing job and slapped a weave on the area. Simon would be proud. “The bullet when straight through. If she’d been aiming to kill you, she could’ve done a lot worse.” “That woman hates losin’ ta me. She was just pissed.” “Not so sure she doesn’t like bumping into you now and again.” “You reckon?” Mal answered, twisting again. River rolled her eyes in annoyance and took off the surgical gloves. She had to get back in the cockpit and take her off auto-pilot, make sure they were headed away safely. Mal looked over at Karl watching them from the doorway. “How are you copin’ with your little reunion?” “Better than I thought I would be. Can’t say I wouldn’t have shot her.” “Yeh, well – she has reminders. Likely we won’t be so lucky next time our paths cross.” “I ain’t like to wanna do that willingly,” Karl said, voice still gruff. Mal couldn’t prevent the smile that crossed his face as he spoke to thoughts out loud. “Mind you, I’d pay to see her beaten up by Bane again. There’s just somethin’ about women fightin’ each other that’s just plain stirin’.” Karl bit his lip to stop his own smile and then caught River’s disgusted look. “I’ll beat you up, shoulder or no, for any more talk like that, Malcolm Reynolds.” After River had left them, Mal spoke again. “You feel like tellin’ me exactly how you came by her acquaintance?” Mal asked. Karl shrugged as if to say he wasn’t fussed, but it clearly bought up bad memories for him. “I was nineteen or twenty when we hooked up on Harvest. She looked a pile of sweeter back then – liquid honey – I used to think. Mac an’ her brother Butler were down an’ outs, jus’ like me and we sorter hung around together. This was back in 2503. She came up with a money-makin’ plan an’ the two of us went along with it like suckers. Little did I know I was the only sucker. She an’ Butler had it all planned from the beginning. To stiff me with the wrap and leave with the cash money.” He paused so Mal could understand just how much he hated her. “The night after the job she sexed me up good to comatose, an’ I woke with the Feds pointin’ their pretty guns at me. Spent the next five years in jail.” “Harvest jail’s outdoors, ain’t it?” “Yep. Come rain, snow or hail – all we had was tents. That’s why I ain’t partial to hikin’ in the woods an’ such like Zoe and Hans. …I always thought I wouldn’t have no hesitation in shooting her if the chance ever hit me.” “Bane hit her instead,” retorted Mal, trying to lighten the mood. The man had good cause to shoot Saffron, but he couldn’t have let him do it in cold blood like that. No matter how much of a nuisance she was. “I wonder how many names that woman has?” asked Karl, standing upright from his leaning and deciding that he rather forget about Saffron/Mackenzie or whatever her name was. “Whatever it is, her middle name’s Trouble,” Mal answered.


Thursday, March 6, 2008 10:52 PM


Nice little story, but maybe Saffron should have shot Mal in the ass!

Thursday, March 6, 2008 11:44 PM


I can't have Mal's pretty ass spoiled by a gunshot scar - I'd be lynched!! lol

Friday, March 7, 2008 12:33 AM


great story - a lot of fun. Fine balance between plot, theme and gag:)


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Serenity hands off one of their contacts to Monty and encounter some trouble along the way from an old adversary – guess who!. No.4 of Series 2 but pretty much a standalone, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment.

Children will be curious, but they have secrets of their own. No.3 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Killing Time
The Operative gets an assignment that she’s not particularly fond of because it brings her into contact with her past. A ficlet to follow Killing Spree. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Pandora's Box - Part Three
Zoe has been doing some interfering and for one of the crew it could mean an end to their relationship. No.2 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Please, please comment as much as possible - I need to know if I've done good, done bad or done just plain ugly. Part 2 of 3.

Pandora's Box - Part Two
River’s got her job back but the flying is short lived – instead she has to contend with Jayne’s brother. No.2 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Please, please comment as much as possible - I need to know if I've done good, done bad or done just plain ugly. Part 2 of 3.

Pandora's Box - Part One
It’s business as usual for Malcolm Reynolds & Serenity but one of the crew sets off alone to deliver a message. No.2 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Please, please comment as much as possible - I need to know if I've done good, done bad or done just plain ugly. Part 1 of 3.

Killing Spree
The Operative, formerly known as Abigail Penney, gets another assignment. A ficlet to follow First Kill. Read and be chilled. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Homecoming - Part Two
It is three years and four months since River Tam left the crew of Serenity and she has decided to return home. 1st fanfic of the second series, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment. Part 2 of 2.

Homecoming -Part One
It’s three years and four months since River Tam left her brother and the crew of Serenity. 1st fanfic of the second series, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment. Part 1 of 2.

First Kill
A ficlet to keep you going between the end of Series 1 and the beginning of Series 2. An Operative’s first hit. Read and be chilled. Feedback would be much appreciated.