Lilac Syndrome: Chapter 8
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The New Haven Series; Post BDM; M/I, S/K: Things definitely go pear shaped.


Genevieve blocked River’s attack.

The youngest Tam, on the flip of a coin had become an angry, whirling mass of energy and martial arts. However it was more difficult than before. She couldn’t read, she couldn’t anticipate strikes, which was what she had been trained to do. Thus, her fighting style was less than perfect form as she struggled to perform without the aide of her most useful tool.

As she and Genevieve blocked strikes and served them, Virgil’s crew prepared to strike, yet Virgil signaled them to stop as he waved his gun to Serenity’s crew. “Back against the wall …. Roxy, Jovie bang ju-liu na nu-hai.”

River’s foot collided against Genevieve’s temple, sending her crashing to the ground.

The others wouldn’t step back.

Her head whipped around, sending a shower of dark hair spraying around the circumference of her head like a wild splash of dark water. River Tam’s eyes narrowed, and her mouth pulled back to bare her teeth while she panted and looked at the woman holding Kaylee. Taking three quick steps, she leapt in the air, her feet swinging into position for a flying kick.

The woman let go of the mechanic, throwing her into the wall as she whirled around. However, regardless of her speed the foot was going to strike her before she could jump up.

Before it did, the boy leapt off of the catwalk, in front of his mentor. Crouching, his hand gripped River’s foot as they landed at the same time. Effortlessly he twisted her foot, ankle and leg following, rotating her entire body and flipping her in the air and onto the grated floor.

Jayne bolted after the woman that had taken Kaylee. With all his might, he hit her like a freight train.

River got up as all hell broke loose. Suddenly more people surrounded Jayne and Simon and Mal, fighting them, clobbering them. She wasn’t focused on their plight though, for she rose and looked at the boy, no older than her. He was tall, with Shaolin trousers the color of light deerskin, the ends tucked into his long traditional stockings that were black and held up by the equally black leg bands that crisscrossed from his cloth shoes to his knee. His shirt was a plain light blue, with one sleeve and the other shoulder and arm hanging out of the exaggerated collar that started at the base of the left side of his neck and crossed down to his right underarm, leaving his shoulder, arm and part of his chest exposed. Though her sizing up, the account of all the details took only seconds, River Tam knew the garb of the two and their monk ilk, and as she lacked her gift of clairvoyance, she felt intimidated. Nonetheless rushing him, they clashed. As she punched, his arm rotated up and caught the strike before he spun and struck her ribs with the ridge of his palm. River grimaced, yet attacked with a flurry of kicks. Leaping into the air, she caught his chin with her heel, yet when he fell, he rolled and recovered.

River pulled out her sword.

“Fiyero, zao!” The elder female monk tossed the nandao before she hit Jayne in the neck, making him gag for precious air.

The boy called Fiyero caught the sword and brought it up to be blade against deadly blade with the katana. A crisp clink of metal hitting metal sounding in the cargo bay.

Simon in the meantime was being accosted by the cyborg, who was readily in the mood to rip him in half like a thin fabriced doll. He pulled out the pistol strapped to his hip with sloppy form, firing wildly and lodging a bullet into a crate.

The cyborg, his mechanical eye clicking and adjusting with it’s electronic blue orb of light glowing within a metal socket, gave the grin of the well seasoned hunter. “Now theer, Pup, sense yer th’ shaky kind I’m gonna take pity on ya. Drop th’ gun, lemme cuff ya and….”

With fire in his eyes Simon bared his teeth and charged the massive meld of flesh and technology. Taking the pistol, he shoved it into the barrel of Sterling’s cannon, and darted away as sparks jumped and the old cyborg let out a bellow of pain as his arm short circuited. Simon scrambled past the large machineman, ducking as a pilot fired at him. He knelt next to Kaylee, as she was dazed from being thrown forcefully into the wall, and examined her head. “Are you alright?”

“I think so.” She groaned amidst the fight.

“I need you to go back and find…” Simon felt a gun press up against the side of his head.

“Don’t move.” And Pike, holding the weapon, suddenly had a knife spin through the air and pin his arm to the metal wall. "AH! Shen-me?!

Inara stood at the door, well beyond angry.

“Inara?” Simon finished, gawking like a fool.

River hit the nandao with the side of her blade, the force of it wrenching the sword out of Fiyero’s hands and sending it flying across the cargo bay, nearly hitting Wren, and lodging into a wooden crate.

“Ai-ya shen-me you wo shuo da-yue jian?!” Wren cried out in frustration as she took a shot at Inara. They met head on, Inara utilizing her academy learned forms while Wren was obviously more of a brawler.

River looked at Fiyero, not knowing what he was about to do as they were frozen, like predators anticipating a strike. She couldn’t read his mind, and it was making it nearly impossible to fight.

His eyes narrowed, and his foot caught a thin metal pipe and kicked it up to his hands. Twirling it expertly, far more control and precision than he had with the sword, he lunged.

River jumped and swung for a strike, yet was surprised when he faked his strike, jumped back and hit the newfound pole on the ground, literally twisting his body up onto the pipe, so she hit air. Launching himself off, his foot came across her scalp before he tumbled and caught the pipe with an outstretched hand, crouched as panther does to bundle its energy for the next strike.

Simon, seeing Jayne was nearly incapacitated by the other monk dressed warrior, pushed Kaylee towards the door and out of harms way and grabbed a gun to help.

Inara high kicked Wren in the back of the head, the blow making the enemy’s eyes glaze over and her stance falter. “Where’s Mal?!”

River spun and her sword blade clattered with the pipe.

“What?!” Simon found himself cornered by Genevieve who had gotten back up and Jovie.

Kaylee hit Jovie in the back of a head with a wrench that had to weigh as much as she did, the pilot fell to the ground.


Wren blocked Inara’s next kick and clocked her in the face.

Genevieve struck Simon across the forehead with her gun.

Sterling had repaired his cannon, his hand clicked and whirred, transforming into a hand that grabbed Kaylee by the scruff of the neck and held her in the air.

River, unable to predict, found her solar plexus connect with the business end of a makeshift shaolin staff.


Mal threw Virgil into the common room wall.

In the cargo bay, there was nothing but the sounds of their two crews judgement day, all hell breaking loose. However they were having a personal fight as Mal grabbed Virgil by the throat and slammed his head into the wall.

Virgil kneed him in the kidneys.

Mal winced as their arms struggled for supremacy, he pulled Virgil down into a headlock, throwing the other captain’s coat over his one face and hitting the cloaked head as if it were a punching bag. However there as a world of pain as a fist hit the inside of his knee, and he groaned before his legs were kicked out from under him. Flat on his back, he pulled his gun, Virgil pulled his, and they trained on one another.

“Christ Mal, what is your problem?!”

“Lotta things.” Mal struck Virgil with the tang of his pistol, right in the knee. East hit the floor, and Mal made sure a fist crashed into his head before he got to his knees and wrestled the other captain to pin him.

Virgil twisted out of the pin and hit the other captain. Soon they were fighting, pulling themselves up to their feet in the process. “We don’t have anything ta fight over you kuang hundan!”

“You took my crew I picked out!” Mal grunted, hitting him in the ribs.

“Got your own damn crew.” Virgil pinned him against the wall.

“You took my idea.” Head butting the other captain, he got free. East was dazed from the blow, and he threw him into the window of the infirmary, shattering it and sending the captain into the infirmary. Standing there in front of the broke window, he huffed. “You took Vieve,” Growling, he went in, grabbed Virgil by the shoulders and threw him up onto the exam chair. “And you took the meds. Now where are they.”

Virgil was confused, and a little overwhelmed as his mind reeled from being hit so hard.


Virgil reached over, grabbed a needle on a tray, and jabbed it into Mal’s arm. Jumping up as Mal swore in pain, he pulled a second pistol from the inside of his coat as Mal grabbed the needle and yanked it out of his arm. They circled one another, panting.

Mal had his hands up. “Where’s the etiquette? Wouldn’t shoot a man without a pistol.”

Virgil pulled a gun out from behind his back and tossed it to Mal.

Catching it, he paled. “How.... thoughtful.” He winced.

“What’s all this meds business?” East wiped his bloody mouth with his sleeve.

“You stole meds from a manufacturing ship.”

“Because meds are profitable, supply and demand Mal, I thought you knew about that at least.”

“I know that, smartass, I need the same meds.”

“What for?”

“My town’s sick with Lilac Syndrome…”

There was a pause before Virgil started chuckling. “You gotta town? Mean… you settled? Malcolm Reynolds, man as free as the prairie winds gone up and settled?”

Mal appeared somewhat deflated, yet shifted his weight and squared his shoulders. “Glad you’re amused and we can giggle later. Right now, I need the meds.”

“Why didn’t cha just ask? I mighta sold them to ya…”

“CAUSE I AIN’T ASKING YOU FOR HELP EVER!” Mal let out a roar of hostility. “You think after all you’ve humped me over for I’m gonna come crawlin for charity? Cao ni.”

“Wouldn’t say that to the man who’s got the meds.” He warned.

Before Mal could speak, the woman dressed as a monk came in, dragging an unconscious River by the collar of her dress.

Mal paled.

“Shen-me wei ni yao wo-men wei yi fu-lu?” She asked in lithe, soft mandarin.

Virgil replied “Shackled and in the hold.”

As she nodded her head, Mal stepped forward, desperate and not wanting his kin prisoners. “Zoe’s got Lilac Syndrome. Zoe’s dyin.”

The expressions of Virgil, Genevieve, Wren, Jovie and Pike all slackened with disbelief. The others easily seen in the cargo bay as Reynolds voice carried.

Genevieve lowered her guns as she had Inara bruised and cornered, blinking several times, trying to process the information. "Zoe?"

"She caught Lilac Syndrome." He further explained, and Virgil walked tentatively out to the cargo bay, still aiming at one another. "You corsairs stole all of it the meds. She’s in out infirmary right now, wasting away." Mal's voice was firm, as his voice held the emotion tight in his chest and produced a strong voice that wavered at the edges with the fear of losing his best friend.

"The whole damn town's sick too." Jayne grunted, collapsed in a heap on the ground with two sets of handcuffs around his giant wrists. "They's all gonna die from it if they don't get those drugs quick."

Virg exchanged glances with his crew, signaling them to lower their weapons.

The cyborg gently set down Kaylee, who hurried over to a defeated, bleeding Simon who was holding his ankle.

Genevieve spoke first. "We don't have the drugs."

"Where are they?" Simon probed, wincing.

The captain of the Rising Sun shut his eyes and growled. "I sold em' on Persephone." Opening his eyes he gave an angry face. "Did business with some fella I never had before, did a swap that wasn't in his city, 'cause he didn't want the feds ta collar him in the act of the exchange.” Virgil's face tightened with vengeance.

"Didn't go well?"

"His foreman paid us bloody counterfeit." woman with the shotgun and tattoos freed Pike from the knife in the wall.

"And we were more than halfway home before we figured it out." Vieve stowed her forty calibers and let out a deep breath. "We got humped and we came back here to figure out where this satellite boss is so we can get our coin."

Virgil, worked into a tizzy as the thought of being royally screwed over along with his old friend dying filled his mind, stowed his gun.

"What's the boss' name?" Mal asked shrewdly, lowering the pistol yet still holding onto it.

"Sum guy by the namea Badger." Sterling bit out, face furrowed with aggravation as he tinkered with his mechanics that weren't working quite right.

"Swear to god when we find him I'm cutting his...."

"Roxy, nows not the time for that." Vieve chastised the younger tattooed woman.

"I'll help with it." Wren muttered sourly under her breath.

"I know where he is." Malcolm announced, the other crew focusing on him. "I can take ya, but I want the meds, you can take the money."

"Fine." Virgil didn't even think, he simply wanted his coin and wanted to show the man who had fleeced him what happened when someone crossed the 'Verse's greatest pirate. "That is of course if you don't mind me killin' him."

"Oh no, by all means, kill away."

"Let's go, we can park you ride on Antillies, refuel and head back...."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa." Malcolm blurted. "Who said we're takin' your ship?"

Putting his hands on his hips, Virgil seemed to take it into deep consideration before abruptly blurting. "I did."

"I say we take my ship." Mal set his hands on hips own hips. "Give your war toy a rest."

"We're already on my ship, 'sides, I'm sure it's a little more polished and right than whatever detritus you've duct-taped up ta fly."

The other captain took extreme offense. "Oh really? Well mine might not look like much but it's gotta helluva lot more heart than this vanity fair."

"Oh yeah?"


Genevieve rolled her eyes and sighed in exasperation. This, was not unexpected. "Oh. My. Gawd." She cradled her face in her palm, as nothing was going to stop the metaphoric pissing contest.

“Where they always like this?” Inara straightened herself up.

“Yep,” Jovie and Wren added in annoyed unison.

“Someone gonna free me?” Jayne asked from his face down position.

"Does yours have an advanced gunning system?"

Mal stumbled. "N... No. But Serenity don't need guns. She's fast."

"Well what happens when things go pear shaped and we need guns?"

"We ain't gonna need guns! My boat don't got a bucha jin-shu la-shi hangin offa her so she's gonna be faster than this giant penny."

"So we'd run instead of fight? Your ship don't have guns 'cause you can't afford it!"

"You know you were always like thi...."

"Zoe is on Serenity!” Simon growled as he limped over to River, tired of the squabbling. “I don't want to move her."

Mal blinked a few times, realizing the perfect justification he had just been given. "That... that's right." He announced with certitude. "Can’t move Zoe. Plus I got my family aboard."

Genevieve seemed startled, and a touch jealous whilst digesting that information.

"Well congrats." Wren folded her arms, surprised, yet hardly wanting to show it.

“Someone gonna take these cuffs off?”

Virgil exhaled noisily through his nose, none too pleased. Walking over, he stood right in front of Malcolm with a stoic face that appeared ready to punch the other captain. Mal however, remained unflinching. "Shiny. Crew, pack a bag. As soon as we’re on Antillies we leave the Rising Sun for repairs, and we off as guests of Captain Reynolds." Dismissing them, he kept his eyes on Mal, still in his face as he tilted his head to the side, dark eyes in narrow slits. "So, why'd ya try ta one up me Mal? You coulda just told me it was Zoe, woulda had my full cooperation minus all this fuss. Wouldn’t be charity."

"It surely would. Plus legend is East the Troglodyte eats babies and captains of less gaudy ships for breakfast." Mal explained dryly. "Didn't want be roasted with an apple in my mouth."


"Guess when you're the best your reputation takes off, don't it."

Virgil struck Malcolm in the jaw.

As the other captain hit the floor flat on his back, East lingered for a moment, hovering over a muzzy Reynolds. "I don't eat other captains, but I sure as hell hit 'em when they deserve it."

Mal rubbed his sore jaw as East walked away to pack a bag.

Jayne came over with a handcuff hanging off of each wrist and stared down at his boss. "Ya kinda did deserve that."

"Shut. Up."


bang ju-liu na nu-hai: Help detain that girl

zao: Catch

Shen-me?!: What the?!

Ai-ya shen-me you wo shuo da-yue jian: My god what have I said about swords?!

kuang hundan!: crazy bastard!

cao ni: f*** you

Shen-me wei ni yao wo-men wei yi fu-lu?: What do you want us to do with the captives?

jin-shu la-shi: Metal shit


**I definitely wanted to entertain the thought of River not being this all powerful being once she was unable to read minds. In so many fics she's a kickass who comes in and saves the day (and that's great) but I think that her ability, once taken away, would show how dependant she is on it when it comes to combat. As always, the writer appreciates all comments whether they be positive, negative, or suggestions.**


Tuesday, May 6, 2008 12:31 PM


Such a good story! River is sooo awesome!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 1:24 AM


I want to know how that other crew blocked River. And that punch at the end? Nope, Mal did not deserve that. Not surprised that rat Badger is the cause of all the trouble though. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 5:49 AM


River's inability to read needs an explanation. And, speaking purely as a parent, at the first sign of trouble, Inara's initial reaction would be to get to her baby. Granted, we all know that she and Mal are fixated on each other’s safety, but I think, by this time, that would have transferred to her child as instinct.

The quips between Mal and Virgil sounded awkward. I mean, Mal has a great crew and a supportive family. Why would he be envious of what Virgil and Vieve have? Mal wants to be left alone and go his own way.

And, yeah, I didn’t get the punch either.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying your post Miranda stories; I just think this chapter needs a little polishing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008 6:28 AM


No worries Platonist, I understand your feelings and thoughts and appreciate you voicing them. Hopefully the next chapter will fill things out and be more polished (and I admit, this one probably should have sat on the desk one more day).


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