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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Mal has a job without his crew.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 936 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: The Alliance Spins, Part 7 of 8
Summary: Mal’s has a job to do without his crew.
Pairing: Canon, if any
Spoilers/Timeline: intra BDM – spoilers for the movie
Disclaimer: No money is being made from by me and I certainly don’t own Firefly/Serenity.
Author's Note: This fic takes place within my interpretation of post –BDM Firefly. If you’re a little lost see my blog entry here.
The Alliance Spins, Part 7
The clock by his bedside indicated that it was 23:12 which told Mal he’d been awake for over thirty hours. Mal’s sleep schedule, if you could call lying in your bunk and not sleeping a sleep schedule, was messed all to hell. He tossed again hitting his pillow and finally gave up trying to sleep. Turning over onto his back, he stared into the blackness that would be his ceiling. “The hell with it.” Rising from his bed, he padded over to the com.
Sunny’s number one guy, Jin Lee, answered looking fresh and ready to greet the day instead of ending it.
“You look like hell,” Lee said. “We thought you might be waving.”
“She’s a little concerned about your dedication to this affair.”
“Is she? Well, I got a little concern my own self. She there?”
Lee shook his head. “She’s over at the shop. Try the back door. And, Mal, clean up a little. Sunny does like her people to be –”
Mal cut off the transmission abruptly supremely irritated at being referred to as one of Sunny’s people. Deliberately not looking in the mirror, he donned his brown coat as well as a variety of weapons and left his bunk.
He walked downstairs to the common area finding Kaylee, Inara, and Simon all watching the news. River was lying on the couch with her head on Inara’s lap. Mal could see she was listening to music on a little portie and she kept eyes closed in a concentrated effort to not look at the screen. Inara absently smiled down at her as she played with River’s long dark hair. Simon sat in the chair with Kaylee leaning back between his legs.
“Ya’ll think it’s wise for her to be exposed to newswaves? I’m vividly remembering we decided it’s best for her to avoid public waves.”
“Mal, she’s fine,” Inara said quietly. “We’re being careful.”
“Back to work everyone!” He barked. The sight of their easy camaraderie rankled him. “We ain’t gonna pass that inspection watching Vid-O all day.”
“But it’s nighttime and we been workin’ all day.” Kaylee looked up at him, her eyes wide and cautious. “Serenity will be ready for the inspection on Thursday. Don’t you worry ‘bout that.”
“Make gorramn sure she is.” He quickly glanced around. “And where in the hell is Jayne?”
Everyone just looked at him blankly.
With a slight shrug, she asked, “Where do you think?”
Gorramn Jayne and his gorramn whores. Git’s not going to have a centavo of his sweet Lilac take by the time they got out of this city. Jayne throwing away his money while Mal was fixing to embark on a hired thug job aggravated him more than he cared to admit. Mal stalked off wishing there was a door he could slam to convey his displeasure.
Half an hour later, Mal knocked on the back door of Fiona’s. His eyes narrowed as he took in the dandified appearance of the young goon who answered the door. The man seemed to know what Mal was thinking and rudely asked him to submit to a weapon search.
“Not necessary, Piter,” Sunny called out.
With a slight smirk, Mal walked in.
Sunny sat at a beat-up black plastic table with her attention firmly focused on an old portable vidscreen. “You been watching this stuff? About Miranda?”
She looked more like the Sunny Mal used to know. Her plain, grey changshan was only worn in her off hours but Sunny would never realize that she looked far more elegant in the simple dress. She wrongly thought if she dressed like she believed affluent Core citizens dressed others would view her as a respected member of the business community. Sunny entertained illusions of respectability even though Mal had no idea how she could cover up a lifetime of violent crime, armed theft, and the dozens of other illegal enterprises she had been engaged in over the years.
“I don’t believe it.”
“You don’t believe the Alliance would do something like that?” The last thing Mal wanted to do was have a debate over the Miranda situation.
“Sure they could. I just don’t see how it could be so long ago. Nobody missed thirty million people? The whole story is shǎ bī. Doesn’t smell right to me.”
Mal saw the coverage was of some kind of demonstration. Smartly dressed people were marching, singing, and carrying lots of colorful, witty signs protesting the Alliance.
“They’re calling them rioters.” She laughed, tickled by the thought. “They think that’s a riot?”
Mal looked at the screen for a moment allowing himself to feel some sense of satisfaction over the uproar the Wave had finally caused in the Core. The knowledge that people, Core people, still gave a shit about strangers nudged something in him that had been long dormant.
"You got me covered?" She asked still looking at the vu-screen.
"Don't worry. You'll get your rocks."
“Then why’re you here looking like you just rolled out of bed?” She favored him with an almost motherly look.
"I’m concerned about two of the Joes you got on the job."
"You trust the other people?" She snapped off the player and looked up at him.
"No, but I trust that they intend to get through this without resorting to treachery. Or killing.”
“Crew’s set. No changes. Besides, my boy, Lolo, will make sure no one runs off with my stuff.” She opened a box on the table and pulled out a cigarillo. The young man standing silently by the door rushed over to light it for her. “He’ll stand at your back if a double happens.”
“And if he shoots my back?”
“He won’t. Like I said, he’s my boy and well understands my business. After all, if you’re dead, I’ll never get paid. Plus, he's got negotiating skills that may be helpful.” She took a deep drag and exhaled blowing the smoke over Mal’s head. “Even you don't have the stomach for what he can do."
Mal walked around the room rubbing his forehead. That bit of information was not helping his aversion to the job.
"I doubt it will come to that, Mal. Don’t get cold. I need you on this. You're my ace. God put you here at this time for this very reason. She wants you to help me."
She smiled pouring him a drink and invited him to sit down in one of the battered chairs around the old round plastic table.
"God wants me to help you steal some stones?" Mal said sitting down across from her.
"Sunny, that is crazy.” He downed the drink appreciating the fineness of the flavor. “Even for you."
“I’ve called in a lot of favors, greased many palms to get this thing set up. Job's that important to me, Mal. Those minerals are gonna open all kinds of doors. Doors to the Core."
"Those doors open to the Alliance."
"Not necessarily.” She took another sip of her drink and then a long, reflective drag. “I've been communicating with a few slicks on Londinium. There are many opportunities for one such as myself. Mal, I'm conducting some bona fide business transactions. Me! We're talking trade routes, supply and demand issues. Business school crap. Everything is illegitimate as hell but talking to those guys almost makes me feel like an honest to god normal person.”
“Well, I am me, aren’t I.” She gave him a slight grin and a wink. "You know, if you had a better ship, I'd tap you. I could use a cargo ship with a friendly on board. As it is, your Firefly stands out.”
“Ain’t looking for a Core job.”
“Yes, that would actually pay too much.”
Mal chose not to respond. Instead, he swirled his drink watching the light green liquid lap about the shot glass.
“Speaking of standing out. I met your lady friend."
Not sure he heard her right, he set his drink down a little too strong as some of the fine drink spilled onto his hand. “What?”
"I dropped by Harvey’s. Had to go see what was so important about your ship. And, may I interject? Serenity? Really, Mal. Serenity?”
“It has a peaceful ring to it.”
“War's over. Honey, you’ve got to move on. The past is the past and there's not one thing you can do about it. Except live."
He leaned back in the chair tipping the front legs off the floor. "I'm living."
"Yeah, living in misery!" She leaned forward. "Look at me. You know where I come from. The things I got myself out of. Do you think that I'm letting all that get the best of me? Me living the way I do in the manner I choose is how I fight back. I refuse to cry about things that can’t be helped."
Mal looked at her warily. He doubted Sunny had cried since she was a babe. Hard life she may have had but she spoke truthfully about not crying on things that can’t be helped – why cry when you could kill?
“So back to the mysterious beauty painting your ship.”
“I’m nosy about your love life.
"There is no love life."
"Why not? From what I saw you got not one but three little lovelies on that flying harem. Plus one fine young man. He was pretty. And clean.”
“He is at that.”
“You know, I’ve heard a little here and there about your crew and they really don’t look the part."
“Didn’t see ‘em all, Sunny.”
They sat in silence drinking.
“I’ve got one.”
“Love life. Wanna hear about it?”
“You and Jin?”
She slapped him playfully on the arm. “No, honey. I’ve switched sides! The ladies is what I’m all about now.”
“Really?” This was interesting. Sunny not with men. He couldn’t picture it.
“Oh, yeah. Got me a little sweetie who works in a dress shop.”
He stared at her. “Gǒu pì.”
“I swear on my genuine camel purse. I’m not kidding.”
“Well, that’s…good news.”
"It is, isn’t it?”
She took the bottle intending to pour more in Mal’s glass. He put a hand over it stopping her.
"What did she say?"
"Who?" Sunny asked innocently. "Oh, the dark haired beauty so concerned for your well being."
He looked at her waiting for her to respond but she took her sweet time of it debating whether to tell him.
"She was very concerned about my retribution if you neglect to pay. And rightly she should. She said if you didn't pay, I should contact her before I…collect."
"Hell I will. Mal, if you don't pay I will have to send someone after you. That costs money, you know. Besides, I don't want to have to cause you any pain. I think of you almost like a friend. But business is business. I'm not a charitable foundation.”
"Just don't. She shouldn't have asked."
"I thought it was sweet."
“Ain’t sweet at all. None of her gorramn business.”
"Only you would see it as an insult. You're stupider than I remember."
"Life doesn't have to be as hard as you want it to."
“Doesn’t have to be---“ Mal sputtered angrily. The chair crashed to the floor noisily as Mal abruptly stood up. The events of the last few weeks had been simmering in him and comforting words coming out of Sunny Dae’s mouth was more than he could stand for.
The anger coursed through Mal but he remembered the goon at the back as he observed Sunny giving the young man a slight shake of the head indicating all was well.
Mal raised his hands showing the armed man behind him that there was no need for violence. “Sunny, my dear, you are really on to something. Maybe you best abandon your criminal intent and become a motivational speaker.”
“I’m just saying—“
“You know damn well the hand I been dealt. I’m living the best I can with what I got even if I lost my soul in the process.”
“See that’s the difference between you and me. You may have lost your soul but I never had one to begin with.” She looked at him and if Mal didn’t know her he would have thought there was concern in her eyes. “What is lost can be found.”
“Spare me.” Mal turned to leave. “I gotta get to the job. Boss’ll have my hide if I’m late.”
"She certainly will.” Sunny clapped her hands grinning at him like a naughty schoolgirl. “Isn’t this exciting? I’m in such a good mood!"
Her enthusiasm was not infectious.
“Don’t forget, you bring ‘em to me,” Sunny reminded him. “You keep your hands on my little preciouses at all times. No one else touches them.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said dismissively. The goon at the back gave Mal a shocked look at his apparent disregard of Sunny’s importance.
"Mal, I tell you what, this goes through, I'll knock the interest back seven." She didn’t say what she would do if the job soured.
“Make it ten.”
Parked outside of the Dickerson Private Docking Lot was a 2514 silver Wagster Transport Unit. The vehicle had been picked especially for its unremarkable quality and even though it had been parked in the same spot on the south street next to the dock for a good part of the day, the boring nature of the vehicle attracted no undue attention.
Mal leaned back in the driver’s seat trying not to fall asleep. The incessant yapping of his new "partner" didn't help matters and Mal couldn’t escape the notion that if he closed his eyes, maybe Jasper sitting next to him would just shut the hell up. Jasper was quite possibly the most depressing person he had ever met and that was saying a lot. The young man was a punk through and through but he was the worst sort of punk there was: a kid from a fairly normal family who abandoned all the opportunities said life presented and crossed over to the darker side of life.
Jasper lamented about his parents who were threatening to kick him out if he didn't get a real job, girlfriends who dumped him, friends who irritated him, food that disappointed him. The guy would not stop complaining. To make matters worse, the only good thing he had to talk about was the Core. Never in all his life was Mal forced to listen to someone so rousingly describe in great detail the wonderful life that awaited everyone in the Core.
"That's it!" Jasper said shaking his fist for emphasis. "I'm going! I'm totally going. Do you think I should go to Londinium or Osiris?"
Mal didn't reply. Over the past week, he had been partnered with Jasper three times and quickly learned that the obnoxious kid did not require any verbal input. Yet, another hour of listening to this idiot rhapsodize over the joys of Core life would have Mal bloodying his nose.
"The Core, man! The Core. That's where's it all at. Forget this pissant world. With all these nán kàn women."
Looking outside the window, Mal silently begged the ship to hurry the hell up. His gaze turned unseeing into the sky. He needed the damn ship to show up so they could get this heist over with. Serenity was just about ready to take to the black but Mal had a debt to work off. Absently drumming his fingers over the console, Mal replayed the plan in his mind. This job may be a good one for Sunny but it was paining his brain in the worst way.
This heist was Sunny’s baby and she’d been meticulously planning it for months. The other interested parties who were aware of the payload didn't stand a chance. Mal suspected that there had been considerable violence done in getting the competitors out of the picture and was relieved that Sunny hadn't asked him to participate in that aspect of the job. No, Sunny and her trusted crew took care of all the rivals leaving the actual theft to be carried out by independent contractors.
Sunny had taken careful steps to make sure the heist would never be tracked to her and had decided that the six person crew would not be part of her regular operations. Eight days of staking out the dock and another week spent surveilling the target gave Mal ample opportunity to observe his partners in crime and he did not like what he saw. Pulling a heist like this with a bunch of unknowns was, to his mind, just plain stupid. Take like this one just begged for a betrayal. Mal wasn’t worried so much if one of the crew decided to turn but he suspected a bit of collusion between two of the crew. One betrayer was a bump in the road, two was a problem.
“Good housing. In fact, I heard that you don't have to pay for nothing over there. They practically throw money at you. And the women? Every one of them is drop dead gorgeous. And my friend tells me that they love men from the border planets. Yeah, life is gonna be perfect once I get off this --"
“Shǎo luō suō! Looks like something’s coming in.”
“Think that’s our bird?”
“Finally! I couldn’t take anymore of this waiting!” Jasper rubbed his hands together in glee. This was the guy’s first big job and his enthusiasm was irritating Mal even more than the constant prattling. "Shiny! Let's see some action, man!"
The job itself went without a hitch but, as Mal expected, two of the crew decided they wanted the take for themselves. They managed to kill one of the crew before Lolo plugged them both without batting an eye. As the smoke cleared, Mal looked at Lolo and, for the first time, was glad he owed Sunny money; that alone kept him alive. Remembering the obnoxious kid, Mal stepped between Lolo and Jasper. His eyes narrowed as he gazed menacingly at Sunny’s “boy.” With a slight, indifferent shrug, Lolo holstered his weapon.
“Six way split just turned three!” Jasper said delightedly.
Mal tuned out the rest of Jasper’s words as the three men made their way to the rendezvous. Stupid kid had no idea how close he had just come to giving up the ghost.
Sunny, flanked by Jin and Green Suit, was waiting in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Marseilles New.
"Let me see them!" Sunny said excitedly. "Oh, these little beauties! I am so in love!" She didn't seem surprised that only half of the crew was left. "You fellows did me a real solid."
"So, my take doubled, didn't it?" Jasper said excitedly. Mal could see the kid's thoughts were already on Londinium.
"It sure did, baby, it sure did." Sunny smiled at him before raising a stub nosed pistol and shooting him between the eyes.
The clueless kid fell to the floor with a dull thud.
Mal's hand hovered above his own weapon until he came to his senses remembering he was surrounded. He looked up at Sunny trying to keep his dismay from showing.
"Loose ends, Mal," she said handing the gun back to Jin who wouldn't meet Mal's eye. She and her entourage headed for the door. “Hope you find your soul again.” She started to close the door but grinned at him. “After you pay me back, of course.”
The door closed behind her. Mal looked at the dead kid staring vacantly up into nothingness. An almost perfect circle of blood pooled around his head. Mal thought of Shepherd Book. For a few moments, he couldn’t stop staring at the punk who no more than ten minutes ago had been aggravating him fiercely. Shaking his head, he walked out of the warehouse leaving Jasper lying dead on the dusty floor.
Mal walked through the streets of Marseilles New keeping his thoughts on his steps. Walk ahead ten yards, nine yards…turn right. He kept his mind clear of everything except where he was going.
Letting himself in through the gates to Harvey’s yard, he walked in the direction of Serenity but stopped. Standing in place, he simply listened and his heart warmed as he heard a beautiful sound that he almost thought he would never hear again. Serenity’s engines were running; Kaylee had fixed her. The one thing he could believe in. Pushing all thoughts of Sunny and Jasper out of his mind, he headed home.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 4:22 PM
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 11:33 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2008 2:27 AM
Thursday, July 03, 2008 2:46 AM
Thursday, July 03, 2008 3:24 AM
Thursday, July 03, 2008 7:16 AM
Sunday, July 06, 2008 5:08 PM
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