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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Marcus finds an answer or two, and Adam gets a message from his mother.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 715 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Marcus headed to his cabin to check the fuel consumption logs. Without Murdocke to nurse the engines along, he knew that by the time the Hit or Miss arrived on Harvest, they would have to find a place to re-fuel. He had rarely been to Harvest, as it was a largely agricultural world and most of his clients tended to need things other than simple produce transported. Making a mental note to check for a re-fueling station on Harvest before they arrived, he sat down to scan his logs.
Reading swiftly through the items that were over two days old, he frowned as he saw an entry dated with the current date. Opening the file, he began to smile. Though Murdocke was often a pain in the pi gu, he did have his uses. Flashing impatiently on the screen was a message embedded in the consumption log. Quickly entering his access code, Marcus waited for the message to load.
Once the information appeared, Marcus simply stared at it for a long moment, his pulse pounding and his mouth suddenly dry. With a growing sense of horror, he read the decoded transmission that he’d been so eager to obtain. Wondering how Murdocke had managed to send it to him while being abducted, Marcus felt a sudden rush of genuine affection for the irritating man. He sent up a brief prayer in behalf of his missing engineer.
Re-reading the transmission carefully, Marcus realized that the situation was much worse than he had imagined. Knowing with a certainty that bordered on absolute that the Malcolm Reynolds he knew would never send an information-filled transmission to the BlueSun Corporation, Marcus’ mind reeled with the possibilities of what was actually going on.
Engrossed in his thoughts, he did not hear Elizabeth until she was standing at his shoulder.
“Marcus,” she said, her voice laced with concern. “Are you all right? You look sort of…haggard.”
Marcus nodded. “Got a right to be, I conjure,” he said, pointing to the screen. “Murdocke managed to get the code to me. Buried it in the consumption logs where I’d be sure to find it, but where the hundans who took him would be fair certain not to look for it. Man’s a gorram genius occasionally.”
Elizabeth frowned, leaning forward to read the transmission. Marcus watched the color drain from her face as she read.
“But this means…” she began.
Marcus nodded. “That whoever it is on Serenity, I’d stake my life it ain’t Mal.”
“But how is that even possible?” Elizabeth asked, shaken to the core.
“You tell me,” Marcus replied. “Sure as hell looks like Mal, talks like Mal, walks like Mal.”
“But he doesn’t act like Mal,” Elizabeth added. “Declaring war on the Alliance….”
Marcus nodded. “Not to say that Mal wouldn’t like to fight the Alliance if there was a chance of success, but this…person is hellbent on it.”
“But to what purpose?” Elizabeth asked.
“Don’t know,” Marcus replied grimly. “But the folks on Serenity need to read this transmission. Need to know what they’re dealing with.” He paused for a moment. “Think Mrs. Reynolds already suspects, asking me to go get the children.”
Elizabeth looked at him with wide, blue eyes. “You don’t think he means to harm the children?”
“Ain’t aimin’ to let ‘em wait around and find out,” Marcus said. “And soon’s the children are safe on the Hit or Miss, I need to find a way to talk to Mrs. Reynolds.”
“Adam, what in the ‘verse are you doing?” Anya asked, walking into the Fryes’ smallest bedroom, where Adam and Daniel were sharing a bed.
“Packin’,” Adam replied, stuffing his clothes and his dinosaur into a small duffel.
“I see that,” Anya said. “But why? Where do you think you’re going?”
“We’re all going with Mr. Marcus,” he said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Better get your things too.”
Anya sat down on the bed. “Why would we be going anywhere with Captain Hazzard?” she asked.
“’Cause Mama’s sending him to get us,” Adam replied, pulling her back onto her feet. “He’ll be here soon. You gotta hurry, ‘cause Daniel and Hannah are too little to pack their stuff.”
“Adam,” Anya asked, suddenly very frightened but trying valiantly to keep her voice steady. “Are we in danger?”
“Not if we’re ready to leave when he comes,” Adam replied. “Mama said it would all be all right.”
“In your head, right?” Anya asked, needing the clarification. “She sent you a message…with her brain.”
“Yep,” Adam said, smiling proudly. “And I got it just like she said I would if I practiced.”
Anya gave him a weak smile and hurried to pack her own bags and the bags of the other children.
When Marcus and Bear arrived on the front steps of Kaylee’s homeplace, Mr. Frye greeted them with a loaded shotgun. Marcus, thinking that perhaps it would have been better to bring Elizabeth than Bear in this particular instance, raised his hands in the universal gesture of peaceful surrender. “Mr. Frye?” he asked, making sure to smile charmingly.
Mr. Frye scowled at him over the barrel of the shotgun, but chose not to answer. “Who are you?” he asked instead.
“My name is Marcus Hazzard. I’m the Captain of the Hit or Miss. And this is one of my crew, Bear.”
Mr. Frye did not lower the gun barrel even one inch, but he smiled wryly. “Can see where he gets the name,” he acknowledged, looking at Bear’s intimidating physique. “What’s your business here?”
“I have a message from your daughter Kaylee,” Marcus said. “It’s on a capture screen in my pocket. Let me just…”
“Move them hands slow-like,” Mr. Frye said calmly.
Marcus nodded and slowly pulled the vid recording from his pocket. Holding it up so that Mr. Frye could both see and hear it properly, he began the recording. Mr. Frye listened, his gun barrel dropping lower as he heard and saw Kaylee explaining that Marcus was there to take the children to safety.
“Who’s coming for them?” he asked when the recording ended. “What kind of trouble are they in?”
Marcus shook his head. “I’m not rightly sure,” he replied honestly. “But it has something to do with the BlueSun Corporation, and something to do with the Alliance. Apparently some kind of joint project that they’re working on. Whatever the reason, Mrs. Reynolds asked me to retrieve the children and also see that your family gets somewhere safe.”
Mr. Frye finally lowered his weapon all the way. “Come on in,” he said. “I’ll send my wife to gather up the children and their things.”
“You can come with us,” Marcus suggested. “The Hit or Miss is a large vessel. There would be plenty of room. And you’d be safe there.”
Mr. Frye looked at him steadily. “Got a place we can stay ‘til the danger’s past, I conjure,” he said. “Ain’t much of nothin’, but it’s good enough for me and the missus. Can’t think to leave the place now,” he added. “’S’our home, and has been since near ‘bout forever ago. Dong ma?”
“Yes,” Marcus said. “I do understand. But, these people, if they are with the BlueSun Corporation, they’re very, very bad folk. Are you certain you don’t want to come with us?”
Mr. Frye shook his head. “Me and the missus’ll be just shiny. You get the young’uns where they need to go, and don’t trouble yourself with us.”
As he spoke, the children walked into the room, bags already packed and ready to go. Mr. Frye frowned. “How’d you young’uns know that you needed to get your little duds together?”
Adam smiled. “Mama told me,” he said.
While Mr. Frye was trying to decipher how that could possibly be, Bear gathered up the children and their bags quickly. Content to follow him like the pied piper, the children followed him out toward where the Hit or Miss was docked.
Marcus extended his hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Frye,” he said. “Your daughter is a real treasure to Captain Reynolds.”
Mr. Frye returned his smile. “Good,” he said. “Reckon that means he’ll do everything he can to keep her safe.”
“Of that, I’ve no doubt,” Marcus said, though the thought of whoever or whatever that thing was on Serenity impersonating his friend left him cold. Walking out into the bright light of Harvest’s day, he followed Bear and the children back to his ship.
“What do you mean, you can’t find them?” Hill asked, a slight tic forming under his left eye. “Harvest is not that large. How many places could they possibly be?”
“Several,” replied a man who looked remarkably like Hill. “Though it is our belief that they are no longer on Harvest at all.”
Hill raised one cynical eyebrow. “And what leads you to that conclusion?”
The other man smiled at him thinly. “There is a small fueling station about 30 kilometers from here,” he said.
“And?” Hill asked, the tiny tic beginning to really annoy him.
“And according to the station’s records for the day, the Hit or Miss re-fueled here less than three hours ago.”
Hill sat back in his chair, experiencing the strange sensation of genuine surprise. “And the people who originally sheltered the children? Where are they?”
The man looked slightly perturbed. “We haven’t been able to ascertain a location for them yet. But there are men working on it as we speak.”
Hill nodded, his mind having already moved to the much more important issue. “If the Hit or Miss picked up the boy, then someone on Serenity is aware of our …experiment.”
The other man nodded in acknowledgement. “That was my assumption as well.”
Hill’s jaw tightened almost imperceptibly. “All right,” he said, dismissing the man. “Go on looking for the people who sheltered the boy. If you find them, kill them. They are non-essential.”
“Of course,” the other man acknowledged with the slightest of inclinations of his head.
Senator Michaels was more than perturbed by the turn of events. Fuming, he looked at Hill with eyes practically designed to flatten the man into a messy puddle Hill looked back impassively.
“So, what is the planned course of action?” Michaels hissed angrily.
Hill shrugged as if the answer to Michaels’ question were obvious. “If the subject has been compromised, he will have to be eliminated and replaced.”
“And there is another ‘copy’ of Reynolds available now?”
Hill nodded. “He will need to be imprinted with Reynolds’ thought patterns. But that takes relatively little time. He could be activated well before the proposed meeting with the Independent sympathizers.”
Michaels tapped his fingertip against his teeth, lost in thought. “Could work even better than the original plan,” he said after a time.
“How so?” Hill asked.
“How many people do you think will rally to his cause if he’s the sole survivor of a vicious Alliance attack on his family and friends?” Michaels asked, his smile almost feral.
Hill nodded. “Indeed a potentially wonderful way to use the situation to best advantage, Senator.”
Michaels nodded, practically preening with the praise. Entering the code for a priority message to the Alliance cruiser that had been shadowing Serenity just out of range of her sensors, he waited impatiently until Commander Liang appeared on the screen.
“You wished to talk with me, sir?” the Commander asked.
“Yes,” Michaels said quickly. “There has been a change in the situation. Your new orders are to track down and destroy the Firefly and the Cicada class vessel that have been under surveillance. And Commander,” he added. “Ensure there are no survivors.”
“Yes sir,” Commander Liang said, saluting smartly before the screen faded to black.
To be continued
Sunday, September 21, 2008 3:15 AM
Sunday, September 21, 2008 3:19 AM
Sunday, September 21, 2008 3:24 AM
Sunday, September 21, 2008 10:58 AM
Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:47 PM
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