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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Hill and Michaels have a talk, and Mal and crew go back to Serenity.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 756 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Hill sat across the desk from Senator Michaels, his mouth set in a thin line. “It would appear that Serenity nor the Hit or Miss was destroyed in whatever happened to the Cortes,” he said, the words bitter in his mouth.
“As I suspected,” Michaels replied waspishly. “Not only did Liang fail to complete his mission, but it would seem that somehow Malcolm Reynolds has managed to escape from a maximum security prison. And not just escape, mind you, but free all the prisoners and blow the gorram place into the Black.” As he spoke, his words became louder and louder until they reverberated in the office. “What do you have to say about that?”
“I believe it is safe to assume that the two things are indeed related,” Hill replied thinly. He could not remember the last time he had allowed anyone to speak to him so rudely. But he realized that the Senator was under a great deal of stress, unused to handling these matters in anything other than a ham-fisted manner, so he held his own temper.
“You think?” the Senator roared. “And just what do you propose to do to bring the situation back under control?”
Hill restrained himself from pointing out that it was the military that had allowed the two ships to escape, and the military that had allowed their prison to be breeched. “We will, of course, go to the prison. See if anything is salvageable. It is possible that some of the backups might have escaped unharmed.”
“My reports indicate that no one was left there alive,” Michaels growled.
Hill smiled. “Knowing the subject as I have come to, I would assume that the backups would not simply present themselves in plain sight to any armed forces, even those of the Alliance.”
“If Reynolds is alive and able to get to the rebels to warn them, we will have wasted the time and resources of this administration in a grievous way. This…failure….is not to be tolerated. Any and every effort should be made immediately to contain the situation. Are we clear?”
Hill nodded, wondering if the fool thought he had not already begun to set things in motion to do just that. “We are indeed clear, Senator.”
“Mal, can I talk to you for a minute?” Simon asked, leaning in the doorway of Mal’s temporary quarters.
“Got just about a minute to spare,” Mal replied. “Operative says we’ll be in atmo over Serenity in a few minutes.”
Simon nodded. “It will be good to get back home,” he said, thinking fleetingly that once upon a time he would never have thought an old Firefly could be home to him.
“So, what’s on your mind?” Mal prompted.
“The children,” Simon replied. “We haven’t come up with a decent place to leave the children. And the thought of taking them with us when it’s almost certain to…..” He paused delicately.
“Be suicide?” Mal finished, smiling wryly.
Simon blushed. “Well, I wasn’t going to say it like that, exactly. But it is something to consider.”
Mal nodded. “As I understand it, the Fryes are already in danger for harboring them once,” he said seriously. “Wouldn’t want anything to happen to Kaylee’s folks. They’ve done a lot for us over the years.” He thought of the little cabin on the Frye’s land where he and River had stayed when they’d lost Sam. He swallowed thickly, the memory still having the power to stop him cold.
“Yes, they certainly have,” Simon said, barely catching Mal’s stricken look before it vanished. “And I wouldn’t want anything to happen to them either.”
“Way I see it, we need to persuade the Fryes to leave Harvest for awhile, at least until this thing is done,” Mal said. “Though I imagine it will be easier said than done.”
“Perhaps if we can persuade them that they are needed elsewhere…” Simon suggested. “If we could find a place where they could stay and tell them that we need them to keep the children safe.”
“I take it you’ve thought about a place?” Mal asked.
Simon cleared his throat nervously. “Well, I have, though I’m not certain you will like the idea.”
“Go on,” Mal replied. “Let’s hear it.”
“The children have another set of grandparents,” Simon said. “My parents. And they have a certain amount of …leeway with their finances.”
Mal smiled. “Is that your way of saying that they have cashy money to spare?”
Simon blushed again, and Mal wondered with a bit of amusement just how old the man would have to be to avoid that particular reaction. “Yes, I suppose it is,” Simon admitted. “You’ve said that you intend to target Core worlds. Though my parents and I have had our differences in the past, I do not want them to be in a war zone. Suppose that they could be persuaded to find a temporary home somewhere suitable. It would solve several problems. They would be out of the hot zone, and we could tell the Fryes privately that we need them to help my parents with the children, as they are not used to handling so many little ones at once. The Fryes are safe, my parents are safe, and the children have two sets of grandparents to see to their safety as well. With my father’s money, and Mr. Frye’s common sense, surely they would be all right.”
Mal smiled. “And you think you can convince your folks and Kaylee’s to live together somewhere and do this?”
Simon sighed, rubbing the sore spot on his chest absently. “If it can be phrased just so,” he said. “If they understand the potential danger.”
“If you want it phrased right, best you let Kaylee do the talking,” Mal said, grinning. “Phrasing things right ain’t exactly your strong suit.”
“Perhaps you’re right,” Simon said, conceding the point.
“Been meaning to tell you,” Mal said more gently. “I heard what you did to get Jim outta the outpost prison. It was a brave thing, and I’m obliged to you for it.”
“Least I could do,” Simon said.
“Takin’ a bullet ain’t ever the least a man can do,” Mal replied. After a minute, he added, “You get the Fryes and the Tams to agree, and we’ll provide the transportation. Good enough?”
Simon nodded gratefully and hurried away to tell Kaylee the news.
“My source indicates that Reynolds has already contacted the rebels,” Hill said calmly. “A new rendezvous point has been named.”
Michaels nodded, pleased to hear that things were coming together once again. “Leave the coordinates and my people will be ready for them.”
Hill nodded. “Excellent. I am also pleased to report that there were backups found at the prison. Some were damaged beyond repair, but there were two that were viable.”
“Can they be ready by the rendezvous time?” Michaels asked.
Hill frowned slightly. “It is unlikely,” he said. “At least not ready to the degree of the first ones. However, there may be a use for them even so. We will begin with them at once.”
“Good,” Michaels said.
Hill rose to leave. “And Senator Michaels,” he said blandly. “It might be in the best interests of the project if this particular information did not become common knowledge among the members of the Oversight Committee.”
“I have said nothing beyond the bare minimum to the Committee since Reynolds’ escape,” Michaels said calmly. “I saw no need to create a general panic.”
Hill nodded. “That was most wise.”
Mal sat on the bridge of Serenity, watching the battle cruiser and the Hit or Miss traveling along similar paths toward the rendezvous point. Thinking that there was nothing so comforting as sitting on his own bridge again, he heard the patter of small steps behind him. Turning in his chair, he smiled when Adam and Hannah came into view, shadowed by River.
Hannah held up her tiny arms and Mal picked her up immediately, swinging her in midair for a moment until she squealed with delight. Setting her on one hip, he gestured to Adam to climb up onto his lap as well. “Well, little fella’,” he said, hugging his son close. “I heard tell it was you who knew that thing wasn’t me.”
Adam grinned, basking in the warmth of his father’s pride. “Knew it couldn’t be you, Daddy,” he said.
“Glad to be home?” Mal asked.
“Yep,” Adam replied. “You?”
“Yep,” Mal said. Hannah wiggled impatiently for his attention. “You glad to be home too, little girl?”
“Yep,” she said, grinning toothlessly as she mimicked her older brother.
Mal sighed, content for just that moment with his children on his knees. Having held back to let the children have the time with their father, River stepped forward, resting her hands on Mal’s shoulders and looking out at the cruiser and the Hit or Miss in the distance.
“Simon told me the plan,” she said softly.
“Think he can persuade them?” Mal asked.
“With help,” River replied, a smile in her voice.
“Think it will be the right thing to do?” Mal asked.
River heard the real import of the question in her mind rather than her ears. “Safest option I can think of,” she said honestly. “Too many variables to know for certain.”
Mal nodded. “Guess that’s usually the way of it,” he said, his arms tightening slightly around their children.
Marcus stood just outside the infirmary of the Hit or Miss, watching Elizabeth rummaging through the supply cabinets muttering darkly to herself. “Anything I can help you find?” he asked.
Elizabeth jumped and blushed scarlet. “I didn’t know you were there,” she said quickly.
“Figured I’d come and find you when you didn’t come to bed,” Marcus replied. “Wondered what had happened.”
“I have work to do,” Elizabeth said a little stiffly.
“What kind of work?” he pressed.
Elizabeth straightened her back defensively. “I need to make a supply list,” she said finally. “If you’re intent on starting a war, I imagine we’ll be needing quite a few more medical supplies.” She silently cursed her voice for trembling slightly.
Beginning to understand the problem, Marcus gathered her up into his arms, though she remained rigid there. “Didn’t intend to start a war, darlin’, but whether we’re involved or not, there’s gonna be one. And I conjure it would overtake us soon enough anyway. Don’t see as it will be any safer for a crew like ours on the sidelines as right in the middle of it. Won’t be sidelines to stand on after it starts anyway.”
He felt the shudder that went through her body and held her more tightly to him. “You want to get out now, I’ll take you wherever you want to go,” he said softly. “Truth be told, I got no great wish to see you involved in all this.”
Burying her face into his chest, she said, “Don’t want to leave you. What if you were hurt? If I weren’t here, who would patch you back up?”
“Don’t worry about me, darlin’,” Marcus whispered into her hair. “I ain’t plannin’ to get hurt.”
Elizabeth looked up at him with worried eyes. “You never plan to get hurt. But it happens with startling regularity.” A hint of a smile curved her lips.
“Happens to the best of us,” Marcus said, smiling in return as he felt the tension easing from her shoulders. “But the offer stands. I’ll take you where you want to go and let you sit this whole thing out, if that’s your wish.”
Elizabeth sighed, feeling the reassuring beat of his heart against her cheek. “Don’t think I could bear to be somewhere else, waiting and worrying. Not knowing what was happening. Not….being with you.”
“Then we’ll just have to see that we don’t get ourselves corpsified when this thing starts,” Marcus said gently.
“Sounds like a plan,” Elizabeth replied.
To be continued
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 6:46 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:06 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 10:34 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:10 PM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:24 PM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 8:08 PM
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