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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
This is the first of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-series. Our Big Damn Heroes discover that war has been declared.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 921 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
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"Malcolm Reynolds!" The commanding female voice rang across the yard, all the way to the barn, where her son was mucking out stalls.
"Coming, Mama!" Mal called back, setting aside his shovel and running up to the house. Diedre Reynolds was not the kind of woman you kept waiting. "What is it, Mama?" he asked when he reached the door. It wasn't that unusual for his mother to interrupt his chores, but she also only did it when it was absolutely necessary.
She looked him over briefly, a somewhat distant, almost sad expression on her face. "Go on inside and get yerself cleaned up. And you can call it a day on yer chores. I'm sure that hurts yer feelin's." she gave him a little smile as she stood aside to let him into the house.
If she hadn't had it before, Diedre had Mal's complete attention now. Interrupting chores was one thing, but letting him off the hook completely? It was unheard of. Not that he was complaining, but it gave him a weird, sort of unsettled feeling in his stomach. Like there was something he was missing here.
Walking past her, he jogged up to his room for a quick refresher. He changed his shirt and splashed his face with water, then made sure his hands were clean. Once he was sure that he was sufficiently presentable to his mama, he went back downstairs to see what this was all about. Times had been tough lately, what with the damn core planets and their Alliance thinking they could run the place. He just prayed to God that they hadn't lost the ranch or something.
"Mama?" he asked again, when he found her in the den. She was sitting in her usual comfy chair, the one that she plopped down in after a long day's work, and she had a vidscreen in her lap. Mal thought she looked more tired and wary than he'd ever seen her, and it really worried him. Slowly, he walked over to her, resting his hand on her shoulder.
Diedre looked up at him with that same sad, distant expression as before and handed him the vidscreen. "Just came in an hour ago." she told him, "No more bureaucratic nonsense. This is war. Just like I'd said it would be. Those folks that are all fancy like in the core gotta own everything. Gotta be in charge. And they ain't gonna rest 'til they are or 'til they's dead."
Mal stared at the vidscreen for a moment, before his eyes darted back and forth across the flashing message. She was right. The Alliance had declared war on the Independents unless they surrendered. Fat lot they knew about freedom. Those who had it were never going to just give it away. "Wo de tien, ah." Mal said, "This is gonna go down like a cow from a cliff."
"Malcolm! Don't take the lord's name in vain." Diedre said, taking the vid screen back to reread it herself.
"Ma, there are certain situations when it's appropriate. Besides, that wasn't in vain, it was an anticipatory prayer." Mal replied, flopping down into the chair next to hers.
"Hmph." Diedre retorted, settling back into her chair and closing her eyes, and for several moments there was a very pregnant silence. Finally, Diedre said, "Yer leaving, ain't you?"
A heavy sigh greeted her question, "Got to." he said. "Independents are gonna to need every able body they can get. And you certainly raised me able. 'Sides, can't 'xactly belly ache about the outcome if I don't take a stand, now can I?"
"I wasn't questionin' yer decision, Mal." she told him, opening her eyes again and giving him the sort of look only a mother could give. "I knew you would go if there was a war." she sighed as well, "Jus' promise yer old lady that you'll write to her as often as possible, and that-"
"Ma, don't you worry about it. You know darn well I'm gonna write to you every day I'm gone." he soothed.
"-and that you'll come home, Malcolm." she finished, as if he hadn't interrupted her.
"As long as there's a home to come to, Mama, I'll be back."
"I'll keep a wary eye on the road then." she said, "Now, how's about some supper?"
"Steak?" Mal asked, grinning. On a cattle ranch, they had beef just about every night. "And I'll enlist tomorrow."
"Steak it is." she said, already heading to the kitchen. Mal followed her and helped her with the preparation. "You and Mac should sign up together." she said as they sat down to the table.
Mal nearly choked on his steak, "I don't want Mac enlistin' in no war." he said when he could breathe again.
"You know she's gonna enlist regardless of what you want, Malcolm Reynolds. Way I see it, sign up together, you may get put together. At least then you can keep an eye on her, right?"
"Mac is not goin' to war." Mal said stubbornly. "I won't have it."
Diedre raised her eyebrow, "You best remember who yer talkin' about, boy. Mac is her own person, and is just as stubborn, if not moreso than you. She'll wanna go for the same reasons, and like it or not, you ain't gonna stop her once she's made up her mind. She's not jus' gonna sit by while her best friend is a million miles away gettin' shot at."
"I'll just have to change her mind then." Mal responded, proceeding to eat his steak with savage fury, as if it were the one that had offended him.
"Look at this." Cadet Dodd said, gesturing at the small panel with an inlaid screen which he had been staring at for the past six hours. "Bastards finally made it official."
Private Zoe Alleyne leaned over his shoulder to read the wave. So the Alliance pansies had finally declared war. Well, they had another thing coming to them. "So they did." she said, "Took them long enough." She cracked her knuckles ominously, "Let's give 'em Hell." she grinned at Dodd. "Orders come in yet?"
"Still waiting." Dodd replied, "Someone ought to tell the sergeant, though." he said.
"I'm sure he already knows. He has this feed in his bunk, but I'll drop by just in case." Zoe said.
"No need." Sergeant Kameron said, stepping onto the bridge. Zoe immediately stood at attention. "Stand down," Kameron said, "We should be getting those orders any minute now. Dodd?"
"Ah..., yes sir, we're receiving a transmission now." Dodd was silent for several moments as he read the wave, "They're recalling us to base for reorganization."
"Makes sense." Zoe said, "I'm sure our ranks are going to be thickening as news spreads."
"No doubt." Kameron said, "To base, then."
"Did you hear?" a hushed voice asked, not too far away from where Inara Serra was putting away her dulcimer. The girls of House Madrassa were such gossips, so Inara was only half paying attention to them as she carefully dismantled and recased her precious instrument.
"Hear what?" Another voice asked.
"We've finally declared war on those filthy independents."
Inara dropped the the bow that she had been about to put away. It fell to the floor with a clatter, but the two gossiping girls didn't seem to notice. She quickly picked it up and stored it in the case. "Renci de Fozu, qing baoyou women." she murmured, picking up the case and heading back to her rooms.
It wasn't that she didn't support the war. More to the point, she supported Unification. She would prefer there was no war, but mostly men ran the government, and men couldn't make decisions without guns for some reason. Anyway, war was good for business. All those men that were worried they were going to die looking for their last hurrah. War would have virtually no effect on companions, except to increase their profits.
Inara hadn't realized how absorbed she'd been into her thoughts until she ran into someone and nearly knocked them over. As it was, she had to drop her dulcimer case to prevent any more damage than she'd already done. Gentle hands steadied her, and a kind voice asked, "Practicing your dulcimer again? How can you stand it?" Inara looked up into the eyes of her closest friend, Nandi.
"Just lucky, I suppose." she grinned. "Have you heard the news yet?" she asked.
"I've been with a client all day, so no." Nandi replied.
Inara picked up her dulcimer as they started walking again-back to Inara's rooms to have tea like they usually did. "We've finally declared war on the Independents." The great thing about the gossiping girls of House Madrassa though, was that they usually had credible sources.
"Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan." Nandi said, "It should bring in quite a profit for us companions."
"My thoughts exactly." Inara said.
"Tyen shiao duh! Do they have to shoot at us with guns?!" Hoban Washburne demanded of the bridge at large.
"Honestly, I thought they were going to shoot turnips at us or something." Captain Mingus retorted, rolling his eyes. "Just set us down on New Melbourne and we can settle this like human beings."
"I told you that broadcasting and Independent beacon while flying through Alliance territory wasn't such a good idea, didn't I. Am I the only one feeling an 'I told you so' coming on? Or do you think they want to invite us for tea and crumpets?" Wash asked.
"I'll be damned!" Mingus spat at the comm screen. "We would have been fine if the war declaration hadn't come through while we were passing by."
"See, this is why I should demand higher pay. Or insurance or something. To protect myself from the boo-tai jung-tzahng-duh."
"Quit your rambling and land us already."
"Of course. I only make this look difficult. I'll just do that with haste and ease." Wash spouted sarcastically as he did just that.
Two whores and a shit-faced bar patron chased Jayne Cobb out into the street shouting "Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze!"
To which a not so sober himself Jayne replied, "Go tsao de slime ball!" Then he gave them the finger and slumped off to find some other bar. Luckily, that wasn't hard to do in these parts.
Upon entering the bar, however, he was greeted with deafening cheers, which he at first mistakenly thought were for him. Then someone shouted, "And we'll wipe the floor with those rutting Independents!" Another voice yelled, "This war won't last more than five minutes!"
Somewhere in Jaynes halfway inebriated mind, it registered that the Alliance and Independents were going to war now. The only thought that came to mind was I wonder what would happen if a drooling whore and a monkey had a kid. And he ordered himself a beer.
Wo de tien, ah - Dear God in Heaven
Renci de Fozu, qing baoyou women - Oh merciful Buddha, protect us.
Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan - Oh, this is a happy development
Tyen shiao duh - In the name of all that is sacred
Boo-tai jung-tzahng-duh - Not entirely sane
Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze - Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey
Go tsao de - Dog humping
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:24 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:48 PM
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