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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
This is the third of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-series. Our Big Damn Heroes start basic training. A promotion is secured, pasts are revealed, and something is thought forgotten.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 952 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimers blah Joss blah Mutant Enemy blah.
Beepbeepbeep! Beepbeepbeep! The tinkling little alarm was starting to get on Wash's nerves. He'd take a blaring one to this soft noise anyday. Come on, an alarm should be saying, "Hey! Screwball! Something's wrong, dammit! Now fix it!" Not, "Umm... Excuse me? Sir? There's, umm, I think there's something wrong. Could you maybe umm, look into it when you have, er, the time?" It was an alarm, gorramit! It needed to be demanding and urgent.
Still, Wash let his eyes drift over the screens of the cockpit to find out what was wrong with the flight simulation that needed correcting now. Apparently you still had to go through some basic training, even if you were second (only because someone hacked into the record books and made themselves top of the class) in your class at one of the best flight schools this side of the 'verse. Something about the military aspect of flying a ship. Whatever that meant. It sounded like training to deal with getting shot at to Wash. And hey, hadn't he done that just last week, only without the training?
Being cooped up in this flight simulator wasn't sitting too well with Wash. He needed the wind beneath his wings, the sky's embrace. But no, he was sitting square on his ass in some base on the ground listening to frightened little alarms. Hopefully the actual ships had real alarms. Wash was used to alarms, having spent most of his youth on a polluted sphere of congealed factories that they liked to call an industrial world. Then he'd gone away to flight school, which had an alarm for everything just to keep students on their toes. Wash had dealt with alarms practically every day for the twenty cycles he'd been around to deal with them.
But the alarm couldn't be helped right now, and neither could the simulator. Heaving a sigh, Wash set his jaw and sucked it up. It was just something he was going to have to live with for a week or so. Then he'd be back in a real cockpit in a real ship and everything would be fine. Except the part about being shot at, that wouldn't be so fine. But other than that tiny little detail, it'd be fine and dandy.
"All right, already! I hear ya! Gou huang tang! I'm working on it!" he shouted at the timid little alarm as if it could understand him. "What seems to be the problem?" he asked, his eyes scanning over the screens again. "Aha!" he yelled in triumph, as he located the problem and righted it, bringing silence to the room at last.
"Gorramit, can't I go anyplace where people ain't tryin' to make me sign up fer this damned war?" Jayne demanded.
The woman blinked at him, "Don't you want to help keep our independence safe? This is our freedom we're talking about here."
"I don't rightly care." Jayne replied, "I'm a merc, I can take any old job, and you ain't got enough money to pay me to fight in no war."
"Money's not the most important thing." she said, and Jayne merely snorted derisively, "Doesn't it bother you that the Alliance is trying to take away our freedom? That they're killing us in the name of peace? As if they really mean it?"
Jayne sucked in air for a moment, as if he were actually considering her words. "Nope. Don't bother me 'tall." he said, "Look here now, I don't mind gettin' shot at, as long as I'm gettin' paid good money to do it. But nineteen is too young to be dyin' in some war for some cause I don't even care fer and the crappiest pay you ever saw." he said, pointing his finger at her, "That's all causes are good fer, you know. Gettin' a man killed. Or a woman, in yer case." he said, "Take my advice and leave wars to them that has a death wish."
The woman sighed in what could have been disgust, "I'm sorry you feel that way."
"Alleyne!" Dodd's voice called after Zoe as she walked down the hall. "Didja hear? Didja hear?" he asked after he'd jogged up to her side.
"Hear what?" she asked, "They change their minds and we have to go back to basic or somethin'?" Zoe rolled her eyes. Base had issued a mandatory two day long training seminar for all the old officers. It wasn't horrible, but it also kept them from the action a little bit longer.
"Nah," Dodd said with a grin, "I got promoted!" he told her excitedly. "To private. I ain't a lowly cadet no more."
"Congratulations." Zoe said, giving him a smile. "Private Dodd has a nice ring to it."
"Thanks. And now we's both privates, though I ain't no first class yet." he said. "Still, it means they'll definitely ship me out instead of leavin' me here to deal with the volunteers."
"I'm glad. I'll feel much safer with you watchin' my back." She and Dodd had been in the same unit for a year now, they were acclimated to each other.
"Same." Dodd agreed. "You eat yet?" he asked.
"Headin' that way now." Zoe said with a smile.
"I wonder what their training is like." Inara remarked, as she and Nandi sat in one of the many gardens of Sihnon, watching passerby. More often than not, it was a soldier on his way to the barracks or out into the city.
"Can't imagine it's harder than ours." Nandi replied, looking out at the men, "Except we have to learn the fine arts too." she said with a smile, "I doubt that music and art would come in much use in a war."
"You have a point." Inara said, "And they have to learn about guns too. Swords are so much more sophisticated, civilized."
"Swords wouldn't be very useful in a space battle, though." Nandi pointed out.
"True." Inara said, falling silent as she watched more people walk by. "Do you remember our training?"
"It hasn't been long enough for me to forget." Nandi laughed.
"No, I meant the beginning. Day one." Inara said.
"How could I not? I met my dearest friend that day." she said, smiling.
Inara returned the smile, "The very first thing out of the priestess' mouth was, 'How am I going to make companions out-"
"Out of this band of princesses'?" Nandi finished for her, "We were, weren't we?" she asked, "Princesess, I mean."
"It's how we were raised." Inara said, "Wealthy girls from wealthy families. What else could be expected?"
Nandi laughed again, "I suppose you're right about that. Still, I can't remember ever being as much a princess as the girls are these days."
"I know what you mean. But, in all fairness, we've grown quite a bit in the past eight years."
"Indeed we have." Nandi agreed.
"I always meant to ask you, why did you start a year late? Why didn't you start at twelve, like most girls?"
Nandi sighed, "I didn't want to come at first." she said, "My mother had to convince me. In the end, I realized how respectable and profitable being a companion could be, so I enrolled for the next year."
"I'm glad you did." Inara said, "It just wouldn't be the same without you."
"I'm glad I did too." she said, "I don't know what I'd have done if I'd never met you."
The first day of basic had most of the recruits wheezing and bellyaching about how sore they were. Mal and Mac didn't have that problem. Mal had grown up on a ranch, and Mac had grown up on a farm, they were used to the physical strain. Their leisure time, therefore, was much more enjoyable than that of the wimps they'd trained with all day.
There was only one other person that shared in their enjoyable leisure time, a sasquatch that went by the name of Monty. He had a few years on the duo from Shadow, but he was youthful enough in spirit that the three of them got along just fine. Mal and Mac liked Monty from the moment they clapped eyes on him, and quickly struck a rapport with him.
Monty loved to tell stories, and boy did he have a lot. Half of them were about barroom brawls-fought over good causes, of course. The rest were about his exploits as a 'space trader.' Not all of Monty's dealings were technically legal, but this didn't bother Mal or Mac. Monty did have a habit of calling them 'country folk,' which the two found amusing.
"....And let me tell you, them folk on St. Albans can hold their liquor. Their rum is some o' the strongest alcohol I ever tasted. Damn fine stuff too. S'pose it has to be. They need somethin' to warm them on that snow infested planet they got." Monty was telling them.
The two listeners laughed. "I can imagine." Mal replied. From somewhere across the camp, a loud whistling noise could be heard. Mal sighed, "Guess it's time to turn in. G'night Monty."
"Night Mal, night Mac." Monty said, stretching briefly before wandering off to the men's barracks.
"G'night Mal." Mac said, staring expectantly up at Mal.
He stared right back at her for a moment, then said, "Night Mac." He gave her a small smile and ruffled her hair.
Mac sighed, backing away slowly, "See you in the morning then." she said.
"Yeah. See you." Mal said, watching her turn around and start to walk away. He let her get five steps before he said, "You thought I forgot, didn't you?"
"Hmm?" she asked, having whirled around at the mere sound of his voice, an expectant look on her face. "Forget what, Mal?" she asked, her tone hopeful.
Mal gave her that trademark grin of his and closed the distance between them. "Yer birthday, of course. It's not everyday you turn twenty-one."
"I did, yes." she said, smiling at him.
Mal gave a mock sigh. "Ye of so little faith." he scolded. "I guess I could always forget to give you yer present too." he said.
"No!" she made herself up to sound very offended, "I mean, I never doubted you for a second. I just doubted yer memory." she grinned.
"You'll have to do better than that." he told her.
"Oh, Mal!" she said, taking one of his hands in both of hers, "I'll never doubt you again! I've seen the error of my ways. Please might you be so kind as to grant me forgiveness?" It was hard to do with a straight face.
Mal chuckled, "That's more like it." Then he gave another mock sigh, "Oh, I suppose. But don't you ever let it happen again." he smiled, reaching into his pocket and drawing out a small, badly wrapped package. "It ain't much, but I thought you'd like it."
Mac took the parcel and slowly unwrapped it, revealing the necklace inside. It was really just a piece of leather with a hand carved bird on it. Mac loved crows for some reason. You'd think a farm girl would hate them, but not her. "Mal..." she breathed, "Are you kidding? I love it!" She flung her arms around him. When she pulled away, she immediately slipped the necklace around her neck. "I'll never take it off."
"'Ey! 'Ey! Easy, you don't have to choke me to death!" he chuckled. "I'm glad you like it. Happy birthday." Mal said, smiling. Then he kissed her forehead and bade her goodnight.
Gou huang tang - Enough of this nonsense
Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:15 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:21 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008 5:16 PM
Friday, October 17, 2008 2:41 AM
Friday, October 17, 2008 2:46 AM
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