BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

Relics - Chapter 8
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Captain Marsh meets Serenity's crew and later, one of the Kansas survivors is an old enemy.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1412    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Allan and the kids. they're mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.

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This story takes place nine years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/Allan and Jayne/River. Takes place five years post “The Bash” -

AN: If you haven't figured it out quite yet, this story arc is a character study and not the usual shoot em' up.

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Thanks again to Woonsocket and Chris for the Beta work

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Relics

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Chapter Eight

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Sylvia awoke a bit stiff and sore, but she felt immeasurably better. Physically anyway. Someone had left clothing for her. Underwear, sweats and a t-shirt. There were even socks and what looked like some kind of athletic shoes. She was wearing a hospital johnny at the moment, and real clothes were just what she needed. Grabbing the bundle she padded to the bathroom across from the infirmary.

After dressing, she was surprised at how hungry she was. Stepping from the bathroom she was nearly bowled over by two small boys. One was obviously a toddler and the other looked to be about six or seven years old. How many kids were on this ship anyway?

“Sorry,” Jefferson Reynolds apologized, “Jack's a bit of a handful.”

“That's okay,” Sylvia replied, “What's your name?”

“Jefferson. You can call me Jeff.”

“I'm Sylvia.”

“You're Uncle Allan's friend.”

“I guess I am. Is Jack your brother?” Sylvia asked, noting both boys’ dark hair.

“Cousins,” Jeff replied.

“Oh.”

“We get that a lot,” the boy grinned.

“Who are your parents?”

“My daddy is the Captain. Jack's daddy is Uncle Simon, the doctor.”

“I understand now,” Sylvia smiled.

“Jeffy,” Jack whined as he impatiently waited by the hatch leading to the cargo bay.

“Gotta go, nice meeting you.”

“You too,” Sylvia said as the boys scampered off.

Alone again, Sylvia looked around. There were what looked like rooms in one direction and a large open space in the other. Where she stood appeared to be a comfortable lounge area.

Footsteps on the stairs next to the infirmary drew her attention. A woman wearing coveralls came in to view. She broke into a smile and headed right for Sylvia.

“Hi. I'm Kaylee,” She smiled.

“Sylvia,” she replied smiling herself. This Kaylee woman just radiated happiness.

“You didn't happen to see a couple of little boys run through here did you?”

“That way,” Sylvia said pointing in the direction the boys had run.

“Thanks,” Kaylee said, “I best go round em' up for breakfast.”

“Speaking of which... I hate to be a bother, but I could use a little food myself.”

“Oh, silly me, 'course you'd be hungry. Allan ate like a horse the morning after he came outta cryo. Follow me.”

Sylvia followed Kaylee up the stairs to the upper deck, her eyes taking in the ship she was on. Stepping through the doorway she found herself in a large combination kitchen and dining room. Meanwhile, Kaylee excused herself in order to track down the boys. Three people sat around the table. One women and two men looked back at her.

“Uh, hi,”

The smaller of the two men stood up. With a smile, he extended his hand, “I'm Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Welcome to Serenity.”

Sylvia shook his hand, “Thank you, Captain.”

“Coffee?”

“I think I'd kill for a cup about now,” Sylvia grinned.

“Have a seat, I'll fetch it.”

Sylvia took an unoccupied seat and sat down. A slim young woman further down the table looked at her, cocked her head to the side and smiled, “I'm River.”

“Hi,” Sylvia replied.

The big man sitting next to River just grunted. She smiled, “Pardon my husband. He's grumpy before he eats in the morning.”

“Don't mind Jayne,” Mal said as he put a mug of coffee in front of Sylvia, “He's grumpy all the time.”

At that moment, Allan entered the room, followed by Sara. He was carrying a large box in his hands.

“About time, Gramps. Man's likely to waste away waitin’ fer you to cook.”

Sara stomped over to the big man, put her hands on her hips and stared up at her uncle, “That ain't nice, Uncle Jayne.”

“Aw... don't go usin’ them puppy dog eyes on me, ni-zi.”

Sara continued to stare at Jayne, “We have a guest. Be nice.”

River giggled at her husband, Allan just grinned, “That's enough, Sara. I think you made your point.”

“Okay, Daddy,”

“How are you feeling, Sylvia?” Allan asked.

She smiled, “Hungry.”

Allan grinned back, “Then I better get cooking. Sara, can you give me a hand?”

“Okay, Daddy,” she replied and bounded over to her father in the kitchen.

“Ah, there you are,” Simon said as he entered the galley with Jack in his arms.

“Sorry, doctor.”

“That's alright. No one on this ship follows my directions anyway...”

Allan balled up a dishtowel and threw it at Simon, smacking him in the head.

Despite her still heavy heart, Sylvia joined in on the laughter.

Next to enter was Inara, carrying Emma, “Oh, I see we have a guest this morning.”

“Captain Marsh,” Mal began, “This is my wife, Inara. The little one is our daughter, Emma.”

“Please, call me Sylvia. How many children are there on this ship?” Sylvia asked.

“Five and one on the way,” Inara replied.

“Who is expecting? If you don't mind me asking.”

“I am,” River piped up.

“Congratulations.”

“You, too,” River said in a sincere tone.

Sylvia's face fell, “Thanks.”

“Do not worry. She will be beautiful and smart, just like her mother.”

“Huh?”

“River is very... insightful,” Allan said quickly from the kitchen as he poured eggs into a pan.

“Oh,”

Allan continued to make breakfast. Sara was in charge of the English muffins. She wasn't big enough to be allowed to use the stove, even though Allan was quite sure his daughter could take the stove apart and reassemble it.

As Allan finished, he turned to his daughter, “Sara, can you call everyone else please?”

Sara smiled and bounded over to the nearest intercom unit, “Breakfast is ready! Come and get it before Uncle Jayne eats it all!”

Alan snorted in amusement at Sara's antics. The little girl took a seat next to Sylvia. Zoë entered the galley, followed by Kaylee, Becca and Jeff. Allan slid in on the other side of Sylvia, and Zoë sat next to her husband. Kaylee sat next to Simon and the kids took seats next to their parents.

“Dig in,” Mal said.

Sylvia began to eat, observing the dynamics of the people around her from behind her plate. Kaylee seemed bubbly and enthusiastic. Her daughter Becca looked and acted like a miniature version of her mother. Simon was occupied with feeding his one year old. Inara alternated between adjusting Emma's bottle and eating herself.

Captain Reynolds sat at the head of the table. The look on his face said everything about him. He loved his crew and family and would do whatever it took to protect them.

She heard a snort next to her. She looked over to see Allan grinning at her, “Put away the psychology degree, Syl.”

Sylvia grinned, “Old habit.”

This perked up Simon's interest, “You have a degree in psychology?”

“Masters,” Sylvia replied.

“Usually, when people look at Sylvia here, they see a 'dumb blond'. Couldn't be further from the truth,” Allan grinned at her.

“Don't be picking on my hair color,” Sylvia protested, “It's natural, not from a bottle.”

“How did you meet my husband?” Zoë asked.

“Job interview. Allan was hiring pilots with some space time for some secret project. Four years later, I ended up the captain of an exodus ship.”

“Interesting,” Zoë replied. Allan just shot her a grin.

“You must have all kinds of stories about Earth,” Kaylee said.

“I'm sure Allan has told you a few,” Sylvia replied.

“Yeah, but his are gonna be different from yours, I 'magine.”

“Bao-bei, Sylvia just went through a rather trying twenty-four hours. Lets give her some time,” Simon said.

Kaylee's face fell a bit, “Okay.”

Everyone went back to eating. As they finished, Sylvia turned to Allan, “Still haven't lost your touch in the kitchen.”

Zoë raised her eyebrow at her husband, “My husband's made you breakfast before?”

Jayne snorted from his spot further down the table. River elbowed him.

“Well... I...”

“Allan had the command crew of the Kansas over to his home for a shove-off party. We stayed up too late and most of us passed out from the good booze he was providing. I woke up with a hangover on Allan's sofa. He made us all breakfast.”

Allan grinned, “I seem to remember you waking up on top of Derrick instead of the sofa.”

Sylvia's face suddenly clouded. Tears ran down her face and she stood up quickly, “Please excuse me...”

She ran from the room.

Allan slid his chair back and Zoë put her hand on his arm, “I got this, Husband.”

Zoë found Sylvia in the cargo bay, sitting on a crate, sobbing. Zoë slowly approached her, “Wanna talk about it?”

Sylvia sniffled, “Part of me says no, but I know I need to.”

Zoë sat next to her, “Who's Derrick?”

“My chief engineer... and... the father of my baby.”

“Did you love him?”

Sylvia nodded, wiping tears from her face.

“What happened to him?”

“He was on duty in the engine room when we collided with the comet.”

“I'm so sorry. You ain't had time to grieve yet... have you?”

“No...”

“Figured as much. You had too much on your plate. Then you were ready to join him. You just need to grieve. We got a lot in common, you and me.”

“Because we lost someone we loved...” Sylvia stated.

Zoë nodded, “Unlike me, you will have something left of him. And a reason to go on. To honor him.”

“What's that?”

“That little one you got growin’ inside o' you.”

Sylvia sniffled and actually smiled a little, “Maybe you should be the one with the psychology degree. You do this pretty well.”

“Learned it the hard way. And I think you an me need to sit down with Inara. She's a trained councilor... among other things,” Zoë finished with a grin.

“What other things?”

“Let me tell you about registered companions...”

XXXXXXXXXX

“How are the other survivors doing, Admiral?” Allan asked the older man as they sat in the admiral’s private quarters on the Magellan.

“Awake, confused and hungry.”

“Par for the course.”

“How is Captain Marsh?”

“She's dealing with some things. Feels responsible for what has happened.”

“As she should, if she is the kind of officer you say she is.”

“Where are you going with this, Admiral?” Allan asked.

“There are people... not me, I want you to know, who want Captain Marsh to be held responsible for what happened to the Kansas.”

Allan's face turned red from anger, “Have these people seen the logs yet?”

“No. And that is why I am not going along with their recommendations. I am, however under some... political pressure.”

“Would this... pressure go away if I were to call the Prime Minister?”

“It might,” Shin agreed.

“I'll wave Richard as soon as I get back to Serenity.”

“Thank you.”

“Anything else?”

“I was wondering. Since you are a person known to the survivors, perhaps you would be best at explaining when and where they are.”

“I can do that, sir.”

“What about the salvage operation?” Shin asked.

“From looking at the data I was able to gather on my abbreviated trip over, I believe that if we refuel the tanks for the standby fusion reactor, life support and gravity can be restored.”

“Excellent. What about changing her trajectory?”

“The tugs enroute have the thrust we’ll need for that. I have a freighter from Blue Sun on the way with an engineering crew, heavy equipment and the materials needed to allow the tugs to maneuver Kansas and get her into a steady orbit.”

“Very good. I'm glad you were willing to do this. Without your help, this might have been a disaster.”

“I'm glad I was able to help. About the survivors. I'd like to have them travel with us when we leave next week.”

“Leaving so soon?”

“Mal... Captain Reynolds does have a business to run, as do I.”

“I see.”

“I will have the necessary information for both the fleet and my own engineers to accomplish the salvage operation.”

“What about Captain Sutherland's salvage claim?”

“Taken care of. I'm paying him out of my own pocket... and throwing in a complete overhaul of his ship. I'll bring her up to Serentity’s standard.”

“When would you like to meet the rest of the survivors?”

“This evening. I'm putting together a little welcoming dinner on Serenity. No offense but hanging around a bunch of polite but security-minded military personnel is probably not helping their anxiety.”

“No offense taken. They have been wondering already if they are captives.”

Allan nodded, “Would you like to join us this evening, Admiral?”

“I'd be delighted.”

“18:00 UST then.”

“I'll be there, Dr. Bryant.”

XXXXXXXXXX

Allan was directing a group of Alliance navy crew in transforming Serenity's cargo bay into a dining hall. Mal had grumbled at first, but when Allan arranged for the fleet to provide the food and manpower, he’d reluctantly agreed. Jayne stood watch to make sure no one wandered off.

While they were all now upright, Alliance citizens, and even hailed as heroes for their work in releasing the Miranda wave, Mal still didn't trust the average purple belly as far as he could throw one.

A quick buffet was laid out with the assistance of Magellan's food services division. First to arrive was the crew of the Sutherland, followed by Admiral Shin.

Under escort, the four Kansas survivors were led into Serenity's cargo bay. They all looked a little scared, except for the man. He just looked around curiously. Sylvia Marsh was still dressed in the clothing Serenity’s crew had acquired for her. The survivors were dressed similarly.

The two older women recognized Sylvia immediately which added further to their confusion. The younger woman, just a girl really, was nearly trembling.

Allan greeted them as they entered, “Welcome to Serenity.”

They looked at him with obvious confusion.

“Please, have a seat and I'll try to explain everything.”

The survivors of the Kansas sat down at the table while the crew of Serenity and the Sutherland stood off to the side with the admiral.

Once everyone was seated, Allan gazed at them with a confident smile.

“Excuse me.. sir?” the young woman asked, her voice nearly trembling.

“Yes?” Allan replied.

“Where... where are we?”

“What's your name?” Allan asked.

“Melissa Forbes, sir.”

“What do you remember, Melissa?”

“Getting put into a cryo chamber on the Kansas.”

Allan nodded, “How old are you Melissa?”

“Seventeen.”

Allan took a deep breath. How to tell this teenager that her parents were dead and she was all alone in the twenty-sixth century. Allan knelt down in front of her, “You four, along with Captain Marsh... are the only ones who survived the journey.”

Four faces looked at Allan in shock. Tears began to run down Melissa's face, “My parents?”

“I'm so sorry, dear. They didn't survive.”

“They said it was safe!” the girl screamed.

“It is... for one hundred years. There was a problem with the Kansas. It took much longer to reach her destination.”

“How long?” the man asked.

“Four hundred thirteen years,” Allan replied.

'Son of a...”

The two older women just looked stunned. The man seemed angry.

“What the hell happened?”

Sylvia stepped forward, “Kansas collided with a comet fragment ten months after leaving Earth. After discussions, it was decided that, rather than cause everyone’s death, we would give those in cryo a chance. We devised a plan, jury-rigged a fuel line to keep the cryo chambers powered; however, we knew the trip would take three hundred years longer than originally scheduled.”

The two women who had been awake when the collision occurred accepted the news with more aplomb.

“Why are you here, Captain?” the man asked.

“Not by choice,” Sylvia replied, “My first officer, Mr. Tashima, mutinied and removed me from command. He put me in cryo.”

“How is it that your chamber worked then?”

“It nearly didn't,” Allan spoke up, “If we had been five minutes later in boarding the Kansas, Captain Marsh would also be dead.”

The indignant man's face suddenly clicked in Allan's mind, “You're Winston Chapel, aren't you?”

“How did you know... son of a bitch. You!”

“That’s right... me,” Allan replied, menace in his voice.

“You know him, Allan?” Sylvia asked.

“Kind of hard to forget the name and face of a man who tried to have me killed...”

-

TBC

COMMENTS

Sunday, February 22, 2009 9:11 AM

JANE0904


Might not be shoot 'em up, but certainly full of tension! Poor Sylvia, but hopefully Inara can help her. And I can't wait to find out exactly what this Winston Chapel has against Allan!


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