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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Shindig is one of my favorite episodes, though I do like them all. So much happens in Shindig for each of the characters even though it’s largely a Mal/Inara centric episode. I decided to fill in some plot gaps to that episode, but also elaborate on each of the characters’ thoughts. I tend to go with the theory that Book is actually a Shepherd with a dark past, not some alliance agent in diguise or anyhing. Because of that, Book's has a lot of religious material in it. (I put this in just in case that's the sort of thing that offends anyone.)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1205 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Why they called the short, scruffy man “Badger” had been a mystery to Shepherd Book, but when that gangster came aboard Serenity, with guns to young Kaylee’s head, he knew exactly why in his own mind: A badger is a ground dwelling animal, a bottom feeder, in a sense, and so was this Badger, using the lowest methods of coercion to achieve is ends.
But the time for mentally insulting this man has passed. Now, Badger’s goons patrol the cargo bay in a demeaning and irreverent sort of way. This ship was their home.
That thought troubled the Shepherd. And abbey or church had always been his home, and before that, well home wasn’t in his vocabulary before his abbey days, and Serenity was a transport vessel. In theory, it takes you from point A to point B. Book’s journey had a point A, but no real point B. In a way, point B was the ship itself. At first, he wasn’t so sure about this. He prayed and prayed, petitioning God for an answer concerning where point B was.
“God works in mysterious ways, brother,” the head shepherd of the Southdown Abbey had told him.
That was true, because the answer returned that Serenity was point B. Serenity was where he was meant to be. That was especially troubling concerning what he had witnessed within the first twenty-four hours of his arrival. Crime, theft, bigotry, even murder.
Book knew all too well that God doesn’t bless the faithful with easy lives, and after Whitefall, he knew there was more to come.
It scared him to think that. Already he had beaten a man senseless. That stirred up a part of the shepherd he never wanted to reenact again.
He waits in the cargo bay like the rest of the crew: quietly and without noise. He prays first.
"Lord, lead me to you words. Help me find the strength to persevere through adversity," He prays silently.
With that he lets God direct what he reads: He opens his bible and the pages fall open as if by chance to exactly what he needs to see: Psalm 23. He reads: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
This Psalm becomes an anthem for him. They were words he had read many times back at the abbey, but until now, this moment, he has not truly found the meaning in them. In that moment, he realizes why God has directed life to Serenity: they needed a shepherd. The crew needed someone to love them despite who they were and where they had been.
“I believe each of us has a mission out there waiting for us, Book,” the head Shepherd told him. “And when that mission is revealed to us, we know without a doubt, that’s where we ought to be. It’s one of the most satisfying feelings to offer unconditional love to those who need it. I pray that you may one day find that.”
He thanks God for showing him this, and when he opens his eyes, young River is crooning her head into the cargo bay. He draws in a stiff breath and thanks God once again for letting him see River before Badger’s men did.
He slowly makes his way towards Simon, as to not draw attention, and places a hand on the doctor’s shoulder. The doctor will be able to help her, while Book prays for God’s supervision over the situation.
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