Quest - Chapter 5
Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Allanverse" - The Alliance doesn't want Quest to be made public. Threats are made and in typical fashion, someone decides to misbehave.


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. I’m just playing. No money being made. The situations come from my own twisted mind as do my original characters.



AN: Sorry about the delay. I hit a wall with this story line over two months ago. It took some other writing to let me figure out what to do with this adventure. Hopefully it won't be as long between chapters this time.


Quest-Chapter Five


The testing had been easy. Two more FTL jumps out of the way, certifying the weapons systems, the sensors...

Quest was ready.

Unfortunately the Alliance Fleet Command didn't see it that way. No way in hell were they going to let a twenty-four year old girl command the ship that would possibly reconnect humanity with it's ancestral home.

“What are we going to do, Dad?” Sara asked as she and her father walked stiffly down the long corridor leading from the Fleet Admiral's office.

“I'm thinking on it Sara,” Allan replied.

The meeting hadn't gone well. Allan was frustrated and angry. The admirals in charge had wanted to slap a top secret on the FTL drive and even seize the ship. Allan had shot to his feet, screamed a few obscenities at the morons and then calmly explained that if they tried, he and his daughter would gleefully overload the fusion reactor and destroy the ship and all records of its design and construction.

One admiral threatened Allan and Sara with treason charges. Allan had laughed at him. Allan was secure in the fact that he and his family were nearly untouchable to prosecution for treason because the government couldn't stand the scandal.

The Admiralty had backed off slightly. Allowing further testing but not giving permission for the ship to leave the system. It was a hollow promise. Quest could disappear from the 'Verse and no one could stop them. Still, Allan still wanted to maintain at least the semblance of cooperation.

God, he hated politics.

Walking out the door of fleet headquarters, Allan made a beeline for his ship, Sara at his heels. Only seated behind the controls did he relax somewhat.


“Yeah, Princess?”

“I'm almost twenty five. Are you ever going to stop calling me that?”

Allan chuckled, the tension of the last two, very unpleasant hours bleeding out of him, “You're a little too old for 'Baby Girl'.”

Sara rolled her eyes and chuckled slightly, “Okay, Daddy.”

Allan grinned. He loved it when Sara called him Daddy. “You were going to ask something?”

“Can Uncle Richard do anything to help?”

“He hasn't been Prime Minister for five years.”

“Still... Parliament looks up to him.”

“Worth a call I guess,” Allan replied as he began powering Free Bird up. A few moments later the small ship lifted from the pads, heading in the direction of New London.

“What's the plan for tonight?” Sara asked.

“Your Mother and I are taking you and Jeff out to dinner tonight.”

“Didn't we celebrate enough last week after the tests?”

“This is family time.”

“Aunt Alisha's?”

Allan grinned, “How did you guess?”

“You said the magic word... family.”


It truly was a family dinner. That is if you included friends and acquaintances into the mix.

Zoë's sister, Alisha had turned the small sixty seat restaurant she had bought shortly after she and her husband had married into the place to be in New London. Expanded several times, it now seated over two hundred and had incorporated an adjoining nightclub.

Alisha herself rarely cooked anymore, busy with the running of her business, not to mention raising her son. Andy Baer, had taken over as executive chef years ago after apprenticing with Alisha. His sister Audra helped run the business side of things. Alisha had just gotten her own syndicated cooking show on the cortex.

Her husband, Reggie was still working for Blue Sun. Reggie was now Executive Vice President and Durin Haymer's right hand.

Entering the restaurant, Allan was struck at how busy it was. Of course, Friday night was always busy. A young woman greeted them.

“Do you have a reservation?”

“I do,” Allan replied, “Bryant. Table for six.”

The young woman looked flustered, “I... I'm sorry sir. They only have you down for a table for two...”

Allan rolled his eyes, “Is Alisha here?”

“Mrs. O'Leary is busy at the moment. I can call the manager if you would like.”

“Please do.”

The woman nodded and stepped away from the greeting stand.

“Somebody dropped the ball,” Clayton said as he stood with Becca on his arm.

“It is a Friday night,” Jeff commented.

“True, Bao-bei,” But that shouldn't count... we're family,” Sara stated.

“Damn right,” Zoë said grinning.

Allan smiled at his wife. Zoë was dressed conservatively tonight. An elegant black, sleeveless dress and a beige shawl. Sara was wearing a low cut navy cocktail dress and Becca was wearing a Chinese cut dress with a floral pattern. Jeff, Clay and Allan all wore nicely tailored suits.

Allan was about to begin a search and rescue operation for the greeter when he heard a surprised squeak and was nearly tackled by a woman.

“Gorrammit, Allan,” she said indignantly, “Why didn't you tell Lisa here you were family...”

“Hey Audra,” Allan grinned, “I thought I made the proper reservations...”

“Bi-zuie,” Audra said with a grin, “Come on, I have just the spot for you.”

The group of six made their way through the crowded restaurant to a booth near the back. Allan stopped short when he realized he had been set up. They all had been.

Sitting at a huge table sat, Alisha, Reggie, their son Michael, Oso and Fred Tangaroa, their son Dwayne, Israel and Olivia Schneider.

Allan shook his head, “Looks like the gang is all here,”

Alisha grinned, “Hey... I own the place. I can get whatever table I want..”


The conversation was friendly and warm. Catching up with family and the various goings on. Eventually, the conversation turned back to Quest.

“They don't want to release the test results?” Fred asked.

Allan shook his head, “They are afraid that the 'Verse isn't ready for FTL travel. Afraid of the potential economic upset to the shipbuilding industry. Overnight, nearly every ship in the 'Verse will become obsolete.”

“Not for a long time,” Becca interjected, “The FTL drive can't be retrofitted. Ship's gotta be built from the keel up to house the drive.”

“These are just the baby steps,” Allan said, making a point with his fork, “The general populace won't believe we have actually done it without something spectacular to prove the ship.”

“That why you want to go to Earth-that-was?” Oso asked.


“Why don't you just go and do it?” Reggie asked.

“Politics,” Allan replied. “It's not the same government now. Alliance is a bit more conservative with this administration.”

“Still, Quest is a private project, right?” Alisha asked.

“It is. It's just we need some governmental support. The two gunships we are carrying, their crew. The FTL cortex relays, a diplomatic presence in case there are people left back there...”

“Excuse me... Dr. Bryant?”

Allan looked up at the man standing a few feet away, “Yes?”

“My name is Nigel Voorhees. I couldn't help but overhear...”

Allan just stared at the man. His clothing and demeanor screamed 'bureaucrat' to Allan.

“This is a private conversation, Mr. Voorhees.”

“I understand that. However your voice is carrying and you are discussing rather... sensitive issues.”

“Such as?” Allan replied.

“Your FTL ship.”

Allan's face soured, “It's our ship. I can talk about it if I want. Last I knew, the Alliance had free speech.”

“It certainly does. However, there are elements in the government that want to make this whole project... go away.”

Oso and Reggie tensed. Allan's face grew dark, “Are you... threatening me, Mr. Voorhees?”

“It could be construed in that light,” Voorhees replied nonchalantly.

“That would be very unwise,” Allan growled, “You tell whoever sent you that if they want to play politics, I can play economics. I still hold enough shares in Blue Sun to make things happen. Things that the politicians will not like. You tell them they better not piss me off. They won't like it if I get pissed off.”

“You can't do anything,” Voorhees replied.

“Really? What would happen if prices for Blue sun products in the core were to increase suddenly by three hundred percent while the rim prices dropped by fifty?”

Voorhees eyes bugged out, “You can't be serious...”

“I am. Blue Sun's consumer products division has an eighty percent market share... what do you think a price increase like that would do to the Alliance economy?”

“That's extortion,” Voorhees exclaimed.

“Don't push me and I won't push back.... dong-ma?”

Voorhees nodded and quickly left. Allan glanced at Oso.

“Already on it,” the big man replied as he pulled out his personal com.

Zoë rubbed her husband's shoulders, “Are you okay?”

“I will be as soon as we can get Quest underway.”

Sara set down her fork, “We can be gone in two hours. Pick up supplies on either Boros or Persephone.”

Allan nodded and looked over at his sister-in-law, “Sorry to run out, Alisha...”

“Get out of here.”

“I'll notify the board about the problem,” Reggie stated, “They won't be happy. The FTL project is widely supported.”

“I'm glad to hear it, Reg,” Allan replied.

Oso hung up his com, “Security has been doubled on the platform and around Quest. There are also guards on Free Bird and a full security team will be here at the restaurant in ten minutes.”

Sara nodded, “Lets move.”

Under guard, Allan, Zoë, Sara, Jeff, Clay and Becca made their way to the spaceport. After a quick preflight, Free Bird II was off the ground and burning for orbit. They had work to do.


After docking with the larger ship, Sara called a full crew meeting. Everyone gathered in Quest's galley.

“What's up, Boss?” Virgil Ortega asked after everyone took a seat.

Sara squared her shoulders, “There was a very thinly veiled threat made tonight to the entire project. There are government elements that either want us to fail or even openly attack or sabotage Quest.”

“You must be joking,” piped up Commander Olson.

“We're not,” Jeff replied, “A Mr. Voorhees approached us at dinner and told us to shut up about Quest or something would happen. It showed a great deal of malice as they knew exactly where we were this evening.”

“Dad got him to back down,” Sara added, “But I'm quite certain that once they... whoever they are... realize what we plan, they will try to stop us.”

“Where do we fit into this?” Lt. Commander Baxter asked.

“That's the sticker,” Allan said tiredly, “You and your people are sworn Alliance military personnel. They could simply order you to arrest the lot of us.”

“Not going to happen,” Commander Olsen replied, “While I cannot say what will occur over the next few hours. What I have seen here in the time we have been on board tells me that no matter what. This project must continue. Besides, you have broken no laws and therefore any order to arrest you would be illegal.”

“Never stopped the Alliance before,” Zoë said darkly.

“I know you have a bad history with the government, Mrs. Bryant. But I assure you. The government of today is not the government during the war.”

“Commander, you need to remember,” Zoë pointed out, “The people responsible for the government change you are talking about are either in this room or their children.”

“Point taken,” the Commander replied.

“Even if you... tag along,” Sara began, “The Alliance can then come after us for the theft of government equipment. Namely your Gunships.”

Commander Olsen and Lt. Commander Baxter shared a look then smiled, “What gunships?” The commander asked, “The one's parked over on the platform or the Blue Sun, owned prototypes currently in the shuttle bay?”

A slow grin appeared on Allan's face. His respect for this officer just went up a couple of notches, “You, Commander. Are one sneaky, son of a bitch,” Allan chuckled.

“I try.”

Ten minutes after the conference, Becca and Clay powered up the main reactor. Virgil plotted the jump and Jeff moved Quest away from the Blue Sun orbital platform.

Five minutes after that, in a flash of Light, Quest was gone.


“What do you mean... gone?” Asked Fleet Admiral Rosales.

“Twenty minutes ago, Quest detached from Blue Sun's space station and used it's FTL drive to break orbit,” Reported the Admiral's aide.

“Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiouh doh sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo,” The older officer muttered under his breath. After regaining his composure, the Admiral looked up, “What about the ASREV detachment aboard?”

“The personnel are aboard Quest, but the Gunships are not. They were left behind on the Blue Sun Platform. Apparently, two fully armed Blue Sun owned Mk III ASREV's were delivered to Quest earlier today.”

“Son of a...”

“And furthermore, the Fleet personnel on board Quest have written orders. Those orders stipulate that only written orders can rescind their current orders.”

The Admiral was red with rage, “So you are telling me that, unless a courier personally hands Commander Olson written orders. He will follow his previous orders.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“What were those previous orders?”

“Defend Quest from all threats,” The aide replied stiffly.

The Admiral's language was even worse this time.


Being the son of a former smuggler, Jeff knew just where to park Quest. And that was behind a seventy mile wide chunk of rock that orbited Boros just outside the orbits of it's two satellites, Ares and Turrent's Moon.

Outside radar and passive sensor detection range, the crew got to work. Becca and Clay, assisted by the two Alliance techs began a detailed systems check. Knowing that if the ship broke down where they were going, Quest would be in deep trouble.

Zoë called home and Mal quickly agreed to load up the necessary supplies and fly them out in Serenity. Besides it would allow a round of goodbyes before Quest left on it's journey.

Allan called in a couple of favors and had located three of the new FTL cortex relays that were on a freighter bound for delivery to Telephonix on Deadwood. Quest would pick them up there before leaving for Earth.

All they had to do now was wait.


“That the last of it, Kaylee?” the Captain asked as he walked up the ramp.

“Everything on Allan's list, Cap'n,” she replied. Even after nearly thirty years, Kaylee still called Mal, Captain.

Next to arrive was Jayne and Jesse Cobb. The pair lugging several duffel bags worth of gear. Jesse was a chip off the old block in more ways than one. A quiet young man. Jesse was highly intelligent like his mother and uncle and also big like his father.

While his older sister, Rachel took mostly after his mother, River. The sixteen year old young man was a perfect blend of both his parents.

“You plannin on a tussle, Jayne?” Mal asked as the pair climbed the ramp.

“You know me, Mal. Like to keep my options open,” Jayne grinned. Jesse wore a matching grin.

Mal shook his head and smiled. Jayne would never change.

“Dad, hurry up,” Jack Tam called out as his father Simon jogged towards the ship.

Puffing, Simon caught up with his son, “I am not as young as I used to be, Jack.”

“Uncle Allan is nearly eighty and he can run faster than you, Dad,” the younger Tam teased.

Simon muttered something under his breath. Jack just grinned.

“Jack, stop teasin your father,” Kaylee admonished.

Jack's grin never left his face, “But he's so easy...”

Kaylee giggled and swatted her youngest on the arm, “Go help Jesse and Jayne get the cargo secured.”

“Mom... theses are future surgeon's hands.”

“Wear gloves,” Simon commented as he gave his wife a hug.

Jack grumbled something before walking across the bay to help his cousin and uncle.

Last to arrive was Inara and Emma. Mother and daughter strode stately up the ramp. Emma, like Jack was on break from university. Inara gave Mal a quick peck on the cheek.

“Everything all set?”

Inara smiled at her husband, “The store is in good hands and the hired hands have the ranch taken care of.”

“Sound like we're good to go,” Mal replied as he hit the button to close the ramp. Then he hit the intercom so he could tell River they could take off. Before the words had left his mouth, Serenity's engines started.

“Why do you even bother?” Inara chuckled.

“Beats me...” Mal trailed off.

Seconds later, Serenity eased off the ground, heading for a rendezvous with Quest.

As the aging transport broke atmo, a small vessel broke orbit and began to follow. On the outside, the small ship looked like just another shuttle running between Boros and it's moons. The small insignia painted on the hull said otherwise.

It was an Alliance Fleet vessel.




Sunday, June 7, 2009 6:47 AM


Good to see this back again. And the faces may change but the Alliance is still the Alliance! So is everyone going to Earth? Hope so. Even if it's by accident ...

I love the idea that Commander Olsen's orders can't be rescinded except by new written ones - that's one way out of the clinch!

Monday, June 8, 2009 5:05 AM


Catching up on everything so this one was also in my line up. I loved the last few lines. Good to see Mal back in Serenity and Inara at his side. Here's hopin' your Muse does wonders for the next part....


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