BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

Quest - Chapter 8
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Conspirators in the military coup get their reward. Mal returns to Boros on Tranquility and the Alliance sends an ambassador to Quest to accompany them on their mission.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2578    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

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.

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AN: Next chapter. The start of the trip to Earth that was.

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Quest-Chapter Eight

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It took just six weeks. Six weeks of testimony behind closed doors, deals laid and finally the public trial of the twelve conspirators tried for high treason against the Alliance.

The evidence was damning. The four highest ranked flag officers from both branches of the service, the minister of defense and several lower ranking officers all plead guilty.

They knew what would happen if they didn't capitulate. Despite the reforms over the years, the Alliance was still the Alliance and sometimes, families were not above being arrested for something a husband or wife did.

The two lowest ranking officers were sentenced to life without parole. The Minister of Defense was sentenced to death along with his senior collaborators. The military officers were offered the option of a firring squad or hanging. The sole civilian being the coward he was, when offered the same instead requested lethal injection.

The ringleader had mysteriously disappeared. Admiral Rosales was nowhere to be found. Rumors abounded that he had cut a deal to escape prosecution for the planned coup. Giving up his compatriots.

He had given them up but in a way not admissible even in the rather kangaroo court proceedings held. And the crew of Serenity/Tranquility and Quest knew that Admiral Rosales would never bother anyone again.

A week after the trials the Admiral's hover car was found washed up on the shoreline near New London.

It appeared to the public that the late Admiral had committed suicide by crashing into the sea.

In fact, after reentering Londinium's atmosphere, it was theoretically possible that a few atoms of the Admiral's body might have made it into the ocean.

But that was a stretch.

During the second week of the trial, Mal, Inara, Kaylee, Simon, River and Jayne accompanied by their younger children, departed back to Boros on Mal's new Firefly, Tranquility.

River let Emma fly the ship for most of the trip.

Upon arriving home, Emma and Jack announced their engagement. Much to the consternation of Mal and Simon and the delight of Inara, Kaylee and River.

Now back in the good graces of the Alliance, Quest was allocated more government funding and the promise of a true ambassadorial presence when they attempted to return to Earth.

After some leave time, the five Alliance fleet members assigned to Quest just before testing had all returned to the ship.

Now considered part of Quest's family, Sara put the pilots on the regular watch rotation and Commander Olsen seconded his maintenance personnel to Quest's now growing engineering department.

With the arrival of Derrick Marsh, the son of the Captain of the exodus ship, Kansas. Quest had all the crew she needed, pending the arrival of the Ambassador.

Sara had assigned Derrick a room across the corridor from Rachel Cobb. She gave it three weeks until one or the other requested a move to the other's quarters. The two teenagers had been sweet on each other since they had been fifteen. Now with Rachel nearly nineteen and already out of Grad school and Derrick in his fourth year of engineering college. Sara figured that they were mature enough to handle being together without the overbearing presence of Jayne Cobb watching the young couple's every move.

“How are we doing, Husband?” Sara said as she entered the bridge of Quest.

Jeff shook his head and turned in his seat, “Got our clearance. Orbital control advises that the Ambassador's ship will arrive in thirty minutes.”

“Hope we get someone who knows their pi-gu from a hole in the ground,” Sara muttered.

Meghan chuckled softly from her post at the weapons station.

“I'll second that,” Melissa commented at the main computer console.

Sara sighed and plopped down in her command chair, “Clay?”

“Main engines and the FTL are already to go,” The young engineer replied, “Becca's down in the engine room with Derrick and Chief Woodard.”

“Good,” Sara replied, “Virgil? Got our course?”

“Laid in, Sara,” the navigator and co-pilot replied, “We'll jump out to near Dragons Egg and do a last system check before we jump off into the abyss.”

“It's not an abyss, Virgil,” Sara replied.

“Seems like it.”

“My Dad jumped into that, 'abyss' with nothing more than a cryo capsule and an oversized shuttle.”

“Look where it got him,” Virgil grinned back.

“So he was a little late. Sides, he wouldn't have met Mom and I sure wouldn't be here otherwise.”

“And I am glad of that,” Jeff said as he rose from his seat to give his wife a kiss.”

Rachel who had been silent at the sensor station rolled her eyes very much in the way of her mother, “Get a room.”

“Captain's prerogative,” Sara replied.

“Speaking of your folks,” Melissa began, “When are they due back?”

“Few hours. They took Free Bird over to The Kansas to pick up the rest of Derrick's gear and say hi to Aunt Sylvia.”

“She hasn't retired yet?” Meghan asked.

“Fleet doesn't want her too,” Melissa replied, chuckling, “They're afraid they'll go bankrupt paying her pension. I mean, how many Captains can claim to have been on active duty over four hundred years.”

“Cryo shouldn't count!” Virgil argued.

“Tell my Mom that,” Derrick said as he entered the bridge followed by Becca. The young engineer tried to nonchalantly work his way closer to Rachel's console. Sara and Melissa noticed it immediately.

“All set in Engineering, little brother?” Melissa smirked.

Despite the nearly eighteen year (not counting cryo) age difference, Melissa had been Derrick's mother's ward for a year until she had turned eighteen. She had help raise the young man and considered him to be her baby brother.

As the oldest, regular crew member of Quest, she considered herself the ship's mom. Particularly ironic since as a teenager she had baby sat, Sara, Jeff and Becca.

The incoming wave alarm interrupted the banter on the bridge. Virgil accepted the communication.

“Quest.”

The face of a uniformed man came on the screen, “This is Ambassador Wu's shuttle. I am requesting docking.”

Virgil looked over his shoulder to Sara for confirmation. She nodded slightly.

“Cleared to dock, starboard port, opposite where we are docked to the station.”

“Copy, Quest, shuttle out,” the screen went dead.

“Pleasant fellow,” Virgil deadpanned.

“Come on, Husband, let's go meet the ambassador. Meghan, Have Commander Olsen meet us at the airlock,” Sara ordered.

With a nod from the weapons officer, Sara and Jeff left the bridge.

XXXXXXXXXX

Commander Olsen arrived a minute after Sara and Jeff. The officer wore his nicest uniform and seemed to be standing a bit straighter.

“Nervous, Cordell?” Sara asked.

The pilot shrugged his shoulders, “Ambassador Wu has a reputation as a bit of a hard ass.”

“Glad to know it,” Sara replied.

A thump was heard as the Ambassadors shuttle docked. A minute later, the hiss of air announced that the locks had equalized. The hatch slid open.

Stepping onto Quest, the person now visible was a surprise to the three waiting crew. Ambassador Wu was a stunning woman in her late forties. Dressed in a severe yet sexily cut business suit, her blonde hair pulled back into a bun. She held out her hand.

“Captain, Reynolds?”

Sara stepped forward, “I'm Sara Bryant-Reynolds.”

The woman smiled a very warm smile, one in contrast to her manner of dress, “Trudy Wu,” she replied as Sara shook her hand.

Sara smiled back. This woman had almost the air of a Companion about her, “This is my husband, Jefferson Reynolds. And also, Commander Cordell Olsen, Fleet Aerospace Forces.

The Ambassador shook Jeff and the Commander's hands, “I see so much of your mother in you, Jefferson. You too Sara.”

“Shenme?” Sara asked.

“Inara was one of my instructors at the Companion training house. And Sara, Your father and mother were instrumental in helping rescue my sister, Allison from that vile man, Adeli Niska.”

Sara and Jeff shared a look, not quite sure what to say, “Um...” Sara mumbled.

“Where will I be staying on Quest?” The Ambassador asked.

“A cabin on the foredeck,” Sara said after a moment,” We don't have a VIP stateroom per say but that cabin does have an exterior window.”

“That will be fine. To be honest, I'd sleep on a sofa somewhere to be allowed to go on this mission.”

Sara smiled, relaxing some,” So you know our folks?”

“Oh yes. And we have even met once before, Sara. But I doubt you remember since you were only a few months old.”

“Umm, yeah,” Sara smiled, I'll show you to your quarters. If you would follow me?”

“Certainly, My pilot can carry my luggage.”

With a nod to the uniformed man behind the Ambassador, Sara and Jeff lead their guest to her room.

XXXXXXXXXX

Her pilot having left the Ambassador's luggage and returned to pilot the shuttle away, Sara was left alone with her while Jeff and Cordell returned to their duties.

“This is lovely,” Ambassador Wu said after a moment of glancing around the small room.

“Probably not as fancy as you are used to but it does have it's own shower,” Sara replied. Something about this woman intrigued her.

“That is a blessing but I was honest before. I truly would sleep on the sofa to go on this trip.”

“That could be arranged,” Sara grinned.

“You sound like your mother when you say that.”

“You can catch up with her. Mom and Dad will be here in a few hours. They have the cabin right next door.”

“Wonderful,” the Ambassador replied, “It will be so nice to be around some real folk for a while.”

“Folk?” Sara asked.

“Don't let the power suit and manner fool you. I'm as much a rim girl as you are my dear,” Trudy smiled.

“Rim?”

“My sister and I are from Greenleaf. You grew up on Boros primarily, yes?”

“Yes.”

“And now you are the designer and captain of the most advanced ship ever built. Your father must be very proud.”

“He is, Ma'am.”

“Knock off the Ma'am go-se. Just use my name.”

“Okay... Trudy.”

“That's better, Sara. Now... would you have any more of the ships uniform you are wearing? Those cargo pants and the shirt look much more comfortable than anything I have in my wardrobe...”

Sara stood slack jawed for a moment, “I... I'll see what we have in ships stores.”

“Thank you so much.”

After leaving the Ambassador's room Sara paused in the corridor and shook her head, “This one does know her pi-gu from a hole in the ground.”

XXXXXXXXXX

“I envy you two.” Sylvia Marsh stated.

“You can always come along,” Allan replied.

Sylvia shook her head, “No... I'm not sure I want to look at Earth again. Besides. I'm neck deep in training my replacement.”

“Next trip... after you officially retire,” Allan smiled.

“If there is a second trip. What if there's nothing left?”

“The there will be a trip back to see what happened. Earth is the birthplace of mankind. Now that we have the means. We have to go back.”

Sylvia smiled, “And Zoë, you better keep him out of trouble.”

Zoë grinned, “It's hard. Tends to get into mischief.”

“Ha, ha,” Allan said deadpan.

“Give my son my love. And try to keep him focused. With Rachel about, Derrick might get a bit distracted.”

“We'll do our best,” Zoë replied.

“Take care and give Sara my love. Jefferson and Becca too. And take plenty of captures.”

“Relax Syl. We'll be back.”

“That's what I'm praying for...”

XXXXXXXXXX

During the forty five minute orbital transition between Kansas' geosynchronous orbit and Blue Sun's orbital dockyard and space station, Allan and Zoë were silent. After nearly twenty six years of marriage, they could almost communicate with just a glance.

As Allan slid Free Bird into Quest's port docking bay, Zoë glanced at him, “What?” Allan asked.

Zoë smirked, “You do tend to get into trouble if I leave you alone for any length of time.”

Allan chuckled, “Yes. I'm immediately set upon by sadistic crime lords and demented Companions every time I'm out of your sight.”

Zoë chuckled, “Does seem to happen.”

“Are you nervous about this?”

“Long way away, Zoe said.

Allan nodded as he began shutting his small ship down, “Tell me about it. I was so... pissed at the Alliance back on earth that I didn't have time to be scared out of my mind about what I was about to do.”

“Are you scared now?” Zoë asked. A serious tone in her voice.

“Not scared. Not for me or any of us. Scared for what we might find. Four hundred plus years is a long time. If there are people left, the civilization might be totally unrecognizable. That is if it's not just a radioactive hellhole. I just saw a report a few weeks ago. They think it will be another century before they can try re-terriforming Shadow. Makes me shudder to think what a full scale bombardment on Earth may have left.”

Zoë reached out and squeezed her husbands hand, “We'll find out soon enough, Husband.”

“That we will, my love.”

“Come on,” Zoë urged as she noticed the display panel indicated that the bay had pressurized, “You promised to give our daughter a hand making dinner tonight. She wants to impress the ambassador.”

“I wonder who they sent?” Allan mused out loud.

XXXXXXXXXX

Shortly after he had docked, Allan felt the now familiar vibration of Quest's main drives moving the ship out of orbit. Leave it to his daughter to be impatient.

Dropping a large duffel bag of clothes and other items off to Derrick, Allan headed for Quest's Galley. Wanting to get a head start on dinner. Zoë decided to take a nap. She was still slightly fatigued from her cancer treatment months before.

Entering the Galley, Allan was surprised to see a beautiful Blonde haired woman relaxing with a book in the small lounge off to the side. She was dressed in a crew uniform.

She smiled when Allan entered. The retired CEO nearly slid to a stop, “Trudy?”

“Hello, Allan,” The former Companion replied as she smoothly slid to her feet, a wide smile on her face.

“What are you doing here?”

“I'm the mission's assigned Ambassador,” She smiled.

Allan returned the smile, “That's is good news. I was dreading some bureaucrat...”

“Heavens no,” Trudy chuckled, “This mission requires someone with tact and as Inara's dear husband puts it... wiles.”

Allan snorted in amusement, “Yep... sounds like Mal.”

“And you? Where is Zoë?”

“She's laying down. She's just getting over a rather serious illness and fatigues easily.”

“Serious illness?”

“Cancer. Full remission as of now but she had a rough time with the chemo.”

“But she's fine now...” Trudy trailed off.

“She's fine,” Allan replied with a confident smile.

“I'm so relived.”

“So... what have you been doing, the last couple of decades since I saw you last?” Allan said as he motioned Trudy to take a seat at the large table.

“Fell in love. Retired early from the guild, got married, became a widow, went into politics...”

“Widow? I'm so sorry to hear that.”

Trudy got a wistful look in her eye, “I'm afraid Inara taught me too well. I too, fell for a ships captain. Charley was a wonderful man.”

“Charley?”

“Charles Wu. The Captain of the Shinon Star.”

Allan was floored. He knew Charles Wu. The former Alliance med ship pilot had risen to captain the most advanced liner in the 'Verse. He had also kept Zoë from being sexually assaulted when she had been a POW.

“Charles was a good man. Saved Zoë from being raped after Serenity Valley.”

Trudy was taken aback, “I... I didn't know that. It is sometimes amazing how small the 'Verse is sometimes.”

“It is. If you don't mind... how did...”

“Shuttle crash...” Trudy said quickly.

“I'm sorry.”

“It's been ten years, Allan. I still miss him a little bit every day.”

“Never goes away. Zoë still misses Wash a little bit.”

“Wash?”

“Hoban Washburn. Her first husband. He was killed when Zoë, Inara, Mal and the rest of the crew were trying to get the Miranda wave out.”

“It's been almost thirty years... and she...?”

“Some. Hell, I miss him and I never met the man. But the stories... made me feel like I did...”

“It is a rare person who leaves a mark on the 'Verse like that. Much like you.”

“You flatter an old man like me, Trudy.”

“Never... Zoë would kick my ass,” the Ambassador chuckled.

The two acquaintances were interrupted when Sara's voice sounded across the overhead speakers, “Attention all personnel. We're jumping to the Blue Sun system and Dragons Egg in two minutes... mark. Secure all breakables and hang onto something. This will be our longest jump so far. And can someone make sure the Ambassador is prepared? That is all.”

Allan stepped to the intercom panel on the bulkhead, “The Ambassador is in the Galley, Sara. I'll get her prepped.”

“Thanks, Dad,” Sara's voice replied.

Allan looked back to where Trudy was sitting, “What should I do?” she asked.

“Hold this,” Allan smiled as he handed her a large stainless steel mixing bowl.

“What is this for?”

“You get used to it but the first couple of jumps result in some nausea. I hope you didn't eat a big lunch,” Allan grinned.

Trudy glared at Allan, “And hang onto something?”

“It's kinda bumpy. Just slide back from the table slightly. No worries.”

“If you say so,” Trudy replied, not quite as confident as her host.

“Fifteen seconds to jump,” said Sara's voice again.

“Ten seconds.”

“Five, four, three, two, one, Jumping!”

In a flash of light, Quest disappeared from the core.

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TBC

COMMENTS

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 5:42 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


Very good. Though not a replacement for Serenity, Tranquility sounds like she can fill in the gap of the missing ship. Loved the last bit with the bowl...reminds me of Angelle's bucket. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 12:28 PM

MAINEAXE


Gripping adventure!!! You are truly a Serenity/Firefly storymaster!! Thank You.

Yes Please.. May I have another???

Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:07 AM

JANE0904


It really is a small 'verse! And Quest is about to make it even smaller ... I wonder what they'll find on Earth? I've read a few fics where they return, but I'm incredibly curious to find out what your take is on it!


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