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MIRANDAGHOST

Phoenix Feathers, Part III, Chapter 0 (Teaser)
Friday, August 28, 2009

The following is a short prelude to the (extremely overdue) continuation to the Phoenix Feathers series. It takes place during and shortly after the events of the BDM, as Phoenix, an Academy escapee, along with Monty and the crew of the Stallion struggle to elude the increasingly factional Alliance forces that are pursuing them- and as Phoenix begins to experience visions of a mysterious girl from his past.


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Phoenix Feathers, Part III, Chapter 0 (Teaser) Disclaimer: Joss is Boss, and everything I write, I write because he drove me to. Otherwise I have no outlet for the sheer awesomeness that I take in every time I think about Firefly/Serenity. The following is a short prelude to the (extremely overdue) continuation to the Phoenix Feathers series. It takes place during and shortly after the events of the BDM, as Phoenix, an Academy escapee, and his allies aboard the Goliath-class freighter Stallion struggle to elude the increasingly factional Alliance forces that are pursuing him. INTERIOR- SHADOW- TERRAFORMING STATION 334 EQUATORIAL- ROOM A badly-lit room. Figures hide from the light and from each other, wary of foul play. A business deal of the shady variety. No music, just the occasional sound of machinery or booted feet moving about just outside. The camera is steady, picking out small details, often uncomfortably close. CLOSE ON: A brief handshake. JOKAERO: “…Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. And this is the man who I want you to meet. Captain Patrick Montgomery, of the independent freighter Ulysses.” MONTY, master of the STALLION, steps into the light and nods. He stands free of the shadows, obviously a little uncomfortable being under scrutiny. Max Jokaero, a small-time facilitator, stands next to him in somewhat opulent robes that don’t quite mesh with the tense atmosphere of the meeting. (Note: Monty’s ship goes by several names as it changes identities to avoid entanglements with law enforcement, but it will always be referred to in the story as the Stallion.) EMPLOYER: “Ah, yes. Captain Montgomery, a pleasure to meet you at last. You have questions for us, perhaps?” MONTY: Not too many. Just the particulars. When, where, and so forth. EMPLOYER: “Then you will not object if I ask some questions of you.” Monty shrugs. EMPLOYER: “Why are you here, Captain?” MONTY: “Got word of a job. Came lookin’.” EMPLOYER: “The job, yes. But it is interesting that you should contact us, rather than the other way around. If I may be frank, you don’t seem like the kind of person who would do business with my organization. I know we are not highly regarded in some circles…” Uncomfortable silence from Monty. EMPLOYER (Cont’d): “But you, Captain, are willing to overlook ancient history? This is somewhat of a novelty in these bitter times. You see now why I asked you ‘Why’.” JOKAERO: “I assure you, sir, that the Captain’s reliability is quite-” EMPLOYER: “The Captain can speak for himself, I presume?” MONTY: “You’ve done your research. I’m sure you know all about me, my crew, and my…views. But I’m standing here, so you must know that I’ll do the job for you, and I’ll do it right. Hell, you pay good coin, and that’s in precious short supply these days.” EMPLOYER: “True enough. There are few things more useful to a man in this part of the ‘Verse than a good sidearm and a pocketful of platinum…But there are a few...to those with the credits, that is.” The employer gives a signal and doors open in one wall of the room. The three of them, plus several men who we didn’t even know were present- not having moved from the shadows or spoken since the meeting started, and who obviously are bodyguards- exit the room and move down a corridor bustling with workers, technicians, and armed guards. The employer continues talking as they walk. EMPLOYER: “The thing you must understand, Captain, is that we’re very private people, my friends and I. This world, Shadow- this past and future paradise, means everything to us, and our years of stewardship reach back to its Colonization. But we cannot protect our world without giving up certain luxuries. Trust gives way to suspicion at a society that has exploited, manipulated, and abused us for generations. We must reach out to anyone and everyone who shows an interest in helping us to make our world whole again.” MONTY: “Can’t blame you for that, though there’s some who might could call your dealings ‘opportunistic’- Not me, o’course.” EMPLOYER: “It’s all right. It’s no secret that my brothers and I are open to many- shall we say ‘polarized’- interests. But they and you are right to come to us, for we offer something that can’t be found anywhere else in the Universe…” INT- TERRAFORMING STATION 334 EQUATORIAL- MAIN BAY They walk into a chamber that is heavily guarded, and seems to be near the heart of the complex. Most of the chamber looks like an industrial operation, even a high-tech smeltery (but more with the cryogenic than the magma, at this end of the chamber at least). Reveal of HEAVY CASES. They approach one, as others are deposited by hand carts. Elsewhere, heavy machinery moves hardened plates of a MYSTERIOUS METAL ALLOY into place for collection and packaging. EMPLOYER: “This is one of six containers we have for you. Lead, sheathed in aluminum. It’s quite heavy, but it’s nothing that your ship can’t handle.” MONTY: “So the goods are radioactive?” EMPLOYER: “Under no circumstances should these cases be opened by anyone other than the intended recipients. If they are, we’ll know. And do not mistake me, you won’t be dead until long after we finish cleaning up the mess.” Monty shudders. The employer looks at him calculatingly, then smiles. EMPLOYER: “I think that we are in business, Captain.” He gives Monty a small purse and a slip of paper. EMPLOYER: “That is the cortex frequency you will use to contact the buyer. They will guide you to them. Delivery is set for 72 hours from now, with the remainder of your payment transferred at the drop-off point.” The employer pressed a hand to his ear, listening. He frowned, then looked up to address Monty. He smiles again, wider this time. EMPLOYER: Now that that’s taken care of, there’s something I’d like you to see. INT- TERRAFORMING STATION 334 EQUATORIAL- CONTROL ROOM Monty and Jokaero stand before a multitude of viewscreens, each showing a different picture of the outside world. JOKAERO: “Will you look at that!” Terraforming Station 334 Equatorial is a massive, almost conical structure, made irregular by the numerous solar arrays, smokestacks, landing platforms, and other elements of industry jutting out in all directions. Snow and ice cover the surrounding landscape in all directions, although a mountain range is evident. Visibility is otherwise terrible, due to hurricane-force winds and punishing torrents of snow. Jokaero unconsciously pulls his coat tighter around himself- it feels drastically colder in the control room just looking at the horrible weather outside. Several men sit at computer stations, monitoring the security cameras. EMPLOYER (To a security guard): “Where are they?” SECURITY: “There, sir. Topside, near the end of the starboard docking spar, approaching hatch 34/d. One guy, just leaving the maintenance detail. Our teams know not to be out that far, and his suit transponder isn’t in our database.” EMPLOYER: “Unannounced visitors? Oh, we can’t have that. Good catch. Put yourself down for a bonus.” SECURITY: “Yes, sir. And our guests?” EMPLOYER: “Well, that depends.” He turns to Monty. EMPLOYER: “Have you been keeping any secrets from us, Captain?” Off Monty’s expression- JOKAERO: “Oh, boy.” BLACKOUT End of Teaser.

COMMENTS

Friday, August 28, 2009 9:25 AM

MIRANDAGHOST


First off, an apology for not starting this sooner. The thing is, everything is so clear in my head, it's just a nightmare to set down in what passes for stone in cyberspace. Agonizing! Anyway, this story I just have to tell, so I'm doing it in the least painful way possible, hence the Cinematic style to the fanfic. On we go!

After Parts I and II, which really go together as Phoenix makes his escape from the Academy and becomes a member of the Stallion's crew, this next installment takes place about eight months later on, during and shortly after the events of the BDM, and, just like Serenity did for Firefly, Part III raises the stakes considerably. It contains some of the bits that drove me to begin writing this fanfic years ago, so I can't wait to see where this goes!

And may I say, it's great to be back!
~MG


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