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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE
The Old That Is Strong - Book 2, Prologue. Roughly six months after 'The Guns of Yamenmiao', Inara says her final farewells before Serenity returns to Roma on a new job. This time, Mal's treasure quest must run the gamut of a not-quite-right scientist, a nameless, ruthless privateer, and a deeper penetration of the Alliance than Mal has ever attempted before.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1121 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Rating: PG to PG-13
Characters: ensemble with some OCs
Pairing: canon, with hints of M/I and K/S
Summary: Roughly six months after The Guns of Yamenmiao, Inara says her final farewells before Serenity returns to Roma on a new job. This time, Mal's treasure quest must run the gamut of a not-quite-right scientist, a nameless, ruthless privateer, and a deeper penetration of the Alliance than Mal has ever attempted before.
Spoilers/Timeline: post-series, pre-BDM
Notes: OK, let's try this again....with any luck I a) have enough of a head start to commence the repost, b) have a plausible enough story to make up the repost, and c) will be motivated enough with weekly updates to keep up the pace. So here goes!
Disclaimer: I'm just playing in Uncle Joss's backyard.
“I mean for us to live. The Alliance won’t have that, so we go where they don’t follow.” - Mal Reynolds, “Serenity”
"Beaumonde Port Control, this is Allied Enforcement. Lieutenant Commander Petard speaking."
If the port controller's indolence was not promptly evident from his shaggy grey hair or his slovenly appearance, its emergence was suitably prolonged. The port controller took a pointed and full fifteen seconds to lay aside his newspaper, lift his feet from the port control desk in a very leisurely maneuver, and hoist one grubby hand over to the comm panel at the far reach of his arm. The sheer tonnage of impatient ship captains trying to find a mooring in Beaumonde's main spaceport had taken its toll on him, and his use for the Alliance was long since diminished, especially by Petard's self-important way of identifying himself every time he released a land lock.
"This is Port Control, loud and proud," he responded in a slow, lethargic drawl. "Whaddya want?"
"Redemption is free to depart." Petard's tone on the comm channel was edged. "Okay to lift the land lock. Stand by on the Wasatch if you please."
"Understand Redemption okay to depart. Happy trails to her." The port controller let a low and downright apathetic belch escape before clicking off the comm channel. He reached forward to punch in a dock code on the desk before him, flicked open a small plastic window covering a red switch, and just as lazily as was his habit, flipped the switch down. On the display screen above the desk, the red-flashing outline of the Scarab-class transport turned green, glowing steady, within seconds ascending as it cleared its moorings.
Commander Petard had a more first-hand vantage point for the small transport's lift-off. He folded his arms and sighed inaudibly, tucking his communicator under one of them. What he wouldn't give to snare a private transport for a violation other than the one he'd been ordered to investigate. Beaumonde was a hive of activity and no doubt of it, but it was an easy hive for smugglers and ruffians to lose themselves in: ease of promotion was the stuff of dreams here, especially on such a mundane assignment as this one. Petard leaned carelessly against a hot-dog stand strategically placed at the landing-pad concourse, staring at Redemption, feeling the heat from its engines as it rose skyward.
"Have to say I'm glad to see the keel of that ship, sir." Petard looked down at the less optimistic face of Lieutenant Torne, who had been executing the searches on every outbound transport for the past half a day. "One Laura Matthews names herself captain. I think she could shatter a wine glass just by glaring at it. But her ship's papers are squeaky clean."
Petard gazed upward at Redemption again: he almost expected to catch the glass-shattering glare of yore from Captain Matthews as the small Scarab pitched and soared away over the main thoroughfare. Redemption didn't yaw far enough for any two-way lines of sight to bisect its bridge windows, but Petard had little doubt that the glare was nonetheless being aimed at him and Torne from behind closed bulkheads. He sighed again, shifted the beret on his head and said to Torne: "No traces of stolen property, then? No stowaways?"
"No, sir, we didn't leave a crumb unturned. There's no sign of him, same as the last half a dozen ships we've searched. All respect, sir, this feels like a hell of a waste of time and manpower to me."
"I know how you feel, Lieutenant, but Alliance high command begs to differ. As far as they're concerned, tracking him down is just important enough that we upset every furnishing, every crumb, every dead insect on every ship leaving this planet until a change of orders comes through."
"That's not all we're upsetting. At the risk of sounding like a yellowstain, sir, I kept waiting for Captain Matthews to twist my head off with her bare hands. And she's certainly not the first captain to make her feelings known about what we're doing here."
Petard pushed away from the hot-dog stand and embarked on a slow-stepping but measured march down the concourse toward the next land-locked freighter. "Then maybe you'd better stay home from the next one. The Wasatch, skippered by one Monty Crandall. You ever meet up with him?"
"Can't say I have, sir," Torne shrugged.
"Given adequate provocation and no resistance, he can decapitate a man with his bare hands and then go on to dismember him entirely. If it makes you feel any better, I'll supervise this search personally."
"Well, thank you, sir," Torne said with a nervous chuckle. "But I can give it – "
"Now, now, it's settled," Petard interrupted. "The more searching eyes, the better. A man like Crandall on a ship like the Wasatch will have plenty more to hide than our crazy old friend."
"Sir, I hate to be a backbirth, but what's that supposed to mean?"
"You say you've never made Captain Crandall's acquaintance. Tell me, does the name Malcolm Reynolds mean anything to you?"
A brief beat and Torne was shaking his head. "Sorry, sir, drawing another blank."
"You'll know him in time. He and Crandall served together in the war. On the other side. They've both seen the inside of more than one detention cell since. While you're executing the search, I aim to have a heart-to-heart with Crandall about Reynolds' whereabouts."
"Sir, is....is that a hundred and one percent legal?" Torne said doubtfully. "Not to mention a little less than relevant?"
"Men like Crandall and Reynolds wouldn't know legal if they fell over it," Petard said pompously. "Reynolds' ride is a Firefly, and you know Fireflies. Should he find his way here, I kid you not, we will find a reason to turn his ship upside down. And he will be the luckiest man in the 'verse if he and his ship leave this planet without armed guards."
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me....
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