BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

Discovery - Chapter 2
Monday, November 9, 2009

On Lazarus, the crew takes it's ease and we get a glimpse of what a certain T-1001 might be up to. Spoilers for the Better days Comic.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2158    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Fan fiction. Done for fun, not profit. I own none of these characters.... I just play with them a little.

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Crossover between Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly. A continuation of my previous Fanfic, Rebirth.

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AN: Spoilers for the Serenity Better Days comic in this chapter

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Discovery

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Chapter Two

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“Here's everyone's cut's,” Mal said as he doled out the take from the previous few days job.

Jayne grinned as he counted the stack of cash in his hands. Visions of buxom blonde whores dancing in his head.

Grimacing at the image she had gleaned from the mercenary, River glanced over at where Zoë sat drinking her after breakfast coffee. Zoë noticed the glance and raised an eyebrow. River quickly looked down at her bowl of cereal.

“What's next, Capn'?” Kaylee asked from where she sat in Simon's lap.

“Stoppin on Lazarus. Resupply and take a break for a few days.”

“Shiny,” Zoë replied.

“What about us, Captain?” Gabriel asked.

“So far, your disguises are workin fine so there shouldn't be much problem with you and the missus goin dirt side.”

“Good,” Gabriel smiled. He and Reagan had done their best to change their appearance since they had been on the run. Gabriel had grown a beard and colored his hair a bit lighter shade of brown. Also hiding the gray starting to peek in.

Reagan, with Inara's help had become a blonde. That and with the more utilitarian clothing they wore now, they doubted their closest friends back on Osiris would recognize them.

“Reagan and I will be taking the Twins shopping once we reach Lazarus,” Inara stated.

River glanced back up at the former companion and smiled, “Maybe we should take Zoë too.”

“Sounds like a plan, Albatross,” Mal agreed before turning to his First Mate, “You ain't been off the boat except for work in a while, Zoë.”

“Might be persuaded if I can find a tub somewhere,” Zoë replied after a moments consideration.

“A real bath would be shiny,” Kaylee agreed.

“We'll make the day of it. There is a wonderful Spa at the hot springs near the capital. We could take one of the shuttles,” Inara suggested.

“That sounds wonderful,” Reagan agreed, “What do you think, Cameron?”

The Cyborg took her seat at the table after returning from the bridge, “As long as it is only a tub. I don't float very well.”

“Would look awful strange, Tin Britches sittin at the bottom of a swimmin pool,” Jayne chuckled.

“We'll see,” Mal said, bringing that part of the discussion to a close, “Cam... you find anything out from that Triple Eight's chip?”

“No Captain,” Cameron replied, “it was simply programmed to be an enforcer and guard.”

“Oh,” Mal said.

“But the news on the cortex last night was most illuminating,” Cameron continued.

“What was on the news?” Simon asked.

“Blue Sun has a new CEO and President.”

Simon and Gabriel shared similar growls. While Simon had always suspected it. His father's research had identified that Blue Sun's research and development division had been behind the Academy. With the blessing of Parliament.

“What about this new CEO?” Inara asked.

“I believe I know this new CEO.”

“How?” Mal asked.

“Because she is a Terminator.”

XXXXXXXXXX

“What do you think of the briefing packet, John?”

“Horrifying.”

“I agree,” Caroline Weaver replied to her assistant as she leaned back in her chair, “I am afraid this is what happens when we machines stand back and let the humans run rampant.”

The figure sitting across from the CEO shook his head, “It is not all the humans fault. I believe there is another AI operating. Perhaps directing their actions.”

“One like you?”

John Henry smiled slightly, “Not quite. I believe it is mainframe based, not mobile like ourselves.”

In the centuries since the exodus from Earth, John Henry had continued to evolve. That ability had been enhanced first by Mr. Ellison's teachings. His contact with Savannah Weaver and later, his acquisition of Cameron's chip.

While sharing the chip with Cameron, he had learned much more about compassion and love from the reprogrammed Terminator. He was just sorry it took so long for him to transfer her essence into a new CPU. And again he felt sorry that Cameron hadn't journeyed across the stars with them.

In the years that he and Cameron had shared the same CPU, He felt that they had become friends. That is why he had given John Connor a newly designed chip that contained all of the data that was Cameron. Even though John had moved on in his life and married Allison.

Connor only built a new TOK model Terminator that looked like Allison/Cameron after the death of his human wife.

“What are your recommendations?” Caroline Weaver asked. She had used many names and faces over the centuries but the T-1001 had always used the Weaver persona the most. It felt... comfortable to the machine.

“Terminate the Academy project immediately,” John Henry replied, “And do what we can to assist the remaining students.”

“The board will not like that,” Caroline/Christine Weaver replied.

“Too bad,” John replied. He had little patience for humans who played with peoples lives like a game. Over the centuries, John Henry had traveled among the human populations as one of them. Always learning. Sometimes helping, sometimes even taking up arms. During his time in the verse, John Henry had faced down Shan Yu and more recently worn a long brown coat. Because it was the right thing to do.

“I will inform the board this afternoon,” Caroline replied. While the T-1001 was the new voice and face of Blue Sun. John Henry was her conscience. Because, as a Terminator, she had none.

XXXXXXXXXX

River had the helm as Serenity arrived over Lazarus. With practiced skill, she guided the old transport into the ever thickening air. While her hands were steady, her mind was not.

“How we doing, River?” Zoë asked as the First Mate entered the bridge.

Without looking away from her instruments, River replied, “Ten minutes, forty seconds to landing.”

Zoë nodded and took a seat in the co-pilot's chair. After a moment, she spoke, “I do something to make you upset with me?”

River blushed slightly but quickly composed herself, “No...”

Zoë took the answer as it was given. The First Mate felt there was a 'but' in there somewhere.

River sensed, Zoë's thoughts, “There is no 'but'... I...” the young psychic trailed off.

“Not like you to be tongue tied, Little One,” Zoë said with a warm smile.

“Is that what you see me as? A little girl?” River asked.

Zoë's eyebrow raised in surprise. River's voice had an almost accusatory tone to it, “See you as many things, Mei-mei. A little girl you ain't... anymore.”

“But I was...”

Zoë wondered where this conversation was going, “When you first came aboard... but you done proved yourself many times. Glad to have you on this crew.”

River shot Zoë a small smile as she continued piloting the ship. Zoë continued.

“And I know, Wash would be happy to see how well you're taking care of Serenity.”

River's smile widened, “Thank you.”

“How come you wanted me to come along today?”

Caught off guard, River hesitated for a moment, “Just, um... well, I thought you might like it.”

“Thank you for the offer, Sweetie,” Zoë said as she stood back up, “All set up here by yourself?”

“I am.”

“See you at the shuttle after, then” Zoë smiled before exiting the bridge.

The smile on River's face remained as she flared the old Firefly for landing.

XXXXXXXXXX

Lazarus was an anomaly as far as rim worlds went. Blessed with an abundance of water, compared to the other moons orbiting the ignited gas giant called Heinlein. It was heavily populated for it's size and technologically advanced.

Seen as a vacation destination for those that craved the adventure of the rim, there were broad forests filled with game, seas and lakes teeming with fish and due to it's close proximity to it's star, enough volcanism for huge hot springs and geysers on many of Lazarus' small continents.

Serenity had landed outside the moon's Capital City called Kingston. The spa at the hot springs were about thirty miles outside the city in the mountains.

Rushing to her quarters, River nearly collided with her cybernetic twin, who had already changed and was climbing out of their shared bunk.

“You are in a rush,” Cameron observed.

“Need to change,” River said as she nearly jumped down the ladder.

Waiting for River, Cameron adjusted her attire. Dressed in a short denim skirt, black leggings, a teal colored t-shirt and her ever present charcoal leather jacket. The jacket in this case hid her automatic pistol snug in it's shoulder holster.

A few minutes later, River emerged. She was dressed in tight jeans, a pink camisole top and her own worn, brown leather pilots style jacket.

“Gun?” Cameron asked her twin.

“Same as you... shoulder rig.”

Satisfied, Cameron led the way to the port shuttle. The rest of the women were waiting.

“About time you two,” Kaylee admonished, “I ain't been to a spa since that time on Pelorum...”

“When were you all on Pelorum?” Reagan asked.

“Few years back,” Zoë said as she opened the hatch to the shuttle,” Had a good haul so we took a little break...”

“And got robbed, ourselves,” Inara said as she slid behind the shuttles controls.

“Don't forget the Capn' getting kidnapped by them Feds that was after you, Zoë,” Kaylee added.

“I try to forget that part, Mei-mei,” Zoë replied.

“Then there were those combat drones...”

“I think that's enough, Kaylee,” Inara smiled as she launched the shuttle.

“Just sayin...”

XXXXXXXXXX

Mal gazed out of the open cargo bay at the the shuttle as it flew out of sight. Turning he faced his remaining crew, “Nearest bar?”

“Sounds good to me, Mal,” Jayne agreed.

“Doc? Gabe?”

“I'll have to admit, I've taken a liking to many of the local brews on the worlds we have been visiting,” Gabriel replied.

“Probably safer than the local whiskey too,” Simon observed.

“Sounds like a plan, then,” the Captain smiled.

“Just as it doesn't end up like so many of your plans with gun play,” Simon sighed as Jayne closed up the ship.

XXXXXXXXXX

“This is more like it,” Zoë sighed as she settled into the one hundred degree water. The small wooden hot tub was fed a constant stream of geothermally heated mineral water. The overflow was recycled into the spa's heating system.

While it was spring on Lazarus, the spa's location in the mountains meant that the air was still quite cool. In fact, the hill behind the sprawling southwestern inspired complex still had a dusting of snow at the summit. The tubs were outside on a veranda overlooking the valley where the city of Kingston lay.

Due to the co-ed clientèle of the facility, bathing suits were required. Zoë was dressed in a simple white one piece suit. Cameron and River wore identical except for color, two piece suits.

River quickly slid into the water in Zoë's tub while Cameron joined Kaylee. Inara and Reagan sat in a third tub a few feet away.

“This is hot,” River said as her face turned red.

“Takes a minute to get used to it,” Zoë smiled.

Nodding, River stretched out and then jumped when her legs brushed against Zoë's, “Sorry.”

Leaning her head back, Zoë chuckled, “It's okay, River. Ain't the first time I've been half naked in a tub with another woman.”

River's eyes popped out of her head for a moment. She tried very hard not to read her crew mates minds but sometimes certain feelings and images blew through her mental walls.

“You have?” River squeaked.

“Well, there was that big tub at the resort on Pelorum...”

“I do remember that,” River admitted.

Zoë smiled, “Just between us. I ain't always had the eye just for menfolk.”

River's eyes widened, “Re.. really?” River stammered, caught by surprise. Her heart began to pound.

“When I was a teenager. Younger than when you came on board. It was fun o'course. But then the war happened and I didn't have anyone permanent like until Wash...”

“I see,” River replied, “So you... liked girls too?”

“My folks were pretty open minded. I had lovers over the years. Male and female. Never had one I wanted to be forever until...”

“Wash...”

Zoë nodded as a sad look passed across her face momentarily. Then she smiled slightly, “Enough about that... see any boys you like recently?”

“Don't want a boy,” River replied without thinking.

“You ain't makin eyes at Jayne, are you?” Zoë asked. Her voice almost a whisper.

“Wu de tyen ah, no!” River screeched, “Like you did... I'm considering my options.”

Zoë smiled at the young pilot, “You thinkin you're sly, River?”

“Not sure,” River replied, “I don't know if it's what I want or it's the Academy training. It is all very confusing.”

“Training?”

“Since my mind has cleared, I can remember more of it. Some of my training was the use of seduction to gain access to a target. No matter if the target was male... or female.”

“I see...”

“I never did very well in the seduction training. Probably since I was too young at the time.”

Zoë shifted uncomfortably, “Well... yeah. Anyway now that you are older... I figure you gotta be wantin to spread your wings a bit. Gotta admit, you are a catch for someone.”

River considered Zoë's words and the thoughts behind them. Zoë did see her as a beautiful young woman who deserved someone special in their life. River also felt the underlying loneliness in Zoë's own thoughts. River tried to figure out a way to let Zoë know that the she was the special one River wanted and that she could chase away Zoe's loneliness.

“You miss him,” River stated.

“Every day,” Zoë admitted, “The pain is less and less every day. Maybe someday, I might want someone back in my life. Not sure though. Does pain me to see the love floatin around the boat nowadays. Your Brother and Kaylee, Mal and Inara... even your folks.”

River had to smile at the last part, “Adversity has brought them closer than ever.”

“All of us are closer now.”

“A family,” River agreed.

XXXXXXXXXX

Mal was on his second beer while Simon and Gabe were nursing their firsts. Jayne had hooked up with the saloon's lone working girl and had gone upstairs.

Looking around the barroom, Mal noticed a small group of young turk types sitting at a table in the corner. They stood out by the brown coats that they wore. Too young to have fought in the war, Mal groaned inwardly. They were probably members of one of the 'new' Browncoat groups that had begun forming after... Miranda.

The three young men and one woman were bent forward, conversing in quiet tones as not to be overheard.

A shadow fell across the swinging doors to the saloon. A large man entered and looked around dispassionately. The hackles on Mal's neck rose.

The big man spotted the group in the corner and turned slightly. Mal studied his body language carefully. He was precise. Maybe too precise.

The clincher was when the barkeep's cattle dog that had been laying asleep at the end of the bar awoke and began barking furiously at the big man.

“Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiouh doh sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo,” Mal whispered.

“Captain?” Gabriel asked.

“Metal...”

Simon's eyes widened, “What?”

“The big fella. Swear he's a machine,” Mal breathed.

In the months of living both with Cameron and their encounters with other terminators, the crew had learned how to spot the signs. Only Cameron herself and River could tell automatically. Cameron from her sensors and River because the machine had no thoughts to read.

“What do we do?” Simon asked.

“Stay in the background,” Mal whispered, “Without either Jayne having Vera or havin Cameron handy, we're out gunned and muscled.”

The possible machine walked up to the table, “Cassidy Robards?”

The red headed young woman at the table looked up, “Who wants to know?”

The Machine was quick but the girl was slightly faster. As the terminator pulled his pistol, the redhead dove to the floor. A bullet meant for her heart striking her shoulder instead. She cried out in pain.

The three men at the table moved into action. The first tried to elbow the man in the stomach to no avail, the machine simply picked the blond haired young man up bodily and threw him across the room.

“Cao,” Mal swore as he pulled his pistol, “Doc, get yer' Pa out the back door and get to Serenity.”

“No way,” Simon replied as he pulled out the automatic pistol he carried off ship. Similarly, Gabriel pulled out his own gun. The good doctor's Hippocratic oath didn't extend to machines. Except for Cameron.

A second of the new Browncoats flew across the room, landing on the bar and then crashing to the floor, out cold.

The room had erupted into chaos as people dove for cover. The barman came up from behind the bar with a shotgun and the machine simply turned slightly and put a bullet between the man's eyes.

“Jerry!” cried out the barmaid.

Meanwhile, the redheaded woman and the remaining Browncoat still moving had pulled their guns and began firing at the man trying to kill them.

“Gorrammit, die already!” the redhead screamed as she emptied her clip into the man's body.

Mal quickly holstered his pistol and made his way across the room to where the barkeeper had fallen. The barmaid was cradling the dead man in her arms, sobbing.

With a look of sympathy on his face, Mal retrieved the fallen shotgun and racked a shell into the chamber.

The machine heard the noise and turned to face the Captain. Two well placed head shots from Simon distracted the machine long enough for Mal to dive for cover before the Terminator fired at where Mal had been standing.

Ejecting a spent magazine, the machine calmly reloaded his gun. Mal took the opportunity to fire the shotgun twice at the machine's face.

The artificial flesh was shredded and the Terminator's metal skull and glowing eyes began to be revealed.

Mal racked the shotgun again and fired. He grinned as the shot staggered back the machine. That round had been a slug rather than buckshot.

“Aim for the head!” Mal called out to everyone who was firing at the Terminator.

Gabriel and Simon took well aimed shots at the head while the machine was focused on Mal.

The remaining male Browncoat was out of ammunition and simply charged the machine with a yell.

The machine reached out with a hand and punched the young man in the head so hard, the impact of the coltan fist shattered the man's skull. The man's lifeless body was flung across the room from the force of the blow.

Turning it's attention back to the largest threat in the room, the machine began to advance on Mal. Another shotgun blast shredded the clothing and flesh of the Terminators chest but didn't stop the machine.

Four more shots rang out in quick succession. The machine's head snapped back and sparks flew.

Convulsing twice, the machine toppled to the floor, limbs jerking.

Looking up at the top of the stairs, Mal spotted Jayne Cobb, dressed only in his boxers and a smoking pistol in his hand.

“Jayne?” Mal called out.

“Got a clip of armor piercing rounds...”

Mal let out the breath he didn't know he had been holding. The Terminator lay on the floor, limbs twitching as it tried to reroute it's damage and rejoin the fight.

Mal walked up and fired the shotgun point blank into the machine's face. Sparks flew again as circuits shorted. Mal knelt down and pulled a small knife from his boot. Popping off the access cover like Cameron had taught him, he gave the exposed CPU a tug and pulled it free

The machine convulsed once and then lay still. The red light fading from it's exposed optical sensors.

Holding her bleeding shoulder, the redhead staggered over next to Mal. Noting his brown duster, “What the gorram hell is that?”

“It's called a Terminator,” Mal replied, “And it seemed awful interested in you.”

Nodding once, the young woman collapsed to the floor.

“Doc!”

-

TBC

COMMENTS

Monday, November 9, 2009 4:36 AM

MAINEAXE


Oh Yeah.. a quiet drink, sure, could happen somewhere.. but not here. A pretty girl, brown coats, armor piercing projectiles, terminators, sapphic enuendo's and did I mention Terminators?? Mighty fine story shaping up...

Yes PLEASE!!!! May we have another??

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 5:08 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Poor, poor River...don't think Zoe's even meaning to befuddle her on purpose, though I think she's cluing in that River's got some strong feelings coming to light ;)

And I gotta say...John Henry as Weaver's conscience is both brilliant and all kinds of freaking creepy. Though I'm sure it must have been interesting for those he fought with to see someone get chewed up real good during combat and still march on :D

Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:42 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


Always love your writing. This is some story world you're putting together. Loving it!!


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