BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

Quest - Chapter 19
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In orbit around Londinium, the crew confronts the mole and members of the extended family are in danger.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2172    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:

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Quest-Chapter Nineteen

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They called themselves the 'Board of Directors'. A nearly laughable term except for the fact that many of this so called board were in fact, executives for several large corporations around the 'Verse.

The rest were high placed criminals and ousted politicians. Twelve members in all. They did their best to line their pockets no matter what the cost to the general populace. The group had even been in the shadows of the most recent coup attempt. Thwarted by Allan Bryant and the crew of his daughters ship.

“We need leverage,” growled one of the board members. An elderly former member of Parliament from the bad old days of the Alliance.

“Patience, my friend,” smiled the board's erstwhile 'Chairman'.

“Blue Sun, Bryant and Haymer have too much influence...”

“There was a time when Blue Sun having influence was something that you didn't oppose,” said another member of the panel.

“That's when Blue Sun was run by Larson. That goody two shoes Bryant...”

“Is retired,” the other member interrupted.

“Blue Sun's board still listens to what he says. Add in that the current Chairman and CEO is Durin Haymer and the executive vice president is Bryant's brother-in-law and whatever those three say, Blue Sun does.”

“It was like that under Larson,”

The former Senator just growled.

“Gentlemen and Ladies,” the Chairman said soothingly, “We all agree that Blue Sun's business practices over the last twenty years or so have put a large dent in our operations. But remember, overt operations against Bryant have always met with failure.”

“What of his family?”

“He and his wife are rarely apart,” replied one of the members further down the table. A new member of the organization. He represented some of the larger criminal groups from Londinium. A dark skinned man with graying short hair. It was rumored he had been an Operative back when there were such things.

“Also,” the dark skinned man continued, “His daughter is on Earth and quite out of our reach.”

“I know that!” exclaimed the former Senator, “But Bryant has others that are close.”

“And all are formidable opponents in their own right. And also not easy targets. I feel that the groups I represent would not be pleased with an upset of the status quo. If not for the products manufactured by Blue Sun, my... people wouldn't have anything to steal,” the dark skinned man finished with a slight smile.

“There are other ways to put pressure on Blue Sun,” The chairman interrupted.

“How so?” the dark skinned man replied.

“This Project Quest is Blue Sun's crowning achievement. Thanks to some rather... clever industrial espionage, and by other means. My company has been building a counterpart to Quest. Thanks to a recent acquisition, we can now finish our version of an FTL ship.”

“What about Quest itself?” Asked a woman member of the board.

“A trifling matter. It is after all, a ship in space. Many dangers lurk in the black.”

“Like shuttles carrying explosives crashing into the facility building parts for Quest,” the dark skinned man said knowingly.

“That is one of the things I have arranged... yes.”

“When can you have your ship ready?” asked the woman.

“Within two weeks. The hardware is complete. We just needed the final computer software to make it all work.”

“Indeed,” said the former senator.

“Let us just say, things are in motion as we speak to ensure that the only ship in the 'Verse that can travel faster than light will be ours.”

“Excellent,” smiled another member of the board. A swarthy man who had been known for his ruthless treatment of POW's during the war. Now pushing eighty years of age, the former general knew what a ship like Quest could do in the hands of the board, “No ship will be safe.. Not even a cruiser.”

“We can bring the Alliance to it's knees,” smiled the Chairman, “While the first ship is nearly ready, more are under construction as we speak. Right under the Alliance and Blue Sun's nose.”

The former Senator chuckled, “Yes. Your company getting the contract to build destroyers for the fleet under Blue Sun's license was a master stroke.”

“And since Quest is fundamentally a destroyer with a different exterior hull design, it is a simple matter to build extras in plain sight that have the FTL system installed.”

“Indeed, that is fortunate,” said the dark skinned man as he leaned back in his chair, steepling his fingers as he did so, “But isn't Quest a threat to your own ships once they are completed?”

“Not after today...” the Chairman smiled, And there are other operations in the works to keep the senior Blue Sun management... shall we say... distracted?”

XXXXXXXXXX

There were many words that could be used to describe Bridgett Haymer. Socialite, spoiled brat, party girl...

All were true to an extent. At twenty six and the daughter of Durin and Yolanda Haymer the beautiful redhead had grown up in a world of wealth and privilege.

But there were other words that did not fit her. Words like naive, weak, and victim. Because she had been those words once when she was a teenager. Back when Bridgett and her best friend, Sara Bryant had been kidnapped and nearly killed. If not for Sara, she would have been killed.

Bridgett had always envied her best friend Sara. For her strength, her intelligence and Sara's ability to kick Pi-gu.

Taking a page from her late mother's book, Bridgett had trained herself over the years. Now an expert in several martial arts, she was also proficient in the use of firearms and like her mother, had spent time training at one of the Companion training houses.

The result was a beautiful young woman who could hold her own in the middle of a grand ball or a bar fight. Just like her mother.

That bar fighting ability and her increased situational awareness is what saved her life as she exited an exclusive clothing store on the main shopping street in New London.

Dressed casually in jeans, blouse and a baggy sweater, Bridgett walked down the sidewalk of the beautiful early winter day, carrying several shopping bags. She was supposed to attend a holiday ball that evening and needed a few things. A smile on her face, she suddenly noticed two men following her in the reflection from the shop windows. The smile went away.

Bridgett turned suddenly into a shoe store. The men following stopped, unsure weather to follow or wait.

Once inside the store, Bridgett quickly triggered her emergency signal ring and then removed the small pistol she carried in her purse.

Shifting her purchases to her left hand, Bridgett, let the sleeve of her oversized sweater fall over the gun in her hand. Taking a deep breath, she put the smile back on her face and stepped out of the store.

“Don't scream and you won't get hurt,” growled one of the men as his partner grabbed Bridgett's left arm.

The men were caught completely by surprise when Bridgett dropped her shopping bags, spun in place and roundhouse kicked the man who had spoke in the jaw.

As the man fell to the pavement, she snapped up with her other hand and put the barrel of her gun between the eyes of her second assailant.

“Give me an excuse,” Bridgett said menacingly.

The man made a grab for her wrist and the redhead pulled the trigger. The gunshot echoed around the street as the man's brains were sprayed on the building behind.

“Bitch!” the man she had kicked screamed as he tried to sweep Bridgett's feet out from under her from where he lay on the sidewalk.

Bridgett sidestepped the clumsy attack and simply shifted her aim, “You feel like joining your ancestors like your friend did?” she snarled. The sound of police sirens could be heard approaching..

“Tchen wah!”

Bridgett Haymer lost her temper at being called a slut. As the man found out the hard way when her booted foot connected with his temple, instantly rendering the would be attacker unconscious.

“Boring conversation, anyway,” Bridgett muttered before throwing up all over the sidewalk.

XXXXXXXXXX

Trying to keep his mind clear, Hipolito Flores Stepped onto Quest. The experimental vessel was docked with the much larger Blue Sun orbital dockyard.

It was well after normal working hours so the dock had been nearly deserted. Just a few overnight techs and security guards. Like the rest of the Alliance personnel meeting on Quest this evening, he had traveled from the surface on one of the Blue Sun shuttles serving the massive orbital construct.

Hipolito knew he was dead. Either tossed out an airlock by Jeff or shot by his commander. He had committed treason and industrial espionage when he hacked Quest's computer core. But he had too. For his family's sake.

He had just quashed that thought when he was suddenly grabbed by a very familiar pair of arms, “Lito... where in the gorram hell have you been?” Chief Petty Officer Alexandra Woodard said as she greeted her lover.

“Been busy, Alex. Family stuff.” Hipolito shrugged

The brunette nodded, “I know how that can go. Folks okay?”

“They're fine,” Hipolito, smiled.

“And Maria?”

The young man's smile faltered for a moment but he recovered quickly, “She's fine.”

Alex narrowed her eyes slightly but the smile on her face stayed in place. She gave Hipolito a quick kiss before dragging him in the direction of Quest's galley, “Everyone else is here. We don't want to be late.”

Trying not to look like a man being led to the gallows, Hipolito followed his sometimes lover, her hand firmly grasping his.

“About time,” grumbled Lt. Commander Vicki Baxter as the pair entered. The crew of Quest, minus of course the members still on Earth and Rachel Cobb were lounging around the large table in the galley. Commander Olsen sat next to his second in command.

As soon as Hipolito entered the room, All eyes seemed to focus on him. He gulped nervously.

“Have a seat, compadre,” Virgil Ortega smiled.

Hipolito took the offered seat and Alex slid in next to him. Commander Olsen shot the couple a glare but didn't say anything. He'd be quite the hypocrite if he spoke out about the two enlisted techs and their relationship since he himself was sleeping with his XO. Vicki had helped the Commander heal after the death of his wife.

“I called you all here tonight because we have a problem,” Jeff Reynolds began without preamble.

“Someone in this room hacked into the secondary computer core aboard Quest and copied all the data,” Jeff continued.

Up until this moment, the only people who had known this information were Jeff, Melissa, Virgil and Commander Olsen. The chorus 'what's' and Chinese curses from the rest of the people around the table nearly drowned out Jeff's next words, “I don't care why but I want to know who...”

At that moment, Rachel Cobb flowed into the room. She had been waiting just outside, waiting for her cue to enter.

The teen aged psychic let her gaze move from one face to the next. Everyone fidgeted under the scrutiny.

Her eyes locked with Hipolito's. The young man cursed to himself as the shame of what he had done flooded his mind. And the reasons for it.

Rachel stepped forward and gazed at Hipolito for a long moment. A sad smile appeared on her face.

Expecting the girl to strangle him, Hipolito was instead surprised when Rachel kneeled down and pulled him into a hug. The shock on his face told the whole story to the rest of the group.

Rachel pulled back and looked deep into his eyes, “We'll get her back.”

“Wh...what?”

“The sacrifices made by a brother for his sister are not unknown to us. If not for my Uncle, my Mother would have died long before I was born. He threw away everything to save her... so we understand.”

Jeff stood and stepped up to the stunned mechanic, laying a hand on his shoulder, “Rachel already read everyone else before you got here. You were the last one, 'Lito. Why don't you start from the beginning.”

A sob escaped the young man and Alex pulled him into a hug.

XXXXXXXXXX

“Emma... you ready to go?” Casey Jenkins asked as she bounced into the dorm room she shared with Emma Reynolds.

“Soon as I save this file and get my stuff,” the black haired beauty replied. Hitting a few keys on the keyboard of her dedicated source box, saving her homework.

“Is Jack going to meet us for dinner?” Casey asked as she plopped down on the bed across from her roommate.

Emma shook her head, “Jack's got his trauma rounds this weekend. Needs to get them out of the way before holiday break.”

“That's too bad,” Casey pouted, “Jack's pretty swai... sure you don't want to kick him to the curb for standing you up?”

Emma chuckled at yet another half hearted attempt to steal her fiancé away. Emma still had trouble believing Jack Tam had actually proposed. She guessed it took nearly dying when Serenity was attacked to galvanize the med student into action. Emma and Jack had been an item ever since they were kids.

“Ain't gonna work Casey,” Emma grinned.

“Damn... worth a shot,” Casey giggled.

Emma rose from behind her desk and stepped to her dresser. Unlocking a box she had stuffed in the corner of the top drawer. The twenty year old pulled out her pistol and placed it in a shoulder holster before slinging the holster around her. Emma then pulled her brown leather jacket out of the closet, effectively hiding her gun, “All set,” Emma smiled.

“Don't know why you carry a gun,” Casey wondered out loud, “New London is one of the safest cities in the core. It's not like you're home on Boros...”

“New Edmonton is safer than New London,” Emma replied, “Besides... I kinda feel... naked without a gun. Must be my Daddy's genetics.”

“Must be,” Casey agreed with a grin.

“Come on... I got us reservations at Alisha's for six.”

“Alisha's?” Casey asked, surprised, “That's one of the most expensive restaurants in New London...”

“I have an in... the owner is one of my 'Aunts'.”

XXXXXXXXXX

As the two girls walked out the front door of their dorm building, they didn't see two men begin to follow at a distance.

They hadn't gone more than a few blocks when Emma's personal com began to ring, “This is Emma,” she replied into the device.

“Emma? It's Olivia with Blue Sun security...”

“Hey Olivia,” Emma replied with a smile.

“I just wanted to let you know. We've got a security alert out. Bridgett Haymer was attacked a few hours ago. Here in New London.”

“Attacked?” Emma asked, frowning.

“Yep. Looked like an attempted kidnapping. One of the perp's is in jail and not talking... the other's in the morgue. Bridgett's okay... but she's pretty upset. She's the one who killed one of the bad guys.”

Emma nodded even though Olivia couldn't see her on the voice only com, “I'll keep an eye peeled.”

“Where are you right now? I tried your room,” Olivia asked.

“Walking to Alisha's,” Emma replied, “Casey is with me.”

“Get a cab and I'll have someone meet you at the restaurant. Orders from the Boss.”

Emma sighed, “Fine. Who are you sending?”

“My worse half,” Olivia said, the grin in her voice noticeable.

“Okay... we'll meet Israel there.”

“Take care Emma,” Olivia said as she cut the connection.

“What's up?” Casey asked as she followed her roommate to a cab kiosk on the corner.

Emma pushed the button to summon a taxi and looked seriously at her friend, “Someone tried to kidnap Bridgett Haymer this afternoon.”

“Tian xiaode...”

“She's okay but...”

“They wanted to make you aware,” Casey replied. She wasn't stupid, despite her appearance as a bubbly blonde college student. Casey was actually studying data security along with her business degree.

Emma was a business major with a minor in communications. Degrees she needed if she wanted to have her own shipping company one day. While her father had lived hand to mouth for many years as Captain of Serenity, Emma planned to forge her own shipping empire the right way. With an actual business plan.

Moment's later, one of the many automated hover taxi's pulled up to the two girls. The door opened automatically, “Alisha's... 1422 East Midlands Ave.” Emma ordered the automatic system as she and Casey sat down.

“Acknowledged,” the robotic voice replied as the taxi pulled away from the curb.

Neither saw the two men that had been following them swear and then pull out their own coms.

XXXXXXXXXX

“That's all of it...” Hipolito sighed as he slumped in his chair. It had taken him nearly half an hour to explain why he had hacked Quest's computer core. Being faced with the choice of committing industrial espionage and treason or being forced to watch men violate and then kill his little sister followed by his parents... he had done the only thing he could have in the situation. He had done what they asked.

Throughout the entire confession, Commander Olson sat stony faced. Listening intently. Beside him, Vicki Baxter alternated between anger and sympathy. As Hipolito finished, Olsen spoke, “I can say without a doubt... your military career is over.”

“I guessed that, Sir.”

Alexandra was more than upset, “Of all the people in the 'Verse, you could've told me at least,” she admonished her lover.

“Didn't want to put you in danger too, Alex,” 'Lito sighed.

“Do you have any idea where they are holding your sister?” Jeff asked.

“No...” 'Lito replied, despair washing over him.

Down the table, Rachel was furiously working a pencil on paper. Creating a sketch of the man Hipolito had met with from the images the psychic had gleaned from his mind.

After a moment, Rachel finished. She held the paper up where Hipolito could see it, “I'm not as good as my Mom...”

“It's a perfect likeness,” Hipolito replied, “That's the Hwoon-dahn that has my sister.”

“Looks kinda familiar,” Virgil said after a moment.

“Should be...” Rachel replied, a scowl on her face, “This is Jordan Pike. CEO of Altair Shipbuilding.”

“Altair... you mean Blue Sun's biggest competitor in the shipbuilding business?” Derick Marsh asked from his seat next to Rachel.

“One and the same,” Jeff growled, “I guess that explains why they needed “Lito to hack the core. They must be building their own FTL ship.”

“I agree,” Melissa Forbes replied just before Rachel suddenly stood up and yelled, “Everyone run!!!!”

“What?” Jeff asked just as Quest's automatic alarms began sounding.

“That's the missile lock alarm!” Meghan cried out, “We're sitting ducks here docked!”

“Head for the docking arm! GO, GO, GO!” Jeff ordered.

Outside Quest, the armed shuttle fired two missiles at the docked vessel. Aiming for the fuel tanks and engineering spaces. After a moment a third missile was launched at the main docking bay.

The crew, along with the Alliance personnel ran as fast as they could for the main airlock and the docking arm leading to the Blue Sun shipyard...

They almost made it.

-

TBC

COMMENTS

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1:58 AM

MAINEAXE


AAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! You CANT leave it there.. DOH!!!!! (sigh).. so many things to go wrong.. cant even imagine what saves them now.. I hope the muse is fully charged and the wait for the next installment is short.. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3:52 AM

JANE0904


Wow. Building to some action here! But don't leave us hanging for too long, dong mah?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:05 PM

KRELLEK


NNOOOOO you cannot leave us hanging there!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE be quick with the next instalment

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:12 PM

GWG


A battle between FTL ships would become a pure information war.
If you can pop a chimpanzee a few thousand miles in a trillionth of a second one could put a device into a reactor or fuel tank as soon as a ship appeared and preferably before arrival with a reader.
There would be no time to react against this type of attack.

If only Ariel Coatings has a CVD diamond ovens large enough to coat the gravity field pods then Altair Shipbuilding would have placed an order with them to make their FTL copy.
Thus non reader confirmation of there actions.

Only Allan could mass produce FTL ships by conversion rather than making new.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:12 PM

KRELLEK


I hope none of them dies, and if any of them have to die, then I guess it is going to be Hipollito saving them all. that they all agree to not only save his sister but instill him to the highest medal of the alliance,like that congressional medal of valor or something like that of the real world. that completely drowns this black mark on his familly name

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:20 PM

KRELLEK


to what gwg said,
to me it does seem a little odd that no one has wondered why there was made a larger order to Ariel Coatings, that it seems that Altair has made it seem they needed, i mean yes to have something for spares and such, but at this point quest I believe is still a prototype. and should not need that much

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 4:47 PM

GWG


Another tactic would be the Picard Maneuver (Jump & shoot at point blank range)

Friday, March 19, 2010 1:51 PM

KRELLEK


or if you know some of security codes, make the enemys ships sensors believe a third party is arriving,


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