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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
We finally get to see how Quest's crew is fairing. Mal and Allan plot revenge and some new ships join the fleet.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1166 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.
AN: This one is longer than my usual. Had to get it to a good stopping point.
Quest - Chapter Twenty Two
“I must warn you. Everyone looks worse than they really are,” stated the ER attending physician. The doctor glanced nervously at the group of heavily armed and upset parents, “You... you aren't going to... cause...”
Mal shook his head, “Sorry, Doc. Things are happenin beyond this. We thought it best to be prepared.”
The doctor nodded, “Very well. The nurses in the individual rooms can give more precise details. That said. No one has any life threatening injuries but what they have been through is very painful. The compartment they were in went to nearly vacuum. By tomorrow morning they all will have significant bruising from the ruptured blood vessels in their skin from the low pressure.”
“What regimen do you have them on?” Simon asked.
“And you are?” the doctor asked.
“Dr. Simon Tam. I'm director of the trauma service at New Edmonton General on Boros.”
“Tam... We have a med student running around here somewhere with that name.”
“That would be my son,” Simon replied.
The doctors eyebrows shot up, “Pardon me, Dr. Tam. I should have recognized you right off.”
“Can we get to seein our kids?” Jayne grumbled.
“Of course... right away.”
Inara tried to stifle a gasp as she first laid eyes on her son. Jefferson was asleep, an IV running into his arm and an oxygen mask over his face. His right arm was in a sling. The young man's face was swollen as were his hands. Already purplish bruises were visible on his face.
Mal wrapped his arm around Inara's shoulder. His face was stony.
The nurse looked up from her paperwork, “He's resting. You can wake him if you wish. He'll be a little groggy from the pain meds...”
“Thank ya',” Mal said as the nurse picked up Jeff's chart to leave the small treatment room.
“We're moving him upstairs in a few hours,” the nurse said as she exited.
Inara moved to her son's bedside, “Jefferson?” she called softly.
Jeff uttered a slight groan and opened his eyes, “Mom?” he asked, his voice muffled by the mask.
The tears Inara had been holding back erupted, “Oh Jefferson...”
“I'll live, Mom, “ Jeff replied, “I'm just not going to enjoy it for a while is all.”
Inara chuckled through her tears at Jeff's attempt at humor, “Just like your father...”
Mal stepped forward, “How ya' doin, Son?”
“I'm hurting... no way to hide that. But you gotta be alive to hurt.”
“Best way to look at it, Jeff.”
“I need to get out of here as soon as I can...”
“Why?” Inara asked.
“Sara... my wife is forty light years away and the only way to get to her just blew up. It's going to take a year at least to build a replacement for Quest...”
Mal shook his head, “Ain't the only way to get to Sara...”
Jeff was confused. Part of that was due to the painkillers he was on, “Dad... hey. Wait a minute.. what day is it?”
“Bout three thirty in the mornin... Saturday.”
Jefferson Reynolds was a genius. Nowhere in the class of his wife, her father or even his 'cousin', Rachel Cobb. But still, Jeff was far from stupid. He did the math and his parents getting from Boros to Londonium in a few hours didn't add up. “No way...”
“That little side project, Allan was workin on seems to work,” Mal grinned.
Jeff's eyes went wide with the realization of his father's words, “FTL?”
Inara nodded and Mal grinned even wider, “Your old man is the proud owner of the fastest Firefly in the 'Verse.”
A smile split Jeff's face, despite how much it hurt, “Shiny...”
River and Jayne paused outside the room that held Rachel. Their daughter was asleep. Rachel, Like Jeff was one solid bruise. Sitting next to Rachel sat the less severely injured Derick Marsh. One bandaged hand holding one of Rachel's as she slept. River couldn't help but smile at the sight. Jayne growled at the young man holding hands with his little girl.
Derick started at the sound and turned to see Rachel's parents standing in the doorway. He held his index finger to his lips in a shushing motion. Stiffly the young man got to his feet, guiding River and Jayne out of the room into the corridor.
“She just fell asleep,” Derick explained.
Jayne just glowered at the young man, “How come you ain't a walking bruise, boy?”
River smiled at Derick, already having read what was in the young man's thoughts. A few steps behind his parents stood Jesse Cobb. He gave Derick a discrete thumbs up.
“I was wearing most of an EVA suit, Mr. Cobb.”
Jayne growled again, “How come you was in a suit and not my little girl?”
Derick gulped but stood his ground. He loved Rachel and knew that he was going to have to face her father at some point, “Jeff's orders.”
Jayne's face showed confusion “Huh?”
“We were losing atmo. It took both me and Alex to hotwire the emergency jettison for what was left of the docking arm so Heracles could dock,” he held up his bandaged hands, “That's how I got this. I used my fingers as the jumper for the power.”
River reached out and laid her hand on the nineteen year old's shoulder, “Hero...”
Derick turned red.
Jayne snorted, “Right...”
River elbowed her husband, “Saved them. If not for Derick. All would have perished.”
Jayne looked down at his diminutive wife, “You sure?” River nodded.
“Well... I reckon that's okay then...”
Derick took a deep breath. This was probably the only time he was going to be able to say this. Particularly considering how many weapons Rachel's father was wearing, “Mr and Mrs. Cobb? I know this may not be the best time to say this... but. I love Rachel. I want to do this right so... I want to ask your permission to marry her...”
River broke out into a wide smile while Jayne looked like someone had just hit him with a shovel, “Shenme?”
“I want to marry Rachel... Sir.”
Jayne's face turned red, “No ruttin way. She's too young to get hitched.”
“Zang-fu...” River interrupted, “You are forgetting something.”
“I was only a year older than our daughter when I chose you...”
Jayne's face fell. His wife was right. River had barely turned nineteen when they had started courting. And they were married just a short time after her twentieth birthday, “Gorramit, Riv...”
River reached out and hugged a surprised Derick, “Welcome to the family.”
“Rachel hasn't said yes, yet.,” Derick replied.
A few feet away, Jesse chuckled, “I don't think that's gonna be a problem, Derick.”
“Momma!” cried Emma Reynolds as she spotted her mother exiting Jefferson's room.
Inara scooped her daughter into her arms, “Emma... are you alright?”
The twenty year old nodded against Inara's shoulder, “Thanks to Audra and Andy.”
“You okay, Emma Girl?” Mal said as he joined Inara in the corridor.
“I'm okay, Daddy.”
Mal visibly relaxed. Although both women could tell there was a storm brewing underneath, “Long as you're okay...”
Emma smiled at her father, “Those shooting lessons paid off.”
“Reckon so,” Mal replied, running his hand through his graying brown hair.
“Now.. what happened to my brother?” Emma asked, a determined look on her face, “And how did you get here so quick?”
“How are you feeling, Cordell?” Allan asked as he took a seat next to the Alliance officer.
“Like I went three rounds with a Reaver,” Cordell replied.
Allan cracked a slight grin, “I don't doubt it.”
“How is everyone else? They haven't told me much...”
“Vicki's next door,” Allan began, “She kinda looks like you. One big bruise. The kids are the same. Zoë's in with Chief Woodard...”
The Commander shook his head, “Hipolito didn't deserve to die like that...”
“What the hell were all of you doing on Quest anyway?' Allan asked.
Cordell sighed and then told Allan what had transpired. To say the engineer was incensed was a gross understatement, “Fuck! I'm gonna kill Jordan Pike!”
“Take a number, Allan,” Mal said from the doorway, “I'm thinkin we need a little palaver.”
“Flores is dead,” stated Jordan Pike's assistant.
“Pity,” the executive replied, “He still had some usefulness.”
“What of his sister... should I have her disposed of?”
Pike leaned back in his chair and looked thoughtful for a moment, “No... she is also useful. At least for me since the Guild gave me that black mark. Have her cleaned up and moved to my estate.”
“Very good, Sir.”
As his assistant left, Pike smiled. It would be a week at least before he could get away from Londinium and return to his estate on Oberon. Plenty of time to plan what he was going to do to Maria Flores.
“This is how I see it,” Allan began, “We need to find out why Pike initiated theses attacks. Both on Quest and our families.” A grumble went around the borrowed hospital conference room Everyone except those who were on board Quest had gathered together for the meeting. Emma and Jack hugged in the corner. The Med student extremely upset at almost loosing his fiancé.
“We ain't never done anything to 'im...” Jayne said.
“I know,” Allan replied, “All I can remotely theorize is that he is using Altair to build a copy of Quest. Perhaps by taking out Quest, he'd solidify his position as the sole provider of FTL travel in the 'Verse.”
“Seems very short sighted,” Simon pointed out, “As soon as he reveals a Quest copy. The legal ramifications of the copyright and patent infringements...”
“Maybe he isn't planing on revealing the ship...” Inara thought out loud.
Everyone shared a look.
“He isn't,” said a new voice.
“You!” Mal bellowed as his pistol appeared in his hand. It had been decades but the face of the man he knew as the Operative was forever burned into his memory.
The former Operative held his hands up in a gesture of submission, “I know you swore to kill me the next time we met, Malcolm. But perhaps if you would let me tell my tale before you shoot me...”
Mal's finger twitched on the trigger and he ground his teeth. He glanced to Zoë who nodded once, “Speak your peace,” Mal said as he lowered his pistol.
“Thank you,” the Operative replied, lowering his hands, “It seems we have had an exchange of lives. You... were once a criminal and are now a respected businessman. I however am now a criminal. I am in charge of several of the larger crime syndicates here on Londinium.”
“How the mighty have fallen,” River muttered.
“Correct, Ms. Tam... excuse me. Mrs. Cobb.”
“Why are you here?” Zoë snarled.
“I am a member of a group loosely termed, the 'Board of Directors'. This group consists of several former Alliance hard line politicians, military officers and various criminal groups. The chairman of this so called board is Jordan Pike.”
“Figures...” Allan muttered.
“Why are you telling us this?” Simon asked.
“Because, the goal of this group is to return the Alliance to their perceived peak... the days just after the war.”
Mal swore, “Just like that Huh choo-shang tza-jiao duh tzang-huo, Rosales did...”
“Who do you think financed Rosales coup attempt,” the now gray haired former Operative smiled grimly.
“Ain't we ever gonna have any peace?” Kaylee asked rhetorically.
“Someday, Mei-mei,” Allan replied, “So... what's Pike's plan?”
“He has been building a fleet of Quest copies at the Altair yards around Oberon. He used coercion to force Mr. Flores to steal Quest's computer files.”
“We knew about that part,” Mal stated, “You know where Pike might be keeping the girl?”
“I have men watching. As soon as they know. You will.”
“How come you're doin this?” Jayne asked.
“My... criminal enterprises have been very... profitable. I have given in to the sin of greed, I'm afraid to say. But, in point of fact. I have tried to keep things civilized. My organization deals only in property crimes. No murder, slavery or the like.”
“Yeah... civilized,” Allan grumbled.
“And that is why I am helping. These men are not civilized. They want to bring down our civilization. That is something I cannot allow. And... I still owe all of you a debt I cannot ever repay. Particularly Mrs. Cobb and Mrs. Bryant.”
River gazed at the former operative, her head tilted to the side. A posture she often took when reading someone deeply, “Means what he says.”
“How can we contact you?” Allan asked.
“I'll contact you... Even now. Like in my younger days. I do not exist.” Turning on his heel, the former Operative left the room. It seemed like a collective breath had been let out as he left.
“What's next?” Jack asked, speaking for the first time.
“We need to get some ships outfitted.” Allan replied.
“Outfitted with what, Uncle Allan?” Emma asked.
“Allan...” Bobby Sutherland began, “Heracles just came out of a six month overhaul...”
“This won't take but a few days, Little Red,” Allan replied, using the nickname Bobbie had ever since she was a girl.
As Captain of Heracles and Blue Sun's Chief Pilot, the redhead grumbled about the use of her old nickname. Only a few people could get away with calling her that. Luckily, Allan Bryant was one of them, “What are you doing to my ship?”
“Challenger is almost finished with her refit, Correct?”
Bobbie nodded. The other Frigate in Blue Sun Security's private fleet was in the shops getting a new reactor core fitted. The Third Blue Sun Frigate, Eagle had been destroyed several years previous in a crash. “Should be done in a few days.”
“Well, I've got a new engine mod to install.”
“What kind of engine mod?”
“One that will give the ships the same capabilities that Quest had,” Allan said with a smirk.
“Same as... you mean you got a gorram FTL that will fit on a ship the size of Heracles?” Bobbie asked, both surprised and excited.
“I can make it smaller or bigger,” Allan smiled, “Freebird has one... so does Tranquility. I've got a kit made up to outfit Sara Jane when we go to Earth and two more kits being fabricated for another pair of Firefly's just now coming off the production line.”
“We're going to wipe Altair shipbuilding from the face of the 'Verse...”
The Blue Sun shops had double shifts working around the clock. Currently, five ships were in the massive overhaul hangar located in the New London suburbs. Two were the twin, Heracles class frigates, Challenger and the lead ship in the class, Heracles herself. Next to the small warships sat three Fireflys. One was Tranquility. Mal had agreed to additional modifications to his ship. Namely, outfitting it with the same weapons package that Sara Jane carried.
A hidden chin mounted multi barreled rail gun, Missiles mounted in racks under the cargo bay floor and fired through the belly doors and state of the art EMP shielding, sensors and missile countermeasures.
The starboard shuttle had also been replaced with a weapons pod that sported a 120 mm mass driver rail gun.
The other two Fireflys were being fitted with the same weapons and defense package as well as the new FTL drive.
Blue Sun was going to war.
Quest's crew had been released from the hospital after a couple of days. Despite still healing, they threw themselves into helping with the refits.
Derick Marsh dove into refitting the FTL to the second as of yet, unnamed Firefly. Rachel and Melissa moved from ship to ship, reprogramming the computers to handle the FTL system.
Meghan and Joe oversaw the weapons installations while Allan and Kaylee managed the entire project.
It took four days of around the clock work to get things done.
The evening of the fourth day, Allan called everyone together in Tranquility's galley. Jeff sat at the table next to his parents and sister. His arm still in a sling while his shoulder healed.
“What's the plan?” Jayne asked as he sat next to his wife and daughter. Jesse Cobb leaned against the counter.
“Pike just left on his yacht, heading to his home on Oberon,” Allan replied, His ETA is five days.”
Jayne's eyes brightened, “We gonna hit him in space?”
“That's one idea. But I want some other plans. We also need to know where he's keeping Hipolito's sister. Or even if she is still alive.”
“So, we wait till he gets home, Allan?” Mal asked.
“What I'm thinking.”
“Home turf... might have some pretty heavy defenses,” Virgil said.
“We also need to take out his Quest clones in orbit,” Jeff added.
“That's where Heracles and Challenger come in,” Allan said as he looked across the room to where Bobbie and Challenger's Captain, James Woo stood.
“Altair has ten of the new upgraded Longbow class destroyers under construction in the yard. We can't damage any of those ships. Anything that looks like Quest is fair game.”
“What about the yard crews?” Simon asked, “Aren't they innocents in this?”
“They are,” Mal added, “Me an Allan got an idea about that.”
“My encounter with a Reaver ship on Freebird's test run gave me the idea. I've got a couple of old freighters in the area being painted up as Reaver ships. They'll be flown by remote control. The shipyard's defenses will engage the fake Reaver ships as a diversion. In the meantime, safety protocols dictate that the yard crews will be evacuated to safe holds. Leaving the ships unmanned.”
“But... aren't all the Revers gone?” Meghan asked.
“I thought so too,” Allan replied, “But my encounter says different. There's also been rumors of a isolated attacks on the rim. Might have been that one ship I destroyed or there might still be a few lurking about. Twenty five years is a long time but...”
There were nods around the table. “What about the other two Fireflys,” Melissa asked.
“We're not putting our eggs all in one basket. Mal will command Tranquility. Jeff will command the second fly and we need a captain for the third.”
“If it's available... I'll take that command,” said a familiar voice. Everyone turned to see Commander Cordell Olsen standing in the doorway to the galley. Vicki Baxter and Alex Woodard standing just behind.
Allan smiled at the Alliance officer, “This isn't strictly a legal operation, Cordell.”
“Well, Since I'm no longer a fleet officer. That doesn't bother me.”
“Huh?” Mal and Allan said in unison.
“I turned in my papers. As of midnight tonight, New London time. I'm officially a civilian.”
“Me too,” Vicki added.
“I resigned as well,” Alex stated.
“Looks like that ship has a Captain, pilot and engineer,” Allan grinned.
“They need a gun hand,” Joe Park spoke up, “I'll go.”
Jeff nodded, “I'll take Virgil as my pilot. Meghan on weapons and Derick as my engineer.”
“That means you get me, too, Jeff,” Rachel added.
“Baby girl...” Jayne muttered.
“My decision, Daddy,” Rachel said. Her mind made up.
“Usual crew on Tranquility,” Mal began. “ Kaylee's in the engine room, River and Allan flyin...”
“I'm not going, Mal,” Allan said, cutting his old friend off, “At least on Tranquility. Me and Zoë are taking Freebird. You can Jump to Boros to drop us off.”
“There goes my first mate and co-pilot,” Mal grumbled.
“Still got one, Dad,” Emma spoke up.
Mal looked at his daughter, “Might get rough, Emma girl...”
“That hwoon-dahn tried to kill me. Time for some payback.”
Despite his reservations about putting his little girl in harms way. Mal couldn't have been prouder at that moment, “If you're sure...”
“I am, Dad,” Emma stated.
“Okay... River's first mate and lead pilot. Emma, you're second seat.”
“Mal...” Inara began.
“You're not leaving me out of this...”
Mal sighed, “Didn't plan on it...”
“If you need a shuttle pilot. I'm your woman,” Inara said with a grin.
“Been my woman a long time, 'Nara.”
“And don't you forget it.”
“Now we got that settled, I assume that Sherri is going to be medic on your ship, Jeff?” Allan asked.
“Yep,” the young man replied.
“Simon's on Tranquility. Cordell, you're gonna need a medic.”
“What about me?” Jack Tam spoke up.
“Jack...” Simon began
“Dad, I'm less than three months from graduation. If anything really bad happens, I'll have you and Dr. Lee for backup.”
“I'm comfortable with that,” Cordell replied.
“Me an' th' boy will carry th' big guns,” Jayne stated as he grinned at his son. Jesse nodded in agreement.
“Guess that just leaves me,” Melissa said.
“You're with me and Zoë , Mel,” Allan said.
“Reckon that's it,” Mal began, “ Now all we need to do is name the two new boats.”
“Endeavor,” Jeff said immediately. His father nodded.
“Cordell?” Allan asked.
The former officer looked first at Viki and then Alex. He nodded at the grieving woman.
Blinking back tears, Alex spoke up, “The Hipolito Flores...”
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 11:38 AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:50 AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 12:53 PM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 12:56 PM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 3:21 PM
Thursday, April 01, 2010 11:50 AM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:47 PM
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