Quest - Chapter 27
Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Earth, Sara and the rest of the left behind Quest crew get the details of their ship's destruction. Back in the Verse, Allan makes a deal and two couples get closer.


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: Getting closer to the end of the arc folks. Just a few more to finish this up.


Quest - Chapter Twenty Seven


“I like what you did with the engine bracing,” Allan said as he pulled himself out of a small access tunnel.

“I may have been a slave but I'm a damn good Engineer,” Elizabeth Pike, replied, “I don't build go-se.”

“That I can see... son of a bitch. Did you come up with this?” Allan said as he stared at a new piece of equipment. He was being given a tour of the Quest Copy Altair had built.

“I did,” Elizabeth said proudly.

Allan grinned at the young woman. Now cleaned up and wearing normal clothing instead of the garb of a slave, Elizabeth Pike looked only a few years older than his daughter to Allan.

“What kind of efficiency increase did you get?”

“Eighteen percent reduction in fuel use when charging the field coils.”

“Damn,” Allan muttered, “You sure you don't want to come work for Blue Sun?”

Elizabeth chuckled, “Not likely.”

Allan smiled and nodded, “Then I better make sure our shipbuilding division watches their backs with you at the helm of Altair.”

“I'm honored that you think that, Dr. Bryant.”

“You better call me Allan.”

“Then you better call me, Beth.”

“Okay, Beth.”

“What's the next step?” the former slave asked.

“I've arraigned for Blue Sun Capital to loan Altair the funds to pay the back wages owed the slaves held by your departed brother. At zero percent I might add. If you want it.”

Beth's eyes widened in surprise, “Want it? Who do I have to sleep with to get that deal?”

Allan chuckled, “No one. All I want is this ship. And the license fees paid for the three other copies.”

“How much are we talking about here?” Beth asked.

“Ten million credits... each.”

“Ten... million?” Beth gasped.

I know it's a lot, Beth. But look at it this way. It's only ten percent of the value of a first generation FTL ship,” Allan replied, “The Alliance will be willing to pay ten times that per copy. If only for the exploratory capabilities. I can think of at least three more star clusters containing planets just in the galactic neighborhood that would be prime candidates for possible terriforming.”

“I can see that... and from what I've seen. Keeping contact with Earth as well.”

Allan nodded, “Yep. I know the Alliance Ministry of State wants one just to shuttle back and forth.”

Elizabeth Pike thought about the deal for a moment, “What about the computer software to make it all work?”

“We'll be keeping that in house at Blue Sun. But we'll sell you the software at a discount.”

Allan could tell, that despite her recent ordeal. Elizabeth Pike was a shrewd business woman. He could almost see the gears turning in her head, “And I can build as many FTL ships as I can sell?”

“As long as it's to the government... at first.”

Beth put out her hand, “Deal.”

Allan smiled and shook the offered hand, “Glad to be doing business with you, Beth.”

“Hey,” she grinned, “You rescued me from a living hell. I can't be seen as ungracious.”

“There is that,” Allan agreed.

As they began to walk back towards the main airlock lobby, Elizabeth looked at Allan, “What did you mean, when you said, 'First generation FTL ship'?”

Allan simply grinned.


Sylvia's world went from black to a fuzzy white. Her throat felt raw and her chest hurt. Blinking, she tried to focus her eyes...

“Mom?” Derick Marsh said as he noticed his Mother's eyes open and begin to blink.

“Der...ick?” Sylvia said. Her voice rough and dry.

“Oh thank God,” the young man nearly sobbed.

“Derick?” said a second voice.

“Mel! She's awake!” Derick said to his adopted older sister.

Melissa Forbes ran into Tranquility's infirmary, “Sylvia?”

The older woman tried to smile, “Hey... Mel...”

“How are you feeling,” Melissa asked.

“Like shit,” was her honest answer.

Derick and Melissa chuckled, “Sounds about right,” Mel replied.

“What... happened?”

“You got shot, Mom,” Derick replied, unashamed at the tears of joy running down his face, “Nearly lost you.”

“Never... happen. I'm too... ornery to... die,” Sylvia said with some effort.

“That's for sure,” Melissa chuckled. Tears also running down her cheeks.

“What's going on?” Sherry Lee said as she stepped into the room. The young doctor had been alternating taking care of Sylvia with Simon.

“She's awake, Sherry!” Derick said.

Quickly, Sherry was at Sylvia's side, “How are you feeling?” she asked.

“Like crap,” Sylvia replied.

Not familiar with the term. Sherry pulled out her stethoscope, “Umm, right. Please describe what you are feeling...”

Sylvia grinned slightly despite her pain. It was then, that Derick knew his Mom would be okay.


“I sure don't really feel like attending some big Christmas party. Now that our ride home was blown to hell,” grumbled General Daniel Reed. His eyes traveling outside the windows of the limo he and Secretary Pace were riding in.

“I know, Dan. But we are here as representatives of Earth. And I'm sure that Dr. Bryant is working on a way to get us home. I mean his daughter is back on Earth too,” replied Robert Pace.

Dan sighed, “I know, Rob. And I also know that there's certain ambassador waiting for you back home too,” the officer replied with a grin.

The diplomat flushed slightly before grinning at his friend, “Trudy is something... isn't she?”

“That she is,” Dan agreed.

“Have you met anyone on this side?” Robert asked.

“Nah... All I've met so far are military officers with a stick up their ass.”

“The Alliance diplomatic corps is similar. The most 'real' people we've met here are Dr. Bryant and his friends.”

“Well, Allan is one of 'us', so to speak. He's just damn old,” Dan chuckled.

Robert nodded with a smile, “That he is.”

Dan turned his attention back outside the limo's windows. The bright lights of New London had given way to a ritzy suburb along the seashore. Soon they pulled into the gate of a large mansion. The main house was huge. And the outbuildings were nearly as large. The two men were impressed.

“Welcome to the New London Companion Training House, Gentlemen,” said their assigned bodyguard from the front seat.

“Nice place,” Dan commented. He might be the senior aerospace officer in the league of nations back on Earth, but he was still a fighter pilot at heart. A grin split his face, “Talk about a target rich environment.”

Robert chuckled, “Indeed.”

The two men exited the limo. Straightening his dress uniform, Dan looked around. Beautiful women were evident all over the grounds, “Damn.”

“How come you never remarried, Dan?” Robert asked as they made their way up the long stone walkway.

“I got married too young. When it blew up, I figured I'd have time to do it right the second time. Then my career got in the way. In a way, I envy you, Rob. You've had two beautiful women in your life.”

Rob nodded, “I am blessed. I loved Amanda with all my heart. To loose her in something as so... idiotic as a car accident. Well, I am glad I met Trudy.”

“And since she used to be a companion herself...” Dan grinned.

“Please...” Robert said. Slightly embarrassed, “Although, I hear that Trudy's primary instructor was Captain Reynolds wife, Inara.”

“The Captain is a lucky man then... holy shit....” Dan trailed off as a beautiful woman who looked to be in her late forties approached them.

“Welcome to the New London Guild house, Gentlemen. I am Mistress Allison Sexton. House Priestess.”

Dan tried to keep his jaw from hitting the floor. The woman before him was stunningly beautiful and a dead ringer for Ambassador Trudy Wu.

“Th... thank you, Mistress Sexton,” Robert said after a moment . Also stunned by both the mistress's beauty and uncanny resemblance to Trudy.

Allison smiled and shook Robert's hand, “So... you are the man who has stolen my sister's heart?”

“Huh?” Robert replied. Dan blinked in surprise.

“Trudy is my twin sister.”

“Oh! I, uh...”

Allison chuckled, “Relax, Mr. Pace. My sister and I share many things but men is not one of them,” Trudy then looked over at General Reed, “Those men's friends however...”

Dan gulped.

Allison giggled, “I am so sorry, Gentlemen. I am embarrassing you. Please. Come inside. The festivities are just beginning.”

“Can say that again...” Dan muttered under his breath.


Back on Earth. After a subdued dinner. The request for further information finally came through from the Alliance.

“Sara, dear... would you mind?” Trudy Wu said as she handed the printout to the younger woman.

Sara nodded and read the sheet quickly, “Son of a...”

“Sara?” Becca asked. Fear showing on her face.

“Jeff is okay,” Sara breathed out before continuing, “Looks like it Was Hipolito Flores that was killed.”

Becca's eyes shot wide. She had worked with Hipolito quite a bit during his time on Quest.

“Wu de tyen ah...” Clay muttered. He and The maintenance tech had become friends on the mission and he had actually thought of making Hipolito one of the groomsmen for his and Becca's wedding.

“Poor Alex,” Becca added.

“So everyone else is okay?” Owen asked. Sharing a glance with Rosie.

Sara nodded, “Banged up. Looks like my husband got the worst of it. But the report is almost a week old. Quest nearly entered atmo after the attack. Heracles pulled em' out. Looks like I owe Bobby a couple of bottles of the good stuff.”

“Got that right,” Clay agreed.

“So... what do we do next?” Rosie asked.

“I guess we wait. It would be prudent I think to start laying in the Baby supplies for Becca and myself. I figure that it will take at least a year to build a replacement for Quest,” Sara said. While her voice was steady, those that knew her best like Becca and Clay could see the storm building in her eyes.

“Guess we better get on with the weddin plans,” Becca said sadly. She wanted her family there for her and Clay's wedding. And she was going to marry Clay before the baby came. Of that she was adamant.

“I'll help, Becca,” Trudy said with a sad smile.

“Thanks, Trudy.”

“Boss?” Rosie said, looking at Sara who seemed to be staring off into space.

“Shenme?” Sara said after a minute.

“Copper for em'?” Becca asked.

“Just thinking about Jeff,” Sara replied.

“He's okay. That's all that matters,” Clay said.


Trudy frowned. While the news wasn't as good as she had hoped. It still had a better outcome that she had feared. She had been praying that Sara wouldn't be a widow. Then an idea came to the diplomat.


“Yeah, Trudy?”

“It is six days before Christmas. Why don't you and Clay get your guitars and play some Christmas music while Becca, Roseanne and I put up the decorations.”

“Not really in a holiday mood...”

“Don't make me pull ambassadorial rank young lady,” Trudy said. Her voice firm but friendly.

“Come on, Sara... it will give me a chance to try out that new acoustic bass I just got,” Clay added.

“Okay...” Sara said as she got up from the table.

Owen stood and walked over to where Roseanne stood staring at the falling snow outside their temporary home, “You alright, Rosie?”

Rosie sniffled once, “Sorry, Owen. I just promised my daughter that I'd be there for her birthday...”

“You got a little girl?” the security officer asked. slightly surprised.

“Yup...” Rosie replied, “Had her when I was just a teenager. She lives with her father.”

Owen nodded. He placed a friendly hand on his fellow security officer's shoulder, “Well, you'll just have to have a late party for her and bring her lots of presents from Earth. Come on... Trudy is waiting.”

Rosie sniffled again and smiled slightly, “You're helping too. I'm not quite tall enough to reach the top of the tree.”


From the doorway to the dining room, Trudy smiled. Her Companion's matchmaking sense going into overdrive.

“Oh no you don't...” Sara said beside her, guitar case in hand.

“Don't what, Sara?”

“I know that look. Saw it plenty of times on Aun... uhh Inara's face. Aunt Kaylee too.”

Trudy giggled, “Whatever do you mean, dear?”

“That's the 'matchmaker' face if I ever saw one. Mom said that Inara got the same look when she and Aunt Kaylee were plotting to get my Mom and Dad together.”

Trudy let out a very unladylike snort of amusement, “I can just see that.”

“Give em' some space,” Sara smiled, “And they'll do just fine.”

“I reckon you're right,” Trudy replied, letting a little of her Greenleaf accent slip through.

“Come on,” Sara urged, “Me and clay got a shiny rock and roll version of Silent Night...”


“How are you feeling, Sylvia?” Allan asked.

“Kinda like I been shot... dumbass,” she grinned up at her oldest friend.

Allan growled for a second before chuckling, “I guess you're feeling better then.”

Sylvia sighed, “Getting there.”

“Good,” Allan said, “Simon thinks you're strong enough to handle an FTL jump. We're going to head back to Londinium in a bit.”

“Good,” Sylvia replied, “What happens after?”

Allan pulled up a stool next to his friend, “We're gonna get you settled into a much more comfortable hospital room for your recovery and then the rest of us are heading home to Boros to pick up a few things.”


“Well, got some Christmas shopping to do. Then we're heading for Earth with Tranquility and Freebird. Jeff's leaving Endeavor at Blue Sun. Same for Cordell with the Flores. Once you're well enough to travel back. He'll be bringing you to Earth.”

“What?” Sylvia asked.

Allan grinned, “You think Becca's gonna get married without her Aunt Sylvia there?”

Sylvia matched the smile, “You're right.”

“I'll let you get some rest,” Allan said as he got to his feet, “Oh... by the way. There's someone who wants to see you.”

“Who is that?”

Waiting for his cue, Admiral Steven Henderson stuck his head around the door frame, “Hey, Sylvia...” he said hesitantly.

“Steve... get your ass in here...”

With a slight grin, the officer stepped into the infirmary, “How are you feeling?”

“Better...” Sylvia replied.

“I'll be going,” Allan smiled, “Zoë is waiting for me on Freebird.”

“Thanks, Allan.”

“Anytime, Steve,” the older man said before stepping out.

Steve nervously pulled up the stool Allan had vacated and sat next to Sylvia, “I'm glad you're feeling better...”

“I'm glad you're here,” Sylvia replied.

“I... Sylvia... damn. I'm no good at this.”

Sylvia smiled, “You never were. Maybe that's why I fell in love with you all those years ago. You get on with machinery better than people sometimes.”

“Problem with being an engineer, I suppose.”


The sound of Tranquility detaching from the shipyard echoed in the small room, “You're riding with us?”

“Engineering curiosity,” Steve smiled slightly, “I want to check out this new FTL Drive.”

“Uh, huh... likely story,” Sylvia grinned.

“Well there is this Captain I really like and was too stupid to keep hold of...”

“The time wasn't right, Steve.”

His face fell, “I know... now.”

The sound of Tranquility's engines began to build. Steve looked into Sylvia's eyes, “I'm sorry.”

“So am I,” she replied.

“So... where do we go from here? I mean. Seeing you again... then you getting hurt... Tzaogao. It tore my heart out, Sylvia.”

Sylvia smiled up at Steve. She made a decision. She had known two men in her life that had stolen her heart. The first was Derick Pierce. Her Chief Engineer aboard Kansas. And her son's father.

The second was Steven Henderson. The problem between them had been that Sylvia was still dealing with being a new mother and waking up four hundred years in the future. That combined with Steve's and her careers and it hadn't worked out. They did try. Five years of seeing each other when they had time. It just wasn't workable.

But now? Sylvia had just retied from her Captaincy of Kansas. With a huge wad of cash in her accounts and a huge pension to boot. She was also just fifty years old in the physical sense. In this day and age of one hundred year plus lifespans. She still had plenty of years ahead of her.

And she didn't want to be alone. Now that her son was an adult and in a relationship of his own. Well. Sylvia didn't want to be alone.



“Get over here and kiss me.”

Steve smiled, “Aye,aye Captain.”

As their lips met, on the bridge, River grinned and engaged the FTL drive. The deck lurched once and Sylvia grinned.

Steve broke the kiss and pulled back slightly, “What's so funny?”

Sylvia smiled wider, “I think we just broke the record for the longest kiss.”


“That was the FTL. We started kissing at Oberon. I'm guessing we're in orbit over Londinium now. Longest kiss. That was at least a ninety five AU jump.”

Steve started to snicker then kissed Sylvia again, “I never stopped loving you...” he whispered after a moment.

“I know. Neither did I,” Sylvia replied. A smile on her face.

Two miles away, Endeavor popped back into the universe. Rachel Cobb grinned at her boyfriend, “Told you so...”

“Told me what, Ai-ren?”

Rachel rolled her eyes, “You are such a boob. Steve and your Mom...”

A grin came across the young man's face, “You mean?”

“I mean...”

“Shiny,” Derick smiled.

“And don't you have something to ask me?” Rachel said, her face all innocent.

Derick scowled slightly, “No fair... I can't keep anything secret from you.”

“It's why you love me,” Rachel grinned.

Derick nodded and then took a deep breath. He reached into his pocket and removed a small box. Dropping to one knee, he held the box out to the girl whom he loved and had ever since they were kids and old enough to know what love was.

“Rachel Cobb, will you marry me?”

Rachel nodded and kissed him, “Yes. Yes I will.”

Derick pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard.

On tranquility, River sighed happily.

“What is it, Boa-bei?” Jayne asked his wife as they prepared to enter Londinium's atmosphere.

“New family member.”


Mal glanced over at his pilot, “What was that, Albatross?”

“I have a new role.”

“What's that?” Emma asked from the co-pilot's seat.


Jayne fainted.




Saturday, May 1, 2010 4:26 AM


Fluffy, Fluffy chapter.. Good stuff. The BDH's progeny are in and of themselves, wonderful creations. I Love this 'verse.. Next stop Earth, Im guessing..

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

Sunday, May 2, 2010 2:12 AM


Jayne fainted! Best line ... Love and marriage in the air, and I can't help feeling that, come Christmas morning, there's going to be a few new ships hanging over Earth. Great stuff!


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