Unlikely Bedfellows (Prologue, rest of)
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oops, I only posted one page of the Prologue. Here's the rest...


Persephone Eavesdown Docks, Repair Berth 2 Eight days after the Miranda wave

The extensive repair job on Serenity was going well, Mal had to admit. Of course, the fact that it was being bankrolled by the Alliance probably had a good deal to do with that, but he had decided to swallow his pride for once and not complain. Unlike Kaylee, who’d had issues more than once with the repair foreman, who seemed to think Serenity could stand to have a redesign here and there. It was the first time he’d seen Kaylee actually angry, but he’d only actually intervened when she got just a little too close to the guy with a rather large wrench and an expression on her pretty face he’d liked not one bit. “She gets repaired as is, or I’ll do the gorram job my own self!” Kaylee cried. “Cap’n, these sloppy rùnhuá zhī hóuzi don’t know a catalyser from a fuel infuser, and -” “I get it, I get it,” Mal interrupted, trying not to laugh. “Day I don’t trust your judgement is the day I pack up an’ retire, an’ I don’t conjure that’s happenin’ any time soon.” He gathered her into a hug and kissed the top of her head; she smiled happily, cheered as she always was by the gesture. “You all just take charge and do it the way you reckon it should be done, little Kaylee.” She did. It was. Given Kaylee’s expertise and almost instinctual know-how, it would’ve been nearly two days ahead of the repair foreman’s original schedule, in fact, if not for certain...interruptions...which kept occurring in the engine room. And Kaylee’s bunk. And Simon’s. And one or three other places.

Every stroke of the brush was applied with elegance, precision and, most importantly, with love and the utmost care, not a single drop of paint out of place. That was only right and proper. Serenity deserved no less. She had been much abused in the last few days, asked to bear indignities and horrors no ship should ever have had to endure. The pitiful remains of the Haven settlers had been removed first, and buried decently. At least it had been worth their desecration. At least they’d found and revealed the truth. She made the final, loving stroke to the paint job she’d volunteered for, and caressed the hull. It was done; Serenity had her name back. Inara wasn’t the fanciful sort, but she almost felt as if the ship had sighed in relief. With a final pat to the hull plating, she lowered herself to the deck and walked up to the ramp, heading for the shower and feeling pleasantly tired. On the way, she met Kaylee coming down. There were times when Kaylee exhibited a curious talent: she could, on occasion, communicate with Inara without either woman saying a word. Indeed, Inara had often thought privately that someone with Kaylee’s optimism and love of life, to say nothing of her honest, healthy and uninhibited attitude to sex, would have made an outstanding Companion with the proper training. On seeing Kaylee’s satiated, almost manic grin, knowing beyond question what had caused it, Inara’s understanding smile asked: Was it worth the wait? As if she couldn’t guess... Kaylee’s answer: Oh, God, yes, yes, YES! Inara was pleased beyond measure that at least some immediate good had come out of the Miranda affair. It remained to be seen how the rest of the ’verse would cope. But in their tiny corner of it at least, there was still joy to be had, and she was grateful for it. Oddly, the next member of Serenity’s crew to find out directly (other than River, who already had as she’d been peeking at the time, naughty girl) was Jayne, of all people, and he did so on seeing Simon enter the kitchen area the next morning, followed a short time later by Kaylee. It wasn’t clear how he knew, but he did. He merely looked from one to the other, shook his head in wry, gruff amusement, and growled, “About ruttin’ time.” Simon looked nonplussed; Kaylee just giggled.
As for River, Kaylee proved herself a mature adult by the way she handled her little voyeuse (yes, she had noticed). She dropped into River’s room of an evening while Simon was busy treating Zoe for a mild infection she’d picked up somewhere, and explained gently that she hadn’t minded all that much, but Simon would doubtless be freaked out beyond all measure if he knew, and it’d taken her so long to get him to loosen up and make a move already, so could she please not do that again? River smiled wickedly and said, “It’s fun to freak him out.” Kaylee grinned back. “Yeah, I’ll give you that, he’s such an easy mark. But when it comes to, well, sex...?” “It was very interesting.” “Okay, that’s freaky. Honest, River, I’d really appreciate it...” “Okay. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.” Kaylee smiled her thanks, they hugged and that was that. Except for the occasional bit of teasing…
Serenity Somewhere between Persephone and Jiangyin Two days after departure

Mal’s day began as his day often did: badly. First the new port compression coil - which he’d had to have installed, been given no choice as Kaylee had managed to shock him by actually threatening to quit if he didn’t (“I ain’t rewirin’ the gorram grav thrust again, Cap’n!”) - started hiccupping; after all Kaylee’s complainin’ about the original one, this really was just too much. Luckily, Kaylee quickly found the problem: some bunger at Eavesdown had connected a two-phase DC electrical lead to a three-phase AC terminal and the poor much-maligned catalyser didn’t know whether it was comin’ or goin’. Her language on discovering this was quite educational to Mal, i.e. he learned just how extensive Kaylee’s cursing vocabulary was - once she’d finished sheepishly apologising for not discovering the mistake before they’d even lifted off from Persephone. To be fair, though, the lead in question was inside the catalyser proper, and the cumulative effects had had to build up before they became noticeable to Kaylee, and therefore the error was not immediately apparent. Then the proximity alarm sounded, which was impossible as there weren’t any ships in this sector. Except now there was one. An Alliance cruiser had apparently appeared out of nowhere. Mal’s bad day had just taken a severe downturn. “What the gorram hell - where in the tyen shiao duh did that spring from?” “Transport ship Serenity, this is the I.A.V. Dortmunder, Captain Lindayne deVries commanding. Heave to and open com channel. Serenity, do you read?” “There was nothing on scan, sir. Weird. Just sneaked up on us,” Zoe breathed, incredulous and not a little worried. “How the gorram hell does anythin’ that size just sneak up on us?! And what -” “Repeat: I.A.V. Dortmunder calling Serenity. Respond, please.” “Well, better find out what these bungers are about, I s’pose,” Mal grumped. He opened a broadwave channel. “I.A.V. Dortmunder, this is private transport Serenity, receiving you. What d’you want?” Then something struck him. “Did they just say please?” “They did, sir,” Zoe frowned. “Weirder still.” The screen showed a petite thirtyish woman in severe Alliance grey and blue, standing on the bridge of the Alliance cruiser now taking up far too much space off their port bow. She stood ramrod straight, her hands clasped behind her back. She was attractive, surprisingly pretty, and for some reason Mal actually found himself liking her on sight. A bit. “It’s very simple, Captain. We’d like to offer you a job.”


Tuesday, April 26, 2011 4:37 AM


Dammit, count your brackets! Sorry, part II!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 4:48 AM


And I've posted 'em both twice! Sorry, part III!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 8:19 AM


Interesting but longer chapters if you will please. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 9:01 AM


I echo nutluck, longer chapters please! I have to wonder if the Alliance ship has a cloaking device. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 7:11 PM


That's funny Amdobell i think I use to say the same thing to you too. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:05 AM


Um...this is a prologue, guys, not a chapter per se. :) The only reason it got posted in two parts is because I'm a prat and only cut and pasted the first page. I have no idea why I did that. Oh, wait, yes I do - see aforementioned 'prat' comment. :)


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The Hot Place, Act II
Our heroes are plunging towards Ezra, and meanwhile Inara & co. have a little trouble with police...

The Hot Place, Act I
Mal's taking Zoe, Jayne and Kaylee in Shuttle II to meet a paying passenger, despite Jayne's misgivings. Unfortunately, those misgivings prove to be well-founded, as Niska's skyplex is currently under attack by police (who aren't particularly good shots) and the passenger's ON the skyplex!

The Hot Place (teaser)
This one's in script format. Our Big Damn Heroes are in trouble again - Mal, Zoe, Jayne and Kaylee end up stranded on Ezra, with Kaylee hurt, and the others have NO idea where they are. During a battle to seize Niska’s skyplex, their shuttle is caught by a stray shot; the passenger they’d arranged to pick up neglected to mention a) the battle or b) that he was on the skyplex, the inconsiderate bunger. This takes place 3 weeks after “Unlikely Bedfellows”.

Unlikely Bedfellows, Chapter 2
It's here, as promised - a bit more background on Lindayne and her family, our Big Damn Heroes are off to Miranda...and the Hands of Blue are coming! In fact - they're he-eeeeere...!

Unlikely Bedfellows, Chapter 1
This is just to start the ball rolling, as our Big Damn Heroes encounter an Alliance officer with a conscience (c'mon, there'd have to be ONE) and the people of Haven may yet get a little justice.

Unlikely Bedfellows (Prologue)
I'm just posting the Prologue for the moment because if I don't post SOMETHING I'm gonna go outa my gorram mind! Anyway: it's just after the BDM, questions are being asked in Parliament, our Big Damn Heroes are coming up with new ways of makin' decent coin - and the Hands of Blue are on the move. Expect to see familiar faces, friends & enemies both!

Unlikely Bedfellows (Prologue, rest of)
Oops, I only posted one page of the Prologue. Here's the rest...

Unlikely Bedfellows (Prologue, rest of)
Oops, I only posted one page of the Prologue. Here's the rest...

Unlikely Bedfellows (Prologue)
I'm just posting the Prologue for the moment because if I don't post SOMETHING I'm gonna go outa my gorram mind! Anyway: it's just after the BDM, questions are being asked in Parliament, our Big Damn Heroes are coming up with new ways of makin' decent coin - and the Hands of Blue are on the move. Expect to see familiar faces, friends & enemies both!