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Cowboys & Alliance part 5 the final
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Post Serenity the BDM: So, Lenore has shown her true intent. Those gorram robots, none of them can be trusted. Maybe they should all be terminated, what do you think? Anyway, the final chapter of “ Cowboys & Alliance” follows below. I hope everyone who kept up with the 5 part mini-story enjoyed it. Browncoats are the best folk in the verse. Just my humble opinion…..thanks,BPZ


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1559    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

Cowboys & Alliance : part 5 -------- Here's How it Is --------

********************************************* Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of Serenity were in a fix. Not only were they being held at gunpoint, but now there was more than serious doubt about the trustworthiness of someone aboard his ship. That person, or machine it should be said, was none other than the she-bot Lenore.

“ So, what will it be captain? The Tams, or I take myself a bride for the afternoon? Hell, maybe all three of these lovelies will find excitement with me or one of my crew.” Holcombe spoke.

The captain of Serenity looked around. If he knew anything of Zoe and Kaylee, it was that they wouldn’t be taken without a fight. As for Lenore, well she held her own surprises.

“ I’m River Tam,” a soft voiced spoke aloud.

The entire group of folk outside the Firefly craft turned to view the woman sitting atop the horse.

“ What?” The Mammoth captain spoke.

“ I said that I’m River Tam.” Lenore said again, “ It’s me that you want. Let the rest go.”

Mitch Holcombe was in a bit of a confused state, as was everyone else.

“ So, you’re sayin that you’re River Tam the fugitive being harbored upon Serenity?”

“ Are you deaf? I’ve already said it twice.” The bot acted annoyed.

Holcombe was taken back, but continued with his questioning.

“ Where’s your brother?”

“ Dead. Killed by the Alliance during their last attempt to capture me.”

“Pix!” The Mammoth captain spoke to one of his crew. The man withdrew a small wanted poster from beneath his shirt.

“ There ain’t no picture, but says here in the description that the fugitive River Tam has dark hair, brown eyes and is quite dangerous.”

They all looked at Lenore seeing if the description matched the actual claim being made.

“ Let me have a go at her captain, I’ll knock some of the roughness off.” Buford said as he approached Lenore and rested a dirty hand upon her thigh.

With a quick backhand the she-bot sent the man flying ten feet backwards. The goon lay knocked out cold, laying in the deep red soil of Ezra. Holcombe smiled.

“ Good enough for me….”

“One condition sir!” Lenore spoke, “ You let the crews of Serenity and Night Hawk go, and Bart Benson also.”

“ Well seems to me love that you’re not in a position to be bargaining.” The commander said.

“ That could be right. But seeing that you’ll be turning me over to the feds soon, I can still cause a whole lot of trouble before we get there. Maybe even make you to kill me, and I might add, that the Alliance will be much more willing to pay a high price for a warm body over a cold one.”

Holcombe could see the logic in her statement. Something Mal had been getting all along.

“ I see. Well you could be right about that. My intentions were never to harm any members of these pirate crews anyway. We’re war chums after all,” Mitch Holcombe looked at the Serenity captain, “ fought for the same side.”

“Got it sir!” Came the words of someone standing on the loading ramp, “ the pulse beacon. Shouldn’t be much trouble installing it into the Night Hawk.”

“ Fine Tommy, get to fixin.” Mitch told his crewman. He looked over at captain Reynolds.

“ Wonder why I’m stealing your identity captain? Well it’s simple, two reasons, once I again contact the authority they’ll bounce a beacon off the ship to make sure she is who she says she is. And two, after we make contact and get the reward then every pirate and scavenger will be out to get us, well maybe I should say you. Your problems have only gotten worse Mr. Reynolds,” he paused to glance around.

“With a traitor onboard your ship and having to look over your shoulder in every port because folk think you have a ton of reward money, well it will suck to be you. By then myself and my crew will have no worries. We’ll have ditched the pulse beacon and be on Ariel, enjoying illuminesent lakes, pretty girls and sunsets twenty-four seven while drinking scotch and soda.” Holcombe smiled at the captain.

“ Captain, the deed is done sir!” Tommy called from the Night Hawk.

“ Good!” Captain Mitch Holcombe looked at the rest of his crew, “ Tie everybody up. Make ready to sail in ten!” He again looked at Malcolm Reynolds.

“ Tell captain Riley that, that rust bucket he calls a ship might be found on Jiangyin, at a local junk dealer‘s yard a few days from now. He may be even able to save her from being chopper to pieces if he’s fast enough,” Holcombe chocked up a little laugh. He looked over to Lenore.

“ Miss River, if you please love,” he gestured for the woman to dismount and follow his men into the Firefly transport the Night Hawk. He then pulled a hand held communicator from his pocket.

“ Tommy, get me a link up to the feds!” He quested of his crewman.

Mal followed Lenore with a frightful gaze as she walked past him. Her eyes never leaving his told a different story.

“ I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you, swear,” she spoke softy.

In about two minutes came the cracking static sound of a communication coming over the airwaves.

“ This is lieutenant Wickers of the Allied Vessel Burton Peak state your business.”

“ Yes lieutenant this is Malcolm Reynolds, we spoke last night about me and my crew aboard Serenity turning in River Tam for reward money. Well sir I’m here to say we’re set to deliver. Waiting for instructions”

“ Yes Mr. Reynolds, we have made arrangement for your reward. Set rendezvous coordinates for Delta-Fox 3-7-0, fifteen sectors off of Skyplex portside. Congratulations sir, you are a very lucky fellow. Wickers out.”

“ See captain Reynolds, as easy as pie,” Mitch told Mal.

All the while during Holcombe’s communication with the Burton Peak his men had been securing Serenity’s captain alongside the big mercenary Jayne. Both men had their hands tied above their heads, but their legs were left untied. There had been a small wooden crate placed before them scantly out of reach. The Mammoth captain then addressed his final words to them.

“ Survival of the fittest gents,” he said, then pulled a large knife from his belt and speared it’s tip straight into the top of the crate below, “first one to the weapon lives…..” he then turned and headed towards the Night Hawk.

********************************************

The thrusters of a Firefly transport could be heard in the distance as the spacecraft Night Hawk lifted into the air and headed into a beautiful blue early afternoon sky. Mal Reynolds and Jayne eyeballed the crate with the knife wondering how long it would take either one to reach it. Not that their intentions were dastardly, only purposeful. They watched as the ship hovered momentarily, then began it’s journey to the heavens. They witnessed as it became the size of a bird, then a pea, then suddenly a streak of lightning flashed across their view and they heard a thunderous “BOOM” as Mal saw the Night Hawk disintegrated into a hundred parts that streamed back down to the red earth of Ezra.

Mal couldn’t believe what he was watching. Thousands of flaming cinders made white, smoky streaks as they made their way through the fresh air of the planet back down to the ground below. Mal looked over to Jayne. The big merc was stunned, eyes rounder than billiard balls. Nether could speak, and there came questions out of Serenity’s cargo bay about what had happened.

“ The Night Hawks gone!” Mal called to his crew inside the vessel.

“ Gone!” Zoe questioned.

“ Yes, exploded!”

“WHAT!”

“ Looked like a missile or something,” Jayne said, “Blew it to bits!”

The crew of Serenity doubled their efforts to get loose. In time there came the sound of an approaching shuttlecraft. Inara’s ship landed and docked with Serenity. In a few minutes the companion was out freeing Mal and Jayne with questions that couldn’t all be answered.

“ Best we be off Ezra as quick as possible.” the captain said.

Zoe throttled Serenity up to full speed, and Kaylee made sure she had plenty of power. For an hour the crew of Serenity and the Night Hawk could said nothing, the old cowboy Bart Benson was stunned as well. The image of the flash in the sky so vibrant in Mal’s head. The captain knew that the only way the powers of government would stop hunting them was if it believed that they were dead. Lenore had provided that for them. Had she done it consciously, or was in unintentional? Either way it had cost her, her life, a mechanical existence thought it may have been. Still Malcolm couldn’t help but think that she knew what was coming.

After a time he called a meeting in the ship’s galley, as soon as he felt Serenity was safe.

“ We lost a crewmember today,” he began, “She may not have been on the ship for long but a lot of you had warmed up to her. I might not have been the most trusting when it came to Lenore’s motives, but it’s my duty as captain to make sure to ask the tuff questions. I have the ship, as well as my own and my crews safety to think about,” he looked over to James Riley.

“ Captain Riley, we’ll ferry you and your crew, as well as Bart Benson over to Jiangyin. Mitch Holcombe has cost you a spacecraft. My idea is that he owes you one, the Mammoth. My suggestion is that you were never here. The feds next move may be to eliminate witnesses to their act of barbarism. They couldn’t stop the telling of the secret of Miranda, but who’s to say there aren’t more things they’re wanting to hide…..and they’ll kill to do it. Watch your backs for a time. Well guess that’s all I have to say.” Mal concluded his speech.

When they were alone Inara came up to the captain.

“ Mal, just so you know…Lenore came to my shuttle after the bank heist. She told me to wait for a signal before returning to Serenity. She also gave us two saddlebags filled with money. They’re in my shuttle right now,” the companion informed him.

“ What was the signal?” He asked.

“ She said it would be a fireball in the sky…..”

END PART 5

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