One to Many chap 7 final episode
Thursday, October 13, 2011

the conclusion --Roston Riley/..Wonka/..Chop sticks/.. &/Jayne gets kinky……. Reference: MIB & suits = captors and holders of the Serenity crew…


One To Many- chap 7 ------ Birds of a Feather ------ ________________________________________________________________________

Jayne Cobb relaxed his grip on the finely tailored clothing of the suit he had pinned against the wall.

“ So, lets say that we were to make this deal. I’d want the money up front. None of this, it’s on my other shuttle crap! Hard currency right here in my palm before I depart, that‘s the condition I‘m lookin for!”

“Yes, your point is quite taken Mr. Cobb!” the MIB said.

Jayne was a little surprised that this fella knew his name. It gave him an uneasiness. The MIB then looked over towards the shuttle’s console controls, “ See that box……”

Jayne followed his gaze. There was a small wooden crate about the size of a shoebox underneath the control center.

“ ….inside are six gold bars, each worth the lives of one hundred ore miners in Paradiso. Surely one bar is worth the two captives that remain in the lockup. All six bars are yours…..I’ll return you to Minear2, and you can be dropped off at any location of your choice as long as you release me, the shuttle, and your former employer so that I can complete my mission.”

Jayne didn’t look to be totally sold on the idea the suit seemed to be pulling out of his *piqu*. There was too much room for betrayal. The man saw in his eyes that the big merc was hesitant, not totally onboard with his plan. Maybe he could harden him up a bit, set him against the others.

“ Look Mr. Cobb! It isn’t you that they’re after, it’s the others that they really want. It’s understood that you were just along for the ride. You’ve always been considered an outsider by them anyway.”

Thinking about this, Jayne did consider it to be somewhat true. Mal, Zoe, Wash, Simon and Inara, at moments, did make him feel like he were a second rate citizen.

He motioned for the man to follow him over to the shuttle controls. When they reach the console, Jayne was wanting to get a look inside that box, yet he realized that a clever captor may have a weapon staged inside, and by deception, be looking to get the edge if he were asked to retrieve the container. Maybe that was what this fella wanted him to do, ask him to get the box.

Without taking his eyes off of the MIB, the big mercenary knelt down and recovered the box himself. He tipped it over and out banged six sparkling bars of gold. The suit had been speaking the truth. Jayne was mesmerized by the sight. The flickering light gleamed off the bars of shinny loveliness. It almost put him into a trance. However, he also knew that going through with the deal meant, that he‘d have to become a sell-out, like on Ariel.

An image flashed through his head if his betrayal of the captain turned south again. Him, lying in the desert, stark naked, staked out with Wonka chocolate covering his entire body, waiting for the buzzards.

Now, Wonka chocolate covering his naked body might not be a bad idea, if he were laying on a bed back in a Persephone brothel. But the other thought sent a fearful chill running down his spine.

“ I could just end you, take this and free the others, then we could be on our merry way.”

The man looked at him.

“True, you could, but then you’d have to share, and you’d never see the others of your crew again, like Kaylee. I can tell you where they are.”

My God! This fellow knew more about him than some of the folk he’d spent time out in the black with. How could the suit know about his school-boyish crush on the Serenity mechanic? Sure, he went on the cortex sometimes, visiting those dating sites. He may have even typed in a description of “Kaylee” in the “Your Fantasy” search box, but that was all.

Jayne didn’t like playing games, at least when he couldn’t stack the deck….. and furthermore he didn’t like where this was headed. His eyebrows narrowed.

“ No deal!”

He hadn’t really considered going through with this plan from the very start anyway. The crew of Serenity may at times be a pain in his ass, but they were HIS pain in the ass, and he meant not to turn on Mal again.

He did, though, like hearing all the options that were available. Just like when Mal had explained to him when they’d first met that he could have his own bunk, one with kitchen, and more than his standard cut of pay.

At that moment a buzzer on the console panel alerted them that a cortex message was coming in. They each looked at the red flashing button.

******************************************** Malcolm and Zoe had remained patient waiting on Jayne’s return, but that patience was growing thin. Why was it taking so long for him to return? Was he making a deal with the Fed? Mal knew that if that be the case, then it would be time for Jayne to be taken off the boat, one way or another, if they got outta this mess.

Suddenly the door opened and there stood the MIB, alone, and smiling.

“ Accompany me please, the two of you.”

There was no gun, no weapon, and no anything that showed that they were being escorted to the main compartment of the shuttle under guard. They were baffled and bewildered. Their mouths hung open as they were led to the ship’s central galley.

“Sit please, I have a confession to make,” the suit pointed to the chairs around a table. Jayne was already there eating a bowl of rice and cherries. He looked up just long enough to see the others.

“ Oh hey Mal! You gotta try this!”

The captain and his second just looked at one another. They seated themselves without saying a word. The MIB remained standing. He unshackled their wrists.

“ So, we happy?” he asked leaning forward putting his knuckles upon the table.

“ What’s this about?” Mal finally spoke.

“ It’s about your freedom captain,” he viewed them, “ and yours Zoe,” his gaze came upon the Serenity lieutenant. There was a little expression of a grin on his lips, one that hinted at the pleasure of a successful hoodwinking.

“ You were never really in any danger, well at least not from me, but I still can’t tell you everything. You’re on a need to know basis, and right now you don’t need to know, well at least all the details. It’s simple as that.” His gaze became more intent, then he started again….

“ First of all, I’m not who you think I am. That being said…… Captain,” he paused and looked directly at Mal, “ you have put your team at risk.”

Mal was about to deny this when the man continued.

“ Yes, you found a little, black codebook in the belongings of the Shepherd after he left Serenity. Well let me just say that that was done in innocence, yet on purpose. Book meant for you to find it, but he did not mean for you to use it in every proceeding bank heist afterwards. He only meant for it to give you an edge,” he stopped, then with a stern look, viewed Mal, “ you attempted to use it once too often sir! The Alliance became aware that their secrets were being used against them. They set a trap on Minear2. A trap you bought hook, line and sinker. We had to come bale you out. If it weren’t for me and my partner you’d be toast right now.”

The MIB then went on further to explain details about what had happened, and afterwards was gracious enough to prepare a meal for the two who had yet to eat.

He then took Mal aside.

“ Captain Reynolds, there is a movement going on. An underground source of accounts. The fight for independence is not over, merely delayed. You aren’t privileged enough to know more of the details. Truth is, I barely know what’s going on myself. Trust Mal….. do you remember the Rosenbergs?”

Mal nodded that he did not. The MIB continued.

“ They were a couple of individuals working for a government back on “Earth that Was”. They seemed content doing their duty and going about their daily lives, but the fact was that they were spies working for a competing faction. They were turncoats, Captain, for profit. Not that I’m accusing you or your folk of any such, it’s just that we have to remain hidden, we can’t afford to be sniffed out. There is more going on behind the scenes than I can’t tell you, and trust is a hard thing to come by, even for folk who fought on the same side. I have to let it go there Mal, and hope you understand. My mission was to rescue you and your crew, but other details about the underground movement will have to remain secret. I think you can be trusted with what I’ve said so far, and I’ve already tested Jayne’s loyalty.”

Mal looked at the suit.

“ He passed,” the MIB spoke with a smile, “ he turned away from giving you up for profit, he can be trusted.”

Mal was happy with that answer.

“ We are in competition sir, you and I,” the man continued, “ we have detailed crews around the verse robbing and pillaging to replenish our money stores, and like yourselves, they don’t kill people if it isn‘t necessary. It’s all about the gaining money, control, influence,” he paused debating whether to say more.

“ It will cost much to mount another attempt at freedom, it will take coin, tons of it. More than can be imagined by you or I. Money that was stolen from us at the end of the war. We want it back. You are looting cash that could be used to fill our coffers, but we understand that in actuality, this is helping. Folk like you, Badger and Niska are keeping the Feds off our trail. You tie up resources that could be used against us, therefore you are providing a service. Now since this was to be your last operation before leaving this quadrant, I feel obligated to help you with your success. There is a box on the table with six gold bricks . Payment that would have actually been achieved had your robbery in Watsonville been a success.”

He glanced at the table where he noticed Jayne was still eating, then he returned his attention to Mal.

“ It’s yours, take it, and as they used to say on “Earth that Was” in reruns of the old western TV shows, Get outta town. The Rune Logan, with the true MIBs IS enroot to Minear2 right now. They won’t be happy finding out they’ve been duped. As the plan sits, we’ve been alerted by my partner that it’s time to rendezvous our forces back on Serenity. You will return to your ship, with your crew. My advice is to lay low, and guard your cargo, and I don’t mean any loot you may have hidden in your hold. I mean the girl. She is important to the government and military brass more than you know. We should be making the hook-up with Serenity in about forty minutes,” he finished.

Mal nodded that he understood. It had been a long time since he let someone talk to him for so long a period without putting in a word edgewise.

The suit then went to the galley countertop, fixed himself a bowl of rice with other assortments of protein and joined Jayne at the table. With both hands resting on it’s smooth surface, he looked over at the big brut.

“You have something of mine.”

Jayne looked confused, the man continued.

“ In your pocket. You took it off me when you had we pinned against the wall.”

The mercenary then realized what the suit was referring to. He pulled the metallic cylinder from his pocket and returned it to it‘s owner. The man gathered it, then holding the metallic tube before him, pressed a button on top. Two metal implements extended from either side. The man smiled, showing a full set of nice teeth. He then extended his opposite hand and removed the narrow metal implements from each end.

“Chop stick?” Jayne asked surprised.

“ Yes, custom made. I had these babies machined in a fab shop out on Beaumonde. Best coin I ever spent,” he spoke, then commenced to eating his bowl of rice.

********************************************** Some moments later the shuttle which carried Zoe, Jayne and Mal made rendezvous with Serenity. It was certainly good seeing her again, and to feel the artificial gravity tugging at his boots, Mal thought. If she were a woman, he could have kissed her square on the lips, no worries about being poisoned or drugged. He trusted his boat more’n any other thing, material or living.

“ Where are the others?” Mal asked the MIB.

“ Ain’t made it yet. They were on the other side of the planet. The fear of having both of us staged in the same area is too much worry, it’s not how we operate. If one gets nabbed by the Feds there is chance of rescue by the other. They should be arriving shortly,” he informed Serenity’s commander.

Mal made his way up to the bridge to check out the controls and see how well the suits had treated his baby. When he arrived, he was shocked out of his socks, for there in the pilot’s seat was none other that Corporal Meadows.

“ Hello captain!” she greeted him, “ glad to have you back onboard your ship.”

“ Melanie Meadows works for us, Malcolm,” the MIB told the commander as he entered the bridge. “ She’s a plant, and has infiltrated the Alliance military and serves as an informant on their movements in this quadrant. We have spies just as they do.”

“Sorry for having to gas you back in Watsonville Captain, but you didn’t leave me much choice. Serenity and the rest of your team were still on the loose. We had to make sure that we had all of you before completing the mission, and that meant keeping you there. Not wandering around the desert somewhere,” she apologized to Mal for a second time.

Zoe and Jayne had come up to the bridge by then and were also stunned. It had to be explained to them as well.

Within ten minutes the other shuttle arrived and there was merriment just as if it were Christmastime. This had worked out good, well except for the few extra gray hairs Mal had maybe gained upon his head. Anyway, everything had worked out……well, for most of the folk who had started this endeavor.

******************************************* Lieutenant Roston Riley walked through the heat of a blistering Minear2 desert. The soles of his feet seemed as if they would catch fire if he didn’t find any shade soon. He, along with private Larry Singleton, had been dropped off in a lonely part of the world by the MIB he thought was supposed to be there to help with the Firefly prisoners they’d taken. Now it was that they’d been let out in the desert, miles from Fort Oliver and apart from the other two soldiers under his command.

Corporal Raymond Clay, and private Wallace Forest had been dropped off in the same area several miles away from the lieutenant. Each group of men had been given a days ration of water and part of a communication radio. Lieutenant Riley and Singleton had the actual radio, while Clay and Forest had the battery cell. Neither was worth the ruttin material it was made of without the other. They were given a compass and told of the other crews whereabouts.

“ Best you link up with the corporal and contact the authorities at Fort Oliver before you die from exposure out here in this God forsaken nothingness,” the MIB had told him.

This is what lieutenant Riley and his team had done. He wonder what had happened to Sergeant Meadows, but considered her fate may be worst than theirs.

The crew and the Lieutenant was retrieved by the command of the Rune Logan at Fort Oliver, and it was then that they found that the opportunity had been squandered. They were separated and put under individual interrogation by another set of men wearing blue gloves. These folk were different than the others had been, less human, more plastic in appearance. Riley thought that he could have reported to each of them that their mothers had been eaten by a luminescent shark on Ariel, and it would have change nothing about their emotional demeanor.

After the interrogation, which he thought had gone well, his team was escorted into a private chamber together. The men felt that they would be debriefed, then returned to their port of harbor. It felt a little odd being debriefed so far down in the belly of the Rune Logan, but who were they to understand the working of the secret agencies of the government.

A man entered, one of the men who’d been part of the interrogations. He pulled a metallic cylinder from his top pocket and asked that they all gather around.

“ Hey, sergeant Meadows has a set of chopstick just like that!” Singleton exclaimed.

From outside the belly of the Rune Logan, the craft seemed to drift along as merrily as a ship on a pleasure cruise. No one could hear the event happening inside the Alliance vessel. Screams can’t be heard out in the vacuum of space.



Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:13 AM


Good story, and a nice twist. I KNEW those suit guys were just too nice to be the real Hands of Blue. I loved Jayne being Jayne in the first scene. Favorite bits: "None of this, it’s on my other shuttle crap! " and "The crew of Serenity may at times be a pain in his ass, but they were HIS pain in the ass". This line made me laugh: "Mal nodded that he understood. It had been a long time since he let someone talk to him for so long a period without putting in a word edgewise." And the suit guy's cylinder being a pair of chopsticks? Loved it! Thanks for a good read.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:29 PM


Thank you ebfiddler. I’m looking forward to more “One Man’s Trash”.



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