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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Howdy coats…..I know this seems something of a hat-trick but it was all done in innocence. For a while I couldn’t post under my original site name zzetta13, so the name I use on another site was called up, Bruce Pluto. Now I think I found the problem, so the story arc will continue on under my old name. Hope you continue to stay aboard…..thanks, ZPB
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 535 RATING: SERIES: FIREFLY
Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell
Part - 4
Names, places & points of interest;
Malcolm Reynolds arose from a deep slumber. He sat up in his bunk, swung his legs over the edge, and planted his feet firmly on Serenity’s floor decking.
Man! I haven’t slept like that in a very long while, Shiny! he thought. Might do me some good from time to time to let Jayne take the responsibilities of provisioning the ship.
Mal had agreed to let the big mercenary slip into town to see his friend Bucky Tosskin the day before, while he had remain with Zoe, and the others had gone out to procure supplies. At any rate, it had actually turned out better than he had hoped. Although Simon, Kaylee and Inara had returned only with a bill of purchase to renew their water supply, Jayne had gotten back after dark with a deal to restock their stores and add a few extra medical supplies to the ship’s infirmary. The big mercenary hadn’t let it sip who he’d acquired the supplies from. That was still his secret. He would break down and tell the Captain at a later time.
It had really just been a matter of laziness on his part that Mal had let Jayne venture away from the ship the day before alone. The Captain knew the big merc could take care of himself, but, almost as a rule of thumb, he had members of his crew accompany one another in pairs, just in case. None of the others wanted to go with Jayne though, so he enter the town by himself.
Jayne had told Mal that the supplies were to arrive at Serenity around noon. The Captain reached over and retrieved his pocket watch from the nightstand built beside his bunk. He looked at the timepiece, it read 12:00 o’clock!
Mal sprang from his bed and zoomed over to the wash basin. The supplies were to arrive at any moment and he wanted to be down there to take inventory.
He splashed his face with a mild amount of water just to rinse the sleep from his eyes, then sat back down on his bunk to pull on his boots. It was then that he noticed the digital read-out of the time display on his cortex monitor screen blinking 10:00 am. Malcolm relaxed a bit.
He remembered he’d forgotten to change the hands on his pocket watch to reflect the new time on the moon of Minear 2. Thank goodness River had hit the TIME request synchronization button on Serenity’s bridge control panel so that it acquired the local time of the world that they were now visiting.
Time in space was relative, but time on each planet ran on it’s own schedule. It usually depended on the size, rotation speed, and method of calculation used by the governing body of the world as to what time of day it was. Some worlds had a 18 hour rotation cycle (9 hour day), some had 20,22,24,25 and 30 hour cycles. A full day could be fifteen hours in some places(30 hour complete rotation), so the old expression, “A long day at work” could actually mean someone had spent an excruciating day slaving away for their boss, pun intended.
One could automatically set the ship’s controls to read the beacon being broadcast by the plant, and therefore not be bothered to correct for it, or it could be set to “ignore”. Serenity was programmed that way. The transport vessel sometimes made landings on three or four worlds in a short period of time, so Mal just ran on space-time mostly. He would have his pilot send a request for local time on each new world in which they were going to land if there was going to be an extended visit. Then the surface signal would be allowed to auto-adjust his ship’s clocks. River was usually good at remembering to do this.
So, it was actually 10:05am now. He had time to fetch something from the galley, check on his crew, mainly Zoe, and prepare for the supplies to arrive. Life was good!
Mal fetched a couple biscuits from the kitchen, but found no one else there. He had noticed the Jayne’s bunk was occupied so he figured the big man had decided to sleep in. Inara was in her shuttle also, with the door closed, he wouldn’t disturb her. River, he was sure was likely on the bridge, filling her head with all kinds of information she could find on the cortex. That girl was a walking encyclopedia. The Doc had likely fetched Zoe for an early morning visit to the infirmary.
Zoe hated all the extra attention that was being bestowed upon her. She hated being in the spotlight, she wasn’t used to it. She wouldn’t even go see Simon if he didn’t guilt her into morning check-ups by saying “ Ok Zoe, you have to remain healthy for two people now!”
The Doc also knew that Mal’s old browncoat Corporal could not only give orders, she understood how to take them as well. Yet, he didn’t order her to the infirmary for morning examinations. He requested, and she complied.
Mal wasn’t sure where Kaylee was. With breakfast in hand he wandered down to the cargo bay. The loading ramp was down, so someone had gotten up early to lower it. Serenity’s Captain didn’t leave the ship open at night. There was no need to. One time they had left the loading ramp down on some lonely planet on the outskirts of a little township and got up in the morning to find possums had become part of the crew. There was even a possum sitting in the co-pilots chair next to Wash as he took in some ZZZZs. That had been funny. Zoe had taken a capture of her husband, his mouth half open with a critter grinning at him not three feet away.
Mal thought about those happy times, but then he saw Kaylee coming up the ramp, and she wasn’t her cheerful, shiny, self. She held a yellow slip of paper in her hand and there was a bit of concern upon her face. Her brow was wrinkled.
“Captain, we’ve been Carded!” she spoke waving the yellow document around. “ The town police are here and we’re being Land-Locked until they clear us of a crime that’s been committed in town!”
“ What tha Go tsao de Gui (dog humping hell)! ” Mal stated. He tossed the rest of his biscuit down the disposal chute in the cargo hold and accompanied Kaylee back down the loading ramp to seek out the law authority of Gladys City.
He found a man facing away from him. He was about as tall as Mal himself, sporting a weathered duster standing on the dirt landing grid some fifteen feet away.
The man turned away from someone he was speaking with to face Mal.
“Sheriff Bargo!” The man spoke, “Law Authority over Gladys City!”
“Sheriff Bargo,” Mal continued, “I’d like to know what’s going on this morning?” Mal paused a second, diplomacy was likely his best course of action at this point. “ I mean, I like your town, it’s very quaint. I don’t know how it got missed on the “Sights of the Galaxy” vacation tour guide back on Persephone, but it seems that once I get supplied, I’ll be needing to take off to look for work, why the restraining order?”
The Sheriff viewed Mal. He looked down at a chart he had in his hand.
“Well I’ll explain it to you Mr., …….Reynolds! There’s been a murder in town. Something Gladys City hasn’t experienced in quiet some time now. So all citizens and interested parties are hereby subject to questioning until we can figure out what happened, or they are cleared. Whichever happens first. Questioning of you and your crew will begin around two o’clock at town hall. Are there any questions as to that?”
The situation looked to be void of any ifs, ands or buts.
“I can assure you sir, that none of my crew were involved. We are a peaceful lot. Members of the Triumph Temple off Heinlein. Studied under the teaching of Elder Gommen. So, you see that it couldn’t be any one of my people that would do such a thing to one of your townsfolk!”
Since diplomacy didn’t seemed to be the solution, maybe a bit of bald-face lying could get him out.
“Well, funny you should bring up Triumph,” the man spoke, “ seems we had a woman arrive here from that Temple some time back, named Gladys (Saffron). Said it made her feel important thinking that a town had her very name, like it was made just for her. Anyway, she married one of the local mining execs and took him for everything he was worth. So you see, deceit about your religious conviction, instead of helping you out, has put a slant on you Captain,” he leaned in closer to Mal, “you’ve just dug more of a hole for yourself. You’ll remain here until you are cleared. If you run, then your guilt will be that much more evident. Sorry about the inconvenience, but I have a murder to solve,” he looked at Mal’s face, studying his eyes, “By the way, it wasn’t a Gladys City resident that was murdered. It was a crewmember from the ship you’re sharing dock space with, the Carpathia!”
Malcolm Reynolds was zoinked! He hadn’t figure his plan would backfire so quickly. He turned to see his ship being rigged for “Land-Lock”.
Now on many planets, being “Land-Locked” meant applying magnetic current to metal beams laid under the landing pad foundation. They were then energized forming a magnetic lock-down on the ship, or it could mean the disruption of the atmo above any ship with thruster, so that they couldn’t be used to boost the ship off the ground. Yet, in Gladys City, neither method was applied. They did it the old fashioned way.
Mal watched as heavy, iron shackles were connected to Serenity’s undercarriage, and those heavy shackles were connected to heavy chains, and those heavy chains were attached to thick iron rings securely fastened to the ground. Serenity wasn’t going anywhere. Mal knew it.
A man approach Sheriff Bargo, Deputy Lightfoot…..
“Sheriff, I’ve got some information for you!”
The Sheriff looked at his Deputy,
“Yes, go on.”
“I’m afraid that, that crazy fool Bucky Tosskin has gone missing sir. Don’t look good as far as the investigation is going! A visit by a search party to his house has turned up no sign of the man. His farm was searched too, seems he’s disappeared.”
“Now don’t go getting all paranoid there Deputy,” Bargo ordered his man to remain calm, not to jump to conclusions about anything. Was Tosskin a killer, or a victim himself? Only a continued, thorough investigation would uncover the truth.
“Have Blakely saddle me up a horse. I want to go over to the Tosskin ranch myself.”
Malcolm Reynolds returned to the belly of his ship. He wasn’t sure which members of his crew were still asleep, but he knew some who were awake, and in the ship’s infirmary. Maybe they had talked to some townfolk before he’d gotten up? He did find Zoe and Simon, but he was also surprised to find someone else.
There, laying on the med table was a young girl, maybe in her early twenties.
“ Hello, I’m Candice Naples,” she spoke to Mal as he entered the doctor’s room.
“Mal,….” Simon said, “guess there isn’t a need for a big introduction, but this is Jayne’s friend’s niece. He dropped her off early this morning and asked that I take a look at her. She was in a shuttle crash about a month ago and with no real medical person here in town, he asked if I could take a look at her. He’ll be back as soon as he tends his animals.”
The Captain took in all that information and absorbed it quickly.
“Well, take your time Doc. It isn’t as if we’ll be able to leave in a hurry,” he looked over at the girl. “How you doin Miss?”
“Fine sir, thank you,” she said laying there.
“With the exception of a bump on the head, that’s taking a little time to heal, I’d say she’s in excellent health,” the Doc reported.
“Good! You just sit tight there darlin, and let Doc Simon do his thing,” Mal said. “Oh, there’s biscuits in the galley once the doc finishes his exam, if you care to partake?”
Mal left to head to Serenity’s bridge. He wanted to see if River had come across any wave info entering or leaving Gladys City.
“You’ll never get away with this!” Bucky hollered as the man driving his buckboard was taking him to some extremely remote location.
“Oh. I think I will!” Dehn voiced, never turning his head to look back at the passenger he had tied up there.
“See Mr. Tosskin, I know a lot about you, and your niece. It’s only a matter of time as to when you’ll tell me of her whereabouts. Once I get that info I’ll set you free and return the girl to you unharmed. This isn’t about you or her, it’s about someone she knows back in the core. I get that information and you‘ll both be set loose!”
That last part was a lie that Graham Dehn had made up. This did concern both of them. Graham had studied his options the night before, and had decided to link Tosskin to the murder of Clive Hinds. It was known around town that the fellow was crazy anyway. And a story that he’d killed the man and robbed him then killed his niece after she’d found out what he’d done didn’t seem so far fetched. Then, after a brief period of loathing he’d killed himself. This would leave the whole ordeal in a nice, neat, believable package for the local authorities to figure out. That is, after he’d eliminated Carson Maxwell.
The details on how to take out the crew of Serenity were still in the works. Yet, given time, he was confident that he could complete the mission with gold stars!
Dehn cracked a little smile as he goaded the beast pulling the wagon to go faster.
End Part 4
Thursday, December 22, 2011 10:58 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:31 AM
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