Cargo: Chapter 1
Sunday, October 9, 2005

The crew picks up a little more than they baragained for. First try. First Chapter. More to come. Be nice.


River had that weird feeling again. The feeling she always got when something was... weird. She never really knew what was about to happen, but she knew it was not going to be normal. Then Mal came in. “Anyone seen my left boot?” he asked to everyone one in the kitchen, which at the time consisted of himself and River. “I am serious people, this is my boot. I have kicked many a sad lily with it and I’d be wantin to have it back.” River just stared. She knew were it was. Jayne was using it to hold his new gun. “Jayne...” she whispered. “What?” Mal said, confused. “Jayne took it. You might want to get it back before his gun misfi-” Suddenly, there was a loud bang. “Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean-jan...” River went back to staring. While that *was* weird, there was still something else. Something...bigger. “Capn!” she heard Kaylee screech. This was it. Or the beginning at least. “Capn! One of my personal items got caught in Serenity’s flush valve!” Mal popped his head into the kitchen area again. Then he walked in wearing what was left of his boot. “What was that Kaylee?” he asked, looking disgruntled. Jayne then followed him in. “Honest Mal, I didn’t think you’d miss it at all. Just wanted a new gun stand, and yer boot seemed ter fit. Dint know tha the ammo would do THAT!” Mal gave him a look from hell and turned back to Kaylee. “What was that you was sayin?” He asked. Kaylee blushed slightly. “We may have to land here sooner than we thought Capn” she said. “One of my personal items got caught in Serenity’s flush valve and it has some things going awack.” She looked down at her feet. “What exactly was this personal item Kaylee?” Mal asked, a look on his face seemed to show both amusement and fear. Kaylee went up and whispered in his ear. River blinked. “And this is messun us up how?” Mal had a hint in his voice that said ‘do I wanna know?’ “Well, er... the batteries have somehow rigged a magnet,” Kaylee explained. “It is causing all kinds a ruccuss on the turbine.” “Kaylee, we will be landing on Buoleban in a little bit. Just hold her together till then,” Mal explained. Kaylee blushed a deeper scarlet. “And, also, sir” she stuttered. “Uh, I kinda want a knew one.” Mal seemed to faint without falling. River turned her head. “You could borrow mine,” she said. “Borrow what?” Simon asked as he entered the room. Mal seemed to descend into a special hell. “Goodbye,” he said upbruptly, and walked out of the kitchen. Kaylee blushed into another color spectrum at the sight of Simon, and preceded to follow the captain to the bridge. Simon looked confused. “Am I really that bad?” he asked his younger sister. She continued to stare at him.

Serenity entered atmo on Buoleban three hours later. The landing, a little less than perfect on River’s part, caused more dust to fly up than normal. Actually, it was so amazingly bad that the ground crew failed to find the ship at first. When Mal questioned River on this, she explained that at about 2000 feet, Kaylee asked how much she used it. Mal, sensing that further questions would lead to... not good things, gladly started to argue with Jayne on appropriate firearms. “For God’s sake Jayne,” Mal said, rubbing his forehead. “We are not even doing anything illegal! All we need to do is pick up a special delivery for a damn funeral home! The cargo will be fake flowers and *maybe* the ever dangerous live bouquet`!” “I aint takin’ nothing too heavy,” Jayne countered. “Just if we get into a small scuffle or sumthing.” Mal took larger of six weapons from Jayne and read aloud. “Caution: The PSF 4 emits flaming explosives and harmful gasses. Only use in dire situations. Not useful against personnel.” Mal gave Jayne a skeptical look. “I am not even sure if this planet has a gorram baby carriage on it, let alone a tank!” Jayne looked down at his other weapons, and preceded to drop four, leaving a handgun and a rather ominous looking rifle. “What's that?” Mal asked, pointing at the two foot long porcupine of a gun. “Dunno. Guy said it ‘ill do sum thin cool, so i bought it. Still can’t find the damn trigger...” Mal looked at Jayne, still mad about his boot. By now Zoë had gotten the mule ready, and was looking impatient. Mal and Jayne walked down. They all piled in and zoomed off. River saw them leave, and knew they would be bringing back more than they thought they would. They always did.

The town was barely alive. One or two folk walked the street, but all others were inside. This was a town of paranoid victims, the few that lived through Reaver, Independence, and Alliance attacks. Whenever they saw a ship coming, they locked the doors and went into the expensive and highly fortified safe rooms that they made their homes for the next two days. Especially since the event that took place two days ago. The headlines on all the newspapers read something like “Unidentified meteor crashes into valley, residents scared.” As the crew hovered into the town, everyone else hovered out. They parked their beloved hovercraft outside the designated store and went in. Inside was even more depressing than the black of space. This is because it was blacker than nothin, and it had the creepy old clerk smoking a black cigar, while dressed in black. Mal regretted not bringing a flashlight. “Hello, fine sir,” he spoke to the man at the desk. “We are here to pick up a delivery for Stomak. Are you the one that is to give us these, fine products?” The man stared blankly at Mal. He was eerily reminded of River. A very old, male, River. “Yess,” The man replied, extending the word. “You will be the ones. Let me fetch the items you will be transporting.” He disappeared into a room that they had not seen. He came out with a key. “Well, I am not sure we have that cargo capacity on our ship,” Mal shined, trying to ease the tension between the living and the wannabe dead. “Sarcasm is a sign of ignorance, sir. I am not so easily amused. ‘Probably not amused by much’, Mal thought as he took the key. The clerk from hell pointed them around back and went back to smoking his charcoal. They were all very happy to leave. Jayne loaded up the bits and moved out of the town, hoping never to hear the name Buoleban in a job discussion again. They did not notice the extra amount of weight added to their craft.

The crew got back to the ship a little later than they had expected. The mule just seemed to go slower than normal. The first thing Zoë did when they got back was give it a good look down to see how everything was. It seemed to check out though. Besides the cargo, everything was normal. They hoisted it back up into the storage area and started to secure the cargo. River was the only one that noticed dusty footprints that didn’t seem to match any of the crew. She started to follow them. As she rounded the corner, she caught sight of a shadow. It was about her height, but much more masculine. It seemed to notice her, and disappeared. She ran up to the tell tale spot, but she found nothing. She looked up. Just the ceiling. Now she was worried. She scanned the area with her mind, but still nothing. Something wasn’t right. Then she heard Simon calling for her. With one last glance, she left.

Takeoff wasn’t nearly as bumpy. This could be because Mal banned Kaylee from the bridge. River’s mind was still wondering on the shadow. If it was a human, why couldn’t she read it’s mind. If it wasn’t, what the hell was going to happen. After they had cleared atmo, River set the coordinates for the drop-off planet and walked back down to the kitchen. She went to grab her food box full of gourmet’ sweets, but found it was empty. Impossible. She had asked to captain to pick up a refill, and even if he forgot, there were still supposed to be 4 more inside. Now she knew something was up. The only person who liked them besides her was Jayne, and he was too stupid to figure out the combination to the lock (or too smart, who knows). Her mind went back to the shadow. Then she felt a brush of air. She turned around and saw a boy, about her age, dining on her beloved snack foods. He his hair was dirty and matted. She couldn’t really tell what color it was. He looked up, waved, and went back to the nearly impossible job of opening the package. River almost couldn’t believe it- almost. She lunged out to strike his throat, but without even looking up, he countered her attack. She stood, shocked. He looked up again, winked, and went back to the almost open package. “What are you doing here?” River broke the silence. The boy looked up yet a third time. “Aren’t you the smart one?” He asked, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “I thought it would even be easy to figure out for a monkey, let alone you.” His smirk widened. River tried to penetrate his mind. With fear, she realized she couldn’t. Could she be losing her gift? “It should be obvious to you that I am trying to open this candy wrapper. The damn thing is like a condom. Once you get it open it is too late...” River, who was still in her lunging position, was now feeling more awkward than scared. She quickly stood up straight again. “Who are you?” she asked. The boy, seeming to get tired of looking up, responded. “I am that which you only know not.” She looked at him and tried to logic this out. “Simon's coming,” he then said. She looked over to the entrance of the kitchen, and sure enough, Simon walked in. “Simon!” River yelled. She ran up to him and looked back to tell him about the visitor that was devastating her candy supply, but he was gone. He left but one sweet on the table. “What's wrong?” Simon asked. River looked at him. Then she looked back at the table. “Nothing, I guess.” Simon looked worried. “That is the first time I have heard you say ‘guess’ in a long while. Are you sure your ok?” She looked up at her big brother. His eyes had concern in them. Then, to her relief, she heard him think. She didn’t normally let Simon’s thoughts enter her mid, but it was a relief to know she could still read. She, unfortunately, heard a memory of last night. She thought she heard Simon moaning. “You have been a bad boy,” she said with a smile, and walked out. Simon blinked.


Monday, October 10, 2005 2:06 AM


Oh this is good and I am all full of curiosity about the boy who can block his thoughts from River yet seems so very like her. Is this how River would have ended up if Simon hadn't broken her out of *that place*? And Jayne shooting off the end of Mal's boot? That man has to have a death wish. The only bit that didn't seem likely was Jayne not knowing what type of gun he bought or where the trigger was. Nope, that is so not Jayne. Everything else though was gorram perfect. Well done! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 12:36 PM


love this, yeh, what *have* Simon been up to? lol. And *man* the "personal item" thing with Kaylee... HILLARIOUS!


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