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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
This is the introduction to Soul, and begins the path that leads to the teaser. As it turns out, the events of the BDM have enraged a few people, and Soul is apparently the man to put everything back in order...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1996 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Ankara Penal Colony, Helios Asteroid Field
His eyes opened very slowly, since they hadn’t been opened for quite a few years. His movements were slow, uncoordinated, but that was to be expected. Being frozen in a Cryogenic prison for four years did that to a man. Of course, Soul didn’t know how long he’d been frozen for, only that his body was telling I him that it had been a really ruttin’ long time. His body shivered involuntarily, despite the warming blanket on him and the heated air being pumped into the room. The tubes running into his arms were pumping a warm saline solution into his veins, trying to slowly warm up his body. His brain was a big, confused mess, trying to sort all the signals being sent by his warming body.
After nearly an hour, the tubes stopped pumping and a small machine retracted them from the various points on his body. The air continued to circulate in the room, and the heating blanket was still warm. Soul lay there for a few more minutes as his brain finally stopped swimming. The last thing he remembered was being led from the small tribunal and laid on a cold steel table, and the feel of the needle as it slid into his arm, and-
He shot upright, and instantly regretted it. His muscles were still recovering from the Cryo, and the movement sent bolts of pain through his back. He gritted his teeth until the pain subsided, and then looked around the small nondescript room. There was a door set in the far wall, and a Cortex panel to his left, but other than that and the medical equipment, the room was empty. He moved his limbs experimentally, and after ensuring that they all worked fine, he swung his legs off of the table and stood, shakily. The floor was carpeted, so his bare feet stayed a bit warm, but he wasn’t wearing a lick of clothing, and he was still freezing, despite the warm air being circulated. He grabbed the warming blanket and swung it over his shoulders.
That’s a little better.
He walked over to the door, but there were no controls and no handle. He pushed on the door, tried to slide it, but it wouldn’t budge. He walked over to the Cortex panel and pushed a couple of the buttons around the edge of the screen, and to his surprise, the screen lit up and smiled at him. Or, at least, the face of the man on the screen smiled at him. A face that Soul recognized more than he cared to admit.
“Son of a bitch…”
“Did you sleep well?” Damon Talos asked sarcastically around the black goatee that was apparently still a part of his “look”.
If he had been in the same room as Talos, Soul would have punched the bigger man for that comment. Instead, he just didn’t answer the question.
“How long?” he asked simply. That was all he wanted to know at the moment.
Talos shook his head and chuckled. “Where is your sense of humor, my friend? Has the cold sucked it all out of you?”
Soul stared at the screen. “How long?” he repeated.
The big man sighed. “You were always worried about time passing you by, weren’t you?” Talos consulted something on his desk. “As of the moment you were revived, you were in Cryo for three years, eleven months, nineteen days, and one hour.” When Soul didn’t respond, he added: “What, would you like the minutes and seconds, too?”
Four years? Not quite as long as I expected, but still longer that I had hoped.
Soul felt the corner of his left eye begin to twitch, just like it always did in situations of high stress, but he ignored it. He refused to give Talos the satisfaction of seeing him react to that news. “Why am I awake, then?” Soul asked. “Thought I was in here until hell froze over.”
Talos leaned close to the screen and Soul took a step back in revulsion. There was something in the big man’s smile that never did sit well with Soul.
“I’m giving you a chance for an early release,” Talos said. “You just have to do me a small favor in return.”
There it was. There was always a reason.
“What favor,” Soul asked dryly.
“It’s simple, really. All I need is for you to find and eliminate a single person.”
Soul paused. “That’s it?”
“That’s it,” Talos confirmed. “Of course, you aren’t to let anyone know about your mission. This is a Parliamentary operation.”
“Parliamentary? I thought I wasn’t the Operative for the job? Wasn’t that the quote from you right before they put me under?”
Talos shook his head. “Things have changed. Your replacement…well, let’s just say that he failed. He believed too much in the cause, and that was his downfall.”
“Unlike mine, which I guess we could call ‘not believing enough in the cause’.”
Another chuckle from Talos. “Well, as it turns out, we now have a much bigger problem than before. A man known only by his pseudonym ‘Mister Universe’ has succeeded in perpetrating the single biggest hoax on the Alliance since it’s inception, and his little scheme has caused significant unrest among the citizens.”
“Would I be right in assuming that ‘unrest’ is a rather large understatement?” Soul asked.
“You would be.” Talos leaned back away from the camera and took a drink from a small glass in front of him. “It’s beginning to be a pain in the ass, and we can’t seem to quash the constant stream of new false information that is only fueling this hoax.”
“So you need me to eliminate this Mister Universe, then?”
“No. That was one thing your replacement got right.” Talos dropped his head. “We gave that man the control of an entire fleet of Alliance warships, and he still couldn’t do the simple task we had given him. Now we’re on the brink of another civil war.”
“Why do you think I always worked alone? You trust too many people, it all falls apart.” Soul turned away and stepped out of the view of the Cortex screen. He dropped the blanket and began to do some exercises, trying to loosen his muscles and get his blood flowing again. “So who is it that you want me to kill?”
“Oh, that’s not your concern. You’ll get a location for right now, and the rest of the information when it is time for you to do your job. What I can tell you is that he is the last one of Mister Universe’s information smugglers, and he seems to have a plethora of fabricated information that he keeps leaking out on the Cortex. Normally we would be able to track him down with a good trace, given the high number of Cortex uploads; but this last man is proving to be more of a problem than he’s worth. We can’t seem to track him using conventional means…”
“So you decided to wake me.” Soul found a pile of clothes near the door and pulled on the pants as he laughed. “Ironic, don’t you think?” he asked, stepping back in view of the Cortex screen. “You put me away, saying that you had a hundred other men who could do this job better than me; but when it comes down to the line, I’m still the only one who can get the job done.” He laughed again, pulling on the thin cotton shirt.
Ignoring Soul, Talos spoke again. “Through that door is your ship, as well as clothes, guns, and anything else you’ll need for this. The rest of the information is in there as well.” Talos paused. “Just don’t screw this up, or else I will find you.”
“I’ll do it,” Soul said, pulling on a pair of boots, “and I won’t screw it up. But after this…if I do the job, you have to erase everything. The trial, the records, everything. I do this, and I want to no longer exist as far as the Alliance is concerned.”
The big man smiled. “I thought you would say that,” he smirked. The door in the room slid open.
Talos laughed, a laugh that sent chills down Soul’s spine. He turned his back on the screen and tried to block out the laughter as he walked to the far end of the room and stepped through the doorway.
Outside the Longrest Bar, Patienceville, Whitefall, fourth moon of Athens…
Marshall ‘Soul’ Washburne tried to get comfortable on the rocky, dusty, roof from which he’d chosen to make his shot. Squinting his hazel eye through the scope on his rifle, he surveyed the outside of the bar he’d been informed his quarry was in. Inside the bar was an agent feeding him intelligence. As his earpiece came to life, his left hand brushed the annoying strands of brown hair that kept falling down across his forehead.
“Target has finished his drink, and is paying the barkeep.”
“Roger that. Let me know when he heads for the door.”
“His coat is on, and he’s moving. Be advised, he is carrying a heavily modified, possibly custom rifle.”
“Understood, I won’t give him the opportunity to use it.”
“Target will reach the door… now.”
Opening his other eye, Soul watched the door of the Longrest Bar swing out. A man emerged wearing a dark colored duster, and carrying a long heavy barreled sniper rifle. It was a bullpup arrangement, with the magazine behind the pistol grip, and with what looked like a shotgun mounted under the main barrel. As he paused to lean the rifle against the wall of the bar, and rummage through the many pockets in his coat, Soul knew that this was his moment. Closing his left eye, he returned his focus to the view through the scope. The infrared filter on the end of it picked up the ranging laser as it worked it’s way up from the man’s chest to his right temple.
Taking a deep breath, Soul steadied his aim, and flicked the rifle’s safety off with his thumb. As the lever snapped into firing position, the man’s head suddenly raised and he looked straight into the scope. Soul’s mouth dropped open as he saw the man’s own hazel eyes, and recognized the cocky grin that spread across his face behind the goatee. The final kicker was the well-worn Blue Sun cap that the man pulled out and put slowly on to cover his short wild hair.
“Mei, ta ma de hun dan.” Soul whispered, standing up to his full six foot one height.
Down below, a man he seen four years ago, though it seemed like only days, a man he’d thought he’d never see again, raised his hand in greeting and shouted.
“You gonna kill me Soul? Cause that might be a little awkward.”
Soul was speechless. The man he’d been sent to kill was standing before him, but Soul couldn’t bring himself to raise the rifle and squeeze the trigger. That man had been partially responsible for his incarceration into Cryo in the first place, and yet he was one of the few people Soul could call one of his true friends. Soul’s head spun.
“Washburne, this is Evigan.” Came the voice from Soul’s earpiece. “Have you eliminated the target? Washburne? WASHBURNE!? Is… Werzbowski… down?”
Thursday, February 2, 2006 12:15 PM
Thursday, February 2, 2006 2:19 PM
Friday, February 3, 2006 5:00 AM
Friday, February 10, 2006 9:58 AM
Monday, February 13, 2006 6:21 AM
Monday, February 13, 2006 8:32 AM
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