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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - SUSPENSE
Mal anticipates the worst whilst Lot edges closer.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1442 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Not my characters (except for Lot!) and no copyright infridgement intended.
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“From plastic novelties to cattle sir? Something just don’t smell right”
“What’s wrong with the smell of cattle? Ain’t nothin’ quite like it!” Jayne grinned, twirling a dagger between his thumb and forefinger. Behind him Serenity’s doors were groaning as they opened, letting in the noise of the throng of people who were passing by outside. Persephone’s ports were busy this morning; traders, slavers, whores and businessmen constituted most of crowd, all of whom were sweating in the sun. It wasn’t a pretty sight, to be sure.
“Inara set down safe?” Wash hopped down the stairs and nodded. “Right.”
“Sir? You don’t seem to be answerin’ me” Zoë masked concern with a false smile, glancing from her husband to her captain. Everything had gone downhill fast, emotions turned from that of hope back to something darker. Darcie had him scared; Zoë hated to admit it, even to herself, but she saw it. It was there behind his words, in how he was acting. Didn’t have to speak it.
“I’m under no impression that Badger is suddenly our friend, dong ma? He ain’t one to suddenly change his mind either. I’m as wary as you, just until we smell that somethin’ ain’t right we play along.”
“Ain’t like we got much choice in the matter”
Mal eyed Jayne.
“You got somethin’ to say?”
“It ain’t like we’ve got folk bangin’ down our door with jobs, we all know it. ‘Verse ain’t what it used to be, bad smell hangin’ in the air or sommat.”
“What air? What smell? I swear it Jayne, you are soundin’ more and more like River.”
Jayne stood bolt upright and growled menacingly at Mal, his leather belt squeaking as he gripped it tighter.
“I ain’t like that feng le girl!”
“That crazy girl is all we got to thank for gettin’ rid of Early and that xiong can girl…ghost…whatever she was.” Not wishing to fall into the same argument again, Mal indicated to Zoë and moved away from Jayne and Wash.
Serenity’s hold was uncluttered, boxes stacked neatly against the sides and strapped in. Someone had had the foresight to set out the boxes used last time for feed, the place looked ready to receive another shipload full of cattle. Mal didn’t pretend as if he knew what he was going to do with their owners, in other circumstances he’d have passed this one over, if not simply because of Badger’s over enthusiasm about him accepting the job. Zoë folded her arms against her chest, one eyebrow raised.
“I’m tellin’ you this and I don’t want it gettin’ out to crew, least of all the doc. I’ve changed my mind, I want you here and I want you to batten down the hatches as soon as we’re off,” Mal nodded to the Shepherd as he stepped through into the main hold, he looked unusually apprehensive and it was a mite unsettling. “Darcie said some things that have given me reason to think that we ain’t going to be flyin’ under the radar for much long. She said somethin’ about there being more people after us like her.”
“I’ll keep everything in lockdown sir, but forgive me for stating the obvious, how are we gotta know if we’re under attack again?”
Mal placed a hand on a stack of boxes, looking around at the group who were hovering at Serenity’s entrance.
“Wish I knew Zoë but I don’t, truth be told. As soon as I sort out this matter with Badger we’re off world, even if it means no job.”
The sun was now beating down on Serenity’s deck, shadows of clouds were dancing sedately across the floor.
“Jayne,” Mal barked across the hull, “you got three minutes to grab your guns. You’re comin’ with us.” He nodded again at Zoë, casting a last look over the hold. It was going to stink to high heaven in a few hours, things going well.
She didn’t like it here. Cold. Damp. Dark. Cramped. No noise, just the sound of her breathing. Heart was beating too fast, chest hurt. Limbs ached.
River tilted her head. Someone was here, feeling their way through. Coming closer with every step, but operating in the dark. Trying not using eyes.
Noises washed over her in waves, sounds of people rushing about. Heat, tightly packed, brushing up against one another. Flesh pressed together. Sticky morning sun. It was dark here but she felt the daylight, its warmth. Sweat dripped from her brow. Voices whispered.
“Shen me? You must be confused boy.”
“I’m not rutting confused.” Familiar voice. Male, young, impatient. Like walking through treacle, moving slowly but steadily towards the shore. Too much everywhere, too hard to listen and too hard to talk.
A small slit of light darted out and cut River across the face. A door had opened in the black.
“Right, and when could I expect to have that?” A dreamy smile spread across River’s face, as she stepped out of the dark she found herself to be directly outside of her Father’s study. It was morning, clock indicating that it was in fact a school day. The upstairs landing was bathed in a glorious midday sun, streaming in through windows and hitting prisms which hung from the frame. Light was splintered, dancing across River’s face. She tilted slightly to the side, peeking in on her Father. She could only see his back. He was working, hand furiously tapping a pad. Happy steeped in work.
“I said you must be confused boy.” He muttered. River frowned.
Suddenly a shadow blotted out the light and, as River turned, she noticed a shadowy figure was now standing at the end of the hall.
“Found you” it uttered. River fell.
Five people later and Lot was sure that he was on the right track. It was becoming very tiring, he’d been forced to resort to actually asking some of the petty lowlifes as to whether they’d seen a transport. Rutting people. He hated them all. He even made sure a few people knew that, giving them headaches after raking over their minds a few times. He derived a perverse pleasure from doing it and he wasn’t ashamed. He didn’t feel much asides from hatred and anger, the odd flitter of excitement perhaps but he never strayed far from the more negative emotions. He glanced around, his momentary lapse of concentration had lead him to lose his place.
“Excuse me, have you seen a firefly class ship about these parts?”
“Shen me?” A woman said, nostrils flaring. She shook her head and, before Lot could ask again, barged him out of the way. Lot grimaced. He stroad over to a couple of men who were smoking, trying not to retch as one spat out a brown wad of phlegm on the ground.
“I’m looking for a ship, firefly class.” One shook his head but waved his pipe over at a man who was standing by a comm. panel. Lot raised his eyebrows but saw that he was not going to get little more in the way of assistance. He was a burly chap, twice Lot’s size and with a moustache that looked rather like a dead caterpillar that had been stuck to his face. He was engrossed in the day’s newspaper and, unfortunately for Lot, had just that stuck in his mind. The stupid oaf was obviously taking up most of his brainpower from just reading one article.
“’Xcuse me sir, you seen a firefly class ship dock here this morning?” This really was slumming it. The crowd had swelled and, as a result, Lot was practically pressed belly to belly with his quarry. He stunk.
“Shen me? You must be confused boy. Don’t give out sensitive information like that.” He said with a slow drawl, eyes not straying from the paper. He was obviously playing some role as a harbour master and not very well by the looks of it; along the ranks a small freight ship was coming into land, kicking up dust as it did so. He didn’t even look up.
“I’m not rutting confused.” Lot’s strained tone seemed to grab the man’s attention; he dragged his gaze up from the moving pictures on his sheet to Lot. Lot quickly became aware that he wasn’t a match for this guy, trained or not. Besides, he wasn’t keen to drop his tools whilst this guy beat him up; all sorts of unseemly folk were wandering about. “Just tell me where it is and I’ll leave you alone.” Lot was buffing and it was plainly not working as the man drew himself up to his full height, towering over him, blotting out the sun.
“I said you must be confused boy.”
Lot growled. Fine. He stepped off, leaving the man to look down at his paper again. However, as he did so, Lot noticed that his port had become active again. He grinned. Serenity had finally registered with port control.
On wandering down ranks of ships Lot became aware that he wasn’t alone anymore. Someone was drifting out here, incorporeal, shimmering and dancing. It couldn’t be seen yet it had form, Lot could see it in his mind’s eye. He was close, he could feel her. River Tam.
“Found you.” He uttered. There was that flitter of excitement.
Friday, February 17, 2006 4:02 PM
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