BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

LADYKNIGHT

Untitled - Chapter 1
Monday, February 27, 2006

In this chapter - A new job seemes at once too good to be true and too dangerious to accept. Also - Meet the Cobbs. Oh...that complecates things.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2025    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

The moons around Dyspros were remarkably similar to Earth-that-was in all ways, including Geography and diversity. Nether core, nor boarder worlds, all classes existed. The orbit of Dyspros itself took it occasionally closer to the core then was comfortable, this time of year it was a bit further off. There was an alliance base that orbited the sixth moon of Dyspros, but it was pretty lax and assumptions ran high that officers in this area often doubled as crime bosses.

As Serenity passed this base, Jayne was more then a bit nervous. He didn’t have any good reason to be, but all he would do was just keep walkin’ back and forth in the cargo bay. Then he’d stop to lift weight, stop, pace, play a little hoopball with himself, stop, sit, pace, sit, lift weights again, stop, sit…

He was on the stoppin’ and sittin’ part when Mal and Zoë walked in. They seemed in the middle of a conversation, particularly as Mal was in the middle of a sentence. “Cargo would sell pretty well at the market on Eka. Figure Kaylee an’ Wash’ll handle that for us.”

“Yes sir.” Was Zoë’s only response.

Jayne snorted, standing. “You’re kiddin’, right?” An abnormal, sharp pain in his abdomen caused him to have to hide a wince as he walked over, explaining “Findin’ an open market on Eka’s like findin’ a good P6-1365 laser-sight off New Athens.”

“Not gonna happen, huh?” Mal responded quickly, startling Jayne a bit by not questioning it. “Better off selling on Prometheus?”

Jayne nodded “Better market, less law. ‘sides, they’ll be passin’ pretty close to each other this time every year.” His stomach lurched a bit, but he ignored it. Seemed the moonbrain was right about the stomachache.

“How’d you come to know so much about these rocks anyway, Jayne?” Zoë asked, sounding almost impressed.

Jayne shrugged and started for his weight bench. “Hell, I grew up on Eka. My ma still lives there.” Jayne sat, laid back and reached toward the bar. Then he abruptly sat up, changing his mind. “Best go get that hat she sent.” He mumbled, hurrying out of the cargo bay.

Alone now, Mal and Zoë looked at each other for a moment before Zoë commented “I’m having some strong reservations about this job, sir.”

“What, ‘bout sellin’ the goods? Nothin’ wrong with ‘em.”

“No, I mean the one Sheriff Drake is offering us, sir.” Zoë clarified.

“Oh.” Mal responded, heading for the wall nearby and opening a hidden compartment. “Me too, but…” he shrugged, then reached in and began pulling out a large crate. “I don’t plan on turnin’ down a double payday.”

When the first crate was clear, Zoë reached in and began pulling out the next. “Nether do I.” She confirmed. Though her tone indicated she was still vary wary of this while thing.

***

Sheriff Connathan Drake could be easily described in five words. He was Strong, formal, fearless, intuitive, and somehow…righteous; almost always choosing the higher moral value over the societal laws. His record wasn’t perfect, but only because he owned up to it when he did wrong. Of course, there was a long, thick line between wrong and simply illegal. The meeting he was about to have was simply illegal.

He was a tall, lean man whose face seemed ageless. He had a full head of wavy hair that had silvered over the last decade. The deep blue sheriff’s uniform suited him. His back was pressed against the wall, but he wasn’t leaning, he stood stiffly against it. His arms were casually crossed across his chest, yet positioned perfectly to underscore to gleaming badge he’d positioned carefully over his heart. He watched as, in the distance, a large, bulky, and loud vehicle stopped. Three people climbed off it, and one of them, the woman, bent quickly to share a departing kiss with the driver. The man who approached first wore a long, brown coat that from the looks of it he was use to wearing. The woman, despite briefly lagging behind, soon caught up and walked at his shoulder, slightly behind and to the side. The third member of this small approaching party nearly caused Connathan to double take. Jayne Cobb, all grown up. This was going to be interesting.

Stepping away from the wall, the sheriff extended his hand. “Captain Reynolds.” He greeted.

The Captain shook it briefly, responding “Sheriff Drake” then, wasting minimal time on formality, added “You have a job for us?”

Drake nodded, and gestured to his door. “Come in.” Leaning, he opened the door. The Captian entered, followed by the lady, followed by Jayne, whom Connathan stopped. “Jayne?” He asked, making no effort to hide a note of surprised amusement in his voice. “Is that you?”

Jayne smirked in a way that hadn’t changed since he was an eight-year-old sellin’ stolen gum. “Hey Sheriff.” He responded, extending his hand enthusiastically. Drake shook it, and he could literally feel Jayne’s excitement at finally being a peer to a man he’d been forced to look up to as a kid. Jayne even had an inch or so on him in height, a fact that Jayne seemed subconsciously interested in emphasizing as he briefly rose up on his toes before dropping back and letting his smirk fade to a genuine grin.

Drake nearly laughed. Seemed Jayne Cobb hadn’t grown in many ways except physically. “I can’t believe it. I mean, you were growing like a weed when you left but…” Drake waited a beat, then “You been keepin outta trouble?” He already knew the answer, and Jayne’s sudden unwillingness to look at him was more then answer enough. Drake did laugh, giving the much younger man a friendly smack on the shoulder then half pulling him inside, from which point he quickly followed. They took the three seats he’d placed in front of his desk. The Captain, as expected, sat in the middle. The lady sat nearer the door, and as the sheriff made his way to the chair behind his desk, Jayne crossed in front of them and sat in the other chair. The kid didn’t know it, but he hadn’t changed a bit. Made him feel old.

Once the three of them were seated, Drake paused a moment before saying “I’d offer you something to drink but our coffee is less to be drank then ate, and not even much suitable for eatin’.” Jayne snorted, clearly remembering some of his own youthful experiences with jailhouse coffee. “and our liquor…well, let’s just say I want you sober when you make this decision.”

Captain Reynolds cleared his throat. “What decision would that be, Sheriff?”

“Whether or not you want to take this job.” There was a pause, then “Make no mistake, I do not take your presence here as a commitment, and if you at any point decide to back out, you can, and keep whatever payments you received up to that point.”

The Captain exchanged glances with the lady. This was clearly a better deal then they were use to as far as expectations. Of that, Drake was glad. He didn’t want them thinking he was in any way eager to ask this of them. “So…” The Captain began suddenly “You’re gonna be payin’ us in installments then?”

“Plan to.” Drake answered simply. Then, leaning forward, elbows on desk, fingers steepled, he said “This job involves a great deal more personal involvement then others you may be offered. I have nothing for you to transport, and nothing I want stolen. What I would pay for is for you to enter into a secure business relationship with a man named Torrin Gorden. The less legitimate the better. Mr. Gorden, you see, has been a major player in an illegal slave trade.” Drake paused, gauging their reactions. The Captain accepted this new development calmly, with only the most minor indication he was uncomfortable with the direction this conversation was going. The lady almost invisibly stiffened, unsure what this indicated they were expected to do, and glanced at the Captain as if she too was gauging his reaction. Jayne’s eyebrows immedately shot up in surprise. Drake continued before they could think the worse “I have no proof of this, however, and that’s a pretty hefty accusation to throw out without proof.”

The Captain nodded in instant understanding. “So you want us to get you your proof?”

Drake let a slight smile crack his serious expression. This man was smart. He nodded “In any form, delivered anonymously.” Drake paused, this was the difficult part. “Also…there’s an extension of this that I will double your pay for agreeing to do. You see, I’ve had a high-risk plan to build public awareness of these issues, but I’m far too well known, especially in criminal circles, to do it myself.” Drake paused to gauge their reactions again. The Captain was interested, the lady was worried, and Jayne was excited. Almost predictable. “You see, there are a number of…um…escapees, of Gorden’s slave trade over on Prometheus. Gorden has their location and is planning to re-take them. This cannot be stopped without the proof I’m counting on you to provide. However, someone were to, say, join them, before this re-take, with a hidden microchip that transmits every word…well, I know a few journalists who could write quite the series on those recordings.”

“And you want one of us to do that.” The Captain didn’t sound surprised. In fact, he sounded as though he’d expected this. Clearly, he thought this was the catch.

“Yes.” Drake confirmed. “I’d pay six thousand credits for that much alone. Tack on another five thousand for that much alone. Now that’s eleven thousand credits, and I don’t need to tell you how long that could keep you in the sky not counting the pay for your crew. Do one, do nether, do both, I don’t care. But you get ten percent of whatever you agree to right now, and the rest in increments according to the progress you make as you report in, which, I expect you to do regularly.”

Silence, hesitation, at once to good to be true and to dangerous to accept. Drake wasn’t at all surprised when Jayne suddenly spoke up and asked “What’s the catch?”

“Jayne.” The Captain rebuked quickly, not wanting to believe there was a catch. Then, just in case, echoed the question in a different form. “Is that it?”

“That’s it.” Drake answered. He studied the Captain for a long moment, already able to tell that he had every intention of accepting.

***

Jayne could hardly breathe for the horrible crap in his stomach, which also impaired his walking. He attributed it to nervousness, but he really had no reason to be that nervous. It took physical effort not to tremble as he reached out to knock on the door. As they waited in the white marble hallway for someone to answer, Jayne glanced over his shoulder and Mal and Zoë who had decided to come with him to meet his family.

The young woman who opened the door had waist-length cinnamon colored hair and the top of her head came to about the middle of Jayne’s chest. For a fraction of a second she wasn’t smiling, then she saw Jayne, and was instantly beaming. ” Ge ge!” She greeted cheerfully.

“Fred!” Jayne cried in return, embracing the small woman as Zoë and Mal exchanged awkward glances behind him. The situation grew stranger when the girl began sobbing. Jayne bent a bit and mumbled into her hair “awww, Mei-mei, don’t cry. Awwww, you’re gettin’ my shirt all wet. Mei-mei…”

The girl clung to him, squeaking out something about nightmares and fearing he’d never return. As Jayne reassured her, an elderly, sharp-featured woman slipped past and extended her hand toward Mal. “Marla Cobb.” She introduced herself in a stern sort of way. “My friends call me Matty.” Mal couldn’t bring himself to be quite surprised by the firmness of her handshake. She was, after all, a relative of Jayne’s.

“Malcolm Reynolds.” Mal responded “Jayne’s…Captain.”

“I know.” Marla responded. “He’s told us all about you in his letters.” Something in how she’d said that made it seem not quite like a good thing.

“He did?” Mal said, a bit uncomfortable under her hawk-like stare.

Marla nodded, and turned to Zoë. “You must be Zoë.”

“Yes, I am.” Zoë responded, as pleasantly as she ever was, shaking the older woman’s hand. “Jayne never mentioned having an aunt.”

“Or a sister.” Mal supplied. “Or a mother now I think of it.”

Marla smiled a warm, open smile that seemed to contradict her otherwise severe demeanor. Yet it didn’t detract from the overwhelming feeling this was not someone to mess with. “Well, he likes to think of himself as a lone wolf sort. The truth is, he’s never done too well unless he had something to look after.”

Mal, half fearing she’d launch into a Jayne-as-a-kid story, hurriedly said “Really? Never seemed much the nurturing sort to me. Doesn’t talk much about family.”

Marla nodded just the slightest bit, then said “well, now you’ll get to meet us all. Fred, please.”

The girl and Jayne jumped apart as she hurriedly moved to obey, but Jayne kept his arm comfortably around her shoulders, unable to hide the pride in his voice as he introduced “Cap’n, This is my mei-mei, Fred.” Then, looking at her with a grin, added “Smartest, prettiest gal in the ‘verse.” Fred giggled and played at slapping him, earning a humoring “ow” from her unsurprised and amused brother.

Finally, she stepped away from him, seeming somehow smaller then ever once disconnected from the man over three times her size. “Captain.” She greeted, hand extended.

Her absolute fragility made it difficult to believe she was in any way related to the big mercenary. The look on Jayne’s face as he watched them made it less so unbelievable. Between a perhaps not so unfounded fear of breaking her and an almost certainty of the amount of bullets Jayne would fill him with if he did, Mal almost didn’t want to touch her. “Nice to meet you.” Mal responded, carefully shaking the offered hand.

“Jayne.” Marla interjected “Go inside. Your mother’s waiting for you.” Jayne looked like a little boy at Christmas when he hurried inside. Marla turned back to Zoe and commented “I’m sorry for our lack of hospitality, it’s just that Jayne is our priority right now.”

“I understand.” Zoë responded, then, looked at Fred, extending her hand. “Nice to meet you, Fred.”

“You too.” Fred responded, a bit of a giggle in her voice. Zoë was also rather careful shaking her hand. She just seemed so…breakable. “I’m just so happy that Jayne’s back, and I can’t wait to find out what he thinks of…”

The front door slammed open, though it hadn’t been completely shut. Jayne stalked past, hurried yet deliberate, jaw set and making no eye contact. Stillness fell as he hurried past. A moment later his sister called “Jayne!” And hurried after him. Marla, only mildly alarmed, went inside and, exchanging glances, Zoë and Mal followed.

Down a small front hall with tile floor, there was a carpeted sitting room with an open doorway. Just inside, an older man was holding an older woman by the arms reassuringly. He was well-built and in a lot of ways resembled Jayne, except for the look on his face. Jayne never looked so tender and compassionate yet firm and unrelenting. She was slightly plump, and had short curly hair with only the faintest hints of grey at the roots. She seemed upset. The man pulled away from her and approached Marla. His eyes asked a question which Marla answered aloud before he could ask it. “Fred went after him.”

The man nodded, then turned to Mal and Zoë. “I’m very sorry, I didn’t realize he’d…” then, without warning, he was smiling. “You must be Jayne’s friends. Glad to meet you.” Mal shook the offered hand, slightly confused but, returning the smile. Then, pulling back, the man introduced himself. “I’m Torrin Gorden. Jayne’s step-father.”

COMMENTS

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 3:38 PM

BURNANDBOIL


Again, I miss a fan fic I've been looking out for! Pfft! Anyho, a great installment, I haven't read many Jayne-orientated fictions so I am really enjoying this. More soon!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 2:07 AM

BOOKADDICT


Now I'm getting really interested. Can't wait for the next chapter.

The evil slave-trader is Jayne's step-dad?

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 8:43 AM

TONYAHUQT03


mmm....I like. I'm usually a Wash and Zoe fan, but I love your Jayne. Can't wait for the rest. :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 3:44 PM

MORDSITH


I like Fred. This is getting me very interested.


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