BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

LEIASKY

Finding Our Way - Conclusion
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Simon is given a solution to his captivity. Mal comforts River and Adrian Bai reveals a darker side. Angsty.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2304    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Well, this is the end of this story. Thank you to everyone who continued reading.

I've never written something so long and I'm glad it was as well received as it was.

I'm very interested in hearing your opinions of the end. I wrote it with one intent in mind and my beta, after she recovered from her crying hysterics, thought I had intended something different.

I'm eager to know what you think happened at the end.

The Epilogue (if I decide to post it. I really think the end as I have written it is more poignant) will give you my original intent.

Thanks to Wanmei for the beta.

---------------------------

Simon sat in a small, colorless chamber, his arms and hands bound in front of him. He’d been questioned, but not as intensively as he might have anticipated. He was in a military brig, not in the, surprisingly, warmer confines of a Fed prison.

He’d been there for hours, lost with his thoughts, wondering, waiting – secretly hoping – that they would just kill him and be done with it. He should have simply injected himself with a fatal amount of potassium. He had plenty on hand in the infirmary. But he couldn’t – not until Serenity was safely away. If he was lucky, he would get the opportunity to end his own life before having to endure the torture he knew would come once the Fed’s came. He knew too much about Serenity and its crew and he knew there were methods that he would not be able to resist should they be used upon him.

His mind wandered to Serenity, to the family he had left behind. While not blood related, the crew of that beat up old ship had become like a family to him, and he would miss them terribly. He couldn’t have left River to the care of anyone else. He trusted them. And he knew they would protect her with their lives.

Kaylee was another matter entirely. She would be utterly broken by his lie. She loved him so deeply, and he her. But, he held some measure of hope in his overly romantic mind, that when the time came, she would open that bright, beautiful heart and find love again.

His mother and Alexandra were greater mysteries. There had to be more to the story than they had revealed to him. Could such a perceived betrayal have torn these relatives apart for twenty years? There had to be more. Political motives, career differences and choices. He would ask his – uncle, when he saw him next. If he saw him again.

~*~

Admiral Adrian Bai sat at his desk, re-reading the wave that would seal Simon Tam’s fate to one far worse than death. As he glanced over the text that would bring the special federal agents to his door, a twinge of guilt crept into his eyes and into his heart.

He had alienated his family for his power and his position. And it had given him great wealth. He had punished his wife for her inability to give him a child. His long, successful career had come at the expense of many a young life. And even now, it would come at the expense of another.

It wasn’t the first time he had sold his blood for power, prestige and position. As Adrian Bai sent the message, he reflected that at least it would be the last time.

He sent another message, this time to his wife and Regan Tam, detailing events he had witnessed and apologies he had never made.

He stood and walked to his waiting hovercraft. He had a few last things to finish before this chapter in his life had concluded.

~*~

Kaylee played and replayed the message, over and over, crying until she had no more tears left to cry. She fell asleep sitting on the floor, her head leaning against the end of the bed, with her arms wrapped protectively around the data pad containing Simon’s last message to her.

That was how Mal and Inara found her, looking so young and childlike with stringy hair stuck to her face and the salty stain of tears on her cheeks. Mal scooped her up and placed her in the bed, knowing that she would prefer to be here than in her own bunk. In fact, he had a sinking suspicion she would be moving into this room permanently, despite the lingering bad memories.

Kaylee muttered in her sleep, and they waited for a few moments to see if she would wake. She didn’t. Simply cuddled the data pad closer to her body and snuggled into the softness of Simon’s pillow.

~*~

River stared unblinking at the data pad as Simon’s message played. There was no hint of emotion on her face, no tears in her eyes. She simply watched and played the message back over and over while Mal stood to the side, waiting, expecting her to have a breakdown to rival any he’d ever seen.

After what seemed like the hundredth time, she simply laid her head back with a heavy sigh and closed her eyes.

For a moment Mal thought she had fallen asleep, until he looked down at her hands, knuckles white from where they clutched the data pad so tightly.

His breath caught when he noticed the tears roll down her cheeks from beneath tightly closed eyes. Her body shook with the effort of trying to keep the emotion bottled inside of her. For the first time, she wanted to be in control of her emotions, of her feelings. But she was not a whole girl. Not anymore. She felt it all; the steaming anger radiating off the man standing beside her to the intense physical heartache spilling out of Simon’s bunk. Her own emotion was lost among all the others, but it swept through her body like a thousand falling stars pelting her from above, threatening to burn her to ashes.

A sob escaped her lips and then he was there, holding her, supporting her, letting her cry. Mal wrapped his arms around River’s shoulders and she buried her face in his chest, the hard, hoarse cries flowing out of her in such a rush, she felt she would choke.

She cried hard and long for the brother who had risked everything, given up everything he had ever known for her – including his life. She had never hurt like this, so completely and absolutely. Even when they’d cut into her, over and over. She could protect herself from that kind of pain. She had done it for years. Retreating into the different parts of her mind.

She was out of her element entirely when the emotional impact of her brother’s unconditional sacrifice struck her like a thousand shots to the gut. The pain of her injury returned, but it paled beside the overwhelming pain that had driven itself like a stake through her heart.

~*~

The three men who had accompanied their commander to Serenity stood at attention waiting for their commander to speak. The proud looks on their faces revealed that they expected to be well-praised for their work in apprehending such a high-level prisoner.

Adrian Bai’s voice, professional and authoritative, echoed through the small shuttle. “I have deposited double your annual salary into your accounts, effective today.”

Bai paced in front of them, reached into his uniform and pulled out a long, cylindrical object. “Further compensation for your excellent work will be granted for every year of service until the age of retirement.”

The object clicked open as he paced, emitting a low, hypnotizing hum. “Your families will be cared for and they will be notified that you died honorably in service to your government.”

The men’s eyes widened as blood began to seep from their noses. Each stood in shock as their commander continued to speak. When fresh crimson began to spill from their eyes and their ears, each man screamed, one right after the other, until they lay motionless on the floor.

When the sounds had come to an end, Bai replaced the object in his uniform jacket and left the shuttle, sealing it with an unbreakable authorization code.

~*~

Simon glanced up as Adrian Bai entered the room, his face an emotionless steel mask. When Simon opened his mouth to ask the questions he’d been pouring through his mind since he’d arrived, Adrian raised his hand.

“I will do the talking. You will speak only when asked a question. Is that understood?”

Simon nodded slowly. “Yes.”

“Stand up.”

Simon complied without hesitation. There was no use in fighting so soon. He knew he would need to save some of his fight for later. If there even was a later.

“Follow me. Now.”

Simon did as he was told and as he walked with Adrian, beside and not behind the large man. He briefly wondered why man did not have an aid, or an escort. Did he think Simon so cowed, unable to free himself if provided with the opportunity? They walked in silence until Adrian stopped before a dimly lit panel and pressed the control, causing a large metal door to slide open.

“Inside.”

Simon moved cautiously into the dark room and glanced around at all of the large containers stacked against the walls. His eyes narrowed as he recognized the all too familiar design. These were top of the line models and government issued only. Not typically available to civilians.

Adrian unlocked the restraints binding Simon’s arms and gestured at the containers. “I believe you know what these are.” A reclining chair from which hung thick restraints, and a table on which sat many different vials, waited nearby.

Simon swallowed nervously. “Yes.”

Adrian moved to the table that held a syringe full of an aqua-colored liquid. “Roll up your sleeve.”

Simon swallowed and did as he was instructed, instantly recognizing the medications lining the table.

“You want to know why.”

Simon raised his eyebrows and glanced around the room. “Yes.”

Adrian raised the syringe and approached Simon. “The sacrifices and choices I have made in my life are my own. I have done things, seen things, that you, one of only a very few people seeing the outcome from the outside, are capable of understanding. You’ve seen the destructive results of my work. These are deeds, because of who you are, you will never forgive. Nor should you. I will not watch you befall the same fate as all of the others. I will not let them cut into another innocent.”

Simon swallowed reflexively, understanding dawning behind his eyes. “You knew.”

Adrian exhaled a short puff of laughter. “I knew. Yes. I sent them to your parents. Just like I did so many other child prodigies. For our protection. For the good of the union of allied planets. I did my job with intense determination and I have the blood of hundreds of innocents on my hands because of it.”

“You gave my sister over to them.” Simon’s hands shook with anger. “You let them cut into the brain of a fourteen year old girl!” Simon pushed himself forward, fists clenching. “Why? Power? Prestige? Money? What did they pay you to sell out my sister?”

Adrian laughed, sending disturbing chills down Simon’s spine. He stepped over to a nearby container and pressed a button, revealing a small storage chest. He slid a data book out of his uniform jacket and with it a data stick. “All of the answers, all of the secrets, are contained within. Enough to topple a government, and then some.” He glanced over his shoulder at the closed door and Simon suddenly felt that time was running out.

Simon flinched as Adrian grabbed Simon’s arm and shoved the needle into it.

As the aqua fluid spilled into his bloodstream, Simon shivered, his veins constricting as the medication worked its way through his body. Simon knew what was going to happen next as his body metabolized this first injection. It would take some time, but each injection controlled a different part of his body, neural functions, motor functions, brain function. They would stop in specified, sequential order.

Adrian Bai dropped the empty syringe on the small table and walked to the door. “I trust you know how to measure the next set of injections.”

Simon swallowed thickly and glanced toward the table, upon which were two more syringes already prepped and several bottles of familiar drugs simply waiting for the proper dosage to be measured. “I do.”

“Then I will leave you to it.” The door slid open and Adrian didn’t look back as he walked out. “Goodbye Simon.”

Simon took a deep breath and walked to the table, eyeing the vials. He didn’t want to feel what would come next. He wanted to be blissfully unconscious. His hands shook as he carefully measured each dosage of medication, according to his body weight, and injected them into his bloodstream, wincing as the liquid burned through his system. A calm, weightless peace settled over his body as he felt the final sedative begin to take effect. It was only a matter of time now.

As he lay down on the chair, he closed his eyes, his heart rate slowing. His last thought before losing consciousness was one of Kaylee and his sister, running through a field of colorful flowers, sunshine lighting their faces, and laughter brightening their eyes.

THE END

Authors Note: The ending has been left ambiguous for a reason. I like to leave some imagination up to the reader and after my beta had finished this, she told me she hadn’t cried so hard in a long time. She thought what happened at the end was something different than my original intent. So, I leave it to you, the reader, to take from this story what you will.

COMMENTS

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 6:09 AM

WINTERHART


Ahhhh! No.... :'(

Damnit, now I have to go to work thinking about this =/

Also? Absolutely no epilogue unless by some incomprehensible miracle it's happy.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 6:15 AM

MECHANICGIRLKAYLEE


*lesigh*

It's computer class. Now everyone is looking at me strangely.

I second the "No epilogue unless it's happy" comment, because dammit, I don't need to be sad anymore.

I'm envious of your writing skills (or perhaps I'm just envious of the fact you have ideas!)

Anyway...*sob*.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 6:18 AM

MAL4PREZ


All right, I'll jump...

I think he just suspended cerebral yadda yadda yadda - Ariel style - and his body will get shipped back to Serenity then wake up, much hugging and wild sex ensues. And Bai will kill himself. Because I want a happy ending, gorammit!

Or... Romeo and Juliet style: Kaylee will see him and swallow poison, then he'll wake up, see her dead, and put a dagger through his chest.

It better not be option B!

Good story! When's the epilogue? soon?




Wednesday, March 8, 2006 6:22 AM

LEIGHKOHL


Wow! I love the end because you can draw your own conclusions!:D Poor Simon, I think I have said that, I don't know how many times in this story! It was sad but there was a glimmer of hope, maybe. Thanks so much for sharing this story, it's wonderful!! I got a little choked up, but no, it's okay, I can handle it, I'm cool. Can't wait to read your next effort ( maybe you can go for the fluff, cause I am all angsted out now )! And maybe, just maybe, if you feel a little generous, you can put up the epilogue? Like I said before, you already wrote it, not gonna kill ya to post it!:D

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 6:41 AM

MANICGIRAFFE


Poor Simon. The guy just never gets a break.

I'd still like to see the epilogue, even if it is sad (sadder). It's be nice to see how everyone else is doing (not just Kaylee and River, either - Mal would acknowledge and appreciate such a sacrifice as well), even if Simon is actually gone.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:07 AM

ANONYMOUS


I think the "government issue boxes" are cryo chambers and the injections are the Ariel-style "kill-me-temporarily" drugs Mal4Prez is talking about. Simon will survive and be happily reunited with the family he loves. Please post the Epilogue so I can see if that's your ending to the story or just my wishful thinking! :)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:12 AM

ANONYMOUS


Don't know what the injections held, but not likely anything lethal. After all, how many different types of injections would they need to give a guy to kill him?

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:13 AM

CLIOMUSE


Okay, I'll bite. Adrian put data into the storage compartment of a cryo chamber for Simon to use once he is released from said chamber. Simon knows how to prepare a person for cryo because, according to the novelization, he is the one who put River in her box after he got her out of the academy. How Adrian will get the chamber back to Serenity it a mystery.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:14 AM

LEIASKY


>Don't know what the injections held, but not likely anything lethal. After all, how many different types of injections would they need to give a guy to kill him?

Lethel injections are given in a series of specifically measured shots.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:25 AM

CHOKAI


Oh... I like it. Good cliffhanger. Kinda season finale'ish. Would have worked really well if the series had gone on for a while. Perhaps you should make us wait a bit for the Epilogue, I need an "off season" to recover/prepare.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 7:58 AM

TAMSIBLING


Unbelievable!

Here's my theory - Simon is dead. I wish it weren't true, but something tells me their is not sympathetic or empathetic bone in Adrian's body, especially after killing his men, "hands of blue style."

Sorry kiddies, but I don't think the "epilogue" should be considered an alternate ending.

Although, the romantic in me does agree with Mal4Prez and Anon that there's a chance those drugs were the sleep-inducing variety and those containers were cryo units. How awesome would it be if Simon was returned to the ship a box like the one River arrived in? Kind of full circle, don't you think?

Leiasky, thank you for your unbelievable characterizations, imagination and commitment to the "Firefly" 'verse. Your love for these characters and what the show stood for is evident. This is why I'm glad to be a fan fic writer as well.

My take on the epilogue - we're all big people, we can choose whether or not we should read it. But of course, the author's discretion will rule.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:05 AM

TAYEATRA


I'm thinking along the lines of temporary death a la Ariel. Also liking Clio's cryo-chamber theory.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:09 AM

LEIASKY


> but something tells me their is not sympathetic or empathetic bone in Adrian's body, especially after killing his men, "hands of blue style."

If Adrian had no sympathy or regret for what he had done in the past, he would not have done what he did for Simon at the end. He would have simply turned him over to be tortured.

Now, whether or not he actually gave Simon the means to end his own life, or prepare himself for cryo stasis, (both of which require a carefully set number and measurement of injections) that is what I wanted the reader to determine for themselves.

Either way, Adrian was merciful in the end.


>Sorry kiddies, but I don't think the "epilogue" should be considered an alternate ending.

It is definitely not an 'alternate ending'.

As for the rest of your theories, and questions, well, I don't really want to comment as the Epilogue will answer them all.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:17 AM

ANONYMOUS


Leiasky,

Awesome work here, brilliant characterizations. Though it is kinda cool that people can take the end as they want, I'd like to see the epilogue for the same reason that I like watching widescreen films, I really want to see what the artist (yes, Leiasky, you definately rank as an artist) had in mind. Not seeing the epilogue, no matter what I hope or do not hope happens be like only seeing part of a movie, yeah it's nice and all but it is not the whole picture.

Just my 2 cents

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:21 AM

GOBLUEGUY


P.S. the previous anonymous post was mine. Again, excellent work.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:25 AM

ANONYMOUS


You *better* give us a happy epilogue, there nothing and I mean *NOTHING* I hate more than stories that ends in death. I'll refuse to archive this otherwise wonderfull story unless there's a happy epilogue to it!!! Gyaaaah, I need some fluff now, something to cheer me up. You just made me read a bad ending. I *hate* bad endings. HATE!!!
~ misskitten

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:25 AM

LEIGHKOHL


Yay! Epilogue(even if it makes me cry!:D)!

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:35 AM

LEIASKY


>I'll refuse to archive this otherwise wonderfull story unless there's a happy epilogue to it!!!

You're lucky its already written or I would probably rebel and not post it just because of that comment.

I like a story to evoke some kind of emotion in its readers (whether it be hate, love, tears, anguish). It's rare that I write one myself (tending to prefer much happier/ fluffier/ smuttier stories) but when I do manage to write something with a plot, I feel that it was a success if it affected someone emotionally.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 9:10 AM

FRELLINGBLONDE


*sobbing*

Okay, you KNOW I love this fic...right up until the angsty parts, which are well-written, but devastating.

Yeah, post the epilogue IF it's happy. Otherwise, just get to work on something smutty and fluffy and plotless to make up for traumatizing us...and Simon and Kaylee!

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 9:20 AM

TWODIFSOKS


Alright!!

Do you know how much work I haven't gotten done because I am constantly checking for the next installment. I loved that you posted almost two a day.

Now this. I tried writing fanfic. The only outcome I got was frustration. Please don't leave it like this...I beg you!!

I'm sorry, I now have to go and cry and put more things off at work.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 9:40 AM

QWERTY


I loved this entire series! Each chapter just left you hungry for more. Count me in as one who would like to read the Epilogue, happy or not.

It would be like watching the "alternate ending" on a DVD. :)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 10:13 AM

ANONYMOUS


Reply to Leia's reply to my comment:

I have exactly two rules that applies on archiving stories. One is no break-up ending, the second is no death-ending. I can take angst, whole lot of it, I love angst stories even, but if it only gets worse and worse and in the end ends badly... I can't take it anymore. I leave the story feeling depressed. (It's happened before that it's gotten to a point where I just can't dare to read on.) You know I love this story, but if the ending was Simon dying. I just wouldn't be able to take it. I respect your artistry in the decision, but it would devastate me.
~ misskitten

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 2:27 PM

ANONYMOUS


Okay, as Leiasky doesn't seem to mind theoretical guesses - I find this so much fun! - here's mine.

The boxes are cryo boxes containing the all the children/prodigies who have completed the Academy's, uh, courses. One of 'em is River's. Bai is giving Simon the chance to take River's place in one of them. If Simon agrees, he injects the drugs into himself in the proper order, thereby suspending cardiac, etc etc functions and Bai drops him into a box. If he doesn't agree he injects the drugs in an improper order, killing himself.

Bai, having finally had a chance to confront his anger at the Tams, finds himself heartsick at all that he's done over the years. His intention is to bring down the government, and this will probably involve River & Company helping him out.

It's by no means certain that he will succeed, that Simon will ever see freedom, or that River won't be recaptured. If he succeeds, the government that exists then may decide to kill the inhabitants of the boxes without opening the boxes, on the basis that the inhabitants may be too dangerous to be allowed to wander freely/unfreely.

That Simon has been taken to this place indicates to me that in this universe he's on the list of prodigy's they'd like to experiment on. So if River gets recaptured or Bai's ruse is found out, he may find himself a student at the Academy.

So many if's. What I do find certain is that no matter how you look at it, the worst that could happen to Simon isn't that he's dead, but that he suffers the fate of the undead and is kept forever in a cryo box as generations of governments try to decide what to do with the Prodigies. It's always easier to do nothing than to be ruthlessly kind.

And there's my own personal what-if; what if the embyo implantation never 'took' on Alexandra Bai. What if Simon Tam actually IS Adrian and Alexander's child? What would Adrian do if he learnt this?

And is Kaylee pregnant?

Nice story!

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 2:32 PM

BURNANDBOIL


A great conclusion, ambigious and leaving me wanting more! :D

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 2:47 PM

LEIASKY


Ok, so some of the questions/theories I'll answer...

>And is Kaylee pregnant?

Absolutely not. 500 years in the future, oopses don't happen very frequently. Contraceptive injections are the norm and Simon IS a doctor. He knows better. My opinion, but, there it is:)

>what if the embyo implantation never 'took' on Alexandra Bai. What if Simon Tam actually IS Adrian and Alexander's child?

Would be a nice twist but no.

Very interesting theories otherwise. I've been plotting to see if I want to write another part to this story but we'll see. Long stories like this take a lot out of me.

I have a series of other stories I've been working on that are more along the lines of FrellingBlonde's S/K stories and are not nearly as angsty.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 3:20 PM

ANONYMOUS


Contraceptive injections may be the norm on Core worlds, but they won't be on the Rim. And while contraceptives are effective, they're not 100% effective.

I like the possibility in an Eastern way, with Simon's potentially eternal placement into a cryo box, that he's removing himself from his family in every sense as they are reincarnated into their next lives as they die. He risks his soul being forever removed from them. But in a very Western sense he lives on with them by fathering a child with Kaylee.

If you do another series, I'll definitely want to read it. Love the angst.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 4:36 PM

ANONYMOUS


"I've been plotting to see if I want to write another part to this story but we'll see. Long stories like this take a lot out of me."

That may be true, but you're so VERY prett... er... GOOD at them.

Thank you for bringing new material to the 'verse (even indeed especially if it is AU or speculation)

Thursday, March 9, 2006 8:14 PM

BLACKBEANIE


What's happening?
I told you all, badness!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 7:41 PM

BROWNCOAT2006


At first I was all ARRGH CURSE YOUR INEVITABLE BETRAIL, then I was all, wait government issue... Boxes?!? Injections?!?!? CRYO STAYSIS THANK YOU BUDDHA *Erases from the top of his list Kill Leiasky* Just kidding, but really, why oh why oh WHY would you do this to us?? Killing Simon... just not cosher...

Monday, April 10, 2006 2:01 AM

ANONYMOUS


Hello there,

I don't know if this will be read by anyone, since this story was written a while ago - by this sites standards anyway. But I have to say, I loved this series. For someone who doesn't write "angst" often, you're really good at it.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't care how much it takes out of you, keep writing like this...if not a continuation of this. Please (smiles sweetly)

Just one question though: Why didn't the crew just kill Adrian and his guards and fly away after he had ordered the landlock lifted. I mean, I get why Simon didn't consider this option - he was too busy being all noble and self-sacrificing and it would have made for a great excuse for Adrian not seeing it coming - but you would think that Mal or Zoe, hell, even Jayne would have thought to themselves, "Well, the landlock has been lifted and Simon is still on board. Simon is useful and I've gotten kinda fond of having him around, while this Adrian idiot almost killed River. Oh hey! (light bulb moment) we could take off now, shoot Adrian in the face and throw him and his goons out the airlock, leave his wife and Regan on the next rock over, then get on with our dangerous theivin' lives not minus the only doctor we have."

Just a thought.

Great job though. "Gets my Oscar nod"

Friday, May 26, 2006 7:26 AM

RIVERISMYGODDESS


In my mind he still has hope, still wants to get out, so he made a similar concoction to make him appear dead until the opportune moment, maybe even arming another syringe with something to incapacitate the interviewer.


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