BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

WISHUPONAWASH

Captains and Spies, Pilots and Princes. Chap 4: A meeting with old allies
Sunday, April 23, 2006

Next part in the series. Building up to some action. Wash discovers about life in the camp and River decodes the message.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1652    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

River sat at the dining room table looking at the coded message that had been sent to Mal, and couldn’t work it out. She had been studying it for hours now and just couldn’t work out what the code was supposed to be. When she had been 7 years old she had cracked the 5 forms of the earth-that-was Enigma code. She had been feeling a lot better since Miranda, but this message was frustrating for her, and it reminded of the sense of loss that she had felt strongly for so long. Jayne came into the dining room. He was eating some fried rice out with chopsticks out of a box. He sat down opposite her, putting his feet up the table. He didn’t speak for a moment, just looking at her and eating. “You should chew your food more, otherwise you’ll get indigestion.” She told him. Jayne just smiled at her and said, “I would of thought that you would of solved that by now, being a genius and all.” River didn’t reply, and Jayne continued to eat and stare at her. “You know that it’s probably something stupidly simple like it’s upside down or something.” As he was saying this River turned the message 90 degrees to the left and her head 90 degrees to right. She looked and smiled. It was still well hidden, but she could see it . She took a piece of paper and started to write. Jayne looked over surprised. “You mean I was right.” River turned her head and gave him a smile. Yes, he had been right. Jayne went back to his food “Shiny.”

***

The former Operative of the Alliance sat in his room abroad the commercial freighter St. Elpis, and thought about the last few months. After the Miranda broadcast had come out, after everything he had believed had coming crashing down, there had been a near lockdown on information within the Alliance government and Military. Parliament was worried that their other secrets would suddenly emerge. When the operative had discovered that this was coming into effect, he knew didn’t have long. He knew that he couldn’t stay in the Alliance, and he knew that once he left that there would be a price on his head. So he used his access codes while they were still active and had downloaded as much useful information as possible. It wasn’t a lot but to certain groups it was very attractive. It had contained access codes for use on core worlds, and information about a small number of secret Alliance facilities. One of these in particular, the group had been particularly interested in. It was the facility that to which he had sent the almost dead body of Hoban Washburne. Here he knew the man would have been revived, only to be incrassated. But at least he would be alive. He had not told Malcolm Reynolds about his crewman, because in truth by the time he had last seen the Captain the operative had left and so did not know if Washburne had survived. It didn’t matter now. He didn’t know whether the former Independents, to which he had sold the information, would use it to help their former comrades kept there. He didn’t much care anyhow. He was lost and was seeking solace and quiet, away from the Alliance and anyone who would want to remind him of former life. With the credit they had given him for the information, he had brought a new identity and passage aboard his boat. The St. Elpis was heading out to the outer rim, to a planet so far from civilisation that it had a civilisation all of its own………

***

‘To Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds, formerly 57th Overlanders. From Lieutenant Ursula Kalip, formerly IID.

I have information about former Browncoats that are still being held in Alliance facility from the war. We have most of the resources to free them, but we need your help. There would be a sustainable payment, for your trouble. Meet us on St. Albans at co-ordinates 012937, 812449 in 3 days time from the time that you collected the message from Annon Duul, if you’re interested. Within your unit there was a saying. When you can’t run, you crawl. When you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you. These men need you to carry them out of that camp and back to there own lives.

***

Mal finished reading the message out loud to the crew in the dining room. Zoe was the first to speak “So trap?” “Could be,” Mal supposed almost to himself. “I have a question,” Jayne voice interrupted Mal’s train of voice, “what is the IID, and how do they know that we collected our mail?” “Independent Intelligence Division. They were the guys who collected intelligence during the war. Infiltrating the Alliance ranks, integrating POWs, telling the generals where the troops should go and fight next, that sort of thing.” “Wasn’t there lots of traitors though in the IID. I remember reading about it history at school.” Simon was sitting at the far end of the table from Mal, with River to his left, and Kaylee to his right. Her and Simon were holding hands under the table, Mal could tell. “Well it went both ways, but, yes, there was a fair number of turncoats in the IID. Not many guys on the ground trusted them.” Zoe told him. “What about our postie? Trying to sell us out to someone?” Jayne asked. “Annon wouldn’t sell us out,” said Kaylee, “probably someone just paid him to inform them when we picked the message.” “I reckon your right Kaylee, but still don’t mean to say it ain’t a trap.” Zoe told her. “All the same,” said Mal, “I’m interested as to what this Lieutenants angle is.” There was confused looks round the table. “Only someone like River could of worked out that.” “Hey! Crazy wouldn’t of got it without me.” “You are, of course, right there Jayne. Still someone knows that we have River on board, and knows who she is. I want who these people are. River, set course for St. Albans. Inform Badger that will have to pass on the job form him this time. Kaylee I want to be there as early as possible, so lets push the engines a little…” “Sir, it’s a trap.” Zoe interrupted him. “…Zoe I shall talk to you downstairs in a second.” Mal was on his feet, his face stoic. “Jayne, check our weapons, stow away as much of our gear. Whoever these people are I don’t want them, whoever they are, snooping round my ship.” He left the dining room and headed out the back, Zoe following him. Once they were in the crew common area, he turned to her. “What the hell was that?” “Captain, you know as well as I do that the IID, if it is them, aren’t to be trusted. We haven’t had a good job in weeks. Now you turn down something from Badger, for the possibility of damned stupid heroics, rescuing POWs from an Alliance prison. The war is over. You are not a sergeant any more. You’re a captain.” Mal didn’t say anything for a moment. “Look, chances are the job from Badger wouldn’t be worth píng dà. I just want to know who is so interested who would go to the trouble of using coded message like that, and what someone from the IID wants with us.” “It’s a trap.” Mal looked into her eyes. “Wash’s death has made you timid.” He instantly regretted saying it. “Miranda made you stupid. This isn’t the war, anymore.” “I know that.” “Do you?” “Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean-jan. Look we’re going to get there early, check it out. If it smells funny, we’ll turn tail and make tracks.” Zoe shook her head, keeping her eyes on him. “Fine.” With that she turned and headed to the cargo bay to help Jayne. “In the TYEN shiao-duh!”

***

Wash was walking around the camp with Thomas, having the grand tour, as he had put it. “…so this it. 36 prisoners from what was 200 at the height of the war. These tents are old but their pretty solid. Mess hall, wash rooms and a small tent for council meetings.” “You guys have a council? Aren’t the guards in charge?” “Yes, tad confusing I suppose. There aren’t hardly any guards here, though between the cameras and the control units, there isn’t much need for them. Anyway, with so few staff on camp, there was a need for some self administration within our ranks. Hence we formed a council to discuss matters and organise them.” “Shiny” Thomas gave him a something of sad smile, “Well gives us something to do till the Doctor decides to use in a lethal experiment that doesn’t go to plan, or we go crazy like Imre over there, do something stupid and end up with few thousand volts up the jacksy.” Wash looked over to the man Thomas. A man was walking up and down one side of the 10 meter wall that surrounded the camp, muttering to himself. “What are these control units you mentioned?” Wash asked. “Feel the back of your neck.” Wash did and felt a lump. He had noticed it earlier but he guessed what it was for now. “One push of a button from the control room and a powerful electric current courses through your spine and knocks you down. It’ll kill you if it goes on too long.” “Nice.” “Yes, I suppose it is.” “So what so you do day to day then? I mean, I’ve been awake a week or so now, but I don’t what goes on here.” “Well, we try to keep ourselves busy. We’ve got a vegetable patch where we grew some fresh food. Keep ourselves fit, daily PT, and so on. We’ve got a small library and some people paint. To be honest I’m not ‘tirly sure.” “And the experiments?” “Well, every so often the Doctor decides that he needs one of us to conduct a medical procedure on. Experimental ones that require healthily men and women to confirm that they work….” He trailed off. “To be honest that made very little sense,” Wash told him with a smile, “But you know to as a start it was ok.” Thomas smiled back, “Sorry. None of the experiments are ever really the same. For instance, I lost my left arm during the war. When I got here they gave me a artificial one. Since then I’ve had maybe a dozen or so different ones.” “Doesn’t sound so bad.” “Imre had a device for mind control fitted to his brain. They must of cut into his skull 4 or 5 times, messed him up real bad.” “Ai-yah. Tyen-ah...” “Indeed. They stopped that particular experiment when he kept fitting.” There was a silence for a minute. Wash was thinking of something, he had been in the medical unit, so maybe... “So, I could have had something like that done to me,” Wash’s face was full of worry. “Well, it is possible. Maybe I should cut your brain open and have a look.” Wash’s looked over at him more than a little scared. Thomas could only keep his face was serious for a moment, before it cracked into a laugh. “Sorry, mate. Don’t worry about your head. You’ve got no scars on your head that we can see, and what was done to Imre was a few years ago now, nothing like that has happened since. In fact,” he looked over to where the camp’s main building sat, “there hasn’t been many experiments in a long old while now.” “So, what do you think was done to me then?” “Well, from the look of your scar, and from what one or two of the more loose tongued guards, we reckon that they grew you a new intestine and stomach, as well as replacing any other damaged organs. You know you were in a coma for along time, hence the amnesia. The little other scars, well maybe you got involved in a lot of fights in your previous life.” Wash smiled. He was frustrated because he couldn’t remember anything, but he felt happy here. He knew his name, but it still didn’t sit in his head because he had only known it for a short time. Before he had woken up in the camp, there was only black with vague impressions of memories, out of reach to him. However he had got used to the camp and enjoyed the company of his other inmates from Thomas’s mate Sally (a big dark skinned guy, who’d had a number of his bones replaced with titanium alloy replacements) to the old Alliance Major (who had accidentally ended up in a POW camp at the war and eventually to here) who liked to tell stories about having fun the daughters of generals. They carried on walking in silence round the camp observing the activity. Sally and a few others were playing rugby, while to one side two of the female prisoners were cooking food over an open fire. It was mostly protein mixed with vegetables and some herbs, but it tasted delicious to Wash. Eventually Wash asked Thomas, “Do you ever think we’ll get out?” “I believe so. You’ve got to keep the faith.” They both smiled to that.

***

Mal had had River park Serenity about half a kilometre from the meeting point on St Albans. He didn’t trust the IID boarding his ship unless he invited them. He, Zoe and Jayne had taken the Hovermule to the meeting point. It was a small valley covered in snow and trees. There was no sign of a soul but Mal didn’t believe that there wasn’t anybody around. As they surveyed the ground, Mal couldn’t help but think of another meeting in a remote place. “Nice place for an ambush.” Zoe told him. “That it is.” Mal replied. “Think they got snipers?” asked Jayne. “Would be disappointed if they didn’t. Fancy taking a walk in the park?” said Mal, “Try there and there.” He pointed to two points on the far hill. Jayne started off in the direction of the hill. “And Jayne,” Mall called after him, “walk soft, these folks know what their doing.” They had to wait 2 hours before River’s voice came over the radio. “Their here.” “Thank you my little albatross. Remember, we get in to trouble, you come and you rescue us.” “What and risk my ship?” River’s voice asked him. “Not your ship River.” Mal told her. “Yet.” The radio cut out, and Mal and Zoe looked up as the heard the sound of a ship descending through the clouds. It was a small, sleek and aggressive looking ship. No-more than a small crew plus a little cargo, Mal thought to himself. He checked his weapon, as the ship came to a soft landing a little distance from them. A hatch at the side of the ship swung open and an attractive, if some what cold, looking woman and an older man stepped out. They were both dressed in smart civilian clothes, but had an air about there walk Mal had associated long ago with officers that spent too much time in pristine command bunkers and dealing with secrets. As they came close, Mal felt himself and Zoe tense up, ready for trouble. “Glad to see you could make it, Sergeant Reynolds.” It was the woman who spoke first. “Well, curiosity got the better of my common sense. And it’s Captain Reynolds now.” She gave him a thin smile. “Of course. My apologies.” She turned to Zoe. “And this is Corporal Alleyne, I presume.” “It’s Washburne, Zoe Washburne. No army to be a corporal in anymore is there.” The woman gave her another one of those thin smiles, “I wouldn’t say we Independents are entirely gone yet. I am Lieutenant Ursula Kalip and this is Colonel Arron Chung, and we need your help.”

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píng dàn - nothing special St. Elpis - Saint of Hope Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean-jan… - Oh, this is a happy development… Imre – Hungarian name meaning ‘Innocent’. TYEN shiao-duh - name of all that's sacred Ai-yah. Tyen-ah... - Merciless hell...

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Chapter 5: Captain Garrett and Mr. Smith

COMMENTS

Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:47 AM

WISHUPONAWASH


Next part in the story. Not alot happens, but there was information and some backstory I wanted to get down before it all kicks off.

As per usual, all comments welcomed and appreciated. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 10:34 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Been missing this, WishuponaWash...really want to see how things are gonna go for both the crew and Wash & co at the hidden facility.

Wash having scars, huh? Wonder if they're predominantly from his stay at Niska's skyplex....

BE


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