Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
River makes a startling discovery involving Reavers that reveals to the crew there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. This is further expanded to the reader as the plot thickens. We catch a glimpse of the Operatives plans, as well. This episode will have a good number of flashbacks to fill in gaps and enrichen the storyline.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1147 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
As the door to his office buzzed, Doctor Ray Foster slid his hand out of a drawer. In it was an Autamax CR-23 laser pistol equipped with a heat-guided auto-aim and a six-month-degradation reactor charge. It cost eight hundred million credits for him to develop and create, and Foster currently owned the only prototype in existence. He held it beneath his desk and pointed in the direction of the door.
“Enter,” he called, and without hesitation, a monster swaggered into the room. Simply named Dante, the man was one hundred percent killer and zero percent soldier. His blond hair was kept cut to very short stubble, and several deep knife scars crossed his gruesome face. He was six feet, four inches tall and appeared to consist of two hundred and sixty pounds of iron muscle that was clad in camouflage BDU pants and a matching, sleeveless top.
“How ya doin’, Ray?” he growled in greeting with a thick, Scottish accent.
Foster balked, not for the first time, at the use of his first name in such an unprofessional manner. Of course, he said nothing about it. “Ritter lost two men on Serenity,” he began. “They are continuing the pursuit. I’m sending you in.”
Dante grinned, a grotesquely twisted semblance coming from lips split by scar tissue. “Playin’ the racing game to see who gets Gab first, huh? Wish you’d brought me in sooner. Ya know this is kinda personal.”
Foster waved his hand in dismissal. “Your childhood rivalries are of no concern to me. I want Davin, and I am hiring *you* to bring him to *me*.”
“Does he all have to be brought at once?” Dante joked, and Foster was not at all certain he *was* joking.
Foster gave the man, if he could be called that, a stern look. “Dante, I don’t have to remind you that my serums are all that keeps your unstable mutation in check. I have but to end the dose, and your heart will, quite literally, explode in your chest.”
Dante released a hoarse laugh. “Aw, there’s no need for threats, Ray. Ya know I’d take this job for free.” His face ticked twice, an obvious symptom of his mental instability. “The coin’s just an added bonus.”
“No briefing is necessary for you,” Foster finished. “Go bring me that man.”
Dante pressed his palms together before his huge chest and bowed in mock reverence. “As you wish.”
Foster waited five minutes after Dante’s departure before replacing the laser pistol in the drawer. He blew out a breath. *I always hate to use him, he thought, but I know with all certainty that he can get the job done*.
River was bored, so she took two seconds to fully analyze their situation again. The ship had enough food stores for another month or so, but there was no money, and therefore, no new fuel. They were headed for St. Albans, where jobs were nonexistent during normal work availability, and where it was cold. River hated the cold.
Mal had calmed down a lot since their rapid departure, and had since performed a full questioning on Gabriel. He still was not sure Gabriel was telling him everything, and he was right. Gabriel had completely avoided any and all subject matter relating to the Operative, instead quoting ‘an anonymous source’ as his information reference. Mal had decided not to kick Gabriel off the ship for the time being, although the open threat would still remain present.
For these obvious reasons, Gabriel was avoiding River as much as possible, although the looks he gave her served as concrete backup for her psychic findings that he very much wanted to do just the opposite. On top of that, Simon had been overly enthusiastic about his happiness at Kaylee’s safe return, and so with them in her bedroom constantly, River found herself bored.
“I’m fine,” River answered before Mal, approaching from behind, could even ask her how she was doing.
“I worry about you,” Mal told her, not batting an eye at her abrupt answer. He stopped to lean against the railing of the catwalk “I know ya ain’t helpless, but yer a member of my crew, an’ I take care of my own.”
“I know you think you can’t trust him,” River spoke as she turned, “but you can. Trust a psychic to know things like this. Have you noticed it?”
Mal cocked his head slightly. “That you’re a psychic? Nooo, you gotta be pullin’ my leg.” He grinned.
River did not grin. “No. The ship that’s been trailing us for days.”
Mal’s grin faded. “Of course I noticed. You’re the one who pointed it out to me yesterday.”
River closed her eyes for a moment, then brushed her hair behind her ears. “You’re right. Sorry.” She turned a bit. “I’ve just had... Lately, I’ve had trouble focusing.”
“Your meds?” Mal guessed.
River nodded. “I might need to have the dosage adjusted.” She could feel the concern radiating from Mal like a star casting light, but he made little outward evidence available.
“So what about the ship?” Mal pressed.
River opened her eyes again. “It’s Reavers.”
The blood in Mal’s face drained noticeably. “*Reavers*,” he repeated in a whisper. The only times River had ever noticed a fear of that nature in the captain was when dealing with Reavers. His initial reaction changed to that of desperate curiosity. “But they’ve been stalkin’ us at three hundred klicks three days runnin’ now. Since when do Reavers follow quietly at a distance for days at a time?”
River barely noticed that she was trembling. She was too involved in analyzing the other ship. Reavers terrified her; they were pure, unadulterated hate. There was, however, something more here... Raw, searing rage, yes, but something lurked behind it. It was something that she’d never really been able to pinpoint before.
Suddenly, something that had been formulating and analyzing in the back of River’s mind snapped together with sharp focus, and she gasped aloud. She didn’t know how long, exactly, she had been zoned out, but Mal was grabbing her arms before she could tumble over the railing, and Jayne and Darcy Cobb were now present.
Gripping Mal’s arms tightly, River was wild with shock at her new discovery. “*Malcolm*,” she hissed, “*there’s a pattern to the Reavers’ attacks*.”
Mal blinked. “Okay, stop right there. Let’s go back to the part where there’s a pattern to the Reavers’ attacks?”
“There is!” River insisted, and began to speak very rapidly without realizing it. “Very thin and obscure; hard to sift out through all the hate and rage, but it’s a definite pattern. Never saw it before; the spread is so very, very wide, but I have every recorded incident memorized, of course, and-”
“River, River, River,” Mal repeated rapidly, placing a hand gently at the base of her skull and, with the other hand, bringing a finger to her lips. “Yer babblin’. Just slow it down for a second, okay?”
“I don’t get it,” Jayne said. “What’re they spreadin’?”
Mal rolled his eyes. “They ain’t spreadin’ nothin. His gaze remained locked with River’s. “She means they ain’t just pickin’ random targets. ‘Least, not anymore.”
River nodded slightly to confirm his conclusion. *I had to spell it out for him*.
“No ruttin’ way,” Jayne growled, forgetting until he was smacked on the arm that his mother was present. “Sorry, Ma. No way in the ‘Verse. Reavers ain’t got no minds ta be plannin’ nothin’.”
“Apparently,” Mal assured him, back still yet facing the man, “they do.”
“I don’t understand what’s goin’ on here,” Darcy spoke up. “How does she know all this?”
Mal finally turned from River to address the woman. “River’s more’n like got more brains than anyone that any folk *anywhere* is like to meet *ever*.”
“She’s also moonbrained as any ya’d find in crazies’ lockdown,” Jayne added.
Darcy smacked her son on the arm once again. “Jaynie! Don’t talk about folk like that! ‘Specially in front of ‘em!”
“But Ma!” Jayne grumbled. “ It’s true!”
River didn’t mind, but she knew that Mal did. Eager for more information, however, he was about to ask what the pattern represented, but River beat him with an answer. “No, not yet. As I stated previously, it’s so obscure as to appear random even to me for this long.” She considered for a moment. “I’ll have to work on it. Try to analyze it and formulate a purpose to the pattern. Now that I’ve found it, it shouldn’t take me long.”
“Good,” Mal concluded. “Be sure ya let me know when you do.”
Zoe sat in her quarters, deep in thought. *Room looks so much smaller now...* In a gesture of friendship, she had finally brought herself to offer her larger bed to Simon and Kaylee. After all, she didn’t need anything so spacious. *Not anymore. Then, why do I feel like I’m betraying him?*
Finally pushing the lid of a foot locker open, the widowed Alleyne-Washburne began looking through the memories. She ended up pulling one of Wash’s Hawaiian shirts from the trunk and brought it to her face. It still smelled like him, even after four months.
*Where are you now, Wash? Are you someplace else, or are you just... gone?*
“Some honeymoon, huh, Sweetcheeks?” Wash spoke into her ear, his voice raised just enough to be heard over the roar of the wind and the mule, but not enough to hurt her hearing.
“Just focus on holding onto my waist, Dear,” Zoe replied, wishing she could give the fully-throttled four-wheeler more gas. “And try not to fall off. I don’t wanna have to come back and get you.”
“From the look of those angry cops,” Wash commented, glancing over his shoulder at the sheriffs in hot ATV pursuit, “there might not be much left for you to rescue. I don’t suppose you have a shovel on you...?” He sighed loudly and purposely. “Be a shame for you to become a widow after only two days of marriage.”
Ignoring her husband, but promising to herself that she’d get back at him later, Zoe squinted through her goggles and dodged a branch in the path. *Don’t know how the local law caught wind we were in that dropoff heist last time we were here*, she mused, *but what I wouldn’t give for some wings, and for Wash to be behind the stick, not behind *me*...*
“Hope Mal, Kaylee, and Jayne are still at the ship,” Wash commented. “Or at least,” he reconsidered, “Mal and Kaylee. We’re in a bit of a bind if they’re not.”
“I’m aware of that, Baby,” Zoe growled out of the corner of her mouth. “Just let me know if they get any closer.”
“*This is the captain*,” Mal’s voice boomed over the intercom, breaking Zoe from her reminiscence. “*Don’t want to alarm anybody, but we got some disturbing Albatross info on the ship been tailin’ us . I want everyone in the common room. Kaylee, Doctor... That means you, too*.
Blinking back tears and swallowing back a lump that had begun to form in her throat, Zoe replaced the shirt, closed the trunk, and, clearing her throat, moved toward the ladder.
“*What is it this time?*” Doctor Foster’s image inquired rather tersely.
The Operative played a small smirk on his lips. “A little touchy, I see. Had a bad day?”
Foster ran a hand down his goatee, then sighed. “*I had to deal with Dante today, so yes, it hasn’t been the most pleasant of days.*”
“Ah.” *Too bad he didn’t kill you and save me the trouble*, the man thought. “I just thought I’d share some of my latest intelligence with you. That intelligence which actually concerns you, of course.”
Foster nodded over the Wavelink. “*Of course*.”
“There seems to be another group of players on my little galactic stage,” the Operative informed. “Various sources provided me with information that indicates the Reavers may be taking a particular interest in Serenity and her crew.”
Foster frowned. “*For what intent and purpose?*”
The Operative shrugged. “Perhaps some particular vendetta,” he lied. “Who knows, really? They’re Reavers.”
Foster appeared visibly concerned. “*They must not be allowed to kill Davin. It is imperative to my project that I have him alive and mostly intact*.”
The Operative nodded. “As I am well aware. However, this is your problem, not mine.”
Foster disappeared into thought for a moment. His gaze again refocused on his own screen. “*If any Reaver ships approach Serenity, I’ll have it taken care of*.”
*I thought as much*, the Operative thought. *Let’s hope you send Ritter’s team and he gets ‘removed’ from my concern*. “One last thing,” he added. “I hear Dante knows you are affiliated with me.”
Foster nodded. “*Yes. Ritter does not, however*.”
“Good. Information such as this would be in more dangerous hands with Ritter.” With no further ado, the rogue agent shut the screen off, swiveled his chair from the desk, and steepled his fingers. *Let’s see, who’s next on my ‘to contact’ list for today... Ah, yes. The leaders of the Resistance movement*.
The Operative turned back to his desk and began punching numbers. At the same time, he began listing files regarding various Federal installations’ security on another screen and preparing them for transmission. *Let’s finally get this ball rolling...*
“Do we know if there’s a particular reason they’re following us?” Simon inquired from a chair. “You mentioned ‘purpose’.”
“I don’t know,” Mal replied from the head of the table, directing his gaze to Gabriel. “Is there?”
“Hey, Sarge!” Gabriel insisted from his leaning place against the wall. He was the only one besides Mal standing. “I swear, I don’t know nothin’ about it.”
“Well,” Mal continued, “as ‘*Captain*,’ and not ‘Sarge,’ I conjure that our best bet is just to keep a close eye on ‘em, an’ we keep sailin’. They’ve made no aggressive moves of yet, which is, admittedly, odd and bothersome, but let’s keep wishin’ it stays that way.”
“Yeah?” Jayne spoke. “Well, yanno the old sayin’. Wish in one hand, an’...” He trailed off, glancing to his mother. “...an’... hope yer wish comes true!”
“I’ve never heard of that saying before,” Darcy said, eyeing her son curiously.
“Yeah,” Zoe agreed with a mischievous smirk. “Me, neither. Are you sure that’s how it goes, Jayne?”
Jayne glared back. “Sure it is. Wouldn’t’ve said it like that if it weren’t so.”
“Back to the issues,” Mal interjected into the banter, “my reasoning, not that I need any, is that we just don’t got the fuel to do anything elsewise. They attack, we run...” He let the end of the sentence hang in the air for a moment before finishing. “...we might find ourselves dead in the water. I have a plan, though.”
Saying nothing, Inara merely planted her palms over her face. Jayne opened his mouth, thought better of it, and closed his mouth.
“Instead of worryin’ ‘bout what we don’t got, which is fuel, let’s focus on what we do got.” *Why do those words sound so familiar to me?* he thought, then dismissed the idea. “What we got is a River an’ a Gabriel.”
Gabriel straightened in curiosity at the mentioning of his name. River, who already knew what Mal was going to say, did not react.
“I’m confused,” Zoe said, with a slightly silly tone to her voice.
“So am I,” Jayne agreed, with a completely serious tone to his voice.
“What’s the story behind yer good mood, Zoe?” Kaylee inquired. “You’ve actually been *jokin’* all evenin’.”
Mal slammed his palm down onto the tabletop with a loud *slap*, and Simon, Kaylee, Inara, and Darcy jumped. “Perhaps nobody’s ever explained to this crew what captains do when they’re givin’ a briefing an’ constant interruptions make them upset and trigger-happy.” He placed his other palm a shoulder-width from the first and leaned over the end of the table.
“As I *said*,” he continued, “what we got is a River an’ a Gabriel. We all know what River is capable of, particularly with Reavers, an’ although we don’t know what he can do, we do know how Gabriel reacts when gangs of armed men piss him off.” He paused again to heighten the tension and, at the same time, prepare himself for useless and loud objections. “If need be, we can try an’ take a stand.” He glanced toward Simon. “Sorry, Doc. Hope it don’t come to it, but if those monsters attack, we can’t run. We gotta let ‘em board.”
Simon had no objections. Apparently he understood.
Jayne didn’t quite seem to agree. “Niao se dub doo gway!!” he exclaimed, coming to his feet. “Have you *completely* lost what’s left of yer gorram ruttin’ *mind?!??* ‘Let ‘em board’, my muscular-”
“Jayne,” Mal interrupted, “the moment you conjure a better solution, I’ll give you the ship.”
Jayne’s anger abated as suddenly as it had appeared, and he looked bewildered. “Really?”
Mal nodded. “Really. ‘Cuz it ain’t happenin’.”
“Captain’s right,” Gabriel decided. “No other option. ‘Sides,” he added, “it’s his ship.”
Mal pointed an open palm graciously in Gabriel’s direction as he scanned the room. “*Thank you*, Gabriel. We actually have *one* sane person on this entire boat, ‘sides Zoe.”
“Hmm, I dunno, Sir,” Zoe commented, obviously beginning another joke. Her talent at it wasn’t quite what her husbands had been, likely because she was less experienced with the practice. “I suspect my mind may be slipping from all of this unfamiliar excitement.”
Thursday, April 27, 2006 7:07 AM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 12:39 PM
Friday, April 28, 2006 1:20 AM
Monday, May 22, 2006 10:49 AM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.