FIREFLY UNIVERSE

GR RP "Adventures in Gunrunning" ACT 24

POSTED BY: CAPNRAHN
UPDATED: Thursday, December 23, 2004 08:03
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 16576
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Sunday, November 7, 2004 12:44 PM

CAPNRAHN


PREVIOUSLY ON FIREFLY:
ACT 23: http://fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=17&t=7712

CREDITS & BIOS:
http://fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=17&t=3498

RPing TOOLS:
Tools and tricks for the hip RPer.
http://fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=17&t=4266

GREEN ROOM:
Storyline work and a place for the acKtors to hang out.
OOC 23

ARCHIVE:
Includes episode synopses and links to all the threads for prior acts
http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=17&t=3681

MECHANICS OF RPing:
Tips and tricks and preferred RP methods, developed by the Gunrunners and Hitchers themselves
http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=17&t=4266

DIRECTORIAL STAFF:
Guest DireKtor - DragonflyDireKtor { CapnRahn@aol.com AIM, MSN }
Guest Asst. DireKtor - MercedesTroy { tampa.cyberose@verizon.net AIM}
Co-Director - FrauDirektor { htempe@hotmail.com, MSN, AIM: MissAstriana, Yahoo!: MissAstriana, ICQ: 9592266}
Co-Director - Channain { channain@yahoo.com; AIM}

STUDIO OWNER & RP DISTRIBUTION:
FireflyFans.net produced by Haken

GENERAL POST GUIDELINES
None have been established yet. Each player has a unique style for posting a move that is consistent within itself. You'll catch on!

ACRONYM DEFINITIONS & TERMS
EOM = End of Move
OOC = Out Of Character
POV = Point Of View

Last but not least, the Gunrunners and Hitchers would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Joss Whedon for creating a whole new 'verse for us to play in, and to Haken for giving us a bright, shiny new sandbox theater!

JossGunrunners & Hitchers
HakenGunrunners & Hitchers

"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Sunday, November 7, 2004 12:45 PM

CAPNRAHN


WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

BRIDGE: Wash
LAST BUNK ON THE LEFT: OUTSIDE-Zoe and Kaylee; INSIDE- Damon
GALLEY: Inara, River, Jayne, Rowan, Merz
PASSENGER DORMs: Mal & Book
SWIMMING IN THE BLACK: Thorne


"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Sunday, November 7, 2004 2:47 PM

DECOY


Wash's Move:
Location - Bridge, deep thoughts

(Over the intercom comes Mal's voice): "Wash, I didn't hear one of my shuttles detach, so which hatch did he swim outta...? And WHEN the hatch was opened ..."

Wash, not looking up from his console, which should have alerted him to the opening airlock he realizes, glances at MRFUCSS, flips a swich over his head, and in a monotone replies. "He took off at 20:30. I didn't know because the airlock alarm seems to be disabled, probably when we were boarded by Early... and you told me to disable both shuttles a few minutes ago, to prevent escaping your wrath, sir." (Wash flips off the intercom, notes that MRFUCSS has 20:37 AMT (8:37 pm) on screen, then goes back to the map.

EOM

Decoy, they make me go first.

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Sunday, November 7, 2004 5:13 PM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Book's Move
Location: Book's Quarters


-------
MAL - "Well, Shepherd, that was one of the reasons I came here - I wanted you to lead the ground team t'marrow."
-------

"Not a problem, Captain. I'm always glad to lend a hand whenever I can. Book waits a moment to give Mal a chance to say something, when he doesn't Book continues. What else can I help you with?. Book gives Mal a wry grin. ...or do you just need me to lead you to the drink?"


EM

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Sunday, November 7, 2004 6:11 PM

CAPNRAHN


LOCATION - BOOKs DORM
As ...


Mal looks back at Book and gestures with the 2 1/2 quart sports bottle.

MAL
"Naw, got some premium hooch here. I just needed, ... um ... wanted to check in with you."

Mal looks at Book unwaveringly. Almost challenging him to drop all the pretense and lay everything on the table. It could be told, somewhere in the corner of Mal's eyes: Mal was not sure if he could respond in the same manner. Mal was still licking the self-inflicted wounds from the little tete-a-tete he had with Inara in her shuttle. The Damon thing was not turning out to be too pleasant either. Unbidden, the thought of Simon getting his rear shot-off by Alliance flunkies came crashing through Mal's subconscious.

Enough was enough.

MAL
"Things have gotten a tad off-spin and a man needs to know where his balance is."

EOM

"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Monday, November 8, 2004 7:39 AM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Book's Move
His room


-----
MAL - "Things have gotten a tad off-spin and a man needs to know where his balance is."
-----


Book watches Mal closely. Mal is hanging his head and mumbling under his breath. It's obvious he wants to talk. "That's why I'm here Captain." Book steps to his door and slides it shut. "Have a seat."

Book walks to a cupboard and removes a small leather container. He unzips it and removes a couple glasses. Turning back around, with a glass in each hand, he finds Mal standing exactly where he was before. The sports bottle in his hand lowering from his lips.
Sighing deeply, Book goes to his small table and sets the glasses down. What was that comm call about earlier?"


EM

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Monday, November 8, 2004 7:56 PM

CRAZYHORSE


Shan's move
Location: New Hokkaido

Shan found himself slumped just inside the mouth of an alleyway against the cool stones of the hospital building, looking blankly at the throngs of people as they made their way between shops, bars, and restaurants. The bright, gaudy lights of the boulevard at the far end of the alleyway seemed to be trying to swallow up the night, but he managed to ignore the beckoning glow over his shoulder, sighing a little glumly. :: No gaming tonight:: he mentally admonished himself. He could almost hear the voice of his mother nagging right alongside his own, and it was almost enough to turn him toward the bright lights and a game of cards. A gentle breeze caressed his cheek and he gave a small shiver, though it didn’t seem to affect anyone else thusly. A few passersby cast a wary fleeting look at a man lurking just inside the ally, and intense green eyes stared back challengingly, but upon seeing his clothes they realized he had no need of pick pocketing. Or perhaps it was the pale cast to his complexion and the gaunt frame and rather hollow looking cheeks he currently sported that labeled him as "not a threat". At any rate he was mostly ignored, which suited him fine.

His clothing was nice, though well rumpled at this juncture. His clean white shirt had been properly pressed at one point, the black trousers cleanly laundered and accompanied by a rather dashing black coat, cut to knee length. Where the dark red waistcoat with well polished silver buttons had been done up impeccably before, it now didn’t seem to fit as well, and the top half hung open to allow him some breathing room.

He tucked a hand into the inside breast pocket of his coat, placed deft fingers lightly on a wad of cash that was depressingly less than it had been a week ago thanks to the same hospital he was leaning somewhat weakly against now. Three mornings previously (and after an eventful night containing cards and lots of money) he had found himself barely able to rise from his bed, feeble, shaking, and cramping every way he turned. The hospital staff had been obviously surprised to learn they once again had a patient afflicted with a particularly nasty strain of flu that had laid the area low for quite a while; one they’d thought they’d seen the last case of at least two months ago. Fortunately they had grown adept at dealing with it at this point, and as much as Shan hated waking up to doctors and nurses prodding and asking questions at all hours, he had to admit they’d done their job admirably.

So here he now stood- pale, weak, tired… and with a still considerably large lump of money burning a hole in his pocket. A small frown creased his forehead, and again the sound of his mother’s chiding voice echoed through his skull. The frown turned fully into a grimace at that, and he turned a little unsteadily toward the illumination at the end of the corridor behind him. ::A couple games couldn’t hurt…:: drawled his own voice in response, and the corners of his mouth turned upward at the prospect.

He exited the shadows with a fairly jaunty swing to his step (mostly to try and hide how weak he still felt) and ran his fingers through dark blonde hair, half-heartedly attempting to straighten it. His customary smile was back in place as he turned into the nearest establishment, the smell of cigar smoke and booze and the warm sounds of humans laughing and talking washed over him. A particular laugh, one sounding like gravel in a bucket, reached his ears and his eyes darted sideways to see a beefy, gray whiskered man slapping another heavily muscled man across his broad shoulders. The door had barely closed behind Shan before he was out it again smoothly. He wanted no trouble tonight, and sharing a bar with those two cretins was asking for trouble. Sure, it had been almost a year… unfortunately some people were particularly adept at holding grudges. And the whiskered man’s right jaw was still marred by a long jagged scar. His own fault, surely, but Shan doubted the man saw it that way. Besides, New Hokkaido was home to plenty of other places boasting gambling and drink. And he hadn’t yet run into trouble… on this side of town at least.

Again he stepped into a warm, crowded room, and relaxed at the familiar noises and smells. A few tables had various card games going, and mostly the players seemed to be amateur, tourists laughing as they gambled away a bit of cash. Outlook? Definitely Positive…



"...what'd yall order a dead guy for?"

"Oh I got respect, i'm just sayin'... GOLD"

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 6:55 AM

CAPNRAHN


LOCATION - BOOKs DORM
As ...


Book turns away, Mal almost takes a reflexive sip from the sports bottle. At the last second, he remembers that this particular spirits was earmarked for Jayne. As Book turns back he lowers it and moves towards the seat opposite of where Book was retrieving the glasses. Mal sits and fishes his hip-flask out of his pocket.

BOOK
"What was that comm call about earlier?"

MAL
... setting the sports bottle down and then gesturing towards the glasses with the hip-flask and a quirked eyebrow...
"Just some foolishness that took a different twisty. Damon had another angsty attack after attemptin' to eavesdrop. He is coolin' off in Merz's bunk. Nobody's got injured."

Mal nods towards the hip-flask

"This here is a pure blue burnin' stomach twister - 198 on the scale. Makes aviation fuel seem like weak tea in comparison. You interested in a pre-party slug?"

EOM

"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 8:05 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - GALLEY


MERZ: "I am ready for whatever you choose to teach me, mero saathi. Show me how to 'glaze'." As she approaches to watch and learn, MERZ speaks softly for Rowan's ears only. "I have known you are in pain. Do you trust me to run a diagnostic on you?" Again Merz tries out her new, real smile. "I promise to use the machine."

ROWAN (softly): "Bao first, diagnostic later. Tomorrow maybe…once the alcohol is worked out of my system, dong ma?"

Thinking back on their nine-ball lesson - specifically how Merz had the potential to send a ball through the bulkhead if they had been real - Rowan considers another option. She recalls seeing Grandma Huan physically directing one of the servants - and not in any way that would be considered gentle - in the application of the correct spices for one of the dishes.

ROWAN: "And as to the glazing, I got an idea, if you're game. You come and stand in front and I'll direct your hands. That way when I say dash you'll understand my full meaning, and we won't end up with bao that's hotter than the sun. That sound okay by you?"

Feeling Jayne's continued observation, Rowan doesn't acknowledge him. He wants her out of his way. As to the why, that she can't explain precisely, but she can do that. Having such dynamic siblings can give a girl some interesting skills in how to exist in shadows. Running from the Feds has only managed to refine the technique. It may be a small ship, but it's not that small.

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 1:53 PM

MERCEDESTROY


MERZ move

LOCATION - GALLEY

ROWAN
…”You come and stand in front and I'll direct your hands. That way when I say dash you'll understand my full meaning, and we won't end up with bao that's hotter than the sun”…


That is acceptable to MERZ. She suspects that this ‘hands-on’ will be considerably less painful than other training she has had and other trainers she has worked with. And it is far easier to feel some techniques than to observe them.

Stepping forward, between the counter and ROWAN she stops, takes a deep breath and relaxes all of her muscles at once, ready to ‘feel’ her directions.

MERZ
“Ma bujhnu. Show me.”


EOM


Ma Bujhnu = I understand (Nepali)


If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 7:09 AM

INARAESQUE


Inara's move

LOCATION: Aft corridor/Galley

When her personal com device beeps softly in Inara's pocket, the companion withdraws it, expecting a summons from her client. He'd obviously not heard Mal's summons to the galley, she thinks, and pushes the little button on the side to open the com line.

"This is Ina--" Her voice is cut off by the prerecorded message from Thorne. She listens to him, stunned, unaware or uncaring -- for now -- that his voice filters quite audibly through into the busy Galley.

Quote:

"INARA. I'm sorry, my sweet, but something has come up which I must attend to in person. It is not more important than my promise to you, but is a life or death matter, and more immediate. If I'm not back by the time you are ready to go to Ariel for treatment, call the comm code attached to this message. Everything will have been arranged for your passage and cure, and all you will have to do is get well and stay beautiful.

I enjoyed our time together, brief though it was, more than I can express. You are very dear to me, and I wish you every happiness. I hope that one day the scales will fall from your captain's eyes, and he will see the great treasure which he alone can have. Adeiu, sweetling."



"Shénme?" she murmurs to herself, just standing there, utterly thrown. "Bù kê néng..."

She tries waving Thorne, to no avail. He's long gone.

"Huh," she breathes, confused, saddened and -- in a horrible, private little place inside that cares nothing for propriety or the dignity befitting a companion; the place where her resentment of all her clients sits -- a little relief. Immediately she berates herself for that tiny shard of relief, it's not applicable here, and slips quietly into the small lounge by the kitchen, sitting down on one of the armchairs to regroup.

EOM

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 9:20 AM

SQUEE


River
LOCATION - GALLEY

River watches Rowan and Merz preparing the glaze for the bao with great fascination. When they finish, she reaches over and dips a finger in the glaze and sticks it in her mouth. She smiles up at Rowan.

"It's ready."

Quote:

"INARA. I'm sorry, my sweet, but something has come up which I must attend to in person. It is not more important than my promise to you, but is a life or death matter, and more immediate. If I'm not back by the time you are ready to go to Ariel for treatment, call the comm code attached to this message. Everything will have been arranged for your passage and cure, and all you will have to do is get well and stay beautiful.

I enjoyed our time together, brief though it was, more than I can express. You are very dear to me, and I wish you every happiness. I hope that one day the scales will fall from your captain's eyes, and he will see the great treasure which he alone can have. Adeiu, sweetling."



River looks over to see Inara entering the galley, a mixtire of emotions crossing her face as she sits down in the lounge. Promptly forgetting about the bao and glaze, River picks up the prepared tray of tea that had been abandoned in the scuffle with Damon and walks over to Inara. She sets the tray down on the table in front of her, pours a cup and offers it to the companion with a saddened smile.





I'm not broken, in my dream I win...

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 1:52 PM

MERCEDESTROY


MERZ move

LOCATION - MINDSCAPE

Wanting to concentrate on ROWAN, the command voice in the back of her head is an unwelcome intrusion. She fights not to respond to it. But that cannot be. What ‘he’ says is relevant and should be considered. Briefly.

~ You have your back to the room. You have your back to a civilian. Have you forgotten all of your training? ~

~ I forget nothing. I choose. ~

~ You have not turned your back on me since we were eight. ~

~ You betrayed me when we were eight. When she betrays me, I will recompute. ~

~ and if you die, proving your ‘trust’? … ~

~ then none of you need worry about me again … nor I, you … ~

She pulls her mind back to the job at hand …

EOM


If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 7:10 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - GALLEY


MERZ: “Ma bujhnu. Show me.”

Rowan steps back a little to accommodate the smaller woman. Once Merz is in front of her, Rowan lifts her hands, intending to rest them on Merz's but pauses as Merz takes a long breath of air and visibly relaxes. Well-toned as her musculature is, there's always some ridge of flesh showing somewhere, even when she's at rest. Now smooth and pliable, one could almost get the notion that she was in a position to be taken advantage of. Knowing far better than to make that manner of assumption, Rowan puts her hands over Merz's and lifts them slowly up.

ROWAN: "We'll finish the sauce first, then move into the glazing. Ready?"

At Merz's succinct nod, Rowan begins. It's a little like operating a marionette, only with a verbal interface. Rowan tells her which ingredient to pick up and once she does she carefully instructs her how to add it to the sauce. Using the appropriate amounts of pressure, she indicates to Merz what a dash entails and the difference between blending and mixing. There is a little pause in the midst of it, as if Merz is hesitant to continue, but before Rowan can ask what's wrong, she's back on track. The process is completed relatively quickly and in no time a savory aroma rises from the dark orange sauce.

River watches Rowan and Merz preparing the glaze for the bao with great fascination. When they finish, she reaches over and dips a finger in the glaze and sticks it in her mouth. She smiles up at Rowan.

RIVER: "It's ready."


Smiling back at the girl, Rowan takes a taste herself and encourages Merz to do the same. Seeing the pleasure alighting in her eyes - and intriguing eyes they surely are - Rowan smiles.

ROWAN: "Now we'll cook the protein and start glazing. We need to shift over to the wok."

Releasing her hands, Rowan and Merz both move to the stove with precise steps, almost like a dance. Merz brings the sauce bowl with her while Rowan takes up the protein. They move into their individual positions, then become one again as Rowan takes Merz's hands. She guides Merz through the motions of prepping the protein in the wok first. Then when it's ready, she adds a word of caution.

ROWAN: "Glazing actually happens pretty quick, just to warn you."

Glancing up to where Jayne is standing and staring at them, Rowan figures if he needs to keep watch he might as well make himself useful.

ROWAN: "That offer to help still stand?"

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 7:43 AM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Book's Move
Location: Book's Room



Book sits on the edge of his bed, and holds out one of the glasses for Mal to pour a drink into. "Damon... again? That's surprising." Book cocks his head to one side and takes a slightly knowing look. "Who threatened him this time?"

Mal and Book share a grin at the quip and Mal pours Book a small drink. Silence follows for an uncomfortable moment and Book watches as Mal pours himself a rather large drink and gulps most of it down. Looking into his own glass and sniffing the contents, Book winces a little as his nostril hairs feel like they're getting somewhat singed. "198, eh? Why do I get the feeling that you want to prepare me for something?"


EM

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 10:08 AM

CAPNRAHN


LOCATION - BOOKs DORM
As ...


BOOK
"Damon... again? That's surprising."
...Book cocks his head to one side and takes a slightly knowing look...
"Who threatened him this time?"
...Book inhales the vapor distorting the air above his cup. He grimaces slightly as Mal slugs down his double...
"198, eh? Why do I get the feeling that you want to prepare me for something?"

Again, the intercom crackles to life.

WASH
... Over intercomm...
"He took off at 20:30. I didn't know because the airlock alarm seems to be disabled, probably when we were boarded by Early... and you told me to disable both shuttles a few minutes ago, to prevent escaping your wrath, sir."

MAL
... To Wash on comm ...
"Understood. We need to track down as much of the 'hands on' Early may have perpetrated on Serenity. We don't need no more surprises. Mal out."

Mal turns back to Book, a look of indecision flashes across his features.

Mal
... with irony...
"Demons, padre ...shadow demons threatened ole Damon. He's got some pretty deep rifts in his past an' apparently some real horror-shows are still crawlin' out of it."
...Mal pours another double and swirls the fluid into a mini-tornado within the glass ...
"Yeah, 198 proof..."
... with a wave of his hand he indicates the sports bottle...
"Its mostly for Jayne ... to soften the counseling session I had with him.
...at Book's cocked eyebrow...
" T'was about gettin' all twisty with conspiracy theories. He was thinkin' that Mz. Rowan was of YoSafBridge's stripe."

EOM

"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 3:43 PM

MERCEDESTROY


MERZ move

LOCATION – GALLEY As ...

ROWAN moves carefully behind MERZ, warm breath caressing the back of her neck. MERZ has to admit to herself there is unease in this position … it is against all of her training and inclination. All the more reason to learn, to try, to … deviate. She controls herself, willingly remaining completely dependent on ROWANs directions.

ROWAN
“We’ll finish the sauce first, then move into the glazing. Ready?”


As she learns soy sauce from sesame seed oil, from molasses, from vinegar – the best way to mix the liquids and blend in the garlic and the scallions, there is a dichotomy at work. Rowans warm hands on hers are a comfort. But the presence at her back is disquieting and her unease grows.

MERZ halts for a fraction of time, searching for the problem. And in time, in a pause, she understands – she can see ROWAN in the hands before her, but can only feel CORVAIR behind. And that … spoils … her enjoyment. A false impression, she knows this but inescapable nonetheless. Briefly she closes her eyes, tunes out the scents of their sauce and breathes in ROWAN, feels her warmth, and firmly sets in her mind just who is with her. The moment passes. And then ROWAN stops.

RIVER, who has been unobtrusively watching from the side, comes close and reaches a finger into the bowl. Tasting the sticky liquid she smiles up at them.

RIVER
"It's ready."


ROWAN gently moves both her hand and MERZ’ towards the sauce and dips her own finger in. Merz follows and lifts it to her own mouth. She has no words to describe this taste/sensation/experience. She just looks at ROWAN awestruck.

~ I did this? ~

~ don’t be ignorant. She accomplished this. ~

He cannot spoil it for her. Not this time – she did learn and all the parts she witnessed she can do again. And again, and again until she has it right!

ROWAN
"Now we'll cook the protein and start glazing. We need to shift over to the wok."


In a strange way, she and ROWAN are both together and separate as they move the protein and the sauce to the cooking surface and the waiting pan, ~ wok ~ she tells herself. Taking up their positions, again, one before the other the protein is made ready to ‘glaze’. Before they begin, ROWAN cautions her that it is a quick process and MERZ prepares her attention to be ready for it.

When ROWAN speaks to JAYNE before they begin, a flash of emotion rocks MERZ. It passes quickly, but she chases the feeling down. It is nothing she is familiar with, and it leaves a bad taste in her mind. Searching frantically through the databank she decides … jealousy? Did she resent ROWANs attention being turned to another? How strange.

MERZ waits for the rest of the lesson, both eager and troubled.

EOM


If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 4:21 PM

INARAESQUE


Inara's move.

LOCATION - GALLEY

It was... silly of her to be upset, to have this quiet sense of abandonment creeping over her like a chill. Inara knew that. Inara knew better than that. This had absolutely nothing to do with her. And she had absolutely no real claim on Rosie. He wasn't her father or her lover: he was a client. A warm, kind, generous and charming client to be sure, a gentleman with proper Core manners who treated her with the courtesy she was due as a Companion... someone who had, for a little while, made her feel less alone. But, fundamentally, a client.

And, yes, he'd caused some interesting problems, too -- not the least this new rift with Mal... His empathy and insight had been quite uncomfortable for her at times: she was too used to her veils and masks.

His generosity was still overwhelming, and Inara fervently hoped that Thorne was truly as genuinely kind as her instincts said he was. The prospect of her cure was tantalising, but the thought of losing her hard-won autonomy for it... disquieting.

Wherever he was, she wished him well. Even if she never saw the man again, she knew she'd remember. And that was all there was to it. There was no sense in feeling sad or abandoned.

When she looks up, River is there, with the tea-tray. The girl sets the tray down on the table in front of her, pours a cup and offers it to the companion with a saddened smile.

"Xie-xie, mei-mei," Inara murmurs, sipping the jasmine tea. It's warm, soothing, and quite strong. It hits the spot nicely, and helps Inara pull back into herself. Her dark eyes still have a quiet melancholy in them, but she's bouncing back. Companions are not emotionally self-indulgent or masochistic. She wasn't in love with him. She'll get over this.

"Rowan, baobei, is there anything I can assist with?" She rises, sipping her tea, ready to be useful. To push Rosie's exit and the tension with Mal out of her mind.

EOM

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 9:55 PM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Book's Move
His Room


"Demons indeed." Preparing his stomach, Book swallows down some of the firewater and then proceeds to cough for twenty or thirty seconds. When he composes himself, he remains looking down at his glass. "Thorne had them too. He attacked me you know, while we were near Serenity Valley." Book glances up to see the effect of his words. "I don't think he knew what he was doing... but he was unstable, especially there. Earlier... tonight, he wanted to know about Simon. He asked me straight out and I wouldn't tell him. He knew why... and now he's gone."

Breathing deeply twice, Book closes his eyes and downs the remainder of his glass. He waits for the steam to shoot from his ears, and after what seems like a few moments pass, he opens his eyes to find himself staring at his ceiling. "Curious."


EM

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Friday, November 12, 2004 8:24 PM

CAPNRAHN


LOCATION - BOOKs DORM
As ...


BOOK
"Demons indeed."

Book shoots back nearly half the glassful in one gulp. An eternity passes before Books lungs spasm at the reflexive clench that follows a good shot of hi-proof. Book's coughing is mild, but seems to last a bit of time.

Mal decides it has been quite a while since the Shepherd had a snootful. While Book composes himself, Mal slugs down another double. In shifting his weight Mal notices he is starting to get that tingly numbness in his legs. A numbness he knew that signified the alcohol was starting to give him his 'sea legs'. He had better slow down, the hip flask was already half depleted.

Book has settled after his fit of coughing. His eyes, remain glued to his now half-full glass.

BOOK
...sadly, with a hint of charitable wistfulness...
"Thorne had them too. He attacked me you know, while we were near Serenity Valley."

Mal tries to keep his face neutral while considering this shock. Thorny jumped Book?!... he is not entirely successful at playing out a poker-face, as if finding out a dandy like Thorne had a human side had taken Mal totally off guard. Not quite true, but the revelation did still unsettle Mal. Damned coot had more layers than a moldering onion.

BOOK
...after a short pause...
"I don't think he knew what he was doing ... but he was unstable, especially there. Earlier ... tonight, he wanted to know about Simon. He asked me straight out and I wouldn't tell him. He knew why ... and now he's gone."

Mal ponders this new bit of information, scattershot thoughts fire across his mind ... could Thorne have had some intricate and insidious plot to secure the Tams for the bounty? ... No, it couldn't be, ole 'Rosie' left River - the most valuable of the two ... Or was Simon really the least valuable ... things did go REAL screwy when that poofta stepped on board ... could be the Academy NOW wanted the genius Doc brother ...

Inhaling twice as if to prepare himself, Book slams back the remainder of the hootch in his glass. His eyes remained closed for so long, Mal begins to worry that the old boy had shuffled off due to alcohol shock.

During that brief quiet, Mal continued to let thoughts roam. ... Nup, one thing at a time ... gots lots to deal with in the here-n-now ... might make things a tad smoother with Thorne gone ... riiiiight ... as Mal laughs silent at himself, Book shifts.

BOOK
...opens his eyes to stare at his ceiling...
"Curious."

Mal
... irony heavy in his voice...
"Yep, first Early and Niska hijack and board us; While we is on hire by an uppity old geezer of a client who can't show any respect to those he needs to rely on; We get a buncha hitchhikers we dint need - A pool playing sharp that asks bunches of questions; an ex-something-er-other that is a nearly a complete spaz-ist, a tetchy twisty superhuman reader - this time with blood-eyes. "And the last: a short ex-solider, purty much OK - cept she has the personality of a nav-computer. Inar .. er the crews actin' all weird and out of true.
... he pauses for a second closing his eyes. Suddenly snapping them up he says...
"Oh yeah, I fergot - Niska escapes us and our Doc flips out nutters and starts a space chase after those who done them un-need cuttin's on his sis."
... his disgust is very evident when he hits the words 'un-needed cuttin's". Mal then sighs loudly in a near bellow while offering the flask to Book...
"Yep, real curious. Makes River look REAL normal-like."

EOM®

"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Monday, November 15, 2004 8:03 AM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Book's Move
Location: Book's Room


Trying to focus his eyes on Mal, who's holding out a flask, Book feels his stomach rumbling and decides it would probably have been a better idea to wait for the cabinet hooch, which he's dealt with before, rather than what he's decided is most likely the devil's own brand of mouthwash. "River seems to be gaining more control of herself every day... certain people seem to bring out things in her, help her to hold on to reality." Book gives Mal a look, and Mal responds by pouring Book another small shot, and quickly pouring and downing another large belt.

"Simon's motives are inexplicable to me. I used to think he was going off to find a scientist... a woman with special knowledge to help River, but now... he's changed. I don't know what to expect from him." Books waits and thinks for a moment as Mal pours himself yet another drink. "I do know that if and when he meets us at the rendezvous point, we will need to be very wary."

Trying to ignore his drink, Book continues to speak. "As for the passengers and the crew acting odd, I think this upcoming holiday on New Hokkaido is exactly what's needed."


EM

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Monday, November 15, 2004 9:09 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - Galley


Jayne stares blankly back at Rowan, neither acknowledging nor denying her request, and moves to the refrigerator. With a quick move, he takes out a can with Blue Sun clearly emblazoned on the brushed silver and cracks it open one-handed while closing the refrigerator door with the other. He moves out to the dining area again and lifts one hip up on the table. Taking a swig of the Blue Sun brew, he winces after swallowing, all the while keeping his eyes on her.

Suddenly feeling like a bug under a microscope, Rowan scowls at him. Apparently he means it. Whatever interaction they may have had is done, but she knows fully well he's not going to let her out of his sight for long. It's looking more and more like he's the one who tossed her quarters earlier, although the list of suspects was slim to begin with. He seems to be harboring some pretty odd notions about her reasons for being on board, and it looks like he'll continue to, since he obviously didn't believe a word she just said.

INARA: "Rowan, baobei, is there anything I can assist with?"

Hearing the tea cup being set delicately back into its matching saucer, Rowan turns to the companion.

ROWAN: "If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, we'll need help putting the bao together once the glazing's done.

Returning her attention to Merz, Rowan sees the heat rising from the wok and gets her mind focused back on the bao.

ROWAN: "Okay, here goes."

Taking Merz's hands again, she finds them a bit more tense than before and feels a tiny flash of alarm. Glancing around the galley curiously, the only thing that seems to be out there is Jayne who wouldn't pose even a moment's threat. Wondering about it, Rowan moves on ahead and together she and Merz pour the sauce over the protein on one side while stirring and turning the protein on the other. The aroma is overwhelming, harkening Rowan back to the kitchen at her parents' house and the time Ru led the great pineapple cake raid when they were little. That was the last time the three of them went on one of Ru's "missions" together, and Rowan can't remember when those cakes had ever tasted sweeter.

Sniffing the air, Rowan realizes the protein is as done as it's going to get. Releasing Merz's hands, she takes the wok of the stove herself and turns down the flame. Stepping away from the smaller woman, she brings the pan over to the counter where the "bun" squares have cooled.

ROWAN: "All right ladies. Inara, if you'll fill these, then Merz, you watch her and copy what she does - same pressure level used for blending. I'll see if there's something here that will work as a steamer."

Turning around again, she finds a double boiler hanging overhead and reaches up to take the pans down. Looking across the room, she catches Jayne's stare again just as he finishes another long drink from the can. How in the 'verse can he drink that swill and still be worried about being poisoned by her?

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Monday, November 15, 2004 1:19 PM

MERCEDESTROY


KAYLEEs move

LOCATION – OUTSIDE MERZ DORM

KAYLEE stands there for a while, making sure her little device is going to work, watching ZOË contemplate the closed door. She is not even sure how long she just waited there with her mind almost disconnected. But having things that need to be done, once she is aware again and sure she is no longer needed Kaylee heads back off down to the Cargo Bay, to retrieve the cask and the box and move them off to the dining area for tonight’s shindig.

Walking back up the catwalk, balancing everything carefully, she can smell more cooking coming from the Galley area and it is just – marvelous. She vows to snatch a couple mouthfuls of whatever that is, and take it back down to the cargo area later when it is ready – she still has work to do tonight and really don’t want to party. But that smells too good to give up.

When she reaches the galley there is quite a bustle of activity. Rowan and Merz are in the kitchen, doin’ whatever smells sa good, with River watching from one side. Jayne is perched on the edge of the table with a beer, also watchin’ the proceedings. Inara is just settin’ her cup back in its saucer, and it looks like she’s gonna help too.

Well that’s just about as many people as that little kitchen can hold unless they’s really, REALLY good friends, so there’s no need for her to put her two cents in. Let them cook this time, and she will probably do a share tomorrow when the other folk’s are busy.

Sneaking in behind Jayne she sets her burden down on the table. The spigot is somewhere in the kitchen, reckon either she or Book can find and pound it in later. For right now, she just leaves it there in plain sight. Taking a pencil out of her pocket she marks on the box – Everybody gets ½ of one. Please set one aside for me and Simon for later. K

Done, she turns to go back to the Cargo bay and the rest of her chores.

END LOCATION - GALLEY

EOM


Sometimes chocolate is the only comfort ...

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 8:04 AM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Malachi's Move
Location: Slight's ship


Malachi squints his eyes tighter, taking in every measure of this man/monster. "First things first. Who are you?" He says gruffly, his words echoing with a tinny sound off the metallic inner plating, like nails being shaken in a metal drum.

Malachi reaches into a breast pocket, his intentions obvious, and pulls out a slim off-white card with a magnetic stripe on one side and some indented symbols on the other. He holds it up and looks Slight in the eyes, or what he thinks are eyes. "...and why did you have this?"


EM

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 2:55 PM

MERCEDESTROY


MERZ move

LOCATION – GALLEY

ROWAN releases her hands and steps back, ready to go on to the next step. MERZ breathes deeply once, and settles her muscles back into a more normal state, and stands ready for the next step. She moves aside, out of everyone's way and faces the Dining room once again, her back to the counter.

With one eye on ROWAN so she does not miss a step and one on INARA to see when she is ready, Merz holds for proper instructions; the rest of her attention divided among the other three persons inhabiting the room. Normal procedure – to be aware of potential enemies at all times.

She almost stops the danger scan. But does not, she is not ready to concede that there is NO danger here.

EOM


If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 4:03 PM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - Galley


Then suddenly it's the hair on the back of her neck that draws her attention back. Glancing around behind, she sees only Merz standing there, but with a very uniquely studious expression. Almost like a hunter, watching several different things at once. Rowan can remember seeing Li doing that and wondered what went through a body guard's mind.

Hearing footsteps from the direction of the entry way, she turns back in time to see Kaylee come in carrying a box that looks like one of the ones from the cargo bay. With the same look of perpetual cheerfulness, the girl takes in all the activity in the room and rightly surmises that something must be up with Jayne. Or at least the way she creeps up behind him to drop off her package certainly indicates that. Otherwise she would have given him a cheerful greeting and engaged in the usual playful banter. Her just being in the room makes the place feel lighter somehow.

As Kaylee turns to leave, Rowan's gaze turns back up toward the hallway leading to the bridge. No sign of the captain yet, or Zoe, or Damon either for that matter. Damon's time out would likely last the night, but there's a good chance he could have hurt himself during the tussle with Merz. Rowan makes a note to have a word with whoever she has to in order to get in and check his stitches.

Generally, life on board a cargo ship doesn't get quite this... hectic.

As the steamer warms up, Rowan reflects back on that song and absent-mindly begins to hum.

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circle that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair


EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 4:28 PM

MERCEDESTROY


MERZ move (supplemental)

Attention on other things, and blissfully unaware, Merz hums along.

EOM

If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 5:09 PM

SQUEE


Damon's turn:
LOCATION - SPARE DORM

Brief recap:
Leaning against the bed, arms folded on his raised knees, he tries to swallow the lump in his throat.

“Ai, I wish you were here, Xiang… I need you…

I need help…”


He hangs his head, letting his thoughts wander…

Quote:


Damon’s body hits the floor as soon as the guards release it. He winces slightly as the impact sends a jolt of pain through his wounds and broken bones but otherwise doesn’t move. He hears the guards say something but doesn’t bother give meaning to their words. He doesn’t care. Lying there motionless, his breaths come slow, shallow, reluctant. Fresh blood trickles down onto his lower back from the handcuffs cutting into his wrists but he doesn’t feel any of it any more, numb to everything but the unending pain, the agony of existing. He breathes only because he doesn’t know how not to.

He hears a familiar voice approach and respond to the guards, and opens his good eye to stare blankly at the floor before him. The guards close the door, leaving the two fo them alone, and Damon listens to the silence pass for a few years before he musters up his failing energy and will to speak.

“I can’t do this anymore…”






I'm not broken, in my dream I win...

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 6:50 PM

CAPNRAHN


LOCATION - BOOKs DORM
8:47 PM / 2047hrs
As ...


Book has a tight lipped near grimace on his face. Mal, now feeling a tad warm doesn't even try to guess what the shepherd had on his mind.

BOOK
"River seems to be gaining more control of herself every day... certain people seem to bring out things in her, help her to hold on to reality."

Books look is one of questioning, however Mal has no answers - only deeper questions. Mal inadvertently shakes his head once and refills Book's glass. He remains silent, keeping his eyes on the tumbler he hands back to Book.

BOOK
"Simon's motives are inexplicable to me. I used to think he was going off to find a scientist... a woman with special knowledge to help River, but now... he's changed. I don't know what to expect from him."

Mal dumps the last of his flasks contents into his glass. Book's mention of Simon's motives nearly dried up all the liquid happiness he had already imbibed.
... ha! Dunno what ta expect from a body carrying a purple-belly comm ... but here I am ...
Tossing the last draught of nova-fire down he studies Book through a squint. After it is apparent that Mal isn't going to pick up the thread, Book continues.

BOOK
"I do know that if and when he meets us at the rendezvous point, we will need to be very wary."

MAL
...patting his holster and a mite bleary...
"You know me Shepherd, I am a very cautious man - when't's re'qui'r'd. One step at a time..."

Book nods, as Mal's comment seems to slip him by for the moment.

BOOK
... while NOT looking at the tumbler he rotates in the palm of his left hand...
"As for the passengers and the crew acting odd, I think this upcoming holiday on New Hokkaido is exactly what's needed."

MAL
... smacking the small table hard enough to make it jump a few centimeters up from the floor, the sports bottle twirls merrily until it seems that it will tip over, but with a tiny 'thunk' it settles back on its bottom...
"Gorram key-rect Shepherd! We'z gots to get this bleedin' box of shooters to the next victim in this gunrunnin' version of a bucket brigade. The sooner the better."

Mal stands - too rapidly for his semi-inebriated state. He wobbles on one boot-heel for a second then steadies himself with one hand up on a bulkhead brace. He takes three attempts to slip the now empty flask into his rear pocket.

"Gotta let loose some pressure or another fracas like ole Demon ... uh mean ... Damon ... did ... an sumbody, most likely the boy, is gonna have ta be shoved inta a bodybag."
...Mal suddenly looks very haggard and drawn...and in a near whisper...
"An' 'm tir'd of alwaz havin' ta do up the zip"

EOM®

"Remember, there is only ONE absolute - There ARE NO absolutes!!!"

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 6:50 PM

SAINT JAYNE


JAYNE's move - GALLEY

With a mule-like streak of stubbornness, Jayne keeps his eyes peeled on Rowan as she shows Merz how to make bao. He's finally located the coffee and has a pot of water set to boil, but now he decides he needs to look more nonchalant. He's entirely too... chalant. What did that mean anyhow? Didn't Rowan use some of those in the bao?

Jayne snatches a can from the cupboard, just holding it to make him look more at ease. When Kaylee comes in, he wants to turn and greet her. It's been a while since he'd joked around with her, and now with Simon gone, she looked like she could use cheering up for a change. But... he can't. He has a job to do. Secure the ship. And if that meant sleeping outside of Rowan's room, well...

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 7:25 PM

INARAESQUE


Inara's move

LOCATION - GALLEY

If one did not know their history, the levels of tension, emotion and constant change aboard this little ship, the name of 'Serenity' would seem hugely ironic and something of a misnomer. But there had been a battle once that had tainted the word, left Mal bruised. Ghost of that battle always hung over the ship a little, an unwelcome shadow. So, instead of 'Serenity' meaning peace, they lived in a 'verse in which Serenity meant struggle, conflict against oppression, a continual fight for freedom, autonomy and a place in the verse to call home. Conflict bred conflict, so the wisdom went, so it was no wonder that tempers and tensions ran high within the firefly.

Knowing that intellectually, however, rarely helped with the emotions of dealing with the reality. It had been a large part of why Inara had once held herself apart from the crew, kept to herself. Tianna, that felt like lifetimes ago... She'd fallen in love with the ship upon first sight, and her rag-tag crew had slowly crept into Inara's heart, too, like family. And some... even closer. Mal had slipped under her radar; he'd been so easy to dismiss at first, with his cruel wit and coarse manners. He had had his moments of kindness, intellect, even nobility, but then no one was irredeemable. By the time Inara had realised what sort of a person Mal really was...

She really needs to get her mind off the men in her life. Really.

"Rowan, baobei, is there anything I can assist with?"

Rowan turns to the companion, "If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, we'll need help putting the bao together once the glazing's done."

Although the teasing edge in Rowan's voice is plain, it is still an effort for Inara not to flinch. She's too emotional right now. Her reply is equally droll, "I think I can survive it, though my manicure might not."

Inara crosses to the kitchenette and washes her hands carefully, removing her slave bracelet and pocketing it.

"All right ladies. Inara, if you'll fill these, then Merz, you watch her and copy what she does - same pressure level used for blending. I'll see if there's something here that will work as a steamer."

Acknowledging the instructions, Inara begins putting the bao together, standing at a slight angle to allow Merz to observe her actions. "There should be something around. Shepherd Book made us some delicious steamed tomatoes when he first came on board." Again, lifetimes ago. Why is she suddenly nostalgic? Her hands move automatically, her mind wandering in spite of herself; she hopes Merz is getting the general idea, at least.

Inara only notices Kaylee just as the girl is about to leave the room. She seems as small and alone as Inara herself is feeling, and Kaylee actually has a reason for it, with Simon being gone. "Kaylee, mei-mei," Inara calls out, more an acknowledgement than anything else, a way to get the girl to turn around so Inara can try to ascertain how she's really feeling. "I found some ribbons earlier," she offers -- a lie, but nonetheless -- "And I thought they might look pretty braided in your hair. Perhaps when things have quietened down...?"

She realises her error upon receiving curious looks. "Mr. Thorne has left the ship," is all the explanation she offers.

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 7:43 PM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave





Xiang's Move:
LOCATION - ORBOROS: Tantalus Shipping Nexus


It enters his mind unbidden. Something she used to sing to herself while she was working on the Revolution. An ancient tune with no historical significance. She said she liked it for its obtuse symmetry. Odd that it should emerge from his memory now.

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind


XIANG (softly in Chinese): "And when the windmill stops...what then?"

As quickly as it had arrived, he forces the memory back into that part of his mind where he keeps her locked away. Safe.

He cannot think of her. Not now, not ever.

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Friday, November 19, 2004 7:36 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Xiang's Move - Supplemental:
LOCATION - ORBOROS: Tantalus Shipping Nexus


"I can't do this anymore."

A memory more recent, the barest whisper, emerges as if in response to his self-denial.
Quote:

FLASHBACK
The boy is bleeding again, as always when he is returned to the washing room. How long, he wonders, will the master… no, Trihn. The devil's name is Trihn. How long will Trihn continue to torture the boy before he finally rends his plaything useless?

In the weeks since he was first brought to the room, Damon has been able to gather himself to his feet and make his way to the chair under his own power. It is supposed to be the task of his caretaker, to take him in hand, clean him up and tend to his wounds. Damon resisted as well as he could before giving in, but only the first time. He only had to have it explained to him once that if he returned to the mines without being tended to that his wounds could fester and bring his untimely death. As that would ultimately be caused by Trihn's hand, Damon saw it as a matter of continued defiance to comply. He's strong, stubborn, and there is no doubt that he will persevere until the rescue arrives.

Until today. Seeing him there, lying so uncharacteristically still except for his breathing, Xiang can almost see the cracks forming in the bedrock of his defiance. Ten weeks had seemed like nothing at first, after so many years as a slave. Alarmed, Xiang kneels down next to him, mindless of the blood staining his white trousers. He always has to change after tending to Damon.

"You must." Xiang tells him. Taking a chance, he rests a hand gently on the back of Damon's head, sending a violent shudder through the boy's body. The thick hair is still soft from the morning's washing. "Shortly after you went in, I received confirmation. Our rescue is secured."

He has to hold himself back from the exhilaration of it. To obtain release from under Trihn's nose would be a great victory indeed.

Breathing a sigh, Xiang takes his hand back. "I will tell him that you need more time to heal. He has damaged you too well this time. He may be able to call for you only once more before we leave this place. I promise you, it is not much longer."

END FLASHBACK

XIANG (softly in Chinese): "It is not much longer."

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Friday, November 19, 2004 10:44 AM

SQUEE


Damon's turn:
LOCATION - SPARE DORM


Quote:

"You must."

Damon feels his body go ridged in response to the hand on his head. He has to remind himself that it’s only Xiang. Still, Damon wishes he wouldn’t- he’s had all he can take for one day.

"Shortly after you went in, I received confirmation. Our rescue is secured."

Rescue? Yes, rescue… secured, but not guaranteed.

"I will tell him that you need more time to heal. He has damaged you too well this time. He may be able to call for you only once more before we leave this place. I promise you, it is not much longer."

Once more? How many times has he promised himself that? ‘Just once more and tomorrow I’ll end it.’ He’s put up with Crofton’s go se for too many years now, and the last couple months have only gotten worse, as if the hwoon dahn had nothing better to do with his time. Week in and week out Damon’s tried escape after escape, convinced he could always do better the next time. And every time it ended in the same way. Tomorrow? There is no tomorrow. There’s only an eternity of today. There won’t be any escape this eternity.

Still, Xiang’s promise is comforting. Maybe rescue will be different from escape… Damon sighs knowing continued hope will only mean more pain, starting with having to move. He tries to get a leg to push him onto his side but it doesn’t move far before sending a wave of pain though his body, blurring his vision. He stops with a groan, trying to catch his breath.
“How much longer?”




I'm not broken, in my dream I win...

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Friday, November 19, 2004 11:38 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Xiang's Move:
LOCATION - ORBOROS: Tantalus Shipping Nexus


“How much longer?”

There was a time when he thought there was decency in the human race. A time when he believed that change would happen to make the 'verse a better place. During that brief time with Damon, he remembered that sense of hope, tenuous as it was.
Quote:

FLASHBACK
Despair. That is what Damon has become. He has no hope, no memory of what it was to live without pain. Trihn seems determined to put any spark of that kind of pleasantness out of the boy's mind. It was Damon's defiance more than his physical appearance that attracted Trihn's attention, of that Xiang is certain. Recalling what the fire of defiance felt like, Xiang has come to the conclusion that Trihn has a special affinity for it. Or more to the point, for breaking it.

When Damon moves, Xiang nearly reaches to help him. He'll have to this time, but there is no hurry. The floor is spotless - he's seen to that - and the sheet Damon is laying on is sterile. He won't be in danger of infection yet.

"Two weeks," Xiang says in a whisper. "Possibly three, but no more. I am guaranteed of it.

And yet, even to him, it seems an eternity.

END FLASHBACK

Xiang takes another long drag and holds onto the smoke before letting it go. The greenish-gray cloud obscures the star field before him at first, slowly dissipating. Words from an ancient Chinese poem accompany his persistent sense of impending doom.

XIANG (in Chinese): "Those who speak know nothing. Those who know are silent."

EOM

OOC: The poem is a bit from "Lao-tzü" by Po Chü-i (772-846)

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
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Friday, November 19, 2004 12:07 PM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - Galley


Inara: "There should be something around."

The companion's voice pulls Rowan back. She had been thinking about the good old days, when she spent hours staring at source box screens, plotting the end of the Alliance. Good times. And for once she's able to do it without mind-bending pain. Maybe things are improving. Then again, she wasn't thinking of anyone in particular either. That could be the key. Used to be she didn't think of HIM because it caused too much heartache so she got in the habit, almost to the point where she nearly forgot him.

Hearing Merz hum in key with her, Rowan turns to give her a smile and a quick wink. Resting her hand on Inara's shoulder, she shares a look with her as well as she pulls a plate of completed bao from the counter.

INARA: "Mr. Thorne has left the ship."

At first Rowan isn't sure she heard right. She stops to stare at Inara, waiting for the punch line. It has to be a joke. There hadn't been any alarms to signal one of the shuttles leaving without clearance, and there isn't any other way to get off the ship. Is there?

ROWAN: "Left the ship? How do mean - left? As in…Left? Did we get planet-side and nobody said anything?

Then she turns to Jayne and lifts an eyebrow.

ROWAN: "Or did you figure he was plotting against the ship and crew too and just toss him out into the black?"

Rowan puts the plate down and gently places the expertly prepared bao into the steamer. Covering the dozen or so, she folds her arms and meets Jayne's eyes again.

EOM

OOC: Somebody else needs to post for awhile... I'm starting to feel like I'm abusing the privilege.

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
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Friday, November 19, 2004 12:08 PM

MANIACNUMBERONE


Book's Move
Location: His room


-----
MAL - "Gotta let loose some pressure or another fracas like ole Demon ... uh mean ... Damon ... did ... an sumbody, most likely the boy, is gonna have ta be shoved inta a bodybag."
...Mal suddenly looks very haggard and drawn...and in a near whisper...
"An' 'm tir'd of alwaz havin' ta do up the zip"
-----

A concern for every human being. The love for his fellow man. Doing good in the world. These were the things that his life was based upon now, and had been for a long time. "There'll be no zipping up of body bags on my watch, Captain."

Book sets down his glass, with the contents still undrunk and goes quickly to Mal's side, supporting him with an arm and trying to lead him back into his chair. "There's much you and I have to discuss, but may I have your permission to go speak with Damon when we're done? I assume you've put him somewhere... safe."


EM

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Friday, November 19, 2004 2:30 PM

SQUEE


Damon's turn:
LOCATION - SPARE DORM


Quote:

"Two weeks," Xiang says in a whisper. "Possibly three, but no more. I am guaranteed of it.”

Two to three weeks… definitely longer than he had been hoping for. He lies still for a long while, thinking, debating. He tries telling himself that he can survive one more day, but he knows it’ll take longer than that. He tries telling himself he just needs to keep going but his desire to end it all has grown passed the point of being able to ignore it. On the other hand… freedom could be just a couple weeks away.

Three weeks. He said three weeks guaranteed. In three weeks, I’ll either be free or I’ll end it. Finished.

Decision made, he tries again. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he gets his legs under him and manages to get up to his knees. Staying up is almost harder than getting up was and he looks ready to fall over again, but he doesn’t. He looks up at Xiang, a spark of light returning to his dark eyes from God knows where.







I'm not broken, in my dream I win...

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Friday, November 19, 2004 4:03 PM

SAINT JAYNE


Jayne's Move

"Mr. Thorne has left the ship."

That didn't make a whole heluva lot of sense. "She me1?" he grunts behind Inara.

"Left the ship? How do mean - left? As in...Left?"

"You mean he's havin' an outta body?" Jayne holds one hand to his temple and flits it away - crazy.

"Did we get planet-side and nobody said anything?"

"Don't care fer havin' his likes around, pokin' into my thoughts."

Then she turns to Jayne and lifts an eyebrow. "Or did you figure he was plotting against the ship and crew too and just toss him out into the black?"

As much as Jayne tried to think in those directions, Rosie always came up smelling like Geraniums. Jayne scoffs. Rowan is directing the conversation his way now. Could be she's trying to distract him.

Rowan puts the plate down and gently places the expertly prepared bao into the steamer. Covering the dozen or so, She folds her arms and meets Jayne's eyes again.

"I try not to kill the passengers", Jayne says slowly as he and Rowan stare each other down. "Ain't that right, 'Nara?"

1 Huh?

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Friday, November 19, 2004 7:13 PM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - Galley


JAYNE: "I try not to kill the passengers", Jayne says slowly as he and Rowan stare each other down. "Ain't that right, 'Nara?"

Rowan scoffs back at him, finding the statement entirely too erroneous for words.

ROWAN: "Wouldn't be the first time I've seen it done. I've seen hired men toss passengers into the black just for their shoes. Granted, there was about three million in diamonds in the heels of those shoes, but that doesn't make it any less the case."

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Friday, November 19, 2004 8:43 PM

SAINT JAYNE


Jayne's Move

"I've seen hired men toss passengers into the black just for their shoes. Granted, there was about three million in diamonds in the heels of those shoes, but that doesn't make it any less the case."

Jayne is appauled by what Rowan says. Diamond is just too easy to fake - not worth the risk killing a man over. Gold, on the other hand...

"I worked with fellers what'd shoot ya fer fun. Don't mean I dumped no one."

Some people would mind being accused of murder. Jayne didn't really have that problem. On the one hand it wasn't far from the truth, and on the other hand it let everyone see how dangerous he could be. He liked that.

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Friday, November 19, 2004 9:06 PM

MERCEDESTROY


KAYLEEs move

LOCATION - DINING ROOM

INARA
"Kaylee, mei-mei, "I found some ribbons earlier." And I thought they might look pretty braided in your hair. Perhaps when things have quietened down...?"


pause

KAYLEE turns back, towards Inara.

INARA
"Mr. Thorne has left the ship."


That gets KAYLEE’s attention. How on earth-that-was could he leave right here and now, in the middle of nowhere? But that is hardly as important as the look on 'Nara’s face. KAYLEE moves towards her, with a gentle smile.

KAYLEE
“Aw, ‘Nara, I’m sorry. Did he say why? Oh, never mind that, are you OK?”


She crosses the room towards INARA, watching. Does she need a hug or a laugh.

EOM


If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Friday, November 19, 2004 9:20 PM

MERCEDESTROY


MERZ move

LOCATION - GALLEY As ...

MERZ watches INARA preparing the bao. Watched ROWAN make contact with INARA, touch and smile, as she takes up the plate of completed bao that INARA has just filled.

With the method witnessed firmly in her mind, and the power level ROWAN gave, Merz starts on a second plate. Still watching the room with the portion of her attention not devoted to her cooking; which takes up a surprising amount of her attention to get right.

So she is a witness to the conversation between ROWAN and JAYNE – unsettling as it is. That Thorne is gone strikes her as peculiar behavior even for a civilian. That ROWAN suspects JAYNE of foul play is … well, he does not show any evidence of that to her, but civilians are strange. MERZ knows she can be fooled on some things.

She witnesses the conversation between INARA and KAYLEE, and does not understand. But there really is no danger here; unlike JAYNE, neither Kaylee or Inara seem particularly dangerous.

Merz continues to make bao, to record the words, and to ponder meanings. Still huming softly – that song is… stuck in her mind.

EOM


If Justice is the dish, then I am your waitress

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Saturday, November 20, 2004 4:56 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Rowan's Move
LOCATION - Galley


JAYNE: "I worked with fellers what'd shoot ya fer fun. Don't mean I dumped no one."

Rowan tips her head to one side, thinking back on the succession of ships and planets she's been on since she buried Li in an unmarked grave on Pacquin. How many times has she seen men dropped in the street after a round of gun fire, or a knife in the gut, just for the bag of platinum in their coat pocket? Not as much as one might think, but more than her fair share, certainly. Life is tough out in the black. Get careless and it could be her face-planted in the dirt, her money lifted, her memory forgotten.

Jayne is the type who would kill because he felt like it, but he would probably have to have a better reason than most. Coin would be a motivator, yes, but not just enough to make it to the next port. Rowan has already tagged him as a mercenary with a heart hidden in the back closet somewhere. The part she can't determine is why in the 'verse he would appoint himself as her own personal watch-dog?

FLASHBACK

He was deliberately standing right in her way. A giant mountain of a man, glowering at her the way the warriors in the old Chinese watercolors did. Since he was at least twice as wide as Xiang, there was no way she could step past him, so she just stood there, head tipped back, eyes focused.

"Baobei?"

"Shide?" She turned to see Xiang go on with what he was reading, oblivious to the giant man in his office doorway.

"He won't move."

"It is an all-points alert," Xiang said matter-of-factly. "When it is cleared, he will move."

Rowan turned back to face her husband's new bodyguard and bounced on the balls of her feet. "Could he maybe not move outside the ladies room instead?"

Li gave her the tiniest of smiles.

END FLASHBACK


Rowan closes her eyes, wincing against the pain. She'd grown to love that giant bear of a man and even appreciate his stubbornness. In time she came to see his devotion to Xiang which transferred to her simply because she was Xiang's wife. Once or twice she thought she saw more in Li's eyes than simple respect, but he never spoke of it.

Breathing a sigh as the spasm passes, Rowan decides to add dreaming up conspiracy theories to the list of things to stop thinking about. Lifting the lid on the steamer, she picked up a pair of stainless steel serving tongs and turned the bao.

ROWAN: "Three more minutes, tops. Then I'll need a taste-tester." She meets Jayne's eyes again. "Wouldn't want the captain getting a mouthful of bad bao, now would we da jia huo?

EOM

da jia huo = big guy

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Saturday, November 20, 2004 6:46 AM

SAINT JAYNE


Jayne's Move

"Three more minutes, tops. Then I'll need a taste-tester." She meets Jayne's eyes again. "Wouldn't want the captain getting a mouthful of bad bao, now would we da jia huo?"

How obvious could she be! And then she could just explain it away as bad chalants. "You gotta taste tester, standin' right there in yer boots. Seems like yer the only one'd know if it tastes right er not."

Jayne glances over to River. If she actually wanted to eat it, it must be fine. She could tell if someone put poison into the food. Unless she also knew what Jayne was thinking and lied to make him eat something that would lessen his life expectancy.

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Saturday, November 20, 2004 10:35 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Xiang's Move:
LOCATION - ORBOROS: Tantalus Shipping Nexus


It was very much like those extremely rare moments when he would see the spark of learning blossom in the eyes of one of his students. That precious moment of realization, when he knew he'd touched a young person's mind. This was vastly different. That was the spark that had caused the first crack in his conditioning, enlightening him to the idea that serving in Crofton Trihn's household was not in fact what he had been made for.
Quote:

FLASHBACK

Not until they were two days from Dis did their rescuer declare them safe. How Robert had managed to hire this particular individual, Xiang couldn't say, but he must have put himself into utter destitution in order to afford the fee. The man known only as Templar had come into the cramped cabin himself to inform him that they were beyond the point of no return.

"If there was going to be pursuit, they'd be on us by now," Templar said, employing a lazy but sophisticated drawl that reminded Xiang of a Cajun-descended student he'd had a few years ago. Was it his true speech pattern, or part of one of his many disguises?

Templar went on to add, "Best you go tend to that boy, let him know it's safe. Maybe he'll settle himself on down and sleep the night."

Swinging down from the upper bunk, Xiang went out to comply. He found Damon in the small common area, in the usual place. The lounge chair was turned so that he could rest his feet on the bulkhead and tilted about as far back as it would go. Damon was staring out into the black, calmer now than he had been less than an hour ago when he woke up with a start, soaked in a cold sweat. He refused to discuss it, but Xiang knew the nightmares he had suffered were not something new.

"Templar says we are in the clear," Xiang said. Waiting a response, he pushed up the sleeves on the sweater, the first he'd worn in who knew how long. His own college days, perhaps?

Damon remained as he was for nearly half a minute before his eyes finally turned to Xiang. It was as if he was afraid to acknowledge that Xiang had spoken, in case he was still trapped in the torture of his dreams.

END FLASHBACK

EOM

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Saturday, November 20, 2004 1:35 PM

SQUEE


Damon's turn:
LOCATION - SPARE DORM


Damon opens his eyes, though it makes no difference in the dark room. He feels a smile on his face, remembering Xiang always made him smile. How many times had he saved his life? Or sanity? Countless. Xiang had been good on his promise. Rescue came 17 days after that day. One man. Damon had been expecting an army, though he didn’t know why, one man made more sense. Maybe because over the years he learned just how impossible escaping from Dis is- the kind of impossibility only an army can conquer.

Maybe that was why it took him so long to believe it.


Quote:

Damon lies back on a chair, watching the black through a window in the lounge on… whatever ship he’s on. Time passes so quickly when he sits here, memorized by the beauty of the stars, lost in thoughts that he can’t make heads or tails of.

He constantly feels like he should be doing something, like watching for guards or making escape plans. But he’s passed that now. It took him a few solid meals before his stomach could hold its food. Xiang did his best to get him to pace himself but Damon didn’t think any amount of pacing would have made a difference.

The silence was what bewildered him most. Waking up in his bunk, a room. The dark was natural, the fading nightmare was too, but it was so quiet. No bells ringing, no guards shouting or slaves moving about… just… silence. And then he would stumble around looking for the light only to find he’s not where he expected to be. Even now, sitting in the lounge was weird, surrounded by metal and glass.

He pulls the blanket tighter around his shoulders. It even looked colder than the rock and dirt he was used to. He hasn’t gotten used to the temperature on this ship, though Xiang says it’s normal. He’s tried wearing warmer clothes but even wearing one shirt feels weird. He doesn’t know how Xiang can stand sweaters. Socks were wonderful though, and kept him a lot warmer in this strange place. He could spend hours just studying the room, telling himself that this is where he is. But he spent the most time watching space pass around him. It looked so much different up here.

"Templar says we are in the clear."

Xiang’s words slowly register, but like so many things he’s seen, heard, felt, smelt or ate in the last couple days, he can’t quite wrap his brain around the concept. It’s not a dream- it’s all too unreal to be a dream. He looks up at Xiang and sits up, words failing him.

For a long few minutes, neither of them say anything, just watching each other. Eventually, a smile spreads on Damon’s face. The smile breaks into giddy laughter that he can’t hold back.

“I wish… I wish I could have seen his face… when he found out…”

He falls back into the chair, clutching his side against the pain of his injuries as he continues to laugh.




I'm not broken, in my dream I win...

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Saturday, November 20, 2004 1:55 PM

SQUEE


River
LOCATION - GALLEY

River looks up at Jayne when she feels his eyes on her.

"You are being utterly ridiculous, you know that?" She arches a brow like a mother looking at her stubborn child. "But if you want to be that way then maybe you don't need any bao. I'm sure everyone else will be able to enjoy it for you."

She returns her attention to steamer, as if she could see the bao through it.



I'm not broken, in my dream I win...

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Sunday, November 21, 2004 8:07 PM

SAINT JAYNE


Jayne's Move

"But if you want to be that way then maybe you don't need any bao. I'm sure everyone else will be able to enjoy it for you."

The corners of Jayne's mouth flicker slightly as he holds in a smile. "Yes, ma'am." It was odd - now that River had forbade him from having any bao, he suddenly wanted some.

A splash and hiss near Jayne quickly pull his attention back to the pot of boiling coffee. He pulls on a thick baby blue oven mit with a white floral pattern and removes the pot from the heater. "Pardon, 'Nara" he apologises after bumping her with an elbow, his eyes always on the bao making activities.

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Monday, November 22, 2004 8:06 AM

RAVENWHYTEWING


Slights move:

Slight shrugs. "Good question. You can ask him yourself. Mean time, might I have some frikkin atmo? I can't hold out much longer. And I'm very cold."

Slight begins to make his way to the airlock, waiting for Malachi to follow.
"Any questions you have shall have to be after I contact Serenity. We need to arrange a rendezvous, if you want to kill this Shepard."
Slight makes sure to stress Shepard, to indicate he's aware of more than a godly view.
Slight begins to consider his options. Killing this pompous fool would be the easiest, but Slight can't afford any vendettas from his friends. Threat of force is out as well. Slight is too weak to maintain a level of control over a hardened killer. Until his body is repaired, he can't continue to use his brain. Whatever Niska gave him in that smoke left a few scars. The filter is still in his pocket, so he can run some tests and find out what exactly is in his body. Until he performs a cleansing rite, he has to be careful. What's more, for his body to be prepared, he needs to be fixed up. Abruptly, his mind creates a vision, as his advanced thoughts put the puzzle together.
There's a person in front of him, as he lays on a med table. The faces change through mechanics and doctors he's known. Finally, the face settles on the mechanic from Serenity. She can fix the parts. But she becomes half the person, as the faces change through the doctors. It finally settles onto Simon, and the two faces meld.
Slight nods to himself. Both of them. Both of them can help him become. . .whole, again.

Wizards Eighth Rule: Deserve Victory

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