Disclaimer: Firefly and Highlander, aren't mine, they belong to Joss Whedon and Panzer/Davis...pass the tissues
Blue Sun Rising
Methos watched grimly as
the Alliance troops marched across the space docks, ignoring the quiet panic
that shivered through the milling crowd. “It’s official. The ‘verse has gone
to hell,” he thought, taking a step back as the squad neared.
Ignoring the dirty looks as he elbowed his way through the crowd, Methos
headed towards the hull he could see in the distance. There had been way too
many Alliance soldiers on Persephone lately, way too many. Maybe the
rumours were true after all…
Methos grimaced. It had been two months
since the Miranda tape had aired and the dust still hadn’t settled. Personally,
the only thing he found surprising about the whole incident was that people were
But the Alliance weren’t his biggest
problem at the moment; that singular honour went to Cameron Wright, a man who
just didn’t know when to quit. He’d been nursing a grudge since their time on
the Enright, and he intended to collect.
Methos sighed. It had
been over two centuries since he’d dwelled on the hellish years on the
generational ships; over a century of cramped quarters and irritable tempers.
Not many immortals risked the voyage, fewer than forty, but Methos had thought
it worth running the risk of being found out. The prospect of a brand new life
with only two score immortals to worry about, rather the hundreds that roamed
the Earth, was too good to let pass.
It’s a pity that one of those
immortals happened to be Cam.
Squinting against the sun, Methos let his
bags drop to the ground with a thump as he reached his destination, and tried to
make out the name over the hanger door. “The Aces and Eights…hmm, looks a bit
dubious but beggars can’t be choosers, and the ship looks sound”. Methos
rolled his aching shoulders, and grimaced as he felt the sword harness dig into
Damn it, why did Cameron have to pick this planet to
resettle on? It was so damned inconvenient. And rumours of a rampaging fleet of
reavers didn’t help either; passage off the planet was a lot harder to come by.
He eyed the gaping carrier doors. Unlike the other ships, they didn’t
have a crier outside looking for trade, but that didn’t mean they weren’t taking
passengers. And he needed to get of this goram planet quickly—
Startled, Methos spun on his feet, flinching as the spoke of
a parasol nearly took his eye out. “Don’t you know it’s bad manners to sneak up
on a person like that?” he said, irritably.
The parasol tilted up,
revealing a merry smile in a young face. “Sneaking? Who was sneaking? I was just
taking a stroll and enjoying the fresh air.”
Methos eyed the packed
docks sweltering under the oppressive sun and gave her a dubious look. “If you
say so,” he said, as he began to gather up his bags. “Now, if you will excuse
me, I have a berth to book.”
“Oh, you don’t want to travel with them,”
“Oh, I don’t do I?” Methos drawled, eying the girl as he threw a satchel
over his shoulder. “And why is that?”
“Trust me; you don’t want to put
your life in that engine’s hand.”
“Optimistic little thing, aren’t you,”
Methos said dryly.
“Yes, actually,” she said, complacently ignoring his
sarcastic tone. “But I also happen to be a damned good mechanic and that
engine class runs on a mark eight fusion valve. It’s showy. I grant you, but
unreliable as heck; one moment, you’re chugging along, not a care in the world;
the next, bam, you’re dead in space with six hours of air left and not a planet
“I see, and I suppose you have a better option,” Methos
drawled, recognising a pitch when he heard one.
“As a matter of fact I
do,” she said cheerfully. “Isn’t she a beaut?”
Puzzled, Methos followed
the direction of her pointed finger. What was she talking about? All he could
see was a clapped out old-
He choked out a laughed. “That,” he
spluttered. “You’re suggesting I should put my life in the hands of that wreck
of a Firefly? You must be kidding me.”
“Hey! I’ll have you know that
Serenity has the smoothest engine between here and the core”
eyebrows rose. “My apologies,” he said, giving her what he hoped was a
conciliatory smile. “I didn’t mean to offend your ship’.”
head tilted as she eyed him. “You’re not from around here, are you?”
“What gave it away?” he said dryly.
“Everything,” she said,
grinning cheekily. “Apology accepted. I know the old gal doesn’t look like much
from the outside. But Serenity’s engine is as perfect as can be. Purrs like a
kitten and as solid as a rock.”
“Well, you’re the mechanic,” Methos
Methos eyed the diminutive
girl. “Alex,” he supplied, reluctantly.
“How’ya doing Alex,” she said,
impishly. “What’s your destination? Our flight plans are very extensive. Santo,
Athens, Whitefall, Newhall, Beylix…what’s your pleasure?”
explains why she’s so desperate to get passengers while every other ship is full
to the brim,” he thought, bemusedly. With rumours of a reaver armada
attacking the core fleet, nobody in their right mind wanted to go further out
into the border planets. The favourite destinations were the core planets. The
more core, the better.
Well, everyone except Kaylee and her shipmates,
He sighed. “Sorry, Kaylee, I don’t think- “A hollow slam
caught his attention, and his heart dropped as he turned to see that the Aces
and Eights hanger doors were now shut. A low, hollow hum filled the air, and
Kaylee tugged on his sleeve. “Better step back,” she said. “That engine makes
one hell of a messy take off.”
Sand swirled through the air, and Methos
hastily narrowed his eyes and grabbed the rest of his luggage. “Damn it, damn
it,” he muttered disgustedly under his breath.
“Hey, don’t worry,”
Kaylee yelled over the howl of the engine. “There’s still plenty of room on
“Yeah, I’ll just bet there is,” Methos grumbled under his
breath as he ran through his options. He still hadn’t checked out all the ships
at the east side of the docks. Maybe he’d get lucky.
A familiar shiver
ran up his spine and Methos groaned under his breath.
Methos looked down into Kaylee’s expectant face. Somebody out there
really hated him. Plastering on a smile, he tilted his head towards the Firefly,
which looked even worse under closer examination. “You might as well lead the
way,” he murmured, trying to keep his face smooth as the other immortal’s
presence got closer and closer.
“Really?” she squeaked, before
recovering. “Great! Right this way.” Kaylee beamed as she snatched one of his
bags from his hands and skipped through the crowds. Methos wondered briefly what
medication she was on; nobody was naturally that cheerful.
tried to keep up with her, but whatever magic she performed to ease her way
through the crowd didn’t seem to work for him. He determinedly pushed his way
towards the Firefly, breathing a sigh of relief as he eventually made it to its
cargo bay doors.
“What took you so long,” Kaylee asked, as he joined her
on the ramp.
Methos threw her a dirty look and immediately regretted it
when he saw the hurt on her face. “Sorry, he muttered. “It’s been a long day.”
“Who, the heck, is he?”
A long shadow suddenly appeared on the
ramp, and Methos looked up to see a hulking brute chewing on a cigar and
fondling a well-oiled shotgun. He would have looked intimidating, if it weren’t
for the fact that he was also wearing a very fetching woolly hat.
this is Jayne,” Kaylee said. “Jayne, this is Alex, our passenger.”
passenger? “ The brute snorted. “Oh, great, Mal is going to love this.”
“Yes, he is, isn’t he?” Kaylee said, seemingly unaware of derision in
her shipmate’s voice. Methos wondered if it was real or intentional.
With a grunt, the woolly-hatted brute disappeared up the ramp and Kaylee
grabbed Methos by the arm. “Come on, I’ll show you to your room,” she said as
she dragged him into the loading bay.
Methos paused at the entrance,
blinking as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. The bay was no different from
any other Firefly, although the tire hanging from the ceiling was not exactly
regulation issue…and neither was the teenager hanging from it by her ankles.
“That’s River,” Kaylee said.
“Hi,” the girl said, waving. Methos
was struck by a brief sense of vertigo as she suddenly let go and landed on
“Nice dismount,” Methos muttered, not sure of what else to
The girl shrugged gracefully as she approached them. “Gravity is an
illusion that all must follow, even me,” she said, gravely, as she came to halt
in front of them. “Although time is another matter…you’re giving me a headache.”
“Excuse me?” Methos said, taken aback.
“You’re giving me a
headache,” she repeated slowly.
Large, old eyes
suddenly held his, and Methos was suddenly struck by a sense of unease that
outstripped even the shuddering presence of another immortal. “What are you
“Making sure,” she said, her voice eerily calm. The pressure
eased and Methos took a step back, resisting the urge to clutch at his head.
“He’ll do,” River said, glancing at Kaylee.
“Okaaay then,” Kaylee said,
her cheerfulness suddenly sounding forced. Methos heard a snigger and looked up.
A smirk covered Jayne’s face as leaned against the rails of the walkway above.
“What just happened there?” Methos said lowly, his eyes dropping to
River as she slowly danced across the cargo bay.
“She means well,”
Kaylee said softly.
“That isn’t an answer—”
hit the ramp, and Methos swiftly took a side step as a tall angular man charged
through the open doorway
“Jayne, We’re leaving,” he roared out. “Is
everyone on board?”
“Everyone except Zoe,” Jayne confirmed from above.
Methos heard the sound of a safety catch and groaned. What the hell had he
“She’s right behind me,” the new arrival said briskly as he
took a pistol out of his holster and automatically checked the chamber.
“Hey Captain, what the rush?” Kaylee chirped up. Methos’s heart sank
even further. This was the Captain?
“No time, just get to the
engine—” The Captain stopped in his tracks, his eyes suddenly falling on Methos.
“Who is this?”
“Who? Him? This is Alex—“
passenger!” Jayne interrupted gleefully as he descended the steps, two at
“He gave me a headache,” River piped up, smiling.
“Our Passenger?” Kaylee said, uncertainly, her grin
faltering under his incredulous gaze
“Da xiang bao zha shi de la du
zi. Have you gone mad? What were you thinking? Get him off my goram ship,
The ramp rattled once more, and a tall, lithe woman darted
into the cargo bay “Captain, we’ve got company,” she said coolly, her serious
eyes halting on Methos. He resisted the urge to straighten up as she arched an
eyebrow. “”We’ve got company outside,” she amended.
The Captain snarled
with frustration. “Chui niu! Kaylee,” he barked. “Get the engine going –
“Right away, Captain,” Methos watched silently as Kaylee
abandoned his side and sprinted towards the stairs.
“Get us in the air,” she said, finishing his sentence as she bounced
gracefully to her feet.
“Wait a minute,” Methos said, realisation
dawning, “She’s our pilot?”
The Captain’s gaze fell on him.
“Correction, she’s my pilot,” he said, flatly. “You, my friend, will have
to get your own. Jayne, show this gentlemen out.”
“Now wait a minute,”
Methos said. “Like it or not, I’m your passenger, and there’s no way—” A heavy
hand fell on his shoulder and Methos glared at Jaynes’s grinning face. “Nice
hat,” he bit out.
Jayne’s grin grew wider, “Thanks, my mum made it for
me.” His grip tightened like a vice and Methos suppressed a wince.
not going anywhere,” he protested. “I made an agreement with your mechanic.”
“Oh yes you are,” he drawled.
“Oh no he isn’t,” a quiet voice
interrupted. “They’re here.”
Methos silently watched the woman he
presumed was Zoe exchange a significant look with the Captain. Briefly, he
wondered if they were lovers, and was surprised at the sudden pang of
disappointment he felt.
The Captain nodded. “Oh no he isn’t,” he echoed
grimly as Zoe positioned herself by the door and raised her rifle.
the deck,” she said.
Recognising a serious suggestion when he heard it,
Methos threw himself to the ground, cursing as a shower of bullets whizzed over
his head and bounced off the walls.
“Jayne, close those goram doors.
We’ll cover you!” The Captain hollered, rolling onto his feet as he produced a
pistol. “Zoe, take the left.”
“Sir,” she murmured, firing out through
the hanger doors.
“Who’s firing at us?” Methos yelled over the din.
“The Alliance,” Jayne said, scornfully, as he slammed his hand on the
hanger door’s button. “Who else?”
Who else? Were these people crazy?
Methos eyed the narrowing gap and wondered if he could make a run for it.
Another hail of bullets bounced off the doors and cargo bay and he reluctantly
decided against it. Multiple gun shot wounds was not a nice way to die.
The bay doors weren’t fully closed when he felt the engines spring to
life and Methos swallowed nervously as he looked for something to hold onto.
Unfortunately, he was several feet from the bulkhead and bullets still zipped
through the gap in the doors.
This was going to be messy.
Suddenly, the floor angled upwards, and Methos felt himself slide across
the floor as the Firefly lifted. Desperately, he snatched at a pole as he slid
by and grunted as he caught hold, wincing as one of his suitcases hit him on the
“Hold on,” the Captain hollered, belatedly. “This is going to
With a clunk, the doors shut, and the Firefly tilted further.
Methos closed his eyes as he felt the engine accelerate. “Breaking orbit at
full speed while clinging to a pole…lovely,”
The pressure became
intense, and Methos fervently hoped that the engine was as good as Kaylee had said.
Engines have been known to fail when trying to perform this kind of manoeuvre
and the freefalling back to earth in this hunk of junk wasn’t on his list of fun
to things to do. Maybe he should have taken his chances with the Alliance guns.
A hollow boom shuddered through the hull, and Methos’s eyes flashed
open. If he didn’t know any better, he would have thought that someone was
firing at them.
“They’re firing on us.”
Methos followed the
direction of the voice and spotted Zoe, hanging onto a handle attached to the
“I know,” the Captain said, from a few feet to her left.”
Don’t worry, she can handle it.”
“I don’t know, Captain, she’s good, but
she’s not…” her words trailed off, pain flashing across her face.
expression on the Captain’s face spoke volumes, and Methos found himself
wondering what their story was. “Oh no you don’t, old man, ” he mentally
slapped himself. “You have enough problems of your own. Don’t get
Another boom echoed through the hull, and Methos felt the
Firefly’s trajectory alter. This was it; he’s going to die. Not even an immortal
can survive being blown into little tiny pieces.
The pressure eased
abruptly, and Methos felt himself float for a moment before the AG kicked in.
“Well, what do you know, I’m still alive,” he said, aloud.
feel too relieved yet,” Jayne said, grimly. “We still have an Alliance ship on
“You’ve got weaponry?”
Jayne threw him a withering
look. “What do you think?”
“That’s a no then,” Methos sighed.
“Just be thankful you’re alive,” the Captain said as he made
a beeline for the steps.
“For now,” Methos muttered.
complainin’,” Jayne snarled. “And make yourself useful. Got any
“You mean the kind of skills that will somehow help us evade an
Alliance ship armed to the teeth?” A frown developed on Jayne’s face, and Methos
couldn’t help but wonder if he was mentally repeating the sentence in his head.
A glance at Zoe’s amused face confirmed his suspicions.
it,” Jayne eventually said. “Well, do you?”
you better have plenty of money, that’s all I’ll say. Welcome to Serenity.”
“Thanks for the warm reception,” Methos drawled. Another hollow boom
skittered off the hull.
Zoe sighed “I better get to the bridge,
“Alex,” Methos supplied.
“Show Alex to his quarters, the
room beside River’s should do.”
”Hey! How come you get to go to bridge,
and I get to be babysitter?”
“Because I’m the first mate, and you
aren’t,” Zoe threw over her shoulder as she swiftly climbed the steps.
Muttering under his breath, Jayne poked Methos in the shoulder. “Get
your bags and follow me,” he said, not bothering to look back as he strode to
Methos looked at his luggage, which had scattered all over
the cargo bay. “Welcome to Serenity,” he muttered under his breath. “Hah!”
Translation: Da xiang bao zha shi de la du zi - The
explosive diarrhoea of an elephant
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