Of Bad Preachers and Naughty Kittens
I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly. The characters likewise. They belong to Joss Whedon.
December 21st 2518
“You saw too much…”
Xander looked up, carefully covering the angry outburst that welled within him at that declaration. Finally he met the eyes of the strange little pilot that had walked into the dining area while he was snacking on a rather disgusting wedge of protein. What he wouldn’t have given for a single damned Twinkie. “I suppose I did.”
River smiled faintly. “Saw too much of the bad preacher’s plans and wouldn’t stay silent like a good little kitten. Acted the naughty kitten and shattered the silence with your cold, hard truths. And so the preacher said unto thee ‘an eye for an eye’.”
Xander calmly met the pilot’s gaze, giving nothing away. The girl was a fascinating mixture of Drusilla and Buffy in her personality, with a little Faith thrown in at odd times. Xander fought hard to suppress an internal wince as he thought desperately on what to do. This new slayer was also a seer, which complicated matters badly. The fact that the crew of this ship seemed highly protective of her was likely good and bad.
“Can’t decide what to do. Difficult to watch with half your sight gone. Seeing half of what you could before and yet still more then most…”
Xander sighed. She already knew who and what he was. He supposed that made life both more and less difficult. He just thanked the fates that he had been the one to deal with Dana. Certainly she had been a challenging slayer to watch, but his experience with her had likely prepared him for the very worst things he could imagine. That girl had really been screwed up. “Seeing is vastly underrated. You never really appreciate it until its taken from you.”
December 21st 2518
Malcolm Reynolds sat at the console, Wash’s console, staring out at the stars as they passed by. The new passengers seemed benign enough but he knew better then to believe they were benign. The Shepherd, the Doc and the Fed had taught him that lesson in spades. He suddenly felt a presence slipping up behind him. He didn’t react. He had been expecting her. “Report.”
Zoe Washburne stood behind Mal with the stoic calm of the professional soldier that she had always been. “The old man, the girl and the accountant seem to be harmless enough, sir. Nothing really jumps out about any of them.”
Mal snorted. “Given our past history, those are probably the most dangerous of the bunch. And the guy with the patch?”
Zoe was silent for a long moment. “I don’t like him. Something about him bothers me.”
Mal had to restrain himself from smirking. With the freshness of Zoe’s wounds concerning Wash, what he was going to say might be risky. Still, Zoe had done a lot of healing and it was time to test the waters, as it were. “Given the distinctive lack of facial hair, should I assume that you just dislike Hawaiian shirts?”
Zoe stiffened faintly but managed to stop herself from lashing out at Mal. The Captain knew that talking about Wash still hurt her, but he also made a point of not treating her like she was broken. She respected that about him. Finally she thought back to the passenger in question and acknowledged that the Captain’s pronouncement was rather amusing and truthful. The last person to bother her like that Marx character did had been Wash. Still, Zoe didn’t laugh. She had a reputation to maintain. “It’s not his shirt, sir. It’s River. She’s taken a great deal of interest in him.”
Mal froze up briefly. “She ain’t freaking out, is she? Goin’ all spaced out like she does when things are all about to go belly up?”
Zoe shook her head calmly. “She’s talking like she usually does, all in circles. She’s currently talking to the guy about how he lost his eye.”
Mal snorted in response. “How’d it happen? He try to shoot someone’s mechanic?” Zoe’s silence was telling and made Mal nervous. “He didn’t, did he? Coz if that’s so then I’m putting him through the airlock now and to hell with what he’s paying us. I am not going through that again. One Dobson was enough…”
Zoe’s voice was chilling. “According to River he saw too much… And bad preacher said unto him, ‘an eye for an eye’…”
Mal shuddered. “Oh, ain’t that all manner of creepy.”
Zoe appeared unmoved, at least on the surface. “River’s not acting out around him, but I thought her unnatural interest in the man was noteworthy, especially since the guy seems to take it in stride.”
Mal nodded. “Keep an eye on this, Zoe. I don’t want any surprises on this flight.”
**Guest Quarters, Serenity
December 21st 2518
The assassin smiled broadly as he slowly put together the energy weapon that he had smuggled aboard the ship in pieces. He normally didn’t allow telling expressions to cross his face, but this was a special occasion.
The man had been contracted to kill Alexander Harris, of the Interplanetary Watchers’ Council. He had spent a fair bit of time tracking down the elusive Watcher, positively shocked that a one-eyed man could blend so well. And then he’d hit pay dirt. He’d literally almost walked into the man on Persephone. Normally the assassin would have struck right away, but something had held him back. Now he was glad he had waited. He had Harris alone, on a sparsely-populated ship and he was within spitting distance of River Tam as well. There was nothing quite like a double payday.
He did not send a signal to the Alliance, to the Council or even to his own superiors. Any Captain worth his salt would be monitoring for such things and it would not do to prematurely alert anyone to his presence. He already had assurances of payment and that was all that he needed. He could transmit to his heart’s content once the targets, and any witnesses, were dead.
The assassin snapped the last piece into place on his energy weapon. “There. All done. Now it’s just a matter of time before I get to collect. We’ve been waiting for many centuries for someone to put out a new contract on you, Mr. Harris. Nobody crosses the Order of Taraka.”
Baby its back! ;)
I've made my decision as to the 'ship now.
Xander, an assassin, and that's just two of the four passengers. Who are the others? You'll see...