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Rough Road to Travel

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This story is No. 9 in the series "Wishlist 2011". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The Alliance hunting them, Reavers on their tail, and a dimensional tear in front of them, there’s only one way to go.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Crossover: FireflyMissEFR1512,1141133,5579 Dec 119 Dec 11Yes
Disclaimer: Don’t own or claim rights to Stargate SG1 or Firefly

~~~~~

“This is tian fuhn di fu,” Mal muttered, gazing out the cockpit window.

“It’s feng le is what it is,” Jayne snorted.

Shi ma?” Mal demanded. “You got a better idea.”

Jayne scoffed. “Gorram purple-bellies huntin’ us and cheong bao ho tze Reavers behind us? I’m thinkin’ this may be feng le but it’s the only plan we got right now that don’t leave us humped for sure.”

Mal looked out to the iridescent tear in (apparently) the space-time continuum, and couldn’t help but agree. In the back of his head, he heard his former pilot yelling, ‘Oh god, oh god, we’re all gonna die!’ “Don’t even think it, Li’l Albatross,” he muttered.

“It’s gonna work, Cap’n,” Kaylee assured from her corner of the cockpit.

“Ain’t you supposed to be in the Engine Room?” Mal demanded, turning to his mechanic.

“Not yet,” Kaylee soothed. “I got plenty of time afore I have to get back there. I just wanted to look at the pretty.”

“The pretty?” Mal did not squeak. “That ri shao gou shi bing thing out there is a celestial terror; it is not pretty!”

“Relax, Cap’n,” Kaylee smiled. “You know me an’ River looked the numbers over. Well, River looked the numbers over, and I know Serenity can handle it.” She looked at the bulkhead and caressed it. “Serenity’s real shiny like that.”

“Zoë,” Mal mused, “you ain’t said not a word about this.”

Zoë pursed her lips and shook her head. “Juh guh jee hua juhn kuh pah!” she muttered. “Don’t see no way but forward, sir,” she admitted.

Ni men dou bi zui,” River growled. “Some people are trying to fly. Kaylee, I need you in the Engine Room now. Everyone else, be elsewhere.”

“Right, people,” Mal announced as he straightened, “strap in. It’s bound to be a bumpy ride.”

~~~~~

Rodney squinted at the display. “It’s amazing that this wormhole has remained stable for so long.”

“I know,” Sam nodded. “Although, the way the energy levels are spiking, I don’t think it’s going to be stable for too much longer. Still, the data we’re receiving is amazing.”

“Data, shmata,” Jack scowled, “just so long as nothing comes out of there shooting at us.”

“Did you just jinx us?” Rodney demanded. “I thought you knew better than that, General O’Neill. Now we’re going to get something that makes the Goa’uld and the Wraith and the Replicators look like small fry.”

“Oh, for crying out loud,” Jack protested, “weren’t both of you just saying how it isn’t stable enough for travel? And isn’t it winding down, or something?”

Rodney humphed. “Doesn’t matter. Any minute now, something really dangerous is going to come out of that wormhole and chew us up.”

Hoping to forestall Jack’s next words, Sam rushed in. “We’re on the George Hammond, we have a full complement of fighters, and are fully capable of defending ourselves.”

Jack looked at Sam, then at Rodney. “You’re right, we’re jinxed.”

“Sir!” Sam cried, aghast. If she had planned to say more, she was side-tracked by a sudden flash from the wormhole.

“See?” Rodney muttered. “I said something was going to happen, but no one believes me, no, I’m only the smartest person on this ship, why would anyone believe me?”

“Oh, can it, Rodney,” Sam muttered. “Status of our shields?” she called out.

The next few minutes were a flurry of activity, then everyone turned to wait for developments. They were surprised to see a dinky little fat-bellied ship sail through the wormhole, only to turn and head towards them.

The comms officer turned to Sam. “We’re being hailed, Ma’am.”

“Put it on,” Sam nodded.

“- seeking assistance. Repeat, this is the mid-bulk transport Serenity, seeking assistance. We may have been followed through the wormhole by pirates seeking to kill any and all they find. Do you read me?”

“Transport Serenity, this is the USS George Hammond” Sam began, “what is your status?”

“We appear to be fine, but we are unarmed, and we’re being pursued by pirates,” Serenity’s pilot explained. “Are you able to help us?”

“If the pirates make it through the wormhole, we can offer you shelter, but you would need to remain on your ship until we can get things sorted,” Sam decided.

“That’s fine by us,” a man’s voice answered. “Can you tell us where we are, by chance? We can’t get a thing up on our nav systems.”

“You just came through a wormhole,” Rodney snorted. “Are you really expecting to be at the same coordinates?”

“Course I ain’t,” the man shot back, “but there ain’t nowhere in the ‘Verse as ain’t on the Cortex, and this place ain’t.”

“Can you believe this?” Rodney demanded. “We have a yokel in command of a ship.”

“Well, apparently,” the man said, sounding aggrieved, “we ain’t in our ‘Verse no more, or so my pilot says. Don’t ask me, I ain’t the genius here.”

“Well, that’s obvious,” Rodney muttered.

“Sounds like my pilot won’t be the only brat on board the ship,” the man returned. “Anyways, we’re comin’ up on you. My pilot wants to know where she should dock. Though, genius as she is, why she can’t just figure it out her own self I don’t know,” he added in a teasing voice.

Sam gave instructions about which bay to dock at, and turned back to monitor the wormhole. It was already showing signs of a vessel in transit, and as they watched, a very different ship exited the event horizon. Where Serenity could possibly be classed as cute, this ship was anything but. As it approached, it appeared less and less friendly, charging straight for them without any attempt to contact them, instead transmitting what appeared to be screams.

Sam indicated for the comms officer to open a channel. “Unidentified ship, this is the USS George Hammond: we request you stand down immediately.”

There was no reply, and the ship continued to approach at a reckless speed. “Unidentified ship, this is the USS George Hammond, if you do not halt your approach we will be forced to take action.”

Once again, the new ship failed to respond, and Sam’s various officers were feeding her increasingly disturbing information. She looked at Jack, who nodded solemnly. “Unidentified ship, if you do not turn around immediately, I will be forced to fire upon you.”

The aggressor showed no signs of halting their attack, so Sam, grimacing at the necessity, gave the order. Within moments, the ship disappeared in a bright explosion, and the screams were finally silenced. Sam looked away from the diminishing wreckage to the now-collapsing wormhole. As she watched, it flashed, then disappeared.

“It’s what you had to do,” Jack offered.

Sam nodded stiffly. “Well, I suppose we’d better meet these new people,” she said finally.

~~~~~

Sam picked a speck of lint off her uniform, and waited for the hatch to open. She was very excited to see inside this transport, as it was nothing like anything she’d seen before, and spoke of a civilisation that used interstellar transport much the way they used cross-country services.

“Still wish we had a squadron of Marines with us,” Rodney grumbled. “Or Ronon, Ronon’s good. Teyla, too. Hell, I’d even have John, he’s not useless in a fight.”

“I’ll be sure to let your team-mates know how your feel,” Jack smirked.

Sam turned to shush them, but they were all distracted by the sound of the hatch opening. Once the ramp was fully extended, they strode up and entered what appeared to be the hold. Waiting for them was a man with a red shirt, tight pants, suspenders and boots, with a woman and a man, similarly dressed, on either side. The all appeared to be unarmed, but Jack wouldn’t put it past any of them to have weapons secreted somewhere on their bodies. To the back was another group of people, a man and two women, all looking a lot more harmless than the trio in front of them.

The man in the middle strode forward, hand outstretched. “I’m Malcolm Reynolds,” he introduced, smiling, “and I’m Captain of this here ship, Serenity, and these are my crew. This is Zoë,” he nodded to the woman to his left, “she’s my First Mate, and that there is Jayne. Back of us are our doctor, Simon, our mechanic, Kaylee, and our pilot, River.”

“The supposed genius,” Rodney blurted before anyone could stop him.

“River is a genius,” the doctor scowled. “I don’t even have to know you to say that in comparison you are a babbling child.”

“Now see here –” Rodney began.

“Rodney!” Sam shouted, grabbing him as he surged past.

“Simon,” Mal growled back at the doc. He turned back to the others. “Look, I get that you all are real smart, but Simon’s right. There’s genius, and then there’s River. Simon says he was top three per cent, or some such, but he says that he’s a babblin’ child in comparison, so you’re in good company. I dare say the rest of us are slobberin’ dogs if it’s any comfort.”

“Woof,” Jack murmured to Sam, getting a huffed ‘Sir!’ in return.

Sam smiled at the strangers. “I’m Colonel Sam Carter, Commanding Officer of the USS George Hammond, and this is General Jack O’Neill and Doctor Rodney Mackay,” she introduced, indicating each man in turn. Welcome to the George Hammond. Perhaps we could discuss what happened, and what you plan to do from now on,” she suggested.

Mal took a deep breath. “Well, accordin’ to River, there ain’t no way back to our ‘verse.”

“Oh, yes, because we’re going to take a child’s word on this,” Rodney scoffed.

Sam gave a tight smile. “Rodney, do I need to send you away?” She waited until Rodney huffed but subsided before going on. “Well, I suppose you can’t stay on Serenity forever, so we’re going to have our medical staff check you over, and then you can be assigned rooms.”

“Uh, you mind my askin’,” Mal began, “but what happened to them Reavers?”

“Reavers?” Sam asked, confused.

“Pirates,” River supplied from her place in the back.

“Oh,” Sam winced. “They refused to stand down on my repeated instruction and warning, so I ordered my people to fire on them. The ship was destroyed.”

Sheh sheh,” Mal nodded grimly. “Reavers … they ain’t a thing you’re like see, nor do you want to. Kill you, rape you, eat you; that order, if you’re lucky.”

Rodney paled suddenly, and turned on Jack. “I told you,” he hissed. “Didn’t I tell you?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Jack grunted. “So these Reavers: what are they, where do they come from, and how do we defeat them?”

Mal grimaced. “Well, like as they won’t be comin’ this way, but… They was men, once upon a time. Parliament made the Pax to calm men down, tried it on a planet called Miranda. And it worked. Men got so calm they laid down and died, simple as anything. But on some, some little bit of a population, it did the opposite, turned ‘em mad. They ain’t men no more, and they travel about finding them as they can, and, well…

“We’ve fought Reavers,” Mal went on after a moment. “You can’t show mercy – they don’t understand it, they can’t. Only merciful thing to do is end them. Do it quick, do it clean, and make the ‘verse a better place as you do. It ain’t killin’, it’s puttin’ down a sick animal.”

Sam closed her eyes against the information, but felt relief that she’d chosen the correct route. “Thank you. Well, if you would follow me, I’ll take you to our medical facilities so you may be checked over. I’m sure you’d like to talk to some of our people, and I know we would love to get a look at some of your technology as well. Hopefully we can make it a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

Mal glanced at is First Mate then looked back to River, who was looking out the hatch with a hopeful smile. She looked at him and nodded, and he relaxed. Mayhap this would turn out right for once. Maybe there was a future to be had now.

He could live with ‘maybe’.

~~~~~

Translations from the Firefly Wiki

tian fuhn di fu - complete disarray, sheer pandamoniom

feng le - crazy

shi ma is that so?

cheong bao ho tze - monkey raping

ri shao gou shi bing - pile of sun-baked dog poo

juh guh jee hua juhn kuh pah there’s nothing about this plan that isn’t horrific

ni men dou bi zui - everybody, shut the hell up

sheh sheh - thank you

The End

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