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The Operative appears like smoke from nowhere... (TAG Crew, Saffron, and Niska)

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Sep. 9th, 2006 | 12:24 pm
posted by: teh_operative in tmserenity

En route to the Harper's Ferry...

Before… he had too little time and too much to do. Now, all he had was time… and nothing whatsoever to do.

Unless he wanted to continue his guardian game with Malcom Reynolds. He wasn’t being a very good guardian lately. He could have easily stopped the nonsense at the galactic gas station, but he’d been curious to see how Malcom would deal with the situation.

Not very effectively.

And now he was in the hands of Adelai Niska… his ship confiscated by the Alliance.

Not very effective at all.

Charles had a hard time understanding what … made… Malcom Reynolds. The man took on the Alliance again and again... he'd taken on the Reavers! He took me on! And won!

He played an old worn out game with himself, tried to find meaning for his own life in the life of someone else. In his childhood and younger years the closest he’d come was the discipline of the martial arts masters, their code. And now, he compared himself to the crew of the Serenity.

Malcom had his own unshakable conviction… the kind of conviction Charles used to possess. He’d turned defeat into survival again and again throughout his…  life… The man had no career. Which was part of what puzzled Charles. All this drive, conviction, certitude… and no direction for it. No goal or grand philosophy, no ideal driving him on.

Jayne the mercenary utterly disgusted the Operative. He had the ruthless killing instinct to get any job done, yet what did he use that power for? Money for whores and liquor. Oh, and a little bit sent back to his mother. Nothing more. No ideals, no crusade, no purpose.

Zoe the soldier, was not capable of an independent thought. Charles was surprised with how long she’d been serving two masters: her husband and her Captain. Surely one would have gotten rid of the other by now.

Her husband was an excellent pilot. Very talented. He’d held out for the perfect situation for himself and found it evidently. Perhaps the threesome was a trickle down; Malcom ordered Zoe and she in turn ordered Hoban. Yes, that social dynamic might work. Charles’ respect for Zoe went up a notch… and that for Hoban, down.

Kaywinnet the ship’s engineer was a bit of an enigma. No formal training whatsoever, and yet she managed to keep that piece of go se in the air, and better, in the Black! The stray though returned  to the back of his mind as it ever did when contemplating that woman: was she the result of an Alliance experiment? Like River Tam? Or now, like the Reavers? Did the Alliance use each terraformed planet as an incubator for various experiments?  Was Kaywinnet a chance savant freak, or the result of careful manipulation?

Dr. Tam, the key to his soul was so very easy to decipher. Love. He loved humanity. He loved his sister.  He loved his self. He must also love Serenity and all her crew by now. Charles idly wondered what it would take for the man… to learn …to hate.

He sighed as his thoughts finally were allowed to turn to River Tam. He sat in meditation, as he did, for an hour each morning… searching for a purpose. The sleek ship he'd authorized for himself was on auto-pilot, headed for Niska's skyplex in the Georgia system.

Always before, he never asked questions. He did exactly as he was told. Serving as the invisible arm of Parliament’s justice was all he ever needed. He understood completely his purpose and his place in the scheme of things. He found fulfillment in solving Parliament’s little problems. He knew what he did was wrong morally, evil religiously, and damning spiritually. But he’d believed firmly, unshakably, utterly that this was a job that needed done, that Parliament was dedicated to making a better world. He knew there were mistakes along the way, and he was there to help correct those mistakes.

But the scope of the mistake on Miranda, an entire population dead save for the homicidally insane remnants?

It made him view the kidnap of a little girl in a new, bright, skeptical light. Despite his secret identity being locked out…. He’d planned for that long long ago… he still had Parliamentary override whenever he wished. He didn’t exist. He couldn’t be found. And more importantly, could never be stopped by the masters who’d turned him loose on the world in the first place.

After Miranda, he started asking questions, started finding out the ‘why’ the ‘how’ the ‘who’ and the ‘where’. He’d viewed all 416 of the River Tam Sessions, along with her entire case file. At times, he’d gotten caught up in the excitement of the doctors pushing the experiment. She was the first real success. Her intuition quickly became immeasurable and it appeared she read minds. Her physical abilities, subconsciously programmed were astonishing. She had the physical skills it had taken Charles ten years to develop… but the mental discipline, the spiritual core… the purpose …was no more present in her… than it was in Charles himself now.

Ever before Miranda, Charles had firmly believed in putting the benefit of the many before the survival of the individual. He’d completely volunteered for this life. River Tam hadn’t. Wouldn’t the many be more highly benefited by her work in Practical and Theoretical Quantum  Physics? He’d always left those judgments up to what he thought were better heads than his. So he investigated the purpose behind her experiment. Was she to be a super soldier? A psychic assassin? Or something else? Something more?

This trail of inquiry led him directly to Blue Sun Corporation… which did not accept Parliamentary override into its computer systems … and piqued his curiosity.

As his ship approached the Skyplex and he took control of it once more, cultured swearing in Mandarin filled his cockpit. There was an Alliance Light Cruiser docked to the skyplex. He checked the chatter.

And an Admiral's corvette headed toward her.

Charles found the Serenity docked to the cruiser and reformulated his plans. Would Malcom be proud that he was about to attempt something completely insane?

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Comments {71}

(no subject)

from: firsttour
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
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Charles flew right up to the Harper's Ferry. His override allowed him to dock without identifying himself. Surely the ship's commander was expecting something of the sort. He recognized commander pips on the collar of the uniformed man who greeted him at the airlock.

"I'll take possession of the prisoners... as well as their ship, now," he announced seriously.

Harken raised a skeptical brow. "And just exactly who might you be? And exactly what prisoners are you taking? By whose authorization?"

Charles smiled slightly. "Of course. You have an authorization port here?" he spied one just past the commander. "Yes, good." He placed his left hand over it.

Full Parliamentary Override flashed on the screen.

Harken gulped.

"That would be the crew of the Serenity.. and one Adelai Niska, I believe, yes? I can slave the Serenity to my ship's controls while you bring them, secured, to me here. If you'll be so good as to debark the Serenity."

"As you wish," Harken said shortly and turned on his heel.

He had guards put cuffs on Cobb, Frye, the Washburne's, and the Tam's, cuffing their hands behind their backs. Malcom was still bedridden so he was cuffed to a stretcher.

"Mrs. Washburne, I regret to have to transfer you to ... authorities. Um, is that other woman considered part of Serenity's crew?"

Their previous words... the reality of River Tam... filled Harken with foreboding for what he was turning them over to. But he was powerless. They'd arrived to collect them before he'd even finished exploring the Skyplex.

Adelei Niska, wrists cuffed behind them, joined them at the airlock from a different corridor.

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(no subject)

from: meimechanic
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
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Kaylee looked worriedly and wordlessly to Harken. Why was he doing this? They were all going to be killed or imprisoned. Then she saw the Captain on the stretcher and tears filled her eyes and slid down her cheeks. This was not good.

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(no subject)

from: zoe_washburn
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Zoe seemed to think for a moment. Saffron had helped the Captain... or so they assumed. They would need her with them if they were to attempt escape. Then the Captain could decide what to do with her. "She is." She finally said.

Then she spotted Niska... in cuffs nonetheless. "Ain't so scary when you're all tied up." She told the man. "And I'm a mite stronger than you." She reared back and landed a side kick to Niska's chest angrily, pushing him back against the wall. Then she silently prayed for just a moment alone with him when she wasn't cuffed.

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Adelai Niska

(no subject)

from: is_solid
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Niska remained calm even if this turn of things was somewhat unexpected. Why were they not detained on the Alliance ship?

When he was put in the same room as the Serenity crew his eyes narrowed slightly. This was fairly unusual. He didn't get to think much more than a somewhat cold repartee to the Washburn woman, before pain flashed through his chest and then his head.

And then all was black. Niska slid to the ground, knocked unconscious by the blow. 30 years earlier, or maybe even 20, he would've kicked back, hard. But as it was, his 74 years old body wasn't quite as resilient as it had been.

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Inara Serra

(no subject)

from: only_fell
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
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Inara finished up her wav with the Councilor and stepped out of the semi private office she'd made the wav from. A guard that'd been stationed outside of the office took hold of her arm.

Her heart jumped at the sight of the Operative and she was glad she still had Jayne's gun strapped to the inside of her thigh, well hidden beneath her skirts. Her throat caught at the sight of Mal lying on the stretcher and tears rushed to her eyes. She scarcely noticed when the guard cuffed her.

"Tianna, Mal..." she whispered as the guard took her to stand with the others.

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(no subject)

from: teh_operative
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
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"Corporal Washburne," Charles reproved deceptively mildly. "Now I've got to carry him... along iwth all of you." He raised an eyebrow at her. "Unless you'd rather stay here?"

"Sergeant!" Harken snapped at the man holding Zoe. He slammed her against a bulkhead.

Charles allowed a marine to drag the unconscious Niska through the airlock but proceed no further. "Send them through one at a time, please," he called, dragging Niska out of the way.

"Ah, Miss Frye, he said out of ear shot and eyesight of the Alliance personnel, "I've slaved serenity to this console, can you... look things over? Quietly?" He clicked her cuffs open.

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(no subject)

from: meimechanic
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
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Kaylee looked from where the Captain laid to the Operative, her eyes wide. "S'ppose I can..." She swallowed hard over the lump in her throat and began typing on the screen.

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(no subject)

from: zoe_washburn
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Zoe hit the bulkhead hard and glared at the soldier before jerking her arm away from the Alliance soldier and walking quietly through the airlock. She'd gotten one hit in, and for now that was enough for the bastard.

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drsimontam

(no subject)

from: drsimontam
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
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Simon's gut dropped to the floor when Harken ordered them cuffed and taken. Adrenalin shot through him when he spotted the Operative. What did it mean?

As soon as he was on board and freed, he set about settling Malcom's stretcher and attaching it to the bulkhead of the small sleek ship.

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(no subject)

from: creepifyin
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
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River watched curiously as they were cuffed and led to the Operative... former Operative. His thoughts... his particularly intense concentration called to her mind. She stared at him intensely.

He was saving them... He knew...

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(no subject)

from: zoe_washburn
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Zoe stood near where the stretcher was next to Mal, her gaze going to Wash and then to Jayne. They needed a plan to get away from the Operative and back onto Serenity. Some kind of diversion. "Where's our ship?" She asked the Operative.

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(no subject)

from: meimechanic
date: Sep. 9th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Kaylee tapped on the screen switching back and forth from one to the other. She prepared the Operative's ship for take off and ran a diagnostics check on Serenity. Once that was cleared, she looked to the Operative and nodded, peeking inside the airlock to the other side where the rest of the crew was. "It's all ready."

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Malcolm Reynolds

(no subject)

from: cpttightpants
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
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Mal heard the talking... normal voices. They were voices he knew. He blinked his eyes open to a light that was far too bright and closed them again. Everything ached, stung, hurt...

He opened his eyes again, two narrowed slits against the light in the room. This wasn't Serenity. He forced himself not to panic, not to do anything. He simply laid there, listened to Inara's poetry and the other words that were farther away Simon... Zoe...

"Where..." He whispered, his voice seeming to not work. He attempted it again and the word came out in a raspy whisper. "Where?"

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Inara Serra

(no subject)

from: only_fell
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC)
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"On our way back to Serenity," Inara answered. She knew it was the only thing that would matter to Mal. "We'll be home soon," she promised him in a quiet whisper, still stroking her fingertips across his forehead and through his hair.

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drsimontam

(no subject)

from: drsimontam
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC)
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Simon stepped over and pulled back Mal's eyelid checking his eye, then he read the vital signs on the stretcher.

"You're looking good Captain. Can I get you to eat some soup?"

He ignored Inara's presence.

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Malcolm Reynolds

(no subject)

from: cpttightpants
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
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Mal looked up to Simon, his features falling slightly so close to losing any control he had again in front of everyone. He quickly pulled himself together and shook his head. "No..." He whispered and then without looking at anyone asked. "He dead? Is he dead?" He asked around an uncontrolled tremble. He had to know that first, then he'd ask why they weren't home.

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(no subject)

from: zoe_washburn
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
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"Ain't dead yet." Zoe answered, stepping forward, her arms over her chest. She could understand Mal wanting Niska dead and she itched to complete the job right now in this minute. "Just good that you're alive and back with us, Sir."

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drsimontam

(no subject)

from: drsimontam
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC)
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"When we get back to Serenity, I can administer a lethal injection, Malcom." Simon offered while holding Malcom's hand. It was close enough to taking his pulse... wasn't it?

"Or we can just toss him out the airlock here and now. Why exactly did we bring him along?" Simon looked across the control room to where the Operative was engaged in a lively low voiced conversation with his sister.

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Inara Serra

(no subject)

from: only_fell
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
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Inara saw Simon take Mal's hand and she stepped away from the stretcher, starkly reminded that Mal didn't belong to her, not anymore. Not that he ever had. She wrapped her arms around herself and stood a good distance from the stretcher still watching Mal.

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Malcolm Reynolds

(no subject)

from: cpttightpants
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 01:02 am (UTC)
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Mal looked to the movement to his side to see Inara stepping away. He glanced between Zoe and Simon. "Here? He's here? Want him dead. Now. Gimme a pistol." His speech was slurred, hoarse, and weak. He attempted to push himself up and winced, laying back down as every bit of pain magnififed throughout his body. "Hurt..."

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(no subject)

from: zoe_washburn
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
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Seeing Mal weak, hurt, and trying to hide how upset he was, was enough to push Zoe into gear. She went over to where the older man was and started dragging him foot by foot all by herself towards the airlock of the ship. She didn't need any help. She was going to do this for the Captain. The way she saw it, Niska didn't deserve to live.

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Inara Serra

(no subject)

from: only_fell
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
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Inara saw what Zoe was doing and walked over to her. She grabbed one of Niska's feet and started helping the woman drag the older man toward the air lock without a word.

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(no subject)

from: teh_operative
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
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Alerted by the change in tone, Charles turned to follow the conversation in the main hold. He stood and crossed to open the airlock for Mrs. Washburne and Miss Serra.

“Now who is trying to make the world a better place?” he asked softly.

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pick one

(no subject)

from: cantbe_trusted
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
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They were talking about her. She had heard her name, and the antidote was starting to kick in, though it would take longer for the antidote than the drug itself. While the drug had been airborne, the antidote had been injected. Still, her mind was starting to feel not so muddled. She looked up at them, very helpless and lost looking. It was a Saffron that nobody had ever seen before, and one she hoped nobody ever would again.

Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she hoped someone spaced her. When Zoe had ordered her to come along, she did, without even questioning it. And, somewhere in the back of her brainpan, it was like she saw everthing, but as an outsider, she couldn't control herself. She had moved to follow Zoe, almost even hanging her head a little. And she hated that she couldn't control her free will. For her, you might as well shoot her at that point. She didn't want to live like this.

But until the antidote kicked in fully, there was nothing she could do but watch.

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(no subject)

from: ace_pilot_wash
date: Sep. 10th, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
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Wash walked up behind Zoe, putting a hand on her shoulder when she was done helping Inara with Niska. No way was he going to interrupt her when she was doing that. Though, a part of him wished he could have shot Niska too, or beheaded him, something. No, as he watched what they were doing, he knew he should have helped lift the body, not made Inara do it, but he couldn't move. The things Niska did to him before still haunted his dreams some nights, to the point that even Zoe holding him wasn't enough comfort.

"I... I'm gonna go up to the bridge," he murmured into Zoe's ear, pressing a light kiss to her cheek. He needed a few moments alone, get the ship up into the air. The flying would make him feel better, console him. It was the only thing that really could, even more than Zoe. He loved Zoe, no question about that, but he loved flying. Swallowing anything else he had to say, because he didn't really have anything to say, he turned away from the rest of them and headed off in search of the bridge.

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