Author: Atten Daith PM
Zoe struggles with her place in the sceme of things while the rest of Serenity's crew come to a new understanding of life’s vagaries. Simon and River find out that 'You can’t go home again' and the Black Lotus just wants them all dead. Book 2Rated: Fiction M - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 24 - Words: 20,702 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 03-08-09 - Published: 02-26-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4888087
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Epilog – White Tiger
River sat on top of a crate in the cargo hold cross-legged, long white hair cascading over her bare shoulders, feeling the rhythm of Serenity. She closed her eyes, arched her back, and stretched her arms down to her knees, turning her palms slowly up. She breathed in deeply. Everyone was part of its flow, its beat, its pattern, its very life.
Captain Reynolds jogged up the ramp, passing by River, with Katlee close behind.
"We ready to roll, Katlee?"
"Yup, Cap'n." The engineer replied as she stowed her beach chair and parasol, "Jayne's just orientin the passengers, then we can be off."
Reynolds ascended the stairs at the back of the hold, where Zoe stood surveying from the loading platform.
"Ship in good shape?" He asked, as he continued up to the gangway.
"Tip top." She answered.
"Away from prying eyes, Sir."
"Stop smiling." The captain ordered. "She ain't yours yet."
Jayne limped up the ramp into Serenity's cargo hold with four young women in tow. Two looked to be from affluence, one from a farm and one was rescued from Badger's slave market. That had set Jayne back a few grand, but he didn't mind – much.
"Now there's some rules you'll have to follow while we're underway." Jayne announced. "Number one - and this is important - you don't mess with the crazy chick on the box. If you remember that one you might make it to Harvest alive."
The girls all went wide eyed and hush. Jayne always liked that part.
"Next. The cargo hold is off limits while we're underway, so if you need something you'd best get it now. Doc will look you all over in the infirmary and make sure you're all healthy and innocked. We do serve sit-down meals, next bein at 1800, other than that the galley is pretty standard, always open for your needs."
Inara stood on the gangway, just outside her shuttle, watching the applicants as they gave River a wide berth on their way to the infirmary. She was dressed royally as if to impress the newcomers. She held a small boy close in her arms and stood like a regal Greek statue as the girls passed through the hold.
"Daddy!" The little boy exclaimed, as the captain passed. Reynolds gave Inara a quick kiss and ruffed the boy's hair on his way to the bridge.
"Jayne is doing well." Inara observed.
"He is still a wolf among the sheep, keep a close eye." Captain warned on his way up the stair. "We'll have you home in about twenty, if we make the gate."
"Grrrr!" The little boy growled as he thrust his little arm out, his finger jabbing the air in River's direction. "Tiger!"
"No, Nathan." Inara corrected. "That's River."
They turned toward the shuttle door. It was knap time for the little one. His lids were heavy but his will was strong. He wriggled up on Inara, reaching over her shoulder and pointing.