The Big Damn Job
Serenity / Leverage / Debs crossover
None of the involved stories were used with permission and are used for nom-commercial fan purposes only.
Beta-Reader / Editting support:
"Good job," Mal Reynolds, captain of the Firefly class transport Serenity, patted River on the shoulder. The delicate-looking girl was sitting in the piloting seat of the ship. "Just keep her in empty space."
"Aye aye, Captain," said River, staring straight ahead. Her words might have been lightly flippant, but a glance at her face showed it quite serious. "I'll keep her between the navigational buoys."
"Um… that's fine," said Mal. As far as he knew, there were no buoys out here in space. The closest thing to that was around some of the core planets, where a planet could reasonably expect enough traffic to need to keep space ships from colliding into each other. At the rim worlds Serenity visited, it was extremely unlikely that there would ever be enough ships overhead for a collision to be a significant threat. Even if it was, none of the planets and moons could afford that type of infrastructure. However, he had long given up trying to figure out what River meant when she made one of her more nonsensical seaming statements.
He headed back into the body of the ship and up to the galley , to discover Jayne sitting at the table, cleaning one of his many, many guns.
"Hey…," grunted the earthy mercenary, looking up from where he had the gun disassembled. "Ain't you to be leaving someone flying the gorram ship?"
"Someone is flying the ship," Mal said, going over to a cupboard and getting out a cup. "Tha' someone t'be River."
"River?!?" Jayne looked up momentarily alarmed, looking to see if the boss man was making fun at his expense. Seeing the other's steady expression both unnerved and steadied him. He hocked and spat into the barrel he was holding, pushing a bandanna into it. "Huh. I'd rather be no one at the controls t'that slip of crazy."
"Relax," said Mal. "Even be there ain't anyone at the controls, there's nothing out here we could hit."
Just then, the entire ship lurched, a metal clang reverberating through the hull.
"What was that?!?" Jayne demanded.
"I think there's something out here we hit." said Mal. He turned, running back to the control room.
The pilot and co-pilot seats in the Serenity were empty. Mal looked around spotting River curled up in the corner. She was rocking back and forth, her long, slender legs pulled up against her chest. "I broke it… I broke it… ."
Mal slid into the pilot seat, looking at the instruments. "Well Little One, you didn't break m'ship, even if I can't see what it was you ran into… ." The radar screen was still showing that Serenity was in empty space. He looked up through the view window, for the first time since entering the cockpit. "Je shr shuh muh lan dong shi?" (What is all this garbage?)
In what should have been empty space, a rainbow of colored energy was leaping back and forth. Illuminated by the bursts of energy were twelve spheroids, each about twice the diameter of a basketball. Eleven of them were completely black. One was broken up, displaying damaged electronics. Apparently that was what River had run into. Even now, the Firefly was floating toward the curtain of randomly cascading energy, or maybe the curtain was being drawn toward them.
Mal tried to put the Serenity's engines in reverse, but it was too late. The curtain of energy and the ship touched, and then everything went white.