AN: Hahahahahaha…so that Easter promise…I didn't realize that I would have to do 40 note cards for history and write a rough draft for an English paper…good times. Anyway, here's the new chapter…several months later…but its here none the less! Thanks for the lovely reviews and favorites from everybody, it makes me feel special! (and keep them coming…seriously, oatmeal Scotties and strawberries for all who keep reviewing) Okay, so on with the chapter!
All four occupants of Claudia's room looked confused. Then three turned to Steve, and became more confused as he said, "Truth. That's the secret that I couldn't distinguish from her. I knew there was something she was lying about. Just…not that." Claudia went to sit on her bed. Myka followed, taking a spot across from her, Pete planted next to her on said bed while the other two agents remained standing. Claudia leaned over to her night table drawer. "This, this is my family. The Donovan's adopted me when I was about seven or so. They died later that same year. Then I was almost ten when Joshua disappeared." Myka paused her, "Except you weren't. You were in the negative numbers."
"But I had been alive for seven years, I had been alive for ten years, I've been alive for 21 years, I'm just, in the grand scheme of things, not born yet. I like to think of it as the absolute value of me." Again, they looked at Steve who merely nodded his head. Helena and Myka both smirked at the joke. "Anyway, this is my family, errrr, the only ones that are alive. My daddy and me." The photograph was passed around to all of them. They saw the young Claudia smiling from a man's arms, both with messy brown hair, angled noses, and tulip shaped lips. "Claud, you look so happy, and little."
"I was little. Positive five years old." Pete cracked a smile at the bad joke. The faded photo made a circle around the room, each person taking in the little bundle of joy, her eyes burning bright with a fire. Helena noticed that Claudia's eyes never held the same glow. "Claudia, you said that this is all the family you have left, alive. What happened darling?"
Claudia seriously hoped that somebody didn't ask that question. But of course Helena had. Why else would she not ask it? Claudia swallowed the small lump forming in her throat. "They all died. My Grandmama, my mama, and the farm hands, all died because of the attack. And if some did live, well, the farm was burnt down because of the Alliance. Daddy only survived because he was in the war. I live because I was a small child, like I'm small now. I found a good hiding spot from the Reavers. The Alliance found me because I didn't hide well enough from them. They wanted to train me, make me a Reader, because I was smart. They opened my mind, they almost destroyed me, but they pulled me back. I was one the first to be operated on, but then I didn't help them. I would try to hide from them, and when I did, they got angry, the men with blue hands. Then they sent me here, permanently. Another experiment that succeeded. Time travel."
Everybody was silent. They all sat quietly. "Claudia, when you were institutionalized, was it because you could…Read?" She looked down. "Yes and no. I understood a lot, sorta like what Leena does. She reads auras. I read everything. Hers is natural, a gift, it's specific. Mine is general. I can know anything about anything. I understand everything. It's…complicated to say the least." They all sat around quietly. Sure, there were other questions, but those could, and would, be asked in the future. Claudia looked over at the wave screen. She just wanted to bounce one over to her father, to tell him she loves him more than anything. That she'll never stop loving him more than anything. But she doesn't, and she doesn't realize that there is a large chance that she never will be able to again.
Mal didn't know what in the gorram da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze* was going on with Serenity. She was acting all weird and discombobulated. "Wash! What in gorram hell is happening to my ship?" The nervous pilot looked up from his controls. "Better ask Kaylee sir. I have no idea." He ducked his head back down to his controls, and Mal was storming out of there. He was furious, but as he approached the mechanic's room, he heard a muffled scream. "Kaylee?" he felt he legs carry him forward. As he entered the room, he saw a strange scene unfolding before him. A man, dressed in all black with a black hood, was standing over a gaged and bound Kaylee, who had a small gash on her cheek, and a quickly growing red spot in her abdominal area. Mal had opened fire before he even knew his gun was in his hand. The mystery ninja disappeared, and Mal scooped up Kaylee and rushed her out of the engine room, screaming. "HELP! GET SIMON!" He scooped her up and whispered, "Not again. Dear God, not again," and held his replacement Dia close to his chest as he jogged down to the infirmary.
2011 (a few days since The Talk)
Claudia dashed down to the Warehouse main floor. It was just not a good day, again. The Warehouse seemed uneasy, and this was the seventh artifact to act out all day. This time it was the Marc Anthony Emerald to throw a spaz attack, and Claudia hated to goo up something so pretty and shiny, but she really didn't want to suffer from The Curse…or whatever that thing did. She dumped it and ducked to not get sizzled. "Hey Claudia?"
"Have you talked to your father recently?"
Myka ducked her head. She looked up with a bit of nervousness. "We found an artifact. It, well, it was just a bit…different…from the usual kind."
"What you do you mean 'different'?" Myka paused for a moment. "It can….predict…different things that happen in the future. It…it's not exact, but something bad has happened to…well the spaceship that he owns.
"What do you mean 'something bad'?"
Myka took a deep breath and held it in for a moment before sighing it out. "It looks like the ship was taken over by something- or someone- who did not like your father or somebody in his crew. We first though it was Alliance related, but it didn't fit their MO according to you. It was more subtle—" Claudia cut her off. "I think I know who it could be."
Mal looked up as he placed Kaylee down on the medical bench. The good doctor rushed to her side, cutting off her shirt to assess the damage done. Mal quickly left, trying to respect his young mechanic's privacy. He made his way to the bridge where his mercenary and first mate were polishing their weapons. "Did either of y'all see a man in a full black get-up out here? He went and hurt Kaylee something awful." Instantly both were on their feet. "No sir, but we will find the hwun dan* who did this to her." He nodded his head to Zoe. As he made his way to Wash, he was stopped by River. "Not now, I don't got time for you now."
"The lost one is worried. She understands. The lost one feels them coming."
He sighed, "Who are coming?"
"The ones with blue hands."
AN: so, these are the translations for this chapter, they are numbered in order.
* 1 The explosive diarrhea of an elephant
I'm sorry it's taken a while. I just haven't had the inspiration (or time) to write. But it is the summer now. Next school year I won't have much time in the first semester, it being senior year for me and all, but in the second semester I should have more time! Thank you for the lovely reviews and favorites and follows. It means the world to me!