Broken Toys

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Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 21:34

Right, I have this up over on FFN, under my pen-name over there Dessel_Ordo but I cant link outside this site due to my newbie status here. But it will probably be easier to read if I just copy/paste it from OpenOffice to the forum anyhow, and it'll make previews a bit easier to handle as well. In fact, I'm probably gonna drop a preview once I'm done uploading the finished chapters here, haha. I own nothing, ect ect, I hope you enjoy my story, and love to get feedback.

Chapter 1



////Piemonte, Italy. New Turin NPP\\\\

Dying, he turned the pistol that had been his death, Henrietta’s retribution, back towards the cyborgs eye . As the cyborg, no, little girl, begged and wept for him to live, to be fine, he corrected himself... but he knew that he was a dead man, just the same. “If you meant that...” he wheezes out, as he pushes the handgun into the girls shaking palm, or was it his that was shaking? “then I want you... to fulfill, your promise.”

****Broken****

Rico leaned over Jeans prostrate form, the massive hole in his side from the anti-tank rifle she had fired through him oozing blood. This was what he wanted, right? Giacomo dead, his family avenged? This was what he trained her for, to be his revenge, why he saved her from her broken body, right? Then why, now that she had fulfilled her mission, did she feel so sad, so empty.

As the man who had given her purpose, life, surrendered to the abyss in her arms, to week to gasp out more thana word or two, she felt tears roll down her cheeks. Without thinking, the words began to tumble from her mouth as freely as the tears were falling from her eyes “You cant... it would be such a waste if you died now.” she half pleaded, half-sobbed. As she took in another ragged breath, she felt Jeans last pass through his lips “Your my only reason for living!” she confessed to the fresh corpse.

****Broken****

Alessandro couldn’t help but smile. They had done it, the cost may have been heavy, but the reactors wouldn’t melt down, the stolen nuclear bomb would go off. The Five Republics would be all but wiped out after tonight, Italy would have peace, finally. Petra wrapped him up in a tight, celebratory hug as he stood in the center of the room. She gives back in such small ways, he muses to himself.

////Italian Prime Ministers Office\\\\

“Are you certain?” the minister asked, voice laced with fear and resolve. The man opposite the ministers desk nodded, solemnly. So the Five Republics had a nuke... no, that madman Giacomo did. “I had hoped that the Social Welfare Agency and the Five Republics would simply wipe each other out, but like this, there would be too much collateral. The new weapon we recently acquired from the Japenese... I want you to use it on the New Turin NPP.”

The messenger faltered “But, Minister, our people in the plant...”

He sighs “The cyborgs are certain to survive, and, with any luck the handlers will as well. After tonight, we will have no immediate need of the SWA. God-willing, we wont have to defrost any of them for a very long time. Use the Cryo-bomb. Thats an order.”

////Ghost Lane, somewhere between Greenleaf and Persephone\\\\

“Now who will stand on either hand, And keep the bridge with me?” the Bits voice from echoed from behind him causing Mal to leap up from the captains seat. Today had been one of Rivers better days, by the more sane standards they judged her by since Miranda. So of course, Mal was shocked for her to be about so deep into the ships night cycle, spouting crap that didnt make sense.

“Gorramit girl! What'd I tell you 'bout sneakin' up on me like that?” the captain demands, trying to rub the sleep from his eyes. It was damn hard to stay awake sitting in the cockpit during the ships night cycle.

River shrugs as she drops into the co-pilot seat, and starts moving to end the night cycle “Horatius, by Macauly. It was the last thing he had been thinking before they made him sleep. You would have missed them if I had not woke you.”

Mal shook his head inwardly, and she had been doing so well today too. Before he could respond however, the lights flicked from the dark, soothing hues of the night-cycle to the harsh, brighter tones of the middle of the day cycle “What in the ruttin hell are you doin Bit? Jaynes gonna skin you alive, an I dont know if I'm gonna have a mind to stop'im. And who was thinkin that, Horatius?” Mal presses, trying to ignore the phrase commonly associated with the conditioning and experimenting that had been done to his Albatross.

River shrugs “He couldnt if he wanted to, and you wouldnt let him...” River trails off musically as the unhappy sounds of what was left of the crew being rudely awoken filtered up to the cabin. Before long the crew filtered in to the cabin. Simon in a pair of plain slacks, Kaylee in one of his longer shirts, Jayne in boxers and an open shirt of his own... Inara was in her shuttle, so still sleeping. And Zoe, she would come back, just as soon as her and Washs kid was old enough to leave with family. Mals mind continued to wander, quickly returning to that day, not too long after building their memorial she had realized she was pregnant. After loosing Wash, Mal simply hadnt had the heart to ask Zoe to stay. She had promised to come back, and Mal to leave the locks so that she could get onboard.

“Anyone mind tellin' me why the ruttin' hell we're all up in the middle of the night?” Jayne asks, not bothering to hide his grumpieness, nor his move to scratch his ass.

Mal nods “I do believe that you were about to tell me what was goin' on, Bit.”

River stares off into the black “More like us...”

Mal sighs “Still havent told me why we're up.”

“Another Firefly? Nuthin special'bout that...” Jayne interjects grumpily.

River shoots him 'the look' that only she seemed able to pull off, as she replies “No, broken.”

Jayne cocks his head to the side “Boken? What're you on about girl? Aint nothin wrong with me! Doc, I though you said your feng le sister was getting better.”

Simon blusters “I, she... I told you that...” he trails off as a large, but not quite massive ship floats into view.

Mal lets out a low whistle “Not every day you see a ship like that.”

“Shen sheng de gao wan” Jayne trails off, suddenly transfixed by the artifact of a ship floating past the viewport.

Kaylee galnces about “That looks to be one'a the sleeper ships they sent from earth-that-was, but...”

Simon interjects for the mechanic “Not all of them made it. Nearly 10% were lost in transit, this must be one of them.”

“Probably full'a all sorts a shiny.” Jayne postulates, suddenly awake, and grinning like a kid in a candy shop.

Mal sighs “Shiny thats gonna be a right pain ta move.”

“Worth more than the crap jobs we've been flyin lately.” Jayne retorts.

Not looking away from the ship drifting past them, Mal replies “Wasnt sayin we shouldnt have a look, just that anythin' we takes gonna take a bit ta unload is all.”

River looks up from the co-pilots screen “Several cryo-chambers are still functional.”

Simon does a double-take “Th-that should be impossible, that thing has been adrift for hundreds of years.”

Kaylee shrugs “One thing that didnt ever get better after we left earth-that-was was cryo tech. We got better ways'ta wake a body, an better meds to make goin under easier, but still freeze'em the same way.”

Jayne shakes his head “Bullet'll put'em down. Aint no place in the verse fer'a 500 year old refugee from earth-that-was anyhow.”

Mal glares at Jayne “Aint no-one shootin anyone without my permission. Refugees delivered to a Uni or an interested historian could fetch almost as much as antiques from the ship. An we may even be able to let'em talk to more'n one iffin we paly our cards right.”

Jayne shakes his head again “An how the gorram hell do you expect to find a core-bred scholar that'll believe that we found an honest-ta-god sleeper ship, complete with sleepers and goodies, cap'n? They'll just write us off as crazy rim-born idjits an ignore us.”

Mal shrugs “We'll see what we find. Everyone suit up, Kaylee, wake Inara and have her watch the bridge while we search this hulk.”

****Broken****

“Atmos thin, but good” Kaylee announces over the short-range radio in their suits. Simon breaths a sigh of relief as he removes his helmet.

“River, which way to the cryo-tubes? They may be running, but that doesnt mean the people inside are alive.” Simon asks his sister calmly, fully expecting to spend the day looking at corpses.

The girl simply inclines her head for Simon to follow, her face cross with concentration. They all knew that she still had no control over her 'powers' but she had been trying more and more to reign them in of late. Though without much success, unfortunately. They walk in silence for a while, Simon not even needing to check most of the tubes to see that they hold only corpses. Eventually, they reach a section lit by ship power, not their flashlights. “Here they are, the sleepers.” River inclines her head to a score of tubes. Off to one side, are two young girls, alone, plain, large lockers near the tubes, exactly the same as the corpses before and after them. To the other side, are two girls, older, but still young, each with a man not much older than the captain to their right.

After a few moments, during which Simon confirms that they are, in fact, alive, he replies “Six survivors... incredible.” He looks up only to see River shooting him her patented 'your such a boob' look.

Before either can say anything, Jayne and Mal arrive “So doc, we have any survivors? Kaylees lookin at the workin bits'a this old girl, and I figured itd be best ta check in with you before we go off lookin for bits a shiny to stuff our holds with.”

Simon nods “Six, actually. I think I can wake them, but I have no idea what the side-effects will be.”

Mal nods “Might as well, maybe they'll be able to help us out.”

Simon moves into action, choosing one of the lone girls, shoulder-length brown hair, cherubic features... most likely to be a safe choice. He dusts off the control panel, and, after pressing a few buttons, the young girl inside begins to stir, as the tube opens up to allow her to exit. Simon steps back, remembering how River had reacted when he woke her up. Part of him thinks it will be worse, but he pushes that to the back of his mind. The entire crew seems to be holding their breath, save River, who looks torn between going to the slowly waking girl, and standing back behind Mal. After stretching, yawning, and saying something Simon doubts anyone can understand, she looks around. At first she looks like anyone would expect a 14 year old girl to look and act after waking up from sleeping. Then, something crosses her mind, and she simply asks, in her lilting, gentle little voice “Jose?”

Jayne leans over to quietly ask Mal “Whos Jose?”

The captain looks over to his public relations officer and responds blankly “Aint got a clue.” as the girl asks for Jose again, though it seems more of a plead than a question the second and third times she asks for him, as she slowly climbs from her stasis tube.

“Lost her gege.” River observes, still behind Mal and Jayne, as the young girl crumples to the floor, crying bitter, devastated tears. She periodically fits words in-between her heartbroken sobs, but no one can understand her.

“Any idea what shes sayin?” Jayne asks, as the others stand frozen on the spot in confusion.

“One of the Romance Languages from earth-that-was. Dead for centuries.” River replies, cautiously edging towards the girl.

“They had whole languages fer pillow-talk on earth-that-was?” Jayne asks.

River freezes in place long enough to shoot Jayne a sour look, before tentatively kneeling down to comfort the girl, though it is clear that she has no idea how to proceed. “Simon, try wakin' up one of the pairs over here.” he orders, inclining his head to the linked cryo-tubes. “Wake the blond and black haired guy please, I dont have the best luck with redheads...”

Before Simon can respond, Kaylee walks into the hallway “Ship wont give out on us anytime soon, but the parts aint worth nuthin...” she trails off as she absorbs the scene before her “What the helld you say Jayne?” she asks the merc, clearly very ready to be quite pissed at him.

Jaynes head snaps over to glare at Kaylee as Simon goes about waking up the pair inside the cryo-tubes Mal indicated “I aint even said nothin to'er. She came out of her box an just started cryin like that. Aint my fault...”

Before the argument can come to maturity, the sound of the tubes opening cuts both Kaylee and Jayne off, as they turn to greet the waking pair. The girl fully wakes first, and drinks in the situation much more quickly than the first girl to wake. She glances about, her face flashing from confusion, to worry, and finally to protectiveness, as she interposes herself between the now fully awake man behind her, and the crew, bristling. The pair begins to have a rapid-fire conversation in the same language as the first girl to wake up. “An here I was hopin that someoned be able to tell me whats goin on. Kayle, Bit, Simon, watch the sleepers an wake t'others up. Keep'em here, dont need no tetchy oldtimers getting in me an Jaynes way while we gather up the goods.”

Before Mal can leave with Jayne the black-haired man speaks up “We can... speak english. We were simply trying to determine what happened, this is not where we last remember being.”

“An where do you remember being last?” Mal asks the man turning around to face him.

He hesitates, before continuing in his strange accent “We were... doing work for the government, and, I'm not certain if I should be discussing it, or how much detail if I do.”

Jayne chuckles “Doubt a'buncha deadmen'll care if ya talk 'bout their secrets. 'Sides, been at least 500 years by our reckoning.”

The girl looks over to Jayne crossly “Your lying. Now tell us where we are.” she threatens darkly.

Jayne snorts as Mal replies “On a sleeper ship out in the black. Yours got lost during the evacuation from earth-that-was. We just happened to find you.”

The man stands up, and moves to stand next to the blond replying “I hope you wont mind if I ask for proof, and point out that it is impossible fro one to sleep for 500 years.”

“Is in a stasis pod.” Kaylee cheerily points out as Simon sets about waking the smaller blond girl up.

Mal shrugs “Follow me then. Kaylee, wheres the nearest viewport?”

The mechanic glances over her shoulder as the little blond happily stretches, grinning from ear to ear as she does so, before her face falls too. She doesnt break down like the brown haired girl, but she does collapse back into her pod, not bothering to get out of it, as tears begin to silently track down her face as well. “Keep headin down the way I came, you'll see one soon enough.”

After walking for a while in silence Mal and the recently awoken cyborg and her handler reach the viewport. Mal doesnt know exactly what the man says, but he knows a curse when he hears one. “And your name was?” he eventually asks as the shock finishes washing over him.

Mal smirks as he turns to follow the young girl and her... relative, he decides, back to the rest of his crew. “Malcom Reynolds, captain of the Serenity. Most just call me Mal though. And you are?”

The man pauses, before beginning to follow Mal back towards the others “I'm Victor Hillshire, and this is Triella. The brunette you woke up already is Henrietta, and the little blond is Rico.” he explains as they return to a very groggy looking Allesandro and Petra slowly stirring as Jayne happily goes through one of the lockers by a pod occupied by a dead cyborg.

“Ruttin hell Mal, you see the pieces these folk had? Worth an awful lotta plat to the right buyer.” Jayne crows loudly enough to gain Mals interest as he hefts the antique gun that he had just pulled from a locker.

Mal glances over to Hillshire “Well Victor, hope you dont mind us takin' some of the pieces you wont be needin.”

Hillshire sighs “Let me see what Allesandro thinks.” Mal nods, and quietly leans against the bulkhead, watching Jayne rifle through the corpses lockers for a bit. As Hillshire and the other adult, Allesandro, apparently continue to argue heatedly as River tentatively continues to comfort the still sobbing Henrietta, running her hand up and down the girls back. Henrietta’s face shifts noticeably, and River tenses. Mal sees the Bits face shift as well. He watches it shift to an all too familiar, dangerous look as Henrietta announces something to herself in the mystery dead language. As everyone else in the dimly lit corridor sits confused, understanding, and horror, flash across Triellas face. All this in the blink of an eye, before the young chestnut haired girl surges to her feet, still weeping. Henrietta easily breaks Rivers shocked hold, and throws the small locker at the foot of her stasis-tube open. “Jose” she reverently breathes, as she pulls her P-239 from the chest. As Triela launches herself across the corridor, the only other person not too shocked to move, Henrietta slams the pistols magazine into its butt. The weapon lines up with Henrietta’s right eye, and, just as the safety is clicked off, the older cyborg knocks the weapon from the younger ones hands, before sliding behind her, and restraining the grief-stricken girl.

As Henrietta begins to wail again in the same language as her other recently awoken comrades favor, still struggling against Triellas grasp, Mal asks “Anyone mind tellin' me what the ruttin' hell just happened?” tersely.

For a few minutes there is silence, before Hillshire looks to his charge “Triella?” the spunky cyborg raises an eyebrow, despite the obvious strain she is going through in her attempts to keep Henrietta restrained. Hillshire simply nods in response.

Triella sighs “Henrietta figured out what killed Elsa.” this response of course, helps no one, so she continues “She told Jose, and the Section One agents that were visiting the two of them that in Elsas position she would do the same as Elsa did. I dont know what Jose said to her before he died, but its pretty clear that he did.” She nods her head back and forth, indicating the stasid tubes all filled with cyborgs, no handlers next to them, as Triela and Hillshire had been placed.

Jayne scratches at the back of his head “And what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Hillshire looks over to Allesandro, and, in english, says to him “If we want to live, we need these peoples help Allesandro. They are likely to figure out for themselves anyways, so we may as well tell them now. Its not like we can be killed for leaking information on the Social Welfare Agency now.”

The other man nods, resignedly “The girls... arent human. Not completely.”

Kaylee glares at the man as Mal scratches at his head and asks “Care to explain?”

It is Hillshire that picks up for the other surviving handler “The Social Welfare Agency was a secret branch of the Italian government. It combined research with... black ops political assassination, infiltration and counter-terrorism. The technology was, is, cybernetic enhancement of human beings.”

“So, who'd you enhance?” Jayne asks, curious, and oblivious.

Hillshire cringes with guilt, looking away from the rest of the people in the room as he replies “The girls. The SWA would take children who would otherwise die, and save them, by turning them into cyborgs.”

“Why?” Kaylee asks, mortified.

Hillshire takes in a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment, and replies “Because, it was the only way we could make the... modifications, stick, or so I was told.”

Mal knows the look that he currently bore on his face, he knew what he was feeling. It was the same look he had when he had first joined up with the Independants, the same look he had before going to Miranda “Then you forced those girls to do your dirty work?”

“Wonder how they managed that. Aint never seen a kid that was a willing killer before. 'Specially one that'd just nearly died.” Jayne ponders.

Mal does not lighten or shift his glare from Hillshire, but before he can reply, River informs the group “The same way they wanted to make me a killer. Filled them with drugs, moved things around in their heads. Took away some of their memories.” Mal hears something, strange, on Rivers voice, and it is that that momentarily compels him to not shoot both grown men on the spot, to save these girls.

“And just what part in this did you have, Hillshire?” he asks the man.

It is Triella that answers the question “Hillshire and I are a Fratello. Every cyborg has a handler. He trains her, sees to her education, her well-being, and supervises her on missions.”

Mal flips the leather off his gun, and clicks the safety off, ready to shoot the bastards that made these girls do their governments dirty work, until River translates something “Siblings...”

Mal tilts his head to one side in confusion as Triella lowers the once again unconscious Henrietta down tot he floor, and moves to take her place at Hillshires side. Her eyes affixed on Mals gun-hand, silently daring him to use the weapon. “That all you did for them? Take their memories, fill their heads with nuthin' but killin, and make sure they dont kill the wrong folk?” his voice icy.

Allesandro shakes his head “It is different for every fratello, but I only know of one case where that was the truth.”

“Elsa” Rico continues for Allesandro, still not leaving her tube, simply leaning against its cushion, dejectedly.

“Mind expainin' who this Elsa was?” Jayne cuts her off, growing noticeably impatient.

Mal allows himself to enjoy the shocked look on Jaynes face, clearly the merc had not expected a kid to obey him so readily as Rico nods and answers “The conditioning drugs ensure that a cyborg is at the very least loyal to her handler. But it always grows into something more. Elsa, loved her handler, Lauro. So much that she alienated herself from the rest of us. When she realized that Lauro did not love her back, that he only saw her as a replaceable tool, she killed him, then herself.”

After a brief time, Mal looks to Hillshire and the man that Mal could only assume was Allesandro “And the two of you?” he asks them, as his mind wanders to what possibly could have been said to Henrietta to make her want to follow in that Elsa girls footsteps. He suspects that something similar is running through the minds of both men from the past, but, from the way Victor looks at Triela, and Allesandro at Petrushka during the continuing silence, he suspects that they treat the girls well. Mal returns the safety on his weapon, and closes the holster before continuing “I'll bring'ya up to speed on what the verse is like, and get you some coin if you help me sell the loot from this boat. Been shorthanded lately, an I doubt you'll wanna bump into the Alliance without any papers, or coin. Chances are you'll end up doin nothin but what you were before you woke up here for them, or worse, if you did.”

After a brief while, and more rapid-fire conversation in the language Mal doesnt recognize, Hillshire, who Mal has pinned for the leader of the few survivors found on this ship, responds “Thank you, Captain.”

****Broken****

Hillshire sat across from Mal in the Serenities common room, Triela in the seat to his right, Alessandro and Petra past her. To his left sits the morose Rico, while Henrietta was in the ships infirmary, on Dr. Tams orders after he learned the completeness of the cyborg condition. At first Mal had forbid him from taking any conditioning drugs, or anything else, from the infirmary on the sleeper ship Hillshire had woken up on but a few hours ago. After hearing Hillshires reason he had sent Jayne and Kaylee to clear space in the cargo-hold for as much as the sleeper ship had stored, as well as more than a few sets of replacement tissue for the cyborgs. Hillshire half-smirked, the captain was a good man. The smirk quickly faded, as he finally came to a decision, at least a temporary one, based on what the captain had told him of current politics. “We cant let the Alliance find us, we need to stay under the radar for as long as possible.” The Alliance was, after all, exactly what the Five Republics would have been had they not been stopped.

Mal nods “It'll take a while for us to find buyers for all these antiques we took from that ship, so you shouldn’t have to worry for a bit.” it seems that he has more to say, but a voice from outside the room cuts him off.

Hillshire wonders who it could be, as the entire crew, save Dr. Tam, who was in his infirmary seeing to Henrietta was present. “I take it you plan to abuse my contacts again in attempt to sell whatever it is you found on that ship, Mal?”

Hillshire feels his face contort into a mask of shock and confusion as a beautiful, elegantly dressed, raven-haired woman enters the room on the heels of her barb. She of course, freezes in confusion when she sees the new people on the ship, looking back and froth from them to Mal “Inara, this is Rico, Victor, Triela, Allesandro, and Petrushka. found'em on the sleeper-ship.”

Inarra nods, blankly as she replies “A pleasure.” and inclines her head to each of them, clearly acting more on habit than any conscious thought, before she sits down next to Mal.

The former SWA agents return her greeting, though it is clear to Hillshire that the depressed Rico had caught Inaras attention “What is her post on the Serenity?” Allesandro asks, breaking the silence.

Kaylee answers the companions question for her “Shes our ambassador.”

Triela looks at the mechanic in confusion “A ship this small needs an ambassador? Are port authorities really that bad?”

Kaylee chuckles “No, shes a Companion. We just call'er our Ambassador on accounts of her being our connection to folk with more money'n class.”

“Companion?” Hillshire asks, still not following fully.

Mal chuckles “Dont let the fancy clothes'n properness fool ya, shes a whore.”

Inara glares daggers at Mal “A companion is much more than a common whore, Mal. And how many times do I have to tell you to NOT call me one?” Hillshire watches the pair bicker for a few moments, before Inara huffs a sigh and turns back to him “So, how did you survive so long in cryo-stasis?” Kaylee quickly informs the Companion of the science behind the survival of the newest people on Serenity as Hillshire thinks back on the day, and before.

It had taken them hours to move everything of value over to the Serenity, but with the extra hands, they had been able to make the move all the quicker. He and the others had all simply moved their lockers, which, were luckily not welded to the ship into the storage. So, he simply tuned out Allesandros explanation of who exactly they were and how they cam e to be here. When Inara is finally satsified, Mal heaves a yawn “'Tween River wakin us all up so gorram early, an movin' all them boxes, I'm damn tired. Gonna push the ships night-cycle up a few hours I think.” he turns to face the cyborgs and handlers “We have four passenger rooms, so if the girls share theres enough for all of you. I'll leave the decidin up to you... an we can sort through all the shiny we pulled from that ship tomorrow mornin.”

As the captain leaves, Hillshire turns to Triela “You will room with Henrietta once she leaves the infirmary, Triela. Petrushka, you will be with Rico. Move your things and get some rest. We'll take the next few weeks as they come.”
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Pax

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Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

Registration date : 2012-02-02

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Chapter 2

Post by Pax on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 21:39

Simon sat in his infirmary, raking his brain. It was thankfully quiet, his charge thinking to herself silently behind red-rimmed eyes, Jayne, Mal and the recently awoken passengers on their third day of sorting through the belongings of the dead members of the Social Welfare Agency. Simon knew hardly anything about antiques and relics, so he left them to it, preferring to spend his time trying to puzzle out just what had been done to these poor girls, and if it could be undone. He had started by trying to read only the case files for the live cyborgs, after working through the information on their enhancements, and the drugs they were dependent on. That, however, had left him with more questions than answers. He had tried asking Hillshire for some clarification, but quickly found it was a rather touchy subject to the Handler, as his charge was not that far behind Henrietta. So he had done as the man had suggested and read through the cyborg named Angelicas file. And now, here he sat, depressed, and confused, comparing his deep log of drugs that had failed to help his sister, to the conditioning drugs, as he mentally braced himself to follow Petrushkas suggestion and read through Claes's files. He leans forward to brace his forehead against his hand, elbow firmly planted on the counter as he allows his mind to wander. Before any real thoughts can be formed, however, he hears someone enter his infirmary “Hows she doin', Doc?” the captain asks

Simon shakes his head, and turns to face the man “Physically she is stable right now. However, I do not want her to leave this ward for the time being. Between the patches of amnesia and the advanced state of mental decay she is in, I cant guarantee we wont have a... repeat, of what happened to Jose.”

Mal scratches at the back of his head “A stance I can get behind, though, leavin her locked up with nothin but her thoughts cant be good. Especially if memories that are supposed to be gone” he pauses to step forward, looking down at the seemingly catatonic girl “And with good reason, are comin' back, a fact I still dont fully understand.”

Simon shrugs “The last phase of a cyborgs life is uncharted territory. Only one died of, age, and she lost almost all of her memory, then began to remember her life before she was a cyborg. Henrietta is following the same pattern, but Triella, who already keeps emergency hypos of the drug on-hand, has almost no memory loss save where her weapons came from. If I didn't already know what was causing all these symptoms I would say this is almost as difficult a case as River was before we did the Ariel job.”

Mal nods understandingly “Not sure if this is worse, or not. 'Least River'll live a full life.”

Simon drops the files he had been going over and turns to look at Henrietta “I may be able to find a way to cure these girls. From the files Kaylee pulled from that ships computer I know they were close to that end before the agency was closed down.”

The captain leans against a wall “Well, unless this job pays off a whole lot better than I'm expecting right now, your only buying time so that they dont go feng'le while their workin' with us.”

Simon is about to reply, when Jayne bursts in, a display case in his hands “Mal, I've got our in!” he declares triumphantly.

Triella walks in behind the merc, much calmer, and looking more than a little frustrated “Settle down, I dont even know if they fire. All I know is that Riccardo got that pair of Colt Navies for Christmas a few years before we got put on ice. He never cleaned them, never shot them, just put the case on his desk in Section 2, and left them there.”

Jayne turns to the cyborg “An' next you'll tell me that that's a bad thing. Just like you say what you did to that M1897 was a good thing.”

Triella indignantly plants her hands on her hips “I couldn't shoulder it properly before I shortened it. So yes, considering that that gun saved my life more than once in most weeks, yes, that was a good thing.”

Jayne shoots an acidic glare at Triella and shoots back “You speak so highly of that gun, an how important it is to ya, but ya cant even tell me who it was that gave ya the ruttin' thing.”

Triellas face darkens, but before she can reply, River drops down from the vents, and half-whispers to the cyborg “Not now, Jaynes an easy mark if you plan it out. Follow me.” before grabbing the confused cyborg by the arm and leading her off into the ship.

“Mind expalinin all that Jayne?” Mal eventually interjects.

The merc slowly nods, before moving to stand next to Simon, his back away from the entrance to the infirmary, as well as any ducts “We found this display case in one of the lockers after you left to talk with the Doc. These're Colt 1851 Navy Revolvers, one'a the most famous guns from Earth-that-was. All prettied up like this, an in what I can only assume is good workin order might be enough to get us in. As to Feng'le, well, she climbs around the vents. From what I hear Simon an-” Jayne is cut off as the Doc elbows him in the gut.

“In where?” the well dressed man asks as Jayne steps away from the elder Tam.

Mal grins “Into Durran Haymers good side. See, none of our contacts have the coin to pay for half'a what we got. Now Durrans friends...”

“Are more likely to turn us all in to the Alliance than do business with us.” Simon finishes, scoffing.

Jayne shakes his head “Not likely to happen. See, we've got rare artifacts that normally go to museums... 'less they buy'em from us. Aint a rich, self centered ha-dun in the 'verse that'd turn down our offer.”

Mal grins “And those pistols, if what Jayne says is true, just might be enough to make up for the Lassiter. Do that, and we're all sorts'a shiny.”

After a few seconds of Simon glancing back and forth between Mal and Jayne, utterly shocked and terrified by the stupidity of the plan, and certain that Saffron will somehow ruin it all, Jayne cuts in “So, this one is still sleepin?” after Simon shoots him a rather disappointed, patronizing glare the merc adds “Was lookin forward to meetin this one. The redheads always makin eyes at her Handler, older blonde cant never keep'er mouth shut, and I aint hardly heard more'n a sentence a day out'a the little blond.”

Mal shrugs “What they've been through, I'm surprised only the little ones are showing the strain from it. From the way Vic paints it, this one is supposed to be the sweetest little thing this side'a a box of kittens.”

Simon nods “And Rico was constantly happy and excited, before she woke up on the sleeper ship, supposedly.”

Mal pushes off from the wall “Cant hardly blame'r she lost her pa, gege, most of'er friends, and her living all in one. Hell, cant blame any of'em for bein a bit tetchy or difficult.”

Jayne hands Mal the case “I'll finish goin through the goods with Petra an Sandro, cap'n. Dont feel like worryin on abuncha freaks that wont be'round long anyways.”

After Jayne leaves, Simon interjects “He does realize that Zoes coming back, right?”

Mal nods “But havin him not tryin to take over or arguin with me all the time is nice in the meantime. I gotta check the course. Don’t do anything with the cyborgs without runnin it by me first. 'Specially if it'll cost us coin.” he replies, leaving the infirmary.

****Broken****

Rico wasn’t particularly tired, which didn’t surprise her. She had slept for over five centuries after all. So, after finishing her chores on the ship for the day, she had waited for Petrushka to fall asleep, then she set off to wander the ship. It wasn’t very large, but it gave her time to think. And she had to do a lot of that, now that she was alive, and Jean was dead. As she made her way pas the infirmary, where Henrietta still lay sleeping, fitfully. She has no handler either now, no purpose, Rico noted to herself idly as she ascended the steps towards the dining area. Just like with Angelicas death, and Elsas before that, and the death of all the other members of the SWA that she had seen go, it didn’t really affect her. Her and Jean had been different, they weren't just doing their job, they had a higher mission. He was making her into the perfect tool for his revenge. She would kill Giacomo Dante, they would make Italy safe for everyone, and then... and then “Nihao, little one.” a voice greeted the brooding cyborg.

Rico turned to face the voice, to see Inara, the Companion that rented a shuttle on the ship “Hello.” Rico blankly replied, not lifting her tone as she made to continue walking.

Inaras face fell, clearly something going through her mind “Is something bothering you, Rico?” Rico stopped, and turned to face Inara, not knowing what to say. Nothing ever bothered her, she knew that. There was always something wonderful, or fun, or good about almost everything, wasn’t there? She realized that her feelings must be written all over her face, as Inaras own features softened even more. The companion rose from her seat, and made her way over to Rico, before sitting again, abandoning the tea she had been making, and pulling Rico down into the seat next to her. “Wheres your... handler, Rico?”

Rico looked at the companion “He, he died... during our last mission. I...” she faltered as Inara pulled her into a quick hug, cutting off Ricos response for a moment. “I gave him what he wanted when he died though... he asked me to do it even.” she finished, unsure how to react to the strangers embrace.

“And what was that, Rico?” Inara asked. Rico was confused, why did this woman want to know what had happened?

Rico pondered for a moment, Hillshire was a handler, just like Jean, and he told these people everything. So Rico supposed that it wouldnt hurt to tell this woman what had happened to Jean... the others would ask her soon enough anyways “He, he wanted me to kill the man who had killed his family. So I did, and he died knowing that they had, that they had been avenged, that all we had worked for over the years...” Rico feels her voice hitching, and she tried to fight it.

Rico can see the horror on Inaras face, but she was used to that expression of normal people. She knew that what she did was considered, unnatural, that it frightened most. “How did he die, Rico?”

Rico can feel her face scrunching up again, as the memories play back through her mind, so vivid, so real “Jean... Jean had been captured by Dante, the man who had murdered his family. The man had a gun trained on me, and I had mine leveled at him. Jean... Jean ordered me to shoot Dante through him, so I did.”

Were Ricos face not pointed to the floor, she would have seen Inaras aghast, terrified look. She didn’t know much about the new passengers and part time help, but she knew that to a cyborg, her Handler was incredibly important. Moreso than their own lives, at least, that’s what they had told her before following Mals lead and heading to bed. “So, so you killed Jean?” Inara clarified, trying to buy time.

Rico nods, pulling away from the companion “Yes, because he wanted me too. I always did what Signore Jean wanted, but now...” Rico trails off, unsure of how she had come to be here, pouring her heart out to this woman, or why the woman even cared.

Inara frowns, before replying “Did Jean ever force you to do anything that you disliked? Or keep you from doing things you enjoyed?”

Rico pauses, thinking. She had not liked having to kill Raballo, or Amilio. But he let her go to the sea too, even though it made signore Jean sad. “No.” she replies “Whenever it didn’t interfere with a mission, signore Jean always let me do what I liked.”

Inara nods, smiling sadly “Then, maybe you should try doing what Jean would want you to do, until you know what you want to do again.”

Rico nods slowly, confused still as to why Inara was helping her, but understanding what she was saying. “Okay. But, do you mind me asking a question?”

Inara smiles “Of course not, little one.”

Rico nods “Then... then why are you trying to help me?” her voice still wavering a little.

Inaras smile fades away to sad confusion “Because we all have pains, and it helps us to help others with theirs. And space travel is not fast, so it is easier to make friends with people your traveling with, rather than ignoring them.”

Rico nods, pausing, searching for the words “Thank you, Inara.” she replies, before standing up to go to try to sleep. What would Jean want her to do?

****Broken****

Treilla followed River the next day, confused “What are-” River cuts the cyborg off and makes a shushing noise, causing the cyborg to finish the rest of her query in a whisper as they walk past Jayne “what are we doing, River?”

“Revenge” the reader replies, still whispering. Treilla, in her confusion, misses the poorly hidden fear on Jaynes face as they finish passing him.

The cyborg stretches, and turns to face River, not breaking her stride “I wasnt that mad, and I dont see how this is any sort of revenge.”

River giggles “He is afraid of her. All we have to do is play the part, and wait. Revenge will present herself, and we will only have to do what we would.”

Treilla freezes “Who, and what are you talking about?” Had the cyborg been on the crew longer, she would have immediately recognized Rivers last phrase as a clear sign of the young reader having one of her 'bad days' as they called them.

River turns to look at Triella, and shoots the girl one of the most infuriating, patronizing looks she has ever received. However, in the interest of making a friend, the cyborg opts to not comment on it. The readers face quickly shifts to one of contemplation, then that of someone who just remembered something important, before she replies “We only have to wait, and look busy for now.”

Triella shakes her head, confused “Then, what do you suggest we do while we let Jayne think we're plotting against him.” as she follows the younger Tam into her mosest room.

River shrugs “Talk, become friends, become enemies, become lovers, become sisters. She cant be sure from here.”

Triella blushes for a moment, before finally asking “Why are you talking like that so suddenly? You sounded perfectly normal just a few minutes ago.”

River pouts “They did things to her mind, at the academy. This is a result, when ge-ge's pills aren’t working again, even though she has been 'better' since... then.”

Triella simply stares at the reader, perched on her bed, feet swinging off the ground, patiently waiting for the cyborg to reply. “What academy, what did they do to you?”

River pouts, before replying “It was supposed to be an academy for geniuses, with all the most exciting courses, so mother and father sent me there, because they could afford it and she begged. But it wasn’t, they did experiments on her mind, cut and moved, prodded and took. And when they were done with that, they made her sleep, put things in her mind, so many things. Things that weren’t hers, weren’t meant to be hers.” River half rushes, half plods through her story, a sad resignation to her telling of it. “When she could think, she sent letters, begged for help, pleaded for salvation.”

Triella frowns, before moving over to sit next to River “So, your parents saved you then?”

Rver shakes her head, dejectedly “No, they didn’t get the messages hidden in her letters, or ignored them. It was ge-ge who heard her cries. He gave up everything, saved her from the academy, and ran with her. He tries to fix her, make her whole again, make her normal... but its impossible.”

The cyborg forces a smile, and pats River on the back, almost spilling the reader from the bed when she nearly forgets to check her strength. Eventually, Triella sighs, and replies “That still doesn’t explain why Jayne is afraid of you.”

River frowns, before standing up and walking over to her dresser. She slides the bottom drawer open, and pulls out a cloth bundle. Triella recognizes the cloth, being the same or very similar to the material that she uses to keep her knife properly cleaned and maintained. The young reader sets the bundle down on the floor, and unrolls the makeshift package, revealing a small hand-axe, with a curved hilt, and a wicked looking shortsword “She took these from the Reavers on Miranda. She killed 37 of them with these blades, after killing 16 to acquire them.”

Triellas face goes blank, unsure how to react to what she is beginning to realize is a girl with more in common with herself and the other cyborgs than any normal girl. “Reavers, Miranda?”

“We went there because she remembered a thought that wasn’t hers, about how they had tried to make people better. But they only made monsters, terrible creatures in men's skins that are all rage and hunger, screaming into the void, but only she could hear them. They were boogey-men and campfire stories until we made the transmission. Now the whole verse knows that they made them... but doesnt know what to do about the knowledge.” The reader frowns, and returns her blades to their cloth-embraced slumber “We lost so many to get the word out. Lost Wash, lost Book, Mr. Universe wasn’t crew, but he was a friend, and they burned him down like all of our other friends. So she became the pilot, since killing the Reavers helped her somehow, didn’t make her whole, but glued what was left together more. Ge-ge still tries to fix her, but she can only be fixed so far.” River begins to shudder, holding herself together, but barely “Then Zoe left, because she had what she had argued with Wash over for so long growing in her belly. Mal lost his First Mate, and Pilot, so she started to fly for him, because its all her fault.”

Triella clucks her tongue, and climbs down next to River, gently draping an arm around the nearly crying reader... and the slight touch is enough to send her over the edge. Sighing inwardly to herself about how much more she was likely to be doing this, and promising to make whoever's fault all of this is pay, she quietly responds “Of course it isn’t your fault. Just like it isn’t my fault that Beatrice, or any of the other Cyborgs that died fighting alongside me is my fault, even if I was on point.”

River forces a smirk through the tears “And she was having a 'good day' today too, until she read you and realized how much alike we are in some ways. It brought back memories...”

Triella frowns, and silently continues to support the Reader until she calms down “I'm sorry... for bringing all that up on you. It, it must have been painful for you to tell me all that.”

River wipes at her eyes “Its ok, a show of trust, how friends are made. She wont ask either, but is eager to hear your story from you.” as she stands and walks over to collapse backwards into her bed. It is nearly the middle of the day cycle by now, and the reader seems to be preparing to be getting ready to take a nap. So Triella stands, says her goodbyes, and makes her way from the room to track down someone who can give her more answers.

****Broken****

Mal stood in front of the screen and took a deep breath. This was going to be tricky. It had been hard enough finding a secure line that the man would not be able to backtrack. Even harder to find a way to ensure that Haymer, not one of his employees, would answer the wave. It had taken half of the day, and Mal was now more than a little agitated, but this needed doing. He punched the button that would initiate the call, and waited. Before long Haymers face appeared on the largest screen that could carry a wave on the ship. By no means huge, but it sufficed “You. Give me one reason that I shouldn’t alert the Alliance about your call.” Haymer greets Mal, tersely.

“Money.” Mal replies easily, as he toys with the idea of toying with the man. He'd be an easy mark, and probably react real well too.

The man scoffs, making no effort to hide the fact that he is working to notify the authorities “I seriously doubt you have enough to stay my hand. But, please tell me what it is that compelled you to contact a man who you stole a priceless artifact from.”

The captain smirks “Thought you were smart. Like I said, money, have a bit of business and you seemed to be the man to take it to.”

Haymer looks up from the other screen, an eyebrow raised in questioning “Oh?” he asks “Stole an artifact from someone else and was hoping to unload it on me?” still working the other screen at the same relaxed pace, but not immediately shooting the captain down. Which Mal took as a good sign.

Mal shrugs “Doubt the dead care all that much. Found a lost sleeper ship from the exodus fleet, figured you'd be the man to go to if I aimed to sell the artifacts.”

The man stops, clearly skeptical, as he asks “Why not just sell them to a museum, or some underworld contact?”

The captains expression remains even as he shifts his weight to his other foot, and replies “Museums dont pay well enough, and I dont have any other contacts that I can get the full worth of most of these things out of.”

The man nods, understanding, as he resumes his work to notify the authorities “Even though I would be well within my rights to take most of whatever it is you claim to have for what you took from me? And what makes you think I would buy whatever artifacts you have? I may like antiques and relics, but hundreds of years old or not, kitsch is still kitsch.”

Mal lets his smile return to his face, suppressing a comment about both of them being wronged by the same woman before he replies “I dont, so I took the pick of the loot, and decided to offer it to you as a gift, to smooth things over about the whole Lassiter thing. Ensure we can do business fairly.” as he dramatically sets the display case on the table in front of the screen.

Haymer freezes, again, as he eyes up the weapons displayed before him “Those are...” he trails off, clearly recognizing the weapons.

Mal nods “Authentic and real. Not one-of-a-kind, but they may as well be, considerin' how old they are, and the shape their in.”

Haymer collects himself quickly “And most museums would pay an arm and a leg to get ahold of these. Why give them to me for free?”

The captain slides the display case from in front of the screen, as he replies “Because you and your rich friends would pay more. I take a loss on the Navies, but there's more rich folk like you then there are museums that can afford artifacts like some of the ones I have.”

Haymer scratches at his chin “So, in exchange for your gift, and first choice of which other artifacts to buy, I dont call the authorities on you, and put you in touch with anyone I know who may be willing to purchase earth that was artifacts from a less than reputable source.”

Mal nods “Sounds about right to me. How long will you need to prepare your house for a naughty man like myself to stop in.”

Haymer shakes his head “Oh no. I will not be entertaining yourself, or your apparent backlog of priceless relics in the same house that Yolanda is in any more than I am doing business with you on your ship.”

The captains train of thought grinds to a halt, then hops onto a new and strange set of tracks “Saffrons still with you?” he asks, shocked.

The wealthy man heaves a defeated sigh “On house arrest, and only because she would rather not go to a penitentiary. The best I could do without losing her.”

Mal frowns, “Timebomb waitin ta go off, she is.” he shrugs “But thats your business, and I dont care to involve myself with her again if it can be helped. If its a neutral ground you want, how does...” he makes a show of going through the the cortex, even though he already has a place in mind “Whitefall, sound. Out of the way, without being deep in the rim. No major settlements to speak of, good place for a quiet deal to go down.”

Haymer pauses, actually doing a cortex search, before replying “Moon of Athens, mostly desert. It will be difficult for me to explain the trip away, but its a concession I'm willing to make. How long do you need?” he asks

Mal shrugs “Could be there in a week, less if you want, though the extra fuel it'd burn will make things a bit more expensive for you.”

Haymer smiles slightly, as he responds “In a week on Whitefall then. I'll wave you from orbit, and we can decide on a place to make the exchange then, as I doubt you trust me any more than I trust you.” before unceremoniously cutting the line. Mal grins triumphantly as he steps back from the screen, rubbing his hands together.

However, his self satisfied pride in how smoothly the setup for the real meat of this job is short lived as he hears a set of somewhat familiar footfalls approaching. He couldnt recognize the cyborgs or wither of the handlers like he could his crew, but he knew that it was one of the cyborgs judging by the space between steps and the weight and sound to them. He turns to see a determined Triella approaching him, her face a mask of indignation, curiosity and anger “Who did it?” she asks tersely as she approaches Mal.

“I aint the prankin' sort girl. And as captain I always keep my hands clean of that sort of thing.” The captain lies, hoping to dodge whatever was bugging the cyborg.

Triella, however, clearly doesn’t buy it “Right.” she deadpans “I was asking about Miranda, the academy, and what happened to River.”

The captain freezes “What all did she tell you?” he asks, shocked that his albatross would share such... personal, stories with someone who was almost a complete stranger. “And why do you care'bout our troubles?”

Triella shakes her head, indignantly planting her hands on her hips “I was a child soldier for one of the blackest of government black ops organizations from earth-that-was. Before that I was a sex slave that was nearly the star of a snuff film.” she opens her eyes, letting her glare bore into the captain “Why do you think I care?”

Mal falters at the implications that the additional snippet of life story he had just got about the willful cyborg before him sinks in. He hadnt read any of the files on the girls like Simon had, but something inside him began to turn his thoughts on the SWA survivors he now had on his boat “Fair enough, but I need to know how much River told you, and how she did it before I can fill in any gaps.”

“That she was sent to an academy, where she was experimented on for no good reason. And that the same people who ran that academy had done a planet-wide experiment that ended up creating some sort of monsters out of innocent people.”

Inwardly, Mal lets an impressive stream of mandarin curses flow. He hated what had been done to River. He hated what had been done to the cyborgs, to a lesser extent, as they werent crew, but it pissed him right off just the same. At the heart of it was a fundamental dislike of forcing kids to fight. And by the look in Triellas eyes, she would willingly throw herself against the brick wall Alliance with what he was about to tell her, and the impact would break her as surely as it had broken him “The Alliance did. In Rivers case, they wanted weapons, on Miranda, a way to a more obedient populace.”

Triella deflates ever so slightly “Thank you for your honesty captain, most of the time adults just...”

He shrugs “May have a kids body, but if your life was anything like I imagine, there aint much of a little girls mind movin' that body. Lying to you would only make you mad, which is not something that I want to experience firsthand.”

****Broken****

Henrietta had woken up at a normal time this morning. Or at least thats what Dr. Tam had told her it was. She was in an infirmary on a spaceship, flitting about the starts on some errand of another. It didn’t matter, nothing mattered. She had killed Jose, shot him in a fit of delusion. She felt like crying, but after days of doing nothing but, there were no tears left. “How are you feeling today?” the doctor asked, injecting her with her morning medicine. She just stared blankly at him, wondering how he thought she felt. She had killed the most important man in her world just a few days ago. “How are your memories, do you feel ill?” he presses as Hillshire enters the infirmary.

The young cyborg shakes her head “I still dont remember everything, but the last few days are all there. And I feel perfectly normal.”

The doctor nods, as he scribbles something on a notepad “Alright.” he turns to face her “Henrietta, that is the last injection you are going to get for a while, at least until the withdrawal symptoms start to manifest, and, if you don’t mind, a bit longer.”

“Why?” she asks, more out of politeness than caring. She didn’t want to be alive anymore, so she didn’t care if this man could save her or not.

Simon sighs briefly, before responding “Because that, was my first mutation of the conditioning drugs. I doubt that they will be the place to start for a more permanent solution to your shortened lifespans, but getting you through the withdrawals is a good first step to making you better.”

“Do you think you'll be able to save them?” the handler asks from where he was standing just inside the door to the infirmary. It shouldn’t be him there, it should be Jose, and he should be worried sick, like he always was when she was injured.

Simon purses his lips as he walks over to stand next to Hillshire, looking down at her. She new that there was nothing else he could do for her now, and he was simply waiting for an excuse to leave now. None of the others cared for her like Jose had, and none of them should, she had killed the last man to care for her, after all. “I'm a trauma surgeon, but my life has dictated that I learn how to deal in pharmaceuticals a good deal better than I was trained to.” he replies, sadly. “I am... optimistic, that she will pull through.” Hillshire nods understandingly as the doctor continues “I'm honestly more worried about figuring out the cure before Rico moves into her last stages. Despite the fact that she has been a cyborg longer, the fact that she never needed additional major memory wipes, and almost never was injured has bought her some time.”

“She was conditioned more heavily than any of the other girls here.” Hillshire points out, matter-of-factly.

The doctor nods “I know. That is why I hope to move quickly with discovering a cure. When Ricos end arrives, it will be fast and brutal. Her withdrawals will be far worse than any of the other girls, and will likely kill her over a few days, instead of a few weeks, after it takes her off her feet.” For a while, the two men stand in silence, looking at the bored uncomfortable Henrietta. They had offered to bring her some of her things, but she didn’t want any. Jose had given them all to her, so they all made her sad now. After a few more moments of awkward silence Simon left, followed briefly by Hillshire, though he went in the opposite direction.

For a while, Henrietta was left alone with her thoughts, depressing as they were. The only thing that broke the monotomy of the still, unchanging room was when the Captain and Allesandro walked past. The pairs lively, seemingly inane conversation momentarily overpowering the rhythm of the machines connected to her, taking readings and compiling information for the doctor. A while later the ships mechanic walked in, clearly looking for someone. “Hello sweetie, feeling well?” she asks cheerily, sitting down.

Henrietta nods, deadly “I'm not sick, Simon is an excellent doctor.”

Kaylee smiles proudly “I know that. I was wondering how you were feeling.”

“Fine” the cyborg replies unenthusiastically.

The mechanic frowns “I dont know you that well, but I know your lying. Losing folk thatre important too you is hard. We all go through it eventually.”

Henrietta shakes her head “I wasn’t supposed to outlive Jose though. I was supposed to protect him, but I-”

“Dont go thinkin about that. You never meant to do that, so its no good worryin on it. Whats important is that you move on, because Simons not gonna let you die young.” the red-head cuts her off, sliding the doctors stool she had been sitting on over to Henriettas bedside “And there aint no good that comes from killin yourself either, so get that right out of your little head. Would Jose want you all mopey and sad like this?” she presses, trying to reprimand the cyborgs foolishness with as soft a voice as she could.

Henrietta pauses befroe she replies “I dont think so... but when he was dying he said-”

Again Kaylee cuts the cyborg off “folk say all sortsa stupid things when their dyin. Doesnt do no good to listen to'em half the time. Whats improtatn is that they thought it was important to make sure they said somethin to ya before they went. So, ignorin whatever it was that you got told that made you wanna take your own life, did Jose ever want you to be anything but happy?”

“Why are you doing this for me?” Henrietta asks after thinking for a while.

Kaylee smiles, breaking her serious facade “I'm doin this cause no matter how much your sister try to cheer you up, you keep on makin yourself more an more sad over what sounds to me to be an honest mistake that came from the side affects of what those ha-duns did to your head. And that aint right.” she pauses to breathe “Now, whats your answer to my question, sweetie?”

Henrietta sighs “No, Jose always did his best to make me happy, to spend more time with me.”

Kaylee nods “Well there ya go. Just 'cause a bodies dead dont mean what they want changes. And if he was always spending time with you, it sounds like it made him happy to see you happy. So what do ya think its doin ta his poor spirit to see you all mopey an sad like this?” Henrietta nods slowly, indicating her understanding. Kaylee smiles warmly “Not sayin ya gotta get over loosin him right off, just that makin it worse for yourself aint no good though.” she stands up, and starts unstrapping and disconnecting Henrietta from the medical equipment “Now, lets get you settled into you room before Triella takes all the good spots in it.”

“Am, am I allowed to leave the infirmary?” Henrietta asks as the last of the restraints are removed.

Kaylee grins “Simon said you were cleared to leave, provided you werent likely ta shoot someone... or yourself. So I decided to make sure that was the case is all. Hope ya dont mind.”

Henrietta flashes a brief smile “Thank you.”
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Pax

Male

Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

Registration date : 2012-02-02

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Chapter 3

Post by Pax on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 21:46

Simon walked out onto the catwalk over the storage bay, Kaylee on his arm in a good mood. Things had been quiet for the past several days. His current mutation of the Conditioning Drugs that Henrietta was on seemed to be working, no relapses, no progression of her deterioration, so he had prepared an additional hypo of it should Triella need an injection, or if Rico entered the downward spiral at the end of a cyborgs life as well. All of the cyborgs were gathered in the bay, Triella, Petrushka and River on the floor, chattering about, something. Triella is waving her knife about as she talks, the other girls raptly listening. Further down the catwalk Rico and Henrietta sit next to each other, feet dangling over the ledge, as they lean against the rail, silent and sullen. “Just seems wrong, for those little ones to be so... sad.” Kaylee opines from Simons arm, pouting a bit.

Simon shrugs as River says something, that sets Triella to blushing furiously, while she giggles with Petra. “At least the older ones are acting more like they should. And it is nice to see River make some friends closer to her age.”

“And what about your sneaking off to Allesandros room almost every night?” Triella cuts through the giggles, and gets the attention of everyone.

Henrietta glances over to Rico, and confides “I snuck into Jose's room once. Thats when I found the kaleidoscope Jose bought me.”

Rico nods “I remember, you were so sad when you thought it was for someone else.”

Henrietta smiles bitterly, flattening out the pleats of her skirt as she responds “But then he gave it to me.”

“Did they pack it away with your things?” Rico asks her sister, once again looking down at the two other cyborgs and River.

“I dont know, I havent gone through my things since I woke up. Looking at Joses gifts would make me sad, I think.” Henrietta responds quietly, forcing Rico into an introspective silence.

As this happens, a blushing, stuttering Petra makes one last ditch effort to escape Triellas relentless inquiry about just what she had been doing with Sandro in his room, in the middle of the night. Giving up on denial and evasion, and making the same pocket reach Simon recognizes from Jayne when he really wanted a cigar, the cyborg turns to River “And what about you? Whos your crush?”

Simon almost feels sorry for his sister as Triella sprouts an impish grin and turns to face the young reader “If I hadn't seen their guns, or asked them about their... work, I wouldn’t believe that they were anything but normal girls. Though I cant believe Petra is allowed to smoke. Maybe she sneaks them?”

“How do ya figure she smokes?” Kaylee asks, still on Simons arm as they lean against the railing a few feet away from Rico and Henrietta.

Simon grins, gesturing to Petra as he answers “Its the pocket reach. Same one Jayne does when Rivers annoying the gou shi out of him...” Kaylee giggles in recognition as River slowly backs away from the cyborgs she had been talking with as they list off other crew-members, and the few contacts of the ship they had heard about in their short time on board.

“I dont think you should let Jose's gifts make you sad Henrietta. That isnt what he would want for you. Lets unpack your things.” Rico announces, as if reaching some revelation. At that she stands and nearly drags the more reserved cyborg along with her to Henrietta's bunk.

“It isnt, JAYNE, is it?” Petra inquires, causing River to pale and Simons eyes to nearly leap from his head. Its only the stream of disgusted, furious mandarin curses falling from his sisters mouth that keeps him from doing something, drastic.

“And she used to be so polite.” Kaylee observes, feigning sadness as Rivers trail of expletives soars to new, vulgar heights at the raucous laughter of the cyborgs “Wonder where she learned that from anyways.”

****Broken****

“I didn’t know any better I'd say you grew up a few ranches down from me, Sandro.” Mal compliments the man as they sit at the dining table, dinner long past, but still working on Sandro and Petras cover.

“Thats the point, aint it? Have someone around that can make certain we arent gettin' ripped off none, provide extra security.” he pauses to take a sip from the glass of whiskey he had sitting in front of him “And not let the whole verse know that you got a ship full'a fivehundred year old secret agents an killer cyborg girls of course.”

Mal nods, leaning back in his chair contentedly. The meal may have been canned and re-hydrated goods again, but having a few more at the table was beginning to grow on him. He didn’t like to admit it, but the Bit had been right, with so many dead or simply gone, they had all been missing the company. “You sure Petra can get the accent and story down in just three days?”

“I'm Sandro's adopted daughter, we're antique dealers from a small shop in one of the cities not too far from the ranch you grew up on.” Petra cuts in, dropping into Sandros lap. Something about it seems natural to Mal as he watches, but at the same time, like they just started with it. He'd have to ask Sandro at some point. “You and Sandro were close enough that he was the person you went too after finding the drifting ship and cleaning it out.”

Mal nods “And the accent? Cant have you talkin like that around Haymer, he'd know somethin was up, and he's most certainly not the sort we want snoopin in our affairs.” he replies, before sipping from his own glass of whiskey.

Petra shrugs, before replying “Not my place to talk at the table where such a big deals goin' down. I'm just along to watch an learn. Daddy'd tan my hide if I blew this on'im.”

“Quick study.” Mal compliments Petra. His brain then skips a few beats as Petra goes for her handlers drink, and is able to nearly get it to her lips without being stopped by him before Mal interjects “You gonna just let her drink? Ain't she a not supposed to be drinkin bein as young as she is?”

Sandro shrugs “Sometimes she needs to be older for undercover missions. It would be, strange, if she couldn't drink.” ignoring Petras pained wince, and hacked cough as the amber fluid passes her lips.

The cyborg in question sets the glass down, scowling “Thats why I learned to smoke too.”

Sandro grins “And it only took you a few months to learn. So strange seeing such a smart girl take so long to learn how to do something so simple.”

Mals jaw drops open as he stares at the pair, the man making eyes that could only be described as 'lovey' above his mischievous grin, the girl scowling back at him. “Next you'll tell me her first kiss was to help keep cover on a job too.”

“Actually...” Petra begins shyly, clearly lost in memory.

“Full on, open mouth-” Sandro begins to explain, already moving his hand behind the cyborgs head, clearly intending to demonstrate.

Mal drops his head into his palms “Dont, just dont say any more, please.” he peeks through his fingers to ensure they had stopped, before looking back up and polishing off the last of his drink “If I were a preacher I'd have a real nice sermon for you right about now Sandro, but somehow I doubt taht'd” he freezes, as he spots a familiar head of dark brown, lightly curled hair peek around the corner. “somethin the matter, Bit?”

River steps into the room “They were talking all wrong, thinking wrong. She couldnt stop hearing.”

Mal sighs, patting the seat next to him, but, the timid River stays just beyond the door “Bad day, Riv?”

River shakes her head “It started off well, but then they asked her questions, said things that werent true. It was, unsettling.”

Mal tilts his head, but an apologetic looking Sandro cuts off his reply “Treilla and Petrushka were teasing her a bit earlier today. I think it may have, put her off.” clearly having heard of Rivers condition from Hillshire, or perhaps Triella, firsthand or through Petra, Mal doesnt really push that matter.

“We were just trying to figure out who her crush was.” Petra defends herself, weakly, in the face of Mals perturbed glare.

“She never admitted to having one.” River shoots back resolutely.

Mal crosses his arms at Petra, who tilts an eyebrow at River and replies “With how much you argued against it being Jayne, you may has well have announced that you wanted to share a bunk with him! It was as plain as day.”

Mal blinks once, then twice, as the room falls to silence. River fumes, Petra grins, and Mal is assaulted by the most graphic, revolting, unnerving, unsettling images he has ever had dance before his minds eye. Before the images of River and his 'Public Relations' officer acting out what Petra claimed were the Bits fantasies, Mal pushes up from his seat, and announces “I'll be in my bunk.” The irony of his using a phrase usually attributed to the merc in question not escaping him as he stalks off towards the sanity of his room. Not long later, he hears a surprised, and embarrassed squeak from River, followed by the sound of her combat boots pounding a hasty retreat. Mal sighs “I get saddled with a woman'a marryin age for a wife I didn’t even want and catch mary hell. He's havin an affair with a ruttin teenage girl an everyone just lets it happen.” he grouses to the verse about its own unfairness before dropping into his bunk to sleep.

****Broken****

Rico smiles as she wakes up, stretches, tumbles out of bed, and spins about. Her usual morning routine. In the bunk across from hers, Petra lay sleeping, looking an utter mess. Content, but a mess worse than her blankets from her nocturnal fidgeting. Rico had come to a decision, after talking with Inara, and helping Henrietta unpack her things. Jean wouldn't want Rico to dwell on him if he died, nor would he want her to live her life to be that of a weapon. Maybe at first, when he was training her, but more recently. No, she would still try to preform to his standards, to do well on missions, but she would try her best to live out the rest of her short life happily. After all, they had succeeded, Dante was dead, by her hands, and by extension, Jeans. She may miss him terribly, but she new that after revenge, came normal life again.

So, she did what Jean would want her to do the day before an important mission. She gathered up her weapons, and headed to a good place to clean them. The only table she knew of that was large enough for her weapons was the big one the crew took its meals on. So she carefully cleared it, taking care to not break anything, then, set out a towel, before setting her cleaning supplies off to the side, propping her other weapons up against the wall, and setting down her Dragunov SVD on the cloth, and disassembling it. She would have to sight it in now, but after 500 years, that would be necessary anyways. As she finishes that process, a grumbling, stinking Jayne walks through the room, before freezing to stare at her weapons “Oh, good morning Mr. Jayne.” She greets him, as she begins cleaning her favorite weapon.

“Mornin Rico. You sposed to be doin that?” he responds, still ogling her weapons.

Rico shrugs as she rinses out her barrel brush before setting to work with it again “We have a mission tomorrow, so even if I'm not on the active roster, I think I should prepare for it.”

Jayne chuckles “Not that girl, I meant pullin that rifle'a yours apart. Gonna mess up its sights terrible bad.” clearly, the man is thinking something else over as well, but Rico lets it slide.

“After so long I would need to re-sight it anyways. Besides, these guns are all I have left from Mr. Jean, and I dont think he would like me letting them fall into disrepair.”

Jayne nods, before slowly replying “Lemme go git some'a my girls. It aint no fun cleanin yer guns all by your lonesome. Maybe you can tell me about yours some while we're at it.”

Rico looks up and smiles “That sounds nice, Mr. Jayne.”

The merc chuckles out “Just Jayne. I aint no gentleman, so I dont wanna git talked to like one.” before he wanders off to get his gun. As Rico is finishing up with her Dragunov, and preparing to put it back together, Jayne returns, several of his guns under his arms. Rico glances the weapons over, before her eyes fall on one assault rifle in particular. She can tell that it is fully automatic, but also could be a designated marksmans rifle... heavily customized too. Jayne flashes her a grin “So, ya like Veera?” he asks

Rico nods, not taking her eyes off the rifle as she reassembles hers “It looks like a wonderful weapon. What is it?”

-----

Jayne grins even deeper, before telling her all about his Calahan Full-bore automatic, and how he got her. Surprised as Rico asked for more detail on the actual taking of the weapon.

“...so, once he was dead, I jumped from behind what was left of the table I'd been hidin under, and pumped his last buddy full'a lead. Was a mess, I had a few holes in me even.” he finishes, grinning with pride at the tale of his martial prowess. Rico, having just finished reassembling the rifle she'd been cleaning moves to set it aside. Just as Jayne had thought, it was one hell of a gun, and he whistle in appreciation “Now, tell me about that rifle'a yours girl.”

He watches as Rico pauses to think, before she begins to give him it full specifications, just as he had when she asked him about Veera. “Its the first primary weapon Jean gave to me... my favorite.”

Jayne nods, still not fully understanding the cyborg/handler bond, but realizing its importance to her “Impressive gun, whats her name?” he replies to her technical rundown.

Ricos face screw up in confusion “Why would I name my gun?” she asks as she gingerly rests it against the wall, and hefts her MG 3 and moves it to the table.

Jayne lets his jaw hang agape, damn, they really are that ruttin strong he thinks to himself, before managing to answer “Cause its part a takin care of yer gun. How can ya trust sumfin aint got its own name?” as he finishes polishing Veera, and moves to set her aside. “This heres Veera, like I already told ya.” as he pats his favorite weapon.

“Aw ruttin hell, what'd I tell you about cleaning guns on the dining room table Jayne?” Mal cuts in.

Jayne had known this was coming, but he supposes that had been half his reason for cleaning his guns with Rico. Now he just hoped Mal wasn’t feelin to ornery “Ta not to... but we got a job tomorrow an-”

“Dont care Jayne. You know the gorram rules” Mal bites back, clearly in sore need of some caffeine “You can pick up the Bits turn on septic duty for this. An Rico, I dont care how bad it needs it, aint no way that grease-pig a yours is getting any closer to the table” he addresses the now frozen cyborg “Consider this your warnin – which I dont normally deal in, by the way, I catch you cleanin a piece on the table again an you'll get the same as Jayne did. Now if yer not gonna eat, git.”

“Good morning... ta da me, what the hell kinda gun is that Rico.” Kaylee cuts herself off, hair still a mess from sleeping, eyes in a bleary state of shock at the sight of Rico hefting the massive support weapon.

“Its an MG 3 light machine gun. Jean got it for me when we had to ambush a convoy of Five Republics supporters. I used it so well that he let me keep her.” Rico replies cheerily, happy to tell someone about her gun.

Grumbling Jayne completely ignores Kaylee as he crows “But Mal, I just finished my week, and now yer gonna give me another? Dont you normally just-”

“This is how it is now that we have more guns layin around. Table wasn’t cheap, an some of us are more worried about food than guns.” the captain sternly cuts Jayne off.

The merc pushes himself up from the table, silent and pissed, collecting his guns, before stalking over to the bowl of apples Rico had put aside, tossing one to the cyborg before announcing “C'mon Rico, lets finish with our girls on the cleanin table I got in my bunk.”

Rico reaches out with her left hand to pluck the apple from the air as she replies “Okay Jayne.” Kaylees jaw drops the rest of the way to the floor, and Mal lets himself fall back into a chair as Rico hefts the massive weapon in one hand, before resting it on her shoulder. She then proceeds to lodge the apple into her mouth, swing her Dragunov over the opposite shoulder by its strap, stuff her handgun into her belt, tuck her cleaning supplies under her right arm, and finally cradle her shotgun and assault rifle in her free arm.

Before long, Ricos guns are propped up against a wall in Jaynes bunk, opposite his wall of weapons, and the two are again, seated across from each other at a table. Rico looks at the table worriedly “I dont think your table is big enough to service Bessy on.”

Jayne barks out a laugh “Good name, though you should'a named that Dragunov first, ifn she's your favorite.”

Rico looks at him confused “You mean Bella?”

Jayne chuckles some more, smart kid... a lot better than most brats “Quick thinkin' girl. An dont worry, I know how to take care'a big guns. I'll help ya with this girl than we can both move on to our other guns.”

Rico nods “Thank you... and, I'm sorry for getting you in trouble Jayne.”

The merc waves her off “Ah hell, dont worry bout it none. I'm always in trouble round here. Its only my good looks an cunnin military intellect that keeps me from getting kicked off this boat.” as he begins disassembling the front of the weapon, as Rico works through the more tricky portions of the weapon.

Rico smiles “Thank you, then. I dont think I would have liked having to clean the septic tank much.”

Jayne nods “It smells bad, leaves ya full-a gou shi, and takes forever. Theres a reason its Mals favoritest punishment. Enough of that, whats the hardest shot ya ever made?” he ambles, trying to get a better picture of the little child soldier in front of him.

Rico pauses, silicon cloth in hand, a greasy piece of her largest weapons action in the other. After thinking for a bit, she replies “Probably when Jean and I had our first mission by the sea.”

Jayne winces internally. He may be no good with emotions and words, but he can tell raw wounds, physical or otherwise, when he sees them... usually. “Sorry, didn’t mean to make ya think'a him, or, any specific-”

Rico shakes her head a little, sad, but not crying, which shocked Jayne. Lara and Clara had balled their eyes out for weeks after his pa died “He died for a good cause, and he wouldn’t want me to dwell, I dont think. And two weeks is a long time, especially for me.” she pauses for a moment, thoughtful, before continuing her story “We were at the sea, and had to take out a Padania cell. They tried to run after they spotted us, and Jean ordered me to kill them. I had to run down the pier before I could take my first shot at the boat they were fleeing on. To get the second, I had to jump to a buoy, then use it to springboard to a lighthouse. I took the driver from there, and put a bullet in the last man. He managed to knock me from my perch when he hit just below my foot, and I ended up in the water. Jean saved me from drowning after that.” she smirks a bit towards the end, clearly a happy memory, at least.

Jayne lets out a low whistle “Damn.” he replies as Rico begins putting her machine-gun back together. “Best I got is a headshot from 500 yards with a bent scope, heh. Nothin special like runin an jumpin. Just a good spot and enough time to figure for the bad scope.”

They spend the next few hours trading stories and talking about their guns. Jayne admonishes Rico on only having a 12 gauge, and a general dislike of her CZ-75 after she tells him about it. But when she starts rebutting with the finer points of her MG 3 and Dragunov SVD he is silenced. By the time both of them had finished cleaning their weapons, Jayne had come to the conclusion that Rico want half bad. Normally,he couldnt stand kids, maybe it was the super-soldier side of her, maybe it was her habit of being able to shut the gorram hell up and listen, maybe it was that she would do as she was told right off, but he kinda liked her. And that was a hell of a lot more than he could normally say about a kid.

****Broken****

Hillshire trailed Mal towards the cockpit “Are you sure you dont want me outside for extra security as well? From what you say, we cant trust this Haymer character to not play us.”

Mal shakes his head “Cant trust him any more than he can us. I have somethin weird like security in a suit, he just might get jittery. Knows I'm not the sort to have well-dressed, anything. You, an especially Triella, would set off more alarms than a nuke in a hospital Vic.” the captian holds up a finger to silence the man, activates the screen and greets it “Haymer, nice to see ya. Where're we meetin?”

The other line goes from fuzzy to clear, and the man replies “I'm sending you some coordinates on the planet. We can meet there, and work from our ships.”

“Sounds good. I've got an old friend, same one who appraised all this shiny for me, he'll be sittin in on this little exchange, make sure you dont try ta screw me over. He's teachin 'is girl the trade, so she'll be there too, along with my security.”

Hillshire can see Haymer nod on the screen “I have my appraiser with me as well, and two personal guards. It should be a fair exchange then.” Mal simply stares at the screen, wary “They arent Federals Reynolds. I'm no fool, and I know that you would not only call off the deal if they were, but recognize any disguised agents. Their my men, and know to keep their mouths shut.” he clips off.

Mal nods “Right, see ya dirtside then.” as he shuts off the feed.

“And your sure that you only want Triella and I on standby in case things go south then. If this man is as rich as you claim he could have more men in his ship.” Hillshire presses.

“Vic, I know why yer worryin. But I aint puttin Rico on standby with you an Triella. Dont care how normal ya say she is today, aint no way that a girl just lost the closest thing ta family she ever knew is sane enough to hold a piece, let alone fight straight.”

Hillshire sighs. He didn’t like not knowing what was going on. He liked cutting things close even less. To him, this whole damn thing just screamed disaster waiting to happen. He forces a bitter laugh “At least I didn’t recommend Henrietta. Trust me Captain, I've seen Rico worse off than this on missions. She preformed fine on those.”

Mal spins around to face Hillshire. “An she had Jean with her to keep her from jumpin at a stupid time then, didn’t she? My boat, my rules. I already told you that its just my good graces keepin you on board. I put up with a whole lot of crap from my crew, but they all know to shut-up and do as their told once a job starts. So you can either deal, or get off on this god-forsaken joke of a rock some call home. Dong ma?”

Hillshire stares down Mal for long enough to let the captain know he was not pleased with his decision, before replying “Sir.” and turning to make sure Triella was ready.

“Shotguns and pistols. If things go south its gonna be close and ugly, a rifle aint gonna do no good in a fight like that.” Mal shouts to Hillshire as he stalks off down the corridor. Hillshire doesn’t bother to respond, he wasn’t an idiot, and knew how things would go if they went wrong. As he rounds the corner to enter Triellas room, he hears the captain groan “Gorramit Jayne, no grenades. I dont fix on things goin wrong, and if they do...” the voice fades as he enters his girls room.

“Hillshire, what did the captain say?” Triella greets him as she wipes down her M1897, Henrietta laying silently in her bunk.

“Rico is a no go.” he pauses and glances over to the sullen cyborg “Hello Henrietta, how are you today?”

“Well enough, Mr. Hillshire.” the reclining cyborg mumbles from underneath her sheets.

“Its almost noon Henrietta, even if you don't have a part in this mission, you should get up, otherwise you wont be able to sleep tonight.” Triella chides the younger girl. She then turns to Hillshire “So, just standby still then?”

The man nods as Triella throws on her trench-coat, rests her weapon on her shoulder and makes to follow Hillshire from the room “I dont like it, but the captain isnt having any backtalk, not with a job on today.”

Triella shrugs “From what I hear, thats the norm around here. And, we might stop through a town here to pick up some supplies while the ship tops off on fuel.”

Hillshire nods again, the gears turning in his head. Whether they tried for permanent employment on this ship, or left once the extended job they were on now was finished, they would need less conspicuous cloths “I'll leave getting us less, conspicuous, cloths to you then. Rico should be able to tag along, Petra and Sandro as well... but I need you to take care of Henrietta as well. She's in no shape to leave the ship right now.”

Triella pouts as they reach the cargo hold, and take their place between the bench and wall, underneath the catwalk “Shes a fragile girl. Its a wonder that she hasnt tried to do anything else since...”

Hillshire shakes his head as the ship shakes as reentry begins “Consider it a blessing, Triella. Just keep working to cheer her up. She's durable enough to make it through this, just like Rico did.”

His cyborg frowns, hangs her head, and takes a deep breath “I dont think Rico is over Jean yet either. I dont think she'll ever be... just like I would never get over you dying. She's just began to realize that he wouldnt want her to be terribly depressed for the rest of her life, I think.”

Hillshire glances about before pulling his girl into a quick, one-armed hug “Dont worry, their both strong enough to survive, just like I know you would be.” Triella frowns even deeper, though she accepts, and reciprocates the rare display of affection as the ship shudders from landing. Then Mal, Sandro, Petra and Jayne appear atop the catwalk, and begin moving to meet Haymer.

****Broken****

Mal steps out into the blistering sun of Whitefall, and glances about “Just had to be this ruttin pass, didn’t it?”

“Think I recognize this ambush, er spot.” Jayne adds, his hand drifting to his gun.

Sandro looks from one man to the other “Mind explaining what your goin on about?”

Jayne shakes his head “Just seems ruttin wrong fer you to sound so much like Mal, and I do mind. Nows a piss poor time fer stories.” as he pulls out a cigar, and lights it up.

“Jayne, put it out, we're on a job, and we'll be dirtside long enough fer you to have a few. Gotta look professional.” Mal orders without turning around.

Haymers sleek, well cleaned, angular transport swoops in to land as Petra interjects “
Just who did you tell to look professional, cap'n?”

Mal hangs his head in defeat “I pay'imn to look scary and hurt folk, not look good. Now could ya not go remindin me how it is that he looks an acts? I do gotta deal with it evry day.”

“We've had ta deal with'im too.” Sandro adds almost bitterly.

“I scour the ruttin septic, run the gorram incinerator, an this is the thanks I get...” Jayne crows, setting up a folding table as the ramp on Haymers ship descends.

The first down the ramp are a pair of guards, both wearing full suits, and wielding shotguns, next is Durran Haymer, dressed in a plain black tunick and slacks with a pair of angled sunglasses, looking aggravated, and last a mousy looking man wearing hoop glasses and far too well dressed for the world scurries out. “Reynolds. I trust you have kept your end of the bargain.”

Mal nods, and presents the display case, setting it down on the table. The mousy man walks up to the case, peering inside “From out here it looks legitimate. No signs of forgery, at least not any worth cracking it open... here.” he observes, after testing it with every non-invasive tool Mal knows of, and a few he didn’t. “Legitimate.” he finishes after nearly fifteen minutes of testing.

“So, we square Durran?” Mal asks as one of the mans guards takes the case inside his ship.

Haymer nods, slowly “Enough. And I would rather you not call me Durran, Captain Reynolds, we dont know each other that well.”

Mal does his best to feign injury “Dont see how that works, as we'll be sharin friends soon 'nough. May as well at least act like we can stand each other.”

Durran shakes his head, defeated “Whatever it takes to get this deal over with. I want to expand my collection, not make a new business partner, especially a former Browncoat.”

Mal shrugs “Dont see why not. Wars over, and after The Wave, a whole lotta people disappeared. I'm certain you could use a reliable man to run your shady deals as much as I could use a new place ta get work from.”

The other man rubs his temples, nearly spilling the sunglasses from his head “Not now Reynolds. Maybe if my friends can vouch for you, then I MIGHT have a few things I could use a smuggler for. For now just start with the guns. After that we'll see about the kitsch.”

“Not all kitsch, more than a bits tools an toys.” Sandro offers as Petra arrives with the first gun.

-----

So the day passes, Fedrico Nationalles and Colts, Kalashnikovs, Benellis and Smith and Wessons. Then Motorolas and Gateways, Dells and Razers; designer cloths and childrens toys. “Ready fer my next bit then, Durran?” Mal asks as a particularly ancient brick of a laptop computer is carted back into Durrans ship.

“No Reynolds, I think you have enough of my money already. I'll have the credits wired to your-”

“Platinum.” Jayne cuts him off, speaking for the first time since midday, as the sun begins to set.

Durran forces a smile “Surely your help oversteps himself, Captain, to expect me to-”

“Sorry Durran, but I cant always spend creds. At least half needs to be cashy money, up front. I can change out plat when your leads take me coreward, but until then, I gotta keep my boat from fallin out the sky. An out here, that means platinum.” Mal cuts him off again, face a stone mask. He did not enjoy sitting out in the sun listening to others ramble about gou shi he didn’t care about... no matter how good the money was.

Durran frowns, before making a hand motion to his men, who raise their guns, Jayne apes them, his own scatter-gun leveled at Durran “I will pay you how I choose, Reynolds, and you will accept that.”

Completely unfazed, Mal retorts “And hows that payment gonna be made? Cause I can guarantee that I got more naughty men on my boat than you do on that little four-seater transport you flew in on.”

The man nods “I dont doubt that you do, and I will pay you forty percent platinum, and sixty to an account at a bank one of my banker friends on Persephone owns. When you see him, you will have your platinum... discretely. I may not have stayed as hard as you did after the war, Captain, but I'm no fool.” he slaps down two sheets of paper. “One is the list of contacts, the other is the account number and password.”

Mal nods “And the cash?” a sack of coin appears in the mousy mans hand, and is quickly deposited on the paper, keeping the wind from taking it. Again, the captain nods “Nice doin business with ya. Now, if you'd be so kind as to go back to your ship, we can stay professional, and do business again later on.” as he nods to the lowered ramp of the transport in question. “And next time, have at least half the pay in platinum, dong-ma?”

Durran stands up from the table “I'm glad we can agree on remaining professional. Dont bother waving me if you anger any of my friends, and if you do contact me, I would appreciate it staying as discreet as our last few exchanges. And if we do business again, I will be certain to meet your demands.” and at that, he retreats to his transport. Mal waits until they are well away before simply nodding to his crew, who silently pack the table and unsold goods after Mal collects the papers and money.

“That went well.” Mal happily chirps as Serenities cargo door closes behind him.

“Well? They pulled guns on you! They didn’t pay as much as you asked up front, and it's going to take at least another week for us to get to that money!” Triella angrily exclaims as she steps from the shadows, raising her shotgun towards the ceiling as she unloads it.

“But we got paid, and it'll be enough to keep us in the air.” Mal replies, still grinning, completely opposite of the grim mask he had kept plastered on his face until well after Durran had left.

“Which is a good site better than we can normally say.” Jayne grumbles “When do we get our pay, anyhow?”

Mal smirks “Tomorrow morning. Figure we may as well fuel up at Whitefall city, give the SWA folk a chance to update their wardrobe, acclimate to the times. Besides, I gotta make sure he didn’t short us.”

Hillshire steps up behind Triella, resting a cautionary hand on the agitated cyborgs shoulder “What did Jayne mean, 'better than normal' Captain?” worry on his voice, controlled as it is.

Mal shurgs as he passes the pair “We havent fallen outa the sky yet Vic, and I dont aim on stoppin that habit any time soon.”
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Pax

Male

Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

Registration date : 2012-02-02

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by crazyidiot78 on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 21:51

I remember seeing this over on FFN and while I do not know much about firefly I am willing to give it a shot as I am always a fan of crossovers.
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crazyidiot78

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Forum Posts : 1534

Location : Mongolia.... that is all

Fan of : Claes

Original Characters : none at this time

Comments : Me- So I used Naruto as a way to explain how viruses destroy cells in class ...... ok that as odd...... but it actually worked.

Me- I feel like a secret agent man, as my wallet now has six different currencies in it

Me- It has come to my attention that it is impossible to buy liver in Mongolia because it is bad, but it is perfectly ok to buy salt sheep heads

Registration date : 2010-01-10

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Chapter 4

Post by Pax on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 22:08

Mal stepps off of his ship into the outskirts of Whitefall City, and immediately has to fight the urge to get back on-board and fly somewhere else. The city was dirt, even by border world standards, more shipping crates and shacks than proper buildings. What buildings there actually are are as filthy and run-down as the folk, none of whom look terribly friendly. His crew all wander off to see to their own business, but Mal lingers, watching the two cyborgs that will be heading out into the city. Triella, in a plain skirt, one of the white button-downs she has, and her black trenchcoat, which she is using to hide her trench-gun, is clearly as pleased to be in this city as the rest of Mals crew. Leaving exactly one soul leaving his ship that seems to be looking forward to this outing.

As the older cyborg snorts in derision and sets off into the city, having taken only a second to take in the sight of it, Rico gapes in awe. “You actually like this place, Rico?” the captain asks the cyborg. Rico straightens the tan jacket she is wearing over her plain shirt, and using to hide her gun, before taking in a deep breath, and replying “I'm not certain. It is the first city I've seen that isn’t on earth, my first time off the ship since I woke up... and its so, different, from what I normally get to see.”

Triella sighs, halts her stride, and turns to interject “I'd take the stagnant underbelly of Venice over this dump. I dont know if I'll even be able to find what Hillshire needs here.”

The captain shrugs as he sets into motion “Its rough, but its a functioning city. All the necessities and even a few places to quench your thirst if ya don’t mind a glass that ain’t exactly clean.” He doesn’t notice that he isn’t alone at first, after passing the pair, but Rico walking just behind him and to the right becomes obvious as she flits about as she walks. “Need help findin' somethin' Rico? Because all I'm doin is getting the ship fueled up an headin back to it.”

The cyborg doesn’t respond at first, clearly thinking, before she replies “I don’t know, most of the shops have their signs in Mandarin, and I need to find a place to buy the supplies I need to recycle the rounds for my Dragunov, as it isn’t a common type of ammunition.”

Mal shrugs “Suppose I can help ya out ying chi. Just don’t cause any trouble while I set up our refuelin.”

Rico nods and follows along in her previous silence. The docking center is nothing special, just a counter with a bored, dirty looking attendant behind it, and a small crowd of folk milling about looking for parts, fuel, or simply paying the docking fee. Brown and purple are still the most popular colors, as they have been for nearly a year since The Wave went out, and the tensions are clearly high. Mal falls into line behind the few other men that need to do business at the counter, and begins to wait.

****Broken****

Triella stalks the dusty streets in search of a cloths shop, and maybe a place to get a souvenir of some sort. Not that she particularly wanted to remember this place, it was simply a habit she had fallen into over the years. She steps in some horse shit, and moans out to no one in particular “I hate this city.”

“New in town?” an unfamiliar voice asks from behind. Triella wheels around to see a boy, about her physiological age, though, with the growth stunting effects of the conditioning drugs she most likely has a few years on the scruffy teenager. As she continues to size the boy up, he grins nervously, and runs a hand through his messy, greasy hair “Sorry if I'm being presumptuous, but you aren’t dressed like anyone who lives here, an look lost. I can help if ya like.”

Triella sighs, and, ignoring the fact that the boy is dressed in dirty working slacks and a dingy, faded brown shirt, with hair to match, and was likely to try something with her, replies “Sure. I just need to get some things for my... father, before our ship leaves Whitefall. He usually does the shopping, and I cant read all the signs.” It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to say, but the weight of her Winchester on her back, and feel of the few hypos of Dr. Tams modified conditioning drugs in her pocket reassure her.

The boy grins “Great! What did you need to get?” as he falls into step with the again moving Triella.

“A whole new wardrobe for him. All of his got burnt up on our last job.” the cyborg replies, hoping the prospect of a naked man roaming about will quell the conversation as she digs through her memories of Mimi in hopes of remembering some tips on how she is supposed to act in a situation like this.

“Job, ship... what does your family do for a living...” the boy trails off as he leads them towards a larger shop.

“Triella, and its just me and my father. We work on a transport ship, but the holds big enough that the captain does deliveries more than he moves folk around.” she replies as easily as she can. She usually left the cover-stories to Hillshire, and most of the time they didn’t have to give one anyways.

“What about your ma?” the boy asks, genuine curiosity on his face. Triella just levels a disapproving glare at the boy. His face falls, and some of the spring drops from his step “Oh. I lost both of mine in the raid a few years back, been on my own since then.” he bitterly laughs “If I hadnt been in the Waterin' Hole” he tilts his head back towards a bar on the opposite side of the street “I'd be like those chun zhus walkin around all done up like purple-bellies actin as if th'Liance'll save em from the Reavers. Names Atton by the way.”

Triella nods as they enter the shop, clearly one that sells clothing, though not much of it looks to be new. “Nice to meet you, Atton.” she replies after letting the silence hang for a while, acting the part of someone lost in thought for the sake of the cover she had inadvertently walked into. She begins wandering the store, slowly picking halfway decent items for Hillshire, as well as a few for herself. Atton looks bored, but doesn’t run off either, which surprises Triella, as she would have left long ago.

****Broken****

Rico sits on a bench in the small building that is the docking center. The captain looks impatient, and the people in front of him are moving slowly, which isn’t helping his clearly bad mood. Rico doesn’t mind too much, and there’s nothing she could do about it if she felt inclined to help the situation. Most of the people are armed, which makes Rico more than a little edgy, the scent of gunpowder, dirt, oil, and what she can only assume is starship fuel thick in the air. A few people had tried to talk with her, but she must not have been very good conversation, as they all left shortly after sitting down. She doesn’t mind the solitude though, it gives her more time to think, and she knows that she still has a lot of that do do. Will she try to stay on the Serenity after the job the captain started when he found her and the others, or try to find some other way to live out what was left of her short life? She had seen a lot of children out on the streets, and she knew that she didn’t want to be like them, but didn’t know what she could do for a living either.

The cyborg heaves a sigh, and pushes up from the bench, slowly stretching her arms and back, before putting her arms up and resting the back of her head in her hands. She meanders the small building, no destination in mind as she waits for the captain to finish his business. She doesn’t think that Jean would have wanted her to stay sad about him, but she doesn’t know what to do without him either. Finally stopping at the only window along the back wall, Rico props her elbows on the sill, and drops her chin into her hands. Normally she would ask Jean what she was supposed to do when she was confused like this, but he was gone. Idly she notices the Captain speaking with the fat, unwashed man at the counter. She rejects asking anyone on the Sereneties crew for help with this, she didn’t know them well enough. She could ask Triella, but then again, the older cyborg probably wouldn’t know what to do in her situation either.

Rico sighs again, when a familiar sound perks up her ears. Shortly after she hears the weapons being readied, she hears a group of men burst into the building. One of them fires his assault rifle into the ceiling, shouting out “EVERYONE ON THE GROUND! NOW!!!”

Rico doesn’t move at first, as she hears the captain cursing in mandarin, and another man add “Weapons on the ground, slowly. There don’t have to be no blood here, but if any of you don’t listen, there will be.”

“Platinum, valuables, I want all of it in the- HEY!! GIRL!! ON THE GROUND!!!” the first voice adds, shouting angrily at the end.

Rico doesn’t think, she had been trained not to in situations like this. Her hand goes to the inside of her jacket and grasps her CZ-75. The men may not be Padania, but they most certainly weren’t law abiding citizens either. She spins around as she draws her weapon, leveling it at the shocked leaders chest, before pulling the trigger thrice, puncturing his right lung twice, and heart once. As he falls, she idly notices that these men are wearing neither of the most popular colors, purple and brown. The second man falls as the thirds jaw goes slack, and Rico notices that they look thinner, dirtier, and more, sad, than any of the other people she has seen today. The third man has his rifle halfway to his shoulder when Ricos bullet hollows out his skull, and the fourth and final man throws down his weapon and his hands up. “Please girl, don’t do it. I, I got roped inta this by tha others. Please, just let the sheriff take me in. I wont cause you no more trouble, please.”

Rico tilts her head to the side, and thinks. The captain doesn’t always do legal work, and on a planet this poor, there may only be one or two civil servants. It may take all day for them to arrive, and the captain didn’t want to stay here that long. “I'm sorry, but your still a bad man, and I don’t have time to wait for the sheriff.” Rico replies, before pulling the trigger one last time, wondering if this is how Jean would have had her handle this situation, if he would be proud of how she preformed.

As the still bleeding corpses begin to cool, the captain breaks the deepening silence, not even bothering to rise from the floor “Ta ma de. “

****Broken****

Triella freezes as she approaches the counter with her purchases. The sound of gunfire was nothing new to her, but, the rattle of an assault rifle, followed by a series of handgun shots, than nothing was, worrisome. Had Rico gotten into trouble? “Everything alright Triella?” Atton asks, breaking her reverie.

Triella shrugs it off “Yes, I just heard gunfire somewhere in the city is all. Do you think everything is alright?”

Atton shrugs, and does a poor job of hiding his shock when he notices the wad of cash Triella has in her pocket “Not exactly the Core here. Gunfights are a regular thing, an I don’t know anyone who was at the docks today, so it should be fine far as I care.”

Triella finishes the exchange in silence, simply nodding to her new acquaintance by way of response. Its not that she dislikes the conversation, or was overly worried about Rico it was the unfortunately familiar burn of the onset of an episode of withdrawal sickness from her conditioning drugs that gives her pause. She steps out of the building, bags under her arms, squinting against the sun “Thanks for the help Atton, but I think its about time I got these bags back to my ship.”

The boy frowns “Its only been a few hours... an what about lunch? I know that the city don’t look like much, but it has its good spots if ya know where to look.” Triella inwardly grimaces, she had been with the boy all morning, and plenty of locals had seen her with him. They had seen him be as perfect a gentleman as you could expect in a place like this, and seen her not react negatively to it. If she tried to piss him off to escape now, the people would be on his side, may even force her to eat with him.

She sighs “Fine, you win. Just let me go to the bathroom and I'll meet you outside, okay?” Triella finds the bathroom easily enough, and quickly locks herself in. Injecting the poisonous medicine doesn’t take very long, the dull burn of the liquid spreading through her bloodstream slowly heightening her senses, lifting a fog from her mind. However, as she leaves the restroom, she finds that the dose hadn’t quite cleared all of the proverbial fog away, much to her chagrin.

“Better?” the boy who had waited for her patiently asks, allowing her to take some, but not all of the bags.

Following Atton towards what is either a small cafe or a used furniture and food shop as she replies “As good as can be expected, all things considered.”

Of course, Treilla had been obliquely referring to her condition, but Atton took it as a hint that it was that time of the month. Surprisingly, he is undeterred “All things pass I s'pose. Hope ya don’t mind chow mein.” he tacks onto the end of his attempt at philosophizing.

Triella cocks a grin “As long as it isn’t cat.” she deadpans as the two set down her bags at a table and make their way to the counter.

Chuckling, Atton replies in a voice that could either be serious or joking “Don t worry, bout yer allergies. Granny can't afford nothing other than beef an pork.”

“Granny? I thought that all your family had been...” Treilla trails off in an attempt to be gentle with the topic. Atton said it had been a few years, but wounds like that stayed raw for quite a while. She still felt the loss of Ange, Beatrice, and all of the other cyborgs that she had come to see as her sisters, and had died from time to time.

The local shrugs “That’s just what I call'er. Took me in after my parents died. I work'er restaurant, she keeps me fed and gives me a place ta sleep.” as he rings a bell on the counter.

Not long after, a kindly looking older Asiatic woman hobbles out of the inside of the shop to the counter on the outside of the building “Well I'll be, little Atton finally found im'self a girl. Offworld too... how d you manage that one boy?”

Atton blushes a bit, as does Triella while the former replies “We're just getting some food together Granny. All I did was herlp'er find some sundries her pa back on their ship needs. Took a bit an we got hungry is all.”

The older woman nods in mock belief as she spoons out food into a pair of bowls. “Since you did a favor you didn’t have to, an I'm doin well today, these are on me. Now go eat, both'a you are too thin by half.”

****Broken****

Jayne was about to make his way into a bar for a quick drink when the Captains voice cut him off. Hopin ta hell that it wasn’t U-day an the captain had got himself into trouble again, Jayne turns and asks “What is it Cap'n?”

Mal shrugs “Rico here just sorted out a bit'a trouble down at the docking center. Course that means bodies an a real compellin argument for me makin a child soldier. I aint exactly welcome around town right now.”

“Whats it got ta do with me?” Jayne replies, leaning up agianst the bar and crossing his arms on his chest.

“I would like it if you could help me find a bullet reloader so that I can recycle rounds for Bella. And I dont want to be swindled either, but I cant read mandarin yet.” Rico answers for the captain.

Jayne sighs “Take it we're leavin soon as we're all back on the ship then? Today?” as he gestures for Rico to come with him.

Mal nods “Aint exactly run off the planet, but we aint welcome right now either. 'Parently the sheriff knew the chun xhu tried ta rob the dock center were up to somethin. No one particularly liked the bastards, but...”

“Didn’t want'em dead either.” Jayne finishes for the captain. Lamenting his dry throat Jayne nods and pushes off from the wall “Come on Rico. I know a guy should be able ta git you set up... if ya have a bullet fer'im ta work off of. Better if ya have a few.”

As they turn down a side street, Rico hands Jayne a few bullets for her Dragunov she fished out of her pocket “The captain isn’t mad at me, is he?” she asks, sounding almost confused.

Jayne shakes his head “Nah, he'd'a let ya know if he was. More shocked than anything I reckon... how'd ya stop that robbery anyhow?”

Rico shrugs “They didn’t notice the little girl waiting by the window. So I killed them... I might have let the last one live, but Mal didn’t seem to want to stay here very long, and police always make you stay at the scene longer. What does 'Ta ma de' mean?” she asks at the end, causing more than a few locals to freeze in their tracks at the sight of such a sweet looking little girl cursing like that and not getting chastised by the man they could only assume was her father, uncle, or some other family member.

Jayne chuckles “Fuck... fuck me blind... depends on how ya wanna translate it really.” he pauses, looking about before turning down another side street “an I thought you were in a black agency, no paperwork, no law...”

The cyborg glances about, clearly noticing that they were now in the 'bad' part of Whitefall city... if such a distinction could be made “Sometimes when I was undercover I had to be at the site of the kill, to make sure that no one suspected foul play.” she spins about, hopping up on a scrap of what was once part of someones house, or shack, more appropriately “And once, Jean and I had to stay because we were witnesses to a different killing by accident. It took all day for the police to get to us, and Jean was very angry about the wasted time. I had to train double the next day to make up for it.”

Jayne shakes his head “Now that aint right. I can see getting punished fer somethin was your fault, but catchin hell for somethin ya didn’t even do?”

Rico just shrugs as Jayne stops outside a shop “Jean may have been... adamant that I train often and well, but it was worth it.”

The merc knocks on the door, before asking “How d'ya figure that? Aint like ya have a very lengthy life ahead'a ya, and spending it trainin cant be the best way to use what ya got.”

The younger of the two tilts her head to the side, thinking a bit, before she replies “I suppose your right. But, I never sustained any major injuries, and barely ever received any minor ones thanks to all of my training. I... I think it may be why I haven’t started showing signs of addiction to and withdrawal from the conditioning drugs yet, and the others have.”

The pair falls into silence for a while, thinking. Eventually though, Jayne breaks it “Let me do the talkin inside girl, Marv likes ta rip off idjits, an he knows I ain’t, but you...” the merc trails off, before pushing off from the wall, and forcefully beating the door, while bellowing “I GOT BUSINESS FOR YA MARV, NOW OPEN THE GORRAM DOOR!!!!”

Moments later the door slides open but a hair, and a slice of a mans face can be seen. The door then slams shut, and the sound of locks being released can be heard, before the door opens, revealing a fat man in dirty, stained gray shorts and a 'wife-beater' muscle shirt. He is fat, unwashed and unshaven, his beard as scraggly and greasy as the thining hair falling down to his shoulders. “Sorry Cobb, thought it was a collector come at me again. What can I do fer ya... an whose the girl?”

“Friends kid I gotta watch. None'a yer business.” Jayne replies, as he lights up a cigar and follows the other man into the dirty, poorly lit shop.

“Fine, no skin off my back. Just tryin to be friendly is all.” Marv replies, plowing through the detritus like an elephant through an antique shop. “Now, about this work ya got for me...”

Jayne waits until the man sits behind a cheap bit of furniture that one could generously define as a desk, before setting three of the bullets for Ricos Dragunov down on it “Got me an antique gun. Real beaut she is. Problem is that I cant find no extra bullets fer the girl at a decent price.”

Marv picks up one of the bullets in his bony, dextrous hands, turning it over a few times “Can see why, looks like it belongs next to a gun in a museum...” he pulls a small screen out of one of the drawers, and begins tapping away at it for a few minutes, before looking up and adding “Thousand plat fer the machine. Casing, powder, primer an the actual bullet ta use the machine ta put together'll be extra. But I can fab enough for a few thousand reloads for a decent price.”

Jayne just glares at the man, and ashes his cigar on the small computers screen “400 for the machine, and another 200 for as many supplies for reloads you can crank out fore my boat leaves tomorrow mornin.”

“Double both numbers an MAYBE I can work something out.” Marv replies, grinning a holey, decaying smile.

Jayne growls “Just cause I like you, an the work ya do don’t mean I'm one'a the suckers ya normally rip off. Remember what one'a them jobs I had back home on Beylix was 'fore I left?”

Marv sighs “Five-hundred for the machine, three-hundred for the reload supplies. Up front.”

Jayne reaches into his pocket and slaps down a large wad of cash “For the reloadin machine. We'll see about the supplies once I see what you got for me.” Marv sighs, and makes a shooing motion. Taking the cue, Jayne and Rico leave his home and shop. Once outside Jayne holds out his hand “Owe me 500 plat outa yer cut Rico.”

The cyborg nods, reaches into her jackets inside pocket, and hands Jayne her carefully folded bills “He smelled... different.”

Jayne barks out a laugh “Dont gotta be so ruttin polite all the time girl. Remember that you gotta blend in iffin ya dont wanna get fingered as an easy mark or a plant now. An yea, Marv stinks, its what happens when a man just up and stops caring.”

Rico nods “Can we trust him?”

Jayne shakes his head “Not as far as you can throw him... but he's afraid of me, so we don’t gotta worry about getting ripped off. Now lets find some food before we take off again and are stuck with the processed gou shi we have ta eat on the ship.”

Rico looks at Jayne, confused “There were apples on the ship until a few days ago...”

The merc shrugs “Part of our pay from a different job, don’t normally get ta eat that good.” Jayne notices out of the corner of his eye Ricos poorly hidden guilty expression. She must have eaten quite a few of them... oh well, he was never much a fan of apples anyways.

****Broken****

Triella suppressed another sigh, it wasn’t that Atton was boring, she just had better things to do with her time. Plus, she could feel that she already needed another dose of Simons mutation of the conditioning meds. Mimi would have known how to handle a situation like this, Triella, she was clueless. And to top it all off, she could tell that she was being watched. Not observed, or followed, but watched... observed really, by all the other local boys that passed by. Even with as little socialization outside the SWA she had had before waking up on the sleeper ship, she knew why, she was clean, well spoken, exotic, and with Atton. She now understood why he had chose a table outside the small eatery, to show her off. Finishing his latest story, Atton continues to ask “So, what ship are you and your father on?”

As Triella weighs answering truthfully with lying, she also re-affirms her decision to end this as quickly as she can, and avoid this bastard if she ever ends up in this city again. So distracted is she by her internal dialogue, and all the other people watching them, that she fails to notice the one set of eyes that should have set off internal alarms. The glowing red cybernetic eyes, clearly replacements judging by the scars, rested in a scarred, bitter looking head. The man hadn’t been born here, but he was as good as a local after the years of living on Whitefall. “The Serenity.” Triella eventually replies, not elaborating past that. Atton was clearly fumbling for a way to keep the conversation going, and Triella was happy enough to let him falter, it gave her an excuse to leave sooner.

Unfortunately Triella is so preoccupied by making Atton squirm for trying to tote her around like some air-headed bit of arm-candy that she fails to notice the potential threat. The man with the replacements eyes features shift to grim, wrathful recognition for a brief moment, before he stops, spins on his heel, and sets off back into the city. “What sort of work does the Serenity do?” Atton eventually asks, looking increasingly desperate to hold Triellas attention

****Broken****

Henrietta sits in the cargo hold, legs dangling off the catwalk, thinking. She missed Jose, but... “She doesn’t know what to do to move on either.” River fishes the thought from Henriettas mind, startling the cyborg.

“I don’t know though.” Henrietta pouts as River plops down next to her on the grating.

River shrugs “You will find a way, the strong always do.”

Still pouting, Henrietta looks over to River “I'm not though, I'm not strong like Rico, or Triella, or even the Serenitys crew.”

Rivers face contorts into a mask that even Henrietta, who had spent most of the past few weeks holed up in her room or on Simons bed recognizes. Your such a boob, the reader observes without even opening her mouth, before she actually replies “I could give you examples to the contrary without looking through your mind, without even looking at ge-ges records.” river pauses, her face becoming serious, her voice lyrical as she adds “Could have taken the easy way out, followed your promise, his last order that was a lie. But you didn’t.”

Henriettas face sours, and her shoulders slump just a little more “I should have, I'm useless now.”

River shakes her head “She is as skilled a killer as Jayne, as me, that’s always useful on the edge.”

“But I cant do that anymore. I only ever made corpses for Jose... I, I couldn’t do that for anyone else.” Henrietta rebuts sadly.

Rivers lips purse, clearly getting frustrated “Then learn, your smart, heal Mother with Sunshine, the crew with Ge-Ge... fly Serenity like River does. Moping and grieving solves nothing.” before heaving a sigh at henriettas blank, disbelieving, pitiful expression, and stalking off back into the ship.

-----

Mal stepped onto his ship, the refueling crew finally finished. He heaved a sigh, he was glad that Rico had stopped the robbery an all, its just that he wouldn’t be able to come back here for a few months while the locals cooled off about the whole child soldier deal. “Sittin watch 'Etta?” he asks the sulking cyborg on the catwalk.

She shrugs “No, I'm just thinking Captain Reynolds, was someone supposed to be on guard?”

The captain shakes his head “No real need for it on a backwater like this.”

“Spoke a bit too soon there Reynolds.” an angry, authoritative voice rebuts.

Mal turns around to see a man with heavy facial scars, and two cybernetic eyes. He just groans as a few hired guns start moving further into the ship, weapons already drawn “Didn’t I shoot you in the head Dofson?”

The man snarls “Twice, and my names Dobson you back-birth. On top of that, you left me for dead both times... really should learn to be more thorough about killing a man.” as he roughly shoves Mal to the ground, and presses his gun against the back of Mals head.

The captain grimaces at the blow to the head that came with the shove down to his knees, and deadpans “Shouldn’t you be pretty much broke from that whole, dyin twice deal?” shrugging as nonchalantly as he can. Four armed men striding past him into the Serenity.

As the sounds of struggle begin to echo out from deeper in the ship, luckily without the sound of any gunfire. Dobson waits until the sounds of struggle begin to die down, before replying “It did. Lucky for me there’s more than just me in the verse who wanna see you dead Captain.” as the man who had stopped at the shocked Henrietta pushes her to her knees in front of the Captain.

Mal suppresses another groan. Great, Niska's still pissed he think to himself as the hired guns make their way back to the cargo bay. First comes a seething River, followed by Hillshire, Simon and Kaylee, all three at gunpoint. Its instantly clear to the captain how it went down. First they took Simon, and probably Kaylee... used them to get leverage on River, otherwise she'd have taken down Dobson already. He really isnt sure how they got Vic, but then again, there’s not a whole lot a man can do with a gun to the back of his head. “Mind tellin me how it is you survived at least, seein as I'm a dead man anyways?”

Dobson looks at the gathered crew, and his four accomplices binding them “Seeing as we're still short a few members of your crew... even with the few you seem to have picked up and the others you lost, yes.” the hired guns finish binding the assembled crew, and move behind Dobson, leaving Mal as the only one with a gun actively on his head; and still facing his crew. “I'm not sure if you keep up on ghost stories, but the site of the Battle of Sturges is haunted. All those lost spirits finally had enough of scavengers sneaking in between Alliance patrols to defile their graves.”

“And my employer got wind of that. Mr Niska doesn’t believe in ghosts, but men with grudges are far more believable once one learns the entirety of a story.” one of the goons fills in, a feral grin plastered across his face.

Mal lets his head drop “He still keen on makin' an 'example' outa' me then?”

“A particularly effective one, considering that you have seemingly evaded his wrath for so long.” Dobson replies, grinning almost as bestially as the goon, who bears a strong resemblance to Niskas late enforcer 'Crow'.

“What about my crew? Ain’t Niskas quarrel with me?” Mal presses, hoping to at least save their skins... so that they could save his again. Niska wasn’t the sort to let a matter like the one between the two of them end on some backwater mudball like this... or as quickly as a bullet through the brain.

“He does not want them interfering with your execution again.” The goon answers.

“And I thought, what better way to hurt Reynolds than to make him watch his crew die. Sure, I've been promised the kill, among other... considerations, from Mr. Niska. But I still need something to whet my appetite, fill my stomach just a bit before that time finally comes. A shame you wont be able to see that whore Zoe die, but the man sent to deal with her is under strict orders to take his time... and make plenty of recordings for you to watch.” Then, Hillshire grins.

-----

The only warning Dobson and his men get is the sound of a few bags hitting the dirt, Hillshires grin, and Attions shocked, terrified cry. Triella heard enough to make her decision as she approached, her Winchester in her hands before her bag even hits the ground as she launches into action, trench-coat flowing behind her like a cape. One round throws the man left on guard forward, toppling Dobson when it strikes him. The next two gunmen are downed before they manage to react, the leftmost member of the impromptu firing squad felled in the same manner as the now dead guard, the next man to the right taking the truncated butt of the shotgun to his face, before another blast pulps his head.

Triella spins low, flowing with her momentum and drawing her knife as the other two men fire at where she was, not expecting her speed, or her at all, really. The cyborg leaps over the struggling Dobson, and crawling Mal, the latter moving towards the corpses in search of a gun to help the cyborg out with. A few rounds graze Triella as she sails through the air, but it is not enough to stop her, or the knife as she embeds it in the closer mans throat. She lets the man bleed out, and his body to cushion her fall as she shifts her trench-gun back into both hands. Moving faster than the last gunman can track, she rolls forward off the knifed man, and up into his chest. “Shit.” is all he can manage as the shotgun is shoved forcefully into the mans gut, before he even has time to stumble back the gun is fired, throwing his body across the cargo bay.

Mal finally gets to his gun as a wrathful Triella strides over to Dobson, her movements far to calm for the anger on her face. Conditioning or no, she cared for Hillshire, and by going for him, they had made this personal. As Mal stands up, she levels her Winchester at Dobsons face, and pulls the trigger. “Ruttin hell, you really werent joking around when you told me what your girl was capable of.” Mal opines, looking over to Hillshire as the rest of the world slowly comes back into focus for Triella. Atton running like hell, the gurgling of the man with the throat wound gasping for air that wouldnt make it past the ragged wound, the moans of the first man she had shot dying painfully, Kaylees terrified whimper.

“What should we do with the bodies?” she asks, reclaiming her knife, and wiping it off on the dying mans shirt as he slowly soils himself.

“We'll throw'em on the mule an dump the things once it gets dark, for now they can stay. Dont see any need ta risk aggrivatin' the local law any more than we already have.” Is the captains response.

****Broken****

It is dusk before Rico, and Jayne return, Petra and Sandro having returned shortly after the fight. The first thing Jayne notes are the corpses “Aw hell, I miss another fight?” Jayne grouses upon entering the cargo bay.

“That’s two today Jayne.” Rico notes cheerfully, a big box in her hands as Mal simply nods, looking up from the mules controls, Triella and Vic still going over them in an attempt to remember what does what on it. They make the mess, they can clean it up, Mal figures.

“Who came at us then? Thieves lookin' fer our ship?” the merc presses as Rico cheerfully flees Jaynes glare, box tightly clutched in her hands.

“You almost had his ear once.” River answers from the catwalk, leaning against the rail, looking bored.

“Lawrence? How the ruttin hell he afford ta hire guns?” is Jaynes reply “An didn’t you shoot him in the head?”

“Twice.” Mal replies, stepping back from the mule as Triella begins loading corpses, the floor cleaned long ago.

“It certainly does call in to question just what was between the mans ears.” Hillshire notes from the mules driver seat, as he begins its start-up sequence, now clad in a plain red button-down shirt and gray slacks instead of his typical suit.”

“An by extension the intelligence of Alliance federals.” Mal smugly notes.

“An the spare guns?” Jayne presses, leaning against the side of the cargo bay door, allowing the mule to pass.

“Some mobster named Niska.” Triella answers over her shoulder as the mule hits the end of the ramp.

“Aw hell.” Is Jaynes reply as Triella and Hillshire ride away from the city and into the fading sunset to hide the corpses.

****Broken****

And thats it for right now. I'll probably have a preview of chapter 5 up later tonight or tomorrow, but it is the weekend, haha. What do ya think so far?

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 22:35

If you would have waited 7 days or ask an admin, you could have posted links.

Newbies not being able to post links for 7 days is to ensure that spam bots and idiots (yes, we get a few of those from time to time) from posting questionable links that would incur a swing onto their pointy heads from the Almighty Ban Hammer of Pyrn; where the Dragon Ryders of Pyrn guard the almighty and ancient artifact and only admins with god powers who can get past the dragons, can use it.

So, though you can post your story here, posting on both ff.net and here is redundant and not necessary. You can, like many do here, have discussions of their works here and post updates as they come along.

There are a few that wont or cant post to ff.net, so they post their stories here, which is fine.

So start posting your links and not your story here since you have it on ff.net. We already know the place and for a while in 2005, owned it. And yes, I seen your story there.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by MP5 on Sat 4 Feb 2012 - 10:12

Stayed up until 3 in the morning to read this. Totally worth it.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 5 Feb 2012 - 18:09

Honestly, I rather enjoyed the concept.

there's a great deal of grammar and spelling corrections to be made, and perhaps some formatting could be applied to it to help the pacing out, but on the whole, very enjoyable read!

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Mon 6 Feb 2012 - 0:35

First off, thanks for the feedback Charon and MP5. Its great to know that you enjoyed my fic thus far, and yea, grammar is my eternal foe in writing, heh. I try, honest. From here out I will only be posting previews here, and links to the story on ffn (where the formatting is a bit better) when I update.

So, now that I finally kicked my writers block for this scene, and with chapter 5 likely to be done within the next few days, I figured it fitting that it be my preview for chapter 5. And yes, I will try to get a preview up here for every chapter, but I'm not gonna make any promises, heh.

Spoiler:
A banshees wail pierces through the sleeping Serenity, jerking the entire crew to wakefulness. Being directly across from the source of the scream that could wake the dead, Triela falls out of her bed, and looks over to a now somewhat awake Henrietta, who is still babbling in a loud, screeching panicky voice, and beginning to shudder. The older cyborg swears, and makes her way over to her younger sister “Henrietta? Are you okay?” she prompts, worry thick on her voice “Whats wrong?”

Teeth now chattering as if she is deathly cold, Henrietta haltingly screeches out “NO! C-Cant remember. Don t, don’t want to remember.”

Triela wraps the blankets tighter around the violently shivering Henrietta, despite the sweat now appearing on her face, and the fact that the younger cyborg is hot to the touch “It was just a dream 'Etta, don’t worry about forgetting it. Are you still feeling cold?” she asks, hoping to God that the doctor was woken up by Henrietta’s initial screech.

Henrietta shakes her head haltingly and violently “No, not a dream.” she insists, further confusing Triela as the older cyborg begins to gently rub the youngers back. “Feel sick... cold.” Henrietta adds, in a pinched voice.

Triela pulls a waste bin closer to the side of the bed with her free hand, and soothingly replies “Don’t worry, I'm sure the doctor will be here soon to get you sorted out.”

Clearly frightened, Henrietta asks “And if he isnt?”

Treila forces a smile “Then I'll take you to the infirmary and drag the doctor to you so that you get taken care of.” she replies as warmly as she can.

-----

Mal stumbles out into the ships main hallway, ears sore, and groggy at about the same time as everyone else. “What the ruttin hell was that?”

“Dunno, came from the SWA folks rooms though.” Jayne groggily responds.

The pair reaches the end of the corridor just behind Simon, though apparently long behind River. The reader looks torn between going further down the hallway, and running to hide. Her head poking out from the bulkhead, is pointed directly at the door to Triela and Henrietta's room. “Dreams are memories, but the memories are suppressed by the medicine. When the medicine isn’t working they remember the dreams... they were forgotten for a reason.”

Simon Tam does not swear. Simon Tam does not run. Simon Tam is generally calm and collected. The fact that Simon Tam turned around, cursing and running looking more than a little panicked is enough to worry Mal. “Take it we were all wonderin what the ruttin' hell is goin on a bit loudly then?”

River nods, as Jayne asks crossly “And just what the ruttin hell did happen then? I dont speak moon-brain.”

River sighs, and rolls her eyes, before replying “Ge-ge's changes to her medicine work, but now how he wanted it too. Henrietta is in danger, and remembering things that the Agency made her forget for a reason.”

It is clear that Jaynes brain is still processing what he just was told when Simon returns at a slightly more controlled jog, an empty syringe in one hand, one filled with a clear fluid in the other. Out of curiosity more than anything, Mal follows the doctor to the cyborgs room, while River stays frozen in place, and Jayne begins lumbering back to his room, grumbling.

Inside the room, things look more than a little grin. Henrietta is bundled up in every blanket that was in the room, and violently shivering, though clearly drenched in sweat. An immensely worried looking Triela is slowly rubbing the younger cyborgs back, and shivering through her own pajamas, though her own uncomfortableness is clearly far from her mind, judging by the awful stench emitting from the waste bin that is overflowing with vomit next to the bed. Simon shakes his head, and swiftly moves in, banding off Henrietta’s arm and taking a sample of her blood. Moments later he moves in with the filled syringe, and injects Henrietta. The shivers slowly begin to level off, though the flop sweat does not stop, nor does Henrietta rouse from her delirious state. “That should get her stabilized, but I think we should move her to the infirmary at least for the night.”

Triela slowly moves in to lift her younger comrade, though she is staring at Simon. “What exactly happened?” she asks, worry and a hint of anger thick on her voice.

Simon shakes his head “I cant be certain until the blood-work is done,” he begins as he moves to follow Triela as she moves past Mal, Rico, and Petra “but I suspect that I finally identified the most belligerent of the addictive substances in the pharmaceutical cocktail you and the other cyborgs are on. Most likely, I stepped back on it too much in the iteration of the drug Henrietta is on.”

As the pair passes through the common room, and an equally worried and curious Hillshire, Sandro and Kaylee, Triela asks “So, does that mean I'm going to...”

Simon shakes his head “No Triela, I have you and the others a few iterations behind Henrietta. I doubt that I will update your supplies of the drug until I have how the substances I'm trying to purge from the drug are connected to the memory suppressants that keep your less savory memories from resurfacing like that are connected.” As Triela gently sets a quietly moaning Henrietta down on one of the infirmaries beds, Simon turns around to see the entire crew, save for the now sleeping Jayne. Simon sighs, and adds “I'm just going to be going over blood-work and watching Henrietta for the rest of the night. You all may as well go to bed, I'll probably have something by morning.”

The crew begins to disperse to their bunks, save Triela. When the other healthy cyborgs notice that she is staying, they turn around to join her, just inside the infirmary. “Why is Henrietta getting the newest versions of your modifications to the conditioning drugs? Shouldn’t we all be on the same treatment?”

Simon shakes his head as he inserts the phials of blood into the machines he chose to test with “No, you should not. I'm not a pharmacologist, and despite the experience in that field I acquired helping River, I do not fully trust anything I do in my forays into that field.”

“So, your using Henrietta as a guinea-pig then?” Petra asks, a bit of ice in her voice.

Simon starts the machine, and turns to face the cyborgs “Yes, I am. Regrettable as it is, she is the least likely to survive, so it makes the most sense to test out new conditioning cocktails on her, as she needs the treatment most, and her lifespan will suffer the least from setbacks like this.”

Triela nods “So, if 'Etta dies, I become the guinea-pig?” her voice even, but clearly not approving.

“Unless Rico leaps ahead of you in terms of how far along your lifespan as a cyborg is, yes.” Simon replies, sounding every bit the doctor he is.

“Its triage.” Rico notes, a little sadly.

Simon nods “Sadly, yes. Though with the addictive portions of your drugs identified and mostly isolated, I think all of your chances of survival just went up by quite a bit for now.” he informs the cyborgs, as River walks back into the room, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.

“For now?” Petra asks the doctor, ignoring River as she plops down on the empty bed.

“Past removing the unnecessary substances from your drugs, I cant do much more without specialized equipment that I don’t have access to on the ship. You would be stuck as you are for the rest of your lives, which still wont be as long as most. And if you were injured...” Simon trails off, sitting on his stool, and sliding a small computer-pad across his table.

“You wont be able to fix us.” Rico finishes.

The doctor nods “Like I already said, theirs nothing else to do here, so you girls may as well go to bed. We do have a job in a few days.” the cyborgs begin to file out, but again, Triela stops.

“Do you mind if I stay in here tonight, doctor?” the tan cyborg asks, quietly.

“I am.” River replies from the spare bed, scooting over so that it can better accommodate both of them sitting on it. Smiling tiredly, Triela sits down on the medical bed next to River.
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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Fri 10 Feb 2012 - 3:12

Broken Toys 5 is up now, and hopefully my link will make it past all those dragons and hammers Elfen mentioned... Incoming!. I hope you guys enjoy it... took me forever to get a few of the scenes in this chapter right (3 or 4 complete restarts for a few of them, heh.)

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by MP5 on Fri 10 Feb 2012 - 9:50

I especially loved the part where Jayne gave Rico his cunning hat. Did you take that cue from Alfisti's artwork?

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by emperor on Sun 12 Feb 2012 - 9:42

This story title like a hearth-breaking word for the latest chapter of Gunslinger Girl.

:3

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Tue 14 Feb 2012 - 23:29

@MP5 wrote:I especially loved the part where Jayne gave Rico his cunning hat. Did you take that cue from Alfisti's artwork?

Nope, didnt even know the pic existed until you mentioned it here, haha... though that pic IS freakin awesome, heh.

@emperor wrote:This story title like a hearth-breaking word for the latest chapter of Gunslinger Girl.

haha, yea... though the way I look at it, the characters from both universes were played with by their government, and both groups came out worse for the wear to the extent where boken could fit pretty well. Depressingly enough this is one of my better names for things I've made, haha.

also, if abnyones interested in knowing, I'm gonna be starting the next chapter within the next few days, despite my hellish work schedule Smile

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Three Dog on Sat 12 May 2012 - 6:37

While I have only read the first couple of chapters, I'm thourouly enjoying this Fic. It's been ages since I watched Firefly, and some of the characters I needed to Wiki to remember, but it's still good. A little dificult to read with some of the grammer, but I'm a bit of a grammer Nazi when it comes to such things, so I'm probably just being picky, sorry . I'll tell you what I think once I'm caught up, m'kay, keep up the good work

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Fri 2 Nov 2012 - 0:53

I'm not dead, just had (more) computer problems, but now that thats resolved chapter 6 is now up. HOpefully you guys will like it... and not kill me for it being so late/its end. Also, I have a preview of a scene thats gonna come up, eventually, for anyone whos interested. Any feedback on either would be great, heh/

Spoiler:
Triela was the first to wake up, with a start and a stifled scream. The two warm bodies pressed up against hers on the unfamiliar bed was incredibly worrying. The fact that she was still in the same cloths she had left Serenity in last night was reassuring. The fact that the room was roaringly loud in its silence, and spinning madly, was not. She remembered having left the ship with Petra and River to test out their fake I.D's and celebrate... something.“Not so loud.” River chides, latching onto Trielas arm, before her eyes bolt open and she jumps out of the bed, cursing loudly. “Shen sheng de gao wong why are you you in my bed Triela?” the reader exclaims, straightening out the form hugging baby blue dress she had worn the night before, pulling it as far down her legs as it would go, which was enough to cover the top third of her thigh.

“Bi Zu!” an indignant Petra exclaims rolling off the other side of the too small bed, rising grogilly a second later in what could best be described as 'Daisy Duke' shorts and the black tank-top she had worn the night before, midriff and most of her cleavage exposed.

Groaning, Triela staggers out of the bed, and realizes that 'still in the same cloths she had left Serenity in' comprised of a skirt that had been a skirt that had been a modest fit when her body was still stuck at the age she had been made a cyborg at, and a blouse from the same time, unbuttoned as much as she could get away with in public. In short, she was no more modest than her friends. “Why are you in my room?” River eventually asks.

“I didn’t want to wake up my roommate.” Triela answers sheepishly.

“The same, plus I didn’t want to stumble into Sandros room after going out clubbing without him.” Petra agrees, slumping down to the floor, back resting against the wall.

“Still doesn’t answer why we were all in the same bed.” Triela deadpans, shambling over to sit next to Petra.

“It was soft.” River croaks out, crawling over to sit near her friends as well “And it explains what she said when we first talked in this room Tri. She must have saw this morning out of context.”

“Too early for feng-le River. Dont talk.” Petra groans.

“Nearly noon. Cant use that as an excuse Petra.” Triela bites back, before the room falls into a dark, hung-over silence. After a few minutes, the same cyborg breaks the silence with “Need food” and hauls herself in search of some. Her partners in crime help each other up, following their new de-facto leader in silent agreement. Luckily for them, the younger cyborgs are asleep in their respective rooms, as are Kaylee and Simon in the formers room. Mal and Inara can be heard shouting back and forth in the lattes shuttle, and none of the rest of the crew are known for leaving their rooms very much on sunday mornings.

Unfortunately for the trio, it is sunday afternoon, and one member of the crew had figured out what had happened hours ago,and was waiting for them in the common room. “I would have liked to have known where you went last night girls.” Sandro sighs, sliding a pitcher of orange juice substitute across the table after the trio situates themselves at it in the darkened room.

“Sandro, I, we, uh-” Petra begins to stutter in search of an explanation as River silently pours herself a large glass of the recuperative fluid.

“Girls night out. I get it. But until its legal I want someone around to keep an eye on you girls... me, to be specific about it.” the blond agent eases into the space between portions of his cybernetic girlfriends half-thoughts.

“Defeats the whole purpose of girls night out. I thought you said you get it.” Triela snaps at Sandro as she pours her own glass of OJ, completely missing her brunette companions perking up, and beating a hasty retreat with her glass.

Sandro heaves a sigh, but before he can reply, the lights in the room are flicked on. By one Victor Hartmann. Triela and Petrushka both groan in shock and protest, covering their eyes from the blinding level of perfectly normal ambient light. It takes the former agent all of five seconds to take in Triela and Petras condition, and garb before he fumes “Triela Rachelle Hartmann, you have a lot of explaining to do, and about five seconds to start.”

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Three Dog on Fri 2 Nov 2012 - 3:59

Nice chapter Good and just when I has stopped saying gorrammit, too. Ah well, guess I'll be sayin' fer the next couple o' months Razz

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Tue 12 Mar 2013 - 0:34

The next chapter is up! Chpater 7 is right here! a bit of a filler, but it lets me move along some characterization bits to set up the next few chapters of more or less nonstop action, heh.

And since this chapter is charactery, my preview is actiony. Here ya go, a snippet from the misty future!

Spoiler:
Bob stood silently as he waited in line to cash his check at the First Federated Bank branch he did his banking at. It was, for all intents and purposes a perfectly normal, perfectly dull Monday afternoon. He was about a third of the way up from the back of the line, not bad for fifteen minutes of waiting in one of Beaumondes busiest banks. A growing commotion behind the man compels him to turn around, without leaving his place in line, of course. He turns just in time for a trio of deafening roars, shortly followed by the crunch of electronics being destroyed. The perpetrator of the violence is obvious, and baffling. A young girl, probably in her mid teens, and a tiny slip of a thing at that, hefting a massive, brutal looking machine gun, angled slightly up and forward as smoke pours from its barrel. The little blond has short cut hair stopping at her chin, and is clad in khaki cargo pants, a white body hugging t-shirt with a sea green dragon wrapping around the shirt from bottom to top, and roaring over her heart. Over the t-shirt is a tricolor 'urban camo' jacket left hanging open that is a deep charcoal color primarily, with splotches of dark blue and bright red, and from her black studded belt hangs a holster with a large, boxy looking handgun resting in it.

“Everyone on the ground, an drop any weapons you have.” the taller girl, and obvious leader of the trio now striding into the bank barks out authoritatively. She is to the right of the little blonde, and just ahead of her, clad in a pair of well fitted maroon jeans riding just low enough to be feminine without sacrificing functionality. Accenting both the girls pants and tanned skin is her black blouse, it's v neck going just low enough to accentuate her modest features without sacrificing any class. She comes to a stop after a few paces, her full length gray trench-coat coming to a rest, her long blond twintails falling to her back shortly afterwords. The girl, probably in her last few years as a teenager continues “Yes we're here to steal, but no, we don’t want your money.” as she pivots her left hip forward just enough for the big revolver resting in her low-sitting holster to peak out from behind her coat. “Its the big shipment of unmarked cash stoppin' here before the 'Liance ships it off to pay the private firms that play security out in the rim we're after.”

The third and rightmost girl does not stop with the first two, flowing across the room more than walking in her dark blue spaghetti-strap dress. She is probably of age with the leader, though one or the other could simply be a late bloomer, her long brown hair tumbling down to her back and bouncing about as her gaze darts from patron to patron as they all drop to the ground. The brunettes baby blue sheer flutters with each twirl and flourish of the brutal, hook-hafted ax, the boxy micro-smg in her left hand pointed to the floor, the bare arm above it hanging lazily. She continues her journey to the tellers desk, spins about almost gracefully to face the now terrified crowd, and tilts her head almost all the way backwards to look up at the teller and announce “Can hit the silent alarm all you want, we're jamming all transmissions in and out of the bank.” At that, the last few hold-outs slide their guns and knives away from their bodies as the little blond leans up in the doorway and the leader continues on through the tellers desk to the vault.

Bobs gaze shifts fully back to the entrance as the sound of shotgun blasts begin to echo from the employees only area of the bank, hoping for some form of law enforcement to show up. All he see's is the apparent getaway car, which to a trained eye would be a clear, albeit distant, hover-car descendant of the El Camino from Earth that was; though the cap over the bed makes it look more like a hearse. So all he notices is another girl lounging in the drivers seat, probably of age with the blond standing guard in the doorway. The girl is clad, from what he can see, in a gray skirt, and form-fitting pink t-shirt with a cracked heart on the front that accentuates the fact that she is the most developed of the quartet, and that the little blond will probably never be large in any way. Her chestnut ponytail bobs ever so slightly as she absentmindedly files her nails, the hair partially obscuring the sleek smg propped up in the center console.

“Tri, company’s on its way!!” the door guard bellows after nearly fifteen minutes of silence. Bobs hopes raise for a moment, until the leader strides back out from the vault, a train of carts loaded with briefcases and coin-boxes in tow. The fashion designer then proceeds to wet himself as he notices that the leader is no worse for the wear, despite it having sounded like a warzone in the back rooms, save a few new holes in her trenchcoat, which the mans rapidly shattering mind notes has been patched expertly many, many times... though it is barely noticeable even to his trained eye. “Took ya long enough.”

“Gorramit Rico, dont use names on jobs!” the leader barks, her nose wrinkling as she passes Bob.

“Yea yea.” the younger replies, as she works the action on her machine-gun before she steps out to spray suppressing fire into the police cars that are beginning to arrive. The girl in the dress continues to lean against the counter as the leader draws her revolver and begins to fire at the purple-bellies as they spill from the hover-cars. “Comin Riv?”

“Ben-dan.” the relaxed girl huffs, before asking “the guards?” as she begins to stretch, seemingly randomly.

“A few Blue Sun corporates and a Federated Marshal or three, all dead or incapacitated. Nothing major.” 'Tri' replies as she reloads her revolver. Before beginning to advance behind the smaller blonde. 'Riv' doesnt spring into action until a few officers sprint around the corner opposite the direction the other cars came from – Bob cant see that angle to know if they came in cars or on foot though. Riv sprints forward, swaying seemingly at random, until she leaps up, axes reared back for a moment before embedding it in one officers chest. Using the man as a fulcrum she swings her combat-boot clad feet into his partner, putting a bullet through his head on their way down.

The terrifying girl then does something strange, she hugs the corpse. Or at least thats what it seems like until the smaller blonde sprays fire over Riv “Rico!! Check your gorram fire!!” she screams as she rises to a low crouch and adds her own guns weight to the lead rain again. The trio continues to advance unimpeded to the waiting getaway car, its engine now healthily humming and driver firing from the window. By the time they reach it, Bob knows that his mind has cracked, as he both sees, and hears, Rico blow Riv a raspberry before climbing into the backseat of the car ahead of her.

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Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Thescarredman on Tue 12 Mar 2013 - 21:28

Heheh. Forgot you were still working on this. Shiny!
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Fan of : Rico, Bice

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Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Thu 11 Jul 2013 - 1:12

Like I said, no preview bit this time, might get back into them next time if my muse gets back into specific scenes that arent too massive of spoilers... but, yea, update!!!

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Pax

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Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Tue 22 Oct 2013 - 18:14

Still no preview blurbs for you guys, I need to get the plot further ahead before I can start doing those again, but I did finally get chapter 9 finished and uploaded today! Plenty of violence for your reading pleasure!

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Pax

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Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

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Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Wed 19 Feb 2014 - 23:29

Another update, a blown deadline or two, and still no teaser bit for you guys here... i'll have more if you like them, I promise, just not yet, haha. Here itt is, chapter 10 for your reading pleasure. I figure I'm nearing the climax of the first arc out of four of this story with the speed I'm pacing it at right now.

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Pax

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Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 22 Feb 2014 - 14:17

Oh my God I saw this update and I forgot to click the link. 

---

Things seem to be progressing smoothly and appropriately. I'm not sure I totally agree with all of your decisions, but I can follow the story and the characters appear to develop appropriately. In general, I like it. Your tenses seem to shift arbitrarily, while I'm personally more inclined to maintaining a constant single tense. There are also various scattered grammar or spacing errors.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
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Comments : In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?’ -Horatius


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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Sat 31 May 2014 - 22:42

Chapter 11 is up! and yea, tenses and grammar are my Achilles heels. Though I am a bit curious as to what you dont quite agree with with my decisions, C&C can only make me better after all.

Also, the spoilers are back! this one comes from the middle from the third of the four sub-arcs I have planned for this fic:

Spoiler:

If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says '15 miles to the Love Shack'” the blond 16 year old girl signs along with the hundreds of years old pop song as she and her roomate indulge in the age old tradition of getting ready to sneak out to a party together, doing her best to impersonate the voice of the long dead singer.


Her chestnut haired roommate raises her curling iron to her mouth and follows up with “Im headin' down the Attlanta highway Lookin' for the love getaway” before carelessly dumping the hot iron into the sink she shares with the other girl, her usually straight shoulder length brown hair now possessing a not insignificant amount of waviness, before finishing the female part she was in the middle of.


Rico straightens the fading black tank top she plans to wear under her khaki jacket to the bonfire/kegger and replies “I got me a car, it's as big as a whale And we're headin' on down to the Love Shack.” in her best imitation of the lead male singer before she grabs a hair band and pulls her chin length hair into a side ponytail “Good idea 'Etta?”


Henrietta glances to the side as she fiddles with the buttons on her frilly white blouse and answers “Defianately not. Provided your pa doesn’t catch us on the way out it totally clashes with your look.”


I have a look?” the less traditionally attractive, fashion savvy girl asks as she tosses the hairband and pouts.


Henrietta chuckles “You have a black, full back angel wings tattoo, and are wearing a black tank top, to go with your hand ripped daisy-dukes and an athletic build a pilot like me can only dream of. Yes, you have a look.”


The pout doesnt leave Rico's face as she answers “My jacket will cover the tattoo and most of the top though.”


Henrietta rolls her eyes, settles on three of her blouses five buttons open and answers “Once you get tipsy it's gonna come off because it somehow impedes your ability to move no matter what anyone says.”


I wont-”


Seen it happen before.” Henrietta replies before frowning , shucking the jeans from her legs and walking over to her dresser to start digging through her skirts. After a few minutes of silence as one sister glares at the mirror as if it will reveal some fashion secret to her as her sister tosses skirts about their room in rejection asks “Why does it matter anyway, its your boyfriend thats getting us into the party. You dont have to look that good. I'm the one stuck flying solo.”


Rico blushes furiously as she retorts “He's not my boyfriend Henrietta.”


The drastically curvier brunette chuckles, selects a baby-blue pleated skirt, steps into it and answers “So, its normal for 'just friends' to go out to see a movie or have dinner every time their on the same world, and spend hours on a wave when they arent then?”


Of course it is!” Rico answers as she grabs her jacket and slips her arms into it “If we were on different worlds we'd be the exact same or worse.”


Henriettta chuckles and replies “We're both girls Rico.”


So?” the blond asks, almost hungrily eying the other girls backside as she pulls her skirt up over her butt.


Henrietta freezes, much like a deer that just realized a wolf was watching it before loudly muttering “Jaynes been such a bad influence on you honey.” as she straightens up.


Rico tilts her head to the side and asks “How so?”


Henrietta grabs her small, expensive designer purse and retorts “The damage has been done for a long time, and you probably will never get it. Dont worry, and lets go.”


Rico shrugs, grabs her jacket off her bed,slides her cigar case into its inner pocket, then freezes, drops the jacket and doubles back into the room. “Hang on a sec.”


Henrietta turns around to ask what for, only to be hit in the face by a pair of still warm, recently discarded shorts. By the time the brunette clears her face, Rico is mostly wearing a fitted pair of acid-washed blue jeans. Henrietta smirks “Change your mind?”


Mhmm... what shoes should I wear?” the blond answers, looking at the small pile of footwear next to Henriettas three-tiered shoe shelf.


Henriettas eyes dart around the pile for a moment before she replies “The boots.” Rico nods, and grabs one of her faded, dirty olive drab combat boots from the pile. Henrietta lets a long suffering sigh escape her mouth “Not the combat boots Rico, the cute black leather ones I made you buy.”


Rico blows a breath out of the side of her mouth, and starts digging through her pile of footwear. Ten minutes later, Henrietta is patiently sitting in the beanbag in their room, watching Rico on her back, struggling to pull the second boot onto her foot “I dont know how you get these things on so-” she finally pulls the combative footwear all the way on “EASY”


Henrietta shrugs “It just is.” As Rico grabs her lighter, and slips her jacket on “Gun out of the other inside pocket Rico.”


But I might need it.” the smaller blond girl protests.


Henrietta stops, her hand on the door, and turns to reply “There are no mobsters on Beylix. There are almost no reavers left in the verse. The local police are all on the take, and we havent done anything to warrant an Agent or Marshal to come after us.” in an exasperated tone.


But there's lots of thugs and scumbags too. What if some of them come'cross us?” Rico shoots back.


Henrietta pinches the base of her nose and drops her head to look at the floor “We're also so far away from the nearest major city that there wouldnt be enough in a group to be a threat to us.”


Rico huffs, tosses her CZ-75 onto the bed and moves to follow her sister out the door “Just cause we're in the middle'a no-where doesnt mean its proper for us to be lettin our guard down.”


****Broken****


Mal chuckles from his spot into the co-pilot seat next to River “Looks like some've us are having fun tonight.” he quips as he watches Rico and Henrietta pile into a beat-up jeep through the viewscreen. The blond moves the accoustic guitar that had been in the front passenger seat to the back, pecks the boy driving the jeep on the cheek and buckles in.


Not stopping them?” River asks her partner in misery, still looking half asleep, and missing Rico wheel about to bite some retort at the brunette.


Mal shrugs “Dont see any reason too. Aint workin any until the late shift guardin the mine tomorrow, an those whose place it is to wont be back until after them I suspect.


Going to be in trouble though.” River replies.


Zoe wont get overly mad at me for lettin them go like this.” Mal answers easily.


River laughs “Wasnt talking about you... or Zoey. Its Papa he has to worry about.” Mal just shrugs and goes back to lounging in his seat.


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Pax

Male

Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Tue 24 Jun 2014 - 7:59

Chapter 12 is up! And it didnt take me 3 gorram months for once, holy shit! Yea, this one wrote itself I suppose, no spoiler this time though, but I should have one for next time for anyone reading them.

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Pax

Male

Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

Registration date : 2012-02-02

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Mon 29 Sep 2014 - 0:12

And we have a Chapter 13! And, no teaser this time. Though, I think I need to go back and gut/fix up the introductory chapters, lol. I dont exactly count those as up to snuff for what I can do now, heh. Hope you guys are enjoying it.

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Pax

Male

Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

Original Characters : none

Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

Registration date : 2012-02-02

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Pax on Sun 28 Dec 2014 - 1:02

Chapter 14 is up!!!!./ Oh, and this spoiler for you guys totally isnt some blatant food porn, I promise. And it defianately isnt a drabble that I came up with hungry at work. And there totally isnt an extra scene just for you guys in the works, I swear!

aforementioned totally not food porn:

It's... raw” Triela dumbly observes, gazing down at the edomae chirashizushi. Oh everything she had requested for her dish is there, the rice, the salmon, the tuna, some spices and seeds “Thats... seaweed.” she continues, mortified as she realizes what the 'greens' had been when she added them in as well.

River, stoically cutting into her burnt mahi-mahi and refusing to look up interjects “Its sushi, what did you expect?” as she silently chides herself for being dumb enough to order the resorts restaurant menu from the beachside bar. To call her dish 'seared' would be an understatement on par with calling the ocean they had just salvaged a crashed bank transport from moist. She brushes her hair back over her shoulder, being careful not to dislodge the flower she had pinned in it, and returns to work on her tough, rubbery fish so that she can start eating.

Grumbling, Triela argues “They didnt say raw anywhere in the description!”

Looking up in disgust from the crime against pasta she had been served Henrietta quips “I thought you'd been to enough nice restaurants to know what sushi was?”

She glances over to Henreitta , to see the other cyborg teenager looking one more spot down, and tersely replies “I got the specials, or the chefs specialty normally! And I didnt go to nearly as many as you, I didnt hound Dad to always be spending time with me.” When the dig go unanswered, Triela at first thinks something is wrong... that maybe the other girl really had been concussed on the last leg of the job that they had put Serenities crew in the resort as a cover story after all. Then she sees it. Rico's order seemingly moving in slow motion on its journey to her grinning mouth. The top bun is puffy, light and dotted with sesame seeds, below it is a healthy sludge consisting of ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, resting on a green bed of pickles and lettuce. A sliver of red demarks the tomatoes home, just above the first 1/4lb angus beef patty, a melted slice of colby-jack cheese just under that. And the bacon, at least 6 strips, each looking to be perfectly crispy, thein intoxicating aroma wafting and mingling with the burger from the second slice of melted cheese, shielding their perfection from the second beef patty, a clone to the one above the strips of bacon. The lower bum may have once been as immaculate as the upper, but the steady trickle of grease downwards through it has left it a bit withered, though still delectable in its own right.

Wimpering, Henrietta looks down at what had been described as 'a light, zesty seafood Alfredo' and continues to pick the imitation crab free from the barely-sauced travesty. “so, hows your dinners?” Rico asks after swallowing the first bite, licking her lips as she does so. Henrietta glances away, only to see a platter of king crab, steaming hot, a bowl of melted butter and a few lemons on the plate with it being walked out to a sunbather somewhere on the beach. River finally succeeds in tearing a bit free from her fish, only to grimace as her teeth seemingly bounce off it. Triela just looks away, and fiddles with her bikini tops dangling tie-strings as she weighs the pros and cons of going back to her sunbathing hungry. After forcing the bit down her throat, River answers “Not ordering from the restaurant menu at the bar ever again.” more or less summing up the other girls opinions on their meals.


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Pax

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Forum Posts : 137

Location : Fond Du Lac, Wi

Fan of : Rico, Triela

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Comments : Sanity is like pants. You aren't born with them, and only have them because society has trained you to feel uncomfortable without them, and your at your happiest without them.

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Re: Broken Toys

Post by Thescarredman on Sun 28 Dec 2014 - 7:16

Hilarious. Reading the description of Rico's burger made my mouth water, and it's only 7am here.
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Thescarredman

Male

Forum Posts : 1882

Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
.
Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
.
Sofia was pregnant. It would have been a boy.

Registration date : 2012-02-04
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Re: Broken Toys

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