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Subject:Insufferable
Time:11:13 pm
Current Mood:cranky
I swear, sometimes...gah. I think my cheeks are red. Not much matter, though. It's not like anyone will see me this flustered. And I ruined one of my favorite teacups, too.

I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I didn't know any property destruction would be a part of the equation. Apparently, Miss Tart had put out a bulletin on Serenity, and the Captain was forced to put a little spice in his step and take off. That I could have dealt with, if he decided to approach me rationally. I've come to know that rationality in conversation is not one of his strongest points.

With me, at least.

I lost my temper, but it's all over now. There is very little I could have done except pick up the pieces next to my vanity.

Insufferable. Fitting. One. Word. Description.

I did have minor business left to attend to, but I would have to clean up a bit (both my red cheeks, minorly disheveled hair, and the broken tea cup). With a resolved sigh, pressing all the correct buttons and shutting my--Captain Reynold's--hell, it's still mine for now--shuttle, I resigned myself to the task of putting things back in order.
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Subject:Women (Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Shoot Them Into a Star)
Time:10:06 am
I should have just stayed on the bridge. I could have just sent Kaylee to inform Inara that we were going to move out of town a piece. Hell, I could have sent Jayne. He couldn't have mucked up a simple task as much as I had, considering. Or, second thought, I suppose he could of. Plus, it's not like we were blasting off to the Outer Rim. Just down the road, nothing extravagant. Instead, I had to go to her shuttle myself and say everything wrong. I'm the captain and I take it on precedence that it's my job.

Apparently I was being offensive in asking exactly how much longer it was going to take her to pack her stuff up and ship it to wherever she'd live next. A neutral question if I ever heard one. And why exactly is asking if she would be staying with a client or in a whorehouse none of my business? I was just making conversation. Expressing concern for a friend's well-being wasn't a crime, nor was it a punishable-by-having-a-teacup-thrown-at-one's-eye offense. Frowning and fuming, I passed Jayne on the catwalk. He said that the doctor was tending to his (bat-shit crazy) little genius sister.

Before he could darken my mood further, I snapped, "Inara'll stay put. She's still taking down her shuttle, plus she's got more business in town here. Very important and very private business that neither you nor I could possibly understand. When she's done, she'll come out and meet us. Dong ma?"

Jayne gave me a wide berth and let me pass without further explanation. He might have even given me a conciliatory "hurrumph." Even if Jayne Cobb's way with women was akin to a caveman dragging home a girl carcass, he knew a little about what I was going through. All men did.

Back on the bridge, I sat at the external ops console and stabilized Serenity's struts as Inara's... ah, MY shuttle detached and settled to the shipyard. Sighing heavily, I turned in my chair to address Wash. Zoe was still fussing, in her completely not-fussing way, over Wash's injury.

"Was that a surly detachment, you figure, Wash? Seemed abrupt. Like a teenager stomping to their room, you think?" I asked, flipping the Cortex switch to off. I had a squawk box somewhere around here that would scramble our outgoing signals until we could make it to the box canyon Wash'd indicated earlier.

Zoe looked at me vexedly. I grumbled and put down the squawk. Apologizing, I amended my statement: "Sorry, there, Wash. Ignore my insanity. It's temporary. We'll get the doctor up here as soon as we land elsewhere. Get you all patched up. And then you can regale us with your tale of getting stabbed at the free market."
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Subject:Too Much of Not Enough
Time:02:35 am
I ran though the halls of her, my feet pounding hard on steel. He was closing me in. Keeping me trapped in small confines. The math tried to show me his error. Miscalculation. Mistake. Wrong. It was wrong, he didn't know it. I knew it. Knew it inside. Things mixing in my brain. Ideas forming. Molding into nothing again.

Why was he so cruel. Mean. Disparaging. Against it all. I stopped short in the middle of my stride. Breathing thready. Ravaging my lungs for air. Too much of not enough. I turned my body pressing my back to her sides. Walls holding me up. Supportive, and solid. Steady. I needed to be steady. Let things work out again. Equations equating to nothing anymore. The space was his, but mine as well. There was no way around it. Could hear them still. She makes no sense. Speaks lies. He has these thoughts. Says those words. No way around it.

I slide down to the floor back still against the wall until my heels touch the backs of my thighs. Tip toes, arched and aching from the run. Dusty and dirty. Soiled with everyone's paths. I just wanted to be like them. Normal. Conflicted. Unable to express what I feel. I can't though. Can't make it stop. All I do is feel. The words just spill from me. No remorse. No recourse for my actions. No reset.

I close my eyes and just sit there. Still and quiet. Only the hum of the engines, and the steady stream of air from the life support systems. I want to be like this. Calm. Limited by my own actions. Making myself still. His words would cut into my thoughts though. Sharp like his knives. Cruel like his intentions. Wicked were his words. I just need to be free. Safe. Secure and protected. If he could only see what his emotions were capable of doing. I stood up again, and made my way to my space. Still hungry, but can't go back. The noise and lack of space would be unbearable.

I climbed in and moved to my bed. I lay down, easing my head onto folded hands resting upon folded blankets. I closed my eyes to try to rest. Just for a moment make myself quiet again.

((open to anyone coming to River's room))
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Subject:Selfishness.
Time:08:21 pm
Current Mood:thoughtful
Kaylee left Mal's quarters feeling as though the entire situation had been left unresolved. Frowning the whole way, she walked from the crew quarters to the galley with her hands in her pockets, her eyes trained on her feet and the floor in front of them as she walked. She felt a little guilty, something she hadn't realized when she'd been talking to Mal. She had spent a lot of time explaining how she was concerned for his feelings and his wellbeing. She knew full well that his feelings, at least where Inara (or any woman, for that matter) was concerned, were none of her business. She had gone ahead and made it her business. Now she was beginning to realize that it really hadn't been her place. She had already known that she shouldn't stick her nose where it didn't belong, that she shouldn't meddle in other people's affairs, particularly her captain's. The full meaning of that just hadn't really sunk in until now.

She felt rotten by the time she reached the galley, slumping into a seat at the far end of the table, not bothering to get up and get herself some breakfast. She wasn't hungry anymore. While part of her really was concerned about Mal and his wellbeing, and how Inara's leaving would effect him, she now knew that most of what she had said had been projection. It had been her feelings she was most worried about, not Mal's. She shut her eyes and groaned, directing her face towards the table and resting her forehead in her hands. Some part of her wished that Mal could do something to make Inara stay. Some part of her wished, maybe even knew that if the right strings were pulled... he could have that kind of power.

But he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't make Inara stay... and Kaylee was beginning to realize that he shouldn't. No matter how much she hated the idea of Inara leaving, the choice was Inara's and noone else's. Kaylee was beginning to realize how selfish she'd been... how selfish she still was.

She didn't know how she could make things better for herself, or for Mal, or for anyone else. All she knew was that she had to talk to Inara just once more before they parted ways for good.

((Open to anyone!))
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Subject:Feelin' Half Right
Time:03:24 pm
After a certain meddlesome mechanic had nearly chased me from my own quarters, she disappeared to do something in the engine room. Something that I prayed was more maintenance than repair, as we couldn't afford any major part-replacement at this juncture.

I made my way to the bridge to scan some of the Cortex bulletins before we took off. We needed work, bad. We needed to keep moving. We needed to find somewhere to stash the Lassiter. Or, better, some kind soul to take it off our hands for the low, low price of More-Money-Than-God-Has. This in mind, I lowered myself into my seat and took a breather before I booted all over the console. Perhaps I should see if the semi-good Doctor Tam had anything to put Captain Jigsaw back together... lao tyen yeh. In all fairness, the brief walk to the bridge was even a bit touch-and-go, just while passing a few paces through a blissfully quiet hallway. If anyone was still in their bunks, I sure couldn't tell, but I was eternally grateful that there weren't any voices to distract me from my humbling and epic headache. Getting on, aren't I? I used to be able to drink my weight in anything that was distilled and still get up before sunrise to make some coffee. Hangovers now came with a complimentary splitting brain tumor and a tremble. The shakiness was rightly due to the inordinate amount of grain alcohol I drank to 'celebrate' Inara's decision. Or maybe it was an immediate reaction to Kaylee's way-overstepping of several captain-to-crew boundary lines.

I was still furious about it, even if I held back a little on Kaylee. She was trying to be helpful, I'm sure. But, that wasn't help; what she'd done was projection. Inara was her bosom buddy. Kaylee was the one who would miss her the most, all told. So... tell Inara that I love her. Not in this incarnation. She was already resolved to leave... why not make it messier and more painful for everyone involved? And, to that note -- why was anyone involved? And who said anything about love? I'd miss Inara, sure. But I miss lots of things without bringing the word "love" into it.

Sighing, I logged into the Cortex after powering up the receiver. Going to need another one of those soon, to boot. Here I was smack dab between at least have a dozen grounded transmitters and it wasn't hardly getting more than 60% connectivity a feed. That percentage went way down once we were out in the black... this could be a problem if we wanted to communicate once we got out to the rim. Which, you know, we do.

So, Want Ads. Diddly-squat on available, square work -- unless I wanted to ship more cattle. To which the answer would be a thunderous and emphatic 'no thanks' -- and the bulletins weren't much more facinating. Not much there: a couple of calls for 'federal assistance' because some agri-core deal had gone sour and a bureaucrat wanted his fancy toys back, the Alliance was looking for a bunch of unionizing Neo-Marxists, and...

I leaned closer to the screen as it flickered a bit. I was trying to read, gorram it! I smacked the connection ground with the flat of my hand and the resolution cleared up. All the same, I couldn't believe my eyes. I needed a second opinion. Is that -- was that?

Oh, tzao gao. Why couldn't something be easy, just this once?

[[ Open to whoever is near Serenity's bridge. ]]
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Subject:Sleeping Out of the Sea
Time:04:01 am
Resting, she was resting. Tired from all the travel, working so hard to keep me safe. Keep me hidden from those that wanted to harm. Cut. Unmake me. Filled to the brim with unsaid words, I let them echo within me. All should be quiet. Calm. What wasn't said was louder than I could silence. He could have told her. It would have been okay. Words spoken true ringing through instead of echoing these cold halls.

I wandered between words and wind, letting the cool steel carry me further into her safety. Alone, yet not alone. Comforted by her, guided by sounds. Looking. Searching for some comfort. Some place to be serene, some place to get away from it all. My fingertips traced thin lines along the walls catching slightly in knots of steel, bolts and screws holding the inside from the outside. Lost. I stop letting her whisper to me, telling me where I can be safe. The hollow I can fill within her emptiness.

My eyes closed I can feel a cool breeze from the ventilation above, smiling I tip my chin upwards letting the redistrubition of molecules and air push onto me. It feels good. A tiny giggle of innocence I let go of, my eyes open at my own noise, clapping my hand over my mouth to keep it all in. Shouldn't be here. Can't let them find me. Hurt me. Undone.

My footsteps quicken she tells me I will be safe. I feel the warmth seeping towards me. Stopped now, no motion, no turning, all static. Static and nothing. I crouch low, knees to my chest hugging my arms tight to hold myself together. Let go. Tiny pieces will fall apart. Don't lose touch. Time to be silent.

No one is here, I can be alone with their thougths. Their love it's strong, all caring no speaking. She knows, tells me it is just so. My feet ache, dust and dirt covered, pins and needles prickling my soles. I rock back lean against her letting my feet slip heels down, jutting out from me. Spindles, thin branches reaching for warmth, aching to grow. Yearning for freedom.

Here I will wait for them to say her name. Speak the words they long to hear. Need to hear.

((Open to anyone coming to the engine room))
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Subject:Rock and a Hard Place
Time:09:51 pm
Current Mood:annoyed
This wouldn't do. This wouldn't do at all. How had I, Jubal Early, end up grounded on this behemoth of a boat? I needed to be out in the black, searching for River, scenting her on the solar winds. Not standing before a magistrate and trying to explain what happened on some satellite moon that was none of my fault and certainly nothing of consequence.

I cocked my head at the magistrate, giving him a bland smile while he eyed me all suspicious-like. Couldn't find no fault with my papers, and yet I could tell he had his back up about me. Like he feared me, or what I was capable of.

"It says here that someone matching your name and your description killed two people on Cyrus and did not present yourself to the authorities. What do you have to say about that, Captain Early?"

I quirked an eyebrow at him quizically.

"A captain? Now there's a thought. Am I a captain if I have no crew to command? I pilot my ship, so you could say I'm a pilot I reckon. But really, I'm a man of many talents and functions. As for your question, your honor. I did kill two men on Cyrus, that's the honest truth. But it was in self defense on account of them trying to kill me and take what was rightfully mine. I am a bounty hunter by trade and had to leave quickly as I was in pursuit of a bounty at the time. Since I was in the right, I felt no need to check in with local enforcement. Besides, the people in that area knew of the two unsavories I terminated. Figure I done them a favor sending those two into the beyond."

The magistrate seemed unimpressed by my reasoning. He didn't see the logic of it the way I did.

Trying to get back on trackCollapse )
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Subject:Taking care of business.
Time:04:46 pm
Current Mood:annoyed
Justine parted ways with Austen long before she reached Badger's offices. She enjoyed Austen's company, but she didn't want him with her for this. Besides, she already had the feeling that Austen was unhappy with her. She didn't want to make that worse. She knew he wouldn't approve of her bargaining with Badger, especially the methods she might have to use to do so. Austen could frown and dissapprove of her all he liked -- she would deal with that when she got back to the ship.

She walked through Badger's front door without a word to either of the guards there. Just like before, they made no move to stop her. At least for now, she was still welcome in Badger's den. There was no way to tell how long that would go on, but as long as things between Badger and herself were somewhat friendly, Persephone was a pleasant place to be.

Just as she thought she would, she found Badger seated behind his desk, looking smug. "Well. I'm not sure I want to know what's got you smiling so wide." She helped herself to a seat. "I'm here. Let's talk business."

((Tag to Badger! Sorry about the shortness of the post, Anne, I'm on my way out the door. My responses will be longer!))
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Subject:The Morning After
Time:09:49 pm
Current Mood:blank
Inara woke up that morning with swollen eyes, her satin sheets wrapped tightly about her legs. Unsettling dreams had plagued her the night before, and she had not slept very soundly. She sighed as she woke, looking up into the draped fabric lining the ceiling of her...Captain Reynolds'...shuttle. Kicking gently at the sheets, she swung her legs over the side of the bed reluctantly, not feeling much like getting up at all. But she resolved herself to keep in her routine, despite the fact that it would soon be changing dramatically.

She slipped off her slip of a nightgown and draped it over her unfolded changing screen, then thumbed through her collection of clothing. She continued until she reached the very back of her closet, finding the outfit she had worn upon her first meeting with the captain. She hadn't donned it many a time since then, but she did remember wearing it just once or twice.

She pressed at the fabric of the choli once, pulling it away from all the other forms of colored, draping clothing she owned. She wasn't sure she wanted to indulge the nostalgic whispers she was feeling graze across her heart, but it remained that it was exactly what she was doing. Moving to address the state of her hair, she decided to straighten it, allowing it to fall just above her bared midriff. Glossing her tired face over with makeup and a sweet, neutral expression that years of training had provided her with. She knew she had to face the day, face the crew, despite everything she might be belted with in doing so.

She just hoped she wouldn't see Kaylee. Not now. Her expression wouldn't remain if she did. With a strained, pulled in breath, she pressed the button to allow her shuttle door to open. She stepped out gingerly, her feet pressing on the cold metal of the floor.

((Open to anyone))
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Subject:Mr. Blue Sky
Time:12:03 pm
I awoke to find myself in a foul mood. My face and my chest hurt. I'd made it to 160, as promised to Jayne last night, but it was at the expense of my health. Perhaps it was the whiskey I'd so haphazardly imbibed, or the disgusting late night snack I'd made of some rancid protein. Or ...perhaps Serenity had just absorbed the sour feelings of the crew, following Inara's announcement.

I didn't know and I didn't rightly care. My head was pounding and I felt the need to step outside and put my feet in the dirt. I tied my hair back and dressed silently, keeping the lights dimmed in my quarters. Some mornings, the world just seems sharper and harder than other mornings. My bunk, for instance. Brutal. Punishing. The stairs down to the kitchen. I passed by and saw the pilot and the children sitting at the table. I lifted my hand as a hello, but no one saw it. Just as well, as I don't think I could handle the sound of any of their voices.

I needed air. I left the ship and found myself smack dab in the middle ...of a raucous cacophony. I slouched a bit and shielded my eyes. Hardly the breath of fresh air and stillness that I was craving.

Dust clogged the air, drifting over from the dirty street and coating the sides of Serenity. I stood in her shade for a bit, plotting my course. Patting her hull, I was moved by whimsy and tried to listen to her -- like River seems to be able to do. I was rewarded with a hulking, profound silence. I grumbled and wiped my hands on my hankerchief. What was I thinking? Is that what I'm doing now? Crediting mysticism? Listening to objects?

I sighed heavily and made my way towards the free trade market across the street. I might as well stock up on some supplies. I had a chunk of change that I'd rather not leave unattended on the ship. I might as well turn it into sweet apples, rice cakes and chocolate shavings for Kaylee. Perhaps some pemmican and some tins of preachers. Peaches, I mean. Tins of peaches. I shook my head for a moment and rubbed at the space between my eyes. Perhaps I might finally be going senile.

Tins of peaches. River loves peaches.

[[Open to anyone who wants to go to the market, jiggety-jig.]]
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