Author's notes: Minor spoilers for Serenity Movie
Legacy 1:04, Legacy of Loss
Legacy 1:04, Legacy of Loss
Legacy of Loss
Beaumonde smelled as it always did, of smoke and iron and sweat. He took a deep breath and let it settle deep into his lungs before puffing it back out and giving the city a taste of himself. It was a city that'd eat a fellow whole, given a lick of chance, and he was in for far more than a lick.
He looked up at the name of the bar. Yup, it was there, the Maidenhead, just like he'd been told. He was still feeling particularly good about himself when Fanty and Mingo called sent out the wave that they were looking for some help in business. He had only to look at the first room of the establishment to realize what sort of business it was like to be. The man at the cylinder demanded he lock up his guns, to which Greyson merely laughed and tapped his sleeves. It was the universal sign for 'I ain't got weapons, y'idjit', and the shaven-headed fellow simply shook his head. Probably thinkin' poorly of this fellow with the scar down his face. He'd decided to leave his gun on the ship when he almost ricochetted a bullet into Friday's brainpan.
He moved down the curving stairway into the bustle and smell of the barroom proper. The leg-show was in full swing, with three pairs cavorting in the window not far from the bar, where he picked up a Ng-Ka-Pei and sauntered out onto the floor. Trying his best to look inconspicuous, a difficult task with his now somewhat memorable face, he sought out where the foppish identical twins would have dropped themselves. At last he found one of them, sitting right next to the fan-dancer.
"Mingo," he said politely, looking at the vacancy next to him. "Where's Fanty?"
"I'm Fanty," the man retorted sharply. "Mingo couldn't make it."
"No," Jacob corrected with a voice kept flat only by the greatest efforts of his will, "you're Mingo, Fanty couldn't make it."
"How do you people always tell?" Mingo groused. Jacob smiled broadly.
"Fanty's prettier. You said you were looking for help?"
Mingo let out a sharp whistle and the fan-dancer rearranged herself slightly, keeping one of her fans blocking a camera Greyson had no doubt was trying in vain to watch them at all times. He turned back to Greyson. "You don't stand out to much, you know that?" the man said.
"Don't follow," Jacob replied.
"Not your face, lad. Never seen your ship in our harbor before. A ship wit' no name, s'it were. 'S I see it, that means y'ain't long on the scene," Mingo finished with a draw from his drink.
"Interesting deduction. Flawed, but not my concern. The job," Greyson pressed.
"Don't force me along, lad," Mingo placated. "Need to know what sort I'm dealin' with. Had a world of trouble when the Feds tried sneakin' in a bit back."
"What do you want me to tell you? That I ain't no Fed? Done."
"Ain't so easy. Y'see, Fanty weren't so keen on meetin' with you. Thinkin' you're... unreliable," Mingo said.
"Your lips are movin', why ain't you sayin' anything?" Jacob said one final time. He was getting damnably sick of this.
"Right. The job is to intercept a bit of cargo headed to Londinum. Somethin' a bit perishable, if you know what I mean."
"I can't say as I do. An' I learned never to take a job movin' you don't know what."
"It's a horse," Mingo explained. "Or, it will be."
"A sample of goods from one of the finest thoroughbreds in the 'Verse, a champion of champions. You remember Black Wind?" Jacob nodded. Black Wind was the only horse to win all eleven races in the Core Circuit. If memory served, one tube of his goods went for a good ten thousand, to the right buyer. "We don't want the horse, and sendin' you after it would be suicide. We're sending you after his tubes. Clear out the samples and bring them back."
"That's the job?" he said. It seemed far too easy.
"It will be guarded, but I'll have that bit covered," Mingo said, almost condescendingly. With the sweep of the thing hammered out, the two men began the battle of wits over how much this would be worth.
Anne waited a good long while outside the Maidenhead. She smiled brightly as she turned down fourth man to proposition her, waving him away with a finger. Most 'ladies' would have taken offence, but she lapped it up with spoon. Finally, Jacob made his way out of that den of vice and villainy, looking as if he'd been dragged through a knothole backwards. She wasted no time lacing her arm through his. He smiled at her appreciatively, and they weaved through the milling crowds back to the docks where their Firefly was waiting to be launched.
"We get the job?" She asked quietly, a redundant gesture considering nobody would have heard it four steps away if she shouted. Jacob only nodded, lost in thought over whatever it was that the job entailed.
An unshaven man leaned out of the crowd and cried out to her, "Piao-liang de shaojie, bu-li-tah, goo wu..."
Anne turned directly to the male prostitute and shouted back. "Je geh ren, de jie ge shr geng shao," The prostitute burst into laughter and waved her on, leaving them be. Jacob chuckled.
"Well, you get what you pay for," he uttered. "It's because he's scruffy, right?"
She elbowed him in the ribs and walked up the ramp to the ship. Their ship. "You think on a name for this boat, yet?"
"Ain't anything springin' to mind, bao bei," he said. "Job's in Persephony. I'll be up in 'bout an hour."
"Should I tell Friday to stay out of the cargo bay?" She grinned.
"Might be for the best," he admitted as he closed the ramps and called down Sylvia, who'd been setting up the bench-press next to one of the large tanks. She was, of course, having a terrible time of it. Not to keen on machinery, that one. He might have to get Zane to help her before she managed to get it to catch fire. Anne shook her head as Sylvia gave the thing a last kick and pulled down the target she was using in a pathetic attempt to get Jacob able enough to hit something smaller than a barn outside of accident. She made her way up to the bridge, shouting a warning into Friday's room not to come out for about an hour. She heard a string of Manderin profanities as her answer, and she finally sat herself down in her chair. It was a matter of moments before the ship hummed to life. Hummer, maybe? No, that wouldn't do. Too many'd take it askance.
She, as usual, was smiling as the sky peeled back and stars winked into life. She laid her course and and let the ship leapt off into the dark. She couldn't help but stare off into the eternal night, remembering a time long past when she would stare up at it from her father's lap. It was the only good thing that he'd given to her, with his bouts of drinking dominating his life. At least he had the decency to take a swim between Three Hills and Boros. For some reason, lookin' up at the black brought her back to the happier times in her childhood.
She finally broke her study of the heavens to go check up on Jacob. She'd just cleared the doorway when another bang went off from the cargo bay, followed by a number of spangs. The first spang came from the corridor near the engine, the second off the table in the mess, and the third came from right behind her ear. She turned. A bullet was lodged in the threshold.
"Sorry," Jacob's shout came from the far end of the ship. She shivered slightly at how close that was. If only he could be so lucky when he was trying to hit something. She rather swiftly and carefully made her way into the cargo bay. A kevlar cover was over the small panel looking into the airlock, and Jacob was firing rounds into a target at its center. Or rather, he was trying to.
"Syl, you really think this'd be the best place to be firin' guns, with a fuel-tank sittin' right under the stairs?" Anne asked when Jacob mercifully ran out of ammo.
"Ain't a gun on this ship'll puncture that tank," she explained. Her eyes were shining with frustration, though. Jacob was a slow student. She made her way down the stairs and calmly took the pistol from his hand and slid a new magazine into it. With a short glance at the target, she looked him in the eye and squeezed of eight shots.
"Nee ta ma dah tien-shia suo-yo duh run doh gai si," Jacob kicked the floor. "How'd you learn to shoot like that?"
She looked at the target; it was a somewhat poor spread, but it was far better than what he'd made so far. She smiled and put the gun back in his hands. "When you're done with your toys, you know where to find me."
It wasn't long before he'd caught up with her.
Zane remembered the way Eavesdown Docks felt, when he'd been dropped here by the last Firefly he'd rode on. It felt busy, warm. Alive. In his head, he went over the meeting the group'd had when the Captain came back with those bags of clothes.
"Wait, our job is to steal horse sperm?" Sylvia muttered in disbelief.
"Not just any horse sperm," Jacob corrected. "The genetic contribution by Black Wind, Eleven Point winner and the most expensive damned horse in the 'Verse. Each two-fluid-ounce tube runs ten grand at auction, and there's a shipment of it from the Rim to the lockup in Londinum. Just imagine what an equestrian'd pay on the low down?"
"Still..." Sylvia said. "Sperm. I'd figure we'd be running food or medicals, or maybe them little wobbly-headed geisha dolls."
"Take what you can get," Jacob intoned, the universal credo of them's couldn't get work on the flat.
"Still, a piece of property that valuable," Friday piped up, "ain't it gonna be a bit hard to get at?"
"That's why Mingo arranged for these," he said, opening the bags.
"Oh, shiny!" Zane had exclaimed. "Fed duds!"
"Good you feel so shiny 'bout them," Jacob said. "You're going in with us."
"Any 'ticular reason why?"
"We need to be as ghosts in this. That means no cameras, no doors forced, and no security systems activated. We go in at the swing shift. I don't intend to be here when the sun comes up. That means anybody gets took, they stay took for a bit," Jacob said, rifling through the bags. He finally found what he was looking for.
Zane thought he saw a flash of familiar a couple of corners down, and he increased his pace. His current attire was a remarkably well fitting tech's suit, one usually found on them's fixing up Alliance cruisers. He made his way to the corner, catching another glance of that familiar face, this time much closer. She looked back, seeing him for just an instant, before vanishing in a swirl of red hair and lacy fabric. He smiled broadly as he moved off in pursuit. He knew this little spot rather well, and knew she only had one place that she could duck into on this street without bashing down a door.
"Just imagine my surprise," he said as he pushed open the door, showing a room empty of everything but her. "When I'm walkin' around in a strange city and behold you."
The red haired woman crossed her arms under her breasts, a particularly male gesture she almost never used with men, or so he heard. She also adopted her most acidic tone. "What do you want, Zane?" she demanded.
"Besides the priviledge of seeing my darling sister?" Zane responded flatly. His sister growled, throwing up her hands in frustration.
"I've got work to do, Zane," she muttered as she tried to push past him. He held her in. "Let me go."
"What are you doing here? Last I heard from you, they were diggin' you out of a dumpster on Eden," her flat expression registered a direct hit. "Who's the poor bastard you latched onto this time?"
"Nobody," she snarled. "Now get out of my way. I have work to do."
She finally stormed past him, her big, fine dress swirling out behind her. Well fancy that, meeting her at a time like this.
He continued walking down the road, a long dirt affair that eventually lead to a squat structure that dominated the surroundings, despite the fact that it was singularly unimpressive. The local lockup, where things of worth were stored before going to the docks from private contractors. As he walked, Sylvia appeared beside him, decked out in full Alliance armor. She looked every bit the consummate purple-belly, all the way down to how she stared at everybody around her in disdain. He gave her a slight nod, which she returned in kind. Together, and simultaneously apart, they moved to the gates that lead into the structure. They stood by the gates, Sylvia lighting up a cigar and a cigarette, handing Zane the latter. They made as if smoking for the next few minutes as they waited. Zane's untouched smoke burned up and to his knuckles by the time Jacob appeared from the inside, his long hair swept imperiously back and his back ramrod straight. He looked to have a stick up his pee-goo as large as any in the Alliance. The officer's coat was working perfectly. He opened the back gate and motioned them in.
The building was long and downward canted, plunging into the soil and away from the sun. Jacob took the lead, staring down anybody who even shared the corridor with him, with Sylvia hot on his heels and Zane trailing not very far behind. The group came at last to the final door of the corner room. The solitary guard stood at attention as Jacob approached.
"Is the product still contained?" Greyson snapped.
"Yes sir!" the young soldier replied. "No one has entered this room by this door in the last six hours," the soldier looked about. "Is she my replacement? My shift has been over for fifteen minutes, now."
Jacob nodded impatiently. "You are dismissed, soldier."
The soldier actually saluted Greyson, an image that had to be stuffed down before he started laughing at it and humping the whole thing up. The private then left, hefting his rifle on his shoulder as he went down the corridor. They all waited until he turned the corner at the end and vanished. Then Jacob smirked slightly and nodded down the hall slightly. Zane took his cue, finding his way to the computer room. His job was to shut down every camera in the building, and wipe the feeds for the last ten minutes. The job just might go smooth after all.
The job seemed to be going smooth, for a wonder. Jacob punched the last digit into the keypad next to the door and pushed it to. The room was rather long, dark, and decidedly cold. Refrigerated, no doubt. His eyes went down into the dark recesses of the room; his target was so close.
With a smile on his face, he turned back to the other door that lead into this room.
It was open. An officer was staring at him.
Jacob pulled out his pistol and leveled it at the man, who returned the favor in kind. He noticed Sylvia's gun whip around and point at the dark woman standing next to him. A large scruffy fellow with a decidedly impressive firearm took a moment to spit before pointing his weapon at them.
Why couldn't things go smooth?
Then he noticed, this officer hadn't called for help, or reinforcements, or anything really. This man looked Greyson up and down, then his grip on his long pistol loosened a bit. This was an imposter. Just like him.
"Hey, boss," he heard Zane approach from behind. "Somebody's already shut down the cameras."
"Not now, kid," Jacob said, not altering his aim a whit. Of course, he'd probably still miss if push came to shot. Zane, of course, paid him no attention and ducked into the room, oblivious of the group holding guns at each other.
"Boss," he said, not even seeming to notice the gun-toting folk behind him. "I think somebody else is in here. I have a feeling who it is."
"Would it be the suai, well armed fellow behind you?" Sylvia asked. Zane turned around, managing to pull of a double take in a single movement.
"Captain Reynolds?" he said quietly. Reynolds lowered his gun.
"Zane? What the hell r'you doing runnin' with purple-bellies?" Malcolm said, face twisting in vague recognition.
"Told you I was on his boat," Zane gloated to Jacob for a moment before turning back to Reynolds. "I ain't. What're you doin' here?"
"Hey, Mal," the big man snarled. "We ain't gonna spend the rest of the day conversiating, are we? We got crime to do."
"Boss, this is Captain Reynolds, Zoe and Jayne. Serenity's crew, ain't it a small 'verse?" he grinned broadly.
"Will someone get him shuttin' up, maybe?" Jayne asked gruffly. What sort of a name was Jayne for a man, anyway? "Gorram Fanty's got us played."
"Fanty?" Jacob grunted. "Got this job from Mingo."
"How's the rest of the crew," Zane had continued, despite Reynold's shaking head. "Hey Zoe, how're you and Wash getting along?"
The black skinned woman moved in a blur, slamming the mechanic into the wall with a shotgun against his throat.
"I think a bit of discretion in your words might to you a bit of good," Reynolds said. "That woman is a whisper away from initiatin' violence."
"Just say the word, sir," she whispered, the sound of a dagger being pulled out of a boot.
"Ain't endin' any folk if we can manage," Reynolds chastized. Zane suddenly found himself back onto his feet.
"So, what's the outcome here?" Jacob asked.
"Captain!" came another voice, female, coming from where Reynolds entered. A kind-looking lass came into the room. "Somebody's already shut down all the cameras! We ain't alone in this'n."
"Got that message, Kaylee," Zane muttered. She caught sight of him and pushed past Zoe to give him a big hug.
"Ain't you just a sight for sore eyes!" She smiled broadly. It looked real natural on her. She was built for smiling, Jacob decided. "What you been up to?"
"This and that," Zane answered.
"Wait, if we didn't shut down them cameras, and you didn't," Jacob began, but Malcolm's gun-arm swung up again, pointing at something he couldn't see in the darkness.
"Just step forward nice and slow, missy," Malcolm demanded. When he saw who carried the rack of tubes, his jaw fell open.
"Saffron!" he grunted.
"Saffron?" Zane asked, then he saw her. "Sis?"
"Hello, honey," Zane's sister purred, giving a sly look to Reynolds.
"You actually married my sister?" Zane laughed.
"Son of a bitch?" Reynolds murmured, face a study in befuddlement.
Stole the words right out of Jacob's mouth. Saffron smiled then. "Can't blame a girl for trying."
"Did she marry one of yours?" Malcolm asked.
"What? Oh, god, no!" Zane answered. "Might be the only men in the 'Verse who ain't," he admitted. "Wait, how'd you get in here, sis?"
"Something tells me," Malcolm smirked, "the man who should'a been here is gonna spend some time in 'the special hell'. Saffron rolled her eyes. "Wait, she's your sister?"
"Much as I hate to admit," Zane snorted.
"That mean you know her real name?" Mal chuckled.
"Mal, honey," Saffron took another step forward. "Sweety, you don't need to do this."
"One step more, Yo-Saf-Brige, and I'm puttin' a bullet to you," Mal warned.
"How are we gonna do this?" Jacob asked.
"How 'bout," Jayne interjected, "we drop these idjits, crack the pretty miss, and get the guay out of here before the real law show up?"
"Fanty never said proper how many he's lookin' for, did he?" Jacob said.
"Ain't gave me a number, no," Mal said, not altering his aim at Zane's sister in the slightest.
"Well, we got twelve shots of high-quality, high-priced sperm," Greyson turned to Zane and Kaylee, both of whom started giggling, "Bi jway! And that's enough to split. We all walk out of here with a payday, ain't nobody takin' a bullet, dong ma?"
"Weren't that just inspirational?" Mal quipped. "But what do we do with her?" he waggled his gun at Zane's sister.
"Gotta have a diversion," she offered. "Else the Feds will know one, or both of you, ran off with their prized goods."
"Ain't lettin' you out of sight with my payday," Zoe hissed. Her gun stood in a rock-solid hand. She'd lost something, Jacob thought. Something that hurt her bad. Sylvia let out a yelp and turned around, three guns following her.
"What happened?" Jacob asked.
Sylvia shook her head. "Ain't rightly sure. Thought I saw someone. Little girl. Never mind."
"Weren't going to," he said, then turned back to Reynolds. "What's on the mind for a distraction?"
"Well, I could," Saffron began, but Mal ran right over her.
"Jayne," he said loudly. The big man perked up a bit. "You got a grenade?"
Jayne burst into a viscious grin, and reached into his pocket.
The explosion wasn't extraordinarily big, but was enough to cause most of the people in the area to scatter in fear, especially when three purple-bellies and a tech came dashing out, hauling a wounded officer and a woman, with another man with a long scar down his face was shouting orders and profanities at anybody who dared to come close. A local militia man stumbled to a stop in front of the scarred man.
"What the guay happened, sir?" the soldier asked.
"I'd whip you for language, grunt, but we've got bigger problems. There's been an attack at the lockup," Jacob said, waving the others ahead of him.
"Who was it?"
"Gorram Separatists, likely as not," Jacob snarled. "Get down there and dig out the mess, and make sure they don't get into the vaults."
"Aye sir!" the soldier saluted then bolted down the street into the massively unimpressive vault.
"Idiot," Jacob whispered to himself. He'd have run back to his ship had he could, but with the uniform on, the best he could manage was a ground-eating march, the look on his face somehow parting the crowd in front of him. When the crowd had thinned enough, he ducked into the side alley and began tearing off the uniform. It was getting damned hot under that thing, especially with his street-clothes still on 'neath them. He wrapped the clothes into a ball and went back into the streets. Smooth, he thought? Well, almost smooth. Now he had to figure out what to say to Mingo.
"Take us out of the world, Anne," Jacob said as he made his way up his ship's ramp, coming to a rather unpleasent stop when he realized his boat had a few more on it than when he'd landed. And all three of them were holding guns.
"Weren't thinkin' on runnin' off with our payoff, were you?" Mal asked.
"I don't have it," Jacob said.
"It ain't in my pretty little hand," Mal said, thumbs hooked behind his gun belt.
Sylvia chose that moment to make her appearance, throwing Zane's sister rather unceremoniously to the grating. She barely caught herself from falling, a barely which became a didn't when Syl pushed her again, sending her tumbling down the stairs onto the platform. Sylvia straddled her and held her head down.
"Shuo huang bu mai yin tried to make off with our shuttle," Syl shouted. "And she had the tubes with her."
"Guess she really does like shuttles," Zoe said, deadpan. Mal gave her a surprised look.
"Well, slap me in the face," Mal said, a small smile in his eyes, if nowhere else. "You just made a joke."
"Won't happen again, sir."
"Ain't helpin' us very much. What're we going to do with my darling wife?" Mal was very close to laughing.
"We can't leave her," Jacob said.
"My swingin' cod we can't!" Jayne bellowed.
"Feds, Jayne," Zoe explained. "We drop her, she sells us out inside four minutes."
"I ain't letting you harm her," Zane pointed out. He snapped his fingers. "Wait a minute, what was it you said you's gonna do to Kaylee one day?"
"Duct-tape her mouth and throw her in the hold for a month?" Mal was smiling now.
"No, you wouldn't," Saffron said against the floor.
"Oh, yes, he would," Jayne chuckled.
Jacob threw up his hands. "You want her, we'll even bag her for you. Unless you got some reservations, Zane?"
Zane beamed widely. "She was always a brat. Get Friday to dope her, and drop her somewhere nice."
"How brotherly," Mal said as Syl handed down the tubes to Jayne. He turned to Zane. "What'd you say her real name was?"
Zane shook his finger. "I didn't."
"Hey Cap'n," Zane said from the back of the bridge. The words dragged him out of the shallow sleep he'd drifted into. He sat up in the copilot's seat where he'd dozed after the long day's work.
"What's eating you?" he asked, still wishing he'd been left alone. Anne was a nice thing to be had, but only in moderation.
"I think I know what to call this boat," Zane said, running his hand along the metal innards of the creature. "Thought long and hard on it, and I think it'll be perfect."
Zane smiled slightly as he looked into things beyond the realm of sight or touch. "This ship, this Firefly, is the legacy of all them couldn't be here. This is Old Jing's legacy, Tony Chao's legacy. Of Zoe's man, Wash. This is the last bit connecting us to all them."
"This ship is the legacy, eh?"
"Only reason we're here is 'cause we set foot onto this boat. We stayed behind on the Jack, that Reaver-bitch'd split us just like the rest of them. They gave us this ship, so we'd stay alive," Zane continued, as if he never heard the captain's remark.
"The Legacy," Jacob nodded.
"No, not 'the Legacy," he said. "Just... Legacy."
Jacob thought for a long moment. Legacy of them's couldn't be here.
Yeah. Legacy. It was perfect.
Title: Legacy 1:04, Legacy of Loss
Series Name: Legacy
Author: James the Dark
Details: Series | PG-13 | gen | 24k | 01/13/06
Characters: Other - Jacob Greyson and his crew
Crossover with: Firefly/Serenity
Summary: Greyson is loose in the 'Verse, and takes his first job. The job's a bit shady, though, and some 'familiar faces' are going to show up to make their lives a bit more interesting.
Notes: Minor spoilers for Serenity Movie