my_b7_fic: Avon karate chopping (Default)
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This was written for the Multiverse ficathon: This is a doubly Alternate Universe occurring soon after a slightly changed version of the Firefly episode'Ariel' crossed with an Alternate Universe B7 taking off from the slave-auction in the Blakes 7 episode 'Assassin'.


Jayne didn't like being on his own. It wasn't that he got lonely, or that he needed anyone to watch his back, but when he was on his own, he had to do all the thinking and planning, which he wasn't much good at. And people tried to cheat him. Killing them was easy, but then he still wasn't sure he'd got all the money that was coming to him.

He scratched at his chin. At least he had money, now. When Mal had kicked him off Serenity for trying to collect the reward on Simon and River, he'd thrown most of Jayne's possessions after him down the ramp on the first planet they hit. He'd even included Jayne's share of the Ariel job. Mal could be awfully stupid that way, but then, he did have plans, even if they didn't often work out exactly right.

Jayne reached for his drink again, noticing the local information on the Cortex screen behind the bar as he did. Indentures for sale, including half a dozen permanent contracts. Jayne had never before had enough money at one time to buy a person. An idea came to him in a blinding flash. "Hey, I could buy me a whore and be a pimp!" He looked at the idea from all sides and couldn't find anything wrong with it. He grinned. "I can always keep 'er in practice if business gets slow." He gulped down his drink and headed to the auction house.

It was hot and the seats in the auction house were hard. Jayne shifted and used the stick end of his auction paddle to scratch his left buttock where the sweat was running down. The auctioneer looked at Jayne and raised his eyebrows. Jayne scowled at him and scratched his butt again.

"Sold! To the gen'l'man with the red dragon tat." The auctioneer pointed at Jayne.

Jayne looked at the current offering on the block, a scarred, middle-aged man whose blank stare reminded him of River on one of her 'good days'. "No ruttin' way. I was gonna buy me a nice piece o' woman. Whut the hell I want with that!"

"Don't make me no never mind. You signaled a bid. He's your'n. Now you pay for 'im."

Jayne growled and got up. There were four men with guns standing at the entrance, all muzzles pointing at him. "This ain't the way I meant to get screwed!"

--------



Back in the bar, Jayne looked at his new possession with disgust. "Hell, you ain't pretty enough to whore, nor strong enough to work, and you don't even talk! How the hell am I gonna get my gorram money's worth out of you!"

Jayne's slave shrugged; his eyes glittered with resentment.

Jayne grunted, reached out and picked his slave up by the neck. He shoved him up against the wall, holding him there while the slave made little gasping noises, pawed futilely at Jayne's arms and tried to get a knee up in a position to do Jayne no good. Jayne had expected that, though and didn't give him enough room for the maneuver.

"You don't give me any go se when you're talkin' to me!" Jayne grunted again, this time in surprise, when he felt Edna's muzzle digging into his ribcage. Edna couldn't blow out the side of a ship like Vera, but she sure could make a mess out of a man's innards. "You lookin' to die? You know what they do to a slave as kills his master?"

The slave grinned at Jayne and shoved Edna in further. There was a soft 'click' as the safety came off. "All right!" Jayne released the slave and jumped backwards, pulling out Edna's twin sister Nora and pointing it at the slave --who was turning away from Jayne and laying the gun on the bar. He pointed to a bottle.

"Huh." Jayne thought about it for a moment, then waved his Nora-holding hand at the bartender. "Set 'em up."

--------



"Anyway, least you listen real good," Jayne had taken his slave to one of the corner tables and bent his ear about all his troubles and all the good times he'd had on Serenity - looking back, a lot of it had been fun. After the third drink, Jayne had finished, and was staring glumly at the table. The slave dragged a finger through the wet rings left by their drinks and wrote on the table, "Bank job. I know banks and computers."

Jayne blinked and looked up at his slave's toothy grin. "Wubba-- Huh." A smile spread across his face.

--------



Jayne's slave looked down his nose, which took a bit of doing, as Jayne entered their rented room and dumped another box of electronic bits on Jayne's bed. The slave had plenty of floor to sleep on, which he didn't, so far as Jayne could tell. He also couldn't... or wouldn't... tell Jayne his name. That was all right Jayne had no problem with that. It left him free to make up whatever name he liked.

"Here you go, Wun Gwo Pee."

The slave looked at him sharply, but not offended. Sometimes, Jayne had the idea that Chinese was Greek to him, but that was stupid. Everybody understood Chinese. Jayne sat in the room's one chair, picked up a rag and began polishing Vera. "That toy you're buildin' better work. If'n I run outta cash, I'm not gonna be picky who I sell you to."

The slave gave Jayne another look and then turned back to work.

--------



"Tell me the plan again." Jayne grinned. "I like hearin' 'bout all that money."

His slave picked up a data-pad and began writing. The bank at Whitefall holds the payroll for a secret facility owned by the Blue Sun corporation. To avoid notice, the payroll is ostensibly for an Alliance division based on the next moon. When it is stolen, the discrepancy should further delay realization of the theft. Even if the bank senses something amiss, they will report to the Alliance, which will have no missing funds.

Jayne nudged the wooden fruit crate full of lights and wires, hodge-podged components, and a big white sphere that was slightly cracked and repaired with ship-glue. He found it hard to believe the ruttin' thing was a computer. "And this fei-oo you made kin fix it so's the bank thinks we're the couriers?"

Yes. Now that I've downloaded the operating system it will be able to interface with the bank's computers. Jayne's slave ran his fingers over the alphanumeric keyball attached to the computer by a braided cable.

The computer made a noise similar to throat-clearing. "It will take longer than anticipated, due to the inefficiency of the Alliance computers I have assigned the task."

Jayne grunted. "I thought your toy wuz gonna do the job."

The slave scowled. Unfortunately the operating system is a singularly lazy A.I. Reprogramming it would take far too long. Persuasion will be faster. He input something short into the keyball. After a pause the computer replied, "Very well. Although it is a facile task, far better suited to those inferior machines, I will do as you instruct." The printer plugged into the middle of a painted-on prune pit on the side of the crate began spitting out sheets of imprinted plastex. "The bank will release the Blue Sun payroll in the form of hard currency to the authorized Alliance agents seven days from now. Anticipating your next command, I am now providing complete instructions for the deception and appropriate identification materials."

Jayne picked up a sheet and scowled. "I gotta wear a purple-belly uniform?" He grunted. "Mal ain't gonna like havin' even a fake purplebelly on his ship."

His slave showed his teeth again and wrote, Failed rebels can't afford to be fastidious. We could make arrangements with another ship for the pickup.

"Nah, Serenity's a good ship, an' Mal ain't one to backshoot us. So, he's a little mad at me. Nothing buys bygones quicker 'n cash."

--------



Jayne marched... well, stalked like a hungry tiger, behind the ramrod stiff back of his slave up to the bank counter. The slave presented their idents and stared at the clerk with all the arrogance of an Alliance officer, and then some. The clerk bowed and hurried off to get the bank president, who escorted them to the vault to await packaging of their shipment.

The president tried to make small talk with the slave, but Jayne cut him off with, "The captain don' talk. Dirty browncoat got 'em..." He made a slashing motion against his throat. "It's made him kinda impatient, like."

--------



The box of money was satisfyingly heavy, all in shiny gold ingots. There was something to be said for secret projects. Printed money could be traced. Gold was anonymous.

Jayne drove the 'mule' with its carefully applied Alliance insignia towards the sub-atmospheric 'truck' he'd bought and hidden in a ravine. "Mal's gotta little history with Whitefall's boss," he had explained to the silent slave. "So's it's not too smart for Serenity to land right in 'er lap."

They loaded the box into the ship, leaving the mule behind. The slave settled into the pilot's position. He had sworn he knew how to fly the truck, and Jayne was just as happy to have his hands busy with controls rather than maybe think about the Alliance gun he had as part of his uniform and the money resting in the back of their ship.

Jayne tuned the communications set to the official channels. "Les' see if anyone's makin' any noise about us."

There was a burst of static, followed by shouts. "Ai-yah. Tyen-ah... Reavers! Reavers...they're every..." There was a horrible scream that went on until Jayne slapped off the sound. "Get us up! Get us up! Cao!"

Jayne was sweating and pale as he grabbed at the control panel. "Now!" He turned to the slave. "They're Reavers! Unnerstan'? They're cannibals, an' they like live meat! And that's the nicest thing they do to folks!"

The slave grimaced and got the ship up. It wallowed and clawed upward slowly, too slowly. Jayne turned the viewer on and looked back. "Maybe they're still in town, and... Wuh de ma. They're after us! Can't this piece of go se move any faster?"

The slave nodded at his fruit crate computer beside him. Jayne took over the controls and wondered if they were high enough that a crash would kill them immediately- he didn't want to chance being dragged out of the rubble alive by Reavers.

The computer said, "This vessel is underpowered. The only immediate method of increasing its velocity is by reducing the weight. If one hundred kilos of mass were jettisoned, the ship would be able to attain orbit and dock with Serenity before interception by the pursuing vessel." There was a brief pause and the computer added, "Jayne weighs one hundred and nine kilos."

"Whu th'?" Jayne was hampered by the controls, so the slave had his Alliance gun out and pointed at his chest an instant before Jayne could get Vera up from the console where he'd left her. Jayne snarled, "You do that and we're both dead, only you're deader. Vera's a lot bigger than that gun."

They stared at each other for a few seconds, the image of the Reaver ship growing larger on the screen behind them. Suddenly the slave gave Jayne another of his annoyingly weird grins. He said, in a voice rusty from disuse, "Vera must weigh sixteen kilos and my computer another eighteen." He paused. "And we have seventy kilos of gold ingots."

Despite his terror, Jayne groaned. "We gotta give the Reavers our gold? It won't stop 'em, you know, they don' care 'bout money. They're not human. All they want is to play fingerpaint with our innards."

"This will stop them." The slave put down Nora and began grabbing at things inside the fruit-crate computer. "Sorry, Orac, it's you or me."

"Avon! No, I am the most..."The computer squealed and then went silent as the man ripped something out. "Give me that gun," Avon said, holding his hand out for Vera.

"Over my dead body!"

"That can be arranged. By them." Avon nodded at the viewer. "I need the power-pack."

Reluctantly Jayne surrendered Vera, and winced as Avon pulled the power pack out and spliced it into part of the computer. "You're not crazy enough to think that your computer can talk 'em out of killin' us?"

Avon grinned again, and Jayne decided that if they did get out of this alive, he was gonna introduce Avon to River and stand back to watch the show.

"Not quite, but they'll listen to what Orac has to say." Avon tucked Vera under his arm, picked up the computer, and headed for the rear of the ship. "I'll be right back."

Jayne was sweating bullets by the time Avon returned. "Did you dump 'em?"

"Not yet."

"Why not!" At first Jayne had been afraid the Reavers would shoot them down out of the sky, but then he was more afraid when they didn't. "They're comin' right up our backsides!" They had reached the edge of Whitefall's atmosphere and the sky had turned to black, but they were too slow, far too slow.

"Soon."

Jayne was beginning to wonder if Avon was a little Reaver-touched himself when his slave finally hit the eject button and the truck lurched as if kicked.

Jayne watched the rear monitor, but couldn't see the crate containing gold. Suddenly a square shape was silhouetted against the blood-graffittied nose of the Reaver ship for an instant, and then there was a vast, blindingly white explosion, followed by secondary explosions, flinging bits of Reaver through space in a very pretty chrysanthemum pattern of golden sparkles. "Whut!"

Avon said, "I'd placed an explosive charge in Orac when I built it. Sometimes contingency planning pays off."

"Yuh." Jayne scowled and sent a signal to Serenity to intercept them before their orbit decayed. "Mal won't like it that we don't have the money." Then he brightened. "Hey, maybe I can sell you to him!"

"Sagwa." Avon leaned back in the seat and grinned. "Orac always exaggerated. I decided we didn't need to eject the gold."

Jayne looked at Avon and then felt a big grin of his own spreading over his face.



go se = Crap
wun gwo pee= smelled a fart
Fei-oo = junk
Ai-yah. Tyen-ah... =Merciless hell...
Cao! =F***!
Wuh de ma. = Mother of god.
sagwa = Idiot

(70 kilos of gold in today's market is worth about 1.5 million USD. Which seems a lot for a payroll, so maybe gold isn't worth as much in the future. Or maybe Blue Sun was lying about the money being payroll, and intended to use it for something else. Something Evil. Therefore, Avon and Jayne are Big Goddamn Heroes, for having forestalled the nefarious plan. I did always promise Avon to make him rich and heroic in some story. I guess this is the one.)

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