Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:16 pm


In the week since they had left Zenith Poppy hadn’t slept, not properly, every time she closed her eyes she saw Reavers coming through the windows. Even when exhaustion set in and she fell asleep it wasn’t long before she woke up screaming as she was certain she could see and feel the reavers grabbing at her. She’d had experiences that had given her nightmares before, but nothing like this.

As she sat in her bunk she wondered what to do, maybe the good doctor had something that would help her sleep? She smiled slightly remembering McNally’s ramblings on the operating table, he had called the doc Button, it was kind of cute. Though the gruff pilots rambling had given her a new appreciation of the man, he had seemed like a lost little boy, maybe he wasn’t as gruff as he made out to be, he may not be the nicest of people, but she had a new found respect for him.

She got up from her bunk – leaving her room for pretty much the first time in days, there were bits of computer and various cortexing equipment laid about she had been trying to concentrate on, which was difficult when you hadn’t slept, and she had finally given up several hours ago. She went to Burton’s bunk – it was late and she figured he was sleeping, she was going to knock but she didn’t want to wake anyone else up, so she put pushed the door open and stuck her head in. “Button?” She said softly.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Re: Insomnia

Click. Another round ejected from the chamber and dropped to the floor. Burton sat on his bed, pistol in hand. He was glad to be back in space after what had happened on Zenith.
He missed Oz, they'd had their differences but they'd also gotten on well together.

What had shocked him in the morning had been Lock's gleeful suggestion that they try to claim the reward on Oz. Those two had never gotten on, him having been Alliance and Oz a Brown Coat, but still. Wasn't he supposed to preach forgiveness and love your enemies? Burton decided that he'd never mention that unless he was armed with a strong sedative and Lock unarmed. That would be the day when Lock wasn't within arms reach of a weapon.
The rational part of his mind knew it was a good idea though to claim the reward, they could do with the money and also it may alleviate any suspicion that may have been pointed their way.

He thought of Corbon and was glad that she had not had to deal with Oz in the end. She'd had a bad enough weekend without having to have experienced that.
In the war he'd done his fair share of killing. He'd also helped ease peoples passing into the next life, be they friend, stranger or the odd enemy, that wasn't what bothered him. Mercy killings had always been quiet though, an overdose of morphine or some other painkiller to ease the pain. He never had to use a bullet!
He pulled back his arm to throw the gun, half way through the move his military training kicked in. Your weapon is your friend. Keep it close and well looked after and it will keep you safe.
"I hate you!" He shouted overriding the instinct and hurling the gun across the room, then throwing him self back onto the bunk and started to cry.

He heard his door slide open and Poppy stuck her head in
"Button?" She called quietly.
With a sniff Burton quickly wiped his eyes and sat up.
"Yes?" He said sitting up and pushing his feelings aside. In the past he'd been referred to as cold and without any bedside manner.
A battlefield, he'd learnt is no place for emotions, and when you see rows upon rows of mangled dead you need to be able to push that part of you away and get the job done, but here in his room he could let them out. He was annoyed with Poppys intrusion and just wanted to go back to crying, but he was needed. "Oh it's you Poppy, come in." He offered trying to sound cheerful.
Poppy looked down at the gun lying at her feet. "I was wondering if you had anything that could help me sleep?" she asked not wanting to get too close to it. She'd seen enough guns and blood to last a lifetime.
"Lets go see." He said gesturing for her to lead on. As he passed the gun he gave it a good kick, sending it sliding across the floor and disappearing under his bed.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Re: Insomnia

She turned to look at him as he kicked the gun under his bed, she wanted to comfort him, she also wanted away from the gun.

She walked with Burton in silence to the infirmary, then as he looked for something to help her sleep she rubbed his arm softly. Oz had always been the one she had talked with about everything and nothing, though there were certain things she couldn't even tell him. She missed him, and what was worse, they'd had to see his cold corpse walking and groaning. "Do you want to talk about it?" She asked softly.

She still couldn't believe they had survived the first reaver attack, when they were certain death was coming for them, only for Oz to die to bloody exploding reavers surrounded by armed comrades. It didn't make sense and it wasn't fair. She trailed her hand softly down Burton's arm and took his hand squeezing it lightly as she looked up at him, she wanted to be able to help him.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Re: Insomnia

There was movement below and he cocked an ear to listen before nodding, Burton taking Poppy to the infirmary. Someone else couldn't sleep. They wouldn't come to the cockpit so the Preacher continued to watch the star field out of the forward view ports. His muscles still ached from the work out and his knuckles pained from the punch bag but he had to work through the emotions. Now drained he stood before the stars and felt the quietness of the room flow over and through him.

They still called him 'The Preacher' but he tried not to preach from any pulpit, his skin and soul was far too steeped in the sin of blood to tell others not to kill but should he have taken on the burden of the child? No, he could have not done that again. His traitorous thumb rubbed against the ring that was no longer there and he remember that the Companion had offered him solitude but he had refused, not for purity but for Her memory.

"How can you be a man of God and still kill God's creatures without thought?" Naomi had asked, but God killed indiscriminately Lock was a merely a shepherd protecting his flock.

Oz had died without learning the truth about his blind faith, for that Lock envied him but could he forgive the man who had helped murder his family?

Maybe one day, Eleanor had never been one to hold a grudge she had always frowned whenever she'd found him doing so. "To err is human, to forgive divine." She had always said. If God forgave indiscriminately, could a mere Shepherd protecting his flock do otherwise?

Maybe one day, Aloyius Lock was never one to consider himself divine, but he did have to get to heaven, it was his mission. He closed his eyes slowly in the dark quiet of the Roisin's cockpit and visualised their faces one by one.

The Preacher smiled.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Re: Insomnia

"I'm fine." He lied, he had to be strong. They needed him to get them through this.
Her hand squeezing his gently was enough to break the dam, his professional manner and medical detachment crumbled and fled. He put both hands on the counter and started to sob.
"I wasn't fast enough." tears streamed down his face. "If I'd just worked faster I could have gotten him stable and moved away quicker, and he'd still be with us now." There, he'd said it out loud. He'd put voice to his regret.

OOC: Getting a little teary reading and writing this. :cry:

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Re: Insomnia

She was quiet a moment before speaking, still softly. "Will, there was no where to take him, you were surrounded by the injured and enemies, none of us expected the walking nightmares to explode. You did what you could, by the time..." She paused, the words stuck in her throat. "By the time, they were done, there was nothing, nothing you could do. He died protecting us, he was a good man, a great man... and, we'll never, never forget that." She said, her words seemed strange to her, she never called the doc by his first name, and she never admitted exactly how much she had trusted Oz, and how close they had become without realising it. "You did your job, and did right by your friend, even when....he... you up." Her voice cracked and the tears fell. She had been fairly stoic at the funeral and whenever he had been mentioned since, but with Burton baring all, the emotions just flooded out.

OOC: Awwww!

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Insomnia

Zenith was nothing more than a speck of dust in the black, surrounded by cold silence and hard vacuum, a place as close to pure, perfect Hell as McNally could ever contemplate... and they had made it out, mostly. All except Oz. The poor sonavabitch, wrong place, wrong time, McNally thought, shaking his head. That the reward was being claimed didn't sit well with him, but he let in pass, knowing that Oz was gone and, in the end, it didn't matter. It was money... just money. Jone yee were worth something still... dead or alive. He was just glad that the Alliance continued to ignore his existence a little longer.

He locked off the navigation computer, course marked and laid in, the Roisin ploughing through the black towards Sihnon, and he rose from the pilot's seat and made his way back. Plates were piled up to wash, his cooking continuing to please the crew even if the mess they made did fracture his calm a little. He would have to have words eventually, never liking to eat off of dirty plates.

He heard voices from the infirmary as he passed by, Poppy and Burton, and slipped past to the ladder to the quarter-deck. He made his way down slowly, his body still twinging from healing wounds and muscle fatigue. He hadn't fought that hard since being brought down over Serenity Valley and he had only just made it out of there by the skin of his teeth. He headed for his cabin, noting the sounds of tinkling glass from Corbon's quarters. The door was slightly open and he stood, staring at it for several seconds. He turned away, reaching his cabin-door, opened it... and stopped. He looked back feeling his throat tighten and tears threaten his eyes. He hated being right. He looked up and down the deck, listening for anyone else, before crossing back to Corbon's door and stepping through.

She was laid on her bunk, still dressed, pale and drawn, hugging an empty bottle... one from the bar on Sihnon. An alcoholic and a thief, he thought as she crouched by her head, stoking her hair tenderly. 'That din't take long,' he said softly, her eyes fluttering open.

'C-can't be r-right,' she stuttered, her eyes rolling and unfocused as she struggled to sit up. 'Y-you're wrong, 'Nally,' she slurred.

He nodded as tears started to trail across his cheeks. 'That may be,' he murmured, keeping his voice low. He sat beside her as she swayed.

'You don't know...' she said with a hard glower, prodding his chest. 'You can't!'

He nodded. 'When was the last time you ate?'

She frowned and shook her head. 'Zenith.'

'Figures,' he said and squeezed her shoulder. 'Trouble sleepin' too, uh?'

Her face fell slightly. 'Can't... sleep... I see them... comin'... they came... through the windows.'

'I know, I was there, remember,' he murmured as more tears fell. She just nodded and rested her head on his lap, still hugging the empty bottle. He stroked her hair gently and listened to her breathing. 'You can sleep now, though, bao bei. I'm here. I'll... take care of you... I promise.' She slipped into a fitful sleep as he gently stroked her hair and sang softly.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Insomnia

Jones had settled into a seat in the kitchen many hours ago. A cold coffee sat in his hand that he had yet to begin to drink. On the table sat his SA80, still cocked and ready to fire in a moments notice. He stared blanky at the air lock door, still as the dead. His mind was a fog, not able to piece together a thought, and every blink brought a flash of an image of the towns folk. A child, a mother, an old man, the defenceless served as toys to the true horror of the reavers and he had remained hidden. At the time he justified that he couldn't do anything for them but he knew he feared sharing their fate. The screaming still ran through his ears. That day had burned itself into his soul.

The silence of the black was shattered by a scream and he reacted before he thought, the kitchen table knocked over, riffle to his shoulder, safety off and sited on the crew quarters. The silence returned and his senses once again fogged over

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Insomnia

Tobias found difficulty sleeping, which was new. People had asked him, in a previous life, how he could sleep at night and the response was always the same. "like a baby, a cute serial killing baby". It wasn't so much the fear of the reavers that kept him up. More the realization that he could feel fear. It was comforting but at the same time put him out of his comfort zone. After what knowing how fear felt how would this change him? Would he be more hesitant to inflict that fear on others and thereby lose the one tool he possessed to help this new crew or would it merely give him more ideas and let the monster grow? Or worse yet, would it make no change and he go on being a pretend human forevermore?

Using his cane [it would not do to get too used to the painkillers] he made his way to the mess, hoping for a quite tea or close approximation thereof. Instead he found the soldier boy, Harrison, crouched behind a table with an assualt rifle. Pausing breifly to take in the scene, Tobias carried on as normal, picking up the upturned coffee mug with the end of his cane. Dirty. As he scanned the kitchen area he was dubious of finding clean pots that he did not wash himself. With a sigh he limped to the sink and began to run hot water into it.

"Im going to make myself a warm drink, you fancy one?" he called.

No answer. "I mean a drink, not a quicky, Sweetcheeks." Odd, that normally provoked some form of response. "It's the waiting really. When they are in your face you know what you need to do. Shoot them or yourself. But the that is something else. Even, no, especially when you can't hear them. One voice tells you they are gone, maybe in search of easier prey or maybe you finished them all off. The other is not quite so stupid. But the third voice. The one that says "what if", now that is the kicker. 1 sugar or 2? 2 ofcourse, everyone prefers sweet tea. [Tobias puts some what is labled sugar in 2 mugs then turns back to the washing up]. What if I stood here, or did this or said that. What if i stayed. What if we ran. Then comes the "why didn't i". All the same questions, of course just more self loathing. Looks like 1 lump or two applied to the milk as well. Oh well, black it is. [Tobias touches the back of his hand to the kettle then discovers it wasn't even turned on. Righting this he goes back to the pots] Now for me it was why didn't I make them pay. They came through the windows, they jumped out the grass, they grabbed me with their disgusting hands. I had every opportunity to knock one out. Drag it to a quiet room and make it learn Thomas'....Oz's name. Make it the last thing they ever learn. That and fear. I don't know about you, Sweetcheeks, but I intend to bring down the nine circles of hell of the reavers and the bastards that made them."

Tobias hung the dish cloth to one side and left the plates and such on the drying rack. Carrying the tea to Harrison he set one cup on a table close to the boy and then chose another the far side of the room for himself. Removing a pack of cards he began to set out the board for patience and sat in silence, idly wondering as he turned over the cards if his monologue made things worse or better and then smiled as he realised that he cared.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:19 pm

Re: Insomnia

Kid stirred briefly as she heard the piping gurgle. Took her brain a few seconds to place the sound as the normal functioning of the water pipes. Sounded like people were still having problems sleeping. She gave a mental shrug and slipped back into her dream. They'd work it out eventually.

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