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Fic: Wild (PG13, Dune/Firefly)

Title: Wild
Rating: PG13
Fandom: Dune/Firefly
Word count: About four hundred words.
Thanks to: tigerbright and cesy.

Posted here for archival purposes. Official post here.


"You can't have her." It was a good phrase. Short and to the point. Mal was proud of it. It'd have had more weight if he'd been standing and not bleeding out quite so much while saying it, but you couldn't have everything.

The gao yang jong duh goo yang just smiled at him, carefully cleaning his blood from her fingers. "You understand of course that the spice we contracted you to smuggle here was in fact a ruse to have you bring her to us, but you will still receive full payment for it."

Mal cursed, tried to stand, and fell against the alley wall. "Since when do you Bene Gesserit witches work with those Alliance bastards?"

"We don't. River was created as a weapon against us. Those who turned her into what she is wanted someone with our abilities but under their control. Trapped by the polarities of their world-view, they didn't realize how self-contradictory was this goal. We understand her, and we will take care of her."

"You don't want me." The voice came from a shadow that Mal would've sworn was empty a second ago. River walked into the moon-lighted alley, alternately looking at Mal, the witch, and the moons. She was carrying a small axe.

The Bene Gesserit grinned like the shit-selling bastard she was. "And what do we want, River Tam?"

"You want to play with my son on the sand." River rubbed her flat stomach. "Tame the worm and dam the waters."

Mal coughed a laugh from the ground. "Great."

River looked at Mal with fondness. "Not yet," she said. Then she turned toward the Bene Gesserit. "He says your music is boring."

River adjusted her grip on the axe. The Bene Gesserit seemed to produce a knife from thin air.

Mal lost consciousness right then.

Hours later he found himself slowly recovering in Serenity's infirmary, surrounded by, well, everybody. Maybe they had a betting pool about whether he'd pull off or not.

"River saved your life, Captain. Again." Simon sounded faintly surprised. "I cannot fathom why she feels the need."

"Silly brother," she said, popping her head from behind him. "He will be a good father."

.finis.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
tigerbright
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
I still want to rec this, but there's one small typo in the "thanks to" line... *g*
__marcelo
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Oops. Sorry! Fixed now.
outlawpoet
Jun. 19th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I've probably read this ten times since you posted it yesterday. I want to love it, but an internal consistency sensor is going off in my head, and I can't figure out what to do about it.

I mean, the Bene Gesserit are mad, mostly evil conspirators, it's true. But their training and purpose is uniform, and extremely hierarchical. So, unlike the Alliance, which is diffuse and communicates poorly, if the Bene Gesserit decided you needed to die(and acolytes and soldiers who work for them don't make decisions like that themselves) you would never be safe again. They're not going to leave it up to one knife-fight on one planet and then forget about you until you mess up again.

I thought about making the enemy a Tleilaxu, whom at least are prone to independent action, and have a carefully shepherded reputation for double dealings. But in some ways that's even worse. The one thing that's constant in the Dune books is that the Tleilaxu have physical power. They're even capable of nearly killing the God-Emperor. Every faction is repulsed(as they are meant to be) and afraid of them, at least in the short term. You can't win against them physically(at least without a universal jihad with unstoppable forces a'la Muad'dib, although it's not clear that Bene Tleilax resisted his campaign).

Even in Heretics of Dune, when the Mother Superior goes to meet Waff, Master of Masters, it's clear that despite her entourage(presumably the pinnacle of Bene Gesserit breeding/training, and full of Reverend Mothers), and the hovering presence of Miles Teg and his legions, if she can't outwit Waff, and keep him from making the secret sign, his Face Dancers will kill them all.

The easy way is to make it a minor or diffuse power, like a CHOAM businessman, or one of the many Houses Major and Minor in the background of Dune. But that's boring.

You need to make it someone cruel and stupid enough to do things this way, and you really only have two choices, a the Sardukar of House Corrino and House Harkonnen.
__marcelo
Jun. 19th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, you are right. This might pass if it was convenient for the BG to River to be where she was before, this was their first move to retrieve her, River was supposed to be elsewhere, and this is the beginning of a very bad shitstorm for the Serenity crew.
razorsmile
Dec. 10th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
Not sure how I missed this either. Curse you, nursing school!!!!
if the Bene Gesserit decided you needed to die(and acolytes and soldiers who work for them don't make decisions like that themselves) you would never be safe again. They're not going to leave it up to one knife-fight on one planet and then forget about you until you mess up again.

Good point. I'm fanwanking it as one of two possibilities:

a) the BG in this 'verse are not canon!Bene Gesserit. They are Firefly!Bene Gesserit, more of an upgrading of the Companions Guild than a downgrading of the originals.

b)(regarding bolded bit) what makes you think it's over? :D This could be them sacrificing some junior acolyte to test out River's combat abilities. The next move will be far more subtle, a series of jobs designed to shape the formation of her intellect just so, contracted at eight removes, well out of mind-reading range.

In other words, what __marcelo said.
outlawpoet
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Not sure how I missed this either. Curse you, nursing school!!!!
I like the idea of the Companions Guild getting upgraded, both for the weird cross-culture it would have to be, and for actually giving the Companions a sneaky purpose other than 'titillate Joss Whedon and his issues'.

I'm definitely down with this being the very first gambit in a very long year for the crew, though. That could be awesome.
razorsmile
Dec. 11th, 2009 04:13 am (UTC)
Can't believe I just thought of this. Can't believe I'm <i>still</i> thinking about this.
Just thought of a faction you did not mention that seems ridiculously obvious in retrospect: the Honoured Matres. Vicious, physically hyper-lethal and just belligerently lunkheaded enough to actually be as unsubtle as the antagonist of this story appears to be.
__marcelo
Dec. 11th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Can&#39;t believe I just thought of this. Can&#39;t believe I&#39;m &lt;i&gt;still&lt;/i&gt; thi
You're right, that fits very well.
outlawpoet
Dec. 11th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Can't believe I just thought of this. Can't believe I'm <i>still</i> thinking about this.
good point. And post-Chapterhouse, when Murbella becomes Great Honored Matre and Mother Superior, there are breakaways from both groups. So a splinter Honored Matre organization would be both violent and mean, without the inconvenient invincible armies they had when they first showed up.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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