Categories > TV > Firefly

Paradoxical Reaction

by HopefulNebula 1 review

Creating a world without sin can be tricky. You have to go at it sideways.

Category: Firefly - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama,Sci-fi - Characters: Book - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2008-11-12 - Updated: 2008-11-12 - 804 words - Complete

I don't own Firefly or its world and wouldn't dream of profiting from it.
Notes: I owe this fic to three things. The first is the work of my beta, LiveJournal user "theneis", without which I'd still be dithering about, wondering if I should post this. (Any mistakes you find in this are mine, not hers.) The second is Lawrence Watt-Evans's essay "The Heirs of Sawney Beane," which you can read in Finding Serenity/. The third is a rant somebody (I totally forget who) posted shortly after the release of /Serenity about the giant gaping holes the movie left open.


As the parliamentarians watched the capture, the special operative stood aside and watched them. There was disgust and fear on their faces, and he could see the light from the projector reflected in more than one set of eyes. Just what he needed.

The holographic recording drew to its end, and the operative froze it at the woman’s last moments. The poor, doomed scientist seemed to be looking out at the Parliament, begging for someone to help her.

The operative stood in front of her, his dark skin haloed against the brightness of the hologram. After a moment, he began to speak.

As he spoke, the members of the Parliament leaned forward in their seats, almost in unison. The operative felt like a fisherman in a pond full of men, or a snake charmer on New Bhārat. He was the flute player of Hamelin, ready to lead the leaders with nothing more than words. When he spoke, they were already lost. If the Parliament had allowed the public into the Grand Chamber, those visitors might have thought that the operative had summoned the Parliament to listen to him instead of the other way around. They wouldn’t have been entirely wrong.

“You are extremely fortunate,” he told them. “You are fortunate that this Dr. Caron was overcome before she could transmit this on any of the interplanetary frequencies. You are fortunate that by the time the Mirandan people discovered what you did to their air supply—and they did find out, I’m certain of that—they didn’t care enough to do anything about it. You are fortunate to have had the foresight to send an operative along on the second reconnaissance mission, even though you obviously could have made use of one a good deal sooner than that. And,” he continued, relishing his audience's rapt silence, “you are most fortunate of all that there are survivors.”

Here he paused, taking a long swallow from the water glass he'd brought in and thoroughly enjoying the reactions he saw. He only finished his drink when the whispers started, and was pleased to hear them stop as soon as he’d set it down.

“I suppose they aren't technically survivors anymore, nor are they truly men. You've seen what they are capable of doing. We do not want to make these… creatures our enemies. However, they can become our allies if we prove ourselves capable of controlling them.

“Before they succumbed, the Mirandan doctors noted that the settlers not complaining of lethargy were the ones with more violent tendencies. From the scans we made, I can attest to the violent histories of at least the band that accosted us. I can also confirm that they still have the intelligence to figure out how to make our technology work. If we leave them alone, they won't stay on that planet.

“So I propose we let them spread. We can keep them near Miranda while agents start rumors about bands of wild men in the sector. The people who investigate the rumors and have the good sense to run will take care of the rest.

“If their population doesn't sustain itself—which I doubt it will—we can begin introducing the G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate into the air filtration systems of many of your penal colonies.

“You've seen what fear did to this woman,” he continued, gesturing behind him. “Her profile indicates no predilection toward erratic behavior. And yet she attempted suicide rather than face these creatures. We can use that fear. We can harness it. If we control these things you have created, we can control the people who fear them. They will keep the people away from Miranda far more effectively than governmental injunctions could ever hope to, and given how cataclysmic it would be for the truth to get out, that can hardly work out badly for you.

“The full details of the plan are in today's folder, filename 25050330-OP23-MIRA. Please examine it closely before voting begins.”

And without another word, the man who would later become Derrial Book turned off the holographic projector and left through the side door of the Grand Chamber, confident in the outcome of the vote.
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