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"I need a potato."
"What?" Jayne is clearly and unsurpsingly confused.
"Twelve colors of protein in the kitchen, three of which can be combined to emulate the taste and consistency of a potato, but will not work to build your stepper device. However, sufficient spare parts exist in the engine bay to provide the rest of the build. Ask the Doctor. I'll tell Kaylee what you need."
The Serenity kisses the cheese gently, and once it's down, she glances at me and smiles. "You're welcome."
"Doctor, you heard the girl." I hold out my hand. "Potato."
"What? I don't just keep potatoes on hand just for any old situation. I'm not one of Jackie Tyler's boyfriends."
"Then would you go get one from your stores please?"
"Thank you." I closed my hand and let it drop to my side.
Kaylee and River returned before the Doctor, and drop a box at my feet which contains more than enough parts for one, and at first glance, I suspect two or three. All three of us sprawl on the floor of the cramped cockpit, effectively stealing it from Mal and the rest of the crew.
River recited the schematics as we built them, keeping up a steady patter until the Doctor returned with a bushel in a brown bag. We each snagged one, popped in it the box, and sealed it shut.
"Now what," asks Kaylee, looking dubiously at the device.
"I think we should do this outside," I start, and River nods in agreement. "And one at a time. No telling where we'll come out."
Everybody parades down to the airlock.
I step out first, trying to breathe normally. The ground looks soft but is actually quite firm under my feet. I stretch for a few moments, then toggle my switch East.
In a moment I'm back, stepping so suddenly I feel the sickness rip into me twice at the same time. I wave Simon off when he starts to come to my side and help me from where I've crouched, heaving. Once I've caught my breath, I explain, "Not that way. The Nether. Hell. Fire and lava and so much pain. Go west."
Before they can dither between whose turn it is, Kaylee hits her switch. She's gone for several minutes, but just as I'm starting to fear for the worst, River grabs my hand and pulls me sharply to one side. In the next instant, Kaylee appears in the space I've just vacated, and she's holding an apple. She heaves too, for a moment, but half as violently.
She tosses me the apple, and I pull out a pocket knife, slicing off a bite, and popping it into my mouth. "No grizwald, but delicious. It's safe. Come on through."
I toss the apple to Zoe, blade stuck into it deeply and safely, and hit the switch.
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