BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 2
Monday, October 2, 2006

Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I". The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 2: Serenity's former passenger, Alex, fights for her life - and makes a decision she hoped to avoid.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1519    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimers: Everything belongs to Joss, except for one character of my creation ----------------------------- **Mousing over the Chinese should reveal the English translations on most browsers. If not, translations follow the story. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When she first opened her eyes, Alexandra Morgan didn’t know where she was. Then the smell of smoke brought reality rushing back. She lifted herself up on one elbow, and pain ripped through her hard enough to make the world gray out again. With the room spinning around her, she willed herself onto her hands and knees. The motion of doing so caused a wave of nausea to hit her. She hung her head and vomited on the floor between her hands. Wiping her mouth, she tried to rise again. This time, she managed to lift herself up on one knee, holding onto the leg of the chair beside her for support. She was alone in the room now, the room that was quickly filling with smoke. The men were all gone. The fire had been her unlikely ally, causing her attackers to flee when it neared. But now it would be her undoing if she didn’t get to her feet and get out of there in one big hurry. Her pants were around her ankles, and Alex fumbled with shaking hands to pull them up and close them, before realizing the button was gone and the zipper was torn beyond repair. She buckled her belt, hoping it would keep them up. How many of them had there been? She didn’t even know. A bunch of them, that was for sure. She had fought them at first, and fought them hard. Her torn fingernails and bloodied hands were the souvenirs of that battle. But after awhile, they had hit her about the head and face so many times she began blacking out. At that point the fight was over, and they had won, having their way with her. They had stabbed her first—stabbed her with her own prison-issue knife. The blade that was still in her was her souvenir of that. When they’d cornered her and she had begun to fight them, one of them had grabbed her knife and gone for her abdomen. She had instinctively turned, which had saved her life—but the knife had gone into her hip instead, and lodged there. The pain had dropped her in her tracks, which had allowed them to swarm over her and get the upper hand. Now, she looked down at the handle of the knife protruding from her right hip, and the nausea rolled over her again. She gagged and retched, but nothing came out. She held onto the chair leg until the world stopped spinning. Then she willed herself to her feet. The smoke in the room was getting thicker, and she could hear the crackle of the flames closing in. She covered her mouth and nose with her sleeve and looked around. The window was only a few feet from her, but it was barred. If they hadn’t taken her keys... She fumbled through her pockets, and, miraculously, there they were. She yanked out the ring, unable to believe her fortune. It was the first piece of good luck she’d had all day. The second piece of good luck was that her jacket, gloves and duffle bag with her personal effects were still scattered about the room. The gang that attacked her was apparently not interested in robbery. She threw her jacket and gloves on, grabbed her bag, and hobbled to the window. The key to open the bars was on her ring. There was an electronic code that would normally have opened them, but the key existed as a backup. Now, with the power out, it was the only option. She quickly unlocked the bars, swung them open, then grabbed the chair she had pulled herself up on. She swung, it once, twice, three times before the thick glass began to crack. A couple more swings and the chair itself broke. She cursed under her breath and used the seat of the chair like a battering ram, hitting the window again and again until the glass finally exploded outward. Smoke rolled out ahead of her, and Alex climbed out through it to the ground below. The snow was deep, almost a foot, and the going would have been difficult for anyone, let alone someone with a knife in her hip. The pain, now that she was up and moving, was strangely less than she had expected; her leg was mostly numb and weak. She grabbed the hilt of the knife once, thinking she might be able to pull it out. One good tug told her that was not going to happen. She spent the next minute or so after leaning against the building and dry-heaving again, waiting for the pain to subside. She moved slowly along the rear of the building, seeing no one. She could hear the crackle of the fire, and hear far-away shouts, but the area of the prison where she came out was deserted. The infirmary was at the very rear of the property, and beyond it was heavily wooded land, stretching for miles. Between the prison property and the woods was a very tall, very deadly electric fence. At the top of the fence, in case the voltage didn’t kill anyone foolish enough to try to climb it, was a large roll of razor wire. Alex got far enough away from the building that she was out of the smoke still rolling from the open window, then stopped to assess her options.

-----------------

Kuang zhe de . Captain Reynolds had said that about her decision to work on the prison moon. On the trip to Zargon, aboard his ship Serenity, he had said it was a crazy thing to do. In the same breath, he had expressed admiration as she told him her reason for doing it. She needed to make money to help take care of her family; her aging mother and a special needs brother who needed more care than they could give him at home. She and the captain agreed that nothing in the ‘verse should stop someone from doing what they had to do to take care of their family. And what she had to do was make as much money as she could as quickly as possible. The prison offer was one she simply couldn’t refuse. She had serious misgivings about it, though she kept them to herself. She didn’t tell her mama where she was headed, knowing she’d worry herself silly. She simply told her she’d taken a nursing position off-world where she would make far more money than she could hope to make at home. Her mama accepted her decision because she didn’t have much choice; the family needed the income badly. So she had found a ship and a crew willing to transport her, and had made the leap. She had been at the prison just over a month when things started to go south. Once it started, it got bad fast. Eventually, she broke down and ‘waved home—because she really needed to talk to her mama at such a time. Predictably, Mama wanted her to come home right now. And, as bad as things were, she would gladly have done just that; except, on a prison moon far out in the ‘verse, it wasn’t that easy. She had to wait for a transport ship, and they only came once a month to deliver supplies. One month, she told Mama. Just one month and she would come home. She could stick it out that long. She gave her notice to her employers, far sooner than she had ever expected, and settled in to work out that last month. But then the worst had happened—the prison break, and the riots. Then the fires had started. Zargon had seen escape attempts and riots before, but nothing on the scale of what was happening now. This was complete anarchy. As the situation worsened, the staff, realizing they were overwhelmed and outnumbered, began to retreat. There was an underground bunker on the grounds that existed for just such an occasion as this. It had never been used before, not once in the prison’s long history. Now the staff was fleeing to it in droves. Every staff member, from administration down to the lowliest service position, was given a code number upon being hired, that would allow access to the bunker if, God forbid, the worst happened. Alex, like everyone else, went to the bunker and input her entry code. Except hers did not work. Neither did the codes of a handful of other staff. As it turned out, all had one thing in common; they had recently given notice to leave the prison on the next transport out. Apparently, the administration felt once they were no longer committed to employment there they were no longer worth protecting in case of emergency. So Alex stood on the outside of the bunker, realizing if she wanted to survive she would have to play the card she had hoped not to have to play. She opened her wallet and searched for the little scrap of paper on which was written her salvation. On her last night aboard Serenity, Captain Reynolds made her promise to send a ‘wave if anything happened at the prison that she could not handle. She did not want to send that ‘wave. She did not want to rely on him to rescue her. She did not want the complications that would bring. Up to now, she could handle it. She knew if she could wait out the transport and get home, things would work out. She could get her life on track, figure out what to do. But, looking around the prison, burning and in chaos, listening to shouts and screams and gunshots, she knew she had run out of options. The only one she had left was a series of numbers on a little scrap of paper in her wallet. She pulled it out, took out her portable Cortex terminal, and began to input the digits. Then, as if being locked out of the bunker wasn’t enough, came her second bit of bad luck. The terminal was dead. Alex threw the cheap piece of gou shi into the snow and looked around, panic mounting. The only other terminal she was familiar with was the communication room in the infirmary. To get to it, she would have to go back into the riot and take her chances on even making it there. She sized up her defenses. She carried a prison-issue shock rod, effective at stopping attackers if they were within striking range, a knife in her belt, and a pistol strapped across her flank, over her bulletproof vest and under her medical uniform top. The pistol contained six bullets. If she could get through with six bullets, a shock rod and a knife, she would be in. Anything more than she could handle with that, and her options got considerably more limited. Creeping along the edges of the buildings, moving as quickly and quietly as she could, she passed the two cellblocks and the administration building that stood between the bunker entrance and the infirmary. She knew the administration building would have the best communication facilities on the grounds, but she had no idea what she would have to do to gain entry or locate them. The infirmary she knew like the back of her hand. Amazingly, she reached it unmolested—the rioting prisoners apparently had more to think about than one small skulking nurse trying to save her ass. She entered the infirmary by the side door. It was quiet inside, and appeared to be empty, or nearly so. The activity at this point was mainly outside. She made her way to the communication room and let herself in. She went to the main console, pulled the paper from her pocket, and input the series of numbers she hoped would bring the help she needed to get her out of there. “Please, God,” she murmured as she hit the “Send” key. Then the power went out—her third bit of bad luck for the day. Alex sat, stunned, staring at the black screen in front of her. Everything around her went dark, and got very, very quiet. “No!” she moaned. “No, no, no, no, no!” She pounded the board, feeling desperation taking hold where hope had previously been. She closed her eyes, feeling lightheaded. The crash of the outside door opening brought her back in a hurry. She leaped up, drawing her knife and her rod. She could hear loud voices in the corridor, but by the time she went for cover under the console they had spotted her, and were on her like a pack of dogs. She was one small woman and they were many large men, fueled by the mob mentality of the riot and the first taste of freedom they’d had in a long while. She didn’t stand a chance.

-----------------

So now she stood along the back property of the prison, assessing her options, which were essentially two; get killed in the riots and fires inside, or get electrocuted trying to get over the fence that stood between her and the woods. Both choices seemed to add up to dead. Alex looked down the fence line, which stretched as far as she could see in either direction. Then she looked up, at the roll of razor wire along the top. Silhouetted against the sky, she could see the light glinting off the wire—and she could see something else. Torn pieces of fabric, some of them bloody, flapped in the wind at various spots along the wire. Alex gazed at them dispassionately, her mind busy trying to find a solution to her increasingly desperate situation. Then it hit her. There was fabric on the razor wire. That meant people had gone over the fence. That meant the fence was not live. Heart beating just a little faster, she moved a step closer. Did she dare believe that was so? She instinctively reached a hand out, then, just as automatically, drew it back. Then she saw, far down the fencerow, a man climbing. She watched him as he went up, wincing for him as he mounted the large roll of wire at the top, and dropped over the other side. The power outage must have knocked out the fence as well as the power to the infirmary, and who knew what else? Now her options looked a little better, although only slightly. Die for certain inside the prison; or shred herself getting over the fence and take her chances in the woods until rescue ships came. It took her only a split second to decide. She had family to take care of. When you had family to take care of, you did what you had to do. She started climbing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: Kuang zhe de = Crazy gou shi = crap ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 3.

Back to Chapter 1.

COMMENTS

Monday, October 2, 2006 12:36 PM

AMDOBELL


Wow, I can't believe Alex's run of bad luck. Please don't turn the power back on before the poor girl climbs over the fence! I hope Mal and Co get there soon, this is one time when swallowing her pride is definitely the right thing to do. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, October 2, 2006 2:30 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Wow...Alex is one tough bitch! And I mean that in the nicest of ways! Cuz she just broke out of a riot filled prison infirmary and started climbing a razorwire-tipped fence...with a combat knife lodged in her hipbone?!? Damn...she's the right kind of crazy for deal ole Mal;)

Can't wait for the BDHs to live up the name and charge to the rescue:D

BEB


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