Browncoat Rising [4]
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Browncoat rising gets under way. The fleet splits in two; half around Ariel and the other half goes to Osiris. Warning for dark ending [for now].



Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding... Bless with a hard heart those who surround me. Bless the women and children who firm our hands. Put our backs to the north wind. Hold fast by the river. Broadsword – Jethro Tull [Yes, I'm using these lyrics again!] [If he was still on this plane of existance, Todd Lawless would be played by Kevin 'Ares' Smith]

“What are you playing at, sir? I thought we'd said 'no thanks'.” Mal looked at Zoe, “Yes, we did. And then the 'verse forced my hand; *everyone's hand. Thirteen Alliance ships at our backs persuading us otherwise. Do you know how far we'd have got if I'd still declined?” Zoe looked back at Mal, unflinchingly, “Not far, I'm thinking. But if one hair gets hurt on Sarah's head...” “I know. You'll take me apart with your bare hands. I promise to do my best to protect *everyone on board, especially the children. But this is no longer the fight of the little guys against the faceless corporation, it's an uprising. The tsunami has caught us and the best we can do is learn to surf gorram fast. We've got some high up, well connected folk around us.” Vera nodded, “Ping Han and his Sensei.” “The male Companions and Chow Hu from Aberdeen.” “My sisters from Sihnon.” Hori added, “And Lieutenant Commander Todd's pretty high up; he's career military, but he's decent. Plus he's part Polynesian, so I reckon he'll see us right, eh!” * River nodded, “We're on the side of the 'verse; the side it wants to go with.” Mal commented, “You said that before.” “It's true. Everything in your life has been leading to this. All the pieces are on the board. You have your queen, your knights, your bishops, your pawns and this castle.” She patted Serenity's console. “Seem to remember there were old stories from Earth-that-was about playing chess with Death. Didn't turn out so good.” “No, you're playing with Life. Life in all its fullness. The 'verse is going to turn inside out and the pieces will be scattered abroad, but they will find home in the end.” “And we'll live?” “Can't see that; I just see pieces scattering to the winds and then settling on an old, but renewed board.” Mal blinked, trying to get a handle on the concepts, “Huh. Sometimes I wish I could see what you do, River.” She looked at him very fixedly, “You really want the sight? I could put the images I'm seeing into your mind.” Mal backed off, rapidly, “No, no – no thanks. I want to stay focussed on the here and now. No offence.” River smiled, “It's okay. Seeing is *my job. And being a perfectly honed weapon.” Jayne didn't even try to resist, “Darlin'; *I've got a real big one of them!” River met his gaxe unflinchingly, “Yes, I know. So has every man on this ship – in only slightly differing shapes, colours and sizes. Women have the corresponding...sheath.” Jayne's grin widened and he licked his lips deliberately. River continued, “Of course, if there are two sly men, they also have...” “*Enough!” Mal cut her off, “I think we *all know about human sexual behaviour, River! Everyone who's not flying this boat, off the bridge!” Jayne grumbled and pouted deliberately as he went, “My motor was runnin' so sweet, till she started talkin' 'bout sly guys!” Vera murmured, just loud enough for him to hear, “I can jump-start your motor if you like!” He breathed close to her ear, “For you, it gets super turbo charged.” She grinned at him, “Take you out on a nice long spin now, ahead of the likely battle later.” “Mebbe even several spins, if we have time.” * So, the rag-bag fleet set off, headed for Ariel. River was smiling as she flew Serenity with Mal; certain of her destiny in all of this. Zhang was practising Tai Chi in the hold and Hori was with him, sharing the space and also honing his Maori martial skills. Inara still had a supply of Companion poison. It was usually employed either to finish off a violent client or the Companion herself, if need be. This didn't happen very often, but the poison was part of the supply, in any case. Inara prepped the black mixture, then coated the tips of all her sharpened hair pins and arrows. Zoe was in the galley, still frowning and uneasy. She knew warfare wasn't glamorous and she'd seen it all before. But she still followed Mal; he'd kept her alive through everything so far and she was willing to trust him for herself and Sarah for the immediate future. Vera and Jayne's foreplay had consisted of prepping all their guns whilst she was in her undies, then having long, hot sex in his bunk surrounded by gleaming, fully loaded weaponry. Simon prepped overdoses of morphine and some shots of very strong analgesic as well, then checked all his supplies of antibiotics and bandages. Kaylee was just about managing to nurse Serenity's engine and the twins all at the same time. With the Alliance cruisers in front and protecting the rear, everyone flew through the black. * Some time later, Zoe came back to have another talk with Mal. River had gone off to see Zhang. Mal suspected not so secret kissing activities. Well, as long as Simon didn't see them doing it in public... Zoe pitched right in, “So, what's the plan, sir?” “I was about to call Lieutenant Commander Todd Lawless and find out.” “Still not happy.” “Neither am I, not completely; but I really don't think there's any escaping this.” “There'll be blood.” “More 'n likely.” “Might not get out alive this time.” Mal nodded, “I'm powerful aware of that, in spite of my promises to do my best to keep you safe. And in spite of the major Alliance muscle carrying us along.” “If it comes to a choice between the two of us, save Sarah.” “She's not nearly as handy as you with a gun yet, and I was counting on saving *all the crew if gorram possible.” Zoe nodded, “I'd like to hear what he says.” “Your imput on this would be appreciated,” Mal flipped open the com, “Calling Todd Lawless of the Alliance cruiser Excalibur?” Todd came through immediately, “Hearing you loud and clear, Malcolm Reynolds.” * “Just wondering if we could come up with something a bit more solid in the way of a plan that went past riding up to the Alliance headquarters on Ariel and asking them nicely to surrender.” Todd's face was visible this time. As Hori had said, the man was clearly part Polynesian, with tanned skin, brown eyes and jet black hair. He smiled broadly at Mal, “Well, getting to the system will take a few days. I was planning to refuel everyone outside scanner range, then submit an electronic version of the petition to the Alliance and all the main 'verse media. We can follow that up with any evidence we've collected and an idea of our numbers, just to push home the point. Commander Grayson is working with us on Ariel and his people are planning something that's going to look like a coup. So, hopefully, the powers that be will literally be at gunpoint.” “They ain't going to like that.” “I know; that's why the move along with that is to take shielded craft and go surround the planet, covering the air-space for anyone attempting a cut and run.” “So, we *are going to fight. And, you can shield craft from scanners?” “If we have to, Malcolm Reynolds; if we have to. And yes, we can give the craft here protection; we have the operational codes that will block scanning attempts from the planet. If things on Ariel have gone moderately well, we can think about splitting the fleet in about half and tackling Osiris; it's not that far away.” “So,” Zoe commented, “He *does have a plan.” “And not a go se plan, either, if it comes off even half-arsed right.” * River drifted down into the cargo bay. There was Hori, with his Maori spear, going through one of the advanced patterns. Over on the other side, Zhang was getting out his Tai Chi sword. It was the light, blunt, practice blade, though she was aware of sharpened swords in his kit. Zhang looked up at her and smiled, “Fancy joining in?” River nodded, picking up another, “Yes.” Hori stopped and watched entranced as River went through the sword moves with Zhang as though she'd been doing them since birth. It was like ballet, he thought. After the form was over, River put the practice blade away and picked up one of the sharpened ones in its sheath. Zhang held her arm gently, “That's a live blade, River.” She smiled at him, “I know. Do you trust me enough to do the two man version with sharpened swords?” “But you've never seen it, princess.” River took several paces back, “I don't need to have seen it. I can read it in your mind.” She began the form effortlessly, on her own. Zhang blinked for a moment, then joined in. Hori leaned on his spear and watched the show, with both Zhang and River speeding up until they were whirling the blades in complex and deadly formation. Even so, the touches and blocks were soft; they were pulling their strokes so as not to strike too many sparks off the metal. At the end, River stood there, painted with sweat, grinning and breasts heaving. Zhang put down his sword, came to River and dipped her into a long and sensual clinch. Hori quietly tiptoed away. He realised his previous 'job' of helping River heal had been taken over by someone else. * So, eventually, all the ships plus a good number of others who'd joined along the way were waiting just outside the Ariel system. After general refuelling and sharing of tactics, the message went out. As that happened, the fleet flew around Ariel. The 'verse paused on a knife-edge. Eventually, Commander Grayson's face flickered into life on the view screens aboard Serenity. “Everything has gone more or less according to plan. The government has agreed to step down. Not all of them are still alive, and some heads still need to be knocked together, but I believe we have control. Getting the main broadcasting and cortex access points is going to be next. The word has gone out to Osiris. Just could use you for clean up operations down here.” Mal had a brief conference with Todd, then got back to Grayson, “Could some of our force going to Osiris be helpful?” “Yes, but a significant contingent coming down here to give us a hand would be welcome. I'm already receiving 'illegal' transmissions from the blackout zones here and on Osiris that tell me a lot of the ne'er do wells are with us and willing to do guerilla type warfare.” “Might be an idea to encourage the Osiris folk to step up to the plate.” Mal could hear Grayson's smile, “Already told 'em. You want to stay here, Malcolm Reynolds, or go lend them some encouragement?” Mal grinned, “Always had a liking for those who misbehave. I'll take any other ships as are willing on over to Osiris.” He cut the exterior com after making the wider anouncement, then called up Simon, “We're going on to Osiris. Yours and River's local knowledge might be helpful.” * It was dark in the blackout zone. Not just because it was night, but the street lights worked off an illegal tap into the main power grids and so could be temperamental. Mal knew that about half the Browncoat fleet had followed him and most of the people were now planetside in a variety of locations. Mal and crew were here to pick up all the willing hands and guns in this particular blackout zone. They'd left Serenity parked in a disused, gutted train station, with Kaylee and twins on board. Zoe had insisted on coming on the job and Sarah was strapped to her back, protected by a Kevlar reinforced carrying pack. A figure dressed in dark clothes beckoned them, “Malcolm Reynolds?” He sounded very like Badger. He gave a curt nod and they followed. They entered one of many ageing warehouses. Inside were a rough looking crowd, wearing sweat tops, combat trousers and boots from several of the armed forces dating back to twenty years' old. Most of the garments had been patched, but they were serviceable. Someone had lit a brazier in the middle of the space to provide a little heat and some light. Mal stepped forward, “We're near some of the government buildings, right?” The man who'd hailed them nodded, “'Bout half an hour's walk; it's as close as *they let us come. Name's Turner.” “Have you got plans?” Turner carried on, “Not as such; but we've got a basic mule that's going to be acting as air attack to cover us while we get in either here at the rear, or if we're really lucky, here at the front.” “And the people inside?” “Big poncy poofs? Fast asleep on caviar and plonk!” Jayne grinned, “Piece of cake!” * The streets to the government building were covered pretty quickly. The mule did its work and they stormed inside, with a few left guarding the exits. Jayne was with Vera, somewhere at the top of the building in a huge glass atrium when there was a deafening explosion. The glass came in and they both fell flat on the floor, covering their heads. “Ta mah duh! What was that?!” Vera sniffed, “Oil...petrol? Could be a generator, maybe?” They crawled very carefully towards one window. Sure enough, there was a major conflagration down below, licking its way up the building. That was as much as they could see before they had to start backing off towards the other windows opposite. “Which hwoon dahn did that?” Jayne shrugged, “Don't know; we killed everyone we found on our way up here.” Vera looked down to the street on the other side, “Holy crap! Another fire, coming at speed!” They backed off to the middle of the room. The atrium was practically dismantled by now and the smoke and flames were coming closer. Vera looked up, “The stairs leading up went with the first blast; they were made of glass.” “If we jump from this height, we'll burn or die.” Vera checked the doorway they'd come in by, “Smoke this way!” she said, coughing and quickly shutting the door. Jayne sat back to back with her and held her hand, “Keep lookin' for an escape until the last moment.” Vera squeezed his hand in return, “I am.” The heat got intense, the floor started buckling. The pain was almost excruciating from the heat and flames coming closer. “Mi mei gui.” “Darling wan nao.” Jayne drifted into semiconsciousness. The last thing he was aware of was the feel of Vera's hand in his and then everything went black. Vera thought she saw a figure coming towards her, down a long white tunnel. As it lifted both of them, her own world went black.


Thursday, November 2, 2006 11:53 AM


NO! You can't pull that fei hua now! That's just....well, I can't think of a word right now cuz any possible choices are obscene or understated:(

Still...I wanna see what happens please post so;)


Friday, November 3, 2006 6:20 AM


Part five's up now!

Currently tidying up and polishing part six.



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