Browncoat Rising [5]
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Hori attempts to rescue Jayne and Vera. Turner, Mal & co fighting and sorting out the mess in Osiris city. Hospital, afterwards. Not everyone makes it out of the melee alive, but there's some really good news. Time moves on and the new order of the 'verse is revealed. No sexing up in this part, but a slight warning if you're squeamish and/or posses a healthy visual imagination.


PART FIVE * Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes. * Do you hear the people sing Lost in the valley of the night? It is the music of a people Who are climbing to the light. * For the wretched of the earth There is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end And the sun will rise. * They will live again in freedom In the garden of the Lord. They will walk behind the plough-share, They will put away the sword. The chain will be broken And all men will have their reward. * Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me? Somewhere beyond the barricade Is there a world you long to see? Do you hear the people sing? Say, do you hear the distant drums? It is the future that they bring When tomorrow comes! * Les Miserables - Do you hear the people sing * [If you haven't seen 'Les Miserables'; please do yourself a favour and either see the live show or get a copy of the DVD] * Mal was still searching the first floor when the explosion happened. He grabbed Inara and ran in the opposite direction. In the confused melee outside, everyone apart from Jayne and Vera appeared to be accounted for. Then the second explosion happened and everyone went running pell-mell a second time. Hori was nearby, watching the conflagration, “Deliberate Alliance booby-trap. Vera and Jayne were heading to the top floor.” Mal nodded, “I know.” Hori squinted, “Think I can see them up in the atrium area.” He began to walk towards the blaze. “Don't be a fool, Hori. It's suicide. You'll never reach them in time.” Hori shook Mal off and kept going, moving faster now, “I have to try.” He found an empty truck and swiftly hot-wired it, then headed towards the inferno. At the end of the street, another figure jumped onto the passenger footplate and joined Hori. Inara touched Mal's arm, “He was going anyway, no matter what you said.” Mal sighed, “I know. Let's regroup at the rendezvous spot and figure out what to do next.” * Simon moved amongst the injured in a nearby abandoned church. There were quite a few people who'd suffered burns and cuts or bruises plus a couple with bullet wounds. Mal beckoned to Zoe, “Report?” “Sarah and I are fine. A couple of Turner's people didn't make it, neither did Jayne and Vera. River and Zhang kicked ass, as you might have expected.” Mal nodded slightly, “Hori and an unknown accomplice were last seen heading on a suicide mission attempting to reach Jayne and Vera.” Zoe sighed, “Crazy hwoon dahn! I know we used not to leave a man – or woman – behind, but that fire...” Mal set his jaw, “I know. I'm going to miss Vera; she was a classy lady and even that big lug and his guns protecting my back.” Zoe nodded, “Words later.” “I'll wait for a few days, just to be sure, then contact Jayne's parents and Vera's lawyer and the Maori on Beltane. See if this interim government we're apparently going to have can rustle up some kind of posthumous commendation or medal.” “Jayne's parents will appreciate that.” Mal moved on rapidly, “Well; next objective?” Turner was holding a distinctly retro walkie-talkie, “Just talking to the other cells. Yeah. Charlie? Okay, remaining politicians 'persuaded' to play nice. Fred? Got the media on board, working on the police and army. Fire service dealing with that fire,” He looked at Mal, “Sorry; no sign of your people or the truck either. If it's in the city with or without them and in one piece, we'll find it. I'll ask the ships in orbit to have a look at satellite imagery for you.” “Thank-you for that.” “Bit of a riot in Parliament square near the river.” Mal unholstered his gun, “Want a hand?” “Yeah; everyone who's not seeing the Doc, follow me and Mal!” Mal went over to Simon, “Be back when we're done.” Simon managed a smile, “Try not to get too wounded while you're out.” * The square near the river was heaving with people behind hastily erected barricades. There were a few stone fountains dotted about, and some folk were using them as cover. It wasn't entirely clear in the darkness how many sides there were and who was in charge. Mal shivered, remembering. Zoe nodded, “Serenity valley comes to Osiris city.” Turner moved to the nearest barricade, with everyone else following him carefully, “Hey, Charlie. Who have we got here?” Charlie was wearing something that had been a balaclava in a previous life and a big grin, “Alliance big-wigs at 2 o'clock near the river. Cops at about 9 o'clock up on the steps behind the balustrade, armed forces on both sides. Mostly Browncoat rebels over here.” Mal nodded and exchanged hand signals with Zoe. She gently and lovingly removed Sarah from her back and nuzzled her daughter briefly before tucking her in behind a secure piece of barricade, then led River and Zhang up towards the cop end of things. Inara stayed with Mal. Moments later, the fight resumed. Bullets and homemade projectiles flying in all directions. Mal fired at will, Inara by his shoulder picking off the opposing forces with her poison tipped arrows. The fight went on for some time before the Alliance side raised the white flag. At that, they were surrounded by everyone else and taken in by the police for holding. * Mal and all the remaining Browncoats worked their way through several more fights, gaining numbers and political ground with each one. Eventually, at about six o'clock in the morning, a tired, dirty and victorious Browncoat force received the keys and control of the city from the Alliance outside the old regal palace. The head of the army approached Mal, Turner and the others to help organise as discreet a martial law as possible. Mal was just standing there, when a mechanised homing dart hit his bad leg; the one which had been broken before. He gasped and made to pull the dart out, but the thing was doing something that felt like exploding in his leg. He fell back, gasping in agony, being steadied slightly by Inara until the inferno in his leg made him pass out. * Mal woke and blinked. Everything was at first a symphony of white and grey with fluorescent lighting. He couldn't feel anything below about hip level and there was a crisp white sheet over his chest. Simon bent over him, smiling with relief, “Hello, Mal. You're in hospital.” “Simon; good to see you. How's Inara?” “A few lacerations and a couple of small bullet wounds, but she'll be fine. She's just down the corridor. After you got hit, things went a bit crazy until order was restored, apparently.” “Zoe?” “Also in the hospital. Again, bullet wounds and some minor burns, cuts and grazes. The worst bullet wound tore up inside her abdomen. She's lost her womb and a few inches of small intestine and is currently catheterised, but she's on the mend. Sarah's beside her in her own cot, not a scratch on her. Kaylee moved Serenity near the hospital and is helping me keep an eye on everyone.” “How long...?” “You've been here five days. That dart did some pretty serious damage to your leg. At the moment, you've been numbed from the hips downwards; there was no other way to knock out the pain. You're in traction - so don't try to move too much, please - and the hospital is busy using your own bone tissue to grow some more to put back inside you. I expect you may have some metal and a prosthetic knee in that leg of yours for life, even so.” “Zhang, River?” “Cuts, bruises, one or two bigger lacerations. They were awesome together in battle, by all accounts.” “I'm not surprised. Any news on Jayne and Vera?” Mal was expecting the worst. * Simon's smile widened, “I've been rushed off my feet, helping the doctors, but I'll tell you what I've found. The truck was driven into the inferno and then, by a miracle, most of the way here. Four people were pulled out, two dead on arrival and two badly burned. I checked the mortuary first.” Simon sighed slightly, “The first badly burned body was the Operative.” “Ta ma duh!” “I know; *he was the one helping Hori. The other body *was Hori. According to the emergency services, he'd driven here whilst on fire. Don't ask me how; all I know is the steering wheel is melded to his lifeless hands.” Mal felt himself tear up a bit, “Have you contacted Cliff on Beltane?” Simon nodded soberly, “Yes; done. Cliff's on the way. He's offered us Maori hospitality for as long as we want it when we're ready. Anyway, the hospital records had two unknowns brought in and admitted to the severe burns unit. I went there and found Jayne and Vera.” Mal grinned with relief, “They're alive?!” Maybe the meds he was probably on had made him temporarily more overtly emotional, he thought. Simon nodded, “They're in cryo baths in medically induced comas. A similar procedure to the one growing you new leg bone is busy growing them new skin. Given that it's only a few days since they were picked up, they're still looking pretty bad, but the surgeons have already got their facial skin to grow back. A bit pink and fresh, but it's them alright.” Mal frowned, “Cryo baths?” Simon searched for a simple explanation, “State of the art, no expense spared stuff. They're floating naked and submerged in nutrient solution in glass tanks, fully catheterised of course and being kept oxygenated and fed by machine. It's going to be months before the skin has grown back enough to wake them up.” Mal knew a bit about human biology, “What about their muscles?” Simon nodded, “Stimulation and daily movements; they won't lose much muscle tone during their long sleep. I've identified them and named us and the crew as next of kin and first point of contact when they're revived.” “When?” “Best part of a year before they're awake. Then any rehab and physiotherapy they need.” * It was warm; dark and warm. He was swimming naked in the velvet ocean at night. He was safe. Someone called his name, as if from far away. He travelled towards the sound. As he surfaced, opened his eyes, his mind fixed on the last thing her remembered. He reached out and grabbed someone's arm. “Vera?” His voice sounded hoarse. “Open your eyes and look to your left, Mr Cobb.” He blinked. A blonde male doctor somewhere in his thirties that he didn't know was bending over him solicitously. He was in a hospital bed. “Simon? You ain't Simon!” “I'll tell your shipmates that you're awake. I'm Doctor Roberts. Your wife is to the left of you.” Jayne turned his head. Vera was in the next bed down, smiling at him. She was a rather fresh pink colour with tiny white lines over her face and arms, as if a child had used a pen on her rather haphazardly. Her skin looked a little taut in places and her hair had been cut a fair bit shorter. He grinned back, “Vera!” “We survived the fire, Jayne!” Jayne kept his eyes on Vera, “How did we get out alive? And do I look like that?” He lifted his right arm and checked. Fresh, new, very pink skin; some older tanned skin and a network of thin white lines. He peeked under his hospital gown. Same story down there, plus his body hair had either survived or grown back. Thank goodness, the fire apparently hadn't touched his groin. “Seems I *do look like that. You were sayin', doc?” “It's a story that people are still talking about. Your friend Hori drove a truck to the burning Alliance building and basically climbed up the outside, through the fire and pulled you out. He was helped by an unknown man.” The doctor's voice softened, “I'm sorry to say they didn't make it; they gave their lives to save you.” Silent tears ran down Vera's cheek, “Rest in peace, old friend.” “Wish I could hug you.” “Soon,” Roberts commented, “We want to get you on solid food and up and mobile.” “I want to be mobile now, dammit!” Jayne sat up in bed and carefully swung his legs out of the covers. “Steady,” Roberts advised, “You've been on a largely liquid diet and asleep.” * Jayne put his feet on the floor. All toes present and correct, the network of fine white lines all over his feet and legs. Doctor Roberts hovered nearby as Jayne stood up. For a moment, Jayne braced himself with one hand on the doctor's shoulder, then he managed the short walk to Vera's bed and climbed in beside her. They hugged gently and shared a brief kiss. The hot frisson of desire when they touched was currently absent, but the feel of being close was the best medicine they knew. There was a fairly strict hospital policy about patients not sharing beds, but Roberts noticed the marked relaxation in both of them and the happy expressions and could see that touch was going to be a big part of the healing process with this couple. “You've both been healing a long time.” Vera was also focussed on Jayne, “How long, doctor?” “You've both been in a medical coma in cryo chambers because of the burns you sustained. There's no easy way to break this, but it's been nearly a year. We only got you out of cryo and into regular beds earlier today” “Where's everyone else?” “What about my guns?!” “Your guns are, as far as Simon told me, safely locked in your bunks on Serenity. The ones you had on you when you were admitted were sadly beyond repair, as was what remained of your clothing. Simon and Kaylee Tam have taken their twins to meet Kaylee's family. Zoe and Sarah went with Mal and Inara to Ariel. Zhang and River just got married; they sent profuse apologies for not waiting until you were better. They promised to show you the video and photos once they get back from honeymoon.” Jayne's grin widened, “Moonbrain got wed!” Vera gave Jayne something of significant look, “Please stop calling her that; she can't help being psychic any more than you can help being good with guns.” “Good with a whole lot more 'n that!” Jayne finally tore his gaze off Vera to look at the doctor, “Speakin' of which; if we ain't sexed up in a whole year, how come we ain't getting down to it?” Roberts had been advised by Simon that both Jayne and Vera seemed to have powerful libidos, “Apologies, Mr Cobb; we've had to put a bit of a...well, temporary 'off' switch in place for both of you. Your skin is still healing. A few days of real food and gentle exercise, then we'll give you a private room and throw the 'switch' back on.” “Better give us several days in that room, doc! When we've been on a fast before, it can get pretty rampant after.” “Noted.” “Anyway, what's Mal doing on Ariel?” “Of course, you wouldn't know. Malcolm Reynolds and his wife Inara were voted in on a landslide as joint Presidents six months ago!”



Friday, November 3, 2006 3:58 PM


Oh...I bet Mal really fought against that!


Definitely one crazy moment after another...though I do feel this was a bit rushed. Stuff's missing and I wanna see it!



Friday, November 3, 2006 9:47 PM


What sort of 'stuff' do you want to see?

I've finished this story now; but I'll take suggestions for where the heck any future stories from my take on the 'verse might go. I mostly get a mixture of 'flash' pictures and dialogue and an idea of where the story wants to go. If you're offering beta-ing, I'd probably accept. But if the muse doesn't give me anything on the areas you're interested in, I probably won't be able to write it <G>.



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