BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

JEBBYPAL

Those Left Behind: Ch10
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Action


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2533    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

A/N: Thanks, as usual, to Neroli for her beta work. Thanks to everyone else whose commented on the story so far.

Chapter 10: Action Chinese Glossary Jiuming-help Mashang-immediately Da ge – big brother

During the approach on the Academy complex, Simon attempted to keep his nerves under control. The feel of the pistol in his hand combined with the weight of the ammunition and two grenades on his belt only reinforced his nausea. Simon felt like his world had ground to a halt since Mal had announced the time of their departure.

Despite evidence to the contrary, he could not convince himself that the outcome of this maneuver would aid his sister at all. And what if he were injured, or worse? What would happen to her then? What chance would she have of reclaiming any fragment of her former self if he was not there to remind and treat her?

A nagging voice in his head (which sounded suspiciously like Jayne) kept asking him what Mal and his friends would gain out of this attack. Could the entire strategy simply be an elaborate plot to restage their war? Every minute since Sal's intelligence had catapulted them onto this path, Simon felt like he had been manipulated and bullied into agreeing to a single course of action. Alternatives dismissed and arguments ignored, he found himself beginning to doubt the objective on the eve of its completion.

The knowledge that he was expected to stand by and watch a massacre only increased his agitation as he waited for the coming battle. Granted, he would gladly kill the men who had condemned River to her fate, but Simon doubted that the lackeys present at the Academy were the ones in control. His oath as a doctor went against withholding treatment even from an individual like Jayne. And now he was expected to stand by while strangers doing their jobs were slaughtered.

Simon took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He missed his sister. Even in her current condition, she had a way of seeing past the emotions and the people to the truth of a situation. He was sure that she'd reassure him by telling him that Mal's intent was honorable and the tactics necessary. But right now all he could remember were the first words she spoke about the man: "Mal, bad. In the Latin."

Simon forced himself onto another train of thought by going over their plans in his head. Sal had supplied the force with the command codes used by transports to deliver food and other essential items. Thankfully, the next delivery time occurred shortly after the withdrawal of personnel that they were using for their insertion. Sal's group had planned to delay the delivery transport while the crew of Serenity and their allies took advantage of the situation.

The plan involved the two shuttles landing at the docks. These would be secured and held by the forces on each shuttle before the four ground teams moved further into the facility. For those in the ship with Simon, Mal's team would move towards the control rooms while Sug's advanced to the C wing. By the time they arrived at the first checkpoint door, hopefully Cecil would have control of the security systems. If not, well the alternatives didn't bear thinking about.

"Look alive people. Show's about to start," Mal called from his seat beside Zoe. Simon took another deep breath and prayed that he wouldn't throw up.

--

Wash watched his radar carefully as he monitored the docking of the two shuttles. The Expeditor hovered just outside of the Academy's airspace while waiting for any sign that a "distraction" was needed. Beside him, Rusk, nervously tapped his fingers on the inactive pilot controls in front of him. One of Sug's mercenaries, the lean black soldier was clearly uncomfortable having such a stationary role in the attack.

Wash's eyes lit up when the radar indicated an object lifting off from the nearby hangar. Hopefully Rusk had a strong stomach because the ride wouldn't be stationary for long. Their friends were attracting a tad bit of attention.

"Attend this hundan," Wash growled as he powered up the engines while turning the targeting controls of the ship's weapons over to Rusk.

--

Monty gave the sealed door in front of him a frustrated kick. Sug's wunderkind brother hadn't managed to deactivate the security. No, check that. Definitely hadn't, Monty thought as alarms started to go off around his team.

Monty cursed the designer of the facility as he hastily ducked behind the piece of junk metal he had brought in anticipation of just such an event. Apparently some guards had not left on the transport, he observed as his ears began to ring from the sonic blasts delivered against the rusted barrier.

"Hurry it up Reynolds, or I'll be in line for a piece of your ass myself," Monty mumbled as he rose to take a shot.

-- "Cecil, I thought you said this wouldn't take long," Mal yelled with frustration as he ducked back into the control room.

Zoe raised a hand with and indicated the number five. "How many on your side sir?"

Mal gave a cocky smile. "I'm more popular Zoe. Eight want to dance with me."

"Got it! The doors should open," Cecil called out as he continued to type furiously. The large man was all but oblivious to Zoe and Mal's continual firing. Focused on his task, he hoped he could stay ahead of the computer sentinel before it shut down power to the entire complex.

Mal thumbed the button on his squawkbox. "Okay people, Cecil got your invites issued. Play nice!"

--

Sug threw a grenade behind them as Jayne hurriedly opened the door. Simon found himself pushed through only seconds before Jayne hurriedly slammed the door shut.

"Be nice if we could relock it," Jayne told Sug.

"That's not necessary. I brought a toy that should take care of any overly persistent admirers," she replied as she hurried to set an explosive device on the door.

"Umm..aren't we supposed to return through it?" Simon asked concerned.

"Don’t worry doc, I promise there will be a nice large hole here even if someone follows us," Sug told him.

"And if your brother and the others follow us?" Simon worried.

"Don't be such a nag doc. Reynolds is smart enough to check for booby traps. Now move," she answered as she pushed him forward.

--

"Oh dear god!" Rusk screamed as he attempted to stay upright in his seat.

Wash only smiled as he dodged another missile. Would have been nice to be prepared for heat-seekers, but at least this way it was challenging he thought. "Yes my man, I am a god. Thank you for noticing," Wash said enthusiastically as he suddenly jerked the spacecraft into a hard right bank.

"Ha, got you ya sly bastard. Thought you could hide from me, did you?" Wash asked as he locked onto one of the drones buzzing around the complex. "Whenever you're ready Rusk."

His drafted copilot nodded, but immediately regretted it as his nausea returned when Wash abruptly dropped the ship several hundred feet. Swallowing hard, Rusk fired the ship's guns and destroyed the target. "Got anymore? This is getting fun."

--

"K, I'm downloading now. Got the systems obeying my every command," Cecil informed them.

"That's good cause our playmates are getting a tad impatient," Mal deadpanned. "Don't suppose you could lock their friends in their rooms?"

"Do you think any of them are still there sir?" Zoe asked as she threw a grenade down her hallway.

"Hey, you’re the one always telling me to be more optimistic!"

--

Simon ducked against the wall as he sheltered the few children they'd gathered so far. Sug and Jayne had made short work of the few guards they'd encountered. The battle had been a true slaughter as all of the Alliance soldiers in the facility only possessed sonic weapons.

"That was the last of 'em. Jayne takes point. Simon, better ride tight herd on your goslings there," Sug ordered.

The small group hurriedly rounded the corner to a new hallway and began to check the cells for other children. Each room was roughly the size of a small closet containing nothing beyond a small, waterless toilet and a rubber mattress that was shorter than most ten year olds. Simon found himself losing any sympathy for the dead in their wake every time he entered one of the rooms to coax a terrified or comatose child into the hallway.

Sug was clearly impatient with their progress, but Simon refused to let her rush him. It was imperative to attempt to minimize the trauma to the children. Not that this battle probably even registered on the scale of trauma they'd already undergone.

Simon looked up from the teen he was attempting to help when he heard Jayne give an agonized yell.

"Doc, we need you out here," Sug called as she pushed several kids into the room he was in.

Simon emerged and followed her around the corner into the midst of a frightening display. A sandy blonde man roughly his height stood in the center of the hallway surrounded by bodies. The man was dressed in the flimsy shifts shared by the other "students" indicating that he too was a resident of the facility. Some of the bodies at his feet were adorned in medical scrubs in addition to the now familiar uniform of the Alliance guards. Simon was puzzled as to the rank or status of the men wearing suits. They wore gloves, but had not other accouterments indicating that they served in a medical role.

Simon barely registered the blood on the faces of all the bodies as he knelt beside Jayne searching for a wound. He could find none, but the merc was in obvious pain from something. Jayne kept whimpering while he scratched and slapped at his head. An aneurysm? The man hadn't had a head injury in quite some time, but Simon supposed it was possible.

Simon looked up when he heard Sug curse. Down the hallway behind the motionless man, two gloved men in suits rounded the corner holding some kind of rod like device. The individual in the middle of the hallway met his gaze suddenly and smiled as if he saw what Simon saw. At the same time, the suits gave a cry of pain as they dropped the rods. They struggled to remain on their feet and move forward, but the student in the hallway turned to face them and held out a hand.

Jayne's face relaxed a little and he attracted Simon's attention with a whisper. "Make 'im stop…hurts so bad."

Simon looked back down the hallway in time to see the suits fall to the ground with blood leaking from every facial orifice. "Wuh de tyen!" Simon cursed as realization dawned.

--

Sug nervously watched as the doctor attempted to help the mercenary. She started to go forward to help the kid in the middle of the hallway when the suits appeared at the other end, but several small and surprisingly strong hands held her back. "Now listen here brats, we're never gonna get out of here if you keep me from doing my job."

She was unnerved a bit more when they simply held onto her gun hand tighter while remaining silent.

--

"Sug, where's the tranquilizer?" Simon yelled.

"I dunno it's your gorram job. I'm a little occupied at the moment."

Simon hurriedly grabbed the pack that Jayne had been wearing before looking up to see Sug's situation. He didn't understand why Jayne was the only one being affected and was worried that he or Sug could soon find themselves in the same position.

Simon gasped in pain as Jayne's hand grabbed his arm in a crushing grip. "Tell 'im we worked it out…I was stupid, didn't mean nuthin'," the incapacitated man forced out in a strangled whisper.

Suddenly Sug was beside him. "What's going on?" she asked.

Simon looked her in the eyes. "He's doing this and I don't think Jayne will survive if we don't stop him," he told her.

Sug stared at him for a few seconds before nodding. "Well why didn't you say so," she stated before grabbing the smoother gun from where he'd dropped it. She only advanced a few feet past Jayne before grabbing her head and dropping on top of one of the other bodies on the floor.

"Tzao-gao," Simon thought as he grabbed his squawk box. "Mal, really could use some jiuming mashang!"

--

Mal cursed as heard Simon's message over his earpiece. "Told you so sir," Zoe bragged.

Cecil looked up from his work puzzled. "Told him what?"

"Nothing," Mal answered as he attempted to take out one of the last of the feds currently attacking them.

"Captain's sore that he lost the bet," Zoe explained. "Told him that the combo of Jayne and your sister was just asking for trouble."

"Simon, what's your position?" Mal asked as he finally took down the last hold out with a well placed head shot.

Mal grimaced as he heard fire come through over the connection with the doctor. Simon answered.

"Well, guess I'll take their route and see what I stumble upon," Mal said. "Zoe, stay here and cover Cecil."

Simon added.

"Gorramit. Have I mentioned lately how much that woman rubs me the wrong way?" Mal asked. "Monty, you didn't lay any traps for your reinforcements did ya?"

Monty answered.

"Negative, get those kids back to the shuttle. No need to drag them through the entire place," Mal ordered. "Big damn hero coming to your rescue Simon. You've really gotta stop making a habit of this."

--

Mal grumbled as he walked through the bloody corridors. It appeared that their side was winning so far, partially due to the lack of any weapons on the side of the Alliance personnel beyond sonic devices. The operators of the facility had depended on secrecy and had not expected any type of attack even on this small scale.

Mal stopped suddenly when a small figure appeared before him in the corridor. He quickly pulled his shot up, firing into the ceiling, when he recognized Sue from his dream. The little blonde figure smiled shyly at him, her arms crossed over her blue frock.

Shit, now he needed to get her to safety, but he still wasn't sure how pressed Simon was. From the way he talked, both Jayne and Sug were out of the action.

"It's okay, I'm safe with you. And I can take you the quickest way to River's da ge," Sue told him.

Mal sighed. He didn't like it, but time was short. "Okay hon, but once we get close you do exactly what I tell you. Dong ma?"

Sue shrugged. "Hurry, Danny's getting bored."

Before he had a chance to reply, Sue was running down the hall in front of him, leaping playfully over fallen soldiers whenever she encountered them. "Okay, new ship rule. No kids allowed," Mal told himself. Better let Wash and Zoe know as soon as he got back to the ship.

Mal was surprised at how fast the little blonde could run. He was out of breath by the time she stopped and paused to catch his breath before giving her any instructions.

"Danny won't listen to me Captain. Fell over the ledge into the blue beyond. You have to stop him or we'll all bleed blue and the story won't end, dong ma?" she asked, echoing his earlier command.

Mal shook his head, but she interrupted him before he could answer. "I can give you only one shot, and then he'll notice you. Make it count sergeant." Quickly she hugged him before scampering around the corner.

"Wait," Mal gasped as he reached to stop her but she'd already gotten ahead of him again. He glanced around the corner to look for him and spotted Simon surrounded by a group of children. He was taking cover behind a broken cell door while trading shots with a few feds beyond him.

Closer to Mal and behind Simon, he saw Jayne and Sug lying prone on the ground amidst a number of bloodied bodies. Some of the bodies were adorned in the uniforms of the Alliance while others wore scrubs or suits. In the middle stood a man clothed in a hospital gown whose profile was disturbingly familiar.

Jayne and Sug moved suddenly, writhing in pain. Mal comforted himself with the knowledge that at least they were still alive. He scanned the hall in front of him for any trace of Sue… the child could get hurt, but at the same time Mal didn't understand why none of the soldiers had shot the kid standing in the middle of the hall. The entire situation didn't make sense.

Mal was about to ask Simon how many were attacking him when he saw Sue appear in front of the motionless teen in the hall. The boy didn't even acknowledge her presence as he continued to stare at Jayne's prone, twitching form on the ground with a sadistic smile on his face.

Sue looked straight at Mal while she pointed towards the man in front of her. "Danny," she mouthed at him. "Stop the blue."

Mal's eyes darted from her to Sug and Jayne's forms before resting on the bodies of the dead suits closest to him. Understanding began to dawn as he saw that the men had not died from any discernible bullet wounds or injuries.

Swallowing as he prayed for forgiveness from a god he didn't believe in, he aimed his pistol at the head of the young man in the hall. He pulled the trigger. His confusion returned as he watched blood spray on Sug and the walls around the boy without touching Sue's form. She gave him a small smile before disappearing entirely.

Mal stood frozen in disbelief at what he had seen. Sounds of gunfire pierced the air and woke him from his trance. He hurried to Simon's side after checking on Sug and Jayne briefly. "Monty, Zoe, hell anyone! We're gonna need some transport help down here. Jayne and Sug are a tad heavy!"

Monty answered.

Mal continued firing as he tried to block the image of what had occurred from his mind. And tried not to feel too nervous about the children surrounding him.

*** TBC in Those Left Behind Ch11: Safety

COMMENTS

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 6:13 AM

GUILDSISTER


And the good stuff keeps comin'! Thanks for a fascinating story.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 9:02 AM

AMDOBELL


The shiniest of shinies, I am so loving this! Just wish you could gorram type faster *dong ma*? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 9:10 AM

ARTSHIPS


Very exciting. An excellent story still, jebbypal, and well written. Thanks! Is it bad that things seem to be going fairly smooth?

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 2:59 PM

PAHNOO


Damn shiney write'ns there Jebby, just read all 10 in a row and have to admit I'm hooked 'n intrigued!! Perty sure ya'll got some more rolercoaster twists for them BDH's. Keep up the great work!!


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