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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Wash makes an appearance (how, you ask? Read and find out!) as Serenity tries to outrun the Alliance - and fails. S/K. Set Post movie.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1483 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Well, its done! Yay! All except for the Epilogue, which I'll post in a few days.
Don't expect it to answer all the questions you have though, because, really, all it is is a bookend for the Prologue.
Chapter 11 can be found Here
Prologue can be found Here
Thanks to Tamsibling and Mal4Prez for the beta.
“River?” Mal made it to the bridge in record time, Zoe on his heels. “Tell me somethin’ good.”
River didn’t answer as Zoe took position behind her, pulled down the seat and strapped herself in.
Tossing a scowl at the back of River’s head, Mal amended, “Ok, tell me anyway, even if it ain’t somethin’ good.”
“We can’t outrun them, Captain,” River said, her eyes focused on the controls beneath her fingertips.
Mal swore beneath his breath. “And?”
“The likelihood of us dying in the attempt is probable.”
Mal sighed in annoyance, eyes darting from the controls out the window and back again. “You have anything to say I want to hear?”
River banked suddenly, throwing the as-not-yet-strapped-in captain hard against the bulkhead.
Amidst his string of curses, River said, “Set the Miranda recording to play in a continuous loop.” She turned the controls hard, trying to evade yet another volley of weaponry aimed in Serenity’s direction. She succeeded – mostly.
“Right,” Mal glanced at the console in front of him, at a momentary loss as to how to do just that.
“And set our messages to play right after it.”
Mal glanced up, meeting his pilot’s eyes. “Our –“
“The ones we recorded when you didn’t think we’d escape the Reavers.”
“Before we landed on Mr. Universe’s moon,” Zoe added, her tone solemn.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“We ain’t gonna make it, are we?” Kaylee clutched her stomach as the baby continued to kick. She breathed through the pain with short puffs of air, hoping to calm her anxiety as well as the contractions that had only gotten worse as the Alliance ship closed in.
Simon knelt beside her, administering medications that he claimed would stop her contractions. Kaylee knew she couldn’t deliver a baby in the middle of this battle and she could see the fear in Simon’s eyes as he tried to care for her and keep himself from being tossed against the walls at the same time.
“River will get us through this,” Simon said, his jaw set and his eyes steely as a loud screeching sound of metal against metal echoed in their ears.
Kaylee glanced up at the ceiling and the walls. “What’re they doin’ to my baby?”
Simon reached for Kaylee’s hands and she gave them to him, pulling them down to rest intertwined on her belly as the ship continued to shake.
“Dad?” Madeline turned big brown eyes on her father as he strapped her tightly into the chair. Tears leaked down her cheeks and her bottom lip trembled as she watched his hands shake.
Aaron reached toward his girl and held her hands, his eyes full of hope and confidence. “We’ll be okay, bao bei.”
She glanced toward Simon and Kaylee. “Everyone’s so scared.”
“I need to go back to the bridge and help,” Aaron squeezed his daughter’s hands and kissed Madeline on the cheek before turning his gaze to Inara, imploring her without words: Take Madeline with you.
“Where you goin’?” Jayne demanded as he strapped himself in; he was ignored.
Inara’s eyes narrowed in confusion but before she could ask what Aaron meant, he was gone. So, instead, her eyes flicked to the frightened faces of everyone around her. She couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. There had to be something she could do. After a few moments of contemplating what Aaron had said, she knew. As much as it pained her, she’d have to act to make it possible for anyone to survive this. After a moment, the ship stopped shaking and she quickly un-strapped herself, drawing everyone’s attention.
“’Nara?” Kaylee’s concerned gaze struck her numb for a moment before she moved to the entrance.
“Inara, sit back down.”
She’d have laughed at Simon’s attempt at an authoritative tone if the circumstances weren’t so dire.
“I need everyone to follow me, now!” Inara demanded. “Jayne, carry Madeline, please!” She didn’t wait for them to answer before making her way along the hallway to her shuttle.
River set her jaw and bit her lip, knowing she had to do this and wishing she didn’t have to. She hesitated a split second before flipping on the comm. “Kaylee, I need you in the engine room. Simon, go with her.”
“What?” Mal stared incredulously at his pilot. “That girl’s –“
“She doesn’t give me more power we’re all going to die.” River said matter-of-factly, not bothering to spare him one of her patented ‘you’re a boob’ looks. “And send out that recording. We don’t have much time.”
Mal glanced at the console and punched in a few keys, accessing the ship’s data storage just as the ship rolled to one side, sending him hurtling back toward the bulkhead.
“Sir!” Zoe reached down to unsnap her restraints but stopped when Mal pushed himself to his feet with a grunt. She noted the trickle of blood on his temple but said nothing as he threw himself into the co-pilot’s chair.
“I need more power, Kaylee,” River said into the comm. “Cut every system but life support. Re-route it all to the bridge.”
“Will that work?” Zoe asked, her eyes wide. “Will it give us a chance?”
River held the controls in white knuckled hands as the ship shook from the amount of power Kaylee siphoned from the engine. She bit her bottom lip hard enough to draw blood before saying one simple word that would give them hope. “Yes.” She knew that what they did right now would save some lives, even if it wasn’t their own.
She could feel Zoe relax for a split second, and could feel Mal’s eyes on her as she banked hard yet again, knowing she’d just forced Kaylee off her feet and into Simon’s chest. River lifted her eyes to Mal’s the moment the rumbling reverberated through the ship. She reached forward, flipped a switch and said simply, “launch now,” before turning her attention back to the window in front of her.
As the voices began in the background, River watched out the cockpit window at a rapidly approaching sphere of light. She knew there was no way she would ever turn Serenity in time to miss the blast completely. She simply stared stubbornly ahead, regretting every action that had brought them to this time and place. It had all been because of her; because her brother had brought her out into the Black to keep her safe. She closed her eyes and said a quick prayer, asking forgiveness for the lives she had ended because of her very existence – while her hands continued to hold the battered Firefly on its course.
The recording they had all made during the last time Serenity was being chased like this continued in the background while the voices on the bridge dulled and fell silent.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Simon stood with his arm around River, his eyes focused, his face calm, peaceful as he stared into the recording device.
“My name is Doctor Simon Tam .I worked as a trauma surgeon on Osiris.” He glanced down at his sister with sad eyes and then returned his gaze to the capture Inara held with unbelievably steady hands.
“This is my sister, River. At fourteen she went to an Alliance sponsored Academy for gifted children. Three years later, when I managed to get her out, she’d been changed. Her brain cut open, her amygdala stripped – all in the name of experimental science. They wanted to make my sister a weapon. They succeeded.”
She glanced toward someone off screen a few times before swallowing thickly and turning to the capture. “My name’s Kaywinnet Lee Frye. I’m ship’s mechanic. When Simon an’ River came onboard, they was real scared, bein’ chased by the Feds. But they’re good people. Simon got a scan of River’s brain and could see what the Alliance did to her. But he ain’t been able to help her, not really. An’ now they want to stop us, kill us so that we can’t tell the ‘verse ‘bout what they did. . .”
“ – the moonbrain was crazy, no doubt. Slashed me across the chest just ‘cause I was wearin’ a Blue Sun t-shirt. More we learned about ‘em, the more we believed the doc’s crazy story. His sister had been messed up. That Academy did somethin’ to her. An’ after seein’ her kill a room full of Reavers with nothin’ but her bare hands, a seventeen year old kid, yeah, no way no one can convince me they didn’t do somethin’.”
Zoe set her jaw and began to speak, her voice firm, unwavering. “I’ve seen what the Alliance is capable of. Fought at Serenity Valley. Seen all manner of death and destruction. But what they did to that girl was torture and manipulation beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Men walk into battle with their eyes open, knowing what can, and probably will, happen. River Tam went to that Academy with blinders, hoping to learn something her brilliant mind didn’t already know. She came out knowin’ more than any little girl should ever be taught – government secrets. The Miranda cover-up.”
“I’m Serenity’s pilot, Hoban Washburn. We’re making these recordings so I’m thinking this little tin can we call a home here will be our final resting place.” He swallowed thickly and glanced lovingly around him. “But- it’s time to let the ‘verse know what happened. We saw what happened to River, how her brain was used as a pretty little playground without her knowledge or consent. She was a little kid. Her brother got her out of some big, fancy Alliance place. And they want her back. Enough to kill anyone in their way.”
Inara stared into the capture, resignation and understanding written all over her face. “Knowing what I know now, I would do nothing different. None of us would abandon River and Simon to the auspices of the Alliance. Until I met them, I supported our government, and then I experienced first hand, day in and day out, what had been done to River, how she had been manipulated, how her mind is a split fragment of the reality in which she now lives. . .“
“ – and we’ll die broadcastin’ this signal into the ‘verse. We didn’t go down fightin’ the Alliance. We steered clear of ‘em, tried to just live, takin’ jobs as they came, wanting to be left alone. We went down runnin’ from them. Tryin’ to keep River safe. Tryin’ to do somethin’ good. This message will be our epitaph. Believe everythin’ the Miranda broadwave says, we saw it with our own eyes.. Believe it all. An’ we won’t have died in vain.” Mal nodded and the capture snapped off.
The signal bounced from abandoned Independent communication stations all across the Rim and continued unhindered toward the Core long after Serenity had fallen out of the sky.
Regardless of how the Alliance tried, they could not stop the signal.
Think of the Empire Strikes Back, the second movie in the original Star Wars Trilogy, and how that left a lot of unanswered questions. . .
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