BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

YANLEI

Drops of Jupiter - Absolute Chaos (Chapter 10)
Monday, September 1, 2008

Inara and Zoe struggle to get away from the Reavers attacking the city. Back on the ship, Mal and the rest learn of the reavers and hurry to the rescue. Can they get there in time to save the girls? {{{{I'm back, finally. Sorry for the wait. See inside for links to past chapters!}}


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2034    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Wow, so… I’m so sorry it took me so long to update, guys. Over a year and almost another half this time! Well, I hope it was worth the wait. Here it is: Drops of Jupiter, Chapter 10.

Thanks to Wanmei for betaing!

Miss a chapter? Click a link to read that chapter! Chapter one, Chapter two Chapter three, Chapter four Chapter five, Chapter six Chapter seven, Chapter eight

Chapter nine


“Reavers.”

Inara gasped and took a step back, closer to Zoe, trembling at the unexpected shock. Reavers? Here? Now? Zoe had a grim look on her face but as usual in battle, her instincts had taken over. Zoe was still maintaining a fierce grip on Inara’s arm, and the Companion could tell the woman was doing some quick thinking, trying to figure out how to get them out of here.

Inara glanced over at the shopkeeper and noticed that he looked frozen in terror. He was a young man, maybe twenty at the oldest, and Inara could tell he’d never seen reavers before but had heard all the tales about them. The Companion wanted to do something to comfort him, but at that moment, Zoe shoved her towards the back of the shop, yelling something Inara couldn’t quite hear as a huge noise sounded outside.

Seconds later Inara realized it was an explosion, and screamed in fright as the front of the shop they were in blew in on them. Zoe and Inara hit the ground hard and covered their heads, trying to protect themselves from the worst of the damage. Shards of glass and chunks of wood flew through the air, and through the midst of the noise, Inara heard a sickening yell of pain from nearby and closed her eyes tightly, praying silently to keep herself, Zoe and the unknown shopkeeper safe.

After many long moments the debris had stopped flying around and Inara felt Zoe start to stir. Coughing from the amount of dust floating around them, the two women crawled out of a small mound of debris that had buried them.

“You okay?” Zoe asked Inara, looking over the companion’s body. Aside from a few cuts to Inara’s arms and a small gash on her forehead, she was fine.

“Yes, I’m okay, are you?” she asked, looking at Zoe in concern. The woman had a large trickle of blood flowing from under her hair and the side of her face was bruised, but Zoe seemed unconcerned.

“I’ll be fine once we find a way out of here.” She said, finding her gun in all the rubble and cocking it. Inara felt relieved at Zoe’s military knowledge, and the fact that she was always armed, even on a simple shopping trip. Trying not to let her mind wander to the package in her purse, Inara brushed some dust and dirt off of her dress and looked around, trying to think straight through all the screaming from outside. That was when she noticed the shopkeeper.

“Oh my god…” she choked out, her voice cracking. The young man was pinned against the far wall, a huge stake of wood impaled through his body. He was limp and covered with blood, clearly dead. Inara’s hands shook as she stared at the grisly sight. Zoe winced and shook her head in a saddened way, noticed Inara staring with horror at the man and knew that this was NOT the time to dwell on it.

“Come on, Inara, we need to get ou-” Zoe began, but her speech was cut off by a horrible, inhuman roar. Turning around, she saw one of them… a horrible, savage looking, human like creature, covered in rough, blood stained furs, its face hideously deformed. Inara screamed and backed away and Zoe immediately took aim with her gun. The reaver looked up and saw them, grinning in a terrible, maniacal way. Just before Zoe pulled the trigger, it turned and let out a piercing, cannibalistic cry, as though joyous of finding someone to prey on.

“Oh no you don’t, you bastard.” muttered Zoe. In a swift motion she took aim and shot, the bullet immediately hitting the reaver in the chest. To Inara’s horror, the reaver didn’t even drop; it just seemed to get angry, howling in pain and rage. But Zoe had already shot it four more times in the chest and it finally fell to the ground. Inara released a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding, and helped Zoe attempt to find a way out of the back of the shop. There were beams of wood everywhere, tangled together with collapsed shelves of broken merchandise, huge and tiny pieces of glass scattered all over. Inara gasped as she sliced her hand on a large metal shelf, but quickly wrapped it in a handkerchief to stall the blood and hurried on; this was no time to worry about small injuries.

The sounds outside were getting worse. They could hear other explosions farther down the street, people screaming, and the reavers’ mad cries and yells of glee as they found innocent shoppers and bystanders to tear to shreds.

*******

“MAL, GET UP HERE, NOW!”

Wash’s voice boomed over the speaker system, startling Mal out of an uneasy sleep at Kaylee’s side. Fear licked at his insides upon hearing the panic in Wash’s voice, and he raced up to the bridge as fast as his legs could possibly carry him.

“What!? What in the gorram hell has you so wor--” Mal fell silent in horror as he watched in the distance, a few fires blazing in the small town in front of them, and people running wildly around. They were too far away to hear the screams, but the general gist of it was more than clear.

“Oh god…” Wash squinted into the distance. “Oh god…. Mal. Look at that ship. Its… its reavers.” Wash pointed with a shaking hand out the window into the distance where they could jut barely make out the outline of the reavers’ ship. A huge, hulking thing, plastered with blood and human remains, its giant threatening spikes reaching menacingly into the sky.

“Well get her up in the air, what the bloody hell are you waiting for!?” Mal snapped harshly, wondering what the HELL was wrong with Wash, who was simply sitting there, looking stricken.

“Mal… Inara and Zoe are in town.” He choked out, staring at his captain. Wash had to go and save Zoe, he knew he did, he just didn’t know how. He waited, watching Mal, waiting for orders. Mal was gaping at Wash, almost incomprehensive. Inara and Zoe were in town? Where the reavers were? Inara? No. No no no. It couldn’t be. But he knew it was true, just looking at Wash’s face. A long string of curses flew out of Mal’s mouth as he hastened to think of a plan.

“Alright, get the mule going, pack it with as much ammo as you possibly can. I’m going to find Jayne.”

Quick as possible, Mal leaped down the steps and again found Jayne in the galley. But this time Jayne knew something was going on. Before Mal had even spoken, Jayne was on his feet.

“Do I need a gun this time?” he asked seriously, apparently cottoning on to the fact that there was going to be a battle.. “Yes. As many as you can carry. And be FAST.” Deciding to leave out the fact that it was reavers they were about to go up against, since Jayne was so twitchy about that subject, Mal hurried to his bunk and fetched as many of his guns as he could carry. One in each hand, one in his holster, one in each boot and several in his belt. He tucked a grenade unto his belt as well, hoping he wouldn’t really need it.

He ran down to the infirmary, to find Simon and River both looking scared. Simon immediately rushed over to him.

“What the hell is going on?” Simon asked urgently, noting the panic in Mal’s eyes.

“Reavers. In town. Inara and Zoe are in danger.” He summarized as quickly as he could- time was running out. “Stay here with River and Kaylee. If anything comes in here, shoot it.” He said gruffly, forcing a gun into Simon’s hands. Expecting the doctor to protest and ask questions, Mal hurried off without another word, running towards the cargo area.

Simon sank into a stool at Kaylee’s side while River stared at him in total shock and fear. Realizing his sister needed him, he hurried to her side and wrapped his arms around her, trying to calm her. God. Reavers. Kaylee was in a coma, maybe almost dead, and the place they landed happened to get hit by reavers. What next? Simon didn’t know what else bad could possibly happen – Didn’t know if he could even handle it if something else happened.

Mal reached the cargo bay, panting for breath. Jayne was clutching Vera and armed down to his feet, Wash was sitting on the mule, ready to take off, and Mal was glad to see that Book had arrived too, perhaps been told what was happening by one of the others, for he was holding a gun and the Captain could see several others in his belt too.

“Let’s go.” He said darkly, leaping on to the mule. The others followed and they zipped out of the ship as fast as they could, heading around behind the fray, praying that Inara and Zoe were alive.

******

Back in the chaos, Inara and Zoe finally picked their way through to the back of the shop. Relieved, Zoe saw the emergency exit door and pushed it open. She and Inara stumbled into a tight back alley, the sunlight blocked by a solid length of cement walls. Inara shuddered in fear; the alley was very narrow, and blocked at one end. This was no better than being in the ruined store. Praying that the Reavers hadn’t yet found the way into the alley, they crept along, Zoe in front, wielding her gun. Inara was trying not to cry, terror coursing through her body. This was such a bad situation. Not to mention she had snubbed Mal on the way out of the ship… if she died now, Mal would never know how she truly felt.

******

Mal’s hair whipped around his face in the wind as Wash raced towards the smoking town. Mal had never felt the mule go so fast before, and was clinging to the dash in front of him.

“Go around that way.” Mal yelled over the noise of the wind. They had gotten close enough now that they could hear the screams, see the terrified faces of the people that were running wildly, attempting to get away, could smell the fire that was consuming some of the buildings. Wash swerved away so they could approach the section of town from behind. The ground was already littered with bodies, and they could hear the reavers screaming and roaring and tearing into people. Mal felt his heart clench with fear. How could Inara and Zoe still be alive?

Wash was just utterly terrified. No other word described it. He had never seen Reavers before, aside from their ship that had passed them once, but never had he imagined they were this terrifying. He was so scared that he was going to find Zoe dead that he felt like he would pass out. His Zoe, the one woman in the world that meant everything to him, the one person he would gladly die for. What if she was dead? He couldn’t handle the thought.

Book and Jayne were both silent, gripping the seats in front of them for balance as the mule swerved and sped forwards. Jayne was mentally going over a list of his weapons that he had on him, braced for battle and almost kind of looking forward to it. That was until he realized it was reavers. Letting out a loud curse, he was about to protest when he remembered that Zoe and Inara were in town, and there was no way that Mal or Wash would turn around, so there was no use complaining. With a grim look, he cocked Vera and held her ready. He was going to take down some cannibalistic ass.

Book was praying, praying for the safety of them all, especially Inara and Zoe, and praying for God to give him the strength to remember everything he knew about battles. He just hoped everyone would make it out of this alive.

***********

Zoe stopped halfway along the alley and looked around, a frown creasing her bruised face.

“What is it?” asked Inara breathlessly, not liking how worried Zoe looked.

“See how low these buildings are?” Zoe asked, nodding up. Inara looked up and saw that the tops of the walls were really not that far from their heads, only about 10 feet from the ground. She nodded, waiting to hear what Zoe meant. “Reavers are extremely agile from what I’ve heard. They could come from above, too. Be careful.” Zoe said quietly, and Inara gulped, then nodded. Zoe felt bad for the Companion. As tough as Inara was, Zoe knew she hadn’t really been in any real battles before.

“What about the end of the alley?” Inara asked quietly, trying not to be heard, though it was an unnecessary precaution, over all the screams, bangs and roars. “What if they’re waiting for us?” the Companion’s voice was shaking, and Zoe stopped again, looking down at her. Realizing Inara was completely unarmed, Zoe cursed herself for not bringing two guns with her. Drawing a small dagger-like knife from her belt, she handed it to Inara.

“Here. It’s not as good as a gun but it’ll help if we get attacked.” Zoe said, somewhat gently. Inara gulped and took the knife with a shaking hand, trying to steady herself and be brave.

“Th-thanks.” She nodded, and held the knife tightly in her right hand, only then realizing she was still clutching the necklace she had chosen for Kaylee in her left. She quickly shoved the necklace into her pocket, and clutched the knife with both hands.

“And I already thought about what you said. Our only options are to try and sneak out there, or stay here and hope that none of them come back here. Neither are too pleasant, but I say we try and escape.” Zoe raised her eyebrows in question at Inara, and Inara nodded. She agreed, she’d rather get attacked trying to escape, than sitting in one spot, attempting to hide. They began to creep along the alley again, quiet as possible, trying not to listen to the sounds of agonized screaming.

***** Wash had now slowed the mule to almost a crawl, and then stopped. They all leaped off and carefully maneuvered between homes and shops behind where all the main action was taking place, attempting to find a place to scope out the situation to find Inara and Zoe with as little battle action as possible.

“What about over there?” said Jayne, pointing out from behind a fence towards a large monument near the main shops. “We could hide behind tha’ statue, and-”

“Thanks but I’d like to keep my skin.” hissed Wash, pointing to a large group of reavers who were running past the monument. “They’re all over there too. They’re everywhere.” He said, his voice losing its snappish quality and becoming smaller and frightened. How were they ever going to find Zoe?

“Will you two shut up? I’m trying to think!” Mal snapped at them, trying to push aside his panic. This was bad. This was very bad. The reavers were indeed everywhere, and Mal could see no place to penetrate without getting killed.

“Up there.” Said Book, suddenly. Mal looked over at the Shepard and found him pointing upwards, towards the top of the buildings. Mal knew they would be easy targets if they were spotted, but if they could keep out of sight… they should be able to see without being seen.

“Good idea as any, lets go.” Mal hissed. They carefully maneuvered along the fence and raced across the street towards the backs of the main buildings. They found a dumpster sitting behind one of them, and began helping each other up onto the roof. Mal had just hoisted Wash up when he heard a ferocious roar and saw a reaver bearing down on Jayne, who was the last one still on the ground. The mercenary began to run, panicking. Cursing, Mal aimed and took shot, hitting the reaver in the knee so it collapsed immediately. Jayne realized what had happened, stopped, spun around and unloaded a round at the crippled reaver, killing it easily. Jayne stood still for a second, apparently steadying himself, then ran back to where Mal was waiting.

“Sorry. Panicked.” Jayne grunted, hoisting Mal up onto the roof and then following.

“Yeah well, next time use your GUN. That’s what you brought it for!” snapped Mal. Now wasn’t the time to be understanding about fears. “If you run, you might attract more of them.” Jayne muttered under his breath, but Mal ignored him. “Alright people, spread out and move along the roofs, see if you can see any sign of Zoe or ‘Nara.”

************

The alley that the women were in was bordered on either side by cement walls, and occasionally metal doors. All of the doors they tried to open were locked, and they were too strong for Zoe to knock down. So they continued along the alley, wary and alert, ready incase one of the reavers popped out at them. A whiny sound suddenly filled the air and Zoe gasped, turned and tackled Inara, bringing her to the ground in one swift movement.

“W-What!?” gasped Inara, wincing from the impact of the hard pavement as her back hit it. Zoe didn’t have time to reply, only shielded Inara’s body as a sudden explosion nearby rocked the ground. Not far behind them, a hole had been blown into the wall, and the women coughed as powdered concrete flew through the air, settling on them and coating them in a fine grey dust. Zoe untangled herself from Inara and stood, helping the companion to her feet.

“Sorry for the lack of warning, but I heard the charge right ‘fore it went off.” Zoe panted, coughing and spitting away from them, wincing at the taste of the smoky powder in her mouth.

“Th-that’s quite alright…” Inara said, shaken. Thank God Zoe had known. Inara didn’t want to think about what would have happened had they still been standing; their heads could have been blown off.

The dust was still so thick around them that they could barely see, and Zoe held her gun ready, not daring to move into blind territory. They couldn’t tell how close the hole in the wall was behind them, until they heard a roaring cry of triumph and Inara’s arm was suddenly grabbed.

Letting out an ear piercing scream, Inara tried to wrench her arm away, but sharp-clawed hands held tight and started yanking her along.

“INARA!” yelled Zoe, trying desperately to see through the dust well enough to shoot. “Drop! Get to the ground!!” Zoe screamed after her, following the Companion’s yells of terror as she struggled against what had grabbed her.

Inara did as she was told and let herself drop to the ground, though she was still desperately trying to get away. The reaver had grabbed both her arms now and was ripping at her flesh, making her scream in pain. Gun shots exploded, making her ears ring, and she felt the hands release her as the reaver fell to the ground, dead. Shaking and bleeding, Inara struggled to her feet, jumping as Zoe appeared a foot away and steadied her.

“Are you okay!?” Zoe asked urgently, examining Inara’s torn up arms, noting the cuts on her neck as well, as though the reaver was just about to start in on her upper body before Zoe had managed to shoot it.

“I’ll.. I’ll live…” said Inara shakily, tears of pain streaking her cheeks. “Let’s just get out of here…” Zoe nodded and lead the way down the alley. It was still clogged with dust, but it had thinned enough that they could at least see a few feet in front of them. Inara’s arms were bleeding profusely but she did her best to ignore the throbbing pain, the hot blood dripping, as they crept along.

******

Mal too, had heard the charge before it exploded, and not three hundred feet in front of them, watched part of a building explode. Yelling wordlessly, he covered his head as debris flew through the air, heard Wash yell in pain as he was hit by something, and just prayed they’d all had the sense to protect their heads. After a few moments he raised his head and looks around. Jayne was unharmed but both Wash and Book, who had been in front of Mal and Jayne, were nursing injuries. Book hadn’t had a chance to cover his face and had several large gashes in his skin; Wash looked as though something heavy had hit him and dislocated his shoulder.

“Everyone stay down, we gotta regroup but stay out of sight!!” Mal called urgently. Book blinked blood out of his eyes and slithered back to Mal on his stomach, wincing.

“I’m okay, its just some cuts. Deep but not serious.” Book said, quickly summing up his injuries, wiping blood off of his face.

“Good.” Said Mal, nodding. “Jayne?”

“I’m fine.” He grunted from behind Mal.

“Wash?” asked Mal, peering through the cloud of dust for his pilot. Wash was several feet away, moaning and clutching his shoulder. Book hurried over to him and examined it.

“Its dislocated. I’ll fix it.” Book said, carefully maneuvering into a half-sitting position for better leverage. “Sorry, Wash.” With a sickening snap, Book yanked on Wash’s arm and Mal watched as the bone slipped back into its socket, wincing at Wash’s scream of pain. Jayne watched as well, anxious to get going before any more buildings were blown up.

“I’m… I’m o-okay.” Wash panted, his voice shaking. His hurt shoulder didn’t allow him to use his arm, so he clutched his gun in his left hand, and nodded to Mal. “L-Let’s go.” Wash was in a lot of pain, but that was nothing. He had to find Zoe. Even if the reavers didn’t directly kill her, what if one of these explosions did? The adrenaline was pumping through his veins, allowing him to semi ignore the pain for now.

Hardly a minute had passed since the last explosion and they were continuing on, carefully crawling along the rooftops. Its was so noisy and chaotic, but Mal’s ears perked when he heard a female scream, from only about a one or two hundred feet away, on the other side of the buildings from where most of the battle was raging.

“Inara?” he yelled, before he could stop himself. Book looked over at him sharply and Jayne cocked Vera, aiming blindly. “Over this way!!” he said, hurrying along the rooftops, peering into the dusty alley below, attempting to see through all the debris.

Finally, up ahead, he thought he could make out the forms of two people. It was impossible to tell if it was them –he didn’t dare yell to them, in case it wasn’t- but his heart leapt with hope. He pointed towards them to show the others and sped up, attempting to get closer.

******

Inara whimpered slightly as they continued on, wincing at the pain in her bloody, torn up arms. She couldn’t really see the cuts, as they were so bloody and covered in dust from the explosion, but she knew it was bad. She tried not to look at them as she followed Zoe, and gasped as the other woman suddenly shielded Inara and forced her to the ground again. Expecting another explosion, Inara attempted to shield her head, but then realized nothing was happening. Then suddenly Zoe yelled in pain this time, and Inara felt the woman dragged away from her.

Terrified, Inara sat up in time to see a Reaver attempting to drag Zoe off by her ankle. Zoe was fighting hard, and Inara stood, intending to throw herself at the reaver, when she was grabbed from behind. Screaming wildly, she kicked back and caught whatever was holding her in the knee, and yelled in fright when she heard its animalistic roar of pain. It spun her around, obviously intending to bring her the other way, and she kicked out again, sobbing and screaming, and somehow managed to kick the reaver’s ankle from in front, which made its footing give out and fall forwards. The reaver was smart enough to use Inara as padding however and her head cracked against a large chunk of concrete as they fell, knocking her out cold.

Zoe was panicking, and trying to keep herself calm at the same time. She struggled for her gun but the reaver knocked it loose and it flew across the alley. Cursing, she heard Inara scream and knew she had been grabbed too. Her heart racing against her chest, she kicked wildly, and somehow managed to get the reaver to loosen its grip enough to wiggle closer to Inara. Zoe saw the knife she’d given the Companion on the ground, and picked it up. The reaver was back on top of her again, and it took all her strength to get the blade positioned right, while the creature attempted to rip her apart. With a mighty heave, she drove the blade into its chest and felt it still, choking on its own blood. Relieved, she shoved it off and struggled to her feet, knowing she was bleeding but not caring.

“Inara!?” she yelled, running towards where she could see the other reaver on top of her friend, terrified that she was already dead.

*****

Mal and the rest were closing in. He could see the pair and was almost sure it was them, when he suddenly saw a reaver leap from a doorway in front of the two. Opening his mouth to yell, he realized it was too late as the reaver grabbed Zoe. By now he knew it was them, could tell from their yells.

“Its them! MOVE!” yelled Mal, standing up and running full out towards where they were. As they ran he could see Inara struggling against another reaver, and yelled in fury as they hit the ground and Inara stopped moving. They finally reached right above where the two women were and Mal and Jayne leaped together from the roof, landing painfully but on their feet. Jayne immediately ran to Zoe, who was up and attempting to help Inara, while Mal kicked the reaver on top of Inara in the head so hard that it rolled off of the companion.

A horribly grim, loathing expression on his face, he shot the reaver three times in the head, watching it fall to the ground and bleed for a moment before coming to his senses. Immediately he shoved the cannibal aside and knelt beside Inara, his heart breaking to see her covered in blood. She was unconscious, but thankfully breathing, and Mal could feel her pulse.

“Inara… come on…Please wake up.” He said, shaking her shoulders gently, brushing hair out of her face. Her arms and neck were all torn up, and her chest, stomach and face all had cuts. His heart was aching, and he was so scared to see her injured like this. But all that mattered now was getting them out of here… just finding them was only half the battle.

Zoe limped over, with help from Wash, who had leaped down and embraced his wife with tears of relief streaming down his face. She was a bit bloody too, mostly her legs, with a large bruise on the side of her face.

“She okay, sir?” she asked, leaning on Wash’s good shoulder and looking down at Inara in concern. Mal didn’t answer, was barely aware that they were all there watching.

“Come on, Inara.” He whispered, stroking her cheek. He wanted her awake before they tried to get out of here. He couldn’t bear to see her like this. “Please… I promise I’ll never be a hun dan to you ever again.” His eyes closed and he squeezed one of her hands. “I… I love…” he began to whisper, but he couldn’t get the words out. Even when she was unconscious, he couldn’t admit that he loved her. But at that moment, she stirred. With a small groan of pain she opened her eyes, struggling to focus, as Mal’s heart roared with fierce relief.

“Inara? Are you okay?” he asked, wiping a bit of blood off her cheek and brushing her hair out of her eyes.

“Mal?” she asked, confused. The last thing she remembered was being grabbed by a reaver. A REAVER. Gasping, she suddenly sat up, looking around wildly. “The reaver!? Where is it!? Where’s Zoe?” Mal had jumped in surprise at how fast she suddenly moved, but immediately steadied her.

“Its dead, and Zoe’s right here, everyone’s okay, but we have to get out of here. Can you walk?” he asked, still almost giddy with relief that she was conscious and alive.

“Yeah… yeah I think so.” She said, accepting Mal’s hand to pull her to her feet. As a group they carefully made their way down the alley, the opposite way that Inara and Zoe had been travelling. With Jayne and Book in front wielding their guns, they managed to make it to one of the exploded buildings. Carefully picking their way through the debris, they ended up on the back street where Mal and the others had initially climbed up on the wall.

They rushed across the street and into the backyard where they had stashed the mule, thankful it wasn’t occupied by the reavers. Jayne stood to one side and Book to the other, scoping the area, while Mal and Wash helped Zoe and Inara onto the mule. After everyone had gotten on, Wash started it up and zipped off, past the homes that hadn’t yet been touched.

Everyone was just starting to feel like they’d escaped when on the last row of houses they had to pass before they were in the open field to Serenity, a group of reavers on another mule was suddenly pelting after them.

“Zao gao.” muttered Mal, turning and aiming his gun. Jayne and Book did the same, and Zoe took Wash’s gun and aimed, since Wash was trying to outdrive them. At once all three of them fired. Mal missed, as did Book, but Zoe took out one of the gunners and Jayne hit the secondary driver in the shoulder. They quickly reloaded and shot again, but the one that Jayne had hit was roaring with rage. Having not been knocked out of the vehicle, or injured enough to be unable to fight, the reaver aimed at Jayne and shot.

Jayne let out a howl of pain as the bullet hit him in the upper chest, missing any vital organs but the force of it throwing him from the mule and sending him skidding across the dirt ground.

“MAN DOWN, TURN AROUND!” yelled Mal, and Wash hastened to obey, skidding the mule around in as tight of a turn as he could without flinging them all off. The reaver mule had stopped and they leapt off, all running towards Jayne, who was struggling to his feet, bleeding profusely from his chest. Wash managed to get back before they could leap on Jayne, and Zoe and Mal jumped off the mule and started firing, while Book ran over to Jayne and helped him onto the Mule.

“He’s on, come back!” Book yelled, and Zoe and Mal leaped onto the mule, barely before Wash hit the throttle again. They raced towards the ship and heard the reavers follow on their mule. Book was pressing a cloth down hard on Jayne’s chest and murmuring what everyone assumed to be prayers. Jayne was still conscious though he seemed rather distant, and Mal guessed he was in shock. Inara held one of his hands and bit her lip as her dust-laden hair whipped around her, praying he wouldn’t die. They sped towards the ship and finally they raced into the cargo bay. Simon was waiting by the door and as soon as they were in, he punched the button to lift the cargo ramp, but the reavers were still coming strong. Barely a second before they had reached Serenity, the door was up, and the crew could hear the reavers pounding on the hull, screaming their horrible screams. Mal leapt off the mule and started barking orders; this wasn’t over yet.

“Wash, get us in the air, Doc, Shepard, get Inara and Jayne to the infirmary, Zoe, come with me to seal all possible entrances! GO!” he yelled, running off with Zoe limping behind him as fast as she could. Book and Simon supported Jayne and half-dragged him towards the infirmary, Inara following, as Wash darted past them up to the bridge.

“Okay… put him on that couch.” Simon panted as they reached the passenger common area, the exertion of half carrying Jayne all the way up the stairs getting to him. They gently laid Jayne down on the couch and Inara hurried into the actual infirmary to sit beside Kaylee, who, despite everything, was still in her coma.

“Shepard, go help Mal and Zoe, we’ll be fine for two minutes. Simon can tend to Jayne.” Inara said, as Book came to see if she was alright. Nodding, he hurried off.

Suddenly, they heard a bang somewhere else on the ship. Simon looked up from where he was cleaning Jayne’s wound and closed his eyes for a moment.

“God, please don’t be something else bad.” He muttered under his breath as he squinted into Jayne’s wound, trying to locate the bullet. River watched in fear from behind the couch where she was crouching, her eyes barely visible above the cushions.

In one of the other parts of the ship, Mal had been knocked to the ground. The four reavers had managed to breach the hull and they were filing in. One had knocked Mal clean off the ladder he’d been climbing to secure the top hatch of the ship. Mal was attempting to shoot them all as they climbed in, but one managed to run away down the hall when another jumped on top of Mal. Zoe appeared just then and helped Mal kill the one attacking him, and the Captain had already managed to shoot down the other two. So that just left the one rogue reaver.

“Spread out.” panted Mal, wiping blood off his cheek and waving erratically around with his gun. “It could have gone anywhere.”

‘Anywhere’ turned out to be the passenger dorms. The reaver burst into the room, and immediately River screamed. Simon looked up in shock just in time to see the reaver swing a huge fist at him. The impact to his face sent him flying backwards over a table and hit the floor hard, not unconscious, but extremely dazed. River screamed again and the reaver turned to her, grinning in a horrible, deformed way. The reaver ran towards her as she panicked, and instead of running, she backed into the corner, as though she could shrink into the wall. No one noticed Jayne heaving himself up off the couch with difficulty.

Just as the reaver reached out to claw River, Jayne threw himself clumsily on it, knocking them all to the ground. River scrambled away as quickly as possible as Jayne scrapped with the reaver. But to Jayne’s dismay, the reaver was reaching towards his own belt. Attempting to stop the creature’s hand as it closed around Jayne’s knife, the reaver knocked aside his hand, before unsheathing the knife and lifting it high. With a deafening scream from River, the reaver brought it down into Jayne’s chest.

The mercenary let out a choked gasp of pain, just as Mal came skidding into the room. Without even thinking Mal aimed and shot, and the reaver dropped. But the damage was done. Jayne was bleeding profusely, and barely moving.

Simon struggled to his feet, shaking his head to clear it, then saw what had happened. He rushed over to Jayne’s side, but to his dismay, saw Jayne fading fast. He reached for Jayne’s neck to feel the pulse as the others crowded around, Zoe and Book approaching silently.

No one said anything. A moment later, Jayne had stopped choking and gasping, and lay still. Simon’s head bowed as he felt Jayne’s pulse flicker and die, and knew there was no point attempting to resuscitate. There was too much damage, the reaver had punctured Jayne’s heart. There was silence for a long moment before Mal finally broke it.

“Book… Zoe… Keep checking the ship. I think this was the last one but there is always a chance there was another.” He said, the orders less forceful than normal. His eyes drooped with sadness at losing Jayne, but he had to secure the safety of the others. He hurried off after Book and Zoe, leaving Simon to deal with River and Inara.

Simon was staring down at Jayne’s lifeless face. He had never liked the mercenary, for good reason, since Jayne had always taken it upon himself to be mean to Simon. But he had died a hero, and Simon was deeply touched and saddened.

“You saved my sister.” He said softly. He gently closed Jayne’s eyes as Inara and River huddled together in the doorway, crying. “Thank you.”


Please review! I promise the next part will come in the next few weeks. I won't make you wait a year again!!!

COMMENTS

Monday, September 1, 2008 1:04 PM

WANMEI


Well written!

A great next chapter in the series. Lots of emotion, lots of action. Good work!

Can't wait to read more!

Monday, September 1, 2008 1:39 PM

BURNANDBOIL


I finally escape and then you draw me back in! Now I'm going to have to keep reading/writing new parodies! Grrrrrrr.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:47 AM

AMDOBELL


I really never thought we would ever get another chapter from you, it has been that long. So glad you are writing again, please don't leave gaps of over a year between chapters! This was a rip roaring action sequence from start to finish, very good and exciting but I have to wonder why, when Zoe and Inara were faced with that Reaver, Zoe shot it three or four times in the chest before it went down when a head shot would have taken it out and saved bullets. I know it's more exciting this way but Zoe is a professional soldier and Inara doesn't have a gun. Then when Mal and co were being pursued by the Reaver mule I wondered why Mal didn't use his grenade to disable their vehicle and lastly when they were all on the ship and Mal raced to secure the top hatch I kept thinking, why would it be insecure in the first place? But the biggest hit to the gut was you killing Jayne, I can't believe you did that. Also, that River wouldn't have snapped into assassin mode the moment the Reaver hit Simon. Having her act just like any other person going to pieces in the face of such savagery somehow felt wrong. I am hoping that Jayne can be revived in some way, that Simon takes another look and pulls out all the stops. Because Jayne being dead for real would really suck. Great writing, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:32 AM

YANLEI


Burnandboil - Hehehe. I was hoping you would see my message! I'm glad I lured you back ;)

Amdobell: Thanks for the feedback! Wow!

I think when I was writing, I was thinking more along the lines of all of them are bloody terrified of the reavers, and even insanely calm-in-a-calamity Zoe wouldn't be quite her normal self. Perhaps that wasn't a good call, but I'm learning =)

And Jayne is really dead, I'm sorry. Prepare for angst in the next chapter, but it should be exciting! Its coming to an end soon, only a few more chapters. I have an idea for another fic, and I hope you will like it as much as this one.

Thanks for your support, all three of you!

And Amdo: Don't worry. I will NOT make you wait so long this time, the next chapter is already started! =D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:35 AM

YANLEI


Oh, I forgot to say about the grenade... I thought about it, but it seemed more dangerous to use it than not, since they were SO close behind them... Mal didn't want to have anyone blown on by flying machinery!

And the top hatch was not secured because they had just landed not long ago and they were doing normal maintenance... Sorry for not mentioning that, I have all these routines that I imagine they go through at every stop, but I didn't write it in at all. Another thing to add in the future! =D

Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:31 PM

BURNANDBOIL


And I come back to Jayne dying! What are you trying to do to me! Next chapter soon please! :D

Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:00 PM

SHINYZOEKAYLEE


Such a shiny story, are you going to continue? Please?(:


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