Mournin' the Fallen
Friday, March 27, 2009

A Flashback into Cat and Mal's past...a story that kind of has been playing around in my head. Is short, I know, but I hope you enjoy. More Cat soon as I get over the flu. ;) (thanks Ali and Jane for the well wishes. You both rock.)


Three weeks after joining the 57th.....

Mal hated death, especially when it happened to someone as young as Private Conners. He had been no more than eighteen, if that, most of the kids had lied to get in, especially those who had no one to mourn them when they died. Conners was one of those. Mom and Dad were killed when they refused to pay some Gang Lord's tax, something that should have been stopped by the Alliance, but as always they had somewhere better to be, more important. It was always the little guy that suffered.

He cradled the boy's bloodied head in his lap, a tear staining the jacket on his uniform as the Sargent just stared at the hole in the young kid's chest, Mal's hand wrapped tight around Conner's dog tags, saddened that no one would be there to collect them.

A shadow cast itself over the dead body as he looked up from tear stained cheeks at his newest recruit, the strange woman who called herself Cat. She had made for a great addition to his unit, training the younger ones to fight and even showing the veterans a new trick or two. She hadn't won over Zoe yet, his second still a bit wary of the red haired devil, but as far as Mal was concerned, she hadn't killed him so there had to be some good in her.

"You're mourning his loss, why?" She looked at him with those piercing green eyes and then to Conner's dead form.

"He was too young."

"But, did he not fight bravely and do what needed to be done? Isn't that what you ask of these, of us?"

"Yes, but even a great leader mourns the fallen that served him." Mal looked at her, the moonlight reflected in her eyes. "Besides, if I don't, no one else will."

"So he is like me." Her voice softened as she leaned over to tentatively touch the boy's cold face and blond curls. "What happened to his family?"

"Someone thought they didn't deserve to live and the gorram purple bellies didn't think it important enough to give it the time of day." Mal growled the last bit as his fingers held tighter to the dog tags. Cat, her fingers soft on his skin, removed them from his hand and laced them around her neck. She refused to wear any, citing that she would never need to be identified. Mal figured it was because she was from some organization that didn't give a hill of beans if she was returned or not. Well, he had been wrong before.

"I'll make sure his death was not in vain." She replied, touching Conner's face one last time before standing up. "When you bury him, as I know you will, say something for me. Isn't that what you do over the dead?"

"Sometimes." He looked at him. "Where are you going?"

"To make this boy's death important." She grinned and for some odd reason, Mal was reminded of some story about a little girl and a cat who grinned before disappearing. It had been something his mother forced him to read for school. Like that cat, his seemed to disappear within the shadows.

Hours later.....

"Zoe, you seen Cat?" Mal, dusting the dirt of his boots and tan jeans tossed a look to his second, who merely pointed to the fire where the woman in question was rubbing something off her shoe. "She disappeared on me earlier. The boys are gonna want some grub after digging graves and we need to see where that unit is from here so they don't sneak up on us while we're sleepin'."

"They're gone, Sir." Zoe whispered, a harsh sound unlike her, one that spoke almost of fear as she continued to stare at the woman by the fire.

"I know. We tried to protect them. If you need to mourn, I understand." It was completely out of character for Zoe to mourn openly, mostly rather waiting until the unit was asleep before exposing her soft side. Mal had learned to accept it.

"No, not our people. The purple bellies." She looked at him, her brown eyes reflecting something he had not seen before in his second.

"Packed up and left? Needed somewhere else. Hell knows they'll be more to replace them. Means a good night sleep for once."

"No. I mean they're all dead, Sir." She glanced over at Cat, who caught their eyes before reaching to take a cooked rabbit from the stake.

"Dead? How? No other friendly unit is suppose to be on this side. They told us no other men could be spared."

"It wasn't one of ours, Sir, or at least, not really." She looked at him again, the fire casting shadows across her face. "I have never in my life and service to this cause seen blood like that. It was everywhere. Pools of it gathered like rivers over flowing into the lakes that seemed endless. Bane and me counted 75 men, Sir, all lookin' like some monster came in and ripped them to pieces."

"It had to been something else. This place is known for its dangerous animals. Hell, might even be some savages in these mountains. Ain't no way it's her." Mal watched as Cat shared the food with his men as she grabbed another rabbit, skinned and ready to cook and placed it on the fire.

"We found these." Zoe handed him a set of dog tags and he didn't even need to look to know whose they were. "Hanging from a hunting knife that was embedded in the Sarge's head. He was tied up on the head of a long pole that stood in the center of their camp. It was the first thing we saw when we approached."

"She wanted them to know." Mal spoke softly as he ran his fingers over the chain of the tags. "Know what, Sir?" Zoe asked, her eyes never leaving the beautiful woman who seemed so caring of their men as she tended to their dinner.

"That someone thought he was important." He placed a hand on her shoulder before walking over to the fire and sitting next to Cat as she smiled and gave him part of the meat she had kept for herself. Zoe stood for a minute and then joined them.

============================================= And to all those that have had loved ones that have fallen in war protecting that which matter most, my sympathies and realize you are important.


Friday, March 27, 2009 10:10 AM


*Diyu* girlfriend, this so absolutely rocks! I could so SEE this in my mind's eyes. Loved how Cat made sure Conners' death meant something and paid them back for taking that life, with interest. I particularly like Zoe's reaction and Mal's acceptance. What a wonderful backstory to Mal and Cat. Super shiny! Now get well soon - that's a gorram order, *dong ma*? Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:03 AM


I love the way that you have Cat being much more formal than in your other tales, and I can't help feeling that being with Mal gives her a lot of the humanity you've imbued her with. And although 'a life for a life' (or in this case 'a lot of lives for a life') can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and everyone ends up dead, I like your take on it. The only thing I'm not sure about are Mal and Zoe's reactions: I can see Zoe being much more accepting of Cat's actions, but at this point Mal still had a respect for life. He never thought he'd murdered anyone during the war, and perhaps this *was* murder. Can we have a little sequel where Mal and Cat talk about this? We could see her beginning to understand about life being important ...

Whatever, good stuff!


You must log in to post comments.



The Bouncing Ball Ch 20
Been awhile, but we still here... Jane and I spin a yarn and bounce the ball. Cat stands back...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 19
Jane and Me.... no more needs to be said... enjoy.

Cat goes hunting....

The Bouncing Ball Ch 18
Jane 0904 and I are writing up a storm. Another chapter of universe jumpin and twisty turns... Cat sees ghosts again...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 17
Another chapter.... thanks from Jane and I for your comments and for reading... Book explains.

The Bouncing Ball Ch 16
Jane and I are at it again.... with some outside help from my other favorite co-author, Werzbowski. Thanks for lending your talents to your character, 'Ski. Anyway, Cat sees ghosts....

The Bouncing Ball Ch 15
Jane and I continue on following the bouncing ball. Thanks for joining us. Special thanks to all who read and comment... you all are awesome. Cat get dirty...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 14
Jane and I are just doing what we like so enjoy the ride... big THANKS to Ali and 'Ski who have read and commented every time. You all rock! Anyway... Cat meets Badger...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 13
Jane and I are having a blast. Frey and Cat... not so much... Cat gets caged.

The Bouncing Ball Ch 12
Jane and me are on the way again to deliver our next chapter. Cat seeks Badger...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 11
Jane and I are here again... hoping that you enjoy our next chapter. Cat argues...