Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Why didn't Jayne fight in the war?
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1081 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
"In "The Train Job" Jayne says he didn't fight in the war. I just wanted to know why not?
“Jayne! Jayne Cobb.” The breathless voice stopped him. “You sure can move fast boy” the preacher panted.
“I’m in a hurry to get home,” the boy grinned at him.
“Well I won’t keep you. I would just like to know how your granddaddy is today.”
The preacher berated himself when Jayne’s expression changed from happy boy to careworn man. The boy, and despite his size, that’s all he was, had too many cares for a grown man, let alone a seventeen year old boy.
“Coughs worse and he’s gettin’ real feeble”. Jayne had stopped hopin’ more years ago than he could count that his granddaddy was goin’ to get better.
Preacher Roberts was lookin’ at him again like he expected somethin’ more. “Pa’s still the same” he offered.
“Jayne,” preacher put a hand on his arm “we had church supper last night. If you’re not too proud to accept them, I’d like to give you the leftovers.”
He waited for the explosive reaction that he felt sure was coming. The boy’s parents were death on accepting charity. Never mind that Jayne was killing himself trying to provide for them all.
No they couldn’t accept charity, but they’d let the boy do most of the work on the farm, then work all day at the mine. The preacher knew that the money Jayne earned just scratched the surface of what he was paying out. Recently he had started fighting for money. His size and the good training his grandfather had given him made the boy the best fighter around. Lately he had been putting that to use at the bars in the surrounding villages.
Jayne knew his parents wouldn’t like him acceptin’ the food. They didn’t want to admit they needed help, but he was goin’ to. He already had nine mouths includin’ hisself to feed, medicine to pay for, and here was Ma, pregnant again.
“Yeah, I’ll take it.” He could see he’d surprised the hell out of the preacher who was smilin’ all over his face.
Jayne was nine when his pa and granddaddy came home from the war. He never had understood what they were even fightin’ about. Just knew that the gorram war had ruined their planet and their lives.
His Ma had lost her father, mother, brother and cousin, his pa and granddaddy had survived, but they were ruined too.
At first his granddaddy had been able to work a bit, help out round the farm.
A war hero loved by everyone, his granddaddy taught Jayne and six year old Bobby how to hunt, track and fight. But he’d been gassed with some chemical and had real problems breathin’ and such. It wasn’t long before workin’ hard or doin’ anythin’’ more than walk slow caused him to cough all the time.
Jayne had vague memories of his pa before he went away to war. He remembered games in the mornin’, bein’ swung up on broad shoulders, laughter, strength and carin’. But his pa weren’t like that now; he was never the same since he came home.
Blinded by rocket fire, he couldn’t stand sudden noises, got all worried when things were out of place. Didn’t like crowds, didn’t trust no-one, the only thing that meant anythin’ to him were Ma and his family. All he seemed good for these days was makin’ babies.
Jayne and Bobby came before the war, there’d been four others since and Ma was only two months off birthin’ again. This was the last one, she’d promised him. Was gonna call it Matthew or Mathilda.
Even before the others had been born, Jayne’s granddaddy had seen the writin’ on the wall, he asked Jayne to leave school and stay home to help on the farm. There was no pension for anyone who fought; both sides had used up every resource they had. The Alliance had ignored the war and its aftermath and never helped at all. Jayne’s help was needed to help the family survive.
He hadn’t minded all that much, leavin’ school, he didn’t do well there. He weren’t dumb, but he was slow, and had trouble keepin’ up with lessons. But Chrissie, next in line from Bobby, she was smart, really clever. Jayne made gorram sure she and all the little ‘uns got schoolin’. Schoolin’ was the key to them gettin’ off this rock.
He didn’t mind workin’ on the farm, but was always so tired. Hated workin’ in the mines, but stood it for the money. What he did mind was all the things he missed out on.
Girls his own age to flirt with was one, he knew plenty of whores from fighting in the bars, but hardly any normal girls. Driftin’ round with the other boys, playin’ games and such was another thing he missed. Goin’ on picnics, swimmin’ or fishin’ for fun, even goin’ to church supper, all things he missed. He sorta resented it.
He was stridin’ along thinkin’ a mixture of resentful, worried thoughts when he heard his name called again and Chrisse came runnin’ up.
“Jayne, Ma said come quick, Pa’s collapsed.”
Jayne stood in the cemetery, imaginin’ his Pa’s body stretched out in the coffin. He hoped he was at peace, not worried. He was sorry he had been too late to help, but so had the doctor and preacher. Turned out his Pa had somethin’ in his brain that killed him, no one could’ve helped him
Jayne had always thought his granddaddy would go first, but no he had to keep sufferin’ and sufferin’. Ma, always so strong, just fell apart. Couldn’t cope, she got real sick with the babies and had to take to her bed. Granddaddy, who’d loved his son, was numb with grief. The little girls were bewildered and frightened and turned to Jayne for help and he didn’t know what to do.
So he just went through the motions of grievin’, organisin’ the funeral, helpin’ carry the coffin to the cemetery.
Everyone in town came to the funeral to honour his Pa, show their support. It gave him a feelin’ of pride and love for the man who Jayne had kinda given up on.
As the family moved forward to throw flowers on the coffin his granddaddy stopped him.
“Promise me boy” his granddaddy’s grip was fierce “you won’t fight in no wars.”
He looked at the dirt slowly coverin’ the coffin of his father. The man who’d been used up by war and ignored by them that caused it.
“I promise,” said Jayne.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 4:45 AM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 5:44 AM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 6:17 AM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:45 AM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 5:37 PM
Saturday, February 11, 2006 2:02 PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 1:39 PM
Wednesday, March 01, 2006 2:06 AM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.