Another Girl Another Planet Ch 17
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Warning - this chapter contains scenes that some readers may find disturbing


17. Violence

Wei Fen stands in front of his desk, turning Jayne’s knife over in his hands. Perhaps he’ll kill the man with it, maybe after he’s broken his fingers. Looks at the big hands, where they lie, wrists lashed to the arms of the wooden chair. Ankles are bound in a similar fashion to the legs. It amuses Wei Fen to enthrone his victims this way. The helplessness on their faces when they awake, the vulnerability.

His mouth curls a little as he looks at the other chair. He hasn’t bothered to tie her ankles. He could kill her, but then he would lose any profit. And he wants her to know what is going to happen to her. A frown, as he remembers the look of disdain on her face, as she declined his offer. Insolent biao zi. He’ll enjoy teaching her to obey.

A hoarse, hacking cough as the man wakes.


Ah. A new play suggests itself. An extra humiliation.

“Do I understand that you have some interest in this woman?” Watches comprehension dawn, in the darkening eyes, swelling muscles. “I do not see it myself, but I have several men...anxious to meet her. The eyes fascinate them.” Hard dispassionate fingers pull her chin up. “For the rest, an ugly white san ba with no manners, but perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks.”

Reaches over to slap her face, hard, until the green eyes open.

This time, there is no comforting white when she awakes. The light is dim, the room warm, and the face in front of her anything but loving. He slaps her again, more for the fun of it. Laughs when she flinches away from his raised hand.

“Just a little rich girl from the Central Planets. I wonder how long she will last in one of my houses? Down by the docks, I think...all that education, and she’ll be used by every man that can afford a drink.”

Jayne uses words that even he’d forgotten he knew, strains against the rope. It bites his skin.

Wei Fen reaches out with the knifepoint, savours her fear. Hooks the zip in the overalls, draws it down. Walks behind the chair, hand up under her jaw, hard. Two quick strikes of the blade and her hands are free, but all she can do is seize in fear, as the knife point rests between her breasts.

“There is nothing you can do.” Wei Fen digs his fingers in, and she chokes. “You are a weak, useless woman, and you should never have had the nerve to say no to me. You are going to learn that that is no longer an option for you.” The pressure under her throat draws her up, until she is on tiptoe. Metal cold against her skin, and she is beyond terror, numb and sick. The worst thing is Jayne’s eyes, anguished as he curses.

“Now, you get to watch me tame her.” Slams her back over the desk, casual, powerful.

She struggles, kicks and gouges, but the pressure on her spine is brutal, and she can’t breathe, iron fingers to show her just how helpless she is.

Jayne’s growl is bestial.

Ropes don’t give way. Whole chair does, in a shock of tearing wood joints.

Wei Fen’s eyes widen. Backhands Ilargia into the corner and turns to face the threat.

Jayne swings at him. Doesn’t even connect. Boot slams under Jayne’s heart, and he feels the ribs go. Normally, people fall over at this point. Big man keeps coming, and only the swiftest reflex prevents a fist from doing more than graze his ear. Strike back hits a forearm still braced with the remnants of rope and chair. No element of surprise, this time. Another boot to the face, but Jayne rolls with this blow, and nearly has his ankle. Slashes out with the knife.

Jayne ain’t gonna die with his own knife in his gut. Catches the forearm, uses the man’s own weight to drive his hand into the desk. Blade spins free, and now it’s hand to hand.

Wei Fen has a brief qualm. He can beat this man to death, but he has to stay out of range of those hands to do it. He has speed and precision, but the monster won’t go down.

Man’s simply everywhere, fists and feet. But Jayne’s good in a brawl, none better he knows of, and this is a fight he cannot, will not, lose.


Mal looks at the aircar. It’s tiny. A mere shell of metal, two seats in front of a cargo space, skeleton controls. Most of the weight is the two gimballed engines under the short backswept wings. It gives the impression of speed, just standing there.

“I’m gonna be sitting on a gorram firework.”

“Not unless the nitrous oxide goes up.” Tiy straps in. “Had to take the plating off for lift.”

They got plenty of lift. Mal lets out a sound nearer a squeal than anything dignified, as the framework leaps skywards. River laughs.   He‘s sitting in a gorram basket. Woman is one hell of a pilot. River, crouched in the cargo space behind their seats, is watching with avid eyes. Mal can feel her concentration, bowstring eager. Tiy, who limps on the ground, quiet and contained, blossoms in the air, a fierce hawk of a woman, the controls an extension of her long hands. The craft responds to her slightest gesture. Mal doesn’t look down - the floor isn’t. But somewhere beneath them, the mule is following them.

Through the canyons of the streets, fast and hard. People running, peering from their balconies, to see what the hell just went past the windows. Mal doesn’t think he’s drawn a breath since the nose tipped. Sheer wall coming up in front of them, and Tiy hauls back. Engines tilt and so does the horizon.

Five storeys, and the windows don’t begin until the third. Graceful pagoda roof lines belie the ugliness of the owner, provide a narrow walkway they can just fit on. River stands on the edge, looks over. Mal doesn’t. Tiy is prising off a duct cover.

“Valkyrie, this is Phoenix. We are at the drop zone.”

“Phoenix, this is Valkyrie. I’m gonna knock on the door.”


Juno steps into the street, and the guards on the door dive for cover. She’s the only one strong enough to lift the bazooka. Zoe grins tightly; Jayne had been saving that for a special occasion. He calls it ‘Rosebud’.

“Hello boys!”



Building shakes. Wei Fen is unbalanced long enough for Jayne to get a palm strike in, follow it up with a brutal kidney punch. Gives a heart blow back that brings Jayne to one knee. He kicks out, no finesse, just power.


Most folk are running to see who just blew the front doors in. There’s a handful of deeply rattled men holding position. One peers round a corner, meets the butt of Mal’s pistol coming the other way. Tiy kicks another in the throat. With her right foot. He doesn’t get up again.   By the sound of it, River’s just happening to some folks weren’t expecting it. Tries not to kill, but her maiming is sure effective.   Made for this. Designed and trained for this. But - grown beyond what they ever meant her to be. This knowledge stirs within her, powerful. Sings in her heart. They have no power to make her kill for them; that lies within her own hands.

Killer angel dances. Precision and grace in every line, as she takes out kneecaps and elbows. Minds flare in shock and pain, but they only dim, they don’t go out. Drives them before her, down the stairs and into hell.


Nobody gets paid enough to face soldiers. They are used to beating up shopkeepers or bar owners, to swaggering down the streets without opposition. Now, they seem to be caught between the forces of nightmare and destruction. The ground floor is a killing zone.

There are more folk outside now. And they haven’t come to gawp. Word is out, that someone is taking a stand. Step on people too many times, one day they’re going to bite up through your boots. One of Wei Fen’s men tries to make a run for it, and a local store keeper fells him with a broom. Never gets a chance to get to his feet again, as the mob close in.

Rattle of gunfire. Simon swallows, aims low. These aren’t reavers; these are men. Beside him, Zoe has no such compunction, making every shot count. Juno hefts her own gun, looses off a dozen rounds and a string of profanity.


Sound of gunfire. Sound of distant shouting. Sound of hoarse breathing, solid impact of meat on meat.   Ilargia, bruised, scared, disorientated, pulls herself up by the desk.

She sees a figure out of a nightmare, eyes pale fire in a crimson mask of rage. Teeth bared in a snarl, lunging forward at a black-clad shadow that dances out of his reach.

Her man, still trying to fight, though he can’t see, coughing blood. He won’t quit, he’ll never quit, hasn’t the gorram sense. That little piece of go se will break every bone, and enjoy watching him drown in his own blood.

Jayne’s great knife, heavy under her hands, and she doesn’t even pause, a long lunge and drives the blade up.

A lifetime ago, she fought with a blunt sword for trumpery medals. Played with toys in a world that didn’t know indignity, or fear, or pain, or loss. She knows all of these, and she will not let this...creature take anything more from her.

Keeps his blades sharp. Cloth and flesh and muscle.   An instant of distraction. And that is all that is needed. Light is already dimming in startled eyes, when Jayne gets both bloodied hands on Wei Fen’s jaw, and the sound makes her lose her stomach.   Killed a man with his bare hands. Not the first time, and thank the Lord, won’t be the last. Blood in his mouth, and he can’t hardly open his eyes. He’s in a world of pain. But it’s his Larji he can hear, swearin’ at him. Getting old, ‘cos no-one’s got a drop on him for years (‘cept River, an’ that’s different - girl’s a crazyass super weapon...) Beaten all to hell, an’ he couldn’t protect Larji, but she don’t need protectin’, just stuck that hun dan, she’s wipin’ his mouth, gentle hands, and he manages her name. Kissin’ and cryin’ and callin’ him all kinds of fool, but she don’t let go. She don’t let go. Scolds her.

“What d’you think y’were doin’? Killin’s my business, not yours.”

“I won’t do it again.” Shaky kiss on his forehead. “Now shut up,, don‘t try sitting up, you idiot...”

Sight that greets Mal when he darts a look around the doorframe. Ilargia cuddling up a sorry mess that might be his hired gun, and a dead guy. Woman’s in shock, and Jayne’s in pain, but there’s bleedin’ and swearin’, two good signs of life.


“Jayne ain’t the only one can do heroic rescuin’.” Mal puts his coat round her. “Learnt all he knew from me.”

She flinches under his careful touch, fumbles her zip up. It’s River who puts a gentle arm round her shoulders. She won’t sit back in the chair, stays kneeling near Jayne, but the shivering slows.

“You took your own sweet time gettin’ here.” Jayne spits another mouthful of blood. “You stop for tea and dumplings on the way?”

“Had to pick up some friends.” Mal taps his earpiece. “Zoe, we got ‘em. We’ll need the doc.”

“Ready to fall back.” Shots in stereo, earpiece and real time.

“Gorram idiot tied me to a wooden chair.” Jayne is still trying to sit up. “They always wanna talk, ‘stead of killin’ a man, sensible like.” Turns his blinded face in Mal’s direction. “You look after my woman, yeah? Jus’...gonna pass out now.”


Sunday, May 28, 2006 1:07 PM


I love the pacing of this piece.
Actually the whole damn story has me enthralled. So happy that you posted multiple pieces today.
Thank you.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 8:42 PM


Gotta love it when the BDHs stage a rescue;)


Sunday, May 28, 2006 10:28 PM


You know, I really should review your previews chapters but I'll start with this one because, god damn, it was good. A good mix of action, humor and big damn hero moments, not to mention I loved Jayne in this, especially: "“You took your own sweet time gettin’ here.” Jayne spits another mouthful of blood. “You stop for tea and dumplings on the way?”" and "“You look after my woman, yeah? Jus’...gonna pass out now.”"

I really love your Jayne. I can see him act exactly like the you way you have him act in your fanfic. It's a great story and this big rescue was an incredible romp. Great chapter! Lovin' it, really am.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:17 AM


Dear God, let me catch my breath and stop shaking. Incredible stuff, here.

<“You took your own sweet time gettin’ here.” Jayne spits another mouthful of blood. “You stop for tea and dumplings on the way?”> Oh yeah!


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