BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

RIVERISMYGODDESS

From Bad to Worse, pt 10
Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thrilling heroics ensue.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1351    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

This is the first story that I have finished (aside from the one-shots, which by definition were finished when I wrote them). I hope that anyone out there reading these has enjoyed them, and I do still plan to write a two chapter epilogue, mostly fun and games and spending the money and most likely a naked beach, though it will have to happen after DragonCon due to the impromptu training this week.

- - - - -

pt 01,pt 02,pt 03,pt 04,pt 05,pt 06,pt 07,pt 08,pt 09

- - - - -

Time seemed to stand still as everyone became aware of their surroundings. Amos had been trying to open the cuffs holding Tom to the bulkhead as Anya covered both of them, but each of them stared on in surprised silence when they saw Commander Harley exit the room with their leader and friend at knifepoint. At the opposite end of the room, Mal had a similar look on his face as Zoe and Jayne looked on stoically.

"You're all in some pretty serious goushi, you know," Harley bellowed, the tip of the fine blade piercing the skin of Claire's jawline. "Assaulting and murdering thirty federal soldiers, not to mention theft, embezzlement, and treason. As of right now, you are all bound by law to stand down."

"You can't honestly think you're walking away from this, Ryan," Claire gritted out through clenched teeth. "The longer you hold me here just gives my friends more chances to find their shot."

"No, the longer I hold you here, the less time there is before my other three patrol boats arrive to take us all for a nice ride back to my base." At this revelation Zoe and Mal exchanged concerned looks, each returning their gaze to the situation in from of them as their brains scrambled to form a viable plan. "I imagine, however, that it will not be as pleasurable a flight as the one that brought you here."

Mal looked from the Commander and Claire over to the other end of the room. Amos had taken the slight distraction Claire had created talking to Harley to free Tom, and now all three of them had guns trained on them. Mal's eyes widened at the efficiency with which they attempted to turn the tables, looking out of the corner of his eye for his own mercenary, who had taken up a position at the top of the stairs, covering both the cargo bay and the side of the infirmary.

"Commander, it doesn't have to end this way," Mal spoke up, hoping to continue the distraction. "You know that none of us will be going with you peaceably, and that if things continue along these lines you and your turncoat lieutenant will be dead long before any help arrives to take you anywhere."

Harley turned slightly to face Mal, a sneer coming to his lips. "You're Browncoat scum, all of you. Your lives are worth even less than they were before, though we should've killed you off of every world spinning, that would have ended the war and your pathetic broken existences for certain. As it is now, I get to have the pleasure of making sure every one of you cowardly inbred pisspots has a miserable existence before offing you."

Mal returned his sneer with a smile, seeing Claire's posse taking aim at Harley's distracted form. He could also see Graham in the infirmary behind him, the barrel of his gun centered on Mal's torso somewhere. He knew that even if someone got a shot into Harley, he could still slice Claire's throat before he died. He also knew that Zoe and Jayne had taken aim at what they thought was strategically important. Mal squinted his eyes, making sure his aim would be true, and a split second later seven shots echoed through the cramped confines of the ship's common area.

- - -

Wash paced the bridge anxiously, looking out the front windows at the carnage before him. He had seen Mal, Zoe, and Jayne take out the Alliance guards with cold precision, and had watched the other ships come crashing down. Book stood in the doorway, keeping his thoughts quiet as he watched the youthful pilot agonize about his wife, knowing there was nothing he could say to ease his anxiety.

At the other end of the ship, Kaylee sat on the floor of the engine room, tinkering with some minor repairs to the auxiliary life support system. Inara stood in the hallway just outside, silently watching the skilled young mechanic with a bit of envy. Sometimes she had laid awake in bed, wondering what her life would be like if she hadn't began training for her adult career when she was twelve. She stepped into the room, her trademark smile re-appearing on her face almost instantaneously.

Below them, Simon sat in the passenger dorm that River slept in. She had awoken from a light nap screaming and drenched in perspiration, and he was checking her vital signs and trying to calmingly talk to her about what had been in her dream. River let him do his duties as a doctor and big brother, though she stared off blankly when he continued to ask her about what she had seen.

- - -

Mal, in an attempt to gain the upper hand by shooting first, raised his gun, firing his first bullet over Ryan's shoulder to make a solid impact with Alec. As he heard the shot, looking down to see where he was hit, three bullets hit him from behind as Amos, Tom, and Anya all fired. One went through his stomach, another through his left lung, and the third through the spine at the base of his neck. A fourth shot from Zoe also hit him directly in the face, snapping his head back as he quickly fell to the floor. Mal's shot knocked Alec's gun hand off balance, causing his shot to go into his left arm instead of his chest. The seventh shot came from Jayne's gun, piercing and shattering the Lieutenant's right kneecap. As he fell to the floor, Mal and Zoe converged on him, kicking his gun away and covering him with theirs.

Claire stood slowly, shrugging off the limp body of the man she once tortured for hours. She looked like she had been through hell. There were long, deep cuts down both of her arms, blood had started to soak through the lower part of her shirt, and the wound on her throat trickled blood down her neck. She first looked up at Mal, a curious look on her face. Before she could ask the obvious question, he decided to speak up.

"Amos radioed me, said we could have the rest of the agreed upon share of the gold if we came and got you guys out of the fix you had gotten into." Mal's face was cold end expressionless, and there was a sadness in his eyes as he regarded Claire. "In any case, I want to get on with it. There are still several patrol boats and one could be along any minute."

They looked down at the prone form of Alec Graham as he attempted to crawl to his weapon. Claire drove her boot heel down hard on one of his hands, causing him to howl in pain. "I suppose you can have the rest of your share of the gold, seeing as I won't be owing this snake the forty percent he wanted. Instead, I think I will show him just how much I can make him hurt before his miserable little life is over. I know I don’t deserve it Mal, but can you do one more favor for me? I’ll give you half of the gold I have left, which means more for you and your crew.”

Jayne looked between Mal and Claire, a familiar glint in his eyes. Zoe’s eyebrows rose as well, which Mal knew to be her skeptical ‘this-is-too-good-to-be-true’ look. Looking from one to the other, he finally returned his gaze to Claire. “Ok, I’ll bite Claire. What do you want me to do?”

She looked at him, tears threatening to flow freely down her blood stained face. “Fly off and draw the other three patrol boats away. You can get on the comm., pretending to be one of these hundans, and tell them that all of us fugitives are escaping on one ship. I just don’t think I have it in me to lead a high speed chase right now, plus if anyone finds the multitude of dead Alliance grunts and officers on this ship I am done for. Would you do that for me, for the extra pay?"

Mal looked thoughtfully off into space, weighing his options. If he refused her request, it would make the efforts they had just put in worthless. He was very confident in Wash's abilities and flying skills, knowing that he would get them safely away. Mal took a moment to consider all of the factors, deciding that doing her the favor was the best way to avoid any other repercussions that resulted in bullets in uncomfortable places.

"Ok, we'll do it. Jayne, go with Amos, get the rest of our share of the gold. Zoe, get a message to Wash, let him know the plan." Mal walked over to the cringing form of Alec Graham on the floor just outside the infirmary. He leaned down, grabbing the comm. unit off of his belt. Alec let out a string of unintelligible Chinese, causing Mal to smile a little as he righted himself. "This is Lieutenant Graham, what is your E-T-A?"

"We'll be there just inside of five minutes Lieutenant, ready for whatever you need."

"What I need is for you not to land. The scum disabled our ships and took off to the north in one of the Fireflys. I need all three of you to pursue and engage them as swiftly as possible to keep them from making an escape."

"Copy that, sir. Activating reserve thrusters, we should have double velocity in a minute and a half, then there is no way they can get away from us."

"Good hunting. Over."

As the comm. went dead, Zoe returned from the cargo bay, heading straight for Mal. "Wash says he has the ship ready, once we are aboard we will make for deep space as fast as we can."

"Got the rest of our gold here," Jayne proclaimed, an almost boyish grin on his scarred face.

Mal turned to face Claire, who had focused her attention on her ex-partner. "Darlin', we've gotta go. It was nice seein' you and all, but next time, why don't we just exchange letters?" He smiled slightly, looking down at the bloody remains of the earlier fight, then at the restrained body of Alec that was being forced onto the exam table in the infirmary. "Don't take it easy on him, no matter what he says. Also, you should get some of those wounds looked at before they get any worse." He turned to leave, hesitating slightly when he reached the stairs. "It was, well, it did me good to see you. Remembering that times have been worse for all of us certainly puts a different light on the present. Goodbye, Claire Jameson." Without another thought he turned back to the stairs, swiftly stepping up and into the cargo bay to follow his crew members back to their home.

They were back on their own Firefly within a minute, taking off as soon as the doors closed. Wash turned the ship north, intending to get the attention of the patrol boats before evading them and getting off of the moon that had almost caused them more trouble than it was worth. After several minutes, the three patrol boats appeared on the horizon in the front left of the viewing window. Wash made a hard bank right, aligning himself close to perfectly with their current trajectory. Flipping on the rear video feed, he could see the ships swiftly approaching.

"Mal, get up here, we might have a problem."

A moment later, Mal half-limped onto the bridge, looking out the windows for a sign of whatever had gotten his pilot worried. Wash continued to look forward as he pointed Mal's attention to the video screen displaying the feed from the rear cameras.

"Aiya, tian a!" Mal exclaimed, instantly recognizing the signature engine flare of the Alliance ships' afterburners. "They'll be on us in less than a minute at this rate. You think you can manage to evade them?"

"I dunno Mal, they have us beat hands down in speed, and I am pretty sure that those boats are just as maneuverable as Serenity."

"Let me tell you a little about the Alliance's thruster technology. When they have those high powered boosters on, their handling goes all to hell. No matter how good the pilot is, they cannot do anything more than a wide circle to come around. If we can somehow get behind them, it should be no problem to get us into space. Think you can do it?"

"Watch me." Wash reached above his head, flicking three adjacent switches. He grabbed the comm., keeping one eye on the rear video feed. "Kaylee, set us up for full burn, we are gonna need to make a fast getaway. Book, if you don't mind returning to the cargo bay to let loose our decoys on my mark." His voice echoed throughout the ship, bringing everyone to an even more alert state of mind, though the abrupt takeoff had definitely helped in that area. Almost as an afterthought, he added, "Oh yeah, you all might want to hold on to something."

As Wash saw the ships closing in, he turned to face Mal for a second, a serious look on his face. "Captain, you may want to strap yourself into something. I am gonna pull a Screamin' Nazi in about ten seconds, and I would hate for you to be thrown all about."

Mal, not doubting Wash's assessment or his lack of humor, threw himself into the co-pilot's chair, pulling the restraining straps around himself as rapidly as he could. Seconds later, he felt the entire ship lurch as the ship changed from going forward to going straight up, turning a rapid one-eighty as it did. The first patrol ship, unable to slow down or change position enough to avoid the blast from the thrusters, was knocked to the ground, skidding several hundred meters as the other two coasted by overhead, their pilots desperately trying to avoid the wreckage as they attempted to slow down and turn to continue the chase.

As Serenity turned around to fly away from their pursuers, Wash grabbed the comm. once more and yelled "Now, Kaylee!" She pushed a few switches, then threw her body into the large lever that would activate the burn they needed. The blast from the back of the engine pushed the rapidly departing patrol ships even farther away, making a turnaround nearly impossible. The blast took them into the thin layers at the top of the atmosphere, and as they broke through into the vacuum of space, Wash activated the comm. once more. "Book, release the decoys." He heard the lower cargo doors open as he set a course to take them back to Boros, watching with glee as the little satellites flew off in eight different directions.

"So, what were you saying about a naked beach Mal?"

- - - - -

END

- - - - -

Translations ( from http://fireflychinese.home.att.net/episode.html ):

goushi (go se) – shit

hundans (hwoon dans) – bastards

aiya, tian a (ai-yah, tyen-ah) – merciless hell

COMMENTS

Thursday, August 31, 2006 7:57 AM

LEIASKY


> "Darlin', we've gotta go. It was nice seein' you and all, but next time, why don't we just exchange letters?"

LOL! I loved this remark so much.

This might be a little thing amidst the scope of the story, but I really liked the description of the Alliance' thruster technology and how they use it to escape.

And the Screamin' Nazi maneuver was just great. This story was good and entertaining. Looking forward to reading an epilogue.

Have fun at Dragon Con!

Friday, September 1, 2006 3:24 AM

AMDOBELL


Really loved this part a whole lot and so glad our Big Damn Heroes escaped. I was half expecting Claire to pull something nasty on them even though Mal and company saved her butt. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, September 3, 2006 5:05 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Excellent stuff here and throughout the series, River..Goddess:D

BEB

Saturday, September 23, 2006 11:26 AM

ITSAWASH


Mal looked from the Commander and Claire over to the other end of the room. Amos had taken the slight distraction Claire had created talking to Harley to free Tom, and now all three of them had guns trained on them. Mal's eyes widened at the efficiency with which they attempted to turn the tables, looking out of the corner of his eye for his own mercenary, who had taken up a position at the top of the stairs, covering both the cargo bay and the side of the infirmary.~~Liking this tasty visualization, the strangers again doing things just right and Mal admiring 'em for it. Nice view of skill recognizing skill in others. :0)

Yep, you rock at this sort of dialogue: "Harley turned slightly to face Mal, a sneer coming to his lips. "You're Browncoat scum, all of you. Your lives are worth even less than they were before, though we should've killed you off of every world spinning, that would have ended the war and your pathetic broken existences for certain. As it is now, I get to have the pleasure of making sure every one of you cowardly inbred pisspots has a miserable existence before offing you."~~ I especially loved "off of every world spinning." And, ummmm, as a Browncoat, I took mucho offense at Harley's sneering at us, lol. Odd, but a good indicator of how well you write that that emotion came at me.

Evil suspense well-done: "Mal squinted his eyes, making sure his aim would be true, and a split second later seven shots echoed through the cramped confines of the ship's common area."~~ and then you cut to Wash's observations, dang you! (I like how you did that.)

Nice Mal speech, though I'm not sure sometimes at how formal he sounds in certain parts: ""Let me tell you a little about the Alliance's thruster technology. When they have those high powered boosters on, their handling goes all to hell. No matter how good the pilot is, they cannot do anything more than a wide circle to come around. If we can somehow get behind them, it should be no problem to get us into space. Think you can do it?" ~~I figure I do that too, coloring the BDHs dialogue a bit formally because I'm trying hard to make a point they're trying to say. Mal's tough to write and you do him good.

And nice Wash: "Watch me." Wash reached above his head, flicking three adjacent switches."

Hated to see this series end, but I can stand to hear some more in the epilogue. Something about naked beaches and fun? (Those two would seem to go together.)

Congrats on finishing your first complete story. You done good, River.


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OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR

From Bad to Worse, chapters 1-10 (COMPLETE)
This is a re-post from before the BSR got hit a few weeks ago.

The story takes place in between ‘The Train Job’ and ‘Bushwhacked.’ According to Inara, there is a three-ish month gap here, so I thought it would be perfect for this little story and its epilogue.


From Bad to Worse, pt 10
Thrilling heroics ensue.

From Bad to Worse, pt 09
Mal, Zoe, and Jayne come to the rescue, and backup from the engine room arrives.

From Bad to Worse, pt 08
Claire is put to the ropes, though the cavalry is on the way.

From Bad to Worse, pt 07
Mal, Jayne, and Zoe make their way back to Serenity, and Claire and her posse run into even more troubles.

From Bad to Worse, pt 06
The fighting is ended for now, though revenge is on more than one person's mind.

From Bad to Worse, pt 05
The feds arrive, a shootout involving the BDHs and Claire's posse ensues.

From Bad to Worse, pt 04
The gold is recovered, and a getaway is planned.

Sailing Beyond the Sunset, pt 17
Several crew members dwell on things past while one reunion is made and a wave from an old aquaintence is received.

From Bad to Worse, pt 03
The crews search the wreckage for their valuable treasure as Wash and Book attempt some thrilling heriocs.


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