BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

DRACONUS

Children of the Academy: Goodbye
Thursday, October 5, 2006

Caught between a rock and an Alliance ship, the crew watches a Brian makes the ultimate sacrifice.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2393    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Before the lynching begins, let me just say that I make no apologies for this chapter. It is what it is. But be forwarned, there are some non-child like situations.

Sixth in the series. Enjoy

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“I still don’t like it.” Jayne said from the door to the bridge. They were all watching Brian’s ship slowly make its way over to the Alliance patrol boat. It was almost halfway there, but the trip seemed to be taking forever.

“Jayne, you might want to see to that mouth of yours.” Mal said. He was standing just to the right of the co-pilot’s seat, Inara wrapped in his arms. It was a rare moment of affection between the two of them, especially in front of the crew, but they both felt the others need for comfort, and didn’t care what anyone else thought for the time being.

“I’m just saying, Mal. Why we gotta take on another stray?”

This prompted a smack from Kaylee, who had just untangled herself from Simon in order to hit him. “Be nice, Jayne. She’s a friend of River’s and…” They all turned to look in River’s direction, who was standing just on top of the stairs.

Jayne decided a change of subject might save him from getting hit again. “And how do we know that this is going to work out? That Boba guy could just shoot us outa the sky soon as turn over another crazy to us.”

“And what exactly would you have us do Jayne?” Zoe said, hands on the back of Wash’s chair. They had already tried powering up the engines, but it had only resulted in another warning in the form of a missile lock. It was obvious that any attempts would just get everyone killed.

Jayne harrumphed.

They continued to watch on in silence until Brian’s ship was almost three-quarters of the way there. Suddenly, River took off, bumping past Jayne on the way out. Simon started to take after her, but a word form Inara stopped him. Leaving her to her grief, he encased Kaylee and turned back to stare out the window.

Another moment passed, and suddenly Mal heard what sounded like the bay doors being opened. But before he could question it, he heard “Still don’t like it.”

“Jayne!” Inara cried, which was punctuated by another slap from Kaylee.

“Well, I betcha even that Brian fella knew this wouldn’t turn out good. Why the hell would he turn himself over if he knew it was gonna be a trap?” Jayne replied.

“He wouldn’t.”

They all turned just in time to see Brian stroll through the door, River on his heels.

“I’m crazy, not an idiot”

Amidst all the confusing stares, Jayne was able to say, “See, I knew he had to have something planned.” Then, with a confused look all his own he asked, “but wait, if you’re here, then, who’s flyin your ship?”

“It’s on auto-pilot, Jayne.” River said as she rolled her eyes.

“Right. I knew that.”

“What we don’t know,” Mal said as he stepped up next to Brian, “Is what exactly you’re doin back on my boat.”

Brian turned to look at Mal. “I’m sorry for misleading all of you, but Rebecca’s a reader, and any indications that I didn’t intend on following Boba’s plan would have instantly caused everything to fail.”

Zoe spoke up from behind him. “So that go-se down in the bay?”

Brian nodded his head. “Was mostly an act. Though what I told you about the Academy was true.”

Mal glanced at Zoe. “I don’t like bein played, ‘specially when it endangers my crew. You mind telling us what the plan is?”

Smiling slightly, Brian stepped towards the top of the stairs, and looked out at the two ships. “That won’t be necessary, Captain Reynolds.”

Mal started to ask what he meant by that, when he felt a tug on his sleeve. Looking down, he saw River pulling him back, giving Brian space.

As the ships drew closer together, the crew heard Brian softly start to speak.

“Hello, Rebecca…Shhh, shhh. It’s alright. I’m here….Yes, I’m keeping my promise. Things are going to be alright now, don’t worry.” Brian chuckled. “I agree, Boba’s a bad man…and an idiot…He has no idea what’s coming does he…Good.”

Brian’s ship had reached the Alliance boat by this point, and they had started a docking sequence. Brian looked up, and started speaking again.

“Rebecca, there’s not a lot of time left. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you better. I should have known he would try something like this. “

As the two ships completed the docking procedure, Brian continued, “Your welcome. I love you too.”

With tears streaming down his face, Brian said, “Goodbye, shiao mei-mei.”

Just then, an explosion ripped through Brian’s ship. It caught the Alliance patrol boat right in the middle, literally tearing the ship in two. When the fireball reached the Alliance’s engines, it caused them to explode as well, taking out the entire aft section, and most of the forward section as well. Very little remained of either ship, as it was quickly being pulled into Beylix’s gravitational pull, straight into the rings.

No one said anything, just looked in between the destruction and Brian, who had crumbled against the pilot’s controls. After a few minutes, he raised himself up, and turned back towards the crew.

With a tear-streamed face, he looked at Mal. “Captain, I suggest you get us out of here before another Alliance patrol comes looking.”

As Brian slowly made his way past the crew and towards the kitchen, Mal slid into the passenger seat and powered up the engines.

Zoe was the first to break the silence. “Sir. Not sure I like the idea of keeping him on board.”

Jayne stepped into the bridge, and shut the door behind him. “Have to agree with Zo. Any man that’d soon kill a friend as get captured ’s just as likely to kill the rest of us.”

“Sister.” River said as she stepped out of Inara’s arms to occupy the space Brian had vacated.

“Yeah, ok, I get it.” Jayne said. “They were good friends. But the fact that they was so close ain’t exactly a comfort.”

“No. I don’t think that’s what she meant.” Simon stepped up to place his hand on River’s shoulder. “River?”

River turned and gave a poignant look. “You saved yours.” She turned back to look at the burning wreckage just as Mal turned the ship. “He didn’t.”

“River, are you telling us that Rebecca was actually Brian’s sister?” Inara asked.

Kaylee spoke up. “Wait, I thought he said she wasn’t a student of the Academy.”

“Didn’t tell everything,” was River’s only response.

After a few seconds, realization finally dawned on Jayne. “Wait, are you sayin he killed his own sister so as to not get caught? Dammit, Mal, we can’t keep him on board!”

Zoe shot Jayne a shut-up-before-I-hurt-you look. “I’m pretty sure that’s not all there is to the story Jayne.”

Mal finally spoke up from the pilot’s seat. “And we need to find out exactly what the rest of that story is.”

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

He had intended to sit Brian down and learn everything he needed to know. He had even been tempted to throw him at gunpoint into the airlock, though he wasn’t entirely sure whether he would have spaced the boy or just left him there until they landed. But when he saw Brian washing the dishes, something stopped him.

Mal stood in the corridor that led to the crew’s bunks, just outside the door of the galley. He watched as the young man slowly, methodically, scraped, scrubbed, rinsed, and dried each plate. The pots and pans had already been cleaned by the time Mal got there, and he could see them just inside their proper cabinets.

It was obvious to Mal that Brian was using the act of cleaning the dishes to try and escape what had happened. He’d seen enough in his lifetime to know when someone was just trying to occupy his mind. But Mal could tell that the act wasn’t working as well as Brian had hoped. The shaking hands, the sobs, and the continual stream of tears left no doubt as to what Brian was thinking about.

Slowly, one by one, the pile of dishes grew smaller. Finally, Brian put the last one in its place. When he reached for another and was unable to find one, the hitch in his routine caused Brian to shudder slightly. Mal half expected him to grab a rag and start cleaning the stove, but instead, Brian hung his head and silently shuffled over to the common area next to the kitchen.

Leaving Brian to his grief, Mal headed down the stairs. Placing his hand on the rail, he started walking along the catwalks, inspecting the area by both sight and touch.

Serenity had always been there for him in the past. She comforted and guided him when he needed it most, and calmed him when he needed to think clearly. She was his girl, and if anyone was able to show Malcolm Reynolds what he needed to see, it was her.

Spotting a few dark blobs on the cargo bay floor, Mal moved down the stairs. When he got closer, he recognized them as military cargo bags. The same kind he and Zoe had used whenever the transferred from one battlefield to another. They were designed for quick and easy storage of a soldier's personal effects, so that he was always able to take a part of home wherever he went.

Squatting next to one of them, he quickly opened it, and pulled out a banana. Looking in the bag, he saw various meats, cheeses, some beverage carriers, even what looked like an egg basket. Setting aside the bag of food, Mal opened one of the two remaining bags.

It appeared to be full of mostly clothes, with a few odds and ends on top. Among the knickknacks were two pistols, slightly smaller than the one Mal liked to carry, but made in the same style. There was also a holster designed to carry the guns at each hip. Removing them from the bag, he saw what looked to be the butt of a rifle.

Pulling it from the bag, he realized it was a medium range Enfield rifle. Mal took a moment to admire the handiwork of the rifle. They weren’t used very much during the war, since they were medium range rifles, and didn’t have the fastest reload. But the craftsmanship and care that went into the design and manufacturing process caused the gun to be one of the most reliable and accurate rifles of the war.

Mal picked up the guns and placed them in the weapons locker. Walking over to the remaining bag, Mal pulled open the zipper. Sitting atop more clothes was a small picture.

Picking the picture up, Mal recognized the backdrop of Ariel city. Sitting on a bench seat was a young Brian and what was obviously his younger sister. Brian looked to be about twelve, though by his stance and the way he held the younger girl it was obvious he was trying to protect her from the world.

The girl looked shy and slightly scared, even if she did seem to be enjoying herself. The only thing that told Mal that this was the same Rebecca as before was the bright red hair. Apart from that, Mal would’ve never known the young girl in the picture and the young woman who gave her life earlier today were the same person.

Mal continue to study the picture for a little while longer. It was obvious Brian loved Rebecca, and would do anything to save and protect her. But killing your own flesh and blood. Mal just wasn’t too sure how he felt about that.

Replacing the photo, Mal zipped up the two bags with clothes and placed them off to the side of the cargo bay. Hoisting up the bag of food, Mal headed toward the galley. No matter how he felt on the situation, letting all that food rot in the bay just seemed too big of a waste.

Carefully, so as not to wake Brian, Mal went about the task of placing the food in proper containers. Most of it ended up in the fridge, and Mal had to admit to himself that it’d been a long while since there had been this much actual food in the thing. He reminded himself that he was going to have to talk to Jayne about staying away from what’s not yours. Matter of fact, he might as well remind the whole crew, as much food as there was.

After placing the final piece of fruit in the bottom of the fridge, Mal laid the empty bag at Brian’s feet. He stood and stared at the young man’s tear-streaked face, then headed off to Inara’s shuttle for some much needed rest.

------------------------- Chinese translations

go-se = crap

shiao mei-mei = little sister -------------------------

You may know commence with the gathering of the angry mob. Pitchforks are on the right, Torches on the left, and please be mindful of the little old lady. Her son has been taken by the monster.

In all honesty, this was the chapter I was most anxious about. I've been setting this up since the beginning, and was worried that it would live up to the hype. I am fairly pleased with it. I hope you are too.

Also, my beta-readers have backed out on me, so if anyone's interested, please let me know.

COMMENTS

Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:48 PM

HOPERULES


Interesting. I wonder what Mal is going to do about Brian.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 4:18 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Holy....crap...that was definitely something worthy of Joss, Draconus! Having a character do something like, even if ended a person's suffering? That's just....wow:O

Dunno how I really feel about these developments....probably will need to see how you handle the whole thing. What Brian did has its pros and cons...though the cons list is a lot freaking longer:S

Still...mighty impressed with the cojones you got. Takes someone with a lot of courage to pull something like this;)

BEB

P.S. If ya still need a beta reader, you can send stuff to me to read over. Addy's general_iblis@yahoo.ca

Thursday, October 5, 2006 8:21 PM

BLACKBEANIE


I agree, Bravo!


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