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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Sharpshooting, Dueling, Explosions, The end is near!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1669 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Rating: R for Violence
Author's Note: Nearly the end. I’ve broken this into two more parts, so there’ll be a part D coming as soon as it’s finished, and then the final epilogue. I want this done by the end of October, so cross your fingers for me! Again, I have to give special, special thanks to anjulie for all her unending encouragement, and to homespunfic for reminding me of my responsibilities. Thank-you both!
Title: CHOICES – Part 13 C
Author: by 2x2
Jayne shifted on the ground, getting comfortable, wiggling his fingers to limber them up as he took hold of the rifle, bringing his eye to the scope. He found his first target and took aim, lining up the crosshairs with the security guard's head. He moved to the next man, gauging the distance between the two, then on to the third, and even a fourth before bringing the sights back to his original target.
"Ready when you are," he said into his ear mike, waiting for Zoë’s signal.
“Now,” came her voice a minute later, and there was a tiny 'fwip' of sound as the bullet left the silenced barrel. The first man went down, his head snapping back as the bullet entered through his forehead, shattering through bone and tissue to explode through the other side, a gruesome spray of red painting the wall as the body toppled.
Jayne pulled the trigger again before the first body hit the ground, and the second guard dropped lifelessly. The third guard tried to cry out in alarm, but Jayne's bullet took him through the mouth as neat as you please. The mercenary grunted in positive assessment of his own skill.
He swung the muzzle of his rifle in line with his fourth target but cut back up to take a bead on a guard who had leaned out over the edge of the wall to look at the fallen men below – the shot was too perfect to pass up – and he drew in and held his breath, finger squeezing the trigger just so… Jayne smirked as he watched the body fall from the wall to land awkwardly on the ground in front of his last target, who fell with equal ease as a bullet pierced his back and exited out his chest in an impressive spray of red.
“Five down, twenty-five to go,” he said into his ear mike and then sprang to his feet. Running to the waiting mule, he stopped short with a curse as he saw River sitting in the driver’s seat, her cheek pressed against the console. “What ‘n the gorram hell’re you doin’ here, Crazy?” he hissed, shooing at her with his hand.
River opened her eyes and stared at him, unblinking. “It’s near the end now. Soon, everyone dies,” she said.
“Yeah, well, I ain’t dyin’, but ain’t no guarantee the rest of ‘em won’t if’n you don’t git off this bucket and let me get down there, dong ma?”
River sat up and regarded him evenly. “I can help,” she said and Jayne stared back, skeptical. He knew she was as like to shoot him as anyone, and the thought did little to comfort him, but if she could keep her head on straight….
She frowned at him, head tilting to the side. “Not confused. Know who the bad guys are.” She smiled. “They’re worse than you.”
“Right,” said Jayne, lips pressing together as he bit back a curse and shook his head. “Git on over, an’ hurry it up,” he growled, motioning her to the passenger seat.
River grinned and slid across as the big man climbed on and fired up the mule.
“River!” came a sudden shout and River and Jayne both looked back over their shoulder to see Simon come running down Serenity’s cargo ramp, arms waving frantically to get their attention.
“Go now,” said the girl, her tone making it apparent that she wasn’t asking, and Jayne shrugged, smirking at the doc as he gunned the engine and the mule shot forward. River stared at the rapidly diminishing shape of her brother as he yelled for her to come back and then turned to face the coming battle.
“Hurry, Simon,” she whispered.
Back planted against the white adobe brick next to the breach her grenades had blown in the east wall of the compound, Zoë waved Williams and his men forward, using the smoke and chaos to cover her as she slipped through, crouching low and taking a quick survey of the area.
It appeared that most of the security force had headed towards the west wall where Jayne had centered his attack, leaving this end nearly deserted. She shook her head. The plan was going off without a hitch. But she knew better than to underestimate the enemy. She still had to make it into the house and find Mal; and, best as she could tell, there were at least four men still between her and the front door.
Williams suddenly leapt through the hole in the wall and dove to the ground beside her, landing wide eyed and breathless.
“Subtle,” commented Zoë sardonically, grabbing the Lawman by the shirt and yanking him behind a nearby planter as the wall behind them disintegrated suddenly under a hail of bullets, the guardsmen’s attention drawn by the sudden motion.
“Tamade!,” he gasped, covering his head as small particles of clay scattered around them.
“Next time, if there is a next time, you might want to consider a little stealth,” she said calmly, leaning low, back against the planter. “There’s two of ‘em high, on the left side,” she went on. “One low right, and one in the middle. You see ‘em?”
Williams shook his head. “No. I missed ‘em,” he said, shoving himself up next to Zoë.
“Visualize,” she said. “Two high left, on the wall. One low right. One low middle. You got it?”
The Lawman nodded. “Got it.”
“Are you sure?” she demanded. “Be sure. Say it back.”
He nodded again, confident. “Two on the left, on the wall. One on the right, down low. One up the middle.”
“All right then,” Zoë said, readying her weapon. “I’ll take the two on the left. I want you to take the one on the low right side.”
“What about the one in the middle?”
“Worry about him after you take out the one on the right. Don’t let him shoot you, but don’t let him distract you neither.”
Williams nodded, adjusting his grip on the automatic rifle Jayne had given him. The mercenary had enough weaponry to outfit a small army, and he and his men now had the firepower to prove it.
“Okay then,” said Zoë with a deep breath. “On three. One… Two….Three!”
As one, they swung their weapons up, flame flashing from the barrels of both guns as they fired their first shots in unison, Zoë’s mule’s leg flaring a second time as Williams’s rifle spat a continuous spray of bullets across the open courtyard. He had to fight the weapon’s desire to rise with the rapid recoil of each shot, but he saw his man go down and quickly swung the muzzle left to the middle target, his finger never leaving the trigger, clay, dust and white smoke spattering from the wall of the house as the bullets chewed through the hard, dry brick. A second later and it was over, all four of the private security force targets were down.
Zoë nodded to Williams in approval as his deputies made their way in through the breach and hunkered down next to the wall.
“All right, what’s the plan?” he asked her.
“Guards are like to start headin’ back this way any minute. I don’t got the time to waste tryin’ to take ‘em all down. I need in that house, an’ I need your men to keep the rest of ‘em out.”
Williams gave a sharp nod. “They can do that. But you’re gonna need some help on the inside, at least until your man joins up with you,” he said, his look saying all he needed to say.
Zoë stared back at him and gave him a tight smile. “Let’s get to it.”
Bandages, hypo sprays and various sterilized implements spilled over the counters and onto the floor, clattering loudly as Simon rushed around the infirmary, shoving random supplies into his bag hectically. "I have to go after her!" he said adamantly. "She could get hurt or… or worse, or…” He stopped pacing and ran his fingers through his hair roughly, leaving it in spiky tufts of disarray. “That chundan just… drove off with her! He… “
“Simon!” Kaylee said, hands raised in an attempt to calm him. “I’m sure Jayne’ll—“
“Jayne will? Jayne? You’re asking me to trust Jayne? He’s liable to head for the nearest Alliance outpost and turn her in!”
“No he won’t,” she soothed guilelessly. “Ain’t no Alliance outposts on this moon.”
Mouth open, he stared at her in utter incredulity, then closed his eyes with a shake of his head, turning to gather his medical bag. “I have to get down there…” He paused, turning back to her as if suddenly seeing her. “Kaylee…! Can you fly?"
“Shen me?” she asked, confused.
He took her arms in his hands, staring into her eyes earnestly. “I need you to fly me down there in Shuttle 2.”
“Oh, Simon, I don’t know… I ain’t so great at flyin’, an’ Zoë said for us to wait—“ she said worriedly, shaking her head as she tried to back away.
“That was before that pìyănr took my sister into the middle of a firefight! Please, before something happens.”
“Maybe Wash an’ Book—“
“There’s no time! I can’t afford to argue with them,” he pleaded. “We need to go now, Kaylee. Please.… I need your help. River needs your help. Please.”
The occupants of the Salle jumped in surprise as a sudden, loud crack of gunfire split the silence of the room. Atherton paused, turneing his head to listen, his brow creasing in concern as an undeniable explosion echoed in the near distance. Recovering first, Mal acted, lunging forward quickly as Wing stood motionless. With a speed Mal could barely believe, Atherton brought his sword up and batted the browncoat's aside effortlessly, whipping his own blade across Mal's exposed back as he passed, slicing open shirt and skin over his shoulder blade.
Mal arched in pain and he hissed at the fiery burn across his shoulder, arm trembling with effort as he turned and lifted his sword defensively, stepping away as rapidly as his feet could carry him without falling.
Atherton lunged and with a sharp flick of his wrist he slashed at Mal's unprotected middle with the long, stiletto-like dagger that slid into his left hand suddenly from where it had been concealed beneath his sleeve.
Mal threw himself backwards instinctively as he heard Inara scream his name in warning, the dagger just barely missing his ribs as he twisted out of the way. He stumbled back as Wing pressed his attack, grunting as the dagger scored a deep gash across the meat of his arm. He slashed with his rapier frantically, poking and jabbing to keep Atherton at a distance as blood began to trickle down his arm, dripping over his fingers.
More gunshots erupted and Wing paused again in irritation, giving Mal the opportunity to back away, breath coming in ragged pants as his chest heaved. His lungs refused to work to their full capacity, making his breaths short and tiring. His mouth and throat ached for water, scratching like sandpaper with their dryness. White hot lines of pain blazed across his skin every place Atherton's blade had touched him, and a deep ache permeated his muscles, making every move difficult. He could feel his strength ebbing out of him with each sticky red drop of his blood and he knew he was almost finished.
Another explosion rocked the estate, showering the room in sparkling white dust and Wing called up to the bounty hunter, his eyes, clear and deadly, not leaving Mal for a second. "Mr. Tomas, I will make it worth your while to ensure that we are not interrupted here."
"Go'n see what the diyu is goin' on," said Whelt, motioning to Dusty, Bane and Lee.
"Hell with that," said Lee. "I ain't goin' out there, all that goin' on. As like to get kilt if'n I do."
"An' as like to if you don't," snarled Whelt, turning his pistol on the three of them, having had about enough of their insubordination. "Now get out there or I'll shoot you all my own self."
Reluctantly, the three men headed around to the door, Bane throwing Whelt a particularly condemnatory look that the bounty hunter ignored, keeping his weapon trained on them the entire time until they slipped from the room. "This whole job ain't been nothin' but yi qi chen hu xi!" he swore angrily.
Inara didn't know what the gunfire signified beyond the fact that Atherton's estate was obviously under attack. Who it was or why she had no idea – she hoped it was Zoë and the crew, though she wasn’t going to count on that. But she knew she could use Whelt's unease to her advantage.
"They're coming for me, you know," she said matter-of-factly, standing to turn a sympathetic gaze on him. "You really didn't know what you were getting into when you were hired to kidnap me, did you?" She shook her head, motioning with her chin towards the door. "Those are Guild assassins out there, Whelt, and they're coming to find me. You do know what that means, don't you?"
"Bi zui. I ain't fallin' for that," spat Whelt, taking hold of her arm, jumping as the spatter of gunfire sounded outside again. He could hear someone yelling in pain – it sounded like it might be Dusty – and then the voice was cut off by another sharp report. "GorramitI" he cursed, taking an indecisive step toward the door.
"Your friends are dead, or they will be soon," Inara said softly in her most convincing voice, forcing herself to ignore the sounds of steel on steel as Mal and Atherton resumed their duel below.
She had to win this battle first.
"If you stay, you'll never get out of here alive. They'll shoot you on sight."
"Not if I take you with me," snarled Whelt, turning on her, pistol raised threateningly.
Inara shook her head, ignoring the gun, all her concentration focused on convincing Whelt to run. "I'll only slow you down, you know I will. And if you kill me or take me anyway, they'll never stop coming. Your only chance is to run, now, while there's still time. You can see he's mad," she said, motioning down toward Atherton. "You're never going to get your money, or even a quarter of what those swords are worth on the black market. He's going to go to prison for a long, long time, and who's name do you think he'll give them to get out? You know who the authorities will believe, Whelt. This is your only chance."
Whelt stared hard at her. He knew she was trying to manipulate him into letting her go, but at the same time it wasn't taking much because he knew what she said was true. He could shoot them all, take the swords and run, but he knew he might not even have the time for that. And tryin' to run with a pair of sharp swords in his arms didn't sound too smart. And, whether there were Guild assassins or not outside that door, someone was coming for them, someone with a hell of a lot of firepower, and he wasn’t particularly inclined to find out who.
"Is this worth dying for?" she asked, her question punctuated by another sudden explosion, closer this time, followed by a hail of bullets and Whelt let her go with a curse. "Worst gorram job I ever took," he said, shaking his head.
"You could consider a new line of work," Inara replied, and Whelt’s eyes flashed as he brought his pistol up again, pulling back the hammer with a loud click, his hard gaze settling on her with a chilling stare as he pointed it at her head.
“I oughtta shoot you anyway,” he growled, low and dangerous. “Shut that smart mouth a’ yours up for good.” They held the stare for a long, tense moment. Inara swallowed and remained silent, recognizing that it would be far wiser for her to refrain from saying more at this point than it would be to try and talk him down. Fortunately, another crack of gunfire and a scream outside the doors seemed to be all the bounty hunter needed to finally convince him that he’d be better off getting out while the getting was good, and he holstered his pistol with a frustrated shake of his head, giving her a disgusted sigh as he shoved past her, resigning himself to the loss of four month’s work as he left her behind.
Inara watched as he hurried along the arched walkway to the door on the far side of the Salle, but by the time the door closed, she had already turned away, sparing no more thought to Whelt or the commotion outside, and started down the steps towards Mal and Atherton. She wasn't sure what she planned to do, but she knew she had to help Mal.
dong ma = understand, are we clear?
tamade = mother fucker
chundan = stupid bastard
Shen me = pardon? What?
Pìyănr = asshole
Diyu = hell
yi qi chen hu xi = = a big lump of shit
Bi zui = shut up
Go to Part 13D
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 4:36 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 8:13 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 3:26 PM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 3:32 PM
Friday, October 13, 2006 11:45 AM
Friday, October 13, 2006 8:48 PM
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