Not Forgiving - Chapter 11
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This is what happens when the Alliance strikes back. This chapter: an old friend arrives to help Simon and Zoe and River’s condition takes a turn.


A/N: Sorry this took me so long to post. I needed to add in more of a story for River. In this chapter, an old friend arrives to help Simon and Zoe and River’s condition takes a turn. Hope you like it.

Just so you know, I was looking for a witty nonsensical phrase to use during River’s part, but I failed. Forgive me for my Dr. Seuss reference. It is what happens when you have kids who want you to read that stuff to them over and over and…

It had been a couple of hours and it was starting to get really cold. Zoe prodded Simon until he acknowledged her.


“You OK, Simon?” Zoe asked.

“I think.”

“I’m going to turn on a few things. I’m beginning to feel like a ice cube.”

“I was hoping you would.”

Zoe smiled and then went to the engine room to turn on life support. She started to leave, but decided to fire up the electrical system too. She wanted to turn on the sensors once she got back to the bridge. It had been quiet, so she needed to know if they were out of danger.

“Should get warmer now,” she told Simon as she returned and sat down at the console.

“How’s it look out there?” he asked.

Zoe studied the screen for a few moments before giving him an answer.

“I don’t see anything on the sensors right now. I think we’re good.”

Both of them relaxed just a bit.

“What are we going to do now?” Simon asked.

“I can honestly say I don’t know,” Zoe told him. She stood up and stretched, wincing in pain from the bruised ribs she received from a bullet to her armor earlier. “I’m going back to the engine room to turn on everything. We’ll need to plot a course somewhere. We should lay low for a bit and figure out what to do.”

Simon nodded in agreement. Zoe went to the engine room flipped everything back into the ‘on’ position. She smiled when she saw the engine begin to spin. It was a comforting sight. Zoe jogged back to the bridge. When she got there, she was surprised to see Simon looking over the console. He wavered a bit while standing there and Zoe realized that he was getting weaker. He would need medical attention soon.

“Something out there?” she asked.

“Can’t tell,” Simon said. “It’s almost like there is something following us. It registers on the sensors for just a second, then it is gone. Could it be a side effect from everything being shut down?”

“With our luck, that’s not likely,” Zoe said. She and Simon stood still for a moment looking intently at the sensors. Sure enough, the thing Simon described happened again.

“See? There it is.”

“Gorram it,” Zoe muttered as she slid into the pilot’s seat. She turned to Simon. “Can you get over to the co-pilot’s seat? You might want to strap in.”

Simon nodded and moved gingerly over to the opposite seat. He buckled on the lap belt, but opted to leave off the shoulder harness; it would serve to further aggravate his wound. Zoe started the task of re-activating the console controls and guidance system. The proximity alert went off.

“They aren’t hanging back anymore,” Simon reported. “They’re closing in fast.”

“Rutting hell,” Zoe growled as she worked faster to get Serenity online. She flicked switch after switch, but the guidance system would not cooperate. She hit the console hard enough to knock off one of Wash’s dinosaurs. “We’re humped. Guidance system won’t go online.”

Zoe stood up and grabbed a couple of rifles from the locker.

“You still armed?” she asked.

Simon nodded as he started to check the rounds left in his guns. Zoe started to head towards the cargo bay and looked back to see if Simon was following. He had stood up, only to sag back into his chair.

“Zoe…” he whispered. “I don’t think I can stand.”

“I’ll do my best on my own then. You stay here and keep watch.”

Simon nodded. Suddenly the view screen flickered to life. Zoe saw a familiar face on the screen. A wave of relief swept through her body.


“Zoe?” Monty asked. “Mal sent me a message a few hours back. You in trouble?”

“Alliance came for us.”

“Figured that. Been shadowing you for a bit. Couldn’t tell if you were drifting or not. Was happy to see you fire a couple of things up. Everyone OK?”

“I’m OK. Simon’s here with me, but he’s injured.”

“And Mal?”

“Got shot up good. Bullets went straight through his armor. Simon did what he could.”

“Ni ta ma de. Tianxia suoyoude ren. Dou gaisi (everyone under the heavens should die).”

Zoe looked over at Simon and he had slumped unconscious over the co-pilot’s console.

“You have a medic over there?” Zoe asked, worried about Simon’s condition.

“Yeah. Mal convinced me of how handy they could be in our line of business.”

“I need to get Simon looked after, ma shong (now).”

“Just give us a moment.”

“Not going anywhere.”

It only took a few minutes to connect the two ships. Some of Monty’s crew came and helped carry Simon to their infirmary. It was still mighty cold on Serenity, so Monty convinced Zoe come on board his ship to get warm.

“Just long enough to make sure Simon is taken care of,” she told him.

Zoe followed Monty through the air lock, but stumbled as she crossed the threshold into his ship. The small device that Mal was so concerned about fell to the floor. Monty picked it up.

“Is this what you use to finish Mal’s plan?” Monty asked. Zoe nodded. “What did Mal tell you to do with it?”

“We were supposed to get off the ship and then flip it to finish the Plan,” Zoe told him. “Glad I don’t have to do it now.”

“Well, you go on and look after Simon,” Monty said.

“Thanks Monty,” Zoe said as she walked to where Simon had been taken.

Monty watched her closely until she was out of sight. Once she left, Monty disengaged the airlock.

“That’s what Mal told me to do too,” he said. He flipped the switch and Serenity’s engines came to life. “Goodbye old friend. You’ll be missed.”

After it was done, Monty found Zoe and Simon in their infirmary. Simon was awake and receiving blood.

“Thanks, Monty. I’m feeling better already,” Simon told him.

“I’m glad to help,” Monty said as he smiled warmly. He turned to Zoe. “Mal wanted me to take on any of you who survived for crew. You all can stay here until you want to get off elsewhere.”

“No, we’ll get back to Serenity in a bit.”

“Can’t. The Plan’s finished.”

Zoe’s eyes narrowed.

“What did you do?” she asked.

“I did what Mal told me to do,” Monty told her.

Zoe rushed over to the window and watched as Serenity went into a full burn, disappearing from sight.

“No!” Zoe screamed.

“He knew that some of y’all wouldn’t be willing to finish the Plan,” Monty went on. “He told me if it came down to that, I needed to finish it for him. It wasn’t safe for you on that boat. At least not for now.”

“Mal was still on the ship,” Simon whispered as Zoe slid down the wall and sat on the floor.

“A proper burial can be done later, I’m sure,” Monty said as he held his hand out to help Zoe up. She slapped it away.

“Get away from me,” she snarled.

“He wasn’t dead,” Simon told him. Monty’s head swung around to face Simon.

“What? But you said…” Monty exclaimed. “You said you did everything you could for him.”

“I did. We put him in a cryo chamber until we can get him the help he needs.”

“I thought you meant he was dead,” Monty whispered as he sunk into a nearby chair. The gravity of his decision weighed heavily on his shoulders. “I’m sorry Zoe. I didn’t know. I only did what Mal asked me to.”

“We need to go get him,” Zoe said flatly. “Where is the ship going?”

“You don’t know?” Simon asked, shocked. Zoe shook her head. Simon looked back at Monty, hoping against all odds that he had the answer he wanted to hear. “Do you know?”

Monty shook his head too.

“Sorry. I knew the parts I had to do, but he never told me where the ship would go.”

River opened her eyes to see the ceiling of a room she so wanted to forget.

It wasn’t a dream.

She tried to concentrate, but everything was so jumbled. She remembered them processing her, removing all of her clothes and anything else she had on her person. They had scrubbed her down, washing until her skin was raw. Then, they reissued her a uniform. That gray outfit with the grommets. She remembered how thin the fabric was and how cold it made her. She shivered.

She couldn’t quantify how long she had been there, but she remembered the needles. They had been using the needles on her again. Her head ached. She lifted her fingers to her forehead. She winced.

What have they done to me? She thought. Think, River, think!

After a few deep breaths, she sat up. The room spun a bit, but it stopped after a moment. She straightened her posture and moved into a meditative position. Inara had taught her how to meditate and it centered her. It helped her to focus. She caught the thoughts of an aide walking down the corridor.

“Been here five days,” she said to herself. “I’m on Sihnon.”

She tried to reach out to her family, but knew they wouldn’t be close enough to reach. So she took another deep breath and reached out to Inara. Since Inara was bound for Sihnon as well, River had hopes in being able to find her. It took a while until River realized her goal, but what she found made her recoil. She was closer than River had expected, but Inara’s thoughts were more jumbled than her own. There was a haze of drugs, complicated by extreme fatigue, sadness and desperation. It hurt. River had to let go, but a name popped into her head at the last moment. John.

“He isn’t what he seems,” River whispered.

River’s thoughts were interrupted abruptly when her door was thrown open. Four people with air masks burst in quickly. Before she could react, they sprayed a soft mist at her from what looked like a fire extinguisher. She felt her body go limp. Do they always have to use drugs? They pulled her onto a gurney and strapped her down before wheeling her out the door.

“Where…” River rasped, her throat had gone dry. She read the personnel that came for her and knew exactly where she was going. She also knew she didn’t have much time, so she ground out a couple of words before she lost all control. “Sam… I… am. Green eggs… and… ham.”

They rolled her into a surgical suite. The doctors were waiting for her. Her hair was pulled back and they peered over her.

“Subject: River Tam,” the first doctor said. “Beginning the next stage of surgical goal.”

The second doctor lifted a scalpel.

“All in order?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“I’m going to begin the process.”

As soon as the scalpel touched her skin, River’s heart rate radically changed. It sped up beyond imagination. The surgical team took a step back in surprise.

“What the…” the first doctor murmured as her vitals spun wildly out of control.

“She’s going tachy,” the second doctor announced as River’s heartbeat flatlined. “We’re losing her.”

Thanks for reading. Please comment. Shiny reviews are always immensely appreciated.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:51 PM


Talk about the worst case scenario. What else could go wrong? No, don't answer that.

Friday, May 23, 2008 1:29 PM


!!! Please, don't let River be dead...


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