RESURG3NCE - Remnants.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

AUTHOR’S NOTES: I’m so excited about unleashing this latest chapter of the Resurgence series. This chapter has been a complete labour of love. Basically, it has been in development since August 2006. There was a moment that I actually thought that I’d never get this damned thing finished, but I’m glad that it’s finally done. The extreme nature of the plotline was quite tricky to handle. After the horrific events of chapter two, I was pretty stuck on how to proceed. The subject matter is delicate, so I didn’t want to disrespect it. I wanted to veer away from the horror action, and instead focus on much deeper emotions. This chapter really gets into the heads of the characters, in the aftermath of chapter two, and I hope that it is conveyed on the screen. This is the dawn of a new story arc in the Resurgence series. WARNING: This story is rated NC17.


Shuttle Two, Classification O3– K64 Firefly.

Kill the pain, which ransoms my soul – Dark shadows that rape my will to live. Malevolence finally takes its toll. There’s nothing left for me to give.

Darkness loomed across the firefly class vessel, quietly smothering the last remnants of light from its interior. Only the quiet hum of Serenity’s engine provided any hint of civilisation, this far out in the black. Saline tears flowed down River Tam’s face, gathering in the small of her chin. Her tear ducts screamed for absolution and the comfort of Simon. Anguish took a hold with the pinpoint accuracy of a rapist. Willowy fingers tightened their grip around her waist, struggling to quieten the chaos inside. Fifteen minutes had passed since the assault on her brother - although it felt like more than an eternity. The numb silence that followed hung like the wisps of a mushroom cloud, a lasting reminder that her world, and everything in it, had been obliterated. Now, River lay in a pool of urine, with only fractured thoughts as company. Her mind effervesced with angst-ridden memories, each one more intense and shocking than the last. Bloodied fingernails clawed at her face, unable to quell the mind numbing agony. Nothing could shut off the video nasty that occupied her brain. As she lay sprawled out behind the pilot seat, caught in an endless psychosis, her thighs twitched involuntarily. Extrasensory recall still lingered in her body; running its hellish and vindictive course. It was an occurrence that she had come to tolerate, and not fully understand. Yet, the waves that overwhelmed her endocrine system were unlike anything she had experienced before. The screams of vicious, premeditated arousal had sent fire through her veins. Her loins ached for reprieve, lurching in a state of pain and ecstasy. All this and much, much more poked at her fragile casing, not unlike the Alliance doctors who had once regarded her a mere play thing. River sat up slowly, drawn to the appearance of her left hand. She cocked her head slightly, following the contours of her palm. Bloodied cum from the bed sheets had accumulated between her knuckles – a coagulated mix of bodily fluid and irradiated chemicals. Just then, bursts of second hand memory forced their way back into her cranium. Everything from the Reaver’s lips curling in satisfaction, to the touch of coarse fingertips on Simon’s crotch. River squeezed her eyes tight shut, trying to force them out. It was a vile and poisonous smoke that smothered her will to think. She punched the floor angrily, seeing the frenzied look in the Reaver’s eyes. The thought of Simon copulating against his will made her skin crawl. He had assured that they would be safe. He loved his sister, and protected her at every turn – even when a certain bounty hunter came a looking. Although, the Reaver had burst through the fortified door as though it were made from cheap cardboard. The creature’s strength was breathtaking, lifting her brother off the floor with relative ease. River had never seen such a biological construct. It was a creature governed by so much rage, and something which terrified the young girl, more so than her own instability. Through tear stained eyes, her gaze wavered to the cockpit window. She grew calm, drawn to the winking lights of far flung celestial bodies. It was a stark contrast to the hysteria on her face just moments ago. “Why does it always have to happen this way?” she murmured. Out there, in the cold, relentless black, supernovas were in the last throes of existence - huge, celestial bodies imploding in a wave of gamma radiation. Their legacy, nothing more than a mere smudge on the fabric of the cosmos. Thirty-six hours earlier, River had gazed into the same vast region of space. A violent storm brewed, and they were on a nightmarish course with destiny - one that haunted her most recent premonitions. It was true that she had tried to change the very fabric of those dreams, throwing a single stone into the pond to blur its reflection. However, in the course of saving Mal’s life, did she make things progressively worse? River shook her head to that sorrowful line of investigation. Like the supernova, there was no chance of reversing destiny. No amount of foresight and mathematical equation could alter fate - one filled with so much death and destruction. “River?” came Zoe’s concerned voice. A series of cries and scuffles followed, as River tried to move her frame onto the passenger seats. Meanwhile, Zoe pressed a hand against the bulkhead wall, listening to the commotion. She stood stoically, waiting for River to calm down. “Honey, I need you to open the door for me.” River’s shaking hands clutched the top of her shins, forcing herself into a foetal position. “It‘s not safe!” she wailed. Zoe let out a long sigh. “We killed the threat good. It‘s all over now.” she assured. River shook her head at Zoe’s calming words. They were damaged, and false. No power in the ‘verse could make her leave the shuttle. “You can’t walk in and make demands.” she said cryptically. “It’s not polite!” Zoe leaned in closer, and then cursed, as a dullness pinched her side. The patched up bullet wound was beginning to ache like something fierce. Delicately, she stretched the gauze bandage around her thigh, back into position. “Where’s Simon?!” River’s words rang hollow from the darkness. Zoe slowly looked up. She had dreaded this moment, and with a fiery passion. “Simon’s safe and sound with the rest of the crew.” she said hastily. River giggled uncontrollably at that response. “Don’t tell fibs!“ came her bitter reply. “Where‘s Simon? I want to see Simon!” Before Zoe could fabricate an answer, the sound of squelching footsteps reverberated from behind. It was Mal, and he looked angrier than ever. The anger was justified. The Reavers had just turned his boat into a Machiavellian art gallery. Decayed body parts lay scattered around the cargo bay, like bloodied confetti. The walkway still ran with polluted blood and spent ammunition. Mal’s sleeves were rolled up as far as they could go. Dried blood was smeared down the length of his forearms. It was a gorram miracle that they had made it out of this one alive. As he marched across to shuttle two, his weary frame slid on a wet patch, clipping part of a Reaver carcass along the way. Instinctually, both hands reached out, steadying his gait. His eyes heaved with foreboding. Zoe had seen that look many times during the war – and it was one that she thought she would never see again. A bloodied hand slowly clenched into a fist. Mal’s face screwed up, and while bracing the handrail, he repeatedly slammed his combat boot into the creature’s head. Blood and sinew flicked up from the floor. A sickening crack filled the air, as the neck bone spilt in two. Mal gripped the handrail tighter, and with extreme prejudice crushed it into the grating. “Feel better, Sir?” Zoe called light heartedly. Mal looked up with disdain. “This ain’t the time for jokes Zoe.” he said, catching his breath. “Thought I told you to find River asap?” “That you did Sir. It’s just..” Zoe paused, reluctant to say the next part. “It’s taking longer than anticipated. Looks like she’s locked herself in. There ain‘t no easy way around that.” Mal burned a vengeful look into the shuttle door. “I don’t give a good gorram if she’s taking confession in there. Open that door and get River out. Dangle a carrot on a piece of string if need be. I don’t care how you do it, just as long as you get it done.” “Sir-” Zoe began. Mal turned his back, struggling to contain his own tiredness. He didn’t need any of his crew questioning him right now. His order was straight forward enough. The last thing that he needed were complications. It was about gorram time that he put everything back on an even keel. Mal breathed deeply, before making his point. “I got more than enough problems than I can handle right now Zoe. Do you really want to add to them?” The question took Zoe by surprise. “No.” she wavered. “I just think that it isn’t particularly wise to rush things, given all that she’s - all that we’ve - been through. We don’t want to scare her away, any more than we already have.” Frustration etched a gaunt look on Mal’s face. Did Zoe actually just dispute his authority? “It would be a kindness, given all that we’ve been through these past couple of days.” he muttered. Zoe‘s dark eyes narrowed. “You don‘t mean that, Sir.” “As sure as there’s blood on my forearms, I do.” Mal said bluntly. “This weren’t River’s fault.” Zoe reasoned. “She was caught in the crossfire is all.” Mal pointed an angry finger at the ground. “No, no. That ain’t the whole picture.” “What do you mean?” Mal drew the back of his hand across his nose, wiping away some blood. “Right before the attack, she knocked out our navigation. The girl set us up good and well for the Reavers to just walk right in. I‘d say that‘s more than enough reason to put the blame on River.” Zoe blinked in disbelief. She knew that it was hard to control the young girl, but to say that she was actually capable of betrayal, and to Reavers? The notion was ridiculous. “Are you aware of what you‘re implying?” Zoe said, slightly amused. “If River wants to lock herself away from the rest of us, then that’s fine by me.” Mal stressed. “But not while she‘s in a position to cause more problems. Her being in my shuttle is a problem, and I want rid, Zoe.” Zoe placed her hands onto her hips. Mal’s words were packed with force. There was no question that he would abandon Simon and River on some backwater moon, and at the first given opportunity. He had come close to it on several occasions, but she had never seen him willing to carry out those threats. “I understand what you are saying, and I’d never disagree with any decision that might put us all at risk, but if I could make a suggestion?” she began. “What are you suggesting Zoe?” Mal’s voice trailed as he cast an eye on the damage that surrounded him. “Because right now, I really have better things to be doing.” “I think that we should give her a little time to process everything, before we even consider bringing her back on board.” Zoe continued. “Moving her back so soon might prove to be difficult, given all that she’s seen. I imagine that Serenity’s the last place she wants to be right now.” An amused smile broke through the anger on his face. “Process everything?” he scoffed. “Pretty sure she has processed enough on her own. She already knows how to shut down the engines. What part of ’get rid’ don‘t you understand Zoe? The girl‘s a risk. I can‘t have her willing to put us all in harm‘s way again.” “But, Sir.” “But?!” Mal retorted. “How come I knew there was going to be a ‘but?’” Zoe blinked slowly, absorbing Mal‘s harsh tone. “Right now, somebody needs to be there for her.” Mal shook his head. “Well that ain’t me.” he hissed. “It shouldn’t have to be you either. We ain‘t babysitters.” Zoe paced up and down in front of the shuttle door. She had known Mal for several years - through thick and thin. She rarely questioned his authority. Although, Mal clearly wasn’t thinking straight, and that troubled her. More so than anything they had been through together. If she wanted the best for River, then she would have to hold her ground. His reasoning, or lack thereof was unsettling. “Let me spend some time with her, give her a little more time. I’m sure that Inara or Shepherd Book can take her under their wing, and keep her away from harm. Just until we get things up and running again.” “I ain’t got time to work out the finer details Zoe.” Mal sighed. “If you want to be responsible for River, then I got no problem with that, long as you keep her out of my sight. Like I said, I got a ship to run, and a job to finish. Badger‘s still waiting for us to make the pickup, and you know what he‘s like if we don’t keep to his timetable.” “What are you going to tell the others about Simon?” Zoe inquired. Mal turned back momentarily, skimming the bloody handrail with a palm. “There ain‘t nothing to tell Zoe. We continue as normal.” “The crew have a right to know what happened to him.” Zoe stressed. Mal ran a hand down his face. “Right now, we need to think about getting ourselves back on our feet. The doc ain’t much help to us lying in the infirmary. Last time I checked, he’s stable. Not much we can do ‘til he finally wakes up.” “I think it’s best we at least set up a meeting in the-” “If you want to inform the rest of the crew, then knock yourself out!” Mal snapped. Zoe‘s persistence was really starting to grate on him. He took another breathe, softening his tone. “In the meantime, I‘ll be clearing out the common area.” Zoe nodded half heartedly. “Yes Sir.” “Oh, and one last thing.” Mal called, before heading back to the lower level. “Yes Sir?” “I want River out of my shuttle by the time I‘m finished.” With that, Mal proceeded along the walkway, and back down the main stairwell. Deep inside, somewhere in the depths of his fractured soul, Zoe’s intentions were deemed honourable. Yet, chasing after the welfare of people, who were more trouble than not, was the last thing on his mind. They had to keep moving forward. Anything or anyone else would just slow them down at this juncture. The job mattered more to him than anything else right now. The job meant security - a way out of all this mess. That way, there were no more distractions, and no more complications. Simon and River had caused enough problems since their arrival. River had attacked Jayne with a knife. She had been found wandering the decks with a loaded gun. The fugitives had also managed to get captured by hill folk while on the job. He had warned Simon enough times to keep his sister under control. Mal closed his eyes momentarily, focusing the rage from within. The reason that the doc was lying in the infirmary was clear. It was Simon’s fault. He had failed to keep his end of the deal. A deal that was supposed to ensure the smooth running of their day to day operations. Once Simon had regained consciousness, he would drop them both off at the nearest border planet. Enough was enough. Precariously, Mal moved through to the common area, stepping over bits of broken plastic and panelling clustered in his path. The shrill crack of wood filled the air with each footstep. Eventually, he found himself at River’s dorm. The walls were riddled with bullets from Vera‘s barrel. Jayne’s arrival had been fortunate. A couple of seconds longer, and there might have been a few more bodies lying around, Mal thought. Polluted blood glistened under the artificial lighting. In the corner, the female Reaver’s carcass still lay crumpled against the wall. A creamed coloured shotgun wound protruded from her chest. Mal furrowed his brow slightly, catching sight of its head. The creature’s face had been completely blown out on one side, revealing green coloured tissue. Even if his eyes plotted to deceive him, his nostrils would not. The smell was indescribable. Bodily fluid pooled around the body. It was going to take some time to fully dispose. Reluctantly, Mal took a hold of the Reaver’s arms, and dragged it from the corner. The smell of rotting flesh clung to his nostril hairs. “Aiya tian a! Why does it always have to happen this way?” Mal muttered. Haphazardly, he navigated his way back into the hallway, separating River’s room from Simon’s. Blood spurted from fresh lacerations, as he hauled the body towards the door. As he approached the threshold, the Reaver’s midsection had pinned itself. There wasn’t enough time to be careful, Mal thought. The body had to be removed one way or another. With one short, sharp thrust, Mal pulled it clear. Bloodied entrails spurted into the air, forcing Mal to duck. A sharp pain ran the length of his leg. He let out a strangled cry, feeling the course touch of wood graze his shin. “Do you require some assistance?” came a soft, concerned voice. Mal’s face dropped. Inara’s tone was undeniable. This was a complication that he didn’t need right now. Momentarily, he walked away from the companion, finding the courage to make eye contact. “What are you doing out of your shuttle?” he asked, dodging the question. “Thought I made it painfully clear that no one was to leave their quarters?” Inara raised her eyebrows. “I never realised that you were my babysitter.” she said cuttingly. Mal‘s face turned sour. Inara certainly knew how to undermine his authority, and in more ways than one. “This really ain’t the time to pick a fight with me, ‘Nara.” he stressed. “Just don’t like you wandering ‘bout ship, given our current situation.” Inara smiled sincerely. “I’m flattered that you care for my safety Mal, but it isn’t necessary.” Mal’s troubled eyes met Inara’s and for a second, his guard went up. “Really?” he scoffed. “Have you taken a look around lately?” Inara watched candidly as Mal blocked the way ahead. It was clear that he was trying to keep something hidden. “Yes.” she said chirpily, keeping on topic. “I happened to pass a lovely pile of carcasses on my way down here. I knew that there was no immediate threat to my well being.” There it was again, Mal thought - the cutting edge in her voice. “I risked my life for everyone on this boat. Don’t think that you’re special, just ‘cause you drink green tea!” “I didn’t mean-” Inara back peddled. Mal winced, and then masked the pain with a witty remark. “‘Sides, I thought that you’d be lighting incense to keep the smell of rotting flesh at bay?” “I heard a crash.” Inara retorted. “I didn’t want to miss out on all the action.” “Well, missed out on it you did.” Mal replied. “Though, I struggle to see how you could offer assistance in the middle of a gun fight. I‘m sure that you could-” “Are you implying that I‘m not a worthy member of your crew?” Inara said scornfully. “That I should be locked away at the slightest hint of danger?” An amused glint filled Mal‘s eyes. “It does seem to be a trend these days.” Inara frowned, failing to see the amusement. “What is that supposed to mean?” “It don’t mean anything ‘Nara.” Mal said flippantly. “It really don’t.” Inara edged closer to River’s dorm, and cast her worried eyes on the carnage before her. The once quiet and peaceful room had been transformed into a bloody and carnal mess. “What happened in here?” Mal pulled a sarcastic smile. “That’s funny. Don’t see how any of this would really concern you. I seem to recall a conversation ‘bout you leaving my ship. What happened about that?” Inara’s eyes narrowed. The words had cut pretty deep into her sun kissed skin. “I’m working on it.” she said uncomfortably. Her attention moved back to the room. The sight of blood on the walls, and the absence of River troubled her. More so than the dead Reaver at her feet. “What aren’t you telling me? Where are River and Simon?” Wearily, Mal picked up a shard of panelling, and tossed it to one side. “Those are questions I really don’t have time to answer ‘Nara.” “Are they dead?” Inara said, growing alarmed. Mal’s focus shifted to the other end of the common area. His breathe quickened, drawn to the sound of movement coming from somewhere within the ship.. A look of concern crossed Inara‘s face. “What is it?” she asked, observing Mal’s behaviour. An eerie calm filled the air, one just as empty as the vacuum of space. Mal waited, straining his ears for the slightest of sound. His hearing had been partially affected due to hours of fierce gunfire. “Nothin’.” Mal eventually replied. “I thought I just heard something is all.” With macabre timing, an agonised scream erupted throughout the ship. An uneasy shiver ran down Mal’s back. The scream was long, vulnerable and full of raw emotion. That meant one thing, and one thing only. Simon had awoken.

- - -



Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:50 PM


I'm chilled. Really. This is so - damn chilling. But like a train wreck, I couldn't stop reading. Which makes it good in my book! LOL!

I can't wait to see how you delve into the minds of the characters after something like this. I have to go back and read the previous stories that lead up to this one, though. It's been so long!

I first thought Mal was being too gruff but then thought maybe it was because he wanted to hide the guilt of not being able to protect his crew.

Very much looking forward to the next part.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 10:53 PM


Very, very dark, but very well written. And the fallout is going to be equally grim, I can tell.

Friday, March 28, 2008 7:43 AM


Whoa!! Very creepifying!

Dark and disturbing, now I have to go back and re-read the first part.

Nicely done Cos!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:34 PM


C'mon, you've got to finish. I await in tense anticipation.


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RESURG3NCE - Remnants.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: I’m so excited about unleashing this latest chapter of the Resurgence series. This chapter has been a complete labour of love. Basically, it has been in development since August 2006. There was a moment that I actually thought that I’d never get this damned thing finished, but I’m glad that it’s finally done.

The extreme nature of the plotline was quite tricky to handle. After the horrific events of chapter two, I was pretty stuck on how to proceed. The subject matter is delicate, so I didn’t want to disrespect it. I wanted to veer away from the horror action, and instead focus on much deeper emotions.

This chapter really gets into the heads of the characters, in the aftermath of chapter two, and I hope that it is conveyed on the screen. This is the dawn of a new story arc in the Resurgence series. WARNING: This story is rated NC17.

STOLEN - A Firefly/Doctor Who crossover. Chapter 1.

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