A New 'Verse-III-Dash
Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mal remembers back to the early days of the war and how he meet the soon to be Independent hero Fast Dash. Flashback piece and an introduction to my main OC. Thanks for reding so far, ladies and menfolk!


A New ‘Verse III-Dash

It had been a while back when he had first met Dash Simmons, in the very first year of the war. He was out on his first posting, on the moon Demeter. It was six months into the battle and it was nighttime…

Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds sprinted towards the impact crater, bullets whizzing by his ears. He snapped off a burst of fire as he ran and dived the last meter, tumbling into the crater, knocking the breath out of his lungs. “How’d we do Fuzzy?” Mal turned to his corporal. He lay about ten feet away, on the edge of the crater, his helmet askew, blood pouring from his shattered throat. “Goa se!” He army crawled his way back to the young corporal. There was no point. Corporal Viktor ‘Fuzzy’ Fuzzinkski was dead, probably dead as soon as the bullet had hit him. Mal cursed again, then set about the task of rifling the young soldier's body for ammo and other valuables. He took out a red leather bound diary and snapped off the man’s dog tags, shoving them in his belt pouch. Turning, he crawled to the other edge of the crater; the smell of shell burst and burnt soil filling his nostrils, as they had done since he came to this blasted planet. Now he was cut off from the rest of his unit and by the amount of gunfire he was hearing from the Alliance lines, it didn’t look like he would be getting back any time soon. If he would make it back at all. “Gorram it.” He muttered under his breath, pulling his canteen from his pocket and taking a swig. At least they wouldn’t have any more trouble from the 80-cal emplacement on the hill. Together with Fuzzy and two other guys from the remains of the 76th they had managed to make the four guns mostly unusable. The other two had not made it through the sabotage mission and Mal and Fuzzy had been heading back to where Zoe had the rest of their platoon holed up. Maybe the Alliance could find someone who could repair those guns but Mal seriously doubted it. The Alliances biggest flaw was the lack of multitasking within their ranks. There was probably one man in the whole battle line whose only job was to repair 80-cals, instead of fifty guys who had some idea. A fighter plane roared overhead, painted in Alliance colors. He ducked instinctively, watching as it hurtled past him with a hissing roar. Going home he thought idly, watching as it swooped on Alliance lines. All of a sudden its guns chattered into life, spitting hot leaden death into the Alliance trenches. Mal jumped with surprise and then started to laugh bitterly. People could often mistake their own lines for the enemy in the heat of battle. Alliance soldiers climbed out of the trench waving to the fighter to stop, their purple uniforms clearly visible even where Mal was. The fighter pulled up out of its dive and began to swing around. More Alliance soldiers climbed up, jeering and giving rude gestures to the fighter as it came back towards them. Then its guns opened up again. Soldiers screamed in shock and tried to dive out of the way, but they were far to slow. Bullets tore through them like a magnifying glass through a line of ants, more than twenty dropping to the ground, never to rise again. Mal sat up in surprise. This was a deliberate attack. There was no chance that the pilot hadn’t seen the uniforms of the soldiers. “Well I’ll be,” he said softly. “There’s somthin’ you don’t see everyday.” The pilot turned back for another run. That wasn’t a good idea, because now the soldiers knew exactly what was going on. They had pulled up a rocket launcher of some sort. Bullets ripped through the trench again, but as the pilot pulled up, it would be for the last time. A rocket spat from the trench, black smoke trailing behind it. The pilot of the fighter plane tried halfheartedly to avoid it, but to no avail. The rocket struck the fighter in the left wing, tearing off the entire side. The plane wobbled, and by some incredible feat of luck or skill, stayed upright. Then after a few seconds it lost all height and came in to crash. Mal, who had up to this point been entranced by the spectacle, suddenly realised it was headed straight for him. He scrambled backwards, as with an earthshaking bang, it struck the ground, splintering into a mangled wreck and bursting into flames, finally coming to rest a mere thirty feet from Mal’s erstwhile shelter. Mal didn’t give it a second thought; he slid out of his hole and crawled his way towards the wrecked and flaming fighter. He wanted to see what the pilot had been up to. Besides, it wouldn’t do for someone who had just killed a weeks worth of Alliance soldiers to burn to death. He pulled his shirt up over his mouth, keeping the smoke away from him and crawled through the shattered windshield to the pilot’s chair. The pilot was a young woman, in a light purple Alliance-issue jumpsuit, with blonde hair barely past her ears. Mal felt the sweat run down his face, the flames were hot and ever rising. He had to get out of here quick before he was roasted alive. Or the ammo in the guns started cooking off and sent bullets flying everywhere. He certainly didn’t want to be around for that. Tying his shirt up around his face to stop the smoke he took the pilot by the waist slung her over one shoulder and staggered back out of the burning vessel. She was heavier than she looked. He got down on his knees again, just in case some Alliance lookout happened to be watching and took the pilot’s feet in his hands and dragged her back to his crater. He was just hunkering back down, making them both comfortable when an almighty bang sounded. A shockwave struck Mal in the chest, pushing him down towards the bottom of the crater. Then a heat washed over him, hot and dry, full of the heady tang of burnt gunpowder and melting metal. When it had died away he chanced a look back over the lip of the crater. The crashed fighter had exploded, the fuel gauges succumbing to the heat and pressure that the flames within it had brought. There was very little of the fighter left, a blackened and fast collapsing frame, pieces of metal scattered in a wide radius, oil fires burning on patches of dirt. Mal smiled in satisfaction, If anyone was coming looking for this pilot, they wont bother now. He paused for a moment, then another thought occurred to him one that nearly made him laugh out loud at his luck. Lucky I wasn’t in that thing. He kissed his Saint Christopher medallion and bent down to look at the woman he had saved. Well girl really, she was at least a few years younger than him and still had the fine boned features of immaturity. He took anything that could be used as a weapon from her belt, including her sidearm and a knife strapped to the inside of her leg and put them on his own belt. Mal didn’t expect her to attack her rescuer, whatever uniform he wore, but as this day had already shown; expect the unexpected. Despite her crash she was still in pretty good condition, a half dozen mostly superficial cuts covering her face and arms. She was still out cold though. Mal took hold of her head and moved his fingers around her skull, searching for her injury. On the back of her head, nestled among blonde strands, was a lump, already swelling to decent size. Something must have flown forward in the cockpit and hit her. Mal took Fuzzy’s water canteen from his belt, tilted the woman’s head back and poured the water down her throat, trying to be gentle. There was a cough and a splutter, as, with a groan, the pilot regained consciousness. She moaned and put a hand to the back of her head. “I thought there would be no pain here,” she murmured softly. Mal leaned back and shifted to where he could point his rifle at her. There was no sense to be taking chances. “What’s that you say?” he responded quietly. Out here voices travelled, no soldiers talked loudly, almost purely out of habit. Then the girl opened her eyes. Mal shifted in shock. Expect the unexpected, but that wasn’t helping much today. Both of her iris’s were a bright violet colour, a vivid glowing purple. Mal had never seen anything like it and he wore his shock across his face like a wound. She grimaced, obviously used to the reaction. Then she saw the colour of his uniform in the morning light. Her hand darted to her belt to where her sidearm had been, only to find an empty holster and a widely grinning Mal. The woman groaned and sat back again, looking warily at the gun. “If you’re going to shoot me, you might as well get it over with.” Her voice was soft and lyrical, with somewhat of a lilt to the words that Mal hadn’t heard before. He smiled crookedly at her. “If I wanted to you dead, I would have let you burn up in that wreck of a fighter behind ya, rather than waste myself the bullet.” She shrugged and leaned back, not disagreeing with him. Mal thought he saw her relax a little. But only a little. She didn’t trust him anymore than he trusted her. Well that said something for how smart she was. “I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions.” Mal continued, not shifting his gun. The pilot nodded wordlessly. “I might as well start by askin’ your name and rank and all that, considering how you’re in my crater.” Mal said dryly, “Then we’ll get into the important questions.” The woman turned her head to stare at him with those unearthly purple eyes. Mal suppressed a shudder. “Its Dash.” Said the woman finally, slowly moving one hand up to brush sweaty blonde strands out of her eyes. “Dash Simmons. Second Lieutenant, Alliance Navy. At least I was.” She grimaced and touched the lump on her head gingerly. “Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds. Most folks call me Mal. I wanted to ask you about all that back there,” said Mal, holding the gun steady. She ain’t to bad to look at the thought rising unbidden to his mind even with all the blood. And that uniform. He banished the thought, now just wasn't the right time. “What was that all about? Shootin’ at your own boys?” Those violet eyes seemed to darken in color and Dash’s face twisted into a snarl. “I should be dead. That’s what I was tryin to do. Die. Take as many of those Alliance hwoon dahn with me. I should be dead.” They sat in silence for a moment, the soft rays of the morning sun spilling down into the crater, casting grey shadows on the scorched sand. Mal kept watching her. If she wanted to die, then all she had to do was attack him. But he wanted to know why. There weren’t many things in the Verse that made a soldier turn against their own side. Which one of them had triggered Dash? She seemed to guess his thoughts after a time, as she stared off into the blue and cloudless sky. “I don’t think I want to die anymore. Otherwise I would have tried to get you to shoot me. Or attacked the trenches by myself. The rage is gone. I don’t want to die anymore. I’m not to keen on living, but I don’t feel like dying.” She paused for a moment, rubbing at a cut on her arm, smearing the already drying blood across her sleeve. “They killed my family, Sergeant Reynolds. My mama, my little sister. The only ones I had left. They were in a starting school, back on Lyons, where I’m from. Alliance bombers got the targeting area out by a whole quadrant. Hit a school system. My mama was a teacher there, my sister was in the fourth grade. I got the letter last night before lights out. It came with a pile of dispatches that they wanted me to take on to High Command.” There were tears pouring down the blood-streaked face, but Dash didn’t sob or howl. She just cried. “That’s the Alliance for ya, y’know? ‘We just killed everyone you love. Get back to work.’ So I took it out on the first trenches I came across.” She grinned fiercely through her tears. “I sure gave the hwoon dahns a right shock, though didn’t I?” Mal lowered his gun. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but by the sound of things, he would have been in more danger if his uniform had been purple. “You wanna keep taking it out on those bastards?” Dash stared at him, her tears already drying. She’s one tough girl. “‘cos I know an army that could really use a good pilot.” “You think they’d take me in?” “I have a feeling they’d listen to ya in any case.” A thought occurred to him all of a sudden. “You still got those dispatches?” Dash patted her jumpsuit and pulled out a yellow envelope, full to the point of bursting. “Is this what you’re looking for Sergeant Reynolds?” Mal smiled back at her. “Exactly. And call me Mal.” I’ve got a good feeling about this one he thought as he took off the Brown Coat that still clung to Fuzzy’s body. I’ve got a real good feelin’. “Wear this,” he said, handing her the coat. “That way you won’t get shot on sight on the way back.” He chanced a look over the lip of the crater. It was all quiet on both sides of the lines. With a bit of help from above, he’d make it back. He kissed his St Christopher, said a quick prayer over Fuzzy’s body and slipped out of the crater, Dash right beside him. As they raced along among the sand and the scraggly bushes, Dash tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey Mal?” she whispered. “Yes Dash?” “Could I have my gun back?” If it hadn’t meant him getting shot for doing it, Mal would have laughed. “I don’t trust you that much.” Yet. I’ve still got that good feeling.


Friday, May 23, 2008 2:20 AM


Good descriptive piece, and Dash sounds like one hell of a woman. I am going to nitpick, just a little, though. Mal wears a cross, not a St Christopher.

But I'm waiting to read more!

Friday, May 23, 2008 3:52 AM


Great! I am really looking forward to learning more about this tough pilot, Dash. Think her and Cat would be good friends. :)


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Thanks for reding so far, ladies and menfolk!

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