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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
The battle ends, for all but one.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 922 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Author owns no rights to Firefly, and no copyright infringement is intended. Fanfic only.
Serenity, with River now at the helm, settled gracefully onto the street where she had rested during the battle. Mal had the ramp down as soon as it was safe to do so.
Civilians streamed off the ship, eager to see what was left of their homes. Some were angry, others still in shock. Simon’s tale of how the Alliance had been involved in the reaver attack had spread like wildfire, and coupled with the absence of the Alliance during the protracted battle, not to mention the fact that browncoats had come to their rescue, had left many formerly loyal citizens in turmoil.
Mal had taken less than a dozen steps when he saw the Operative heading for him. Instinctively, he reached for his gun, but the motion stopped when he saw the burden that the man was struggling with.
“I realize, Captain,” Book huffed slightly, never halting, “that you will want to kill me. May I ask, however, that you wait long enough for me to get Cobb to young Mister Tam? I do believe he might be the man’s only hope.”
Monty surveyed the damaged on Hammurabi with a grimace. The battle had been brutal. And costly. At one point the reavers were right outside the bridge of the cruiser, but Monty and his contingent had hit them from the rear, diverting them from the ships control center.
It had taken over an hour of fierce and constant combat to halt the reaver advance, and well over two more to scour the ship for the remaining devils. He was satisfied now, however, that the ship was safe. He walked to the bridge, where the crew were still showing signs of their close call.
“Captain, any word from the planet?” he demanded at once.
“The planet is secured for the most part, sir,” the Captain replied at once. “There are still some isolated areas of fighting, from what we can catch, but the brunt of the assault has been completely broken.”
“Excellent. Have a shuttle prepared for me as soon as possible. Then get your ship out of here. I’ll contact Captain DeVoe with orders for the group. You can’t meet an Alliance attack with your damage.”
“What about you, General?”
“I’d like to think that one man isn’t so vital as all that, Captain,” Monty grinned, and headed for the door.
Simon was working feverishly over Jayne as Monty prepared to leave Hammurabi. Despite the armor, the helmet, and Jayne’s own great strength, he was in bad shape. There was more trauma than Simon could ever remember seeing on a living patient.
I can’t imagine how he’s alive, Simon thought to himself. His nurse friend had stayed behind to help, and he was grateful. He needed it.
In the lounge, Mal watched through the window as Simon worked as fast as his hands would go. He turned to look at Book.
“If you still intend to kill me, Captain, may I suggest we take it off the ship?” the man said softly. Mal grimaced.
“I can’t rightly kill a man that’s helped me and mine,” he growled. “‘Spect you know that. Don’t mean I like you any, though.”
“There is nothing about me for you to like,” Book replied, his voice still soft. “I told you before, Malcolm. I am a monster. I was not always so, however,” he added, and Mal noted that his shoulders were slumped slightly.
“But that is water beneath the bridge, as they say,” he straightened noticeably. “I will take my leave, now. I would take it as a kindness, if you would let me know. . .”
He nodded into the infirmary.
“I’ll see to it,” Mal nodded in agreement. “‘Pears to me you’ve earned that much, and a bit more, besides.”
“No,” Book said over his shoulder. “Just making amends as best I can, with the time I have left, Captain. All any of us can do.”
Mal had turned back to the window when he heard River’s voice float to him.
“He was made that way, Baba,” she told him, walking to stand at his side. She took his hand in hers, and Mal gripped hers back.
“I suspected as much,” Mal admitted.
“Preacher Man told you he had much to atone for,” she reminded him. “Also told you he wasn’t always a Shepard.”
“I know, ‘Tross,” Mal nodded. “I’m just tired of everybody else’s atonement costin’ us so much.” Mal’s voice was bitter, but also tired. Worn.
“We have lost a great deal,” River agreed. “Part of that is my fault. Because you would not leave us at the mercy of others.” Mal turned to look at her.
“Don’t you ever think that,” he said firmly. “Helping you was one of the few good things I ever did. You’re as much like my daughter as if you were my own flesh and blood. Livin’ like I do, especially after this, you and Kaylee may well be the closest thing to young’uns I’m ever like to be havin’. Nothin’ I’d not do for either o’ you. Don’t never forget that.”
River hugged him tightly at that, and the two stood that way for a long time. When they parted, River smiled impishly through her tears.
“If Jayne survives, will that make him your son-in-law?”
Her laughter at Mal’s grimace rang through the ship.
“Simon, we’re losing him,” Alysa said urgently. Jayne’s blood pressure had dropped suddenly, and Simon couldn’t see the reason for it.
“I know!” he exclaimed, working to try and find the problem, and repair it. Suddenly, he saw a possible reason.
“He has a nicked artery, in his neck,” Simon told her urgently. “One I missed! I need to get it sewn shut, while you prep more blood. And hurry!”
“Something is wrong,” River said quietly, and Mal looked up at the window.
“Jayne. . .he may not make it, ‘Tross,” Mal said haltingly. “Miracle he’s still here at all.”
“Perhaps,” she nodded. “I must talk to him, Baba,” River said suddenly. Mal frowned.
“River he can’t hear you, I ‘spect,” he said gently.
“More than one way to talk,” she replied, walking over to the sofa and settling in. “Please don’t allow anyone to disturb me.” With that she leaned back, and closed her eyes for a moment. When she opened them again, Mal could see that she was far away.
He settled into the chair nearby, standing guard. If River might could save Jayne, he’d see to it she got the chance.
River looked down at herself, and smiled, seeing she was once more in her armor. In Jayne’s mind, she was dressed as he saw her. A warrior. Not a waif, nor a child.
She picked her way across the familiar battleground of Osiris, seeing a hulking figure sitting slumped on the fountain. It would be a long time before that fountain ran with anything but blood in her mind.
“Hello, ge ge,” River said softly. Jayne’s head snapped around as quickly as he could manage it.
“What in the blazes o’ hell are you doin’ here?” he demanded. “They was ‘sposed to make sure you was on the ship when it left! Inara promised me you were!”
“I was, Jayne,” River told him gently. Jayne was worse than she had thought. This time there was no peace in his mind. There was only the battle.
“Then how’d you get back?” he demanded. “I know you’re the pilot ‘n all, but I’d not thought you’d risk the others like that.”
“I did not,” she smiled. “You are once more in the infirmary, Jayne. Simon is trying desperately to save you, but you are failing. I. . .I doubt he can do it,” she admitted with a tear.
“That’s okay,” Jayne shrugged. “I didn’t ‘spect to live no way. Woulda been nice, mind,” he grinned tiredly.
“You have to help him, Jayne,” River told him. “You have to fight.”
“Did that already,” he told her. “All it led to was more fightin’. I’m tired o’ fightin’, mei mei. Tired o’ being mad all the time, tired o’ fightin’ it, tired o’ everyone lookin’ down on me. I can’t help what I am. Didn’t get no say so.”
“And I’m tired o’ bein’ tired,” he sighed. He looked over the battle field before him. “This won’t never end, River. It’ll always be this way. And I’ve had my fill. I did my share, too, no matter what the rest think o’ me. I ain’t got nothin’ ta be shamed of. I earned the right to rest.”
“What about Kaylee?” River asked gently. “What has she earned?”
“A better life than I can give her,” Jayne told her at once. “God help me, I really thought it could happen. But, I think I told you once, I been known to be wrong afore.” He grinned again, but it was pained.
“Jayne you cannot just leave because you’re tired,” River insisted. “It isn’t fair to the others. It isn’t fair to me, or to Kaylee. Especially to Kaylee,” she dug a bit harder.
Suddenly, she heard the cry of reavers in the distance, and realized with a start that Jayne was still fighting in his mind.
“Best be goin’, mei mei, he told her, standing stiffly. “‘Spect this’ll be the last one. I’m all that’s left.”
“I won’t leave,” River shook her head stubbornly, drawing her own swords.
“Yes, you will,” Jayne said sadly, and before she could react, Jayne hit her. She went limp and he caught her before she hit the ground. As he lowered her to the ground, she faded away, and he smirked.
“Might be a little smarter than some o’ ya thought,” he laughed tiredly. Turning to face the oncoming reavers in his own mind, he straightened.
“Come to me, denizens of hell! Justice awaits you where the light burns the brightest!”
And then they where on him.
River awoke with a start, which gave Mal a start. He was shocked to see a purple bruise on her face.
“What the hell?”
“Not now,” she told him, racing to the infirmary. She threw open the door, and Simon’s head jerked up.
“Not now, River!”
“Give him adrenaline, Simon!” River ordered. “As much as he can take. You aren’t missing the injuries, they’re new ones!”
“What?” Simon looked up, stunned.
“In his mind, he is still fighting!” River shouted. “His mind has locked him onto the battlefield outside. He cannot escape, or won’t. I don’t know which. He is still fighting! Give him adrenaline, and he may survive another attack!”
“Mei mei, I can’t just keep giving him adrenaline. It will kill him, eventually.”
“He’ll die anyway,” River said softly. “You have to keep him fighting until I get the chance to try again.”
“Try what again?” Simon demanded.
“Talking to him,” River fought the urge to roll her eyes. “He forced me out when the reavers came.”
“Is that where the bruise came from?” Simon asked softly.
“Yes. Had I been killed in that dream state, I might well have died here, as well. The mind is a complicated and dangerous thing, Simon. Please, trust me,” she pleaded.
“I do,” he nodded. “Now let me work.”
“Better get some ice on that eye, ‘Tross,” Mal said quietly, gripping her shoulder.
She let him guide her away. There was nothing she could do for now.
Outside, Monty’s shuttle landed. He hadn’t gone far when he heard a soldier call him.
“General!” He turned, and saw one of his men escorting a civilian up to him.
“This gentleman asked to speak to who ever was in charge, sir,” the soldier told him.
“Well, that’d be Mal, I guess, or some o’ his friends,” Monty scratched his head. “Don’t rightly know who was in charge, we just came to help out.”
“My name is Evan Stone, General,” the man said softly. “I’m the Mayor of Capital City.” The man extended his hand, and Monty took it, surprised.
“We’ll be away as soon as we’re sure all the reavers are gone, Mayor,” Monty assured him. “I know you folk don’t much cotton to us revolutionary types.”
“On the contrary,” Stone surprised him. “It has not escaped my notice that the Alliance sent us no assistance. We are indebted to you, General, and you may stay as long as you like.”
“Well, that’s kind o’ you, sir,” Monty said, flabbergasted. “But reckon our bein’ here will make it right hard for you folks. So we’ll pull out, soon’s we’re sure you’re safe.”
“You will always be welcome here, General,” the Mayor said pointedly. “Don’t forget that, when in need.” With that the small man walked away, looking at the damage his city had suffered.
“Well,” Monty breathed finally. “How ‘bout that?”
Thomas looked around him sadly. So many of his precious minions, gone. Having paid the ultimate price for the freedom and safety of others.
“We’re loaded, sir,” Hayes told him quietly.
“Very well,” the older man nodded. “Let’s be away, before people start to ask too many questions.”
The surviving Archangels and Acolytes, those not injured to seriously to move, were aboard a transport Mal had ‘arranged’ for. Thomas smiled at the word.
Their seriously injured were already gone aboard General Reynolds’ vessels, getting the best care possible. They would be left on a rim world, where finer care was awaiting them, thanks to Azrael.
Michael, my son, Thomas looked at Serenity one last time. I hope you survive. If anyone deserves it, you do my boy. Godspeed, brave Warrior of Light.[i/]
Minutes later, the borrowed ship was breaking atmo, and the Order of Light was gone. Just as if it had never been there at all.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 11:00 PM
Monday, May 26, 2008 3:55 AM
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 9:38 AM
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