New Blood - Chapter 24
Monday, August 10, 2009

The assault on the Academy begins...


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Maxine and the rest of my OC's. they're mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.


A new story line to recharge my Muse. Set outside my “Allanverse.” Just to see what happens. Set about a year and a half post Serenity. Story line has the standard pairings of Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee. Also has River/Jayne. Zoë/Maxine -

Warning: This story line from here on out will include 'gasp' fem slash (Like you didn't see it coming). It won't be graphic but I know some are offended by any depiction of homosexuality. If you don't like this kind of thing... stop reading right now.

AN: Sorry about the huge delay. Got kinda hectic the last couple of weeks. Doesn't look to slow down much either but I'll try to keep writing as often as I can.


New Blood


Chapter Twenty Four


Serenity was full.

Her normal crew of eight, augmented with two teenaged girls, forty-two marines, an additional doctor, two nurses and three medics.

Add in the extra food, water and of course weapons and things were a bit tight. If all went according to River's plan, they would only have to tolerate the cramped quarters for a few days.

Mal had moved the additional medical personnel into the second shuttle while the marines had hung hammocks and laid out air mattresses in the bay to sleep on.

After final checks, Serenity was ready to make the voyage to Osiris and once and for all, put an end to the horror known as the Academy.

River gently guided the old Firefly out of the massive hangar doors, deep in the bowels of the Magellan. Setting course for the planet of her birth, River smiled with satisfaction as Serenity's escorts of two destroyers formed up on either side of the transport. In thirty-six hours, those ships would open a door in the planetary defenses of Osiris and allow the crew of Serenity to complete their mission.

River looked over to the teenager sitting in the co-pilots seat,”Xue?”

“Yeah?” the dark haired girl asked.

“Can you keep an eye on Serenity for me? We have to give the troops the final briefing.”

Xue grinned. This was the first time she had been allowed to take watch alone, “I'll take good care of Serenity.”

River smiled, “I know you will. Like father, like daughter.” With that, River spun in her seat and left the bridge, leaving Xue to think about River's words.

Xue felt a wave of sadness dim the excitement she had in being left in charge of the bridge. Even if only for a short time. She thought of the father she had never met who had flown and... died on this very bridge. And then the thoughts of her mother's death, and her Aunt's. It seemed like everyone around her that was related, died.

Xue sniffled. She had just found another family here on Serenity. Particularly her stepmother, Zoë and her partner, Maxine. She didn't want to loose them or anyone on the crew. As the situation began to sink in, Xue began to get just a bit scared.

“It'll be okay,” said Jess at the door.


“All the negative thoughts. You're giving me a headache,” the young reader stated.

“Sorry, Jess. Kinda all sinking in all of a sudden.”

The blonde dropped into the pilots seat, “Tell me about it.”

“But we're gonna be okay... right?” Xue asked.

“I can't see the future, but... I think right now, we're in the safest place we can be.”

Xue couldn't argue with that.


The briefing had gone well. Mal was surprised to see how enthused the Marines were to be on this mission. Perhaps it was the nearly universal human need to protect children. Soldiers in particular, no matter their politics, seemed to share this trait.

The Marines were ready to take down the Academy with their bare hands if necessary.

And Mal knew they would do it too.

Mal and Zoë leaned back on the rail and watched the former Alliance and now Commonwealth marines check their weapons and gear for the twentieth time. The First Mate looked over at her Captain, “What happens after?”

“After what?” Mal asked.

“This mission.”

“Ain't thought that far ahead.”

“Go-se... I know you better than that, Mal.”

The Captain stared at Zoë . She almost never used his name. He took a deep breath and shrugged, “Part o' me wants to find a deep hole and pull it in after us till all this is over. Another part wants to kick purple belly ass all the way to Londinium. I'm just not sure what way is best for this crew.”

“They'll follow you no matter what you decide, Sir.”

“Even Jayne?”

Zoë grinned, “Even Jayne. River's gonna follow you no matter what. And where she goes...”

“Jayne goes,” Mal finished.

“He's a changed man. Even if him and River weren't together, he'd still follow you.”

Mal grinned slightly, “Reckon you're right on that account. How about you and Max? You two okay with this?”

“Damn straight, Sir,” Zoë replied, “Max is real fond o' River... In a big sister kinda way. She's more than willin to put some payback on them huh choo-shang tza-jiao duh tzang-huo's that done that to the girl. And wanted to do the same to Jess and Xue.”

Mal nodded, “How's that part goin... you suddenly bein the momma to a teenager?”

“No diapers to change,” Zoë replied with a grin, “And she mostly takes care of herself. Xue's a good kid.”

“She's got a home here on Serenity... long as she wants it. You know that... right?”

“Never doubted it for a minute, Sir,” Zoë replied with a small smile.


It was nearly time. River sat behind the controls of Serenity while Inara occupied the co-pilots seat. Mal stood tensely between them as the blob of light centered in the bridge windows slowly resolved itself into the planet called Osiris.

Mal glanced at Inara and grinned. She looked good in a uniform. The Admiral had insisted that the crew of Serenity wear some kind of uniform in case of capture. If in civilian clothing, they could be executed immediately. But if in uniform and with active hostilities declared, they would have some protection.

The Commonwealth uniform consisted of basic black fatigues with the soldiers name stitched above the left shirt pocket. Inara's had the addition of pilot's wings as did River's uniform. Nothing was shiny. Black and gray. Tactical is what Gunny Williams had called it.

Somehow, Inara made the utilitarian clothing look elegant.

“Doin okay, Boa-bei?” Mal asked.

“A little nervous, Ai-ren,” Inara admitted.

“How about you, Albatross?”

“Conflicting emotions,” River nearly whispered.

“How is that?” Mal asked.

“If not for the captives... a twenty kiloton nuclear weapon would work much better...”

Inara looked a bit aghast at that prospect but Mal nodded grimly, “Reckon it would, River.”

“ETA, fifteen minutes to high orbit,” River suddenly stated, “It will be a bumpy ride.”

“Never been on a combat drop that wasn't, little one.”

Jayne stepped onto the bridge carrying an armload of weapons. The big man looked more dangerous than usual dressed in the black fatigues and body armor.

“Brought your sword, Riv.”

River nodded as she concentrated on the approaching planet. Jayne turned to Inara, “Brought you a gun too, 'Nara... just in case.”

“Thank you, Jayne,” the former companion nodded.

“Get the girls outfitted?” Mal asked.

“Xue and Jess both got a pistol. Your Uncle is stayin aboard with a couple o' marines to protect the ship.”

“Good,” Mal replied, “Uncle Josiah is too damn old to be in combat.”

“I heard that, Malcolm,” Josiah said as he entered the bridge, dressed in the same black uniform that everyone else wore. Including Mal. Like his nephew, he had added his own touch... a certain dark brown duster.

River's matching Browncoat hung from the back of the pilots chair.

“I...” Mal began

“And you're right,” Josiah interrupted, “I'll keep Serenity safe.”

Mal nodded and smiled at the older man.

“Atmo in three minutes... Eagle and Longbow are engaging the orbital defense platforms,” River stated as the smoke trails of missiles could bee seen streaking from the pair of destroyers escorting Serenity. Unable to land on a planet, the two larger ships would provide orbital firepower to support the operation while four gunships deployed from the destroyers would provide air cover for Serenity.

“I'm heading for the bay,” Mal said as he gave Inara a quick kiss. She lingered her lips on his as long as she could

“Come back to me,” Inara whispered.

“I fully intend too, darlin... took too damn long to catch you...”

“Will you get outta here already,” Josiah grumbled. Jayne grinned in agreement.

“Get us on the ground, Albatross,” Mal ordered before he left the bridge.


“You ready?” Maxine asked.

Zoë took a deep breath, “Yep.”

Max swallowed nervously, “I think I am too,” she said as she slipped her trusty shotgun into the holster on her back.

Zoë checked over her lover's gear. Dual pistols in low riding holsters, shotgun and an Alliance issue assault rifle. Zoë tapped Max's chest, hearing the satisfying clunk of body armor.

“Good to go,” Zoë said as Maxine checked over Zoë's own gear. The First Mate was wearing double shoulder holsters with automatics, her mares leg in it's usual holster along with a backup pistol in a cross draw on her belt. Everyone had grenades.

Zoë slipped on her com headset, “Com check...”

Maxine nodded as she checked her own headset.

“You ladies certainly look dressed to kill,” Gunny Williams grinned as she looked over the two women.

“Same could be said for you, Gunny,” Zoë replied.

“This ole' thing?” the Sargent smiled, as she slipped on her helmet, “Got it on the discount rack.”

A vibration was felt in the deck plates.

“Showtime people!” Williams bellowed, “This is a hot LZ! Hit the ground runnin and if any o' you rut this up, I'll shoot you personally! Am I clear?”

“Hoo-RAH!” Replied the marines in unison.

“First squad. Get to your defensive positions. Everyone else... lock and load!”

The marines moved.

Mal came down the stairs followed by Damien who carried a single pistol on his hip and his sword across his back.

“Zoë , Report.”

“Ready to rumble, Sir.” the First Mate replied.

“Lt. Haskins!” Mal yelled.

“Captain!” the young officer replied, jogging across the bat to Mal's side.

“Your people ready?”

“Yes Sir,” Haskins replied as the vibration increased.

“One Minute!” River's voice said across the com.

“Time for some thrillin heroics,” Jayne grinned as he joined his crew mates in the bay.


“Are you ready, Inara?” River asked.

“I am, River... be careful.”

“I will,” the young psychic replied as Inara took over flying Serenity. River quickly donned her duster and slipped the harness for her sword over her back. She also carried her dual pistol rig.

Xue slipped into River's seat while Jess sat at the navigators station. Xue quickly brought the ships new weapons online.

“Ready,” the teenager stated.

River nodded once and ran from the bridge.

Inara concentrated on her flying. The Academy was located in a nondescript light industrial park on the edges of the city. The cheap metal building hid an underground labyrinth of corridors and vertical shafts.

“On final,” Inara said through clenched teeth.

“Thirty seconds!” Xue called into the ship wide com.

“We're being tracked!” Jess called out, “Missile control radar!”

A smoke trail shot by Serenity as one of her escorting gunships destroyed the radar tracking the transport.

With a flare of engine power, Inara landed Serenity next to the Academy building. The ramp already halfway down as the landing struts finished compressing.

Inara grabbed for the virtual reality glasses that were tied into the new weapons system and began searching for threats. Xue assumed her role of co-pilot and kept Serenity ready to lift off at a moment's notice.

It had begun.


“Go, go, go, go!” Mal yelled as Serenity's ramp hit the ground. It was just before dawn on a Sunday. Calculated by River to have the lowest concentration of guards and staff. The goal was to rescue the captives inside and destroy whatever equipment they could. River had a plan to deal with the masterminds later.

The group began to spit up. One ten man squad of marines spread out and formed a perimeter around the Firefly while the crew and the other three squads advanced on the building.

From thirty yards away, Jayne fired a single shot from Vera and blew the front door off it's hinges. Smiling at the high explosive punch of the new ammo for his favorite gun.

River was a half a step behind her man, a pistol in one hand and sword in the other.

The stunned security guard in the lobby was the first to be shot.

Zoë holstered her mares leg as Mal pulled the body of the guard off the console. Alarms were already sounding.

Fingers flying, River used the guards terminal to hack the internal system. One by one, she killed the internal security systems.

“East and West stairwells,” River called out as she drew her blade again, “Four levels down... holding cells.”

“Second squad. Hold here,” Lt. Haskins ordered, “Gunny, Take your squad and go with Captain Reynolds. I'll take third and head to the security station on level three.”

“Sir!” the dark skinned woman replied.

“Zoë , you and Max with the Gunny on the West stairwell. Jayne, River, Damien and me'll take the East side.”

“Wilkins, Foote and Libewitz... go with the Captain,” Gunny Williams ordered.

The groups split up and hit the stairwells.

Mal ducked back as automatic weapons fire peppered the wall next to him, “Jayne! Grenade!”

With a swift movement, the big man tossed a pair of grenades down the stairwell.

With a roar, the weapons fire stopped. River leaped over the rail, alighting on the landing below. Two men were still alive and tried to raise their weapons. Her sword ensured that they would not be bothering anyone again.

Jayne blew the fourth levels door off it's hinges. Again, weapons fire struck the wall.

Mal, Jayne and two of the marines returned fire.

“River!” Jayne yelled as River screamed with primal fury and threw herself into the corridor.

“Gorramit!” Mal swore as he and Jayne followed her. Blade in his hand The former operative brought up the rear.

There was smoke and blood everywhere but at the end of the corridor stood River, gore dripping from her blade. A pile of bodies at her feet.

“Dammit, Albatross,” Mal swore as he reached her side.

She poked one of the bodies with the tip of her sword, “That one tried to rape me once.”

Mal and Jayne shared a look and nodded.

“Through this door,” River stated as she punched in the security code gleaned from one of the men she had killed.

Cautiously, they stepped through the opening. The space was dark. As soon as they were through the opening, the lights snapped on.

“Welcome home, River.” said a voice.

In the center of the room stood three of the blue gloved men who haunted River's nightmares.

Accompanying the blue hands were twenty armed soldiers. All with weapons raised. The leader stepped forward.

“You are all bound by law and ordered to stand down.”

“Screw you,” Mal growled as he raised his weapon.

“I wouldn't do that if I were you Captain Reynolds,” said the tallest Blue hand. From behind his back, the blue hand produced two teenagers, shackled and with blank looks on their faces.

“One wrong shot and we will have a tragedy on our hands,” The man said as he pulled a teenaged girl in front of him like a shield. His partner did the same with the boy. A pistol was held to each of the teens heads.

“Weapons down,” Mal ordered.

“Mal...” Jayne grumbled.

“Disable the dampeners,” the lead blue hand ordered. One of the blue hands in the back pressed a button on a small remote and River screamed.

Installed in the walls were devices to inhibit the particular brainwave patterns that the scientists at the Academy had discovered that readers used. Now that it was turned off. River's mind was flooded with the pain, fear and hatred from the other Academy students nearby.

She dropped to her knees in pain and anguish as the thoughts pounded into her brain. River simply curled up into a ball and whimpered.

“Riv!” Jayne yelled as he dropped to his knees next to her.

“Interesting,” the lead blue hand said as he handed his hostage off to one of his fellows, “Major, disarm them,” he ordered. A gun held to his head, soldiers removed Jayne's weaponry. Likewise, Damien, Mal and the three marines were similarly disarmed. Damien's sword dropped to the floor at his feet. Unnoticed for the moment

River suddenly stopped sobbing as the Blue Hand leaned over her. A smile crossed her lips as the man suddenly realized he had made a mistake.

“Eta ko...”

River buried her sword to the hilt in the Blue Hands chest.

At that same moment, the wall at the opposite end of the chamber exploded in a cloud of shattered concrete. Instinctively, everyone dropped to the ground. The Alliance troops began to fire towards the hole.

Mal, and Damien moved as one, tackling the blue hands holding the kids and covering the students with their own bodies. Jayne grabbed the Operative's sword and tossed it in River's direction. Without looking she grabbed the blade from the air and used it to separate the Major from his head.

Now with two swords, River began her macabre dance. The last time she had done this. It was against a room full of Reavers.

The Fed's didn't stand a chance...




Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:37 AM


Wow! All that tension, leavened by human interest (Zoe and Xue) and a little humour (Mal contemplating Inara in the uniform), that explodes into action! So how did River overcome the emotional overload from the other children? Did Jayne help? I love that the Blue Hands were so over confident, and now they're going to pay the price.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:25 PM


dont piss river off or hurt her u wont like it


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