Vengeance: Ch. 1 - Awakening
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Picking up where "Destiny" ended, the crew is searching for Kaylee without having any real idea of where to look, while Kaylee herself is in the dark, and someone has been awakened to bring in River Tam...


On Board Serenity Somewhere in the Black

Mal stood on the bridge in the middle of the night, staring out at the stars. Serenity had fallen silent, finally, giving Mal a chance to be alone. With as many people on board Serenity as there were now, he found it harder and harder to have a moment of peace. Not that anyone else was sleeping peacefully, not with everything that had happened on Shadow, not with Kaylee gone. Now, after nearly a week on Shadow repairing Serenity, they were sailing through the black, without so much as a single idea between them all of how to find Kaylee. The only one who might have had an idea of where the blue-gloved man had taken his engineer was River, but she hadn’t spoken a single word since Mal cried with her. She spent all her days in the infirmary now, sitting in the corner, staring at nothing in particular, only getting up long enough to use the bathroom. Mal finally sat down himself, dropping into Wash’s chair and setting his feet up on the console. He didn’t feel like relaxing, but his body was beginning to react from his lack of sleep. He had had nothing but nightmares every time he closed his eyes. Either about Kaylee, and finding her dead and mutilated, or about his mother crawling out of her grave, her deteriorated body ambling towards him, calling his name- “Mal?” Mal jumped in his seat, and then cursed under his breath. “Not a good idea to sneak up on someone in the dark like that,” he said, his heart racing. “I didn’t mean to sneak,” Inara said as she stepped into the bridge. “I just…” “Couldn’t sleep,” Mal finished. “Yes.” Mal turned in the chair as Inara sat down across from him. Pain flashed across her features for a second, but as soon as it came, it was gone. She was wearing one of her colorful nightgowns, but Mal knew what she hid. Simon had taken out the bullet from her upper chest, but the bullet had just missed her heart, miraculously doing as little damage as a bullet could before lodging itself in near her spine. She could move around surprisingly well already, but she wore out easily, and the meds Simon kept giving her dulled the pain, but they didn’t erase it. “Does the Doc know that you’re wandering the ship at this time of night?” Mal asked. Inara smiled softly. “He can’t follow me everywhere, as much as he tries to keep me in bed.” She chuckled at what she had just said, but Mal cringed inside. He didn’t want to be reminded of her profession. He had too many things on his mind to let his feelings towards Inara overwhelm him again. He had lost her once, when he let her leave Serenity, and then again on Shadow. She was back on Serenity again, but Mal still couldn’t let down his guard enough to admit how he really felt about her. “Are the meds helping?” he asked, knowing that Inara would never let him know if she was in pain. No, she was too proper to let her true emotions show. “They are helping, thank you,” she said. “Don’t thank me, I’m not the one who fixed you all up,” Mal replied. That smile again, so coy and innocent, but at the same time it made Mal want to grab Inara and tell her everything that he felt, and then never let her go. “Simon told me how concerned you were about my wellbeing,” Inara said. Simon. He would have to kill the Doc later for that. “I would’ve done the same no matter who was on that table,” Mal said, knowing full well that Inara knew exactly who he was talking about.

* * *

The infirmary was dark except for the low light around the edges of the room. Simon Tam stood just inside the doorway, his eyes fighting to close, but his mind forcing him to stay awake. It had taken all of his medical training, as well as plenty of help from Gretta, but he finally had his two patients stable. At least, as stable as they could be. He slowly stepped into the room and stood beside the exam bed, where Zoe lay. When she had gotten shot on Shadow, Simon had been sure that she was dead, but somehow, someway, she was still fighting. He had removed the bullet in her shoulder and sown up the wound. He had removed the bullet from her chest, but it had pierced her lung. He had sewn it up as well and re-inflated her lung, but he didn’t know how well her system would deal with the extent of her injuries. The worst injury, though, was her head. The shot must have been thrown off as Zoe fell, because the bullet hadn’t actually gone into her head. It had, however, taken a good size chunk out of her skin and skull just above her left ear. Looking at her now, he could picture the shaved section of her scalp and the ugly scar beneath the bandages that wrapped her head. He had done as best as he could, and with Gretta’s help he had done it all in time, but he had no way of knowing if he had done enough. Zoe hadn’t woken up since she was shot. She was in a coma, and without all the proper medical equipment, he had no way of knowing just how bad her internal injuries were. He also had no idea when she might wake up. Wash spent most of his days sitting on the stool next to her, pleading with Simon to make his wife wake up. Simon wished that he could, wished that he had that sort of power, but he was just a doctor, not a miracle worker. Just a doctor. Ever since he had been on board Serenity, he had felt inadequate, like all his training wasn’t enough, that he just wasn’t good enough. He had tried so hard to help River, to make her better, but no matter what combination of meds he tried, she never seemed to improve for very long. Now he had Zoe here on his table, and he didn’t know what to do to help her beyond what he had already done. If only he was still in the Core, still working at the hospital, then he might be able to do more, but… He closed his eyes. Now wasn’t a time to be having regrets. It wasn’t that he regretted getting River out of that place, but at the same time, he still missed his life. The only time on Serenity that he had ever felt like really living again, like his life had meaning, was when he was with Kaylee. And now Kaylee was gone. He tried to squeeze his eyes shut, but a single tear worked its way free and traced it’s way down his cheek. Kaylee. Why had he closed up so much? Why hadn’t he let her in when he had the chance? He hadn’t admitted it to Kaylee, much less than anyone else, but during the past year, he had felt emotions come alive that he never thought he was capable of feeling. As a doctor, he was required to leave his emotions at the door, or else when he lost a patient, or had to tell someone’s mother that her son was dead, he would lose control. The first time he told a young wife that her husband had died during surgery, when the wife began screaming and crying, Simon had lost it. He left early that night and spent the evening crying. After that, after the Resident Surgeon pulled him aside and talked to him, after that, he stopped letting his emotions show. Instead, he buried everything inside of him, his emotions, his feelings, everything. That’s why he was closed up now. That’s why he kept pushing Kaylee away whenever they got close. That’s why he never told her…told her… Kaylee, I love you! Then the tears came, and this time he didn’t try to stop them. He backed against the wall and slid to the floor, his head in his hands as he cried silently. He thought of Kaylee, of how scared she must be, all alone. He thought of Zoe, lying there on the table, in a coma. That she might never wake up. He wasn’t good enough. He could never be good enough. Now Kaylee was gone, and Zoe was slowly dying, and Simon didn’t know what to do. He cried for a few more minutes. Crying was something he hadn’t done since that last time in the hospital. It felt good to cry, though. To actually face what was inside of him. He wiped his eyes and stood. With one final look at Zoe, he turned and walked over to the countertop to the right of the door to check on his other patient. The patient that Simon himself could not believe was still alive. He had done his job, though, and fixed her up as much as he could. The shotgun blast from River had made a mess of his patient’s chest, but her heart was still beating, and she was still breathing. On the countertop lay the girl from Shadow, the girl who had held the wands, the girl who had worked with the blue-gloved man to take Kaylee away. Anne. That was what River had called her when they had brought her on board, the only thing River had said since she shot the girl. “So, Anne,” Simon said softly, his fists clenching, knowing that the girl wouldn’t respond. “Where is Kaylee Frye?”

* * *

Somewhere Unknown, Not On Serenity

Kaywinnit Lee Frye sat in the small room, once again trying to figure out just what was going on. When she was taken off of Shadow, she was so scared, so sure that she was going to die. But now, a week and a half later, she was still alive, and actually being taken care of. The room she was in had a bed and a desk with a limited Cortex link. She could read anything she wanted to, but she couldn’t Wave anyone. The room had it’s own separate bathroom, and a closet with a few changes of clothes. She was fed 3 times a day through a slot in the door, and the food was surprisingly good. She even had a small icebox and a set of shelves full with an assortment of food and drinks. It was all good quality food, too, not that protein stuff that they ate on Serenity. And to top it all off, in the icebox was a box of strawberries! None of it made any sense. She had seen the man shoot Zoe, and she had been so sure that he was going to shoot her next; but then he threw her into his ship, and there was a gunshot, and the man came running back in and they took off so fast. She had cried and cried, so scared, until the man gave her a needle and drugged her. When she woke up she was here, in her little room. She hadn’t seen or talked to anyone since she woke up in the room, and no one came when she screamed and threw stuff around. She wanted to know why she was taken, where she was, what happened to Zoe, and Inara, and everyone. No one ever came and told her anything, though. She walked over to the door. The lock plate on the left side of the door had been sealed shut, but she had improvised a few tools out of her silverware and had pried the cover off. Now she pulled the cover off again and stared at the wires in the wall. Using the fork, with the handle wrapped in a piece of cloth, she prodded at one section of wiring, and twisting the fork, she snapped several of the wires. There was a spark and loud crack and she dropped the fork in surprise. An acrid smell came from the wires. After a few minutes with no more sparks, she picked up a knife and walked back over to the door. Jamming the knife into the seam around the door, she pulled back hard on the handle, and nearly fell over when the door popped open a few inches. “You are a bright little girl, aren’t you?” Kaylee jumped to her feet. Where had that voice come from? She edged over to the opening in the door and peered through. She saw a long bright corridor with dark blue carpets, but there was no one there. “Not out there, in here.” She spun around. In her room? She looked around the small space, over the bed, the cabinets, the desk, the Cortex screen- A face was staring at her from the Cortex screen. She stumbled backwards, her eyes wide. “Who…?” she started, but she couldn’t speak right. The face smiled softly, black eyes and a dark goatee, giving the smile a menacing look. “I need your help, Kaylee,” the man said. “If you help me, I will let you go back to Serenity.” Back…to Serenity? She nodded dumbly. “That’s a good girl.” The door slid open the rest of the way. “Just follow the lights. Don’t try to go anywhere else, because I’ll be watching you.” She nodded again and slowly walked out of the room.

* * *

Ankara Penal Colony, Helios Asteroid Field

His eyes opened very slowly, since they hadn’t been opened for over two decades. His movements were slow, uncoordinated, but that was to be expected. Being frozen in a Cryogenic prison for twenty-five years did that to a man. Of course, Soul didn’t know how long he’d been frozen for, only that his body was telling I him that it had been a really ruttin’ long time. His body shivered involuntarily, despite the warming blanket on him and the heated air being pumped into the room. The tubes running into his arms were pumping a warm fluid into his veins, trying to slowly warm up his body. His brain was a big, confused mess, trying to sort all the signals being sent by his warming body. After nearly an hour, the tubes stopped pumping and a small machine retracted them from the various points on his body. The air continued to circulate in the room, and the heating blanket was still warm. Soul lay there for a few more minutes as his brain finally stopped swimming. The last thing he remembered was being led from the small tribunal and laid on a cold steel table, and the feel of the needle as it slid into his arm, and- He shot upright, and instantly regretted it. His muscles were still recovering from the Cryo, and the movement sent bolts of pain through his back. He gritted his teeth until the pain subsided, and then looked around the small nondescript room. There was a door set in the far wall, and a Cortex panel to his left, but other than that and the medical equipment, the room was empty. He moved his limbs experimentally, and after ensuring that they all worked fine, he swung his legs off of the table stood, shakily. The floor was carpeted, so his bare feet stayed a bit warm, but he wasn’t wearing a lick of clothing, and he was still freezing, despite the warm air being circulated. He grabbed the warming blanket and swung it over his shoulders. That’s a little better. He walked over to the door, but there were no controls and no handle. He pushed on the door, tried to slide it, but it wouldn’t budge. He walked over to the Cortex panel and pushed a couple of the buttons around the edge of the screen, and to his surprise, the screen lit up and smiled at him. Or, at least, the face of the man on the screen smiled at him. A face that Soul recognized more than he cared to admit. “Son of a bitch…” “Did you sleep well?” Damon Talos asked sarcastically. If he had been in the same room as Talos, Soul would have punched the bigger man for that comment. Instead, he simply didn’t answer the question. “How long?” he asked simply. That was all he wanted to know at the moment. Talos shook his head and chuckled. “Where is your sense of humor, my friend? Has the cold sucked it all out of you?” Soul stared at the screen. “How long?” he repeated. The big man sighed. “You were always worried about time passing you by, weren’t you?” Talos consulted something on his desk. “As of the moment you were revived, you were in Cryo for twenty-four years, eleven months, nineteen days, and one hour.” When Soul didn’t respond, he added: “What, would you like the minutes and seconds, too?” Twenty-five years! Soul felt the corner of his left eye begin to twitch, just like it always did in situations of high stress, but he ignored it. He refused to give Talos the satisfaction of seeing him react to that news. Speaking of Talos, if it really had been twenty-five years, then why did Talos look like he hadn’t aged a day? So Soul asked him. Talos laughed a big belly laugh. “The miracles of modern science, as well as a few cosmetic surgeries,” he replied. “Blue Sun helps those who help them.” “Why am I awake, then?” Soul asked. “Thought I was in here until hell froze over.” Talos leaned close to the screen and Soul took a step back in repulsion. There was something in the big man’s smile that never did sit well with Soul. “I’m giving you a chance for an early release,” Talos said. “You just have to do me a small favor in return.” There it was. There was always a reason. “What favor,” Soul asked dryly. “It’s simple, really. All I need is for you to gain passage on board a ship and make sure that it gets to me.” Soul paused. “That’s it?” “That’s it,” Talos confirmed. “Of course, you aren’t to let anyone know about your mission. Just play friendly, gain their trust.” “How am I going to get them to come to you, then?” “Oh, that’s not your concern. You are simply my insurance.” There was obviously more to it than what Talos was telling him, but he knew that he wouldn’t get any more information out of the man. “Through that door is your ship, as well as clothes, guns, and anything else you’ll need for this. The rest of the information is in there as well.” Talos paused. “Just don’t screw this up, or else I will find you. Or maybe I’ll track down your former wife, or your son.” Soul’s breath caught in his throat. His wife was still alive? And his son? The last he had heard from them, they were moving yet again, again because of Soul. They had never told him where. At the tribunal, they had shown him pictures of his wife and son’s mutilated corpses as a way to add to his punishment. He had gone into Cryo believing that they had been killed because of him. And now…still alive…? “I’ll do it,” he said. Talos smiled. “I thought you would,” he smirked. The door in the room slid open. “Just remember what will happen if you fail…” Talos laughed again, a laugh that sent chills down Soul’s spine. He turned his back on the screen and tried to block out the laughter as he walked to the far end of the room and stepped through the doorway.

* * *

Aboard the Blue Sun Vessel Agamemnon

Damon Talos laughed as he closed down the Cortex link. Sure, he could have sent someone else to do the job, someone else to serve as his insurance, but Soul had been so good at his job once. The best, in fact. Until he ran. Talos never could figure out why someone would run away from a life with as many perks as the one Soul had. In the end, his previous occupation had caught up with him. The Alliance tribunal had tried him on thirty-nine counts of first degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to kill, and one count of conspiracy. The deliberation had taken all of seven minutes, and that was just to decide the appropriate punishment. In the end, it was decided that in the future, a man such as the one on trial could be useful, so they sentenced him to Cryogenic sleep until some point in the future when it was deemed that he might be useful again. Talos was glad of his position, because it allowed him quite a bit of strings to pull when he wanted something done. Getting Soul out of Cryo had been one of the easiest things Talos had ever done. The big man stood up from his chair and turned around slowly. He was fully aware that his bulk intimidated a lot of people, and he used it with great frequency. Behind him, with enough view of the Cortex link to see who Talos was talking to without actually being in camera range, Serenity’s mechanic sat in one of Talos’ specially designed chairs, her wrists and ankles strapped down to the chair and a frightened look on her face. She also had a gag in her mouth, so she was whimpering quietly. He walked over to her and picked up an odd looking helmet from the table beside her. He placed it slowly on her head and stepped back. She looked at him with a mixture of fear and confusion. “Now Kaylee,” he said slowly, “I need your help. I promised that I would let you go back to Serenity, and I will keep that promise.” He pressed a button on his desk and the door to his office hissed open. Volk walked through, a new Wand held firmly in his right hand. Talos turned back to Kaylee. “I trust you know this man,” he said, a slight grin on his face. When Kaylee saw who it was, her eyes widened and she screamed into the gag. Talos kept talking as if she wasn’t screaming. “Now, Volk is here to help you send a little signal to a friend of yours.” He turned to Volk and nodded. Volk might have failed to bring him River Tam, but he could still help, at least for now. Volk turned and raised the Wand. Talos reached into his pocket and pulled out a small device and pushed it into his left ear. The device would protect him from the effects of the Wand. Kaylee, on the other hand… Talos reached forward and removed the gag from Kaylee’s mouth. This was the part he loved the most. Before Kaylee could say anything, a high-pitched whine filled the room as Volk activated the Wand, and Kaylee opened her mouth and screamed.

* * *

On Board Serenity

River Tam screamed, and Simon shot out of the Infirmary and raced to her room. His sister was sitting up in her bed, her eyes wide in horror as she screamed continuously. He grabbed her flailing arms. “River, what is it?” he asked, trying to calm her down. He could hear commotion behind him and he turned to see Mal come running into the room. Simon turned back to River. “Mei mei, what’s wrong?” he asked again, this time more desperately. She stopped screaming and looked at him, and then over his shoulder at Mal. “Kaylee,” she said, looking between Simon and Mal. “They’re hurting her.”


Go to Chapter 2.


Tuesday, March 1, 2005 9:58 AM


Very Nice plot line... Not sure how BS can use Kaylee to get River back, but I guess I'll need to wait for the next chapter!

Keep flyin'


Tuesday, March 1, 2005 9:58 AM


OOooh, those wicked *wangba dans* using Kaylee to get to River. I hope Mal and the rest of our Big Damn Heroes catch them and smash them into itty bitty little pieces, gorrammit! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 11:16 AM


I can see why you posted this so soon - must have been to keep your head from exploding!

More of this and I'll feel REALLY guilty about not posting the next bit of Heartbroken.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 11:49 AM


Wow, excellent job. I really loved all the emotion, especially from Simon.

I can't wait to read the next installment. You've got me sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation!

Wednesday, March 2, 2005 4:26 AM



I liked the part with Simon breaking down. Beautifully written and emotional stuff.

Also, poor Kaylee and River!!

Looking forward to seeing how this unfolds!

Supershiny work SOS!

- Cos.

Friday, March 4, 2005 7:14 PM


You continue to amaze me Soul.

You become a totally different person when you write and I keep having to remind myself who your are.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 10:58 PM


Nice little thought into Simon. Wow, three out of the four women shot or kidnapped. That's going to be an extremely angry crew when they catch up to where ever Kaylee is.

Here's to some violence...

Keep flyin'


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