Shotgun Tam
Friday, April 8, 2005

This a one shot I just wrote. After dealing with regular day to day life in my writings, this is my first foray into action writing. It's lightly based on the scene in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL where Ed Exley gets the monkiter of Shotgun Ed. Feedback appreciated.


He didn’t believe in violence.

As long as he could remember, Simon was always taught that violence was something never to be even considered. His parents would lecture him many times about how violence often caused more problems than solved them. That to use your intellect and your education to defeat your opponents is better than to use your fists. And that to use violence made you no better than the thugs that opposed you. During his time at the hospital, he had seen countless victims of random and not so random violence and the havoc it had on the human body. Sure there had been many times where Simon had been tempted to use violence-whenever he got beat up at school, whenever he was angry at the world, when there was a slacker med-student irritating him beyond measure- but he never once gave into his urges to even give a shove, let alone a punch. It just wasn’t his nature to be aggressive.

It was this that made one particular aspect of his new life out in the Black the hardest to adapt to. Being on the run, the anonymity, the closed environment, the hectic pace, not having a lot of the simpler pleasures in life, the crime and the general daily uncertainty he got used to fairly quickly. But it was the violence that was the hardest thing for him to deal with. The way how punches were used to end sentences. The way bullet wounds became as common as mosquito bites. The way how Mal, Zoe and Jayne were able to end another person’s life without even breaking stride, as Mal demonstrated with Dobson. The casual savagery that was almost a daily event is what bothered him the most. And for the longest time, he kept stalling. He knew that the time would come where one day, he would have to take a life. He would have to break the oath that he had dedicated his life to upholding.

He just didn’t think it would be today

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“Doc! Incoming wounded. We need you now!!”

Simon bolted up from the couch where he was chatting with Kaylee. He rushed up to the cargo bay to see Jayne driving the mule as close to the infirmary port as possible. When Simon looked behind him, he saw what had happened. Mal, Zoe and Wash were lying across the back of the mule, all bleeding profusely from various areas. Mal was unconscious, Wash was moaning and Zoe was squeezing his hand like a vise.

“Oh my God. Jayne, help me get them to the infirmary. What happened?”

“Gorram ambush. We got the goods, and we were halfway back to the ship when we were attacked. Six men, all with automatics and grenades, just popped up out of the rocks. We managed to take three of them out, but they still hit us hard. We barely got out in time. Had to leave the loot behind.”

They had finally gotten Mal onto the operating table and Wash and Zoe onto each of the cleared off counters. Simon hurridly checked each of them as Jayne doped each of them. Kaylee and River merely clung onto each other outside as they watched what was going on. For the next few hours, Simon did his best to keep the three of them from dying. Mal had a serious head trauma and a few bullets through his legs, but seemed to be OK. Wash took a bullet right through the shoulder and had shrapnel embedded on his right side, which was making him bleed internally as well as a twisted ankle. And Zoe’s left side of her face was slightly burned, along with her hair and a lacerated right thigh to go along with the bullet that went straight through her hand. It was amazing the bullet hadn’t shattered any bones. After almost losing Wash and patching up both Mal and Zoe, Simon was finally able to rest. He peeled off the rubber gloves and hung up a blood stained butcher’s apron. He wiped the sweat off his brow as Jayne, Kaylee and River got up and walked towards him.

“So how are they? Will the Capt’n be OK?”

“The Captain should be fine. He’s just sleeping it off now. It took me a while to stabilize Wash after I had removed the shrapnel and stop the bleeding. And Zoe should be able to pull through. Nothing like a little liquid epidermis to patch up some first degree burns and a bullet hole through the hand.”

“What about her thigh?”

“I managed to sow it up very well. All that’s left for us to do is wait.”

There was a moment of silence between the four of them. Simon wondered if they should wave Inara and Book, who had left earlier that day for different appointments. After a few beats, Jayne turned and headed towards his bunk. Kaylee came in and hugged Simon tightly as River went into the infirmary to comfort her wounded comrades. After a while, Kaylee left to check on the engine. A few seconds later, Jayne came back down the stairs, brandishing two identical shotguns.

“Jayne? What are you doing?”

“What does it look like? I’m going back out there and I’m getting the goods. You’re coming with me.”

Simon gaped at him as Jayne headed towards him. “Jayne, are you out of your mind?”

“Nope. Those goods are way too important to just pass up to some wu de bien city stragglers. And seeing as how you’re not too busy, and being the only man here still standing, it’s about time you got a little re-education of your own. Catch.”

Jayne tossed him one of the shotguns. Simon barely had time to react before he grabbed the weapon heading his way. Jayne then revved up the mule and looked back at Simon.

“Well? Ya comin?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * It took them about two hours to retrace the ambushers steps. It would’ve been quicker if the sun wasn’t going down. By the time they reached the small frontier town, the sun had set. The streetlights were already on, illuminating a dusty place where hovercars and horsedrawn buggies were parked on the streets. After a few quick inquiries, they had located the ambusher’s hideout. It was at an apartment building on the edge of town. They had parked the mule two hundred yards away from there and went the rest of the way on foot. They had gotten to the door of the place, but before they went any further, Jayne stopped and turned around.

“OK, Doc. This is it. You know how to use one of these?”

Simon gave him a sheepish look. Jayne just shook his head and muttered something unintelligible to himself.

“Look, it’s fairly simple. You pump once to bring up a shell, point and fire. Keep your legs spread apart and make sure you stiffen your shoulder. The recoil on Liz and Cathy can pack a mean punch if you’re not prepared. Now listen up, because this is really important. You know that little button right by the trigger?” Simon felt down to feel the small bead of plastic. “That’s the safety. Until I say so, that button must be in at all times. I cannot stress this enough. The only time it’s off is when we’re about to go in. Dong ma?”

Simon nodded apprehensively. Jayne then opened the door and went in. Simon followed and checked the listing. “Fifth floor. 514.” The inside door latch was broken, so they had no problem slipping in. They decided to take the stairs. As they climbed up the five flights, Simon’s heart began to pound harder than before. The feeling of the heavy weapon in his hands was making him sweat more than the heat of the building and trying to keep up with Jayne’s pace. They had reached the fifth floor.

Very quietly, Jayne opened the metal door and stepped in, not making a single sound. Simon soon followed, his gun pointing up in the air. Very quickly, Jayne and Simon looked around and began to creep down the hallway, checking the numbers on each door as they went on. Finally, they came across 514. There was ambient noise coming from behind the door. Jayne went on the left, Simon on the right. Jayne looked at Simon one last time and nodded. Simon popped the safety off just as Jayne kicked down the door and loaded a shell.

From inside the room, the door burst open as Jayne pointed his gun at the nearest individual. Simon soon followed, gun drawn against his shoulder and left hand on the pump. “PUT EM UP!!” yelled Jayne as four men, one Chinese and three Caucasian looked at him startled. They looked like they were just about to have dinner, with the Cortex on in the background and the crates of stolen goods stacked in the corner.

“Stay right there. Stay just right there.”

“Oh Jesus, don’t shoot man. Don’t shoot.”


“Look man, take the goods. Just don’t shoot or anything.”

“Wo de ma he ta de feng kwan de wai sheng dou!!!”


For about two seconds, everything was silent. Then, one of the men inadvertently knocked off a glass with his elbow. As the glass shattered, the man looked down in surprise. This was enough for Jayne to empty a round of buckshot into the man’s chest. The Caucasian to the left pulled out a gun that was holstered on his side and shot at Jayne. Jayne groaned as the bullet pierced his thigh and hit the ground before pumping another round into the man who shot him. There was already a serious amount of blood over the walls, and the Chinese man grabbed the nearest gun and pointed at Simon.

And in a single heartbeat, Simon loaded a shell, braced his shoulder, aimed and fired.

The force of the shell was so tremendous that the Chinese man literally flew back and out the fifth story window as if pulled by some invisible force. Simon quickly looked down at Jayne to see if he was all right. At this moment, the third Caucasian man fired at Simon as he was heading out the door into an adjacent apartment room. The bullet just nicked his face. He could literally feel the wind of the bullet and the tiny laceration of skin as it zipped by his face. Simon then reloaded and aimed at the third man. He missed, taking out some of the plaster and wooden frame of the door. Simon quickly ran out of the room and followed, hesitating only to see how much he was bleeding. He looked up and saw the third man entering an elevator. Simon ran, not noticing the stinging of his cheek as he instinctually loaded another shell into the chamber of Liz without realizing it. The sliding doors of the elevators were just about to close as Simon stuck the shotgun into the closing crack as to pry the doors open. The gun went off, the blast thundering in his ears, the smell of gunpowder in his nose and the spray of another man’s blood specking all over his face.

As the door slid open again, Simon saw what he had done. The walls of the elevator were drenched in blood. Little holes were peppered all over to indicate where the buckshot went. The body of the man was slumped against the wall and on the floor. His face was literally caved in, with blood, cartilage and grey matter oozing from the indentation. His chest was soaked in blood, with various organs and shredded skin billowing out of his chest cavity. A look of true horror came over Simon as he brought his hand up to his mouth. He could feel his and the third man’s blood mingling together on the skin of his face and hands. He looked at the third man’s corpse, the smoking gun and his hands. And that’s when it hit him.

He had just killed a man.

“Doc.” Jayne yelled at him down the hall. “Doc, hurry up. We gotta get outta here with the goods.”

Simon just stared at what he had done and then ran. He didn’t even have time to mourn.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Half an hour later, the mule’s headlights finally shone on Serenity. Jayne radioed in to Kaylee, telling her that they got the goods and had to get out of here. The ramp was fully descended as Jayne and Simon pulled up into the cargo bay. As an added bonus, Mal was already up. He was holding himself up with a crutch, but had a smile on his face, which quickly vanished upon seeing a blood soaked Simon. “Wo de ma. What happened?”

“We went and got the goods. Took out the rest of them as well. You should’ve seen the place. Blood everywhere. Doc here actually took out two of them himself.”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

“Who’d have thought. Shotgun Tam.”

Simon blinked upon hearing this. “Is that it? Is that who I’ve become?” he thought to himself. Mal could see the blank look on his face. “Jayne, help Wash up to the cockpit. Tell him to get us out of the world right now.”

Jayne got up and went to get Wash. Mal went over to Simon and helped him walk towards the infirmary. The poor boy was trembling. Mal recognized what this was instantly.

“Doc. Doc?? Simon. Simon, listen to me.” Simon looked at him oddly. “I know what you’re going through. I was roughly about your age when I killed my first man. It tears you up inside. But you deal with it. You’re surrounded by people who know all about the shit one goes through when they kill a man. You are not alone in this. We’ll all help you get through this, OK?”

Simon just nodded. For some reason, he couldn’t force his mouth to open.

“Now come on. Let’s take a look at that scratch and clean you up.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * It was only a matter of time. Simon knew eventually he’d have to break the oath he had sworn himself to uphold. He just didn’t realize all that it accompanied.


Friday, April 8, 2005 6:22 PM


Well you already know I loved this. Your use of detail is incredible in this peice. I see the opportunity to even do another peice set after this one. Simon reflecting back on the night. Maybe he has a nightmare or two about it? A big heart-to-heart with Mal or Book or even Kaylee about the situation. River's take on what he'd done. There are just so many possibilites. It might be nice to read some more. Keep up the great work. =o)

Saturday, April 9, 2005 1:36 AM


it was really good. i especially like how mal comforted simon by relating to him. really shows that mal didn't always shoot first and ask questions later.
I agree with KaySky. i think u should expand upon this. you don't have to though. just an idea.

no power in the verse

Saturday, April 9, 2005 2:29 AM


Adored this! I could so see Simon acting and thinking as he does here, this is him to a 't'. But what happened to Jayne getting shot in the thigh? Once him and Simon get back to Serenity with the goods Jayne goes to help Wash, not a limp or sign of injury showing while Mal takes Simon to see to his 'scratch'. Very much kudos to you for doing such a fabulous job, *xie xie ni', Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, April 9, 2005 1:48 PM


Holy crap! I just clicked because of the title. (which was excellanté by the way!) And I was just kinda reading then realized what I was reading and am now in a state of shock!

Ubbershexney stuff you've got here! Keep it up!

Saturday, April 15, 2006 6:07 AM


still short on words. Wow's gonna have to do.


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Kaylee goes into labor. Hilarity and drama ensues.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 14
Wash and Shooter discuss death and dinosaurs, Gabriel tells Kaylee about Regan, River brings her family together one last time, and Simon and Kaylee face an uncertain future.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 13
Everyone returns to the mansion, Johnny helps a grieving River with some Van Morrison, and Gabriel asks Mal to end it all.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 12
Gabriel is confronted by his family with the news, Kaylee makes a call to Inara, some unexpected guests arrive, and Gabirel is confronted by a familiar demon.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 11
Signal rocks the house, Regan makes a realization, and three major things happen to River in the span of half an hour.

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The Tams make their way to the Metro, Johnny get's spiritual clarity with the help of thousands, River plays a favorite of hers, and Simon and Kaylee go on a long delayed date.

You Can't Go Home Again Chapters 6-9
The next day of Simon, River and Kaylee's journey to the Core. Simon comforts Regan in more ways than one, Kaylee makes some figurative and literal repairs of her own, River and Johnny go from the top of a warehouse building to front and center of the Metro in less than 24 hours, and Regan shows it's never to late to make things right.

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Set after THE SERENITY GIG, BLUE HAND BLUES and SHOTGUN TAM, this story takes place in an AU where the BDM never happened, although there will be refrences to it. With the social and economic breakdown of the Alliance, the Tam's are finally free. But a message from home forces them to deal with a larger issue at hand.

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