Point of No Return, Part V
Sunday, May 29, 2005

Jayne's plan backfires big-time; Kaylee is rescued by an unlikely hero with a troubled past; Book and Wash have words; and Mal considers a change of heart.


Disclaimer: This story is in no way meant to infringe on the rights of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, or 20th Century Fox. Just wanted to have a bit of fun with these characters is all. Please don’t sue me.

Thanks for reading. Feedback is always welcome. Oh, and if you’re gonna archive this, please have the courtesy to ask me first.

Rated R for violence.

“Point of No Return, Part V”

***** *****

He was getting closer. He could smell them. He didn’t know how far he’d just run, and he wasn’t sure where he was. Not that he cared. There was only thought in his brain.


He stopped abruptly at the opening to the under-dark and hunkered down on all fours, listening. It was difficult to focus, between his own hunger and the still voice that hummed in his ears. He realized he was panting. Difficult to sneak around like that, so he held his breath and went inside, crawling on spindly limbs like a pale spider stalking its trapped prey.


The front door opened with a creak. The keys jingled lightly in the lock as Sunyi peered into the dark living room.

“Guys?” she said softly. There was no answer but the steady patter of the rain outside. A feeling of dread suddenly washed over her, and she didn’t know why. She flicked the wall switch, but no light came. Only the empty darkness greeted her.

Sunyi ventured cautiously into the apartment, leaving the door open to allow the soft blue light from the street to illuminate the room. She gripped her umbrella like a spear, her shoulders tense with the fear of…she wasn’t sure what. She made her way to the kitchen, then the den; both were empty. She turned and headed for Kai’s room.

As she passed the main hallway, a sudden wind drew the front door shut with a slam. Sunyi jumped. She held her breath and continued in total darkness, her eyes wide open more from fear than from making any effort to see. On occasion, she imagined this is what death felt like; eyes open but not seeing, ears listening but not hearing, feeling nothing but the black all around you. She hated having to work late like this, being away from her brothers so much of the time, but it had to be done. The money the government sent as compensation for her parents’ deaths was regular, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Uncle Yo helped when he could, but had his own family to look after. Sunyi tried to focus. She finally found Kai’s door and fumbled for the knob. She twisted the door open.

“Kai?” she almost choked on his name. Silence. She made her way to his bed and felt for him.

It was empty.

Sunyi panicked. She stumbled to Wei’s room. No one there either. She was beside herself. She ignored the darkness and dashed for the living room phone. No dial tone. A lump swelled in her throat. Where in God’s name could they be? She went to her room to find her cell phone.

And that’s where she found them, Kai stretched out on his back across her bed, looking upside-down through her open window. Wei’s head was on his chest, sleeping soundly. Sunyi collapsed to her knees, breathless.

“The power went out,” Kai said in a low voice, not looking at his sister. “He got scared. He kept crying for you.”

“Why didn’t you answer when I called you?” she whispered, half annoyed and half relieved.

“Didn’t want to wake him up,” Kai said plainly. He then fell silent as he watched the rain fall upwards through the window, absently running his fingers through his little brother’s hair.


Jayne was losing consciousness despite Kaylee’s best efforts to keep him awake. She knew she was supposed to keep him talking. She tried to think of questions to ask, but the one she wanted to ask most was: why in the hell did he try to take that gun away from one of the raiders?! It was a stupid move, and he shoulda known better. The rifle had accidentally fired and hit one of the coils. It was a small blast, but it had been enough to bring down part of the ceiling – a good chunk of it landing squarely on Jayne’s head – and trap them here, along with the miners and four of the raiders, including the leader. One of them was dead, Kaylee was sure. That left two or three of them on the other side of the debris trying to dig a hole for their people and leave the rest of them there. At least Book was able to escape the cave-in. Kaylee remembered the gunshots she’d heard shortly afterwards, and hoped he’d escaped the raiders too.

“…ruh-ruttin’…son-sonsa-bich…” Jayne was trying to say. “Did I gitem?”

“They almost got you,” she said.

“Sonfabich,” he slurred. “Kwiker’nye th…thought.”

“Shut up!” the leader snapped. “Or I’ll shut him up but permanently.” Kaylee eyed him as he turned back to his crew. “Hurry up!”

“What about the loot?”

“Forget it. We gotta get outta here.”


“I said forget it! Someone’s bound to come by and bring the cops. The sooner we’re gone the better.”

Kaylee rolled her eyes. These guys apparently didn’t think their plan through very well. Obviously not the brightest crayons in the box. Two of them had set down their guns to help move the debris. The leader and one other man kept their rifles on the miners.

The hole widened in the wall of rubble. It wasn’t quite big enough to get through yet, though. Her mind raced. The other workers were unarmed and afraid. Jayne was hurt. Book was gone. Cap’n and Zoe probably didn’t even know what was going on. It was up to her. But what could she —

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of gunfire on the other side of the wall. One of the raiders screamed. A couple of loud thuds hit the ground, then silence.

Kaylee breathed a sigh of relief. The others had come for them, she knew it. She stood.

“Biggs? Wedge?” the leader shouted through the hole.

No response.

“Whoever’s on the other side, you got five seconds ‘fore I blast a new hole into ya!”

Silence. The man cocked his weapon and aimed through the hole.


Kaylee saw a shadow move through a small space in the top of the debris.


He never made it to five. The shadow leapt like a cat and planted both feet in the man’s chest. It moved in a blur as it did a twisted leap over the second gunman, grabbing his head as it went, and landing with a sick POP! as it snapped his neck, sending his body crumpling to the floor.

Kaylee gasped as she caught a glimpse of her rescuer’s face. “That’s…”

One of the two raiders left standing scrambled for his gun while the other launched himself at the creature. It rolled backwards and put its legs up as he fell onto it, and used the momentum to launch him head-over-heels into the wall, knocking him unconscious. The creature sprang to its feet, and was met with a gun aiming right for its head.

Without thinking Kaylee grabbed a large rock and threw it at the gunman, hitting him in the temple. The rifle went off, but the shadowy man moved quickly out of the way. A well-placed kick sent the raider sprawling on his back.

Kaylee was surprised at herself, but she was even more surprised at the man who had been their savior. It was none other than the Reaver, who just this morning had been barely able to walk.

The creature swept up the man’s gun and turned it on him. It was finally over, she thought, before her ears filled with the sound of rapid gunfire.

The Reaver shot the man.

Over and over and over again.

“Stop!” she heard herself say, but the rifle was louder than she was.

The chk-lk-lk-lk-chk signified that the gun was now empty. The raider lay in a mangled heap on the floor, blood spilling freely from his chest, small streams flowing into a crimson lake around his body. He gasped painfully for his last breath.

Kaylee was stunned beyond speech. All she could do was stare at the Reaver as he tossed the now useless weapon aside, straddled the dying mercenary, and dragged a ragged tongue up the man’s cheek, licking the blood from his face.

“Kaylee! Jayne!” Mal called from the other side of the barrier. She barely heard him. She felt strange suddenly, somehow nauseas and…joyful, maybe? Guilty even?

The others were staring at him. He didn’t care. He hadn’t fed in so long. The hunt was fun, and he was so hungry. He nearly returned to the dark, but he could still hear her voice, calling him away. He would listen to her, eventually. Right now, he wanted to relish this moment.

It tasted so good.


“Thank you,” Sunyi clasped the old man’s hand in gratitude. “This means so much to us.”

Uncle Yo smiled. “Young Kai finishes in four weeks. Consider it a graduation gift for the whole family.” He looked at his great-niece, his sister’s daughter’s daughter, who had grown into quite a woman. He marveled at how quickly time passed. She was the exact image of her mother, when she was that age. His old face turned solemn.

“Your parents are smiling now. They are proud.”

“I know. I’m proud of him too.”

“I was talking about you.”

Sunyi blushed. “What do you mean?”

“You have held the family together these five long years. I know about the long hours you work to provide for them.”

“With your gracious help,” she said with humility.

Uncle Yo shook his head. “It is you who keeps them strong, not me. They depend on you. Now that he is done with school, it is time young Kai found work. It is time little Wei Lun got a new start. It is time for you, all of you, to move on.”

Sunyi looked at the envelope her uncle gave her. All these years, she had never realized he was investing for them, putting away enough money to buy them a plot of land and a home of their own. It was on a border moon, far removed from the life she knew, but it was theirs, and no one could take it from them. They would leave this pain behind, and build their own memories.

“A new start…” she echoed. She looked up at him through tear-filled eyes. “Thank you,” she said again, hugging him. Sunyi was thrilled. She couldn’t wait to surprise her brothers with the news. Their future was starting to look bright.


Inara was looking over her calendar. Mal had said they would be on Janus in less than two days. She frowned. All commercial transports off that planet were booked for the next two days, which meant she’d have to spend at least one night there. Unless she hitched a ride to Elysius, where she could take the ferry to Persephone and get to the nearest Guild House.

Or, she could just stay.

No, that wasn’t an option. Not really. But it wasn’t the first time the thought occurred to her.

She was interrupted by the sound of yelling from downstairs. She opened her door and went out onto the catwalk and looked out in the cargo bay.

“Wode tian,” she gasped at the blood.

Wash and Book were helping Jayne up the ramp, followed closely by Mal. Simon met them halfway.

“Shepherd!” Simon said, seeing the red stains on the preacher’s shirt.

“It’s not mine,” Book said quickly. “Jayne’s the one who needs you right now.”

Simon went to the infirmary and held the door open as the men entered and unceremoniously dumped the big man on the bed. Simon quickly tied his apron, snapped on his gloves and went to work. Inara raced down the steps and cut Mal off.

“What happened? Where are Kaylee and Zoe?”

“Just a little explosion is all,” Mal said lightly.

“Little explosion!” Inara exclaimed.

“They’re both fine,” Mal assured her, “thanks in no small part to our little friend here.”

Inara was baffled. “Little friend? What little…” her voice trailed off. She hadn’t noticed him follow the captain inside. Mal stepped to one side so she could see him, his wiry frame slightly leaning forward, one eye hidden by the black patch Simon had given him, the other glistening at her from under long, jet black hair. His brown T-shirt and loose-fitting trousers were covered with blood. He suddenly flashed a crooked grin that made his sharp face remind Inara of a shark. She took a step back.

“A real hero, I’m sure,” she quipped.

“Ain’t he just,” Mal returned. River watched from the catwalk, meeting the Reaver’s gaze with her own.

“I thought you were going to get rid of him,” Wash said as he and Book came back to the hold.

“I still may,” said Mal. “Only now I ain’t exactly sure what to make of him.”

“He saved lives in that mine, captain,” Book reminded him. “Including two of your own crew. That ought to count for something.”

“Saved lives by way of savagely rending a human body limb from limb,” Wash interjected. “He’s a powder keg.”

“Hey hey hey,” Mal held up his hand. “What’d I say about debating on my ship?”

“That the open exchange of ideas was beneficial and strongly encouraged?” Wash asked sarcastically.

“Something like that, only the exact phrase I used was ‘don’t’,” Mal returned sternly. “Now I need the two of you to get back to that mine to help speed up repairs. I’ll be along in a bit.”

The pilot and the preacher went out the way they came in. Inara turned to go back up to her shuttle.

“’Nara,” Mal stopped her. She turned to him again. “You been spending an awful lot of time up there.”

“How I spend my time is my business,” she tried to use a polite tone.

“Be nice to see you at dinner. Though we might be havin’ it a little later than usual.”

Inara smiled. “I’ll take it into consideration,” she said, and made her exit. The Reaver looked from her to him, back to her and back to him.

“What?” Mal said. He lowered his eyes. Mal sighed and went to the infirmary, and the boy followed. The doctor was finishing up.

“Damn, you’re fast,” Mal was impressed.

Simon handed Jayne a small pill bottle. “Take four of these, two before breakfast and again right before dinner, for the next three days. If you feel dizzy, lie down for about twenty minutes. And stay warm. If you start vomiting, or if your nose bleeds, come see me right away, dong ma?”

Jayne nodded. Simon turned to Mal. “Mild concussion. He shouldn’t do any strenuous activity for the next three or four days. He didn’t lose much blood at all, just a bad bruise. He didn’t even need stitches…this time.”

“Good to know,” said the captain.

Simon turned back to his patient. “The next time you feel like some thrilling heroics, don’t.”

Jayne grumbled as he left the sick bay.

“I guess having a skull as thick as his can be a blessing in the right circumstances after all,” Simon said with a straight face. The Reaver started sniffing around the infirmary. “What can I do for you, captain?”

River leaned into the doorway behind Mal.

“For starters, you can explain to me how he got loose.”

“I wasn’t the one who let him go,” Simon was defensive.

“Not you? Then who?”

Simon stole a glance at River, who looked afraid.

“He…broke free,” Simon lied. “I couldn’t stop him.”

“Huh,” was all Mal said. He wasn’t sure he believed him, but he didn’t have any reason not to. Oh, well. “Guess we might as well make him comfortable time being. Least till I figure out where to drop him. That means he’s your responsibility for now, Doctor.”

“Mine? Why me?”

“’Cuz I don’t want him sleepin’ in my room is why,” Mal turned to go, then stopped. “That reminds me. I don’t know what to call him.”

“Kai,” River said softly, trying not to disturb the Reaver, who was preoccupied with a small mirror.

“Why would we want to call him that?” Simon asked stupidly.

“Because it’s his name,” River rolled her eyes at him. “Duh.”


Sunday, May 29, 2005 10:36 PM


aaaawwwwhttp://www........good Kai.
I really like this story. I feel so sorry for poor Kai, after having gone through so much. I really like how you've actually told u about his past, rather than him being just another Reaver with no past and no future.
I just wonder whats going to happen when he finds out that Mal is an Independent.

No Power In The Verse

Monday, May 30, 2005 12:53 AM


Very good. I feel sorry for Kai but am comforted that there is a part of him that can still respond to other people and even with the extreme circumstances of his own evolution he is still cognisant enough to be a Big Damn Hero his ownself. Shiny! And I loved the Captain telling Simon he would have to be his responsibility because he didn't want the Reaver sleeping in his bunk. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, May 30, 2005 6:20 AM


I wanna pet reaver, now! Kai could kick an umpa lumpa ass any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Great myth, keep it going.


Thursday, June 2, 2005 4:57 AM


Can't wait for the chapter detailing the "reaverizing" of Sunyi and family, while on their way to their "new start".

Nice story line, especially since Jayne now has competition for his "Merc" job slot!!

Keep flyin',


Wednesday, September 21, 2005 1:43 AM


And now, not only fabulous words, but a triumph of structure too. Damn good.

From a reader's point of view, it's very satisfying to have a suspicion raised and then confirmed.

What I liked most about the Sunyi misdirection was the way it suggested the relief was only temporary. Masterful.

Nice snark from Wash too. Always of the good.


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Heart & Soul, Part II
Book is visited by a mysterious man from his past and gets in a fight. Meanwhile Inara, ever calm, ever graceful, finds herself on the raggedy edge.

Heart & Soul, Part I
Mal's trying to adjust. Inara's trying to adjust. Book's journey takes him in an unexpected direction. And someone ends up dead.

Play It Again, Tam
The doctor reveals a hidden talent that touches Mal in a way he didn't think possible. A one-shot.

Point of No Return X, The Conclusion
Serenity is disabled, left without communication, and cornered by the Reaver ship. The only way out is for a member of the crew to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Point of No Return, Part IX
He's lost everything and everyone he's ever loved. Now he's faced with a choice: resist the urge for blood and rebuild his life, or descend deeper into that black madness, beyond the point of no return...

Point of No Return, Part VIII
A bad situation becomes desperate. Kai relives his troubled past, and Wash takes a dangerous risk. Plus: Mal and Monty's great escape.

Point of No Return, Part VII
The crew take on a new job, thanks to Jubal Early. Book gives Simon a helping hand in his investigation; Kaylee and Mal find themselves in a deadly situation; and Wash realizes they're not alone.

Point of No Return, Part VI
The day that Inara has been dreading for weeks finally arrives. Simon can't understand the connection between his sister and the Reaver, and the controversy continues over Serenity's newest crew member. Plus: River gives Mal a startling prediction.

Point of No Return, Part V
Jayne's plan backfires big-time; Kaylee is rescued by an unlikely hero with a troubled past; Book and Wash have words; and Mal considers a change of heart.

Point of No Return, Part IV
Simon tries to figure out River's relationship with his newest patient; Mal has a hard time trying to figure Inara out; and a simple job goes south in a hurry.