BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - HORROR

JAMESTHEDARK

Legacy 1:01, Reaved, Part 1
Monday, November 7, 2005

Jacob Greyson and the crew of the BlackJack are hired to discover the whereabouts of a missing Alliance taskforce. What they find are Reavers.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2478    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

Here it is, my very first Firefly fanfiction work. This follows the crew of a ship called the BlackJack, a Sihnon class Freighter, as it struggles to survive the evolution of the Reaver race. There are no soldiers or fighters on this boat, no Companions or doctors. Just a bunch of marginally competent grunts getting paid to go as their boss says. The timeline picks up about six months after the events of the movie Serenity, but since this isn't Serenity's crew, chances are there are no spoilers of note.

Legal stuff: I don't own any of the intellectual property that I'm writing for, all your Firefly are belong to Joss. And since this takes place after the events of the Big Damned Movie, the events of this work are utter speculation.

Episode 1, "Reaved, pt.1"

"Here's how it is. While back, some idiots got it in their head to stand up against something a lot bigger than themselves. Didn't work out so well, and took down a bunch of us with them. I guess I understood what they fought for, but I couldn't fight for it m'self. The Alliance figured war'd be a fine thing, and they brought it with them. The Independents decided to fight'em. Bad choice. It was a massacre. Thing's been tough the last few years. Every month, the Parliment closes its fist a bit tighter. The good men in government get spat out, and cookie-cutter conservatives took their place. Things got tough, and folk had to get tougher. Like me, for example. I had a gravy contract, before the War, but thing's gone south. I ain't getting any younger, and the 'Verse is getting a bit darker. Course, then the Wave hit. Working for the Alliance for ten years, and they pull this. The very day they take my ship, the signal goes out that the Parliment created those monsters... those Reavers. Genocide on the order of thirty million, and monsters besides. Couldn't work for them after that." Zane let out a laugh. "Couldn't work for them? You don't have a ship!" Tony scowled at the young man, shoving an empty bottle toward toward him, "You know what I'm getting at, kid. Can't find work, and don't want it from them." "Which means we slog around hauling water from one seedy asteroid miner to another seedy water-poor rock," Zane finished. A grin spread across his youthful face. "Really, Tony, do you really need to do this every time somebody new joins the crew?" "Set's the stage," Tony ran a hand up his widow's peak. Story was, his hair started receding when he was ten, forming a sharp spike that gave him a predatory look. When he grew older, filled out, the spike contrasted sharply with his pudgy face. Sometimes, it was downright disorienting. "Hey," Syl asked. "You never did mention what happened to my predo... prede... the guy before me." "Got reaved," Zane replied, his youthful grin dropping away into a deathly palor. "Reaved?" "Got took on Whitefall when the Reavers sweapt through about two weeks back," Tony faced the doorway, not-wanting to relive the memory, but unwilling to leave. "See, we never found Verna's body. Weren't for lack of looking neither." Tony's broad shoulders fell with a sigh. "I only hope she died off the take. We know what Reavers do to the living, both the men and the women, and thing's are getting worse." Sylvia drew inward, small shoulders sinking into overstuffed chair, like she was trying to make herself dissappear. "Shouldn't be tellin' the new hires those ghost stories," came the clipped speach of Jacob. Greyson was as close to a captain as could be found on this ship, since nobody seemed to own the tub. "It'll scare them away. Not good for business." Not good for business, Sylvia laughed to herself. No problems scaring the wits out of somebody, so long as it don't get in the way of the all-mighty credit. "'Sides we've got ourself a real job this time," Jacob smiled. "As in, working for a certain Zekeal Fredesa." "Zekeal Fredesa the liberal activist? The man who literally came to blows with his half-brother on the floor of parliment?" "The very same. That should appease your sensibilities," Greyson gave Tony a sharp jab in the copious gut. "You gave the 'Here's how it is' speach, didn't you?" Tony gave a wan smile. "What's the job?" "You remember that Alliance taskforce they sent out after Whitefall?" Greyson pulled up a chair, swinging his boots up onto the table. It was the first thing the Parliment did after the word came out. Four months after. Until that point, it was a storm of figure-pointing and accusation, most warranted, some not. Parliment had ground to a rather gruesome halt, giving the Reavers more than enough time to regroup and attack. If there remained any support for the Alliance, it likely vanished with the entire population of Whitefall. "Yeah, heard about that," Zane said, grin still on his face, despite the gravity of the topic. "Well, y'heard how they haven't been seen nor heard since their deployment? Like they gorrammed vanished. Well, our boy there wants us to find the whereabouts of those ships. Humanitarian, he called it. My guess, he just wants this to be another nail in the Sitting Parliment's coffin." The group sat quiet for a long moment, waiting for him to continue. It became appearant that he wasn't going to. "Then," Tony stepped into the silence, "when do we leave?"

The transit to the Miranda Ring (as the region had been recently dubbed) was as funereal as a grave. There was always a little laughter in the Black Jack, no matter the situation. Not now. Something was different. Even if folk couldn't quantify it, they could feel it. The cold touch of a dead hand falling into one's own. Tony paced, as was his habit, in the long cockpit that graced the front of the rather strikingly unattractive vessal. They'd cleared the orbit of Whitefall days ago, beyond all of the worlds beyond it. Seventy odd Earths spinning in the 'Verse, and sixty-nine of them to the Jack's back. But it was not the sheer aloneness that set him on edge. He pressed the button again. First in English, then again in Chinese, a simple message. "There be Dragons here." Nobody had ever mentioned these bouys before. Not the crazies that burn hot along Reaver territory for kicks and thrills, not the explorer companies sending out people they didn't particularly like. Not even Reynolds, the only man in ten years to make the round trip, made any indication of these signals. They were new. And from the look of them, not made by any man of whole mind. Again he checked the scopes for any sign of movement defying solar gravity. Nothing. But there was hardly nothing to see. The deeper a fellow went into Reaver territory, the more one sees, in fact. That does nothing for one's sanity, however. Very few things had ever made Tony quite so afraid before, so afraid as these slowly spinning corpses of the ships of yesteryear. Every now and again, the sun, so distant, lit up one of the hulks, showing the damage done. Much of it was simply collision, grinding of two hulks against each other with nothing but gravity to blame. Some, on the other hand, were far too... precise. He'd passed the third stripped down hulk when he noticed the trend. A great many craft with busted engines drifted whole in the field. In fact, he saw such a diversity in devastation as he'd never have seen otherwise, but once the engines reached some certain threshold of salvagability, the engines seemed missing. Stolen. Some of the better, newer craft were found split just forward of the end, the engines surgically removed. He tried to tell himself it was just the junkers, taking their chances for a quality engine amongst the slag. He couldn't convince himself of that. Not by a long shot. He paused just long enough to overlay his course with the course of the taskforce. Still identical, but no sign of the other ships. Every few moments, he thought he saw something vanishing around a hulk of a derelect, but it was gone long before he could look again. What he wouldn't give for a single missile launcher. "So empty," came the woman's voice, throaty and rich. Tony cast a smile to its owner, a small woman who should, by all rights, be asleep right now. Still, this was more her place than anywhere else. "I could stare at it forever. All it does is make me think of what's due for us." "Come again?" Tony scowled. Anne smiled, a lopsided affair that made her seem more a mischieveous pixie than an able pilot. She slid into her seat and tilted it back, to face wholely the starscape above and beyond. "This is what our struggle amounts to, in the end. We struggle, and we scrape, and we build, and it ends up here, drifting in the black. No purpose, no life. Just... drifting." "Talking 'bout this ship, or its crew?" Anne let out a laugh. It sounded too loud in the spacious room, too loud in the deadness of the Miranda Belt. "Sometimes, Tony, I don't know what I'm gorram saying. My luck, that. Barely out of the cradle and my brain's already fallin' to mush." They sat, in an awkward sort of silence, staring at the stars. What could be said, here in the face of mankind's greatest evil? No god was needed to create these monsters, mankind could do it all on its own. Create something it had neither the strength to control nor the will to fight. All because of a single strand of recombinant DNA inserted into bacterium. The Pax, Peace, in the Latin. And it created peace, alright; the peace of the grave. Anne heard Zane's approach, but couldn't break the silence any more than could the fat man standing next to her. Zane would be up, at this time in the night. He never seemed to sleep, that kid. The ship slipped silently through the field of death and desecration, the furthest fringes of the wild-places in the 'Verse. They had yet to truely try to cut into the heart of darkness, but already, the ship was awake. "You know," Zane said finally. "Even now, I'm glad to be here." Tony grunted. Zane ignored him, stepping closer to the transparent protective pane separating them from the void of space. "I grew up on a world without a sky. Lot of folks my age would already be in hospitals with tuberculosis, lung cancer. The Alliance doesn't even give us a second glance, unless we even whisper about holding back on the fuel-cell quota. Just weren't ruttin' worth it to them, I guess. Blacklung weren't even the worst of it. That place was a prison. Worse than!" Zane reached out, pointing at several of the stars that dared to peek through the mass of wreckage. "Cause even in a prison," he continued. "Folk can see the sky, know that there's something out there. Not us. Sky was brown in the morning, yellow in the noon, brown again at supper, and black at night. Never really saw the sun, just had a general idea of where it was. When I stowed on that Firefly, I just wanted to get someplace I could see the sky." "And here comes the best part," Tony muttered to himself. Louder he asked. "And what ship was that?" "Serenity," Zane replied. "Was her second trip anywhere, and I was hiding in a crate headed anywhere. I open it up when the ship broke atmo, and I spent the next few weeks sliding around in the crawl-space. Met a pretty little mechanic on that ship," Tony made a yappy gesture with his hand, and Anne grinned. "And she taught you everything you know. And then the Valiant Captain Reynolds stormed Londinium and you took your rightful place as king," Greyson interrupted. Everybody looked back to the entrance; he was rather closer to them. Nobody ever heard him enter a room, especially if he didn't want them to. "We've all heard the story, Tony here's probably gotten it five times, as I figure it. Only one who hasn't on this boat is that little one Sylvia or maybe that bay-worker we picked up that don't know no English." "You just delight in interrupting reverie, don't you?" Zane volleyed a sarcastic barb, which achieved nothing. Greyson was not a man easily taunted. Jacob gave the young mechanic a condescending smile and turned to face the oldest of the group. "How far are we along their projected line?" He asked. Tony sighed and brought the overlaid image onto the main viewer, an over-grandiously named piece of technology that measured barely thirty centimeters to a side. "We've about reached were they'd be at the end of day two. Call the purple-bellies what you will, stupid isn't in it. Hell, we should've hit their Wave bouys hours ago." Greyson paused for a moment as Zane let out a low whistle and pointed up into the black. "What's among the interesting?" "I think I saw an intact ship," Zane said, quietly and fingers flying across the consoles. "Tzao gao," Greyson muttered. "What's your thinking?" Tony crossed his arms across his barrel chest. "Boss says we gotta give aid. Wasn't particularly specific as to who, and my luck, he'll haul us in if he catchs wind to this," Anne explained. Redundantly, as none on the bridge didn't remember that particular standing order. It was not a popular one, and ended once with Tony getting shot. "And Niska has a way of knowing these things." The aid they would give would be in no way humanitarian. They would incur a debt on the poor hwoon dahn's behalf to Adelai Niska, and Niska was not a man who suffered debts easily, nor for very long. "Got no time for that now," Greyson said slowly. "We'll hit it on the way back. Drop a Baby." Anne hands flashed along the controls, activating a device that should, if the 'Verse was perfect, not belong on a civilian ship. A panel slid back about half way down the spine of the ugly craft, letting a device stored inside an old coffee can pop out into the vaccuum of space. "Cry, baby cry," Anne whispered. "Make your mamma sigh," Greyson muttered. "Get us back on the line. We still have a job to do." "Uh, boss?" Tony said, squinting into the maelstrom of twisting metal. "What is it now?" "How far are we along the line?" Anna arched an eyebrow at him, but pulled up the picture again. As they watched, the BlackJack eclipsed the marker called 'first waypoint'. Tony had gone very pale. "What's the problem with that?" Tony pointed out the main window again, this time to a mass very close, a shadowed hulk that slowly spun its quiet way in the dark. Anne helpfully targetted it with an external light. "Bars and Stars," Greyson said. "She's Alliance, but that don't mean..." All was silent as she swung the lettering that ringed the ruined form just forward of the engines. Hannibal. IAV HANNIBAL, an Alliance Corvette, dispatched with the taskforce. "Anne," Greyson managed to pick up. "Check for escape pods." She shook her head hopelessly. The craft continued to spin, showing that not far past the engines, the craft simply ceased to be, as if half of the craft were summarily ripped off. Corridors were naked to the harsh nothing, rooms and even a pair of showers. "Where are their emergency beacons? Why aren't they talking to us?" Zane whispered. "Not a clue. Any residual heat?" Greyson asked. Anna's hands returned to their flurry of movement. "Lots," She said. "Whatever happened here, happened recently. Within a few hours. Jakob!" "What?" "It's still leaking O2. That means that at least some of the ship is still holding atmo." "Tzao gao," Greyson murmured himself. "Survivors. Worse than damned paperwork." "And the Alliance will be onto us like Bowden's on a Paradison." Tony grunted. "Residual heat?" Jacob asked. "Everywhere," Anne responded carefully. Jacob frowned, dark eyes darting around the spinning hulks. His hand ran nervously through his hair as he paced back and forth. "Wake up the bay-crew and find us a place where we can lock onto that hull," Jacob said. Tony scowled. "Fredesa paid us to find out what happened to the taskforce. We know. They got Reaved. Let's just get out of here before we join them." "Don't question me on this one," Greyson said, eyes almost striking sparks. "Something's telling me..." "Remember last time 'something told you' to do something?" Zane said quietly, ostensibly to nobody but Jacob fixed him with a glare anyway. "This ain't then, and there ain't any vicious little freaks to put a sword through me, this time. Find a place to dock, and get the medical bay ready. My guess is that there'll be more than a fair share of injured."

Greyson was once again struck by how horrible his space-suit smelled. He supposed it wouldn't be quite so bad, if somebody actually took the time to clean it... or if it wasn't being shared out between five people who it happened to fit. "Soft seal confirmed. Cutting in." Zane intoned as his plasma torch burst to life, eating away at the metal. The hearty plating of the military ship took far longer to melt than Greyson would have originally suspected, but eventually the section dropped away with a barely audible bang. Obviously there was still atmo, or there would have been nothing to hear. Still, no use in getting yourself killed when you can avoid it. The corridor they'd breached into was pitch black, no sound dared enter into it after the original clangor of the outside finding a place to rest on the inside. Jacob clicked on his light. "See anything?" Zane called. "Not so much," Jacob answered. He stepped into the middle of the passageway, a cramped affair that two men could not walk abreast in. It was painted a rather unpleasant shade of brown. "Are IAV's usually painted like this?" Tony's stocky frame wedged its way through the opening and took a place by Jacob's side. "Not that I've ever seen." Tony turned to walk away, but Greyson quickly reached out and grabbed the device dangling on his back. "Je shr shuh muh?" Tony pulled the thing away, grasping its grip and heaving the body of the large military shotgun over his shoulder. "What is what?" "What exactly do you expect to find here? The blue devil of Ariel?" "Expect nothing. This is just a contingency," Tony laughed. "Well, in the event that we need to storm the ship, I'll let you know. Zane, which way into the engineering deck?" Zane's lithe form was the last through the breach. He paused for a moment, then tipped back his face-plate. "Oxygen's a bit thin, but our seal covered the hole. It'll hold until we leave." "One day, you're going to open that thing up and get sucked right out," Greyson muttered. "Where's the engine room?" "Just follow me. I've looked over the specs for the Trinidad, and the Trafalger isn't too different," Zane said brightly as he stomped carelessly along the grating. The passageway Zane led them to was almost identical to the one they left. Even the color wasn't altered in the slightest. Jacob was about to turn another corner when he felt Tony's restraining hand on his shoulder. "Dung-ee miao," the large man said quietly, stooping down to pick something up off the floor. He held it close, turning it this way and that. "What is it, Tony?" Jacob asked. "Looks like an entire fingernail. Tip to quick, right off. Must have hurt like a hwoon dahn loosing this," Tony dropped the fingernail and let go of the rail he'd balance himself with. Where his hand was, the rail became blue. Jacob and Tony shared a quick glance, then both pairs of eyes returned to Tony's hand, which was now covered in semi-solid rusty chunks. Greyson reached out and rubbed his hand against the nearest wall. It too was blue, just under the brown. "Makes me wish I had a gun," Greyson muttered. "Got that covered," Tony replied, equally as quiet, gripping tightly now the grip of his shotgun. "Zane, where is that gorram engine room?!" Zane's blonde head popped back around the corner. He'd taken his gorram helmet off again. "Do you guys smell that?" "The engine!" both Tony and Jacob managed to yell as one. Zane shrugged and motioned them to follow. One falsely-brown corridor led to another, this one's 'paintjob' rather decidedly incomplete. It was here that Zane ran a gauntleted finger through one of the many sweeps of brown. "What in the hell?" Zane managed to say. "It's blood," Tony confirmed. He was quite pointedly looking in all directions at once. "But... but where are all the bodies? This would have been..." Zane struggled with the words. Jacob helped him. "A gorram slaughter." "Is anybody besides me not liking this job anymore?" Zane asked shakily. "Sooner we find the survivors, or lack of," Jacob spoke flatly, as if anything more would be an affront to the dead, "sooner we can get the hell out of this fay-fay duh pee-yen, dong ma?" "Come again?" Zane's face screwed up into a bewildered rictus. Greyson stared blankly for the moment it took to remember that the young engineer never picked up so much as a word of Chinese. "You haul ass, we haul ass, savvy?" Tony interpreted. Zane chewed hard on his lower lip, but continued his way down the haul, the the places where the military blue finally overtook the sickly brown as the dominant coloration of the surroundings. Still, the sweeps of discoloration were always there. A constant reminder of what transpired so recently. Still, something beyond the admittedly catastrophic scope of this massacre clung hard to Greyson's thoughts. He simply couldn't puzzle out what it was. He had been mulling it over for what seemed a rather substantial time when Tony caught him up short, motioning him to listen. Jacob heard it almost immediately, a dull wet thump, repeated every few seconds. He stared towards its source, noting with extreme dismay that it came from the room helpfully labled 'Engineering Room' in both English and Chinese. A gun was pressed hard into his thick gloved hand, and he spared just a moment to wince at Tony. "You remember what happened last time?" he muttered, trying to pass off the firearm. As good as it felt to be armed, he knew what was likely to happen. Tony shook his head and stood beside the door that Zane was working hard at hacking. Locked from the inside. Whatever was in there was trapped for hours. Raising the weapon into what Greyson hoped was the appropriate stance, he positioned himself opposite Tony, awaiting the door's breach. Zane gave both men a nod, then wisely got the hell out of dodge. The door swung open silently, exposing another layer of darkness that the two men attempted in vain to fill with their meager hand-lights. The first thing the beams fell upon, a very thing obstructing the door from opening fully, was a body. It was torn and savaged, wearing the tatters of an Alliance uniform. Both men entered the room, casting the light around trying to suss out the source of that damned unnerving noise. Everywhere they looked there were the dead. Fully and just over a dozen wore the greys of Alliance service, bodies and faces torn, played with as long as possible before put down so their killers could do as they did best; reave. Here and there, though, were the remains of something else. Far more mutilated than the bodies that surrounded it in a virtual bubble. The Reavers themselves. They wore uniforms that were anything but, leathers and spikes and bones. Jacob felt himself going numb in a very special way that usually precedes unconsciousness. Tony's offhand smack to the front of his shoulder brought Jacob back into coherence. He struggled to fight down the bile as he moved toward the source of the regular thumping. As he did, he tripped over another body. This one caught him, for some reason. It was a woman, but not clad in the Alliance uniform, nor mutilated in any way aside from the rather large hole where her neck used to be. She was sheathed from head to foot in blood-red leather, almost like that worn by the Reavers. Tony kneeled down just a second, then shook his head. "Son of a bitch," was all Jacob had to offer to the situation. Tony heartedly agreed. Matching almost step for step, the pair pushed farther, into the tiny room that held the craft's escape pods. A mound of bodies, all Reavers, blocked the door, and Tony had to haul the topmost off before they could make their entrance. A wet thump sounded the moment Jacob's foot reached the grating, and his light swung up toward it. It was covered in blood, as if it bathed in it, and several angry wounds stood out upon its skin. Its arms raised again, slamming down to bludgeon the remnants of a Reaver's skull into the deck plating. She (and he was sure, now, that it was a she) had been doing this for hours, it seemed, with no pods left to escape in and nothing but fear and adrenaline to guide her. "Good God," Tony muttered. As if the words shocked her out of her desperate trance, she whipped her bludgeon into its proper conformation, one side down, a barrel facing forward. The slide was locked backward, its magazine long, long emptied. Still, she pulled the trigger six times. Then she released a terrified sob. "Zane!" Jacob screamed "Get a medical kit down here now!" Dark brown eyes met desparate blue, and her mouth twitched slowly, finally corralescing into words. "Help me." (Fade to black)

Part 2 coming whenever I gorram finish it.

COMMENTS

Wednesday, November 9, 2005 7:58 AM

JAMESTHEDARK


Obviously, I have to figure out the way this site formats text to make the next one look better. Feel free to give me feedback.

I won't get better unless I learn what I'm doing wrong.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 2:02 PM

MAANTRE


Not able to form coherent sentences yet...still blown away by the story, the action, the characters, and your incredible talent.
I'm hooked.
read on.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 2:03 PM

TAYEATRA


Bit late jumping on this bandwagon but figured I should start at the beginning.

And what a beginning it is!


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