River and Kaylee end up on the ship that crashes on the monster-filled planet in Pitch Black. River must keep Kaylee safe, keep her identity secret from Johns, explore her attraction to Riddick, oh, yeah, and NOT get eaten in the process
Disclaimer: I DON’T OWN. REALLY. I DON’T. KEEP THOSE BIG GUYS WITH THE LAWSUITS AWAY FROMME!!
Freezing at the sound of hurried footsteps towards the infirmary, Simon’s blood went cold with dread. Something had happened. There was no other reason for Kaylee to have returned so early from the marketplace and to be screaming his name with such a frightened tone of voice.
“Kaylee?” Putting down the tools he’d been cleaning, Simon hurried out of the infirmary and met his sweetheart in the hallway. She looked big-eyed and terrified. “What is it?” He asked, placing his hands on her trembling shoulders. “Where’s Shazza? What happened?”
“Alliance…officials!” She panted out, bending over, clearly out of breath. “In the marketplace! They had images of River!”
Cursing fluently in Chinese, Simon hated the Alliance more now than he ever had. Why wouldn’t they leave his sister alone? Why couldn’t they just let her try and live her life?
“Shazza went to warn Mal and the others.” Kaylee straightened once more. “I’m going to warm up the engines so we can take off the moment they come here. Get the infirmary ready in case they need it!”
Simon nodded, giving Kaylee’s shoulders a squeeze and hurrying to the infirmary once more as she took off towards the engine room as fast as a bullet.
It all seemed to happen in slow-motion.
One second they’d been trying to leave the bar, the next the officers had entered and seen them, drawing their weapons as they realized that their prey was inside--and the next all hell broke loose.
Dodging the tranquilizer darts whizzing past her, River grabbed the nose of the still warm gun and jerked it out of the officer’s hands. With a quick maneuver she’d brought the metal hard against his head, sending him falling to the ground, his own blood staining his weapon.
He was unconscious yet not dead. She didn’t want to kill anymore, didn’t want to feel the rush of satisfaction and pleasure she felt from them whenever they reviewed her battle-scenes and gloated on their success of the perfect weapon.
Flipping the gun in the air, she caught it by the handle and turned, firing the last dart into the neck of the official rushing her from behind. He clutched at his neck, pulling the dart from his own skin, before his eyes rolled in the back of his head and he collapsed to the ground.
River’s gaze went quickly on how her friends and family were doing.
Riddick had opted not to use any guns and now had his shivs out as he faced two officials who’d recognized him and were focusing their attentions on him. With a fluid movement he dodged the tranquilizers and brought his shiv up and across the first official’s throat in the mocking shape of a cross.
Screaming, the official clutched his bleeding throat and fell to his knees, while his enraged colleague lashed out at Riddick with fury.
The murderer easily dodged his attack and spun around, burying his shiv deep within the man’s back and ripping it up in a clean slice, opening the man’s back and slicing through part of his spine.
Mal was thrown back by a well-placed punch from the official whom he’d managed to unarm. They’d been managing to trade punches, both getting good shots and receiving some hits that would leave ugly bruises, but Mal had gotten distracted trying to make sure that Shazza was hiding and safe as he’d ordered her to, and had paid for it with the punch.
The official reached for his fallen gun and trained it on the captain of Serenity, ready to fire when a chair came down violently on his head, knocking him to the floor unconscious to reveal an angry looking Shazza behind him holding the remains of the chair.
“Woman!” Mal cursed in Chinese as he hurriedly got up, anger in his bruised face. “I told you ta hide until this was all over!”
“Now, if’n I’d done that, who’d be takin’ care of you?” Shazza twirled around and brought the piece of wood in her hands violently against the face of the official that’d tried to sneak up on her. When the uniformed man fell to the ground screaming and clutching at his broken nose, she brought down the piece of wood on the back of his head and kicked his face when he was propelled forwards by the blow to the back of his head.
Jayne was in his element, trading shots with the officers all focusing on him. River could sense his desire to release a couple of his beloved grenades in their direction but wasn’t sure how much damage he’d sustain from the explosion, so he was just contented using Vera on the Alliance ‘scum’.
Zoë appeared from where she’d been keeping an eye on the patrons in the bar and kicked over a table, using it as a shield so she could shoot at the officials streaming into the bar, drawn by the sounds of war that came from within.
Satisfied that everyone was keeping up on their own, River returned her full attention on the official that’d grabbed her from behind and was forcing her arms behind her back.
Standing on one foot and shaking her other experimentally, she closed her eyes and brought her leg back hard, the sole of her shoe connecting with the back of his head. His grip on her loosened as he cried out at the unexpected pain, and River tore loose from him, twirling around before digging her fingers into a certain pressure point in his body that caused the official to go tense, eyes wide in horror as he lost all control of his body and collapsed on the ground.
Spinning around, she delivered a kick to the official to her right, sending him twirling in the air. The young woman nearly slipped, and looked down at the sticky red substance on the ground, and quickly traced it to its source--Riddick’s sliced-neck victim, who was dead, lying in a pool of his own blood, hands still clasped around his neck.
By now the other patrons of the bar had happily joined the fight, beating up whatever uniformed man they could find. Pandemonium broke loose as the officials were too busy fighting for their lives to focus on River and those with her.
Sensing an odd surge of power, River looked up at the eyes of the statue of the naked woman that lay in a suggestive position above the bar. She shivered when she felt the connection, felt that sensation of being watched intently, the one she’d had when training in the Academy.
There had to be a camera hidden in that statue.
A hand clasped around River’s, breaking the connection, and she looked up into dark goggles before nodding. They dashed madly towards the door, slipping through the angry mob, with the crew of Serenity close behind as they broke out of the bar and started down the street, mingling in with the crowds in time for a larger group of Alliance Officials to race passed them and into the bar.
“They’re like gorram ANTS!” Jayne announced and they were off again, heading towards Serenity, who was docked not too far away in case something like this happened.
As they drew near they saw Kaylee standing by the open cargo door, looking around at the crowds with worry. Her brown eyes fell on them and her face lit up with relief as she hurriedly motioned for them to get in.
“Hurry up!” She herded them inside and slammed her hand against the lever to close the cargo door before turning to them. “Are you all right? Was anyone hurt?”
“Mal.” Everyone said.
The captain glared at them.
“Mei-Mei!” Simon flew towards his sister, ignoring the others as he hugged her to his chest. “I was so worried! Are you--?”
“Busy Ge-Ge, must form wings and fly!” River gave him a kiss and pushed away, hurrying up towards the cockpit. She could feel the Alliance Officials realizing that she was no longer in the bar.
They needed to be off the ground and out of Atmo.
“She has improved during the time she’s been MIA.” A shadowed person announced from where he sat, watching the holographic image of the bar on New Mecca and the spectacular fight that’d occurred there.
While most of the crew of Serenity had proven themselves capable of going against Alliance officials and leaving without many injuries, the two that stood out were the Operative-killer Riddick, and beautiful, young, deceptively innocent-looking River Tam.
He looked at the man who’d been a thorn in his side ever since he’d been young. Arrogant from birth it would seem, Riddick, the killer of unknown nationality with his infamous goggles was now fully grown, a man in his prime, like a Sabertooth in the early days of Earth-That-Was. Riddick was a problem that was going to have to be dealt with rapidly. His connection to River Tam was not going to be tolerated.
The prodigy of the Academy--the Academy that’d been closed by the Alliance since it hadn’t been able to bring back their star pupil, and hadn’t been able to at least produce another student with a sixth of her abilities or promise. Too many children had died or fallen into vegetative states after the same procedures given to River Tam had been given to them, and their parents were beginning to cry out for an ‘investigation’ on what had happened to their children.
He shook his head. The others hadn’t been able to compare with her. They were mere fragile, pathetic copies, while she was the true original. The only success, and what a success she’d been.
The woman-child moved with unnatural grace and fluidity, reading her attackers and able to block their moves or easily get out of whatever they managed to do to her. She was a creature of fascination to him, an object of awe.
While he hadn’t been a part of the Academy, he’d known of what was being done to her and of her promise. He’d followed her sessions closely, studied her up, and had even visited her once or twice; watching her training and watching her grow into the person she was thanks to the Academy and his own personal funding. He hadn’t cared about the others, but “R. Tam” had caught his eye from the moment she’d enrolled in the Academy as a young girl.
He’d been on a visit viewing the Academy and had stumbled upon a young girl talking back to her professor, correcting her so professionally and so sure he knew that she was going to be important one day.
And when he’d realized that she’d been selected to be enrolled in the special, secret studies of the Academy, he’d known he had to be a part of the process. And now, as he watched her easily disarm and use the officials’ weapons against them, he felt pride burn deep within his chest.
The image-River stopped fighting and suddenly looked up straight at him.
He froze the image and stood, going to her and tracing his hand down her jaw in reverence. “You can’t run forever, little River.”
“Yes, I can.” Scrubbing her palm against the skin of her jaw roughly to try and remove the sensation of his ghost-touch, River sat in the cockpit. She’d been for a year and eight months without feeling any connection with him, yet the eyes of the whore’s statue in New Mecca had somehow reestablished it.
She didn’t have a face to go with this connection, but she’d always had it and hated it, hated the violation of her personal thoughts and life.
“They say talking you yourself isn’t a sign of insanity.” Riddick announced as he strolled into the cockpit and collapsed onto the co-pilot seat as if he owned it. “It’s when you start answering yourself that you should be worried.”
She watched him thoughtfully as she continued to pilot Serenity. They’d left orbit and were now cruising in the black, destination Beaumonde. Everyone had gotten over the adrenaline of the fight and were going about doing their work about the ship. “This girl will never be normal.”
He didn’t look at her, goggles on the endless space around them. “Neither will this man.”
She frowned darkly at him; didn’t he realize that she was being serious? “There will be more trouble. There will not be any peace.”
“Would be boring if there were any.” He finally looked at her. “You’re mine, River, not getting out of that.”
She laughed softly, shaking her head. She could sense the trouble in the near-future, and although the feeling of those ghost fingers against her jaw still burnt her skin, she ignored it. Life wasn’t going to be easy, she’d always known that, but she wasn’t alone anymore. She had Serenity, her brother, the crew, and most of all, she had Riddick.
The future couldn’t bring her anything she couldn’t fight with them at her side.