Shellshock

By Kimberly Taylor

Action / Drama

Intro

"All hands report to damage control stations." The loudspeakers blared as Mal and Jayne rushed down a dim hallway lit by red emergency light strips on the floor. Reaching an ornate set of doors Mal wrenched them open, Jayne covering the two of them, revealing Inara looking the picture of elegance. Mal gestured to her frantically.

"I'm not going anywhere." She said haughtily. She was decked in a deep red gown, perfectly coiffed and poised, acting as though nothing was out of the ordinary, even as the ship lurched under their feet.

"What do ya mean yer not goin' anywhere?" Mal said lowering his pistol in confusion as klaxons blared around them.

"You shouldn't have come Mal. This is where I belong." Inara's voice was hard as she spoke, as if she were biting each word as it left her lips.

"Mal, we gotta go." Jayne interrupted.

"Bì zuǐ!" Mal yelled at Jayne, continuing to stare at Inara. She lowered her gaze as another voice spoke, "Bao bei."

"All hands report to damage control stations." The loudspeakers blared as an aristocratic man stepped through a doorway on the far side of the room, a pistol in one hand.

"Inara." Mal said, the word barely leaving his mouth before the sound of a gunshot reverberated in the confined space.
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