Kaylee dropped to her hands and knees and prepared to vomit. Mal bent over and pushed her hair back from her face. It was only a dry heave and Mal helped her back to her feet.
The pounding on Serenity’s cockpit door was only getting louder and more intense. Zoe slammed the door with the butt of her rifle as she screamed out “Chui Se!”
Jayne turned to face Zoe and said, “I second that!” He slammed the door with Vera’s butt and yelled “Shut the gorram up!” It really sucked being out of ammo.
Mal said to River , “You know what to do, right darlin’?” River turned her head to answer. “ Hit atmo at wrong angle...die.”
“Well, yeah.” Mal said softly.
Simon was standing behind his sister, his hand on her shoulder. He was ignoring the banging, thinking about seven years ago when they were two heroes heavier, and River first took over piloting duties on the ship. Now twenty-four, River was still a creature of extraordinary grace, but still had trouble eating an ice planet.
Inara was looking at Mal who was still holding on to a weak Kaylee. Mal turned to look at Inara, his wife of five years, and as their eyes met, a forced smile formed on their faces.
Flashes of light were penetrating Serenity’s windshield, her buffer panels slowly deteriorating. The ship was bouncing, making noises not heard before by the crew.
Mal always knew Badger would try to exact vengeance on him and his crew, but didn’t think even a low life like Badger would go this far. But he did. The forty-two Reavers on the other side of the cockpit door were testament to that.
“Captain!” River yelled out at Mal. She looked to her left, so did Mal. Tiny bits of plasma were starting to enter the cockpit, vaporizing the electronics.
“That’s it , we’re humped.” Jayne let out under his breath.
“We end it our way, right Captain? Not the way someone else wants us to go, right?” Kaylee said to Mal.
“That’s right little Kaylee, our way.” Mal said back.
Inara walked behind Mal and Kaylee, embracing them both. Jayne held Vera tight against his chest, also holding on to the cunning hat his mom had made him so many years ago.
Simon held on to River, looking down at her. All he could say was “I’m sorry.” River looked at him and said, “Don’t be such a boob.” She smiled as tears ran down her cheeks.
The cockpit door was giving way, the screams and banging getting louder.
“Getting a little hot in here Captain.” Zoe said to Mal. “That it is, Zoe, that it is.” Mal said back.
The atmosphere of Greenleaf was now entering Serenity, like a blowtorch gone mad.
Kaylee looked up at Mal and said “Look at the lights Captain, aren’t they pret…….”
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