Bounty: A Roll of the Writer’s Block Dice

This scene was written during the July monthly writing work session with my BFF. For more, see the original post.

The Roll

Protagonist: adult male hero
Genre: sci-fi
Plot: revenge
Plot Twist: death

The Scene

Charging down the passageway, Jack flinched as the laser blast missed him by inches. Flinging himself through the nearest open doorway, he slapped at the wall and managed to close the door just before the troops thundered past. He didn’t breathe again until he was sure they hadn’t doubled back. Tapping the comm device in his hear, he quietly said, “Hey Jones, you still alive?”

”Barely,” came back the crackling reply. “Those bastards are better shots than we thought.”

“Where are you?”

“Deck 37, level 4, I think.”

“Damn. I’m four decks above that and our ship’s five more below you. Got any weapons?”

“Just the peashooter I swiped off the recruit who tried to blow my head off. Ain’t enough to get me down to the hangar but ain’t gonna stop me neither. You?”

“I’ve still got my rifle but I ran out of ammo a score of bad guys ago. Where the hell is the armory on these monstrosities?”

“Deck 34, if our intel was any good. Think we can make it?”

Jack grinned. “They don’t call us the Rough Runners for nothing.” He levered himself up and leaned against the wall, knowing if they made it out of this their reputations would be golden for life. But that was one big “if.” He hit the release to open the door, and poked his head out. When it wasn’t blown off, he took that as a good sign. “Alright, Jones. Heading down to you and we’ll make the final run together. I’ll check in again when I’m on the same deck.”

“Roger that, Jack. You better hurry, I can’t stay hidden forever.”

Jack heard the click of his co-pilot signing off and slipped into the hallway, hugging the wall. When he reached the huge hub that connected the passageways he knew he’d have to risk it. He needed to get to the one hatch that would let him descend unnoticed. Unslinging his rifle even though he knew it was empty, he sent up a prayer, took a deep breath and headed for the second passageway to the left at a dead run.

When he made it unnoticed and unscathed, he slung the rifle on his back again and kicked through the hatch to the crawlspace. Ducking inside, he began climbing down the ladder and damn near slipped in his haste. Slowing only a bit he kept going until he got to the hatch marked “D-37.”

Jack, aka Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin) from
Jack, aka Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin) from “Firefly”

Carefully and with as little noise as possible, Jack cracked open the hatch and dropped to the deck. He froze at the sound of a pistol charging to full strength. Slowly rising from his crouch, he turned to see Jones sprawled out cold on the deck and the weapon trained on his prone body. What he didn’t expect to see was the woman on the other end of the weapon.

“Lara. Nice to see you. Is that a new outfit?”

“That’s Colonel Miles to you now, Jack, so yes it is. Some of us take our military service seriously.”

“Seriously? Oh, please,” he scoffed, even as he began to worry that Jones hadn’t so much as twitched. “You got drafted same as us. I just figured out sooner which side was the right side.”

“And now you make your living as a smuggler?”

“Beats being stuck in a giant tin can for decades.” He crossed his arms and faced his ex-wife. He hated to admit it, but the blonde looked really good in that uniform. “You got him, you got me, and you got our ship. What’re you gonna do now, turn us in?”

“Of course.”

“Just like that? Hell, Lara, don’t I even get to make one grand plea?” She lowered her weapon and settled into the all too familiar parade rest stance. She gave him a slight nod. “Is it going to make a difference?”

“Not really, no.” Faster than he could react, her hand came forward and she blasted a hole through Jones’ head. As the body jerked and rolled, he now saw the matching hole in his chest that had been concealed as he lay on his side. Automatically his right hand lifted to go for his rifle, but he froze once more as she tsk-tsked him and trained her pistol on him. Slowly he lowered his hand and tensed as she crossed the distance between them. He stiffened at the pleased gleam in her eye.

“You really do only care about the recognition and advancement bringing both of us in will give you, don’t you? He was your brother, for gods’ sake.”

“And I loved him until the day he died. Thing is, the bounty says dead or alive and dead is just so much easier.” She stepped back and aimed for his chest. “Any last words?”

“Oh yeah,” Jack said, dropping his arms and spreading them wide as if to welcome the shot. “I’ll avenge Jones, count on it, Colonel Miles.”

Then he threw himself forward just as she pulled the trigger.

© 2014 Nicole A. Bossard