Serenity burst forth from the ion cloud surrounding Universe's moon. Just like he'd said it had played merry hob with the sensors. But they made it through the cloud and they were home free. Well, they would have been if there hadn't been an alliance fleet between them and the moon. They flew right down the middle.
"You should have listened Mal, we should have done this as men, not with fire." The Operative stared out the window at the little firefly-class transport ship. It wasn't even changing course, flying right into its own destruction.
The look of shock on his face as the bow of a Reaver ship broke through the cloud was something the bridge crew would remember for the rest of their lives, which would be about ten minutes. "Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! Somebody fire!"
They might kill the Reavers, but it wouldn't be enough. Unfortunately he didn't know that, so they fought.
Wash was pushing Serenity's thruster pods as hard as he could, dragging the ship around debris and other ships as the Reaver and Alliance fleets met in battle.
Soon after the initial shots were fired the Reaver ships near the cloud began to detonate inexplicably. Moments later a red lance shot forth from the cloud, followed by the purple hand of Evangelion Unit-01, its eyes glowing red and its mouth open in a soundless scream of rage. The unit accelerated out of the cloud, indiscriminately tearing Alliance and Reaver ships asunder as it progressed through the fight. Both fleets directed their attention to this new threat. Plasma and ballistic impacts dented and scarred her armor, but Eva still pushed forwards, flying on a direct line for the Operative's ship. An alliance gunboat flew up at close range to the Eva, intent on penetrating the armor of the beast. Rei caught sight of the craft and reached out to it, she wrapped the Eva's fist around it and threw it into a nearby alliance cruiser, causing both to explode in a ball of fire fueled by rapidly escaping atmospheric gasses.
Holding the lance in her left hand, and reaching up with the right, Rei ejected the progressive knife from its storage compartment. She held it in her hand as she slid ever closer to the lead ship. As she reached said ship she twisted the Eva around and stabbed the knife into the bow of the ship, dragging it backwards through the spine of the craft as the Eva flew past. Moments later another fireball erupted and the Operative was no-more.
'He's going to die, help him!'
Rei's eyes snapped open, the rage subsiding as her mind cleared. River called out with her mind, projecting the images of what would happen, what had already happened. She had to do something, stop it. She tossed the lance into her right hand, and shaping it into a narrow spear, she reached backwards and threw it towards the moon at a speed that even the fastest of missiles couldn't contend with.
Serenity shot through a hole that a Reaver ship had punched through an Alliance carrier, sailing through to the other side without hitting anything, the gunship in pursuit was not so lucky, detonating on the surface of said carrier. Wash was chanting his personal mantra, "I am a leaf on the wind…"
An explosion sent the ship tumbling before Wash corrected the spin and continued their rapid entry to the moon's atmosphere, "It's okay, I'm a leaf on the wind!"
Mal stared at him with an incredulous look, "What does that mean?!"
The ship went silent as a pursuing Reaver ship hit Serenity with EMP, shutting down the engines and sending the ship into an uncontrolled spin towards death. Wash was fighting with the controls but the ship refused to respond "Aiya Huaile everything's offline, I've got no control." He franticly pulled switches on his console trying to bring the backups online, nothing happened; franticly he punched the intercom button. "Kaylee, I've got no control and the backups won't come online, give me something or we're going to become modern art!"
In the engine room Kaylee had only one idea, and in any other situation she wouldn't even try it. Either the engines come online or we explode, not much choice. She dove under the engine and cross-fed the fuel line directly into the thrust regulator and patched the g-line across into the main power flow, kicking the engine over and bringing power back to the ship. We didn't explode!
Back on the bridge Wash gripped the controls tightly as the engines suddenly came back online, delivering full thrust. They were still going down too fast, he throttled the thrusters up to full and angled them upwards and slightly to the rear, killing forward momentum as well as vertical speed. He managed to slow the fall enough that when the ship's landing gear touched down on the runway they didn't snap off, but they were still going far too fast forward. He spun the thruster pods directly backwards and used them to try slowing the ship before an abrupt end becoming part of the scenery at the far end of the hanger. As the ship slid through the hanger the forward velocity dropped off as one of the engine pods slammed into a support beam, bending it and spinning the ship around backwards and against the rear wall, dropping it off the platform facing out the door.
Outside, a Reaver ship had followed it into the hanger and was preparing to fire a harpoon directly through the cockpit of the small firefly.
Shocked to be alive, Wash spoke in a shaky voice, "I am a leaf on the wind, watch how i-"
He was cut off as an ear splitting shriek followed by the sound of ripping metal filled the cockpit. Outside of the cockpit window there was an enormous red spear sticking through a now disabled Reaver ship, above the ship was a hole in the roof cut cleanly through by the spear.
Mal spoke first, "Huh"
Her mind was clear, she was sitting in the plug, calmed by the loving embrace of the Eva. The soul of the Eva knew how Rei felt, felt the love that she had for Shinji. The love that fueled her rage. That rage was gone now, he was avenged. Unfortunately that meant the AT field wings were dissipated, the rage that fueled them gone. Rei looked out at the fleet she had destroyed, the Alliance and Reaver ships had been mostly destroyed, with only a few remaining in the fight against each other. As she looked at the slowly receding fight the Eva hit atmo, the orange glow of re-entry flicking across the armor.
Until again we meet, Shinji, I will keep fighting.
The crew of serenity was hiding behind a barricade of boxes as they defended the elEvator, kept the Reavers at bay while the captain made sure the wave went out. The entire 'verse was gonna know, they had that right.
They slowly retreated behind the blast doors as the Reavers pressed in, the sheer number of them overcoming the amount of ammunition pouring into the horde. Kaylee took a hit to the neck, the poison darts filling her system with toxin, Wash took a bullet to his thigh soon after, and Jayne was hit in the arm. Deciding that a retreat was in order, Zoe and Simon grabbed Kaylee and Wash and pulled them deeper into the room before attempting to seal the blast doors. They didn't close, and a harpoon shot through the small opening and went through Simon's shoulder.
River sat next to him, eyes wide in fear and shock. Then they changed, her face tightened, and her eyes took on a new look, a look of rage. She whispered in Simon's ear, then ran to the door, jumping through the opening, throwing Simon's med-kit through the open doors and slapping her hand on the button to close them. Her family wasn't going to die today.
Rei was sitting in the entry plug waiting. The Eva had slowed considerably as it fell through the sky, it had slowed enough that the red-orange glow of re-entry had faded. As the altimeter clicked passed 2000 feet she pulled a switch on the control cluster, the back of the shoulder pylons opened and six liquid fueled retro thrusters fired, thirty five seconds later the Eva slammed into the runway leading up to Mr. Universe's hanger. The force of impact made the ground shake, but it was slow enough that the runway did not crumble underfoot. The Eva crouched down on one knee and the armor on its back split open, the white entry plug ejecting partially and opening. A thin steel cable with a harness on it dropped from the side of the plug and Rei stepped out onto it, riding the hoist down to the ground. She stepped off at ground level, took a few steps forward beyond Eva's foot, and collapsed from exhaustion, the last thing she saw before the darkness took her was a ghostly image of Shinji standing in front of her.
The elevator doors opened and Mal stepped out, with him was a broken and bleeding but very much alive Mr. Universe. He walked towards the group sitting on the floor in the small hallway. "The wave got out…where's River?"
The crew looked down at the deck-plates, Mal understood and looked down as well, anger and sadness were emanating from him.
The blast doors retracted and everybody looked up at the opening, waiting for Reavers to rush in to finish them off. The Reavers never came. They saw River standing in the middle of a pile of bodies, Reaver bodies, she had an axe and a sword made from a propeller in her hands, she was covered in blood not her own, and she was looking into the hallway at the crew, her family.
Rei woke up on the ground in front of the Eva, she saw Serenity lifting off and sliding out of the hanger. She smiled for the first time that day, everything was going to be okay, as okay as it could get. They lived, just this one time everybody got to live. She climbed onto the cable harness and ascended to the plug, sliding inside and sealing it up. She slid it into the Eva and activated the unit, then opened a wave to Serenity. Mal's face showed up on the screen.
"I guess I've got you to thank for that Reaver ship. Someday you're gonna have to tell me how you did that." He smiled, "Thank you, for saving my crew, we ain't always been on the best of terms, but you done right by me, and you have my thanks."
Rei smiled at him, "I'd never known what it was to have family, but meeting you, how you treat each other, I know now. I couldn't let it be shattered, River helped too."
Mal returned the smile. "I don't suppose you're gonna come with us are you?"
Rei turned her head away from the screen for a minute, pushing a few buttons on the control panel on her seat, her eyes going slightly wide for a moment before her smile returned. Radion accelerator core, they did plan to put this into space. She turned back to the screen, "No, I have something I have to do, we will meet again though Malcolm Reynolds, you've changed my life, all of you, and I want to come back to that, if you'll have me. But for now…for now, I aim to misbehave." She grinned impishly into the screen and cut the signal.
Moments later the armor on the back of the Eva spread and a flat wide radion accelerator drive slid into place on its back. The liquid fueled rockets extended from the shoulder pylons and Evangelion Unit-01 took to the sky, there was a mission to do, there were people who had to pay. She had a suspicion that this was far from over, there was a reason for that project on Miranda and she aimed to find out, and maybe throw a wrench into the works. As she'd said, she aimed to misbehave.
It had been five years since Miranda. Malcolm Reynolds sat on the bridge of his ship reflecting on the past few years. Inara had moved on, it became clear that she and Mal would never work out; they lived in different worlds and it was unfair for either of them to have to change that. River and Simon had stayed on, they found a new home, different, better than what they had on Osiris. Jayne finally warmed up to them, he still picked on the doctor and the moonbrain, but anybody could tell he didn't really mean it anymore. They hadn't seen Rei since Miranda, but they had heard things, the Alliance was scared, he heard things about a demon, raids on alliance facilities, technology thefts at some and total destruction of others. The story was always the same, the purple demon came in at night, and by morning there was only destruction in its path. She hadn't lied, she was misbehaving, and Mal liked that.
He almost didn't notice the beeping and flashing of the RADAR screen he was so lost in thought. There was a ship coming up on their position it was big and fast. He reached for the comm to call Wash up from his bunk and get them clear, but stopped. The ship was too big and too fast, there wasn't anything he could do anyway, so Mal let him stay with his wife.
He was surprised when an Earth-that-was frigate came up alongside Serenity. He didn't think any were still flying. He received a wave from the ship, audio only.
"Firefly transport Serenity you will come alongside and prepare to be boarded, you have three minutes to comply." And the transmission cut off.
Mal woke up the crew, and two and a half minutes later they were assembled in the cargo bay, standing in front of the bay doors and waiting for what would come. What they got was not something they expected.
A young woman stepped through their airlock, her hair long, down to her waist. It was blue, her eyes were red, her skin was pale. Rei Ayanami spoke to the assembled crew, "It's nice to see you again Mal. I'll be brief, we have a chance to change everything, and I need your help."
Until the sequel anyway ;)