rickyjames
writes, Here’s an article I posted at my site,
reposted here to share the love.


Chris Buchanan, President of the Mutant Enemy
production company that is responsible for Joss
Whedon’s Firefly, is
making
some very hopeful noises
about the possibility of
a Firefly movie. “We are getting pretty close on
the movie and hopefully we’ll have some “official”
news soon. It seems that the DVDs are doing really
well (e.g. better than Fox anticipated) and that
there have been significant re-orders (an unusual
thing for this type of program). Of course, we
weren’t that surprised but what can you do.”

“We really appreciate all of the fan efforts on the
show’s behalf and I am personally helping out on the
‘DVDs
to soldiers’ project
[SciScoop editorial
aside by rickyjames – I’ve
contributed
; won’t you, too?]. So just tell
everybody and thanks for all their efforts. I read
the boards daily and all of the great local input
(where the DVDs are sold out, what the reviewers are
saying about the set, etc.) is always helpful.
Universal seems to be willing to make the movie
(crossing fingers, touching wood, lighting candles),
but we still have a few (non-creative) hurdles to
cross.”

Well, that’s a cause for celebration in my book!!!
So, speaking of Book, it’s my privilege to present a
work of fanfic reprinted
by permission (thanks, Freya!)
that tells the
story of the Firefly episode Bushwacked from The
Shepherd’s point of view. Dramatis personae besides
preacher Book who are paying passengers aboard the
smuggling ship Serenity include “Companion” Inara and
fugitive neurological-experiment guinea pig River
and her doctor brother Simon. Think Stagecoach.

For you, lone sir in the back of the room who hasn’t
seen the Firefly DVD yet, Bushwacked tells the tale
of coming across a colonizing spaceship that has
been raided by the Reavers, those humans who have
abandoned society and set up their own mysterious
enclave in deep space. Reavers play the role of the
savage Indians in Firefly’s Western-oriented
universe, and we will hopefully see (as indistinct
evil shadows only) much more of them. Whedon said he
could create humans far scarier than any alien in
latex makeup. He’s right.

And if this poem sounds familiar…it
should
. If it doesn’t, you need to read
more classic literature
.

The Reavers
by Shepherd Book


Once upon an expedition, while I pondered
extradition,

Watching many a quaint and curious patron of our
local whore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a
tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at the outer
door.

“Just Kaylee,” I muttered, “tapping through some
special chore –

“Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I still fear it, in the black, I still
can hear it

And each time I try to clear it, there’s its ghost
upon the floor

Eagerly I wished to burrow, hide away, complete and
thorough

But I could not seem to stir-oh, no! Instead I must
explore –

For the poor and broken settlers who had chosen to
explore –

Just for them, and nothing more.

Then the silken sight, uncertain, Inara through her
purple curtain

Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic tremors often
felt before;

And yet now to still the beating of my heart, I stood
repeating

“Step away, and stop entreating entrance at her cabin
door –

“It’s not for you to be entreating entrance at her
cabin door.

“Leave it be; do nothing more.”

Presently my will grew stronger, hesitating then no
longer,

“Mal,” said I, “and Simon, truly we can’t leave them,
I implore;

`Cos the fact is they are human, and we simply cannot
leave them,

Like that, hangin’ from the ceilin’; reel them out
upon the floor!”

Still I dreaded what we’d see there when we opened
wide the door –

Darkness there, and something more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there,
wondering, fearing,

Doubting, thinking things no mortal ever dared to
think to see before.

And the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave
no token

Then the only words there spoken were the shouted
words “take more!”

Jayne was scavenging already, echoing those words,
“take more!”

Merely that, and nothing more.

Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me
burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than
before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is just the way this
ship here rattles;

And the way our Jayne there prattles `bout some
riches to explore –

Let my heart be still a moment while our Jayne does
so explore.

It’s just the ship here, nothing more.”

Now then I try not to shudder, when with many a
stench and flutter,

From there dropped the wasted bodies of the settlers
to the floor.

Not the least obeisance made he, not an instant
stopped or stayed he –

If Jayne had stopped and prayed he might my hope in
him restore –

But just like some mindless phallus pokes he there
into the stores.

Pokes and grabs, and nothing more.

Then that River girl beguiling, my sad fancy into
smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance she
wore.

“Though these folk be broke and twisted, you,” I
said, “are safe; we missed it.

Ghastly grim, but sure we fixed it, ain’t no reavers
here no more –

Tell me what you fear so thorough? Ain’t no reavers
here no more.”

Said our River, “Nevermore.”

Cold, I watched our River standing, eyes so wide,
somehow expanding,

And my own heart, there demanding, that we stay this
ship no more;

Yet we cannot help agreeing there to leave no human
being

With no blessing before fleeing. Now they lay upon
the floor;

Blood and bone are littered there upon the chamber
floor.

Bless them now, and evermore.

But our River, sitting lonely on the bloody floor
spoke only

That one word, as if her soul in that one word she
did outpour.

Nothing further then she uttered – just stared at
those folks been gutted;

And I scarcely more than muttered “Reaver kills I’ve
known before.

In a moment we will leave here, or our hopes are
blown before.”

Then River said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly
spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what she utters is nothing but
her shock restored.

Caught from some alliance master, whom unmerciful
disaster

Follows fast and follows faster whence her brother’s
private war,

When the dirges of his hope lead him, impassioned,
into war.

Not “Never, nevermore.”

But that River still beguiling all my sad soul into
smiling,

Straight we led her back into Serenity, and to our
whore.

Then Inara’s velvet seating took her from that grisly
greeting,

Chancing unto chancy meeting with that ominous ship
of gore –

With that grim, insanely dark and ominous ship of
gore.

Still she whispered, “Nevermore.”

Then I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable
expressing

To the girl whose frenzied eyes now tore into my
bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease
reclining

On Inara’s velvet violet lining that the ship’s
lights shadowed o’er,

But whose velvet violet lining that the ship’s lights
shadowed o’er

I should press on, nevermore!

Then I thought the air grew denser, perfumed from an
unseen censer

Swung by angels whose faint footfalls scratched upon
the metal floor.

“Wretch, am I! My God hath sent thee – from these
angels he hath rent thee;

Respite – respite or repent? See my yearning for this
whore?

End, oh end this need! Repent! See? I must forget
this curious whore!”

Said our River, “Nevermore!”

“Prophet?” Thought I, “or thing of evil? Prophet
still, if girl or devil –

Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee
here ashore,

Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this vagrant ship
enchanted –

In the black, so horror haunted – tell me truly, I
implore:

Are there – *are* there Reavers here, still near us?
Tell me truly, I implore!”

Said our River, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” Said I, “Not of evil; prophet still, if
girl or devil!

By that Heaven that bends around us – by that God I
so adore –

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if our journey soon
be fadin’,

If through you, a tainted maiden whom the angels come
before,

Told through you, a radiant maiden, whom the angels
come before!”

Said our River, “Nevermore.”

That came to be our word of parting, for then we
heard the engine starting,

To send us back into the tempest and the black’s
Plutonian shore.

Leave that ship’s hulk as a token of that truth thy
soul hath spoken,

Reavers leave the spell unbroken, cleave the black
and grieve no more;

Take the black from out they heart to take its form
outside the door.

Said our River, “Nevermore.”

And the Reavers, never quitting, still are slitting,
still are slitting,

Guts of settlers lost in transit just outside
Serenity’s core.

And River’s eyes have all the seeming of a see-er
that is dreaming,

While the ship’s lights o’er her streaming throws a
shadow on the floor;

And whose soul from out that shadow that lies
floating on the floor

Shall be lifted Nevermore?