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Down in the Valley

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“Get down!”

Zoe wasn’t sure who was yelling for them to get down. The voice was too rough to have any sort of accent left, just a hoarse scream with the syllables barely carved out, like the piss poor top her father had tried to carve for her. But no matter who the scream came from, she obeyed, falling as quick as that lopsided top.

Just in time, as it happened. Zoe lifted her head out of the dirt to assess the situation. Whomever it was that had yelled wasn’t gonna speak no more, she judged by the placement of that new crater.

People were getting up and fleeing, or maybe to try and fire back. “Stupid,” she muttered to herself as she cocked her gun, aiming up from her prone position.

There was a reason their coats were brown, beyond whatever the propaganda had to say about disdaining luxurious dyes. Brown blended, out there in Serenity Valley, practical-like.

“Don’t like this, sir,” she said as she felt Mal settle down next to her, dropping some ammo within easy reach.

“Well now, I can’t imagine what about this delightful day you could be referring to. Is it the beautiful ringing of weapons being fired down on your head? Or perhaps the mud that gets everywhere?” Mal asked is a sing song.

“When you put it so pretty guess I can’t complain,” she said.

The real answer was that Zoe just didn’t like war.

It wasn’t the no-brainer some folks might think. Because she didn’t mind taking orders and she sure as hell loved shooting. Shit, even barracks food could be stomached down.

But looking around all she could was think was that she never wanted to do this again, no matter how crucial the cause.

“You ready?” Mal was already inching up, sure of her response. Zoe nodded even though he wouldn’t be able to see it. She pulled herself up off the dirt and began following after, watching his back.

It didn’t matter none if she liked it. Couldn’t change it.

But she could survive it.