CHECK MATE: Final pieces in place. (6/22)
Sunday, April 18, 2004

A little paternal jealousy from Kaylee's father and a lot of resentment from Badger. Meanwhile one of the Alliance leaders seeks a solution to the Browncoat problem.


Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns 'Firefly'. His stories are the real ones. There's just too few of them.

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CHECK MATE: Final pieces in place.

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NATHANIEL FRYE – January 2519

People like me don't say no to people like him.

Anyway, it was only a little thing. No big deal. About eighteen months ago he came to me with this proposition. Said if I played nice, he could guarantee I'd stay in business. Di'n't need to tell me that if I didn't, I'd be shut down. All he wanted was for me to copy and paste her waves to me - and mine to her - to the source box address he gave me. Where's the harm in that? It's not like we talk about anything important anway. We're just ordinary people telling each other ordinary stuff. Father and daughter stuff. Why did he want to read it? I don't know. I didn't ask. Besides, it's not like I could've refused.

Lookin' back, I suppose it was a bit strange – someone like him wanting to know about the everyday lives of people like us. I guess I thought maybe the government was finally taking an interest in the little folk. That's not so impossible, is it? I don't know, perhaps I should have tried harder to get out of it. Perhaps I should have tweaked the waves some before passin' them on. I just didn't see it as a big deal.

Don't get me wrong. I love my daughter and I'd do anything for her. But I got other children to think of too. Children still livin' with me here, who are happy to be at home with their father, not yearnin' to be flyin' off half way round the galaxy. I gotta look out for them too.

She was always restless, just like her momma. Couldn't keep her at home neither. How long ago is it now? Five years? Six? Ran off with a soldier to one of them planets on the Rim, leavin' me here tryin' to run the business and raise six kids. Gave them my all I did, and what's been my reward? A strugglin' repair shop and a daughter who took off with a stranger first chance she got. There's gratitude for you.

Still, at least she's got a job. And it's one less mouth for me to be feedin'. I want her to do well, of course I do. She's still my little girl. Maybe when she gets over this wanderin' phase, she'll come back and help out around here again. Look after her daddy in his old age.

If she can ever tear herself away from that gorram ship and her Captain, that is. Only saw the man once, that same day he offered her the job. Didn't make much of an impression on me. Just a workin' fella like the rest of us. But her waves is always full of him, how brave and clever and nice he is. How he's so good at lookin' after her and the rest of the crew. Like being taken care of was something new to her. 'Course it could be she shares her momma's weakness for a good head of hair and a tight ass. As for him, I can see why he's so keen to keep her on board. Must be nice to have someone appreciate all you do for them. I'd have liked a little of that myself.

Now I come to think of it, I wonder if it ain't him that Alliance fella is really interested in. Could be he's a smuggler they're trackin'? Or maybe he's on the run for some reason? I wouldn't be overly surprised. These is hard times. People's forced to do all sorts just to get by. Can't see why he'd be any different. We all got our price.

So, if he is in trouble with the Feds, maybe it's just as well I agreed to help the authorities keep an eye on him. Because that's my daughter he's got with him. If he's puttin' her in the way of danger, I sure am glad the law is ready to step in. They'll know she had nothin' to do with it, if they've been readin' her waves. And even if he has taken advantage of her inexperience and good heart to trick her into doing somethin' illegal, me havin' helped gather evidence against him has got to count for something. Right?

So it's a good thing really that I didn't say no. She don't realize it, but I'm still takin' better care of her than that precious Captain of hers ever could.

Not sure what's in this package. Just know I've got to send it to the post office in the capital city on Agnis which is where Kaylee says they're headed en route for Brownfields. They should touch down just before her birthday. He told me it was a gift for her. Said he knew money was tight an' that an ordinary mechanic like me probably cou'n't compete with the Captain of a space ship when it came to buying presents. Told me I should say it was from me.

Can't be any harm in that, surely?

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FRANKIE “BADGER” CAINE – January 2519.

Likes of me don't say no to the likes of 'im. Anyone'll tell you that.

So, if 'e tells me I gotta do business with that yu ben de Captain Malcolm Reynolds, I ain't got no choice in the matter. No-one's saying I gotta like it.

Because I don't. Don't like it. Don't like 'im. Don't like 'is attitude nor the way he looks down on me. 'E don't seem to 'ave quite got it through 'is thick 'ead that 'is side lost the gorram war an' my side won. But then, my side always does. The trick is not to declare your allegiance till the outcome's clear.

So now I gotta offer him another job an' help 'im line the pockets of them old soldier's pants of 'is. All because me laddo says so.

Owe 'im a lot, I do. Back on Dyton Colony I wa'n't the resectable businessman you see today. Nah – far from it. My entrepreneurial skills wa'n't much appreciated there. They thought I was a petty thief, ben tiang shen de yi dui rou no-hopers that there were. One deal too many an' I found myself in the lock-down. Diyu! It's not like I planned for the girl to get killed....

So, there I was. Banged up for all eternity in a piss-poor jail on that gou shui backwater of a planet with nothin' to contemplate but me nuts. Thought I was gonna be there for the rest of my natural...

Then along comes me laddo. Could tell 'e was quality soon as 'e walked in. The way the warders straightened 'emselves up, fastened buttons an' stood to attention. Nah, there was more to it than that. There was fear too ...

'Ow 'e knew about me, I got no idea. An' I ain't never asked. Ain't my place, see? Likes of me jus' do what we're told by the likes of 'im, no questions asked. Only thing I know for sure about 'im is 'e's called Parkin.

Anyway, 'e arranged for my release an' paid my passage 'ere to Persephone. 'Elped me set meself up an' found me a few 'eavies to ensure business went smooth. Never thought I'd end up on a half-way civilized rock like this one. I like it 'ere. Like 'aving me own little castle to be king of. Like bein' part of the community.

So I wou'n't go against direct orders even if I'd wanted to. Which I don't. Something tells me this job on Brownfields ain't gonna be all plain sailin' for the good Captain. An' if it wipes that smug look off 'is face, so much the better.

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LIAN NOE – January 2519

There's been another attack. The fifth in as many days. This time three men died. Two of them fathers, one just nineteen years old. It's getting worse. We'll catch the perpetrators before long, I've no doubt. We always do. We've got the resources, the manpower and money, to do whatever we want. And yet they keep fighting us. Keep killing our men. Countless little tragedies across the 'verse that change nothing in the overall scheme of things, but which shatter the lives of decent people forever.

It has to end.

Unification Day was supposed to have stopped it. We thought that once all the planets were under Alliance control there'd be peace. We believed the Independents would see the benefits of unity, law and stability once their intransigent leadership was out of the way. Instead, the Browncoat cause turned into the Hydra. Cut off one of its heads and seven more sprout in its place, spitting poison and spreading discontent throughout the galaxy.

Our response has been to crack down on them hard. Round them up. Execute those we have a case against, imprison the rest. Zero tolerance for Independent sympathizers. But the less mercy we have shown them, the stronger they have become. Thus far we've managed to keep the strength of opposition to Alliance rule out of the news, but their numbers are growing and would-be martyrs are flocking to the Browncoat cause in scores.

I find myself in disagreement with my fellow Consuls, who still wish to pursue their hard line approach. It seems to me the time has come for negotiation. Conditions are ripe. Both sides are becoming weary with the fighting and loss of life, even if neither will admit it publicly. So, in the interests of ensuring the future of the Alliance of Unified Planets, I have put out feelers and tried to identify Independent leaders who might be amenable to reason.

According to my sources, the Independents' cell on Brownfields is headed by moderates and offers my best hope for success. Naturally they are unwilling to come to me, fearing a trap. So I must go to them, as proof of my good will. I am only too aware of the dangers of this endeavour. The Independents have no love for me after my part in the war, and there are many on my own side who would view my actions as treason. But I cannot sit by and do nothing and let people die pointless deaths.

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Monday, April 19, 2004 6:08 AM


Ooo...things is getting very interesting.

Love, love, love the Badger piece, you really captured him.

At first I was thinking "where's Kaylee's, did I miss it?", then it kinda hit me, Kaylee herself wasn't manipulated into place, but he dad was after the fact, so that ties her in...very nice. Leaves Kaylee an innocent. I hope. :-)

Monday, April 19, 2004 12:07 PM


You've done a good job reasoning out Nathaniel Frye's reservations over helping the Alliance but gorrammit it makes me go cold thinking of him even entertaining the thought that the Captain would hurt his Kaylee-girl. I hope he comes to his senses and realises he is being used before it is too late. Keep up the good work so we can keep flying! Ali D :~)
You can't keep the sky from me


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