The Agent
Sunday, July 30, 2006

A one off, sort-of sequel to my Operative series. Set during Serenity the Pilot,in Dobson's Point of view. Ties up a loose end I left in the series.


Stupid, stupid, stupid. How could he have been so stupid? To be captured and trussed up like a turkey by a bunch of Border Planet, inbred, Browncoat peasants. A simple assignment too. Great. This was going to look just great with his supervisors. A simple assignment, that’s what they had said. Tail the rich brat and his big silver box, and once they were in a suitable position, hail the nearest Alliance complex or cruiser, hand the brat over, and get the praise, and maybe even a step closer to the promotion he had had his eye on for a while. Things had gotten even better when the ship Simon Tam had chosen was a Firefly, ships everyone knew were used for one thing and one thing only: smuggling. Crossing interplanetary borders with a fugitive would land you in deep go-se, and they were clearly up to something else as well. As if he had believed for a moment that they were taking medical supplies to Whitefall. Catching smugglers too would put another notch on his belt. Laurence Dobson winced again as the tiny knife he was using to saw away at his bonds caught on his skin again, slicing the top layer of flesh away like a hot knife through butter. The big mercenary may not have being stupid enough to accept his bribery, but he had only taken Dobson’s visible weapons, not thinking to do a proper weapons search. The knife, which had been strapped to the small of his back, was for such a situation as the one he found himself in now, easily accessible to bound hands. Sharper than a razor, and coated in a special sort of foil to avoid detection in metal scans, it was standard issue for a Federal Agent of his rank. With a pained grimace, he continued to saw. Being a fed had its perks, he had to admit: even his smallest, simplest weapon was far superior to anything that these commoners could lay their hands on. Not that they would be smart enough to try. “Pain is scary,” the mercenary had said. What had Captain Reynolds called him? That was it, Jayne. A mercenary with a girl’s name, Dobson thought, amusement tugging his lips. All that would have been scary about torture at the hands of Jayne would have been having the mercenary’s ugly, ape-like face hovering above him the whole time. It was going to make Dobson a very happy man to turn them all over to the Alliance cruiser he had hailed before they caught him and locked him in his room. Not that they would have captured him if it hadn’t been for that Shepard. Ha! Shepard. That man was no Shepard. No Shepard he ever knew could do moves like that. He would recognise that face anywhere. Operative was a better title for him. Time had done its damage on his face, his hair was now grey, and the cold glint of an assassin had left his eyes, but Dobson had recognised him the moment he laid eyes on “Book”, or whatever he was calling himself now. After all, who would forget the man that had, effectively, ruined your life? Dobson took pleasure from the fact that the old man, who had once made him tremble like a little girl– no, not little girl, don’t think about innocent little girls –no longer recognised him. Of course he wouldn’t. Not only had Dobson changed greatly in the years since he had known Advanced Operative 3988 AT, but he had only been a soldier to him, a faceless servant to do his every bidding, and more besides. Besides, The Operative wouldn’t recognise him anyway, he would have undergone memory suppression the minute he said he wanted to leave the Alliance He scowled as he thought of the Alliance’s memory suppression techniques. If only they had let him undergo the same treatment, but no, Laurence Dobson was a special case. Only, he wasn’t Laurence Dobson back then, he was Elite Soldier No# 767932K under the command of Advanced Operative No# 3988 AT. After his ‘mistake’ on the Cobalt Assignment, the Alliance had taken him to a rehabilitation facility where they had locked him in a plain, white room, left him there for four years while he was tormented day and night by flashbacks of that fateful day and dreams of little girls dying at his blood-soaked hands, dreams which still haunted his sleep, even now, all these years later. They had given him plenty of chances to end it all: giving him shoes with long, strong laces; a guard’s gun hanging tantalisingly out of its holster as she bent to put his food on the table; a doctor ‘accidentally’ leaving a full bottle of pills in his room. But he had refused to give in, knowing that they were testing him, seeing if he could survive his self-inflicted madness, under the philosophy of ‘what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger’. The Alliance did not tolerate weakness of any kind. He had refused to give in, and eventually, four long years later, had passed their test, surfaced from the abyss of madness and despair and been allowed to leave. Impressed with his resilience, the Alliance had reemployed him, but only as a lowly Federal Agent, never to rise back into the ranks of the Elite Guard. They had given him a new name, a new identity, but left him with his memories, to remind him of just how weak he really was, to make sure he would not make the same mistake again. Though sane once more he was far from healed; invisible scars ravished his body and soul, and his heart was now as hard and cold as the bullets he killed with, the guilt and pain only reappearing in his dreams. Until today. He had never meant to shoot that girl, the mechanic. Cheerful and pretty, she was the only one of the crew he would consider defending when the Alliance arrested them all, but once again, panic and fear had clouded his vision .He always tried hard not to shoot the women he dealt with, not wanting to fall back into the abyss from the thin bridge on which he balanced tentatively. But, no matter how hard he tried, history had managed to repeat itself, and now, another innocent young girl could die at his hands. The knife finally tore free of the last layers of tape, and Dobson’s hands jerked apart, free from the bonds they had tied him with. He pushed aside all thoughts of the girl, of the past, rubbing his hands together, chaffing the feeling back into them. He could dwell on his actions later; sink back into the abyss later. For now, as a Federal Agent, he had to do his job.


Sunday, July 30, 2006 6:33 AM


I would just like to say, before I get lynched, any insults towards the BDHs were merely part of Dobson's character, and do not, I repeat do not reflect my views in any way.
Thank you
(Any feedback welcome)

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 10:57 AM


Wow! This was really good. Interesting tie together with Book and Dobson.


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