Monday, November 6, 2006

First in a multi-parter following BEGINNINGS, ENDINGS, THE DANCE. The past catches up with Serenity ... The next parts of this could take a while, so bear with me! And my muse needs feedback ...


Five months ago … Khaled Fed Base



“A report’s just come in from Shepherd Delrani at Bathgate Abbey.”

“Delrani? What does that old scoundrel have to say?”

“They’ve had a visit from some suspicious individuals on board a ship called Serenity.”

“Visit. What kind of visit?”

“A sabbatical. Only I cross referenced the names he gave, sir.”


“River and Simon Tam.”

“The Tams? Are you sure?”

“Yes sir. There were unconfirmed reports of a Firefly with the fugitives on board taking off for Persephone nearly three years ago, and some sketchy sightings around the time of the Miranda incident.”

“Three years. You don’t really think they’re still on board?”

“The names tally, sir. Don’t you think we should report this to the Commander, sir?”

“No. I think the names may be a coincidence. Just mark it received and file it. There’s been no new warrants on the Tams for two years. I hardly think that would be the case if they were still a threat, would you?”

“But sir –“

“Just file it. You’ve done your job. Now leave it.” ---

Two months ago … IAV EXCALIBUR



“I came across this in the files. It doesn’t look as if it was ever acted upon.”

“Serenity. So? Just another smuggling ship.”

“The names, sir?”

“Private, it isn’t our problem. If the high-ups wanted to chase this up, they would have. Just put it back in the archives and get on with your work.”

“Yes sir.” ---

One week ago … Alliance Control, Persephone



“You wanted me to let you know if I found anything on the Tams?”


“There’s a report from a Shepherd Delrani, Bathgate Abbey, about some people named River and Simon on board a ship called Serenity.”

“How old is this report?”

“Nearly five months, sir.”

“Did anyone ever investigate?”

“No, sir.”

“Well, leave it with me. And I wouldn’t worry. I think it’s just coincidence.”

“Yes sir.”

The lieutenant waited until he was sure he was alone before dialling up a very secure, highly secret Cortex address.

“Yes?” said the man who appeared on the screen.

“I’m sending you information.” The lieutenant pressed ‘forward’.

The other man read, his surprise shown only by the merest twitch of an eyebrow. “The Tams?” he said. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. We know where they are.”

“No, you don’t. Delete the file.”

The lieutenant paused for only a nanosecond. “Of course. And my payment?”

“As usual.” The man closed the connection then turned to his colleague. “He’s becoming a nuisance,” he added.

“We’ll deal with him in due course,” the second man said. “But he has delivered us something very important.”

“Shall I send out a team?”

“Yes, I think that would be a good idea.” He looked down at the screen. “This could be very profitable.” ---

Kaylee looked down at the display on the stall and smiled happily. Pretty things, little bits of nothing that she’d be able to wear again soon. The smile widened. Not that it mattered, she thought, her hand on her swollen belly. Not with a child soon to look after.

“Kaylee, honey, I’m really not so sure this is a good idea,” Simon said next to her.

“Why not?” She pointed. “Ooh, that’s nice.”

He glanced down but didn’t know what she was referring to, so went back to the matter in hand. “It’s so close to your time …”

She turned to look at him, love on her face, with a slight touch of humour in her eyes. “Simon, it’s over a week yet. And there’s some stuff I need.”

“Stuff? Look, couldn’t River and I –”

“No.” She patted him on the arm then slipped hers through his. “Now come on. Time you get moving this baby’ll be clamouring to be born.” He looked so scandalised that she laughed.

“Kaylee, I was the one who –“

“Simon, honey, I just need to get a few things and we’ll be back on Serenity sooner than you know. Just bear with me, okay?”

He looked at her and sighed. “How did I ever get myself tangled up with someone like you?” he asked.

“Because you stopped running long enough,” River said, appearing like a ghost from nowhere.

Kaylee laughed. “That he did.” She turned her bulk towards the other stalls. “Come on, I’ve got a long list.”

“You said it was a few,” Simon accused.

“So I lied. That’s why you have to come along so you can carry it all for me.” ---

The stallholder handed the ring back, a grin on his face. “Hope it fits,” he said, his voice gravelly.

Mal nodded and turned to look at Freya at his side. She lifted her left hand and he paused a moment.

“Thinking better of it?” she joked.

His lips twitched. “After going to all this trouble to get it resized, I don’t think so,” he said, and slid the ring onto her third finger. He smiled as it fitted perfectly. “Good job,” he said approvingly, turning to the stallholder and pulling a small wad of bills from his pocket. He peeled off two and handed them over. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome,” the man said. “Anything else takes your fancy while you’re here?”

“I don’t think I can afford it,” Mal said, watching as Freya picked up a silver bracelet. “I said we can’t afford it,” he repeated.

“Just looking,” his fiancée grinned, dropping the jewellery back down. “I’ve got the only piece I want.”

Mal smiled and put his arm around her waist. “Me too.” He squeezed. “Now you’ve just got to name the day.”

“I will,” she promised. “I will. Soon.”

He groaned in exasperation. ---

“Are you sure you need all this?” Simon asked, struggling with a large bag and two boxes as they made their way through the shanties back towards the landing area.

“Absolutely!” Kaylee said.

“It’s just that it seems as if we have an awful lot of everything.”

“Do you have any idea how much a baby gets through?” Kaylee asked, checking her list. “And I’m having to make do with a lot of stuff. The Cap’n only came here to drop cargo, and there’s no real shops.”

“It doesn’t seem to have stopped you,” Simon said, one of the boxes slipping. He grabbed for it only to find the other falling out of his grasp.

River was suddenly there, plucking the box out of the air. “Always have to be around to pick up the pieces,” she said smiling.

Kaylee looked up. “Oh,” she said, her face intense.

“What? What is it?” Simon asked, his doctoring kicking in.

“I think … she’s moving.” Kaylee looked at him, a smile forming. “She’s doing a somersault.”

Simon exhaled, relieved. “Babies do that,” he said. “She’ll be settling into her birth position soon.”

“She’s happy,” River said unexpectedly.

“What, sweetie?” Kaylee asked.

“The baby. She’s happy.”

Simon and Kaylee exchanged glances. “Can you hear her?” Simon asked.

River nodded.

“And is everything … all right?” Kaylee put in, her hand on her belly, her eyes hopeful.

“Mmn. She’s happy that you are her parents, and she can’t wait to meet you.” River did a couple of dance steps, then turned around to look at them. “She’s happy.”

“River, are you making this up?” Simon asked, grabbing her arm, needing to know desperately.

“Not making anything up. I wouldn’t lie about this,” she said, giving her brother one of her looks and pulling free. “You don’t need to worry about her,” she went on, skipping forward. “She’s going to be so -” She stopped in her tracks and turned slowly.

“River? What’s - River!” Simon dropped the purchases and rushed across as she fell. He rolled her over gently, shocked beyond measure to see a line of darts down her neck and across her chest. Her eyes were already glazing. “River!” he shouted but she didn’t respond.

“I’ll get Mal,” Kaylee said, turning to hurry as fast as she could towards Serenity when three men came from the dark behind one of the buildings, knocking her down in their bid to get to Simon.

“Kaylee!” the doctor screamed, jumping to his feet but grabbed from behind. “Let me go! I have to -” He tried to pull himself free but the man’s grip was too strong. Struggling futilely he saw one of the other men pick River up like she was a rag doll, slinging her over his shoulder.

Kaylee was on the ground, her arms wrapped protectively around her belly, but her face was turned to him, and he could see pain and torment. “Simon!” she shouted as the other two men went towards him, physically trying to haul him off the ground. He pushed backwards, using the man behind him as a solid point to lift himself up, kicking out. He caught one of the men in the chest, and in the process broke free from the hands holding him. He tried to run between them, to get to Kaylee, but one of the other men pulled a gun from inside his jacket and hit Simon on the side of the head. His vision darkened and the last thing he saw was Kaylee in the dust, one hand on her swollen abdomen, the other reaching out to him, screaming his name. ---

Mal looked up as a small, sleek craft blasted off into the blue, and felt something raise the hairs on the nape of his neck. He looked at Freya, also watching as the vessel disappeared, an odd look on her face. “Mal …” she said.

He nodded, then turned at the sound of people running. “Got a bad feeling about this,” he muttered, following the noise.

The other side of the market, a ways off, was a crowd of people, clustered around something on the ground.

“What’s going on?” Freya asked.

“Don’t know,” a woman said, trying to peer through. “Someone said murder’d been done here.”

“Kidnap,” said one of the other men, correcting her. “Happens around here occasionally.” He looked at Mal. “Slavers, that kind of thing. Though they didn’t look like the usual sort.”

“What do you mean?”

“Mal.“ Freya grabbed his arm as the crowd had parted a little.

Wuh de tyen, ah.” He pushed through the people, going down on his knees. “Kaylee?”

His mechanic, her face anguished, rolled to look at him. “They took him, Cap’n,” she managed to say. “They took Simon and River.”

to be continued


Monday, November 6, 2006 9:00 AM


Oh, the angst! Those tamade hun dans, I'm just glad they didn't hurt Kaylee too badly, at least physically. Poor thing, she's probably going to go into premature labor now and the baby will be breach and Simon's not there ... YIKES!

I hope someone else knows about birthin' babies! More soon, tell your muse to speed it up!

Monday, November 6, 2006 2:06 PM


Gorramit, can't our shiniest of crews ever get a break? And how come those *tamade hundan* who grabbed River and Simon think they're going to make a big killing if the warrants have not been active for over two years? Way to leave us all hanging on the raggedy edge, looks like the start of another thrilling series. Can't wait for more! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, November 6, 2006 6:26 PM


Wow. Way to kick off the next adventure!

I hope to Merciful Buddha that the baby is okay, and that those fool kidnappers get their commupance!

I demand commupance!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 7:11 AM


>"That’s why you have to come along so you can carry it all for me.”

Ahh, the curse of every man when he goes shopping with his woman.


Nice chapter.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 2:45 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER stole from TamSibling...and nothing got said...congrats!


Nah...this is a shinier-than-chrome opening gambit for the crew, Jane0904! Especially the bureaucratic buck-passing at the beginning;)



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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]