Misplaced Loyalty
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This was a character history for a Serenity RPG campaign, but I thought it'd be interesting to have a story from the perspective of one of the soldiers who was in that cruiser that Mal shot down in the pilot episode. So here's the story of Captain Madeline Skye. (It's pretty short)


My name is Madeline Skye, I'm 28 years old, and I captain a ship called Defiance. I guess you could say my story begins on Boros where I was born, though my early years weren't much to talk about. Had a sister, a mother and father, and a fine home. Went to school. Went to university for a year or so… like I said, nothing exciting. That's why, for me, my story really begins on October 13th, a Friday, and my 18th birthday. The day I was drafted into the Alliance Armed Forces.

Now, I had no loyalties, not true ones, anyway. The Alliance hadn't done a thing to wrong me or mine, and to tell the truth, we were fairly well off under that regime. But I sure as a hou zi de pigu did not want to fight and die in a war for them. Unfortunately for me, I lived on Boros, and there aren't a lot of opportunities to escape that place without some Alliance officer or another noticin'.

I made the most of my situation, however. Always a ringleader, I showed that I could take control in a group, and it wasn't long before I was promoted to Corporal. It was all just title, though, as I hadn't seen much action. I'd killed a few men, but it was from afar, and wasn't so impactful to me. It was like a game. But that all changed when they sent me and a small group of my men on a small ship to Hera. They divided us into groups of four and shot us out over Serenity Valley in little pods. Now, I don't know how many of those pods landed safely, but mine most certainly did not.

The pod got shot down by a stationary anti-aircraft gun, and then plummeted into the side of a cliff. I don't remember much of what happened, and I don't much like to talk about it. I woke up God knows how long afterward and realized I was the only one who had survived. I know I owe it all to that lucky rabbit's foot my sister gave me before I left. I needed that good luck after having been born on a full moon on the 13th day of a dark month. But I digress…

It took me a while to realize that not only were all my compatriots dead, but that I was just sittin' in a cavern full of dead people. As I looked around, I saw all those faces… all those men and women scattered like trash over this barren wasteland. I'd never seen a corpse so close, nor been so close to being a corpse in all my life, so it was enough to distract me from my own serious injuries. All those people… just dead. Mutilated. It was monstrous, unthinkable, and for a good while, I thought I just wanted to die. I thought I could never go on knowing what I had done, knowing that I had played at war like some stupid game. It didn't matter whether they were Alliance or Independent. All that mattered was that somewhere they had left something or someone behind, and now here they were, rotting like garbage.

The human mind can be an interesting thing. It can force you to keep on going when your heart wants to stop. I carefully switched uniforms with a fallen Browncoat, knowing that it was more likely that they'd come across me than would my own people. It was agonizing work. I prayed every second that I would be forgiven for disrespecting the dead. Possibly even more agonizing was the physical aspect of it. Both my legs were broken and I had shrapnel embedded in my stomach and chest. It took me almost half an hour to change, and by the time I was done, I was more exhausted than I'd ever been in my entire life. Still, I managed to drag myself away from the wreckage and into a bombed-out foxhole. Some time later, a Browncoat medic and what was left of his regiment found me.

Not knowing how to answer him if he asked me anything about who I was, I made as if I was unable to speak. He talked to me anyway, and so did the others. His name was Charlie Rosen, the Sergeant’s name was Patrick Wilson, and there were two Private First Classes by the names of Eli Wing and Olivia Xiang. The kindness that they showed me was more than I can explain in words. They couldn't do much to treat me; supplies were low and there was no help coming in from the air. As I listened to their story I was deeply ashamed of who I was and what I had done, especially when we all realized that the Alliance was leaving everyone there to die slowly while they negotiated with the Independents. Charlie had already lost twenty people who would have lived if the air support had come in. Olivia's fiancée had perished and Eli couldn't find either of his two brothers. They left us there for hours. The sound of people calling out for help or screaming in pain was unbearable but far worse was the inevitable silence that slowly crept in on us as all those people stopped crying out and stopped breathing. By the time any help came, I was unconscious, finally having succumbed to the pain and the despair.

I woke up a week later. It didn't take the Alliance long to identify me as one of their own and they had transported me to some high-tech facility to treat my wounds. I didn't realize how bad off I had been. My left leg was amputated below the knee, and I had undergone surgery to repair a liver torn by the shrapnel. They asked if they should contact my family or any friends. I told them I was finished with all of that, and they should just let me be.

As soon as I was released from the hospital a month later, I took my reimbursement (apparently they had decided that my leg and my fully functioning liver were worth 2000 credits altogether) and I got the hell outa' dodge. I turned my back on the Alliance just as they had turned their backs on thousands of innocent people. I was 21, crippled, alone, and angry. I never saw Charlie, Pat, Eli or Olivia ever again, but I swore to God I would make amends for what I had participated in. It took me a year to master walking with a prosthesis, and as soon as that was done, I started my life of small-time crookery and activism. I got myself a ship- the Defiance- and I started taking jobs, no matter how small, that would help the Independents and would infuriate the Alliance.

I know it's the government. The people in the government are the ones to blame, so they're the ones I cause trouble for. All their civilian supporters are just stupid saps like I was, and they need a fucking wake-up call. Well, that's what I intend to give them.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006 4:29 PM


Wow....this is great stuff you've done here, dreadpirate! Definitely gotta love seeing the stories of those on the periphery of events portrayed in the series and movie:D

One note though...Mal shot down a fighter craft or skiff with that AA gun. Not a troop deployment pod;)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 4:52 PM


oops! My bad. I've only seen that episode like a gajillion times, so you'd think I'd have noticed that.


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Misplaced Loyalty
This was a character history for a Serenity RPG campaign, but I thought it'd be interesting to have a story from the perspective of one of the soldiers who was in that cruiser that Mal shot down in the pilot episode. So here's the story of Captain Madeline Skye. (It's pretty short)

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