The Endgame Scenario - Hindsight
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Everything always looks better in hindsight.


‘Is it dead?’ Mal asked. There was a scream, and four of the creatures ran through the debris. They looked pissed. The cigar man swore loud and long. Meanwhile, Mal made his way off the wall, down to Serenity, narrowly missing a tank. He watched as a flare fired into the sky, clearing the air of dust. The intercom screamed for people to evacuate. Ten seconds later, the wall erupted, and the Spectres came pouring in.

That was less than a month ago.

Since then, Mal had been drifting in space. Safest place to be, Jayne had reasoned. Spectres were rarely found on ships, preferring to concentrate on ground forces instead. It was a massacre, nothing less, but even that was naught compared to the orbital bombardment by EXCALIBUR, the Alliance’s shiny new toy. Harnessed energy from outside the universe, or something. Hell, Mal was no rocket scientist, no mechanic. He knew how his ship worked from touch, from knowing, not through a thousand and one degrees.

Mal sat back in his chair up on the bridge, and wondered how everything had come crashing down around him so fast. His crew just packed up and left. Well, most of them, anyway.

Zoë, surprisingly, was the first. As the months wore on after their little visit to Miranda, Zoë became quieter, rarely saying anything. When she did speak, she spoke in one-word sentences. Eventually, the day came that Zoë didn’t talk at all. For three whole weeks, not a word left her lips, until she told Mal she was leaving the ship, that she didn’t feel comfortable working, living in Serenity any more. He’d understood of course, but that didn’t take away from the pain of her departure. She kept in touch every couple of weeks. Weeks that turned into months. She’d been hired by a security firm, guns-for-hire, but legal-like. Mal imagined her as a bodyguard for some high-flying bureaucrat and his mistress. He hadn’t heard from her since the start of the war. Doubted he ever would.

The war itself hit with astoundingly little effect. They still did jobs, they still worked, but everyone became…less apathetic, forgetting to care about the world around them when it was already falling apart. He still remembered why. The Alliance accused a fanatical pro-Independence terrorist unit of assassinating the Deputy Prime Minister, and used it as an excuse to lay into any anti-government forces they saw as a threat. Within weeks, heavy cruisers had parked high above rim worlds, and just beat the living crap out of them. For everyone with a grudge to bear against the Alliance, this was a call to arms, and a war that lasted two whole years. Technically.

As the war raged on, Mal noticed Kaylee and her boy-toy – Mal still refused to refer to Simon as her lover – getting more serious about their relationship, frighteningly so. He saw Kaylee start to look at larger dresses, maternity clothes, while Simon spent a large amount of time on the cortex looking through habitable planets. Then Kaylee began mood swings. She ate more, a whole lot more, and strange things, too. Pineapples with milk. Toasted bananas. Eventually, one dinner, Simon revealed what they’d all known, that they were leaving Serenity for the border world of Trident. For Mal, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He went berserk. He didn’t like Simon’s idea one little bit, and told him so. Simon responded in an equally civil tongue that he did not appreciate Mal’s constructive feedback. Mal told him he could go fornicate a cactus if he thought Mal would let his doctor, mechanic, and for the past year, pilot, leave his ship in one fell swoop. Simon argued that Mal had no right to control how and where his family lived. Mal pointed out that as long as they worked for him, they three of them would be staying on his ship. River then proceeded to correct Mal, mentioning only that there were not three of them, but four.

It took a few seconds for this to sink in, and the table collapsed into silence, bar Kaylee’s muted sobs, as the penny dropped. Mal told Simon how he had taken him into his ship, his home, and how Simon had repaid him by knocking up his mechanic. Simon replied by saying that Mal was immature, having never truly acknowledged their relationship for more than lust, but true to form love. Simon then went on to say how just because Mal never fulfilled his ambitions with Inara, didn’t mean he had to take it out on them. At this point, Mal hit him.


It eventually happened, anyway. Simon and Kaylee left his ship, but surprisingly, River didn’t follow. She stayed behind, for reasons Mal couldn’t figure. Never did figure either, since River disappeared a few months back, saying that she needed to “Follow a path laid out for her” or something. Shortly after they left, about a month or two later, Simon and Kaylee got married. Mal got an invitation, but didn’t want to go. The only reason he came anywhere near Trident was because River and Jayne did want to go, and so Mal had to wait while his pilot and gunhand got blisteringly drunk. He saw Kaylee as well, got a big hug. Saw Simon, barely. Just a general congratulations, before heading off. The wedding itself was a small affair: A priest, and Serenity were it, apart from some wedding photographer who went by the name of Shooter. Some time later, the happy couple had a kid. A little girl. Amy. To the best of his knowledge they were still there, raising a family.

Then, of course, there was Jayne. Jayne…had stayed, funnily enough. Mal still didn’t know why. The man was puddle-deep, yet at the same time managed to keep so much hidden. For the most part, Mal didn’t much care why Jayne had chosen to stay, only that he was glad of the company.

It got lonely up here in space.


Thursday, May 31, 2007 6:45 PM


Oh, Mal what have you done? This doesn't bode well for our captain, but the story intrigues. I'll be interested to read the next chapter.

Friday, June 1, 2007 1:03 AM


You rattled this depressing scenario off with hardly a pause for breath. Not so much a story or a chapter of one as a summary. I could see Zoe leaving after Wash's death and Miranda but you never actually told that story, there were no conversations, nothing to bring to life the events you describe in a clipped gloss leaving me breathless at the pace of it and unsatisfied by the lack of depth in the content. Not sure what your intention is here, whether this glimpse of what could have been is the entirety of what you are writing or whether this is a backdrop to let us know what is coming up in a new story. I also think that Kaylee and Simon would have been much more sensitive about dropping the bombshell that they were leaving Serenity to start a family, knowing it would effectively ground the ship and leave the Captain and Jayne with no future in the Black. Even River only stayed for a short while. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 1, 2007 2:46 PM


A tad bit on the thin side, but definitely some intriguing stuff here, BrainSpecialist. Like AMDOBELL, I had hoped that if you were gonna explore the slow collapse of Serenity's "family," that we would get more than a cursory explanation...but I am eager to see what else you come up with concerning this storyline;)


P.S. Mean this in all good humour...but I hope to Book's Special Hell you got reginaroadie's permission to use Shooter, even in passing;)

Sunday, August 12, 2007 2:36 PM


I'm actually glad you did the skimming thing. Gives you time to get into the rest of your story without useless exposition-as is so often the case on this site. A relatively logical sense of events and reactions (as opposed to others-Jayne/Kaylee-What the!) and a good summary.


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