Out to the black Chapter 3
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Allan is introduced to the crew, learns of the Alliance and it's atrocities. and completes one step in the quest for his dreams


Out to the black Chapter 3

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. I’m just playing. No money being made.

This is my first Fan Fic ever. Constructive reviews are shiny.

This fic takes place two years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee and Mal/Inara along with a Jayne/River friendship.

A/N Sorry for the delay in postings, I work weekends so time for writing is at a premium. Also this chapter is a bit long and slightly fluffy but I needed to get Allan established in the ‘verse. Some action is forthcoming, I promise.

Out to the black

Chapter three – New Beginnings

Allan stiffly made his way into Free Bird’s pilots seat. He felt like he had just sat in this seat hours ago, but in reality, he had been in cryo- stasis for four hundred years. “Wow, Four hundred years” Allan thought. He was still trying to get his mind around that number. He wondered what cultural changes, politics, scientific progress or any other myriad changes had happened to human society.

With practiced ease, Allan began placing Free Bird in a form of stasis itself. Flipping switches and entering commands into the computer using the small keyboard to the left of the chair. Systems were powered down and placed in standby mode. Last to be shut down was life support. But he needed to warn the crewmembers of Serenity that were on his ship before he did that.

Easing himself back to his feet, Allan stiffly made his way aft to the small cargo bay where he found Mal, Zoë and Simon.

“All shut down except for life support and gravity. I still need to grab my clothing and personal items.”

“Good enough Allan”, Mal replied. “Any idea what you want ta’ grab from in here”

“The crates are color coded. Blue is survival supplies or food. Green is farming supplies. Red are… well munitions, guns and ammunition and purple are things that can have monetary value. Some precious metals and gems.”

“You’ve got guns?” Zoë asked.

“Yeah, I grew up on a farm, learned to shoot, hunt and fish from the time I was a small boy. And not knowing what I might find out here I thought I might want to be just a bit prepared.”

“Don’t worry,” Allan continued, “I don’t plan on taking over your ship, I’m very grateful you folks found me ” Allan finished with a warm smile.

Zoë smiled at that. She was warming up to this stranger a bit. “Better not let Jayne near any o’ this stuff. It’s three of the four things on his mind. Food, guns and money.”

“What’s the fourth?” Allan asked.

“Women” chorused Mal Zoë and Simon, with smiles on their faces.

Allan just laughed.

It took about an hour for the quartet to move the crates Allan had wanted to take with him into the tunnel connecting Free Bird and Serenity. Turning off the gravity on Free Bird helped the job immensely.

After a final pass through his ship, Allan joined Mal below Free Bird’s airlock. Zoë and Simon had already returned to serenity

“All set?” Mal asked.

“I think so,” Allan said holding a large duffel bag. Containing his clothing and other items.

“Well get on up th’ tube, I’ll be up directly, since I still got my suit I gotta’ remove the tunnel once you get aboard.”

“Thank you Captain”

“Don’t think on it, we’re all just folk making our way in the ‘verse. Some folks need a hand from time to time”

With a smile, Allan pushed off upwards through the airlock into the tunnel leading to Serenity. As Allan entered Serenity’s airlock, he was met by an outstretched hand attached to a pretty girl dressed in a pair of sleeveless olive coveralls with a teddy bear on the left leg over a flowered shirt beaming at him with a huge smile.

“Welcome ta’ Serenity, I’m Kaylee, ships mechanic. You got’s a right shiny ship there mister”

“Thanks, Kaylee, please call me Allan.” He smiled back. Kaylee seemed to light up the room with her presence alone, Allan thought.

“If’n you want, drop your gear over there by your other stuff till I helps the Capn’ get the tunnel stowed then I’ll show ya’ to your room.”

“Thank you” was the reply.

While he waited, Allan took the time to look around the cargo bay. Several catwalks lined the walls, showing age but seemed in good repair, various crates were piled on either side of the bay and in the corner underneath some stairs was a weight bench that didn’t look any different from the one Allan had in the barn growing up. Looking up he spied a strange looking machine that looked half car, half tractor and all strange since it didn’t have any wheels. It was suspended by a large hoist system.

The ship reminded Allan of the old ocean going freighters he used to see in Boston Harbor back in his college days. Sighing, Allan sat down on one of the crates brought over from Free Bird. He tried to think about what his future might entail now. He knew that if he had stayed on Earth, he might have lived to a ripe old age. His wealth would probably have shielded him from the worst of the strife happening but it wasn’t a guarantee. If his plan had worked he would have been the first to see the new worlds and perhaps been able to effect some changes on how things were done.

Now none of that was going to happen. His fate was in the hands of a freighter captain and his crew. Of which he had only met four. Who knows what the others were like. “Well,” he said to himself, “Allan m’ boy, today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

The clanging shut of a metal door brought Allan out of his reverie. Looking up he saw that Kaylee was helping the Captain out of his pressure suit.

“Thanks Kaylee,” Mal said.” Now scoot offta’ bed, need my mechanic all bright n’ bushy tailed in the mornin. Sides, it’s your turn to cook breakfast. I’ll see our guest to his room”

“Night Capn’”, Kaylee relied back with a smile.” Gotta finish what done got interrupted when the prox alarm went off”, she finished with a twinkle in her eye.

“I meant sleep there girl. Leave the good doctor alone, he needs his rest too.” Mal scolded but with a slight grin on curling his lips.

“Okay” she grumped, turning to Allan and flashing a brilliant smile she said” “Night Allan, sees’ ya’ in the mornin” and skipped off to the stairs and began climbing.

“Is she always so cheerful?” Allan asked Mal.

“Yep, a reg-u-lar ray of sunshine our Kaylee is”

“I take it she and the doc are a couple?”

“Yeah, like to keep us up nights with the noise comin’ from their bunk.”

“ I can imagine, she is a pretty girl”

“Best mechanic in the ‘verse to boot”, Mal replied like a proud father “Well it’s about three AM ships time, need to get a little sleep tonight, I’ll show you to one o’ the passenger dorms. Someone will come get ya’ for breakfast.”

“ Funny how you put that Captain, you would think that after four hundred years in cryo I wouldn’t be tired, but actually I’m pretty beat” Allan said with a grin.

“Well the rooms ain’t fancy, but pretty comfortable. Grab yer’ stuff and follow me”.

“Lead on Captain” Allan said stifling a yawn and picking up his duffel.

Mal lead Allan across the bay through a hatch and down a few steps into a smaller room with some chairs and a sofa. “This here’s the common area and over here on the left is the infirmary.” Mal said pointing, “Across the way is the head and passenger shower. And back here are the dorms”.

Mal continued, “The rooms here on the left side belong to the Doc and his Sister River, she’s our pilot and you’ll meet her in the mornin. You can use Shepherd Books old room.”

“Who’s Shepherd Book?” Allan asked

Mal got a distant look in his eyes as he replied, “ Book was our… Chaplain, I guess you could call him, died coupla’ years back. Well here ya’ go” Mal pointed.

As Mal slid back what looked to be a Japanese style paper door but on closer examination was made of some kind of translucent plastic. Allan could see that the room contained a twin-sized bed, a dresser and a small desk. “Make yer’ self t’ home” Mal said turning to leave

“Captain?” Allan asked.


“How hard will it be to get back to my ship? I mean there’s a lot of space out there and free Bird’s still moving at a pretty good clip”

“Not to fret” Mal replied with a smile. “River is right smart, does most of the nav calculations in her head, she’s already figured out where your ship’ll be in a weeks time. Probably be able to navigate us back within a hundred feet with her eyes closed. Besides, I left a beacon on it, it’ll guide us back with no problem”.

“Thanks Captain” said a visibly relived Allan.

“Night” Mal said as he closed the door.

Allan found himself alone in the small room. Running his hands through his hair he sat on the edge of the bed. Kicking off his sneakers, he laid down and was asleep in moments.

Allan slowly became aware of the sounds that Serenity and her crew made as he slowly woke up. Keeping his eyes closed he really didn’t want to get out of bed yet. As a boy he enjoyed sleeping in when he could but that wasn’t often since he grew up on a farm with chores to do before the sun came up. As he grew older he found that he rarely slept late since his body was used to waking early.

He could feel the slight vibration of the engine through the bed, his nostrils picked up the faint scent of what smelled like bacon cooking. And another scent he couldn’t quite place. It smelled a bit like jasmine. Allan then thought he could detect the sound of someone breathing. He opened his eyes…

“YAHHHH!!!” Allan yelled.

Six inches from his face was the face of a young girl. Her face was framed with long brown hair and she had large brown doe eyes. Her lips carried a slight smirk as she tilted her head to the side, looking very much like a bird of prey looking at its breakfast.

As Allan tried to catch his breath. From the start he had gotten, the girl spoke.

“I’m River.” She said simply.

“Um, uh… hi” Allan stammered out.

“The morning meal is almost ready. Make haste if you do not want to miss out. Jayne eats like a horse and we have real bacon this morning.” She replied as she stood back up to her full height from where she had been leaning over Allan. She continued,” We land in two hours.”

Spinning gracefully on her heel, her red dress twisting with her, she skipped from Allan’s room with a giggle.

“O-kay… That was interesting and creepy,” Allan said to himself.

Allan swung his feet to the floor and stood to his six-foot height. Stretching, his arms over his head, he felt and heard a slight pop in his back “ow,” he said.

Pulling a pair of jeans and a comfortable polo shirt out of his duffel, Allan quickly dressed, pulled on his sneakers and exited the dorm. Remembering that the head was just ahead, he made use of it. Exiting the small bathroom Allan began wondering how he was going to get to breakfast since he had no idea how to get to the dining area. As he stood in the center of the common area wondering what to do a voice came out of a speaker mounted on the overhead.

”Breakfast’s ready, come and get it b’fore Jayne eats it all!” The voice sounded like the mechanic, Kaylee that Allan had met the night before.

“Good Morning”

Allan jumped a bit at the voice behind him. Turning, he saw Simon approaching him from the direction of the dorms.

“Uh, mornin’ Simon, startled me a bit there”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean too” Simon seemed to switch gears into doctor mode, “ How are you feeling this morning?”

“Pretty good actually, and for some reason I feel like I haven’t had a meal in four hundred years” Allan replied with a slight smile.

Simon chuckled a bit. I imagine so, I’ll show you to the galley.

Simon turned ad began climbing the stairs located next to the infirmary, Allan followed.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew had gathered around the rough table in the center of the dining area except for Kaylee as she was still putting the finishing touches to breakfast. River was sitting cross-legged at the far end of the table, opposite Mal who was at his usual spot at the head.

“Waddya’ think about our guest there lil’ Albatross?” Mal asked the ships resident psychic.

River tilted her head a bit to the side and smiled, “A good man, some sadness, but hides it well. He will be family. Seven becomes eight.” She said with conviction in her small voice.

Mal harrumphed a bit at the family part but knew in the back of his mind that River was never wrong about things like that.

Inara spoke up placing her hand on Mal’s “What is he like?”

“Seems a nice enough fella, a bit discombobulated last night but that’s to be expected” Mal replied with a smile to the woman sitting next to him.

“Don’t see much profit in pickin’ up strays again.” Jayne said in his usual gruff voice, “Last two didn’t do nothin but cause trouble for quite a spell. Took em’ a while to work out. Not sure I got’s the patience to do it again”. The Merc said looking directly at River.

River gave Jayne her “Boob” look and stuck out her tongue. Laughing Jayne went back to his coffee. He and River had settled their differences long ago and this morning’s conversation was just their normal friendly bickering.

“I think it’s shiny that we helped this fella out,” Kaylee said from the stove.

Simon entered the galley with Allan in tow. Breaking off from his charge, Simon strode over to Kaylee and planted a kiss firmly on her lips.

“Gahhh! Will you two knock it off? We’re tryin’ to eat here,” Mal said with some humor in his voice.

“Mal, don’t be such a prude” Said Inara just before she leaned over and pecked him on the cheek and flashing him one of her heart melting smiles.

“Well, I uh… I’m the Captain!” Mal blurted out.

The rest of the table erupted in laughter. Standing off to the side, Allan had watched the whole exchange and couldn’t help but smile. It reminded him of the kitchen table at the farm when his cousins were visiting. It gave him a warm feeling inside.

“Good morning” Allan said with a smile to the throng of people in front of him. Hoping to break the ice a bit. The laughter stopped suddenly. All faces turned to him and Allan felt like a microbe under a microscope. Looking around the room he made eye contact with everyone. At the far end was the Captain smiling, on his left was Zoë holding a coffee mug and looking a bit tired with a neutral expression on her face. On Mal’s right was, in Allan’s opinion one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Even dressed as simply as she was in a button front white blouse and a long tan skirt, this woman with the curly dark hair and slightly exotic features looked like she was more at home in a ball gown.

Smiling at each other, Kaylee and Simon slid into chairs looking at him expectantly as they sat next to Zoë. Allan’s eyes moved down the table to one of most intimidating men Allan had ever met. He was large, well muscled and looked at Allan like he was something the big man needed to scrape off the bottom of his shoes. Sitting on the table her legs crossed was the girl that had wakened Allan that morning, still giving him that bird of prey look but now with a goofy grin on her face.

“Have a seat Mr. Bryant”, Mal said as he indicated the empty chair next to the dark haired woman.

“Thank you Captain, but please, call me Allan, When you say Mr. Bryant, I keep looking for my Father”. Allan said with a bit more confidence. He knew that they were all sizing him up and he hoped to make a good impression since he knew that his life depended on this small group of people.

“Okay, Allan,” Mal said smiling, I guess some introductions are in order. You met Zoë, Kaylee and Simon last night”.

Allan nodded at each of them in turn.

“And on my right here is Miss Inara Serra. She’s our… Ambassador so to speak”

“Welcome to Serenity Allan” Inara said to the older man next to her, extending her hand for a handshake with a smile on her beautiful face that would melt a glacier.

Allan, realizing that she was a woman of grace and upbringing, took the offered hand and kissed it. “The pleasure is all mine.” he smiled back.

Kaylee giggled, as did River while Mal theatrically cleared his throat and shot Allan a glare that would probably have been fatal if the old saying about looks that can kill had been true.

Allan gulped a bit “oops, he thought to himself”.

“Continuin’”, Mal said, “The big lunk down the table is Jayne Cobb, our… security specialist.”

“Mr. Cobb”, Allan nodded. Jayne just grunted, River smacked him on the shoulder.

“And last but not least over there imitatin’ a placemat, is River Tam our pilot and resident genius”.

“We met earlier” Allan said quietly.

“Scared him” River said with a twinkle in her eyes

“Moonbrain’s good for that” Jayne guffawed.

“Well now that that’s taken care of, lets eat,” Mal said with a grin. “Got work to do today”.

Food was passed around. While simple the meal was pretty good considering the powdered eggs and strangely textured toast. The coffee was not the best but drinkable. Allan had had much worse coffee in his life.

The conversation around the table was good-natured with ribbing and joking insults between River now sitting in a chair and Jayne, Zoë making the odd comment to the various conversations going on around her. Kaylee and Simon, acting like a couple of love struck teenagers. Mal and Inara eating in relative silence.

“So Allan,” Kaylee piped up. “What’s your story? How’d you come to be all the way out here in the black so far from home?

“Kaylee,” shushed Inara

“It’s alright” Allan said with a smile, “it’s a long story, though.”

“We’ve got some time b’fore we land” Mal said.

“One hour, twenty two minutes, fifteen seconds… Approximately” River replied.

“Close enough Lil’ Albatross” Mal laughed. “Well Allan?”

Allan started in telling his story about how he had been a bright child and had gone on to invent a practical spacecraft propulsion system Co-invented artificial gravity for spacecraft, designed the exodus ships and of his desire to travel to the new system to see them for himself. The deceptions he used to facilitate his building of Free Bird. He also spoke of his dislike for the US/China Alliance that was the government on earth when he left. That’s why Allan had painted and American flag and the words “United States” on the sides of Free Bird, since he considered himself an American, not a citizen of the Alliance.

There had been a few questions while he spoke but for the most part Serenity’s crew was silent. When he finished Mal looked down the table to River with a questioning look.

“Truthful” was all she said.

Looking a bit, confused Allan said. “Excuse me?”

Changing the subject quickly, River spoke again. “Captain Daddy, Can Allan accompany us to the bridge for our landing?”

“I think so Tross’ think he might enjoy it?”

“Yes” River said with a smirk

Allan was still a bit confused, which seemed to be his perpetual state at the moment. Looking to Simon he asked “Captain Daddy?”

“River considers the Captain to be more of a father to her than our own father has been. We had some… Family problems at home”. “I see”, Allan replied. “That’s too bad. Family is very important”

“Well we have found another family here with this crew.”

“ I can see that” Allan said in admiration.

The Captain interrupted,” Okay folks we’s got work to do. Zoë, Jayne get the Mule prepped, Kaylee get to the engine room.” Mal then looked to Inara, “Boa-bei, can you see to the Galley?”

“Yes Dear” Inara said rolling her eyes. “But, you had better make it up to me later”. As she fixed him with a smoldering gaze.

Mal looked a bit red for a moment and then stammered, “Uh, yeah, well I got, um, Captainy things to do…”

Grabbing Allan’s hand, River began to drag him from the Dining area, “Come on, they’re having a moment…”

River pulled Allan along the forward passageway giving a bit of a tour. “These are the crew bunks, except for Simon and I, we are down in the dorms. and this…” she paused as they climbed a short stairwell.” Is Serenity’s bridge”.

Allan looked around as he stepped onto the bridge, it looked utilitarian with exposed wiring trunks and ductwork. Two mirror image control consoles sat behind a large expanse of glass. Between them Allan could see another stairwell leading down.

River sat in the right hand seat and began flipping switches. “You can sit in the co-pilots chair… Just don’t touch anything,” she said smiling.

Allan made his way over to the left seat and sat down. Several screens were alive with info. Half of which he couldn’t make heads or tails out of since it seemed to be written in Chinese. Allan finally saw what Serenity actually looked like from a schematic on one of the screens to his left. The screen shoed details about various ships systems as far as he could tell. The ship vaguely resembled an insect of some kind. With an extended neck and bulbous rear section that looked eerily similar to his own ships radion accelerator core propulsion system.

In the middle appeared to be two short stub wings with that looked like addional engines on the ends of the wings. The Engineer in him decided that while not overtly graceful the design looked quite functional for a freighter.

Next to him in the pilots seat, River felt Allan’s thoughts about serenity and smiled. “Firefly’s are a good design, very rugged and easy to repair. We’ve actually crashed this ship once…”

Allan looked at her alarmed.

River continued,” I wasn’t flying, Zoë’s late husband Wash was. An EMP pulse had struck us and most systems went offline, including the engines. We were falling in a flat spin. Wash managed to get a little power restored and he was able to make a controlled crash landing”.

“Sounds like he was an exceptional pilot to be able to salvage a situation like that.” Allan said with admiration. “Was he killed in the crash?”

River looked sad and said “No… that happened after”

Realizing he had hit a touchy subject, Allan tried to change the subject of the conversation.

“What can you tell me about the planet we’re landing on?”

“Boros is a bit of a backwater,” Mal said as he entered the bridge,” has a few small cities and the like but it’s pretty undeveloped.”

River then moved the controls and the star field visible outside shifted a bit to reveal a brown and green planet. Allan’s eyes widened and his breath caught in his throat. It was beautiful. Several small oceans were visible along with numerous weather systems in the atmosphere.

Mal looked over at his guest and smiled. “First time?”

“For any planet other then Earth. Uh, I’ve never seen… I mean, uh, um, a whole new world…wow!” was all that Allen could speak. Sounding like a little kid and not the fifty two year old engineer and pilot he actually was.

The planet was getting bigger by the second and all Allan could do was stare. Mal placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Just think, there’s bou’t fifteen more full sized planets like this and a buncha’ moons ta’ boot.”

Allan just shook his head “It’s amazing. How many had to be terriformed?”

“All to some extent but Londonium was the most earthlike”, River replied. “It could be lived on as soon as people arrived from earth that was. There were some rudimentary forms of plant life but no animals had yet evolved. Five years after the arrival it was quite comfortable and earthlike. Shinon was the next closest in climate. It was made habitable in lest than ten years.

Allan had a huge smile on his face his dreams had come true at long last. Humanity had found a new home among the stars. “What form does the government take nowadays?” he asked.

River glanced quickly at Mal feeling the anger in his mind. Mal answered Allan’s question.

“The Alliance still exists… They, well they’re nothing like what you’ve described about what existed on Earth that was.” Mal paused for a moment. “They’re worse.”

Allan’s face fell “oh no” was all he could say.

River looked at Mal and they shared a look while Allan stared out through the windows.

“How can they be worse?” Allan asked quietly.

River looked at Mal who nodded. She answered Allan’s question. “I was a child prodigy, Taking College courses before I was ten. My parents found out about a special… Academy for gifted children. I wanted to go. I was fourteen. At first it was all that it was supposed to be, a special school, I learned many new things, then, then…”

River’s voice broke and she had begun to sob. Mal picked up the story. “They did things to her, cut inta’ her brain, brainwashin’, combat training, all kinds of torture. Enhanced, I guess certain… Abilities River had. Made her into a reader, made her an assassin. She was seventeen when Simon finally got her out.

Allan was aghast. “A reader?”

River had regained her composure. “I can read minds, I hear voices in my head from other minds. Sometimes I can see what might happen as well. But it’s not true precognition.”

“When Simon got me out, I was insane,” River continued. “I couldn’t tell my thoughts from those of others, I… Well couldn’t cope with it well.”

“How did you find your way here?” Allan asked.

“The Alliance put a price on our heads, marked us as fugitives, Simon put me in cryo trying to escape since they were looking for a brother and sister and not one man with a big box in his luggage. Simon got us to Persephone where he booked passage on Serenity. We’ve been here ever since.

“You said you were insane when you got here”

“Yes, I was slowly getting a little better with Simon’s treatment but I probably wasn’t ever going to be normal again. Later we found out that a secret that I had accidentally read from a government official was the root cause of most of my psychosis.”

Mal cut in. “The Alliance had terriformed a planet they called Miranda. To try to keep the population under control they put a drug in the air processors called Pax. It made the people so passive that they all just laid down, stopped eating and drinking and eventually died… thirty million people”

Allan’s jaw dropped. “My god” was all he could gasp out.

“It gets worse” River said. “About one tenth of a percent of those exposed to the pax had the opposite reaction. They went mad, killing and raping and eating their victims. They fly about in old wrecks of ships raiding settlements, killing the inhabitants and eating them for food. We call them Reavers.”

Allan thought he was going to be sick. Five minutes ago he had been elated that mankind had colonized so many worlds and had fulfilled his dream, now he had learned it was a nightmare.

A beep from the console drew River’s attention. “Entering atmo in one minute” she said professionally, shifting her focus to flying Serenity.

“Okay Tross’, I’m headin’ down to the bay, try not ta’ plaster us all over the landscape”

“Yes sir Capn’ Daddy”

Mal Snorted and exited the bridge.

Allan turned from Mal’s departure and looked out the bridge windows. The planet was now filling the view. It also didn’t look as pristine to him now. The blood of innocents tainted it. Allen unfortunately had a tendency to indulge in self-pity from time to time. His usual happy go lucky personality masked it for the most part but as he started to see the first wisps pf superheated plasma dance on the windows as Serenity collided with the upper atmosphere of Boros, he thought that it was all his fault somehow.

If he hadn’t designed the ships, River probably wouldn’t have been born and then wouldn’t have had to go through the torture she had endured. Thirty Million people wouldn’t have been born and then died at the hands of the Alliance. If only…

River interrupted his thoughts. “Not your fault” she said over the noise of the ever-increasing vibration of reentry. “All happens for a reason. You are supposed to be here now. Perhaps something will change. If not for you I wouldn’t be here doing what I love”

As River said that she smoothly maneuvered Serenity into a perfectly executed barrel roll as the ship entered the lower atmosphere.

Allan couldn’t help but smile, “Damn girl, you fly like I do”

River Giggled,” I can only do that when the Captain isn’t on the bridge. If you would like I will teach you how to fly Serenity.”

“I’d like that, and once we get Free Bird up and Running, I’ll return the favor”

“Deal” River said with a wide grin.

River deftly maneuvered Serenity lower over Boros. Allan could see details now. Forests, mountains and fields broken up with small streams. It reminded Allen of Wyoming or Montana. Approaching a small sized city, River banked the ship to port aiming for the small spaceport located at the edge of the city river called New Edmonton.

With a flourish, River settled the ship into its assigned berth. Once on the ground she pushed a button on the com over her head. “We’re down Kaylee”

“K’ Riv” was the short reply.

“Come on Allan, let’s go to the bay, and see the rest off”

River led Allan aft down past the crew bunks and then down the stairs onto the catwalk overlooking the cargo bay. Simon was waiting on the landing for Allan, holding a hypo gun.

“Excuse me Allan, but you’ve never been exposed to any of the diseases prevalent now. This is a broad-spectrum inoculation to keep you from getting sick.”

“Thanks Simon, Last thing I need is some weird flu bug”.

The hypo hissed against Allan’s forearm with just a bit of a twinge as the drugs entered his system.

The massive bay door was slowly opening and a breeze blew in through the opening. Taking a deep breath he felt the air of another world for the first time. He felt a bit dizzy from the emotion of the moment, or it could have been the shot Simon had just given him.

“It’s both” river said next to him.

“Huh?” Allan grunted, then suddenly realized that river had responded to something he had thought about.

“Not to worry” River replied to his slightly shocked expression.” I’m not actively reading you. I don’t do that to friends. You are just thinking rather loudly at the moment and I can’t filter it all out”

“Sorry, I’ll try to think… Quieter” Allan replied wondering how he was going to do that.

River patted her new friend’s arm and virtually floated down the stairs to the floor of the bay. Allan was struck by her grace. Simon moved up beside him.

“She was training to be a ballerina besides majoring in astrophysics,” Simon said with a proud look on his face.

“She told me about the academy”

Simon’s face fell. “I’m afraid you have arrived in interesting times… And I mean that in the way of the old Chinese curse”

“Yeah, I gathered that. It’s a lot to soak up in less than twenty-four hours”.

Simon smiled again, “When you get a minute, I’d like to see you in the infirmary for a check up. Just to make sure there’s no lingering problems from the cryo, I do believe that you are now the ‘verse’s record holder for time spent in cryo.”

“Okay, Doc, I imagine I am. I’ll be there in a bit.”

Allan made his way down the stairs to the bay looking at the yellow vehicle now hovering in the center of the bay. His engineers eye picked up that it had some sort of anti-gravity hover system.

Zoë was in what looked to be the driver’s seat, with Inara next to her. Jayne and the Captain were in the two rearmost seats. Everyone except for Inara was obviously armed. Mal turned to Allan where he was standing next to River.

“Going to see about our cargo, be back in a couple of hours, Try not to wander off,” Mal said to Allan with a wink. “Albatross, the ships yours, you can leave the bay open but I want someone armed in the bay at all times so that means you.”

“Aye aye Capn’” River replied smartly with a mock salute.

With a lurch, the Mule accelerated out of the cargo bay and down the ramp, turned left and disappeared into the crowds of the spaceport.

River turned on her heel and sprinted back towards the door to the dorms, calling over her shoulder, “Back in a moment!”

Allan turned back to the scene outside the open bay door. A dusty street lay just outside filled with a multitude of people. The signs on the buildings opposite the ship were gaudy, some with huge video screens. All were in both English and Chinese. The crowd was an eclectic mix of western and eastern dress. A man of obvious Asian decent, strode by in a business suit, while a street vendor who wouldn’t look out of place in New York’s Little Italy was dressed in the silk clothing of a native of china yelling something about an “Ice Planet”.

The kaleidoscope of humanity visible on the street mesmerized Allan. As he stood slack jawed at the top of the ramp.

“Mazin’ ain’t it” Kaylee said as she moved up on Allan’s right, dressed in her coveralls but with the top rolled down to her waist with the sleeves tied like a belt around her hips. An orange tank top completed her outfit. “I had the same look on my face first time I ever set foot on another planet afta’ signin’ on w’ Serenity.”

“Yeah, I hadn’t quite figured on the amount of culture blending, but I guess it was inevitable after one hundred years in the ships” Allan replied.

Feeling a presence on his left Allan looked down to see River. She had changed her clothing and it surprised him. She looked like a miniature version of Jayne now. Sporting kaki cargo pants tucked into boots, a black t-shirt, and a leather gun belt slung low on her slender hips. The holster on her right hip carried what looked like a large frame nickel-plated revolver and was tied off on her thigh, gunfighter style Her previously wild hair pulled back into a tight ponytail topped off with a black Stetson hat.

Allan looked at the young girl that had transformed from the pilot/ballerina he had met this morning in to one badass gun-toting chick who looked like she shot first and asked questions later.

Responding to Allan’s unanswered question, she replied, “These are my working clothes. Dirt side, I am the ships guardian. Even dressed like this, I am underestimated due to my gender and size. It is a tactical advantage.”

“I can see where that would be true. You look like a little girl playing dress up with daddy’s guns”

Kaylee snickered at that, ”River here can kick even Jayne’s pee-gou ta’ the middle o’ next week”

“And I remind him of that fact every chance I get” River replied with a large smile and mischief dancing in her eyes.

Allan chuckled at Kaylee’s statement, “That’s something I’d like to see”

“It’s quite hilarious” Simon said as he slid up behind Kaylee and wrapped his arms around her waist.

Looking outside at the bustle outside the bay Allan asked, “Is it okay if I just mosey down to the end of the ramp?”

With a knowing smile, River replied, “Of course but like the Captain said, no wandering off.”

Allan turned from the others and strode purposely down the ramp, stopping just at the edge for a moment. Taking a deep breath he steeped onto the dirt of Boros. Looking at the footprints his sneakers were leaving in the dust, Allan muttered something out loud that Kaylee and Simon couldn’t quite hear but River did in her mind. She smiled as she felt Allan say the familiar quote from so long ago in history…

“One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind”



Tuesday, June 3, 2008 3:18 PM


Sorry for the typos folks. Three proofreading passes and I still missed em'


Wednesday, June 4, 2008 4:36 AM


I like Allan's character! But what wil the Alliance make of him?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 11:32 PM


I like Allan :) Looks like River was right when she said he would be family... Also loved these parts:

“Mal, don’t be such a prude” Said Inara just before she leaned over and pecked him on the cheek and flashing him one of her heart melting smiles.

“Well, I uh… I’m the Captain!” Mal blurted out.


Allan, realizing that she was a woman of grace and upbringing, took the offered hand and kissed it. “The pleasure is all mine.” he smiled back.

Kaylee giggled, as did River while Mal theatrically cleared his throat and shot Allan a glare that would probably have been fatal if the old saying about looks that can kill had been true.

Allan gulped a bit “oops, he thought to himself”.



Need more!!!


You must log in to post comments.



I Choose You - Chapter 2
A Scoobie joins Serenity's crew

I Choose You - Chapter 1
My first foray into the Buffyverse/Crossed over with Firefly. 500 years from now, two nearly immortal Slayers, a powerful Witch and the Immortal Key struggle with the same thing they always have. Love, Family and Vampires. Willow/River pairing.

Discovery - Chapter 8
Mal and John Henry discuss Time travel and Sarah Connor Realizes she isn't in Kansas (or California) anymore.

Discovery - Chapter 7
Back in my FF/T:TSCC crossover verse. John Connor and the crew of Serenity go out to a bar. The inevitable occurs.

Undying - Chapter 4
On Santo, the crew sees to supplies while River, Zoe and MacLeod meet with two of Mac's oldest friends.

Quest - Chapter 32
Done!!!!! Last chapter in this story arc. The Allanverse will continue at some point, however.

Quest - Chapter 31
Some more fluff as I finish off this arc. The extended Serenity families relax on the beach while waiting for the rest of the wedding guests to arrive.

Little Girl Lost - Chapter 2
Chapter 2 of my AU River story. River meets someone on the trip to Persephone who will changer her life forever.

Tales of the Rangers - Chapter 14
Back in the present, the crew has a little downtime. Relationships are strengthened and after a teenaged tantrum, Jessie finds herself (and Inara ) in a situation

Little Girl Lost
Yet another plot bunny that attacked. What would happen if River didn't go to the Academy? Drama at home leads to her running away. Will eventually include all the characters from the show but don't expect a rewrite of Season 1. Totally AU folks