Out To The Black --- Chapter 19
Friday, June 27, 2008

The crew begin's searching for Allan


Out to the black Chapter 19

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

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

This fic takes place two years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/OC and a budding Jayne/River romance.

A/N A little less angst this chapter…

Out to the black

Chapter Nineteen – Search

River flew Serenity almost as if she were a living and breathing autopilot. Her hands sure on the controls as the ship entered atmo over Kelly. Her mind and emotions were somewhere else.

Jayne stood behind River while she flew. His big hands on her tiny shoulders, trying to offer what little comfort he could to the little psychic assassin that had stolen his heart. Jayne’s mind was in turmoil. If Allan hadn’t killed the pirates that had attacked them with their own missiles, the big merc would have gladly done it with his bare hands. In the short time he had known Allan, the big man had come to respect the older man. Considered him a friend. Jayne didn’t have many friends.

Mal sat in the co pilot’s seat, staring out the windows as Serenity, dropped through the atmosphere of Kelly. No he thought, it wasn’t the co pilot’s seat anymore. Just like the chair that River sat in as she flew the ship was still called Wash’s chair. The one Mal now sat in would now always be known as Allan’s chair.

Simon sat in the navigator’s seat behind Mal. Kaylee in his lap, her head buried in his shoulder as she sobbed, soaking his shirt with her tears.

Inara entered the bridge, trying her best not to break down. Using all of her companion training to keep her own sorrow at bay. She wasn’t having much luck. She strode up to Mal. the Captain pulled the former companion into his lap.

“Anything Mal?” Inara said, emotion straining her voice.

“Nothing,” Mal said shaking his head, “We’re flying the track he took down but it don’t look good… How’s Zoë?”

“In her bunk. She wouldn’t let me near her.”

Mal nodded, “I better go see if I can talk to her…”

A faint warbling tone emerged from the overhead speaker. It went in and out a few times then could no longer be heard. Upon hearing the tone, River’s hands flew across the navcom controls, trying to isolate the location.

“River?” Mal asked.


“What?” Mal said as he moved Inara from his lap. Bringing the data up on the screen on his side of the bridge.

“Here,” the young pilot said pointing to an area on the map display, “Very weak, lost the signal in this area.”

“Beacon?” Jayne asked, as he too looked at the display.

River turned to Jayne, the tears back in her eyes. Not tears of sorrow but one’s of hope, “Allan’s locator beacon.”

“How big an area?” Mal asked, urgency in his voice.

“Approximately a ten mile radius.”

Mal turned to his mechanic, “Kaylee, this is your world, what’s the terrain like?”

Sniffling, Kaylee moved to the display, looking at the map for a moment she replied, “Rollin hills, fields and trees… no big lakes or nothin.”

“That’s a big area to search lookin for one man Mal,” Jayne interjected.

“I know, we’ll use the shuttles…”

“Capn’?” Kaylee said quietly, “I knows where we can gets more help fer lookin.”

“Where’s that Mei-mei?”

Kaylee pointed to a spot almost dead center of the search area, “That’s where my folks live… Daddy an my brother’s can help, knows that whole area.”

Mal nodded, “River, Make for the Frye place… I gotta go talk to Zoë,” Mal said as he headed for his first mate’s bunk, mentally steeling himself for what he had to tell her.


Allan’s first thought was that the afterlife was really loud. It sounded like a tornado… tornado?

Allan opened his eyes, “What the hell?” He said, eyes looking around wildly.

Allan realized he was still very much alive, and still strapped to what was left of the aero shell he had ridden into Kelly’s atmosphere. There wasn’t much left of it. It’s four-meter diameter burned down to less than two. The noise assaulting Allan’s ears came from the tattered remains whipping in the airflow as he fell. Panic suddenly gripped Allan. How high was he, where was he? His space suit prevented him from turning his head enough to try and see the horizon.

The sky was bright blue. Allan knew that meant he was deep into the atmosphere. How deep he didn’t know. Suddenly he punched through a cloud. Then he had an idea. He was too damn low for his liking. Quickly reaching down, he pulled the release that would separate him from the remains of the shell and allow him deploy his parachute.

With a violent lurch, Allan found himself tumbling. Doing his best to put himself into a stable body posture like his old skydiving instructor had taught him, Allan stabilized himself face down. He realized he was low…too low, his gloved hands fumbled for the ripcord.

“Please work,” He whispered as he pulled the handle.

With a jerk the parachute opened, Allan’s feet just yards from the tops of the trees he was heading for, “This is gonna hurt…”

Allan crashed through the forest canopy, snapping tree limbs as he fell. His feet hit the ground hard. Allan felt the pop of breaking bones as he hit, still going over thirty miles per hour. Thankfully he lost consciousness before the pain started.


Mal slowly descended the ladder into Zoë’s bunk. The lights were dim. Stopping a moment at the bottom to let his eyes adjust, he took a deep breath. Zoë heard him.

“Go away Mal,”

Ignoring her, Mal moved to the bed. Zoë was curled up in the corner facing away from him, “Can’t do that Zoë… you know that.

“Gorramit, leave me alone!” She sobbed.

Mal sighed, “Zoë I…”

“I can’t do it… not again. First Wash, now when I… think I’m startin to maybe love someone else, he… he… I just can’t do this again!” Zoë screamed through her sobs.

“He loves you too,” Mal said quietly.


“After you left the bridge, Allan said some things… First was that he wanted me to tell you that he loved you.”

“He… did?”

“Yep he did, and he told me another thing.”


Mal smiled a bit, Zoë seemed to be slowly pulling herself back together a bit after her outburst, “Said he had a beacon, an if we heard it, it meant he made it… well, we heard the beacon.

Zoë sat up on the bed, eyes wide, “He made it?”

“No guarantee on that yet. Just heard it for a minute, but we got a search area to look in for him.”

Zoë nodded, some of her normal stoicism starting to show.

“What’s the plan Sir?”

Mal relaxed a bit, his first mate was back.

“Search area’s near Kaylee’s folks place. We’ll be landing there directly. The Nara and me gonna take her shuttle and River an Jayne are gonna take the other and start lookin. I want you to stand by with Simon in the Mule. Most likely he’s hurt, so we needs to be flexible. Kaylee’s stayin with the ship and she’s gonna get her Daddy and brother’s to start on a ground search.”

Stoic mask back in place, Zoë stood up, “Sounds good Sir.”


Jonathan Frye stood on the back porch of his rambling farmhouse, a cup of coffee in his hand. The sun had just risen and he looked forward to the day. Kaywinnet, his youngest daughter was coming home today. Finally he would get to meet the young man who had stolen his little girl’s heart. She had told him in letters that he was a core-trained doctor. Jonathan just wanted to look the man in the eye and see if he was good enough for his little Kaylee.

Inside the house, his wife Beth and his two other daughters were preparing the food for the little homecoming party they had planned for Kaylee.

Jonathans musings were interrupted by the faint sound of trees breaking somewhere in the distance. Looking in the direction the sound came from he didn’t see anything. Shrugging, he continued to drink his coffee as he enjoyed the sunrise. Fifteen minutes later he went back inside, looking to get another cup.

“Daddy, when’s Kaylee gonna be here?” Sara, Kaylee’s oldest sister asked.

“Soon Sara, coupla hours I suspect.”

“Good, Ain’t seen her in forever,” Jennifer the other sister, said, “I hear her boyfriend is real swai,”

“Jennifer Marie, now you stop…” Beth started to say, “John? That a ship I hear comin?”

“Sounds like a firefly,” Jonathan said with a smile, “looks like they’re early”


“You can set down behind the barn River, ground’s good n hard there, Kaylee said, eyes still red from crying, “I gotta get back ta the engine room.”

“Thank you Kaylee,” River replied.

“You feelin anything from Allan?” Jayne said from his perch behind River.

“Nothing definite. Allan’s hard to read unless he’s right in the room with me. He has surprising natural walls around his thoughts.”

River settled Serenity gently to the ground behind the Frye’s barn. A few minutes later the ramp began to lower.

“Momma!” Kaylee yelled as she ran down the ramp, almost jumping into her mother’s arms. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Mal had to smile just a little at the reunion.

“Kaylee girl, what’s the matter, looks like you been cryin?” Beth said, as she hugged her daughter.

“Long story Momma.”

Jonathan strode up to the Captain, “Malcolm, Good to see you again.”

“Same here Jonathan,” Mal said as he shook the older mans offered hand.

“Why all the long faces?” Jonathan asked.

“Well, we got ourselves a little situation,” Mal said as he began to explain what had happened to Allan.

“So your man came down somewhere near here?” Jonathan asked, after Mal had explained things to him.

“Best we can figure. Plan to take the shuttles up to look, and maybe you and yours can help with a ground search?”

“Be glad to help Malcolm, I… Damn!”

“What is it?”

“Bout twenty minutes before you landed I heard some crashin out in the woods bout a mile over that way,” Jonathan pointed into the woods behind Serenity.

Mal turned quickly, “Doc… you, Jayne and River with me in the Mule, Inara, you an Zoë get the infirmary prepped just in case. Kaylee stay here w’ your folks.”

Moment’s later the Mule pulled out of Serenity, Mal at the controls. River sat beside him while Jayne and Simon were in the back. Simon clutching his medical bag while Jayne held onto a folding stretcher.

A few minutes later the Mule had reached the edge of the trees. Unable to proceed further, the four crewmembers dismounted and started walking into the woods, River on point, feeling with her mind.

Jayne spotted Allan first. His trackers eyes caught the flash through the trees of the orange and white cloth of a parachute fluttering in the slight breeze. Running quickly through the undergrowth they soon reached Allan’s side.

River gasped, while Jayne bit back a curse. Simon and Mal moved quickly to the space-suited figure on the ground. Even to Mal’s untrained eye he knew Allan was hurt badly.

He was face down, both legs obviously broken, visible even trough Allan’s suit. His left arm also seemed to be broken. Carefully, Simon and Mal rolled Allan onto his back. Allan had been spared from suffocation since the faceplate on his helmet had shattered on impact. The suit had run out of life support some time ago.

“I need to get this suit off him,” Simon said quickly, as Mal removed Allan’s shattered helmet.

Jayne stepped forward with Binky, his huge bowie knife and began to cut the suit from Allan’s body.

“Wuo de ma,” Jayne gasped as he cut the last of the suit away.

Brows furrowed in concentration, Simon catalogued Allan’s injuries, “Left upper arm is broken, ribs on both sides, Left femur, tibia, fibula and ankle as well, Right lower is broken in at least two places. Probably a concussion. It’s amazing he’s still alive. I won’t know what he has for internal injuries until we get him back to the ship,” Simon finished.

Quickly Jayne, Mal and Simon moved Allan to the stretcher. Then lifting carefully, Mal and Jayne began to carry Allan out of the woods, River supporting his broken arm with her hands.

“Kaylee!” Kaylee jumped, it was River on her com, putting the unit to her lips she replied, “Right here River”

“We found Allan, He is badly injured, Make sure the infirmary is prepared… We’ll be there in five.”

“Okay River, tell Simon my sister Sara’s a nurse, she could help.”

“Simon said to bring her.”


Five minutes later River smoothly pulled the Mule into the cargo bay. Mal, Jayne and Simon bracing Allan’s stretcher on the back of the craft.

Quickly Allan was moved to the infirmary. Jayne and Mal gently transferred him to the table. Zoë stood quietly in the corner of the small room. Simon turned to her.

“Zoë, I know you want to be here but I really think it would be better if you waited outside.”

“I ain’t movin,”

“Come on Zoë,” Jayne said, “Doc needs the room to work, you know he’ll take good care o’ your man.”

Zoë hesitated, looking at Allan’s still and broken form. She knew they were right, but after nearly loosing Allan she didn’t want to let him out of her sight. Mal spoke up using his captain’s voice.

“Zoë I need you out here. We got things to see to”

“On my way Sir,” She said automatically. Pausing a minute, she touched Allan’s right hand and then left the small room.

“Thank you Mal,” Simon said, “Close the door but send Jayne back in. I’ll need his help to reset the fractures.”

Mal nodded, “Okay Doc, you’re the doc.”

Turning, Simon addressed the young blonde woman who was currently hooking Allan up to the monitoring equipment, “You must be Sara. I’m Simon.”

“Pleased to met you Simon. Heard a lot about you from my sisters letters.”

“May I ask where you practice nursing?”

“I’m the night shift ER charge nurse at the hospital in town.”

Simon smiled slightly, “Let’s get to work shall we?”

The door slid open and Jayne entered, “Capn’ said you needed me Doc?”

Simon nodded as he began to run a scanner over Allan, “In a few minutes, I’m going to need your help to pull Allan’s legs so we can set the bones.”

Jayne paled but nodded, “Just tell me what you needs me ta do.”


Two hours later, a very pale and tired Jayne exited the infirmary. Dropping himself into the big recliner he rubbed his face, River crawled into his lap.

“You did well Jayne,” She said with a small smile.

“I gotta whole lot more respect fer yer brother after helping with that.”

“How’s he doing Jayne?” Mal asked as he paced the floor.

“Doc said he’s stable, somthin about his kidneys done got bruised and one o’ his lungs… Biggest thing is his legs, smashed all ta hell. Gramps musta really been movin when he hit the ground. Gonna be few more hours fore Doc’s done fixen them”

Mal grunted, “I’ll go update everyone else down at the house.”

“Where’s Zoë?” the merc asked.

“Don’t know how she did it, but Kaylee’s Momma managed to drag her down to the house. Inara an Kaylee are there too. Well, I’ll… guess I’ll go down and let folks know. Uh, you’ll…”

“I will notify you of any changes Capn’ Daddy,” River said, “Now go, Inara needs you.”


Four hours later, A very drained Simon Tam and Sara Frye exited the infirmary. The pair collapsed on the sofa.

“Thank you for your assistance Sara, I’m not sure I could have done that without your help,” Simon said sincerely.

“I was glad to help Simon, it was a pleasure to work with a surgeon of your skill,” she said with a small smile.

“Thank you. I…” Simon was interrupted by a loud snore. Looking over he realized that he had missed Jayne asleep in the recliner, head back and mouth open, lightly snoring. The loud snore he noticed came from his baby sister, asleep in the big man’s lap.”

“Who is that Simon?” Sara inquired, indicating River’s sleeping form.

“That’s my sister River, she’s our pilot.”

Sara nodded, “I’ll be off now, I need a shower before I head to work”

“You have to work?”

“Just a few hours, I’m filling in for someone. Please keep me posted?”

“I will Sara, thank you again.”

Sara nodded quickly and left the tired doctor to rest.


An hour later Zoë quietly entered the passenger lounge. Smiling slightly at the sight of River asleep in Jayne’s lap. Turning her attention to the infirmary, she spotted Simon sitting on a stool, his head on the counter, obviously asleep. Gently she nudged his shoulder.

“Huh? Oh, Hi Zoë,” Simon said sleepily.

Zoë’s eyes fell on Allan, still unconscious on the medical bed. Holding back tears as she saw the extent of his injuries. “How is he Simon?” She said quietly.

Simon smiled slightly, “As good as can be expected. Allan’s head injury is very minor. Barring no complications from his bruised lung and kidney’s, he will be fine.”

“What about his legs and arm?” Zoë said, looking at the large fiberglass casts that encased Allan’s legs and left arm.”

“The fractures were bad but fairly easy to repair. The left was the worst, his femur and lower leg were both broken, on the right just the lower. I initially thought that his left ankle was broken but it was just dislocated. His left arm should heal fine as well,” Simon paused a moment, “It won’t be easy or quick, even with the bone menders, I would guess that it will be at least a month before the casts come off. Then it will be weeks before he will be able to get around normally.”

“But he’ll be okay?” Zoë asked needing the confirmation.

“I believe so. In three or four months time, other than some scars, you will not be able to tell that this ever happened.”

“Thank you Simon,” Zoë said quietly, “I… I’d like to sit with him for a while.”

“Of course Zoë, you can speak to him if you would like. He may be able to hear you,” Simon said smiling, “I think I’m going to go get something to eat.”

“Oh, I meant to tell you, “Zoë said sheepishly, “Supper’s ready down at the house, Kaylee sent me to fetch you, River and Jayne.”

“Thank you Zoë,” Simon sighed, “Not the way I envisioned meeting Kaylee’s family.”

“I imagine not. Better scoot now, Kaylee’s Momma ain’t a woman to be trifled with.”

“Simon chuckled a bit, “Alright, I’ll collect the ape man and my sister and be off… Call me if anything changes?”

“I will Simon.”

Zoë waited until the Tam siblings and Jayne had left the ship, pulling the stool up to Allan’s right side, Zoë sat down. Taking Allan’s hand in her own, she began to speak…

“We got some things to discuss here Mr. Bryant,” Zoë said, voice breaking, “First off, you ever pull a harebrained stunt like that again… I’ll shoot you myself.”

“Next,” she continued, “You damn near broke your promise to me and I ain’t liking that much. Now iffin we’re gonna be together, you gotta keep your promises or we’re done… Dong ma?”

“Damn it Allan, I’ve gone an fallen in love you I think. Never thought I’d ever have that happen to me again after Wash. And here just as things are startin to go good, you up and do this fool thing…”

Zoë paused, trying to compose herself. Taking a deep breath, she continued, “So here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna get yourself better. Then I’m gonna get a slinky dress and we will go out an paint the town red. Then when we’s get back, I’m gonna take you to my bunk and make your toes curl…”

“Sounds… like … a plan…” Allan said, voice scratchy and weak.


“Hey there,” he said slowly opening his eyes

“Hey yourself," Zoë said, tears welling in her eyes.

Allan coughed, pain visible on his face. Zoë quickly brought over a glass of water. Allan sipped it carefully.

“Where you hurtin?”

Allan licked his lips, “List would be shorter if I told you where I didn’t hurt.”

Zoë smiled, even hurt as he was, Allan’s sense of humor was still there, “Where don’t it hurt?”

With effort Allan moved his right hand and pointed at his forehead. “Here,” Zoë kissed him on the forehead

Allan’s finger moved to the tip of his nose, “And here,” Another kiss. Allan’s finger moved to his lips. With a smile, Zoë gave him a deep kiss on his lips.

Pulling away, Zoë asked, “Anywhere else?”

A twinkle of mischief in his eyes, Allan dropped his hand in his lap…

“Now you’re pushin it,” Zoë scolded.

Allan laughed and instantly regretted it, “Ow! Don’t make me laugh Zoë.”

“Don’t go actin like Jayne then.”

“Deal,” Allan said, his face turning serious, “Love you Zoë”

Allan’s heart dropped for a moment as Zoë sat there, her face blank. Then a smile formed on her face and she kissed him on the lips again, “I love you too Allan.”

Allan relaxed, the pain in his body seemed to suddenly leave, “Make my toes curl huh?” he said with a smile.

“And then some,” was the reply.


An hour later, River entered the infirmary with a plate for Zoë. Smiling, the young psychic quietly left the plate on the counter. Carefully she draped a blanket over the sleeping Zoë’s shoulders. Still sitting on the stool, her head on her arms, tucked up to Allan’s side. Allan, asleep as well had his arm draped across Zoë’s shoulders. Turning, River silently made her way from the room. Seven becomes eight again.



Friday, June 27, 2008 3:29 PM


Very, very good! Suprisingly, this is the first in this series that i've read...and yet I was still able to walk right into the story and completely enjoy it! You did very, very well!

Saturday, June 28, 2008 3:54 AM


Awesome. And good to see that he can crack jokes after a fall like that.

Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:03 AM


I'm just picking up here, but I like this so much I'm going to have to go back and read ever other thing. Very Firefly, very emotional. Just excellent.


Saturday, June 28, 2008 3:45 PM


What a relief! I could visualize the whole thing. Allan's landing reminded me of an item I read about a stewardess who survived freefall from 30,000 feet (over Czechoslovakia?), falling through dense evergreens into snow. Keep flying, Brian! I can't help thinking that the Alliance is going to take an interest in Allan--or perhaps BlueSun, in their founder!


Sunday, June 29, 2008 2:15 AM


Freeverse... You sure you're not River in disguise??

You keep pulling all my potential plot bunnies outta my head...


Sunday, June 29, 2008 9:41 PM


You packed so much into this chapter I was out of breath by the time I finished it! And Allan's safe, if not unharmed. Still, it gives Zoe the chance to coddle him a little, and for them to get closer. And I agree with freeverse - Blue Sun are going to be involved somewhere ...


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