Heritage - Chapter 4
Sunday, October 5, 2008

Allan and Zoe talk to Badger and a family friend is shot.


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

This story is set fifteen years into the future from my current storyline “Big Blue”.

Cast of characters:

Parents: Malcolm Reynolds 51 Inara Serra-Reynolds 44 Allan Bryant 68 Zoë Bryant 48 Simon Tam 43 Kaylee Tam 40 Jayne Cobb 52 River Cobb 36 Kids: Jefferson (Jeff) Reynolds 15 Emma Reynolds 10 Sara Bryant 14 Rebecca Tam 15 John (Jack) Tam 11 Rachel Cobb 8 Jesse Cobb 6

Heritage-Chapter Four


Allan rolled over in bed. Instead of Zoë's sleeping form, he found one hundred pounds of german shepherd.

“Sam... What have I told you about the bed.”

The big dog wagged his tail and swiveled his ears. With a chuckle, Allan slid out of bed and grabbed his robe. Looking at the clock, he swore under his breath. It was after eight.

After heading to the bathroom, Allan padded downstairs. His nose following the smell of coffee and bacon. Sam trotted behind him. Upon entering the kitchen, Allan spied his daughter behind the stove scrambling some eggs while Zoë poured her husband a cup of coffee.

“And how are my girls this morning?” Allan asked as he planted a kiss on each of their cheeks.

“Morning daddy, Sara chirped.

“Mornin baby,” Zoë said from behind her coffee, “I see Sam got you up.”

“You know, I am trying to break him from getting onto our bed, hon”

“He's a dog, if he knows he can get on Sara's bed, he figures he can get on ours too.”

“I'll have Rachel explain it to him,” Allan muttered.

Rachel, besides being able to read minds like her mother, had some kind of connection with animals. A few months earlier, Mal was having trouble breaking one of his horses. After a frustrating day in which Jimmy, one of Mal's ranch hands had been thrown twice. The little girl walked up to the horse, spoke to the young stallion for a moment. She then smiled at Jimmy and told him to try again.

Tentatively, the hand had climbed back on the horse and began to ride him around the corral like he had been saddle broke for years. Mal then declared River's oldest to be his official honorary horse breaker.

When asked what she did, Rachel explained that she simply told the horse what his job was and to stop being such a ninny.

“That might work,” Sara said, breaking her fathers reverie. “Rachel also said if everyone around here doesn't stop having sex she won't need sex ed class by the time she's in junior high,” Sara finished with a giggle.

Allan and Zoë shot their daughter a stern look.

“What?” Sara asked, “That's what she said.”

“Defiantly River's daughter,” Allan remarked.

“Got that right dear,” Zoë smiled.

They settled down to their breakfast. Their usual banter flowing back and forth. Allan couldn't help but think how lucky he was in having a beautiful wife and the daughter Zoë had given him.

The biggest problem facing Allan about his little girl was that Sara was blossoming into a beautiful young woman. She was already nearly as tall as her mother and was starting to really fill out. Much to Sara's chagrin, and Allan's relief, most boys avoided her. Unfortunately some of it was due to her mixed parentage. The rest were afraid of the fact that she could kick the pi-gu of any boy in the school.

That was the result of the hand to hand combat training River had done with all the kids. Sara was also an excellent shot. All the parents of Serenity Acres made sure that their kids were comfortable and safe with firearms from an early age.

For her twelfth birthday, Zoë had given her daughter an exact copy of her own mare's leg winchester. The girl was even better with a rifle at long range than her father or even Jayne. Her long range accuracy rivaled her aunt River's.

While the family's were safe for the most part compared to their earlier life on Serenity, there was still the occasional threat. Last night's incursion by a drone proved that.

“When are you waving Badger?” Allan asked his wife.

“In about half an hour,” Zoë replied, looking at her watch, “Should be after midnight in Eavesdown.”

“Going to wake him up?”

“Yep, probably pull him away from one of his whor... girlfriends,” Zoë replied.

Sara rolled her eyes, “I know what a whore is mom... sheesh.”

“And how do you know about that young lady?” Zoë asked sternly.

“Let's see... I have an aunt who used to be a registered companion and an uncle who, until he married aunt River, visited whores every time Serenity hit dirt.”

Zoë chuckled, “Yep, your daughter”

“And how is this my fault?” Allan said grinning.

“If you two are going to argue and the have makeup sex again, please do it in your room,” Sara said in an exasperated tone, “Impressionable and grossed out teenager sitting here you know.”

Allan and Zoë shared a look then began laughing. Sara began to giggle.

Collecting his composure, Alan addressed his daughter, “Why don't you go and help Becca and Aunt Kaylee with getting shuttle two ready.”

“Fine. I know when I'm not wanted,” Sara huffed in mock indignation.

“And no test flights!” Allan called as Sara ran out the door.

“Fine!” Sara called back. Sam trotting beside her.

Allan set his head on the granite counter top, “And here I thought having a kid was a good idea...”

“As I recall, you were agreeable to the notion,” Zoë said grinning.

“I plead temporary insanity,” Allan mumbled.

“Not crazy... unless it's for these...” Zoë said as she opened her robe, exposing her bare chest.

“That's fighting dirty.”

“But the makeup sex is pretty good.”

“Read my mind baby.”


“Wot in bloody hell!” Badger growled as he answered the wave, not looking to see who was calling.

“Hello Badger,” Zoë said smoothly.

“Zoë love. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“The usual... Information.”

“That I got darlin,” the old crook smiled. Zoë felt like she needed a shower just talking to the man.

“Looking for information about a heist o' electronic equipment outta Eavesdown bout eight months ago. Part of the shipment had some recon drones.”

“I might know somthin bout that,” Badger replied, “But it'll cost ya'.”

“When does it ever not cost me,” Zoë replied.

“Usual fee,” Badger said simply.

“I'll double it,” Allan said as he came into view on the screen, “In your account by the end of the day.”

“Something got you all in a tiff?”

“Recon drone flitting about my property last night with a serial number leading back to a stolen shipment might have something to do with it.”

“Aye, that might do it. Man of your means tends to attract all sorts of... unsavory types.”

“You heard anything, Badger?” Zoë asked.

“No particulars, mind you. Just some folks talkin. Wondering where a wealthy family like yerselves might reside. Not that I said anything.”

“Of course,” Zoë said sarcastically.

“Hey, I know what side my bread is buttered on. Somthin happens to you lot and my world comes crashin down.”

“You hear anything Badger, you let us know,” Allan said, “Or I'll send Oso for a little chat.”

“Don't be sayin that Allan. I's thought we was friends,” Badger replied with a nervous smile.

“We are Badger. Just as long as you keep your ear to the ground.”

“You got it mate,” Badger smiled as Allan cut the connection.

Back on Persephone, Badger shuddered. The little crime lord was only afraid of three men in the 'verse. One, was the man he was just speaking with. Not for the physical threat but what the President and CEO of Blue Sun could do to his little empire. The other two were Jayne Cobb and Oso Tangaroa, the former fed who now ran Blue Sun's security division. Nearly as frightening as the big security chief was his wife and assistant. Who was also, Jayne Cobb's sister.

Allan employed Badger from time to time for information. Usually in dealing with hijacked Blue Sun cargo shipments. Or, more rarely, threats to his family.

“That man always makes me feel slimy when I talk to him,” Allan said after cutting the wave.

“I know the feeling dear,” Zoë agreed.

“I'm going to wave Oso later. He needs to know whats up.”

“Good idea, baby. I'm going to head into the office. See what I can dig up on any ship movements in the last couple of days.”

“Okay hon,” Allan said as he kissed his wife's cheek, “I think I'll go see what mischief our little girl has gotten into.”


As Allan approached the landing pad and Kaylee's shop he could hear shuttle engines idling. Rounding the bend he saw shuttle two, not in it's launch cradle on Serenity's left wing but on the ground next to Kaylee's shop. Allan was about to get mad at his daughter when he saw that it was Inara at the controls and not Sara.

Plugging his ears against the engine noise, Allan walked closer to the small craft. A moment later, Kaylee and Becca stepped around the shuttle wearing matching coveralls and hearing protectors.

Kaylee stepped to where Inara could see her and gave the cut signal. As the engines spooled down, Allan unplugged his ears. Kaylee saw Allan approach and waved him over.

“Mornin Allan.”

“Morning Kaylee, Becca.”

Allan couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of Kaylee and Becca. Dressed as they were, Becca looked like a younger and shorter version of her mother. Moments later, The Cobb kids tore by on their bicycles, a barking Sam in pursuit. Inara stepped out of the shuttle, surprisingly dressed in jeans and t-shirt. Even when riding horses, Inara usually dressed in the old English style of breeches and and boots.

“Good morning Allan,” Inara smiled.

“Dressed down a bit are we, Inara?” Allan chuckled.

“I was working in the garden when Kaylee needed someone to move the shuttle.”

“Sara wanted to do it but I knows you don't want her flyin it without either you or River,” Kaylee added.

“I told her no test flights,” Allan chuckled, “Where is that girl of mine anyway?”

“Workin on the port launch cradle,” Kaylee explained, pointing at Serenity, “Hydraulics are a little sticky.”

“Now that I'm here, you can get back to your gardening Inara, I'll move the shuttle when Kaylee's done.”

“Thank you Allan,” Inara smiled, “I will see you all later.”

“Bye Nara,” Kaylee said.

“How long before you're ready to dock the shuttle?” Allan asked.

“Soon as we calibrate the new fuel pressure regulator uncle Allan,” Becca said cheerily.

“Let me know when you're ready, I'll go give that girl of mine a hand in the meantime.”

Allan climbed the open ramp of Serenity and made his way up the stairs to the port shuttle airlock. Allan stuck his head out in time to hear his fourteen year old daughter start swearing worse than Jayne on a bad day.

“Qingwa cao de liumang! Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiouh doh sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo!”

“You kiss your mother with that mouth?” Allan chuckled.

“Daddy!” Sara squeaked. A blush darkening her toffee skin.

Even after nearly sixteen years, Allan's command of the Chinese language was nearly non existent. “Good thing I don't know what you said, or I might be upset, little girl o' mine.”

Sara gave him a grim smile, “Can't get the ruttin pin out of the forward hydraulic piston.”

“Let me give you a hand, baby.”

“Thanks daddy.”

Soon the pair had the offending part removed and Allan immediately spotted the problem with the sticky piston. A few passes with an abrasive pad removed the burr on the highly polished surface. Quickly the father and daughter reinstalled the piston. Stepping clear, they cycled the launch cradle several times. It worked smoothly now.

“Good to go,” Allan smiled, “You did a great job in isolating the problem.”

“I got good teachers.”

“You do huh?”

“Yep, Becca and aunt Kaylee,” Sara teased.

“Ouch. And here I was, planning on letting you dock the shuttle,” Allan grinned.

“Daddy!” Sara cried.

“Just kidding princess... lets go,”


“Easy on the approach,” Allan said as Sara carefully flew the shuttle closer to Serenity's hull, “Remember, when the ship is in atmo, wind gusts will throw off your flight path a bit.”

“Okay daddy,” Sara replied, biting her lower lip in concentration. Her hands steady on the controls.

“Okay, retract the wings and bring us in” Allan said confidently.

With a slight lurch and thump. Shuttle two latched onto Serenity's launch cradle. A moment later, the docking status lights illuminated, indicating that the shuttle was 'talking' with Serenity. Sara shut down the engines and flipped the switch that retracted the shuttle into it's stowed position. A moment later, the airlock indicator light changed from red to green indicating a good seal.

“That's my girl,” Allan smiled.

“Thanks daddy,” Sara replied with a smile, “Next month when we go to Londonium can I fly some?”

“We'll see. Your mother has to fly the entry to keep her license current, but we'll see what we can do.”

“Okay,” Sara replied.

“Now go get cleaned up. In celebration of your first docking, I'm taking you into town for pizza and ice cream.”

With a squeal of delight, Sara hugged her father and ran for the house to change. Stepping onto the catwalk outside the shuttle, Allan heard a voice.

“How'd she do?” Mal asked, walking up to the elderly engineer.

“Perfect, Better than the last time Zoë docked. Just don't tell her I said that.”

Mal laughed, “Deal. Pretty soon that girl o' yours is goin to be wantin to fly Serenity.”

“Already has,” Allan replied.

“What!” Mal exclaimed.

“Last Christmas when we went to Osiris to visit Gabe and Reagan. River let Sara fly the whole entry sequence and landing. She doesn't know that I know.”

“Thought that was a bit rougher than usual for River's flyin. Think I'm gonna have some words with a certain mind readin genius.”

“Sara's got more hours on the sim program than I had when you started letting me fly Serenity. Besides, how old was River when she started flying the ship?”

“That's different, you were already a pilot and the academy programmed flyin in ta River's noggin.”

“I know. But like it or not, as soon as she's sixteen and can sit for the examination, Sara will get her license.”

“I know, Jeff is taking his test next year. Before long, the kids will be crewin the ship and we'll be out ta' pasture,” Mal chuckled.

“Tell me about it. Becca's already qualified fer her mechanics apprentice certification,” Kaylee said as she walked up to the two men.

“We're getting old lil' Kaylee,” Mal said.

“Speak fer yerself Cap'n.”

“I gotta run, promised Sara lunch in town in celebration of her first docking,” Allan said, “See you all later.”


As Allan and Sara left the gated entry to Serenity Acres on Allan's Harley Davidson, a nondescript white ground car pulled out to follow them. Unknown to the two men in the ground car, they themselves were being followed at a distance by a sheriff's deputy in a patrol ground car.

Closing the distance, the deputy activated the warning lights on his vehicle and pulled the white ground car over. As the deputy exited his vehicle, shots rang out. Before the deputy could draw his weapon, he was down. The white ground car sped off in the direction of the spaceport.

Unaware of the drama playing out behind them, Allan and Sara continued their ride into town.

After a quick lunch at the pizzeria and a stop for ice cream sundaes. Allan and Sara stopped by the police department. Allan had bought a couple of slices for Zoë's lunch. Upon entering the pair stepped into a flurry of activity. Zoë stood in the center of the room barking orders to her officers.

“... Toby, get out to the scene and help Jayne. Find a good spot for the shuttle to set down that's bringing the forensics team from Capital City.”

“Zoë? What's going on?” Allan asked.

Zoë locked eyes with her husband and suddenly relaxed, “There you are,” Zoë said, “Been looking for you two.”

“My com's at home charging, hon. What's wrong?”

“Deputy got shot half a mile from the Acres. Went out on a traffic stop for a white ground car that was following you and Sara.”

“Son of a... Sara, baby, go wait in your mom's office,” Allan said.

“But daddy...”

“Now Sara!” Zoë ordered.

“Yes ma'am,” the teen replied.

As soon as the door closed, Zoë turned to her husband, “Jayne found him on the way to pick up supplies.”

“Who was it?”

“Eddie Buford, Jacob's oldest. He's in surgery. Simon's workin on him at the hospital.”

“God damn it,” Allan swore, “Somethings up. First the drone and now this.”

“My thinkin as well. Got a crime scene team on the way from Capital City. With a Deputy down and it being the Sheriff's son, Jacob asked me and Jayne to run the investigation.”

“Excuse me, Chief?”

“Yes Mike?” Zoë replied to one of her officers.

“Port control confirms a land lock on all ships in port. However three took off between the time of the shooting and the land lock.”

“Contact planetary patrol and the feds. Maybe they can stop those ships and see if they got any passengers or crew actin funny.”

“Yes ma'am.”

“I didn't see the Walrus in port when I came by. Monty's probably one of the ships that launched.”

“I'll wave him,” Zoë said.

“Can I use the cortex in your office? I'm calling Oso. I want a team as soon as they can get here. Can you detail someone to take Sara home?”

“I'll have Mike take her,” Zoë said with a nod.

Allan walked into Zoë's office, Sara stood up from the desk, “Daddy? What's happening?”

“Come here baby,” Allan said as he sat in the chair and pulled his daughter into his lap, “Eddie Buford got shot out near the Acres. Seems he pulled a ground car over that was following us.”

Sara's eyes welled up. She had known Eddie Buford her whole life. “Is he gonna be okay?” She sniffled.

“I don't know baby. All I know is that uncle Simon is working on him right now. Momma's running the investigation with uncle Jayne. Mike is going to drive you home. I'll be here with your mother most of the day. Once you get back to the acres, I want you to go to Aunt River's and bring Sam with you. Okay?”

“Okay daddy.”

“Good girl,” Allan smiled, “ Now scoot, I need to make a few waves.”

“See you tonight?”

“You got it,” Allan smiled.

Turning to the cortex, Allan punched up an address from memory.

“Hello?” replied the face of Frederica Cobb-Tangaroa.

“Hey Fred,” Allan said.

“Allan,” Fred replied, “Long time no see.”

“That no account husband of yours there?”

“No account is right... Oso!”

“What?” the big, former fed grumbled as he came into view on the screen, “Oh... Hey Boss.”

“Hey Oso,” Allan said, unsmiling, “We've got a situation.”

The pleasant expressions on Fred and Oso's faces disappeared.




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