Heritage - Chapter 20
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

En route to St. Albans Allan and company run across some old foes and Sara get's ready for her first date.


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

This story is set fifteen years into the future from the story I have written called “Big Blue”


AN: Just a bit of a placeholder until we reach St. Albans


Thanks to my Beta, Chris

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 16 Emma Reynolds 11 Sara Bryant 15 Rebecca Tam 16 John (Jack) Tam 11 Rachel Cobb 9 Jesse Cobb 6


Heritage-Chapter Twenty


Sara Jayne pulled away from the Skyplex twenty five hours after she had arrived. Her crew refreshed after the short break. With the customary flash of golden light, the new Firefly shot away from the massive complex, headed for St. Albans.

Allan as usual sat behind the controls. During the previous three weeks, he had trained up Olivia to pilot the ship if it became necessary. The tech expert was already a qualified shuttle pilot but she had never flown anything as big as a Firefly before.

The ships routine was almost set in stone by now. Allan would take the evening watch as well as checking the ship first thing in the morning. Jayne would stand his watch during the morning followed by Israel after lunch. Olivia filled in as needed, alternating shifts between the others, giving them twenty four hours off every couple of days.

During their time off, the small crew worked out, read and did whatever they could to keep the boredom at bay. They all knew that when they reached St. Albans, things would be far from monotonous.

Little did they know that the boredom would be broken well before they reached the icy moon called St. Albans.

Allan was surfing the cortex several days after leaving the Skyplex, looking for some obscure physics theorem that only he, River and perhaps a handful of others could really understand when the incoming message light began to blink.

Allan looked at the incoming request and smiled. he touched the accept key.

“Hey Gramps... How's it hangin?” said the face on the screen

“Jester... long time no wave,” Allan replied to the mustachioed face looking back at him, “How's the third best pilot on the rim?”

“Third?” The man said in mock outrage.

“I know I'm number two and we all know Albatross is number one...”

“Yeah but we all know you two are semi-retired.”

“Point,” Allan replied.

“Cortex says you're close,” Jester said.

Allan nodded. There was a little known, side channel on the cortex that worked like the old Internet instant messenger programs from Allan's youth on Earth. This one was only open to pilots and was by invitation only. River had introduced Allan to the network shortly after he had come on board Serenity all those years ago. All the users used their 'handles' or call signs when logging onto the system. Allan had been doing it for so long, it was automatic having the pilot network up and running in the background on the cortex whenever he was flying.

It was a way to pass the time in the black and to share gossip, news and what else between the pilot fraternity.

Allan used the nickname hung on him by Jayne so long ago. River went by Albatross of course, and Zoë's call sign was Amazon. Mal never went in for the whole call sign thing but was unofficially known on the network as 'Sarge'.

“About fifty hours out of the Wayborn Skyplex headed for St. Albans,” Allan replied to Jester's question.

“What a co-inky-dink,” Jester grinned, “We're headed for Wayborn for refulin.”

“Shiny... too bad we couldn't a stayed longer. I'd be able to buy you that drink I owe you.”

“You've owed me that drink for eight years... I doubt I'll ever get it.”

“Well if that rattletrap you call a ship ever gets to Boros, I'll pay my debt.”

“I'll hold you to that.”

“Any new gossip?” Allan asked.

“Nothin much... I saw on the news waves about your girl. How's she doin?” Jester asked sincerely.

“Good, she's back in school. Still limping a bit and she gets tired easy... But I've still got her and thats what counts.”

“Amen to that Gramps.”

“You been out St. Albans way lately?”

“Bout a month ago. Hauled some mercenary types out there as security for a mine.”

Allan's face darkened, “Who paid the charter?”

“Some fellas. Capn' didn't ask too many questions. Things have been a bit tight lately.”

“I understand Jester. But this is important. The bastards who hurt Sara are on St. Albans. Just reopened a mine and hired a bunch of merc's.”

“Wu de tyen ah,” Jester said, his swarthy complexion losing it's color, “If I'd a known...”

“Don't worry on it, Jester,” Allan replied, “But I'd like to know how many there were and what they had for gear.”

“Sure thing Gramps,” Jester replied, “Was about twenty five of em'. All one group. Used to workin with each other. Boss' name was Wade I think. Tough bastard. All they carried was a bunch o' crates and personal weapons... lots o' personal weapons.”

“That helps, my friend.”

“No problem... Wait a sec, got somthin on the scope... go-se on a stick!”

“What?” Allan asked.


“What? You sure?”

“I'm sure. One o them Trans U's they like so much. Comin hard burn for us and no containment... gotta be Reavers,” the pilot replied, his eyes wide with fear.

“I thought the fleet wiped em' all out years ago?”

“Still a few floatin around the rim,” Jester replied.

“How long till they catch you?”

“Fifteen minutes current speed.”

“Where are you exactly?”

Jester rattled off a set of co-ordinates.

“Make hard burn for the Skyplex. If I go hard burn, I might be able to intercept before they reach you...”

Jester was visibly scared now, “What good is that gonna do?”

“I'm not flying Serenity...”

“Going hard burn... hope you're right about this.”

“Trust me.”


Allan went full burn on Sara Jane and called his crew to the bridge.

“You sure it's Reavers?” Jayne asked.

“Jester's sure.”


“Remember the guy who flies Thor's Hammer for Captain Magnuson... went to flight school with Wash...”

“Oh yeah... he'd know if it was Reavers alright.”

“What about us Boss?” Israel asked, looking a bit nervous.

“Arm up just in case but Sara Jane has a couple of surprises hidden in her hull,” Allan said as he typed a series of commands into the console. A moment later a window popped up on the display that none of the others had seen before.

It was a weapons screen.

“This things got guns?” Jayne asked.

“Yep, 30 mm rail gun in a retractable housing under the nose. Hidden pretty well if I do say myself. Even Kaylee didn't notice. There's also twelve missiles under the cargo bay floor that fire through the lower hatch. She's also got the same cluster launchers aft that Serenity has.”

A grin came across Jayne's face, “Let's go huntin.”


Captain Magnuson was scared. Not much fazed the old freighter captain but Reavers did. He looked nervously at his pilot, Jose 'Jester' Sanchez.

“You sure about this Jester?”

“No Capn' but it's the only shot we got.”

“What the hell is Serenity doin out here anyway?”

“Gramps said he wasn't flyin Serenity.”

“Be ready for anything,” Magnuson said as he checked his pistol for the tenth time. He wouldn't go without a fight as he looked at the sensor display, “Bout five minutes before they're on us?”

“About that,” Jester replied. His own eyes locked on the sensor display. He suddenly saw another blip appear dead ahead and moving fast, “Damn if that ship ain't haulin ass”

The captain looked at the display, “Configuration reads like a Firefly but I ain't ever seen one do nearly a tenth of the speed of light before.”

“Me neither Capn'.”


Jayne stood behind the pilot's chair and whistled as he saw the ship's velocity display, “We are seriously haulin the mail...”

Allan grinned despite the seriousness of the situation, “Yeah. That consulting River's been doing to the R&D department paid off in this ship. We're so fast right now that we'll have to reset the clocks.”

“How come?”

“Einstein's theory of relativity... faster you go, time actually slows down. After this run the clocks may be off as much as three minutes from standard. Think of it this way. Compared to the rest of the 'Verse, we'll live three minutes longer than everyone else.”


Allan looked down at the sensor display. Thor's Hammer was clearly shown as was the Reaver ship bearing down on them. At the edge of the screen, another ship appeared. It too was without containment.

“Damn,” Allan swore.

“What is it?” Jayne asked.

“Another Reaver, make that another two. Just behind the first. Looks like we got a real fight on our hands.”

Jayne swore.

“Olivia,” Allan said, “Please take the co-pilot's station. I've slaved the gun to you. I'll handle the missiles and countermeasures.”

“You got it boss,” the woman replied as she strapped into the chair.

“Jayne, Israel, strap in please. This might get a bit bumpy.”

The two men nodded and began strapping in.

Allan keyed up the cortex, “Jester, how you doing?”

“Say again Gramps, there's something wrong with your feed. You sound and look like you're in slow motion.”

Allan swore under his breath, Jester's transmission sounded like the other pilot had breathed in helium.

Allan killed full burn and engaged the braking engines mounted in the ship's neck. After a moment the Firefly had slowed to a speed that the cortex could compensate for.

“How do you read me now Jester?”

“Better... what was that... time dilation?”

“Yep, this baby really moves. My ETA for intercept is three minutes.”

“Reavers are gonna be all over my ass in two.”

“No they won't,” Allan grinned, “Don't change course one bit.”


“You'll see.”

Allan thumbed a button on Sara Jane's control yoke and suddenly two smoke trails accelerated away from the ship. The missiles would reach the Reaver vessel in just about ninety seconds.

“Whoa!” Jester exclaimed as two missiles streaked by Thor's Hammer. Suddenly two smoke trails appeared outside the bridge windows. The weapons themselves traveling too fast to actually see.

A moment later, the Trans U chasing the big freighter disappeared in a huge fireball.

Barely a minute later, something else flashed by outside, Jester knew it was Gramps in his hot rodded Firefly, “Good shootin Gramps,” Jester said to the image of his friend on the wave screen.

“Ain't over yet Jester. Two more behind the first.”

“I can't see nothin.”

“This baby's got a military grade sensor system... Just keep on course. I'll catch you next time. Getting a bit busy here.”

“You got it Gramps... good luck.”

Cutting the wave, Allan continued slowing Sara Jane. He needed to get the ships speed down to the point where he could maneuver safely. At the Firefly's previous speed, even a moderate turn would have overwhelmed the inertial dampeners in the artificial gravity system and smeared them against the bulkheads. Not to mention causing a structural failure in the hull itself.

“Boss!” Olivia exclaimed, “Missiles inbound!”

“What? A Reaver ship with missiles?”

“Looks like an old Demon class patrol frigate...”

The data on that class of ship flashed through Allan's mind. A prewar design, the Demon's were maneuverable and had a decent weapons load. They packed a punch for their size. The only ships that fared well against them in close combat were the heavily modified Firefly gunboats used by the Independents.

Allan quickly slammed Sara Jane into a hard turn, putting the ship ninety degrees to the missiles path. Forcing the weapons to follow rather than slam headlong into the ship. Once the missiles were aft of Sara Jane, Allan turned back toward the Reavers.

“Allan... What th' hell are you doin?” Jayne asked.

“Remember way back, when those pirates were after Serenity...”

“Which time?”

“When I had Free Bird...”

“Oh shit,” Jayne muttered.

“Ummm, Is there something we should know about?” Olivia asked.

“Just hang on ta' somthin.” Jayne warned.

With a grim smile on his lips, Allan deftly guided the Firefly towards the frigate. Another pair of missiles shot away from the ship. Sara Jane shot upwards relative to the Reaver vessel, Chaff and flares in her wake. The first two missiles didn't turn to follow. Instead locking onto the ship that fired them as soon as the weapons exited the cloud of chaff.

Allan triggered the cluster launcher mounted on the aft end of Sara Jane. Tungsten ball bearings exploded in a cloud behind the Firefly. Two detonations marked the end of the missiles.

Another fireball flashed in the black as the Demon exploded, struck by her own missiles. In the meantime, the third Reaver ship turned to attack. Allan looked over to his tech expert.

“Olivia... It's all yours,” he said as the Firefly maneuvered closer to the Reaver ship. It was no recognizable class but a hodge podge of spaceship parts welded together.

Olivia's thumb touched the button on her yoke three times. Three times tracers cut across the black. The depleted uranium slugs tore the Reaver ship apart. It's cobbled together reactor went critical and the remains of the ship vaporized in a flash of light.

Allan slowly turned the firefly back to a heading for St. Albans. Running the fuel use calculations.

“We've got more than enough fuel to make St. Albans but we'll need to refuel there to make it back to the Skyplex,” He announced.

“Sounds good to me,” Jayne replied as he unstrapped from his seat.

“Anyone hungry? I am,” Allan said suddenly.

The low chuckle that flashed across the bridge erased the tension of the last half an hour.


Unaware that her father had just been in a space battle, Sara continued to get ready for her first 'official' date with Jeff.

The teen sighed as she got ready. She really missed her long hair. But after her head was shaved after her accident, Sara's hair had only partially regrown. The short hairstyle she wore now made her look different from what she was used to.

Satisfied that she had done as much as she could, Sara dropped her robe and slipped on her dress. She rarely wore dresses but Inara had picked this one out for her. Confiding in Sara that she knew Jeff would love it.

It was kinda creepy that Inara was helping Sara look pretty for her own son. But once a Companion, always a Companion Sara figured.

There was a knock on Sara's bedroom door, “Come in.”

“How you doin baby?” Zoë asked as she entered.

“As ready as I'll ever be, I guess.”

Zoë looked over her little girl who was not so little anymore. Sara was almost as tall as Zoë now. Sara had developed some definite curves over the last year and the short black dress Inara had picked out, accentuated every one of them. Zoë knew that if he had seen Sara in that dress, Allan would have hated it. It was perfect.

“You look beautiful Bao-bei,” Zoë said as she approached her daughter.

“Thanks Momma.”

“Somethings missing though...”

“What?” Sara asked, turning to look at herself in the mirror.”

“This,” Zoë replied as she placed a pendant around Sara's neck. It was the necklace Allan had given Zoë so long ago. The one with the silver and amber Firefly with Sapphire's set in the engine pods.

“Momma... I can't wear this... Daddy gave it to you.”

“And I said you can borrow it.”

Sara smiled in the mirror at her mother, “Thanks Momma.”

“Now get movin, Jeff will be here any second.”

“Yes Momma.”

Indeed, Jefferson Reynolds was waiting on the Bryant's front porch. The young man looked nervous and he glanced back over his shoulder to where his parents were standing on the porch of their own home just a few hundred feet away. His keen eyesight picked up the image of his baby sister Emma sticking her tongue out at him and then giggling.

Adjusting his leather jacket against the cool early evening autumn air, he raised his hand to knock on the door.

Before he could do so, the door opened, “Come on in Jeff.”

“Th... thanks Aunt Zoë.

Zoë smiled at the young man who was almost a son to her. All the kids of Serenity had multiple parents. Not many children could boast such and extended family, even though most were not related by blood. Good thing in this case, Zoë admitted.

“So, you all set on transportation tonight?” Zoë asked.

“Yes Ma'am. I got my ground vehicle license yesterday,” Jeff said proudly. He and Becca Tam had turned sixteen a few days previous.

“Taking the hover truck?”

“Mom's ground car. Dad insisted. Said something about it not having a big enough back seat...”

“Good choice,” Zoë replied, stifling a shudder. She had just started Sara on birth control and she didn't want to test it out just yet. Not that Zoë didn't trust Jeff. It was Sara she was worried about. The girl was just like her mother at the same age.

Zoë turned and yelled up the stairs, “Sara! Jeff's here!”

“Down in a minute!” came the yelled reply.

Jeff fidgeted while he waited. The tension was killing him.

“I'm ready,” Sara said from the top of the stairs.

Jeff turned and his jaw dropped, “Wow.”

Sara giggled as she descended the stairs, Sam at her heels. The big German Shepherd rarely left the teens side while in the house.

“You like?” Sara asked as she reached the bottom and gave Jeff a quick peck on the lips.

Jeff found his voice again, “You... I mean, you're beautiful Sara.”

Sara took Jeff's hand and headed for the door, “Real smooth Reynolds. Bye Momma, Don't wait up.”

“Midnight... or I'll have the PD and the Sheriff's out looking for you.”

Sara roiled her eyes, “Yes Momma.”

“I'll have her back on time Aunt Zoë,” Jeff stated.

“Best you do,” Zoë said sternly.

As Zoë watched Jeff open the passenger door for Sara, she sighed. As soon as the young couple had pulled away, she and Sam started walking across the compound in the direction of Mal and Inara's house.

“You okay Zoë?” Mal asked when his First Mate turned Police Chief stepped up on the porch.

“I think so,” She replied.

“Relax Zoë... Jeff will be a perfect gentleman,” Inara said with a warm smile.

“Ain't Jeff I'm worried about.”

“Oh,” Was all Inara could say in reply.




Wednesday, December 3, 2008 3:07 AM


>Mal never went in for the whole call sign thing but was unofficially known on the network as 'Sarge'.

That is so him! I enjoyed the battle sequence, and loved the fact that Zoe knew Allan would hate Sara's dress, and as for it being her little girl that wasn't necessarily to be trusted ...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 11:35 AM


Great battle sequence. You write action very well. Love the way you write Mal, too.


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