Relics - Chapter 13
Sunday, March 1, 2009

The crew of the Marci Mae is laid to rest and Serenity departs for home. Meanwhile more ships are being blown up and Monty finds someone messing with his own ship.


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own ’em. (Except for Allan and the kids. they're mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.


This story takes place nine years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/Allan and Jayne/River. Takes place five years post “The Bash” -


Thanks again to Woonsocket and Chris for the Beta work




Chapter Thirteen


“What do you think, Kaylee?”

“You're right. Someone killed these poor folks,” the mechanic said sadly as she absently kicked a chunk of burned and twisted metal.

Allan nodded in agreement. He and Kaylee had spent most of the previous day collecting as many pieces of the obliterated engine pod as they could find. Pieces had been thrown hundreds of yards by the blast. One particularly large chunk had actually put a dent in Serenity's own hull.

Working from the fragmented components, the pair then arranged them in the rough outline of a pod, which looked vaguely like a huge 3D jigsaw puzzle. As they worked, a few of the local townspeople showed up with additional pieces of wreckage flung far away from the scene.

Allan scanned every part laid out on the ground with a hand held scanner. The small device was able to look for trace gases and other by-products. Normally carried on Serenity for calibrating the life support system, it worked well for forensic work too.

It was late in the second day of their 'investigation' that they found what they were looking for.

It was a part that Sara and Becca had proudly dragged from the shrubbery. The two girls had wanted to help. So, with stern warnings about what and what not to touch, the girls gleefully set off into the underbrush looking for metal fragments.

What they had found was a large piece of the fusion initiator assembly that had embedded itself into the hard soil of Deadwood.

The two parents had chuckled at first when they heard the grunts that the five and six-year olds made dragging the chunk of twisted machinery. The piece weighed almost as much as the girls did together.

Reliving the girls of their burden, Allan ran the scanner over the component and the device began beeping.

“What is it?” Kaylee asked.

“This is what's left of the fusion initiator, right?” Allan asked.


“What would happen if someone placed a couple of pounds of plastic explosive against this part of the engine?” Allan asked with a knowing, yet grim smile.

“One big boom,” Kaylee replied.

“Well, according to the scanner here, there are traces of explosive residue all over this thing.”

Kaylee's eyes shot wide, “A bomb?”

“A bomb,” Allan agreed.


“A what?” Jarrod Wilkins exclaimed.

“A bomb... well I'm pretty sure that's what it was. We found traces of explosive residue on the fusion initiator from the port pod.”

“Tian xiz shou you de ren dou gai si,” Mattie Cobb whispered under his breath.

“Jarrod, what was your last stop before coming here?”

“Greenleaf. Picked up a load o' foodstuffs for the store here. Blue Sun contract haul.”

“So, no other stops?” Allan confirmed.

“No... but we were about ten hours ahead of schedule. Ran full burn since we had the fuel and we had a urgent charter for once we left here.”

“How long were you on the ground here before you tried to take off?”

“’Bout nine hours.”

“Time line fits... roughly,” Allan said.

“Fits what?”

“If you had been on schedule, that pod probably would have blown just as you began to enter atmo. No damage on the ground because the ship would have burned up on entry.”

“What are you gettin’ at, Allan?” Mattie asked.

“I just made the connection. Three other ships contracted to haul for Blue Sun have had... accidents in the last six months or so. All hands lost and the ships destroyed. All upon entering atmo... looked like a coincidence… but after this...”

“Son of a bitch,” Jarrod swore.

Allan's face hardened, “Mattie, tell the Mayor that this wasn't an accident and Jarrod here and his crew were not at fault. I give you my word on that.”

“Jarrod, I know it can't replace your friends but I will see that you get a new ship. And by new, I mean a brand new ship. Find one you like and send me the bill personally. I'll have an old friend of Captain Reynolds’ swing by to pick you and your wife up as soon as she can travel... I need to make some calls...”


“You sure Allan?” Oso replied on the cortex screen.

“As sure as I can be. Was damn close. If not for them running full burn, they would have blown on entry. And If we hadn't have been there, well... Fred would be planning a memorial service instead of a wedding.”

The big man shook his head, “Damn.”

“I want you to look into the history on those ships. Look for a pattern. Any pattern. And have the dispatch office send out a warning to all the haulers on contract. Have them check their boats with a fine tooth comb.”

“You got it, Boss” Oso replied.

“Blue Sun's own fleet too.”


“Speaking of Fred, where is your fiancé?”

“On a run with Monty. Been having a problem with a few of the suppliers out on the rim. Thought that Fred might be able to smooth things over.”

“A pretty face to persuade and she can kick their ass to boot,” Allan chuckled.

“Got that right. Monty is good backup for her. Only one of the haulers I trust enough for that.”

Allan nodded, “He is family, so to speak. Oso, I need to run. Quite a bit going on here.”

“Okay, Boss. Talk to you soon.”

Allan reached for the switch to terminate the wave but paused, “Oso?”


“Warn Monty about this personally.”

“Read my mind, Boss.”


With the revelation that it had been a bomb that had brought down the Marci Mae, the townsfolk of Redding changed their attitudes about the crashed ship’s crew. The locals opened their hearts to the couple who had survived.

Jarrod was a bit overwhelmed. His wife, whom he had named his ship after, was recovering slowly. She had been moved out of Serenity's infirmary to Vera's guest bedroom. The local diner had refused payment for the meals the captain had eaten there.

Two days later, nearly the whole town turned out for the funerals for the two crew killed in the crash.

Jeanette and Roger Lau were laid side by side in Redding's cemetery. The crew of Serenity and the extended Cobb family served as pallbearers.

Allan, Mal, Simon, Jayne, Mattie and Jayne's Uncle Caleb carried Roger while Zoë, Sylvia, Madison Cobb, Vonda, River and Vera carried Jeanette.

As the Shepherd read his words over the graves, Sylvia, Melissa, Vonda and Annie were trying to hold back tears. In a way, this funeral was for their loved ones lost on the Kansas as well.

As the quickly thrown together wake held at the town hall broke up, the sound of another ship landing drew everyone's attention. Settling to the ground next to Serenity was another Firefly. It was the Sutherland.

Robert Sutherland had readily agreed to pick up Marci and Jarrod Wilkins. Robert and Jarrod were old acquaintances.

Allan and Simon transferred the still recovering Marci Wilkins to a passenger dorm on the Sutherland and the doctor made sure that they had all the medical supplies they would need.

Jessie Sutherland, besides being a teacher, had trained as a nurse during the war. She assured Simon she could handle any problems.

Allan drew Robert aside, “I really appreciate this, Rob.”

“Don't worry on it, Allan. I've known Jarrod for years. Damn shame about Roger and Jeanette. Good folks.”

“Keep a close eye on your boat. Whoever is doing this seems to be targeting former Browncoats. Those with their own ships who are hauling for Blue Sun anyway,” Allan said.


Allan nodded, “That's the only pattern we've turned up so far. Every one of the skippers that crashed was a Browncoat.”


“Doubt it. Hell, the Deputy Prime Minister used to be an Independent Army General. Quite a bit has changed the last few years.”

“You're right on that account. How's Cap’n Marsh handlin’ things?”

“Getting there. Vonda and Annie, too. Melissa seems to be adapting the quickest. Must be because she's a teenager.”

“I reckon so. Not much fazes my girl, Bobbie for sure.”

Allan grinned at the younger man, “I am so not looking forward to when Sara is a teenager.”

“It's all good. Just as they get older you gotta start worryin’ about the boys comin’ round. I'm pretty sure you'll have that problem too, iffin’ Sara turns out just half as pretty as her momma.”

“Good thing I have a gun.”

Robert guffawed, “That's the spirit. A few o' Bobbie's dates had a shotgun held in their face mindin’ the boys to keep their hands to themselves.”

“I'll keep it in mind,” Allan grinned. “You know... might be rather entertaining when Emma reaches that age. Can you imagine the reaction when the first boy comes calling on Mal's daughter?”

“Heaven help the young man,” Robert laughed.


Get everything you needed?” Allan asked Sylvia as she walked up the ramp into Serenity, carrying several bags. Melissa was a few steps behind, carrying even more.

“I think so,” Sylvia replied. I picked up some maternity clothes. My jeans are getting kinda tight.”

Melissa set her bags down, “These people have no fashion sense,” The teenager commented.

“Fashion comes and goes pretty quickly nowadays,” Allan replied.

“Thank god for Miss Inara,” Melissa said. “She has a good eye for fashion.”

Allan chuckled and Sylvia grinned, “Yes, Inara does know her clothing.”

“The other ladies back yet?”

Allan nodded, “Annie and Vonda got back just before you did.”

“Are we leaving soon?” Melissa asked.

“As soon as River and Jayne get back. I think they’re saying goodbye to Vera.”

“I like her,” Melissa commented.

“Vera's kind of like the crew's mom. And the closest thing Sara has to a grandmother,” Allan said.

“Why is that?”

Allan tried to keep a smile on his face but it was hard, “My folks are long gone, back on Earth, and Zoë’s folks died a long time ago, too.”

“Oh,” Melissa replied, her eyes downfallen.

“Don't worry about it kiddo. I got more family on this ship than I can deal with. And that includes you.”

The teen perked up, “Me?”

“I already got an adopted niece in River. One more won't hurt. And Syl here is like my baby sister.”

“And don't you forget it,” Sylvia grinned. “Come on, Melissa, let’s put this stuff away in our bunk.”

“Okay,” the teen chirped. She and Sylvia headed up the stairs to the upper deck.

A few hundred yards away, Allan spotted Jayne and River strolling arm in arm towards the ship. Jayne also carried a large bag and River a basket.

“Care package from Vera?” Allan asked as the couple ascended the ramp.

“Don't know how she does it so quick, but she knitted a whole pile o' baby stuff fer me an Riv, and fer the girls too.”


“Sylvia, Annie and Vonda,” River clarified.

“Oh,” Allan replied.

“Albatross!” Mal called down from the catwalk, “Think we might be able to take off sometime this year?”

“Coming, Captain Tight Pants,” River called back, grinning.

Mal just mumbled something unintelligible.

With a smile, Allan closed up the ramp and followed River to the bridge.


They were a week into the voyage back to Boros when it happened.

“Allan!” Mal's voice came across the com system in his and Zoë’s bunk.

Allan started awake, his head pounding. Zoë rose and answered the com call, “What is it, Sir?”

“Allan's got a wave. From Oso.”

Allan rubbed his temples. Simon had warned him that the side effects of his heavy radiation dose would show up in about two weeks. Allan felt like he had been on a three-day bender while sun bathing to boot.

“I'm up Mal, I'll take it down here,” Allan groaned.

Zoë slipped on a robe since she was naked. Allan pulled on a pair of sweats and staggered over to the cortex screen. It was about three AM, ship’s time.

“What's up, Oso?” Allan said as he answered the call.

“Jeez, Boss. You look like hell.”

“You know, comments like that are not conducive to a satisfactory performance review,” Allan groused, “But I feel worse. Three hundred rads of gamma will do that to you.”

“Are you going to be okay?”

“Yeah, delayed reaction to the radiation. The meds Simon has me on stopped any real damage but I feel like I slept out in the sun for three days.”

Oso nodded, “Hate to bug you in the middle of the night, but I just got word. Another ship went down.”

Allan immediately snapped to attention, “Where?”

“Jubilee. Blew a pod just before they hit atmo. Couldn't save the ship but the crew was able to bail out in the life pods. They're a little banged up but no major injuries.”

“Thank god for that.”

“Monty's in the area, he's going to pick them up on the way back to Londonium.”

“Sounds like a plan. What's his ETA?”

“About two and a half weeks.”

Allan sat in thought for a few minutes. “Soon as they get in, you grab Marion and that new girl... the tech expert...”

“Olivia Little,” Oso clarified.

“Her. Israel too. Have Monty run you all to Boros. Time for a little war council.”

“You got it, Allan.”

“Keep me posted.”

“No problem.”

“I'm going back to bed.”

“Get your beauty rest, Boss... looks like you need it.”

“Very funny,” Allan replied as he cut the wave. He looked over at his wife, “Any thoughts?”

“Seems like it's escalatin’,”

“I know.”

“Least the crew got off.”


“You feeling okay?”

“I feel... crispy.”

“Crawl back on into bed and I'll go grab you a smoother.”

“Thanks, Baby,” Allan said as he lay back on the bed, groaning as he did so.

Zoë smiled at her husband before climbing the ladder to the corridor above.


Monty was having trouble sleeping. Pulling himself out of his bunk, the captain of the Walrus made his way down to the cargo bay and stepped outside for a breath of air.

They were parked on Harvest until the morning. Then they would be heading to Jubilee to pick up the crew of the Cirrus, the Trance class transport that had crashed there.

Breathing in the sweet air of Harvest, Monty contemplated things. It was beginning to shape up like someone was after the independent freighters that were hauling for Blue Sun.

Sid, Monty's own mechanic had crawled all over the Walrus that afternoon and had put anti tamper seals on all the access panels where a bomb might be attached to a sensitive system. With those in place, he would be able to do a quick visual inspection before they lifted in the morning without resorting to nearly tearing the engines apart.

There were few lights around this part of the port here in Harvest City. On a whim, Monty decided to take a look around the outside of his ship

Monty patted the landing gear of his baby. A Skylark class barge, the Walrus was a derivative of the Trance class fitted with the more powerful engine pods from an 03 Firefly. It gave the bulky ship more cargo capacity and significantly more maneuverability.

As he walked along the length of his ship, Monty paused. He thought he had heard something. It sounded like metal on metal.

Drawing his gun, the big man crept towards the starboard aft pod. He froze, when in the darkness he could make out a ladder leaning against the pod.

He heard the sound again. It sounded like the sounds a tool would make as someone worked on something metal.

Moving on silent feet, Monty peered into the darkness. He could just make out two men. One on the ladder doing something to the engine and another looking around nervously.

Gun out and ready, Monty stepped out into the limited light, “You! Don't move!” his deep voice bellowed.

The man on the ground whirled and reached for a gun. Monty was faster, his big revolver barked in the silence and the man fell to the ground, dead.

The man on the ladder put his feet on the outside of the rails and slid down.

“Gorramit, don't move!” Monty bellowed again.

This man, too, reached for his gun.

Monty's pistol spoke again and the man fell to the ground.

“Hundan,” Monty swore under his breath as he approached the man on the ground. He was trying to crawl away.

“Will you sit still, gorramit!”

The injured man glared at Monty and before the big man could do so much as blink, the man put the barrel of his gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

“Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiouh doh sai-jin wuh duh pi-gu!”

“Monty!” called a voice running up behind him.

“I'm okay, Freddie girl,” the Captain said as Frederica Cobb ran up next to him. It looked like she had just jumped out of bed and grabbed her gun since she was only wearing a rather thin nightgown.

“Cao, girl,” Monty rumbled as he hung his coat on the young woman's shoulders, “You'll catch your death out here dressed like that.”

The sounds of running feet announced the arrival of the rest of the Walrus' crew. Monty turned to them, “Sid, check the engine. Lee, call the law. The rest o' you, keep an eye out.”

Fred knelt down next to the body of the man lying in the dust. Carefully she removed a small box from the satchel over his shoulder.

“What you got, girl?”

“A bomb,” Fred replied.



AN: I'm liberally borrowing Hotpoint's Trance class ship from his Wolfpack fanfic. I hope he someday returns and finishes his epic storyline.

To see what a trance class looks like (And sorta what Monty's ship looks like) go here


Sunday, March 1, 2009 10:39 AM


Is it Monty's mustache that gives him a sixth sense?! Way to ratchet up the tension.



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