Triad - Chapter 5
Saturday, March 21, 2009

The kids have an uneventful school day until the end. Sara is attacked and River rushes to the rescue. Warning for some English swear words.


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. I’m just playing. No money being made. The situations come from my own twisted mind as do my original characters.


This story takes place about a year after the conclusion of Heritage.


AN: Still unbeta'd as Woonsocket is buried at work. Soon as she is unearthed, my chapters will have a bit more polish to them.

Cast of characters:

Parents: Malcolm Reynolds 53 Inara Serra-Reynolds 45 Allan Bryant 69 Zoë Bryant 49 Kaylee Tam 42 Simon Tam 44 Jayne Cobb 53 River Cobb 37 Kids: Jefferson (Jeff) Reynolds 17 Emma Reynolds 12 Sara Bryant 16 Rebecca Tam 17 John (Jack) Tam 13 Rachel Cobb 10 Jesse Cobb 8

Triad-Chapter Five


Sara had never sought to be the center of attention. This day however, she seemed to be. Jeff was in the spotlight too.

As they sat together on the patio outside the cafeteria eating their lunch with Becca and Clayton, Becca's boyfriend. They kept getting thumbs up and words of “good job” from their fellow students and a few teachers.

“Not sure of I can take this being the center of attention much more,” Sara grumbled before biting into her sandwich.

“My calculus class actually stood and applauded when I walked in this morning,” Jeff replied.

“Wanna hide under something, Jeff?” Clayton asked.

“Something like that, Clay.”

“I've been getting some of it too... and I weren't even there,” Becca remarked.

“Be glad you weren't Bec,” Sara said after a moment, “They keep makin us out to be hero's or some such.”

“Weather you realize it or not, you are one, Fledgling,” said a new voice.

Sara rolled her eyes, “Aunt River...”

River smiled at the kids, “You are the progeny of hero's. Runs in the blood.”

“Your folks?” Clayton asked.

“I remember back when we were on Jiangyin. Mal and Zoë rescued me and My brother when the zealots there were trying to burn me at the stake.”

Clayton's eyes went wide as saucers, “What?”

River giggled, “The townspeople had kidnapped Simon and myself. They thought I was some kind of witch. Tried to burn me at the stake. Mal and Zoë came into town, armed to rescue us. While Serenity hovered overhead with my Jayne hanging out of the lower lock coving them.”

“Wow,” Clayton whispered, “How come they thought you were a witch, Mrs. Cobb?”

“Because I am,” River grinned before turning away, a slight giggle escaping her lips.


Jeff, Becca and Sara snorted in amusement.

“Your aunt ain't quite right,” Clayton said after a moment.

“Tell us about it,” Jeff smiled.


“He did what?” Stephen Salinas said to Zoë over the cortex.

“Called me a traitor and a terrorist. Then accused me of taking bribes.”

“God, I hate that man,” Stephen replied, “I was never in favor of hiring a city manager. We seemed to do fine before with the council and the department heads running things.”

“You ain't the only one,” Zoë agreed.

“I'll put you on the agenda for the council meeting on Tuesday. I'll warn Huang to stay out of your way until then. Alice and I support you on the council and Robert is neutral... but the other two... well, they accept what Ru says unquestionably.”

“Thank you Stephen,” Zoë said, “I just wanted you to know what happened.”

“Can you back up what happened? A recording or some such?”

“No. I didn't have time to set that up. Not that I expected him to do and say what he did.”

“Okay, Zoë. How are things progressing on the shootings?”

“Kid we got in custody ain't talking. Think he's more scared o' the Triad than he is of what the law will do to him. The security footage from the armored robbery was wiped. They knew what they were doing.”

“I don't know what's happening around here. A year ago, the only thing we had to worry about was drunk drivers and the odd burglary. Now we've got a violent Triad operating.”

“That's another thing that's been bothering me,” Zoë said after a moment, “Council brought Huang on, first o' January, right?”


“Things were peaceful up until then, right?”

“Go on.”

“Seems a might strange. We get a new City Manager who starts cutting the budget o' the police and we suddenly get a spike in the crime rate.”

“Zoë, are you insinuating, Huang may have something to do with this?”

“No... not yet anyway. I just don't like coincidences.”

“Me either. Do what you can.”

“Already got Jayne on it,” Zoë smiled.


Allan was sitting the desk in his study when his cortex chimed with an incoming wave. He smiled when he saw who it was from, “Hey Oso.”

“Hello, Allan. How is retirement treating you?”

“Bored out of my mind... and loving every minute of it.”

“Didn't seem boring yesterday,” Oso commented.

Allan's face fell, “Heard about that, did you?”

“All over the cortex. Sara okay?”

“She is. But more than a little spooked.”

“That's why I called. Since you aren't the CEO anymore, I can't send a team to help out with any... security issues.”

“I sense a but in there somewhere...”

“Durin authorized two team members on a short term assignment. Since you still have a seat on the board...”

“Who's coming?”

“Israel and Olivia. We're calling it a working honeymoon.”

“Honeymoon? You mean those two stopped arguing long enough to get married?”

Oso snorted, “Yeah. They kinda remind me of Mal and Inara.”

“Not wrong there. How's little Dwayne doing?”

“My boy is great,” Oso beamed, “And Fred will be ready to come back to work in a month or so.”

“Glad to hear it. When you guys get some time, I'd love to have you swing by.”

“I'm scheduled for vacation in March. We'll do it then.”

Allan smiled, “When will Israel and Olivia get here?”

“They launched last night. Should get there by dinner tonight.”

“Thats fast. What are they flying?”

“That new, experimental courier ship you designed. Bobbie's driving. Supposed to be a test flight. Keeps the rest of the board happy. Durin is okay with it, of course.”

“Okay Oso, I'll wave you later. I need to go pick up Sara , Becca and Jeff from school.”

“Talk to yo soon, Allan.”


Allan stepped into the school auditorium, hearing the familiar strains of Silent Night done rock and roll style. Sara's band was rehearsing for the upcoming holiday concert.

Allan stepped up next to Jeff and smiled, “Sounding good.”

Jeff nodded, “Sure are.”

As the kids finished that tune, Sara spotted her father and smiled and yelled down from the stage, “One more to go!” Allan just waved and smiled as the music began again. Allan started to laugh when they broke into a rendition of Jimmy Buffet's Schoolboy Heart. Fritz Rasmussen, the other guitar player and singer doing the vocals.

As soon as the tune was over, Sara set down her guitar and jumped off the stage. She gave Jeff a quick kiss causing her father to roll his eyes. Sara just grinned.

“All set, princess?” Allan asked.

“Just got to put away my gear, Dad,” Sara replied. “Be back in about ten minutes.”

Allan nodded as Sara made her way back to the stage and began picking up her equipment.

Allan looked over at his ersatz nephew, who was almost as tall as he was now, “Everything go okay today, Jeff?”

“Shiny, Uncle Allan,” Jefferson replied, “Other than getting a standing ovation from My calculus class.”

Allan nodded, “You heard about Yasmine's mom?”

Jeff nodded, “Yeah...”

“I know you two are friends. We'll swing by on the way home so you can pay your respects.”

Allan and Jeff fell into silence while they waited. A few minutes later, Becca walked up, “Sara says she'll be a few minutes.”

“Okay Becca,” Allan replied and sat down in one of the auditorium chairs to wait.

Sara slung her backpack over one shoulder and picked up her guitar case. As she stepped from the ladies room, she suddenly found herself surrounded by six boys. All were of Sinic ancestry. She recognized several off them from shared classes, “Uh... men's room is over there, guys...”

“Bi-zuie, tchen wah!” said one of them.

“What did you call me? You, liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze fuh ur-tze!”

Sara's reply was the brandishing of several knives.



Allan was still waiting when he thought he saw a blur of skirts sprint by the open door to the auditorium, “Did that look like River?”

“Sure did, Uncle Allan,” Becca replied.

Allan swore under his breath, River never ran anywhere unless there was trouble. He slipped his backup pistol out of his ankle holster and handed it to Jeff. “Stay here.”

“But...” Jeff began.

“Stay here!” Allan ordered as he rose to his feet and began running in the direction River had run. Pulling his Colt from the holster at the small of his back.


Sara had fought. One of the boys who had accosted her was laying on the floor clutching his groin and another leaned against the wall, holding his broken nose.

Unfortunately, they had forced her back through the doors into the bathroom and Sara was trapped. She wasn't allowed to carry her gun on campus. Sara usually had it locked up under the seat of her hover bike or in the car.

All she had were her fists and feet against knives with four to one odds. She was in deep go-se.

The remaining thugs had formed a semi circle around her. Cold steel glinted in the light.

“You killed some friends of mine,” the obvious leader snarled.

“Well they were killing folk too. Someone had to stop them,” Sara replied. She knew she was in trouble then.

One of the boys lunged at her and she deflected the cut, another knife flashed and Sara cried out as the blade slashed her upper arm. The wound wasn't deep but painful.

A quick spin kick and the one who had slashed her hit the floor. In the confusion, another boy grabbed Sara's arm...

With a bang, the door wrenched open and something female exploded in their midst...

River had arrived.

Distracted by the entrance, the three thugs remaining on their feet, didn't know what hit them.

River launched herself into the air, her feet flashing out and connecting with the back of two of the assailants heads as she did a split midair. Her fist shattered the jaw of the third.

River landed in a crouch and looked up at her niece, “Are you okay?”

“Got my arm,” Sara gasped as she clutched the bleeding wound.

The thug with the broken nose, tried to run but found himself bodily thrown into the wall, stunning him momentarily. As he shook his head to clear it, the youth came face to face with a very pissed off Allan Bryant.

The kid tried to swing at Allan but he was slammed into the wall again and suddenly felt the cold steel of a pistol against his head.

“If you so much as move a fucking millimeter, they'll need to use DNA to identify the body... dong-ma?” Allan growled. The boy's eyes went wide when he saw the fury in Allan's eyes. He didn't dare move.

The boy Sara had kicked in the groin tried to get to his feet but he too, found himself thrown against the wall. He crumpled, unconscious.

Allan glanced over his shoulder, “I thought I told you to stay put?”

“Sorry, Uncle Allan. Guess I take after my dad, that way,” Jefferson replied.

“Where's Becca?”

“Right here,” chirped the girl, standing behind Jeff.

“See to Sara's arm and get her out of here. You too Jeff. Wait for the cops. River and I are going to have a little chat with these boys...”


Zoë burst through the school doors, Jayne at her heels. She had the riot shotgun from her patrol car in her hands, Jayne carried Vera. The few kids in the hallways at this time of the day, flattened themselves to the wall as they ran past. Two more cops followed a few steps behind.

Zoë skidded to a stop when she reached the area outside the restroom. Sara sat in a chair while Becca treated a slash to her arm. Being Simon's daughter, Becca knew more than a few things about first aid.

Five teenage boys, none alder than eighteen lay in a pile on the floor. Tied up and either unconscious or moaning. Several looked to have various injuries. Over to one side stood Jeff, a pile of assorted sized knives at his feet. One had blood on it.

“What in rutting hell happened here?” Zoë said as she knelt next to Sara.

“Sorry, Momma,” Sara replied. Couldn't get em' all.”

Zoë's angry face softened, “What happened, baby girl?”

“Six of em' cornered me coming out of the bathroom and forced me back in. I got two before they started slashing with their knives. Got another but then I got cut...”

“Then, what?” Zoë asked as more officers, including deputies from the county began to arrive. The cops and deputies began handcuffing the semi-conscious young men.

“Aunt River showed up,” Sara replied, wincing as Becca tightened the bandage on her arm.

Zoë sighed with relief. Thank god for River... again.

“Wait a minute, you said six. There's only five out here.”

“Uncle Allan and Aunt River are having a chat with the sixth one,” Jeff said as he kneeled down next to Sara. She leaned against him.

At that moment, the bathroom door opened and another of the boys was shoved out by Allan into the arms of Mike Wyatt, one of Zoë's officers.

Zoë squeezed her daughters shoulder and stood. She stepped to her husbands side and River exited behind Allan.

“Well?” Zoë asked.

Allan was red with anger. It took him a moment to regain enough composure to speak.

“War... God damn fucking war,” Allan breathed.

River spoke up, “It is indeed a Triad. These were just soldiers. As were the ones who Sara and Jeff killed. This was revenge for that killing.”

“Any idea who's behind it?” Zoë asked. Thankful for River's reading abilities.

“They don't know. They are at the bottom of the food chain. But, I do know where they meet now.”

Zoë nodded, “Where is that?”

“A warehouse near the port.”

“I'll put surveillance on it.”

“Rather blow it off the face of the planet,” Allan muttered.

Zoë sighed, “Baby... We can't. I'm the law now. We gotta do this right. This is our home. Can't go in, guns blazin like we used to. Much as I'd like too.”

Allan nodded, “Oso called. Durin heard the news. Olivia and Israel will be here tonight. Jeff and Sara are getting body guards.”

“Good,” Zoë replied. “I was about to assign a couple of my people to it. We'll get em', now we know where to look.”

Allan looked to where his daughter was sitting. Paramedics had arrived and were treating her along with the injured thugs.

Dr. Garland pressed through the throng of people, “My god...”

“Hello Lavern,” Allan said.

“Allan, Zoë... I'm... I'm so sorry about this.”

“Not your fault,” Zoë replied.


Are they all students here?” Zoë asked.

“They are. Those three have never been in any trouble before,” Dr. Garland said, indicating the two Sara had dropped and one of the boys River had subdued.

“Triad's been recruiting Sinic kids all over,” Zoë replied, “According to the Feds.”

“If you feel the need to keep Sara out of school... I can have her work sent home.”

“That won't be necessary,” Allan replied. “I have two security officers on the way. They will arrive tonight. Same set up as last time.”

“I understand,” Dr. Garland replied.

“Uncle, Allan? Aunt Zoë?”

“What is it Becca?” Zoë replied.

“Medic says Sara needs some weaves. Uncle Jayne offered to take her and Jeff to the hospital for em'.”

“Okay Becca,” Zoë replied. “Might as go along too. We'll be there, quick as we can.”

“Okay,” Becca replied.

Allan stepped away and kneeled in front of his daughter, “Sara?”

“I'm okay, Daddy.”

Allan hugged her, “I know. You did well.”

“I'm scared.”

“Me too, Princess. But you'll have someone to watch your back tomorrow. Olivia and Israel will be here tonight.”

“That's a relief,” Sara replied.

“I know. In the meantime, go with Jeff and Becca to get those weaves. Uncle Jayne will take you. Your Mom and me will be along directly.”

Sara nodded, “Okay Daddy.”

Allan stood and held his hand out. Jeff produced Allan's backup pistol from his waistband and handed it to his uncle. Allan smiled slightly.

“C'mon you three,” Jayne grumbled, “Lets get Sara to the hospital.”

River stood on tiptoes and kissed Jayne quickly before turning back to Zoë and Allan, “I'll start a cortex search as soon as I get home. We'll get to who is behind this.”

Allan nodded, “Thanks River... for everything.”

River cocked her head and smiled, “That is what family is for.”




Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:19 PM


Wow! Action packed and angsty, simultaneous. Hurrah for River et al. More please?



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