Triad - Chapter 7
Thursday, April 2, 2009

My muse is slowly coming back from vacation with this story. Sara questions herself after the shootout at Serenity Acres and the bad guys plan something nasty.


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.




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 Seven


Sara sat on the bed in River and Jayne's room. She was shaking with anger and fear. Mostly anger. The fear sat in the back of her mind. She was scared that killing was becoming easy. The anger was understandable. In the last forty-eight hours, someone had tried to kill her three times.

And it was less than a year and a half since Rafe and Johnny Wing had kidnapped her and tried to kill her by deliberately crashing the ship she was on. This is not what she had envisioned what being a teenager would be like.

“You should have tried my teen years,” River said softly as she entered with a mug of tea.

Sara took a deep breath and tried to center herself. Her Aunt handed her the mug, “I put in some honey.”

“Thanks Aunt River.”

“The emotions you are feeling are perfectly normal,” River said as she sat next to the girl.

“I know... but... it's been so... quick.”

“It has. It seems the Serenity penchant for attracting trouble has manifested itself in the second generation,” River remarked with a slight smile.

Sara sipped the tea, “I'm just afraid that shooting folk is getting too...”

“Easy?” River replied, cutting Sara off.

The teen looked into her mug, “Yeah.”

“If you are feeling this way, then you should not worry. You are so very much like your parents. Your mother will always be a soldier at heart. Allan is a natural leader. Even Mal listens to him. Which knowing the Captain as long as I have, is quite an accomplishment.”

Sara smiled slightly, “Guess you're right about that.”

River looked up and smiled, “Friend approaches.”

“Huh?” Sara said. Looking up she saw Olivia enter the room.

“Hey, Mei-mei,” The older woman said.

“Olivia!” Sara cried out. River took the mug from Sara's hands as the girl jumped to her feet to giver the security officer a hug.

“How you doing?” Olivia asked after they broke the hug.

“Scared... pissed...”

Olivia chuckled slightly, “Well you can relax a bit. I got your back.”

For the first time in hours, Sara relaxed.


Since their house was a mess and due to the late hour and it still being a crime scene. The Bryant family slept on Sara Jane that night. Lucy Lee, Zoë's sergeant had called her father, Charles Lee to give him a heads up. He had been the man who had built all the homes at Serenity Acres.

Getting to bed around two am, Allan awoke around seven thirty. Zoë stirred beside him. Allan knew she was going to be cranky when she awoke. Two nights of little sleep combined with the stress of having your daughter nearly killed three times in two days had taken a toll on Zoë's normally calm demeanor.

Quietly, Allan slipped from the bed and made his way up the ladder. Stopping first in the galley, he started the coffee machine. Both Serenity and Sara Jane were kept fully provisioned in case of emergencies. First chore of the day done, Allan made his way to the bridge. He had a few waves to make.

Tiredly dropping himself into the pilots seat, Allan activated the cortex and typed in the address for the school.

“New Edmonton High School, Mary Wong speaking.”

“Morning, Mrs. Wong.”

“Mr. Bryant... I gather Sara will not be in today?”

“You heard?”

“It's all over town. Also Dr. Tam and Mrs. Reynolds have already called in for Becca and Jefferson.”

“Yes. It's probably for the best to keep the kids out today. Hopefully something will happen over the weekend to get things settled some.”

“Very good, Sir. If you would like, I'll have someone collect Sara's school work from her teachers. I can give it to Mrs. Cobb.”

“That would work. Thank you.”

“Everyone is alright?”

“Yes. Thank you for asking.”

“Should I tell Dr. Garland anything?”

“I'll call her later this morning when we have a better idea what's going on.”

“Very good, Mr. Bryant. Best of luck.”

“Thanks,” Allan smiled as he cut the wave. He heard footsteps climbing the stairs to the bridge. Sara entered with two mugs.

“Morning Princess,” Allan smiled as his daughter handed him a cup of coffee, “Sleep okay?”

“Tossed and turned a little bit,” the teenager replied, “But I was so tired I dropped off after a while.”

“I already called in. No school today.”

“Thanks,” Sara said as she sat down in the co-pilots seat. She began staring out the windows at the mist rising off the trees as the sun rose. Sara sipped at her own mug.

“Do you want to talk to someone about this?” Allan asked.

Sara continued to stare out the windows. After a moment she replied, “Later. Right now, all I want to do is nail these hundan's to the nearest tree.”

Allan snorted, “That's my girl.”

Sara turned to look at her father, “What can I do to help?”

Allan thought about that for a minute. After a moment he grinned, “Feel up to a little hacking?”

“What do you want to find?” Sara grinned back.

“Trace the ownership and anything else you can find on that warehouse by the port.”

“You got it, Daddy,” Sara replied as she pulled up the cortex on her side of the bridge.


Hours later, Allan and Mal stood outside the formers damaged home. “What do you think, Charles?” Allan asked.

The contractor shook his head, “Damn lucky. When Lucy called me last night, I could hardly believe it.”

“How long to fix?” Mal asked.

“Windows are all standard size,” Charles replied, “I can have those installed by tonight. The repairs to the walls will take a bit longer. Same for the gate.”

Allan nodded, “Kaylee's already fabricating a new main gate. As soon as the mounts and motor drive are rebuilt into the walls, we can hang it.”

“Sounds like a plan. What about security from the road?”

“Jacob's detailed a deputy and car to stand guard,” Mal replied.

“Good enough. I can be back in a couple of hours with the windows and a few of the boys to start work.”

“Thank you, Charles,” Allan replied as the man got into his truck to leave. As soon as he had pulled away, Mal looked at Allan.

“What's the plan?”

“Why are you looking at me?” Allan grinned.

“Cause when you plan stuff, people are less likely to get shot... and by people. I mean me,” Mal smiled.

“Oh yes. I would probably get taken off Inara's Christmas card list if you got shot... again.”

The Captain turned rancher chuckled, “Damn straight.”

“Let's go see what my daughter and Olivia have cooked up so far.”

“Good enough. I got Israel and Jeff out on a couple of horses, riding the perimeter.”

“Israel knows how to ride?” Allan asked, surprised.

“Well... he knew that you're supposed to sit on top anyway,” Mal said as he chuckled slightly.


Allan stepped into his study, followed by Mal. They had looked on both ships and didn't find either Sara or Olivia. Returning to the house, he found them staring intently at the cortex on top of the desk.

“I thought you were using the cortex on Sara Jane?”

“Needed the dedicated Blue Sun connection for some of the searches,” Olivia replied, “Besides, it almost time for lunch.”

“I got it!” Sara suddenly said.

“What is it?” Allan asked as he an Mal crowded behind the desk to look over her shoulder.

“The warehouse is owned locally by Happy Family food service. That company is a front for Fang Investments in Capital City. I had to do some digging in a few data bases to find their tax records...”

“Uh... Sara? Are you in the Fed database again?” Allan asked his daughter.

“Just the IRS,” The teenager said quietly, “It's not like last time...”

“Last time?” Mal asked.

“It was only the Ministry of Defense...” Sara trailed off.

“You hacked the MOD?” Olivia exclaimed. “You go, girl!”

“Olivia.... Allan groaned, “Don't encourage her. It was a good thing it was me that caught her,” Allan grumbled.

“Those morons don't know cortex security worth a da... darn. Never knew I was in there,” Sara said proudly.

“Not the point...”

Mal grinned, “Where were you when I was being a bad man, little girl?”

“A twinkle in Zoë's eye, I'd imagine,” Allan smiled.

“Anyway,” Sara said, rolling her eyes, “Once I got into the tax records, I found that Fang Investments is owned by another holding company called Yuan Capitol.”

“And...” Allan asked.

“Yuan Capital is owned by a man named Joseph Yuan.”

“Who's Joseph Yuan?” Mal asked.

Sara smiled and with a flourish, hit a few keys on the keyboard, “Joseph Yuan is... go-se!”


“No record,” Sara said.

“Huh?” Mal mumbled.

“No record, no nothing.”

“A ghost,” Olivia said.

“A what?” Allan asked.

“A ghost. Made up name to be signed on the paperwork that no one will ever read. That's the problem with the bureaucracy. A name has to be on the paperwork but no one looks to see if it's a real person.”

“So it's a dead end?” Allan asked.

“No... actually, it helps Zoë get a warrant to place surveillance inside the building. Since no one has clear ownership, it favors law enforcement in getting the warrant. Since it's hidden behind so may false fronts, makes em' look guilty to most judges.” the former cop replied.

“Wave all this information to Zoë,” Allan ordered. “Then we have an appointment at the Sheriffs office.”

“We do?” Olivia asked.

“Gotta go get sworn in as deputies. Where is Bobbie, anyway?”

“I think she's helping Kaylee and Becca,” Sara replied.

“Go round her and Israel up,” Allan said, “Then we'll run to town.”

“What about me, Dad?” Sara asked.

“You and Jeff are coming too. You're not getting out of our sight.”


“You can put your hands down now,” Jacob said with a grin.

“This have a slight feeling of Deja-vu to you Mal?” Allan asked.

“You mean when Mike swore us in back on Deadwood all those years ago?”

“That would be it,” Allan replied as he took his new badge from the sheriff, “Thanks, Jacob.”

“My pleasure,” The big man replied.

“But why the kids too?” Allan asked, looking to where his daughter and Jefferson stood, pinning badges on each other.

“Law on Boros says that iffin your sixteen years of age, a body can be sworn in as an auxiliary deputy. Besides, the kids have been doing a fine job so far. Might as well make it official.”

Allan grumbled a bit at that but nodded, “So... thats it?”

“Almost. Zoë and Cap'n Vincent are on the way over. We're gonna have a planning session.”

“Good,” Allan replied. “We've got some new information.”


“Mr. Bryant. I'm told you can bring some... technological help to this operation?” Captain Vincent asked.

“Well, not me per say but Miss... I mean Mrs. Schneider... Olivia?”

“I brought all of the latest surveillance gear that Blue Sun and a few other manufacturers produce. High grade sensor systems, drones of various sizes and of course, weapons.”

“What kind of sensors?” Captain Vincent asked.

“Allan calls it the tricorder,” Sylvia replied, “Why, I could never figure out why...”

Down the table, Sara snickered. She knew what it meant. She had, over the years watched every old Earth movie and television show in her fathers huge collection.

“What does it do?”

“It's a life form sensor. It can differentiate between humans and other animals. Now while other systems work similarly, this device can pinpoint where each life form is in three dimensions for a range of one thousand meters. Also it can be programed to identify individuals to either include or exclude them from the scan. I can also be set to ignore lifeforms outside a certain area.”

“Impressive,” Captain Vincent replied.

“The recon drones are of both the flying and crawling variety,” Olivia stated.

There were nods around the table.

“What about weapons?” Jayne asked.

“Don't worry Jayne,” Olivia smiled, “I brought the rails.”

A grin appeared on the big man's face, “I call one o' those.”

“I knew you would,” Olivia replied, “Oso sends it with his compliments.”

“That's my Brother-in-law,” Jayne said smugly, “Always thinkin o' his kin.”

“Anyway,” Allan cut in, “We already have video set up around the warehouse. As soon as we can, Olivia will be setting up laser mikes aimed at every available window. Once that is done, we will start sending in the smaller drones.”

“As soon as we have a warrant, you mean,” said Jacob.

“Yes,” Allan replied. “We need to do this by the book. Outside sensors are fine but anything inside requires a warrant.”


Having the county prosecutor as a family friend was rather helpful. Annie had secured a surveillance warrant from a friendly judge, allowing Olivia and Sara to begin their work.

Working under cover of darkness, Sara and Olivia set up the self contained laser microphones. Actually an old invention, they shined an invisible infrared laser beam at the glass of the windows. Any sound in the room caused the glass to vibrate which the laser could pick up. A small computer chip converted the modulated laser return into sound.

There were drawbacks. All sounds were picked up. A truck driving by, a ship taking off from the nearby port, anything.

What was needed were additional pound pickups placed inside the building. That's what the creepy crawlies were for.

The small robots looked a bit like a mechanical spider. About the size of a deck of cards, they were able to cling to any surface. Sara directed one while Olivia controlled a second. Wearing what looked like sunglasses, the pair were able to see just what the cameras on the robots saw. An earwig gave them audio. Moving slowly, the machines occasionally left another microphone in their wake.

“Jackpot,” Sara whispered as she steered her crawly into position. It had an unobstructed view of a small office on the warehouses mezzanine. Three men were visible. Even though it was close to midnight.

Sara zoomed in the camera to get a better view. One middle aged Chinese man sat behind a desk while two other Sinic men a bit younger faced him. Sara toggled on the laser mike on her crawly.

“... An utterly jingcai screw up,” the man behind the desk growled. His tone of voice obvious through the static.

“Forgive us, Shan-chu,” said one of the younger men, “We were misled as to the effectiveness of the security system as well as the skill of the people living there with firearms.”

“Indeed,” the oder man replied, “How is it that you did not take into consideration that the police chief is a former soldier and might have trained her child in the use of firearms from an early age?”


“No more excuses. I am forced to do something rash to keep this under control.”

“May I ask what that is?” said the third man, speaking for the first time.

“Let me say that one of our... associates owns a certain spacecraft. One with an impressive array of weapons. I will order him to erase this so called, 'Serenity Acres' from the face of the planet.”

“When?” Asked the third man.

“Tonight.. just before dawn when they are all asleep.”

“Shan-chu. Forgive me if I offend. But... isn't that a bit... rash? The gou tsao de Feds will be all over us.”

“It will look like an accident. I have given orders that after strafing the houses, our... associate, will put a missile into the reactor of their spacecraft. That will erase any evidence...”

Sara looked over at Olivia, her eyes wide. Sara keyed her earwig, “Mom... did you hear that?”

“We all did, Baby. Leave the gear. Some Feds will be there to take over for you in a few minutes. Then make you way here to the office. We've got a reception to plan.”

“Copy that, Mom,” Sara grinned. She knew just how warm a reception her father could present with the equipment mounted on Sara Jane. The equipment her father didn't think Sara knew about.



Translation: Shan-chu / Mountain Master. The traditional title given to the head of a Triad.


Friday, April 3, 2009 2:46 AM


Great story-telling, and some serious booty to kick, too. I love Mal's assertion that if Allan plans things, he won't get shot! And the crew must be getting close if the Triad are planning something so stupid as trying to wipe out Serenity Acres ...


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