Triad - Chapter 9
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Zoe and Jefferson capture the downed Angel Pilots. As they say, the thicken plots...


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 Eight


Zoë lowered Sara Jane's ramp cautiously. Somewhere near where they had landed were two men who minutes before had been trying to blow them out of the sky. Instead they had returned the favor. They might be a bit upset about that.

Zoë looked over at the young man who would be accompanying her in the search, “You up for this, Jeff?”

“Lead the way Aunt Zoë,” Jefferson Reynolds replied as he hefted the assault rifle in his hands. Zoë was glad to see he was wearing body armor and a pistol as well.

The sun was just rising but it was still fairly dark. It wouldn't remain so for long. They had to move.

The pair set out from the ship in the direction Zoë thought the two shot down pilots might be. Jeff held up a small device and pointed in a slightly different direction.

“Hundred meters that way,” Jeff whispered, pointing with the muzzle of his rifle.

“How?” Zoë whispered in reply.

“Olivia loaned me one o' the 'tricorders',” Jeff grinned. Zoë looked at the small screen showing two small blips. One stationary and another moving toward the first.

“Let's go,” Zoë hissed.

On silent feet, they crept through the forest. Their footfalls muffled by the needles fallen from the numerous evergreens. Soon they heard hushed voices

“... Get me out of this gorram tree...”

“Hold your horses,” hissed a second voice.

Zoë peeked around a large tree in front of her and almost laughed. Hanging thirty feet in the air from her snagged parachute hung a very pissed off woman. Below her stood an Asian man, trying to figure out how to get his partner out of the tree. They were both dressed in the lightweight EVA suits fighter pilots tended to wear in case they had to bail out in the black.

Zoë stepped into the clear, her mares leg pointed at the man looking up at his partner.

“Mornin... looks like you folks are in a bit of a pickle.”

The man whipped around and tried to pull a pistol from his shoulder holster. The sharp crack of a gunshot stopped him in his tracks as a bullet struck the ground at his feet. Smoke still drifting from the muzzle of his rifle, Jeff stepped into the open next to Zoë.

“I wouldn't be doing that if I were you,” Jeff snarled.

“Hands in the air... both o' you,” Zoë ordered.

Reluctantly they complied.

With Jeff covering her, Zoë removed the automatic from the man's shoulder holster and ordered the woman in the tree to slowly pull hers out and drop it. With a growl, she complied. Zoë was surprised to see that she wasn't of Sinic decent and had blonde hair. She also looked to be nearly Zoë's own age.

After retrieving the pistols, Zoë shoved the man a few steps to his left and nodded once. Without warning, Jeff activated the laser unit clipped to the bottom of the barrel on his rifle and scythed through the parachute risers.

With a yelp of surprise, the woman pilot landed on top of her partner in a heap. Neither was seriously injured but both were a bit banged up.

“Now that we have your undivided attention,” Zoë began, “Time to make this official. You are both bound by law.”

“Gorram, Alliance Qingwa cao de liumang,” muttered the woman.

Jeff thought Zoë's eyes were going to spout lightning, “What did you call me?”

“I said you're a gorram Alliance bitch.”

“You're lucky I don't shoot you here and now,” Zoë growled as she hauled the slightly shorter woman to her feet by the front of her suit.

The woman pilot glared at Zoë, noting the badge on her shirt, “Gorram Purple Belly...”

Jeff winced at the punch his aunt threw. The woman pilot hit the ground hard.

“I may be the law around here but I sure ain't no Purple Belly,” Zoë snarled. “Sides, 'Liance ain't what it was.”

“Whatever,” the woman replied, hand on her jaw.

Zoë pulled her roughly to her feet. With a click, she was handcuffed with her hands behind her.

Jeff motioned to the other pilot with the muzzle of his rifle, “On your feet.”

With a glare, the pilot got to his feet., Jeff handcuffed him.

Zoë spun the pair around and shoved the man between the shoulder blades. “Start walkin.”


The captain of the pirate ship blinked the blood out of his eyes. With a groan he began looking around what was left of the bridge of his ship. The windows were shattered and his crew weren't far behind the glass. His pilot moved fitfully still strapped into his seat. The co-pilot looked dead. As did his gunner. A noise outside the ship drew his attention. Another boat was landing outside. It looked like a Firefly. Before he could even swear, the Captain passed out.


Air ambulances had landed next to the crashed transport, turned pirate ship. The four survivors of the crew had been airlifted to the hospital in New Edmonton under heavy guard.

Sara Jane had landed next to Serenity near the crash site. One of Simon's colleagues at the hospital had responded with the ambulances and had properly set and casted Allan's broken wrist.

Now more comfortable, he stood next to his daughter, guarding the two prisoners while Zoë and a recently arrived Jacob Buford conferred outside. The crash site was just barely inside Edmonton County and was in Jacobs jurisdiction. Jeff had fetched him along with several deputies using one of the shuttles.

Mal strode into the bay, trailed by his son. He was in a mood and Jeff hoped to keep his father from just shooting the pair.

Looking up from where she sat on the deck, the woman swore under her breath when she saw Mal's long brown coat.

“You in charge?” Mal asked as he kneeled in front of the woman.

“What's it to you?”

“Seein as your captain ain't gonna be out o' surgery for a while, looks like I need to speak at someone outta you lot. Seein as you ain't Chinese, you might feel like talkin more than the rest o' the Triad folks we got locked up in town.”

“Triad? We ain't no part o' some ben tiansheng de yi dui rou, Triad. We do piracy, sure. Only Alliance targets... well, not so much anymore.”

Mal's face hardened slightly, “What do you mean? Triad round these parts been after me and mine the last week. Got intel they were calling in an armed ship to blow up my home and them of my family. Then lo and behold, you folks show up.”

The woman's eyes got a wide as saucers for a moment as that information sunk in.

Her partner looked very nervous. Allan looked at him sharply, “Seems like one of you has been misled here,” The older man stated, “Looks like it was blondie here.”

“You telling me that the target wasn't some Purple Belly secret lab workin on bio-weapons?”

“Bi-zu!” snarled the other pilot.

“The plot thickens,” Allan said. He looked at Mal, “Where's River?”

“Right here,” she replied as she glided into the bay. River stopped next to where Mal was kneeling and smiled at the older woman, “Captain Helga Freeman. Formerly of the independent aerospace forces. Thirteen kills. Has been working on the rim as a pilot for hire and sometimes pirate ever since the war ended. Last five years working for Captain Richard Wu. Pirate. Also another former Independent. Pre-Miranda, was very active all over the system. Now, has been mostly been eradicating slavers on the rim. Unknown to Captain Freeman, the slaves rescued were not released but turned over to various Triads to be re-sold...”

“He chusheng zajiao de zanghuo!” Helga screamed at the man cuffed beside her, “Let me loose! I'll kill him myself!”

The other pilot recoiled in fear. He believed every word Helga had just said.

Allan looked at Mal and smiled slightly. Now they had someone who would help them.

Freeman was so angry at the other pilot, she hadn't realized that River had said things that no one could have known.

Allan dragged the other prisoner away from Freeman. Even handcuffed, she looked like she was trying to figure out a way to kill the man.

“What did Captain Wu tell you about where you were attacking?” Allan asked Helga.

Taking a deep breath to calm herself she looked around at the people who had gathered. Zoë had returned with Jacob after hearing the shouting. She put her arm around Sara and smiled reassuringly. River stared at the pilot with her dark eyes, almost like they were looking into her soul. Little did Helga know, that was damn close to what was really happening.

Jeff stood beside his father. Helga did notice the resemblance between the boy and the man wearing what was obviously an Independent issue browncoat. As well as the girl looking a great deal like the cop who had found them in the woods.

Helga made her decision, “I'll tell you everything. Soon as you tell me who in the gorram hell managed to shoot me down.”

Zoë and Sara shared a look and Sara giggled. Then the teen smiled and said, “We did.”


The Feds had arrived with a shuttle and had taken the other pirate pilot into custody. Zoë told them that she needed to hang onto the other one for interrogation since she had decided to cooperate.

River returned to Serenity with Mal and took off for home. Sara and Jeff followed with Sara Jane while Zoë and Allan guarded Helga in the cargo bay.

“Kids good,” The pilot commented after she heard Sara call over the com to Becca that they had landed.

“Takes after her Daddy,” Zoë replied, looking over at Allan.

“So, she was flyin?”

“Yes,” Allan replied, holding up his casted wrist, “If not for this, I would have been. Probably the only reason we're talking right now. Sara's good but she's not quite as good as her old man... yet.”

“Damn,” Helga said quietly.

“Where'd you serve?” Zoë asked.

“All over. Was on Hera at the end. Niao se dub doo gway, Command pulled us out at the last minute. Left the ground pounders to fend for themselves... poor hundans. Bunch of us tried to launch anyway. High ups had the gorram marines hold us at gunpoint so we couldn't get in our angels...” Helga trailed off.

Zoë's eyes got that haunted look Allan recognized whenever she thought of the valley. “You tried to launch?” Zoë asked after a moment.

Helga nodded, “Yep. Broke our hearts what happened after.”

“Broke more than that on me and the Cap'n.” Zoë whispered.

“Tian xiaode,” The pilot replied, “You were in the valley?”

Zoë nodded.

“Captain Reynolds and my wife were the last survivors of their platoon and ended up in command of the all the Browncoats left in the valley,” Allan said.

“Wu de tyen ah...” Helga trailed off.

Zoë stared at the blonde woman sitting on the deck before her. After a few moment's contemplation she glanced at her husband. After seventeen years of marriage, they could each almost read each others minds. Allan nodded slightly.

Zoë holstered her gun and glared at the woman, “I'm willing to cut you a little slack on account of your past. That said. You do anything to threaten me and mine. I'll scatter your brains all over the bulkheads... dong-ma?”


Zoë grabbed the woman's arm, “On your feet,” she ordered.

As soon as she was standing, Zoë undid the handcuffs. Gratefully, Helga rubbed her wrists.

“What now?”

“How about you tell us all you know about your mission,” said Allan.

“Deal. One request though.”

“What's that?” Zoë asked.

“I really need to use the head,” Helga grinned sheepishly.

Zoë actually cracked a slight grin as she led the woman in the direction of the passenger head in the common area.


Helga sat on one side of the table in Sara Jane's galley. On the other side sat Allan, Zoë, Mal, River, Jacob and Captain Vincent. Jeff, Sara and Becca sat with Kaylee in the lounge.

“Must say. I've never seen a Firefly quite this nice,” The captured pilot remarked.

“Sara Jane's an ought four,” Allan replied, “Third one off the line.”

“I heard Blue Sun was building them again. Always wondered why.”

“Because before I retired, I was the boss at Blue Sun. I like Fireflys.”

Helga looked shocked, “Guess you got a little coin then?”

“Might say that,” Mal cut off, “Now you mind tellin us how you came to be attacking our homes?”

“Cap'n was a Browncoat. Ran a blockade runner during the war. Went pirate after. I hooked up about five years ago. He'd stopped attackin Alliance shipping by then and was just doing the odd bit o' smuggling. Told me he had a right hatred o' slavers. Every time we'd run across some. Me and the boys would launch in our Angels and knock out any weapons and disable the engines. Then the Captain would dock and the crew would board. Rescue the slaves and a bit later transfer em' to another ship... always told me that the other ship would be turnin em' over to the Feds.”

Across the table, River nodded slightly.

“What about this... mission?” Captain Vincent asked.

“Told us... well, me anyway. Some old Alliance hardliners were workin on bio-weapons and the like. Wanted to overthrow the sitting government. Take us back to the bad old days.”

“And you believed him?' Allan asked.

“Yep. Had no reason not to. Captain got me outta jail five years back. Got pinched when the ship I was crewin got caught smuggling. I'd just come on as pilot the stop before so they didn't charge me with much. Mostly fines. Didn't have any coin so I was sitting in lockup. Cap'n came in, paid the fine's and got me out.”

“How come?” Mal asked.

“He'd dug up six Angels from somewhere. Needed someone who knew how to fly and fight em' and how to teach his crew how to do the same. I took the job.”

“So, you never knew your captain was working for the Triads?” Jacob asked.

“No, Sir,” Helga replied indignantly, “I'd a been outta there in a heartbeat iffin' I'd known that... gorram huh choo-shang tza-jiao duh tzang-huo,” she finished with a growl.

“Truthful,” River said after a beat.

“Huh?” Helga asked.

“Does your captain have a list of his contacts?” Allan asked quickly, changing the subject.

“I reckon so. Probably in his quarters.”

“I got my boys goin through the wreck now,” Jacob remarked, “With some help from Captain Vincent's men. We'll find it.”

“What happens to me now?” Helga asked.

“I've been going over the sensor records,” Allan said after a moment. “Looks like you didn't fire during our little engagement.”

“Didn't. Let the young bucks have a go first. Sure as hell didn't expect a Firefly to be a gunboat.”

“What about the fella we caught with you?”

“He's the XO. Hung back too but since he's the the number two man on the ship. He's gonna know all kinds o' interesting stuff.”

“What do you think?” Zoë asked Jacob.

“Ain't broke no laws on Boros... as of yet.”

“She was in possession of an illegally armed spacecraft...” Captain Vincent trailed off.

“We don't know it was actually armed,” Allan pointed out, “Since it didn't actually fire anything. Besides, all that's left of it is a smoking hole in the ground...”

“What are you playin at here, Allan?” Mal asked.

Allan smiled, “Blue Sun is always looking for good pilots.”


Allan rubbed his eyes. He'd been able to grab a quick nap but he, along with everyone else had been up for nearly twenty-four hours. Even their semi-prisoner, Helga Freeman was out cold in one of the passenger dorms.

A cup of coffee in his hands, Allan wandered down into the cargo bay. He stopped and smiled. The smile was a surprise to himself even, considering what he was seeing. Laying on a cargo net in the corner was Jeff Reynolds, fast asleep. Along with someone else.

That someone else was Sara. She was cuddled up next to Jeff, head on his chest while his arm was protectively around her shoulders.

Inara walked up the ramp, yawning. She and Simon had returned from Capital City a few hours previous with the younger children. Quietly, Inara made her way across the deck to where Allan was standing at the bottom of the stairs.

“That looks very familiar,” Inara whispered.

“It does?” Allan asked.

“About seventeen years ago. The U-day bar fight at Sadie's. We got back after Jacob sorted things out and we found you and Zoë in a similar position,” Inara finished with a demure smile.

Allan smiled, “I remember that night. Was also the same night Jayne said he loved River.”


Allan sat down on the stairs, “Before Sara's kidnapping, I would have been... pissed if I'd found them like that. Now? As long as they take it slow and don't hurt each other... I'm just happy for them.”

“Not many fathers would be that... open about things,” Inara replied.

“Never said I was normal,” Allan said with a grin.

“None of us are, I'm afraid,” Inara said, matching Allan's grin.

Allan turned serious for a moment, “Life can be too short. I seem to be the exception to the rule... hence the not normal. But... as long as Sara is happy. That's all I care about,” Allan stifled another yawn.

“When was the last time you slept?” Inara asked. Putting her hands on her hips.

“Dozed for about twenty minutes an hour ago,” Allan replied, sheepishly.

“Go get some sleep. I'll keep an eye on our guest.”

“You don't mind?”

“Go.” Inara ordered. “I have a feeling things are coming to a head. You might need the sleep. Right now it looks like our children have the right idea.”

“Okay, Inara. I'll be on the sofa in the galley lounge. Come get me in a few hours.”

“I will, Allan.”

with a smile and a nod, Allan trudged up the stairs and hopefully a few hours sleep.



Sunday, April 12, 2009 2:44 AM


In an odd way it's appropriate that Helga is able to tell them that Command stopped the Angels from attacking the Alliance at Serenity Valley. No wonder she's been taken under their wing.

And the image of Mal and Jeff, father and son, standing side by side ... good one!


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