Mirror, Mirror / Reflection
Saturday, June 27, 2009

A chance meeting in the dockyard, told from the point of view of first Malcolm Reynolds, then from the point of view of Dicey Morgan. Not canon, written mainly for my own amusement.


"Mirror, Mirror"


As the name echoed across the dockyard, time suddenly stood still...

Mal froze, confused for a moment. Reflexively, he looked around, searching the varied groups of people milling about. Across the dockyard, a gleam of dark red caught his eye. Sunlight glinted off unusual dark red hair, on a woman with her back to him. A group of people was converging on her and her current companions, from his direction.

He couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe for a moment. Those around him were forgotten. She was maybe a few hundred feet away, her hair spilling down her back, over the brown coat – nearly identical to the one he owned himself. A tall blonde man in a flat-brimmed black hat and longish black coat stood to one side of her, a lopsided smile on his face as he turned to see another group approaching. On her other side, a young man with spiky blonde hair stood with his arm around a smaller girl with long dark hair. The girl wore a skirt, and leaned close to the spiky haired man. Guns adorned the two men’s hips, and the red haired woman’s hip as well, visible as she began to turn. The group approaching her from his directions called again, and she turned her attention from whatever had captured it previously to face them.

Had his heart stopped? He couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt it beat.

Even from here he could see the blue of her eyes, stormy blue grey, and the white of the wide smile she greeted them with. She reached up to brush a lock of that dark red hair back behind her ear, tilting her head slightly as she did.

It simply wasn’t possible. He’d seen her die. It. Wasn’t. Possible. Right beside that lock of hair, he’d seen the dark spot, the horrible dark smear as she fell, trying to turn to look at him. She couldn’t be standing there, looking so perfectly unmarred and... alive.

She moved forward, reaching out to poke a tall young man on the shoulder, smiling and teasing. When she impacted his shoulder, he could see the way the fabric of his coat didn’t give, a sign it was armored in some way. Curious. A shorter girl in shorts and boots accompanied Armored Coat, looking guilty, even from here. An arched eyebrow that tore him in two was leveled at the Shorts Girl, and she responded with reluctant merriment, gesturing with defeat and self-deprecating humor. They all seemed to gather, including a dark, solemn man in a long coat, a grumpy looking young man of medium build, nearly as tall as the man in the armored coat, and an elegantly swathed companion-like woman that had remained mostly spectators in the greetings, they began to move away. 

He didn’t hesitate. He followed, keeping his distance. A throaty feminine voice behind him called, “Sir?” but he dismissed Zoe with a gesture, somewhere between not now, and in a minute. He dodged the others milling about, cargo haulers, stevedores, vendors, and dockyard rats. The group moved chaotically, keeping a general direction, but randomly veering. Mal could see her peering up at the ships they passed with curiosity. The man in the hat would talk to her quietly, pointing at various parts of them. She listened with avid curiosity, especially interested in the names of the ships, it seemed. Occasionally the others would chime win with an opinion or observation, and she would listen to them with equal interest.

The Spiky Haired Man and the Dark Haired Girl stayed close together, holding hands or in some other way touching. They were obviously in love, deeply but newly so. Armored Coat kept sneezing, and the Girl in Shorts kept answering each sneeze with something that brought giggles from those paying attention to them. The Grumpy man moved quickly, seemingly annoyed in some deeply mysterious way by the girl in shorts. The Companion smiled thinly and stayed out of most of it, only occasionally making comments to the Red Haired woman. The last, shadowy figure kept escaping his notice as he watched Her, watched her smile at her companions, listen with respect and interest. Every movement in her face twisted his guts a little.

It wasn’t possible, it couldn’t be her.

The dark figure following them kept niggling the edge of his attention, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the Red Haired Woman. He couldn’t call her by the name... he’d heard someone yell something... he must have misheard it. The woman... she wouldn’t look anything like Dicey when he got closer.

She couldn’t. You just don’t survive something like that. That’s why it was considered a kill shot.

They were approaching a firefly, one a paler grey color than Serenity. They were slowing, and a smaller knot of people were coming down the ramp, looking expectantly toward the woman and her entourage. Parts of the groups waved at each other, but the woman and her hat-wearing companion were discussing some detail of the last ship they’d passed. The rest of her group moved faster, boarding the ramp to the pale firefly. They left behind the red haired woman and the man in the hat, talking near the base of the ramp. Mal slowed as he grew closer, tearing his eyes away for a moment to throw his eyes over the name of the ship. Oberon. He’d heard that somewhere before... something... smart. Shakespeare, or something. Maybe. He'd look it up... later.

He paused by a pile of crates. The ten-year-old hispanic kid sitting on them eyed him suspiciously, but left him alone since he wasn’t looking at the crates. Mal stood there, and watched her. She reached up, carelessly pushing the same lock of the rich dark hair behind her ear, again. Was it possible anyone could look so much like someone else? The way she stood, moved, smiled, it was all just exactly as he remembered it. 

The man in the hat said something else, then turned and headed up the ramp. She turned and began to head in behind him, with one last glance at a nearby ship. Without realizing what he intended to do, he found himself hurrying after her.

“Excuse me?” Was that his own voice? Wasn’t possible.

She paused, looking back as he approached. An uncertain smile hovered around her lips, but no sign of recognition lit her eyes. “Yes?” Behind her on the ramp, the man in the hat paused, looking back in suspicious curiosity.

“This your firefly?” he asked, realizing that sounded a little... lame. He hesitated a few feet away, eyes roving her face. Had his memory grown hazy? Was this woman's alarming similarity changing his memories? Were his own already so faded as to be so easily changed? This face matched the one in his memory so completely... except for her eyes. Those were different. They seemed somehow younger. More trusting. More open. More... innocent. Was this a younger sister she’d never mentioned? Even as the idea was born, it died, obviously ridiculous.

She smiled, friendly but a little guarded. “Yes, it is.” Her eyebrows drew together ever so slightly, “Were you, um, looking to hire one?” A sort of half-hopeful, half-skeptical look accompanied the question. She shifted on her feet, and he noticed the blue boots. They distracted him for half a second. Blue...? He focused again on her face, and he had to answer her.

This was impossible... “No.. no, I just...” he looked up, getting a better look. It was a good-looking ship, a little different from Serenity. Showed signs of recent refit, but not too recent. Newish repairs showed in a few places, “I fly one myself. It’s a nice ship.” He looked back at her, catching her eyes, and finding something there he’d never expected.

She smiled for real this time, open and friendly. Her whole self showed in her eyes, with only the very barest hint of the hidden that all adults seemed to have. She looked... fresh and new, in some strange way. “Oh! Well, yeah, they’re such great ships.” She glanced up, but he couldn’t take his eyes off her. “Soon as I lay eyes on Obie, I knew he had to be mine.” 

“Felt the same way about Serenity,” he said. That surprised him. He hadn’t meant to say that. He didn’t seem to be in charge of his own actions all of a sudden. He realized he actually had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next, what he was going to do next.

She just looked back at him and smiled. “Funny how it works that way sometimes. You just know it, when it’s destiny, eh?” She grinned a little wider, “Like falling in love.” A voice behind her drew her attention away sharply.

“Cap’n Morgan! Geoff says we got clearance to go!” The spiky haired man, now minus his lovely companion, stood at the top of the ramp. Mal found himself looking up at the man as sharply as she had, even though her words had sent a new and terrifying spin on his brain. A spin tossed madly upside down as the name sunk in. Morgan...? The Man in the Hat still stood where he had before, watching him with a guarded expression. The spiky haired man stood at the top, also looking at him suspiciously. Another man stood farther in, hidden in shadow, visible as a tense, ready figure. As his eyes swung back to her, Mal realized they were there to protect her. The two men he could see clearly were still armed, and their bodies were relaxed in that too-ready way. This was her crew. Her ship. Her people. Her... life. Whoever she was. No matter who she looked like.. she seemed to have no idea who he was, no sign of recognizing him in any way.

She looked back at him, poised to move away, “Well, looks like we’re on our way! Nice to meet you!” She gave a sort of half wave, and he nodded, stepping back.

“Keep flyin’”, he said in parting, dipping his head again. He felt almost nauseous, dizzy. She gave him a slightly uncertain smile, her brows drawing so slightly together, as if she was beginning to suspect something was off. She retreated, heading up the ramp with one last look tossed over her shoulder, the disturbed expression more pronounced. The dark figure inside moved forward to meet her, light catching his face as the ramp lifted and closed them off. Mal's nausea and dizziness faded, hardened into a deep, burning anger.

Fredricks. On a ship with Dicey... or her doppleganger...? 

A Reflection


Dicey, Terry , Zeke and Tawny had been waiting to meet the rest of the ‘away team’ from the Oberon. Hearing her name shouted, Dicey turned, grinning at seeing Geoff, Holly, Indira, Quinn and Dirk. The wind was blowing here, and she tucked that lock of hair that always got in her eyes back behind her ear again.

As the two groups merged, Dicey moved forward, poking Geoff’s armored shoulder, “You sure you’re not wounded under there?” She couldn’t hold a mock scowl, so she didn’t even try, smiling instead. The day had been profitable, she was in too good a mood to even pretend to be unhappy. She could, on the other hand, arch an eyebrow at the suspiciously guilty looking Holly. The girl had proven invaluable enough at this point, she could be forgiven her wild quirks. Dicey suspected the strange stain on Holly’s shoulder had something to do with the guilty look, but at Holly’s giggles, she could only smile and shake her head. Whatever they’d been up to, it would be best heard over the post launch meal. 

Holly just shrugged, gesturing from the stain to the air in a helpless gesture, “I swear it wasn’t my fault. Really.”

Dicey just laughed, “Sure.. of course it wasn't.” They all moved naturally together, heading along the length of the shipyard. Freighters lined both sides, their noses pointing towards each other. Cargo and passengers were being loaded and unloaded, prices haggled over, supplies delivered, ships refueled. The industry of it all still fascinated Dicey.

They passed an Imperial class being loaded with settlers. Dicey pointed up to the name, grinning at Terry.

He looked up, and grinned, “Morgan’s Pride, huh? Something you ain’t tellin’ us, Cap’n?”

Dicey just laughed, but the ship interested her, and she proceeded to start a conversation that lasted the rest of the walk back to the Obie. She’d ask a question about the ships as they passed – Do you think that one is all businesslike, or a family like Obie? Do you think that one is faster? Does that one hold more passengers? Are those Escape Pods? Do you think the owner knows that La Petite Morte really means ‘orgasm', and not just 'little death'? Terry had answers for all of them, and occasionally, one of the others would have a comment. Indira’s response to the French ship brought laughter from everyone, and a blush to Tawny, Dicey and Holly. Poor Geoff’s allergies were acting up, and he kept sneezing. Dicey was beginning to suspect Holly had been prepared for this – every time he sneezed, she had a different response. At first, it seemed to be different languages, but after a few wildly inventive ones, Dicey suspected she was just making it up as the inspiration came to her. Best of all, twice, Dicey caught Grumpy Quinn smirking privately at her creativity. Best. Day. Ever.

As they neared the Obie, Dicey slowed, not quite ready to end the walk. It hardly made a difference, everyone just slipped passed her, walking up the ramp as Adel, Zhaneel and Doc Carver walked out to greet them all. Terry was still explaining the strange little thrusters on the ship opposite them as the others moved inside. Listening, Dicey again tucked the frustrating lock of hair behind her ear. Shoulda’ pinned it up...

“Aftermarket goushi, unstable and prone to tearing off in atmo...” then he realized they were standing in the street alone, “But yeah.. we’re not putting anything like that on Obie.” He quirked a half smile, and turned to head up the ramp, Dicey on his heels. She tossed one last glance at the odd looking aftermarkets on the other ship, wondering why someone would add something like that – but of course, they didn’t have The Terry for a mechanic, to tell them how bad they were.

"Excuse me?"

It took a second for her to realize someone was talking to her. She paused, and looked back. A tall, strange man was approaching her, a slightly odd look on his face. She heard Terry stop as she turned around. “Yes?”

"This your firefly?" He was uncomfortable, or... Nauseous? Dicey wasn’t sure. He looked odd, but what was she going to do, ignore him?

“Yes, it is,” she answered, the thought suddenly occurring that this man could be an employee of her brothers. “Were you, um, looking to hire one?” Having a new job just walk up out of the blue would be nice, but she couldn’t help be afraid this man was here to stir up some kind of trouble.

"No.. no, I just..." he looked up at Obie, and she looked, too, then back down at him. He was interesting looking. She wasn’t completely sure why the thought even occurred to her. He looked Obie over with appreciation and maybe a little admiration, and for that, she already liked him a bit more. He looked back down at her, catching her straight in the eyes.

His were an interesting blue – almost a sort of blue green.

"I fly one myself. It’s a nice ship."

Dicey’s smile bloomed naturally and immediately at the words – the best way to a man’s heart might be his stomach, but the best way to a captain’s heart was through their ship, and Dicey decided that at least he had great taste. She loved her ship, was proud of how far they’d all come together, crew and ship. "Oh! Well, yeah, they’re such great ships." She glanced up, seeing Obie now, and in her memory, (oh! To be able to use that phrase!), that first time, wounded and waiting for a new start. Just like her. "Soon as I lay eyes on Obie, I knew he had to be mine." 

"Felt the same way about Serenity," he said. His expression relaxed, and she recognized that emotion – a somewhat rare experience. She knew without needing to ask that Serenity was his firefly. The little smile that curved his mouth kept hers grinning.

She just looked back at him steady, smiling. "Funny how it works that way sometimes. You just know it, when it’s destiny, eh?" She grinned a little wider, "Like falling in love." 

"Cap’n Morgan! Geoff says we got clearance to go!" Zeke’s voice drew her attention away immediately. This guy wasn’t offering a job, and if not, then she had other appointments to keep. She looked up at Zeke, seeing Terry still standing there on the ramp. Both men had a slightly suspicious look on their faces, and she supposed she didn’t blame them. The encounter might have been random, but it was still odd. She looked back at the man, catching the strangest expression fading.

She moved slightly, about to head up the ramp, "Well, looks like we’re on our way! Nice to meet you!" She lifted a hand in a little wave, feeling awkward suddenly. It was as if everyone else could smell something, and she was only now catching the odor on the breeze. He nodded abruptly to her wave, gone a little stiff. All former traces of anything soft – the nostalgia of finding your true love of a ship, of knowing the moment you became a Captain, or the simple camaraderie of fellow firefly owners – was gone. It sharpened her feeling of something being odd. 

He stepped back, "Keep flyin’,” he said in parting, dipping his head again.

She tried to keep her expression neutral, but she felt the tightness in her forehead and the strain in her small smile of parting as she moved up the ramp. Terry and Zeke moved inside ahead of her, and she saw Dirk waiting just inside. Before the ramp cut them off from sight entirely, she tossed one last look out at him. For a half a second, her breath seemed to lock in her chest, tight and sharp, and she stumbled as the ramp banged closed. It broke the lock in her chest, and she was fine.

Dirk stood there, quiet, watching her with a guarded look. Shaking her head and taking a deep breath, she laughed without humor, embarrassed suddenly, “Ahem.. that was wierd.”

Dirk said nothing, and she began to wonder what he was thinking. She was afraid the moment had been too obvious, and he was going to ask what was wrong, why she'd stumbled. His actual words surprised her.

“Who was that?” he said carefully.

“No idea,” she was so relieved he didn’t ask about the stumble. She wouldn’t know how to answer that – she didn’t know what it had been. Probably nothing. She was breathing fine now. Like nothing happened. Probably was nothing. “Some guy that owns a firefly. Admired Obie.” She shrugged, moving past him, “Said his is called Serenity. Very zen, don’t you think? Seems like a good thing to wish for.” She headed for the ladder in the corner on her left, heading up to the common room. Geoff already knew where they were going. Takeoff had to be in a few minutes, if he already had clearance.

Dirk watched her go. She hadn’t recognized that man out there. Had no idea who he was. Dirk wondered, Did you think Dicey was just a look-alike? The man had to have thought that – he’d already seen her die. Dirk had already had that moment, recognizing her, knowing she was alive... and that she had no idea who he was. Maybe he should have done the same as that poor man outside, and kept quiet about knowing her. He hadn’t really had the chance, hadn’t known till it was too late that she was... broken. Was that even the right word?

He watched her retreating form, disappearing up above, then looked back at the closed airlock.

Imagine that... Dirk shook his head again, a humorless smile playing at the corners of his mouth. Reynolds...


Sunday, June 28, 2009 1:04 AM


Oooh, I loved the way you wrote this first chapter. Mystery and intrigue all wrapped up there. So Dirk knows Mal, was there when Dicey died and thinking he should have walked away as well? Hmm, can't wait to see how this story unfolds and how they managed to put her back together. Copy or real? Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009 2:37 AM


Shadesiren was too modest to mention a painting of Dicey Morgan, captain of the Oberon That painting gives even more reality to the story. It is at

Sunday, June 28, 2009 6:18 PM


Wow.. thank you for enjoying this - and for mentioning that picture.. I never imagined anyone even remembered it!! I decided to go ahead and post another snippet bit, under the title "Reports of my death..." (since she was only most dead, and didn't stay that way, they can be considered exaggerated lol). If everyone seems to enjoy those, I can keep posting more, I have several short bits.


You must log in to post comments.



The Empty Reflection, Ch. 3
Dicey meets the nice young doctor, and Zoe finds out who this girl really is.

The Empty Reflection, Ch. 2
In which Dicey finds her freedom, but not for long; Weasel and Mountain show up to take her in, and a rescue comes from an unexpected source. (revised and updated 7/23/09 9:05pm)

The Empty Reflection, Ch. 1
In another alternate history, Dicey Morgan leaves home, without a past, and with a brother that wants her dead. She has to figure out who she really is; someone new, or the reflection of a dead woman.

A House of Healing
A wartime story of tragedy in a Companion House, taken over by the Alliance as a hospital.

Reports of my death...
A few short scenes detailing the past of Captain Dicey Morgan. From Alliance Soldier, to Browncoat - a spy? a turncoat? - to her First Death... (Backstory Snippets from Dicey Morgan, Captain of the Oberon -

Mirror, Mirror / Reflection
A chance meeting in the dockyard, told from the point of view of first Malcolm Reynolds, then from the point of view of Dicey Morgan. Not canon, written mainly for my own amusement.

Tiger Moth - Chapter Five
The Job Begins

Tiger Moth - Chapter Four
The First Job

Tiger Moth - Chapter Three
Josh, The Mechanic

Tiger Moth - Chapter Two
Maurice The Cook