BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

New Blood - Chapter 27
Saturday, August 22, 2009

In the aftermath of the Academy battle, the "verse is shaken to the core. Maxine recovers and a new player emerges onto the galactic stage. - Last chapter in this arc


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1829    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Maxine and the rest of my OC's. they're mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.

-

A new story line to recharge my Muse. Set outside my “Allanverse.” Just to see what happens. Set about a year and a half post Serenity. Story line has the standard pairings of Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee. Also has River/Jayne. Zoë/Maxine -

Warning: This story line from here on out will include 'gasp' fem slash (Like you didn't see it coming). It won't be graphic but I know some are offended by any depiction of homosexuality. If you don't like this kind of thing... stop reading right now.

AN: Last chapter in this Arc. I think my brain is going to explode now...

-

New Blood

-

Chapter Twenty Seven

-

One month... thirty days... seven hundred twenty hours. Many things can happen in that time.

Some good. Some bad. Some... 'Verse shaking.

The battle in the sky over Osiris had been bloody, brutal and quick. Two Alliance Cruisers and several smaller escort vessels had planned to annihilate the two rebel destroyers covering Serenity's rescue mission. Two destroyers, even though they were crewed by well trained officers and men and carried state of the art weaponry were simply out gunned.

But that's what Admiral Harken wanted the Alliance ships to think.

It was a classic ambush. And it had worked.

Osiris has two moons. Epeuv A and Tannhäuser. The smaller and less populated moon, Tannhäuser had been in the proper position to hide the approach of Harken's fleet of mutinied ships.

While Longbow and Eagle acted as the bait in low orbit around Osiris, Harken's ships emerged from behind Tannhäuser and pounced.

The battle had lasted less than two hours from first missiles fired until the last surviving Alliance ship had surrendered.

The Alliance had lost both of the cruisers dispatched, seven destroyers and five frigates. Harken had lost three destroyers, one cruiser and his own flagship, Magellan was heavily damaged.

Still, between the ships that had mutinied, been destroyed or were no longer battle ready, the only thing between David Harken, his rebel fleet and Londinium were three cruisers and eighteen smaller ships.

Harken hadn't even played his trump card as of yet. The heavily armed and armored Maelstrom class battle cruiser captained by his academy roommate.

While what was left of the Alliance fleet ran with it's collective tails between their legs. Parliament was in a state of panic.

Everyone took a deep breath to see what would happen next.

For the first week, nothing happened.

On the eighth day, the Osiris planetary legislature declared independence from the Alliance and asked for admittance to the newly formed Commonwealth of Worlds.

This began to topple the delicate house of cards that had been built after the first war. Within the week, Ariel, Santo, Albion and Valentine had joined Osiris in leaving the Alliance. Leaving only Liann-Jiun, Shinon and Londinium in the core and a wavering Greenleaf on the rim still following Alliance rule.

Backed into a corner, the Prime Minister threatened to burn the next world that declared independence, back to bedrock like they had done to Shadow during the war.

Greenleaf, one of the most populated rim worlds. One that had been very pro Alliance during the war, declared it's independence.

The next day, the remaining three cruisers still under Parliamentarian control set sail for Greenleaf.

They didn't even make it beyond Ariel's orbit before a task force consisting of two Cruisers, four destroyers and the single remaining Maelstrom class battle cruiser reduced this “death” fleet to scrap metal.

The remaining smaller fleet vessels. Mostly patrol ships and the remaining destroyers and frigates struck their colors and switched sides.

The interim government on Greenleaf cried for retribution. Calling for a nuclear strike on Shinon or Londinium in retaliation for the attempted attack on Greenleaf.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.

Meanwhile, the remaining Alliance worlds economys crashed. Due to it's strong Alliance ties, Blue Sun was the hardest hit. It's stock fell like a meteor. To try and prevent the largest consumer products and tech company in the 'Verse from going bankrupt, the Alliance stepped in to try and save Blue Sun.

It didn't work. Fifteen days later, Blue Sun declared bankruptcy and closed it's doors.

Within three weeks, the remaining core worlds began to run short of nearly everything. Not because of any blockade... simply because the large shipping companies that kept the flow of trade going stopped flying.

The major core worlds hadn't been self sufficient for nearly a century. Now it was biting them in the ass.

Thirty days after the successful raid on the Academy, what was left of the Alliance of Planets imploded. Shinon, Londinium and Liann-Jiun dissolved Parliament and formally requested humanitarian aid from the Commonwealth.

Even though it was still trying to figure out it's own new government, the call went out and ships began moving again. Bringing in the food, medicine and other necessities.

It was the dawn of a new age.

XXXXXXXXXX

During that turbulent month. On Osiris, A much smaller drama had been played out. The twenty two children rescued from the Academy had been moved to a private psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Capital City.

With his knowledge of what had been done to River, Simon split his time between helping the doctors at Elmwood Manor and Capital City General where Maxine was recovering from her gunshot wound.

The Tams had invited the Crew of Serenity to stay at the estate while they regrouped and Maxine recovered.

Simon and his father began to reconnect while Reagan was simply beside herself with joy at having her children home.

Remarkably, Gabriel had come to grudgingly accept River and Jayne's relationship. When he saw how the big man treated River. And how she returned his affections, he had to admit that River was happy.

And due to his own foolishness, River had been in 'That Place' as Gabriel called it. He couldn't stand in the way of his daughter's happiness.

Reagan had warmed to the Mercenary as well. Jayne had been respectful and not the rim 'barbarian' she had expected. Jayne had explained that his Ma' hadn't raised an idiot. While not schooled, Jayne wasn't as dumb as he acted sometimes.

On the other hand, Reagan simply adored Kaylee. The perpetually happy girl seemed such a balm to her son. The pair spent hours just gossiping and sipping tea on the patio. Often joined by Inara.

Mal was spending time shuttling back and forth between the Magellan and the estate. The cruiser had been badly mauled in the battle and Admiral Harken wanted it repaired as soon as possible. The ship had also become the temporary seat of the Commonwealth's civilian government.

Zoë simply spent time at Maxine's bedside. Most of the time accompanied by Xue. River was helping Jess hone her reading skills and had taken on another student. The Admiral's nephew, Jeff.

It didn't hurt that the fifteen year old young man thought Jess was pretty.

Many things happened in that first month. Some was payback.

Three weeks after the rescue mission, a certain Marine platoon, guided by information River had hacked from the Academy records, quietly killed or kidnapped the remaining Academy doctors and senior techs.

Those that co-operated were given a chance to partially redeem themselves, assisting the staff at Elmwood Manor in rehabilitating the most damaged children.

Those that tried to run simply died tired. Gunny Williams had seen to that personally.

Many of the rescued students could be returned to their families. Although with some counciling thrown in for the ordeal they had been through.

Of River's 'original' class. Only two had survived the training. One boy and one girl. They had been used by parliament on operational missions. Both had been killed on these missions during the time after Miranda.

When the first month was over. It became the time to heal.

XXXXXXXXXX

Maxine relished the cool clean air as she sat in her wheelchair under a tree in the Hospital's garden. It sure felt good to be outside and breathing the fresh air.

Of course, being able to breath at all was a blessing considering how close she had come to being killed in the rescue.

Taking a deep breath that only hurt a little, Maxine leaned back and looked around. She hoped to be able to go back to Serenity soon. To spend a night snuggled up with Zoë again.

The redhead sighed.

“What's wrong?” said a voice behind her. Maxine smiled.

“Nothin, Xue... just bored.”

The teenager moved to where Max could see her and sat down on a bench, “Mom's parking the mule.”

Max had to smile at that. Xue had stopped calling Zoë by her name and had started calling her Mom, weeks ago. It warmed Maxine's heart. She had known, Zoë would be a great mother.

Maxine looked at the girl. Her dyed black hair was slowly lightening to it's natural reddish brown shade. Making her look even more like the captures of Wash, “How are you doing, Sweetie?”

“Okay,” Xue smiled, “The Admiral let me fly a Gunship yesterday...”

Max matched the teen's smile, “He trying to recruit you?”

Xue shook her head, “Nope... he lost a bet... River bet him I could fly one. He seemed to forget I shot down six during the rescue.”

Maxine nodded. She had heard the stories from the rest of the crew about the fight and Xue being toasted by the gunship pilots assigned to the Magellan. The teenager was now an unofficial member of the squadron and an official ace.

“How did you do?” Max asked.

“I got the Admiral in the simulated dogfight. His excuse was that he hadn't flown a gunship in twelve years...” Xue grinned.

“Uh-huh... likely story,” Max replied as she high fived Xue, “Ow...”

“Are you okay?”

“I'm not supposed to raise my arms that high yet,” Max smiled through the pain in her chest. After a moment, it subsided.

“Better?” Xue asked.

“Yep,” Max replied after a beat.

“Max?”

“Yeah, Sweetie?”

“What should I call you?”

“Shenme?”

“I... I mean, I call Zoë, Mom. And you and her are together... well. It's confusing...”

“My name works fine, Xue...”

“Good. Cause you sure ain't a dad,” Xue grinned.

Maxine snickered, “Got that right. If anything, Zoë is the more... masculine of the pair o' us.”

Xue giggled.

“What's so funny?” Zoë asked as she walked up.

Xue's eyes shot wide for a moment and Max covered, “Xue was telling me about kicking the Admiral's pi-gu.”

“That was somethin to see,” Zoë agreed as she leaned down to kiss Max, “How you feelin today, Ai-ren?”

“Pretty good. Did half a mile on the treadmill this morning.”

“That's a lot better, Zoë smiled as she scooted Xue over and sat on the bench next to Max, taking her hand in her own.

“I think so...”

“You think what?” Simon asked as he strode over to the trio.

“I think it's time I got outta this place,” Max grumped.

Simon grinned, “I happen to agree with you.”

“Shenme?” Max squeaked.

“You are being released. Into my care at least.”

“I can go back to Serenity?”

“In a manner of speaking,” Simon replied, “You'll be going to my parents house. Kaylee has Serenity slightly torn apart at the moment. She's bossing around eight or ten of Magellan's maintenance techs while they are working on the ship.”

“Something wrong with Serenity?” Maxine asked.

“Nope, Zoë replied, “Just getting to some of that work were were supposed to do when we picked up Jess.”

“That's good,” Maxine replied, “Wait a minute... Simon, you said your parents house?”

Simon nodded, “You and Zoë have one of the guest rooms.”

“How big is the bed?” Maxine asked.

Zoë giggled while Simon and Xue rolled their eyes.

XXXXXXXXXX

Maxine lay back on the bed, “Wow... this thing is comfy.”

Zoë grinned and lay down next to her lover, “Not as comfy as it could be. Been awful empty without you in it.”

“I know... missed you too,” Max smiled as she kissed Zoë.

“Remember... no messin around for at least another week... doctors orders,” Zoë reminded.

“Fine...”

Zoë sat up, “Come on. I'll help you into the tub.”

“Tub?” Max squeaked.

“The bathtub in this dump is big enough to swim laps in. Besides, we need to get you ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“The party tonight.”

XXXXXXXXXX

The 'Party' as Zoë had described was in fact the culmination of two weeks worth of negotiations among the different worlds that now made up the new interim government.

It had been decided that each planet would hold autonomy over itself and it's moons. In the case of the moons orbiting the gas giants like Belix. The original seat of the government in the system would become the defacto capital.

Each primary world or moon with a population over one million would elect two representatives and one Senator for the new congress that had just been established on Osiris. It made geographic sense to use a core world as the new capital. But no one wanted to use the old capital of Londinium.

Politicians still had to hammer out the details. That alone would take months, even years. But in the meantime, the local planetary governments could control their own worlds.

Several announcements would be made at this gathering. And the crew was anxious to see what they were.

Inara had been schooling Xue and Jessie with Reagan's help in the finer points of behavior in polite society.

Inara didn't even try to coach Mal or Jayne... She knew Mal could keep a civil tongue when needed and River would keep Jayne on a short leash.

At least that's what she hoped.

XXXXXXXXXX

“Quite the shindig,” Mal commented as he and Inara circulated around the main ballroom of the Tam estate.

“Indeed.. And I must say, Captain. You look very dashing this evening.”

“And you, Miss Serra are simply stunning,” Mal grinned.

Inara just smiled.

Across the room, Maxine settled into a chair to catch her breath. Simon had advised her to take it easy and she was trying. But several of the people attending the party were parents of some of the rescued children. As the most 'heroic' appearing member of the crew due to her being shot, Maxine seemed to be the center of attention. Throughout it all, Zoë sat by her Ai-ren's side.

Various members of the press tried to interview members of Serenity's crew but Josiah quickly steered them away. His reputation as a journalist keeping the more voracious reporters in their places.

As usual, Damien, the man formerly known as the Operative kept to the edges, quietly observing the proceedings.

Xue and Jess wandered about, speaking with guests as they went. Impressing whomever they spoke with with their insight and knowledge of events.

Wearing an elegant evening gown, Kaylee held a group of engineers and military officers in thrall with her knowledge of shipboard systems. Beside her, Simon simply smiled and nodded.

River and Jayne kept to the edges of the crowd. So many minds in the room were slowly giving her a headache. While River had been instructing Jess and Jeff how to use their reading abilities, they in turn had been helping River with her filtering.

River did note how Jeff quickly made his way to Jess and Xue's sides. Xue thought he was okay and Jess thought he was cute. River shook her head and smiled as the teens made their way around the room.

Gabriel and Regan as hosts, were everywhere. Reagan hadn't organized an event like this since before River had gone to the Academy. Gabriel had to smile at his wife. She was harried, stressed and having the time of her life.

After about an hour of mingling, Dinner was served and people began to settle into their tables.

The crew of Serenity along with Admiral Harken, Lt. Haskins and Gunny Williams occupied one of the head tables.

The next table over held the Elder Tams as well as the interim President of the Commonwealth, Richard Wei. A small stage had been set up along with a podium. As soon as desert was served, President Wei moved behind the podium.

“Ladies and Gentlemen...”

The room began to quiet. The cortex crews began to focus their cameras on the podium.

“Thank you. Tonight is the beginning in a new chapter in Human history. Like Rome. The Alliance has fallen and in it's place has risen a new government. One that will put the needs of the people ahead of the needs of corporations and government. Human rights will be out priority... not greed.”

There was a smattering of applause.

President Wei continued, “Myself, the representatives of the commonwealth, just hours ago, in order to place the rights of the individual ahead of the government. Decided to do a bit of legal plagiarizing. Many forms of government were discussed and In the end, we decided that the basic tenants of this new age will be based around a document written seven hundred years ago... It wasn't perfect. In fact it was amended many times over the next two centuries. But at it's core, this document led to one of the longest lived democratic governments in the history of Mankind.”

“The document I am speaking about is the old United States Constitution. While the basics of our current society and laws are based on it's writings. The Alliance of worlds has never had a formal Constitution in it's near two hundred year reign since the first worlds outside the core were terriformed.”

Again there was applause. River smiled. Things were indeed changing.

“The transition will not be easy, nor will it happen overnight. But during this time of change. Special people will be needed. People who had the courage to stand up for themselves and others. Those others being people who had no voice of their own since it had been taken by the government they trusted to protect them. Instead, that government murdered them.”

“I am speaking of course about the poor souls who called Miranda home. Miranda was the wakeup call to the 'Verse. A sharp slap to the face delivered by a few people who are in this very room.”

The President looked directly at the head table, “Due to the relentless pursuit of Captain Reynolds and his crew for harboring Simon and River Tam from those that wanted to do Miss Tam harm. The Captain was forced to fight with the only weapon he had... Knowledge. Knowledge of what the Alliance had done to it's own citizens.”

“And some paid the price for that. Many people whom Captain Reynolds had turned to in times of need were murdered. And two members of his own crew died in the doing.”

“Now, two years later, Captain Reynolds and his crew were at the right place and time and discovered additional information. Information about the abomination called the Academy. That information was spread and it became fuel for the fire of Miranda. Bringing us to where we are tonight.”

“We are in debt to a group of people who simply did what was right. Not because there was a profit in it. Simply because it was truly the right thing to do.”

Applause broke out again and soon turned into a wave of sound as people came to their feet.

Mal, Zoë, Inara, River, Jayne, Kaylee and Simon all looked embarrassed. Maxine, with effort, came to her feet and joined the ovation, followed by Jess and Xue.

As the applause died down, President Wei smiled and began to speak again, “People like Captain Reynolds and his crew are a rare breed. And right now. We need people like that. Men and women who know right from wrong and who are not afraid to face down injustice.”

“It is the plan of the Commonwealth, to establish a new law enforcement unit. This unit will have 'Verse wide jurisdiction. The authority to enforce the law where the law is thinest. The Rim. Based on the old legend of the Texas Rangers from Earth-That-Was. I hereby appoint Captain Malcolm Reynolds as the first Commonwealth Ranger.”

Again there was applause. Inara shot Mal a sharp look and he simply grinned. The Captain's frequent trips to meet with the interim government suddenly becoming clear. She gave Mal a look that said you're gonna get it later.

President Wei smiled at the group at the head table and then continued, “Also, it will be the priority of the newly established Commonwealth fleet to remove the scourge known as Reavers from the 'Verse. They will also be cracking down on piracy and the slave trade. As of midnight Universal Standard Time. The use of, holding and transportation of slaves. Which while always illegal, will now be strictly enforced. This is a warning to all that trade in and use slaves. We are coming for you. In fact, it will also be one of the priority's of the new Commonwealth Rangers.”

While the crowd clapped, Mal glanced at his crew. Kaylee and River were beaming at him. Inara had a bemused look on her face while Simon was slightly slack jawed. Zoë and Maxine had nearly matching smirks on their faces and Jayne grinned. With a self satisfied smirk of his own, Mal leaned back in his chair.

XXXXXXXXXX

“Ranger's huh?” Zoë snorted. The crew had retreated to the upstairs library to get away from the numerous well wishers and reporters.

“Yes, Mal,” Inara added, “What were you thinking?”

“I was thinkin about all o' you. Got a family on Serenity. Even some youngins,” Mal grinned as he indicated Xue and Jessie, “Gotta think o' them. While freight work will keep us flyin. I know this crew better than that.”

“Haulage is pretty boring, Mal,” Jayne commented.

Mal nodded, “This way, we can go where we will. Helpin folk. All o' you will draw a salary from the Commonwealth. Kaylee, Doc Inara and even Xue will be Ranger support personnel. While myself, Jayne, River, Zoë and Maxine will be sworn in as actual Rangers.”

“What about me?” Jessie asked.

Mal smiled at the girl, “That's up to you, Jess. With the Academy out o' business, you can go home to your Momma on Meadow.”

“What if I want to stay here?” Jessie asked.

“That's up to your Momma. But you're welcome on my boat anytime.”

Jess smiled and then giggled at Xue.

“What will be my job, Mal?” Inara asked.

“As usual, ships Ambassador,” Mal replied, “Can't do this without ya' 'Nara.”

Inara sighed and then nodded, “On one condition.”

“What's that, Darlin?”

“I'm not support personnel. I'll carry a badge like the rest,” Inara said with a smirk.

Mal opened his mouth and closed it several times while Inara gave him the evil eye. Max and Zoë shared a grin.

“Fine!” Mal blurted out after a moment.

“That wasn't hard, now was it?”

A chuckle went around the room.

Mal turned to his mechanic, “Kaylee, how are those modifications going?”

“The gun systems are all mounted. When stowed, none of em' will be visible. Also got the railguns mounted on the shuttles. Had to do some rearrangin' but Serenity's got missile racks under the cargo bay floor and I hardened her against EMP. The techs are still hangin the armor plate. She'll be ready to go in a couple more days.”

Jaws dropped around the room. Mal replied to the unanswered question, “Serenity's gonna be goin up against pirates, slavers and the occasional Reaver. Gotta be able to shoot back.”

“Sounds logical,” Jayne commented. Simon just stared at him.

“What?” Jayne whined.

“What's my job, Captain?” Xue asked.

Mal smiled at the teen, “Gonna be official co-pilot o' Serenity and a designated shuttle pilot. You fly damn near as good as your Ba-ba did already. Time for you to hone those skills. Also, gonna need Albatross on the ground more.”

Xue grinned. As did Zoë and Maxine.

“So... helpin folk?” Zoë asked.

“Yep,” Mal grinned, “Wherever there's trouble, us or one o' the other units will handle it.”

“Shiny,” Kaylee smiled, “I like it better helpin folk than robbin em' like we used to do.”

“Have to agree with you there, Lil' Kaylee,” Mal replied.

“When do we start?” Maxine asked.

“Soon as you're hale and healthy. Can't fly without my cook,” Mal grinned.

Maxine smiled back, “Zoë wouldn't let you leave anyway.”

“Or me,” Xue added.

“Wouldn't have it any other way,” Mal said with a twinkle in his eyes.

-

The End

AN#2: Thus ends this story line. I plan to continue it just as soon as I get the plot line figured out. I think that having the crew as the good guys with carte blanche will lead to many interesting adventures.

COMMENTS

Saturday, August 22, 2009 3:13 PM

JANE0904


Excellent stuff! And I can see lots of possibilities, not least of which are the pockets of resistance to the new regime that are bound to appear. Some folk just want the old ways back again ...

Thank you for an excellent story, and I'm looking forward to more!

Sunday, August 23, 2009 6:04 AM

MAINEAXE


What a great tale.. Sorry to see this arc end but I am SO looking forward to the sequel.. Like Jane0904.. I too can see the tangents that can take this crew just about anywhere, and get them into just about anything... Selfishly though, I am REALLY missing Alan-verse.. Like Jane's Maya-verse, which has me addicted, Alan-verse was my first AU experience, and you never get over the first experience, so whilst I crave more Max/Zoe, I am having Quest withdrawals. Well done Brian.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:07 AM

KRELLEK


damn good

Thursday, December 10, 2009 6:38 PM

ZARIEN85


a fitting end to a great series


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