The Bouncing Ball Prologue and Chapt 1
Monday, September 27, 2010

This is a combined effort between Jane 0904 and I. It's a crossover from my version of the FF universe and hers. You see characters you know and some you haven't met yet. It will be a wild ride, but one that will hopefully keep your reading. So...without further ado.....Cat travels back...


Fifty years in the future..... Fifteen years after the 2nd War of Independance... He had come to Hera to spread their ashes. Dad always wanted to bring his mother here, to show her why he loved it so, but the War would steal that away when it took his father. Still, when she had finally died, sorrow claiming her before her time, it had been her last wish for him to take them both ... home. And finally after six months of mourning her and trying to figure out where he belonged, Declan Reddik Jr. decided it was time. His grandparents' graves were nothing more than piles of dirt, but someone had erected new crosses, ones made even sturdier. Running a hand over his dark, short cropped hair, he slowly poured out the ashes from the container in his hand. They caught in the breeze almost like smoke from one of his father's cigarettes, and a smile parted his lips. Shaking the urn to make sure it was empty, he sat the aging silver pot next to the crosses and bowed his head one more time before dusting his hands off. As he stood, his dark eyes took in the sights for a moment, the hills in the back drop, the lake a few kilometers away, and ... Something in the near distance caught his attention as the sun exploded from the clouds and at first, he had to rub his eyes to make sure he wasn't dreaming. A Firefly class transport rested proud on the dark dirt. She was a class of ship he knew well enough ... almost as well as his father's, even though he'd never been on board one. Shaking his head, he decided to go check her out. As Declan approached, her magnificence changed a bit and her age began to show. Grass as well as vines had grown around her struts and birds had take up a nest in the left engine. Her hull was blackened in patches from laser fire, and pitted by debris, while the pale painted sign on her side was almost gone, though her name had been touched up recently. Ski's son had stumbled on Serenity. Her ramp was down, but as he moved to go in a growl challenged him. From her belly came a dark shadow, four massive paws moving without a sound and the huge panther showed its ivory teeth. 'Go home.' He swallowed hard at hearing a voice in his mind without benefit of his ears. "Batha?" he asked, remembering the massive feline from his father's stories. She had fought alongside him and the red haired demon. Something in him jumped as he looked down at the panther, her coat shining inky black. This made his stories real and if Batha existed, maybe so did Cat. "Where is she?

'Leave. Won't warn again.' Another low growl, another showing of teeth. 'Feel like mate, but not. Don't belong.' "Cat!" He yelled as the panther almost lunged at him, but a sound of footsteps stopped her. "What do you want?" It was a voice he imagined hearing in his dreams as he took his father's place at her side. Of course, in Declan's dreams, she hadn't gone with Reynolds. "I can't believe I found this ship, this place. My father told us so many stories about her and her crew. Where are they? I mean I know Zoe is governing her own moon and everyone knows of Jayne Cobb and RIver Tam's exploits during the war. They all died for a good cause." "You're Ski's son." From the shadows she came and nothing could prepare him for what he saw. Declan leaned against the ramp's support to keep from falling over. Cat 1313 stood before him and he swore she was the same age as he was. "Hunh?" He grunted, not quite ready to say much else. As beautiful as she was, the woman before him wasn't the demon his father described. That Cat had eyes so electric, they practically glowed. This woman's green eyes were hollow and lifeless. "You look just like him, clothes and all, but a few inches taller." She snarled at him, dusting off some of the dirt carried in by the wind. Laughing, he glanced down at his attire and then imagined how she must feel. "I think I owe you a thank you." He looked at her again, still shocked at how she appeared. "You are so ..." "Young?" "Beautiful." A smile almost traced her lips as she nodded.. "The Academy did their best." Moving down past him, she touched Batha's back and the panther disappeared back inside. At this range, he noticed a set of tags around her neck like the ones on a canine's collar. Moving toward the entrance, he just peaked inside before speaking again. "Where's everyone else?" When she didn't answer he repeated the question before saying the names of some of the heroes from his father's bedtime stories ... "Simon, Kaylee, and Kitty?" "Simon and Kaylee are old and grey with four kids and God knows how many grandchildren. Kitty took over the Academy once Zues fell and has two little brats of her own. Married River's son." It was read off like a book, no emotion. "And Reynolds?" He knew even before asking, the Browncoat was gone. His mother had told him the day she had caught it over the Cortex, a year or two after his father had lost his life. The thought of finding her then had been strong, but he had promised his dad he'd take care of his mother first. "War claimed him as well, just not as fast." Her body almost collapsed when she said it, but strong as Cat was, she recovered just as quick. "Bullet couldn't be removed and slowly wasted away, poisoning him. Helluva a way to die." "Cat, I'm..." "Don't. Of all people, I don't want your sympathy." Something in her voice told him that for a moment she wasn't really speaking to him, but the man he resembled. It would only last, but a second as she recovered. "Your father wouldn't have given it. Not because he didn't care mind you, but because..." "He knew you wouldn't want it." His brown eyes caught hers before looking over Serenity again. "So she sits ..." He wasn't sure if he meant the ship or Cat, but as he took them both in, it could have gone either way. "It's my home. Only one I've ever had that was permanent." She cast a glance out into the landscape from where he had come. "Where's the Gosling? I heard about your father and your mother." "Don't." He stopped her before she could continue. "Of all people..." Declan didn't continue as a half smile came to her face. It stopped before it hit her eyes though. "Brother has it. I don't belong on it. Never have really belonged anywhere." "I think I understand." She placed a hand on the ship, trying hard to hide the sorrow. "Your dad was a great man, a war hero ..." "He was. My brothers will both honor his memory with their greatness, even if I don't." It sounded like something he'd practised, perhaps too long. "Cutting yourself short is never a smart thing. Your father's memory led you here, didn't it? Might lead you somewhere else one day ..." "I don't do well in leadership. Being captain was good for my dad and my brother. The other one is following after my mother. Is quite the surgeon I've been told. Me? There's only been one thing I've ever wanted." There was a look she knew, and had seen only once on her dead husband's face. "Your Pa was always quite the story teller. So, you got a name?" "Declan Reddik Jr., but my family calls me Dec." "Figured that honor would go to the oldest boy." "No. Dad wanted his name to be Malcolm. " A look on her face said everything. "Here's hoping he can live up to it." She smiled softly before heading into the ship as Declan took a moment to look around and then followed her. After all, he had come a long way and didn't have anywhere he had to be. The Firefly still smelled of space , a scent he had been raised on, but he could tell she hadn't moved in some time. Though Cat had taken extreme care to keep her clean, the old girl was truly showing her age. Serenity had become more coffin than home, a sad end for such a magnificent boat.

Resting on a stack of metal crates, the large panther stared as he entered, her eyes giving him the distinct impression that she didn't like him too much. His father had warned him about the feline. Of course, his father had also warned him about Cat. "They're moving, Batha." The red haired woman muttered as she secured the metal rack that rested on the back of the mule. "Still not sure what they have planned."

'One last jump.' A black ear flicked as she flexed her claws. "Who?" Declan asked curioulsy as Cat seemed almost shocked to realise he'd followed her. "Academy/Alliance leftovers." "Thought they had all but disbanded."

"The rats and roaches always survive," she replied bitterly, then walked over to grab at the shotgun resting on the side of the hull. Tossing it to him, Cat smiled gently. "Your daddy's. Might come in handy you plan on hanging here for awhile." "Seeing as I don't have anywhere else to be." He touched the old gun fondly. "Dad lost this in the battle with Falcon, didn't he?" "Found it when I went to search for the hwoon dahn's body. Always meant to return it." Another moment of grief struck her. "Never got the chance."

Cat calmed herself before looking to Batha. "Time to go." Time....waits for no beast, she uttered before getting to her feet, shaking off the falling dust. "Never gonna get used to that creature in my head, am I?" He smiled. "Your father did. Eventually." Grabbing her long curved knife, Cat took her place in the Mule's driver's seat. It was the one thing she made sure stayed operational. As both Batha and Declan found a place, she turned the engine over, a purr rumbling through her as the machine did her bidding. "Might want to hold on to something," she advised before touching the odd looking bracelet on her wrist. Funny, Declan hadn't remembered it there before. "It gets rather bumpy here on out."

"Huh?" White light seemed to envelope them and his head began to swim. He felt his hand wrap around hers of their own accord before everything went black.


Ten years after the Miranda Broadwave .... “Mal! What the gorram hell did you say to ‘em?” Captain Malcolm Reynolds, late of the War of Independence and currently owner of one slightly used Firefly, ducked back behind the rock as another bullet whistled overhead. “Nothing!” he insisted, feeling the comfort of his gun in his hand, but unable to raise his head enough to fire. “Barely got my mouth open before all hell let loose!” “D’you look at ‘em funny? ‘Cause you look at me funny sometimes.” “Does that make you want to blow my brains all over the landscape?” Jayne didn’t respond, just resumed studying the same landscape to see if there was a way of getting behind the hwoon dahns currently attempting to separate them from life. “It’s not our contacts, sir,” Zoe said, her back against the same rock Mal was using. “They’re already down.” “I figured that,” Mal said dryly. “Considering the man I was talking to seemed to explode right in front of me.” He brushed at the blood staining his shirt. “Frey’s not gonna be pleased.” “Is she coming, sir?” “Yeah. But I ain’t sure she’s gonna be soon enough.” Movement caught the corner of his eye, and he started to turn, bringing his weapon to bear, but he was always and forever going to be too late as a man rose up not twenty feet from them, his finger already tightening on the trigger … Something exploded from the bushes, a blur of black, all claws and teeth, hitting the man from the side. He went down, reflex sending bullets up into the sky, the first catching the top of Mal’s shoulder and tearing a gouge in his flesh. Not that he noticed. All three pairs of eyes were staring at the sight of a huge cat ripping their assailant to pieces. The man was screaming, at least until his throat was ripped out, then the panther looked up at them, green eyes calculating. “Zoe …” Mal said, taking the tension out of his own trigger. 'Protecting the cubs.' “Huh?” Mal couldn’t help but glance at his two companions. “Did you …” Zoe’s naturally dark skin had paled. “I heard it too, sir.” “Ain’t Riv. Or Frey,” Jayne put in, almost in admiration. Gorramit, but that cat’s pelt would look good on the wall of the shuttle … 'Merc stupid here, too.' The long tail flicked with annoyance. 'Merc hide not pretty once I'm done.' “Whatever it is you’re thinking of doing, don’t,” Mal ordered. “You ain’t quick enough.” “Aw, but Mal –” “Jayne. You heard it.” “Yeah,” the big man groused. “But I’m not sure I believe it.” The panther growled menacingly, long tongue cleaning the blood from her canines. 'Believe.' “Okay,” Mal said quietly. “That’s downright disturbing.” Zoe stirred, twisting enough so she could peer over the top of the rock. “Sir …” “Yeah.” They’d both heard the automatic gunfire waning, and now it had stopped altogether, replaced by yells and single shots. Suddenly there was silence. In the distance a bird was singing prettily, and maybe if they listened closely enough they could hear the plants growing, but there was no other sound. Slowly Mal turned away from the disconcerting sight of a large panther cleaning its whiskers of blood and gore, and stood up. Nobody fired at him. “Zoe …” “Got your back, sir.” He nodded, just once, and moved around the rock into the open. Their contacts lay dead on the ground, dropped in the first volley, but he wasn’t concerned with them. Instead he moved quietly towards the small stand of trees where most of the gunfire had erupted from, his pistol in his hand, ready to take down whatever – “Cao ni zuzong shiba dai …” he murmured. Body parts. That’s mostly what he remembered. Six men, maybe, two of them more or less intact, but the others … just parts. “What the hell …” Jayne, used to death in all its forms, was ignoring the carnage, Vera aimed squarely at the woman standing in the centre of it all, her long red hair tipped with the same blood that covered both her hands. “Hello, Mal,” she said softly. ---

AN:To those who don't know, Werzbowski is the creator of 'Ski and also gave me the ideas of the second War. So thanks to him for the history of 'Ski's character after he and Cat part ways.

Anyway, more to Jane would say....'Watch this space.'


Monday, September 27, 2010 7:41 AM


May I have some more, please?

That's a mighty fine beginning. Can't wait to read more.

- 'Ski

Monday, September 27, 2010 7:45 AM


Looks to be a wild ride. Can't wait for more...

Monday, September 27, 2010 1:33 PM


Great story Angelle! Can’t wait for more!……as connected as I feel to the characters of Firefly, it’s always sad to read where our BDHs at some point in the future they will no longer be, yet such is the story of life and our passing I guess. I’m sure they went out as heroes……Jayne Cobb and River. Now That ! Is the stuff songs and poems are written for!! Mal Reynolds too……has a well honored statue somewhere I‘m sure…..course I’m getting ahead of myself and your story….please, you and Jane0904 continue!

Great collaboration, ZBP

Monday, September 27, 2010 1:39 PM


Wow, I never saw THIS coming! Great work, really intrigued as to where you are going with this. Love Bantha. As always, my friend, you rock. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"


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The Bouncing Ball Ch 16
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