Early Years: One of Them
Saturday, October 2, 2010

All mine....Cat with Mal and Zoe in the War....for Ali (AMDOBELL) because she is awesome and has waited patiently for me to post another of these...hope it was worth the wait....Cat Versus Honor


based on the world of Firefly by Joss Whedon


"Tell us where the Alliance is going to strike next." Sargent Reynolds wiped the sweat from his brow, a dirty streak now evident on his forehead. They'd captured a solider, a purple belly who had been relaying their position. He hoped that they could gleam some information from him before turning the prisoner over to his command unit.

A stiff upper lip greeted him as the young squad leader rattled off again his name, rank, and serial number, Mal taking another deep breath as he walked past Zoe to the fresh air outside. It smelled of clean cut grass and mortar fire, but that's the way it was now with the war in full swing. Not many planets left that hadn't felt the damage, not many families left that hadn't felt the pain.

"We could use more unsavory tactics." A voice behind him made him turn, his finger on the trigger of the hand cannon at his side. Zoe, her dark brown hair laying in tangles on her head, whispered holding her small utility blade.

"No." Mal sighed. "We ain't like them, Zo. Man's just doing his duty like us. If one of ours was taken, we'd want the same respect."

"But, would they give it, Sir?" It was directed as a question, but he knew it wasn't and that his second in command was right. Alliance wouldn't stop until their need was met or their prisoner was dead.

"We ain't them." It was stern, but gentle. He'd learned to take her advice to heart, more so than any one else on his unit. Zoe would do just about anything he commanded, but she always had something to add to it.

"Maybe we should be." She moved back inside to guard the prisoner as Mal sighed deeply. She was right. A good scare from a blade would have the young one talking in no time, but he had learned one thing about the war. It was hell and though most would say there was no rules, he felt different. Without honor, they might as well kill every living thing in sight because it made no difference.

A whisper of something moved in the brush as his eyes caught the cascade of scarlet hair, fire in the dull brown landscape. Green eyes haunted the shadows as she gently stepped into the lamplight, a string of rabbits hanging from her fingertips.

"Bunny stew," he commented as the mysterious woman smiled before laying them down on a rock by the fire. "I'll have the boys clean them."

"Already gutted. Just need to remove the skin." Her lips spread wide as a yawn exposed the sharp fangs, betraying the fact she wasn't as she appeared.

Letting his hand run over the soft fur, he wondered at the softness and the lack of blood. "Make some decent gloves or at least lining for the cold nights."

"I don't get cold." She took a deep breath. "You have company." A light growl escaped her throat as she looked at him.

"Boys found him spying on us while you were off getting dinner. Nothing we couldn't handle."

"You still have him here? Should bury him with his brothers."

"He's not dead."

"I know." Though as she tried, Cat didn't understand war. It was a human way of claiming territory, but unlike a normal proper predator, they had respect for their enemies. Her thoughts were do away with them so they couldn't make more.

"You leave him alone." He commanded her, which for Mal was odd. His men followed his spoken orders without question or at least without much question, Zoe always had something to say. Of course, in some things he didn't blame her. After all, he had a reputation for being slightly mad.

Cat, though, was different. From the day she had joined them, he hadn't ever told her what to do. She just somehow knew what he wanted. Be a bit disturbing and rather creepifying, the young woman made things easier. She moved into zones without a thought for herself and as crazy as he was reported to be, Cat made even him look sane. Still, the look on her face as she tilted her head toward the bunker gave him pause. It was the same one he had seen on a wolf on the ranch...the same one he had to kill before it slaughtered more cattle.

Her green eyes blinked several times before Cat nodded at him, her legs slowly taking her backwards into the shadows. Mal squinted calling her name, but just as smoke becomes transparent in the wind, the beautiful woman blended into the dark, leaving nothing more than the light scent of vanilla in her wake.


"Where is he?" Mal yelled the question as each one of his men and Zoe shook their heads, the empty chair and cut ropes all that was left of the purple belly prisoner. "I want to know what happened."

"Must have escaped, Sir." Zoe was the first to speak, suppressing the thoughts of telling her Sarge that she was right. A tortured, wounded man wouldn't have gotten far. Now, the Alliance soldier could tell his squadron of their location.

"So, who was on guard when this happened?" He breathed, trying hard not to lose any more of his temper, but this mistake was not acceptable. At first not a single one spoke, eyes shifting from each other, afraid to disappoint their Sargent, but more than willing to watch their brother in arms take the fall. "I'm waiting."

"I was." A voice gentle, but with the sure sign of gravel echoed over the boys, the pack splitting as Cat slid in, a new set of clothes lining her features. "You needn't worry though. He won't be talking least to the living."

"He escaped?" Mal caught her eyes and a slight pulling on the corners of her mouth told him what she didn't.

"Yes." It was a lie, the first she had ever told him.

"And you killed him instead of recapture?"

Running her tongue over the sharp right fang, Cat sighed. "He was armed."

"Out...all of you." Mal grumbled as his unit almost tripped over themselves trying to leave. Zoe stood though as his hand waved her on as well. A nod between them told him she'd be close if her services were needed.

Cat stood her ground, knowing she wasn't part of all. She never was. "How did he get a gun?"

"I wouldn't know, Sir." This was spit, reminding Mal of a cat's hiss.

"Sir? Don't you Sir me when I know you cut him loose. What did I tell you? Leave him alone." The raise in his voice did nothing to waver the woman in front of him.

"You wanted information and I got it for you. My methods might not be pretty, but they are effective." She growled at him. "I only did what you wouldn't let your men do."

"Because we are different." His words slid from his lips as he sighed. "Honor, Cat... it's something they lack, but we should never. It's what makes us human and not some corporation. It's what we're fighting to achieve."

"But that is not my reasons." She looked at him. "I protect my pack and eliminate threats to it. Honor is foolish in war."

"Honor is everything."

"No. War is hell. There is no honor in hell." It was something he had told her and now it was biting him in the ass.

"We are not one of them. Our code must be better, Cat." He took a breath before putting up his guard. "And if you can't abide by that, you can't stay here."

Her eyes didn't falter as she nodded. "You're wrong and it will end up killing you." Walking toward the exit, she turned one last time before disappearing from sight. "And, Sargent Reynolds, you always seem to forget. I am one of them." -----------------

AN- Yes, Jane, there will be a sequel. ;)


Saturday, October 2, 2010 8:53 AM


Oh no, Cat can't leave Mal! Yowzer, I can so see Mal wanting to stick to the right of it though Cat had given him an out but he didn't take it. And what was it she learnt from the enemy before gutting him? Oooh, I am going to be on tenderhooks until the next chapter is up, worrying about what will happen next. As ever, you rock girl, especially when writing about the wonderful Early Years. Kudos to you, this was so shiny I needed sun glasses just to read it! Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Sunday, October 3, 2010 1:55 AM


Okay, how did you know I was going to say that a sequel was essential?!?

I think this is excellent. You've summed up what Cat is, how she feels, how difficult it is for her to understand that Mal truly believes they have to be better than the enemy, because otherwise what's the point in fighting? Might as well just roll over and die.

And it gives me a greater understanding of how much Cat has changed in the years heading towards Bouncing Ball. How much Mal altered her, and that she changed him too.

I can see both points of view, but lean towards Mal (well, I would) - honour is important in a dishonourable world.

More, please!

Sunday, October 3, 2010 6:07 AM


Excellent Angelle!

I truly enjoyed the Ying/Yang of the situation. I think it is what people face every day in their lives, even if they are on a battlefield……maybe more so.

CAT is so……..unpredictable- predictable. If I ever become a POW and came under her green-eyed gaze, guess I would have to spill the beans before becoming disembogued …..or whatever exercise she uses to obtain information. Good thing I’d likely not hold any rank….hee…hee.

So Mal’s attempt at trying to command control of the she-beast has cost him a prisoner, yet gained him valuable info at the same time……I agree with CAT…. “War is hell. There is no honor in hell.”

Enjoyed the story very much, BPZ

Sunday, October 10, 2010 7:42 AM


Interesting role reversal from Mal and Zoe in the movie, and Mal and Zoe in the war. I can kind of see it happening; Zoe went into the dust devils, so she wasn't above this, but since she met was she's changed for the better.

Hmm. Cat. I suspect she'll be lurking around still. I dunno. I think Mal's right. They might be on the losing side, but they can at least be on the right side by how they choose to act.


You must log in to post comments.



The Bouncing Ball Ch 20
Been awhile, but we still here... Jane and I spin a yarn and bounce the ball. Cat stands back...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 19
Jane and Me.... no more needs to be said... enjoy.

Cat goes hunting....

The Bouncing Ball Ch 18
Jane 0904 and I are writing up a storm. Another chapter of universe jumpin and twisty turns... Cat sees ghosts again...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 17
Another chapter.... thanks from Jane and I for your comments and for reading... Book explains.

The Bouncing Ball Ch 16
Jane and I are at it again.... with some outside help from my other favorite co-author, Werzbowski. Thanks for lending your talents to your character, 'Ski. Anyway, Cat sees ghosts....

The Bouncing Ball Ch 15
Jane and I continue on following the bouncing ball. Thanks for joining us. Special thanks to all who read and comment... you all are awesome. Cat get dirty...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 14
Jane and I are just doing what we like so enjoy the ride... big THANKS to Ali and 'Ski who have read and commented every time. You all rock! Anyway... Cat meets Badger...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 13
Jane and I are having a blast. Frey and Cat... not so much... Cat gets caged.

The Bouncing Ball Ch 12
Jane and me are on the way again to deliver our next chapter. Cat seeks Badger...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 11
Jane and I are here again... hoping that you enjoy our next chapter. Cat argues...