Crop Circles - One
Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sometimes there are honest jobs. Well, almost.


This is my first work of fiction to actually leave my house. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you'll point out where it needs help.

Disclaimer: Serenity and her crew and their ‘verse are Joss Whedon’s babies. This takes place after Objects in Space, before the comics.

Chinese translation: Wo de tien ah = Old sky father. Used as "OMG"


He’d been warned about the heat, had been told it would be “a might warm” as it were, but as the hatch began to open and the first breath of fresh air ebbed around him, he suddenly realized that he’d had no idea what “hot” really was.

This is gonna be unpleasant, he thought.

The hatch slowly lowered and more air rushed in, seeking a way into the ship and not finding it. It brushed across his face and neck like a caress—one that burned. Sweat sprang up on his brow and began to roll toward his right eye. The heat was so intense he could barely suppress a moan.

Great, he thought. Another gorram dry hellhole of a planet. Why couldn’t these terraformed moons be nicer—greener? Oh, yeah. The nice ones had Alliance all over them. “Just another reason to get rid of ‘em,” he muttered.

“What’s that, Jayne?” Mal was standing just in front of him, sweat beading his forehead and jaw. Jayne thought he looked a bit twitchy.

“Huh? Nothin’.” How much did I say aloud, he wondered. Gotta watch that.

It had been an especially unpleasant trip. They’d picked up cargo on Persephone that had required five stops to deliver. They’d also picked up a passenger on Persephone, which was just askin’ for trouble as far as Jayne was concerned. Persephone meant Alliance, and they still had the doc and his nutcase sister on board. Their passenger could be almost anyone. And now they were on this miserable, difficult to get to, hot little moon to drop of the passenger.

Jayne looked over at the man waiting to disembark. He wasn’t much to look at: mediumish height, a little round in the belly, dull clothes, dull hair. Actually, dull pretty well said it all. He’d mostly kept to himself and hadn’t said much at meals. Those two things were enough to make Jayne suspicious of the guy. River had seemed a little agitated by him, but she hadn’t said anything.

Jayne had two thoughts about their dull passenger. The first was that he was a dumb dirt farmer, which would match their current location. The second thought was that he was an Alliance spy, which would also match their current location just because they were there.

As the hatch hit the dirt, Jayne followed Mal and Zoë out of the ship, sweat rolling down the back of his neck and under his shirt. Jayne looked over to his right at Zoë. Damn, she’s a fine woman, he thought. Then he stepped out of Serenity’s shadow and into the sun. He hadn’t thought it could be any hotter, but it was. The heat squeezed the air out of his lungs and pressed down on him like a physical thing. Breathing was almost painful.

“Wo de tien ah,” he mouthed, not having enough air or energy to say it aloud. He heard Zoë saying something, but his ears weren’t working right in the heat. He saw Mal hop from Serenity’s hatch onto the ground. Damn showoff, he thought. Then he looked at Zoë, who also seemed unfazed by the heat. “Hell!” With a one-sided shrug, Jayne stepped down onto the dirt. He wasn’t about to be outdone by Mal or Zoë here!

A small group of people stood at a short distance from the ship. They were hard to see through the heat-distorted air. Jayne could see they all wore light colored clothes and large, floppy white hats. Jayne suddenly wished he’d worn his hat. He even wished he had one of those damn floppy hats. Shade would be good right about now.

Ignoring the heat, the passenger lugged his bags off of Serenity and across to the group. His feet raised little clouds of dust that floated at knee height before a slight breeze blew them higher. The breeze wasn’t enough to make Jayne feel better, but it was enough to blow grit in his face, making his eyes water and his teeth crunch.

Jayne studied the group waiting for the passenger. There were about 15 people with guns bristling everywhere. “Great. Hot, dusty, and hostile. My kind of pla…”

He stopped so suddenly he nearly stumbled. His eyes locked onto one figure in the group. He felt like he’d been hit on the head—hard. His brain quit working. He couldn’t see anything but that one figure. He didn’t notice the passenger hugging one of the waiting people. He didn’t see the passenger beckon to Mal and then grab his hand in a hearty handshake. He didn’t notice the oppressive heat or gritty breeze. His attention was consumed.


“Huh?” Jayne blinked and the heat slammed back into him, nearly rocking him to his knees. He realized Mal and Zoë were heading back to the ship. He shook his head and looked back at the group of people.

Mal saw where Jayne was looking. “Come in, son. Your brain is baking out here. You can see her later.”

Jayne turned to Mal, confused. “Her?”

“The girl. The one you’re ogling.” Mal grabbed Jayne’s shirt at the shoulder and began dragging him into the ship.

“Girl?” Jayne turned back for one more look. “I was looking at the gun!”


Sunday, October 30, 2005 12:27 AM


Oh, I adored this especially for the twist at the end! Jayne in gun-lust, gorrammit no wonder he was feeling so hot! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, October 30, 2005 2:51 AM


Great, so Jayne. Looking at the gun

Monday, October 31, 2005 2:24 PM


You are an excellent writer. Nice descriptive work, good pacing, strong characterizations, well edited, and - most importantly - a point.

Please let more works of fiction out of your house.

Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:08 AM


*snigger*can't help but love jayne.


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Crop Circles -- Nine
Wash and Zoe's evening.

Crop Circles -- Eight
Jayne's fun.

Crop Circles -- Seven
Mal learns more than he really wants.

The Narrow Path
Inspired from a line in Objects In Space.

Crop Circles -- Six
Wash and Zoe's envelope revealed.

Crop Circles -- Five
Shepherd's Walk

Crop Circles -- Four
Jayne in, where else, a bar.

Crop Circles -- Three
Jobs and envelopes

Crop Circles -- Two
Changing schedules...again.

Crop Circles - One
Sometimes there are honest jobs. Well, almost.