Shiny New Toys 7: Scheming
Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Simon lays out his plan to assault the hospital on Persephone. Yeah, this is gonna go great.


A/N: Yeah, I lifted some of this stuff from "Ariel". Hey, when you're planning an attack on a hospital, and Joss already did it once, why not borrow from the master? I know my (Simon's) plan is unecessarily complex, but that just means more things to not go smooth.


Mal had gathered his crew in the galley to go over the plan. With a resounding crack, Simon dropped two datapads onto the kitcken table, effectively calling the meeting to order. "Anything to say before I start, Captain?"

Mal shook his head. "Nope. This show's yours, doctor. Make it a good one." He had to hand it to the Doc. Eight hours later, and the boy had a plan. He was doing right well under the strain, considering his plan was designed for the express purpose of getting his girlfriend - well, Mal amended, almost girlfriend - into a hospital so her brain didn't up and quit on her. Boy really was a criminal mastermind.

"OK, then. Let me bring everyone up to speed. You all know Kaylee's in a coma, and I don't have enough equipment here to treat her properly. With the Captain's permission, we're on course for Persephone, where the local hospital has an ample supply of everything I'll need to treat her. We're going to break in, get what we need, and get out. Although what I propose is still incredibly illegal, this isn't a 'job' in the sense of our usual jobs. We're not going to steal anything" - Simon held up his hand to forestall Jayne's inevitable objection - "although if the opportunity presents itself, go right ahead, Jayne. I'm telling you all this because there's no gain for us, other than helping Kaylee. If you feel you need to back out, tell me now."

Everyone in the room turned and stared at Jayne. "What?" he groused. "'Course I'm goin'. It's for Kaylee. I ain't that heartless." He looked back at Simon, indicating the doctor should continue while giving everyone else the evil eye.

"Good. We'll be arriving in about two hours, which puts us right in the middle of the day, local time. That's actually a good spot, as it will be crowded but not crazy in the E.R. As for the location itself, this hospital is a bit different from Ariel. It's smaller, so the security isn't as tight, but there's some things we'll have to watch out for all the same. If we stick to the plan, I don't anticipate any major problems."

Zoe leaned over to Mal. "You smellin' any deja vu here, sir?" Mal smiled wryly. Of course he did. Plan or not, it never went smooth.

Simon kept on talking, oblivious. "First of all, unlike Ariel, you can fly right up to the E.R. ward, so we won't need to build an ambulance. We can use the shuttles for basic transport, and with Wash flying we can be ready to move fast. But that's the easy part."

"With little man flyin', may not be so easy." Jayne was now feeling a bit out of sorts, and wanted to spread the joy around. Zoe quelled him with a look.

Simon ignored Jayne and picked up one of his datapads, displaying a map to the group. The hospital layout was similar to what they'd seen before, just a bit smaller. "Like Ariel, the sensors pose a bigger logistical problem. Wash helped me look up the relevant data on the Cortex. Want to cover this part, Wash?"

Wash grinned hugely and nodded, excited to be making a contribution to the plan. "Well, like Simon said, this hospital is a lot smaller, so they only have six or so Feds in there. They also don't have top of the line sensors. From the layout I saw, it looks like they could only afford to install the scanners on the front and back doors, mainly to help the Feds notice people on the way in - civil service just doesn't pay enough for the good toys, I guess. Once someone of interest comes in, the sensors can track them inside the building, helping the Feds narrow down their location since they don't have the manpower to do a full sweep. That helps us, since we only have to get Simon through the door. After that he's home free and won't be detected again until he leaves."

"And now the downside." Simon picked up where Wash left off. "After our little adventure on Ariel, plus our run-in with the law back on Greenleaf, all Alliance hospitals are searching body bags, carts, gurneys, and any other large item that comes through the door, as well as double-checking the idents on all D.O.As. Apparently they frown on wanted fugitives breaking in and robbing the place. This means that we can't sneak me in or out pretending to be dead. Which means that if I'm going in - and the captain has insisted that I do - I have to be awake and under my own power."

Wash jumped back in. "Luckily, the cheap sensors will help us out with that. They only have the power to follow one person at a time, and won't give up until the Feds cancel the search. Which means that if they get set off before Simon walks in, they'll never know he's tagged at all. All the sensors will be busy with tracking someone else, so he can just walk through the door wheel Kaylee to wherever she needs to go." He grinned again, pleased with himself. "All hail the lowest bidder!"

"So how do we pull all this off?" Book was leaning forward, chin on his hands. He actually seemed to be enjoying the logistics of raiding an Alliance medical facility.

"Good question, Book. Step one, we need Jayne to call the Feds."

"Hey!" Jayne wasn't expecting the doc to take a cheap shot. "That ain't fair, Doc. I done told you I won't do that again."

"No, Jayne. I was serious. If we tip them off ahead of time, the soldiers will be poised to jump on the first tagged person that walks through the door. They'll be lax in other areas while anticipating a big bust, and since Jayne's been known to sell out Simon and River Tam - the biggest fish the Alliance has to fry - they'll pay special attention to his warning. So Jayne calls them, sets them up, then sneaks in the back door."

"But Jayne's not tagged and won't set off the alarms.", Book pointed out.

"No, he won't. Which is why River goes in with him."

"WHAT?! You plan on usin' your sis for bait? Didn't you just finish tellin' us they'll pay special attention?" Mal was now quite sure that River wasn't the only crazy one in the family. Maybe Simon wasn't holding up as well as he thought. "Hell, why don't we just save ourselves the trouble, turn her in, an' collect the reward money?"

"I don't like it either, Captain, but she's not going alone. In fact, she's the one who gave me the idea. Jayne's entire job is to keep her safe while she distracts the guards, only for a minute or so. Despite his previous motivations, Jayne did a good job of protecting the both of us on Ariel, and I believe he can be counted on to do so again." Jayne noticed the subtle challenge in Simon's words, and took them to heart. This was his chance for redemption. So he just nodded, accepted his role with no complaint, and ignored the rather pointed look Mal was giving him.

Inara leaned across the table. "River, sweetie? Are you sure you want to be part of this?"

"Play hide and seek with Jayne. Help Kaylee." River waved Inara's question away and giggled. "More fun than sitting on the ship while you guys hump up the plan." River appeared to be having a lucid moment, which didn't improve her interpersonal skills all that much. Inara gave River a cross look and sat back.

Simon brought the topic back to the important stuff. "So, once River sets off the alarms and draws the Feds, she and Jayne run for the ship and hide out - and I do mean run, Jayne. No heroics, last stands, taking extra time for thieving, or witty banter. Just stay alive and get out. But while River's in the building and keeping the sensors busy, Mal, Zoe and I wheel Kaylee in the front door, calm as you please. Mal and Zoe will wear the leftover EMT uniforms - assuming we still have them?"

Jayne answered that one. "We do. Was usin' em as coveralls for septic vat duty. Wash 'em out an' they'll be fine." Simon made a face, but jotted down a note on his pad.

"Fine. They wear the uniforms, and I'll be dressed as your average doctor. We'll have to steal a wheelchair - which should pose no problem for this group - and we'll just be another EMT team bringing a patient in for a procedure and consulting with a doctor. Once we find the scanner, it's only a few minutes to do what's needed. Let's say ten minutes at the outside. Once finished, we head for the back door. Now here's the tricky part."

"'Cause it's so simple up to now.", Mal muttered. Zoe stifled a laugh.

"It's likely that when Jayne and River get away clean, the Feds will return and call off their search, which means the sensors will reset, which means I can't walk back through the door without being noticed. It's too risky to bring back River for another round. So this is where we need Book and Inara."

Book and Inara both raised their eyebrows. They had assumed that - as the non-criminals of the group - they wouldn't be called on unless something went really, really wrong. But now it looked like Simon was making them an integral part of the escape.

"As soon as I cross the threshold, the alarms will go off again and the Feds will come running. I'll have Mal and Zoe to help me, but since it's likely Kaylee won't be conscious yet, it's probably not the best place for a gun fight. So I need you two to take Inara's shuttle - if you don't mind lending it to us, Inara - and wait at the back door, ready to delay the soldiers from chasing us. Faint, yell, scream, whatever it takes, but draw their attention for a couple of minutes. But don't do anything too drastic, since we don't want you arrested."

Book nodded seriously, while Inara flat out grinned. "I think we can manage that, don't you Shepherd?"

"Oh, yes. It's been a while since I've dressed down some young bucks. This could prove quite entertaining." Book seemed to be relishing the idea of bellowing at some soldiers. Simon didn't really want to know how Inara was going to distract them, but figured the video would probably make a fortune on the Cortex.

"Mal, Zoe, Kaylee and I will run to the shuttle, and Wash flies us back. Once the soldiers are totally confused or cowed, Inara and Book come back in Inara's shuttle. Once everyone is aboard Serenity, we run like hell to the farthest planet we can find. If all goes well, the whole thing takes mabye fifteen minutes. If anything goes wrong, we resort to Plan B."

"What's Plan B?" Zoe just had to ask.

Simon grinned wickedly, giving Zoe the first inkling that he wasn't entirely sane again. "Jayne comes back with Vera and blows the hell out of anyone who gets in the way."

"Hell, might as well start with Plan B an' save us all some time.", Jayne mumbled to himself. Gorram doctor an' captain, always makin' plans that never worked. But he'd be the good mercenary for now, watch lil' sis' back, an' maybe pick himself up some shiny medical equipment while he was there.

"That's about it. Questions?" Simon looked around the table at the people he was counting on to save Kaylee's life. Mal and Zoe were sitting quietly, weighing the plan in their minds. Jayne looked alternately bored and greedy. Wash was positively gleeful at taking part in a planned operation. Book and Inara had their heads together, whispering about strategy. River was staring at something she found absolutely fascinating on the ceiling. Yep, Simon surmised, this was a crack team if he ever saw one.

Finally, Mal nodded to Zoe and looked up. "Pretty iffy plan, Doc. I don't relish us all gettin' shot. What happens if this don't work?"

"Well, we can all guess what happens if River or I get caught." Mal nodded. "But I thnk you mean Kaylee, right?" Mal nodded again. "If this doesn't help her, then I don't know what will. She might wake up on her own. She might not."

"Give me some odds, doctor."

"On the plan? Say sixty-forty in favor of not dying. For Kaylee without medical attention? Say fifty-fifty, maybe. I just don't know."

"Then this insanity is the best chance she got?"

"I believe so, yes."

Mal accepted this, thinking. "River? You got any insights we should be hearin' about?"

River smiled at Mal. "Do you really want the insane girl to analyze the insane plan, Captain?"

"Guess not, but I find it oddly comforting that you think it's insane, too. OK. Let's do it." Mal's decision was quickly echoed by the others.

River raised her hand. "Question, Simon."

"Yes, mei mei?"

"Did mom drop you on your head a lot, or is this insanity a recent development?"

With that, the table burst into laughter, and the meeting broke up as the crew went to get ready.


Wednesday, January 4, 2006 9:29 PM


Thi should be it wrong that I'm hoping you go with plan B? lol :) Good chapter, it made me giggle in the dist of my calculus stupor.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 11:07 PM


I wonder if things will ever go smooth? Nah...can't wait to see what happens next. :):):)

Thursday, January 5, 2006 1:10 AM


The insane girl and the insane plan? Yep, that's Firefly! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, January 5, 2006 1:57 AM


This is gonna be good, I can tell.

Friday, January 6, 2006 10:37 AM


"Did mom drop you on your head a lot, or is this insanity a recent development?"
good question...


Tuesday, October 3, 2006 12:35 PM


Ohh, nicely thought out plan. And River's last line was great!


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In The Ether 13: Secret Agent Man
Simon takes a turn at super spy as the crew tracks him down.

In The Ether 12: Motivations
A brief history of Simon Tam

In The Ether 11: Telling
Simon and Regan tell each other off, Jayne tells Kaylee a little story, and Wash tells everybody about basic chemistry. Bonus: Jayne actually quotes Shakespeare! Kind of.

In The Ether 10: Technical Difficulties
Jayne goes trophy hunting, Kaylee and Wash attempt to explain technical things to Mal, and eventually everyone realizes that they left something at the last stop.

Generic S/K Plot Outline
Inspired by a story posted at, I present the outline of pretty much every S/K fic out there (including my own, so no one take it personal-like).

Dino Tales: Loss
The dino army mourns the loss of one of their own.

The Old Switcheroo
Jayne and Simon wake up with unique perspectives on life.

In The Ether 9: Minor Complications
Jake and Jasper check out Serenity, River secures some backup, Jayne discovers his protective side, Simon gets physical, and Kaylee meets an old flame.

In The Ether 8: Lady's Choice
Zoe fixes the plan. Kaylee shows Simon how to turn up the heat.

In The Ether 7: Shore Leave
Mal gives everyone a day on Belix to calm the nerves. Wash gets suspicious. A plan is hatched.