Best Served Cold - Chapter 1
Monday, March 6, 2006

Only one little word fits that adage, as we open, a certain bounty hunter's fate is revealed, River's forsight continues to torture her, and the crew recovers from a rough night with said Bounty Hunter.


Best Served Cold A Big Damn Fanfic By Curtis Mitchell

EDIT 3/8/06: Revised two small sections (just changed the wording a bit, the length is still the same) to take into consideration the feedback I received below. Thank you so much! Course, now you guys will look like dummies to whoever might read this >.>

Quick notes -------------- Post Objects in Space – Pre Those Left Behind

This is my first Firefly fanfic. I make no claims about my writing but I do ask that if you take the time to read my little offering that you give me some feedback. It is something that I would like to continue doing in the future and I would like to get down the personalities of our Big Damn Heroes as best I can. So if you think Jayne says something distinctly Unjayneish you go ahead and tell me I’m a moron. Oh, and thanks for reading :)

I have posted this on, I mention this for no other reason then to say that it is best structurally organized there. My primary focus is, my forum of choice, and the latest chapters will probably be found there, but offers the convenience of all the Chapters being filed together, which might make things easier for the reader coming across this for the first time.

Chapter I: A Bug and a Bounty Hunter

Only a single layer of protective cloth separated bounty hunter Jubal Early from the cold blackness of Outer Space. As the bounty hunter spun in an uncontrolled counter-clockwise spin breathing in the last ten minutes of his oxygen, he tipped his head slightly and repeated the mantra he’d been going over for the last thirty minutes, “Yep, here I am.” He’d made a deadly mistake in underestimating his prey. He prided himself on knowing his target well enough that such things couldn’t happen to him. But River Tam was something else. She was something real special. He’d gathered from what he’d heard that she wasn’t exactly there and he’d picked up something about her being some sort of science project, but he hadn’t fully appreciated the complexity of the situation. Knowing what he thought he’d known about the so called crew of that flea trap called Serenity, he thought he had everything figured out. But it was just his luck that something unexpected would happen. But he did have another motto he adhered too, something he’d picked up along the way so to speak. Always have a backup plan. Expending the last bit of fuel from his jetpack, he sent his body in a spin in the other direction. A spin that turned him about to the sleek hunk of metal that was sliding towards him. It was awfully nice of Malcolm Reynolds to cut Early’s ship from Serenity and leave it like space debris. Awfully nice. “I’ll have to remember to thank him,” Early muttered as he caught the ship as it passed by, pulling himself along the surface towards the airlock. With a flick, the outer hatch was open and he had pulled himself in. Just as the chamber pressurized and the warning light appeared on his tank indicating one minute, Early had the helmet off and was breathing the sweet, delightful smell of recirculated O2. Nice, very nice, he nodded as he pulled himself up into the cockpit. His ship was quite small, meant for no more then one person, though he could fit at least three prisoners in the back if he really wanted to. And it just so happened that he had wanted to from time to time. He was relieved to find the console was mostly untouched. When River Tam had gotten aboard the ship, she hadn’t appeared to damage any of the particulars. In fact, after activating the monitors, he noted that the information he kept on hand regarding the reward for bringing in the Tams was still being displayed. After this encounter, it seemed just the least little bit light to him. A shame the Alliance was a non-negotiable trading partner. He had just tilted his head back to relax for a moment, being in a space suit for a prolonged period of time was not particularly fun for anyone, when a light began to flash on the console before him and a small alarm rang through the vessel. “Not expecting any calls,” he muttered. He pressed the button to turn on the channel and see what was coming through, “Jubal Early, you are hereby bound by law. You are directed to remain on your present course. Any deviation will be regarded as an attempted escape.” Just his luck. Early sighed as he stared at the man on the screen. It was just his luck that gorram Alliance busybodies would come along. How had they even found him? “This is a little too convenient, like a bad twist in a poorly written novel.”


“Well, that was an adventure,” Mal Reynolds proclaimed to the entire crew, gathered around the table in the dining room. “Managed to tie our Kaylee up, scare her mightily, take the good doctor and nearly the whole ship. An Jayne, what in the good gorram were you doin?” Jayne was the only one sitting, tilted back against the wall in his chair with his hands behind his head. “Sleepin,” he said. “Well, gorram it, I don’t like no adventures,” Mal said. “Don’t none of you never let that happen again.” “Course not,” Jayne said. “Cap’n, I’m sorry…” “You ain’t got nothing to be sorry about Kaylee,” Mal said as he eyed the plucky young engineer. “He caught me unawares just the same, and didn’t seem to pay no mind to takin’ out a shepherd either.” Everyone gave Book a glance. “We’re just goin to have to be on our toes more from now on. I’m thinking this wasn’t the last fella that’ll come lookin for the doc’s sister.” “What’s the plan Captain?” Zoe asked. “Stay on course for now, find ourselves another job,” Mal said. He left one part out. Inara. She was getting off at their next stop. Taking off for presumably better waters. Mal thought briefly that now might be the time to tell everyone. They were all here. But they’d had a long night. Best to be saving it. Besides Kaylee was upset enough as it was. “Alright, that’s the most of it, now lets get some sleep,” Nodded heads and muttered sounds of approval followed the Captain’s proclamation. And so they all filed out one at a time, to find their bunks and hopefully get some rest without having to worry about whatever objects might be floating out there in space. Without having to worry about the tiny, almost infinitesimally small probe that drifted alongside them. Without having to worry about the prominent Blue Sun logo on the side of the almost infinitesimally small probe. Nor without having to worry about the part of the probe that detached from the main unit and slipped onto the hull of Serenity. Not a one of them worried about the tiny little fly that had nestled against their stallion.


Two by two they come in hands of blue. Two by two they come in Hands of Blue. TWO BY TWO they come in HANDS OF BLUE. TWO BY TWO THEY COME IN HANDS OF BLUE! TWO BY TWO THEY COME IN HANDS OF BLUE! TWO BY TWO!!!!!! Simon Tam’s eyes flew open at the sound of blood-curdling screaming. The most awful, violent scream he had ever heard. It was the scream of a tortured soul. It was the scream of his sister. The nightmares were coming back. And they were coming back with an intensity he had never expected. He wasn’t even aware of pulling a shirt on over his torso as he threw himself out of his bunk and thrust open the door to his room, grimacing in pain from a wound that hadn’t healed yet. He forced himself through his door and into his sister’s room clenching his teeth with pain. River Tam was curled up in a ball on her bed. Her screaming had stopped, she was just rocking back and forth now. Simon ran to her and knelt down beside her. Her eyes had a glazed look in them. She just rocked. Back and forth. Back and forth. No coherence existed in those orbs that had so often glowed with a radiance Simon had always loved in his sister. “Is everything alright?” Shepherd Book was standing in the doorway, a characteristic frown on his face. “I heard screaming,” “So did I,” Simon looked up briefly as he spoke to the Shepherd, then he turned back to his sister. “River? River? Are you alright?” “Two by two,” “What?” She looked at him, “Two by two,” “I…I don’t…” he studied his sister’s face hard. He studied her demeanor. Nothing revealed itself. He had heard her repeat such things before. But he had never understood it. What did it mean? Two by two? It was a cry for desperation. He tried to remember what had happened the last time she had repeated the lines. “Hands of Blue,” “Hands of Blue,” the Shepherd had entered the room. Kaylee and others appeared at the door behind him. “I’ve heard her say that before.” “So have I,” Simon whispered. “If only I could understand what it meant.” He turned to stand up. “I’m going to give her something to sleep. She’s exhausted.” “I’ll say,” Mal had appeared. As Simon came by, he caught the Captain’s serious expression. “Woke the whole ship up doc, know we already had this conversation a bit ago, but is she…?” “She’ll be fine, that is, I think she’ll be fine,” Simon said with a frown. To be honest, he simply didn’t know. He thought he’d begun to understand what sorts of things they had done to her at that place. But after this latest episode he realized that he knew even less about her now. At times like this, she didn’t even seem to be his sister. Yes, she is! It was something he had to repeat to himself, something he had to tell himself. He loved her too much to ever want to forget it. “She’s probably just upset from…earlier…” “She didn’t seem upset from earlier,” Mal said, turning away from Simon to glance in the door. Simon grabbed his kit and came back around, catching the Captain again. “Did a fine bit of work helping us with that fella,” Simon didn’t say anything. He wasn’t completely comfortable with the way Mal had been thinking of his sister lately. The gun incident had seemed to be a step back, but the business with the bounty hunter had been an even bigger step forward. How long was it going to be before Malcolm decided she might be “useful” on one of his little heists. It would never come to that Simon decided. I’ll leave before I let him endanger her trying to steal money from some Alliance Outpost or another. Shepherd Book had knelt down beside River and was talking softly to her. She had no reaction, she simply rocked back and forth. Simon took out his hypodermic, and filled it with a solution he kept available that would help River get some rest. He put it up to her arm, knowing she would have hated him for doing this to her if she was anything but borderline catatonic. He just hoped she’d understand he was trying to help her. She caught his hand then, just as he was bringing the injection up to her arm. She looked him in the eyes and whispered, “They’re coming,” before letting her hand fall away so he could inject her. After a moment, her head fell against his chest and her breathing fell into a comfortable rhythm. She was asleep and hopefully, for a little while, she could find some little reprieve from the horrors that haunted her mind. “What did she say?” Mal asked as Simon stood up and began to repack his bag. “Nothing,” the doctor said. “She said nothing.”


Tuesday, March 7, 2006 2:35 AM


I really like this, you have me curious as to where it's headed.
I like your characterisations as well, super-shiny.
I hope you keep going with this, I know how hard it is to write your first fic and test the waters, but this is shaping up to be a great piece of fanfic.


Tuesday, March 7, 2006 2:44 AM


I read your blog (& didn't comment *bad*) and came over to read your fic.

I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to what might happen next.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 4:33 AM


Nice start, I'm looking to seeing more of Jubal Early!

My only criticism only shows what a science geek I am:

"Exerting the slightest bit of force, he sent his body in a spin in the other direction."

What can he exert force on in space? nothing! Have him fire a jet in his suit or something.

I know, nit-picky! The characters are more important than the science, and those you got going good. :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 5:43 AM


Good characterizations all the way around, although Simon shouldn't be running anywhere after OiS, he got shot in the leg. Kind of nit-picky, but a detail nonetheless.

I like your description of River and her psychosis. As a fellow fan-fic-er I know it's tough to figure out how to convey her tragic state of mind while also not making her a weak, giant puddle. It is a delicate balance.

I hope you continue with this, it's got definite potential and a good bit of intrigue!

Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:51 AM


ooh...scary biscuits



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Best Served Cold - Chapter 2
Early gets a job from the Men in Blue while an old "friend" who'd just as soon shoot Mal as look at him offers him a job. Can we say trap in unison?

Best Served Cold - Chapter 1
Only one little word fits that adage, as we open, a certain bounty hunter's fate is revealed, River's forsight continues to torture her, and the crew recovers from a rough night with said Bounty Hunter.