Monday, September 11, 2006


Again, I'd like to thank all the shiny browncoats who helped with this creation. If you haven't read the previous chapter, I recommend you do.

Seen Better Days - Prologue and Part 1



Serenity left Arcadia without its new pilot, and made haste across the black towards Peresphone to deliver Badger’s cargo, which was carefully strapped onto the deck of the cargo hold. Its destination was logged into the databoard. Serenity's crew and new passenger, sat in the mess area, eating the last remanants of protein that was stacked in the pantry.

Life for the crew over the past few months had been quiet, very quiet. Business had slowed, not just because they harboured two known fugitives, or because they lost their only constantly paying passenger, Inara, but because of the new threat that faced the ‘verse, the uprising of the new coalitions.

The Alliance had suffered tremendously when the reaver situation was exposed to the public. They had found it difficult to defend their actions and slipped slowly away to the depths of failure, leaving a large gap in the calm of society. As the citizens rebelled, several new coalitions formed, fighting hard against each other to win the hearts of the citizens of the 'verse. Disputes over who should rule the 'verse had climaxed and three groups emerged in power. The Blue Sun Corporation, who owned a majority of the known 'verse, claimed they were the legitimate power.

The Independents took advantage of the confusion, and tried again to rally the little people despite their loss to the Alliance. Finally, a new faction emegered, The Red Moon Organization. Little was know of them, however they were also claiming sovereignty.


“So, what do ya do for a living, J.D?” Kaylee questioned, pushing her protein mash around the plate.

“I’m a freelancer,” J.D replied, raising a small spoonful of mash to her mouth. The smell overwhelmed her as she closed her eyes and shovelled it into her mouth, swallowing the lump. Once it was down, she opened her eyes to study her companions.

Most were eyeing off the yellow mash that was pooled in their plates. Only Jayne, the large mercenary, stared at her, devouring the last bite of goo that encrusted his spoon.

“Freedancer, huh? Sounds interestin’. I could use a little free dancin’,” Jayne commented, grabbing the bowl of mash from the centre of the table.

The faces around the table lifted and glared at Jayne, while a bang emitted from under the table.

“Ouch!” Jayne exclaimed, dropping the bowl of mash onto his plate. One hand extended down to rub his now sore leg, where several kicks had collided, while the other hand picked up the bowl and returned it to the center.

“Freelancer... what exactly does that involve?” Kaylee curiously questioned, turning her attention to J.D, while the other crew members returned their attentions to the meals.

“A little bit of this and a little of that. Basically I go from planet to planet and scout for jobs. Most jobs I land only last a few days and then I move on,” J.D explained, scraping the pulp into a small mound on her dish.

“Oh, so what kind of jobs've you done?” Kaylee questioned, intrigued by the concept of a freelancer. It was a change to the murdering scoundrels and sleaze balls they had previously encountered. J.D was the only touch of class they had met since Inara’s departure, several months before.

“Kaylee, maybe we should give our guest a chance to eat her dinner,” Mal pleaded. He was still a little disappointed that the pilot had not turned up, although he had concidered that maybe Badger had schemed it so they would not return to Peresphone on time to receive their extra credits.

“It’s ok capt’n,” J.D added, swallowing another mouthful, “I’ve done a large range of jobs. The last job I had was as a cattle hand on a ranch, before that I was a bartender on Ariel.”

“What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?” Kaylee continued to question.

“Kaylee!!” Mal interupted, lifting his gaze from his meal to J.D, adding, “I’m sorry, they don’t get out much.”

“Capt’n, I like that your crew is gettin’ to know me. Least this way they won’t think I’m a ravin’ psychopath,” J.D kidded, producing a small smile before swallowing another mouthful.

A soft gentle voice echoed from the hallway, “Job’s already taken.” A young lady emerged, gripping the doorframe and swinging into the room. She gracefully made her way over to Mal, placing a hand on his shoulder as she pulled his bowl of mash away from his clutches and started digging in.

“J.D, This is ....” Mal began to introduce, before River cut in with, “River.”

The room fell silent, before River broke the silence with, “So tell them, what the worst job you’ve ever done is?” River shovelled a large heaped spoonful of mash into her mouth and sat down on the couch to the left of the group, giggling.

J.D felt slightly awkward at the newcomer’s proposal as she didn’t won’t to disrupt the meal, although most of the crew had refused to touch the pungent mash, she continued with the reply, “Well I’d have to say my first job, was cleaning sewage pipes."

A series of grossed out face emanated around the table, one by one they pushed the plates away from them. All but Jayne and River who continued to munch on.

“Do many poop scoopin’ jobs?” Jayne prodded.

“JAYNE!!!” The crew echoed.


The next day the crew continued their journey to Peresphone, it was quiet among the hallways. River and Mal were on the bridge, navigating the course to Peresphone, Zoe was watching the pair from the hallway, Kaylee and Simon were tinkering away in the engine Room, J.D in the common area and Jayne was in his bunk.

“Sir?” Zoe questioned, sidestepping around River as she entered the Bridge. River was on her way to the mess area, to grab a snack before resuming her flying lessons with Mal. Not that she needed any from Mal, however, his guiding hand was comforting when she did get into trouble controlling the ship.

Mal sat in the pilot seat, searching through the cortex for a trace of information about their new passenger, J.D., something about her bothered him, as if she was hiding a secret. Leaning back into the chair, he explained to Zoe, “There’s just something that isn’t right about her. Who do you know that would recommend us?”

Zoe looked at Mal, his eyes, focused on the screen. He looked comfortable, like her husband used to when he was perched in front of the screen. She closed her eyes and replied, “Well, that’s a short list, Sir.”

Zoe paced the room, avoiding the chair where Mal sat. Vivid memories of her husband, haunting her mind. She paused in front of the wide window that peered out into the blackness, before asking curiously, “Found anything on the cortex, Sir?”

“Nothing. No fingerprints, no records. It’s like she doesn’t exist,” Mal answered, still chasing the explanation he needed. He pulled up another window and entered a scan of her photo, hoping to find some shred of evidence.

“A lot of people are like that, ‘specially on the outer planets,” Zoe responded, continuing to stare out into the black.

Neither of them said a word, as they mused over the few pieces of information they had on J.D. Mal knew the one fact that bugged him was the fact that she had worked on Ariel, a core planet. Core planets had records, good records, and Mal couldn't find any records on his mystery passenger.

The com crackled, breaking the pair from their thoughts, “Capt’n we’ve got a problem.”


J.D didn’t want to reveal what her name meant, after all it was just an abbreviation so that people didn’t sympathise with her. Jane Doe. It was a ridiculous name, but losing her life was a fact she could not bare. The sympathy of strangers, had devoured her soul, their kindness, their betrayals, it was too much for her too handle. That was the reason she moved on so much, never staying anywhere more than week. She looked down at the electronic map that sat in her lap, studying the planets, where she had been and where she could go next.

In the outer limits of the map, a small planet, named Memphis caught her eye reminding her of the incident that had occured there ten years before. The incident was unbearable, her brother, herself and their best friend were only a few of the handful that escaped from Memphis, before it was re-terraformed. The Alliance had tried to recreate a better world on Memphis, where the climate would be much more tollerable but in attempting this, they had failed to mention to the citizens of the possible effects this had on the environment. J.D saw the horrid deaths of her parents that day, as they burned from the excessive radiation. Their anguish and pain, haunted J.D’s mind as she remembered their faces as they fell victim to the effects of the re-creation.

She lost so much that day, and so much after that day. The loss of her brother being the greatest of all. He had died several months ago, doing the work he loved.

“Those two planets don’t exist now, you know,” River pointed out, breaking J.D thoughts. She peered over J.D’s shoulder at the electronic map.

“Yes I know,” J.D replied, with a smile. She pointed to the first planet and explained, “That’s Earth-that-was.” Her finger drifted to the next planet, “and that’s ..... Memphis.” A single tear drop fell upon the screen.


“Capt’n, may I ask how long till will take to arrive at Peresphone?” J.D enquired, emerging from the common area with a small leather bound book.

“Hopefully we’ll be there in a few hours,” Mal replied, desending the stairs to the Engine Room. He muttered something softly under his breathe, unaudible to J.D, as he disappeared out of view.

She entered the Cargo Bay and strolled over to her two crates, positioning her self as comfortably as she could on the boxes. In her travels between planets she often wrote stories to pass the time, depicting her travels. She opened the book to a new page and began jot down a few ideas for a story about Serenity. Serenity’s beauty had overwhelmed J.D from the moment she laid eyes on the cargo ship and after meeting Mal she realised just how much it meant to him. It wasn’t just a mode of transport, it was his home, his life.

“Gorram stupid girl, forgot the fuel gauge is stuck,” Jayne cursed, storming into the cargo haul area.

“Shoulda gorram guessed we wouldn’t make it in time,” he continued ranting until he realised he was not alone in the cargo bay, halting abruptly, he added, “We gotta stop to get some gorram fuel.”

“Right, well I’ll be right here if you need any help,” J.D commented to Jayne, trying to be helpful. She could feel Serenity dip gently into the atmosphere of a unknown planet, before the vessel began to lurch.

“Ya might wanna go strap in, bèn niao xia-n fe-i (clumsy birds have to start flying early),”Jayne added, gripping one of the crates as Serenity listed.

Despite the mixed bunch, she had grown fond of the crew, they all seemed to work well together despite their obvious differences.


J.D emerged on the bridge and quickly eyed the young River’s actions. “Push that green button there,” J.D indicated to the large green button that was positioned above River’s head.

Once River pushed the button, J.D continued to instruct, “Don’t grip the controls like a they are goin’ to attack you. Think of Serenity as an animal. Just treat her with respect, and she’ll do what she’s asked.”

“That’s it. Much better,” J.D encouraged, as Serenity glided in for a smooth landing.

Mal looked at J.D in amazement and questioned, “Thought you weren’t a pilot?”

“Capt’n Reynolds, I never said I wasn’t a pilot. I just said I wasn’t your pilot,” J.D replied, exiting the bridge, smiling. She had acheived what she set out to do, help out in the best way she knew possible. Her expertise had allowed River to successfully land Serenity without another hiccup.


“Where the gorram hell do you think your going?” Mal questioned J.D furiously. He was obviously upset by all the disruptions to his well thought out plan, first the pilot, second a passenger and now low fuel. His plan for easy money had gone haywire.

“Jayne asked me to help,” J.D replied, jumping onto the mule where Jayne waited.

“I’m sure he did,” Mal replied testily, before ordering Jayne, “Get the fuel and get back here, dong ma?” The pair disappeared down the meandering road to the dust filled streets of the deserted township, in search of a source of fuel.



Monday, September 11, 2006 7:08 PM


Two down, many more to go. Keep the brilliance comin'

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:38 AM


“Kaylee!!” Mal interupted, lifting his gaze from his meal to J.D, adding, “I’m sorry, they don’t get out much.”

Least this way they won’t think I’m a ravin’ psychopath
“Job’s already taken.”

Of course, I am left wondering about J.D.'s past, which is a good quality in a stoy to me. Keep it up.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 1:10 AM


Wowza! This girl is gonna be trouble for the crew, but I like her! I can see her as being family by the end.

And I must know more about her! More, Please?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 1:13 AM


I hope JD decides to stay, I think she could maybe have a good home on Serenity. Wonder what planet they landed on for their impromptu refueling? Hope it isn't Memphis... Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, September 16, 2006 6:18 AM


Oh...this is wonderful stuff here, JorjaReynolds. Pains me to think I could have helped shaped this, had I not failed on my promise:(

Still...this is great storytelling here, as you're doing the right amount of stringing us along about J.D. and her background, and her slow integration with the crew:D


Tuesday, September 19, 2006 5:17 PM


Sorry it took me so long to get a review done on this. Good stuff you've got here and I'm excited to see you continue it.

“Freedancer, huh? Sounds interestin’. I could use a little free dancin’,” Jayne commented, grabbing the bowl of mash from the centre of the table. *Good Jayne, he is always putting his foot in his mouth some way or another. Good voice for him here.

Looking forward to a continuance, and I want to know more about JD, her past and her secrets.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:23 PM


Very good as usual! Still has good flow and the character voices continue to be true to form.

Can't wait for more!


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