Children Of The Academy: Trapped
Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Serenity is trapped between a rock and an Alliance ship. Who is this new enemy, and just how much can they trust Brian?


Fifth chapter in my series. Enjoy!


The crew started making a mad dash to the bridge, with Mal and Zoe in the lead. Mal landed in the pilot’s seat while Zoe rushed over to the co-pilot position. Mal pulled up the Navset and started warming the engines, while Zoe looked at the proximity alert.

“Alliance ship,” she said. “Must of fired just before they came into range.”

“Well it’s a good thing they missed,” Mal said as he prepared to remotely disconnect Brian’s ship.

“They didn’t miss.”

Zoe and Mal turned to look at Brian, who was standing against the bulkhead, holding River. Both of them looked as if they’d seen a ghost, which worried Mal more than the missile blast had.

Glancing back at Zoe, Mal asked, “You care to explain that?”

Handing River off to Simon, Brian stepped up next to Mal’s chair. “It was a warning shot, Captain. If we try to run, they will shoot us down.”

As if to punctuate his point, a message came over the coms. “Firefly-class Serenity, you will shut your engines down immediately. I repeat. Firefly-class Serenity, you will shut your engines down immediately.”

“Yea, yea, I here you,” Mal said as he cut power. “Zoe?”

“It’s odd sir,” Zoe said as she stared at one of the screens. “They’re not moving any closer. And it looks like a standard patrol boat, but there’s something not right about it.”

Mal moved over to look at the screen. “What do you mean?”

She pointed at a section of the ship. “See this bulge. Standard Alliance patrol doesn’t have that. And the missile bays are retrofitted for long-range.”

Mal looked at the screen. “Could be they redesigned it to combat Reavers.”

“Then why aren’t they movin?”

“Because it’s not a redesign.” Brian said. He had moved into the pilot’s position, and was typing something into the system. “It’s specially crafted ship built for one man. And it’s not moving because it’s waiting.”

Fearing the answer, Mal ventured a guess. “It’s waiting on you isn’t it.”

With sad eyes, Brian turned to look at Mal, and said, “Yes, Captain Reynolds, it is.” And with that, he pushed a button, and a communication line instantly opened.


On the screen was a cool, calm, and calculated man. Mal was instantly taken back to his conversations with the Operative, the expression was so similar.

“Hello, Brian. I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to contact me.”

“Hello, Boba. So nice to see you again.” Brian had a sly smile plastered on is face.

Boba sighed. “Why do you insist on calling me by that name, Brian? I’ve always wondered.”

Brian chuckled. “It’s from an ancient earth myth about a clumsy bounty hunter.” He shrugged. “It seemed to fit.”

Breaking into the conversation, Mal poked his head in between Brian and the vidscreen. “Hate to break up the pleasantries, but would you mind gettin to the part were you tell us how much trouble we’re in.”

The man Brian called Boba smiled and shook his head. “Patience, Captain Reynolds. There’s no need to be hasty.”

The look on Brian’s face had turned serious, and he gave Mal a look that told him to let the boy handle things.

Turning back to the camera, Brian said, “You’ll have to excuse him. I wasn’t able to bring him completely up to speed on what’s going on quite yet.”

Leaning back in his chair, Brian asked, “If I may ask, where were you back at the skyplex? It had your fingerprints all over it, but neither you nor your ship was anywhere to be seen. I was afraid I’d missed you altogether.”

Smiling, Boba said something to someone off screen, then turned back around. “That operation was meant to merely keep you on your toes. I had no intentions of it actually working. Though I was rather surprised at how you managed to escape. Tell me, is she there with you now?”

River moved up and placed her face next to Brian’s. Without saying a word, she stuck her tongue at the screen, then moved back next to Simon.

Silently laughing, Brian asked, “Does that answer your question?”

Boba’s face had turned serious. “It does. I always heard she was a bit of a challenge.”

Turning to look back at River, Brian smiled and said, “You have no idea.”

While Boba took a moment to recollect himself, Brian got a look at the rest of the crew. River was standing next to Inara, who was trying to comfort the shivering girl. Simon had Kaylee wrapped in his arms, as if to shelter her, while Kaylee was looking torn, unwilling to believe Brian would betray them despite the events that were playing before her eyes.

When Brian heard a light cough from Boba, he turned around in time to hear, “Yes, well. I suppose it’s time we move onto business. You know what I want.”

“I have an idea, but why don’t you tell me, just to be on the safe side.” Brian had gone completely stoic, which bothered Mal to no end.

Boba sighed. “Very well. I want you Brian.”

“River?” Brian asked.

“Is of no consequence to me.”

“What about the rest of the crew?”

“Once I have you, the will be allowed to go about their business.”


Brian pondered in his chair for a minute. He could feel the slight relief coming off the crew standing behind him. River was a jumble of worry and concern, while Mal and Zoe were a mixture of distrust and anger.

Shoving all that aside, Brian turned his attention back to the person in front of him. “Just out of curiosity, Boba. What would persuade me to just turn myself into you?”

Boba motioned to the people behind Brian. “The lives of the people you’re with isn’t enough?”

Brian just shook his head. “Come now, Boba. You and I both know that I could easily get us out of this situation.”

Boba grinned. “Of course you’re right, Brian. But if you insist on having a reason, then I have something to show you.”

Stepping aside, Boba revealed that he had been standing at the entrance to a small cell. In the center of the room was a chair with arm, leg, and head restraints. It was built to transport people in such a way that they would be unable to move, and sitting there, sobbing, was a young girl with bright red hair who looked to be about River’s age.

“Rebecca!” Brian jumped out of his seat and grabbed the vidscreen.

Boba moved back into screen. “So you recognize her, do you? I wasn’t sure if the two of you ever saw each other back at the Academy. Aside form the breakout that is.”

“You ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng, what have you done to her?!” Brian’s voice was filled with rage and hate, having abandoned all attempts of staying in control.

Boba continued to smile. “Nothing. Yet. But unless you turn yourself over to us, I will have to give her back to the Academy, and you know what they’ll do to her.”

Brian sat back in his chair, with a look of defeat on his face. “So if I turn myself in, you’ll let her go?”


Having resigned to his fate, Brian asked, “Let me speak with her.”

Boba nodded his head, then walked over to Rebecca, and removed the gag that had been around her mouth.

“Brian?! Brian, you promised. Sunshine and rainbows, with pretty flowers. No more rain clouds.” The girl was clearly distressed, and it was becoming obvious that she was even worse off than River had been.

Brian leaned into the camera, and placed his hand on the screen. “No more rain clouds.”

If she even heard him, she gave no indication. “Built a fence. But they broke through. Tried to fix it, but they were already inside. Now it’s gone. Puddles and falling leaves. Brian, you have to fix the fence. You promised Brian. Promised you’d make the flowers bloom.”

Brian was bowing his head, clearly torn up about the things she was saying. “I know. I’ll fix it Rebecca. I’ll fix it.”

Lifting his head, Brian looked back into the camera. “Boba. How do you want to do this?”

Boba waked back into screen. “You are to come over in your ship. No weapons, and minimal engine power. Once you arrive, you will surrender yourself. We will place Rebecca in your ship, and send it back in Serenity’s direction with the controls locked. Serenity is to stay powered down until after we leave, then she may do whatever she wishes. Agreed?”


Brian then closed down the comlink, and started making his way back towards the cargo bay.


“I don’t like it.”

They were following Brian down into the cargo bay, with Jayne in the rear making a fuss.

Zoe spoke up from behind Mal. “None of us do, Jayne, but we don’t have a lot of options.”

“So we’re just gonna do what this Boba guy says? How can we even trust him?” Jayne asked as the reached the bottom of the stairs.

“Because you can trust me.” Brian said as he made his way towards the hatch controls. “Boba may be an Alliance operative, but he always keeps his word.”

Before Brian could hit the button to open the doors in the bottom of the bay, Mal grabbed his hand. “Now, I may not know a whole lot about the situation, but I think you’ve got a few things to explain before we let you just hand yourself over to this Boba character.”

Brian looked around at the rest of the crew, then nodded to Mal. “Alright, Captain Reynolds. That seems fair enough. What would you like to know?”

Mal released Brian’s hand, and folded his arms. “You can start with who the hell that guy is, and why you two seem so cozy.”

Brian sighed. “He’s an Alliance operative. He was tasked with capturing some of the students who escaped. Mainly me. He’s been trying to capture me for quite some time now, so we’ve gotten to know each other.”

Simon was still holding onto River, who looked about ready to collapse. Checking to make sure she was alright, he asked, “Why you? What makes you so lucrative to the Academy?”

“Because I was their greatest failure.” Brian held up his hands to silence any questions. “Let me explain.”

“River was their greatest accomplishment. Given enough time, she would have become exactly what they wanted, a controllable human weapon. I, on the other hand, was never under their control. They continued to teach me, to experiment on me, but no matter what they did, they could never completely break me. I was always able to regain control.” Brian sighed. “In fact, at least half of what they did to River and the other students were techniques they learned from experimenting on me.”

Inara and Kaylee were standing next to each other, with Inara’s arms around the young mechanic, when Kaylee spoke up. “I’m not sure I get it.”

Brian turned to look at her. “Keep in mind, I was there a few years longer than River was. I saw several students die from the earlier procedures. Stripping the amygdale, suggestive implanting during dream sequences, even the drugs they used were all based on various reactions from different students. With me, they learned what worked by how long it took me to regain control. I’m sorry to say that I was the beginning of a lot of those treatments.”

“But you adapted. How?” Inara asked.

“The mind is an incredible thing.” Brian chuckled. “My father always taught me that your mind and your body were the only things that were truly yours, and that you should never give them to just anybody that asked. When it came to the Academy, I refused to let them have it, and my mind just sort of adjusted to it.”

Walking over to River, Brian placed his hand on her cheek, and sighed. “I had hoped that I would be able to travel with you for awhile, so that I could teach River how to control it. I don’t guess that’s going to happen now.”

River lunged out of Simon’s arms, and into Brian’s. They stood there, holding each other for awhile, mindless of the crew around them.

Mal finally broke the silence. “So that girl? Rebecca? She’s…”

“A fellow student, yes.” Brian said, face buried in River’s hair.

“And the promise she keep’s talking about?” Zoe asked.

Lifting his head, Brian continued to hold River. “When the rest of us escaped, we made a promise to each other. To never let the Academy recapture us, no matter what it took. I was kind of a leader to the rest of them, so I took it upon myself to watch and care for them, and to make sure we kept that promise.”

He turned his face back towards the top of River’s head. “I failed Marie. I don’t plan to fail again.”

Turning to Kaylee, he said, “I guess that tour will have to wait.”

He then directed his attention at Mal. “Captain, if it wouldn’t be too much to ask, could you pick up Rebecca and drop her off somewhere. She can take care of herself, she’ll just need a little help for the next few days.”

When Mal nodded his head, Brian placed his head back on top of River. “Bao-bei…”

“No, can’t go. Won’t go.” River said, almost crying.

“River I have to.”

Turning her tear-filled eyes up at him, River asked, “What about my sunshine?”

Cupping her face, Brian softly answered, “It’s right here.” And he leaned in to kiss her.

After a few seconds, Brian placed River back in Simon’s arms, nodded to Mal, who activated the lift for the bay doors, and stepped down to enter his ship.

------------------------- Chinese translations

ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng = frog-humping SOB

bao-bei = sweetheart


Tuesday, September 19, 2006 5:19 PM



Wednesday, September 20, 2006 5:12 AM


>Brian chuckled. “It’s from an ancient earth myth about a clumsy bounty hunter.” He shrugged. “It seemed to fit.”

Boba Fett? Heh.

Interesting that Brian is so lucid even though the techniques they learned from expiramenting him were what was used on River and the other students.

>Turning her tear-filled eyes up at him, River asked, “What about my sunshine?”

Aww, poor River. That was a good line. And probably my favorite of this piece.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 1:49 PM


Oh wow, much sadness. There must be something our trusty crew can do to turn things around and rescue Brian. Maybe River will come up with something or Mal and Zoe can do the impossible? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:25 PM


Boba Fett wasn't clumsy! He just had a rare moment of compassion and gave Han less credit as a target than he should have;)

Still...the BDHs gotta step up! Plans need to be made and rescues need to be carried off with wounds for everyone;D



You must log in to post comments.



Children of the Academy: Shopping
As Mal and Zoe meet with Badger, most of the crew goes shopping.

Children of the Academy: Decisions
Mal must decide what to do with Brian, and the crew must decide if they can trust him.

Children of the Academy: Goodbye
Caught between a rock and an Alliance ship, the crew watches a Brian makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Children Of The Academy: Trapped
Serenity is trapped between a rock and an Alliance ship. Who is this new enemy, and just how much can they trust Brian?

Children Of The Academy: Cooking Dinner
Brian arrives on ship. Who is he, and how will the crew, especially River, react?

Children Of The Academy: Special Place
As Serenity heads towards Beylix, the crew struggels to figure out why they're headed there, and what River has planned

Children Of The Academy: Secrets
River's takes control of the ship, and the rest of the crew tries to figure out why, where they're headed, and what they can do about it.

Children Of The Academy: Chance Meeting
River runs into a fellow student from the Academy, and it's not what you expect.