Iron Mask
Sunday, February 4, 2007

The ship gets inspected by the Alliance.


Mal had parked Serenity on an empty asteroid so Kaylee could work on something. As she explained it in Captain Dummmy Talk, "If I don't fix this, the engine will explode, AGAIN, and burn up the whole ship and kill us ALL. Is that what you want?"

Expressions of disapproval from Wash, Zoe, Inara, and even Shepard Book had convinced him. So there they had been for two days, enduring shutdowns of water, power, lights, the cortex and even life support, as Kaylee sweated away. Finally, she had announced that the end was in sight.

"Just a couple more hours of calibration runs, parked here, and we can go. I gotta wait while some sealer dries up. I'm gonna take a shower."

Ten minutes later an Alliance patrol boat swung around the side of the asteroid, and announced, "Firefly class vessel, prepare to be boarded for inspection. "

Mal didn't have a lot of options, the engine not bein' ready, and his mechanic in the shower. So he clicked the intercom and announced, "All personell, we are about to be boarded by the Alliance. Please follow the plan of Operation Iron Mask. Everybody who can, assemble in the cargo bay."

When the Alliance Commmander entered the cargo bay a few minutes later, there were 6 folk there to meet him . Mal said, "I am Captain Malcolm Reynolds. What can we do for you?"

"We are checking for two fugitives from justice, a brother and sister named Tam. I'd like to see your papers and check everyone aboard, crew and passengers."

"Here are my ship's papers."

The Commander examined the crew list and passenger manifest. "Captain, there are nine names here, but only 6 people. Where are the rest?"

"These are my passengers, Commander. Miss Inara Serra, a registered companion." Inara was wearing a perfectly respectable, very stylish dress. There was no obvious reason for the Commander to think improper thoughts, regardless of the lady's profession, but for some reason he was. "Shepard Derrial Book. ---" an elderly man, with a lot of white hair.

"Our Miss Joy, Joya delEstado.* She was a young woman , with reddish brown hair, a pleasantly rounded figure, a flushed pink complexion, happy smile and a slight but wonderful fragrance of flowery bath soap. "And these are my crew, Hoban Washburne, my pilot---" a short rounded guy in a glaring shirt.

"and my mate, Mrs. Zoe Washburne, my pilot's wife". She was tall, and slim, armed to the teeth, and deadly looking, but at the moment not threatening.

"And the rest, Captain?"

"Well, my mechanic is in the engine room making some repairs."

"Is your ship disabled? Are you in need of assistance?"

"No, she just told me she's almost done. We'll be on our way real soon now. Real soon."

"Very well, Captain. I will inspect your engine room, and repairs, and meet your mechanic. Who else is aboard?"

"My mercenary is injured in the Infirmary, and the ship's doctor is tending him."

"Names , Captain."

"Well, the mercenary is Jayne Cobb, says that right there. And Doctor Bigelow Johnson." By now they had arrived at the hatch to the engine room. Mal hesitated. "Commander, my mechanic is a bit whimsical. Ya could say a might tetchy. Thinks the ship is HERS... barely lets me drive it. Thinks of this engine room as her home, sleeps here. So she might be a little, well, disturbed about us visitin'--"

Mal knocked on the edge of the hatch and called out, "Kaylee--"

A pair of legs in shiny soft black boots and brown coveralls, much stained with grease, poked out from under the engine. They stirred, and a slim young woman with a dark pony tail slid out and stood. The Commander had just time to notice that the coveralls were baggy and had a teddy bear embdoidered on one leg, and a patched hole in the front,before the young woman began swearing in Chinese and threw something at Captain Reynolds. "I told you to stay out of my room, you big hwoon dan. You jerk. Hutsida pigu.--"

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am NOT." "Captain!"

"Am not-- huh?" Mal paused, confused, as the girl began to giggle. Then he closed on her, grabbed her arm as she tried to smack him with a wrench, and disarmed her.

"Now be nice. This Alliance officer wants to look around."

The girl rushed the Commander, grabbing him in a wild hug. "Oh, hi. My name's Kaylee. It's always shiny to meet new people. My, you're handsome. Are you married?". She frowned at his uniform. "You know, you'd look better in red. or even blue."

The Commander looked flustered, but Mal stepped forward, quickly, and pried them apart. "Kaylee, behave yourself..."

She looked up at the Commander, fluttering her eyelashes. "Can you make him give me back my lucky wrench? It's mine, and it's good luck. He's bad, you know. That's even his name, Mal, means bad in Latin." The Commander was looking for the exit, and Mal stepped forward again. "Here, Moonbrain, here's your wrench. Just don't hit nobody with it, dong ma?" The two men fled.

The infirmary was next. There was a patient on the table, wrapped in sloppy bandages from his waist to the top of his head, covering most of both arms and all of his face, except for tiny holes for his eyes, mouth and ears. The Doctor-- Well, he was an older man, burly, unshaven and tough looking. He was wearing dirty scrub clothes, and had the stub of a cigar, unburning but evil smelling, in his mouth.

"Commander, this is my ship's doctor, Bigelow Johnson."

"Howdy. You can call me Big." He frowned as the Commander offered to shake his hand. "Don't touch me, I'm sterile."

"And is this your patient, Doctor?"

"Naw, this is just a fella was passin' by, I wrapped him up fer a Christmas present. 'Course he's my patient, dumbass."

The man on the table didn't look like much, kinda slim, and scrawny and pale."Yeah, that's our Merc. Jayne Cobb. Toughest man on eight planets. He just looks like he's the platoon joy boy."

The merc struggled to rise, and mumbled something . It sounded kind of like, "Grr! Arrg!"

The Doctor pushed a hand into his chest, forcing him back down onto the table. "Lay down and Shuddup, like I told ya. You get messed up any more and I ain't gonna doctor ya again."

The man was still mumbling. The Doctor leaned down, then turned to the Commander. "Oh, all right, Nine planets, he says. I fergot. He's also the Hero of Canton. Crappy town anyway..."

"What happened to him?"

"Well there was this little gunfight, and he made a mistake with a incindiary--. He'll be all right soon. He's a quick healer. Good thing, too."

The patient was struggling again. "I told you ta shutup. Bi zue, dong ma? Or do I hafta sedate you again?" The patient slumped on the table. "You best move on. Yer disturbin' his calm."

As they left the infirmary, there was a flash of light from the engine room. The entire ship jolted, then shook some. The lights flickered. There was a mild BOOM! from somewhere back there, a clanging of wrenches, and frantic swearing in Chinese. A cloud of smoke began pouring down the stairs toward the passage where the Commander and Mal were.

"Are you sure your ship is OK, Captain?"

Mal waved a handful of smoke toward his face, sniffed it. "Oh, yeah, everything's fine. Normal startup. She'll settle down purty quick."

"Captain, I'm going to cancel the rest of this inspection. I've seen your people. And from what I've seen of your ship, GOd help the Tams if they were aboard." He hurried out the lock and his ship blasted away, quickly.

Except for Wash, the crew gathered in the dining area. His voice came over the intercom. "Ok, people, we're good. We'll be eating wake in a minute."

Everyone was laughing, giggling, chuckling in relief. Simon fisted Jayne gently in the ribs. "Platoon joy boy, huh, Doc Johnson?"

"Aint my fault that's what evver'body figgers."

The girls were all in a group hug. Miss Joy, more often known as Kaylee, was saying, "That was so funny, you fooling the Captain. And I've always wanted ta smack him with a wrench. But I am not that big a flirt."

A mass chorus responded, "Oh, yes you are."


Sunday, February 4, 2007 1:57 PM


And oh yes she is too! I think I would have been in an hurry to get off the ship with the show they put on. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, February 4, 2007 8:19 PM


LOL, loved it, and, yes she is. Thanks for the laugh.

Monday, February 5, 2007 3:07 AM


>He frowned as the Commander offered to shake his hand. "Don't touch me, I'm sterile."

The whole thing was hilarious, but I damn near felt out of my chair at that mental image!

Monday, February 5, 2007 9:23 AM


Oh...oh...I'm struggling not to bust a gut here, NewOldBrownCoat! I really am!


Started wondering if there had been a switcheroo pulled when you mention a reddish-brown haired woman named Joy;D


Tuesday, March 20, 2007 5:03 AM



Seems like I might have seen this idea someplace before :) Loved the Mutant Enemy touch.

And Jayne playing Doctor is all kinds of pleasing.


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