Wish I Was Somebody Else, 24/26
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Zoe gets medieval.


24. The Highlight of This Little Adventure

You’re thinking about him, aren’t you?

Zoe had never lacked for cause against the Alliance. All her life, they had murdered and destroyed everyone and everything that was dear to her – her family, her home, her comrades-in-arms, her friends – in the name of imposing their vision of civilization on every living being in the ‘verse.

The police post grew larger in the shuttle’s front window, coming up fast. The hails from the station became increasingly frantic. No one in the shuttle spoke.

No, I –

She’d been shot plenty of times. Knifed, more than a few. Patched up, put back together, made almost as good as new; all the wounds in her body just a temporary thing – a lingering stiffness, a persistent ache, but those faded, over time.

Kaylee had rigged an explosive charge on the end of a strut, and bolted it to the nose of the shuttle. It put about two meters of clearance between them and the blast. Which was better than nothing.

Yes, you.

All Zoe’s life, it seemed sometimes, had been a matter of contenting herself with the fact that what she had was better than nothing.

Everyone in the shuttle moved to the back. They were about to hit.

I don’t like having this between us.

She and Wash had built something, out of nothing, out here in the black. Something worth having; something that really was better than nothing. It must have just galled the Alliance, just stuck in their craw, that somebody would dare to have something they hadn’t put their stamp of approval on; somebody would dare to be happy in a way not approved by parliament.

They had braced for impact; their weapons carefully stowed so that no one was injured as they were thrown together. Kaylee’s explosive blasted a hole in the station’s hull, and the shuttle rammed through and plugged it. Still, they had to move quickly. Mal activated the bomb Kaylee had built. It would destroy the shuttle and a chunk of the police post when its fifteen minute timer expired. Jayne threw open the shuttle’s hatch, and they spilled out into the station. River, then Jayne, then Zoe, then Mal slipped through the blast doors that sealed off this section of the station. Zoe closed them, and smashed the panel. They were sealed in now. No going back.

Neither do I.

Mal had built something, too, out here in the black, aboard Serenity. He’d built a life for himself, for her and Wash, for Kaylee, for Simon and River, even for Jayne that was safer, and happier, and better than they might have otherwise had.

Beyond the blast doors, they split up. Jayne and River went to secure the patrol cruiser, which would be their escape.

Mal and Zoe went hunting.

I need to know . . . that you know . . .

Wash had known, of course. It was something about him that not everyone saw: that knowing. The face he showed to anyone was the class clown, wry and wise-cracking, just like the face that Zoe showed to anyone was stoic, strong, unshakeable. But with Zoe, Wash could be serious, earnest, even angry; with Wash, Zoe could be feminine, vulnerable, even weak.

A woman and two men were ahead of them, with guns, but there was fear on their faces.

They wore Alliance uniforms.

Their shots were wild, unaimed, panicked.

Zoe’s long knife was soaked in blood.

So, see, if you’d known --

She felt the bullet tear through her skin. But it was only a flesh wound, she could tell that just from the feel of it.

The man with the gun didn’t get a second shot.

I would have shot him.

She had never fully appreciated how much easier the straight-up threats were. If Damien Van Soren had come to her as himself, armed, she would have killed him and that would have been the end of it. If he had come even with stealth, even a sneak attack, he might have gotten the first hit, but that would have been all. Instead, he had come in the guise of what she loved, and taken an unrestorable part of her soul.

No patch for that.

The blast doors were between them and the command center. But blast doors were proof against explosions, not against humans who could operate the controls. The woman at the broadwave had forgotten that. She turned as they entered. Screamed. Pulled her sidearm.

Sobbing, she turned her weapon on herself.

Too bad. The blood on the knife was drying.

Did I come in the guise of the thing you feared?

Such injustice.

This isn’t between you and me anymore. This is between us and them.

Miranda had been the ultimate embodiment of the Alliance’s philosophy; their attempt to create a perfect world, a world without sin.

Instead, they had created monsters.

Zoe was one.

I’ll be okay.

You better be.


Coles was still standing on the bridge of the decoy ship when his handheld communicator vibrated. He plucked it from his belt. “Coles here.”

“Commander, we’ve received an urgent distress call,” said Polyphemus’ captain.

Reynolds. “What sort of distress call?”

“It’s from the lawforce post in this sector. Lt. Yazvac reports they’re under attack by reavers, sir, and that their hull is breached.”


Two weeks ago, Coles would have scoffed. Children’s tales and poppycock. Bogeymen and gremlins.

The Miranda broadwave had changed that, for everyone.

Coles couldn’t leave an Alliance post to that horror.

Besides, his business here was complete.

He walked back to the cargo bay and exited the firefly, where he reopened the intercom. “Stand off to a safe distance, and destroy this ship before we go,” he said.

“Detaching and standing off,” the captain reported, and Coles heard the whir of the mechanism that retracted the docking collar, and the low huffing of Polyphemus’ thrusters. He watched through the bay windows as the firefly slowly receded to firing distance. One of her shuttles floated free as she did. Washburne? But the shuttle was not powered up, and Coles really did not care if the man escaped. After all, if he decided to pursue Reynolds, he’d find Washburne at the same time. And if he decided not to . . . well, it didn’t matter in that case, either.

Polyphemus fired on the firefly, which disintegrated into chunks of debris.


Zoe stepped over the woman’s body, and looked down at the broadwave screen. The face on the screen was an Alliance captain. Zoe had the satisfaction of seeing him blanch just before she cut the comm.

“Zoe,” Mal said. “Time’s up.”

Zoe turned, and followed Mal.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007 8:51 AM


Does that mean you didn't like it?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 10:07 AM


This was really good. Were the italic words a conversation between Zoe and Wash? I'm not sure if I recognize them.

I'm so glad Wash got away in time. But now Coles has destroyed the evidence that he caught the crew of Serenity. Or did they put the bodies on their ship before the blew up the Lemon?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 10:27 AM


Coles picked up the envelope; go back and look. Yeah, the italics were their conversation from a few chapters back. Thirteen? I think. If I could have posted the blamed thing faster you might have remembered it :-(

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 1:22 PM


Great job, I loved imagining the looks on the faces of those *hundan* in the outpost and the fear engendered by the thought of being attacked by Reavers. Can't wait for the next part. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 1:25 PM


Omg that was AWESOME That was probably your best chapter I loved the whole flashing back to her convo with Wash. It had a movie-type feel that I LOVEDD

That nerdy hat

Thursday, April 12, 2007 2:22 PM



You're very perceptive re: the shuttles.

Saturday, April 14, 2007 12:12 PM


I went back and re-read those chapters. The one that had their convorsation in it, and the last one. I just couldn't remember the convorsation, it seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite grasp where I'd read it. And i remember Coles picking up the envolope, I realized that after I posted my comment.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 7:04 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER's actually scarier to be "on-board" Zoe as she actually takes on the Reaver mantle, but with clear thoughts. No overpowering rage, no magnified drive to feed and reproduce...just pure, cold fury at all the Alliance has done to her and her loved ones.

Really can't wait for the last two chapters, cuz I KNOW they're gonna be humdingers!


Thursday, February 19, 2015 5:26 PM


Sorry this is honestly my favourite fic ever and I'm so glad I found it but I'm really sad I was too young for Firefly in 2007 because I would have LOVED seeing this being updated chapter by chapter and wow


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The Four Winds, Epilogue
The end...or maybe just another beginning.

The Four Winds, Chapter 25
The rest of the crew return home.

The Four Winds, Chapter 24
Me and Elwood, we're puttin' the band back together.

The Four Winds, Chapter 23
Inara investigates matters; Mal discovers that the impossible has been done in his absence.

The Four Winds, Chapter 22
River needs Mal to solve her problem; Mal is forced to provide information to the Alliance.

The Four Winds, Chapter 21
When Mal tries to recover the cargo, will he lose more than he stands to gain?

The Four Winds, Chapter 20
Mal makes changes to his plan; River puts her plan into action; Inara decides on a plan of her own; Wash finds something he'd lost.

The Four Winds, Chapter 19
Simon gets an alias; Mal gets a look at his client; Wash gets a shock.

The Four Winds, Chapter 18
Our Heroes - and Our Villains - try to figure a way out of the mess they're in.

The Four Winds, Chapter 17
River finds out what's really going on; Simon and Zoe fall into the wrong hands.