Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mal's Ma has really taken me over. I hope you find it appropriate for Memorial Day.


A/N I started this fic in an attempt to process some of my emotions at the death of a local Marine the first week in May and I decided to use Mal's Ma as a conduit for this. I believe her emotions would be similar to any mother that sends her son off to fight.

RIP Lance Corporal Jonathan Kirk, USMC and all your comrades that have given your all for us.

Thanks Jetflair for the suggestions and beta. I'm learning!

Meg Reynolds fingered the silver cross on a ribbon around her neck as the twin Firefly transports lifted off the dock in New Jamestown, the capital city, if it could be called such, of Shadow and disappeared into the sky. The crowd that had gathered to say goodbye to the men and women of the Shadow militia slowly dispersed, leaving her standing alone with her thoughts. It had been a grand send off. Independent flags in green, gold and black were everywhere, hanging from the dock and all the surrounding buildings. It was as if the green of the prairie cattle ranches of Shadow had mixed with the golden wheat that grew on the farms, and the black of the soil that nurtured them both. There had been rousing speeches from the mayor of New Jamestown, the head of the Shadow Assembly and lastly Colonel Obrin, the commander of the Shadow militia. The New Jamestown Shepherd had even given a stirring talk, comparing the struggle of the Border planets and moons against the Alliance to the Biblical story of David versus Goliath along with prayers for safety and victory. Not a person there could claim that they weren't moved by the words said that day.

Meg certainly had been. Her only child, Malcolm, was on of those transports to Persephone. He was at 18, a tall, handsome, headstrong young man entirely convinced of the righteousness of the Independent cause. He had signed up with the Shadow militia at the first call for volunteers about 2 months ago, boldly announcing to his Ma that he was fully grown and honored to defend his home planet against the hun dahn of an Alliance that was squeezing the life out of his family's home. Meg was as patriotic as her son, but hers was the quieter kind, tempered with experience. She had tried to raise him to be a good, God fearing man without the help of her husband, who rested underneath the trees about a quarter mile from the house. Sweet Jesu, he looked more and more like Tom every day. She had battled the onerous tariffs and regulations that the Alliance had imposed on trade between the Border planets and their markets in the Allied planets. She had also battled the elements that at times were dead set against the ranch and led a crew of hands that alternately needed discipline, mothering and sometimes both at the same time. Her fingers touched the cross again, finding a small bit of comfort from the worry invading her heart. Meg wasn't one to let herself be consumed with fear, but it wormed its way there in the space of a second and lodged there, right in the middle of the organ. This dread she felt for her son wasn't the day to day worry of whether Mal would possibly get hurt on the ranch. No, this was a different fear. The fear of the unknown and of the unknowable. Anxiety exploded in her troubled heart as a small boy ran by her shouting for his mother. Meg watched from a distance as mother and son caught up with each other and she swung him around in an embrace, triggering a flood of memories of her own son.

The thought of Malcolm never coming home nearly brought her to knees, and made her feel faint. Catching him sneaking in to the kitchen to steal the last piece of apple pie, or hearing the door slam with a bang and hearing his voice demanding that she come and see the latest slimy creature from the creek behind the barn were suddenly the most beloved of memories.

It lasted just for a moment; before she could get too maudlin one of the flags fluttering in the wind caught her eye and brought her back to reality with a snap. She took a deep breath, gathered herself and started to walk swiftly from the dock. As she moved down the street, the flags flapping in the gentle breeze seemed to be telling her not to worry. Meg was overflowing with a feeling of immense pride in her son, one that filled her from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. He had grown up into a man in a hurry on the ranch and now he was going off to defend his home and family against horrible odds. He was leaving full of faith in God and the justness of his convictions, with his head held high and a gleam in his blue eyes. It made her smile, just remembering the swagger that he had affected in the past week, like he was going to take on the whole Alliance and defeat them personally. The smile broadened on her face and she picked up her pace.

There were things to be done in town before she returned to the ranch. Her job now, as always, was to keep the ranch together. And he would be back some day soon to run it. She knew it.


Sunday, May 27, 2007 8:14 PM


Too short by half, ncbrowncoat...but still all kinds of awesome.

Not being a parent yet my own self, I don't know what it's like to know that one's offspring is away from the apron strings and doing something that could get them hurt or killed. However, I think that you have done a brilliant job in expressing the basica feelings and doubts all parents have when their children leave the nest. Even more so when the child decides to join the military.


Monday, May 28, 2007 12:16 AM


Very good but now we need a sequel from Mal's point of view as he leaves his ma to join up, his veins fired with adrenaline and mind full of their heroic battle to free his home from Alliance domination. That would be shiny, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, May 28, 2007 5:11 AM


Great job on this perspective. You made it very easy to feel her pain and her pride and how the two feelings battle to control her. Here's hoping fewer mothers ever have to feel like this.


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Quick fic done at the request of a friend as a Christmas present. Enjoy!

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I also had the inclination to go back and rewrite the fics but I resisted the temptation. So here it is, in all it's glory.

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