Legends in the Black
Thursday, June 21, 2007

Firefly/Pirates of the Caribbean. Spoilers for Pirates 3. Set any time during the series.


Just a bit of unapoligetic silliness that wouldn't go away, and I wanted to see if these could cross over at all believably. Let me know what you think. Firefly belongs to Joss Wedon, Pirates of the Caribbean belongs to Disney. I just like'em is all.

Dying's a fact of life in the Black, especially out here on the Rim. Some folk, especially ship's crews, don't like to talk about death directly. They conjure if they call it what it is, that somehow death'll hear them and take a sudden interest. Now, the worst sort of fate most spacers can think of is getting blown out into the Black, tumbling into nothing for all eternity. So, they don't call it what it is, reckoning it'll bring bad luck. No, they'll say their crewman sailed into Old Turner's Orbit. Supposedly, that's the deepest, darkest part of the Black where no one comes back from. Maybe that's where the Reavers went to when they were men, and their souls got lost there when their ships came back.

Anyhow, folk been calling it that for so long, they've mostly forgotten why. They've forgotten the legends about Captain Turner. And they've certainly forgotten that he's still out there, at lest according to an old buddy of mine.

No one really knows where Captain Turner came from. Some say he was the first to pilot a ship out of Sihnon's orbit to map the 'verse, and his charts are in use still. Others say he commanded an Exodus ship, saving millions of lives on the Trek. Still others say he sailed the oceans of Earth-that-was, far back as men had ships to sail. One Shepherd told me that he might have taught Noah how to handle a rudder. Point is, Captain Turner loved sailing, loved the Black, like no one before or since. And on account of this he was offered a job by...someone. To collect them as die in the Black, and ferry them to their proper destinations. Heaven, Hell, Nirvana, or some next life, it's Captain Turner's responsibility to see they all get where they need to go.

Now, I conjure that makes him an awful busy individual, so that's why his ship is the fastest, sleekest boat in the 'verse. She can outrun the strongest engine, outfight an Alliance frigate. She can disappear into the Black and appear on the other side of the 'verse in the blink of an eye. She and Captain Turner can do anything, except break atmo. That's the rule. He can sail the Black forever, doing what he loves best. But he can't ever stop, else he'll die.

Okay, this all sound like fei ou, right? The trick of it is that I had a buddy who swears he not only saw the You Ling Chuan, the Ghost Ship that Turner sails, but he actually met the man, er, ghost, er, whatever the hell he is. This was back a ways, when the War was just starting to go full swing, and the Independents were pushing the Alliance back. My buddy, Pat, was a gunner on the Song Jiang when she and her escorts held off an entire Alliance battle group out near the Burnham quadrant. Bloody battle, only one Independent scout survived to rejoin the fleet. The Song was dead in space, mostly de-pressurized. Pat was trapped in his gun room for hours. No atmo in the room, he was stuck in his suit. Couldn't think of a way out, only thing he could think to do was stare at the stars outside his viewport. He started worrying when he saw the Reaver ships come into view. He really started worrying when he heard growling over his comm. When he felt the vibrations of them clearing the wreckage so they could get into his room, well let's just say his suit needed a powerful lot of cleaning after.

So there's Pat, in his suit with just a wrench for a weapon and some determined Reavers outside the door. He figures he's bound for Old Turner's Orbit himself when he hears some different sounds outside the door, like a scuffle. The growling stops, but the door pulls open with a powerful jerk. Pat sees three men come in, wearing suits that look to be a hundred years out of date. They're carrying swords of all things, and the swords are bloody. The head man comes up to him, and Pat sees it's a youngish fella, brown hair and a moustache. He asks Pat if he's injured or if his suit's torn. Pat shakes his head. Then the man smiles all handsome like and says "Well, today's the luckiest day you're likely to have for quite a while. I have a very important appointment to keep, and feeling very generous" and tells Pat to come with them.

Pat turns to follow, and he can see out of his viewport the Reaver ships are getting chopped to pieces by a big, nasty looking ship sporting some powerful cannons. He asks the leader if they're with the Independents. The young guy just chuckles and says he's never sailed under any navy's flag and never will. Then he tells his two crewmen to take Pat to the shuttle and fly him to the surface of the moon they're orbiting while he finishes his business here. Pat says one of the leader's men said "Aye, Captain Turner" then shut up when the captain gave him a look that would freeze a star solid.

So, they bundle him into this shuttle that looks like no model Pat's ever seen, break atmo, and deposit him in the middle of nowhere. Tell him to keep walking toward this one mountain, and someone'll find him. He does as he's told, and a day and a half later he walks up on a tiny ship piloted by some prospector. She's kind enough to take him back to Beaumonde with her, and Pat rejoins the fleet. He figured he would have written it all off as the biggest stroke of luck a body ever had, except what they told him during his debriefing. See, the sensors on the Song Jiang were still running, recording everything around the ship. They recorded the battle, and the Reaver ships showing up. They recorded the Reavers exploding, and the prospector's ship leaving atmo a couple of days later. No recording of the ship that saved him, nor the shuttle that took him to the surface. Brass didn't know what to make of his story, wrote it off as he caught an escape pod and cracked his head on landing. But Pat swears he was clear the whole time, and he would have landed in Old Turner's Orbit 'cept for the mercy of Captain Turner himself.

The storyteller took a sip and set his cup down, looked around at his audience for a response.

"Gorramit, Mal! You told it all wrong. That ain't no ghost story!"

Mal laughed, "Hey, Jayne. I'm just telling it like I heard it"

"Well, you heard it all bibbidy! And it ain't no ghost story unless someone dies all bloody an' grossified"

"I thought it was scary, Cap'n. I'm all goose-bumpy." Kaylee held her arm out to Simon "Here, feel them"

"What? Oh, yes. Very...goose-bumpy. And soft, and..uh, Captain, there are actually parallels between this legend and older, Earth-that-was"

"There weren't any monkeys" Wash chimed in, "All the versions I heard have monkeys in them."

"Well, Pat must have left the monkeys out"

"Sir, you do remember how drunk Pat was when he told that story"

"I know, I know. He most likely got rescued by the nicest salvage crew in the 'verse. But he just sounded so sincere telling it."

Inara added delicately, "Actually, my understanding is that Captain Turner took on his role out of love, so he could be with his beloved forever"

"Naw, 'Nara. He killed the guy what had it afore him. Tore the guy's heart right out and showed it to 'im, after he..."

"Jayne!" Kaylee said, lowering her voice, "Not in front of the passenger"

"I'd heard the man never wanted the job in the first place" Book said, "He made a deal to save his ship and crew. A true leap of faith"

"Yeah, Shepherd, I heard that too," Wash nodded in hearty agreement, "Only with monkeys. And singing."

Mal sighed, leaned back and took a large swig of liqour Jayne insisted on calling "kill-devil" from his cup. "Everyone's a critic. What about you, River? How'd you like it?"

"I'd like some really bad eggs, please"

"See, River likes my story. Thank you kindly, River. What did you think, Miss?"

"I liked it too, actually. Although, the version I'm familiar with is also quite different. Now, I believe I'm next" Serenity's current passenger said in a smooth Londinium accent. She had hired the crew on Persephone to take her to a tiny Border moon for a meeting, and stay in orbit for two days until she returned. She tossed back another shot of kill-devil and looked around with a saucy smile.

"Let me tell you a story about a sailor named Jack, who got it in his head to look for the Fountain of Youth..."


Thursday, June 21, 2007 8:53 AM



Thursday, June 21, 2007 3:18 PM


That was sooo good. I was cracking up to Wash with his monkeys and singing as well as Jayne's it 'ain't a ghost story unless someone dies'. And I suspect Elizabeth is the passenger from Londinium? Shiny!

You get a 10 from me too :D

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 3:51 PM


So Will, his da and the rest of the Flying Dutchman's crew finally upgraded to a newer model, huh? Excellent;D

Really can't wait to see more, schooner! Especially cuz I get the feeling that Will and Elizabeth's eventual reunion will force some interesting events to occur...and possible new command for Mal?


Saturday, January 19, 2008 6:27 AM


A wonderful blend of two good stories, with just the right mix of everything. Could you please write a sequal, or perhaps several?


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Home Cooking - REPOST
River's been in the kitchen, to Mal's horror.

Legends in the Black
Firefly/Pirates of the Caribbean. Spoilers for Pirates 3. Set any time during the series.

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A little holiday fluff, set pre-BDM. Comments welcome. If anyone else wants to write any other characters, that would be great.

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