My Life: A report By Ari Lee Washburn
Friday, March 21, 2008

Random fic set in the Eve's Garden 'verse from the perspective of Ari, Zoe's eight year old daughter


My Life

By Ari Lee Washburn

(“Uncle Simon, how come I have ta write my name on this ‘port? ‘s jus’ me ‘an Ellie and we write differen’ ya know which is which don’cha? An’ how come I gotta write about my life anyhow? You know ‘bout my life.”

Uncle Simon looked up from the article he was reading on the cortex, raised an eyebrow at her,

“Ari, you need to speak properly in class, that means no dropping your g’s and d’s among other things… Please re-phase your questions into proper English.”

Ari rolled her eyes, and sighed.

“Uncle Simon, why do I have to write my name on this report? It’s just Ellie and I, and we both have different writing styles, surely you know which is which? And why do I have to write about my life, you know about my life.”

Uncle Simon gave her a stern look,

“With the exception of the eye rolling and the put upon sigh, that was very good. You have to write your name on your report because it is proper to do so. Yes I am well aware of the fact that the two of you have very distinctive writing styles, and yes I know which style belongs to which girl. The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to practice what I am teaching you. I deliberately chose a topic with which you are intimately familiar so you can concentrate on making sure your spelling is correct, your grammar and punctuation are stellar and your English is proper. Now, enough stalling, start writing.”

Ari sighed again, quietly and waited for Uncle Simon to turn back to his cortex article. When she was sure he wasn’t looking she stuck her tongue out at him, and turned back to her assignment. It was a stupid assignment anyway. Sighing again she started writing.)

My name is Ari Lee Washburn, and I am eight years old. I have a twin sister, Ellie Mae, and she is sixteen minutes older’n me

(Ellie leaned over and looked at her paper, then whispered

“Ari, Uncle Simon said you had to write it in proper English, and saying older’n me isn’t proper, you should say ‘older than I am’”

Ari scowled at her sister, then crossed the error out and started again, though it chaffed at her to do what her sister suggested.)

My name is Ari Lee Washburn, and I am eight years old. I have a twin sister, Ellie Mae, and she is sixteen minutes older than I am. I have four aunts and three uncles. My mother is the greatest Amazon warrior ever born and my father was the best pilot that ever lived.

My momma didn’t like my father at first. Uncle Mal says that she said there was something about him that bothered her, and that he had a funny looking mustache that he was real proud of, ops, I mean really proud of. Auntie Kaylee says that my father loved my momma from the moment that he set eyes on her and tried real hard to get her to like him, but that mostly he annoyed her. Eventually though my father wore my momma down and got her to marry him. Uncle Jayne says that they were a real strange couple but that there was no doubt that they loved each other.

They loved each other very much, and they both wanted a family, though my father didn’t think that the ship was safe enough to have babies on (that’s just go se, Serenity is the bestest ship in the ‘verse and ‘sides bad stuff can happen anywheres, even on a planet.)


Ari looked up and met Uncle Simon’s eyes,

“Proper English means that you will refrain from swearing, now re-write that sentence,”

Ari scowled at her paper…it was Go Se, and Feo too! Angrily she crossed out the sentence, and re-wrote it…at this rate she would have more cross outs than actual sentences!)

They loved each other very much, and they both wanted a family, though my father didn’t think that the ship was safe enough to have babies on (I think that, that was very stupid, Serenity is the best ship in the entire universe. And besides bad things can happen anywhere, even on a planet that was supposed to be safe, after all look at what happened to Auntie Eve and her Momma and Father.)

They argued about having babies a lot, Momma for and Father against. Father gave Uncle Simon some of his sperm to keep just in case, though Uncle Simon says that both he and Father thought that it was silly and wouldn’t really be needed. But it was a good thing they did it because a few months later the Alliance sent a hun dan operative, ops, I mean an operative after Auntie Riv (‘cuz Uncle Simon oh go se, I meant to say, because Uncle Simon broke Auntie Riv out of a secret Alliance facility that was torturing her and trying to make her into an assassin.)

Uncle Mal stopped him and found a big secret that the Alliance didn’t want anyone to know (The hun dans, uh I mean the Alliance had tried to make an entire planet into better people and killed almost everyone on the planet and created reavers) and Uncle Mal decided to broadcast the secret. There was a real big fight with reavers and Alliance and the operative and lots of people died, including my father.

After a while Uncle Simon told Momma about the sperm and Momma decided to have Ellie and me…only it was only supposed to be one baby not two.

So that’s how we were made.

We live on a transport ship named Serenity, My momma is the first mate of the ship. Uncle Mal is the captain of the ship and likes to pretend that he is a mean old man, even though we all know that he is really just a big’ol’softie, uh I mean a big old softie. Uncle Mal is married to Auntie Nara. Auntie Nara does all the cooking, though she makes me and Ellie wash the dishes (we surely can’t wait for Evan, Anna and Mattie to be old enough to help with the chores!). Auntie Nara is also the bookkeeper and she and Auntie Eve share the job of getting provisions. Auntie Nara is Evan’s momma (he’s only two) and she teaches us how to act like ladies, which is my least favorite lesson. Auntie Nara also acts as Uncle Simon’s assistant and could get qualified as a nurse if she would just take the test. Auntie Nara and Uncle Mal argue a lot because Uncle Mal is bossy, and he tries to control Auntie Nara, though he says that it is her fault and that she is using her “Wiles” on him and the rest of the boat.

Uncle Simon is married to Auntie Kaylee and Anna is their little girl, she just turned three two days ago. Uncle Simon and Auntie Kaylee argue a lot over when she is going to start lesions with us. Uncle Simon wants her to start now, but Auntie Kaylee says that she will start when she is five (like Ellie and me I mean like Ellie and I did). Besides being our main teacher Uncle Simon is our doctor. He is a real smart man and with lots of training, he’s a real core world trauma surgeon…though I ain’t s’posed to say that aw crud, I meant to say, though I am not supposed to tell anyone that. Uncle Simon and Auntie Riv are brother and sister and are wanted by the Alliance, so we have to make sure that we don’t call attention to him or her when feds are around.

Auntie Kaylee is the ships mechanic; Uncle Simon and Auntie Riv say that she is a genius with machines, but she says that she that “it ain’t no’thin special“(And I know that “ain’t” isn’t proper English but I’m quoting Auntie Kaylee and she says “ain’t” and she also says “no’thin” too so there!). Anyway she keeps Serenity in the air and she can fix anything, and she is the best cook on the boat (just don’t tell Auntie Nara I said that, I don’t want to hurt her feelings and I know how important it is to her to contribute to the family). Everyday Ellie and I spend an hour in the engine room with her, 'cuz Uncle Mal wants us to know how to help her and in case of an emergency we can fix it. Like two years ago when Auntie Riv had to land rather abrubtly to avoid some folk that thought we'd stolen something, and Auntie Kaylee fell down and got a concussion. Ellie and I were able to get the engine going for Auntie Riv and keep it from over-heating in some of the fancy tricks she had to do. (Firefly's ain't built to take those kinda of stresses so you have to have a mechanic who knows how to baby it in the engine room for stunts like that.)

Uncle Jayne is married to Auntie Eve, and I think that they are a strange couple. Auntie Eve is so calm and quiet, her manners are as good as Auntie Nara’s! But Uncle Jayne is big and loud and crude (he says all sorts of curse words! He taught Anna to say go se yesterday!) Auntie Eve is a plant scientist, and she makes all kinds of ‘spiraments, ops I meant experiments, on the plants (and they are all over the ship) that makes them grow faster in less sunlight, less soil and other things. On every world we land on, Auntie Eve and Auntie Nara go and give away seeds so that the poor people who are barely getting by can have some more to eat. She also grows exotic plants that we sell. She and Auntie Nara and Uncle Simon make perfumes and lotions that Auntie Nara sells, and Auntie Eve and Auntie Kaylee make alcohol out of some of the stuff she grows and they sell that too. But the thing that makes the most money is the spices that Auntie Eve grows, they take a lot of care, but because they are so expensive on the rim we make very good money on them.

Auntie Eve also planted a garden on the catwalks that Ellie and I are responsible for, though Auntie Kaylee says that Anna is old enough to learn to help us. Its from this garden that we get a lot of our food. We grow lettuce and cucumbers and bell peppers and carrots and celery and onions and tomatoes, and strawberries (which are Auntie Kaylee’s favorite…we have to keep an eye on them or she will eat them all) and all sorts of good things. Sometimes when we have a lot of extra vegetables we can them or pickle them (Auntie Eve helps me and, ah I meant to say Ellie and I) and then we get to sell them on the next planet and spend the money.

Mattie is Uncle Jayne and Auntie Eve’s little girl, and she is really little, not even a year old yet, her full name is Matilda Jane Cobb, but everyone calls her Mattie. I forgot to say that Anna’s full name is Annalise Gemma Frye. Frye because Uncle Simon and Auntie Riv used to have a different last name but they decided that when Simon and Kaylee got married they would take her name to help hide them. Grandpa Frye is the one that suggested it, and everyone thought it was a good idea. Evan’s full name is Derrial Evan Reynolds, he was named after Shepard Book who was one of our family who died protecting Auntie Riv.

Uncle Jayne keeps all of us safe, he also teaches us how to use and take care of guns. Momma didn't want us to learn, but everyone over-ruled her. Everyone on the ship has at least one gun, and everyone thought we should learn about them early so we'd be safe. (Anna and Evan get lessons about guns from Uncle Jayne, but they arn't being taught how to use them yet.) Uncle Mal even requires that anyone (excepting us kids of course) leaving the ship has to wear a gun! Uncle Jayne is the one who backs up Uncle Mal and Momma, and Auntie Riv and Auntie Eve when they have to go on jobs too. He’s our tracker, our guard and our strong arm and back. He does most of the grunt work (which is another reason him and Auntie Eve are a strange couple, she’s real smart, almost as educated as Uncle Simon and Uncle Jayne just isn’t) But they are happy with each other so I guess it doesn’t matter that it don’t make no sense to anyone else.

Auntie Riv is our pilot and she is a reader and crazy. Though everyone says that she is not as crazy as she used to be. She is a very good pilot, though not as good as my father, and my favorite Aunt. We have lessons with her everyday too, two sets. She teaches us how to fly Serenity (Uncle Mal says that there's no harm in cross-training all of us little ones) and she also teaches us martial arts. She doesn't use anyone style, but rather a hodge-podge of what she considers effective. She is also giving me special lessons on how to be a pilot (I’m gonna be an even better pilot than my Father was) and sometimes she tells me stories with Father’s dinosaurs, or stories that father told her about the stars. Everyone tells us about father, but she is the best at it, when she tells me about him I can almost see him sitting in Auntie Riv’s chair (only us kids and Auntie Eve call it that, everyone else calls it Wash’s Chair, Wash was what everyone called my father) and sometimes when I close my eyes I can see and hear him telling me the story that Auntie Riv is telling me.

Uncle Mal, Momma and Uncle Jayne go out on jobs sometimes that result in things being stored in the hidey holes (Serenity has a lot of them). And sometimes Auntie Riv and Auntie Eve have to go out with them too, but not often, and only when we have too. Mostly when Momma and them go out Auntie Eve, Auntie Riv and Uncle Simon stay behind and guard the ship, while Auntie Kaylee keeps the engines ready and Auntie Nara gets the infirmary ready. Uncle Mal doesn’t like to take those kind of jobs very much, so most of the time we sell the things that Auntie Eve grew, or the things Auntie Nara, Uncle Simon and Auntie Kaylee made from the things Auntie Eve grew. Sometimes Uncle Jayne makes beautiful wood workings (its really amazing to see the things he carves, and builds, its hard to believe that such beautiful things can come from his huge hands.) and we can sell them for a lot of credit on a core world (they buy strange things, core-worlders do).

When I grow up I’m gonna be a pilot, Auntie Riv is gonna teach me how. Ellie wants to be a doctor, and Auntie Nara and Uncle Simon are already showing her how to do things. Anna is too young to know what she is gonna be when she grows up, but I think whatever it is it will be with plants. She loves to follow Auntie Eve around and Auntie Eve lets her help her with the special plants, plants me and Ellie are forbidden to touch (And we are five years older than she is too!). Evan is gonna be a mechanic, Auntie Nara doesn’t want him to be though she doesn’t say it out loud, she just tries to keep him out of the engine room, to protect him she says.

Its funny because Uncle Mal sneaks him away from her and lets him go watch Auntie Kaylee. Evan loves to follow Auntie Kaylee around and he tries so hard to help her, its really cute. Mattie is too young to go anywhere, mostly she stays with Auntie Eve, Uncle Simon or Auntie Nara, depending on what they are doing. (Like right now, cuz Auntie Nara and Uncle Mal are in the shuttle, and Auntie Eve and Uncle Jayne are in their bunk, Uncle Simon has Mattie. She is asleep in the sari, which Uncle Simon has set up like a hammock. I think that Anna and Evan are in the engine room with Auntie Kaylee.) Sometimes Ellie and I get to carry her around. Auntie Eve has a sari that she uses to tie Mattie to her and when we take care of her she ties her to one of us.

Uncle Jayne takes her every chance he gets but mostly he’s doing things that can’t have little hands (or mostly little ears) around.

So that’s my life.

( There she was done! Maybe now she could go and sit in the co-pilot’s seat while Auntie Riv teaches something interesting! She gave her paper to Uncle Simon and looked at him hopefully. Uncle Simon read the report, smiled at some spots, frowned at others, then he looked up at her and smiled,

“I see some errors here, but you can correct them tomorrow. Go on, go see River and enjoy her lessons.

She ran out of the common room down the hall to the bridge wondering why Uncle Simon was laughing all of a sudden. Shrugging she climbed the steps and reached her favorite spot on the whole ship. For a moment she stood still staring out at the stars that surrounded them. Then catching Auntie Riv’s smile she rushed forward and climbed into her lap, she smiled when Auntie Riv reached out and picked up the Stegosaurus and then picked up the t-rex with the other hand. She laughed as River made Steve the Stegosaurus look out over the console and declare it “this land” she loved this game no matter how many times Auntie Riv did it, she still laughed)


Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:36 PM


This was a very sweet look through fresh eyes at the goings on of Serenity - no wonder Simon was amused!


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