Self Contained Chapter 8
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

There's fightin' afoot.


Title: self contained

Author: joly

Rating: PG-13 for a tad of naughty language

Genre: Drama-y, Romance-y, Angst-y (very little), Adventure-y

Pairing: Mostly Simon/Kaylee, might be some Miver or Ral or whatever the kids are calling the River/Mal pairing.

Spoilers: All the way to ‘Objects in Space’. But no BDM spoilers. In this story that hasn’t happened yet. We can, however, assume that things have gone all canon-like after ‘Ariel’ and up til this point.

Summary: A continuation of ‘Anti Hero‘. Set significantly after ’Objects in Space’. Xiaofan has to make a quick exit after thugs bust into her practice. She assumes it’s just a robbery gone wrong. But is it ever that simple? It’s now her turn to call on the help of her old friend Simon Tam and the crew of Serenity.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Firefly, the crew, the ‘Verse, any of that stuff. I just like to tell stories. Joss and The Man own the stuff. All the OFC’s are mine and I reserve the right to use them any way I please. I make no money, I expect none. Peace and Blessings.

Thanks: To everyone who read ‘Anti Hero’, much thanks. Makes me all squishy inside. And to those reading this who continue to read, yes, more squishiness.

Distribution: Any where, just let me know so’s I can do a little dance.

Feedback: Please and Thank You. Read and review at your leisure.




Mister Fong looked nervous. Actually, he looked downright frightened. Xiaofan sat, eyes on the man, and the estate looming before them, alternately.

The majordomo’s skin began to redden, he squirmed and fought the urge to bolt. He fought, but lost.

“Mister Kerr, turn the hover back.”

“What, Sir?”

“I said turn the rutting hover back to the ship,” he screamed.

“Mister Fong! What is going on?”

She looked beyond the terrified man at the driver, who just shrugged.

“Is he always like this?”

“No, usually cool as a cucumber.”

She took a deep breath.

“Then you should probably turn the hover around.” The driver complied and she turned to the other man. “And you should tell me what’s going on.”

“I don’t… I don’t know. I… There are men. Very, very, very frightening men. There are killers in that house.”

“So, who’s skin exactly were you saving?”

“It doesn’t matter. We all would die. We could still. They’ll follow us…” He shrunk down to his seat.

“Where’s the picture of control that took my DNA sample? This man is a pussy!”

The older man sat, shocked, mouth agape.

“Come on, pull it together. How could you possibly have run that household if you freaked at the first thought of blood.”

Still not much in the way of reaction.

“You’re a fraud. A pale, pasty, useless, piece of feihua that-”

The man seemed to pull himself together.

“That’s enough, Doctor Lo.”

She smiled grimly.

“Thanks for joining us, Mister Fong.”

The hover came to a halt by Serenity.

Kaylee was at the bay entrance getting ready to close up.

“Xiaofan! What are doing? I thought-”

“I really don’t have time to explain. I’m under the impression that it’s not safe. You should tell the captain, have Wash get us off world.”

Xiaofan, Fong and Kerr boarded the vessel. Jayne noticed them and looked confused.


She slapped the controls to close the hatch.

“Not now, Jayne, gotta find the Cap’.”

“I think… I don’t know what I think. But we were almost to the estate and Mister Fong started… Well, he wigged out. Damn near wet himself.”

“Doctor Lo, I did not!”

“Okay, you weren’t scared. You did not have an anxiety attack. You were…”

“I was upset…”


Soon the crew, sans Wash, were assembled in the common area. Mister Fong was prodded to tell what he knew.

“There were two of them. A tall man and… A beast. He was an animal. He would have killed us all right there, but…”

“We get it. Move on.”

“Well, they asked about Doctor Lo. Mister Williard stated he was in the process of employing…”

He stopped.

“It comes down to… They promised pain if I didn’t verify Doctor Lo’s identity and deliver her to them. But one could see… It was a ruse. I tried to comfort myself with the lie, but as we approached the… I knew they would kill us. All of us.”

“So, you turned tail?” Jayne glared at Fong.

“They had a small cruiser, fully armed. And had you seen them…”

“Xiaofan, it occurs to me that the folks we thought were lookin’ for the doc are actually lookin for you," Zoe said.

“So it appears.”

“You gotta plan, Sir?”

“Not at the moment. Doctor Lo, you think of any reason you’d have killers after you.”

“Captain, I was a low level middleman. I never… I have mentioned that I never got my hands dirty. And to my knowledge none of the deals I have been involved in have ever ‘gone south’ as you usually refer to the situation.”

“They sent these scary folks in to collect you ‘cause you won the Osiris lottery?”

“Don’t be glib, Captain. I’m telling you, I don’t know why.”

Mal regarded her doubtfully.

“Zoe, Doc. Bridge.”


When the hover failed to arrive, the tall man was less than pleased.

He called into his comm, “Two, the ship is leaving now.”

“I’m busy.”

“I’m leaving.”

The beast growled.

“I will be there.”

Within a half an hour they were in the air and breaking atmo. The Firefly may be a fast ship, but the tall man’s cruiser was faster. They would have the distance closed within the hour.

“You interrupted my fun… Sir.”

“Your fun has no bearing on the mission. Ready yourself, we’ll be boarding them soon. You may have the crew of the ship, but I will require the Doctor relatively unharmed.”


“That is what I said.”

“Yes… Sir.”


Wash hit the comm and yelled, “We’ve got company!”

Mal and Zoe bounded to the bridge in a moment.

“What do we got?”

“That cruiser that was mentioned. Well, it’s closing. Pretty gorram fast!”


“Evasive what? It’s got big guns and it’s faster than us.”


“We’ll let them overtake. And when they board, we’ll give ‘em the fight of their lives.”

“But if the man… If Fong is right, and the ‘Beast’…”

River spoke up from the entry way.

“Leave him to me.”

“River, I ain’t got time.”


“Girl, I’m-”

She closed the distance between them in a second and a hand tightened around Mal’s throat.

“River!” Zoe yelled and leapt towards the girl.

The smaller girl easily side-stepped, still holding the Captain by his throat.

“I won’t hurt you.”

“Let go of Mal, River.”

She released him immediately.

“Give me a blade and leave me the beast.”

Mal stalked by her out off the bridge, running into Jayne. He shouldered passed the big man shouting, “Get your guns together. And give the girl your best blade.”

Jayne stood in shocked silence for a minute. River moved in front of him, looking at the mercenary expectantly.

“Is he crazy?”

“No, I am. And give me Sophia. The big one.”

“Gorramit, moon brain!”

“Sophia, now.”

Jayne cursed under his breath and descended to his bunk. He returned with his arsenal and the chosen blade.

“How do you know their names?”

“I know all… See all…” she said, spooky voice. With that she left the corridor and went to the cargo bay. The site of the massacre to be.


“Don’t worry about the pleasantries. Lock on and blast the air lock if you must.”

“That won’t be necessary, it seems they’ve left the door open.”


“Two, we never underestimate our adversaries.”

“Of course. Men!” he barked. “Let’s go!”

Dozens of uniformed mercenaries, lined up to enter Serenity.

“Open her up, Mister Foo.”


They were assembled in the cargo bay, weapons at the ready. Jayne and Zoe up on the catwalk. Mal behind crates in the bay and River perched at the top of the stairs heading to shuttle one. Kaylee and Simon were armed in the galley, watching the entrance with controlled panic. Mister Fong paced the common air, a weapon dangling from his hand.

The airlock opened and they could see a handful of men.

Guns cocked and swear words were uttered.

“Come out and play, beast,” River whispered.


Thursday, May 8, 2008 9:04 AM


Ooooooooo! Love the bit. River is just so cool. I am definitely ready for the next piece in this puzzle.


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Capacity Chapter 15

Capacity Chapter 14
Just about to set foot on Markham and face the bad. One way or the other.

Capacity Chapter 13
Plot moves forward. People from the past poke there heads in. Serenity is quiet and mournful.

Capacity Chapter 12
Mal and the crew find out exactly how horribly they'd been used.

Capacity Chapter 11
The crew does not find what they expected on Kerry.

Capacity Chapter 10
It’s just not a normal day on Serenity unless somebody gets shot, threatened or beat up.

Capacity Chapter 9
It’s a long story… Mal and Ruby bond some more, Xiaofan gets her new face and… then she leaves. Wash and Zoe have a chat and Jayne gets over his issues with Simon and Xiaofan.

Capacity Chapter 8
Out in the black, heading to the next destination. Ruby gets on as a passenger and Xiaofan bullies Simon into getting her a new face.

Capacity Chapter 7
Still on Abaddon Station, Xiaofan confronts her brother, Mal confronts the mystery woman.

Capacity Chapter 6
A stopover at Abaddon Station, weirdness ensues.