Capacity Chapter 10
Saturday, July 19, 2008

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


Capacity Chapter 10


Rated PG-13

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

Disclaimer: I don’t own it. I just like to play in Joss’ sand box.


Xiaofan settled into her new life on Kerry. She tended the occasionally wounded, saw to the ill, took care of the newborn and the elderly, she even got a chance to do yearly physicals and get background information on most of her patients.

It was a simple doctor’s dream.

She was greeted with smiles and nods and, “Morning Dr. Magnus,” or “Hello, Lucille,” for the less formal.

She followed the same pattern every day. Out of bed, washed up, saw patients, made house calls, tended the occasional emergency, studied new journals as they came in. The life of security she swore she wanted.

Only every once in a while she allowed herself to think about the crew, her friends, back on Serenity. She missed girl time with Kaylee and listening to River weave her tales, usually about the crew, things they’d rather no one knew. She could go on about the others even Mal, but she really, very truly, missed Jayne.

Gentlemen, and not so gentlemen, came to call. She told them she was a widow. That, in her religion, she could never see another man, never marry again. Gentlemen were easily persuaded. The not so gentlemen had to have the barrel of her 12 gauge bared to underscore her intent. Eventually, suitors stopped calling. Which Xiaofan took as a comfort.

“Dr. Magnus,” a small, shy voice called, interrupting her reverie.

Xiaofan looked up from the journal she truly hadn’t been reading.

“Yes, Sallie Anne?”

“Mommy’s havin’ the baby. Papa said come get you.”

Xiaofan closed the journal and gathered her equipment.

“Let’s go my dear,” she said, and closed and locked the door behind her.


Mal’s teeth clacked together as the fist connected with his jaw. He shook his head a moment and pulled himself together.

“Sir, I am seriously considering not accompanying you to any bar on U-Day!” Zoe called from across the hall, up and out of the fray.

“Just wanted a quiet drink…”

His newest cohort smirked from behind the bar.

“A quiet drink? In this bar? On U-Day?” Ruby queried, astonished, as she poured herself another shot.

“Jayne!” Mal shouted, elongating the merc’s name for emphasis, dodging his attackers fists. “If you say you ain’t fought in no war…”

Jayne stood and picked up the chair he’d been sitting in and flung it at Mal’s attacker, joining the fight. The man went down with a thud and Mal could direct his attention on the men coming at him. He saw Zoe go for her gun.

“Zo, you put your hand on metal, you’re a target. Keep your ass on the back line!”

“Soon as I have this baby, sir, we are going to have a talk!” she shouted from the other end of the hall.

“Well, I got about five months until that talk,” Mal said and grunted as a man caught him in the gut with a fist. Jayne walked up, picked the man up by the scruff of his clothes around his neck and tossed him across the room.

“You ‘bout done having your quiet drink, Mal?” Jayne asked.

Mal gave him a look and then turned to Ruby.

“Time used to be, couldn’t keep Jayne Cobb out of a fight,” he said.

“Times change, Mal,” Ruby replied, “They always do.” She finished off the last of her drink and hopped over the bar. “And I think he’s right. I’m wishin’ I hadn’t let you talk me into this ‘quiet drink’.”

“Couldn’t have you cooped up on the ship all the time.”

Jayne grimaced, for no reason Mal could discern.

“I suppose we could head back to the ship,” Mal said, knocking one last man flat. “Boring around here anyway.”

Jayne collected Zoe, Mal escorted Ruby to the door and they left, mostly under their own power.


“I do not understand your perpetual need to prove a point to a bunch of drunk morons in a bar out in the middle of nowhere,” Simon said, as he patched Mal’s face and checked for other injuries.

“I’m with the Doc,” Ruby said, smiling at Simon. “You’ll never change their minds. So what’s the point of getting your face bashed in?”

Mal looked from Simon to Ruby and scowled.

“I believe that would be the principle of the thing,” he said, and grunted as Simon applied the antiseptic.

“Well, your principles seem to like having your face rearranged,” Ruby snickered and slid from the stool by the med bed.

“Keep talkin’, woman, see if I take you out again,” Mal call as she walked away.

“I don’t think I like the places you take me, Malcolm Reynolds,” Ruby replied turning around. “Bar fighting and mayhem. I could get that on Abaddon.”

Mal ducked out from under Simon’s hands and stood by Ruby at the door of the med bay.

“Could drop you off,” he said, grinning.

“Don’t make me get out my screwdriver,” she replied, just as saucily.

“Could you save this for later?” Simon asked, “I’d like to get this over with so I can go check on Zoe.”

Mal cut his eyes to the doctor and then back to Ruby.

“You headin’ off to bed?”

She smiled demurely.”

“Might be.”

“Might you also be in need of a tuck in and bed time story?”

Simon rolled his eyes and groaned.

“Anytime now…” he said, tapping his foot.

Ruby turned to leave.

“Let me know when the Doc is done with you…”

Mal turned back to Simon.

“Alright Doc, patch me up.”

“Oh, can I? Thank you so much,” Simon replied and set back to work.


Jayne was working himself out in the bay when River walked in. He was on his tenth set of twenty and showed no sign of slowing up.

“Damaged,” River said, stepping atop Jayne’s prone figure, and balancing on his barbell handle.

“Move, Moonbrain,” Jayne said between gritted teeth as he massaged his chest, where River had stepped on him.

River just stood there above him, looking down, assessing him.

“Move,” Jayne repeated.

“Your bicep. Brink of damage.”

“You get your medical degree in crazy the last couple weeks?”

“Red, swelling,” she replied. “Anyone with eyeballs can see you’re damaged.”

“Seems like you’re the only one looking,” Jayne said, sitting up and rubbing his arms.

“Wrapped up. Kaylee and Simon. Zoe and Wash. Even Captain Daddy and his Ruby. Everyone’s wrapped up.”

“I don’t need to know about their sex lives, Moonbrain.”

“Not sex. Just themselves. Well, some sex. Simon-”

Jayne scowled at her.

“Xiaofan misses us.”

Jayne stood and took the towel of the bench, wiping some of the sweat.

“How would you know who Xiaofan misses? Ain’t had contact with her in near two months.”

“She told me.”

“Now, I’m used to you not makin’ sense much, girl. But you don’t-”

It was River’s turn to give Jayne a look.

“I can see her sometimes,” she said, eyes gone distant and foggy. “Working, working, working…”

“You can’t see shit, Moonbrain. You’re dreaming,” Jayne snapped out, heading for the stairs up to the main of the ship.

“Damaged Jayne. Needs a doctor,” River said, hopping off the bar and onto the floor.


There was a knock on Ruby’s door.

She contemplated making him stand there a moment. But with what excuse? It’s not as if the room was that large or the facilities that expansive that she would be mid shower.

So, she just answered the door.

“Mal,” she said.

“Ruby,” he replied, smiling at her.

“I suppose you think I oughta let you in.”

“If you feel like it.”

She gave him a hard look.

“I’m not playing doxy with you, Malcolm Reynolds.”

“Whoa, Ruby,” he said, “Now, I’m not going to point out all the flirting you did in the med bay, cause I’m not that sort. But I am going to point out I ain’t never tried anything. And you know-”

Ruby left the door open and stepped away, sitting on the bed.

“Just wanted to be sure,” she said, inviting him in.

“You are a maze, woman,” he said, taking up his usual seat opposite her bed.

“I heard Wash say that to Zoe,” Ruby said, smiling wickedly, “Something about twists and cul-de-sacs…”

“So true of women…” Mal mused and then grunted when Ruby threw a shoe at him.

“I just got wounded, Ruby,” he said, in mock pain. “Right here.” He pointed to his chest and abdominal area.

“You have only yourself to blame for your injuries, as you well know.”

He grimaced at her.

“No sympathy? Not even a shred?”

She looked away from him, pretending to think about it.

“Nope, none. You and your fool mouth make enough trouble for you. Won’t be party to your misery committee.”

Mal just smiled at her.

“You ready for your bedtime story?”

She slid to the edge of the bed and leaned towards him.

“A different one this time. Maybe a little less bloody.”

Mal thought a minute.

“Heard a bible story once about a furrow and a plough, but then I got knocked out, so the details are a mite fuzzy.”

“Sounds like your kind of day,” Ruby said, laughing.

“Unfortunately,” he replied. “So, maybe you should tell a tale tonight.”

“Tell my own bedtime story?”

“Make something up if you have to. You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to.”

She thought for a moment.

“When I was twelve…” she began, and laid herself on the bed, facing Mal.

Mal made himself comfortable and waited for the rest.


A shudder rocked the ship. Emergency klaxons sounded and the crew scrambled to the bridge.

Wash, already at his post, filled everyone in.

“Looks like a warning shot.”

Mal’s mouth opened and closed and then he found the power to speak.

“Who? What? Who’s firing a warning shot.”

Just then a communication blared through the comm.

“Unidentified ship, hold position and prepare to be boarded.”

Wash snapped the communications closed.

“The hell… The hell I’m just gonna let some houzidipigu board my ship. They Alliance, Feds?”

“No official markings,” Wash replied, “Just bigger than us, with guns.”

Mal’s brain went into over drive.

“Are they faster?” Mal asked.

Wash poked at his console.

“Not necessarily. At full burn we can out run ‘em.”

“Get us ready for my signal. Stall ’em. Do whatever you can. Jayne, I need you in the cargo bay with me.”

“What the hell, Mal? We gonna-”

“Bizui! Just come on!”

The two men hustled to the cargo bay. Mal took in the recently acquired goods for their mountain man, Barton. Having the increasing feeling that the ship out there firing warning shots and their cargo were somehow connected.

“We get this stowed. In the special compartments.”

“Shit, Mal…” Jayne said as he got to work.


“Malcolm Reynolds?” the imposing man asked, just after stepping through the air lock with a six man team.

He was tall, blonde and familiar.

Mal smiled broadly.

“You working undercover now, Harken? Or you get new digs?”

Jayne gave him a look.

“You remember the good commander, when we found that derelict, and the Reaver boy? This is the fine man that confiscated our goods and left us spinnin’.”

Zoe nodded, grimacing at the memory. She was glad River and Simon were stashed.

“I did let you go,” Harken replied.

“And what can we do for you today?” Mal asked, full of cheek, “By the way, which side you on? You Fed today, or have you gone all privateer on ‘em?”

Harken didn’t bother to reply to Mal’s questions.

“You recently picked up some cargo on Beaumonde,” he stated.

“Nope,” Mal replied, still smiling, “Stopped off, refueled, little R & R for the crew and made for the black.”

“You didn’t pick up any items for a Raymond Barton?”

“Who?” Mal asked innocently.

“As I am well aware that you did indeed make the pick up of these items I’ll cease with the questions. I’ll just have my men tear every inch of this ship apart looking for it.”

Mal’s face hardened.

“By what authority? You still ain’t-”

“By the authority that my ship is bigger than yours and has more guns.”

“Oh,” Mal said, grimly, “That authority.”

There was the sudden sound of cocking weapons.

“Tell your men to drop their weapons!” a voice shouted, the source concealed by shadow. The sound of the voice, to his crew, seemed to be Simon.

“I’ll do no such thing!” Harken replied.

“Do it or I’ll splatter your skull across this cargo bay.”

Harken tensed.

“Lower your weapons,” Harken called to his men. “I don’t know what you think this gains you-”

In that moment Mal, Jayne and Zoe all drew weapons.

Mal advanced on Harken.

“Whatever you want, you think it’s on this ship. So you’re not going to blow us to pieces. Sure you might try to wing us, slow us down. And your ship is bigger, but it ain’t no Alliance cruiser. You probably got all the men you can spare right here.” He looked back at Jayne and up at the catwalk. “I got folks itching to put holes in you and yours. What’s your man’s protocol when you all are laying bloody on my deck?”

Harken looked flummoxed.

“Not expecting a fight, huh?” Mal said, gritting his teeth. “You and your men drop your weapons, head back to your ship and leave us be.”

“Or?” Harken challenged.

Mal looked up at he catwalk.

“Splatter?” he replied.

Harken and his men quick stepped out the air lock.

“Wash, Kaylee, get us to full burn now!” Mal shouted through the comm, shutting and cycling the airlock as quickly as humanly possible.

The crew scrambled and within fifteen seconds Wash and Kaylee had them at full burn and out of range, running for their lives.

“Make sure you leave ‘em bamboozled, Wash,” Mal yelled through the ship, approaching the bridge.

Wash manipulated the controls and scrambled their pulse beacon, sending out multiple signals as to Serenity’s whereabouts and headings. He prayed it would do the job.


“Turns out that Mountain Man wasn’t all he said,” Wash stated to the assembled crew. “He was all mixed up with the Alliance before and after the war.”

“Facts we would have had before if anyone had bothered to research a prospective client,” Zoe snapped.

“Pregnancy has made you more opiniony and ornery,” Mal joked.

“Sir,” she began.

“I know. I know. You don’t have to beat my head in.” He looked at his second. “Would we not have taken the job if we knew?”

Zoe stood there a moment.

“No way of knowing,” she replied.

Mal gave her a look.

“Water under and over that particular bridge. We need to get some answers from the horse’s mouth,” he said, turning to Wash. “We heading in that direction?”

“I think that would be the first place they’d expect us to go, sir,” Zoe put in.

“Agreed,” he said, “Ideas?”

There was a overwhelming silence.

Then Kaylee put a hand up.

“Xiaofan ain’t too far from here…”

Wash looked at his Nav-Con.

“She’s right. We could stop off there, contact Barton and go from there,” he replied.

Mal mulled.

“How far are we from Haven?”

Wash rolled his eyes.

“We’d have to go in the opposite direction, further away. Kerry is our best bet as of now.”

Mal stalked towards the exit.

“Fine. Do it.”


(A/N: Please read and review. Muchas gracias!”)


Sunday, July 20, 2008 6:59 AM


you can leave a comment. i'm thick-skinned, mostly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:57 PM


Well, that sucks. I left comment and the blasted site ate it.

Anyway, I love it and yipee, the crew is off to find Xiaofan. Good good as always and hopefully this one will not get ate....stupid site. :P


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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.