War Stories: Reinforcements
Sunday, March 1, 2009

This is the sixth of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-BDS. Our Big Damn Heroes find strength in numbers. War racketeering is attempted, insights and options are explored, (someday) lifelong friends meet for the first time.


Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about this, I've just been really busy over the last few months.

Disclaimer: the Joss and Mutant Enemy take rights.


"Yee-haw!" Jayne exclaimed as he and Stitch rode away on a borrowed hovercraft with five crates of army supplies that they'd also borrowed from the Alliance. They weren't going to use them, of course, but the Independents were paying a pretty penny for things like that. Anything to hurt the Alliance and better chances for themselves.

Stitch and Jayne could really care less about the war, except that there was a larger market for mercenaries who were just out for a profit. As long as the battles stayed far away from them, there was really no hurry for a victory on either side.

"Didja see the looks on thar faces?" Stitch laughed gleefully.

"All struck dumb like." Jayne replied, looking back at the group of buildings that appeared to be rapidly shrinking.

"You an' me gonna come outta this very rich men indeed."

"When they's all cleanin' up this mess, we'll be on Boros, sippin' them drinks with the lil umbrellas." Jayne agreed. Stitch laughed heartily in reply.

But the laughter died on his lips and the hovercraft came to a jolting stop as he spotted what was waiting up ahead. Apparently, the Alliance weren't so easily duped. They had reinforcements for this kind of thing.

"Oh, wang ba dan."


"Tian Yesu qi sheng ti tou. Would you look at that?" Wash asked his copilot, Boris Velkan.

"Most beautiful thing you ever did see." Velkan replied, gazing, like Wash, out the cockpit window at, not only the thousands of stars, but the dozens of spacecraft hovering in space all around them.

Their own ship, The Flamingo, was one of the sleeker, more agile variety. Over the past few hours, they'd watched ships of all shapes and sizes swell the ranks of the formation. It truly was a sight to see. This rag-tag band of ships made up the front line at the moment, which was less exciting than terrifying to Wash. Then again, he couldn't wait to test his flying skills against those hoity toity Alliance pilots that thought they were all that.

"Makes you wonder what the other side looks like." Velkan murmured, with a sly glance in Wash's direction.

"They probably look like proud bastards in their brand spanky new shiny ships." Wash said, tapping the arm of his chair as if the topic of the Alliance space fighters bored him. "We may not look like much, but we got spunk. We got passion, and more'n a few of us have got skill." he grinned now.

"I s'pose you're right." Velkan said, growing quiet a moment as he stared out the glass again. "You ever doubt whether or not we're on the right side?" he broke the silence with some time later, startling Wash, who had believed the conversation to be over. Velkan wasn't generally talkative, and Wash tried to respect that.

"You know, I really don't." Wash said. "Way I see it," he said, "They're trying to steal something much more precious than money or power. They're trying to take what's inside a man and use it for themselves. Who I am, that's inside of me, and I'm not gonna let some kewu de lao baojun steal me from myself."

"Hmm." he replied, falling back into his stoic silence, staring out the window. There was no mistaking it this time, the conversation was over.


"Shh..." A voice whispered in Inara's ear, as a gentle hand was placed over her mouth preventively. She recognized the owner of the hand at once from the perfumed scent of the skin. It was her best friend, Nandi.

Slowly, she turned to face her, and Nandi drew her hand away. Wondering what Nandi could be up to and why she had had to sneak up behind Inara and take her unawares, she gave the woman a small smile.

Still not speaking, Nandi held a finger to her lips and cupped her ear with the other. Inara tilted her head to listen as her friend suggested.

From a room down the hall, they could hear voices. One of them was easily identifiable, as she was the house priestess. The other was unfamiliar, though also feminine. It was much too aged to be a new companion-in-training, though it was not aged enough to be the mother of a potential. Those were usually the only kind of women that would visit a companion house.

"...gentle and kind." the unfamiliar voice said.

"All of my girls are trained to be such." the priestess replied.

"And... I've never... never done this... before..." the strange woman had a bit of trouble saying.

"Not to worry, I have the perfect woman for you." the priestess assured her.

Inara looked back at Nandi to see a frown pulling down at her lips. The younger woman looked at the older quizically, trying to figure out what was wrong, until Nandi shook her head and looked back towards the room.

"-course it can be arranged." the priestess was saying, and then footsteps could be heard. One of them was coming out of the room.

Inara turned her attention back to Nandi, only to find that her best friend had disappeared. Frowning herself, she heard the priestess' voice once more, only this time it was addressing her.

"Inara," she said softly, coming to a stop a foot or two away. "Are you free to take a client right now?" she asked, which was really unnecessary, as most of their clientele had just shipped out for the war.

"I am." she replied respectfully. "May I inquire as to the client?"

"You may." the priestess said, "A lovely young woman has just requested your services." she said, smiling with motherly affection at her pupil.

"A woman?" Inara repeated, and then it sank in and everything made sense. Of course! She shouldn't have been so blind to what was going on, recalling a smaller part of her training devoted to the service of women. Nandi had obviously seen it, though it bothered Inara a little bit that she had run away to escape it. "Of course, I can receive her in my quarters imminently."


The arctic breezes coming off of Mac's cold shoulder in concerns to Mal only lasted until they were loaded onto the ships for relocation to another base, where they would serve as reinforcements to the soldiers already there. Once aboard, she began speaking to him again, though only in short little bursts, as if she was trying to stay angry with him and failing miserably. Only when they left atmo and the black became visible through the windows did she truly drop the angst she had been sending his way.

She grabbed his hand, pulling him to the window rather forcefully. He chuckled at her enthusiasm, having experienced the same reaction the first time they'd been in space, not too long ago. "They're so beautiful..." she said longingly, looking as if she'd climb out the window to get a better look at them if she could. "Can you see home from here?" she asked.

Mal put his arm around her, glad to be in her good graces once more, as his eyes scanned the sky. He missed the somewhat smug look on her face as she turned to smile at him when he did this.

Monty, however, did not. You could practically hear his eyes rolling as he said, "Young people." for the hundredth time since he'd met them. He was nonphased by the beauty of the black, having seen it plenty of times before in his many exploits, so he simply made himself comfortable and enjoyed the show.

Neither Mal nor Mac could locate Shadow, and eventually both sat down again, engaging in a game of cards with Monty. In no time, they were laughing as if there had never been a rift between them. Occasionally, Mal would catch Rowan giving him a strange look, but she quickly rearranged her expression when she noticed him looking. It was still irking him, the way she'd been behaving and the things Monty had said. He felt like such an idiot, like it should be so obvious, whatever the two of them were trying to get him to see.

In what seemed like no time at all, the intercom was blaring out a warning that they were going down for landing. The soldiers all stood, stretching their legs and gathering their things. When the doors opened and they stepped off the ship, their ears were greeted with lots of shouting, directing them where to go, what to do.

The three M's went to the terminal, as instructed, to find out which unit they were to join. Monty left them to join the 31st, while Mal and Mac were both placed in the 57th Overlander's Brigade. Here, they found that their unit was paired with another, the 26th.

"Now this is more like it." a woman's voice said from nearby the two from Shadow. They turned to find a dark skinned woman speaking to a man that reminded them of a golden retriever. She seemed to be examining the other units in the bay and deciding that hers had gotten the cream of the crop.

"I dunno, you really think farmer John over there knows how to use a gun?" the man asked, nodding towards Mal.

"As a matter o' fact," Mal said, walking over to them, Mac close on his heels. "I got second place in the annual sharpshootin' contest back on Shadow. Second only to this little lady standin' beside me." he grinned at Mac, who beamed back at him. "And it's rancher."

"Rancher?" the man asked.

"I'm a rancher, not a farmer." Mal said, "She's the farmer."

The dark skinned woman laughed, cutting off the man's retort. "Oh, give it a rest, Dodd." she said, "They seem savvy enough." she said, "Private Alleyne," she said, offering Mal her hand to shake, "And this is Private Dodd."

Mal shook her hand, "Malcolm Reynolds, and this here is Mac. Don't ask what her real name is though, I'd like to keep all of my appendages."


wang ba dan - dirty bastards (S.O.B.'s)

Tian Yesu qi sheng ti tou - Sweet Jesus and his holy body piercings

kewu de lao baojun - horrible old tyrant



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