BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

BRIGLAD

New Blood - Chapter 1
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Set 18 months after Miranda. Our hero's are getting by in the verse. Zoe is slowly healing from her loss and the entire crew have solidified as a family. A stop on Persephone brings a stranger into their midst.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2464    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Maxine. She's mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.

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A new story line to recharge my Muse. Set outside my “Allanverse.” Just to see what happens. Set about a year and a half post Serenity. Story line has the standard pairings of Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee. Also has River/Jayne. Zoe... we'll you'll have to read it. -

A/N: Yeah, I know. I'm a glutton for punishment starting yet another story line while I have two Allanverse stories already going. This was a plot bunny that hit me last night. Damn bunnies hit hard too. Dang near held a gun to my head and told me to write this. So here we go.

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New Blood

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Chapter One

-

“You're doing fine, Inara,” River said confidently to the former companion.

Inara risked a glance at her instructor as she held a death grip on Serenity's yoke. She then turned her attention back to flying the transport.

“Bring the nose up three degrees,” River ordered.

“Okay,” Inara nodded.

“Serenity flies just like the shuttle. Just with more mass and inertia. You just need to think ahead a little more than you are used to.”

“If you say so,” Inara gasped out as the ship bucked once, hard.

“That was the gravity drive resetting... nothing to worry about.”

The ride began to smooth out as Serenity dropped deeper into Persephone's atmosphere. Inara began to relax a little.

“Transition the pods from braking to forward propulsion.”

“Okay,”

Serenity rolled to the left slightly as Inara over controlled. A curse was heard from the bridge entry.

“Nara, you tryin to crash my boat?” Mal sputtered as he walked on to the bridge. Rubbing his shoulder from where it had impacted the bulkhead.

“This was your rutting idea!” she shot back. Serenity smoothed out as Inara guided the ship towards Eavesdown.

Mal winked at River who was sitting in the co-pilots seat. Mal needed another member of his crew who could fly Serenity. River had become too valuable to leave back on the ship when they went out on jobs. Her talents for reading and fighting had meant that he got shot a lot less often.

Inara was a skilled shuttle pilot and River suggested that Inara would be a fine candidate to be the 'getaway driver' if they needed one. While thanks to Inara's contacts, most of their work was legitimate these days, Even the legal jobs could involve gun play from time to time.

Stepping up behind the pilots chair, Mal rested his hand on Inara's shoulder, “Doin all right there, Bao-bei?”

The former companion relaxed and smiled slightly, “I'm okay.”

“Coming up on the docks,” River stated.

“Understood,” Inara replied, “Starting the landing sequence.”

Mal grinned. In the year an a half since they had lost Book and Wash, He and Inara had gotten closer. It wasn't sudden nor was it pretty. They both had their pride and it took some skillful manipulation by both Kaylee and River to get them together but it had been worth it in the end. They still argued but now they compensated with makeup sex.

Inara had resigned her Guild membership shortly after they sent the Miranda wave. She could no longer reconcile her personal beliefs with the 'party' line issued from the Guild.

It had been hard but Inara couldn't stomach the deception any more. It had been an amicable parting. At least once Inara had explained what had happened at the training house to the council. The Guild, while supportive of the Alliance, had been appalled when they found out an operative had threatened Inara's students in order to gain her cooperation. Sheydra had backed up Inara's story.

Allowed to retire in good standing, Inara was now a free woman. Free to try to make a life with the roguish transport captain who had stolen her heart.

Smoothly, Inara guided Serenity to her assigned berth. As the ship settled on her landing gear, Inara keyed the intercom, “We're down, Kaylee.”

“Kay' 'Nara,” the mechanic chirped in reply.

Mal kissed Inara on the top of her head, “Nice job.”

“Thank you, Captain Sir.”

In the other seat, River rolled her eyes, “Impressionable teenager who can read minds sitting here you know...”

Realizing the mental imagery in his head had prompted Rivers statement, Mal grinned sheepishly, “Sorry Albatross.”

The girl grinned at him, “Inara's thoughts were worse.” With a giggle for punctuation, River bolted from her seat and ran from the bridge, her ponytail bouncing behind her.

It was Mal's turn to roll his eyes as his psychic sidekick ran away. River had changed the most in the last eighteen months. Transforming from the insane girl she had been into the young woman she was now. The release of the Miranda wave had been a catharsis of sorts. River could tell where her mind began and ended now. With that ability, she was now able to essentially out think the damage done to her brain by the academy.

Simon had been hard pressed to explain it but had come up with the theory that his sister could substitute logic over the emotional chaos in her mind. While she still felt everything, she could now prioritize the feelings. It had taken months for her to figure out the details but other than a daily dose of oral meds, River was now the young woman she was supposed to be.

Inara smoothly rose from the seat. Mal had to grin at her attire. Dark green cargo pants tucked into black boots topped with a tan button front shirt. Her long curly locks tied back into a loose ponytail. A small pistol in a cross draw holster hung from her belt. Mal thought she looked sexier in that get up than she did in her finest silks.

Dressed like that, she was 'Nara, the woman, not Inara, the companion. He often wondered if she had always been like this, somewhere underneath all the finery. Maybe that's why he had fallen for her in the first place.

“Shall we?” Mal held out his arm.

“Certainly, Captain,” Inara smiled as she took the offered arm. Together they headed for the cargo bay.

XXXXXXXXXX

Everyone else had gathered in the bay. Jayne sat on a crate checking over his pistol. Nearby, Simon leaned against another crate while Kaylee nestled in his arms. Her orange top contrasting sharply with his black sweater.

Zoë stood off to one side by herself. She had been this way since Wash had died. When he died, part of her did too. She still did her job, went to the meets with Mal and interacted with the crew. She was just a bit distant. The first few months she had been a near zombie. Running on automatic pilot. Doing things by rote by day while at night she sobbed quietly in her bunk.

For a while, she had wanted to die too. Jayne had saved her twice. The second time Jayne had help. The first time was on Mr. Universes moon. She had charged straight at the Reavers. Zoë wanted to join her husband right then. When they had cut her, the pain had brought her partially to her senses. Jayne had dragged her clear.

Eight months later, on her and Wash's wedding anniversary. Zoë had found herself alone in a seedy bar on Santo. She had plowed through a bottle of whiskey in less than two hours. To say she was plastered would be an understatement. Some other drunk had come on to her and Zoë decked him.

The problem was that he had friends... lots of friends. Zoë was seriously outnumbered and even sober would have been in trouble.

Drunk, she was done for. Zoë had resigned herself to a beating and maybe worse when suddenly, her adversary's started to fall. When the dust settled, six men lay on the floor unconscious at the feet of Jayne Cobb and River Tam.

Jayne hoisted the nearly comatose Zoë into his arms while River covered their exit. After a quick trip back to Serenity in the mule followed by the worse hangover Zoë had ever had in her life, she started on the road to some kind of recovery.

Zoë actually smiled once in a while now. Jayne treated her like a sister and likewise, Zoë had adopted River in a similar way. Taking her shopping and making sure she was properly equipped for going on jobs. Practical working clothes and the proper firearms.

Zoë even began giving the teenager advise on boys. Of course hiding that fact from Simon, who would have blown a gasket if he had known that his still slightly disturbed baby sister was eying members of the opposite sex. The girl was trying to make up for lost time.

The problem was that the boy River wanted advice on wasn't really a boy but a man. A much older man. It seemed River had developed a crush on their resident mercenary.

As always over the last year and a half, since River had found herself. She approached things with logic. Seeking advice and guidance from Zoë and Inara. Placating her brother and the Captain with her arguments as to why she and Jayne made a good couple. The hardest one to convince had been Jayne himself.

He figured that it was just a schoolgirl crush and she'd grow out of it. Little did he know, River had been planning her attack for months. First it had been flirting. Jayne was a man and didn't mind the attention. After Miranda, he had 'grown up' some. Book's loss had hit him hard. Jayne suddenly realized that he had a family on Serenity and the one thing he always took care of, was his family.

That's why he still sent a percentage of his pay home to his mother.

River slowly wore him down. In his mind she changed from homicidal crazy girl to annoying mei-mei to partner to... girlfriend?

He still couldn't figure out that part. Even after River had explained it to him.

Oh, well. At least Mal hadn't spaced him when he found them sexing in the cargo bay one night. Did yell and scream a might though.

River bounded down the stairs. She had changed out of her dress and into her dirtside working clothes. Black, nearly skin tight pants, black boots, a navy blue top and an aviators style brown leather jacket completed her ensemble.

A matched pair of pistols hung from her hips. Sleek, nickel plated automatics in tactical holsters tied off to her thighs. River's long hair was done up in a single plait down her back. She slowly rubbed up against Jayne. Causing him to groan in frustration and Simon to make a similar noise in disgust.

The Doctor had grudgingly accepted his sister's relationship with the ape but he sure didn't want to witness the more physical parts of it. Kaylee distracted him with a kiss however.

Mal and Inara entered the bay, arm in arm. Mal addressed his crew.

“Here's the plan o' the day,” he began, “Doc, Kaylee. See to the parts for the boat and any medical supplies. Jayne, River. Get Serenity fueled and then see to any thing else we need in the' way o' ammunition. 'Nara and me are taking the mule out to Sir Warrick's to see about our next cargo.”

“No more cows,” Jayne interrupted.

“No cows,” Mal agreed.

“What about me, Sir?” Zoë asked.

“Get us stocked up on food, Zoë. Got enough coin to get some decent rations for a change.” Mal tossed her a heavy bag of platinum.

“Got it, Sir.”

“Kaylee, once you get back to the boat, put out that we're lookin to take on passengers. I'll com you from Sir Warrick's when I have the itinerary.”

“Xie-xie, Cap'n.”

“Passengers?” Jayne asked, “Didn't we have enough trouble last time... Ow!”

“Thank you Albatross,” Mal grinned.

Jayne just growled and rubbed his arm where River had hit him. She beamed a big smile at him to soften the blow.

“Okay,” Mal continued, “Lets get to work.”

XXXXXXXXXX

Life sucked, Maxine thought as she wound her way through the crowds of Eavesdown. She'd been drifting from one job to another since the war had ended almost ten years ago. Now she was back on Persephone and even her family wouldn't speak to her.

Born on the border world, Her father had been a staunch supporter of the Independents. She had too, but instead, had been conscripted by the Alliance. Drafted to fight on what she felt was the wrong side.

She said so too and had been beaten for it. Accused of being a traitor and then discharged as soon as the war was over. She'd never seen combat.

Good thing too since she had just finished basic when Serenity Valley had started. She figured that she wouldn't have made it out of that meat grinder alive.

Being even an unwilling purple belly had started her estrangement from her family. She hadn't spoken with her father in six years. What had finished her father's disowning her was who she took to her bed.

Her father was a fire and brimstone shepherd from a small town on the far side of Persephone from Eavesdown. He didn't care for the fact that his only child was sly.

Maxine's mother had died when she was ten. She had always been a tomboy. As Maxine got older, the boys her age distanced themselves from her. She met the daughter of the local magistrate who taught her the finer points of being a lady. How to dress fancy and wear makeup. She was also one damn fine kisser... among other things.

When her daddy had found out, he tried to beat it out of her. That just made Maxine hide it better. She even dated a few boys to keep her father off the scent. As soon as the boys wanted to sleep with her, she dumped them. It wasn't fair but like many things, life wasn't fair anyway.

Her very short military career had showed Maxine that while not encouraged, being sly was at least accepted in some circles.

Of course being raped by a senior officer as part of her 'punishment' for her Independent political views had turned Maxine completely off men for the rest of her life.

After discharge, she drifted. Deckhand on a freighter, cook in a restaurant. A few stints as a security guard. Even tried her luck at being a gun hand. She was fast and could fight. A good shot with rifle and handgun. A decent tracker. All skills she had picked up over the years.

There was one problem. Looking as she did, no one believed that she could do the job.

There were plenty of women merc's in the 'Verse. She'd met a few. Slept with a couple too. However most were hard women who wouldn't know a cotillion from a grenade launcher. A makeup case from a Callahan auto lock.

Maxine did. Add in her looks and it was a poor recipe to be taken seriously.

She was tall. Not overly so but at five feet ten inches, she was taller than a lot of women. She had a toned body from years of hard work. An ample bust, curves and of course her fire red hair.

She's been told by lovers that she was beautiful enough to be a companion. That made it hard to get gun hand work. She looked more like the one needing the protecting rather than being the protector.

Hefting her duffel over her shoulder, Maxine made her way once more through the throngs.

Rounding a corner she spotted a strikingly beautiful woman. Being sly, Maxine tended to spot women like that. The woman she had seen through the crowds was tall. Dark skinned and moved with a purpose. She was hot.

The woman was dressed similarly to herself too. Pants, shirt, vest. Light jacket to ward off the early autumn chill. The mare's leg and cross draw pistol told Maxine that this woman was more than a bit like herself.

Almost involuntarily, she turned to follow the woman. The word Amazon popped into her brain for some reason.

After following for a few moment's, the woman turned and entered one of the markets that catered to ships. Selling mostly canned and frozen food along with protein. That told Maxine another clue. This woman was on a ships crew. Maybe she could get a ride off this rock after all. She didn't have much in the way of coinage but perhaps some kind of trade could be worked out?

“Cao,” Maxine swore. The woman had reached for a box on shelf in the market when she entered. The wedding band on her finger was as plain as day. Lucky hundan.

With nothing better to do, Maxine continued to serendipitously observe the woman. If anything it was good practice. She had looked Maxine's way a couple of times, checking her back. Maxine had smiled and nodded and reached for a box of cereal. Putting it back on the shelf after the amazon had looked away.

There was that word again. Amazon.

Her order completed, Maxine overheard her tell the clerk to deliver the supplies to her ship.

Grabbing a package of jerky, Maxine made her way to the counter. Doling out her meager funds for the meat, She smiled at the young man.

“Any... anything else, ma'am?” he stammered. No doubt having two beautiful women in his store in short succession had made his day.

“This is it... oh, by the way, that woman that was in here before me. She looked familiar. I think we might have shipped out together before.”

“She's first mate on a Firefly,” The man replied, “They get all their supplies here when they're in port.”

First mate... interesting.

“Ships named Serenity. Be leaving tonight I heard.”

“Well, I better try and catch up then,” Maxine smiled before exiting the store.

Maxine looked right and left , trying to spot her target.

XXXXXXXXXX

Zoë couldn't shake the feeling she was being followed. She kept her hand near her mares leg as she walked. Glancing around from time to time. Even backtracking a bit. She thought it might have been that red head in the market. Woman looked too damn much like Saffron. Just taller.

Satisfied that no one was behind her, Zoë stepped around the corner into an alley...

And came up short.

In front of her, surrounded by his goons stood Badger. Two more of the weasels men stepped behind the first mate.

“Ello, little girl. Where's that Cap'n o' yours?”

“He's about,” Zoë replied, staring daggers at the little man.

“Eard about yer hubby... my condolences.”

“What do you want, Badger?”

“You and yours caused me no little amount o' grief some time back. Here I am, a 'spectable business man and I get o' all things, a operative come beatin down my door.”

“Seems like thats mighty unlikely since you're still breathin,” Zoë snarled.

“I am. Only just, though. Sword through my gullet almost seen to that. Left me for dead he did. One o' me boys got me to the 'ospital just in the nick.”

“Hope you gave him a bonus,” Zoë replied.

“Aye. 'Ere's the stick though. For he stuck me with that blade o' his. He said it was you folks brought this down on me. I'm not likin that one bit.”

“Get in line,” Zoë snarled, “Operative killed a lot of folk. Near on us too. But we survived so what does that tell you?”

“That you're gorram lucky is all. That luck's about to run out as of now.”

Badger whistled and one of the goons grabbed Zoë's left arm. Before he could do more, Zoë's pistol was out and firing, Badger went down with a bullet in the arm. Zoë twisted and the man holding her arm ended up in the line of fire and was shot by his comrades. Two more shots and another pair of Badgers men were down.

“Kill 'er!” Badger screamed.

Automatic weapons fire drove Zoë under the cover of a dumpster in the alley. Bullets tore through the thin metal. One hit her in the chest. The mostly depleted round bouncing off her armor. The impact still hurt like a bastard.

More bullets began shredding the dumpster. She was in real trouble. A round struck Zoë's leg and she cried out in pain.

The shooting stopped for a moment. Zoë pulled her mares leg in her right hand and her pistol in her left. She wasn't going down without a fight.

One of the goons stepped around the dumpster and was rewarded with a bullet through his forehead from Zoë's mares leg.

“Gorramit! Shoot that tchen-wah!” Badger screamed, before running away himself. Sirens could be heard approaching.

There were two men left. One went right and one went left. Zoë was trying to stay conscious. She was loosing blood fast.

“I'm coming, Wash,” She whispered just before passing out.

The two goons stepped around the dumpster and aimed.

“Hey! Hundan!”

The two men looked up at the new voice.

Two shots rang out.

Two men hit the ground.

Maxine ran to where the woman she had followed had fallen.

“Tian-xiaode, sister. You are a mess.”

Quickly, Maxine pulled one of her own shirts out of her dropped duffel and tied it around the wound still oozing blood. The sirens were getting closer. She wasn't sure how she was going to explain all this to the Feds.

It was a moot question when she heard a pistol cock next to her ear, “Move on back. Real slow,” A man with a deep voice said.

“She's gonna bleed out if I can't get her some help,” Maxine said, trying to keep her voice even.

“Jayne! Grab Zoë, We need to go!” said a younger, feminine voice.

The gun went away from Maxine's ear, “Gorramit, Girl.”

“Now!”

Maxine was shoved onto her backside as a big man pushed her aside and gently picked the unconscious woman up. The big man took off at a trot, the woman cradled in his arms.

Maxine turned an looked at the woman... no, girl next to her. She was tiny but exuded menace. Despite herself, Maxine scooted back.

The girl smiled, “My name is River. Thank you for saving our friend.”

“No... problem.”

River turned, “Feds are here. Must run. Follow me.”

Before she knew what she was doing, Maxine grabbed her bag and began following the girl down the Alley.

“What have I gotten myself into now?” She said out loud as she ran.

“You have no idea,” the girl, River replied.

-

TBC

COMMENTS

Thursday, April 16, 2009 8:51 AM

MAINEAXE


OK... Good read, and anxiously awaiting more. Interesting interactions..

Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:35 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


Interested to see where this may go.

Friday, April 17, 2009 2:20 AM

JANE0904


They do say redheads have more fun ... we'll have to see. Is Zoe going to turn out to want a little female companionship? Interesting ...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 7:41 PM

ZARIEN85


cool start i like it isz like it alot


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