New Blood - Chapter 10
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Now on Persephone. Mal confers with his new contact then takes everyone out to dinner. More action is coming. I promise.


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


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. Zoë/Maxine -

A/N: I know it's going kinda slow right now but I promise that things will get exciting again soon.

Warning This story line from here on out will include 'gasp' fem slash (Like you didn't see it coming). It won't be graphic but I know some are offended by any depiction of homosexuality. If you don't like this kind of thing... stop reading right now.


New Blood


Chapter Ten


As Serenity broke atmo over Persephone, River steered the transport over a part of the planet they had never visited before.

It was early afternoon for the crew but just after dawn in Putnamville's time zone. With her usual skill River settled the old Firefly into a perfect landing.

“We're down, Kaylee,” the pilot called over the intercom.

Down in the cargo bay, the crew gathered. Despite their contact being Maxine's kin, Mal wanted to be cautious. The Captain stood in the center of the cargo bay with Jayne to his left and Zoë to the right and slightly behind.

River stood to the rear of the bay, ready to pounce if trouble arose.

With a curt nod from the Captain, Maxine hit the door control and stepped back out of the way.

As the ramp powered down, Mal shifted uneasily. This was one of the moments he truly hated. Inara and Simon were on the bridge and Kaylee stood by in the engine room. Ready to lift the ship at a moment's notice.

When the ramp thumped down, five men began heading for the ship. All were armed and looked comfortable with their weapons. One man, shorter than the rest stood out. His almost orange hair and pale skin was in stark contrast to the rest of the group.

Stopping at the bottom of the ramp, the shorter man stepped forward slightly, “Lookin fer' Captain Reynolds.”

Mal looked at the man. About his own age, five foot four or so, built broad. Man almost looked square. He wore a tan flight suit topped with a well worn, brown leather flight jacket. A large frame revolver sat low in a holster on his hip.

“I'm Reynolds,” Mal said as he stepped forward. Zoë and Jayne flanking him.

The short man looked long and hard at the Captain. After another moment he spoke, “You got Lord Harrow's goods?”

“Here in the bay,” Mal replied.

Zoë shifted uneasily. This man was giving her some bad vibes. The four men behind the little man were almost as uneasy.

The silence dragged on for a long minute. Finally a new voice cut the silence.

“Gorrammit, Uncle Shamus, knock off the tough guy act,” Maxine bellowed as she stuck her head around the corner of the door.

Zoë shot Max a look but the reply from the short man made everyone relax some.

“Maxine lass. That you?”

“Damn right, you sawed off troll,” Maxine chuckled as she stepped fully into view.

A big grin came across the little man's face. Maxine ran down to her uncle and gave him a big hug.

“Lassie, what are ye doin back here in town?”

“Working, what do you think,” Maxine replied as she broke the hug.

Shamus stood back and looked hard at his niece, “Yer lookin well.”

“You too, Uncle.”

“Ahem,” Mal muttered.

“Me apologies Cap'n Reynolds,” the red haired man replied, “Cap'n Shamus Kinsella at ye' service.” With a snap of his fingers, the four men behind Shamus turned around and walked away.

“I understand, Captain,” Mal replied, “Always a risk meetin new contacts.”

“Well iffin you'd waved, lettin me know you had me niece workin for ye'. I'd a been a might more sociable.”

“Wanted to surprise you,” Maxine replied.

“That ye' did lassie.”

River had signaled the all clear to Inara on the bridge and She and Simon entered the bay. Kaylee a few steps behind.

Mal stepped forward and shook the other captain's offered hand, “Let me introduce my crew. On my right here is Zoë Washburn, my first mate. On the left is Jayne Cobb, my... well, Jayne does the heavy liftin.”

Jayne smirked at Mal.

“Continuin, The grease covered ray o' sunshine headin this way is Kaylee Frye, our Mechanic. Next to her is Simon, our Medic. Next to him is River, our Pilot and last but not least is Miss Inara Serra, our Business Manager.”

“Pleased ta' meet you all,” Shamus stated.

“I got the manifest here iffin you want to look it over, Captain.”

“Call me Shamus iffin ye' don't mind Ain't hardly fittin as in your boat is twice the size o' mine.”

Mal smiled, he liked this guy already,” Call me Mal.”

“Good enough, Mal,” Shamus grinned. He put his fingers to his teeth and whistled. A moment later, two of the men from before approached driving a flatbed hover mule.

“Rudy, Lad. See to clearin the manifest with th' lovely Ms. Washburn while the Captain and I see ta' business.”

Mal nodded and led Shamus deeper into the bay. Zoë signaled the two workmen forward. Jayne remained off to the side keeping an eye on the newcomers.

Maxine moved up beside Zoë, “What do you think?”

“Your Uncle?”

“No... the King of Londinium,” Maxine rolled her eyes.

“Seems friendly enough,” Zoë replied neutrally.

Maxine knew that Zoë hadn't warmed to her uncle yet. She wasn't worried. Shamus Kinsella could charm the coldest of them if he put his mind to it.

A plan of action set in her mind, Maxine began to help Simon and the workmen load crates onto the flatbed mule.


Mal led Shamus into the galley, “Coffee?”

“Thank ye' kindly,” The shorter man replied as he took a seat. Mal poured two cups and laid one in front of his guest.

“How long has Maxine been workin for ye'?” Shamus said after a minute.

“A few weeks. Picked her up on the outbound leg from Eavesdown,” Mal replied.

Shamus harrumphed, “Figures, Girl didn't even wave that she was on planet. Would 'ave come and got her.”

“Might be why she didn't,” Mal commented, “Max seems quite the independent sort.”

“That she is. Pain's me to see how her Da' treated her... hundan.”

“She told us a little.”

Shamus grinned, “Ye' got a lot o' beautiful lasses on this boat. Best you watch em' around Maxie. She's libel ta' try chasin em' iffn' you catch my drift.”

“Already has... I think she's caught my first mate.”

Shamus' eyebrow shot up, “Has she now?”

“Or Zoë caught her... kinda hard to tell who caught who. Also, Maxine done saved Zoë's life half a month back.”

“That how ye' picked her up?”

“It is,” Mal answered.

“Maxine's got fire... no doubt. Comes from my side o' the family.”

“I got that inkling,” Mal chuckled.

“Gorram shame the Alliance made 'er be a purple belly. Drove the last nail in the coffin o' 'er relationship with 'er Da'. Jed always had a 'holier than thou' attitude. His only child turin out sly didn't set too well.”

“Good thing her birthday was later in the year. Would have been a shame iffin I was shootin at her,” Mal observed.

Shamus' eyes narrowed, “Browncoat?”

“Yep. Zoë too.”

“Reckon that's why ye' ship's named Serenity, then?”

“You reckon right.”

“How is it that you be landin here, with Lord Harrow's goods? I haul planet side fer him but t' interplanetary loads go through Eavesdown.”

“Had a bit o' trouble in Eavesdown afore we left.”

“That involvin my niece savin ye' first mate?”

“It is. You ever heard of a fella named Badger?”

“Eard' o' him? I'm shamed to admit we's related. Jin tzahng mei yong-duh, git. Soon as sell his own Ma iffin there was a profit in it.”

“Hope you ain't close relatives,” Mal said, an edge in his voice.

“Third cousins... twice removed. I'm guessin you be lookin to remove 'im from the 'Verse?”

“Somethin along those lines. Set five men after Zoë in an ambush. She got three of em'. Maxine got the last two.”

Shamus smiled, “That's me niece.”

“Since that was happenin, Badger's been after us. Sent some right nasty folk after us on Salisbury. That's why we're here and not Eavesdown. Badger's got eyes out fer Serenity.”

“Aye, good idea you settin down in this part o' Persephone then.”

“Why Lord Harrow sent us this way.”

“Right good bloke fer' a rich man.”

“That he is.”

“All right we set the boat down here for a few days? Need to suss out exactly what we're gonna do about your errant cousin,” Mal asked.

“No problem at all. Don't see much traffic this way. Plenty o' room.”

Mal smiled, “Much obliged, Shamus.”

“Ye' welcome, Malcolm. I got things to be doin today. Why don't ye' fine crew join me at the pub later. Maxine knows where.”

Mal stuck out his hand, “We'll be there.”


After unloading the cargo, Rudy, Shamus' foreman handed Zoë a bag of platinum for the second half of the transport fee from Lord Harrow.

“Payday, huh?” Maxine said as she moved up next to Zoë.

“Yep. Need to get this to Mal so he can divvy up the cuts.” Zoë suddenly yawned.

“After you get that to the Captain, you better go take a nap.”

Zoë smiled, “I'll be fine.”

“You'll be asleep tonight instead of doin wicked things with me... nap.”

Zoë's eyebrow went up, “You givin me orders, girl?”

Maxine smirked, “Call it a... strong suggestion.”

Zoë was about to protest when Mal and Shamus came down the stairs.

“Got the money, Zoë?”

“Right here, Sir,” Zoë replied, handing over the rather heavy bag.

“Good. Why don't you go catch a nap. You had the late shift last night and Shamus here has invited us out tonight.”

“Very good, Sir,” Zoë replied, trying to ignore the smirk on Maxine's face.

Zoë did her best to not stomp up the stairs. Mal noticed the change, “You do something to piss her off, Max?”

“Not me, Captain. I suggested she might want to take a nap since she was up all night and then you ordered her...”

Shamus tried to cover a snicker, “That's why she don't work for me. Too much sass.”

“I've been finding that out,” Mal grumbled. The twinkle in his eyes showed that he didn't mean it.

Shamus grinned, “Mind if I steal m' niece here fer a minute?”

“Take her as long as you need. Just make sure she's back in time to cook,” Mal replied before starting back up the stairs.

As soon as the Captain had gone out of earshot, Shamus turned to his niece, “Cook huh?”

“It's a job.”

“I thought ye' were tryin ta find work as a gunhand? Not that I don't mind ye' doin somethin a might less dangerous.”

“I mostly cook,” Maxine replied, “And the Captain said he'd use me as an extra gun when necessary.”

“That's not so bad then,” Shamus considered. Then he grinned, “Ye' and the first mate, aye?”

“Feeling our way, Uncle.”

Shamus looked shocked, “Ye' mean you are tryin fer' a real relationship, girl? Ye' usually bed em' and run.”

“Zoë's not like that. She's special. And she's still getting over the death of her husband some...”

“Husband? Maxie girl, what are ye doin messin with a straight woman?”

“Zoë's not so straight, Uncle. She's been with women folk before. Just not since the war. Lost her girl then. Met her husband here when he was the pilot. He got killed a year and a half back.”

“Playin with fire, girl.”

“Keeps me warm,” Maxine replied.

Shamus sighed, “Speakin o' pilots. That slip o' a girl looks a might young to be drivin a big boat like this...”

“River's twenty. Just turned the other day. She's been flyin this ship since Zoë's husband died. She's a genius. I seen her work out a course in her head faster than the nav computer.”

“Well, that is somethin.”

“Captain tell you about Salisbury?”

“A little. Said ole' cousin Badger set some men after ye' girl over Eavesdown and then some nasty folk on Salisbury.”

“Worse than that. River's a core girl. Alliance tricked her folks into sending her to some special school. Turns out, weren't no school. They cut on the poor thing. Did all kinds of nasty to her. Took a couple o' years but her brother... Simon by the way, broke her out. Feds tagged em' as fugies for a while. Fed's canceled the warrants a while ago but the hundan's that did the nasty to River still want her back. The two that came after her on Salisbury wanted to bring her back to that horror.”

Shamus Kinsella had done more than his share of bad things over the years. But willingly hurt a woman, let alone a teen aged girl was beyond vile.

“And Badger, told those hundan's where she'd be?”

“What we're figurin, Uncle.”

I gotta get back, but ye' tell yer' Captain. He needs any and I mean any help, tell 'im Shamus Kinsella will be by 'is side.”

Maxine smiled, “Thank you Uncle Shamus.”


Mal had closed up the ship so everyone could take a nap. The biggest problem with space travel was the lag. Ships time was about eleven hours ahead of Putnamville.

By everyone snoozing for a few hours, it would let the crew catch up with the local time in just a day or so.

Maxine had crashed in her own bunk, not wanting to disturb Zoë. After a couple hours she got up and headed for the galley. She was about to start dinner when the Captain walked in, his hair mussed and yawning.

“Don't worry on dinner tonight Max,” Mal said as he headed for the coffee pot, “We had a pretty good payday. Reckon I can take the lot o' you out this once.”

“Xie-xie, Captain,” Maxine replied. “I was wondering, how much can I have to restock the larder?”

“I can swing about five hundred.”

Maxine smiled, “Terrific. I know a local butcher. I think I can score us a whole side of beef all cut up for about ninety five. Maybe a pig for about forty. Load the cryo unit right up.”

“You're gonna make us fat, girl,” Mal chuckled.

“Actually, a more balanced diet will be healthier than the processed protein we have been eating,” Simon stated as he entered the galley.

“Get us stocked up as you see fit, Max,” Mal said after considering Simon's words.

“I'll take care of it, Captain. I'll lay in plenty of canned goods too. The fresh won't last long.”

“Don't get too much right off. Can stock up before we leave.”

“Speaking of that. When are we leaving, Captain?” Simon asked as he poured a cup of coffee for himself.

“Half a week at least. Need to figure out how to get to Eavesdown without being seen by Badger so we can do some recon.”

Maxine took a seat across from the two men, “Uncle Shamus will help.”

“In what way?” Mal asked.

“I told him a little about what the Alliance did to River.”

Simon stiffened and Mal's eyes hardened. Maxine held up her hand.

“No details. Just that the hundan's that set on us at Salisbury wanted River back to experiment on her again. Nothing riles my uncle more than a damsel in distress.”

Mal snorted, “I'm likin your uncle more and more, Maxine.”

Simon looked relived, “I think I am too.”


With the knowledge that Mal was taking them out to dinner, the crew decided to dress up a bit. Maxine dressed in a dark brown, full skirt that hung to mid calf. A green sleeveless shirt and her leather jacket. She slipped her Callahan pistol into a shoulder holster.

On entering the bay, Inara was wearing her most understated companion dress and looked nearly mouth watering.

Kaylee bounded down the stairs in black jeans, an orange tank top and a multicolored jacket.

Mal wore his usual pants and shirt combo but had substituted a short jacket for his usual browncoat. Simon wore charcoal slacks and a white shirt. Jayne stomped down the stairs in clean cargo pants and a decent button front shirt. A stetson styled hat on his head.

Last to appear were River and Zoë. The former in a short black skirt, matching knee high boots, a short jacket and t-shirt. Jayne leered at River as she came down the stairs.

When Maxine saw Zoë she nearly did a double take. Zoë was wearing tight black pants, an even tighter sleeveless black, low cut top and a long tan and orange trimmed vest.

“You're drooling,” Kaylee giggled next to the cook.

Zoë grinned when she saw the look on Maxine's face. She walked over and looked her in the eye, “You like?”

Maxine just nodded and Kaylee snickered, “Got the hook set, Zoë. Better reel 'er on in.”

Max snorted in amusement and shot the mechanic a disparaging eye. Then she gave Zoë a quick kiss, “You look spectacular.”

“Ain't so bad yourself,” Zoë replied.

“If we're all done admirin each other's duds, can we be going now?” Mal asked.

Inara smacked him on the arm then headed down the ramp. Mal was forced to hurry to catch up.

Jayne offered his arm to River, beating Simon to the punch as the doctor did the same for Kaylee.

Maxine looked at Zoë and she looked back. The two women broke out in giggles and Maxine just held out her hand. With a nervous smile, Zoë took Max's offered hand and stepped out in to the darkening Persephone evening. Behind them Serenity's ramp slowly closed.

Hand in hand and ignoring the looks from passerby's, Maxine and Zoë followed their crew mates down the street.




Wednesday, May 6, 2009 3:55 PM


I just love Max. She is soooo cool. I loved the ending here with Max and Zoe having a moment and the crew being okay with that...though, I think I heard Jayne saying something about being in his bunk. :)


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