New Blood - Chapter 17
Monday, June 15, 2009

The crew explain what the Academy is really about to Kaylee's cousin and River has a plan


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 -

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.

A/N: Sorry about the delay. The real world reared it's head this week.


New Blood


Chapter Sixteen


“Momma! Couple o' hovers are pullin up out front!” Jessie called as she glanced out through the front window curtains.

“Hovers you say?” Callie Clark said as she stood next to her blonde haired fourteen year old daughter, “Oh! It's Uncle Thomas. Wonder who he's got with him?”

Stepping out the door onto the small cottage's porch, mother and daughter nearly squealed in joy when they spotted Kaylee climb out of her father's hover.

“Kaylee!” Callie cried as she ran down the stone path leading to the curb.

Kaylee was nearly tackled by her cousin. Jessie, a few steps behind her mother, joined the hug.

“My god, Jessie!” Kaylee exclaimed, “Yer' turnin inta' quite the beautiful young lady.”

The teenager just blushed.

“Who's all the folks ya got here?” Callie asked.

“Oh!” Kaylee squeaked, “This here is most o' the crew o' Serenity.”

The crew had gathered behind Kaylee and Thomas. Mal and Kaylee's father shared a knowing look.

“Well come on in the house,” Callie said, “Jess and I just had supper but I reckon we can scare up some kinda refreshments.”

“Don't need to do that, Callie. Momma just fed the lot of us. Don't need anything” Kaylee advised.

“Well I got a jug o' iced tea in the cooler that says different,” Callie replied as she motioned the group to follow her inside.

Off to one side, Jessie cocked her head sideways. She sometimes got the feeling that she could tell what people were thinking. It was silly though. However the dark haired girl that only looked a few years older than herself cocked her head slightly as well and smiled.

Settled inside the small house, Kaylee commenced with the introductions. Callie had smiled when Kaylee had introduced her beau. A real core trained doctor. And his little sister seemed to be paying a considerable amount of attention to Jessie. Maybe it was because they were not all that far apart in age.

“So what occasions the visit?” Callie asked.

Tom replied, “I mentioned that Jessie there was going to be goin to the fancy school on Osiris. Seems Simon's sister River went to the same place,” Tom paused for a moment, “Well... reckon I better let the boy fill in the details.”

Simon nodded and looked at Kaylee's cousin. He could see the slight family resemblance. He cleared his throat and began, “Do you have any information the Academy may have given you about them?”

Callie nodded and reached into a drawer in the stand next to her chair and removed a large folder. Simon's eyes hardened as he glanced at the words within. The material was identical to what he had seen when his parents had sent River to the Academy.

“Have you... spoken with anyone in person?” Simon asked after a moment.

“Is there something wrong?” Callie asked, “The recruiter seemed really nice. All polite and all.”

“He was hiding something,” Jessie nearly whispered.


“Can't put my finger on it, Momma. Just something seemed... off.”

“Need to pardon her,” Callie smiled, “Jess gets these ideas in her head... Well. This is the only way we could afford to send her off world for any kind o' schoolin. She's too smart to hang around here. Too much like you, Kaylee.”

“Jessie is right in her suspicion,” Simon said after a moment, “The Academy is not what they claim it is.”

“Care to explain that?” Callie asked.

“Better tell her, Doc,” Mal urged.

Simon nodded then turned to his sister, “River... why don't you have Jessie show you her room. You can explain about the school while I explain things to her mother.

River nodded once and smiled at the younger girl who led River up the stairs.

“So... what's all fired up upsettin about this school. Seems like a gift from on high,” Callie said.

“More like the other direction,” Jayne grumbled.


Maxine and Zoë sat side by side on the love seat in the Frye's parlor. Beth had taken a seat in a chair while Bester and Kaylee's sister, Jenny sat holding hands on the sofa.

“Real sorry to hear about Wash, Zoë,” Serenity's former mechanic said.

Zoë smiled slightly, “Thanks, Bester.”

“Seems like I done missed out on a bunch o' adventures the last few years,” The young man commented.

“A few,” Zoë replied. She had never really liked Bester but even now she could see the changes in him.

“Bester ain't the man who wandered into Daddy's shop after Cap'n Reynolds hied Kaylee,” Jenny said smiling.

“Can say that again,” Beth chuckled softly, “Tom nearly hung Bester from the rafters when he found out exactly how Bester got fired and Kaywinit got hired on.”

“I weren't real happy with him myself,” Jenny Smiled at her Fiancé.

“I seem to be missing something here,” Maxine commented.

Zoë chuckled, “That, Ai-ren is a story in of itself...”


“What is the campus like?” Jessie said with the enthusiasm only a fourteen year old could muster.

River gazed at the younger girl and paused. Remembering how she had been the same, anticipating going to her new school.

“Nothing like the brochure,” River said sadly after a moment.

“What do you mean?”

River motioned Jessie to sit on the bed. She joined her a moment later, “Imagine your worst nightmare... that is a good day.”


“The Academy is a front for a laboratory. One that experiments on people like us.”

The girls eyes went wide, “Experiments? And what do you mean... like us?”

“Do you ever get the feeling that you seem to know what people are thinking?”

The shocked look on the girls face told the whole story. River gave a sad smile and continued, “I did when I was your age. You are a natural reader. Like me... a telepath.”

“Thats... that's impossible.”

“No it's not,” said River's voice. Jessie gasped. She had 'heard' River's statement, clear as day but the young woman's lips hadn't moved.


“I was like you. Occasionally picking up the odd stray thought. Able to tell when someone was hiding something. The doctors at the Academy made that stronger. More focused but at the expense of my... sanity.”


“Torture, surgery, cut into my brain over and over again. No painkillers. Cut away pieces and parts. Made me broken.”

Jessie was shaking. She heard Rivers words and knew that it was true. “My god...”

River laid a reassuring hand on Jessie's shoulder, “Won't happen to you. I promise.”

“But... they are coming for me tomorrow afternoon...”

“They may come but they will never have you.”


Callie was sobbing on Kaylee's shoulder. The news of what the Academy really was had shaken her to the core.

“What can we do?” Callie sniffled after a moment.

“We sure ain't lettin em' take your girl,” Mal replied, “We need a plan.”

“Already formulated, Captain,” River stated as she descended the stairs, arm around an upset Jessie.

“Best you fill the rest of us in, Albatross.”

“To make this work... Jessie will need to die.”


Jessie smiled slightly and River chuckled at the reactions around the room.

“Uh... Mei-mei?” Simon stammered.

“Not for real, silly,” River replied.

“What are you talking about?” Callie demanded.

River settled herself into Jayne's lap and calmly began to explain, “When the Academy agent's arrive tomorrow, they will leave with Jessie. If she wants to go or not. By force if necessary. If we, meaning the crew were to ambush them, they will keep coming until they get what they want. This must be prevented. Also Callie, you would be in danger if we did this.”

“I can see that part,” Mal commented.

River nodded and continued, “My plan is twofold. First we must wreck a hover somewhere in a way that would be obviously fatal. Then, when the Academy agent's arrive, they will find a grieving family instead of a new student.”

“And the second part?” Callie asked.

“Jessie will have to leave Meadow for the time being.”


“Momma...” Jessie began, “I was supposed to leave tomorrow anyway. This way, you know I'll be coming back. I go with those... hundan's. I won't never come back.”

“Where will you go?”

“With us for the moment,” River replied. Mal shot her a stern look. River returned the glare until Inara spoke up for the first time.

“We have the room.”

Mal switched his glare at her for a moment. His expression softened when he saw the eyes he was getting from the women of his crew, “Fine.”

“What about paperwork, documenting the death?” Simon asked, “The Academy will want to see it. Also, won't they be suspicious that a fourteen year old was out driving a hover?”

“Not round here,” Kaylee replied, “I was drivin at Jessie's age. Pretty common. Paper work is easy cause the local sheriff is kin.”

“Kin?” Simon asked.

“My Brother,” Callie replied. Once we tell Robert what's up, he'll do it.

“I got an old wreck we can use down at my shop. Same model as Callie's. We'll say I gave it to her to use when Jessie's home on school break.”

“Sounds workable,” Jayne piped up, “Need some DNA or the like to put in the wreck, prove she was in there. Some blood would work.”

“What about a body?” Tom asked.

“Burned beyond recognition. Confirmed identity by DNA traces. Cremated due to the damage to the corpse,” River stated.

Mal came to a decision, “Okay. Got a lot of stuff to do and little time. Tom, you, Kaylee and Jayne get to workin on faking the wreck. Doc, take a blood sample from Jessie here.”

“A couple of syringes should suffice,” Simon replied.

Mal nodded, “Jessie, get together a few things. Just a few changes of clothes. Be suspicious if all your stuff up an disappeared. We'll move you to Serenity tonight. Callie... I need you to take River with you to see your brother. Inara will see to Jessie.”

It was almost too much to take in. Callie had been prepared to see her daughter off to a fancy core world school. Now she was placing the well being of her only child in the hands of near strangers. After a moment, she nodded, “Whatever you think best.”

Kaylee hugged her cousin, “Don't you fret. We'll take care o' things.”

“Looks like we'll have to put that maintenance off a might, Kaylee,” Mal said.

“Serenity will understand, Cap'n. Nothin that needs doin right off,” Kaylee replied.

Mal nodded, “Let's get to work.”


The crew worked long into the night. Bester lent a hand in getting the old hover working. They got it to hover but it wouldn't move under it's own power. The solution was to tow it behind Serenity's mule at high speed and run it into an outcropping of rock along the road leading to one of Jessie's friends houses. Before crashing the old hover, Simon had spread the blood sample across the front seat of the vehicle.

With full fuel tanks, the hover ignited shortly after impact with the rocks. Step one was completed.

Robert, Callie's brother had listened to the academy story and readily agreed to assist. With River's help, he forged the appropriate death certificates and coroners reports. The local undertaker was a family friend and had provided an urn filled with a few ashes on top and the rest, sand. He also indicated in his own paperwork that he had cremated the mortal remains of one Jessie Alison Clark.

By dawn, everyone was tired, cranky and in need of some food. River and Simon stayed on Serenity with Jessie to avoid any contact with the Academy representatives.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew joined the sudden well wishers that had arrived at the home late morning. The rumor that Jessie had been killed in a hover crash the night before had spread like wildfire through town. The presence of the undertaker, the Sheriff, a Shepherd and a crying Callie and Beth Frye completed the picture.

A little after noon, local. A sleek black ship landed at the town's port.


A rented ground car approached the Clark homestead. The driver had difficulty finding a place to park due to the number of ground and hover cars parked on the street. After parking several hundred meters away, two men in dark blue suits emerged. They wore blue gloves and matching blank expressions.

Striding down the sidewalk. The pair were unaware that two rifle barrels followed their every move.

One rifle belonged to Jayne Cobb. The other to Maxine Sharpe.

“Blue hands, fifty meters and closing,” Max's voice whispered across Mal's earwig. The Captain was stationed upstairs in Callie's house. Zoë was in the kitchen with Inara and Kaylee. It was possible that the Blue hands knew the crew of Serenity on sight. In that case, by staying hid, they might be able to pull a fast one on the Academy agents.

Walking up the polished stone pathway, the two agents were surprised at the number of people in the household.

“Can I help you two, gents?” Robert Frye asked.

The taller of the pair answered, “Is this the Clark household?”

“It is,” Robert replied tersely.

“I'm Mr. Black. We are here to transport Jessie Clark to her new school, on Osiris.”

Robert's face fell, “Fraid you fellas came all this way for nothing. Jessie... well. She was killed last night.”

“Killed?” the shorter of the pair asked with some surprise.

Robert nodded, “Took the hover my Uncle gave her to visit friends afore she left for the core. Best we can figure, she fell asleep on the drive home. Hit a rock outcropping over on Perkins road. She... she...” Robert began to break down.

The two agents shared a look. Robert collected his wits, “Hover burned. From the shape she was in.... well, I doubt she felt anything...”

“I am so terribly sorry,” Mr. Black said quickly, “Do you know who the senior law enforcement authority is in the area? I'm afraid there is a great deal of paperwork we must do in regards to reissuing Jessie's scholarship.”

Robert pulled back his jacket to reveal his badge, “I'm the sheriff and Jessie's Uncle. Can this all wait a bit? Or maybe I can wave you the information. Got a lot of friends and family here... you understand...”

“Of course, Sheriff. I would not presume to pull you away from family at a time like this. You can contact us at the cortex address on this card,” Mr. Black said as he handed a small card to the lawman.

“I'll do that. Might be tomorrow before I get it all collected.”

“Certainly. We are sorry for your loss. May we see Mrs. Clark? We would like to give her our condolences.”

“Might not be the best time,” Robert replied, “Callie's done lost her husband and now her little girl in a little more than a year. She's takin it a might hard.”

“I understand. Please tell her she is in our thoughts. We will return to Osiris.”

“You fellas have a safe trip,” Robert called out as the two men turned and walked away, heads bent in conversation, “Hundan's” Robert said under his breath as the agent's walked out of sight.

A moment later, Mal walked up next to the Sheriff, “Well done...”

“I didn't win a scholarship to the Ariel Drama Institute on my looks alone. Not that I went, mind you,” Robert smiled.

Callie walked over to the two men, “My brother can read the directions to assemble store bought furniture and bring folks to tears,” she said with a grin.

“What are you gonna tell these folks?” Mal asked, indicating the friends who had stopped by to give their condolences.

“I figure we'll wait a month or two and then say it was a screw up. Some small woman, probably off a ship in the port stole Jessie's hover and wrecked. Then we'll find out she ran off with her cousin Kaylee to see the 'verse a bit. She is a teenager and prone to bouts of poor judgment.”

“Probably work for the short term,” Mal replied. At least it will give us breathing room until we figure out something better.

“Day at a time,” Robert replied. He then gave Mal a piercing glare, “You best keep my niece and my cousin outta trouble now. Might get a bit peeved if something should befall them.”

“Do my best.”


The two Academy agents examined the charred and twisted wreckage that had been a hover.

“High speed impact. The fuel cells ruptured in the crash,” Mr. Black said to his companion.

The shorter agent got to his feet from where he had been examining the remains, “There are traces of blood remaining. It is a DNA match with the girl.”

“Pity. This one had the most potential since the Tam subject.”

“We will find new subjects.”

“Most certainly. In the meantime we must inform our superiors about this situation.”

“I agree. Let us return to our vessel and depart. There is still one other subject we need to retrieve on Boros.”



“I'll be fine Momma,” Jessie said as she hugged her mother.

“We'll take care of her, Callie. Nothin to fret on,” Kaylee assured her cousin.

“I know, Kaylee,” Callie replied, “But she's all I got left o' Rick.”

Kaylee hugged her older cousin, “I know. She'll be fine... really.”

“I worry about her schoolin...”

“Don't worry, Callie,” Simon interjected, “Between Inara, River and myself, we can make sure Jessie's educational needs are met.”

Callie sniffled and nodded. Taking a step back to make room for Tom and Beth Frye.

“You take care o' yourself Kaywinit. And don't let that young man o' yours go too long afore asking the question,” Tom said with a smile.

“Don't worry Daddy. Took me a long time to snag him. Ain't lettin him get away now.”

“That's my girl,” Beth replied.

Tom shook Simon's hand and then Mal's.

Bester and Jenny said their goodbyes and escorted Callie down the ramp. With one last smile and wave, Kaylee closed the ramp.

“We're good to go as soon's I get in the engine room, River,” Kaylee called into the intercom.

Simon followed Kaylee up the stairs as they felt Serenity's engines come to life.




Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:48 AM


Great idea to get Jessie out from under the Blue Hands. Is River going to help her with her gifts?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 1:26 PM


What can I say Brian?? Superb story telling.. Anther pickup on Boros, Huh?? Anyone we know?? Another tangent?? Selfishly I hope so, cuz I love those thorns...

Second time through the fic... good to the last dot dot dot, period

Thursday, December 10, 2009 3:21 PM


river's got a student to tech


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