New Blood - Chapter 18
Thursday, June 25, 2009

While on a pit stop at the Skyplex, the crew encounters the Blue Hands again.


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Maxine and the rest of my OC's. they're 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.



New Blood


Chapter Eighteen


For Jessie, the first three days after leaving Meadow had seemed like an adventure. She was traveling in space for the first time and spending time with her second cousin, Kaylee.

The fourth night, the realization of what had nearly happened to her had finally hit home.

River sensed the teenagers distress and quickly made her way down to the passenger dorms where Jessie was staying on board.

River held her as Jessie cried. Soothing the girl both with words and thoughts. Since Jessie was a natural reader, River could push her own thoughts to the girl much easier than she could with someone who was not.

After about an hour, Jessie had finally drifted off to sleep. In Jessie's mind, River had seen some of her insecurities. The fear of not being able to protect herself was one of the largest. It was however one of the easiest to rectify.

Between River, Zoë, Maxine, Inara and Jayne, Jessie had some of the best instructors in fighting available.

The next morning at breakfast, River mentioned some of her ideas.

“Jessie needs to learn how to protect herself,” River stated.

Kaylee nodded, “Reckon you're right, River. Someone ever finds out what Jess can do, might get rough.”

“I want to be strong,” the teenager said, pushing her blonde hair out of her eyes.

“I was thinkin along the same lines,” Mal replied.

“I would be willing to instruct her in several of the more formal martial arts taught to Companions,” Inara added.

“Girl can use my weights. She's a bit scrawny anyway,” Jayne rumbled.

“Jayne!” Kaylee exclaimed.

“You ever shoot a gun, Jess?” Maxine asked.

“Uncle Robbie showed me some,” Jessie replied.

“How long till the Skyplex?” Mal asked.

“Twenty eight hours, ten minutes,” River replied automatically.

“Good,” Mal replied, “Got a few things to do once we arrive. Now since Jessie is officially listed as deceased, we need to get her some new ID. Since Max there has the only ID not tied directly to Serenity, maybehaps, we can come up with a decent cover usin our cook.”

Max mused on that for a moment, “We can say Jess is my niece. Parents were killed or some such.”

“A little hair color will make that more believable,” Inara commented, “I'm thinking strawberry blonde...”

“I reckon we'll leave the details to you ladies,” Mal replied.

“Full makeover,” Maxine mused, “Cut her hair a bit, color, new wardrobe...”

Mal rolled his eyes while Simon and Jayne smirked.

“Whatever,” Mal said, interrupting the women's planning, “Also got to see to Jessie's schoolin. Doc, can you work on something along those lines?”

“Certainly, Captain.”

At the mention of school, Jessie's excited smile turned to a frown.

Simon chuckled, “Not to worry, Jessie. I'm only considering a few hours a day.”

“I'll leave the plannin to those best suited to it,” Mal said. “The rest o' you, get on with whatever needs doin.”


Jessie had taken to exploring every nook and cranny of her new home. She had spent hours with Kaylee in the engine room. The mechanic was disappointed that Jess didn't seem to have the Frye Clan's penchant for things mechanical. A few hours later, Jess made her way to the infirmary and began speaking with Simon.

The young doctor was pleased to learn that Jessie had a love of biology. The teen was clearly, highly intelligent. On a core world, Jessie would be already taking college level courses. Simon had a few biology texts that he loaned her until he could come up with a curriculum.

After lunch, Zoë and Maxine took Jess aside and began teaching her the basics of self defense. How to break holds and throw a decent punch.

As they paused to take a break, Jessie's curiosity took over.

“Kaylee says you two are together...”

Maxine took a long swig from her water bottle. And Zoë smiled, “We are.”

“How does that work, exactly?” the teen asked.

Maxine nearly choked on her water. Coughing, she regained her breath, “Well...”

“Most folks are attracted to the opposite sex,” Zoë began, “And some the same sex. Like Maxine here.”

“What about you, Zoë?” Jess asked.


Maxine jumped in to save her Ai-ren, “Zoë and I are in love. She used to be married to Serenity's first pilot. A man named Wash. He died a while back...”

“And when Max and I met, I tried to deny my attraction... didn't help,” Zoë smiled.

Jess nodded in understanding, “I like boys... but... there was a girl that I really liked.”

Maxine smiled, “No shame in feeling that way. When you know, you'll know. In the meantime, enjoy being a teenager.”

“Thanks,” Jessie replied.


With Jessie watching over her shoulder, River carefully docked Serenity with the Skyplex. As soon as the airlock sealed, the pair headed for the cargo bay.

The full crew had gathered and Mal was giving out the job assignments.

“Doc, you and Kaylee get whatever parts we're needin. Then make sure we're all set in the Infirmary. Jayne, ammo and the like. Zoë, Maxine, see to the provisionin. Since we're flush for once, try to get some decent food. 'Nara, I assume you and Albatross are takin Jessie shoppin?”

“We are,” Inara replied.

“Good then. I'll see Amnon for the post and see if I can round up some ID for the ni-zi. I want everyone back in four hours. No dallying. Dong-ma?”

With acknowledgments and nods, the crew set off on their missions.

Inara led Jessie into the small but well appointed beauty shop located on the second level in the Skyplex's more upscale shopping areas. Vigilant as always, River stood a few steps behind, looking like the bodyguard she was acting as today. Her black pants, shirt and dual gleaming pistols told the less than reputable to steer well clear.

“May I help you?” asked the woman behind the desk in the shop.

“Yes,” Inara smiled, “My niece feels she is in need of a makeover.”

The woman smiled, giving Jessie an appreciative once over, “I think we can help with that.”

Two decks away, Max and Zoë walked hand in hand down the corridor connecting the food sellers with the docking section of the Skyplex. A few gave them scathing glances and a few few wistful smiles. They didn't care what other people thought.

Maxine had always been confident in her choice and Zoë was becoming more comfortable with it every day.

Turning a corner, the couple nearly collided with two men dressed in matching dark suits and wearing blue gloves.

“Pardon us,” The taller of the two said.

“My fault,” Zoë said quickly, trying to hide her surprise.

Maxine looked between the men. The shorter of the pair held a dark haired, Asian featured girl firmly by the arm. She clearly looked like she wanted to run. Maxine smiled, “Your daughter?” Max asked.

“Niece,” The man replied. “She has a penchant for running off.”

Unnoticed by the two blue hands, the girl mouthed the words, “Help me.”

“Teenagers will do that,” Maxine replied.

“Come on, Ai-ren. We'll be late,” Zoë urged.

Maxine rolled her eyes at Zoë, hoping that she had a plan. Her every instinct wanted to rip both of the monsters heads off. They were the same two blue hands that had been on Meadow and tasked with retrieving Jessie.

“Well, good day,” Max smiled as Zoë pulled her hand toward one of the vendor's stalls.

Continuing on their way, the blue hands moved down the corridor with their prize. As soon as they were out of sight, Zoë keyed her com, “Captain... We have a situation.”


With some effort, the two Blue Sun agents managed to drag the girl back to the docking bay where their small ship was parked. They had had to make an unscheduled stop due to a maintenance issue and they wanted to be underway as soon as possible.

Uncharacteristically, they had underestimated their charge who had spoofed the security system in her cell and had temporarily escaped. Once out of sight of prying eyes, they had stunned the girl.

The taller of the pair carried her into the ship and not only locked her in the small cell on the ship but also shackled the teenager to the small bunk within.

Moments later, he joined his compatriot back in the hangar bay, “How long until repairs are made?”

“The maintenance crew chief reported that it will be at least another four hours.”

“Disappointing, but not insurmountable.”

“The subject is contained?”

“Yes. The sedative should keep her under for at least six hours.”

“Very good. In the meantime, I wish to locate the dark skinned woman we encountered.”


“Despite the shorter hair and being with another woman in an obvious relationship, I would nearly swear that she was Zoë Washburn.”

“Interesting,” the taller blue hand replied.


When Mal found out that there were two blue hands on the station, he wanted to get gone as soon as everyone was aboard. He was told in no uncertain terms that Serenity would undock over River's dead body.

Mal conceded the point. He sure didn't want to leave another girl in the hands of the Academy.

After a short search, the two blue hands returned to their ship. Noting that several techs were working on the engines as requested.

The shorter agent approached a tall woman who was wiping dirt off her hands with a rag, “It is repaired?”

“Almost,” the cheery woman replied. She wore a greasy coverall and had a blue bandanna over her hair, “Just a couple of little details to finish up.”

“And those are?”

“Your death,” said a voice behind them.

Two soft pops were heard as River's silenced pistol ended the life of the taller agent. A massive blow to the back of his head by Jayne rendered the second unconscious.

Maxine pulled her red hair loose from the bandanna, “Nice one Jayne. Sneakin up on him like that.”

The mercenary looked at his sock clad feet, “I can be sneaky when the need hits.”

“Looks like it hit him pretty good,” Max smirked.

River walked up and looked at the knocked out agent, “Waste of air.”

“True enough,” Maxine replied.

Mal walked up, “We got work to do.”


Over the next few hours, the crew set to work. Kaylee repaired what was wrong with the Blue Sun agent's ship. As she closed up the access panels, she left behind a present. Something slightly explosive right next to the fusion initiator.

As soon as the ship went to full power, the initiator would blow and the only thing left of the ship would be sub-atomic particles.

While Kaylee worked her magic, Maxine and Zoë had broken into the cell on the ship and moved the comatose girl to Serenity. Inara and Jessie stood watch over her while Simon went to work on the surviving blue hand.

First, Simon located the poison capsule in the agent's tooth. There would not be a repeat of what happened on Salisbury.

While they waited for the agent to awaken, River set to work on the ship's computers. Recovering a treasure trove of information. Everything from lists of Academy graduates and their safe words to lists of potential test subjects. The ship had a dedicated high speed secure cortex link that led to not only the Academy but Blue Sun as well.

Lists of Members of Parliament who were on the Blue Sun payroll, high placed military officers. Everything. Data began to download into a large pile of data sticks.

It was all encrypted but it was child's play for River to hack the Blue Sun system with the dedicated back door the agent's ship provided.

River ran amok in their supposedly safe computer systems. First to be deleted was any reference to herself, Simon and the crew of Serenity.

Then, she used a back door to the Interpol computer system, unfreezing her brothers accounts. With a grin, River moved the funds into a phantom account that only she could access.

That done, River wrote a rather malicious virus program that when triggered would wipe out seemingly random records in the Academy's computers.

“How we doin, Albatross?” Mal asked as he stepped onto the small vessels bridge.

With a flourish, River hit a few last keys. She smiled and turned in the seat, “In three hours, every file regarding the Academy program will arrive on the Editor-in-Chief's desk of every news media outlet in the 'Verse,” River said proudly.

Mal couldn't help but grin. It wasn't quite as 'Verse shaking as Miranda but it sure would rattle the bushes some.

“That's some good work there, River.”

The young woman took a mock bow, “I made copies for my later study as well.”

“That's good.”

“And Ge-ge is rich again.”


“I unfroze Simon's accounts and moved them to a phantom account only I can access... should I give him an allowance?”

The bratty expression on River's face made the Captain start to laugh.


The Blue hand awoke with a screaming headache. As he regained his senses, he realized that he was tied to the pilots seat of his own ship. He bit down on a rear tooth hard.

“Ain't there,” Mal said quietly.

A sudden rush of panic flooded the man's body. His tongue probed the space where the suicide capsule had been implanted.

“What do you want?” the man growled. As he blinked to clear his vision, the agent realized that the man asking the questions was Malcolm Reynolds.

Mal smirked at the man, “Oh... just some information.”

“I won't talk.”

“Ain't gotta.”

River stepped into the man's field of vision, “I remember you,” she hissed.

“Eta kor...”

Mal's punch loosened some teeth.

“Them ain't nice words. Say em' again and I'll let River work on you. And I know you know what she can do.”

The man visibly paled but repeated his statement, “I won't talk.”

“I want the access codes you use when you can't use the terminal on your ship,” Mal asked.

“He's blocking me.”

Mal slapped the agent across the face. River smiled.

“Seven, three, nine, echo, alpha, zulu, two, eight.” River said out loud as she wrote them down.

“Won't work,” the agent whispered.

“Already has. River's already hacked the system usin your terminal. Just needed the code to check on the progress o' things after we dispose o' you.”

The agent's eyes widened in fear, “What... what are you going to do?”

“Gonna turn you loose. Well not the whole way. You're gonna stay tied to the chair a spell. Just till your ship's autopilot has flown you outta the bay here and then starts you on your way to Osiris,” Mal said with an evil smile.

River headed for the exit followed by her Captain. Mal paused a moment, “There's hitch though,” He called over his shoulder, “Soon as your ship goes to full burn... well the explosives wired to the engine will kinda go bang. Been not nice knowin ya,” Mal smirked before closing the hatch.

He could hear the blue hand cursing at the top of his lungs through the closed door.


Twenty minutes later, the blue hand's ship departed the Skyplex and began to slowly accelerate towards Osiris. Serenity followed about fifteen miles behind.

Two hundred miles from the Skyplex, the small vessel tried to go to full burn.

“Kaylee does good work,” Mal commented as he blinked to clear the spots from his eyes. The fusion explosion had been quite bright.

“Told you not to look at it,” River chided her Captain from the pilots seat.

“That you did, Albatross,” Mal agreed.

“Where to next?” River asked.

Mal pondered a moment. Then something he had read as a boy popped into his brain, “Second star to the right and...”

“... Straight on till morning,” River finished for him.

“Bout covers it,” Mal chuckled.

“The second star to the right is Lux. Should I set course for Pelorum or Persephone?”

“Surprise me.”

“One surprise, coming up,” River giggled.

“You know... once the dust settles from all this. There's chance you and your brother can go about as normal folk again. Maybe even go home to Osiris,” Mal mused.

River looked at Mal, “Already home. So is Simon.”

“Glad to hear it,” Mal smiled.

“Although... bringing Jayne home to meet my parents might be amusing.”

Mal guffawed at that thought of Simon and River's folks reactions to his mercenary walking through the front door of the Tam estate with River on his arm.

“Reckon you're right there, lil' River.”

“Our guest is waking up,” River suddenly stated.

“Let's go meet her.”


With a scream, the girl awoke. The first thing she saw was what looked like a laboratory.

“Easy now,” Simon soothed, “Your safe.”

“Get away from me you Huh choo-shang tza-jiao duh tzang-huo!”

“Guess she told you there, Doc,” Zoë smiled as she entered the infirmary.

The girl had scrambled off the exam bed and was cowering in a corner. When she saw Zoë she relaxed slightly, “Who are you?”

Zoë knelt in front of the girl, “My name is Zoë, sweetie. What's yours?”

“Xue... Xue Li,” the girl squeaked.

“That's a beautiful name, Xue,” Zoë smiled.

“You rescued me?”

“Me and my friends,” Zoë replied.

The girl began to relax even more, “Thank you.”

Outside the door, Maxine just grinned. To bad Zoë and Wash had never had a child. Zoë would have been a great mother.

Quickly, Xue looked around the infirmary, “K-64-03... Firefly.”

Zoë and Simon shared a look, “Thats right,” Simon agreed.

“I like Fireflies.”

“So do we, little one. Can you sit up here on the chair so Simon can check you out? He's really a very nice doctor...”

“Okay,” Xue nodded as Zoë helped the girl to her feet. She hopped on the table. “How old are you, Xue?” Simon asked.

“Just turned fifteen.”

“Where are you from?”

“All over,” the girl replied, “I was living with my great aunt on Boros. .Momma died a few years ago. The men with the blue hands did something to Aunt Lisa... she was bleeding when they took me away.”

Zoë looked at Simon. Then back at the girl, “What about your father?”

“Momma didn't talk about him much. He was her boyfriend in high school. Then he went away to flight school and Momma never heard from him again.”

“Do you know his name?” Simon asked, “Maybe we can find him for you.”

“Momma said he had a funny name. Called him Hobie or Wash. Said his name was Hoban Washburn.”

Maxine barely succeeded in keeping Zoë from hitting the floor...




Friday, June 26, 2009 2:26 AM


HAve to say, had a very faint inkling that perhaps the girl would turn out to be related to Zoe when you had Maxine think about her partner being a good Mom. But this is going to be fun ...!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 3:41 PM


damn did not see that coming but great surprise Zoe is a mom


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