Rebirth - Chapter 6
Sunday, June 28, 2009

After the explanations, Gabriel and Reagan are allowed to remain on the ship. Simon has a talk with his father and Reagan learns more about Cameron.


Fan fiction. Done for fun, not profit.


The Plot Bunnies are beating on me again. After watching the final episode of Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, I had a weird idea for a Firefly/Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles crossover fic. No Rayne this time either. Set shortly after the BDM. Ignores the upcoming movie and travels in a wholly new direction with many continuity errors from the movies and TV Show. I am not as knowledgeable of the T:TSCC universe as I am with the Firefly/Serenity 'Verse. Please don't throw things.


AN: Some action is coming soon...




Chapter Six


“... Why does my daughter suddenly have an identical twin?”

It took River, Simon, Cameron and the Captain to explain the details. The Tams were still skeptical until Cameron suddenly grabbed Jayne's belt and lifted the mercenary over her head with one hand.

Jayne sputtered obscenities for several minutes after. He finally shut up when Kaylee called him a wuss.

“It's... hard to believe... even with the... demonstration,” Gabriel stammered.

“I was a history major in school,” Reagan breathed, “How could we have been so misled?”

“That's the Alliance for 'ya,” Mal replied, “Now that we got that part o' the question outta the way... how bout you folks explain why you're on my ship.”

Gabriel took a deep breath and then looked to his wife for support. She nodded slightly and the elder Tam let out the breath.

“It all started shortly after Simon kidnapped River from her school...”

“I didn't kidnap her and it wasn't a school!” Simon thundered.

Gabriel didn't flinch but Reagan did, “I know that now,” he said quietly.

“Moving along...” Mal urged.

“Yes... well. Nearly a year later, a man who identified himself as an Operative of Parliament approached us. It was very frightening. He threatened us with prison, physical harm and even death if he felt we had withheld any information about Simon and River's whereabouts. I denied any information since I did in fact know nothing. But I began making contingency plans.”

“After that encounter, We suddenly realized you were right, Simon,” Reagan said as tears ran down her face, “How could we have been so... blind...” Reagan began to cry openly.

River stepped forward and pulled her mother into an embrace, giving what comfort she could.

Simon's face lost a little of it's hostility but the anger was still simmering beneath the surface.

“I began moving money around,” Gabriel continued, “Selling off things from the house, much of my stock portfolio. I did it discreetly. Secretly set up accounts under false names and businesses. Over the months, we moved nearly half of the family fortune to other accounts.”

“And you got caught,” Zoë commented.

“In a manner of speaking. About three months after the Miranda wave was released. We thought it all a hoax at the time. The Operative approached me again. This time, clandestinely. He said that he had much to atone for. He warned us that a new Operative might be sent after my wife and I. He told me exactly what had been done to River... I... I...”

“You believed him rather than your own son,” Simon snarled.

Gabriel looked directly into his son's eyes, “I'm ashamed to say... yes, I did.”

“What... what happened next?” Kaylee said, trying to break the tension between the Tam men.

“I nearly had a breakdown,” Reagan said, “Our family physician suggested a long vacation. We agreed. First we traveled to Londinium. For a few weeks. Then Shinon...”

“Ah, yes. Luxury hotels and room service,” Simon snarled.

“Ge-ge!” River snapped

Gabriel resumed the story, “We picked up a tail. Everywhere we went, there seemed to be federal officers in higher than normal concentrations. I assumed that they thought we might be trying to find you. I'm ashamed to admit, we were simply running away.”

“One evening, we returned from dinner and found our suite ransacked. That night I decided enough was enough. We packed some clothes, left the hotel and booked passage to Persephone on the cheapest commercial passenger transport we could find. We've been here two months, living out of suitcases.”

“Why Persephone?” Inara asked.

“This was the last place the former Operative said he knew where River and Simon were. And that the ship you were on frequented Persephone.”

“So now, you have an Operative after you and you're on the run. Welcome to my life.” Simon said before stalking away towards the cargo bay.

“Simon...” Kaylee called as she followed him.

The Captain fumed. He could kick the Tams off the ship. Except that they would be picked up in a heartbeat. That would lead to Serenity. The couple knew too much and would spill the beans in a heartbeat.

He glared at Gabriel Tam, “Here's how I see it. I boot you off the ship. Feds will find you in a week tops. To be honest, I'm surprised you've made it this far without bein pinched. With you gone, River ain't any safer. Feds pinch you, they'll find out where she is and what ship. You folks know too much. Makes you a threat,” Mal finished as he glanced at Cameron. The cyborg's face was neutral.

“Are you throwing them to the wolves, Mal?” Inara asked.

“No... you want to go to Rubicon... fine. Fare went up. In the meantime, maybehaps your genius daughter can figure out how to keep you safe. Cameron, best you see to dinner. We've got a couple of guests...”

Mal turned on his heel and stalked off.

“Cao,” Jayne muttered before stomping off himself. Clearly unhappy about the situation.

“So... we're staying?” Reagan whispered.

“Yes, Mom. You are,” River beamed.

Zoë sighed, “Come on folks, I'll get you settled. Cameron, you better tell the Doc his folks are stayin for a while. He can't hurt you if he swings a punch.”

“A logical choice, Zoë” Cameron replied.

River quickly stood and took her mother by the hand, “Come on.”


Dinner was quiet. Gabriel and Reagan sat side by side. They alternated between looking at River and Cameron. Simon did his best to ignore his parents. The stress in the room was telling on River.

“Will someone please say something?” River pleaded after nearly fifteen minutes of near silence.

It was Reagan to speak first, “River... I... I missed you.”

River smiled, “I missed you too, mǔ-mǔ.”

Reagan teared up, “I'm so sorry...”

“Past is past,” River replied, “Do not dwell on what cannot be changed.”

“I'm glad you can forgive them Mei-mei,” Simon growled, “Because I can't!” With a screech, he slid his chair back and walked briskly from the room.

“Simon!” Kaylee called as she slid her chair back to follow.

“Better leave him be for a few minutes, Mei-mei,” Zoë said quietly, laying a hand on the mechanics shoulder.

Nodding, Kaylee moved back the the table.

“You care a great deal for him, don't you?” Reagan said softly.

“Ever since he came on...”

“Can't hardly get no sleep with all the racket coming outta their...”

“Jayne!” Mal barked. The big man shut up.

Reagan smiled slightly while Gabriel looked agast.

“Are... are you and my son involved?”

“They love each other very much, Daddy,” River said sternly.

“I really can't believe that my son would...”

“Gabriel, shut up!” Reagan snapped.

The elder Tam complied immediately. Causing a slight murmur of amusement to run around the table.

“I'm glad Simon had someone during this time of turmoil. You are a lovely girl. Simon is very lucky.”

Kaylee beamed at Reagan's words, “Thank ya' for sayin, Mrs. Tam.”

Gabriel grumbled something under his breath until his wife and daughter kicked him under the table. Kaylee giggled and River looked completely innocent.

Mr. Tam let a small smile escape, “There's the bratty little girl I remember so fondly.”

“I'm worse now,” River smirked.

Mal chuckled, “That you are, Albatross. And you teachin Cameron all your little tricks ain't helpin that.”

“Little tricks?” Reagan asked.

“They bought three identical outfits,” Mal began, “And Cameron moves a little less fluidly than River does so that's how we usually tell em' apart. But then Cameron will start moving all graceful like and River walks stiff. Get em' all crossed up.”

“Especially since River taught Cameron how to fly the ship.”

“River? You taught...” Gabriel trailed off.

“I'm the pilot Daddy.”

Gabriel and Reagan looked shocked.

“Before he died, my husband started teachin River how to fly the boat. Not that she needed much help in that department, seein how smart she is,” Zoë said.

“It's the practical application of my degree in astrophysics,” River stated.

“Well...I... guess so,” Gabriel stammered.

“Gabe. You know as much as I do that, River would never simply be a socialite. She was meant to go out and do things.”

“I know...”

River smiled at her parents. Mal had a slight smile too. He hadn't seen River this happy in quite some time. He could also see why Simon was so angry. In that vein, he really couldn't blame the boy.

“Tross. Your turn to do cleanup with Cam,” Mal reminded.

“I remember.”

“If we're all, set. Lets get back to what we were doin. Kaylee. Now that your man has had a few minutes to calm down, maybehaps you can get him to finish that inventory I asked him about.”

“Shr-ah, Cap'n,” Kaylee replied.

Dinner quietly broke up and River moved to help Cameron with the dishes. To the surprise of many, so did Reagan.


Gabriel was trying to relax with one of the books he had brought with him. It wasn't helping.

A quiet knock at the door lifted his eyes from the page he had reread several times, “Cheeng-jeen.”

Simon slid the door back and stepped stiffly inside, “Mom didn't just have a near breakdown... did she?”

Gabriel shook his head, “No she didn't.”

“What happened?”

“Why do you even care, Simon?”

The young doctor bristled, “Despite my anger. You are still my parents. And I'm still a doctor.”

“Fair enough,” Gabriel replied, “Your mother fell into deep depression. She attempted suicide twice. First time, she cut her wrists. Shortly after you... disappeared with River. The second time was shortly after the Operative threatened us. Pills that time. It's also when we found the cancer...”

Simon's eyes widened, “Cancer?”

Gabriel nodded, “Doctors said it was a non hoge something...”

“Non- Hodgkins Lymphoma?”

“That sounds right.”

Simon let out the breath he hadn't realized he had held, “That's fairly easy to treat.”

“It was. For some strange reason, it helped your mother realize how foolish she was being.”

“Depression is an illness, Dad.”

“I know,” Gabriel said as he laid his book on the bed and stood to face his son, “I've been suffering from it too. I've been a prideful, blind fool. I know I can never measure up in your eyes for not believing you. I just hope... someday. You can at least not... hate me?”

“I don't hate you. I don't particularly like you right now. But a don't hate you.”

Gabriel's posture relaxed, “You don't know how much that means to me, Son.”


“Tell me about Kaylee.”

Simon snorted, “She's a rim born, un-educated female spaceship mechanic. The last possible girl you would ever want to see me with.”

“Do you love her?”


“Does she make you happy?”

“Very much so.”

“Then she's the perfect girl for you.”

Simon nearly fell over from shock, “Shenme?”

“Your mother and I were set up as an arranged marriage. A business deal between my father and your mother's.”

“And thus doubling the holdings in Tam Securities,” Simon grumbled.

“Yes,” the elder Tam replied, “And then something strange happened. Your mother and I actually fell in love. It's rare, but it happened. You know, we didn't even consummate our marriage for nearly a year. And only after we had fallen in love. You showed up nine months later.”


“Let me finish. Six years later, along came River. After that. Things began to change. It was subtle at first. We went from being in love to simply married. It took this... crisis to bring us back together again. Call me selfish. But in a way... It brought your mother and I back together. But the price was too high. My daughter... abused by the very people I had put my trust in for my entire life. And all I could do is... nothing.”

Simon didn't know quite what to say.

“It was you,” Gabriel continued, “Who showed me what needed to be done. Your mother doesn't know but I did more than just begin channeling funds to hidden accounts. I've also been secretly funding several... groups that oppose the Alliance. It's a drop in the bucket I know. But it helps me sleep at night.”

“I'm glad you can sleep,” Simon said in not as harsh a tone as he would have liked.

“I know you're angry. And I know I can never apologize for what I've done. I... I just wanted to tell you that.”

“I've got a lot of thinking to do,” Simon said as he turned to leave, “And tell Mom, I want to examine her tomorrow... just to see how she is doing. With you two on the run, I want to make sure she's as healthy as she can be.”

“I'll tell her.”

Simon nodded and then slowly walked away.


Deep in the night cycle, Cameron sat her watch on the bridge. In front of her, the cortex screen flipped from one page to the next. Kaylee had rigged an interface that allowed Cameron to use her wireless interface to access the cortex. Much in the way she used the old Wi-Fi system on Earth to connect to the Internet. Every night, Cameron scanned for threats to serenity. She had written several worm programs and uploaded them to both warn her and delete any data concerning River, Simon and the crew of Serenity.

Tonight she was modifying the worm's parameters to include Gabriel and Reagan. Cameron couldn't access the more secure government systems as of yet. But in the public domain, the Tam's would soon cease to exist.

A noise from the galley drew the cyborg's attention. Rising smoothly from the pilots chair, Cameron moved silently down the corridor towards the galley. Upon seeing who was there, her threat assessment reset.

“Goodness!” Reagan Tam exclaimed as she saw her daughter glide into the room, “River, you startled me. Shouldn't you be in bed?”

“I'm Cameron. And I do not need to sleep.”

“Oh...” Reagan squeaked.

“What are you doing?”

“I couldn't sleep. I thought some tea might help.”

“As long as there is no caffeine in it,” Cameron remarked.

“Its... its hard to believe that you are a ...”

“Machine?” Cameron finished.


Noticing how uncomfortable, Reagan was. Cameron smiled slightly, “I get that a lot.”

“I... I know they said you were... are from Earth-that-was...”

“It's true.”

Reagan just stared at Cameron, “Why do you look like River?”

“Pure coincidence combined with a quirk of genetics. Your husband is a descendant of the woman I was patterned after.”


“Are you all right, Mrs. Tam? My sensors have detected an increase in your respiratory rate.”

“I'm fine... It's all a bit much to take in.”

“Ge-ge was even more surprised.”

“Ge-ge? Do you call Simon your brother?”

“Only to tease him. Makes him turn red.”

Reagan snorted, “River could always fluster him.”

“She has been teaching me.”

“Do you... feel?”

“If you mean emotions... yes. While I do not display them often. I feel everything. Anger, fear, concern, jealousy, happiness... love.”


“I loved John Connor.”

“Gabriel's other ancestor. The one you mentioned...”


“Do you age?”


“That may become difficult to explain as River gets older.”

“I can alter my appearance enough to look slightly older or younger. As the difference becomes too great, I will identify myself as River's younger sister and then later, as her daughter. I can assume many roles.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“Protecting River?”


“I have always been a protector in this body. First to John and now to River. Family is very important. River faces a great deal of danger. She is a descendant of John and Alison Connor so she is family. While I am fully self aware and have a choice in what I do. I feel compelled to protect her.”


“As I stated, I have free will. However I do have some directives in my programming that do supersede all others. It's like a... hypnotic suggestion. To put it in terms you would understand. Anyone River feels is family or friend will be protected by me.”

“And those who are not?”

“If they are a threat... I will kill them.”

“What am I and my husband?”

“Luckily for you, you're... family... Mom.”




Sunday, June 28, 2009 11:53 AM


Loved the last line. This is probably one of my favorite series because of the differences you give River and Cameron. I could see how easily it could be to write them the same. Nicely captured!

Monday, June 29, 2009 1:31 AM


lol.. MOM.. Cant wait for Reagan's reaction.. :) Another great chapter.. This is, Along with New Blood and the Allen'verse series, the best in Other Character story lines.. Thanks for keeping the 'verse interesting top3%.

Monday, June 29, 2009 3:34 AM


While the family reunion is touching, as Mal might say, I'm worried that Regan and Gabriel didn't really lose their tail. I sense trouble on the way!

Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 AM


There may be hope for Simon and Gabriel's relationship yet. And I love Cameron calling Regan 'Mom'. River will surely approve.

Thursday, November 5, 2009 3:09 PM


I think Cameron's scene here was quite the moment, as a part of me has to wonder about how Cameron felt about or classified John's relationship with Sarah the Elder and the inherent closeness to someone who loved unconditionally while trying to push them to greater deeds. So Cameron having a bonding moment with Regan, I think, allows for the humanized Cameron to develop something I think she wanted (at least by the end of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles") -- a parental figure to turn to with her feelings.

Spectacular job here, Briglad!


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