Guardians -- Chapter 4
Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another gunfight breaks out on the ground while Serenity is dodging missiles and later some bad news comes calling.


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.


Continuing on the storyline I started with “New Blood” Read that first so you will know who is who and what has happened in the 'Verse.

Warning: This storyline includes 'gasp' fem slash. 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.





Chapter Four


Seconds after Mal warned Xue to take off in Serenity, Armed men burst through a back door to the main warehouse. Due to the heightened emotions of the recently rescued captives, the gunmen nearly surprised River.

There is however, a huge difference between nearly surprising River Tam and actually surprising her.

A shouted warning meant that weapons were already out and beginning to aim when the men burst in. Composed of slavers and most of Patience's remaining men, the gunmen didn't stand much chance.

Zoë pulled her dual automatics and began picking targets off with precision. River likewise began firing head shots without looking as she got Mia down on the floor. Bobbie with the confidence born of years in uniform and countless battles fell into the classic weaver stance and began firing her pistol.

Maxine dropped to one knee and drew her shotgun. In moments, it began booming in response. Jayne unslung Vera and started pouring lead at the attackers. Inara shoved Simon to the ground and drew her own gun. She had spent weeks in firearms training with Maxine and Zoë. That training was paying off.

Mal knocked Hastings to the floor and began to shoot as well. He yelped when a round grazed his right arm. Inara swore and promptly shot the man in who had clipped Mal in the chest.

When the smoke cleared, twenty plus men lay dead or dying on the floor. Blood making the concrete slick.

Maxine was nursing a bruise from a direct hit to her armor as was Zoë. Bobbie had picked up a graze like the Captain had.

Amazingly, none of the former slaves had been wounded Mia shakily picked herself up off the floor. A few of the slavers had survived but were wounded. One groaning man suddenly found Mia standing over him holding a piece of pipe. It was the last thing he ever saw.

“Hey now!” Mal yelled when he saw the woman wearing River's coat crush the wounded man's skull.

Mia dropped the pipe and fell to her knees sobbing. Bobbie dropped next to her and pulled her into a hug.

Mal had a head of steam up and began walking towards the woman. River stepped in front of Mal, “Was the one who raped her...”

The Captain stopped in his tracks. Looked at the disheveled woman sobbing in Bobbies arms and nodded once. He turned to his people, “Jayne, get that piece of niushi, Hastings over to the jail. Take Max with you.”

Jayne was none to gentle hauling the Slaver to his feet. Maxine prodded him in the ribs with her shotgun to get him walking.

Mal activated his com, “Xue?”

“Kinda busy, Cap'n.” the teen replied tersely.

Swearing under his breath, Mal and Zoë ran outside, followed by Simon.

High in the sky above the town, the twisting contrails of two ships and numerous missiles could be seen.



The frigate's countermeasures had managed to spoof one of the missiles fired by Xue. The second exploded a few meters from the larger ships hull. The former warship shuddered but continued to close on Serenity.

“Hang on!” Xue cried out as she slammed the transport into a spiraling turn away from the probing particle beam turret that was the frigate's primary weapon. With a last moment jink, the shot that should have bored a hole in Serenity's hull, instead, simply scorched the paint.

As the distance closed while the particle beam recharged for another shot. Xue locked the rail gun mounted under Serenity's chin onto it's target.

The bridge floor vibrated as thirty millimeter, armor piercing, depleted uranium slugs poured into the frigates hull at a range of less than half a mile. Firing at over three thousand rounds per minute. It was like shooting a fire hose.

A furrow was blasted into the frigates hull. Smoke began to pour from the ship and it rolled over, spinning into a spiral towards the planet. A moment later, the ships main engines exploded, nearly ripping the vessel in half.

As the burning wreckage plummeted towards the hard desert floor outside of town, Xue eased Serenity into a slow victory roll.

On the ground, Mal stared at the sky. Watching the mass of burning and smoking metal that had been a ship fall from the sky. It was well over fifteen miles away and the Captain couldn't tell if it was Serenity or the frigate.

“Sir?” Zoë asked while Simon stood beside them, trying not to panic. Realizing Kaylee might be in the inferno plummeting from the sky.

River stepped up next to her brother, “New leaf on the wind. Watch her soar.”

Zoë snapped her head to look at the psychic, “River?”

River simply grinned as a thunderous roar rolled across the town.

Serenity was landing.


As she shut the ship down, Xue let out a deep breath. While it had been her second dogfight. This was the first time she had truly flown Serenity solo. Inara or River had always been with her before. As the engines spooled down and tucked up under the wings, the teen began to shake.

“Jei-mei?” Jess asked from the co-pilot seat trying not to quake herself.

“I did it...” Xue breathed.

“You sure did,” Jessie replied.

Xue held up her hands in front of her face. They were shaking like she had been outside on a winter day with no coat on for an hour.

“Xue?” Kaylee said from the entrance.

The teen nearly bounced from the chair in fright.

“Sorry, Ni-zi,” Kaylee apologized, “That was some right shiny flyin. I'd ride anywhere with you behind the stick,” the mechanic said with a grin, “Your daddy would'a been proud.”

“Th... thanks, Kaylee.”

Kaylee pulled Xue into a hug and kissed the top of her head, “Real shiny flyin.”

After a couple more minutes of calming down time, Xue was able to walk off the bridge and down to the cargo bay. Kaylee had dropped the ramp in the meantime. Simon was the first back on the ship and pulled his fiancé into a fierce hug, “You okay?”

“Shiny, Sweetie,” Kaylee replied, “I'd fly anywhere with Xue.”

The teen blushed slightly at the praise

Mal stormed up the ramp and made a bee line towards his junior pilot. He came to a halt in front of her, a stern look on his face, “Xue...”

“Yes, Sir?” she squeaked.

Mal reached out and pulled the girl into a hug, “Iffin I didn't already know you were Wash's little girl... that performance wouldda clinched it... good job Ni-zi.”

Mal broke the hug and watched a smile light up Xue's face. Zoë stepped up beside the Captain and grinned, “There's somethin missin.”

“What's that, Zoë?”

“Be right back...” Zoë said as she ran up the stairs to the upper deck.

A few minutes later, she returned with a box in her hands. Setting it on the deck in front of her step daughter, Zoë pulled the top off the box, “Be a bit big on you yet, but no one deserves these more than you...”

A single tear ran down Xue's cheek as she pulled a very loud, blue and yellow Hawaiian shirt out of the box. With trembling fingers, she pulled it on and then tied it off at her waist.

“Now she looks like Serenity's pilot,” Mal beamed.

“Couldn't agree more, Sir.”


The transport carrying the medical staff and troops Mal had requested from Athens arrived half an hour after the fight in the warehouse. Relived of administering to the former slaves, Simon headed for his infirmary. He had hardly taken a step through the door when her heard someone approaching.


“Yes, Bobbie?”

The former Marine led a very disheveled woman into the infirmary. Simon noted that she was nearly naked and wearing River's coat.

“This is Mia,” Bobbie began, “Those Hwoon-dahns had her locked up in a small metal box. She's been... assaulted... too.”

Simon swore under his breath, then looked at the woman closely. She had a black eye that was at least several days old. Simon nodded and quickly retrieved a hospital gown from a cabinet, “I'll step out for a moment. Bobbie, can you help her change into this?”

“Sure Doc,” Bobbie replied. Ever since Mia had killed her attacker, she had become very quiet. She was nearly catatonic. Simon flipped the switch that turned the infirmary windows opaque and stepped outside, closing the door behind him.

“Lets get you changed, Mia,” Bobbie said softly.

The brunette nodded slightly and shrugged out of River's coat. Bobbie's breath caught as she saw the damage done to the younger woman. As what was left of Mia's nightie hit the floor, bruises were visible all over her body. There even looked to be a bite wound around one of her nipples. It appeared red and infected.

“Tian xiz shou you de ren dou gai si,” Bobbie muttered.

“That bad, huh?” Mia nearly whispered as she finished putting on the gown.

“Let's put it this way... If you hadn't done what you did to the Hwoon-dahn, I would have.”

“I... I killed him,” she sniffled

“Likely to die from his wounds anyway,” Bobbie temporized, “You just speeded his trip to hell up a little bit.”

“Still... I'm supposed to help people...”


“I'm a nurse.”

Bobbie nodded, “I'll get the Doc back in here.”

Bobbie opened the door, admitting Simon back in, “How are you feeling, Mia?”

“Tired, hungry... I think I have an infected wound on my left breast and I probably need at least a liter of fluid for my dehydration.”

Simon's jaw worked open and closed a few times.

“I'm a nurse, Doctor,” Mia explained.

Simon nodded once, “Very well. I'll start an IV first and then we will begin. Would you be more comfortable if Roberta remained here?”

“No offense, Doctor. But I'm not real trusting of men at the moment.”

“I understand...”


“Anything, Sargent?” Mal asked the trooper who had just finished searching all the land locked ships in the port.

“All are legitimate haulers, except two,” The man replied, “One was empty but was set up for human transport. The other still had nearly twenty captives. We've got the crew in the brig and the medics are looking after the captives... nasty business.”

“Not wrong there, Sarge. Back when I was just a transport Captain, got plenty o' offers to transport slaves. Never took it though. Hell, got one captain jawin about it in a bar once and picked his pocket of his slave tradin money.”

The Sargent snorted in amusement, “Serves him right.”

“Damn straight,” Mal replied, “Any other problems?”

“Not so far. Towns folk are being real cooperative. A few problems with Patience's surviving men but nothing we can't handle. Been wanting to take her down for a few years. Never could get the higher ups to do anything about it.”

Mal nodded. The Sargent was a former Alliance Federal Marshal. Now he was doing the same job for the Commonwealth. Despite the uniform he used to wear, there were a few men and women who were sincere about their jobs. This Sargent and Bobbie Williams were prime examples.

“Iffin you got things well in hand, I think my crew and I will take a much needed break.”

“Sounds good, Captain. See you in the morning.”

Mal smiled at the non-com and turned to climb Serenity's ramp. Zoë met him at the top.

“All secure, Sir?”

“Seems like,” Mal nodded, “We're due for some rest tonight. Max working on supper?”

“As we speak. Gonna have another guest tonight though.”

“Who's that?” Mal asked as he and Zoë fell into step walking across the cargo bay.

“Mia Slater... the woman that brained that slaver. Doc wants to keep an eye on her a few days. Hwoon-dahns raped and beat on her something fierce. Sides, she's latched onto Bobbie. Won't get more than outta earshot of her for the moment.”

“We pickin up another stray?” Mal sighed, “Gettin to be entirely too many women on this boat...”

“You, Jayne and the Doc do seem to be in the minority, Sir,” Zoë grinned.

“That's my point...”

“Girls probably only here till Simon says she's ready to go.”

“Put her up in Bobbies room. Have Kaylee dig a spare air mattress outta storage for her.”

“Already done, Sir,” Zoë smirked.

“Fine... reckon I'll go do... Capatainy things.”

“Inara's shuttle is back that way, Sir.”

Mal gave his best friend a scathing look before heading in the direction of Inara's shuttle. With a grin on her face, Zoë headed for the galley.


“Where are you from, Mia?” Bobbie asked over the hiss of the shower.

“Pelorum. Small city on the main continent called East Woodside,” Mia replied as she shut the water off. It felt so good to be able to clean up.

After administering a dose of IV antibiotics and a thankfully, negative pregnancy test. Simon had allowed the woman to shower. River had made a quick run into town and picked up some clothing for Mia.

Mia stepped out of the shower and began to dress. Bobbie quickly averted her eyes. Despite her injuries, Mia was a beautiful woman and Bobbie hadn't been with anyone in months.

Mia noticed the former Marine's uncomfortableness, “Something wrong?”

Bobbie continued to stare at the overhead, “Not really. Just... I'm sly and...”

“I get it,” Mia smiled as she clipped her bra closed and began to pull on the pants River had gotten her, “How did River know what sizes to get me?”

Now that Mia was mostly dressed, Bobbie looked again, “Girl's a genius. Probably took one look and calculated the proper size,” she replied, not wanting to give away the fact that River probably pulled the woman's clothing sizes from her own brain.

“Well she did pretty good. Even the bra fits right and I'm a weird size.”

Bobbie tried not to sigh as Mia covered up that bra with a shirt, “Like I said. River's a genius.”

“Someone mentioned food?” Mia asked.

Bobbie smiled, “In for a treat. Maxine is a real good cook.”

“Good. The only thing I've had to eat for the last two weeks is ration bars and some water.”

“Lets get you some real food then,” Bobbie said as she led the way to the galley.


Mia was winded after climbing up to the main deck. After being locked in a box with virtually no food for as long as she had been, she was noticeably fatigued.

Mia drew up short when she entered the galley. The room was alive with activity. Maxine was cooking in the kitchen with Zoë's help. Inara sat at the table pouring over a pile of data files on a portable reader. She was trying to access Patience's files. Mal was sitting beside her, grumbling as he filled out his report. He had forgotten how much paperwork came with doing things in accordance with the law.

Kaylee was standing on a chair, held in place by Simon as she changed out a lighting fixture. Xue and Jess sat in the lounge giggling over something that teen girls might giggle over. Jayne was at the table sharpening a knife with River sitting in his lap.

All in all, a typical evening on Serenity.

As she stepped into the room, followed by Bobbie, Mia turned slightly red as everyone stopped what they were doing to look at her. Her head also swam from the smell from the kitchen and her stomach rumbled.

Sensing her distress, Inara slid smoothly to her feet and greeted the woman, “Welcome to Serenity, Mia.”

“Th... thank you.”

Kaylee hopped off the chair and into Simon's arms. She gave him a quick peck and walked up to the newcomer with her million watt smile, “I'm Kaylee.”


Kaylee took the chair she had been standing on, brushed some dirt from the seat and placed it at the table, “You can sit here next to me and Simon.”

“Thank you,” Mia replied as she took the seat. Glad to be off her feet.

“Grub's ready!” Maxine called out as she brought a huge pot of stew to the table. With the extra people, the table was a bit crowded so Jess and Xue filled their plates and retreated back to the 'kids' table in the lounge.

River slid off Jayne's lap and settled into her chair. Zoë and Max took their seats and Bobbie slipped into a seat across from Mia.

“How are you feeling, Mia?” Simon asked.

“Tired. But real hungry.”

“Take it easy at first,” Simon advised.

“I know the drill, Doctor,” She replied.

“Where are you from, Mia?” Maxine asked.


“We're almost neighbors,” Max replied, “I'm from Persephone.”

“I went to nursing school on Persephone.”

“You're a nurse?” Kaylee smiled, “That's shiny.”

Mia managed a small smile.

“Got family there on Pelorum, Miss Slater?” Mal asked.

Mia nodded, “My mother. At least I think I do... I... I don't know what those monsters did to her. I was asleep in my bed when... when I was taken...”

Mal's face hardened. These slavers were getting pretty bold, pulling women from their own beds on populated worlds like Pelorum, “I'll look into it right after dinner.”

“Thanks,” Mia replied sadly.

“Hwoon-dahn's,” Jayne breathed, “Takin folks outta their own beds...”

“Ain't wrong there, Jayne,” Zoë replied.

“So... all of you are Rangers?”

“Sort of,” Inara replied, “Mal, Bobbie, Zoë, Maxine, River, Jayne and myself all are sworn Rangers. Kaylee and Simon are support personnel and Xue and Jess are family, although Xue may be joining as a trainee as soon as she turns sixteen.”

“Three more months!” Xue called out from the lounge.

“We'll talk about it then,” Zoë said tersely. Maxine gave her a peck on the cheek.

“Theres that maternal attitude I love...”


“Xue's my Stepdaughter,” Zoë replied, “My husband was her daddy. Didn't know he was a father when he died a while back. Just dumb luck we found Xue.”

“I see,” Mia replied, still confused.

“Jess is my cousin's girl,” Kaylee explained, “She's been with us seein the 'Verse for a little over half a year now.”

Mia nodded.

The conversation went back to the usual day to day things as everyone ate. After cleaning her plate, Mia suddenly yawned loud enough to get everyone's attention, “Sorry,” she squeaked.

“It's quite alright,” Inara smiled, “Kaylee has set you up with a bunk in Bobbie's room. We're a bit tight on space for the moment.”

“Some sleep on a real bed would be real nice about now,” Mia admitted.

“I'll get her set up,” Bobbie offered.

“You do that, Bobbie. I'll get on the cortex with Pelorum and find out the status o' Mia's family. Soon as I know, I'll pass the word.”

“Thank you, Captain.”

“Best be off to bed now,” Mal smiled.


“You're sure?” Mal asked his Ranger counterpart on Pelorum.

“I am,” replied Jeff Knowles, a former Browncoat Lieutenant who now commanded the Rangers on Pelorum, “Slavers moved in, took about fifteen women and a few kids then torched the houses about two weeks ago. Anyone they didn't take were left to die in the fires. Your Miss Slater's mother was one of the victims. Mia is listed as a missing person. I'll get that updated in the system right now. Meantime, she doesn't really have a home to come back to.”

“Damn,” Mal muttered, “How'd something like this happen?”

“Took advantage o' the turmoil in the transition of the government. Pelorum was always a staunch Alliance planet, bein outer core like it is. Lot like Persephone but not so built up. Slavers slipped in and before what few marshals that were still on the job got there, it was all over.”

“I get you. Thanks for the information, Jeff. Sure wish it was better news.”

“Me too, Mal. Good luck”

“Thanks. Next time we're in the neighborhood, we'll stop by for a drink.”

“Hold ya' to it, Mal.” Jeff replied as he cut the wave.

“Gorramit,” Mal swore quietly as he stood to give Mia the bad news.

Mia didn't take it well. Mal hated to see a woman cry but he wasn't sure what to do. Bobbie relived him of that problem.

“I'll take care of it, Cap,” the former Marine said.

Mal nodded and let out a sigh, leaving the crying woman in Roberta's capable hands. Mal had begun to see a softer side in the tough as nails exterior that Bobbie usually showed the 'Verse. She was a lot like Zoë in that way.

Mal shook his head and made his way to Inara's shuttle, Sure that she herself would not be happy with the news either.

As he passed out of earshot, he could still hear Mia crying.




Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:59 AM


"We are Rangers.
We walk in the dark places no others will enter.
We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass.
We live for the One, we die for the One."

Malcom Reynolds - Entil'zha!

Sunday, September 13, 2009 11:05 AM


And Mia makes 12.. ?

I like the family banter and the way this arc is taking shape.. I like where your heads at!!

Yes PLEASE!!!!!!! May we have another??

Monday, September 14, 2009 11:39 AM


This is great! I particularly love Mia seeing Serenity's family in a normal setting in the kitchen, but that is beaten by Zoe giving Xue one of Wash's shirt - fantastic!

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:07 PM


i hope there is more of this


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