Guardians -- Chapter 5
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still on Whitefall, the crew helps Mia adjust. Mal has a few words with a slaver and the youngest members of the crew show some teen aged boys who the boss is.


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 Five


Bobbie sighed: Mia had cried herself out a little after one in the morning. Now the woman was fitfully sleeping on Bobbies bunk. Retrieving a blanket Bobbie lay down on the air mattress to try and get some sleep herself. It wasn't as comfortable as her own bunk but compared to the hard ground of Serenity Valley or a dozen other battlefields she had slept in, it was the like a feather bed.

Slowly, the former Marine drifted off to sleep.

Only to be awoken by a scream twenty minutes later.

Instantly awake and reaching for her gun, Bobbie's eyes focused on Mia, panting heavily and sitting up in bed. Bobbie was at her side instantly.


“Just... just a nightmare,” the younger woman breathed as she regained her hold on reality. There was a knock on the door a moment later.

“Bobbie?” inquired Jess' voice.

“Come in,” Bobbie replied.

The door slid back and Jess and Xue stood outside, “Everything okay?” the blonde teenager asked.

Mia nodded, “Had a nightmare.”

Jess nodded and took a step into the room, “I might be able to help with that.”

Mia looked at the girl suspiciously, “How?”

“Trust me,” Jess smiled.

With a nod of acceptance from Mia, Jess stepped into the room and sat next to her on the bed., “You've been through a lot. I helped Xue when she had nightmares a few months ago. See, she was taken from her home too.”

“But Zoë said she was Xue's step mother.”

“She is,” Xue replied, taking a step into the room, “My mom and dad dated in high school. Mom got pregnant with me while dad went off to flight school. Never knew about me. Few months ago. I was living with my great aunt. My mom died a few years ago. Ground car accident. Anyway. Some men came to my house. Said they were from the Alliance. Said I was special and they were going to take me to a special school... I didn't want to go.”

Xue took a deep breath and continued, “They insisted and when they tried to take me anyway, my aunt tried to stop them. They... they killed her. Right in front of me.”

“That's why Xue was having nightmares,” Jess added.

“Special school... you mean that horrid academy that was on the news waves?” Mia asked.

Xue nodded, “Yes. They wanted me because I have a way with machines. Particularly ones that can fly.”

“How did you get away?”

“My new moms rescued me,” Xue replied.


“Zoë and Maxine,” Bobbie interjected.

“Mom... Zoë,” Xue explained, “Was married to my dad for a long time. He got killed a couple of years ago. Anyway, the ship the men who took me were on had a mechanical problem. Landed at a skyplex for repairs. I got away for a short time but they caught me. They were dragging me back to the ship when Mom and Max spotted me.”

“How did they know to help you?” Mia asked.

“Because less than a week earlier, they had kept me from being taken on Meadow,” Jessie added, “Because I'm a reader.”

“A... reader?”

Jess nodded, “Runs in the family. My mama's cousin, Kaylee. She can hear machines. I can hear what people are thinking... sometimes. I'm getting better at it.”

Mia seemed to recoil slightly and Bobbie put her hand on Mia's to calm her, “Jess doesn't do it without permission. She can control what she sees.”

“I can use my... gift when I want. To be honest, I don't know how River puts up with all the noise...”

“River? Noise?”

“Oops,” Jess said embarrassedly, “River's reader too. Except she really can't shut it off like I can. The Academy took that away from her.”

“She was there too?”

“One of the first. Simon got her out. But they did things... well, It's taken her a long time to heal from that.”

“My God,” Mia breathed.

“My point here is,” Jess began, “I can help you isolate what's causing the nightmares a little. Make it so you can rest.”

“You... you can?”

“She can do it. Helped me out,” Xue said, “Doesn't hurt a bit. You won't even know she did anything.”

“But I won't without permission,” Jess added.

Mia nodded, “I'm so tired...”

“I can help,” Jess reiterated.

“Okay,” Mia replied after a few moment's consideration.


Breakfast was nearly over when Mia, Xue and Jess Stumbled into the galley. Bobbie a few steps behind.

“Mornin, ladies,” Mal smiled, “How you doin, Miss Slater.”

“Better,” Mia replied, stifling a yawn.

Xue stumbled to the cooler for a glass of orange juice. Most everyone had eaten but Max and Kaylee had saved out plenty for the late risers.

“If you feel the need to talk with someone, Mia. Just let me know,” Inara said sincerely.

“Later today, I'd like to give you another exam,” Simon added.


“I'm glad Jess was able to help,” River said before sipping her tea.

Mia looked at the younger woman, remembering what Jess had said.

River smiled back, “Just act normally... I'll do the hard part.”

“What hard part?” Mal asked.

Jess blushed, “I kinda let the cat outta the bag last night about River and me.”

Mal frowned slightly, “It's okay, Jess. Just don't go blabbin things all over. Just cause Miss Slater is most likely trustworthy, don't mean everyone we run into is the same.

“Yes, Sir,” Jessie nodded.

“I didn't pry, Captain.” Mia replied, “Jess offered to help last night. I kept having nightmares.”

“More'n understandable,” Mal said.

“Mia needs some more clothing,” Bobbie piped up, “Is there anything available from the ships budget?”

“Better than that,” Inara began, “As a crime victim, Mia is entitled to some reimbursement. The courts on Athens just waved this morning with the warrants to seize Patience's assets. I can disburse some funds from that for Mia's short term expenses.”

“Good,” Mal replied, smiling at the woman, “We'll get you all set up today. Looks like we'll be leaving soon. Two days at the outside.”

“Thank you for the help,” Mia said quietly, “I... I was wondering how I was going to get back to Pelorum... not that I have anything to get back to now,” she finished with a sniffle.

“Any other family?” Kaylee asked.

Mia shook her head, “Daddy left when I was little. Mom's family is all from the core, disowned her when she married and got pregnant with me. I had just quit my nursing job before this happened. I was looking for another position...” Mia began to sob again.

Kaylee pulled Mia into a hug, “Cap'n?”

Mal sighed and looked at Zoë who's face was neutral, Inara who simply glared at him and River who just grinned.

Mal sighed again, “Doc? You got use for a nurse?”

Mia sniffled and looked up, “I...”

“We're not just doing law enforcement out here,” Simon began to explain, “I'm also looking after any sick or injured we come across in our travels. The help would be welcome.”

“I... I don't have my diploma... it was at home and thats gone...”

“We can get copies I'm sure,” Simon smiled.

“I'll get the paperwork started to bring you on as support personnel with the Rangers, Miss Slater... that is if you want it.”

“I... thank you.”

“I'm sure you'd like some privacy,” Mal began, “Since I ain't really usin it anymore. Kaylee and the Doc will move into my old quarters. Bobbie, you can have Kaylee and the Doc's room. That gives Mia the spare dorm room. That sound workable?”

Kaylee's grin nearly lit up the room. She and Simon had been sharing her tiny bunk for some time now. Mal's bunk was the second largest after Zoë and Max's.

“River,” Mal began, “Why don't you and Max take Mia into town and see what you can line up for clothes and whatnot.”

“Sure, Cap'n” Maxine replied.

“Jayne, You'll give me a hand movin the rust o' my gear to the shuttle. Then help Doc and Kaylee get settled.”

Jayne grumbled slightly but a carefully placed elbow from River silenced him.

“He'll be happy to help, Captain,” River smiled.

“Zoë, I want you with me. Bobbie too. We need to have a chat with Mr. Hastings about his slave dealings. Bobbie, since you ain't got too much gear, you can move your stuff later.”

“Sure, Cap,” Bobbie replied. Trying to hide her smile.

“Can we go to town too?” Xue asked with a hopeful look on her face, “ Me and Jess need some things.”

Mal looked at Zoë who nodded, “Arm up. Stay with River and Max. Might be a few slavers or Patience's men kickin around town.”

“Yes, Captain,” Jess replied for her and Xue both.

“Lets be about our business then.”


Xue strapped a pistol onto her hip. It had been a present from Zoë when they were on Osiris. Jess carried a small gun that River had given her. While Xue openly carried her gun, Jess preferred to keep hers in a fanny pack.

Both young women dressed in cargo pants, long sleeved shirts and light jackets. It was fall on this part of Whitefall and the air had a chill.

They joined Mia, River and Max in the bay.

“What planet are we on, anyway?” Mia asked as she adjusted her borrowed jacket.

“Whitefall,” Maxine replied.

“Oh...” Mia replied noncommittally.

“Ain't much to look at, I'll admit,” Max began, “But the town is decent sized. There's a few shops that will have what you need for the short term. We'll do some more shopping on Meadow.”

“Why there?”

“So I can visit my Momma,” Jessie said happily.

Mia's face fell.

“I... I'm sorry, Mia,” Jessie said, “I didn't mean...”

“It's okay, Jessie...”

“Been through much.” River commented.


“It will get better.” River grinned, “Now. We are women with money... it is time to shop.”

Mia cracked a grin as the quintet made their way down the ramp and into town.


Mal, Zoë and Bobbie walked into the jail. Sargent Lee nodded in greeting, “Good Morning.”

“Mornin, Sarge,” Mal replied as he motioned the younger man to remain sitting. The Sargent was about to rise to his feet and salute, “Anything from your guest?”

“Nothing other than a complaint about the food,” Lee chuckled, “All I gave him was water and a protein bar last night. Since that's what he fed the slaves, I figured it was appropriate.”

Mal grinned slightly and turned to Bobbie, “Go and get a big breakfast from the hotel's restaurant. Steak an eggs or the like. Then bring it back here.”

The former Marine smiled. Getting an idea what the Captain was up to, “Right away, Cap.”

Zoë matched the Captain's smile, “I like it.”

“I'm a mean old man,” Mal grinned, “Figure this Mr. Hastings has been livin high on the hog. Smell o' breakfast alone might loosen his lips.”


“About time I saw someone in charge,” Hastings snarled as he saw Mal and Zoë enter the cell block, “I want to see an attorney.”

“Mornin to you too, Mr. Hastings,” Mal smiled as he pulled a chair up backwards just outside the man's cell. Mal straddled it, resting his arms across the back. Zoë stood a few feet to his left, relaxed but alert, “You got a lawyer in particular in mind? Might be a while gettin one here for they hang you.”

Hastings didn't even blink, “I'm entitled to a trial.”

“Sure enough,” Mal smiled coldly, “Ceptin for one little hitch. See an old Alliance law on the books that the Commonwealth kept in place is that anyone caught in the act o' Slavin is subject to a military tribunal if there is no civilian government in place on the world where the capture occurred.”


“Since Patience is dead, the replacement officials ain't been elected yet, means you are gonna be tried by the military,” Mal finished with a smile. Inara had looked up the laws for him that morning.

“You can't do this!” Hastings roared.

“I surely can,” Mal replied, the smile gone from his face, “Need three officers o' the rank o' Lieutenant or above. Commonwealth has recognized me and Zoë's ranks from the Independents. I'm a Captain, Zoë's a Lieutenant and I think the fella that flew the troops in is one too,” Mal said tersely, “Three judges. Got all we need to try you this very day and hang you by sundown.”

Just then, Bobbie returned with a covered tray. She pulled back the top showing a huge, rib eye steak, Scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and fresh homemade toast slathered with real butter. Hastings was nearly drooling.

Mal looked the slaver in the eye, “This fine breakfast can be one o' two things... A thank you for co-operatin. Giving you the option o' bein moved to Athens for a civilian trial and such...” Mal paused for effect, “Or it can be your last meal. Choice is yours.”

Hastings eyes widened, “Somehow I'll find a way to get you back for this.”

“Tell me where you got your other slave markets, names o' the ships haulin and doin raids for you and you might get that chance. In thirty, forty years maybe. You don't, can't do much to me six feet under. Your choice.”

In the end, Hastings wrote down the names of his cohorts and their ships, where they operated and where the other slave markets he knew of were located. Mal slid the tray of food into the cell and smiled, “Thank ya for the information. We'll get you transferred to Athens soon as we get a ship free. Might be a month or two though,” Mal smiled evilly before leading Zoë and Bobbie outside.

Back in the office, Sgt. Lee was already going over the information Hastings had given them, “Soon as I get this collated, I'll get it uploaded to the Marshals, Rangers and the Fleet.”

“You do that,” Mal smiled at the younger man.

“That was a masterstroke, Cap,” Bobbie grinned.

“You really can be a hwoon-dahn, Sir.” Zoë smiled.

“All part of my charm, ladies,” Mal said, returning the grin.


Colbyville had one general store, two clothing shops catering to women, one to men and a small grocery store. Quite metropolitan for a small rim moon like Whitefall. The first women's clothing store seemed to cater more to the girls at the three whore houses than the average rancher's wife. After a quick perusal of that store, Mia and her escorts headed across the street to the other one.

But not before Maxine had picked up something frilly to surprise Zoë with.

The other store called Rita's Clothing was less boutique and more discount outlet in it's selection. Some core fashions, rugged ranch wear and the like. Mia filled three shopping bags with her new wardrobe. Enough clothing to tide her over until they reached Meadow.

River simply wandered around the store, soaking in the atmosphere. Max picked up a couple of shirts and a new long skirt. Xue and Jessie both bought denim mini skirts short enough to give Mal a heart attack.

Satisfied, the five women left the store and headed back to Serenity. As they passed the General store, three teen aged boys shared a grin and began to follow at a distance.

Jess immediately picked up on their thoughts and frowned. River hid a giggle, deciding to let the girls handle it.

Xue while pretty, wasn't quite as attractive to the boys as the blonde haired, blue eyed, Jessie. Two of the boys fell into step alongside her while the third hung back a few feet.

“New round here, ain't ya'?” the older of the two asked. Jess read him and found out he was seventeen and considered himself quite the ladies man.

Jessie shifted her purchases to her left hand and kept walking, doing her best to ignore the fact that this back birth ranch boy was undressing her with his eyes.

Not happy with the rejection, the boy continued, “I'm a talkin to ya' blondie,” he nearly snarled.

Xue snorted and Jessie simply rolled her eyes.

The boy reached out and grabbed Jessie's arm. Of course she saw it coming.

“Now listen... Eep!”

The boy came up short as Xue drew her pistol and pointed it at the boys head. Jess was half a second behind with her own gun.

“Why don't you run along and pester the local girls some more,” Jessie said smiling while pointing the small automatic between the youth's eyes. Xue had shifted her aim to cover the other two who looked like they might try to interfere.

The boy put his hands on his hips and grinned, “Now that ain't nice, Missy,” he began, “Hear I am bein sociable like and you go an get all uppity.”

“Get lost... dong-ma?” Jessie snarled.


“Not very bright, is he?” Xue asked.

“Apparently not,” Jess replied as she dropped her aim from the boys face to somewhere much further south.

The boy paled as he realized that the gun was now being pressed into his groin, “Now... see here...”

“I'd run away if I were you,” Xue advised, “Last time she was like this, she shot the fella's yang dao off... very messy.”

Jessie just smiled.

“Eww,” Xue said wrinkling her nose as the boy lost control of his bladder. His friends began to snicker at him, despite the gun pointed at them by Xue.

“Go. Home,” Jessie growled.

The boy suddenly turned and ran down the street. His friends hesitated a moment before following.

As soon as they disappeared down the dusty street, Jess let out a breath and slipped her pistol back into her fanny pack. Xue dropped her gun back into it's holster on her hip.

“You girls had enough fun yet?” Maxine asked as she and River stepped up next to the teens.

“All done now,” Xue grinned.

Max pulled the girls into a quick hug, “Nice job girls. Attitudes like that and me and Zoë ain't gotta worry quite so much.”

“At least you didn't get to see what was rattling around in his brainpan... yuck,” Jess said with a disgusted look on her face.

“I did,” River interjected, “You both did well.”

“Let's get back to the ship. It's time for lunch,” Maxine said as she began leading them back.

Mia shook her head in amazement. She wished she had that kind of confidence when she had been a teenager.

“Been through a lot,” River said quietly at her side, “Not as sheltered as you. Soon, you will be just like the rest of Serenity's women.”

“Like how?”

“Able to kick pi-gu,” Maxine chuckled.




Sunday, September 20, 2009 8:28 AM


Great character interplay.. loving Bobbie, Xue and Jessie and feeling like Mia is going to fit right in.. Mal is taking to Ranger'n like a duck to orange sauce.. cant wait to see whats in store for the slavers.. While Im having QUEST Withdrawals (hint, hint) I really look forward to this arc..

YES PLEASE!!! may we have another??

Sunday, September 20, 2009 8:59 AM


Just a cool story man or is it a women:-)

Keep it comming.

Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:40 AM


I'm glad Jessie and Xue are able to handle themselves - considering the kind of trouble the crew of Serenity could get into *before* they were Rangers, they're going to need it! And the bit with Hastings? Classic.

Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:59 PM


I love this new series, Brian. Very good and I am just loving the girls. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009 4:55 AM


Interesting how a former smuggler and petty thief himself, Reynolds is comfortable quoting chapter and verse of Alliance law. No convert like a reformed sinner, eh?

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:22 PM


wow mal quotes law


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