Guardians -- Chapter 6
Saturday, September 26, 2009

Still in cleanup mode on Whitefall, the crew raids a Whorehouse and finds many slaves and one old acquaintance.


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.

AN: Lots happening in this chapter. And an old adversary is found in a bad state.




Chapter Six


Jayne Cobb stood, trying to look uneasy in the parlor of Miss Jasmine's Whorehouse. While outwardly, the big man projected a feeling of nervous anticipation, inwardly he wanted to kill.

Miss Jasmine's Whorehouse was located just outside of Colbyville. The landscape clear of obstructions so that customers could be seen coming a mile away.

And any of the working girls and boys could be seen trying to escape.

Miss Jasmine's whores were either slaves or forced into indenture contracts at gunpoint.

Due to his experience in places like this, Jayne was the best choice to go in undercover. Dressed in his nicest shirt and holding his stetson in his fingers, Jayne looked about.

The decor was like any rim whorehouse. The bar served the local beer and rotgut while the girls looked scared. The bouncers lurking in the corners were most likely there to keep the staff from escaping more than to keep the customers in line. Some of the girls and one boy were sporting black eyes.

The Madam strode up to Jayne, painted to within an inch of her life, she smiled at the big man.

“New round here, ain't ya'?”

Jayne nodded slightly, “Yes Ma'am.”

The Madam chuckled softly and handed Jayne a small flexi. The sheet showed lines of moving text that explained the house rules, what 'services' were offered and the base rates.

“Lookin for anything in particular?” the Madam asked.

“Like my girls to be pretty fresh iffin you get my drift,” Jayne leered.

The Madam grinned, “How fresh?”

“Got any not broke in yet? Or near enough?”

“Got a few like that. Just got a new shipment o' girls a week ago. Few ain't been with a man yet.”

Jayne grinned on the outside while inside he wanted to strangle this woman with his bare hands.

Jayne Cobb had been many things in his life. A killer, a thief and now a lawman. But in all that time he had never taken a woman unwillingly. And unless a woman did him harm first, never raised a hand to one. Takin an innocent girl from her home and selling her into slavery as a whore was rape in Jayne's mind. And he didn't hold with that.

“Let's see what you got.”

The Madam signaled to one of the bouncers and the hulking man disappeared around the corner into the back.

In the old days when Jayne had gone to a whorehouse, the girls lined up to try to win his coin. In this place it was different. The few girls in the parlor seemed relived that this big man didn't want any of them.

The bouncer returned dragging a pair of girls roughly by the arms. A blonde and a brunette. Neither looked older than fourteen or fifteen.

Both girls were dressed only in boy shorts and camisole tops. The girls eyes were red from crying.

“Wanda here, s' only been with a couple o' customers,” the Madam began, indicating the brunette, “And Rachel is as pure as the driven snow.”

Jayne grinned to hide his revulsion and anger, “How much for the pair o' em'?”

“That costs extra.”

“I got coin.”

The Madam smiled, “Then we can do business.”

Jayne gave the requested amount of platinum to the Miss Jasmine and took the girls arms, “Room three. Got the biggest bed,” the Madam called as Jayne led the two girls off down the hallway.

“Much obliged,” Jayne called back as he opened the door. Rachel, the blonde tried to break free but the presence of the bouncer behind them kept her in line. She tried to fight back her tears as the big man closed and locked the door.

Once inside, the girls shared a nervous look between them. From talking with the girls that had been there longer, they knew what was expected when a customer wanted a two girl party.

“How old are you two?” Jayne's deep voice rumbled.

“Nineteen,” Wanda, the brunette replied quickly.

Jayne shook his head, “You two ain't fifteen yet iffin you're a day.”


“Don't fret girls. I ain't gonna hurt you none,” Jayne smiled as he pulled his badge, hanging on a chain around his neck out of his shirt, “I'm a Ranger and we're here to get you all outta here.”

“A what?”

“Lawman. Just you two girls crawl under the bed there. Might be some shootin in a minute.”

With wide eyes, the girls complied and crawled under the big brass bed in the corner. Jayne pulled a pistol from a holster hidden at the small of his back.

“Mal, you copy?”

“Loud and clear, Jayne,” replied the Captain's voice on Jayne's hidden earwig com.

“Three big fellas by the door in the parlor. Stun sticks, no guns I seen yet. Eight or ten girls and a couple o' boys in the parlor too. Outa the line o' fire comin in the door.”

“Copy. We party in five.”

Jayne smiled at the girls, who's faces peeked out from under the bed, “Relax ladies. Time for some thrillin heroics.”


Mal pulled the Mule to a dusty stop in front of the whorehouse. In the back, a larger hover van came pulled up and began discharging Sargent Lee and his Marshals.

Mal, Zoë, Bobbie and River jumped from the mule and ran for the front door, weapons out. On a hilltop, a quarter mile away, Maxine covered them all with her rifle.

Mal hit the front door with his shoulder, splintering the dry wood, Zoë right behind him.

“Nobody move! Commonwealth Rangers, you're all bound by Law!” Mal yelled as he came into the parlor.

The bouncers drew their stun sticks but didn't get more than a few steps before River dropped one to his knees with a high kick to his nose, Zoë clubbing another with her mare's leg and Bobbie simply kneecapping the third with a shot from her pistol.

The girls in the room screamed and dove under the threadbare furniture. A fourth bouncer came running from the back of the house with a shotgun and Mal simply shot him between the eyes.

At the sound of the gunfire, Jayne erupted from the room gun at the ready. When he realized that everyone was down he pouted, “Gorramit!”

River giggled and stood on her tiptoes to give her man a quick peck on the lips, “Sorry Ai-ren.”

“What the hell do you, wangbadan de biaozi think you're doin?” Miss Jasmine screeched.

Zoë stepped up into her face, “We're shuttin you down. Put your hands on top o' your head.”

“Chu ni duh!”

Zoë laid a right hook across the woman's jaw. The Madam hit the floor like a sack of potatoes.

“Nice one, Zoë,” Jayne grinned, “Wanted to strangle her, myself.”

“Get in line,” Zoë growled as she looked at the young faces just now appearing above the furniture, “Don't look like a one of these kids is any older n' Xue or Jess.”

“Ain't wrong there,” Jayne agreed.

Mal lifted his com, “Nara' you're clear to come in.”

A moment later the whine of a shuttle could be heard. Inara landed in front of the whorehouse with Serenity's second shuttle carrying Simon, a pair of medics from the Athens Marshals Service and Mia who insisted in coming.

“Merciful Buddha,” Inara breathed when she walked through the door. Mia froze right behind her. The reality hitting her that she herself might have ended up in a place like this.

Putting her professional face on, Mia started to examine the girls in the room while Simon and the medics treated the man Bobbie had shot.

Meanwhile, River retrieved Wanda and Rachel from the room where they had hidden.

“Are there any others here?” River asked Wanda.

“A couple of girls are locked up in the basement. And two of the older women. I think one might be hurt.”

River smiled and handed the pair off to a female medic. She then turned to Mal, “More in the basement.”

“Bobbie, Zoë, keep an eye on things here, Call Max in soon as the Marshals get a perimeter set up. Come on, Jayne, Albatross,” Mal ordered before heading for the stairs.

Reaching the bottom, Mal turned on the light and quietly swore. Three young girls were chained to the wall. Obviously beaten. The girls began to whimper in fear.

River stepped forward and knelt in front of the captives, “No need to fear. We're Rangers. We are here to help you.”

The oldest, a girl of about nineteen or twenty spoke up, “Help Bonnie. She's hurt real bad.”

In the corner lay the body of a woman. Not a girl like the rest but a redheaded woman about Maxine's age or a little older. She had been severly beaten.

“Jayne, get the Doc,” Mal ordered. Jayne sprinted up the stairs.

Mal kneeled down next to the woman. In the dim light it was hard to make out her features from the dried blood and swollen shut eye but she looked vaguely familiar.

Gently Mal moved the woman so he could get a better look at her injuries. She was shivering from cold and blood loss, dressed only in a filmy nightgown.

“Huai le,” Mal muttered as the light fell on the woman's face.

A face he knew. A face he never thought he'd see again.

The woman cracked her good eye open and groaned in pain. That eye focused on the man over her and a slight smile curved her swollen lips, “My hero.”

“Saffron...” Mal breathed.


Simon checked the IV drip running into Saffron's arm. The woman was dehydrated, beaten to a pulp and currently, heavily sedated.

Mia finished putting away some of Simon's equipment. The doctor had told her she didn't need to help but Mia insisted that she needed to. If only to keep from hiding in fear from what could have happened to her.

Mal stuck his head into the infirmary, “How's she doin, Doc?”

“Amazing she's alive, actually,” Simon replied, “Four broken ribs, several fingers, her left collar bone, bruised kidneys, spleen and liver. Broken nose... the orbit of her left eye...”

“Son of a bitch,” Mal muttered. While there was no love lost between this woman and himself, no one deserved a beating like that.

“Do we know what happened to her?” Mia asked.

Mal pinched the bridge of his nose before replying, “Seems when the slaver's got their hands on her, she put up a fight. Knocked her around some. Seems that once she got here to Whitefall, Saffron took exception to Miss Jasmine deflowerin young girls by sellin their virtue to the highest bidder. Seems the Madam's men took some displeasure in that and decided to teach Saffron the error of her ways.”

“Considering what she has done in the past, I'm surprised at you, Captain. I would have thought you have let the other medical team take care of her.”

“Might have been the safest course fer us... but I doubt she's gonna cause much ruckus in her current condition. Sides, we leave tomorrow. We'll drop her at the hospital in Heliopolis on Athens on the way.”

“Understood, Captain,” Simon nodded.


The woman known as Saffron slowly opened her one good eye. She hurt all over. And nearly cried out when she tried to move.

She tried to remember what had happened. That pofu, Miss Jasmine had ordered her men to teach her a lesson. She had fought back but it was to no avail. All she remembered was pain and being chained to a wall. She knew she had passed out and then woke up to see of all faces, Malcolm Reynolds.

Mal... that thought brought her fully awake. Looking around she recognized the sterile confines of a Firefly's infirmary. She was on Serenity.

She tried to move get up but instead, cried out in pain. River stepped into the infirmary.

“It would be better if you didn't move so much, Sarah.”

Saffron/Sarah's breath caught in her throat, “How did...”

“I see the real you, Sarah McShane from Londinium,” River said softly.

“Cao,” Sarah whispered.

River giggled, “Secret is safe with me. Know where you came from. If the Captain knew who you really were, he'd like you better.”

“What secret?”

“You know.”

“Oh... that secret.”

“You should tell him.”

“Won't do any good... wait a minute... how did you know that?”

“That's my secret,” River grinned before exiting the infirmary.


With the new influx of newly released slaves from not only Miss Jasmine's but the other two whorehouses in town, Inara had recruited Xue and Jessie to help out with the mounds of paperwork necessary to repatriate the former slaves to their homes.

After a medical exam by either Simon or one of the Marshal's doctors, the former captives were issued some clothing, given a chance to shower and change then led to long tables where Inara, Xue, Jessie and Kaylee waited to take down their information.

Xue and Jess were shocked at ages some of the girls told them. Some were younger even than they were.

As the line dwindled, Xue looked up from her data slate to see the handsome face of a sixteen year old boy before her. He had a black eye and a few bruises but his blue eyes shone beneath his sandy hair. Stiffly he took a seat across the table from Xue.

“Name?” Xue asked, trying to hide her interest.

“Scott Baxter,” the boy replied. Xue noticed that he seemed nervous.

“Age?” Xue asked as she smiled at him.


Xue smiled a little wider, “Where are you from Scott?”

“Meadow... Small town outside of Kowlonshi called Robinsonville.”

“Meadow?” Xue squeaked.

Scott nodded, a sadness visible in his eyes, “The slavers took me right off the road when I was walking to town...”

Xue nodded, knowing something about being taken herself, “Any family?”

“My Ma' and Pa'... but they ain't gonna want me back... not after what they made me do...”

“What did they make you do?” Xue asked, concern in her voice.

“I ain't sly... but they made me... you know...” the boy stammered, the shame in what they had made him do obvious on his face.

Xue felt something in her chest flip. This very swai boy in front of her being forced to do something so against his nature. She reached out and squeezed Scott's hand.

“It's okay... No one I've see come here did anything that they weren't forced to.”

Scott sniffled slightly. Embarrassed at almost breaking down in front of a stranger. Particularly if the stranger was a very pretty girl near his own age.

“What's your name?” Scott asked.

“Xue Li Washburn.”

“That's a pretty name,” Scott smiled.

Xue blushed slightly and realized she was still holding Scott's hand.

Jessie walked over from where she had just finished getting information from one of the girls from Mis Jasmine's, “Hey, Roomie, Max just called and said dinner is... oh... hi.”

Xue shot a glance at Jessie that said 'he's mine' before smiling at her friend, “Thanks, Jess.”

“Who's your swai friend?” Jess grinned, having gleaned the warning from Xue's mind.

Xue snapped back her hand from Scott's and glared at Jess. She knew she couldn't compete with the blonde girl in the looks department. Jess saw that thought and shook her head, still smiling.

“I'm Scott Baxter.”

“Hi Scott,” Jessie replied.

“Girls,” Zoë said as she entered the room, “Supper's on.”

“Okay, Zoë,” Jess smiled.

Zoë looked at the boy sitting across from Xue and cast a discerning eye over him. Zoë recognized the boy as one of the former slaves from Miss Jasmine's, “Got enough for a guest if you want to bring your friend along,” Zoë said with a slight smile.

“Don't want to be any trouble, Ma'am,” Scott replied.

Zoë shook her head. She had heard about this boy who despite being raped himself had taken a beating trying to keep one of the girls who was only thirteen from being similarly attacked. That's how he got his impressive shiner and other bruises, “Looks like you ain't had a good meal in weeks, Boy... do you some good.”

“Th... Thank you,” Scott stammered out.

“Come on... Max is waitin.”


The crew gathered around the table, enjoying their dinner. Kaylee and Simon joined Jessie in the lounge giving Xue and her new friend Scott a place to sit at the table. Mal had given the boy the evil eye until Zoë growled at him. It would do Xue a world of good to be able to flirt a bit with a swai boy. Make her feel more like a teenager.

Inara appraised the young man as he ate. Well behaved, and polite. Probably raised in a good home by loving parents. She didn't miss the underlying sadness and lingering fear though.

“Does my heart good to see how much my cookin is appreciated,” Maxine smiled as Scott helped himself to seconds.

The boy blushed slightly, “Like my Ma's cooking Ma'am,” he said after swallowing.

“Speaking of your parents,” Inara began, “Where are they? Can we send them a wave... tell them that you are okay?”

A wave of sadness came across Scott's face, “Ain't gonna want me back after... you know...”

Mal growled internally at what these huh choo-shang tza-jiao duh tzang-huo slavers did to kids. Or even the adults as the sedated Saffron down in the infirmary proved.

“Ain't your fault son,” Mal began, “A man does what he has to to survive. May not be proud of it but you do what you gotta. Sides, from what I heard from some of the girls, you did your best to protect em'.”

Xue looked up at that comment, glancing at Scott with a faint expression of admiration on her face.

“Just what any decent person would have done, Sir.”

“And took a beatin for it,” Jayne added, “Makes you a man in my book.”

River smiled at Jayne and nodded in agreement, “Took courage to stand up for what you thought was right.”

Scott blushed slightly, “Thank you, Ma'am.”

“After dinner, I'd like to give you an examination Scott,” Simon said as he placed his empty plate in the sink, “Make sure there are no potential issues.”

“Already had one exam today, Sir,” Scott replied.

Simon nodded and gave the boy a slight smile, “I know... but it never hurts to be sure. Also I have something that will help get that shiner down.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

Kaylee slid up next to her Fiancé, “Where you from, Scott?”

“Meadow... little town called Robinsonville.”

“Robinsonville?” Kaylee squeaked, “I got kin there. What's your last name?”

“Baxter, Ma'am.”

Kaylee's eyes widened, “Your folks Josh and Mary?”

Scott brightened slightly, “Yes.”

Kaylee's megawatt smile broke out on her face, “You're nearly kin! Jessie's Aunt nearly married your Pa' afore he met Mary. My Daddy does work on your' Pa's farm equipment.”

Scott looked confused, “He does?”

“Frye Repairs,” Kaylee grinned.

“Oh my god...” Scott breathed.

“Small 'Verse ain't it,” Kaylee grinned.

“I... I guess so.”

“Cap'n,” Kaylee began, “We gotta take Scott home when we leave. Goin to Meadow anyway...”

Mal sighed and looked at the ceiling for a minute. He then looked at Inara who nodded slightly. Zoë had a slight look of concern on her face as she saw the look on Xue's face as the girl gazed at the blonde haired boy.

Mal cleared his throat, “I'll see what I can do.”

“I don't want to be a bother, Sir...” Scott began.

“Ain't you who's gonna be the bother, Son,” Mal chuckled, “It's the women folk on this boat that will be iffn' we don't take you along. Doc, See if we can make room in one of the upper tier dorms for Scott here.”

“I'll take care of it, Mal,” Jayne interrupted, “Doc's gotta give the boy a once over anyway.”

Mal blinked at Jayne's comment. Then decided that River must truly be rubbing off on the big man, “Works for me, Jayne.”

“Settled then,” Mal said, “Lets get things ready. We lift for Athens in the morning. Then a couple o' days to get to Meadow...”

“Two days, six hours...” River interrupted.

“Like I said, a couple o' days. Then we'll get Scott home to his folks and Jessie on back to her Ma'.”

The plan laid out, the crew of Serenity went back to work.




Saturday, September 26, 2009 11:14 AM


I love all the crew's reaction in this, especially Jayne's. River really is rubbing off on him, isn't she? And a little romance for Xue? Bring it on!

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:37 PM


good story


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