Guardians -- Chapter 8
Sunday, October 4, 2009

We wind out what happens to the Tams and the crew plans their rescue.


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: On a roll this weekend...




Chapter Eight


The evening went well. Xue and Scott had sat side by side at dinner. Putting up with the glares from Mal and and the cautious concern from Zoë. Mia and Bobbie seemed to be getting along and the nurse seemed to be fitting in with the crew.

After the restaurant, Xue, Scott, Jessie, Mia and Bobbie headed for the Cinerama while the rest of the crew made their way to a dance club to blow off some steam.

Exiting the theater after the movie, Xue and Scott held hands, ignoring Jessie's snickers. Behind them as they strolled back to Serenity. Behind the teenagers, Mia and Bobbie were conversion about various subjects. The previous tension between them seemingly gone.

Halfway back, Jessie suddenly stiffened and froze in her tracks.

“Jess?” Bobbie asked as she saw the vacant look on the teen's face.

“Trouble... need to get back to Serenity now!”

“What is it?” Xue asked as she and Scott walked back to where Jess had stopped.

“River's screaming in my head. Some thing's wrong.”

“Can you run in heels?” Bobbie asked Mia.

“Just watch me.”


Gabriel Tam awoke slowly and groaned. Shaking his head to clear it. He realized he was in a small room and laying on the floor. The light was dim but he could see a little bit of what was around him. A plain cot and a small commode were in the corner.

He suddenly realized that Reagan wasn't with him.

Instantly alert, Gabriel clambered to his feet, “Reagan!”

Noting the small door, Gabriel beat on it and screamed his wife's name again.

Seconds later the sound of footsteps could be heard. Followed by the sound of a heavy bolt being thrown back on the door. With a slam the door flew open, causing the businessman to jump back in surprise. Two large men came through the door, pointing pistols at him.

“Who are you? Where's my wife?” Gabriel asked sternly, doing his best to hide his fear.

A third man stepped between his fellows, just as tall but not as bulky. Balding, the man had an air of pure menace about him. He looked Gabriel in the eye.

“Name's Womack. Your Misses is fine for the moment. The fact that she stays that way is up to you, Mr. Tam.”

“What... what do you want?”

“The Alliance back. But for the short term... money will suffice.”

“You're kidnapping us for ransom?”

“Something along those lines... A little payback perhaps as well. You know, I used to be a Fed. Now I'm a criminal. This new Commonwealth ain't what it's all cracked up to be. Is it?”

“How much do you want?”

Womack leered, “How much you got?”

“On me, not much... but I have access to millions...”

“I know. It's a start though. Skunk, watch him while I bring Mrs. Tam.”

Womack spun on his heel and exited the room. Returning moments later with a sobbing Reagan Tam.

“Gabe!” Reagan cried out as Womack roughly shoved her into the cell.

Gabriel quickly pulled his wife into his arms, “Shh. It will be okay, Bao-bei.”

“Get me to a terminal and I'll get you as much money as you want,” Gabriel said as he calmed his wife.

“Credit transfer ain't gonna do it. Needs to be in cash and delivered.”

“I can set that up.”

“Though you might. Now when I take you to the Cortex, I'll be right there. And Skunk will be here with your wife. You try anything and she dies... dong-ma?”

Gabriel nodded.

“Lets get some money then.”


Puffing, Mia ran up the ramp a few steps behind Bobbie and the kids. Her feet had hardly hit the cargo bay deck and the engines began spooling up.

“Bobbie, close the ramp,” River ordered over the intercom, “Xue I need you on the bridge.”

Bobbie hit the switch to close the ramp and Xue ran for the bridge. As the ramp was still closing, Serenity lifted into the air.

“What's going on?” Mia panted out

“Dammed if I know... but I'll find out.”

Pale and standing stock still in the center of the bay, Jessie could feel the waves of fear and rage radiating from River. Whoever had caused her distress was in for a world of hurt.

Scott simply stood confused next to Mia.


Womack roughly sat Gabriel Tam down in front of the cortex terminal on the small bridge of the former Alliance Law force ship. “Who are you going to call?” Womack asked.

“My son has authorization to access my accounts but he is unavailable for a day or so. I'm calling his fiancé's parents. They can reach him.”

“No tricks, Tam.”

“I wouldn't dream of it,” Gabriel replied as he entered the cortex address for the Frye's on Meadow.

“Meadow?” Womack asked, seeing the planetary prefix.

“We were traveling there for my son's wedding.”

“Make the call.”


“I'll get it,” Bester called out when the incoming alert message beeped on the cortex. Hitting the accept button the face of Gabriel Tam appeared in front of Bester, “Frye Residence.”

“I'm looking for Thomas. Tell him it's Gabriel Tam.”

“Just a sec,” Bester grinned, “Tom! It's for you.”

“Hold your horses,” Tom Frye called as he came into the parlor, wiping his hands on rag, “Who is it, Bester... Oh... Gabriel.”

“He...hello Thomas,” Gabriel nervously began, “I.. I need you to get in touch with Simon for me... We are going to be delayed getting to Meadow.”

“You okay, Gabriel?”


Womack stepped into the picture and held a gun against Gabriel's head, “I'm got the Tam's. Tell their son I want two million credits or they go for a long walk out a short airlock without suits... dong-ma?”

Tom's face hardened and he nodded, “I get you. Where do you want the money?”

“Meadow works for me. I'll wave again with the exact coordinates. You got forty eight hours. No law. You call the law, they die.”

“It'll be here,” Tom answered.

“Good.” Womack said as he closed the wave.

“Damn,” Tom swore as the wave cut off.

“Callin Serenity?” Bester asked.

Tom nodded, “Go out to the shop and start workin on those little presents I was makin for Mal. Might need em'.”

“Right,” Bester replied as he hurried out the door.

With a sigh, Tom punched in Serenity's cortex address.


“That's all I got, Mal,” Tom said on the wave.

The Captain nodded and looked across the bridge to where River sat stonily in the pilots seat, Jayne trying to comfort her. Kaylee was sniffling in a stunned Simon's lap.

“And the drop is on Meadow?”

“What the man said,” Tom replied, “I was able to record the last bit of the conversation. I'll upload it to you now.”

The console beeped, Mal opened the file on a second screen, “Son of a bitch...”

“Womack,” Zoë growled.

“You know this hwoon-dahn?” Tom asked.

“Yep,” Mal replied, “Former Fed. Damn dirty one too. We had a run in with him a couple o' years ago. Was smugglin organs as a side job.”

“When I'm done with him he will be the one needing organs,” River whispered.

Tom nodded in agreement with River, “Whatever help you need on this end, I'll set up Mal.”

“We're at full burn. Be there in about eight hours. We'll plan more then.”

“See you soon, Mal,” Tom replied before cutting the wave.

Mal took a deep breath and rubbed his face. Inara slid up behind him and rubbed her man's shoulders, “Tross... this is your call. Arrest or do we just kill im'?”

“I will kill him,” River replied, her voice dark with emotion, “Slowly”

Mal nodded, “Jayne? Why don't you take River down to your bunk. I'll take the watch with Xue. Kaylee... I need you in the engine room, Mei-mei.”

The mechanic nodded while wiping her tears, “Shr-ah, Cap'n.”

Sliding off Simon's lap, Kaylee tried to smile at her fiancé. He smiled wanly and motioned for Kaylee to go.

Mal turned in his seat as Xue slid behind the controls, taking River's place. “We'll get em' back safe, Simon.”

The doctor nodded, “I have the utmost confidence in that,” he said before following after Kaylee.

“Plan, Sir?” Zoë asked as Maxine slid in next to her.

“Shock and awe. Hit em' so hard they don't know what's happenin.”

“Works for me.”

“Me too,” Maxine agreed.


Xue expertly landed Serenity behind the Frye's home a little after midnight, local. River had been sedated so she could rest. Mal had to admit that the young woman scared him more now than at any time in the past. Her intensity was so great that even Jessie was able to feel River's anger with her walls up.

Tom and Bester met Mal, Simon, Zoë and Maxine at the bottom of the ramp.

“Made good time, Mal,” Tom Frye said as he shook the Captain's hand.

“Tom, Bester,” Mal replied.

“Where is everyone?”

“Sleepin. It's about four am ships time.”

Tom nodded, “Got the coffee on in the house.”

“Thanks,” Mal said quietly.

Tom turned his attention to Simon, “How you doin, Son?”

“I'm... I'm not sure. But River is so upset I had to sedate her. I haven't had to do that in nearly two years. It was the only way to get her to sleep.”

“This Womack hwoon-dahn done bit off more than he can chew I'm thinkin,” Tom observed.

“Got that right, Tom,” Zoë replied.

“Daddy!” called out Kaylee's sister as she ran from the house, “That fella's on the wave again!”

Quickly, the group headed for the house.


“Who are you?” Womack growled on the screen.

“Simon Tam,” the doctor replied tersely. He'd only gotten a few glances at the man last time he had been on Serenity that time on St. Albans.

“Well Mr. Tam...”



“Doctor Tam... not mister.”

“Whatever. Now listen to me Dr. Tam. I want...”

“I want to see my parents before we go any further,” Simon cut the man off, his voice cool but menacing.

“I could just kill them, you know.”

“Then you won't get paid. The incentive is on your side if you want the money.”

Womack growled. Pissed off that he couldn't intimidate this core born boy, “Skunk.... bring em'!” he called off screen.

A moment later, two large men manhandled Gabriel and Reagan Tam onto the small bridge of the ship. Simon looked closely at the images of his parents. Both were disheveled but appeared uninjured.

“Simon?” Gabriel began.

“See, Dr. Tam. Hale and healthy. If you want to keep them that way, you had better follow my instructions to a T.”

“I understand,” Simon replied, no emotion on his face, “What are your instructions?”

“There's a little town on Meadow called Chowsin. Exactly ten miles due south is a small valley. It's big enough for my ship and maybe a shuttle. Be there in eight hours. No tricks. My ship is ex-Alliance. State of the art. I can tell if there are extra folks around. You can bring one extra person with you...”

“My sister will be coming. I don't fly,” Simon replied quickly.

“We see another ship within ten miles, I'll shoot your folks. Dong-ma?”

“I understand.”

“Good. See you in eight hours,” Womack smiled as he cut the wave.

Simon let out a deep breath.

“You okay, Doc?” Mal asked.

“I... I think so.”

“I know that area, Mal,” Tom began, “Good terrain for an ambush, I'm....”

“He said he would know if there were extra people about,” Simon interrupted.”

“What was he flyin last time you run up against him, Mal?”

“One o' those Alliance long range patrol ships. The ones that look like over sized gunships.”

Tom snorted, “State of the art my ass. Them damn things can't tell a man from a tree on the life sensors. And can't see a ship unless it's right in front of them. Piece o' go-se if you ask me.”

Mal began to grin, “This is givin me an idea.”

“He only had two other men last time, correct?” Simon asked.


“River can take them out before they know what hits them.”

“That's what I'm bankin on.” Mal replied.


Womack motioned for his men to return the Tam's to their cell. He tried to hide the smile on his face. He knew exactly who answered the wave when he called. The Tam's had been one of the keys to the fall of the Alliance. Now he would have all four of them in one place.

A grin did split the former lawman's face then. Two million credits, the deaths of the family that had helped to fell his beloved Alliance. The new government was too squeaky clean for a man like him. When the Alliance fell, Womack's record had come to light and he had been fired. Luckily the commonwealth didn't know about his extracurricular activities or he would be behind bars right now.

Instead, he went freelance. Remade himself as a pirate and smuggler. Having his 'Boys' as his crew and his stolen patrol ship. He could approach unsuspecting ships under the guise of routine safety check and then disable the ships engines with an EMP missile.

Just like he had done to the transport hired by the Tams.

He had lucked out in that regard. Expecting to just find wealthy passengers to rob. Instead he came across the key to his revenge. He still had friends and colleagues who like himself hadn't been the 'right kind of people' for the new Commonwealth.

Like Womack, they were now the outcasts while former Browncoats were seen as visionary heroes for their sacrifice during the first war nearly ten years ago.

“Heroes,” Womack snorted out loud, “A bunch of bugs who should have been stomped out of existence.”

Rubbing his face, Womack checked his course for Meadow. Seven more hours to go.


Jessie was nearly tackled by her mother. Despite the tension of the situation with the Tams, no one could deny the teenager her reunion with her family.

Sobbing, Callie Clark held her daughter close, “Jessie...”

“Missed you too, Momma,” Jessie replied through tears of her own.

“Warms the heart a bit, don't it,” Zoë commented from the top of the ramp, standing next to the Captain.

“It does, Zoë. Gonna miss that girl.”

“Who said she's leavin?” Zoë asked.

“Probably her Momma,” Mal replied.

“If she does, Xue's gonna be devastated. Those two girls are like sisters now.”

“I know,” The Captain sighed as he watched the pair have their reunion as the sun rose over the hills in the distance.

After a few minutes, Jessie led her mother up the ramp back into Serenity. Mal smiled at Jessie's mother.

“Callie, good to see you again,” Mal smiled.

“Definitely a relative of Kaylee's,” Zoë thought as the woman pulled first Mal and then herself into a hug.

“Can't tell you how much I'm beholden to you for keepin my girl safe, Captain,” Callie said sincerely.

“Jess has been a right blessing to this crew,” Mal replied, “Hate to loose her.”

“You ain't Captain,” Callie said quickly, “Jess and I been talkin over the wave for a few weeks. She wants to stay on Serenity.”

“She does?” Mal asked flabbergasted. Zoë just smiled.

“Girl's got the wanderin feet like Kaylee does. Never was supposed to stay dirt bound forever. You keep her safe like you have been and I won't worry... as much.”

Mal cracked a grin, “Look after her like she was my own.”

“That's what Uncle Tom told me you'd say.”

“What I told him when we took on Kaylee.”

“That's what I figured. Where's everyone else?” Callie asked.

“Gettin some shuteye while they can. Tom fill you in?”

“He did. Give em' some from me.”

“We will.”

“I'll let you start your work then. When the Tam's is safe, you bring em' by the house and we'll give em' a real Meadow welcome.”

Mal smiled, “We'll do that.”




Sunday, October 4, 2009 6:32 AM


greath, story

Sunday, October 4, 2009 6:33 AM


sorry I forgot to rate it, and here are 10 for you

Sunday, October 4, 2009 11:56 AM


WOMACK!!!!.. didn't see that comin'.. Verrrry Interesting... SO Looking forward to the next chapters!!! Mom and Dad are going to see lil Rivers exceptional talents Up Close and probably WAY to personal..

YES PLEASE!! May we have another??

Sunday, October 4, 2009 9:39 PM


and just a little suggestion, after reading Chapter7, I thought a little idea Briglad, perhaps there should be held a propper burrialcermony for Angus McShane, that he should now actually be seen as maybe not a hero, but a man of Peace, well actually a hero, along with any other officers there might have had the same view of the independent at that time, and therefor been executed for treason. could be a way for Saffron/Sarah McShane to regain her honnor so to speak, could possibly make her consider being a Marshal or Ranger. just and idea

Monday, October 5, 2009 2:23 AM


Womack has a world of hurt coming, doesn't he? Particularly going up against Rangers like he is. I'm glad Jessie's going to stay on board - Serenity's her home now.

Monday, October 5, 2009 3:40 AM


yeah, I think there is a world o hurt heading Womack´s way, most likely in the form of a very angry River Tam.


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