Pay Dirt Part 4
Monday, November 30, 2009

Not much to say. Hope readers enjoy chapter 4....Z



Part 4

Malcolm Reynolds sat with his first mate Zoe at a table in a billiards bar named “Dirt Chasers”. They were in the moderately sized town of Mudwater on a small moon named “Hatcher”. He was thinking about the past several days he and his crew had spent on this dirt rock and was wondering if it would all be worth the effort. Evidently Shepherd Book had thought so since he’d been the one who’d suggested that they port here while the Shepherd spent the better part of two weeks getting religious reeducation at the monastery back in Persephone. The religion(s) were always trying new things to attract more people to the faith. Sometimes this meant better, more open philosophies and new thinking about the universe as a whole.

Malcolm Reynolds wasn’t about to let his guard down and he was struck with the very odd notion that the Shepherd and Inara seemed to getting more interested in their, his business of “crime“. This idea he didn’t like. He, Zoe, Wash, Jayne and even………Kaylee were all the buccaneers Serenity needed. Book, Inara, Simon and River needed to stay out of the criminal element as much as he could keep them from it.

Mal looked around the room. There were two older gentlemen in a booth against the wall playing a game of “check-toe” , a group of three younger men playing a game of billiards, and an old drunk talking loud to the bartender about how the Allied-government had screwed the town some time back. Then there was the fellow with his girlfriend sitting at a table in the center of the room.

“……and another thing, this town ain’t been the same since the miners strike of 57.” The old man was saying, “ Hell the whole moon ain’t been the same since them nasty riot controlling bastards put down so many workers…..”

It was just the ranting of an old drunk talking, Mal and Zoe paid little attention.

“ Would you shut the hell up old man!” One of the billiard players voiced over the drunk as he poured forth his philosophy of why things were the way they were in the verse. Mal noticed a couple of shoulder patches on two of the men playing billiards. They read “Security 12 Mudwater Mine”.

“ That police battalion was sent here to put down that rebellion…..a riot that had gotten way outta hand. They did their duty and I say they were right in doing it.” The pool player announced.

“ It was a strike and the workers only wanted an upgrade in pay, a living wage. You two guard those mining shipments……you know how much paydirt comes out of those mines!” The older man was saying.

“I know what comes outta there so shut up, and another thing those worker got no right to be askin for more money than I make myself, me and Jed here. We risk our necks every shipment so it ain’t right for them huloos to make more earnings than we do.” The security guard answered back.

“ Risk your necks? It’s just the two of you and when’s the last time anybody tried to heist a load of Mudwater treasure outta this town? I’m just sayin it wasn’t right for them to put so many people down and I ain‘t alone in feeling that way.” The older man finished and turned back to his drink. That seemed to be the end of the argument.

Mal looked over at Zoe, smiled and swallowed down his last glass of Mudwater Whiskey.


That evening back on Serenity Mal and Zoe secured the MULE in the loading bay while Kaylee, Jayne and River made their way to the ship’s galley. The captain and Zoe followed. Inara was there making herself a cup of herb tea and the remainder of the crew, minus the pilot and doc, all sat at the table to discuss the days events.

“ Where are Wash and Simon?” Mal asked.

“They’re out in the desert…..should be back shortly. “ Inara informed them.

For most of the day Inara, with the assistant of River had spent her time cooking the evening meal. Before long a nice bowl of Mudwater herbal soup with chunks of mystery protein were set before each crewmember at the table.

“ What’s in it?” Mal quizzed.

“ Don’t ask.” Came the companions reply.

In a short time Simon and Wash returned toting a rather heavy looking medium sized wooden crate. They stowed the box and took their places at the table.

“ What’s that?” Mal questioned.

“ We’ll get to it later.” Simon told him.”

“ Ok then.” Mal looked around the table, “ Time to ferry up. We’ll start with you Jayne.”

The big man looked up from engaging his bowl of mystery soup.

“ Well, not much to tell, “ He spoke between bites of food. “ Oh, I did find out how this moon got her name. Seems an ambassador and his kid were sailing around the galaxy here once and the kid noticed how the surface had a big crack running almost it’s entire length north to south. She told her dad it looked as if something was about to hatch out……so hence the name Hatcher, it just stuck.” Jayne stopped for a moment.

“Oh and by the way the Reverend says that ten miles that way, “ He pointed behind him, “ on the north slope the canyon walls are riddled with caves, Seagull Canyon they call it…….case someone might need to hide out a few days.” He finished and got back to his meal.

The group took in Jayne’s information.

“Ok, guess it’s our turn, “ Mal spoke. “Zoe and I heard some talk down at the bar. Seems the mining shipment are loosely guarded by only two security agents. Don’t know why this is. Maybe to throw people off. Anyway seems to have worked, don’t think the mine shipments have been robbed for some time now. Should be easy pickins.” Mal looked over at Simon……..then he to Inara. She brought forth a paper from a pocket in her robe and laid it on the table.

“ We did get a message from Book. Came over the cortex and Wash wrote it down.” She said.

Mal looked at the note. It read:

“ Look to the fallen angel in the desert. She holds the answer to nonviolence. It is the way. Seek out and follow the pathway. All will be good.”

Mal looked over to Simon.


“ Actually it was River that knew what it meant. There is a bolder, just outside the bridge window, fifty feet from the tip of Serenity‘s nose. Looking at it in the right time of day it resemble a fallen angel, broken wings and all. It’s were we found this.”

He and Wash left the table and walked over to the crate. Removing the lid the crews attention was drawn to the four stun guns within. There was a note and Simon brought it to the captain.

“ Har Duo Liuxue Shijian bao Taiye Shuohua” Malcolm muttered, “ There’s been too much bloodshed. Time to keep the Father’s word.” He looked up at Simon and Wash. “ So we’re to use these?”

“I assume that is the intent captain.” Simon looked back at him.

Malcolm lay the parchment onto the table surface.

“Ok Kaylee your turn.”

“ Well the time of delivery is just like River said. Eleven twenty in the morning and the town vault is right at the crossroads of “Mud Pass“ & “Radar Road” She informed the group. “…….something else, it ain’t one shipment, but three. One goes north to the town of Canyonburg and one south to Wallow Pass, then there’s the one that comes here. Three different deliveries all at the same time.”

Now it was making sense. Malcolm had known that it was just to simple. Two decoys and a true shipment. The real thing must be coming here. Book had the inside info on that.

“Well lets call it a day. We’ll get started with the details in the morning and hammer out a plan.” Mal announced. He got up from the table.

“ You may want to change that idea for now cap.” Kaylee spoke after swallowing a spoonful of protein soup. Mal and the rest of the crew looked over at her.

“ The shipments have been changed to tomorrow.”

End Part 4


Tuesday, December 1, 2009 1:16 AM


Interesting, is this a stand alone story arc or the next parts form some of your previous work?

Also any chance you could make each chapter longer?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 9:09 AM


Hello Nutluck

First of all I want to thank you for posting your comment. Secondly, I’m not sure actually what your asking. Are you referring to a past fic I’ve written? If so then I will say that this is a stand alone story. It was not meant to be interwoven with any previous fan-fic of mine. The idea is interesting but I haven’t considered it. If you have an idea let me know. The attempt to combine two fan-fics sounds like a challenge to me and might be fun.

As per your second request. Yepper I could make the chapters somewhat longer. Doing that would mean more detail and more detail means more meat to a storyline and more meat means more research, and that has to be delivered in a neat, smooth, tidy package or you will loose anyone that’s following the story. I’ve always been afraid of making my fiction too long and too detailed so that readers loose interest. That is not what I wanted. Maybe I am wrong in my judgment but a quick snap to a fan-fic ( 3-7 chapters) has most of the time been how I feel they should go.

The fact is that this story arc probably has some of the longer, more detail witting that I’ve done. Makes me feel good that you’re asking though.

Anyway. If you want them longer, I may attempt something like that in a combined fic like was talked about above. I’ll just have to see if anything strikes me as a story worth perusing.

As always thank you so much for the feedback. Chapter 5 may be going up some time this evening ( or tonight)

I will say that this fan-fic storyline is still following the curve of it’s trek across an unexplored surface. I really enjoy writing with a few small (orange cones) at the start and hammering out the detail. It’s quite fun. I’ll see in a chapter or two if I can make it reach full circle.

Thankz, Z

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 4:40 PM


I like your thinking that Mal doesn't want Inara, Simon, River or Book involved in his crime. I think that's actually very accurate. Honestly, I think he'd like it if Kaylee weren't involved either, but too late for that.

We have every indication in the series this is the case for Inara. Simon doesn't usually participate for obvious reasons. He used River once, but I think that's because he might not have had many other options and didn't anticipate how badly that heist could go. Now that Mal understands better what River is capable of and what she's gone through, I'd like to think he'd be hesitant about putting a gun in her hands, both to try to preserve her remaining innocence and because of the potential danger she could be. Book was always understanding but disapproving of the crime, and if they had to use him, the crew always seemed to find something that didn't completely disagree with him, such as in Those Left Behind and him preaching to distract the townspeople.

Anyway, it's interesting here about Book tipping them off to this. I wonder why? Something else may be going on.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 6:15 AM



I am always amazed at your insight to what might be happening in my fan-fic. Without giving anything away ( I hope) I will say that you are doing well with your assumptions.

Mal, Zoe and Jayne, from the series seem to be the real culprits of the Serenity’s crew…..with Wash thrown in on the side (get-away driver). As far the rest of the crew are concerned, they are merrily there…..and why wouldn’t they help out in the situations Serenity finds herself in? We’re talking about their home here. I know that you’re a fan of the show just as I am so there’s no explaining as to why the non-criminals help the others out.

Course the entire crew is guilty by association (as Dobson said) so even a mouse found to be on the Firefly transport would have to face the firing squad should the crew get caught I’m afraid……LOL.

Chapter 5 went up last night. Chapter 6 is complete and chapter 7 the final is in the works. I am off for a few days from work so I’ll try to finished up before I go back on Friday. Hope the conclusion is to readers liking.



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