The Dead Tree Scrolls chap1
Monday, February 22, 2010

Been a while. just looking to see what happens.


The Dead Tree Scrolls

Chapter 1

The lieutenant looked out across the wide expanse of territory known as Weaver’s Canyon. He felt a twinge of exhilaration along with a bout of depression at the same time.

“WHY? Why had things progressed to such a state as to have folk kill themselves instead of being captured?” Only the heavens knew the answer. Not all had committed the ritual of self destruction , but some had.

“ Lieutenant Serling!”

The soldier turned to see his commander approaching.

“ Yes Sir?”

“ Gather a couple of guys and check out the high ground. These folk are so fanatical that there’s no telling what they’re capable of doing for their blind faith! Get lieutenant Rogers and Lieutenant Buck and check out that peak over there!”

The Captain pointed to an area near the canyon walls marked by a the presents of a lone leafless tree. The cliffs were a bit steeper there. A great place to hide was the obvious notion.

“ Could be some more of these nomads are hiding up there. Bring them down or bury them, the choice is yours.” He finished.

Lieutenant Blain Darwin Serling eased his finger from the trigger of the M-425 assault weapon he held in his grasp. He looked around at the mess he and his fighting mates had just been so viciously an active part of.

“ Monks!” He thought, “ Seventeen holy souls had just given their lives for a cause that they believed in. A cause that they had no chance in winning. Others were fighting for that same fruitless belief. Freedom fighters they liked to call themselves. Well, what good is freedom if you’re dead?” The lieutenant ran the thought through his head.

“ Yes Sir!” he acknowledged.

His superior turned and headed back into the shallow caves that lined the cliff face.


Blain Serling, a holy man by no means, more of a philosopher, led his unit of three up a winding trail along the walls of Weaver’s Canyon to a spot duly noted on the war map as Summer’s Point. It was a place where the steep embankment jutted out to a point which aligned itself with the setting sun each Summer day for two months on the Moon of 77651.

“ 77651! What a nameless place to give your life for! Almost as ironical as Serenity Valley.” The soldier thought.

Serenity Valley had been an engagement Lieutenant Serling had not been a part of. His friends and comrades Rogers and Buck had been there though. A bloody massacre. The rebels had put up a good fight. Thousands had died on both sides, but the righteous might of the organized unification army had thwarted those hillbillies. Who were they to stand against such power. Oh, some had gotten away, ran with their tails tucked between their legs was the account in the logbooks. But Serling knew, even then, that the written records did not hold all the accurate truths. The Independence were a hard fighting worthy foe but the Battle of Serenity Valley seemed to have broken their backs. From that day forward they were a beaten lot. There was still some fight in them though, as witnessed today. Two hundred poor carcasses were to be pulled from the hillside, and the day weren’t over yet. That’s why the lieutenant was having such a hard time understanding why they did what they did?”

They reached the canyon plateau . The trail curved around so that any aggressor would be taking the fight right into the low setting sun. Smart these Browncoats were, or maybe he should say Brownrobes. Most of the folk killed that day defending Weaver’s Canyon had been priests. The last seventeen had been the leaders of the group Serling assumed. But time now to find out if there were more hiding about the top of Weaver’s Canyon.

“ Buck, go left…………Rogers right!” Serling whispered his command.

The three spread out. There was a depression near the cliff edge. A fine position for a sniper! Serling positioned himself in the center. He peered between a crack of two solid stones. There looked to be a small cavern in the rock just thirty feet from the huge dead tree that clung to the very edge of the canyon edifice. The warrior searched for movement in the darkness of the hollow cavern entrance. He witnessed none. He motioned to Rogers, two fingers and a thumb, the sign for a smoke grenade….and his comrade tossed a bomb into the hole.

Thick, gray smoke bellowed out as the three Rangers approached the open cavern. There had been no shots and no activity in the hollow at all. It was soon found to be vacant, empty but for a few artifacts.

“ Search the area!” The lieutenant ordered. He walked over to where the big, lumbering hardwood tree held it’s ground right at the very edge. The roots seemed to be fingers and arms grasping the earth, digging into the very soil to keep itself from falling into the abyss……..much as the Independent Army was clinging to it’s last hopes of winning the conflict the lieutenant concidered. Serling noticed a single left still connected to a weak, twisted limb as it extended itself over the canyon pointing toward the final raises of the setting sun. As he watched the leaf broke free and began it’s floating, flittering journey to the canyon floor. It did not seem to be a bad thing, more like a joyous occasion. It was going to join it’s brothers and sisters, A leaf on the wind the lieutenant was struck with the thought.

He was jolted back to reality by the approach of his two officers.

“ Nothing sir! No bodies and no weapons!”

The military men slung their weapons.

“ Buck, pop smoke…… give the “All Clear”!” The leading lieutenant commanded. Soon a purple haze shrouded the cliff face at Summer’s Point.

“Look what I found!” Lieutenant Rogers exclaimed as he emerged from the shallow cave toting two flasks of Independence home brewed wine.

“ Don’t think they’ll be needing this in their next ritual!” Serling voiced as he and his fellows partook in drinking of the symbolic beverage.

“ Life is good!” Buck said as he passed the flask back to Rogers so the man could take another swig.

“ Oh! Something else!” Rogers stated as he brought the drink from his lips a second time. “ Found this too.” he gave a notebook over to the higher ranking lieutenant. It had strange marking on the cover. Those encrypted marking were a bit odd but Serling had been trained to read such things.

He took the book and began to study. His eyes soon widened as he realized that this was a map. A map which led to the great, dead tree that held it’s ground at the cliff’s edge. He looked up.

“ There’s something there!” The lieutenant spoke softly as he slowly marched over to stand next to the huge tree right at the edge of cliff and right where the canyon wall made a steep drop a thousand feet below. He looked around. Holding onto a low branch he swung around and noticed that a part of the main trunk seemed odd looking. It wouldn’t have been something noticeable had he been just seven steps away, but the trained lieutenant did notice the peculiar grain of the bark. Serling looked to see if the roots of the tree were imbedded into the soil firmly enough to support his weight……. they were. Hanging on the tree limb he looped around to the tree’s westward side. There he could see at closer examination that the bark seemed to be made of clay. With his fisted hand he broke the half inch layer of clay that was there and opened up a hollow within the trunk. He then reached inside this opening and pulled out several scrolls all curled and bound with leather straps. He recovered and joined his comrades back on solid ground.

“ What the BeGezz is this?” Rogers exclaimed.

“ Not sure!” Serling said as he unrolled one of the scrolls.

Each officer took a scroll and viewed it with his own eyes. Their gazes lifted and they all looked at one another in bewildered. This wasn’t some military document! It was something far greater. A holy document. Older than Parliament by eons, older even than the VERSE itself maybe. Rogers and Buck looked to Serling for guidance.

“Think we may have just condemned ourselves to a firing squad.” He spoke softly.

The others looked at him in question.

End Part 1


Monday, February 22, 2010 10:56 PM


Interesting. Is this going to be without our BDH or are they going to be putting in an appearance? And is Serling someone else by another name?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 6:01 AM


Howdy Jane0904,

As far as the story goes, it will become more evident with what is happening in the next chapter ( posted later today or probably tomorrow) But, as always I want the reader to flow with the story and reach certain theories of their own. Not that, that will be what happens. One of my goals is to open the door of possibilities.

Really, at the end of each chapter I feel that another browncoat could take over and finish with their own view of what the ending should be. Would their ending be the same as mine? Probably not, but if it gets someone thinking about the Joss verse then I’m happy.

Also…….YES, most of the stories that sneak into my brainpan are those that include our BDHs. It’s an easy way to continue the VERSE, and if a character says something totally bizarre and whacky then something that would make me smile would be if a reader said:

“ Oh Jayne said that. Now it make sense!”

I just love these characters….



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