Tales of the Rangers - Chapter 2
Sunday, May 23, 2010

Xue continues her story to Hobie. The tale of a Reaver attack.


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 ” and “Guardians” Read those 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: Takes place both in the future and a month and a half post Guardians. Warning for Violence of the Reaver variety.


Tales of the Rangers


Chapter Two


“Uhh, baby?” Scott began.

Xue grinned, knowing what was next, “Not to worry Husband. I'm going to edit it slightly. I'm not getting much sleep as it is. Having Hobie up all hours with nightmares...”

The boy in question narrowed his his eyes, “I ain't 'fraid o' nothin.”

Xue nodded and pulled her son close, “I know that, Hobie. But some things are not for little boy's ears.”

“Like when you and Daddy are bein' all squiky?”

Xue snorted and Scott rolled his eyes, “Where did he hear that word?”

“Reagan,” Hobie replied.

“Figures,” Scott grumbled.

“Better than what he could have learned,” Xue added.

“Considering who Reagan's father is... I agree.”

Xue smirked. Reagan Cobb was River and Jayne's seven year old daughter. The apple of her Daddy's eye. The seven year old was smart, graceful and entirely too much like her father. Particularly when it came to her vocabulary.

“More story, Momma,” Hobie insisted.

“Okay, Hobie,” Xue agreed, “Where were we?”


Serenity howled through space. River had gone to full burn the moment the ship cleared atmo. Beside her, Xue brought the weapons systems on line. Jess settled into her usual seat at the navigation console, powering up the Firefly's now military grade sensors.

“Report,” Mal ordered as he stepped onto the bridge, Zoë a step behind.

“We're at full burn,” River began, “ETA to Mir is thirty eight minutes, seventeen seconds.”

“Any other word from the Terriforming station?” Zoë asked.

“Just the automated distress beacon,” Xue replied, “Started just after the initial Mayday.”

“What's the population?” Mal asked.

“Terriforming is in the mid stages,” Jess said, “About eighteen thousand workers spread all over the moon. Nearly twenty five hundred concentrated at the main station. That's where the Reavers have hit,” the blonde teenager finished. A slight tremor in her voice.

“Any other ships in the area, that can help?” Mal asked.

“Magellan is changing course but they won't be in range for three hours,” River stated.

“Damn,” Mal muttered, “Here's how I want it. Soon as we get close. Weapons free. Any Reaver ship you see. Blow it to hell. Soon as we thin em' out. We'll set down and see what's what. Lot can happen in the half hour till we get there. Might be they'll have left or not. We save as many as we can. Then when it gets untenable, we lift again. Dong-ma?”

“Aye, Captain,” River replied.

Jayne entered the bridge with an armful of weapons, “Got your sword, Riv.”

River nodded and shot a grin at her boyfriend. She was already wearing her matched pair of automatics.

Jayne hung Xue's gun belt on the back of her chair, “Gun's all ready to go, Ni-zi.”

“Thanks, Jayne” the teen replied as she helped River fly.

The big man grinned slightly and handed a pistol and gun belt to Jess, “Grabbed yours too.”

The blonde nodded, not tearing her eyes away from the sensors.

Jayne himself had Vera strapped across his chest. A pistol on each hip and a large bandoleer of grenades. Mal approved his load out.

“Ready for some huntin, Jayne?” Mal asked.

“More like killin, Mal. Huntin is for somethin you got's respect for.”

“Amen to that,” Zoë added as she checked the load out in her mares leg. She was already wearing her dual automatics in shoulder holsters. Everyone had donned an armored vest.

“Inara's standing by in the second shuttle,” Jayne stated, “Got Bobbie and Mia with her. Be able to give us some air support.”

Mal nodded. In addition to the weapons mounted on Serenity in her new role as a law enforcement ship, each shuttle now sported a pair of heavy auto cannons. Inara was nearly as good with a shuttle as River or Xue were with Serenity.

Maxine came onto the bridge. She gave Zoë a quick peck on the cheek before reporting, “I got Scott in the engine room with Kaylee and Simon. Gave the boy a pistol and he's got his rifle. Doc's got a gun too. Told em' to button up and hang tight.”

Mal nodded, “Good thinkin. When we hit the ground, we stay together. Jayne, I want you coverin our Pi-gu's. Max and Zoë, flanks. Tross you're on point.”

“What about us?” Xue asked.

“Stay put on the bridge and lock the door. Iffin we yell, get Serenity in the air and come runnin.”

Yes, Sir,” Xue replied. Sparing a glance to Jess who nodded.

“Looks like we're ready. Let's do this,” Mal stated.


River powered Serenity into the thin atmosphere of Mir. Only about halfway through the terriformation process. It had breathable air and not much else. What air existed was thin. As thin at the air at the top of a mountain. Equivalent to about 6,000 feet or a little under two kilometers above sea level on a fully terriformed world like Meadow.

Only a little over 700 miles or eleven hundred kilometers in diameter. Mir only held on to it's atmosphere by the use of massive planetary grade, gravity generators.

A few shallow seas were slowly filling up from the water released from the crust as well as bombardment of cometary ice towed from the Halo.

The rest of the tiny world was a cratered dust ball. It would be at least thirty years before the terriforming would be finished and certified.

Serenity was supersonic and on the deck as they approached the main terriforming station. The huge atmospheric processors looming on the horizon as the Firefly cleared a small ridge twenty miles from the facility.

“Target!” called out Jess, “Six vessels on the scope. All have high radiation signatures. Three are hovering over the complex and the rest are grounded.”

Mal swore. The easiest targets to hit were in the worst possible place. Right over the people they wanted to save.

“Getting radar hits,” Xue called out, “The hovering ships are beginning to move...”

“They want to force us down,” River whispered.

“I reckoned that, Albatross,” Mal began, “Let's see iffin we can draw em' off a might. Then take em' out.”

Suddenly Jess paled, “So much anger...” the teen aged psychic whispered, her hands going to her temples.

“Concentrate on your walls,” River ordered. Having more experience with Reavers, she was coping with their madness better than Jess.

“Trying...” the girl whimpered.

Maxine dropped to her knees next to the girl, “Focus on me, Jess”

After a moment, Jess' face seemed to regain some color, “I'm okay now...”

“Sure?” Max asked.

“I'm sure... River! Break right!”

Without hesitation, River snapped Serenity's yoke hard over and the old Firefly groaned under the load. A moment later the smoke trail of a missile passed underneath the ship.

“Red eye!” Mal called out. Referring to the old wartime vintage Alliance hand held, heat seeking missile system.

“I have his location,” River said as Serenity continued it's turn, “Xue?”

“Got 'im locked,” the young pilot replied. The virtual reality glasses of Serenity's gun system in front of her eyes. Zooming the image, she saw three Reavers quickly trying to reload the missile launcher for another try.

Xue squeezed the trigger on her yoke. Under Serenity's nose, the swivel mounted multi barreled rail gun locked onto the location and began spewing 30 mm steel jacketed tungsten projectiles at over three thousand rounds per minute.

The hail of metal reduced the three Reavers and their equipment to so much hamburger and scrap metal.

Incensed by the attack on their fellows and now realizing the newly arrived ship was armed. The three hovering vessels engaged their engines and accelerated after Serenity.

With a grin shared between them, River and Xue set to their task. As soon as the first Reaver vessel moved away from the terriforming complex, a pair of missiles shot away from the Firefly.

The Reaver ship. A fifty year old Mace class transport exploded and dropped to the hard ground below. The wreckage burning and pouring black smoke into the air.

With the loss of their fellows, the remaining airborne Reaver ships shot forward. Lacking the reactor safeguards that other ships had, the Reaver boats were scary fast.

Unless you had state of the art sensors and weapons systems.

River flicked the yoke over and Serenity dodged away from the beam of an EMP pulse fired from the lead Reaver ship. Passing just a quarter of a mile to the Reaver's port side, Jess opened the old Trans-U up like a can of beans with the rail gun. Trailing smoke and fire the Trans-U exploded into a fireball as it struck the side of a small crater a few miles from the terriforming station.

Enraged beyond what little reason they had, the last airborne Reaver ship set out on a collision course with Serenity.

Three missiles reduced the ship to burning wreckage plummeting to the surface of Mir.

Turing back to the terriforming station, River prepared to land, “Your ship, Xue.”

The teen nodded and took over the flying, “Got it.”

Mal keyed the com, “Nara. Launch when ready.”

A slight lurch told them that she had detached from Serenity. Mal turned to the rest of his crew.

“Lets go.”


“Mommy!” the little girl cried as her mother pushed her into the small storage nook.

“Hush, Allissa,” the woman whispered, “I need you to take care of your brother for me.”

The dark haired little girl glanced down at her year and a half old brother. The toddler sat on the floor of the nook wide eyed and sniffling.

“I'll take care of Di-di,” the three year old promised.

“Good girl,” her mother smiled, “Now stay hid, quiet and don't come out till I come for you, dong-ma?”

“Yes, Mommy,” the girl nodded.

“I love you both,” the woman said, blinking back tears as she closed the door.

The little boy began to whimper.

“Quiet Mikey,” Allissa whispered as she put her tiny hand over her baby brothers mouth.

Outside the storage nook, the sounds of screaming and gunshots filled the air.


Carnage didn't begin to cover the situation. Xue landed Serenity at the edge of the station's housing section. Just a collection of storage containers converted into living quarters for the terriforming crews.

Gunfire emanated from the containers as the inhabitants with guns tried to fight back against the Reavers.

As soon as the ramp was down, River launched herself out of the ship. Mal, Jayne, Zoë and Max on her heels. As soon as they were clear, Xue closed the ramp.

The Reavers had been attacking for nearly an hour. Most had their fill and had retreated to their ships. Those Reavers died after their encounter with Serenity.

“How many you think, Albatross?” Mal shouted as they ran towards the now sporadic gunfire.

“No more than forty. The remaining ships are too small to hold any more than that,” the psychic replied back.

Rounding a corner, the group encountered a group of ten or so Reavers ripping a man and woman to shreds.

In a hail of bullets. All ten Reavers fell to the Rangers gunfire.

The added shots drew more Reavers to them. With a scream, River charged forward, her sword held high. All Mal and Jayne could do was swear and make sure no Reavers got the drop on her. Max and Zoë watched everyones backs.

They all stood in awe as River danced among the group of nearly twenty Reavers. The flash of her blade, the occasional gunshot coupled with the young woman's flying feet quickly reduced the horde to just so many corpses.

Hearing an inhuman scream from behind her, Max swung and literally blew the head off a Reaver with her shotgun.

A second Reaver ran up behind the first and Zoë put a bullet into the former man's chest.

“Let's move!” Mal ordered as he fired his own rifle at a charging pair of the monsters.

The howl of a shuttle followed by the chatter of the craft's guns meant that Inara was now in the fight.

Inara made two strafing runs on the grounded Reaver ships. Rendering them incapable of taking off again.

Gathering in a group. Several Reavers fired their few guns at the shuttle. Inara replied with 20mm cannon fire. Shredding the Reavers.

Wearing a safety harness, Bobbie leaned out the open door of the shuttle with her light machine gun. Firing at anything that looked like a Reaver. Several fell to her shooting.

In a few minutes it was all over.

No more live Reavers could be seen. Inara flew slowly over the area. There were no signs of movement anywhere.

Hundreds of bodies, both Reaver and Terriforming crew lay in the dirt. Despite their best efforts. They had been too late.


“Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiouh doh sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo!” Mal swore as he and Jayne checked yet another housing unit and found only mutilated bodies.

They had found only fifteen survivors in the main housing complex and about one hundred techs in the Atmosphere Processor units.

Out of twenty five hundred workers and families. Of the fifteen in the housing unit, only three were uninjured. A pair of security guards and a planetary mechanics engineer.

Mia and Simon had their hands full treating the survivors. Assisted by the stations medic who had survived by locking himself into a supply closet in the small clinic at the atmo plant.

The rest of the Rangers stood in the center of the housing unit, a small clearing where Inara had landed the shuttle. Xue had moved Serenity closer. Landing on the stations small landing pad a few hundred yards away.

“Bad business,” Jayne grumbled in reply to Mal's oath.

“Come on, Jayne,” Mal began, “Nothing more to be done here.”

With a whispered prayer on his lips, Jayne followed the Captain back outside.


“God...” Max whispered as she and Zoë picked their way around a large pile of Reaver and civilian bodies. Every one of the civilians had gone down fighting. The reason why was just behind them. The Terriforming station's school.

Max stuck her head through the door into the sole classroom and suddenly vomited. Zoë grabbed Max and pulled her outside.

“Boa-bei?” Zoë asked.

Max had tears in her eyes, “They... they got the... kids...”

Zoë had seen many things in her time but the sight of twenty children torn to shreds would haunt her forever, “Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze fuh ur-tze...” she whispered, trying not to loose her lunch like Max had.

Zoë suddenly tensed as the sounds of many engines began to grow, She keyed her com, “Zoë to Serenity...”

“Go ahead Mom,” Xue's voice replied.

“What's incoming?”

“Shuttles and gunships from the Magellan.”

Zoë relaxed, “Copy that, Ni-zi. Hang tight. We'll be back in a while.”

“Soon as you can. Jess is having a bit of a hard time. Mia had to give her a smoother.”

Zoë swore to herself. Jess was nearly as strong a reader as River was. And much more innocent and inexperienced. She hoped the girl would be okay.

Max had regained her composure, “What's wrong?”

“All this has hit Jess hard,” Zoë began, “ Mia had to sedate her.”

“Can't blame her. I want to forget I ever saw this and I can only see it with my eyes... a reader? I can't imagine...”

Zoë nodded, “I don't think anyone's gonna sleep well the next few nights...”


The third shuttle from Magellan that landed was carrying Fleet Admiral Robert Harken. The first two carried two platoons worth of Commonwealth Marines to help secure the area. The fourth shuttle carried a medical team to assist Simon and Mia.

Mal marched his way to where the Admiral stood. Mal saluted, “Admiral.”

“Son of a bitch,” the officer growled. He looked at Mal, “Bad?”

“Hundred and fifteen survivors out of about twenty five hundred.”

“Laotian, bu...”

“Zoë just called. They got the school... all the kids.”

The Admiral paled. Recalling what he had seen the last time he had encountered Reaver handiwork. Ironically, Mal had been there that time too.

“I got my people checking the housing units,” Mal continued, “Might be we get lucky and find someone hidin...”

The admiral nodded, dropping all military protocol, “God, I hope you're right, Mal.”

“So am I, Robert...”


River and Bobbie made their way along a row of housing units. The entire complex was laid out like a wagon wheel. Set in the bottom of a shallow crater, the massive Atmo plant was at the center. With the workshops, storage and housing units laid out like spokes.

The pair had just reached the last unit on their assigned spoke when River suddenly held up her hand.

“What is it?” Bobbie whispered.

“Fear... apprehension...”


River nodded as she stepped carefully through the door. Bobbie right behind.

As their eyes adjusted to the gloom, six bodies were in the small unit. Five Reavers piled up by the door and one woman a few feet away. A revolver in her lifeless fingers. She had saved the last shot for herself.

“Tzaogao,” Bobbie muttered.

“This way,” River whispered as she crept over to a storage unit in the corner.

Kneeling down in front of the latched door, she carefully slid the panel open.

“Get away!” screamed a little girl no older than three or four. She was holding onto a little boy who was just a toddler.

“Shhhh,” River said as soothingly as she could. She held out her Rangers badge. Currently slung around her neck on a chain, “I'm a Ranger. We're here to help.”

“Mommy said to wait till she came back,” the little girl said. River was surprised at the girl's intelligence.

Bobbie made sure to position herself between the children and the bodies. The hard nosed former Gunnery Sargent's heart was breaking. She looked around the room and spotted a capture on the shelf. The first frame showed the dead woman on the floor and the two children in the storage nook. She swore to herself.

River looked at Bobbie and nodded. Reading the older woman's mind. She turned back to the kids, “Your Mommy sent us to come and get you.”

“She did?” The girl said through her tears.

“She did,” River smiled, “What is your name, sweetie?”

“Allissa,” she replied, “What's yours?”

“My name is River. And this is Roberta.”

“Hi,” the little girl said as she waved.

“Hi yourself,” Bobbie replied, waving back.

“And who is this?” River asked.

“My brother, Mikey.” the little boy smiled at the mention of his name.

“Why don't you come out of there, Alissa,” River said.

“Hang on a sec, Riv,” Bobbie said as she quickly pulled a comforter off the threadbare couch and draped it over the body of the children's mother.

Their Mother's body now hidden from sight, River drew the children out. Scooping the girl into her arms. Bobbie followed suit with Mikey, “Whooo. Someone needs a new diaper.”

River glanced quickly around, spotting a diaper bag in the corner, “We'll change him back on Serenity.”

“Good idea,” Bobbie agreed.

As they stepped outside, keeping the kids eyes shielded from the carnage by pressing then to their shoulders, Bobbie looked at her diminutive partner and mouthed the word “Father” to the psychic.

River shook her head slightly and River mouthed the word “dead” back.

Bobbie sighed. What the hell were they gonna do with two little kids?




Sunday, May 23, 2010 7:51 PM


i'm liking this series apart from one thing....there are a couple of words that are always spelt wrong. sorry, it's a pet peeve.

great story anyways.

Monday, May 24, 2010 2:31 PM


why could you not let the school-children and some of the parents survive, and with the parents especially the mother of the little boy and girl in the closet, why oh why,it was a kinda sadd chapter, are they going to adopt them?

anyway keep it going

and have you seen who is back!!! ScrewTheAlliance!!! yeah

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 12:25 AM


Looks like Bobbie and Mia may be Moms too? good emotional writing Bri.. and just like Reavers to clean their plates, leaving nothing alive.. if they can.. Looks like maybe the Guardians will become the Hunters??? Hmmmmmm.. Reaver Hunters.. sanctioned by the Govt.. arriving in the nick, because Xue knows where to go??

YES Please!!! May we have another??

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:15 AM


As has already been said, very emotional - you certainly tugged at the heart strings in this! You know, I love this series as much as the Allanverse - so you keep writing, you hear?

Monday, May 31, 2010 8:19 PM


nice job more please


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