Tales of the Rangers - Chapter 12
Friday, August 6, 2010

Niska has Inara and Roberta. Can the crew find out where they are before something happens?


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. Same goes for my depiction of a Polyamory relationship.


AN: Takes place both in the future and post Guardians.


Tales of the Rangers


Chapter Twelve


Maxine strolled casually down the docks. She wore her long gray coat against the rain. It also kept her weapons hidden. She was looking for ships that might be trying to take off even though there was a port wide land lock in effect.

Several vessels were running their engines at low power. Three freighters and a pair of expensive yachts. Frowning, Max headed for the port office a score of yards away.

Maxine stepped through the door and flashed her badge and ID to the security man at the front desk. He nodded and admitted Max to the rear office. She was just in time to hear the ground controller arguing with the Captain of one of the land locked ships.

“... I must insist that the land lock on my ship be lifted at once!” the Captain on the wave screen nearly shouted.

“I'm sorry, Captain,” the controller replied looking over to where the slightly damp Maxine stood, “but all ships in port are land locked until inspections have been completed.”

“Why do we need to be inspected. This is a private vessel.”

The controller was becoming irritated, “All ships means all ships. Freighters have priority before private vessels due to time sensitive cargo shipments.”

The man on the screen growled something and then looked the controller in the eye, “My employer is very much in a hurry. Can we come to some kind of.... agreement?”

The controller glanced over at Maxine who nodded. The man gulped once and then looked back at the Captain, “What kind of agreement?”

“Of the monetary kind. A cursory inspection held in a timely manner would be appreciated.”

Maxine moved behind the wave monitor on the controllers desk and nodded again.

The controller smiled, “I think we are in agreement. I cannot get away from my desk but one of my... assistants will conduct the inspection.”

“How will we know this assistant?” the Captain asked.

“She has red hair.”

“When can we expect this assistant?”

Max held up four fingers.

“Forty, forty five minutes? It's the best I can do.”

“Very well,” the irate Captain replied as he cut the wave.

“Thanks,” Max smiled at the man.

“I hope I don't get in trouble for this.”

Max shook her head, “Nope. You're doing the Commonwealth a service. Might just be able to arrange for the offered bribe to be turned into a ... reward.”

The controller smiled, “Thanks.”

“No problem. By the way. What's that ship's, filed destination?”



Mal stalked into Serenity's cargo bay, followed by Jayne, River, and a still shaken Jessie.

“Report!” Mal snarled.

Wash glanced at Zoë before he started to speak, “Kaylee's got us ready to fly if we need to. Xue's on the bridge. Scott is helping Kaylee and Simon and Mia are prepping the infirmary.”

“Max?” Mal asked tersely.

“Right here, Cap,” Max said as she jogged up the ramp.

“What ya' got?”

“Private yacht. Eleven slips west o' here. Is in a big hurry to leave. Offered the ground controller a bribe to lift the land lock. Had him agree. They're expecting a cursory inspection in about half an hour.”

“Think it's the one?” Mal asked.

“Bound for Ezra,” Max replied.

River and Jess suddenly gasped out in pain.

“Baby girl?” Jayne asked River as Jess sagged against Maxine.

River focused slightly, “Bobbie is awake.”

“Nara?” Mal asked.


“Bobbie's scared. Not for herself but for Inara...” Jessie whispered.

“It's Niska,” River added.

Mal's face clouded with fury until he saw the pain it was causing his junior reader, “Head on up to the bridge, Jess,” Mal said. Softening his voice, “Xue's been right worried on you.”

The teen nodded and ran for the stairs.

“Everyone else here. Load up. You too Wash.” Mal ordered.

The pilot nodded. The thought of Inara and Bobbie in the hands of Niska made his blood boil. Remembering his own time being tortured by the hwoon-dahn, “He dies this time.”

“Damn straight, Husband,” Zoë replied.

Max tossed Wash a shotgun, “Got that right, Husband.”


“Is this Serenity?” a young man wearing the uniform of a courier asked timidly.

“It is,” Zoë said as she walked down the ramp to the boy. The young man gulped when he saw all the firepower the woman was carrying.

“I have a delivery for Malcolm Reynolds...”

Mal quickly moved to Zoë's side, “I'm Reynolds.”

“Sign here, Sir,” the delivery boy said nervously.

Mal looked at the young man as he signed, “Sorry, Son. We're Commonwealth Rangers.”

The boy seemed to relax with that information, “Very good sir,” he replied as he handed over a large envelope. As soon as it was in Mal's hands the delivery boy turned away and nearly ran from the ship.

Zoë and Mal shared a look and Mal carefully tore open the envelope.

“Gun-hoe-tze-bee-dio-se!” Mal growled as he pulled a dark braid from the envelope. It was clearly Inara's. A piece of paper fluttered to the deck and Zoë picked it up.

River scowled and Jayne swore under his breath. Max let out a little gasp. Wash just turned red with anger.

Zoë read the note aloud, “You have sullied my reputation. Come alone in three days. Or I will sully more than Ms. Serra's hair. Signed: Niska.”

“He ain't getting three days with her. This ends now,” Mal snarled, “Let's go.”


“What do you mean... inspection!” Niska thundered at his ship's Captain.

“Sir... all ships are land locked. I was forced to bribe the ground controller to allow a cursory inspection to get it lifted. They should be here in about fifteen minutes.”

“I prokletí na vás a všechny své předky!” Niska swore in Czech.

“Not going to plan, Niska?” Bobbie taunted from the rack she was now bound to in the middle of the room. Niska's men had stripped her and then the boss had begun to work Bobbie over with a flogger before the Captain had interrupted. Blood oozed from the gashes across her abdomen and chest.

With a snarl, Niska picked up a large wooden mallet and slammed it against Bobbie's shin. She screamed as the bones in her left lower leg snapped.


River stumbled slightly as they made their way across the wet concrete of the landing pads.

“Tross?” Mal asked as they got close to Niska's ship.

“Niska is angry. Taking it out on Roberta...”

Jayne growled while Zoë and Maxine tightened the grips on their weapons.

“Max,” Mal began, “Niska don't know you or River. You'll be in plain sight. While the rest of us pounce.”

“Got it, Cap,” Max replied, handing her shotgun to Wash.

They approached carefully. This part of the docks was clean and tidy. Only the odd ground crewman and ship crewmen were visible. The rain and falling twilight made visibility beyond a few yards difficult.

Beyond Niska's vessel, Mal was glad to see the vehicles of the Athens' Marshal's service waiting behind another ship a score of yards away from their target. They were the backup.

With a glance at River, Max and the younger woman stepped in front the main hatchway to Niska's ship and pushed the signal button.

'Who are you?” said the crewman who opened the airlock hatch. Max and River were quick to notice the sub machine gun strapped across the man's chest.

“Port control,” Max replied in a bored voice, “Need to speak with the Captain before the inspection.”

“Wait here,” the man replied gruffly before keying up his com and speaking quietly in a language Max didn't understand.

“Captain will be here momentarily,” the man said after a few seconds.

“We'll wait.” Max replied.

A moment later, a tall man Max recognized from the wave screen in the controllers office entered the airlock and stepped partially out of the ship. He immediately noticed Max's red hair, “Are you here for the inspection?”

“We are,” Max replied, smiling slightly.

The Captain smiled himself and handed over a small envelope, “These are the ships... papers...”

Max reached up and instead of grabbing the envelope, latched onto the Captain's wrist and hauled him through the hatch and onto the ground. Before the crewman could react. River fired once with her silenced pistol. Dropping the crewman to the ground. Dead.

The Captain started to swear and regain his feet when Jayne's fist smashed him down. Nearly knocking him unconscious.

As he tried to regain his bearings, a booted foot came down on his throat, “You got one chance to answer this right,” Mal growled and pushed down with his foot to emphasize his displeasure, “How many crew and where's Niska?”

“I'm not telling... Urk!” Mal stepped harder.

I have it Captain,” River said, “Twelve crew. Ten now. Niska is in the aft hold. That is where his 'Playroom' is.

Mal almost shot Niska's Captain but instead, pulled his foot back and kicked him in the temple. Knocking the man unconscious. Mal was a lawman now. Niska's life may be forfeit but those that survived this little operation among Niska's men would face trial.

“Lets go.” Mal ordered, “Leave this piece of go-se for the Marshals.


Bobbie moaned in pain as Niska manipulated her leg. Niska had used the mallet over and over again. Starting just below Bobbie's left knee was nothing but a bloody mess that used to be her leg.

“Tsk, tsk ,” Niska said, “This is the problem. Women have such low pain tolerance compared to men. Yes?”

“Go... to... hell...” Bobbie moaned out.

Niska chuckled, “Not today I think.”

“Never... know...”

“Hmm. You do make a valid point. One never knows.” Niska turned away and keyed the intercom,” Captain. Why haven't we left yet?”

His only answer was static.

Grumbling under his breath, Niska made his way to the door and opened it. The guard outside stood at attention, “Sir?”

“Find out why the intercom is not working.”

“At once, Sir”

Smiling, Niska turned back to Roberta, “Now my dear. Shall we see the real you?”

Bobbie gathered what strength she had left and laughed, “The real me will... have your guts... for garters...”

Niska chuckled, “Spirit you have. Very good. Much like Mr. Reynolds.”

Before Bobbie could reply, Niska kicked out her right knee. Causing her weight to fall onto the remains of her other leg. With a scream, Bobbie dropped until her bound arms stopped her fall. In the process dislocating both shoulders. She passed out from the pain.

Unseen behind Niska. Inara awoke. Groggily she opened her eyes. In horror she heard Bobbie scream and then fall unconscious.

Niska clucked his tongue, “Pity... I had hoped to hurt you more...”

Carefully, Inara tried to move. She was surprised when se realized she wasn't bound. As Niska turned around, she feigned unconsciousness. She could smell his breath when he leaned over her. It took all of Inara's control to not react.

“It is a shame I am having to wait to enjoy your company Ms. Serra. But it will be much more satisfying to do things to you in Mr. Reynolds presence...”

The Intercom suddenly squawked once before a crewman's frightened voice was heard, “Mr. Niska! We've been board....” the intercom went dead.

“Zatraceně parchante!” Niska swore as he turned away.

Inara chanced opening one eye and saw that Niska was moving away, across the compartment. Sizing the opportunity, she shakily sat up and looked around for a weapon. Anything she could use.

Bobbie moaned. Drawing Niska's attention.

Inara pounced. There was a large knife lying on an instrument tray halfway between Inara and Niska. Staggering, Inara reached for the knife. Instead she knocked the tray over. Causing Niska to snap around.

“Ahh, Ms. Serra. Awake at last.”

Inara reached for the knife but Niska kicked it away, laughing, “Nice, that is not. I thought the Guild trained you better than that...”

Niska's words were cut off when Inara's fist slammed into his crotch. With a gasp, Niska bent over. Sizing the opportunity, Inara grabbed the fallen tray and brought it down on Niska's skull. Stunning him but failing to render him unconscious.

Inara scrambled on her hands and knees to where Niska had kicked the knife. Just as her hands closed around the hilt. A shadow fell over her, “Go-se.”

One of Niska's men stood there with a gun in his hands. He leered at Inara. Shifting his grip on the gun, he raised it to strike Inara while stepping on the blade of the knife.

As he raised his hand. The man's head suddenly exploded. And his body slumped to the floor.

Inara looked up to see Jayne Cobb holding a still smoking Vera in his hands, “You okay, Nara?”

Inara sagged to the floor in relief, “I am now...”

Niska had regained his wits and started to stand. He fumbled for a small pistol in his coat pocket. Just as he pulled it out. Another shot echoed in the small room and Niska screamed as the bullet from Mal's gun shattered the pistol and his hand.

Wide eyed, Niska tried to stop the flow of blood from his hand, “No... get away.”

“What's the matter, Niska?” Mal snarled, “Not able to take what you dish out?”

“Nechte mě vás parchante!”

Mal's gun snapped up and pointed at Niska's head, his finger caressing the trigger, “Give me one reason I shouldn't kill you right now,” he snarled.

“I didn't kill your woman...”

“Wrong answer.”

Mal's finger finished the trigger pull and the gun fired. Blood and gray matter exploded from the back of Niska's head.

Mal pulled the trigger again and again until his gun was empty. What was left of Niska's skull looked like hamburger.

“Think... ya got...'im... Cap...” Bobbie groaned out.

“Kwin-gwe-je deh! Bobbie!” Mal yelled, “Jayne!”

Quickly, Mal and Jayne undid the restraints holding Bobbie up and as gently as they could laid her on the floor. Mal pulled off his coat and draped it over her, “We got ya' Bobbie.”

With the weight off her dislocated shoulders and shattered leg, she could breath easier, “Bout time you got here.”

Mal smiled slightly, “I like to make a grand entrance.”

“Oh, Roberta,” Inara said as she knelt next to the former Marine.

“You... okay, 'Nara?”

Inara nodded, tears on her face, “I'm fine.”

“Good... reckon I'm gonna pass out now...” Bobbie breathed before closing her eyes.

Mal looked up, “Jayne! Go fetch that medic the Marshals got with em' and get an ambulance.”

“On the way, Cap.”


The crew gathered in the Athens City Medical Center's waiting room. Kaylee hugging and comforting Mia as best she could.

Xue was sniffling in Scott's lap as they sat in a chair. Jessie sat next to the young couple. Trying to block out everyones emotions. River stood nearby. Ready to render assistance to the younger reader.

Wash sat blank faced on a sofa while Zoë and Maxine paced back and forth nearby.

Due to his reinstated medical license and experience. Simon had scrubbed up to assist the local surgeons work on Bobbie.

Mal and Inara were still in the ER. Being guarded by Jayne. Even thought Inara assured Mal she was fine, he had insisted she be checked out.

“Will you two stop pacing...” Wash began, “You're going to wear a groove in the floor.”

Max and Zoë stopped, “Sorry,” the two women said in unison.

“Come here,” Wash replied holding out his arms.

The crew scattered about the room weren't surprised when Zoë settled up to her husbands right side. They were however, when Maxine did the same on his left. Wash sighed slightly and hugged them both.

After a few minutes of quiet. Except for Mia's nearly silent sobs, the door opened and Mal entered. Inara at his side and Jayne bringing up the rear.

“You okay, 'Nara?” Kaylee asked. Looking up from Mia.

“I'm alright, Mei-mei,” Inara said shakily.

Mal looked around and didn't see Simon, “Any word?”

“None yet, Sir,” Zoë replied.

Mal nearly did a double take when he saw how Max was snuggled up against Wash. Her head on the pilot's shoulder.

Mia looked up from Kaylee's hug and her face clouded, “Why?” the nurse nearly shouted, “Why are you whole and Bobbie is in there fighting for her life?”

“Mia...” Mal began but Inara shushed him.

The former companion teared up and dropped to her knees in front of the grieving woman, “Niska was saving me for later. He wanted to hurt me in front of Mal. To make it more cruel. I'm so sorry this happened, Mia...”

Mia reached out and pulled Inara into an embrace, crying again. Making room, Kaylee rose and moved over to Jessie.

Mal inwardly seethed. He wished Niska was still alive so he could kill him again. Mia had been through so much in the last half a year. Being taken as a slave. Her mother killed in the doing. Being raped and now. Just as she had found some happiness. This happened.

Mal wondered if it was all his fault...

“Not your fault,” River said quietly at the Captain's side.

“Still. Seems like a dark cloud follows me about, 'Lil Albatross.”

“Aw hell, Mal,” Jayne said as he walked over from the door, “Just a little rain is all. Bobbies strong. She'll come through this.”

Mal sighed and looked to where Mia was still sobbing on Inara's shoulder, “She better...”



Czech Translations:

I prokletí na vás a všechny své předky = I curse upon you and all your ancestors

Zatraceně parchante = God damn son of a bitch

Nechte mě vás parchante = Get away from me, you son of a bitch


Saturday, August 7, 2010 3:27 AM


A fitting end to a blight on the verse. I like the way you have Z/W/M developing, and Im hoping that Mia/Bobbie get some happiness after this ordeal. Not a real fan of slash, but in this verse it just seems to be right, and not... dirty.. good job on that. Jess and Xue and Scott are OC winners too.. magnificent character structures with seperate and identifyable personalities, traits and abilities.. how do you keep them all strait is beyond me. Look forward to much more in this arc and awaiting chapt. 2 of your new project.

Yes Please!! May we have more of ANYTHING????

Sunday, August 8, 2010 12:13 AM


Loving this ride...Niska being dead put me in a darn good mood. I hope Bobbie gets better and that Mal starts thinking on putting that rock on Inara's finger when this ordeal os over. Damn fine work!

Monday, August 9, 2010 2:11 AM


Bobbie is going to find it hard to deal with her injuries, I suspect. But at least Niska has donated his brains to the wall ... Good stuff!


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