Tales of the Rangers - Chapter 13
Monday, August 16, 2010

We find out the extent of Roberta's injuries. And we take a little sojourn into the future and see what our hero's are up to.


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. This chapter is set mostly in the future.


Tales of the Rangers


Chapter Thirteen


Simon let the hot water erase some of the fatigue he felt. There had been a time when ten hours of complicated surgery didn't even make him blink. A cup of coffee and he'd be ready to go another ten.

He jokingly thought that he might be getting too old and then chuckled out loud. Twenty nine was nowhere near old.

Maybe it was the stress of the last few years that had aged him. There were some mornings he felt much older than his years. Until he looked over at Kaylee sleeping next to him.

Thoughts of his wife brought a smile to the doctor's face as he stepped out of the shower and toweled off.

Maybe what made him feel old was that most of the time now. His patients weren't strangers but people he considered friends and family.

Friends like Roberta Williams.

With a towel around his waist, Simon stepped into the surgeon's changing room proper and opened the locker he had been loaned to hold his clothing.

“Dr. Tam?”

Simon turned around, “Yes Dr. Sing?”

The shorter and a few years older Asian man stepped forward. Already dressed in fresh scrubs, “I am honored to have worked with a surgeon of your skill.”

Simon smiled wanly, “Thank you. I must say your work is first class as well.”

“Comes from being a field surgeon for the Independents.”

Simon nodded, “Experience is one of the best teachers.”

“Indeed,” Sing agreed, “I'm just sorry we couldn't save...”

“I know,” Simon said, cutting the older doctor off. He sighed and continued, “I'll do the notifications of you don't mind.”

Sing nodded, “Certainly. You know them better than anyone.”

“Sometimes I wish I didn't...”


It was very late. Inara and Mal were snuggled together in a chair, fast asleep. Likewise so were Maxine, Zoë and Wash, laying in a tangle on the waiting room's sofa.

The teenagers dozed in the corner. Xue's head on Scott's shoulder. Jessie leaning against Kaylee's legs where she dozed on the floor in front of the mechanic.

Only River, Jayne and Mia were still awake. Jayne stood guard in the entryway and River was doing her best to comfort Mia.

The Nurse had run out of tears hours ago and now sat, simply staring into space. As soon as Simon reached Jayne, River sat up straighter. Causing Mia to look up.

“Simon?” Mia asked as she shakily got to her feet. The sudden voices rousing Mal, Inara and the trio on the sofa. The kids and Kaylee didn't move

“Simon?” Mia asked in a whisper.

Simon took a deep breath, “She's alive, Mia...”

“Oh thank god...” Mia breathed out.

“Niska injured her severely,” Simon continued, “Her leg... we... we couldn't save it.”

Mia broke out in tears again while Simon pulled her into a hug. He and Mia had become close, working together on Serenity. Mia was a skilled nurse and they had clicked, professionally.

“She will recover in time,” Simon began, “But it will be some time before she can be discharged...”

Mia blinked back more tears and looked up into Simon's eyes, “Can she be fitted with...”

Simon nodded, “A prosthetic? Yes. The amputation is below the knee. In a few months you can take her dancing...”

Mia choked back a chuckle, “She hates to dance...”

Wash, Zoë and Max shared a glance and smiled slightly. Just for a moment.

“What about? The rest?” Mia sniffled.

“Her right knee will require some surgery in about a week. Her fingers will heal in about the same time frame with bone menders. It will take a three or four days for the swelling to go down from her dislocated shoulders.”

Mia nodded and began to collect herself. Despite Simon's clinical description, it was what she needed to hear.

Simon took a deep breath and continued, “She has a bruised kidney and three broken ribs... the... wounds on her torso... there will be some scarring. But in a few days. A plastic surgeon will do what he can to minimize those.”

Mia nodded and suddenly yawned, “Why don't you get some rest, Mia,” Inara said quietly.

“Bobbie's in post op,” Simon began, “It will be a few hours before she's moved to a room. Dr. Sing has arranged for a room for you.”

“I don't want to be alone...”

“River and me'll stay,” Jayne said quietly, “No need for you to fret.”

“Thank you, Jayne,” Mia smiled slightly.

“You's family,” Jayne said, “It's what we do.”


Bobbie awoke with a start. “That damn nightmare again,” she whispered to into the dark room.

Slowly she controlled her rapid breathing. After a minute she was able to regain her composure. Taking a deep breath Bobbie threw back the covers and sat up on the edge of her empty bed.

She only had the nightmare when Mia was away. The nightmare that made her relive what she had gone through when Niska had tortured her. Bobbie had kept up a brave front for Inara's sake. To keep the monster's attention on her rather than the former companion. But during Bobbie's recovery. All those walls had come crashing down. It took months longer to heal the mental scars than it took for the physical ones to fade.

She looked at the chronometer on the nightstand. It was a little after four am. There was no way she was going to be able to get back to sleep now, so Bobbie decided to start her day.

Next to the nightstand was the charging unit for her prosthetic. Pulling the dark flesh colored limb from the charger. Bobbie fitted it in place and felt the pop as the attachment points engaged. She then felt the now familiar buzz as the sensors in the limb connected to her nervous system.

Upon hearing the beep that indicated the device was on line. Bobbie began to rotate her artificial left ankle. Up, down and side to side. Making sure that the neural interface was functioning correctly. Standing up, she could feel the pressure on the bottom of her synthetic foot.

Grabbing her robe, she walked across the carpet into the bathroom for a shower.

Fifteen minutes later, Bobbie was seated at her kitchen table going over reports. She hated paperwork but in her role as an instructor for the Ranger Academy. She had student evaluations to finish. Even though it was a Saturday. Bobbie decided it was time to finish the last batch before the kids woke up.

The thought of her children made her smile. The best thing that had come out of the ordeal with Niska had been getting Allissa and Mike. After going through what she had been through. If children's services had denied her adoption application. Bobbie was sure that the crew of Serenity would have taken the place apart.

Since she had been seen as a 'hero'. The agency had granted Bobbie's application immediately. Then turned the kids over to Inara and Mia until Bobbie was well enough to take care of them herself.

Sipping at her coffee, Bobbie wondered where her maternal streak had come from. Her parents had been loving but not particularly affectionate. Maybe it was the way she had treated the Marines under her command. She had always referred to them as her 'Kids'.

A noise upstairs told Bobbie that Mike was awake. Now almost ten years old. He had blossomed into rambunctious boy who seemed to have two left feet. Hence the loud thump as he had probably fallen out of bed. He had a heart of gold too.

Alissa though... well. She was on the brink of becoming a teenager. She was smart. Very smart. Simon repeatedly said that Allissa reminded him of River at the same age. She was already taking secondary level educational classes and even a few college level classes as well.

And Alissa was pretty. Already beginning to develop physically. Some of the early teen boys who lived nearby had been eying the brunette. They stayed at a distance however since, despite her artificial leg. Bobbie as a mother and former Marine. Was still damn scary to the average fourteen year old boy. Her badge and gun only adding to the intimidation factor.

Mike bounded down the stairs and barreled into the kitchen, “Morning, Mom!”

Bobbie smiled when Mike kissed her cheek, “Mornin, baby,” Bobbie replied as Mike began to fix his own breakfast. Bobbie was still a menace in the kitchen. Despite Max and Mia's attempts at giving her cooking lessons.

And at age nine. Mike was more than capable of making toast and pouring a bowl of cereal.

“Your sister up yet?” Bobbie asked as she turned on her portable cortex unit and pulled up the local news service.

“It's Saturday... she won't be up for a while.”

Bobbie sighed. Alissa was almost as bad as she had been at that age, “I better go roust her then...”

“I'm up,” Allissa yawned as she stumbled into the kitchen, wearing sleep pants and a tank top. Along with the fuzzy bunny slippers that had been a birthday present from Kaylee.

“Morning sleepy head,” Bobbie grinned. Her reply was a mumble.

“When's Ma' coming home?” Mike asked. Bobbie was Mom and Mia was Ma'. If you weren't part of their family. It could be confusing. But to them it made perfect sense.

“Serenity's due back tomorrow afternoon,” Bobbie smiled. Knowing that the kids missed Mia almost as much as Bobbie did herself.

Since Mal had semi-retired and Zoë had taken a ground side position in charge of all the Rangers in the Georgia system. River had been appointed as Serenity's Captain. Jayne was first mate. In more ways than one, Bobbie snickered to herself.

When not on maternity leave. Xue was Serenity's pilot with Max as crew. Mia and Simon alternated missions as medic. Kaylee had trained up another mechanic after Scott had decided to go to law school. He had been helping Kaylee aboard the ship almost since he had come aboard.

Besides. With twins of her own. Kaylee decided it was best to stay home as much as she could.

Serenity still flew for the Rangers. The old Firefly prowled about the system. Responding to trouble spots when needed and patrolled. Always on the lookout for pirates and slavers.

River was not only Serenity's Captain. She also held that rank in the Commonwealth Rangers. As did Bobbie. She, however was now the lead small unit tactics and firearms instructor for the Ranger Academy.

Jayne had been promoted to Lieutenant in the Rangers several years before as had Maxine. Zoë due to her position, held the rank of Colonel.

Wash was a Major but his primary duty was Chief Flight Instructor for the Academy. Xue was the youngest Sargent in the Rangers.

Thinking about the crew that had become her extended family, brought Bobbie's thoughts back to Mal.

After three years as a Ranger. He had retired when Inara had become gravely ill. The cancer had been aggressive and she had nearly perished. Inara recovered, in time but it had left her unable to conceive thanks to the aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

When Inara had recovered. She resigned from the Rangers and took a position as a teacher. In fact. One of Mike's instructors in Primary Ed was his 'Aunt' Inara.

Taking a suggestion from his Uncle Josiah, who by then, had been elected Vice President of the Commonwealth. Mal ran for Meadow's open Senate seat and had won handily.

Now he shuttled back and forth between Osiris and his adopted home world. Inara only traveled with Mal when school was out.

“Can I go over to Aunt Xue's later?” Mike asked.

Bobbi looked up from the news story on her reader about a murder in West Lakeside, “Aunt Xue's?”

Mike nodded, “Uh, huh. Hobie...”

Bobbie grinned and held up her hand, “I get it now.” Despite the five plus year age difference. Scott and Xue's son was more like a younger brother to Mike than an unofficial 'cousin'. “You can go over after lunch.”

Mike smiled, “Dang-ran.”

“And what are your plans for this beautiful Saturday, young lady?” Bobbie asked her daughter.

“I was going to go over to Aunt Inara's... if that's okay?”

“It's fine,” Bobbie replied, “Just make sure you and Regan don't get into any trouble.”


“I know all about the two of you hacking into the White Lotus Triad's supposedly secure computer systems.”

“But... Aunt Zoë and Aunt River were able to get convictions...”

Bobbie shook her head, “And the key evidence was almost thrown out of court. I know you two geniuses want to help us out...”

“I understand,” Allissa said in a disgruntled tone.

Bobbie smiled. It was hard parenting a preteen who was smarter than she was. Mike was very bright too but nowhere near being in his big sister's class, Thank god Bobbie had River and Simon to fall back on for tips when it came to dealing with a moody genius 'Tween'.

Serenity's current Captain was secretly dreading facing the same situation as Bobbie in a few years. Reagan wasn't as smart as her mother. But she wasn't far behind either.

“You can go over this afternoon,” Bobbie said, snapping out of her musing, “But first, you and your brother are going to help me straighten up the house. We need to get it ready for Mia's homecoming.”

“Mommm,” both kids said in unison.

Bobbie cleared her throat, “I mean it. This house is a mess.”

“And who's fault is that?” Allissa grinned.

“So I'm not the worlds best housekeeper,” Bobbie grumbled. Eliciting a giggle from her children.

“Miss clean Marine ain't so clean when Ma's not around,” Mike chuckled.

“No...” Bobbie sighed, “My wife is just a neat freak...”


Wash awoke to the familiar sound of Zoë's breathing. Moving carefully, he turned to look at the chronometer on the nightstand. It said it was nearly nine am. Wash knew Zoë had a noon meeting with her 'A' team. The Rangers best investigators in the system were due to arrive and begin working on the 'Street Whore Killer' case.

Zoë groaned and opened her eyes, “Morning, Husband...”

“Mornin, sweetie,” Wash replied before kissing her, “Sleep well?”

“Yep,” Zoë smiled, “You wearing me out helped...”

“I aim to please,” Wash grinned.

“Just wait till tomorrow night,” Zoë grinned, “Max will be home.”

Wash matched Zoë's grin, “My girls. Back together again.”

Zoë nearly purred at the thought. Serenity had been gone almost two months. Neither Wash or Zoë were safe from Maxine when she got home.

Max still considered herself Sly. Except if she was with both Zoë and Wash. Then... well what they had together was very special.

What had originally started out as Zoë taking Max as a second spouse, had morphed into true polyamorus relationship.

They still got the odd look from time to time but they didn't care. Love was love and Zoë had come too close to loosing both of the people she cared about. In Wash's case she had lost him. She just got lucky and got him back.

“Eggs for breakfast?” Wash asked as he rolled out of the bed.

“Sounds good,” Zoë replied as she rose herself. Wash had been a decent cook and after nearly eight years together, Max's cooking skills had rubbed off somewhat. At least on Wash. Zoë still had problems reheating leftovers.

“What time do you have to head for the office?” Wash asked as he pulled on a t-shirt.

“About eleven,” Zoë replied as she headed for the shower, “The team should be in at around noon.”

“I'll start on the eggs then,” Wash replied. His eyes never leaving Zoë's naked backside as she walked to the bathroom.

After finishing dressing, Wash headed for the kitchen of their small house. A quick glance out the back window assured him that Zoë's Ranger issued flyer was still parked on the pad out back.

A smile crossed Wash's face. He might be able to finish up the overhaul of his Cloudworks CLT-20 this afternoon. Now that they had some disposable income, Wash had picked up the old aircar for a song out of a junkyard. He had done eighty percent of the restoration work himself. Only asking for help in overhauling the gravity engine from Kaylee and his daughter.

With luck, he just might be able to take Rex out for a spin today.


“How are you Senator?” the Admiral asked.

'I'm good,” the Senator replied, “Glad to be getting home though.”

“I would imagine. I'm just glad we were heading your way. Is the brandy to your liking?”

The Senator chuckled, “I was always a beer and whiskey man myself. And what's with all the formality? We've known each other for a while now, Robert.”

The officer chuckled, “That we have, Mal. Hard to believe it's been only ten years since I was in command of the Dortmunder and you were smuggling around the rim with Serenity.”

Mal raised his glass to Robert Harken, “To the good old days.”

Robert raised his glass and grinned, “Not so old or good as I recall.”

“Hard to believe we helped change the 'Verse, ain't it.”

“It staggers the mind sometimes. How is everyone?”

Mal grinned, “'Nara's doin well. She's taken to being a teacher like a duck to water. Xue's got another little one on the way. Supposed to be a girl this time.”

The Admiral smiled, “Please pass along my congratulations.”

“I'll see to it,” Mal replied as he set down his snifter, “Everyone else is doin well. Busy now working on getting the first Ranger class graduated.”

“I'm surprised you didn't take the Comandant's position when they offered it to you.”

“I hate to say it but I've developed a knack for bein a politician. Sides, Damien is doin right well. Havin a former Parliamentary Operative as Commandant sure keeps the young bucks in line.”

“I imagine it would,” Robert chuckled.

Mal smiled, “How's the fleet restructuring going?”

“Slowly,” The admiral replied, “Too many of my peers think that riding around in multi trillion credit Unification class cruisers is shiny. The economy is still rebounding from the formation of the Commonwealth. We can't afford the upkeep on all of the Cruisers that survived the war. There is a need for three total in the fleet as command ships. And we're mothballing the sole surviving Maelstrom class battle cruiser too. We need Destroyers and Frigates . Not flying cities that were designed to intimidate the common man.”

“I agree,” Mal replied, “And I'll see what I can do in getting the appropriate legislation through when the Senate reconvenes for the fall session.”

“I appreciate it, Mal.”

“I do what I can,” Mal smiled.


“... That's what we have so far,” Zoë said as she concluded her briefing.

“Physical evidence?” asked Jeremiah Washington. A tall, dark skinned native of Londonium who was the Ranger's foremost expert on forensics.

“Very little,” Zoë sighed, “All of the locations where the bodies have been found are not the actual crime scenes. The murderer is smart. No usable DNA and no witnesses.”

“I want to take a look at the dump locations myself. Might spot something,” Washington added.

“Feel free,” Zoë replied. She turned to some of the other experts gathered around the table, “Profile?”

“Not enough data to come up with one yet. I want to accompany Jeremiah to look at the locations as well,” said Dr. Faye Parker. The team's forensic psychologist and lead profiler.

“What about me, Zoë?”

Zoë sighed and looked across the table to the blonde haired young woman who was almost a second daughter to her, “I hope to hell we don't need your active participation in this, Jess.”

Jess smiled, “All the victims have been young women working as street whores. If we need to bait him. I'm your girl.”

Zoë nodded, “We'll have to see...”




Tuesday, August 17, 2010 2:15 AM


Superior Fluff.. Great back story and character updates.. I get the feeling something is about to *hit the fan? River is captain and Jayne first mate... Who cant see the humor in that??? :) Im so in like with this ARC that I ALMOST dont miss the Quest updates (since I started re-reading from the beginning again) but just to let you know, there are persons awaiting the births and weddings... not sure how many.. but Im one of many, I would assume..

Yes Please!! May we have another????

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:27 AM


Always good stuff. Like the Zoe and Wash fluff.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 6:19 AM


very nice, glad to hear inara survived the cancer, i was getting very nervous then reading that part :-)

Very nice indeed

Thursday, August 19, 2010 2:34 AM


I do miss the bit where we have Bobbie dealing with her injuries, and Inara dealing with her own illness, but I can understand you wanting to get on with the main thrust of the story. But Mal a politician? No, just can't see that at all! Not that I mind - I love this tale anyway.


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