Cowboys & Alliance part 3
Thursday, August 18, 2011

Post Serenity the BDM: Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of Serenity prepare for a day that could end rather fruitfully, well that’s their hope. Anyway, just as always there is an opposing side, a side that wouldn’t mind if the crew of Serenity could be captured and redeemed for reward. That is if anyone knew they were there……read on.


Cowboys & Alliance : part 3 -------- Desperate Times, Desperate Measures --------


Malcolm Reynolds awoke early the next morning. He’d slept rather well considering there was a bank hold-up planned come sunup……after the early morning dew had dried. He got a whiff of morning breakfast as he climbed outta his bunk so he headed to the galley.

“ Morning Kaylee….” he offered up as he noticed the ship’s mechanic in the kitchen flipping hotcakes for the morning grub.

“ Morning cap,” She responded, “you look chipper today, any reason it should be an improvement over yesterday, or the day before?”

“ Sure little Miss Kaylee, today we’re gonna acquired coin,” Malcolm Reynolds smiled at his ship’s mechanic as she busied herself in the kitchen, “ Actually, someone else has acquired it, we’re just gonna relieve the burden of keeping it stored from his perverted, bony fingers. Been a while since I’ve heard the jingle of hard cash in my pocket, I’m sure Jayne would agreement with that.”

The captain had been referring to his Firefly nemesis Niska, and the sick old man’s way of running his enterprising empire. Niska had beefed up Skyplex’s security after the time Mal and Wash had been brazenly rescued by the remainder of Serenity’s crew. Now he chose to store much of his currency in secret hidey-holes off of the space station. If Mal’s crew could so easily break his security….then another sizable crime boss may be able to do the same. He was just lucky that the Firefly crew had been there to rescue their captain and nothing else, otherwise he may without a copper to his name.

Malcolm looked around for his big lummox of a mercenary, “By the way where is Jayne?”

“ Went back to his bunk sir, something about hiding grenades in saddlebags before you have a chance to tell him they aren’t needed.”

Mal smiled at the thought of the big merc trying to outsmart him.

“ Morning everyone,” Simon had just come into the ship’s galley looking fresh and well rested.

“ You look a might chipper for someone who’s been on guard duty on the bridge all night.” Mal told him.

The doc just gave him a knowledgeable nod of the head.

“ Haven’t been on guard duty all night,” he responded.

The captain looked at the older Tam.

“ Lenore came up about 12 o’clock, said she’d finish my shift. Robots don‘t sleep you know.”

This aggravated the captain. First of all the schedule was for Simon to watch over Serenity while the others slept, not Lenore. That wasn’t her decision to make, and second, he didn’t trust her. Not that she’d done anything wrong, or anything for him not to trust her, but he still had his doubts about machines and their usefulness, at least ones that could think. Mal was going to say something to the doc, but then decided that he’d just confront the she bot instead.

He left his breakfast to get cold while he headed up to the ship’s bridge. Inside he found Zoe at the controls.

“ Where’s Lenore?”

“ Went down to the cargo hold, why?” Serenity’s second in command asked of him.

“ Just need to speak with her is all,” Mal told Zoe, “ Everything in order?”

“ Ship’s good sir, ready to go. I’ll keep her warmed up just in case there’s a posse on your tail after the bank heist,” she smiled.

“ Zoe, when has that ever happened?” Mal asked, then added, “ Never mind.”

He headed towards the cargo bay.

Down in the ship’s hold he found a dark haired woman in chaps and western garb standing at the top of the loading ramp watching the beauty of an early morning sunrise. Mal walked up behind her.

“ So, changed your hair color again?”

The woman turned to view the expression on the man’s face. Her eyes looked dreamy and he almost forgot for a moment that this was a mechanical thing, not a living, breathing entity.

“ Beautiful isn’t it? I mean an early morning sunrise. Makes me wish that God had made me a real woman.”

Mal was startled. He had no response for her words. She looked at the ship’s commander with her pretty dark eyes.

“ Captain I know why you’re here, I can sense it. Just know that I haven’t done anything wrong,” she paused a moment, “…. and if I have I’ll soon make it up to you.”

Mal was about to speak when the sound of approaching animals caught their attention.

The figure of a cowboy and several horses were silhouetted against the orange ball rising on the horizon.

“Howdy.” Bart Benson called from atop his mount. Trailing behind him came two other steeds.

“ Well this is it captain, all my worldly possessions. Molly, Duke and Grizwald.” The old cowboy pointed to his three horses.

“ Sold my ranch yesterday. Gonna start a new existents on another world somewhere. Ain’t much left for me here anyway. Once my son died… wife didn’t last long either. Heartbroken if you can imagine. Bought me a ticket outta here when we‘re through. Talked to the companion you have onboard yesterday. She said you don’t much like hauling animals around the verse, so I rented passage aboard another Firefly like this one. A transport by the name “Night Hawk” you know her?” he finished.

“ Yes I know the Night Hawk,” Mal answered him, “ She’s captained by a friend of mine, James Riley.”

“ Yeah, he said ya’ll fought in the war together, good man.”

Mal was in agreement with that. Benson looked around.

“ Where’s Jayne? We should be going soon. Gonna take us at least forty minutes to get to Bed Water,” Benson said.

“ There’s been a change of plans,” Mal told the weather worn cowboy, “ She’s going instead of you.” He pointed towards Lenore, “ Don’t worry, she can handle herself pretty well.”


Three cowboys made their way down a lonely trail headed to the town of Bed Water. Well maybe that should be explained as two cowboys and a cowgirl.

“ Mal, think I should ride in ahead of you, know you, kinda soften up the punch a little. Small towns like these get a little nervous when big groups of strangers ride into their mist,” Lenore spoke.

The captain was about to say something whenever he noticed the logic in the androids statement.

“ Ok, but only a ten minutes head start. Jayne and I will be right behind you.”

The she bot smiled then kicked her mount in the sides to spur him forward.

“ Where’s she goin?” Jayne questioned.

“ Into town ahead of us,” the commander of Serenity told him, “ gonna soften up security before we arrive.”

“ Don’t see the advantage of that,” Jayne voiced, “ain’t better softening can be done other than the butt end of a repeater to the head!”

“ Jayne trust me, that robot knows more about the human condition than we give her credit for. Mr. U musta spent hours training her in the art of being with people. I suppose she has sensors and other devices that have her knowing what you’re thinking and feeling before you do. Anyway, we’re looking for an edge, and she might just be able to give us that,” Mal finished up his assessment.

The trip into town took and extra ten minutes, Mal was hoping it was worth it. The place seemed peaceful and pleasant. Of course many of the rim and border towns they visited were that way. It was no reason to let your guard down. The two cowboys headed to the saloon across from the holding company bank. Most of these small towns on the rim or border worlds had buildings that were supply and feed stores which doubled as banks. The simple reason being that many of the locals had to barter for their supplies. Not much actual cash or hard currency circulated around the territories, unless you were a land baron.

Mal and Jayne tied their mounts to a hitching post, weary of their surroundings. There always seemed to be a saloon or watering hole across the old dusty main street from the bank. Guess when the locals were able to get their hands on coin there was always someplace convenient to spend it.

They noticed there weren’t too many folk about, still it was early. There was no sign of Lenore or any security outside the building on the other side. The two walked over towards the structure with apparent reason. Mal realized that had a marshal or deputy been standing about they would have become obviously suspicious of the two. He decided then that in the future they’d have to work on their stealth.

As he and Jayne approached the building, they looked around then entered through the front door. Once inside the two noticed a somewhat sloppy looking supply/ hardware store. Wasn’t much to look at or to steal. There were a couple of skinny fellows looking at horse bridles, a store clerk, and a big fellow standing right behind him.

Lenore was there looking at wax candles. A glance in Mal’s direction told him that she was still acting the part of a customer. Mal and Jayne brandished their weapons quickly.

“Ok this is a hold up!” Malcolm paused momentarily, “you there behind the counter……reach for the heavens, and pray you do nothing for me to send you there!” With a signal of his pistol the captain had the store clerk and the big burly man behind him stretch their arms skyward.

“ Now, if there isn’t any trouble, and you fellows comply, we’ll be outta here in five minutes and you can go on with your day,” he paused then added, “ still breathing. If not, I hear the red dirt of Ezra can get pretty cold, especially six feet under.”

All parties had their hands up, including Lenore.

“You!” Mal pointed to the big guy behind the counter, “ come here and stand by these sacks of Blue Sun flower seed.” The guy complied with Mal’s command.

“ Now you, show us were the secret compartment is were your boss keeps his cash cached.”

“ I’ve got no idea of what you’re………..” the skinny clerk began before a gun to the temple silenced him before he could finish.

“ …….. really, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” The man said, sweat gleaming down his temple.

Mal motioned to Jayne to interrogate the big guy. He looked over to Lenore. A flash of her eyes told him that he should question the two skinny customers.

“ Hold a second Jayne! You two,” he pointed at the two gentlemen standing a few feet away, “ over here!”

The two came and stood in front of the Firefly captain.

“ Doin a little early morning shopping?” Mal spoke to the tallest one.

“ Yes sir, just looking for supplies and seed for the farm,” the man spoke.

Mal flipped the collar on his duster. A sparkling round badge appeared. “ Plex Security” it read.

“ Since when did guards with Skyplex badges need to grow their own crops?” Mal questioned the fellow.

Both men remained silent.

“ No, I think you fellows are here for something more important that guarding goat herders and sheep ranchers. Might be something a bit lower to the ground, or under it maybe?” Mal pointed with his weapon to the warehouse floor.

“ Ain’t nothing there, search all you want!” The tall man exclaimed. Mal could see the guards were going to remain tightlipped, he would too if he worked for that bastard in the sky……but what about the store clerk?”

“…….and you?” Mal looked at the store employee.

“ Got nothing to say.” the man spoke lightly, hands still raised.

“ Bill, take big boy there out back and provide a little persuasion for the store clerk and his customers here.”

Jayne, or Bill as was decided his name would be during the heist, looked at the Serenity captain, “Sure thing Maurice!”

Lenore couldn’t help but crack a smile, even though she still acted the part of hostage.

“ Wait…..hold!” The store clerk spoke, “ Curtis doesn’t know anything! He’s a harmless human being, a bit touched. I just use him to carry out supplies for the customers and such.”

“Well seems as if you’d better come up with some answers then grandpa!” Mal said.

The clerk looked over to some stairs going up to a balcony.

“ There, the stairs, a storage closet on the second level.” He spoke.

“ Mr. Niska won’t be happy with this!” One of the guards spoke.

“ Pujie Niska! I’m looking out for my son!” The clerk reported.

Mal motioned for the old man to tie the two security guards up. Then he set Jayne to watch them.

“I’m taking the girl hostage with me. Any tricks by you guys and it’ll be her blood on your hands!” Mal spoke. Maybe he should have said “oil on their hands” .

He and Lenore marched up to the second level. There they noticed in the back was a small closet barred entry by a locked door. Malcolm busted the lock with a pick axe he found nearby. When the door was opened he and Lenore could see a ladder extending down a shaft. Lenore looked at Malcolm…..

“ Clever, you have to go up in order to go down,” she spoke to the captain, “ tricky bit of treachery, don’t you think Maurice?” She giggled.

“ After you milady.” Mal spoke, and the two entered the tunnel to go down.



Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:24 AM


Robots are all kinds of creepy. If River wasn't making the robot act that way I'd be a lot more suspicious about how aware she is.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:45 AM


Hello Byte!

Thanks for your post.
Yepper, robots, androids, terminators…..all those mechanical mechanisms can be a bit creepy, & down right unpredictable. Who knows what lurks in the dark souls of robots, well if they had souls.

Anyway, is Lenore actually out to help what’s left of the crew of Serenity, or is the she-bot in it for something else? One thing is for sure, Mal hasn’t given her any reason to remain loyal to him. Fact is he’s been a plain A-hole towards her.

Maybe the droid can forgive him, or maybe she’s just waitin to get even…..what’d ya think?

Again, thanks for the feedback!



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