One to Many chap 1
Sunday, September 4, 2011


-------------------------- The Code Writers ----------------------------- Most characters and locations of the fiction below are the property of someone else & were created by Joss Whedon & company. I only borrow them on occasion to advance the storyline of an idea that I feel was not completed. The Rights to the characters are not mine and must be viewed as such. Thank you. BPZ

******************************************************************** Having been successful in pulling off a major heist months ago, Mal Reynolds and his team now seem to be a little short of cash. Serenity’s crew has squandered their spoils on enjoyable times and the luxuries of good fortune, good food and good accommodations….ie…Wash & Zoe spending private time at the Hotel Persephone on Persephone and Jayne spending loads of coin at the bordellos, to, well let me stop there. Sure it was fun, but as we all know the fun times do not last. Time to get back to business. In need of currency the captain has opted to pull a few smaller jobs over a large one. Small time thievery is a lot safer than heavy pocket work, and there are many, many small crimes committed daily on the border and rim worlds. Usually Alliance officials don’t bother with petty things. Thievery, robbery, and border disputes between land barons are left up to local law-enforcement, unless they become extremely bloody. Mal feels safe that the jobs they are doing will not attract much attention. He could be wrong.

Anyway, the crew of the little Firefly transport have completed two missions, as they prefer to call them, successfully, and not a soul on the boat has suffered a single broken fingernail. Time to complete one more mission and the captain will be happy for a while. The thing is they’ll need to do it in another sector of the verse. The atom around Persephone is becoming a little crowded with police patrols. Time to head to Athens and the small moons that companion that world. Lets see what happens…..


Malcolm Reynolds and his ship’s crew were on their way to the small town of Watsonville on the tiny world of Minear 2. The captain knew of a shipment of “baby turtles” being ferried over to an Alliance base on that moon, and he was eager to get his hands on a few of those cute little hard-shelled animals.

Actually “ baby turtles” was Alliance code meaning a small shipment of gold or silver. How did Mal know this? Well, it was simple, after Book’s departure from Serenity the preacher had left things behind in his cabin that the crew weren’t sure what to do with. Mal had decided to put them into a box and deliver them to Shepherd the next time they made their way to Haven. It was a small box, so it was just stored on the ship’s bridge.

During one of his times as pilot-watch he noticed a small booklet contained within the box of the Shepherd’s belonging. Being bored to tears while the rest of his crew slept, Mal decided to view what was written on the booklet pages. He was confused at first with a lot of what was written, until he realized that the so-called “Shaman’s Bible” was actually an updated Alliance code manual.

How had the preacher gotten ahold of this? There had always been secrets that he’d felt the preacher was keeping from him, and he knew the others of his crew could see it too. Just the same, the way Mal captained Serenity, people still had their freedoms. He wasn’t about to shackle the preacher to the bulkhead just because there were things he kept to himself. Hell, if Mal became a tyrant he’d have to shackle Simon, River, Jayne and Inara along with the preacher. They all had past histories they chose to keep hidden. Mal himself had things he didn’t want his crew to know. Still the captain had to be his own police force aboard Serenity. Now, he considered, how had the preacher been able to attain an Alliance codebook? He meant to find out at his next opportunity. He wasn’t sure if the preacher had gotten the code book by accident or if he‘d attained it by other means. Anyway it seemed that his knowledge of crime, and ways to combat it, made more sense now. Not that the shepherd had ever tried to stop them from committing crime themselves, he’d always seemed to be an innocent bystander. Waiting in the wings, observing. Mal had always felt a slight bit of uneasiness about this.

Even so, Shepherd Book had been dropped off at the monastery many times while he had been aboard Serenity. Was this a way for him to receive new directives on how to indoctrinate pilgrims into the faith, or a way of getting new information on what was going on in the verse? For sure he wasn’t contemplating the philosophies of his rock garden. In actuality he was likely being re-educated and being given new codes that were distributed to government operatives that populated the system. Did this actually make him an operative…..NO. But it did shine the light of suspicion upon his character. Was his religious order struggling with it‘s own identity and moral ideals of Alliance good & evil, or were they actually a part of it?…..Mal gave himself a headache thinking too much.

At first, “The Shaman’s Bible” seemed innocent enough, but once Mal had started reading passages written within the small booklet, he noticed a connection to things that were currently going on within the system. He’d heard codes being broadcast over the cortex every day. For instance, he knew ducks and zebras were alarm codes, although he didn‘t know their urgency. Schools of dolphin and elephants herds meant massive movements of people. Turtles and penguins meant there was a shipment of valued goods were being transferred from one territory to another, and yellow submarine meant a high ranking diplomat or government official was moving through the system.

Some of the codes the captain hadn’t figured out yet, but given time he would, he felt confident of that. “Purple Wolves” meant Alliance and “Blue Wolves” meant something else. He assumed it was code for a higher level of secretive government involvement.

Anyway, as Mal took his turn on Serenity’s bridge he would often listen to the code coming across the cortex. This was what had given him the edge over other pirates for the past several months. It was like having his own crystal ball, and he wasn’t about to share what he knew with anyone, even his own crew.

Although Mal trusted Zoe and Kaylee, the intrusion of Jubal Early onto his ship not that long ago had caused him to be more than a little cautious. If someone could sneak aboard his vessel while they were out in the vacuum of space, then was anyplace safe? He felt a little like Shepherd Book keeping secrets, but it was the only way he could be sure that Serenity wasn’t compromised.

He decided to cruise under the radar for a time. Once this job on Minear 2 was finished, it would be the last for a while, at least of the illicit ones. He and his crew would head out to Deadwood after this, do some legitimate work. That would keep the authorities from sniffing them out.


Mal looked left along the wide, dirty street of Watsonville, then he looked right. Not a deputy marshal in sight. Not even a hint of authorities influence could be seen. It was just an average peaceful afternoon in this lonely town on the simple world of Minear 2. This final job he and his crew were about to commit would be the easiest of three and would be the last. The captain stood across the street leaning against a wooden post supporting the porch covering of the materials supply store in Watsonville. With a scratch of his nose he sent a signal to the tall brut of a fellow standing across the way near the entry door to the Watsonville Bank Holdings. Jayne knew this was his sign to begin the robbery.

Malcolm put his booted foot down onto the dust filled main street to begin his walk to the bank, but before he could take two steps a commotion to his left caused the captain of Serenity to stop in his tracks. A brawl between two men had started right in the middle of the road not twenty steps away. One man squaring off and punching another straight in the nose.

“ That’s for stealing my favorite mule you cowardly son of a night crawler!” One fellow shouted. The other fell backwards landing completely on his back, yet it was only a moment before that man, blood gushing from his nose, hauled himself back up and struggled to confront his antagonist.

“ You haven’t got a mule you low bellied Watson Worm!” The other fellow shouted back. The two came together and became a mangled mess, but not before a woman stepped up and tried to pull them apart.

“ Enough you two,” she screamed! But she could have been shouting to the hills for all the good it had done. The two drunken, raggedy combatants where no where near stopping their battle. Each belted the other with fists and hand slaps, and occasional kicks to the shins. Sweat began to drip from their efforts, and blood from the multitude of cuts and scrapes each had delivered upon the other. The whole ordeal had roused a bit of curiosity and interest from a number of bystanders which had formed along both side of the street. Shouts went out to notify the local sheriffs patrol down the street.


Jonathan Bixby and Thomas Reinhardt were the best of friends, and the best of drinking buddies. Not a thing in Watsonville could come between the two pals. Not a woman, not a pet hound, not even a gold laden mule could cause the two town drunks to become enemies, well maybe a gold laden mule could.

Anyway, this knowledge by the townsfolk of Watsonville had the eyewitnesses to the event in the middle of the street stunned and bewildered. There they were, a couple of fellows, seemingly closer than brothers beating one another to a pulp. To the entire group which had gathered around to watch the brawl this was very confusing, and most would have laid bet they‘d witness a rainbow on a cloudless day before ever seeing what they were seeing.

However, to the fellow in the brown pants and suspenders, and the woman trying to break up the fight, and the big guy standing outside the bank doors, there was nothing odd about two drunk hillbillies fighting in the middle of the road, especially since the whole ordeal had been a setup. The two friends had been approached by some folk in an alley and offered a case of liquor each if they staged a diversion in the middle of the town. What well respected village drunk could turn down such a bargain?

Mal looked at the woman attempting to break up the disagreement. Zoe knew to keep her distance. No sense in being on the receiving end of one of those crazy punches if she could avoid it. Although she shouted for them to stop, she stood well back as the men beat one another black and blue. In a while they began to tire and the brawl now was becoming much of a hugging match. The Watsonville authorities soon arrived and she accompanied the lawmen to the detainment building as witness to the event and also to keep an eye on the marshals.

It was now Mal’s turn to cross the street and assist Jayne with the actual hold-up. The big merc had already disappeared inside the bank. Mal stood watch outside the door, then seeing very little activity, joined Jayne inside. The big merc already had his gun drawn, aimed squarely at the shivering clerks head.

“Now we’ll be having them gold boxes you have stored away mister.” The big mercenary was telling the man.

“ What boxes?”

“The ones you got stored behind the counter at your feet.” Jayne said.

Watsonville was a mining colony. There was a mineral mine up north of the town two miles, in an area known as Turtle Creek. The thing is, the Gipson Mining Company had never produced that much of anything. It was a surprise that the company was still in operation. That didn’t mean that things hadn’t changed. Maybe the tunnelers had struck a rich gold or silver vein. Maybe they unearthed a tomb full of Pharos gold, as Simon had implied. Mal didn’t know what that was, and he and his crew didn’t care. All he knew was the codeword “Turtles” had been used, and a large or small amount of treasure could be had.

The clerk looked at Jayne, then reached slowly down and picked up a couple of small wooden boxes, placing each on the bank countertop. Both were about a foot square and sturdily built, as if containing something heavy. Jayne and Malcolm smiled at one another. The big merc popped open a lid, and his eyes grew as big around as peaches at harvest time. Inside he saw the glimmer of sparkly, shiny gold.

“ Mal, you’re right again! Your ability to sniff out treasure has certainly improved over the past few months. You been taking lessons from Riv……?” The big merc stopped before saying too much.

“ Never mind that! Get these crates to the door and wait till Kay… gets here on the mule,” the captain voiced, “ she should be arriving soon!”

Mal gathered the employees and patrons of the bank together, a group of five, there was no security personnel in the mix, which was strange. The sound of the mule should be coming any second. They waited, but it didn’t come. Mal looked at Jayne.

“ Something’s wrong!” he looked at the hostages inside, “ The horses out front, who do they belong to?”

One fellow in back raised his hand.

“ Transfer this over to these saddle bags,” Mal told him, referring to the gold, “ put them over the backs of your mounts!”

The fellow did as instructed, Mal Reynolds and Jayne then tied the hostages up. They exited the bank to an odd scene outside. There was not a soul on the street. Before he’d entered the bank there had been several folk here and there walking about, now there were none. The captain had a bad feeling in his gut, but he hadn’t the time to dwell on it. It was time to reach safety. He would assess the situation afterwards. He and Jayne mounted the two steeds and made dusty tracks as they exited a town that only a few moments earlier had been alive and vibrant, but now resembled more of a ghost town. What was happening?

End Part 1


Sunday, September 4, 2011 8:20 AM


Nice recap, though I'm thinking: "The atom around Persephone is becoming a little crowded with police patrols. Time to head to Athens and the small moons that companion that world." You mean "atmo," not "atom," right?

Uh oh. Mal and Jayne have turned horse thieves. That's a hanging crime in some parts. Of course, everything is a hanging crime in the Western genre.

But where is that mule?

Sunday, September 4, 2011 2:38 PM


Howdy Bytemite!

You are correct with the “atmo” thingy……that’s another one that got by me, thanks.

Mal and Jayne horse thieves? Come on now you know they were only borrowing the beasts. They are gonna give ‘em back. You are right though. Most every crime committed in the old west was a hanging offence. Even wearing your own brothers underwear may get you hanged…..of course let’s hope that the advancement of humankind has gotten past such deeds.

As for the mule, let’s just say that no harm has come to the motorized animal. Not yet anyway.

Thank for the feedback!


Sunday, September 4, 2011 5:17 PM


>Even wearing your own brothers underwear may get you hanged…

Especially if he was a judge.

>As for the mule, let’s just say that no harm has come to the motorized animal.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011 4:08 AM


Howdy all!

Bytemite, maybe I should have said stealing your brother’s undies could get you hanged….lol

Anyway, I’m posting the lead -in to the “One To Many Chap 1” story. For some reason it kept giving me an error message and wouldn’t let me post the entire thing, here it is:

Synopsis: episode happens between OIS and Serenity the BDM. Shepherd Book & Inara have already left Serenity at this juncture and are on their own worlds respectively. Now I feel, may be a good time to explain a little about the sub-title “The Code Writers”. I always inject a little of myself and my thought ideas into the fiction I write, hoping to not seem too overboard, but you can never tell what a reader may be thinking. Anyhoo, I do believe that the powers that rule the world, even now days, have been using technology and codes to reach certain folk in their circle of influence and to expand their true agendas. Why should things change in the future? No political speech can be spoken by a leader from the smallest country that hasn’t been dissected and trisected. I feel that governing bodies are using the airwaves/cortex to deliver their messages. Messages that are being delivered in the form of codes. If you know the code, you understand the message. This story explores the methods, and possibly the processes of how codes can be used…..the Author.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 2:41 PM


I, too, am wondering what's happening, with the deserted street. Off to read the next chapter!


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