One to Many chap 5
Thursday, October 6, 2011

So, can things get worse? Sure they can. Mal Reynolds and his crew find themselves in a position that they had better find a way out of, and soon. An opportunity presents itself for one of Serenity’s crewmembers….will they take advantage? You’ll find that there’s more to that question than I can tell right now….read on.


One To Many- chap 5 ------------- Suits ------------- ********************************************* It wasn’t a bird of prey, it was a scavenger. Perched high atop a rocky outcropping it viewed the entire rugged landscape with binocular vision. It noticed the trespassers of it’s territory down below. It spread it’s feathers wide.

From expanded wingtip to wingtip, it seemed to be measuring the vastness of it’s abode. It screeched a warning to the invaders, “This is my territory! You have no reason for being here unless you be a corpse, or about to become one!”

The men in dark suits standing in the rocky sand below barely gave the screams of the scavenger bird notice. Their mission more important than any distraction of some desert dweller. They were working on finalizing the details on what they would do next.

“ So, you head to the Alliance compound at Fort Oliver to secure the remainder of Serenity’s crew, while I head into the void and await your arrival. After the rendezvous we will make contact with our superiors and await instructions on our next move.”

The shorter of the two looked at the taller man.

“ What if things go wrong?”

The taller suited fellow wearing blue gloves looked at his companion,

“ Nothing will.”

“ And the others, Riley and his crew?” The shorter questioned.

“ We do what we always do. Out here in the desert is a fine place, don’t you think?” He looked over to the big boulder on which the big, dark scavenger bird was sitting , “ He’s hungry. The creatures on the rim need to be fed just as the ones who rule the universe. We do what we can. ”

************************************************* Malcolm Reynolds awoke with a jolt. For some reason he had lost consciousness while tied to the bulkhead of the Alliance shuttle he and his fellow captives were being transported in. He looked over at Zoe and Jayne. They had been out cold also, but were now regaining their senses.

“ Captain, where are we?” Zoe questioned while rubbing her forehead, but before he could answer they heard the voice of the big mercenary…….

‘Gorram I feel like I’ve been hit with a bag of coin swung by a border world prostitute!” he said. He placed both his hands atop his aching head. Jayne always did have a way of expressing his condition.

Mal and Zoe just gave one another that look, then the captain continued…..

“ I’m not sure where we are,” he paused just long enough to hear the humming of the finely tuned thrusters of the craft they were imprisoned on, “from the sound of it though, seems we’ve resumed flight. Won’t know for sure what’s happening until we talk to whoever’s flying this crate,” he said.

“Who was the man in the suit who came in with sergeant Meadows earlier?” Zoe asked.

“ Don’t know, but I’d take it that he wasn’t room service from the Watsonville Hilton.”

Zoe smiled knowing that there was no such thing on the entire world of Minnear2.

The captain looked over at the others, “ Stay alert, if we catch a break, we need to be ready. We may not get another chance at escape.”

Both Zoe and Jayne nodded their heads in understanding.

They heard someone approaching through corridor which connected the restraining cabin to the rest of the shuttle. A man walked in.

“ *Hong*…. good to see you’re all awake! I’m sorry, the pressure drop when we reached atmo wasn’t set correctly for the containment room on this craft. It caused a momentary blackout period for you all. I had to reboot the system in order to get the life support for this area back on-line.” the man said, “ Guess the shuttle wasn’t set for space travel at this juncture. Glad to see that you’re all well and doing fine,” he finished.

This answered some of the questions that were on their minds. Still there were others.

“ What do you want with us?” The captain asked.

“You’ll find out once my partner arrives. Until then it isn’t to my benefit to fill you in on the details. All will be revealed in time, I assure you,” he looked at the trio, “ I will prepare some food and drink. Until then, I bid you not to concern yourselves too much about my purpose here, and don‘t speculate about your future. Nothing to worry about for now.” he excused himself to leave the compartment.

As his footsteps faded Jayne looked over at the others.

“ Mal….. I have a plan, “ he spoke, “it’s simple but…..”

“ Jayne!” Mal expressed his urgency, “do it!”

The big merc looked down the narrow hallway.

“ Hey fella! I gotta request!” He shouted. The three captives heard the footsteps of the MIB returning. In a moment the man’s upper torso poked through the doorway.

“ What is it?” He inquired of the big man.

“ I gotta to go to the bathroom,” Jayne told the suit.


Simon Tam looked out of the small window of his holding cell. The young doctor was in a moment of depression. What is one supposed to feel when life was seemingly beyond hope? He had tried so hard to keep his sister safe, yet his feeling deep down was that he knew they couldn’t stay on the run forever.

Malcolm and the crew of Serenity had become their family. The ship had become their second home, and in some ways their only home. Now it seemed as if that were at it’s end. Simon looked around at the markings on his cell walls………emotions scribed by past captives.

“ My life is over ” one scratching stated, another spoke of delivering their soul to fate. Simon wasn’t sure what to believe. He only wished that he had more time. He began to think of better times in his younger life. ____________________________________

Kaylee looked at the space of the four walls where she was being kept. “Very drab, could use a bit of decorating,” She thought, “ Maybe some painted leafy vines, or some strawberry-red looking hearts.”

Her idea was that she could do a lot with a space like this, of course maybe it wouldn’t cheer up the mood of it’s next occupant once she was gone, but then, maybe it would. The Serenity mechanic would not allow herself to think anything but happy thoughts. It wasn’t in her psychological make-up to worry. Only good thoughts wondered through the Firefly mechanic’s mind. That’s what kept Kaylee cheerful. ____________________________________

Wash sat in his prison cell all alone. The light filtering in through the small window of the cell door allowed him to create hand shadows on the wall. He could create the illusions of a tyrannosaur and diplodon* in the heat of battle, or a stegosaurus chasing a small rodent. It did relieve his mind a bit, and brought memories of past events which had happened in his life. Not that they were all pleasurable. Time spent in incarceration never was, still he remembered the faces of his fellow detainees, and how the simple things had kept him sane. However, this confinement was nothing like that. He was sure that wherever the rest of Serenity’s crew were, they were making plans to escape, and his wife Zoe wouldn’t leave without him.


River Tam sat in her confinement quarters. She could feel the thoughts of the others through her cell walls, yet she could offer no encouragement or comfort. Maybe this was the end of the line? She wished she could be happy like Kaylee, or entertaining like Wash, or even think of better times like her brother. But she could not. River was plagued with the nightmares of a future that could be. A future in which the powers that be had created monsters out in dark places. A burden crept in on her sanity, a sanity that lay on the very edge of reality itself.

She wandered over to the small window of her jail cell. Looking out she noticed that the Firefly spacecraft Serenity, her home, was gone. There were men walking about outside her prison. Some in uniform, some not. She could see the place where they were being kept. The vastness of a mountainside cavern. Light filtering in through the left showed a great opening in which Serenity had been flown. It had rested on the paved floor of the cave until just before noon when it had taken flight and headed out into the bright sunlight of a shiny Minear2 day.

River wasn’t sure if the others were aware that the craft had left. From their confinement rooms she wasn’t sure if they could see the craft, or not see it now, as were the case. The noise and banging of work being done around the cave echoed off the walls and told of a very busy world outside her door, like a bee hive. River returned to sit against her cell wall, legs to her chest, and chin sitting atop her knees. She would let the dice roll, and the cards play out the way they would. If she died, than a deep dark secret would die with her. Better sometimes, if the population of humankind didn’t know the truth.

************************************************ “I thank you for your hospitality Major Gardener,” a man in a dark suit and tie spoke to the commander of Fort Oliver, “ You’ve been a big help at bringing in the rebel group of individuals we’ve been keeping tabs on for a while. You did not interrogate the prisoners, or receive information from them in any way have you?”

“ Negative sir. They were escorted straight to their cells, and confined there waiting for Lieutenant Riley, who hasn’t shown up yet,” the commander stated.

“ I wouldn’t worry about the lieutenant, commander. He has been intercepted and released from his duty,” the MIB informed him, “With your assistance, I will secure the prisoners aboard my shuttle and be on my way. Your cooperation will be noted, Major,” the man said.

The major saluted and stuck out his arm to shake hands, but the man only looked at him and nodded. Evidently their business was concluded.

*********************************************** Jayne Cobb looked at his captor as Serenity’s resident mercenary stood there in apparent discomfort.

“ Really, I gotta go!” He said with a sense of urgency.

The man was a bit reluctant, but who was he to stand in the way when nature called.

“ Ok, but five minutes and you’d better be finished,” he told the big merc.

Jayne grinned as the MIB loosened his bonds, but did not unshackle him completely. Jayne looked back at Zoe and Mal as he was led through the corridor of the Alliance shuttle to the small crafts facilities. The big mercenary knew that he may not be the smartest apple on the tree, but he hadn’t lived so long, or remained so healthy, by being stupid either.

He had heard lieutenant Riley speak to Sgt. Meadows just before lift-off back in Watsonville about the location of the “panic button” aboard their craft.

Now, in Jayne Cobb’s travels he’d become aware of many things, one being that the code words “ panic button” sometime referred to a hidden weapon. The Sgt had told the lieutenant that the “panic button” was being stored in the ships relief facility. Jayne had an idea he could find a hidden weapon in there.

Once they arrived at the bathroom door, Jayne offered his hands so that he could be released from his restraints.

“ No chance,” the MIB said, “ if you can’t do you business in cuffs, then I’ll return you with the others and you can hold your bladder till you explode!”

Jayne realized that he’d reached the limit of this man agreeableness. He entered the small chamber and the door was closed behind him. Jayne began his search for the weapon. Opening the vent to the vacuum connection he found a small dagger hidden inside. Not the weapon he’d hoped to find, but it would have to do. He finished his business and exited the chamber.

The big mercenary had been aware the entire time that his captor had never brandished a weapon. He assumed that it was concealed under his jacket. Now might be his best chance at an attempt at making his move. With a tight grip on the small, sharp blade held concealed within his right hand Jayne wheeled to face his opponent. The man’s eye grew wide as port hatches as he realized that the big mercenary was making an attempt at freedom.

“ dàtiáo ! Wait a minute sir!” the suit exclaimed as Jayne forced the man’s frame against the bulkhead of the vessel. With the blade against his throat the man realized he was within a blink of an eye from having his throat cut ear to ear. Jayne forced the sharp edge against skin so that blood began to trickle from a sallow abrasion started across his neck.

“ Wait… I said! How about we make a deal?” the MIB shouted.

Jayne relaxed his blade against the man’s throat. His expression changed from one of aggression, to one of opportunity.

“ What sort of deal?” He asked.

End Part 5


Friday, October 7, 2011 5:51 PM


Really liked this chapter, BrucePluto. I thought your sequence getting into the thoughts of Simon, Kaylee, Wash and River as each sat in their cell was an effective set of contrasts. Kaylee is just so cheery! And Wash's humor is his source of resilience. Your bookend scenes with Mal, Zoe, and Jayne aboard the ship were also effective. Leave it to Jayne--he really is no dummy, whatever pains he may take to appear to be a lunkhead. I do hope that his decision to "deal" with the suit guy is not a serious mistake. And...not that I would know (it's your story and you can do what you want :-) ), but I felt like maybe the man in the suit was a little too...human? almost nice? Of course he needn't be the same Blue Hands as we saw in the show...I think Joss is on record as saying there were more than just a pair of them...but the Blue Hands we saw in the show struck me as being a bit more...aloof...antiseptic...unmoved by human emotions and considerations. Just sayin'. In any case, if Jayne is able to take advantage of that residue of humanity in the man to get them all out of trouble, then that's great.

Friday, October 7, 2011 7:46 PM


ebfiddler, Thanks for your comments….yes I was looking to break the story down a bit by dividing it up into sections. I think the trick to writing fan-fiction may be to write them as if they were a true tv episode, hence commercial breaks and all. Of course the commercial breaks are all about promoting “Blue Sun” products (wink).

Now I will address the rest of your comments with somewhat of a riddle.

ebfiddler my friend, you are a detective of fine detail……for someone having witnessed the genius of Firefly for only a year and a half… my opinion, you certainly have a tight grasp of those who populate the verse. Your writing shows me such. Those little things….. they tell so much. Anyway, I really do appreciate the feedback.

I hope to throw some surprises at folk that read my stories. I do quite enjoy when the landing is thought to be in San Diego when it actually lands in Boston….(smile)


Saturday, October 8, 2011 2:28 PM


"He looked over to the big boulder on which the big, dark scavenger bird was sitting "

I imagine that is not standard - or legal - Alliance operating procedure.

"Jayne relaxed his blade against the man’s throat. His expression changed from one of aggression, to one of opportunity.

“ What sort of deal?” He asked."

Something tells me that even Jayne wouldn't really work with spooks looking to lock him up and doublecross him, though he might pretend like it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011 1:33 PM


Howdy Bytemite!

Jayne is an opportunist, imo. Whether he is ready to act on an opportunity, or not, he always like to hear the options. It makes his mouth water.

Also there are some things that can’t be said about the HOB guys at this moment. More will come out in the next chapter. Which is going up soon.

Thanks for the feedback BM…



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