Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part2
Sunday, December 18, 2011

This chapter….not much of a connection to chapter one, but the link is coming. Introducing a few new characters and the meaning and purpose of their mindset. Hope you enjoy and continue to follow….BPZ


Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell Part - 2

Bucky Tosskin Candice Naples Gladys City Carpathia : Star Cruiser/ cargo vessel : troop transport. Battle of Sturges. Minear 2

****************************************** Bucky Tosskin pulled his wagon rig up next to the area where he kept his beasts. He unhooked the rope cord from around the wind chimes, which were attached to a pole at the back of his buckboard.

“Time to feed the beasties,” he said as he grabbed the small chain that hung down and ran through the middle of the chimes. He pulled the chain and began to whip it around vigorously. The sounds it made were very familiar to folk that worked out in the countryside on the farms and ranches of the border and rim worlds. It was the ringing sound of the “chuck wagon” announcing that supper was served, or in this case ,breakfast.

“Time to eat, you ravenous creatures!” Bucky shouted as he released the chain and climbed down the buckboard.

At that moment, the sound of a aircraft flying overhead focused his attention skyward. A spacecraft had descended through the atmosphere and was now on a direct path towards the small town of Gladys City on the small moon of Minear 2. That was odd in itself, not very many space vessels made their way to this lonely world, and certainly not many to these parts. Yet this was the second craft he’d witnessed that day.

The first had been a Firefly transport vessel identified as “Serenity” by her hull markings. Bucky had smiled when he’d seen that vessel. He had been friends with the Captain who commanded that ship. An acquaintance from his younger, wilder days, after the Unification War.

Bucky had been in contact with the commander of Serenity through cortex messages, and the Captain had asked, once they’d landed, if they could meet in the township of Gladys City? He had agreed, and would soon venture into town to see his friend, as soon as he finished feeding his critters. It would be good to see his old friend and meet his crew. Bucky was impressed by the accomplishments and levels of success the man had been able to attain. He was now the Captain of a cargo transport vessel.

Jayne Cobb had certainly been energetic when he, Bucky and a small group of others used to perform crime together back a few short years ago. At that time, Bucky would have never guessed that the big mercenary would ever have enough gumption to command a ship. The mountain of a fella was full of surprises.

The second vessel that had passed over the farmer’s head that day had been a transport ship too. A “Star Cruiser” class vessel named “Carpathia”, by it’s hull insignia.

Bucky knew a lot about ships. He’d had loved them since he had been a little tot. He’d grown to become a pilot himself, and was in the Unification War on the side of the Alliance forces. He’d actually flown a “Star Cruiser” class transport during the “Battle of Sturges”. It had been a terrible fight, with both sides suffering a huge amount of casualties. Bucky had sworn to never again be involved in such carnage and mayhem.

Since that terrible time, he had become a little disillusioned with the ruling government. There had been promises made to the frontline grunts and pilots of the Undignified forces before wars end. Promises that the government hadn‘t kept. Some were personal to the Tosskin family. One being that the bodies of loved ones lost in battle would be recovered and brought back home if possible. Bucky had lost a brother at the “Battle of Serenity Valley” on Hera…..and for all that was known, his brother’s body remained in an unmarked grave upon that planet.

Bucky had left the Allied Verse Command after the war, and also the comfort of core living and a good family upbringing. He had ventured out to the rim to begin a new life, away from the influence of the core worlds. After spending an unlawful bit of time with a pirate crew, about a year, he felt that he would have more peace living the life of a farmer. It may ease the tortures of his mind a bit more about the death and destruction of those poor souls who’d lost their lives in battle.

Disillusioned! He thought of that word again. He felt that the term was a bit ironic. After all, wouldn’t the opposite of disillusioned be illusioned? Were the folk of the core being illusioned into thinking that all was “Well” with the verse? Bucky knew that in truth it was not.

While in the military he’d heard whispers and secrets of stories about wild folk living out at the edges of space. At first, he’d deemed them just scare tactics created by the Independent side, but then there’d been that body found after an attack on an Alliance unit near grid 51. He was assigned to go along with a recovery team and retrieve fallen comrades and casualties of the battle. That was when he’d seen the body. A darkened, ghastly shell of a man, not imagined in any nightmare he’d ever had. The creature was hideous, and he’d have deemed the body fake if it weren’t for the fact that he’d witnessed two blue gloved fellows loading it up into a body bag and carting it off in a secret government craft. He had been sworn to secrecy for a time, but after a while began to confide his stories in his family. They refused to believe him. There were arguments on the subject that left him bitter and alienated. It had drove him to leave his home and begin a new existence out beyond the inner planets, where talking on such matters wouldn’t put you under government scrutiny.

His stories of war, and it’s horrors, had wedged a deep separation between him and his family. All but one had shunned him. His niece Candice Naples. Funny now, but a short time back she had sent him a wave explaining that she was coming for a visit. She’d always been a favorite of her uncle‘s, and she had always enjoyed hearing his stories. He’d warned her against the dangers of coming out so far into the lawlessness of the rim colonies, but she had anyway. And it had been a visit that had almost caused her a fate worse than death.

As Bucky guided his horse drawn buckboard down a well worn wagon path, he became aware of the two wrecked spacecraft that lay in a mangled mess on the ground, two short kilometers from his home. He also noticed the eight marked graves that he had dug for some of the occupants of those two craft.

Candice Naples had been a passenger on one of those vehicles and had barely survived. Her vessel and been attacked by Reavers, and once it’s magnetic grapplers had become attached and entangled onto her small craft the two fell like stones from the sky. It had been a miracle that she had survived the crash. Bucky’s huge shoulders physically shook as he thought of what could have happened to her as he drove his wagon homeward. She was still alive and unharmed. Looking at the graves he still felt sad for those who had not.

**************** Aboard Serenity a short time earlier….

Malcolm Reynolds looked at his ship’s surgeon and without expressing a word let his eyes tell the doc that they needed to speak, yet not in the confines of the infirmary. Simon saw the seriousness of his expression and nodded that they’d talk soon as he finished his examination. In two minutes he was finished, and he met the Captain right outside the door of the med compartment.

“So Doc, how’s she doin?”

“She’ll be fine. Maybe a bit of a bruised elbow,….swelling a bit on the hip, but she’s a tough woman. I think Zoe has survived much tougher battles,” Simon said.

“Any idea of what happened? Why she just fainted like that?” the Captain was curious if the Doc had made a determination on his Lieutenant’s condition.

“Yeah, I’ve got pretty much an excellent idea,” the ship’s medic informed him.

“ What is it, stress, delayed reaction over the loss of Wash?” the Captain queried. Simon just looked at him.

“Captain, I know you perceive your second in command as being tough as nails, and ridged in her duty as any loyal trouper would be,” he paused a moment then continued, “ but she’s also a woman, and subject to things that sometimes befall females of our kind.”

Mal looked at his Doctor.

“She hasn’t gone crazy has she?!!”

Simon smiled,

“No Mal, she’s not crazy, she’s with child.”

**************** Malcolm Reynolds gathered Inara and Kaylee in the lounge area of Serenity. At this time, River was still on the bridge, Simon was still assisting Zoe, and Jayne had been asked to contact an old friend of his, near Gladys City on Minear 2.

“Well ladies, I’ve kinda got a bit of pressing news to convey to each of you, and I’m not sure how it will be received? I’m afraid that each of your work loads may become elevated a bit as well as mine and most other member’s of this crew. Now, although I feel that it’s worth the effort, I’m not sure either of you will agree.”

Irara looked at the Captain.

“Mal! You aren’t kicking Simon and River off the ship!!?”

Mal looked shocked that she would even consider such a thing now.

“No, no, no! I’m not kicking anyone off! It’s just that Zoe,” he paused before delivering the final news, “Zoe’s pregnant!”

Jayne, in his bunk, heard squealing as if someone were tickling the underside of a ferial hog. Inara had jumped up and hugged the Captain as if she hadn’t seen him in a century, and Kaylee’s spirits were floating so high she couldn’t stop grinning.

“How in the world could you think this would be bad news for either of us!!?” Inara said. “ I’d double my workload and even triple it at a chance to balance Zoe and Wash’s baby on my lap!”

Kaylee still couldn’t express a word, her smile was so big.

“Well, I guess I, well, guess I didn’t know what to expect,” Mal said, “ you two took the news better than Jayne, although he wasn’t sad about it either, and River’s smile told me she knew even before I spoke to her. Still, am I the only one concerned about the future with having a baby onboard Serenity? Not that it would be a totally bad thing but…..”

“Mal! How could you even think that way?” Inara spoke with her mouth hanging open, “ this is the person that you’ve spent more time with than anyone else onboard this ship!”

“Captain, sit yourself down,” Kaylee said, first time she was able to speak, “This isn’t a man thing. Maybe you’re in shock because you’re about to become an uncle. For now, you just let ‘ol Doc Simon and the lady folk on this vessel worry about the extra job duties. You can continue with your Captainy stuff and tend to YOUR baby, Serenity. Jayne can tend to his baby, Vera, and the rest of us can revel in the notion that a shipmate of ours is about to bring a new life into the verse.”

Kaylee and Inara hugged each other and ran from the lounge to the infirmary as quickly as their feet could carry them. Mal was left alone in the lounge wondering what had just happened?

“Uncle Mal,” he thought. It did have a nice ring to it!

End Part 2


Sunday, December 18, 2011 6:59 PM


This is really shiny!!(((: I figured after the last chapter that that was what was up with Zoe((: I loved everybody's reactions:D keep up the shiny writing!

Monday, December 19, 2011 1:49 PM


Hiya ShinyZoeKaylee!

Thanks,….I’m glad you like the story so far. I’m thinking that the next chapter will be a bit darker than this one though. I’ll be introducing a new character with somewhat of a mean-streak, and certainly a nastiness that rivals some of the real folk I know. Well, maybe they aren’t really as bad as this guy. Anyway, thanks again for your comment. Hope you hang on for chapter 3.

Still holdin, BPZ

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 2:22 PM


Hello BPZ,
Good to see another installment from you. I just LOVED this: "Wouldn’t the opposite of disillusioned be illusioned? Were the folk of the core being illusioned into thinking that all was “Well” with the verse? "--both funny and made a serious point at the same time. Clever turn of phrase. I liked the scene with Mal, Inara and Kaylee, and their different reactions to the news of Zoe's baby. I also thought Simon and Mal's conversation about "female ailments" was funny. I'm thinking that something's up with that Star Cruiser, and that it's something not good for Serenity's crew. And what's with Bucky thinking Jayne is the Captain of Serenity? Is that just Jayne shading the truth or what? (No, don't answer that! :-) I want to find out in due course as you post this.) I'm also wondering if we'll meet Bucky's niece in person at some point.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 6:41 PM


Howdy eb!

Thanks for posting your thoughts on the second installment of LOH:DOH. At the beginning of this story arc I wasn’t sure what I wanted to title it. Then knowing that I wanted to express a wide range of emotion from the characters involved (from extreme happiness to complete anxiety and dread) Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell, just came to mind. Almost as if the Shepherd were still around to deliver a sermon.

Anyhoo, working on chap 3 now, and like I expressed to ShinyZoeKaylee it will be a bit more detailed and darker. A nasty cloud is about to descend on the little township of Gladys City. Several of your thoughts about things coming up in chap 3 are near spot on! I hope I still have some surprises for you though…

Now, glad that you like the conversation with Simon and Mal about “female ailments” that was done in jest. Malcolm Reynolds is very versatile and can do a lot of things, but understanding the female condition is more “hit & miss“ with him. Not saying he wouldn’t make a good uncle, or father.

The thing about Captain Jayne is, ……well, I think you said you wanted to wait until the next chapter. It’s just about finished and should be ready in a day or two.

Thanks for the feedback eb, and ShinyZoeKaylee!

Still holdin, BPZ


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Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part3
Chapter 3 up and running. Some questions answered, and a few more created. Some characters folks may like, some not so much. But Isn’t that the way things really are? Jayne has always wanted to be the commander of his own ship. Mal, unknowingly lets him play for a while……Ok, also, a villain arrives on the scene….boo-hisss, the crowd makes wicked catcalls….BPZ

Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part2
This chapter….not much of a connection to chapter one, but the link is coming. Introducing a few new characters and the meaning and purpose of their mindset. Hope you enjoy and continue to follow….BPZ

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Mal, Kaylee and Wash land on Persephone for hull inspection. He shouldn’t feel alarmed, but the Captain is always apprehensive about such things. He’s a little nervous, but remembers the advice of the family physician that used to be his doctor on Shadow. “Just take a sugar pill with your medicine and things will be alright” least that’s what ‘ol Doc Jenkins used to say. Of course Mal ain’t on Shadow anymore….. And his mom didn’t used sugar pills, she used castor oil…. as a chaser for medicine. And for those who are familiar with castor oil…..all I can say is that you have to sit still and let things progress naturally……BPZ

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Howdy Coats!! Been a while since I’ve been able to jot something down, but here goes. …Continuation of the “ Polished Memories” series, and more of what Mal remembers about the battle of Serenity Valley. We can see that the pain, and suffering, and casualties of war are chipping away at the Captain’s beliefs. Is Mal losing his soul? Only the Shepherd would know the soldier at this point, and maybe his Corporal, Zoe. Read on for clarification….

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New approach at mixing things up a little. “Polished Memories” folk trying to sort through their emotions and feelings, and make themselves feel better. Doesn’t always work.

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More like Clash of the bed fleas or dust mites. But that can be a good thing. Being the small guys can keep you off the Alliance radar and have the old bloodhounds barking up the wrong tree. Petty crime can pay well enough, yet not have the Feds crawling up your backside…. Oh yeah, also, Mal & Zoe pick up the heat in this one. I’ll not say more. Maybe Wash does have a reason to be jealous? Hope you enjoy the final of “Missing in Action” BPZ