Trigger Finger- Part2
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good afternoon fellow browncoats! What follows is the continuing saga of the “Trigger Finger” fan-fic. My thanks to eb & Byte for their continued feedback and inspiration. Now the synopsis: Mal feels it’s time to begin making heist plans, still it’s earlier so there’s time for changes if need be. The Shepherd steps up to help. Should he be doing that? ….eb convinced me to add in a little more Shepherd time, and I enjoyed doing it. Maybe the criminal lifestyle is growing on the Preacher, what do ya think? ZBP


Trigger Finger -------------------------- Part 2 --------------------------- Burg Clairy Jess Watkins Royce Rogers Bill Pardy Skara Brae ------------------------------------ Captain’s Got A Headache -----------------------------------

Malcolm Reynolds figured that it was about time he let his crew in on the extent of their voyage over to Ur, a world near Newhall. Well, his actual thoughts were to let them know what he knew up to that point. Badger still hadn’t anteed up the full amount of Intel, which Mal felt was needed in order to proceed with the job. That sort of information would lead to fewer questions, therefore they’d be able to formulate a better plan. However, the crime boss was awaiting further Intel himself. As soon as it became available, he had promised to pass it along . Badger had a secret associate staged within this smuggling operation, and he felt the success of the endeavor rated pretty high.

The Captain called a meeting of his ship’s crew in the galley. All of them were present. Book in the galley kitchen, along with Inara, brewing up tea.

Sitting around the table were Wash, Simon, Kaylee, Zoe and Jayne, waiting for him to commence explaining his plan. River was bundled up in a corner nook, legs pulled up to her chest, and chin resting atop her knees.

“So, this is what we’ve got so far,” Mal said as he laid an old paper map out on the galley table. It was rugged and worn, and showed sighs of decay, but the Captain still got his use outta such things. Fact was, he kept a cabinet full of old parchment maps in his bunk for easy access just for times like this. Sometimes it was easier just to use the old material map method of showing locations on moons and planets, instead of passing an image creator around from individual to individual. This way, with the actual solid map spread out across the table, everyone was on the same page, literally.

“I’m afraid this map showing this part of Ur is a little old. But on a world of this sort, ain’t much has changed over the course of centuries.” That was only partly true. Ur, and it’s mother planet Newhall, had been introduced to human influence decades ago, however, after terraforming, and having workers come to settle it’s regions, it was still considered a frontier world. The settlements were far apart and many townships didn’t even have their own law enforcement. They relied on private security companies to serve as authority.

“Only way interesting progress will come to this little rock is if it’s inhabitants develop a way to turn desert sands into diamonds and pearls!” Mal said, “ Now, one of the things it does have going for it is a bit of copper and silver mining, with a sprinkle of gold for good measure. That’s what keeps it from reverting back to the stone ages.” The captain looked around, “still, quantities are lacking as far as the gold and silver, but there’s enough to keep folk interested, and it’s why we’re here!”

There were mineral deposits in the hills and mountains on Ur, but it took effort to get those riches out. And production was just enough to keep certain businesses from shutting their doors. Mal put his finger on a spot on the map.

“Here’s where we’re headed. A small ant hill of a place known as Skara Brae. It’s run by a billiard ball of a Magistrate named Burg Clairy. He’s our mark. He may run the town, but he’s only the middle man in this deal. The major players are actually the mining operators. The folk in charge of “Solid Earth Mining Company” . They’ve been stealing from the production coffers for years, and Clairy works as their go between. He gets the stuff, then ferries it off world when the cache reaches a sizable amount. In this case two full boxes. It takes some time to siphon off that much loot. A year of “nickel & diming” and doctoring up the files. It takes a while, so they’ll be guarding it diligently.

Mal removed his finger from the map, leaving a discernable smudge where his finger had been. Just before, he had been assisting his master mechanic in changing out an engine part on his boat. Turns out, Mal had decided to become better acquainted with the engine room. He had gotten the idea that getting his hands a little greasy was a better notion than being totally A Dou (inept) on how some functions of the engine worked. He’d decided to take a “crash” course, excuse the pun, in mechanical repair. If something ever happened to Kaylee, he wanted to at least be able to limp Serenity back to a livable moon if there were engine problems. Being stuck in the black was no fun. He knew from experience.

“Ok, here’s how we’ll play it in the beginning! We’ll need a diversion, so Jayne, you’ll be in charge of that. You’ll start a ruckus in town down the street from the bank. You should attract the attention of a good amount of heavies. That will give us an account of how many they have. Zoe and I will be gathering supplies at the general store, across the street. We’ll make note of their strength and procedures before continuing. We’ll head over to the bank and make an attempt to contact Badger’s informant, a guy he has placed on his payroll. Someone by the name of Royce Rogers. Of course that’s not his real name, just an alias as mine will be. I’ll introduce myself as Bill Pardy. From there, we’ll follow his lead and the rest should be easy sailing,” the Captain paused and looked around the table, “sound good so far?”

There was the bobbing of heads in agreement, but then came a noise from the kitchen of someone clearing his throat. Mal looked up into the eyes of the preacher.

“Shepherd, you got something to say?”

“Well Captain, since you’ve asked,” Book started, as he walked around the partition and entered the main part of the galley, “I’ve already made note of a couple flaws within your arrangement.”

“Oh, how so?” Mal queried. But before Book could answer, there came a voice from the far side of the galley where River was sitting.

“The Captain should remain flexible, agile and limber.” It came out almost as a whisper, very quiet and sudden. All those in the galley turned to pass a gaze upon the girl.

“Least ways, if not……..he WILL loose a member.”

There she sat in her pose, all cuddled and comfy. But not another word ushered from her lips. There was such silence in the room that a dead fly hitting the floor woulda made a noise that all could hear, that is, had there been one of those dying bugs aboard ship. After a moment, when no other comment issued from the girl, she was simply ignored.

“Well, like I was saying Captain, you didn’t include mention of the new security technology Badger spoke of in the last wave he broadcast to Serenity.”

“That’s because I don’t know what it is, Shepherd! I have a feeling the informant, Bryce Rogers, will tell us about anything before letting us get in too much yishàng women ding (over our heads). He IS a part of this deal too, remember!”

“I agree, only wouldn’t it be a better arrangement if we knew a little more about the town first? Lets’ say, go in a day in advance to get a look at the place? See if we can get an idea of what we‘re up against?”

“WE! You part of our group of brigands now too preacher?”

“I meant WE as in WE aboard ship! The outcome could affect us all!”

That was true. What affected one on Malcolm’s ship, could possibly affect the entire crew.

“Ok, what’s your idea?”

“Well, yours was a good start. We use Jayne as a diversion. But he goes in under the guise of a representative of the MPMU.”

“The MPMU?” Mal questioned. Jayne’s eyes lit up. He certainly didn’t like the sound of that.

“The what!!?” The big mercenary squawked. He wasn’t going to sit still for a plan that involved him without knowing what the hell he was doing.

“The MPMU……Miners of Precious Metals Union. There isn’t one on Ur. He can go in as a representative. Every labor town on the border and rim worlds of the verse are, by law, to allow a union organizer to come in and speak his piece. Then it has to be agreed upon and voted on by the corresponding workers committee. If it passes with an eighty percent vote in favor, an organized structure is set up. Representation is a way to get better pay and better benefits. Like it or not, the Magistrate of Skara Brae will have to allow him into his town. Jayne takes shuttle 2. Sets up in the protective zone. Gets a hotel room, then later heads over to the local watering hole. That’s where you’ll find your diversion party. Towns like Skara Brae always have saloons. Some more than one. It’s a place were workers can go to drink their misery away. Indulge themselves into a alcoholic fog, piss and moan about their poor wages, then go home and sleep off their stupor, just to get up and start again the next day.” Book stopped to see if this was making any sense to the fold. Looked as if they were seeing his meaning pretty well. He scanned a look over at the big man sitting at the table, then continued…

“You stir these folk into a frenzy, then let them loose to head over to the courthouse to vent some steam. You stay clear of the riot, the Magistrate pulls out the new technology, and you Mal, along with Zoe, get a first hand look at what we’re up against!”

Mal hated to admit it, but it was a better plan.

“Our futures then, are all a bit more shiny,” Book finished.

“Bars, bars look at them shine. Once, the Captain had ten, now he has nine.”

They all stopped to look at River again.


“Don’t look at me, I’m only her brother!”

“Has what she been saying have anything to do with this future caper coming up?”

“I know what it is!” Jayne cut in, “…….and it ain’t about the future, it’s about the past. When we made that stop on Persephone. The Doc came aboard with his sister, and Shepherd, and Dobson too. The shiny bars she’s talking about are the food supplements we pawned off on Patience. All wrapped up in shiny foil. And with taking on passengers, that made us ten. With the loss of the Fed that brought us back down to nine. Simple as Chinese arithmetic!”

What Jayne said, did figure. Only Mal wasn’t sure that he was right. The Captain was starting to gain a headache. A bigger one than his usual. Too much more of this lashi (crap) entering his brain, and his head might explode.

“Two by two, the boxes look new. The Cap’s got a surprise awaitin at the rendezvous.”

“Gorramit Simon!” Mal brought his fingers up to rub his temples, attempting to ease away the increasing tension he was feeling there.

The Doc got up and delicately took his sister by the arm, then proceeded to escort her to her bunk.

“She’s in the Captains brain, the one they call River, She’ll drive the man insane, the Doctor’s little sister,” The young Tam giggled as she was lead away.

It was peaceful for a moment, once River had left the galley. But there wasn’t a soul at the table not smiling at the riddles and rhymes the young Tam had been spewing. Well, except for the Captain, of course.

“Well that’s about it for now,” Mal said when he’d decided to speak, “Badger’s supposed to make another contact before we reach Ur. I’ll keep you all posted if things change.”

The crew of Serenity got up from the table and made their way back to their duty stations. Once the meeting adjourned, Mal took the Shepherd aside.

“So, you gonna tell me how a preacher becomes so well informed about unions, and border world law?”

“It’s easy Mal, I read! Most folk aboard this ship have their minds occupied with other things. Kaylee with her engine and Simon. The Doc with his profession, his sister and Kaylee, Jayne with his guns and every female aboard this vessel. Wash with his wife and flying,” he paused to look at the Captain. Even the Shepherd couldn’t contain a little smile from visiting his face.

“Then there’s Zoe. She’s got her husband to look after, and also, there’s making sure her Captain doesn’t go bananas. Now You! You have a ship to run, and crew, and……..Inara, well, she’s got her things too.”

The Shepherd stopped before proceeding……“Me, I have nothing to do but read all day, and try to save your soul,” his grin got a little bigger.

End Part 2


Monday, January 30, 2012 5:36 AM


I liked the detail of Mal having a collection of old paper maps. I also enjoyed Jayne's assignment. I think he'd do a great job of creating a ruckus. Love it that Mal's alias is "Bill Pardy" (tee hee). River's comment that Mal might "lose a member" was a show-stopper! "There was such silence in the room that a dead fly hitting the floor woulda made a noise that all could hear, that is, had there been one of those dying bugs aboard ship." -- made me laugh! Got a little confused, their contact is Royce Rogers, but a little later, a "Bryce Rogers" is mentioned: is this meant to be the same guy? I liked Jayne trying to interpret River's meaning about the shiny bars. And Mal getting a headache as he gets exasperated by River's cryptic rhymes. I liked it that Book stepped in with a plan. I'm not sure Jayne has it in him to make a convincing union rep, but if his role is more about stirring folk into a frenzy, he's definitely qualified! Liked the dialog between Book and the Captain at the end. “It’s easy Mal, I read! Most folk aboard this ship have their minds occupied with other things. Kaylee with her engine and Simon. The Doc with his profession, his sister and Kaylee, Jayne with his guns and every female aboard this vessel. Wash with his wife and flying,” --liked Book's shrewd and concise analysis of everybody aboard the boat. Lots of good stuff in this chapter, ZBP, delivered as usual with your patented sense of humor.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:43 AM


Howdy eb, glad to get your comments on the fic! Hope you’re having Tuesday, and you’re absolutely right about the “Royce”-”Bryce” thing. They are one and the same individual. That one got past me and my beta….lol.

Also, glad to see that you caught the Bill Pardy pun. I was wondering if that was going to SLITHER by without a mention from someone. I’m happy to see that it didn’t!

Mal having the old material maps….just something out of habit for him I guess. Electronic map generators weren’t much good during the war I‘m assuming. All that grit, grime and dust made them somewhat unusable at times. Better the old fashioned way.

Jayne! Again you’ve hit the nail on the head! He may not make a good union organizer in the long term, but he can sure fire up some folk riot style (as evidenced in his crowd pleasing speech in “Jaynestown”)

Great to get your feedback, thanks ZBP.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:44 AM


"A Good Tuesday" that is, I'm still a little sleepy.


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