Purple J's Part 9
Sunday, June 10, 2012

A silly notion he knew, but Serenity had come across stranger things during her illicit adventures. And her crew knew of things that were even worse. Like Reavers. Were Reavers real? That question was up for debate on the core planets, but Mal and his crew knew they were. An expressed difference between Reavers and your average, everyday, run of the mill cannibal was that the latter at least cooked their meals. With Reavers it may have been all about listening to their victims scream as the inhuman beasts ate their food alive. A shudder coursed through the Captain.


Purple “J”s : part 9 “Aberdeen”


Malcolm Reynolds and Cecil Deans were sitting at Serenity’s galley table. They had been sitting there for twenty minutes in silence. Each thinking his own thoughts. Mal continued sipping his brew of the latest Kaylee concoction and Deans was chewing on a bit of jerky he‘d brought with him from Monty‘s ship. Suddenly there came a voice over the ship’s intercom system..…….. it was Wash.

“Mal, we’re about forty-two minutes off of Aberdeen! Time to maybe get Mr. Deans up here to tell me where I’m going,” there was a slight pause before Serenity’s pilot added his own flair to his transmission………… “unless landing in a tropical forest somewhere and being eaten by cannibals is more to your liking?”

The Captain of Serenity looked over at Deans.

“Are there cannibals on Aberdeen?”

A silly notion he knew, but Serenity had come across stranger things during her illicit adventures. And her crew knew of things that were even worse. Like Reavers. Were Reavers real? That question was up for debate on the core planets, but Mal and his crew knew they were. An expressed difference between Reavers and your average, everyday, run of the mill cannibal was that the latter at least cooked their meals. With Reavers it may have been all about listening to their victims scream as the inhuman beasts ate their food alive. A shudder coursed through the Captain.

“No, there are no cannibals on Aberdeen,” Cecil stated, “unless you take into account the rumored warrior women that roam the upper parts of the hemisphere. They can eat a man down to the bone in fifteen seconds! Well, if there are more than four or five of them enjoying the feast at the same time? They use their male captives only for procreation, before having them as a last meal. Hell of a way to go isn‘t it?”

Mal’s eyes widened at his passenger’s response. Cecil looked at the Captain and grinned. Mal realized that the joke was on him at that point. Funny how a bit of humor can ease through the trust issues someone is having when faced with an uncertain situation. A simple joke can change the mood entirely. Both men smiled, stood and headed for the bridge.

Mal and Cecil made their way up to Serenity’s cockpit. Wash was up there waiting for them, ready to take the vessel in the direction Deans indicated. Zoe had joined her husband and Captain on the bridge.

“So where am I headed?” Wash asked.

“Your destination is the southern part of the globe. Six hundred miles from the southern ice cap. A village by the name of Timpler Springs,” Deans informed them, then added, “Quinn Greene’s family founded the town decades ago, his great, great grandfather on his mother’s side. The man was a prospector who panned the streams in the mountain valleys for gold many, many years ago. And, I might add, with a fair amount of success. It’s what made the family somewhat wealthy. Mining and cattle ranching, the two main sources of livelihood in that part of the world, and Mr. Greene grew up with both. His father spawned from a healthy clan of livestock owners, and Quinn‘s mother the happy inheritor of a vast amount of jeweled treasure. The best that panned gold can buy! ” Deans showed that he knew a little history about Quinn’s family and the town itself.

“I’m afraid it’s only a shell of a place now, deserted since the war,” Cecil looked around, “that’s where we are to begin our search,” he paused momentarily, “Oh and Captain Reynolds, for your information it’s late Fall in the southern hemisphere, there might be a bit of chill in the air about. Could be that you and your crew should dawn jackets or coats to protect against the bite of the cool breeze,” He stated.

“Understood,” Mal spoke back.

After Wash had located the town of Timpler Springs, he landed the vessel in the wide expanse almost dead center of Main Street. The place was deserted, with burned-out buildings, areas of complete ruin, and wooden structures about to collapse in upon themselves. There were only about fourteen structures that remained standing in the village. It looked to be your typical “Ghost Town”, as spoken of in historical documents that Mal had read about in old western literature from ETW.

It was almost evening, and Malcolm Reynolds stood at the bottom of the loading ramp viewing the town that Serenity had just landed in. A place that resembled a memory from his past. Something familiar to him, a memory from a time of his childhood back on Shadow. He choked back an emotion with a swallow. Although it was painful to think of such things, they did slip to the forefront of his brain without his consent. Still, no matter how painful, he was able to push them back again. There was a job to be done! An agreed upon contract to be fulfilled! All else was in the past…. he reasoned, and should remain there. It was time to move forward, to gain the treasure.

Since the sun was about forty minutes from dipping past the distant horizon, Mal felt that he had time to make a patrol, a scouting expedition. A recon mission to scour the layout of the land. He decided that a trip out into the “world” of Aberdeen, with the assistance of Kaylee, might help to provide them with details needed for the next day. Even if they were unable to find any real clue of what they were looking for. Still he felt that this would give them a jump start. He walked back up Serenity’s loading ram and entered the cargo hold. He found Zoe, Jayne, Kaylee, Deans, Shepherd Book, and Inara, waiting there for his next decision.

“Ok crew let’s mount up!”

Mal was sporting his “War Duster” to keep him from the chill of the evening air. Cecil had been right about that, it was cool here. Not freezing, but simply wearing pants and shirt wouldn‘t be enough to keep the chill from the bones the later the sun sank past the distant mountain peaks. Mal could see that the rest of his crew had prepared for the weather as well.

“So Jayne, you and Kaylee will be accompanying me on a little expo!” Mal looked over at Cecil, “Deans, you’ll come along as well, being that you and my cousin Monty are invested in the matter, ” he paused looking around at the faces present in the cargo bay.

“Cap’, you think it’s a good idea to head out so late in the day?” Kaylee questioned. It was something that was on everyone’s mind.

“ I do,” he said, not hesitating one bit, “Zoe, you’re in charge while we’re gone!”

Mal’s Lieutenant motioned that she understood.

“May haps we get a jump on things so that we can complete this mission and get back to Monty without much delay!” Mal looked over at Cecil, “ Monty tells me in a wave that there’s a redheaded woman off of “Cole’s nook” that is vying for your position as cook upon his vessel as we speak! The thing is, he says she can whip up a pretty tasty batch of pea soup. Might help if you wanna keep your job that we do this one quickly!”

Cecil made note, and was in agreement.

The four then entered the shuttle, but not before the Captain, Zoe and Wash made preparations of expressed secret code words to be used in transmission if things went sour for either himself, or the crew left aboard the ship. Hostiles could be about, and could attack the little transport while they were gone and capture the crew. Or scoundrels could be waiting in ambush for Mal and his group. It was SOP (standard operating procedure) to use code words, the trick was, not to let anyone keeping you hostage know that you are using covert communications with folk who could come to your rescue.

The Shuttle flew out on an eastbound heading from town……


Mal and his team arrived back on Serenity without success of finding any clues as to the whereabouts of Quinn‘s family treasure. The Captain guessed that Greene’s rhymes and riddles would mean more during the daylight hours. Jayne had used his private time with Mal to express his unhappiness of being falsely bonded to River.

“Look Jayne, that’s just how it is! You don’t have to like it, and it’s for a short time only, but it has to be done. We have to keep the true relation of Simon and River in the dark. This means that any passengers aboard that are new to Serenity have to be snorkeled,” he looked at Jayne, then added, “ it may be painful for you, but you have to be nice to the girl!”

“Well, being nice may mean that I don’t talk to her at all!” The big man responded.

“Like that would be different!” Mal spoke, shooting the mercenary a pair of eyes.

After the shuttle docked and all of the scouting party were back aboard Serenity, Mal decided that it may be a good idea to do a little nighttime investigation of the town. He expressed his view to the crew team in the cargo bay.

“ …….but it’s dark out Captain,” Kaylee spoke, “ might be critters about that don’t like you disturbing their peace, uninvited!”

“Well Miss Kaylee, I’m sure the possums and the infamous Aberdeen prairie guineas will have to just suck it up, and bear realities that they don’t like, just like Jayne over there,” Mal nodded his head towards the big mercenary leaning against the bulkhead, still with a scouring look on his face about the role he had to play of being River’s brother, “sometimes some of us have to make sacrifices when it comes to doing a job. The dirty deeds have to fall to someone. This time that someone is Jayne.” That ended the conversation, and Mal smiled at her. Kaylee smiled back, understanding that the Captain was having fun with this, and also that it didn’t involve her.

Mal motioned for the big man to accompany him into the dark town. They would gather bearings for the next day and look for anything of value that may have been left behind when the town was abandoned. Mal was pretty sure he wouldn’t find anything, still a recon patrol to help understand the layout of the area was a smart thing to do before someone was to bed down in an unfamiliar place.

Mal and Jayne exited Serenity by way of the loading ramp. Serenity’s Commander had Zoe button down the ship until he returned.

“So Mal, what are we ‘spoze’ to be looking for?” Jayne questioned.

“Anything of value. Anything that we may could use on Serenity, or sale at market to Badger, our next trip to Persephone.”

They had entered several ramshackle buildings but found nothing worthy of being brought back. Their final stop looked to be a home that at one time had presented a fine and elegant existence. Nice as it had been, neglect and the abuse of war that had taken it’s toll on the place. It was now a soiled, dirt ridden mess. Chairs and tables had been broken apart. Walls had been defaced, either on purpose or unintended, and all around there was evidence of nature’s good, glorious outside, coming inside to roost. All the windows were shattered, and there was tumbleweed all around. A thick coating of dust adorned everything in every room, and the small, handheld lights the Captain and Jayne were using showed them that there was of little value that had been left behind.

“Ok, enough of this. We need to head back and settle in for the night. We’ll start fresh tomorrow,” Mal called to Jayne, who was in another room.

The big man was in agreement.

Mal turned to head out of a bedroom door when his boot stepped upon something on the floor. He shown the flashlight down to see what it was. It was a small book, about four inches by six inches. He reached down to pick it up. It was covered in dust, and so imbedded with dirt that he was almost afraid to handle it much, thinking that it may fall apart. With his fingers he brushed off the grime which had settled atop the old cover. A word came to his sight,……..actually it was a name.

“Avelene,” he spoke. Mal’s words were hardly above a whisper. He used his hand to wipe away another part of the book next to the first name.

“Greene,” he said, reciting the second name.

“Avelene Greene,” this was Quinn’s sister’s book! Holy crap! The Captain realized that he’d found a jewel that he hadn’t even been looking for. He slipped the book into his coat pocket. He had just gained a prize that he was sure would be of interest to the inmate back in Cellblock D, Voltauge Prison on Sliverhold. He exited the room and found that Jayne had been waiting for him by the front door, impatiently.

“Ok, let’s head back,” Mal said to the big mercenary.

The man grunted, then was gone out the exit in front of him.



Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:53 AM


For a moment there I thought there would be cannibals a-plenty! I'm with Kaylee on thinking a night time recon of the town was risky but that book may prove worth it. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Monday, June 11, 2012 3:15 AM


Good morning Alison

Cannibals? What had you think cannibals would be in this story arc Ali? …….lol, I’m only joking with you (big grin).

Yes I will agree with you about Kaylee thinking that it wasn’t such good an idea to venture into a nighttime investigation of Timpler Springs by the Captain and Jayne. But does Mal sometime care what his crew think of some of his decisions? You know the answer to that one.

He’s used to facing a little negativity when it comes to doing what he wants, and, he’s used to worrying about his crew, not himself, they do that for him. Anyhoo, all looks to have went well, and in this case it seems to have paid off a bit. Except for scaring a few rodents who call Timpler Springs home, and maybe disturbing the ghost community a bit, Mal and Jayne returned unscathed. Of course there’s always tomorrow, and a new adventure. Things could turn out different?

Thanks for you post, Z

Monday, June 11, 2012 4:08 PM


Actually, what struck me most in reading this was the very poignant moment when the ghost town they've landed at reminds Mal of Shadow. Oh so poignant. And then, besides that, I liked your phrase "all around there was evidence of nature’s good, glorious outside, coming inside to roost." And I, too, am glad they didn't run into any cannibals. ;-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:56 AM


Howdy eb!

Your comments are always well received and well valued!

You know that the Captain’s emotions run deep, and as a way of protecting himself he has put up this shell of toughness. That doesn’t mean that Mal isn’t every bit the man that he presents himself to be,….. that he is! It only means that he guards himself against outside influences that could chip away at his hard surface (something brought on by a war he thought he could win by sheer faith ).

Like Serenity’s galley tabletop, he has to endure the banging of plates, forks, spoons and knifes upon his surface. Even the occasional gun being slammed down on his tabletop will not leave a mark! It also may be a reason he has difficulties with relationships?

Mal is tuff like that. It is rare that he shows emotion, and he does this only when he knows no one is looking. His remembering the familiarity of Timpler Springs, adjacent to his childhood on Shadow is something he would deny, even to God!

I don’t believe the Captain of Serenity has lost his faith, I only believe that he has questions. Questions that upon his death, no matter what the answers, when he meets up with the Lord he will be more than happy to give him a swift kick to the kneecap :)

Thanks for your post, Z


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Purple J's Part 9
A silly notion he knew, but Serenity had come across stranger things during her illicit adventures. And her crew knew of things that were even worse. Like Reavers. Were Reavers real? That question was up for debate on the core planets, but Mal and his crew knew they were. An expressed difference between Reavers and your average, everyday, run of the mill cannibal was that the latter at least cooked their meals. With Reavers it may have been all about listening to their victims scream as the inhuman beasts ate their food alive. A shudder coursed through the Captain.

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