Twice As Nice - Chapter 1: Down by the Docks
Sunday, August 14, 2005

A mystery wave, a mystery woman and a pilot with a big mouth


I do not own nor hold any claim to any characters or affiliated articles of Firefly. Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy do that. I am merely a humble fan who is scared of lawyers and can only dream of, one day, being even half as brilliant as Lord Whedon.

Bridge, Serenity

“Persephone, Eavesdown Docks, 1400hrs”

“Sir, got a wave here you might want to look at,” Zoë called from the console. Mal, setting down the data card he was examining, moved to stand by her shoulder. “Any notion to the sender?” he queried. “Runnin’ a check now, sir,” she replied. After a moment, the console screen blinked. “Sender put a block on it.” “Probably Badger, got us a job,” Mal thought out loud. He looked down at Zoë. “Somethin’?” he asked her. She swivelled her chair to face him, “Badger doesn’t usually put a block on his waves, sir. Could be a set up.” Mal frowned. “The Alliance puttin’ on the heat, needin’ us to do a job quiet-like?” he suggested. Zoë’s suspicion and discomfort were apparent on her face. “Could be Alliance, lookin’ for the doctor. Could even be Niska – I heard he was mighty sore after you punched him, sir.” “Why Zoë, might that be a joke?” Mal asked in mock surprise, brows raised. “Jayne!” River’s delighted yell jolted Zoë and the captain. She smiled at them innocently. Zoë and Mal exchanged a confused glance. “River, honey, Jayne’s in the cargo bay with shepherd Book,” Zoë soothed, starting up. “Jayne,” River repeated, a little more insistently this time. “She’s waiting for you. He sees her. She’s singing to him. He doesn’t like it. He talks of Simon as he lies. Simon… Simon? Watching from above. Flying. You know her, but not yet. Not yet. You forgot how to know her. But you’ll remember. We all will.” Zoë paused, half-standing, and stared at River. River looked calmly and levelly, almost kindly, back at her. “She’s waiting,” she said in a singsong voice. Zoë’s gaze ticked over to meet Mal’s. “Uh… sir?” she asked. Something clicked into place inside Mal’s skull. “Set a course for Persephone,” he instructed and strode from the bridge. Dropping back into her seat, she began to enter in co-ordinates. Glancing around, she caught Wash’s eye. “So, what, am I just the chauffeur now?” he asked. Zoë raised an eyebrow. “Home, James,” she said with a straight face.


Persephone, Eavesdown Docks The Next Day, 1300hrs

She stood on the dock and tracked the Firefly across the blue sky. Judging by her trajectory, she should set down just about… “There,” she said to herself. Walking quickly, she made her way through the swarm of people toward the insect-like craft now towering over the surrounding area. Zoë must’ve softened over the years, she thought. She’d not expected Mal for at least another hour. She was jolted out of her reverie when a large hairy hand shot from the crowd and grabbed her roughly by the elbow. She whirled to face her assailant. A rather fat and ugly little man stood in front of her, grinning smugly. “April, right?” he said. “I think you got me confused mister,” she said blandly. The smile slipped a notch. “Two years ago, a bar on Boros? I had a mustache, you had a blue dress…?” he said with a suggestive brow lift. Holding her breath against his smell, she stepped a little closer to the man. “I said, I think you got me confused,” with a brow lift of her own. He looked down… straight into the barrel of her pistol. His flabby face paled and he began to sweat. He swallowed. “I… I think maybe I got you confused.” “Per-maybe-haps, I’m thinkin’.” She removed his hand and took off at a steady pace in the direction of Mal’s ship.


Cargo Bay, Serenity

Standing on Serenity's ramp, Mal stuck his hands into his coat pockets and surveyed the docks. Zoë stood beside him uneasily. “Still don’t think this is a good idea, sir,” she observed. Mal turned his head half toward her. “Maybe, but could be sender has a notion to give us a job.” “Or a grave.” There was the sound of pistols being cocked and a female voice said “Hate to say it, really, I do. But Mal’s got the right notion.” “And that would be the reason I’m the captain of this here boat,” and with that, Mal whirled, knocking the newcomer’s gun from her hand. It hit the floor plating and went off with a roar. “Gorram it, Mal! Watch what you’re doin’!” she shouted, more in surprise than genuine anger as she re-holstered her remaining gun and bent to pick up the other. She straightened and nodded, “Zoë.” Zoë nodded in return. The two women looked at each other and smiled slightly. The clatter of boots on the walkways above announced the arrival of Simon, Wash, Book and River. In a movement faster than most humans and Jayne could manage, the woman had re-drawn her guns and turned to point them upwards. “They’re with us,” Mal muttered. She lowered her guns but continued to gaze up at the others with suspicion. He called up to the crew, “Everybody, this is, uh, Jaine.” “It’s strange, I’m used to him being somehow more angry and masculine,” Wash sniggered. “Wash,” Mal warned. “Sorry, he called, trying to stifle his giggles. “Forgive my husband, he’s a pilot,” Zoë said, glaring at him. Mal turned back to Jaine. “Jaine, this is most of my crew. Mighta guessed we got another Jayne onboard. Loves his guns. Should get on just fine,” he said with a wink. Addressing the crew again, he said, “Jaine here’s a friend of mine and Zoë’s, Wash,” he said pointedly. “And she’s got a notion to offer us a job, details of which I don’t happen to’ve heard. So, ‘til the others get back, make her feel welcome an’ the like an’ then we’ll talk.” Wash raised his hand. “So, when the others get back, can we go back to being warily suspicious and hesitant?” “Husband, I can and will hurt you,” Zoë said. “No, Wash, but ‘til then, y’all can come on down an’ make yourselves known,” Mal replied.


Standing in the cargo bay, Jaine watched Mal’s misfit crew make their way down to her. The blond man with the Hawaiian shirt and the big mouth began introducing everyone: “Book, Serenity’s very own shepherd.” The older man shook her hand and bowed his head toward her. “River, our resident super-genius.” He pointed upwards at a brown-haired teenage girl who was smiling down at them as she sat with her feet dangling over the edge of the walkway above them. “And this,” he said, gesturing to a dark-haired young man, “is our doctor, Simon – “ She recognised him instantly. That gorram doctor! “Tam.” The name came out as a hiss. The hun dan looked at her. “Yes? Can I…?” His eyes widened in recognition and then shock as she launched herself at him.


hun dan = bastard


Sunday, August 14, 2005 7:54 PM


interasting start.

Monday, August 15, 2005 4:45 AM


see, i finaly read it.

Monday, August 15, 2005 7:00 AM


Oooh, wonder what the good gorram Jaine has to be mad at Simon for. Shiny start, can't wait to see what happens next. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, August 22, 2005 6:49 PM


Great start! I can't wait to read more! You really do have a knack for the character dialogue...I could hear each actor saying those lines... intriguing...can't wait to see where this goes! :-) Check out the story I wrote (my first attempt at Fan Fict) called "Along Came A Zhi-Zhu"...tell me what you think... :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 9:52 AM


good work, hun! (do you say that in scotland?)

*i liked the dialouge but was confused at the "softening" line. perhaps it's a set up, perhaps i don't understand . . .
*wash/zoe relationship seemed a little flat. w: i'm going to say something silly! z: i can kill you with my pinkie. there is so much more going on and your use of dialouge convinces me that if anyone's gonna show me something new- it's gonna be you!


Tuesday, November 8, 2005 6:21 AM


Bravo!! Oooh! There's more to read (and I have to go to work... darnit!!)

Loved this line: “Forgive my husband, he’s a pilot,” Zoë said, glaring at him.


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A mystery wave, a mystery woman and a pilot with a big mouth