Freedom's Cry Chapter 3
Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mal thought he'd never return to Shadow, but when his family decide to form a rebellion against the Alliance he finds he has no choice. Collab with Lucas Harper


Author’s Note: Sorry this update has taken so long. I’ve had some dramas recently and with Christmas and everything, I’ve been a little slack.


Rae gestured to the woman standing directly behind her. She was a beautiful creature, standing at Mal’s height, long red hair flowing out behind her. Her skin was flawless, hiding the fact that she lived on the ranching planet. She certainly showed no ravages of time on her pretty features.

“Don’t just stand there scowlin’ at the boy, Koralee; come on over and get y’self reacquainted.” Rae directed.

Koralee stepped toward the newcomers, but her scowl stayed on her face. Mal shifted uncomfortably as she approached.

How are ya, ‘Lee? Ain’t seen ya for a while.” Mal said, attemptin’ small talk.

She stood face to face with him now.

“Ain’t no one ‘round here calls me ‘Lee anymore.”

“Thought you liked it.”

Koralee’s scowl deepened, if that was at all possible.

“We don’t always think the right things, Mal. I seem to remember thinkin’ you loved me.” she stated, shovin’ in a barb that he had not expected. “Of course, it became obvious I was thinkin’ wrong when you broke my heart.”

Mal could feel every eye on him. His crew had learned more about him in one day than in all the time they’d known him. He hadn’t even told Zoe about ‘Lee. Truth to be told he never saw the point, nor the opportunity. He broke up with the red-haired beauty a while afore he left to fight the war. Sure enough, he’d suspected she still carried a torch for him, and seein’ her now, the anger in her eyes, he was positive she did.

“You’re not gonna say anything, Mal? She looks positively heart broken.” Wash jokingly put in.

Koralee didn’t like his input one little bit.

“You’re the smart alec of the ship? Personality like that’ll get you shot ‘round these parts.” she spat.

Wash leant close to Mal.

“I don’t like her. You were wise to leave her.”

Zoe began to step forward to berate Mal’s former flame, but Mal grabbed her arm. He didn’t nod, didn’t shake his head, never uttered a word. He didn’t have to. She knew what he meant. So she backed down. For now.

“Y’know, I don’t what exactly you’re holdin’ a grudge for, ‘Lee. Way I remember it, you were pretty glad see us end.” Mal reminded Koralee.

“Only ‘cause you were headin’ elsewhere for your entertainment!”

Everyone turned their attentions to a man ridin’ toward them on horseback. Koralee eyed Mal; he knew this wasn’t a discussion that was one bit over at all. He was glad that it had taken a break though, ‘cause this new fella was gettin’ mighty friendly with his Ma.

“Mal, this here’s Donnie, your step-pappy.” Rae introduced a tall, well muscled older man.

Donnie extended his hand to Mal but the captain simply looked at it. Wash stepped forward to fill the breach, firmly shakin’ Donnie’s hand.

“I’m Wash, how you doin’?” he said with a feigned chuckle.

Mal held his silence for a moment longer.

“He ain’t my step pappy, Ma.” Mal grimaced.

Mal knew Donnie Rasnick from around town. He weren’t no villain, he was decent enough. But marryin’ his Ma crossed a line. Weren’t no one could replace Mal’s Pa, not nobody. And he didn’t like old Donnie Rasnick, the local store owner, tryin’ to neither. Mal’s grimaced worsened as his Ma wrapped her arms ‘round Donnie’s waist.

“Well sure he is! I married him, didn’t I?” Rae asked her only son.

“Ain’t no accountin’ for taste.”

Rae developed her own scowl.

“Ain’t no cause to be rude, Malcolm Reynolds! Now you best apologise!”

Donnie stepped forward to quell the volatile situation.

“Now, Rae, come on. He’s just bein’ protective of his dear mother. Can’t blame the boy. My three were the same with you when we first started seein’ each other.” Donnie reminded his wife. Then he turned to Mal. “I wanna thank you for comin’ back to Shadow and doin’ this for my kids. And for me. I don’t like what they’re doin’ and I don’t wanna see ‘em gettin’ hurt.”

Mal stood straight. Truth was he appreciated the gratitude but he weren’t ‘bout to let on.

“Don't go thankin' me or my crew. You ain't my blood. You're kids ain't either. This here is somethin' I'm doin' for my Ma." he stated.

"Blood ain't always thicker than water, Mal" Rae stated.

Mal looked at each of his crew in turn. She had a point.


Soon everyone was inside the homestead’s main house ready to enjoy some fine fixin’s Rae had cooked up for them all. Everyone sat at the long table anxiously awaitin’ the viddles that were comin’. Mal was a little surprised that Koralee had declined his Ma’s invite to stay for supper, but then again, at least this meal would be able to be eaten in peace.

“Just wait ‘till you taste Ma’s Blue Belly Stew. Ain’t nothin’ tastier in the ‘verse.” Mal assured his crew.

Simon couldn’t help but wrinkle his nose.

“Why is it called ‘Blue Belly’?” he asked cautiously.

Rae leaned over his shoulder to serve him a bowl of said meal.

“You’re a city boy?”

“Uh, yes, I am.” the doctor nodded.

Rae nodded in return.

“Might be best if ya don’t know.”

Wash was already devouring his bowl of Blue Belly Stew but took time to pay his compliments to the cook.

“Whatever’s in it, it sure does taste great.”

Mal asked Book to pass him the greens and as the Shepherd did so he had that look on his face. The one he got right before a lecture.

"Your mother is a remarkable woman. Looking after a spread like this." Book remarked.

Mal took the bowl of vegetables with a nod.

"Yes, she is. Ain't no other like her."

"One would think that her son would have mentioned her more often."

Mal shoulders sagged.

"Don't go analysising me, Shepherd. My Ma had plenty o’ help out here. Didn't need me and my itchy feet."

"Hmm." was the Shepherd’s simple reply.

Mal put the bowl of greens on the table.

"Now don't go 'hmm'ing me, Shepherd. Ain't nothin’ I ever did wrong by my Ma."

Rae had just sat herself down at the head of the table and decided now was the time to become involved the conversation.

"Ain't heard from ya in over two years. Ain't got so much as a wave. Woman's gotta wave her own son just to ask how he is."

Mal sighed through a mouthful of Blue Belly Stew. Gorram it, that stuff was so good.

"You only waved me to get me to come here! “

"I'm just saying a wave or two from time to time letting your ol’ Ma know your still alive'd be nice. Stop a poor woman from worryin'."

"Ma, you ain't old and you ain't been poor since I was tyke." Mal then looked at Inara. “Could you pass the Squash Pop?”

Inara handed Mal a pitcher of yellow liquid which he poured into his cup. Mal stopped when he noticed her starin’ at him.

“What?” he asked, wipin’ his face. “I got somethin’ on my chin?”

"You were a tyke? I always figured you were born with that attitude and a gun strapped to your hip." Inara stated.

"Well, I didn't say that I was docile." Mal told her.

Rae chuckled, gettin’ everyone’s attention.

"Son, if you’da been any more rowdy I'd’ve strapped you to the bed t’save me the trouble of tryin' to find ya. Woulda helped when you were a teen.” Then came the moment Mal was fearin’. His Ma started tellin’ stories to his crew. “He was always off chasin’ one filly or another, if you know what I mean. Many a time one of the hands found in the barn with one o' them floozies from the town."

"They weren't floozies, Ma! They were nice gals" Mal defended.

Inara raised an eyebrow, eerily echoing his mother. "I bet."

“But Cap’n, what about Koralee? Why didn't you stay with her?" Kaylee asked innocently.

"Discovered I had a likin' for women folk. Like most young men, had to explore it some" Mal explained.

"Ah, so you were an idiot." Inara reasoned.

"No. I was a young man."

"I stand by my previous statement."


By the time the table was cleared, Jayne had demolished two bowls of Blue Belly Stew, just as many greens and near a pitcher of Squash Pop. Mal woulda berated him for bein’ his usual eating machine self, but his Ma liked someone who ate big.

"You had that sweet piece and you went elsewhere?" Jayne said of Koralee.

"The elsewhere's were mighty pretty." Mal informed the burly mercenary, ignorin’ the reference to Koralee as a ‘sweet piece’.

Of course if ‘Lee ever heard that come outta Jayne’s mouth, she’d break his face for ‘im. Mal smiled. He’d like to see that.

"She ain't no dog, Mal. An' she woulda aged, what? Ten years?"

"Just how old do you think I am, Jayne?" Jayne smirked and Mal glared at him. "I'm still younger than you."

"No you ain't."

"Well, I'm, prettier."

Jayne weren’t havin’ none o’ this. He called out to Wash who was sittin’ at the other end of the table with Zoe.

"Wash! Settle this! Whose prettier 'tween me and Mal?"

"I don't think I should get involved. ’Sides, don't matter since I'm the prettiest lookin' 'round here." Wash said with a big grin.

"You ain’t." Jayne retorted.

"Who’s married and who isn't?" Wash shot back.

"So? It's Zoe"

"Your point?" Zoe interjected

"Ain't got one."

"You rarely ever do. And my mister is by far the handsomest on this ship." Zoe stated, snuggling close to her husband.

"Simon's pretty handsome." Kaylee told the group, eliciting a blush from the doctor.

"Kaylee, first time I saw him I thought he was sly." Jayne smirked.

Afore Simon could defend himself, or at least complain, Kaylee came to his aid.

"But he's not!"

“Thankyou, Kaylee.” Simon smiled.

"That's what he says." Mal put in.

“What!” the doctor exclaimed, shrinking slightly into the chair when Mal stood.

“Hate to end this here, but I’m gonna go for a wander. Check out the old homestead, see what’s changed. Anyone wanna come with?” Mal asked.

Kaylee and Inara accepted Mal’s invitation and the three of them headed for the door as River strode back inside. She’d been collecting wildflowers.

"Looks fade. You'll get old and shrivel up one day." River stated, just as thought she’d been in the room the whole time.

"See? Now that there's perspective." Mal said walking out the door. He poked his head back in and added, "And I am prettier." The he shot back outta sight ‘fore anyone could beg to differ.


And now I leave Chapter Four in Willow Fireheart’s capable hands.


Thursday, December 29, 2005 5:45 AM


Poor Mal!!! But it's so much fun!!! tee hee!

Thursday, December 29, 2005 6:31 AM


That was really good and funny too.

Thursday, December 29, 2005 7:46 AM


Much fun but I don't see Mal as being the philandering type. If he was he wouldn't be so old fashioned and easily embarrassed by the womenfolk on his boat. That part simply doesn't feel right but it does make an amusing backstory. I loved Wash saying he was the prettiest one and when Jayne challenged him coming back with the who's married line. I think Wash wins that one hands down! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 9:27 AM


He poked his head back in and added, "And I am prettier." The he shot back outta sight ‘fore anyone could beg to differ.

always the best tactic: insult 'em an' run like hell



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Freedom's Cry Chapter 3
Mal thought he'd never return to Shadow, but when his family decide to form a rebellion against the Alliance he finds he has no choice. Collab with Lucas Harper