One Further Addendum- part 2
Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Second installment on my Big-Damn-Inara Theory. *warning:Exposition+++*


One Further Addendum- part 2

-Your what now?

-You heard me.

“#Just when you think you know someone.#' Shaking his head, Mal is all sorts of confused, betrayed and plain pissed. 'I just think it's pretty weird that you've never mentioned having a daughter before-”

-Before what, Mal? Before we started going out? Before we became lovers? Or before we got married? Since when were you or anyone on this crew owed that part of my life?

Evidently, that was the wrong thing to say. Inara could sense Mal withdrawing again. He started typing coordinates for the training house and mumbled something about an ETA in 6 hours. This needs to be done carefully. She got up and approached his chair slowly, perched herself on a flat area of his control panel and waited for his attention. She made sure she was closer to the door than he was, ready to block any attempt at escape. Only in resignation did he turn his chair to face her. Knees just touching her own. ”You're right. I ain't your lover, boyfriend or husband. You don't owe me anything. I'm sure you have your reasons for keeping this to yourself.”

Inara reached out to take his hand. Pressed it briefly in gratitude.

-Was this what you meant by 'being good'?


Inara made herself more comfortable on her seat. She would have to start at the beginning of a long story.


Just before the Parliament declared war on the Independents, the Guild in Sihnon did a stupid thing. It allied itself outright with Parliament and ordered all companions to take Alliance officers and business partners as priority clients. Some houses went so far as to pair companions with certain military brass in order to retain some political clout when the war got underway. House Madrassa led in the matchmaking of course, much to the disgust of most of the companions there. We not only felt our basic right to practice freely undermined, but more importantly, we objected to being treated as whores by our own Guild.

As I was third generation Guild-born (both my parents were companions, so I never knew them. Essentially, I was brought up by the Guild and outranked other companions because of this) and a novice priestess, they made me tow the Guild line: “In a time of war, subjugation is necessary to keep the companion culture alive”. I was made to attend military balls and Parliament parties for the good of the cause. Later, I found out that long-term contracts were being brokered by the houses, promising 'exclusive' companion services as rewards for military service. I hated the Guild so much because I loved being a companion before this. I was completely immersed in its culture and believed in the purity that could be attained in the practice of companion art. You can imagine how disappointed I was to find out that the Guild itself didn't feel the same way.

In one of these military balls I was “encouraged” to sidle up to a rich, married counsellor from Athens. He was so vile, I was practically asphyxiated by his halitosis and sickened by his constant grabbing. That was the final indignity. As soon as I could, I ran outside to escape. That was how I met the father of my child. He had tried to escape also.

His name was Zachariah Shun-wah Taylor.


Inara found it hard to breathe all of a sudden, as if the mention of his name had taken all the air from her lungs. This was going to be harder than she thought. Seeing her distress, Mal gives her the remains of his tea to sip. He was feeling more than a little squirmy himself. Jealous as hell that all this grief he was seeing, all this emotion barely pent up was on account of someone else .“Looks like you haven't brought him up for awhile.”

-Not for years.(Takes a sip) This is too minty.

-What was he trying to escape from?

-He didn't know it then, but Zach was running from the exact same thing you are Mal.


That particular ball was held in order to celebrate the military contribution of the border worlds to the Alliance. As you know, not all the border worlds supported the independent cause. Zach came from Harvest. He was a soy farmer, decended from a long line of farming stock who settled happily on that moon right after Exodus. We got to talking and he told me that the reason he felt so strongly about joining the Alliance was because he was sick of the lawlessness, ignorance and substandard health and living conditions that held his people back. He believed that assimilation with the Core was the only way the Rim would prosper. This is where I think he struggled with his beliefs because unfortunately, he had never met anyone from the core worlds whom he particularly liked. And this fact was never more apparent than at that ball. He wanted to escape the hypocrisy of it all.

The show of decadence during wartime offended him. There was more food, liquor and sheer opulence that night than he had ever seen. The other border world officers relished the attention, but Zach found it difficult to reconcile the wealth taken for granted in the Core, with the extreme poverty he had seen all his life. The segregation between the Alliance military and Border officers was obvious too - with very little interaction between the two sides - and this worried him. Also, he was a pacifist preparing to fight. There was a lot bothering him when we met.

In the mood I was in , I found his wry cynicism, his decency, fascinating. Before the end of the night, I proposed to contract with him exclusively. Partly out of spite against the Guild, (I thought I could beat them at their own game by allying myself with an officer, albeit one completely unsuitable in the eyes of House Madrassa) and partly out of true attraction, which I had never encountered before. It took Zach a nervous month to agree to the arrangement and that made me like him even more.

Well, we certainly caused a great controversy that both the Alliance and Guild tried hard to stifle. He was immediately, and against his wishes, promoted to Captain and sent away to fight. I was immediately demoted and ostrasized by House Madrassa. But I was happy. Circumstances pushed us together to the extent that we fell completely in love.The exclusive contract meant I couldn't take any other clients, it was like being married even though I wouldn't see Zach for months at a time. When he was home, it was always bitter-sweet. He never talked about his experiences, but the word on the street was that the soldiers from the border worlds were being sent to fight the worst battles. Was that true?


-I don't mean to upset, but we always called those #sad suckers# Alliance cannon fodder. Did he die in the war?

-Eventually, not for a few years. But not before he saw his daughter. I knew things were rough for him, his outlook became so bleak. So I gave him a child - a hope for the future - because I thought that was what he needed.

-You didn't want kids?

-I never entertained that possibility. According to Guild law companions can never be parents. That is a right we forsake to practice our art. Common law does not recognise me as having any parental rights over our daughter. When Dharma was born, the two options I had were to either give her to Zach and his family, or to give her over to the Guild. The choice was made when I saw those two together - father and daughter - for the first time. And it tickled me a bit to annoy the Guild that little bit more.

-Dharma? That her name? It's pretty.. Hey now, Inara... Don't cry baby.. .We can stop if it's too hard.

Before Inara knew what he was doing, she found herself engulfed in a kind of embrace that only the right amount of sweetness, grief, anger, love and understanding can achieve. Mal held her as long as he could before she broke away, eager to continue, to explain everything.


She certainly lived up to her name, I had never known such perfection, such love. Zach and I were happiest when we were in her presence. Whenever he came back from a campaign, he would say Dharma and I kept him alive. And you know what? It seems almost perverse to say this, but as horrible as the war was, those first four years of her life were the finest four years of mine.

In Sihnon we were getting news about the slow defeat of the Independants. Zach had just returned home, I thought for good. After three weeks at home, he received a dispatch from his commanding officer. He didn't tell me what his orders were only that she would have to leave in a week. So we packed what we could and the three of us had a holiday by the beach. Seven glorious days of eating, swimming, sleeping, making love- it was heaven. I should have known.

Eight days later we got the news. Two weeks later we got his body. The bastards sent him to Hera, Mal. Battle of Serenity.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006 1:23 AM


*Wode ma*, those rutting Alliance scum. Poor Inara, but doesn't her first love sound a bit like a clone of Mal? Hmm, could we be seeing patterns repeating themselves? And how old it Dharma now? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 5:51 AM


Could have sworn I was signed in! That was me. *points up*

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 9:25 AM


Your politics for the Guild seem to fit so well in the 'verse. This is a very logical way for them to react to political uncertainty and threat of war. Impressive!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 6:25 PM


Good prose so far, missmadrassa, but one thing about your politics and Guild operations that kinda makes me pause.

You have Inara a junior priestess during the war, which supposed ran between 2505 and 2511 (if you work with the series start year of 2517 and suppoosed references to indicate time passage between Battle of Serenity Valley and the salvage job during pilot episode).

Now, if one uses Morena Baccarin's general age during the run of Firefly (23 if her IMDb bio's right) to be Inara's general age, our favourite Companion would have been between age 11-12 and age 17-18.

That means by canon logic of Companions starting their training at age 12 (from a deleted scene from the BDM), she would have been a might too young to be having kids (at least in a Core society) at the time the war was going on....

Now, don't think me harsh or anything. I really like this fic and what it's doing. I just find the variations to be a might distracting personally. You can take my thoughts with a grain of salt


Tuesday, February 21, 2006 10:25 PM


I am kinda glad i was not the only one that thought inara would be to young... heh. kinda botherd me a bit but i just pretend she is older.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 11:03 AM



While I can't speak for OldSoul, I know I never meant to harmfully criticize your interpretation of Inara's life.

Until I saw Morena Baccarin's DOB, I thought she was a lot older than a mere 23 then and 27 now. Though scenes like her recovery from Saffron's Good Night Kiss in "Our Mrs. Reynolds" do show how young she looks when only in minimal or no makeup.

Maybe Inara is older than the actress who plays her in Joss's mind...which would give you the closer interpretation to canon than a schmuck like me who would play up that aspect in any fics with UST between Inara and Mal.

Keep up the excellent ficcing!


Saturday, March 25, 2006 5:14 AM


ah, now if you were joss, you would completely evil and have mal be the guy who killed zach. but you're not that twisted. are you?



You must log in to post comments.



One Further Addendum- part 2
Second installment on my Big-Damn-Inara Theory.

One Further Addendum
Set post-Serenity, Inara finally admits her secret. (My big-damn-Inara theory in 3 installments)

Blank Slate
A lesson for wayward companions everywhere.