Captains and Spies, Pilots and Princes. Chap 6: Ursula's Plan
Monday, April 24, 2006

The crew hear Ursula's plan to rescue former browncoats from an Alliance camp. Meanwhile Wash settles into life in the camp and takes an interest in one of the female prisoners.


The crew of Serenity (with the exception of Jayne, who had yet to make his way back through the snow on St.Albans) sat round the dining room table; expect Zoe who stood to one side, her hand on her weapon. The two former members of the IID sat at the far end. There was silence, while everybody waited for somebody to speak. The crew of Serenity waiting for their captain to take the lead. Eventually Mal said, “So, why don’t you tell me what you’re plan is for rescuing these former browncoats you claim are still being incrassated by the Alliance. I thought the Alliance released everybody ‘cept those in charge, or those like you self who where of significant value.” “You are right Captain Reynolds. After the war the Alliance realised that it would close to impossible to imprison all those who had fought in the war, so they granted a general armistice to everyone expect, ‘those with significant intelligence value’ was the official phrase used, I believe.” It was Lieutenant Kalip who had spoken. Ursula was her first name, Mal thought, and despite the presence of a senior officer, she was the one who had done all the talking. In fact the only thing that Colonel Arron Chung had said was a badly whispered insult about Serenity, when he had steeped on board. This had attracted a murderous stare from Kaylee, but she had seen Mal’s silent look of “This is not the time Kaylee.” “However, it is not those people we wish to rescue,” Ursula continued, “But those left behind.” “Really, those left behind,” Mal told her, “Heard similar sentiments before. Those of us in Serenity Valley for instance. We were left behind after the fighting now, weren’t we.” Mal knew that it was a cheap shot, but didn’t care. The two spies only gave away the briefest of signs of annoyance across their faces. “Captain, what happened at Serenity Valley was inexcusable; it wasn’t by choice for many that you and your men were left there for so long.” “You’ll excuse me if I don’t take your words to heart, Lieutenant.” “I’m sure you won’t Sergeant.” “It’s Captain.” “Is it really?” Mal ignored her. She was rubbing him up the wrong way, but he wanted to know what they knew. The people who sat in front of him, seemed at odds with what Mal had imagined the people who had helped Simon rescue River, to be like. “Let me start from the beginning,” began Ursula, “Many years ago, a Doctor by the name of Jacque Torres believed he could reverse death, allow people to live forever. He also believed that if he was to achieve this in his life time he would need human subjects to experiment new ideas on without the effort of going through the traditional route of trials and reviews, which usually accompany experimental medical work. Knowing that he would be arrested if he was open about his methods, he elected to move into secret. He was from a wealthy family and quickly set up a secret facility, employing men to collect up strays and the homeless, on which he could experiment without anybody being any the wiser. However as the core worlds developed, it became more difficult to hide what he was doing, so he moved off world to a planet now called Kerry.” As she said this she withdrew a data pad, and tapped two buttons on the front. The screen activated and pulled up the image of Kerry. The screen held the image of the planet for a moment before zooming in on a small remote section of the planet, far from the small towns that occupied one part of it. It showed a plan image of a complex of buildings well hidden from the air. Ursula continued to speak. “This is the facility as it currently appears, though it has grown considerably since Torres first arrived there. Now as you may have realised, it was quite difficult for Torres to get the subjects he needed. By this time he had developed contacts within the Alliance Military. With the promise of eternal life, a number of rightly placed officers were able to send nearly dead military personnel or prisoners that nobody would miss in the Doctors direction. With the war, the Alliance took complete control, expanded their remit to include the use of subjects for a whole range of offensive and defensive military trials. The pay off was of course the large number of our POWs were sent there.” Nobody round the table spoke. They were all thinking of the men and women who had gone missing only to end up in this facility. Simon asked, “How much progress did they make?” “Well, they haven’t cured death, or extended human life by very much. But they have been responsible for a lot of the anti-aging treats and life saving producers that have filtered there way into society.” A beat then, “Personally, I believe that it is impossible to truly cheat death, as Torres hoped.” “Well it’s nice to know what you think.” Mal said. Ursula choose to ignore him, and carried on, “Since the end of the war, a lot of the funding and support has been withdrawn by the Alliance. From what we know, the facility has been run down. A lot of the experiments that were conducted their can be done for less using advanced computer modelling, and there was a lot less support for Torres’s work. In truth, in all his years of work, he hadn’t achieved a lot. The facility is still there, and there are a number of prisoners still there.” Again there was silence around the table. Mal said “That’s quite a tale there,” A beat, “What’s you plan?” Ursula considered it for a moment. “The facility has a very small number of staff, 25 at the most. Half of those are medical and administrative personnel who won’t cause us any trouble.” “How come so little security?” Zoe asked. “Well the place is fairly isolated, and there aren’t that may prisoners anymore, as I said. They have an electronic control system embedded in the spine of the prisoners. Any of them step too far out of line, they get shocked.” “Won’t they get shocked when we rescue them, then?” Kaylee asked. Ursula smiled, “We have a mark 6 strike missile with an EMP warhead loaded on our ship and a number of M-238 tactical missiles.” “Well that would do it,” said Mal. “The plan is to deploy the mark 6 and disable all their systems temporarily. We would then take out their back-up systems before they come online and while you fly in and rescue the prisoners.” “15 guards is still a fair force, for us to take on, and Serenity would be very exposed.” Zoe told her. “We’ll provide you with close air support as needed and will give weapons if you need them.” “What about them calling for support from any close by Alliance vessels?” Zoe asked. “We know the fleet movements for the next month or so. No vessels will be in range to provide support before we’re gone. Also we’ll take out their communications before they can send any distress signal.” “I’m interested as to how you got your hands on the missiles and that fancy ship of yours?” Mal asked Ursula. “Franklin Gero.” “Ah,” Mal said. “Who’s Franklin Gero?” asked Inara. “Independent commander during the War. Ran his own personal army. End of the war, he seized a lot ships and arms for himself. Helped the Alliance find some of our more shy leaders. In return they left him alone.” Zoe told her. “Runs a mercenary group now, as well as selling vessels and arms to whoever needs them. He only works with people a lot of money though.” Mal said, looking at Ursula with this last comment. “Gero owes us from the war, and we have a lot of money supporting us. Some old Browncoats have done quite well for themselves since the end of the war.” “So why aren’t you asking them to help you?” “They have business to protect. We figured that the Hero of Serenity Valley would be willing to help us.” “I ain’t no hero.” Mal told her. Again there was a silence. “You trust your source?” Zoe asked Ursula. “We do. He was a former Alliance officer, well placed. Other information he gave us has already checked out, and we’ve already confirmed from orbit the location of the facility.” “What happens after we’ve rescued the prisoners?” Mal asked. “We head to Persephone. We have set up a processing centre in a quiet part of the world. The prisoners can gain passage home from there.” Sensing that there was something else Mal wanted to know, “You and your crew will be well paid. You’ll receive 50000 Platinum for your troubles plus any additional expenses you feel are necessary.” All the crew, expect River, reacted to the mention of the payment. It was a lot. More than they could expect to make from Badger or anyone else for that matter in a long time. Nobody said anything for a moment. “Well,” said Mal, “I think we need to think about this offer for a moment before we commit ourselves. I’ll take you back to your ship and contact you when we’ve come to a decision.” Ursula just inclined her head to him. She and the Colonel got up with Mal, and left with Zoe to take the mule back to their ship. As they left, Mal couldn’t help but notice that that the Colonel was staring at River. The headed down to the cargo bay and climbed on board the Hovermule. Mal opened the cargo bay door and saw Jayne standing outside almost blue with cold. Mal asked him as walked in. “Jayne, what you been doing?” “Radio dead, but I’ve banging on the door these last 10 minutes. Figured you all died or something.” “Well, we’re not.” “No, I saw that.” “Go have the doc check you. Looks like you need warming up.” Zoe told him. Jayne, noticing the attractive Ursula sitting next to Zoe in the back of the mule, “She can warm me up, if she wants.” He pulled a big grin on his face. “Bee-jway Jayne!” said Mal. He pressed hard on the accelerator, as they sped out of cargo bay.


Wash looked around the fire in the camp and sighed. He was relaxed and for the moment, he was happy. He turned to look at Jalina. Āi yā, she was beautiful! He thought. Her skin was so soft even in this place. The only thing to show her as being the victim of experiments was the marks at her elbows where she had been pumped with anti-ageing drugs. She had told him coyly that she had other marks left over the effects of the drugs given to her, but he would have to wait to find those. Wash was looking forward to that day. He wasn’t in love with Jalina yet. Well he couldn’t remember what love was truly. Didn’t know if he had ever been in love before. Didn’t know if he had left behind a wife or children. Well, that was in the past and this was the present. He looked to the stars and wondered if he had ever travelled among them. He hoped he had, they were so………


“I still reckon it’s a trap, sir.” Mal listened to Zoe say these words and sighed. He couldn’t help but agree with in part. It was a might suspicious in some ways, but not enough to get make him think it wasn’t worth taking. But the money being offered was good and would give them a chance to lay low for a bit. He was about to say something, when Simon interrupted his train of thought. “I don’t think it is. If the Alliance wanted to set us a trap, surly they would of used something simpler. A smuggling job to a remote moon, have a cruiser waiting for us when we arrived.” Mal considered this. “Simon’s right, this doesn’t smell of Alliance, and there’s few others that would know the true identity of Gero.” “That’s true sir, I’m just not convinced that they aren’t hiding something from us.” “We’ll tread soft, keep both eyes open, make sure they’re telling the truth as much as possible before going in.” He looked around the room. “Kaylee, what do you think?” “If they can knock out the sensors and communications, any heavy defences they might have there, I think it’s possible. We should those poor folks there if we can.” Mal knew that she would be thinking about what was being done to the prisoners. He turned to the doctor, “Simon?” “Well, I’ve always been a bit suspicious as to where all those miracle treatments where coming from. If Ursula is telling the truth about what goes on, well we need to stop it, it’s wrong.” “River? Were they lying?” “Not about the camp, but they have secrets, lots of secrets.” “Could you read what those were?” Mal asked her River screwed up her face, “No. Locked up like a box. No key to open it.” Then brighter, “there’s present waiting for us there.” “No doubt there is. Jayne?” “Well it’s a crazy ass plan, Cap’n. But 50000? We can’t turn that down. I’ve taken on 15 guys before...” Jayne said with a grin. “…and lost.” Zoe told him. “Well fifthteen’s a lot all at once.” A round of smiles round the table. “What about you Inara?” “Didn’t realise I got a say?” Inara replied. “While you’re on the boat your part of my crew.” Mal told her. Inara smiled at him, appreciating the sentiment. “I think we would be wrong not to a least take a look. Turn tail, like you say if anything seems out of place.” Mal came to Zoe, gave her a questioning look. “With you to the end, sir.” Mal nodded. “Ok, we do this. It’ll take us a week or so to get to Kerry. I’ll set course and contact our new employers. The rest of you start checking the ship, see if the isn’t anything we might need.” He paused then said, “We ain’t about to start fighting a war, but this is the right thing to do.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 50000 Platinum ≈ 500,000 USD (from Bee-jway – Shut up Āi yā – My God


Chapter 7: An unexpected rescue for Wash.


Monday, April 24, 2006 1:23 PM


Two chapters in one night! You lucky things! Next my very own Big Damn Rescue Op!

Don't forget to leave comments! I can only get better if you tell me what's wrong with my stories.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 8:10 AM


Thanks for the heads up about the errors. I was finishing these late at night and wanted to get them up. I do go back over my stories and edit them for errors when I can.

Alot of the dialogue is the result of spending (too much) time reading the scripts and watching the shows to find the voices. Hopefully (and thats a BIG hope) I can get close to Joss and the othe Firefly writers.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 11:41 AM


All right..Big Damn Rescue Op is go for launch;)

I certainly can't wait for the angsty stuff you're cooking up for Wash and Zoe when they''re reunited....gonna be fun if Wash has started something with Jalina:S



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