FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

What do you think ever happened to the Military leaders of the Independents?

POSTED BY: VORPAL
UPDATED: Thursday, November 24, 2005 22:25
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Monday, October 17, 2005 6:43 PM

VORPAL


What do you think ever happened to the Military leaders of the Independents?I don't know if this was posted on any previous threads,if it was I apologize for missing it...
Mal seems to have some smuggler friends who were buddies in the war,but mostly he deals with criminals.I realize there weren't many survivors of the Battle of Serenity Valley,and he seemed to be one of the few leaders who survived,even though a Sergeant.Were there war crime trials,executions,life sentences on Penal worlds or did the victorious Alliance magnanimously forgive them in order to make Unification easier?
Are Mal & Zoe bitter about being abandoned by their own Commanders? Are there organizations of Browncoats such as Daughters of the Independents,or Veterans of Wars with the Alliance?

MAL-Arrived just in the nick of time,what does that make us?
ZOE-Big Damn Heroes,Sir.

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Monday, October 17, 2005 7:17 PM

GREYRAVEN37


I've always wondered this myself. Certainly the members of the High Command of the Independents couldn't just become part of Alliance Society without being marked somehow. It'd probably be pretty hard to make a living on an Alliance controlled planet when you're a leader of a rebellion that has cost millions of lives, left several planets in ruins, and probably cost the established government hundreds of billions to fight off.

"As sure as I know anything, I know this: I aim to misbehave."

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7:51 AM

VORPAL


I can't help but compare the situation to the Reconstruction after the US Civil War,since Firefly is kind of based on "Stagecoach". The Southern military leaders were still local powers in their areas.So I would think that there would be Independent Worlds where most of the population would be ex-Independent military,albeit those worlds would have heavy Alliance garrisons,and probably Alliance carpetbaggers running businesses.Mal only once mentions his own homeworld Shadow.What was that world like post-war? Obviously he stays away from it.After the Federal garrisons were pulled out of the American South,things kind of reverted politically.Will this be the case in the Verse?

VORPAL

Jayne-"That's why I don't kiss them on the lips..."

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 10:57 AM

LIMINALOSITY


In the bit where the Operative is watching the security feed from the Maidenhead and clicks on Mal's image to get his ident, the information comes up that Mal was awarded the Medal of Valor for the Battle of Serenity Valley. (I think it was MoV anyway). I was amazed that there was anyone left after Serenity Valley to award anyone anything. Given that there were medals awarded, I doubt the leaders were all imprisoned as war criminals.

Economic and ideological strangulation, that's what I think happened to all of the survivors.

Anyone who started with a plantation (you know, money and property) might have been legally allowed to keep what they had (as long as they were quiet enough), but I'll bet the Alliance used a variety of techniques of economic and social shunning to ruin them and drown any possibility that the Independents could rise again.

Those few who tried to stay loyal to their beliefs would float around on the raggedy edge like Mal and Monty.

Others of lower rank would have either abandoned their beliefs in an effort to fit in, or they would be living (either loudly or quietly) apart, retaining their beliefs within a society they abhor.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity to share them.


"Half of writing history is hiding the truth"

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:06 AM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

Originally posted by GreyRaven37:
...a leader of a rebellion...



It wasn't a rebellion. The central planets formed the Alliance, then tried to unite all the planets under their rule. These (formerly) free planets banded together to form the Independents with the notion of fighting off Alliance aggression and maintaining freedom of government on their own worlds. They didn't rebel from within the Alliance. They were trying keep the Alliance from taking control of the Independent planets.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:17 AM

VORPAL


I'm sure the Alliance considers them rebels.I would imagine that those who colonized the Independent Worlds came from the Alliance Worlds,just as European settled the American Colonies.I know that the US colonies were flag colonies of European powers,whereas that may not have been the case in the Verse,but I'm sure the Alliance looked at them as little backwaters that couldn't possibly survive on their own.So they might not be rebels in a political sense,but culturally and in a mercantile system,financially,the Alliance would see them as such.Besides,History is written by the Victors.

VORPAL


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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:42 AM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Vorpal:
I'm sure the Alliance considers them rebels.I would imagine that those who colonized the Independent Worlds came from the Alliance Worlds,just as European settled the American Colonies.I know that the US colonies were flag colonies of European powers,whereas that may not have been the case in the Verse,but I'm sure the Alliance looked at them as little backwaters that couldn't possibly survive on their own.So they might not be rebels in a political sense,but culturally and in a mercantile system,financially,the Alliance would see them as such.Besides,History is written by the Victors.

VORPAL




That's all well and good.

The American colonists threw off the "yoke of oppression" to gain a freedom they didn't formerly have. The were rebels--revolutionaries, fighting to become free of a currently existing government.

The original teaser intro when Firefly aired painted a somewhat different picture: "Here's how it is: the earth got used up. So we moved out, and terraformed a whole new galaxy of earths; some rich, and flush with the new technologies--some, not so much. The central planets--them as formed the Alliance--fought a war to bring all the planets under their rule. A few idiots fought 'em, among 'em: myself. I'm Malcolm Reynolds..." etcetera. In rough chronology: 1) earth used up; 2) move out and terraform; 3) Alliance formed by central planets; 4) war fought. This very clearly shows that the Independents were not rebels, nor insurgents, but were in fact defending their homes from an aggressor. They lost. Oh, shit. But no matter how you spin it, they weren't rebels. I don't give a fk what the Alliance calls 'em. Only care what they were.

----------------------------------
Editted just for RocketJock.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:26 PM

VORPAL


I'm not going to argue over semantics,like the Shepherd message board I looked at last night that went on forever with everyone arguing about the word "called".
InevitableBetrayal is right.They aren't rebels.
I had assumed,and I could be wrong,that the Core planets were vastly technologically superior with large populations.You could compare them with the industrial strength and population of the Union versus the agricultural Confederacy.
I would go further and assume that the Alliance would have taken out any Independent planets with heavy industry,or substantial populations during the war.This still begs the question of what happened to the military leaders of the Independents.
Again,these are assumptions on my part.The Independent planets may have been just as advanced as the Alliance ones,and progressed the same rate technologically.

VORPAL
"We've done the impossible,and that makes us mighty."

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:27 PM

CASIVONA


Quote:

Mal only once mentions his own homeworld Shadow. What was that world like post-war? Obviously he stays away from it.


According to the Serenity roll-playing book, the planet Shadow was left uninhabitable by an orbital bombardment from Alliance capital ships during the war. I'm assuming any of his family (mother) and friends (ranch hands) were killed in that incident. I probably wouldn't be headed back there if I were him.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 3:32 PM

ROCKETJOCK



Quote:

According to the Serenity roll-playing book, the planet Shadow was left uninhabitable by an orbital bombardment from Alliance capital ships during the war. I'm assuming any of his family (mother) and friends (ranch hands) were killed in that incident. I probably wouldn't be headed back there if I were him.



So, in other words, they burned the land, and boiled the sea.

Always thought that was more than just another lyric.

Makes me wonder about the "take my love" part, too.

"She's tore up plenty. But she'll fly true." -- Zoë Washburn

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 3:51 PM

ROCKETJOCK


Quote:

Originally posted by InevitableBetrayal:
The American colonists threw off the "yolk of oppression" to gain a freedom they didn't formerly have.



Yes, but Britain egged us on. Still, it broke us out of our shell, forced us to prove we weren't chicken.

I know, I know, the jokes smell like rotten--like rotten... They smell bad! But I never claimed my puns were grade "A"...

"You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs." -- Napoleon Buonaparte

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 3:51 AM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Just gonna run that one right into the ground, eh?

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Saturday, October 22, 2005 6:21 PM

PYROFALKON


I think we are ignoring the possibility that the Independents had no iconic leaders.Having such a figurehead is asking for trouble. If they operated as is portraid, a resistanceand not a politcal faction, it would been organized into underground cells, each one insulated by the cell above and below, thus elimanating such strategic chinks. Of course, i am most likely incorrect, and in which case i just say that the leaders promptly disappeared, executed in a "night of the long knives" style secret police action.

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Saturday, October 22, 2005 6:22 PM

PYROFALKON



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Saturday, October 22, 2005 10:21 PM

ROCKETJOCK


Quote:

Originally posted by InevitableBetrayal:
Just gonna run that one right into the ground, eh?



Of course it's gonna run into the ground. Chickens can't fly!

"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred." -- Henry Cabot Henhouse III

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 5:40 PM

GIANTEVILHEAD


I'm thinking that at least a few Independent leaders betrayed the Browncoats.

"I swallowed a bug." -River Tam

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:04 PM

SHINYSEVEN2


I know one popular theory was that Book's pre-Shepherd career was as an Alliance General. Actually I think what would make him keep his mouth shut about his background would be if he were an Independent leader, because then Mal would be even madder at him than at God.

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Monday, October 24, 2005 9:56 PM

VORPAL


Quote:

Originally posted by shinyseven2:
I know one popular theory was that Book's pre-Shepherd career was as an Alliance General. Actually I think what would make him keep his mouth shut about his background would be if he were an Independent leader, because then Mal would be even madder at him than at God.


I'like your idea of Shepherd as an Alliance Commander,possibly one of the ones who surrendered Serenity Valley.I would think that he would be recognizable to Mal or Zoe,though.It would explain his vow not to kill,his attachment to Serenity's crew,his weapon expertise,and his faith.It might even explain why the Alliance operated on him with no questions asked.I can't reconcile this with what River read him thinking in "Objects in Space," though.Any other ideas about the Independents High Command? I'm not so sure about a Night of the Long Knives approach that someone else theorized.I think it would have convinced Mal and other veterans to continue fighting as guerrillas,instead of smugglers.Any other ideas? Anyone? Anyone?Bueller?

Vorpal
"When you can't run,you crawl.When you can't crawl,you find someone to carry you..."

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:20 AM

JETFLAIR


In the Visual Companion, Joss provides some backstory. In it he says he thinks they were all held briefly in internment camps after the war, but the Alliance considered it an important gesture to release them.

So it sounds like they might have been imprisoned for a spell, but probably treated with decency. Perhaps they did award the medal..sort of a "you fought us, but we acknowledge your courage" thing?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 2:18 AM

FLETCH2


I think it's unlike Joss to make anything that black and white or any faction either complete a**holes or complete angels. In keeping with his modus operendi I suggest the following --

1) The people that helped forment and who led the Independents were after trade concessions with the Alliance, when they got what they wanted they surrendered. They are now rich/powerful industrialist types in the Alliance.

2) The Alliance found some Benedict Arnold type who was more than happy to surrender if the price was right. Either he then backstabbed the current independent leadership to get command or the Alliance did it.

On the Book question. Could you imagine if Book had been an Alliance operative sent with the job of eliminating some leader (perhaps the independents had a President) but with instructions to leave no survivors to be rallied around. Could you imagine him slaughtering the man and his family? That would certainly explain why he turned to God.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 8:07 AM

SHREW


A few sad sad points to think of ....
Mal is and was a nobody. He was a low enlisted grunt in the Independents. He prolly only made sergeant due to attrition of troops. Our loveable captain being far too rebellious to be a good follower. The Alliance had him in prison for reimmersement into "society" but other than that they let him live. He is a petty criminal. Basing any ideas on what happened to the Independent leaders off of his story is pointless.

It is simple. This has been the way of man since the first rock fight.

Reintegrate, re-educate, reuse or remove.

Try to bring them over to your side - fear or reward.

Teach them that they can't live without you.

Use them to fill roles in society no one wants or is able to fill.

If they refuse-Kill them and publicly mourn their inability to "cope".

Wars dont end-goverments just stop counting the dead.


Shrew

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:34 AM

TETHYS


Quote:

Originally posted by Vorpal:
What do you think ever happened to the Military leaders of the Independents?I don't know if this was posted on any previous threads,if it was I apologize for missing it...
Mal seems to have some smuggler friends who were buddies in the war,but mostly he deals with criminals.I realize there weren't many survivors of the Battle of Serenity Valley,and he seemed to be one of the few leaders who survived,even though a Sergeant.Were there war crime trials,executions,life sentences on Penal worlds or did the victorious Alliance magnanimously forgive them in order to make Unification easier?
Are Mal & Zoe bitter about being abandoned by their own Commanders? Are there organizations of Browncoats such as Daughters of the Independents,or Veterans of Wars with the Alliance?

MAL-Arrived just in the nick of time,what does that make us?
ZOE-Big Damn Heroes,Sir.




Personally, after doing quite a bit of thought and research into the waning years of the Roman Empire (for a project that may take a bit to finish; "What if Rome never fell"), I have re-thought my ideas of mass-executions in the street (LOL). Now, I think that the higher-level leadership was "bought" by the Alliance, a la Julius Caeser. Buy them off, send them moderatly away so as to not cause problems, but still close enough to keep an eye on.

"I aim to misbehave"
I am: http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/warriorshtm/bigcat.htm

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 1:15 PM

VORPAL


Tethys had a pretty good idea,but even during the last days of the Roman Republic,there was still opposition to Caesar that he couldn't buy off.There would still be some kind of Officer Corp that would survive,too low in the hierarchy to be bought off.Again the example Whedon seems to be working off of is the American Civil War.Picture the Reconstruction South and the West with groups of ex-Confederate settlers and farmers fighting carpet-baggers and occupying Federal troops.


Vorpal

MAL-Arrived just in the nick of time,what does that make us?
ZOE-Big Damn Heroes,Sir.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 6:05 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


If you look at the deleted scenes on the DVD Zoe explains a bit what happened to Simon when he tried to look up the battle on the cortex.

Most of the officers were killed during the fighting. In fact, as a sergeant Mal had quite a number of troops under him due to the lack of officers. A large number of soldiers were killed or died of wounds and malnutrition. More died waiting for the peace talks to end. In fact, Mal and Zoe are the sole survivors from their unit.


That cuts out the middle corps of officers and leaves the big wigs and the "common" soldiers. The generals most likely cut sweetheart deals at the peace talks.

There is another flashback to the Battle of Serenity and when Zoe spots the med ships she asks Mal what flag the ships are flying and Mal replies "What flag is God flying?". I think he feels betrayed not only by losing to the Alliance but also by the Independent military leaders that sold them out.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 6:20 PM

BROWNCOATER


Hello all. I'm new. Based on what I've seen from the Operative, Hands of Blue, etc, I'd say the leaders of the independents were executed.

"I don't wanna explode!"

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 7:16 PM

VORPAL


NCBROWNCOAT had part of it,but that's only if the entire Independence Officer Corp was at the Battle of Serenity.He is right that it wiped out most of the troops and Mal as a Sergeant was one of the highest ranking leaders left.Much like Gettysburg,where the South lost a large chunk of manpower that they could not recover,I believe the Battle of Serenity was probably similar.However,the entire Confederate Officer Corp was not wiped out at Gettysburg,and I have a hard time believing all the Independence Officers were all wiped out in one battle.Judging from the size of the verse and since they were a military threat to the Alliance,I have to think that the Browncoats were a sizable army.It was not a Guerrilla force or a terrorist group,it apparently was a large standing army.
In answer to the postings that claim they were all massacred or bought out,I still think that if they were,then Mal & Zoe would be terrorists still fighting,not smugglers & criminals.

VORPAL

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 7:22 PM

ROCKETJOCK


I've got a theory, based on the Operative's data profile listing Mal as having received a Medal of Valor for the Battle of Serenity. We have to ask, if the Battle of Serenity Valley was the last of the war, then when was that medal issued?

My guess is that it was during the two weeks of negotiation that followed the Alliance victory.
Chances are, the major part of that negotiation was on the issue of amnesty for former Browncoats -- (C/R the American Civil War amnesty)-- and that as a sop to Independent pride the Browncoat military was allowed to muster its own out with all due honors, including field promotions. And Mal had been acting as an officer in the field for months by that point.

Given that Mal still considers the delay to be a betrayal, there were probably some sweetheart deals cut for the former Independent High Brass. Getting a commission that way was probably the bitterest ashes in his mouth.

Losing the war broke Mal's heart. Being sold out by his own side for some political advantage is what killed his faith.

(I posted most of this on a previous thread, but it seemed to fit this one too.)


"If you can't do something smart, do something right." -- Shepherd Deria Book

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 7:47 PM

VORPAL


Quote:

Originally posted by RocketJock:
I've got a theory, based on the Operative's data profile listing Mal as having received a Medal of Valor for the Battle of Serenity. We have to ask, if the Battle of Serenity Valley was the last of the war, then when was that medal issued?

My guess is that it was during the two weeks of negotiation that followed the Alliance victory.
Chances are, the major part of that negotiation was on the issue of amnesty for former Browncoats -- (C/R the American Civil War amnesty)-- and that as a sop to Independent pride the Browncoat military was allowed to muster its own out with all due honors, including field promotions. And Mal had been acting as an officer in the field for months by that point.

Given that Mal still considers the delay to be a betrayal, there were probably some sweetheart deals cut for the former Independent High Brass. Getting a commission that way was probably the bitterest ashes in his mouth.

Losing the war broke Mal's heart. Being sold out by his own side for some political advantage is what killed his faith.

(I posted most of this on a previous thread, but it seemed to fit this one too.)


"If you can't do something smart, do something right." -- Shepherd Deria Book



ROCKETJOCK,I think that's the best answer in this entire thread.Direct & to the point.

VORPAL

"We've done the impossible,and that makes us mighty..."

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 8:13 PM

BROWNCOATER


I agree. That seems very plausible.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 8:21 PM

BELACGOD


Quote:

Originally posted by Vorpal:
Quote:

Originally posted by RocketJock:
I've got a theory, based on the Operative's data profile listing Mal as having received a Medal of Valor for the Battle of Serenity. We have to ask, if the Battle of Serenity Valley was the last of the war, then when was that medal issued?

My guess is that it was during the two weeks of negotiation that followed the Alliance victory.
Chances are, the major part of that negotiation was on the issue of amnesty for former Browncoats -- (C/R the American Civil War amnesty)-- and that as a sop to Independent pride the Browncoat military was allowed to muster its own out with all due honors, including field promotions. And Mal had been acting as an officer in the field for months by that point.

Given that Mal still considers the delay to be a betrayal, there were probably some sweetheart deals cut for the former Independent High Brass. Getting a commission that way was probably the bitterest ashes in his mouth.

Losing the war broke Mal's heart. Being sold out by his own side for some political advantage is what killed his faith.

(I posted most of this on a previous thread, but it seemed to fit this one too.)


"If you can't do something smart, do something right." -- Shepherd Deria Book



ROCKETJOCK,I think that's the best answer in this entire thread.Direct & to the point.

VORPAL

"We've done the impossible,and that makes us mighty..."



Yep, I agree too. What former Independent brass survived is sitting wealthy somewhere, or is out on the Border Moons living it up. Rance Burgess-esque, say.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 3:44 PM

BROWNCOATER


Discovering a former Independent leader who had sold out to the Alliance at the end of the war, and was now doing some really nasty things would be a great plot for a future episode, would it not?

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:46 AM

FLETCH2


Like I said Joss seems to love going against type, bad girl Slayers, Watchers gone bad, good guy vampires. It really depends on how hard he wants to put the screws on Mal. Did the people he was fighting for sell the Browncoats out when they got the chance --- that would be torture for Mal, but you could do worse, what if the entire rebelion was a sham, a way for certain commercial or political interests to gain concessions from the Alliance?

Blue Sun makes foodstuffs right? What if they fermented the Independent movement knowing that in a war their Rim world commetitors would be eliminated? Or what if they were from the Independent planets, and the Alliance cut them a deal to cut off supplies to the Browncoats....

So many possibilities.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005 6:49 PM

ASER


I had a quick bit about the Medal of Valor. The Battle of Serenity Valley lasted several weeks. In the first five days, Mal performed so well as to earn (at least de facto) leadership of a large body of troops. There's no reason that the medal could not have been awarded during the fighting. Historical note; the last time Hitler was seen in public was an award ceremony during which he presented (knight’s or iron) crosses to defenders of Berlin. The city being doomed, this largely propaganda-ish gesture might be similar to command’s actions. It’d make sense I think…

As to Independent organization; there are at least the necessary components to direct actions such as air support, evacuation and large-scale troop movements.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005 6:57 PM

GIANTEVILHEAD


Quote:

Originally posted by Browncoater:
Discovering a former Independent leader who had sold out to the Alliance at the end of the war, and was now doing some really nasty things would be a great plot for a future episode, would it not?


Discovering a former Independent leader who sold out to the Alliance because it was the lesser of two evils would make an even better plot. For example, if the Alliance knew that there were Browncoat collaborators in a town but didn’t know who they were so they planned to just bomb the entire town into a smoldering crater. The Independent officer knew of this and sold out his men so that the Alliance won’t bomb the town and kill thousands of innocent civilians. The choice to sell out his men was actually the easy part, living with the blood of his men on his hand for the rest of his life would be the true conflict.

"I swallowed a bug." -River Tam

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Thursday, November 24, 2005 9:33 PM

GALENFLY


From the series we know that Mal is not a criminal because he fought for the Independence. When questioned by alliance officer in Safe we don’t see extreme hatred by either Mal or the Officer. Both seem to avoid confronting each other on this issue, they agree to disagree. From this we can deduce that all those who fought for Independence were exonerated for being on the loosing side. No Browncoat roundups. Also identifying all those who fought in a rebellion/revolution would be next to impossible.
We can also be fairly safe and assume there weren’t any “death camps” or large military prison camps since Mal would have mentioned those injustices when complaining about the war. The end of the war would probably play out like many of our current conflicts, where only the most grievous offenders of war crimes would be tried and imprisoned. Most Officers would likely continue to hold the same or similar possessions in society, with big brother just watching over their shoulders. The rest of the Browncoats would just go back to what they did, or find new lines of work. The Alliance wouldn’t have the resources to replace all that fought against it, and who would want to give up a cushy life to live on a border world. Prejudices still continue as they always do. Fights will still break out. But all in all, life will just keep going.

Makes you wonder how many actually took part in the fighting.

:blast

Like I can see Niska being an Interrogator during the war. One who used his knowledge gleaned from the war to carve out his own little empire. It would also explain why he acts like a new mob boss that is out show what he is capable of. Unlike a established Tong or Mob family that had been doing business for decades.


Things that make you go hmmmm….


Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal FOX.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005 10:25 PM

GIANTEVILHEAD


Well, we do know from Trash that the Alliance used bioweapons. I don't know about the Firefly 'verse but the 1972 Biological Convention, a multilateral disarmament treaty signed by 169 nations, banned the production and storage of biological weapons, although for some reason it doesn't prevent its use. Unfortunately the treaty was suspended in 2001 by the Bush administration.

"I swallowed a bug." -River Tam

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