Return to Serenity
Chapter 1 Prelude
“In the year 2525, if man is still alive; If woman can survive, they may find ...” Zager And Evans.
The detective at the crime scene just shook his head. Drive Who Orange had never seen a crime scene like this one before.
His partner, J Ti Won, asked “Who could do such a thing?”
Orange looked around the crime scene. About 20 bodies of Alliance troopers in various stages of dismemberment laid about. “J, do you recall the Reaver mess about 18 years ago?”
“I did not think you'd recall that goram incident. Book died in that mess.”
“Book? Your retired A-team partner that got religion?”
“I was never certain if he was under cover or retired, but yes, him. He and I were brothers in arms. I never heard what the Reaver incident was all about.” Drive said. “I always wondered if he might have been following someone instead of a walkabout.”
“You did not have close contact with him?”
“He, as I, was often on deep black missions.”
A junior detective came hurrying up. “Detective Orange. The results say that there was only one intruder.”
J was startled into a comment “One? That can't be right.”
Orange looked at a mark he dismissed before. It looked like nested pentagons – a ten pointed star. A mobius strip was entangled in the middle of the image with the letters a-k-s-i-n-a randomly placed around the mobius surface.
J started saying “That can't be t-” when Drive Orange interrupted with “Don't say or think any more about this 'till I tell you otherwise. Either of you.
“Junior detective, seal off this crime scene. Code word XYZZY.”
The junior detective's eyes bulged but then said “Yes sir.”
“J as of this moment only you and I are authorized access. Take the junior detective and use op-sec AZA-19. I have things I need to do and we'll meet up later.”
“You got it.”
Drive got out of his hover at a shopping area on Areal. He goes inside and looks at a window display. There is a small knob that he covertly pushes. He then enters a code and gets a DNA scan. He walks into a wall that has become a passable holographic image.
He walks down the blueish corridor through a body scanner and enters an office. It is a semi plush office that is more utilitarian than anything else. There are two wall screens with images on them. Off to one side is a small meeting nook with a sofa and some chairs and a high coffee table. There is a standard desk with a holo screen and keyboard, along with two other desk like items that might or might not be real desks.
D. R. Who stops and waits while the female behind one of the maybe desks acknowledges him.
“Hi Orange, you were not to report in for another two weeks.” she states.
“Tante Anna, something's come up and it can not wait. I have an XYZZY.”
“AZA-19. I was on a routine call to the Alliance storage facility at Jcityton. There were about 20-odd Alliance soldiers dead and a police test showed only one intruder. They were not killed but taken down like with a scythe.
“This symbol was found.” he showed Anna the pentagrams and mobius strip logo.
She studied it and then zoomed in to the a-k-s-i-n-a letters. “An assassin?” she queried.
“Could be. Look at this.” he passed over a palm computer. She looked at the items and then looked to Orange.
“I have not had time to look into everything but enough to judge codeword security.”
“Good call.” she said. “who knows about this?”
“ J Ti Won and a junior detective are sealing the site right now.”
“Does the junior detective have a name?”
“Yes, I'd like to hold it close if I may.”
Anna looked long and hard at Orange. “Doc Who, I want a status report in 4 days. We may have to revisit the deal then. What other resources do you want?”
“Small standard to help out J Won and to handle site security. The military will need to be told to keep silent and hands off.”
“I'll take care of the military. Anything else?”
“No. If this turns the wrong way, we've got corruption in places I do not know about. I want to do a little snooping. I'll know better what I need then.”
Orange was looking at what he had. It might be very bad – even Alliance shattering bad. The crime was theft with killing to get the job done – not assassination.
He opened a book to review some items he recalled from “Shepherd” Book's communications.
He was sure now that this was big scale crime. One that normal infiltration would have a very low chance of succeeding.
Orange started reviewing several files. The first one was on Malcomb Reynolds.
Reynolds' file included the fact that he was on the black side of gray in his business dealings. He captained his own ship – a Firefly named “Serenity.” Mostly he operated out on the fringe and “led” the Reavers incident years ago. He was never given public credit for this due to his own desires. He was used to “flying below the radar” and would be hard to find.
Zoe Alleyne Washburne followed Reynolds around. He had been her sargent during the war. She had been a corporal. The two made a powerful team. Speculation on their rough relationship with Adelai Niska was an interesting gossip point. Zoe would be found only by finding Reynolds.
Hoban “Wash” Washburne had not been seen since the Reavers incident.
The Companion Inara Serra had been married to Captain Reynolds for many years but they had gone their separate ways. There was a notation that further information was restricted.
In an oddity, Jayne Cobb was still on Serenity. He was a heavy armed gunman who did not know how to spell scruples much less have any.
Kaywinnet “Kaylee” Frye had been the ship's mechanic. She had left a time or two but always seemed to return.
Dr Simon Tam had a successful practice on Ariel. He occasionally met with the crew of Serenity when he wss on Persephone.
River Tam had remained on the Serenity crew. She had some sort of special almost sibling relationship with Reynolds. She did leave Serenity but found the safety of Serenity preferable.
Orange had tosses the files onto the glass coffee table as he selected them. He knows he will have to set a crook to catch a crook.
He nodes slowly while striking a match. This might be the best way.
Orange had to locate them and get them to agree to the proposal. Finding them first before trying to work out a deal.
First steps first. He refered to a data base. He maked a wave. With a short conversation ended, Drive left his office
Orange entered a waiting room just before the close of business. There were only two patients in the waiting room. After a seemingly long wait, the attendant calls for him and shows him to a treatment room.
A short wait later Dr Tam enters.
“I'm Doctor Tam.” They shake hands.
“And you are Mister Who. What can I do for you?”
Orange replies, “I'm flying false colors here. I do not need a medical Doctor. Do you know how to find Serenity?”
Dr Tam raises his right hand and turns his hand behind his ear. “Mostly by meditation I would assume.”
Orange asks, “I am talking about a ship out on the fringe. I believe your sister is on that ship.”
Simon looks. He did not have a ready answer.
“Dr Tam, I have little time for banter. You were part of the Reaver Incident back in 2518, I believe. I was a partner of Shepard Book before he retired.
“While much of the truth of the Reaver Incident was down played/covered up at the request of the crew of Serenity, certain files still exist.
“I do not want to try to change the deal but I have a very urgent need and do want to talk to the crew of Serenity that was involved in the Reaver Incident.”
Simon looked and considered. “I do not have any way to contact Serenity that is quick. I see River once a year or so and get a wave about twice as often.
“May I see something that will assure me that this is on the level?”
Orange offered an item.
Simon looked at it for a moment. “The best I can do is tell you to contact Inara Reynolds.”
Orange looked and asked “I understood that they had divorced.”
Simon replied, “They did. She kept his name.” Simon wrote down some information. He handed it to Orange.
“Mister Who, here is a possible contact to Inara Reynolds. Wave me at that second contact number if you need anything more.”
“Thank you Doctor Tam. I will be circumspect.”
They shook hands and Orange left.
Inara opened her door to the new customer. She was as glamorous as usual.
“Mister Who, so nice to meet you.” She smiled openly.
Orange entered the boudoir. “Thanks you for taking my custom. You are a very beautiful as says your file.
“You are Inara Serra Reynolds are you not?”
The steel behind the velvet came out. “What do you want?” came out hard and courteous.
“Please do not take offense, Mrs. Reynolds. Please answer my question are you or are you not Malcolm Reynolds ex-wife?”
“That does not have any bearing on my services.”
Orange lifted an item and Inara blinked. “Yes, I am Malcolm Reynolds ex-wife. What do you want?”
“I am sorry for the false colors I am flying but Shepard Book always said you were loyal.
“I received a package from him after his death in the Reaver Incident. I am very sorry to bring this up but Book's opinion about the crew of Serenity at the time was very interesting. I need a way to get in contact with Captain Malcolm Reynolds and one that is quick.
“Would you be willing to help?”
Inara took a step back and sized up Who. “What do you want from him?”
“A recent incident has lead me to believe that the crew of the Serenity would be very useful. I'd prefer not to go into many details at this time.
“I have been in contact with Doctor Simon Tam and he sent me here. Feel free to verify that.”
Simon and myself to find Mal? Notes from Shepard Book?
“May I ask a little for a information about this need?”
Interesting. Not what is this about but may I ask. “Before retiring to the Abby, Shepard Book and I were close associates. We would not see each other for months or years but at the next meeting it was as if no time had passed.
“I would not want to offer too much about the need yet. Could you get a message to Captain Reynolds and a response back in a week or so? You will be compensated for any expenses and your time.”
For a moment, surprise crossed Inara's face. “I do not know how fast I can get an answer. I would expect no more than two weeks though.” She then realized that her decision had been made, this was important, and it was the right thing to do.
On his way out, he handed her contact information and payment for her time.