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Serenity's Children

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Serenity’s Children 

 

Timeline;

24 years ago; Major back-lash over Miranda, a time of troubles and turmoil in the Alliance. Parliament temporarily disbanded. Malcom Reynolds uses his 15 minutes to speak out against rebellion and independence, after River senses that many Rebel factions are being manipulated by Alliance Moles or lead by outright psychopaths. This costs him the Free Ride his fame might have bought him in the periphery, but it also ends the Alliance vendetta with him and the Tams. 8 months later, Armand Washburn is born to Zoe, who raises him aboard Serenity .

23 years ago; Jayne Cobb leaves Serenity after a pay dispute and an ill-considered weekend with River Tam (consensual, but still...). He is killed three months later in a brawl with 4 men and one trained Buffalo.

22 years ago; the Blue Sun coupe; attempted take-over of the Government by the Corporation just ahead of an investigation into their enterprises, revealed not by River but by a Cabal of Army and Intelligence officers known as the Silver Knights. This bit of violence is the last major incident during the reformation. A decade and a half of badly needed peace & prosperity begins. Meanwhile, Tamara Reynolds is born to Malcom and Inara. The mother dies shortly afterwards of an undisclosed illness, and Malcom & Zoe form an alliance to raise their children together.

21 years ago; Felix and Dashy are born to Simon and Kaylee Tam, twins that are the middle children for this couple. Simon attempts to establish a practice on periphery worlds several times, but the family always end up back on Serenity. Two years later,  Simon establishes a charity-based movement called “Doctors with Wings”, and succeeds in making Doctors touring the Periphery look like Crusaders. Firefly remains his base of operations, and after a rocky start his charters for Serenity allow the ship to operate “in the black” on a constant basis. (This is good because with up to 7 children aboard, Serenity can no longer take passengers, or engage in high-risk jobs)

12 years ago; Simon and Kaylee finally settle down to a nice home and a comfortable practice on Persephone. 3 days after the statute of limitations on the theft of Hospital property runs out.  Felix and Dashy are not pleased. 

9 years ago; Brushfire Wars begin in the outer worlds, as some worlds do not adjust well to civilizing influences, economic changes, increasing population and immigration. The Alliance still has a strong Navy but the Army was largely retired after the Blue Sun Coupe’.  Hoping to save (and make) money, the Parliament vetos expanding the Army and opens up vast stockpiles of surplus army weapons and equipment to civilian contractors.  Many in Parliament support the move because they think the private companies will fail,  as a result of the ‘inevitable’ limitations of the private sector. Instead, “The Age of the Mercenary” begins.

8 years ago; the siege of Miranda. Years after the last of the Reavers have either been hunted down or died of self-abuse, settlers started to secretly claim land on the planet. They are guided by the mistaken belief that the Paxalon has been diluted over time and poses no threat. They are only partly right, and a bizarre form of passive-aggressive behavior manifests over time. Discovered after it is too late, the planet is blockaded and a siege begins. Operations on the surface are difficult for obvious reasons, and this mini-war drags out for 3 years. It only ends when the Mercenary group called “Shaitan’s Panzer Brigade '' lands equipped with hermetically sealed tanks, and a serious lack of scruples. 

7 years ago; A massive effort to re-terraform planet Shadow begins. No more suitable worlds are left to start from scratch with, and it is thought that opening up this world back up will help with the pressures that are mounting in the Alliance. Malcom Reynolds is invited to help spearhead the effort to make his old home-world livable again. After much thought, he decides to go, and Zoe goes with him. They send Tamara to the finest school on Ariel, following Armand who left half a year earlier. Armand had left with a cheery “Thanks, be seeing ya!” while Tamara huffed and said “Fine, be that way”
The break-up - this leaves Serenity's full-time pilot as the new owner of the ship; Captain River Tam. She runs Serenity like a well-oiled machine, yet she has a difficult time finding a crew she can get along with, until….

6 years ago- Felix and Dashy run away from home and present themselves to their Aunt River. She takes them on temporarily, but they prove so useful that she negotiates a more permanent arrangement with them and their parents. They are a handful at times, but the also have the mechanical skills to keep their childhood home flying, and are respectable pilots as well. Freed of having to be so hands-on with Serenity, River now turns her considerable talents to the business of her new business; 
For many years, River’s “intuition” and her cleverness have kept Serenity prosperous while other small traders have but put out to pasture by the changing times.  Now, without Mal to slow her down, River turns her many talents to building a little Empire.

3 years ago; Malcom has been changed by the effort to rebuild his ruined homeland, for the worse. He is no longer the same man, and even Zoe can no longer live with him. She leaves a partnership going back over 30 years, and just in time. 5 months later, a disaster known as the Meadowlark Cascade causes the failure of one of the largest terra-forming machines still in existence, and leaves a crater a kilometer wide on the planet’s surface. 50 are known dead and 300 are simply missing, including Malcom. After a funeral service that sees what is left of the old gang and all their kids reunited for the last time. Zoe simply wanders off the next day, vanishing into The Black. 

1 year ago; Just as the last brushfire wars seem to be dying down (Shaitan’s Brigade has been declared to be a criminal organization) a new and more ominous problem begins; there is tension between the Core planets. A trade war between Sihnon and Londinium has been brewing for years, and now becomes overt with cyber-warfare, boycotts and a few assassinations here and there.

 

Meanwhile; River has amassed a fleet of her own. First she expanded her collection of Fireflys to 3, one of them being a Hangar Queen set aside to provide spare parts for the other two. Next, she acquired an over-sized shuttle with room for  two dozen passengers, for Day-trips over Ariel. This pretty little ship (name- Inara) takes paying customers on tours of the moons and rings of the planet, but its main draw is on the world itself; for sunny days over the Achilles Mountains or Sizemore  Canyon. What makes this craft exceptional is the custom glass-bottomed swimming pool protruding from its belly, and the views it provides for the most daring sight-seers.

Using the experience gained from this, River next acquired a luxury liner for a song & a dance because it was obsolete. Made to accommodate 100 passengers in high style, it could no longer compete with newer designs. River re-made it into a ship with room for 300 in a lesser standard of luxury, but still very nice by Periphery standards. Running between the outer worlds and back & forth to the core fairly often, this “Dreamliner” is more profitable than the rest of River’s fleet, put together.
There is also an engineering & salvage vessel named Trabant (better known as the Beast). As soon as contracts for its kind of work dried up, River disbanded the crew and parked the Beast on the dark side of a tiny moon to save the cost of running it. This is one of the reasons that River has managed the impossible; she and her little fleet are currently debt-free! 


One last item barely qualifies, but should be mentioned. This is a very small ship (it could fit in a Firefly’s hold, if you are very careful about how you park) and is not currently air-worthy. It is a 2-seater that is mostly engines, sensors and fuel bunkers, made for the grueling asteroid-belt races that used to be popular when fuel was cheaper. This hot-rod was a champion in its day, but it will take some serious work to get the Saida in running condition again. 

 

Armand would say; “Four out of seven flying isn’t so bad!” when he is being snarky. He has been in & out of River’s life on a regular basis, but never stays long because he has become pretty fast & loose with his life since his mother disappeared. His greatest talent is thievery, and River does not want the Serenity to slip back into its old ways. However being so squeaky-clean may no longer be possible. After things fell apart on Shadow people started losing confidence in the central government again, and the creeping chaos of the trade war is only making things worse.

 
River inspects the Dreamliner when it is in port, but she cannot abide traveling on it. Being cooped up in a steel box with 300 strangers and 150 crew is the kind of stress that can still “damage her calm”. The Inara practically runs itself, so when River flies it is usually on Serenity I or II. Her hobby was locating parts to restore the Saida, but that past-time has ended now that she has everything she needs. River even found a laser for the sensor array that could be used as a weapon in a pinch. However, she has been putting off doing the actual work. Kaylee knows about the project and will want to be involved, or rather, take charge. The last thing River wants to do is butt heads with her beloved sister-in-law over a project that they both have their own pet ideas about.

 

River is worried about the future. Over the years her ability to “read” people has been fading, and that is a welcome thing because along with it her inner pain and odd behaviors have faded as well. But it also allows River to deceive herself. She tells herself that “people could never be that stupid again”, but they are. Some mercenary bands have grown to the point where they could challenge local governments. Periphery worlds have begun to squabble among themselves as if they never banded together for independence. Offers to buy the Dreamliner have started coming in from some un-lovely folk, and now some official has noticed that River never told them where she had parked the Beast. While River may be debt-free, she has no major cash reserves, and these days the Banks are getting very tight with their credit.

 

It all comes to a head one day on Persephone. Her favorite ship is here, but for some reason the they have not been able to keep any of the additional crew River hired for it. The twins have either been difficult or some kind of Monkey-business going on there. Serenity II has just been reported overdue at Whitefall. It happens, maybe they were diverted, but River has a bad feeling. And lastly, Armand calls on River, looking for passage for himself and his "semi-sister". Tamara, who has not been anywhere near Serenity for years, is in a bit of trouble, and Armand needs help getting her out of it. 
Just shy of 40 years old, River is not the fighter she was when she had Miranda on her mind. While Armand may be versed in several kinds of martial arts, he is a brawler, not a killer
“We need a ‘Jayne’.” River mutters.
“Go ask that Duke for one. You can see him any time, I know you can! They say Duke Badger hates everyone, but he likes you!”
And so it is they find out about a duel that “The Duke” is on his way to observe. Yes, they still have duels here on Persephone, especially when someone named “Fang” accuses a man like Atherton Wing of being a rapist in very colorful language, in public …

 

The “children”-


The twins- a blend of their parents, good all-rounders as Mechanics, Pilots, tinkerers and even Medics (basic stuff) and dedicated to Serenity. They do have secrets that they keep, even from each other; Felix is starting to get a little bored and wonders what else is out there. Dashy is a Gambler, and uses Serenity to skip out if he looses too much.  They also like to trick their dates and other people the way identical twins can. However, they only pretend that they can be corrupted so that they can cheat the hoods that cross their paths, and are absolutely loyal to River. The problem is, they think that the two of them could run Serenity all on their own, and this just isn’t the case.
Unknown to them both, they have made an enemy of Rong Kai-Shek, a man so nasty that he is known as “the new Niska” in underworld circles.

Tamara; does all she can to be un-like her parents. Disarmingly beautiful, brilliant, and so sick of being compared to “Auntie” River that she is determined to out-do her. Tamara holds 2 degrees in medical engineering and a peculiar doctorate in theoretical technology. A couple of appearances on the media have given her a taste for politics, which is unfortunate because she was selected as a spokeswoman based on her appearance (something she cannot accept) and Tamara has no political talent whatsoever. Tamara knows a little too much about certain things, and that is what got her in trouble… but is this about those cyborg experiments, or is it her theory that the Alliance is trying to build a navy capable of resisting a rumored Alien threat? 
Also- mommy issues. 
Dirty, smelly ol’ Serenity is the LAST ship she ever wanted to see again, period.

Armand; Somewhat like his parents. all three. Charming and outwardly sophisticated, but actually a very simple man when you get right down to it. He could do other things, but being a thief gives him more of a thrill than anything else. He is also snarky in the extreme, and this makes him more enemies that his crimes. Natural talent for spacial relations, as so a good navigator (something the twins are not). He also enjoys a good fist-fight and teasing Tamara, and even having fun with the sexual tension between them. 
Also; Inarra made a video diary for her daughter while she was pregnant, she knew the odds were against her survival. Tamara skimmed it once when she was little and tried to throw it away. Armand saved it, and still has a copy. 
You know, just in case.

 

Simon & Kaylee had 3 other kids besides the twins, none of whom have any interest in Serenity, just fond memories and a willingness to help Aunt River if they can. The eldest is a newly-minted lawyer, another is in Med. school, and the youngest is a Navy cadet soon to be posted to the Alliance fleet’s flagship, the Super-Dreadnought Mars, for her midshipman’s training tour.

 

So... thoughts?