A Ship Named Serenity
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A Ship Named Serenity
Summary: A GR – Firefly crossover, kind of . Zachary Fox finds himself the captain of a certain Firefly class transport ship.
Disclaimer: 'The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers' is copyrighted by Hearst Entertainment, Inc.
This is a work of fanfiction and I make no profit of it.
Author's note: You might want to rewatch the Serenity pilot before this (plus the flashback from 'Out of Gas').
For a moment, Captain Zachary Fox wondered why he was standing in a ship scrap yard, but then he remembered that ever since he had lost all his hopes and dreams in the Psychocrypt, to keep flying away from the clutches of the Crown Empire was his only goal.
His loyal first mate, Maya of Tarkon, was standing next to him. He ignored her comments that even Tarkonian air ships were more trustworthy in space than the old Firefly he was looking at. He would keep flying. Now all he needed was a crew.
The mercenary kind of recruited himself. At least Zach thought it was better to recruit the man than to be shot by him. Especially since he could fire bullets as fast as looking at you.
The mechanic was a bit more difficult to come by. The first one he tried, one Buzzer Wang, just kept moaning about spare parts he did not have and fantasizing about dancing partners he did not have either but never fixed the ship. But then one day, a beautiful woman floated in, told him that the ship had telepathically called out to her and repaired the engine. He hired her.
The pilot, one Wally 'Doc' Hartford, loved the job from the beginning. He had a really close connection to the ship and kept talking to the computer as though it could understand him. Only after time did Zachary realize that the man loved his first mate even more than his job. But as long as they kept flying…
Only that Zachary's jobs did not go well.
The Crown Empire did not like him smuggling Gherkins, Daisy shot him instead of paying him, and ore transportation just did not pay off if you lost half your ship in a minefield.
He was down to accepting passengers. He told Niko to scan for some trustworthy customers while he went to ask Geezy for a job.
Some threats and insults later, he got a cargo of sponge fish and asked Niko what passengers she had found.
She told him a hooded couple on the run, a lone, not too bright man, who was probably a bounty hunter, and a shepherd. He thought of the ship's finances and accepted.
To his shock, the shepherd turned out to be a literal shepherd, but it was too late to send Audra Miles and her two Lycans away. In his heart, he feared he would need to confront his life-long aversion to dogs soon.
Now all they needed to do was pick up the ambassadors and their next adventure could begin. He was not quite sure how an agricultural consultant and a mathematics teacher could earn enough money to afford the luxurious lifestyle they were leading, but as long as they paid on time, he would not question the aliens who rented his two shuttles.
As soon as Zozo arrived, he asked Zachary for more space for hydroponic gardens on board and Waldo pointed out that the doors were really not at a right angle. Then they got into their usual argument who was in charge on the ship and who paid the money to keep it flying, and then they settled down for a relaxing cup of tea. Everything was fine.
Things went well until dinner. But after they had said grace, Audra Miles suddenly asked whether her Lycans could sit at the table. Zachary said no, after all, this was a cargo ship and not a zoo, which brought him death glares from his crew, who adored the big white fluffy dogs.
Things got even worse after dinner when Doc told him someone had breached the ship's communication system and tried to send out a call.
"Did you manage to scramble it?" Zach asked.
"Of course I did," Doc replied indignantly, "but I don't like the idea that someone is trying to send out secret messages."
Zachary agreed and hurried down, blaster drawn, to the cargo bay.
He found the man who had identified himself as Shane Gooseman there, and some misunderstandings later, they lay both sprawled on the floor. Zachary had to admit the man had a really hard punch.
That was when the bounty hunter named Killbane stepped in and trained a blaster at both of them.
"You're under arrest for breaking Crown Law," the bounty hunter intoned.
"I can't remember the rest of the statement that I'm supposed to give, but it has something to do with your lack of rights, and if you do so much as blink, I will shoot you."
"Killbane, you will never get away with this," Shane growled.
"Smuggling is illegal, and these sponge fish belong to the Crown," Killbane said, indicating the badly concealed tank.
"Wait, you're not searching for me?" Shane asked, perplexed.
Killbane eyed him suspiciously. "You look vaguely familiar."
He pulled out a worn booklet entitled "Most wanted" and started leafing through it, his blaster still trained on the two men on the floor.
"Hell, yeah, you're an escaped genetic experiment and I can arrest you too," he gloated.
"And where's Darkstar?"
He never got to hear the answer because Niko shot him. He fell flat down. The rest of the ship's passengers and crew entered behind her.
"Sorry, Captain, I know that wasn't very ethical, but I had a premonition he was about to shoot me and since his blaster is set on kill and we don't have a doctor aboard…"
"Hey, I know how to do first aid," Doc protested.
"Me too," Shane and Maya joined in.
"That's exactly what I meant," Niko said.
"It's okay, Niko," Zachary growled as he lifted himself up from the floor. He had given up on ethics the day he teamed up with Wildfire to steal the Bluefire Generator from the Crown, so why bother now.
"I want an explanation from you," he demanded from Gooseman, who was also trying to lift himself up from the floor, which was not really helped by Niko fussing all over him. "Everyone assemble in the kitchen."
"Captain, shouldn't we lock up Mr. Killbane first?" Audra Miles asked, who was trying very hard to restrain her two over-sized dogs from the unconscious man. "For his own safety?"
Fox agreed. "And you," he said, pointing at Maya and Stingray, "stop arguing who gets to shoot the next intruder, there will be plenty of target practice for everyone once we reach Whitefall."
"Captain, you've just revealed our secret destination," Niko pointed out, alarmed.
"What, I really managed to keep it secret this time?" Zachary asked, surprised.
Once Killbane was locked up, everyone gathered round the kitchen table.
Shane started explaining
"See, I'm a Supertrooper, a genetically modified soldier, top three percent of my class, can take apart and reassemble my blaster in eight seconds and all, but my sister," he pointed at Darkstar, who was sitting at the table kind of dazed, "makes me look like a rookie. She can mesmerize entire planets by the force of her eyes. Or at least she could, until they started messing with her genes."
"Wait, you aren't a couple?" Niko asked hopefully.
Darkstar recovered enough to look bitter and angry.
"We were betrayed," she stated flatly. "And we will get revenge."
Stingray looked at her suspiciously. "Revenge does not pay."
Darkstar eyed him steadily "What's your price?"
Stingray seemed mesmerized by her. "I think we have interesting days ahead."
"What do we do with them now?" Maya interrupted the silence.
"Well, if they find a way to make themselves useful on the ship, they can stay," Zachary said.
"And if we don't?" Goose asked menacingly.
"Then you get out at Whitefall." Zachary stared back at the runaways in his typical stoic attitude.
"You're not going to turn us in to the Crown?" Goose asked, surprised (and almost disappointed he would not get to show off his ability as a gunslinger).
"After what they did to Eliza, I would not turn anyone in to the Queen," Zachary stated solemnly. "Not even sponge fish."
"Al right!" Zachary clapped his hands. "Everyone prepare for landing, we've got some illegal sponge fish transportation to do."
"Captain," Niko objected, "can't we drop them off anywhere else? Whitefall isn't exactly a marine planet."
"Why not drop them there?"
"The sponge fish are still – well, fish," Niko protested.
"Don't worry, they are very adaptable," Goose reassured her. "I'm sure they will be fine."
Niko looked doubtful.
"We could feed them some X-factor to enhance their adapting ability," Darkstar suggested with sudden lucidity. "I've still got a vial."
"Isn't this X-factor the thing that made you insane in the first place?" Stingray asked, concerned, mostly for his own safety.
Goose shook his head. "It's only toxic for life-forms with higher brain functions. The sponge fish should be safe. Luckily, Killbane was excluded from the program early on."
"Okay, let's do it," Zach ordered.
Goose was being given a tour of the ship by Niko, looking for ways to make himself useful. He saw plenty of opportunity to improve order, security or, just in general, design on the ship – and he told her so. She gave him a strained smile, but did not seem very enthusiastic. Only when he commented on how to enhance the ship's hyperdrive did she show some reaction. She violently shoved him into a corner and whispered threateningly, "Now, Mister, you're not in the military anymore, so either you're going to see that this ship is beautiful just the way it is, or you're going out the airlock."
Goose nodded agreement. "Good," Niko said and released him. She smiled again. "Now let me show you our recycling system. By the way, I like strawberries, in case you ever feel like you have something to make up to me."
Goose nodded again and smiled. He liked forceful women. Maybe being on this ship was not that bad, after all. Now if only he could find a way to stop Stingray from flirting with Darkstar and something useful to do for himself.
They touched down on Whitefall and Zachary, Maya and Stingray set out to escort the X-factor treated sponge fish into their new home.
Zachary found a nice pond-like depression that might well attract water within the next couple of millennia and was just about to release the soon-to-be sand fish when, all of a sudden, Daisy and the Blackhole gang charged them.
It was a dire fight, but in the end Zachary was the last one standing from his team.
"Well, Captain Fox, you do understand that I have to shoot you just for old time's sakes?" Daisy purred.
That was when Goose barged in, shot everyone but Zach and Daisy, Daisy glared at him lustfully, then took flight, and Zach started reviving his crew. He really should hire a medical professional. But wait, maybe if he hired Goose his crew might not get shot quite so often? The thought was worth some consideration.
So he set the sponge fish free and then he would be on his way to Prairie to help Audra Miles and her Lycans find a job that did not entail staying on his ship.
When they came back to the ship, everyone was guiltily avoiding looking at him.
"Al right, what happened and how fast can we fix it?" Zachary demanded to know.
"It's Killbane, Sir," Niko said, visibly shaken.
"He tried to escape and wanted to take Darkstar and we couldn't let him do that, so we sent the Lycans after him."
"I only looked away for a minute," Audra said contritely.
"And what happened?" Zach asked fearfully, taking stock of his crew, checking whether anyone was hurt, wondering where all of a sudden Doc and Maya had gone.
"The Lycans ate Mr. Killbane," Niko stated, shuddering.
Zachary felt the first tentative flutter of affection for the two white furry dogs.
"Well, I guess then they won't need feeding for the rest of the trip."
Goose had been offered a job as a mercenary on the ship and was busy competing with Stingray who had more guns and could lift more weights.
Darkstar was watching them, humming words that did not make sense and thinking when would be a good time to reveal her full potential for creating eclipses.
Audra was sitting crestfallen in her room. Zozo came in to comfort her.
"All my life I've tried to raise my Lycans as vegetarians and now this," the shepherd exclaimed. "I'm not even sure whether I'm that upset about it."
Zozo put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Lycans were not meant to be vegetarians. Even I can see that and I'm a big fan of vegetables."
Audra seemed to consider that and smiled tentatively. "So maybe I am in the right place?"
Zozo nodded gravely.
Audra smiled radiantly and hugged him.
Meanwhile, Niko was talking the Captain into letting Audra stay.
"Captain, I think having the Lycans on board would be really good spiritually for everyone. Plus, I need someone to go shopping with."
"Can't you shop with Maya?"
"She's married to Doc. She doesn't need that many clothes, and she never has time anyway."
"What about Waldo and Zozo?"
"Our tastes don't really match."
Silence. Zachary was not yet ready to give in.
"But I could go shopping with _you_, Captain," Niko suggested coyly.
"Al right, al right, I'll let Audra Miles stay."
Niko smiled and kissed Zachary on the cheek.
"I love my Captain."
Zachary closed his eyes. Could his life never be easy?
He heard a distant voice cry, "Zachary, wake up." Someone was shaking him more and more forcefully. "Zachary! I need you here!" Niko shouted.
Zachary awoke with a start. He was still in the co-pilot's chair on board Ranger One. He was still a Galaxy Ranger. Never again would he spend a whole night watching old science fiction series with his kids.
"Zachary," Niko said urgently," we just got a distress call from a transport ship named Serenity."