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Subject:NEW FIC!!
Time:02:50 am
Current Mood:accomplished
Title: The Space Mariner & His Celestial Albatross 

Author: J.J. O’Robert (jezzjamer) 

Rating: G (for now, rating may go up) 

Genre: General/Romance

Word Count: 1,398 (per MW) 

Disclaimer: The Firefly/Serenity characters and storyline are the Property of 20th Century Fox/Universal/Joss Whedon, I’m not sure who owns all the rights but I know its one (if not all) of them. However, the plot of this story and all additional characters are from my own imagination. 

Warning(s): Mal is 32 years OLDER than River in this fic...and in the actual series. NOT pedophilic. 

Pairing(s): Mal/River (eventually), Simon/Kaylee (eventually), Wash/Zoe (later established), Jayne/???,  Inara/....Clients,  Book/...um...God?

Summery: Altered Universe! Retelling of the Firefly story starting Pre Unification War through Post BDM. Mal/River friendship, later romance. Mal/River Centric. Mal first meets River when she's a very young child just before the start of the Unification War. Then a second time just before she's sent to the Academy. Then he meets her for the final time after she has escaped from the Academy. The story goes on from there to recount the adventures of the Crew of Serenity with a whole lot more involvement of/from River. 

Author's Notes: Altered Universe, not alternate, just altered. Some proper names and events have been changed to fit the plot and my own sensibilities. Dates, when applicable, will be show as year-month-day. According to my sources, Firefly starts in A.D. 2516 and Serenity starts in A.D. 2517; Mal was born in A.D. 2468 September 20 and River was born in A.D. 2500 December 19. The Unification War began A.D. 2506 and ended A.D. 2511 with the victory of the Union of Allied Planets over the Independent Faction. Now for the purpose of this story, the Union of Allied Planets has been renamed to the Interstellar Union of Sinoanglia and the Independent Faction has been renamed to the Alliance of Independent Planets. I have also changed River birth date to A.D. 2500 July 24 to fit the plot. As well as the outcome and end of the Unification War which, for the integrity of the plot of this story, ended in a stalemate in A.D. 2513 and has carried on into a Cold War between the Interstellar Union and the Independent Alliance. 

Thanks to Haloarcher for agreeing to beta this for me.

A/N2: There are footnotes at the end of the chapter to reference certain ideas in the story text. If there is something you didn't understand that is not referenced please leave a review and I will attempt to explain either in a reply or in a future chapter.

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Prolog One: Part I 
A.D. 2506.03.08—2506.07.20
Aboard I.A.S.S. Sovereignty

Master Sergeant Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds of the Alliance Star Marine Corps and commander of First Platoon stood next to Chief Delegate Colleen Malenko on the docking bay of the Independent Alliance Space Ship (I.A.S.S.) Sovereignty. They were awaiting the arrival of the ambassador for the Interstellar Union of Sinoanglia. Councilor of State Affairs Gabriel Tam, in the company of his very young daughter River, was due to arrive any minute. The Union Councilor was traveling via Interstellar Union Diplomatic Vessel (I.U.D.V.) Voice of Reason. The Voice of Reason was a luxury super yacht outfitted with military-grade hardware to protect any Union 2VIP’s delicate sensibilities and their lives.

Mal’s platoon was currently on guard detail for the diplomatic representative for the Alliance of Independent Planets. Mal’s platoon was there to protect the Chief Delegate of the Alliance but Mal’s orders were to play babysitter for the Union Councilor’s daughter. Mal was chosen for this duty because he was the only person on board with any semi-recent experience with small children; seeing as how he helped his Ma raise his baby sister Allison. Semi-recent because Allison has been a woman grown for nigh on seven years now, taking in account of her joining the military at fifteen just like Mal had. Normally on Shadow, Mal’s home planet, a body doesn’t become a legal adult until eighteen, but joining the military in between fifteen and seventeen guarantees automatic majority; fifteen being the minimum age requirement for recruitment, fifty-five the maximum.

Sovereignty was an Independence-class battlecruiser and the largest ship in the Alliance Space Navy; it also happened to be the flagship of High Admiral Alistair Chelby an old childhood friend and Space Naval Academy buddy of Mal’s grandmother, High Admiral Havana Reynolds. Both of whom had left the ranches of Shadow to join the Frontier Space Service; an organization created by the former Coalition of Outer Rim Planets. The purpose of the Frontier Space Service was to police the spaceways against piracy and other such space related crimes. Mal’s grandma and the High Admiral had been transferred to the newly created Independent Alliance Space Navy when rumors of an upcoming war against the Interstellar Union started to circulate.

High Admiral Chelby was a large man, tall and bulky with muscle. His features were angular and sharp; he had a very hardened look to him. A look that said he had seen much and didn't like a bit of it. His space black hair swept back into a widow’s peak and his piercing ice blue eyes missed nothing. He stood to the right of Chief Delegate Malenko with Captain Chetal Skeia next to him.

Skeia, commander of Sovereignty, was a man of some sort of Germanic decent from Earth-that-was. He was very tall and rather lanky with dusty blonde hair and amber colored eyes. The captain was one of the best in the fleet, he had command countless victories against the enemies of his home planet of Hera when he was a member of Heran Star Fleet with very few losses to show.

Mal had joined the Shadow Republic Regular Militia at the age of fifteen to escape the life of a rancher just like his grandma and had quickly risen through the ranks due to his uncanny talent for command. Mal was now thirty-eight and there was talk amongst the brass about offering him a commission. Mal didn’t know much about the truth of that as he had been hearing this rumor for a few years now. Besides that, he didn’t much care as he had very little use for officers and their ilk. Mal was more than happy to stay right where he was in the non-commissioned officer ranks.

Now Mal's baby sister Allison had no such qualms as she had join the Aerospace Flight Academy as soon as she turned fifteen and spent five years learning how to tell other pilots how to fly. She had graduated from the academy two years ago and was now a Senior Flight Lieutenant in the Alliance Aerospace Force and a member of Shadow Raider Squadron.

Finally, the Voice of Reason had finished its docking sequence and the Councilor -plus his entourage- was boarding Sovereignty. The docking bay doors opened and out stepped the Councilor’s guards, a squad of Startroopers, taking up position on either side of the doors, giving the “all clear” to Councilor Tam and his entourage. Trailing behind the Councilor’s entourage was a little girl of no more that five years holding a portable cortex before her, obviously very engrossed in whatever it was showing her.

Councilor Tam acknowledged the presence both High Admiral Chelby and Captain Skeia with a flick of his gaze as he approached Chief Delegate Malenko. Both diplomats had false-easy smiles, bowing to each other, they then shook hands and the Councilor turned to do the same with the High Admiral and the Captain respectively. They all exchanged pleasantries and the High Admiral invited Chief Delegate Malenko, Councilor Tam, two of Tam’s entourage and Captain Skeia to dine with him later in his private quarters. Then Malenko stepped to the side setting a hand on Tam’s shoulder to usher him towards Malenko’s quarters where the other Alliance delegates waited. Both guard parties and the Councilor’s entourage followed while the High Admiral and Captain returned to their duties.

Mal was left in the docking bay with the little girl who had yet to acknowledge him. He waited a few more seconds to see if she would lifted her eyes from the cortex screen but she never did. Mal cleared his throat, which must have startled the Councilor's daughter as she jumped a bit and then gazed around quickly before settling her gaze on him. Mal smiled awkwardly to her as he kneeled down to be eye level with her.

“Hello there lil’one, name’s Master Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds, but’chyou can just call me Master Sergeant Mal if ya like.” He said nodding his head in a mock bow and holding out his hand to her. She bowed to him formally then took his hand with a cheerful smile.

“It is pleasure to meet you Mister Sergeant Mal, I am River Tam.” She stated in a way that made him think she was addressing the Chief Delegate instead him, a simple star marine. “Are you the one who will be watching over me while Daddy negotiates a peace agreement with Chief Delegate Malenko?” She asked with a mixture of curiosity and certainty.

Mal had to chuckle, her voice was like water flowing over a rock bed, soft and tinkling. She sure was a cute little thing, what with her small, delicate frame, moon shaped face, flowing dark chocolate curls and her large coffee colored eyes. The way she gazed up at him made him feel like she could see right through him into the deepest recesses of his soul. She was about he cutest little thing he’d ever seen besides his baby sister Allison at her age. She had him wrapped around her little finger in that instant.

“Well River-sweetheart, it’s a mighty fine pleasure to meet you too.” He said chuckling once again. “And I surely am going to be lookin’ after ya whilst yer pa does business with the Chief Delegate. But don’t you worry none, we’re gonna have us a grand ol’ time whilst the busybodies mingle. Whaddya say lil’darlin’? You ready to go have some fun with this mean old sergeant?”

Little River giggled at him and said, “Your accent sounds funny Mister Sergeant Mal.” She giggled again. “And you are not old or mean. You have a very young spirit and are a very kind and compassionate person who would do anything to see those you think are innocent and those you love, stay safe no matter what.” She stated beaming up at him. Mal was flabbergasted at her words and kneeled there with his jaw on the deck for a few seconds while River continued to giggle at him.

Finally, he just shook his head quickly to clear the haze and gazed down at her wonderingly. Deciding to leave his very many questions and conjurings for another time, he stood and took lil’River’s tiny hand in his much larger one and led her off into the direction of the recreation deck.

*************************

[1] Master Sergeant — non commissioned officer in the Alliance Star Marine Corps, E-8 out of E-1 through E-10

[2] Alliance Star Marine Corps — equivalent to U.S. Marine Corps, except in space not at sea

[3] Mal’s First Platoon (for those that may wonder or care) belongs to C Company, 12th Battalion, 44th Regiment, 101st Column, 433rd Stargazer Brigade, 222nd Starship Infantry Division

[4] Interstellar Union of Sinoanglia — I changed the name of the Union of Allied Planets/Anglo-Sino Alliance just because I thought it sounded better and because it made a little more sense (to me anyway) when compared to the type of government the name represents which is basically an authoritarian corporate-socialist republic. It’s supposed to be a cross between the People’s Republic of China and United States of America. Authoritarian Corporate-Socialist Republic in essence is a government that would be a Police State with heavy corporate leanings and a representative legislature.

[5] Councilor of State Affairs — is a member of the Presidential Council and head of the Department for State Affairs, in charge of Interplanetary Relation.

[6] 2VIP — VIP stands for Very Important Person, there are three levels of VIP. First, there is Very Important Person (VIP) which could be celebrities, corporate officers, low-level politicians & generally rich people. Secondly, Very Very Important Person (VVIP/2VIP) could refer to mid/high-level politicians, wealthy people, religious leaders & corporate leaders. Then there is Very Very Very Important Person (VVVIP/3VIP); such a person could be considered a head of state, corporate tycoon or chief religious leader (the Pope).

[7] Alliance of Independent Planets — I changed the name of the Independent Faction because when I hear “alliance” I think “coalition” or “confederacy” which is more or less several governments/entities working together to advance common goals, each in their own self-interest. Therefore, to my thinking the U.A.P/A-S.A. is very far from an alliance.

[8] High Admiral — commissioned officer in the Alliance Space Navy there are currently six officers holding this rank, O-12 out of O-1 through O-13, equivalent to Admiral of the Navy in the U.S. Navy

[9] Coalition of Outer Rim Planets — predecessor of the Alliance of Independent Planets, formerly part of the I.U.

[10] Senior Flight Lieutenant — commissioned officer in the Alliance Aerospace Force, O-2 out of O-1 through O-13

[11] Alliance Aerospace Force — what the U.S. Air Force would become if we could fly Fighters and Bombers in air and space equally

[12] Startroopers — members of the Startroopers Force, Astral-naval infantry of the I.U. loose equivalent to the U.S. Marines

 

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