A Boy, His Dog, and a Firefly

A Firefly crossover fanfiction by Andrew J. Talon

Disclaimer: This is a non-profit fan based work of prose. Firefly is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Production. Please support the official release.

There were other secrets the Alliance minds had given her. Other memories she'd known, so deep and dark and many unbelievable...

Radiotelescope observations of Earth-That-Was, orbiting its distant star Sol. Homeworld of the human race. It was not a polluted out shell as the histories showed it, no.

It was worse. A great chunk was missing out of the planet. The continents were unrecognizable from the records. The moon still turned in her slow, slow orbit but was covered in all new, fresh craters. Craters all roughly the same age. The Red Planet Mars was covered in domes, vast and alien in construction.

Lies upon lies, deceptions upon deceptions. The human race had not left its home willingly. It had been driven out.

She didn't know what that was... But if it could leave the Earth like that, and yet vibrant and full of life, it wasn't normal. It was a riddle in the midst of the universe. Something that didn't make sense. And River Tam was done not making sense.

So she needed to find out... And she knew how to get back there. A method of faster than light transport. So powerful, even the Alliance hadn't been willing to use it.

Fortunately... She was.

"So, let me get this straight," Captain Reynolds began, leaning over the table in Serenity's messhall. "You want to use an untested method o' breakin' the lightbarrier to go check out Earth-That-Was because everything is āo zhe chī?"

River nodded. "Yes."

Reynolds sighed. "And you can get us back home after?"

"Absolutely," River said. Mal frowned.

"You ain't just lying to me about that seein' how you can read my mind, but I can't yers?"

River smiled like the sun. "Of course not."

Jayne hummed. "There gonna be gold?"

"Probably uncountable piles of it," River said. Jayne grins.

"I'm in."

Mal glanced over at Jayne, and back at River. "You lyin' to him?"

"No. I could just mention gold and he'd do anything I wanted," River said.

"I would not, and I'm right here," Jayne said angrily.

"There's probably a billion tons of gold all for the taking," River said. Jayne's eyes lit up.

"A billion?"

"At least," River said.

"I'm in."

"You said that already," Zoe said flatly.

"Just didn't want there to be any confusion..."

The trip was brief. So brief it felt like magic. And then, a blue green world was turning underneath them. Kaylee and Simon, holding hands, winced as they beheld the huge chunk missing from the homeworld of the human race.

"That... That's Earth-That-Was? It's so... What happened?" Kaylee asked.

"Looks like somebody took a bite out of the damn thing," Jayne murmured. "How's everything staying there? I mean, the air and water and so on..."

"Any signs of high tech left?" Mal asked. "Anything we could lock onto?"

"Hm," River hummed. "I am detecting radio signals across the north-western continent. Enough to lock onto and guide us by."

"Then ah say we give the homeworld a little greeting," Mal said with a smile. "... Just to be sure, you can get us back home after landing again?"

"Read my mind," River said blandly.

"Didn't have to be so rude about it..."

Serenity landed in a forest, scattering birds into the air. The front hatch opened, and Mal stepped out in one of their spacesuits. Zoe followed behind him, sweeping the area with her shotgun. Mal had the scanner going, and scrutinized the readings.

"Nothing toxic I can detect," Mal said. He grimaced, and smacked the scanner. "Gettin' loads of interference though... Says... Uh... 'High ambient energy readings'."

"Unusual," River observed over the radio. "The energy readings don't correspond to radio traffic... But I can't pick up anything else... How's the radiation?"

"Higher than one might expect fer a planet that's had the gose blown out of it," Mal said dryly. "Zoe?"

Zoe held up binoculars to scan through. "Heat signature, about a kilometer off. Looks like... A house. Built into a tree..."

"Guess we'll see the locals," Mal said with a little smirk. "Albatross? You're comin' with us. Inara? Stand by at the controls."

"Sure you wouldn't appreciate my diplomatic skills, Captain?" Inara asked wryly. Mal shook his head.

"Not until we've got more than maybe a couple of hunters or farmers to scare."


Mal didn't like it. The treehouse was far out in the middle of the grass plains, wide open. No cover. So he, Zoe and River approached in cloaks, trying to look inconspicuous. River led the way, her eyes narrowed.

"Well? What have you got, Little Albatross?" Mal whispered. River hummed.

"I've got... A human boy... And..." Her brow knit. "A... A dog?"

"A dog?" Mal asked.

"Yeah, but... Having thoughts that a dog shouldn't have," River said.

"Such as?"

The door burst open, and a boy in a white furry hat in blue posed with a sword and a loud battlecry. A dog standing on his hind legs, with jowls, stood next to him. His fist expanded, impossibly huge.

"YAH! Trespassers!" The boy cried. He grinned. "You guys wizards? Or demon knights? Or... Or..."

River pulled her cloak off, and stared intently at him. The boy's cheeks went bright red, and his eyes wide. "Uwah...?"

"Yes, I am human," River said, holding up a hand to still Mal and Zoe reaching for their weapons. She allowed a little smile. "You're no longer the only one... Finn the human."

"Oh... My... Glob..." The dog gasped.

"This is going to be the tip of the iceberg of how feng this entire world is, isn't it?" Mal asked with a sigh.

"Looks like, sir," Zoe said.

I am composed of mad genius.