Author's Note: Written while watching the episodes of Firefly. Minor spoilers for the movie. Please read and review.

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Joss Whedon. I'm just borrowing it.

Pax. Latin for peace. Something that every man strives for, some more than others. Every man hopes and wishes to give their children a better world to live in--one without hatred or fear, pain or suffering. Some men, such as I, go our entire lives in search of that elusive state of being.

I know, now, what peace is. I know what we tried to do, and that wasn't peace. Peace is a choice each of us must make for ourselves. Peace is existing without animosity, coexisting in a society without the need to be better than one another.

The past year has brought me the closest to that goal as I've ever been, under the least likely circumstances. Out here in the black, things are different--easier, almost. Men forced to rely more on their own two hands. Keeps them honest, less chance to cause trouble when they're too busy just trying to scrape by.

Back then, though, I thought I knew better. I suppose we all think that from one time to another. We've finally come up with a solution to the problem, something our forefathers never thought of. And we go out and impose our will upon others, claim it's for the best.

Oh yes, I know of peace. I know what was done on Miranda, because I helped to do it. Miranda was not peace. Miranda was power, temptation, death, hell. But it taught me something very important. It taught me how much I didn't know.

I looked for years, searching far and wide, hoping to stumble across some deeper meaning, searching for some reason to have hope for the future. To have faith so that maybe one day I would feel confident enough to bring a family into this world and not be afraid for them.

It took me ten years in a monastery to realize that faith wasn't the answer. Not for what I was looking for. Hiding behind the walls of religion could not help others, could not change the world. It would bring no one peace, least of all me. But just like everything else in my life, it was a learning experience. There was a prayer that I learned, and repeated to myself every night before going to sleep and every morning before waking.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

Ironic, really, that I would finally find peace on a ship named Serenity. Somewhere in that life of crime, where danger lay waiting at every port, I found what I had waited all my life for. I found myself a place in this 'verse, and a family of sorts--they'd find some way to make things better, one way or another.

Even if I couldn't do it for them, they'd make it on their own. They had the courage to change things. Someday, we would all live in peace. Until then, men just had to keep on making their choices and living their lives.