Hi it's me Angel, I don't own Firefly or serenity or the characters from but I do own Gavon and Ayme, they're originals. Oh and thanx for reading!

What is Human?

Chapter 1------Landing and Screaming

Inara followed her way up the metal steps, watching Kaylee fix something that had inevitably broken, or blown up, or had been shot.

Whatever the problem, Mal was certainly the cause of it. Every time they had fixed Serenity that man had to get someone, shot, stabbed, run over, or something on her had to have been blown to smithereens.

It was a wonder and a miracle the whole ship hadn't crashed into flames with that man captaining it.

"More passengers Captain?" Kaylee asked curiously in the cargo bay of Serenity. Mal had been watching as Inara began to disappear into her shuttle.

"Got the room, need the money can't think of a better way to get some," Mal stated as the Serenity began to land on the strange ground of Persephone.

The whole boat shook violently, causing the Captain to push Kaylee down as he glanced around angrily, keeping her from crashing into anything.

"Alright! It's alright!" Wash said on the intercom slightly calm.

"What is going on with my zhou ma boat!" Mal bellowed, the voice reverberating in the empty bay. "WASH!"

"I said it's alright! We're almost through the atmo!" Wash stated once against into the intercom.

"Please tell me we'll live through this one," Simon stated, coming into the cargo bay to see what was going on.

"We've lived through every other time," Mal replied, smiling. "Don't worry yourself too much Doctor."

"Worry isn't my problem, dying is," Simon answered him as Mal walked up the metallic steps and to the cockpit.

Inara stepped out and shot a glare towards Mal on his way to Wash.

"Hello ambassador, how's business?" Mal asked to get under her skin, his favorite thing to do.

"What did you do now?" She demanded harshly.

"Why is it when the ship shakes and I'm not in the drivers seat everything is directed towards my person?" Mal muttered to himself and stomping down the hallway towards the dark cockpit. "Wash!"

"Because you should know your own ship!" Inara yelled out irritated, turning and walking back into her shuttle.


"Everything's great, Captain," Wash stated, his hands pressing on the buttons on the dark consol in front of him, the reflection of the light bouncing off of his skin as the flames surrounded Serenity's hull.

"Why does the gorramn 'verse want us to die?" Mal asked himself quietly.

"Probably because you call it gorramn all the time," Wash said simply, leading Serenity down as gently as he could. "Or you know, because we're petty, thieving, criminal minds. That could be it too."

"Yeah, well I'm gonna keep callin' it gorramn until it shows me otherwise," Mal muttered, not expecting to be answered.

"You're gonna make me loose what little lunch I had!" Jayne yelled down the neck hallway, "I thought you said you could drive this thing!"

"Get ready, Jayne, we're almost landed!" Mal ordered angrily, Jayne muttering and heading down back into his bunk.

"Have you seen River recently?" Simon inquired, speaking to Kaylee as she tried to finish the wiring she was working on.

"Sure," Kaylee stated, pointing up. River Tam, the young woman with the burned brain lay on the grading far above the cargo bay, watching, listening, and waiting for the voices in her head to stop. Simon jumped up the stairs and to the high platform, looking down as River still seemed to be intently staring at the ceiling.

"River, its time for your medication," Simon said in a soft, orderly tone.

"Medication," River answered in response, but still did not stand. "I see them, but they're gone."

"What?" Simon asked curiously.

"They're gone," she stated quieter, sitting up quickly. "Medication, now."

"Yes," Simon stated, holding onto her shoulder and leading her down the stairs to the bottom of the ship, the small medical bay inevitably where River spent a good deal of her days in.

"How are you feeling today?" Simon questioned lightly, still touching her shoulder.

"Coughing, lungs, legs, weak," she stated. "Tired."

"You're coughing?" Simon asked, concerned.

"No," River said in her normal, strange tone. "Not me, just tired."

"Oh, alright," Simon stated, nodding his head as they stepped into the blue light room, the lights flashing on and River settling herself onto the countertop, watching the world around her she had seen so many times but taking it in.

"No vomiting today?" Simon asked as he began to fill a syringe with light, clear liquid. River shook her head but was still lost in observation.

"She keeps moving," River replied quietly to herself.

"Who does?" Simon questioned, slowly jabbing the needle in where he had a dozen times before, a bruise there from the constant injections.

"The world," she stated, glancing out the aquarium like windows. "She keeps moving."

"We're landing soon, on Persephone," Simon stated. "I don't know how long we'll be staying, but you need to stay on the ship for me."

"Ship," River said to herself, Simon pulling the needle out and River jumping down from the countertop and walking out. "She's looking for a way out, she just wants a way out."

Simon shook his head as the echoes of the phrases pulled through his brain.

River found her way back to the cargo hold, the open area and constant noise a comfort to her as Kaylee finished the final touch to her complicated work.

"Hey there, sweetie," Kaylee said, smiling widely at her. "Ready to get some passengers with me?"

"Simon said stay on the ship," River said in a small voice.

"Well, we'll stay on the ship, no worries there," Kaylee said in a sisterly tone, wiping her hands on her pants and tying her wavy hair from her face. "I gotta get cleaned up though, come with me."

River nodded once, following Kaylee to her bunk so Kaylee could do her hair.

"What're you two doin'?" Mal asked as he stepped out of the head of the ship. "No monkeyin' around here, we're not here on a pleasure cruise, you do your work."

"Just gonna make us look more presentable, Captain," Kaylee stated.

"We don't need you bringin' in anything fancy, Kaylee, just a fair or two before we get our next job from Badger," Mal said in a stern tone as he continued down the neck of the ship.

"I thought we didn't like Badger," Kaylee replied.

"No, I don't trust him, there's a difference," Mal said lightly. He stopped in his tracks, "But I don't like him either."

"Brace yourselves, we're gonna hit the ground," Wash stated, coming on the intercom. The Serenity shook as it hit the landing pad, but sustained itself and let out the pressure it was carrying into the air of the late afternoon sky.

Mal stepped lightly passed Inara's shuttle, not wanting to be scolded for once again shaking the ship when it wasn't his fault and saw Shepherd Book stepping out of the deep barrel of the ship.

"We won't be out here long Shepherd, so do your business and do it quickly," Mal ordered, rocking back and forth as he stepped down the stairwell.

"I'm just going to stay here, if you don't mind," Book said in a calm tone, "Just wanted to get some fresh air."

"Ah, well, the fresh air ain't out there, Shepherd," Mal replied, jumping down the last few and walking to the cargo doors quickly and hitting the buttons to open the large doors. "Just a bunch of slimy, smelly, underground low-lives and their excretions."

"Eloquent, Captain," The Shepherd replied.

"KAYLEE!" Mal bellowed, "Would you stop prissin' up and get out here!"

"Let's go," Jayne stated, stepping out from the bunks area above and running down the steps.

"Where's Zoe?" Mal asked, glancing around realizing his first mate had gone missing or just wasn't where she was supposed to be, front and center.

Zoe waited impatiently, hearing the yelling from the opening in her bunk, watching as the test still indicated it was processing.

"ZOE!" the Captain bellowed once again. Somehow that man had the lung capacity of a small blow horn. Wash suddenly stuck his head down, watching his wife carefully but not seeing what she was doing.

"Come on, Zo, Captain's not happy with you since we're already running late," Wash stated, turning his head to her. Zoe grabbed the small device and stuck it in one of her clothing drawers, breathing out heavily; she'd just have to wait until they were back in the air…

Kaylee pulled her lawn chair and small Chinese umbrella from her bunk, dragging them out as River followed excitedly, wondering what they were going to do today the voices somewhat numb at the moment. They ran passed Wash and headed for the Captain's yelling.

"Coming, Captain," Kaylee stated.

"You were the one I was looking for first, now I need Zoe," Mal said in a scolding tone.

"Wash is getting her, no worries," Kaylee said excitedly, stepping down the ramp and into the light of the planet Persephone. The world around them was busy, light, and full of noise and wind, dirt flying around in small cyclones as dozens of people passed by every step. River watched the humans around her, seeing so many faces and hearing so many voices it seemed no one and everyone was busy in those moments.

"Come on sweetie," Kaylee said quietly, setting her lawn chair down and letting River take up its seat as Kaylee opened her umbrella into the air. River looked at it intently, watching as she spun it over her shoulder and absorbing the strange patterns spinning and spinning and spinning.

On the alert screens blared news, Kaylee listening carefully at the tall station near them.

"The Alliance has still not released any information about the incident involving six Alliance cruisers exploding simultaneously three weeks ago. The accusation of it being a terrorist attack has been denied and laughed at from the Alliance, stating "there was a small fluke on the models of the tragic incident"."

Zoe and Wash finally came out, in that order as Jayne stepped out into the air, stretching his arms upwards as his guns shifted in their holsters.

"Wash, take the Mule and get what you can for some protein, whatever," Mal ordered. "Jayne, Zoe you're with me."

"Back to that lowly piss pot we go," Jayne said loudly.

"Hey, that piss pot might just have something for us," Mal stated, pointing towards him but unable to really tell where he was in the incoming sunlight. "Let's go!"

Zoe kissed Wash lightly on the lips and followed Mal out of the ship, the three setting off as Wash jumped on the Mule, a long, strange four wheeler with a trailer attached to its end. River watched as the three disappeared into the sea of heads and bodies, Kaylee smiling widely at the passers by to see if one was interested in flying or getting off of this rock.

Wash revved the engine and drove out of Serenity quickly, honking as to clear a path and get through the dense sea of bodies before him, before disappearing as well.

Shepherd Book walked out and smiled at the girls, examining the busy landscape around him as well.

"This is where I first joined on this little voyage," he said to Kaylee.

"And Simon and River too," Kaylee answered, smiling widely still.

"I think I'm going to go for a little strole," Shepherd Book stated, "Just to stretch the legs a bit."

"We won't leave without you," Kaylee replied. "Captain won't have it."

"I won't keep you waiting," Shepherd Book stated, the sea becoming slightly larger with his presence as well.

A few passers by questioned Kaylee and River on the status of the Serenity, but none seemed interested in flying off of Persephone so soon. They needed someone who wanted to get off of this planet and fast…but who was there here?

Simon wandered out of the Serenity, realizing River was outside in the easy sight of anyone passing by.

"River!" Simon scowled, stepping next to her in the lawn chair. "You shouldn't be out here! Not with Alliance soldiers all over the place!"

"Simon, relax," Kaylee said, setting her hand on his shoulder. "There ain't no Alliance goons here, look around, no one's payin' attention to anything but their own."

"What happens when one of those people gets word to an Alliance troop on this planet?" Simon questioned angrily. Kaylee gave him a hurt look but he was focused on River and getting her back under cover. "River, let's go back inside."

He grabbed her wrist and set her on her feet, walking forward and expecting her to follow. She held her legs firm and unmoving, staring into the crowd as the heads seemed to ripple out, a single face peering into her line of vision before the pale eyes disappeared.

"Wait," River stated as Simon tried to pull her inside. "Wait!"

Kaylee watched as a young man stepped up close to the Serenity, looking at the ship's hull and staring where it cut into the blue sky. He was taller, with dark brown eyes and auburn dark hair, highlights of brown reflecting in the sunlight. His face was well colored, tan while he wore a white shirt and a long, extended burgundy coat that ended just above his ankles and had a high collar.

"Hi there," Kaylee said in a charming voice, stepping closer to him. He tapped Serenity's hull lightly with his knuckle before directing his attention towards Kaylee, his young face watching her carefully. Simon stopped and watched her openly sway towards him in a flirtatious manner, suddenly wanting to stay outside. The young man nodded his head as a greeting, his eyes narrowed to block out some of the sunlight.

"You need a ride, stranger?" she asked playfully. "Cause Serenity'll get you there right and quick."

"You got room on here?" he asked.

"Yes, sir, got plenty of room for you," Kaylee answered. "Where're you headed?"

"Newhall," he replied. "If you can go that far."

"That'd be no problem, sir," Kaylee stated, smiling and swaying childishly. "What's your name?"

"Gavon," he stated simply. "You got room for another passenger on this boat?"

"Got a friend who needs a lift to Newhall, too?" Kaylee asked, smiling.

"Yes, well, sort of," Gavon replied lightly. "My sister in law--well soon to be sister in law."

"Ah, I see," Kaylee said in return. "Yeah, we got the room."

"Good, then," Gavon stated, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small black bag, handing it to Kaylee, it jingling full of money. "Where's the Captain of this vessel?"

"He's out doin' some other business," Kaylee stated in half surprise, feeling the weight of how much money was in there.

"That's half of it, the other half I'll give you when we're on Newhall," Gavon replied, pulling out a pair of thin sunglasses and placing them on his nose.

"This…is only half?" Kaylee asked in astonishment.

"I really outta talk to your Captain before giving the o.k. on this," Gavon stated. "We'll have some cargo to take on too."

"Oh shiny, don't worry he'll be back in like…ten minutes or so," Kaylee said in a light tone, "Can you…wait ten minutes or so?"

"Lemme go and get the other passenger, I can get her here and our stuff here in ten," Gavon stated, adjusting his coat and staring over at Simon and River suspiciously. "You guys…aren't friendly with Alliance, are you?"

"Oh, if you're worried about Alliance we got no quarrel or association with them," Kaylee stated as Gavon glanced back at her. "What's your full name, sir?"

"Grey, Gavon Grey," he replied, turning to walk away, "Be back in ten."

"See you soon!" Kaylee bid excitedly, holding onto the money almost as if it would jump away from her. He turned to Simon and River, River watching the crowd again hypnotically as Simon's mouth was tight in anger. "We got enough money to keep us flyin' for a month!"

"Well…I'm glad we got something out of your performance," Simon said coldly, heading back inside and leaving River, forgetting for the time being why he was originally out there in the first place. Kaylee shot him a concerned look as he continued to his quarters, before sighing and half smiling at River.

End Chapter 1