Mal's rules o' Captainy like behavior

Author owns no rights to Firefly, and no copyright infringement is intended. Fanfic only.

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After the war, my best friend Zoe and I, we took to the black on Serenity. I found her lying in a junkyard, (Serenity, not Zoe,) and we worked long and hard to set her to rights. Hired a pilot who helped us get'er ready, and off we went.

Been doin' it a while now. Things ain't always been great, that's true. We've had more than our fair share of trials and tribulations over the years. Been put upon by the Alliance, and thieves, con-artists, and power mad people of all walks o' life.

I think maybe Serenity might notta been the best name for the ship, seein' as how we ain't had much of it, over the years. Still, bad luck to change the name and all, and truth be known, she wasn't named for peace no way.

If'n you're thinkin' o' gettin' a boat, and workin' the black, there's a few things ya oughta keep in mind that might help ya along the way.

1) Never hire a mechanic that refers to a spanner as 'that wrench thingy'.

2) Don't rent a shuttle to a Companion. Especially is she's as beautiful as a sunrise, and elegant and regal, and you felt a twinge o' some kind in yer chest when she walked on board.

3) Don't allow ship board romances. Except for the first mate, if'n she's tough enough to kick your pi gu for 'buttin' inta her personal life'.

4) Don't hire a merc ta keep him from. . . .well, on second thought, that wasn't a bad idea. Never mind.

5) If you're lucky enough to find a gifted mechanic, keep her happy if ya can. Ain't no substitute for a good engineer in the black.

6) Try not to deal with people named after animals or birds. It just ain't safe.

7) If ya got a good pilot, avoid hecklin' him too much, as they tend to wanna make radical course adjustments when you least expect'em. Usually resultin' in you hittin' the deck.

8) Don't take on passengers. It ain't never worth the coin.

9) If you do a job, make sure you get paid. Don't let no one get away with rippin' ya off. It's bad for your reputation.

10) If you take on a job, make sure and do it. Ain't nothin' worse than havin' a reputation for not gettin' the job done.

11) Don't bother givin' orders you know ain't gonna be obeyed. Makes ya look weak. Instead, try an' figure out what the crew will do under certain circumstances, and give those orders. Maintains the illusion you're in command. And makes you look smart, since they was thinkin' o' doin' what you ordered'em to do.

12) When you're goin' on a job, and your merc wants to carry grenades, let him. Never know when you'll need'em.

13) "Because I'm the Captain" is an answer that only works once in a while. Don't abuse it. And don't bother usin' it on the first mate, especially if she's tough enough to kicj your pi gu. And done followed you through the war.

14) Make sure that the crew knows that you're in charge, and things will be done your way. Helps maintain that illusion that you're in control. When they don't do things your way, pretend you don't notice. It's easier.

15) When you've got a good crew, don't get mad when they don't do things your way, but still get the job done. They'll take care o' you, long as you take care o' them.

16) Try not to get shot. It's painful.

17) Try to avoid duels. They're painful, too.

18) Be careful 'bout gettin' drunk when you're on a strange planet. And don't let nobody offer you a drink, and then put flowers on ya head. It's nothin' but trouble.

19) When your gifted mechanic tells ya, 'we need this part or we'll explode', get the part. You really need it.

20) Save septic vac duty for the crew members who mouth off the most. Especially prissy core-trained docs who think they know more than you do. Or mercs who think they oughta be in charge o' your boat. Nothin' says Captainy Respect better than assignin' someone to the septic vac duty.

Course, you'll encounter troubles that I ain't, most like, and you'll have ta use your own imagination in how to deal with'em. But these few basic guidelines might be a help to ya. I know I wish I'd had'em. I'd been a lot better off.

Good flyin'.