Title: The Alliance Spins, part 1
Summary: The Alliance and the 'Verse respond to the Wave.
Rating: PG for language
Characters: Crew, but not in chapter 1
Pairing: Canon, if any
Spoilers/Timeline: post BDM
Disclaimer: No money is being made from by me and I certainly don't own Firefly/Serenity.
Author's Note: This fic takes place within my FicVerse. The series follows: "Fallout," "The Funeral," and "Limbo."
The Alliance Spins, part 1
When the Miranda wave first surfaced on Cortexes throughout the Universe, the general reaction was a resounding 'huh?' For a good ten minutes, the wave repeated over and over until the signal was successfully jammed. Many who saw the wave thought that there had been some signal mishap and that a piece of a horror viddie had spliced in on their regularly scheduled programming. The few who did not believe it was a mere signal mishap were alarmed but most assumed some mischievous teenagers had hacked in the disturbing images just for laughs. Fewer still comprehended that they had just witnessed something Important.
When questioned about the Wave, a few members of Parliament commented that it was some kind of hoax. As the Alliance issued no official public statement, most Core citizens construed their silence to mean that the transmission was indeed a signal mishap of sorts. After all, if the Wave didn't warrant the government's attention, then why should honest, hardworking people worry about it? With no small measure of relief, the general population continued with their unassuming lives and forgot about the disturbing wave. Public opinion, in the Core, showed a 97.5 approval rating in favor of the Alliance.
Not everyone, however, was so easily mollified. After the initial transmission, and sensing a Big Story, Nothing But the Truth, a small, fringe news organization, dedicated its staff of seven to solving the mystery of the Wave. They rebroadcast the brief wave every hour hoping someone would come forward to identify the mysterious woman or provide a lead to explain the mysterious transmission.
NBT diligently waded through a myriad of misleading tips. After a week of fruitless searching, the organization was on the verge of abandoning the story when an anonymous source finally gave them some promising information. Under a shroud of secrecy that even the most paranoid would admire, an untraceable transmission provided only two words: Dr. Caron. Finding virtually no evidence of Dr. Caron's existence, NBT, nevertheless, persevered and continued their investigations. Cameras followed the news team everywhere they went publicly documenting every moment of their search. NBT's ratings increased ten thousand percent.
Seeing the response to NBT, several minor members of Parliament commented, in an unofficial capacity, that the transmission was a fraud perpetrated by some desperate anti-Alliance group. The fraud contention was further supported by the fact that several different splinter groups had come forward to accept responsibility for broadcasting The Wave.
Universal News Organization, the leading news provider and staunch Alliance supporter, provided some interesting newsbits on various Anti-Alliance factions. UNO focused on the loonier of the lot which helped confirm to most citizens that yes, those crazy people really could perpetuate such an unbelievable story.
After a week of dead-ends and suspicious deletions, one intrepid NBT reporter, Myrna Roy, finally managed to not only discover that one Dr. Natalie Caron did indeed exist, she also managed to find Dr. Caron's parents and brother. Roy learned that twelve years ago, the Caron family had been informed by Alliance Officials that Dr. Caron's Search and Rescue Craft had exploded mid-flight due to faulty wiring. The family was utterly horrified to finally learn the truth of Natalie's fate. When asked about the nature of her mission, the Caron family could not answer but they did confirm that she had been employed with the Allied Institute of Science and Technology.
By this time, Allied Universal Media, another pro-Alliance news organization based out of Sihnon, began their own investigation. AUM's investigation, however, focused on learning more about the people working for NBT. The owner, Garrison James, seemed to be a die-hard conspiracy theorist. AUM discovered that Mr. James was an ardent believer in the theory that Earth was abandoned not for environmental reasons but after an attack by aliens. The fact that NBT's Editor-In-Chief espoused other far-fetched anti-Alliance ideas made him seem to be a crackpot.
The staff at NBT also was not immune to scrutiny. The reporter who discovered and interviewed the Caron family, was found to have strong Browncoat ties. Furthermore, Ms. Roy was originally from Shadow and that fact alone cast serious doubt on her motivations.
The AUM commentators gleefully relayed these nuggets of information and happily dismissed NBT's investigation as a ratings ploy by angry Independents and wacko conspiracy buffs. Alliance citizens were urged to use sound judgment concerning these unfounded accusations.
Not so curiously enough, soon after AUM aired the expose on NBT, NBT not only dropped the story, they stopped transmitting altogether; no news, no weather, no sports. NBT even stopped their celebrity gossip programming which had been their bread and butter for years. Garrison James closed up the small offices on Bernadette and was never seen again in Core society. Myrna Roy, as well as her producer, were arrested in some unrelated charges.
The story would have stopped there if not for one last thing. When the widely respected, and unaffiliated, news group, the Murrow Review, openly challenged the Alliance's unofficial fraud contention and questioned the reasons behind NBT's closure, the Universe finally paid attention.
After the expose on NBT, the Murrow Review disclosed the extent of their findings focusing on their continued investigation into Reaver attacks on the Rim which, they confirmed, began twelve years ago. They had been investigating the Reaver attacks on Rim worlds for years but even their considerable investigative skills failed to answer the question of who the perpertrators were or where they came from. The brief Wave provided the missing link allowing the news organization to further their initial investigation. The editors and lead producers knew they had the story of a lifetime and devoted all their resources to finding the truth.
The response to Murrow's report was immense. After a few weeks, public opinion in favor of the Alliance fell to an unprecedented 62 approval rating. The final straw for the Alliance's precarious position was broken when it was revealed that when other news organizations attempted to contact the Caron family, they were informed that the family was grief stricken and had gone off-world for an extended vacation. No further information on the family was discovered.
The disappearance of the Caron family combined with the evidence provided by the respected Murrow Review proved to be the impetus for the unraveling of the Alliance's unofficial story. After a month, the Wave had finally caused a sensation that the Alliance could not ignore: The 'Verse's eyes had finally been opened.