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Disclaimer: Not mine. Do I look like Joss Wheadon? Gods, I hope not! And I don't claim credit for anything Doctor Who, either.

Author's Note: This story would not leave me alone! It really really wouldn't. It stuck in my head and wouldn't let me focus on the other things I wanted to write. I tried searching for something like it, to read, but found very few crossovers, and none that used this idea.

Y'know, considering the subject matter, I'm amazed that I managed to drag it down to a T rating. There are Reavers in this story, after all, "rape you to death, eat your flesh, and sew your skin into their clothes... and if you're lucky they'll do it in that order" (love that quote). Although, you'll be happy to know that part of dragging the rating back to my usual range involved not writing the Reaver-sex-scenes that my brain managed to conjure. Mmhm, you heard me, I did think about it (didn't want to think about it, really didn't... and couldn't write it either, so don't anyone ask for me to post it) but even the highest rating here wouldn't be enough for that.

Translations, taken from fireflyrpg website, can be found at the bottom of the page. I'm not fluent in any language except English. So if there's mistakes, it's 'cause I don't know the language used in this 'verse well enough (and I would appreciate being corrected).

Also, I apologise in advance if I fail on the main characters' speech-patterns (or generic Firefly 'verse speech-patterns, for that matter), it's been a while since I watched Firefly.

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2507-08-12; 1925 (Twelve Years Ago)

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Out on the edge of space, near the farthest and most recently terraformed world on the frontier, a small cargo ship named the Dauntless floated in high orbit, scanning the surface. They were about as far away as it was possible to get from the war over the border worlds, which- due to orbital patterns- was mostly taking place on the far side of White Sun.

They were out here for what was apparently a highly covert operation, run by a man who wouldn't even tell his crew his own name. He had encouraged them, upon arranging this expedition, not to use their own real names, either. "Make up an alias. Always use it. I don't want to know your real names, and you do not want to know mine. Makes it harder for a certain friendly and lovable government to trace us."

Everyone knew that the Alliance government was a bit overbearing and controlling- even those who supported them knew this- but to actively try to avoid them was just asking for trouble. Yet he denied when any of them asked if he supported the Independents in the war. "Does this coat look brown?" he had asked, indignantly.

So they had chosen aliases. The pretty brunette navigator called herself Dana. The young pilot had called himself Jason, and their Captain had immediately taken to calling him Jay. The engineer, who looked about the age of the Captain, chose the name Erik... so the Captain called him Ricky, only explaining that with a dismissive "You look like a Ricky." As for the Captain himself, well, just Captain. He'd laughed like a madman when Jason had asked "Captain who?"

Now, however, after several months tracking some sort of 'priceless artifact' that the Captain would not elaborate on, they had become very close friends, in spite of not knowing each other's real names. There was something about the Captain that had once led Erik to suggest he'd had Companion training, and he sure did seem able to put them all at ease even when he wasn't outright flirting with them.

"It's all about the money, isn't it?" Jason asked, now. Dana was working on the scanners, trying to detect their target from this distance, and the Captain was sitting comfortably in the co-pilot's chair, looking for all the 'verse like they were just having a pleasant holiday to some exotic world, rather than being on a very well-paying mission that by all accounts could get dangerous if the Alliance found out what they were up to.

"For you, might be." the Captain said with a shrug.

"You got a better reason, Cap'n?" Dana asked, not looking up from the scanner.

"Curiosity." the Captain said, smiling at the two, "It's priceless 'cause I'm not selling it."

"But you can afford to pay us a Companion's ransom to tag along?" Jason asked, grinning.

"Some people might pay more than that to rescue a Companion." the Captain muttered, his smile wavering for a fraction of a second, but his eyes said that it was funny for some reason Jason did not comprehend.

"I've got a trace." Dana said brightly, "Matches the profile, but it ain't dirt-side."

The Captain was up and leaning over Dana's shoulder before either of the other two even saw him move, "Where is it, then?"

"Headed core-wards." Dana reported obediently, "It's on an Alliance ship, no beacon number."

"Wong ba duhn. An Operative's ship." the Captain hissed, leaning past Dana to bring up further information on the screen, "NX-300 class, recon ship. Scanning their engine radiation trail, we get back to Persephone, you guys can get off and get paid. I have to follow this to Londinium." he groaned, clearly annoyed by this turn of events, "I was just there last year!"

Dana and Jason exchanged a wary glance with each other, "Cap'n, with all due respect, we ain't 'xactly criminals. We'll go with you, if you need us." Dana pointed out.

"You really wanted this prize, huh?" Jason asked, smirking slightly at the Captain's annoyance. It was rare to hear the Captain swear, only time it had happened before was when they'd stopped at Muir for refuelling, and someone had dared try to steal his favourite gun.

"Still want." the Captain said, matter-of-fact-like, "The Alliance can g'en ho tze bi dio se, for all I care."

"And you claim you're not Independence." Jason teased.

The Captain grinned at Jason, suddenly looking very dangerous in spite of the smile, "If I was, I'd be on the other side of the 'verse right now. I'm perhaps the third-or-fourth best warrior of all time, and I'd tip the balance for certain."

It wasn't the first time they'd heard hints to his past. He claimed to know Alliance Ops-level access codes, have worked for at least three corrupt and 'non-existant' agencies in the past, and to have seen things that could make a grown man cry for his momma at just the name of it.

Still, they never got details, and only knew him for who he was now, a warm and caring man who would quite literally cross the 'verse and face the black to defend a single friend- and these three seemed to count for some reason none of them had yet to figure- and they had unanimously agreed that they did not ever want to look into their Captain's dark past if they could avoid it.

"Alright, Jay." the Captain said, retaking his seat in the co-pilot's chair, "Stay on silent, and wait for that Ally-ship to get to eight-hundred ahead of us. The three-hundred series has all their good scanners on the bow, so we can shadow them as far as Persephone, and track their flightpath from there."

"Aye, Cap'n." Jason said, setting the course as he'd been ordered.

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It was slow going, shadowing another ship required some kind of skill from the pilot that many people just did not have. Jason, however, was good. Very good. He managed to keep the Alliance ship in scanning range, right to the point where it passed out of this star's gravitational field, less than a day's travel to Lilac and Haven. But that was where another ship got involved.

A big one, at that. Must be a high-spec cruiser of some sort, the Captain called it a Titan-class, though neither of the others had ever seen a ship that big before. But it had hull damage, something awful, and it had drifted right into their flightpath, between them and the Alliance ship.

"Beacon says the ship's called Cerberus. I'm not hearing a wave, though." Dana said, turning warily to look at the other ship through the window.

"Doesn't feel right." the Captain muttered. He was sitting up now, attentive and for once not smiling. In fact, he was glaring at the Titan-class ship as if he was aware of something there that was wrong. Maybe a military sort of danger-sense, there had been hints that he'd seen real combat in the past.

"If we send a wave, the NX-300 will hear us too." Jason pointed out.

"I know." the Captain agreed, "Deviate course, to compensate for the Cerberus, but stay at least eleven hundred behind the NX while you're outside their engine-trail."

Jason nodded, adjusting their course.

As they passed close to the Titan-class ship, they watched it through the window. "What's that on their hull?" Dana asked, nervously.

"Besides half a dozen breaches?" Jason asked snidely, "Paint... I hope."

"Love the optimism." the Captain snarked.

"They're powering up engines, and... I think that's an EMP." Dana said, now genuinely fearful.

"Ta ma duh." the Captain grumbled, "Power up, run away."

"What about the NX?" Jason asked.

"I do not want to be scuppered in the black, running out of air, again." the Captain snapped, "Jio weh sung chiuh. Now!"

"Aye, Cap'n." Jason said, with a sigh.

He knew it was the right course of action, but couldn't help feeling let down that their mission was now officially a failure. They hadn't got what they came here for, and now the Alliance would likely know they were here, and all. It wasn't that the rest of the crew, 'sides possibly the Captain, had any reason to dislike the Alliance, only that they knew what they'd been getting into when they signed up for a mission that involved avoiding them.

The Dauntless powered up, and zoomed away from the Cerberus, quickly reaching maximum speed.

"It's following us." Dana warned, "And gaining!"

"Bu kuh nuhn." the Captain said, "A Titan can't match us for speed."

"This one is." Dana insisted.

Once again, the Captain was leaning over her shoulder before she could blink, "It's burning at three hundred-percent engine capacity. If it doesn't catch us, it'll explode."

"I'm hoping for the latter." Jason offered weakly.

The Captain grabbed the internal comm, and called down to the engine room, "Hey Ricky, I need you to give us more power."

"What's going on up there?" Erik demanded.

"Nothing that could be mistaken for good." the Captain said bluntly.

"I'll see what I can do." Erik offered.

"No, you will make us go at least twice max speed." the Captain ordered, "If we come down in a fireball on Haven, I'll be happy as long as we can walk away from it."

"What about the ship?" Erik complained. Like most good engineers, he had become quite attached to the Dauntless, during their mission so far.

"She's replaceable. It's not like she's alive." the Captain snapped, "Now make her go faster!"

"What's so bad about that ship?" Dana asked, looking more scared of the Captain's behaviour than by the ship pursuing them.

"I have no idea. But I know there's something wrong with it." the Captain said, frowning at the readouts as the Dauntless accelerated. It still wasn't enough to outrun the pursuing ship.

"They're not slowing!" Dana shrieked, "They're gonna ram us!"

"Evasive manoeuvres!" the Captain ordered.

"Already happening." Jason replied, as they swerved upwards and to the left, just missing the bow of the Cerberus by inches. But then a docking bay door opened on the side of the other vessel, and their own engines stalled.

"What was that?" the Captain demanded.

"Magnetic grappler." Dana supplied, before adding in the whining tone of someone who expected people to play by the rules, "Those are illegal!"

"Yes, because the law matters out here." the Captain muttered, scowling, "Power down, we'll only burn out the engine fighting that."

"Do we have a plan?" Jason asked, as he let go of the controls and turned to face Dana and the Captain.

"One of the best." the Captain said, grinning again, though the expression was colder than usual, "Get onto the enemy's ship, disable them, then get out... usually manage to escape right at the last second, but I can be optimistic if you can."

"Details?" Jason persisted.

"We'll need to disable the grappler, that'll be easy." the Captain said, shrugging, "It's a compact unit, the controls will be just in from the docking bay. And those engines have got to go, or they'll just catch us again. That'll be more difficult, engine room's not usually too close to the docking bay in a ship like that. We also need remote codes to the bay doors, either from a member of the crew or the main database... and the database would be right next to the engines."

"You've done this sort of thing before?" Dana asked, "Infiltratin' and disablin' ships, and the like?"

"Many times." the Captain answered with a bright smile.

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Wong ba duhn: son of a bitch
G'en ho tze bi dio se: engage a monkey in a feces hurling contest
Ta ma duh: damn, or damn it
Jio weh sung chiuh: retreat
Bu kuh nuhn: impossible

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