When you meet a celebrity at a 'con, you get maybe 30 seconds of their time. Still, that was all it took for Jewel Staite to make quite an impression on me. She was professional, friendly, and gracious. Later, at the Firefly Q&A she hosted with Nathon Fillion, one of the questioners referred to her as "Kaylee". He stopped short at that point but Ms. Staite immediately put him at ease. "That's cool," she said. "You can call me that."
This fanfic, a tribute to her and her character, Kaylee, is pre-BDM and takes place after "Trash."
The nearly two-story tall beast that filled most of the large warehouse was hot, noisy, and ill, very ill. Haron Frye had kept it healthy for over twenty years. It wasn't hard, not usually. After all, it spoke to him. Since he was a child, as long as Haron could remember, he'd had a way of understanding machines.
Stooping to avoid the warehouse roof, Haron clambered near the top of the assembly. When his puffing subsided, he patted his midsection through his overalls and smiled slightly. Then, shifting from shaft to exhaust tube to rotor, he worked his way around the beast. At each component, he cocked his head, closed his eyes, and let his hand rest on the smooth, warm metal. Then he adjusted the frequency filters on his headset and listened. He opened panels, tested connections, and finally, after visiting all the engine's major subassemblies, he wiped his brow then descended to the floor.
Haron entered the small office that was the only other room in the building. Edgar looked at him expectantly. Haron had taken him on as apprentice after his daughter went offworld. Edgar had been a bit older than most, but late starter or no, he showed promise.
In response to his unspoken question, Haron shook his head slowly. Edgar's shoulders slumped.
"Still nothin'?" Edgar asked.
"She's workin' hard, harder than ever before, but her efficiency is down to 25%. And I've no idea why. She's just not tellin' me."
The mayor sat at a desk in the corner. A farmer like most on the planet, she was dressed plainly with a light jacket over beige cotton top and khaki trousers. Her middle-aged face was weather-beaten and lined beyond her age. "What do you need?" she asked. "Manpower? Equipment? We can get whatever it takes."
Haron took a moment before replying. "I need my Shiny Jewel," he said.
On the transport boat Serenity, Kaylee closed her eyes for a moment and basked in the throbbing hum of the engine. They were getting short on spares again, and she'd had to improvise to repair a ruptured coil that threatened to take her offline. Now that it was healthy, Kaylee could almost hear the engine's relief. She smiled and patted the warm metal.
"That's a good girl," she said. "You're almost good as new."
She was just cleaning up, putting away tools and wiping the grease off her hands and face, when an announcement came over the PA: "This is the captain. All hands to the galley. We have a job."
After quickly changing into a clean pair of overalls, Kaylee joined the others and took a seat between Shepherd Book and Inara.
"As I said, we have a job," Captain Malcolm Reynolds repeated. "And for this we have Kaylee to thank."
"Me?" Kaylee looked up at Mal. "How?"
Mal smiled. "As you know, the terraforming back on your home world never quite took, not completely. They need air purifiers to keep the atmosphere breathable. Seems now the generator that drives those purifiers is ailing and could use some of Kayee's magic touch."
"Wuh de yen, ah. How bad is it?" Kaylee asked.
"It's bad," Mal replied, his smile disappearing. "Bad enough they're willing to pay a premium for our help. You're to work with your daddy to fix this; we'll help in any way we can, including fetching any parts that aren't available from wherever in the 'verse they are."
"Well," said Jayne, pushing his chair back and folding his hands behind his head, "this sounds like my kind of job. We set down, you can find me in the saloon."
The others all looked at him. "What?" he asked.
"It's just that you've touched us all with your concern," Shepherd Book said.
After Serenity set down on Demeter, Kaylee walked the short distance to the outskirts of town, lost in thought. Coming to the warehouse, she opened the office door quietly. Her father was working at the chalkboard on the opposite wall with a younger man, drawing diagrams, discussing them, erasing, and drawing again. Had it been only a few months? Her time on Serenity hadn't dragged. In fact, she loved her new life. But now that she was back it seemed she'd been gone for years.
Her father had more grey in his hair than she remembered, and was perhaps a bit thicker around the waist. His voice, assured, yet soft, brought a smile to her face. She glanced at the desk, the only piece of real furniture in the room beside a few plain wooden chairs. It was awash in layer upon layer of mechanical drawings.
When there was a pause in the discussion, Kaylee stepped into the office and said, "Hello Daddy."
Her father turned and grinned broadly, wiping his hands on his overalls.
"Kaylee!" Haron wrapped his large arms around her. "And how's my Shiny Jewel?"
"Just shiny," she said with a wide smile. "Its hao to see you. Feels like forever."
"It does at that," Haron agreed. "Your captain treatin' you well?" As he spoke, he looked up to see a man and woman enter the office.
The man said, "Kaylee keeps my boat flyin'. We'd be wan dan le without her."
"That's my girl. Haron's the name, and this here's Edgar," said Kaylee's father, extending his hand.
"Malcolm Reynolds. A real pleasure to meet you. We're here to help any way we can. This is Zoe, my first officer."
Haron shook her hand. "The mayor wanted to meet you. If you don't mind, she's just down the street, third building to the right."
"We'll head there right now and leave you to your work. Kaylee, this job, you're in charge. Whatever you need, you let us know."
"Aye aye, Cap'n," said Kaylee with a smile and a quick salute.
Haron, watching after them as they left the office, heard Mal ask Zoe, "Did she just salute me?"
"Seems so, sir," Zoe replied. "Wouldn't let it go to your head, though."
"Quite a crew you've got there," Haron said.
"Daddy, you have no idea. Now, what say we see what's ailin' the ol' girl?"
In the town saloon, Jayne was seated in a dark corner flirting with the waitress until something caught his ear. "Honey," he said, "let's continue this later. Now git and let me sit quiet-like a spell."
Staring at him in surprise, the waitress turned and went back to the bar. Jayne stared after her with regret, then turned his attention to the nearby conversation.
"I hear the mayor's preparin' evacuation plans."
"It ain't that bad, is it?"
The two men conversing were grey-haired, their faces lined with deep wrinkles. They could have been brothers, Jayne observed. Likely were. Likely farm hands. 'Course, most folks hereabouts were farmers. These two were dusty and grimy, wearing well-worn boots, heavy cotton trousers, and each wore similar wrinkled and worn shirts. They were drinking from a tall pitcher of ale.
"I've heard tell it's worse. With the generator failin', and ol' Haron, well, he's no closer to getting it sorted, is he? If you ask me, he's looking all strung-out and tired-like."
"Well, who wouldn't, what with being married to that wife of his?"
There was a grunt of agreement.
"Surprisin' thing is he's lasted this long. Don't know any other man what could've."
"If it ain't one thing, it's t'other. Why no sooner we got rid of that fei fei pi gu what tried to buy out our land then this happens."
Jayne emptied his drink and left the saloon.
In the warehouse office, Haron and Kaylee were taking turns scribbling on the chalkboard. Edgar was sorting through drawings from the pile on the desk and feeding them data. When the outer door opened, they all turned to look.
"I hate to interrupt your work," Inara said with a smile. She set a tray of drinks on a clear corner of the desk. "But we thought you might be in need of refreshments." Shepherd Book followed and set down a tray of snacks beside the drinks.
"Shiny!" said Kaylee. "Daddy, Edgar, this here's Inara and Shepherd Book."
Haron rose to his feet. "The name's Haron. I'm honoured," he said, shaking Inara's hand and bowing slightly. "I've never had the pleasure of meeting such a fine lady as yourself."
"Well," said Inara to Kaylee, "you never mentioned that your father was such a flatterer."
"Oh, the ladies do love him, don't they Daddy?"
Haron blushed. "Now now, don't be tellin' stories that ain't true."
Shepherd Book shook his hand. "You've raised a fine daughter, sir. You must be proud."
"That I am, Shepherd, that I am. And if there's anyone can put things here to rights, it's my Shiny Jewel."
Inara's eyes widened. "I like that! What a sweet name."
"For a sweet girl," said the shepherd with a smile.
"Aye," said Haron, "the day she was born her face seemed to beam so bright, just like a jewel in the light. Every day since I've thought of her as my Shiny Jewel."
Shepherd Book noticed that Edgar seemed reticent to join the conversation. He picked up a tray and invited him to take a sandwich.
"Thank you, sir," Edgar said politely, his eyes not quite making contact with the Shepherd.
"There you go, Edgar," Haron said, putting his arm around the younger man's shoulder. "Kaylee's friends are our friends, ain't they?"
His mouth full, Edgar simply nodded.
"You mustn't mind Edgar," Haron said. "He's used to keeping himself to himself. He's not used to all the visitors we've had of late."
Kaylee perked up at this. "Which visitors, Daddy?"
"Well, aside from your fine friends here, and the mayor earlier, we hosted a lovely young lady who had quite an interest in our little beast here. Very flattering, she was, and yet very shy, with big, liquid eyes that could make your heart melt." At that he coughed and added, "If you weren't already married, that is."
Kaylee swallowed her drink. "Daddy, what colour was her hair?"
"Why it was a fiery red, quite brought out by the way she blushed sometimes if you happened to pay her a compliment." Scratching his head, he added, "Which I might have done, once or twice."
Kaylee looked at Inara who turned pale.
"Qing wa kao de liu mang!" Inara said.
Bursting into the Mayor's office, Jayne said, "Mal, got somethin' you need to hear."
Mal and Zoe were seated in front of the Mayor's desk. Mal rolled his eyes. "My apologies, Mayor. Jayne is a member of my crew. Jayne, you really need to interrupt now?
"You bet I do. Mayor, anyone try to buy out your land lately?"
The Mayor's eyes opened with surprise. "Why yes, a few weeks ago, but we refused, sent him packin'. Why?"
Mal and Jayne made eye contact for a moment, then Mal picked up the thread. "I don't suppose you thought there might be a connection between one and t'other?" he asked.
"No," answered the Mayor, thoughtfully, "why would we?"
"Mayor," asked Zoe, "you know Kaylee, Haron's daughter?"
"Why sure, as do most folk hereabouts."
"Kaylee has a way of seein' the best side of people. Would you say that's typical 'round here?"
"I suppose it is. Why'd anyone look for the worst in people if you can see the best?"
Mal and Zoe exchanged a glance. "Just so," said Mal. "But if you don't mind, could you tell us who it was tried to buy out your land?"
Before she could answer, Inara rushed through the doorway and called, "Mal!"
Mal shook his head. "You try to have one simple meetin'," he started, but was interrupted.
"Mal," said Inara, stepping forward. "It's Saffron."
Mal's face darkened. "Qing wa kao de liu mang," he swore.
Soon after Inara's announcement, the group was gathered in a nearby meeting room. Those with news spoke their piece so that everyone was up to date, then Mal stood up to give instructions.
"Um, pardon, Cap'n," said Kaylee, raising her hand. "Did you not say I'm in charge of this job?"
Mal's face went blank for a moment, then he looked at Zoe. "Did I say that?"
"I believe you did, sir." confirmed Zoe.
Addressing Kaylee, Mal said, "Seems like I might have done. However, things have changed."
"Sorry Cap'n, but with respect, I don't think so. This is the same job as t'was earlier. Question is, do you have faith in me or not?"
"I… Why yes, yes I do. Complete faith," Mal said with a smile. Then, seating himself, he gave the floor to Kaylee.
Kaylee rose, went to the front of the room, then bent over to kiss Mal on the cheek. "I love my captain," she said with a smile.
Straightening, she addressed the group. "So here's what we know. Man name of Jessee Kinney from Paquin tries to buy out the land on this world. Reason unknown. Land hereabouts ain't hardly good enough for crops and cattle. Likely married to Saffron, or so he thinks. When sale's refused, she sabotages the air purifier system to apply pressure.
"Now, what do we do about it? We take a two-prong approach. Knowing we're dealing with sabotage and not a malfunction, we work here to figure out what Saffron did and set about to undo it. Meanwhile, Serenity goes to Paquin. Saffron is first priority, then Kinney. You find her, Cap'n and make her talk. I'll keep Inara and the Shepherd here so's to keep our spirits up." She grinned at Inara.
"Lastly, we get this thing fixed, Mayor fixes up security so nothin' like this don't happen again." Kaylee looked at the Mayor who nodded her approval.
"So why's everyone still sittin'? Get to it, people."
Everyone was quiet for a moment. Kaylee noticed her father dabbing a tear from his eye. "What?" she asked.
Mal got up and put his arm around her. "When was it my little Kaylee grew up so?"
The others burst into applause and Kaylee grinned, her cheeks colouring.
As Mal, Jayne, and Zoe walked back to Serenity, Zoe said, "It hardly bears thinkin' about, sir."
"What?" asked Mal. "That Saffron was here?"
"No, that this is a planet full of Kaylees."
Jayne chortled. Mal had to stop until his laughter subsided. After catching his breath, he continued walking and answered, "I know. A body can only stand so much cheerfulness. Still, she did us proud back there. I couldn't have come up with a better plan."
Zoe nodded. "Kaylee is right cheerful, but she's nobody's fool neither."
Mal contacted Wash. "Wash, get 'er ready. We're leavin'. Paquin's the target."
"I'll get her prepped, but someone needs to fetch the doc and River."
"Where are they?" asked Mal.
"Last I saw," said Wash, "River was communing with some cows at one of the farms."
"Understood," Mal said. "Out. Jayne, would you do the honours?"
Jayne shook his head and headed off towards the nearby cattle ranch. "Don't know what anyone would have to say to a gorram cow."
Kaylee set down the mechanical drawing she'd been staring at and rubbed her eyes. Haron stepped behind her and massaged her shoulders as he had done since she was little. Kaylee smiled, tilted her head back and closed her eyes.
"It's been a long day," Haron said. "Edgar's already left for the night. The rest of us might be better off with a good night's sleep so we can think straight."
"Couldn't agree more, Daddy," Kaylee said. "Inara, Shepherd, let's go home. But something I should let you in on, first," she added, looking at her father. Haron nodded.
The Frye home was a single-story dwelling with a large open area that included a kitchen as well as dining and sitting areas. At the back, a corridor led to several bedrooms and the water closet. The furnishings were simple but comfortable and the house, while not immaculate, was tidy.
Haron found his wife sprawled in a chair, snoring lightly. A half-empty bottle of whisky was on the side table next to her. He looked at her with a fond smile. She was thinner now, and her hair was streaked with grey. But when she slept, he could still see the face of the girl he married. It seemed almost a shame to wake her. Yet wake her he must.
"Hesta, darling," Haron said, shaking her shoulder lightly.
Hesta started and opened her eyes. "What is it?" she said groggily. "What'd you wake me up for?"
"I have a surprise for you. And we have some guests to stay the night."
"A surprise," Hesta repeated, straightening up in the chair. "Well, that would be a surprise indeed," she said and started to laugh a phlegmy laugh until a coughing fit took hold.
When the coughing passed, Haron turned behind him and signaled. "Look who's come, my dear," he said.
"Hello, Mama," Kaylee said. Her face was neutral, her usual smile absent.
"Well, look who the cat dragged in," Hesta said, reaching for the bottle. She took a swig and wiped her lips with her sleeve. "Kaywinnet Lee Frye. After leavin' us to our own devices and gallivantin' off to who knows where, not carin' about anyone but herself."
"No need to be like that, Hesta," Heron admonished gently. "She's come back to help us fix the air purification engine. It's just like old times having her here again. And look, here are two of her friends come to stay with us."
Inara and Shepherd Book entered the room quietly. Hesta laughed again and slapped her bony thigh. "Friends," she said. "A whore and a preacher! Pretty friends indeed for a worthless daughter."
"Mama!" Kaylee said.
"It's alright," said Inara.
"No it ain't," Kaylee replied, approaching her mother. "It ain't by a longshot. You apologize this instant."
Hesta took another drink. Looking at Inara and Shepherd Book, she said, "Did she tell you she's a murderer? She didn't? Well, don't you know she murdered her own sister?"
Kaylee stepped back, tears brimming in her eyes. Shaking his head, Heron took his wife's arm. "Come along, darling. I do believe it's time for bed."
Not budging at first, Hesta grudgingly gave way and accompanied her husband out of the sitting area towards the bedrooms, her shoulders slumped and her gait unsteady.
Kaylee, who had stood stock still, was shaking. She picked up the whisky bottle and threw it at the corner fireplace, then sat and sobbed, covering her face with her hands.
Sitting next to Kaylee, Inara put her arm around her and pulled her close, stroking her hair. In-between sobs, Kaylee said, "I swore! I swore I wouldn't let her get to me."
While Inara comforted Kaylee, Shepherd Book found a broom in the kitchen and swept up the broken glass. Soon after, Haron returned.
"She's asleep already," Haron said. "My sincere apologies, friends."
"No apology necessary," the Shepherd said. "If I might ask, though, what was it led your wife to this?"
Haron sat and was thoughtful for a moment. "When I married her, Hesta was as bright as the sunshine. Always laughing, often singing, she loved everyone and everyone loved her. Then she was pregnant, and we thought our happiness was complete. Twins it was going to be. But when it came time to deliver, one of them was stillborn. Kaylee was the other. She was never the same afterwards. A deep sadness took hold, then bitterness, then came the drink. She drinks so heavy she likely won't last many more years, which may be a mercy in a way, if you don't mind my sayin' so, Shepherd."
After a pause, he sighed and added, "No one's been able to help her. But that happens. Sometimes a thing gets broke, can't be fixed."
Shepherd Book nodded and sat back in his chair, lost in thought. Kaylee, meanwhile, was drying her tears.
"Yet despite all that," Inara said, "our Kaylee is the most cheerful person any of us know."
"Well, those who can have to choose how they're going to live," Kaylee said. "When I was a little girl, I chose to leave the darkness in this house. Too much good out there, too many good people."
"Kaylee," said Shepherd Book, "I've never appreciated your strength until now. You're truly an example for us all. That goes for both of you."
"Aw come on, Shepherd," said Kaylee, her smile returning. "Anyhow, I figure it's time for some shuteye. What say we show you your rooms and call it a night?"
The home of Jessee Kinney was situated atop a cliff overlooking the nearby town, with views of grassy plains, two meandering rivers that intersected north of the town, and a range of mountains in the distance. The building was palatial, some four stories tall, with turrets, large windows to capture the sunlight, and intricate carvings over the window casings and doors. The grounds covered several acres with finely sculptured hedges, rows of colourful gardens, fruit trees, and a large pool with a marble deck.
Mal and Zoe regarded the estate. "I don't know, Zoe," said Mal. "A mite small for my taste."
"I was thinkin' it seemed pretty cramped, sir."
Zoe spotted someone leaving the house and walking towards the gardens. "What say we have a conversation with this fellow?"
"Excellent," said Mal. "We can cut him off by those hedges out of view."
The man was tall, just passed middle age, and very thin. He was dressed in fine attire, a close-fitting black suit, crisp white shirt, and bow tie. As he passed the hedges, he heard a sound then felt the barrel of a pistol pressed against his temple.
"Now friend," said Mal, "no one needs to get hurt. We just want a nice quiet conversation is all."
"There's no need for weapons, sir," said the man. He seemed completely unfazed. "Can I ask, sir, have I the honour of addressing Captain Malcolm Reynolds?"
"That depends," said Mal, holstering his pistol.
"Because if that is the case, sir," continued the man, "I have something for you." And with that, the man reached into his suit jacket.
Mal and Zoe whipped out their pistols. "Easy now," Mal said.
"It's simply a letter, sir, from Mrs. Kinney." The man slowly pulled out an envelope and handed it to Mal. "She asked me to hand it to you when you arrived."
"And where is Mrs. Kinney?" asked Zoe.
"I'm afraid I don't know, ma'am. She's left. Gone offworld. The property is for sale. You see, ma'am, she was distraught after her husband's death. She said she couldn't stay here with all the memories."
"Jessee Kinney is dead?" Mal asked.
The man nodded solemnly.
"And how did this happen?" Zoe asked.
"I'm afraid he fell to his death, ma'am, from the clifftop."
"Fell, or did he have some help?" Mal asked.
"Fell, sir." Then with a sigh, he added, "In reality sir, he jumped. I witnessed it myself. Mrs. Kinney assured me that the letter would explain all. Now if you please, I must attend to the grounds. There is a buyer arriving in a few hours and there is much to do."
With a short bow to Mal and Zoe, the man continued down the path.
Mal and Zoe exchanged a glance, then Mal opened the letter.
Dear Malcolm Reynolds,
Sorry to disappoint you. I know you were looking forward to renewing our acquaintanceship, but I've moved on. When I realized that those sha gua on Demeter were sitting on a gold mine, I married Jessee, a kind, wonderful man who was very very rich. After the honeymoon, I described the opportunity and, eager to please his new bride, he set out to acquire the land owned by the settlers. They refused to sell, regardless of price. They needed more incentive. That fool engineer was only too willing to tell me everything I needed to know. After explaining to Jessee, dear naive Jessee, what I had done, he became wild. He cried, threatened me, then cried some more. The last I saw of him was when he took a flying leap off the cliff. He was weak. Monitoring the situation on Demeter, I soon realized that the engineer was related to one of your crew, and knew it was only a matter of time before you showed up on my doorstep. Being distraught over my husband's untimely demise, I put the grounds up for sale and left. You won't find me, so don't bother looking.
'Till we meet again, beloved.
Mrs. Jesse Kinney
"Zhen dao mei," said Mal. "Come all this way and looks like we got nothin."
"What do we tell them back on Demeter?" Zoe asked.
"That they're on their own. However, there's one thing we can be doin' while Kaylee works her magic. Let's get back to Serenity."
Haron, Edgar and Kaylee were gathered again in the warehouse office. Kaylee erased the boards and stood before the other two. "We got to approach this all different now. We're looking at sabotage, not malfunction. And trust me, when it comes to sabotage, Saffron is as good as they come. So what we need ask ourselves is, if it was us, how would we do it?"
The two men were thoughtful for a while. Then Edgar suggested, "I'd take out her most vital subsystem."
"But we checked it," said Kaylee. "Checked every subsystem. That ain't it." She paused for a moment, then continued. "She did something small. Maybe… Maybe she did a lot of small things. If you wanted to make what you done hard to spot, you'd make small changes, things we wouldn't hardly notice. Small changes that feed back on each other, adding up to a big change. Set things up so that the engine'd spiral downward, so's over time she works harder and harder to do less and less."
Edgar sat up straight, his eyes wide. "But that's it. That's brilliant, Jewel!"
At that, he stopped short and blushed. Kaylee smiled and touched his shoulder. "That's shiny," she said. "You can call me that."
Harmon winked at her.
"So why don't we assume that's what she's done," continued Kaylee, "and see where that takes us."
After returning to Demeter, Mal, Zoe and Jayne left Serenity to look for Kaylee. There was no one in the warehouse and the mayor's office was similarly deserted. "You know, sir," said Zoe, "the whole town seems a mite quiet."
"I say we try the saloon," Jayne said. "If that's empty, we know we got trouble."
It wasn't. In fact, the saloon was bursting at the seams when Mal, Zoe and Jayne entered. "Folks here seem to be in a celebratin' mood," Mal shouted over the din. "Anyone see Kaylee?"
The pushed their way forward through the good-natured crowd, until Jayne said, "I see 'er. That table, two-o-clock."
Kaylee was seated with her father, Edgar and the Major. They had big smiles on their faces. A serving girl was replacing an empty pitcher when Mal and the others joined them.
"Cap'n!," said Kaylee. Grab yourselves some stools. We got some good news."
"Seems like you must have," Mal said. "You fixed her?"
"Fixed her," said Haron, "and got her working better than she's ever done before. 75% efficiency. All thanks to our Kaylee here."
"Ah, that ain't true," Kaylee said. "T'was all of us together what done it."
Mal patted her shoulder. "Never doubted for a minute. Turns out we've got some good news as well."
"Thought you said Saffron had skedaddled," Kaylee said, putting down her glass. "You find her?"
"Better than that," answered Mal. "In her letter, she said you were all sitting on a gold mine. Turns out that's literally the case. We did some searchin' and found old survey records Saffron accessed. There's veins of gold on this world just waitin' for to be tapped. Bureaucracy buried the survey by the time this world was actually settled. You're gonna have a whole pile of extra cash coming in. Left the survey report on your desk, Mayor."
The mayor had put her drink down. She had a blank expression on her face for a few moments, then stood up and whooped for joy.
Sitting down and collecting herself, she said, "I think, then, Captain Reynolds, we may be able to double the fee we agreed to earlier. Your people have done great service for this world."
Mal picked up a glass and stood up. "Your attention, if you please!" Mal shouted out over the crowd. When the noise subsided he said, "A toast. To Kaylee! A job well done."
"To Kaylee!" shouted the others, and glasses throughout the saloon clinked together.
Haron put his arm around his daughter's shoulder. "To my Shiny Jewel."
I searched but couldn't find out which of the known planets or moons in the Firefly 'verse was Kaylee's home. So I made one up. "Out of Gas" hints that its economy is based on agriculture. That being the case, Demeter, the Greek god of agriculture, seemed as good a name as any. In Greek mythology, Demeter was the mother of Persephone, so she fits quite well into the Firefly 'verse.