"What Holds Us Down"
Firefly: Still Flying
Written by Jane Espenson
(Page numbers come from the first edition, May 2010)
A junkyard heist goes wrong, leaving Kaylee
to play the hero to get herself and the injured Wash out alive.
During a heist to steal some ship parts from a floating junkyard
in space, Wash and Kaylee are injured, Wash seriously so.
Serenity has no choice but escape without the two of them.
Hiding inside an old Series One Firefly, Kaylee comes up with an idea to
get the old girl's engine running again to make their own escape.
She begins scrounging the parts she needs to make the engine
work, all while trying to keep Wash from slipping into
death's embrace and remaining hidden from the Bad Guys who run
During their intermittent conversation between his periods of
unconsciousness and Kaylee running back-and-forth to get the
engine running, Wash remarks that, while he's not heroic, he's a
carrier of heroism for others; all the people around him act
heroic, having caught the "disease" from him. After he convinces
her that the ship is ready to go, that she just needs to trust her
work and start 'er up, they make a successful escape and
rendezvous with Serenity. Kaylee begins to think Wash
is a carrier indeed.
Page 1 of the story tells us that the injured Kaylee and
Wash are aboard an old Series One Firefly inside a
floating junkyard. Serenity is a Series 3
It's possible the floating spaceship scrapyard is one of the
two existing in the L4 and L5 positions of the planet
Whittier's moon, Ita, as recorded in
The Verse in Numbers. L1 through
L5 represent Lagrange points, "the five positions in an
orbital configuration where a small object affected only by
gravity can theoretically be stationary relative to two
larger objects (such as a satellite with respect to the
Earth and Moon)" (from
Wikipedia), named for Italian mathematician and
astronomer, Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736-1813).
Page 3 of the story reveals there are grav dampeners under
the floor plating of a ship's deck to provide an effect of
gravity (up and down) for the ship.
On page 4 of the story, Kaylee is taking the Honnecourt
Capacitors (frequently known as honeys in the 'Verse) from
the old ship's grav dampeners. According to an article on
Firefly Ship Works website, the Honnecourt name comes
from the 13th Century historical figure Villard de
Honnecourt, who left drawings for his proposed perpetual
motion machine among other mechanical designs.
On page 6 of the story, Wash and Kaylee both use the Chinese
word "gou shi", which means "crap".
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