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Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale

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" . . . [I]f you look at your life as a chain of events, each responsible for the next and caused by the last, where does any story begin?"
 
" . . . [I]f you look at your life as a chain of events, each responsible for the next and caused by the last, where does any story begin?"
   
'''Part One''' begins at [[Haven]], during the events of the Serenity film ([[2518]]).
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'''Part One''' begins at [[Haven]], just before the events of the Serenity film ([[2518]]).
   
 
The colony residents ask Book when the Firefly crew will be returning, and one wonders how he met Captain Mal. A rumble overhead signals the arrival of a ship, and Book recognizes from the sound that it's not a commercial freighter, but a gunship. In fact, he knows exactly the make and model (A.V.-Sparrow, an alliance short-range gunship with a thick skin), as well as its weaknesses. He mans a gun turret and shoots it down, but he is struck by a bullet.
 
The colony residents ask Book when the Firefly crew will be returning, and one wonders how he met Captain Mal. A rumble overhead signals the arrival of a ship, and Book recognizes from the sound that it's not a commercial freighter, but a gunship. In fact, he knows exactly the make and model (A.V.-Sparrow, an alliance short-range gunship with a thick skin), as well as its weaknesses. He mans a gun turret and shoots it down, but he is struck by a bullet.
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'''Part Three: [[Southdown Abbey]], two years earlier. ([[2514]])''' Book is kneeling in prayer, just like on the ship. He asks for guidance to "follow the path of righteousness and never stumble from it." Book picks up his suitcase and rolling case.
 
'''Part Three: [[Southdown Abbey]], two years earlier. ([[2514]])''' Book is kneeling in prayer, just like on the ship. He asks for guidance to "follow the path of righteousness and never stumble from it." Book picks up his suitcase and rolling case.
   
He speaks with the Abbess about his decision to leave, saying that it was difficult but that the world shown on the Cortex is full of suffering; he sees in it a purpose prescribed by God. The Abbess comments that when he first arrived he was "quite lost" and that he has undergone incredible healing, and Book tells her it's time he returned to the world. He says he will leave the destination up to God, and he and the Abbess pray together one last time.
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He speaks with the Abbess about his decision to leave, saying that it was difficult but that the world shown on the Cortex is full of suffering; he sees in it a purpose prescribed by God. The Abbess comments that when he first arrived he was "quite lost" and that he has undergone incredible healing, and Book tells her it's time he returned to the world. He says he will leave the destination up to God, and he and the Abbess pray together one last time.
   
 
Later, he is wandering the shipyards of Persephone, when he runs into Kaylee (the events of the [[Serenity (episode)|television episode Serenity]]). Kaylee smiles, saying, "You're gonna come with us."
 
Later, he is wandering the shipyards of Persephone, when he runs into Kaylee (the events of the [[Serenity (episode)|television episode Serenity]]). Kaylee smiles, saying, "You're gonna come with us."
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He drains the bowl and staggers into the street, wandering until he encounters the neon glow of a cross on a church.
 
He drains the bowl and staggers into the street, wandering until he encounters the neon glow of a cross on a church.
   
'''Part Five: [[I.A.V. Cortez]], six years earlier.''' ([[2498]]) Book is an officer on an Alliance ship, overseeing some kind of disaster; fire is visible on all the ship screens. Book gives the order to retreat, or to lay down arms and surrender to the rebel forces, as they can negotiate for the lives of the three hundred soldiers.
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'''Part Five: [[I.A.V. Cortez]], six years earlier.''' ([[2498]]) Book is an officer on an Alliance ship, overseeing some kind of disaster; fire is visible on all the ship screens. Book gives the order to retreat, or to lay down arms and surrender to the rebel forces, as they can negotiate for the lives of the three hundred soldiers.
   
His commanding officer relieves him of duty, saying that the I.A.V. Alexander was destroyed along with its crew of four thousand soldiers, doctors, nurses and teachers, all because of an operation organized by Book. The operation was designed to end the war in one day by landing transports on six different planets.
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His commanding officer relieves him of duty, saying that the I.A.V. Alexander was destroyed along with its crew of four thousand soldiers, doctors, nurses and teachers, all because of an operation organized by Book. The operation was designed to end the war in one day by landing transports on six different planets.
   
 
He accuses him of doing it for personal glory, and says that there must be a mole since the ships had all been ambushed. The man calls it "the single greatest disaster in Alliance history." He rips off Book's insignia, discharging him and ordering him to be released into space in an escape vessel. The vessel lands on the surface of a planet and Book climbs out, wandering alone in a desert.
 
He accuses him of doing it for personal glory, and says that there must be a mole since the ships had all been ambushed. The man calls it "the single greatest disaster in Alliance history." He rips off Book's insignia, discharging him and ordering him to be released into space in an escape vessel. The vessel lands on the surface of a planet and Book climbs out, wandering alone in a desert.
   
'''Part Six: four years earlier.''' ([[2494]]) Book is interrogating a suspect, beating her until she reveals her name: Staff Sergeant [[Hope Claypool]]. He says they picked her up "outside the perimeter of their station on [[Dyton]]," over [[Greenleaf]].
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'''Part Six: four years earlier.''' ([[2494]]) Book is interrogating a suspect, beating her until she reveals her name: Staff Sergeant [[Hope Claypool]]. He says they picked her up "outside the perimeter of their station on [[Dyton]]," over [[Greenleaf]].
   
 
Two officers watch, discussing his past. They say he came up through a law-enforcement outfit on [[Jiangyin]], and a couple of years earlier had caught the eye of the officer corps. His rise since then had been "meteoric", and he was ambitious and driven. One of the officers wonders what, exactly, drives him, be it glory, material wealth or idealism. The other officer says he wants the war to end "like no one [he'd] ever met." He describes him as brilliant, resourceful, having a great strategic mind, and adds that he's "the cockiest damn cadet [he'd] ever encountered."
 
Two officers watch, discussing his past. They say he came up through a law-enforcement outfit on [[Jiangyin]], and a couple of years earlier had caught the eye of the officer corps. His rise since then had been "meteoric", and he was ambitious and driven. One of the officers wonders what, exactly, drives him, be it glory, material wealth or idealism. The other officer says he wants the war to end "like no one [he'd] ever met." He describes him as brilliant, resourceful, having a great strategic mind, and adds that he's "the cockiest damn cadet [he'd] ever encountered."
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'''Part Seven: four years earlier.''' ([[2490]]) Book is fighting in the street against several "purple bellies", quickly disabling them with his martial arts moves. He makes his way to a secret meeting of rebels, who are discussing the possibility of an upcoming war. The leaders suggest infiltrating the ranks of the Alliance with a mole before any conflict officially begins. The group disagrees and the people leave, with only Book remaining. He asks what the mole would do, and asks how they would communicate with the rebels since all transmissions to and from Alliance assets are monitored. They show him a video transmitter, "the latest in biorobotics."
 
'''Part Seven: four years earlier.''' ([[2490]]) Book is fighting in the street against several "purple bellies", quickly disabling them with his martial arts moves. He makes his way to a secret meeting of rebels, who are discussing the possibility of an upcoming war. The leaders suggest infiltrating the ranks of the Alliance with a mole before any conflict officially begins. The group disagrees and the people leave, with only Book remaining. He asks what the mole would do, and asks how they would communicate with the rebels since all transmissions to and from Alliance assets are monitored. They show him a video transmitter, "the latest in biorobotics."
   
Surgeons remove Book's eye and replace it with the camera, which connects to his ocular nerve so he can still see, while still transmitting a feed to a rebel receiving unit. For a new identity, he must take someone else's, and we see Book strangle a man who has just arrived on the planet and steal his identity card.
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Surgeons remove Book's eye and replace it with the camera, which connects to his ocular nerve so he can still see, while still transmitting a feed to a rebel receiving unit. For a new identity, he must take someone else's, and we see Book strangle a man who has just arrived on the planet and steal his identity card.
   
 
'''Part Eight: six years earlier.''' ([[2484]]) We see Book, known as Henry Evans at this stage of his life, running from the police after he and a friend mug a couple in an alley. Henry/Book grabs onto the underside of a car that is flying past as his friend is caught by the police. Later in a bar, a cop sits down next to Henry/Book just as his photo appears as an alert. The cop reaches for his gun, but Henry already has his out.
 
'''Part Eight: six years earlier.''' ([[2484]]) We see Book, known as Henry Evans at this stage of his life, running from the police after he and a friend mug a couple in an alley. Henry/Book grabs onto the underside of a car that is flying past as his friend is caught by the police. Later in a bar, a cop sits down next to Henry/Book just as his photo appears as an alert. The cop reaches for his gun, but Henry already has his out.
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