Independent Planets (pre-Unification)
Private Tracey Smith was a compatriot of Malcolm Reynolds and Zoë Alleyne during the Unification War, fighting against the Alliance. Mal and Zoë saved Tracey—an inexperienced fighter—through the war on more than one occasion. He was also known as a bit of a jokester, cutting off and stealing Colonel Orbrin's mustache after he passed out drunk. After the war Tracey became something of a drifter, eventually falling in with organ smugglers. When he ran afoul of them, he arranged to have his apparently dead body shipped to Reynolds for transportation back home. In reality, Tracey was drugged into a deep coma to simulate death, trying to doublecross the organ smugglers. The smugglers hired the corrupt police enforcer Lieutenant Womack and his men, Skunk and Fendris, to apprehend him outside their jurisdiction. Tailed by Womack in his heavily-armed vessel, the crew of Serenity planned their escape, but Tracey misunderstood their intentions and took Kaylee hostage, thinking that they wished to hand him over to Womack. He informed them that he sought out Mal and Zoë because they were saps. In the ensuing conflict, Tracey was shot by Zoë, then again by Malcolm, and died shortly after learning that the Womack and his accomplices were there illegally and would not be missed if they were killed. He died speaking the beginning of a phrase his war buddies once shared: "When you can't run, you crawl... and when you can't do that," which Zoë completed: "You find someone to carry you." His body was returned to his family on the freezing world of St. Albans, and they all silently paid their respects.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Tracey was portrayed by Jonathan M. Woodward. He had a role in both of Joss Whedon's other shows, Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is one of five actors who can make such a claim (the others are: Carlos Jacott, who appeared in Firefly's pilot; Jeff Ricketts; Andy Umberger; and Bob Fimiani).