This story initially seems to take place 30 or 40 years
after the majority of the stories in the chronology. But the
end of the story hints that it is most likely all just in the mind of Mal
before his decision to
broadcast the signal about the origin of the Reavers in
"Living Weapon". For now,
I'm leaving the story in the final slot of the chronology;
maybe further stories will confirm or deny the characters'
situations as depicted here.
The photo of Mal's mailbox on page 150 in the story appears
to be a typical mailbox provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
Notice that the bottom of the door has the same message
imprinted on the metal as those
in modern times, "APPROVED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL"
(however, it's shown in reverse, indicating the photo was
flipped before the name "Reynolds" was "painted" on it).
Also the words "U.S. MAIL" that would normally also be on
the door of this type of mailbox have been removed.
On page 150 in the story, Mal asks the messenger, "Ni dao di
yao shen me?" I've been unable to translate the phrase
directly, but I think in a general sense it means "What do
Page 150 reveals that Mal is seventy-odd years old in the
The story informs us that Mal is now living in a small, wooden
house on a remote mesa on the one of the rim worlds. Very
few people know where he is.
Page 152 reveals that Serenity now belongs to Zoe.
Page 152 also reveals that
Serenity has become synonymous with "The
Reminiscing on his days as captain of
Serenity and Zoe's current ownership of her,
Mal thinks, "Let her have the sky. They'd taken it from him."
This also refers back to the Firefly theme song, whose final
line is "You can't take the sky from me".
On page 153, Mal reads a news vid obituary that reveals that
Jayne had cashed in on his fame after the signal was sent
from Mr. Universe's complex (in
"Living Weapon") and become a billionaire.
Jayne's beloved favorite weapon, Vera, was first seen in
"Our Mrs. Reynolds".
The crucifix that Jayne had stolen and which Zoe sends back
to Mal was seen during the Battle of Serenity Valley
flashback sequence in "Serenity".
Opening the jewelry box that contains his old crucifix on
page 154, Mal refers to the Fat Book, presumably a reference
to the Bible.
Page 156 reveals that Simon and Kaylee got married and had
two kids, Violet and Caleb. The family was living on Ariel the
last time Mal had visited them.
The end of the story takes place during the events of Mal's
fight with the Operative in
"Living Weapon" and
hints that the previous part of this story about Mal as a
lonely, old man was merely the younger Mal musing on what
his upcoming choice (to broadcast the signal about the origin
of the Reavers) could mean to his life.
Is this story the actual future of Malcolm Reynolds or, as
the ending seems to hint, just Mal musing on his own
possible future? If it is real, why no mention of Zoe's
Where is Inara in Mal's future? Is she dead from the
terminal disease that would have been revealed in later
episodes of Firefly if the series had continued
(see the study of "Government
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