LIBERATION began her life in 2463, when her keel was built. She is one of the 28,000 03-K64-Firefly Transport Freighters manufactured by Firefly Ship Works, Ltd. in Hera. The design is a military version of the civilian craft designed in 2459.
In 2513, she was purchased by Benjamin Clemson. He wanted a ship to put some distance between the Alliance and himself. He had lead a small Special Operations Unit attached to the 57th Overlanders during the end of the Unification War. Although the Independent Army surrendered when they were ordered to lay down arms, the 57th dug in and kept fighting for two more weeks under the command of Malcolm Reynolds. It took the Purple-Bellies those long two weeks to flush them out, and round them up. After the Alliance held the 150 surviving members of the 57th in a military penal ship for almost a year. Benjamin was released from captivity on Hera as a show of “kindness” on the part of the Alliance. Benjamin used all the money he had left to buy the 03-K64-Firefly, basically leaving him with the clothes on his back, his trusty service pistol, and a medal of valor from Serenity Valley.
Clemson was always in and out of trouble with near misses and questionable hauling of cargo and passengers. However, a couple years back he got himself captured by a bounty hunter. He was Bound by Law and turned over to a high an’ mighty Alliance Officer named “GORGEOUS” GEORGE. When things seemed hopeless, he was rescued by QUINN MACLOCH, an Academy student looking to cut her education short. The two busted out and headed into the Black. Not before Benjamin broke that officer’s nose and humiliated him in front of his men.
Turns out Quinn was a decent pilot and mechanic. They kept LIBERATION flyin’ for longer than you’d expect pulling odd job here and there mainly in the Border planets. They were barely making enough to keep the ship in fresh fuel cells, supplies, and food every month but at least the Alliance was not meddlin’ in their lives. They even managed to muck things up from time to time with ole “Gorgeous George” when the opportunity presented itself.
Things were shiny for awhile, but then money started getting thin with a crew of two. The Alliance were adding more and more patrol boats who has nothing better to do hassle “honest” folk like them trying to make a living’ by constantly checking papers, policing salvages, and hunting down fugitives. It didn’t help any that “Officer Gorgeous” slapped Benjamin with War Criminal charges to make life a little harder. Apparently the Officer just couldn’t take a joke.
Money was scarce, and jobs were getting more complicated. Benjamin knew that if he had a larger crew he could take more lucrative jobs. Not only that, but it would be nice to have someone else that knew a little about keepin’ the ship flyin’, could cook up something other than boiled, fried, or stewed protein paste, and maybe even someone who could add a little more muscle to the crew. Benjamin was tired of doing all the heavy lifting, in cargo and combat.
First came RANDA CABOTT whose special talents could not be ignored. Although Bejamin doesn’t go into detail about what exactly it is that keeps Randa on the crew, he often slyly says that she is the ship’s “Public Relations Officer.” All the crew knows is that she’s a wiz on the Cortex, and can hack most security protocols with her eyes closed. She ain’t bad with her Winchester Model 1892 “Mare’s Leg” either.
About eight months ago, Benjamin rented one of the shuttles out to a doctor named EDWARD E. EDWARDS. The doctor explained that he was a “medical professional” who retains his status and registration with the Alliance but is assigned to give services to the Border and Rim planets. Although the thought of having a Purple-Belly Doc on board seemed displeasing to Bejamin at first, conversation revealed that Edwards had no love for the Alliance beyond the money they paid him. The agreement was that the Doc would pay monthly rent which includes medical treatment (from time to time) for the crew, if needed. Best of all, the Doc’s credentials and status come in handy from time to time to get them into places that they usually wouldn’t be able to access.
Along with Edwards came ABEL SMITH and JOHN “MACK” MACGRUGER. Although Edwards talked pretty fast about these two, Benjamin figured out that Smith was a military brat acting as the Doc’s assistant, and Mack was a bodyguard. Both men were good with their guns, and seemed just right to act as some extra muscle. As an added bonus, Mack used to do some salvaging work and maintains a legal membership with the Salvage Guild.
Then about four months ago, Benjamin ran into CULLEN MARKENNEN. They both knew each other in the War, having served together in the Battle of Serenity Valley. The two talked things over and Cullen joined the crew, as well. Cullen’s reputation and craft with a firearm made life a little easier on LIBERATION when things didn’t go so smooth. And Cullen gets to jump from planet to planet with the Crew, seeking out new bounties to collect on each world.
And last but not least, Benjamin added two young women to the crew who both happen to be shiny mechanics. Well, actually saying that he added them to the crew wouldn’t be accurate. The two wandered up together into the cargo bay and started fiddlin’ with some of LIBERATION’S workings. When what they were doing turned out to be top-notch work, Benjamin just let them stay. Either way, ZLATANA and SHEA WESTHAND showed up at just the right time, getting some much needed repairs done on the ship before the crew shipped out to the Blue Sun System and the planet of Deadwood. It’ll be a long trip but rumor has it that the money will be good. For now, the Crew is docked at the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone while the Captain checks in with Badger to get paid from a recently successful delivery of questionable goods.
Next: Things Don’t Go Smooth