The infiltration of Saint Lucy's hospital on the planet Ariel was undertaken by the crew of the Firefly-class transport ship Serenity in 2517. The theft was planned by Dr. Simon Tam, who educated the rest of the crew about which medical supplies would fetch the highest prices on the black market. His payment for his role in the theft was to get some time using the hospital's advanced 3-D neuroimager and download a scan of the brain of his sister, River Tam, which had been tampered with by Dr. Mathias some time prior. The infiltration required an immense amount of planning, including the falsification of documents, the purchase of medic outfits and gear, the re-creation of an emergency flight craft, and—seemingly most difficult of all—the memorization of medical jargon.
Malcolm Reynolds, Zoë, and Jayne, posing as medics, entered the hospital with Simon and River unconscious and posing as corpses inside medical transport devices. Jayne soon secretly notified Alliance Agent McGinnis to finalize his plan to turn River and Simon over to the authorities. Mal and Zoë departed, and were confronted by a doctor as they prepared to raid the medical supplies; Zoë knocked the man out and they used his credentials to access the storage room. As they stole piles of drugs, Simon and River awoke with Jayne nearby. Simon then examined his sister's brain in the neuroimager room. Jayne, now regretting his decision to betray the siblings, ordered them to rush out immediately without specifying why. They were stopped by McGinnis and his men, however, despite Jayne's attempt to clobber the agents. McGinnis revealed that he was planning to keep the reward all for himself, and arrested Jayne too. He processed them all as criminals and sent them away.
When Jayne the Tams failed to reach the rendezvous in time, Mal and Zoë rushed in to get answers. In the meantime, McGinnis and most of his staff were approached by the Hands of Blue, two independent contractors with connections to the Blue Sun Corporation who were hired to apprehend the Tams on behalf of the Alliance Parliament. When the blue-gloved men determined that McGinnis spoke to the Tams, they killed the federal staff with a small handheld device that induced agonizing pain. Elsewhere, Jayne, with help from Simon, beat their guards into submission and fled. The surviving guard was unconscious but was dispatched nevertheless by the blue-gloved men, using the same device. Jayne and the Tams fled from the screams of the dying agents. They met Mal and Zoë and finally escaped.
Despite the close call with the blue-gloved pursuers, the infiltration was a complete success. Simon learned a great deal about his sister's medical situation, and the crew stole a great wealth of expensive supplies to sell later. Captain Reynolds, who surmised Jayne's betrayal, threatened him with death but secured his loyalty as they left Ariel.