|The Warrior and the Wind|
|Publication date||May 7, 2016 |
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
|Written by||Chris Roberson|
|Cover artist(s)||Sean Cooke|
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
"The Warrior and the Wind" is a story that appeared in the Serenity comic book. It was released on May 7, 2016 by Dark Horse Comics during Free Comic Book Day. It is the second story made available as part of that annual event and was paired with two stories from Hellboy and Aliens: Defiance. The previous story was "Serenity: It's Never Easy", released in 2012.
On a moonlit night, Jayne, Simon, Kaylee, Mal and Zoë depart on the mule for a job. Aboard Serenity, River places Emma inside her crib. Emma, now a few months old and able to say simple words like "maaa" (mama) and "tory" (story), remains standing, so River begins telling her a story to help her go to sleep.
River tells the tale of the Warrior, the toughest, bravest and strongest in the Verse, who "always did what was right because it was right–no matter what". She traveled and helped those who needed it. Amongst those she helped was a town beset by purple-bellied trolls and left without waiting to be thanked.
But the Warrior got lonesome during her travels, until one day when she heard a voice above her. Looking up, she saw a man hanging in the trees. Lonely and looking for better conversations than offered by the the clouds and the geese that flew with him, the Wind came to earth and took human form, but was not as skilled with landing as flying and became tangled amongst the vines. The Warrior offered to help him get free, on the condition that he remove his mustache.
They resumed their travels and were less lonely together. In time, they came across the Pirate Captain and helped him get his boat moving again. Along the way, they met the wandering Monk, the Archer, the Giant, the Flower Girl and the Doctor, who carried the tiny Dancer in a box until she could heal.
They helped who they could, but then came the day where they were the ones who needed help when they were surrounded by wild men on a desert planet. During the losing battle, the Wind prepared to summon a gale, but the Warrior realized that he must return to the sky in order to do so. He kisses her cheek, saying it is where he was meant to be. Leaving his body behind, the Wind uses the gale to carry away the wild men, leaving the Warrior and the others safe.
As the Warrior remembers her friend and knows the loneliness will return, she hears a noise above her. Climbing the palm tree, she finds the treasure that the Wind had left for her so she would not be lonely.
River concludes her story as Emma falls asleep. In the doorway, Zoë comments that she might not be lonesome any more, but being exhausted is another matter. She expresses her appreciation for having help raising Emma and doesn't mind River's alterations to their history. With an arm around River's shoulders, she says Emma will need to know where she came from and that she did hate Wash's mustache. In a corner, a candle atop two books burns in memorial next to a picture of him and two of his plastic dinosaurs.
In the first panel, all of the crew except Kaylee glance back at Serenity. Zoë evidently had second thoughts about leaving her daughter in River's care and returned to the ship early since she was able to hear the story from the point where the Warrior met the Wind. But at the end of the story, Zoë is reassured that more than just River is available to help with looking after her daughter.