Serenity: Who's running this Asylum?
Cattle rancher turned Browncoat.
By the time “Patch” Fields took over his family cattle ranch on Hera, he was already down to one eye and known by no other name, except “Boss”. People grew up quick on the Border planets and at eighteen, Fields was as much a man as any of them. He ran the ranch with the same drive as his father and grandfather before him, putting aside his childhood dreams of seeing the ‘Verse. But where the elder Fields were hard, cold men, the younger one was compassionate and saw humor in the hardships that life thrust upon him. “You can cry or you can laugh. I’d rather laugh.” That was from his mother’s side. The paternal point of view was to grit ones teeth and plow ahead. And that’s just how the elder Fields died: gritting his teeth and riding the fence line, ignoring the blizzard warnings.
The ranch did more than just survive, it thrived under the new management. Men no longer left after one season, staying on to train new hands, earning the respect of the boss, and making good lives for themselves. The Fields Ranch rivaled any on Hera. It wasn’t the biggest or the wealthiest but it was one of the most respected. If there was a family that needed a hand, food or money showed up. A ranch plagued with coyotes would find a few extra hands to guard their herd. If medicine needed to be fetched, it was a Fields-branded horse that made the trip with a fast rider. Bandits didn’t stand a chance with Fields ranchers ready to aid the sheriff.
Fields learned about the official declaration of war at the end of a cattle drive. He sold the herd to the army, sold the ranch, making provisions for the housekeeper. He was good with a gun, even better leading men, intelligent and educated enough to rise in ranks quickly. He learned to fly, although his depth perception as a pilot often made the passengers uneasy. One of these times he was going to misjudge safe passing distance, they were certain.
He met Chen and the two men became friends. Chen was brave, honest, loyal and one of the best damn fighters Fields had ever met. It’s said that friendships made in war either last forever or fall apart at the next barrage. Theirs would last a lifetime.
It was at the end of the war that Fields met the two people who would become his engineer and his pilot. With no ranch to return to and a life turned upside down by the aftermath of war, Patch did the only thing he could: do his best to help others. He hired on a crew, some ex-soldiers, some just down on their luck. A few jobs here and there paid for fuel and food. As life returned to a semblance of normal, as life is wont to do, Fields found a few more people he could trust, adding them to the crew, replacing those that left or were asked to leave.
Longer backstory can be found here