Inara Serra was born in the late 25th century on Sihnon, is a Companion, a high-society courtesan licensed by the Union of Allied Planets (the "Alliance"). In Alliance society, Companions are part of the social elite, often accompanying the wealthy and powerful. They have considerable ritual and ceremony surrounding their services, which appear to extend beyond sex to nurturing psychological and emotional well-being.
As a rising member of Companion House Madrassa, Inara had been in contention for house priestess, when she chose instead, to leave Sihnon to travel the outer rim. Forming a business contract with Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, captain of the Firefly class freighter, Serenity, Inara leased one of the freighter�s shuttles as a combination transport and "office". The unusual arrangement between Malcolm and Inara, provides her with some mobility independent of Serenity, and supplies Malcolm with some respectability that helps him open doors in the marketplace that he might not otherwise achieve as an ordinary smuggler at the same time.
Possessing physical grace, psychological skills, and a considerable degree of martial art, weaponry and defensive talents, Inara is above all, a Companion of the Guild, trained in the arts of sex and social behavior. Highly respected in her field as a courtesan, her services are frequently sought after by high-ranking officials and businessmen throughout the Alliance.
Inara could easily find a place in any well-bred part of the �verse. But she has chosen to stay aboard Serenity with the others, traveling the �verse, experiencing their business ventures and often times participating in their work. Whether her attraction to Mal is part of the reason she remains on his ship, is another matter all together�