A Mighty Thorn In a Might Paw - Ch. 48
Monday, January 29, 2007

Echoes of the past...



Madsen is storming down one of the ramps toward a tech station.

MADSEN (furious): What do you mean, out of contact?

TECH: All troops sent to inspect the ship are out of contact. I don’t know why yet.

MADSEN (ice cold): The very near future of your career depends greatly on your ability to change that fact.

The tech nods and works furiously on his panel.

TECH: Sir, I have visual of the hangar coming up now.

Madsen turns his attention to the center view screen. The hangar fades into view from a high angle. The tech works his console and the view shifts, focusing on Serenity. The unconscious soldiers can be seen lying around the ship.

MADSEN (enraged): Son of a bitch! (slams his hand on a nearby console) All available combat personell, converge immediately on the hangar. Threat Level Alpha. (abruptly switches off the intercom) I knew that man could’t be trusted, no matter how gorram good the mind games.

River slips into view of the camera for an instant, disappearing into Serenity’s cargo bay.

MADSEN: Why haven’t we heard a damn thing from Hangar Observation?

TECH: I tried raising them first thing, sir. No answer.

Madsen slams his hand down on a console.

MADSEN: The one true icon of power in this ‘verse, and we’re slowly being eviscerated!

The Bridge door slides open and Captain Gibson enters, looking most unhappy.

GIBSON: Report.

MADSEN (partially under control): We’ve lost contact with Paul as well as the other troops sent to re-check the ship. Some of them appear to have been over-taken. I’ve ordered our forces to converge on the hangar.

GIBSON (eyeing the view screen): I want Echo Team in there first. Paul is not to be harmed. I've no doubt he’s doing everything he can to apprehend the Tam girl.

Madsen nods, hits the console intercom.


Paul is sprinting full-out, eyes darting as he rounds corners.

CU Paul’s eyes.

RIVER (VO mind): Echo Team. Doesn’t sound good.

PAUL (VO mind): It’s not. They’re the best of the best. I’ve trained most of them.

RIVER (VO mind): Well, then I should know most of their tricks.

Paul allows a half smile. It fades as he hears the rhythmic clomping of boots. Paul slows to a halt and listens around the corner. The boots draw nearer. Paul motions with his head as if he's made up his mind about sometthing.

Paul bursts around the corner, leaping into the air toward the Lead Troop, a proportionately massive man standing over six feet tall. The troop attempts to deflect Paul’s attack, but still catches a knee to the chest. He stumbles backward as Paul lays into his comrades. There are six of them.

Paul backfists one in the jaw, uses the same fist to reverse punch another in the solar plexus, then snaps that same arm’s elbow into another troop’s mouth. He then jumps into the air snapping a front kick into another troop’s jaw, retracts the leg and side-kicks another in the chest while still in the air. He lands in front of the sixth man, who manages an attack. He throws a fast right hook at Paul’s head which he avoids by a fraction. The troop follows that with a spinning back-fist with the other hand, which Paul catches by the wrist, ramming a side kick into his ribs. The lead troop approaches Paul from his blind side as he twists the troop’s arm and hurls him into a wall.

The lead troop kicks Paul in the back, sending him cartwheeling away. The lead troop is deceptively fast.

Paul regroups in a crouch. The six men recuperate, standing slowly. The lead troop squares off with Paul

PAUL: Hello, Jacoby.


Jacoby whips a pistol from a holster and aims it at Paul who dodges to his right, snaking toward Jacoby and forcing him to track his motion. Jacoby fires, the stun dart ricocheting off the metal wall, sparking. Paul works his way in close and kicks low, striking Jacoby on the outside of his left knee, then kicks him him in the head as he falters. Two troops lunge forward, but Paul preemptively attacks, dropping to one knee and driving a pair of palm strikes into each man’s quadricep. They roll forward, landing hard on their arms and faces.

From his kneeling position, Paul launches toward another troop, kicking him twice in the chest bicycle-style. He lands, spins, and rams his heel into the thigh of the next attacking troop, the leg shooting out from underneath him and toppling him on his face.

Jacoby charges Paul from behind. Paul hears the foot steps and dodges to his left, turning to face the giant.

JACOBY (circling Paul, pistol aimed at his chest):Sifu, I won’t like it, but I got no qualms about takin’ you down.

PAUL (hands half-raised, calm): I respect that, J. The feeling is mutual.

The rest of the troops are re-grouping, three of them standing with effort on their injured legs.

JACOBY: You can’t beat all of us, Sifu.

PAUL: No need.

Jacoby adjusts his grip on his pistol, squeezes off another shot.

Slow Mo - CU of Paul’s eyes. Cut to Paul’s POV of pistol. Focus on trigger finger. Finger squeezes the trigger. Pull away to see Paul’s body twist sideways as the stun dart passes his shirt, scratching the front, but missing his torso. Paul pulls a stinger from its holster and whips it at Jacoby in one fluid motion, striking the pistol, causing a shower of sparks. Jacoby drops the pistol as the stinger returns to Paul’s hand.

JACOBY: Nice. Sifu, I’m going to kill you now.

Jacoby charges Paul. Paul lets him get close enough to touch, then side-steps, assisting Jacoby into the wall much the way he did Jayne earlier. But Jacoby gets one foot, then another on the wall, running up then vaulting off, his right fist cocked.

Jacoby strikes out at Paul with a straight reverse punch while still in the air. Paul slips his head to the side, and flashes a hand toward Jacoby's right ribcage. Jacoby lands, seemingly unhurt.

A curious look crosses Jacoby's face and he reaches a hand to his ribs. He starts to sway.

JACOBY: Son of a bi....

He falls. The other six troops stare for a beat, their collective gaze shifting from Jacoby on the floor to Paul standing over him.

CU of Paul's eyes. They stare down at Jacoby for a moment, then shift upward to the rest of the troops. Without a word, Paul draws the escrima sticks from their thigh holsters and walks directly toward the men.


Capt. Gibson leans forward, both hands on a railing, staring hard at the viewscreens. Madsen paces nearby, eyeing the screen with disdain. A tech works at his console, maneuvering the cameras that show the hangar on the screens. The tech reaches up and touches his headset, turns to Capt. Gibson.

TECH: Sir, there’s a problem. Echo Team reports the hangar entrances are sealed. They’re finding alternate access.

CAPT. GIBSON: They’re quite resourceful. And so is the Tam girl, it would seem.

Another tech turns toward Captain Gibson.

TECH TWO: Sir, I’m getting a rather incoherent report from Delta Team.

CAPT. GIBSON: That’s Jacoby’s team. What’s happened?

TECH TWO: I’m not sure. They sound... drunk.

CAPT. GIBSON: Put them on speaker.

Tech Two hits a key. Groans can be heard from a wall speaker.

DELTA TEAM (VO Intercom - slurred) We... got... there ain’t... kicked! Got by...

CAPT. GIBSON: Son, speak up. Get it together.

DELTA TEAM (VO Intercom): S-sir. Paul, he took us down, like we weren’t anything.

Capt. Gibson visibly wilts and looks down a beat. Then his head comes up again, his eyes hard.

CAPT. GIBSON: Where are you?

DELTA TEAM (VO Intercom): Level Two, Hall G, I think. He’s headed for the Brig.

CAPT. GIBSON: Is he alone?

DELTA TEAM (VO Intercom): I think so.

CAPT. GIBSON (to tech): Get on the radio with Bravo and Charlie Teams. Tell them to converge on the Brig. Has Echo infiltrated the hangar yet?

TECH: They’re breaching secondary entrances as we speak.

CAPT. GIBSON: They are to bring down River Tam using any non-lethal means at their disposal. We need her brain-pan intact. The rest of her can be pieced back together later.

Click to go to Ch. 49

Click to go back to Ch. 47


Monday, January 29, 2007 4:03 PM


Damn right!

Love seeing Purplebelly ass getting royally kicked. Seafood is a badass of epic proportions that maybe only Bruce Lee can touch.
You describe the action vividly, and that makes it so much easier (and thus cooler) to follow.

Can't wait for Echo Team to meet up with River....tell me there's carnage.

There's carnage, right?

Awesome stuff.

Monday, January 29, 2007 7:10 PM


Oh...this would have definitely blown an episode budget or two with the amount of ass-kicking stunts and action contained here!

Definitely can't wait for part 48 and River's decimination of Echo Team. Cuz nothing stops River Tam when's she's in the zone:D


Monday, January 29, 2007 7:11 PM


Whoops...meant part 49:S


Monday, January 29, 2007 11:24 PM


Absolutely awesome! Wow, the description of the fight sequences is breath taking and very convincing. Just hope River can cream Echo Team and our Big Damn Heroes can finally escape from the belly of this odious beast. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 1:11 PM


It appears that the number of comments correlates in some way to the amount of pwnage in each chapter. Sometimes. I wonder if the Paladin is big enough to have trash compacter chutes in the detention area, because I don't see how the crew and Paul will get by two teams if they're hemmed in. Unless Paul starts rapid-fire chucking his stingers. Which would be awesome, too.


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