Battle Scars - 4.3 Face-Off
Sunday, October 24, 2010

“ Battle Scars 4.3” is now up……Hope folk like the story thus far. I’m off work this weekend, so between bouts with dogs, kats,(< lol) and kids I’ve squeezed in a couple chaps to the story arc. Think it will be finishing up around chap 4.4.…anyway , getting ready to start a new workweek Monday, which means less time on the FFF. Boards for me. I will be able to catch up on most of the fan-fic of my browncoat friends next weekend though. Till then Happy Halloween. Hey! Anyone ever think of dressing up as JAYNE for All Hollows Eve?….. “ Pain is scary”….or should I say “ Jayne is scary.” …….see ya…. BPZ.


Battle Scars

Chapter 4.3- Face-Off

The Setup

Malcolm Reynolds, and Serenity, had taken the crew of the Alliance vessel Stephen J. Hawking under armed management. This had happened because Mal had become suspicious early on that he wasn’t dealing with actual Alliance officials. His suspicious had panned out correctly. The crew of the Alliance vessel were no more than pirates, just as themselves…..with one distinct difference, these folk didn’t mind killing. Fact being….they had a taste for it.

Just as things seem to be going in Mal’s favor, there came a twist in the situation. A critical one. This being the capture of Inara, Simon and River. Things weren’t looking so good for the passengers on Serenity that more or less called the ship home. This wouldn’t speak well for Mal if he couldn’t protect his crew, or semi-crew as it were.

Anyway, things are gonna happen……………does blood congeal in the vacuum of space I wonder? You’ll have to read on to find out who’s blood (if anyone’s) will be floating in the void of blackness, or if blood remains in liquid form without the presents of oxygen.

Chapter 4.3- Face-Off

Mal Reynolds knew he had to come up with something quick to bargain his way out of his current situation. He pressed the com button next to the link-up hatch.

“ Doc you there?”

“ Yeah!” Came the answer.

“ Ri…….Rebecca okay?” Mal followed Inara’s lead in disguising River’s true identity.

“ Yeah, …….concerned though!” Simon answered.

“ Well, that’s an understatement…..” He paused, “ Don’t worry, we’ll work something out. Let me talk with your patient.” Simon put his sister on the com…..

“ Hello Rebecca? How are you little one?”

“ I’m fine. Beware of the Sun Blue… will fall from above.” She said.

That was the best answer Mal could have hoped for. He looked over at the commander of the Stephen J. Hawking.” Your move.” implying as if this were a game of chess, checkers or toll cards.

“ Ok Capt’n. Who are they, and what is their importance to you?” Baggard questioned sternly.

Each captain knew, that among the lies told…..there was always a measure of truth.

“ Well, Rebecca is a girl with a mental disorder. Her family, while not rich, will still pay a sizeable amount of coin to have their young offspring returned to them safely and unharmed. We were gonna hold them for ransom, her and the doc ………, “ Mal paused, “ But seeing as you have them both….. they’re yours.” Mal looked over at Baggard. He saw a glint of believability in the eyes of the man he was spinning the yawn to. “ ……. doc Sims (speaking of Simon) is a fairly renowned doctor that has a belief in new-age medicine. Look him up on the cortex. He is accompanying Rebecca to Jiangyin for her condition in order to experiment with special herbs that are found only on that world.” Mal said.

“ This sounds like bullshit to me!” Baggard spoke.

“ Actually cow shit.” Mal continued, “ There are herbs that are only found growing in the manure of grazing cattle on that planet and can’t be transported off world. They’re very delicate. When removed from the soil of Jiangyin they‘re not as effective….so the patient much be transported to the cure.” Mal stopped, then started again, “ I’m not familiar with medical stuff. You’d have to consult the good doctor for the complicated details.” He lied, then continued….

“ So you’ve got our cargo. You’ve got me in a fix, and you want to make a deal? Ok so, here’s your deal, you can keep ‘em and use them for ransom like we were going to do. All I ask is that you return my crewmember, the shuttle pilot.” He looked Baggard dead in the eye. “…..and we’ll call it even and be on our merry……” He paused, “ Unless you truly want to decorate the hold with red.”

The captain was hoping Baggard would fall for his little plan of deceit.

“ I don’t think so captain.” Baggard stated. He now pointed to one of his men, all of whom had retrieved their weapons.

“Look under the tarp there Farley.” Baggard told him.

The trooper pulled one of the barrels free and uncorked it’s opening. He stuck his fingers into the container.

“ Soap?” Baggard questioned. He trooper looked at his commander.

“ Hardly……..more like whiskey.” He informed his boss.

Jayne looked at Mal, ……… “ Whiskey!!?” The big merc was more than a little pissed at the captain of Serenity.

Mal said nothing. Didn’t ever look at the big mercenary…..he had bigger fish to worry about at the moment.

“ Ok, you can have the whiskey, or you can have the hostages. But you can’t have both. I need to feed my crew and be able to refuel over the next few weeks. What will it be?” Mal requested an answer.

“ Neither!” Baggard claimed. Then started again….

“ I may not be the brightest star in the sky captain, but I do know you’re carrying more the just a shipment of whiskey and a couple of hostages on this voyage to the border reigns.” Baggard paused for a second, “ I’ll have the weapons and the O2 capilators you have hidden aboard.”

Mal was shocked,……how Baggard knew about the guns and O2 cartridges was a surprise he hadn’t seen coming. The pirate commander witnessed the evidence in the Firefly captain’s face.

Mal hesitated for a second.

“ I can’t do that without consulting my crew.” He said.


Mal Reynolds stood with Zoe and Jayne discussing what they should do. With Shepherd Book still up top and Baggard aware that there may be other crewmembers aboard Serenity, it was a good bet that he wouldn’t try anything at this time. Not if it looked like Mal was ready to make a deal.

After a few moments the captain of Serenity turned and gazed back over at the pirate commander.

“Agreed!” He spoke. “ But only after my shuttle pilot and two passengers are returned!”

Baggard saw no reason to decline.


In seventeen minutes Inara’s shuttle returned and Mal, Zoe and Jayne all looked up to see that the hostages aboard the Stephen J. Hawkings’ sister ship seemed no worse for the wear. They were accompanied, then released by one of Baggard’s men aboard that vessel. Book crossed over to check on them and escort them to a safer compartment.

To complete his part of the deal, although he hated to, Mal opened the panels to his hidden storage area and allowed Badger’s crates of stolen weapons to be ferried over to the Stephen J. Hawking. Jayne even helped tote one of the boxes over.

“ Badger isn’t going to like this.” He whispered to the captain as the muscles in his arms strained to carry the heavy weapons box to the other ship.

“ Agreed.” Mal said back.


In less than 20 minutes, with the business seeming concluded Mal and Baggard faced-off apart from one another. Each with senses on high alert and ready for any last trickery the other might attempt to perform. From the looks of it, no one was in a position to do that.

Baggard and his men were in the process of backing toward the hull link connection when Mal, standing next a support bulkhead shouted the word…..“HOLD!!”…….and that’s exactly what the crew of Serenity did.

Zoe and Jayne each grabbed for the nearest object that was either anchored or tied down to the cargo bay floor. Mal did the same.

In a split second the captain flipped off an artificial gravity toggle switch that lay hidden inside a panel just his side of a support beam. In less than a second the crew of the Stephen J. Hawking were sprung 15 feet into the air of the cargo area.

Just as quickly as Mal had flipped the switch up, he flipped it down again. More worried about their fall over acquiring a target, all of the crew of the SJH braced for floor impact. Each fell to Serenity’s solid deck with a resounding “Thud” and all but two were able to still move about a bit after their ruff landing.

Jayne, Mal and Zoe were able to recover quickly, feet never coming more than waist high off the floor, but with Jayne’s luck…..being what he considered mostly bad, the whiskey keg that had been freed earlier from the tarp fell directly from above his head. It delivered only a glancing blow to the side of his chin, but it did cause a gash there.

Mal and his crew had again gained the edge. Weapons drawn they held aim on their pirate opposition.

“ Now!” Mal looked down to the cargo floor at the captain of the SJH. “Looks as if Badger’s boxes will be making a return trip to this side of the bulkhead.”

Baggard, eyes wide just stared up at the Serenity captain.

“ I don’t think so!” A voice came from behind them.

Serenity’s crew looked over to see who had voiced those words.

There stood the pilot of the Stephen J. Hawking. Weapon at the ready, and aimed at the gut of Serenity’s commander. Mal realized that with a quick sweep of gunfire he could riddle each person standing, which were only he, Zoe and Jayne, with a multitude of holes before any of Serenity’s crew could drop him. Things never go smooth do they Alison?

Just then something fell from the catwalk above the Hawking pilot, smacking him square on the top of the head. The man lurched forward falling completely on his face. Mal became aware of a can of “ Blue Sun” protein supplement rolling around on the floor. He looked up to see the young Tam smiling down at him.

River‘s words from the earlier transmission came to him, “ Beware of the Sun Blue, it will fall from above.”

Her brother came running alone the catwalk to scold his sister about leaving the safety of the galley.

“ It’s alright doc….she was at the right place, at the right time.” He called to Simon. “ Think if we ever get back to Skyplex I’ll get her a dozen Ice Planets.” He smiled at the young girl.

End Part 4.3


Sunday, October 24, 2010 7:10 AM


Love, lov, LOVED this! Especially Mal turning the tables on the rotten pirates and that can of Blue Sun falling down and knocking their pilot out. Oh brilliant, how I laughed with glee! Shiny, Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010 1:33 PM


Wonderful. I loved this as well. You have a great way of adding humor to an otherwise serious fight and I like that. Great stuff, BPZ!

Monday, October 25, 2010 12:51 PM


Alison & Angelle thanks for your posts!

Always glad to get feedback from fellow browncoats.

Alison, yeah, at first I thought I would have Shepherd Book drill the unlucky Alliance pilot with a can of Blue Sun veggies, like a professional baseball pitcher. But then I thought that, that may do a little more damage than what was needed to just knock the guy out. It became a little more poetical for River to just drop the Blue Sun can with the label still on it ( being that in an actual episode of FF she was ripping labels off the cans).

Angelle, always glad to get posts from you! Yepper, I am happy that you see a lot of humor in much of the fic I write. That is actually how it is intended to be seen……just average, every day funny stuff. What would this world be like if we, as humans didn’t laugh at ourselves sometimes (or Jayne) ?

Thank you both again for your comments…. They mean a lot!



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