MIA chap1
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Howdy all! This is a quickly thrown together story arc that I’ve had in mind for the past couple days. Where it’s headed, I’m not sure. I’ll let the story tell itself. Anyoo, sorry for the grammar and spelling errors and anything else. I just wanted to get it posted before I went back to work……. Now, on with “Missing In Action part 1” BPZ


MIA part1 Serenity Valley- Battle for Batean Gorge

Fighters: Lt. Fredrick Gardner 1st Sgt. Rockford Bailey Sgt. Alexis Green Corp. Bret Hotchkiss Corp. Nora Brookland Corp. Elaine Brown Pvt. Byro Jones Pvt. Mathew Covington Pvt. Henry Howard Association: Special Forces- Brownghost fighting squad. _____________________________________________________________________

“ It’s your patrol Rick! Conduct it as you see fit!” Captain Waters gave the order to the tall, stout framed Lieutenant under his command, “ you’re team is to demolish the munitions bunkers down in Batean Gorge! How you accomplish it is up to you. The Alliance is murdering us by way of utilizing this position and it must be eliminated. Gather what you need, and get the job done! I have other things pressing my time!”

The Captain’s orders were clear, but barely audible over the loud blasts raining down on the HQ up on Cemetery Ridge. It was becoming a bit much for Captain Waters to deal with at the moment. He had given his command, now it was up to Lieutenant Gardner to follow through.

Lieutenant Fredrick Gardener, or “Rick” as his superiors called him, was set for a mission that might eliminate this excessive shelling the Alliance forces were constantly being able to cascade down on the Independent forces. That….in itself was taking a considerable toll on the numbers of freedom fighters, both in casualties and “mortar-shock”. His duty was to subdue that purplebelly controlled area , therefore eliminating their ability to control the northeast sector of Serenity Valley.

These duties were never a cakewalk. They always cost something. Maybe the mangled bodies of some of his troop, or their lifeless shell. Gardener didn’t like it, but it was his duty. The Lieutenant gathered his command…….which consisted of nine soldiers, down from the original twelve.1st Sgt. Bailey, & Sgt. Green. Then there were Corporals, Hotchkiss, Brookland & Brown, and finally privates Howard, Jones & Covington. Still an impressive unit even with their losses.

“ Ok, troops listen up! We’ve got our orders, and simplified, they are to neutralize the munitions force stationed in Batean Gorge, also destroy any ordinance we find. This is a big one folks! I don’t have to explain to you the consequences if we fail!” He paused and looked straight into the eyes of each soldier, “Intel has it that there are several big guns down there, also at least a dozen mortars. Taking out even one could save the life of someone you know!”

That little bit of info, he thought, may motivate his team a little more. Still the Lieutenant knew….these soldiers were the best of the best, in his opinion. Their motivation was from the inside. There was really no need for speeches or hero analogies. They were well versed in what was needed to be done.

First there was 1st Sgt. Bailey, land owner on Shadow. This man had two children and a lovely wife back on his home world. He had wrangled a living out of dirt and soil and held the “land title” to a property of eighty acres. He employed thirty farm hands, and he loved tilling the ground, working the earth with his own blistered hands. He was an excellent soldier in the eyes of Lieutenant Gardner.

Next was Sgt. Alexis Green. A school teacher, but none the less an adept commander. She barked her orders like she barked her classroom assignments. She stressed education and knowledge, and not one of her students had ever dropped a grade average rating at the “University of Shadow” below the standard of excellence. Gardner was proud to have her on his team.

Then there was Corp. Bret Hotchkiss, a drifter really, but a fellow that knew what he wanted and knew how to achieve it. His loyalty was unquestionable when it came to what he believed, and he believed in independence, and one’s right at living the life the way he saw fit. He was a great addition to the Lieutenant’s crew.

On to Corp. Nora Brookland. Nora’s dad was a soldier before the war. She had always loved hearing his army stories of loyalty and honor. She would sit at the dinner table and listen to them for hours. Long after her siblings had gotten bored with their dad‘s ramblings. Maybe she had joined up to impress her father, or maybe she just had the feeling of a sense of duty….who could tell? Nora was there, she did what she was told, and she was good at it. Gardner felt lucky having her.

Corp. Elaine Brown. The only soldier under Gardner’s command that came from a border planet. At 19 she was the youngest recruit under the Lieutenant’s command. Head-strong with a mission all of her own. Elaine had been teased all through school that her last name being “Brown” she was destine to become an Independent fighter, and enlist in the “Browncoat Army”, which, her school chums always informed her, was the side destined to lose. Miss Brown meant to prove her classmates wrong. Not that she would become an Independent fighter, but in the fact that the Browncoats would loose the war. She joined, and within two months proved to the Independent leadership that she was motivated and worth a rank above private. From there the only way was up. Gardner was glad to have her.

Privates Howard, Jones and Covington. All men, were, of an ability to get the job done to the satisfaction of the Lieutenant. They were hand picked by him, and the officer didn’t acquire his team by luck, he studied the backgrounds of each, and had chosen them carefully. If they didn’t perform to merit, then Gardener didn’t want them. He was satisfied with his personnel.

There had been other personnel the Lieutenant had chosen. Soldiers….Nortek, Hobouski & Ricket…all deceased now, or MIA. Gardener refused to dwell on what had happened to them. This was war….people died. Still, it did not make the tasted of death easier. That left a bitterness in his mouth that the Lieutenant did not like swallowing. With each loss the Commander felt a piece of his soul had been bitten away. A life extinguished under his control. These Alliance forces were like reavers, eating away at a person’s being. Something which separating people as humans, from the horn bodied lizards of the wastelands. Gardener meant to count at least fourteen purplebelly bodies for every soldier he lost, and now with the loss of three “Brownghosts” he elevated that number to twenty.

“ So, this is the plan,” he started……. ________________________________________________________________________________

Lieutenant Baker approached the first non-commissioned soldier of his troops.

“ 1st Sgt. Reynolds! I have a detail for you!”

The browncoat volunteer looked at his superior with apprehension.

“ Yes Lieutenant, what is it sir?”

“ You are to dutied for fire support for the “Brownghost” team setting up to make a demolition run on the munitions dump at Batean Gorge! Once their mission is complete they are to make a retreat back here through Tantalean Gully! You are to offer your support and assistance to any survivors of that mission as best you can, understood?”

“ Yes Lieutenant!”

“ Good! First order of busyness…….sandbags.”

“ Sandbags sir?”

“ Yes, sandbags Sergeant! Can’t offer support if’n your support team has all been neutralized by the enemy now can we?”

“ No, guess not sir.” Malcolm agreed.

“ Get fifty more sandbags up here to enforce this bunker! Then get me a radio man to be able to contact HQ if air support is needed! This mission will commence shortly, and by nightfall the “Brownghost” survivors will be making their way through your lines. Be ready to receive them and offer counter measures if they are being pursued!”

“ Understood Lieuteneant! Zoe, get Bendez and Patricks up here and get busy on those sandbag fortifications for this area!”

“ Yes Sgt.” the corp. complied. She gave the order for the two soldiers to assist her.

“ This is a tuff assignment Sgt. Reynolds,” Lieutenant Baker spoke again, “ Might not be much support needed. Those poor bastards are headed for a heap of trouble,” the lieutenant’s voice could almost be considered as an afterthought of tragedy considering the mission the “Brownghost” had been given.

“ God save their souls.” _________________________________________________________________________________

“ Ok, this is the approach,” Lieutenant Gardener informed his squad, “ Sgt. Bailey, your team will maneuver in from the west side of the gorge, create a distraction. Now this is possibly something the pups* ( purplebellies) will have anticipated, so my team coming from the north will seem to them as the main assault. That leaves you Sgt. Green,” the Lieutenant looked over at the sergeant with a gaze that was strictly dutiful.

“ Your job is to enter from the east, identify the main targets and eliminate them. Get as many as you can before they realize what is going on. The surviving squads will assist in whatever’s left when we get through,” Gardener didn’t mince words when it came to suggesting who may still be alive. His troop knew, and respected him for his honesty.

“Whenever the job is complete, whoever’s left should make their way towards Tantalean Gully. There is a unit there stationed for recovery support.”

Lieutenant Gardener touched the flesh of each person of his crew. It may have been something as simple as a handshake or a pat on the back, but it meant a lot to them.

It was as if he were saying goodbye, not for them, but for himself. They each gathered their team and headed for their appropriate jump-off positions.

They couldn’t see, but a tear came flowing down the commander’s face. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Malcolm Reynolds thought about the latest assignment he’d been given by Lieutenant Baker. The assisted recovery of a team of Independent fighters special unit group known as the “Brownghost” squad.

Now, normally Sergeant Reynolds would not concern his emotions with his duty of helping any number of special forces fielded by the Independent Army. He felt that the value of his soldiers lives were no less gallant than those of the special forces. Still, it was his intent to see that his troops did their duty, and not a drop less.

What was different about this mission was that he personally knew the commander of one of the Browncoat army’s “Brownghost” squads. An officer by the name of Lt. Fredrick Gardener. Was there any way by chance, that it could be his unit making the assault on Batean Gorge? Malcolm felt that it was less than 10%. Still it would be good to see the face of his old mentor if that were the case.

Lieutenant Gardener had been one of the leaders in the quickly thrown together military training operations the Independence had put together at the start of the war. Tactical and close-quarter combat was his specialty. Mal had learned a lot from the man and was one of his favorite students. What were the chances of Mal meeting up with him again? It boggled the brain. Still the sergeant knew it made no difference in how he commanded his troops. The safety of a freedom fighter elite force was the main achievement.

Malcolm Reynolds readied himself for the upcoming attack……

End Part 1


Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:58 AM


Good to see you back, BPZ. This feels...well, "introductory"--you spent a lot of time introducing the mission and the personnel. Not that I especially mind--they seem like an interesting group of folks. But I'm glad you brought our BDH's (or at least Mal and Zoe) into the picture before the end. Hopefully we'll see more of their involvement as you develop your story.

Not that I'm any kind of expert, or even qualified to offer such advice--but maybe if you'd started with a bit of action, and introduced the personnel with tags and epithets (same ones you used, in fact) as they made their first appearance in the story, either through dialog or description of an action, it would get off to a rockin' start.

In any case, I think you've got a cool idea here, so please don't stop writing, and give us more story before too long.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:02 PM


Ebfiddler, howdy
Yepper, now that you mention it that would have been a better way to have introduced the characters involved in this story. The action is coming, some in the very next chapter of this series. Hope to get better the next go-round.
Thanks for the advice…see ya!
I’m at work right now so I have to be quick about posting….we hold! BPZ


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