MIA chap5 Final-Clash of the Titans
Thursday, November 3, 2011

More like Clash of the bed fleas or dust mites. But that can be a good thing. Being the small guys can keep you off the Alliance radar and have the old bloodhounds barking up the wrong tree. Petty crime can pay well enough, yet not have the Feds crawling up your backside…. Oh yeah, also, Mal & Zoe pick up the heat in this one. I’ll not say more. Maybe Wash does have a reason to be jealous? Hope you enjoy the final of “Missing in Action” BPZ


MIA part 5 --------------- Clash of the Titans --------------

“ Holy Beylix!” Malcolm Reynolds and his second in command, Lieutenant Zoe, were transfix almost as if they were Jayne Cobb statues themselves.

There, not fifteen feet away stood a man that could be Jayne Cobb’s brother! No…….! He could be Jayne Cobb himself!

Had Cody Cobb asked Mal to tell him war stories about Serenity Valley, it woulda shocked the be-jeebs out of the Captain. Not because Mal knew Cody had been there and experienced such horror himself, but because all he could see was Jayne’s face. More likely he would have asked the doc to take a look at him and examine his brain. But this was Cody Cobb they were looking at, not Jayne. At the time Mal and Zoe couldn’t establish the difference.

Cody Cobb smiled at the two individuals that stood there like manikins. He KNEW what was going through their heads.

“ So! We ready to do this or what!!?” Jayne spoke, breaking the spell the two were under.

Mal and Zoe both recovered.

“Ok, so who was flying this crate?”

Cody raised his hand.

“Good! Put your Tyvek back on,” he looked over at Jeebs, “ Frizbie, you watch the others while we continue with the plan!”

Mal loved making up names during a heist. He would get them wrong sometimes, but who gave a “go tsao de?”(dog humping)….calling someone by a different name each time made it more fun!

After sixteen minutes of organizing things, Mal, Zoe, Jayne & Cody continued on route to the town of Absolution. Mal would still be the driver, but for the first couple hundred yards Cody was made to fly the hovercraft in order to keep any suspicion down of him being a co-conspirator. The contract security guards always made their pick-ups with four people. With the headgear and the goggles Jayne and Cody were wearing, none of his coworkers, nor the townsfolk would be able to see their mirror image. In seven minutes the hovercraft pulled into Absolution, and posted in front of the bank.

It was an average day, in the average lives, of the average folk that populated the town. Carts and buggies roamed the streets, and folk walked about as if they were ants headed back towards their ant mounds.

The heist team of Serenity floated in and posted right up into position, just as the townsfolk witnessed them do routinely, once every month. There wasn’t anything odd about the Pinkerton/Levy hovercraft arriving. Only another day, as seen by the souls of Absolution. That was the case with most banks out on the rim, or border worlds. The regular folk didn’t care about what happened in the depository buildings in their towns. Why should they? For most of them, there weren’t money kept inside anyway.

Jayne, Cody & Zoe exited the vehicle. Jayne and Zoe went into the feed store, Cody entered the bank.

In about two minutes Cody returned empty-handed. He approached the hovercraft.

“Teller says there ain’t no copper or nickel tills for us to pick-up this time,” he told Mal under his breath, “odd, that’s never happened before. There’s always something, at least a crate or two.”

“Yep, something’s up!” Mal spoke to the contract security guard.

“ Oh, and another thing,” Cody continued, “ the tellers are dressed in purple uniforms!”

This was not good. But Mal meant not to leave Absolution empty-handed.

Then Jayne came from the feed store. No box in hand either. He stood next to Cody.

Clerk says there ain’t no potatoes for sale at this time. They’re out of season.”

Something was definitely amiss. Mal knew it, so did his crew.

“Ok, how about we apply a little hardware incentive,” the Captain spoke as he raised his legs and jumped over the side of the hovercraft. He walked over to the feed store with Jayne…….motioning for Cody to stay with the vehicle.

They entered and were met by Zoe who had a questioned look upon her face. Mal knew he had a great crew. One that could function on their own. But if he were around they always looked to him first. He paused…..a knowing glance passed between him and his Lieutenant. No words were exchanged.

Zoe and Mal’s gazes were bathed in telepathy. Each knew what the other was thinking. After years of foxhole communication and trench warfare their minds, at critical points, operated as if they were fused together. Almost as if they were married. Wash had never understood this.

Mal walked up to the clerk on duty. Instantly the Captain notice she was wearing a purple uniform and a dark beret.

“ Can I help you sir?” The woman questioned pleasantly, almost as if she were asking Mal about his food order at a fancy core restaurant.

The Captain of Serenity noticed a co-worker standing to her rear, just about six feet away, dressed in purple as well. The guy seemed all tense, as if he were waiting for something.

With a move that took but a split, Mal removed his weapon from his holster and aimed it straight at the forehead of the pretty young clerk.

Now,….. Mal wasn’t known for killing women, or even men for that matter, though there were several he had buried in his day. He was better known for getting the job done. And though Nora Brookland had no idea who was sticking the gun in her face, she knew that looking down the barrel of a loaded weapon made her very uncomfortable.

“ Them boxes of potatoes there,” Mal spoke, shifting his eyes to the right to let the clerk know he’d seen the two boxes of potatoes stored there. POTATOES stenciled clearly across their edges.

“Think they may need to be rescued,” the Captain said. The purplebelly behind her had been kept at bay by the guns of Zoe and Jayne Cobb who’d pulled their weapons when Mal had.

“ How about we load them up, and just call it even!” He said.

“ Ok, I hear ya,” the clerk spoke with her arms raised high into the air, true hold-up fashion.

Mal waved with his pistol for Jayne to load the crates. Zoe kept her Winchester trained on the Alliance guard in back. The big merc lifted the top box and started going out the door. The box was heavy, so heavy his arms were stretched to full length, almost to the point where they reached his knees. He looked over at the female clerk just as he was about to go out.

“ Out of season? Gorram girl ya’ll waitin for an Atmo tiller to dig this * mílàn laji (rotting garbage)  outta the ground?”

The girl said nothing.

Jayne made his way over to the hovercraft. Cody had opened the loading port to allow him access to the storage compartment.

“ How we doin?” Jayne’s cousin asked

“Good, we got one box left.”

“I’ll get the other, you hang with the craft! This job’s stretching a little longer than I was hoping. Too much longer and my bosses will come looking,” Cody headed inside.

Just about that time a pretty young maiden, all dressed in ruffles and frills came walking up past Jayne. Her dutiful servant two steps behind. She stopped and viewed the big mercenary.

“Cody? Cody Cobb? My gosh it’s been a month of Sundays since you come a courting me last September. Where you been keeping yourself and why ain’t cha’ come callin again?”

Jayne had no idea who this person was, but evidently she knew his cousin. She seemed to be the perfect picture of a southern-bell. All decked out and suave. The outfit had him revisiting the comment Mal had made to Kaylee that time,

“What you gonna do in that rig? Be like a sheep wondering around the engine room!”

She could see in his eyes that he didn’t remember her. In truth they’d never met.

“ It’s Callie, Callie Holiday! You remember…..out by the fig tree that time?”

Just then Cody came with a brisk walk from the building, followed closely by Zoe. He stuffed the box into the storage compartment, then all looked to see the Captain standing in the feed store doorway, his back to them. Mal made sure the purplebellies stayed behind the counter. Their weapons had been taken and place in a satchel bag over his shoulder. Then he backed out and closed the door. Using the butt of his pistol he hammered the doorknob until it bent sideways.

He rushed to the hovercraft and jumped into the driver’s seat.

“ Mornin Miss. Nice dress.” The Captain spoke. He hit the button and in two seconds the engines flared and Mal turned the vehicle on a dime headed back the way they had come.

Callie Holliday realized what was going on then and screamed like a ránshao sangménxing ( Flaming Banshee). She ran off with her servant at top speed.

Noise and confusion erupted in the little town, and in seconds the door to the store was forced open and the crew of the Pinkerton/Levy hovercraft heard a woman shout that the bank had been robbed.

There were guns blasting and bullets whizzing over the top of the hovercraft. But for only a moment or two. Mal soon made a left turn heading back into open country and towards Serenity. In a few, the ship would be in the air and the little town of Absolution could get back to it’s normal daily activities. Although the bandits knew that wouldn’t happen. The Absolution law authority would soon be on the hold-up teams tale, well maybe. Soon as they got organized, which in a town like Absolution could take half a day.

All had gone as planned….well, ceptin for those little mishaps like actually having to rob the place, and getting shot at. Suddenly again there was the sound of gunfire, and more bullets came streaking above their heads. Mal looked at a screen monitor on the dashboard of the hovercraft. It showed a rear view of what was behind them.

“ Bu hao (not good)! They have a hovercraft too!”

This little town had more surprises than had originally been figured in the plan.

“ Where’d they get that?” Mal called back to Cody.

“ Don’t know, that’s never happened before!”

“ Well it’s happening now!” Mal hit a couple buttons that showed the Pinkerton hovercraft’s automatic rear weapons system. He flipped a switch which armed them and got them ready to use. He searched for, and found the target acquisition toggle. Zoe grabbed his arm before he could reach it.

“ May not be a good idea sir!” She said looking into his eyes, “we get caught……..and murder wouldn’t be a polite thing to go along with the charges!”

Mal knew she was smart, and right. She could think when sometimes he wasn’t. He moved his hand down and over to the throttle.

“ Well if we can’t blast ’em, maybe we can outrun ’em!” He pushed the leaver forward and the craft accelerated to maximum forward thrust. A glimpse at the rear monitor told him the other craft had disappeared into the dust well behind.

He smiled, only a half mile now and the robbery would be over and done with, well almost. Mal pushed in a button to a mic-com. He’d tuned in Serenity’s frequency while Cody had been inside the bank.

“ Wash! Five minutes and we’ll need to be in the air kuài !”(quick/soon)

“ Yeah, working on it!” came the pilot’s answer.

Looking at the rear monitor again the Captain noticed that the Alliance hovercraft had returned, only this time it was closer.

“ Qing wa cao de liy mang.….Why…….!!?”

“…..Can’t things go smooth!” Mal looked over at his Lieutenant. A half smile aligned her pretty, yet stern face, “ Guess we were just born under the “Jester’s Constellation” sir!” she said.

There was no other person, Mal deemed, he’d rather have at his side during a fight than Zoe.

He returned his attention to their plight. There was something odd about the cat & mouse game these folk were playing. The lawmen’s hovercraft wasn’t firing at them, yet it was closer, and had a better shot at them now. Mal looked up ahead….. in the distance he could see Serenity, and she was where she should be, but he also saw something else. Something that nearly made his eyes fall from their sockets.

There were two Fireflies. Each posted nose to nose.

“ Wo de ma! Twins again! What’s going on, on this crazy world? He said.

The hovercraft came to a halt just as a tall, well built man came and stood in front of the vehicle. His face was aged and had a few scars, but Malcolm Reynolds recognized him straight off.

“ Lieutenant Gardner!!!??

Hands on his hips the lieutenant looked at the ex-browncoat fighter. He grinned.

“Hello Sergeant! Looks like you see a ghost!” Gardner laughed.

Mal and Zoe were speechless for a few, but the urgency of the situation left no time for uncomfortable, or comfortable pleasantries.

The Lieutenant got down to brass tacks.

“Mal don’t worry about the folk following you, they’re ours. I ordered them to stop their fire. We were almost done robbing the place when you showed up. Who’d of thought I’d run into one of my best students, in tactics, close quarter combat and strategy, out here in the middle on nowhere?” THAT was funny, strange, whatever one wants to call those little situations of craziness.

Then the Lieutenant’s expression changed…..

“You got something aboard that we need. Ie that platinum. My crew’s gotta to have it. I’ll trade ya the copper and nickel in that hovercraft over there.”

It would have been nice to sit and chat with the old brownghost, but one of the things they didn’t have was time. Maybe another day. Mal was about to refuse the deal. Serenity was hurtin, she needed repairs and restocking, a better paycheck was more desirable than a skimpier one.

“ Well sorry commander but……” Mal started, but guns were drawn, and the Ajax was certainly capable of doing more damage than Serenity. He looked around.

“Looks like we have a deal.”

“ Lieutenant Gardner sir!” It was Cody presenting himself into the conversation, “ Why didn’t you contact me or Jeebs that you were interested in the cargo? We coulda worked something out!”

Fredrick Gardner looked at the Browncoat Ferret.

“ No offense Cody, but the last time I got Intel from you… got me shot!”

Cody Cobb couldn’t argue that point.

The teams loaded up, with Tony Jeebs deciding to accompany the crew of the Ajax, and Cody would go with Serenity.

Just before lift-off a woman came and joined the Lieutenant as he said his goodbyes to Mal.

“Holy smokes! Melanie Meadows?”

“Actually Felicia Gardner. Fredrick here is my brother.” She informed the Captain of Serenity. Mal looked at her and smiled.

“ Well, it doesn’t surprise me. After all….you learned from one of the best tricksters we had on our side during the war,” he said.

He began to walk back up the loading ramp of his ship, Serenity. The hydraulics of the heavy door whined as they labored to close behind him, and he turned to wave one final farewell to folk he had, so long ago, fought alongside with during the war.

In a few, both vessels lifted into the Shiloh sky, headed in opposite directions that might help to confuse the Authority in the cargo ships above. Neither team would see one another for some time after that. They would again become “Missing in Action”.


A week later on Serenity. The Captain had gotten Wash to plot a leisurely heading towards Persephone. There, they would drop off Cody, and see about fencing the copper and nickel goods over to Badger.

Most of the crew were in the galley one evening having themselves a good ‘ol time. Chowing down on some grub they were able to get from the Ajax. They were discussing their latest robbery, as they often did. Jayne made mention to Cody about Callie Holiday, and where things might have gone had he had more time.

“Not to offend you cousin, but had this been one of our usual engagements, one where we do a little more prospecting and scouting out the details over a day or two. I might have just let that girl think I was you, and had me a little fun. Coulda been one of them adventurous and sexy stories that would’ve even made Inara blush. Hope it wouldn’t of bothered you, me cutting in on your territory like that?” Jayne gave his cousin a wicked little grin.

“Well first of all cousin, I got no idea who Inara is. And secondly, you just go ahead and do the deed when you get hit with the urges. Heck, maybe you don’t know this, but you’re already behind on the scoreboard when it comes to like situations.”

They were all wondering what the hell Cody was talking about.

“I spent some time on Higgin’s Moon here a while back. Had a filly all over me. Kept callin me hero and protector and such the like. I figured she mighta thought I was you. Had us a pretty good time…….we did! Name was…. Janice if I recall.”



Thursday, November 3, 2011 4:32 AM


Hello Browncoats!

Just finished this this morning, so I rushed it a bit. Forgive any errors that may be posted within the work, I just hope that it’s done well enough to be entertaining. Anyhoo, My true intention was to get it posted before going back to work. Still, let me know about the errors.

There are KEY people that helped me stay inspired to finish this….., No, they’re not in Parliament! My thanks to them all!

We still HOLD! BPZ

Thursday, November 3, 2011 1:09 PM


Yep. Saw that coming.

Nice shout out at the end.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 3:13 PM


See ONE MAN’S TRASH (08) Part (06) By ebfiddler
“This child is not Jayne’s.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011 11:32 PM


Bytemite, “ Saw that coming.”….yes you did my friend….

gwg, what ever are you talking about……ha..ha..ha…just kidding with ya.

Thanks for the feedback browncoats!


Friday, November 4, 2011 1:57 PM


Wonderful ending, BPZ. Saw that coming, but it was Still an exciting chase/heist/action/reunion scene. And Janice! So THAT's what really happened on Higgins Moon! ;-) Thanks for the shout-out. :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011 12:57 AM


Howdy ebfiddler

Glad that you liked the fic. Yepper, guess that it was pretty obvious that there would be a showdown between Serenity & Ajax. It was just meant to happen, and the Cody thang! Just something cooked up for a little story fun. Hop you didn’t mind that I kinda hi-jacking your story a bit. I really meant no harm, and I think I left plenty of wiggle room for Cody to make the same claim as Jayne, only he may not be able to get off the hook so easily.

Great story-telling by you all!

It’s about 6am here, and I just got home from work. I’m a bit tired but I wanted to shout -out to you & Bytemite & Brewster and say that I appreciate ya’ll following the story and helping me out with things.

Time for me to hit the sack I believe. Keep writing everyone…..BPZZZZZZZZZ.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 2:34 AM


Oh, I don't mind at all! This makes you the first writer I know of to reference any of my stories directly...very cool. And flattering. Thank you. Feel free to write Cody into any kind of box you want to put him in! (And if Janice is in there, too...) ;-) 'Cuz that Cody thang...didn't see THAT coming.


You must log in to post comments.



Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part3
Chapter 3 up and running. Some questions answered, and a few more created. Some characters folks may like, some not so much. But Isn’t that the way things really are? Jayne has always wanted to be the commander of his own ship. Mal, unknowingly lets him play for a while……Ok, also, a villain arrives on the scene….boo-hisss, the crowd makes wicked catcalls….BPZ

Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part2
This chapter….not much of a connection to chapter one, but the link is coming. Introducing a few new characters and the meaning and purpose of their mindset. Hope you enjoy and continue to follow….BPZ

Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part1
Post BDM. Let’s explore souls…..BPZ

Trouble for Nothing 4.0 final
Serenity finds herself on the last leg of a trip to deliver some well needed goods to Whitefall. Things look to be going rather smooth, but that can fool ya. Something happens …..and Mal finds that he has a war buddy reunion out in the deep pitches of the black….things are gonna get interesting. BPZ

Trouble for Nothing 3.0
Finally, a bit of cohesion to the confusion. Mal & Kaylee talk about things. The purple star is still around, and the one that’s dangerous, and doesn’t belong…..saves the day….

Trouble for Nothing 2.0
Mal, Kaylee and Wash land on Persephone for hull inspection. He shouldn’t feel alarmed, but the Captain is always apprehensive about such things. He’s a little nervous, but remembers the advice of the family physician that used to be his doctor on Shadow. “Just take a sugar pill with your medicine and things will be alright” least that’s what ‘ol Doc Jenkins used to say. Of course Mal ain’t on Shadow anymore….. And his mom didn’t used sugar pills, she used castor oil…. as a chaser for medicine. And for those who are familiar with castor oil…..all I can say is that you have to sit still and let things progress naturally……BPZ

Trouble for Nothing 1.0
Malcolm Reynolds, and his crew find themselves ordered to serve Serenity up for “Verse Travel Compliance”…… or rather, space worthiness inspection, and although there is no reason to be alarmed, having strangers examining his boat does make Mal feel a bit uneasy. This is also a bit of a hassle, but isn’t that what governments are for, to get in a man’s way?

For fic purposes, at this juncture Shepherd Book and Inara are both on their respective worlds. What remains of the crew of Serenity are Kaylee, Jayne, Zoe, Mal, and Simon & River as crew/passengers.

Polished Memories 2.0 - The Mission
Howdy Coats!! Been a while since I’ve been able to jot something down, but here goes. …Continuation of the “ Polished Memories” series, and more of what Mal remembers about the battle of Serenity Valley. We can see that the pain, and suffering, and casualties of war are chipping away at the Captain’s beliefs. Is Mal losing his soul? Only the Shepherd would know the soldier at this point, and maybe his Corporal, Zoe. Read on for clarification….

Polished Memories 1.0- Boot Camp
New approach at mixing things up a little. “Polished Memories” folk trying to sort through their emotions and feelings, and make themselves feel better. Doesn’t always work.

MIA chap5 Final-Clash of the Titans
More like Clash of the bed fleas or dust mites. But that can be a good thing. Being the small guys can keep you off the Alliance radar and have the old bloodhounds barking up the wrong tree. Petty crime can pay well enough, yet not have the Feds crawling up your backside…. Oh yeah, also, Mal & Zoe pick up the heat in this one. I’ll not say more. Maybe Wash does have a reason to be jealous? Hope you enjoy the final of “Missing in Action” BPZ