Overlooking Paradiso
Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mal and Zoë take on Niska. This breaks my 500 word rule, so I reset my aim to a 1000 words or less. I hope you enjoy.


Zoë stands on a tall hill overlooking the assigned valley near Paradiso and says, “Nice place for an ambush.”

Mal looks around and answers, “That it is.”

Zoë responds, “Don’t think it’s a good spot, Sir. He’ll have an advantage over us.”

Mal answers, “Everyone always does.” Mal turns his head towards Zoë and asks, “Does this seem like Déjà vu to you?”

“It always does Sir, but he ain’t gonna be like Patience on Whitehall. We hit him hard the last time and he has to re-earn some reputation against us. He’ll hit us with everything he’s got.”

“Yep, that’s what I figure,” answers Mal.

“He’ll have sniper teams Sir, not just snipers. Do you really think Jayne will be able to help us out here?”


“How will Jayne be able to take out Sniper teams? They’re trained against guys like him.”

“He won’t. Jayne is doing something else.”

“Sir, don’t you think Niska and his forces will see this one coming?”

“No they won’t see this one coming.”

“What’ve you got planned Sir?” asked Zoë.

“We’ll have some reserve forces of our own.”

“Who would that be Captain?”

“Well we have Badger and Fanty & Mingo who will be planet side very shortly and of course Mr. Universe, and all their forces.”

Zoë looks at the back of Mal’s neck for a moment before asking, “Sir, do you really think they’ll be here with enough forces to help us out?”

“They have to with all we’ve got on them, don’t they?”

Zoë looks around the valley again and replies, “Yes Sir, I reckon so.”

“Let’s get back to the shuttle,” instructs Mal.

Inside the shuttle Zoë goes through the ignition sequence when she asks, “What was all that back there about Badger, Fanty & Mingo and Mr. Universe? They’re all dead.”

“Didn’t you get the feeling we were being watched?” answers Mal, “I had to give some misinformation to strengthen out tactics.”

“What are we really doing in that valley Sir?” asks Zoë.

Mal looks at Zoë with a smile on his face and answers, “The one thing nobody would expect.”

Zoë thinks about what Mal just said for a moment and then her eyes widen and she gasps, “No!”

Later on at dusk Zoë and Mal stand on the same hill overlooking the assigned valley and Zoë says, “Sir I don’t like this?”

“Me either,” replies Mal.

“Sir what’s to keep Niska from killing us with his snipers before we even get to speak to him?”

“Well, two things.” Mal pauses for a moment and then continues, “First off he is trying to get his reputation back and he initiated this transaction so it would be bad form according to his rules to kill us before making the trade.”

Zoë waits a moment and then speaks, “That was one thing Sir, what’s the other?”

“He really hates me and wants to look into my eyes before he kills me.” Mal looks back at Zoë and says, “Let’s go.”

Mal & Zoë grab either end of the cargo crate and walk down to their designated spot by Niska and put it down.

A few moments later Adelei Niska is driven nearby in a hover craft. Niska exits his craft and is escorted by two men to the rendezvous spot. “Ah, Mr. Reynolds. I trust you have the goods I want inside that box?”

Mal replies, “I have the goods you want inside this box. Yes, but I want you to know I in no way would agree to this if you didn’t threaten me and mine.”

Adelei thinks about what Mal just said for a moment, but then waves it off as getting off script. “Mr. Reynolds, I have lost lots of sleep over you lately.”

“Well now, that’s rather unsettling knowing you think about me in bed.”

Niska smiles and replies, “You’re always the Joker Mr. Reynolds, but who is going to have the last laugh? Yes!”

Just then hundreds of Alliance forces erupt from the ground in their camouflage ghillie suits throughout the valley and train their weapons on everyone in the valley. Zoë & Mal place their hands on top of their heads as instructed by the Alliance, and Zoë asks, “Is this a part of your plan Sir?”

“Of course! Whenever you deal with the Alliance you gotta expect to get pinched.”

“Ain’t this sort of getting out of one problem, but into a whole other one Sir?”

Mal looks at Zoë and said, “Don’t worry I’ve already set the ground work for our case, and I stacked the cards in our favor.”

“How’s that Sir?”

“Inara contacted Commander Harkin and Sheriff Bourne out of Paradiso so they could fill this valley with their forces, and while they don’t owe us anything at least they don’t have an entirely negative view of us. Jayne hired some Mercenaries to land on this rock to act as our backup to confuse Niska’s intelligence services.”

“How’s that exactly stack the deck in our favor Sir?” asks Zoë.

“I let everyone in this valley who was listening know we would not be doing this if we weren’t threatened into it.” Malcolm paused a moment and then continued, “That lets the Prosecutors know who the real culprit is in this unsavory scheme is. Besides The Alliance will be much more interested in recovering their losses by takin’ a Skyplex and Niska’s remaining assets than just our little old Shuttlecraft.

“It don’t seem right,” added Zoë.

“That’s what makes it so much fun. The Alliance ain’t been nothing but an obstacle for us since the War and it’s kinda nice to actually use them as an opportunity.

Zoë, Mal, Niska, and his two henchmen are escorted to an alliance vehicle for processing and Niska looks to Mal and says, “Mr. Reynolds what have you done?”

“I got the last laugh.”


Monday, May 11, 2009 5:38 AM


Hee! I like your title, it's kind of a funny double play, because Niska's PRETENDING to overlook Paradiso, and they're by Paradiso.

Yeah, anyway.

I also appreciate the idea of Mal outsmarting Niska by using the Alliance against him. If pressed, Mal really will use unsavoury means to accomplish his objectives, won't he?

Although, honestly, I'll take one out of Inara's book and say that I wish he'd just killed the old bastard. He'll probably get out eventually and be on the look out for revenge. And I hope Mal's collusion with the law doesn't bite him in the ass: the criminal world doesn't much care for snitches, honest and fully justified if they are.

Monday, May 11, 2009 6:05 AM


I originally had it so Mal was telling Zoe that he had Inara and Jayne doing these things, but I decided against it so people listening or reading his lips won't know that he snitched. I figure Mal had just about everything which was going to be said planned, even his discussion with Niska.

Monday, May 11, 2009 12:50 PM


*Wei*, one of Mal's plans went super Shiny - I call that a Big Damn Win! Nice an drefreshing for things to go right for our Heroes for a change. Thanks. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, May 11, 2009 11:58 PM


I never thought that maybe this plan went too well for Mal and Zoe after all, but then again it started out with Mal and Zoe standing on a hill overlooking a valley and turned into what it is. I suppose I should have put a few monkey wrenches in the works, but that would have blown my word count way out of target.

Friday, May 15, 2009 2:38 PM


Very well done. I envisioned two or three different plans as I read, but this one I didn't see coming.

Good stuff!


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Overlooking Paradiso
Mal and Zoë take on Niska. This breaks my 500 word rule, so I reset my aim to a 1000 words or less. I hope you enjoy.

Bump In The Night
This is my first fan fiction story. I am trying to write them in 500 words or less. I hope you enjoy.