For last week's b7friday topic of weapons, 470 words set in season 3.
Arms and the Thief
"Move your useless carcase, Vila." Dayna shoved Vila's legs off the couch and sat down. "You're a waste of space, you know that?"
Vila, Cally could see from her station, looked hurt, but he did his best. "Volume, actually."
"You really are a spare part, aren't you?"
Dayna was smiling, but there was a predatory edge to it. Cally compressed her lips and said nothing. She'd tackled Avon about the impression that particular little crack had given Dayna and Tarrant, but Avon had just shrugged and said that if Vila couldn't take care of himself, it was about time he learned.
"No he's not," said Tarrant. "A spare part is at least potentially valuable."
Cally had agreed with Avon, but the way Vila scrunched down as if to make himself smaller angered her. "Vila is very useful."
"What as?" Dayna twisted round to look at her. "A thief? We haven't needed one the whole time I've been on this ship."
Vila answered her, rather bitterly. "I was on the neutron blasters before you came along."
"You!" Dayna stared at him. "You couldn't hit a gas giant!"
"He was very good, actually," said Cally. And that was another mistake, she thought: taking Vila off weapons meant that he had nothing to do during a battle except panic.
Tarrant laughed. "There you are, Dayna! Vila's a spare for you. Now doesn't that make you feel valued?"
Vila stood up. "All right," he said lightly. "I know when I'm not wanted. I can take a hint." He walked out, but Cally saw the defeated slump to his shoulders.
"That wasn't very nice," she said.
"Oh come on." Dayna screwed her nose up. "It's just a joke."
Cally considered that. What was the difference between the game Vila and Avon liked to play and this? The words seemed much the same, but there was a certain affection and respect entirely missing here.
She found Vila in the galley pouring what was obviously not his first glass. "That won't help."
"It does, actually. Takes the edge right off reality."
Cally took the glass, sniffed it, and firmly put it out of his reach. "Where did you get this anyway?" They hadn't been anywhere Vila could have stolen any.
"Wouldn't you like to know." Vila looked sly.
Cally put her chin on her hand. She'd heard there were ways of making it, and Vila had been in prison. She could look for tubing or whatever it was they used, but why bother if it helped? However there were other ways; he already looked more cheerful since she had come in. Cally shook her head. "Why don't you ever get angry, Vila?"
"What's the point?"
"Properly used, anger can be a good weapon."
"Nah. Just leads to escalation. Besides," Vila smiled ruefully, "everyone else is better armed."