A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 3
Friday, October 6, 2006

A screenplay taking place not long after the events of Serenity, introducing several new characters, some from the crew's various histories.



Mal, Zoe, and Jayne trudge along the road, their steps purposeful. Jayne has slung his rifle across his back. Mal takes a swig of water from a small flask tucked in his overcoat.

ZOE: Captain, are you sure we should just stroll into town like we won the election?

Mal looks a little offended.

MAL: I know I heard myself say 'subtle'. I meant it. I'm not lookin' for the gunfight at the OK Corral or nothin'. I just want to get the job details and hightail it out. I've had enough of brawlin' to last me at least another week.

JAYNE: Ain't nothin' wrong with a good tussle now an' then. Gets the blood pumpin'. MAL: Shiny. Next time there's a couple dozen Reavers anglin' in to try out some new recipes, we'll step aside and let you have all the fun your fuzzy little heart can handle. As for today, I'd prefer it to be a 'tussle-free' day. You only reach for that street-sweeper on your back if our lives depend on it, dong le ma?

Jayne grunts. The town is beginning to appear in the distance. Mal veers off the main road onto a path barely perceptible to the eye. The surrounding vegetation is nearly dead, brown as the earth beneath it.

Mal walks with certainty between the growth. Zoe and Jayne follow close behind, Jayne regularly checking their rear flank.

ZOE: Taken many a walk down this sun-kissed path, sir?

MAL: Once, many moons ago. A mite prettier then. This path'll take us 'round the east o' town. Just hope we put down far enough away to avoid much fuss.

ZOE: River brought us in quiet as a mouse thieven' cheese. Much as I enjoy a nice stroll, I don't feel like hoofin' forty clicks.

MAL: Wouldn't dream of askin'. Jayne, maybe, but not you.

Jayne snorts.

JAYNE: Forty clicks? Shoot. Might actually work up a sweat.

They clear the dried-up foliage thirty yards from the rear of a fairly large house. It's one of several that line what serves as the main street. One hundred yards down, the street branches in both directions.

ZOE: So, where we supposed to find this Polson fella?

MAL:(pointing) Just over yonder, that fancy domicile. Mal is pointing two houses down. The “fancy domicile” is a bit larger than the rest. The paint is a half shade brighter.

JAYNE: So, main entrance, or alternate route of entry?

MAL: So as not to show our whole hand at once, you hang back and keep a watchful eye. Roam around real quiet-like. We'll radio you if things go south.

JAYNE: I was thinkin' my imposin' presence might help solid up the deal.

MAL: I believe we've had many a sit-down about the thought of you thinkin'. Not to mention this fella ain't much impressed by any man that I know of. We need you to back us up, watch for snares and so forth.

Jayne disappears back into the brush. Mal and Zoe proceed to the main street's sidewalk. They walk the last few paces in silence, nonchalantly approaching the target house. Only Mal's eyes indicate that he's carefully watching their surroundings.

Mal stops at the front door. He raps twice. The door swings open after only a couple of seconds and reveals NILS POLSON. He is nearly seven feet tall, his head rising above the door frame. He is a muscular, square-jawed man, his huge arms covered in snake tattoos.

Nils looks down at Mal and grins like a hyena standing over a wounded rabbit.

NILS: Mal, my boy, good to see your crooked mug again. Been up to no good, I hope.

MAL: As little as possible, Nils.

NILS: Get your skinny backside in here so's we can sit down with some cold ones and discuss our respective sordid histories.

MAL: I wish we had time, Nils, I really do. But we gotta get this job arollin', and I mean but yesterday.

NILS: I respect that, boy. Boats don't sail on talk, do they. Come on in and we'll firm up details.

Mal and Zoe enter the house, Zoe taking one more look around before stepping inside.

Click to go to Ch. 4

Click to go back to Ch. 2


Friday, October 6, 2006 7:41 PM


Lucky Jayne didn't go inside, by the sounds of it, Nils Polson would've dwarfed him.

By the way he and Mal spoke, I'm going to assume there's some history there. In which case, someone from River's past, and someone from Mal's past appearing at the same time...not sure that bodes well.

I love this work, keep 'em coming!

Saturday, October 7, 2006 4:20 AM


I'm loving the dialogue here!
i.e. - "Shiny. Next time there's a couple dozen Reavers anglin' in to try out some new recipes, we'll step aside and let you have all the fun your fuzzy little heart can handle."
The characterization is great!


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