A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 9
Sunday, October 8, 2006

A screenplay taking place not long after the events of "Serenity." Many thanks to my beloved Browncoats who have patiently waited for my ever-so-slow postings. Re-formatting from screenplay style to a style that's comfortable to read on this site takes a bit of time, not to mention a lot of patience. You guys and girls are the best.



River sits at the pilot's console, typing on the main keyboard and checking the scope to her left. Simon is standing, leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed. He doesn't look happy.

RIVER:(distracted) Scan's negative.

Simon uncrosses his arms and approaches River. She turns her back to him.

SIMON: River...

RIVER: When will you trust me, Simon? What will it take?

SIMON: I do trust you, River. It's the rest of the galaxy I have little faith in.

RIVER: He's telling the truth. Every word. I was there, you know.

SIMON: I'm sorry, mei-mei.It just seems that at every turn we run into someone trying to snatch you away from me again.

River relaxes a bit. RIVER: Simon, I need you to trust me. I think the time has come. In fact, I know it has.

Simon nods.


Kaylee stands in the kitchen area, preparing a meal. Inara sits at the main table with Paul. He is drinking a glass of water while Inara looks him over.

INARA: How long have you been here?

PAUL: A few months. It took the Alliance some time, but they managed to weed out most of those who aided in River's escape. They hadn't yet discovered my involvement. (bows his head) May Buddha have mercy on those souls who didn't break under the pressure I'm sure they endured.

Inara places a hand on his, aware of his personal anguish that he'll never fully exhibit.

INARA: Most will never understand the emotional sacrifice our respective lives demand of us.

Paul allows a small smile and nods. Kaylee approaches the table, bowl in hand, and sits across from Paul.

KAYLEE: What are you gonna do now?

PAUL: I'm not sure what you mean.

KAYLEE: Well, now that you and River are reunited, why don't you sail with us?

Inara is taken aback by Kaylee's blunt question. Paul simply looks at her, emotionless.

PAUL: I hadn't considered that. I didn't think it was an option. I haven't even met your captain yet.

KAYLEE:(with a dismissive wave) You and he'll get along just fine. He'll be happy to have another man on board, 'specially one with such a level head, not to mention a civil tongue.

INARA: Let's not jump to any conclusions, especially where the captain is concerned. PAUL: I suppose we shouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand. It does merit some discussion.

KAYLEE: Shiny. You got my vote, not that that counts for much 'round here.

Inara smiles and pats Kaylee's hand.


Mal, Zoe, and Jayne walk along the the gravel road again, silent. Jayne is brushing broken glass from his hair. Mal carries the black case, while Zoe constantly checks their six.

MAL: That was somethin' new. In almost every respect possible.

ZOE: Tendin' to agree, sir.

JAYNE:(beating dust from jacket)Still don't see the grand importance of all that junk.

ZOE: (deadpan)Shocking.

Serenity comes into view as the trio rounds the next hill.

MAL: Think she's ready for this dance?

ZOE: Hope so, sir.

JAYNE: So, where we headed?

MAL: Straight into the lions' den.

They are still several yards from Serenity when the ramp begins to lower, revealing Kaylee waving and smiling. They jerk to a stop and look up when they hear...


River is standing on top of Serenity's midsection, directly above the dining area.

MAL:(under his breath) Lao tian.(to River) Um, River? Mind explainin' what it is you're doin' up there?

RIVER: Keeping my eyes peeled, captain.

MAL: You take a tumble, we'll be peelin' your eyes off the dirt. You wanna come down from there? You're makin' this old man's heart beat a tick faster than he cares to see.

River smiles joyfully. She is clearly enjoying herself. After a few more moments, she approaches the airlock and descends into the ship.

Mal exhales long and hard, his eyes closed. When he opens them again, something at his feet catches his attention.

MAL: I feel the sudden urge to consult with a physician.

Click to go to Ch. 10

Click to go back to Ch. 8


Sunday, October 8, 2006 5:36 PM


Hmmm...consult with a physician? Is Mal ailing, or does he just need to smack Simon upside the head for something?

You write just enough in every chapter to keep us eagerly awaiting the next one:)

Sunday, October 8, 2006 11:17 PM


Oh, I know now why you keep us so hanging for more.

It's not the mystery..well maybe it is but it's because your outright evil!

Your so good at baiting me, it ain't right!

Monday, October 9, 2006 9:51 AM


Why does Mal need a physician, is there a body lying at his feet? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 3:09 PM


Oh...what has Mal found in the dirt? Cuz I can just picture Nathan/Mal's face right now: calmly flabbergasted and smirk curling up at the thought of harrassing Simon;)


Saturday, February 17, 2007 9:51 PM


JAYNE: So, where we headed?
MAL: Straight into the lions' den.

Ohhh! You have a knack for lines that make my adrenaline rush a tad ;) I really liked the quiet exchange between Paul and Inara. You have Inara's voice down well.


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