A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 11
Monday, October 9, 2006

A screenplay taking place not long after the events in "Serenity."



Mal stands at the rear of the bridge, arms crossed, muttering. River sits in the pilot's chair, pressing buttons and flipping switches, preparing for takeoff.

RIVER: He's a good man, Captain.

MAL: Well, if he turns out to be an Alliance mole who fancies shootin' at girls for fun, that'll just have to be on your conscience. And he better not have much junk to haul or it goes out the airlock.

RIVER:(smiling)He's lived like a monk for months. Everything he owns would fit in a locker. And he despises guns.

MAL:Just the same, he'd better not cause no ruckus. I ain't in the mood.

Zoe walks onto the bridge, a small satisfied smile on her face.

ZOE: All of our newest passenger's things are on board, sir. We're ready to fly.

MAL: (gruffly) Damn right we are. River, take us out of...

With a graceful heave, Serenity leaps from the ground and tears into the sky.

Mal and Zoe reach out a hand to the nearest bulkhead for support, though little is needed, the takeoff being so smooth.

MAL: That's still a mite unsettlin'.


Paul is unpacking a large plastic container. He tenderly removes three Bonzai trees and places them on a shelf. He then places his clothes in the available drawers. A small electronic device he places on a shelf near the bed. He presses a button on the device and soft stringed music fills the small room.

Paul closes his eyes and listens.

INT. SERENITY DINING AREA Simon and Kaylee sit at the table, sharing a quiet meal. Kaylee is smiling at something Simon said when Jayne enters. JAYNE: Hey, lovebirds. Save any grub for the rest of us?

KAYLEE: By “us” you mean “you.” Yeah, there's a nibble left.

Jayne grins like a schoolboy and charges into the kitchen, banging around for a minute.

JAYNE: A nibble? This ain't a even a bite!

Kaylee simply closes her eyes and shakes her head while Simon squeezes her hand with a smile.

JAYNE: You got cookin' detail this week, girl. Why ain't you cookin'?

KAYLEE: 'Cause it ain't supper time yet, you walkin' vacuum unit. Simon and I just wanted a little quiet time is all.

JAYNE: Well, can't you quietly cook a little more?

Kaylee turns away from Jayne, answering him with silence.

Jayne grunts with frustration and starts banging around in the cabinets. He finds a small bag of chips and tears them open, stuffing them all into his mouth at once. He grunts at Kaylee with satisfaction and stalks from the dining area toward the bridge, chewing loudly.


Mal sits in the the co-pilot's seat, his arms crossed, apparently mulling over the situation.

River is typing on the keyboard before her.

RIVER: Coordinates are in. We're headed for Sihnon by way of Persephone.

MAL:(not looking up) Shiny.

RIVER: Why are you still angry? You made a good choice.

Mal looks up

MAL: I don't recall ever actually makin' a choice. Seems it was made for me.

RIVER:(with a knowing smile) When Zoe gave her approval, you know you wanted to agree.

MAL: It's becomin' a bit of a nuisance, you rompin' around between my ears.

RIVER: I didn't ask for this ability, Captain. It was forced on me, like the horrible long-johns your grandmother would give you every Christmas. You knew you would use them if you had to, but you wouldn't like it.

Mal seems to think this over for a few seconds.

MAL: Don't guess I ever thought of it like that. That melon o' yers is more a curse than a blessing at times, I conjure.(he pauses, looks over his shoulder, then back to River)Oh, and could we keep the mention of my long-johns to a minimum? As in never again.

River nods with a knowing smile as Jayne barges onto the bridge.

JAYNE: Mal, you have got to get that pain in the rump mechanic to do some decent cookin'. I'm 'bout starved to the bone and she's in there playin' all cutesy kissy with the doc.

Mal doesn't take his eyes off the console before him.

MAL: Please tell me you didn't hike all the way up here to ask me to secure provisions for that black hole you call a belly. Kaylee 'll have dinner ready when it's time. She ain't never been late with meals.

Jayne grumbles and storms off the bridge, mumbling to himself.

River grins at Mal and he can't help but smile with amusement.

MAL: Can you sense stupid? Does that qualify as readable? Or is he the first live subject to emit no audible brain noise whatsoever?

River giggles. The sound fills the bridge like music.

Click to go to Ch. 12

Click to go back to Ch. 10


Monday, October 9, 2006 3:49 PM


Short (bad), and Jayne filled (good).

Monday, October 9, 2006 4:41 PM


Jayne is such a bonehead! Too bad River can't share just a little of her smarts with him.

I love the conversation between Mal and River. The dialogue just rings so true.

Very nice writing on all of this so far!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 12:39 AM


This was good and I enjoyed it. Nice to have the lighter banter and teasing back. Smiled at Jayne's stomach being a black hole. Poor boy, can't help it if he's hungry, can he? Again. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, October 12, 2006 4:12 PM


It's all good when Jayne's getting used as the butt of someone's jokes;)

Definitely found this chapter to be hilarious...especially Mal's line about Jayne being the first person to not emit anything resembling brainwaves;D


Saturday, February 17, 2007 9:58 PM


I should be a good reader and comment on the writing or some such....but honestly, this chapter just made me miss Wash. And significant strangers on Serenity always rub me the wrong way....either they're going to betray someone or try to fill the shoes of a former crew member....grrrr. I guess I'm almost as protective of that ship and her crew as Mal.


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