A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 14
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

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


ZOE: In the interest of survival and self-preservation, perhaps we should alter our course some.

MAL: I'm leanin' toward agreement. River?

River's fingers punch the keyboard again.

RIVER: Done.

MAL:'kay. I'm trustin' you, little lady. You keep a close eye on that bird's path. If they so much as expel gas in our general direction, you change course and let me know. Speakin' o' gas, I s'pose I'm needin' to figure out how to detoxify my galley.

Mal exits the bridge.


Mal descends the fore/starboard stairs. Simon, Kaylee, and Paul are entering the bay from the infirmary. They meet in the center of the cargo bay.

SIMON: I did a quick scan of the three of us. There seem to be no adverse effects from the gas, other than some slight dizziness. Shouldn't be any permanent damage, though Jayne may have a stiff neck from how he's laying.

PAUL: As I said, the effect is harmless, except for the inevitable unconsciousness.

MAL: And just how long can I expect my dining hall to be sleep central? PAUL: That depends on the amount of spice and oil left on the plates, as well as the ventilation of the room.

KAYLEE: Ya know, I should be able to crank up the vents in there and suck that junk right out. MAL: Then you'd best get to that.

Kaylee darts off, leaving Paul with Simon and Mal. There is an uncomfortable silence for several seconds. Then the men exchange glances. The corners of their mouths begin to curl upward.

They all at once burst into uproarious laughter.


The men's laughter filters up the stairs to the bridge. Zoe smirks.

ZOE: Well, I think that broke the ice.


Mal is holding his belly, still laughing. Simon is nearly out of breath, but still laughing. Paul simply chuckles.

MAL: It must be said. I've had gas at meals, but I've never been gassed at a meal before...

This sends him over the edge once again.

Through his laughter, Simon attempts to speak.

SIMON: That was... the worst... attempt... at a... joke... I've ever... heard.

MAL: Don't make it any less appropriate... (slapping Paul on shoulder)Welcome aboard, Seafood. It's customary for us to have an extra special meal to help welcome new passengers. Make 'em feel at home, an' such.

PAUL: I'm not likely to forget this anytime soon, Captain, thankyou.

They shake hands firmly.

MAL: And I admit, I'm glad you were there to suss what was happening and get us outta there 'fore we all fell out.

SIMON: I believe this experience will teach Jayne not to rush Kaylee when it's her turn to prepare the meals.

MAL: 'Less there's a large hammer involved, Jayne learnin' anything ain't like to occur.

PAUL: Not very sympathetic towards that man, are you.

MAL: I've heard shepherds preach that all God's creatures are precious. Well, in Jayne's case, that phrase requires some very liberal interpretation.

SIMON: He has his moments, though most of them are nearly impossible to recognize for their ill-mannered presentation.

MAL: Still, the man has his uses. I'd be hard-pressed to find a better sharp-shooter this side o' the 'verse. Not to mention he can track a tumbleweed through a sand storm. Combine all that with his blinding wit and skillful mastery of diplomacy...

Simon shakes his head with a rueful smile.

SIMON: Speaking of shooting, we should probably place the big ape somewhere other than on the floor. He may not be too pleased with his current sleeping arrangements when he does arise.

MAL: (with a sigh) I s'pose a couch in the common area would do...


Jayne is still laying on his side where he was unceremoniously dumped earlier.

MAL: Ah, the possibilities...

SIMON:(checking Jayne's pulse and breathing) I'm fighting several temptations, myself.

Mal and Paul pick up Jayne as they had before, this time Simon assisting with Jayne's midsection. They carry him down the stairs to the...


Jayne is dumped much the same way as before on the largest couch. Mal even places one of Kaylee's cutest pink pillows under his head.

Mal then brushes off his hands and stretches his back. MAL: That was too much like real work to be done for free. I'm thinkin' our labor should come out of his share on this job, whatya think?

Paul and Simon both smile and shake their heads, though neither objects.

Kaylee comes partway down the stairs.

KAYLEE: I bypassed the controls and re-routed the galley vents. They're at max, pumpin' that gas into the black.

MAL: Good job, darlin'. Once it's re-pressurized, we can go in and clean up.

KAYLEE: Cap, I'm sorry...

MAL: You halt that nonsense. Grub was damn tasty 'fore the... incident. Now you know. Lesson learned.

KAYLEE: Ma always served the salad in a separate bowl. I wonder if she ever even knew...

SIMON: (hugging Kaylee supportively) It doesn't matter. None of us knew, either.(indicates Paul) Well, almost none.

MAL: Let's head up there, shall we?

PAUL: I think I'll head to my bunk, Captain. Good night, everyone.

Kaylee gives Paul's arm a quick squeeze. Mal slaps him on the back.

MAL: 'Night, Seafood.

Paul walks from the common area to the passenger dorm. He enters his room, smiling and shaking his head. After closing the door, he drops to the floor and starts doing pushups.


Mal, Simon, and Kaylee stand outside the dining area, peering though the small window.

MAL: I'll go in first. Keep a watchful eye, now. I don't wanna wake up with a pirate 'stache and tattoos of fornicatin' monkees.

Simon hands Mal a surgical mask.

SIMON: Here. This should reduce the chance of you being overcome.

Kaylee checks a panel on the wall.

KAYLEE: Atmo's normal again, Captain. Air should be clear. I flushed it something fierce.

MAL:(donning mask) Here's hopin' so...

Mal opens the door and steps in, closing the door behind himself as he holds the mask tight to his face. He keeps his eyes on the dinner plates as he descends the couple of stairs.

Mal quickly picks up all the plates and carries them into the kitchen, dumping them into the sink. He starts up the water, beginning to give each plate a quick scrub.

KAYLEE:(over intercom) You okay, Cap?

MAL: Never better. My specialty in action here. Think it's safe to come in now.

Kaylee and Simon open the door and step into the room.

Mal strips off his mask and discards it, still rinsing and scrubbing.

MAL: Now, Kaylee. There's gotta be an easier way to conduct a mutiny. Dont' work out so good, you knock out all your accomplices.

A balled-up napkin sails into the kitchen, striking Mal in the head. He smiles and continues his work.

Click to go to Ch. 15

Click to go back to Ch. 13


Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:47 PM


Nice light chapter - good to see the menfolk bonding.

I'm thinking seeing Mal with a tattoo of fornicating monkeys could be wacky fun!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:54 PM


LMAO! That was brilliant!

Poor Kaylee, or better yet, poor Jayne.

This is turning out to be really great, keep going.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 12:57 PM


I did enjoy this but if Mal doesn't want the tattoo of fornicating monkeys maybe Jayne would? I'm thinking he might even think it was shiny! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, October 14, 2006 11:57 AM


Leave it up to Kaylee accidently gassing the crew to get Mal and Paul to bond;)

And am I the only one who wanted somone to say something about Mal's tattoo already being of monkeys get jiggy with it;D


Monday, May 28, 2007 1:20 AM


MAL: And just how long can I expect my dining hall to be sleep central?

MAL: 'Less there's a large hammer involved, Jayne learnin' anything ain't like to occur.

Both awesome Mal lines. Your dialog makes me grin.....which is tha same thing the Firefly dialog does......shiny! I loved them contemplating messing with the unconscious Jayne....I can completely see that happening on the series.


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