A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 17
Friday, October 13, 2006

A screenplay taking place not long after the events of "Serenity." I truly appreciate everyone's comments, positive and... not so much.



Kaylee is lying on her back beneath one of the engine mounts, working on some exposed wiring.

River slinks into the engine room, running her hand along Kaylee's hammock, then along the wall as she approaches Kaylee.


Kaylee jumps, then smiles at River.

KAYLEE: Oh, hey! What's up?

RIVER: I just wanted to watch you work.

Kaylee looks surprised.

KAYLEE: Oh... okay. Not much to watch. Just organizing the coolant circuitry.

RIVER: That's okay. (sits cross-legged on the floor near Kaylee) It's very calming in here... with you.

This is very pleasing for Kaylee to hear as she resumes her work, beaming.

River reaches into Kaylee's toolbox and removes a wrench. She twirls it between her fingertips, testing its balance, seeming to enjoy the reflections it causes. She then sets it on the deck and removes another. Within a minute, she's emptied the toolbox and lined up the tools in a perfect pattern on the floor before her. Her movements are absolutely silent, the tools touching the metal deck without a sound.

Kaylee has been focused on her work and oblivious to River's actions. She instinctively reaches into her toolbox to find it empty. She looks over at River.

RIVER: (hopefully)What tool do you need?

KAYLEE: Um, well, I could use my spanners.

River hands Kaylee the necessary tool. Kaylee smiles her thanks and reaches both hands back up into the engine mount.

River silently rises and finds a rag and bottle of degreaser in a wall bin. She begins a thorough cleaning of Kaylee's tools. This Kaylee notices.

KAYLEE: Oh, sweetie, you don't have to...

RIVER: I don't mind. (gazes serenely at the engine) You keep the heart of Serenity beating. You give her soul its glow. (she polishes a screwdriver, then twirls it like a sai) I know what I'm getting you for your birthday.

KAYLEE: But how do you... Oh, yeah. Duh. (sweetly, innocently) So, you gonna tell me?

RIVER:(smiling coyly) Can't ruin the surprise.

KAYLEE: Well, it was worth a try.(continues working) So, when's yours?

RIVER: It's... I...(looks confused, scared)I don't remember.

KAYLEE: (stops working and looks at River sadly)Those hwun dans took that away too, huh?

RIVER: Yes. (brightens)I'll ask Simon. He'll know.

A simple solution. Kaylee returns to her work. River continues polishing.

RIVER: He's always loved you, you know. He's just kind of dumb sometimes.

KAYLEE: (laughs)Gee, I never noticed.

RIVER: He's always been smart. Good with his hands, especially when it came to fixing people. He can perform a heart transplant, but fumbles with the simplest emotional expression.

KAYLEE: Some folk are just built different 'n others. (a twinkle touches her eye) Don't think he's having near as much trouble now.

RIVER:(same twinkle) That is true.

Click to go to Ch. 18

Click to go back to Ch. 16


Friday, October 13, 2006 12:03 PM


A very nice little chapter! Especially:
"You give her soul its glow". That describes Kaylee perfectly.

Friday, October 13, 2006 6:42 PM


Well done! It's so sad that River can't even remember her own birthday. I hope that she can kick some Alliance ass at some point in the story.

I need more, this fic is like a drug. A drug in very short supply.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 6:20 PM


You are seriously shortchanging us for our fix of this story, HeWhoKicksALot! That's ain't cricket;)

Still...I was initially creeped out by River's actions, cuz it seemed like she was about to take a tool and attack Kaylee. Just glad it was just River needing to find something to centre her thoughts. Though I so wanna go jihad on the Alliance's butts for actually causing River to forget when her own birthday is:O



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