A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 19
Saturday, October 14, 2006

A screenplay taking place not long after the events of "Serenity." I find it so very shiny that my fellow Browncoats think so highly of this series. This has been a real labor of love.



The people are all dressed in coats of varying lengths and shades of brown. Each one is armed, though all weapons are holstered. None look too disreputable.

A man in the center of the group steps forward. Mal cocks his head, looking closely at him.

MAL: Spade?

SPADE: (grinning from ear to ear) Malcolm ruttin' Reynolds. You son of a neutered jackal. How long's it been?

MAL: Not long enough to fool your eagle eye, I see. (Mal rests his dolly and steps around it. He and Spade give each other a bearhug) What are you still doin' here?

SPADE: Someone had to stick around and re-build this dump after you little hot-heads showed up and tore it a new one. Anyway, where're my manners? You remember Silk, dontcha? Believe you and he had a good laugh at my expense. (Mal nods at Silk, a skinny young man with red hair and piercing green eyes) And of course, Danielle...(Mal smiles at Danielle, a thirty-something athletic beauty) ...who's now my better half.

MAL: Congrats, my friend. Couldn't 've happened to two better folk. Not recognizin' anyone else, though.

SPADE: The rest are all new additions, least since we last met.

MAL: Well, this here's Jayne. Helps out on my ship.

Jayne nods slightly, still ready for trouble.

SPADE: Ship? You sailin' that little wreck I saw put down few minutes ago?

Mal nods with a smile. Spade laughs and slaps him on the back.

SPADE: Against all odds, we both went and got respectable... after we got our asses handed to us. Good thing the boys in blue showed us the error of our ways, huh?

MAL: Guess I'm just not bright enough to learn that lesson.

Spade laughs again.

SPADE: Looks like I'm keepin' you from your task. You gettin' off world soon?

Mal looks genuinely apologetic.

MAL: Within the hour. Got a job that won't bode well, gets delayed long.

Spade nods and shakes Mal's hand vigorously.

SPADE: Well, you know where to find me. Don't be no stranger now, ya hear?

MAL: I do. You take care now.

Mal gives a polite wave to the others and resumes hauling the dolly, Jayne close by.

MAL:Well, I'll take that over a statue any day.


Mal and Jayne reach the top via the lift, hauling their dollies over to Serenity's ramp. Zoe awaits them.

ZOE: Any trouble?

Mal hauls his dolly up the ramp.

MAL: Ran into Spade. He's lookin' well. Went and married Danielle. 'Member her?

ZOE: (unloading cases) Spade? Hard to believe the Alliance let him keep on. He caused them near as much trouble as you.

MAL: (stacking cases neatly in Cargo Bay): Ah, but they left us battered and broken men, with no will to go on or cause any more fuss.

JAYNE:(grunts, grins): Whoops.

Mal grins at Jayne's half-spoken compliment, finishing his work and hauling the dollies back out to the lift. He whistles down to Smythe as he activates the lift to lower the dollies. Smythe waves back cheerfully.

SMYTHE: I knew it was you!

Mal grins and waves, retreating back to Serenity.

MAL: (to Zoe) We full up?

ZOE: To the gills, sir.

Mal nods and raises the ramp, closing the airlock doors. He hits the intercom button.

MAL: River, do your thing.

They all feel Serenity gently lift from her perch and rise into the sky.


Serenity lifts from the platform and gracefully soars off.


Spade is walking with Danielle alone. They are speaking quietly to one another.

SPADE: Good to see that boy doin' alright. He deserves it, hard as he fought.

DANIELLE: Timing seems a little coincidental, doesn't it?

SPADE: Can't deny that.. I can't help but wonder if Mal's in on our little venture. He definitely has the motivation. Let's get an encoded wave to Nils, see what he knows.

He looks up to see Serenity soar off out of the atmosphere.

SPADE: Good luck, boy.


Everyone sits around the table, enjoying a meal. Laughter erupts.

SIMON: (shaking his head) My teacher would say, “There's one in every class.”

More laughter.

KAYLEE: So, did Matt get kicked out?

SIMON: (ironically) Of course not. He and I ended up competing for top honors. Although it defies medical logic, we'd often say the defibrillator shock may have done him some good.

More laughter.

ZOE: Could've killed him.

JAYNE: Woulda been one funny gravestone. ”Here lies Mattie, dead from bein' too much of a dumbass.”

SIMON: I think he's head of Cardiology in a Med. Center on Osiris.

MAL: Now if that ain't a sad bit o' irony, I don't know what is.

Simon is looking down at his plate, his face betraying the smallest amount of regret he will allow.

Paul picks up on it, as does River.

PAUL: It appears we've both given up certain privileges for the greater good. (looks at River, who smiles back)

MAL: I'm thinkin' everyone on this boat owes the doc some portion of their existence. (raises his cup) To the greater good.

KAYLEE: Here, here!

Everyone, even Jayne, raises their glass.

PAUL:Here's hoping I won't require your services any time soon.

Everyone laughs again.


Mal sits at the pilot's console, checking the scope. Zoe enters behind him.

MAL: That layover helped us a good deal. Put that rock between us and the beast.

ZOE: I can live with that. (beat) You all right, sir?

MAL: What? Oh, yeah. Fine. Hera don't exactly conjure the most appealin' o' memories, but...that's all they are. Ghosts. Hell, I named this boat after...(Mal looks down) You know how it goes. Once you've been to Serenity...

ZOE: You never really leave.

Mal takes on a thoughtful look.

MAL: Can't really say if I've been...avoidin' that rock all these years. Probably some good work to be had.

ZOE: Some good company, too. Spade never did let us down. Almost dare to say I trust him.

MAL: I surely hope that's the case. One wave from him could ruin our whole morning.

Zoe cocks an eyebrow at him.

Click to go to Ch. 20

Click to go back to Ch. 18


Saturday, October 14, 2006 4:48 AM


Hmm. Now what is up here? Thought they were gonna be in trouble when they got surrounded, and I'm still not sure they're not.

Good writing as always!

Saturday, October 14, 2006 5:28 AM


I really love this story. It is the kind of adventure I can imagine our BDHs having.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 5:42 AM


Gotta agree with ShinyTrinket on this one. Friendly faces can still mean trouble abounds.

And it's about time Simon got to tell a funny story!

Saturday, October 14, 2006 11:34 AM


Uh oh, I think Spade sending that wave to Nils will mean nothing but trouble and heartache for Mal and thus for the crew as well. Hope I'm wrong. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, October 14, 2006 8:24 PM


Oh...I gotta agree with the's nice Mal got to say "Howdy!" to old friends...but I get the feeling Harvey's offer is gonna come back to suck them in:(

Still...amazing work here, HWKAL:D



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