A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 33
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

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

And just for the record, any comments, concerns, criticisms, or... (sorry ran out of "C" words) are more than welcome. My fellow 'Coats' words only serve to make me a better writer. Thanks again.



Mal approaches the large doors at the far end of the platform that lead into a solid-looking structure. Four men approach from the doors dressed in ordinary uniforms with no visible armor. Each has a stun stick holstered on their hip.

GUARD ONE: (double take as he nears Mal) Welcome, sir. Would you like me carry that?

MAL: That’s all right, son. I’ve weathered the storm so far with this in tow. I’ll make it a bit further.

GUARD ONE: As you wish. (gestures politely toward door) Right this way.

Guard Two takes the lead, Mal on his heels. Guard One takes up the rear, just to Mal’s right. Guards Three and Four take a post in front of Serenity.

GUARD ONE: Would you like to stop by a restroom, sir?

MAL: It’ll take more than a moment at a sink to fix what’s ailing this suit. I’m afraid its next destination is the incinerator.

The guards laugh genuinely as they all reach the double door. A small sphere above the doors flashes red and the doors glide open. Follow the men as they enter...


Guard Two leads Mal across the lobby, nearly reaches the lift doors when he stops suddenly. He nods slightly. Mal notices the small comm. unit tucked into the guard’s ear. Guard Two turns toward Mal, his face apologetic.

GUARD TWO: Our director would like you to wait here for just a moment. He would like to welcome you personally it seems.

GUARD ONE: Probably feels guilty for not getting a rescue unit out to you sooner and forcing you to catch a ride on that half-flying dumpster. (grunts) Loved the landing.

Mal’s face freezes for moment, then he smiles.

MAL: Well, they’re good-hearted folk just trying to get by. I plan on re-imbursing them for their trouble.

GUARD TWO: From the looks of things, they’ll be parked a while. That thruster didn’t sound too healthy.

The lift doors slide open, revealing Montrose. He steps out with a smile, which changes to mild shock when he observes Mal’s appearance.

MONTROSE: Good heavens, boy. Are you all right?

MAL: (shaking his hand) I’m well. Things could have been a good deal worse.

MONTROSE: (putting an arm around Mal’s shoulders) Well, let’s get you taken care of.

MAL: I’d very much like to make my delivery, sir.

MONTROSE: Of course, of course. This is your first time here, correct? (Mal nods) Then I’ll show you the way. You’ve endured enough hinderance for one day, I’d say. (Mal smiles and nods) Gentlemen, I’ll take it from here. (the guards nod as Montrose leads Mal onto the lift) So, where to?

MAL: Office number 607.

MONTROSE: Ah, Powell. Dyson Powell. Good man. Excellent programmer.

MAL: Good to know. Doesn’t affect my business much.

MONTROSE: I suppose not. Once you’ve made your delivery, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to clean up and change.

MAL: Trying to butter me up, sir?

Montrose laughs.

MONTROSE: I can’t help but feel partially responsible for your earlier misfortune. I sincerely apologize for your manner of transport.

MAL: That’s really not necessary...

The lift doors open revealing a prestine hallway with only a few scattered doors. Uniformed personell bustle about.

Montrose gestures for Mal to exit first. He does so, Montrose matching his stride.

MONTROSE: May I inquire as to your next destination?

MAL: Unfortunately, that’s classified.

MONTROSE: Of course.

Office 607 appears on the left. Mal steps up to the wall intercom.

MAL: Pardon me just a moment. (he presses the call button, waits a couple seconds) Normally I would have called ahead.

MONTROSE: I’m sure he won’t be gone long. There’s a small commissary just down the hall if you’d care for some refreshment.

MAL: To tell you the truth, I am quite thirsty.

MONTROSE: Well, if you don’t mind a few more strange looks...

Mal shakes his head and follows Montrose down the hall.


River sits at the pilot’s console, tapping away at the keyboard. Zoe is leaning over the console, looking very concerned.

RIVER: So far they’re treating him like royalty. No need to worry. Yet.

ZOE: I’m not worried, just... concerned. (beat) What do you mean, “yet?”

RIVER: This is one of the captain’s plans, isn’t it?

ZOE: In a manner of speaking. Much of it was spawned from Polson’s devious little mind.

RIVER: I got mixed signals as to why the Captain didn’t want to bring me along. You know, to listen in.

ZOE: In truth, he wasn’t sure of Polson’s intentions and explaining a teenage girl’s presence to a man of ill-repute wasn’t something he felt compelled to do.

RIVER: I would think by now he knew better than to worry about my well-being.

ZOE: Recent events aside, I think a part of the Captain will always see you as the delicate, scared little girl who showed up on his ship in an ice box. That protective streak will probably never fade away.

Inara appears in the doorway.

INARA: Any word yet? (Zoe shakes her head) Our landing felt a bit shaky. Was that intentional?

ZOE: Captain wanted us temporarily “stranded.”

Inara nods her understanding.

INARA: That has to be a first, intentionally breaking down. (Zoe smiles) Did Mal indicate any kind of timeframe for this endeavor?

ZOE: None. This part gets played by ear. Mal knows how to get to the contact’s office. From there we’re hoping he can talk them into letting him come aboard to "pay" us for helping him out. If not, we may have a chase on our hands.

INARA: (looks through the windshield, worried) Oh, merciful Budhha.

Click to go to Ch. 34

Click to go back to Ch. 32


Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:24 AM


Uh oh, what in the nine hells did Inara see though the windshield? And why is my skin crawling with dread at the way Montrose is being ever so polite and attentive to Mal? The phrase, "come into my parlour said the spider to the fly" keeps going through my mind. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 8:10 AM


Uh...I am getting a serious case of the anti-fuzzy wuzzies with at least 2 individuals doing double takes at Mal. Yeah, he looks like crap warmed up...but I get the feeling there's more:(

Still...loving this series to bits, HeWhoKicksAlot;D



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