A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 39
Friday, December 29, 2006

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

A warm welcome...



Everyone still occupies the Bridge, staring intently at the speaker. Kaylee is impatiently tapping her foot.

KAYLEE: What are they doing?

Simon puts an arm around her and pulls her close.

CAPTAIN (VO radio): Command, this is Paladin. Operation complete. However, there has been a new development. We have one Malcolm Reynolds in custody.

Everyone’s eyes widen as they stare in disbelief at the speaker. Simon’s head drops. Kaylee whispers what sounds like “no.” Jayne snorts. Inara’s eyes well up. River looks down into her lap. Zoe closes her eyes a beat.

Paul is the only one looking calm and unaffected.

VO RADIO: Copy, Paladin. Excellent catch.

CAPTAIN (VO radio): Permission to remain on site to investigate his activities.

VO RADIO: Granted, Paladin. You have twenty-four hours to investigate. Full Command Authority.

CAPTAIN (VO radio): Copy, Command. We’ll begin immediately. Paladin out.

The Bridge is whisper quiet for several seconds.

INARA: “Full command authority?”

PAUL: It’s a pleasant way of saying, “by whatever means necessary.” They have authorization to tear the Comm. Plex apart and use whatever methods they deem appropriate in questioning the Captain.


Mal sits in a stark stainless steel cell, staring dejectedly through the heavy gauge bars, his ankle shackled to a leg of the wall-mounted cot. A guard stands on either side of its entrance.

Madsen enters the Brig and walks directly to Mal’s cell.

MADSEN (disdainfully): The infamous Malcolm Reynolds. You must have the biggest pair I’ve ever seen.

Mal crosses his arms and stares straight ahead. Madsen places both hands on the bars and leans his face close.

MADSEN: We have twenty-three hours and fifty-four minutes to disassemble the Comm. Plex and question all those you came into contact with. The time we have to get to know you is far greater.

MAL: I’ve heard that before. Once you get past the shallow exterior, there ain’t much to know.

MADSEN: I’m sure there are a few helpful details to be gleaned from that less than complex psyche of yours. Now I’m going to attempt the civilized approach first, just for appearances’ sake.

MAL: Which must be maintained at all cost.

MADSEN: Explain to me in intricate detail what it was you were doing within Comm. Plex Nine.

MAL: Makin' use of the head. You fellas have the nicest johns.

MADSEN (smiling darkly): I was hoping you wouldn’t opt for the easy road.

MAL: Wouldn't even know how.

Click to go to Ch. 40

Click to go back to 38


Friday, December 29, 2006 2:36 PM


Short, sweet and judging by the end of Mal's and Madsen's exchange, and that 'Full command authority' thing, it could also be very, very bloody.

And why is Seafood so bloody well calm? Ain't natural, unless he's evil (which I sure as hell hope isn't the case), or he has a plan (please be this one!).

I demand more tantilising ficcy goodness!

Friday, December 29, 2006 9:30 PM


Why is it your chapters are getting shorter and shorter? It is beyond frustrating. Knew that it wouldn't go smooth and I was all manner of disturbed with how well Mal was being treated to believe any of it was sincere but like a good Browncoat I was hoping. Now I think we'll find out just how sincere Paul is or whether he was the one who set it up, perhaps let the Alliance know that the retinal scan would be met with fake ID. If he has betrayed the Captain I hope Zoe tears him into little shreds. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, December 30, 2006 5:12 AM


I'm sorry the short chapters drive my fellow Browncoats so crazy. I promise to make them longer. I just get an evil giggle out of ending on dramatic high-notes.

"I promise not to start any sword fights. I'm over that phase."

Rob O.

Sunday, December 31, 2006 11:38 AM


Damn it! Short chapters will not be tolerated!


Still...this was a brilliant chapter, HeWhoKicksAlot! Definitely loved Mal's confrontation with Madsen. I am seriously hoping for some one-on-one time between these two during an escape:D



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