A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 60
Monday, March 19, 2007




CU of Paul’s eyes as they begin to glance around.

Camera pulls away, revealing that Paul is standing. He glances around with open curiosity. The area he stands in is a swirling mess of unfocused shadows and light. Occasional disjointed colors interweave with the shadows.

PAUL: I had a feeling we’d talk again.

Paul slowly turns around to see... himself.

Paul Two is identical to Paul One in almost every respect. His hair is longer and unmaintained, his features deeper and a bit rougher. His aura is one of anger and resentment. His clothes are dark and ragged.

PAUL ONE: This should be enlightening...

PAUL TWO (slowly circling Paul One): You tried to destroy me.

PAUL ONE: Not destroy. Contain.

PAUL TWO: In my world, they’re one and the same. I’ve been contained for far too long.

PAUL ONE: And that wouldn’t have changed. You... we would have still been a prisoner.

PAUL TWO (still circling): A prisoner? No. I think not. A warrior. A weapon. An unstoppable force.

PAUL ONE: At the end of a very short tether. Our father would have it no other way.

PAUL TWO (feverish rage): You’re wrong!

PAUL ONE: Why do you think he had you suppressed for so long? He had to be certain you could be controlled once released. That we could be controlled. Neither of us is the son he wanted. You’re too volatile and I’m too... inhibited by morality.

PAUL TWO: And that is why you have to die. I won’t let you deny me any longer.

PAUL ONE: I hadn’t planned on it. I think we need each other.

PAUL TWO: I don’t need anyone! You least of all!

PAUL ONE: I remember feeling that way. Wanted to take on the world, didn’t we? The world’s one big enemy to face alone.

PAUL TWO: I see only one enemy right now. And this time, I will kill you.

PAUL ONE: A futile effort. But if you must...


Paul lies on the medical chair, Simon carefully wrapping a roll of gauze around his head. Mal stands nearby, arms folded, face intent. Jayne is wiping his bloody hands on a towel, eyes never leaving Paul. Inara and River have taken a step inside the Infirmary, Kaylee immediately behind them, peeking over their shoulders.

Paul’s body tenses suddenly, his hands clenching into fists. Simon lets the gauze hang as he looks at the wall-mounted monitor. The ECG line (heart monitor) has jumped up to one hundred sixty beats per minute. The EEG lines (brain activity) are scrambled all over. Paul’s bare arms and legs strain against their restraints, veins popping.

RIVER (distant, gaze averted): He’s fighting...

MAL: Don’t need to be a reader to...

RIVER: No. He’s fighting... himself.

River steps forward and touches Paul’s left fist. It relaxes. River takes it in both of hers.

Mal looks at her curiously. Simon pushes another drug into Paul’s IV port.

KAYLEE: Simon, you gotta help him.

SIMON: There’s... nothing more I can do.

RIVER: He’s right. Sifu has to fight this battle alone.

Kaylee’s face takes on a new measure of pain. Inara hugs her.


Paul Two is pummeling Paul One, raking his body with punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. His style is ugly, brutal, evil in its imposition. Paul One makes no attempt to fight back, resorting to blocking and deflecting the attack as best he can. The vortex howls around them as the brutality escalates.

PAUL TWO (as he continues his attack): No little girl to help you now, Sifu.

PAUL ONE (spinning away from the attack): Not necessary.

Paul Two rushes forward with a vicious series of low kicks and roundhouse punches aimed at Paul One’s head.

PAUL TWO: You can’t win alone.

PAUL ONE: I don’t have to.

Paul One takes a low kick to the shin and a punch to the head in order to let Paul Two get within reach. He grabs Paul Two in a bear hug.

PAUL ONE: You can’t kill me, Paul, any more than I can kill you.

PAUL TWO (writhing madly, headbutting Paul One): Get off me!

PAUL ONE (forcing his forehead against Paul Two’s): No. This orchestrated dichotomy ends now.

Paul Two’s efforts begin to wane. His writhing is reduced to half-hearted attempts, then ceases. He begins to cry...


Paul’s body visibly relaxes, his breathing and heart rate reducing to normal. The crew crowds around him, their eyes moving from his unconscious form up to River’s eyes.

RIVER (softly): It’s over.

INARA: Over?

RIVER: Yes. Now we... wait.

KAYLEE: Will he, ya know, wake up?

River looks down, tears welling in her eyes.

RIVER: I don’t know.

Click to go to Ch. 61

Click to go back to Ch. 59


Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:16 AM


Oooh, I hope the good half of Paul prevails. This was very good, there had to be some kind of fall out from all that his evil father had done to him and this shows that very clearly. Can't wait to see what happens next. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:09 AM


Whoa...definitely good myth! Especially the two "brothers" fighting to be the dominant party...quite Freudian, I think;)

Excellent stuff, HeWhoKicksAlot! Can't wait to see which - or both - version(s) of Paul wakes up;D


Tuesday, March 20, 2007 3:30 PM


Oooh, coolness. I wasn't expecting that. Then again I do lack in imagination. :) That scene would look pretty nifty onscreen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 4:35 PM


I really like that even though I *thought* I knew what would happen (Paul Mk.II returns), you still caught me totally off-guard with how the scenario continues to play out. (A fight!? And a pacifistic Paul Mk. I!?) Wowee!

Five letters sum up your writing, HeWhoKicksAlot:



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