Imbalance of Power
Friday, April 20, 2007

This is a setup.


Imbalance of Power ***** Insert standard fanfic disclaimer thingy here.

***** Scene 1: (Serenity. Kitchen, dinner is being served. Mal enters late from cargo bay.)

MAL: “Mail Call! Ai ya! Don’t even wait for me then. See if I do the post run again.” (Starts passing it out) “Bill. Bill. Bill. He’s a popular fella this week. Here’s one addressed to sweepstakes winner.. guess that’d be you Jayne. Girly magazine cleverly disguised in a plain brown wrapper.. that’d be you again Jayne. Kaylee, one for you, smells funny. Package of thingamahoozies for Simon. Bill, bill, and a catalog for old home furnishing fixtures addressed to occupant. Zoe, you plannin’ on doing any plumbing without telling me?” ZOE: “Happy with the tub we’ve got, Sir.” MAL: “New lighting fixures then?” ZOE: “Prefer it dark, Sir. Makes you prettier.” MAL: “Hey..” KAYLEE: “Guess what? I Got a message from Inara!!” RIVER: (enters from bunk) “She didn’t wave.” KAYLEE: “She *wrote*, even better!” SIMON: “Are you planning to keep us in suspense all day?” ZOE: “Go on, read it.” KAYLEE: “Let’s see. Says hello to Zoe...goes on to talk about some new dresses..found a song Shanty’d like. Asks how married life’s treating us. Says to let mei mei read this when I’m done. Guess she means River? Sends a recipe for five spice horse and phoenix for Shanty to try if she gets a chance. Sounds exotic! Says she’s having good sex, or was ‘till they called some big meeting or other. Somethin’ odd towards the end here. Says to ask Jayne about his course in astrophysics? PS: Tell the captain it’s good to hear he’s not dead anymore, but not to let it go to his head. (pulls out two more pages) Oh look! There’s a poem too! She’s got such a pretty hand with a brush. Looks funny though, can’t quite make it out.” ZOE: “Jayne, you gettin’ all learned on us?” JAYNE: “Not so’s you’d notice.” MAL: “We hadn’t. River, how’s about you just take a gander at Inara’s little note there & see what you think.” RIVER: “13th century calligraphy. Earth That Was. The content comments on the form and the form comments on the content. A modernstyle of poetry stressing balance and harmony. Not though. Unbalanced, inelegant. Not like her. Swords, fireworks, a game of go, incense...” MAL: “What do you make of it?” RIVER: “Nothing. Yet. Probably a hidden message somewhere if it’s not in code. She was upset when she wrote it.” SIMON: “Scared?” RIVER: “Angry. A little fear as well. One comments on the other. One comments. Form. Content. Art and words. Wonder if....” SIMON: “River?” RIVER: (picks up her plate) “I’m taking these to the bridge. May I have the envelope as well?” KAYLEE: “What envelope?” RIVER: “The envelope it came in.” KAYLEE: “Weren’t one. Just folded over and sealed on itself.” RIVER: “The message contains itself.” JAYNE: “Call me if she starts talkin’ sense again.” (Digs in).


Scene 2: (Serenity. Bridge. Mal and River are watching the stars spin by)

RIVER: “We should make Copia sometime the day after tomorrow.” MAL: “So. How you doin’? I mean about Kay leaving and all. Or you know.. generally.” RIVER: “I’m going to try an artist next. Misunderstood genius. One who can do differential equations in base seventeen and write sonnets on the rapture of pi and phi with a comparative analysis of Tristan and Isolde in iambic pentameter. In his sleep. “ MAL: “Anything else?” RIVER: “He needs to be able to make good fudge.” MAL: “Right, we’ll just see if they have one in stock at the general store then.” RIVER: “Oh, and he needs to have a nice butt too.” MAL: “Tell you what, how’s about we let Kaylee do the shopping. Fudge I’m solid on, but my buttock sense ain’t what it used to be and I’m a touch too rustified in my base seventeen to check his work.” RIVER: “Fair enough. (Holds up Inara’s letter) Finished.” MAL: “What do you make of it?” RIVER: “Companion’s Guild deciding which side to take. Lockdown & recall related to assassination of 3 priestesses. Inara is in the running for house high priestess, the position would provide upward mobility, as well as lateral. Also assasinated: 2 parliament members, 1Blue Sun corporate officer, 3 former Independent high command members. Things are not in balance. Counterwieghts are slipping and the situation is becoming fluid. Look before you leap. Not sure when or where the dam is going to break, but it will be soon. “ MAL: “That’s quite the poem.” RIVER: “It was a code of sorts. I had to infer sections. Part of it could just be her laundry list. There are still some passages I’m not sure of. ” MAL: “And what would those be?” RIVER: “A stanza about a dark horse and a phoenix. Recurrent dream imagery. Dreaming of a dark horse, and rebirth.” MAL: “Ponies on the brain?” RIVER: “Something like that. Cyclic in nature.” MAL: “You keep cogitatin’ on it.” RIVER:” .. and the seasons, they go round and round, and the painted ponies..ask the plum, she’ll know.” MAL: “Mother said never bet on the ponies.” RIVER: “This one’s a sure thing...” MAL: “Which one?” RIVER: “What?” MAL: “Which pony?” RIVER: “The black one.” MAL: “Li’l Albatross, you with me here? ‘Cause I’m havin no end of trouble followin’ you.” RIVER: “Ask the plum.” MAL: “Plum?” RIVER: “Li. Plum.” MAL: “Snanty?” RIVER: “Shanty.” MAL: “Why don’t you go rest a spell, you’re lookin’ tuckered.” RIVER: “Plum tuckered. (giggles) Heads down, quiet time.. then back to work.” MAL: “ Stop ‘round the infirmary and check on your brother, betimes.” RIVER: “You want him to check on me..but I’m fine, and you should keep your thoughts further from the front of your mind if you don’t intend them for general broadcast.” MAL: “Just go on down now girl. I’ve got a wave to place.” RIVER: “If it makes you feel better that was my intent.” MAL: “Then intend your little backside on outta here.” RIVER: (sticks her tongue out as she exits) “You’ll wake her, but she’ll forgive you.”

****** Scene 3: (Copia, farmhouse. Jazmine is looking like she just woke up, because she has. Mal is on the screen)

MAL: “Sorry to wake you, Lotus Flower.” JAZMINE: ‘‘S okay. Just dozing. Time to get Grace to bed anyway. “ MAL: “Reckon so. I’ll try not to keep you wakeful overlong.” JAZ: “You can try, Bamboo, but it won’t work. I’m for bed. What brings the unexpected wave? You said you’d be home tomorrow.” MAL: “Got a letter from Inara. River had a quick peek at it, found some hidden content. Said I should ask you about it.” JAZ: “Me?” MAL: “Something about ponies.” JAZ: “Ponies?” GRACE: (sleepily) “Da?’ JAZ: “Daddy’s on the vid, little plum.” MAL: “Hey there sunshine, go on back to sleep for your mamma. Ponies. She said something about seasons going around and painted ponies or somesuch. “ JAZ: “I got plenty of nothing. Let me sleep on it.” MAL: “Fair enough. Hard work being pregnant, as I recall.” JAZ: “You recall? When was the last time you found yourself in a gravid state?” MAL: “Just trying to prove my sympathetic and supportive manliness.” JAZ: “We’ll see if you’re singing the same tune at four in the morning when your daughter wakes up and wants to play.” MAL: “She does that?” JAZ: “Amazing how you seem to be snoring hardest then, isn’t it?” MAL: “Are you implying pretense on my part?” JAZ: “You could almost call it dishonesty. Next time I’ll kick you to make sure.” MAL: “Grace, your mother is tired and cranky, put her to bed will you darlin’?” JAZ: “Goodnight Mr. Hibernation. Say goodnight Grace.” GRACE:(lifts head and looks around groggily)”Nigh nigh.” (she’s out.) MAL: “Goodnight Gracie.”

***** Scene 4: (Copia. Farmhouse. The children and Sovay are playing in the garden. Mal is standing in the middle looking bemused.)

MAL: “Oughta put a hamster wheel in the engine room, let ‘em give Kaylee a little down time for repairs.” SOVAY: “They will sleep soundly this evening. So will I.” HOBAN: (chasing sister with plastic dinosaur) “Rrraaarrr”. (Mattie turns & thumps him, he whacks her back. Sovay grabs Mattie, Mal grabs Hoban) MAL: “Hey, hey there now! Whoa! You don’t hit girls.. unless they’re trying to shoot you, or kick your spleen outten your ears, or well, you just don’t for now, OK?” HOBAN: (shoves dino in his face) “Rrrrraaarr”. MAL: “I’ll take that as agreement. As for you young missy, stop whomping on your brother” (She gives him a look.) “I’ve seen that face before. It’s not gonna work. Put the lip away. What kind of fuzzy wuzzy do you think I am? MATILDA: ( Smiles & reaches out) “Capin?”. SOVAY: “That kind. Little flirt.” MAL: ( Hands her Hoban and walks off muttering about feminine wiles). “Least her mother plays fair. (does quick about face at door) Gracie, what’s your mother say about playing fair?” GRACE:”NO!” MAL: “Sounds about right.” (exits) SOVAY: “Silly captain daddy! Silly silly silly! (giggles from the children) Now, we do not eat our family do we? (Chorus of nooos). That is right, No. So, what do we eat my little dinosaurs? (Chorus of an approximation of “kees!”) That is right, cookies! And also brussels sprouts, yes? (rousing Yaaaaay!) Let us go find lunch!”

***** Scene 5: (Copia. River’s room in the farmhouse. Jaz, Kaylee and Zoe. Jaz crosses to window and pulls back draperies. They stare in disbelief at their surroundings. The entire room has been painted black. All of it.)

KAYLEE: “Kinda gloomy in here.” ZOE: “Blackout curtains have that effect.” KAYLEE: “I can see why you screamed.” JAZMINE: “Well the workmanship is impeccable. Think we can convince her to do some stencilling? Or glow in the dark constellations?” KAYLEE: “Maybe some pink and grey frillies?” ZOE: “Red.” JAZ: “White.” ZOE: ”Black and white could work.” JAZ: “No, I mean she’s going to paint it all white again. Then we can discuss redecorating rooms you do not actually own without prior approval.. Then she can paint it whatever she pleases.” KAYLEE: “Lao tian ye. That should go over well.” ZOE: “I smell mutiny.” JAZ: “Maybe just a gentle discussion and get her some rolls of changepaper?” KAYLEE: “Oooh! Can we have some?” ZOE: “We’re asking first.” JAZ: “I’m pretending I didn’t hear that. Where’d she get all this black paint anyway?” KAYLEE: (shrugs innocently) “Oh, probably around.”


Scene 6: (Jazmine’s room later that night. Mal and Jazmine are in bed. Mal is rubbing her pregnant belly)

JAZ: “You hoping to make a wish or something?” MAL: “Just buffing.” JAZ: “Shiny.” MAL: “Ow. That was bad.” JAZ: “I think I found your ponies.” MAL: “In there? How’d they fit?” JAZ: (whacks him) “Do you want to hear this or no?” MAL: “Apology duly rendered. Continue madam.” JAZ: “Chorus to a song.” MAL: “A song.” JAZ: “Mm hm. Ancient folk tune. ‘And the seasons, they go round and round, and the painted ponies go up and down. We’re captive on the carousel of time. We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game’ Song about a boy growing up and how your dreams change throughout your life. Pretty little tune. I have to learn it.” MAL: “Huh.” JAZ: “Oh, forgot to mention at supper.. we’re going to have some company here soon. I’ve got a boatload of settlers coming in with Kasmir’s family next month.” MAL: “You starting to colonize here? Thought you said it wasn’t ready yet.” JAZ: “Let’s just say they’re relocating before the issue is forced. Got a crew started on building the walls for the settlement. Orchards go in next week. Vinyard the week after. Houses should be finished two after that. I love quick setting synthcrete.” MAL: “Instant village, just add water.” JAZ: “Wells are already dug, shouldn’t be a problem.” MAL: “Anybody I know?” JAZ: “Probably. Never can tell with you.” MAL: “I have let a varied and interesting life.” JAZ: “That you have my dear. Now get some rest, you’ve got the night shift.. remember?” MAL: (snores loudly) JAZ: (laughing) “Hun dan.” (hits him with her pillow) MAL: (Starts laughing, grabs her and burrows in) “Mmm, little momma! I love it when you get fiesty..”

***** Scene 7 (Copia. Farmhouse. Night. River is wandering the halls, looking out windows, pausing at occupied doors. She is in a fey mood).

RIVER: “Tinkle tinkle little jar won’t they wonder where you are.. little stars are out, little star bugs in the trees, do you talk to your cousins? Port in a storm, the anchor will hold. Safe harbor, safe haven, Haven is still safe. Phoenix rises again, dark horses running in the night, can they see where they’re going or do they run to run, can’t stop moving, move though the dance, dance the race the finish line is the last measure, measure your steps carefully companions,missteps are lethal in this dance. Dance to your daddy little laddie, fishy in a pond. Shooting fish in a barrel is not fair play, they should be free to swim away, tie your fly, fly away fish, swim if you can and they swam and they swam all over the dam, but the dam’s going to break, flood, floodwaters running to the sea, the sea ends at the landing, the landing is safe. Someone should warn the fish, arm the fish, fish fight back. Flip flop plop, swim to safe harbor and do not stop. Smells carry at night, jasmine is in bloom.. greenhouse window is open, there’s a gentle breeze. Make sure you close the shutters if the Banshee comes...” (wanders out of the house into the garden, starts dancing with the fireflies to the night songs) “He needs superior gluteal appeal. I won’t settle for less.” ******


Saturday, April 21, 2007 7:59 PM


Well now...that was all kinds of interesting, stinkingrose. Especially River's fascinating monologue at the end;D

Really gotta wonder who the Dark Horse and the Phoenix are. Kinda wonder if Mal is supposed to the former - the unexpected contender who pulls off a victory against a more powerful opponent - and Jaz or River is supposed to the Phoenix - creature reborn from the ashes of its previous existence - mentioned by Inara....


Sunday, April 29, 2007 2:52 PM


Nope, and nope.


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