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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Clarke orders a drink, and Phoenix shows signs of being a BDH. In honor of Wytchcroft and HeWhoKicksALot, these final few chapters of this part will be in the style of a movie script...because an epic ending requires epic illustration. Thanks, guys. Enjoy!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 978 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Phoenix Feathers, Part II
Disclaimer: Joss is Boss, and…and…and all these ideas floating around in my head are mostly his doing. So it’s really just a lesser version of something that he could do much better. And I personally wouldn’t have any complaints if he did…
EXT- DYTON CITY- EARLY EVENING
A lone figure walks down an uncomfortably unpopulated street.
PAN- Around DOUGLAS CLARKE, as he glances around, not breaking stride. Notices other figures in the alleyways and shop windows, trying to stay out of sight. Keeps walking.
PULL OUT over rooftops to see that he is being watched closely by armed Talons. At street level, other Talons pace Clarke, keeping passerby off the street. It’s a private party.
Clarke approaches the café, a nice little establishment known as LUCINDA’S. He steps up to the swinging doors and pauses. Resettles his hat on his head. Walks in.
Lucinda’s is a cozy little bar with several tables adorned with what pass for tablecloths. (On Dyton Colony, a bar that attempts to look civilized is dubbed a café, regardless of what it actually serves.) It’s fairly crowded, limiting Clarke’s choice of table to one in the middle of the room.
Clarke scopes out the place from the doorway. Notices patrons, fire lanes, and the conveniently low-hanging tablecloths. Some patrons glance at him as he enters, but are disinterested.
Clarke walks to the bar and loudly orders a glass of lemonade. Glances around. NOW some people are curious. He notes the people who don’t glance up from their drinks. Walks back to his table and sits down, nursing his lemonade.
EXT- Dyton City- Early Evening
MICK’S MACHINERY (“You Name It, We Fix It!”) is across the street from Lucinda’s, and is an old building, five stories high and in need of a thorough scrubbing. There are several other buildings surrounding it, but most of the traffic is centered around Mick’s. After all, it is the Talons’ base of operations.
INT- MICK’S, FIFTH FLOOR
NEBULA, KOYI, and CODY are thrown into a cell-like room by their TALON jailers. It has one door, one full-length window that can open out over five stories of nothingness.
TALON GUARD: Y’all wait here, now, nice and quiet, while I run get the Master. I figure he’ll have somepin to talk to you about…he’s been real keen on meetin’ ya, anyways.
The Talon exits, leaving the three crewmembers with the TALON GANG BOSS and another GUARD. The TALON GANG BOSS steps into the room with a leer at Koyi.
TALON GANG BOSS: Well, hey there, darlin’. Remember me? Seems you and I were interrupted in the middle of a conversation last time we met. I was hopin’ I’d get the chance to get reacquainted with your fine self. (moves towards her)
CODY: (intervenes) Get away from her, hun-dahn!
Cody gets a punch in the face for his trouble, and he hits the ground, hard, bleeding from a split lip. The Talon Boss steps over him while the other Talon looks on, amused.
TALON GANG BOSS: Shh! Nice and quiet, like the man said. Wouldn’t want to bother the neighbors.
NEBULA: (helps Cody up) Your Master won’t like it if you mess with us. He wants to talk, remember?
TALON GANG BOSS: Aw, he just wants information on that loony kid y’all are totin’ around. And he’ll get that, one way or t’other. Hell, I’ll be doin’ the Master a favor by loosening up your mouth, if you know what I’m sayin’.
Koyi backs away, looks to the other Talon, but he’s just watching the fun. Tries to keep the Talon Boss talking.
KOYI: Phoenix? What’s he have to do with anything?
TALON GANG BOSS: Don’t know, don’t care. I’ve got my mind somewheres else at the moment.
The Talon steps close, too close, grabs Koyi’s arm.
KOYI: Look, luh-suh for brains, things don’t have to go this way. We can make a deal.
MASTER: (entering, with guard plus two more) Non, mademoiselle, I am sorry, but we cannot. You see, you ARE the deal.
The Talon Gang Boss steps hurriedly away from Koyi, who turns to regard the new threat.
CODY: Come again?
The man’s piercing blue eyes turned towards Cody and seemed to look right through him.
MASTER: Ah. You are the mechanic. You are younger than I had pictured you.
CODY: And you’re…French. Let me guess- the Master, right? Where’s the big black mustache?
Guard moves to hit him, but Master raises a hand, a slight smile on his lips.
MASTER: (to guard) Non, non, mon fils. Ce n’est pas necessaire maintenant.
KOYI: What’s this about us being bargaining chips?
MASTER: I am a businessman, mademoiselle. I see an opportunity, and I take it. You three are of value to me.
CODY: We are?
MASTER: Of course. You know where the boy is-
KOYI: Got no ruttin’ idea.
MASTER: Non? Perhaps not…(A Talon enters, holds a whispered conversation with him)
(He turns back to the prisoners) You say you don’t know where the boy is? Even so, he will be looking for the four of you. He will find me instead, and I him.
NEBULA: The four of us?
MASTER: One of your companions waits for me across the street. He would like for me to release you, I think. I will go to him now and invite him to join us.
CODY: Clarke? Here?
KOYI: Oh, Buddha.
NEBULA: Leave him out of this. He’s done nothing-
KOYI: -Come to think of it, neither have we-
MASTER: Please. It is regrettable, but I can leave nothing to fortune. Now, if you will forgive me, I have dinner plans. (moves to leave)
NEBULA: Wait- What do you want with Phoenix, anyway?
MASTER: It has been a while since we last saw each other, but he cannot have forgotten about all that I did for him in just a few short years. After all, can I not welcome home my son? Adieu.
He exits with the Talon Gang Boss in tow, leaving one guard pacing in the room with the prisoners, and two men outside the door.
CODY: What was that about? Phoenix has a dad?
NEBULA: Everybody has a dad, Cody.
KOYI: Explains some things about the kid.
NEBULA: It does not! Nothing is explained by this. Phoenix is still entirely inexplicable.
CODY: Not sure how that’s an improvement, Neb. Anyway, I don’t expect we’ll be getting many answers waiting around here for the bad guys to tire of my roguish good looks.
KOYI: And my witty banter. And Nebula.
NEBULA: Hey! What did I do?
CODY: Exactly. And I think they’re already tired of you, Koyi. What the heck was that one guy talking about that I got punched over?
KOYI: We’ve met. It happened when Neb and I went to the Bazaar. Group of Talons mixed it up with some other gang, then got the urge to loot everything in sight. Buggers cornered me in a store, but Ph…I got out of there all right.
CODY: You’re kidding me! You know these guys? Is that why they came after us?
KOYI: I hope so.
KOYI: Because otherwise it means that just about everybody in the ‘Verse is after this kid of ours, and there’s no way our luck could be that bad.
The Talon guard, who has been pacing around the outside of the room, keeping the prisoners away from the window, suddenly finds himself relocated several meters outside of the room, standing on five stories of empty sky. A slightly winded Phoenix is standing in his place.
NEBULA and CODY: Phoenix!
KOYI: (cont’d) See, what’d I tell you?
INT- MICK’S, FIRST FLOOR
The Tong Master, his Boss, and the Deadly Snake convene amidst the hustle and bustle of a full-fledged criminal syndicate.
MASTER: Now, mon fils, you won’t cause too much trouble while I’m gone? Do not make me leave another in charge.
TALON GANG BOSS: Master, I am honored that you…uh…have honored me with this great responsibility.
MASTER: Don’t be too sure, mon fils. I would have left my friend the Snake behind, but I require his services tonight. Snake, you will go with a team and secure the cargo ship. You will wait for the boy to make contact there. I want no mistakes. Viens!
The Deadly Snake, a man of few words, merely nods in acknowledgement.
MASTER: (Cont’d, to Boss) Your bumbling has hurt the Talon image, and it has weakened my hold over the city. I hope for your sake that you prove to be more alert at home than you were when you were looting, or the next time you wake up, you will be in need of more than an aspirin. Au revoir, mon fils.
The Master of the Talon Tong exits and heads across the street to Lucinda’s. He is quite alone, but has nothing to fear in the heart of his territory.
The Tong Gang Boss watches as the Deadly Snake summons an assault team of Talons, each armed to the teeth, and heads out.
DEADLY SNAKE: (to Boss) Do us all a favor, and don’t do anything stupid. Got it?
He and his squad breeze past the Boss and stride off into the dusk towards the spaceport.
The Tong Gang Boss mutters some silent curses after them, then forgets his mockers as he glances upstairs. He grins and heads up the stairwell, taking the steps two at a time.
INT/EXT- MICK’S FIFTH FLOOR
PHOENIX: Come on, let’s get the bloody hell out of here.
CODY: How exactly are we supposed to do that?
PHOENIX: Same way I got in.
They go to the window, which is now ajar and swinging over empty space. Across the way, about five meters away across the void is the roof of a smaller building. A fire escape runs down the side facing them, and several floors down, the crimson-suited Talon can be seen, lying at an awkward angle on one of the landings, either unconscious or dead.
KOYI: (beat) Umm...I vote we stay with the people who want to kill us.
PHOENIX: Just climb down onto the ledge and brace your feet against the wall. Then you push off. Try not to undershoot.
CODY: No running jumps?
PHOENIX: Without perfect trajectory, unlikely given the situation, I calculate a 38 percent chance of a fractured ankle, with lessening percentages for other bones.
CODY: That’s not…bad…
KOYI: You have TWO ankles, Cody. And I’m not carrying you home. But I REALLY don’t want to do this.
NEBULA: We don’t really have a choice. I guess I’ll…
CODY: No! I’ll go. Besides, if you got hurt, who’d keep me from going stir crazy out in the Black?
Cody slowly works his way over the edge while Koyi and Nebula keep a tight hold on his forearms. His knuckles are white where they grip the window sill, and he braces his feet against the side of the building.
KOYI: My scalpel set.
CODY: Threats aren’t very useful to me at this juncture.
Cody looks over his shoulder, checks the distance.
PHOENIX: 72 percent chance of cranial trauma if the head is rigid.
CODY: (to self) Thanks. I’ll remember that. Okay.
Cody puts his chin to his chest, causing his voice to become rather guttural.
CODY: (Cont’d) Okayokayokay…One…Two…THREE!
He jumps backwards, flying across the gap impressively quickly, until his upper back hits the hard roof of the adjacent building and he is winded. He staggers to his feet and beckons to Nebula, who hesitates, but starts to climb out onto the wall. Koyi helps to steady her arms, and looks up to see that Phoenix’s eyes are closed. She turns back to Nebula.
KOYI: But I thought you liked taking spacewalks?
NEBULA: Never again, I swear. All right. One, Two…Three!
Nebula hurtles backwards and into Cody, who falls with her, absorbing the brunt of the impact for her. He blacks out.
NEBULA: Made it! Thanks, Cody. I owe you.
No response. Nebula rolls off of him, looks him over.
NEBULA: Cody? CODY?
CODY: (recovering) Whooo. That was bracing. Let’s not do that again to soon, okay, Neb?
NEBULA: It’s a deal. Come on.
She helps him up, and they turn back to watch Koyi kneel down and prepare to crawl out of the window.
CU of Phoenix’s eyes as they SNAP OPEN.
The door across the room behind them begins to open. It’s the Talon Gang Boss. Phoenix runs to the door and KICKS it, slamming the unwary Talon into the door jamb, then KICKS it again, slamming it shut. Koyi gets up and RUNS across the room to where Phoenix is holding the door shut with his body against the three Talons on the other side, and lends her strength to his. He shakes his head.
PHOENIX: (straining against the door) Go, go now! Running jump.
KOYI: The ankle thing?
PHOENIX: Exponentially less likely with assets already across.
KOYI: What about you?
PHOENIX: Don’t look back. I’ll join you back at the ship. Now GO!
Koyi can’t help herself. She screams through the door at her would-be tormentors.
KOYI: Nee-mun Doh shr sagwa!
She goes, yelling as she JUMPS across the gap, flailing, and bowling over Nebula and Cody on landing.
CODY: Oww…I thought I said never again…
KOYI: Let’s get the tien-shao duh outta here.
NEBULA: What about Phoenix?
KOYI: He’ll meet us back at the ship. Now GO!
They go, hurrying towards the fire escape.
Back in the room, Phoenix spares a glance to see that the three crewmates are escaping safely, then grimaces as the door buckles again. He turns back to the door and waits for the next blow to land, then takes a small step back and kicks the door down…the other way. He steps into the hallway beyond to see the (very alarmed) Talon Gang Boss fumbling for his sidearm, along with several of his cronies, as a Talon unfortunate enough to be caught beneath the door screams in pain.
ANGLE ON Phoenix, as his head cocks to one side curiously.
INT- LUCINDA’S- EARLIER
POV Master as he approaches Clarke. The tracker doesn’t look up as the Master sits down across from him. Meanwhile, most of the bar’s patrons begin to quietly get the heck outta Dodge before the shooting starts. They see the signs, all right, including the automatic weapons that several other “patrons” are attempting to conceal under the tablecloths.
CLARKE: So, you want to tell me where you’re keeping my crew, or did I come down here for nothing?
MASTER: Come now, monsieur, we ‘ave barely met and already you are making demands of me. I was ‘oping we could talk a little business.
CLARKE: You’re not here to sell me my friends back.
MASTER: I’m afraid not. No, money is not what I’m after. I require something more rare- information. You know why I ‘ave invited you ‘ere, M’sieu Clarke?
CLARKE: Besides getting my friends back?
MASTER: We will get to that. It concerns someone, a mutual acquaintance. I would like to know a little more about this Phoenix. How did he come to be aboard your ship?
CLARKE: I shot him.
MASTER: (laughing) Vraiment? Well, M’sieu Clarke, it appears that you have an aggressive streak in you! And how long has he been one of your crew?
CLARKE: Inside a week.
MASTER: What loyalty that you and your crewmates have for such a new friend! And what a troublemaker he is, too! It amazes me. But you will be pleased- I am here to take him off your hands.
CLARKE: My cold, dead ones?
MASTER: Please, M’sieu, let us not be vulgar. You are in no position to negotiate, yes? Now, your crew, they are safe and unspoiled. All you must do is tell me where I can find the boy.
CLARKE: Well, you see, there’s a kind of hitch-
The distant sound of gunfire can be heard in the quiet café. The Master reacts, while Clarke doesn’t bat an eyelash.
MASTER: I told you to come alone!
CLARKE: I did.
MASTER: Do not lie to me!
CLARKE: Okay. Would you believe that the entire Dyton City Police Force is just outside those doors?
MASTER: Be realistic.
CLARKE: Half of them?
MASTER: This is MY town, M’sieu, my town. The Police cannot touch me here. But you do not wish to cooperate. I see now that things must be done the hard way. The lives of your crew are forfeit, M’sieu, and your own now hangs in the balance. Until you hand over the boy, you must prepare yourself for the most excruciating pain.
CLARKE: I don’t think so.
MASTER: Ah, non?
The Tong Master looks over Clarke’s shoulder and begins to nod meaningfully to the men sitting at the tables scattered around the room, but before he can give the signal,
WHAM! Clarke kicks the table over onto its side, the Master trapped painfully underneath it. Clarke falls with it, twisting to put his back against the thick wood as a gun appears in his hand and
BLAM! BLAM! His first shots throw back one of his would-be ambushers before the man can train his own weapon, and
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! His next shots find the other man who had a clear shot at his back a few moments before. The man’s body armor does little to stop the customized and high-powered handgun, and the man’s automatic rifle sprays lead everywhere in his dying convulsions. The underside of the table next to Clarke’s head explodes in a shower of splinters as the heavy slugs tear into the wood.
The other Talons in the bar have their weapons out now, and are firing off a constant stream of bullets, although Clarke is sheltered from their fire by the table. They are careful to fire high, unless they hit their Master. Clarke fires shots over and around the table, but his enemies have ample cover and are moving to encircle him.
The table begins to shake apart under the heavy automatic weapons fire, and Clarke grits his teeth as bullets punch through the table all around him.
Finally, Clarke’s had enough. He rolls out from behind the ex-table and gets to his feet, his hand digging in a pouch at his side for bullets. His hands open and eight rounds are in his palm, all of which he chambers in one smooth motion. With a practiced flick of his wrist, Clarke snaps the cylinder home and takes aim, never changing his stride.
Shots fly all around him, but none of the shots appear to find their mark. He is an angry deity, wading through their fire like it is nonexistent.
The outcome is inevitable. He’s just too awesome. The remaining three Talons soon are down and badly in need of closed-caskets. Clarke looks around, a bit disoriented as people are no longer shooting at him. He walks over to the groaning form of the Master, and stands above him.
MASTER: Putain! There is nowhere you-
He trains his pistol squarely between the Master’s eyes. Beat. Flicks out the cylinder and upends the remaining rounds onto the Master’s face.
CLARKE: This isn’t your town- Never has been, never will be. You’re just another guy. You think on that for a spell.
Clarke walks out of the ravaged café, leaving the Master trapped under the table and cussing violently in French, English, and Chinese. In the distance and getting closer, several Dyton City Police Force skiffs can be heard, the distinctive wail of their sirens cutting through the empty streets as night falls.
CLARKE: Called it.
He walks down the street, reloading his gun, going to save his crew. Again.
Friday, November 23, 2007 3:10 AM
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