Child's Play
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Moving the plot along.


Child’s Play

This is fanfic, and does not count as violating the writers’ strike...especially as the author is not a professional writer, nor in danger of becoming one. All characters and situations are the property and product of whoever thunked them up, no profit has transpired.

***** Scene 1

(Copia. Farmhouse. Kitchen. Morning after “Cold Sweat” takes place.)

MAL: So, that all makin’ any more sense now? RIVER: One vital part of the equation remains unresolved. MAL: And that would be? RIVER: More coffee. KAYLEE: One cuppa “think grease”, comin’ right up! MAL: Anything janglin’ into place? Joggin’ the old brain pan? RIVER: Cof-fee. MAL: Right. KAYLEE: Here you go, sweetie! Pure pick me up. RIVER: Brother mine, for future reference: that sedative cocktail is effective, but lingers in the system an undesirable interval. SIMON: It’s all I had on hand. RIVER: You were expecting a rogue water buffalo? SIMON: One never can tell when Jayne may get cranky next. RIVER: Still a touch heavy handed with the Dilautin. SIMON: Sorry. MAL: I love a good recipe swap ‘bout as much as the next fella, but could we mosey on back towards the topic here? RIVER:(closes eyes) I’m working on it. MAL: Well that’s sure a RIVER: Shh! MAL: Shh? RIVER: Shh!! MAL: Did she just shush me? OTHERS: SHHH!!! MAL: (a long beat) Gettin’ anything? ZOE: (taking his arm) Out. MAL: Ai ya! ZOE: (gently guiding him out of the room) Out. MAL: My ship. ZOE: House, not ship. MAL: My house? ZOE: Nope. RIVER: (opens one eye. Sighs, holds up mug hopefully.) Lost it. More coffee?

***** Scene 2

( Busy colorful corridor outside a berth. The ship belongs to Space Gypsies.) JAYNE: Your mother in law decide you’re not her favorite after all? JAZ: Definitely not. JAYNE: You sure? JAZ: Trust me, Mrs. Li? We’d be dead. JAYNE: So who all was shootin’ at us then? JAZ: We have a little while to figure that out. Get your gear stowed, we’ve got some waves to make. JAYNE: We gonna make it home? JAZ: We are in the capable hands of Kasmir’s people. If they can’t keep us safe, there’s no point going anywhere else.

******* Scene 3

(Copia. Farmhouse. Parlor.)

RIVER: Once the recent data was added further meaning was revealed. Inara wanted to warn us of great risk and danger, but also the possiblilty of great gain. If we accept that the 76th is the dark horse, her message can be interpreted to caution us not to reveal our home location, as there is a traitor somewhere in or near the group in question, and the possibility of a recurrence of the events on Shadow is quite high. MAL: Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. JAZ: Off world meet? ZOE: This sector or another one? MAL: Too late, they already know things’re a touch busier ‘bout these parts. ZOE: somewhere near but not too near, then. KAYLEE: Silverhold? MAL: Too busy. Harvest? JAYNE: Too close. Muir’s closer in, but Liann Jiun’s got more ground to cover. ZOE: Kerry? MAL: Too many people to get hurt. ZOE: Dock in the black? MAL: (quickly) No. ZOE: Sir? MAL: I said no. End of discussion. Inara have any other suggestions tucked away in that scribble scrabble? RIVER: Not precisely. The implication is stronger that you should wager on the black horse, but trust only the phoenix. ZOE: Her money’s on the 76th, but don’t trust any weren’t in the war? MAL: Good a take on it as any. What I’m hankerin’ to know is how a hoity toity lady like her fine self knows any rough and tumbles. JAYNE: You mean other’n us? MAL: Any we did not introduce her to, yes. ZOE: The guild has servants. Information flows both ways. KAYLEE: Maybe some of those fancy clients talk to plain folk time to time? Shop clerks and the like? SIMON: Verifying her sources would resolve some lingering questions. JAYNE: Somethin’ bout this smells. MAL: That would be the lingering, then? JAYNE: Just feels like a setup. KAYLEE: Inara wouldn’t set us up, Bi shuai! ZOE: Not even under pressure? MAL: What kind of pressure you thinkin’ of? ZOE: Alliance? Guild? JAYNE: Her hairdresser? MAL: Bad hairdo could ruin her. ZOE: Sir.. MAL: I’m listenin’. Anybody else feel a need to speak their peace? KAYLEE: Shanty, you’ve been awful quiet. It ain’t like you. JAZ: Hm? Sorry, I’m just thinking. MAL: About? JAZ: I find myself inclined to agree with Jayne. Traitors make me nervous. JAYNE: Feel it in my water. Somethin’ ain’t right. ZOE: Better safe, Sir. Call off the meeting? MAL: No. I need to hear what these folk’ve got to say for themselves. We’re just gonna have to keep a sharp lookout is all. ZOE: Reckon it’s intelligence like this as loses a body a war? MAL: I believe you may be on to somethin’. JAYNE: Gorram cloak and dagger go se. Whyn’t she just say what she means, anyhow? SIMON: Because then everybody would know what she was trying to tell us. JAYNE: And? SIMON: They would know we know. JAYNE: So? SIMON: Then they would change their plans and we wouldn’t know anymore. JAYNE: We can’t know, so they don’t know that we know, so’s we know? SIMON: Precisely! Even you understand. JAYNE: That don’t make no kinda sense! SIMON: It helps if you can think in something other than a straight line. JAYNE: I’ll straighten yer line for ya. JAZ: Don’t make me get off this couch. JAYNE: He started it. MAL: I’ll finish it. The pair of you, don’t make me pull this palaver over. SIMON: I was simply trying to explain.. JAYNE: Just wanted to know why.. MAL: You- Stop helping. You- Because, that’s why.

****** Scene 4

(Copia. Crossing to the barn.)

MAL: Still can’t believe she just up and left like that. Coulda warned us. ZOE: Did say she was gettin’ married. MAL: So sudden like? ZOE: Two months ago, Sir. MAL: QBG’s not gonna like this one bit. ZOE: She bought the dress, Sir. MAL: She did? ZOE: She did. Honeymoon’s only going to be a month, they’ll be back right after. MAL: You say month? ZOE: Some people get more than three days while the ship’s laid over for repairs. Sir.

******* Scene 5

(Copia. Farmhouse yard. Mal is marching the children around. All seem to be enjoying themselves.)

MAL: (sound off cadence) Horse eats grass and horse eats hay. Great big gut gets in the way. Horse eats hay and horse eats grass. Sarge says better lose that ZOE: (Stopping him in the nick of time) That will be enough of that. MAL: It’s a classic! ZOE: Don’t make me tell your wife.

(In the nursery)

RIVER: (to the tune of Mr Ed) A quark is a quark of course of course, when all is done and said. A quark is a quark and not a horse, they come in blue and red. (children stare blankly)

(In the parlor. Simon has dragged out a holograph of an articulated skeleton)

SIMON: (to “them bones”) The phalanges’ connected to the tarsal, the tarsal’s connected to the metatarsal, the metatarsal’s connected to the.. ZOE: Just stop. Please. SIMON: What? Isn’t this the way everybody learns it?

(Bath time.)

KAYLEE: Five little space monkeys hangin’ from a tree. Along comes a crocagator, hungry as can be! (looks up at mom) ZOE: Carry on.

(Serenity. Cargo bay. Zoe and Mal are shifting boxes.) ZOE: I’d love to let them see his poetry some day. When they’re thirty or so. His dirty haiku are a bit over the top. MAL: I never heard any. ZOE: There’s a reason for that.

(Hallway outside nursery.)

JAZ: Have you seen Mal? JAYNE: In there, recitin’ Shakespeare at ‘em. JAZ: Ai ya! Comedy or Tragedy? JAYNE: Hamlet mostly. JAZ: Should be safe then. Stop him before he acts out the sword fights. MAL: (from inside the room) Was too! Look, I got the scar to prove it! JAZ: Malcolm! MAL: What?!

(Jayne’s room. Zoe enters, relieved to find where the children had scampered off to.)

JAYNE: (holding up a rifle and a handgun for illustration) ‘N if your chamber freezes up on accounta dust ya ain’t gonna be able to clean it fast enough. That’s why you always need a backup, dong ma? ZOE: Jayne! Good advice? I’m impressed. JAYNE: Just common sense. ZOE: Can’t be a bad influence all the time. JAYNE: Awright, scat! (after them) Next time me n’ Kaylee’re gonna show you how to bend copper tubing for a still. ZOE: Or possibly you can.


SIMON: You don’t do this around mommy, OK? (children shake their heads) Armpit farts! Ready? (pt pt pt) CHILDREN: YAAY!!!! (ZOE is listening at door, nearly chokes with suppressed laughter)

(Farmhouse garden)

RIVER: (to ring a rosie) Ring around an atom, speed ‘em up and splat ‘em! Had-ron di-pole, we all fall down! (...we can almost hear the crickets...) ZOE: What if we all fell down?

(Mal and Jazmine getting ready for bed. Mal is whupped.) JAZ: Did you have fun taking the space monkeys today? MAL: (flat on his back) Sovay comes back? Girl gets a raise. JAZ: Wear you out did they? MAL: That is purely a passel of noise in motion.

***** Scene 6

(Copia. Kitchen. Mal and Jazmine entering in mid argument. Kaylee and River are attempting to be fully absorbed in their teacups, and yet not miss a second.)

MAL: Just ‘cause, is why. JAZ: That is not an acceptable reason for me to go off world right now. MAL: Look, would you just stop arguing about it? JAZ: I’m simply asking for a clear explanation as to why you are so all fired insistent that I should go haring off with you who knows where, for who knows how long, when I’m about ready to deliver. MAL: Already told you: just do, ain’t any explainin’, and ain’t any point pushing for more. JAZ: Until you can convince me there’s a solid reason, my answer will remain firmly in the negative. MAL: I asked you to come with me, it’s a simple request! JAZ: I’m not leaving my home! MAL: It ain’t like it’s permanent woman, just for the next little while! JAZ: (storming out the door) I’m staying put whether you like it or not! MAL: (calling after her) You’re bein’ irrational you know! (Kaylee and River have looked up from their tea to share a look of ‘that one’s gonna cost him’) RIVER: Hormones. MAL: What? RIVER: It’s the hormones. Now you’re going to have to apologize. MAL: Apolo..why? KAYLEE: Because even if you’re right, you’re wrong. Try flowers. MAL: Flowers? KAYLEE: Yep. MAL: How mad is she, d’you think? RIVER: (holds out hands to indicate size of appropriate bouquet). KAYLEE: Don’t get a vase to put ‘em in ‘till you see if it works. RIVER: (nods in agreement) Good aim.

******** Scene 7

(Serenity. Bridge. Mal and River are running a systems check)

RIVER: Just a dream, you know. MAL: Beg pardon? How’s that pressure sensor..? RIVER: Reading accurately. It was just a dream. Not prophecy. Got you rattled. MAL: Little dream got nothing to do with it. Coils...? RIVER: Within norms. Got you spooked. Afraid you’re going to lose them. Like Shadow. Like the war. Don’t want to lose it all again just when it feels safe to feel. MAL: You got an uncanny knack of making a pain of yourself, you know that? Diagnostic on the comsat...? RIVER: Good all frequencies. Take Jayne. MAL: Come again? RIVER: Take. Jayne. Change the dream, can’t come true. MAL: Right. RIVER: You conjure I’ve got a point. Trying to reconcile your desire to protect with your need to deny superstition. Quite the conundrum. Leave Jayne, they’re safer. Take Jayne, they’re safer. Shanty’s not going anywhere, so Simon won’t leave his patient, Jayne’s the obvious alterable factor in the equation. MAL: Thank you, Cassandra. I’ll be sure to give it all due consideration, or at least all the consideratin’ it’s due. RIVER: All clear here. (as she exits) Cassandra may have voiced unpopular opinions, but she was right. On your guard now...they’ll be fine. ******


Sunday, December 2, 2007 2:56 AM


I loved all the bits of dialogue and especially River reasoning it out at the end so that Mal can find a course of action that won't end up with those he loves horribly dying. And I adored the Kaylee and River dialogue about Mal getting Jaz flowers but not to buy the vase until he saw if the apology worked because Jaz has a good aim. OH, priceless! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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Flying The Coop
The landscape's changing. Serenity's moving on. They'll all be fine.

Garden, With Cakes
Integrating Inara's storyline with other stuff going on. Still sticking to my own little corner of the 'Verse.

Child's Play
Moving the plot along.

Cold Sweat
Short installment in the biggish darned series.

Road Trip
Getting antsy. Jayne hits a house of ill repute and several people. Neither of these events is described in detail.

Imbalance of Power
This is a setup.

Lonesome Albatross
Sniff sniff...sob. Teenage angst. Also flying bullets.

Love Nuns
Serenity returns to Copia. Mal faces the music. Half naked men wrestling.

Big Rosie
Back story for the 76th.

Come The Ressurrection
Fairly short (for me). He's baack!