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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
It's back! Phoenix and the crew of the Stallion struggle to escape the predations of Alliance troops and a vicious criminal syndicate. Either way, their days Dyton Colony are numbered. Script format for the extra awesome.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1083 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 BAZAAR-VITELLI’S-NIGHT
DEJULIO: Sleep tight, Boss.
DeJulio closes and locks the entrance to Anton Vitelli’s building. She turns and gives the area a quick once-over before heading off into the quiet darkness of the Dyton City Bazaar’s now deserted streets.
A minute later, DeJulio stops as she hears the distinctive sound of a hovercraft approaching. She freezes, blending in with the shadows as the Stallion’s Mule zooms past, heading in the direction of Vitelli’s. She picks out Monty and Priscilla riding on it, but it is the third person who really draws her attention. DeJulio’s jaw drops as she catches sight of Phoenix, who is looking a little worse for the day’s events, but still at large.
DEJULIO: That’s…not good.
The Mule passes by and DeJulio turns and sprints in a different direction, taking a shortcut back to the building. She clambers up a wall and unlocks a window with the ease of an experienced field operative, then sneaks inside.
DeJulio slips through the quiet hallways and down the stairs to her office. What sort of game was Vitelli playing? Was he helping the Fugitive to escape Alliance justice? She hurriedly boots up the cortex and begins typing commands, alerting the local Fed station as to Phoenix’s presence.
INT-DYTON CITY BAZAAR-VITELLI’S
Anton Vitelli is busily preparing for his guest’s impending arrival. He double-checks to see whether DeJulio has left, then closes the door to the hallway that connects his office to the rest of the building. He sits down and checks his wristwatch, grimaces, then arranges a few items on his desk before he reclines and waits for his client. He hears a knock on the door and moves to open it. Reveal of-
MONTY: Got a minute?
Vitelli is thunderstruck- it’s not who he was expecting at all.
VITELLI: Actually, no. I’m quite busy-
MONTY: (entering) Glad to hear it. It’s a dangerous place out there, this time of night.
VITELLI: That right?
PRISCILLA: (entering as well) For some more than others, but I guess you knew that.
VITELLI: What the tien shao duh is going on here? This is my place of business! You people have some nerve-
PHOENIX: (entering) We’ve got business.
MONTY: The sentries?
PHOENIX: Two sleeping. Won’t make trouble.
MONTY: Good lad.
VITELLI: (shaken by this new character) Don’t reckon I’ve seen you before. Brave captain, sure, plus the loyal first mate here, but who the Hell are you?
VITELLI: Well, I’m glad that’s settled- and by the way, WHAT is going on! If this is about our deal, I just need a little more time. What you’re asking for isn’t easy to get, even here on Dyton Colony.
PRISCILLA: Somehow I don’t quite believe that a man with your connections to the local tongs would have to wait long for anything.
Phoenix has been prowling about the office, and finds a sealed packet, which he opens and empties onto the desk. In it are the fresh Ident Cards and Ship Registration that the crew of the Stallion has been waiting for. Eyebrows raise in the room.
VITELLI: Well look at those.
CUT TO DEJULIO come on, come on, abandoning computer, SNEAKING UP TO DOOR
VITELLI: Funny how-
Monty crosses the room in a few strides and slams the smaller Vitelli up against a wall, gets in his face, while Priscilla moves to examine the ID cards.
MONTY: You were stalling. My crew’s already been attacked by your men twice today.
PRISCILLA: Not counting the guards outside…
MONTY: Why? What’s your game?
VITELLI: (quite intimidated) What? I didn’t…I’d never set the Talons on you, Monty! C’mon, we’re old pals. War buddies, remember? I don’t mess with those guys, they’re just good business partners is all. Like you said, Dyton’s a dangerous place- nice to have some muscle behind you, you know? I swear- I’d never sell you out like that.
PRISCILLA: I believe you.
MONTY: You do?
VITELLI: You do? Oh, thank God.
PHOENIX: What? Look at him. I can smell it- he’s afraid.
Monty takes a whiff and wrinkles his nose. Vitelli shrugs apologetically.
PRISCILLA: (cont’d) Vitelli didn’t sell us out- he sold you out.
Priscilla holds up another sheet in the packet- a warrant with Phoenix’s face on it. It’s top priority, with a picture, description, and last known location (Osiris) but very little else, except that the suspect was HIGHLY DANGEROUS and WANTED ALIVE. The crew looks back at Vitelli very dangerously.
VITELLI: Okay, okay. There’s this guy. Waved me this afternoon right after I got your goods imprinted and activated. Alliance. He tracked your ship from Osiris and the Capture on the ID I faked up for you led him here. That took some serious effort, let me tell you. Guy’s after this kid of yours with a powerful will. Told me to wait for him to get here, keep you from jumping planet, and I’d live through this little adventure. And I like being amongst the living, Monty. I’m sorry.
PRISCILLA: This man…he’s coming here? Why?
VITELLI: Don’t know. Wouldn’t tell me, ‘cept what’s on that paper.
Monty and Priscilla look at Phoenix, who is deep in thought. They both know from experience that something is definitely not right with him, that he is dangerous and possibly unstable.
CUT TO: DeJulio in the adjacent room. She looks around at the closed door, hearing muffled voices. She leaves the console and creeps towards the door.
Back in Vitelli’s office:
PHOENIX: (quietly) Leaving now.
PRISCILLA: And us with a big, fat landlock. Can’t run.
MONTY: Can’t exactly fight, either.
VITELLI: This guy is the real deal. I heard about the Arena-
PRISCILLA: You think that was his doing?
MONTY: Wouldn’t bet against it.
PRISCILLA: So what do we do, sir? Sit around and wait for judgment day?
MONTY: We’ve got those (re: ID cards). We can reprogram the ship’s log, go turtle until this passes. We deal with the inspector when he drops by the pad tomorrow morning.
PRISCILLA: What about him (re: Vitelli)?
VITELLI: Yeah, what about me! Come on, now. You’ve got your new ship, your new lives. Just give me my goods and we’ll call it even.
CUT TO: DeJulio with her ear to the door. She slowly draws a concealed high-tech pistol and bites her lip. Her hand closes on the door knob.
PRISCILLA: (as heard through door) He can’t be trusted, not with this.
MONTY: I know it.
(The camera returns to the office with the crew and Vitelli)
MONTY: (cont’d) But I’m not killing him, Prissy.
As Priscilla, Vitelli, and Monty argue, Phoenix has been growing more and more agitated. Suddenly he DARTS FORWARD and DRAWS Monty’s big pistol. Before anyone can react-
KABLAM! He fires into the door just as it bangs open. DeJulio, Federal Agent posing as Vitelli’s Lieutenant, cries out and crumples to the floor, clutching at her wounded knee.
PRISCILLA: Merciful Buddha!
MONTY: Hell’s Bells! What was that!
The captain grabs for his gun, but Phoenix is already holding it out to him, butt first. Monty takes it, but keeps it out, unsure whether to point it at the newcomer, Vitelli, or Phoenix.
Phoenix goes to the sprawled figure, kneeling down and looking her in the eye as he did onboard the Stallion. As he takes her gun-
MONTY: Who is this, Vitelli?
VITELLI: My aide. My right arm.
Priscilla uneasily takes the confiscated pistol from Phoenix.
MONTY: (holstering his weapon) We didn’t know…this didn’t have to-
VITELLI: I saw her leave! You came back alone?
DeJulio just looks at him. She remains quiet, except for painful breathing.
VITELLI: (continued) Well, what kind of a rescue is that? Hello! In serious peril, here!
PHOENIX: Didn’t come for you.
PRISCILLA: This gun…it’s Alliance-issue.
MONTY: I thought you gave them the slip at the Arena!
PRISCILLA: Apparently not. Maybe the Talons tipped them off?
MONTY: Or vice versa. The ship?
PHOENIX: Still safe.
MONTY: That’s a relief. Last thing we need’s another house call.
VITELLI: You’re joking! She can’t be a Fed. Doesn’t make sense.
MONTY: Sure it does. But why you?
VITELLI: (to Priscilla) Let me-
Priscilla leans against the desk and places DeJulio’s gun safely out of reach behind her, daring Vitelli to come closer.
PRISCILLA: Because you can’t trust a turncoat.
VITELLI: Turncoat? You jealous harridan! Just because you’re pitiful vultures and I’m well off-
PRISCILLA: That statement’s very debatable at the moment…
VITELLI: I was a loyal son of the Black Star, same as you two.
PRISCILLA: Us ‘loyal sons’ got off with full pardons and honorable discharges at war’s end. The only reason the Alliance would keep an eye on you is-
DEJULIO: We never knew whose side you were on.
VITELLI: Shut your face, gorramn it!
PHOENIX: We have to go. Now.
MONTY: When did it start, Vitelli?
DEJULIO: It’s a thrilling tale, let me tell you. He was captured in the strike on Independent Intelligence during the Ita Moon counteroffensive. Decided to work for us, pass useful information along, instead of being executed as a rebel.
PRISCILLA: That explains a lot.
MONTY: This little weasel was selling us out from the beginning!
Monty moves to pummel Vitelli into little bits, throwing him against the wall and holding him up by his collar, but Priscilla is at his side.
PRISCILLA: No, sir. He’s not worth it. Kid says we gotta scratch gravel.
MONTY: (not having listened) What?
MONTY: Get on the Mule. Vitelli, I swear: I get a whiff that you’re looking for me, I’ll kill you. You know me well- I don’t go back on a promise.
INT- DYTON CITY-FED STATION-SAME TIME
AGENT MURPHY: You know who I am; you know what I do. Where we are, where this will go- you have an aptitude for this sort of work. Intelligence gathering, I mean. You’ve built a criminal network from the ground up, marked out territory, made contacts at the highest levels in the planetary government who you’ve persuaded to turn a blind eye to your endeavors. This is how it’s been for over a decade. I represent the elements of our government that still hold to the idea of establishing a unified, peaceful society here on Dyton Colony- and we are fighting back. So here you are.
TALON MASTER: You are an ignorant man, Agent Murphy. Sixteen years in the field, if I am not mistaken, and quite a string of successful operations- yet you never asked yourself why you were never called upon to target my organization, when its presence could hardly be ignored? Why you are now facing a court-martial for yesterday’s folly at the Arena? Really, you should know better.
MURPHY: Whoa. News travels fast around these parts. You a reader, by any chance?
(Murphy leans across the table conspiratorially)
MURPHY: (cont’d) Know what I’ll do next?
MASTER: This town belongs to us, Agent. We give it life, or take that life away as we choose. You and your friends can fight it, but we will always be here, and we will thrive.
MURPHY: We’ll see about that. (he gets up and turns away)
MASTER: Is Major Sykes around?
(Murphy freezes, if only for a second)
MURPHY: He’s…otherwise occupied.
MASTER: He does not know I’m here? Tsk, tsk, Agent. That’s rather sloppy of you.
MURPHY: Must have slipped my mind.
ANGLE into the interrogation room as Agent Murphy furtively looks towards the camera through what is evidently a two-way mirror into this, the adjacent listening room. In the foreground out of focus, we see a Fed in uniform run in and confer in hushed tones with another, then run out again. We are back in the interrogation room as Murphy looks back to the Talon Master.
MURPHY: Gives us some time to get acquainted.
MASTER: Not enough, I think. I will not speak to you.
MURPHY: (last effort) There’s a boy. Ran rings around your blokes and mine at the Arena yesterday. What could you possibly want with him?
MASTER: That’s my affair. Your troops interfered and made a mess of things. Who ordered them into my territory, I wonder? I must have a word with this person.
MURPHY: Their orders were from offworld, highly classified. My interest is in bringing him in, but I must know the details.
MASTER: How interesting. He simply cannot keep out of trouble, that boy. I’ll have to read that report.
MURPHY: You’re not going anywhere.
MASTER: Be careful what you say, Agent. It is only a matter of time; I am well-loved by my friends. As for the child, you are to leave him to me, and that is a suggestion I will make to Tom- désolé, Major Sykes- just as soon as he walks through that door. Cette conversation est términé, M’sieu. Au revoir.
(Murphy is about to respond, possibly forcefully respond, but the door slides open and a harried Ensign runs in.)
ENSIGN: Sir! (The poor kid is practically crying.)
MURPHY: (to Talon Master) Sit tight.
Murphy follows the Ensign into the corridor.
ENSIGN: Sir, we’ve got a code blue situation developing. Seraph, bazaar district.
MURPHY: Jesus! Choppers?
ENSIGN: Two teams scrambling to the pad, ETA ten minutes.
As they hurry down the corridor, several grim Federals heads the other way, towards the Talon Master’s cell. One of them Murphy knows as MAJOR SYKES, his superior. One of the others is a smug-looking lawyer. Murphy is glared at, but they do not stop him as the two parties pass each other in the hallway.
MURPHY: (cont’d) Not good enough. Take the direct route.
ENSIGN: That’s restricted airspace-
MURPHY: You get me there in five minutes flat, Ensign, or you’d better pray I don’t come back!
ENSIGN: Yes, sir!
The Ensign runs off as Murphy barrels through a doorway onto the Fed base’s Helipad, where two ALLIANCE PATROL SKIFFS are seconds from takeoff.
INT-DYTON CITY BAZAAR-VITELLI’S
After the crew runs out, Vitelli and the wounded DeJulio are left staring at each other. There is a long silence, then:
DEJULIO: Boss, I-
VITELLI: (quietly) How long?
VITELLI: How long since you people decided that a deal wasn’t a deal anymore?
Vitelli paces with frustration and DeJulio quietly tries to shift herself, teeth chattering in pain.
VITELLI: (cont’d) We had a bargain. Information for amnesty, case closed and thanks so very much and stay out of my life. I more than held up my end- they gave me a medal, you know. “For uncommon gallantry and bravery under fire.” Never mind that the bullets were yours. I’m a gorramn Hero of the Alliance. Didn’t keep the thing- not in this place!
Vitelli walks over to the painting hanging on the wall, which DeJulio had bought or more likely stolen for him once upon a time, and RIPS it violently from its hangings. DeJulio flinches and begins to edge back into the corridor that leads to her office. From behind the painting, Vitelli extracts a compact listening device and turns it over in his hands.
VITELLI: (cont’d) …but it’s not the trust thing that gets me in a twist. It’s the lies.
He SMASHES the bug and his eye catches DeJulio’s pistol, which Priscilla left on his desk. He grabs it and rounds on DeJulio, who has somehow reached the desk in her own office. As DeJulio scrabbles at the drawers, Vitelli raises the gun and FIRES, hitting her in the shoulder and throwing blood all over the COMPUTER SCREEN.
CUT TO: Alliance Ensign, as he recoils from the other side of the cortex relay in the Fed base.
ENSIGN: Oh God, Oh God, Oh God…
Back in Vitelli’s offices, DeJulio backs up to the far wall.
VITELLI: Enough games. I want to know everything. Your name- your real name, assignment, and who you report to that’s cocky enough to run this kind of Op in my town. Got it? Start talking, or you’ll have a hole in your knee to match the first.
DeJulio, who has been tight-lipped through most of her ordeal, starts laughing uncontrollably.
DEJULIO: You just get more and more desperate, you know that? Ah, but sadly my heart belongs to another.
Anger flashes in Vitelli’s eyes for a moment, but then he calms- and WHACK- hits her face.
VITELLI: Your name.
DEJULIO: (spitting blood on the floor) Gee, you sure know how to chat up a girl. Was there going to be dinner? Because I do play at being a lady.
VITELLI: That’s not all you’re playing at, is it?
Vitelli stands up and walks away, towards the darkened computer screen- under which a power light is blinking “on”. DeJulio tenses, but Vitelli stops. He still hasn’t noticed the screen.
VITELLI: Clever girl.
He turns back to DeJulio.
VITELLI: (cont’d) But it’s just you and me- and I think you know I’m a solo act. Any last words, pet?
KABLAM! Her head jerks back as a last breath leaves her body.
VITELLI: I hate long goodbyes.
INT-DYTON CITY-FED STATION-SAME TIME
as he sits in silence, watching Vitelli stow the gun in his coat, then exit offscreen.
INT- DYTON CITY BAZAAR- VITELLI’S-SAME TIME
Vitelli bustles around his office grabbing for essential things. He looks back the way he came at DeJulio’s body, then goes over to it and yanks a small necklace off of her, pockets it. Walks back to the door.
The door smashes inwards as a big ALLIANCE SERGEANT and AGENT MURPHY run in, guns drawn. Murphy’s breath catches as he sees DeJulio. The trooper trains his gun on Vitelli.
SERGEANT: Hands in the air! Do it! (to Murphy) This our guy, sir?
MURPHY: That’s him, Sergeant. Report.
SERGEANT: (listens to earpiece) Caught a couple of Talons napping- Perimeter established, but the area’s still hot. We don’t have a lot of time.
MURPHY: Then let’s be quick about it. (quietly, to Vitelli) On the ground.
VITELLI: You’ve got nothing on me! You walk in like you own the place, but there’s nothing-
Murphy walks to screen turns it on, revealing DeJulio’s open cortex wave.
MURPHY: The wonders of technology. We’ve got you on tape, and that’ll be enough to put you on ice for several lifetimes. (Turns off screen, to guards) We’re outbound with prisoner in one minute. Prep for immediate withdrawl.
The Alliance soldiers exit.
VITELLI: (still standing, recklessly proud of what he’s done) We both know how this ends. You wouldn’t survive arresting me, mate. You see, we own this city, from the bottom on up. You can fight it all you want, but what’ll it get you? You’ll be dead, is what, just like her. Can’t stop us, can’t fight us. So take a good look. Was she worth it?
MURPHY: (long pause) Nobody’s worth that. No, you’re right. The rules are different here. Whatever we’ve got on you isn’t enough to keep you locked up forever. Someone, somewhere, is looking out for you, Anton, and sooner or later they’ll get what they want. You know that, or you wouldn’t still be standing here, isn’t that right?
VITELLI: Fact of life.
He turns and KABLAM!- shoots Vitelli in the chest. Murphy takes one last glance at DeJulio’s body.
MURPHY: You were brilliant, love, simply amazing. Job’s nearly done, now. Let me finish it.
Murphy exits, and closes the door behind him.
EXT-DYTON CITY BAZAAR
Murphy makes his way back to a waiting Alliance skiff and boards it.
MURPHY: (to Sergeant) We’re finished here.
SERGEANT: The prisoner, sir?
MURPHY: The prisoner was shot resisting arrest. There was nothing that could be done for him. Let’s go home.
SERGEANT: Roger that. (To pilot) You heard the man. Return to base.
The skiff lifts off and roars into the night sky, which is just beginning to be split apart by the coming dawn.
EXT-DYTON CITY BAZAAR-VITELLI’S-MINUTES LATER
The normal amount of clutter in the alley in front of Vitelli’s has been added to by the chaos of the night’s events. The street is, however, completely empty of people. Except one.
We follow a pair of feet as their owner pauses to take in the area, then proceeds to make his way up to the incongruous-but-by-now-familiar door in the side of the building that leads into Vitelli’s. Reveal of a briefcase and a long trench coat as the figure nears the door.
INT-DYTON CITY BAZAAR-VITELLI’S
If anything, it is even spookier inside of Vitelli’s offices, what with the corpses and lights burning low and all. The door swings open and the figure enters, coming out of shadow to reveal-
DR. ROBERT BARNES, Academy researcher and former head of Project 04.
Barnes’ eyes narrow at first, then widen in realization and disappointment.
Hold on the lone figure standing amidst the carnage.
Monday, July 14, 2008 1:42 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008 2:34 AM
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