BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GWEK

Virtual Firefly episode 1x17 (act three)
Thursday, January 5, 2006

"Hero Complex" (act three): This is the second episode of the Virtual Firefly project. Look for “Property Rights” next week, and our web site in early 2006. This episode contains graphic scenes that may be disturbing to some readers.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2017    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

INT. THE GURICK – TORTURE ROOM – DAY

CLOSE-UP of Niska’s smiling face.

NISKA: Ah, Captain Reynolds. So good to see you are up and about. This is a very exciting day, yes?

INT. THE GURICK – ANTECHAMBER – SAME TIME

The antechamber is a small room with a single door. Mal is in the center of the room, strapped into a painful-looking metal CONTRAPTION. He’s standing, his arms spread, practically crucified.

The wall he faces is dominated by a WINDOW that looks into the torture room. Our angle is such that we can see Niska through the mirror, but cannot see anything else in the torture room.

MAL: What’s gonna be exciting is when I get outta this thing and stop that voicebox of yours from squawking… permanently.

When Niska speaks, his voice is tinny, coming through a speaker into Mal’s room.

NISKA: This is not what will happen, Captain Reynolds. Perhaps you do not understand that your crew is under my power. Your entire crew.

Mal glares.

INT. THE GURICK – TORTURE ROOM/ANTECHAMBER – SAME TIME

NISKA: You are a simple man, Captain. You live in a world of gray, but you see things in black and white. So, perhaps, you will not understand what this is about. You are thinking this is vengeance, yes?

Mal strains against the straps.

MAL: Gonna be when I’m loose.

NISKA: Because of you, I am no longer respected. No longer feared. My reputation, yes, is dust. Because of you, my business no longer is good. But today is not about you. Not about vengeance.

Niska pauses, as if to make sure that Mal is listening.

NISKA (cont’d): Vengeance will not bring my business back, or return by beloved Veronica to me. If I break you, however… If I destroy the good hero Captain Malcolm Reynolds, whose crew so valiantly stood up to the terrible Niska…

Niska takes out a small cloth and cleans his glasses, as if Mal is beneath his notice.

NISKA (cont’d): Then… Then, my reputation is solid again. Then, Adelai Niska is to be feared, yes? (beat) But we have a dilemma, do we not, Captain? When we met last, I killed you—

MAL: And I let you live. Not a mistake I’ll be repeatin’.

NISKA: So. How to break a man who has died once already? You see what we will do, yes? Today is not about you, Captain…

INT. THE GURICK – TORTURE ROOM – SAME TIME

Well pull back and can now see the entire room. Behind Niska is Brian, looking tall and sinister. To either side of Brian is another CONTRAPTION similar to Mal’s.

They are positioned facing each other, and Wash and Zoe are strapped in.

NISKA: Today is about your valiant crew.

He hits a button, and his side of the window goes opaque, turning it into a ONE-WAY MIRROR.

INT. THE GURICK – ANTECHAMBER – SAME TIME

CLOSE-UP of Mal’s face.

WASH (OS, tinny, through the speaker): No, no! Don’t touch her! Me! Hit me! Please!

Mal’s jaw tightens.

INT. THE GURICK – BRIDGE – DAY

Newstead and Ana are on the walkway, looking out into space. They speak in quiet tones.

NEWSTEAD: …first time I’ve seen him since you left. The upper decks have been off limits for weeks. The cooks are afraid to even cook for him, since Maurice disappeared. Morale is so low among the crew, and Brian… He walks around the lower decks as if he owns the very world beneath us.

ANA: Captain…

Newstead looks over his shoulder, giving a nervous glance to the GUARDS at the door of the bridge.

NEWSTEAD: I hate to speak of your father so, but since your mother…

ANA (bitter): He killed her as surely as if he’d pulled the trigger himself.

NEWSTEAD: Miss Ana, I don’t even know how we’ll keep the ship afloat. We can barely afford fuel, and all he does is order more and more equipment that Brian brings to the upper decks. Heaven knows what he’s doing up there. I suspect he may be building some sort of gulag—

ANA: Captain!

Newstead stops, realizing the panic that has crept into his voice.

ANA: Eddie, please…

She puts a comforting hand on his arm.

ANA (cont’d): Stay with me on this. I have a solution. Things are going to change around here. It’s going to be alright.

INT. THE GURICK – TORTURE ROOM – DAY

There is now only one contraption, and it faces the one-way mirror. Kaylee, currently unconscious, is strapped in.

Niska and Brian look at her in annoyance.

NISKA: That was certainly disappointing.

INT. THE GURICK – ANTECHAMBER – SAME TIME

Mal’s eyes are wet.

NISKA (OS, tinny, through speaker): Next, Brian, please bring me someone with some stamina. We want to have a little fun, yes?

INT. THE GURICK – ANA’S ROOM – DAY

Ana’s room is that of a girl with expensive tastes. Everything is beautiful, and a number of PIECES OF ART decorate the room.

Jayne is asleep on the bed, snoring. A lound BEEPING sounds from across the room and he wakes with a start.

JAYNE: Whuh?

Across the room, the dresser’s MIRROR transforms into a screen, an image of Ana’s face.

ANA: I can only speak for a moment, before the guards become suspicious.

JAYNE: What the gorram hell happened?

ANA: You were stunned. The entire crew was—

He’s off the bed and at the mirror, as if he can strike at Ana through it.

ANA (cont’d): It was the only way to get you here. An unavoidable complication.

JAYNE: Better un-complicate it.

ANA: I need to explain a few things, Mister Cobb. I was not entirely honest with you.

Jayne grimaces.

JAYNE (sarcastic): Yeah? You think?

ANA: The obstacle that needs to be removed… The man destroying my father’s business… (beat) It is my father.

INT. THE GURICK – CELL BLOCK – SAME TIME

The cell block is a short hallway with five barred cells on either side. Simon, River, Book, Inara, Zoe, and Wash are each in a cell. Zoe and Wash are battered and cut.

Two GUARDS are securing the unconscious Kaylee in a cell, while Brian stands watch.

SIMON: Let me see her. I’m a doctor. Please.

As the guards close Kaylee’s door, Brian turns to them and points his chin at Simon.

BRIAN: He’ll do.

INT. THE GURICK – ANA’S ROOM – SAME TIME

Jayne stares sullenly at Ana’s image, somewhere between hurt and furious.

ANA: Mister Cobb, please stay with me. As I say, I only have a few moments. I convinced him to give you to me as a gift—

JAYNE: A what?

ANA: But the rest of your crew are currently enjoying his, shall we say, hospitality. Eliminating my father is the only way to free them.

JAYNE: Where’s the old man?

ANA: The upper decks. I'll come and get you shortly. Don’t worry.

JAYNE: Make it quick. I don't sit too well in a cage.

Ana relaxes slightly.

ANA: So we still have deal? You’ll go through with this?

JAYNE: Don’t seem like I got a ruttin’ choice, do I? (beat) But I want double.

INT. THE GURICK – TORTURE ROOM – DAY

Niska and Brian loom over Simon, Niska is holding a scalpel, and there are already rows of tiny cuts on Simon’s hands and arms.

NISKA: You are the ship’s physician, yes? So, tell me, please, when you are injured, who it is who heals you?

Niska lovingly adds another cut to the collection on Simon’s arm.

SIMON: Go to hell.

NISKA: Ah, yes, I will meet you there, as they say. (to Brian) This, this is the fire I was looking for. This was a good selection.

BRIAN: Shall we bring his sister in next, sir?

Simon tries to tear himself out of the chair and at Niska.

SIMON: No! Don’t you touch her, you bastard!

Niska hops back with a little laugh.

NISKA: Oh, ho!

He holds his hand out and Brian hands him a tiny antique SALT SHAKER.

Niska takes it delicately, and sprinkles a bit of salt onto Simon’s freshest wounds, causing the doctor to wince.

Brian then moves in and puts his hands over the wound, GRINDING the salt in.

Simon screams.

Careful of the shaker, Niska claps gleefully.

NISKA: Excellent. Oh, yes! The more you scream, doctor, the easier, perhaps, it will go for your sister.

Simon screams louder.

INT. THE GURICK – ANA’S ROOM – SAME TIME

Ana doesn’t miss a beat.

ANA: Double? Yes. Done. A final request, however. The crew members in white uniforms are retainers of my mother’s family. They are my father’s prisoners as surely as your crew is. Please promise me you won’t hurt them.

JAYNE: Listen, lady, I don’t make no promises I ain’t gonna keep.

She’s not happy to hear that.

ANA: I’ll come for you shortly, but please look under my pillow. I’ve left you a present. It was the best I could do with security being what it is.

Her face winks out and the mirror is once again just a mirror.

JAYNE (mutters): Gorrammit.

He moves back to the bed and grabs the pillow, tossing it across the room.

His HUNTING KNIFE (“Pinky”) is underneath.

INT. THE GURICK — TORTURE ROOM – DAY

River is strapped in. Niska is starting to look a bit disheveled, tired and old.

RIVER: I know you.

NISKA: Stop saying that!

He slaps her across the face, presumably, not for the first time.

She smiles and looks deep into his eyes.

RIVER: I know you.

NISKA: You don't know me.

RIVER: The real you.

It’s clear that Niska has been unable to break her in any way, and he’s starting to fall apart.

NISKA: Brian?

He motions for Brian to move forward to strike her.

RIVER: Apples, oranges. Doesn’t matter. All the same. All red.

Brian slaps her. HARD. Her head snaps back, and, disturbingly, she GIGGLES.

RIVER (cont’d): Your hands will bruise but not scar! They aren’t blue!

INT. THE GURICK – QUARTERS – DAY

A GUARD stands outside one of the doors. Ana walks down the hall to him.

ANA: I would like to see my guest.

GUARD Your father’s orders are you’re not to be left alone with him.

She gives him a “Very well, yes” nod.

The Guard unlocks and opens the door, always keeping one hand on his FIREARM.

As he turns his attention away from Ana, she reveals a palm-sized DEVICE she was hiding. She moves closer to the Guard and places it on his neck.

There’s an electric sizzle and the Guard drops to the ground, stunned.

ANA: Alright, Mister Cobb—

She draws up short as she looks into her room. Jayne is sitting on the bed, casually cleaning his fingernails with Pinky, but the room is a disaster area. The bedsheets are torn, the dressers have been knocked over, anything that’s breakable has been broken… It looks like a tornado has hit this room.

Jayne grins up at her.

JAYNE: Told you I don’t sit well in a cage.

INT. THE GURICK – ANTECHAMBER – DAY

Mal has his eyes closed. Whatever is going on in the other room has brought him close to his limit.

Through the speaker, the sound of a fist hitting flesh, then—

BOOK (OS, tinny, through speaker): Shan Yu was five foot, six. Just like Napoleon. Did you know that?

BAM. Another punch is heard.

BOOK (OS): Inferiority complex, I say.

BAM!

Book coughs.

BOOK (OS): Exactly how tall are you, Mister Niska?

INT. THE GURICK – TORTURE ROOM – SAME TIME

The only thing keeping Book up is the fact that he’s strapped to the chair. He’s bruised and battered, with a bloody nose and one eye swollen shut. Seems like he’s taken the brunt of Niska’s frustration with River.

Niska’s falling apart even more than he was with River. He seems almost to be aging by the minute.

He holds out his hand to Brian, who hands him a sizzling ELECTRIC PROD. With the device in his hand, he seems to gain a little composure.

Niska pokes Book, who screams. Niska smiles. He backs away, hands the prod back to Brian, and runs a hand through his hair. He licks his lips.

NISKA: How familiar are you with the works of Shan Yu?

Book opens his good eye and looks up.

BOOK: How familiar are you with the Gospels? Go on. (turns his head) Here’s my other cheek.

INT. THE GURICK – ANA’S ROOM – DAY

Jayne bends down and picks up the Guard’s gun with his free hand (he’s still holding Pinky).

He looks at Ana.

JAYNE: Got some kinda cunnin’ plan to get me to your daddy so’s I can kill ‘im?

ANA: I have a route laid out. You should be able to avoid most of guards, until you get to the upper levels—

As she talks, he circles around behind her. Suddenly, he grabs her and whips her around, bringing the knife to her throat.

JAYNE: S’okay, I got a plan of my own, little lady.

COMMENTS

Friday, January 6, 2006 2:59 AM

AMDOBELL


OOooh, way to really hurt Mal by hurting his crew. Gorrammit, that Niska is one mean, evil twisted dude! I loved Jayne turning on Ana at the end, with a plan of his own. Got a good idea what that is going to be and can't wait to see how the story pans out. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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