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Virtual Firefly episode 1x18 (teaser)
Thursday, January 12, 2006

“Property Rights” (teaser): This is the third episode of the Virtual Firefly project. Check out our web site at stillflying.net!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2181    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Episode 1x18: “PROPERTY RIGHTS”

Written by J. C. Ravage

Edited by Matt Engstrom and George W. Krubski

Producer: David Elmer Head Writer: George W. Krubski Art Director: Sean Young

Disclaimer: The crew of the Serenity, the ‘Verse in which they live, and their fellow inhabitants are the property of Joss Whedon, Universal Studios, and/or Fox Television. They are used in this work of fan fiction with love and respect, but without permission.

INT. SERENITY – INARA’S SHUTTLE – DAY

INARA pulls aside a tapestry to reveal a SMALL SAFE. After punching in a code, she opens the door and retrieves a METALLIC GUN BOX. She checks inside it. It holds the LASSITER, resting protected atop the soundproofing foam bedding.

MAL (OS): Your clients on the way?

She looks up at MAL, who stands at the threshold to her shuttle.

INARA: Yes. Much to my surprise, I did not have to explain why the auction could not be held on the Cortex. While I did not use the term, I believe they understand how black this market is… (hands Mal the box and rubs her neck) …and how it’s best not to take chances.

MAL (seeing her discomfort): How’re you healin’?

INARA: My neck’s… better...

MAL: Let me see.

Mal sets down the box and moves closer.

INARA: What? Has Simon been giving you lessons?

MAL: Come on. I got concerns. You’re still part of my crew.

Inara does not meet Mal's gaze and turns, lifting up her hair. Mal steps up behind her and looks down at her neck.

INARA: So I’m part of the crew now? For how long?

MAL: That’s your call, ain’t it? Which begs the question, when’re you gonna tell the others?

An awkward beat.

MAL (cont’d): Oh yeah. Looks like it’s healin’ up just fine.

INARA: It still feels numb sometimes… like pins and… needles… (drops her hair and turns around) I’m fine.

MAL: Inara… I’m sorry. I let my guard down. Shoulda never—

INARA: It’s okay. We’re all okay. (she smiles) Some not as pretty as before…

MAL: Never say that. You are—

INARA: I was talking about Shepherd Book.

MAL: Book… Right.

INARA: (smiling) Don’t you have some work to do? Your end of things?

Mal backs up and picks up the gun box.

MAL: Can’t have a black market auction without a shady, backroom auction house, can we? (walks out) Just wouldn’t be right.

INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – DAY

Mal comes down the stairs from the UPPER CATWALK. ZOE and JAYNE are waiting for him, checking their weapons.

JAYNE: We ready to go?

MAL: Told you, you ain't going. (beat) Might find yourself another pretty lady wants to get us killed.

EXT. GUONIAN – STREETS – DAY

Mal and Zoe walk down the dusty street, the storefronts aged and rundown, all but empty of people. They look to be out of breath; sweat shines off their foreheads. Mal holds the gun box by its handle.

ZOE: This Durham seem on the up-and-up?

MAL: No. (beat) But he'll suit our purposes. Nice quiet auction, no Alliance presence. Keep a low profile.

ZOE: That why we ain't taking the shuttle in?

A few HORSES trot past in the opposite direction. Mal waves up at the RIDERS. The road behind them, which they have walked, appears to stretch to the horizon.

MAL: (tired, under his breath) Top o’ the mornin’, smart folk with horses… (to Zoe) Hope Kaylee’s got things fixed up by the time we get back.

ZOE Have to say, sir, buyin’ used parts at a going out of business sale ‘fore we got coin in our hand… Maybe not the best plan ever.

MAL: We got a good deal.

ZOE: Get what you pay for, sir.

MAL: Kaylee checked 'em. Said they were fine.

Mal looks up and to the side to see DURHAM BROS. OUTFITTERS. Off to one side, in front of a SALOON, are hitched FOUR HORSES.

MAL (cont’d): Here we are. What say we lighten our load, Zoe?

EXT. GUONIAN – DURHAM BROTHERS STOREFRONT – DAY

It is a Wild West-style two-story building with a covered porch and “Durham Brothers” stenciled on the windows. Mal and Zoe approach the door. Zoe, not nearly as winded as Mal, opens the door for him.

INT. DURHAM BROTHERS – CONTINUOUS

There is a big front desk, behind which on the wall are displayed liquors and knick-knacks. A CHINESE-INSPIRED CURTAIN hangs across an empty section of wall.

Behind the desk stands RANDY DURHAM, a man in his middle years, grizzled, balding, and unhappy. A cheap bell rings as Mal enters.

RANDY: How can I help you folks?

MAL: I’d like to make a deposit, Mr. Durham. (shows him the gun case) And I know this ain’t no bank.

RANDY: (eyes brightening) Of course! Mr. Reynolds!

Randy pushes aside the curtain to reveal a DOOR. He opens the door, revealing a HALLWAY.

RANDY (cont’d): Room’s all swept and ready. Come step inside and I'll secure the merchandise in the vault. And please do call me Randy.

INT. DURHAM BROTHERS – HALLWAY TO BACK ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Mal, Zoe and Randy walk down the hallway and into the back room.

MAL: Okay, Randy. You mentioned the vault is encased in concrete, ‘cause what we got in this little case—

From behind the wall at the end of the hallway, a LONG PISTOL points at Mal’s head. He stops.

BARRETT steps out of the shadows, along with PEETE, DOUGLAS, and SAMUELS. Barrett, in his forties with a blond moustache, long black coat and black brimmed hat. It is his gun that is pointed at Mal.

His armed henchmen are more scraggly, but dangerous-looking enough. Samuels has twin bandoliers and two guns.

BARRETT: I’ll take your merchandise, please. (grabs the gun case) Think of me as that bank you were just talkin’ about. I’m just collecting on a loan to my friend here. With interest, of course.

Mal looks to Zoe, both with arms in the air. Samuels and Douglas disarm them, sizing up the captured weapons, which are much better than their own. Samuels takes Zoe’s gun, Douglas takes Mal’s.

RANDY: I’m sorry, Mr. Reynolds.

Barrett shoves Randy aside contemptuously then begins to walk down the hallway, along with Douglas and Peete. Samuels keeps his gun trained on Mal and Zoe.

BARRETT: (to Mal) Pathetic little man. Set you folks up to save his own spine. Nothing like his brother...'course, that didn't stop me from layin' him out. They ain't dared put in a new sheriff after that unfortunate… business.

Randy looks down. Barrett and his two followers walk out of sight.

INT. DURHAM BROTHERS – BACK ROOM – DAY

Samuels cocks Zoe’s pistol, presses it against her head.

SAMUELS: Jeez, Randy. Place sure is clean! Hate to mess it up…

MAL: (helpfully) Careful. That gun’s got a powerful kick to it.

SAMUELS: What?

Zoe takes the opportunity to spin around, knock away Samuel’s gun with one hand and slam him with the other in the jaw. Samuels drops his gun and Mal kicks him in the stomach, sending him sprawling. Mal finishes by stomping on his head once.

Mal and Zoe look at each other, and quickly bend to collect weapons.

EXT. GUONIAN – STREETS – DAY

Barrett, Douglas and Peete burst out of Durham Brothers. They run to the HORSES in front of THE SALOON. Douglas and Peete mount up. Barrett, holding the Lassiter’s box, is a little slower, struggling with the stirrup.

ACROSS THE STREET

A MOTHER (MRS. LUHAN) walks with her seven-year-old CHILD (JONAH), holding hands.

AT THE DURHAM BROTHERS STOREFRONT

Zoe and Mal burst out of the building. Mal is armed with the two guns taken from Samuels. Zoe fires at Douglas, the force flipping him out of his saddle. His riderless horse and Peete keep going.

MAL takes careful aim with his right to fire on Barrett, but the gun jams.

MAL: (looks at it, shakes it) Gorram piece of gos se!

Barrett, now on his horse, fires first at Mal, who dives and rolls out of the way, discarding the jammed gun, bullets puffing in the dust all around him, while unnoticed ACROSS THE STREET

Zoe sees Mrs. Luhan take cover behind a WAGON CART, protecting her little boy.

Barrett turns and fires at Zoe as she calmly steps behind a POST, wood splinters flying.

Mal returns fire with his remaining gun, hitting Barrett’s horse, which rears and falls, spilling him to the ground. Barrett runs across the street, towards the parked wagon cart.

BEHIND THE WAGON CART

Mrs. Luhan’s and Barrett’s eyes meet. Mrs. Luhan shies back away from him, gathering her son beneath her.

BACK ACROSS THE STREET

Zoe is aiming above the cart, glancing to the side as Mal aims directly at the cart.

ZOE: No, Mal. Don’t—

Mal unleashes hell on the cart, firing the remaining rounds in Samuels’ pistol.

BEHIND THE WAGON CART

Barrett, when the barrage has finished, uncovers his head and looks up. We do not see what he sees.

He rises and begins firing. Mal ducks behind the injured horse for cover. Barrett makes his way towards a STOREFRONT DOOR.

Zoe shoots, the bullet skipping through Barrett's feet. Barrett stumbles, losing the gun case but not having time to recover as he crashes through the door.

Mal follows him, Zoe close behind, stopping when he sees something else behind the cart in the corner of his eye. He turns and looks

BEHIND THE CART

Mrs. Luhan lies still, shot several times. Jonah kneels by her side.

MAL: Lao tyen buh. {Oh god, no.}

Jonah looks up, tears in his eyes.

JONAH: You killed her.

COMMENTS

Friday, January 13, 2006 1:51 AM

AMDOBELL


Oh good gorram, Mal shot the mother! Not that he knew she was there but *wode ma*, when things go wrong they really mess up don't they? Very fine story, can't wait for more. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, January 13, 2006 11:53 AM

2X2


Nice teaser.. has enticed me to read more...

Friday, January 13, 2006 8:33 PM

LOLA


my goodness can you write!
I LOVED everything I read.
brilliant..transportedme back to Firefly in a snap.
really well done.


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