BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GWEK

Virtual Firefly episode 1x19 (act three)
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

“The Perfect Sunset” (act three): This is the fourth episode of the Virtual Firefly project. Check out our web site at stillflying.net!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1944    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

INT. ALLIANCE PATROL BOAT – BRIDGE – SPACE

Wallace approaches Chien.

WALLACE None of the blockade ships report contact. It’s possible that they managed to make it out of the system undetected…

CHIEN But more likely that they’re still here.

WALLACE Apparently a number of the moons here were once used as hideouts for pirates, smugglers and the like.

CHIEN (philosophically) If that’s true, they could hide for weeks. Or months. (beat) Have we received the support I requested? WALLACE (nods) Captain Pennington is still requisitioning the majority of the forces for the Carousel.

Chien looks away, out the window.

CHIEN Do you think they’re hiding on one of the moons?

WALLACE That’s where I’d be, sir.

CHIEN Good instincts, Wallace. Select the three likeliest locations and send a gunship to each for recon.

Wallace nods, but doesn’t leave.

CHIEN (cont’d) Something else, Wallace?

WALLACE Sir, I was reviewing our orders. We’re to capture this vessel intact and quarantine the crew?

CHIEN Yes. That will make it more difficult, won’t it?

WALLACE I have an idea, sir.

Chien turns, eyebrow raised in curiosity.

EXT. ZOE’S MOON – FAR SHORE – SUNSET

Simon and Kaylee part, coming up for air. Simon takes a step away and turns toward the ocean.

KAYLEE (breathless and smiling) Simon…

SIMON I’m sorry.

KAYLEE What?

SIMON I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry. It’s just… The beach and the sunset, and you looked so beautiful—

KAYLEE Simon?

He finally turns to look at her.

SIMON Kaylee, I’m sorry. I have responsibilities. River… I can’t… I shouldn’t… (beat) Sun’s setting. We should go.

He heads back to the shuttle.

Kaylee watches him go, somewhere between stunned and angry.

INT. SHUTTLE – SUNSET

Wash and Zoe lie on the floor, looking tired and sated. When there’s a knock on the door, Wash yelps in surprise and they both sit up.

SIMON (OS) (muffled, through door) Zoe? Wash? Sorry to intrude, but the Captain said we should be back by sunset…

WASH {Buddha-damned nuisance! Won’t somebody stuff that kid’s mouth with monkey feces? I’ll give you ten platinum!}

ZOE (lazy smile) It’s okay, honey. I was done.

WASH Well, I wasn’t!

INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – EVENING

Jayne stomps up the ramp, dogged by River. Book, carrying a bucket of fish, follows a few steps behind.

RIVER But when does the fish stop being a fish?

JAYNE Told ya already, I hate riddles!

BOOK I don’t think it’s a riddle she’s asking, son. (to River) River, that’s a question folks’ve been trying to answer for ages.

They’re in the middle of the cargo hold now.

RIVER When the fish is on the hook, can’t pull away, is it still a fish, or just a thing?

JAYNE Ask me, it’s just dinner.

Mal walks onto the upper catwalk.

MAL Speakin’ of, how’d it go?

BOOK (hoisting the bucket) Got enough for a fine meal, and then some.

MAL That’s what I like to hear. Zoe tells me they’re on the way in. Might be nice if we had something warm and tasty on the table.

Book heads to the stairs, Jayne following. River stays in the cargo hold, watching them as they move toward the galley.

RIVER (to herself) Can’t get away. Already on the hook.

INT. ALLIANCE PATROL BOAT – BRIDGE – SPACE

Wallace approaches Chien.

WALLACE One of the targeted moons is mostly aquatic, but ringed by small islands near the equator. Ideal hiding places, if you ask me.

CHIEN Any word from Pennington?

WALLACE No additional support, sir. He’s responded to our special request, but, otherwise, nothing.

Chien paces away from the window a bit.

CHIEN I’m sure the troops are needed at the Carousel. (beat) Very well. We’ll do this without additional support. Continue to search the other moons, but re-task two gunships to assist with recon over the islands.

WALLACE Should I put the ambush into place, sir?

Chien nods.

INT. SERENITY – GALLEY – NIGHT

The crew sits around the table, eating dinner. There’s tension between Simon and Kaylee, and Inara is noticeably absent, but it looks like a fine meal, otherwise. The normal tea, sake, and protein are supplemented by steaming fried fish and a variety of local fruit.

WASH And the doctor had a brothel story that was quite amusing!

JAYNE I love me a good brothel story, if you know what I mean. Doc?

Jayne reaches across the table for a pineapple.

KAYLEE It’s not that kind of story, Jayne. (beat) You know our doctor. Too proper for anything fun.

She might as well have sucker-punched Simon for his reaction. No one else sees it coming either, and there’s an awkward beat.

WASH So… Where’s Inara?

And it just gets more awkward.

BOOK More fish?

They all speak up at once, responding in the affirmative, and the plate is passed around.

JAYNE Shepherd, ain’t you supposed to give us bread or somethin’ to go with this?

Jayne starts to slice open the pineapple with his hunting knife.

BOOK I think summoning loaves is quite beyond my ability.

WASH I don’t know, preacher. You sure found us a pretty enough paradise, and it is Sunday, after all.

JAYNE It is?

BOOK Indeed. (looking pointedly at Mal) Shouldn’t you be stealing something?

Mal reacts.

JAYNE Thought it was Tuesday.

Jayne pops a piece of pineapple into his mouth.

MAL What’re you getting’ at, Shepherd?

Inara comes in from the rear entrance, looking around a bit awkwardly. She looks like she might be a little ill, possibly the after-effects of the wine.

KAYLEE ’Nara, hey. Sit down. We’ve got fresh fish!

INARA I don’t know. I think maybe I’ll go back to my shuttle. I’m not feeling—

Folks start shifting so there’s room for her. The spot is across from Mal.

WASH Come on, Inara! Have some fish.

Inara sits and she and Mal look at each other awkwardly. He looks like he wants to apologize, but says nothing. As the two of them stare at each other, plates untouched, the rest continue to eat. Book doles out some more fish. Simon passes a bowl of vegetables to Zoe. Jayne spears a chunk of pineapple on his knife and offers it to the table. Kaylee leans forward and takes it.

The galley is filled with the sound of utensils on plates and chewing.

WASH (cont’d) (mouth full) Captain, I think we’re gonna stay. (chews and swallows) Yeah, Zoe and me, we’re gonna collect shells. Trade with the locals. We’ll be shell merchants.

JAYNE The locals is fish.

WASH I didn’t say we’d be successful merchants.

River looks directly at Zoe.

RIVER She’s thinking about it, you know. Thinking about leaving.

Wash looks at Zoe. Zoe looks at Mal.

ZOE Captain, I…

Mal doesn’t react to the interchange, his eyes still on Inara.

JAYNE Just ignore her. She’s been talkin’ crazy since we went fishin.’

Simon looks at River sharply.

SIMON I thought I told you to stay away from him.

Kaylee rolls her eyes.

RIVER It’s okay. We caught fish.

JAYNE You know what, doc? I’m getting’ pretty sick—

He half-rises in his seat, the knife still in his hand.

BOOK Now, there’s no need for this.

WASH (quietly, to Zoe) Is she right?

Zoe looks down at her plate.

JAYNE No, Shepherd, stay outta this. This’s between me and his lordship here.

SIMON What? Are you going to stab me?

WASH (quietly, to Zoe) Are you really thinking about leaving?

ZOE I don’t think this is the time or the place…

KAYLEE Jayne, I know he can be annoying, but why don’t you put the knife down?

Jayne seems to realize for the first time that he actually is holding the knife. He drops it and makes a fist instead.

KAYLEE (cont’d) Better.

BOOK Jayne, really…

WASH (to Zoe) What is the right time and place?

ZOE Not now, Wash.

Simon stands, defiantly looking at Jayne.

SIMON Haven’t we played this game enough?

WASH (to Zoe) If not now, when?

Mal and Inara have continued to look at each other through all of this.

JAYNE ‘Parently not, doc.

Book and Kaylee stand as well, trying to get between Simon and Jayne. River scoots her chair back, away from the table, away from everyone, and looks up and back, as if staring at something through the roof of the ship.

Mal looks down at his plate.

INARA I’m leaving the ship.

Beat.

JAYNE Leavin’ the ship? But it’s dark out.

Beat.

Then everyone except River and Mal turn to Inara and start talking at once. Mal stands and starts to walk out of the room, while River continues to stare through the ceiling.

KAYLEE Inara, no! You can’t mean it—

SIMON Leaving? But—

Zoe looks at Wash.

WASH Okay, so you were right—

BOOK I’m sure this is a well-considered decision, but—

JAYNE Why would you leave now? We’s got fish.

River stands, still staring up.

RIVER The fishermen are here.

There’s something in her tone that silences everyone. Wash and Zoe share a look, and Mal, who is almost out the forward exit, turns back.

MAL Wash?

Wash nods and jumps out of his chair, heading for the forward entrance (and the cockpit)

The proximity alarm sounds throughout the ship.

COMMENTS

Thursday, January 26, 2006 1:08 AM

BURNANDBOIL


Wow, I like River in this bit, she is the person who causes the argument but then is the one to finish it! Very very good!

Thursday, January 26, 2006 3:15 AM

SHINYTALENT


So much sticky tension- why is there so much tension??
It's good though I don't know who to feel more sympathy for??

Thursday, January 26, 2006 7:52 AM

AMDOBELL


I'm with Shinytalent on the sympathy thing, and oh the tension just gets tighter and tighter. How I wish River could give a warning BEFORE the too-late pronouncements of impending doom. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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