BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GWEK

Virtual Firefly episode 1x20 (act two)
Saturday, February 4, 2006

“War Crimes” (act two): This is the fifth episode of the Virtual Firefly project. Check out our web site at stillflying.net!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1856    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY – CONTINUOUS

Zoe puts her hand on Mal’s arm so quickly that no one appears to see him reach for his gun.

ZOE Not now, Mal. Another time.

By now, Cariss has approached them.

CARISS Ah, Captain Reynolds! Welcome to Talltree. I’m glad you were able to land without difficultly.

Cariss shakes hands with Mal, who looks queasy as they do so. Zoe watches the interchange, arms crossed.

MAL No thanks to you!

CARISS Yes, well… Unfortunate.

MAL I’d call it a damned sight more than unfortunate!

Cariss smiles and claps Mal on the shoulder. CARISS Please, let’s not dwell on the past. You have our grain, and we have your coin. Let’s finish our business, why don’t we?

Mal waves to the skiff, where the three guards are unloading the barrels with difficulty.

MAL Rest is yours when I get my coin and my parts.

INT. SERENITY – ENGINE ROOM – DAY

Kaylee, sweaty and smudged, works noisily, loosening an engine part.

KAYLEE Gorram piece of—

SIMON (OS) Is there anything I can do to help?

Kaylee looks up, a bit startled. Simon’s in the doorway.

SIMON (cont’d) Sorry, I was just—

Kaylee leans down on the part and it SNAPS off in her hands, sending some fragments and oil flying at Simon.

KAYLEE Sorry! (beat) Need something?

SIMON I… I just came to see how you were.

KAYLEE (dismissive, returning to work) I’m fine.

SIMON And to apologize for—

She doesn’t look up.

KAYLEE Gorrammit, Simon, there’s nothing to apologize for. I ain’t a blushin’ flower. (quiet) Not that you’d pick me if I was…

SIMON What are you working on?

KAYLEE Jammed-up engine parts.

SIMON Jammed up? That doesn’t sound good.

Kaylee gives him a “not amused” look, then quickly returns to her work.

SIMON (cont’d) I mean, it can be fixed, though, can’t it?

He moves forward, starting to crouch down to help.

KAYLEE I can fix it on my own just fine!

She yanks out a circuitboard, and studies it.

KAYLEE (cont’d) Ugh! Burned out!

In frustration, she tosses it across the room, where it hits something else, causing a crashing noise.

Simon takes a step back from her frustration and anger. Kaylee winces at the noise, then, perhaps realizing how childish her outburst was, looks up at Simon.

KAYLEE (cont’d) Cap'n’s always saying we're so close to the edge, always one job from fallin' over. (beat) I never believed him before.

She sighs and turns back to her work, leaving Simon standing there awkwardly.

INT. SERENITY – GALLEY – DAY

Book sits at the table, reading the Bible. He looks up as River walks in, but she completely ignores him.

Book watches River as she moves to the kitchen, searching through the cabinets. There’s more empty space than full.

RIVER Here, protein protein protein... Here, protein protein protein...

She bends down, out of Book’s sight (and ours), opening the lower cabinets. Sounds of River rooting around. She stands up, holding a large CAN OF PROTEIN.

She looks at the can as if having a conversation with it.

RIVER Bad protein! Shouldn’t hide like that. (beat) I know you don't taste good, but you're all we have. (beat) What's that? You don't like being eaten? But it's what you're for, protein. (beat) It’s what you’re for.

Book clears his throat. She turns to look at him for the first time.

BOOK Does the food talk back?

RIVER Don’t be silly. It’s not anything. Can’t talk.

She stands across the table from Book, placing the can between them.

RIVER (cont’d) Just chemicals. (beat) Think you could conjure up some loaves and fishes, preacher man?

Book gazes at her.

BOOK Don’t be silly. (beat) Only man could do that was… A better man than I am.

They stare at each other across the table.

RIVER You’re not the man you think you are.

He leans back, perhaps pondering her words.

RIVER (cont’d) Yet.

She leans forward, pushes the can toward him.

RIVER (cont’d) Protein. (beat) Good for the soul.

EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY

A half-dozen RAGGED CITIZENS, possibly some of the folks who earlier mobbed the skiff, are brought into the courtyard by four GUARDS.

ACROSS THE COURTYARD

Mal and Zoe watch as one of the new guards approaches Chu and Cariss.

ZOE Captain, ain’t sayin’ we should ditch this job and run, because—

MAL ‘Cause we need parts and coin.

ZOE —Just, I have a really bad feeling. Still don’t think we’re bein’ told everything.

MAL We’re getting paid. That’s all I need to know.

Cariss says something to Chu, who shakes his head “No.” Cariss is more vehement, and Chu appears to relent.

ZOE More to life than getting paid, sir.

MAL Not when you’re short on cash. Look, man’s evil, shot our folk during the war, runs a nasty little place these days. But we ain’t revolutionaries. It’s not our problem.

ZOE Thought different once.

Chu confers with the guard.

MAL And once it mattered. (beat) Don’t folk keep sayin’ the war’s over?

The guard returns to his fellows and they escort the citizens away. More than a few of the citizens cast a terrified look in Cariss’s direction.

ZOE Not for some folk, it ain’t.

INT. SERENITY – COMMON AREA – DAY

Simon wanders in to find Jayne sitting in one of the chairs, working on the magazine of a BIG GUN with a KNIFE. He watches for a moment.

SIMON What are you working on?

JAYNE (not looking up) Marie. She's got something gumming up her magazine.

SIMON Do you name all your guns?

JAYNE Just the ones pretty enough. (beat) The knives is men. (holds up the knife) This here's Max.

SIMON I—ah—Hello, Max.

Jayne puts Max into Marie's magazine casing and works it around a bit in a casually sexual manner. Simon sits down. Jayne’s not exactly thrilled by this turn of events.

JAYNE Shouldn’t you be in the engine room or somethin’?

SIMON I don’t think I’m wanted there.

Jayne gives a “Not surprised, you ruttin’ moron” nod.

SIMON (cont’d) Kaylee, she’s… She’s not like the girls I knew back home. It's like trying to speak a foreign language sometimes.

JAYNE Girls is girls. They like the same things. Tell 'em they're pretty, git 'em stuff, kiss 'em… Not on the mouth, if you can help it. 'Course, some of them—

SIMON It's a bit more complex in the Central Worlds.

JAYNE What's there to gussy up? Gorram Central Worlds, got rules for everything.

Jayne finishes his work, puts Max down, and loads Marie.

SIMON Could you maybe... put that down?

JAYNE Guay, ain't gonna shoot you. Just thought I'd show it to you. Ever fired one of these?

SIMON Not like this one, no.

JAYNE And you don't know any karate—

SIMON I took jiu jitsu for several years in college, but that was just for physical education credits.

JAYNE All that learnin’, can’t believe they don’t teach ya to fight.

SIMON I think you misunderstand how life in the Central Planets works.

JAYNE You're a doctor. Gotta be good with knives at least.

SIMON Also, I think you misunderstand medicine.

Jayne stands and stretches.

JAYNE C’mon out to the cargo bay, Doc. We’ll have us some fun. Man in your position ought to know how to fight. Gotta know how to protect your women from big bad wolves like me.

He grins and walks toward the stairs.

INT. INARA’S SHUTTLE – DAY

Inara and Ibrahim sit, quietly drinking tea.

IBRAHIM Your mind is someplace far away, my dear. It’s been many years, but is this the way it is with all companions these days?

INARA I’m sorry, I’m just…

IBRAHIM You’re worried about your crew. This is understandable.

She looks down.

IBRAHIM I must admit that I’m concerned myself about what might be going on in town. (beat) Perhaps we should postpone our visit together.

INARA (relieved) I will, of course, offer full restitution.

IBRAHIM Nonsense. Your concern has made me consider that perhaps I’ve been living at the top of this hill for too long. That and the vision of your beauty make the coin more than worth it.

He takes her hand and kisses it.

EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY

Geoffrey has joined Mal and Zoe. In the background, Cariss supervises the guards as they cut the well-dressed corpses from the lampposts. They handle this operation with more respect than they did dumping bodies near the crater.

MAL (indicating Carriss) So, he’s in charge, huh? You work for him?

GEOFFREY No! (beat) That is to say, all of the Patricians share in the rights and responsibilities of government. Noblesse oblige. Of course some choose to take on greater responsibilities.

MAL You work for him.

Before Geoffrey can reply, another beat-up SKIFF arrives in the square, disgorging a half-dozen GUARDS, one of whom makes a beeline toward Cariss. Chu, seeing this, joins them.

The three men speak briefly, the new guard pointing away from the hill, toward the fields.

ZOE Serenity’s that way. Could be they’re talkin’ about our ship, sir.

GEOFFREY No, no, I’m sure everything is—

Another half-dozen GUARDS run into the courtyard, forming up near Cariss.

MAL Well, this ain’t a good sign.

INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – DAY

On the floor, among the grain barrels, Jayne and Simon practice knife-fighting, with Simon following Jayne’s suggestions in slow motion. River sits on the upper catwalk, bare feet hanging down, watching.

JAYNE (frustrated) Gorrammit, no!

SIMON I—

JAYNE You're thinking with the point too much. Try again.

SIMON I’m sorry—

JAYNE We’re in a fight! Don’t be sorry!

Simon makes to stab Jayne and Jayne catches his arm, then makes a slow-motion punch into Simon’s solar plexus. Simon pulls away, just as frustrated as Jayne.

SIMON There's so much to keep track of.

JAYNE Ain't no harder’n sewin' someone up, Doc. You just got to stop usin' everything only one way.

SIMON I'm not sure what you mean.

JAYNE You fight by the book. Thing is, this kind of fighting ain't got a book.

Jayne walks away, drops the knife on top of one of the barrels and picks up Marie.

JAYNE (handing the gun to Simon) You've got Marie. Some men come at you. What do you do?

SIMON I… (beat) I shoot them.

Jayne gets up close, aggressively in Simon’s face.

JAYNE You miss one, and he gets this close.

SIMON I... Run away?

JAYNE {Why do I bother}?

Jayne snatches the gun back, holding it by the barrel. He takes a slow swing with the long gun, using it like a baseball bat.

His second swing is a little faster, and ends with the gun practically touching Simon’s cheek. Simon doesn’t flinch, but manages to look mildly annoyed.

JAYNE One good hit can bash in a man’s skull. (points to a dent on the stock) I know from experience. Point is, any gorram thing can be a weapon, and when you need it, there ain’t no time to think.

Beat. Simon hesitates.

Wash rushes in, onto the UPPER CATWALK.

WASH (yelling down) We got company!

Wash indicates the cargo hold doors, and begins to run down the stairs. Jayne turns and moves toward the door.

EXT. SERENITY – DAY

Jayne, now holding Marie like a gun, stands on the ramp, flanked by Wash and Simon. A horde of more than two dozen haggard, hungry-looking FOLK advancing on the ship, coming down from the hills. They’re armed with a variety of weapons (mostly guns, but ranging down to farming implements and tools).

SIMON What do you suppose they want?

WASH My guess is they’re here to invite us to a hoe-down.

Jayne glares at him.

WASH (cont’d) I do love a good hoe-down.

Book joins the three men on the ramp.

BOOK Whatever it is they want, they’re going to take it.

JAYNE (hefting the gun) No they ain’t.

COMMENTS

Saturday, February 4, 2006 11:21 AM

BURNANDBOIL


Simon is so well written! Excellent again!


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