BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

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Virtual Firefly episode 1x21 (teaser)
Sunday, February 12, 2006

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


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2065    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Episode 1x21: “CHAINS”

Written by Matt Engstrom

Story Consultant: “giantevilhead”

Edited by George W. Krubski and Shawn Morris

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.

EXT. INDEPENDENCE – NIGHT – ESTABLISHING

The mining moon is dark and gray. A light rain falls. SERENITY sits at the MINE ENTRANCE, near a grouping of RUSTY BUILDINGS – barracks, warehouses, loading bays and offices. Banks of lights atop steel poles light the area from above.

INT. SERENITY CARGO BAY – CONTINUOUS

The cargo bay is filled by a few dozen LARGE SPOOLS OF CHAINS, massive enough that four people would be needed to roll them. The spools are strapped down, and JAYNE and BOOK are busy unfastening them. Kaylee stands on the UPPER catwalk, looking down.

KAYLEE …pulleys and such. Big old pulleys for heftin’ minin’ equipment. That’s gotta be what they’re for, right?

JAYNE I don’t know. That’s a lotta pulleys.

BOOK Mines are deep, especially uranium ones. Some can go all the way to the core.

JAYNE I know what I’d use chains for! (lewd grin) If you catch my meanin’.

KAYLEE (giggling) Jayne!

The sound of CLINKING CHAINS comes from the AIRLOCK RAMP, preceding two SECURITY GUARDS, followed by a group of sixteen RAGGED MEN, who are shackled about the ankles. The chain gang, looking wet and miserable, includes a TEENAGE BOY, and a MAN resting his hands on the boy’s shoulders protectively. Behind this apparent father-son pair, an OLDER MAN makes eye contact with Book. A CROSS ON A THIN CHAIN hangs around his neck.

Book and Jayne exchange a look.

JAYNE Seems I weren’t too far off with the whole bondage-thing, Shepherd.

BOOK Seems so.

INT. CHAVEZ’S OFFICE – SECONDS LATER

CHAVEZ, forties, short, mustachioed, stands before a window overlooking the slave barracks, loading bays, and mine entrance. Serenity can be seen, and the spools of chains are being rolled down the ramp by groups of ragged men.

Mal and Zoe look around the office, noticing a BROWNCOAT and INDEPENDENT FLAG displayed on one wall of the office.

CHAVEZ Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds! And Zoe Alleyne! It is an honor to finally meet you both.

ZOE It’s Mrs. Washburne now.

MAL And Captain Reynolds. Or Mister Reynolds. Or Mal, if you consider me a friend. As far as Sergeant Reynolds… (looks at the flag) War’s over, Mr. Chavez. Ain’t no use clingin’ onto old titles.

CHAVEZ Please, call me Luis. (looks to the flag) And you are right. Old titles… We should be rid of them. But old ideals, they never die.

MAL Like freedom?

CHAVEZ Yes. That’s what this place is all about. Independence. Freedom from the Alliance.

MAL Freedom period’s what I fought for. (beat) Ain’t no man oughta live under the heel of another.

Chavez smiles.

CHAVEZ I assume you are referring to my workforce?

MAL Am I? Don’t believe I mentioned them. Should I have?

Chavez sits down behind his desk and reclines.

CHAVEZ Have you heard of the term “chain gang?”

EXT. LOADING BAYS – SAME TIME

A HARD-LOOKING MAN strains as he works on rolling a chain spool across the concrete. Other SLAVES push and pull against the spools.

CHAVEZ (cont’d, VO) It’s a term from Earth-that-Was. For a time, prisoners – murderers, rapists, thieves – were strung together in chains, and they worked the fields, or dug ditches along lonely roads. They were forced to do something that benefited the societies they victimized.

INT. CHAVEZ’S OFFICE – SAME TIME

Mal stands at the window looking down at the loading bays.

MAL Don’t look like all the men down there meet that description. Some look to be victims themselves. Wrong place at the wrong time… Like maybe when a slaver ship comes avisitin’.

Chavez rises in his chair and looks out the window.

CHAVEZ The men you see out there, they are not slaves. They once filled our prisons and asylums, rotting in their cells. Of no benefit to society.

INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – SAME TIME

The teenage boy pulls against a spool. Jayne and Book watch the slaves work. The guards, having a side conversation, seem less concerned about watching the slaves than about making sure they don’t have to do any work themselves. KAYLEE is in the cargo bay as well, looking down from the UPPER CATWALK.

CHAVEZ (cont’d, VO) Now they work here, in the mines.

Kaylee looks at the teenage boy. He looks back up at her.

INT. CHAVEZ’S OFFICE – SAME TIME

Mal doesn’t look at Chavez.

MAL To benefit you.

CHAVEZ The fuel mined here benefits all of us. It powers the transport ships, like yours, that knit our society together. You, my friend, will directly benefit, unless you do not want to be paid?

MAL My understandin’ was this deal was a trade.

CHAVEZ Yes. New chains for our used mining machinery and equipment. You have a buyer lined up?

MAL Not that it’s any o’your business, but, yeah. Friends in need. If this machinery doesn’t operate to their satisfaction...

INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – SAME TIME

The older man and a group of slaves push a MINING DRILL atop a PNEUMATIC CART into place. The spools of chains gone. The guards are now talking to Book and Jayne, pretty much completely ignoring the slaves.

CHAVEZ (VO) I assure you, with some minor maintenance, they’ll run like new for years and years.

MAL (VO) You sure? Looks like you’ve got a corrosion problem.

The older man throws a switch on the pneumatic cart and the mining drill drops hard.

CHAVEZ (VO) Everything rusts on this moon. The constant rain. Drill bits dull. Rusty chains break…

The panel covering the SMUGGLING COMPARTMENT shifts in response to the dropping drill. The older man notices, and smiles.

INT. CHAVEZ’S OFFICE – SAME TIME

Chavez walks back behind his desk, but remains standing.

CHAVEZ (cont’d) In my experience, repairing chains is the cost effective alternative.

MAL I see your point. Machines need fixin’ when they break down. Hard working men… All they need’s a hole in the ground. And you got plenty’a holes here, don’t ya?

Chavez smiles politely.

CHAVEZ I see we will not be friends, Mister Reynolds. (beat, as Mal does not respond) I hope we can work together again. Not many ships come out this far.

MAL Figured you’d like it that way.

CHAVEZ Freedom has its sacrifices.

MAL That it does.

Mal heads toward the door, signalling for Zoe to join him.

MAL (cont’d) Better pray for a drought.

INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – NIGHT

Mal and Zoe walk up the ramp. Book and Jayne are finishing securing the mining machinery. Mal stops at the console, closes the cargo bay ramp door, and speaks into the comm.

MAL (cont’d) Wash! Get us off this rock! (beat) Ain’t nothin’ right about this place, and the faster we’re gone, the better.

Mal and Zoe walk toward the stairs to the catwalk.

JAYNE Coin is coin, Mal. This was the easiest job we done in a long time.

Mal, halfway up the stairs, turns.

MAL You call lookin’ in those eyes easy?

JAYNE Ain’t like we’re lockin’ them chains ourselves.

Mal’s now on the upper catwalk. He looks down at Jayne.

MAL What part ain’t you hearin’? We ain’t comin’ back. Ever.

Mal and Zoe continue on toward the bridge. They pass RIVER, who’s leaning against the hull with her eyes closed.

RIVER Twenty-nine… twenty-eight…

BACK ON THE CARGO BAY FLOOR

Jayne and Book are finished securing the machinery. They head up the stairs themselves. The sound of the ENGINES thrums through the walls.

JAYNE Shepherd, I ain’t the sharpest knife t’ever slit a throat, but this ain’t smart, is it? Turnin’ down honest work?

BOOK Easy doesn’t mean honest. You know that. And as they say, if you can’t do something smart, for whatever reason, do something right. They pass River, who finally stops counting down and opens her eyes.

RIVER Ready or not here I come!

River makes her way down the stairs, eyes alert.

She walks amongst the secured machinery, head tilted, listening.

A SOFT WHISPER rises from the rattling quiet. She doubles back towards the sound.

RIVER Rabbits don’t pray. Rabbits are prey…

River approaches the hull and the smuggling compartment. She pulls free the panel and looks inside.

SIMON enters the cargo bay and sees his sister.

SIMON River? What are you doing?

RIVER (looks at Simon) They once were lost…

She looks back to the compartment, smiling, as Simon walks over to join her.

A group of four slaves are huddled together in the smuggling compartment, hands folded in prayer. The teenage boy, his father, the hard-looking man, and the older man are in the compartment. They look back at Simon with wide eyes.

RIVER (cont’d) Now they’re found.

COMMENTS

Sunday, February 12, 2006 11:44 PM

BURNANDBOIL


Wow!!! Good teaser!!

Monday, February 13, 2006 12:47 AM

AMDOBELL


Oh yeah, this is going to be all kinds of complicated - I can hardly wait! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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