BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

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Virtual Firefly episode 1x22 (act two)
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

“Those Left Behind” (act two): This is the Season One finale of the Virtual Firefly project. This particular tale is adapted from the Dark Horse comic book miniseries. Check out our web site at stillflying.net!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1183    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

EXT. PERSEPHONE – EAVESDOWN DOCKS – DAY – ESTABLISHING

Eavesdown Docks is its usual bustling self. Serenity touches down.

INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – DAY

Mal, Zoe, Wash, and Jayne are in the cargo bay. Kaylee, at the controls, lowers the ramp. Mal tosses a MOSTLY-EMPTY BAG to Wash.

MAL Get her fueled, Wash.

WASH With dirt? With cheap dirt? (shaking the sad little bag) That’s about all this is gonna get us…

ZOE (quietly) He’s right, Mal. I know you think that Alliance cruiser’s still after us, but you’ve had us all over the ‘Verse takin’ jobs that don’t hardly pay for the fuel these past few weeks. Since Inara…

Mal nods, not disagreeing with her, and turns back to Wash.

MAL Get her fueled as much as you can. The rest of you are free to take a walkabout, do what you need to do. But be back on the ship come sundown… Promised Inara our next stop would be Bena—

KAYLEE Mal!

A sinister FIGURE stands on the cargo bay ramp, near Jayne, backlit by the sun. Jayne turns around and decks the man without even thinking. As he falls to the ground, we see that he’s a thuggish BULLY BOY.

KAYLEE Jayne, why’d you go and do that?

JAYNE He was crowdin’ me, and I don’t know him. I hit people that crowd me I don’t know.

BADGER (OS) It’s quite alright, little lady…

There’s a MULE that can carry a half-dozen men at the base of the ramp. BADGER stands near the mule, while four other BULLY BOYS get off and crowd around the base of the ramp.

BADGER (cont’d) I don’t like the man, which is why I insisted he go first. (to Mal) You ‘ave my datacard?

MAL You have my coin?

Mal stands a bit back from the top of the ramp, backed up by Jayne. Zoe quietly moves to stand near Kaylee and the airlock controls.

BADGER (shaking his head and smiling) Wasn’t the deal, Captain, an’ you know it.

MAL Deal wasn’t to have Ott and his waitin’ on us either.

BADGER ‘ad nothin’ t’do wi’ them skankin’ your job. Could be it was them backbirths, Mingo and Fanty, turned ‘em onto—

MAL Then maybe I should be talking to them. Seem to make a habit of gettin’ their crews the drop. (beat) I do the job, I get paid. You want the datacard, you get me coin.

Badger is not happy, but also not surprised.

BADGER Tol’ you I might ‘ave another job, yeah? The take on this’ll more’n pay for both.

JAYNE Coin’s coin, Mal.

MAL (to Badger) I’m listening.

BADGER ’Course you are. But just to be sure…

At Badger’s signal, the bully boys head up the ramp, all menace and nastiness.

Mal doesn’t even move.

MAL Zoe.

Zoe, at the airlock controls, hits a button. The men yell, cough, and recoil as steam hisses at them from the airlock’s vents.

Zoe hits another button, and as soon as the steam stops, Mal and Jayne are among the bully boys, punching and kicking. The fight is brief, and ends with Mal and Jayne standing and Badger’s boys on the ramp, groaning in pain.

Mal looks down the ramp at Badger, who has his hat in his hands, looking contrite.

MAL (cont’d) So… What is it you wanted to talk about?

EXT. PERSEPHONE – DAY

Serenity sails over the Persephone wilderness.

INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – SAME TIME

Badger sits in one of the chairs from the dining room, Mal, Jayne, Simon and Kaylee in a half-circle in front of him. It is not lost on Badger that the chair sits on the cargo bay door set into the floor, or that Zoe is at the controls, out of his sight.

MAL For someone who came here to talk, you sure ain’t.

BADGER (nervous) Where are you taking me?

MAL That ain’t your concern. Now spill your guts. Or I might let Jayne.

JAYNE (gleefully) Oh, yeah.

SIMON Do we really want to hear what he has to say?

Badger smiles up at Simon.

BADGER ’ow’s your sister, doctor?

Simon takes a step forward, but Kaylee puts a hand on his shoulder. Badger laughs.

MAL ’less you got somethin’ profitable to say, Badger, I think maybe we can drop you off right here. (beat) Zoe?

The doors below Badger open just a crack, letting in the rushing sound of wind. Badger reacts.

BADGER (hastily) Battle of Sturges. (beat) ‘eard of it?

MAL Everyone’s heard of the Battle of Sturges.

Badger’s a little distracted by the whistling wind coming from beneath him.

BADGER Bloodiest battle in all the war, it was.

A look passes between Mal and Zoe.

MAL I’d hold it was a distant second. But go on.

BADGER Shortest, too. All those lives—

JAYNE Wanna hear ‘bout coin, not some ruttin’ history lesson.

Badger ignores Jayne, looking straight at Mal as he snaps his fingers.

BADGER Snuffed in a blink.

MAL (quietly) Blink’s an awful long time when you’re on the ground.

ZOE We’re not requirin’ a lecture on the subject. Or had you not noticed the color the captain and I are partial to wearing?

Badger turns around, craning his neck to look at Zoe, who stands over the controls.

BADGER ’ere’s what you and the ‘ist’ry books don’t know, little lady. What the Battle of Sturges was fought for—what all them boys and girls died for—was a boatload of cash. (beat) A boatload of cash what’s still there.

He turns to look back at Mal.

SIMON This doesn’t make any sense.

JAYNE Sounds like a ruttin’ fairy tale.

BADGER Believe what you want. Stash is real enough, just sittin’ there waitin’ for you, or someone near enough you, to liberate it.

MAL They’re right. This don’t make sense. What was the money doing there in the first place?

BADGER (shrugs) Word is the Alliance was plannin’ to bribe some bigwig at Sturges. Try to end the war early.

ZOE General Donovan?

He looks back at her, smiling.

BADGER Not quite, luv. Donleavy.

Mal and Zoe exchange a look over Badger.

ZOE Story’s got the whiff of truth to it, sir.

JAYNE Ain’t all this story smells of!

SIMON How do you even know any of this?

BADGER When the fight started, the petty officer jumped ship. Took what coin he could carry. And the comm codes to get back. (to Mal) You ‘ave the datacard, Mal?

Mal holds out the DATACARD, making as if to hand it to Badger. When Badger leans forward, Mal snaps the card back.

BADGER (cont’d) Take you right to the ship, right to the stash.

SIMON Captain, remind me, please, why are we even listening to him?

BADGER All that coin, just waitin’ for somebody, Reynolds…

Mal looks down.

JAYNE Could be worth the trip, Cap’n. Just to be sure.

Zoe comes around to join Mal.

ZOE What about competition? Other crews? Sturges draws scavengers like a carcass in the sun.

BADGER ’at’s the int’restin’ thing. Seems the Alliance’s put on a push t’clear out the carrion these past few weeks. They’ve taken a renewed interest in Sturges. I’ll leave it to your imagining as to why.

SIMON Wouldn’t we have to worry about an Alliance presence, then?

Badger ignores him, looks at Mal.

BADGER (cont’d) Datacard’ll take you right to it, Mal. All that Alliance coin, yours for the takin’. (beat) Less my percentage, of course. (beat) What do you say?

MAL I say we’re through. (beat) Even if you’re tellin’ the truth, we’re done. I’ll decide if I want to take this job, an’ if I do, what cut you deserve. But I see you near my ship or my crew, you better be lost and walkin’ th’other way.

Mal hands the datacard to Zoe.

MAL Tell Wash to set down. I want this piece of fei-oo off Serenity ‘fore the stain sets…

EXT. PERSEPHONE – MOMENTS LATER

Serenity sails away as Badger is left standing in the middle of a field, holding his hat so it doesn’t get blown off by the wind.

MAL (cont’d, VO) He’s got a long walk ahead of him.

INT. SERENITY – DINING ROOM – DAY

Mal, pensive, carries the chair Badger was sitting on and moves toward the table. He’s startled to find River hiding under the table, arms around her legs.

MAL River? What in the hell are you—

RIVER Ball of yarn… All knotted and tangled with different weights and colors. But pull one string, you pull them all…

INARA (OS) There you are.

Inara stands in the doorway, craning her neck to look at River.

INARA (cont’d) I’ve been looking all over the ship for her.

River looks at Mal.

RIVER You cheated.

INARA (to Mal) Simon asked that I look after her, and River was being so kind as to help me pack—

MAL If it’s all the same to you, Inara, now ain’t the time to have this conversation. Again.

Mal and Inara stand facing each other. River’s still under the table, looking up at them, like a child watching parents fighting.

INARA Mal, I’m only trying to set a schedule for my departure. And while I can appreciate that you have a business to run, I must ask you to remember that I do as well.

MAL Look, Inara, I’m gettin’ you where you want to go fast as I can. Now, maybe it ain’t as fast as you’d like, but Bena’s not exactly next door and I’ve got to take what work I can along the way.

Mal steps around her and walks toward the door.

MAL (cont’d) To be clear, I’ll see you get where you want to go and understand that it ain’t here.

Inara watches him leave.

RIVER Let the ball of yarn go.

INT. WHITEHALL – WORKSHOP – DAY

As Renner and the others go about their business, Dobson takes a call at one of the comm consoles. Badger is on the screen.

BADGER (via comm) Reynolds took the bait. Appeal to his greed, mention the war… Easy as cake.

EXT. SPACE

Serenity sails through the black.

INT. SERENITY – DINING ROOM – NIGHT

Everyone’s there. Mal stands at the head of the table. Book sits at the other end, arms crossed. Inara stands nearby, the only one not at the table.

MAL As I’m sure you’ve all sussed for yourselves, we’ll be taking Badger’s job.

WASH We’ve got barely enough fuel to get there, Captain, much less get away.

MAL (nods slowly) We’ll siphon some from what we find there.

ZOE Is this what we are now, Captain? Scavengers?

MAL Folk at Sturges need it a lot less’n we do. (beat) Anyone got a complaint, they’d best know of payin’ work to go along with it.

INARA This is after you’ve delivered me to my duties, of course…

MAL No, it is decidedly not.

She looks at him, her face unreadable, and he moves away from the table, taking a few steps toward her.

MAL (cont’d) I can’t wait on this, Inara, and running a taxi service don’t feed mouths. For the record, job’s the same direction you’re so anxious to go and the only reason we’re even venturin’ to such a shuh-muh gong tzwo do may yo {without-any-work} corner of space is you.

Another step closer to her.

MAL (cont’d) Still, I imagine you’re upset and I want you to know I’m… (beat) That I wish things could be different. It’s just a decision I had to make.

INARA Yes. The only one you ever do.

She turns away from him and walks out.

Beat.

MAL Anyone else has words, now’d be the time.

RIVER I hate that color on you. (beat) I always have.

Mal ignores her.

MAL If that’s all, then—

BOOK It’s not.

Mal doesn’t look surprised as Book stands.

BOOK (cont’d) I think you should respect Inara’s wishes, Captain. You gave her your word.

MAL Yes, I did. And you think you’re in a position to tell me what that’s worth? It’s air, Shepherd. Nothing more when it comes right down to it, and when the goin’ reaches the right level of rough.

He moves so he’s face-to-face with Book.

MAL (cont’d) Come to think of it, ain’t no different than the word you preach… Tell me, Shepherd, when things take a turn toward gos se {crap}, do you drop to your knees and pray, or do you steal a vehicle and do what needs to be done to survive? To live to repent another day?

Beat.

Book decks Mal. Hard, drawing blood, and knocking the captain back into the galley bar. No one sees it coming. Jayne is stunned. Kaylee gasps. Everyone stares.

Book walks out.

Mal wipes the blood off his mouth.

MAL Yeah, that’s what I thought. (beat) Wash, get us in the air.

INT. WHITEFALL – WORKSHOP – DAY

Dobson’s folk pull open warehouse doors in front of the Tick, letting sun spill in. The Blue Hands are in the Tick’s cockpit, and the engine is idling.

Dobson stands next to Renner, grinning like a madman.

DOBSON Day’s been a long time coming.

Renner nods.

DOBSON (cont’d) I’ll see you soon, old man.

RENNER Make them suffer for me.

DOBSON Count on it.

Dobson claps Renner on the shoulder and walks away, heading for the other folks.

DOBSON (cont’d) Pack it up, boys! There’s only one thing you need to remember. When we get there, I’m the one that kills Reynolds!

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