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04. Сценарий эпизода «Вечеринка» (Shindig). Автор: Джейн Эспенсон (Jane Espenson)

Firefly - "Shindig"

(Original Air Date: November 1, 2002)

Written by: Jane Espenson
Directed by: Vern Gillum

Guest Cast:
Mark A. Sheppard as "Badger"
Edward Atterton as "Atherton Wing"
Larry Drake as "Sir Warrick Harrow"
Carl Bresk as "Wright"
Larry Pennell as "Murphy"
Michael McMillian as "Younger Hopeful"
Joshua Grenrock as "Porter"
Kim Onasch as "Banning"
Janora McDuffie as "Cabott"
Casey Piotrowski as "Older Farmer"
Hunter Cochran as "Younger Farmer
Roy Werner as "Gentleman"

Episode #: 1AGE03

SHOOTING SCRIPT - August 2, 2002

Teaser

INT. POOL HALL - NIGHT (NIGHT 1)

It's dark, smoky. Four tables are in play. There are about 15 people in here, mostly men. A BARTENDER serves beer in heavy wooden bowls. Small tables line the edges of the room.

MAL and JAYNE play two other men, WRIGHT and HOLDER. INARA, in a beautiful outfit, watches and holds a small glass of pink liqueur. She is the only color, only elegance.

WRIGHT is lining up a shot and talking at the same time. His cue has a ring of light right before the tip.

WRIGHT: Didn't hardly have to convert the: ship, even. (re: shot): Six in the corner. Stronger locks,: thicker doors, keep everybody where: they're s'posed to be. Don't even: need more rations.

As he sights along his cue, all the balls on the table flicker, disappearing for a moment, then reappearing. A general DISGUSTED GROAN comes from every player in the room.

WRIGHT (cont'd): < Hey! > [Way!]

He looks toward the Bartender, as do other patrons. The Bartender points, bored, to a crude Sign: "MANAGEMENT NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BALL FAILURE" (It also says it in Chinese.)

Wright attempts his shot, Doesn't sink the ball.

WRIGHT (cont'd): Flicker threw me off.

Mal's turn. He walks around, examines the table.

JAYNE (to Wright): You made money?

WRIGHT: Hand over fist, my friend. Border: planets need labor. Terraforming: crews got a prodigious death rate.

MAL: Side pocket.

Mal makes his shot, lines up another.

MAL (cont'd): Labor. You mean slaves.

WRIGHT: They wasn't volunteers, for damn sure.

MAL: That why you didn't hafta to lay in: more rations?

WRIGHT: I didn't hear no complaints.

Wright and Holder laugh.

JAYNE: How much money? Lots?

Mal misses a shot and steps back by Inara. She's brushing cigarette ashes off a chair, making a place to sit.

MAL: There's a chance you may wanna head: back to the ship.

INARA: Oh, I'm all right. This is: entertaining, actually.

MAL (amused, disbelieving): Yeah? What's entertaining?

INARA: I like watching the game. As with: other situations, the key seems to be: giving Jayne a heavy stick and: standing back.

ANGLE ON: Jayne, sinking one of the few remaining balls. Mal smiles at Inara, but:

MAL: Still think you might oughtta clear: out 'fore too much longer. Seems: there's a thief about.

INARA: A thief?

Mal leans in close, slips Inara a handful of paper money.

MAL: He took this right off 'em. They: earned that with the sweat of their: slave-tradin' brows.

INARA: Mal!

MAL: Terrible shame. 'Course, they won't: notice it 'til they go to pay for: their next drink --

WRIGHT (O.S.): Hey! [Way!]

MAL (to Inara): Good drinker, that one.

Wright's hand falls heavily on Mal's shoulder. Mal spins and LANDS A MIGHTY PUNCH.

Behind them, Holder jumps to help Wright. Jayne TACKLES HIM.

Inara jumps back against a wall, as Wright KICKS MAL'S LEGS from under him. Mal falls.

Holder is up again, swinging a pool cue at Jayne.

Mal, on the floor, grabs the base of a small table and rams it UP at Wright. Wright flies back.

It's a melee. Other patrons jump to join.

Inara jumps when a GLASS SHATTERS near her head. She heads toward the door, fast. She passes the bartender as she goes.

INARA (dryly): Lovely place. I'll tell my friends.

END OF TEASER

Act One

EXT. SERENITY / PERSEPHONE - EFFECT

Descending out of orbit over Persephone.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - DAY (DAY 2) / EFFECT

WASH pilots Serenity closer to the surface. ZOE stands behind his chair, hand on Wash's shoulder, looking out.

As they approach, Persephone comes between them and this system's sun; the planet's shadow moves over their faces. Zoe bends down close to Wash, a couple enjoying a sunset.

WASH: It seem to you we cleared outta Santo: in a hurry?

ZOE: Seems to me we do that a lot. Heard: tell though, we're gonna stay a while: on Persephone, upwards of a week: maybe.

Wash whistles through his teeth.

WASH: Shiny.

ZOE: Yeah? Thought you'd get land-crazy,: that long in port.

WASH: Prob'ly. But I been sane a long: while now, and change is good.

Mal joins them. Looks out past them at the planet.

MAL: Well, ain't that a joyful sight.

WASH: Gotta love a sunset.

ZOE: Startin' to get familiar, too. Like: a second home.

MAL (firmly): Persephone is not home. Too many: people we need to avoid. Resupply,: look for work, move along. We sniff: the air, we don't kiss the dirt.

ZOE: Wasn't planning on the dirt-kissing,: Sir.

WASH: I wouldn't stand for it anyways,: Captain. Jealous man like me. (re: piloting): Closin' in.

ZOE: Planet's coming up a might fast.

WASH: Just means I'm going down too quick.: Likely crash and kill us all.

As Mal exits:

MAL: That happens, let me know.

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - DAY

Inara sits facing a Cortex screen that hangs on the wall like a mirror. There is local data across the top of the screen: "Persephone", the local time (10 am), ship's status (docked) The main part of the screen is labeled "Responses". The screen features 12 small pictures -- 10 men, 2 women. Text under each picture gives a name. Inara touches three pictures and they disappear.

Inara looks at the ones that remain. She touches one of the pictures and it expands to fill the screen. It's a taped request from a pale YOUNG HOPEFUL (man).

YOUNG HOPEFUL (on tape, nervous): I understand your time on our planet: is limited.: And if you've selected my proposal to: hear, then the honor that you do me: flatters my... (searches for words): My honor... and I hope--

Inara taps the screen. The field of nine photos is back. Before she can select another, a CHIME sounds and the screen fills with the live (not recorded) image of ATHERTON WING.

Atherton is handsome, 30's with just enough charm to offset his aura of entitlement. Inara smiles at the sight of him.

ATHERTON (over the link): Now there's the smile made of: sunlight.

INARA: Atherton! How wonderful to see you.

ATHERTON: Did you get my message? I was extra: appealing.

INARA: Yesterday. I listened to yours: first. What a flattering invitation.: I had no idea I was arriving in time: for the Social Event of the Season.

ATHERTON: We only have four or five of those a: year, you know. So you'll accompany: me, I ask, heart in my throat? There: is a certain offer I'm still waiting: to hear about.

SFX: KNOCK AT THE DOOR

INARA: Yes, I imagine there is. I'm: delighted to say I'll be there. Now,: I'm sorry, Atherton, I have to run.

ATHERTON: I understand, I'll see you soon,: < sweetheart > [bao bay].

She severs the connection. His image freezes on the screen.

INARA: Come in.

Mal enters. Inara sets the screen on a table.

INARA (cont'd): Good afternoon, Captain.

MAL: Morning. We're downing, and in case: Wash don't kill us all, local time's: gonna be in the a.m., ten or so.

INARA (why are you really: here?): Yes, I saw that.

Mal gestures toward the screen, trying to seem casual.

MAL: Making plans?

Inara tenses. He doesn't wait for an answer from her. He looks closely at the screen.

MAL (cont'd): "Atherton Wing". He's a regular,: ain't he?

Inara blanks the screen.

INARA: I've seen him before.

MAL: Well, I never did. Not what I: pictured. Young. Must be rich too,: to afford your rates.

INARA: I suppose. He has engaged me for: several days.

MAL: Days. The boy must have stamina.

INARA: He does.

Mal tries not to look stung.

MAL: Well... fine. Is he lettin' you out: at all?

INARA: Actually, we're attending a ball: tomorrow night.

MAL: Tell me, all the men there have to: pay for their dates, or just the: young rich ones with stamina?

INARA: Most of the women there will not be: Companions, if that's what you're: asking. Perhaps the other men: couldn't attract one.

MAL: Huh. Sounds like the finest party I: can imagine getting paid to go to.

INARA: I don't suppose you'd find it up the: standards of your outings. More: conversation and somewhat less petty: theft and getting hit with pool cues.

Inara moves to the door, a clear invitation. to leave.

INARA (cont'd): I understand, if you need to go: prepare for that "it's ten in the: morning" issue.

MAL: Yeah. Better do that. Cuz I think: this is more of an evening look.

He exits.

EXT. STREET - DAY (DAY 2)

Outside a line of shops on Persephone. KAYLEE, Zoe, Jayne, Wash and Mal are carrying some supplies back to the Mule.

The women and Wash walk ahead, then Jayne, then Mal. Mal carries a heavy burlap sack.

They pass a high-class dress shop. There are three live MODELS behind the electronic window, walking and posing, showing off their gowns. Kaylee stops short, and Zoe almost runs into her.

KAYLEE: Ooh. Look at the pretties.

Zoe looks, and Wash joins her.

WASH: What am I looking at? The girls or: the clothes?

Jayne stops short:

JAYNE (immediately): There's girls?

ZOE (answering Wash,: overlapping): The clothes, please.

Jayne looks too. Mal is forced to stop, wait.

KAYLEE (pointing): Say. Look at the fluffy one.

ZOE: Too much foofaraw. If I'm gonna wear: a dress, I want something with slink.

WASH (quickly): You want a slinky dress? I can buy: you a slinky dress. Captain, can I: have money for a slinky dress?

JAYNE: I'll chip in.

ZOE (casually, to Jayne): I can hurt you.

KAYLEE: Only place I ever seen something so: nice is some of the things Inara has.

MAL: We'd best be movin'--

ZOE: Guess she needs all that stuff, life: she leads.

KAYLEE: Well, sure. And sometimes the: customers buy her things. She knows: some real rich men--

MAL: Come on. T'ain't feathers I'm toting: here, you know.

KAYLEE: I like the ruffles. Inara gets to: wear whatever she--

MAL: What would you do in that rig? Flounce around the engine room? Be: like a sheep walkin' on its hind legs.

Jayne snorts a laugh at that. Kaylee's face shows she's hurt. Zoe shoots Mal a hard look. She takes Mal's burden effortlessly. She, Kaylee and Wash head o.s. toward the Mule.

ZOE (coldly): See you on the ship, Captain.

Mal instantly regrets what he said.

MAL: < Kick me in the bottom. > [Tee wuh duh: pee-goo.]

JAYNE: Is she mad or something?

There's a series of meaningful CLICKS behind him.

Mal and Jayne turn to find themselves facing BADGER, a cockney criminal, a slice of local color with a fine hat.

Three of his LADS are with him, covering Jayne -- the clicks were the cocking of their guns. Mal nods politely, as if this is a normal way to run into an old acquaintance.

MAL: Badger.

BADGER: Captain Reynolds. Heard you was in: town. Thought we might have a bit of: a sit-down.

MAL: I'd prefer a bit of a "piss off."

BADGER: I'm very sorry. Did I give you the: impression I was asking?

INT. BADGER'S LAIR - DAY

Badger, Mal and Jayne sit uncomfortably around a cable-spool table. Badger pours tea. Jayne eats from a plate of cookies.

MAL: Seems to me, last time there was a: chance for a little palaver, we were: all manner of unwelcome...

JAYNE (re: tea): That's not bad.

BADGER (to Jayne,: confidentially): There's a trick to it. Wood alcohol.

Mal continues as if he hadn't been interrupted.

MAL: Now, we're favored guests, treated to: the finest in beverages that make you: blind. So what is it you need?

Jayne pours himself more tea, reaching across Mal.

JAYNE: 'Scuse me.

BADGER: There's this local, name of Warrick: Harrow. He's got some property he: wants to sell off-planet, to fetch a: higher price.

MAL: But the local powers won't let him: sell off-world.

BADGER: It's a conundrum. What my man Harrow: needs hisself, is a smuggler. 'M: willing to cut you in on it.

MAL: Why me? You've got access to ships.: You could do it yourself.

BADGER (reluctant): He won't deal with me direct. Taken: an irrational dislike.

JAYNE (mouth full): What happened? He see your face?

BADGER (ignoring Jayne): He's a quality gent. Nose in the air: like he never < smelled a fart > [wun: gwo pee]. Don't find me respectable.: You, I figure, you got a chance.

MAL: You backed out of a deal, last time.: Left us hanging.

JAYNE: Hurt our feelings.

MAL: You recall why that took place?

BADGER: I had a problem with your attitude,: is why. Felt you was, what's the: word?

JAYNE: Pretentious?

Mal shoots Jayne a look.

BADGER: Exactly. You think you're better'n: other people.

MAL: Just the ones I'm better than. (then): Now, I thinkin' that very quality is: the one you're placing value on today.

BADGER: I place value on the fact that the: stick up your < bottom > [pee-goo] is: 'bout as large as the one Harrow's: got.

Jayne barks a laugh at that. Mal shoots him another look.

MAL: How would you even set up a meet, man: won't deal with you?

BADGER: I know a place he'll be. Safe place,: using some new-tech gun scans. High: class, too. They wouldn't let me in: there, but you might slip by.: 'Course you couldn't buy an invite: with a diamond size of a testicle.: But I got my hands on a couple.

Mal raises his eyebrows for a pregnant beat.

BADGER (cont'd) (clarifying): ...of invites. You want the meeting: or not?

Mal considers.

BADGER (cont'd): You want to do business in: Persephone. you do it through me.: But if you're so well off you don't: need it...

INT. SERENITY - ENGINE ROOM - DAY (DAY 2)

Kaylee is working on the engine. Mal enters.

MAL: Kaylee.

She avoids his eyes, busies herself with her work. No answer.

MAL (cont'd): Kaylee.

KAYLEE: I'm not speaking to you, Captain.

MAL: Got no need to speak... C'mon.

He turns to go, matching her coldness.

MAL (cont'd): Got a job for you.

INT. PARTY - FOYER - NIGHT (DAY 3)

Atherton Wing ushers Inara into the richly decorated foyer of a large public building. They are dressy and elegant.

ATHERTON: After you...

The ballroom is beyond, through an ornate arch -- there is no visible machinery associated with the arch. Two couples are in front of them, waiting to go through. A DECORATED OFFICIAL stands to the side of the arch.

ANGLE ON THE ARCHWAY

One couple passes through. A PORTER, his back visible through the arch, can be heard, slightly muffled, as he announces them to the room beyond.

PORTER: William and Lady Cortland.

The next couple, equally elegant, heads for the arch. The woman steps through, but the WELL-DRESSED MAN is held in place by something unseen.

A PLEASANT CHIME SOUNDS.

The Well-Dressed Man is not harmed, not struggling, but he can't move forward. He steps back, smiles at the Official.

WELL-DRESSED MAN: Terribly sorry. Oversight.

He removes a small pistol from a suit jacket pocket, hands it to the Official. He passes though the arch to join his date.

PORTER: Colonel Cyrus Momsen and escort.

Atherton and Inara step through.

INT. PARTY - BALLROOM - CONTINUOUS

Atherton and Inara enter.

PORTER: Atherton Wing and Inara Serra.

We see the room now, filled with elegant party-goers, circulating waiters, live musicians, a buffet table...

Fresh food means money, so many of the decorations feature huge bowls of fruit. There is also a hovering chandelier.

Atherton and Inara move into the room. Inara waves at someone, exchanges air kisses with another woman.

INARA: Roberta, it's been too long.

She greets an elderly man sitting in a chair:

INARA (cont'd): < You're looking wonderful, old: friend >. [Lao pung yo, nee can chi: lai hun yo jing shen]

They move on. Atherton talks softly into her ear.

ATHERTON: Half the men in this room wish you: were on their arm tonight.

INARA: Only half? I must be losing my: undefinable allure.

ATHERTON: Not that undefinable. All of them: wish you were in their bed.

Inara finds that in bad taste. She looks away, changes the topic.

INARA: I'm looking for the boy with the: shimmerwine.

ATHERTON: Oh, she blushes. (considering): Not many in your line of work do: that. You, you are a singular woman: and I find, (stammering,: sincere): I find I admire you more and more.

Inara stops and looks at him, touched.

ATHERTON (cont'd): I'm trying to give you something, you: know. A life. If you want it.

INARA: Atherton...

ATHERTON: You can live here, on Persephone. As: my personal companion.

INARA: You are a generous man.

ATHERTON: That's not a "yes".

INARA (after a beat): It's not a "no" either.

Inara greets another acquaintance.

INARA (cont'd) (to a woman): You look gorgeous, dear.

Atherton spots a glass of champagne -- a waiter is passing with a tray. Atherton lifts the glass and offers it to Inara in one smooth move. She smiles, delighted.

ATHERTON: You belong here, Inara, not on that: flying piece of < crap > [gos se].: You see that, don't you?

INARA: Atherton, language.

ATHERTON: What, "piece of < crap > [gos se]"? But it is a piece of < crap > [gos se].

PORTER (O.S.): Miss Kaywinnit Lee Frye and escort.

Inara turns her head sharply and a little rudely away from Atherton, startled into looking at the door.

INARA: Kaylee?

ON KAYLEE

She enters, eyes wide, soaking it all in. She wears the ruffled dress from the window and looks beautiful. She carries a glittery evening bag. She's Cinderella at the ball.

Mal steps forward to join her. He is in his Sunday best, something dark and Rhett Butler-y, maybe a cut-away coat.

ACROSS THE ROOM,

Inara stares, locking in on Mal.

INARA: Oh < crap > [gos se]

END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

INT. PARTY FOYER - CONTINUING

Mal and Kaylee make their way into the party. Her eyes are bright and wide as she takes it all in at once. Mal is trying to look cool and cosmopolitan, but is actually almost as impressed as Kaylee. He tugs at his suit.

MAL: Does this seem kind of... tight?

KAYLEE: Shows off your backside. Didja see: the chandelier? It's hovering

Mal looks up at the chandelier.

MAL: What's the point of that, I wonder?

KAYLEE: Ooh, pineapples.

Mal is still eyeing the chandelier.

MAL: I mean, I get how they did it. I: just ain't seeing the why.

KAYLEE: These girls have the most beautiful: dresses. And so do I, how 'bout that!

MAL: Well, careful with it. We cheated: Badger outta good money to buy that: frippery. You're s'posed to make me: look respectable.

KAYLEE: Yes sir, Captain Tightpants.

Mal starts looking around, seeking someone out.

MAL: I'm looking for our guy, Harrow.

KAYLEE: And Inara. We should look for her,: right? Just to hallo at her.

MAL (too casual): If we see her. Think she's wearing: green.

Kaylee is distracted by a passing group of attractive young men in fancy clothes.

KAYLEE (to Mal, too loudly): Say, lookit the boys!

Nearby party-goers glance over. Mal winces. Kaylee doesn't notice.

KAYLEE (cont'd): Some of them's pretty as the doctor.

She stares, struck speechless, as a waiter passes, carrying a huge BOWL OF ENORMOUS STRAWBERRIES to the buffet table.

MAL: Help me find our man. S'posed to be: older, kinda stocky, wearing a red: sash crossways.

Kaylee never takes her eyes off the strawberries.

KAYLEE: Why's he doing that?

MAL: Maybe he won the Miss Persephone: pageant. Help me look.

KAYLEE: That him?

Mal looks where she's pointing, at the buffet table.

MAL: That's the buffet table.

KAYLEE: How can we be sure? You know, unless: we question it?

MAL: Fine. Don't make yourself sick.

Kaylee flashes him a big smile.

KAYLEE: < Thank you > [Sheh-sheh], Cap'n!

And she's off to the buffet. Mal heads off on his own.

INT. SERENITY COMMON AREA / KITCHEN - NIGHT

SIMON, BOOK and Jayne play Chore poker. It looks like five card draw, only instead of chips, they're playing for pieces of paper. Each man has a collection of scraps in front of him -- Simon has the least and Book the most. Simon shuffles.

SIMON: Ante up, gentlemen. (antes piece of paper): Dishes.

BOOK (anteing): Dishes. Could do with less of them.

JAYNE (anteing): Garbage.

Simon completes the deal. The three men study their cards.

BOOK: I'll take two.

JAYNE (re: his hand): Speakin' of garbage. (then): Gimme three.

SIMON: And one for the dealer.

Simon gives out the cards.

BOOK: What do you s'pose the Captain and: Kaylee are doing now? (betting): Septic flush.

JAYNE: Eatin' steaks off plates made a': solid money, like as anything. I: fold.

SIMON: Me too.

JAYNE: Take it, Shepherd.

BOOK: Thank you, gents. That's a nice pile: of things I don't have to do.

The CAMERA FINDS River, sitting in the kitchen, next to a box of supplies. She takes the label off a can of peaches.

RIVER: There it is, there it is. It's: always there if you look for it.: Everybody sees and nobody sees it...

BACK AT THE GAME:

Jayne shuffles.

SIMON: The party is probably a buffet. And: there'll be dancing. And beautiful: women. Dozens of them.

JAYNE: And you can dance with any of 'em?

SIMON: Well, there are social conventions,: ways of asking, ways of declining...

BOOK: It sounds very complicated. I'll: never understand why it's considered: a sacrifice to live a simple life.

JAYNE: Yeah. I wouldn't trade this for: nothing, playing cards for a night: off from septic flush duty.

IN THE KITCHEN,

River has three cans unlabeled, and she's crushing a box of crackers. It has a visible, not emphasized, "Blue Sun" on it. She gets more violent and loud as she continues.

RIVER: These are the ones that take you! Little ones in the corner that you: almost don't see. But they're the: ones that reach in and do it.: They're the ones with teeth and you: have to smash them!

AT THE GAME,

River's ranting is audible now. Simon drops his cards and goes to her. Book follows.

SIMON: River?

BOOK: Is she hurt?

JAYNE: Better see to her. (called after): Bad habit for a fugitive. She's: gonna do that in public some day, get: herself hauled off.

Jayne moves a few exemptions from Book's pile to his own.

IN THE KITCHEN

Simon has an arm around River, calming her down. Book looks at the supplies. River rants the whole time.

SIMON: River, it's me. Calm down.

BOOK: she didn't harm much. (re cans): We'll have a few mystery: meals.

SIMON: River, it's okay. It's: okay.

RIVER: A million things, and the: little ends of the roots go: everywhere and when you: brush your teeth or all the: little blue things are: there but no one says it: because, because sometimes: they're afraid. And then: they come....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She winds down, stops talking. Book and Simon relax.

JAYNE: So, we gonna play cards, or we gonna: screw around?

INT. ZOE AND WASH'S QUARTERS - SAME TIME

Wash and Zoe in a post-coital tangle, limbs and sheets, exhausted and happy.

ZOE: Thought you wanted to spend time: off-ship this visit.

WASH: Seems like out there it's all fancy: parties. I like our party better.: The dress code's easier and I know: all the steps.

Zoe's eyes are closing.

ZOE: I'd say you do, at that.

WASH: Don't fall asleep now. Sleepiness is: weakness of character, ask anyone.

Zoe starts to laugh, her eyes still closed.

ZOE: It is not!

WASH: You're acting Captain. You know what: happens, you fall asleep?

ZOE: Jayne slits my throat and takes over?

WASH: That's right

ZOE: And we can't stop it?

WASH: I wash my hands of it. Hopeless: case. I'll read a nice poem at the: funeral. Something with imagery.

ZOE: You could lock the door. Keep the: power-hungry maniac at bay.

WASH: Don't know. I'm starting to like: this poetry thing. "Here lies my: beloved Zoe, my autumn flower,: somewhat less attractive now that: she's all corpse-ified and gross...

Zoe hits him with a pillow.

INT. PARTY

Back at the party, Kaylee approaches an attractive BOY (early 20s) who is watching the dancers.

KAYLEE (re dancers): Aren't they something? Like: butterflies or little pieces of: wrapping paper, blowing around...

The boy turns toward her and bows politely and moves away. But there's too much going on for Kaylee to be disappointed.

She joins a group of four GIRLS her age and younger, standing and gossiping. She waits until a group-laugh subsides.

KAYLEE (cont'd): Hello!

One of the girls, BANNING, seems to be the queen bee. She looks at Kaylee in surprise.

BANNING: I don't... have we been introduced?

Kaylee grabs Banning's hand, shakes it with enthusiasm.

KAYLEE: I'm Kaylee.

BANNING: Banning. And this is Destra, Cabott,: and Zelle.

KAYLEE: Don't you love this party? Everything's so fancy and there's: some kind of hot cheese over there.

CABOTT: It's not as good as last year.

KAYLEE: Really? What'd they have last year?

CABOTT: Standards.

Destra and Zelle giggle, but Banning looks sympathetic.

BANNING: You're not from Persephone, are you?

KAYLEE: I'm from Serenity. Neat little: Firefly class. I keep the engines.: She's a sweet runner.

BANNING: Uh-huh. Who made your dress, Kaylee?

KAYLEE: Oh, do you like it? When I saw the: ruffles, I just couldn't--

BANNING: You ought to see to your girl.

KAYLEE: < What? > [Shah muh?]

BANNING (confidential): Your girl. She's not very good. She: made you a dress looks like you: bought it in a store.

The other girls giggle again, but Banning plays it off with a straight face.

KAYLEE: Oh. I... I didn't know...

BANNING: I'm only trying to help. No one: wants you to look foolish...

A nearby guest, MURPHY, a kind-looking man in his 50s,. interrupts.

MURPHY (off-hand, for: Kaylee's benefit): Why Banning Miller, what a vision you: are in that fine dress. Must have: taken a dozen slaves a dozen days: just to get you into that get-up.: 'Course your daddy tells me it takes: the space of a schoolboy's wink to: get you out of it again.

Banning leaves, mortified. Her friends are suppressing giggles.

MURPHY (cont'd) (to Kaylee): Forgive my rudeness. I can not abide: useless people.

SOME DISTANCE AWAY, MAL

Approaches HARROW, who is indeed wearing a red sash. Harrow is upper-crust, an acute observer with a strong code of behavior. He doesn't immediately take to rough-edged Mal.

MAL: Beg pardon, sir. But would you be: Mr. Warrick Harrow?

It's a bad start.

HARROW: Sir Warrick Harrow. The sash.

MAL: The sash.

HARROW: It indicates lordhood.

MAL: And it's, it's doing a great job.

Harrow moves a few steps away, dismissing Mal. Mal has to follow.

MAL (cont'd): Sir, my name is Malcolm Reynolds. I: captain a ship, name of Serenity. I: mention this because I have been led: to understand you want to move some: property off-world...

Mal is distracted as INARA AND ATHERTON DANCE NEARBY. No one makes eye contact, but Mal and Inara are very aware of each other. Harrow observes this.

MAL (cont'd): ... some property off-world,: discreetly.

Harrow takes a closer look at Mal. Still not impressed.

HARROW: You're mistaken, sir. I'm an honest: man.

MAL: Seems to me, there's nothing: dishonest about getting your goods to: people what need them.

HARROW: You're concerned about the poor. And: yet, for what you're offering, you'd: want money, I imagine.

MAL: Well, sir. I think you'll find that: working with me is giving to the poor.

HARROW: Whom is it you represent?

MAL: "Represent" isn't exactly -

HARROW: Don't waste my time.

MAL: Fellow called Badger.

HARROW: I know him. And I think he's a: psychotic lowlife.

MAL: And I think calling him that is an: offense to the psychotic lowlife: community. But the deal is solid.

Mal is startled by a touch on his arm. He turns, surprised to see Atherton there. Inara, unsmiling, is at his elbow.

ATHERTON: Sorry to interrupt. (a greeting): Sir Harrow. I know you from the: club, I believe.

Harrow nods, coolly.

INARA (resigned): Captain, this is Atherton Wing.: Atherton, Captain Mal Reynolds.

Atherton and Mal shake hands, sizing each other up.

MAL: Pleased to meet'cha. Inara, I didn't: realize you were going to this party.

INARA (icy): It's the only party.

MAL: And I can see why. How 'bout that: floating chandelier?

Atherton circles Inara's arm with his hand... a gesture that is both affectionate and possessive.

ATHERTON: How do you come to be here, Captain?

MAL: Oh I love a party. I was just: telling that to my friend here.

ATHERTON (to Harrow): I didn't know you were acquainted.

HARROW: It is beginning to seem unavoidable.

Mal watches as Atherton's fingers shift on Inara's arm. We can see the white circle the pressure of his fingers has left. Mal sees that, makes a decision.

MAL: Ath. Can I call you Ath? Inara has: spoken of you to me. She made a: point of your generosity. Given: that, I'm sure you won't kick if I: ask Inara the favor of a dance.

Atherton hesitates, can't find a way out.

ATHERTON: Of course.

Atherton and Harrow end up standing side by side watching as Mal leads an angry Inara onto the dance floor.

CONTINUED

HARROW (to Atherton): You're a brave man.

ATHERTON (clipped): I know what's mine.

Harrow scowls, disliking Atherton.

MAL AND INARA

On the dance floor.

INARA: Why are you here?

The music begins for their dance -- it's a courtly and complicated dance, rather Regency England in style. Mal watches the other couples. It's easy at first, lots of walking around each other.

MAL: Business, same's you. I was talking: to a contact about a smuggling job,: and you came over to me.

INARA: You were staring at me.

MAL: I saw you, is all. You stand out.

The dance takes them apart for a few beats, bowing and curtsying to other couples.

Mal starts to make his curtsy mistake as in the Train Job, but he corrects it. They come back together and now dance palm-to-palm.

INARA: In this company, Captain, I believe: you are the one who stands out.

MAL: Maybe I just like watching a: professional at work, then. Is this: the hardest part, would you say, or: does that come later?

INARA: You have no call to try to make me: ashamed of my job. What I do is: legal, and how is that smuggling: coming?

MAL: My work's illegal, but it's honest.

INARA: What?!

MAL: While this... the lie of it... that: man parading you on his arm as if he: actually won you, as if he loves you,: and everyone going along with it.: How can that not bother you?

INARA: "Going along with it"?

MAL: He treats you like an ornament.: Other men look at you and discuss if: you're worth the cost. The women: talk behind their fans, picturing you: with their husbands. And to your: face, they're sweet as pie.

INARA: That's not true.

MAL: Well, I guess you'd know. It's not: my world.

INARA: These people like me, and I like: them. I like Atherton too, by the: way.

MAL: Well, sure, what's not to like? I'm: liable to sleep with him myself.

INARA: And he likes me, whether you see it: or not.

MAL (dismissive): Of course.

INARA.: He's made me an offer.

Mal didn't expect that.

INARA (cont'd): You may think he doesn't honor me.: But he wants me to live here. I: would be his personal Companion. MAL: < Qow > [Wah!] That's as romantic as: a marriage proposal. No wait, it's: not.

INARA: It would be a good life, Mal. I: could belong here. Call me: pretentious, but there is some appeal: in that.

Mal reacts to the word "pretentious," startled by it. Beat.

MAL: I.. You're right. I got no call to: stop you.

Inara accepts that for the concession it is. Then:

INARA: I see Kaylee is here.

MAL: Girl was crying Cinderella tears.: shoulda seen her, when I said she: could have that layer cake she's: wearin'.

Inara relaxes a little.

INARA: I think she looks adorable.

MAL: Well, yeah, but I never said it.

KAYLEE

She's now surrounded by a group of gentlemen farmers, Murphy and his friends. Many of them are older, some young.

She's enjoying chocolate mints, talking with her mouth full. The men are laughing. The dialog overlaps as they debate:

KAYLEE: I'm not saying the eighty-oh-four's: hard to repair, it just ain't worth: it.

OLDER FARMER: It's a fine machine, keep it tuned--

KAYLEE: < No way >. [Tsai boo shr] The : extenders ain't braced.

MURPHY (re: older farmer): We've been tellin' him buy an eighty-: ten for years!

KAYLEE (overlapping Murphy): Those 'tenders snap off, it don't: matter how good the engine's cyclin'.

YOUNGER FARMER (jumping in quick): Miss Kaylee, I wonder if I could: request the honor of--

He's shouted down by the other men:

FARMERS: Dance later!/She's talking./Let her: talk.

KAYLEE (to Murphy): By the way, the eighty-ten's the same: machine. They changed the plating,: hoped no one'd notice!

If you knew these machines, oh, you'd find this hilarious. The men laugh, urging her on.

MAL AND INARA

The dance gets more complicated now, some tricky footwork. Inara and all the other dancers do it easily. Mal stumbles. He catches himself with hands around Inara's waist. As the music ends, he straightens himself out, grins at her.

MAL: Possible you were right before. This: ain't my kind of a party.

Inara can't help herself and she smiles. Atherton is suddenly there. He's seen enough. He takes her back roughly, hauling her by the arm.

MAL (cont'd): Watch yourself there. No need for: any hands-on.

Guests, including Harrow, look at the public display.

ATHERTON: Excuse me. She's not here with you,: Captain. She's mine.

MAL: Yours? She don't belong to nobody.

ATHERTON: Money changed hands. Makes her mine: tonight. And no matter how you dress: her up, she's still--

Without warning, Mal hauls off and PUNCHES ATHERTON, lays him right down on the floor. Mal smiles and looks to Inara.

MAL: Turns out this is my kind of a party!

Harrow looks impressed, watching everything.

INARA: Oh, Mal...

MAL: What? Man was out of line--

ATHERTON (as he rises): I accept!

MAL: That's great. What?

GENTLEMAN: There has been a challenge!

Atherton is on his feet.

ATHERTON: I hope you're prepared, Captain.

MAL: You all talkin' 'bout a fight? Well,: fine, let's get out of here!

INARA: It's not a fist fight, Mal.

GENTLEMAN: The duel will be met tomorrow: morning, on Cadrie Hill.

MAL: why wait? Where's that guard? He: collected a whole mess a' pistols--

GENTLEMAN: If you require it, any gentleman here: can give you use of a sword.

MAL: Use of a... s'what?

END OF ACT TWO

Act Three

INT. PARTY - CONTINUING

People are where we left them. Mal looks confused. Harrow, Inara and the ballroom full of people look on.

MAL: I laid the fellow out. Seems to me: the transaction is complete. Also: satisfying.

GENTLEMAN: Everyone, enjoy the party, please.: There's no farther action here.

The crowd disperses, including Atherton, who moves away with an evil look at Mal. Kaylee separates herself from the crowd, moving in close to Mal.

KAYLEE (to Mal): What's going on?

MAL: Not rightly sure. (to Harrow): what's going on?

HARROW: Well, first off, you'll be put up in: lodgings for the night, so you don't: disappear. I wouldn't blame you,: incidentally. Wing may be a spoiled: dandy, but he's an expert swordsman.: He's killed a dozen men with a: longblade and you're the only one: gave him a reason.

MAL: This is a joke.

INARA: And he'll need a second.

MAL: What's that?

HARROW: I'll take on the job.

INARA: He fights if you refuse--

ATHERTON (O.S.): Inara!

ANGLE ON ATHERTON: Waiting impatiently. She hesitates.

ATHERTON: Come with me, please.

MAL (to Harrow): You takin' this on, being my second.: Does this mean we're in business?

Harrow chuckles.

HARROW: It means you're in mortal danger.: But you mussed up Atherton's face and: that has endeared me to you somewhat.: You might even give him a fight: before he guts you.

ATHERTON: Inara!

Inara tears herself away, eyes still on Mal. Finally she turns, goes to Atherton. Mal watches her go.

KAYLEE (apologetically: helpful): Up 'til the punching, it was a real: nice party.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - DAY

Jayne is in the cargo bay, working out with those hanging rungs under the catwalk. His shotgun leans against a wall nearby.

He's interrupted by a loud metallic BANGING.

Jayne crosses and opens the door, (not the ramp, the door into the airlock) revealing Badger, holding a wrench. He's been banging on the door with it.

BADGER (off-hand): Your captain's gone and got hisself: in trouble.

TIME CUT TO:

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - DAY

Badger stands near the infirmary end of the cargo bay. The assembled crew, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Simon, Book, are gathered around, back to the closed ramp. (River isn't there.)

BOOK: A duel?

WASH: With swords?

SIMON: The captain's a good fighter. He: must know how to handle a sword.

Simon and Book look to Zoe hopefully.

ZOE: I think he knows which end to hold.

SIMON: All right. So now we just need to: figure how to get him out of there.

BOOK: We have until the morning, correct? (to Badger): Do you know what lodging he's in?

BADGER: Oh, this is embarrassing. Some of: you seem to be misapprehending my: purpose in being here.

Zoe stands. It's suddenly clear that now, this is her ship.

ZOE: You're here to make sure we don't do: what these men are keen on doing.

BADGER: Penny for the smart lady.: Persephone's my home. I gotta do: business with the people here. I: don't want it known I brought someone: in caused this kinda ruckus. We'll: just settle in here 'til this blows: over one way or t'other--

Jayne is suddenly there, at Badger's back, shotgun raised. He CRACKS BADGER OVER THE SKULL WITH IT.

Badger falls. Jayne points the gun at Badger's head.

ZOE (calm): Jayne. I wouldn't.

JAYNE: Why not?

Zoe looks toward the doorway. Jayne follows the look...

ANGLE ON THE DOORWAY: FOUR OF BADGER'S LADS: all of them with guns. One of them has a scared Kaylee by the arm.

KAYLEE (small): Hi.

Jayne sags.

INT. LODGING - MALL AND RQOM - NIGHT

Inara slips quietly down a hallway, like a modern hotel hall, only with Chinese numbers on the doors. And, oddly, round SMALLOW HOLES INSTEAD OF DOOR KNOBS (the holes don't go all the way through the doors). She stops at a closed door.

Now we get to see how a hotel key works. She is holding a small metal sphere with a small protruding round shaft. The sphere is about 2/3 the size of a regular doorknob. She holds it near the hole in the door and magnets pull it in. THE SHAFT FITS INTO THE HOLE ON THE DOOR AND, THUS, THE SPHERE BECOMES A DOORKNOB! The mechanism hums and A SMALL LIGHT COMES ON. She turns it, unlocking and opening the door.

She enters quietly and we see the room, again, not too different from a modern hotel room. A sword lies on the bed.

Mal, suit coat off, shirt sleeves rolled up, stands, back to her, brandishing a sword with ridiculous flourishes.

Inara makes a noise and Mal JUMPS. He spins to see her. His sword swings, hits the wall and the tip embeds in the plaster. The sword hangs there.

MAL: What are you doing here?

He tugs at the embedded sword, trying not to be obvious.

INARA: Atherton's a heavy sleeper, night: before a big day. He's got the: killing you in the morning, then a: haircut later.

MAL: It's such a comfort having friends: visit at a time like this.

Mal tugs the sword free. Inara looks around the room.

INARA: I knew the accommodations would be: nice. Atherton doesn't skimp.

MAL: Don't s'pose I like being kept by him: s'much as others do. How come you're: still attached to him?

INARA: Because it's my decision. Not yours.

MAL: Thought he made it pretty clear he's: got no regard for you.

INARA: You did manage to push him into: saying something, yes. Made a nice: justification for the punch.

MAL: He insulted you. I hit him. Seemed: like the thing to do. Why'd this get: so complicated?

INARA: Well, it's about to get simpler.: There's a back door. I have the desk: clerk on alert. He'll let us out.

MAL: I'm not gonna run off.

Inara looks at him, surprised.

MAL (cont'd): No matter what you've got into your: head, I didn't do this to prove some: kinda point to you. I actually: thought I was defending your honor.: And I never back down from a fight.

INARA: Yes you do! You do all the time!

MAL: Yeah, okay. But I'm not backing down: from this one.

INARA: He's an expert swordsman, Mal. You: had trouble with that wall. How will: your death help my "honor "?

MAL: But see, I'm looking to have it be: his death. 'S why I need lessons.

Mal picks the other sword off the bed and throws it to her. She catches it expertly.

MAL (cont'd): Figure you'd know how. Educated lady: like you.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY

It's still a hostage situation here in the cargo bay.

Wash has his head down, trying to sleep. Book reads his Bible and prays silently.

Badger leans against the wall, eating a sandwich.

Jayne, Simon and Zoe talk quietly, pretending to play cards. Kaylee is bending over to talk to them.

KAYLEE: ...but he said not to do anything.: He'll join us after he wins the duel.

JAYNE: And what if he don't win?

ZOE: It doesn't hurt to have a contingency: plan, Kaylee.

Kaylee moves away, unconvinced.

SIMON: I'm thinking; since we're unarmed, we: should take them by surprise all at: once.

ZOE: Not necessarily. We could lure one: or two of 'em away, say, to the: infirmary, take 'em out, be on Badger: 'fore he knows what happened.

ANGLE ON THE DOORWAY FROM THE INFIRMARY: River appears. She looks blank and aimless. No one sees her, and the discussion continues.

JAYNE: Only if his attention's elsewhere.: We need a diversion. I say Zoe gets: nekkid.

Wash, without raising his head:

WASH: Nope.

JAYNE: I could get nekkid.

SIMON / ZOE / WASH: No!

Book looks up and sees River. He winces, but keeps his reaction small. He gets up casually and makes his way over to Simon. Book puts a hand on Simon's back.

SIMON: What?

BOOK (whispers): Don't look now. In the doorway.

ANGLE ON: River. She's stepped over the threshold now...

Simon tenses, starts to stand up.

SIMON: I'll get her out 'fore he spots her.

Simon heads toward River. Badger doesn't look up. Simon is at her, hand on her arm...

ANGLE ON: RIVER AND SIMON.

SIMON (cont'd) (whispers): River. You can't be here...

RIVER (whispers): There's things in the air in there.: Tiny things.

SIMON: Come on...

Simon tries to lead her back inside, but she pulls back, smiling a little, thinking it's a game.

RIVER: Pull, pull...

SIMON: River! Please!

BADGER (O.S.): Who's this then?

Simon turns to see Badger, standing close. River avoids Badger's gaze, turning toward Simon for protection.

BADGER: Look at me. What's your story, luv?

River looks around, unfocused.

SIMON: She's just a passenger.

BADGER (to Simon): Yeah? Why ain't she talking? She: got a secret?

SIMON: No, I'm sure not--

RIVER (in Badger's accent): Sure, I got a secret. More'n one.

River raises her head, looks Badger in the eye. She's completely sane, unafraid, and she sounds like she's from his home town. She's also kinda pissed.

RIVER (cont'd): Don't seem likely I'd tell 'em to: you, do it? Anyone off Dyton Colony: know's better'n to talk to strangers.

She picks something off Badger's lapel, looks at it, wipes it back onto him.

RIVER: You're talking loud enough for the: both of us, though, ain't you? I've: known a dozen like you. Skipped off: home early, minor graft jobs here and: there. Spent some time in the lock-: down, I warrant, but less than you: claim. Now you're what, petty thief: with delusions of standing? Sad: little king of a sad little hill.

After a beat...

BADGER: Nice to see someone from the old: homestead.

RIVER: Not really. (to Simon): Call me f'anyone interesting shows up.

BADGER (to Simon): I like her.

ANGLE ON: JAYNE and ZOE.

JAYNE: That there? 'Xactly the kind of: diversion we coulda used.

INT. MAL'S LODGING - PRE-DAWN

The furniture has been pushed to the walls. In the center of the cleared room, Inara and Mal face off, holding swords.

INARA: Attack.

He attacks, swinging the sword. She slips out of the way.

INARA (cont'd): How did I avoid that?

MAL: By being fast like a freak.

INARA: No. Because you always attack the: same way, swinging from the shoulder: like you're chopping wood. You have: to thrust with the point sometimes,: or swing from the elbow;

MAL: Swinging from the shoulder feels: stronger.

She touches his arm, adjusting his swing, controlling it. It's an intimate touch.

INARA: It's also slower, Mal. You don't: need strength as much as speed.: We're fragile creatures. It takes: less than a pound of pressure to cut: skin.

MAL: You know that? They teach you that: at the whore academy?

Inara backs away, breaking the contact.

INARA: You have a strange sense of nobility,: Captain. You'll lay a man out for: implying I'm a whore, but you keep: calling me one to my face.

MAL: I might not show respect to your job,: but he didn't respect you. That's: the difference. Inara, he doesn't: even see you.

INARA: Well, I'm sure death will settle the: issue to everyone's satisfaction.

MAL: This < stupid > [yu bun duh] duel is: the result of rules of your society,: not mine.

She's angry now, waving her sword as she gestures.

INARA: Mal, you always break the rules. It: doesn't matter which "society" you're: in! You don't get along with: ordinary criminals either! That's: why you're constantly in trouble!

Mal backs away from her sword.

MAL: And you think following rules will: buy you a nice life, even if the: rules make you a slave.

Inara, turns away, frustrated almost to tears.

Then, Mal, avoiding her eye:

MAL (cont'd): Don't take his offer.

Inara turns and stares at him.

INARA: What?

MAL: Don't do it. Because, in the case it: comes up, that means he's the fella: killed me. And I don't like fellas: that killed me. Not in general.

He starts practicing again, unable to look at her.

MAL (cont'd): I said before I had no call to stop: you. And that's true. But,: anyways... don't.

INARA: I need to get back. He'll be up: early.

And she exits, leaving him alone. He swings the sword.

MAL: Right. He's got that big day.

EXT. PERSEPHONE - MORNING (DAY 4)

A grassy hillside at dawn would be lovely. About 15 spectators, men and women, cluster around the duelling area. Among them are a couple of Badger's lads. The crowd shifts and CHATTERS with anticipation.

Mal and Harrow stand, heads together, to one side. Harrow is smiling, Mal looks intense, adjusting and readjusting his grip on his sword. He's still wearing his dressy suit.

Atherton and his Second, another young dandy, are at the other side, talking and laughing easily. Inara stands near them, but her eyes are on Mal.

He meets her look, holds it.

The gentleman who first announced the challenge steps to the center. He raises his hands, commanding attention. Gradually the crowd quiets. He clears his throat.

GENTLEMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the field of: combat is a somber place. A man will: here today lay down his life. Let: the duel begin.

The last sentence is given no special emphasis, and there is no sound from the crowd. MAL doesn't even realize the fight has begun until the gentleman blends back into the crowd and Atherton steps out, smiling and handling his sword casually.

Mal steps forward, uncertain.

HARROW has moved over by Inara. They exchange a grim look.

MAL AND ATHERTON

face off. Atherton attacks first, an easy swing that MAL parries.

MAL hits back, thrusting with the point of the sword. Atherton barely gets out of the way in time, in fact, his vest is nicked.

MAL: Best be careful, Ath. I hear these: things are sharp.

HARROW AND INARA

HARROW: He thinks he's doing well, doesn't he?

INARA: He's being toyed with.

BACK TO THE FIGHT

MAL ducks to avoid a blow.

Atherton brings up his blade to deflect a blow. CLANG. While MAL hesitates, Atherton tosses his blade in the air and catches it with the other hand, showing off.

MAL gets nicked on the arm.

Atherton parries a blow away with such force it throws MAL off-balance.

Atherton steps back, and PUTS HIS SWORD BEHIND HIS BACK.

HARROW: What's he doing?

INARA (gritted teeth): Don't fall for that.

Mal lunges. Atherton steps to the side, the lunge goes past him. Atherton strikes, as he had planned, attacking sideways with the sword from behind his back, stabbing Mal in the side.

Inara looks stricken.

HARROW: Well, this isn't going to take long,: is it?

On Mal, looking down, shocked, at his wound.

END OF ACT THREE

Act Four

EXT. PERSEPHONE - CONTINUING

The crowd is more active now, sensing the end is near.

Mal fights one-handed, his left hand staunching his wound. He's definitely losing now.

Atherton thrusts with the sword. Mal stumbles back clumsily.

Mal lunges. Atherton steps back. Mal lunges again.

Atherton steps back again, laughing.

Atherton swings, cutting Mal's defensive arm.

HARROW (to Inara): We're coming up on the end, miss.: You might not want to watch.

Mal thrusts. He sword CLASHES AGAINST Atherton's sword. MAL'S SWORD BREAKS. And the momentum carries Mal to one knee. Atherton's sword points at his chest.

INARA: Atherton! Wait!

Atherton hesitates, he may be about to get what he wants...

INARA (cont'd): I'll stay here! Exclusive to you! Just let him live.

ON MAL, still down, as he registers what Inara's doing.

Mal lunges to his feet, catching Atherton under the chin with the hilt and throwing him back, face cut.

Atherton is regrouping, ready to move in for the kill again. He brings his sword arm back...

But Mal KICKS HIS BROKEN SWORD POINT OFF THE GROUND and up into his hand. He THROWS the broken sword point at Atherton like a dart!

Atherton takes the sword point in the shoulder. It sticks there, and Atherton, furious, reaches to pull it out.

MAL raises the hilt, still around his right hand, and brings it down like a gun butt, over Atherton's head. Atherton sprawls on the ground.

GENTLEMAN: He's down!

MAL scoops up Atherton's dropped sword off the ground and holds it, point at Atherton's heart. He freezes there.

HARROW: You have to finish it, lad. For a: man to lie beaten and yet breathing,: it makes him a coward.

INARA: It's a humiliation.

MAL pulls the sword back a little.

MAL: Sure. It would be humiliating,: having to lie there while the better: man refuses to spill your blood.: Mercy is the mark of a great man.

Very quickly, offhandedly, MAL STABS Atherton!

MAL (cont'd): Guess I'm just a good man.

He STABS him again!

MAL (cont'd): Well, I'm all right.

MAL grins and tosses the sword aside. Inara goes to him.

Atherton gets up slowly. The crowd draws back, whispering behind their hands.

ATHERTON: Inara! Come here!

She ignores him.

ATHERTON (cont'd): Inara!

Harrow puts a hand on Atherton's arm.

HARROW: You've lost her, lad. Be gracious.

Atherton shakes off Harrow's hand and staggers to Inara.

ATHERTON: You set this up, whore. After I: bought and paid for you. I should: have uglied you up so no one else'd: want you.

MAL (to Inara): See how I'm not punching him? I: think I've grown.

ATHERTON (to Inara): Get ready to starve. I'll see to it: you never work again.

INARA: Actually, that's not how it works.: You see, you've earned yourself a: black mark in the client registry.: No Companion is going to contract: with you ever again.

HARROW: You'll have to rely on your winning: personality to get women. God help: you.

Inara and Mal start to walk away. Harrow joins them.

HARROW (cont'd): You didn't have to wound that man.

MAL: I know, that was just funny.

HARROW: You willing to fight that hard to: protect my property, I'll have it in: your hold before midnight.

Mal nods. The deal is struck. Mal and Inara walk away, Mal a little unsteady.

MAL (through pain): Mighty fine shindig.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - DAY

Morning. Badger stands with his lads. Simon talks quietly to Book. Jayne pours coffee for Kaylee and Wash and Zoe.

JAYNE (softly to Zoe): Doc is filling the Shepherd in on the: plan. We're ready to move on your: signal. Doc's the diversion--

MAL (O.S.): Did you ever see such a lazy crew?

CAMERA FINDS Mal and Inara in the doorway. Inara is helping hold him up, and he's still got a hand over his wound.

KAYLEE: Captain!

Kaylee runs to him. The others follow.

SIMON: You're hurt.

Badger approaches Mal.

BADGER: You get us a deal?

ZOE (to Badger): Back off, he's injured.

MAL: I got a deal. Now get off my ship.

Badger's heard all he needs to. He's a happy man.

BADGER: Ta very much for a lovely night then.

Badger exits. Inara and Simon guide Mal into a chair. The others gather around. Quickly:

BOOK: Are you badly hurt?

JAYNE: We was just about to spring into: action, Captain. A complicated: escape and rescue op.

WASH: I was gonna watch. It was very: exciting.

EXT. SERENITY - IN FLIGHT - EFFECT

Serenity against a star field.

INT. SERENITY - DAY (DAY 5)

In the Engine Room, a grease-smudged Kaylee finishes installing a replacement engine part. Humming, she wipes her hands on a rag and heads out...

Down the hall...

Down the ladder into her quarters...

She crosses to her Cortex screen. Kaylee's Cortex has no casing. The circuitry is exposed so she can tinker with it.

Kaylee hits some keys. Nothing happens. She frowns, presses a chip more firmly into place in the machine's guts.

TINNY DANCE MUSIC plays, like the kind at the party. This is what she's been humming.

PULL BACK FROM THE CORTEX

To find Kaylee, sitting on the bed, eating some of the CHOCOLATE MINTS from the party. Pull further back to see she is looking at her party dress, which hangs from an exposed pipe.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - DAY (DAY 5)

Mal and Inara sit on the catwalk/balcony over the bay. Mal's midsection is bandaged. Inara wears another elegant kimono- type robe.

A bottle of wine sits between them and they drink from battered metal cups.

Inara sips her wine, makes a little face.

INARA: Thank you for the wine. It's very...: fresh.

MAL: To Kaylee and her inter-engine: fermentation system.

He raises his cup to toast, winces from the wound.

INARA: Are you in pain?

MAL: Absolutely. I got stabbed, you know.: Right here.

INARA: I saw.

MAL: Don't care much for fancy parties.: Too rough.

INARA: It wasn't entirely a disaster.

MAL: I got stabbed. Right here.

INARA: You also lined up exciting new crime.

MAL: It is good to have cargo. Makes us: a target for every other scavenger: out there, a' course, but sometimes: that's fun too.

INARA (beat, then): I am grateful, you know, for the ill-: conceived and high-handed attempt to: defend my honor although I didn't: want you to.

MAL: Gracious as that is, as I look back,: I probably shoulda stayed outta your: world.

INARA: My world. If it is that. I wasn't: going to stay, you know.

MAL: Yeah? Why's that?

A little disingenuous:

INARA: Oh, someone needs to keep Kaylee out: of trouble. And all of my things are: here... Besides, why would I want to: leave Serenity?

We ARM BACK to REVEAL

The cargo bay is full of mooing milling CATTLE.

MAL: Can't think of a reason.

BLACKOUT.

END OF SHOW

 

Здесь была реклама от Google Adsense, приносящая деньги на оплату хостинга, и безжалостно вырезанная жестоким браузером... =(


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