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12. Сценарий эпизода «Послание» (The Mssage). Авторы: Джосс Уэдон (Joss Whedon) и Тим Минеар (Tim Minear)

Firefly - "The Message"

Written by: Joss Whedon & Tim Minear
Directed by: Tim Minear

Episode #: 1AGE11

SHOOTING SCRIPT: December 10, 2002

BLUE REVISIONS: December 12, 2002

PINK REVISIONS: December 16, 2002

Teaser

EXT. SPACE BAZAAR - DAY

(Black, space-y day.) Ships land and take off from this decrepit but inviting old structure, clearly clapped together from several different ships and stations. We hold on it, silent but for a bit of intro music and a sudden, booming voice:

BARKER (O.S.): We are not alone!

INT. BAZAAR - CONTINUING

It's a giant flea market/ food court/ carnival/ bar/ post office/ whatever the hell anybody needs out here station. We see the scope of the place as we push in (low angle) towards a BARKER, standing in front of a small, curtained off space. He's talking from the top, very fast, selling hard.

(NOTE: This is not a large build -- it's the size of a large closet, curtained off on all sides, with but one display.)

BARKER: Forget what you think you know.: Forget what your mother told you when: she tucked you in at night, forget: the lies of our oppressive,: cabalistic Allied governments! Behind this curtain lies the very: secret they don't want you to see --: the most astounding scientific find: in the history of humanity. Proof! Of Alien life. Yes, go ahead and: laugh, sir, but what you see inside: this room will change your life: forever! It will haunt your dreams: and harrow -- YES -- your very soul.: For six bits you can unlock -- this: lady wants to go, I cannot allow her: to be near such wonder, such: thrilling horror, unescorted. Who: will go with her? Who will see the: unholy truth, the only captured: specimen -- in existence -- of Alien: life!

INT. BARKER'S BOOTH - CONTINUING

Hold a still frame on Simon and Kaylee, staring intently at something in a big jar that we can't see very well. Wait a beat.

SIMON: Yep. That's a cow fetus.

KAYLEE: Guess so... Does seem to have an: awful lot of limbs...

SIMON: It's mutated. Most of the breeding: on the outer planets was done by: shipping DNA scrip instead of: animals. The first herds were grown: in labs, then set loose. Every now: and then...

KAYLEE: But cow? How do you figure?

SIMON: It's upside down.

She cranes her head upside down, looks. Nods, sagely...

KAYLEE: Okay, then. Cow.

SIMON: And I'm out twelve bits. I really: know how to show a girl a...: disgusting time.

KAYLEE: Oh, it's sweet. Poor little thing: never even saw the light of day, now: it's in show business!

He looks at her, admiringly.

SIMON: You manage to find the bright side to: every single thing.

KAYLEE (coming closer): Also, we get the booth to ourselves: for five whole minutes...

SIMON (glances at jar): We are not alone, remember?

KAYLEE (taking his hands): He won't squawk. Tell me more good: stuff about me.

SIMON (smiles): Well, you're kind of a genius when it: comes to machines... you always say: what you mean, and your eyes...

KAYLEE: Yeah? Eyes, yeah?

SIMON: I don't know how to... (joking): Plus, every other girl I know is: either married, professional, or: closely related to me, so you are: more or less literally the only girl: in the world.

Those famous eyes of her darken considerably. She draws back.

KAYLEE: That's a hell of a thing to say.

SIMON: I was joking...

KAYLEE: No, no, I get it. Back on Osiris you: probably had nurses and debutantes: crawling all over you. But down here: at the bottom of the barrel, there's: just me.

SIMON: That is not even --

KAYLEE: Well, I'm glad I rated higher than: dead bessie here. < Why don't you tell: the cow about its beautiful eyes? >: [Nee GAO-soo NA niou, TA yo shwong: mei-moo?]

She is storming out just as Wash and Zoe are coming in. Simon watches Kaylee despairingly.

WASH: Oh my god, it's grotesque! Oh, and: there's something in a jar.

He ogles the fetus as Zoe come up to Simon.

ZOE: Scared her away again, did you?

SIMON: This may come as a shock, but I'm: actually not very good at talking to: girls.

ZOE (not unkindly): Why, is there someone you ARE good at: talking to?

WASH (in the background,: to the jar): Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful: race, and we must live in harmony...

INT. BAZAAR - CONTINUING

Mal and Inara walk through, talking.

INARA: Struck out again, did you?

MAL: It's like something from a fable! I've got a priceless artifact, the: biggest score of my unseemly career,: and no one will touch it.

INARA: The Lassiter is universally known,: Mal. Fencing it has to be like...: like fencing the Mona Lisa.

MAL: The Mona Who?

INARA: You're out of your league. You: should think about my offer --

MAL: I done that thinking, and you're to: stay clear.

INARA: I know people in the highest ranks: of --

MAL: Jabber jabber, I ain't listening.: Just 'cause you helped on the job: don't make you a crook, and I don't: want you jeopardizing your career: over this.

INARA: The career you abhor and look down on?

MAL: I don't want you in the way a': trouble. Take it as you like. (calling out): Amnon, How've you been?

The have reached a more official looking section of the bazaar, with a sign reading: POST, FREIGHT and HOLDING.

AMNON DUUL, the postman, wears a sort of combination of a postal uniform and hasidic wear. He is decent and more or less unflappable, and happy to see Mal.

AMNON (shaking his hand): Malcolm, an old friend's face is a: balm in this age.

MAL: It's been too long.

AMNON: No, just about the right amount. Too: much of you is less of a balm. (to Inara): I'm disappointed to see you haven't: found a better berth by now.

INARA: I'm a little confused myself.

MAL: I read your wave. You're holding: post for us?

AMNON: Got yourself a haul this time. You: can sign for everyone?

MAL: Sure.

Amnon goes into a back room as Mal starts filling out a form.

Book arrives, with River in tow. They both hold short sticks that dangle strings off the end. Each string runs through the middle of a ball of ice cream that is supported by a bowl shaped cookie attached (under the ice cream) to the string. They're sort of like little mace and chains, and eating them is not altogether convenient, since they swing a bit.

BOOK: Any packages for me?

MAL: Don't know yet.

RIVER: My food is troublesome.

Jayne arrives, toting a couple boxes of ammo.

JAYNE: Girl's a mind-readin' genius, can't: figure out how to eat an ice-planet.

MAL: You get everything?

JAYNE: They didn't have rounds for the: Buhnder, but we're ammoed up pretty: good. Got a discount too, on: account of my intimidating manner --

Amnon returns, wheeling in a man-sized crate. He tosses a couple of smaller package on the counter.

AMNON: This one's addressed to you and Zoe, Mal.

MAL: I don't remember ordering any parts...

He gives Amnon a hand, settling the crate and starting to open it.

AMNON: The little one's for Cobb.

Jayne hurried puts the ammo on the counter and takes the small package.

JAYNE: I got post?

BOOK: Might we all want to step back a few: paces before he opens that?

JAYNE: Haw haw. It's from my mother.

During this, Inara finds a small package, squarish, addressed to her. She smoothly slips it beneath her outfit without anyone noticing, turns to see Kaylee arrive, looking glum.

INARA (to Kaylee): So, do aliens live among us?

KAYLEE: One of 'em's a doctor. No post for: me?

Amnon shakes his head. Inara puts her arm around Kaylee, Kaylee putting her head on Inara's shoulder as Jayne tears open his package and pulls out a letter.

Zoe and Wash wander up with Simon trailing behind as Jayne reads, with the classic toneless hesitation of a slow reader:

JAYNE: "My dear boy. I hope you are well: and that you get this soon in your: travels."

AS JAYNE CONTINUES: Mal motions for Zoe to help him.

MAL: You order equipment?

ZOE: No sir.

JAYNE "Thank you for the credits you: forwarded, they have helped as Matty: is still sick with the Damplung. He: waves hello, and so does your father.: He is in good spirits and there was: layoffs but the foreman said no one: can weld like a Cobb so he has: employment still. I made you the: enclosed" --

He digs in the box --

JAYNE (cont'd): Ooh! Enclosed!

He reaches in and pulls out a woolly knitted hat with earflaps and a pom pom. He is clearly moved. He puts it on, continues reading.

JAYNE (cont'd): -- " the enclosed to keep you warm on: your travels. Hope to hear from you: soon, love, mother."

He closes the letter, proudly adjusting his hat.

JAYNE (cont'd): How's it sit? Pretty cunning,: don'tchya think?

It's faintly ridiculous, but are you gonna tell him that? Anyway, Kaylee likes it, wistful as she is.

KAYLEE: I think it's the sweetest hat ever.

BOOK: Makes a statement.

JAYNE: Yeah, yeah!

WASH: A man walks down the street in that: hat, people know he's not afraid of: anything.

JAYNE: Damn straight.

Mal and Zoe are just finishing unlocking the crate, trying to pry it open.

MAL: Well I hope we got us some fun hats: too.

As he's saying it, they pry the lid off and we see the corpse of a young man lying, arms folded, inside.

Mal and Zoe look at him with somber recognition. Everyone goes very quiet, looking inside.

The last to bother is Jayne, who cranes his head into frame, hat still perched proudly, looking quizzically at the body.

JAYNE: What'd you all order a dead guy for?

As Mal and Zoe look at each other:

END OF TEASER

Act One

INT. /EXT. BUDDIST TEMPLE - NIGHT

Just inside the temple we see TRACEY, who is a green but gutsy private. Right now he's sweaty and tense. He looks out over the remains of a wall slowly, looking for enemies.

Light from the occasional explosion or far away burst of gunfire gives us a better view of the place -- it's being held by about six Independents, all looking out in different directions.

Tracey sees nothing. He takes a moment and lays down his weapon. Reaches into his bag and pulls out a can of beans. As he does, we see an Alliance Soldier creeping towards him from the other side of the wall. Tracey doesn't see --

-- Till the guy's foot hits a rock -- Tracey moves, scrambling for his rifle -- too late as the Alliance Soldier raises his --

CLOSE ON: The Alliance Solder -- as Zoe calmly appears behind him and draws a knife across his throat.

Angle on: Tracey -- as a few blood splatters hit his face.

Zoe drops the soldier and enters, taking the extra rifle.

TRACEY: Thanks. Didn't know you were there.

ZOE (stone cold): That's sort of the point. Stealth,: you may have heard of it.

TRACEY: I don't think they covered that in : basic.

ZOE: Well, at least they covered "Dropping: your weapon so you can eat beans and: get yourself shot".

TRACEY: Yeah, I got a badge in that. (off her look): Won't happen again.

ZOE: It does, I'm just gonna watch.

TRACEY: Anything interesting out there, you: don't mind my asking?

ZOE (indicating): 'Bout 30 troops behind those: buildings. Mortars, but no rollers: yet. I expect they plan to pick at: us a spell before they charge. They: had two scouts sniffin, about ten: yards out, but I took 'em down.

TRACEY (impressed): I didn't hear a single thing.

ZOE: First rule of battle, little one.: Never let 'em know where you are.

Mal runs in, screaming and firing behind him, and dives over a wall for cover, lands nearby, bullets zinging over his head.

ZOE (cont'd): Of course, there's other schools of: thought...

Mal scrambles over to them, laughing.

MAL: Oh! That was bracing. They don't: like it when you shoot at them. I : worked that out myself.

ZOE: Did you find Vitelli?

MAL: Vitelli's out of it. That bumblebee: laid down arms at the first sign of: inevitable crushing defeat, can you: imagine such a cowardly creature?

TRACEY: Northwest quadrant's open, then?

MAL: Tracey. Ain't you been killed yet?

TRACEY (looking sheepishly: at Zoe): No fault of my own, I promise.

MAL (disappointed): I really wanted your beans.

ZOE: They're gonna be coming right through: here. They got rollers?

MAL: They got every damn thing. How's the: lieutenant?

TRACEY: He started screaming. All of a: sudden, about his arms, where were his: arms, we hadda go back and find 'em.

ZOE: What the hell hap --

TRACEY: He ain't even hurt! Got ten pretty: fingers like the most of men, but: he's screaming they're gone, crying.: Then he ain't said a word in two: hours.

MAL (mournful anger): These kids...

ZOE: Sir. Do we hold?

TRACEY (breaking a bit): I don't want to die here. Forgive me: saying, but this rock ain't worth it.: Not our lives.

MAL: Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's: carrying a bullet for you right now,: doesn't even know it. (smiles): The trick is to die of old age before: it finds you.

ZOE: We can still cut through to the 22nd: a the school system. Make a decent: stand there.

MAL: We can't do any good here. And I: sure as hell ain't laying down arms.: Zoe, you heard the Lieutenant give: the order to join up with the 22nd?

ZOE: I did.

MAL: Round 'em up, then. (to tracey): You also heard the lieu --

TRACEY: I wouldn't rat you out, Sarge, hell: I --

MAL: Ain't me I worry on. Lieutenant gets: his mind back in order, he shouldn't: have this on his record. Weren't his: fault he couldn't take it.

TRACEY: That's more'n he woulda done for --

Mal raises a hand, intense, for quiet. Tracey doesn't get it, doesn't hear the growing whine of --

ZOE: SEEKER!

Things happen very quickly (or very slowly, depending on Mr. Minear). Zoe dives for cover as Mal pulls a flare from his belt that activates the moment he touches it, hurls it above his head --

-- and a tiny missile zooms at the group, suddenly turning up, hitting the flair 30 feet up --

The explosion lights up the air, Mal also diving over Tracey as shrapnel rains down --

TRACEY: AAGH!

Mal is hit in the back and arm. He rolls off Tracey, who's taken it in the leg pretty badly.

TRACEY (cont'd): Is it bad? Is it bad?

MAL (ignoring his own: wounds): It's glorious. (calls out): We gotta move!

TRACEY: I can't...

MAL: Time to run! (to Zoe): Zoe! Get the Lieutenant!

TRACEY: Sarge, I really can't run here.

MAL: Well, you know the old saying...

He hoists Tracey over his shoulder and runs just as a tank bursts through the wall --

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. BAZAAR - CONTINUING (PRESENT DAY)

Close up of that same Tracey, all stiff and dead and blue.

After a moment, Mal slides the lid back over him.

MAL: This don't make any kind of sense.: Zoe?

ZOE: I got nothing. But it's definitely: Tracey.

WASH: You know this guy?

INARA: Is this a warning of some kind?

AMNON (quietly): Listen, Mal, you gotta get this thing: out of my station. (Mal starts to object): Human transport on a postal route is: very very illegal. Anybody even: knows I took a corpse in, I'll lose: my franchise.

MAL: Well who sent it to you?

AMNON: No return.

ZOE: How long has it been here?

AMNON: Near a week, that's why I waved you.: If I'd known...

JAYNE: He don't smell.

MAL: I know. He's been decently preserved. (to Zoe): Give me a hand.

JAYNE: We're taking him on board?

MAL: We are.

JAYNE: Don't figure the percentage in that.

MAL: Don't strain your brain trying, then.: Might break something.

Mal and Zoe haul the box up, start walking. Book moves to help --

ZOE (stony): We got him.

They cart him off, the others folding in behind, quietlike. Simon approaches, oblivious, hoping to win Kaylee into a conversation.

SIMON: What's going on? Did we get: something fun?

A glare for Simon. River passes him, ice cream swinging --

RIVER: You are such a boob.

INT. CARGO BAY - A BIT LATER

The box is open again. Everyone is about.

JAYNE: How do we know he ain't plague-ridden: or some such?

ZOE: We know.

WASH: We don't, actually. I mean, I: respect you guys have a history,: but... What are you doing?

Zoe is reaching in, pulling something from the corpses folded hands.

KAYLEE: He's so young...

SIMON (to Mal): If you want me to do a proper: autopsy --

KAYLEE: Cut him up?

MAL: Not just yet, thank you doctor.

KAYLEE (muttering): Robot.

Zoe produces a FUTURISTIC DEVICE! That is a tape recorder -- of the FUTURE! (Somebody design this please.)

MAL: What do you got?

She turns it on. The voice stops them all. It is hesitant at first, and weak, as though the talker were straining for breath, But soon settles into a rhythm...

TRACEY (V.O.): Uh. Okay. Um, recording... Hi, I: guess. It's me. Tracey. This is a: message for Zoe, and for Malcolm: Reynolds, and I really hope you all: are the ones listening to it. Or, I: guess I don't. I guess I hope I'm: upright and telling you this tale: myself, and we're laughing about how: stupid I am, but that don't look: likely.

We move over everyone as they listen, soberly.

TRACEY: No, it's more probable I've gotten: myself dead, which is a shame if: you're me.: I'll spare you the boring details,: falling in with untrustworthy folk,: making a bunch of bad calls... All: that matters is I expect to be: shuffled off, and you two are the: only people I trust to get me where: I'm going. Which is home. I'd like: my body to be with my folks on St: Albans. We got the family plot: there, and my Mom and dad deserve to: know I died. If you can come up with: some heroical lie as to the how, I'd: be... no. I'd just like to be able: to lie with my kin, and for them to: know that's what I wanted. It's : funny. We went to war never looking: to come back, but it's the real world: I couldn't survive. You two carried: me through that war. Now I need you: to carry me just a little bit: further. If you can. Tell my folks: that I'm at peace and all. When you: can't run anymore, you crawl, and: when you can't do that... well, you: know the rest. Thanks, both of you.: Oh. Yeah. Make sure my eyes is: closed, will you?

A moment, and the tape ends. Everyone is quiet.

Wash rises, heads to the stairs --

MAL: Wash?

Wash turns back.

WASH: St Albans ain't two days ride, we burn hard: enough.

A moment, and Mal nods. Wash continues up and Mal turns to replace the lid again, says to Inara:

MAL: This might make your schedule a: little --

INARA: It's all right.

He nods again, not much with the verbal thank you's right at this moment. He and Zoe lift the top together --

ANGLE: FROM INSIDE THE BOX as they cover it.

EXT. SPACE BAZAAR - MOMENTS LATER

Silent but for music, we see Serenity gently lifting off. It passes another ship -- a slightly larger, ALLIANCE SHORT RANGE ENFORCEMENT VESSEL. It's basically an oversized, beat up squad car. As it lands right near where Serenity took off, the music changes to indicate this might be not wonderful.

INT. BAZAAR - MOMENTS LATER

We TRACK BEHIND three men as they stride through the Bazaar. If they're cops, they're detectives, since they have no uniforms to speak of. The man in the middle is called WOMACK. He's been around the block, and likely beaten up everybody on it. The other two, FENDRIS and SKUNK, aren't much different, but they clearly defer to Womack.

They make their way through the place with purposeful indifference. Pass the barker:

BARKER: That's right, gentlemen, you've been: told tales all your life, but Alien: races exist among us, the proof is: right inside, you'll be amazed and: astounded, what is the government not: telling us? Alien life! Six bits!

WOMACK (to the others, an: ugly growl): It's fake. I seen it. It's a pig or: some such.

ANGLE ON: Amnon. He is going through papers, behind his counter. He arranges them carefully --

ANGLE ON: his papers.

-- as a badge is dropped on top of them.

Amnon looks up to see Womack standing right in front of him. Amnon hesitates, and before anything can happen Skunk is already going in his back room to search. Fendris is behind Womack, checking his rather large pistol and watching out for pain-in-the-ass innocent bystanders.

AMNON: Can I help you...?

WOMACK: You are an ugly looking little quim,: you know that?

AMNON: If there's a problem --

WOMACK: So you have to be asking yourself,: ugly as you are, how repulsive: looking the guy that makes you his: lady friend is gonna be. I mean,: prison is a lonely place, and you: sure as a hundred moons ain't gonna: be pitching, so what kind of sorry: ass troll is gonna get blue enough to: grapple with you? Shudder to think.

AMNON: I've broken no law.

WOMACK: Transportation of human cargo --: especially dead cargo -- through the: Allied postal system is punishable by: five to ten years on a penal moon.: Plus, you don't know this yet, but: you resisted arrest. (off Amnon's terror): Where's my body?

AMNON: I didn't... I don't...

WOMACK: The dead guy. He got shipped here.

Skunk comes out, shakes his head no.

WOMACK (cont'd): And shipped back out, I guess. Where.

AMNON: I never saw a body. But there was a: crate big enough for one, I did hand: that over just a while ago.

WOMACK: Lovely. Who got it?

Amnon hands over the register, points to a name.

WOMACK (cont'd): Malcolm Reynolds. And where would: you suppose he's off to?

AMNON: I swear on my soul I don't know. But: he just left. He captain's a firefly,: you should be able to capture them if: you leave now.

WOMACK: Are you telling me to leave?

AMNON: No, no...

WOMACK: Relax, you've been great. I was only: bluffing with that stuff about: arresting you, who needs that kind of: paperwork? Skunk. Light him on fire.

Skunk sprays Amnon with lighter fluid he keeps in a cool container in his jacket. With swift graceful motion, he holds up a suddenly lit match. Amnon backs into a huddle in the corner, utterly terrified.

Womack stands next to skunk, over the cowering postman.

WOMACK (cont'd): Tell anyone we were here, warn (looks at the: register): 'Malcolm Reynolds' that we're coming, and: you'll wish we'd burned you.: < understand? > [Dong ma?]

Amnon nods frantically.

WOMACK (cont'd): Boys... let's go find us a corpse.

He blows out Skunk's match.

END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

INT. ENGINE ROOM - NIGHT

Kaylee lies in her hammock, listening to the recording of Tracey's voice. She clearly has been doing this for a while, and has gotten awful misty about the lad.

TRACEY (V.O.): All that matters is I expect to be: shuffled off, and you two are the: only people I trust to get me where: I'm going. Which is home. I'd like: my body to be with my folks on St: Albans. We got the family plot there,: and my Mom and dad deserve to know I: died.

INT. AFT HALL - CONTINUING

Simon comes up, looking for Kaylee. He stops outside the engine room door. Sees her, hears the recording...

TRACEY (V.O.): If you can come up with some heroical: lie as to the how, I'd be... no. I'd: just like to be able to lie with my: kin, and for them to know that's what: I wanted.

Simon slowly slips away, realizing with regret he is unwanted.

INT. CARGO BAY - CONTINUING

Book stands at the head of the crate/coffin, bible in hand, head bowed. WIDEN to see that during his little silent service, Jayne is busily lifting weights. Jayne replaces the barbell in its holder, the metal noisily clattering. Book looks around.

JAYNE: Hey, I'm sorry, Preacher. Makin' too: much noise?

BOOK: No, no, I was just.... saying a few: words. Don't know the boy's: denomination, but...

JAYNE: It's good. Lord should oughta look: after the dead.

Over the following, Jayne pats himself down with a towel -- he's quite sweaty. Really been going at it.

JAYNE (cont'd): You wanna do a set? I'll spot you.

BOOK: Not so terribly in the mood.

JAYNE: Most people is pretty quiet right: about not. I guess the captain and Zoe were: summat bonded with the kid.

BOOK: It would appear.

JAYNE: Me, I see a stiff -- one I didn't: have to kill myself -- I just get,: you know, the urge to do stuff. Work: out, run around, get some trim if: there's a willin' woman about... not: that I get flush from corpses or: anything. I ain't crazy.

BOOK: Makes sense. Looking to feel alive,: I would venture.

JAYNE: For psychology, that ain't half dumb.: My kind of life don't last, preacher.: So I expect I'm invested in making: good sport of it whilst I can.

He puts on his hat as he says it.

As they continue talking, we come around to see River in the background, crawling gracefully onto the coffin. She stretches, catlike, moving her head about in odd fashion, as though listening, then lies flat on her belly, arms out to her sides.

JAYNE (cont'd): You gonna read over me when I'm taken: down, Shepherd?

BOOK: Oh, I suspect you'll be around long: after we're all --

JAYNE (noticing River): What the hell is she -- (at River): -- what the hell are you doing?

BOOK: Oh. River, that might not be the: best place to...

RIVER: I'm very comfortable.

They consider pulling her off... hesitate...

BOOK (to Jayne): I guess we do all have different: reactions to death.

CUT TO:

INT. DINING ROOM - CONTINUING

Mal and Zoe are laughing their asses off. We widen to see Inara is with them, laughing as well. They've all had a few drinks, and continue to drink as they talk:

MAL: I really thought I was gonna die.

INARA: How could he possibly have even...

MAL: The colonel was dead drunk. Three: hours pissing on about the enlisted: men, they're scum, they're not: fighters -- and he passes right out.: Boom.

ZOE: We couldn't even move him. So Tracey: just snipped it right off his face.

MAL: And you never seen a man more proud: of his mustache than Colonel Orbrin.: In all my life I will never love a: woman the way this officer loved that: lip ferret.

ZOE: Giant walrussy thing, all waxed up...

INARA: Did he find out?

Another burst of laughter from Mal and Zoe.

MAL: The next morning, he wakes up, and: it's gone. He's furious, but he: can't actually say, you know,: "someone stole my mustache". So he: calls out all the platoons --

ZOE: I thought he was gonna shoot us --

MAL: And he's eyeballing the men something: fearsome, not a word, and he comes to: Tracey... and Tracey is wearing the: gorramn mustache on his face.

ZOE: He glued it on.

MAL: Staring the old man down, wearing his: own damn... Oh god...

The laughter falters, Mal looking into his drink a moment. Inara looks at him sympathetically, tries to jump start the conversation again:

INARA: Well, the colonel must have said: SOMETHING to --

The SHIP ROCKS with force of an explosion. They all start out of their chairs.

ZOE: Are we hit?

MAL: Too damn close --

And they are racing to the

INT. BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Where Wash is piloting intently.

WASH: They're behind us. Fired over the: port bow.

MAL: Warning shot?

WASH: They coulda hit us...

ZOE: Feds.

The screen comes to life, Womack's face on it.

WOMACK: This is Lieutenant Womack of Allied: Enforcement. You are in possession: of stolen goods and are ordered to: cut thrust and prepare for docking.

MAL: The Lassiter.

ZOE: That was quick.

INARA: Think Saffron tipped them off?

Mal hits the screen com:

MAL: This is captain Reynolds, I think: there's been a mistake.

WOMACK: There's been a lot of mistakes,: Captain. The latest of which is you: taking that crate.

He looks at the others. "Crate?"

MAL (to Womack): We took in a lot of inventory today.: If something got mixed in, we'll sure: hand it back, but I don't think we're: your men. Let me check through the: cargo -- is it marked at all?

WOMACK: You might wanna think twice about: playing games with me. I will blow: you out into fragments.

MAL: You do that, your precious crate: gonna be in bitty shards.: Now I got deliveries to make,: officer, so you just lock onto my: trajectory and I'll see if there's: anything here fits your description.

He turns off the screen.

WASH: Police procedure has changed since I: was little.

MAL: They call back, you keep them: occupied.

WASH: What do I do, shadow puppets?

BOOK: We'll take care of it.

ZOE: I don't get this. They're after: Tracey?

MAL: Or there's something else in that box.

INT. CARGO BAY - MOMENTS LATER

Tracey's body lies on the floor as Mal, Zoe and Jayne go through both the crate and the box, looking for something. The others including Simon, Inara and River (minus Wash and Book) look on.

MAL: Anything?

JAYNE (smashing planks): Not unless this crate's made a': magical wish-granting planks.

MAL (to Zoe): Check his pockets.

KAYLEE: That ain't right...

MAL: Neither's being blowd up. There's: nothing about this sits well with me.

ZOE: Empty.

MAL: Well, they want this body for: something, and I'm guessing it ain't: a proper burial.

Looks around. No option. Looks to Simon:

MAL (cont'd): Well, doctor... I guess you are doing: an autopsy.

INT. INFIRMARY - LATER

Mal, Zoe and Jayne watch as Simon prepares to open up the now naked (but sheet covered) body.

ZOE: You really think there's something in: there.

MAL: Using corpses for smuggling is a time-: honored repulsive custom.

JAYNE: Maybe it's gold!

ZOE: And maybe this was a friend of ours,: and you wanna show a little respect.

JAYNE: I got respect. But I'm just: saying... gold...

SIMON: He's been opened before.

MAL: How's that?

SIMON: It's good work. The scar's nearly: invisible, but...

He traces his finger all the way down the chest.

MAL: Well, let's see what's in there.

He looks at Zoe, hating this. A tense moment. Simon takes his scalpel and starts cutting.

And Tracey SCREAMS.

END OF ACT TWO

Act Three

INT. SERENITY - INFIRMARY

Where we left off. Everyone backing away from the SCREAMING Lazarus. Tracey looks with horror to his bleeding chest, then to the man who holds the scalpel -- Simon. Simon sees the blood, makes an instinctive move to see to the wound. All Tracey sees is the knife. He gives a PRIMAL CRY as he lunges off the table at Simon. They struggle, knocking shit over. Mal and Zoe jump into the fray. Mal calling to Jayne:

MAL: Get hold of him!

JAYNE: Spry for a dead fella!

Mal pins him to the floor, ends up sitting on top of him.

MAL: SETTLE! That's enough!

TRACEY: He was cuttin' on me, Sarge!

MAL: I know it! I told him to!

TRACEY: You told him to! What for?!

MAL: You were dead!

TRACEY (coming back to him): Hunh? Oh. Right. Suppose I was. (sees Zoe): Hey there, Zoe.

ZOE: Private.

MAL: You feeling a mite calmer now?

TRACEY: Yes, Sarge. (then): Sarge?

MAL: What?

TRACEY: I think I'm nekked.

A beat. Mal's straddling a naked man.

MAL: Okay. We're gonna get up off this: floor, you're gonna stand like a: person, cover yourself, and the: doctor's gonna tend to that gash.

Tracey nods. Mal gets off of him. He rises. Looks a bit sheepish. Pulls the sheet up around his waist as he sits on the edge of the table. As Simon starts to tend to the wound:

TRACEY: Sorry for jumping on you the way I: did. I was a little confounded.

SIMON: Emerging from that state can be: disorienting. Was it byphodine? (clarifying): The drug you took to make it appear: as though you were dead. Do you: remember what it was called?

TRACEY: Never did ask.

SIMON (puts gauze to wound): Hold that there. (casually, to Jayne): Bring that pan, please.

Jayne, not knowing why, brings a bedpan over. Simon positions Jayne's hand with pan in front of Tracey without explanation, then moves to his med supplies.

TRACEY: Fella sold it to me said I'd be under: a week or more. He told me I: wouldn't dream. But I did. Dreamt: of my family.

Simon has moved back to his patient, reaches out, repositions the bedpan as Tracey suddenly HEAVES forward (leaning forward so all spew is sound fx.) Jayne reacts. Simon doesn't, was expecting it. Gives Tracey a shot:

SIMON: This should take the edge off the: nausea. (to grossed-out Jayne): You can take that.

Simon goes about checking Tracey's vitals, hooking him up to the scanners and reading the monitor in the b.g.

MAL: Alright. Now you care to explain why: it is you got yourself all: corpseified and mailed to me? What're you running from?

TRACEY: Running to, not from. Just want to: get home is all. That's all I ever: wanted. 'cept there's them took: exception to that. To me leaving...: while I's in possession of their: property...

MAL: What'd you boost, Tracey? More: important, who'd you boost it from?

SIMON: Captain... Captain, I don't mean: to... I think we may have a medical: emergency here...

They all look at him; he's looking at the monitor.

SIMON (cont'd): This man... he appears to be in: cardiac arrest...

MAL: What? Tracey, you having a heart: attack? (to Simon): Don't look like he's having a heart: attack...

TRACEY (laughs): Don't pay no attention to your: machines, doc. They'll fib to ya.: Heart's just fine. Better'n fine.: Runs a bit hotter'n normal, is all.

SIMON (off, monitors): My god... it's not just the heart: muscle... it's everything...

TRACEY: All the movin' parts. That's what I: took, Mal. And that's what they want: back.

MAL: Tracey -- you want to explain what in: the < name of all that's sacred > [TYEN: shiao-duh] you're talking about?

TRACEY (distracted): Sure, Sarge... sure...

Now the MONITOR really starts to go nuts, Tracey's heart beating ever faster. The others look from the monitor to him, then follow his gaze to...

KAYLEE stands in the doorway, staring at the man come back to life. They hold the look between them.

INT. SERENITY - COMMON AREA - (SHORT TIME) LATER

Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Simon, Kaylee and Tracey. Kaylee brings Tracey some water. They will have silent connection throughout the following.

TRACEY: Thank you.

She smiles at him, takes a seat.

MAL: So your innards... ain't your innards?

TRACEY: Mine got scooped out, they replaced: every bit.

JAYNE: Why'd you wanna go and do that?

TRACEY: For the money. They're paying me to: transport what they stuck in.

ZOE: You're smuggling human organs?

TRACEY: But not from a person. I wouldn't do: a thing like that. Grown in a lab.: Only way they can be moved is in a: person. Not sure why.

SIMON: Because the technology's not ready.: The blastomeres are unapproved.: Likely unstable. You're not just a: carrier -- you're an incubator.

TRACEY: Whichever. It ain't strictly legal,: I can tell you that. I was supposed: to be at the drop spot two weeks ago.: A clinic on Ariel. They were to open: me up, take the goods and put back my: own workings.

ZOE: And you believed them? That they'd: put you back together?

TRACEY: Sure. They want you to make as many: runs as you're able. Hell, I met a: fella, he's on his third already.

MAL: So what happened?

TRACEY: Well, truth is I had a --

SIMON: -- change of heart?

A beat. Simon's amused. No one else is. Tracey continues:

TRACEY: A better offer. Another buyer,: willing to pay three times the going: rate. Enough I could get my folks: off that rock they been forced to: live on, set them up someplace nice,: someplace warm, maybe one of the: central planets.

MAL: But your "better offer" went south...

TRACEY: Got myself into a bit of a pickle,: Sarge. The folks I was working: for... they musta got wind what I was: planning. When I showed up... my new: buyer was dead. There was men there,: waitin' for me.

KAYLEE: But you got away.

TRACEY: Only just. I knew they'd never stop: looking for me so long as I was: alive. Thought my chances'd be: better if I weren't.

MAL: So you "died" and figured then they'd: stop looking?

TRACEY: Yeah.

A SUDDEN BLAST from outside. The ship ROCKS with the impact.

Tracey reacts with fear. As Mal rises --

MAL: Think maybe you figured wrong.

EXT. SPACE - CONTINUING

The Police Cruiser is behind Serenity, pacing. It lets loose with another ELECTRONIC BLAST.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Wash and Book on the bridge. As Mal and Zoe and Jayne enter behind them:

WASH: I think they're 'about done being: stalled, Captain -- WOMACK (ON VID): Firefly Serenity, you will prepare to: be boarded or destroyed.

MAL: He's bluffing. He won't want to: damage the cargo.

WASH (as he swivels) : There's cargGAHHH!

He's just laid eyes on Tracey, who stands in the doorway with Kaylee. Book takes in the sight with interest.

WASH (cont'd): Mal, your dead army buddy's on the: bridge!

MAL: I know it. How close're we to St.: Albans?

WASH: Five from atmo.

MAL: Pull up the terrain specs. Kaylee,: take him out of here. And strap in.

Wash brings up terrain maps on the nav monitor. Mal grabs the radio mic, speaks.

MAL (cont'd): This is Captain Reynolds of the : Firefly Serenity --

WOMACK (ON VID) : Reynolds. I hear you picked up some: cargo belonged to me.

MAL: That a fact?

WOMACK (ON VID) : I stepped over a lot of bodies to get: to that one you got in your hold.: You play this right, and yours won't: have to be among them.

TRACEY (scared): Sarge...

ZOE: Private, the Captain ordered you off: the bridge.

KAYLEE : Come on.

She starts to lead him away. Mal pages through maps.

MAL: We'd love to let you boys dock, but: that last pop you give us knocked out: our fore-couple. We're gonna have to: park it if you want the tour.

FOREDECK HALL - Tracey heard that, turns back. Kaylee gently tugs him her way.

KAYLEE: It's okay. Captain'll take care of: it. You'll see.

They have arrived at the door to her bunk, she pulls it open. Gives him a little push forward. He looks at her, unsure. But the total, guileless faith in her face persuades. He starts down the ladder to her bunk. She follows as --

BRIDGE

MAL (into mic): See you on the ground. (clicks off, points: to map) : There. Think you can do it?

WASH: Watch me.

Mal clicks over the feed on the mic, now when he speaks it's an internal SHIP PA.

MAL (AMPLIFIED): Attention all crew. Sit down and: hang on to something...

EXT. SPACE/ATMO - CONTINUING

As Serenity, followed by cops, dips down, heads for a PLANET. Breaking atmo, speeding up, taking a dive, as...

INT. SERENITY - KAYLEE'S BUNK - CONTINUING

Kaylee is coming down the ladder into her room. As the ship heads into the dive, she is sent into Tracey's arms. He catches her. Holds her. They look at each other as --

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Jayne is prepping some weapons, just in case. Wash pilots.

WASH: Get ready for hard burn -- (leans on controls): They'd be crazy to follow us in here.

Everyone hangs on. Jayne has great sea legs and is all about loading the guns, as --

EXT. ICE CANYONS - CONTINUING

Serenity dives into snowy canyons. The police Cruiser paces them, then pulls up sharply. Serenity thrillingly zooms through the twisty canyons.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Wash glances up through the top of the bridge windows...

WASH: Okay. Let's just say they're not: crazy...

EXT. ICE CANYONS - CONTINUING

Cops follow placidly just above the canyon, pacing. BELOW, Serenity is having a tougher time of it as it maneuvers through the ever precarious canyons.

INT. SERENITY - KAYLEE'S BUNK - CONTINUING

BONDY MOMENT BETWEEN KAYLEE AND TRACEY.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Something here.

EXT. ICE CANYONS - CONTINUING

Serenity goes behind a curve, disappears for an instant, Reappears, then disappears again... then doesn't re-appear. The Police Cruiser circles, looking. No sign.

EXT. /INT. ICE CANYONS/CAVE - CONTINUING

As Serenity backs into ice cave.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

They talk about how long they can hide here.

INT. SERENITY - KAYLEE'S BUNK - CONTINUING

Tracey makes comment that they stopped. He's worried. Wants to check. A DEEP BOOMING from somewhere.

INT. SERENITY - PASSENGER DORM - CONTINUING

Simon and River react to BOOMING.

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - CONTINUING

Inara reacts to booming.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

The other's react. Talk about depth charges.

EXT. ICE CANYONS - CONTINUING

Where WE SEE Police Cruiser dropping magnetic depth charges.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - CONTINUING

What are their options? Not a lot. They will find us -- and if depth charge hits them, it'll burn out the ship's innards and they be dug out of here.

OMITTED

INT. SERENITY - KAYLEE'S BUNK - CONTINUING

Tracey heads for the bridge, concerned.

INT. BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Wash says if they get hit, they're dead. Book says the only thing they can do now is give ourselves up -- just as Tracey is arriving.

Tracey suddenly looks a bit dark and shifty, eyeing some nearby weapons...

END OF ACT THREE

Act Four

INT. BRIDGE - CONTINUING

Sweat-beaded brows, a beat of nervous silence, held breaths.

Then from above a rolling THUNDEROUS BOOM. The bridge vibrates with the OS explosion's force. A cascade of ICE CHUNKS clatters over the windshield and the nose of Serenity.

Wash lets out his breath, checking some of his dash monitors.

WASH: < Mother-of-Jesus > [Wuo duh MA]: they're comm' close... They must: have caught a bead on our heat: trail --

Jayne turns from the debris still falling to the others. He's extra sweaty, falling prey to his cowardly side.

JAYNE: I'm with the preacher. I ain't: gettin' snowed-in permanent cause of: some jackass kid --

MAL (thinking; to Wash): What about runnin'?

WASH (Washlike dry wit): We tried that, remember? That's why: we're here? In this glacier? 'Bout to: be buried alive?

ANOTHER BOOM FROM ABOVE - throughout this scene, the depth charges are a slow, regular drum beat, adding rhythmic percussion to the tense-ness.

MAL: Fine. Book-- You're sayin' you got an: angle--

BOOK (quiet conviction): The only one, Captain.

Mal turns to Zoe. They exchange a look. Zoe gives a slight nod - 'can't think of anything else to do'. Mal nods back.

MAL: Wash... Call the cops. Tell them we: give up.

Wash nods and flicks the RADIO ON, preparing to call.

TRACEY (O.S.): No.

ANOTHER BOOM.

Tracey edges the barrel of a gun into the FG, holding it on the others in the bridge.

MAL: Tracey, what are y--

TRACEY: I said NO! Those bastards up there: are gonna pull this million-credit: meat outta me and leave me bleedin'-- (turns gun on Wash): Now turn off that radio!

Another depth charge EXPLODES, closer, louder, Jayne braces himself, bolting instinctively to his feet as more ICE SHARDS rain down on the ship.

JAYNE: Ruttin' twerp's gonna get us--

TRACEY (loud, arresting): Don't you move! No one move! (gun back to Wash): Turn it off! We have to run! NOW!

Book takes a slow step toward Tracey. Tracey swings the gun at him, the model of panicky-guy-with-gun-in-over-his-head and-ready-to-go-postal.

BOOK: Put that thing down, boy. We weren't: talking about turning--

TRACEY: Shut it, shepherd! I swear to God: I'll shoot you dead if you don't. (manic, bitter laugh): Sarge--Zoe-- Why you listening to: this bible-thumper?

ZOE: We've seen the man fight, Trace. Seen: him think. And we trust him on both: counts.

TRACEY: Yeah, well, that's just plum: stupid -- but then you two were: always lookin' for someone to spend: your trust on ... Didn't exactly get: your war won, did it?

He turns to Mal, whose hands are slightly raised, eyes boring back at Tracey. ANOTHER BOOM.

MAL: Wash. Call the cops.

Wash's eyebrows raise; he points gingerly at Tracey's gun.

WASH: Um--

TRACEY: I'll kill him, Wash. I'll put a hole: right through him.

MAL: You mailed your ugly business to Zoe: and me, Tracey, cash-on-delivery.: I'll go to Hell before I watch you: turn and bite us for the favor --

ANOTHER BOOM, even closer. Ice, clatter, scary.

MAL (cont'd): Wash. You call them up. Tell them: we'll meet 'em topside.

TRACEY: No--

MAL: Do it.

Wash does that funny-under-pressure nod of his, turns to the radio, reaches for the switch--

TRACEY: NO!

Tracey swings his gun off Mal and fires a SHOT at the radio console. He misses, and it RICOCHETS off the railing above it, grazing across Wash's temple, throwing his head back.

Tracey stands, mouth open. He looks down, and the camera tilts down, to his chest, where a BIG RED HOLE gapes. He looks up at Zoe, who holds her gun on him.

TRACEY (cont'd): You sh-- You shot me...

Zoe cocks her gun, sending the spent shell flying.

ZOE: Damn right I did.

ANOTHER BOOM. A little dazed, but still standing, Tracey backs out of the bridge. Zoe covers him as she calls to Wash.

ZOE (cont'd): Wash--? Sweetie--?

Wash dabs a finger at the bullet graze.

WASH: Ow?

INT. SERENITY - FOREDECK - CONTINUING

Tracey backs down the stairs into the foredeck, gun covering the door to the bridge.

ANOTHER DEPTH CHARGE shakes the ship.

Kaylee races into the foredeck from behind him, not seeing his gun.

KAYLEE: Tracey! What Happened!? I heard--

MAL (O.S.): Kaylee! Get out of here!

Tracey turns on her, swings an arm around her, pulling her against him as a shield. Mal is at the bridge door, gun out.

TRACEY: Stay back!

He fires a wild shot toward the door, Mal ducks. Tracey herds Kaylee toward the exit to the cargo bay stairs--

INT. SERENITY - STAIRS/CARGO BAY

As Tracey pushes Kaylee down the stairs, her arm in his white- knuckled grip.

TRACEY: Kaylee, I'm sorry... I don't want to: scare you... I just--

She sees the blood pouring down his shirt front.

KAYLEE: Blood..!

TRACEY: They shot me. They want to turn me: in...

KAYLEE: You're lying -- they wouldn't --

ANOTHER BOOM.

TRACEY: Come on, Kaylee... You've got to fly: me out of here. We'll take a shuttle: and go--

They get to the catwalk, and he drags her toward shuttle II's airlock.

TRACEY (cont'd): They want to sell me off... You won't: let 'em do it, will you? I mean, I: thought-- I thought we had a moment: back there--

Kaylee digs in her heels at the shuttle's entrance.

KAYLEE: Tracey--

TRACEY: Didn't we have a moment back there?

ANOTHER BOOM.

KAYLEE (scared but firm): Tracey, take that gun offa me...

TRACEY: Kaylee, please--

KAYLEE: I ain't goin' anywhere with you.

MAL: Nobody's going anywhere, private.

Mal walks down the stairs from above, gun trained on Tracey.

KAYLEE: Captain, what's happeni--

He pulls Kaylee back into shield position, gun now raised to her head. He's nothing but panic in a pair of pants now.

TRACEY: Don't make me do it.

ANOTHER BOOM. Mal gets to the catwalk, angry, but cool as cucumber slices. Zoe moves slowly down the stairs behind him.

MAL: Far as I can see, nobody's made you: do anything. You brought this onto: yourself. Got in over your head with: these stone cold gut-runners, then: you panicked, and then you brung the: whole mess down on all of us...

As he was speaking, we saw Jayne, easing himself onto the catwalk across the bay, gun in hand, quiet like a kitty.

TRACEY: That ain't how it happened--

MAL: Oh yes, that's how it happened. And: I'm startin' to think that trail of: bodies Womack was talkin' about, I'm: thinkin' some of that trail was left: by you... losin' your head, doin': more or less what you're doin' right: now--

Mal looks up, around, then back to Tracey.

MAL (cont'd): See there? Hear that quiet? Means the: call's already been made.

TRACEY (breaking up): You-- That call -- (sobs, gun at: Kaylee's head): That call means you just murdered me.

Mal flicks his eyes towards Jayne, who responds by LOUDLY COCKING HIS GUN. Panicky-panic, Tracey spins, trying to see where the sound came from, as Kaylee wrenches free. Mal FIRES, hitting him in the chest, inches from the first wound.

MAL: You murdered yourself, son. (as Tracey sags, eyes: wide): I just carried the bullet for a while.

Tracey drops the gun, slumps to the catwalk floor. Zoe and Mal move briskly toward him, holstering.

WASH (O.S.): Captain, they say we got two minutes: before they start shelling again--

MAL: Get us up there!

Kaylee heads off.

KAYLEE: I'll get the doctor.

Zoe and Mal look at Tracey, then at each other, eyes speaking: 'there's no way in hell he's gonna make it.'

EXT. PLANET - DAY

Serenity parked nose-to-nose in front of the cop ship, on a plain of glacial ice.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - DAY

The airlock doors slide open -- the blinding glare of sun on snow -- out of that, Womack and his two men emerge, walking up the ramp into the cargo bay, guns drawn.

Womack stops, confronted by Jayne, who stands in the middle of the bay, BIG GUN trained on Womack's head.

WOMACK: Well now... Somebody left their dog: off the leash... (cold low growl): I been shot too many times to be: scared by a gun, boy.

JAYNE (keeping aim): I hear you. Most ever'body I know's: been shot least once. S'no big thing.

A voice trails thin from above.

TRACEY: Womack...

Womack looks up, sees Tracey propped up against the catwalk railing, sees the BLOOD dripping down through the grates.

WOMACK: Smith? You squirrely little piece a': go-se, that you?

TRACEY (delirious chuckle): I think I... I think I broke your: junk...

Mal appears over the railing, gun on the cops as well.

MAL: Little problem during shipping.

Simon is by Tracey up on the catwalk, but there's nothing he can do.

WOMACK: Don't think I need to tell you folk: the trouble you're in. Wetware: smugglin', resistin', fleeing an: officer a' the law... an' I'm sure a: search of your ship'll come up with: another few felonies.

Book walks out from behind some crates and stuff.

BOOK: You won't be searching the ship,: Womack.

WOMACK: That so?

BOOK: It is. You won't be taking us in. Nor: that boy who's dying up there. You're: going to turn around, and just fly: away.

WOMACK: You know, I'm authorized to kill as: I like, shepherds not withstandin'.

Book is so cool here it's making my hands sweaty.

BOOK: There's nine armed and dangerous: desperados on this ship. You count in: at three. Why is it you didn't call: in for back-up? (Womack skips a beat): There's a Fed station eighty miles: from where you're standing. (walks closer): You got your command stripes at the: Silverhold colonies. Puts you about: eight solar systems away from your: jurisdiction...

WOMACK: Listen here, preach--

BOOK: But that doesn't bother you. Whole: 'verse is your jurisdiction.: Procedure is for stiffs. (looks him over w/: disdain): You're on the take, Womack, clearing: routes through your territory for all: manner of black market pirates.

WOMACK: What the hell kinda man of God--

BOOK: Took a little vacation time to chase: down this piece of change for an: extra commission, I'm guessing.

Womack raises his gun toward Book. The other two guys nervously follow suit. A GUN COCK echoes from above; Zoe's positioned a ways down the side catwalk, with a clean shot.

BOOK (cont'd): Now as I said, we got guns on you you: don't even see. You took pains to: keep your presence here secret. I: don't imagine it'd bother anyone if: we laid your bodies to rest at the: bottom of one of these canyons.

The cops lower their guns.

BOOK (cont'd): Yessir. I'm fair sure we could make: you disappear. You done most of that: work for us already.

Womack looks up at the dying Tracey, at the various guns trained on him, crunching the numbers. Finally, he spits on the ground.

WOMACK: Damaged goods, anyhow. (to his men): Let's go, boys.

They start backing out of the bay. Jayne and Book slowly follow them, Jayne still aimed rock solid on Womack's face. As they get past the open airlock doors:

WOMACK (cont'd): Hat makes you look like an idiot.

This, oddly, hits Jayne. He frowns with affront. Book hits the airlock button and the doors SLIDE SHUT.

JAYNE: Either you spent a lotta time: fightin' bad cops... or bein' one.

BOOK: Maybe both.

Up on the catwalk, Tracey's life ebbs fast. He looks up to Mal as Zoe enters frame, crouching by him.

TRACEY: So.. .That was the plan? (Mal nods): That-- (coughs): That was a good plan.

MAL: I think so.

TRACEY: Weird preacher, though... (coughs again): I'm feelin'... kinda stupid right: about now.

MAL (tender): Only cause you are.

He looks to Kaylee, then to all gathered there.

TRACEY: Kaylee. I'm sorry... Every--: Everyone... Wasn't never no good at: life, anyhow... Couldn't seem to make: sense of it... Always running: scared...

Zoe brushes his hair from his face gently.

TRACEY (cont'd) (sad little laugh): 'When you can't run anymore, you: crawl... and when you can't do that--'

Coughs again, this time a trickle of blood falls from his lips.

ZOE: 'You find someone... to carry you.'

Tracey nods, his eyes fluttering, dying.

TRACEY: Guess I did, at that...

Head slumps. Dead. Sad.

EXT. SNOWY HOMESTEAD - DAY

Tracey's body is carried down ramp by Mal and Zoe, others in attendance. Before them is a homestead, a large EXTENDED FAMILY stands there awaiting their dead son.

As they hand the body over:

TRACEY (V.O.): It's funny. We went to war never: looking to come back, but it's the: real world I couldn't survive. You: two carried me through that war. Now: I need you to carry me just a little: bit further. If you can...

END OF EPISODE

 

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