JC (god_of_belac) wrote in virtual_firefly,
JC
god_of_belac
virtual_firefly

Season 1, Episode 18: Property Rights

Property Rights


Episode 1x18:
“PROPERTY RIGHTS”

Written by
J. C. Ravage

Edited by
Matt Engstrom and George W. Krubski

Producer: David Elmer
Head Writer: George W. Krubski
Art Director: Sean Young

Disclaimer: The crew of the Serenity, the ‘Verse in which they live, and their fellow inhabitants are the property of Joss Whedon, Universal Studios, and/or Fox Television. They are used in this work of fan fiction with love and respect, but without permission.



EXT. LUHAN FARMHOUSE – NIGHT

Chaos erupts as Barrett walks down the stairs, firing the Lassiter. His men rally and offer support fire, shooting into the crowd.

Mal, Jayne and Zoe seek cover at different locations, and in the background, Wash tackles Mister Frye to push him into the safety of the treeline.

Folks in the posse run in every direction. The posse scatters, a few trying to support Mal and his crew, but most just trying to escape.

Most of Barrett’s shots miss, hitting the grass and setting it ablaze.

In the middle of the chaos, Haymer stands, staring at the Lassiter, his bodyguards in phalanx around him, an island of calm in the chaos.

Mal, crouched in SHRUBS, sees Peete start to drag Grandma Luhan into the house.

MAL
(pointing)
Jayne!

Jayne, hiding behind a BARREL, nods and rushes around the side of the porch, disappearing from sight.

Zoe, from her vantage point behind the LOW WALL that previously sheltered Mal, gives him cover fire.

Samuels looks over the side, sees Jayne coming—

Then Zoe shoots him. Samuels topples over the rail, landing not far from where Barrett stands, still firing into the chaos, clearly drunk with power.

BARRETT
Run, you [mouse droppings], run!

Barrett looks at Samuels's body and fires at Zoe. The laser beam burns a groove in the top of the LOW WALL. As Barrett fires again, Mal slams into him, spoiling the shot. The bolt goes wide, setting a tree afire.

Barrett and Mal fall to the ground in a tumble of fists and anger, the Lassiter sailing a few yards away. Mal manages to keep hold of his own gun and pistol whips Barrett, gaining the upper hand.

With the Lassiter silenced, Barrett’s boys lose their fight and some of the posse start to come back. On the porch, Jayne stands protectively in front of Grandma Luhan.

Zoe walks forward to try to help Mal, but can’t fire at Barrett because the two men are going at it so ferociously, still rolling in the dirt.

When they roll close enough to Samuels’ body, Barrett grabs his gun, but Mal snatches it from him.

MAL
No!

Mal rolls back and stands, out of breath. Barrett also stands, hands up. The posse comes closer to watch, while Zoe and Jayne cover the men on the porch.

Mal and Barrett stare at each other, out of breath, faces lit by the fire of the blazing grass.

BARRETT
You think you’ve done something here?
(shakes his head)
This changes nothing. This isn’t your home. It’s my home, my world. Soon as you’re gone, you’ll be forgotten and I’ll be on top again.

The posse edges closer.

POSSE MEMBER
Finish it!

POSSE MEMBER 2
Kill him!

BARRETT
(malicious grin)
You'd shoot another unarmed person? Just like that?

MAL
I'm tired of hearing that.

Mal throws Barrett Samuels’ gun. As Barrett catches the gun, Mal blows him away.

MAL (cont’d)
(quietly)
Not your home, either.

Mal relaxes, thinking it’s over. Then he looks up at Zoe and sees her covering him.

MAL (cont’d)
[All the shiny stars in the heavens], what now?

It’s Haymer and his two bodyguards.

Mal’s hand tightens on his pistol.

HAYMER
Five thousand.

MAL
What?

HAYMER
I’ll give you five thousand for the Lassiter.

JAYNE
That ain't a third of what—

HAYMER
It’s a fair offer for something that’s not yours to sell in the first place.

MAL
Ten.

Haymer looks at the weapon, shining in the dirt.

HAYMER
Done.


EXT. FRYE YARD – DAY

Mal and Haymer stand facing one another, as Haymer’s bodyguards stand near a sleek black HOVERLIMO. Mal has the Lassiter box under his arm, and a heavy-looking canvas bag in the other.

In the background, Mrs. Frye is at Serenity’s ramps with a huge platter of sandwiches, which she offers to Zoe and Wash. Kaylee, Inara, and Simon are there, too. Simon shakes hands with Mrs. Frye, then heads inside.

Further off, Mister Frye, Jayne, Book, Jonah, and Grandma Luhan (who is in a rocking chair) are in a cluster, talking.

MAL
(hefts the bag)
Bank had the ten thousand. Good as your word.

HAYMER
Did you think I would cheat you?

MAL
I'm a bit surprised, is all.

He hands Haymer the Lassiter box.

HAYMER
Why is that?

Haymer is a little distracted, opening the box to check on the Lassiter.

MAL
Well, after what Saf—Yolanda told me about you—

HAYMER
(looking up)
What did she say?

MAL
Said you were a stone killer, made bio-weapons in the war.

HAYMER
Biological weapons? Heavens no. Of course, you won't like me any better for what I did do.

Haymer closes the case.

MAL
That was?

HAYMER
Computer systems. Specifically, a new fire control system for skiffs. Reduced reloading times by half and improved accuracy while moving.

MAL
(admiringly)
You gorram hwoon dan.

Haymer hands the case to one of his bodyguards and offers his full attention to Mal again.

HAYMER
Yolanda is... a remarkable woman. Did she give you her wedding catechism?

MAL
"On the night of their betrothal, the wife shall open to the man, as the furrow to the plough.” And he shall work in her until she knocks him out with poison and steals his ship.

HAYMER
She stole your ship?

MAL
Twice, in fact. Did you find her... articulate?

Haymer leans forward, smiling, and they’re just two guys.

HAYMER
The things she could do with her tongue would shock a Companion.

MAL
(regretfully)
I suppose I'm glad I never found out.


INT. SERENITY – SIMON'S ROOM – SAME TIME

River sits on the bed, carefully unfolding swans and pressing the paper as flat as possible. Simons opens the door and steps in.

SIMON
(stepping over to her)
What are you doing?

RIVER
Unfixing them. Not supposed to fix things. Ruins them.

SIMON
The Captain was talking about—

RIVER
(looking up at him)
If you fix me, will that ruin me, too?

SIMON
(sitting and hugging her)
No, mei-mei, no.


EXT. FRYE YARD – SAME TIME

As Haymer’s hoverlimo pulls away, Mal heads toward Mister Frye, who draws away from Book and the Luhans to meet him.

Mal passes Jayne, who is heading for Serenity, and claps him on the shoulder.

MAL
Straight shootin’ last night. Thanks.

JAYNE
(mimicking Mal's “you're on my crew” voice)
Well, you're my Captain.

Jayne grins and heads on his way.

Mal reaches into the bag and pulls out a smaller SACK OF COINS, which he hands to Mister Frye.

MAL
For the work you done. And a little extra. For your hospitality and troubles.

MISTER FRYE
Captain, you don’t have to—

MAL
(won’t hear it)
Not a fraction of what I really owe you…

Waves vaguely in the direction of Kaylee, who’s hugs her mother and starts to head over. Mal reaches into the bag and takes out another pouch.

MAL (cont’d)
This one’s for the Luhans. For after I’m gone. Not near enough to pay for what I took, but…

MISTER FRYE
Of course.

Mister Frye takes the bag, and, a little to Mal’s surprise, hugs him.

MISTER FRYE (cont’d)
You look after my Lee-lee and I’ll look after them for you. That a fair trade?

Mal nods and the two men part, both smiling, as Kaylee joins them.

MISTER FRYE (cont’d)
Sure you won’t stay for the funeral? Think the folks might like to hear that preacher of yours say a few words.

MAL
Got a passenger needs to see New Melbourne any day.
(looking at the Luhans)
Probably better this way.

Mal offers Mister Frye a farewell nod, then walks away, toward Book, who has just finished saying goodbye to the Luhans.

Kaylee and her father look at one another.

KAYLEE
So… You prob’ly figured out she ain’t just a transport ship…

MISTER FRYE
No, she ain’t…

They hug, and, for that moment, Kaylee is a little girl, clinging to her daddy. Her eyes glisten and she closes them, digging her face into his shoulder.

MISTER FRYE (cont’d)
She’s your home… Ain’t she?

Kaylee ends the embrace and takes a step back, drying her eyes. Even as the tears disappear, she’s smiling.

KAYLEE
That she is.

MISTER FRYE
You're sure you're all right, Lee-lee?

She takes a deep breath, considers carefully before answering.

KAYLEE
Shinier'n I been. Must be the home cooking. Mom learns what we eat most times, she'd never let me go back.

The two turn to look at Serenity.

MISTER FRYE
I remember my own protein-eating days.
(beat)
And I suppose I shouldn't worry too much 'bout the gunshot wounds, considering how exciting the past two days have been.
(in a conspiratorial fatherly tone)
‘Sides, you've got your beau to look after you.

Kaylee laughs, bright and cheerful.

MISTER FRYE (cont’d)
And bring him back to visit, too. I know the missus would love to cook for him again. I don't think anyone's ever complimented her cooking like that.
(beat)
He's a bit rough around the edges, sure, but he'll clean up nice.

Beat.

KAYLEE
Jayne?!?

MISTER FRYE
Well, isn’t…

Beat.

KAYLEE
No, Poppa!
(beat, then laughing)
No!

Their laughter follows Mal, who has joined Book. The two walk slowly toward Serenity, but Mal glances back at the Luhans. Jonah and his grandmother look a little lost.

Mal looks at Book for approval. Book nods and heads for Serenity.

As Mal approaches the Luhans, Grandma Luhan offers a cordial nod, but nothing more.

MAL
Y’all can go back to your home now. Barrett’s gone.

GRANDMA LUHAN
Thank you for seeing to that, sir.

JONAH
You killed him?

Mal squats down by the boy so they’re eye to eye, nods solemnly.

JONAH (cont’d)
(tentative smile)
I wish I killed him.

MAL
No, you don’t, son.

Mal stands, pats the boy on the shoulder, and slowly walks toward Serenity.

MAL (cont’d)
No, you don’t.


EXT. FRYE YARD – MOMENTS LATER

Mister Frye has one arm around Mrs. Frye’s waist and the other hand on Jonah’s shoulder. Grandma Luhan sits in her rocking chair next to her grandson.

The four of them watch as Serenity takes off.
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