JC (god_of_belac) wrote in virtual_firefly,
JC
god_of_belac
virtual_firefly

Season 1, Episode 19: The Perfect Sunset

The Perfect Sunset



Episode 1x19:
“THE PERFECT SUNSET”

Written by
George W. Krubski

Edited by
Shawn Morris

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

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



INT. SERENITY – INARA’S SHUTTLE – DAY

Inara sits in front of the CORTEX SCREEN that hangs on her wall like a mirror. The client portion is currently deactivated, and she highlights another section, bringing up the statement “No messages waiting.”

Behind her, Mal clears his throat.

She’s startled, and taps away the message, turning off the screen.

INARA
Captain, I didn’t hear you ask to come in.

MAL
(smiling)
You so rarely do.

Mal has a bottle of wine in each hand.

INARA
To what do I owe this intrusion?

MAL
Thought you were about, and figured I’d see if I could convince you to head outside. Not a day to be cooped up, you ask me.

She stands.

INARA
I was just checking to see if I’d received any new messages.

MAL
And have you?

She shakes her head and walks over to him, taking one of the bottles of wine and studying it.

MAL (cont’d)
From that caper we pulled for Li Shen a few months back. Got another bottle I was savin’ for dinner, but this is pretty much the last of it.

INARA
Ah, yes, the infamous, “I’ll pay you in real coin next time, I promise,” caper.

MAL
I see you’ve heard of my exploits.

She smiles, looks around the inside of the shuttle, hands the bottle back to Mal.

INARA
You know, I didn’t think I would, but when I’m gone, I’ll miss this.

Awkward beat. They both look away.

INARA (cont’d)
Shall we head outside?


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – DAY

In the background, Mal (with wine bottles) and Inara come down the stairs. They walk past Simon, who is at the edge of the open CARGO BAY DOORS, looking down at Kaylee. Kaylee is swimming directly beneath the doors, up to her neck in water.

KAYLEE
Come on in, Simon. The water’s so beautiful!

SIMON
I can’t…

KAYLEE
(teasing)
Your shoes are already off. That’s a big step!

By now, Mal and Inara are gone.

SIMON
I don’t have a suit.

KAYLEE
(coquettish)
Who says you need a suit?

SIMON
I—er, I mean—

Out of nowhere, Jayne rushes past, wearing mangy shorts. He whoops and cannonballs through the cargo bay doors.


EXT. SERENITY – DAY

Mal and Inara come out onto the open ramp. Book is at the base of the ramp, bare feet in the sand, enjoying the view.

Zoe and Wash are a little ways down the shore, lying down, relaxing, sunning themselves. She’s dressed in an exotic-looking sarong, and he’s finally found a place where his Hawaiian shirt fits in. He’s also wearing shorts and a ludicrous straw hat.

In the distance beyond them, River prances about, apparently chasing a butterfly.

Mal and Inara join Book.

MAL
Nice port you found us, Shepherd.

BOOK
The view is quite amazing, isn’t it?

MAL
Almost nice enough to make me believe your God’s got the way of it.

BOOK
Could be God put this place here, but see that?
(pointing to palm trees)
Vegetation looks suspiciously like something from Earth-that-was.

Down the beach, Zoe and Wash have noticed them and stand up to head over.

MAL
You sayin’ this place was terraformed?

INARA
A paradise project. I thought they were just myth.

BOOK
Every myth’s got a kernel of truth at its heart, doesn’t it?

Wash and Zoe join them.

WASH
Can I name it, Captain? I mean, Jayne’s got that crappy moon where he’s a hero. Can I have this one? Please? I promise I’ll name an ocean after you.

MAL
Shepherd was the one pointed us here. Anyone claims it, should be him.

BOOK
(to Wash)
Honor’s all yours, son.

Wash smiles and rubs his hands together, pondering. Then, he strikes a pose, miming planting a flag.

WASH
We shall rule over this fertile little moon. And we shall call it—
(dramatic pause)
Wash’s Moon!

Zoe raises an eyebrow and looks at him.

WASH (cont’d)
I mean, Zoe’s Moon!
(beat, still posing)
Yes, yes, to show the depth of our love of Zoe, we shall name an entire moon in her honor!

INARA
(to Zoe)
You’re a lucky woman, Zoe. Many’s the man who promised me the moon and the stars, and not one has yet delivered.

Zoe laughs, then hugs Wash.

ZOE
I am lucky, aren’t I?

WASH
Yes, yes, you are.
(overdramatic)
For you are wed to the mighty pirate-king of Zoe’s Moon!

Zoe gives him a “don’t push it, honey” look, and he smiles contritely and stops posturing.

ZOE
(to Mal)
Can I take it from those bottles you’re carrying that you’ve considered my request?

WASH
What request?

MAL
Can’t see no harm to it.

He hands her one of the bottles. She smiles and turns to Wash.

ZOE
Asked the Captain if we could take the spare shuttle, explore the coastline. Maybe even have a picnic.

WASH
A night away from the parents! Very exciting!

Wash is so enthusiastic that he’s practically bouncing up and down.

MAL
Not a night. Just a few hours. We ain’t locals here. Who knows what comes out when things get dark? You see sunset, you head back.

They all turn to the sound of splashing and laughing in the water. From under the belly of the ship, Kaylee comes sailing, apparently thrown by Jayne, who treads water behind her. (For the record, she was just funnin’ Simon and is, in fact, wearing a bathing suit).

BOOK
Any plans for that other bottle, Captain?

MAL
Didn’t think preachers were s’posed to drink, Shepherd.

Kaylee and Jayne are splashing a little closer now.

BOOK
Nothing wrong with a little of the grape in moderation. I was thinking I’d head downriver a bit, see if I might be able to catch something for dinner. Bottle like that might make the afternoon much sunnier.

JAYNE
(swimming closer)
Talkin’ about goin’ fishin’, preacher?

BOOK
Would you like to join me?

SIMON (OS)
Have you seen River?

Simon is coming down the ramp, looking wet and miserable. He’s pretty much soaked from the chest down.

JAYNE
(snickering)
Told you not to stand so close to the gorram edge, doc.

Simon gives Jayne a look that should, by all rights, freeze the water around him. Jayne just grins back.

Kaylee comes out of the water and approaches the group.

KAYLEE
Oh, Simon.
(beat)
And that was one of your nice vests, too!

SIMON
I should… It’ll be all right.
(beat)
I shouldn’t have been so close to the edge.

KAYLEE
(brightly)
So what’re we all doin’ standing around at the bottom of the ramp?

WASH
We’re gonna have a picnic!

KAYLEE
(misunderstanding)
A picnic? Shiny!
(to the miserable Simon)
Doesn’t that sound nice, Simon?

WASH
No, I meant—

SIMON
Yes, I suppose a picnic could be very nice.

Kaylee smiles at Simon and he brightens somewhat, although he’s still all bedraggled and awkward.

Wash looks at Zoe, then indicates Simon and Kaylee. She gives him a “Are you sure?” look, then nods.

WASH
(to Kaylee)
The four of us’ll take the shuttle, head over to the far side of the island—

Beat. Kaylee is more excited than before, presumably having figured out it’s a “double date.”

KAYLEE
The far side? We’ll be like explorers.

WASH
I was thinking pirates. Picnic-eating, wine-swilling pirates!

SIMON
The four of us? River—

Down the shore, River is now standing staring at a flower, possibly talking to it.

BOOK
I’ll look after your sister, son. You young folk go and have a good time.

Kaylee smiles at Simon and takes his hand.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – DAY

Mal stands alone in the center of the cargo hold, eyes closed, listening to the silence.

A beat, then he realizes Inara is standing on the UPPER CATWALK, looking down.

MAL
It’s strange. Too quiet.

INARA
I rather like it for a change.

She walks down the stairs to join him.

INARA (cont’d)
I don’t know that you and I have ever been alone like this on the ship before, Captain.

She stands very close, looking up at him.

MAL
I…
(beat)
You know, I think you’re right.

He walks away from her.

MAL (cont’d)
Ship doesn’t seem right, the whole crew gone.

INARA
With the crew gone, are you still the captain?

MAL
Think it’s that easy? Can you stop bein’ a companion just like that?

INARA
(smiling)
Why don’t we both give it a try?


EXT. ZOE’S MOON – FAR SHORE – DAY

Zoe, Wash, Kaylee, and Simon sit around a blanket covered with food (mostly protein and some fruit picked from nearby trees), wrappers, and sundries. They’re laughing, and Simon is filling Zoe’s empty wine glass as he tells a story. The SHUTTLE is parked on the beach a little ways down, the ocean lapping at its front landing struts.

ZOE
And still didn’t figure it out? Seriously?

SIMON
No. I mean, can you imagine? The prices were in platinum, and my father… He’s a very intelligent man, but sometimes not quick with the math.

KAYLEE
Did you tell him?

SIMON
Well, what I did was… He was insistent that we drink a round, since it’d taken us so long to get there, so I looked at him and I said, “Dad… Look at the prices. That’s not just a wine you’re paying for.”

They all laugh.

KAYLEE
And that’s the only time you were in a brothel?

SIMON
There was one other time.

WASH
Of course. Let’s not forget the bordello we were hired to protect.

There’s an easy sense of camaraderie among the four. Without Jayne and River around, Simon seems to be able to fit in a little better.

SIMON
(laughing)
Okay, TWO other times! Oh, wait, I forgot. Three.

KAYLEE
I want to hear about those.

SIMON
You still haven’t told us your brothel story.

KAYLEE
(holding up her glass)
I’m not sure I’m tipsy enough yet.

Simon pours the last of the wine into her glass. As if that’s a cue, Wash and Zoe exchange a look.

WASH
As exciting as all these brothel tales are, I think the missus and I need to spend a little alone time in the shuttle.

KAYLEE
(to Simon, hushed tone)
They’re gonna have sex.

Wash, standing up, rubs Kaylee’s head.

WASH
Yes, yes, we are.

He reaches down and offers Zoe a hand. She smiles down at Simon and Kaylee.

ZOE
This has been nice. Really.

Wash tries to lift his wife over his shoulder, fails miserably, and settles for running to the shuttle after her. Kaylee and Simon laugh, a little awkwardly.

KAYLEE
Do you want to—

SIMON
The beach.
(points)
Do you want to… A walk?

She smiles.

KAYLEE
Love to.


EXT. ZOE’S MOON – RIVERBANK – DAY

Book is sitting dozing on the riverbank, fishing pole in his hands. He wakes with a bit of a start and looks around.

Jayne’s sitting next to him, also fishing. They have a bucket with a few fish in it between them, as well as the open bottle of wine. And a heavy looking rifle.

BOOK
Dozed off. Must be the heat.

JAYNE
(good-humored)
That or the years.

BOOK
Where’s River?

Jayne reaches down to make sure his HUNTING KNIFE is on his belt. He shrugs.

JAYNE
I wasn’t the one said I’d look after her.

He returns his attention to the river and his fishing pole.

BOOK
River?

Beat.

RIVER (OS)
Over here.

Book stands, putting down the pole, and heads in the direction of her voice. Jayne continues to fish for a beat, then—

JAYNE
Gorrammit.

He puts down the pole, grabs the rifle, and follows Book. He gets two steps, then comes back and grabs the wine bottle with his free hand.


EXT. ZOE’S MOON – NEARBY RIVERBANK – DAY

Book and Jayne break through the light brush to see River staring down at something on the ground.

BOOK
River? What are you doing?

RIVER
(not looking up)
Watching.

They get closer. She’s staring at a dying fish as it flops on the ground, bleeding out from the gills.

RIVER (cont’d)
To see when it realizes it’s not a fish anymore.

BOOK
River…

RIVER
Stopped being a fish once it was on the hook, but it didn’t know.

JAYNE
What’s ruttin’ wrong with you, girl?

He grimaces at the suffering fish, steps forward, and smashes the fish with the butt of the rifle, killing it with a single hard strike. River looks up at him as if dealing with a child.

RIVER
(shaking her head)
Now I’ll never know.

Jayne, a little rattled, takes a swig of the wine.


INT. SERENITY – DINING ROOM – DAY

Mal and Inara are at the dining room table, sitting across from one another, a WEI CHI BOARD between them. The bottle of wine is on its side, apparently empty. Mal is holding a sake bottle, from which he takes a small sip before putting it down on the table next to the board.

INARA
Your move, Mal.

He examines the board and makes a move, flipping some of her stones. He seems pretty impressed with himself.

INARA (cont’d)
Not bad.

She silently counts the number of stones, and takes a swig, much longer than his sip.

MAL
(slurring a bit)
Told you I was good at this game, Inara.

She ignores him and makes a game-winning move.

MAL (cont’d)
Wha—? Now how did you—?

She smiles and slides the bottle toward him.

INARA
Drink up.

He takes the bottle and the last of its contents, upending it and studying it curiously, as if he believes there should be more.

INARA (cont’d)
Another game? Best out of seven?

MAL
Don’t believe there’s enough liquor left on the ship to take us there.

Inara stands cautiously. She’s tipsy, but in better shape than he is.

INARA
(curtseying)
Thank you for the game, kind sir.

Mal stands, swaying more than a little, bows deeply and loses his balance, almost toppling to the side. His hand hits the wine bottle, sending it spinning off the table. It hits the ground but does not shatter.

Beat, then Inara cracks up.

MAL
That’s not funny!

INARA
Yes, it is. A little.

MAL
(drunken laughing)
Okay, maybe a little.

She leans forward and starts to clean up the wei chi board. He moves forward to help.

MAL (cont’d)
Let me help you with—

They both look down. Seems they reached for the same thing at the same time and he’s holding her hand. They look at each other for a beat.

INARA
Mal, I…

A beat, then he takes his hand away, looks away.

MAL
Can I ask you a question?

INARA
Anything.

MAL
Ain’t gonna ask why you’re leavin’, since I don’t ‘xpect I’ll get a straight answer. But…
(beat)
Why’d you stay this long?

INARA
I like it here. I really do. I’ll miss this when I’m gone. I’ll miss everyone.
(beat)
Well, maybe not Jayne.

Mal raises an imaginary glass to toast that sentiment.

INARA (cont’d)
I feel like I’m a part of something when I’m here.
(lightly)
Even if it is a crew of [petty] thieves.

They look at each other across the table, over the gameboard. They both want to say more, but neither is willing to make the first move. It’s an emotional Mexican standoff.

MAL
You helped us with more than a few jobs, to be sure, but you were never part of the crew.

As the words leave his mouth, he realizes what he’s said.

MAL (cont’d)
Inara, I…

INARA
(coldly)
No, I never was part of the crew, was I?
(beat)
And it seems you can’t stop being the captain, even for an hour.

Without another word, she storms out through the rear entrance.

MAL
Inara!

He watches her go, but doesn’t follow. He kicks the downed wine bottle in frustration, then heads for the forward entrance himself.


EXT. ZOE’S MOON – RIVERBANK – SUNSET

Book and Jayne (looking more at ease) sit on the riverbed, watching a beautiful rainbow-hued sunset. Jayne finishes off the last of the wine.

River, standing nearby, reaches down and snatches Book’s cigar right out of his mouth. The preacher is startled, but as he looks up and sees her comically smoking it, he laughs and turns back to the sunset.


INT. SHUTTLE – SUNSET

Zoe and Wash make love as the sunset streams in through the window of the shuttle, shining off their sweaty bodies.


EXT. ZOE’S MOON – FAR SHORE – SUNSET

Simon and Kaylee walk down the beach, holding hands and laughing.

She bends down to pick up a seashell, and when she straightens to show it to him, he puts a hand to her cheek.

She looks up at him, and he leans down toward her.

With the sunset beach as their backdrop, Simon kisses Kaylee.


INT. SERENITY – SHUTTLE – SUNSET

Inara, looking rather frustrated, checks her messages again on the Cortex screen. Still nothing.

She catches sight of the sunlight streaming in through the shuttles window, and is captivated by the beauty of the sunset.


INT. SERENITY – COCKPIT – SUNSET

Mal watches the same sunset from the cockpit, sitting alone.




INT. ALLIANCE PATROL BOAT – BRIDGE – SPACE

Wallace approaches Chien.

WALLACE
None of the blockade ships report contact. It’s possible that they managed to make it out of the system undetected…

CHIEN
But more likely that they’re still here.

WALLACE
Apparently a number of the moons here were once used as hideouts for pirates, smugglers and the like.

CHIEN
(philosophically)
If that’s true, they could hide for weeks. Or months.
(beat)
Have we received the support I requested?

WALLACE
(nods)
Captain Pennington is still requisitioning the majority of the forces for the Carousel.

Chien looks away, out the window.

CHIEN
Do you think they’re hiding on one of the moons?

WALLACE
That’s where I’d be, sir.

CHIEN
Good instincts, Wallace. Select the three likeliest locations and send a gunship to each for recon.

Wallace nods, but doesn’t leave.

CHIEN (cont’d)
Something else, Wallace?

WALLACE
Sir, I was reviewing our orders. We’re to capture this vessel intact and quarantine the crew?

CHIEN
Yes. That will make it more difficult, won’t it?

WALLACE
I have an idea, sir.

Chien turns, eyebrow raised in curiosity.


EXT. ZOE’S MOON – FAR SHORE – SUNSET

Simon and Kaylee part, coming up for air. Simon takes a step away and turns toward the ocean.

KAYLEE
(breathless and smiling)
Simon…

SIMON
I’m sorry.

KAYLEE
What?

SIMON
I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry. It’s just… The beach and the sunset, and you looked so beautiful—

KAYLEE
Simon?

He finally turns to look at her.

SIMON
Kaylee, I’m sorry. I have responsibilities. River… I can’t… I shouldn’t…
(beat)
Sun’s setting. We should go.

He heads back to the shuttle.

Kaylee watches him go, somewhere between stunned and angry.


INT. SHUTTLE – SUNSET

Wash and Zoe lie on the floor, looking tired and sated. When there’s a knock on the door, Wash yelps in surprise and they both sit up.

SIMON (OS)
(muffled, through door)
Zoe? Wash? Sorry to intrude, but the Captain said we should be back by sunset…

WASH
[Buddha-damned nuisance! Won’t somebody stuff that kid’s mouth with monkey feces? I’ll give you ten platinum!]

ZOE
(lazy smile)
It’s okay, honey. I was done.

WASH
Well, I wasn’t!


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – EVENING

Jayne stomps up the ramp, dogged by River. Book, carrying a bucket of fish, follows a few steps behind.

RIVER
But when does the fish stop being a fish?

JAYNE
Told ya already, I hate riddles!

BOOK
I don’t think it’s a riddle she’s asking, son.
(to River)
River, that’s a question folks’ve been trying to answer for ages.

They’re in the middle of the cargo hold now.

RIVER
When the fish is on the hook, can’t pull away, is it still a fish, or just a thing?

JAYNE
Ask me, it’s just dinner.

Mal walks onto the upper catwalk.

MAL
Speakin’ of, how’d it go?

BOOK
(hoisting the bucket)
Got enough for a fine meal, and then some.

MAL
That’s what I like to hear. Zoe tells me they’re on the way in. Might be nice if we had something warm and tasty on the table.

Book heads to the stairs, Jayne following. River stays in the cargo hold, watching them as they move toward the galley.

RIVER
(to herself)
Can’t get away. Already on the hook.


INT. ALLIANCE PATROL BOAT – BRIDGE – SPACE

Wallace approaches Chien.

WALLACE
One of the targeted moons is mostly aquatic, but ringed by small islands near the equator. Ideal hiding places, if you ask me.

CHIEN
Any word from Pennington?

WALLACE
No additional support, sir. He’s responded to our special request, but, otherwise, nothing.

Chien paces away from the window a bit.

CHIEN
I’m sure the troops are needed at the Carousel.
(beat)
Very well. We’ll do this without additional support. Continue to search the other moons, but re-task two gunships to assist with recon over the islands.

WALLACE
Should I put the ambush into place, sir?

Chien nods.


INT. SERENITY – GALLEY – NIGHT

The crew sits around the table, eating dinner. There’s tension between Simon and Kaylee, and Inara is noticeably absent, but it looks like a fine meal, otherwise. The normal tea, sake, and protein are supplemented by steaming fried fish and a variety of local fruit.

WASH
And the doctor had a brothel story that was quite amusing!

JAYNE
I love me a good brothel story, if you know what I mean. Doc?

Jayne reaches across the table for a pineapple.

KAYLEE
It’s not that kind of story, Jayne.
(beat)
You know our doctor. Too proper for anything fun.

She might as well have sucker-punched Simon for his reaction. No one else sees it coming either, and there’s an awkward beat.

WASH
So… Where’s Inara?

And it just gets more awkward.

BOOK
More fish?

They all speak up at once, responding in the affirmative, and the plate is passed around.

JAYNE
Shepherd, ain’t you supposed to give us bread or somethin’ to go with this?

Jayne starts to slice open the pineapple with his hunting knife.

BOOK
I think summoning loaves is quite beyond my ability.

WASH
I don’t know, preacher. You sure found us a pretty enough paradise, and it is Sunday, after all.

JAYNE
It is?

BOOK
Indeed.
(looking pointedly at Mal)
Shouldn’t you be stealing something?

Mal reacts.

JAYNE
Thought it was Tuesday.

Jayne pops a piece of pineapple into his mouth.

MAL
What’re you getting’ at, Shepherd?

Inara comes in from the rear entrance, looking around a bit awkwardly. She looks like she might be a little ill, possibly the after-effects of the wine.

KAYLEE
’Nara, hey. Sit down. We’ve got fresh fish!

INARA
I don’t know. I think maybe I’ll go back to my shuttle. I’m not feeling—

Folks start shifting so there’s room for her. The spot is across from Mal.

WASH
Come on, Inara! Have some fish.

Inara sits and she and Mal look at each other awkwardly. He looks like he wants to apologize, but says nothing. As the two of them stare at each other, plates untouched, the rest continue to eat. Book doles out some more fish. Simon passes a bowl of vegetables to Zoe. Jayne spears a chunk of pineapple on his knife and offers it to the table. Kaylee leans forward and takes it.

The galley is filled with the sound of utensils on plates and chewing.

WASH (cont’d)
(mouth full)
Captain, I think we’re gonna stay.
(chews and swallows)
Yeah, Zoe and me, we’re gonna collect shells. Trade with the locals. We’ll be shell merchants.

JAYNE
The locals is fish.

WASH
I didn’t say we’d be successful merchants.

River looks directly at Zoe.

RIVER
She’s thinking about it, you know. Thinking about leaving.

Wash looks at Zoe. Zoe looks at Mal.

ZOE
Captain, I…

Mal doesn’t react to the interchange, his eyes still on Inara.

JAYNE
Just ignore her. She’s been talkin’ crazy since we went fishin.’

Simon looks at River sharply.

SIMON
I thought I told you to stay away from him.

Kaylee rolls her eyes.

RIVER
It’s okay. We caught fish.

JAYNE
You know what, doc? I’m getting’ pretty sick—

He half-rises in his seat, the knife still in his hand.

BOOK
Now, there’s no need for this.

WASH
(quietly, to Zoe)
Is she right?

Zoe looks down at her plate.

JAYNE
No, Shepherd, stay outta this. This’s between me and his lordship here.

SIMON
What? Are you going to stab me?

WASH
(quietly, to Zoe)
Are you really thinking about leaving?

ZOE
I don’t think this is the time or the place…

KAYLEE
Jayne, I know he can be annoying, but why don’t you put the knife down?

Jayne seems to realize for the first time that he actually is holding the knife. He drops it and makes a fist instead.

KAYLEE (cont’d)
Better.

BOOK
Jayne, really…

WASH
(to Zoe)
What is the right time and place?

ZOE
Not now, Wash.

Simon stands, defiantly looking at Jayne.

SIMON
Haven’t we played this game enough?

WASH
(to Zoe)
If not now, when?

Mal and Inara have continued to look at each other through all of this.

JAYNE
‘Parently not, doc.

Book and Kaylee stand as well, trying to get between Simon and Jayne. River scoots her chair back, away from the table, away from everyone, and looks up and back, as if staring at something through the roof of the ship.

Mal looks down at his plate.

INARA
I’m leaving the ship.

Beat.

JAYNE
Leavin’ the ship? But it’s dark out.

Beat.

Then everyone except River and Mal turn to Inara and start talking at once. Mal stands and starts to walk out of the room, while River continues to stare through the ceiling.

KAYLEE
Inara, no! You can’t mean it—

SIMON
Leaving? But—

Zoe looks at Wash.

WASH
Okay, so you were right—

BOOK
I’m sure this is a well-considered decision, but—

JAYNE
Why would you leave now? We’s got fish.

River stands, still staring up.

RIVER
The fishermen are here.

There’s something in her tone that silences everyone. Wash and Zoe share a look, and Mal, who is almost out the forward exit, turns back.

MAL
Wash?

Wash nods and jumps out of his chair, heading for the forward entrance (and the cockpit)

The proximity alarm sounds throughout the ship.


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