JC (god_of_belac) wrote in virtual_firefly,
JC
god_of_belac
virtual_firefly

Season 1, Episode 20: War Crimes

War Crimes

Episode 1x20:
“WAR CRIMES”

Written by
J. C. Ravage

Edited by
Matt Engstrom, Shawn Morris, 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.




Act 2
EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY – CONTINUOUS

Zoe puts her hand on Mal’s arm so quickly that no one appears to see him reach for his gun.

ZOE
Not now, Mal. Another time.

By now, Cariss has approached them.

CARISS
Ah, Captain Reynolds! Welcome to Talltree. I’m glad you were able to land without difficultly.

Cariss shakes hands with Mal, who looks queasy as they do so. Zoe watches the interchange, arms crossed.

MAL
No thanks to you!

CARISS
Yes, well… Unfortunate.

MAL
I’d call it a damned sight more than unfortunate!

Cariss smiles and claps Mal on the shoulder.

CARISS
Please, let’s not dwell on the past. You have our grain, and we have your coin. Let’s finish our business, why don’t we?

Mal waves to the skiff, where the three guards are unloading the barrels with difficulty.

MAL
Rest is yours when I get my coin and my parts.


INT. SERENITY – ENGINE ROOM – DAY

Kaylee, sweaty and smudged, works noisily, loosening an engine part.

KAYLEE
Gorram piece of—

SIMON (OS)
Is there anything I can do to help?

Kaylee looks up, a bit startled. Simon’s in the doorway.

SIMON (cont’d)
Sorry, I was just—

Kaylee leans down on the part and it SNAPS off in her hands, sending some fragments and oil flying at Simon.

KAYLEE
Sorry!
(beat)
Need something?

SIMON
I… I just came to see how you were.

KAYLEE
(dismissive, returning to work)
I’m fine.

SIMON
And to apologize for—

She doesn’t look up.

KAYLEE
Gorrammit, Simon, there’s nothing to apologize for. I ain’t a blushin’ flower.
(quiet)
Not that you’d pick me if I was…

SIMON
What are you working on?

KAYLEE
Jammed-up engine parts.

SIMON
Jammed up? That doesn’t sound good.

Kaylee gives him a “not amused” look, then quickly returns to her work.

SIMON (cont’d)
I mean, it can be fixed, though, can’t it?

He moves forward, starting to crouch down to help.

KAYLEE
I can fix it on my own just fine!

She yanks out a circuitboard, and studies it.

KAYLEE (cont’d)
Ugh! Burned out!

In frustration, she tosses it across the room, where it hits something else, causing a crashing noise.

Simon takes a step back from her frustration and anger. Kaylee winces at the noise, then, perhaps realizing how childish her outburst was, looks up at Simon.

KAYLEE (cont’d)
Cap'n’s always saying we're so close to the edge, always one job from fallin' over.
(beat)
I never believed him before.

She sighs and turns back to her work, leaving Simon standing there awkwardly.


INT. SERENITY – GALLEY – DAY

Book sits at the table, reading the Bible. He looks up as River walks in, but she completely ignores him.

Book watches River as she moves to the kitchen, searching through the cabinets. There’s more empty space than full.

RIVER
Here, protein protein protein... Here, protein protein protein...

She bends down, out of Book’s sight (and ours), opening the lower cabinets. Sounds of River rooting around. She stands up, holding a large CAN OF PROTEIN.

She looks at the can as if having a conversation with it.

RIVER
Bad protein! Shouldn’t hide like that.
(beat)
I know you don't taste good, but you're all we have.
(beat)
What's that? You don't like being eaten? But it's what you're for, protein.
(beat)
It’s what you’re for.

Book clears his throat. She turns to look at him for the first time.

BOOK
Does the food talk back?

RIVER
Don’t be silly. It’s not anything. Can’t talk.

She stands across the table from Book, placing the can between them.

RIVER (cont’d)
Just chemicals.
(beat)
Think you could conjure up some loaves and fishes, preacher man?

Book gazes at her.

BOOK
Don’t be silly.
(beat)
Only man could do that was… A better man than I am.

They stare at each other across the table.

RIVER
You’re not the man you think you are.

He leans back, perhaps pondering her words.

RIVER (cont’d)
Yet.

She leans forward, pushes the can toward him.

RIVER (cont’d)
Protein.
(beat)
Good for the soul.


EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY

A half-dozen RAGGED CITIZENS, possibly some of the folks who earlier mobbed the skiff, are brought into the courtyard by four GUARDS.

ACROSS THE COURTYARD

Mal and Zoe watch as one of the new guards approaches Chu and Cariss.

ZOE
Captain, ain’t sayin’ we should ditch this job and run, because—

MAL
‘Cause we need parts and coin.

ZOE
—Just, I have a really bad feeling. Still don’t think we’re bein’ told everything.

MAL
We’re getting paid. That’s all I need to know.

Cariss says something to Chu, who shakes his head “No.” Cariss is more vehement, and Chu appears to relent.

ZOE
More to life than getting paid, sir.

MAL
Not when you’re short on cash. Look, man’s evil, shot our folk during the war, runs a nasty little place these days. But we ain’t revolutionaries. It’s not our problem.

ZOE
Thought different once.

Chu confers with the guard.

MAL
And once it mattered.
(beat)
Don’t folk keep sayin’ the war’s over?

The guard returns to his fellows and they escort the citizens away. More than a few of the citizens cast a terrified look in Cariss’s direction.

ZOE
Not for some folk, it ain’t.


INT. SERENITY – COMMON AREA – DAY

Simon wanders in to find Jayne sitting in one of the chairs, working on the magazine of a BIG GUN with a KNIFE. He watches for a moment.

SIMON
What are you working on?

JAYNE
(not looking up)
Marie. She's got something gumming up her magazine.

SIMON
Do you name all your guns?

JAYNE
Just the ones pretty enough.
(beat)
The knives is men.
(holds up the knife)
This here's Max.

SIMON
I—ah—Hello, Max.

Jayne puts Max into Marie's magazine casing and works it around a bit in a casually sexual manner. Simon sits down. Jayne’s not exactly thrilled by this turn of events.

JAYNE
Shouldn’t you be in the engine room or somethin’?

SIMON
I don’t think I’m wanted there.

Jayne gives a “Not surprised, you ruttin’ moron” nod.

SIMON (cont’d)
Kaylee, she’s… She’s not like the girls I knew back home. It's like trying to speak a foreign language sometimes.

JAYNE
Girls is girls. They like the same things. Tell 'em they're pretty, git 'em stuff, kiss 'em… Not on the mouth, if you can help it. 'Course, some of them—

SIMON
It's a bit more complex in the Central Worlds.

JAYNE
What's there to gussy up? Gorram Central Worlds, got rules for everything.

Jayne finishes his work, puts Max down, and loads Marie.

SIMON
Could you maybe... put that down?

JAYNE
Guay, ain't gonna shoot you. Just thought I'd show it to you. Ever fired one of these?

SIMON
Not like this one, no.

JAYNE
And you don't know any karate—

SIMON
I took jiu jitsu for several years in college, but that was just for physical education credits.

JAYNE
All that learnin’, can’t believe they don’t teach ya to fight.

SIMON
I think you misunderstand how life in the Central Planets works.

JAYNE
You're a doctor. Gotta be good with knives at least.

SIMON
Also, I think you misunderstand medicine.

Jayne stands and stretches.

JAYNE
C’mon out to the cargo bay, Doc. We’ll have us some fun. Man in your position ought to know how to fight. Gotta know how to protect your women from big bad wolves like me.

He grins and walks toward the stairs.


INT. INARA’S SHUTTLE – DAY

Inara and Ibrahim sit, quietly drinking tea.

IBRAHIM
Your mind is someplace far away, my dear. It’s been many years, but is this the way it is with all companions these days?

INARA
I’m sorry, I’m just…

IBRAHIM
You’re worried about your crew. This is understandable.

She looks down.

IBRAHIM
I must admit that I’m concerned myself about what might be going on in town.
(beat)
Perhaps we should postpone our visit together.

INARA
(relieved)
I will, of course, offer full restitution.

IBRAHIM
Nonsense. Your concern has made me consider that perhaps I’ve been living at the top of this hill for too long.
That and the vision of your beauty make the coin more than worth it.

He takes her hand and kisses it.


EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY

Geoffrey has joined Mal and Zoe. In the background, Cariss supervises the guards as they cut the well-dressed corpses from the lampposts. They handle this operation with more respect than they did dumping bodies near the crater.

MAL
(indicating Carriss)
So, he’s in charge, huh? You work for him?

GEOFFREY
No!
(beat)
That is to say, all of the Patricians share in the rights and responsibilities of government. Noblesse oblige. Of course some choose to take on greater responsibilities.

MAL
You work for him.

Before Geoffrey can reply, another beat-up SKIFF arrives in the square, disgorging a half-dozen GUARDS, one of whom makes a beeline toward Cariss. Chu, seeing this, joins them.

The three men speak briefly, the new guard pointing away from the hill, toward the fields.

ZOE
Serenity’s that way. Could be they’re talkin’ about our ship, sir.

GEOFFREY
No, no, I’m sure everything is—

Another half-dozen GUARDS run into the courtyard, forming up near Cariss.

MAL
Well, this ain’t a good sign.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – DAY

On the floor, among the grain barrels, Jayne and Simon practice knife-fighting, with Simon following Jayne’s suggestions in slow motion. River sits on the upper catwalk, bare feet hanging down, watching.

JAYNE
(frustrated)
Gorrammit, no!

SIMON
I—

JAYNE
You're thinking with the point too much. Try again.

SIMON
I’m sorry—

JAYNE
We’re in a fight! Don’t be sorry!

Simon makes to stab Jayne and Jayne catches his arm, then makes a slow-motion punch into Simon’s solar plexus. Simon pulls away, just as frustrated as Jayne.

SIMON
There's so much to keep track of.

JAYNE
Ain't no harder’n sewin' someone up, Doc. You just got to stop usin' everything only one way.

SIMON
I'm not sure what you mean.

JAYNE
You fight by the book. Thing is, this kind of fighting ain't got a book.

Jayne walks away, drops the knife on top of one of the barrels and picks up Marie.

JAYNE
(handing the gun to Simon)
You've got Marie. Some men come at you. What do you do?

SIMON
I…
(beat)
I shoot them.

Jayne gets up close, aggressively in Simon’s face.

JAYNE
You miss one, and he gets this close.

SIMON
I... Run away?

JAYNE
[Why do I bother]?

Jayne snatches the gun back, holding it by the barrel. He takes a slow swing with the long gun, using it like a baseball bat.

His second swing is a little faster, and ends with the gun practically touching Simon’s cheek. Simon doesn’t flinch, but manages to look mildly annoyed.

JAYNE
One good hit can bash in a man’s skull.
(points to a dent on the stock)
I know from experience. Point is, any gorram thing can be a weapon, and when you need it, there ain’t no time to think.

Beat. Simon hesitates.

Wash rushes in, onto the UPPER CATWALK.

WASH
(yelling down)
We got company!

Wash indicates the cargo hold doors, and begins to run down the stairs. Jayne turns and moves toward the door.


EXT. SERENITY – DAY

Jayne, now holding Marie like a gun, stands on the ramp, flanked by Wash and Simon.

A horde of more than two dozen haggard, hungry-looking FOLK advancing on the ship, coming down from the hills. They’re armed with a variety of weapons (mostly guns, but ranging down to farming implements and tools).

SIMON
What do you suppose they want?

WASH
My guess is they’re here to invite us to a hoe-down.

Jayne glares at him.

WASH (cont’d)
I do love a good hoe-down.

Book joins the three men on the ramp.

BOOK
Whatever it is they want, they’re going to take it.

JAYNE
(hefting the gun)
No they ain’t.



Act 3

EXT. SERENITY – CONTINUOUS

Jayne waves his gun to hold back the crowd.

JAYNE
What do you want?

REBEL
You’ve got food!

JAYNE
Not hardly!

BOOK
I think they’re referring to our cargo.

JAYNE
Hell, no! That’s our money!

The crowd forms in the rocky field in front of the ramp. AINES steps forward. Gaunt, late thirties or forties, she has her hair tied back with a red bandana and walks with a limp, using a bayonet affixed to a stick as a walking staff.

AINES
Ain’t eaten anything in near three days, sir.

WASH
Sorry, ma’am—

JAYNE
Don’t see how that’s our problem.

AINES
I don’t believe you understand. They’ve been hunting us, like dogs. We stood up and demanded fair treatment, and they beat us down.
(indicates her leg)
Chu and his boys beat us with sticks, ‘til we had to run for the hills.

JAYNE
(to the crew)
Still don’t see how that’s our problem.

River appears behind Jayne, Book, Wash, and Simon, hiding in her brother’s shadow.

AINES (cont’d)
Can’t go back. Cariss’ll have us shot, he gets his hands on us. But we stay out here much longer, we’ll starve.

BOOK
Could you tell us how this came to be, Miss—

AINES
Aines.
(beat)
Ain’t much to say. Crop moon, crops failed. Patricians got the gold to feed us all, but they won’t spend it. Month’s worth of grain in your ship, they want save it all for plantin’. Warehouses stay full, while our bellies’re empty. So we fought. Better to die on your feet than live groveling.

River begins softly humming “The Hero of Canton,” so quiet it’s not recognizable yet.

BOOK
Worthy sentiments, ma’am.

WASH
Who shot at us, then?

AINES
That’d have been Jasper. Great mechanic, good leader, but not the sharpest tool on the rack. Likely thought if he brought you down, we could collect the grain easy after.

SIMON
(quietly, to the crew)
Can’t we do something for them?

JAYNE
That’s money we need, or we’re next week’s starvin’ rabble.

BOOK
Perhaps… Some of the grain went bad. The barrel broke. We had to throw it out.

JAYNE
We do that, I ain’t the one tellin’ the Captain.

Behind Aines, the crowd moves closer, perhaps trying to hear the conversation.

WASH
Three days without food…

JAYNE
An’ we ain’t so far from that ourselves.

RIVER
(singing)
“…He stood up to the man and he gave them what for”
“Our love for this man—”

Jayne stiffens and glares at her. River grins and quiets to humming.


EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – DAY

Inara’s shuttle lands in the courtyard.

Cariss, who is with Chu and nearly a dozen and a half guards near the first skiff, breaks away and moves toward it.

Mal rushes away from Zoe and Geoffrey and is at the shuttle’s door when it opens and Inara steps out.

Inara and Mal look at each other, both clearly relieved to see the other still intact.

MAL
Um…

INARA
(smiles)
Yes, I’m glad you’re not dead, too.

She steps down, touches his cheek, then moves on as Ibrahim also exits the shuttle. The old man walks directly to Cariss, who is deferential, but clearly surprised to see him.

CARISS
Patrician Al-Asjar…

IBRAHIM
Cariss, what’s going on here?

CARISS
The rebels have rallied in the hills. Our strategy of starving them out seems to have failed.

MAL
Rebels?

CARISS
It’s no problem. They’re in no condition to fight. We’re heading out right now to settle this.

As he speaks, Chu begins ordering some of his guards onto the skiffs.

MAL
They’re at Serenity, ain’t they?
(beat)
My ship’s in danger because you lied to me.

IBRAHIM
(interposing himself)
Calm down, sir. Peace.

Inara puts a hand on Mal’s shoulder.

INARA
We can take the shuttle, Mal. It’ll be faster.


EXT. SERENITY – DAY

One of the barrels of grain has been cracked open and although the grain is still in whole kernels, many of the rebels are chewing them.

Jayne, Simon, and River are on the ramp, as is Aines, while Kaylee and Book circulate among the rest, bearing opened cans of protein to share.

Folks look up as INARA’S SHUTTLE passes overhead.


EXT. SERENITY – DAY – ESTABLISHING

Inara’s shuttle slots into place, docking with Serenity.


EXT. SERENITY – DAY

Mal strides out, followed by Zoe and Inara. He takes in the scene, especially the cracked-open barrel of grain.

AINES
Captain, Reynolds? Thank—

He brushes past her.

MAL
Jayne, what in the gorram hell is goin’ on?

JAYNE
Uh, barrel broke. Grain went bad—

MAL
It take our coin with it?

Mal stalks further down the ramp.

BOOK
Captain, it’s just one barrel, there’s plenty more.

JAYNE
These folks ain’t et in three days, Mal.

MAL
And you want to join ‘em? That it?
(beat)
We don’t have grain, we don’t get paid. [Of all the people to go soft]! What’s next for you? A shelter for wayward orphans?

JAYNE
Mal, it ain’t—

Mal spots one of the cans of protein.

MAL
[Why don’t we just give them our clothes, too]? That from our kitchen?

Kaylee shrugs apologetically.

RIVER
(singing)
“Now here is what separates heroes”
“From normal folk like you and I”

Mal turns to Aines, clearly recognizing that she’s the leader of the rabble outside his ship.

JAYNE
(to River, embarrassed)
[Monkey crap], can you stop singing that?

MAL
(to Aines)
Now, this ain’t been nobody’s best day, but I see no weapons’re drawn. What I need right now is for you and yours to go—

River’s eyes go wide and her head snaps back.

RIVER
Oh no… No. No!

Simon rushes to her side, slowing just enough to glare at Jayne.

SIMON
River!

JAYNE
Just asked her to stop singin’, is all.

River falls to the ground and balls into a fetal position, screaming and muttering. Simon kneels by her side, and the sight is disturbing enough that most of the rebels look up from their food.

RIVER
Murderer!

As Simon tries to help her stand, River flails at him.

SIMON
It’s me, River.

MAL
(glaring)
Get her inside. Now!

RIVER
Murderer! Like them. Didn't have to push so hard. Like a knife twisting in a wound! Again and again and again. Kill anyone knows the truth. Kill them all! [Feces-colored vagrants]!

By now, pretty much everyone is looking at River, so when her heads snaps up, they follow her gaze to see the two approaching SKIFFS, laden with guards and blocking the only easy exit out of the valley.


EXT. SERENITY – MOMENTS LATER

Mal, Jayne, Zoe, and Wash stand on the ramp, all with weapons drawn but not pointed. Inara is behind Mal.

Aines and her rabble are trapped between the ship and the guards as Chu and his men surround them.

Cariss, with Geoffrey in tow, walks through the ring formed by the guards. Many of Aines’ folks cringe back from the Patrician.

CARISS
Captain Reynolds, what is the meaning of this? Sharing out the grain to these scum? I thought we had a deal.

MAL
We do, I—

AINES
Patrician Cariss. Now we speak on equal terms.

Cariss ignores her, turns to look up to Mal.

CARISS
Captain Reynolds, it’s time to end this farce.

MAL
I ain’t laughing, Cariss. That “unpleasantness” weren’t ever over and you knew it.

CARISS
We have coin and a deal, Captain. If you want to break it to pander to this rabble, you won’t get paid.

AINES
Rabble! You wouldn’t have a colony without us! You starve us, beat us when we rise up, and we’re the villains?

MAL
Saw some rich folk strung up in town. Fair sure they didn’t do it themselves.

Aines looks away, her inability to meet Mal’s eyes indicating that she knows exactly what he’s talking about.

ZOE
(quietly, to Mal)
Captain, this could turn real ugly real fast.

Cariss moves past Aines and addresses her people, holding his hands up to clearly show that he has no weapon drawn.

CARISS
There’s food waiting back in town for those who surrender.

ZOE
(quietly)
Cap’n, you know that ain’t true.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – SAME TIME

River seems to have calmed a little. Simon and Book have gotten River to the far side of the cargo hold, near the infirmary. Kaylee stands nearby, looking nervous.

Suddenly, River breaks away, heading back toward the cargo door. Simon and Book manage to restrain her.

RIVER
Murderer! They’re all the same!


EXT. SERENITY – SAME TIME

Mal looks down at Cariss and Aines.

MAL
Cariss, you gonna shoot these folk, they go back nice?

AINES
You ain’t letting him have us? You can see what kind of man he is!

CARISS
We need them for labor. They will not be shot.
(beat)
I am not a murderer.

AINES
(spits)
Ha!

Mal looks down at Cariss coldly, almost—but not quite—aiming his gun at him.

MAL
I know some Browncoats might say different if they could still talk.

Cariss reacts: he wasn’t expecting to hear that. Aines smiles, feeling that she’s gained some ground.

CARISS
I only did what was necessary during the war. I only killed on orders.

MAL
(disdainfully)
Orders. That's what every [villainous scumbag] has hid behind for thirty centuries.

Tense beat.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – SAME TIME

River, still restrained by Book and Simon, stares back toward the cargo hold door, toward Mal and Cariss.

RIVER
(whispers)
War not over for some. Still carrying that bullet.
(louder)
Bang!


EXT. SERENITY – SAME TIME

Mal holsters his gun and turns to Wash and Jayne.

MAL
Start bringing out the grain.
(indicating Chu and his men)
Them soldiers’ll help you.

CARISS
We have a deal, then?

Mal looks down.

MAL
(snappish)
‘Course, we have to deal, else we’re stuck on this rock.

ZOE
Sir, you really sidin’ with him?

MAL
Don’t see as we’ve got much choice. Sob stories don’t buy us fuel.

JAYNE
This ain’t right.

MAL
You wanna eat?

Jayne and Wash look at him, but don’t move.

MAL
(cold)
Did I look like I was giving a suggestion?

Jayne glares at Mal, but stomps inside.

WASH
(ironically)
Yes, sir, Captain, sir!

He follows Jayne, not much happier.

Mal turns to Zoe and indicates the standoff between Aines’ rabble and the Patricians’ guards. The guards draw their high-tech BILLY-CLUBS, which sizzle with the sound of electricity.

MAL
Make sure they don’t kill nobody.

He turns and heads into the ship.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – CONTINOUS

Wash and Jayne are in the corner, discussing how to best move the barrels. Mal ignores them and heads for the stairs. They watch him pass.

JAYNE
I can’t believe he sided with them.

WASH
I don’t think he can, either.

AT THE STAIRS

Inara catches up to Mal.

INARA
Mal, are you sure about this?

MAL
I’ve got to.

INARA
We’re not hurting for money that badly. If you need something to tide us over for fuel and parts, until another job—

MAL
Ain’t taking your coin. You ain’t on my crew.

INARA
I just… I don’t want to see you—

MAL
Can’t buy my regard, Inara. I ain’t a whore.

This time it’s not just a casual insult. Inara reacts, flushed and upset.


EXT. SERENITY – SAME TIME

Cariss addresses the rebels. Although the sides are evenly matched (perhaps a few more rebels than guards), the training and equipment advantage the guards have makes it clear that any fight will be brief, ugly, and one-sided.

CARISS
Put down your weapons and get back to work.

AINES
We ain’t goin’ back!

Cariss smiles.

CARISS
Chu, forward.

On Serenity’s ramp, Zoe stands alone, watching as battle is joined, the circle of guards tightening around the rebels.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – SAME TIME

In the corner near the infirmary, River looks around in panic, practically throwing off Simon and Book.

RIVER
Get him away! They’re screaming and screaming and they won’t stop!

SIMON
River!

BOOK
Be calm, girl!

RIVER
Kill him, kill them all!

AT THE STAIRS

Mal and Inara have turned at River’s rant, but now they look back at each other.

MAL
I didn’t mean—

INARA
Yes. You did.
(beat)
I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have offered. I know how you must feel—

MAL
You don’t know anything.

INARA
I’m just trying to help—

MAL
You can’t.
(sulky, quiet)
Go back to the Central Worlds where you belong.

Inara reacts again.

INARA
Get me there and I’m off.

Now, it’s Mal’s turn to react.

MAL
Lao tien, Inara, I’m—I’m such a—How can you stand me?

Beat. Some of the tension between them drains.

MAL (cont’d)
Even I can’t stand me!

INARA
(bittersweet)
Years of training. And sometimes even that wears thin.

ACROSS THE CARGO HOLD

Zoe pokes her head in from the ramp.

ZOE
Captain, you should be out here!


EXT. SERENITY – SAME TIME

The battle’s over, and there are no surprises. A few of the guards are injured and have retreated to the skiffs, but most are standing guard over the rebels. All of the rebels are injured, and many cannot stand under their own power.

The opened barrel is on its side, the grain spilled over the field.

Cariss confronts Aines, who is at one end of the line of prisoners.

CARISS
It’s over.

She spits in his face. He draws his pistol and slaps her hard with it, driving her to her knees. He stands over her.

CARISS (cont’d)
Chu! Find me a few more volunteers. We’ll need some examples to inspire the rest.

CHU
Sir?

CARISS
Take those who are most badly wounded, so we won’t lose too much productivity.

GEOFFREY
(timidly)
Patrician Al-Asjar’s directives—

CARISS
Damn that [pathetic old man]! Doesn’t know how to run a colony.
(to Chu)
Do it!

CHU
(unenthusiastic)
Yes, sir.

Chu salutes smartly and walks off. Cariss points his pistol at Aines. He slowly walks around so he’s behind her, watching her carefully the entire time.

Cariss puts the gun to the back of her head.

Aines flinches, but he’s got the advantage.

Cariss smiles—

And, out of nowhere, Mal sucker-punches Cariss, snapping the man’s head back. Cariss’s gun goes flying.

As Cariss careens away, Mal smiles… until he realizes that more than half of Chu’s men have their weapons trained on him, more than a dozen guns in all.


  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
  • 0 comments