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 4

EXT. SERENITY – CONTINUOUS

Cariss picks himself up, glaring at Mal. The guards have turned their attention from the prisoners to Mal. Zoe steps up next to Mal.

CARISS
Are you insane? I should have you killed.

MAL
We ain’t your workers.

ZOE
And you wouldn’t get far.

Zoe gestures to the ramp. Jayne and Wash are there, both armed. Jayne waves Marie casually and grins. Wash looks like he’s rather be inside.

CARISS
It’s none of your business what I do with my people.

Cariss retrieves his gun.

MAL
They ain’t just your people. Don’t all of the Patricians share in the rights and responsibilities of government?

Mal looks pointedly at Geoffrey. Zoe takes a step away from Mal, looking directly at Cariss, who has just aimed his gun at Mal.

ZOE
You don’t want to do this. Word gets out our ship went missing, won’t nobody want to make deliveries here.

MAL
(to Geoffrey)
Say something, gorramit!

GEOFFREY
What should I say?

ZOE
(to Cariss)
I’m sure we can work something out. How much is your revenge worth?

CARISS
A great deal. Things will never quiet down if the likes of these rabble aren’t punished.

MAL
(to Geoffrey)
“They don’t work, no one eats.” How about that?

ZOE
(to Cariss)
We’ll return the extra twenty-five percent if we resolve this without guns.

GEOFFREY
They are worth more to us alive.

Cariss glares at Geoffrey.

GEOFFREY (cont’d)
They can’t work if they’re dead.

CARISS
(to Zoe)
The twenty-five back. And half of the original coin. For not holding up your end of the bargain.

He indicates the spilled barrel.

MAL
Half!? That’s one barrel out of more’n a hundred, and we’re barely making a profit as is!

Mal reigns himself in as he looks at the guns pointed his way.

MAL (cont’d)
We ain’t dealing with you. Nothing to stop you from turning and shooting them the moment we break atmo.

GEOFFREY
I assure you, they won’t be harmed further.

MAL
That ain’t much of a guarantee.
(beat)
No offense.

Geoffrey nods. He understands.

CHU
My men will keep them alive if ordered to.

Zoe ignores them all and looks at Cariss.

ZOE
Do we have a deal?

As Carriss considers, Zoe steps protectively in front of Mal, who leans forward, whispering.

MAL
What’re you doin’? Those prisoners’re dead soon’s we leave.

ZOE
No, they ain’t.

MAL
We gotta try—

ZOE
Not now, Mal—


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – SAME TIME

River has calmed again. Simon, Book, Kaylee and Inara are near her, but she’s no longer being held.

RIVER
“—Another time.”


EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – NIGHT – ESTABLISHING

The courtyard has been cleaned up a bit, although the big crater is still there. One of the skiffs and Serenity’s HOVER-MULE are parked outside one of the warehouses.

The massive irrigation unit pumps and churns noisily.


INT. WAREHOUSE – NIGHT

The warehouse is pretty empty, even with all the barrels of grain from Serenity stacked inside.

Zoe (unarmed), Jayne, Cariss, Geoffrey, and Chu are near the grain, as are four WORKERS, who now walking away under the watchful eye of two of Chu’s GUARDS.

GEOFFREY
That’s the last of it.

JAYNE
(wiping sweat from his brow)
That’s a lot of grain.

CARISS
Should last us ‘til the blight ends.

ZOE
If you ration it right.

Cariss stands with Zoe. After the negotiation, he apparently thinks they’re friends.

CARISS
Your Captain’s an angry fellow.

ZOE
War ain’t over for some folk. Me, I just like to get by.

CARISS
If only more people had that attitude.

Zoe just looks at him, unreadable.

ZOE
You have our parts?

Geoffrey indicates a CRATE not far away, just small enough that one person might be able to handle it. Jayne moves forward for the crate.

ZOE
I’ll get it. Why don’t you warm up the mule?

JAYNE
But, Cap’n said—

ZOE
I want to check the parts before we go.

Jayne’s not to excited about leaving Zoe alone, but she indicates he should go. Cariss waves off Chu and Geoffrey as well.

CARISS
We’ll finish up here.

As the others leave, Zoe opens up the crate and looks inside. After a moment, she nods and stands.

CARISS (cont’d)
So, our business is done?

She takes a few steps toward him, her footsteps echoing in the near-empty warehouse.

ZOE
Not quite.

Before he can respond, she rushes him. He’s surprised and barely able to react.

CARISS
Wha—?

In a fluid motion, she pulls his pistol off his belt, simultaneously kicking his knees out from under him, driving him to a kneeling position in front of her.

CARISS (cont’d)
What are you—

He cuts himself short as she levels the gun at his head.

CARISS (cont’d)
I don’t understand, I thought you were reasonable—

She slowly walks around behind him.

ZOE
Very reasonable. Captain had the truth of it. Those prisoners wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes once we left.

CARISS
You wouldn’t dare.

ZOE
War ain’t over for some folk, is it?
(calm and cool)
Not for some of us [feces-colored vagrants].

She’s now standing behind him, his gun pointed firmly at the back of his head. His eyes go wide at her words.


EXT. TALLTREE TOWN— COURTYARD – NIGHT – ESTABLISHING

Jayne sits at the wheel of the hover-mule. Chu and Geoffrey stand nearby, with a pair of guards.

The sound of the irrigation unit blankets the courtyard, but they very clearly hear a SINGLE GUNSHOT from within the warehouse.

Before Chu and the guards can react, Jayne’s hand is on his gun.

He doesn’t draw, but looks at Chu, as do the guards. Chu looks at Geoffrey. Geoffrey looks ill.

Beat.

Zoe walks out of the warehouse, carrying the crate.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO HOLD – NIGHT

Mal and Wash are in the cargo hold waiting as Jayne drives the hover-mule right in. Zoe, in the passenger seat, looks tired.

JAYNE
(to Zoe)
I’m just sayin’ we coulda got our coin back is all.

She ignores him and gets off the mule as soon as it stops.

MAL
We get everything we need?

ZOE
Deal’s done, Captain.

Wash approaches her, sensing something’s off. She just shakes her head.

ZOE (cont’d)
Take us out of the gorram world.

MAL
But—

ZOE
Not now, Mal.

She walks away, toward the stairs, not looking at him.

BLACKOUT

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