JC (god_of_belac) wrote in virtual_firefly,
JC
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virtual_firefly

Those Left Behind


Episode 1x22:
“THOSE LEFT BEHIND”

Written by George Krubski

Based on a story by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews

Edited by Lisa Garvin and 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.





Act 2
EXT. PERSEPHONE – EAVESDOWN DOCKS – DAY – ESTABLISHING

Eavesdown Docks is its usual bustling self. Serenity touches down.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – DAY

Mal, Zoe, Wash, and Jayne are in the cargo bay. Kaylee, at the controls, lowers the ramp. Mal tosses a MOSTLY-EMPTY BAG to Wash.

MAL
Get her fueled, Wash.

WASH
With dirt? With cheap dirt?
(shaking the sad little bag)
That’s about all this is gonna get us…

ZOE
(quietly)
He’s right, Mal. I know you think that Alliance cruiser’s still after us, but you’ve had us all over the ‘Verse takin’ jobs that don’t hardly pay for the fuel these past few weeks. Since Inara…

Mal nods, not disagreeing with her, and turns back to Wash.

MAL
Get her fueled as much as you can. The rest of you are free to take a walkabout, do what you need to do. But be back on the ship come sundown… Promised Inara our next stop would be Bena—

KAYLEE
Mal!

A sinister FIGURE stands on the cargo bay ramp, near Jayne, backlit by the sun. Jayne turns around and decks the man without even thinking. As he falls to the ground, we see that he’s a thuggish BULLY BOY.

KAYLEE
Jayne, why’d you go and do that?

JAYNE
He was crowdin’ me, and I don’t know him. I hit people that crowd me I don’t know.

BADGER (OS)
It’s quite alright, little lady…

There’s a MULE that can carry a half-dozen men at the base of the ramp. BADGER stands near the mule, while four other BULLY BOYS get off and crowd around the base of the ramp.

BADGER (cont’d)
I don’t like the man, which is why I insisted he go first.
(to Mal)
You ‘ave my datacard?

MAL
You have my coin?

Mal stands a bit back from the top of the ramp, backed up by Jayne. Zoe quietly moves to stand near Kaylee and the airlock controls.

BADGER
(shaking his head and smiling)
Wasn’t the deal, Captain, an’ you know it.

MAL
Deal wasn’t to have Ott and his waitin’ on us either.

BADGER
‘ad nothin’ t’do wi’ them skankin’ your job. Could be it was them backbirths, Mingo and Fanty, turned ‘em onto—

MAL
Then maybe I should be talking to them. Seem to make a habit of gettin’ their crews the drop.
(beat)
I do the job, I get paid. You want the datacard, you get me coin.

Badger is not happy, but also not surprised.

BADGER
Tol’ you I might ‘ave another job, yeah? The take on this’ll more’n pay for both.

JAYNE
Coin’s coin, Mal.

MAL
(to Badger)
I’m listening.

BADGER
’Course you are. But just to be sure…

At Badger’s signal, the bully boys head up the ramp, all menace and nastiness.

Mal doesn’t even move.

MAL
Zoe.

Zoe, at the airlock controls, hits a button. The men yell, cough, and recoil as steam hisses at them from the airlock’s vents.

Zoe hits another button, and as soon as the steam stops, Mal and Jayne are among the bully boys, punching and kicking. The fight is brief, and ends with Mal and Jayne standing and Badger’s boys on the ramp, groaning in pain.

Mal looks down the ramp at Badger, who has his hat in his hands, looking contrite.

MAL (cont’d)
So… What is it you wanted to talk about?


EXT. PERSEPHONE – DAY

Serenity sails over the Persephone wilderness.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – SAME TIME

Badger sits in one of the chairs from the dining room, Mal, Jayne, Simon and Kaylee in a half-circle in front of him. It is not lost on Badger that the chair sits on the cargo bay door set into the floor, or that Zoe is at the controls, out of his sight.

MAL
For someone who came here to talk, you sure ain’t.

BADGER
(nervous)
Where are you taking me?

MAL
That ain’t your concern. Now spill your guts. Or I might let Jayne.

JAYNE
(gleefully)
Oh, yeah.

SIMON
Do we really want to hear what he has to say?

Badger smiles up at Simon.

BADGER
’ow’s your sister, doctor?

Simon takes a step forward, but Kaylee puts a hand on his shoulder. Badger laughs.

MAL
’less you got somethin’ profitable to say, Badger, I think maybe we can drop you off right here.
(beat)
Zoe?

The doors below Badger open just a crack, letting in the rushing sound of wind. Badger reacts.

BADGER
(hastily)
Battle of Sturges.
(beat)
‘eard of it?

MAL
Everyone’s heard of the Battle of Sturges.

Badger’s a little distracted by the whistling wind coming from beneath him.

BADGER
Bloodiest battle in all the war, it was.

A look passes between Mal and Zoe.

MAL
I’d hold it was a distant second. But go on.

BADGER
Shortest, too. All those lives—

JAYNE
Wanna hear ‘bout coin, not some ruttin’ history lesson.

Badger ignores Jayne, looking straight at Mal as he snaps his fingers.

BADGER
Snuffed in a blink.

MAL
(quietly)
Blink’s an awful long time when you’re on the ground.

ZOE
We’re not requirin’ a lecture on the subject. Or had you not noticed the color the captain and I are partial to wearing?

Badger turns around, craning his neck to look at Zoe, who stands over the controls.

BADGER
’ere’s what you and the ‘ist’ry books don’t know, little lady. What the Battle of Sturges was fought for—what all them boys and girls died for—was a boatload of cash.
(beat)
A boatload of cash what’s still there.

He turns to look back at Mal.

SIMON
This doesn’t make any sense.

JAYNE
Sounds like a ruttin’ fairy tale.

BADGER
Believe what you want. Stash is real enough, just sittin’ there waitin’ for you, or someone near enough you, to liberate it.

MAL
They’re right. This don’t make sense. What was the money doing there in the first place?

BADGER
(shrugs)
Word is the Alliance was plannin’ to bribe some bigwig at Sturges. Try to end the war early.

ZOE
General Donovan?

He looks back at her, smiling.

BADGER
Not quite, luv. Donleavy.

Mal and Zoe exchange a look over Badger.

ZOE
Story’s got the whiff of truth to it, sir.

JAYNE
Ain’t all this story smells of!

SIMON
How do you even know any of this?

BADGER
When the fight started, the petty officer jumped ship. Took what coin he could carry. And the comm codes to get back.
(to Mal)
You ‘ave the datacard, Mal?

Mal holds out the DATACARD, making as if to hand it to Badger. When Badger leans forward, Mal snaps the card back.

BADGER (cont’d)
Take you right to the ship, right to the stash.

SIMON
Captain, remind me, please, why are we even listening to him?

BADGER
All that coin, just waitin’ for somebody, Reynolds…

Mal looks down.

JAYNE
Could be worth the trip, Cap’n. Just to be sure.

Zoe comes around to join Mal.

ZOE
What about competition? Other crews? Sturges draws scavengers like a carcass in the sun.

BADGER
’at’s the int’restin’ thing. Seems the Alliance’s put on a push t’clear out the carrion these past few weeks. They’ve taken a renewed interest in Sturges. I’ll leave it to your imagining as to why.

SIMON
Wouldn’t we have to worry about an Alliance presence, then?

Badger ignores him, looks at Mal.

BADGER (cont’d)
Datacard’ll take you right to it, Mal. All that Alliance coin, yours for the takin’.
(beat)
Less my percentage, of course.
(beat)
What do you say?

MAL
I say we’re through.
(beat)
Even if you’re tellin’ the truth, we’re done. I’ll decide if I want to take this job, an’ if I do, what cut you deserve. But I see you near my ship or my crew, you better be lost and walkin’ th’other way.

Mal hands the datacard to Zoe.

MAL
Tell Wash to set down. I want this piece of fei-oo off Serenity ‘fore the stain sets…


EXT. PERSEPHONE – MOMENTS LATER

Serenity sails away as Badger is left standing in the middle of a field, holding his hat so it doesn’t get blown off by the wind.

MAL (cont’d, VO)
He’s got a long walk ahead of him.


INT. SERENITY – DINING ROOM – DAY

Mal, pensive, carries the chair Badger was sitting on and moves toward the table. He’s startled to find River hiding under the table, arms around her legs.

MAL
River? What in the hell are you—

RIVER
Ball of yarn… All knotted and tangled with different weights and colors. But pull one string, you pull them all…

INARA (OS)
There you are.

Inara stands in the doorway, craning her neck to look at River.

INARA (cont’d)
I’ve been looking all over the ship for her.

River looks at Mal.

RIVER
You cheated.

INARA
(to Mal)
Simon asked that I look after her, and River was being so kind as to help me pack—

MAL
If it’s all the same to you, Inara, now ain’t the time to have this conversation. Again.

Mal and Inara stand facing each other. River’s still under the table, looking up at them, like a child watching parents fighting.

INARA
Mal, I’m only trying to set a schedule for my departure. And while I can appreciate that you have a business to run, I must ask you to remember that I do as well.

MAL
Look, Inara, I’m gettin’ you where you want to go fast as I can. Now, maybe it ain’t as fast as you’d like, but Bena’s not exactly next door and I’ve got to take what work I can along the way.

Mal steps around her and walks toward the door.

MAL (cont’d)
To be clear, I’ll see you get where you want to go and understand that it ain’t here.

Inara watches him leave.

RIVER
Let the ball of yarn go.


INT. WHITEHALL – WORKSHOP – DAY

As Renner and the others go about their business, Dobson takes a call at one of the comm consoles. Badger is on the screen.

BADGER (via comm)
Reynolds took the bait. Appeal to his greed, mention the war… Easy as cake.


EXT. SPACE

Serenity sails through the black.


INT. SERENITY – DINING ROOM – NIGHT

Everyone’s there. Mal stands at the head of the table. Book sits at the other end, arms crossed. Inara stands nearby, the only one not at the table.

MAL
As I’m sure you’ve all sussed for yourselves, we’ll be taking Badger’s job.

WASH
We’ve got barely enough fuel to get there, Captain, much less get away.

MAL
(nods slowly)
We’ll siphon some from what we find there.

ZOE
Is this what we are now, Captain? Scavengers?

MAL
Folk at Sturges need it a lot less’n we do.
(beat)
Anyone got a complaint, they’d best know of payin’ work to go along with it.

INARA
This is after you’ve delivered me to my duties, of course…

MAL
No, it is decidedly not.

She looks at him, her face unreadable, and he moves away from the table, taking a few steps toward her.

MAL (cont’d)
I can’t wait on this, Inara, and running a taxi service don’t feed mouths. For the record, job’s the same direction you’re so anxious to go and the only reason we’re even venturin’ to such a shuh-muh gong tzwo do may yo corner of space is you.

Another step closer to her.

MAL (cont’d)
Still, I imagine you’re upset and I want you to know I’m…
(beat)
That I wish things could be different. It’s just a decision I had to make.

INARA
Yes. The only one you ever do.

She turns away from him and walks out.

Beat.

MAL
Anyone else has words, now’d be the time.

RIVER
I hate that color on you.
(beat)
I always have.

Mal ignores her.

MAL
If that’s all, then—

BOOK
It’s not.

Mal doesn’t look surprised as Book stands.

BOOK (cont’d)
I think you should respect Inara’s wishes, Captain. You gave her your word.

MAL
Yes, I did. And you think you’re in a position to tell me what that’s worth? It’s air, Shepherd. Nothing more when it comes right down to it, and when the goin’ reaches the right level of rough.

He moves so he’s face-to-face with Book.

MAL (cont’d)
Come to think of it, ain’t no different than the word you preach… Tell me, Shepherd, when things take a turn toward gos se , do you drop to your knees and pray, or do you steal a vehicle and do what needs to be done to survive? To live to repent another day?

Beat.

Book decks Mal. Hard, drawing blood, and knocking the captain back into the galley bar. No one sees it coming. Jayne is stunned. Kaylee gasps. Everyone stares.

Book walks out.

Mal wipes the blood off his mouth.

MAL
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
(beat)
Wash, get us in the air.


INT. WHITEFALL – WORKSHOP – DAY

Dobson’s folk pull open warehouse doors in front of the Tick, letting sun spill in. The Blue Hands are in the Tick’s cockpit, and the engine is idling.

Dobson stands next to Renner, grinning like a madman.

DOBSON
Day’s been a long time coming.

Renner nods.

DOBSON (cont’d)
I’ll see you soon, old man.

RENNER
Make them suffer for me.

DOBSON
Count on it.

Dobson claps Renner on the shoulder and walks away, heading for the other folks.

DOBSON (cont’d)
Pack it up, boys! There’s only one thing you need to remember. When we get there, I’m the one that kills Reynolds!




Act 3
INT. SERENITY – INARA’S SHUTTLE – NIGHT

Inara packs, ostensibly with the help of Kaylee (who is busy pointing her CAPTURE at everything) and River (who wanders around the room like a cat). Inara looks up from the box she’s putting candles into.

INARA
Kaylee, are you ever going to put that capture down?

KAYLEE
We gotta have records of everything. A bona fide Companion entertained clients on this very ship! In this very bed!

Kaylee aims the capture at the bed, which River is bending over and sniffing curiously.

KAYLEE (cont’d)
For one sweet second, we was almost classy.

INARA
You promised to help me pack.

KAYLEE
Honest, Inara, why do you have to leave?

Inara looks at Kaylee uncertainly, signals that she should shut the capture off. Kaylee deactivates the device and puts it down.

INARA
It’s complicated.

KAYLEE
No, it ain’t, ‘Nara. Captain can be a real sometimes, but he really—

INARA
What makes you think the Captain has anything to do with this?

Kaylee just looks at her.

RIVER
Gone already. Left so long ago. Heart of metal. An iron shield.

KAYLEE
(to Inara)
Just talk to him.

Inara walks to the door.

INARA
I…

She puts one hand on the door, as if getting ready to open it, but doesn’t move.


INT. CARGO BAY NEAR INARA’S SHUTTLE – SAME TIME

Mal stands on the other side of the door, his fist raised to knock. After a beat, he turns and walks away, heading toward the galley. Wash comes onto the upper catwalk, headed toward him.

MAL
Had your chance to whine, Wash—

Mal tries to keep going, but Wash leans an arm against the railing, casually blocking him. Mal stares at the arm.

WASH
I coulda took a lotta jobs, Mal. Could be piloting a cruiser. Full benefits, vacations… Plus, not so often with the death-defying.

MAL
Must not be very fond of that arm.

WASH
But I got this woman nearby, makes me do all manner of stupid things. Got me piloting this little rust heap and ducking pretty much everybody that’s ever heard of morals. Just so I can be around her.

Wash takes his arm off the railing and looks straight at Mal.

WASH (cont’d)
This is an unhealthsome gig, Mal. It’s stupid. But doing something stupid to keep the woman you love nearby, even for a little while… Well, that’s the kind of stupid I don’t mind.

Mal walks around Wash, leaving him standing there.

MAL
(over his shoulder)
Just fly the boat, Wash.


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – NIGHT

Wash sits alone, plugs the datacard into one of the consoles. He flips some switches, hits some buttons.

Zoe stands in the doorway behind him.

ZOE
Hey, sailor…

She comes over, sits on his lap, hugging him.

ZOE (cont’d)
Got time for me?

WASH
Always.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – DAY

Book lies on the exercise bench, grunting as he lifts a heavy weight repeatedly. Jayne stands over him, spotting him.

JAYNE
Wanna talk about it?

Book single-mindedly pumps the weights.

JAYNE (cont’d)
Didn’t think so.


INT. SERENITY – GALLEY – DAY

Kaylee’s preparing breakfast when Simon walks in. She nods a greeting as he comes over to help, but there’s just a world of awkwardness between them.

SIMON
I feel like… If I’ve done something to offend you…

She doesn’t look up.

KAYLEE
Ain’t that, Simon. It’s just…
(beat)
Serenity ain’t your home. Ain’t never gonna be.

SIMON
Serenity’s been like a home to River and me.

KAYLEE
(sad smile)
But you got someplace else you should be instead. Ain’t here ‘cause you wanna be, but because you have to be.

SIMON
That’s not what I’m saying…

KAYLEE
Don’t have to.


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – DAY

Wash, sleepy-eyed, shirt unbuttoned, pilots the ship. Zoe, half-naked, slumbers under a blanket on the second seat.

Wash reacts to something in the forward window, hits a few controls, reining in the ship.

WASH
(to Zoe)
Honey, wake up.
(into comm)
Mal, rise and shine. I think you better have a look at this. On second thought, I think everyone better get up here…


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – MOMENTS LATER

The whole crew is on the bridge, looking out the front window. Mal refuses to make eye contact with Inara or Book, and Simon tries to move closer to Kaylee, but she shifts away, putting Jayne between them.

JANYE
Gorram.

KAYLEE
Cap’n…

RIVER
It stinks like sex in here.

SIMON
Captain, what am I looking at?

MAL
The Battle of Sturges.


EXT. SPACE – SAME TIME – ESTABLISHING

The black above Sturges is filled with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of WRECKS of all size, shape, and color. The ships flip and spin lazily, a cross between a graveyard and a man-made asteroid field. Between the wrecks are smaller objects, including DEBRIS and CORPSES.


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – SAME TIME

Mal stares at the wrecks.

MAL (cont’d)
More to the point, what’s left of it. Zoe, Jayne, suit up. Wash, Kaylee, find us some fuel.


EXT. SPACE

A massive ALLIANCE WRECK sits in the midst of the spaceship graveyard.


INT. ALLIANCE WRECK – DAY

A dark hallway, lit by creepy red emergency lighting, which is flickering and dying a slow death. Debris and dust float through the hallway, gravity clearly not working properly.

An AIRLOCK hisses open, and Mal, Zoe, and Jayne, all armed, all in spacesuits, float through.

MAL
Wash, we’re in.


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – SAME TIME

Wash sits at the controls.

MAL (via comm)
Grav generators must be knocked out, because we’re still floatin’. But breathin’, too. Ship’s still got atmo after all these years.

WASH
Well, we’re just makin’ like garbage…


EXT. SPACE – SAME TIME

In the shadow of the Alliance wreck, Serenity floats near a smaller VESSEL, tethered to it by fuel lines.

WASH (cont’d, VO)
A bit too convincingly, if you ask me.

MAL (VO)
I didn’t.


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – SAME TIME

Wash leans back.

WASH
Really, Mal, some of these ships, I think they’re in better shape than us.

MAL (via comm)
A bit of respect, Wash… You’re among the dead.


EXT. SPACE – SAME TIME

The TICK is hidden in the wreckage near Serenity. It silently glides free.


INT. ALLIANCE WRECK – SAME TIME

Mal, Zoe and Jayne now have their helmets off, and float down a hall, pushing off against the walls. The interior of the ship is illuminated by their flashlights, as well as the red emergency lighting. They float into

THE MESS HALL

Where it appears a large battle was fought. The room is filled with dozens of floating BODIES (wearing both Browncoat and Alliance uniforms), WEAPONS, TRAYS, DECAYING FOOD, and other debris. Eveything slowly stirs and shifts.

Jayne looks around nervously.

JAYNE
All these folk. Alliance and Independents both.
(beat)
It don’t seem right.

MAL
Let’s get this done.


EXT. SPACE – SAME TIME

The Tick glides toward Serenity.


INT. SERENITY – INFIRMARY – SAME TIME

Simon walks into the room, a small box of supplies under one arm. He stops dead in his tracks, startled.

SIMON
What the—

There’s broken glass and bloody handprints by one of the medicine cabinets. It appears that someone smashed the glass to get at the contents.

Simon looks down, now noticing some blood on the floor.

He turns and follows the trail of blood (drops on the floor, and period handprints on the walls) with increasing urgency

THROUGH THE SHIP TO THE PASSENGER DORM

Where the door to the room he shares with River sits partially open.


INT. SERERENITY – TAM’S ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Simon enters cautiously.

SIMON
River?

River’s in bed, bloody, surrounded by opened bottles, spilled pills and syringes.

SIMON
River!

She’s so weak that she can barely lift her head. She rolls her eyes toward him.

RIVER
(weakly)
Simon.

Simon rushes to her side and begins to examine her.

SIMON
River what did you— Why did you do this?

He picks up one of the bottles, examining the label.

SIMON
This is anesthetic, River. This is a LOT of anesthetic.
(beat)
Why?

He touches her hair.

RIVER
Because they’re here, Simon. They’re here and I don’t want to feel it when it happens.


EXT. SPACE – SAME TIME

The Tick glides up underneath Serenity. The airlock/ramming set-up on top of the bridge makes contact with the Serenity’s underbelly (specifically, the cargo bay doors).


INT. THE TICK – SAME TIME

The Blue Hands sit at the controls.

BLUE HAND#1
Airlock established.

BLUE HAND#2
Prepare to breach.


INT. SERENITY – BRIDGE – SAME TIME

Wash plays with his dinosaurs as he talks into the comm.

WASH
Nope, no problems here.

MAL (via comm)
How we doin’ on fuel?

WASH
Almost gassed up. Have her topped off long before you get back with all that shiny coin.


INT. SERENITY – INARA’S SHUTTLE – MOMENTS LATER

Almost everything has been packed up. Inara stands among the boxes, looking at a CAPTURE OF MAL. In the image, Mal stands, all mock-heroic, in front of the HOVER-MULE (this capture was taken during “The Perfect Sunset”).

SIMON (OS)
Inara?

Inara looks up, startled, to see Simon and River in the doorway. Simon’s carrying River, who has all the power of a floppy ragdoll.

INARA
My God, what—

Inara puts down the capture, and goes to him and they lay River down on the bed.

SIMON
I’m sorry to barge in, but River… She’s had an… episode. I was hoping you could look after her while I run some tests.

They take a step away, both looking back at River in concern.

INARA
Of course, Simon.

SIMON
You’ll hardly know she’s here. She hasn’t said a word since—

River sits bolt upright in the bed.

RIVER
BELLY!

She stands, looking first at Simon, then Inara.

RIVER (cont’d)
Not yours. Not hers.

Before Simon can grab her, she flops to the floor and lies there, rubbing her hands along it as if soothing a pet.

RIVER (cont’d)
Hers…


INT. ALLIANCE WRECK – BRIDGE – MOMENTS LATER

The Alliance vessel’s bridge is large, possibly larger than Serenity’s cargo bay. Again, it appears there was a pitched battle here, based on the number of floating BODIES and WEAPONS.

The red emergency lights flicker creepily as Mal, Zoe, and Jayne float in. Mal plays his flashlight across the room.

MAL
(to Zoe)
We where we need to be?

Zoe checks a HANDHELD DEVICE she’s carrying, looking at the screen.

ZOE
Yes, sir. If you trust the datacard we got from Badger.

She points across the room, past the floating bodies. In the massive window, the wrecks of ships can be seen floating by.

ZOE (cont’d)
Storage locker should be over there.


INT. SERENITY – CARGO BAY – SAME TIME

Simon, looking very agitated, and Kaylee walk down the stairs to the cargo bay floor. Shepherd Book is on the UPPER CATWALK, looking around.

KAYLEE
Don’t think we’ll find nothin’ on Serenity’s tum to get greasy over. I ran a full diagnostic last time we docked for more’n a day.

Kaylee and Simon head off in different directions. He moves toward the exercise equipment, while she heads closer to the airlock controls.

SIMON
I don’t even remember when that was.

KAYLEE
Me neither, now that you…

She trails off, noticing that the CARGO BAY DOORS are open.

KAYLEE (cont’d)
(to herself)
Huh. That’s funny…

She heads to the open doors, peering cautiously down. As she does, a FIGURE erupts from the open doors, grabbing her. She screams as the Figure picks her up with ease.

The Figure, Blue Hand#1, tosses her across the cargo bay, but she manages to grab onto his shirt, tearing part of the shirt with her as she goes.

She hits the floor. Hard.

ON THE UPPER CATWALK

Book rushes to the railing, and looks down to see Blue Hand#1 moving toward Kaylee. From his angle, he can only see Blue Hand#1’s back, as the man reaches inside his jacket for something.

BOOK
Kaylee!

ON THE CARGO BAY FLOOR

Kaylee begins to pick herself up. Blue Hand#1’s shadow passes over her, causing her to look up.

KAYLEE
(small)
Oh God.

Blue Hand#1 stands over Kaylee. Where his shirt has torn, we can see that he’s wearing rubberized BLUE BODY ARMOR straight up to the neckline of his previously-buttoned-down shirt.

He has a RODLIKE DEVICE in his hands, its spicules extended. The device begins to hum.


INT. ALLIANCE WRECK – BRIDGE – SAME TIME

Mal hovers over an open STORAGE LOCKER, looking in.

MAL
!

The storage locker is empty.

JAYNE
S’pose I shoulda seen this coming. Better yet, s’pose you shoulda, Mal.

Mal glares at Jayne, but says nothing. He angrily pushes off from the locker, moving to the center of the room. Zoe and Jayne follow.

MAL
When I get my hands on that bastard—!

ZOE
Don’t make no sense, Captain. Where’s the payoff for Badger in lyin’ to us like this? He’s gotta know we’ll come back—

JAYNE
Don’t matter. Ain’t no coin.

He looks at the floating bodies, more than a little edgy.

JAYNE (cont’d)
Ain’t nothin’ here but us and dead folks.

DOBSON (OS)
Funny…

Dobson floats into view, gun aimed at them.

DOBSON (cont’d)
I was thinking the exact same thing.

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