Orphan Train
Sunday, September 3, 2006

Salvage with a surprise.


Everything's Joss's's. No money changed hands. *mandarin* (editing post post and can't get italics to work)

Orphan Train

Scene 1 (Bridge)

ZOE: We’re picking up a distress beacon nearby, Sir. Transport class. Automatic signal. MAL: Anyone else around likely to hear it? ZOE: No Sir. MAL: Then we’d better go take a peek. River, let’s go see who’s ringing the bell at this time of night.

Scene 2 (Burned out blasted husk of a ship. Bodies in space)

MAL: *Lao tian ye*. ZOE: She’s big. RIVER: Shuttles are gone. Hole where she blew out. They’re frightened. MAL: Who’s that? RIVER: (points to spot on display) They are. ZOE: Looks like one airtight compartment along an external corridor there. It’s not very big. They’ve got a little life support left. Should be able to get them out without suits. MAL: (over com) Doc, Jaz, we may need you on this one. JAZ: (back) I’ll go triage, Simon’s going to prep to receive and treat as they come in. MAL: Good. Suit up and meet us at the lock. River, give ‘em a hug and sweet talk the door.

Scene 3 (airlock in suits, checking weapons)

MAL: River, keep the line open. RIVER: It’s the logical course of action, Mal. MAL: And no lip young lady, or there’ll be no pudding for you. RIVER: (suspiciously) Is it banana? MAL: I believe so. RIVER: (brightens) Yes sir. MAL: All right, let’s go see who’s trying to deliver pizza at three am.

Scene 4 (wreck’s bridge)

MAL: Jayne, Kaylee & see if there are any trifles been left lying about. If it looks like it’s still serviceable pry it off the walls. Ship’s log didn’t have a set course, shuttle took off two days ago, no cargo manifest that they wanted to advertise. Wiped everything clean. They’re probably not coming back and if they do there’s likely nobody to complain to if things go missing. JAZ: Insurance write off? KAYLEE: There was a problem with the fuel lines. You can see where it blew out. The mechanic must’ve been *xi niu* drunk or stupid. They prob’ly panicked and ran when they lost that hull. JAYNE: Why run? ZOE: By the body count it was moving people quietly. JAYNE: Slavers? ZOE: Most likely, *tian sah de e mo*. MAL: Jazmine, let’s go see about whoever’s still breathing. Ready? Move out. (crew in locations on ship) MAL: What have you got? JAYNE: Boxes and boxes of rations. ZOE: Not much in the way of personal effects, but there’s seed aplenty. Fertilizer, tools, and what looks to be livestock embryos in cryo. MAL: Have we been here before? River, run a quick check for booby traps. Everyone stay awake. JAYNE: *Gui*! Dija hafta say that? ZOE: You’ve been beaten up by not overly large and traumatized people before, Jayne. You should be used to it. JAYNE: Very funny. Somebody else can take the galley this time. MAL: I don’t think there is one anymore. Looks like the main hold where they had the people held blew out not too long after the main hull breach. We’re almost to the survivors. Jaz, let’s play knock knock. JAZ:( raps “shave and a haircut”, is rewarded with “two bits”). They’re breathing and awake. MAL: River, can you get this door open? (It does almost before he finishes) RIVER: You’re welcome. MAL: (looking in, begins cursing fluently) JAZ: (looks in) *Niu shi*. Simon, how well did you score in pediatrics? (Moves away to reveal 6 children plus one young man of about 18) It’s OK, we’re here to help you, *dong ma*? Is anyone hurt? Can you all walk? KIM: We’re OK. They’re scared. We’ve been in here in the dark a while. I managed to get them in here before the second explosion. Is there anybody lef...anybody else? MAL: You crew? KIM: Kim. Cargo. MAL: Nobody we’ve found. Mal. JAZ: Let’s get you all to safety. KIM: It’s OK. Come on, come on. We’re all right now. JAZ: My name is Mrs. Li. Are you thirsty? Yes? Hungry? I’ll bet. Let’s go get you cleaned up, OK? It’s going to be all right. MAL: (aside to Kim) No parents? KIM: What parent sells a child into slavery? They’re orphans, end of story. MAL: Follow along with them. We’ll try to find somewhere safe to let you off. Zoe, you copy all of that? ZOE: Yes Sir. MAL: Everybody else keep working. We’re cleaning this place out. Then we’re gonna blow the rest of it. JAYNE: Whaddaya want to do that for? MAL: I’m not leaving them anything to work with. Kids don’t usually go go field work. JAYNE: ...Gorram. I’ll see what we’ve got here that goes boom. MAL: Use the fertilizer if you can’t find anything else. I’m going to see how they’re doing, then we’ll start loading up. (cut to big silent pretty explosion)

Scene 5 (cargo hold)

JAZ: Looks like a little dehydration. Nothing some fluids and a good meal can’t fix. Poor things are terrified after all they’ve been through. Kim’s staying with them, he’s a familiar face. KAYLEE: Can we tuck them in in the cabins? MAL: (Nods) Crew’s quarters if needs be. JAZ: (teasing) I’ll bunk with you, but if you give up your cabin where will we sleep? MAL: Back porch. JAYNE: So where we gonna find someone willing to take ‘em in and keep ‘em safe? RIVER: (over com) Petaline. MAL: Petaline? RIVER: Petaline. MAL: I’ll wave her once we’re underway. JAYNE: And how we gonna feed ‘em on the trip? JAZ: (grandly gestures to salvage) JAYNE: And what if they’re wanting something for upkeep? JAZ: Again. (gestures) JAYNE: You’re awfully free with that booty. JAZ: It should really be all theirs if you ask me. We’ll start with my share. KAYLEE: And if they eat through that, which should take about five years, we can pay their caretakers off with some of mine, which I’m thinking ain’t terribly likely since the folk at The Heart Of Gold live up to their name. MAL: Well, that’s settled. Let’s get these bottomless pits of hunger with the staggering upkeep stowed and move some cargo while we’re at it. JAYNE: I ain’t babysittin’. MAL: If this haul’s worth half what I think it is they’ve more’n paid their way. And as for baby-sitting you probably need it more than they do.

Scene 6 (Mal’s bunk)

MAL: (on vidscreen with Petaline) So that’s what we’ve got right now. Need to find someplace safe for the ankle biters. Do you know anyone who could oblige? PETALINE: Whorehouse is as good a place as any to raise kids, but now we’ve got some real community resources up and running we can fine a place for them’s a little less educational. We owe that to you and your crew. We’d take them even if we didn’t. MAL: We’ve been paid for our help already. Anything happened since we saw you last is your own doing. PETALINE: Glad to see you again, and don’t you dare offer a dowry on them. When you getting in? MAL: Two days at hard burn. We may have some excess property to sell if there’s interested parties. PETALINE: I’ll ask around. Send me a shopping list. MAL: Will do. (waves off)

Scene 7 (Kim, Jaz, Zoe, River feeding kids around table. River and Kim hitting it off. Hints of flirtation).

JAZ: Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to offer up my share to feed them on. ZOE: I haven’t seen anybody eat like that since.. well, no Jayne eats like that. JAZ: Probably the first decent meal they’ve had in weeks. Let them eat it all. ZOE: Do us a favor and stop them if they start in on the hull. JAZ: Kim seems to be making friends quickly. ZOE: (to Jaz) Simon paying any attention? JAZ: Not so far. A boy of her own age who isn’t her brother is a very fascinating thing. She’s smiling a lot isn’t she? ZOE: Mm Hm. Even the good doctor is bound to notice if she keeps that up. You remember being that age? JAZ: (thinks a moment) I’ll have a talk with her right away. ZOE: That’s what I remember too. JAZ: OK piglets, go wash up and off to bed!

Scene 8 (River and Kim in corridor outside shuttles)

KIM: So I’m probably going to stay with the kids until they get settled in. I don’t know if we’ll be seeing each other again after tomorrow. RIVER: Go ahead. KIM: Sorry? RIVER: You want to kiss me. Go ahead. KIM: You’re I like that about you. (takes her hand) RIVER: I know. Stop wasting time talking and kiss me before someone interrupts us. Finding time alone with someone on this vessel can be vexing. We have less than three minutes. KIM: Oh. OK. (Awkward kiss) RIVER: Try again. (not nearly as awkward) Pleasurable, much more pleasurable. (they pull apart but keep holding hands, smiling. Kaylee and Simon wander by. Simon does double take but Kaylee drags him away) SIMON: Was he just holding hands with my sister? KAYLEE: Girls like to hold hands. SIMON: I want you in your bed by 10pm young lady. Alone. (River sticks out tongue, KIm looks ready to die). KIM: I’d better go check on the kids. Jazmine can’t possibly get them all settled in by herself. RIVER: Good night. KIM: (brief kiss) It is now.

Scene 9 (next day outside HOG, Petaline with Jonah & whores bringing kids off ship and meeting townsfolk. Crew unloading a few crates. Mal talking with new mayor)

MAYOR: That shock should fetch top dollar for you. We’ve bought all we can handle right now. Time your sale right and you should be able to unload the rest by next breeding season. There’s some fine lines in there. MAL: Thanks for the advice. And thanks for the hospitality. MAYOR: Trading in livestock is one thing, trading in humans is another. We don’t hold with that. You run across anything like it again you send ‘em right over, no two ways about it. Plenty of room here. MAL: I’ll keep that in mind. We’d best be off. (over com) River make ready. Let’s go people. (River in pilot seat waves to Kim, who waves back. River touches lips, smiles. Starts up flight sequence) MAL: (as they board) Tank’s full, coin in hand, things to sell. Pretty smooth job, neh? ZOE: And nobody got shot. Our luck may be changing. JAYNE: For a change. Why’d we have to leave so soon? MAL: Cause I didn’t want to have to give Petaline the rest of the haul to pay your tab. JAYNE: Can we go back? I’d like to try running up one that big. ZOE: At least the larder’s stocked. Kaylee even managed to find a few spare spare parts. MAL: She starts squirreling’ stuff away I’m going to be forced to have her make an inventory. ZOE: Don’t say that too loud or she’ll space the engine trying to get it all off so you can’t. MAL: She might just at that. JAYNE: Where to next? MAL: Wheresoever the wind blows us. ZOE: No ideas yet? MAL: I’m working on it.


Sunday, September 3, 2006 4:13 PM


Inarticulate blather.
The woman's obviously a genius.


Sunday, September 3, 2006 5:03 PM


I really liked this! The dialogue was great and you have voices down pat. (PS I read your profile -- re: the age thing, I've been 29 for awhile now, that close enough to the 30 mark to make you feel less old-timey?) ;-)

Sunday, September 3, 2006 10:43 PM


I liked this, especially liked the kids being taken in so readily by the Heart of Gold though it would have been nice to have actually met the kids, had a little crew interaction with more than the tiny glimpse of Kim. So happy River got a kiss out of it before Simon could stop her fun! Girl's growing up whether her brother wants her to or not. As for your age, don't fret over being 30. There are millions of people older than you and a whole pile of folk who sadly never reach that age. So be happy, celebrate what you have and all you still have to look forward to like writing more fan fic, *dong ma*?
Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 5:11 PM


Mighty fine work you got here, stinkingrose! Would have liked a bit more prose to chew on for a bit...though I seldom grump when there's Browncoat fanwork about;)


Sunday, June 29, 2008 3:12 AM


just re-read this, Loved the voices:)


You must log in to post comments.



Flying The Coop
The landscape's changing. Serenity's moving on. They'll all be fine.

Garden, With Cakes
Integrating Inara's storyline with other stuff going on. Still sticking to my own little corner of the 'Verse.

Child's Play
Moving the plot along.

Cold Sweat
Short installment in the biggish darned series.

Road Trip
Getting antsy. Jayne hits a house of ill repute and several people. Neither of these events is described in detail.

Imbalance of Power
This is a setup.

Lonesome Albatross
Sniff sniff...sob. Teenage angst. Also flying bullets.

Love Nuns
Serenity returns to Copia. Mal faces the music. Half naked men wrestling.

Big Rosie
Back story for the 76th.

Come The Ressurrection
Fairly short (for me). He's baack!