A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 26
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A screenplay taking place not long after the events of "Serenity."

Many thanks to all those who've commented on my writing and helped me with formatting issues. You guys and girls are the best.



Driver's POV. The town is approaching, about two hundred yards away. Mal is wrapping his eyes with gauze, Simon glancing at him occasionally while he drives.

SIMON:Okay, that looks good. I'm going to stop for a minute and apply the blood.

He slows the mule to a halt and pulls the syringe from his bag. He drips some blood onto the gauze, keeping it centered on Mal's eyes.

SIMON: There. You look like a trauma victim.

Simon fires up the mule again and continues toward town. They start to pass some well-maintained houses on both sides, eventually coming to the main street.

The town is clean and well-kept. Not upper-class, but not lower either. As they approach the town square, we see a few bars and shops still open. At one corner of the square, we see a prestine shop with a back-lit red chinese sign. It reads “Clinic.”

SIMON: (pointing) That should be it.

He turns the mule in that direction, accellerating. A few people turn their heads to see the yellow vehicle speed by.

MAL: Let's not cause too much fuss, now.

SIMON: We need to appear as if we're in a hurry.

He pulls right up in front of the clinic, jumping out of the mule and assisting the newly “blind” Mal out.

They walk through the automatic doors into...


Simon leads Mal to the registration desk.

SIMON: I know it's late, but this is an emergency. My friend here was caught in some kind of chemical explosion.

The young woman behind the desk takes one look at Mal's face and jumps up out of her chair, pressing a button on a nearby intercom.

RECEPTIONIST:Dr. Steele, we have an emergency out here.

An elderly man comes through a nearby door, dressed in a perfectly-pressed gray suit, wire-rimmed glasses at the tip of his nose.

SIMON: Doctor, we need your help. This man was caught in a chemical explosion.I'm afraid he might lose both eyes.

MARKUS: Bring him back to Room Three.

Simon leads Mal through the door Markus has just come through. Follow them down a sterile hallway to the third room on the left.

Once inside, Simon closes the door as Markus starts peeling off Mal's bandage. Simon steps up behind the Doctor and puts a hand on his shoulder.

SIMON: It's been a long time, Doctor.

Markus stops attending Mal for a moment and looks over his shoulder at Simon. He shoves his glasses up in front of his eyes and carefully scrutinizes Simon's face.

MARKUS:Simon? Simon Tam?

Simon smiles.

SIMON:Yes, sir. It's me. I'm still breathing.

Simon is surprised when Markus grabs him in a fierce bearhug. Simon hesitates, then returns it.

MARKUS: Ren ci de fouzu, how long has it been, son?

SIMON: Too long, sir.

Mal stands to one side, watching the interplay as he finishes removing the gauze. Simon looks at him then holds out an arm to introduce Mal.

SIMON: Dr. Markus, this is Malcolm R... Well, Malcolm will have to do.

MARKUS: (shaking Mal's hand) I understand completely, son. A man in your position shouldn't show his entire hand at once.

He reaches into a drawer and removes some medical 4x4 guaze squares, douses them with alcohol, and proceeds to help Mal wipe the dried blood from his face.

SIMON: Doctor, we're here to talk to you about the special project you've been working on.

Markus smiles as he finishes cleaning Mal's face.

MARKUS:(smiling wryly)Ah, you're referring to my unique eye-wear. You're in luck. I've recently perfected it. It's better than ever. (he halts, looks meaningfully at Simon) I heard rumors that you'd gotten her out. Is there any truth to them? (Simon nods with a satisfied smile) Wonderful. That's the best news this old man's heard in quite some time. Follow me.

Markus peeks out the door to check the hall, then beckons for the other two to follow him. He leads them down the hall to the last door on the right. Using a very unique-looking key, he unlocks the door, letting Mal and Simon in first.

They enter a fairly large room filled with various size tables, each covered in optical equipment from different eras. There are a couple of computers as well, though they are the obvious minority.

Markus closes the door behind them, making sure it is locked. He proceeds to one particular table and opens a drawer. He removes a small, clear box, the size of a pack of cigarettes. Suspended within are two contac lenses. Markus also removes another item; a slim case holding a small computer disc. He hands both to Simon.

MARKUS: I think you'll be most pleased with the simplicity of the system. The lenses are already linked with the soft-ware. The disc walks you through how to link a photo capture with the indentity you choose from its database. Some programmer friends of mine have created some varying yet convincing identities that exist only on that disc. You can be anything from a college intern to a full-fledged admiral, depending on the need.

MAL: No need to be quite so grande, though an officer's ident will come in handy.

Markus points at the disc.

MARKUS: It's all there. (he smiles wryly) I've often wondered who would walk through my door requiring my little invention. Your face never came to mind, son. I must admit, I'm fairly surprised you've made it this far. You and your sister. Though being on the lam must be better than the veritable Hades she was enduring before.

MAL: They've taken to it well. I'm sorry we can't stay and reminisce, Doctor...

MARKUS: (raises his hand) Please, I understand. I'll walk you out. But first...

Markus holds up a fresh roll of gauze. Mal wilts.

MARKUS:I'm a decent physician, but even I can't heal the blind with a wave of my hand.


Dr. Markus leads Mal through the door out into the waiting room. They are putting on quite a show for the other patients in the waiting room.

MARKUS: All right, son. You'll be fine in a few days. Just keep that bandage fresh and dry.

MAL: (feebly) Thanks, doc. You truly are a miracle-worker.

Simon tries, almost successfully, to muffle a snort as he takes Mal by the arm and leads him out.


Simon assists Mal into the passenger seat of the mule, climbing back into the driver's seat himself.

MAL: (under his breath to Simon) Now, nice 'n easy...

A siren pierces the quiet of the night. Simon tenses and jerks forward on the controls. The mule leaps forward.

MAL: Ease up, son. We don't know who they're after yet. Not to mention, if you break my mule again, you're gonna have some interesting dealings with your better half.

Simon smiles and relaxes a bit, levelling off the mule's speed so as not to draw attention. The sirens seem to draw closer, then fade away. Simon breathes a deep sigh of relief.

SIMON: Still haven't fully acclimated to this life of crime.

MAL: Neither have I, doc. Neither have I.

We watch the mule disappear down the street into the distance. Pan to left to see Dr. Markus re-enter the clinic. Slowly pan right, across street to a dark corner beneath an awning. A human form is barely visible in the shadow. We see a hand holding a state-of-the-art communicator. The shadowy figure raises the device to their mouth.

Click to go to Ch. 27

Click to go back to Ch. 25


Wednesday, November 29, 2006 1:32 PM


Oooh, thought things were going too well and now someone has spotted them and is passing on the information. This was excellent, I loved the way it was done but am now anxious that something nasty is on the horizon. Hope the next part is up soon! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:58 PM


Getting more intriguing all the time...and the chapter links are a very nice addition!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 5:44 PM


Ooh...things have just taken another turn for the fun side of humped;)



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