Nothing Ventured... - Ch. 1
Saturday, June 9, 2007

Clucked, plucked, and ready to...



The Hooded Man drops cat-like to the floor. MALCOLM REYNOLDS descends the fore/starboard stairs, shaking his head with a grin. ZOE WASHBURNE works the unit that controls the winch and doors.

MAL - Had yourself a spot o’ fun from the looks of things. We currently employed?

The Hooded Man flips back his shroud revealing PAUL GIBSON. He hands a slip of paper to Mal, along with a small electronic device extracted from his coat pocket.

PAUL (shrugging) - Just wanted a quiet drink.

MAL (giving Zoe a meaningful look) - Funny, all the forces in the ‘verse hell-bent on thwarting that oh-so simple intention.

ZOE (deadpan) - Of course, sir. It’s an evil conspiracy. (to Paul) But I don’t think that’s the “fun” the Captain’s referring to...

Paul cocks an eyebrow.

MAL - Well, son, allow me some digression...

Fade out, then fade into...

* * *


The sound of of Serenity’s engines winding down echoes through the bay.

KAYLEE FRYE bounds into the Cargo Bay through the aft entrance, an olympic-size wrench in her hand. She looks around expectantly, but the bay is empty.

KAYLEE (uncertainty) - Guys?


JAYNE COBB drops to the deck behind her with a roar, picking Kaylee up over his head by her waist. Kaylee screams, kicking Jayne in the chest.


Jayne drops Kaylee and she turns on him, wrench raised. She actually looks angry.

KAYLEE - Jayne, I’m gonna bust yer SKULL...

Mal pokes his head through the aft door, the rest of him out of sight.

MAL - No skull-bustin’ til after this enterprise we’re about to acquire is on the far side of finished. (withdraws his head - VO) Can’t have you wreckin’ the only functioning portion of his brain that actually proves useful on occasion.

Zoe descends the fore/starboard stairs with INARA SERRA directly behind her.

ZOE - Functioning? I’ll believe it when I see it, sir.

Zoe activates the airlock and lowers the ramp. Swirling snow is visible through the opening. Kaylee scowls at Jayne one last time, waggling the wrench in his direction. He grins, rubbing his chest.

SIMON TAM enters the Bay with Mal, who is rolling down his left sleeve.

SIMON (to Jayne, with friendly menace as he places an arm around Kaylee) - Do I have to delve into my bag of tricks to help you behave?

MAL - Let’s keep the tricks to a minimum, as in none, for the time bein’. We all need to be on our proverbial toes whilst on this rock. River?

RIVER (VO) - Reporting for duty, Captain.

RIVER TAM slips up next to Mal, circling around him with effortless grace, smiling. She’s nearly engulfed by the large winter coat she’s wrapped in.

MAL (all business, slipping into his long brown coat) - Proximity sensors set? (River nods, still twirling) All quiet on the Cortex?

RIVER - Uh-huh.

MAL - Secondary entrances locked up...?

RIVER (mild exasperation, continuing her twirling) - Even brushed my teeth. Can we please go now?

Mal’s mouth drops open and he stares dumbfounded as River glides over to Inara. Inara smiles at the exchange, putting an arm around River’s shoulders.

MAL (after an obvious recovery) - I realize we ain’t hardly been off-ship since...

JAYNE - Since the Doc hit puberty...

MAL (raising his voice a notch) - ...since our last little endeavor, but that don’t mean we run off half-plucked.

JAYNE - Speak for yerself. I’m clucked, plucked and ready to...

SIMON - Don’t... please don’t finish that statement. You do have a way of abusing a metaphor.

Mal looks around with mild annoyance.

MAL - Where the gui’s Seafood...?

He glances back to his right and jumps slightly. Paul stands within a foot of Mal, nonchalant. He’s dressed in the long brown coat, hood down.

Mal closes his eyes with a sigh.

MAL - Son, that is a sure-fire way to catch a bullet...

PAUL (flipping the hood up) - Perhaps.

Mal gives him a funny look, then re-directs his attention at the crew.

MAL - Okay, here’s how it’ll be. Two in, six out. Two hour shifts. Zoe and Jayne’ll take first...

JAYNE - Aw, c’mon...

MAL - Ain’t up for discussion. Inara and River second, Simon and Paul third. Kaylee and I’ll finish out. I don’t want a ruttin’ squirrel comin’ within a mile of this boat without me gettin’ a heads-up, dong ma?

The crew nods. Mal turns to where Paul should be standing.

MAL - Seafood, you know... (looks around. Paul is gone) [chinese] A curse on all ghosts and their ugly children.

RIVER - He knows his role, sir. Down to the letter.

MAL - Still, woulda liked to reiterate certain points of interest and such.

River smiles, kisses Mal's cheek, and bounds down the ramp with Inara. Simon and Kaylee stroll along behind them. Jayne heads to the rear of the bay, grumbling in Chinese. Zoe smiles and shakes her head, approaching Mal.

ZOE - Well, sir, enjoy the shopping.

MAL (pulling on his gloves) Yeah. Got my coupons and everything...

Apparently lost in thought, Mal descends the ramp. Zoe raises it behind him.

Click to go to Ch. 2

Click to go back to Prologue


Saturday, June 9, 2007 12:59 PM


All that build up which I thought was for a job and they're going... shopping? For a moment there it felt more like military campaign. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, June 9, 2007 2:52 PM


My question is what is Mal shopping for?

Saturday, June 9, 2007 3:02 PM


Great dialog here - very much like some of the snarkier exchanges from the series.

I can't wait to see what constitutes "shopping" in Mal's world. Considering some of his definitions of fun, shopping could get a mite hair-raising.

Saturday, June 9, 2007 3:22 PM


Loved Zoe's dialogue in particular here. And River's comment about even brushing her teeth. I can just see the accompanying grin! Can't wait to go shopping with our BDHs!

Saturday, June 9, 2007 7:41 PM


You know, I could agree with Amdobell here...our BDHs may be aiming to shop with extreme prejudice. On the other hand, they can't just go around alienating every single planet floating in the Black, now can they?

Also, I can really see Jayne having a thing where he surprises Kaylee...because he's a little sweet on her...but it shocked me when she kicked him. Karate Kaylee? (lessons from River?) Or was it just her flailing about?

Saturday, June 9, 2007 7:46 PM


*GASP* I get it! It's a change in her character brought about by Jubal Early! Well done indeed!


Saturday, June 9, 2007 7:51 PM


WOOO-HOOOO! Another (sure to be) kick-ass series from HWKA... Sure it's gonna be good.

P.S. Need to know if I got all the chapters of "Mighty Thorn"... What was the last one posted?

-- Jonathan

Sunday, June 10, 2007 4:23 AM


Very good

Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:24 AM


Hah! Would have served Jayne right to get clocked by Kaylee after trying to scare the go se out of her. Though Mal's right...what limited functionality that seems Jayne's brain SEEMS to have would be definitely damaged if Kaylee used that wrench on his skull;D

And shopping, huh? Must have all kinds of friends on their last trip to that planet if Mal has to treat resource gathering as if it's a military campaign;D


Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:38 AM


Nice scene, as always. Could see your Mal particularly clearly, hear his tone, see his expressions as he tries to ride out the interruptions and get his message across. Well done. Now, what are they up to?


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Nothing Ventured... - Ch. 4
A continuation of a screenplay I started many years ago, taking place shortly after "A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw."

I can't believe how long it's been since I worked on this little endeavor. I hope there are still a few Browncoats out there interested in my work.

And if anyone can help me with the formatting, that would be great. My shortcuts no longer work, I see...

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Nothing Ventured... - Ch. 1
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Nothing Ventured... - Prologue
A screenplay taking place not long after the events of "A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw." Post BDM by a few months...<p>Joss's characters, save for one of my own design. It all belongs to him and this is just for fun.<p>Just looking for a quiet drink...

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A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 60

A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 59
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A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 58
A slight change of plan...

A Mighty Thorn In a Mighty Paw - Ch. 57
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