She runs off.

BOOK
River--?

INT. SERENITY - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE BOOK'S BERTH - NIGHT

River runs by Zoe. Zoe hears Book inside.

BOOK (O.S.)
River--Come back--

ZOE
Book? What the happened to--
(as she turns, looks
into Book's door)
AAA!

She startles at Book's hair.

INT. CANTON TAVERN - NIGHT

Jayne is hunched over his beer, looking ready to pop a nut. The crowd is lively and drunkish.

JAYNE
Captain, now they're off the subject
of me, shouldn't we be gettin' the
hell out of here?

MAL
I'd say that's a reasonable request,
given the circumstance.

Jayne's up in a flash, stomping out. The others follow in his wake.

JAYNE
Ruttin' mudders...

He pushes the front door open with a heave and stops dead:

EXT. CANTON TAVERN - NIGHT

The street in front of the tavern is filled with an affordable sea of MUD-WORKERS At the front is the BOY who Jayne chased off before. On sight of Jayne, they all cry:

CROWD
JAYNE!

Off Jayne and Mal's shocked expression, we BLACK-OUT.

END OF ACT ONE

Firefly - "Jaynestown"

Written by: Ben Edlund
Directed by: Marita Grabiak

Episode #: 1AGE06

SHOOTING SCRIPT - September 11, 2002

Teaser

INT. SERENITY - COMMON AREA

Kaylee and Simon enter from the passenger corridor, walking slowly as they talk. Kaylee is a-glow with warm flirtation.

KAYLEE
Come on, it's true. Admit it.

SIMON
No, I won't, because it's not. I use
swear-words, like anybody else.

KAYLEE
Oh really? Never heard you. When is
it you do all your cussin'? After I
go to bed?

SIMON
I swear. When it's appropriate.

KAYLEE
(laughs)
Simon! Whole point of swearin' is
that it ain't appropriate.

Inara walks toward them, heading for the stairs up to the shuttle catwalk. She's dressed with stunning elegance.

KAYLEE (cont'd)
Hey there, 'Nara. Heading off for
some glamorous romance?

Simon turns, momentarily stunned by her elegance.

INARA
(a little laugh)
Let's hope so.

SIMON
You look... very.. very...

INARA
(smiles, then heads
upstairs)
That's my job, Doctor. See you two
tomorrow. Don't let Mal get you into
too much trouble while I'm gone.

KAYLEE
Bye now! Have good sex!

Simon turns to her, abashed. Kaylee is innocent sincerity:

KAYLEE (cont'd)
What?

Then Simon catches sight of something through the infirmary window, shouts, and makes his way around to the door.

SIMON
AAAA!

Kaylee follows. Simon stands in shock. The infirmary has been ransacked. The contents of the cabinets cover every surface. Jayne sits on the examination table, quietly taping a SMALL HANDGUN to his bare mid-section with medical tape.

KAYLEE
Now see, this'd be the perfect time
for a swear-word.

INT. SERENITY - INFIRMARY

Simon enters, shrill with agitation. Jayne doesn't look up.

SIMON
What happened in here?!

JAYNE
Needed to find some tape.

SIMON
So you had to tear my infirmary
apart?!

JAYNE
(looks up at mess)
'parently.

Simon starts putting it all away, fuming. Kaylee helps him.

SIMON
My God, you're like a trained ape!
Without the training. No, apes are
noble creatures, you're some sort of
man-ape-thing that went horribly
wrong.

JAYNE
(nonchalant)
Keep that tongue waggin', little man,
might just have to rip it out an'
flush it down the freshener.

Jayne pulls a length of tape with a loud rip, biting it off with his teeth. MAL appears at the door, looking at the gun taped to Jayne's middle.

MAL
Jayne, I told you, we're puttin' down
at the Canton factory settlement on
Higgins' Moon.

JAYNE
Yep. That you did.

MAL
Canton don't let you bring guns into
their town.

JAYNE
Yessir. That's why I ain't strappin'
one to my hip.

MAL
No, that's why you ain't strappin'
one anywhere.

JAYNE
Listen, Mal, I was in Canton a few
years back, and I might have made me
a coupla enemies thereabouts.

SIMON
(sarcasm)
Enemies? You? No! How can it be?

JAYNE
(ignores Simon)
I just don't like the idea of goin'
in empty-handed is all--

MAL
Why're you still arguing what's been
decided?

MAL stares at him, and leaves as Jayne glumly pulls the tape off, wincing.

EXT. SERENITY - NEARING HIGGINS' MOON

Higgins' Moon below: small, muddy brown, no place to raise a kid. Serenity rakes back, her belly glowing red as she hits re-entry. She makes a controlled tumble into the atmosphere.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - DAY

Wash pilots, hits switches in preparation for landing, then hits the ship's comm.

WASH
OK Inara, we're atmospheric. You're
good to go--

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - DAY

Inara works her controls, heating up the shuttle's engine, disengaging from Serenity.

INARA
Thanks, Wash. Shuttle disengaging in
three, two, one...

We hear LOUD METAL CA-THUNKS as Serenity's locks on the shuttle are released.

EXT. SERENITY - HIGGINS' MOON ATMOSPHERE - DAY

Inara's shuttle disengages, peeling away.

EXT. CANTON - ESTABLISHING - DAY

ANGLE OVER MUD-BOG - which bubbles and farts in the FG. Beyond it, Serenity comes to rest on a landing field at the edge of a peninsula that stretches out into the bog. Factory structures stand on the peninsula's far side.

EXT. SERENITY - CARGO RAMP - LANDING AREA - DAY

Mal walks down the ramp. Wash, Zoe, stand at the bottom. Kaylee and Simon stand with Book and River at the top of the ramp, looking around.

SIMON
Well. Canton really--
(breathes in)
--really stinks.

MAL
That's what makes it a great drop
point. No one comes here that
doesn't have to.

WASH
I vote we do this job really really
fast.

MAL
Kessler's our man, he's holding the
goods we're to deliver. We go in, we
make contact. Easy peasy.
(turns to Zoe)
Zoe, you're holding down the fort.
Call ahead to Bernoulli, tell him
we'll have his merchandise there end
of the week.

WASH
Don't I usually stay with the ship?

ZOE
I outrank you. Have fun.
(kisses him)
Zoe goes up the ramp.

SIMON
So, this is a place where they... they
make mud?

KAYLEE
Yep. Clay, really. Be surprised how
many things it ends up in.
(pats the ship)
Serenity's got more than a few
ceramic parts in her.

SIMON
Really. Huh.
(looks out)
A mud-based economy. That's almost
interesting.

KAYLEE
Cap'n..? Don't you think Simon should
come with us?

SIMON
What? Kaylee, I don't think that's
such a good--

KAYLEE
You said yourself this was an easy
one. And he's got to get a little
outlaw field experience sometime, if
he's gonna be of any use 'cept
doctorin -

JAYNE
(snorts)
Fat chance of that-

Jayne stomps down the ramp, joining them. He's tying the flaps of his 'thrilling heroics' hat under his chin. He pulls his goggles over his eyes. Wash sees his new look and raises his eyebrows. Book turns to Simon.

BOOK
You go on, boy. See the sights. I can
watch over your sister. I believe
we've been developing a rapport.

SIMON
I don't know. River can be--

BOOK
Go on. I'm a Shepherd after all.
Should be able to keep my eye on a
flock of one.

Book turns to River, who smiles at him sweetly, nodding.

MAL
We're not going far, doctor. And you
might maybe make yourself useful.

JAYNE
Come again?

Mal turns to Jayne, sees his hat/goggles, squints at him for a beat, then continues.

MAL
The management here don't take so
kind to sightseein'. Which is why
we'll be posing as buyers. And there
isn't a one of us looks more the part
than the good Doctor.
(looks Simon over)
The pretty fits, the soft hands,
definitely a moneyed individual rich
and lily-white and pasty all over--

SIMON
All right. Fine. I'll go. Just, stop
describing me.

Mal smiles and guides Simon into the lead of their party.

MAL
You're the boss, boss.

JAYNE
He's the boss now?
(growls to himself)
Day keeps gettin' better and better.

EXT. CANTON MUDWORKS - DAY

Oh, it's muddy all right. Mud encrusts everything; the WORKERS, the pipelines that feed out of the mud-bog, the crappy structures, and THE FOREMAN who oversees it all. He wears hip-high rubberized boots, a MACHETE strapped in its sheath to one leg. Our crew passes through a chain-link fence which surrounds the area.

The foreman sees them and turns. At his throat is a thin METAL COLLAR with two flat black discs, mounted over his larynx. He touches it, and his voice projects as if from a BULLHORN, gruff and confrontative.

FOREMAN
Area's employee-only! You best be
headin' back to the Landing, 'less
you got business here!

SIMON
(too loudly)
YES!
(Foreman puzzled)
We're, uh--I-- Yes. I'm looking to
buy some mud.

Mal trades a look with Wash over Simon's awkwardness. But the foreman shuts off his bullhorn collar and steps forward, all salesman smiles now.

FOREMAN
Well, then. 'Came to the right place.

He claps Simon on the back, his glove leaving a dusty handprint of dried mud on Simon's jacket.

EXT. CANTON MUDWORKS - FURTHER IN - DAY

The foreman leads Simon on a tour of the plant. The others follow a distance behind, and by their looks this has been going on a bit long. MUD WORKERS shamble by, bent under heavy loads of mud-bricks; clearly back-breaking work.

FOREMAN
...and a' course we can handle any
volume here, got over two-thousand
workers, mostly indentured, pay 'em
next to nothin', so's we can pass
them savings directly on to you-the-
customer...

SIMON
Savings. Excellent, that's-- because
as I said before, I'll be needing
quite a bit of it... I--I'm a buyer.

Simon struggles to hold his cover, but the foreman isn't listening closely enough to notice. He rambles on:

FOREMAN
Yup. Best of its kind. We mix it and
brick it raw on the premises, but you
add the right catalysts, kiln it
proper, this stuff is stronger'n
steel ten times over, at half the
weight.

SIMON
Yes, I-- I've heard good things about
the mud... Lot of people are talking
about the mud...

Now the foreman turns to him, a little quizzical.

WASH
(to Kaylee)
What happened to Simon? Who is this
diabolical master of disguise?

KAYLEE
He's learning...

MAL
(calls to Simon)
'Scuse me, Boss? I'm sure the
foreman's got things need attendin'
Why don't we wander a bit, take a
look at the operation, then you can
figure on whether we'll set up our
account here?

SIMON
Yes?
(playing up role)
I mean, I make the decisions around
here, uh-- employee...
(to Foreman)
I employ him. He is a person I
employ. I'm the boss.

The foreman gives him a somewhat confused look.

FOREMAN
O-Kay... So you'll be wantin' to--?

SIMON
Yes, I think we'll wander for a bit.

FOREMAN
Fair enough. You come see me when
you're done.

He walks off.

MAL
All right, let's head to worker-town.

As they pass by Simon, he reads from their looks that he didn't handle things so effectively. But Kaylee falls in step with him, brushing the mud off his jacket, smiling.

KAYLEE
I thought you did great.

EXT. CANTON WORKER-TOWN - DAY

The crew walks down a muddy lane between two rows of MUD DWELLINGS. Jayne looks back at Simon.

JAYNE
(to Mal)
Boy's gonna get us killed. Let's
just do the deal and git.

MAL
His disguise ain't half so funny as
yours. What are you supposed to be,
anyway?

WASH
You haven't been here in years,
Jayne. You really think you need that
get-up? No one's gonna remember you...

MAL, in the lead, stops, seeing something OS. Deadpan:

MAL
Think it's possible they might.

Before them stands a life-size mud-clay STATUE OF JAYNE on a pedestal. It's posed heroically, staring down in proud defiance. Jayne stares, in shock.

SIMON
Son of a bitch...

END OF TEASER
Act One

EXT. CANTON TOWN SQUARE - DAY

Jayne, Mal and the others look up at Jayne's statue, still stunned speechless. Mal steps up next to Jayne; both are transfixed by the statue.

MAL
Jayne?

JAYNE
Yeah?

MAL
You want to tell me how come there's
a statue of you, here, starin' at me
like I owe him somethin'?

JAYNE
Wishin' I could, Cap'n.

MAL
No. Seriously. Jayne? You want to
tell me how come there's a--

Jayne shoots furtive glances all around, keenly aware of his current visibility. His voice is an urgent whisper.

JAYNE
(interrupting)
Look, Mal, I got no ruttin' idea. I
was here a few years back, like I
said. Pulled a second-story, stole a
lotta scratch from the Magistrate up
on the hill. But things went way
south, and I had to high-tail it.
They don't put you on a pedestal in
town square for that--

MAL
Yeah, 'cept I'm lookin' at some fair
compellin' evidence says they do. Or
maybe there's more went down here
than you're lettin' on?

JAYNE
(hand to breast)
On my mother, Mal. I don't got the
faintest notion.

The others stare up at the statue. Simon is deeply disturbed.

SIMON
This must be what going mad feels
like.

WASH
I think they've really captured him,
though, you know? Captured his
essence.

KAYLEE
He looks sort of angry, don't he?

WASH
Kinda what I meant.

A LOUD STEAM WHISTLE blows - Jayne jumps near a mile.

FOREMAN (O.S.)
(distant, bullhorn)
Shift four, on duty. Shift four, on
duty.

A new shift of mud farmers starts coming out of their homes, trudging toward the factory area.

JAYNE
Hey, I got an idea-- 'Stead of
hangin' around playin' art critic
until I get pinched by The Man, how's
about we move the hell away from this
eerie-ass piece-a-work and get on
with our 'creasingly eerie-ass day?
How's that!?

Mal stands, staring at the statue.

MAL
I don't know. This here's a spectacle
might warrant a moment's
consideration.

Kaylee sidesteps by behind him, looking up, unsettled.

KAYLEE
Wherever I move to, his eyes keep...
followin' me.

Jayne stomps off, teeth gritted with fury.

JAYNE
Come on, gorramn it! We got a job,
let's go do it ant get outta here.

Jayne stops and turns, a distance away from the statue. But they can barely pull their eyes off it.

JAYNE (cont'd)
I crossed the Magistrate of this
company-town, understand? An' he's
not exactly a forgivin' sorta guy--

EXT. HIGGINS' HACIENDA - DAY

Inara escorted by a company man, walks across the lawn of the Magistrate's estate.

MAGISTRATE HIGGINS, late fifties, tall, powerfully built under a few decades of doughy excess, stands with his VALET, ready to receive her. She does a graceful curtsey.

INARA
Magistrate Higgins, I may presume?

HIGGINS
You may. But I only make the people
I own use my title.
(chuckles)
Mr. Higgins will do fine.

INARA
And you can call me Inara, Mr.
Higgins.

HIGGINS
It's a rare pleasure, your visit to
my little moon. Journey wasn't too
taxing?

INARA
Not at all. I am refreshed and ready.
Shall we begin at say, six o'clock?

HIGGINS
Perfect.
(starts to go)
I have a feeling it will take all
your arts to deal with this
particular problem.

INARA
Every 'problem', Mr. Higgins, is an
opportunity in disguise...

INT. SERENITY - DINING ROOM - DAY

River sits at the dining table. Book's Bible is open in front of her, and she scribbles furiously into it, crossing out words, writing in the margins. Book walks in, speaks from across the room.

BOOK
What are we up to, sweetheart?

RIVER
Fixing your Bible.

BOOK
I--uh-- What?

He starts moving over to her.

RIVER
Bible's broken. Contradictions,
faulty logistics--it doesn't make
sense...

Now Book sees what she's doing. His Bible's all fucked up, and there's a small stack of torn out pages next to it..

BOOK
No, no, you can't...

River's still scribbling away as she chatters manically.

RIVER
So we'll integrate non-progressional
evolution theory with God's creation
of Eden -- eleven inherent metaphoric
parallels already there... eleven,
important number, prime number, one
goes into the house of eleven eleven
times but always comes out one--

BOOK
River, just take it easy. You
shouldn't--

RIVER
Noah's Ark is a problem--

She flips a page back and forth, frowning at it.

BOOK
Really.

RIVER
(rapid nod)
We'll have to call it early quantum
state phenomenon-- Only way to fit
five-thousand species of mammal on
the same boat-

She tears the page out of the book.

BOOK
Gimme that!

Book snatches the Bible up, somewhat possessively.

BOOK (cont'd)
River! You don't fix the Bible!

River looks up at him, sweet, sincere, deadpan:

RIVER
(holds up torn out
pages)
It's broken. It doesn't make sense.

BOOK
It's not about making sense. It's
about believing in something, and
letting that belief be real enough to
change your life. It's about 'faith'.
(gets up)
You don't fix faith, River. It fixes
you.

He smiles, trying to gently take the crumpled, torn-out pages from her hand. She tugs back. They have a short tug-of-war then Book relents.

BOOK (cont'd)
Why don't you, ah, you hang on to
those then.

INT. CANTON TAVERN - DAY

The kind of dirty dive that's actually made of dirt. Rugged, simple furnishings, with a crowd of mud-crusted off-duty WORKERS hunkered over their beers. A LOCAL BUSKER strums a battered GUITAR in one corner. MEADOWS, a young mudder, sweeps up the bar with a dust broom. He looks at Jayne with some interest.

Our crew sits around a table. Mal has his back against the wall, taking in the view.

There's several clay bottles of beer on the table. Jayne pours himself a drink, as do others.

JAYNE
Can't be a statue a' me. No reason
for it. Flies in the face of every
kinda sense.

WASH
Won't argue with that--
(drinks, spits it out)
Gaah! < What is this garbage >!? [Je
shr shuh muh lan dong shi!?]

JAYNE
They call it Mudder's Milk.
(takes a big gulp)
Got all the vitamins, proteins, and
carbs of your Grandma's best turkey
dinner, plus fifteen-percent alcohol.

WASH
It's horrific!

SIMON
Worked for the Egyptians.

Jayne downs his glass and exhales, turning to Simon.

JAYNE
Whazzat?

SIMON
The ancient Egyptians, back on Earth-
That-Was. It's not so different from
the ancestral form of beer they fed
to the slaves who built their
pyramids. Liquid bread. Kept them
from starving, and knocked them out
at night, so they wouldn't be
inclined to insurrection.

KAYLEE
Wow, Simon... That's so-- so
historical.

JAYNE
(to Simon)
Tell me, Little Miss Big-Words-- You
see a pyramid sittin' out there?

SIMON
No-

JAYNE
(rests his case)
Neither do I.
(pours a beer)
So here, let me pour you a big frosty
mug of 'shut-the-hell-up.'

Jayne shoves a mug of beer at Simon.

MAL narrows his eyes at a relatively WELL-DRESSED MAN across the bar, who seems to be watching them.

MAL
(to himself)
Now what's a gussied-up fella like
you doin' in a place like this?

The man sees he's being seen.

A YOUNG BOY (maybe 13) stands a short distance away from the crew's table, staring at Jayne with intense interest.

JAYNE
Shake your head, boy. Yer eyes are
stuck.
(boy still staring)
'GIT!
(boy runs off)

The well-dressed man walks up to their table. He stops at Mal.

WELL-DRESSED MAN
You wouldn't be looking for Kessler?

MAL
Just having a brew.

The man sits, close.

WELL-DRESSED MAN
I knew a Kessler.

MAL
"Knew?"

WELL-DRESSED MAN
He was a good middle-man. Low
profile, didn't filch. But last week,
the factory foreman and his prod crew
heard he was moving contraband
through town and gave him a peck a'
trouble for it.

MAL
What kind of a 'peck' was that?

WELL-DRESSED MAN
'Kind where they hacked off his hands
and feet with machetes and rolled him
into the bog.

WASH
They peck pretty hard 'round here.

MAL
Listen, I got a client offworld
waiting for his delivery. If the
goods are gone --

WELL-DRESSED MAN
Not to worry, your man's merchandise
is safe in Kessler's hiding place. We
just got to figure out how to get it
cross town without being seen by the
foreman and his prods. I'd advise we
all just lay low for the moment--

The Busker starts singing.

BUSKER
JAAAYNE! The man they call JAAAYNE!

Jayne hears his name and sits straight up, horrified.

JAYNE
(chinese)
< Hay-soose-mother-of-jumped-up-- >
[Yeh-soo, ta ma duh...]

With lightning reflexes, Kaylee slaps her hand over his mouth; the applause of the mud workers (for the busker) helps cover Jayne's outburst.

Thus begins 'The Ballad of Jayne'. The mud-workers erupt into the opening chorus, swinging their mugs in joyful song.

CROWD
He robbed from the rich, and gave to
the poor, stood up to The Man, and
gave him what for / our love for him
now, ain't hard to explain, THE HERO
OF CANTON! THE MAN THEY CALL JAYNE!

The crowd gives way to the Busker, who sings verse:

BUSKER
Our Jayne saw the mudder's backs
breaking / and he saw the mudders'
laments / and he saw the Magistrate
taking / every dollar an' leavin'
five cents / so he said, 'can't do
this to my people' / 'can't crush
them under your heel'/ Jayne strapped
on his hat, and in ten seconds flat,
stole everything there was fit to
steal--

The crowd erupts again, REPEATING THE CHORUS. Over this, Mal and Jayne discuss this unsettling new wrinkle.

MAL
Umm... Jayne?

JAYNE
Yeah, Mal.

MAL
You got any light to shed on this
development?

JAYNE
No, Mal.

Simon, seated by Kaylee, looks even more disturbed.

SIMON
No... This must be what going mad
feels like...

He lifts up his beer and takes a deep drink.

The chorus ends and the Busker goes back to pickin', singing/story-telling another verse.

BUSKER
And here's what separates heroes/
from common folk like you an' I / the
man they call Jayne, turned 'round
his plane / and let that money hit
sky / he dropped it onto our houses
/ he dropped it into our yards / the
man called Jayne, stole away our pain
/ and headed out for the stars

The crowd has erupted again, REPEATING THE CHORUS. Jayne seethes, facts dawning on him:

JAYNE
I'll be gorramned! That's where the
cash went!
(to Mal and the rest)
I stole that money from Higgins, like
the song says. Lifted me one of his
hover-planes, but I got tagged by
anti-aircraft. Started losin'
altitude - had to dump them
strongboxes of money to stay airborne.
(takes a drink)
Sixty-thousand, untraceable, an' I
dropped it square in mud-farmer
central!

The CHORUS ENDS, and the Busker plays a final bit of guitar, crescendoing as the crowd APPLAUDS. Wash looks at them all in disbelief,

WASH
We gotta go to the crappy town where
I'm a hero...

INT. SERENITY / BOOK'S BERTH - NIGHT

Book steps into his berth and pulls out the sink, starting his pre-dinner ablutions. He starts to his bun of hair...

INT. SERENITY - COMMON AREA - EVENING

River walks from the common area into the passage leading to Book's berth.

SERENITY / BOOK'S BERTH - NIGHT

Book splashes his face, bent over the sink.

RIVER (O.S.)
Hello?

BOOK
In here, River.

River steps into his doorway, looking down at the.. crumpled pages in her hands.

RIVER
I'm--I tore these out of your symbol,
and they turned into paper-- but I
want to put them back, so--

BOOK
Sorry? What's that?

His hair is like a corona of grey fire around his head. River looks up, sees him, and drops the pages.

RIVER
[highest-pitched scream imaginable]

Act Two

EXT. CANTON TAVERN - NIGHT

A second after we left. Jayne stands, eyes aflame with alarm, as the crowd chants his name.

CROWD
JAYNE! JAYNE! JAYNE!

A beat of this, then Jayne turns, unceremoniously darting back into the bar. Wash turns to the others, mocking tremendous excitement.

WASH
I can't get enough of this local
color!

INT. CANTON TAVERN - NIGHT

The crowd inside has stopped singing, confused. Meadows, the young man who's been sweeping the place, watches as Jayne pushes through them, bellying up to the bar, slams down his hat and goggles, desperate for drink.

JAYNE
Gimme some milk.

The BARTENDER splashes a bottle of mudder's milk into a glass and Jayne takes a slug.

Meadows puts his broom down, stepping into the middle of the tavern behind Jayne, who's drinking down the mudder's milk.

MEADOWS
Don't you understand?! He's come back!
(crowd still lost)
It's Jayne!

Jayne's eyes dart like a wounded bull's in the ring. The bartender SLAPS the glass away from his lips.

JAYNE
What th--

BARTENDER
The hero of Canton won't be drinking
that < panda urine > [shiong mao niao].

He pulls a dusty WHISKEY BOTTLE from below the bar and slams it down.

BARTENDER (cont'd)
He drinks the best whiskey in th'
house.

Jayne, mystified, watches the Bartender pour.

CROWD INSIDE BAR
[erupts into a CHEER]

They converge on him, slapping his back, shaking his hand. The brute has lost his connection to reality, just stands there as if in a strange dream.

MAL and the others push back into the crowded bar. The well- dressed man catches MAL by the sleeve, alarmed.

WELL-DRESSED MAN
'Hell is goin' on? This how people
lay low where you're from?!

MAL
Not generally, no...

WELL-DRESSED MAN
Listen, friend, I came here to make
sure a deal went down solid, not to
get chopped up by the Canton prod
crew and fed to the bog!

MAL pulls the man's grasping hand from his arm, a touch riled by the contact. He's intuitively piecing out a new strategy.

MAL
Understand your concerns, friend. But
this here is all part of our new plan.

KAYLEE
Captain? How exactly is this part of
our--

MAL
(gritted teeth)
Still workin' the details...

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - NIGHT

Inara has laid out a complex array of bowls and china on a low table in the main area of her shuttle. She's preparing for the COMPANION TEA CEREMONY. She lights a candle, then flips open a pretty silver pocketwatch, nodding to herself as she checks the time. There is a knock at her OS door.

Magistrate Higgins steps into the doorway.

HIGGINS
Inara, allow me to introduce my son,
Fess Higgins.

FESS HIGGINS, the president's twenty-six year-old son, steps into the doorway. He's on the heavy side, but not unattractive, in his way. Inara smiles warmly.

INARA
Hello, Fess.
(to Higgins)
Mr. Higgins, this shuttle is a Place
Of Union. I'm sure you can
appreciate--

HIGGINS
The lady said 'hello', Fess. Don't
just stand there looking at your
shoes--

FESS
Dad--

Higgins forcefully guides Fess into the shuttle, stopping just short of the tea ceremony table.

HIGGINS
Get in there, son, make a man of
yourself!

INARA
Mr. Higgins--

HIGGINS
(sees tea set-up)
what is this? I brought you here to
bed my son, not throw him a tea
party--

Inara is polite, but afire with firmness.

INARA
Sir, the Companion Greeting Ceremony
is a ritual with centuries of
tradition behind it. There are
reasons for the way we do things.

HIGGINS
Listen, Inara, I called on you for
one thing and one thing only.
My son is twenty-six years old and he
ain't yet a man. Twenty-six!
(looks at son w/
contempt)
And since he can't find a willin'
woman himself -

Inara takes Higgins by the arm and starts gently but firmly guiding him out of the shuttle. He blusters but goes along.

INARA
Mr. Higgins, you are not allowed here.

HIGGINS
I--What?

INARA
As I said, this room is a consecrated
Place Of Union. Only your son belongs
here.

HIGGINS
Well! This is-- I--

She escorts him out the door. There's a WET SHLUP as Higgins shoes hit the muddy ground.

INARA
Now you go on, and let us begin our
work.

HIGGINS
Now you listen here, young lady--

Inara flashes a sweet smile and closes the door on him.

INARA
Goodnight, Mr. Higgins.

Inara resets an out-of-place hair, smooths her countenance, and turns to Fess, now the portrait of hospitality.

INARA (cont'd)
Well. That's a bit more peaceful.
Will you sit?

INT. CANTON TAVERN - NIGHT

Jayne leans against the bar, drink in hand, surrounded by adorers. He's starting to get into it. Meadows raises his mug.

MEADOWS
To Jayne--

CROWD
To Jayne!

They all drink. Jayne grins, despite himself, and swigs down his drink. The bartender fills it immediately. Jayne smiles wider, lifts his glass.

JAYNE
To the Mudders!

CROWD
To the Mudders!

They drink again.

Wash and Mal stand off to the side. Wash has a glass of whiskey in his hand. A MUDDER ELDER, in his sixties, finishes his drink and turns to Mal.

MUDDER ELDER
So, you're one of Jayne's men, eh?

Wash smiles. Mal's not pleased.

MAL
What? No--

MUDDER ELDER
Must be a heck of an honor, servin'
under a man like that. Strong as a
drafthorse, ain't he?

MAL
Listen mudhead, I don't--

MUDDER ELDER
An' a heart as big as all outdoors...

Wash CHUCKLES, patting Mal on the back.

WASH
Yup, we're just happy he lets us stay.

At a table, Simon and Kaylee sit, drinking. Simon's actually a little plastered, and Kaylee's having the time of her life, nestled next to him.

SIMON
(a little slurred -
more reminiscing
than bitter)
You know, I've saved lives. Dozens.
Maybe hundreds. I re-attatched a
girl's leg. Her whole leg. She
named her hamster after me. I got a
hamster. He drops a box of money, he
gets a town.

KAYLEE
Hamsters is nice -

SIMON
To Jayne! The box dropping, man-ape-
gone-wrong-thing, hero of mudville.

Kaylee laughs and drinks his toast with him.

KAYLEE
You know, you're pretty funny, even
without cussin'...

Simon takes another sip and smiles at her, seeing her in the drunken light which makes all things sublime.

SIMON
You know.. you're pretty... pretty.

Kaylee's smile drops. She wants to make sure she heard right.

KAYLEE
What? What did you say?

SIMON
(drunk smile)
Nothing. Just that you're pretty...
Even when you're covered with engine
grease, you're-- maybe 'specially
when you re covered with engine
grease, you're--

Mal steps in over them, unintentionally cutting Simon off.

MAL
It's time to get out of this
nuthouse. Got some plannin' to work
out.

KAYLEE
Now, Captain?! But things are goin'
so well!

MAL
(not quite getting it)
Um. I suppose, Jayne's certainly
feelin' better about life. But we--

Kaylee gives Mal a fierce look.

KAYLEE
I said things are goin' well--

MAL
(gets it)
Oh. 'Well'. Well... I tell you what.
Jayne's stuck here with his adoring
masses, how about you and Simon hang
around, keep an eye on him for me?

Simon raises his glass, oblivious to any sub-text at this point, drunker by the minute.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - NIGHT

Book and Zoe are crouched, Book's magnificent hair still out of it's cage. River is inside the bay's secret compartment.

RIVER (O.S.)
(to herself, rapid)
They say the snow on the roof is too
heavy--they say the ceiling will cave
in--his brains are in terrible
danger--

BOOK
River..? Please, why don't you come
on out...

RIVER (O.S.)
No. Can't. Too much hair.

BOOK
(surprised)
Is-- Is that it?

He turns to Zoe, who nods.

ZOE
Hell yes, preacher. If I didn't have
stuff to get done, I'd be in there
with her...

Book gives Zoe a lock of mild affront and starts tying up his hair.

BOOK
(to River)
It's the rules of my order... Like
the book, it symbolizes --

ZOE
(cuts him off)
Uh-huh. River, honey... He's putting
the hair away now...

RIVER (O.S.)
Doesn't matter. It'll still be
there...waiting...

WASH (O.S.)
Honey, we're home!

Mal and wash walk into the cargo bay. Zoe goes to them.

ZOE
Where you guys been? Mal, Bernoulli's
chompin' at the bit. Says he wants
his merchandise yesterday--

MAL
Yeah, well, we got a couple of
wrinkles to work out on the deal.

WASH
(bit buzzed on drink)
Did you know Jayne is a bonafide folk
hero? Got a song and everything.

ZOE
(as in 'get out')
< Shut up. > [Hoo-tsuh.]
(eyes Wash)
You been drinkin', husband.

MAL
That he has. Don't make it any less
the case.

ZOE
You're telling me Jayne is a--

MAL
(nods)
It's true. True enough to use,
anyways. We've talked a few pillars
of the mudder community into havin'
a little 'Jayne Day' celebration in
town square tomorrow... That should
buy us enough distraction to get
those stolen goods out from under the
foreman and his crew a' prods...

ZOE
You're really gonna have to start
again.

They stop by Book.

MAL
Shepherd, everything goin' OK?

BOOK
I, uh, I'm working on it, Captain.

RIVER (O.S.)
We need a snow shovel...

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - NIGHT

Fess sits next to Inara at the low table, sipping his tea.

FESS
(looking into his cup)
It's just...my father's always been
so in control, of everything, of me,
of everyone... I could never be like
him, no matter who he pays to--
(reddens, looks up)
I'm sorry... This whole thing, it is
embarrassing. My father's right
again, I guess. And to have to bring
you here, to--

INARA
Your father isn't right, Fess. It's
not embarrassing to be a virgin. It's
simply one state of being. And as far
as bringing me here-- Companions
choose the people they're to be with
very carefully... For example, if
your father asked me to come here for
him, I wouldn't have.

FESS
Really?

INARA
Really, Fess. But you're different
from him.

She turns to him, stroking his cheek, looking into his eyes.

INARA (cont'd)
The more you accept that, the
stronger you'll become...

She leans in and kisses him gently on the lips.

INT. CANTON TAVERN - NIGHT

Jayne now has a WOMAN on one arm, clinging to him. She's somewhere between robust and plain, but with a Janis Joplin carnality that suits him. He speaks to Meadows, who looks at him adoringly.

JAYNE
So the Magistrate, he let you folks
keep all that cash?

MEADOWS
He did. And it pained him, that's for
dead sure. When he found out, he sent
his prods in to take it back from
us... But the workers resisted.

JAYNE
Fought the law, eh?

MEADOWS
(nods)
If the mudders are together on a
thing, there's too many of us to be
put down... So in the end, he just
called it a 'bonus.'

JAYNE
(rueful laugh)
One hell of a bonus...

MEADOWS
And then, when we put that statue of
you up in town square, he rolled in,
wanted to tear it down. But the whole
town rioted...

This, the idea of violence in his name, touches our drunken Jayne so deeply, a tear comes to his eye.

JAYNE
(drunken emotion)
You guys started a riot? On account
of me? Oh... I am truly touched,
truly, truly touched by that. I mean,
all of this has been swell and all,
but that, my very own riot...
(almost chokes up)
...that's just about the nicest thing
I ever heard...

MEADOWS
I can't believe you're back...

He throws a big arm over Meadows, squeezing him warmly

JAYNE
How could I stay away?

INT. HIGGINS' HACIENDA - NIGHT

Higgins paces as the foreman comes in, led by a VALET.

FOREMAN
Magistrate Higgins--

Higgins is only vaguely listening, lost in his dirty hopes.

HIGGINS
M'son's out there, I pray to God
losin' his cherry...

FOREMAN
There's a problem in worker-town, sir.
(Higgins listening)
Jayne Cobb's come back.

Whatever we can do to subtly imply that ancient, boiling hatred has just snapped a nerve in this Higgins' head...

OMITTED

EXT. CANTON PRISON FIELD - NIGHT

Out on the bog. A catwalk stretches out to an area dotted with rusted steel boxes (not unlike the hotbox from Cool Hand Luke). Airholes poke through doors in their fronts.

Higgins and the foreman are at one of the boxes. The foreman carries a beat-up duffel bag.

The foreman fumbles through some keys and opens the door. Rank darkness inside. CAMERA PUSHES IN on the small dark doorway. We hear rustling insider the scratch of uncut nails along a wall.

HIGGINS
Evening, Stitch.

STITCH (O.S.)
(hissing exhale)
What do you want with me?

HIGGINS
Nothing. You've done your time.
Paid your debt. Time you were on
your way.

STITCH HESSIAN'S face pushes out of the shadows inside, fast. Half of it is a mass of scar tissue; one eye is missing.

He slithers out of the box, dropping heavily to his feet on the catwalk. He's a tall, creepy son-of-Manson, long bedraggled hair and beard, scarred all over his sinewy body.

Higgins nods to the foreman, who throws the duffel at Stitch.

HIGGINS (cont'd)
Here. I believe these were your
personal affects...

Stitch looks in the duffel, surprised to pull out a SHOTGUN. Higgins turns, starting to walk away, then stops.

STITCH
You keep me in that box four years
and then give me a loaded gun?

HIGGINS
Got the urge to use it, no doubt.
But I'm not the one that brought you
in on that robbery. I'm not the one
who partnered up with you and then
turned on you when his plan went
south. How high up was that shuttle
when he pushed you out? Thirty feet?
Jayne Cobb cost you four years of
your life, plus a perfectly good
eyeball. And here's the poetical
portion. he's back in town. This
very day.

Stitch's body tenses with hideous rage He COCKS his gun.

HIGGINS (O.S.)
Best of luck in your new life.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. CANTON TAVERN - MORNING

The morning after. One or two MUDDERS lie passed out. Camera finds Kaylee and Simon. They're tangled up in each other, asleep. Kaylee has her hand on Simon's chest, under his shirt, which is half-unbuttoned. She wakes groggily, sees Simon next to her, and smiles, soaking him in.

Then Mal is above her. She turns and smiles at him, too, still half-asleep.

KAYLEE
(dreamy)
Hiya, Captain...
(snaps put of it)
Captain!!

This wakes up Simon, who gets his bearings quickly.

SIMON
Wha--? Kay--? - Mal! Mal, I-uh...

He starts untangling himself roughly from Kaylee's embrace.

SIMON (cont'd)
Captain, nothing happened-- There was
some drinking, but-- We certainly
didn't-- I mean, I would never-- not
with Kaylee, I-- I assure you,
nothing inappropriate took place--

KAYLEE
What do you mean, not with me?

Kaylee, getting pissed, helps him untangle with a strong shove. Mal is uninterested.

MAL
Uh-huh... Where's my hero?

JAYNE
(singing)
He robbed from the rich, and gave to
the poor, stood up to The Man, and
gave him what for...

Jayne descends the stairs into the tavern from the rooms above. His arm around the woman from last night.

JAYNE (cont'd)
The living legend needs eggs!
(gives it thought)
Or another 'milk, maybe.

MAL
No. The living legend is comin' with
us. He has a little appearance to
make.

JAYNE
He does?

MAL
That's right. This job here has gone
way past long enough.

JAYNE
(to the woman)
You go on, now. Got me important hero-
type stuff to do.

Kaylee follows them to the door. Simon gets up, to fall in line, but Kaylee turns on him.

KAYLEE
Where you goin'?

SIMON
What? I'm coming with y--

She pokes him in the chest, miffed enough to not want him around for a bit.

KAYLEE
I don't think so. No, maybe you ought
to stay here. It's about the time for
a civilized person to have his
breakfast. That's the sorta thing
would be appropriate, don't you think?

Simon turns to Mal, who shrugs. It's clear Simon is only an honorary member of the club; Kaylee outranks him. They turn and go, leaving Simon alone in the tavern.

SIMON
Mal...
(as they walk out)
Guys?

MAL
See you on the ship, Doc.

Simon shakes his head, still groggy, and sits down. After a beat, he turns to the bartender.

SIMON
Excuse me... Could I see a menu?

BARTENDER
(laughing snort)
"Menu"...

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - MORNING

Fess lies next to Inara in bed.

INARA
You're very quiet.

FESS
I'm sorry -- I'm just -- I just
thought I'd feel... different,
after... Aren't I supposed to be a
"man" now?

INARA
A man's just a boy who's old enough
to ask that question. Our time
together, it's a ritual, a symbol.
It means something to your father.
I hope it was not entirely
forgettable for you...

FESS
Oh, no, it was...

INARA
But it doesn't make you a man. That
you do yourself.

This seems to sink in with Fess. We hear a loud RAPPING at the shuttle door.

HIGGINS (O.S.)
Fess! Fess Higgins, get out here!

EXT. CANTON BACKSTREET - DAY

Mal and Jayne walk along the lane of shanties we used once before. Kaylee walks a distance behind.

MAL
So that's where the little 'Jayne'
celebration we planned comes
in... Should give us time to move the
goods back onto Serenity...

JAYNE
I dunno. I mean, do you think we
should be usin' my fame to hoodwink
folks?

Mal stops, turning.

MAL
You better laugh when you say that.

JAYNE
No really, Mal. I mean, maybe there's
somethin' to this-- The Mudders... I
think I really made a difference in
their lives. Me, you know? Jayne Cobb.

MAL
I know your name, jackass.

JAYNE
Did you know they had a riot on my
account?

Mal turns as Wash drives up on the MULE, with Zoe.

WASH
Morning, kids.

ZOE
Is that Jayne? Is that really him?
Wash-- pinch me, I must be dreamin'.

Mal hops on the Mule, as does Kaylee. He turns to Jayne.

JAYNE
Hell, I'll pinch ya.

MAL
Just get on over to town square,
Jayne. Your fans are waiting.

They drive off.

EXT. CANTON WILDS - DAY

Wash drives the mule to a deserted back area of Canton, and they all dismount.

They clamber through the reeds, and come upon a steep earth- cut.

Down in it we see a pile of CRATES, covered with a mud- colored CAMOUFLAGE TARP.

MAL
Here we go...

INT. INARA'S SHUTTLE - DAY

Fess is sitting down in the shuttle. Inara is cleaning up tea stuff.

INARA
A criminal hearing?

FESS
My father's ordered me to attend.
See, there was this man. It happened
when I was growing up here. He stole
a ton of money from my Dad, and gave
it to the poor, to my father's
workers. And he's become kind of a
folk hero in Canton.

INARA
Go on.

FESS
Well, he's back. Apparently he landed
here yesterday.

INARA
Yesterday.
(sighs, to herself)
Oh, no.
(to Fess)
I know this man. He's-- he just has
this idiotic sense of nobility, you
know? He can never just let things
be-- He thinks he's this hard-hearted
criminal, and he can be
unrelenting... but there's a side to
him that is so...

FESS
You mean you actually know Jayne?

You could knock her over with a feather.

INARA
Jayne? Jayne Cobb? You're talking
about Jayne Cobb.

FESS
Yes. Jayne Cobb, the Hero Of Canton.
The only person I ever saw who stood
up to my father.

INARA
I--wha--nnn?

FESS
My Dad traced him back to his ship.
He had Port Control put a land-lock
on it. Jayne'll get back and find out
he's grounded. I sort of hate the
idea of his getting caught.

INARA
(still thrown)
Yes. That would be bad.

INT. CANTON TAVERN - DAY

Simon picks through a plate of MUDDER FOOD, nose wrinkling at every greasy item on it.

SIMON
Uh... Ahem, Could I just get the-- the
check, please?

Then he sees that the bartender is gone. The door SLAMS open. Stitch Hessian stands in the doorway, backlit.

STITCH
Heard tell you run with Jayne Cobb...

Simon, squinting into the daylight, with Stitch's shadow falling over him.

SIMON
Excuse me?

STITCH
You're gonna take me to that dirty
low-down shingle of a man...

Stitch strides toward Simon, who bristles, somewhere between affronted and afraid.

SIMON
Listen, 'sir', I don't know who you
think you--

Stitch backhands Simon across the face with vicious force, slapping him to the floor.

STITCH
Sir!? Look at me, ya' pantywaist
idjit!

He kicks Simon in the guts, hard.

STITCH (cont'd)
I just spent the last four years
steamin' in a hotbox and you're
sirrin' me?

He kicks him again, then reaches down and lifts him up with one hand. Simon reaches desperately for a clay beer bottle off a table as Stitch talks.

STITCH (cont'd)
Folks say you're part a' Jayne's
team. So--

Stitch pulls a SWITCHBLADE from his belt and flicks it open alongside Simon's face.

STITCH (cont'd)
Where is that no-good reptile hidin'
hisself? You tell me, boy, or I'm a'
cut off every last bit a' your good
looks.

Simon brings the bottle up and smashes it against the side of Stitch's head. Stitch SLASHES THE KNIFE ACROSS THE BACK OF SIMON'S FOREARM! Simon drops the jagged bottle neck.

SIMON
Aaagh!

Stitch slams his fist into Simon's face, dropping him.

STITCH
(low chuckle)
Not done yet, youngin'... That's
gonna cost you an eye.

Stitch whips his head around as he hears an OS chanting, down the street:

CROWD (O.S.)
Jayne! Jayne! Jayne!

He hauls Simon toward the door.

STITCH
Come on.

EXT. CANTON STREET - DAY

The mule drives by, as its riders witness the MASS OF MUDDERS thronging in the distance.

EXT. CANTON SQUARE - DAY

Jayne stands before his statue, arms upraised, amid a throng of MUDDERS, who chant his name.

CROWD
Jayne! Jayne! Jayne!

The foreman and his PRODS stand in a tight snarl of hip-boots and truncheons. The Prod turns to the foreman.

PROD
Come on, sir, let's just get in there
and--

FOREMAN
No. Magistrate says no, so we hold
position. Understand me?

The Prod and his ilk are chomping at the bit.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - DAY

Mal, Zoe, and Wash haul crates of STOLEN PROP up the ramp (off the mule?) sweating from the honest labor of lifting. Mal slaps the top of the last crate with finality, breathing easy for the first time in a day.

MAL
Zoe, pack down this cargo. Wash, you
heat up Serenity, We're blowin' this
mess inside a' half an hour.

Wash heads off for the bridge.

WASH
Already there.

MAL
(to Kaylee)
Let's go get our wayward babes.

He turns and starts heading back out the door. Kaylee follows.

EXT. CANTON SQUARE - DAY

Meadows finally manages to quiet the townfolk. Meadows cries out.

MEADOWS
Speech!

CROWD
Speech! Speech!

A wave of public-speaking anxiety sweeps over Jayne, but he succumbs to will of the people.

JAYNE
I'm no good with words. Don't use 'em
much, myself...
(crowd chuckles)
But I want to thank y'all, for bein'
here, and for thinking so much of
me... Far as I see it, You people
have been given the shortest end of
a stick ever offered a human soul in
this crap-heel 'verse... But you took
that end, and you, you know... Well...
You took it. And that's... I guess
that's somethin'.

Jayne nods. The crowd APPLAUDS. Kaylee and Mal have just arrived.

KAYLEE
Wow... That didn't sound half bad...

MAL
I'm shocked, my own self.

The applause halts as A SHOTGUN BLAST EXPLODES.

Stitch stands there, shotgun pointed skyward and smoking, Simon, bloody, held up by the scruff. He hurls Simon forward, he pitches into the dirt, barely conscious.

JAYNE
(moment of disbelief)
Stitch Hessian...

STITCH
Hey there, Jayne. Thought I'd make ya
watch while I butcher me one a' your
boys.

Jayne looks down at Simon. He covers for him.

JAYNE
Ain't one a mine, Stitch...

Stitch looks at Simon, then at Jayne, skeptical.

JAYNE (cont'd)
(mirthless chuckle)
Where you been hidin'? You gone and
got yourself lookin' mighty hideous...

STITCH
(laughs at it)
Yeah...

Stitch walks past Simon, squaring off with Jayne, about twenty feet between them.

The prods and the foreman look on. The prods are jumpy, but they see that the foreman is smiling.

FOREMAN
Yep. Now Jayne gets his...

Kaylee gets to Simon and gathers him up into her arms.

SIMON
Kaylee--?

KAYLEE
Aw honey...

STITCH
So what's this 'bout the 'Hero a'
Canton'? Was I hearin' that right?
Four years' lock-down can play tricks
on the ears...

Jayne looks around at the crowd, their scared eyes, remembering suddenly he has an audience.

JAYNE
Ain't no hero, Stitch. Just a workin'
stiff like yourself...

STITCH
(fit of cackling)
Whoo! Yessir! Now that is funny...
(to the crowd)
Yep. He's right, Jayne is. Fact, we
used to work together, he an' I.

The crowd looks to Jayne, who seems to redden a bit. Mal gets to the front of the crowd, about ten paces from Stitch; he's too tuned in. He swings his shotgun at Mal, covering him.

STITCH (cont'd)
Now you let ol' Stitch speak his
piece.

Mal raises his hands slightly. Instinctively, Mal knows he's dealing with a cold and deadly son-of-a-bitch.

MAL
(slight nod)
Go on, then.

STITCH
Whole lotta money inna Magistrate's
safe, weren't there, Jayne?
(to crowd)
Got away clean too. But then our
plane took a hit, an' we were goin'
down. Dumped the fuel reserve, dumped
the life support, hell we even dumped
the seats. Then there was Jayne, the
money and me. And there was no way
he was gonna drop that money...

MEADOWS
He did! He dropped it on the mudders!

STITCH
By accident, you inbred dunghead! He
tossed me out first. We run together
six months and he turned on me 'fore
I could scream.

JAYNE
You'd'a done the same.

STITCH
Not ever! You protect the man you're
with -- you watch his back!
Everybody knows that -- 'cept the
"hero of Canton."

JAYNE
You gonna talk me to death, buddy?
That the plan?

Meadows turns to Jayne, eyes imploring him. Jayne looks away. Jayne's hand is sliding up his side, reaching for the hilt of his knife.

STITCH
This is the plan.

Stitch lifts up the shotgun, cocking it in the same motion, and fires, square at Jayne.

Meadows hurls his body in the way, taking the blast full in the chest.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

EXT. CANTON SQUARE - DAY

Meadows falls, dead. Jayne throws his knife.

Knife whizzes through the air and catches Stitch dead center in the chest. He staggers back, and throws the spent gun to the side. He and Jayne charge each other, ROARIN' LIKE BULLS.

Jayne catches him, they struggle. Jayne spins Stitch, shoving him (he's beginning to flag from the knife) back.

Jayne gets to his statue and starts smashing the back of Stitch's head against it- Over and over. As much as is showable, he Peckinpaws Stitch's sorry ass.

The crowd, MAL, our crew, the prods, everyone is silent. Jayne rears up from the OS bloody mess of his ex-partner, and turns to Meadow's body, which lies in the mud near him. He starts to pick him up, but the man flops, lifeless.

JAYNE
Get up you stupid piece-a-- Get up!

Jayne looks down into Meadow's open, dead eyes.

The YOUNG BOY (13, from the end of act 1) stands over Stitch's body. He reaches for the knife...

JAYNE (cont'd)
(still to Meadows)
What'd you do that for? What's wrong
with you? Didn't you hear a word he
said? I'm a mean, dumb sommbitch!
(drops the body)
An' you don't take no bullets for a
dumb sommbitch, you dumb sommbitch!

Jayne turns back to the crowd.

JAYNE (cont'd)
All of you! You think someone's just
gonna drop money on ya, money they
could use? There ain't people like
that! There's just people like me.

Jayne turns to the boy, who holds his bloody knife out to him. Jayne takes it, seeing the unabated reverence in his eyes.

Jayne's eyes go wild for a beat. He walks past the boy, to his statue.

With a MIGHTY HEAVE he pushes it back, toppling it, continuing on out, the others following.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO RAMP - DAY

They jog up the ramp, Kaylee helping Simon. Jayne stalks in after them, head down, silent. He just keeps walking. Mal hits the ship's comm.

MAL
Wash, we're in. Get us the hell offa
this mud-ball.

WASH (O.S.)
(over intercom)
Uh.. yeah...I'm--uh--workin' on that.

INT. SERENITY - BRIDGE - DAY

Wash's screen all flash: "LAND-LOCK"

WASH
(to himself)
< motherless goats of all motherless
goats > [Gao yang jong duh goo yang.]

He hits switches all over, trying to override it. Inara walks into the bridge.

INARA
Hello, Wash. Has there been any
problem with take-off--?

WASH
Is there a problem? Is there a
problem?!

The 'LAND-LOCK' message changes to "LAND-LOCK RELEASED". Wash sits up, calms down.

WASH (cont'd)
Uh, no. We're fine.

Inara just smiles as we hear the ENGINES START TO WARM UP.

OMITTED

EXT. HIGGINS' MOON - LANDING AREA - DAY

Serenity takes off, leaving this ugly-ass moon behind.

INT. HIGGINS' HACIENDA - DAY

Fess sits at the dining room table. His red-faced, furious father looms over him, barking. Fess smiles, relaxed.

HIGGINS
You did WHAT!?

FESS
I sent an override to Port control.
Lifted the land-lock on Serenity.

HIGGINS
I ought to tear that smile off your
head! How dare you defy me! You-- You--

FESS
You wanted to make a man of me, Dad.
I guess it worked.

OMITTED

INT. PASSENGER DORM

River sits, reading intently - and ripping a page out, setting it beside her. Book passes, coming from his room with his taped together bible. He moves to speak -

RIVER
(not looking up)
Just keep walking, preacher-man.

He does.

KAYLEE (O.S.)
You got to be steely.

INT. SIMON'S ROOM

It's darkish in here - intimate, as it's near bed time. Simon sits on his bed, a bandage on his cut forehead, a bit of a bloody eye. Kaylee touches his face, gently, as she talks.

KAYLEE
Can't be letting men stomp on you so
much.

SIMON
Wasn't exactly a plan...

KAYLEE
You ain't weak - You couldn't beat
him back? Or would that not be
"appropriate"?

SIMON
You're never letting go of that, are
you?

KAYLEE
Well you confound me some, is all.
You like me well enough, we get
along, and then you go all stiff.

SIMON
(misunderstanding)
I'm not - I didn't --

KAYLEE
See? You're doing it right now.
What's so damn important about bein'
proper? Don't mean nothin' out here
in the black.

SIMON
It means more out here. It's all I
have. My way of being, polite or
however - it's the only way I have of
showing you that I like you. Of
showing respect.

A beat as she takes this in.

KAYLEE
So when we made love last night -

SIMON
(ack!)
When we what?

KAYLEE
(laughing)
You really are such an easy mark.

INT. SERENITY - CARGO BAY - NIGHT

Jayne stands looking at his knife on the catwalk above the bay. Mal walks in, Jayne sees him, sheathes the knife. Mal rests his hands on the rail by him. Then, after a long beat.

JAYNE
Don't make no sense.
(beat)
Why the hell'd that mudder go an do
that, Mal? Jumpin' in front a' that
shotgun blast. Weren't a one of them
understood what happened out there -
hell, they're probably stickin' that
statue right back up.

MAL
Most like.

JAYNE
Don't know why that eats at me so...

MAL
It's my estimation that every man
ever got a'statue made of him was one
kind of sommbitch or another. Ain't
about you, Jayne. 'Bout what they
need.

Beat as Jayne takes this in. Neither man moves.

JAYNE
Don't make no sense.

OMITTED

OMITTED

END OF EPISODE