Serenity (2005) Script

WOMAN: Earth-That-Was... could no longer sustain our numbers, we were so many.

We found a new solar system: dozens of planets and hundreds of moons.

Each one terraformed, a process taking decades... to support human life. To be new Earths.

The central planets formed the Alliance.

Ruled by an interplanetary parliament... the Alliance was a beacon of civilization.

The savage outer planets were not so enlightened... and refused Alliance control.

The war was devastating.

But the Alliance's victory over the Independents... ensured a safer universe.

And now, everyone can enjoy the comfort... and enlightenment of true civilization.

Why were the Independents even fighting us?

Why wouldn't they look to be more civilized?

I hear they're cannibals. That's only Reavers.

Reavers aren't real. Full well they are.

I heard they attack settlers from space... and kill them, and wear their skins... and rape them for hours and hours--

[Speaking Chinese]

It's true that there are dangers on the outer planets.

So with so many social and medical advancements... we can bring to the Independents... why would they fight so hard against us?

We meddle.


People don't like to be meddled with.

We tell them what to do, what to think.

Don't run, don't walk.

We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right.

We're meddlesome.

River, we're not telling people what to think... we're just trying to show them how.


She's dreaming. Got that? Off the charts.

Scary monsters.

Let's amp it up. Delcium, eight drop.

See, most of our best work is done when they're asleep.

We can monitor and direct their subconscious... implant suggestions.

It's a little startling to see at first, but results are spectacular.

Especially in this case. River Tam is our star pupil.

I've heard that.

DR. MATHIAS: She'll be ideal for defense deployment... even with the side effects.

Tell me about them.

Well, obviously, she's unstable.

The neural stripping does tend to fragment... their own reality matrix.

It manifests as borderline-- What use do we have... for a psychic if she's insane?

DR. MATHIAS: She's not just a psychic.

Given the right trigger, this girl is a living weapon.

She has her lucid periods. We're hoping to improve upon the...

[River moaning]

I'm sorry, sir, but I have to ask.

Is there a reason for this inspection?

Am I making you nervous?

Key members of Parliament have personally observed this subject.

I was told that the Alliance's support... for the project was unanimous.

The demonstration of her power-- How is she physically?

Like nothing we've seen.

All our subjects are conditioned for combat, but River... she's a creature of extraordinary grace.


She always did love to dance.

River, it's Simon.

Please, it's Simon.

It's your brother.


They know you've come.

[Machines beeping]

We can't make it to the surface from the inside.

[Door banging]

Find out.


[Wind howling]

MAN: A subject is loose, security breach. Shaft 7.


Backtrack. Stop.

Excuse me... no one is allowed in the records room... without my express permission.

Forgive me, but I prefer to see the event alone, without... bias.

I need to see your clearance. And you are right to insist.

WOMAN: Parliamentary override. Full access.


An operative of the Parliament... will, of course, have full cooperation.

I'm not sure what...

I see no listing of rank or name. I have neither.

Like this facility, I don't exist.

Let's talk about the Tams.

I assume you've scanned the status logs--

River was your greatest success. A prodigy.

A phenomenon.

Until her brother walked in here and took her from you.

It's not quite so simple. I'm well aware of that.

There was no way that I could-- No. No. Of course.

The boy spent his entire fortune developing... the contacts to infiltrate this place.

Gave up a brilliant future in medicine as well.

It's madness. Madness?

Have you looked at this scan carefully, Doctor?

At his face?

It's love, in point of fact.

Something a good deal more dangerous.

Why are you here?

Because the situation is even less simple than you think.

Do you know what your sin is, Doctor?

I wonder if-- It's pride.

Key members of Parliament have personally observed this subject.

I was told that the Alliance's support--

"Key members of Parliament."


The minds behind every military... diplomatic, and covert operation... in the galaxy, and you put them... in a room with a psychic.

If there was some classified information that she...

She never spoke of it. I don't know what it is.

Nor do I.

And judging by her deteriorating mental state...

I'd say we're both better off.

Secrets are not my concern.

Keeping them is.

Whatever secrets she might have accidentally gleaned... it's probable she doesn't even know she knows them.

That they're buried beneath layers of psychosis.

You know, in certain older civilized cultures... when men failed as entirely... as you have, they would throw themselves... on their swords.

Well, unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sword.

I would put that down right now, if I were you.

Would you be killed in your sleep like an ailing pet?



OPERATIVE: Young miss...

Young miss, I'll need all the logs on behavioral modification triggers.

We'll have to reach out to River Tam... and help her to come back to us.

No matter how far out Simon has...

This is a good death.

There's no shame in this... in a man's death. A man who has done fine works.

We're making a better world.

All of them... better worlds.

Young miss, I need you to go to work now.

I think I may have a long way to travel.

Where are you hiding, little girl?

[Alarm buzzing]

What was that? Did you see that?

Was that the primary buffer panel?

It did seem to resemble-- Did the primary buffer panel... just fall off my gorramn ship for no apparent reason?

Looks like.

I thought Kaylee checked the entry couplings.

I've a clear memory of it. If she doesn't get us... extra flow from the engine room to offset the burn-through... this landing is gonna get pretty interesting.

Define "interesting." "Oh, God, we're all gonna die?"

This is the captain. We have a little problem... with our entry sequence, so we may experience some... slight turbulence and then explode.

Can you shave the vector? I'm doing it!

It's not enough. Just get us on the ground!

That part will happen pretty definitely.

We're gonna explode? I don't wanna explode.

Jayne, how many weapons you plan on taking?

You only got two arms. I just get excitable... as to choice. Like to have my options open.

I don't plan on any shooting taking place during this job.

What you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar.

No grenades.

We crashing again? Talk to your husband.

Mule prepped? Good to go, sir.

Just loading her up.

Those grenades? Yeah, Captain doesn't want them.

Jayne, we're robbing the place. We're not occupying it.



Kaylee, what in the sphincter of hell are you playing at?

We got the primary buffer panel coming right--

Everything's shiny, Captain. Not to fret.

You told me those entry couplings would hold for another week!

That was six months ago, Captain. My ship don't crash.

If she crashes, you crashed her.


Guess who needs to get innocked before we hit planet-side.

Bit of a rockety ride.

Nothing to be worried about. I'm not worried.

Fear is nothing to be ashamed of, Doctor.

This isn't fear. This is anger.

Well, kind of hard to tell one from the other, face like yours.

Well, I imagine if it were fear, my eyes would be wider.

I'll keep a lookout for that next time.

You're not taking her.

No, no, this is not a thing I'm interested in talking over with--

She's not going with you, and that's final.

I hear the words "that's final" come out your mouth ever again... they truly will be.

This boat is my home. You all are guests on it.


SIMON: Now, I earned my passage, Captain-- MAL: And it's time... your little sister learned from your example.

I have earned my passage... treating bullet holes, knife wounds, laser burns.

Some jobs are more interesting than others.

And you want to put my sister in the middle of that.

Didn't say "want." Said "will."

It's one job, Doc. She'll be fine.

She's a 17-year-old girl.

A mentally traumatized 17-- She's a reader.

Sees into the truth of things.

Might see trouble before it's coming. Which is of use to me.

And that's your guiding star, isn't it? What's of use.

Honestly, Doctor, I think we may really crash this time anyway.

Do you understand what I have gone through... to keep River away from the Alliance?

I do, and it's a fact we here have been courteous... enough to keep to our own selves.

Are you threatening to-- I look out for me and mine.

That don't include you less I conjure it does.

You stuck a thorn in the Alliance's paw. That tickles me a bit.

But it also means I got to step twice as fast to avoid them... and that means turning down plenty of jobs.

Even honest ones.

Put this crew together with the promise of work... which the Alliance makes harder every year.

Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us... to slip about at all.

This job goes south, there well may not be another.

So here is us, on the raggedy edge.

Don't push me, and I won't push you.

[Speaking Chinese]

Zoe, Wash gonna straighten this boat out before we get flattened?

ZOE: Like a downy feather, sir. No one flies like my mister.

[Engine grinding]

[Mal and Zoe chattering]

SIMON: River.

I know. We're going for a ride.

[Engine revving]

[People chattering]

Hey, little one.

Understand your part in all this?

Do you?

This is what I do, darling.

This is what I do.

MAL: Let's move, people.

Quit fiddling. Want the boat running smooth when we get back.

Have faith, Captain. Not today.

Pair of clips in the rear hatch.

We should hit town right during Sunday worship.

Won't be any crowds.

If Fanty and Mingo are right about the payroll... this could look to be a sunny day for us.

SIMON: River, stay behind the others.

If there's fighting, drop to the floor or run away.

It's okay to leave them to die.

Doctor, I'm taking your sister under my protection here.

If anything happens to her, anything at all...

I swear to you I will get very choked up.

Honestly. There could be tears.

Don't mind the Captain none, Simon. I know he'll look out for her.

They'll be back before you can spit.

Well, not that you spit.

JAYNE: What are we hoping to find here that equals the worth of a turd?

MAL: Security payroll. Alliance don't have the manpower... to "enforce the peace" on every outer-rim planet.

They hire out to the private firms, who will not work for credit.

They get paid in cashy money, which once a month rests here.

Don't that lead back to the Alliance, anyhow?

No private firm would ever report the theft of their own payroll.

They'd appear weak, might lose their contract.

Yeah, we're as ghosts in this. Won't but rattle the floor.

Shiny. Let's be bad guys.

Hands and knees and heads bowed down! Everybody, down!

[Woman screaming]


Looks like this is the place.

You all wanna be looking very intently at your own belly buttons.

I see a head start to rise, violence is going to ensue.

Probably guessed we mean to be thieving here... but what we're after is not yours.

So let's have no undue fussing.

She's locked up.

[People murmuring]

Do you know what the definition of a hero is?

Someone who gets other people killed.

You can look it up later.

Big happy family.


At last. We can retire and give up this life of crime.

[Metal rattling]


You all are Browncoats, eh? Fought for independence?

Petty thieving ain't exactly soldiers' work.

War's long done. We're all just folk now. Listen up!

We are coming down to empty that vault!

GUARD: You have to give me your authorization password!

GUARD: Okay.

I'm telling you I heard it. Repeater.

Did sound somewhat like gun blast. Maybe you ought run tell Lawman.


What the hell is up? You all right?

What's going on?


The leg is good. It'll bleed plenty and we avoid any necessary organs.

I was thinking more of a graze.

No, you don't want it to look like you gave up.

No, I get that.


Every heist, he's got to start yelling my name.

Mal! Reavers!

The girl's pitching a fit. They're here or they're coming soon.

Get on the Mule.

Does that lock from the inside? Yes.

Get everyone upstairs. You get them down here and you seal it.

As long as you got air you don't open up, you understand?

Get them inside the vault!

You see them? Zoe, take the wheel!

JAYNE: Anybody see them?

Take me with you!

Get back in the vault with the others.

I can't stay here! Please! It's too many. Move ahead.



[Engine revving]

Faster! Faster! Faster would be better!

How come they ain't blowing us out the air?

They wanna run us down. The up-close kill.

They want us alive when they eat us.

Boy, sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?

[Gun firing]

Wash, baby, can you hear me? We're moments from air.

You got somebody behind you? Reavers.


Heat her up. We got Reavers.

We're not gonna get to you in time. Keep moving, honey.

We're coming to you.

JAYNE: Where's my clips? MAL: Rear hatch.


[Jayne yelling]

I won't get ate!

You shoot me if they take me! Well, don't shoot me first!

[Jayne yelling]

Get some distance on them.

You come to the flats, I want you to swing round.

We're gonna try a Barn Swallow.

Simon! Open her up!

MAL: They're closing on us!

Those rocks, give them a taste.

WASH: Okay, baby, we talked this through.

Talking ain't doing.

[Speaking Chinese]




River? I swallowed a bug.

[Jayne groaning]

Are you okay? Is he okay?


WASH: We all here? What's going on?


No casualties.

ZOE: Anybody following? WASH: Nice flying, baby.

That's a negative. Clean getaway.

Set course for Beaumonde. First thing, I want this body--

KAYLEE: Simon!

[Speaking Chinese]

You son of a whore. I'm a hair's breadth... from riddling you with holes, Doctor.

One simple job! She'll be fine! She is fine!

Except for being still crazy, she's a picture of health!

Wasn't for River, we'd probably be left there. She felt them coming.

SIMON: Never again. You understand me?

Seems I remember a talk about you giving orders on my boat.

Well, we're off your boat.

Just as soon as River gets her share of the bounty.

Let's not do anything hasty-- No, shiny!

We'll be on Beaumonde in 10 hours' time... you can pick up your earnings and be on your merry.

Meantime, you do your job.

Patch up my crew.

He didn't lie down.

They never lie down.

ZOE: No, I think things will glide a deal smoother for us... without River and Simon on board... but how long do you think they'll last?

Doc made his call.


They's as babes in a basket when we took them in.

We sheltered them plenty.

Man has to cut loose, learn to stand on his own.

Like that man back in town?

I had to shoot him.

What Reavers would've done before they killed him--

I know. That was a piece of mercy.

But before that, him begging us to bring him along.

We couldn't take the weight. Would've slowed us down.

You know that for certain? Mule won't run with five.

I should've dumped the girl? Or you? Or Jayne?

Oh, Jayne...

You could've tossed the payload. Tossed the...

Zoe, I got bits falling off my ship, I got a crew ain't been paid... and, oh, yeah, a powerful need to eat sometime this month.

We tell Fanty and Mingo we skunked the job... what do think they'll do to us?

We're close to gone out here.

We get a job, we got to make good.

Sir, I don't disagree on any particular point.

It's just...

in the time of war, we would've never left a man stranded.

Maybe that's why we lost.

That was close.

JAYNE: I do not get it.

How's a guy get so wrong?

Cutting on his own face, raping and murdering.

I'll kill a man in a fair fight... or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight... or if he bothers me, or if there's a woman... or if I'm getting paid. Mostly only when I'm getting paid.

These Reavers, the last 10 years... they show up like the boogeyman from stories.

Eating people alive? Where does that get fun?

Shepherd Book said they was men who just... reached the edge of space, saw a vasty nothingness... and went bibbledy over it.

Oh, hell.

I've been to the edge.

Just looked like more space.

I don't know.

It can get awful lonely in the black.

Like to get addlepated ourselves, we stay on this boat much longer.

Captain will drive us all off, one by one.

Just like Simon and River.

Just like Inara.

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

KAYLEE: We got to have records of everything, lnara.

A bona fide companion entertained clients on this very ship.

- In this very bed. Well, I can't do my work here.

And I don't think the Captain approves.

The Captain wants you to stay--

That man doesn't know what he wants. I don't have time to...

[Music playing]

[People chattering]

WOMAN: Don't talk to the barkers, talk to the captains.

You look the captain in the eye. Know who you're dealing with.

I wish there was...

You shouldn't ought to be so clean.

It's a dead giveaway you don't belong, you always got to be tidy.

Don't pay anybody in advance.

And don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine... they fall right out of the sky.


River, do you want to stay with them?

It isn't safe.


I fear it isn't safe anymore.

For them.

[People clamoring]

MAN: (ON TV) ...only survivors of the massacre apparently... locked themselves in the train station vault.

MAL: Kaylee, this is a place of business. We can talk about Simon when--

KAYLEE: When he's four worlds away?

Or the Alliance gets a hold of him and River?

MAL: That ain't my worry. I got to finish this job and get us another one.

Can't do that carrying those two.

KAYLEE: How can you be so cold?

Captain didn't make them fugitives.

But he could have made them family.

Instead of keeping Simon from seeing I was there.

When I carried such a torch, when we could've...

We're going on a year now, I ain't had nothing twixt my nethers... weren't run on batteries.

Oh, God! I can't know that!

I could stand to hear a little more.

If you had a care for anybody's heart--

You knew he was gonna leave.

We never been but a way station to those two.

And how do you know what he feels?

He's got River to worry on but he still could've shown you...

If I truly wanted someone bad enough... wouldn't be a thing in the 'verse could stop me from going to her.

Tell that to Inara.

Domestic troubles?

'Cause we don't wanna interrupt.

A man should keep his house in order.

Fanty. Mingo.

He's Mingo. He's Fanty. You're Mingo.

How is it you always know? Fanty's prettier.

Feel to do some business?


MINGO: Quite a crew you've got.

Yeah, they're a fine bunch of reubens.

How you keep them on that crap boat, is the subject... of much musing between me and Fanty.

We go on and on. So I'm noticing.

Is there a problem we don't know of?

You got a sweet take kissing your foot.

How's about you take your 25%, we can talk about the next job?

Well, our end is 40, precious.

My muscular buttocks it's 40. It is... as of now.

Find anyone around going cheaper...

Find anyone around going near... a sorry lot like you in the first instance.

FANTY: You're unpredictable, Mal.

You run when you ought to fight.

Fight when you ought to deal.

Makes a businessperson a little twitchy.

[People chattering]


[Voices chattering]



[People screaming]

Hey! A tussle!


[Alarm beeping]


Do you know that girl?

I really don't.

Gorrammit, girl, it's me!



[Speaking Chinese]


May I see her?

I believe you've got some storytelling to do.

What in the hell happened back there?

Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl.

'Cause I don't think that's ever getting old.

Do we know if anyone was killed? It's likely.

I know she meant to kill me before the Doc put her out.

Which, how exactly does that work anyhow?

It's a safe word.

The people who helped me break River out... had intel that River and the other subjects were being... embedded with behavioral conditioning.

They taught me a safe word... in case something happened. Not sure I get it.

It's a phrase that makes her fall asleep.

If I speak the words-- Don't say it!

It only works on her, Jayne.

Well, now I know that.

"In case something happened."

You feel to elaborate on what that something might be?

They never said what-- And you never did ask.

Get your hands off--

Eight months. Eight months, you had her on my boat... knowing full well she could go monkeyshit... at the wrong word. You never said a thing.

I brought her out here so they couldn't get to her.

I don't even know what they-- My ship!

My crew!

You had a gorramn time bomb living with us!

Who we gonna find in there when she wakes up?

The girl?

Or the weapon?

I thought she was getting better.

And I thought they was getting off!

Didn't we have an intricate plan how they was gonna be not here anymore?

We couldn't leave them now. No, now that... she's a killer woman we ought to be bringing her tea and dumplings.

In earnest, Mal, why'd you bring her back on?

May I see her?

She goes woolly again, we're gonna have to put a bullet to her.

It's crossed my mind.

Can I make a suggestion that doesn't involve violence... or is this the wrong crowd? Honey.

WASH: We're flying a lot blinder than usual here.

We need to get our bearings.

I think we need to talk to Mr. Universe.

[Voices chattering]

[Static crackling]

Oh, this is good.

You guys always bring me the very best violence.

You think you're in a hot place?

That's what we're looking to learn. ls there any follow up, a newswave?

There is no news. There's the truth of the signal.

What I see. And, there's the puppet theater... the Parliament jesters foist on the somnambulant public.

Well, what about this? Did this make the puppet theater?

No, sir. And no lawforce flags, either.

I had to go into the security feed direct.

You can do that? Can't stop the signal, Mal.

Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere.

Security feeds are a traipse to access... and I wasn't the first one in.

This has prints on it. So somebody else has been fed this.

Zoe, you sultry minx, stop falling in love with me.

You're just gonna embarrass yourself.

I have a commitment to my Lovebot.

It was a very beautiful ceremony. Lenore wrote her own vows...

I cried like a baby, a hungry, angry baby.

And she falls asleep. Which, she would be sleepy.

Can you go back?

See if anybody spoke with her before she acted up.

Made any kind of contact with her.

Miranda. "Miranda"?

Go back further.


MAL: Please.


Mal, you're very smart.

Someone is talking to her. The oaty bar?


It's a subliminal message, broadwaved to trigger her.

I've been seeing this code pop up all over, the last few weeks.

It's Alliance and it's high military.

They have gone to enormous trouble to find your little friend.

And found her, they have.

Do you all know what it is you're carrying?

They're afraid of me.

I'm sorry. They should be.

But I'll show them. Oh, God.

It's okay. Hey, it's okay.

Show me off like a dog.

Old men covered in blood.

It never touched them, but they're drowning in it.

I don't know what I'm saying. I never know what I'm saying.

In the Maidenhead, you said something.

When you were triggered, do you remember?

The Captain saw you say something on the feed.


Ask her.

Who is Miranda?

Am I talking to Miranda now?


Not right.

But I think when they triggered you... it somehow brought this up.

This memory. It isn't mine.

The memory, it isn't mine.

And I shouldn't have to carry it. It isn't mine.

Don't make me sleep again. I won't.

I won't.

Put a bullet to me.

Bullet in the brainpan, squish.

Don't say that. Not ever.

We'll get through this.

Things are going to get much, much worse.

MAL: Thanks for taking us in again, Shepherd.

SHEPHERD: You got a plan?

Hiding ain't a plan?

It'll do you for a spell.

And the folks here'll be glad of the extra coin.

But the Alliance will be coming.

They're after this girl with a powerful will.

I look to hear the tromp of their boots any moment.

[Bird hooting]

You won't.

SHEPHERD: This isn't a palms-up military run, Mal.

No reports broadwaved... no warrants.

Much as they want her, they want her hid.

That means closed file.

Means an operative.

Which is trouble you've not known.

I could have left her there.

I had an out.

Hell, I had every reason in the 'verse... to leave her lay and haul anchor.

It's not your way, Mal.

I have a way?

That better than a plan?

Only one thing is gonna walk you through this, Mal.


You know I always look to you for counsel... but sermons make me sleepy, Shepherd.

I ain't looking for help from on high.

That's a long wait for a train don't come.

When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I'm talking about God?

They'll come at you sideways.

It's how they think. It's how they move.

Sidle up and smile. Hit you where you're weak.

Sort of man they're like to send believes hard.

Kills and never asks why.

It's of interest to me how much you seem to know about that world.

I wasn't born a Shepherd, Mal.

Have to tell me about that sometime.

No, I don't.

WOMAN: River?

River, you look tired.

I think everybody's a little tired by now. Why don't we all lie down.

A little peace and quiet will make everything better.

River. Do as you're told. No.

It's going to be fine. Lie down. No.

MAN: Cut them down.

MAL: What? WASH: Mal! You up?

I got a wave. I'm gonna bounce it down to you.


L... Is this a bad time?

No, this... good as any.

How's your world? Cold. it's autumn here.

Still at the Training House?

[Inara clears throat]

So, what occasions the wave? Not that to see you ain't...

Well, you look very fine. Oh. Thank you.

MAL: So, what was the...

I guess we're having something of a problem here with the locals.

And, I thought maybe-- You could use a gun hand?

I'm hoping not. But if you happen to be close at all, you...

The crew could take your ease here for a while. And there'd be payment.

Well, it would be... I mean, I'd like to.

Kaylee's been missing you something fierce.

Oh, man. I miss her, too.

I even miss my shuttle, occasionally.

Yeah, you left...

Got some of your stuff in a trunk.

I never did get a chance to drop it off.

I didn't mean to leave stuff. I didn't look through the stuff.

I just... Just sundries I expect.

So I'll send you a wave, soon as I can.

Thank you.

Inara, nice to see her again.

So, trap? Trap.

We going in? Only but a few hours out.

Yeah, but, remember the part where it's a trap?

If that's the case, then Inara's already caught in it.

She wouldn't set us up willing.

Might be we got a shot at seeing who's turning these wheels.

We go in.

But how can you be sure Inara don't just wanna see you?

Sometimes people have feelings.

I'm referring here to people.

You all were watching, I take it.

Yes. Did you see us fight?

No. Trap.

We're about 70 miles from the Training House, and nobody on radar.

If the Alliance is about, they're laying low.

They're about.

Find us a home. I'll take the shuttle a little closer.

Zoe, ship is yours.

Remember. If anything happens to me... or if you don't hear from me within the hour... you take this ship and you come and you rescue me.


Risk my ship? I mean it.

It's cold out there. And I don't wanna get left.

Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony, and a plastic rocket, and--

Mal! What are you doing here?

Well, you invited me.

I never thought for a second you'd be stupid enough to come.

Well, that makes you kind of a tease, doesn't it?

You knew my invitation wasn't on the level.

Which led me to conclude that you must be in some trouble.

I'm fine. I'm giddy.

For a woman schooled in telling a man what he wants to hear... you ain't much of a liar. Mal, you cannot handle this man.

I have to say, Captain...

I'm impressed that you would come for her yourself.

And that you would make it this far, in that outfit.

I can be very graceful when I need to.

I've no doubt.

What are you doing? I'm praying for you, Mal.

She's very thoughtful.

But I mean it when I say I've no intent to harm you.

Speak your piece.

I think you're beginning to understand... how dangerous River Tam is.

She is a mite unpredictable.

Mood swings, of a sort.

It's worse than you know. It usually is.

That girl will rain destruction down on you and your ship.

She is an albatross, Captain.

Way I remember it... albatross was a ship's good luck, till some idiot killed it.

Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint.

I've seen your war record.

I know how you must feel about the Alliance.

You really don't. Fair to say.

But I have to hope you understand, you can't beat us.

I got no need to beat you.

I just want to go my way. And you can do that... once you let me take River Tam back home.

No, no. You're working this deal all crabbed.

You got to open with payment. That is a trap.

I offer money, you'll play the man of honor and take umbrage.

I ask you to do what is right, you'll play the brigand.

I have no stomach for games.

I already know you will not see reason.

The Alliance wanted to show me a reason... they shouldn't have sent an assassin.

I have a warship in deep orbit, Captain.

We locked on to Serenity's pulse beacon the moment you hit atmo.

I can speak a word and send a missile... to that exact location inside of three minutes.

You do that... you'd best make peace with your dear and fluffy lord.

Pulse beacon.

Advice from an old tracker. You want to find someone, use your eyes.

How long do you think you can really run from us?

I never credited the Alliance with an overabundance of brains.

And if you're the best they got-- Captain Reynolds...

I should tell you, so that you don't waste your time... you can't make me angry. Please, spend an hour with him.

I want to resolve this like civilized men.

I'm not threatening you.

I'm unarmed. Good.

[Gun firing]

I am, of course, wearing full body armor.

I am not a moron. Wait, just let--

[All grunting]

[Inara groans]

[Glass shattering]


What, no backup?

Making an awful ruckus. They'll come when they're needed.

I'd start whistling.

Captain, what do you think is going to happen here?

[Both grunting]

[Inara groans]


[Glass shatters]

Nothing here is what it seems. He isn't the plucky hero.

The Alliance isn't some evil empire. This is not the grand arena.

And that's not incense.


Sir, can you hear me?

Just a flash bomb. Go. Go!

[Inara and Mal grunting]

INARA: What have you done to my shuttle? MAL: It's not your shuttle.

MAL: Head east. Keep her low.

[Engine revving]

Okay, forget the pulse beacon.

There must be another way to track the ship.

Get a read on the nav. sat.

It's a registered transport, you must be able to locate.


Yes, have you found a nav. sat. trajectory?

Sir, we found seven.

INARA: We've every reason to be afraid.

Why, 'cause this guy beat up Mal? That ain't so hard.

He didn't beat me up. Nobody said that.

Because he's a believer.

He's intelligent, methodical, and devout in his belief... that killing River is the right thing to do.

So no hope of a reward, huh?

Did he say anything about a Miranda?

What is that?

Don't know who or what, but it's on River's mind.

Conjure it might be the reason they're after her.

You think maybe it poses some kind of threat to the Alliance?

Do we care?

Are we caring about that?

You dumb-ass hogs, the only people she's a threat to is... us on this boat.

Look, we get back to Haven... in a few hours' time. Oh, yeah.

Hiding under the Shepherd's skirts... that's a manful scheme.

You wanna run this ship? Yes.

Well, you can't.

Do a damn sight better job than you.

Getting us lashed over a couple of strays.

No offense, Doc. I think it's noble as a grape... the way you look to River.

But she ain't my sister and she ain't your crew.

Oh, and neither is she exactly helpless.

So, where's it writ that we got to lay down our lives for her?

Which is what you've steered us toward.

I didn't start this.

No, that's right.

Alliance starts the war, and then you volunteer.

Battle of Serenity, Mal.

Besides Zoe here, how many... Hey, I'm talking at you.

How many men in your platoon came out of there alive?

You wanna leave this room.

Damn right, I do.

This isn't the war, Mal.

You telling me that 'cause you think I don't know?

You came to the Training House looking for a fight.

I came looking for you.

I just want to know who I'm dealing with.

I've seen too many versions of you to be sure.

I start fighting a war, I guarantee you'll see something new.

We'll get off.

River and I will get off at Haven.

We'll find some-- Nobody's saying that.

Nobody besides Jayne is saying that.


I got no answers for you, Inara. I got no rudder.

Wind blows northerly, I go north. That's who I am.

Now, maybe that ain't a man to lead, but they have to follow.

So you wanna tear me down... do it inside your own mind. I'm not trying to tear you down.

But you fog things up.

You always have.

You spin me about.

I wish like hell you was elsewhere.

I was.


[Flies buzzing]


[Speaking Chinese]


No trouble, little crazy person.

We're going for a nice shuttle ride.

[Gun fires]

[Doorknob rattling]

She's out. Jayne's down.

The other way. Find her and do not engage.


It's gonna be okay--


She's sealed off the bridge. I do not like her there.

Check the shuttle. She could have snuck in.


[Computer beeping]

The government's man, he says you're a danger to us.

Not worth helping.

Is he right?

Are you anything but a weapon?

I've staked my crew's life on the theory you're a person... actual and whole, and if I'm wrong, you'd best shoot me now.


Or we could talk more.


How can it be there's a whole planet called Miranda... and none of us knowed that?

Because there isn't one. It's a blackrock. Uninhabitable.

Terraforming didn't hold, or some such. Few settlers died.

ZOE: Was it right before the war?

I had to show them. I didn't know if you were going to make me sleep.

SIMON: You could have asked. KAYLEE: Wait a tick, yeah.

Some years back, there was call for workers to settle on Miranda.

Daddy talked about it. Nothing about it... on the Cortex. History, Astronomy, it's not in there.

Half of writing history is hiding the truth.

There's something on that rock the Alliance doesn't want known.

That's right at the edge of the Burnham Quadrant, right?

Furthest planet out? It's not that far from here.

Whoa. No. No. Honey... That's a bad notion. show them the bad. I got it, baby.

This is us, at Haven, and here's Miranda.

All along here, that empty space in between, that's Reaver territory.

They just float out there, sending out raiding parties.

ZOE: Nobody ventures there. Not even the Alliance.

You go through that, you're signing up to be a banquet.

I'm on board with our standard run-and-hide scenario.

And we are just about...


JAYNE: Doesn't look like Reavers. MAL: Wasn't.

KAYLEE: Shepherd?


KAYLEE: Shepherd Book?

[Cocking gun]

[Shepherd coughing]

Get the Doc.



Don't move. Won't go far.

Shouldn't have been you.

Alliance should've hit us. Should've hit me.

That crossed my mind.

I shot him down. Yeah. I see.

I killed the ship that killed us.

Not very Christian of me.

You did what's right.

Coming from you, that means almost nothing.

I'm long gone. No, Doc will bring you around.

I look to be bored by many more sermons before you slip.

Just don't move.

Can't order me around, boy.

I'm not one of your crew.

Yes, you are.

River... Come on.


I don't care what you believe. Just believe it.

Whatever you...

How come they ain't waiting?

They knowed we was coming, how come they only sent one?

They didn't know we were coming here.

Get on the Cortex.

Wave, Li Shen, the Sanchez brothers... anyone who has ever sheltered us after a heist. Tell them to get out.

Get out now.

I'm sorry.

If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to.

You should have taken my offer.

Or did you think none of this was your fault?

I don't murder children.

I do.

If I have to. Why?

Do you even know why they sent you?

It's not my place to ask.

I believe in something greater than myself.

A better world.

A world without sin.

So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?

I'm not going to live there.

There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm...

I'm a monster.

What I do is evil.

I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.

Keep talking.

You're not getting a location trace off this wave.

And every minute you keep River Tam from me, more people will die.

You think I care? Of course you care.

You're not a Reaver, Mal.

You're a human man and you will never understand how--

MAL: Get these bodies together.

We got time for grave digging?

Zoe, you and Simon rope them together.

Five or six. I want them laid out on the nose of our ship.

Are you insane?

I won't desecrate these bodies. I don't understand.

What do you mean, the bodies--

I want you to muck up the reactor core.

Just enough to leave a trail and make it read like... we're flying without containment, not enough to fry us.

These people are our friends. Kaylee... you got a day's work to do and two hours to do it.

Jayne, you and Wash hoist up the cannon mount. Goes right on top.

Piece or two of the other ship, stick it on.

Any place you can tear hull without inner breach, do that, too.

We're gonna need paint. We're gonna need red paint.

ZOE: Sir... do you really mean to turn our home into an abomination... so that we can make a suicidal attempt... at passing through Reaver space?

I mean to live.

I mean for us to live.

The Alliance won't have that, so we go where they don't follow.

God's balls, there ain't no way we're going out there.

Think about what you're asking. ...those Reavers'll eat us alive--

This is how it is.

Anybody doesn't wanna fly with me anymore... this is your port of harbor.

There's a lot of fine ways to die.

I ain't waiting for the Alliance to choose mine.

[Gun firing]

I mean to confound these bungers. Take my shot at getting to Miranda.

Maybe find something I can use to get clear of this.

So I hear a word out of any of you that ain't helping me out... or taking your leave, I will shoot you down.

Get to work.

ZOE: Sir-- MAL: Just tell me when we're close.

[People screaming]

MAL: Wash.

Define "disappeared."

ZOE: Every reading I'm getting says normal.

Oceans, land masses. No tectonic instability or radiation.

Yeah, but no power, either. Nothing at all?



It might be a beacon, but it's awful weak.

Find it.

Gravity's Earthnorm.

O2 levels check, pressure...

If anything's wrong the scanner's not reading it.

Well, something sure the hell ain't right.

This ain't no little settlement.

We flew over at least a dozen cities just as big.

Why didn't we ever hear about this?


Beacon's up ahead.


No entry wounds, fractures.


Got another one.

They's just sitting here.

They didn't crash.

[Male announcer chattering]

Kaylee. Don't...


How come these ones are preserved?

Place must've gone hermetic when the power blew.

MAL: Sealed them. KAYLEE: What are they doing?

What's everybody doing?

There's no unusual discoloration.

Nobody's doubled over or showing signs of pain.

MAL: There's gasses that kill painless, right?

They didn't fall. None of them.

They just lay down.

[River muttering in Chinese]

Make them stop. They're everywhere.

Every city, every...

Every house, every room, they're all inside me.

I can hear them all, and they're saying nothing!

Get up.

Please get up.

[Speaking Chinese]

Please, God, make me a stone.

She is starting to damage my calm.

ZOE: Jayne. JAYNE: She's right!

Everybody's dead.

This whole world is dead for no reason!

Let's get to the beacon.

This is the source?

JAYNE: This ship's banged up all to hell.

These are just a few of the few images we've recorded.

And you can see... it isn't what we thought.

There's been no war here... and no terraforming event. The environment is stable.

It's the Pax.

The G-23 Paxilon Hydroclorate that we added to the air processors.

It was supposed to calm the population, weed out aggression.

Well, it works.

The people here stopped fighting.

And then they stopped everything else.

They stopped going to work... they stopped breeding, talking, eating.

There's 30 million people here, and they all just let themselves die.


I have to be quick.

About a tenth of a percent of... the population had the opposite reaction to the Pax.

Their aggressor response increased beyond madness.

They have become...


Well, they've killed most of us.

And not just killed... they've done things.

Reavers. They made them.

I won't live to report this, but people have to know.

We meant it for the best... to make people safer.

[Reavers growling]


[Woman screaming]

Turn it off.



River. I'm all right.

I'm all right.

MAL: This report is maybe 12 years old.

Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up.

This is what they feared she knew.

And they were right to fear... because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too.

They're gonna see it.

Somebody has to speak for these people.

You all got on this boat for different reasons... but you all come to the same place.

So now I'm asking more of you than I have before.

Maybe all.

Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again.

Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean.

A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief... that they can make people...


And I do not hold to that.

So no more running.

I aim to misbehave.

Shepherd Book used to tell me:

"If you can't do something smart...

"do something right."

Do we have a plan? Mr. Universe.

We haven't the equipment to broadwave this code... but he can put it on every screen for 30 worlds.

He's pretty damn close, too.

We still got the Reavers... and probably the Alliance, between us and him.

JAYNE: That's two armies against our one bitty cannon.

It's a fair bet the Alliance knows about Mr. Universe.

They're gonna see this coming.


They're not gonna see this coming.

[Engine revving]

No problem. Bring it on. Bring it on. Bring it on.

From here to the eyes and ears of the 'verse. That's my motto... or it might be, if I start having a motto.

We won't be long.

You're going to get caught in the ion cloud.

It'll play merry hob with your radar... but pretty lights and a few miles after you'll be right in my orbit.

You'll let us know if anyone else comes at you?

You'll be the first.


Toss me my 30 coin, but I got a newswave for you--


Call in every ship in the quadrant. We'll meet them in the air.

Destroy it all.

MAL: Wash, we almost through?


WASH: Go! Move!

I'm reading activity in the cloud. Lock and fire on my command.

You should have let me see her, Captain.

We should have done this as men. Not with fire.


[Electronic beeping]

Vessel in range. Lock on.

Bastard's not even changing course.


Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers!

Target everyone! Somebody fire!

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.

Chicken's come home to roost.

The hell? It's okay.

I am a leaf on the wind! What does that mean?

WASH: We're almost through.

No! No! No! Yes! Yes!

We're not alone.


Everybody, strap yourselves into something!

MAL: Jayne. JAYNE: Got it.

Kaylee, come on.

We're fried. I got no control. Where's the backup?

Where's the backup?

Check! Check!

[Engine whining]

[Jayne screaming]


MAL: Get up! KAYLEE: Stop it!

Backup reads at 20%. Can you get us down?

I'm going to have to glide her in. Will that work?



I am a leaf on the wind.

Watch how--


Wash, baby. Baby, no. Baby, come on. You gotta go. Come on.

We gotta move. Baby, please. We gotta move, baby, come on.

MAL: Zoe!

Move out! Now!

Go. Go.

Head inside!

Jayne, rearguard.

MAL: Zoe, what've we got? ZOE: Sir... this is a good hold point.

We all stay together. No.

They have to come through here.

They'll bottleneck, we can thin them out.

We get pushed back, there's the blast doors.

I can rig them so they won't reopen once they close.

Shut them and hide until I get--

We need to draw them till it's done.

This is the place. We'll buy you the time.

All right, let's move those crates back there for cover.

Make sure they ain't filled with nothing goes boom.

Wait, Wash! Where's Wash?

He ain't coming.

Move the gorramn crates!

[Reavers howling]

Tell me you brought them this time.

[Reavers growling]




Are you here? Do the job, sir.

You hold. Hold till I get back.

Captain's right.

Can't be thinking on revenge if we're gonna get through this.

Do you really think any of us are gonna get through this?

I might.

[Static crackling]



Guy killed me, Mal.

He killed me with a sword. How weird is that?

I got a short span here.

They destroyed my equipment... but I have a backup unit.

Bottom of the complex, right over the generator.

Hard to get to. I know they missed it.

They can't stop the signal, Mal.

They can never stop the signal.

[Reavers growling]

The Reavers. They are all made up of rage.

It's okay. It's okay. I can't shut them up.

[Banging on door]

Stay low.

She picked a sweet bung of a time to go helpless on us.

Jayne and I take the first wave.

Nobody shoots unless they get past our fire.

I didn't plan on going out like this.

I think we did right, but...

No. I never planned... anything.

I just wanted to keep River safe.

Spent so much time on Serenity ignoring anything... that I wanted for myself.

My one regret in all of this... is never being with you.

With me?

You mean to say, as...


I mean to say.

[Metal squeaks]

Hell with this. I'm gonna live.

Mal. Guy killed me, Mal.

He killed me with a sword.

[Reavers howling]

"Hard to get to."

That's a fact.

Zoe, gorrammit!

[Reavers shrieking]

[Zoe screaming]

Zoe, get your ass back on the line!



You shot me in the back!

I haven't made you angry, have I?

There are a lot of innocent people in the air being killed right now.

You have no idea how true that is.

I know the secret.

The truth that burned up River Tam's brain.

Rest of the 'verse is going to know it, too. 'Cause they need to.

Do you really believe that? I do.

You willing to die for that belief?

I am.


[Gun firing]

Of course, that ain't exactly Plan A.


Spine's intact. Just give me a bandage.



[Both grunting]


JAYNE: Up high, left!




Fall back! Everybody, fall back! Fall back now!

Jayne, grenade.

JAYNE: Very last one.

They're gonna get in.

I can close it from the outside.

No one's coming back from that.

How much ammo do we have?

Three, four max, and my swinging cod. That's all.

The lift isn't moving.

When they come, try to plug the hole with it.

I'm starting to lose some feeling here.

Lie still. I'm going to give you something...

My bag.

[Gun fires]

[Gun firing]

Keep pressure here.

SIMON: My bag.

I need... adrenaline and a shot of... calaphar for Kaylee.

I can't.


River, I'm sorry. No.

I hate to leave. You won't.

You take care of me, Simon.

You've always taken care of me.

My turn.

[Operative and Mal grunting]

Do you know what your sin is, Mal?

Hell. I'm a fan of all seven.


But right now...

I'm going to have to go with wrath.

We ain't got long.


You suppose he got through?

Do you think Mal got the word out?

He got through. I know he got through.


I'm sorry.


You should know there's no shame in this.

You've done remarkable things.

But you're fighting a war... you've already lost.


Well, I'm known for that.

Piece of shrapnel tore up that nerve cluster my first tour.

Had it moved.

Sorry about the throat.

Expect you'd want to say your famous last words right now.

Just one trouble.

I ain't gonna kill you.

Hell, I'm gonna grant your greatest wish.

I'm gonna show you a world without sin.

These are just a few of the few images we've recorded.

And you can see...

it isn't what we thought.

There's been no war here... and no terraforming event. The environment is stable.

It's the Pax.

The G-23 Paxilon Hydroclorate that we added to the air processors.

It was supposed to calm the population--


We meant it for the best... to make people safer.

[Reavers growling]


[Woman screaming]


Sir? It's done.



SOLDIER 1: Drop your weapons! SOLDIER 2: Do it now.

Weapons down. Let it down, now.

I want to see your hands in the air.

Stand down. Do it.

Targets are acquired.

Do we have a kill order?

Do we have an order?

OPERATIVE: Stand down.

Stand down. it's finished.

We're finished.

OPERATIVE: It's not over, you know.

I can't guarantee that they won't come after you.

The Parliament.

Your broadwave about Miranda has weakened their regime.

They are not gone and they are not... forgiving.

That don't bode especially well for you... giving the order to let us go, patching up our hurt.

I told them the Tams were no longer a threat, damage done.

They might listen... but I think they know I'm no longer their man.

They take you down, I don't expect to grieve over much.

Like to kill you myself, I see you again.

You won't.

There is nothing left to see.

Sir, we have a green light.

Inspection's pos and we're clear for up-thrust.

Think she'll hold together?

She's tore up plenty. But she'll fly true.

Make sure everything's secure.

Could be bumpy. Always is.

Taking her out... should be about a day's ride to get you back to your girls.


Ready to get off this heap, back to civilized life?

I don't know.

Good answer.

So, you gonna ride shotgun with me, help me fly?

That's the plan.

Think you can work out--

[Engine revving]


Clearly some aptitude for the...

It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross.

You know what the first rule of flying is?

Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I'm about to say.

RIVER: I do.

But I like to hear you say it.


You can learn all the math in the 'verse... but you take a boat in the air that you don't love... she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds.

Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down... tells you she's hurting before she keels.

Makes her a home.

[Rain pattering]

Storm's getting worse.

We'll pass through it soon enough.