Open to Serenity, speeding noisily from the atmosphere of a world, a moon orbiting a large planet, into the silence of the Black. Engines fire and the ship speeds away.
Zoe and River are on the bridge. River is pilot, cool and in charge. She wears a slim fitting black catsuit, with her hair in a French braid and her piloting goggles on top of her head.
Zoe is dressed for battle or crime. Leather vest, tight pants, long sleeve shirt. Mares leg pistol in holster. Her long hair is also braided back. She is rolling up her shirt sleeves.
Zoe turns away from the window and walks calmly but quickly through the cargo bay.
Two children play there. The older is girl in her early teens, very tall, brown skin and dark blonde hair. The other is a boy about eight with straight, rather long light brown hair wearing tight khaki pants. As Zoe passes, they look up from playing with model dinosaurs. She smiles at them but keeps moving.
Jayne is tying down some crates.
As she passes through the kitchen, we see Kaylee in the common area. Her coverall is pulled down and her blouse is open to allow a large baby, about 18 months old, to nurse. The two women don’t see each other.
Zoe knocks on the infirmary door. Mal is on the operating table, with Simon carefully stitching. He finishes and speaks to a large young man in scrubs.
“Bandage him up, David, he’ll be fine.”
“No fancy embroidery, I hope, Doc, Kaylee likes my scars t’be plain and manly”
“I used double featherstitching with a pistil stitch knot. In pink and magenta. You’ll be the belle of the ball.
“Cargo’s stowed, sir, and we’re out of atmo.”
“We got followers?”
“All clear. Jayne is tie’n down the cargo.”
“So everythin went smooth and we are about to be in the money.”
“Cept for you getting shot, sir.”
“Weren’t hardly nothin. An Doc has some primo painkillers this leg.”
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, Mal. Are you purposely getting yourself wounded to have access to my analgesics?”
“Doc’s got a point, sir. There needn’t have been any gunplay. Kaylee’s pretty pissed.”
“I’ll talk to her. It’ll be shiny.” Mal thought for a moment.”Yeah, it’ll be fine.”
“There you go, Captain. Lift your arm for me? And to the side? You’ll find your movement restricted for a few days. I’ll give you some exercises you can do to speed the return of flexibility…”
“Not my first time at the rodeo, Davy. You should know that by now.”
“Course, but every time you damage the muscles it takes longer to heal and you’re not gettin any younger.”
“David. I think Mal needs some rest now. Let’s go … get some tea.” Simon hurried his nurse out of the infirmary, a hand on his back to protect him from Mal’s glower.