The Stars Came Back -053- Side Deal

Fade in

INT – day – Adelaide spaceport concourse

Harbin walks down the concourse, in uniform, with sidearm, being followed by a modest sized robot cart piles high with metal transport boxes of gear. He nods to the security guard near as he passes, and the guard nods back in professional recognition. He passes the info desk, where a woman, PAYTON SMITH (36, attractive, well-dressed, Caucasian) with a suitcase next to her is arguing with the info clerk.

Payton: But there MUST be a ship I can take! This is a SPACEPORT for god’s sake! There HAS to be!

InfoClerk: No, I’m sorry, they are all book or re-scheduled. There may be some unscheduled private craft around, but nothing is listed.

Payton: Look again! There must be SOMETHING!

InfoClerk: (sounding frustrated) No, there ISN’T.

The InfoClerk sees Harbin walking by a little ways away, and in a flash of inspiration / desperation to get rid of her, point toward him.

InfoClerk: There is only one ship around here I don’t know the schedule on, the old one HE’S on.

Payton heads over toward Harbin, and walks up alongside him, carrying her suitcase. He continues walking as they talk.

Payton Smith: Can you take me on your ship?

Harbin: NO.

Payton Smith: Please?! I HAVE to get away from here!

Harbin: No.

Payton follows after him as he walks down the concourse

Payton Smith: But I’ve been in space before. I know you are on that old ship! I’ll clean. I’ll cook. I’ll move cargo or bags. I’ll do ANYTHING to get to the transfer station!

Harbin: No.

Payton Smith: I don’t have much money, but you can have everything I’ve got!

Harbin: No. It’s not my ship.

Payton Smith: But you have GOT to help me – no-one else has a ship! I’ll do ANYTHING!

Harbin: No. We are not going directly to the transfer station.

Payton Smith: I’ll – I’ll have sex with you.

Harbin: (he looks at her coldly) I’m married.

Payton Smith: She doesn’t have to know! I’ll have as much sex as you want me to have.

Harbin: We are going into the militarized zone. We have no free rooms that I’m aware of. It’s not my ship. It may not even fly out soon.

Payton Smith: I don’t care, I’ve got to get out of here! I’ll have all the sex you want. Any kind. But PLEASE get me out of here.

Harbin stops walking, and looks at her hard, a intense look on his face, like he’s rolling something over in his mind.

Payton Smith smiles and tries to look as much like a damsel in distress as she can.

Harbin motions her over to a corner out of the bustle of main concourse.

Harbin: (into com unit from his belt) Harbin to Tajemnica. Who’s on duty?

Ship AI: (OC from com unit) Sar.

Harbin: Patch me through… Sar, do we have any open cabins with a head on mid-deck?

Saraphina: (OC, after a pause) Just one, I think. The smallest one.

Harbin: Put a hold on it for a bit. I’ll let you know if I have a passenger for it.

Payton looks excited, and tries to give Harbin a hug. He looks at her with a look that says “even with my wife, NOT IN PUBLIC.” She backs up a bit.

Harbin: Before we make a contract, I want to be sure I understood your offer properly. You are offering this of your own free will?

Payton: (nodding her head) Yes.

Harbin: You are offering to have as much sex as I want you to have, pending medical clearance, in exchange for free passage to Transfer Station Two?

Payton: Yes, that’s right.

Harbin: You get room, board, passage at no cash charge. In exchange, sex. Lots of sex. No abuse, physical damage, or anything that would be considered very unusual. There is to be no discussion of performance, activities, physical ability, or ANYTHING ELSE that happens behind closed doors. You are to remain in your quarters except when explicitly allowed out. If you do not perform on demand as desired, or you are disqualified on medical grounds, the contract is voided and you disembark immediately, even if it is not at a convenient location?

Payton: Wow, you make it sound so official. That’s what I offered.

Harbin: You are sure? Those words exactly?

Payton: I HAVE to get off this rock. Yes, already.

Harbin: OK, we have a deal. (then into com unit) Tajemnica, record the following contract –

Dissolve to

EXT – night – foot of the cargo bay ramp

Bipasha and Harbin are talking. Some recruits and Kaminski are unloading supplies from trucks parked on the cargo bay deck into C-deck side storage compartments in the background, tossing boxes in several “bucket brigades.” Apparently, Bipasha has heard about a lady of unknown background being given a cabin at Harbin’s request.

Bipasha: (indignant) How COULD you!? WHAT would Aunt Mohini say?!

Harbin: (quietly) You know her. Use her voice. What does she ALWAY say?

Bipasha: (taken a bit aback for a moment, then, imitating an older woman’s angry voice) WHAT. Were. You. THINKING?!

Harbin: Very well done. So, what DO you think I was thinking?

Bipasha: WHAT? Bringing a bimbo on into a private cabin, when nearly everyone is doubled up or more? It’s OBVIOUS!

Harbin: Really? What, specifically? Spell it out.

Bipasha: Well, you want to have sex with her.

Harbin: You think I’d risk Mohini’s wrath for HER? Not even close. I’d like to think you know me better than that. Try again.

Bipasha: Um, what?

Harbin: Try asking what she’d ask, but for yourself, now.

Bipasha: (thinking hard for a second, but drawing a blank) Uh… So, what WERE you thinking?

Harbin: We will be transporting a company of injured young men, who have been in the field for a while, almost all of whom are single, to a rest and recovery location that is medically competent but frowns on certain personal recreational activities.

Bipasha eyes get wide as she realizes what Payton is there for.

Harbin: She offered to have as much sex as I wanted her to have in exchange for transport. There was no stipulation as to who it was to be with. Her own words were used in the contract; I forwarded a copy to you and Lt Kat. Having been a young man in this situation myself once, it was an offer I could not pass. Now, what do you think Mohini would say? You’ve heard her often enough.

Bipasha: (again, imitating an older woman’s voice) … She chose p-, no, “she chose her words poorly.”

Harbin: (nods agreement) Two of the many reason I married her: she asks good questions, and she understands consequences.

Fade to black



10 thoughts on “The Stars Came Back -053- Side Deal

      • This points out something that my wife and I realized a long time ago: Mal didn’t allow any women on Serenity that were not attractive (albeit mighty quirky, but that is another issue).

        And a Happy Easter to all.

        • That’s just a Hollywood thing. WHen was the last time you saw a physically very UNattractive female on the big screen? Mentally unattractive I see all the time, but that’s a different issue, as you say.

    • Nope. Contract has a non-disclosure stipulation.
      Also, as you might have noticed, I’m not very interested in writing about sex or sex-related violence. I’ve got no problem implying it – adult readers can imagine stuff much more vividly than I can write it. But reading or writing about it? Not my style, for a bunch of reasons.

  1. Interesting, and it certainly fits with the setting and the characters’ apparent beliefs, but I doubt there’s any way Hollywood would let it make the final cut.

    • I don’t know. It highlights a very fundamental aspect of his character. Indeed, ALL the Plataeans. Their word, their contract, is VERY important. If you make a contract, you KEEP it, or die trying. He’s a hard-ass on others, true. But as Lag said after racing him – they expect no more of others than they expect of themselves.

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