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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - SUSPENSE
Some days, River's mind can be a frightening thing. And this time, the Blue Hand men have gotten a little too close for comfort, and even though she doesn't want to, River intends to end their pursuit of Serenity. Permanently. Set post- "Ariel".
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1696 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
"Each Morning I'm..."
Written by DeSangro.
Author's Notes and Disclaimer: Okay, this is my first attempt at anything like a song-fic. Technically, though, this is a poem-fic. All quotations in italics are from the children's poem "I Am Cherry Alive", written by Delmore Schwartz. For some odd, unfathomable reason it reminded me of River, and it inspired this story. I do not own the poem, nor have I been given permission to use it here. I do not own any of the characters from Firefly. This story is set post- "Ariel", and pre- "Objects in Space", with one minor spoiler for "Ariel".
"Each morning I am something new:
I am apple, I am plum, I am just as excited
As the boys who made the Hallowe'en bang"
River sat on her bed, in her small orange room. It had been a good day so far.
She had had a small breakfast; Simon had fed it to her. He had given her medicine, which had made her nervous. A while back, he had given her a shot that had made her fall asleep, and then she had woken up in a hospital room, and the Blue Hands had been searching for them.
Today, she had made Simon promise her that he would give her no more shots, and he had promised, with a smile upon his face.
She was alone now, but that was all right. Sometimes, she liked being alone; alone with her thoughts and feelings, alone to sort out the impressions that ran across the surface of her mind like bright colors, bright colors of thoughts that revealed things that no one would ever dare talk about, ever.
"I can be someone else whenever I think who,
And I want to be everything sometimes too,
And the peach has a pit and I know that too,
And I put it in along with everything
To make the grown-ups laugh whenever I sing:
And I sing: It is true; It is untrue"
She reached out, carefully, delicately, lest the Blue Hands swoop down and carry her away, like an eagle snatching up a mouse from the field. She reached out and picked up their minds, and she cupped their thoughts in her hands.
Simon was the easiest to read. His mind was buzzing with a constant, affectionate concern, and she wondered at this; that he should care for her when she was such a burden to them all. She wondered, and then she left her brother's mind alone. He was, after all, her brother, and she wondered what her mother would say if she was caught snooping around in Simon's subconscious. She'd probably get punished for sure.
Next, she touched the Captain's thoughts. They were sad; sadder and darker than he let on to any of his crew. Every now and then, a memory would break to the surface, in garish and hideous strength, screaming death and pain, and the Captain would shudder and put the memory away. But his callous would grow harder, and the wound under it would grow more bitter.
Kaylee's thoughts were bright and active; as busy as a swarm of insects over flowers on a summer's day. Thoughts of Simon and how swai he was; thoughts of this or that part that she wanted to make Serenity run just a bit nicer; random thoughts of the impolite thing that Jayne had said at dinner the night before.
River's mouth twitched at that name. Jayne. She knew that he had betrayed them; only the most cursory glance into his mind told her that. He was afraid, too; afraid that she'd find out. Afraid, too, that Simon would find out.
River's mouth twitched again. Simon wouldn't hurt him, but she might. She knew how to, or at least she had an inkling. She briefly imagined Jayne with his eyes red, his fingernails all bloody, his nose pouring blood. She'd seen the Blue Hands do it, but they weren't as good as her. They needed machines to focus their minds; she needed nothing.
She laughed at that. She needed nothing! She was nothing! A nothing that no one could see; she slipped into their midst and they never saw her! An ultimate game of hide-and-seek! The Game!
"But I don't tell the grown-ups; because it is sad,
And I want them to laugh just like I do
Because they grew up
And forgot what they knew
And they are sure
I will forget it some day too"
Suddenly River's eyes widened. A scream welled up her throat, but she kept it down like swallowing sour vomit. She had often vomited after the Academy's procedures, and now she felt like that again, because...
The Blue Hands were back. They were following.
Their minds were surprisingly blank. Like great white sheets of paper that showed every little stain or blotch in excruciating detail. Like great fish nets that trapped and swallowed everything that they could catch, for they were ravenous devourers of other thoughts. The seas of their minds were vast and calm, without emotions of any sort, and they let the frantic thoughts of others, and the frenetic emotions of others, filter into their minds, so that the Blue Hands could pin them down and study them.
As the Blue Hands trapped thoughts, so they trapped people. Their nets were wide.
They had to get away.
'Simon, Simon!' she called wordlessly. 'Simon!'
Whatever happened to her, she didn't want to be alone anymore.
Simon paused suddenly. Something was tugging at him, tugging at his mind.
...River? Did he hear her voice only in his thoughts?
The voice was a desperate scream, so loud that he looked around to see if the other members of the crew hadn't heard it as well.
'I have to get to River,' he thought. 'Something's wrong!'
River was sitting on her bed, shaking, when Simon reached her side.
He took her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes as though he wasn't sure of the person he'd find inside. "Mei-mei, what's wrong? What are you afraid of?"
She looked up at him. "They're coming for us, hunting. Two by two, hands of blue. Their minds are terrible; cold like metal. They feel nothing."
She pressed herself against Simon's chest, still trembling.
'We can outrun them,' River thought, and she was surprised by the clarity of this realization, 'but that will not end it. It will never end. They just keep coming back, again and again, the same ones, again and again.'
She gave a long, fitful exhalation.
And then she reached out, and touched her pursuers' minds once more.
They were cold and determined; relentless and ruthless. They had killed to get at her; they had killed to have even a chance of capturing her. Now, they reached out, with their own stunted, twisted powers, seeking to throw the nets over her, and capture her at last. They would hold her life in their hands and they would punish her for what she had done. They would cut her, and hurt her, and make her into a thing like themselves.
She would not let that happen.
She reached past their cold thoughts and deep into their brains, deep where the blood flowed. Deep, deep. She knew what she was doing, and she trembled in Simon's arms, trembled as he lead her out of the room and to the bridge. She could dimly hear him telling Wash to check the radar and scanners, to see if there was a pursuer on their tail.
But it wouldn't matter.
She knew what she was doing, and she trembled at the thought. But the Blue Hands hadn't trembled at what they had done. They hadn't felt anything at all.
And so she hummed.
She hummed in her mind, and sent it to the Blue Hands. A very nasty, very naughty gift indeed! They started, then looked; she could see them in her mind's eye, could see them as surely as if they were before her. They looked about, puzzled, then they trembled, howling as she gripped and twisted. Their eyes ran with red tears; their nostrils dripped blood, and then they collapsed, dead in their padded flight couches, as she snapped what was left of their own scarred, mutilated brains.
She relaxed. "They're gone," she whispered.
Everyone looked at her, astonished. "River, what do you mean?" Wash asked. He had his fingers on the controls, ready to send the ship 'rabbiting' into the deep black. "The radar says we've got a ship tagging us!"
"I took care of them. Two by two, hands of blue. They'll just drift forever, as if they were asleep. They're gone."
Everyone looked at her again, but they were afraid, this time. They knew what she meant, though they didn't know how she'd accomplished it.
They didn't really want to know, either.
The Captain said, with a forced grin, "Well, that solves that crisis. Or some such. Simon, why don't you tuck River back where she'll be safe? We've got business to go about."
As Simon led River away, dumbstruck, she said softly, "Yes, tuck me away where I am safe. I'm not safe. I killed them."
"Hush, hush. It's all right, Mei-Mei."
When he had put her back into her room, Simon knelt down and whispered, "I saw them, River. I saw them bleed, and die. What did you do?!"
Tears began to form at the corners of her eyes. "I had to, Simon. They were chasing us. I'm sorry, but I had to!" She made a flicking motion with her fingers. "I just... twisted. They died quickly."
She sniffled and wiped her nose, and remembered when she was four years old, and her pet canary had died. "It died quickly, dear," her mother had said. She had not found that much of a comfort when she had been four, but now she clung to it. They had died quickly, just like her canary.
He embraced her again, reassuring her. "I know, Mei-Mei; you didn't want to, I know. I'm sorry."
But Simon trembled too, and she knew that he was afraid.
Afraid of her.
"...And they are sure
That I will forget it some day too
They are wrong. They are wrong.
When I sang my song, I knew, I knew!
...I will always be me,
I will always be new!"
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 11:12 AM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 12:36 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 2:35 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 3:30 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004 9:32 PM
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