BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

ANOTHERSKY

ALBATROSS 1
Sunday, November 15, 2009

River Tam was once a student at The Academy. Now she has disappeared into the black, and all official records of the years she spent in captivity there have been erased or smoothed over. They no longer exist. But the girl does. Her diary is the only remaining commentary on the horrors of a future deceived. This is her story, told in her own words. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thanks and big props to patient betas gilove2dance, Steamer, and most especially Bytemite, who has so far stuck through this moonbrain narrative all the way through with true browncoat tenacity. Bravo. Thanks also to ncbrowncoat and a few others who encouraged the concept. [River copyright Joss & Co., text copyright me, Joss is boss, etc. et al, ad nauseum...]


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2053    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Private inter-departmental correspondence, Academy file 6678, subsection 15: -------------------------------------------------------- Hey John,

Remember this? I could never decide which was more boring—the great white whale or Milton. So glad to see they still teach it, torturing new generations. Ha, ha. Hopefully someday we’ll get to those “secrets not below the heavens” or rather, those guys in MC 660 will, and maybe they’ll deign to let us mortals have a few.

"I remember the first albatross I ever saw. ... At intervals, it arched forth its vast archangel wings, as if to embrace some holy ark. Wondrous flutterings and throbbings shook it. Though bodily unharmed, it uttered cries, as some king's ghost in super natural distress. Through its inexpressible, strange eyes, methought I peeped to secrets not below the heavens. As Abraham before the angels, I bowed myself..." --(Herman Melville, Moby Dick)

Just a thought, figured I’d give you a lead before you begin analysis of the official file, as it’s mentioned by reference in the last words we have from subject 406-A. It seems to have been a theme of hers. Buddha’s luck.

--Derrick

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

OFFICIAL INTERPLANETARY ALLIANCE COMPFILE: ---------------------------------------------------------

FILE 1065782 # 1443, Section C

The below may give some insight into the mental processes of the subject 406-A in Mental Processes 660, MPC 660 colloq. It was found in physical form, (here transcripted) location inside a self-made compartment beneath the bunk of 406-A. Also inside the compartment was a half-used impin, without prints. No other personal effects were in the compartment on entry or found upon a completed sweep of the room.

The entries appear to be unordered, although it is not currently known if subject was using another method of aggregation or additionally, if these constitute the entirety of the entries. Gaps both thematic and chronological suggest they do not. The second issue to be addressed here is translation. The original text appears in an undifferentiated mixture of Core English and Sihnon Mandarin as befits subject’s familial background—no emotional or intellectual connection seems to be substantiable to either language, although the subject seems to have resorted to English when forced to continue in confined pagespace. It is likely this is due to legibility concerns, or it may be due to influence of the institution; most sessions were conducted in English. Thus we have reproduced them in 3 transcript forms for ease of reference: 1 copy in combined form, and one fully in each mode. There are no other differences between the versions in either. Entries are presented in found order.

As for the content of the memorandum, due to the disordered nature of the original document, MP 660 has seen fit to attempt some preliminary analysis, but little more can be accomplished. Diction and syntax, as might be expected, shifts when subject is agitated. There also appears to be substantial deterioration of subject’s connection to reality.

Copies of this document in Sihnon Mandarin(SM) and Core Chinese (CC) are also available upon request, Digit 628 #23439.660.23-406A.57

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Department: 21 A MC 660 RECORDS 163.5 J

Date of Transmission: ****/**/**

Transcript language: Core English (1 of 3; Core Mand., Dual avail.)

[/Begin transcription/]

Transcriptor’s note: There are references upon references here. In fact, the diarist seems to be using the technique of obliquely referring to related and well-known sources for subject material, rather than describing the entirety of an event directly. The references are not separated chronologically, utilizing modern and even ancient sources. The validity of any of these statements, the jumbled and/or incoherent nature of several entries, and the steady deterioration of the patient’s mental state leads us to believe this was no stratagem and is the product of an intricately constructed, if confused mind. It documents nothing discernible per se, other than the emotional content of the patient’s state, like slightly unbalanced prose poetry. Mental doodles, if you will.

The entries also draw from each other, and there are several main threads throughout, repeatedly used. It may be of some use to the Human Resources department (motivation category).

***

ENTRY # ????

These are the things I will keep in the layers of myself and never show them off to anyone. I can say so much more in a breath and the shine of my eyes, everything at once. Only breathing. All the silent consonants, tumbling over themselves like a nearly audible mist. Or the pattern of letters on a page in a book of words. Not the story or the plot. The pattern. The world is so complicated! Atoms make compounds, compounds join molecules and a desk or a table can be represented in code: words. Letters. Read, they can kill or save. But you won’t read mine—they’ll take them out of the mail lines. Between the lines there is more---electrons, quarks. Gravity. We understand gravity, we put it in standard drives. But when we jump we still fall to the ground. Maybe we understand how gravity works. Not gravity itself. The story, not the pattern. It's just doing its job. It won't talk to you.

[Entry # ????]

Shoes Without Feet

unclear thesis, convolutions cloudy. she says, don’t give up, i only shatter your questions because you have a future. built from their pieces. it’s not that we don’t see eye to eye. the problem is you’re too much like me. … papers and books scattered stormlike in a circle a nest, scrapped and the debris from the dark bottom of a backpack: the radius where a girl exploded.

ENTRY #????

An important enterprise should always begin with a quote. A quote contains within it, like a seed, the budding curls of an idea and a system, waiting to be implemented.

A strong staff of bamboo begins as a tender shoot. So too a willow tendril twisted into the memorial wreath of white oleander, though that is more morbid than I would like to begin. Daffodils. That’s better, those are sunny flowers, and appropriate to new beginnings, coming up from the frozen ground like they do every spring.

I'm just nervous--I get stilted when I'm nervous, everyone knows that. This place is gleaming--every inch of it, and there's no history, nothing to feel on the walls, no echo from the floor—is as if anything that happened here has been swept out or never was. This makes it feel temporary, though I know it isn’t—it’s a large institution, The Academy. I am slightly apprehensive—okay, I fib, and will immediately apologize. I’m really just excited (thus I have been up considerably more than half the night), and classes begin in only a few hours (once again I can’t sleep, figures) so I’m forced to turn out the light and go…now! :)

ENTRY # ????

Art is dead. How can it be art when there are so many definitions, across worlds, across times? I never minded at home when the dictionaries disagreed. That was because they were in the library, or the study. I didn't have to carry them around with me. Now it is a tattoo beating lividly in my head. Here, nothing is wrong at all, except I don't do what they want. That is difficult for them to understand, I know, because I have always been so compliant. Except for the messages under the lunch table, when there was a lunch table. Now they're gone and all my messages are cluttering up my head. I thought it was the boy in red. Or the woman in yellow that smiled at the sunlight as if she were pleased with it. We were all happy---who wouldn't be happy with light through the window? So rare, like air, or water. Nothing else can replace it. A better word, even though the simple one is deeper and gives more satisfaction to settle into, is "buoyant.”

Specific is less complicated. Ensures no mistakes.

‘How does this feel’ is a very important question to answer in an exquisitely accurate way. However, a fine line exists--don't describe more than you have to because that's worse. They keep going. Patient is responsive, says the voice, as if I don't understand six more languages besides the one he gargles in. His jargon doesn't scare me. I talk until he's bored. My vocabulary is more than adequate. My patience is not. They never tire, staring me down at spades from on high. Am I to become like them? Fearful mirror.

ENTRY #???? ”Family”

My parents have always said I am very smart. They never told me what my first word was. Simon says it was "ocean", when we were at the seaside. "Ocean", when we were staring up at the stars. Like pearls separated from a broken string and scattered across the sky. I'm certain he made it up to amuse me--I barely remember. My memories aren't dated the way other people's are. They float like light in a kaleidoscope. My mother says there's too much water in me, water and fire and stone. My father says she didn't help things any by naming her only daughter Héi, River.

ENTRY # ????

Scrabbling in the maze. Where are you, little mouse? Chasing the cheese that doesn't run away. Everything starts to tilt and I hold on, what am I supposed to hold on with? My fingers slip—the floor's like glass— I leave no mark. For some reason this frustrates me more than the bruises I am accruing, gathering like new-found friends on my knees, my shoulders, rushing to me in this tilted reality. A whole different verse just from cocking the head and looking. Click. Two echoes of the hammer, beating metal rail. No scream. Silencer.

ENTRY #????

Conditioning is everything. Conditions. Ring a bell? For what taxed soul? Conditions are just like negotiations except that they can't be changed. The spiders come. They short out the corners of my vision as if I were a machine. There are no longer any sharp edges, no right angles, nothing clear-cut. I know that I am on a track; I cannot deviate until the action is completed. It is not a matter of choosing.

Turn over, sick of the weight of them in my head, like a bucket half filled with sand and water. Half empty with my own air. When it fills up I will suffocate. Can't swim in quicksand. Sand and water. 21 days. My sentence is solitary. They are no longer interested in what I say with my mouth. Nothing I say can make it stop.

They are past the dangerous part now. Push glass too hard, slice into it and it shatters. You must grind it down to make a lens. But they know they're not perfect yet. At least they know. They threw a stained glass window into the sea and it came up sunset on the beach: smooth, placable,cloudy. Shattered and scattered like seashells,pick it up and listen to the waves roar in your ears. Put the ocean down for the minuscule tide it is. That was my dream. Bottles don't cloud over because they carry messages, and the sand can't get inside to irritate the glass. Lacrimae rerum. Pearls come from pain but then my tendons will be ripped apart, discarded into the deep when I am spent.

[/End Albatross 1/]

COMMENTS

Sunday, November 15, 2009 3:32 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Guesses, comments, questions welcomed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 3:35 PM

ACESSIISAMMY


Sorry bout the spelling and capitilaztion. I am using word for the next installment instead of the notepad.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 4:17 PM

BYTEMITE


Um, no worries acessiisammy, although I'm afraid the princess is one door down.

Ooh posted! I'll have to read through this again in a few, but this first line made me wonder:

"Hey John,

Remember this? I could never decide which was more boring—the great white whale or Milton. So glad to see they still teach it, torturing new generations. Ha, ha. Hopefully someday we’ll get to those “secrets not below the heavens” or rather, those guys in MC 660 will, and maybe they’ll deign to let us mortals have a few."

The jokes about a the written torment of "a girl exploded" are just... You have to wander if this is the same guy who joked about "scary monsters" while shoving needles into River's brain to give her nightmares. Special guy, or maybe all Blue Sun human experiment scientists set the bar for high calibur in character.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:14 PM

ANOTHERSKY


He's just precious, isn't he? Could be the same...


Is it clear where the entries start?

Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:50 PM

BYTEMITE


Yeah, the division is clear. :) Don't see any way to make it clearer. You have the begin transcription and opening notes, and ENTRY #: ???? follows write after.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:53 PM

BYTEMITE


Erm, right after, even.

Maybe I've been staying up too late. Spelling and coherency have degenerated.

Monday, November 16, 2009 6:04 AM

BYTEMITE


Okay, here's another observation. In the first entry (as displayed, not chronologically), when River is talking about atoms, code, and letters. My initial interpretation is that she's talking about the letters she was mailing to Simon that have her coded requests for help. But reading again, it sounds also like there were censors looking over her letters, taking out lines, and also that possibly some of her letters were never mailed.

Monday, November 16, 2009 10:08 AM

ALIASSE


(Sorry for the late response, due to time difference.) I'm a total emotion junkie when it comes to fic (and fiction) and this had me - well, I never felt the tragedy of River's fate more than here. And funnily enough, not from reading her entries, but from what came before (the division is clear, by the way). The detached, bureaucratic cataloguing of someone else's torture and destruction. Other than that, for the moment, I need to read this quite a few more times and get back to you when I have!

Monday, November 16, 2009 10:31 AM

BYTEMITE


If you want chilling, you need only look so far as "click, two echoes of the hammer." Poor River, what have they made you do?

Monday, November 16, 2009 4:43 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Bytemite: Wow, guess I got your attention? Impressive for a re-read. Re your questions on River's 'between the lines' meanings--

1. It's a play on words, actually this whole section is--she's literally hoping whoever reads this diary is looking between the lines.

2. Simon is 'ignoring' her--remember her parents kept the letters from him in the Safe flashbacks?

3. Yup. Alliance censors, represent.

General guideline is if something confuses you or freaks you out, or Mal-like, makes you go "what does that even MEAN?"--read the entry again. Slowly.

It is meant to be that complex.

All comers welcome to get their own pet theories together and post like crazy epileptic trees.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EpilepticTrees

"Poor River, what have they made you do?"

Read on to find out.

Aliasse: I am truly honored, thanks. Were there tears? I'm glad to hear the contrast was as jarring as intended. Honestly, do come back for another read-through when you've got the time.

Monday, November 16, 2009 4:45 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Bytemite: Wow, guess I got your attention? Impressive for a re-read. Re your questions on River's 'between the lines' meanings--

1. It's a play on words, actually this whole section is--she's literally hoping whoever reads this diary is looking between the lines.

2. Simon is 'ignoring' her--remember her parents kept the letters from him in the Safe flashbacks?

3. Yup. Alliance censors, represent.

General guideline is if something confuses you or freaks you out, or Mal-like, makes you go "what does that even MEAN?"--read the entry again. Slowly.

It is meant to be that complex.

All comers welcome to get their own pet theories together and post like crazy epileptic trees.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EpilepticTrees

"Poor River, what have they made you do?" --->Read on to find out.

Aliasse: I am truly honored, thanks. Honestly, were there tears? I'm glad to hear the contrast was as jarring as intended. Do come back for another read-through when you've got the time.

Monday, November 16, 2009 4:46 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Bytemite: Wow, guess I got your attention? Impressive for a re-read. Re your questions on River's 'between the lines' meanings--

1. It's a play on words, actually this whole section is--she's literally hoping whoever reads this diary is looking between the lines.

2. Simon is 'ignoring' her--remember her parents kept the letters from him in the Safe flashbacks?

3. Yup. Alliance censors, represent.

General guideline is if something confuses you or freaks you out, or Mal-like, makes you go "what does that even MEAN?"--read the entry again. Slowly.

It is meant to be that complex.

All comers welcome to get their own pet theories together and post like crazy epileptic trees.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EpilepticTrees

"Poor River, what have they made you do?" ---> Read on to find out.

Aliasse: I am truly honored, thanks. Honestly, there could be tears? :D I'm glad to hear the contrast was as jarring as intended. Do come back for another read-through when you've got the time.

Monday, November 16, 2009 5:05 PM

BYTEMITE


Three times the thanks, epileptic trees, and "y'all come back now"s!

Heck, I plan to read through this probably once a day for as long as it's up to try to see if I can find any new stuff. I already think I've seen one or two hints of the other beta readers through the trees, which is kind of fun. Hi guys!

But your enthusiasm is impressive and potentially adorable.

Monday, November 16, 2009 5:09 PM

BYTEMITE


Also, you just reminded me that I'm going to have to keep in mind some of the later stuff as I'm reading the earlier stuff here. But I'll try not to point it out unless someone else sees it, that way the existential scavenger hunt is more fun for everybody. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009 5:58 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Arg. Triple post, sorry folks. Compy is ill.

Byte. Go lie down. You aren't supposed to look for the OTHER BETAS OR READERS OR EVEN THAT BIG BAD WOLF THROUGH THE EPILEPTIC TREES! That is known as missing the forest. They're not responsive, and I'm going to pretend you didn't make a sound.

Unless you are a leaf on the wind. In which case this becomes the definition of interesting. Huh.

Monday, November 16, 2009 7:20 PM

BYTEMITE


Zen-like.

*off look*

...Bad Byte goes lie down now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 10:50 AM

ALIASSE


I am an absolute dullard when it comes to anything coded, in anything. It always goes right over my head. I've already said how the emotion of this got to me; but it still frustrates me that my brain doesn't allow me to understand it more. I'm reading really carefully, but...!

Okay questions:
Does 'you' and 'we' always refer to Simon? 'We understand gravity, we put it in standard drives.' (What IS gravity???)

The disagreeing dictionaries? – again is that members of the Tam family

And am I to take the theme of water going through the fic as something worth unpicking?

Thursday, November 19, 2009 5:09 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Aliasse--thought I'd assuage your fears; you're not dense, and you're reading at the proper level. It IS coded, but not a "this spells out something". That said,thematic things (and references to the show) will become much clearer when you have more entries to go on. There are themes within entries and themes that span the whole story.

'You' and 'we' don't always map to the same people across entries. So if you want to get an idea, look at the specific entry.

Yes. What do you think gravity is?

You'll see a lot of contradictions to do with the Tam family.

Yes, water is a theme. Along with some other 'objects' that will become clearer when you have a few more entries to think about. Remember, these "aren't in order" and so they will skip around in style and level of coherence.

I'm posting part 2 in a few days, so stay tuned.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 5:37 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Part 2 now up, and will adhere to a regular posting schedule from now on.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 5:40 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Part 2 now up, and will adhere to a regular posting schedule from now on.


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ALBATROSS 1
River Tam was once a student at The Academy. Now she has disappeared into the black, and all official records of the years she spent in captivity there have been erased or smoothed over. They no longer exist. But the girl does. Her diary is the only remaining commentary on the horrors of a future deceived.

This is her story, told in her own words.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Thanks and big props to patient betas gilove2dance, Steamer, and most especially Bytemite, who has so far stuck through this moonbrain narrative all the way through with true browncoat tenacity. Bravo. Thanks also to ncbrowncoat and a few others who encouraged the concept.

[River copyright Joss & Co., text copyright me, Joss is boss, etc. et al, ad nauseum...]



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