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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
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: 2110 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Private inter-departmental correspondence, Academy file 6678, subsection 15:
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.
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.)
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
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:
where a girl exploded.
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! :)
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.
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.
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/]
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