BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

ANOTHERSKY

ALBATROSS 5
Friday, March 5, 2010

River Tam's diary at the Academy. Part 5: things start to shift. Ongoing. For those who want to start at the beginning, Part 1: http://www.fireflyfans.net/sunroomitem.asp?i=22568


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1167    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

The entries remain unordered, as usual, from different periods of her time at the Academy. Questions, comments, guesses appreciated. Have at it. [Joss is boss, River is not mine, etc. ad nauseum, ad infinitum...] Thanks to Bytemite for the beta. __________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___ ENTRY #????

Is this the promised end?

Or image of that horror? Where does the reflection stop and the feline grin begin?

I know when one is dead and when one lives. She's as dead as earth. Lend me a looking glass! If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, why, then she yet lives. [Stain the stone with breath warmed by flowing blood. Earth-that-was may have had words for this].

But you, black dog, hang your head over and howl! Lear, the great black dog in the night, leering at us to turn back. We don’t want to see what this way is coming.

For they are men of stone, still statues in a garden, and their eyes stopped seeing long ago. Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so that heaven's vault should crack. She's gone forever, down the cracks in the glass, and seven times seven years bad luck, culminating in this instantaneous, eminently fundable research before your eyes. Cool, cool pain just like fire. Seven, seven against Thebes sprinkling earth on bodies they are not supposed to see. All blood and no welcome for such heroes, because their business is turning quick dust to dead dust. A hero's welcome is a proper burial. We just don't realize it.

___ ENTRY #????

It’s safer to break them the old fashioned way. The mind must be put through an unendurable trauma, which must be then prolonged until the subject gives up any hope of keeping itself. This is my only guess.

Like crucifixion over three weeks, pounding the nails in one hammer stroke at a time. Taking a smoke break between. If they still smoke—poisoning themselves because they hate where and what and how they are. [They hate themselves too, my broken mirrors.]

Is it the something threatened but unheard of? I hear you never come back from that. Is that true? On one level part of me is writing this, but the rest is far, far away. I’m not coming back until she comes for me, the one who slipped away. I wish to God I was an island. I pray to be a stone without ears or marble heart. Just hollow inside, scooped out hollow like a statue where all the quiet condenses to muffle the screaming. The darkest pits are the chaos inside every mind, the unfamillial region of my song.

___ ENTRY #????

Rough Draft

Strewn out on an unfamiliar highway Like wreckage Seen in backflash Eerie clarity in street flares Illuminating fragments Through the hours All these thoughts You tossed out the window They were sown in the report And now comes the whirlwind When you remember.

___ ENTRY #????

I stand. I stand out here in the cold wind and look to the horizon, a thin, purposeless line, scumbled and dark with clouds. The iciness chills the tears on my face and makes them sting more, but mine is no epic story. Just a weak little girl. A stupid girl—why did you never tell me I was stupid? I don’t even know what’s going on anymore, it was all over my head and I’m finally awake. The magnitude of this, it’s like when the violin begins to play the scattered runs, the deep resinous ones this time, catapulting up, up, pausing—that sickening balancing act—and screaming down. At that point, the piece has been tagged with inevitable tragedy. Listeners, beware.

[It’s not fair, the game I’m playing—it’s the board I set up for myself, checked only by a pointless endgame. Black and white, row on row, checkered floor leading to the door, and the night watchman has a thousand unblinking emerald eyes that don’t miss anything, and no musician to put him to sleep. No instruments either.

I want this wind to clean it all out, so there will be nothingness, no knowing, a shell. I will be a replica. I do not care what happens to River Tam. I do not recognize her anymore. I left her, carelessly, one afternoon somewhere in the sunlit hall, just standing there by the window, and they took her away. They took her away when no one wanted her, including me. She hates me. But no, I’m not her, any more, so I don’t see why I should care. I have no weakness you can name.]

Before, I just wanted to sleep, to cover everything with the delicious numbness, to wake with a dry taste in the mouth and a head filled with cotton. To breathe without seeing. Now I see what’s been ruined, and I’m too tired to be demonstrative. An instrument, priceless heartwood, carried, covered, protected so long, and you smashed it into matchsticks, just to hear the sound when it breaks. What, in God’s name, do you compare that sound to? For your research.

I am allowed five more minutes. [Before we begin again. Again and again and again—a thousand fractalized agains, fracturing time into more pieces than are rationally possible, so voices can be replayed. So time stops, much more futile and powerful than my clock.] But they don’t know I’m crying, because I haven’t cried in months (aberrant behavior)—and there are no cameras in this sky, unless they’ve taken that too. Even skies here in the Core have too high a price. How far will you go is so much DIFFERENT than how far ‘do you want to go’. I told you not to leave for Capital City, but I didn’t know what I was saying at the time. I thought I was being your sister, my part—all in jest, in joke, in play. [Always playing, because both of us were too smart to realize the world is serious. We confused humor and truth.]I wanted you to finish the prank on Dyerson for me. But part of me knew, then, like the bees know that frost is coming. I just laughed and decided to pretend that dead leaves could be pretty. Why we can greet them without lament has always been a mystery, but central heating solves at least the how.

They were puzzled, when I was singing. Singing is something they cannot understand, because it doesn’t come from clicking impins and your damn chuttering machines. Yes, I know you’re reading this. That was indeed an insult, you nameless peon, because you daren’t break me. I hadn’t sung, or anything, in months and there I was at the top of my lungs. I knew all of you were nearly pissing yourselves because you thought I’d flipped. I could have laughed, but it would have come out crying. And you wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

Now you’re going to get even with me. But we’ll never be even.

__ ENTRY #????

I move like a bunraku doll—my motions are spare, and infinitely graceful. Swinging my arm in an arc stops time, and separate universes are rushing past like firework wheels, yan huo, or the backwater in a stream, tingling the hairs on my arms. I pull motion out of space and I am deviating only slightly from the true arc, the perfect circle. [The one that pulls a rabbit out of velvet space and time.] This makes me happier than anything else has in a long time. I only know I feel I’ve been swallowed by an hourglass--I live inside the quivering cycle of a glass raindrop, a bubble, but it doesn’t matter. I am water and fire and steam—I no longer need a mind. Minds are cumbersome. This is motion without preliminary whining.

It is made too wild by despair, tamped down tight, too strong. They let me rest, and things cycle back to how they were some time ago—I can no longer measure in days, or years. I don’t know how long it’s been. At least my syntax is still normal. I just wish I had something to plant my feet on. Other than that, there isn’t much.

I don’t need them anymore. This will be just fine since I have become nameless.

___ ENTRY #????

She was always following Pinocchio around, finding out his lies and punishing him. Blue.

So beautiful he had to worship her. Had to cry out that his faulty wooden frame wouldn’t tell stories any more, wouldn’t hide from her. Wouldn’t try to live, wouldn’t hold anything back. She’d burn him with a gas flame, blue like the stars. Until he’d cry and cry, nose growing all the time, every time he’d scream. Screaming and screaming until one day there was no more. The screaming stopped. He wiped his eyes and knew he’d never be a real boy, because Geppetto was a foolish man, who wanted puppets to become his children. He was too young to comprehend this. But he understood it with every splinter of his wooden heart, charred to fragile obsidian. The sound of carving implements filled his ears, clinking like fancy silverware at a dinner party. Waiting to fall into the hands of unscrupulous servants.

She’d always save him just when the Cat and Fox were getting to be too much. Crafty animals. Running from the blackened pan to jump into the fire, poor fool’s paint melted off like sugar. And she’d come with her cooling words and kiss him, just so. And the pain stops and he floats away with her in her blue dress, loving her, loving her with all the depth of pain that would condense itself and kill her if he had the chance, forgot himself. But she is his only escape. He would rather be destroyed than lose the Blue Fairy. He is always getting lost and is not worth finding. Because he is not a real boy.

___ ENTRY #????

Thinking of dresses. Always had ones for “occasions” that flounced out, in miniature imitation of the great ladies in the ballroom. I was a doll. Gauze. Taffeta. Lace. And then the kimono--shades of plum and green and pale yellow. I will never see them again.

In the shade of the garden I used to spin and spin, whirling like a flower, gazing at the patterns of my dress turning to orbiting rings around me. Not even dancing, just turning, glorying in floating across the grass like a cloud. Barefoot, and Baba never saw me getting grass stains, green on my clean knickers, before guests came, and Yu-li never told on me. Wordlessly, he gave me fresh ones when I was overly foolish, climbing in the trees, and sometimes he smiled. I was too much of a brat. I regret that now. I never thanked Yu-li, I only told him with my eyes. Even though both of us knew a brief half hour before twilight was much too long a space to waste my mind on. Summer grass is something special, and the movements of the stars inconsequential by comparison, anchored in their own state. They will be there when I get back inside the ordered house. The bobbing fireflies will not. They will wink out as the season closes, unlike the sky-lights which we trust as well as we are able. Which is most of the time, should the market hold steady. Crickets crying their only refrain--that time is short and gratitude wasted on the ungrateful. I wish I could hear them say something else, but when I try to call them up outside this window they will only say what I remember.

I don’t like dresses anymore. For if my ghost were to leave this desk, rise up, pad silently down the hall for the last time (I would listen to it go) I would remain, like a statue. This shade would return to my place at the dining room table, cleverly in time for the wine, wearing a dress for a young woman. I want to be a girl. If I once wear a dress like that, it will be for the looking-at of eyes that want me but not my gaze. And the dress lets them look. No, it tells them to. In the most civil ballroom on Osiris.

No elegance of manner can counteract the dress, no family name, no practice. No skill. No law. It is a choice to wear the dress. I may choose one in any color.

And the others will be gathered from my room like crumpled flowers from the vase and cleared away for the new season, killed by frost. I am precluded from ever wearing them again. All the while, I sleep, the sickly scent of paperwhites lingering heavily over the ironed counterpane.

COMMENTS

Friday, March 5, 2010 7:16 PM

ANOTHERSKY


This one is very dense, but very with the making-sense. Perhaps I should also do a "commentary" by some Alliance researcher grunt to clarify these? People seem eager to read but afraid to comment.

It also contains one of my least favorite and most favorite entries of the entire series. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010 6:45 AM

BYTEMITE


Antigone! I don't remember having seen that reference the last time I read this chapter.

Maybe I might try to analyze the "breaking the mother" theme you told me to look for in this context. Antigone disagrees with the morality of the law of the state, and is sentenced to be buried alive. The king has a fight with his son over this decision of absolute state dominance over the laws of the gods and not even considering family, and the son leaves. The wife of the king eventually kills herself. The King is punished through karmic justice, all for being so ruthless in his approach to upholding order.

So the chess game is a metaphor for the situation she's found herself in+

Monday, March 8, 2010 1:07 PM

BYTEMITE


Sad, when they let her dance, what little joy she has is there's also despair, and I suspect that when she's dancing here that's really the martial arts they're teaching her.

Ooh, I noticed a reference to the mannequin short story in the last part. Poor River. I think she doesn't want to grow up into what THEY want her to be.

Thursday, March 11, 2010 7:27 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Just when you thought you were done with the high school classic forever...there it is again! Antigone--timeless themes, running straight from BC Greece...ack. I had to do it. Convenient little summary, there, it looks familiar.:D

I'd just leave the "mother" theme alone for now Byte, "breaking the mother" is misleading.

Yes, she Is in a chess game now--symbolically(aliasse should be happy).

Thursday, March 11, 2010 7:31 PM

ANOTHERSKY


Yes, I thought dancing was a theme with her--it's something she cannot "have" anymore, in it's more lighthearted form. Either it reminds her of home or is rerouted into a martial art.

Yes, the mannequin reference is indeed there, but more of a dress reference--they're combined anyway.

River is not just concerned with THEM in relation to the dresses.

What do you think her attitude is toward the dresses themselves, not just THEM?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 1:14 AM

ALIASSE


Better late than never, I hope. I was reading the last chapter as though dresses were students, but this one as though they are the uses, purposes, identities, selves that the researchers and their programme want to force upon their subjects.

I find this hard to read, it is so tragic. The suffering, and the desperation to communicate that suffering. What else is she trying to communicate though? Information? It is so tragic that I wish this was some kind of testimony that could be used against the people (not people - statues, mirrors) who are doing this to her.


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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.

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______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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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