Blue Hand Blues: Track #2-Bach ala Hendrix
Saturday, February 26, 2005

This is the second chapter in the story. It's a little shorter, but packed with so much. River finally unveils her new talent to the crew. And the results are incredible. Feedback appreciated.


Normally she dreaded the evenings. Lately, she’s been embracing them.

River was grateful now to ge-ge for getting her the guitar, and for Wash for giving her the music in which her salvation lay in. But she didn’t want to just come out and surprise them all and freak them out. She wanted this to be special. She wanted what she was saying to mean something to every person on board. Like a superhero with a mild-mannered alter ego, River pretended to be her normal self, throwing off their scents. It was amusing to see Simon freak out and find deep metaphorical meaning in Tenacious D lyrics. But once the crew went to bed, she quietly came alive in the cargo bay.

After listening to Wash’s entire library of music once over during the evenings, she began to play the chords and notes of the lead guitar, base and any other accompaniments over her headphones. She had memorized the rhythms and harmonies of the different instruments, and then taught herself how to play each of them, making sure each note had the right pitch, intonation and place. Even though the notes came easy, it gave her a sense of joy in resurrecting these old forgotten hooks, base lines and melodies. The sense of one set of fingertips picking away at the strings while the other set slid up and down the neck was making her grin from ear to ear. Every thought, feeling, sound and idea that was bottled up in her being was finally being let out. Every strum purged a doubt. Every chord empowered her with confidence. Every word she heard and mouthed gave her more clarity than any injection. After nights and nights and hours and hours of memorizing, recording and mouthing, she knew she was ready.

It was 6:58 on the ships internal clock. She knew that 7 was the time the Captain designated as wake up time for the crew. He would normally go to each of the bunks, saving Inara’s shuttle for last, and knock on each door. But the long cord that stretched from the cockpit console to her hand indicated that she would beat him to the punch. As she inserted the cord into her instrument, a booming crackle sounded through the speakers of the com-links and reverberated through the ship. “Well, there goes the element of surprise.” She thought. She sensed the different members of the crew, and was relieved to sense that most of them slept through it.

She took a deep breath, raised her right hand, and brought it down.

All throughout the ship, the piercing opening chord of Tocatta And Fugue in D Minor rang throughout the ship. Nothing so loud had ever broken the silence on this ship as the phrase of Bach’s channeled through her finger in a way that would’ve made Hendrix proud. She was glad that she had chosen the cargo bay. The acoustics were perfect.

As she kept playing the complex piece of music in a way that before this moment was deemed unthinkable, the remaining crew members flowed onto the catwalks to see where this strange and yet incredible music was coming from. Mal, Zoe and Jayne had pissed off looks on their faces, although it was probably being woken up so loudly. Simon, at first, had his normal look of panic stricken fear on his face, but once he saw her playing the guitar, a mixed look of relief and amazement was on his face. Kaylee was at first curious about what was going on, but had a look of amazement once she saw what was going on. Wash merely strolled onto the scene a bit later than the rest of them, but with a satisfied grin on his face. Inara and Book wandered in a little later out of their respective sleeping quarters. Their reaction was the same as Kaylee’s. At first, Mal was ready to scream at whoever woke him up in such a jarring way and disrupted his routine. But after seeing this little waif of a girl channel such a force of music and power through an old instrument, he decided to bite his tongue. Indeed, none of the crew members spoke or even moved as she played.

She may have had an audience. She had a venue that most musicians today would’ve killed to get. But for her, nothing existed for her except her fingers and the strings. For ten minutes, she poured her entire being into her fingertips. She made sure that the notes that had been written centuries ago were played to the right tempo. It would be drastic if she slipped in her pacing just once. She also had to make sure the unorthodox style of performing this song with her playing first guitar matched the harmony of the accompanying tracks that she recorded earlier on her headphones. As she played, she kept hitting buttons and turning dials, alternating from one mode to another, and never once stopping. As the final phrases of the fugue came into play, she slowly raised the volume and amp on the guitar, bringing the end of the song to an all time high. The crew members had to plug their ears because the sound was so deafening. But even that couldn’t stop her.

River was experiencing something she never felt before. She felt controlled by some spiritual force that some compared to demonic possession. Every particle in her body was exploding at the speed of light, but she felt in control for the first time in her life. Later that day, Book would tell her that what she achieved was tantamount to a Koran-like level of enlightenment. A spiritual awakening and oneness with the universe that few humans ever get to achieve. As she squeezed the neck of the guitar, she collapsed down onto her knees, controlling the sound and her wave of emotion like never before. And right before the guitar went silent, a look of transcendence came over her. She had slain the dragon and conquered her demons. Let them come. No hands of blue could touch her now.


Sunday, February 27, 2005 1:07 AM


AWESOME! You must be a musician yourself to describe this with such clarity and beauty and I just loved the way River was able to exorcise her demons and demonstrate the fact to the crew - her new family - in a way so unique and powerful. Kudos, this was great! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, February 27, 2005 6:31 AM


Another wonderful chapter. I really loved your descriptions of the crew's reactions.
"She had slain the dragon and conquered her demons. Let them come. No hands of blue could touch her now." A perfect way to end the chapter--powerful and confidient.
Keep up the good work!

Thursday, March 3, 2005 9:30 AM


Wow. Just...WOW!

Music is one powerful weapon, isn't it. This was so great the way that River finally found the one thing to drown out the voices in her head. More!

- Soul


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You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 15
Kaylee goes into labor. Hilarity and drama ensues.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 14
Wash and Shooter discuss death and dinosaurs, Gabriel tells Kaylee about Regan, River brings her family together one last time, and Simon and Kaylee face an uncertain future.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 13
Everyone returns to the mansion, Johnny helps a grieving River with some Van Morrison, and Gabriel asks Mal to end it all.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 12
Gabriel is confronted by his family with the news, Kaylee makes a call to Inara, some unexpected guests arrive, and Gabirel is confronted by a familiar demon.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 11
Signal rocks the house, Regan makes a realization, and three major things happen to River in the span of half an hour.

You Can't Go Home Again: Chapter 10
The Tams make their way to the Metro, Johnny get's spiritual clarity with the help of thousands, River plays a favorite of hers, and Simon and Kaylee go on a long delayed date.

You Can't Go Home Again Chapters 6-9
The next day of Simon, River and Kaylee's journey to the Core. Simon comforts Regan in more ways than one, Kaylee makes some figurative and literal repairs of her own, River and Johnny go from the top of a warehouse building to front and center of the Metro in less than 24 hours, and Regan shows it's never to late to make things right.

You Can't Go Home Again Chapters 1-5
Set after THE SERENITY GIG, BLUE HAND BLUES and SHOTGUN TAM, this story takes place in an AU where the BDM never happened, although there will be refrences to it. With the social and economic breakdown of the Alliance, the Tam's are finally free. But a message from home forces them to deal with a larger issue at hand.

You Can't Go Home Again: Chapter 9
The Metro opens its doors, Kaylee sees what she's dreamed of, and the first rock concert in two hundred years goes under way with an updated classic.

You Can't Go Home Again: Chapter 8
This is the all singing, no dancing chapter as River and the band play in public for the first time and tap into something big. The Tam's and Kaylee get wind of this and round two of the fight is interrupted by an unexpected source.