Seems Right
Friday, March 14, 2003

Simon's thoughts durring Objects in Space


Hi all! This story is the result of obsessive essay reading, so if you find it lame and boring it’s the fault of G.K. Chesterton. Time wise this happens in the middle of Objects in Space. But I’m sure you’re clever enough to figure that out.


Yes, Simon wanted to tell the crazed bounty hunter passionately. Yes, yes, yes – it seemed right to him. The universe with all her little quirks and paradoxes seemed perfectly right and just. What was not right was Early.

Of course River was the hardest bounty the man had ever gone after, even if she was the smallest but for one. How could he have thought otherwise? Any fool can figure out that it would be easier to catch an elephant than a mouse. If you’re small, you can run and hide. You can slip through fingers and disappear into dark places. No one ever has to look for anything large, like a chair or a table; only small things, like chopsticks and mugs, get lost.

“What did he do?”


“The midget?”

“Arson,” Early said, shaking his head. “Little man loved fire.”

As what the bounty hunter said sunk in, Simon realized that his first proof was only the logical reason that River was a difficult bounty; there was a metaphysical reason as well. She was innocent.

Early should have realized the moment he saw the warrant, her age, her picture, that in her short life she could not have done anything to excuse such an opulent bounty. If he was really was as proficient a bounty hunter as he claimed to be, he must have noted the discrepancy, the injustice. How could he think that, after hunting criminals for so long, he’d be able to hunt the innocent with equal success? What would posses him to believe that the traps for the guilty could possibly catch the guilt less? He hadn’t factored in loyalty, or sacrifice, or courage, or love. If Early had bothered to think of those things, he would have quickly realized that River would be nigh impossible to catch.

Since he was deconstructing Early’s propositions, he turned his mind to what he’d said to Inara--or perhaps more about Inara. The madman felt it was somehow wrong that women bore children because men were more possessed of physical strength.

There was, of course, the natural, biological explanation that women's bodies were made for child bearing. Obviously, mother nature and the force of evolution had seen it fit to make woman the weaker of the two and yet the child bearer. The entire cosmos defied Early, pointing at the track of human history and saying, ‘yes, it is right’.

And again, Simon’s mind wondered into the metaphysical and it made perfect scenes. The flaw of weakness, as a general rule, was paired with the virtue of gentleness, just as the virtue of strength was often paired with the flaw of cruelty. Simon knew it was a false generalization to say that all men were cruel and all women gentle. He had seen a case of a timid husband being beaten by his vicious wife during his short stint in the ER, but for that one case, he’d seen twenty battered wives. But even if natural inclinations were to be ignored, seeing as how they could not be proven, no one would deny that society as a whole was quicker to accept a gentle woman than a gentle man. Just like no one would deny that infants needed a gentle caregiver as much as they needed their mother’s milk.

Having debunked the bounty hunter’s first two arguments, Simon proceeded to the third and, to him, the most difficult because if Early was right, he ought to have been stabbed or shot, two things he vehemently did not want. His first instinct was to say that the universe was right simply because he didn’t want to be hurt. But further reflection brought out the logical and ethical reasons med students should not be maimed and wounded; people in general should not be maimed or wounded.

The more Simon thought about Early’s assertion that if psychoanalysts are psychoanalyzed, surgeons should be cut on, the more he felt the bounty hunter’s assertion provided the basis--not the debunking--of an argument for how the universe was perfectly right. Psychoanalysts underwent examination to ensure that the sick people were treated by a healthy person. The snide cliché ‘physician heal thyself’ was a cliché precisely because it pointed out an ultimate truism: a broken man has no hope of fixing himself or others. Even the bible made a point of saying a man with a splinter in his eye should take care of himself before he tried to remove anything from the eye of another. In general, it takes a healthy person to heal. And if surgeons were made to suffer unnecessary surgeries, they would hardly be healthy.

All these things seemed to unfold in Simon’s mind like a day lily being hit by the sun. The reassurance that Early was the mad one and the universe was completely and totally sane filled him and gave him a blustering and new courage. River would not be found. Early was getting desperate. It was becoming clear that that ‘moment’ Early had dangled in front of him wasn’t going to come. Simon was a bird in the hand, a bird with his own decent sized reward. And because he was wanted dead and alive, he’d probably be killed, shot in the head, just as one last blow to River before bounty hunter took the bounty he could get. Besides, Early was smart enough to know that alive, Simon Tam would never stop looking for that moment and eventually he’d find it.

So, Simon stared at the deckplate and realized he’d probably be dead within the half-hour and his body would be hauled back to the core and bought like so much meat. But if that’s what was going to happen, that was what was going to happen, he reasoned existentially. After all, everything in the universe seemed right to him.

The End


Friday, March 14, 2003 12:13 PM


Interesting. A nice little snippet of silence.

Watch that you don't deconstruct right into tautology.

Saturday, March 15, 2003 10:52 AM


I love reading what people think characters may be thinking. I find it to be a great insight. Thanks for taking the time to write this piece of Simon's thoughts. I liked what you wrote about the paraphrase...removing the beam from your own eye before trying to remove the mote from another's eye. That is always interesting to me. Come, relish in the analogy with me...It's physically impossible for you to have a beam (a very large plank of wood) in your eye. So what the Bible was saying is that the mote (small dust particle) that is in your own eye appears to be the size of a beam because of perspective. Ahhh. So what is really a small problem appears bigger. and that seemingly large problem makes it impossible to help others effectively.

Sunday, March 16, 2003 6:10 PM


I love this kind of stuff. It's great to hear Simons cool and collected thoughts while Early is threatening his life. It also fits so well with his character. As always I love your writing Harriet!

Saturday, March 29, 2003 4:10 PM


Great fic. Love the idea of 'what was he thinking during the episode' fics. Feel free to write more! :)

Maniac, don't look too far into the analogies. It's been known to cause spontanious combustion. It's just saying deal with your problems before worrying about other's. Don't be a hypocrite.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 3:01 AM




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