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Convergence; A River Fic
Topic Started: Jun 8 2009, 04:33 PM (435 Views)
Synthia Lyndon Heller

This is a River story. Part of it takes place during the BDM, but it doesn't have spoilers so much as anti-spoilers. It might be hard to follow if you haven't seen the series, movie, and the R Tam sessions.


The shadows were deep, and they poured out monsters. They were all around, the reavers. Sharp bits and lengths of metal flashed about angrily, rusting away slowly beneath the clot and rot that had never been cleaned from them. No words were spoken here; What use were they to violence rendered down to its raw, chemical essence? Had hate and rage and murder and rape ever been anything but electrical blasts boiling chemical bonds into a frenzied storm? In one, the sight of another inspired love, in another one, the same sight led to hate. Chemicals and electricity drove the storm, but the spirit decided whether or not to loose it. Until the spirit was locked away in chemical shackles, and all that remained was the storm. The storm and forever at sea with no harbor and no friendly light. How far could anyone be reduced, how deep down driven until the light couldn’t reach any more, until they blocked it out and cursed it as hope mocking them in a prison tower of no escape?

How deep could they go before they went too far? You lost the first one. You cut too deep, he died on the table. One of your attendants cried and you comforted her. We’re doing such good work. Did all destroyers believe that? They were all around, the doctors. Sharp bits and lengths of metal flashed about precisely, gleaming and clean in their sterile perfection. Their hands were gloved, never touching the blood they spilled. The murderer is more honest. He admits that he is killing you. He doesn’t expect you to thank him for it later. The light so bright, they need so much light to do their dark work. Their light, their thoughts, so blinding. I am driven and stretched out before their light.

I am a shadow. A dark, deep shadow of darkest night, and the stars are too far away to reach me. His eyes are intent. It is a game they play. He is thinking. I am a fire, he says. A raging fire that burns anything in it’s path. A fire that lights up the deepest shadow. He is a little older than her, a friend in school. He is not as quick to learn as she is, none of them are. He has to try hard to do things she could already do better than any of the teachers, but he could already play the piano music from the Earth-That-Was recordings, the music written by men in white wigs and odd suits, with names like Mozart and Bach and Beethoven. He had been able to do it since before he went to school. Now, he could write his own music. His parents called him a prodigy, an artist. They talked about sending him to the finest academies, when they weren’t busy fighting over money. They were rich too, but his father wasn’t as good at investing wisely as hers was. They yelled and fought at night, and he hid from it, burrowing deep under the covers until the sound was muffled and the shadows of pacing feet in the crack of light under the door could no longer be seen. I wish I could set him free from that. I don’t say that. I say I am the deep rushing water. Flooded by the storm, I rush out and drown all fire. I am the

River. I am River. Their thoughts are not mine. The thoughts of the past, of the boy I once knew, I own those. They were mine before the academy, before the doctors. Before the other men who never cut or probe, but always stand back from the light, stand back and watch as if their hands must be kept even cleaner than the doctors who do their work. We are doing such good work. Alliance officials, important men with important secrets in their important heads. Am I one of their secrets? And how did they expect to keep them when they were written all over their faces. Something had gone wrong. It hadn’t worked like that in the lab, and how they trusted their clean, white labs. So many dead, so many others . . . not dead. Not people. The thoughts so cold, so uncaring, as if they weren’t aware of what their own thoughts meant. More blood on those hands than on the doctor’s gloves. So much

Blood whipping in arcs from her blades, slammed back into now, into the dark, where the air breathed rotten like the fanged mouth of a scavenger. Blades and chains and teeth. Her stolen axe flashes out and a head flies free. They rage around her, lashing out in their uncoordinated fury. She flows and ebbs, graceful among them, always

Moving. He is moving, he says. His father wasn’t rich anymore. It can happen when you invest in the wrong things too many times. They are staying together for his sake, he doesn’t say, but I know. They can’t afford to live here anymore, to keep sending him to such expensive schools. They say it won’t be so hard, he says. It’s not like most places on the rim. There are big cities, and real schools, and they want people to go, they pay people to go

To hell. It all went straight to hell. The survey teams. You lost the first one. They went too deep, and couldn’t get back out. She died on the screen. One of the comm technicians cried, and you comforted her. It was all a mistake. We are doing such

Good work there. Good places to live. There’s nowhere else in the verse you can live so well so cheaply.

We made it so attractive, why wouldn’t they come?

Millions of settlers

We’re going to

We sent them to


She stares into the light. She remembers.


And in the darkness of the shadows, she saw him again, the little prodigy she had known. He did not recognize her. No one could have recognized him. He was a raging fire, burning anything in it’s path. She was the deep, rushing water. The storm flooded her, and she rushed out and drowned all fire.

The small light, burrowed deep down under cover, went out.

She set him free.
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