Liquid Courage
by Voleuse

Wake from your dreams, the drying of your tears, today
we escape, we escape. - Radiohead

Tomorrow, Simon Tam is going to beome a fugitive.

Through his knowledge, money, and name, he will rescue his sister from a government lab. He will break approximately 27 laws in the process. Their pictures will be plastered across the 'verse, stamped with the blood-red of "Wanted."

He wonders what his mother will think.

He knows what she would say if she saw him now, her bright baby boy, becoming progressively drunk in a seedy tavern his father wouldn't see fit to spit on.

He doesn't care.

There's only one person in the world who ever treated him like him, and that's River. If she needs help, he'll burn all his bridges after getting her across.

He feels more alive than he's felt in weeks, and he thinks it's the rotgut in his glass, a far cry from the vintage wine that complemented his meal two nights ago. For all his tutelage in fine anesthetics, he knows for a fact that nothing numbs like a generous shot of whiskey.

Tomorrow, Simon Tam is going to leave everything he knows behind. His career, his home, his friends, and most of his family; all vapor once the Alliance places their bounty.

He doesn't care.

Tomorrow, River will be free.


River Tam is supposed to be dead.

That's what her guards think, anyway, though they don't know what brain-twists the higher-ups have put her through. They only know what happened to the others in the program.

She's one of the last, and she should be dead.

When she starts laughing, they get nervous. She's trussed up three different ways, and her cell is locked with the best Alliance tech available.

She's laughing, and when one of them snaps, and asks her what's so funny, she smiles dead-serious.

"He's coming for me." She tosses her hair back, much as she can with her neck braced against the wall. "He's gonna come, and you're gonna die."

The guards are about to laugh at her.

Then the lights go out.


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