I’m happy. The Serenity movie site just had a contest to win props from the movie; 1st prize was a complete Alliance uniform, runner-up prizes were chopsticks used in the movie. The assignment was to write a report from the point of view of an Alliance officer on the day River Tam escaped from the Academy, with a limit of 10,000 characters.
Here’s my runner-up-winning entry:
ZHONG KUI ACADEMY INTERNAL AFFAIRS INCIDENT REPORT
AEE7488.DPJK – MAY 22, 2517
DEPOSITION OF CPL. SANFORD PARROTT
RE: ABDUCTION OF SUBJECT R. TAM
WITNESS DESCRIPTION FOLLOWS:
At 8:55 a.m. on Thursday, May 22, 2518, I brought Subject Tam from her room to Lab #7a for her regular session with Dr. Mathais. She gave no signs of expecting anything different. After Technician Seigal took possession I returned to my station as usual to transcribe anything Subject Tam may have said during the transfer and to wait for her session to end.
I had little to transcribe. When Subject Tam first arrived at the Academy she attempted to engage me in conversation at every opportunity, asking questions and making jokes. Of course I have not conferred with other officers in contact with Subject Tam but my impression was that she was similarly open with others as well. When she received nothing more from me than a nod – as we have been instructed to respond — she would giggle and go on to invent a life for me filled with fanciful adventures and tragic loves. Each day she added more to my personal mythology and each day I nodded and then transcribed the latest tale for evaluation. We have been told that this is a valuable tool in determining the mental state and awareness of the subjects.
It took longer than with most subjects but as the months went on and her treatments progressed she gradually became less animated, less forthcoming, more defensive, and eventually less stable. In the last few weeks she has said nothing to me at all.
On the day in question, just before we reached the lab, Subject Tam turned and placed her hand on my chest and said the following in a sad voice: “Your heart is a long way away. I thought I could hold onto it and be safe in the dark but it dripped away with me and now your heart and I hide in the rushes and tremble at noises. You should go find your heart. It misses you.”
As I was filling out my report on this exchange I was summoned to escort a visiting government inspector who had arrived unannounced. This was unusual but not unheard of; members of Parliament and assorted officials came to the Academy often. When he disembarked from his shuttle he presented identification which cleared him as Lord Melchett. He immediately surrendered his sidearm to the shuttle bay security detail but was permitted to keep his baton of office after it was scanned.
I had been instructed to take him directly to Dr. Mathais’ lab. Technician Waits opened the door when we arrived. This was a clear lapse in security because while I have been stationed at the Academy for several years now, this was the first time I was permitted, even briefly, to see and hear a subject during a session. Subject Tam was strapped into a metal chair with various tubes and devices inserted into her flesh. She was screaming. Inspector Melchett was facing away from me and I did not see his reaction. When he closed the door the hallway became silent again and I returned to my station to complete my report.
Five minutes before the session was due to end I retrieved the wheelchair I use to transport subjects back to their rooms. As I turned the corner towards the lab I saw the door burst open and Inspector Melchett emerge, now dressed as a technician although he was still carrying his baton. He was pulling Subject Tam with him. She was bleeding freely from where the devices had been pulled from her body but she was clearly accompanying him of her own accord.
I knew of course that her unsanctioned movement was temporary as all labs are monitored, but I did not wish to destroy what little could still be gained due to her familiarity with me. I remained around the corner, out of sight. Voices could be heard approaching. The inspector began to pull her along but instead Subject Tam scrambled up the wall and wedged her feet against the walls to position herself flat against the ceiling just before Dr. Ross and Dr. Chang came down the hallway to pass directly underneath her. They did not notice anything unusual.
Inspector Melchett ran towards the other end of the hall. Subject Tam dropped to the floor and followed.
After they disappeared I ran to the lab to see Dr. Mathais and the technicians unconscious on the floor but apparently unharmed. I paged for assistance just as two of the security agents, weapons drawn, came in and assimilated the scene. One agent demanded I tell him where they went.
The agents ran back outside and down the hallway as the medics arrived and I assisted with moving Dr. Mathias and the technicians to the clinic. Within a half hour all schedules were immediately put on hold and I was summoned from the clinic to report here with my testimony.
I do not know why I didn’t apprehend Subject Tam the moment I saw she had escaped. I do not know why I told the agents on the scene that Subject Tam and the inspector were returning to his shuttle even though I knew they had gone in the opposite direction. I do not know why I failed to report that when Subject Tam dropped to the floor she ripped the belt buckle from her jumpsuit, the buckle containing the tracking transponder none of the subjects were supposed to know about. I realize that my failure in these regards may have caused a delay in her recapture.
I do know that before she followed her abductor she looked up and our eyes met. And I know that when I didn’t move towards her, Subject Tam did something she has not done for nearly 11 months.
Subject Tam smiled at me.
I have no excuse for my actions, and I accept whatever disciplinary actions my superiors see fit to assign.
Signed this day by Cpl. Sanford Parrott
Witnessed this day by Agent Brocke , Agent Wilmine, Agent Stefertson
ACTION: Cpl. Parrott has been charged with High Treason and moved to a secure facility to be more closely questioned.