- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Canon Divergent
Heaving a sigh, Simon Tam leaned against the wall not far from the storage closet he and his sister had been sequestered in. She was still relative safe within the room, but he had needed a minute to check on the next phase of his plan. He needed a moment or two to just breathe.
The last few days, had it really only been a few days? No matter, they had been terrifyingly hectic.
Closing his eyes, he swallowed back the nausea that continued to plague him. At the core of what he’d done, saving his sister and defying their parents, he had committed treason. Using his meager contacts from the hospital and the ones he had gain trying to find out more about the Academy, he had found the dark heart hidden in the depths of the Alliance. It was not something he could abide to ignore.
For now, dealing with that would be secondary.
So far, things were going well. River had been retrieved from the Academy, though with far more fanfare than Simon had originally intended. The rebellion group that had been helping him had insisted on releasing as many of the patients as possible to cause more confusion and hopefully hide Simon’s involvement for as long as possible.
It had been difficult for him to agree to, his only intention to save his sister. Even he had to admit, after being lectured at for far too long, that going in and saving one person would leave the Academy and the Alliance with a very short list of suspects.
The first major change to his plans, he doubted it would be the last.
Giving himself a shake, he turned his thoughts back to the now. Marius, his contact with the rebel group, had just been by to tell him they had about an hour until the ship that was to take the Tams from Liann Jiun to Bellerphon landed. From there, Simon would find transportation to Persephone and then he and River would make their way to the Border Planets, possibly going as far as the Rim, though he hoped it wouldn’t be necessary.
Again, a minor change in plans. Simon had hoped to go straight from the Academy to Persephone. In hindsight, he can admit that would not have been the best plan ever.
Another minute, he decided. Then he really needed to go back into the storage closet and prepare River for the cyro-chamber. Admittedly, he was very worried about that part of the plan. The chambers were all well and good for moving around livestock, but they weren’t really designed to contain creatures with higher brain functions. That’s not to say they hadn’t been successfully used in that manner, just that there could be unintended side effects.
He could probably delay dosing River with another sedative and then undressing her to put her in the box for another thirty minutes. Beyond that, they would be pushing their deadline a little. Not that he was in a hurry to undress his sister. Snorting to himself, he pushed off the wall and headed back to the secure door that had been hiding them both.
He could and should use the time to check her over, the Academy had clearly done something and River looked perpetually exhausted. The shadows in her eyes were enough to give him nightmares.
A sharp nod and he punched in the code to open the door. Stepping into the small room he stopped abruptly.
Whatever the Academy had done, River was very different. Simon needed no more proof than the cyro-chamber that had been reduced to plastic bits strewn about the room.
“River- wha?” He cut himself off as he truly looked at his sister.
Rage was barely contained in her eyes and she defiantly brought the bit of plastic she was still holding down to the floor in a loud crash. Simon flinched and a quick glance showed him the door had closed tightly behind him.
“I will not be caged.” He voice was rough with disuse, sounding far more like their father after a night of greasing the wheels than like his adorably flighty kid sister.
“It wasn’t meant as a cage,” he argued. “Just a way to keep you out of sight while we travel.”
“Will you be in a box?”
“Well, no. But, someone needs to make sure we both end up in the same place.”
“Stupid,” she mumbled and shoved the bits of plastic away from her.
Simon watched as they skittered across the floor before hitting the wall.
“Apparently. Another change of plans. I’m not sure I can get another chamber before Marius arrives with the ship, what are we to-” he trailed off as his sister vigorously shook her head. “No?”
“No chamber. No Marius.”
“No?” Simon repeated dumbly. “But we’ve to get to Bellerphon-”
A slow smile spread across River’s face. “There are other ways. Yes, while the cat’s away the mice will play.” Nodding to herself she stood and stepped up to her brother. “Thank you,” she said solemnly. “Together we are stronger.” Reaching out she tugged at a strand of his hair, turning it side to side. “Red hair is rare, only two percent of the population.”
“Yes,” Simon dragged out. Their mother had always been delighted that the two of them had red hair. It had been a pain for him as he grew, Reagan Tam wanted bother of her children to keep their hair long to show off their superior genetics. He had only been able to cut it to a respectable length when he’d gone to MedAcad.
Rolling her eyes, she tugged the strand sharply causing him to wince. “To hide, we must change, no longer little red riding hood, but now the wolf.”
It had been hard to follow his little sister out of the relative safety of the supply closet, but he knew there was no way that he could put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak. River had used her time destroying the cyro-chamber to make plans and she was always eager to lead new adventures.
He turned to look back at the warehouse regretfully once more, before squaring his shoulders and jogging slightly to catch up with his sister. They were heading towards the more disreputable areas of the city, looking for a place or two to sell what they could to line their pockets.
Oddly, he was quite proud that he had gained some of his sister’s respect by draining his accounts before undertaking her rescue. The Alliance would have no trouble tracking the use of his funds throughout their systems and once they figured out he was involved in the Academy break in, they’ll do that and more. Like freezing his accounts to leave him penniless and desperate.
Now, River was on a quest to make them less obvious. She had looked him up and down and dug through his backs with a sniff. He had no doubts that he would soon be in much courser clothes. He would miss the vests and ironed pants, but he would appreciate being less noticeable.
They travlled from shop to shop efficiently, never wasting time, but still managing to find everything they needed. Somehow, River knew exactly where to look. She would lead them to a corned of a shop, pull a single off a rack and it would be in one of their sizes. Perfectly serviceable clothing that would keep them going for a good long while.
The clothes Simon had packed before leaving Osiris were traded, donated, and a few things were dropped in various trash receptacles. He could not make heads or tails of River’s decisions in that regard.
Now, four hours after they had left the warehouse, she wore a satisfied smile.
“Now we can go on our adventure.”
“It’s not really an adventure, meimei. More like running for our lives.”
She hummed and led the way to a small cafe so they could eat before finding a ship. “The tracks will lead them round and round. We’ll be safe for a little while.”
“I hope so,” Simon agreed and smiled at the waitress who took their orders. Even here, things were simple. A hearty bowl of soup and a sandwich that was as delicious as it was filling. On Osiris, he would be eating light meals that were more air than substance. Things that extravagant and unnecessary. He found he rather liked the simpler meals.
It was from one of the shops that they had seen Marius hurrying through the streets, worry clear on his face. It was a relief to know the man wouldn’t have betrayed him, but it was far more comforting to know he’ll never be in that position.
He was a bit shamed that they had left without a note, but best for Marius to go back to his life aggravating the Alliance than bring more trouble to his door step when they start looking for the Tams in earnest.
River tilted her head to see what he was looking at and frowned when she realized he was just staring out the window. “Nothing there,” she said.
“Not quite true. The possibilities of how all of this might have played out if I’d kept you sedated instead of letting you wake up.” Her turned to offer her a wry grin. “I wanted you to know you were safe, I forgot to take you into account.”
The grin she offered him in return was quite sly and sent a shiver down his spine. “Together we will be safer,” she pronounced with a nod of her head. “Now we must find a suitable steed to carry us into our ever after.”
Her odd obsession with Earth That Was fairy tales was decidedly new. “If only it’s that easy.”