Disclaimer: I own the whole 'verse. Sure. eye roll

Post BDM. Miranda wasn't the only secret River learned from Parliament, she also learned where they got the Pax from…and one of its first test-subjects.

The capture was very old, at least ten years old; and it was a huge, it took up an entire wall of the sterile white room and it depicted a thing of simple beauty. It was of a girl; dark haired and dark eyed, at least eight years old and she was dancing . It was a dance that hadn't been invented yet. In the background startled eyes watched her, eyes of fellow dance students and two very red-faced dance teachers who were obviously debating on whether or not to let her continue her dance. A descision seemed to be made and one of the instructors, a dour-faced woman with short blonde hair and close set eyes walked forward to stop the child-

-the capture stopped abruptly, and the man watching it snarled. When the Doctors were in the room the man snarled. When the sets of cold-eyed men with blue-gloved hands were in the room the man snarled. Really, the man snarled when there was anybody nearby to see it, even if it was only a capture or a surveillance camera. People expected him to snarl, scowl, and bite at them. It didn't do to disappoint people. They got suspicious otherwise. The girl had taught him that. The dark haired girl with dark eyes that laughed and sang as she danced with innocent delight.

He doubted she had such innocence anymore. He knew what they had done to her. It was very near what they had done to him.

Another image exploded up on the wall, of a more mature girl, a young woman really; there was a sadness in her eyes that hadn't been there in the previous capture. Another capture of her stabbing a man in his neck with his own pen, her hands bloody and her eyes wide. Then another capture took its place, of her escape from the Academy where she had been relentlessly trained, where he had been made. It showed her brother, her brother with the still face and dark eyes that expressed far too much to an observant man.

He had never had eyes like that…. His own eyes were far too blank, and far too dead. He doubted that he could ever have eyes that showed that such love as Simon Tam's expressed for his little sister.

Then the wall displayed images of various numbers, trajectories, bank accounts, lists of ships and captains and crews and passenger logs. They flashed so fast that no human eye could have distinguish one from another. But he saw them and he understood.

The final ship that flashed on the screen was of a Firefly class, the name Serenity, and a complete rundown of crew, past records, home planets and moons, backgrounds, and every other fact that the Alliance could find about the crew.

Then followed images of violence. Captures of Reavers, torture, death, and inhumane brutality. The screams were deafening, the colors vivid; especially the red….

The two men with blue gloved-hands at the door could barely maintain their dispassionate facades as they observed the man chained to the wall and the images that flooded the large screen.

The man's low snarls made the hair on the back of their necks raise, and the hungry look in his color-less eyes made it difficult for them not to shudder.

Observing the man from the camera in the corner of the room the scientists and high officials spoke quietly together, commending the men in charge of this mission with their methods of training this savage beast.

This was the way they would finally eliminate the traitor River Tam, and all who tried to protect her. It was the way they would finally protect the few secrets that remained in their vastly slipping empire. But in their eyes also glinted fear…the fear of what would happen if another secret was revealed, the fear of this creature shackled in a room, the fear of what would happen if they failed.

But there were a few old men who stood in the room, and one younger woman whose eyes sparkled with anticipation of darker things. They were not a part of these frightened men, vulnerable in their wasting world and their padded fortunes. They understood the ways of this beast and how to ensure his obeisance. He was not like that foolish Operative, whom they had easily dispatched. The man had only belief; but the man chained in the room, he had a hunger.

The man hungered for River Tam just as much as the men watching him were. She had been the graceful one, the one who cowered and capitulated to harsh experiments, the one who had been praised as prodigy. The one who had escaped this place and left him behind with only pain and blood to keep alive.

He hungered so much for her blood.