all things are mortal

The correct way to silence a man is to wait till he sleeps and then slide a needle into his brain. The ears are convenient, but the back of the neck will do as well, and in emergencies one can use a hammer and pound a nail through the skull.

Oh you poor child, Inara says to River. Oh my dear.

Her hands flutter and her body is uncertain.

They are filth. They are all filth. They are beneath me.

Let me brush out your hair, Inara says to Kaylee. Such pretty hair.

Kaylee thinks that Inara is beautiful. Inara doesn't need to hear her say this to know it.

A Companion does not show her disdain for the people with whom she associates. She always behaves with perfect poise, perfect grace. She never makes them feel uncomfortable unless it is her intention to do so.

You have insulted me and you do not stop insulting me, she says to the Captain, and her voice trembles, and she knows he will assume that he has hurt her and walk away rather than try to apologise.

In her dreams she is as cold and breathless as deep space, and she watches him suffocate. There is no sound and she cannot hear him speak.

A Companion ensures the smooth functioning of society.

She watches Jayne twitch as the barb goes in without realising what precisely she has said or why she has said it, and sits back and folds her hands.

I do precisely as I want.

The Captain and his Zoe think they hate the Alliance. They don't know what hatred means. Hatred is knowing something as much and as closely as love, because it lets you kill it better.

I sit in a maze of mirrors and veils and the dimming lights will go out and leave me in the darkness.

Not all killers are Reavers; not all killers are River; not all killers are arriving. Some are leaving instead, on a trip from star to star, in a little shuttle tied to a weary craft that burns and flickers and is fading.

A Companion's poise and posture are absolute.

What is it you want, Inara, the shepherd asks, and he has as many secrets as she does.

I want to stop but I do not know how.

And everyone says she is beautiful, and nobody sees how her hands tremble.