River's Rules

Author owns no rights to Firefly, and no copyright infringement is intended. Fanfic only.


As I travel the 'verse, often fleeing from persecution at the hands of the people who have made me something different from what I was, I have learned a great many things.

Common, practical things. I'm a genius, a certified child prodigy, so it would be difficult for me to learn anything new in the educational sense. But for all my intelligence, and my learning, I had very little common, or 'street' sense.

That has changed in the years since I took to the black after my brother rescued me. As a result, I have decided, as I journal my travels, to include a few of the things that I have learned over the years that were not in the thousands of books that I have perused.

Rule #1 – Avoid hulking mercenaries whose I.Q. is lower than their shoe size.

Rule #2 – No touching guns. That's actually not my rule, but it is. You see.

Rule #3 – No watching Fruity Oaty Bar commercials. They're bad for you anyway. In more ways than one.

Rule #4 – There is no correct way to eat an ice planet. They defy the laws of known science. Problematic.

Rule #5 – If someone comes to you, wanting you to attend a school of prodigies, politely refuse. Then go into hiding. Trust me on that one.

Rule #6 – Learn to knit. It's a peaceful and calming practice, and will come in handy when you have children.

Rule #7 – Never trust a selfish, greedy, ape-man with anything you want to keep.

Rule #8 – Avoid medical procedures when and wherever possible. A limited amount of violence is also acceptable in the course of said avoidance. Even if the doctor is your brother. He should know better after a while, anyway.

Rule #9 – Never trust anyone in a blue suit, wearing blue gloves. Very important.

Rule #10 – Certain people with certain types of hair should not be allowed to expose their chaotic hair to others. It is unnerving.

Rule #11 – Avoid reavers if possible. They don't play well with others.

Rule #12 – If you're crazy, people will avoid you. Leave you alone.

Rule #13 – If you act crazy, people will avoid you, and leave you alone.

Rule #14 – Never come between an ape-man and his guns. Or his ma. Or his food. Or his woman.

Rule #15 – If you speak in riddles, you force others to listen to you, and think about what you're trying to say. It makes them think. And it's enjoyable to watch. Especially if the listener is a loutish ape-beast with delusions of grandeur.

Rule #16 – If your brother has a girlfriend, never walk into his room without knocking. It could be embarrassing. For them.

Rule #17 – If you are a reader, certain leeway must be made for certain thoughts concerning your physical appearance. This is especially true of afore mentioned ape-beasts, who tend to think those kind of thoughts as readily as he breathes. Although sometimes the thoughts are actually quite nice. Not to mention flattering.

Rule #18 – When you are flying, try to avoid saying things like, "I wonder what this button does?" when the captain is present. He will not react well.

Rule #19 – It's not always necessary to show people how smart you are. In fact, it's better to hide your intelligence, as people will then underestimate you. This give you numerous advantages in dealing with said people.

Rule #20 – Keep a firm distance between yourself and handsome, over muscled, loud, crude, obnoxious, thoughtful, loving, irritating, ape-man mercenaries. In fact, it's better to avoid them all together. Especially the blue-eyed ones. They're the worst. I mean the most handsome. No, no, the most dangerous. Well, not dangerous, at least not to me. Not the one, anyway. I mean, he is, but not in any physical way. Well, I suppose in some physical ways, but not in the sense that. . . .

Rule #21 – Avoid rambling. It frightens people who know you're crazy. It frightens them worse if they know you're a reader. It's much worse if they've seen you kill thirty reavers in hand to hand combat. Or shoot three men with your eyes closed. Or take out an entire bar full of people single handed, and unarmed. Including certain afore mentioned ape-man mercenary's. With blue eyes, and bulging muscles, and a nearly irresistible smile. On the rare occasions he chooses to show it. Usually to you, when the two of you are alone.

These rules can't possibly cover everything, of course, as I have not yet encountered everything there is. However, they should provide the traveler, new to the ways of the black and the rim, with a solid foundation upon which to build, and add to with their own experiences.

I must go now, as the oft mentioned ape-beast husband is loudly calling my name, with a voice that says he wants something.

Bon venture.