challenge was River, Pi
She can calculate Pi to the 77th place in under a minute, all in her head, when the voices aren't too loud.
She can calculate it on hovercraft, flying too fast to count the stones and still not lose the ratio of the circle's diameter to it's circumference that she keeps in her mind.
She can calculate it while she balances, precarious, on arm rails. listening when her ship speaks.
The heads on the fruity oaty bar girls are oval. Pi does not apply to them. The words and images of squids and murder and flying strawberries go round and round.
She calculates in chains, locked in the keep.
She beats up Jayne and her math is perfect. There are no questions in her equations, only answers. She wishes the worlds outside her were this organized.
She takes the ship to the dark places in her mind, shows them her secrets. They're in the inner most circle of hell now, with her.
Oh Brave new world, that has such people in it.
Pi is an irrational number. It can not be represented as a fraction of whole integers. She feels unwhole. Please God make me a stone.
Pi is unending, it never repeats. These people inside her head go on forever. They say nothing.
Cross my heart and hope to die. Here's the digits that make pi: 3.14159..... They're coming for her.
Locked in a little room. Simon's hurt, Zoe's hurt, Kaylee's hurt. There's no one left to keep the circle rolling.
They're coming for her.
The circle turns. It's her time to take care of Simon, of everybody.
The weapons sing and swing and slice. She's every Reaver ever created. They are inside of her and around her and everything. Spots of blood make perfect circles on the walls, the ceiling, the floor.
The rest is silence.
Or would be if the Alliance soldiers hadn't picked that moment to break down the wall.
Now everything is fine. Full circle.
The sky is full of spheres: planets, moons, suns. The universe and River go on forever.