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River Tam grew up privileged, the baby of a fairly rich family and the brilliant one in a family of geniuses. When she was fourteen, she left home for a government-sponsored school which promised exciting new experimental programs for the very gifted.
It... wasn't exactly a school, though it certainly was experimental.
For several months, her family heard nothing from her; then they received a letter that made no sense, full of injokes they'd never had and stories of strangers named as old friends. Her parents dismissed it as a joke or a teenage phase; her brother Simon was convinced that something was very wrong. He eventually figured out the code: "They're hurting us. Get me out." Over the course of two years, he sacrificed his promising career as a surgeon and his relationship with his parents to secretly rescue her, with a combination of money, persistance, and luck.
River, now twenty-one by Milliways time, is still a genius. She's also more than a little insane, and at least a little psychic. She and Simon are part of the crew of Serenity, a Firefly-class starship that takes most jobs that pay, some of them legal and some of them less so. They spent several years as fugitives from the Alliance government; that's changed, finally. A lot of things have changed over the years, and a lot of other things haven't.
River's lucidity depends on many things, including her mood, everyone else's mood, how much she's picking up psychically from the people around her, and how well the latest attempt at medication is working. Physically, River is fairly small and slender, and moves like a dancer, and like someone who is not always perceiving the same reality everyone else is. She has long dark hair, usually loose and tangled, and large dark eyes.
River Tam is from the sadly cancelled tv show Firefly, and she and all other aspects of the show are the intellectual property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, and all other holders of the copyright. This is an IC journal for role-playing at milliways_bar, and is not for profit nor intended as copyright infringement. The mun is genarti.
River, like everyone else in her world, speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese as well as fluent English; she's been around Milliways long enough to know that this is not the case for everyone there, but she occasionally forgets that fact. Translations can be found here (and thanks to flybywash-mun for the link!), but the meaning can be generally figured out from context.
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