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Author's note: First, an introduction. This is a short story I wrote, but I don't remember exactly when. I know it was sometime between 2002 and 2005, because I named it after the Reavers from Joss Whedon's Firefly, but it was before Serenity when the Reaver's origins were revealed. This story is the rambling of a man gone mad with Space Dementia, which is what the Reavers were originally thought to be.This isn't a fan fiction since it doesn't take place in Joss Whedon's Universe, I merely borrowed the name. Nonetheless, I would like to state that Firefly and Serenity are the intellectual property of Joss Whedon, I own nothing, and I am earning no money by posting this story. It is purely for entertainment purposes, so enjoy.
Four hundred and forty seven days we’ve been on this ship. Four hundred and forty seven days of staring out the bloody window and seeing nothing! Nothing but darkness that stretches on for all Eternity, pot marked by insignificant specs of light that serve only to mock me, to remind me of the light of the Sun I used to know and will never see again.
It’s been four hundred and forty seven days since I’ve seen the Sun, or the sky. The brilliant blue sky, atop my head, once it was merry, now it is dead. It’s so black, and it’s everywhere. It’s all around, there’s no escape! I don’t think it’s nothing. I think the Black is alive. And cold. I think it might engulf us, destroy us, suffocate us.
The crew doesn’t talk to me anymore. The silence is deafening. All of these rations taste the same. Ash in my mouth. It’s been months since I’ve tasted meat, or bread, or fruit, or chocolate. If ever I return to Earth I’m going to force feed these rations to whoever invented them until they choke to death.
Earth, Earth, Earth, oh God! Four hundred and forty seven days since I’ve seen Earth, since I’ve seen birds or trees or grass or the ocean, or had any human contact aside from the fuckers on this ship! What’s happen to Earth? What’s happened to my family there? My friends? I don’t know, I don’t know! Maybe there never was an Earth. Maybe I’ve always been here, and the Earth is just a delusion I created to keep myself sane. But if I’m delusional how can I be sane?
Murmurs. I hear murmurs. The crew, the others, are talking about me again. I know it. They’re trying to decide what to do with me. They lie to me. They tell me our mission is nearly complete, and we’ll be returning home soon. Bullshit! We’re never going anywhere because we never came from anywhere. We’ve always been here and we’ll always be here!
They actually believe in Earth, and they think I’m insane. I know that because I can hear their voices, and I can hear their thoughts. Inside my head. I can hear everyone on this ship at once, no matter where they are. See them, read their minds. I can even hear some voices that don’t belong to the crew. Disembodied voices, I don’t know who they belong to. They’re getting louder. I can think of only one explanation as to why my senses have transcended physicality, and are able to perceive everything with equal acuity regardless of distance or interference.
Nothing I see is real. Nothing is real. Only me. I’m just a mind existing in a vacuum, a vacuum of mass, of space, of time. I’m all that exists, and I created this imaginary world to torment myself. That means I’m God. But God isn’t real. So I’m not real. I’m a delusion, begat by my own delusions. The others are talking again, louder. My own delusions are conspiring to kill me. They’ll fail though. Since I’m only their delusion they can’t hurt me. If I kill them I’ll cease to exist.
But they’re only my delusions so I can’t kill them. I’ll have to kill us both at the same time, then we won’t be able to hallucinate about each other and we’ll both cease to exist. I see everything with clarity now. I’m sane because I know I’m delusional. My delusions are insane because they think I’m real when I’m only their delusion. By killing myself and my delusions they’ll be no one left to hallucinate, and there will be sanity.
Footsteps. I hear footsteps. I hear them breathing. I hear their hearts beating. They’re coming, coming, coming to kill me. Blood. Blood shall be spilt. I smell it. I need to taste it. Blood. Blood. It’s time for Blood.
- - -
The others tried to kill me yesterday. One of them tried to inject me with something, something insidious. I heard his words, and they were kind. I heard his thoughts and they were malign. The thoughts of those that could be seen, all wanted me dead. They told me lies, told me they wanted to help me, that I was sick, but their thoughts wanted me dead. The thoughts of those that cannot be seen, voices without names, told me to kill them, that I must live. I like these voices, I trust them because they want me alive when the others want me dead. I lifted my stylus and plunged it into the throat of the one who tried to give me the poison.
He lies there still gasping.
I then leaped onto one of the others, I don’t know their names any more, but I think he was the Mission Commander, or he who I imagined was the Mission Commander. He was nobody and never was, for he was only my delusion, and I was merely his delusion. The voices told me that he must die so I obeyed. When I leapt on him he fell against the wall. I bit his face and tore his skin off while I banged his skull against the wall until his brain was like love. I played in the puddle of blood, drank it to gain his strength. Then there were the two women.
One struck me with a chair while I played in the puddle.
I ran after her and she slipped in the puddle.
I dragged her to the galley and put her face in the skillet. She screamed and I kept her there until she stopped screaming. She’s ugly now, but she’s blind so she doesn’t know. Her eyes are gone but she still cries. She cries when I cut off her flesh and cook it to eat. It’s better than rations. She tastes better than she looks now. I keep her alive so the meat won’t spoil, and the voices like her screams. The other woman I caught trying to help the one that lies gasping. I threw the cleaver I found in the galley at her. It was lodged in her head and she fell back screaming. She grabbed at it like it was hers.
It’s mine, she stole my cleaver.
I pulled it out and then hacked her with it until her head rolled off. She shouldn’t have stolen my cleaver. Two of the others are dead, the gasping man only gasps, and the ugly one only screams. They can’t hurt me now. The voices don’t want me to kill them, they like the gasps and screams, but I have to kill them. If I don’t they’ll still hallucinate me. I’m only their delusion and I can only cease to be if they die, then no one will be left to imagine me. Except the voices. Are the voices my delusions too? If they are then killing the others won’t kill me because the voices will still be here to imagine me. I can’t see the voices, they don’t have bodies like the others. How can I kill them?
It’s been many days since the others have tried to destroy me. The gasping man is no longer gasping. I think he died from lack of drink. I never gave him any water. I’ve removed much of the crying one’s flesh, but she still cries. The flesh where I’ve cut is ugly like her face. I remember. I remember from my life on Earth, which never happened. I can remember there were supposed to be little living things, too small to see, and this is what makes her ugly. But everything about Earth is just my imagination, so that must be imaginary too.
It’s silly to believe in things you can’t see.
To prove to myself these little living things don’t exist I’ve cut my own flesh, all over my body. I’ve impaled many things that cut into my skin so that it looks like winter. The pain felt like sex at first, but I can no longer feel anything. I am ugly like the crying one. When she cries to me I think she’s trying to say something to me, but her words no longer congeal into meaning. The other voices have grown louder, and there are more of them. They never stop talking, they don’t let me sleep. Maybe I’ve never slept. Maybe sleep is just a delusion I’ve created, to give myself hope of ending my eternal exhaustion.
I yearn for rest, but there is no such thing.
The voices have kept me busy. They made me rape the corpse of the one who stole my cleaver. Their laughter destroyed my ears. All my body is alive with agony. My brain was pounding against my skull so I tried to let it out. I cut a hole into my head and that made me feel better. I thought it might make the crying one feel better to, so I tried to cut into her skull. She squirmed and stole my knife. It passed between my heart and where I keep her flesh I stole.
Blood is pouring out of me. I shake and I’m cold and the Blackness from outside has forced its way in. The voices are laughing at me, they lied to me. They want me dead. Are they real? If they’re not real then they’ll die with me, and they don’t want that. They must be real, which means I was wrong. My death will bring no sanity. The Blackness is eating me now. I tremble.