There was a beautiful woman with silver hair. She seemed so familiar to River. She reached out to her.
"You must lead him to Redemption. You must make Earth that Was become Earth That Is. The future musn't follow the current. You will not be alone in your question. There will be allies you must make. Tread softly."
"Him...?" River whispered, her face filled with confusion. Then she was elsewhere.
She was used traveling in her sleep. Her mind was especially as such. The silver haired woman took her hand and they flew through all the cosmos. Stars and planets flew by. They arrived and another woman with black hair looked up. She didn't speak, and it was only then River realized, to her amazement, both women wore no clothing. In fact they barely had forms. The colors weren't really hair as much as auras. A shining black light and a shining silver light. They conversed and the scene changed yet again.
He was in pain. The boy was in great pain. He was tall, River could somehow tell, despite the fact that he was sitting in a corner of the room. It was an odd room, and it took River a minute to realize she was in his mind. But why was his mind a nursery? It smelled of smoke and eggs. His hair was brown and a mess, like he'd been tugging at it.
"No. Leave him alone. Don't do this anymore..."
"What haunts you?" River knelt next to him, the giant in denim. He looked up slowly, his eyes red from crying.
"Who...how did you get in here..." He frowned.
"Are you just pulling on another form?"
"I don't know what you're talking about..." River whispered. "The women brought me here. They said I must lead someone to redemption. Are you him?"
There was silence for a moment and she sat beside him.
"Is this your nursery? How do you remember it?"
"People kept showing it to me through their memories."
"How do you know its your nursery then?" River tilted her head.
"This is how my damnation began. First Y.E.D. enters and 'feeds' me. Then my mother comes in..." He looked ready to cry again as the scene changed. "And dies just like she did."
River blinked as they watched the scene. It was the Giant when he was a few years younger. He'd walked into the bed room, looking for someone, and collapsed onto the bed. A moment passed and a dark red liquid dripped. River looked up as the younger Sam began screaming. A young woman, blonde and in a white dress, was burning within moments. A shorter man came in and pulled the younger giant out. It was then River realized she and the Giant were in the burning memory and he wasn't moving.
"Sam!" She exclaimed. "We need to go!" River knelt down and tugged at his arm, but she was so much smaller. He was taller and had more muscle then she did.
"She died because of me."
"I don't know all this...but you didn't set that fire! You didn't put her on the roof! Get up! Get up!"
Sam looked up for a moment, hazel eyes locked on her for a moment. He wanted to escape. She could feel that. But something was stopping him.
River turned slowly to face what he was scared of. Another glowing figure had appeared. But he was different. He was the fire.
"How did you get in here? He's never met you before."
"I was brought here. To Redeem."
"To kick me out more like. It's not happening."
Fire surrounded her and River screamed. But it did not burn. Another light appeared and reached out to her.
"River, come on! We don't have long." It was a voice she knew and trusted as River grasped for it.
"Wash?" She paused for a moment, looking back to the Giant as the Fire approached him.
"Hang on!" River cried out. "I'll come for you! Wait!"
It was gone as fast as it had happened. River woke up back on the Serenity. She'd been expecting peaceful slumber after everything that had happened. Now she wasn't haunted by the echoes of Miranda. Now she was haunted by echoes of Earth that Was.
She stood up quietly on her bare feet and walked to the mirror. Now that she was better, and that Simon was usually sharing a bunk with Kaylee, she had a cabin to her own. River pulled a hand through her black hair as she mulled over the odd dream. Before, when she had the dreams, she told Simon, Book, or Wash. Simon would inject her with medicine. Book would say how he was sure she had a higher purpose. Wash would make jokes most of the time. She still preferred loose clothing, wearing her yellow robe from Inara. Her black hair was still curly and long. But her eyes were still haunted. They weren't haunted as they'd once been but because of personal experience.
People had died because of her. People who'd sheltered her and been her family. Now they were dead. She missed the Shepherd Book and Wash, especially with Zoe expecting. So caught up in her thoughts, it took River a moment to realize there was a glowing essence in the corner of the room.