Simon: I am very smart. I went to the best medacad in Osiris, top three percent of my class, finished my internship in eight months. “Gifted” is the term. So when I tell you that my little sister makes me look like an idiot child, I want you to understand my full meaning. River was more than gifted. She… she was a gift. Everything she did, music, math, theoretical physics — even dance — there was nothing that didn’t come as naturally to her as breathing does to us. She could be a real… brat about it, too. I mean, she used to — There was a school… a government-sponsored academy, we had never even heard of it but it had the most exciting program, the most challenging. We could have sent her anywhere, we had the money, but she wanted to go. She wanted to learn. She was fourteen. I… I got a few letters at first, and then I didn’t hear for months. Finally I got a letter that made no sense. She talked about things that never happened, jokes that we never… it was a code. It just said… “They’re hurting us. Get me out.”
Zoe: How’d you do it?
Simon: Money. And luck. For two years, I couldn’t get near her. Then I was contacted by some men, some underground movement. They said that she was in danger, that the government was… playing with her brain. If I funded them they could sneak her out in cryo, get her to Persephone, and from there I could take her… wherever.
Inara: Will she be all right?
Simon: I don’t know if she’ll be all right. I don’t know what they did to her, orwhy. I just have to keep her safe.
Firefly – Episode 1 – “Serenity”