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- "There was a school… a, uh, government-sponsored academy, we'd 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 got a few letters at first, then I didn't hear from her for months. Finally I got a letter that made no sense. She talked about things that never happened, jokes we never… it was code. It just said… "They're hurting us, get me out.""
- ―Simon Tam describing the Academy[src]
Somehow secretly tied to the Blue Sun Corporation, the Academy was where River Tam was taken by the government and experimented on. It was presumably the context for her dream/nightmare at the start of "Serenity".