One of the first memories River has is of the sound of the motor home's engine roaring down the highway. It's a familiar sound, something that River has heard many times in her lifetime, and oftentimes even enjoys doing in her free time. But this early memory involved the sound of the engine and a really big laugh coming from the front of the motor home. For River, that memory, when she was no more than two or three years old, has clung to her for a long, long time. It's a memory that she uses when she needs something real to cling to. It's a memory that she utilizes as a mantra, a way to calm her mind when everything else around her is in chaos, the sound of her parent's laugh and the lulling roar of the road.
River was born about thirty years ago to a loving, if slightly gypsy in nature, couple, Rose Klyne and Terril Walker. Rose and Terril both worked for a traveling encyclopedia company. You see, back in the later eighties and early nineties, the internet didn't really exist to the way it does now. You got your history from these things called 'books', they were a physical item that you opened, read, touched, and learned from. River's folks sold encyclopedias to the public, which is a collection of books that contain information about history, and other things. While they were among the last sales people to continue this tried and true trade, it allowed them to do what they wanted - travel.
When River was born, she went right along with them, traveling in their little motor home across the United States, and even up into Canada.
It wasn't until River turned five, however, that things started getting - weird, for her. (Well, more weird than traveling encyclopedia sales people as parents.) Every time River touched anything, a strange movie played out before her eyes, and only her eyes. She could see what had happened around that object, people that had interacted with it, or sounds that occurred around it. For a five year old, it wasn't scary, five year olds aren't scared of a lot of things, really. It was just a personal movie that only she could see. Her parents chalked it up to just 'invisible playmates', as young children are apt to have, and moved on. (Though the first time she touched their bed brought up several uncomfortable questions that they were forced to answer very carefully, and they had to question whether or not River was sleeping in her own bed the night before!)
As River got older, it was very apparent that she did not have invisible playmates, but could, perhaps, see ghosts. And when it turned out not to be ghosts, her parents realized, River was a very special child. River's mother remembered that her great, great, great Aunt Perdita had a reputation for being 'different', many, many (more than a few decades ago many) years ago.
And so River and her parents decided that being weird was just fine, though maybe no one else should probably know about River's powers, because the last thing they wanted was for her to be brought into another New Protector television show and get killed.
Schooling on the road consisted of her parents home schooling her. For River, home schooling dealt a lot around encyclopedia reading - for obvious reasons. Math was also taught, as was Spanish and English, and some how River still survived up to the age of ten on the road.
1998, the year that mom and dad got fired. Well, things were never actually 'great', as far as finances go for River and her family. They'd make enough selling encyclopedias for gas, food, and issues that would arise with the motor home. Living on the road from town, to town was at least adventurous. They'd spend a night or two in parking lots that didn't have, 'Overnight Parking Will Be Towed' signs, with the occasional stay at a campsite for water refill, sewer dumps, and food. Sadly, however, with the internet not being just a 'fad', traveling encyclopedia salesmen fell into that strange, odd category known as 'shit out of luck jobs that just don't exist anymore'. So mom and dad got fired, well, technically it was kind of 'laid off', but the end result was the end result. Mom and dad had to get a real job.
Thankfully, River's dad had family in the New Jersey area, so off they drove to settle in the city of Brigantine, New Jersey. There they lived with family for a few months, until mom and dad could get jobs and enough money to buy an apartment of their own. This, unfortunately, also meant they had to sell their motor home. It as a sad day in the Walker household when the old motor home drove away for the last time.
Yet, it was a great day a few days later when the lease came through on their new apartment! They'd no longer have to live with Aunt Lilly and Uncle Howard's house, and River wouldn't have to share a bedroom with her cousin, Molly, who enjoyed eating garlic at midnight. Yuck. (Although River now knew that her and her parents unique nature was genetic.)
Rose got a job working at a medical office as a secretary, while Terril went right back into sales and became one of Crazy Eddie's Car Palace used car salesmen. Every summer, however, the three still got into their car, packed up their sleeping bags and tents, and went on adventures throughout the East Coast.
So into the public school system went River at the tender age of eleven. During the summer, River and her parents worked and worked to gain an upper hand with her powers, and while River wasn't exactly perfect in their use, she could be touched, or touch something, without gloves, and not go into immediate movie watching stance.
The thing is, peers are just cruel. Some of her ostracism was River's own fault, as River enjoyed wearing things that were far more on the whimsical and hippy side, (which was different). Though other times, River would still touch something, and occasionally she'd just stand there, without moving, and stare at an object or wall as though it was the single most fascinating thing that there ever was. (Again. Weird.)
Thankfully, River made a couple friends that year that helped get her through the worst bullying and peer shaming. They called themselves the Three Musketeers, and River was happy to finally find true friendship among her peers. River was a bright student, if a little behind on some courses, but she quickly caught up with everyone else, and in some cases even surpassed them. High School came on, and River continued to experiment and even knowingly practice with the use of her psychometry. (She'd discovered the name of her powers through the internet, which no matter what her parents would say, was awesome and not something that killed their dreams.)
So. High School. River had her first boyfriend at the tender age of sixteen. He was a young geek that loved dungeons and dragons, Star Wars, and Dick Tracy. It was a sweet, if fleeting romance, his parents unfortunately up and moved away to New York half way through the school year, but first 'crushes' are always fun.
During her high school years, River had to start questioning what she wanted to do with her life. What did she want to be? With her powers, a gypsy woman walking the Boardwalk and scamming people out of their money seemed appropriate, but really, River wanted more than that. She wanted to help people with her powers! She wanted to be a good guy! So River started working out, a lot. She had come to the conclusion that she wanted to be at her peak most athletic form, because she was going to be a police officer!
River's parents freaked the hell out when they learned of River's plans. (I mean, really, what former traveling encyclopedia sales parents want to hear that their daughter wants to be a police officer in New Jersey?) But River would not change her mind, she was going to be a police officer, she was going to use her powers to help fight bad guys, and thugs, and mafia, and things that go bump in the night!
On came College, and River's grades allowed her to get several scholarships as well as financial aid, enough that River would not have to worry about paying for any student loans. (Which was important, because her parents couldn't afford it, and frankly, neither could a police officer's salary.)
Criminal science was her major, along with a minor of psychology focusing on criminal psychology and naturally added courses of forensic sciences, and so on. River wasn't a perfect student, but she was determined to do as best as she possibly could. While she didn't fail, she didn't get straight 'A's either, a steady 'C' student was as good as she got in many different classes. While electives in different hobbies such as herbal studies came far easier for River. In high school, River was a straight 'A' student, in college, she struggled a bit with her studies, perhaps it should have been an indication of what was yet to come, but River is forever stubborn.
During College, River kept up with her fellow 'Musketeers', but as time progressed and people went their own ways, conversations and phone calls were reduced to facebook posts and then just the occasional like on a photograph or meme. As time progressed, and River's grades floundered in the middle of the road, she started using her powers to, well, lets be honest here. She tried to cheat.
She was ninteen, doing very poorly in applied psychology and really needed an 'A' on the test. No matter how much River crammed in, she really felt like things just continued to go over her head. So, River did a very bad thing, she 'accidently' left her pen on the professor's desk with the hopes that he'd have worked on the test, or even better - have the correct answers out at some point in the few days her pen was there. When River finally collected her pen, she didn't get the answers she wanted, but she did find out that her professor was having an affair with a student! River learned a valuable lessen that day, trying to cheat will get you more than you bargained for, and trying to figure out what you're hearing, because your pen is being SAT ON WHILE IT'S GOING ON, is just really gross.
River did learn a valuable lesson that day, though, while she ended up with a 'B' on the test, which gave her another 'C' for the class, she also learned that trying to cheat just wasn't worth it. You can't unsee what you've seen at times, and you can't ever really look at the teacher and student the same again.
River graduates! After a lot of struggling in the field of her choice, especially in the area of psychology, River finally managed to graduate. She wasn't at the top of her class, but she wasn't at the bottom either! Sitting in the middle worked just fine for River, and she didn't try to cheat ever again. (Though she did put a little anonymous bug in the college administrators ears about the professor and student, which turned into a very ugly event that River felt sorta bad about. Maybe at least a little bad about. Okay, not really.)
Onward to the police academy! Considering River didn't do nearly as good in college as she did in high school, funding for the police academy dried up. She just didn't have the grades to grant her the scholarships. It was at this point that River gave a brief thought that perhaps her parents had been right, and maybe this wasn't the field for her. For an entire minute, River had self doubts, but given her nature, she just shrugged and went on. No point in going back now! She might be able to see the past, but she can't go back into it physically.
So, River was forced to apply for and gain a student loan. (Her parents still refused to foot the bill for any of it, not that they had the resources to do so, but really, neither did River.) While at the police academy, River did fairly okay, again she wasn't perfect, but she was physically fit, had a quick mind, and her powers certainly helped! She wasn't an 'A' student, but she wasn't in the middle either, a really steady 'B' was her achievement, and she felt pretty good about it. She didn't graduate with honors, but she was a fairly good shot, with above grade physical fitness.
After completing the police academy, River was given a position as an officer of the law, sure it started out as low on the totem pole as you can get, but River didn't care, she was going to save the world. (Or at least the greater Atlantic City area.)
Eventually, River proved herself capable enough to get into narcotics division, and it was here that River found her calling. With her powers? River could find the needle in the haystack. Time and again, River was able to correctly identify the containers that held illegal drugs, or people that might have them hidden on them. While in the narcotics division, she gained a partner, Vesper, a loyal German Shepherd. River got really good at using her powers for this purpose, unfortunately, she got a little TOO good.
River's very spot on findings of the illicit goods started gaining notice in a couple different ways. For one, River was put under investigation by internal affairs for her very 'accurate' 'guessing' and in another, the corrupt officials and paid-off officers tended to not like having River around. While River was never convicted (not enough evidence) by the internal affairs, she was asked to leave. Granted, River knew exactly what was going on, and managed to bring with her, Vesper, with a little well placed threatening of blackmail.
Once again River was at the cross roads of life. What do you do? Where do you go when everything you've worked for, ends up in flames around you? Well, for River, the answer was - screw the corrupt police department, she'd help people on her own as a private investigator! (Her parents were less than thrilled.)
The life we lead, today. Now in her early thirties, River has been a private investigator for a few years now. With her faithful companion, Vesper, by her side, River makes a living helping others. Some months are a bit 'leaner' than others, forcing River to use her abilities as a traveling 'Gypsy' act, but you have to do, what you have to do. At least she makes enough to almost be out of school debt, almost, and it's a rewarding job.
For River, the line between morals is a little bit frayed. She knows the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and she does strive to be a 'good' person, but there are times and situations that require a more delicate touch. Well, and also River does not believe in secrets. With her powers, everyone is an open book to be read, their individual chapters are fascinating to River. What did they eat? What lies have they told, what secrets do they keep?
For River, the idea of not using her powers to ascertain these secrets is fairly silly. Why wouldn't she? Though there is a hypocritical part of River, because only her parents know the truth about her powers, so while she can see all and find out everyone's secrets, no one knows hers.
Yet, River takes everything in a quick, laughing stride. She's got a quick wit, whimsical personality, and at times a dark sense of humor. River tends to find humor in things that she probably shouldn't find it in. Some might call it a 'twisted' sense of humor, but to River, she doesn't mean any harm, it's just who she is.
While River enjoys a holistic lifestyle, filling her time with Yoga, herbal medicines, and Bohemian clothing, with this style of life, she has chosen to be a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian is not always associated with an holistic take on life, but River -chooses- to go that course. She does not eat any chicken, pork, beef, eggs, milk or other animal products. She does choose to eat fish, however, and does enjoy shell fish (crab, lobster, shrimp etc), so she is not a complete vegan. Like River's personality, she just picks and chooses what she wants to eat and is happy with that.
Of fault in River's personality is her stubborn refusal to back down and quit. She continued on with her education at college, and then onward to the police academy, even though she really didn't have her full heart (and grades) into it. Mostly it was a stubborn refusal to quit, she wanted to prove to herself and prove herself to her parents, that she was quite capable of being an officer of the law! There are times when River can look back on the situation and realize that maybe she should have gone in a different direction from the start. Yet, now that she's here, and happy, living in the present is where she wants to be.
River tends to, actually, never look back. She looks back enough with her powers, for her own life, she just wants to look forward, and that's exactly what she does.
Psychometry can be described as the ability to divine facts concerning an object or a person associated with it, by contact with or being within close proximity to the object. These facts are events that transpired in the past, things that happened prior to the psychometrist coming in contact with the item. Another way to describe psychometry is that every object, whether living or not, has an energy field surrounding them. This energy absorbs everything that transpires around them, especially when it deals with extreme energy - such as emotions, or loud noises.
River has the ability to touch any object, whether it's a piece of cloth, a bit of garbage, a wall, or so on - and connect with that energy field. Through this connection, she is able to see what transpired around it. These snippets of information come into existence like a movie, ghosts of the past that play out before River's eyes in small blips of old history. If the item wasn't in 'view' of something, such as being in a pocket, it could have picked up sounds around it, these too play out like an old eight track, full of static and garbled noises.
In some areas, where there has been a great deal transpire around them (such as large tourist destinations), the energy fields have picked up a lot of information, writing and re-writing itself time and again. The resulting energy that River reads can be nothing more than jumbled visions of faces, expressions, events, or so on - without any real frame of reference around it. While other items and areas may only pick up a single event that can be viewed with almost pristine accuracy.
River is very proficient at sorting through the energy readings to pick and choose what she needs to see. She's had this power almost her entire life and as a result, she's had years to perfect her techniques. The time frame on how far back she is able to 'view' mostly depends upon the item, though for a clear picture - a week tends to be the longest she's been able to pick out. Further back than that, and the images become fuzzy as the energy involved fades and blurs together. This is not the case for all items, some can have such a strong event to them, that the energy it created can stay around for years, but for most items - a week is the general time frame.
What does she see, one might ask? River is able to touch an item and view everything that this item would be able to view. She has the precise ability to alter the 'movie' to play out as best as the collected energy can do. This includes 'moving' the amassed events like a reverse or fast-forward button, watching things transpire as far back as the energy has managed to collect, and fast forwarding it again to the present. Every conceivable angle can be viewed in this manner, naturally if it's say, for example, a ring in a pocket, she'd only get a very black nothingness combined with sound. River is not an empath, so emotions are a tricky thing to pick up, the energy might have collected strong emotions that may leak through just a little bit, but on the whole, it's just like watching a movie, sound and audio but nothing else but your own personal thoughts and feelings to go along with it.
PSYCHOMETRY OF LIVING
River is not a telepath, she is not an empath. Rather, she is able to connect with the energy field that surrounds everything - whether it's living, dead, inanimate, or so on. She can't read minds. She isn't able to influence thoughts, or understand emotions. However, skin to skin touch is just as revealing for River, as touching clothing. She can see what has transpired around the person, for people collect energy just as much as their possessions do. She can hear what they said just a few minutes ago, to what transpired up to a week ago. She can see what happened about them, even if they weren't able to see it themselves. The energy field about a person is a powerful thing to read, and can easily overwhelm River if she's not prepared.
PSYCHOMETRY OF THE DEAD
Inanimate objects such as clothing, paint, chairs, tables, these are things that can easily have their stored energy 'read', processed and viewed. While the base might be animal or plant, their cells no longer function, and in some cases, it never had any real synaptic thought processes to begin with. Human beings are a little different. Perhaps its due to the burst of energy that exists at death, the transfer of life to nothingness, whatever the case, River is not able to get anything viable when she touches a dead body. It's just a jumbled mess of emotions, memories, and events that coalesce about her, they don't make any sense, they're all a mess of images one after another without meaning, or context. While the clothing the person wears will tell River a great deal, the body itself is nothing more than strange, haunting images and sound that simply do not make any sense.
Including to River's knowledge of self defense, and the art of the take-down, River is also skilled in the use of a police baton for close, personal attacks, and the use of a weapon. As a police detective, River has been trained and has a permit for a concealed weapon. She keeps on her person a glock for protection, though she does have a shotgun for extreme cases. She has become use to carrying a police baton on her, as well, though she doesn't really have a permit for that, any more. River is a very good shot, hitting the bullseye at least nine times out of ten. She isn't perfect, but is still very capable at handgun use and upkeep.
River has a few different contacts that she can (usually) rely on for help on the different cases that she takes. One is, of course, a street thug, Darren Hall, street name - Delancey. Darren's a two-bit, street thug that has his nose in a little bit of everything. He's a very reliable snitch for River, as River saved his ass from a false police accusation of murder, while she was just a beat cop. River found the real bad-guy, setting Darren free. Not that Darren wasn't a bad guy, but he never forgot River's help on that case, as everyone else was willing to send him away, River stuck up for the guy.
Anther of River's contacts is morgue assistant, Michelle Dray. Michelle and River go back, again, to River's police days. They became fast friends and Michelle will do what she can for River, even if it means doing something a little illegal.
Finally, River has one contact within the police department, still, Lieutenant Olivia Lowell. Olivia stood up for River during the internal investigation. She's a good cop in a bad place. While Olivia is always one to, mostly, take care of herself, and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize her own life or standing, she can send a little help River's way, now and then.
River has been trained to be a police officer. She knows a great deal about the laws, standards and policies that go into police training. She's been trained in seeking out narcotics, learning a lot about the proper ways to find and punish those that deal in illegal goods. She knows about how to gain a warrant in order to search a place legally. She knows how to scan a scene and pick out things that stand out. She can 'work a crime scene' in a manner that keeps all of the important forensic clues and evidence untampered. Using each and every clue to her advantage, River has a quick mind, and is able to piece together things that don't match up. Even without the use of her powers, River was a very good police officer, her powers just make her that much more potent. Now that she works as a private investigator, River isn't quite so stringent on the laws, for sometimes the end justifies the means.
With a name like River Walker, is it any wonder that she's into holistic and herbal remedies? River is a firm believer in body, soul, spirit, and alternative remedies to big pharmaceuticals. While, naturally, there are simply some things that you have to take, in others, herbal remedies mixed with a holistic lifestyle can do a lot of wonders for ones health, at least according to River. She's a pretty good expert when it comes to different herbs, what they can do, and would make a fantastic herbalist, if she'd taken that route in life. She's a firm proponent to legalizing marijuana, and may..on occasion.. travel to a state where it is legal and partake. She could easily slip into a position at any herbal, or alternative lifestyle store, and take a job there, with the knowledge to match.
The power of a good interrogation. River knows (and has been taught) the different techniques that provide a method in which she can make observations of an individual's behavior, analyze that behavior and properly employ the proper techniques designed to detect deception and stimulate confessions. She knows how to get people to talk, basically. River took a lot of psychology courses in college, that combined with her training, and she's able to look at an individual's actions, their facial expressions, the way they move, breath, words that they say, and so on, and gain an understanding and opinion on whether or not they're telling the truth or if they're hiding something, or so on. This is all in River's opinion, just as when you read a book, everyone comes to a different opinion about it, one person can read another and come up with a completely opposite idea.
River is a self employed private investigator. Walker's Investigations is the current name of her business, though she is pondering changing that to something more play on words. She has a small office situated in the midtown area of Atlantic City. She'd love to be able to advertise, but right now a lot of her traffic is either word of mouth, or people going down the phone book and finding out everyone else is booked. River is fairly good at her job, all things considered, her powers help her greatly in finding out clues that others might have missed. She specializes in finding missing people, and has only failed on a couple cases. While she doesn't really enjoy cases that involve extramarital affairs, she is really good at finding out the truth, and has come to have a name for herself in catching them 'in the act'.
River is very knowledgeable about Atlantic City and its surrounding areas. She knows which areas should be avoided, and which areas are going to have the most tourists. She can identify a location through its landmarks, and can not get lost in any part of the city, at all. She will always be able to find her way, even if she was dropped off blind folded, and then made to find her way back. She -knows- Atlantic City, she knows its beating heart, it's corrupt officials, the good cops from the bad, and the monsters that live within it. If you want to know where to find the best steak in the city? Ask River. The best place to find a less than savory contact? Ask River. She made Atlantic City her business, and she is very knowledgeable because of it.
While River's parents aren't exactly rich, in fact, her entire family tends to have money woes, they are still Mom and Dad. As a result, they'd help as much as they could, or can, from having a warm meal during lean times, to a roof over the head when River's is leaking.
As River went through the police academy, she was trained very thoroughly in both armed and unarmed self defense. River excelled in these classes, doing very well for herself. She has since continued her training, and can easily hold her own against most street level thugs. She doesn't know any martial arts, but she's very competent and skilled in keeping herself alive in a very dangerous city. A lot of River's techniques involve the very quick, and dirty tricks to subdue an opponent quickly. She is very proficient in the use of wrist locks or joint locks, that are very efficient in leading to immediate arrest and control. This also includes the ability to know the proper place to quickly strike an assailant that will stop aggressive behavior, as well as the knowledge of throws and take-downs.
The art of the stake-out and surveillance, once again a lot of River's experience and education comes from her training while at the policy academy, the follow-up courses that she took, and her time in the field. River knows how to dress and what mannerisms she must put on to just 'blend in'. She knows how to communicate with anyone in a covert and discrete manner. She has an eye that can detect criminal mischief or behavior, and is able to follow almost anyone. She has the ability to do a stake-out in the old fashioned, stationary manner (like on a park bench) on foot, as well as having knowledge on how to perform a stake-out in a vehicle. This also includes the ability to counter any that might know River is there, or at least anyone who is becoming suspicious of River's presence. Not only is River knowledgeable on surveillance, but she knows how to document, what to document, how to collect evidence that would hold up in the court of law, and of course, discretely photograph important bits of evidence or information that would be vital in any case. River is also coursed and experienced in knowing when she is being tracked, or followed, and how to counter or lose someone.
Vesper is a trained narcotics sniffing German Shepherd. She's going on five years old, now, and River and Vesper have known each other since Vesper was just a pup. Trained to sniff out narcotics, Vesper is very good at locating illicit drugs. As far as dogs go, Vesper is a very loyal, playful animal that simply wants to please River. She's a constant companion to River, and a good friend. While Vesper is a trained police canine, she has been spoiled rotten during these past few years, and retains only a little of her original training. She's got a great sniffer and would protect River at all costs, but can, at times, be a little bit of an airhead, noticing toys more than bad-guys.
River's power can never really 'shut off'. It is always on, always active, always present. While River has managed, through preparation and mental fortitude, to 'fast forward' the images that constantly sweep over her mind, she is not able to just turn it off and live a normal life. Skin to item or skin contact will always bring up that object/item/person's past, there is simply no stopping it. River has lived with this for nearly her entire life, though, and simply takes it in stride as part of who she is.
After the internal investigation on River while she was part of the narcotics team, River was asked to leave the department. Even though River was cleared of any wrong-doing, there were too many people in high ranking positions that were corrupt and did not want someone like River ruining their operations. In order to keep Vesper, River black-mailed the Chief of police by detailing his exact conversation with a known drug lord, word by word (pretending she had it recorded, which she didn't, it was entirely a bluff black-mail.) Vesper was deemed 'unworthy' of being a police dog, and was 'retired' to the officer who loved her the most. This single event is a pretty dark spot and secret. She does not, actually, have this mysterious 'recording', she simply used her powers to simulate it. As a result, there is always the threat of someone coming after River -for- that information, or to find out what else she may know. For the time being, however, River is but a small fish in a very large pond, so she's been left, relatively, alone, this may not always be the case.
While River has managed to pay off her college and police academy debt, she's still not exactly steam rolling with the money. She's a couple thousand dollars in debt on her credit cards and she owes a couple more thousand on her vehicle (a used smart Fortwo car). In all, like many Americans, River doesn't quite make enough to pay for everything that she wants, or needs, and as a result, tends to go a bit into credit card debt. For River, it is especially important that she keeps herself well above board on her apartment and business rent, not to mention her detective license (see dark secret).
River, while at heart a good person, does tend to have a few frayed ideas about what is morally correct or not. As a private investigator, River has to look past any kind of moral upstanding while taking invasive pictures of such things as affairs. Yet, that just goes with the job (and paycheck). No, what River doesn't feel is morally wrong is invading people's past. She can freely look into a person's past from what they did a few minutes ago, to upwards of a week. Hypocritical in some regards, because while River is able to find out everyone's secrets, no one (but her parents) knows hers. So for River, there really isn't a kind of 'white and black', there's white, black, dark gray, light gray, tan, off-white, and so on.
River's powers are completely touch based, which means that she must physically touch the item, or person, in order for her abilities to work. While River has a good deal of control over her powers, there are times when she can be brushed against, touched without warning, or even brush against someone herself that could easily cause a complete sensory overload to River. She can be overwhelmed with their past, with what they've been doing just five minutes ago, to upwards to a week ago. It'll be played out before River's eyes without her being able to stop it, and for a second or two, River will be standing still like a deer in the headlights, or a complete space case, unable to hear anything else around her, but what she's witnessing through the events of that person's past. While River tends to make sure that she's prepared for almost any situation, you are never fully prepared, and as a result, River can end up seeming a bit odd, it can also be kind of dangerous.
The dead scare the living tar out of River. She does not want, under any circumstance, to be forced into touching a corpse. The items on the corpse, fair game, but the corpse itself is a very unsettling and disorientating experience. So much so, that River will have nightmares about the experience for weeks on end, reliving everything she saw in her sleep, even if it was nonsense and shadows over and over again. It's as though the energy that is still there, connects itself to River, and refuses to fade away for a very long time. There are circumstances where River has no other course but to touch a corpse, and through that touch, the nightmares begin.
All of River's powers are touch based in nature. River can not have gloves on, even a thin layering of cheese cloth would prevent River from using her powers. She must have skin to item/skin touch in order to use her powers. It doesn't matter how long River touches someone, her powers work instantaneously the very moment that River's fingers, palm, hand, heck any part of her body touches something, or someone, her powers instantly kick into action - as long as it is skin to item/skin. So someone just coming up and brushing against a fully clothed River wouldn't do anything, but if someone came up and brushed against River's bare arms, River's powers would instantly kick on, especially if she was unprepared for it. This can cause all manner of troubles and woes for River, if she decides to wear clothing that doesn't cover her skin completely, or chooses not to wear gloves, as having a sudden flash of someone's past sweep before River's eyes can be disorientating (as explained elsewhere).
River has chosen to become a vegetarian. This is a lifestyle choice, not something that River is forced to do because of needing that kind of diet. While most restaurants tend to cater (now a days at least) to special needs diets such as vegetarian, the choices are usually limited and sometimes unappealing. She chooses to eat nothing but true 'Organic' food, and as a result, her grocery bill is a lot higher that perhaps, she really should be spending. In all, with this kind of diet, River tends to have less options while eating out, and a much higher monthly grocery bill. It isn't a huge disadvantage, but it is one.