Archive | January 20, 2012

Tea with /Her/, a (teaser of a) story of Tir na Cali for the Giraffe Call (@dahob)

For @DaHob’s prompt, based on a Cali idea.

Tir na Cali has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

When the Countess called me in for tea, I didn’t know what to think.

I knew why, of course. My mother was ailing, young as she was, and I was her heir. I would be the Countess’s loyal Baroness soon enough, and I was (so I had been told a thousand times), young for the position. She needed to get the measure of me.

The problem was, I had the measure of her already. I had the feel of her hand and the chains she left on a mind – not in person, she wasn’t the sort of liege to do that to her vassals – but in proxy, in the slave who was mine, who had once been hers. I had it in the brand on his hip that I couldn’t avoid, every time I touched him, and the marks in his mind, the way that, even after she’d set him aside, he still loved her.

I went, of course. You do not turn down an invitation from a Countess unless you’re the Queen herself. I put on the proper clothes and the proper smile, mouthed the proper words, and spoke business of her for a while.

But it made me twitch, when I heard phrases from her lips that I’d first heard from his, or, worse, when I found myself echoing one of her phrases, because I’d picked it up from him. He’d been with me for five years, my first sex slave, my first Companion, my first “grown-up” slave, fresh from the market where she’d sold him, the Ice Queen, my Countess. He’s seen every woe and misery, every triumph, held me while I cried and celebrated with me when I succeeded. He knew all my secrets, and all my buttons. And he was still in love with her.

“He remembers you, you know.”

I didn’t realize at first that I’d said it. It was in the middle of a conversation on something banal, trade rights, I think. Important, but not what was on my mind. Nor hers, I think, because she didn’t ask “who,” merely raised an eyebrow, one perfect, impossible eyebrow.

“I should hope he does. I don’t act with the intent of being forgotten.”

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Separation Anxiety, a story of Boom! Post-apoc for @inventrix, @cluudle, et al – PART ONE

This is a story of my RP-in-Addergoole character, Cynara, some years after the apoc but not that many, sending her oldest son Yoshi off to Addergoole. She’s shown up in (see landing page) a couple stories before.

“All right, Yoshi, is everything packed?” Cynara knew the question was stupid. Of course everything was packed. She’d taken care of the first run herself, and the third run, and let her oldest handle the middle stuff himself. Everything was in its place, and Yoshi was heading off to school like she had, so many-so few years ago.

“Everything’s set, Mom.” To his credit, he tried not to let her see him roll his eyes. “I hid the rowan like you said, left the steel where Luke can see it, and I have the throw-away knife for him to take off of me. I’ve got food for two weeks and clothes… for an entire school… for at least a week. Who wears this many clothes?”

“Boys who want to meet girls who don’t think they stink,” she answered, the mom part of her brain working on automatic pilot. “Which I assume you eventually will, once your… ‘cousins’…. stop leaning on you.”

This time, he didn’t bother hiding the eye-roll. “No interest in being a lap-pet, thanks, Mom.”

Now she couldn’t help but chuckle. Looking over at Ankara, she wasn’t surprised at her oldest’s assessment of “meeting girls,” but…

“Your father was never a lap-pet,” she lied. “Your Uncle Howard, Uncle Leofric… not all men are puppy dogs.”

“No,” he laughed, “some are rabbits. Cursed gods, I’m not going to grow ears like that, am I?”

“You can’t blame Ankara for his heritage,” she answered, but she was smiling, too. “Well, one of your grandfathers has antlers. I can’t guarantee how you’ll turn out, but I’m sure you’ll be handsome.”

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Road Map to…, a story of Steam!Reiassan for the Giraffe Call

For kelkyag‘s prompt

Reiassan has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ; this is a story of Steam!Reiassan, far in the future of the Rin & Girey story

The city had been mapped before.

Everything on the continent had been mapped in one reign or another, the oceans around it charted, the flows of rivers, of aether, called sira now, even the ice movement diagrammed. But as the science grew, so did the methods of charting, mapping, and diagramming, and now, under the Emperor, the entire city of Lannamer was being mapped again.

They picked a corner to start from, drove a deep bronze pole into the ground, surrounded that with a stone compass rose, and settled the whole thing against flood, earthquake, and storm with judicious use of aetheric shifting and quite a bit of praying.

From there, engineers who would otherwise be idle, now that they were in a time of peace, were turned to surveying, measuring with a stick marked off in precise hoof-widths (the hoof in question having been cast in bronze off the original goat some centuries past).

Katyebah, who had joined the Emperor’s engineer team to design weapons of war, was a little disgruntled to find herself measuring buildings and surveying sun- and moon-lines down the streets. But the Army had paid for her education, so the next seven years of her life, whatever her feelings on the matter, belonged to the Emperor, so measure and survey she did. And because her team-mate was a pleasant sort and a grandson of His Majesty, she tried to do so with a smile.

“These old buildings,” Oton told her, “with the sixty degree angles? They were paying homage to the Three. But it certainly makes mapping the streets tricky, with nothing in the old neighborhoods at a right angle…”

“…And everything in the newer neighborhoods all square,” she agreed. She was, at the moment, frowning over a place where one of the oldest neighborhoods met up with a shiny-new set of construction, built on fill over what had been swamp and flood plain. “Pass me the protractor?”

“You think they’re difficult to draw, you should try getting a laden cart around these corners when you’re coming down a hill.” The voice surprised both of them; Oton dropped the brass protractor with a clatter. “Or, worse yet, coming down a hill in winter during the busy time of day when someone’s planted a stand in the middle of the road. If the Emperor wants the city easier to navigate, my lord and lady, he might think of widening the intersections.”

Katyebah had, during this speech, turned to look at their visitor, who appeared to be, from his dress, a carter of some skill and success, with the most astonishing blue eyes she had ever see (to be fair, they were the first blue eyes she had ever seen, as well). She worked her mouth, trying to find the words to tell him that this was just mapping, not decision-making, that she didn’t know if the Emperor even knew he had a traffic problem, that she sympathized with his troubles… But all she could make out, from a throat suddenly dry, was “I’m not a Lady.”

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The Giraffe Call is still open! Last chance to prompt until the next time!

The Giraffe Call is Still Open (and on LJ)! It will stay open until this evening.

Also, if you have prompted but only left one or two prompts, please feel free to leave a couple more! We’ve gotten to the incentive levels where everyone gets at least 3 prompts written to, whether or not they tipped!

At $211, we are just $29 from reaching the next incentive level, where I will hold a chat session with characters! (At this level, I’ll almost have paid off the carpet as well as the furnace bill!)

Claim your words! If you have donated to this call, or to any call, you can ask for $x100 words continuation on any story posted here!

Back to writing!

Linkback Incentive Story (and ON LJ)
Summary so far:
First Steps (LJ) The city remembers
The Dark Places, the Numbered Streets (LJ) – Ance seeks a real adventure. And finds it.
Recovering the City (LJ)
The Tuesday Map (LJ) Life in the BAELZ.
Souvenir (LJ) A little something from every city
Birth of a City (LJ) It started with asteroid miners…
Breaking Ground (LJ)
…On My Parade (LJ)
Down in Human Town (LJ)
The Cracks
Through the Cracks (LJ)
“China is Here” (LJ)

Unicorn Chase (LJ)

Origins of Smokey Knoll (LJ)
Planning Board Woes (LJ)

Underneath (LJ) [Josie[

Shadow Rebellion
Evoloution (LJ)

a Growing Plan (LJ)

Further Exploration Reveals… (LJ)

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