Archive | May 17, 2012

Out of nowhere, a story for the May Giraffe Call (@shutsumon)

For [personal profile] becka_sutton‘s prompt. Names by @Anke.

“We’re so screwed.”

They were not, technically, screwed yet. Their ship was set up for
three years of subspace travel or up to thirty of semi-cryo
hibernation; they had over half of their time left. But if they did
not find a planet to terraform by the time they reached their halfway
mark, they were going to be very screwed indeed. And the sensors were
showing them nothing.

“We can send out the last three probes,” Jeanne offered. “Those might
find something.”

“Or we could turn back.” Daniele didn’t look at her senior science
officer as she said that. They both knew it was a last-ditch option.
There was nothing left for any of them back home.

“Look, I’m going to make some modifications to the next probe. Maybe
it can find something everything else is missing.”

Something everything else was missing would probably be a
planet they could barely survive on, even after fifteen years of
terraforming. But it would be better than earth. Daniele nodded.
She’d let her officers do everything they could, because the death
decision would have to be hers in the end.

“What in the nine billion names of Bog is that?”

The distressed exclamation came from behind them; both women whirled around to find Yori Tagani, their navigations expert, staring at the monitors.

Seconds ticked by. When Yori kept staring at the screen and said nothing, Daniele asked, rather impatiently, “well, Yori, what is it?”

“It’s a creatio ex nihilo.” His tone was between awed and terrified.


“Something from nothing. Basically the universe just spat it out to spite us.”

“The universe…”

“Spat out a planetary seed in the middle of our path. Collision in about three hours if I don’t divert.”

“So why in the bloody hell aren’t you diverting?”

“Well…” He turned to look at her, letting her see the ‘planetary seed’ growing on his monitor. “I kinda thought you might want to stop.”

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Roots, a story of Rin & Girey for the May Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt.

Reiasson has a landing page here And a wiki here.

Rin opened up one of the oldest books in the library. “How good is your Old Bitrani?”

“Wouldn’t you mean Old Callennan?” Girey leaned over her shoulder, studying the old, creaky parchment. “Unless you’ve been raiding our libraries.”

“I’m sure we have. But the thing is, when you go back this far, a good number of our record books are in Bitrani. Well, in Tabersi.”

Behind her, he went very still. “Say that again?”

“Tabersi. She glanced over her shoulder at his face, which, for once in his life, revealed nothing at all. “You’ve heard the word before,” she hazarded.

“Only in the heretical texts.” His voice was very careful. He didn’t want to call her a heretic, not again, she guessed. Unusually wise of him.

“Mm. It’s not a common word in Callenia, either. Not so much heretical, here, as the stains behind the tent walls.”

“Stains behind…?”

“Hidden secrets. The things you want to cover up.”

“But you, what, brushed the tent wall aside?”

“Not I. I’m no scholar. But a friend of mine in University was. And for her thesis, she researched our first Emperor.”

“And found…” There was a great deal of tension in his body, and his voice was tight. Did he already know some of this?”

She read from the book instead of answering, translating it into Bitrani. “It is here, on this tenth day of summer in the fifth year since landfall, that the independent cities of Lannamer, Aneksundon, and Terrekya declare their sovereignty and their nationhood, separate from and free of Tabersi rule and law. Let it be known that Eszhettozh, son of Emanek, claims rulership of this newly formed nation, and will be known henceforth as Emperor of the Callentate of North Reiassannon-land.”

Girey, behind her, nodded slowly. “Callentate. It means ‘tribe-leaders,’ I think. It’s older than Old Bitrani. Heh.”

“Indeed.” She closed the book, smiling. “Our nation began as a rebel state of tribe leaders.”

“And now you rule the whole continent.”

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Family Souvenirs, a story for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] imaginaryfiend‘s Prompt.

The prelude to Souvenirs.

It started with my daughters.

We used to vacation a lot, back Before. And we’d pick up a little something here, a little something there, before the girls were old enough to really pay attention.

But once Emily was five, she started picking out things she wanted to bring home. Postcards. Sea shells. And then she and Mary, with Candace and Patience “helping,” made a little shadow box and hung it on the wall.

We did one big vacation and one little vacation every year, and so that was two shadowboxes every year, Emily, and then Candace, and then Patience helping to pick out the souvenirs, and all of them arranging the shadow boxes.

The girls loved those things. When Emily was packing for college, she asked if she could take one with her. Candace and Patience wouldn’t hear of it. It nearly turned into a Family Fight, but Mary and I intervened.

We went through the house, and put together a Visiting Home Souvenirs Box, as pretty as the ones from our vacations, and sent that off with her. Two years later, we did the same for Candace.

A year after that, the world ended.

We were too close to the trouble, so we packed up everything we could into the van and headed for our cabin in the mountains. Patience insisted on taking the shadow boxes, so we did, giving up a couple summer shirts and my suit for the space.

Candace had a car by then, so that gave us a bit more space. The problem was Emily.

The problem, more specifically, was Emily’s college. Candace had been at a local school; Emily had gone four hours away. Four hours closer to New York City, closer to the mess. Her school had been evacuated by the time we called, and she’d never been good about carrying her cell phone.

So I got the family to the cabin, got the shadow boxes on the wall, and then I went looking for my daughter. Town by town, city by city. And every place I went, I picked up a souvenir, so she’d have something to see where I’d been.

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Multiverse pairings for fun: Luke and the Ice Queen

From this meme; Luke is from Addergoole, The Ice Queen from Tea with HER in Tír na Cali.

“You are… not who I was expecting.” The woman at the table looked her visitor up and down, a small, cool, smile on her face.

Luke was unfazed. He’d been friends with Regine and Mike for a long time; neither Ice Queen acts nor lechery bothered him anymore. “I hope you weren’t expecting me. If you were, there’d be gunmen behind the curtains there.”

“I was expecting a gift from one of my Baronesses.” She showed no fear at the threat. “I wouldn’t want to harm a gift out of hand, would I?”

“Then you were expecting me.” He smirked. “Good. I’m going to enjoy this, Countess.” He stepped into the room and unsheathed his blade. “I like killing monsters.”

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