Archive | April 29, 2013

Magic Mondays: The Aunt Family, and Uncles

@DaHob asked about the Aunt Family’s Uncles.

The Aunt Family, as it has been revealed so far, has magic of some sort (Witchery, “the spark”) residing in one unmarried, childless member of each generation. Through an unknown-so-far mechanic, when the family gets too large, it splits; thus there are several Aunts at any given time (Evangaline, Deborah, Becka).

But what about men? Beryl’s brother Stone has the spark, that much is already been determined. And there have been Aunts without the spark as well – Evangaline’s Aunt Asta, for one, was described as mostly a vessel, holding the title for a generation.

The answer is, more or less: the family as a whole has the genetic possibility for the spark. They aren’t the only ones in the world that have it (Their family is very old; they could have the only bloodline that has the spark after all, just spread out over the world over the last millenia), and the Aunt is not the only person in any given generation to hold it.

But their particular family holds that men have other things they need to focus on, and that the magic is in the sphere of women alone. What this means for men with the spark depends on the man, the branch of the family, and the era.

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I Have This School, a story of Cynara/Regine (Boom) (@inventrix)

This takes place some time (2 years or so) after The Year Cya Didn’t Keep Anyone.

She cleaned the dust of two years of hard labor off of herself before she went back to school; she re-dyed her hair the brilliant red it had been for most of her life and found clean, nice clothes. When she walked up to the wards and knocked, she didn’t look like the scruffy girl who had been pulling a city out of the earth by the force of her mind. She looked like a responsible adult.

She didn’t think it would help enough, but she thought that, considering the Administration, to not put on the facade would hurt too much.

She gained an audience with the Queen of Addergoole, Director Regine Avonmorea, by the simple expedient of asking. That was, Cynara had a feeling, the last easy part of this mission.

“Jae’Red Doomsday.” The Director nodded her head politely.

“Sa’Lady of the Lake.” Cya responded to the lack of inflection with an equally bland response.

“How can I help you today?” If Cya were to attempt to anthropomorphize, she would say the Director sounded tired.

“I came to offer you help.” Without further prelude – it was wasted on the Grigori Director – Cya laid out the carefully-chosen plans and diagrams, staff folios and curricula. “I’ve built a school.”

The Director almost looked surprised. A trick of the light, Cya assumed. She flipped through the pages, one at a time, either pretending to look through them or – more likely, considering that she had never showed any interest in pretense before – actually considering them. “This is a blueprint for something to be built?”

“This is the plan for something already built.” It was missing enough information, of course, to be no use in, say, an invasion, and suggested several things that were just not true, but it was a plan for the school.

“With suggestions for study plans and staff, I see.” She continued to flip the pages. “Heavily centered on your Crew.”

“As is Addergoole on yours.” She spoke levelly, calmly. Nothing explosive here. Nothing at all.

“I see you have a few spots left open.”

“If this project is to be part of the Addergoole system, then there will of course be room for other Addergoole graduates, or other teachers that you feel would be appropriate. Perhaps some of your core staff are looking for a little sunlight, and could be rotated out? I’m aware you have done that once or twice over the years.”

“You would be. Your grandsons are in school now?”

“One grandson, and a granddaughter, at the moment.” The threat was implicit, of course; Regine would never be so gauche as to spell it out.

“And this project of yours. You built it before making the offer?”

“I did.” She forbore any explanation or defense, although she had plenty of both.

“Very interesting.” The Director closed the notebook with a rather final-sounding thud. “You had in mind opening another branch, as with Addergoole East?”

“I did. Different students benefit from different learning environments.”

“They do. And your great-grandchildren…”

“Would have their school chosen by their mothers, of course, among the Addergoole options.”

“Of course. And, refresh me, how many of those mothers currently live on the Boom ranch?”

“Currently? Two.”

“Of course.” Regine brushed her hand over the book. “It’s a very good plan, Cynara, jae’Red Doomsday. But I’m afraid I am not interested with engaging in a partnership with Boom.”

Cya had not expected she would be, but she had allowed herself to hope. “May I ask why not?”

“Your crew has always been explosive. Revolutionary.”

“Explosive, I will grant. In our teens, we were very volatile.” We. It covered it well enough. “But revolutionary? There’s hardly anything left to revolt against.”

“A situation which I’m certain your crew could change, had they the desire.” It was a pat answer that didn’t actually answer anything. “No, jae’Doomsday, I do not think your Crew are the proper people for such an endeavor. I’m afraid you built your school in vain.”

“In vain?” Cya allowed herself a smile. “No, certainly not. There are fae who are not part of the Addergoole project, still. Less than there were, but they exist.” It was not a threat, not quite. Cynara was no more gauche (here and now) than her hostess.

“Your descendants are still promised to Addergoole.”

“Of course.” Cya smiled more broadly now. “All of the Addergoole-born descendants of Boom and their allies are promised to Addergoole, as it has always been.” She was un-threatened. She was un-offended. She had a lot of allies. And they all had children.

She watched the implication reach the Grigori’s computer that she used in place of a mind. All those grandchildren, all those great-grandchildren, raised by Boom.

Their kids had been impressive enough, en masse. Their grandkids…

“I wish you luck in your project, Cynara.”

“And I, you, in yours.”

She left before their threats could grow less civil.

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V for Vindicated

For @KissofJudas’ prompt. Fae Apoc, Addergoole Grad.
Via is a character in the Baram’s Elves sub-series; this takes place after she graduates and before she ends up at Baram’s.

Via left the body where it fell, cleaned the weapons with three cloths and a quick Working, and left those sitting on the body’s chest.

The man wasn’t dead, yet. He wouldn’t be dead, if someone got him to a hospital. And he was Faded, with enough strength to be held to an oath, so the chances were, in time, long enough time, he might heal. He might, however, wish he was dead.

“You’ve gotten a vindictive streak lately.”

She should have been surprised to see the man standing at the mouth of the alley, but she found that she wasn’t. “Could we take this conversation somewhere else?”

“Probably best.” If she hadn’t known better, Via would have thought the man sounded amused. “There’s a cafe down the road with the sort of sense of time that’s useful in cases like this. I know the owner.”

“That works.” He probably knew where she lived, but that didn’t mean she wanted to bring him there. “You took longer than I expected.”

“Your graduating class is more active than most.” He tilted his head down the road and, not wanting a fight, not here, Via followed.

The cafe was exactly the sort of place she’d expect him to pick, with deep booths and ambient noise that covered casual conversations. They sat across the table from each other, drinking beer and eating fries, both waiting for the other to speak.

“How many?” He broke first, or perhaps accepted the role of inquisitor.

“Seventeen.”

“You have a reason?”

“Rapists. Monsters. Torturers and creeps.”

The man across the table looked, she thought, as if he was contemplating her list. “We didn’t educate you to be a vigilante.”

Viatrix raised her eyebrows. “You could have fooled me.”

At that, the man across the table laughed. “You’re doing a good job of it, Via. And not even a whisper of chance you’ll get caught. Well done.”

Vindicated. Viatrix smiled. “Thank you, Luke.”

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Protected: Rin/Girey

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U is for Under the Weather Unexpectedly, a story for the Giraffe Call (@RealBriGang)

To @RealBriGang’s Prompt, with a side order of pretty much everyone eles’s U (Except probably the Uranium; I couldn’t work that one in. 😉

Uma wasn’t feeling well.

That much, everyone could tell. Her crowd of urchins gathered around her, bringing her little offerings – stories, food, drink, anything they could find in the ruins of the city, anything they could drag of carry or, in one case, force at broken-bottle-point into their little sanctuary.

They had thought she was immune. The olders had, one by one, gotten the Sickness and then had to leave. Some had come in with it, and been driven out just as quickly. Some had just gotten old, and, as they got old, gotten Sick.

But Uma was special. Uma was twice as old as any of them, at least, and, she had never gotten the Sickness. She was immune, she was precious, she was their leader.

She had brought the children in – some as infants, like Uli, slung by her shoulder in a baby-hammock, some old enough to remember that once, before the Sickness, they had known parents. She had brought them in one at a time, or in bunches. “We are your family now. You are my urchins.”

Oli was old enough to remember that there had been others, that, once, Uma had not been the oldest, and they had been Kelly’s Kids. And Kelly had said, before that they had been Tommy’s Tots.

The broken world yielded endless children, it seemed, endless children and endless Sickness striking the old, the grown-ups. The children watched after the younger children, because there was no-one else to do it anymore.

“Don’t get Sick, Uma.” They all whispered it; she was past hearing them anyway. “Please, Uma. Don’t do the thing.”

But it was too late. Her skin was already shifting, her ears stretching, her teeth growing.

Crying, the urchins drove the confused wolf-woman out of their sanctuary. Oli wielded the largest weapon, shouted the loudest. When they were done, when the wolf-woman who had been their leader was gone, Oli turned to the children. “You’re Oli’s Orphans now.”

And maybe Oli would not get Sick.

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