Archive | June 2013

Ummmm so (flightrising)

Soar stared at the hatchlings. “Are they old enough yet?”

Serenade was no good at this mothering stuff, and, besides, she was sitting a nest right now. She let Shiver handle it.

“They’re not grown yet.” Her mate’s rumbling voice was very patient.

“When will they be grown?” The adolescent female’s voice, on the other hand, was not.

“Soon. You took a while to grow, too, you know.”

Soar stomped both front feet. “I want to fight in the Colosseeeeeum. Everyone else gets to fight.”

“Everyone else had to wait for their age-mates, too. Patience, Soar. It will come soon enough.”

“Not soon enough.” She stomped her feet again, sulking. Serenade turned back to her eggs. They would hatch soon enough, too.

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Tiana, her first Year

Fifth in a series of character-building vignettes following a bunch of characters through their time at Addergoole & beyond.

We have not seen Tiana before; Gerulf we have seen as a kid in the Baram’s house-Elves stories.

Year 27

“Didn’t your family have Kept?”

Gerulf was looking at Tiana as if she was some sort of strange creature he’d found in the bottom of the ocean. She, in return, was trying to fold up into a ball.

“My family are human. Normal, safe, everyday humans.” She couldn’t stand the way he was looking at her, and he wouldn’t stop. “They do normal, safe, everyday things.”

“It’s ten years after the apocalypse. Nobody’s doing ‘nice, safe, everyday’ things.”

The inexplicable urge to apologize and grovel was beginning to piss her off more than even his attitude was. “Because you’ve been all over the world in the ten years since the world ended, have you? You know everything everyone is doing, everywhere.”

“Watch your mouth.”

“What?” The urge was getting worse. She scooted back into the corner. “That’s like my mom telling me to watch my tone when I’m just saying the truth. What do you want me to watch?” No, seriously, because I’d really like to do what you want… what the hell is wrong with me?

Gerulf growled. “What I meant was, there’s no need to be disrespectful.”

The tension eased. “I don’t even know you. And you’re telling me I’m lying to you.”

“I’m not saying you’re lying.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. She resisted the urge to do the same.

“You said that ‘nobody lives safe, ordinary lives now.'”

“I’ve never seen it. I don’t know how it can be.” He frowned. “All right. You win that one. I can think of ways it could happen.”

“Thanks.” The tension eased a little more. Then he turned it all around.

“Of course, you’re not human, and neither are your parents.”

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Deaths in the Faerie Apocalypse, Part IV

A discussion in several parts of the near-extinction of humanity in my Faerie Apocalypse Setting.
The Gods’ Return: here
The Terms Used: here

The returned gods killed a large number of people by direct or indirect smiting; in the process of claiming the cities, they killed an exponentially larger number with collateral damage. .

The returned gods, fighting with the Ellehemaei that had stayed on Earth/been born here, killed hundreds of thousands of people with collateral damage. When the armies of the world got in on the fracas, cities fell.

Gods died, too; the armies getting involved began to turn the tides. The military and the Ellehemaei who stayed working in conjunction defeated (slowly, and with a great deal of collateral damage) the returned gods, sending those who survived back to Ellehem and sealing the gates.

This took two hard years of fighting, during which countless cities across the globe were destroyed, as well as roads, farms, lakes, and… well, large bits of everything else.

The Army used conventional weapons. The fae, on the other hand, used everything they had. They turned roads to water. They turned deer into monsters. They simply Destroyed things that were in their way – airplanes, buildings, the aforementioned lakes.

Those who did not die from direct attack, from being in the path of a weapon, from being in the way of something that had once been a deer… they faced longer-term problems.

The roads to most cities were impassible by the end of 2012. (By the end of 2011, things had already started to decline.) Food could not get in, nor gas. Looking at NYC in the days and weeks after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 gives us a good idea of the amount of damage that can cause on its own. And with an overtaxed Red Cross and a completely stretched-to-the-limit government… disease and starvation set in.

People had been dying by the hundreds of thousands. They started dying, now, by the tens of millions.

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July Nano – more feedback requested

Okay, so I put up these two polls: shell poll Addergoole poll re. July Camp Nano and what-should-I-write.

Right now, “Second generation” is winning, which leads me to the next question:

Who in the second generation do you want to see?

(Answers can either be names or, say, “Jamian’s kids” or personality-type or upbringing-type descriptions)

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Tasty Tuesday: Asparagus Soup

It’s asparagus season! And, while I can eat spear-grass steamed with lemon juice pretty much forever, T. wants a few different options.

So we made Creamy Asparagus Soup, from Cook’s Country, April/May 2010

(This is a magazine worth subscribing to, by the by).

We split this in half:
2 lbs asparagus
3T butter
2 small leeks, white and light green portions*
salt & pepper
3-1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c frozen peas (these make it actually green)
2 t grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 teas lemon juice

The recipe calls for reserving the tips, sauteeing them first, and using them as a garnish. Next time we will skip this step

Add vegetables, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, to the butter in a dutch oven or saucier. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened (about 10 mintues)

Add brother and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in peas & parm.

Puree in a blender in batches, or with a stick blender. Stir in cream & lemon juice and cook until warm, just about 2 minutes.

This was very tasty, and very very asparagus-y. It’s also not a meal (we went out for ice cream afterwards. That worked). But it would work well as a side with something meaty.

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Beginning With a Kiss, a story of Planners Post-Apoc for Moonwolf

This is a story for [personal profile] moonwolf, as payment for her compilation of The Planners Character List.

It involves the characters also found here (in order first-last):

Saying Hello
A Kiss Under Duck & Cover

It had begun with a kiss.

Which was, of course, a lie, the sort of lie the poets told, even now, with the world over for so long it was becoming a new world.

It had begun with a look and a smile. It had continued over the course of two years with more looks, and more smiles.

It had begun with an interest that was, if nor strictly forbidden, certainly frowned upon strongly. Tess was older than Thomas, four times his age when he came to the school. She was the Dean and he a novice. She was a grandmother and he a young, strapping man: good breeding stock, when she was past breeding.

It had begun with him shouting, and her scolding. It had begun with him questioning, questioning everything, and her answering, calmly, from the mandates of her people, from the charter of the Library, from the teachings she, too, had once questioned.

It had begun with an argument, with many arguments. The kiss was simply a way-point along the way.

Still, it was quite a kiss. Tess had not had a chaste sixty-two years, and Thomas, it seemed, had been paying attention to more than just books in his studies. The kiss was hot, their hands firm on each other’s shoulders, their breath nearly silent.

The sirens provided cover when their silence was not enough; the thick chairs, built to last centuries, provided a visual screen. Thomas’ fellow students, hiding, too, as the raid protocol demanded, provided the rest by politely looking anywhere else. It was possible that they had known this was coming longer than Tess and Thomas themselves had.

“Well.” When she could breathe, Tess sat back on her heels. “That…”

“Shall we catalogue it?” The boy smirked at her. “List it under ‘Embraces, unexpected and forbidden?'”

“You enjoy teasing me, don’t you?” Tess found she didn’t have any desire to get angry with him.

“I enjoy poking at the system. You are, as Dean, part of the system, of course.” He quirked an eyebrow in her direction.

“Poking, mmm?” Now it was her turn to raise her eyebrows. “Is that what you had in mind?”

“It might have been. Although, truth be told, the kiss was further than I thought I would get.” He tilted his head, peeking out towards the door. “The sirens are still going.”

“Then the guard has not yet turned them off. If they trigger the secondary sirens, then we will have to fight.”

“I know how to fight, at least.” He rolled his shoulders. “And if the sirens go off with no fight, then what, Madame Dean?”

“Then we go back to our classes.” She said that, at least, with all the firmness that her age and experience gave her. “And then-” He had raised his eyebrows, which was amusing. “-then you attend me in my office, when your classes are done for the day.”

“For discipline?” He was clearly teasing her as much as she was him. “Have I, then, been a disobedient student? Naughty?”

“When have you not been, Thomas?” She smirked at the boy. “Attend me in my office. We will go from there.”

“Ma’am.” From his kneeling position under the table, he bowed. “As you wish.”

She wondered, briefly, did he see that movie? Then she remembered, with a stab of something like pain in her chest, that movies, and the casual watching of such around the living room, with microwave popcorn and a polyester blanket – all of that was gone, lost in her memory and the minds of those as old as she was.

“I wish it.” It was easier that remembering exactly how much time separated them.

The sirens silenced, and they did not need, that day, to fight. Tess handed over her classes to an adjunct, and spent the afternoon cataloging damages, taking notes on the prisoners they had captured, and planning notes and pensions for those guards too injured to continue as guards, and letters and fatter pensions for the families of the two who had died in the attack.

She caught sight of Thomas twice. The first time, he was helping, with his medicine class, to attend to the lightly wounded guards. The second time, he was speaking with one of the wild-tribe women who had been captured. He spoke softly, and his hand was near the woman’s dirty one. Tess squelched the feelings like jealousy that rose up in her; this was not an appropriate time for such things. She had families to visit, and condolences to give.

Those condolences were still fresh on her lips and heavy on her heart when Thomas brought himself to her office.

They left her in less than a receptive mood to his cockiness; she turned, ready to be stern and short with him, only to find him looking every bit as solemn.

It shook her foundations. She stepped back, making the move into a gesture inviting him to sit. She had not come this far without learning to cover for her gaffes.

“You wanted to see me, Madame Dean?” He took the seat she offered, every inch the suave gentleman, if you paid no heed to the tightness of his voice or his face.

“I did. She folded her hands on her desk. It gave her an appearance of gravitas, if not the actual feeling of such. “I wished to discuss your future with this institution.”

He bowed from his seat. “I knew there would be a reckoning.”

That had not been the response she’d expected, but, then again, very little Thomas did fit within her expectations. “And yet you did it anyway.”

“And yet I did.”

“Wh… no.” She shook her head. “Now is not the time, as curious as I am.”

“If you’re going to send me away, Madame Dean, there won’t be another time.”

Tess pursed her lips. “Fresh from today’s raid and its consequences, I don’t think either of us are interested in kissing at the moment, Thomas, or in its reasons. Unfortunately for us, we will need to deal with the consequences.”

He raised his eyebrows at her. “And so you will send me away.”

“No.” She leaned forward over the desk and dropped her voice. “And so we will discuss how to best keep you here without sullying either your reputation or mine.”

She had the dry pleasure of seeing him, for once, surprised.

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July Camp Nano: A poll

So, July’s almost here, and I’m planning of writing the next Addergoole episode as a 52,000-word novella during Camp Nano. The question is, which story?

I have four in mind, and will probably, eventually, write all of them:

Year 10: She wakes up in a hotel-like room underground, with no memory of who she is, who these people are, or what she’s doing there.

As the Apoc Falls: The world is falling apart, the gods are attacking – and they are still being sent away to boarding school?

Second Generation: Their parents went here. It can’t be that bad, can it?

Cynara’s School: It’s year fourty-three of the Addergoole school, and a bunch of Addergooe alum have built their own school.

Poll is in DW, or vote in the comments.

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Bracken, her first year, continued

Fourth-plus in a series of character-building vignettes following a bunch of characters through their time at Addergoole & beyond.

This is a continuation of this piece by request.

Bracken had a position. She’d always had plans, she just hadn’t had the opportunity to do anything with any of them. She’d kept herself sane with her plans.

This one might not listen any more than anyone else. But, on the other hand, this one was different. Not a guy. Not a girl. Not pushing their agenda – or anything else – down Bracken’s throat. At least, not yet.

If she started talking fast enough, maybe they wouldn’t.

“So I talked to Professor Akatil about Unutu.” She loved the way the word sounded, rolling off her tongue. “But I don’t have any control about machines the way most of his Students do. I’m good at Jasfe. I’m really, really good at Jasfe so far.” That word sounded like it could fix everything in her life, instead of just fixing machines. “And I was learning how to be a mechanic before I… came here.” She shook her head. “I know, I know. You’re not a mechanic. But you’re The Procurer. Professor Akatil said that. And you could teach me how to procure things. And I bet I could turn broken things into new things again. You know, junkyard procurement?” She shrugged. “I did that, too. Turning a car into a car again?”

She’d run out of things to say, so she took a breath and watched D.J. The slim fae tilted their head and studied Bracken for a moment. “You’ve thought this through quite a bit.”

“Yeah. Well. Plenty of time to think, you know?”

“I’m sure. And you want to learn how to be a – what would we call it? – a converter of junk into like-new things?”

“Yeah.” She shrugged again. She wasn’t sure if this sounded good or bad for her.

“And what are you not telling me, dear?”

Bracken chewed on the inside of her mouth for a moment. “…and you’re not a guy.”

“Nor am I a woman.”

“I know.” She shrugged, and hoped that D.J. would let it drop.

“Well, I think you would be a very good Student for me. And I’ll try to be a good Mentor for you.”

Bracken let out a breath she hadn’t known she was holding. “Thanks.”

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