Archive | January 5, 2014

Taking Chances

This is to kelkyag‘s prompt to my December Origfic Bingo Card.

Genique is the protagonist of the Space-Accountant series.

This follows after Tradeoffs.

The Quartermaster, Marist Irio, had given Genique not only a well-tailored wardrobe but also some food for thought and some tips – and piles of bookkeeping.

She’d also given her references to several other people on the ship who had paperwork – the head Chef, for one, the head of Navigation, and the director of the Pit.

Everyone starts out in the Pit, but… Genique was under no illusions. Eventually, they would run out of paperwork that had been waiting, and she would go into the Pit. She’d given quite a bit of extra attention to the paperwork she did for the Pit. Drugs – sensation-enhancers, mostly, and contraceptives, some antibiotics. Drugs, and oil, and clothing – that last one surprised her. And cameras.

And, of course, people were skimming off the top, the sides, the bottom, and everywhere else. People were stealing from the pirate ship, and, if she hadn’t thrown her lot in with them, she’d have found it amusing.

As it was, she’d had to carefully ask the Master of the Pit, do you want me to note the places you’re stealing, or just make them less obvious? He’d patted her head and called her a good girl, which she really wanted to mind, but she’d noticed the way it had covered up a nervous surprise on the Pit director’s face.

That had been one sort of taking a chance (the second chance there had been in the way she’d not mentioned it directly to the First, and made sure when she did mention it, it was in a way that couldn’t be traced back to her, hopefully.

This was another kind of chance. She had dressed for dinner carefully, in the best of the jumpsuits that Marist Irio had tailored for her and the red silk Basi had gifted to her. She had done her hair, inasmuch as she could without spending money in the shop (the Head Chef had given her a wooden-handled brush that he’d pirated. Being bald, he had no need for it or the wooden barrettes he’d also given her), and used a tad of the cosmetics the Pit-Master had given her for her service. In short, she looked as good as she was going to get.

She strode into the lunch room and sat herself down, as if she belonged there, as if she had every belief that she was welcome. She smiled brightly and cheerfully, once sat, at the two young pirates already there. “Hello.” She offered them her hand. “I’m Genique. I’m the new bookkeeper.”

Next: Betting On It

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Team D, a story of Dragons Next Door for the Giraffe Bingo Card Call

To [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt to my orig-fic card. This fills the “Cunning Plan” slot.

Juniper, Kelkathian, and Azdekious are part of my Dragons Next Door setting; its landing page is here.

“What… what the seventeen different sparks?” Kelkathian and Azdekious stared at each other, and then at the van they had suddenly found themselves in. “This isn’t team C.”

“This isn’t Team B.” Kelkathian gave a headshake, and wormed out of the backpack. Juniper was unconscious, looking for all the world as if she was napping at home in her bed. “Can’t be team A.”

“You’re telling me we were guarding against three teams of kidnappers…”

“And a fourth one came out of nowhere. I am indeed telling you that.” Kelkathian dropped carefully to the floor. The back of the van was filled with plumbing supplies, all of it with the appropriate level of wear for an actual plumber, but something about it still felt wrong to Kel.

“Is she waking up back there?” The voice came from the driver’s seat; Kel ducked into Juniper’s jacket while the passenger turned around. “I thought I heard something.”

“Must be dreaming, then, ’cause she’s still out like a light.”

“Hunh. Thought a rich kid would be harder to grab than that.”

Kel peeked over Junie’s pocket and saw the driver’s face – nothing exciting, nothing important, and her othersight told her he was nothing but human. Very human, strong and tough and so normal it was almost painful, but this wasn’t a dweomer or an elf or an elkin or really anything but a normal human kidnapper…

…who thought Juniper was a rich kid.

“You’re sure her parents have money?” The passenger seemed to have the same qualms about this plan that Kelkathian did.

“They live in Smokey Knoll. You tell me a human that could afford a house there who wasn’t filthy rich.”

The car screeched to a halt. “This is a Smokey Knoll kid?” The passenger’s voice was a hiss. That was your cunning plan? To grab a kid from Smokey Knoll?


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Signal Boost Time

[personal profile] sharpeningthebones has opened a Fiction Carnival! The Theme: Fairytales and mysteries. Leave up to three aspects of the story you’d like to see, and StB will write ~125 words. Tip for more fic.

And [personal profile] itsamellama is holding a Mini Art Sale. Paper bead jewelry, stickres, and ACEOs are available.

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A Favorite Place, a story of Stranded World for the Giraffe Bingo Card Call

To [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s prompt to my Orig_fic Bingo card; this fills the “Favorite Place” square.

Autumn and Summer (and Bishop and Melinda) are characters in my Stranded World setting; this story is later in their lives than most of the stories.

“Let me show you this place.”

Summer watched her sister. She had been watching her sister much of her life, it seemed; the way she moved, the way she smiled, the way she seemed to dance through life without a care. She watched the way Autumn smiled with her mouth without smiling with her body; she watched the way she flirted shamelessly and almost never carried through, and the way, when she carried through, it was a dance of the body, without the heart.

Summer had been watching Autumn and Winter forever, picking and choosing what parts she wanted to emulate, and then parts she wanted to throw away (On some level, she knew that Spring did the same with all three of them, though with Spring it looked as if she was throwing away everything, just to confuse and confound them all).

This year, she was spending the summer, or at least part of it, with her sister and her own lovers, which lent a certain color-commentary feel to the whole art of watching Autumn.

“Is she…” Bishop whispered it in Summer’s ear, which cause Mellie to squirm closer on the other side.

“Hssst. Wait and see.” Summer adjusted her bodice – this silly Ren stuff Autumn insisted on; maybe this year she’d splurge on one that fit properly. Two, one for her and Mellie would look lovely in a wench dress, maybe…

“A place?” The man had been hanging around Autumn’s booth for the entire weekend; he’d wander away to hang out with his friends and slowly gravitate back to admire the art, to admire Autumn’s ink, to admire Autumn herself when she wasn’t looking. “But your booth?”

“Well.” Autumn’s breath hitched, the cut of her vest making it obvious. “You could always come back after the Faire closed. It’s prettier by moonlight, after all.”

“Mmmmm, look at the way he watches her.” Mellie was nearly purring. “Good thing we brought our own tent.”

Summer was smiling, but inside she was cheering, albeit a bit nervously. In all the years she had been coming to this Faire with her sister, never had she known Autumn to show a lover – or anyone but kin, actually – her favorite place.

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