Archive | December 17, 2014

Solstice, 50 words, @dahob

The longest night of the year. They stood, outside their prefab barracks, and stared at an alien sky.

The world was different, the stars, even the weather. But they lit candles made from alien fat and held them up to the dark night, to the black skies. And they sang.

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Jumping Rings: A Story of the Circled Plain Chapter Thirteen (Choose)

“Agree. Or don’t. You have to be agreeing to it, Taslin, you know that. They can’t force you to take a Patronage.”

“But they can make my life very difficult if I do not. They can make everything unpleasant. They can lean on the owners of the pit. They can Patronize someone else and encourage them to hurt me, or just hire people to attack me.”

“That’s illegal.”

Read On…

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Science & Getting Schooled, another part of Luke at Doomsday (@inventrix)

First: Visiting Doomsday
Previous: About cy’Doomsday

Luke found his wings flattened to his back. “What does my wife have to do with anything?”

Nehara held up both her hands. “Not your wife, sir. Gabriel. It’s just that, of course Mystral talks to her father, and of course the professor talks to the rest of the teachers…” She shook her head. “I just wanted to say, you’re not as much of a cipher, sir, as you might think. I did some studying.”

“I am beginning to guess that I should have expected that.” Mike would say he’d gotten his feathers ruffled. Luke took a breath and tried to smooth himself down. “What did you learn?”

“You know,” she changed the subject with a bright smile, “I think maybe there’s someone you need to see before you see Professor Lily’s class.”

“Not Gabriel? I see plenty of him.”

She chuckled politely. “No, sir-“

Luke coughed. “By this point, I think it’s probably politer if you call me by name.”

“Certainly, sa’Hunting Hawk.”

Luke flopped against the wall, acknowledging with a wry salute that she’d won that round. “You were saying?”

“I think you ought to see Professor Inazuma’s class. He’d be very disappointed if you traveled all this way and didn’t see him.” She took his hand and Luke, startled, let her. “This way, come on.”

“Yes, ma’am.” She was going to be a beautiful terror for someone or ones. When she was old enough. He resisted the urge to snatch his hand back. “Lead on.”

“Follow on, soldier.” There was something suddenly old about her voice. Luke focused on the school uniform, the red cloak and the plaid skirt. She was a kid. A student.

‘Fina had been a Student. Mystral had been a student.

Inazuma. Think of Leo. It was as good as thinking about baseball, and had the side effect of reminding Luke why he was here. “It’s been a while.”

She glanced back at him. “I imagine it has, sir.” She sounded as if she’d been through the wars. And Luke, of all people, knew what that would sound like. “I’ve heard some of the stories, of the war.” She glanced down at the ground.

“Yeah.” Luke let out a breath in a huff. “Yeah. His class is -” The school was quiet, the students already in their next class.

“Right here. First floor. Science building. Well, science and math, though sometimes we call it the Alchemy building.”

There was clearly a joke there, from her smile, but Luke had asked for more than enough explanation already. “Onward,” he said, hoping this wasn’t going to blow up in his face.

Nehara watched him for a moment, seemed to brace herself, and opened the door.

Luke was too busy paying attention to his guide’s body language – now, now she had to brace herself? – and thus almost missed where they were.

Leo’s enthusiastic “Luke!” brought him right back. “Luke! I didn’t know you were coming!”

“Surprise visit.” He couldn’t help but smile, and, at that, he noticed Nehara was smiling as well. He turned his attention on Leo. “So, I hear Professor Inazuma has a reputation around here.”

Stupid, stupid. He wasn’t here to challenge the kid. He folded his wings and kept talking before Leo could take too much offense. “It looks like you’ve done good things here.”

Mike would have been proud of him. Well, probably not, considering he’d made the mess in the first place, but Leo grinned. “Isn’t it awesome? Nehara’s been showing you around?”

“She has.” He nodded at Nehara. “It’s been quite the education.” He looked around the classroom. “Science, then?”

“Earth science! We’re studying climate and weather today. Do you want to sit in?”

Luke glanced at Nehara, who shrugged cheerfully. “Yeah. That sounds fun.” Much to his surprise, there was a chair waiting near the back that could comfortably accommodate his wings.

“Great! All right, class, this is Luca Hunting-Hawk. He was my Mentor back in school…”

“In Addergoole?” A dark-skinned girl in the front row turned to stare at him. Luke didn’t see any Changes – but that could mean anything. “You teach at Addergoole?


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Landing Page: Vas’ World

Vas’ World
They had trained for this scouting mission for over a year; they’d trained in the space service for years before that. But they were still unprepared for everything they found on the new planet.

Vas’ World is a soft sci-fi story of planetary exploration; like the exploration, this setting is still in the nascent stages.

Icon by [personal profile] meeks.

Best places to start:
Naming Names
The Sea and Sky

Stories include:
(The Vas Cycle)
Naming Names
Observe and Report
By the Wall (LJ [Donor Perk]
Contemplating the Wall
Fighting for Dominance
Coming Up (LJ)
Wound (LJ) (Donor Perk)
Greetings (LJ), to [personal profile] eseme‘s prompt
Harvest (LJ)
Further Exploration Reveals… (LJ)
“I said, Further Exploration reVEALS,” (LJ)
Dream (LJ) Malia’s Vision Quest

(The Becky Cycle)
Care Package
all four available in Tales for the Sugar Cat e-book!

The Sea and Sky (no xpost), of the origins of this planet.
Vinting Love (LJ), after Sea & Sky
Harvest (LJ)

The Planet Called “Oh, Fuck, We’re Screwed.”
Holy Fuck, It’s Snowing
First Thanksgiving

Read my short story “Xenonegotiation,” set in the pre-history of Vas’ World, in the April Issue of EMG-Zine!

February Worldbuilding Q5
February Worldbuilding q21 (LJ)

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December Meme Day Seventeen – The Cats! (@inventrix)

The Meme

Today’s prompt is from [personal profile] inventrix: the cats

Oh, twist my arm!

Kitties kitties kitties!

T & I have three cats right now – Oligarchy, Theocracy, and Meritocracy. We got Oli & Theo about a month after Drake died, in June of 2012.

Drake was our Sugar Cat, my diabetic flesh-eating fluffy happy monster for whom I wrote Tales for the Sugar Cat (a fund-raiser). He was with us for about twelve years – not nearly long enough – and died two years after his foster-brother, the first cat Sam & I had together, Gatsby. They are both still keenly missed.

But I made it about a month before I started looking for a new cat. I wanted siblings, I wanted boys. Siblings because Gatters and Drake, not related, had never gotten along great, boys because the girl cats we’d encountered – roommates’ girlfriends’ cats – had been miserable.

The Humane Society had no sibling pairs and wanted $150/kitten.

The next shelter over had a lovely pair of marmalade brothers with extra toes, but they adopted them out while we were filling out the paperwork.

We ended up finding our boys on Criagslist, just 4 blocks away. Little poofballs – we’d been looking for shorthaired marmalade kitties; these were longhaired grey-and-white. But they were friendly, they liked being handled. And I didn’t want to live any longer without cats in the house. Home they came!! We tossed around a bunch of names for them; for a week they were Thing One and Thing Two, or Lefty and Righty (Each has one white sleeve).

They were born in March; they came home in June. A year later, T. found three kittens in our hedgerow.

A while later, the three – who wandered and came back, wandered and came back – were down to one, who liked to stand in the hedgerow and yell at T. We started feeding her kibble, and T would move a little closer every day. Eventually, she would tolerate being petted.

We named her Sullivan, because my dad had a yard cat named Gilbert who was all white, and she was all black. But as I found myself cooking meat scraps before we put them in the compost bin (which she was eating out of), we realized we were keeping her. She needed a name in trend.

Sullivan became Meritocracy o’Sullivan. And as she started getting friendlier – as it started getting colder – we very politely shoved her in a cat carrier and left her at the vets for three days before bringing her inside.

And that’s the story of my kitties.

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Changes in Policy, a ficlet of Addergoole

This one comes with a warning: If you already actively dislike the Addergoole staff, this is not the story for you.

I don’t usually say things like this, but I’m in a foul mood today, I wrote this for fun, and I don’t want it to turn into a discussion about how Regine et al are evil stupid horrible monsters, please.

That being said, story:

On occasion, the staff at Addergoole found themselves needing to implement a new policy.

Their school had been entirely experimental at the outset, and none of the three founders had all that much experience with teenagers. Their first policy changes had involved the sheer violence of teenagers – something they might have picked up from Lord of the Flies or Heathers but learned on their own quickly enough.

Their second policy major change came about because of the secondary purpose of the school – to ensure genetic diversity after the coming storm – and the quaternary, to allow Regine to study the genetics of half-breeds. They had not expected students forced together by pseudo-Keepings to form lasting bonds (although they had expected some of the Crews to last). For the most part, those couples formed by Keeping did not last – but some couples, however formed, stuck together through the four years of Addergoole and beyond.

A later policy change was implemented much more quietly, and very few students ever saw it in action. Once again, they had failed to allow for exactly how violent teenagers could be, and at the same time failed to realize how badly a former Kept might react to a Keeping that, by their new rules, was closely-monitored and carefully mentored.

The original Keeping had been skating the edges of acceptability: the boy had isolated his Kept, treated her like a pet, and controlled every aspect of her life for a school year. When a routine visit found her Keeping him post-school, however…

They had pulled in her Mentor, his Mentor, Solomon, and Mendosa, and just barely managed to talk her into releasing what was left of the boy. He had survived – but only just, and it would take Caitrin and Mendosa three years to put him back together.

The Addergoole staff had always encouraged their alumni to find each other. After that, however, they started asking more questions.

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