Archive | January 7, 2015

Feedback/Ideas wanted: Foedus Planetarum

So, this story – – sets up a list of potential people who could attest that Yira is unfit for marriage. I know who two of them are – the second one being set up by the card – – but I could use more ideas. Roles/people in Yira’s life? Help?

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The Ramifications of Hair, a continuation

Written as [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon‘s commissioned continuation of Tricked out for her pleasure.

Joe was bound to the bed, naked, as far as he could tell, except for too-many-piercings, and there was an elf woman on top of him. As far as slavery went, this was not what had been in the brochure.

Not that there’d been a brochure, unless you counted I Was A Slave In California documentaries, and Joe had watched more than a few of those, usually while very drunk or very hung-over.

Very hung-over was not dissimilar to the way he was feeling right now. It was like his face had been wrapped in blankets and now he was beginning to see the light – except that right now, the light was either a pillow or a lot of hair.

Hair. She’d said something about braiding. Joe forced himself to pay attention to the situation at hand. “I… I can hold still.” He shook his left wrist, making the chain jangle. “There’s not much option anyway, is there?” He turned his head to look at the elf-woman, but succeeded only in getting a mouthful of hair.

She chuckled throatily at him. “There is always an option. You’re lovely, did I mention?”

Joe coughed. “That’s not what I’m used to people saying.”

“Oh, well, Americans.” She gathered handfuls of his hair in her hands and began finger-combing it. The sensation was strangely pleasant. “They like big, bulging sorts, don’t they? Football players?”

“Mmm. Manly men.” He sounded bitter, and felt a little guilty about it. His country was better than this, than slavery, wasn’t it? Except nobody had told him slavery was about naked women braiding his hair.

“Manly men.” The woman chuckled. “My name is Carienne, by the way. Baroness Carienne ni Scholta O Rhinne, but when we’re alone like this, you can call me Cari.”

Joe tried it out. “Cari.” It sounded like a teenager, not like – “So. I think I remember you buying me?” Wow, that was awkward.

She began finger-combing his hair, pushing a bunch of it to one side of him, a bunch to the other. “I bought you,” she agrees. “You were very well drugged. I was curious to see what you’d be like when you surfaced.”

“Other than tied to the bed?” He jangled one cuff for emphasis. Her hands felt good on his scalp. Nobody had said anything about slavery felt good.

Well, that wasn’t right. But it wasn’t supposed to feel good.

“Other than tied to the bed, yes.” She chuckled. “So, do you think the drugs are gone yet?”

“Well…” Joe thought about it for a moment. “I’m starting to freak out. Because you took me somewhere – and then I had hair. Like, lots of hair. That wasn’t a dream, was it?”

A tug on his head answered the question. He turned as much as he could, and saw the mass of black-and-brown in Cari’s hands. “No. Not a dream.”

“But it’s impossible. I mean, I don’t think that was just a weave…”

She gave another tug, a firmer one this time. Joe swallowed a gasp. “No. not a weave.”

“So…” One things the documentaries had hinted at but never said outright. Joe put his face down on the pillow and let it muffle his answer. “So magic is real?”

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Some Perspective, another part of Luke at Doomsday (@inventrix)

First: Visiting Doomsday
Previous: Science & Getting Schooled

“You teach there?” The girl was staring at him. Luke twitched his wings and met her gaze. She was maybe thirteen or fourteen, a bit of baby chub on her cheeks, and a face shape he’d seen before.

Addergoole had had something like two thousand students; he’d seen any number of faces, even if a tenth of them had looked like Aelfgar and another tenth like Ambrus. He couldn’t place the face. But the glare was definite and right here in front of him.

He flapped his wings again. “I helped found Addergoole.” There was no point in denying it.

“You made that – that – that torture-hole, and they let you walk around like a person?”

“LaKeziah.” Leo cut in, sounding adult and stern. “You can talk to sa’Hunting Hawk after class.”

“Oh, I’ll talk to him.” She gave him a nice long glare before turning back into her seat, muttering things about torturers and baby factories.

Luke pulled his wings in tight. At the front of the classroom, Leo shifted his posture. “As I was saying, Luke sa’Hunting Hawk was my Mentor, back in the Dark Ages when I was a student.” He smiled at the class, inviting them to take part in the joke.

Some of them chuckled. Some were staring at LaKeziah. One of them, a ginger boy with wide, blue eyes, was staring at Luke. He nodded politely at the boy and turned his attention back to Leo.

“He taught me how to fight.”

Leo nodded at Luke. Luke nodded back again, feeling like a bobble-head.

This was not putting on a good show. Mike would glare at him. Luke cleared his throat. “Ah. Yeah. I teach martial arts, physical education, self-defense, and basic weapons training at Addergoole. Your professor Inazuma was my student, back before the…” the world ended. But it hadn’t, had it? Not for these kids, who could have grandparents born after the conflict. Luke coughed. “Back before the Collapse.”

One of the kids, the ginger one, saved him. “What was it like? Back then?”

“Well – if it’s okay with Professor Inzuma?”

“Sure, of course.” Leofric pulled up a chair. “Chemistry will still be here tomorrow – probably.”

“Probably.” Luke took a chair from an empty desk and sat backwards in it. “You all know that fae – Ellehemaei – live a long time, right?” He saw nods, even from the angry girl. LaKeziah. He needed to remember that name. “So I was born over two hundred years before the Collapse, and my friend Mike was born more than two hundred years before that.”

The ginger boy was counting on his fingers. “So… before the discovery of America?”

“Before the white man discovered America, yes.” Luke grinned. “I think Nehara’s people – and some of mine – would say it had already been plenty discovered.”

The ginger kid coughed. “Sorry, sir. Just – that’s a long time.”

“Maybe if he’s very good, I’ll have Mike visit you.”

“Don’t you mean ‘if we’re very good?”

Luke found his grin stretching. “Nope. Not when it comes to Mike.”

“That one’s never good,” LaKeziah grumbled. Luke ignored her, in part because it too close for comfort. He nodded at the ginger kid instead. “So… what was your name?”

“Rueben, sir.”

“So, Rueben, it really is a long time. And it’s a really long time when you’re looking at the way civilizations rise and fall.” He looked around the room, both at the students and at the room itself. “I was born in a longhouse, before telephone, television, running water, or electricity. And here we are, where most places don’t have any of those things again.”

One of the other children shifted in her seat. Luke nodded at her. She had deep green eyes and dark brown hair. “You have a question, Miss?”

“Banyan, sir. It’s… was there really a time when everyone had telephones and running water? I mean, in the enclave where I grew up, they said those things had always been rationed.”

“I’m beginning to think the enclaves teach a lot of bad history.” Luke tried not to grumble it; it wasn’t the girl’s fault. “But the truth is, there was never a time when everyone in the world had electricity or running water. But when the collapse came – when the Old Gods came back through the rifts from Ellehem – there were something like seven billion people on the planet.”

He watched their faces. They hadn’t flinched at Old Gods, although some of them made various gestures of protection. One girl even crossed herself. But at seven billion people, they balked.

“No way.” Reuben shook his head. “Seven billion? Professor Lily said three hundred million.”

“Don’t be a dork, Reuben.” One of the other boys in the year punched the ginger boy in the arm. “She said three hundred million in America.

“Oh.” Reuben sank back down in his seat. “Sorry, sir.”

“That’s quite all right.” Luke couldn’t help but smirk. “Lots of people have made the mistake of thinking America is the world. But now – the giant nations are gone. And ‘America’ isn’t a bastion of technology anymore.”

“Do you think it ever will be again, sir?” Banyan was leaning forward in her seat. Luke took a breath and gave the question the consideration it deserved.

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