Archive | April 29, 2015

Trope Bingo – Foedus Planetarum – The Tod’cxeckz’ri Paper Part IV

To fill square Three-Five (au: steampunk) on my card for [community profile] trope_bingo.

First: The Tod’cxeckz’ri Paper Part I

Previous in Trope Bingo: The Tod’cxeckz’ri Paper Part III

No Ao3 standard warnings apply.

It wasn’t that Jahnan thought her captive was serious. He had just admitted to attempting to seduce the lion’s share of his captors, generally to escape.

It was just that it had been a while, and he was a handsome man, if you liked the type – which, she was finding, she did. And his hand was warm, and his fingers just strong enough, and all in all it was more than a little bit distracting.

She slid her fingers over the controls while Yira slid his fingers over her, setting the coordinates he’d given her and checking them – twice – against her navigation charts.

Then she threw the switch, just as Yira demonstrated exactly how thin her ship-silks actually were.

The world twisted, the probabilities aligned, and they came out in open space.

In open…

“That,” Yira complained, “is in no way space-worthy.”

That was a caravel, its sails furled, floating cheerfully in mid- well, in mid-something.

It took just a moment for the Maru’s sensors to pick it up. “That’s because,” Jahnan said slowly, as if the facts might change if she took her time, “it’s not in space. It’s an etherboat. See the balloons?”

“A… Eth… no, no, no.“ Yira thumped his head back against the headrest. “This, this is why I hate what-if drives.”

“And this-” Jahnan lifted Yira’s unresisting hand off of her lap and deposited it in his own, “this is why you should never distract the pilot. Now think quiet and calm thoughts, and I’ll get us out of here.”

“I don’t trust you.” He grumbled and shifted in his seat. Jahnan glared at him.

“I said be quiet.“ She turned back to her consoles as he made a strangled noise. “All right. If we’re lucky…”

“Attention the Maru. Prepare to be boarded.”

“Right.” She glared at her intercom, which had turned on without consulting her. “So lucky isn’t going to be the thing, check.” She brushed her hand over the “transmit” button. “Attention aggressor, we have no room to be boarded. You’d be better off boarding a lifeboat.”

“..Jana? You got a new ship!” The voice on the other end went from mechanical to a squeal of glee. “Nehanani Jahnan, I never thought I’d see you back in my neck of the woods. Hold on, I’m bringing you aboard.”

Jahnan made triply certain the intercom was off before she leaned back in her seat and swore, quietly but eloquently.

Yira made a soft noise, and then another one.

“What?” She was just about done with – “…what?” His tan skin was ashen and he looked more miserable than she’d known he knew how to look.

Very slowly, as if moving hurt, he touched the collar with two fingers – and flinched.

Jahnan stared at him. “What… aw, rot.” She didn’t have time to deal with this. “Does it hurt?”

He seemed to give that some thought, then shook his head.

“Can you talk?”

Again, he thought about it, then shook his head. He looked worried. It was an interesting look on him.

“Can you breathe?

That one didn’t require thought. He nodded.

“All right. All right.” She nodded to herself. “So – That. On the comms, about to bring us into her ship. That is my sister.”


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Three Weeks For Dreamwidth: Three Weeks for Worldbuilding – Science!

The thing about the Lab in the world of Science! is, they are only the good guys by a specific set of morality guidelines – specifically, Liam’s, the head of the Lab.

On the other hand, while they may not be the good guys, in a place where human/rose hybrids are possible, there are people that are worse than them.

Super(*)-villains are a thing in the world of Science!, although there are not so obvious as the comics would have you believe. There are people who have learned how to wire brains to accept and manipulate computer data: they are hackers the likes of which the normal police and FBI have a very hard time catching. There are people who use pheromones or simple mind-control drugs to drive their Ponzi schemes. There are people who implant chips into kidnap victims and use them as unknowing Trojan Horses, or, worse, sell them on the black market.

The Lab tests on orphans. There are always more orphans to be tested on, because there are scientists who release flesh-eating bacteria into the wild for fun, people who make sniperbots for giggles, people who incite riots just to cover a bank robbery.

And if that sounds bleak, well, in some places it is. But there are heroes, as well: the FBI has an Unusual Crimes division. Police have their own scientists. The Red Cross has begun keeping simple gas masks and earplugs on hand at all locations, and, more than that, sedatives; they also have holding locations for those suspected to be under the influence of mind-control… something. And, in every city, there are at least five people who have either biological or mechanical enhancement, who can withstand almost anything the villains can throw at them. They assist the police, the FBI, and the Red Cross on a consultant basis, and keep each other honest.

And under all of this, Liam’s Lab – and other like it – are churning out cures for things like cancer right alongside flesh-eating roses.

Written to kelkyag‘s prompt here.

I still need lots more worldbuilding prompts! Check it out!

(*) Also, possibly, as originally written, Supper-villains..

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