Archive | January 11, 2016

A Beautiful Friendship

This is written to [personal profile] chanter_greenie‘s commissioned request for more of Zita and Amantia. It comes after most of the events in Addergoole: Year Nine. Thanks to [personal profile] wyste, whose character Zita is, for helping with Zita’s lines.

The sun was bright. Amantia blinked up at it. She remembered what it felt like; she remembered what it looked like, but that had been years ago. She’d never thought she’d live to see a meadow again.

She flopped down into the grass, feeling the prickle of the stalks through her wetsuit. When she’d first gotten sent to the basement, she’d really believed that someone, anyone would come up with a cure for her problem soon – just a week, just a month, just a year. For the last year, she’d really expected to die any minute now. The beasts had been attacking, they were stuck.

Now, she didn’t know. She was out of the basement. She was in the sun. She could – well, she already knew she couldn’t run away, but getting out of the basement was the first step towards any kind of freedom at all. She could do this. Maybe she could even learn how to stop killing people.

A light breeze picked up, brushing over Amantia. She rolled up into a sitting position and smiled. With her arms outstretched, she could pretend she could feel the breeze all over her body.

“That should be enough.” A soft voice barely reached her ears. Amantia stiffened and dropped her arms. She’d been left alone, but she had known she was being supervised. They wouldn’t trust her to be alone here they wouldn’t trust her at all.

Professor Valerian was standing just at the top of a low rise, not looking at Amantia. She looked sad, Amantia thought, and perhaps tired. “Just stay to this side of her to be the safest.”

“And you can’t do anything for her?” She couldn’t see who was talking, but the voice sounded familiar.

“We’re trying.” Professor Valerian’s sigh was a full-body thing. “Please believe me, we are trying. But turning off someone’s innate power and Change is a complicated matter.”

Amantia propped herself up on an elbow. Somebody cared? Was it one of the other basement kids? She hadn’t seen any of them since she was brought out here. She’d heard the list of found survivors – people she knew, people she’d been living with for years – but that was it. If she’d been at all surprised by it, Amantia might have found it depressing. But she’d never been the safest friend to have.

“Not as easy as a glass of milk with breakfast, hrrm?” The second voice sounded amused. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to find out how her poison and mine mix. Although there’s a few people we could practice on…”

“No practicing. I know it’s hard, Zita, but try to be a good influence for once.”

Amantia sat up. Zita? She knew that name!

“No such thing,” Zita responded cheerfully. “But the food is okay?”

“Of course. I’m sure she’ll love your food. I’ll be just over the ridge, out of earshot.”

“Liar.” Zita’s tone didn’t change; she still sounded perky. “You’ll want to hear all of it. I understand.” She stepped up over the rise, carrying a picnic basket.

Amantia stood up. “Hello!” She waved, maybe too enthusiastically. “Hello, Zita!”

Zita’s razor-sharp grin settled into something more amiable. “Hi, you. Amanita, right? I guess you remember me from the mess?”

“It was a mess all right.” She wrinkled her nose. “Do you know, is everyone all right?”

“A lot of people are still in the infirmary.” Zita’s expression sobered. “This is the first time they let anyone come see you. I guess you’re poisonous?”

“Yeah, a little.” She touched the neckline of her wet-suit. “Some sort of poisonous gas. I can’t control it.”

“That’s all right.” Zita’s smile was broad yet somehow non-threatening. “I’m poisonous too. I brought a picnic.” With that apparent non-sequitur, she flopped out a blanket and began laying out foods. “They’ll let me come visit so long as I have a chaperone. And I figure, the more I visit, the more they have to think about The Amantia Problem.” She winked. “Which ought to motivate them nicely. They’re afraid of us, you know,” she added in a conspiratorial whisper. “They think my crew is insane.”

“Oou.” Amantia considered. “Are you?”

“Of course.” Zita popped a cracker-sausage-and-cheese pile into her mouth. After a moment, she explained. “It’s more fun that way. Especially when you’re poisonous.”

Amantia found herself grinning in response. “Sounds wonderful.” She took a few bites of food while she considered. “I could handle being insane and poisonous, especially if I had someone to show me how to do it.”

“That’s me. A good influence all the way.”
The sun was bright. Amantia blinked up at it. She remembered what it felt like; she remembered what it looked like, but that had been years ago. She’d never thought she’d live to see a meadow again.

She flopped down into the grass, feeling the prickle of the stalks through her wetsuit. When she’d first gotten sent to the basement, she’d really believed that someone, anyone would come up with a cure for her problem soon – just a week, just a month, just a year. For the last year, she’d really expected to die any minute now. The beasts had been attacking, they were stuck.

Now, she didn’t know. She was out of the basement. She was in the sun. She could – well, she already knew she couldn’t run away, but getting out of the basement was the first step towards any kind of freedom at all. She could do this. Maybe she could even learn how to stop killing people.

A light breeze picked up, brushing over Amantia. She rolled up into a sitting position and smiled. With her arms outstretched, she could pretend she could feel the breeze all over her body.

“That should be enough.” A soft voice barely reached her ears. Amantia stiffened and dropped her arms. She’d been left alone, but she had known she was being supervised. They wouldn’t trust her to be alone here they wouldn’t trust her at all.

Professor Valerian was standing just at the top of a low rise, not looking at Amantia. She looked sad, Amantia thought, and perhaps tired. “Just stay to this side of her to be the safest.”

“And you can’t do anything for her?” She couldn’t see who was talking, but the voice sounded familiar.

“We’re trying.” Professor Valerian’s sigh was a full-body thing. “Please believe me, we are trying. But turning off someone’s innate power and Change is a complicated matter.”

Amantia propped herself up on an elbow. Somebody cared? Was it one of the other basement kids? She hadn’t seen any of them since she was brought out here. She’d heard the list of found survivors – people she knew, people she’d been living with for years – but that was it. If she’d been at all surprised by it, Amantia might have found it depressing. But she’d never been the safest friend to have.

“Not as easy as a glass of milk with breakfast, hrrm?” The second voice sounded amused. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to find out how her poison and mine mix. Although there’s a few people we could practice on…”

“No practicing. I know it’s hard, Zita, but try to be a good influence for once.”

Amantia sat up. Zita? She knew that name!

“No such thing,” Zita responded cheerfully. “But the food is okay?”

“Of course. I’m sure she’ll love your food. I’ll be just over the ridge, out of earshot.”

“Liar.” Zita’s tone didn’t change; she still sounded perky. “You’ll want to hear all of it. I understand.” She stepped up over the rise, carrying a picnic basket.

Amantia stood up. “Hello!” She waved, maybe too enthusiastically. “Hello, Zita!”

Zita’s razor-sharp grin settled into something more amiable. “Hi, you. Amanita, right? I guess you remember me from the mess?”

“It was a mess all right.” She wrinkled her nose. “Do you know, is everyone all right?”

“A lot of people are still in the infirmary.” Zita’s expression sobered. “This is the first time they let anyone come see you. I guess you’re poisonous?”

“Yeah, a little.” She touched the neckline of her wet-suit. “Some sort of poisonous gas. I can’t control it.”

“That’s all right.” Zita’s smile was broad yet somehow non-threatening. “I’m poisonous too. I brought a picnic.” With that apparent non-sequitur, she flopped out a blanket and began laying out foods. “They’ll let me come visit so long as I have a chaperone. And I figure, the more I visit, the more they have to think about The Amantia Problem.” She winked. “Which ought to motivate them nicely. They’re afraid of us, you know,” she added in a conspiratorial whisper. “They think my crew is insane.”

“Oou.” Amantia considered. “Are you?”

“Of course.” Zita popped a cracker-sausage-and-cheese pile into her mouth. After a moment, she explained. “It’s more fun that way. Especially when you’re poisonous.”

Amantia found herself grinning in response. “Sounds wonderful.” She took a few bites of food while she considered. “I could handle being insane and poisonous, especially if I had someone to show me how to do it.”

“That’s me. A good influence all the way.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1045768.html. You can comment here or there.

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