Archive | July 13, 2016

The Hellmouth Job, Chapters 9 & 10 (A Leverage/Buffy Fanfic)

Part I
Part Ia
Part II
Part III
Chapters 7 & 8

The Intersection

“Look, I can help you.” Hardison’s voice was rising in panic. “Just tell me what stores you see.”

Parker looked around. “Nearest intersection has a… Cobalt jewelry and a Costello ice cream. Big fountain thing. No skylight.”

“Cobalt, Costello. Check. Man that’s a big mall. It’s almost like… well, okay. Elliot?”

“Sec.” Elliot had taken advantage of the situation to bash the man’s head into the floor twice. He gave the guy one more heavy thunk. “Yo. One down. No cameras, no mirrors… here comes another one. Parker?”

“Ready.” She was smiling. Of course she was.

“So,” Hardison mused over their earpieces, “is this why the mall is empty, or is someone trying to send us a message? Are we getting too close?”

Elliot slammed his fist into their attacker’s jaw while Parker swept low and kicked his legs out from under him. He went down, and three more came around the corner.

“Too close?” Elliot punctuated his complaint with a roundhouse kick. “We haven’t gotten anywhere yet. You’ve been watching too much TV again, man.”

“These guys are strong,” Parker commented idly. She was around one’s neck, thighs around his throat.

“Parker, you hang upside down from buildings by your fingers,” Hardison pointed out. “I’ve got the infrared, but I think it’s broken. Man, what kind of mall has infrared security?”

“You know, this is why Sunnydale doesn’t have any visitors.” A perky voice complained from the sidelines. “We get some nice scruffy, scary-looking men and bam, someone attacks them.”

“Scruffy?” Elliot snarled. “Who’re you calling scruffy?”

“Who’re you calling a man?” Parker countered. “Man, does this man need to breathe, or what?”

“Probably not.” A blonde girl stepped out of the shadows. “And they’re not very friendly, are they?”

“Perfectly,” Elliot punched one attacker in the solar plexus, “Fine.”

“Ooh, you’re something, but you’re out of your league here, soldier boy.” She bounced into the fray with a spin kick, shoving the third attacker away from Elliot.

“I’ve got this,” he grunted. “…and don’t…” He twisted the man’s arm until it broke, “call me that.”

“He’s not a soldier,” Parker offered cheerfully. She hadn’t managed to asphyxiate her target, but neither had he managed to get her off of him. “He’s with us.”

The newcomer didn’t even raise an eyebrow at the apparent non sequitur. “You’re good, both of you. But these things don’t breathe and they don’t fall down.” She punctuated the last by shoving a large wooden stick through the ribcage of one of the attackers. “Unless you know how to hit them. “

The assailant fell apart in a cloud of ash. The woman twisted around, repeating the move with the second attacker. She looked up as Parker whistled; she was holding out her hand. “Gimme?”

“Don’t miss.” The new girl tossed the piece of wood to Parker in a low underhand toss; Parker caught it, bent over backwards, and shoved it through her target’s back while she flipped off of him. He vanished in a puff as she landed.

“That was fun! Do you get to do that all the time around here?”

“P… Alisha,” Eliot snarled. He turned his glare on the newcomer before Parker could even blink. “What the hell were they and who the hell are you.”

“Also thank you,” Parker offered. “What?” She looked between the two of them staring at her. “N… Mr. Boss says we ought to be polite, and… Mrs. Boss agrees.”

“Who am I? I think a better question is ‘who are you and what are you doing here?’”

Elliot sighed. “Shoulda sent someone else,” he grumbled, mostly to Hardison. “Right. Thank you.” He looked at the stick still in Parker’s hand, and the small piles of ash on the ground. “What falls apart like that? I’ve fought some weirder people, and some even weirder shit, but nothing that falls apart like that.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“No.” Elliot didn’t so much answer as snarl it. “We’re from Boston.”

The Introduction

“Buffy, where did you go, there’s shoes to be bought…”

“Buffy, help, Cordelia is trying to make me have an opinion!”

Cordelia and Xander skidded to a stop as they reached Buffy and the two strangers.

“Oh, ick.” Cordelia frowned. “Did you find more of your freaky little friends? Is this the new Kendra? Because seriously, one of you is enough.” Cordelia wrinkled her nose.

“I can still take back the offer for shoes, you know.” Buffy turned her attention to the strangers. “You’re not from around here, you fight like pros… who are you?”

The blonde woman — blonde acrobat, Buffy thought, although next Slayer was not a bad guess — waved cheerfully. “We’re here to join the youth group!”

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Making Fertile Soil – a story for the Summer Giraffe Call Round Two

Written to [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘ prompt here to my Summer Giraffe Call Round 2.

Planet names from –

“Pereira! What in hell are you doing?” Captain Klerkx came around the corner of the tower, glaring at her 2-I-C. “This isn’t a farming planet, this is a military base.”

Sage Pereira straightened up. “And because it’s a long-term military position, Captain, I have two days of leave a week and an extra three days of leave a month. I’m not on the duty roster today.”

“Don’t you rules-and-regulations me, Commander. What are you doing?

“Well, look.” Sage stretched and stood. “The soil here isn’t good for much, but I did a pH test — I’ve got the supplies, bought from the commissary on the trip over, so not using site supplies — and it’s within range for terran plants. And we have that little pen of livestock—”

“And how did that get past regulations?”

“Well, you see, Captain,” Sage let herself smile a bit. Captain Klerkx had the years in the service and the experience, but none of it was on military posts like this one, in the ass end of nowhere. “Doing post work comes with bonuses, you know. And they also come with weight bonuses when we move, because we’re expected to settle like we’re going to be here a long time. And when Sgt. Bermúdez was on leave between stationings, he found a place on Azrail that had these pig-mutations that are really space-happy and eat waste food. Real pork tastes a lot better than the fake stuff, you know. Then Lt. Dragić got the idea in her head, and the things she found on Gerodin aren’t quite goats, but they work like goats and humans can eat them — and they do the whole wool-and-milk thing pretty well. And they make shit, of course.”

“Excuse me?”

“They shit. They have waste products. So, back when we were setting up the base on Caracalla, we figured out that when we penned them in one area for a while, and them moved them on and turned the soil over — well, it’s not rocket science, it’s ancient agriculture. Anyway, hydroponics are good and all, but after the power went out for a week on Caracalla, let me tell you, you’re glad for something that requires sun and rain and work-hours and nothing else.”

“You’re using modified pig shit —”

“And proto-goat shit, Captain,” Pereira inserted helpfully.

“…to grow…?”

“Beans and potatoes, carrots and squash. I hope. And a couple rows of grain for now, more later.”

“And what happens when you’re transferred?” Military bases had a set-up time with full complements of staff, but eventually they were cycled down to skeleton staff when the automations were all established.

“Well, Captain, this is my third garden.” Pereira knew she looked good for her age, but she was probably a decade older than the Captain. “I hear my last two are much appreciated by the long-term staff. On Caracalla, they even imported their own pig-likes.”

The Captain blinked a few times. Assuming the discussion must be over, Sage went back to turning over the fresh, wet organic matter into the dry Claudian soil.

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Landing Page: Unicorn/Factory

A new setting, Unicorn/Factory colors an early industrial world, where the ravages of rampant production are being held off by unicorns.

This story has some dark themes – not just pollution, corruption, and the clash of industrialization & farming, but also the very real costs paid by the farming towns. It also encompasses, in some stories, rape and forced pregnancy, maiming, and murder.

Best Places to Start
Down the River
The Silver Road (LJ)

Down the River
Talking it to Death (LJ)

Duty after she’s gone to the river…

Unicorn Chase (LJ)
Unicorn-Chased (LJ)
Unicorn-Chaste (LJ)

The Silver Road (LJ)
Pure as… (LJ)
Making Harvest Wreathes (LJ)
Red Roses and White [No X post, Donor Perk]
The Grey Line (and on LJ)
Observed (no x-post, Donor Perk)
Productive (LJ)
The Governors (LJ)
Right and Wrong (LJ)
Cleaning House (LJ)
Observing (LJ)

Other Bits
Take Me (LJ) Depression & the unicorns
Far Weston (LJ) A new City
Unicorn Hair (LJ)

The Rebellion
The Problem (LJ)
Unicorn Bride Rebellion, Part I (LJ)

Strange Unicorns
The Black Unicorns of Cardenborn (LJ)
The Unicorn’s Gift After The Black Unicorns
Change (LJ)
Strange (LJ)

Stroke the Unicorn (LJ)
Unicorn Strokes (LJ)
Unicorn Truths (LJ)

The Black Bean (LJ)

5 Things You’ll Never Meet, by cluudle

No Unicorn, by rix_scaedu

February World-Building Q9
February World-Building Q24
February World-Building Q27
Three Weeks for Worldbuilding – The Governors in Unicorn/Factory (no xpost)

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Craft Fest Craft Fest (Our trip to CornHill Arts Festival)

This past weekend, we did almost nothing on the house – except plant one small squash plant, after clearing and turning over and weeding and hauling dirt into and weed-clothing sufficient area of our squash patch to let it spread (hey, it’s been a slow summer for gardening).

But we did go to a craft festival. Corn Hill Arts Festival is one of the biggest and best festivals in Rochester, and one that has been going on for a very long time (I first went with my parents, when it was a more hippy-feeling event and I was much smaller).

Back when we lived in Rochester, T and I went to many (not all: almost impossible) of the craft festivals in the area, but it’s been several years since we’ve driven back up for one (It’s about a 2-hour drive each way). It was nice to go back, and I think the break did us good. I felt far less jaded; there were many many new things, and even the trendy-thing-with-too-many-booths was new to us.

And we bought things! We did not buy wall art, because oh dear gods, the wall art I wanted cost too much. But I got a new mug! And some new earrings and a new bracelet (fork!) and a small piece of art and… *breathes* OH YEAH a fairy door.

Pics of the fairy door when we install it on Grandmother Maple. For now: My fancy new mug.

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Grasp the Nettle – a ficlet of Addergoole Yr10 for the Summer Giraffe Call

Written to [personal profile] chanter_greenie‘ prompt here to my Summer Giraffe Call Round 2

The hallways had been loud and dark all morning. Circia had hidden in her room with her plants and her Biology homework and tried to ignore it. There’d been one time where someone pounded on her door, but she’d shouted “go away,” ignoring the pounding echoing in her head, and nobody else had bothered her.

Now it was nearly dinner time, and Circia found herself both hungry and craving sunlight. Sun was hard to get around here, but if she could make her way to the grotto… Tigg had enjoyed showing her the broad indoor garden, walking her around it, telling her all about the plants. He was a nice guy, if a little too intent on visiting her every day. She wondered if it had been him knocking on her door. Well, he was just going to have to learn about the word “no.”

She hardly noticed the thistles trailing like vines behind her, or the way they wrapped the outside of her door. Somehow, they seemed natural. And, once she had made it into the grotto, it seemed natural that they, like her, would reach up for the sky and the strange indoor sunlight.

When they found her in there, several hours later, Tigg was still complaining of the swelling in his hands. “Isn’t the saying ‘grasp the nettle?’”

Circia barely heard him. Her feet were deep in the dirt and her prickers had all settled into place. The fake sun was warm enough on her face, and she could feel the whole grotto through her vines.

She opened her eyes slowly, to find Professor Valerian, Professor Fridmar, and Tigg staring at her. “I think I’ll stay here for a while,” she informed them sleepily.

The professors, in turn, studied the prickly vines Circia had woven around the carnivorous trees and strange plants that made up the grotto. “Yes. I think you will,” Professor Valerian agreed. Tigg’s whining aside, she thought no-one here would want to grasp this nettle, let alone firmly.

“Poor Regine,” she murmured to Fridmar, as they left Circia to her sun and her dirt. “And poor your students. They do so hate it when they come with natural weaponry.”

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