Archive | November 14, 2016

Captured Knight, Continued

A double-crack alternate universe in which Leo gets an army and then takes over the northwest.


Black Knight and White Queen from the 9th and White Knight from the 10th and
Red Queen from the 11th,
and Domination and
Captured Knight, which read first, because AU, and several pieces by [personal profile] inventrix, and now I’m going to need a TOC for this.

The position was not exactly comfortable; Luke was kneeling on the stone floor of Cya’s house, and she was standing behind him, between his wings, where he couldn’t quite see her, where he couldn’t quite move his wings properly. Luke wasn’t sure he could move if he wanted to, and some part of him wasn’t sure he wanted to. He had to see this through, he insisted to himself. He had to do this properly, if he was going to keep sending his students to this.

Cya’s fingers settled on Luke’s collarbone; she leaned over him until he could feel her pressing against the back of his head. “Hold still a moment,” she murmured.

The order seemed to shoot straight down his spine. He made an involuntary noise as he tried to shift and couldn’t, tried to flap and most definitely couldn’t. He thought he heard her chuckle, but then she was doing a Working and he was too focused on that to think about what a laugh meant in this context.

It was an Eperu Working, earth, stone… silver? She was holding something against one of his collarbones, he realized, something cold and hard, like a stone or a pebble.

The Greek was complex, and she threw in Latin and at least two languages he didn’t recognize, but Luke was good with Eperu – it was his best Word, after Kwxe, fire, force, and he could follow most of it. She was transmuting, shaping, controlling. She was changing the pebble…

…into the collar, he realized, with a stab of panic. She was really going to collar him. The metal was already sliding around his neck. She was going to show him off, like… Like…

His mind flickered back to her first year, to Leo’s collar (after collar, after collar), to Yoshi’s first year, to Kept he had seen standing by Cya’s side over the years. She was wrapping the metal around his throat, of course she would. He snorted quietly to himself. He was being ridiculous. He’d agreed to twelve years. He agreed to be Kept. Of course it was going to come with a collar, not a necklace like some…

He snorted again. Like a cy’Luca Keeper might do.

“Funny, is it?” She’d leaned over; her voice was right against his ear. If he’d been able to move, Luke might have jumped. She was screwing with his situational awareness. This whole thing was screwing with his head.

“It’s just…” he cleared his throat. “It’s just… uh. You’re not a cy’Luca.”

She chuckled. He wasn’t sure that was a good sign or not. “No. Never have been.” She patted his shoulder. “There. You can move. You can stand up, if you want.” Her fingers slid over the back of his neck, tugging the new collar against this throat. “Maybe go check the collar out in the mirror.”

Luke shifted, but she was still holding the collar. “I think… I think that can wait.” Maybe if he was clever, it could wait twelve years.

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Captured Knight, an AU story of Cya and Luke

A double-crack alternate universe in which Leo gets an army and then takes over the northwest.

Domination and
Black Knight and White Queen from the 9th and White Knight from the 10th and
Red Queen from the 11th, which read first, because Au.

When he’d woken up, his mind had been circling. Things he hadn’t thought of in years had kept popping up, then vanishing before he could consider them properly.

“Of course I won’t let anyone hurt you if I can stop it. I promise it, Mike.”

“I swear to you I’ll do what it takes for this project to succeed, Regine.”

“Of course I’ll follow the rules of your school.”

“Promise it?”

“I swear to it, not that you need it.”

He had sworn to so much over the years, and, more than that, there were places in his mind where it felt like there had, at one point, been an oath — but he couldn’t remember making any oath that could relate to the scattered memories or the feeling of a wall no longer there.

This morning, it had been enough to leave him feeling drunk and uncertain. Now… now he was kneeling in front of a girl he had once taught, and he felt drunk and uncertain all over again.

She threw around orders with a confidence Addergoole students didn’t have, and yet, she also talked in a way that left no casual orders laying around. So when she’d said “kneel,” it had hit Luke like a ton of bricks, and then, on his knees, he’d felt a sudden peace and pleasure.

She was standing behind him, having placed herself between his wings, and her hands were on his neck. Luke ought to feel vulnerable. He felt at peace.

“I’m going to collar you now.” Her voice was very quiet. “And then I’m going to go digging in your brain.”

“Wh..” His voice was hoarse. He coughed and tried again. “Why?”

“Because I want to find out what pit traps Regine left, before I fall in them. And,” her voice went from gentle to firm without missing a beat, “because I can, and you, I think, are going to need more reminders than most that you are Mine.

He twitched, his wings trying to fold in, but she was there, standing between his wings, and they still didn’t want to work quite correctly. She caught the tip of his left wing in her hand. “Easy. No need to grumble. You knew what you were getting into.” She paused, and Luke heard doubt in her voice when she continued, a strange thing for her. “…Didn’t you?”

He found his voice with effort. Her hand on his wing felt strange, too warm. People didn’t just handle his wings. Not even his lovers had done that. “I’ve never been Kept before.”

“Well, then, this will be interesting.” She stroked the flesh of his wing, her fingertips feeling as if they were leaving trails of flame behind them. “First, the collar. And then I suppose we can do Keeping 101.”

“That sounds like it should be a class back at Addergoole.” He forced the joke out, but she didn’t laugh. Instead, her fingers stilled on his wing, near where Leo’s sword had torn a ragged hole.

“You know, it really ought to be.”

There wasn’t any humor at all in her tone, and her fingers were nearly through the holes in his wings. Luke held very still.

“Oh, well, we’ll see what we can do, you and me.” She patted his back, between his shoulder blades. “Let’s get that collar on you.”

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Two Beginnings of Stories

Because (for *cough* SOME reason), I was suddenly feeling the urge to write slaves and magical schools.
These are bare intros, of course.

Slaves, School

There was a collar, of course.

Desmond hadn’t exactly been expecting it, but somehow, when it was there that morning in the middle of summer, pressed around Des neck and already body-temperature, it wasn’t a surprise.

Every year, on Aleriaon the 1st, 28 citizens between their fourteenth and nineteenth birthdays woke up wearing a collar. It was chosen entirely at random — or so it was claimed, by those in charge of claiming such things — and you never knew if you would be the one to wake up like that.

And absolutely nobody knew what happened after that. The collar meant something, of course. You would, if you traveled in the right circles, run into people who wore collars — adult people, people at least past their twentieth birthday. They worked for other people, the sort of people that were recognized when they walked down the street and the sort that made a point of not being recognized at all. And they never, ever spoke about what the collar meant, or what had happened. Rarely, unless they were serving as Herald or Voice, did they speak at all.

Des had only once even seen someone with a collar. They had been at the Court building for something his father needed to do, and the collared person had been standing behind the judge, saying nothing, doing nothing, as if they were simply a part of the scenery. Something about that had spoken to him: being on display, being rooted to the spot, being voiceless. The image had stuck with Des: like a lucky rock, brought up and caressed and studied until the edges have worn off and it’s shiny with use. He couldn’t remember the warmth of the Courthouse or the noise, the way people had been shoving and unruly, the expression on the judge’s face. But every detail of the collared person’s expression, their stance, their clothing, their collar – every inch of that remained ingrained in memory.

He woke early, the pressure of the collar startling him. Both hands went to his throat. The metal there — when there had been nothing of the sort when he went to sleep; Des didn’t even own a necklace, much less wear one to bed — could only be one thing. It wasn’t all that wide, not like the one on the collared person in the courthouse, maybe the width of Des’s thumb. It was warm, not too thick, a few sheets of paper together, no more, and it had no closure. It had no embossing, either; he had read that the collars often were embossed although you had to be up close and personal to see the pattern.

Presumably, someone got up close and personal with collared people, but Des had never figured out whom.

He hopped out of bed and hurried to a mirror. The collar was pale rose gold, looking redder against his olive skin. it had enough room for him to slip two fingers under it, but no more. It was unmarked, as far as Des could tell, and it didn’t seem to do anything.

::Report to the Central office at 1 First street at 11 a.m. today::

The voice seemed to echo against the inside of Des’ teeth somehow.


Slaves, School 2

“There’s a girl in my room. In our room. In the room. A girl. Kneeling.” Austin skidded into the dorm’s common space. He wasn’t exactly alarmed, but this wasn’t… normal.

Well, it hadn’t been normal back home, at least. Austin wasn’t sure what was normal anywhere, anymore.

Up until a week ago, Perekatta University had been a story, a feature in several of Austin’s childhood storybooks and then the backdrop in a dozen more “chapter books” and more grown-up novels. The books had come from his Aunt Karen, a courtesy-title Aunt who’d been a schoolmate of his parents. Austin had read them all, at first dutifully and then with more interest and enthusiasm as the stories expanded.

There had been no girls kneeling in the boys’ dorms in the books, however.

“A girl,” Austin repeated. He’d gotten the attention of a couple of the upperclasmen.

“Not exactly.” Randy was sitting sideways in the biggest armchair, legs over one arm. He set down his magazine languidly and grinned at Austin.

Austin wasn’t sure what the joke was. “Exactly, yes. A girl, in the boys’ dorm.” Austin was the first pre-frosh here. He wasn’t sure this was going to work out in his favor, even if he had been about to pick exactly the bed he wanted. “She called me sir.”

“That–” Randy swung his legs down onto the floor and leaned over his knees. “It wasn’t in the books, was it?”

Austin took a step backwards. “No.” He didn’t ask how did you know about the books?

Randy answered anyway. “Everyone here either grew up attached to the Uni somehow, or they ended up reading the books. I mean, once every, maybe, ten, fifteen years we end up with a wild talent. You know, someone completely a mystery. But you didn’t have that look.”

“What look?” Austin was beginning to get offended.

“Your hair wasn’t on fire. Nothing was on fire. So. You didn’t know about the girl, well, the creature in your room.”

“Creature?” There was a certain inevitability to this conversation, like Austin was reading an invisible script. Well, if it got him answers, he’d read the script.

“She’s a Fah. An elf, if you will. They signed a treaty with the Incantara Primus, oh, centuries ago. Maybe millennia.” Randy flapped his hand, clearly un-interested in the details. “So they serve us for a period of time. Anyway, there’s three things to keep in mind about the elves.”

Suddenly, Randy looked serious. Austin wondered if he was being pranked. Still, he looked attentive.

“First, you don’t give them your full name and, preferably, you don’t give them your real name at all. Use a nickname.

“Secondly. if they get any of your bodily fluids – yeah, even that–”

Austin stared blankly. “That?” What was “that?”

Randy didn’t seem to notice. “–Be certain you get some of theirs in turn. And thirdly, do not ever shed their blood over live earth, and try not to shed it over any sort of earth at all. Water or fire’s best, and if you use water, dump in a lot of bleach before you send it down the pipes. Understand?”

“Don’t use a real name. Don’t give them bodily fluids without a trade of same. Don’t — do people really have to be told not to bleed them over bare earth? Who’s going to bleed them at all?”

Randy’s expression shadowed. “You’d be surprised. Go on, kiddo. Meet the Fah. Just remember what I told you.”

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