Mélanie stepped closer to Jasper and surveyed the area. There were people everywhere. More than half of them hadn’t seemed to notice the shouting at all. A few of them were looking across the market. A few more were looking at Jasper.
Was she going to have to do Workings again? Was she even allowed to?
Jasper waved enthusiastically with one arm, balancing the packages with the other. “George Ridges! I haven’t seen you in forever!”Continue reading →
Abby took a step backwards, and another, until ‘Via caught her. “Easy,” ‘Via murmured in her ear. “It’s okay.”
She forced herself to look at – at herself. Except dripping wet and dripping blood from what remained of a leg, leaning on a Liv who was dripping both water and blood, too.
“The – the sharks.” She worked her throat. “Remember? And before that, the fire. This is – this is all the deaths we could have died. It can’t be. We can’t have died this many times.”
“We could have.” ‘Via shifted a little. “I mean. It’s not — I mean. We don’t know how many malls there are. We don’t know how many of them anyone came through. We don’t know if the mall just generated new versions.”
In retrospect, Mélanie thought perhaps she ought to have expected a question like that. Dressing her in silk, treating her like a partner – she shouldn’t have been surprised that he asked her if she wanted anything. Wanting her to want things, wanting to get her things, seemed on par with everything else that he’d done so far.
That it took her completely by surprise was a sign she wasn’t paying attention.
Chitter squealed as she was dragged into the back seat, but the moment Erramun was cradling her, she stopped complaining. “I’m—” She smushed her face into Erramun’s chest.
“Easy, my young friend, easy. There’s always going to be more that you can learn. There’s always going to be more that you can do. But you can only grow so fast, and you can only do so much. It’s a hard lesson to learn, I know—”
“It’s a stupid lesson,” Chitter muttered. Ezer kept his face forward and drove, but Senga could see him peering in the rear-view at them.
“It is,” he agreed, “but we all have to learn it at some point. So. I’ll help you get the education you need, but you have to accept that it’s okay. You made a mistake, yes, but nobody got hurt-”
Jasper was still laughing. Mélanie was staring at him with something between horror and worry. Had she broken him? Was he going a little mad? Was this what happened right before he finally got angry with her?
“Easy, easy,” Jasper managed through a chuckle. “Oh, my dear, easy. Telling me that you think I’m doing something wrong. Being a little difficult? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed at you.” He draped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to him. “I do apologize. I know you were serious. And I take it seriously — I do! — that you feel strongly enough about this that you’d tell me you thought I was doing something wrong. I know that’s hard for you.” He squeezed her a little more firmly. “It’s just that if that’s what it takes to get you to give me your opinions more often, it’s tempting to go find the nicest little old couple I can find and bilk them out of their life savings.”
“Don’t do that!” Mélanie twisted in his hold to stare at him. “No, don’t — please, I mean —”Continue reading →
There were many houses, of course, some of them large enough to be considered manors, many buildings and homes and a great number of farms and plantations – but there were seven Estates.
From East to West, the first was the home of the Leader and thus whoever lived there had the First Vote, which was most powerful. The second home was for the Head of Priests, who held the second vote. Continue reading →
The tension in the van was slowly receding. Ezer looked pleased with himself.
“Chitter, good job as always on getting into their systems, and your little bugs are the shit,” he kept on. “Love ‘em. Allayne – you patched Erramun up so fast, I didn’t even get a chance to see the hole. Thanks. And Senga and Erramun, you guys definitely held their attention and kept to your roles the whole time.” He looked back in the mirror at them. “Try not to get so bloody next time, all right? It makes me techy.”
Without a word, Chitter passed him a candy bar. Ezer snorted. “Fine, fine, it makes me bitchy. I don’t know, Chitter, anything out of that security guard?”
“Allayne triggered something, not an alarm, some sort of tertiary back-up. Yes, I know I should have caught it, yes, I feel like an idiot for not catching it, but it was really well hidden. It was – look, here, see?”
New setting or one-shot, just an idea that came to mind, slightly inspired by The Exiles Trilogy and slightly by my inability to stop singing Good King Wenceslas.
“So let today hereby be named the Day of the Martyr Baloran, with all due pomp and ceremony, and let us remember this day by, hrm, bu picking up rocks from our neighbors’ fields and using them to help build the walls between fields, on my authority and honor as the leader of this colony-”
“Ah, honored one?” Gerilip did not like interrupting the Leader, but her job lead her to need to quite often. “Today is the day of the Blessed Epolitie.”
“Ah. What about Baloran’s birthday?”
“The day of the Blood-Consecrated Delfikin.”
“Ah, hrm. The day Baloran joined the Service?”
“That’s the feast of the Holy One Relian. Honored One,” Gerilip cut in, before this could get quite silly, “there is only one day left open on the calendar.” Continue reading →