A New World: An Arrangement

First: A New World
Previous: Experimenting with History

Kael looked between Caron and Hallsey, wondering exactly what she’d said that was getting her such strange looks from both of them.

“Are you offering… to teach us?  On something like a regular basis?”

“But not potions,” Hallsey added to her friend’s question.  “But like… how to find out history?”

“That depends.”  Kael was feeling out her answer as she went,  but she was pretty sure she was on the right track.  “Do you want to learn potions, history, or both?”

“Are you for real?” Caron stared at her.  “Are you really – I mean, what would you charge?” Continue reading

BeePocalypse 4: Kids

First: The Testers

Previous:  The More Things Change…


Mom Cara shed her white suit, revealing herself to be still rather like herself.  “Not everyone has extreme visible changes. I run a few degrees colder than I used to, and I tend to be a little quicker to fly off the handle if I don’t pay attention, but I still look much like myself.  And I’m still myself, Kelly-boop.  I promise.”

“I believe you.”  Nobody had called her Kelly-boop in years.  She found herself wrinkling her nose the same way she had back then, before she found out that it would end more quickly than she’d thought.   Continue reading

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-23-3

Explorer Log 7-23-3

The first thing we did on landing was set up a null-charge shield around our living pods.  The lightning storms – “dry lightning”, my granny would say – come down so frequently it was three days before we saw the sun.

Flora and fauna here seem adapted to the storms. Either they have channels for the electricity or they’ve learned to hide from it.

I tell you, a thing that looks like a giant moose with electricity arcing from its antlers is a terrifying sight.

But the mountain cat leaping into the storm was even worse.

We haven’t lost anyone yet, mostly due to an abundance of caution.  I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to say that.

Planetary Date 109

We have figured out the trick.

We nearly lost Ewro and Tagked, but we figured it out.

There’s a combination of trees and a certain element that completely repels the lightning.

And certain vines are lousy with that element.

We’re now living in a clearing in the forest under a very nice net-and-canopy that keeps us safe.

And we’re herding Giant Moose and Red Pigs, which are neither really red nor really pigs.

This might work out.

Tootplanet: Captain’s Log Sector 7, Subector 23

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 23-1

The galaxy is full of surprises.

This planet is very nearly lifeless – scant vegetation, only a few lifeforms, most of the water heavily salinated, burning sun.  Humans COULD live there, but only as a last resort.

Yet our first probe found life and civilization.

Not a lot – and it turns out not CONSTANT civilization.  No, this place boasts an impressive natural cave system, and in there it turns out there’s a vast smugglers’ hideout.

We left a sneak-probe and took some notes.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 23-2

I’m starting to think some other civilization is using Subsector 23 as a dump.

Ok, that’s not the weirdest part of 7-23-2.  The weirdest part is that the dump – decommissioned ships, from the looks of it, gunners and cargo ships – is set up like we’d set up something with no breathable atmosphere. Double airlock on a dome near the landing bay, a deep underground facility staffed by five life-signs.

Yet the air here is perfect for human life and on the other side of the plant, away from the desert and the dump, is lush, green terrain.

What DO these aliens breathe?

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 23-3

The lightning storms!  The wild lightning arcing across the northern hemisphere of this planet! It’s beautiful, albeit deadly.  

But the southern hemisphere is just as rich in metal as the northern, and there are wide grasslands and hilly regions between the mountains. The soil might be shallow; there’s metal close to the surface everywhere.  But very large herbivores and rather large carnivores roam the surface, even in the north. This planet can sustain life.

We sent a team to see just how MUCH life.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 23

This last star system on the edge of the sector might explain much about the entire sector.

We found a dead planet covered in ruins first, and then a planet almost suitable for humanoid life – covered in far newer ruins.  Its satellites – three – were covered in the detritus of what looked liked several wars.

On the far side of the last satellite, we found a small grouping of aliens still alive.  We sent down a greeting probe and, with it, a query: Did they need aid or rescue?

They shot a rocket at our ship and nearly managed to hit us.


Beauty-Beast 31: Need and Desire

First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Ctirad


He leaned against his owner, his head on the taller man’s shoulder.  “Would you drop your Mask, sir?” He was feeling incredibly brave today.

“I suppose I could do that.”  Timaios shifted and, when Ctirad peeked, was stone and horns and still smiling.  “I would ask you to do the same, but I’m afraid you would take it as some sort of tit for tat situation.”

Ctirad swallowed.  “I like you – I like you liking me, sir,” he offered.  “I don’t want to ruin that yet.”

“Do you honestly think, with a Change like this, that anything behind your Mask would bother me, my sweet man?” Continue reading

Edally Story 1 – Come Down Sometimes

Chapter 1-5, Book One: Dairnikkindo and Biemnyon

“Biemon!  What are you-”  Dairnikkindo’s voice was a hiss against the night air.  “Did you do enough last year?  You’re going to get expelled!”

“You know I’m not going to, Dairdo-dairkin,” Biemnyon teased.  He was making no attempt to lower his voice.  “I have the best grades in the school right now.  And I won the Mechanics competition just a week ago.  I think I’m entitled to a little fun.”

“A little fun, sure.”  Tired of craning her neck, Dairnikkindo swung herself up to a second-story window frame to look up at Biemnyon.  Ever since he’d pulled his stunt last year, he’d been incorrigible, irrepressible, and absolutely without any concern in the world for his future.

Since he’d thrice asked Dairnikkindo to share that future with him, she thought perhaps he might have some thought for it, but no, he was climbing the Philosophy Tower.  Again.
And what was more, she realized, as she squinted into the moonlight at him, he was using one of her Devices to do it.

“You might have won the Mechanics competition,” she hissed, “but we both know why.”

“You know that they’d say you were a sore loser, too, if you said anything.”

“Biemnyon.”  Dairnikkindo stood up on the narrow ledge, her own Device gripping the stone carefully.  “I would think very carefully about what you just said.  If you truly think that that is why I said nothing, then you have no right to ever again ask me to add your name to mine.”

She was furious, and she knew that it showed in her voice.  She didn’t care.  The nerve of that man!

And just like that, he slid halfway down the building, so he could look down at her.  “You’ve turned me down three times, Dairdo.  Three times, that’s one for each god.  Common wisdom says that if you say no in the face of all the gods, that you’ll never say yes.”

“Well, considering you’ve never paid much attention to common wisdom in any other situation, I don’t know why you’re bothering now.  Biemnyon, I have said no because you have not yet shown me what you want a future to look like.”  She dropped down to the ground in two bumps, moving like a spider against the wall.  “When you figure it out, let me know – and then you can ask me in the face of all three gods, and you can see what I say then.”

She walked away before she could look at his face, before she could turn and take it all back or yell at him some more.  He was going to have to grow up eventually – or he was going to have to be a perpetual child, but without her.  She didn’t know, yet, which was more likely; she didn’t know yet what she’d do if he chose not to grow up.

Hanging him by his toes from the top of the Engineering Tower, though, definitely was starting to look appealing.


So Solace went and gave me two Books of all the characters, and thus is getting all the Edally ficlets ever. 

This one takes place when Taikie’s parents are still in school. 


Tootplanet: Captain’s Log Sector 7, Subector 22

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 22-1

This planet is one where we almost screwed up.

It’s a very nice planet, although it has only scattered landmasses, most of them only a few km-sq. On the land, there is not a single sign of civilization.

On the above-water land.

Once we sent probes beneath the surface, we found a drowned civilization that, rather than actually drowning, had begun to thrive under water.

Signs show that the water is retreating again.  I wonder what will happen to the water-people now?

We left them a polite note. I felt a bit guilty about almost invading them accidentally.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 22-2

Even if we could breathe the atmosphere on this planet, I’m not sure we’d want to colonize it.

We can’t: low O2 & high argon & CO make it uninhabitable.

But that was obvious already from the HUGE SWARMS OF INSECTS swarming over more than half the planet’s surface.

I went into space for a reason. There are no bugs in space.

We think they’re non-sentient.  We sent several probes and sample-collectors on the theory that the place might have something we could use.

I spent an hour in the shower afterwards.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 22-3

This planet was just barely within the livable range of its sun, and if we were to colonize it, it would have to be with Alaskans, Scandinavians, and Russians.

There IS a narrow band of warmth around the equator, and it looks as if it stays clear for three-quarters of the year, but the rest of the planet – a small one, on the scale of livable bodies – is covered in snow and ice.

There is animal life here but, unsurprisingly, no visible civilization.

We left probes as a just-in-case.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 22-4

Sometimes I’m just glad we can’t colonize a place for solid, scientific reasons.  This planet is one of those.

The water is low across large portions of the planet, with only a few deeps and a few rises – none high enough to be called mountains.

The tidal pull of its single moon and the shallow water means that much of the planet is a tidal mudflat, filled with insects.

The CO2-based atmosphere is un-breathable, even if one wanted to squelch around in the mud.

The Hidden Mall: Reunions

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Back the Way They Came

Abby glanced at both her Livs, to find one of them as shocked as she was and the other completely not surprised.

She cleared her throat. “Food?” she asked.  “We can trade some ridiculous fruit.”

“Fruit?”  Kevin leaned forward.  “I haven’t had fruit in-”

“It’s been a while.”  Vic squeezed his shoulder.  “Okay. You have the question-face on.  So. Short version: This is this world’s Kevin.  I’m not this world’s Vic – she couldn’t make it through the doors.  I’m a traveler, but I lost my Sandy, and without her it’s almost impossible to go anywhere, and, besides, this one might be kind of grubby, but nothing here is actively trying to kill anyone.  Um. Usually.” She coughed and looked away. Continue reading

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Log Planet 7-20-1-β

Explorer Log 7-20-1-β

Planetary Day 100 

The science log can tell you anything you absolutely have to know about the last 100 days.

I have an apartment, of sorts, in the second tallest building.  I have to climb 109 stairs every time I want to get to it, after a ladder.  A hexagonal ladder.

It’s worth it.

We’re pretty sure what got the Hexagonals now. It hasn’t gotten any of us, but there were a couple close calls.

On a clear day, you know, I can almost see the people on the other moon.

Tootplanet: Captain’s Log Sector 7, Subector 21

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 21-1

This planet looks as if it was habitable – and habitated! – at some point.  Vast structures stand empty on the highest points, while much of the rest of the planet is covered with a rust-red scum.

Three small areas still looked livable, and on two of those, we found much smaller civilization-signs – tiny buildings and green-stone roads.  We sent down a couple cautious probes. There is insufficient land for a colony, but we might be able to learn what happened here.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 21-2

After a certain point, you learn to recognize the look of a colony settled from another planet.  You end up with a high-tech grouping in a small area.

This is the first such we’ve seen on this circuit, and to be honest, although it fits in our qualifications, these colonists are welcome to it. The land is half desert, half ocean, with a cold tundra in the middle riddled with rivers. Humanoids could live there – but the six-limbed creatures who are farming it seem to thrive.

I wonder, though, where the rest of their species is.  I don’t see any base of production for those plows or the plascrete buildings.

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub 21-3

This planet was one of those “If we didn’t know it was inhabited, we’d never believe it” sorts.  

Initial scans show a swampy, wet planet, with no real oceans but several inland seas and a great deal of murky swampland & dark, damp forests.  They also showed very few heat signatures and almost nothing in the way of construction.

Our first probes, on the other hand, showed a large and sprawling population of damp, green, cold-blooded people living in short, mostly-buried buildings in and around the swamps.

We sent a polite greeting, but not before they had sent one to us.