30days Second Sem / Abduction Prompts / Scent / The Generation Ship

For the 30 Days Meme Second Semester, for the prompt “18) prompt: a step too far.”

In the same world/ship as Evolution and All Green Dots. Short version: Alae is the ceremonial Queen on a generation ship; Eka is her partner.

“Trepp, Alae, it smells like stale piss.” They had both been on edge lately, vibrating with the tension of the ship, with the political maneuverings that threatened both of them, feeling crammed in even Alae’s larger cubic and not spending any hour aside from work apart. The perfume had been the cracked cog that had thrown them out of working order. “Do you own a scent that can’t be smelled in the next star system?”

It was a step too far, enough to send Alae storming out into the corridors, alone and without a weapon, stomping through the ship like a force of nature, ready to rip the panels off anyone who got in her way.

Jol Ruinson was the hapless fool who crossed her path first, a hydrologist from the upper port quadrant. “Alae, your Majesty,” he oozed. He always oozed, like he was half-liquid himself. “Have you come to recant your refusal? Have you seen the light?”

“Hardly,” she snapped. “Jol, I will marry you when the void is safe to breathe, when the ship stops moving, when our water falls from blue skies. I’ll marry you when myths are true, and not before.”

She could tell the moment the words were out of her mouth that it was too much, too far. She had been turning him down (and a half-dozen others) since she moved out of the crèche, but she had always been polite. Today…

“Your perfume smells like piss, your Majesty,” he snarled, one hand going for her hair and the other, holding a taser she hadn’t noticed, for her ribs.

She didn’t lose consciousness until he dragged her until the dark.

And for Eseme’s prompt wanting to see a rescue in this setting:

“You have got to be treppin’ kidding me,” Eka shouted, her voice echoing off the corridors. “It’s a finite space, a ship. How can you not find. One. Woman. In. A. Spaceship?”

The police squirmed uncomfortably under her barrage. “Engineer,” one of them began, another quickly interrupting, “Princess.” She turned to the third, waiting to see how he’d address her.

“Eka,” he said quietly. “There are seven hundred fifty thousand people on this ship, and the cubic to match. We are doing everything we can to find Alae.”

She stared at him levelly for a moment, then, reluctantly, nodded. Everything we can. “All right,” she agreed quietly, “but, perhaps, you’re not doing everything I can.”

It only took a few minutes to convince the beleaguered officers to go along with her plan, and another half hour to set up the scanners to do what she wanted. The planners of the Zimmer had taken great pains to limit surveillance to the large public-gathering sites, valuing privacy where personal space was inherently limited. But the life-support systems were fine-tuned, able to deflect the smallest variations. Eka doubted anyone had used the system to track their lover’s perfume before. It took the scanners fifteen minutes to isolate the trail.

The supply corridor had been blocked off in a remodel two generations past, the only access a panel that had been unscrewed. In the space behind – half the size of Eka’s apartment – Alae and her captor lay, dimly lit by the standby lights. The engineer princess dove forward, heedless of weapons, to gather her Queen in her arms.

“I told you,” she murmured, “your perfume was a bit strong.”

The List:
1a) the story starts with the words “It’s going down.” (LJ Link)
1b) the story starts with the words “It’s going down.” (LJ Link)
2) write a scene that takes place in a train station.
3) the story must involve a goblet and a set of three [somethings]
4) prompt: one for the road
5) write a story using an imaginary color
6) write the pitch for a new Final Fantasy styled RPG (LJ Link)
7) prompt: frigid (LJ Link)
8) write a scene in the middle of a novel called “The Long, Dirty Afterwards” (LJ)
9) prompt: mourning dead gods (LJ)
10) write a story set in three different time periods. (LJ)
11) Write a movie trailer style trailer for a story, existing or not-yet-written. (LJ)
12) prompt: sweet iced tea (LJ)
13) re-write a story that everyone knows (LJ)
14) write a vanilla story dealing with kinky subject matter (LJ)
15) prompt: ascension (LJ)
16) write a scene that takes place at the end of a long road trip. (LJ)
17) write an uncomfortable story (LJ)
18) prompt: a step too far

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

All Green Dots – Flash fiction from prompt

Flash Fiction from daHob’s prompt: I’m a computer geek. Green means ‘good’! In Test Driven Development, you are done with the code when it passes all the unit tests. Each test gets a green dot (as opposed to a red one). So, “all green dots” at 256 words….

Sequel to Evolution

Alae and Eka waited together in the tiny room known, as archaically as Alae was Queen, as the Green Room (some wit had painted a line of tiny green trees all around the room). The ceremony took time to plan (even though it happened every twenty cycles), more time to set up, and several eternities on the day of. And through all of it, Alae, who was normally just another denizen of the ship, was sequestered and guarded like some exec’s concubine

She’d paced until Eka snarled, fiddled with her feather cape until she risked ruining it, and settled in to lotus, finally, envisioning her greenhouse plans for the next five cycles.

“Green dots,” Eka declared, as Alae got to her next batch of carrots. She opened her eyes; Eka was staring at the status meter, a row of red lights that were slowly turning green. “They’re nearly ready for you.” She stood, the beads in her hair clacking, and hurried over to Alae. “Are you all set, me love?” Behind her, another light turned green, and another one. “You mussed your cloak again, didn’t you? How is it that you can’t ever sit still?” Her slender fingers smoothed Alae’s feathers; her lover’s nervous fussing calmed her the way no meditation or medication ever could.

Four more lights went green. They were near to securing the space. She tried not to think about their failure to secure, last time, even as Eka’s fingers brushed the scar.

“All green dots, Your Majesty,” Eka murmured. “Knock ‘em dead.”

Friday Flash: Evolution


Alae shrugged into the long feather cape, settling the weight over her cotton-like tunic. She stroked the perfectly-replicated parrot feathers, garish in their natural colors.

“They used to grow these on birds, you know,” she told her escort.

“Pfft, next you’re going to tell me they grew the rubber backing on trees.” Eka had no interest in ancient cultures, nor in the natural world. She liked the slick lines of the machines and the smooth comfort of plastic, the sameness of synthetics.

“Well, no, but they did make a lot of things out of products they had on hand.” She held out her hand for the scepter and, solemn-silly in her own ritual garb, Eka handed it over.

“Seems inefficient,” she complained. “It’s hard to get any level of replicable similarity from different batches of plants.”

Alae shifted the scepter – made of real wood, and inherited from her grandmother, like this position, like the cloak, vestigial holdovers from a landbound time – from hand to hand, studying her escort. She looked so gorgeous like this, her hair beaded with synthetic turquoise, her eyes lined with imitation khol.

“You’re not that much of a machine,” she said gently. “You enjoy beauty.” She was beauty.

“Of course. I put up with you, don’t I?” She pushed the scepter aside, smirking at the knob on the end, and leaned in for a kiss, her beads clattering. “Organic unpredictability and all.”

Her kisses were electric and riveting, sweet and intoxicating like simulated mimosas, delicious and habit-forming. “I love you too.”

“Of course you do.” She touched up Alae’s make-up with a maternal thumb. “Garish, archaic, and lovely, your majesty. You look suitably regal.”

“And inefficient?” she teased, to cover the warm flutter Eka’s compliment made in her belly.

“Queens aren’t supposed to be efficient. They’re supposed to be proud and aw-inspiring and traditional, to fit a ceremonial role.”

“Vestigial.” She quirked a small and entirely non-regal smile. “Like hair. Something we’ve evolved out of the need for, but can’t stand to get rid of.”

Eka chuckled. “I like my hair.” She shook her head to make the beads clack, and her smile grew thoughtful. “You know, your majesty,” she mused quietly. “They used to think the coccyx was vestigial, too…”

375 words. Originally meant to be 250 (2 hours’ wordcount goal) but it wasn’t quite done, so I went on for another hour. Still micro.