Tag Archive | character: leofric

Landing Page: Black Knight (Chess) AU

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

[personal profile] inventrix: Only a Flesh Wound
Black Knight
[personal profile] inventrix: House Arrest
White Queen
White Knight
Red Queen
Captured Knight
Captured Knight continued
[personal profile] inventrix: Keeping Up Appearances
[personal profile] inventrix: Reversal
[personal profile] inventrix: All According to Plan…?
Other Pieces
Knocking Over Pieces
[personal profile] inventrix: Uncomfortable Developments
No Title
Phase II (and a bonus intro to something later)
[personal profile] inventrix: Chain of Command
Blonde Bishop
[personal profile] inventrix: (no subject)

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1202628.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Blonde Bishop

After Phase II and after [personal profile] inventrixChain of Command
Landing Page: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1202628.html

The Bishop is Mike. I’m not sure why.

Mike would laugh at him.

Mike probably was laughing at him, or, at least, he would be if any of Luke’s letters got through. Cloverleaf claimed to have a postal system, but you never knew, and Luke was old enough to have outlived several other mail delivery set-ups.

Some part of him thought, perhaps, that all the wiggle room in time when Cya sent him on errands was some sort of trap. She was the unapologetic dictator of an ever-expanding Empire; it wouldn’t be beyond her to have his mail intercepted so she could read it.

He could have just asked permission. Some part of him rebelled against the idea. He was a prisoner of war. He’d made a mistake… and been rewarded and punished in the same swoop. That’s what this was. Punishment for attacking Leo, a cover for his freedom from his oaths to Regine. And it seemed Cya had decided it would also be instructional.

It suited his impressions of her that she multi-tasked even this.

He touched his left wing-claw thoughtfully. The jewelry had been… Interesting. Wearing it in public had been strange, this weird combination of shame and pride — for the thirty seconds it had lasted.

Leo had been far less ambiguous in his reactions, returning him to sender like…



Like Luke’d sent students back to their Keepers when they’d shown up for PE with a collar too punitive, too difficult to actually do PE in, or with jewelry locked on.

Shit. Well, if he ever actually went back to teaching, he could make some changes there. Regine had hobbled him way too much.

Mike would laugh at him… and then probably have a list. Mike’d had a list quite a few times over the last couple decades.

Mike was going to spend a lot of time laughing at him. Luke shifted his wings and tried not to feel too stupid or too angry about that.

Or about the rest.

There had been the mess with the wing-jewelry. Luke hadn’t exactly liked the jewelry, but when he looked at the shame and pride – or, rather, when he thought about Mike laughing at him about it – what he came up with is Cya is saying I’m hers. Like the collar. But… more.

He should have anticipated it would cause problems. He had been more tied up in how he thought about it, and the disjointed feelings of having been bound and touched and somehow ending up feeling like he’d done something more intimate than sex.

And then Leo had sent him back.

Luke’s wings twitched again. That had been… humiliating. The look on Cya’s face, that had been something else. She wasn’t angry, she wasn’t sad. She shut down. Luke had found very quickly that he didn’t like it when she shut down.

And she’d politely asked for General Leofric’s time at his earliest convenience.
Luke had winced, because the two of them were snipping at each other too politely, too remotely. This was going to go badly. It was going to drag on, to become something awful.

…And now Leo was wandering around with obvious bite marks on his neck and chest, and, from the way he was moving, quite a few more bruises and scrapes over the rest of him. He hid it well, but he’d gotten torn into last night and wasn’t bothering to heal it.

Or had been ordered not to heal it.

Cya had not been pleased when Luke had been returned to her. It certainly hadn’t been the first time she’d been displeased with her general.

“If you think I’m pissed at you, Luca, you might imagine how angry I am at Leo.”

Exactly how pissed was she this time?

Luke paced, because he didn’t have anything to do at the moment, and because if he looked at Leo again, he was going to explode. Mike wasn’t going to laugh at him. Mike was going to be rolling on the floor, doubled over with laughter. Guffawing. Chortling. They were going to have to make up new words to explain the laughter.

Did she send me here all decked out just to piss off her paramour? ‘Cause it certainly worked like that, and Cya has plans for everything. That’s what everyone kept telling him, at least.

It had been bad enough to think about being decked out because she wanted everyone to know he was her Hawk, to jess as she saw fit.

It was a hundred times worse if she’d just done it to piss of Leo. He wanted to punch something. He didn’t have anything to punch. He certainly couldn’t haul off and punch Leo. That had landed him here in the first place.

“If you think I’m pissed at you, Luca, you might imagine how angry I am at Leo.”

Leo might be moving like he was hiding bruises, but he wasn’t acting like he’d just been chastised. Then he turned in exactly the right way, and Luke could see the teeth marks delicately embedded in Leo’s earlobe.

Those weren’t marks of abuse.

He was an idiot.

She hadn’t been mad at Leo at all.

Luke flapped his wings once, twice, and took to the air in a cloud of dust.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1207055.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Black Pawns, an AU story of Cya, Leofric, and an Army

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

comes tangental to:
Black Knight and White Queen from the 9th and White Knight from yesterday.

It was possible, Cya admitted, that Leo was getting a little bit carried away.

She watched him in front of his army; she watched him in front of his newly-conquered cities and villages and small states. He was soaking it in, reveling in it; he was glowing with the power and the pleasure of their worship.

She watched as he seemed to get taller, as his antlers seemed to get wider. He wasn’t growing, but his image was. They doted on him; they loved him. They praised him and expected him to fix their problems.

It was more than a little possible that he was becoming a god.

It was nearly certain that she ought to stop him. The Council would notice. Addergoole would notice.

She stepped up behind him and began the paperwork and bureaucracy of bringing another town under the Cloverleaf banner.

She wasn’t going to stop him yet.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1197318.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

You’ll never know the murderer sitting next to you….

Speculative ficlet of Boom, pre-apocalypse. Not even the ficlet I meant to write.

“Hey, you. Are you still alive?”

Feccrick came to conciousness slowly. There was a redheaded woman leaning over him, seemingly unbothered by the raw gaping sword wound across his chest.

“Alive?” Better to feign fogginess. “Yeah, what…?”

“What’s your name?”

“Fred. Fred Kirk.”

“Good, good.” She stood up, talking into her shoulder radio. He couldn’t make out any of the words, but he thought he heard his name.

Shoulder radio… a cop. Jeans and a jacket – detective? Feccrick tried to shake himself awake while trying to look as vague and uncertain as possible.

“All right, Fred. What happened here?”

“Some guy. Some…” Mara type, hero complex, swinging his sword around… “Freak with a sword. Came in and started plowing through everyone.”

“Why did he leave you alive?”

Alive? The rest were… Feccrick looked around: blood, and body parts, and a broken machete.

“Shit. shit, shit, they’re all dead?” Panic seemed like a good idea. He didn’t even have to fake it. “All of them?”

“Why’d he let you live?” she repeated.

“Shit, I don’t know, I…” Some words came back. You’re not to blame. You’re not like them. The man had sounded sincere. “…I think he maybe thought I was a good guy. Which I am, I mean…” The guy had clearly been a nutjob.

“Thank you.” This time, he heard the Words. They started with Abatu Intinn…

He didn’t have time to panic before he was gone.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1177326.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

A Deal is Made, Epilogue

Part I – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082356.html
Part II – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082751.html
Part III – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1091513.html
Part IV – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1095923.html

Regine pulled up the computer program that kept all of her student data, glad once again that she had upgraded her machines just before the catastrophe. You could still buy computer parts in a few select enclaves, but their methods left something to be desired and they almost always included as much spyware as actual computer.

She performed a search on extant and incoming students into the school, and then performed the search two more times. “That…” She stared at the screen with a decidedly unpleasant feeling before finally raising her voice. “Hayley!”

“Yes, Director Regine?”

“Call in Luca Hunting Hawk and Michael VanderLinden. Now.”

Regine was gone, the door was closed, and her footsteps had faded away. Slowly, Cya let herself grin.

“That took her longer than I’d expected,” she admitted to Leo. She turned to look at him, a little concerned about his reaction. After all, they were his children too.

He was still watching the door, looking thoughtful and uncharacteristically somber. “This was the thing you told me about a while ago, isn’t it?”

“It is,” she agreed quietly. ”Twenty, thirty years ago would have been nice. But now… well…” Her grin had faded in the face of Leo’s solemnity. ”I wish we could do more, but I still haven’t found a way to break the oath.”

“It’ll help.” He looked over at her and smiled. “More than I could’ve managed.”

“There’s a bonus, too.” She felt her smile coming back. “As of five years ago… every student entering Addergoole is descended from Boom.”

Leo stared at her for a moment. Cya didn’t let the smile slip from her face, just watched him. She saw the surprise on his face slowly give way to amusement, and that give way to outright laughter.

“Of course they are.”

Cya let herself laugh when he laughed. ”It took a bit of doing and, uh, quite a bit of being pushy with some descendants,” she admitted. ”But Aunt Cya – grandma Cya – can always pay back favors.”

“Great Ancestor Doomsday.” He leaned over and kissed her cheek. She felt heat coming to her face. All these years, and she still felt a blush coming on every time he did that.

She grinned widely. She’d been a little worried he’d be angry… ”It was a long shot… but it worked. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when she finds out.” Which she would, and soon.

“Mm. I think I can come up with an excuse to go see my old Mentor.”

“…brilliant.” Cya’s grin grew even wider. ”Yes. I want to see how this falls out.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1097360.html. You can comment here or there.

A Deal is Made, Part IV

Part I – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082356.html
Part II – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082751.html
Part III: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1091513.html

Cya was not smiling. It was very important for some reason that she was not smiling.

Regine had lived with Michael and Luke as her crew for quite some time, and she could predict with some accuracy what they might say in this situation.

“She’s not playing a game.” Luke had said that on more than one occasion. “Even when she is laughing, she is not playing, any more than you are. It’s important to remember that.”

Michael did not like to talk about Boom quite so much, although he seemed quite fond of Cloverleaf and several of their other projects. When he’d been advising Regine about this trip, he had said a few pertinent things, including “Remember you’re talking about her children and descendants. Remember how biased even you can be about your own blood.” and “If she smiles, she’s comfortable, confident. If she stops smiling, you might do well to be worried.”

The expression on Cya’s face right now was intense. She had leaned forward, she hand her hands on her lap, and she looked as if she would just as easily skin Regine as allow her access to her children.

Leofric’s expression, on the other hand, was carefully neutral. Regine was uncertain she had ever seen him looking quite that blank. It was more than a bit disturbing.

Regine was worried. Luke and Michael had both told her she should be worried and now — now she understood why. She cleared her throat.

“Your terms,” she repeated carefully. “You want a ‘get out of jail free’ pass for each one of your descendants?”

“Each one of the Addergoole descendants of Boom,” Cya clarified.

“Hrrmph.” Regine gave honest consideration to the data she wanted. Was she willing to give in this far to this particular woman, just for data?

Of course she was. The question truly was, could she do so in any sort of good grace? Regine cleared her throat. “And you’re looking for an agreed-upon staff intervention into any one situation that the student finds untenable?”

“Here.” Cya reached for a stack of paper and a pen on her side table. Regine noted that as Cya leaned over and began writing — with a fountain pen, no less — she kept in contact with Leofric, her side pressed against his leg. She wrote without hesitation, her handwriting crisp and legible even upside-down.

Regine took a moment to contemplate her crew’s responses. Luke would probably be glad. MIchael might be ambivalent — they were going through another cycle in which the Daeva’s Students were the most likely to cause problems for other students.

The others? Shira Pelletier would give Regine that tired, knowing look and say only the Boom children? How is that fair? and Regine would have to answer because Boom happened to hold on to a nasty negotiator who trained at the feet of Feu Drake, although the answer could be just as easily Because Boom is still a crew.

In her particularly self-aware moments, Regine wondered how much of what Boom had become, she had wrought. In morbidly thoughtful moments, she wondered if she had truly wrought her own destruction.

“There.” Cya glanced at Leo, waited for a nod, and then turned the paper around so that Regine could read it more easily. “As discussed.”

Regine read the paper twice. It was exactly as they had discussed, the language suitable for a lawyer.

This woman who had not gone to college had not only written the laws for three city-states, she’d founded a university, Regine remembered. She was not stupid. She read the paper a third time.

She found nothing she could argue with, nothing except the general premise of the agreement, which she was not, she believed, going to get Red Doomsday to budge from.

She signed.

Epilogue – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1097360.html

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1095923.html. You can comment here or there.

A Deal is Made, Part III (finally)

Part I – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082356.html
Part II – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082751.html

Regine barely managed not to gape at Cya like a fish. But the fiend was still going. “In addition, I want access to all of the data you access in this manner.”

Regine could not help a supercilious eyebrow raise, no matter how many times Mike had told her Do not raise your eyebrows at her. Do not. “Do you think you can follow the genetic data?”

“Well, if I can’t, my house geneticist can.” Cya shrugged as if a lifetime of studying genetics was nothing.

Regine cleared her throat. “Well. Be that as it may, I’m not going to allow your descendants to skip out on the Addergoole school. That might be as much as half of my population by this point.”

“Skip out?” Cya laughed. “No, I can’t imagine you’d agree to that. No. Just an agreement that, while attending Addergoole, each and every one of Boom’s descendants gets a pass. One time, when they’re in over their heads — bad Keeper, bad promise, the current big-bad-wolf — you, the staff, will help them out of it. The Keepings aren’t real, the promises aren’t real, you’re not damaging the Law by doing so.”

“But what lesson do we teach them, if they can get out of trouble at the first drop of a hat?” Regine had conducted this argument several times over the decades. She didn’t flinch.

And neither did Cya. The smile grew, as a matter of fact, and got sharp. Her voice was edgy now. “You’d be teaching them that the adults who Mentor them are their backup, are there to protect and guide them. You’d be teaching them to have allies.”

“We teach them to have crews, to find help and allies in their cy’ree, to be friends with their former Keepers and Kept.”

“After their first year. You isolate them from other first-year students, do not push the idea of a Mentor until they are either already collared or soon to be, and sometimes allow the interference of the Keeper in Mentor choice. The staff generally frowns on the idea of first-year students finding crews, and, while you may pretend to like and encourage them, you discourage crews actively standing up for one another.” Cya was still lounging against her couch, but her words were anything but casual.

And they were accurate. “It’s proven beneficial to encouraging the Keeper-Kept relationship…”

“Which you encourage, I assume, to ‘encourage’ the production of more little babies for your project. A point which is pretty moot when you do not allow students to leave until they’ve provided you with those babies.”

“Students also need to understand the dangers of Keeping and the problems inherent in both sides of the relationship before they are out in the world,” Regine insisted. Now Cya was no longer smiling. Regine was not sure that was an improvement.

“I’m certain you’re aware that you and I will never agree on that point. Be that as it may, there are other ways to encourage Keeping, and by encouraging good Keepings and allowing the possibility that the ‘trapped’ Kept could ask for a reprieve, you allow students to understand what a healthy Keeping should look like, before they go out in the world and perpetuate bad habits.”

Regine opened her mouth and closed it again, her lips curling into a frown. “Surely you’re not insinuating that Addergoole is responsible for the actions of its students once they’ve graduated?”

“No. I’m saying that you and your choices are responsible for a great deal of misery in the world. However,” Cya plowed on blithely, “that doesn’t matter. You’ve done some awful things, and now you want a favor from me. Does that about sum it up?”

Regine bit her tongue and counted to ten. “I come asking a favor of you, yes,” she answered levelly.

“Therefore, your justifications really don’t matter. The question is: will you agree to my terms?”

Part IV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1095923.html

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1091513.html. You can comment here or there.

Road Trip Write-Up the Beginning of a fic

This was supposed to be a blorp of description and then, well, this happened. This happens a couple years before the current Regine-visits-Cya story.

It was a nice time of year for a travel: early autumn, and a mild one at that, not too hot and not too cold. The roads were solid and smooth from Cloverleaf all the way to what had once been Denver; the first week went quickly. Not only were the roads smooth, but they were relatively safe; Cloverleaf had a long arm, and was known not to tolerate bandits.

Past Denver, that all changed. A week’s travel was as far as Cloverleaf maintained the roads, and thus was as far as their protection was assumed to reach. The roads got bumpy – nothing a couple quick Workings couldn’t smooth out, but that took time. And the bandits got brave – nothing the sight of Leo couldn’t handle, in most cases, but that, too, took time. Sometimes they actually had to fight some thief or slaver whose ambition was greater than their sense.

Outside of what had once been Des Moines and now was a collective of small city-states around Crater Lake, they ran into a different sort of threat – bureaucracy. The toll-booth takers wanted a tithe to use the one paved, clear, safe road, and they wanted written statements of intent, and a tithe of any profits made while in the Crater Lake region. What’s more, they didn’t take Cloverleaf clovers for payment, muttering something about “fairy money.”

It wasn’t the first time they’d run into things like that, so they paid the toll in more acceptable currencies and made mental notes about the situation. They could probably conquer the Crater States, but there were easier, cleaner ways to turn people’s opinions around. If trade didn’t do it, culture might. If that didn’t, maybe education. And failing that, well, they could always send a small team of their ambassadors.

It had been a few years – decades, really – since Cya had been running Cloverleaf actively, but it was still her baby, after all.

Just outside the mess that had been Chicago, they ran into a slaver ring. That took a day off of their time, but, while Cya could tolerate the existence of slavery, there were certain types of slavers that made her skin crawl.

Besides, it didn’t hurt to leave a reminder. Cloverleaf might be nearly two weeks’ travel away, but they would interfere where they wanted to, when people were doing awful things.

The Find Cya had done was sending them quite far afield indeed. They traveled through the night to get around once-Chicago, then settled for a day in a quiet little patch of forest to rest. Then it was on to Detroit.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1085173.html. You can comment here or there.

A Deal is Made, Part II

Part I – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082356.html

Regine sat uncomfortably on Cya’s rather-comfortable couch. She had brought papers; she ignored them. Instead, she cleared her throat. “You two have had several children together over a large span of years. This makes you not quite unique but very rare, not only among Addergoole graduates but among Ellehemaei couples in general. There are some emerging genetic theories about children born to Ellehemai early in their life vs. after a century or more of life, and your children…” Luke had told her not to do it. Mike, on the other hand, had advised her. Do not say test subjects. “If I could study their DNA, I might be able to better pursue these theories.”

Cya coughed. “Most of our children are Adults. You’ll have to ask them yourself — which I’m sure you knew. So I imagine you’re coming to ask about Tama.”

“Ljótama, yes. Although,” Regine cleared her throat, “if you would be willing to put in a good word for me with Viðrou, and possibly with Kouveig, it might make them more willing to speak with me.”

It looked as if Cya was trying hard not to laugh. She coughed again instead and nodded, at least trying to look solemn. “If we can reach an accord, it can include me encouraging — those two in specific?”

“I don’t expect you’d be willing to encourage all your children to cooperate with me. I’ve met both Viðrou and Kouveig, and as your first and third of five, they make for convenient data points,” Regine explained. She noted that Cya had not at any point numbered her children. She wondered if she’d given away too much information by admitting she knew the number.

Or if she was wrong about the number. Cya might be another step ahead of her in this case. It seemed to happen when Regine least expected it, especially in the last fifty years.

Either way, Cya was smirking. “Those two specifically. It’s possible you’d find one of the others more cooperative, but we do not tend to raise compliant children.”

“I can’t imagine you would.” Regine ahem’ed. “Nor was that my experience when your children, or your grandchildren, were in school.”

“I can’t imagine it would have been,” Cya echoed back at her, smiling. “So. You want a genetic sample from — or a genetic study of — Ljótama, and help coordinating such from two of our sons, as well.”

Regine nodded slowly. “Yes. Having access to such would allow me to delve deeper into the study of Ellehemaei genetics..”

“Which, as we all know, is your great love. Of course.” Cya’s interruption was dismissive, but Regine did not allow herself to show any irritation or anger. This data would be more than a little bit useful to her. It was worth a bit of irritation. “All right.” Cya leaned forward. “I’m willing to agree to this, under a couple conditions.”

“Of course. What are your conditions?”

Cya leaned back in her seat. Regine noted that her hand settled on Leo’s back possessively. “I want a ‘get out of jail free’ card for every single one of our descendants to attend Addergoole, from now until the school closes its doors permanently.”

Part Three: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1091513.html

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082751.html. You can comment here or there.

A Deal is Made, Part I

When Cya and Leofric’s fifth child together — their seventh in total — was a student at Doomsday, Regine finally swallowed her pride enough to visit and ask a favor.

The child — a daughter, Ljótama — was in her fourth year at Doomsday Academy, in a cy’ree Regine’s informant insisted on calling “cy’Goldie”, and proficient already in Hugr, Intinn, Jasfe, and Idu — her parents’ child, it seemed.

But weren’t they all? Regine had begun inserting informants in the school after Leo and Cya’s last child had graduated, when the pair left the academy in capable hands that were not their own, but she’d had informants in Cloverleaf for much longer, and everything said that their children were capable, a little bit wild, headstrong, and powerful: children of Boom all the way through.

Regine kept that in mind as she knocked on Cynara’s door. These were, as Luke had been pointing out to her for over half a century, not children anymore. Their children, the older ones, were powerful enough to be demigods in their own right — Viðrou in his forest, Yoshi and Sigruko wherever their travels took them.

As Mike liked to point out, both parents and children had been using their powers actively, in life-and-death situations, far more in recent decades than Regine had.

She did not want to anger these people.

She knocked politely.

Leofric answered the door, shirtless and apparently completely comfortable with it. His face did something interesting as he saw her, a twitch of the lips and a raised eyebrow, before he turned — partially, Regine noted, not turning his back on her. “Cya? Director Avonmorea is here.”

Regine did not miss the implied insult. She kept a polite smile on her face as Cya walked over. She might have caught them at a bad time — Cya was wearing what looked to be one of Leo’s kimono, casually belted, and apparently with no other clothing. And she was frowning.

“Lady of the Lake, if you mean me and mine no harm today and on this trip to Cloverleaf, please enter.”

Regine found her eyebrows going up, although she knew better. She stepped inside, not bothering with pleasantries. If Cya hadn’t wanted her to come in, she would have sent her away. “Red Doomsday. Lightning Blade… oro’Doomsday.” He was, after all, still wearing Cya’s collar. “I came…” Regine bowed carefully. “I came to ask a favor of you.”

Cya smirked. It was an unpleasant expression, but Regine did her best not to react to it. “You might as well come sit down, then. I imagine this will be interesting.”

Just as a general timeline: Mai (their 2nd child) was a child when Cloverleaf was built. Their next child, Kovi, was an adult by the time Cya Kept Leo. The next child came soonish after, and Tama about 30 years after that child.

Part II: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082751.html

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082356.html. You can comment here or there.