Tag Archive | character: nehara

Answering, a continuation of Luke/Doomsday

First: Visiting Doomsday
Previous: Some Perspective

Contains discussion of rape in the context of Addergoole..

It had been a good class. Leo’s kids had a lot of good questions, and Luke found that he really enjoyed answering them. It made him want to teach – not gym, not combat, not the earnest questions about the Right that some of his Students had, but an actual class.

Well, they had experts in their subjects for that. Luke was mostly an expert in skull-breaking.

Too soon, the class bell rang. Luke braced himself and nodded at the young, angry girl, LaKeziah. “You wanted to speak with me?”

“You bet I did!” She stood up, not having to rise up on her toes much to look Luke in the eye, and poked at his chest with one aggressive finger. “You have a lot to answer for, Mister.”

By now he’d been looking at her long enough to take a guess at her ancestry. “You’re Ilta’s daughter.” He paused for a moment, pulling up the memories. She hadn’t been Kept her first year, that hadn’t been… ah. “Your mother had some bad experiences at school, and, I admit, we didn’t catch the problems as soon as we should have.” He sat down again. “We try hard, but-”

“Don’t talk to me like I’m a child!”

Despite himself, Luke smiled. “I’m nearly three hundred years old. The people who built and run this school, I saw them as infants. I’ve seen your mother, her parents, and her grandparents as infants…”

“And you let them be raped and tortured? How can you do that!?”

Luke let his wings flare. “Let me assure you, I’ve never ‘let’ anyone be tortured.”

“And what about raped? Are you going to tell me you don’t condone rape, either?”

Luke took a breath, and then let it out, thoughtful. Finally, he spoke more quietly, and very carefully. “First, I’m not saying this to treat you like a child – but because you are younger than me. You understand the difference?”

LaKeziah looked like she wanted to argue, but gave him the honor of thinking about it. “All right. Yes.”

“In order to answer your question – really answer it – I need you to have context you don’t have right now.”

“I understand rape just fine!”

“I hope that’s not true.” Luke searched for inner calm and found it with more than a little difficulty.

“Either way, the definition – even the way it’s been thought of – has changed a lot in the last three hundred years. So I’m going to ask you to do something unpleasant.” He leaned forward. “Research the way the definitions have changed during that time.”

“What, you think that will change my mind?”

“No, I hope it doesn’t. But if we’re going to talk about this, I want to talk about it right.” He found his wings flaring uncomfortably. “You deserve an honest, complete answer.”

She leaned back. “Hunh. Why? I’m just a kid.”

“You asked a valid question, and it deserves and answer.” Luke pulled his wings in. “Even if I don’t like it.”

“Okay.” She nodded abruptly. “I’ll do it. When’ll you be back?”

“Two months from now.” He was pretty sure Cynara would let him back in the door. “I’ll bring my own research, too.”

She’d been ready to turn around; her head snapped back to look at him. “You? What do you need to research?”

Luke gave her a grim smile. “The way the definitions of rape have changed since I was a young man.” He folded his wings close. “Also – some things about ends and means.”

“Hunh.” This time, her look was far less sharp. “You’re a weird one.”

“I know.” He nodded his head to her. “It helps if you think of me as being out of my century.”

“No, no, it’s not that. I’ve met old fae before – even older than you.” She shrugged, brushing it off. “I’ll figure it out.”

“I’m sure you will.” He made a note to ask the rest of the staff about Ilta, when he got home. Then again, he had a lot to talk to his fellow teachers about. Cynara. Doomsday. What else had he missed?

Nehara settled her hand on his arm. “Would you like to see the rest of the grounds?”

He stretched his wings. “I think I could use some time to clear my head,” he agreed. “But you’re missing all your classes.”

“Oh, I’ll be fine. Everyone misses a little time now and then.” She flapped her hand. “It’s almost required.”

“This place seems more and more like a reaction to Addergoole,” he muttered.

Nehara turned to look at him, a little startled. “Well, of course it is. Why would you think it wasn’t?”

That was a good question. “Regine,” he said, piecing it together as he spoke, “said that Cynara wanted to be part of the Addergoole system.”

“Well, if the first two of every generation of my children had to go somewhere, I’d want to be involved, too. Wouldn’t you?” The smile she shot him was, for once, not friendly. “Of course, you are.”

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Science & Getting Schooled, another part of Luke at Doomsday (@inventrix)

First: Visiting Doomsday
Previous: About cy’Doomsday

Luke found his wings flattened to his back. “What does my wife have to do with anything?”

Nehara held up both her hands. “Not your wife, sir. Gabriel. It’s just that, of course Mystral talks to her father, and of course the professor talks to the rest of the teachers…” She shook her head. “I just wanted to say, you’re not as much of a cipher, sir, as you might think. I did some studying.”

“I am beginning to guess that I should have expected that.” Mike would say he’d gotten his feathers ruffled. Luke took a breath and tried to smooth himself down. “What did you learn?”

“You know,” she changed the subject with a bright smile, “I think maybe there’s someone you need to see before you see Professor Lily’s class.”

“Not Gabriel? I see plenty of him.”

She chuckled politely. “No, sir-“

Luke coughed. “By this point, I think it’s probably politer if you call me by name.”

“Certainly, sa’Hunting Hawk.”

Luke flopped against the wall, acknowledging with a wry salute that she’d won that round. “You were saying?”

“I think you ought to see Professor Inazuma’s class. He’d be very disappointed if you traveled all this way and didn’t see him.” She took his hand and Luke, startled, let her. “This way, come on.”

“Yes, ma’am.” She was going to be a beautiful terror for someone or ones. When she was old enough. He resisted the urge to snatch his hand back. “Lead on.”

“Follow on, soldier.” There was something suddenly old about her voice. Luke focused on the school uniform, the red cloak and the plaid skirt. She was a kid. A student.

‘Fina had been a Student. Mystral had been a student.

Inazuma. Think of Leo. It was as good as thinking about baseball, and had the side effect of reminding Luke why he was here. “It’s been a while.”

She glanced back at him. “I imagine it has, sir.” She sounded as if she’d been through the wars. And Luke, of all people, knew what that would sound like. “I’ve heard some of the stories, of the war.” She glanced down at the ground.

“Yeah.” Luke let out a breath in a huff. “Yeah. His class is -” The school was quiet, the students already in their next class.

“Right here. First floor. Science building. Well, science and math, though sometimes we call it the Alchemy building.”

There was clearly a joke there, from her smile, but Luke had asked for more than enough explanation already. “Onward,” he said, hoping this wasn’t going to blow up in his face.

Nehara watched him for a moment, seemed to brace herself, and opened the door.

Luke was too busy paying attention to his guide’s body language – now, now she had to brace herself? – and thus almost missed where they were.

Leo’s enthusiastic “Luke!” brought him right back. “Luke! I didn’t know you were coming!”

“Surprise visit.” He couldn’t help but smile, and, at that, he noticed Nehara was smiling as well. He turned his attention on Leo. “So, I hear Professor Inazuma has a reputation around here.”

Stupid, stupid. He wasn’t here to challenge the kid. He folded his wings and kept talking before Leo could take too much offense. “It looks like you’ve done good things here.”

Mike would have been proud of him. Well, probably not, considering he’d made the mess in the first place, but Leo grinned. “Isn’t it awesome? Nehara’s been showing you around?”

“She has.” He nodded at Nehara. “It’s been quite the education.” He looked around the classroom. “Science, then?”

“Earth science! We’re studying climate and weather today. Do you want to sit in?”

Luke glanced at Nehara, who shrugged cheerfully. “Yeah. That sounds fun.” Much to his surprise, there was a chair waiting near the back that could comfortably accommodate his wings.

“Great! All right, class, this is Luca Hunting-Hawk. He was my Mentor back in school…”

“In Addergoole?” A dark-skinned girl in the front row turned to stare at him. Luke didn’t see any Changes – but that could mean anything. “You teach at Addergoole?

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About Cy’Doomsday, another piece of Luke at Doomsday (@inventrix, @kissofjudas)

after but without smooth transition from A fragment of Luke at Doomsday; another thought that was on my mind.

Luke noticed his tour guide was looking at him strangely. “What?” He stretched out his wings.

She cleared her throat thoughtfully. “I’m cy’Doomsday, sir, you know that.”

“I know that.” It finally sank in. “Why is a succubus under Cynara Doomsday?”

She laughed at him, a cheerful guffaw as if he’d just made the best joke. “What, should she only have minks who find things? Should Professor Inazuma only have antlered people who throw lightning? At least we’d have a chance of filling out a cy’ree with that qualification.” She shook her head, still grinning. “I’ve never understood that idea. We pick our Mentors by common interests.”

Luke coughed and forced his wings closed. “Succubus powers…”

“I’m sorry, sir, but it’s a power, like strength, or setting things on fire, or making trees grow.” She shrugged, managing to actually look apologetic.

Luke decided it was time to change the subject. “You were saying… you’re cy’Doomsday?”

“Do you know what our motto is, sir… no, I’m sorry. Of course you don’t.”

Luke hadn’t known cy’rees to have mottos, at least, not official ones. “No.”

“It’s ‘be prepared.'”

“Of course.” He meant it dryly. She smiled and dimpled at him.

“Exactly. And so, sir. When I knew you were visiting, and I was going to be your tour guide… I prepared.”

She paused; it reminded Luke of Mike just before dropping a bombshell. “You do know, sir, that your wife’s parent is a professor at this school… right?”

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Just a fragment of Luke visiting Doomsday

Please note I’m very tired and I’m not entirely sure about… like 9/10 of this piece. After Discoveries about Doomsday.

Luke leaned against the hallway wall for a minute, his wings splayed from a portrait of George Washington to one of Geronimo. He found his hand reaching for a weapon he’d politely not carried into town, and pressed his palms against his thighs instead.

Nehara’s gaze caught it all. “Sir?” She tilted her head, her voice softening. “Is… everything all right?”

Carefully, he folded his wings. Damnit, he had better control than this. “Learn something new every day.”

“As long as you live, my grandfather likes to say. And, being fae, that can be a long time and a lot of learning. Or so he says.” She bowed her head. “Sorry. I know, I’m just a kid.”

Luke know he wasn’t the most observant of guys – if nothing else, this new revelation rubbed that in – but he could tell that was out of as much character of Nehara’s as he’d been able to pick up already. “Hey.” He flapped his wings at her, just enough to get her attention. “I’ve been best friends with a succubus for centuries. I can notice a thing or two.”

Her lips curled, just a little bit. “We don’t have many, here. Succubi.”

“Jut you.”

“Well. Ah. You noticed.”

“I noticed.” He coughed. “I can notice something, once in a while. Even if I missed…”

“Something we’re pretty sure sa’Feu Drake meant everyone to miss?” She flashed him a bright smile. “Their crew is called ‘Boom’ for more than one reason, sir.”

“And we’ve been waiting for the explosion for decades.”

“Sonic boom, sir. I think that’s what it’s called.”

“Sonic…” He closed his wings tightly. “By the time we hear the sound, the explosion is already past.”

“Pretty sure you’re standing in the ‘pit’ sir.”

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Discoveries about Doomsday, a continuation of AG/Doomsday (@inventrix)

First: Visiting Doomsday
Previous: Classrooms of Doomsday

Kheper nodded at Luke. Luke nodded back at Kheper. Nobody needed to be a succubus to sense the tension in the air.

The students weren’t, Luke assumed, all in the room yet – there were three there, one in just-grey-white-and-black, one with the same red accessories and accents that Nehara was wearing, and one wearing light green and pink. All three of them, almost in unison, looked at their professor, looked at each other, and turned to look at Luke.

He flared his wings and, feeling immensely self-conscious under the gaze of three teenagers and one boy he still thought of as a teenager, bowed again. He cleared his throat. “Ah, hello. Professor – Agislaw. Jae’Law-Shield.”

The boy in pink and green gasped. Luke schooled his face and waited for Kheper’s response.

The boy – man, he probably deserved that much – bowed back in response. “Sa’Hunting Hawk. Luke. Principal Doomsday told me you were visiting, but I didn’t know you’d be taking in my humble class.”

There had never, ever, been anything remotely humble about Kheper. Still. Luke smiled, and tilted his head in Nehara’s direction. “My tour guide thought it would be a good idea.”

“Aah. Nehara. How kind of you.” Kheper’s attention slid seamlessly to his students. “Since the three of you were so kind as to be on time, allow me to introduce you to the head of Security at Addergoole and my former PE teacher, Luca Hunting-Hawk. Sir, this is Nur, Ihab, and Antigone.”

He remembered when Antigone’s father had named her. He’d come back to Addergoole to ask Luke about the naming visions, pale and sick-looking.

“…and the best combat instructor, best warrior I’ve ever met.” Kheper’s eyes met Luke’s again. He was smiling, not a common expression for Law-Shield.

He would have to trust that Doomsday had Antigone well in hand. He nodded back to Kheper. He wasn’t sure what the game was here, but it felt like mark-the-territory. He could respect that.

“Better than Professor Inazuma?” They probably weren’t supposed to hear that whisper, but Ihab, the boy in green and pink, was not all that quiet.


Kheper fielded the question smoothly. “Far better than Professor Inazuma. As a matter of fact, Sa’Hawk taught Inazuma, back when I was in school.”

Oh! Yes, that would suit Leo’s sense of – whatever it was. Luke smiled at the students. Another two were trickling in, and he could see one more behind them. He was going to have to make this good.

“He was one of my best students,” he allowed. “Certainly one of my most eager.”

The students giggled. Good to know that that still struck a note. Luke was finding Boom-et-al being so very… non-explosive was leaving him on uncertain footing.

“Luke is also,” Kheper took back the conversation smoothly. Luke glanced at him; the boy – professor – nodded again, almost apologetically. “He’s also one of the only full-blooded Mara I have ever met, and the only one I know to still be alive.”

Ah. Well, he was invading a classroom. Luke spread his wings wide, so that the students could study them. “I remember.” He had never had a good “teaching voice;” Mike always referred to his grunt-or-shout tactic. The room was small, though, so he resorted to the tone he used with scared first-year mentorees. “When I was a child, it was rare to see a ha – an Ellehemaei that was not full-blooded. And now, we’re all but extinct.”

He flapped his wings once, just enough to prove they were real. “The Mara are – were, I guess – the protectors. We were stronger, tougher, faster. Warriors.”

“Hunters.” The girl’s voice was very quiet, but it still took all of Luke’s self-control not to flap at her. Instead, he turned to look at her, very mindfully folding his wings until they were at rest.

“The Shenera Oseraei had very similar fae. They called them Hunters – and many people think the two bloodlines are related. Yeah. But the Mara are not Hunters.”

She was not a big girl; she looked younger than her peers, and, still dressed in grey-white-and-black, Luke guessed she probably didn’t have a Mentor yet. “That’s just -” She turned to Kheper.

He shot Luke a quick warning glance over her head. When he answered, Luke noticed his voice was careful and very gentle. “It’s all right. Sa’Hawk knows you didn’t mean any offense, Mara.”

Luke struggled to control a wing-flap. Mara?

Kheper’s cleared throat brought his attention back. “Her name is Mara, Luke, מָרָא. Not māra.”

Luke settled down. He could tell the unfortunately-named girl was getting very upset. “My mistake. Pleased to meet you, Mara. Maybe after class, we could talk more about Those Who Protect?”

“I…” She shrugged her shoulders up to her ears. “If Miss Ascha says it’s okay?”

“I’m sure she will.” Kheper took control of the conversation with a smoothness Luke found himself envying. “And perhaps sa’Hawk could tell the rest of the class a little bit about the Laws of Belonging? We’re studying the first Law of Belonging today.”

Luke cleared his throat. “Aah. Well,” he chuckled nervously. “That would be the one I’ve had the least experience with. It’s been a few years since I’ve been a Child.”

“You have children, don’t you?” Nur tilted her head at him. “I thought all of the Addergoole teachers did.”

“Well. You know quite a bit about the Addergoole staff.” He shifted, trying to find a comfortable position. “Yes. I have a few children, and some grandkids. But I’m their father.”

“Professor Inazuma has maternal rights – well, I mean, she’s grown…” Ihab seemed to be infatuated with Leo. Well, he certainly wasn’t the first. Luke wondered if Leofric knew. Or Cynara, for that matter.

“Yeah, but Sigruko was a special case.” Luke looked around the gathering class. “Well. I’ve had enough kids that I know what the First Law of Belonging looks like from a father’s end. I can talk about that. If that’s all right, Professor Aegislaw?”

“Of course.” Kheper bowed to him.

Enough time had passed that Luke could talk about Aleron without pain and anger; by this time, Aleron’s grandchildren, his disreputable grandson Makatza among them, had come and gone from Addergoole. Doug was harder, not because there was pain, but because there was guilt. And Chavva and Icarus – well, those were stories he could tell while feeling his wings show every emotion, and he let them.

When he was done, he bowed to the students, bowed to Kheper, and took his leave, feeling wrung out and, at the same time, happy. He caught Nehara watching him and tucked his wings against his back.

He cleared his throat. “Ah. So, what’s next our our tour?”

“I was thinking about visiting Professor Lily’s class. Aah… Dáirine?”

Luke’s wings twitched. “Dáirine.” He remembered the too-pretty girl: daughter of two troublemakers, raised by a completely different sort of trouble. Ciara’s adopted child. “Ah. Cya would know her through Yoshi.”

“Principal Doomsday knows everyone.” Nehara smiled placidly, but Luke still couldn’t shake the feeling that she was laughing at him. “Would you rather skip her class?”

“No. No, I’d like to see her take on history.”

Nehara paused for a heartbeat. Studying him? Reading him? Luke was an open book and knew it. “This hour is my class – Eighth-Year – and she’s covering the history of the collapse and subsequent rebuilding.”

It sounded like a warning. Luke couldn’t blame the girl for thinking some heads-up was necessary. Dáirine had been a child when the world had ended. What historical perspective…

Humans did it all the time, he reminded himself. “I’d love to see it.”

“Same building, so we don’t have to go far.” She led him out of the classroom and into a narrow-looking hall that was crowded with students. Narrow-seeming, and yet Luke noticed he could probably spread his wings almost to their full width. The floor was wood with throw rugs; the walls were covered in artwork. “It’s…” He searched for a word, and picked one after a while, more Mike’s word than his own. “Cozy.”

“These kids – me, too, when I was that age – this is the first time they’ve ever been away from home. Some of them grew up in enclaves, but some of them were barely holding on to survive. They want to be sure that everyone feels as comfortable as possible, this far away from home.”

“Maybe we should think about that more at Addergoole.” Cozy was never a word he’d heard used to describe that place, at least not without tongue firmly in cheek. “Do you like it? Did it help you be comfortable?”

“I was homesick, of course.” She shrugged elegantly. Mike would love this girl. Luke swallowed the thought and the irrational jealous that it brought forward. “But the kidlings, first, second, third years, most of the fourth and fifths, they’re all in one big house, so you’re never really alone unless you want to be. Cy’Ascha, unofficially.”

That was the second time the name Ascha had come up. “Aceline? sh’Magnolia?”

Nehara raised her eyebrows at him. “I wouldn’t presume to call a teacher by their mother’s name.”

Luke glowered at her, uncowed by her implicit scolding. “I was there when her mother was born.”

“You were there when she was Named, too, weren’t you? Aceline, sa’Water Under the Bridge, is that who you mean?”

There was tartness in her voice that hadn’t been there before. Luke liked it. But his wings still flapped irritably. “Yes,” he grumbled. “Ascha.”

Her voice gentled minutely. “Doomsday is a kid away from home, sa’Hunting Hawk. And you’re the uncle set to check up on the kid. But please remember that while they are wayward children to you, they’re honored mentors and instructors to us.”

Luke’s wings stilled. “How are you so wise, so young?” Are you another Manira, another cuckoo’s egg in the nest? Are you a danger?

Nehara smiled sadly. “I’m cy’Red. It’s quite an education.”

And, he could tell, not the whole answer. That was fine. He nodded his head to her. “So, Aceline is a teacher here?”

“She teaches the younger students, up through their third year. And she lives in the dorm with them. She’s very good at being soothing.”

“She’s always been a good girl.”

Nehara smiled. “Not like her sister, right? I’ve heard the stories. Professor Sweetflower – Magnolia – tells some of the stories.”

Luke bit back a comment. Magnolia shouldn’t have surprised him, not after Aceline. She’d been in love with Howard since she’d Kept him, and Howard was inseparable from Cynara. Dáirine, Ascha, Kheper, Magnolia – how far did Cya’s reach extend?

“And after Professor Lily’s class, maybe I can show you some of the other areas.” Nehara kept talking as if they’d never segued into the conversation on Aceline. “The dojo-and-dance-studio, of course. Then there’s the kid’s hall, some of the cy’ree dormitories -”

“You dorm by cy’ree?” That was so traditional it had dust and leather bindings. Luke was surprised Cynara had come up with it – or had she?

“In the middle years, yes. And then the last year or two, we dorm with our crew. I could show you my apartment, too.”

He had to be imagining the suggestion there. She sounded so innocent, so calm. There was no way she was… Luke coughed.

“I’d like that. Seeing around the place. It all seems so… tidy.”

“Well.” Now she just sounded amused. Luke found he could live with her being amused at him. “sa’Red Doomsday did plan it. And if there’s one thing everyone knows about Red Doomsday…”

Luke cleared his throat. He found that he didn’t know the end of that sentence, and that made him uncomfortable. Nehara clearly expected him to fill in the end, like an in-joke he had never been part of.

“Lozenge?” She opened a small wooden box filled with what he hoped were cough drops of some sort. “The air here does that to some people.”

“Thanks.” Luke took a cough drop and the excuse. “You were saying…?”

“Oh. If there’s one thing everyone knows about Red Doomsday, it’s that she’s prepared for everything.” Nehara shrugged dismissively. “I guess the joke works better if you know her.”


“Doomsday prepper.” Luke coughed it out around the cough drop, which turned out to have hot pepper flakes in it. “Prepper.

“Well, yes.” Nehara’s innocent look was so studied, it had to be fake. “Everyone knows that… don’t they?”

Written to @Inventrix’s commissioned continuation.

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Classrooms of Doomsday, a continuation of Addergoole

This comes after Whilst at Doomsday.

Nehara was fascinating – her story was fascinating. Luke cleared his throat. “I’d love to hear more about The Res, miss – but I’m here right now for a tour of Doomsday.” Business, that’s what he needed to focus on. All business.

And her smile suggested that, wise beyond her age, she knew exactly what he was doing. “Of course. Why don’t we start with Professor Agislaw’s class? It’s right here, and he knows we’re coming.” She gestured across the street from the Dining-Hall-church.

The building didn’t look that much more like a school than the Dining Hall did – indeed, the three story brick building looked like an old Victorian house or, perhaps, one of the apartment buildings Luka had walked past on his way here. Only the stained glass windows on the first floor – showing bright scenes of education – gave it away.

They followed three pre-teenaged-children – all three in the black-grey-and-white school uniform – through the wide front foyer, past a comfortable-looking sitting room where a few older students were sitting and into the first obviously-school-looking room Luke had yet seen.

Nestled between what he was pretty sure was a kitchen and that living room, the classroom was exactly that – smaller than the norm, perhaps, housing only ten student desks, but it had chalkboards at the front and maps on the side wall.

And, standing behind the teacher’s desk, dressed in more expensive tailoring than was available in the world anymore, was Kheper, former student of Addergoole.

Luke cleared his throat. Well, she’d said she was staffing the school. He shouldn’t have been surprised. And yet, somehow, he was.

Next: Discoveries at Doomsday – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/838972.html

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Whilst at Doomsday, a brief Continuation (@inventrix)

This comes after this piece.

Nehara cy’Doomsday was stunning, a beautiful young lady, distractingly so, and her sweet smile suggested that she knew it.

Or that could have been decades of cynicism and time spent around Mike VanderLinden talking. The girl was young – she was still a student, after all. Might be older than Myst was

Indeed. Luke shook the hand the girl proffered. She was wearing the school uniform of black-and-grey plaid, he noticed, with red-on-red accents and a very practical looking red utility belt. Cy’Doomsday, indeed.

He cleared his throat. “It’s rude, I know, but – are you Navajo?”

She dimpled, a lovely smile that – down, boy. Damnit, a woman almost three hundred years younger than he was should not be doing this to him. He was a happily married man! “Most people can’t tell. But you’re Seneca, aren’t you?”

“I am.” Centuries of practice let him manage not to clarify that with half. “You have a good eye.”

“I’m not sure you’ve encountered The Res?”

Luke tightened his wings to his back. “I’ve been on reservations.”

“Oh, oh, not that.” Both of her hands moved in soothing motions. “I’ve heard stories – both from Professor Lily and from people at home. No, no, The Res, that’s different. When everything started going bad, a bunch of the really active tribespeople started pulling in, setting up a safe place in the middle of one of the biggest reservations. They put the word out – and the worse things got, the more people came to live there. Then they just claimed more & more land.” She smiled brightly at him, and, this time, Luke found his interest academic rather than sexual. “Turns out all of what used to be Arizona is ours now. And it’s still growing.”

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Visiting Doomsday, a story of Addergoole/Doomsday Academy

This is written as @inventrix’s commissioned continuation of this drabble posted on the Addergoole Facebook (also the first ~100 words of this piece).

Luke folded his wings against his back and tried not to stare.

When Cynara had come to them, to Regine, saying “I built a school,” he hadn’t know what to expect. Hell, when she’d started building the CITY, he hadn’t know what he’d find.

What he saw was… children, and teens, moving from building to building, smiling, their grey-and-black-and-white uniforms adorned with splashes of color and their interactions adorned with what sounded like playful rivalry.

He’d come anticipating a mess to be dealt with, or a boot camp to be… handled.

He didn’t quite know what to think about this.


Luke had first visited the city back when it was nothing more than four houses and five half-done walls. Cynara’s grandchildren had been worried about her – for the first time in their lifetimes, she hadn’t taken a Kept that year. And she was wandering off…

It wasn’t that fae didn’t get senile, but they didn’t often do so that young. Still, halfbreeds were halfbreeds, and Boom wasn’t exactly known for their stability in the first place. Luka had gone to check up on Cynara, both because her grandchildren had asked, and because a more-unstable-than-usual Boom was something they would need to know about, before it… ah, exploded.

And found Cynara building a city. She was, as far as he could tell, building it mostly with Workings, staring at the ground and willing up vast walls a foot at a time. It had to be exhausting work. It had to be miserably boring. And yet he watched her go on for hours.

She didn’t acknowledge his presence until she stopped for a break, and, even then, she poured two cups of water instead of one, and held out up in his direction.

When he went home, he told Regine & the grandchildren that everything was fine, and meant it.


The second time he’d visited, Regine had just turned Cynara down. This time, he found the walls complete, many of the buildings inside finished, and a bustling population. He also found guards at the gate who were quite clear that he would land and walk in like a normal person, or be shot down.

Since he was pretty certain that they could and would do it, he landed, and, rather than coming in, wrote out a message for Cynara, called Red Doomsday (and what had her Mentor been thinking, with a name like that? Red Doomsday? Might as well have called her Explosion Waiting to Happen.

Of course, they’d all been waiting for that explosion for a very, very long time…)

The message was short, but it said what it needed to: Addergoole will not interfere. I’d like to come visit, if you’ll allow it.

It was her home, after all. He went home and told Regine there was nothing to worry about. He wasn’t sure, this time, if he meant it or not.

When her reply had not come immediately, Luke had begun to doubt his choice. He’d chewed it over with Mike – who had a bias – with Laurel – who had far less of one – and with Mystral – whose bias was at least different.

The consensus, inasmuch as you could get those three to agree on anything, was give it time.

Luke had given it a year. Then the letter had arrived from Cynara: You are welcome to come, but it would make me more comfortable if you would wait one more year.

She was hiding something. There was no reason to send a letter like that unless she was covering up something.

Luke had written back: Then I will see you in a year. He’d told Regine that there was nothing to worry about, lying through his teeth.


Cynara had sent him an engraved invitation, which showed up fifty-one weeks to the day since her last letter had arrived. An actual engraved invitation, the curly font requesting the honor of his presence for a “Demonstration Day” at Doomsday Academy.

Luke had responded on the enclosed RSVP card. He had added a note to the back, in his own words – tempting as it was to borrow Mike for the fancy phrasing – telling Director Cynara that he would be honored to visit. When he passed it over to her very-formal-looking (and very-young-looking) courier, he suppressed all concern and gave the boy a friendly smile and a tip.

And here he was, standing at the entrance to Doomsday Academy, under the arch that probably-coincidentally was too narrow to allow his wings to unfurl, waiting for his tour guard.

“Sa’Hunting Hawk.” Cynara looked – not all that different from forty years ago, as long as you stopped at the superficial. Her face was still young, but her posture and her expression were a lot more sure of herself.

Luke was surprised – although he probably shouldn’t have been – to see that she had her Mask down, the fluffy mink-like tail and ears of her Change visible for all to see. And she was smiling, although Luke knew better than to read anything at all into that.

“Jae’Red Doomsday.” He nodded politely to her. “Your city is quite lovely.”

“You’ve hardly scratched the surface.” She gestured through the stone arch towards her school. “But I do thank you for coming. Would you like to see the rest?”

“Yes, please.” He could already see at least seventeen ways in which the plans Cynara had provided to Regine had been altered. “I’m surprised you’re willing to let me in here.”

“Well, there’s always the chance that you have a photographic memory and, well, being a Mara, I assume you’re a tactical genius.” She turned a bright smile on him. “I chose to decide that you were unlikely to attack the school.”

Luke blinked. He considered the issue, thought about asking a question, discarded it, and then decided that he probably needed to know. “Do you do threat assessment on all your visitors?”

“Don’t you?” She changed the subject before Luke could answer. “All right, this is the campus complex. If it looks like a series of houses in a residential neighborhood, that’s on purpose.”

When he had told Feu Drake where he was going, the enigmatic Law Professor had asked Luke two questions.

Do you remember yourself as a teenager?

He did, of course. The Revolutionary War tended to stick even in immortals’ minds.

Do you remember yourself as a grandfather?

“Over and over again.” Chavva and Icarus had kids now, after all. His granddaughter Griselda’s children had children.

Feu Drake had simply smiled. Looking at the set of Cynara’s ears, Luke suddenly remembered that her grandchildren, too, had children.

Luke cleared his throat. “It doesn’t look too different from the rest of the city here. A couple of the houses are bigger, maybe, but I saw houses that big coming through town.”

“Exactly.” The smile she shot him was the you-bright-student-you type of expression. Luke struggled to keep his wings from flapping.

This was a quiz, then, was it? “Your plans have the school in the tower there. And it does say ‘Doomsday’ on it.”

“It makes a nice big shiny target, doesn’t it?” She was enjoying this, the little minx… mink. “This is the Dining Hall. We’re running about seventy students, so it doesn’t need to be big. Staff lives upstairs, and the gardening club handles the gardens behind it.”

At first glance, the building looked like a church – giving it a reason for the size, Luke supposed. But it was a bright yellow in color, and its tower-like front entrance was not, technically, a steeple.

“And here’s your student guide.” Cynara turned to gesture at a lovely young woman. The girl, nearly an adult, was stunning in a way Luke had seen rarely since his childhood. “This is Nehara cy’Doomsday. Nehara, this is Luca Hunting-Hawk, a former teacher of mine.”

Cy’Drake, Luke suddenly remembered, liked to play gamed. He bowed politely to the girl. “Pleased to meet you, miss.”

Next: Whilst at Doomsday…

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