Tag Archive | character: vas

New on Patreon: Planning the Family and Down River, repost stories

For March, that month when large portions of America pretend to be Irish, I bring you my fictional family of Irish in the Americas – the Tuatha Dé Danann in Tír na Cali. This piece was originally written in August of 2011.
Ireland, 1685

The witch looked over the table at her cousin, a pretty young thing that, until now, everyone had assumed was just daft. The girl was floating the dishes in the air, all of the dishes, weaving them in and out in a series of loops that looked like a Maypole dance.
<a href=https://www.patreon.com/posts/planning-family-8337047Read on…

This ficlet began my Vas’ World series of stories, a world-exploration featuring a small landing team of planetary explorers. It was originally posted in January, 2011.

They followed the newly-named Yarthout River all day, their little craft handling its rapids with a smoothness and ease that surprised Vas. Wisely, he kept his surprise to himself; Malia and Ezra would be unbearable enough about their success without him acknowledging it. The boat had been their idea, after all: a quicker way to take a survey of this uninhabited planet.

Read On!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1265734.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

A Meme and a Writing Game – ask my characters things!

Okay! I stole this from [personal profile] balsamandash, whose post is here; they stole it from [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters, whose post is here. And because October goes up to 31, I have 31 characters. The characters are from 15 different settings (Counting Fae Apoc, Addergoole, & Doomsday as separate…) so there’s a good chance your favorite setting is on here.

Here’s the game. I have a set of characters numbered from 1 to 31. You may ask them any questions you’d like, and you can keep the conversation going. You can ask them ICly or just as yourself. They will respond with an honest* answer and as people ask questions, I will update the post with who correlates to what number.

* they might lie!

You can:
ask multiple questions to one character.
ask questions of as many characters as you’d like.
ask the same question to different characters.
ask more questions of characters that have already been revealed.
ask additional/clarification/tangential questions in response to answers.
jump in on another answer/conversation if the subject sounds interesting to you and/or your character.
use original or fannish characters to ask/comment
leave your own character for people to ask questions to if you want, be it as a list form or as a singular character who you would like to play with.

1. Tess – The Planners
2. Rin – Reiassan/Rin & Girey
4. Aoife – Vas’ World
13: Basimontin –Space Accountant
14. Aquilina – Doomsday Academy
16. Reynard – Fae Apoc
29. Evangaline – The Aunt Family
30. Edora – Things Unspoken

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/989105.html. You can comment here or there.

Landing Page: Vas’ World

Vas’ World
They had trained for this scouting mission for over a year; they’d trained in the space service for years before that. But they were still unprepared for everything they found on the new planet.

Vas’ World is a soft sci-fi story of planetary exploration; like the exploration, this setting is still in the nascent stages.

Icon by [personal profile] meeks.

Best places to start:
Naming Names
The Sea and Sky

Stories include:
(The Vas Cycle)
Naming Names
Observe and Report
By the Wall (LJ [Donor Perk]
Contemplating the Wall
Fighting for Dominance
Coming Up (LJ)
Wound (LJ) (Donor Perk)
Greetings (LJ), to [personal profile] eseme‘s prompt
Harvest (LJ)
Further Exploration Reveals… (LJ)
“I said, Further Exploration reVEALS,” (LJ)
Dream (LJ) Malia’s Vision Quest

(The Becky Cycle)
Care Package
all four available in Tales for the Sugar Cat e-book!

The Sea and Sky (no xpost), of the origins of this planet.
Vinting Love (LJ), after Sea & Sky
Harvest (LJ)

The Planet Called “Oh, Fuck, We’re Screwed.”
Holy Fuck, It’s Snowing
First Thanksgiving

Read my short story “Xenonegotiation,” set in the pre-history of Vas’ World, in the April Issue of EMG-Zine!

February Worldbuilding Q5
February Worldbuilding q21 (LJ)

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/23712.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

February is World Building Month. Day Twenty One – Vas’ World

[personal profile] piratekitten has declared February world-building month.

Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!

The twenty-first question comes from [personal profile] clare_dragonfly and is for Vas’ World

Well, you could tell me more about how the lost colony got there and came to be lost… 😀

Hattip and thanks to [personal profile] thnidu for this comment from which I got much of the answer.

This was first detailed in The Sea And Sky: …when a computer failure (meters and yards were not the same thing, and why had it taken this long for someone to notice the problem?) had sent it off course… Which isn’t so much “detailed” as “handwaved.”

The surviving members of the ship’s crew and colony ship definitely thought that the computer had malfunctioned, and, in the moments between it finding the planet later known as Vas’ World/MacAllister-5 and it crashing, it certainly did.

But why?

It will take longer than the story has reached yet to determine the potential causes of the malfunction, but what Vas’ team can guess at, given the information they have, is something like the following:

There are areas in space which are fairly “clean;” that is, they are safe to use sub-light or FTL travel in with no ill effects; you generally go from point A to point B with no interruptions, as long as your plot doesn’t take you too close to a sun, a planet, an asteroid belt, etc.

And then they are places – the first “discovered” was en route to the planet the team was actually trying to colonize – where naturally occurring “flash warp” nexuses act as pivot points, altering the velocity of a ship in as-of-yet unpredictable ways.

The ship that accidentally colonized MacAllister-5 was not the only ship to go missing; it was simply the first one to be found. Until it was discovered (and until Vas et al realize the MacAliens’ origins), the main population’s assumption is that all those ships lost to the flash warp nodes were destroyed.

It’ll be interesting to find out exactly how wrong they were.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/676581.html. You can comment here or there.

February is World Building Month. Day Five: Vas’ World

[personal profile] piratekitten has declared February world-building month.

Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!

The fifth question comes from [personal profile] clare_dragonfly and is for Vas’ World

Are there other colonized planets in this universe?

Yes. 🙂

The feeling I have for Vas’ World is that the team comes from a densely settled grouping of worlds which is engaged in the slow and steady exploration and colonization of worlds further and further away, including engaging in diplomatic relations with other sentient species.

They have been working on colonizing worlds long enough that the original drop team that accidentally landed here has had time to adapt, evolve, and create a new society; at least a century, no matter what Lord of the Flies tells us.

(This might actually go along with my “colony” subcategory of Misc: Space stories).

Vas’ team’s job is to scout out the world for possible colonization; they are the preliminary team. Had everything been normal, a smoothing-and-starting team would have come in, and then, after that, the colonists. The organization they work for has this down to an artform, with procedures and rules for every experienced situation – this is part of the problem; they have never before experienced a lost colony (somehow).

In terms of extant sci-fi universes, this feels like Heinlein, Asimov, Star Trek – humanity started spreading out and just kept spreading out. Losses of a single colony ship here and there were, like losses of a wagon on the Oregon trail, sad but to be expected.

My feel is that Vas’ world is far enough off the beaten path that it was not slated to be explored until many closer planets had been colonized. How the original team ended up there is still a mystery (unless that story floating around about a planet that popped out of nowhere is in this world…)

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/657588.html. You can comment here or there.

Dream, a story of Vas’ World for Trope Bingo

To [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s prompt to this [community profile] trope_bingo card.

This fills my “trapped in a dream” square.

This is in my Vas’ World setting.

Um. This might need a warning?

There had been any number of things they could have done in the situation.

The official handbook listed five. The unofficial handbook listed another four methods of handling cases like this.

In none of those nine methods (or the three the team had penciled in themselves, House Rules), was “eat the berries and agree to be sent on a vision quest” anything but the stupidest of last resorts.

Which in no way explained why Malia was laying calmly on a camp bed, her hands folded on her chest, letting the soporific in the berries put her into a deep sleep.

What did explain it was: 1) the natives read as sufficiently human, if blue (purple, Paz insisted, purple), 2) the natives had managed to take them more-or-less hostage, and 3) the natives claimed to know where the missing member of their team was.

So they penciled a new House Rule into the unofficial handbook:
If the indigenous population of the world turns out to be biologically human, throw the rulebook out the window and use Anthropology 101 instead.

Thus there they were, Malia eating the berries. She closed her eyes, her breathing leveled, and Paz settled himself into a waiting posture, monitoring her pulse.


Malia had volunteered-or-been-chosen for the Berry Mission because… well, lots of spurious reasons that came down to Low Woman on the Totem Pole. She didn’t mind, which probably had something to do with how she’d ended up here, too. She also had more experience with hallucinogens then any other three members of the team, but that wasn’t on her official dossier.

She let the berry juice flow through her. It was already knocking her out, but the fun part would come…

…there. She was running. Something had frightened her, although she wasn’t certain what, something big, something that seemed, still, a little ridiculous to be afraid of.

Ridiculous or not, she was still running, her feet pounding on the stone.

Wait, stone? She glanced down at the ground, noted pavers, ran into something – she could feel the punch in her gut, the air whooshing out, and then she was falling.

She could see the hole above her getting smaller and smaller. Her gut still hurt, worse than she thought possible. But she wasn’t landing. don’t land in a dream…

She was dreaming? She pinched herself, and felt a distant memory of pain. Dreaming. She had… above her, a large monster jumped into the hole. He was purple-blue, and fuzzy, like some sort of children’s-show monster, and her heart was pounding in terror.

Pounding. Pounding. The drums were loud in her ears. Her feet were loud on the stone. She was running, running, but she’d forgotten something. She turned around, only to find herself face to face with the monster.

The monster was sitting in a rocking chair, big, furry blue arms wrapped around something precious. She reached for it, only to find herself grasping fur and teeth.

Something was biting her, clawing on her, eating off her fingers – she was holding the large blue monster, only he was smaller, small enough to be held, and she kept cradling him, even though he was eating off her fingers, one by one, showing them to her as he devoured them. Finger, Finger; she started running again.

Her feet were pounding on stone and she was running, cradling the monster and running. Stone? She looked down, seeing pavers, and tripped, falling into a hole. She fell, the hole above her getting smaller and smaller but the ground getting no closer. Don’t land in a dream…

Dream? She was dreaming?

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/649844.html. You can comment here or there.

First Thanksgiving, a story of Vas’ World for the Giraffe Call (@rix_scaedu, @dahob)

For [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s commissioned continuation of Holy Fuck, it’s Snowing.

The snow kept falling.

The clear-sky thing hadn’t lasted for more than a few hours; now the sun struggled to be seen through thick layers of cloud cover, and the flakes fell and fell and fell.

It was similar enough to snow from home to make them want to make snow-men and snow-angels and snow-forts. They declared a holiday, and the entire town went out and played.

By the third day of snowfall, they had Aoife out trying to get answers from the sleeping trees. When that didn’t work, they sent the scientists out to pull samples.

By five days, they were making snow forts again. Not so much for fun, this time, as for shelter. Their roofs weren’t built to handle the weight; their structures weren’t built for the winds that were coming in.

They started on the windward side, forming bricks out of packed snow. “I read a documentary about this, once.” Surprisingly, it was Tarval who came up with the idea. “If we do this right, we can even make roofs.”

The snow walls kept the worst of the drifting off of their shelters. That gave them time to rig something for their roofs.

And that was a week into the snowfall, and it was still coming. Tarval had stopped swearing at it. H was the only one; everyone else had started. The gen-mod horses were starting to snort at it, even.

And still the snow kept falling.

“I thought this was supposed to be brief.”

“Trees have a different sense of brief than we do?” Aoife shrugged. “I don’t have training in xenobotanical ambassadorial duties.”

They were beginning to get really worried. They could handle the cold for another week or two with the deadwood they’d gathered, and they could – and did – send out teams to gather more fuel from the sheltered areas of the forest.

That took care of warmth, for maybe – they estimated – a month of really hard fall. The wall took care of the bad wind, and Tarval managed to rig a tent-dome over the settlement with the last of their tarps, which took the last of the snow weight off the roofs. (It looked, from the outside, like a giant igloo, so said the salvage-and-scrounge teams going into the woods).

Food was going to be a problem. There wasn’t any meat around, and they hadn’t prepared enough in advance for this winter.

“What we need is a bunch of mythical Thanksgiving Indians.” Tarval, as much as he’d been fighting the whole idea of snow was in his element now that it was here. “With turkey.”

“Not going to happen, I’m afraid.” Aoife was helping Tarval patch their dome and fix some of the rigging underneath to make it more, well, dome-like. “The trees had never seen humans before, or sentience of any sort except the plants.”

“These trees, here. They could be anywhere else on this place.”

“Probably won’t be travelling in this, then. Unless they have the most well-hidden high-technological civilization ever. No, we’re going to have to find something to eat, or we’re going to have to accept losses.”

“How can you be so damn cold about this?”

“Because this isn’t my first rodeo, and if I flip out, someone else will flip out, and then someone else, and before we know it, everyone’s spazzing.”

“I don’t want to accept losses. We need to find a way. Damnit. There has to be something.”

“Cat!” The shout at the gate was something else: a bellow, more than a crier-call, a panicked bellow.

Tarval and Aoife started running. “Cat” could be anything, around here.

Young Soni was standing in the gate tower, staring over the wall. By the time Tarval and Aoife got there, she was shaking. “Cat.” She pointed a trembling arm out over the wall.

“Cat, indeed.” Aoife’s voice was reverent. Tarval didn’t blame her. “You wanted Indians, Tar.”

“…Yeah.” Sitting outside the gate was a mammalian-looking creature the size of an elephant. Its – call it a mane, why not – was feathery, sticking out in wild colors from its grey pelt.

Two more, with less vivid colors, sat nearby, watching. And in every single one’s mouth was a large, freshly-dead-looking animal.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/490364.html. You can comment here or there.

Holy Fuck, It’s Snowing, a Story of Vas’ World (@dahob)

For @Dahob’s prompt; this happens concurrent with The Planet Called “Oh, Fuck, We’re Screwed,” (LJ)

“Holy Fuck. It’s snowing.”

Of all of them, Tarval had been the most resistant to the “it’s getting cold” idea. Although meteorology was not his primary or even his secondary skill, he had been an amateur weather-watcher on his home planet of Teyska, and had been certain the signs pointed towards a chilly but dry, mild “so-called winter.”

Besides, the trees didn’t like him, and he didn’t like them.

He had continued to do his own thing – preparing for the mild, brief cold snap he was expecting – and continued to tell everyone they were crazy for listening to trees, trees that tried to eat people, and not to the signs of the weather.

When the wind had changed direction suddenly, he’d taken it as a personal affront.

When the temperature had dropped degree after degree after degree in a few short hours, he’d joined everyone else in pulling every piece of fruit off the vines, herding the animals into the town square, and hunting and fishing a few last meat animals. “Brief cold,” he’d repeated, over and over again. But, less certainly, “no need to take unnecessary risks.”

He’d been the last one out as the temperature dropped past into the negative degrees. The animals were his purview, and he needed to be sure they were all safe.

He was fixing the halter on a gen-mod horse when the skies went from light grey to dark, and he’d just finished rigging a roof over their paddock when the stuff hit him in the face.

Everyone in the village heard his exclamation.

“Holy Fuck! It’s snowing!”

They needed the laugh, and they all took it. Even Tarval.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/451034.html. You can comment here or there.

The Planet Called “Oh, Fuck, We’re Screwed,” a story of Vas’ World for the Giraffe Call

For Rix_Scaedu‘s Prompt in Mini-Giraffe-Call January 1

Vas’ World has a landing page here.

This story takes place after Harvest (LJ) and after Xenonegotiations.

“Looking at the trees – talking to the trees – there’s going to be some cold weather coming.”

Aoife had the strange position, although, all things considered, it could have been stranger, of being Ambassador to the Trees on what they were calling Happy Accident (Because “Oh Fuck We’re Screwed” had been declared far too depressing a thing to name a planet, and nobody wanted to teach that name to the children they hoped would come).

The trees would communicate with other people, roughly, stay out or go here. But with Aoife, they would actually explain things.

“How cold is cold?” Rostislav and Caliber were the most concerned, Rostislav for the village and Caliber for the plants.

“They just said… ‘very, but no more than usual.'” Aoife shrugged. There was only so much you could do with plant speech.

“Very, but no more than usual” didn’t leave them a lot of room for planning. So they did the best they could; they stored food and made thicker clothing and fortified their buildings. They found firewood and moved their cookfires inside, tanned furs and covered their walls and beds and selves with everything they could.

In the end, it was nearly not enough; the snow started falling out of a clear sky and just… kept falling. And kept falling. Faster, longer, thicker snow than any of them, even Armanie-from-Minnesota, had seen.

The trees, it turned out, curled up on themselves, becoming short lumps the snow just slid off of. Even the tigerators were hibernating. Before long, the humans, beginning to think “Oh Fuck We’re Screwed” was a better name for the planet after all, were going to have to learn do the same.

Next/Concurrent: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/451034.html

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