Tag Archive | internment


For kc_obrien‘s prompt.

This is in the Fae Apoc Setting, which has a landing page here.

The internment camp came into existence in
Discovery Channel, was expanded in
Invisibles; Daryl and his family were introduced in
The Pay Was Good.


One thing Dylan was glad for, when they’d moved into the internment camp they were supposed to be guarding and started guarding it against intruders instead of escapes, when they’d become, more or less, farmers and homesteaders, a small community against the outside world, when they’d finally armed the fae because, really, nothing but manners was stopping them from taking the weapons anyway – one thing he was glad for, when it was all said and done, was that his babies would not be old enough to date for many years, enough years that the war would, god-in-heaven willing, be done by then.

Not that he had anything against the Ellehemaei, but, when you came down to it, did you really want your daughter bringing home a boy that looked like a snake? Or, god-in-heaven forbid, what happened when your son came home, like Jose’s son Miguel had, saying, “Dad, I got her pregnant…” and you find out that “her” might be a pretty girl, but she had a peacock’s tail and wings, and Jose’s grandkids were eggs. Eggs! No, better to keep Marilyn and Jack close to home, playing with other human kids.

Miguel and his pretty bird were only the first, of course. All crammed together like that, and the internees had a lot of teens, and the guards, well, they had kids, and they had sex drives, the guards and the kids and the teens, all of them. They held weddings, mixed shindigs no less convoluted than some Dylan had seem at straight human marriages, and they had affairs, and even Dylan got propositioned by the pretty girl with the goaty bits.

He turned her down – they were at a wedding, for one, and he was faithful to his lovely Kaylee, for another – but it made him look twice, the next time he saw Miguel and his bird, or Curt’s kid Tasha with the boy with tentacles. He had a few words with Kaylee, and they started putting together baby gifts from what they could. A budding family was a budding family, after all, even if they were hatched. Or, for that matter, budded.


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/177958.html. You can comment here or there.

The Pay Was Good

From kc_obrien‘s prompt: “Can I get a short piece from another perspective of some of the internees/guards in the community featured in Discovery Channel/Invisibles (LJ Link)?


The pay was good.

That’s what Dylan told himself when he took the job. It was good pay, better than anything else a washout jock had right to expect. It let him support Kaylee and their baby girl and, a year later, their baby boy, and it was out in the middle of nowhere – just about the safest place to be, if it weren’t for the monsters they were guarding.

Not that they looked like monsters, or acted like monsters, or quacked like ducks in any way. Sure, they looked a little funny, and had a little bit of magic here and there, but that was like calling housecats dangerous because they bore a faint resemblance to tigers.

But the pay was really good. Dylan reminded himself of that when his fellow guards made rude cracks, the sort of stuff that, if it had been any ethnicity and not faeries, El-hee-may as they called themselves, would have gotten them fired, sued, and blacklisted. He reminded himself of new shoes on his baby girl’s feet and the little cottage Kaylee loved so much when a squirmy kid with scales like a snake’s bit him and his hand swelled up for a day and a half.

The day that the teenaged girl with the goaty bits came crying to him (because he was the nice guard) because three of the other assholes had gotten her in a corner and threatened to do worse if she told, he went home and held his family tight for hours, and wondered if any amount of money could really be worth it.

The paychecks stopped coming a week later.


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/76564.html. You can comment here or there.


This is the first half of a semi-sequel to Discovery Channel

The supply trucks had stopped coming around the first of the year; the TV broadcasts had more or less stopped around Thanksgiving time, and the radio broadcasts were getting rarer and rarer, so the fae residents-slash-captives of the “voluntary relocation center” (internment camp) didn’t get an explanation as to why they were abandoned; the food just stopped coming.

At first, they assumed that the remnants of the human government were trying to quietly get them rid of, and shrugged philosophically. They’d been expecting that for a while, after all, and they had their gardens and their little farm already. They’d be a bit short on some more exotic foods for a while, but they were magic beings; they’d make do.

Weeks went on, though, and the mood of the guards that still patrolled the halls of their former-high-school prison shifted. They stopped eying their captives with belligerent fear and began eying the livestock in the courtyards and the greenhouse with the overwintered vegetables with obvious hunger. They talked, when they didn’t think any of the internees could hear them, about their hungry families and the paychecks that didn’t come anymore. They talked about how the monsters in here were safer than their own children were.

Finally, Dita, called the Riddle of the Sphinx, who had ended up being their leader by inevitability and force of will, pulled the guards aside and suggested they just move their families into the compound. “They’ll be safe here,” she assured them, “and we have food to spare.”

The guards hemmed and hawed – they were supposed to be guarding the internees, not fraternizing with them, not locking themselves in, too – but their so-very-friendly prisoners had the magic to make food grow faster and produce more than it ought to, and the walls around their internment camp were high and sturdy. In the end, hunger and a continually deteriorating situation outside won over fear. Their guards became their companions, and they locked the gates from the inside.

That had been mid-February. When the flowers started coming up in earnest, some time in early May, radio broadcasts had trickled down to maybe one a week, there was wheat growing on the rooftops, and something was horribly wrong in the halls of their camp.

At first, they thought one of them had gone stir-crazy. They’d been in this prison for over two years now, in conditions that, while not crowded, were nowhere near ideal. That none of them had gone off the deep end yet was more surprising than that someone had finally cracked.

It was a pretty bad crack, too; people went missing, first one, then two more, and then another three. By the time the three had gone missing, the first one to vanish had been discovered, so very very dead, the dismembered, desiccated, mummified parts spread over the playground. It was the sort of death only another one of them could pull off, at least that quickly, that efficiently. They started eyeing each other with distrust, travelling only in groups, and making locks for their doors and walls to put locks in. The barracks became a warren of tiny, dark, locked rooms… and still people vanished.

They had the magic, in their group, to read minds, too, three mind-readers. Dita set her foot down, and the mind-readers read each other’s minds, then set up a double-elimination queue to find their murderer.

Cynthia, the most junior of the mind-readers, tried hard not to think about some of the things she’d found her fellow inmates to be guilty of. Not this string of murders, no – she found not the slightest shred of evidence that anyone here had even witnessed anything related to these deaths. But there was a lot of untidiness in these minds. There were tiny peccadilloes and crimes that would be felonies, if human law still cared about them, guilty consciences and sordid desires. Some of it was really, really creepy.

By the time she reached the last person, her friend Aaron, she was ready to destroy large portions of her mind just to get rid of the slimy memories. The walls around their prison had never seemed so constraining. And she had never been less happy to see Aaron.

“How’s it going, Synthie?” He plopped down in the comfy, ratty armchair she was using as an interrogation seat and grinned at her, only the off-skew cant of one ear suggesting he was at all worried.

“Urgh.” She wrinkled her nose at him. “I don’t want to know what’s in your brain, Airhead. It had better be just air and stuffing…”

“Or what? You’re too good a person to cut out the parts you don’t like.”

“I swear, if I find anything in your mind that I don’t want to see, Aaron, I’m…”

He was out of his chair with his hand over her mouth before she could finish the sentence. “You know better, Synth… Cynthia,” he whispered urgently, his cobalt-blue eyes staring at her. “You’re tired, and they forgot to feed you, here,” he pressed a cookie into her hand while she stared in worried confusion at him. “You’re not going to like everything in my brain,” he explained quietly, and comprehension finally worked its way through her exhausted mind. She nodded, and he removed his hand.

“Sorry,” she muttered, and devoured the cookie. I swear were words one didn’t say casually; that she’d forgotten enough to slip was an indication of how worn out she was. “Well… let’s hope there’s not too much in there, okay? I really want to bleach my brain out.”

“That bad?” He sounded worried. That, in itself, was worrisome; Aaron never showed concern.

“That bad,” she agreed quietly. “Let me get this over with, please?” There, let him chew on that; she never said please.

“Okay,” he agreed quietly, and leaned back in the chair, closing his eyes. “Do your worst.”

It couldn’t be him. She shouldn’t even look. But what if it was? If she trusted friendship and doomed them all? She closed her eyes, too, pretended this was someone else, and murmured the Working that would let her read his mind.

Don’t let Synthie see what she doesn’t want to see was at the forefront of his mind, fences neatly lined up, pointing her towards hey, about those murders? I didn’t do them. He was anxious, little bits in the back of his mind dancing around. Her threat had worried him; more than that, the drawn, tired way she looked worried him. Is she okay? Is she going to forgive me for…

She knew better, but she poked a little bit, telling herself she needed to find out for certain that he wasn’t the murderer. …forgive me, no, not there, ack, PORN! His mind flashed naked cat-girls in improbable positions, and she reeled backwards, falling off her chair.

“Synth?” She was still far enough inside his consciousness that she could hear his worry and guilt as he scrambled onto the floor next to her. “Synth… Cynthia, damn, sorry, are you okay?” C’mon, be okay. Be okay and don’t poke anymore, please? Stupid murderer. Messing up our friendship.

She shook her head carefully. “Airhead, if you ever assault me with porn again…” She made sure to make the not-a-threat cheerful, and tried to stifle the headache that wanted to leak out.

He flushed. “It’s the mind-blanking technique they taught us, you know… pink horses.”

“Purple elephants,” she nodded, but this time, let the exasperation leak. “Airhead, you’re not supposed to be blocking my mind-reading. You’re supposed to be proving your innocence.”

“Synthie, if you don’t already know I’m innocent, you’re not going to find it in my brain. Look, this was a nice idea, but if it’s not any of us… doesn’t it occur to you that that’s even worse?”

“Worse?” She blinked at him. “Worse than being trapped in her with a monster?”

“That’s how the guards feel all the time, isn’t it? What I mean is… we know each other. We know our flaws and our powers and everything else, every one of us. We’re too close not to. But if something managed to sneak in here with us and remain hidden, except to pop out and kill us…”

“We’re dealing with a completely unknown, invisible enemy.” Cynthia gulped. “Okay. That is pretty bad.” She chewed on her cuticle, nevermind what her mother would say. “Aaron, what do we do about something we can’t see?” Why was she asking him?

“Well,” he mused, “we have to find a way to make the invisible visible.”

dailyprompt ‘making the invisible visible.’

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/47613.html. You can comment here or there.

Discovery Channel

From Wystie’s prompt to the August 9th call for prompts – “Exotic, erotic, and/or exogenous”


The halls of the internment camp – voluntary relocation center – were nearly empty. In the first couple weeks here, they’d been full and bouncing, as people, antsy in the confined space, a repurposed abandoned high school building, had wandered from room to room, visiting, meeting new people, just looking for an excuse to get out of their barracks.

As the days (“This will only be for a little while, until we get back on our feet.”) wore on to weeks (“People are scared right now; this is for your own protection, you understand”) and now were flipping over to months (“Just keep your head down. Here. Plant a garden. Do something useful.”), the air of frenzied activity had faded. The excitement of the new, however terrifying and strange, had waned.

Now people stayed, listless, in their barracks, and moved, listlessly, to the meal hall for their bland and unsatisfying meals. They had allowed themselves to be trapped here, for the sake of frightened humanity. They had built the cage themselves, to show that they were not the threat that the others were. And now they milled like cattle, waiting for the slaughter.

“Hey, Synthie.” The chipper voice interrupted Cynthia’s morose musings. Only a few people called her that obnoxious nickname, and only one of them was here, in the voluntary relocation center with her, so she didn’t bother looking any direction but up.

“Hey, Airhead.” Aaron was dangling upside down from one of the HVAC conduits, his favorite style of travel. “You’re going to freak the guards out again.”

“Let them freak. They want to treat us like animals, I’m gonna act like an animal.” His tail flipped down to trail in her face. “Have fun with it. I mean, we’re stuck in this dump through no fault of our own; are we supposed to just lay down and die?”

“I’m pretty sure that’s what they want. Or stay quiet long enough that they can just brick us up in here.” The Cask of Amontillado probably hadn’t been the best bedtime reading, but there was only so much available in the former school’s library.

“Bah, we’ll get out when enough of us are ready to leave. They don’t know enough about us to really keep up locked up effectively.”

“They seem to be doing a good enough job so far.”

“Everyone who’s here came voluntarily. You heard what happened with the prison they tried to set up.” He wiggled his tail temptingly in her face. “Come on up, Synthie. Stop worrying so much.”

She tugged lightly on the offending tail. “Unlike you, I don’t stick to the ceiling.”

“Oh, you know you can get up here. You’re just worried about the guards.”

“As you should be,” she retorted, more sharply than she really wanted to. “They get rough when they’re nervous.”

“They’re always nervous.” And they were always rough. And they weren’t going to get any better, were they?

“You have a point.” She reached for a shadow, found a nice set of them up above the conduits, and slowly wove them into a net around the pipes.

“I always have a point. That’s my job, to be as pointy as inhumanly possible.” He swayed cheerfully.

“No, that’s Sarah, over in the Science section. She has those spikes…”

“Ah, but I have the pointiest mind.”

“Pointy-headed, I’ll give you.” She pulled herself up towards the ceiling with her net of shadows. “Do you care about anything, Aaron?”

“What, just because I’m not sitting around fretting and waiting to die? Of course I do.”

“Yeah?” She braided a few dark, dusty shadows into a swing, and hung a few feet from him. Upside-down, his face was more expressive. “Like what?”

“Like this place. Like being treated like animals. Like the war going on outside.”

She shook her head in exasperation. “You’re just parroting my worries back at me.”

“Hey, just because I don’t wander around with a storm cloud hanging over my head…”

“That’s just my shadows, Airhead.”

“…wander around moping like a miserable moppet, doesn’t mean I don’t have worries.”

“And you deal with them by hanging from the ceiling.”

“What, your way is any better?” He had a point, but she didn’t want to say that, so she settled for not answering at all. “Look, we’re trapped in a cage. We’re treated like interesting but potentially really dangerous animals. I’ve even seen some cameras tucked up in the rafters here, where they don’t expect us to go.”

So had Cynthia. The ones she’d found didn’t work anymore. “So you’ve said. Cages. Animals.” It was all so very dreary.

His upside-down leer lit up the gloom suddenly. “So why not make like the Discovery Channel?”

Next in this sub-setting: Invisibles.