Tag Archive | lady and sword

Luke’s Rescue Mission 2

After Exclamation Points. Sword/Lady timeline, so maybe 50-75 years after the apocalypse, probably canon.

When Luke got back to Addergoole with Heraclea, Patronus, and the kids — Mike had shown up after two days with a teleporter and a clairvoyant, looking miffed and clearly trying to hide a worried expression — he sent Cynara a fruit basket full of the most exotic fruits Addergoole’s magical greenhouses could grow, a brief note telling her who he’d found, and what he’d rescued them from, and copies of all of Addergoole’s most recent survey maps of North America.

She sent him back one of the maps — Texas-area, he noted, where the third of her original “trouble spots” had been — with eight color-coded dots listed as “need rescue or help, soon; might be in trouble in the next year; they’re doing something hinkey, keep an eye on; and “you might want to deputize.”

Along with that was a list of three other people who might be interested in helping him rescue or check on alumni — all of them Addergoole grads and two of them people Luke had enjoyed teaching — along with their locations and a note that said if you don’t have a teleporter, I can loan you one.

Luke might have thought she was trying to keep him occupied, distracted even, but by the time he got her package, he had already gone to the second spot on her map.

Ehud had been at Addergoole twenty-five years ago, and prone to getting in trouble even then. Now, he looked as much abashed as relieved as Luke waded into the slave market and bought up his contract.

“Anyone else from Addergoole here?” he snarled. He hated slave markets, but this one was too far from Addergoole — on the edge of the Appalachians — for him to start making a point about taking it over.

“Um.” Ehud shifted. “No. But there’s a fae girl who’s never heard of it, and one from Doomsday. She’s super embarrassed,” he added, “but it makes her angry. And then she fights the slavers…”

“Right.” Luke was glad that Ehud had come cheap. “Show them to me.”

He sent Cya all three fae, once they’d been freed, cleaned up, and fed, a box of chocolates Maureen only made for special occasions, and, after a little shouting, a list of Addergoole students and their children, as comprehensive as they had.

She sent him back the list with several annotations, the Florida-quarter quadrant marked up — this time with names — and some very nice whisky.

She also sent a note: if you can’t kill the bad ones, the really bad ones, I know someone who deals in justice.

When he got back from Texas with his newly-recruited posse, he sent her (at Laurel’s suggestion) some samples of fiber plants they’d been working on, and a student of theirs who appeared very good at Finding with a note They need summer study. Teach them what you do?

He wasn’t at all surprised when her next package included a contract on behalf of the Finder. He didn’t think twice before he signed it — though he did ask Drake to read it over first.

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Exclamation Points, Lady/Sword Timeline, Luke

Explanation: (Cal you can skip this part you were there)

Okay, here goes.

So: This is in the Lady/Sword timeline after Cya releases Carew and Leo releases Jeska (in late spring/early summer). Cya doesn’t Keep someone – a very notable even – because she has Plans.

These Plans are, OOC, part of the merging of the timelines. IC, they’ll show up soon enough.

Luke gets antsy, the way he does when Boom starts doing something different, and comes to visit to ask them about it.

In the course of that visit, Cya gets a little tetchy, and not just the purposeful level of tetchy she was doing to prod Luke (see: plans).

She gets a map of the former US and Finds with her power the five places where Addergoole alum actually need Luke’s intervention. She highlights them and tells him exactly what the map is for.

Luke, of course, is going to go look, because what else do you do when faced with that? Not go try to save the students you taught who might be at risk?

And yes, Cya is up to something. But this is Cya. She is always up to something.

I wonder what she and Xanatos would do if faced with each other?

​Luke was paying attention.

He had been paying more and more attention for the last decade, but now he felt like he/ was coming out of a fog. He was looking at students, he was asking them questions and actually getting answers; he was asking other teachers questions and getting some very interesting answers.

Last year he had stopped two cases of potential abuse before they’d gotten that far, and when Regine had argued with him, he had raised his eyebrows and waited, an expression he was pretty sure he’d picked up from Cya.

From the grumbling way that Regine had handled that one – he’d brought Mike in on that, too, because one of the abusers had been one of Mike’s Students – she’d seen a resemblance, too.

He was paying attention, but the map Cynara had handed him had still thrown him for a loop. Those are your five Addergoole alum most in need of your intervention or the intervention of the school as a whole, she’d said, and pointed at a map, one, two, three, four, five.

He looked at the first one. It was around a place he was pretty sure wasn’t a town anymore. The last time he’d been there – had to be at least a generation ago now – it had been a wasteland, a ghost town with half the buildings crumbled, the skeletons of the dead still where they’d fallen.

That first one felt pretty intense, like exclamation points. I’d look at that one first. She’d said it casually. She wielded a power that could find anything like some people wielded minor telekinesis. Luke still wasn’t sure whether he ought to be running away, attacking, or asking for more help.

He looked at the map one more time and took flight. There was someone who needed help, with exclamation points. He was going to go help.

He flew off having left Mike a note as to where he’d gone and why. If he didn’t come back, someone would need to clean up the mess, he supposed. It was a strange thought for him, if he didn’t make it back. Those weren’t thoughts he often – ever! – had. Not in centuries.

It could be a trap. He didn’t think it was. He was pretty sure that traps weren’t Cynara’s style, or, if they were, they wouldn’t come with paper trails.

Cynara, he reminded himself, was Feu Drake’s Student. He’d had more than a few concerns over cy’Drake over the years, and some of them had been justified.

He still didn’t think it was a trap.

He Worked the air and the forces around him, folded his wings tight against his back, and shot through the air quickly. This was too far away. He should have used a teleporter. He should have used a car. Something.

He flew, fast and arrow-like, zooming through the air, not looking at the scenery more than he had to to orient himself.

He landed at sunset, an easy three hours’ normal flight away, strapped himself high up in a tree, ate three of Laurel’s energy bars, and slept until dawn.

The next day he pushed himself, feeling the pressure of Cya’s pretty intense, like exclamation points.

He saw the place come into sight an hour after he started flying. It looked even more of a wasteland than it had the last time he passed it. The roads, such as they were, leading into it had been marked with yellow and orange paint in a skull and crossbones. There were at least three teams that he knew of that did something similar: Warning, this place is dangerous. Sometimes it meant this place hates fae.

He circled out of easy arrow- or gunshot range, looking for something, anything. The place was overgrown with vines, twisting around all the buildings. In some cases, they’d actually pulled the buildings down.

“Here! Help!” The voice was thin, barely audible. It could be a trap. Luke swooped down anyway.

“Here!” A second voice joined the first. Luke homed in on the voices, found them in a broken-roofed former house. He recognized one of the right away. Heraclea. There was no mistaking that height or that magenta hair. .

He perched on the broken edge of the roof and looked down at them. They were both tangled in vines, looking pale and far too thin. Patronus, that was the other one. Of course. If Heraclea was here… He’d been so proud of them, staying together after graduation. “Don’t you have Huamu?” he demanded. Not that either of them looked in any shape to do any Workings right now.

“Don’t let them touch you,” Heraclea warned. “They’re… not exactly Huamu. They’re not exactly they.

“They’re uh. Some sort of fae. And neither of us are great at the whole flesh thing, but there’s definitely a mind.”

“Where’s the kids?” Luke’s heart was in his throat. Had he taken too long to get here?

“I think- I think there’s a nursery.” Heraclea’s voice was tight. “They’re too little, we think. Too little to be good eating. Luke, if you can’t get us, get them.”

“Where’s the mind?” he demanded. “Is it sensing me, here?”

Patronus muttered a long Working that left him even more ashen and faint-looking. “The mind, it’s in – it’s the Town Hall, I think. And it only knows what it touches. It’s blind, but it can sense wind currents. Luke, it’s huge.”

Luke set his jaw. “Then I’d better surprise it. Hold on, kids. I’ll get you out of there.”

He rose up into the air and circled. There was the Town Hall, and now that he looked, he could see that the vines all got bigger as they went in that direction. there wasn’t a hole in the roof in this one, though. He circled twice before finding a place to land, on the edge of the fountain facing the town hall.

He ate another energy bar, saving the last two for the kids, and stared at the building. He was going to have to do this quickly, not give the thing a chance to react.

He ran over the Workings four times in his head, holding perfectly still, and then shot them off as quietly and as quickly as he had ever spoken. The first one cut off every vine leading out of the building, Destroyed a long stretch of the plant-flesh and froze the outer end of the stumps. The second one found everything that counted as Tlacatl – flesh of makers, humans and fae – in the town. The children were not in the building with the monster; they were several buildings away.
The third one wrapped every Tlacatl being not the monster in a force shield, while the fourth Working ripped through the building the monster’s core was in, pulling every bit of heat out of it and freezing the thing solid.

Luke walked in – strolled in, if he was being honest, and found the being that looked almost human, if bloated, green, gigantic, and frozen – at the heart of it. He took aim with his rowan sword and cut the thing’s head off.

After that, it was a matter of collecting the kids – not just Patronus’ and Heraclea’s three, either; there were seven pre-pubescent children being fed on some sort of plant nectar, freeing Patronus and Heraclea, and burning the rest of the plant-monster until there was nothing but ash left.

Exclamation points, he thought to himself, and took a long hard look at the other four points on Cya’s map.

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Cya Yells at a Kept

Okay, so the premise of this is thus: in this timeline, Cya has a small meltdown when she realizes that Leo is never going to love her the way she loves him. This has always been true. She’s always known it to be true. But she’s got a lot of practice at denial.

Anyway, her poor Kept has to deal with sobbing Cya and… in a move proving why her power thought he needed to be in a protective Keeping for a year… punches Leo in the face.

Leo gamely DOESN’T attack him back, although he scolds him, yells at him, and tells him to get out of his sight.

And then Cya comes home.

Cya Found her Kept in the spare bedroom, in the back corner, behind the built-in armoire. She sat down next to him and waited for him to look at her.

He cleared his throat. “I screwed up.” He sounded miserable.

“Yes, you did.” She made her voice gentle. “Why, Carew?”

“I…” He cleared his throat. “I punched Leo.”

“I noticed.” She gave him a small smile, a nice crooked one. “You don’t have don’t-attack-other-people orders because you didn’t seem like the sort to need them. Do I have to rethink that?”

“No! I mean…” He shook his head. “It was idiotic and I understand it. It’s just…”

“Tell me.” It was said gently, but it was no less an order.

“You were hurting!” It came out in a tumble, the way things ordered out often did. “I mean, crying, miserable, for days. Nights. And I mean, it doesn’t take an idiot to know it’s because of him. He hurt you, and he won’t – he won’t do anything about it.”

Cya considered that for a moment before shaking her head. “If I had punched the same wall for a hundred years,” she asked him, picturing it as she asked it, “would you be angry at me, or the wall?”

He considered it slowly. “It depends. Was the wall in your way? Was it trapping you?”

“Only, well, only because I put myself between three unmoving walls and didn’t think to walk out the fourth side.” She made a square-off U with her pointer fingers and thumbs. “I stood here banging my head against this wall, because I already knew the other two weren’t going to move. I mean, they’re not going to move either, but…” She took away the U and scrubbed at an imaginary stain with her hand. “I wanted those walls less, I guess? I didn’t want to give them as much of my blood, at least.”

He was staring at her. She ducked her head, even though she tried so hard not to do things like that with her Kept. “Too much?”

“No. No, I get it. I’ve uh. There’ve been walls I banged my head on, too. But you – you’re a lot o-” he coughed. The look he gave her was something like she was a sad puppy… which lately, she supposed she deserved.

“I’ve been at this a lot longer than you have. Yeah.” She grimaced. “I learn slowly, when it comes to some things. And I really, really, love him. Look… I’ve known Leo for a long time.”

“Since before my grandparents were born, he said.”

She looked at him and considered. “Since our first round of great-grandchildren are out of school for the most part… yes. That’s probably quite accurate.”

“Our? First round?”

“The kids Leo and I had separately and together at Addergoole, their Addergoole kids’ Addergoole kids,” she clarified. “At this point I have grandchildren older than at least one child. It gets messy… anyway.” She smiled sidelong. “I’ve known Leo practically forever. And I can tell you – if he agrees with you that he’s done something wrong, he can beat himself up far more effectively than anything you can do to him. Also… if you punch one of my crew-mates again,” and now she intentionally continued in the same dead-calm casual voice, because she wanted the whiplash to get his attention, “I will punish you hard enough that your great-grandchildren will remember it. Understood?”

He gulped and stared at her as if the puppy had turned out to be Cerberus. She smiled at him, which served to remind him that she had very sharp teeth indeed.

“I… uh. I understand. Ma’am, Cya sa’Red Doomsday, ma’am. I…” something broke in his voice and the panic went away. He just looked embarrassed. “I really am sorry. I just – I really felt bad for you.”

She hugged him tightly to her. “I know, kiddo. And that’s why you’re getting off with a warning this time. And dishes and garbage duty for the next month.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He already did the dishes most nights anyway. Wisely, he didn’t mention that. “Thank you, ma’am.”


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