Tag Archive | prompter: kuroneko

On the Lifeboat, a continuation of Fae Apoc for the Giraffe Call/Kuro_Neko

Written to Kuro-Neko’s commissioned continuation of Survival, of Fae Apoc, sometime in late 2011/early 2012.

Three, two… “Are you saying…” Ross Wetherschilde spoke slowly, as if not quite wanting to get to the end of his sentence. “…that there is a ‘fae’ onboard this life raft?”

“Of course that’s what she’s freaking saying, you freaking nincompoop!” Tanya Jones spoke fast enough for three Ross Wetherschildes. “The question is, how does she know! And who?”

“I think it’s obvious, don’t you?” Yonrit thought she knew every voice on the raft, but this one made her open her eyes: small, sardonic, and very quiet. Aah, the slender woman who had barely spoken since the crash, of course. “There’s one way to know for certain that someone is fae.”

She met Yonrit’s eyes; Yonrit didn’t look away. Around them, the conversation seemed to roil and bubble.

“…stab ‘em with rowan, that’s how!”

“Iron, you hang a horseshoe on your doorway.”

“We don’t have any horseshoes and we don’t have any doorways. Or rowan.”

“You spill rice, don’t you?”

“No, that’s vampires. Hey, do you think vampires are real, too?”

“Taylor, you’ve asked that at least seventeen times since we ended up here. Nobody knows.”

“Except maybe the fae on the boat.”

It kept going, people talking over each other, people shouting and swearing and repeating themselves. Yonrit kept her eyes on the other woman. After this many days on a lifeboat, she looked as unwashed as the rest of them; like Yonrit, her clothes were already beginning to hang loose on her body.

“So, who is it?” In the end, it was Tanya Jones who asked Yonrit. “If there’s a fae here, and you know who – who is it?”

“You still haven’t answered my question.” Yonrit swallowed around her nerves and repeated herself. “Would you rather die or be helped by a fae?”

“That wasn’t the question,” the slender woman pointed out. “The question was, would we rather die or be on a boat with a fae?”

“They’re both important questions.” Yonrit could feel every eye in the boat on her. She tried not to shrink in on herself.

“So,” Tanya Jones tried, “we have to answer the question, and then you’ll tell us?”

Yonrit nodded mutely. What was she going to do if they said die? What was she going to do if some of them said die?

“Well, I’ll go first.” Tanya Jones leaned forward in her seat. “Look, if it was Poseidon or the dick who called himself Hades or that cadre of bitches that ruined his town in Illinois or someone like that, yeah, I’d die trying to kill them. But what was the news saying just before we went overboard? Hundreds of thousands of fae have been living here on earth forever? I mean, that’s what some of the awful ones have said, too. ‘We were born on Earth.’“ Her voice dropped down to a deep super-hero imitation. “‘We want to defend Earth.’ While they’re ripping up buildings. I guess what I mean is, if it’s a fae saving my life, well, my life is still saved, isn’t it?”

She nodded to the man next to her. “What about you?”

“I’d die. I don’t want any of those filthy creatures touching me.”

And so it went.

Yonrit struggled to keep her face calm, to not show fear or anger or even hope. She struggled to not look like she agreed with anyone. For the most part, it was wasted effort — the whole lifeboat was watching whoever was talking at the moment. Everyone but the thin girl, who had not yet stopped staring at Yonrit.

Finally, they were back to her. Tanya looked down at her fingers. “That’s fourteen people saying ‘please save my life’ and seven saying ‘screw everything fae, even if I die.’ And you.”

Yonrit took a deep breath. “Okay. Okay, Tonya, Miss Jones, since you took the vote, I’m saying you’re in charge. Anyone argue?”

One large, obnoxious guy looked like he wanted to argue, but in the face of a boat full of nodding, he only got out half a sound.

“All right. Okay, remember what you all said.”

“Are you going to tell us who the fae is now?” The woman was still staring at Yonrit. Her eyes were drilling through her, and her voice held an unpleasant urgency.

“I don’t think that’s really the necessary part.” They might kill her. They were going to die either way, she was likely to die either way. It was that or start eating each other. “All right.” She closed her eyes and cupped her hands in front of her. “Meentik Huamu delta αβοκάντο.”

She heard the gasps. She heard the swearing. She heard nothing at all from the thin woman. More importantly, she felt the thud of four avocados in her hands.

“Now.” Yonrit’s voice was very quiet, but it didn’t need to be any louder. “It’s up to every one of you if you eat what I provide or not. It has its limits — if I do too much, I’ll pass out — but I believe I can make enough food to keep us alive until we’re rescued.” She set the avocados down in front of her. “These first, because they’re easy to eat and more calorie-dense than, say, an orange. And then some beans, I think. That is…” Yonrit swallowed hard and looked around the lifeboat. “That is, if you’re not going to kill me.”

Everyone squirmed. Everyone but the thin woman, who was looking at Yonrit now with mostly confusion. Finally, one woman spoke up. She had been the most vocal about hating fae; one of the returned gods had killed her husband.

“They say that the fae can’t lie. That if they promise to tell the truth, they have to. Is that true?”

Yonrit nodded slowly. “That’s true.”

“Can you… can you swear that you’re not one of those fae who’s been causing all those problems? Because so far, you’ve only acted like a normal person. No pointy ears, no blowing ships up. And I haven’t seen any of these ‘gods’ raining down avocados.”

That was relatively easy. Yonrit nodded, a little less slowly this time. “I can promise you that I have never, through action or inaction, caused a human death. That’s, that’s why I spoke up.” She hugged herself. “Because it would kill you all if I didn’t say anything.”

She shared a look with the slender woman, who looked away, frowning. The widow was speaking again, just as slowly.

“Then I can’t see any reason to punish you for risking yourself to save us. Can you make enough without straining yourself?”

“It won’t be haute cuisine. And it won’t be enough to gorge ourselves. But yeah, yeah, I think I can.” Yonrit might still be stuck in a lifeboat, but for the first time in weeks, for the first time since the gods had returned, she felt like she was on solid ground again.

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Where It All Began – the Zeroth Cohort in Addergoole

Written to Kuro_Neko’s commission. The 0th Cohort were a test year before the First Cohort of Addergoole, and, as documented in Addergoole: Year Nine, many things went wrong. This is where things started going south.

“And for your homework tonight, class, be sure to read Chapters Seven and Eight of the History of the Americas text. And start thinking about your mid-term projects – yes, Nyla?”

Nyla’s hand was up. That didn’t seem like a good idea to her. Her hand was up and her lips were moving and how had she let herself get talked into this?

Oh, that was right. Because Professor Valerian liked her. Because she was the one with the leaf-green eyes and the forest-green hair and the tree-professor thought she was cute.

Nyla missed juvie.

She coughed. “Professor Valerian? We heard a rumor that this school has some unusual graduation requirements.”

We heard a rumor was code for Aine slipped through the wall and read the Director’s confidential documents. But it was a rumor now.

The professor frowned over her glasses at Nyla. “That information was to be shared with each of you from your Mentors.”

Which Valerian really wanted to be, for Nyla. Could trees impregnate other trees? How did this fae thing work, anyway?

“So that means the graduation requirements are real?”

“That’s something you’d need to discuss with your Mentor, should you get around to choosing one.”

“Professor?” Nyla was smiling. Why was she smiling? Why was this fun? It shouldn’t be fun… “Have you noticed that neither of us have said what these ‘graduation requirements’ are? For all I know, you’re talking about a GPA of 3.75.”

The class murmured. Addergoole was tough. A 3.75 might be harder than the requirements Nyla was actually talking about.

Professor Valerian’s smile was awfully sharp. Trees didn’t have teeth, no. But, Nyla was realizing, they could have thorns. And they might move slowly, but they could crush rocks nonetheless. “I did notice that, Nyla. Why do you think that might be?”

“Well, on your part, there’s always the chance that the thing I think it is really isn’t what it is – and we’re really talking about that 3.75. Or you don’t know that I know, and you’re avoiding telling me something I’m just hinting around the edges of.”

“You’re doing well so far.”

When had this become a school problem? Well, they were in school and she was asking a teacher. Around her, the rest of the small class sat quiet. For a moment, Nyla hated them all. “And as for me – I seem to have a hard time getting the words out, truth be told.” She pieced it together slowly. “The rumors are all sideways, too.”

“And why do you think that might be?” Now, Valerian’s eyes swept across the room. “Juniper, yes?”

Juniper could have asked the question. Juniper was a tree-girl even more than Nyla was. But noooo, it had to be the juvie-hall girl, ‘cause Nyla was brave.

Nyla’s head was spitting from forcing out the question, and they still didn’t have an answer.

“Is it some sort of aversion?” Juniper rolled her shoulders and took in a long, loud breath. “Like – ah. We don’t call home. That sort of thing?”

“And why do you think there would be that sort of aversion?”

It was Caiside, pretty, pretty Caiside, who answered. “Because someone thinks we’ll freak out – or our parents will freak out.”

What was the professor doing? Nyla looked around the room again, at the slowly dawning comprehension on all her classmate’s faces. It was Melantha that spoke up this time. “So it’s true. This is – this is some sort of breeding school.”

Everyone let out a collective breath. It had been said. Someone had put the words in the open. And Professor Valerian had her lips pressed together very tightly, which had to be saying something.

“Then why bother with classes?” Zetta had risen half out of her chair, her hands clenched into fists. “Why bother with all this, with training, with magic, with the Law, if it’s all for nothing? If this is just to get us knocked up and waddling around with faerie babies?”

It was a good question. The classes were challenging – they were way more in-depth than anything Nyla had had back home, but that could’ve been because of juvie – the magic lessons were exciting, and the combat training was really, really hard. But if this was meant to be a place to make babies…

Professor Valerian coughed. “It may be hard to believe right now, but being parents and being scholars, or being parents and being warriors, these things are not mutually exclusive. Everything in this school is meant to educate you, not to placate you.”

“Except the aversions keeping us from talking about this stuff.” Zetta was on her feet and away from her chair now. “Except the lying to us about it. How is it supposed to happen? Is there some sort of lust Working in the walls, too?”

Professor Valerian looked amused. Amused. Nyla was beginning to feel as irritated as Zetta looked. “Generally, no lust Workings are needed when you have a number of active teenagers in an enclosed space.”

“What happens…” Caiside’s voice was very quiet, but everyone listened. “What happens if we do not have these children?”

Professor Valerian coughed uncomfortably. “I am not given to understand that that’s an option.”

That hung in the air for a moment. Nyla stood up, her chair scraping loudly against the tile. “Well, then.” It was better than Fuck this shit. She walked out of the room, uncertain where she was going.


There was no way out of Addergoole. Nyla had tried. Luke had come to get her for class, and she had explained in short words why that wasn’t happening. He’d stared at her for a moment, giving the uncomfortable impression that he was living up to his Name, then nodded curtly. “Tomorrow.”

Tomorrow wouldn’t be any better than today, but she could deal with it then. Tonight, tonight she was going to sit in her room and eat cookie dough ice cream and sulk about the unfairness of the world.

“Top-notch education,” she muttered. “Bucolic location. They’ll get you into college even with your arrest record.”

“Are you talking to yourself, Nyla?” Caiside leaned on her door-frame. “You skipped afternoon classes.”

“I was angry.” She glared at him, as if daring him to challenge that. He held up both hands in surrender.

“I am, too.”

You couldn’t tell to look at him. Then again, about all you could tell about Caiside looking at him as that he was beautiful.

And that he was not moving from her doorway. “Come on in,” she offered. “Grab a spoon, if you want. Do you even like girls?”

He blushed! He did even that beautifully. “Why do you ask?”

Nyla raked her eyes up and down Caiside‘s fashionable, pretty form. “Do you really not know?”

His blush darkened, and now, now he managed to step inside her threshold. “Yeah, I’ve heard it before. But I don’t think it matters who I ‘like’, does it? I still need to provide the same children everyone else does.”

Nyla resisted telling him that the way he talked did nothing to quiet thoughts about his interest in boys, girls, or possibly sheep. She stabbed the ice cream with her spoon instead. “Man, the one thing, one thing I could say about myself is that at least I wasn’t a teen mother.”

“Well… how old are you?” Caiside sank gracefully into Nyla’s arm chair.

“Sixteen. Why?”

“Well, if you waited until the very end, you could have a child at twenty – but that’s only one of them, of course. You’d have to stay an extra year, I suppose.”

“There’s also the matter of the rest of my life, you know? This place pays for college; it’s right in the letters. Only way I was ever going to get into a school like that. And then… bang. It’s like it was all some stupid joke.” She ate a mouthful of ice cream and passed it to Caiside.

He reached one ridiculously long arm into her silverware drawer and grabbed a spoon for himself. “On the upside, I suppose, there is the fae thing.”

“But they tell us that’s genetic. I mean, we would have been… oh. Oh, oh, fuck them.” Nyla put her face in her hands. “Oh, fuck them sideways.”

Caiside glanced at the open door. “Are you sure…?”

“What are they going to do?” Her voice was getting louder and she didn’t really care. “Lock me up in a prison until I produce genetic material for them? Oh, wait. They already did them. This is fucking eugenics, Cass. They want pretty fae babies, and they brought pretty fae kids to do it. And then – then what? I mean, maybe we won’t even have to worry about raising the kids, maybe they’ll keep them. Maybe they’re going to raise our kids in tubes or something. I mean, then I wouldn’t have to worry about anything except two pregnancies before I’m twenty and… and…” She caught a sob before it entirely escaped. “And being a prisoner,” she added, far more quietly.

“They say… didn’t they say that our parents enrolled us? That our parents knew where they were sending us? When they started teaching us magic, they said something like that.” Caiside‘s voice was still quiet, but Nyla thought she heard a storm beneath it.

“You can’t mean our parents…” Then again, Nyla’s parents had let her go to juvie without a second thought. “Shit. No help there, then. I mean, even if the mind control let us call them.”

“You sound as if you’re in some distress.” The melodic voice in the doorway made them both jump.

“Ah…” Casside was blushing. “Professor Kairos. Ah. I’m sorry…”

“There’s no need. You two are not the only ones distressed by the arrangements, you understand. Perhaps, if I could come in, I might be able to help you.”

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Teaser – Staff yell at Regine for Kuro_Neko

“We already have monitoring in place…”

“Clearly is it not enough!” It was a roar. It needed to be more. Caitrin dropped her voice to a very quiet, calm, analytic tone. “This cannot happen again.”

(to @Kuro_Neko’s commissioned request for the staff yelling at Regine.)

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