Tag Archive | writeme

Ideas for post-apoc crews/people wandering around in my brain

Outside Help – a crew that bounces from population base to population base, providing jack-of-all-trades outside help (they got their name from a challenge back in school where they provided, as you might guess, outside help).

Historian – a single woman (and perhaps a bodyguard Kept, later), moves a similar circuit, writing down people’s memories of history and, a la Foxfire, everything they can remember about their profession pre-apoc.

Square Miles – a crew decides to rehab a portion of the US in square mile portions, laid out with a grid of walls, one square mile a year (the goal being a 10×10 mile grid when they’re done).

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/898228.html. You can comment here or there.

Story Idea

Okay, so this is what came to me in the shower this morning:

A technomancer Addergoole grad in school for/just graduated from college for rocket science is faced with the apoc.

Using her college roommate’s concept drawings for an FTL ship and substituting magic where human tech isn’t there yet, and pulling in the skills of a diverse team of misfits, she puts together an escape ship to bring a smallish population (1000 or so) away from the mess that is Earth.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/851490.html. You can comment here or there.

New Novellette-Series Idea

Eight 20,000-word novelettes, following the 8 students starting a year of Doomsday.

One character has viewpoint for each novelette, and each one has its own plot. Nothing too dark, nothing too light – the first book stars 10-year-olds & it ain’t Addergoole, but on the other han, it’s post-apoc fae-apoc, not the nicest world.

Each novelette covers another year – so, Book One: “Joe,” First Year; Book Two, “Anne,” Second Year, etc.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/789002.html. You can comment here or there.

A Sea Change, a story of Addergoole Yr43 for @Rix_Scaedu

This is a continuation of Planning and
Microbit One, set in Year 43 of the Addergoole School, for [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s commission.

Regine had practice remaining calm in the face of volatile personalities. She had plenty of practice, in fact, with this particular volatile personality; she and Luca had been working together, alongside Michael, for centuries.

It did not, thus, particularly faze her when Luke glared at her with another wide flap of his wings, although she did note that he must be particularly upset, as he normally was more mindful of her paperwork.

“We are doing good here, Luca,” she repeated, “both for our students and for the world.”

“Tell that to the ones that we don’t catch in time.” It came out as a snarl; that was a little excessive even for Luca. Regine allowed her eyes to drift down to the papers for a brief moment. “No, wait, don’t. I don’t think I could stand to watch you preach that sanctimonious bullshit to someone who’s stuck in a bad Keeping.”

“Luca.” Regine coughed, an altogether unnecessary affectation, but, then, she was not a robot, no matter what some people would suggest. “When we started this project, you understood the difficulties, and you agreed with its necessity.” She pushed a pile of papers forward. “The statistics suggest that sixty-three percent of these students would not be alive if it were not for our school.”

“Try telling that to one of your children after they’ve been raped, why don’t you?” Luke’s snarl had gone to a growl. “Oh, wait.” He wasn’t flapping anymore. For some reason, Regine found that worrisome. “Your kids somehow never end up with that sort of problem.”

Ah.

“Luca, just because a child is of our bloodline is no reason to let ourselves become distractible. It is important to remain unbiased…”

FUCK unbiased!”

And yet, his wings did not flare. His feet were spread a little bit apart, his hands were easy at his sides, and his wings were staying folded against his back.

That, Regine realized, with something of chill in her heart, was battle stance. And despite the shout of his profanity, his voice was otherwise quiet: conserving energy.

She didn’t think he would continue, but once again, he surprised her.

“It isn’t our job to remain unbiased, Regine. It isn’t our job to treat these children as subjects, separated by their Changes and genealogy and nothing else. If we’d wanted to do that – if you’d wanted to do that – you shouldn’t have sold it as a school.”

He took a step forward. It took every ounce of Regine’s not-inconsiderable self-control to not back up. “But we did. And we have been selling it as a school for generations now. As such.” He rolled his shoulders and his head before continuing. “As such, Regine, it is our responsibility to treat these students as people.

“As Students.” He continued, with another step forward. “Not just because they are our children – because you made damn sure each and every one of us contributed to the project so that we’d stay emotionally invested, didn’t you?”

“Yes.” There was no shame in that.

“Yes.” His mimic sounded angry, for all of that. “Not just because these children are our family, Regine, but because we are their teachers and Mentors.”

His voice dropped into something low and smokey. Regine could not, for a moment, remember where she had heard it before.

“This is what we’re going to do, Regine.” He’d taken another step forward. If he had a weapon, he could be skewering her with it about now. “You are going to take Students. A full cy’ree, every year. Starting now; I’m sure we can rearrange things.”

Ah, yes. That’s where she’d heard the voice. Regine swallowed.

“Students.” She tried not to sound nervous; she failed. That was interesting.

“And you are going to teach a class. A full rotation class, every day. Don’t give me shit about your responsibilities, Regine; the world is over. There’s a lot fewer people to manipulate than there used to be.”

Regine nodded. “As you wish it.” The last time she’d heard Luke talk like that, people had died.

A large number of people.

“If you feel that will help.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/676168.html. You can comment here or there.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page one: a feral child comes to Addergoole.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page two: the slave markets, before and after the apoc. Um, this one is likely dark.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page three: the kids in cohorts 14-17: they come into school with the world in varying stages of okay and normal, and come out with the world a disaster.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page four: the human, American government during and after the apoc. A kid raised with that government.

Edit:
Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page five: What if there’s, like there’s the American gvm’t over there, handwave, a small nation of fae-only? What if an Ag grad takes her kids there?

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/674118.html. You can comment here or there.

February is World Building Month. Day 14: Space Accountant

[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 fourteenth question comes from [personal profile] moonwolf and is for Space Accountant ‘verse.

What do the pirates actually pirate?


The pirates’ primary and first trade is people, at least this particular ship (or possibly a small fleet, but I think it’s one independent ship). Space cruises are notoriously easy to board, because they are built for beauty and smooth sailing, not for security. Once on ship, more than fifty percent of the time, the pirates manage to take a few people without ever being noticed, slip back to their ship, get out of dodge, and then demand ransom.

About seventy-five percent of the time ransom is paid; the rest of the time, they train and sell their captives on the extensive black market, or employ them as cheap labor (as discussed in one of Genique’s first stories).

As a side effect of hitting primarily luxury cruises, the pirates do a brisk trade in fine gems and fakes thereof, often pried from jewelry pieces, drugs, both legal and not, and fancy clothing, often cut down or otherwise altered from those things confiscated from prisoners.

When, as it occasionally does, the atmosphere in space gets a little to hot to handle around the cruise ships (after, say, they accidentally kidnap someone who is a little too famous, or accidentally steal a president’s narcotics), the pirates “winter” on trade routes, picking off luxury shipments or, sometimes, even other pirates, liberating slaves from other traders only to turn around and resell them to different markets.

In short, Genique’s new employers make a lot of money skimming off of people who have lots and lots of money.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/670533.html. You can comment here or there.

February is World Building Month. Day Ten: Aunt Family

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

Every day in February (or most days), I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

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

The tenth question comes from Kelkyag and is for The Aunt Family

Ruan seems to be in a different genre from the rest of the family, with scientific chemical/alchemical experimentation and enchanted mechanisms (as well as trapped spirits and whatnot else). What changed? (Or have we just not seen more recent Aunts at that sort of work?)


Good question!

Ruan was certainly more scientific-minded than many of her relatives, even in the era in which she lived.

Aunts tend to fall into two camps (truly, it’s more nuanced than that, but this is the short version): Those that accept the power, often those just considered a placeholder until a stronger Aunt can come along, and those that stretch the power to its limit.

However, the Aunts do not live in a vacuum, and what they do – and how they do it – is heavily influenced by the rest of their family, especially their mother, their grandmother, their predecessor, and their successors. So an Aunt who lives in a repressive family is either going to end up quiet and unassuming, not pushing the magic far at all, or, like Zenobia, end up pushing everything as far as she can in hopes of finding new limits and then breaking those.

It is likely that, given a little more time, Evangaline is likely to start exploring the limits of the family power, reading into old notes, and learning what others before her have done before.

(As a side note: Ruan had huge impetus, in what her non-Aunt-aunt had left her; she had to figure out what to do with all those ghosts. So far, nothing quite that big has spurred Eva).

Short answer: the scientific urge runs in the family, but in some cases it is far stronger than others.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/666998.html. You can comment here or there.

Stranded in Winter, a story of Stranded World (ha) for the Giraffe Call

This is to [personal profile] moonwolf‘s prompt here to my February Giraffe Call, with a side order of [personal profile] librarygeek‘s prompt here

Warning: cliffhanger.

Autumn (and Winter, et al) are from Stranded World.


Winter – the season, not her brother – left Autumn stuck in one place, this year not just in a single town, the way she often spent the colder times, but stuck in the town’s tiny inn, the snow actually pressing the doors shut.

She’d spent the first day sitting in the tavern down stairs, drawing, playing online when the spotty wi-fi was working, and working on her very messy accounting. The second day she’d spent half hiding in her room, and the other half helping the also-stuck cook-and-owner clean the kitchen top to bottom. The third day, when it was clear that the snow really wasn’t going to let up, they’d both crawled out a second-story window, jumped off the porch, and started shoveling their way down to the ground.

When they’d gotten the door clear and most of the inn’s sidewalk, and after they’d taken a break for cider and cheese, they dug across the street to the Library. The Librarian, eighty years old if she was a day, had been subsisting on biscuits and tea. She was so grateful for the rescue that she let Autumn check out whatever she wanted, on the theory that it wasn’t going to go anywhere anyway.

The inn-cook, no older than Autumn, had said, over and over again, that this was the worst winter he could remember. When the Librarian said it, too, it pricked Autumn’s curiosity.

She read ancient newspapers while munching on onions rings and chicken wings, helped the inn-cook shovel to the grocery and then to the grocer’s house, read until she fell asleep, and read over breakfast. When she and the inn-cook had re-cleared paths that had gotten a foot of snow overnight, she headed up to the highest place she could reach – the Library’s cupola – and started looking. Looking.

She drew the patterns she wanted on her arms: the weather, which was generally mild, with inches, not feet, falling at once. The people, who were generally stoic and tended not to leave town much (except Autumn, and others like her, who came and went with the seasons). The anomaly, snow past her hips and still falling.

And when she was done, her arms and chest bare to the frigid air and covered in snowflake patterns, she opened her sight to the Strands.

And fell down, nearly blinded. “Oh.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/663858.html. You can comment here or there.

Stranded in Winter

This is to [personal profile] moonwolf‘s prompt here to my February Giraffe Call, with a side order of [personal profile] librarygeek‘s prompt here

Warning: cliffhanger.

Autumn (and Winter, et al) are from Stranded World.


Winter – the season, not her brother – left Autumn stuck in one place, this year not just in a single town, the way she often spent the colder times, but stuck in the town’s tiny inn, the snow actually pressing the doors shut.

She’d spent the first day sitting in the tavern down stairs, drawing, playing online when the spotty wi-fi was working, and working on her very messy accounting. The second day she’d spent half hiding in her room, and the other half helping the also-stuck cook-and-owner clean the kitchen top to bottom. The third day, when it was clear that the snow really wasn’t going to let up, they’d both crawled out a second-story window, jumped off the porch, and started shoveling their way down to the ground.

When they’d gotten the door clear and most of the inn’s sidewalk, and after they’d taken a break for cider and cheese, they dug across the street to the Library. The Librarian, eighty years old if she was a day, had been subsisting on biscuits and tea. She was so grateful for the rescue that she let Autumn check out whatever she wanted, on the theory that it wasn’t going to go anywhere anyway.

The inn-cook, no older than Autumn, had said, over and over again, that this was the worst winter he could remember. When the Librarian said it, too, it pricked Autumn’s curiosity.

She read ancient newspapers while munching on onions rings and chicken wings, helped the inn-cook shovel to the grocery and then to the grocer’s house, read until she fell asleep, and read over breakfast. When she and the inn-cook had re-cleared paths that had gotten a foot of snow overnight, she headed up to the highest place she could reach – the Library’s cupola – and started looking. Looking.

She drew the patterns she wanted on her arms: the weather, which was generally mild, with inches, not feet, falling at once. The people, who were generally stoic and tended not to leave town much (except Autumn, and others like her, who came and went with the seasons). The anomaly, snow past her hips and still falling.

And when she was done, her arms and chest bare to the frigid air and covered in snowflake patterns, she opened her sight to the Strands.

And fell down, nearly blinded. “Oh.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/663858.html. You can comment here or there.

Monster, a story of Fae Apoc for the Giraffe Call

This was written to To rix_scaedu‘s prompt.

Fae Apoc has a landing page here

The town of Jefferson had survived the Disaster and the subsequent fall of most of civilization more intact than it had any right to expect.

It wasn’t the only place to survive, of course – people who thought ahead generally did fine, places that were far from cities did better. But Jefferson was a whole town where the power still ran, the water and sewers still worked, and people lived relatively normal lives, if in a tighter scope than before.

And all they had had to do is swear allegiance to the man on the hill.

For nearly fifty years, the man on the hill had kept Jefferson safe from everything from dysentery to rampaging dinosaurs. He’d imported doctors, and then people so inclined to learn how to be the next generation of doctors. He’d made sure there were farmers enough to farm the land, and fuel enough to make the tractors run. He made sure the power ran, and the water flowed.

He was a fae, of course, one of the monsters who had ruled the world. And, deep inside their hearts, the people of Jefferson hated him a little bit.

The man on the hill didn’t mind. He didn’t need them to love him. He needed them to stay there, to grow and prosper, and, when they needed him, to obey him. It wasn’t a bad arrangement.

It worked fine, for the most part, until someone else found out about it.

The problem with fae overlords, you see, is that they can be challenged. And sometimes, if they have grown lazy and complacent in four and a half decades of ruling over humans… they can lose those challenges.

In a day, the lives of the humans in Jefferson changed.

They had a new overlord. This one did not pretend to be human; he tromped about the city with his clawed feet and his overhanging tusks. He booked no argument nor disagreement. After the first two to offer him such died quickly and painfully, the village chose to give him neither.

When he demanded tribute, they gave it to him. He still kept the water coming, and the power. He still made the food grow, and the animals healthy. He still killed the rampaging monsters.

It was better than dying, they told themselves.

When he demanded they serve in his castle an hour a week, every one of them old enough to walk, they did as he demanded. He still brought in qualified people from out in the world. He still staffed the school. It was, they told themselves, better than the alternative.

When he demanded fresh boys and girls for his bed, they were too far in, too far gone, to put up more than a token resistance. Memories of their old champion were far and few between. This new master had taught them too well not to fight. He probably wouldn’t be too bad to them, they told themselves. It was probably better than death.

Even if some of them were never seen again.

When the girl Aniza was sent to the overlord’s bed, she was too young to remember life under their previous lord, life before they had given everything up. Still, she fought. Her brother had gone to the monster on the hill, and never come home. Her best friend had gone, and come home pregnant and un-speaking.

The monster on the hill laughed at her, fighting her father, her uncle, the men and women down the street. “The time for that was before you were born, little sheepling.”

She spat in his face. He laughed even more, and bound her with chains. “It’s not your fault your family are sheep. But you are a sheep nonetheless.”

“Goat.” Her retort was short and snappish; the monster kept laughing.

“You’ll be fun, while you last.” He carried her over his shoulder, into his lair.

“I’ll outlast you.”

“You know, most people in your village have the sense not to talk back to me.”

“You kill everyone who tries.”

“Not everyone. Just enough to make the point.”

He took her into her lair, deep within what had been the man on the hill’s house, and chained her between the pile of blankets and furs he used as a bed and the still-functioning bathroom.

He brought her food. She threw it at him. He slapped her, hard enough to leave a mark, and left her with the remains of her meal.

He brought her food again the next day, and she threw it at him again. Again, he slapped her, and again, he left her with the remains of the meal.

By the third day, he was bringing her food that did not leave a mess when thrown. And he noticed, when he took away the last day’s food, that she was eating some small amount.

Still, when he repeated the ritual with her on the fifth day, he lingered to speak. “You need to eat.”

“You’re going to kill me anyway. Why does it matter if I starve?”

He sat down, at that, and looked at her. Her face was puffy with healing bruises, but she was still glaring at him. Although she could reach the shower, she had not cleaned herself up. She looked as if she was already on her way to dying.

“And if I was not going to kill you?”

“Then worse than death. I saw what Bev looked like when you were done with her.”

“Bev.” He did not often remember names. He remembered that one.

“Blonde girl. Blue eyes. Pregnant.”

“I remember her.” He had not known she was pregnant. “I never hit her.” He hadn’t needed to.

She didn’t believe him. He could tell. So he left her alone for the day. He had enough to do, running his village. Making sure they did not come to harm.

They hated him, of course, far more honestly than they had hated his predecessor . It made it easier to keep them safe.

He brought her, the next day, one of his favorite meals. This time, he grabbed her wrists before she could throw it. “Don’t.”

“I don’t want your food.”

“Then I’ll put it down.” He did so, just out of the reach of her chain. “You hate me.”

“You took everything from us.”

“I’m just more honest about it than he was.” He took her wrists again; she was too weak to struggle much, but she still tried. “He snuck in in the night and sired babies.”

“You rape what you want from us.”

“I’m a monster.” He said it mildly, simply. He had been a monster for a very long time.

“And you’re okay with being a monster?” She jerked against his grip. Her breathing was getting heavy and irregular.

“I accept it.” He stood, bringing her up with him, and lifted her into his arms. She froze, bird-panicked, and then began squirming, trying to get away. He stopped her easily. “You need to take care of yourself. You need to bathe.”

“My clothes stink. What’s the point in washing if I have to put on filthy clothes.”

“I’ll bring you clean clothes.”

“You could let me go.” For the first time, her voice sounded small. He looked down at her, and shook his head.

“No.” The price had to be paid.

“You could kill me.”

“No.”

“Put me down!” She had little fire left, and she was burning it all up. “Put me down, I’ll wash myself.”

“Too late.” He drew a bath, holding her pinned to the floor with no effort at all, ignoring her bites and slaps and kicks. He slid her into the tub, ignoring her swearing and her spitting. And he washed her.

When she was clean, she lay there listlessly, staring at him. “So I’m clean. Now what?”

“Now, you eat. And you wash yourself from now on.”

He brought her robes, things he demanded from the villagers. She wore them, rather than be naked. She bathed herself, rather than, he assumed, allowing him to touch her again. But still, she was barely eating. She grew thinner and thinner.

“If you do not eat,” he said, on her thirty-seventh day here, “I will feed you like I bathed you.”

“I’ll puke it up.”

“I’ll seal your mouth so you can’t.”

“Kill me or let me die already.”

“I won’t do that.”

“You killed others! You killed my uncle! You killed my brother!”

“Your uncle. Yes. He attacked me. Your brother…” He shook his head. “That’s a story for another day.”

She flew at him, hitting him with surprising ferocity. He had to struggle to contain her and, when he succeeded, both of them bruised and bleeding, she was sitting on his lap, her arms held crossed against her chest.

“You killed my brother.” She was sobbing. She hadn’t shown him her tears before that.

“Eat, and I will tell you the story.” He released her. The fight had gone out of her.

She reached for her rice, and began picking at it. And he told her the story of her brother, who had flowered under the stress of his captivity. Who had Changed into a monster, like him.

“I don’t believe you.”

“Who fathered your brother?”

She didn’t answer. Everyone in the village knew the truth. The man on the hill had taken his due.

“Tomorrow, I will tell you more, when you eat.”

“You should kill me instead.”

But when he brought her food the next day, she listened.

“You’re still a monster,” she informed him, when he told her how he’d sworn her brother to service and sent him out into the world.

“Of course I am. I’m always a monster.”

“If not my brother, then what about the others?”

“There have been a lot of others. I’ve been here for quite a few years.”

“Tell me about one of them. And I’ll eat.”

“If I tell you about one, I want you to brush your hair, too.”

“… all right.”

He told her stories, and she ate. He embellished the stories to make her smile, and she brushed her hair.

He brought her a dress from a town far away, and she wore it. In return, he told her a story of the first woman he’d taken.

When he returned from business to find her waiting, hair brushed, clothed, her area tidy, he did not know what to think. “Tell me a story.” Her fire was back. “Tell me a story of something good you’ve done.”

“I cannot. I’m a monster.”

“But you care for our village. Why?”

So he told her the story of his brother, who had taken over a village out of guilt. His brother, the good man, the fae who had always protected humans. He told her how he’d watched his brother become a monster under the skin. How the village hated him, and how it ate at him.

When he was done with that story, he found that she was crying. “You’re still a monster.” She didn’t sound as certain as she had before.

“I’m still a monster.” To prove it to her, he grabbed her, and held her in her arms, while she sobbed on his shoulder. He didn’t know why she was crying. He assumed it was because he was a monster.

He had not the magic to read her mind, or he would have known that, in a sense, he was right.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/478648.html. You can comment here or there.