Cross Post: Triptych pilot [incomplete] (2016-08-22)

A/N: So a few years ago, Triptych: Origins was going to be my debut for NaNoWriMo. I had it all outlined and meticulously world built and everything was so exciting all through October. The November 1st hit and I wrote nothing. I choked, I wrote nothing for all of November and utterly failed my first NaNoWriMo.

That’s actually what prompted me to make this blog. I figured I had built it up too high in my head–tried to bite off more than I could chew–but posting something each day no matter how small, well, I could do that.

Anyway, Triptych originally was Star Trek fanfiction which I repurposed into original fiction after writing only this tiny incomplete bit.

original here. dated 2013-08-07.

~

Oddly enough, zie has more qualifications to lead a team than they do. It’s not that zie’s dumb, is the thing, it’s just that they’re so bloody competent that in comparison hir position as team leader seems superfluous at best. It helps that zie’s the only one of the three to have graduated Command track, though zie diversified enough that zie’s authorized to wear the Science blues and Operations reds as well.

All students are highly encouraged to diversify, just another change in the Academy post-Nero so that personnel can be rearranged depending on the situation (and casualties). Edmundo is technically listed as a Science officer, astrophysics in particular, though he is also in Operations as an engineering physicist; the administrators tend to use him in either division interchangeably so he’ll often be the only blue shirt in a room of red. Br’Joci, in comparison, is inarguably an Operations officer–dual specialties, Communications and Security–who decided to also take the psychology track and happened to complete enough courses to wear Science blues if she wanted (she doesn’t).

The first introductory psychology class was actually where zie met Br’Joci, and where hir own Science track qualifications come from (hir Operations specialty is tactics, which zie was surprisingly good at factoring the striclty passive culture zie was raised in). Edmundo, zie met after they had all graduated and been assigned to the Enterprise, him as a dual-division idiot who kept inventing (and exploding) unapproved weapons for the hell of it and hir as the unfortunate yeoman tasked with figuring out whom the subsequent report would go to and how best to phrase it to appease their superior officers.

Luckily for them both, the Enterprise is populated with similarly destructive genii so neither Commander Spock nor Chief Engineer Scott particularly mind. And though Br’Joci’s fascination with weaponry quickly bound the three of them together in some kind of violent, sarcastic brotherhood, the number of incidents (and reports) resulting in damage to someone or something only increased. While they aren’t quite at the chaos level to register on Doctor McCoy’s (frightening) radar, Nurse Chapel’s glare whenever one of them (unfairly, typically hir) lands in med-bay is intimidating enough.

Considering such an incident happened just last week, zie’s rather confused by why they’ve been chosen for an away mission that zie’s pretty sure is definitely above hir ability to lead.

Cross Post: Ode to 11010201, Prior Claim [incomplete] (2016-08-21)

A/N: Next couple of days will be incomplete posts set in my Ode To 11010201 series. Most of these were written back when the series was suuuper thinly veiled Teen Wolf fanfiction. Like the characters are so recognizable even though I’ve changed their names and swapped some roles around.

This one, in particular, is VERY obvious.

original here. dated 2013-05-22.

~

Though the unexpected magical ability was entirely odd, it was just another thing that she felt supplemented their burgeoning familial relationship. She was as clueless to their shared powers as he was, but it seemed to rid both of them of any lingering doubts. They were family now. Magical family, apparently, but still family. It explained some of their first encounter at any rate, his insistence that windchimes and a dropped length of rope would stop someone now seemed perfectly valid when magic could conceivably make those seemingly innocuous items a formidable defense. Though she hadn’t considered to ponder on who he was trying to keep out. Or what.

In her brief time with him, she had learned a little of his life. Knew that he wasn’t exactly popular by any means, but had a loyal best friend and long lasting crush on a girl and a dislike for someone who he wouldn’t name but referred to often enough in conversations and a penchant for trouble. It was the last that made her wonder about the rest. Because even though they had been getting along, there were just some things–some secrets–that couldn’t be brought up randomly even to a suddenly appearing family member.

It was during one of her solitary explorations of the town–Zim had bowed out of more familial bonding with an apologetic but desperate expression; she figured that space probably was needed on both ends and had reassured him that she didn’t feel slighted in the least–that she stumbled upon a group of people she really wouldn’t have thought were involved with her nephew until she picked up on their angry, loud, and unsubtle dialogue. Or rather, she stumbled into them.

Yes, just play it off as if she had tripped just to catch their attention. Not that she was just bad at basic coordination. The tear in her cardigan and bleeding elbow was definitely on purpose.

“How do you know Zim?” She asked, after her embarrassment and brief introductions.

“Bring her with you. Your chances of fixing your mistakes will increase,” The woman–a doctor from the looks of the white coat and the automatic offering of wet-wipe and bandage–gave a familiar, patronizing pat to the older boy’s–Tarek’s–head before walking away. From his expression, he was displeased at the world in general and at the dismissal in particular, but ultimately resigned. The younger boy–Kevin, same as Zim’s best friend– had wide eyes made even wider by concern, and looked less sure. About seemingly everything, in her opinion. Though from what her nephew told her, that may just be his default.

“Where are we going?”

“The forest. There’s an… issue… with Zim.” Kevin unhelpfully didn’t explain, kept looking at Tarek for some kind of cue, hesitant and waiting.

She wouldn’t have picked it out as a clearing by sight–being an urban dweller for the majority of her life left her severely unequipped with forest-related terms–but she felt something the closer they got to it. Sharply cold, yet fuzzy and heavy in her lungs. Kevin went straight for the girl shockingly armed with a short sword of some type–who somehow mystifyingly still looked friendly and approachable despite it–while Tarek stopped enough that she stepped up to his side, no longer needing to follow.

“Where’s Kaiza?” His sister, with similar hair and eye color and penchant for leather jackets, glared at him perplexed.

“She said to bring her,”

“What’s happening? Where’s Zim?”

The group of faeries revealed themselves, the light going hazy for a bit, four of them with a dazed looking Zim in the middle.

“Is this your negotiator or have you brought us another pet?”

“This is… R… she’s here to take him back.”

“Oh and how will you do that, Miss R? What do you have that they do not?”

What did she know about faeries? What did anyone know about faeries? This was so out of the realm of her knowledge it wasn’t even funny. What did she have that three werewolves–and she and Zim were going to talk about this, though she’s not at all surprised they exist considering… magic–and one extremely well-armed warrior didn’t? She has magic. No, Zim has magic too and more experience with it besides, that’s not it. Wait… yes… there is something specific that she has that the others don’t. Something that has nothing to do with ability, something that… then it hit her as she looked at the others around her: Laila and Tarek were siblings. Kevin was part of their pack. Kevin and Madison were dating.

“I have prior claim. He’s mine, you can’t take him.”

“Prove it.”

“He… he is blood of my blood.”

Their silence implied it was not enough. And, that made sense. She wasn’t his closest relative, he wasn’t hers necessarily.

“I… he… he was named after me! His mother named him after me!”

“His name is Zim-”

“His true name and my true name. Two of my names were given to him by his mother, that is more than anyone else even his father. So he is mine.”

Cross Post: Ode to 11010201, Familiar and Flight [incomplete] (2016-08-20)

A/N: Next couple of days will be incomplete posts set in my Ode To 11010201 series. Most of these were written back when the series was suuuper thinly veiled Teen Wolf fanfiction. Like the characters are so recognizable even though I’ve changed their names and swapped some roles around.

original here. dated 2013-01-12.

~

They have other people in their lives–mutual, if still separate, family; his pack, her coven–but they developed a somewhat unhealthy dependency on each other. Despite the fact she’s already returned home (back to where her apartment is) and his school has started up again, they keep in contact and continue to practice magic with each other. With Dr Kaiza being extremely unhelpful and unnecessarily vague as usual, most of what they “practice” is improving what they’ve already done and testing what ideas from science fiction and fantasy novels are possible. There’s a googledoc list they both have access to, which changes whenever one of them comes up with something new to try or has to record a successful or unsuccessful attempt. 

Unsurprisingly, there are more failures than not.

They’re supposed to be working on the simpler, less dangerous things due to the distance. But she honestly didn’t think this one would do anything, so she gave it a half-hearted shot. Now there’s a leopard in her bedroom. Specifically, on her bed.

She had practically flung herself to the corner of her room in an act of self-preservation. Somewhat dumb self-preservation because it had been away from the door and windows, and now there’s a leopard between her and the escape routes. She doesn’t know what to do. So far, it’s just been staring at her, but that doesn’t mean it won’t attack at some point. She stays as still as possible, because that’s worked for the past five minutes and she doesn’t want to push her luck. And anyway, she doesn’t have access to a near enough water source or an effectively threatening plant form. While she has been working on wind based moves, it’s her third element for a reason and she can barely summon a mild breeze to set off her wind chime much less a gust strong enough to knock over a full grown leopard.

It’s tail swishes back and forth menacingly, hypnotically. Maybe it’s waiting until she passes out from fear or exhaustion before attacking. One giant paw creeps toward her. Or maybe not. It begins to step off the bed when …

This was not his original intent. It wasn’t quite an accident, but he didn’t begin with this in mind. That happened later.

He had meant to work through some of the more harmless spells from the Harry Potter series–helpful, nothing too dangerous. But there were only so many cover stories he could tell about why all the locks were melted before logic demanded he give up on Alohomora. Though that didn’t stop him from deliberately melting the lock to Mrs Jerry’s classroom, conveniently postponing the physics exam until tomorrow since no one could actually get to them.

Cross Post: Ode to 11010201, Training Wheels [incomplete] (2016-08-19)

A/N: Next couple of days will be incomplete posts set in my Ode To 11010201 series. Most of these were written back when the series was suuuper thinly veiled Teen Wolf fanfiction. Like the characters are so recognizable even though I’ve changed their names and swapped some roles around.

Although, to be honest, Doctor Kaiza was one of my earliest original characters and has always been my frustratingly vague supernatural font of knowledge.

original here. dated 2013-01-12.

~

“Salt?”

“Yes. Your observational skill are unparalleled, have you considered a career as a detective?”

“Well that’s just rude. And what do you expect me to do with it? I’m trying to live a low-sodium lifestyle, get a head start you know?”

“What he means is, why are you giving us salt?” She cut in, glancing at the small pile in her hand. The individual grains are already sticking to her damp palms uncomfortably, but she didn’t want to just upend them onto the work table. That’d be messy, and surely Dr. Kaiza had a reason.

“You asked for a way to use your abilities in close quarters”

“I don’t know why you think I’d know more about your ability than you do. I’m a doctor. Yes, I’m the leading metahuman doctor, but that’s because I’ve built up decades of experience in trial and error. It’s still trial and error. Most of my patients are entirely new generations of metahumans. Your abilities… well, most magic-users’ abilities are from bloodlines. And not necessarily genetics. There’s a family that have magic because an ancestor signed a contract with a demon, they themselves don’t have any genetic predisposition towards magic. It may help if you looked into your family history, obviously it’s not from the Szymanski line, so it must be from the Michalis.”

“Or the Chacone.”

“What?”

“My mother is Michalis, my father is Chacone. Iris must have dropped Chacone when she married John… though, I don’t really understand why considering… well. How that ended up.”

“Riveting.”

“Sorry,”

Cross Post: Ode To 11010201, Chapter Two [incomplete] (2016-08-18)

A/N: Next couple of days will be incomplete posts set in my Ode To 11010201 series. Most of these were written back when the series was suuuper thinly veiled Teen Wolf fanfiction. Like the characters are so recognizable even though I’ve changed their names and swapped some roles around.

original here. dated 2012-11-09.

~

She doesn’t realize several hours have passed until Zim’s father, the stranger that is her brother-in-law, returns home. It’s late, almost one in the morning. He doesn’t notice she’s there immediately–the house is mostly dark except for the muted glow of a single lamp and the television screen. She gasps, jolted out of her doze at the sound of the door shutting. That alerts him to her presence. She’s frozen in indecisive surprise, staring. He stares back, but moves quickly, flicking the light switch on. She flinches away, blinded, but stays seated. She doesn’t have much choice.

Zim is asleep, lanky limbs stretched out over both the couch and her; his calves resting in her lap as they share a blanket. They had relocated to the living room a while ago, using movies as a preemptive buffer, but the volume had been turned low not long after. Though they had kept to light topics–likes and dislikes, silly hypothetical questions, hilarious high school anecdotes–there was a connection, thriving and earnest, made. Both were eager to share and listen, conversation overlapping out of excitement, laughter cheerfully mutual, silences brief and comfortable. That is not the case now.

Blinking the spots away, her vision clears in time to show her a wary middle-aged man, jacket over what looks like pajamas? No, scrubs. He has a baseball bat in hand, cautiously at the ready. She inhales shakily, swallows the sudden lump in her throat. He seems calm, having come around the sofa and spotting the unharmed state of his son, but still–she can imagine the damage even one swing could do.

“Who are you and what are you doing in my house?” His voice is determined and authoritative but it’s… off. This is the first time they’re speaking, but it seems as if something is lacking. He’s tired. Physically, obviously, considering the late hour. She would even tentatively guess emotionally, too, from his posture and his face. And his actions, because she’s pretty sure it’s not standard procedure to draw a weapon on someone even if they are a stranger in your home. That speaks of paranoia, extremely prepared paranoia.

Zim stirs, humming and twitching, before she can answer. He’s amazingly nonchalant considering the situation, rubbing at his eyes and sluggishly moving to a more vertical position. He ends up going too far that he’s leaning against her, pressed shoulder to shoulder. It’s notably trusting. It convinces his father to put the bat away, hidden in the umbrella stand by the door. All the while he’s murmuring, “Hey, Dad. This is Mom’s sister R, she got my letter and came earlier today to visit. We stayed in. Had sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner, she likes pineapple, mushroom, and black olives, too; see, it’s not weird. I forgot to wash the SUV, but I finished laundry before she arrived so I did pretty well, I think.”

The look her brother-in-law gives Zim is simultaneously relieved and exasperated. The look he gives her is strikingly blank.

“Sorry,” she blurts out reflexively, “sorry, this was completely out of the blue. I can go, it’s late, you must be exhausted; sorry,” She nudges Zim a little, he grumbles but sits up on his own, before standing. Brushing imaginary dust and not-quite-imaginary crumbs off of herself so her hands have something to do. She should probably apologize for that as well.

“Yeah,”

“Dad!”

“No, that’s not what I meant,” Zim’s father–ugh, she’s terrible, she really should know what her brother-in-law’s first name is–holds a hand out to stop her exit. She freezes because, she’s not sure if he knows it, but that was the hand the baseball bat was in. Also, she’s sleepy enough that she doesn’t actually want to go outside. “I meant, yeah, I’m exhausted. But you don’t have to go. Like you said, it’s late, and I wouldn’t feel to good about you driving back to the inn now.”

“Oh, no, I walked,” If she were more aware, she’d probably slap herself on the forehead. Then again, if she were more aware she probably wouldn’t have said; that really was not the point she was meant to pick up on.

“In that case, you have to stay tonight!” Zim hops to his feet, somehow both sleepy and enthusiastic, “We’ve got a guest bedroom upstairs; well, we use it more as a storage room office sort of thing, but there’s a bed and I’ve just changed the sheets. I can lend you some clothes to sleep in, too.”

His father looks less keen on her presence; there’s no outright protesting, but she can tell. Zim’s tugging gently at the cuff of her cardigan, though, intent to guide her to the guest room; but… “Is this okay?” She’s turned toward him still, hasn’t looked away. She wonders what kind of expressions are dancing across Zim’s face at this halting, hesitating exchange.

“… Yeah,” It’s a conflicted permission; he doesn’t trust her, but he really wants to sleep, “We’ll have breakfast, late breakfast, in the morning. Later in the morning.” It is not a request.

“I’ll make waffles,” They’re making their way upstairs now, Zim guiding her to the guest bedroom–third door on the right of the hallway.

“If you don’t mind me using them, I can make cinnamon apple topping,” She offers, because her culinary skill set is limited to eggs, apples, and experiments often ending in disaster.

“That sounds awesome,” he flashes an easy grin then turns to his father, “Dad, you go ahead and sleep. I’ve got it, we’ll see you in the morning. Proper morning, when the sun’s up, even.”

“If you’re sure,” He hedges, but already heads toward the opposite end of the hallway, presumably where the master bedroom is. “G’night.” His door shuts with a soft click.

Their own sleepiness returns with a vengeance. After Zim grabs her some clothes–they’re comfortable but slightly too large, unsurprising, considering he’s is half a foot taller than her–they both settle down to sleep. Her temporary room is filled with boxes. She’s curious but decides not to snoop around; partially out of manners, partially out of exhaustion.

Maybe in the morning.

She’s already made a start on making breakfast, because she’s still sort of on east coast time but also her nerves have come back with a vengeance, leaving her with far too much energy to not want to do something productive. As it is, she’s been peeling and chopping some of the apples; there’s a huge bowl full of them but she’s only using six. It’s soothing, giving her hands something to do while her brain decompresses.

She didn’t actually snoop through the boxes in her temporary bedroom, but she explored the first floor of the house. From what she’s seen, it’s nice. There are hardly any doors, it’s all open archways that connect living room and kitchen and dining room into one giant space. She spotted a few things she could see that spoke of Iris, but not as many as she was expecting. It’s probably because there are two men in this house, she figures, a stark contrast to the five woman household of their adolescence.

It makes her wonder what to tell Mama, Daphne, and Zoe. If she should even say anything at all. A part of her feels guilty, since she put such a big emphasis on family yesterday. But then again, Zim was the one that wrote specifically to her, so it would be best to let him go at his own pace. Also, it makes her feel vindicated, in a sense. Smug, almost. That she’s the one he reached out to first.

(during breakfast, introductions)

“… Mr. Szymanski?”

“John. You’re Iris’ sister, you should call me John,” He offers his hand, “Is it–”

“Just call me R,” she interrupts. For the best, really.

(THE REVEAL)

Oh. That. That explains a lot. And yet. It hits her out of nowhere. She can’t. She hadn’t been expecting this. Something else. Iris is dead.

“Oh my god. I thought she-” Iris is dead. Her face is getting warm, at the top of her cheeks and around her eyes. She wants to cry. She want to hide her face. She wants muffle any sound that might come out of her mouth. She does not do the first but, ducking her head down and biting her knuckles, she does the other two.

The Queen’s Guard [incomplete], (2016-07-15)

Here’s the thing about being a member of the Hokage’s Guard: you are no longer a shinobi.

Or, rather, you are no longer just a shinobi.

It’s different than being ANBU, a little less, a little more. You are still yourself, but yourself has changed. Rather than getting hidden behind masks and callsigns, the Hokage’s Guard are faces and names that are out in the open yet overshadowed by their charge.

The Hokage’s Guard are chosen for a specific reason, because the Hokage’s Guard will never be more than that. They are the ones who survive, but don’t thrive. They are the ones who are steady and reliable, but not flashy or impossible.

They are bodyguards to someone stronger than themselves and that means they were never meant for legends. Only footnotes if they get written in at all.

It’s not a bad role to have, necessarily. Not the most glamorous, but not all shinobi are made for that kind of life. And there is honor in being the Hokage’s last line of defense.

So long as your Hokage doesn’t die before you, that is.

This generation has a lot riding on them; a lot of expectations to live up to, a lot of sins and debt just waiting in the wings.

It’s not their fault, but that’s just how life is.

“We can’t do it,” Raido says, scarred face made grimmer with a furrowed brow. Beside him, Genma’s mouth is a flat line around his senbon. Iwashi, too, is a silent show of long-seated wounds.

It’s not often that shinobi–regular, non-elite jounin shinobi, that is–will refuse the Hokage. But this is a special case, and it helps that the Sandaime is only asking, not ordering.

Hiruzen sighs, less out of frustration and more out of grief.

“It wasn’t your fault, any of you,” he says, though it’s something he’s repeated many times before, “You did what you could–”

“Not everything,” Iwashi murmurs, interrupting just like usual–another thing that these three are given leeway with, “we’re still alive.”

Hiruzen sighs once more.

“Gai would be a good choice,” Genma suggests, sidestepping the drama and getting to the heart of the matter. A quality that makes–made–him a good choice for the Hokage’s Guard, “He’ll teach them well. They won’t–” fail, he doesn’t say; reconsiders, says instead, “–I trust him.”

The other two members of the disbanded Yondaime’s Guard nod in agreement, before they all leave at Hiruzen’s dismissal.

He has done poorly by those three, blinded by his own mourning and the sudden reclaiming of a burden he’d thought passed on for good.

But the next Hokage’s Guard will be better–better trained, better treated, better prepared–they will be slated for this duty from the beginning of their shinobi careers and they will know, each step of the way, what kind of person their Hokage is.

Hiruzen isn’t sure who exactly their Hokage will be quite yet–though he has hopes for one in particular–but he knows it will be someone in next year’s graduating class.

For now, he’ll do his best to make the team from this year’s graduating class an unstoppable Hokage’s Guard.

The Godaime is still a little uncomfortable in her new position.

But that’s okay, so are her Guards.

After all, while the Sandaime might have prepared for this eventuality, he didn’t plan for this exact scenario. Or for it to happen so soon; the Hokage and her Guards all barely teenagers.

But maybe it’s better this way, for the Guards to grow around their Hokage. To watch her become the legend, to walk with her every step of the way. To know their Hokage not as a hero, but as a peer and a friend.

A precious person to protect.

~

A/N: ugh, writing is hard now (now the question is, is it writer’s block or is it the concussion? OR IS IT BOTH?)

I had some Hokage’s Guard feels because of the amazing Genma centric series The Life And Times of a Shinobi Den Mother which is a lot less cracky and a lot more feels and tears inducing than the title sounds, though I didn’t get to do a whole Yondaime Guard passing on the torch to Team Gai thing because I got a headache and had to stop.

But basically I was thinking, since in The Queen’s Council basically everyone of the Rookie Nine is going to be represented because they are clan heads, then what is Team Gai going to be. And then, well… yeah.

I think I might come back to this and add some more before posting it onto ao3. But since it’s already past midnight and my head hurts have this for now.