Triptych: Origins (2016-08-06)

This far and this fast, the stars are smears of light in the windshield. No clusters or constellations, no shapes made of gravity or long ago mythology. Just pinstripes blazing away across the inky vastness of space.

And if this is what stars amount to, way out here in a sector of the galaxy no geshou has ever been before, then what does that make hir problems? Tiny. Miniscule. Laughable.

Surely zie can handle something as simple as a clan reunion.

Westerly listens to the hum of the ship around hir, the engines and the life support, the other crew members and passengers still awake. It’s not at all like the winds of Huaqu that zie was named for, nothing like the rustling of the Elder Tree’s leaves or the burbling of streams which crisscross Clan Twelve lands, but it’s peaceful, all the same.

There is dignity in making a home away from a planet, though others may call hir a dandelion puff–fickle and selfish and landing wherever zie pleases–if not something worse.

Zie hears familiar footfalls, familiar breaths, doesn’t need to turn to know who it is.

There is dignity, too, in making a family away from hir clan.

“Alright there, Westerly?” Edmundo asks, stepping up beside hir to lean against the railing of the observation deck.

Br’Joci bypasses words completely and brushes a quick hand against Westerly’s arm–qovesh tactile communication, a way to check how one’s trusted are doing without giving their position away. As useful in peace as in wartime.

Zie sighs. Their ship draws ever nearer to Huaqu. Closer to hir home planet than zie’s been in over a decade–not since zie jumped on the first ship out and away, as far as zie could go.

Truthfully, if zie could swing it, zie wouldn’t go back at all, but…

“Not quite.”

… but Clan Twelve’s Elder Tree is dying, which means all members of Clan Twelve are being recalled.

Maybe, if zie really had hated everyone on the planet, zie wouldn’t care. Wouldn’t heed the call. But there are some cousins–most of them on this ship, actually, the ones who had left the planet to join a Guild (though not nearly as many as zie did)–who zie got along with. And.

And, dandelion puff or not, the Elder Tree had always been kind to an abomination like hir.

~

A/N: I’m really just going through a lot of my original fiction for some reason…

Original Ficlets (2016-02-10)

“Medical says you’ll be out in three weeks,” Jack says with a small, nervous smile. His hand, curled around the hospital bed’s railing, turns pale with pressure.

Ness stays silent, doesn’t even look at him.

Three weeks is too long. And that’s not even including the time it’ll take for her to get back to fighting fit.

She won’t say it–she won’t say anything–but it’s all Jack’s fault. And since it’s his fault, he has to be the one to make it right.

Westerly remembers Huaqu, remembers hir home planet fondly. Remembers its people less fondly–the way other geshou would look at hir, a mix of revulsion and scandalized fascination, even decades after hir sprouting.

Zie hasn’t been back in years, and truthfully, zie doesn’t want to go back. But Westerly has been summoned–hir clan’s Elder Tree is dying, and what made hir a pariah before now makes hir a candidate to become the next Elder Tree.

“I’ll come back for you,” Leanne promises, hand gripping his as tightly as she can, even as her body begins to fade into nonexistence.

“No you won’t,” Bastian refutes, but he says it kindly. The small, sad smile on his face is the last thing she ever sees of him, the panicked fear in her eyes the last he sees of her.

At least for another century, that is.

Next time he meets her is the first time she meets him, and the lack of recognition would almost feel like betrayal if he weren’t already in the midst of trying to kill her teammates.

~

A/N: Just a few tiny original ficlets I wrote while on a train.

Triptych: Origins drabble (2016-01-05)

The three of them stood, bemused looks on their faces, as they stared at their coworkers linked bodies. There were handcuffs and ropes and, apparently, a large and elaborately woven net hanging from the trees which the natives of the planet used as their prisons.

Edmundo tried very hard not to laugh. Br’Joci didn’t bother holding it in.

“We have to untangle the knots,” Westerly said, eyeing the strategic points which would free their fellow SPANners, “After that, then we can do… Something.”

At that tepid conclusion, Edmundo also burst out laughing, “I thought you were going to say something cool!”

Br’Joci nodded in agreement, “It was almost profound.”

“I don’t know!” Westerly said, flustered, a bright green flush making its way over hir face, “The thought escaped me as I was saying it,” But zie smiled anyway, sheepish.

“Yeah, yeah, real hilarious,” one of the trapped SPANners, a Pakebi with brilliant rose colored fur, snarked, “It’s not like we’re tied up and hanging in a tree, totally uncomfortable.”

“Please get us down now,” added his partner, her own coat a rust orange.

“On it, on it,” Br’Joci muttered, pulling out a knife that was definitely not regulation. In a matter of moments, she had scaled the tree, crawling along the branch which the prison net was attached. On the ground, Edmundo and Westerly pulled out their blasters, forming a loose but wary perimeter around the tree trunk.

“Where’s your third?” Br’Joci asked the two captives, sawing away at the fibrous handcuffs around their wrists.

“Kempo retracted itself into its core. The natives have never seen a Dyur’un, so they assumed Kempo was part of our gear.”

“So we’ll have to do another rescue?” Westerly called up to them, following the conversation.

The Pakebi pair stare at each other, before the pink one shook his head, “Kempo should be able to escape on its own. We just have to get to the rendezvous point.”

“And where’s that?” Br’Joci asked, pulling them up onto the branch and guiding their climb down.

“About fifteen kilometers west,” the orange one said with a grimace, “On the other side of the mountains.”

As one, they all turned west, towards a steep, jagged mountain range that the locals named ‘Demon Spine’.

“That looks like fun.”

~

A/N: A tiny thing because I didn’t want yet another Missed Post, but I am on a bus and won’t get home or to my computer until after midnight so…

I’m frankly disappointed in myself, regarding this blog, especially my turn out this new year, even if I do have several legit reasons for not posting. I will endeavor to do better from now on.

Triptych: Origins drabble (2015-12-26)

“What is the population of your planet, anyway?” Edmundo asks, shuffling down the line with his tray and punching his meal choice into the cafeteria’s constructor unit.

“Moon,” Westerly corrects, a spot ahead of him, hir own tray laden down with gently steaming food, “The Qovesh live on three moons, not a planet.”

Br’Joci, following after Edmundo in the line, reaches one long arm around to rub her knuckles against Westerly–a gesture of praise and gratitude. “Afi, the moon I was born on, is the most populated; followed by Ari then Aki,” She explains, the cadence of her voice turning into a practiced lecture. “For Afi alone I think it’s about… maybe three or four hundred.”

“… Thousand?” Edmundo asks for clarification, following after Westerly to a mostly empty table, only a Pakebi pair-bond who seem to be already finished with their own meals.

“Billion,” Br’Joci corrects casually, like that single word hadn’t just blown Edmundo’s mind.

Given humanity’s own population restriction–the Lattice space stations having a maximum occupancy and the government limiting settlement on Terra Secundo–such a number seems impossible.

Westerly laughs–a trilling whistle which zie punctuates with several slaps to the table–no doubt at his wide-eyed, mouth agape expression.

“There’s a reason why most Qovesh-Afi join Guilds as soon as we turn of age,” Br’Joci shrugs, “We’re a nation of immigrant workers.”

~

A/N: just a thing from my original fic, I still hope to one day be able to write it in full, but it’s still beyond my abilities. so for now I will chisel away at it, slowly but surely.

Untitled drabbles (2015-10-03)

(some weird JayxTim dialogue)

“Everyone I love dies.”

“Yeah, I heard about that. Starting with mommy dearest and running all the way through to Daddy Bats.”

“No.”

“No?”

“It didn’t start with my mother… it started with you.”

(a tiny drabble from my original sci-fi story, Triptych)

Westerly breathes and internally recites the ten principles of diplomacy in an attempt to stay calm.

It’s not working.

In two minutes, eight of hir clan members will be brought aboard the station and ze has been assigned to their party. Until they’re escorted to Huaqu. At which point Westerly will be expected to join them.

Ze hasn’t been to hir home-planet in six years.

But this is an honor, surely. To be trusted with such an important mission even though ze is only junior operative. Likely due to hir training in diplomacy… and the fact that ze is the only geshou in the station. In all of SPAN, actually.

There’s a reason why ze is the first geshou to join SPAN and it wasn’t to go back to Huaqu!

Westerly breathes and waits.

~

A/N: Sorry, at my sister’s place, couldn’t really focus on anything without a family member or a dog demanding my attention.

Untitled (2015-03-10)

She is recruited into SPAN not long after being promoted from postulant to novice in the Biology Guild. She’s been at the artificer rank in both Cryptography-Coding and Security for the past few years, the former for three the latter for four. SPAN requires beings to be a part of two Guilds, they do prefer recruits to have an even wider array.

~

Approaching a target in order to achieve a desired objective is more of a science than an art. When you’re trying to get something you want, it’s best to make it a definitive transaction instead of something that can be held over your head in the future. Being desperate removes any leverage you might have had in negotiations. Instead, try making it seem like you’re doing them a favor with your desired objective being their payment.

~

This is not what you envisioned your life would be–a house-spouse to a man five years your junior, who you aren’t even technically married to, and surrogate parent to his adopted daughter who has a penchant for combining fashion and mechanics. What happened to you? What happened to that teenager who would run rampant all day long, pulling all-nighters for the hell of it, fighting with fists and words until you were free to do whatever you want?

But you realize, this is what you want. You love that goofball of a man and his eccentric daughter. You love cooking and keeping the small house in tip-top shape. You love not having every moment be full of drama and conflict, not having to carve out your place in the world with teeth and blood. You’re content, and it’s startling, but you like it.

~

A/N: None of these are related… but I couldn’t come up with a long enough cohesive drabble so… The first part is from my original fiction Triptych, the second is some lingering Burn Notice-inspired spycraft, the third is… I don’t even know.

Triptych: Origins (2015-02-22 drabble)

He grows up clambering over and jumping around shuttles in his grandmother’s garage. Between the ages of four to nine he is constantly covered in grease; no matter how thoroughly his parents try to clean him, there is always a smear of it on him somewhere. He wears overalls with a large pocket in the front, enough for three different kinds of wrenches, two kinds of screwdrivers, and a spool of wire, so that he can supply the mechanics under his grandmother’s employ with whatever they shout for. He only knows how to speak Standard fluently, but he can say “I’m a mechanic” and ask if a customer would like an oil change in three other languages by the time he is six. He has a good, if odd, childhood and he is happy.

And then his grandmother dies. It’s not too surprising–she was old, she had a penchant for alcohol, and she still tinkered around with tons of metal and explosive chemicals on a daily basis. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it shakes his nine-year old world. Suddenly the garage is no longer his kingdom and playground, it’s closed and sold, and suddenly his parents decide to move to Terra Secundo. Needless to say, it’s a terrible experience for him.

For a boy who grew up among space shuttles, whose entire existence up until that point had been contained within the network of space stations of The Lattice, being planetside is highly unpleasant. Having learned from the unfortunate fate of the first planet Earth, the Terran government were strict with what could be built on the planet—solar panels in the desert, wind turbines along the coast, sustainable farming and logging, and only one house was allowed per square acre. His parents embrace planet living, loving the natural surroundings and eager to have the space for a larger family. He finds it too quiet, too empty. He spends the next seven years staring at the night sky and yearning to go back. When he’s sixteen he joins his first Guild–Physics, one of the prerequisites for the Engineering Guild–and tries to rebuild the future he dreamt of as a child.

~

A/N: This is based in the universe of what was supposed to be my NaNoWriMo novel, had I not completely flaked out the first day of November after spending all of October outlining and world-building.

So above is some backstory for Edmundo Vasquez (god, I hope I am not besmirching a real person’s name) one of the main characters for Triptych: Origins