( bickering, cuddling, et cetera )
( bickering, cuddling, et cetera )
The middle of a heat wave in Eburd. The temp report on the reader had been bugged for three days, flickering between 244 and 01, so nobody knew exactly how hot it was - except “too hot.” The neighborhood cisterns were on a rolling shutdown, each block getting water for two-hour intervals, and caravans of kids with wagons full of bottles and jugs were snaking under the river every night and breaking open service spigots in the milzone. All the fans in the neighborhood were pulling hard on the generators, too, and although they hadn’t put those on rolling shutdown yet, it had been openly discussed on freenet as a Good Idea to not run any unnecessary equipment until further notice. Just the fridge, a couple of fans, lamps in occupied rooms at night, and use as much solar gen as you have access to. Brownouts happened anyway. You could make decent money selling ice cubes if your freezer managed to stay cold.
Wren had moved the chickens off the roof and out of the sun. His kitchen was overrun with them now, and even his bedroom wasn’t safe - Hellbitch and the Demon Whore followed at his heels and ran flapping over his feet into the room every time he opened the door. The birds were all over the stairwell too. The door to his music loft was closed, and an amplifier dragged in front of it to make sure it stayed that way, but he could hear clucking on the other side of it.
Most of the front wall of the loft was windows. Only one of them had glass in it, but Wren pried the boards off of the others and left them stacked against the wall. No refreshing breezes came in, and he almost felt like it was hotter outside than in - a fucking waste of effort, letting all the heat in to his studio. The acoustics were probably getting warped.
He picked one up to test it out. It was slightly out of tune, and he fixed it dourly, certain this was a sign of Things to Come. Watch it just slide right back out of tune as soon as he started playing it. Strings probably melting. Wood all fucked up from the heat.
He kicked a chair over into a patch of shadow at the edge of the window light, sat down, and played.
Nothing in particular. A couple of the old classics to limber up. A few of his own things. Then just noodling. He ran into something interesting involving a D chord and some hammering on the high E, switch to a G, repeat; he played around with that, found some complements to it. It started to take shape pretty well. He paused long enough to reach into a crate behind him, find a tambourine, and throw it on the ground by his chair. Back to playing, and in his mind he built up a decent drumline for it, ghosting it in by tapping his foot on the floor and kicking the tambourine at intervals. There were a few ways a melody could go for this, and he tested some of them out. Not even trying for lyrics - the words coming out of his mouth were just complaints about the heat - but the tune would hold up, if he found the right one.
He was almost happy with it when he realized Them Fuckin’ Kids were outside. Outside and shouting words at his window, no less. Wren hadn’t even felt the little shits, he’d been so caught up in the music. He dropped the guitar and stood, leaned out of one of the windows, pushed sweat-soaked hair out of his eyes so he could glare more effectively. “I AIN’T OPEN TODAY. GO HOME. It’s too fuckin’ hot to work. Shit’s probably gonna cook off on its own anyway, blow my whole fuckin’ house up. Go away.”
They grinned up at him. Fresh’s mohawk was limp and drooping at the ends, the glue softened by the heat. Dandy’s hat was missing, and he and Spit had freezer bags tied to their heads with wet handkerchiefs. They all looked ridiculous, and they were way too cheerful for living in an oven. Fresh even waved at him. “That was a really cool song!”
“I ain’t playin’ it for you!”
THE PARAGRAPH IN QUESTION:
Flarelight fell in intermittent stripes through shattered holes in the great stone wall; fragments of stained glass still clung in places to what was left of windowframes, pouring patches of color onto the scene below. The building had once been a transit terminal; now it was a charnel-house.
HOW CAN PEOPLE TAKE THEMSELVES SERIOUSLY WRITING THINGS LIKE THIS
And then my little fireteam of ELITE GUARDSMEN spend the whole thing swearing at each other and smarting off on the voxcasters because I can't maintain srs
They all shared their tears after battles, and Xanon's gift of words brought songs for fallen comrades: thus did they speak farewell to their friends' spirits, to keep them from feeling lost and alone when they died on those strange foreign worlds.
Xanon's sorrowing at leavings returned when they left their temporary home, where he had found a woman he called wife, and she had given him a child he'd named Xia. All of the men who wanted women had found them there, and for few was it an easy leaving, but again it was Xanon whose tears fell in plain air. Annie opened his arms again - this time taking into them a larger man, for Xanon had grown broader and heavier though not much taller with the years - and thought of his own woman, Carli, and the swelling beneath her shirt when they spoke their private farewell.
There were plenty of southerners in the centuria by then, but they had all become brothers, and one man's emotion gave pause to none. Annie's far-northern accent was as familiar and homelike as the crisp, sharp-voweled enunciation of the deep south spoken by some of the men: they were all Fimimundan; and skyborne, their home was in each other.
Of the southerners who became Annie's nephews, noteworthy was Simon, of House Iagus in Aquine, a great city. He'd found he had a natural talent for speaking to the spirits of machines, adjusting to their acquaintance and use long before any of his comrades. By now all were accustomed to it, and could laugh speaking of their early days of puzzlement at every new thing: and think what our mothers, our fathers, our sisters would say if they came to these ships, then! But Simon had known the machine spirits longest and learned to know them best, and had even spoken in friendship with the strange men or once-men who made themselves priests of those spirits. It was to Simon you went with a recalcitrant rifle, or a question of working some new machine. Annie had less talent than he, but he enjoyed the company of the machine spirits, and they two could speak of them together. Simon would have liked life on Nadys-21; to make the acquaintance of the servo-skulls would have pleased him immensely. Annie would have a great deal to tell of, if they could speak again.
The name of the house was Lupus, presumably because the place where it was built was where someone had seen a wolf once, or because a wolf had visited, or at any rate wolves were likely to have been involved. It couldn't have been any time recently. There were still wolves, but they stayed away, deep in the woods and fens. Once in a while in the winter you could hear them howling, although that might be the tribespeople, some of whom wore the skins of the wolves for warmth and, according to the stories told to children (children who weren't your own, so you wouldn't be bothered when they couldn't sleep that night), sometimes turned into wolves - taking wolf-shape to attack the settlements.
"So maybe that's why your house is named Lupus," one of Anacreon's friends put forth. They two were sitting in the shade, under the deep-holded doorway with its wide-winged aquila carved into the lintel, discussing the wolf-shape story which had been told to them by Kleiton's older brother the night before. "Your ancestors were wolf-people who settled here." He looked hopeful that this slight upon Anacreon's lineage might spark a fight. Kleiton had lost the last tussle they'd had, and was keen to even the score.
"My ancestors didn't build this house," said Anacreon, unruffled. "My father's father came here from the south with the Fourth Legion. That's why we have light eyes. If anyone's family came from wolf-people it's yours. Your brother's been sniffing around my oldest sister like a dog, anyway."
"He has not been, either, you slanderer," came Amelisa's voice from inside, shrill. Anacreon flinched slightly; the wrath of women was a terrible thing to raise, especially when the woman was one of his sisters, both of whom were well-praised hunters who would not hesitate to lay a trap for a younger brother just as for a washing-bear.
At this university in Dallas, just within the ever-expanding ring of suburbs, nestled gently amidst trees and streams so that the campus seems far removed from the busy highways a block past its edges, an awful lot of students aren't even awake.
Jason De Luca, a 24-year-old graduate student in mechanical engineering, is one of those who are awake, although he'd really rather not be. He had a rough time last night - Debbie Harmoner, the girl he's been Quietly There For, got dumped and had to cry on his shoulder until the wee small hours, and right when he'd decided he was finally going to try to kiss her she'd said she needed to go home and get some sleep before her test. He's still sort of beating himself up over not taking the chance in time as he heads across campus, certain he's going to be late for the CAD course he doesn't feel like taking in the first place (just because he's a science nerd he's supposed to know how to program a computer?).
His first thought when the sirens start to wail is that it's a tornado. He jogs toward the nearest lecture hall and heads down the back stairs to the basement. There's a slightly rusty Fallout Shelter sign on the outside wall, but he really only chose this building because it was close. Most of the undergraduates he passes were looking shell-shocked already just from being up this early, and now they have hands clamped over their ears as they shout questions to one another about what's going on. He gives a couple of them shoves to the shoulder to move them toward the building as he passes - "Quit bawlin' and get inside" - but he doesn't know any of them or stop to chat long.
He's only planning to get down in the basement, find the most structurally-sound area, and wait until they've called the all-clear on the tornado watch, but when he reaches the bottom of the stairs he finds a professor standing by a door and waving people inside as they come down from the main stairs on the other end of the hall. When he approaches he's waved inside too, and finds himself in a space about the same size as the upstairs classrooms, but empty of desks - nothing in it but stacks and stacks of cardboard boxes and barrels along the back wall and a group of confused and terrified people.
"What's going on?" someone asks, and someone else can barely answer:
"On the radio - the Russians - it's the bomb!"
it began as tf2 fanfic but it isn't really tf2 fanfic at all. i think all the information that's required to understand the setting can probably be inferred from what has been written. it's... kind of a humour piece, i suppose? character-driven genre satire
i took out the graphic sex for this post. :V
( The Fabulous Adventures of James & Bond, wip, part 1 )
2. Make them answer the following characters.
4. Feel free to go ahead and add some questions yourself!
I'm doing OCs, but if anybody felt like doing fandom dudes/dudettes I dunno what'd stop you. 'S gonna help me get a handle on Joe, maybe.
( Read more... )
fandom: P.G. Wodehouse
characters: Mostly original, using characters from Psmith's world, and also cameos from characters from The Saint
prompt: monster: Frankenstein's Monster
disclaim: The characters of Euphonia Smith and Beatrice Van Walden belong to me. All others are the property of their respective creators. No infringement upon the rights of P.G. Wodehouse, Leslie Charteris, Mary Shelley, or anyone else is intended. Do not take internally.
notes: The horror element is very understated. Also, it's about 3,600 words, so you might want to get a cup of tea to drink while you read.
( It all started when I accepted that invitation to stay a few weeks in Shropshire... )
Beth worked her way through the mess of dancers, trailing a sallow, ferrety fellow behind her like one of those wooden ducks on a string. "If our parents knew you were here," she was saying meanwhile, and if I'd had any sense I would've ducked out while she was still getting her toes stepped on by foxtrot agents.
"What are you doing here?" I demanded when she got in range. So far as I knew, Beth didn't even drink.
"Stewart invited me," she said, drawing herself up - I hate it when she does that, because she's taller than me; and that helped me place the ferrety fellow. Her fiancĂ©, the accountant. I looked at him.
"Your name's Stewart? I thought it was Stanley."
"It's Stewart," he said shortly.
"Are you sure? Because I really, really thought it was Stanley."
"Jim, I can't believe you forgot his name!" She was really setting up to fume.
"I know! The only guy you've ever landed - I ought to remember it just on account of the novelty!" She looked like she would smack me for that crack, so I switched tacks. "What would Ma and Dad say if they knew you were in here? And you!" I rounded on Stanley. "Leadin' my sister into this-here den of iniquity and vice - you got a goddamn nerve - "
Beth wasn't having any of it. One finger shot out and pert-near poked me in the nose, so's I went cross-eyed trying to keep track of it while she wagged it and her jaw in eight-to-the-bar time. "What are you doing here? Pa'll tan your hide six shades of red when he finds out - "
Jerry, one of the boys in the kitchen, poked me in the arm on his way by just then and said something fussy under his breath. I had to get moving - couldn't stand around on the job.
"I don't know what you think you're up to - " Beth was saying, and I cut her off.
"I'm - " a goddamn genius, that's what I was. I looked 'em both straight in the eye for a second, then glanced real furtive-like at Jerry disappearing into the kitchen and said in a quick rushed whisper: "I'm undercover. Don't throw up dust or I'll get busted like a Jersey mug!"
They didn't know what the hell I was saying - sure they didn't! They couldn't, on account of I was making up lingo like a dining-car cook making leftovers hash. But it sounded impressive, whatever it was, and they ate it up. Beth put her finger away and Stanley put on a face that only an accountant could make and nodded real stiff. "Sure, we won't tip your hand," he said.
"Make like a couple of eggs and scramble!" I hissed. "You don't know me!" And they ankled.
Not that I didn't half owe 'em one. All the crates save the one I was hugging on were already inside, thanks to good old Jerry. I carried my box into the kitchen and put it up and slumped against the wall to drink down an advance on my pay, and Jerry poked me again. "Lazybones," he called me. Hell, five minutes with Beth was enough to make me feel like I'd gone through the ringer. "That your sister?" He whistled, which I found kind of funny on account of she ain't nothing to whistle over.
"Yeah," I told him. "A real damn Valkyrie. You like her, I got a line on fifty more just like, down at the stockyards."
By the time them two figured out I was feeding 'em breadcrumbs, I had enough dirt of my own to keep 'em dumb. That's my life with my family: a carefully-balanced pile of blackmail and bribery. It'd be good practice if I wanted to join the mob.
Hell, for that count, it was good practice for living in Dallas.
And I say: "Uh-huh," or something just about as useful.
And she leans over a little further and starts toyin' with them buttons, and she says: "My fiancĂ© - "
And I blink, and she's sitting in the clients' chair, the one with the high back to it, with her purse on her lap and her fingers fidgeting with the strap of the purse, and I take a hit of my coffee and say "Uh-huh" again.