Mar. 18th, 2017

aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.8

Nilien tested her weight on her ankle and barely managed to stifle a gasp. “…Yes, please. If it’s not out of your way?”

“Oh, come on, I can help you. See, this is where the bigger familiars really come in handy.” Thesri whistled, a high-pitched series of notes that seemed to carry over the field. A moment later, a peach-hued mountain goat came trotting towards them. “It’s not big enough to carry you, but if you lean on Liltivere here and then I’ll support you on the other side.”

Liltivere sounded familiar, but it took Nilien a moment to place where: Mt. Liltivere, the tallest peak in the Empire. “…You named your goat after a mountain?” Nilien smiled. “That’s beautiful.”

read on...
aldersprig: (Gremlin)
After Sturdy Walls

The Tinies had appointed an ambassador to come speak to Anne. Said ambassador had a beard nearly to his feet, was wearing a very sharp bottle-cap hat with trimmings of what looked like gold wire and the ribbon she’d misplaced, and had a quiet voice that nevertheless was somehow very hard to ignore.

“I am Yeg-Tren-Opar, and I am the elder of this family.” He sat down politely in the small cushion Anne provided - the lining from a jewelry box that had come with some familial present last year. “You present to us an interesting conundrum, and as you seem sensible, we thought we would share that conundrum with you in turn.”

“I’m willing to hear your conundrum,” she offered as formally as possible. She was talking to tiny people. Some part of her brain was squealing with that. Tiny. People. Who lived, it appeared, in the wall behind her kitchen.

“You are, as far as we can tell, a human.”
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aldersprig: (Science!)
“The trouble with chickens,” Professor Feltenner had written in her journal, “is that they don’t scale very well. And when they scale up, their instincts do not. They have been domesticated for far too long. What I need is a wild chicken, a chicken who has never been bred for tameness and domesticity. That, then, should be clever enough for what I need.”

Professor Feltenner’s travels into the jungles were the stuff of academic legend. It had become the very morbid joke around the university that if you did not like a student, it was a clever idea to get them to take Feltenner’s classes, because there was a very good chance she would then take them with her on one of her summertime or winter-break expeditions - and then there a very, very good chance that they would not return.

Professor Feltenner, on the other hand, always returned - even that last time, that fateful trip when she came back with one bedraggled grad student, two smallish cages, and a man named Gorvald she claimed to have found in the middle of the jungle. Since Gorvald’s accent spoke of the Rus and the far-Eastern mountain ranges, everyone at the university raised eyes at that - but Gorvald was good with the things in the cages, and someone needed to be. Gods above knew the poor grad student whimpered every time she saw so much as a feather.

“The trouble with chickens ought to be solved by working with a more pure specimen,” Professor Feltenner wrote in her journal. “Today, Gorvald and I begin the experiment on the junglefowl we have acquired. With luck, working from an enlarged junglefowl pair, we can begin breeding better and jucier meat with a much more sensible bird.”

The junglefowls’ thoughts on that were never properly recorded; once they had dealt with Professor Feltenner, they (with brains that scaled up, it seemed, much better than their domestic counterparts’) opened the doors to the lab and fled, taking several carriage-sized domestic fowl with them. You could hear their cries late at night in the forests near the University, and the professors had a new way to rid themselves of difficult students.

Next: https://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1315524.html
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Dateand Catching Up.

Cya studied Manus thoughtfully. “You like Montana?”

“Let’s just say… I like what you’ve done with the place. I’m not old enough to remember Montana,” he admitted, “but I like the Cloverleaf region. You’re still here, though. When I was here, I thought maybe you’d move on.”

“I hope you’re not disappointed.” She struggled to keep anything out of her voice. Life had been easier, in a manner of speaking, when she just wasn’t feeling things.

“Oh, not at all.” He looked at her. “Something’s changed in you.” He flopped a hand. “Thirty years, a lot has changed, I’m sure. I’ve grown up, changed, I imagine you have too. But you’re a lot more animated.”

“I’ve been, ah. Learning a lot about myself.” She shrugged. “So you stuck around?”

“I worked for a caravan for a while. I’m pretty good as a guard, and there were trade caravans that were having trouble with bandits and Nedetakaei, wyverns and wolves. And that worked out fine, but when I talked a bandit out of attacking, he decided that I should be working for him for a while… so that was about four years.” He grinned, lopsided and not at all abashed. “Turns out I like working for people. I probably should’ve figured that bit out a while ago. But I didn’t like…” the smile slipped. “Well, I didn’t like what he was doing. So I moved on, which took some work, let me tell you. Did a few other things before I ended up with this judge-like gig. I like it.” He leaned back in his chair and looked at her. “I get why you built a city, now.”

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