Jan. 15th, 2019 05:16 pm
aldersprig: (Theocracy)
This did not turn out quite like I intended.  Like, within a mile of it. 

Post-apoc fae apoc, Cya (the woman), and an unknown viewpoint male fae.


He was not, not exactly, stalking her.

For one, he already knew where she lived.

Everyone in this area of the world knew where she lived.

They might not have put one and one together and realized that she was who lived there, but she did not always bother with a disguise, and that particularly red hair was like a flag.

Like a beacon. 

read on…
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
Early in Cloverleaf-era

Sometimes, Cya thought her power had a sense of humor.

She'd learned how to craft specific Find requests, because, if she wasn't looking for something or someone specific (“nearest unbroken Bleach DVD;” “Leo”), her power had a bad habit of leading her on wild goose chases.

Like today.  Like “nearest cache of intact, unclaimed books in an accessible-by-me location, with at least two times the number of unique, intact books as the hours I drive to get there.”

Almost every one of those clauses, she'd added on after learning the hard way that her power could be painfully literal.

Today... today she was staring down at a 45-degree incline that had once been the floor of this library. From the looks of things, it had been tolerably sheltered from weather - this area wasn't as cold or as wet as Cloverleaf, but it still did get precipitation - and peering down and over, she was pretty sure she'd be able to get more than the required 16 books out of here.

But first, she had to get down there, gather the books, and get back up.

read on…
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
Inspired by Life Extension, by Isaac Arthur. 

...People will obviously still leave jobs, but they’re no longer retiring.

You are not going to get the management slot when Sally retires in two years, you are not inheriting Dad’s business, at least not for several centuries.

You’re not inheriting his house either.

When he does die odds are good he will have several thousand descendants kicking around.

You also now have a de facto gerontocracy....

His sci-fi videos are chewy but really interesting. 

A story of Cya Red Doomsday, who does not get old, and one of her descendants, who hasn't had time to grow up yet. 

read on…
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
Okay, this started out when I was trying to write a story for Patreon (Legends and Myths, Fae Apoc) and sort of failed, but I had this idea about the Council (the ruling body of the "Good Guys" fae, the Shenera Enderaei, the Children of the Law), inherently having no authority to do what they do.  And since I've played with the idea of Cloverleaf/Boom/Cya facing down the Council before...

This is set some long time after the founding of Cloverleaf, and is non-canon.


“We are here to see how well you are abiding by the regulations of the Council.  Your position as a pro facto dictator here raises a red flag in our books, and we will be here until we have passed judgement or removed you from power.”

Cya looked at the people in front of her.  She looked at the woman standing to her left.  “This is a ‘Man on the Moon’ situation,” she told the woman.

The woman nodded and vanished.  Cya smiled.  The expression was small, polite, restrained.  People who knew her the best — and only them — knew that it meant she was absolutely furious.

The space of three heartbeats passed.  “I do not acknowledge your authority to judge me,” she told the people calmly.

read on…
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)

Okay, so I was playing around with a roleplay with Cal and Cynara decided to build herself a castle. Well, a play castle, this is ~8×8 with a tower; it’s a shed-sized castle. 

Read On

The poll has spoken!

The walls between the worlds are thin in October, especially as Hallowe’en approaches.  It’s easier to step between universes – or to slip and fall down a rabbit-hole you were never expecting.

This month’s theme is Crossovers –  those slips, those falls, those determined steps into another world.

Open to $5+ “To-do List” Patrons!

I mentioned a story about renovations…


The renovations started in June.

They closed on the house in October — Judy had a feeling about the place; Steve thought it had good bones — and lived with the ugly panelling, the wonky ceilings, the strange toilet all winter long.

As soon as the weather was consistently warm, down came the hideous paneling.

Read On!

aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to Inspector Caracalprompt.

Set after Addergoole Year 10 but before the 2011 apocalypse. 


There were tourists in the bar again, the sort of people that made what was normally a pleasant place feel like the back of the locker room.   Nathan

read on…
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
See Also Plans
Let's see, Math.
Cya starts year 6, 2000 AD
Yoshi starts Year 24, 2018 AD
The White Stag grandson starts... year 41? We'll say 41, 2035
The next one is year 60, great-grandson, 2056
So call this 2064.

There were two people at Iasthai’s front door: a woman with a red streak through chocolate-brown hair and a very skinny man with hair so blonde it was nearly white. They weren’t part of the neighborhood, that much Iasthai knew; it was a small enough, isolated enough village that she knew all her neighbors — and they were clean and well-dressed like Addergoole people, but they weren’t anyone Iasthai recognized from there either.

The woman looked familiar, but Iasthai couldn’t quite place where or why.

“Iasthai?” She asked like it was a formality.

“That’s me,” she agreed carefully.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
In Cloverleaf, they don't kill their attackers if they can avoid it; they make future assets out of them. Here's a flash of that.

“Look, it’s not like Cloverleaf actually kills anyone.” Hecherak had coaxed. “They’re weaklings. We’ll be in, out, steal a few sheep, maybe some… ha, cattle, and then we’ll be back. Good practice for a real raid, no trouble, and we won’t really be risking anything.”

At the moment, Tekliek was having trouble discerning the fine points of difference between death and his current situation: that was, impaled with three hawthorn stakes that had been sent into him with surgical precision, missing anything he actually needed to survive. Death hurt less, he was pretty sure.

Death might involve a beautiful redheaded halfbreed straddling him.

“Here’s the situation,” she began, and Tekliek passed out.

When he came to, his hands were chained above his head, his feet were chained to something, and he was in the sun. He was no longer pierced through with anything, but from the burning, he could tell he was cuffed with hawthorn.

The half-breed woman was there again. “Here’s the deal,” she began again. “You are going to swear to not attack Cloverleaf for five years or anyplace flying the cloverleaf circles for three years, to not enter Cloverleaf during that time without the freely-given signed permission of the gate guards, and to leave Cloverleaf trade caravans alone for ten years. Then I’m going to mark you with my thorn, and what that means is that the next time I see you, you will do one favor for me. It won’t kill you, your children, or any Students you might have and it will not bring harm to any children still in your care or students the same. Understood?”

Tekliek nodded slowly. “Under-ah!” She had pressed her fingers into his skin, just under his collarbone on his right side. When he looked down, there was a thorn marked in red ochre.

“Good. Someone will be along to take your oath in a moment.” She moved down the line, repeating her speech. To one side of Tekliek was Poesl, from their clan; to the other side was his friend Fijsk. Past Fijsk was Hecherak, and the red-headed halfbreed was straddling her now, ready to mark her.

“Oh, not your first time, is it? Third. And I see you still owe me for the last time.”

Tekliek shared a look with Fijsk. They looked over at Poesl, shook their heads, and looked back at each other.

With their new tattoos burning on their shoulders and their new oaths fitting like cages, they waited patiently at the gates of Cloverleaf for the guards to acknowledge them. There was never going to be a better time or a better reason to slip Hecherak’s leash.
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
Directly after Rocks

She took his hand, because she needed to reassure herself that he really was fine. “I don’t-” she started, and fell quiet. There were too many ways to end that sentence and she didn’t like any of them.

He glanced over at her, and she recognized the expression, even if he looked nothing like Cabal, nothing like Gaheris. “I got it.” He was quiet for a minute, as she led him out of Leo’s house and down the quiet neighborhood street. “You don’ like, uh. Being emotive.”

She snorted, laughing at herself, at his phrasing, at the whole mess. “Let’s be honest,” she said, dryly and more openly than she usually was with her Kept. “I don’t like having emotions. But Leo - thinks that’s a mess, and Dr. Rexinger agrees, and if I’m going to be entirely honest, if one of my Kept told me they didn’t like having emotions, I’d spend the whole year helping them work through that. So I try to have emotions. But I don’t -”
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
Cya and Carew, Carew’s POV - what happens when Cya starts feeling things she’s been repressing.

Read more... )

aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
This is in Lady/Sword timeline, and is after everything posted to date. Leo needs some help… Cya Finds it.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
For Cal: This comes after a number of things, including Jeska and Carew wandering around the city talking, Convincing each other to tell their Keepers that they were jealous of… (in Carew’s case, Leo, and Jeska’s case, the cat)… and Carew doing some thinking. Sword/Lady timeline

Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
So, it turns out, when you get [personal profile] inventrix and I together, what you end up with is a whole lot of different timelines for the same characters.

This is as comprehensive as I can come up with a list of Cya-Leo-Boom timelines we might have posted stories for.

[personal profile] inventrix, if I’ve missed something, misrepresented something, or mislaid something, please let me know!

It appears that the turning points are:

1) When Leo (and thus Cya) gets sane. In canon, and in timelines that could be canon, that happens after Cya builds Cloverleaf, which itself is ~40 years after they attend Addergoole (see Ghost Story).
2) Whether Cya Keeps Leo or he swears an oath of obedience and service to her.
3) If/When they come to the realization that what Cya wants from Leo is not what Leo can provide
“Cya cried,” he says, a little too matter of fact, “because she’s accepted I’m not going to love her back.”
“…The fuck you say?”
“Not the way she wants, at least.”

“So, the basics are simple enough, you’ve got me,” he holds out one hand, “and Cya,” he holds out the other, “and we both care about each other way too much. The problem is, Cya has like a tragic romance thing going on because she wants me to be in love with her back, but like… whatever the hell I feel, it’s not that, and I don’t care what that stupid kid says,” he adds in an annoyed mutter, “I’m not going to go pretending to feel something I don’t when it’s just going to fuck everything up in the end and it’s none of his fucking business anyway.”
Leo pauses and clears his throat a little awkwardly. “…anyway, so. Her side, nice, fairly straightforward, normal romantic obsession. My side, some kind of weird martyr Kept knight thing. Which would be fine except like, the one thing Cya wants more than anything in pretty much the whole world is to be attached to just one guy who will actually, you know, love her back? You’d think after--” He stops himself from tangenting this time. “So since I’m obviously not that guy, I talked her into trying dating so she’s at least meeting people who aren’t fresh Addergoole grad Kept with issues.”
4) Whether they all flip the F out and kill everyone their first year.
timelines below )

I might add links later. I might bribe people to add tags to things later - I’m totally willing to do that! But for the nonce, this is what I’ve got.
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
Sometime around 2012-2013 - just after the apocalypse.

Entirely the fault of me watching Kong yesterday.

“Idu Intinn… kaiju.”

There were times when Cya really could not fault Leo for believing he was an anime hero.

“Okay, guys, it’s got no brain, take it down.”

Of course, times like this, it would probably be more helpful if he thought he was the hero in a Toho flick.

“Taking out its… uh.. forelimbs… watch the ground… now! Abatu Eperu έδαφος gamma.”

She was probably going to hell for thinking so flippantly about it. Then again, they might already all be in hell.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
This fic is set a couple years into Yoshi's attendance at Addergoole (Yoshi being Cynara's oldest son; Ruki/Sigruko mentioned below is Leo's older daughter, by Aelfgifu). I'm not 100% happy with Regine's voice in this, but I wrote this for fun, so... here's Regine losing an argument.

"I did not anticipate this." Regine glared at the notes in front of her as if they were personally responsible for her current predicament.

"You should have." Laurel Valerian was pulling no punches today. "It's what you wanted, after all."

"This - this violence is not what I wanted!" Regine frowned at the notes again. They'd had no fewer than four instances where students had come far too close to being expelled - and in one case, the only reason that nobody had been expelled had been that the boy hadn't been trying to kill anyone. He'd left them hung upside-down in full view of a camera, but the story his victim was telling was that the boy had held a knife to their throat and whispered "If I wanted you dead, you'd be gone."

The other instances, Luke, Agmund, or Shou had caught before it had turned into murder. That one, nobody had noticed until it was done - and that worried Regine.
Read more... )

Other students mentioned:
Adorlee is Magnolia's oldest, by Mike. Mags lives at the Ranch, with Boom (mostly with Howard), raising her children and Shiva's (Shiva vanished in the war) (Shiva is also Magnolia's half-sister, and her crew).

Eryk is Shiva's oldest son (by Ty).

Kishmish is Shiva's youngest daughter (by Nikita)

Viðrou is Cynara's and Leo's son, the second child for both of them.

cy'ree is "my students, those I Mentor."

sh' is "daughter of the mother." Yes. Mother.

Think that's everyone.
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
This follows You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you.... in theme and character, but is several years later, very soon after the apocalypse.

This story involves threats of murder, rape, and other violence against women, children, and men. It involves actual murder and violence, mind control, and stone-cold bluffing.

Read more... )
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
Speculative ficlet of Boom, pre-apocalypse. Not even the ficlet I meant to write.

"Hey, you. Are you still alive?"

Feccrick came to conciousness slowly. There was a redheaded woman leaning over him, seemingly unbothered by the raw gaping sword wound across his chest.

"Alive?" Better to feign fogginess. "Yeah, what...?"

"What's your name?"

"Fred. Fred Kirk."

"Good, good." She stood up, talking into her shoulder radio. He couldn't make out any of the words, but he thought he heard his name.

Shoulder radio... a cop. Jeans and a jacket - detective? Feccrick tried to shake himself awake while trying to look as vague and uncertain as possible.

"All right, Fred. What happened here?"

"Some guy. Some..." Mara type, hero complex, swinging his sword around... "Freak with a sword. Came in and started plowing through everyone."

"Why did he leave you alive?"

Alive? The rest were... Feccrick looked around: blood, and body parts, and a broken machete.

"Shit. shit, shit, they're all dead?" Panic seemed like a good idea. He didn't even have to fake it. "All of them?"

"Why'd he let you live?" she repeated.

"Shit, I don't know, I..." Some words came back. You're not to blame. You're not like them. The man had sounded sincere. "...I think he maybe thought I was a good guy. Which I am, I mean..." The guy had clearly been a nutjob.

"Thank you." This time, he heard the Words. They started with Abatu Intinn...

He didn't have time to panic before he was gone.
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
a good 30, 60 years after the last-written Doomsday story as of now.

Cya leaned over a list of names with her youngest school-aged descendant. He'd brought the list home home from his first year at Addergoole, every classmate in his year and the two years above him.

She let her finger pause over three names. "These three are not related to you at all, even remotely. And this one is also not related to any of the Boom brood. These two are pretty far distant, but sticking to the ones that aren't descended from Boom is better."

Her (great-great-so-many-greats)-grandson glanced over at her. "Why?"

"Oh," Red Doomsday smiled, "I'm working on a thing. It might not help you, but it'll help your kids."

Her grandson - one of Yoshi's line, with a disturbing resemblance to Yoshi's father - smiled cautiously. "I trust you. So, these three?"

Trust. Cya did another Find on the list. "This one's the best. The safest."
aldersprig: (luke)
First part here
Second part here
Third part here
Fourth part here.
Fifth part here.

This story is of questionable canonicality - it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) - but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

All Leo lines in this story are as-written by [personal profile] inventrix in the roleplay that sparked this

There were sparks of electricity flying around the air. The grass beneath their feet was damp, too early yet for it to be a fire risk, but Luke still worried. Lightning could burn down a forest, after all, and he would not forgive himself - even if Cynara did – if he caused Leo to scorch the fields outside her city.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (luke)
First part here
Second part here
Third part here
Fourth part here

This story is of questionable canonicality - it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) - but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

All Leo lines in this story are as-written by [personal profile] inventrix in the roleplay that sparked this

They didn’t want a war. Luke took a few breaths and tried to rein in his temper. It wasn’t working.

…avoid making unfounded accusations against my crew, Leo had snarled, as if his crew wasn’t the problem. Luke took another breath. Mike would want him to be calm.
Read more... )

aldersprig: (luke)
First part here
Second part here
Third part here.

This story is of questionable canonicality - it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) - but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

All Leo lines in this story are as-written by [personal profile] inventrix in the roleplay that sparked this

Leo stared levelly at Luke, taking his time about answering. Luke wondered if he was working around an order. Cynara always had been thorough about that sort of thing with her Kept.

“Outside the outer walls,” he finally came up with, “if you want to be completely certain.”

That was a lovely place for a trap. “Good.” It was also inarguably outside of Cynara’s domain. “Let’s go there.”

He stalked behind a silent Leo all the way to the gate. People stared. He didn’t mind. He was a Mara, after all. He was supposed to be frightening.

Leo was not the least bit frightened. They stood on the grassy plain outside of Cloverleaf, Leo returning Luke’s glare calmly. “Now that we’re safe,” he began, with more sarcasm than Luke had known Leo was capable of, “maybe you can explain why you're here unannounced?”

Luke grabbed for words. I was worried sounded too weak, too stupid. You were an idiot was a matter of course for cy’Luca, sadly. If he visited every former student who’d been stupid, he’d never have time to teach.

“What happened?” he snarled. Leo knew why he was here. He was just wasting time.

"You're going to have to be more specific."

No, he was taunting Luke, playing with him.

“Don’t give me that shit.” What sort of game was he playing? What was Cynara playing at? “Mike comes back from one of his little ‘field trips’, and there you are on the front page of this place's newspaper, collared.

“So?” The little shit looked smug.
Read more... )

Next: soon
aldersprig: (luke)
First part here
Second part here.

This story is of questionable canonicality - it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) - but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

It follows the Apollo/Boom stuff you can find on top on the Boom tag by about 2 years.

Read more... )

Next part:
aldersprig: (luke)
after this.

This story is of questionable canonicalness - it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) - but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

It follows the Apollo/Boom stuff you can find on top on the Boom tag by about 2 years.

Luke knew he wasn't thinking straight. He was flying erratically. He was having trouble controlling his wing movements when not in flight. His fists were clenching and unclenching. He hadn't been this stressed, this worried, in decades.

There were groups the Addergoole teachers and staff monitored, most but not all of them Addergoole grads. Boom had always been Drake and Luke's purview, because they were the two teachers least likely to be sent away.
Read more... )

aldersprig: (luke)
This story is of questionable canonicalness - it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) - but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

It follows the Apollo/Boom stuff you can find on top on the Boom tag by about 2 years.

Mike was grinning, tanned, and dressed in new, strange clothes when he sashayed into Luke's office. In green and brown, he looked like he had stepped out of a Robin Hood film - or, knowing Mike, possibly the pornographic spoof of a Robin Hood film.

"Cloverleaf," Luke guessed. Mike had way too much fun on his little excursions, wherever he went, but only Cloverleaf left him grinning like that. They liked him in the bars there, it turned out, and probably the brothels, too.

(Luke wouldn't put it past Cynara to have put in brothels just for Mike).

"Cloverleaf. They have newspapers." He flopped the tri-folded paper down on Luke's desk.

"All the comforts of the modern age," Luke muttered. "Next thing we know, she'll have self-driving cars."

"Horses do that pretty well, actually. They say the press is pretty free, there. Only a couple rules, if my informant is to be believed."

"How drunk was your informant?" The paper was called The 'Leaf Leaves, and the first headline was something about Mayor Collapses? Luke picked up the paper.

"Faiiirly sober?" Mike hedged. "As sober as normal, at least. They like their papers. They like their city, turns out. I mean, nationalism and all, but it's nice to see people happy in their home. And, ah," he gestured at the paper. "With their Mayor."

Luke unfolded the paper and stared. "Mike, what is this?"

"They've redeveloped photography," Mike added helpfully.

"I can see that. What is this?"

"It's a photo of the Mayor collapsing, like the paper says." Mike was grinning, damn his soul.

"No." He stared at the photo. It was grainy and pixelated, printed in four colors with the offset slightly off on the red. But it was very clearly Leofric Lightning-blade carrying Cya Red Doomsday. They were smiling. They were happy. And Leo was wearing a golden collar around his throat. "Mike..."

"Most of the rumors say it's her collar." Mike's smile had vanished, replaced by something strange and thoughtful. "And all of the rumors say they're happier now."

Cya Red Doomsday's best Words had always been Tempero and Intinn, Control and Mind. And she'd always been balanced by Leo's absolute certainty that he was a good guy. Luke was already headed for the door.

aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
A Change in Routine
[personal profile] inventrix's Let's Pretend
Class is in Session
A Brief Reunion
[personal profile] inventrix's Unexpected Visitor
Lessons in the Dojo
[personal profile] inventrix's from RP logs
Education and Collars
Much offscreen RP lies between that last post and this one. Summary: It's been a long time since Cya handled an unwilling Kept, and Apollo reminds her far too much of her crewmates when they were young and stupid reckless. Also, she didn't used to be running a school and a city. Leo can see how it's stressing her out and has offered to take Apollo off her hands.

Re. Olindo and Adeen; Olindo is a cy'Linden crewmate of Apollo's who, being as stupidly headstrong as Apollo, had managed to get himself caught by unsavory people of a handwavey sort. Adeen is their stabilizing force, but she's still in Addergoole.

Apollo looked both thoughtful and nervous as he walked back into Cya's house, a combination of expressions that made her nervous and told her he'd probably been talking to Leo.

She was mending a pair of pants - the hard way, because unutu had never been one of her good words - so she let him pace and hem and haw nervously for a few minutes before looking up. "Yes?"

"What do you want?" he demanded, and then winced and sat down with a thump on the floor. "I mean... I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I didn't know I was making you miserable -"

"Didn't care, you mean."

"Didn't know! But I didn't really care at first, either." He coughed and looked away. "Until we found Olindo. Then I started to get the point, I guess."

Nothing like a well-placed object lesson to hammer things into thick skulls. If only that had worked with Leo.

Leo had been insane. This kid was just young.

And very plaintive. "And I don't want to be Kept. I really... I still don't think I need a babysitter. But I don't want to be making you mad all year, either."

"That's the bond." Hell of a time for it to finally kick in.

"I mean, I've been Kept, I went to Addergoole. But if I've got to be Kept, I don't want to be a burden. And I don't know what you want!"

She studied him, hands up in frustration, tears unshed in his eyes. "I want..." Careful, careful. Phrasing was everything with a Kept. "What I'm hoping for is that you can take this opportunity to grow up a bit, and to look at life more carefully, so that when you leave here, you and Olindo and Adeen don't dive headlong into trouble." Which she would probably get them out of, if she noticed in time. But no need to let him know they had a safety net.

"But it's not like you can see me thinking! I.. You... You're just... unhappy with me all the time!"

Shit. Cya took a deep breath. She set down the pants she'd been mending and walked across the room so she could pet Apollo, carefully, mindful of his crown of horns. "I think it's time we go talk to Leo."
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
A Change in Routine
[personal profile] inventrix's Let's Pretend
Class is in Session
A Brief Reunion
[personal profile] inventrix's Unexpected Visitor
Lessons in the Dojo
[personal profile] inventrix's from RP logs

Dinner with Leo had been... Interesting. Educational, Luke decided, like every visit to the Ran- to Boom's place. Wherever Boom's places were.

For one thing, it had taught him that he needed to visit Howard, or maybe talk Shira into doing so.

For another, it had taught him he owed Apollo an apology. So, sitting in Cynara's living room while Cynara and Leo made small talk about their students, he looked Apollo in the eye. "I shouldn't have split your crew up. I'm sorry."

There was a pause while Apollo processed that. Then, "Yeah. No biggie, I guess." Apollo tugged on his collar and looked away.

Luke coughed. That. "I'm not going to apologize for asking jae'Red Doomsday to Keep you."

Apollo glanced at him sideways. "Why not?"

"Because you needed it. Because being here is good for you." He could see Apollo readying a scoff. He kept talking. "I failed you as a Mentor. But I've seen what Cyna- Cya can do as a Keeper."

"Yeah? Have you seen her collar collection?"

Luke snorted. "I've watched her pick her Kept for the last sixty years. If I were Regine I could tell you their survival percentages..."

"Please don't," Cynara murmured. When Luke glanced over, she was once again chatting to Leo about something one of their Students had done.

"...I can't. I'm not that good at numbers. But I'd bet you anything it's higher than that of the rest of the Addergoole grads."

"Anything?" Apollo leaned forward, a fierce twist of an expression on his face. "Would you bet a year under this collar yourself?"

more )
aldersprig: a brown-skinned girl with elf ears, yellow eyes, and a red hood carrying a notebook. (CiaraPicture)
A Change in Routine
[personal profile] inventrix's Let's Pretend
Class is in Session
A Brief Reunion
[personal profile] inventrix's Unexpected Visitor

Luke had been curious who this Nanaya was that could get Apollo training against haybales. As it turned out, she was an Amazonian strawberry-blonde woman with an easy smile and a mischievous lift to her eyebrow. Watching her run through kata with the other students, Luke was willing to bet she was deadly in a fight.

He noted, too, that although most of Leo's students managed to hide their surprise when he called Leo jae' - as was right, he reminded himself; he still had a couple centuries on Lightning Blade - Nanaya just smiled more broadly. She'd be an interesting one to hunt alongside.

That was a thought for another day, and probably for some other world. He was here to see Apollo and Leo, and he was talking to Leo.

"I'll be starting class in a few minutes; would you like to stay and watch?" Leo had grown up somewhere along the way. Luke had seen it the last few times he visited Cloverleaf, and yet he still found himself surprised by it every time.

"I'd love to." Luke smiled. "I hear you've got some interesting tricks here."

"Oh, well-"

"They're sneaky," Apollo interrupted, half in awe and half in complaint. "You think they're coming up to your left and then all of a sudden, boom."

Luke chuckled ruefully. "Sounds like a hunt, doesn't it?" He raised his eyebrows at Leo. "It doesn't usually work well with my Students, but I remember when you were training with Ciara." His expression slipped. He wanted to be proud of her, he really did, but...

...another day, another world. "It's a good thing to learn." He pulled the conversation back to the dojo. "The Nedetakai and the monsters don't usually fight fair, do they?" He was talking to Leo, but his words were still aimed at Apollo.
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
A Change in Routine
[personal profile] inventrix's Let's Pretend
Class is in Session

Regine had sent Luke for the kid because he was in a bad neighborhood, as far as their data could discern, he was a descendant of Aelfgar, and he was male.

It made as much sense as most of her decisions, so Luke had armed up, tapped their current staff teleporter, and headed into the wasteland that had once been St. Paul.

It had been surprisingly easy to find the kid; Luke had followed the shouting and found a scrawny, filthy, sunburnt kid holding a stick in each hand and fending off three grown men. Not from himself, Luke quickly noticed; the kid was protecting three smaller children who were, it seemed, roasting a pigeon over a small fire.

"Hey!" Luke had absolutely no problem getting everyone's attention. "Let's even this fight up!" He noticed the moment where the kid thought he was going to attack him, and the way the boy's stance, untrained as it was, shifted.
Read more... )
appendix A )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
after [personal profile] inventrix's Let's Pretend, which is after my A Change in Routine.

When Leo walked into Cya's front yard carrying her Kept over his shoulder, she found that she wasn't surprised, and that she was more than a little relieved.

It wouldn't be enough, of course. Apollo was the most stubborn, ridiculous, arrogant man she had had the misfortune to deal with...

...since Leo and Howard were that age, a thought she was doing her best to suppress, especially considering how Leo's fierce smile vanished when he caught her looking at him.

He set her Kept down on her porch as Cya opened her door and deftly avoided the angry punch Apollo attempted to throw.

"I see you've met Professor Inazuma. Come in." She made it an invitation for Leo and an order for Apollo. "Leo, I see you've met my new Kept. I hope he wasn't too difficult."

"He wasn't difficult at all!" Leo was having fun, a smile flashing onto his face before he remembered he was supposed to be feeling bad. "Ah, we got in a bit of a fight..."

"You kicked his ass, you mean." She watched Apollo's face; she didn't need to watch Leo's to know what was going across it. He'd be hang-dog for a moment, and then proud of himself again.

Apollo was warring with something simpler: pride and fear. He'd noticed, then, how much stronger, how much more skilled than him Leo was. Good. "Are you just going to let him manhandle your Kept like that?" He spat out the word Kept. He always did. But the end of the sentence was more like a plea. "Or--"

"We were playing a bit of Let's Pretend." The pride was clear in Leo's voice, and the anger and fear were sparking in Apollo's face again.

"You were playing! I was--"

"You were saying you could handle yourself." She could hear the sharp smile in Leo's voice. "If I'd been a slaver, you'd be in chains by now."

It was hardly a fair challenge. They had great-grandchildren older than this boy.

Slavers wouldn't be fair, either.

"Leo was cy'Luca, too, Apollo, back when we were kids. A lot of kids have been, through the years, if you do the math." She kept her eyes on him. "One or two in every Cohort... One or two cy'Fridmar, too, and they're just as vicious in a fight, more likely to cheat, and more likely to turn evil. Never mind the cy'Sakamoto; nobody knows which way they'll go. And most of the cy'Doug would rather kill you than look at you."

"I get it!" He flung his arms upward violently. "Yeah, sure, there's lots of assholes out there. But I'm good, okay? This jackass got the jump on me, that's all."

He didn't believe it, or Cya would have been more harsh with him. Instead, she raised her eyebrows and waited for the moment where he shifted from foot to foot and dropped his arms and his gaze.

She glanced back at Leo, wondering if he remembered when he was that young and stupid. Time enough for that conversation later.

"By the time I'm done with you, it will be a lot harder for anyone to get the drop on you. And step one is realizing that somebody can and will."

And, because he was her Kept and this one, damnit, she could protect, she kept going. "In the meantime, this is my city. If anyone other than Leo here attacks you, you tell them that you Belong to me. If that doesn't stop them, you can feel free to tell anyone who can hear you that you're mine. For this year, at least, that ought to keep you safe."
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
Started in [personal profile] inventrix's DW here (and the comments)

Then here.

Now, below.

Cya left Leo's house slowly. She walked out of the yard as if she was still, somehow, thinking he'd say "no, wait, come back." She walked down the road, ignoring people, ignoring animals, ignoring the little voice in the back of her head that was always suggesting improvements to the city.

He sticks around because he's crazy. THAT voice had always been there, even when it was pretty obvious Leo wasn't so much sticking around as being tethered by ill-thought-out promises and Cya's habit of Finding him whenever he got too far off. He sticks around because he's tethered.

If his insanity was changing, evolving, would there still be room for the Protagonist's Friends?

She walked to the wall around her city and climbed the ladder. It was her city; nobody was going to tell her not to be there.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
[personal profile] inventrix wrote a piece here around the beginning of Cloverleaf, and it's continued in the comments (and is still going on) as a story between Cya and Leo.
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
After the series of letters [here] and a visit to Cya's son Vidrou, Enion (Cya's father) attempts to make amends with his daughter via letter. Eventually he succeeds well enough that she decides to try talking to him one more time.

She packed a bag.

She didn't need to; she was teleporting to the area, and returning, she assumed, within a few hours.

But there was a certain feeling of parallel that she couldn't ignore, and so Cya packed a go-bag. Clothes, easy to hand-wash and line-dry. Medical supplies. Two days' food. A source of fire, an emergency blanket... pencils and a notepad.

On a day over a hundred years ago, she had packed a very similar bag. She'd done so countless times since, for herself, for children and grandchildren and great-great-great-great grandchildren, Kept and students and friends.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (CyaSmile)
Cloverleaf is built approx 50 years after the apocalypse, or about (plus or minus 7 years) 2061.

Notably, it was built almost entirely by magic, and as such the walls show no block marks, no seams.

Built about 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Helena, Montana - to take advantage of the prewar hydroelectric dam there - Cloverleaf takes the shape of three large (approx. 1 mile diameter) walled circles, touching at one edge.

Two of these circles hold farmland; the third holds the city of Cloverleaf, itself taking the shape of three overlapping walled circles with a very tall tower in the center (where the three circles overlap). Three gates pierce the outer wall, one for each inner circle, and from those gates to the Tower in each circle runs a wide "Main Street."

Each Main street is lined with inns and restaurants close to the gates, stores and shops and light industry (home crafts) in the middle of the circles, and apartment buildings then factories (still rather light industrial - think fabric, grain mills, stuff I haven't quite figured out yet) closest to the Tower.

On the wide sidewalks on Main Street, street vendors abound, often taking over much of the street as well.

Most traffic is foot or horse-and-carriage; cars are rare although jury-rigged car-to-carriage/wagon set-ups are not uncommon, esp. in traders coming from the outside.

Fae are common, welcome, and visible here. Guards are visible at the front gate -- they check in all guests with a level of interest that ranges from "casual hello" to "three-hour interrogation." They also patrol the city, and so, while there is crime, it is not rampant.

Off Main Street, streets branch to either side in a very regular pattern. There are quite a few parks and green spaces, punctuating neighborhoods of houses, many of which have a certain sameness to them and a very pointedly stone construction: stone buildings with slate roofs, many painted or tinted in brilliant colors. Yards are big by pre-War city standards, big enough that you could, if you want, subdivide each yard and put a second house on it. Houses are small by pre-war Suburban standards but large enough to comfortably house large families.

Every house has running water and electricity; phone is not a thing and neither is TV but there are radios and radio programs. The library is huge and full of a very random, completely un-curated selection of "anything we can find." There is also an art gallery - similar collection style - and a history museum.

Much of what is available is industrial-era technology, and there are a lot of scrounged and repurposed items, especially metal things.

Fashion is driven by a few very visible people, and has a sort of Turkish-meets-bazaar-meets-medieval feel much of the time. Cotton, linen, and wool are produced in/near Cloverleaf; the dyes are still mostly natural, except those things Meentiked up magically.

The Clover is the unit of currency; a 100-C bill is approx one day's salary for a basic job.

The political system is a representative democracy under an unelected benign dictator; each circle has (at the beginning) 2 representatives into a council. There is also an appointed Administrator who works much like a VP/Speaker of the House. Economy is lightly taxed capitalism with basic needs for all citizens, the guard system, and maintenance of the city paid for by tax revenue.

Citizens are provided free basic hotel-style housing; there are no homeless in Cloverleaf (unless they want to be. Still working on that). Very basic food/clothing needs are also provided.

Cloverleaf does not, as far as I know, have an army.

It does have a Leo.

edits: Within ~20 years of its founding, Cloverleaf has a weather-moderation system intact. It does not entirely eliminate weather in the city, but what it does is raises the wintertime temperature sufficiently that longer-season crops can be grown, and that the punitive northern winters aren't nearly as punitive.

Also, a mile away from the city or so on the non-river side, there is a hundred-acre forest butting up against and climbing the side of the foothills. Its trees are arranged in a disturbingly regular grid pattern, but it otherwise gives off the feeling of a very natural forest - plenty of plant diversity, wildlife diversity, undergrowth and such.

As the years go on, the forest is expanded by about a acre a year, with trees that are speed-grown up to the ~40-year-age mark and then allowed to go wild. There are probably also more naturally planted trees, as Cloverleaf citizens are allowed to hunt and farm this woods, but encouraged to maintain it as a long-term resource.
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
Some 50 years after this and after a meeting between Enion, Cynara, and Leofric roleplayed between Inventrix & I.

Enion Dayton, the Loophole, is Cynara's father, elsewhere known as Moosedad. He's also Orlaith's father, but that is currently unrelated.

(And yes, Orlaith's daughter Ce'Rilla ends up married to Cynara's son Viddie. At least she didn't marry Yoshi, who, like Ce'Rilla, is the child of an Ambrus-get on his father's side. ;-))

Dear Leofric Lightning-Blade,

Meeting you again - and this time with my daughter Cynara - was certainly an education. The rumors are that you two are close. From the looks of things, you are more capable of swaying her opinion than anyone.

I don't see why you would try to keep me away from Cynara, unless you have some ulterior motive. If you don't, I would like you to release me from the promise you forced me into. There is no reason why I shouldn't be allowed into Cloverleaf. After all, my daughter created it.

You can send your reply to the Halfway Inn, outside of Salvation, in what was once Idaho. I'm sure your messenger can find the place.

Enion Dayton
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
(This one born out of a dream in a rather different way than the last dream-story)

They didn't hunt venison in or around Cloverleaf.

Oh, sure, sometimes someone snagged a buck for their table, but they did so on the sly, and they didn't hang trophies.

There wasn't a law against it — there were very few laws in Cloverleaf against what you could hunt, sell, or eat in terms of food, and they mostly said "don't hunt or eat sentient beings" and "don't sell poison or other non-foods as food." But early on in the city's life, someone had shown their founder-and-leader a prize trophy buck.

The proud hunter — and everyone around him — had noted the way Cya Red Doomsday went pale and a little green. And then someone took a long look at Leofric, one day in Autumn when his Mask was down.

Word got around, slowly but surely. And nobody hunted venison around Cloverleaf anymore.
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
Luke was waiting for Cya at the fence around Lady Maureen's.

She was, she'd admit, predictable, but never in the sixty years that she'd been doing this had Luke stopped her. Talked to her, yes. Chatted, asked questions, sometimes even second-guessed her choices.

Something was different in his posture this time. There was something about the set of his feet and the spread of his wings that told her he wasn't going to wait patiently, and he wasn't here to chat.

Cya shifted her own posture, making sure she could feel the weight of every weapon she carried. She couldn't win a fight with Luca Hunting-Hawk, certainly not on his territory. But she could make sure she got away and survived long enough to call in Boom.

He stepped forward. "Cya."

"Sir." She noticed, then, that he had his body and wings angled oddly. Hiding something? "Nice weather this year."

"I have something for you."

That's what I'm worried about. "Sir?" He never had been great at small talk.

"I'm not something!" The complaint came from behind Luke; he shifted, folded his wings, and hauled a young man in front of him.

He was blonde, with a look Cynara recognized well - the chin, the nose, although the eyes were different. He looked more like Howard than like Leo, but they often did. And he looked not very close to either of them -- but that made sense, because it'd been generations, and not every child of Aelfgar could've managed to have children with a sibling.

Unlike any of her favorite Aelf-get, he had a crown of horns radiating out of his blonde curls like a sunburst. Like many of them, he was wearing a seemingly perpetual scowl.

"Cya Red Doomsday, this is Apollo the Sun-fire. Apollo, this is the woman I was telling you about."

Cya raised her eyebrows. "I don't really do unwilling, Luke." She couldn't miss the way the Hawk's fingers were pressing into the boy's forearm.

"You used to."

"I used to be a child. We were all children, once." This conversation was not going where she'd thought it would. "I grew up."

"That's the problem." He pushed Apollo forward; the boy tried to resist, but Luke was a force of nature. "This one didn't. He managed to sit through four years of Addergoole and I don't think he learned a damn thing, not the important stuff. He's going to get himself killed out there."

"He's right here." Apollo shifted as far away from Luke as the grip on his arm would allow. "And I'll be fine. Look, I know how to fight. I'll be able to take on anything I run into out there."

Cya sighed quietly. "I see what you're saying. But the thrill of the fight got old a long time ago, Luke, and I have my hands full."

Apollo leered at her. "I'll give you a fight, Lady."

"Red Doomsday." Luke's voice grew soft and formal. "I am fond of this idiot, and he was my student. I am asking you a favor, that perhaps you might succeed where I have failed. It is not a small favor, and I pay my debts."

Cya let that hang in the air. She looked the boy, pout, spikes, blonde hair, up and then down again.

"You." She nodded at the kid. "You Belong to me for the next year."


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