19 July 2017 @ 08:28 am
 
important discovery: photographic evidence of william douglas enjoying rome
 
 
18 July 2017 @ 01:34 pm
 It is the very height of summer now, so the fields are turning golden, the young animals in the meadows are nicely grown and running around when they are not stuffing their faces with the abundant grass, and the people are busy in the gardens and in the workshops and among the granaries.

One of the children points up at the procession coming down the barrow-hill, and then everybody is running up to meet them.
 
 
18 July 2017 @ 05:19 am
Yamato's room is actually less tidy than usual, today. Not by much, but he looks like he might not have made his bed this morning, there's a few items of clothes on the floor, a few boxes left out on the worktop, and various other small signs of clutter instead of it being as immaculately neat as it usually is.

"Er, sorry about the mess," Yamato says, quickly. "Won't take me long to freshen up, but if you want, I'm pretty sure there's lemonade in the fridge."
 
 
17 July 2017 @ 10:03 pm
Cassian typed in another form, one more ship to pass through and he knew that Enla would find a way to take her skim off while their boss would add another charge. The Black Sun had left their most of their structure behind, ways to keep ships behind, every shopkeeper expected to pay for insurance, all the Empire had to do was take it over.

Evidence upon evidence but who would care, the Senate where getting a topic that mattered spoken of required months of work. Advocate groups that were concerned with all their own troubles and wanted their names mentioned on the Holonet in Coruscant. It would go to the Senators when he had it distilled, Organa knew how to make change, small change but it existed. One chink in the armor, but how many would it take to bring it all down?

Patterns of ships and troops, that could lead to disruption but too much and the retaliation could go in the wrong places. Where were those shipments going? He'd have to find deeper links into Imperial records to find out. Where was the Empire going next? Would they ever be able to stop them?

He stretched as the shift ended, smiled at Ganto and went to buy a cheap dinner. His gaze went to the ships passing overhead, everything moving somewhere and if he kept looking, he'd see the Empire's patterns and how to destroy them.
 
 
17 July 2017 @ 05:55 pm
The room is not just as it was when Jim was here last. William hasn't been in Milliways this whole time; he'd come back, long enough for the night to wear off, for him to have a chance to talk to his cousin, check on a few things. Post-Jim damage assessment.

But it's still the same room. They walk in through the same heavy wardrobe, and there's St. George up on the wall, a smell of greenery coming in from the windows with the late-afternoon sun. Someone's been in to tidy a bit. (Unless it was William who thought to clear away the empty bottle and used glass, and the crust of bread on the side table.)

"It's just the next day," he offers when they get in, in case Jim was wondering.
 
 
17 July 2017 @ 08:50 am
[Continued from here.]

Pam opens the Staff Only door onto the main room of Fangtasia. It's empty and quiet, though some of the lights are still on, illuminating the dance poles and the stage.

The stage glows a deep blood red, the throne stands without its sheriff.

Pam drifts toward the edge of the room. She keeps her distance from Eric, knowing that the smell of rotting flesh upsets him as much as it would anyone.

"This is your nightclub, Eric."
 
 
16 July 2017 @ 06:54 pm
It's exhilarating, running at full speed through the darkness.
The fairy's blood is lighting his veins on fire, and when he looks down at his arm, he is almost certain he can actually see it, the fairy blood, red and glittering beneath his skin.

He throws his head back and laughs and then he reaches his arms above his head and hurtles into the night sky , almost colluding with a terrified bird.

The night is a blur and the sunrise - ah, the sunrise. It is so beautiful that he weeps, half-hidden in the branches of an old tree.
But he doesn't hide for long, lured out by the clear sound of water moving against land.

It is not the sea. But it is water, moving invitingly like a woman's body, adorns with strands of glittery sunlight.
He strips and dives in.

And then he hears her. Her heartbeat. Her pretty, fast heartbeat.

(And another heartbeat. But that's not important).

He breaks through the surface, feeling the drops scatter around him, and calls, "Hey, Sookie! Where have you been? Come. Come play with me. It's wonderful here."

His voice is full of laughter.

"I am Aegir, God of the Sea, and you are Ran, my sea goddess."


"There's big gators in there, you crazy Viking! Get on out and let's go home, before one of them chomps off your you-know-what," Sookie yells back, sounding just on the edge of panicky.

(He is really naked out there. And wet. And glistening. And drunk off his face).

"Leave the sun to the water? Nope. I'll just kill all the sea monsters! Gators, krukodiler! Show yourselves! Cowards!"

It is a game. Though he wouldn't mind killing a sea monster for her.

"He really is different," someone says, and Eric is suddenly hyper aware of the man. The were. The fucker.

Right. Next. To. Her.

"Get away from her! " he sneers.

"Fuck you! She wants me here," he yells back and Sookie tries to intervene. And introduce. "Eric, this is Alcide. He's our friend. He's gonna help you." And adding, because this is no herder party and she knows these two. "You don't want to fight him."

Eric's answer is predictable. And a little eager. "Yes, I do. Now prepare to die, you stinking dog."

As is Alcide's. "Take your shot, you dumbshit fanger."

And Sookie has had it with them. "Grow up, you giant babies! Alcide, stop making that noise. Eric, put up those fangs and do what I say! "

He is about to yell something when he suddenly feels the ground disappear under his feet. "Uh, uh I don't feel so good," he mumbles,

"Now will you listen to me?"

He looks up at her, eyes wide and confused, " Sookie, I hurt. My blood is burning."
"I know," she says, and Alcide can't help but notice that she doesn't sound quite as put upon as she ought to,
"Now, come on. You gotta get going. Vamp speed."

"I don't want to go back to the darkness," he whimpers. "I want us, I want us -" She interrupts him. "Just keep that blanket on, and the sun at your back."

"Sookie, I'm -"
"Go. Run. We'll be right behind you."

And he does as he is told, running blindly back toward the house.

He sits on the cot, swaying slightly, when she makes her way down the ladder.
The were is staying upstairs. Wisely.

"I don't want to go to sleep," he murmurs, looking at her with bloodshot eyes,

"You have to rest," Sookie says. Reasonably. "You got all burned up today. Let me check." Looking him over, touching him gently.

"Everything healed. Now, lay down and close your eyes."

"No," he says. Unreasonably.

"No."

There's a hint of a pout.

"If you stay awake, you're gonna start bleeding all over the place," she tells him, a little sternly.

"I know what the bleeds are."
Petulant now.

"Fine," she says, getting up, " then you can clean it up. I'm not a maid."

"Stay with me."

He doesn't care if he sounds weak. Or needy.

"Please."

"Can't," she says, surprised at the pang she feels. "Human stuff to do."

He gets tucked in and she leaves. He closes his eyes.

And then he wakes. Knowing that her house is empty.
The last of the fairy blood is making his restless.

He gets up and wraps himself in the blanket before climbing up the ladder.
And entering Miliways.
 
 
14 July 2017 @ 09:51 pm
When Cassian enters, he's changed into a shirt that maybe once was red and a suit jacket that's casual and like the other one, once belonged to a larger man.

It helps to sell the character if his clothes show someone trying to improve and get farther from the Outer Rim.

He looks around for Cassidy as they want to use as much of the night as they can.
 
 
15 July 2017 @ 01:03 am
“Oh, good, Ursus are here,” Adelle says, tone entirely flat. “Go bears.”

Mateus barely acknowledges she said anything as he and his two cohorts stride into the clearing, but the boy with red hair does tip his hat with a dramatic flourish.

“Fighting the horde of Heartless now is premature,” Mateus says, grabbing the Queen’s podium and pulling himself up onto it, so that he looms over them all. “Let them overrun this place. There are hundreds of hearts in their path, and once all of them have become Heartless, there’ll be more than enough for both Leopardos and Ursus to get their fair share. Everyone wins.”

“Apart from all of these guys,” Eden notes, waving a hand around at the guards, Alice, the Rabbit, and the Queen.

“Everyone who matters wins,” Mateus says, lifting a slender eyebrow. “You’re new, so I’d hardly expect you to understand, but the trifling affairs of other worlds are a very long way beneath the dignity of Daybreak Town. Our purpose is to defeat Heartless and collect hearts -- the more Heartless there are, the better we attain that goal.”

The Queen of Heartless slams her hands down on her podium, either side of Mateus’ feet. “This is an outrage! Off with their heads! Off with their heads!”

“What you’re saying makes a lot of sense!” Eden chirps, putting his hands behind his head. “Can’t argue with that logic. But -- I can’t say I’m one for waiting around. Quicker we thin out that horde, quicker I can buy Luso his ice cream. Thanks for the offer, but we’ll be going now.”

Off with their heads! Off with their -- ...”

Mateus sighs. Eden catches his keyblade appearing in his hand a second before he spins and drives it through the Queen of Hearts’ chest. She shudders, going rigid, an orange and red glow emanating from her chest.

“‘Queen of Hearts?’” Mateus murmurs. “A grandiose moniker, ill-suited for one such as yourself. Be happy. That darkness in your heart may yet serve Ursus.”

Luso starts towards Mateus, only for the red-haired boy to wave his hand, summoning a row of shimmering keyblades to stop him in his tracks.

“Stay right there,” the white-haired girl says, summoning her own keyblade.

Eden’s Chirithy appears, waving a paw at Mateus. “This is an obvious breach of -- …”

“Not at all,” another Chirithy replies, materialising on Mateus’ shoulder. “The Master’s laws do not forbid this in the slightest.”

“Consider this a gift from Ursus,” Mateus says, tugging his keyblade from the Queen’s chest, sending a wave of red rippling out over the clearing. “A foe for you to vanquish while we defeat the horde.”

The Queen stands in place, twitching, staring straight ahead as sparks of light crackle from her chest. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, flakes of shadow start to rise from her shoulders and hair.

“So, you want to distract us while you rake in hearts. It’s possible to be too competitive, Mateus,” Adelle says, summoning her keyblade.

“It’s because of thinking like that that you’re at the bottom of the rankings,” Mateus replies, hopping down from the podium. “Don’t worry. We’ll be sure to complete the mission.”

The three move to the maze’s exit, keeping the wall of keyblades between them. As they leave, the red-haired boy sweeps into a low bow, doffing his hat.

“Let’s follow them,” Luso says, as the keyblade wall vanishes.

No,” Eden’s Chirithy snaps. “You’re needed here.”

At the podium, the Queen is suddenly engulfed in a cloud of darkness, spiralling down to the ground and coalescing into something large and tusked, furred in shadowy black and bright red, with a golden crown on its head. As the last of the cloud vanishes, Eden sees the Queen’s body swaying, just before it vanishes into twinkling lights.

The Rabbit is the first one to scream, and his yell sets off the guards, who flee into the maze, dropping their spears as they go. Only Alice and the little man remain, as Alice eases herself back towards the keybearers.

“A Heartless?” Eden asks.

“The Queen’s own Heartless,” Chirithy replies. “Mateus unlocked the darkness in her heart.”

The Heartless digs one hoof into the ground, looking left and right until its gaze alights on the little man, hurrying towards it.

“Oh, deary me!” The little man says. “I never imagined ...  but it’s not all bad, my dear, we’ll have you back to your old self soon enough, and until then, well, I say you have lovely tu -- …”

The Heartless’ jaws snap open before closing onto him, engulfing him entirely. Eden hears him continue to witter on for a few seconds, before he falls silent.

Alice gasps, covering her mouth. “I say, she just gobbled him up!”

“Sure did,” Eden says. “You should run!”

“Maybe I can find my way back to that mean old doo -- …”

“I don’t care, go away.”

The Heartless chooses that moment to move, lowering its head and charging. Adelle and Luso jump into its path, crossing their keyblades, letting it ram its tusks up against them before shoving it back.

That’s apparently all the prompting Alice needs to run, as she turns tail and sprints out of the maze.

“Reckon I should go with her?” Adelle asks.

“Nah. She’ll be fine,” Eden says, holding his hand out in front of him and summoning his keyblade, the sunlight dancing through its stained glass of teeth, sending blue and green patterns over the grass. “Both of you ready?”

---


Eden has a plan.

“I have a plan,” he says, flinging himself out of the way of the Heartless just before it hits him, leaving it to careen through a hedge before circling back around with surprising agility, charging once again.

Luso moves into its path this time, wedging his keyblade into the ground and letting the Heartless collide with it, digging his heels in as it pushed. “I’m up for hearing it.”

“Okay, so we lure her out of the maze and to the castle,” Eden says, leaping out of the way again as the Heartless turns and breathes out a stream of flame towards him, “and then we set up all the mirrors so that she’s directed through the castle up to the top of the tallest tower, and then we’re waiting there and when she’s not expecting it we shove her off the top. Can’t charge at us if she’s busy falling down. That’s just science.”

“That’s a stupid plan!” Adelle calls from atop a hedge.

You’re a stupid plan!

Adelle shakes her head, reaching for her belt, to the pouch next to her Text, and tugging out three cards. “Just keep her distracted, losers.”

Eden gives an agreeing grunt, and he and Luso start circling, skimming over the ground and darting in just long enough to draw her attention towards one of them, before the other moves in to pull her attention in the other direction.

Adelle waves her hand, the cards hanging in the air in front of her. As Eden passes by, he catches the ornate, gilt drawings on them: Some furry, big-eared, long-nosed thing, with ‘VALOR’ written beneath it; a woman in a shimmery blue dress, with ‘WINTER’ written beneath her; and -- …

Eden loses sight again as he darts in and over the Heartless, batting his keyblade against its side.

“Herd it towards me!” Adelle yells.

Luso drives his keyblade into the ground, levering the Heartless around on one side, as Eden fires off a barrage of criss-crossing beams of light, funneling it towards Adelle as she sweeps her keyblade over the cards.

As the Heartless charges, Adelle drives her glowing keyblade forward, and at the moment the tip of it lands between the Heartless’ eyes, a wave of cold billows outwards, freezing the hedges solid and encasing the Heartless in ice.

It shatters as Adelle drags her keyblade back, and two glowing hearts start to drift away. Chirithy catches them, stuffing them into the pouch he wears around his neck, before landing back on Eden’s head.

Adelle flicks her keyblade, dismissing it into glittering sparkles. “We okay to go?”

“Sure,” Luso says, a little uncertainly. “But, er. What are the people here going to do? They kind of lost both their monarchs on the same day, y’know?”

“Not our problem,” Eden says. “‘Beneath the dignity of Daybreak Town,’ as Mateus’d say.”

---


They find Alice out in the woods, making her way carefully through the briars towards where Eden thinks the Dodo and his dancers are.

“You didn’t run very far,” he notes.

“Oh, I did!” Alice exclaims. “But somehow I just found myself going in circles. This place is terribly confusing.”

“Do you need us to help you back?” Luso asks.

“No, thank you, I think I’m on the right path now,” Alice says, and gives them all a quick curtsey before hurrying away.

Chirithy appears once she’s gone, settling on Eden’s shoulder. “There aren’t any more Heartless in this world. Ursus did a good job exterminating them.”

“We’ve prepared a path for you,” Adelle’s Chirithy adds, appearing at her feet.

“Yes,” Eden’s Chirithy says. “I’d be happy if we never came back to this world.”

---


The Moogle at the Union desk peers at them over his spectacles like they’ve just grown second heads.

“How many hearts did you bring back, again?”

“Five,” Eden says, cheerfully.

“That’s what I thought you said,” the Moogle says. “Well, you get a hundred munny each for your efforts, plus ten munny for every heart. You can share that between yourselves.”

He rummages around for a few moments, producing three small bags of coins and sliding them, inch by inch, over the desk.

As soon as he’s handed over their pay, Adelle snatches Eden’s portion, pocketing it. “That’ll go towards your debt.”

“But there’s nothing left for me,” Eden protests. “That’s so unfair.”

“That’s capitalism, Ed.”

Luso dangles his own bag of coins in front of his face, mouth drooping. “Ursus stole, like, five-hundred Heartless out from underneath us. They must be rolling in munny right now.”

“They’re going to be buying so much ice cream,” Eden adds, mournfully. “Hey, Adelle, buy us ice cream.”

“No.”
 
 
13 July 2017 @ 10:45 pm
Chirrut started with one plant.

One sapir tea plant, more of a little side project than anything else, to test the waters of gardening - it's been so long since the temple and its protected gardens were a part of his life.

That was a couple months ago.

After finding that he was crowding their rooms with plants, Chirrut slowly moved his operation to a new room provided by Bar - one with light from windows he's been told are large, and a watering system built in so he doesn't have to fret about the job being done. His sapir plants sit neatly in a row along their bench as he fusses with them, setting them up just so.

He's found he missed this.

He didn't think it was something he had been missing, before.
 
 
13 July 2017 @ 11:14 pm
Ibani had gone off to the market to run a few errands, something she does fairly regularly without coming to any mischief. Today though, well, today there were bullies that needed to be Dealt With.

Which is why Guard Kastan is standing in front of the Temple of the Kyber, shifting from foot to foot and tapping her fingers against her belt. She's asked one of the acolytes to fetch Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus so she can escort them to the guard station where Ibani is currently being held.

Guard Kastan is presuming Ibani's parents are pilgrims, which means she's likely in for quite a surprise!
 
 
13 July 2017 @ 10:20 pm
Sariel Rager, Sonya Gomez, Lian Tsu, Emily Tyler, Selar, Miriam Gates, Tess Allenby, and a bottle of sneakily-obtained, still-under-an-embargo but not all that shocking to have around Romulan ale. For the record, Tyler is the one who procured it.

Sonya raises her glass, grinning in what looks like the sort of excitement that comes of sneaking ice cream out of the kitchen during a sleepover. "As we say in Sebu City, mis amigas--" there follow a few words in Tagalog that the translator doesn't catch before she switches back to excited English "--or, bottoms up!"

Sariel looks as though she's trying to hold in her reaction, whatever it is, but Tsu bops her jovially on the arm. "Come on, Sariel, spit it out!"

"Don't spit the drink out!" Gomez squeaks, half-laughing, half urgent, and Allenby can't restrain a fit of giggles. Whether they're over the word choices going around, the image, or just the booze isn't clear. Rager blinks once, twice, then opens her mouth though not, it must be said, to do anything resembling a spit take. This time the translator kicks in.

"{Dear lord in heaven that's strong...!}"

Her declaration trails away into laughter that's somewhere near the triple junction of startled, pained and amazed. Tsu smirks, but it's nowhere near an unkind thing.

Two seats along, Selar clears her throat, just once, but with apparent conviction. "That is not an experience I will endeavor to repeat."

Gates outright snorts in amusement, and Tyler is a whisker from giggling when she responds. "In other words yuck?"

Selar regards the engineer levelly for a moment before answering that, but there's a lightening of her eyes that takes nearly all the potential harshness out of her words. "... A narrow and emotionally-influenced interpretation of my actual statement, but I do not deny, I would prefer not to partake again if given the opportunity to do so."

Tyler all but crows in triumph. "You totally said yuck!"
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: tipsy
Current Location: crew quarters, USS Enterprise
 
 
14 July 2017 @ 12:22 am
“Okay,” Luso says, reaching into his jacket. “If we’re going to do this, we need to do this right. Here.”

He thrusts an object into Eden’s hand, and another into Adelle’s. Eden glances down at his hand, tilting his head a little.

“... Sunglasses?”

“They’ll make us look cool and professional,” Luso says, putting his on. They almost completely obscure his eyes. Eden shrugs, pulling his on as well.

“Remember, guys, this is serious,” Adelle says, as she puts on her own sunglasses.

---


“I say, have we met before?”

“No,” Eden says, holding out his arm for Luso to scribble a note on (“I didn’t bring a notepad!” “But you did bring a pen?”) “So, just making sure Lu’s got everything right: First name ‘the,’ middle initial ‘M,’ last name ‘Hatter,’ and you say Alice was here having a tea party with you?”

The man in the hat nods. “We had jam!”

“They had jam,” Eden murmurs to Luso. “Not sure what that is, but they had it.”

“Can anybody else corroborate that?” Luso asks.

The man in the hat points down the table, to a mouse sleepily rising out of a teapot.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat … how I … how I wonder …” the mouse says, softly.

“That sounds like it could be important, note it down,” Eden tells Luso.

As Luso quickly scribbles the note onto Eden’s forearm, Eden catches Adelle skateboarding past, giving them encouraging fingerguns.

---


They’re questioning a pair of identical men when it happens. A Heartless, spherical save for three tentacles protruding from it, bursts from the undergrowth, followed by two more.

“Heartless!” Luso calls, as Adelle brings her skateboard to a sharp stop and whisks off her sunglasses.

“On it,” Adelle replies.

The two of them summon their keyblades -- Luso’s large, bulky and translucent Warring Leonid; and Adelle’s slender, sparkling Silver Tiger. Eden snaps his own into his hand.

“One each?” Adelle asks.

“One of us should take a picture,” Luso says. “It’s evidence.

“You can do that,” Eden says, and Luso tucks his keyblade under his arm, pulling out his Text and flipping through the pages until he finds a camera function. “Adelle and I will do all the hard work.”

‘Hard work’ is right, it turns out. The spherical Heartless zip around the woods fast enough that forty percent of the battle is chasing them down, and forty percent is fending off rapid attacks from their tentacles. The remaining twenty percent is trying to herd them into places where Luso can take pictures of them.

Eden takes down the first, trapping it in place with a barrage of criss-crossing beams of light and then slicing it in two, and a minute later Adelle freezes the second in place and shatters it with a flurry of thrusts. They converge on the third and batter it to death in short order.

“Did you get any good shots?” Adelle asks, putting her sunglasses back on. Eden adjusts his own pair, now askew and hanging lopsidedly off his nose, so that they sit more comfortably over his eyes.

“A bunch!” Luso says, giving them both a thumbs up.

“Heartless separated from the main horde,” Luso’s Chirithy notes, from his shoulder.

“And of a type not native to this world, I do believe,” Adelle’s Chirithy adds.

“Curious indeed,” Eden’s Chirithy says. “We’ll have to report this to Foreteller Gula.”

The other two make agreeable noises, before all three vanish.

“What’s got them worked up?” Luso asks, shaking his head. “Weird guys. Anyway!”

He nods to Eden, and Eden reaches over to grab one of the twins by the back of his shirt, swinging them roughly towards Luso for further questions.

“So, describe the being you saw exiting the Queen’s castle,” Luso says. "We'll draw the culprit based on what you say."

---


darkball


“This is way better than my drawings, Lu,” Eden says, mildly, peering at his arm.

“Thanks! Sometimes I think of myself as an artist first, and a keybearer second,” Luso replies.

“You have a rare skill.”

“It’s clearly that big spherical Heartless we saw, right?” Adelle asks, leaning over Luso’s head.

“Oh, yeah, deffo,” Luso says.

---


They catch sight of the horde of Heartless in the middle of interrogating a particularly obstinate dodo.

“Moving towards the castle,” Adelle notes.

“Perhaps they’re drawn to the girl,” Adelle’s Chirithy remarks. “Her light shines brighter than anyone else’s here.”

“Speaking of the girl,” Eden’s Chirithy adds, “I understand that this world is a terribly distracting place, but someone please tell Luso to stop dancing so that we may return to the castle and present our evidence before it is overrun by Heartless.”

“But he looks like he’s having fun. We should leave him here forever instead.”

“No, Eden.”

---


Luso slams his hand down on the podium. “So, as you see, Alice could not possibly have been the one to try to steal your heart!”

The Queen doesn’t say anything, having long ago started staring into space, until the small man next to her tugs at her sleeve. “My dear? The trial is over.”

“Hm? Then I shall give my verdict!” The Queen says grandly, leaning forward and gesturing at Alice. “I have listened to all of the evidence given today, and come to the obvious conclusion.”

Eden takes a step to one side, eyes flicking between Luso and the Queen as she pauses for dramatic effect, straightening herself up to her full but not tremendously impressive height.

“Alice, I find you guilty. Off with her head! Off with her head!

Eden sighs, lifting his shoulders into an expressive shrug. “Well, I guess that’s our job done. Bad luck, Alice, goodbye forever.”

“Sorry, not sorry,” Adelle says.

“But this is simply absurd!” Alice protests.

“Sorry,” Adelle repeats, a little more firmly, “not sorry.”

“We should go deal with that horde of Heartless before they get here, I guess,” Eden says, raising his arms over his head and stretching, as Luso shrugs and tosses his sunglasses on the ground, and several guards move to try to drag a reluctant Alice away.

“Now, why would you want to do that?

That’s not the Queen, or Alice, or anybody Eden knew was on this world, yet he still isn’t even remotely surprised when Mateus emerges from the hedge maze, with the red-haired boy in the hat on one side, and a girl with white hair styled into elaborate horns on the other.

“Oh, good, Ursus are here,” Adelle says, tone entirely flat. “Go bears.”
 
 
14 July 2017 @ 12:21 am
Day Forty.

Heartless Suppression Mission:
Wonderland.
A large number of Heartless are congregating in Wonderland. Their numbers must be thinned by at least ninety percent to be within safe parameters.


The Lane Between spits Eden, Luso, and Adelle out into a -- a hedge thing? Eden thinks it’s a maze, but if it is, then they’re at the center of it, surrounded by giant, anthropomorphised cards, while a young blond girl stands facing a woman in black and red, raised up high above the rest of the proceedings.

Freyra flicks open her Text, trailing her fingers over it as she brings up the pages on Wonderland. “That’s the Queen of Hearts. Local ruler, nothing to worry about.”

“The small one or the high-up one?” Eden asks.

“High-up one,” Freyra says, showing him the page.

Eden glances at it, and the sketch of a woman in a poofy dress, and back up at the figure overseeing the -- the whatever this is. Something that involves everyone looking very nervous.

“Read the charges!” The Queen of Hearts calls, prompting a rather harried looking rabbit to start shuffling through some papers.

“The, er, the accused, Alice, is charged with breaking and entering, assault, and the attempted theft of Her Majesty’s heart,” the Rabbit says.

“Exactly so! Now,” the Queen says, leaning forward in obvious glee. “Are you ready to hear your sentence?”

Eden feels a weight on his head as Chirithy appears, digging his paws in slightly to get a good grip on Eden’s hair.

“This is called a trial,” Chirithy whispers, slowly and carefully. “It’s a process by which a person accused of breaking the rules has their guilt ascertained and a punishment decided upon.”

“It’s an excuse to argue about stuff while sounding important,” Adelle mutters to Eden’s right, standing on tiptoes to reach his ear.

“Still, the negative emotions that an execution would cause would risk the creation of more Heartless,” Chirithy says, prodding a paw at Eden’s forehead. “One of you should speak up.”

“I agree,” Luso’s Chirithy adds, materialising on his shoulder.

“You would, you’re all the same person anyway,” Eden mutters.

“The culprit behind the attempted theft was most certainly a Heartless,” Adelle’s Chirithy adds, materialising next to her. “We’d be remiss in letting someone else take the blame for it.”

Eden pauses, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “Hey, do you guys do this on every mission? Just run errands and stuff instead of hunting Heartless? You -- you ever think that might be why we’re the lowest ranked -- …”

Sentence?” Alice asks. “But there must be a verdict first!”

“Sentence first!” The Queen snaps, slamming a fist down. “Verdict later.”

“But that just isn’t the way!”

Always …” The Queen starts, voice rising, turning red in the face.

“-- Your way, of course,” Alice interjects quickly, holding up her hands placatingly.

The Queen relaxes instantly, smiling benevolently. “Yes, my child. Off with her -- …

“Oh, fine,” Eden mutters, before taking several steps forward. “Hey! Queen Person!”

The court goes deathly silent, as Eden laces his fingers behind his head, giving the Queen of Hearts his biggest, sunniest grin.

“Ahem,” Chirithy says, a little irritably. “Forgive the boy, Your Majesty. We come with a request from Daybreak Town.”

The Queen leans forward, tapping the tip of her scepter (is that made out of cardboard?) against her podium. “Well, spit it out.”

“If it pleases Your Majesty, we’d like to attempt to prove this young girl’s innocence,” Chirithy says. “While she is most certainly an ill-mannered rogue and a degenerate, as Your Majesty has so keenly noticed, we think there may be another culprit behind the shameful attempt to steal your royal heart.”

A rather small man pokes his head out from behind the Queen’s podium. “It would be nice to have some witness testimonies, my dear!”

“If you must, then,” the Queen says, clearly long suffering. “And then afterwards, off with her head!

Eden raises a hand, waving it slightly to catch the Queen’s attention.

“Maybe, if she didn’t do it, she should get to keep her head. She can lose something else,” he says. “Like a foot.”

Off with her foot!

Eden can practically feel Chirithy’s withering glare burning into the top of his head. “I helped,” he chirps, vaguely up in Chirithy’s direction, but gets no response.
 
 
13 July 2017 @ 06:52 pm
"Willix, get over here and bring me those reports!" The yell carried through the office and Cassian hurried over to say with his accent stronger, "Here, sir, all prepared."

Niol, the customs' officer at the port took the datachip and scanned it with a few tuts, "Fair work but you'll have to do better here in the Mid-Rim, Willix."

"Of course, sir, I want to prove myself," Cassian smoothed his hair and kept his eyes low until he was dismissed with a wave. Then he went back to his desk to sit and work on the busywork of the port and looking for the cracks that he could use.

Night had long fallen by the time he made his way to the tiny government apartment that he was assigned and pushed open the door. Then he tugged off the suit jacket and stretched, he'd have to find which cantinas to go into next. He'd had a few openings from others at the offices but they wanted to see how eager and how smart he was, which meant a lot of playing up being from the Outer Rim. Lunch tomorrow would be a good chance to ask and be amazed at Ord Mantell, they'd like that. He checked the apartment, no one had searched it though he expected they would at some point and his compartment was well hidden.
 
 
12 July 2017 @ 08:01 pm
“Captain Andor, I don’t care what you do during the day but until your side is healed to a point I deem enough, you will spend the night in the medbay,” Doctor Relyne’s voice bore through Cassian as he sat with Kay in the shadows near the tactical room.

He didn’t know how she found him, it was too bad she wasn’t in Intelligence, no one could hide from her. Slowly he stood up, his side was sore and Kay automatically stood up with him, “Yes, ma’am. I’ll do that.”

“If you insist on working out here, then at least get another dose, your last one is clearly wearing off,” She said and looked pointedly at how he was slightly leaning on Kay.

Kay said, “It is, but Cassian was going to work another hour. When he is resting against me, he only hurts sometimes.”

“Kay, that’s not helping,” He appreciated Kay noticing, he did, just not telling everyone.

“Yes, it is. I monitor you and when you’re in pain, your heart rate goes up and you change how you sit multiple times,” Kay looked at him to explain in his patient voice.

“Thank you, Kaytwo, that is useful. Now Captain,” She gave him a long stare and Cassian walked towards her and the medbay. Kay stayed beside him until he was deposited on a chair and Doctor Relyne gave him the hypospray. He could feel the fuzzy edges that the medicine brought as the pain lessened and leaned back on the chair, he’d sit until he felt like himself again.
 
 
12 July 2017 @ 01:11 am
It was late evening, in one of the many taverns that dotted the city of New York: Ganymede sat alone with a meal and a pipe, listening vaguely to the conversations around him, most of which were predictably centered on the ongoing war. He didn't have much faith that the colonists would truly win, would honestly separate from Britain and not collapse to anarchy soon thereafter, but being the sort who valued not being tarred-and-feathered, he kept that opinion to himself.

He was writing, actually, a long letter to a friend back on the continent whom he hadn't seen in years. He hoped Johannes was still alive at this point to even receive it.

And Ganymede might have stayed peacefully alone, if he hadn't been at the table with the only empty seat in the place.
Tags: ,
 
 
 
10 July 2017 @ 08:10 pm
 
 After completing the mission, Sabine goes in search of Hera. The galley is a bust, which means she's likely in the cockpit.

As she climbs the ladder, she can't help the clench of fear in her belly. She knows it's silly--she's bringing good news--but she can't help the thought of what happened back on Mandalore, when she thought was delivering good news and instead it was used to betray her friends. 

Back stiff, she enters and removes her helmet, holding it under her arm.

(It's totally not a comfort thing.)

 "The mission was a success."
 
 
10 July 2017 @ 09:13 pm
 
The end of the year is approaching. Fry had never imagined he'd miss someone like Miss Havisham, but he finds he's glad she's not retiring after all.

She's still a good way behind Mr Irons in his favourite teacher list, but he would take some beating.

There are a few loose ends to tie off. The first is to announce that he has, indeed, won the credit chart for doing the most extra work. He hasn't beaten the all-time record, held by Rosie Sinclair, but he gets the trophy and that's more than enough.


The second, is the class gathering in the garden to do the last harvest of their garden box challenges.

"You have learned many things." Miss Havisham says. "You have learned that growing crops requires year-around dedication, and space, and money. You learned that you can achieve more working in co-operation with one another, sharing seeds and knowledge and work.

I want you to remember that I set you a challenge of five pounds because some people have even less than that spare income. Remember how difficult it is to do things, however hard you work, with very little money, and be understanding of how difficult it is for the poor.

"But if you are unlucky enough to ever be poor yourself, remember how to do things like this. One potato plant is better than none."


Finally, Miss Havisham tells them that they will be spending an afternoon with Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald, their new class teacher for next year. She says a few words to them first.

"Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald is not the sort of teacher I am." she says. "In fact, I doubt you will ever have another teacher like me, who doesn't use technology, and puts so much emphasis on self-directed learning. I am a dinosaur, the last of my kind.

"If you want to get the most out of education, then you can continue to learn independently outside of school. You have all the books and resources and, dare I say it, even the internet. If you do not understand something, look it up. If you are poor at a subject, do more of it. If you want to achieve something, and you are not on track to, do something about it. Just because your next teacher will not, as I do, push you to do extra credit assignments, does not mean there is no benefit in you doing so, if you choose to."

She takes them through to the classroom next door. Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald gives them a friendly wave.

"Sit wherever." He says, gesturing to the tables.

Fry pauses. He's never not had an assigned seat before. Maybe it will at least be his own seat once he's chosen one.

"Fry, let's sit here, with Noah." Teddy suggests, seeing him looking lost. Fry sits gratefully at the little table.

Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald waits for them to be quiet, and when they are still chatting, holds up a hand.

"Right, this is a thing we did in the Boy Scouts. If I put my hand up, you all put your hand up, and you stop talking. Last one to stop talking is a rotten egg."

They all put their hands up and stop talking. Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald puts his hand down again.

"Awesome. I don't like to shout over a class. Let me tell you a few things about the way I work.

"Number one. You are children. I want you to use your imaginations. I want you to ask questions. I want you to ask stupid questions. I want you to tell me what you want to know. That's what this box at the front is for. If you don't tell me what you want to learn, we will do dull stuff from text books.

"Number two. I want you to be comfortable. If you need to take off your shoes or your tie or roll up your sleeves, or wear shorts in summer, or wear a dress if you're a boy, you do not need to ask, go ahead. You do have to put yourselves back together again before you leave the room. You can use fidget spinners or anything you need to concentrate so long as you're not bothering anyone else. You do not have to ask permission to go pee. And..." he pauses to make sure they are paying attention. "You can have your phones or devices or whatever in class, and you can use them to look stuff up, so long as we're not taking a test. If you start mucking around or texting, then they'll go in the box.

"Number three. Don't assume that just because I can't remember your name that I don't know anything about you.

"Number four. Punishing you is a waste of your time and mine. I'm pretty relaxed, so if I do tell you to do something, do us a favour and just do as you're told, okay? Any questions?"

Fry puts his hand up.

"May I stay sitting here for the rest of the year?"

"Yes, sit where you like." Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald says. "I don't move anyone unless they're being a nuisance."

Everyone seems very happy with all of this. Fry looks over at the long-haired, bearded teacher, with his feet on the table. He still feels unsure.

Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald then goes around the class, passing around some envelopes and scrapbooks.

"This is your holiday assignment." he says.

Fry opens the envelope. Inside are ten bean seeds.

"I want you all to find as many different uses for these beans as possible. I want you to use your imaginations. Each thing you find to do with them, you write in your scrapbook. Pictures even better. The only things you can't do are eat them - these are seeds, they're not edible unless you plant them - or stick them up your nose or in your ears or anything dangerous that will get me into trouble with your parents. Prize for the winner at the start of next term."

Fry stares at the beans. What a stupid assignment! Bean seeds are for planting. What else would you ever do with them?

When the rest of the class goes out to play, he hangs back.

"Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald?" he asks, when they've all gone. "Did Mr Irons or Miss Havisham tell you about me?"

"Yes." Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald says. Fry had half-expected the teacher not to know his name. "Your name is Alexander Jefry Sandhu, you prefer to be called Fry, and you have Asperger Syndrome which causes you some sensory issues and affects your ability to adapt to change. You learned to overcome change slowly with Mr Irons. I am going to help you develop imagination and the ability to deal with surprises."

"Surprises." Fry says flatly.

"Nice surprises." Mr Magnesium-Fitzgerald says. "And I won't be mad if you can't use your imagination, I just want to help you try."

Fry takes his beans and his book. He's not sure about this. But he knows Mr Irons trusts his new teacher, and Mr Irons hasn't led him wrong yet.