rix_scaedu: (Flower person)
Despite my computer problems, I have managed to post the Patreon update of Clancy and Pae'kura only one day late.
rix_scaedu: (Elf)

It was pointed out to me that I had missed [personal profile] zero_pixel_count's prompt of "Brightly coloured cushions" for the February prompt request. Here is my correction of that error in 738 words. This is a new world and new characters.

Zistiva was nesting, there was no other word for it. She’d bought a little house, one the right size for her, a mate and a small number of puggles. Of course, not being a bgwi her children wouldn’t actually be puggles but the bgwii used that word for any child of any species being reared in their society and territory. Zistivia herself had been called a puggle as a child, and had begged her mother to braid her hair so it at least resembled the texture of her friends’ long reddy-brown head quills and underlying hair. These days she’d learnt to accept that she didn’t look anything like one of the long beaked bgwii and let her black hair float in light, feathery curls around her head.

It remained though that she’d learned at an early age how to signal like a bgwi, and the little house was a signal, but she wasn’t really sure who she was signalling to. She could take a male bgwi as her mate and then they could adopt a puggle or two who’d been orphaned or whose parents had surrendered them. She could take a male human as her mate, if she could find one as humans were rare in the Transvar, and bear her own live young. Alternatively, she could take a member of a third species, neither bgwi nor human, as her mate and they could adopt while negotiating all the cultural and biological issues. It was easier, for now, to just to work on her nest and see who paid attention.

The little house was repainted, inside and out, and Zistiva had put in the basic furniture it needed. Now she was getting the extras, the things that wouldn’t just show that she would be a prudent mate and mother, but a desirable and nurturing one too. The things that would make the surfaces soft and warm, to help the den and social areas be cosy and snuggly. Mainly throw rugs, quilted seat drapes, and lots and lots of cushions.

Zistiva was in the furnishings market, going through the stalls for the umpteenth time looking for things that she liked, when she saw the cushion. It was oversized but not overfilled so you would be able to smoosh down into it, and the cover was quartered in different blue fabrics: nubbly brocade; shaved velvet; rough silk; and textured linen. Zistiva loved it on sight and reached out a hand to claim it, but as she took hold of it, another hand grabbed it from the other side of the table. Another human hand.

Zistiva turned her gaze upwards so she could get a good look at the owner. He was looking straight back at her. Unlike her he had dark skin. His black hair was longer than hers and it had strands of shiny, dark blue beads hanging through it. His clothes were the same dark blue as the beads, and Zistiva thought that they looked like orhync-style clothes made for a human. That he looked good in them and at ease suggested that he was a familiar with the bird race as Zistiva was with the bgwi.

“I’m sorry,” said the man in a beautiful, deep voice, “But I need this – it’s the only one that’s this colour. Perhaps you could have another one?”

“It’s the only one with the right combination of textures, size and stuffing,” answered Zistiva. “I need it for my common room. Why do you need it?”

“I’m building a display bower,” he said apologetically. “All the decorations need to be blue.”

“I’m sure your harem will appreciate it,” said Zistiva without letting go of the cushion.

“I don’t actually have a harem yet.” He might have been blushing. “This is supposed to help me meet potential members. Are you sure your mate will like this cushion as much as you do?” He didn’t let go of the cushion either.

“I don’t have a mate yet either….” Her voice trailed off and they just looked at each other for a moment. “We could each pay half and then go somewhere quieter and less open to discuss…custody. There’s a little place near here that makes infusions and has an excellent seed cake.”

"That sounds like a very good idea,” he agreed. “My name is Rahnu, and you are?”

“Zistiva.” She smiled.

He smiled back. “It’s a nice name. I could be happy to get used to it.”

rix_scaedu: (Elf)
Time for a prompt request for the month of March. It is autumn over here, with the moss spreading across my backyard and the sasanquas beginning to flower.

If I missed a prompt you gave me in February, please tell me about it. Likewise any extensions I might have mixed. 

Because I have The Day Job, other things that need/want to be posted, and etcetera, there is a limit of one prompt to be written per prompter this month.

This month’s prompt request is themeless so within the rules below give me a character, a phrase or a setting so I can write you 300 to 500 piece of fiction.

Signal boosting will get you a 200 to 250 word extension to the piece of your choice. Please tell me about it so I know. thank you.

Certain levels of patron over on Patreon will get a 250 to 500 word update on a piece of their choice.

You may throw some money at me for an extension through the Paypal button below.

There are some rules.

• Please don't ask for main story Nai as your prompt - more Nai writing will happen each weekend;

• One prompt per prompter; and

• No erotica (I need to be in the mood) and no fanfic (I would mangle your favourite characters to no satisfactory result.)

Thank you for your participation and let’s go have some fun with this.




Prompt Extensions




rix_scaedu: (Elf)
I wrote this to [personal profile] aldersprig's prompt "They picked up a sprig of [flower] and tucked it in their hat band." This is actually my third attempt and second story for this prompt and it came in at 1,112 words when I owed [personal profile] aldersprig 1,000. It follows on from Kith and Kin 5.


“Tobia,” the headmaster looked up at the schoolgirl standing in front of his desk. Her school blazer sported a wolf’s head and the grey pleated skirt brushed the top of knees. She looked like an ordinary fourteen, almost fifteen, year old school girl from an expensive private school. Someone had decided that her dark brown hair should be pulled tightly into an unflattering wreath around her head, and her expression was pale and tight. “As you’ve been told, you’ll be staying with us for most of the summer holidays this year. Your father intends to collect you for a few weeks just prior to school resuming but you’ll be with us until mid-January.”

Read more... )
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
Here are some words which I have owed [personal profile] aldersprig for two and a bit years. They follow on from Kith and Kin 4 and total just over 1,200.


“So class, when Queen Anne died, her only surviving son took the throne as Charles III.  What was he known as before that?”  Mr O’Toole surveyed his first year history class and its raised hands.  “Clara?”

The dark skinned Princeps student replied, “Prince George, Duke of Cornwall, because he was never invested as Prince of Wales.”

“Very good.  And why wouldn’t this young man of twenty two have taken the throne as King George.  Anyone?”

More hands went up and Mr O’Toole selected a fair haired boy from Savernake, “Simon?”

“George sounded like the Hanoverian Elector and they weren’t getting on,” offered Simon.

“Very good, yes,” beamed Mr O’Toole.  “Under the provisions of the Bill of Rights of 1689, George, the Elector of Hanover, was heir to Charles III’s throne unless he had children of his own.  There was also the general feeling that elements of the Hanoverian court had been overly interested in Prince George’s health, and not in a good way, from the time of death of his older brother, Prince William, in 1700.  People liked the House of Stuart and most of them wanted a foreigner on the throne only slightly less than they wanted a Catholic.  George was most definitely a British prince and that was what people wanted.  He was born in 1692, came to the throne in 1714 and when he died in 1772 at the age of eighty, he had out lasted his mother’s younger brother, James, who might have been considered to have had the better claim to the throne and seen the claims of James’ sons dwindle into irrelevance”.  Clara’s hand went up.  “Yes Clara?”

“Sir, if people didn’t want a Catholic on the throne, then why did Charles III marry a Catholic princess?”

“Ah yes, the Infanta Francisca Josefa Maria Xaviera of Portugal.  Seven years younger than Charles, they were married when she was eighteen in 1717.  Queen Francis was something of a compromise candidate.  She wasn’t from a pro-Hanoverian faction, and at that time the British considered anywhere in Germany to be pro-Hanoverian, whether they were or not.  She wasn’t too close a relative through his Danish connections.  She wasn’t French, who had problematic ties to the sons of the deposed James II.  She was Catholic, but her family were prepared to agree to her children being raised as Protestants, and she was the niece of Charles II’s widowed queen, Catherine of Braganza.”  Mr O’Toole’s mouth twitched into a wry smile.  “It also helped that her mother’s family had a reputation for female fertility because Charles III needed an heir.”

Later, between classes, Tobia Fenwick was bailed up by her older sister, Cherie.  “Hello, scruff.”  Since Tobia had started at the Sir Francis Walsingham Tradecraft School, and found herself in Wolf Pack, that had been her sister’s favoured form of greeting for her.  Cherie’s Savernake boyfriend, Johnathon Thoroughgood, hovered nearby.  “So, the family says we have to lay off you, scruff, despite what you did to Mum and Dad.”

“Do they?”  Tobia was non-committal.

“It doesn’t make what you did right,” Cherie told her, “just because they’re letting you get away with it.”

“Cherie, if you’ve been told to let it go, then perhaps you should do just that.  You’re neither the boss of me nor responsible for me, so what’s the problem?  I mean, if you’re still upset with me about it, then just don’t talk to me.”

“Someone has to keep you in line!”

“Again, not your job,” retorted Tobia.  “So, who’s been pushing your buttons to make you think it ought to be?”  She glanced over at Jonathon.

“You weren’t just disrespectful to Mum and Dad, you were disrespectful to teachers-,” began Cherie.

“It’s not disrespectful to do my best against them in a game they chose to play,” interrupted Tobia.  “Besides, the likes of Mr Monk are perfectly capable of getting their own back.”

“Except you’re not being punished,” retorted Cherie.

“You’re missing my point,” protested Tobia.  “Besides, Mr Monk is good at what he does – would you even know if he was getting back at me?”

“Well put,” said a dry, adult male voice.  “I’m glad someone in the student body has confidence in my abilities.  Mr Thoroughgood, you and I will have a chat in my office at four thirty this afternoon and all three of you will get to class now.”  Mr Monk smiled his coldest smile, “I would not like any of you to be tardy.”

Tobia’s class after History was Basic Spy Craft with Mrs Morrison.  A lot of her classmates would rather be in Mr Ramsett’s class where they were doing basic surveillance but Tobia was rather enjoying the frankly crafty aspects of what Mrs Morrison was teaching them.  There was a lot of making things from what you had on hand involved, something that Wolf Pack students found useful in their Annex.  Recent repairs notwithstanding, it still leaked water and wind in disconcerting ways and places.

There were lots of places you could use spy craft skills in Wolf Annex.  It was, for instance, amazing how useful it could be to make things creak or not creak, or to make a room light proof so that no-one could see that it was in use.  Being able to make your own pigments for paints and inks was useful too, because that way no-one else knew exactly what you had or to look for signs that you were using it.  These things were useful because there were always certain members of the school’s recognised Houses liked taking bullying beyond the parameter generally regarded as ‘just good fun.’  If they got you and you were lucky, it was something matron could fix; if you were luckier, they couldn’t find you; and if you were really lucky you were there in a year or block of years when Wolf Pack worked together.

A year when the cubs didn’t hide in their dens hoping to be missed, but laid traps and snares for their hunters.

A changed pattern of squeaky steps in a staircase needing repair.  Some extra warning marks that were there, if you knew to look.

Screams in the night after the crashing and banging.  Then silence, unless you were close enough, but no-one was.

In the morning Tarrick Blaque, the oldest student in Wolf Annex and the spokesperson in lieu of resident prefects or house master, admitted, “Yes, Headmaster, we all heard a scream in the night, but when we checked and everyone was accounted for and fine, we assumed it came from outside.  After all, no other student had any reason to be in Wolf Annex at that time of night.”

The Headmaster looked at him hard and said, “Blaque, you do realise that Akkerley and Lymebrough are in a critical condition and may not survive?”

Tarrick Blaque looked him straight in the eye and replied, “I know that Annabel Lane, Deb Houseman, and Giles Watt all disappeared from their beds in Wolf Annex in the last two years, and that no-one in authority even blinked an eye.  I care as much about Akkerley and Lymebrough as you and the rest of the staff cared about Lane, Houseman and Watt.”
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
This was written to my Patreon patron[personal profile] thnidu's request for Parthi Gens, my Patreon patron's M.B.'s extension request for more Parthi Gens, and my decision to use the words I would otherwise use for the Compulsive Reader reward over in Patreon, if I had any yet, to get the story to a good stopping place. This follows on directly from The Cadet: Part 22 and runs to 1,878 words.


“My grandparents should be here by now,” said Parthi to her roommate Maide.  “I sent them the money for a taxi so they wouldn’t try to save money and get lost.  I even sent them three times what the fare from the airport to here should be so they could pay even if the taxi did the via Laniskiff con.”

Read more... )
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
I wrote this to [profile] kunama_wolf's prompt "Your angels setting. Something involving a round knob-like object and the colour purple." This story is probably some years after The Man With The Bucket.

I would also suggest that this story should be rated Parental Guidance Recommended for adult concepts.


“Purple is the magistrates’ colour,” said Ordestia Prima. “It’s the colour of imperium, the power over life or death. Where is it you come from again?”

Read more... )
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
I wrote this to [personal profile] zianuray's prompt request "How is Rensa doing?". This piece comes in at 1,241 words thanks to a paid extension and the signal boost I think I saw at the beginning of the month and now cannot find. (It doesn't matter if that was a figment of my imagination, because this is how long the story is.) This story follows on from both Looking For Needles In The Haystack and Gifting.

Yannic had built his wife a gazebo in a flower garden. After he’d explained to her why he wanted to give her a present, and some further negotiation, Rensa had agreed both that it would be desirable for her to have a private space to invite guests to that wasn’t part of their shared quarters, and that she liked the gardens. There were various other advantages to the scheme as well, but Yannic had gotten his reward when Rensa had been so happy that her pregnancy support group friends had come to visit that she’d burbled quietly for days. He took that to mean that either she’d been worried that her friends wouldn’t visit her home, or that she asked and they’d made excuses.

Yannic wasn’t quite sure why Kollec had been involved in that first visit, but now he seemed to gravitate into the general area whenever Rensa’s baby friends visited. Being Kollec, he was always carrying a clipboard or a data pad, but there was a betting pool running on his intentions. Yannic was splitting his money between complete obliviousness on his friend’s part, and a certain redhead.

The gazebo was both sheltered and in the open air, so Rensa spent a lot of time there with her baby even when she didn’t have outside visitors. She and Mirren would sit in the pleasantly mottled shade and watch their babies lying on their rugs and playing. Gathoc was a chubby little blond boy who mouthed everything, especially his favourite orange and grey splotched lizard huggy, while Tyreba was a mottle-haired, dapple-skinned wriggle-pot who’d already discovered that rolling over could get her to new and interesting things. Rensa was sure that Tyreba watched Gathoc to find out what she was supposed to do next. Yannic was personally convinced that his tiny daughter was beginning to try to talk to him, even if everyone else said she was far too young. Rensa simply smiled and said that he should encourage her, because how else was she going to learn to have a conversation?

All in all, things were going well. Rensa’s nightmares had retreated with therapy, friends, and no-one trying to take her baby away from her. Yannic saw no reason to mention to his wife either the several petitions he had received from groups who had thought that they were better placed to raise the tiny princess than her parents, or the steps he had taken to tell those groups to mind their own business. One particularly vocal woman had found herself transferred to a new administration hub in the subarctic/polar transition zone, and the Emperor’s Office had received no more suggestions that she should take over the care of the Imperial daughter.

Yannic almost wasn’t there when the head of the program trying to find other descendants of the, well, gods wasn’t the right word despite the temples, who’d been part of the colony’s founding population called upon his wife. The colonial support and development specialists had been loaded up with beneficial genetic variations to help make the colony successful. Entire sets of genetic advantages that some of Yannic and Rensa’s particularly short-sighted and self-entitled ancestors had done their best to wipe out. Having committed his own errors by helping kill off the former Imperial family before finding out that this was a bad idea, Yannic was sponsoring a program to find any other descendants of the colony’s first leaders because, frankly, the colony could do with all the advantages they could get. He was present at the meeting because he’d wandered out to the gazebo, an anxious secretary in tow, to get away from his desk for a while. Besides, time with his daughter was always a good thing.

Thus he, Mirren, Rensa, the babies, and the anxious Ballen were present when Director Pollgroc, who answered to Head of the Health Secretariat, arrived with his little entourage and a small escort from palace security. The security people waited at the garden gate while the Director and his companions, a younger man and woman, walked up the path to the gazebo. The younger man was carrying a baby. When they reached the top of the steps Rensa, who’d risen to meet them, said, “Please, won’t you all come in and sit down? It’s Director Pollgroc, isn’t it?”

Pollgroc appeared distressed. “I apologise for this intrusion, Your Majesties, but an ethical matter has arisen that had to be brought to Her Majesty’s attention.”

“Oh?” Rensa looked at him blankly.

“Your Majesty donated a sample for genetic comparison,” began Pollgroc.

“But I stole some and used your mitochondria for our pregnancy,” interrupted the younger man sheepishly. “My wife has a mitochondrial disease and we didn’t want our child to inherit it too.” Rensa continued to look at him blankly and he added even more sheepishly, “It was a breach of trust, and I have to apologise, and if you are offended and don’t forgive me it could be really messy….” He trailed off into silence.

“You only had to ask,” answered Rensa kindly. “I mean, everyone from your program has been telling me how wonderful my mitochondria are – every time I meet any of you that’s the first thing they say to me. Yes, you have my permission in retrospect to trial my mitochondria and see if they’re up to the task. Did the treatment work?” She looked at each of the adults and then expectantly at the baby bundle.

“Oh, yes,” confirmed the baby’s father.

“Then you want permission to do it again so you can have more healthy children?” Rensa looked at the two parents and added, “Please all of you sit down. Especially you,” she added to the baby’s mother. “I shouldn’t keep you standing around like this if you’re not well and looking after a new baby.”

All three sat down, the younger man still holding the baby in his arms and the woman leaning gratefully against the chair back.

After a glance from the Director the younger man took a deep breath and replied, “Thank you, Cerron and I would like very much to have more children, Your Majesty. The other thing we really came to see you about is that when our daughter, Glennen here, was born we discovered that your colouration distribution must be tied to your mitochondria somehow.”

“How? Oh!” Rensa sat up straighter, and asked eagerly, “Can I see her?”

Glennen’s father stood and walked over to the Empress to carefully put the baby in her arms. Rensa unwrapped the sleeping infant just enough to see the serious sleeping expression and her arms. The tiny, creamy skinned face had fine alternating gold and olive horizontal lines marching down the nose, more fine olive lines around each eye, and a flash of gold along each cheekbone.

“She’s very beautiful,” said Rensa quietly. “I assume you’re not asking me to be co-mother, so that would make her my demi-niece, wouldn’t it?”

“Well, yes, it would,” agreed Director Pollgroc with relief.

“Excellent,” said Rensa as she carefully handed the baby back to her nervous father. “It will be good for Tyreba and her future siblings to have cousins from both sides of their family. Just as it will be good for Glennen and her siblings to know that other people look like them.” She looked around brightly and added, “We should set up visits, shouldn’t we? Do you have a mothers’ group you go to, Cerron?”

Update

Feb. 20th, 2017 11:42 pm
rix_scaedu: (Prompt)
Firstly, I have updated Clancy and Pae'kura over on Patreon. Encouraging me to write this story and beat it into shape is my first tier reward over there. :)

Secondly, I will stop taking prompts for the February Prompt Request when I wake up on 24 February my time, so that will be sometime on 23 February for most of you. That will give me time to finish the writing before March starts. If you haven't yet prompted me this month, now would be the time to do it.
rix_scaedu: (Default)
I wrote this in response to [personal profile] kelkyag: 's prompt here on Dreamwidth "More of something that hasn't gotten attention in a while, like Inheritance". It follows on from Inheritance 3.


Henry and Michael took a bus back to Henry’s parents’ house. Henry didn’t live there anymore, but he’d arranged to come and show them his inheritance from Great-Great-Uncle William over lunch. Michael was another beneficiary of the will who’d just had an intense confrontation with his childhood guardian, and Henry thought he needed some moral support. Together they got on the bus, each carrying a milk crate of things, and found seats together. Michael had to take off the long object slung over his back and hold it beside him.

“You’re sure your parents won’t mind me just turning up?” Michael sounded worried. “I mean, it’s not like any of you know me or anything.”

“You don’t know us either,” pointed out Henry. “But knowing my family, they’re going to want to know what you might know about Great-Great-Uncle William, seeing that it seems he was a major supervillain back in his day. Also, I want to see my mother’s face when she finds out that his ‘junk’ was work trophies. She and some of the aunts have been wanting to declutter his house for years.”

“I somehow think they’re not going to get to,” said Michael. “If the Masked Shadow took even half those things off heroes, villains, or universal antagonists, it’s going to need a professional curator with some sort of specialist disposal team.”

“Oh, my,” said Henry. “Do you think he had any of the Silver Blade’s equipment? He was part of that takedown, or so the movies say.”

“I don’t know if the movies are true,” replied Michael. “I mean look at what they do to Braveheat and Christobel every single time, but I’ve got his swordstaff right here. It’s beginning to wake up.”

The two of them looked at each other. “It is, is it?” Henry looked around and was relieved that no-one was sitting near them. “What’s it like?”

“Confused. Wondering what it’s doing on a bus. Telling me to stay away from the armour and the shield if I value my sanity.” He smiled. “It claims that it and the ring are safe to associate with. And it still wants to know what it’s doing on a bus.”

Henry suggested, “Tell it you’re going to my parents’ place for lunch?”

Michael was quiet for a moment and then replied, “It thinks that’s a good idea. It says I should have normalising relationships – I think that means I should have friends who expect me to act like a normal person and not some Chosen One. It seems to think that the Silver Blade was encouraged to be rather precious.”

“Well, there’s probably money in telling the story from the swordstaff’s point of view,” offered Henry. “It would have the advantage of not having to invent the point of view character; and here‘s our stop.”

Once they were off the bus, it took Henry and Michael only a few minutes to reach Henry’s childhood home.

The house itself was a Federation-style bungalow set on a corner block with a lichen-spotted roof, a verandah running full length along both frontages, and leadlight panels in both the doors and windows. The back garden was separated from the front by sun-tolerant azaleas planted on both sides of the house. As Henry opened the garden gate and stepped up onto the path, Michael said, “That’s odd.”

“What's odd?” Henry looked back at him as he asked the question.

“The swordstaff says that the ring is already here.”
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
This follows The Cadet: Part 21 and was written to my Patron M.B.'s prompt of "Parthi Gens please!"

Parthi Gens asked curiously, “How many people am I allowed to have at this presentation?”

The Warrant Officer Ceremonial said, “Usually there’s no limit on current spouses, children, parents and siblings. Extended family can depend on how many other people are receiving awards on the day. How many did you have in mind?”

“Well, my only living blood relatives are my grandparents so that’s four but there’s my foster family who looked after me during the war.” Parthi twitched her mouth a little, “That’s a whole ship’s company, really. I mean, the Anchor of the Morning isn’t a big ship by naval standards, but….”

“Now, the Anchor of the Morning is the ship you are due the unit citations for and where you were stationed when most of these qualifying actions took place, correct?” The Warrant Officer Ceremonial flicked open a reference manual so that Parthi could see the relevant section. “That makes any attendance from her crew not only very correct from a ceremonial point of view, but completely separate to your personal allowance of attendees. The numbers and composition of their delegation would be subject to negotiation between their Captain and the Commandant – not your problem to arrange at all.”

“But I could have them there? If they want to come and can get here, of course. They might have a contract that has them somewhere else.” Parthi was unconsciously sitting on the edge of her chair in excitement.

“Of course you can,” replied the Warrant Officer Ceremonial kindly. Zir paused and asked carefully, “Is there anything the Commandant needs to know before approaching Captain Sarharmudi?”

“I lost my contacts data in the shemozzle of being taken from the Anchor and placed with my grandparents,” replied Parthi equally carefully. “Some chronic obsessive deuces with child protection responsibilities tried to check my personal data files when I was being repatriated. They used the factory settings and my device self-wiped. I had backups but those got left behind in the rush to get me off the Anchor and onto the ship coming here. Everyone was a bit embarrassed about that, but no-one seemed to be able to do anything helpful.” She added, “I had no idea that the Captain didn’t know how to find me either.”

The Warrant Officer Ceremonial made a note on the pad in front of zir. “Which gender is the Captain?” The Warrant Officer Ceremonial’s own choice of pronoun indicated not a personal gender. but rather that zir’s gender was none of anyone else’s business.

“Captain Sarharmudi is male, of the abodna, and, when I left the Anchor, he was entitled to three captain’s pins – gold, carnelian, and jade.”

This is now followed by The Cadet: Part 23.

Incarnation

Feb. 4th, 2017 07:21 pm
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
I wrote this to [profile] cluudle's prompt "A story from a previous incarnation of someone in the main Nai story.". It occurs quite some time ago....


The learned scholar was sitting in a tea house Xindong Village.  He had before him a teapot, two cups and a mahjong set.  What he wanted was someone to talk to who was not the village headman.  Zhou Mang was a good man but there were things that he wasn’t telling the official from the provincial capital.  Said official was glad that he hadn’t told the headman, in whose large family farmhouse he was billeted, that his commission came in fact from the Solar Emperor himself.  As a supposed representative of the provincial governor he was receiving hints that one of the Zhou nieces was a sensible, good looking girl who would make him a fine concubine – he was too much the coward to want to know how they would react to his actual rank and circumstances.

“Is anyone sitting here or are you hoping for company?”  The speaker was a well set up man of about the scholar’s own age whose clothing was flashy but worn.

“I was hoping for company,” replied the scholar easily.  “Would you care for tea and a game of mahjong?  My name is Ju Lee.”  He bowed without rising.

“Ah, the man from the provincial capital come to look at bridging the river!”  The newcomer smiled and added, “You’re the subject of gossip for li around, you know.  I am Gou Hu, and I do a little of this and that to keep body and soul together.”

“A necessity,” agreed Ju Lee pleasantly.  “So, tea and a game?”

“If I may,” said Gou Hu as he sat on the stool opposite the scholar.  “I admit that I am happy to be your guest for the evening.”  He accepted the cup of tea from Ju Lee, saluted his host with it and drank a little before he put it down so that he could help shuffle the tiles.  The two men worked quietly to build their walls until Gou Hu asked, “So, what’s it like building bridges?”

“A little more complicated than this,” admitted Ju Lee.  A roll of the little stone dice made Gou Hu the dealer for the first hand and as the other man dealt the tiles he went on, “Mahjong doesn’t involve land ownership and property rights while bridge building frequently does.  Also, people don’t seem to realise that the best place for the bridge might not be where the ford is.”  He set up his hand of tiles in front of him.

“So the road to the river crossing might be through the woods instead of the town?”  Gou Hu grinned then said apologetically, “I’ve heard that the salt merchants petitioned for a bridge so that they can still trade when the river is in flood.  I’ve also heard that there have been riverfront acquisitions in the village.”

“I’d gathered that,” remarked Ju Lee as he laid out the first Pong of the game.

His opponent laid out a Kong, saying, “My connections tell me that Ju Lee is the personal name of the current incarnation of the Radish Seed Scholar.”

“And you would be the bandit known as Dog Fox,” replied Ju Lee as he picked up one tile and discarded another.  “I’m not going to send salt merchants through the woods for you to plunder, you know.”

“And you’re not going to let said salt merchants impoverish a bunch of peasants whose land they’ve forcibly purchased, are you?”  Gou Hu added apologetically, “I’m a professional bandit and I can do without an influx of desperate need-to-bes.”

“I quite understand,” said Ju Lee gravely, then the two men clinked their cups and drank in another salute before going on with their game.
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
Time for a prompt request for the month of February. It is my natal month and I am aiming for a posting a day, at least.

Because I have The Day Job, other things that need/want to be posted, and etcetera, there is a limit of one prompt to be written per prompter this month.

This month’s prompt request is themeless so within the rules below give me a character, a phrase or a setting so I can write you 300 to 500 word piece of fiction.

Signal boosting will get you a 200 to 250 word extension to the piece of your choice.

Certain levels of patron over on Patreon will get a 250 to 500 word extension on a piece of their choice.

You may throw some money at me for an extension through the Paypal button below.

There are some rules.

• Please don't ask for main story Nai as your prompt - more Nai writing will happen each weekend;

• One prompt per prompter; and

• No erotica (I need to be in the mood) and no fanfic (I would mangle your favourite characters to no satisfactory result.)

Thank you for your participation and let’s go have some fun with this.





Prompt Extensions




rix_scaedu: (Elf)
This came out of a prompt on my Live Journal by [personal profile] lilfluff. It is in the same universe as the work in progress that I am currently posting for Patrons on my Patreon page.


The reception was in full swing when the Ciradarean ambassador arrived. The Serkisics were celebrating their national holiday and tonight was part of a week of celebrations and memorials that marked the anniversary of their independence, no, the confirmation of their independence from Bakovia. Bakovia was a small space nation of ambitions and their ambitions had once pointed them at Serkis.

Serkis had found allies and Ngapāhuahuanga had been prominent among them. Everyone had come to assume that the raiders and pirates had been acting on behalf of the paramount chiefs of the Confederation, even if Ngapāhuahuanga wasn’t a member system, because of the amount of support they’d been able to supply. Bakovia was recovering from the bloody nose that backed resistance had given them and they were starting to look for new prey.

Ciradar seemed to interest them. Recently there had been a discomforting number of Bakovian travellers and merchants who’d come, toured, and said, “Nice planet you have here.” Ciradar didn’t have the population base to resist a takeover. They couldn’t win a fight. They might be able to stop a war happening in the first place. Serkis had shown what was possible if you had friends, so the ambassador was here to make friends.

He had been finding out what the big star nations wanted and was unsurprised to find that it wasn’t an overly confident, fast growing Bakovia.

He danced with the Talambric ambassadress who spoke charmingly of the spice trade and introduced him to a velvet coated gentleman who seemed to know a great deal about flags of convenience and letters of marque.

The neatly garbed Combine ambassador permitted him to dance with his wife, the Combine cultural attaché, and that lady slipped him the business card of a firm in the business of moulding Barkovian public opinion.

The Confederation’s ambassador was supervising the conversation between one of his own visiting chiefs and a Ngapāhuahuangan whose face was almost covered in black tattoos. It was the chief who suggested that a series of military exchanges might be mutually beneficial, particularly if those exchanges might happen to cross paths with certain Bakovian visitors on a regular basis.

His Serkisic hosts merely thanked him for coming, but the ambassador had no qualms in telling them that it had been an excellent party.

Legacy 12

Feb. 28th, 2016 10:31 am
rix_scaedu: (Giraffe)
Following on from Legacy 11 we have a little domesticity.


Baranyi woke once in the night. She checked on the girls, stood outside Buldaveho’s door for a few minutes telling herself that she didn’t need to check on him, and then took herself back to bed. Her guest wasn’t, she reminded herself, an ill elderly man like her father who’d needed careful monitoring and nursing through the last few months of his life. He didn’t need monitoring or nursing.

No, he’s not like Father at all, agreed part of her mind that hadn’t spoken up in years. He’s not your brother, or your cousin. He’s sleeping in your house tonight. He was naked in your bathroom….

Baranyi rolled over, moved her pillow around and tied to ignore the imagined images parts of her brain seemed far too eager to consider.

She got up early and made parsnip patties to go with smoked fish for breakfast. For four. Making breakfast was a nice, straight forward, non-wayward thought process.

Then she got the girls up, dressed them in their own clean, dry dresses, and braided their hair for them. They’d objected, until she’d proven that it really had grown long enough to be braided, but when she’d shown them the results in the mirror she thought they were both rather pleased.

Buldaveho got himself up, dressed and down to the kitchen. After agreeing gravely with the girls that his hair was far too short to be braided, he sniffed suspiciously at his first parsnip patty, tasted it, smothered both his patties and the fish in butter, then ate the lot. The girls looked astonished when he asked if there were anymore. Baranyi cooked up the rest of the mix that might have gone towards lunch and kept feeding him.

It was somewhere around there that Baranyi realised that this scene, or something close to it and maybe with the same players, was something she wanted for herself. It wasn’t everything she wanted, but it was definitely on the list.

She just wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Or if she could.
rix_scaedu: (cat wearing fez)
I wrote this to the second prompt I'm using on my DW community: [community profile] trope_bingo card. The prompt is "kiss to save the day" and the story is origfic which follows on from From Episode One - "The Dawkins Affair". It runs to 1,907 words for those of you with time or spoon issues.


Damien Lieb was very drunk. That was always the problem with meeting the contact known as Potemkin, the Russian insisted on trying to drink you under the table. That, of course, limited who they could send in to deal with him: Ali was their wheelman and teetotal; Taylor and Watkins were both of more use stone cold sober with their judgement completely unimpaired; and Stan’s liver wouldn’t be up to that sort of shenanigans for months yet. Despite his inability to keep up with the Russian, and swearing each time that he’d never do it again, Lieb was always the man for the job.

Read more... )
rix_scaedu: (cat wearing fez)
I wrote this to the first prompt I'm using on my DW community: [community profile] trope_bingo card. The prompt is "kiss to save the day" and the story is origfic which follows on from From The Pilot - "Out With The Old, In With The New". It runs to 2,146 words for those of you with time or spoon issues.


“No, it’s not happening.” Rose Forkin was on the phone to her mother, standing in the middle of the lounge room of the flat she shared with Taylor, the man with no given name, and talking into her mobile. “Mum, it’s a two bedroom flat – there’s no room for Hayley to stay here. No, she can’t stay in my room because there’s only one bed and that’s a single. Mum, I, for one, don’t believe that would work. Mum, I’m just the flat mate. Taylor is the only one whose name is on the lease, so I’ll have to talk to him about it. Yes, Mum, I will.” She turned around as Taylor wandered out of his room, wearing a batik dressing gown, carrying a coffee mug and heading for the kitchen. “When Mum? Oh soon, very soon. Bye Mum, I have to go.”

Taylor asked, “What was that about? I heard my name.”

“Oh,” Rose, pushed her loose brown hair back behind her ear with one hand, “that was my mother on the phone. She’s got some idea that now I’ve a proper place to live, I should let my sister Hayley come and stay here while she finds a job in Harbour City and a place of her own. She wouldn’t get off the phone till I agreed to ask you about it.” She sighed in exasperation. “Mum always does this – she waits till I’m tired or in the middle of something and then she won’t stop until I say yes.”

“Sounds like a technique Watkins would be proud of,” commented Taylor as he put the mug in the sink.

“He’s the one who kept asking questions the other night when you had people over for cards, isn’t he?” Rose put her phone away and started taking off her summer weight coat.

“With hair that used to be red,” agreed Taylor. “Getting answers is sort of his stock in trade. Are you just getting home? I thought you said you were off work at eleven last night.” A slight crease appeared between his eyes.

“I wound up working a double shift,” explained Rose. “A couple of people from the shift after mine called in sick, so Arvid and I had to stay back and help with the payment run. This sort of thing is one of the reasons I couldn’t keep commuting from Steel City.”

“I can understand that,” Taylor nodded easily, “it’s what, three hours each way by train?”

“If nothing goes wrong,” agreed Rose. “And now I’m going to nuke a frozen dinner before I eat, shower and flake out on my bed for at least six hours before I have to get up and do it again.”

“So, when are you going to ask me about your sister staying here?” Taylor had a faint quizzical smile as he asked the question.

“I’m not,” said Rose as she walked past him to the freezer, her 160 centimetre height overshadowed by his 195 centimetres – not that he loomed or anything. “I’m going to lie and tell her that you said no.” She pulled a single serve lasagne out of the freezer, opened it, pierced the film on top with a fork from the drawer, and put it in the microwave on high for five minutes.

“Is there any reason we shouldn’t help your little sister out?” Taylor wasn’t smiling and the crease between his eyes was back.

“Hayley isn’t my little sister, she’s my older sister and I shared a bedroom with her my entire life, until I moved down here.” Rose took her handbag off her shoulder. “Getting out of that bedroom was one of the reasons I moved out.”

“Oh?”

“Hayley feels entitled to through my stuff to find out what I’m not telling her.” Rose sniffed. “She used to move my things around and put me down when I complained but she’d go off her head if I touched anything of hers, even if it was in what was supposed to be my space. Taylor, I really don’t want her staying here, even just for one night.”

“That wasn’t the dynamic I was expecting,” Taylor admitted. “If she snoops and has other boundary issues, then I don’t want her here either. I need a flatmate to make sure the landlord doesn’t sublease this place while I’m away on extended trips for work. I don’t need an extra flatmate who makes life harder for both of us.”

“Oh thank you, Taylor,” she made a gesture with both hands, almost as if she was going to grab him. “I’d kiss you but-.”

“We don’t have that sort of relationship,” he finished for her.

“Now that’s sorted, I’ll eat and then I’ll call Mum back.” Rose didn’t quite dance her way into her room, but it was close.

Ten minutes later Rose was sitting at the dining table eating her lasagne off a plate, a glass of water on the coaster beside her place mat, when the doorbell rang. Rose looked up from her meal, surprised, and Taylor walked out of his room, doing something with cuff links as he came.

Taylor asked, “Who’s that?”

“I have no idea,” answered Rose, standing up as she did so.

“If you didn’t buzz anyone up, then it should be one of the neighbours,” said Taylor carefully. “Let me see who it is.” He walked over to the door and checked through the peephole. “Brunette with curly hair, sort of about your age and a bit taller than you.”

“Can I have a look?” Rose’s voice had a disbelieving tone which spread to her face once she’d looked through the peephole. She turned and hissed at Taylor, “It’s Hayley!”

“We have to open the door,” Taylor said, “and we’ll have to let her in, but that doesn’t mean that we’re letting her stay here.”

“Right, of course it doesn’t.” Rose put on a fixed smile, took off the safety chain then unlocked and opened the door. “Hayley! Mum was just on the phone about you.”

“Oh good, she said she’d call you.” Hayley was holding a suitcase in one hand. “I spent the longest time finding someone who’d let me into the building. I can’t wait to see our room.”

“This is a security building – I’m surprised anyone let you in because visitors are supposed to be buzzed in by the people they’re seeing. And Mum rang to see if you could stay here; we never agreed that you could.” Rose was still standing stock still in the middle of the doorway.

“Of course, I’m staying here,” Hayley disagreed as if Rose was being simple. “I’m here with my bag aren’t I?”

“I’m only allowed one flatmate under my lease,” said Taylor firmly, “and we’re not set up for overnight guests, so you can’t stay.”

“But I’m Rose’s sister,” protested Hayley, “And where am I supposed to stay while I find a job and a place of my own?”

“Try the YWCA,” suggested Rose crisply. “It’s where I stayed for three months. Or you could stay at home and commute. I did that for six months before the YWCA.”

“I’m a barista,” Hayley pouted. “Who makes coffee and can afford to commute? I had to leave my old job because the boss was getting all grabby and as for staying with the parents. I swear they’ve upped the personal displays of affection since you left.” She shuddered artistically. “It seemed a good time to make the move.”

“It’s still not up to us to provide you with a bed,” said Taylor firmly. “I suggest you try the YWCA.”

Hayley put a restraining hand on the front door, “Can I at least come in and use the bathroom? I haven’t been since I left home; the railway toilets are disgusting.”

“All right,” Taylor motioned Rose to one side to let her sister into the flat.
Hayley asked brightly, “Where will I put my suitcase?”

“Right beside the door,” Taylor told her grimly.

When Hayley disappeared into the bathroom, Taylor locked the front door of the flat and pulled Rose over to the kitchen. “I’m beginning to think,” he told Rose quietly and quickly, “that your parents have kicked her out. You’re twenty-six and she’s twenty-eight so it’s possible that they wanted both of you to move out but only you took the hint. Has she always been hypersensitive to or hypercritical of displays of affection?”

“She’s never liked ‘mushy’ stuff,” Rose confirmed.

“I have an idea,” Taylor said. “I apologise in advance but please play along.” As they heard the toilet flush, he suddenly put his hands on Rose’s waist and lifted her into a sitting position on the kitchen bench. A tap in the bathroom was running as he stepped closer in towards Rose, moved one hand under her chin to tilt her face up, leaned down and kissed her. Just before the bathroom door opened one of Rose’ arms reached up around his neck and her other hand grabbed the front of his shirt.

Hayley coughed and they stopped kissing to turn and look at her, their hands remaining in place. “I’ll just grab my bag and be going.” She had her mobile phone out before she left the room and they could hear her from the hall way outside. Hi, Mum! Just to let you know I won’t be staying with Rose. Oh, he’s almost as old as Dad but the two of them are all over each other.”
Taylor glided, there was no other word for it, across the space to the door so he could close and lock it.

“That was interesting,” commented Rose quietly.

“It certainly wasn’t a chore,” admitted Taylor as he went back to help her down off the kitchen bench, “and – we should never do it again,” he finished in a rush.

“You’re probably right,” agreed Rose as she straightened her clothes. “If we’re going to talk about it, it should be after I’ve had some sleep.”

Taylor reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a phone. “Any talking’ll have to wait till I get back. Looks like I have to go to work.”

“I thought you were on your way to work?” Rose indicated his clothes, business shirt and suit trousers.

“Looks like I’m taking one of those work trips I told you about,” he corrected. “I’ll be at least a couple of days.”

“Ah, one of those ones where I collect the mail and make sure no subletting happens,” replied Rose.

“Exactly,” he flashed her a smile. “I’ll leave as soon as I get some shoes on and see you when I get back.”

Rose smiled back, “Right then, and I’ll get some sleep.”

********************

Several days later Rose, while she was on her way to the railway station, bumped into Hayley. She almost didn’t see her but turned around when she was hailed, “Hey, Sis!”

Her older sister was carrying a tote bag and was wearing black trousers and tee shirt with a coffee logo on it. “Hayley, what are you doing here?”

“I’m on my way home from my morning gig.” Hayley smiled. “I got a job as the morning barista at the House of Beans down by the station, they were short a body unexpectedly, gave me a trial shift when I walked in and here I am. I’m doing evenings at a dessert bar on Cambridge Street, they have a caramel fudge to die for.”

“But where are you staying?” Rose thought of her own problems getting a place reasonably close to work.

“There was a place for let in the block opposite yours. The real estate agent had a number in the window, I called it, they gave me the tour and I was in that night. I don’t know why people say it’s so hard to get somewhere to stay in Harbour City.” Hayley’s smile sharpened. “I must say, it’s got a nicer bathroom than your place.”

“The block opposite ours?” Something clicked in Rose’s mind. “On the sixth floor? The one where three people were found locked in and brutally murdered with no sign of how the killer got in or out?”

“It’s been cleaned and redecorated,” Hayley said defensively. “You’d never know anything happened there.”

“And you’re not worried at all?” Rose presses carefully.

“Why would I be?” Hayley shrugged. “I can’t see why whoever killed them would be interested in me.”

“Okay,” Rose said slowly. “I suppose you got a good deal on the rent though.” Hayley nodded, pleased with herself. “You know that if you go six months without anything gruesome happening to you, they’re going to shove the rent right up, don’t you?”

“I’ll deal with that when it happens,” Hayley shrugged. “Anyway, I gotta go. See you around little sis!” She walked off with a wave, leaving Rose behind her looking slightly bemused.

Bingo Card

Jan. 5th, 2015 07:26 am
rix_scaedu: (purple me)
So, I am going to attempt [community profile] trope_bingo. My card is:

fake relationship secret relationship au: coffee shop amnesia au: magic
kiss to save the day in vino veritas/drunkfic truth or dare forced to marry soul bonding/soulmates
au: fantasy locked in WILD CARD au: steampunk bodyswap
presumed dead au: college/highschool slavefic immortality/reincarnation au: historical
secret twin/doppelganger au: daemons huddle for warmth poker/strip poker animal transformation

Profile

rix_scaedu: (Default)
rix_scaedu

March 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
5 67891011
121314151617 18
1920 2122232425
262728293031 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Mar. 27th, 2017 12:36 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios