tayastorm: (achievement)
Note This was written between midnight and 5am, while messed up on caffeine and a writing high, so quality is.... very much not guaranteed. Yay for first drafts?

Pt 1 / Pt 2

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Pt 4 / Pt 5 / Pt 6 / Pt 7 / Pt 8 / Pt 9
tayastorm: (harmony)
Note I'm attempting to fic from daily prompts, the results of which may or may not get posted. (Yesterday's, for example, was an exercise in demonstrating what I hate about trying to force writing.)
The prompt for this piece is actually "archaic", which hasn't shown up yet. I don't know if I'll write more today, or try to work tomorrow's prompt in to this, or just finish this fic later and use the next prompt for something different. We'll see when we see.
Read more... )

Pt 2 / Pt 3 / Pt 4 / Pt 5 / Pt 6 / Pt 7 / Pt 8 / Pt 9
tayastorm: (caffeine)

"I have a parcel I'd like delivered. It's small and relatively unimportant, but urgent delivery is required for reasons I would prefer not to go into."

"I'd prefer not to hear them. Send through the coordinates and description. Make sure it's somewhere close to the road with no obstacles. I only make one attempt at pick up. After that it's your problem."

"Ah, I would be willing to pay whatever price you required if that occurred."

"Use the money to make sure it doesn't happen. You have one hour to arrange it. SerraTec out."

I tossed the phone on the bed as I climbed out of it, renewing my vows to throttle Bull when I saw him next. Become a courier, he says. See the world, all expenses paid, and you can turn down any jobs you like. Of course he doesn't mention that I'd /like/ to turn them all down, because the sorts of people who hire an unlicensed courier weren't the likeable ones.

And of course no one mentioned that it became a sort of addiction. There were times when taking a job from even the slimiest of the dirtsacks was better than one more day doing anything else.

That was the only reason I'd said yes to that job. The guy was obviously up to no good, and I was either the bait or the target. But I'd had nothing to do for a full week. I already knew the area - I went through it to get pretty much everywhere in these parts - so sightseeing was pointless, and I'd missed the heaven lights - some sort of weather phenomenon and the only thing that happened that could be called any sort of interesting - by two days. Tossing myself into the crosshairs would be a vast improvement, and quite possibly the highlight of my month.

My datpad - and if I ever met the people responsible for giving them a name like that I was going to make sure they never did it again - flashed and chirped happily as it received the job, sifting through the file for any bugs and filing the details into the program my brother had designed for me.

"Destination?" I asked.

"Location name withheld," my brother's voice said. "Coordinates match the corporate territories of the Bowson Industries. Estimated travel time four hours and twenty three minutes."

"Estimate basis?" I asked, smiling at the precise estimate. I'd asked him once how it worked out the estimate and it took three days to make him stop trying to explain it. That was before it had occurred to him to offer several estimate options for distance, speed limits, and my favourite...

"Based on your driving record," he said, "with a mandatory reminder that this state has road laws."

I laughed, remembering all the times my brother had reminded me of that fact, though he'd chosen much more elaborate ways, most of which involved threats of various sorts.

Which of course reminded me why I was alone on the road, and my mood took a nosedive. Well fuck.

Leaving the datpad to sort everything out I went to shower and pack my stuff. I always left most of it in the car, but somehow no matter how little I brought into the motels it turned into a puzzle solving game to get it all back into the bags. When I got back to a networked state I'd have to see if anyone had worked out a reason for it. Odd sort of thing to expect people to know, but couriers were an odd sort, and we certainly had enough time to ponder things like that. When I left a group had been working out a mathematical explanation for socks lost in the wash.

I did mention we were strange, right?


Jan. 16th, 2012 07:32 pm
tayastorm: (rules)
"Yield and your men will be spared."

The words cut through the haze and bloodfury, and Arminder stumbled a fraction, just enough for the enemy soldier to land a glancing blow against her side. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed her Second pause, though whether at the words or her own hesitation she couldn't tell. Though their fighting and leadership styles were perfectly matched, she sometimes felt like they were complete strangers.

Throwing herself into the battle with renewed vigour, Arminder pushed the foreign soldier's words out of her head, ignoring the whispered voices of her own doubt and curiousity.

She'd heard rumours that the Tlaosin army released prisoners unharmed at the end of every war, and any injured and taken in battle got patched up and sent home - though few were ever able to fight again. Of course, their commanders didn't like such rumours getting around, and tried to sweep it all under the rug, but she'd seen too much that matched what was told about Tlaos and its people. For her squad she doubted it would matter much. Each one had been deliberately selected for their combined intelligence and devotion to the kingdom.

Arminder wished she could be so loyal. Insert thing about how she secretly wants to be caught, though she could never let it happen.

In the end it was the poison in the blade that decided for her. Convulsions wracked the right side of her body, and she dropped to her knees, shielded left arm raising almost too slow to deflect the sword coming at her head. A moment later she was on her feet again, but for her at least the battle was lost.

She looked around for her Second, only to find him surrounded and bleeding heavily from a head wound. If she gave him command now it would only get him killed sooner.

"Do you yield?"

The quiet voice cut below the roar of the battle field, and Arminder turned to see a tall man in dark armour slicing his way through the soldiers towards her. She braced herself, ready to die fighting. The man just smiled.

"I will spare your men," he said.

"And me?" she asked, kicking herself for not just attacking and to hell with it.

That got a laugh, and she hated him as much as she hated herself.

"Your fate has always been your own," he said. "Perhaps you would like to choose that path after we have made sure the poison won't mark the end of it."

Arminder tried to snarl something at her, but coughed instead, dropping back to her knees. She couldn't even feel the pain of it, just the weakness and the trembling.


She closed her eyes at the gentleness of it, the quiet concern and reassurance that all she had to do was say yes and somehow everything would be okay. It was the sort of voice she had spent her life fighting against. The sort that told her to behave, submit, let them do whatever they wanted. It was a voice that wanted to take everything she was and turn it into something else, even if it killed her.

"No," she tried to say, coughing up blood instead.

A good soldier would never have doubted of course.

She pressed her forehead against the hilt of her sword, listening to the sounds of the battle and trying to think through the fog seeping through her mind.

"You swear they will be well treated?" she asked, words barely audible even to herself.

It was treason of course, but she was tired. They would live this way, wasn't that enough? She had spent a lifetime being loyal to a kingdom she didn't believe in, had become the first female Prime and the best in the armies. That had to be enough. She wasn't sure she had anything else.

"The rumours you hear are true," the man said, somehow now kneeling only an arm's length away from her. Even poisoned she could kill him. She would still die, but it would surely be a triumph for the kingdom. "Your men will be well treated, returned home safe and well. Whether they are able to fight again will be their own choice. But I think you are less concerned by that than most."

She would never be able to return home. The thought gave her the courage she needed.

Embracing the threads of power that linked her to her unit she let her will flow into them, giving herself to it so completely that not even her Second could resist it.

"We yield," she said, looking up into the pale eyes of the dark man.

He nodded once, satisfied, then reached out to catch her gently as she fell.
tayastorm: (Moments)
Nathaniel woke in a stranger's bed with a headache, a traffic cone, and no idea what day it was. It wasn't much evidence to go on, but he was willing to call it a successful New Year's celebration. What he wanted now was a successful recovery from said celebrations, which was going to require a long shower, several strong coffees, and decent painkillers. First though he had to decide whether or not he wanted to open his eyes.

Attempting to burrow under the covers settled the matter as he realised the bed stank. Getting up was definitely a priority.

His headache turned from a dull throb into a full marching band trying to reduce his skull to so much rubble with its enthusiastic banging when he sat up and opened his eyes to too-bright daytime. The windows, he discovered, were too high to see out of, but a perfect angle to let in all the sunlight ever. They also stretched the full length of two of the walls, with mirrored wardrobe doors to reflect it back, so there really wasn't anywhere to hide. Grabbing pants he hoped were his, Nathaniel clambered with much aching and cursing over the bed and across the obstacle course of toppled furniture and clothing, reaching the safety of the windowless bathroom with a wheezed prayer to a god he was willing to believe in if the sun would just not be there when he came out.

Sitting in the pitch black bathroom with his back to the door, he waited for his head to recover from the sudden activity, and gave the marching band a chance to slink out with their dignity intact before he evicted them forcefully.

He smiled in the darkness, chuckling painfully at the mental image. If only headaches were so tangible. He could get hours of fun by beating one up. Although knowing his luck they'd have a healthy concept of vengeance, and then he'd really be up the proverbial. Just for a change of pace of course.

Eventually his own odour drove him to action. Levering himself carefully to his feet he fumbled around for a light switch, pausing a moment to cover his eyes with one arm before turning on the light. It was weak enough that he actually dared to move his arm away and turn to the shower. Which was of course when the lights remembered that they could be brighter and he stumbled back in shock and pain, somehow ending up wedged between the toilet and the wall with a laundry basket hanging off one foot and a hand planted in a cat litter tray. He couldn't even glare at the offending light because the marching band was back in full force.

When he finally dared the shower it was kind enough to have decent water pressure, just enough heat, and no surprises. Except of course he hadn't checked whether there were any clean towels - there weren't - so he had to dry himself off as well as he could with the pants before braving the room of sunny doom for the sake of pants. Cracking the door open, he peered cautiously out, trying to assess the situation without getting the band's attention again. The shower had made them docile, but he still needed help to get rid of them completely.

Deciding that he could probably deal with the light as long as he didn't look at it directly, he opened the door wider and looked out, really noticing the room for the first time. It was a nice room, in potential at least. The bed stretched out from the middle of the wall opposite the bathroom, with plenty of space on all sides. The mirrored wardrobe leaned against the wall to his right, and to his left was a long low sideboard positioned so the door leading out to the rest of the apartment could never open completely. With the bathroom door sitting open, anyone coming in suddenly would probably get more of a shock than the person in the room, and certainly more door in their face.

What mostly got his attention though was the way things were strewn around the room. Less like they'd been discarded carelessly and more like his mother had been right about the spontaneous indoor tornado effect. The most disturbing part of which was the fact that all of the draws and doors on the sideboard and wardrobe were neatly closed. Even more disturbing, he found not long after when he opened one of the draws, was the fact that it was completely empty. He was pretty sure his mother's mythical tornadoes weren't that neat.


tayastorm: (Default)

April 2012

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