For allbingo

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:20 pm
ladyofleithian: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyofleithian
Title: Dawn of Destruction

Summary: Bespin is evacuated, and Rey has to face Kylo Ren once more.

Prompt: Abandon Ship!

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Notes: Was about to get a continuation of my "Shara Lives" story -- and I will get to that, never fear -- but let's say a bit of a recent revelation of awful about The Last Jedi sort of got me typing in my main verse again. Anyway, here's the Bespin evacuation scene.

Fic under cut. )

The Future Liberals Want

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:41 pm
tealin: (Default)
[personal profile] tealin
When I lived in LA, was making money, and tried to make myself happy by being generous with it, I was a member of the local NPR station. As such I had a card and was on their mailing list, and even though I never went to any member events or even really listened all that much, I was still nominally included.

When I moved away I cancelled my membership, and all that stopped.

Well, just in the past week, I've somehow ended up back on the mailing list, because I've got two emails from them about things going on around town and a backstage tour of the station.

Now, there may be a simple explanation. Chances are they have just resurrected a bunch of dead email addresses to remind ex-members how much they liked being in the in-group, to encourage them to re-pledge ...

Or someone has gifted me a membership for some obscure reason and not told me ...

... Or, an identity thief has used my credit card to pledge to a public radio station, and the email address associated with that card automatically went on the mailing list, in which case I am the victim of some very peculiar fraud. I'm not even sure I'd want them prosecuted, if that's the sort of thing they're going to do.

This world, man, I dunno, it's getting less real by the day.
solarbird: (korra-excited)
[personal profile] solarbird

Loading out for a weekend set of shows in Kennewick with Leannan Sidhe – if you’re in the area, here’s the Facebook event, c’mon out! Leannan Sidhe is a trad- and trad-style band, so playing a renfaire is something they do on the regular, even if very little of the music is actually Renaissance-specific, and the weather is supposed to be great. See you there!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

For whole_new_world

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:37 pm
ladyofleithian: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyofleithian
Title: Second Mother

Summary: In a galaxy where Shara Bey lived, how would things have turned out differently?

Prompt: Dead Character(s) Alive

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Fic under cut.  )
[syndicated profile] queer_ya_feed
In Chapters One and Two, we met closeted and bullied Wyatt, and his best friend, Mackenzie. When Wyatt's nemesis – Jonathon – is about to clobber him, Mackenzie saves the day... But in a way that makes things even MORE complicated.

Want to start at the beginning? Click here for Chapters One and Two.

To read about why I'm serializing my entire YA novel for free on this blog, click here.

Thoughts? Reactions? #queerasafivedollarbill fan art? Share them in comments!

Okay community, here's Chapter Three!




Chapter 3
Monday January 5


That’s what I get for never telling her. And now I can’t. She’ll hate me.

            School was out and Wyatt was running, cutting the back way to avoid Mackenzie. And Jonathon. Well, everyone.
            He turned at the far side of the gym and raced past their School Rock, its foot-high purple and gold letters shouting,

GO FIGHTING SOLDIERS!

            Sprinting along the edge of the field, he passed the faculty parking lot to get to the chain link fence. There was a gap at the bottom, blocked by an old log, but there was enough room for Wyatt – and the occasional soccer ball – to scoot through. He’d been sent to get enough of them during P.E.
            Nearly empty backpack in his hand, he slid through the gap. He shouldered the bag and noticed, on the ridge across from him, a family of tourists posing in front of the Log Cabin that was supposed to be like the one Lincoln had been born in. They were so happy to be in Lincolnville. Everyone was. Everyone but him.
            He dashed down the ravine to the trail along the stream, and ran.
            Where Jenson’s Stream widened out to the ford, he jumped across the flat concrete stones that made a path, and kept going on the other side. It was just him and the rushing water, his heartbeat, lungs, and the rhythm of his feet pushing him away from school as fast as they could go.
            Twenty minutes later, his side cramped and Wyatt stumbled to a sweaty stop. He dropped his backpack and let the cold afternoon water run through his fingers, on its way to Corvallis. And Portland. And then, the ocean, and maybe… San Francisco. Or L.A.
            But me? I’m stuck here.
            He wiped his hands on his jeans, got out his phone and pulled up the photo of his soldier. Wyatt imagined him saying, Hey there, again, Wyatt. Fancy meeting you in a place like this. He knew it was corny. Stupid. But it made him feel better, anyway.
            Not for the first time, Wyatt wished his soldier was real. That he could tell him about Mackenzie, those weird kisses and what a disaster everything was.
            The day came crashing in on him – early wake-up, getting ambushed, sore muscles, clueless Mr. Guzman announcing his ‘A’ and Jonathon’s ‘D’ – and because of that, Jonathon almost pounding him and then that kiss – both kisses… Ugh!
            He kicked a fist-sized rock into the current and it splashed water back onto him. Great. Now he was wet, too.
            Everything ached as he lay out on a boulder that edged the stream. His shoulders protested as he lifted his phone – which hardly weighed anything – above him, but Wyatt didn’t care. He focused on his soldier.
The guy was staring right at the camera, kind of smiling, like he and whoever had taken the picture shared some secret. His coat was way too big, and the forage cap on his head – the same kind they sold in the B&B and that looked so awkward on their plastic military mannequin, whether it was dressed in Union Blues or Confederate Butternut Gray – looked pretty cool on him. There was another young guy behind him, holding a sword, all check this out, and Wyatt wondered if they were friends.
            He figured his soldier was only a little older than he was – you could tell he wasn’t shaving yet. Well, okay, Wyatt knew he was a lot older – the Civil War was like 150 years ago. Who was he? Who was he staring at like that? What was his secret?
            All Wyatt could do was look at him, across time, and imagine he was just dressed up for the re-enactments. That he was some teenager from another town, and he was going to lay back right here next to him. And they’d get to listen to the stream together. And talk, about the stuff Wyatt couldn’t tell anybody. And Wyatt imagined, in that tightly locked secret place in his heart, that maybe that smile – like some guy version of the Mona Lisa – might be the way he’d get looked at some day.
            Somewhere in the trees above them, a bird wheezed like it had just swallowed a kazoo. Cooper’s Hawk, Wyatt guessed. He closed his eyes and breathed in the mossy wet, letting it fill up every part of him.
            His soldier was crazy cute. Wyatt could imagine wanting to kiss him. The corners of his mouth tugged up at the idea.
            But Mackenzie? A tremor went through him, and it had nothing to do with his clammy T-shirt or the clouds stealing the last warmth of daylight.
Wyatt lurched up to sitting, the muscle-knot under his ribs clenching tight.
            It was all impossible. He wanted to want to kiss her. But he didn’t want to.
            He couldn’t be himself, either – not till he was hundreds of miles away at some college. He’d go to some big city where no one knew him and no one would care about what he did or who he was… or who he wanted to kiss.
            Until then, he just had to survive. Fit in, somehow.
Bulk up? He imagined working out every day at lunch, and feeling this sore all the time. How would he ever get as strong or as big as Jonathon, who was a high school Hulk? It would take him forever to even try. And he needed a way to get through tomorrow.
Maybe, if it helped him not bleed into the water like shark food, maybe… Plan B? He could have a girlfriend, instantly. He kind of already did.
Wyatt struggled to stand, rubbing at the cramp just now easing in his side. But not telling Mackenzie…
She was going to hate him, sooner or later, no matter what he did. He had three-and-a-half more years in Lincolnville before he was free. He’d rather she hated him later.
I have a girlfriend.
He tried saying it out loud, but it came out as a question. “I have a girlfriend?”

* *

Tuesday January 6

            “So this is just like the room where Lincoln lived in Springfield, Illinois, from 1837 to 1841, when he was 28 to 32 years old.” It was the final minutes of Wyatt’s tour, and the Lincoln Room at the top of the stairs was crowded with second graders. He pointed out the furniture: the low antique dresser; the rocking chair that was just like the one that had ended up at the White House; the oval mirror with candlesticks and a little shelf for shaving things at the exact height Abe shaved; the could have been there china water pitcher and basin.
            “And this is Lincoln’s cherry/pine rope bed.” Wyatt walked over to their Bed & Breakfast’s shrine, the actual bed Abraham Lincoln had slept in. The kids crowded closer, red velvet ropes on brass posts holding them back. The bed was just a little bigger than his own twin bed one more flight up, but Abe’s had polished wood balls at the corners, an old green and blue quilt at the foot, and was made up with Wyatt’s great-grandmother’s linens from Italy. Once a month, Wyatt put a dent in the pillow with a spaghetti squash to make it seem like maybe Abe himself had just gotten up. Over Winter Break, he’d even yanked a couple of hairs from wax-Lincoln’s head and put them on the pillow. Mackenzie had given him a hard time about how it was starting to feel like lying, but he told her museums were kind of like theater, and he was just helping set the stage.
            He couldn’t tell whether any of the kids noticed the hairs on the pillow or not, but they were in awe in the presence of a real piece of history. Wyatt’s dad had bought the Lincoln bed at auction years ago and that’s how they ended up in Lincolnville, right before third grade. His folks had taken over the “Lincolnville Civil War Bed & Breakfast” and renamed it “The Lincoln Slept Here Bed & Breakfast.” He’d been assigned a desk next to Mackenzie. They’d bonded over her never teasing him for being new, and him never teasing her for having a mom who was sometimes around but most of the time, not. They’d studied together, and listened to each other… and been friends ever since.
            Behind the field trip teachers in the doorway, Mackenzie waved to get his attention.
            And now she’s my girlfriend…
            Shaking it off, he jumped back into the tour, lifting the mattress edge so everyone could see the ropes underneath. “Even though it’s never used, every six months we have to tighten the rope grid so it doesn’t get saggy. Tight ropes made the bed more comfortable, which, we used to tell people, is where they got the expression, sleep tight.”
            Oh!s travelled the room like applause.  
            “But, turns out that’s not really true.” Wyatt glanced at Mackenzie – correcting their mistake had been her first addition to the tour. “People didn’t start saying sleep tight until a generation later, when rope beds weren’t even that popular anymore. The Oxford English Dictionary says ‘tight’ used to mean ‘soundly’ or ‘well.’ Sleep well – sleep tight. History can surprise you, sometimes.”
            Mackenzie winked at him, then spun her pointer fingers around each other: wrap it up.
But once the tour was gone, they’d be alone.
            “Can we touch it?” A girl asked.
            He took the chance to stall. “Just the wood parts.” Avoiding eye contact with Mackenzie, he unhooked the velvet rope closest to the bed and stepped aside. Forty-three pairs of hands darted out to rub the wood smooth, like the bed of the most admired president in history was somehow good luck.
            “Excuse me. Sorry…” Mackenzie got past the teachers and tiptoed to Wyatt’s side. He tried to drift away but she took his hand. Clearing her throat, she announced, “this way to the souvenir shop and the end of the tour!” And pulling Wyatt with her, she teetered out of the room.
            Wyatt checked to see if she’d hurt her foot.  Since when does she wear high heels?

* *

            “Pishhu!”
“Pa-pa-pa-pow!”
            “Pishhu!”
            The sound effects for the rifle pens were more Sci-Fi than Civil War, but they were the last two kids. Their teacher checked the time on her cell. “If you’re going to buy those, you need to do it now.”
            Wyatt knew better than to waste a bag or receipt that he’d just have to pick up from the parking lot gravel later and handed the first kid his change. As he paid for his, the second boy asked, “Were there really eight-year old soldiers?”
            “They were mostly drummers, but, yeah.” Wyatt had told them about Edward Black, 21st Indiana Volunteer Regiment. There was a portrait of him in what used to be the dining room, part of this new display on child soldiers his dad had been working on forever.
            “Lucky!” The first boy said, and the second nodded like one of their bobble-head plastic Lincolns.
            Lucky? Wyatt didn’t think so. Edward Black died at 18. Of ‘Soldier’s Heart,’ what they called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder back then. Who wanted to fight a war and be so freaked out by it all that it killed you, before you even got to live your life? And that was if you survived in the first place. “I’d hate to be a soldier,” Wyatt told them.
            “Pffft!” The second kid spit-taked air, like that was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard.
            The first kid targeted Wyatt with his new gun. “Pishhu! Pishhu!”
            Baby sharks.
            “All right, you two. That’s enough. Everyone’s waiting.” Their teacher steered them outside.
            “Thanks for visiting!” Mackenzie waved from the front porch as the stragglers joined the rest of their class on the bus. Next they’d go to Jennie’s family’s put-on-a-Civil-War-costume-and-have-your-old-time-photo-taken store.
            Mackenzie closed the front door and headed back to where Wyatt stood in their Lincoln and Civil War Memorabilia Alcove. They were alone.
            Yikes.
            “Hey…”
            Wyatt got very busy at the register. She stood right next to him, waiting.
            “You’re really good with kids,” Mackenzie said, balancing a stuffed bear on one of the little speakers by the reception computer.
            Wyatt shrugged, spotting the mess of rifle pens. Typical. They had to examine every one before deciding. He scooped them up and started sorting, Richmond Carbines in the Jefferson Davis: President of the Confederacy mug, Springfield Rifles in the Abraham Lincoln: President of the Union.
            Mackenzie pulled her matching pink argyle wallet from her backpack and grabbed a ten-dollar bill. She put it on the glass counter in front of him.
            “What’s that for?” Wyatt risked a quick glance at her.
            She snuggled two grapefruit-sized Give-a-Lincoln-Get-a-Lincoln $4.99 teddy bears to her chin. “I can’t decide between the blue one or the gray one, so I’m going to get both.”
            Wyatt was out of pens to sort. “You don’t have to pay for those.” He bent down to straighten the line of infantry soldiers on the Civil War Chess Set.
            “It’s your family business. I’m not going to steal them!”
            “You’re my girlfriend, aren’t you? Just take ‘em.”
            Wyatt stood, and it took everything he had to not look at his soldier in the display case against the sitting room wall. Before he could figure out something else to do, Mackenzie wrapped her arms around him. “Honeybear!”
            “Honeybear?”
            Her shirt was silky, and he searched for an excuse to slip away.
            She nodded, “sometimes you’re like a growly bear on the outside, but in there…” She touched his chest through his T-shirt. “You are so sweet.” She tilted her lips down to his, going for kiss number three.
            Oddly purple-red lips closing in, Wyatt thought fast. He grabbed a loose bear and with a lip-smack sound effect, pressed its nose to Mackenzie’s cheek instead. He broke free and acted like he was being all funny and playful.
            Something cracked inside Mackenzie’s face, and her hand flew up to cover her mouth. “Are my braces that horrible?”
            “No! It’s not…” Wyatt stopped. He had no idea what to say. “Mom!”
            Wyatt’s mom, still in work clothes, walked in from the kitchen corridor holding a folding plastic ‘Rails Realty’ sign. It was broken. “I finally got Kelly to let your father make one of these out of wood, so they’ll last. If she likes it, it will be some extra money…”
            Mackenzie whispered, like she was trying to believe it, “You knew she was coming home now?”
            Wyatt took the excuse. “I thought, maybe…”
            His mom stashed the sign behind the reception counter and focused on them. “Mackenzie, you’re looking beautiful!”
            “Hi, Liz.” Mackenzie said.
            Wyatt’s mom came over and hugged her. Then, instead of letting go, she held Mackenzie out at arm’s length, staring at her like Mackenzie hadn’t spent the last seven years hanging out there practically every day. His mom repeated the compliment, “Just… beautiful.”
            That got Mackenzie blushing, which always showed off her freckles, which she hated. Actually, where are her freckles?
            “Don’t you think so?” Wyatt’s mom turned to him and Wyatt startled. He didn’t want Mackenzie to catch him staring at her. That would send the wrong… Oh, man. He didn’t even know anymore.
            “Yeah, sure.” He rubbed at a spot of ink on his hand.
            “Sweetie,” Wyatt’s mom gave him a quick kiss on the head. “I still have a few calls to make for the parade, and your dad’s too busy cooking… I noticed the breakfast buffet never got put away. How about you pitch in, and then you two can set the table for dinner?”
            More chores. Great. But to avoid the lecture, Wyatt just said, “Sure.” And tossed Mackenzie a ‘you in?’ look.
            Lipstick. And no freckles.
            “I’d love to.” Mackenzie tossed a flowy, big-hair curl over her shoulder, all game. Wyatt pushed down this queasy feeling that he wasn’t going to listen to. He just had to make sure they didn’t spend any more time alone together.
           
* *

            “Honestly Mr. Yarrow, I would never have guessed it’s rabbit!” Mackenzie gushed about the meal Wyatt’s dad was trying out since there were no guests eating with them at the big table in the kitchen tonight. Weekly Civil War-Era meals was the next big thing that was supposed to get money finally pouring in.
            Wyatt eyed the dandelion greens and pieces of slimy-looking meat on his plate. His mom was going to need to keep her job for the Mayor. Another thing for Jonathon to lord over him, like because Wyatt’s mom worked for his mom, it made them Jonathon’s family’s servants or something.
            The bottle in his hand made a plastic farting sound as he coated his rabbit salad and heap of turnip-potato pie in an oozing blanket of red.
            “Ketchup? Really?” Wyatt’s dad bookmarked the 19th century cookbook he’d been reading and decided to pay attention to actual living people.
            “Gregory…” Wyatt’s mom started.
            “He hasn’t even tried it!” Wyatt’s dad shook his head. “It’s supposed to be period food.”
            Wyatt held out the family-size bottle, label facing his dad. He pointed to the small red print below ‘Heinz,’ and read it out loud. “Established 1869.”
            “Really?” It was like Mackenzie was interested in everything today. She reached for the ketchup bottle with matching red nail polish. Nail polish, too?
            Wyatt’s mom patted his dad’s hand. “It’s delicious.” She turned to Wyatt, “So, how was your day?”
            “Fine.” Wyatt poked in vain for something else on his plate.
            “Anything new to share?” His mom asked.
            “Nope.” Wyatt answered, wondering if he just cut it up and moved it around on his plate, and then volunteered to do dishes, he could get away without eating it.
            “That’s funny,” His mom said nonchalantly, “because when I was updating the Mayor’s status earlier, I noticed Mackenzie’s profile says she’s now in a relationship.”
            Wyatt kept his eyes on his plate. Don’t tell them. Don’t tell them. He tried to send the thought to Mackenzie – maybe they did have some kind of E.S.P.
“You didn’t tell them?” She asked Wyatt, totally telling them.
Wyatt’s mom shrieked and leapt out of her chair to squeeze them both into a giant hug. “Why didn’t you tell us? Mackenzie Miller! Oh my gosh – what’s your middle name? I don’t know your middle name!”
“Liz.” Dad said, and Wyatt’s mom released her death-grip on them.
“Okay, okay! But you can’t blame a mother for being excited about her little boy growing up and finding love.”
            Wyatt could feel the hole he was in getting deeper and deeper. He managed to lift his lips apart and show his teeth, just like a real smile.
            His dad picked up his wine glass in a toast. “That makes this your first official meal as Wyatt’s girlfriend!”
            “Guys!” Wyatt squirmed. Do all parents do this?
            “And now that you’re dating, we need to make sure you’re respecting each other. I won’t be a grandfather before I’m fifty.”
            “Gregory!” Wyatt’s mom sounded shocked. “They’re only in ninth grade.”
            “I remember being a teenager. And we have a double responsibility here.” Wyatt’s dad pointed at him and Mackenzie. “No more alone time in either of your bedrooms, understood?”
            Wyatt felt like he’d just been handed a late Christmas present.
            He nodded, quick.
            Wyatt’s dad sipped his wine. “Mackenzie, now that you’re even more a member of our family,”
Mackenzie made a little squeaking noise. Wyatt didn’t look at her, cause he didn’t want to embarrass her. But anytime Wyatt complained, Mackenzie told him how great his family was and how he needed to appreciate his parents more. How ‘you don’t know how important it is until you lose it.’ And he never knew what to say. And now, she was thinking his dad and mom could be like her dad and mom, too, so she’d have three parents instead of just one. And it was all built on a lie. He felt like pond scum, if pond scum could feel bad about itself.
His dad continued, looking at Mackenzie in a way that felt parental, “…why don’t you choose our Sunday movie this week?”
            Wyatt couldn’t believe his dad was giving it to Mackenzie. “It was my turn!”
            “Sweetie,” his mom scolded. “It’s a lovely idea of your father’s. Be gracious.”
            “Sorry.” Wyatt said, but he wasn’t. Even pond scum had stuff it looked forward to. “I’ve… just been waiting to see the new Bond movie since Thanksgiving, and it’s finally out on DVD, and it’s my week!”
            His mom ignored him. “Tell us, Mackenzie. What movie would you like us all to watch?”
            Wyatt slumped back and stared at the floor under the table. Pink leopard-print high heels kicked off, Mackenzie’s bare feet were crossed at the ankles. What was going on?
            “I’ve always tried to get Wyatt to watch Little House on the Prairie with me. Maybe this would be a good chance?
            “Ughhh!” Wyatt rolled his head and eyes all the way back. Something kicked his leg. “Ow!” Bending forward to rub his shin, he was pretty sure he heard Mackenzie smother a laugh.      He glared at his dad, who shifted into lecture-mode. “Being in a relationship means some give and take. Little House on the Prairie sounds perfect, Mackenzie. And we can all watch the new double-o-six movie next week. Agreed?”
            “It’s double-o-seven.” Wyatt pouted. Like his dad even cared. If it wasn’t about the Civil War, he was just going to sit there and read an auction catalog no matter what they watched.
            His mom leaned towards his dad. “We’re supposed to let them sort it out.”
            His dad shrugged. “Why, when it’s so simple?”
            “Young love is never simple,” Wyatt’s mom said. “Remember?” His parents got all mushy and Wyatt paid attention to the food he wasn’t eating.
            Mackenzie chimed in, “How about we watch Wyatt’s movie this week, and next week we can watch Little House?
            Wyatt looked at her. Thanks, he mouthed silently.
            Mackenzie locked eyes with him, all intense, all I’ll-sacrifice-my-happiness-for-yours, and suddenly, Wyatt got it. The makeup. The big hair. The heels. It was all for him!
            And he didn’t want it. Any of it.
He looked away.
            “See? They worked it out.” Wyatt’s mom said, kissing his dad’s hand.
            It’s like I’m being tortured.
             Wyatt survived the rest of dinner, and even managed a couple of bites of cinnamon, apple and raisin dessert until his dad launched into one of his footnote monologues. It was the kind of thing guests found charming for a weekend stay, but they didn’t have to live with it full-time. It was all about how he was sorry it was Braeburn apples instead of the York Imperial or Ben Davis varieties they would have made it with back in 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, since this was Gettysburg Fruitcake.
            And all Wyatt could think about was Jonathon hearing that and telling everyone Wyatt was the Gettysburg Fruitcake. But he wouldn’t, now that Wyatt had a girlfriend. Right?
            He dropped his spoon to the plate, appetite gone.
            Wyatt’s mom brought up junior prom – two years away – and how now she would volunteer to chaperone. How am I going to keep this up for that long?
            Then they were talking outfits, and how Mackenzie didn’t even have one for the Purple and Gold Pep Rally in two weeks.
            “What I’m really not sure about are the shoes,” Mackenzie said. “These gave me blisters, and I nearly twisted my ankle, twice.”
            “You need to start with kitten heels.” Wyatt’s mom told her. “Maybe I have something… I’m a size eight, what size are you?”
            “But, I wear a size eight!” Mackenzie’s words came out in a giggle.
            Before Wyatt knew it, with his mom in the lead, Mackenzie was pulling him along to his parents’ bedroom. “Come on, Honeybear!”
            Wyatt stalled out in the doorway, watching his mom throw open her shoe wardrobe. Mackenzie acted like a starving person at a buffet, touching and oohing and ahhing over each shoe. She didn’t have a mom to do this with since hers was – well, no one knew where her mom was – so Wyatt figured it was a big deal.
            “Here, try this one!” Wyatt’s mom held out a pair of low heels whose shifting purple-blue colors reminded Wyatt of iridescent butterfly wings.
            Carefully, Mackenzie slipped on the left shoe. “It fits!” She said, all Cinderella.
            Wyatt’s mom came up behind Mackenzie and studied her reflection in the Ikea standing mirror. “Beautiful. And you don’t have to wait for the Pep Rally.” Wyatt’s mom was all Fairy Godmother. “You can borrow any pair you want, anytime.”
            Mackenzie gulped air, and Wyatt could barely make out her whispered, “Gaia. My mom gave me a totally embarrassing hippie middle name.”
Wyatt’s mom moved to face Mackenzie. “She doesn’t know what she’s missing.” She tucked a loose strand of hair gently behind Mackenzie’s ear. “Mackenzie Gaia Miller, you are a lovely young woman. I couldn’t be happier… for all of us.”
Wyatt was out of there. He couldn’t be the Prince in this fairy tale. He just couldn't.

* *


* *

Chapter Three Endnotes 

Wyatt tells the visiting students about the Civil War child soldier Edward Black. You can find out more in this “The Boys of War” opinion piece in the October 4, 2011 New York Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/the-boys-of-war/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 There’s additional info (and a painting) of Edward Black, “who was 8 years old when he became a drummer for the 21st Indiana Volunteer Regiment…” in this online slide show: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/10/05/opinion/disunion-children-4.html 

* *

Want to know why I'm serializing my entire YA novel for free right here on this blog? Click here.

Ready for Chapter Four? It will be posted on September 29, 2017.

Thoughts? Reactions? #queerasafivedollarbill fan art? Share them in comments!

Don't miss a chapter - you can sign up to follow this blog and get e-mailed every post! Just enter your email address at the top of the left column.

Thanks for being part of my community, and for being one of my READERS!

Reading Friday!

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:52 am
frayadjacent: Connie Maheswaran on a beach reading excitedly (!reading)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
I've been travelling a lot, which means plenty of time for reading but not much for DW posting.

What I've finished reading since my last post:

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. What I thought would be a fun, tight-knit murder mystery turned out to be a big story covering hundreds of years, major political upheavals, and some thought-provoking ideas about clones. I enjoyed this a lot.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. It was a fun book and made me laugh, but as my first Scalzi novel, I can't say it made me want to read more.

The Thessaly series by Jo Walton (The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, and Necessity). An interesting series, especially as an exploration of utopia. I never thought I'd read a book that would make me excited about the god Apollo. I found that even though I wasn't enormously taken in by the plots or characters, I couldn't put them down, and I think that's just because the prose is so damn readable. I came to particularly love the character Maia, and was bummed that she wasn't in the last novel.

Lavinia, by Ursula K Le Guin. I've had the e-book for ages, and after I finished The Just City, but before I realised there were two more novels after it, I was in the mood for more Bronze Age fiction. Le Guin's prose is as wonderful as ever, and I loved the use of the device that Lavinia -- and everyone else -- was a character in the Aeneid, not a historical figure. I find Le Guin's tendency toward gender essentialism more annoying than I used to.

The Small Change trilogy by Jo Walton (Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown). Detective noir/political thriller series set in an AU where the UK made peace with the Nazis and the US never joined WWII. In the first book, one of the POV characters is happily married to a man with the same first and last name as Mr. Adjacent, and it was very strange! At several points I thought I'd have to stop reading it because this character was under serious threat and I thought he might die. The end of the series was narratively satisfying but politically annoying. Between this series and the Thessaly series I have read two instances in Walton where the oppressed and their allies basically convinced those in power (or rather, a sympathetic faction of those in power) to stop oppressing them. I'm with Fredrick Douglass on that one.

What I'm currently reading

My Real Children by Jo Walton. Yes, I'm on a kick. I've just started this, but I'm hoping it will be more the intimate, character-driven story that Among Others was. As much as I've enjoyed Walton's books that I've read since then, none of them can hold a candle to that one.

Also, I'm slowly re-reading Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand by Ursula K Le Guin. I read it for the first (and only) time more than 15 years ago, so all I really remember is the overall feel of the book.

What I'll read next

I pre-ordered the new Philip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage, and it will be arriving in less than a month. I told myself I'd re-read His Dark Materials first. Also, last year I purchased N.K. Jemisin's Obelisk Gate but decided to wait until the third book was out before reading the whole trilogy (including re-reading The Fifth Season). Now the third book is out but I haven't bought it yet. And finally, I have four books on hold from the library and I plan to drop anything else to read them once they become available. In other words, I don't know.

Free book-shaped space

I finally got my account set up to get e-books from the library and my book buying is plummeting (excepting the Le Guin haul, described below) while my reading rate soars. I'm so pleased.

I recently learned that Worldcon 77 (in 2019) will be in Dublin! I really really want to go -- Dublin is cheaper to get to than London and almost as easy -- but it's within a week of my 10-year wedding anniversary, when we are also planning a big trip. I know this is nearly two years away, but August always ends up filled with family travel, so I feel like I do have to plan this far in advance in order for it to happen.

I went to Portland, Oregon in August, for the first time since probably 2003. I went to Powell's and re-purchased many of the Le Guin books I'd gotten rid of in a misguided purge a few years ago. All the books I bought were used -- I prefer to buy used books anyway, but these were necessarily so since I bought out of print books. Anyway, my Le Guin library is slowly being restored. Also, I almost bought a few missing Earthsea novels, but then a guy at the checkout counter told me that next year they'll be releasing a new illustrated version of the series, so I decided to hold out for that. Speaking of, the fancy illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is coming out soon. I seem to be collecting them all, but I'm really curious to see how they'll do the later books, as even The Philosopher's Stone is huge and unweildy.


Nominations Queries Post Three

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:16 pm
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 144 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 618. There are 2779 approved fandoms now in the tag set. We’re in the home stretch! (The not very fast home stretch.)


Please help us with the following issues:

2017 Oscars RPF / Academy Awards RPF - These were each submitted with the same character nominations: Andrew Garfield and Dev Patel. Nominators, do you have a strong preference as to what fandom label is used?

Chronicles of the Raven - James Barclay - Ry Darrick only seems to appear in the sequel trilogy; is that incorrect, or does this fandom label cover both trilogies? We’d also appreciate a little more information on the Unknown Warrior.

Dallas Stars (Hockey RPF) - Justin Courtnall does not appear to belong in this category; please comment, or we will either move him to another category (if an appropriate one exists) or reject him. It is not clear to us that Katie Hoaldridge is a celebrity in her own right; could the nominator please give their reasoning?

動物戦隊ジュウオウジャー | Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger - the character Insarn does not seem to belong here. Did you mean Naria?

Element of Fire - Martha Wells - this is nominated with the characters Giliead (Ile-Rien), Ilias (Ile-Rien), and Tremaine Valiarde. The characters don’t seem to match the fandom. Nominator, would you prefer to change the fandom or the characters?

Forgotten Realms - for Khelben Arunsun, is Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun or Khelben Arunsun the Younger meant, please?

Giant Robo - This is nominated with the characters Alberto (Giant Robo), Ginrei (Giant Robo), Hanzui (Giant Robo), Ivan (Giant Robo), Kenji Murasame (Giant Robo), Shokatsuryou Koumei, Sunny the Magician, Taisou (Giant Robo), Tetsugyu (Giant Robo), and Youshi (Giant Robo). As far as we can tell, this is a mix of 1960 and 1990s anime. Nominators, could you please confirm which media you want and if they should be separated out or sent through together?

合法ドラッグ | Gouhou Drug | Legal Drug - the character Watanuki Kimihiro doesn’t seem to belong here. Nominator, could you please clarify?

No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?

Numbers (Anthropomorphic) - There are multiple sets of nominations for this fandom. Going by fandom spelling, respectively, the characters nominated are:
  • -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, Golden Ratio, Pi

  • -128, -i, 0.5, 12, 16, 256, i, sqrt(2)

  • 666, e, j, k

The last set in particular is confusing us. Do j and k together (without i?) refer to components of a unit vector? Or, if j and k refer to unrelated concepts, is j being used as notation for the square root of negative one, or something else, and what is k? Is this meant to denote 1000? Nominators, please elaborate on your thinking.

Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?

Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared?

You Could Make a Life Series - Taylor Fitzpatrick - we can’t find the characters Mason Draper and Nate Wozniak. Could the nominator(s) give us pointers, please?



All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:
  • Kino no Tabi | Kino's Journey - All Media Types, characters: Kino (Kino no Tabi)

  • Kurosagi - All Media Types, characters: Kashina Masaru, Katsuragi Toshio, Kurosaki (Kurosagi), Yoshikawa Tsurara

  • The Martian - All Media Types, characters: Beth Johanssen, Chris Beck, Mark Watney (The Martian - All Media Types)

  • Paint Your Wagon, characters: Ben Rumson, Elizabeth (Paint Your Wagon), Schermerhorn (Paint Your Wagon), Sylvester Newel. Did you want the movie or the musical, please?

  • Rookies - Morita Masanori & Related Fandoms , characters: Aniya Keiichi, Kawatou Kouichi, Mikoshiba Tooru, Shinjou Kei

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish

  • 屍者の帝国 | Shisha no Teikoku | Empire of Corpses - All Media Types, characters: Alexei Karamazov, Friday, John Watson (Shisha no Teikoku), Nikolai Krasotkin

  • XCOM (Video Games) & Related Fandoms, characters: Firebrand, Lily Shen (XCOM), The Commander (XCOM)



Ensemble characters
We will accept labels like “the Council” or “the hunters” for characters in cases where the ensemble does not have different distinct characters in it. For the following fandom, please either confirm that there are no distinct characters in the group, or pick a single character out of the group you’ve nominated:
  • Compendium of World Knowledge - John Hodgman - Hobos, possibly also Cryptozoologists (?)




If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.

まるです。

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:00 pm
[syndicated profile] maru_feed

Posted by mugumogu

 

箱に入りたいまる。でも本当は、奥ではなが入っている箱が
一番のお気に入り。
Maru wants to get into the box.
However, he actually wants to enter the box which she is in.

はな:「なんかずっとこっち見てるんだけど…。」
Hana:[He looks at me. Why?]


まる:「ひとの箱を勝手に使っているのは誰ですか?」
Maru:[Hey, this it my box.]


はな:「キャー! なんか追いかけてくる―!」
まる:「待てー!」
Hana:[Wow, he runs after me. Why??]
Maru:[Wait!]


はな:「こんなとこまで来ちゃった。」
まる:「ここまで来ればもう大丈夫。」
Hana:[I escaped at last to here…Why???]


まる:「まったくもう、油断も隙もありませんよ。」
Maru:[Because this is my box!]


まる:「危うく箱の形が変わってしまうところだった。」
Maru:[Look! I arranged this box for myself. So this is mine.]

ボロボロなのはお気に入りの証。

For trope_bingo

Sep. 21st, 2017 03:01 am
ladyofleithian: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyofleithian
Prompt: Rare Pairs

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Artist's Notes: Was mostly thinking of doing things on the Ben and Poe side, as that's mostly where I do my work -- in the backstory. Mostly they're based off my story "The Broken Edge", a.k.a. my giant-as-heck backstory for Ben and company. 

Icons under cut. )

i need a d.va icon apparently

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:19 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird
Today was the most badass I have ever been as D.va.

Offence. Volskaya industries. Backfill, with about 2:30 to go; first point taken, first third of second point taken, but they've been flailing. I grab D.va, and they waste about 2:15 just raggedly charging in, ignoring my group-up requests - tho' I did get the enemy to blow a few of their ults. And once I announce that my nerf is up, my team finally groups, mostly because hey, about out of time.

I lead the charge in. I get one and a mech with my nerf. One of our team gets someone else, I don't know who. I get my mecha back, charge in, kill a third.

Their Reaper drops in with his ult and kills FIVE OF US. Quadruple kill. It is, in fact, play of the game.

But he does not get me. I am the only member of my team alive.

I kill every remaining member of the enemy team and take the point in overtime, while the entire rest of my team is dead.

I gold in objective kills, but I don't even card.

I cannot imagine what that looked like to everyone else.

まるです。

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:00 pm
[syndicated profile] maru_feed

Posted by mugumogu

 

さっきまでテーブルの上にいたはずなのに、猫用の歯ブラシを
手に戻ってくるとまるが姿を消している。
Maru was on the table certainly.
But when I brought a toothbrush for cats, he hid somewhere already.

まる:「こんな完璧に隠れれば見つかるまい。」
Maru:[I hide perfectly.]

はな:「ねーそこで何してんのー?」
Hana:[Well, what are you doing there?]

まる:「しっ、あっちへ行きなさい!」
Maru:[Shh! Go away!]

あのー、まるさんはどこへ行ったんでしょう?
Hey, do you know where is Maru?

まる:「さあ、どこでしょうね?」
Maru:[I don’t know…]


そろそろ観念して歯磨きしちゃいましょう!
The hide-and-seek is over.
Let’s brush your teeth!

[syndicated profile] queer_ya_feed


The Backstagers written by: James Tynion IV, art by: Rian Sygh

When Jory transfers to an all-boys private high school, he's taken in by the only ones who don't treat him like a new kid, the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers. Not only does he gain great, lifetime friends, Jory is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain. With the unpredictable twists and turns of the underground world, the Backstagers venture into the unknown, determined to put together the best play their high school has ever seen.
Midway through this comic, one of the characters is revealed to be a transgender boy. Thanks to Brigid Alverson's and their Just Another Day in an LGBTQ Comic article in School Library Journal for the heads-up on this one.

Add your review of "The Backstagers" in comments!


solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Sorry this one took so long. I'm not good at large action sequences, and this chapter was difficult to write, mostly because of that. I was trying to keep it gamelike, in that it would be evocative of a failed charge onto take a point with a payload on it in game, as opposed to a realistic infantry scenario. I hope it works.

If nothing else, it's way longer than most of my chapters, so at least nobody's being short changed. ^_^

[AO3 link]


The opportunity came sooner than expected. An arms shipment, escorted by Los Muertos, task force almost certainly to be led by Jack Morrison - or, as it seems they called him, the white ghost.

Jesse McCree had been the one to catch the rumour, talking with some of his old Deadlock Gang contacts, who, turns out, would be happy if a rival gang did not get to run goods through their territory. And so, they passed the news to him, and he passed it to Amélie, who passed it to Venom, who gave it to Overwatch, and Gabriel Reyes, who built a plan.

Mockingbird lay atop the crest of the hill, silent, even her breath inaudible, even to herself, even she wasn't entirely sure she was bothering to breathe right then, as the small three-vehicle convoy stirred itself, beginning its early-morning trundle out of the two-building ghost town that had once called itself Cloverdale. There had been more here, once, before the climate warmed, but really, it had ended before then, a former bit of a farming town, a little store, a dance pavilion, enough water - just - for a bit of crop and cattle raising, but now, even that last was gone, which is, of course, why they were all where they were.

The sniper had been in her nest since two days before, had watched the convoy trundle its way across the desert and to a stop, loading out into the little stone ruin, and calling it a night. She had not slept; she did not need to, for this watch. Once everyone had tucked themselves in so nicely, so quietly, she'd then confirmed via radio to Gabriel that Jack Morrison was, indeed, in the front truck, and that they were not, in fact, transporting refugees or undocumented workers - there were no innocents to get in the way. Just a simple cargo delivery - maybe the weapons, maybe a side delivery before the main delivery, no way even to know.

Not that it mattered, really.

She watched as the convoy slowly rode its way west, towards her and past burned out soil, past former farm gates, now collapsing along the road, the paint bleached in the sun. She took in a breath, just enough to speak. "They're on their way."

Gabriel's voice in her ear. "Do you have the target?"

Lena allowed herself the smallest of smirks. Less than a kilometre. No breeze, at all. Crystal clear skies. Do I have the target. Honestly, Gabe. But she kept it to herself. "Target confirmed and moving into go/no go. Do I have go?"

Reyes ran through the numbers one more time in his head. Everyone in position for the ambush. A lot more fighters on the Los Muertos side - more than they expected, and it bothered him - but only one hard target. The gang side wouldn't be trying for a capture - they'd be shooting for kills, without hesitation - but Overwatch had surprise on their side.

"Nearing optimal range, Gabe. Go or no go?"

Who knows when we'll get intel even this good again, he decided. "Action confirmed. All team, on my mark - go."

Venom - no, Mockingbird - smiled the spider's smile, and pulled the trigger. Morrison's head jerked to the side as the tactical visor went flying out across the desert in pieces, and he swore, loudly, in Spanish, blinded by his own blood, but not really hurt, despite the proximity of the bullet. The transport vehicle swerved, blocking the road forward, but did not fly out of control, and seconds later he was shouting orders to his team as the Overwatch group moved in from the northeast, from the dried-up spring.

"Visor down," the sniper confirmed, as Mei threw up a wall behind the convoy, Gabriel lay down fire blowing out the front vehicle's tires, and the unlabelled Overwatch carrier blared its orders to drop weapons and be commandeered. Pharah charged into the air, letting loose with a series of rockets aimed at vehicle engines, as Mockingbird readied for a spray of long-range discouragement fire from her position, to keep the grunts under cover. She grinned as she watched the Los Muertos gangsters circle their vehicles and swarm for weapons, and then her grin froze as Jack darted away from her sight, without a visor, then reappeared on the other side of the transport vehicle, with one.

What th'...?! She looked back towards the wreckage of the visor. Yes, there, pieces, still on the ground. She called into comms, "Gabe, he has a second visor somehow, watch it!" just as Jack triggered the device, visual overlay screen appearing almost instantly, knocking Pharah out of the air just as she'd disabled the third vehicle. Mockingbird adjusted her sights and took a second shot, surely hitting him dead on, but somehow apparently not as he just kept shooting through the visor, after briefly jerking to the left.

She waited for a third shot, and Jack's head popped up again, again through the front transport, behind two windows. Mockingbird reacted instantly, and fired. Her vision seemed to blur, and suddenly, it was a Los Muertos grunt splayed out across the sand, her head smashed, and Jack Morrison was still firing.

Nobody's that lucky, she thought, coolly. Something's going on.

Los Muertos got a shield generator running as Mei threw up another wall while taking bullets to the shoulder and chest, saving Gabriel, who had also been hit and hurt by the barrage of bullets. Pharah limped back into the air, got off a single rocket knocking Morrison down, and went down again herself almost immediately, Mercy flying to her wife's side. Gabriel, Mockingbird, and - a moment later - Mercy's fire kept most of the rest of the Los Muertos fighters ducking for cover, as Winston leapt down, shield in place over the wounded Mei, Tesla cannon keeping braver Los Muertos back, as Athena flew in as pickup for the injured.

"Gabriel, Tracer here," Mockingbird shouted into comms, trying to force some emotion back into her voice. "Mockingbird's hit this guy in the head three times and he just shakes it off, something is very wrong. We need to..."

And then Jack fell to the ground, unconscious, and an older woman's voice came over the Overwatch comms, saying, "He's down, but it won't last more than 30 seconds. Get your wounded out while you can, and regroup at my position. Tracking beacon enabled."

-----

"A second visor?!" Gabriel - limping, but mobile - looked incredulously at Mockingbird as the small Overwatch strike force mended its wounds at the beacon site deep in the hills to the north. "He can't have a second visor. It's unique to each soldier. It was wired into his brain."

"Don't care," insisted the woman in black and green. "I shot the first one off, just like we planned it. It was on the ground, in pieces." She folded her arms. "My sight takes pictures, I can show you."

"But a second visor - that's not possible," Gabriel insisted.

"I know I hit him. I know I did. Three times. There's something we've missed, Gabe. This should've been easy and it was a disaster."

"You look very familiar," said the older woman with the beacon, looking with narrowed eyes at the younger sniper.

Mockingbird blinked, and looked over to the older woman, finally realising who she was seeing. "...no question of it on my side," she said, recovering. "The legendary Ana Amari, in the flesh. You're supposed to be dead. What the hell, mate? And how'd you get on our comms?"

Gabriel glanced away from Mockingbird and brushed dust off his hands, looking resolutely unsurprised. "Ana, this is our sniper specialist, callsign Mockingbird. Mockingbird, this is Ana Amari, apparently not dead."

Ana snorted at her former Blackwatch friend, and gestured over to Mockingbird. "You think that can replace me?"

"You have been dead since 2069," said Winston, stepping in between the new and the old, "as far as we knew." He gave Reyes a look, a look that said they would be talking about Reyes's lack of surprise in the very near future. "She's an independent contractor willing to work with us, and we're happy to have her service."

"I know that kit," said the Egyptian, with a sideways glance back to the younger woman. "And I know that blue tinge. Working with Talon, are we, now? Maybe Jack's not so crazy as I thought."

"Not with Talon, luv," Mockingbird lied. "But I always buy from the best. No second chances in this game. 'Cept for you, apparently. And Jack." She looked around at Angela and Gabriel and Ana, and frowned. "And apparently all you old lot."

Amari glanced disdainfully at the young assassin, then returned to ignoring her, looking back to Gabriel. "And where's the so-called Hero of Old London supposed to be, then?"

Mockingbird glared, anger a flash across her face. No, she told herself. Lena's not here. Ana's trying to provoke you. Realising that, she found she didn't even need to bring up the web further to keep control. It's a game. She knows, she just wants us to admit it. Spill the beans, grams? Not likely.

"We all thought it was for the best if she stayed out of any direct action involving the man who left her to die in the Slipstream." He looked directly into the sniper's eyes. "Knowing you're here, I'd say that was the right call."

"Afraid she'd lose her cool, get hurt?" She made a little unimpressed sound, a kind of pffft. "And yet here you hand whatever they've made of her" - she waved at Mockingbird, without looking - "a sniper rifle. You're fools."

Lena almost spoke up, then almost laughed, but kept her expression flat. Nice try, she thought. "So I shouldn't ask for your autograph, then?"

Winston shook his head at Mockingbird's verbal jabs, and Gabriel crossed his arms, with a frown. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Ana. More importantly - where the hell have you been all these years?"

"Really? You're going to keep up this laughable facade?"

"Whatever. You gonna tell us where you've been all this time?"

Amari glared. "No. But I will give you this." She pulled a small memory card out of a coat pocket. "It's video and notes from a... previous attempt to solve the Jack Morrison problem. If you're going to try to kill him, I need you not to make things worse."

"We aren't trying to kill him," Winston said, taking the card. "We're trying to bring him to justice."

Amari spat at the ground. "There's no justice for what he did, or for what he's become. I thought you understood that."

Well, thought Mockingbird, there's one place we agree. She found she didn't like the agreement. "That's what I thought, too. Maybe I ought t'reconsider the point."

"Does it always make this much noise? Maybe it should be reprogrammed again."

"ENOUGH OF THIS." Mercy glided down from the flat spot on the hillside above, where she had been tending to Mei and Pharah, watching since Ana showed herself, stunned to see her mother-in-law, of all people, reappear from the dead - not her way, but alive and well the entire time.

"Angela, why are you mixed up in this idiocy? I thought you'd know better."

The field medic marched over to the old military officer, and slapped her across the face, hard, staggering her back. "You dare show your face? You dare act like this to my friends, after what you have put us through?!"

"Woah!" interjected Mockingbird, jumping forward to restrain the doctor. "Angela, no! It's fine, she's just horrible!"

"No," she said, looking back, and shaking her arms free, "it is not fine!" She turned back to the old soldier, and pointed to Pharah, unconscious, but recovering. "She mourned you. You ignored her as a child and she loved you anyway and then you died and she put it behind her and now you are here and alive and she is here and wounded and you have not even acknowledged her existence?!"

"I've done what has been necessary, and I've stayed out of the way of the medic while she works. Fareeha will understand that."

"Will she? I hope not! But I will make sure she knows. I will make sure she knows everything. Including how horribly you have just abused our Mockingbird. 'It?! '" She shook herself, as though fluffing feathers she did not have, except in her wings. "You call her an it?! She is a person, not a tool, and you have become a monster."

Quietly surprised, Lena's heart tore, just a little, at the medic's furious defence. "Doc, really, it's fine, she's just digging..."

"I know what she's doing," Mercy said, not looking at Lena. "And I don't care why." She turned to the openly astonished Reyes and Winston. "We should get the wounded out of American territory as soon as possible. They will not be happy with our actions today."

"I agree," said Reyes, taking the opportunity. "Ana, we can pick this up later. Do any of your old dropboxes work?"

"No. Do yours?"

"Boxburg does."

"I'll leave a contact point there, then."

"Thanks. And... thanks for helping out."

"You're welcome. Maybe next time we can work together, make sure the grown-ups are in charge."

Mockingbird's face showed absolutely no sign of emotion, and her hands did not tighten visibly on her rifle.

"We'll talk later," said the former Blackwatch head. "Team - back to the ship. Mockingbird, give Mercy some help with Mei; Winston, I wouldn't mind a little help myself. Let's roll out."

The Lunar gorilla offered his friend an arm, as Mockingbird turned towards the Chinese scientist with a curt "acknowledged." Behind Venom's mask, beneath the web, the assassin roiled viciously, but no hint of that storm made it outside.

Maybe I've got more than one problem to solve, she thought, as she guided the semi-sedated Mei up off the ground. Maybe I've got two or three.

page 858

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:30 am
[syndicated profile] cucumberquest_feed

Posted by gigi

Psst! Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom releases in three weeks. (That’s the new and improved edition of volume 1 published by First Second!) Have you preordered a copy yet?

Profile

Bread

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28 293031   

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:09 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios