Monthly Archives: December 2016

Leesandra 4

Kari and Leesandra casually walked their way through the garden surrounding them. They only walked on the path even though it wouldn’t have hurt the grass to be trodden on. Almost every plant in the spaceport was genetically modified to be more resilient like that, the grass only ever grew so far as well, so it never needed to be cut.

 

There was another sector for the flowers, vegetables and trees that were transplanted from Earth but it was kept well away from this one. The effect cross pollination could have on unmodified specimen was not thoroughly studied unlike human and Kyber breeding.

 

They traveled directly forward from the elevator they had arrived in. The fauna sector was spread out along the curvature so it took up about quarter of this ring. The main rotational ring was technically made up of several smaller rings, they were all structurally attached to each other but were separated by airlocks. Leesandra had frequently compared it to the trains off Earth, where if there were bandits on the carriage behind you could just disconnect it from the rest.

 

The hologram at the airlock thanked them for coming to visit the gardens. They smile and waved back at it. It seemed to take great pleasure in being acknowledged like this, smiling wildly.

 

The exit door slid open automatically with a hiss and a dull thud, they entered into the airlock and gush of cool air blew over them. The next door open and they were hit with the distinct smell of consumer sector ‘B’. It was a stark change from the sweet and floral aromas of the flora sector. The mingling of grilled, baked and glazed goods, and a variety of spices brought from every culture of Earth. People had made jokes about bottling the air and selling it to the other spaceports.

 

“Great, now I’m hungry too.” Leesandra could feel herself salivate with every word.

“Me too. Let’s hit up the first place that does coffee.”

 

There was a old style coffee machine coughing and spluttering two stalls down from the airlock. There was a girl standing behind the machine operating it with clear proficiency. She poured milk into a cup that she had previously prepared and handed it to the the only other customer at the stall. Leesandra grew jealous of her hair. It was only on one side, pink and actually pulsed with light. Without access to her Interfaces her hair would remain an auxiliary heat-sink grown out into a thick, glowing blue braid.

 

“What can I get you?” The girl asked.

“Two flat whites and some slices of that pizza you have.” Kari ordered politely, Leesandra hadn’t even noticed the food behind the girl, she was entranced by her dragon tattoo that swam up and down her left arm.

“How many slices?” She smiled as she noticed Leesandra watching her tattoo.

“Four please.”

“That’ll be two hundred necessity credits and forty luxury credits.”

 

The economy on the spaceport was largely driven by trade, unfortunately there wasn’t much manual work to be done. Only consumer sector B even had physical people operating the stalls. Most of the population isn’t technically employed.

 

Every living person regardless of skill or job is paid the same amount of necessity credits. Those credits can be used to pay for food, accommodation and even transport if you wanted to get to a different side of the station fast, they expire and the end of a week and are replenished then too. Luxury credits are also paid out at the same time, these do not expire and can be used on anything that can be bought. Those lucky enough to work a job will be paid in luxury credits.

 

Kari stuck her hand on the stall counter. The girl did the same, they processed the transaction using the counter as a direct interface. Leesandra is be able to do the same thing but unable to check if she’s paying the right amount until she got home. No-one has charged her incorrectly yet.

 

“We’ll sit here.” Kari motioned at the table and chairs pushed up against the counter.

“I’ll bring everything over to you when it’s ready.” The girl mentioned just before the sound of the coffee machine would have cut off every word.

 

Leesandra sat down and peered down the path, she could see the the ground curve upward out of view. It was times like these that she was thankful there were no windows, even thinking about the universe spinning madly around them made her slightly ill.

 

“So how’s your mother?” Kari attempted to start another conversation.

“She’s doing okay.”
“She’s a purebred right?”

“She’s human, yes.”
“You know what I meant, non-kyber.”

“Yeah, that’s why I said she was human.” Leesandra laughed.

 

“How’s she coping in the low gravity?”

“She’s been fine, keeping her exercise up has been keeping away any atrophy.”

“I heard she was in the hospital recently.”

“Genetic disorder, they put her through some therapy so it’s all cleared up but it’ll be a while till she can move properly again.”

“Move properly?”

“It degraded her bones in her legs, she’ll be back to normal after this round of treatment.”

 

“She didn’t want to make the move to kyber?”

“I honestly don’t blame her. Feeling like there’s something inside you that you can barely control isn’t something I chose.”

 

Kari made a face at her, like she didn’t know how to respond to that.

 

The pink haired girl put down their coffees then used her other set of arms to place down the plates.

 

“Thank you.” Leesandra smiled genuinely at her.

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Whiskey and Maeve – A Christmas Special

Sorry it’s late,  I wanted to make sure this one was nice and polished.
It was going to be released on Christmas or Christmas Eve, so I guess its also kind of early?

 


Maeve picked up Whiskey’s desk with one hand and put it down on the other side of the room.

“Uh, what are you doing?” Whiskey asked trying to appear unsurprised by the feat of strength.

“Making room.”

“Making room for what?”

“The tree.”

 

“The tree?”

“The Christmas tree.”

 

Whiskey stepped out of the kitchen and felt a wave of queasiness, almost dropping her mug of eggnog. Maeve was suddenly beside her holding her steady.  “You okay?”

 

“Yeah I’m fine, drink is just a little stronger than I expected, I guess.” She looked down at herself, she was wearing a pair of Santa slippers with matching red knitted pants and sweater. Maeve was wearing a matching outfit, this seemed to both comfort and alarm her.

“Don’t get too drunk before everyone gets here.” Maeve let her go and poked out her tongue.

“I won’t…” The nausea had subsided but something else seemed off.

 

The white ball of her Santa hat had started to tickle her face so she brushed it away. That didn’t seem to be the cause of her unease.

 

“Guide, if you would do the honors.” Maeve picked up the rugged old book and held it open towards the now empty part of the room.

“It would be my pleasure.” Several of Guide’s pages flipped over in quick succession. “Here it is.”

“I pull from eden, pine tree!” Maeve called out. Guide lit up so bright that Whiskey had to cover her eyes.

She put down her hand and blinked a few times. There was now a small tree in her apartment, seemingly grown out of the floor.

 

“Uh!” Whiskey exclaimed.

“Don’t worry, it won’t leave a single trace. And neither will this.” Maeve pulled a glass tube from her jeans and pushed it up against the wall. It left behind a blue shine, like a luminescent stain on the wall.

“Ah!” She exclaimed again.

“Shush.” Maeve had quickly drawn up a runic circle. The blue light seemed to slip away as a dark patch formed in the wall. The wall grew darker and darker until it was black and seemed to suck away the light around it.

 

Something purple started to poke out from the black. It was a thick tendril, like the root of some alien tree. Once it had slithered out a metre or two it twisted back on itself.

 

Whiskey stood in the middle of the room, mesmerised yet freaking out about almost everything around her.

 

The tendril reached back into the void that it had came from and started to pull out something. Tinsel, it was pulling out red tinsel. Slowly but surely it wrapped the piece around the tree and then folded back on itself to get more decorations.

 

Eventually the whole tree was covered with trinkets, glitter and candy canes.

 

“What’s this?” Whiskey asked, but she wasn’t even sure what she wanted to know.  There was a knock on her apartment door.

 

“They’re here.” Maeve was already at the door pulling it open. “Merry Yuletide.” Maeve greeted Isaac and David standing in the door. They were both dressed in their everyday black coats, but David had a Santa hat on.

“Felix Dies Natalis Solis Invicti.” David replied. Isaac grumbled, Whiskey chuckled to herself as she imagined him saying ‘Bah humbug’.

 

Whiskey’s gaze stuck on David, an image flickered in her mind. It was a painful image, not physically painful but emotionally painful. She started to sway a little as her vision blurred around the edges. Maeve was holding her again, she moved Whiskey to her desk chair and sat her down in it.

 

“I really don’t think you’re okay.”

“No really, it’s probably just this drink.” Whiskey deflected

“What’s wrong with her?” Isaac asked.

“She’s been acting dizzy.”

 

“Have you been near any dimensional portals lately?” David asked. Something in Whiskey’s subconscious forced her not to look at him.

“I have my disciple tentacle in the wall, but I set it up after she almost fell over the first time.”

“I feel fine guys, people get light headed sometimes. This drink probably isn’t helping.” Whiskey handed Isaac the mug. He sniffed it and gave it a swig.

“Woah, alright, that’s mostly alcohol. Looks like you already know how this celebration works.” Isaac stared at the drink with wide eyes. Maeve and David laughed.

 

Whiskey tried to look at David in her peripheral vision. Slowly focusing on the bottom of his coat moving up. Each inch made her stomach flip over. She didn’t want to look at his face but she didn’t know why. Another inch, another butterfly in her gut. Another inch coming into focus. Blood.

 

“Present’s then?” Whiskey lost concentration as Maeve pushed a bright green box in front of her.

“Heck yes!” Whiskey answered.

 

‘How am I suddenly so perky, what the hell is going on?’ She wondered in the back of her mind.

 

“Oh presents for us too?” David asked as Maeve shoved boxes into his and Isaac’s hands.

“This is awesome, what is it?” Whiskey had already pulled apart her present and was holding its contents up to show it off.

“That is a demon shiv.” Isaac answered her. “It’s only really useful on spiritual entities. It wouldn’t hurt anything corporeal.”

“Thank you Maeve. I imagine that I’ll probably end up using it one day.”

 

‘…probably end up using it one day, god I am embarrassing… What am I thinking? Why are we not freaking out right now?’

 

“Alright my turn.” David grabbed part of the bow on the top and pulled. It started to unravel.

 

Time seemed to slow. Whiskey screamed in her own mind.

 

‘Look at him! Look at his face! Why can’t I look at him?’

 

Her head snapped into place. Her eyes resting on him. Everything froze in place. She remembered. Not even two months ago. His head was removed. David is dead. He can’t be here. Why are we having Christmas?

 

“You’re not real!” Whiskey screamed at the top of her lungs. Time resumed.

“Huh?” Maeve, David and Isaac all looked at her at once.

 

Whiskey stood up, grabbed the shiv tightly in her hand and bolted out the door and down the stairs. She bursted through the exit onto the street. At least it seemed like the street at first. It was dark, but darker than it should have been, even for late at night. Whiskey looked up, there weren’t any streetlights nor buildings besides her apartment building.

 

“You just had to look the gift lion in the mouth didn’t you?” She heard a voice that came from all around her.

“Who are you?” She held out the dagger and spun around trying to see where it was coming from.

“Well.” A man appeared in front of her, like he had coalesced out of the air itself. He was barely covered by a white piece of cloth, like an ancient greek noble “I am the ghost of all possible Christmas’s.”

“That’s dumb, you’re dumb. Take me back to where you took me from.”

 

“Why is it dumb?” He started to pace along the pavement. Whiskey now noticed that it only reached a few metres out from where they stood.

“Because Christmas was only recently thought up, if there was a pantheon of Christmas ghosts then why weren’t you in the stories with all the other myths?”

“Well I was around before it was called Christmas.”

“Ah. Why am I having this conversation with you? Take me back.” Whiskey side stepped a few times to keep up with him.

 

“Do you really want to go back? Are you sure you don’t want to stay here with all your friends.”

“This isn’t real, they aren’t real.”

“Of course it’s real, this is a real Christmas that could have been.”

“You’re telling me that you can control the very fabric of time and make it so that David didn’t die?”

“Yes.” He stopped and turned to her.

“Then why didn’t Isaac conjure you to bring him back? Why are you talking to me?”

 

“Because it needs to be someone who would believe. Isaac doesn’t believe in hope or in the good of the universe, he is black at heart. Where as you are so full of wishes and dreams, unabashed by the horror you have faced.”

“So the standard Christmas hullabaloo. Why isn’t this world complete then?”

“Seriously, so many questions.”

 

“Because it’s feeding off your soul. This world would only come to pass if you gave up your life.” Maeve appeared outside the apartment building.

“How did you get here? I didn’t pull you through.” The ghost started to walk back towards her.

“I’m a soulless, idiot.”

“Huh, so you are. No matter, you can stay if you like. Don’t listen to her though Whiskey.” He turned his back on Maeve and headed back to Whiskey. “It’s really not like that all. Why offer you the deal if you’re not there to enjoy it?” Maeve stared at Whiskey fiercely until she noticed her gaze.

“Then what are you asking for in return?” Whiskey asked. Maeve started to make gestures with her hands. Like she was punching low.

“Just your cooperation, you do this for me, I’ll ask favours of you. Standard Wizard deal type stuff.”

“I see.”

 

Maeve started to act like she was stabbing herself in the gut. Whiskey clicked.

“Oh Maeve.” He shook his head and started to turn back to face her. “That little dagger won’t work on me, I made this world.” Whiskey made two large bounds and jabbed the Demon shiv directly into where the ghost’s kidney ought to have been. “Ugh! How?”

“That wasn’t the shiv you had made for me to put in the present.” Maeve popped up behind him as well. She ripped out the blade and jammed it into his other side. “This is the one I always carry.”

 

He faded away, as did the rest of the street.

 

They were back in Whiskey’s apartment and back in their normal attire.

“How did you figure it out?” Whiskey asked.

“I was never really under the spell. Soulless aren’t affected by dimension merging. I’m just glad you figured it out.”

“Yeah, I guess that he could have just ejected you whenever. What was he?”

“Angel I think, trying to trick you into selling your life for an alternate timeline. Getting around Death’s control over his soul.”

 

“But why my life? And why would an Angel want David to be alive so badly?”

“Who knows, but whatever the reason, the Angel won’t be dead. Can’t actually kill Angels. They’ll be back at some point. You should probably keep a hold of that Shiv.”

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Leesandra 3

“Alright.” Kari threw up her hands in defeat, sending her into a slow backwards twirl. She jolted, clearly realizing her mistake. Leesandra grabbed her legs and pulled her back until she could grab the hand holds. “See, you’re so on to it. You’re way better than this, dock work is for us with trash genes.”

“You don’t have trash genes.” Leesandra hated that phrase. “No-one does, that’s not how they work.”

“Listen, you have a lot more opportunities than I do, you should try your hand at something with a little more independence.” She was hinting at something.

“Will I have to use my Hud?”

“Nope.”

“What’s the job then?”

“Just some night shifts.” Kari grinned, Leesandra half smiled. Night shift at the dock was mostly handled by automated systems, there wasn’t technically a Day-Night cycle in Space but people needed their rest. Leesandra had heard that Alpha-Cygnus had a system in place where half of the occupants would run an opposite sleep cycle to the rest, making it manned at all times. Alpha-Hydra just had a 6 hour slot where everything of importance was operated by CAL, as expected though, most operation guidelines required a human to be present where a faults could cost lives.

“It’ll just be me though right.”

“Yup.”

“Okay, sure. When? Tonight?”

“Correct. Let me buy you a coffee.” Kari uncurled her legs and flipped over backwards pushing herself off, shooting towards the exit like a bullet. Leesandra winced, her mind playing out the myriad of ways Kari could end up hurting herself. “You coming?”

“Yeah I’m coming.” She started to pull herself along getting up to a moderate pace.

*

“Leesandra Patrick.” She said her name as she was scanned by the security drone. The Docks probably had the tightest security in the whole spaceport, you couldn’t leave or enter unless you had a full background listed in the database. Even the most well known traders were kept within while they did their dealings, but it was like that even before La Mezclado destroyed the Mars colony.

“Kari Booke.”  Most traders didn’t really want to get on the spaceport anyway, they already had everything they wanted on their transport ships. Food production, their family and friends, their own entertainment sectors, basically another city in most cases.

They seemed to be the only ones leaving the dock area at least from the main entrance. The other entrances would eventually lead to this one as it was the closest to the centre of the main rotation ring.

Spaceport Alpha Hydra had several rotating habitational rings, the centripetal force of the rotating area gave the station artificial gravity, at the lowest and outermost ring it was exactly similar to that of Earth. Leesandra prefered this method to the other forms of artificial gravity, magnetic floors and plated shoes never did it justice. Although there were some recent breakthroughs with mass manipulation it wasn’t nearly as efficient as spinning in a circle.

“Did you catch the game last night?” Kari asked as if Leesandra knew exactly what she meant.

“Uh, e-sport or real sport?”

“E-sport of course! Empira versus Cumulus Black.”

“I caught the end of it. Empira was pretty much guaranteed anyway.”

Kari had silently interfaced with CAL and called an elevator before they even reached the opening. They clambered inside the cramped little tube, it was mainly metal but with white cushioning panels around the bottom and top. There were complimentary motion sickness bags secured just inside the door. This was Leesandra’s favourite part of her commute to and from work, equalizing gravity.

“Are you kidding? Cumulus’s team fight is impeccable.”

“Yeah of course, but it was a Aether map, Empira own that region.”

Leesandra pulled herself down pushing her feet onto the ground. The elevator made a loud clang as it locked onto the guide-rail. Then it made a small chirp noise indicating it had moved to the next floor.  The forces at work slowly started to act on them, pulling them down and to the side ever so gently.

The pushing and pulling of a constant gravity made Leesandra and Kari straighten out, clicking their joints and releasing some endorphins. Their altered genes kept them from the deterioration of low gravity but they were still designed by evolution to stand upright.

Another longer chirp indicated that they had reached their final stop

Leesandra got out first, it wasn’t her normal break time and they had ended up in the flora sector, she squinted in the fake light bringing up her hand to block it. It was too late, her autonomic functions kicked in and closed off her retina. This would normally be in place to mitigate any damage but in this case it was just irritating. It also heavily disorientated her as it would switch to a combination of other sensors hidden under her skin giving her an almost two hundred and seventy degree look around her, up, down and from side to side.

She held her hands over eyes but kept them open to make them register the darkness. Eventually her vision returned to normal.

“You can turn that off you know.”

“I could also turn you off by muting your verbal patterns.”

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Leesandra 2

Her gimbal pack was part of a much larger Astro-Suit. She was completely encapsulated by it while outside the spaceport. It kept her safe while out in the vacuum, protecting from the pressure difference and harmful radiation that could easily cross her path. The hyper-genetic alterations that were made to her, and most others in the spaceport, would have been able to cope with most of the Sun’s outpouring. Though they had not been tested with other cosmic rays.

Once they had secured the Asteroid within the spaceport, and locked down the loose umbilical, they ended up in formation just inside the dock entrance.

“Still no information on who was operating Delta 10?” Kari, the mission lead, asked over the team comms.
“No details of the investigation has been released by dock officials.” CAL replied instantly, in it’s usual monotonous tone. It had chosen to have a woman’s voice but never chose to speak with feeling. Even a sarcastic drawl would have been nicer to hear day in and day out.
“Leesandra, it was you that saw the umbilical moving right?”

‘How did she know?’

“Yeah.”
“Well good spotting, it’s a shame docking control didn’t listen to you earlier.”
“Thanks.” She could feel the want to say more pulling at her sternum, but she knew she’d only end up feeling more awkward. Kari was good at keeping up team morale but Leesandra didn’t particularly like socializing, there was a reason she hid herself away at the Dock instead of medical like her genetics dictated.

“Alright hook on.” Kari continued on the team channel. She had extended out the collision bumpers on the back of her Astro-suit. It was much easier to land in the air lock as a group. Everyone pulled out their own extension strut, two connected to her bumpers then two more connected in a line until they were all locked together.

Gracefully their formation moved through the blackness, inching slowly towards the green flashing lights surrounding their entrance.

Once inside they disconnected from each other and engaged their magnetic boots. Several dull thuds later and they were all securely landed inside.

“We’re all aboard.”

Lessandra’s suit hissed as both it and the room re-pressurized. The helmet made a heavy click noise as it moved out of place. With a grueling pace the centre piece unfolded revealing her to the room. Leesandra pulled herself out of the suit easily in the sub gravity.

She grabbed onto the handrail above her, easing her momentum was a habit she would never shake off. It was all too easy to break a nose or an arm when you’re not under constant downward acceleration.

Angus smiled at her from his suit he had yet to get out of. Kari shot along the room at her, stopping barely half a metre from Leesandra.

Leesandra blinked quickly, mostly out of shock. Kari’s under suit was tight against her skin like everyone else’s but she flaunted it. The metallic light blue shine made her dark complexion seem permanently glittery.

“All right you lot, get out of here. I have a one on one scheduled with Leesandra.”
‘Seriously, right now?’

“You heard me.” The room cleared, it’s not like any of them wanted to stick around anyway.

“So is this going to be a monthly thing or?”
“Yeah actually. But the main point of this one is why do you work here? And the secondary point is why you declined promotion.”
“Uh, because I don’t want to be a doctor and because I am comfortable doing what I am doing.”

Kari scrunched up her face, she pulled up her legs and folded them, sitting on thin air.

“Look, Leese, you don’t have to pull that deflection business with me. I’m not the big bosses, I know I can’t say that I’m one of you guys but I’m not just trying to force work out of you.” Kari talked fast but softly, with complete sincerity.
“Kari, I’m not looking for someone to confide in. I’m want to just work my job, save some money and figure it out along the way.”

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Didn’t finish a chapter in time #1

Hey guys. How are we doing?

Basically the idea with my wordpress was that it was supposed to force me to actually put some effort into my writing work. This kinda falls apart if I don’t work to a schedule.

But of course, as we saw when I went to 日本 (Japan), I actually posted nothing for 4 weeks. All because I had been slack the week before and the week after. To try and stop this from happening, give me more breathing room and to make sure that I do the best i can rather than just the most… I have come up with this idea.

Standard blog posts. I know, its bat shit and totally original.

We can sit down, have a little chat, grab a tea or coffee and get a little insight into how I work.

I don’t really have much to say at this point though except I’m sorry about the sporadic and more commonly non-existent posting.

I guess I can give a rundown on how my process normally goes.

Monday, I go to work like everyone else, if I can get some time in over the day I will re-read some previous chapters. Or just try to drown out the lingering brain-mites from previous calls with some good old youtube.  Then I get home and basically black out trying not to remember that it’s only the start of the week.

Tuesday is much the same, sometimes I will have gotten some inspiration and have started on a new chapter by now but normally I will just struggle to make it through the day.
I don’t hate my job by the way, I love the work that i do. I hate the environment that I have been made to work in and the amount of cleaning up after others that I have to do.

Wednesday, this is when things kick off, I will have started work on the next chapter if I’m onto it. Works not as busy so I have time to find inspiration normally by reading previous chapters and listening to heavy music. I’ll go grocery shopping after work and normally get home exhausted.

Thursday, panic mode, I normally haven’t finished even most of the chapter and frantically try to get it done. Music shifts to upbeat J-Pop or anything electronic.

Friday, in the last few minutes of my day the idea of not having anything done normally fills me with enough dread to slip into that alternate personality that does all the writing for me. But sometimes, like today, I will have not hit inspiration or been unable to call upon the dark forces.

Then on Saturday I will catch up with any Doctor Who i haven’t managed to fit in, then do a Whoscussion. Sunday I can relax for a bit until we start it all off again.

Slipping in some Video gaming, Harriotskelli plays (Not very often) and even some reading outside of my own. Normally at times when i really should be doing something else of course.

So yeah, that’s my schedule.

It’s been nice to just talk for a bit, I’ll probably make this a normal thing, unless I somehow manage to finish a chapter every-week from now till forever.

Let me know if you like this kind of thing, or if you have any questions at all really.

Bye-bye

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