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Innerbrat
Advancing the sum total of human knowledge and endeavour!
[Fic Dump: Fray] 
8th-Oct-2007 05:19 pm
fray
You knew it was coming. And no, this isn't all the stuff that has to go here. I just figured five or six at a time was best. I really should get back to writing these, you know. I still have 28 flavours requests from 18 months ago *shifty* my priorities lie elsewhere.

fanfic100 prompt: Children
Ugly Monster Man

"Meeel? Mel are you here Mel? I'm going to stay here because I got scareded and you said I could and hello ugly Monster Man Mel said I could stay here if and ever I got scareded and so I'm going to and Jujie said that you helped Mel because you wanted to eated her and I know that's not true is it Monster Man? I know it's not true because you helped Mel stomp that lurk because she's the slam and she can stomp any lurk 'specially if you helps her and I'm going to have a jelly because Mel said I could and that was yesterday so I can have another one now and I got you one if you want it but you can't have the ginger because that's my special favourite. And if you don't want the tomato then I'm going to put it back because I'm not allowed to have a whole two 'specially because I haven't got my meds that I need because Mel's going to get them for me because she takes care of me and stomps any lurk who tries to eat me whatever Jujie says and what're you doing, Monster Man?"

Snap.

fanfic100 prompt: Family
Three

The whole place was so clean. Sanitised. Years later, with so much more experience of such places, she'd never be able to forget the gleaming white corridors of the first mortuary she was ever escorted into, by a bored doctor and a sympathetic, yet efficient police officer, trained in dealing with kind of situation. It was the police officer she remembered later, after she'd seen the body, given the positive identification they needed and been lead out again. How she'd stood respectfully, asked all the right questions and assured her, not only in her words, but her pose and quiet self-possession, that they would find the culprits, and they would be brought to justice.

"I'm going to give you an address to get in contact with Victim Support," she said, pulling out a plastic card. "Is a grid location OK?" Erin nodded. They had a port at home. "OK, drop these guys a line and they'll schedule some sessions for you. You have a brother and a sister, am I right?"

"Yeah," she said, finally finding her voice. "Twins. Eight years old." Jesu, how am I going to tell Harth and Mel?

The officer winced in sympathy, but continued: "Well, you're a legal adult, so I don't think they'll necessarily insist on separating you. But these people will give you advice on that as well, if you need it." A pause. "Thank you, Miss Fray, I think that's all the help with need from you today. Can I offer you a lift home?"

There was no way in hell Erin was fit to drive her rocketbike home, and she couldn't face the Transit, so she silently nodded again. The twins would be home by now anyway, and she needed to fix them dinner, as her dad wouldn't be able to now. Jesu. How could he have been so stupid? If he'd just handed over the money, they'd have let him go. But that was Teken Fray. Too rutting hot tempered to do the smart thing. He had to fight back. Because somehow a few coi were worth risking his life over, just so the kids could have meat all the time? Well, now they didn't even have a father to get them any sort of food. Rutting idiot.

She had been ten when her mother had left. She had been almost relieved at the time. Jemma Fray had liked her eldest daughter, but she and Tek had fought constantly, bitterly and often. Erin had many memories of hiding to avoid the raised voices, just wishing they would be quiet and like each other. When her mom had become pregnant, she remembered thinking that the baby would make them love each other. But the twins had only made things worse. The mother's dramatic moods had intensified, the father's temper became shorter and shorter, and two babies demanding attention all the time had strained everyone's nerves. Especially when they became ill. Erin had been trying to put a feverish Harth to sleep when it happened. The raised voices had become shouts, then screams, that filled Erin's head so much she no longer needed to pretend not to hear any actual words, and she knew that her rhythmic rocking back and forth was becoming less and less to do with the fitful baby in her arms. Then suddenly, she heard the noise. The loud, hollow slap that cut both voices off suddenly. Even shut Harth's whimpering into silence. No one in the apartment moved for an entire second.

Mel, of course, broke the spell by opening her eyes and wailing into the stillness, immediately joined by Harth. Erin heard her mother scream: "That's it!" and felt her storm past on her way out of the door. Her father said nothing, not to Jemma, not to Erin. He merely picked Mel up in an attempt to soothe her.

Within a week, Jemma's name was no longer Fray and her possessions were no longer in the apartment. She didn't attempt to contact the children ever again.

Teken tried his best, he really did, but he could be too impulsive at times. Erin often felt he resented her for looking too much like her mother, for complaining when he spoiled the twins, for not rising to his temper, and for a host of other things. But she knew he loved her. Loved all of them. And she loved him too.

And now he was gone. And it was just the three of them.

fanfic100 prompt: She
Lost

Kass Floyd is sixteen years old and doesn't know who he is.

Oh, he knows his name, and knows who gave it to him, but he doesn't know much beyond that. He doesn't know how he ended up sharing a single room in the lowers with two radies, who rut away into the night, while Kass lies with his eyes clamped tightly shut against the movements of the roaches across the ceiling. He doesn't know where his next shot is coming from – whether he'll have to steal it, beg for it, or do something he really doesn't like doing fifty feet up in the air under a crossway on the roof of some creep's car. He doesn't know what he's going to make of his life – whether he'll ever be a grabber like so many of the people who populate the tav in which he regularly shelters from his life, or whether he'll ever find a job that he can keep for a month before they find out he's a shooter and kick him out. He doesn't know when shooting became more important then eating. He doesn't know why he even took that first shot. He doesn't even know whether he is a 'he'. He doesn't know who he is.

He does know who she is. And he knows she knows who she is. She never lies awake wondering who she is or where she's going. She's a thief. The best runner in Versi, they say. Probably in the whole of Haddyn. She has both her eyes and all of her fingers. She never takes any toy from anyone, and she never, ever, does things she doesn’t want to do fifty feet in the air under a crossway on the roof of some creep's car. She's the most beautiful person Kass has ever seen.

And once, she even showed she knew who he was. She came into the tav one night having hit a drugger's in the uppers, and started handing around things, her face set but her eyes soft. She started with the couple who ran the tav – threw a box full of prescription meds across to them, patting the dirty blonde hair of their little girl as she did so, then made her way around the others, taking various payments and extracting promises of favours. She was bought many drinks that night.

Near the end, after the attention had died down some, she brought her drink over to Kass' table, and without looking up, slid a bottle over to him.

"That's pure, that," she told her cup. "Laklan cuts his with all sorts of toy. Killya faster than you're doing on your own."

Kass blinked down at the bottle, read the label with disbelief and started to push it back.

"I can't pay you back for this…"

"Forget it. I'll think of something. You owe me," she pushed it back into his hand, hard enough to jar his wrist. "Now put it away before someone sees me givin' out freebies. Folk'll think I've gone soft."

Kass felt his eyes brimming with tears of gratitude as he stuffed the drugs into his pocket. This really will keep him going for weeks, and won't give him the bad trips Laklan's cut sometimes did. But before he could say anything else, she had gone, and was engaging in a heated argument with Kettie Rawls. Those two never argue for long before violence follows, and this was no exception, so Kass soon found himself sheltering under his table from flying glass.

That night Kass Floyd didn't even need his fix. He lay awake and thought of Mel Fray.

fanfic100 prompt: He
Found

Tonight, the radies in Kass' room were louder than ever, and he isn't so high nor so down right now that he can't move his legs, so he's come out to walk along the river as it flows through Versi. If asked, he'd say he was just taking some exercise, but really, he's hoping he'll see someone more exciting than he is. Maybe even her. He would never admit that though.

The kid can't be much younger than Kass, but he's considerably smaller. Short and scrawny, and looking less out of place than Kass himself, he's sitting in a broken and empty second floor window, hugging his knees and staring out into the night, unmoving. Kass only notices him because the headlights of a car flying past some dozens of feet above his head flashes against the boy's glasses.

Seeing him staring, the boy grins and jumps down to Kass' level. Yeah, jumps. And lands lightly, with apparently no pain at all. Must be a pump, then, Kass thinks, although he doesn’t look like your normal pump.

"Hi," the kid says, brightly and friendly.

"Hi," Kass returns, trying to sound much more polite than wary. He doesn't want to be mugged by a kid younger than him. "I don't have any money," he adds, when the boyish grin doesn't fade.

The grin fades and is replaced with a hurt expression of insulted pride. "I'm not a thief," he insists, blue eyes wide.

Those eyes entrance Kass. Big, round, and so so blue. They seem familiar somehow, but he can't quite place why. "So what are you doing waiting there?"

The boy shrugs. "Just hangin'. Looking for someone who looks like they might be a fun person to hang out with." He grins again and looks up at Kass. "And you seem pretty fun. What's your name?"

"Kass."

"Hi, Kass, I'm Harth." Harth takes off his glasses then, and smiles disarmingly. "What do you do for fun around here?"

Kass doesn't know why he doesn't leave. He doesn’t know why he smiles and laughs with Harth, nor why he likes him so much. He doesn't know how he ends up telling him all about himself, nor why he talks for so long about Mel. He doesn't know when exactly they stop talking and lips first touch. He doesn't know what it is that makes this time the first time he's actually enjoyed it. He doesn't know who this boy is, who makes his blood pump so hotly, nor why his lips are so cold against his neck.

Kass Floyd is sixteen years old, and he doesn't know how he dies.

Dancing with Devils
Come on guys.

It's a dead end alley. Many decades ago a terrorist attack in the uppers sent steel and concrete plummeting down thousands of feet to the lowers, which fell between the sturdy foundations of two buildings. At the time, the loggers swarmed over the incident, logging the human tragedy, the terrible waste of life, and the evil of the people who committed the atrocity. People whose now forgotten cause was completely irrelevant to those living at the bottom of the city.

The site in the uppers is now a memorial. No one ever bothered to check for casualties on the ground, or to clear up the rubble that, after many years settling and compacting, now blocks her way as she sprints around the corner and into the alley.

Take me on.

The monsters chasing her exchange triumphant looks as they crowd the entrance. They have her cornered now. Talk has it, she has the best blood they've ever tasted, and not one of them wants to miss out. Not one of them has less than six inches on her, and not one of them couldn't close one hand completely around her sinewy neck. Inked skin ripples over rounded muscles, and yellow eyes gleam beneath beast-like brows as they close in, fangs bared.

Let's see what you got.


She runs away from them, straight at the rubble, not slowing down for a second, and jumps up a small distance, thumping one sneakered foot on a block of concrete just long enough to pivot on it, twisting in the air while she pulls out her unique weapon from the back of her shirt. As she dives through the air, she extends the wooden end in front of her, piercing one of her assailants square in the heart. In the brief instant before her fulcrum disintegrates into dust, she vaults over to kick at another, using every blow to keep herself off the ground. A red blade flashes in the artificial light filtering down from the uppers, and the one of the last pieces of wood in Haddyn spears in all directions.

Some people liken the fight to the dance, and devote many years to learning the steps of their chosen style. This Slayer learned to jive in sleazy bars and back alley clubs. The number is short, anarchic, and passionately beautiful. By the time she lands, heavy and ungracefully, not one of the lurks remain, except for dust settling almost gently around and over her.

That all you can offer?


Standing up, she brushes a stray bang of blue-purple hair out of her face, running it through her fingers against her scalp, before tucking it into the loose knot at the back of her head. All the while she surveys her battlefield, her conquest, her dance floor.

Come out and face me.

As she grabs on to a drainpipe and vanishes up the side of the wall, blue eyes shine behind thick lenses, following her.
   
Soon, my sister. Soon.

fanfic100 prompt: Star
To See the Stars

I'm fourteen. It's a clear night in September.

Well, I say clear - nothing's really very clear these days, is it? Well, not usually, but if you go up far enough, you can almost get out of the general smog of the city, and almost see the sky.

And that's where I'm taking Harth now.

Thing is, Harth has always been a fan of the sky he can't see. I'm happy in the city: at home in the three dimensional maze of buildings and vehicles, climbing and running and jumping like a monkey in the jungle on one of those historical nature scopes. Harth, though, he’ll sit for hours in front of the scope screen, just soaking it all in. He'll watch anything really, but he loves history. He'll watch anything that has men on horses or girls in skirts: sword fights, romance, honour: he loves that toy.

But mostly he loves the sky. It's always so blue in the scopes, he says. Nowadays the sky over Haddyn's all sorts of shades of red and violet and yellow as pollutants mix with - well, other pollutants - in the air around the city. I don't mind it so much: I think it's dramatic, but Harth likes the blue from the scopes, and the stars. He loves that in the past they could see stars.

So, what better way to tell my brother I love him than to take him to see the stars? I'm not so spun as to try and get out of the protecting fog while the sun's beating down - I like my DNA as it is, thank you - but after dark, that's safe. The building I'm taking him to has an official name, I think, but I don't know it. We just call it The Needle. Anyway, it's big. Tallest in New York, by all accounts. Apartments, mostly. Folks rich enough to afford somewhere this far above the rest of the city, up above where the usual smog and cloud obscure the light, well, they don’t tend to want to become radies, so they don’t tend to have windows.

And that’s good, because then they can’t see me climbing up the outside of the building with Harth on my back.

Security’s tight, of course, place like this, but as long as there’s no windows, and no way of actually getting into the apartment, there’s nothing I can’t dodge, leap over, or avoid altogether. I’m gonna be a professional grabber one day, this is nothin’.

Harth’s clinging to me. He always was terrified of heights. But I’m not going to let him fall. His hands slip and I just grab onto him. I’d carry him slung over my shoulder if I wasn’t worried about him chucking down my back. That’s not the point, though, anyway. Climbin’s just getting there. And when we break out of the cloud cover, his complaints stop. I cover the last few yards quickly without his whines, and bring him to the top of the building.

“Oh, Mel!” He says, staring up at the sky above. “Look at it, Mel!”

I’m looking of course. That’s why I brought him up here, but I punch him lightly in the arm. “See, Scaredy, toldya it would be worth it!”

He won’t go near the edge of the roof of course, but sinks to his knees right in the center of the roof, head back, mouth open, just gaping at the sight. It’s kinda shiny, I guess. But when it gets down to it, it’s just black with white dots. Harth thinks it’s rocketship though, and that’s what matters. I sit down next to him, wrapping my arms arm around me for warmth and look up with him.

Harth leans back automatically so we’re lying down, and starts pointing out constellations. “That one there,” he says, “is Cassiopeia. She was the mother of Andromeda, and…” and he carries on with that for hours, telling me stories from his scopes that I have no way of telling whether he’s spinning me or not.

Erin’s gonna be skitzed when we get home. She’ll be skitzed we left without telling her and even more so next week when Harth accidentally lets slip we’ve climbed The Needle. She’ll yell at both of us, spin some line about how she’s doin’ the best she can but we need to be responsible, and Harth’ll be so upset about it that I’ll never be able to persuade him to go back. Within a year, Harth’ll be dead.

But I don’t know any of that now. Now, I’m just lying next to my twin brother, our arms around each other for warmth and comfort, staring up at the stars and listening to his voice.

And I’ll never be that happy again.
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