bairnsidhe: (Default)

Attila the Hungry sits on a throne of bowls

Each one a trophy of his offered meals

Noodles and rice dumplings and eggs and tofu

With beef and pork and chicken and shrimp

Topped with squash and sprouts and bamboo shoots


Attila the Hungry leads his Ravenous Hoard

To battle with hunger and starvation

All around the world, wherever bellies rumble

The Ravenous Hoard raises money for food

Even in their own hometowns where we’d like

To think there is no hunger or starvation


The Ravenous Hoard will work at gardens,

Farming up crops of produce for Attila

And proudly bringing home the spoils of war

Their Plowshares have been beaten into swords

To fight off riders on black horses and their scales


The Ravenous Hoard follows Attila the Hungry

Because he feeds them lots of tasty food

But also because he leads the way forward

To when nobody goes hungry ever again.

Trick or Treat

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 05:18 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 Prompted by [personal profile] elaiel for my "doppelgangers/clones/impersonators/evil doubles" square of Origfic Bingo

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

“Trick or treat!”

“Hola my little boys and ghouls,” Zita said, smiling warmly through the skeleton paint on her lips.  “What have we here?  A scary vampiro, a pretty princesa, a strong vaquera, and… a stormcloud?”


“I’m Darkmatter!” piped the child from his mass of black and grey painted craft batting.  “I’m going to rule the world!”

“I’m sure you will,” Zita said, stifling a laugh.  “Just be sure to keep an eye on Lord Vlad here, you wouldn’t want to have to fight him, right?”

Vlad was a foot and a half taller and mostly looking bored.  “I’m already slated for minion duty,” he said.

“Well, that’s how it goes sometimes,” Zita agreed and scooped a serving of candy into his bag.  The princess and the cowgirl each got a scoop as well.  Then Zita pulled out a felt bag with a giant dollar sign on it.  “Would the villain prefer the lootbag?”

“Wow!  That’s a great prop!” said the mini-villain as he took the loot bag full of dried banana coins and fruit jerky cash.  “Where’d you get that?”

“From me,” Dacia rumbled in her Nimbus-shifted voice.  Zita let her smile split wide and eerie as her girlfriend wrapped strong arms encased in slick shadows around her waist in a hug that would seem to swallow her whole.  “Muahahahaha!”

The kids shrieked and ran away, and Zita felt Dacia kiss her cheek as she pulled the door shut behind the departing trick or treaters.

“Thank you for staying in with me on Amateur Night, Honey.”

“Of course, Babe,” Zita said, turning to hug her back as Nimbus dropped to cat form beside them.  “There are lots of heroes out there to keep the slip-ups in line, but I only have one girlfriend.  It’s not a hardship to keep you company if you aren’t comfortable going out.  Besides, I love Halloween and you come with special effects!  Nimbus is much more comfortable to hug than painted batting.”

“Oh you think this is funny now,” Dacia snarked.  “But just wait until a little Quest doppelganger comes along.”

“I’d be flattered,” Zita said firmly.

“You weren’t the one who got shot with glitter water,” Dacia said, pulling a face.  “It was horrible.  It took months to get it all out of the lair.”

The doorbell rang again.  Dacia and Nimbus stepped back to one side.

“Trick or treat!”

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Zita's skeleton makeup looks like this:

Day Of The Dead, Colorful, Make Up, Mexico, Tradition

(Photo credit: Pexels on Pixabay)

Dacia-as-Darkmatter looks like this:

People, Shadow, Dark, Night, Smoke, Black And White

(Photo credit: StockSnap on Pixabay)

Ears to Hear

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 01:43 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Filling my "Ears" square for Cotton Candy Bingo, and my "physical imperfections" square for origfic bingo.

EDIT: Much thanks to[personal profile] kengr for pointing out a mistake in my spelling.

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Zoe Keener-Riley had only been famous an hour and she already hated it.

It was the ears, oddly enough.  It wasn’t her phytokinesis, it wasn’t her cutting edge research on genetically modified plants, it wasn’t even her relationship to the Sentinels,  the midwest’s largest supergroup.  Helena Riley, more widely known as Doyenne, the super strong leader of the Sentinels, had basically adopted Zoe after a mission went horribly wrong and Zoe’d been left alone, but honestly they were almost all like parents to her.  Except Uncle Perriot, who probably shouldn’t be responsible for a goldfish.  Zoe would at least partly understand if it had been voyeristic celebrity gossip that garnered her more than fifteen minutes of fame.  But no, nothing as normal as that.

Nope.  What catapulted Zoe Keener-Riley into fame was her ears.

Specifically, her hearing aids.  The bright purple hearing aids made by Chop Shop the robotic Sentinel for her when she got pissed about how long the wait list for new ones was and came to the base to whine to her mother.  Some idiot had snapped a picture and made a meme and suddenly her life went to shit as she stood in the eye of a hurricane of opinions on how people should and shouldn’t wear aids.  She hated it.

“I went into lab science for a reason!” she complained.  Nobody had much sympathy, but that’s what you get when you’re raised by famous people.

“At least try to read a fan letter,” her mother urged.  “We get some really nice ones.”

“I’ve done nothing to be famous!” Zoe yelled in frustration.  Rolling her eyes she snagged a letter from the stack.  “Fine.  One letter.”

“You’re trying,” her mom said.  “That’s all we’ve ever asked.”

She sat in the reading nook and read.

Dear Miss Zoe,

I’m eleven and four months and I’ve worn aids since I was four and ten months and I think your aids are pretty.  Purple is my favorite color, and I like the swoopy thing at the back.  It looks like jewelry, but not like any jewelry I’ve ever seen.  Where do you get them?  I want pierced ears, but Mom says I have to wait until I’m sixteen.  She did say I could put rhinestones on my aids though, as long as I don’t block the battery part.

Respectfully

Kathy Waller

Zoe smiled and grabbed a piece of paper.

Dear Kathy,

Thank you for writing me.  I like purple too, and the swoopy bit makes the aids more secure on my ear, and spread the weight out a bit.  Chop Shop made them for me, and zyr style is pretty close to Art Nouveau.  You can find loads of art resources for patterns and ideas in books of Art Nouveau costumes.  If you want to, I’d love to see a picture of your new aid-style.

Sincerely

Zoe Keener-Riley

She read another letter, and then another.  Kids with aids, kids with canes, kids with wheelchairs and arm braces and all manner and form of equipment.  Each one asking for connection, for family, for comradery.  Ironically enough, for an ear to hear them.  After her hands cramped from replying, she realized she had a new hobby.  A quick trip to Chop Shop’s personal programmer Shikoba got a request for a website to help these kids connect not just with her, but with each other.  A week in, and the gallery was already teeming with photos of mods, templates and stencils, and the chat board had a thriving thread on aids for disabilities made by the disabled.  

It may have been the ears that made her famous, but if it helped kids feel heard, she would take it.


bairnsidhe: (Default)

Update: I think this fits my "Sad/Upset" square for Cotton Candy Bingo, and since I don't feel like writing more sadness on a fluffy bingo, we're using this.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Daniel Brody wiped the last of the greasepaint off his face and double checked his reflection before getting out of his car.  Good, he didn’t look a thing like Gloom.  He did NOT need to be bringing that into his day job.

“Hello Marsha,” he said to the receptionist.  “Everyone ready for me?”

“Yes,” she scolded, “which you’d know if you were on time.  It’s 1:32.”

“You know I’m terrible at schedules, Marsha,” Daniel said, opening the door.  “I’m pretty sure it would spook people if I showed up at 1:30 on the dot.”

“Damn right it would,” growled Breaker.  The former villain-gang member was doing amazingly well at smoothing out his anger issues, but his manner would probably never dip below ‘dangerous but well meaning’.  That was okay, Daniel didn’t ask his patients to be perfect, that worked well for exactly nobody.

“So Doc,” Willy the Weasel started.  “We were talking before you got here about the difference between reasonable precaution and paranoia.  I’m pretty sure some of the stuff on the pamphlet I got from you last week isn’t actually that applicable to me.”

“What sorts of stuff?” Daniel asked.

“Well, it says here that “symptoms of PPD may include concern that other people have hidden motives, and thinking that they will be exploited (used) or harmed by others” but I legit know people want to use me.  I can’t help it, that’s my power, seeing hidden motives.”

“What sorts of things does your power say about me?” Daniel asked.  It was a risk, asking Willy to turn his truth-vision on someone with a hidden life, but he cared more about helping the guy figure out what he needed.

“You want me to get better, so I can be happy and maybe not break so many laws,” Willy said instantly.  “I scanned you before I agreed to make this a regular thing.”

“And that’s super creepy and paranoid!” snapped Horns.

“Hey,” Daniel said firmly.  “What’s our rule about judging?”

“We don’t do it,” Horns sighed, running his hand over the curling ram horns on his head.  “Sorry Weasel, I just feel really weird that you go around using your powers on people without asking.  I didn’t exactly like the last guy who did that to me.”

Willy looked abashed.  “I’m not ever going to do that to you, Horns.  I know what going up against Protectorate did to you.  That guy has some nerve calling himself a hero, when he messes with people’s heads.”

“Moving on,” Daniel said, before he could get angry again over Protectorate’s abuse of power.  “Willy, why do you feel that those symptoms don’t apply to you because of your powers?”

“Well, because it’s totally normal not to want to let people use you,” Willy said.  “I’m no doormat, I’m not going to stand there and let people hurt me with a smile on my face.  No offence, Tommy.”

“None taken,” replied the professional submissive mildly.  “I’m always the one in control when I do that.  I’m here because of the time it got really badly out of control.”

“I agree with you, Willy,” Daniel said.  “It’s normal to avoid people who mean you harm.  You don’t have to interact with people who want to use or abuse you.  But what you have isn’t so much a fear that people might hurt you, it’s a fear of going outside because people out there do want to hurt you.  The irrational part, the paranoia, is rooted in excess.  You don’t just avoid the individuals causing you harm, you also avoid people who care.  That’s why I suggested this group.  Your paranoia comes from, and in fact could itself be, a wonderful tool for survival.”

“Well, what about my ‘hostility problem’?” Hobble asked.  “I got plenty to be hostile over.”

“Well, who have you hurt with that recently?” Daniel asked bluntly.  Hobble preferred not to be “handled with kid gloves” as he put it.

“Some asshole who tried to bust up Attila the Hungry.  Nobody makes my favorite Mongolian barbecue joint pay protection.”

“Hah. Serves 'em right. Good luck walking now, suckers!” crowed Breaker.  “See, that’s hostile, but I’d say that’s okay. Everyone eats at Attila's, it's one of the only places that has an all you can eat option for supers.”

“I agree,” Daniel said.  “For people who start farther back, getting halfway to finish is a major milestone.  You all make me so proud.”

“Even if we’re hostile and paranoid?” asked Horns.

“We’re hostile, we’re paranoid, and we’re okay,” said Tommy firmly.

They certainly were, Daniel thought.  It summed up his practice perfectly.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Daniel Brody/Gloom: Antihero supernary, using highly trained skills in psy-ops to keep the East Coast criminal element from feeling too comfortable.  By day, he works as a moderator for group therapy and peer counseling, specializing in former and reforming supervillains.  His focus sometimes brings him into conflict with heroes, because of how some of his clients have been hurt.

Breaker: a supervillain with a destructive strike, he worked with gangs busting up places and things, but he quit when his boss asked him to turn that power on a person.  He has trouble communicating and several issues from time in prison, but he’s recovering well.

Willy the Weasel: a professional middleman, Willy ended up with the ability to sense people’s motives after an incident transporting something for a psychic villain.  He suddenly realized the actual motives of the people he worked for and had a breakdown.

Horns: an active supervillain with bighorn ram traits.  A clash with Protectorate gave him PTSD and he’s trying to recover from that, although he has no plans to stop his life of villainy.  He’s actually from Montana, but scarcity of mental health for villains who want to remain villains has driven him to Daniel Brody’s Massachusetts practice.

Protectorate: a superhero in Montana with empathic powers who uses them to “reform” villains by manipulating their subconsciouses.  Sometimes this works, allowing a smooth transition from villain to civilian, but more often than not he has to throw more weight into it than is healthy and it crosses into brainwashing.

Tommy: a professional submissive dealing with PTSD from a scene that went exceptionally wrong.  He likes the villain group because they don’t care he made his living being slapped, and people closer to societal norms tend to.

Hobble: A former villain who joined Daniel’s group as a part of parole years ago and never left.  He’s now much more of an anti-hero than anything, and he uses his magnetic field power to temporarily “chain” people’s legs together as his primary way of handling conflict.  Cops dislike him because it’s nearly impossible to undo until the next sunrise and that makes prisoner transport hard.  Criminals dislike him because the fields are strong enough that some people injure themselves fighting it, and a few people lost face when they peed their pants.

Attila the Hungry: a Mongolian Barbecue restaurant that caters to people with large or unusual food requirements. They have three grills, one for regular foods (no restrictions), one for vegan food, and one for Halal and Kosher foods. They supplement their ingredient buffet with donations from their fan club, the Ravenous Hoard, who do way more than just receive emails with coupons, including hold bake sales at Attila's and spend days out at the community farm that supplies them. All their
All You Can Eat buffets come with a free registration to join the Ravenous Hoard.

Under Cover Fashion

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 10:22 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Filling my "Costumes" square in Origfic Bingo and my (misread, honestly, I thought it said 'intimates') "Intimate" square from Cotton Candy Bingo.

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Nzinga Marton opened her shop at exactly 4 am every day, rain or shine.  She set out bolts of Dyneema and Kevlar under the special recessed lights, she tweaked the fall of the mannequin's capes, and then she flipped her porch light on in silent invitation.  Her store wasn’t exactly advertised, nor was it what you’d call well-traveled, but her clients were loyal and they paid well.

Well, as long as she didn’t ask any questions.

Like why Sanaa “Sunshine” Thompson, the Channel 7 meteorologist showed up at 4:15 needing a replacement set of UV blocking rip-stop gloves.  Nzinga knew exactly why she needed to stock that particular shade of gold satin finish that looked exactly like Solarflare’s skin.  She also knew that nobody would benefit from her outing the solarpunk superhera.

As Sanaa was browsing the new boot selections, the doorbell rang and Nzinga let in Daniel Brody, smelling faintly of gunpowder and mournfully presenting a trench coat to her.  “Can you fix it?” he asked.

“As long as it isn’t mutative or biohazard.  I don’t repair anything damaged by suspicious liquids.  That’s how Pinnacle Designs got shut down.”

“No Ma’am,” he said respectfully.  “Standard issue nitroglycerin and burns.”

“Alright, make nice.  I’ll be done in a minute.”

She went in back and repaired the holes in the anti-hero’s signature coat, and scrubbed out the bloodstains for good measure.  Her talent of mending anything that could be mended with a moment of focus flared cool and slippery in her fingers, a line of spider silk weaving the world shut one inch at a time.  She carried the coat back out, took his payment and his thanks and as he left, Sally Corrigan stepped in past him, her red-blonde hair looking sun-bleached on her left.

“It’s an emergency, my last sports bra got roasted.”

“Come on in, we’ll get that fixed.  I’ve got another customer, that’s not going to be a problem,” Nzinga said, clearly not asking.  She didn’t care if Schist and Solarflare were nemeses, she just refused to have her shop leveled.

“Nope, I just want a bra.  I’m not here for anything else.”

“I have your standard order in back, it was only a matter of time before you damaged the last set.”  Nzinga sighed.  “You are awfully hard on your lingerie.”

“It’s not my fault the super elastics are so expensive!  If I could afford enough to let them rest more I would, but you know I don’t always get a say in when I’ll suddenly… have an issue.”

Nzinga hummed.  “You can’t call the fellow who helped you with the changes?” she asked.  “If you’ve still got control problems, that could be serious.”

“It’s not my control, it’s my triggers,” Sally confessed.  “I’m allergic to everything, and one strong sneeze’ll do it.”

Nzinga nodded sympathetically, because what else can you do when you learn that the local villainous troll can be undone by hay fever?  She grabbed the boxes and set them on the counter for Sally to pick a color, then rung up Sanaa’s order.  The meteorologist slipped an extra two hundred under her card.  Nzinga looked at her.

“I know the pain, and I’m looking good on money right now,” she explained, with a glance at her generous, ratings-drawing chest.  “We don’t agree, that doesn’t mean we should be petty or spiteful.  Thanks for the boots.”

“Have a nice day,” Nzinga said and as Sanaa walked out, she slid both the black and the ivory that Sally was debating into the nice white boxes.  “You’re covered, Miss.”

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Nzinga Marton: Owner of Under Cover Fashion, a super boutique.  She has a minor gift for reality warping, one inch at a time, which she uses to complete near-miraculous repairs.

Sanaa "Sunshine" Thompson/Solarflare: Solarpunk superhera who transforms into a golden lightform to fly around Boston fighting crime.  By day she works as the meteorologist and weathergirl for Channel 7.

Daniel Brody/Gloom: Antihero supernary, using highly trained skills in psy-ops to keep the East Coast criminal element from feeling to comfortable.

Sally Corrigan/Schist: Transforming supervillain who primarily robs banks in her large, rocky form.  By day, she's a Geology PhD student struggling with debt and having had to go on sabbatical after the cave-in where she got her powers.

Winter Gifts

Friday, August 4th, 2017 06:00 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 Filling my "Gifts" square on Cotton Candy Bingo

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Henrietta ran her hands through her short hair.  “You’re sure they won’t mind?”

“Honey,” said Grigor, her amazing, wonderful boyfriend.  “You’ve already met Baba.  Why are you worrying now?”

“Because I haven’t met your parents yet, and they still think you’re their daughter, and I’m terrified that they’ll hate me and then you’ll hate me…”

“Henrietta, please stop,” Grigor said calmly.  “If Mama and Papa decide not to like you, Baba will call one of the Aunts or Uncles and tell them to take me.  It’s sort of the advantage of being the grandson of the most well connected octogenarian in Florida, everyone listens to her.”

“You make it sound like you’re a teen, still able to be adopted,” Henrietta sighed.  “How is it that this is so easy for you?”

“I grew up knowing that once Baba was on my side, everything was okay forever,” he said, kissing her forehead.  “Come on, we’ll miss the first candle.”

She laughed and followed him out to the car, where he held the door for her.  It was great dating someone like Grigor, he was so calm and steady, which she needed, badly.  He also adored Stella, which was requirement number one in a partner.  Stella had been Henrietta’s friend since grade school, the two were in no way going to split because one of them was dating.  She relaxed into Grigor’s side after he opened the car door to let her out.  Somehow the car trip had been much shorter than expected.

“Henrietta, come in, come in,” called Baba Osinova as Grigor rang the bell.  “You will help me with the sufganiot.  I need stronger hands to put the filling in.”

“I… but… okay,” she said as she was dragged off away from the bustle and into a small kitchen.

“Don’t worry,” said Baba Osinova.  “I had a talk with Chana and Debra, and their men are smart enough to go where they point.  Everyone will love you, but you needed some time to understand that.”

“And the cooking?” Henrietta asked.  She got the feeling Baba Osinova did absolutely nothing without a really good reason.

“I never let anyone I don’t trust into my kitchen,” she said.  “Nobody argues the right to be here once I ask you for help.  Also, you have good strong hands and I have arthritis.  The filling is here.  I’ll get the dough.”

After cooking a batch of cheese and jam filled doughnuts and taking them out, Henrietta was feeling less nervous.  She sat quietly and respectfully as parents told children the story of Chanukah, and as they lit the candle on the menorah.

“That’s beautiful,” she told her boyfriend.  “Thank you for inviting me.”

“Of course, I love you,” he said.

“Ewww,” called a small child of indeterminate gender.  “Kissing stuff!”

“Hush, it’s cute,” scolded a pre-teen girl.  

“Be happy that they’re happy,” advised Grigor’s teenaged brother, Tomas, as he made a face  “It’s not everyday you get to see two people that sickeningly in love.”

“Hey!” Grigor protested, swiping at Tomas.  “Get back here, Brat!”

Henrietta laughed as they wrestled a bit and Grigor planted a big wet kiss on Tomas’ cheek.

“Presents!” called an uncle that Henrietta was unsure bore any actual relation to the family.  Also, she was half sure that like her, he wasn’t Jewish.  “I have gelt!”

The kids swarmed him as he passed out little bags and boxes with chocolate coins and small toys.  Grigor tapped her shoulder.

“I got you something for Christmas, but I think you need it earlier,” he said, passing her a box.

She plucked the silver ribbon off the white box and lifted the lid that had been straining it.  Open, the box held a mass of the highest quality faux fur she’d ever seen.

“This isn’t real is it?” she asked.

“Nope,” Grigor said with a grin.  “Certified dead-bunny free.  Try them on!”

She stood, somehow aware and also unconcerned about the audience she’d gathered as she slipped into the coat and hat from the box.  “It’s beautiful, I love it,” she said, hugging Grigor.  “I didn’t get you anything near as nice as this!  I thought the presents were mostly for the kids.”

“They are, and you give me wonderful gifts everyday, every time you text me in the middle of the day to say you love me, every time you send me memes that you know I’ll like.  You’re my gift, Henrietta.”

“Now who wants challah?” asked Baba Osinova from the kitchen, buying them a moment of privacy as the door was rushed by hungry guests.


Pics for Super Queers

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 01:17 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
There's a tendency of mine to find picture of interesting people and build them into characters, so for your viewing pleasure on this day Wherein I Cannot Word, I've compiled the ones I like best from Super Queers


Dacia.jpg

Dacia taking a moment’s breather from free-running to keep up her strength and flexibility.  Nimbus can only give her so much help, you know!  

She does train in heels, mainly because she, like Zita, wants to be taller in her super-ego, in her case less to break the connections and more to add to the gender-unsure nature of Darkmatter.  As Dacia, she’s 5’7” in stompy boots, as Darkmatter, she’s 6’2” thanks to sturdy heels and Nimbus messing with reality depth to skew her visual aspect ratio.

(Actual photo credit: Adina Voicu on Pixabay)

Quest.jpg

Quest, posing for a magazine cover in repayment for Jean Paul covering for her date night with Dacia in the press.  She does the annoying PR stuff to bank goodwill with him.  

Everything from neck to wrists/ankles is actually a skin-tight haptic relay suit, the denser white on the torso and legs is bulletproof and padded.  Her sneakers have lifts, Zita is a good 3 inches shorter than Quest, but Quest’s fame for wearing sneakers dispels any “wears heels” rumors.

(Actual photo credit: xusenru on Pixabay)

Baba Osinova.jpg

Baba Osinova at a New Years Party hosted by Grigor and Henrietta, after both have come out to the rest of the family as a couple, but before the rest of the Osinov family knows what Henrietta’s “extra curricular activities” are.

(Actual photo credit: storygems on Pixabay)

Henrietta.jpg
Henrietta Beck (aka Jetta Stream), posing in the faux-fur winter accessories Grigor got her on their second Christmas together.

(Actual photo credit: Jill111 on Pixabay )

Chicane.jpg

Chicane working out on leg day in the lair. Photo taken by Calamity Johnson, kept as a reminder that women can be built like brick shit-houses, so her choice to ID on the Femme side of life and still love the added muscle mass of her puberty is A-Okay.

(Actual photo credit: Pexels on Pixabay)

Special Gifts

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 02:46 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Prompted by [personal profile] technoshaman to fill my "Cooking With Love" square on my Cottoncandy Bingo card.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\ 


Baba Osinova puttered through her kitchen.  Her special gifts told her this morning that she would be needed, so all that remained was to prepare the most likely things and wait.  The gifts only told her she needed to prepare, not who would need it, but at least she knew they’d come to her.  She flipped long, bony fingers through a box of index cards, searching for recipes to make for the day.  She didn’t need written recipes, she had memorized all of them years ago, but the way some slipped down out of reach and others leapt into her hand acted like an augury, guiding her day.

“Hmm, khashlama and gogel mogel.  Someone’s having a bad day.”  Baba Osinova sorted her ingredients and called her grandson Grigor.  “Child, get to the market and bring me some veal.  I’m making khashlama today.”

“Who’s in trouble?” he asked.  “You only make khashlama when someone’s really sick or injured.”

“Never mind that,” she scolded.  “Get off the phone and to the market so you can bring me some veal.  And another jar of pickled plums!”

“I’m heading there now, Babushka,” Grigor said.  “I’ll be by in a little while.”

Baba Osinova laughed.  She’d forgotten phones could be carried now.  She set her own phone down on it’s cradle and pulled out a mixing bowl and a smaller bowl with a lid that snapped on.  Into the lidded bowl, she cracked eggs and strained out the yolks, putting them into the mixing bowl.  One, two, three, four… hmm.  Not quite right.  She added two more egg yolks.  Yes, that felt better.  She reached for the honey and poured it out in a ribbon over the egg yolks.  She added more than the nine teaspoons of the tripled recipe before it felt right.  Perhaps it wasn’t two, but rather one who needed more sweetening.  Cocoa felt right this time, but only a single heaped scoop.  Definitely someone who needed sweetening.  She whisked at the eggs with a fork, thin arms producing a furious whirlwind that rivaled those fancy stand mixers.  Besides, she needed to feel it to use her special gifts.  After it thickened, she added a splash of good vodka.  The recipe as it was written on the card didn’t use that, but she’d read an article about diseases in eggs, and good vodka went well with everything as well as killing germs.  She whisked a little more, then poured it into the sundae glasses her granddaughter Maya had brought her for her birthday last year.  A sprinkle of miniature marshmallows on top and they went into the refrigerator to chill.

The extra egg whites would make good zefir, she thought, so she pulled out gelatin and a saucepan to make it in, when her special gifts told her to answer the door.

She moved towards the door, her body swaying as she reached for a balance that wasn’t there anymore, and slowly, step by step, she reached the door in time to open it for Grigor’s knock.  He stood contra posture in front of her door, the soft slope of angled shoulders under a tan wool sweater opposite a brown paper bag resting on one outthrust hip.

“Come in, come in.  You can help me in the kitchen,” she told him.  He nodded and set the packages down on her counter.  Grigor was such a good boy, carrying things for her.  “Cut the veal, would you?  I need my hands free to measure water for the zefir.”

“Yes, Babushka,” Grigor said quietly.  Hmm, that was no good.

“What’s bothering you?” she asked.  “I’ll find out eventually, you know.  I have special gifts.”

“I know, Babushka,” Grigor agreed.  “I’m just worried about telling Mama and Papa about something.  I met someone.  Someone special.”

“Oh, you found a girl!  I am so happy for you!  Invite her over, we can all cook together!”

Grigor pulled back.  “You knew I… I like girls?”

“Don’t be silly,” Baba Osinova said, laughing.  “You’re just like all the men in this family.  You’re going to want a tall blonde with lots of brains on her, and you’re going to spend your life being happily ordered about by her.  I know these things, Grigor.  Rinse the plums, please.”

Grigor smiled a small smile.  “I don’t know how you knew I’d picked the name Grigor, but I’m glad you’re on my side, Baba.”

“Psha,” Baba Osinova said.  “You picked that name months ago, I already updated all the lists for presents and cards so I send them right.  Now.  Tell me about your lady.”

“Her name is Henrietta and she works with the news.  She does the makeup for Stella Dellaway, the on-scene reporter who covers Jetta Stream and John Crow when they fight.”

“Oh, that nice flying girl who saved your cousin Panya from that buzzard man,” she said, nodding.  “I like her.”

“No, Baba, that’s Jetta Stream.  I’m dating Henrietta Beck.  She does get to see Jetta Stream fairly often, though.”

Baba Osinova nodded and said nothing.  She didn’t need to spoil all the surprises, although she knew why she’d added so much honey when the willowy blonde came over for dinner with a scratchy voice and a huge appetite.


//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Baba Osinova: Precognate who uses her powers almost exclusively to better care for her family.

Grigor Osinov: Trans-Man in the middle of the coming-out process.  He's straight, but spent some time thinking he was a lesbian.  Grandson of Baba Osinova.

Henrietta Beck/Jetta Stream: Flying superhera dedicated to protecting Glade City (Miami in Local-America).  By day, she works as a make-up artist for her best friend Stella Dellaway, who gets loads of credit for always being on-scene when Jetta Stream is fighting.  Dating Grigor Osinov.  She's pansexual and monogamous.

John Crow: Mercenary goon-for-hire who uses an empowered back tattoo of a turkey vulture to fly and shoot chemical projectile weapons.  Main nemisis of Jetta Stream.

Khashlama is a veal and pickled plum stew from the Ukraine.  Learn to make it.


Gogel mogel is Jewish Egg Nog served as a throat remedy.  Learn to make it.  Raw egg does have health risks, although in my opinion, it is A) worth it, and B) unlikely to cause serious issues if you consumed raw egg often as a child.  Life is short, lick the batter.


Zefir is a Russian marshmallow.  Learn to make it.


Turkey vultures are called John crows in the Caribbean.  John Crow the merc is not from the Caribbean, but he's spent a lot of time there working as security for drug runners who meet in international waters on their way north.

Hurting Days

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 04:40 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

Prompted by [personal profile] readera with the prompts ‘dealing with self harm’ and ‘summer treats’.  I hope you don’t mind I did both in one!


Warnings: Contains mentions of self-harm, discussions of un-ideal childhood safety, a semi-graphic depiction of using visual substitutes for self-harm including fake blood, and brutal violence against ice chips.  Current environment is supportive, but consider your headspace.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Zita pushed her glasses up her nose and squinted at the semi-sentient shadow that her girlfriend brought into their apartment in lieu of a pet.

"Nimbus, what in the full and actual fuck?" she asked as it twisted and danced across her kitchen counter like a particularly agile cat.  "You know you aren't allowed on the counters, shoo."

Nimbus didn't listen, but bapped her in the face with a tendril of shadow.  She spluttered out a few strong curses in Spanish and reached for the spray bottle of blessed sun-water to administer a teaching spritz, but Nimbus flowed down off the counter and took the form of a large, shadowy dog.  Darkmatter used this ability sometimes to send a message if she didn't feel like going out to smack the hands of the petty crooks edging her turf herself, and Quest liked it marginally better than Zita liked the usual cat-form.  Dividing her opinions like that, Quest versus Zita, superhera versus engineer, tended to give her friends headaches, but it was better than the headache of forgetting who she was and what she was supposed to know.

"What now?" she asked, as Nimbus locked ephemeral jaws on her skirt.  She sighed and let the crazy shadow drag her to the bedroom, where her girlfriend was curled into a ball.  "Dacia?"

"Go 'way," her girlfriend muttered sulkily.

"Nope. no can do,” she sighed.  “You made me promise to help you when you needed it.  What’s going on?”

“It’s a hurting day,” Dacia muttered, her voice still sulky, but holding a tiny note of hope.  “I really want to, but I can’t.  I promised not to.  But the feeling is under my skin and I just want to pry it out and smash it.”

“Oh, mi querido amor, lo siento,” Zita said, sighing into the words.  “Tell me about it, maybe I can find a way to help you beat this without hurting yourself.”

“It’s like this cold, hard feeling in my chest, and cold water in my veins instead of blood.  It’s like a cancer made out of snowmelt and ice.  I want to be warm, like you, but how can I when my own body is trying to convince me I’m an iceberg?  That I’m cold and hard and horrible?  It doesn’t stop, either.  It just gets more manageable, and I’ve only found one thing that helps any, but nobody likes it when I do that!”

“We don’t like it because we’re scared for you,” Zita reminded her.  “Hey, it’s summer, we could go sit outside, see if being in the warm helps you any.”

“It won’t work,” Dacia said flatly, “but we might as well.  It’ll make you feel better to try, I guess.”

“It will make me feel better,” Zita confirmed, and pulled out a pair of shorts made from microfiber material and really intended for sleeping.  “Put these on, the fuzzy might also help.”

***

Dacia got dressed, wearing a longsleeved shirt of dark gray and black cotton washed practically transparent over a purple tank top, not even bothering with the eye makeup or jewelry that made Zita’s aunts tutt at her.  It clashed a bit with the spring green of the shorts, but they didn’t go with anything and she liked them anyhow.  She petted her thighs as Zita pulled her out to their favorite park to sit and watch the neighbor kids play.

“What’s your favorite structure on the playground?” Zita asked, and Dacia curled into her side, not minding the fact that on days this sunny, Nimbus had to stay behind.  She liked cuddles, even if she didn’t like much else.

“I like the pirate’s nest,” she said, pointing to the crow’s nest accessible only by climbing nets and sporting a black flag with a parrot skull.  “It’s a safe place to go when the world is too scary.  It’s good to have that for kids, because they’re so much smaller than the worst of it.”

Zita frowned and Dacia bit her lip.  She hadn’t meant to make Zita sad, it’s just that the world was so much darker than the superhera in her girlfriend wanted to admit.

“I always liked the spray tree,” Zita admitted, pointing to the tall pole with it’s fine cool mist pouring from the outstretched branches of metal piping and fat drops clinging to the wide, flat ‘leaves’ of colored glass.  “It’s good for cooling off on days that it’s too hot and the air-conditioners aren’t working in the apartments.  Also, this park uses potable water, so it’s safe for the kids who don’t have good pipes at home to bring out jugs and fill them.”

“I… didn’t know that,” Dacia said slowly.  “It sounds like you’ve done that.”

“I used to,” Zita admitted.  “I wasn’t always who I am now, and my family has come a long way.  But I remember when heat was dangerous.  A good spray tree can help everyone stay a little safer.”

Dacia shivered in the warm summer air.  “Sounds scary.”

“It was,” Zita said with a smile.  “And then I picked up my cousin Ernesto’s tool kit one day and rewired a handheld fan to one of those little dashboard flowers to make it solar powered.  After that, I went from scared to stubborn, determined to learn how to fix all the things.”

“Your life makes so much more sense now,” Dacia muttered, thinking of her girlfriend's superhera alter ego.

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Zita drawled.  “Come on, I want a snow-cone, let’s go get some.”

Dacia followed her girlfriend to the little concession stand and waited for the paper cone of shaved ice and syrup to be passed to her.

“Black cherry, your favorite,” Zita said with pride.  Her memory was sometimes a little spotty, so when she did recall favorites, she got all happy and shiny, like a puppy or a small child who’d been praised.

“Thanks,” Dacia said, trying to keep up the face she used in public.  She didn’t want to start crying here.  Vulnerability was fine in front of Zita, but not in front of random strangers.  “What did you get?”

“Lime and coconut,” Zita reported, licking the toxic-looking neon green ice.  “Could use salt, though.”

“Ew,” Dacia said, wrinkling her nose.  “Salt on ice cream?”

“It’s not ice cream,” Zita insisted.  “It’s just ice.  Salt on ice can be good!”

“You’re a freak,” Dacia said.  “But you’re my freak, so I guess it’s okay.”

“You know you love me,” Zita teased, sticking a lurid green tongue at her.  Dacia laughed in spite of herself, and it felt good, warm like sunlight and rolling down inside her like a drop of fudge sliding over a sundae’s top.  “Oh, you spilled.”

Dacia looked at her hand, where the paper cone had crumpled under the pressure of her fingers and a drop of cold cherry syrup ran from hand to wrist and down, down.  Her eyes tracked it greedily, watching the blood-colored liquid roll across her skin, raising goosebumps behind it.  “Wow”

“Dacia?” Zita asked, shaking her shoulder.  “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just realized that I could use the visual to substitute the reality,” she said vaguely, licking up the streak of red.  “Remind me to go by the magic shop for prop supplies later.”

“I’m glad you found a safe way around that,” Zita said carefully as they passed a group of children playing with a bucket of ice chips, shrieking as they put them down each other’s shirts and batted them along the sidewalks.  A stray ice node of several cubes frozen together sailed past a boy’s hand and toward Zita.  Dacia darted her hand out and snatched it, dropping it when she realized what she’d done.

“Lady, are you okay?” a girl asked.  “I didn’t mean to throw that hard!”

“I’m fine,” Zita said, reaching out to hold Dacia’s hand.  “I think it was just bigger than you thought so it had more force when she caught it.”

“May I play with this one?” Dacia asked softly.  “I really want to see if it’ll smash when I step on it.”

“Yeah!” cheered the boy who’d fumbled the catch.  “Stompy boots, stompy boots!”

The kids cheered again and Dacia slammed her heel down on the clump, snapping free a chip.  The sharp snap echoed into the hard, cold lump in her chest, like an iceberg sheering off.

“That was… really fun,” she said, looking at Zita, who was smiling at her again.  “I’m going to go get more ice at the gas station down the street, I’ll be right back!”

 

Zita licked her sour and sweet ice as Dacia peeled off.  “Get a packet of salt from the food section while you’re there,” she called, “and have fun!”

Dark Matters

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 05:51 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 

Dacia rolled her fingers across the smooth lines of her tool kit and sighed.  She had liked being a supervillain well enough in the beginning.  It had enough risk to keep her feeling alive without her mind wandering back to habits better left alone.  It didn’t hurt that her nemesis was super cute, either.  Sometimes Dacia would drop totally harmless glitter bombs just to watch Quest lunge for them, because the technologically-inclined superhera’s haptic controls did great things for her ass when she dived.

Now though, with all the changes to her life, with the time she almost really died and Quest saved her, and the time she called to confirm a robot battle and wound up spending five hours talking to her nemesis instead of trying to level Downtown with a fifty foot robot, well… Dacia didn’t feel much like supervillainy anymore.

Which wasn’t to say she felt heroic, not at all.

She just didn’t feel like anything.

She felt sad, and lonely.  She wanted to rage and terrorize, and force the darkness in her mind onto the physical plane so that everyone could see it.  But she didn’t want to at the same time.  Or she did want to but didn’t have energy.  It was all just a bit too confusing, and even Nimbus, the dark shadow that protected her was drifting gloomily towards a corner.  Sighing, she flicked the little jingle bell that hung from a repurposed Christmas ornament where she’d framed Quest’s contact info.  The superhera had said to call if things got really bad.  Of course, it was so much effort to pick up the phone.

Doooo iiiiiiit, Nimbus hissed at her.

“Aren’t you supposed to encourage my evil ways?” Dacia asked.  “Befriending a hero never makes a villain more evil.  And unless you forget, she’s my type, too.  Tall, sexy, cute, and straight.”

You’ll never get any villainy done while you’re mopeing, Nimbus snapped.  She’s good for you, and I get better mileage on you when you’re not busy dragging back on me.  I did agree in the compact to help you manage the depression.

“Fair enough.”  Dacia snagged the ornament and her phone.  

“Hello?” the superhera answered.

“Well, well, well, Quest,” she began, before parsing the sound of the word.  “Holy crap, you sound terrible, what happened?”

“Lab explosion, I caught a lungful of dust,” Quest explained.  “Can we reschedule whatever game you wanted to play?  I can try to make it, but I’m just not up to any of the big things I know you like.”

“You stay put,” Dacia said firmly.  “You are in no shape to so much as chase a mugger.  I’m not letting my favorite toys get broken because I don’t pay attention to squeaky wheels.”

She didn’t really mean it like that, but appearances must be kept.

“Thanks, Dac,” Quest sighed.  “I’m going back to bed then.  Please don’t let anyone level the city?”

“I’m not a superhera,” Dacia spluttered.

“Of course not, I’m not worried about villains, you’re the biggest name and you keep the rest in check with your example.  I’m worried about the damn city council.  They keep bugging me about being a sponsored hera and doing official city events.  I can barely do the recap conferences.”

“People suck sometimes,” Dacia said, nodding.

“Sooth,” Quest said into a yawn.  Dacia waited a moment before realizing the hera had fallen asleep on the line.  She hung up and snapped at Nimbus.

“Come on, we have crime to do,” she said.

I thought you told her you weren’t going to plot today, Nimbus said warily.  For a dark shadow, Nimbus cared a great deal about promises.

“I’m not, I’m going to commit an impulse crime and steal chicken and dumpling soup and that rosewater gelato she likes.  Then, I will break into her home, and hold her hostage, maybe tie her up with blankets, and make her watch Legend Dusters with me.”

Well, Nimbus sighed, flowing into place.  That’s different.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\


It's worth noting that this takes place before Dacia and Quest become girlfriends.  At this juncture, Dacia doesn't even know Quest's non-hera name.  Quest knows hers because for one, it's a lot safer that direction because Quest isn't given to blackmail or hostages, and two, Nimbus likes her and has partial say in what happens when Dacia is Darkmatter.

Questions

Monday, June 5th, 2017 07:02 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 

Quest straightened her shimmery white capelet as she prepared for the most uncomfortable, most annoying, least fun part of being a super heroine.  Press conferences.

“Relax, you’ll be great,” her PR manager Jean-Paul said.  “The city loves you.  You saved the day, again I might add.  Everything is going to be okay.”

“And Darkmatter thinks I’m the optimist,” Quest muttered.

“Get your heroic tuchas on stage before I carry you on,” Jean-Paul threatened.  Quest went.  She wasn’t a super-genius for nothing.

The announcements went fine, she could run down the details of Darkmatter’s latest plot and rattle off hotline numbers and donation information in her sleep at this point.  It was the question and answer session she dreaded.  The press, led by her ex will-they-or-won’t-they, Brian Bradson, had an unfortunate tendency to divert from the topics she could answer easily.  If they stayed on target, she’d be fine, but they always veered into messy personal matters.  Especially since she told Brian she didn’t think he was being smart with his choices.  Putting himself in danger and taunting her nemesis just to get rescued when it went horribly awry was no way to build a relationship.

“Quest!  Quest!  Over here!” called a plucky young reporter.  Quest privately thought all newspapers had a quota of plucky young people that had to work for them.

“Yes, you, young man,” she said, nodding at him instead of pointing.  When you could and sometimes did lift semi trucks with a finger mounted gravitation reversal ray, pointing was more than just rude.

“What do you have to say about the recent photos leaked of yourself and the as yet unidentified woman in an… interesting pose?”

She knew what he was talking about of course.  The media had been trotting out pictures Brian’s photographer Charlie took of her checking Dacia for injuries since she told Brian the answer was solidly ‘no’.  They looked a lot more intimate than it had been.

“The young lady has declined to approve her name being shared with the media, and has made a full recovery from the injuries I was checking when those photos were taken.  Next question.”

“I didn’t actually mean those,” the kid said.  He held up a tablet open to CapeWatch.com and a shot that made Quest’s gut drop.  She was hugging Dacia, the shorter woman resting comfortably against her chest, arms at the small of Quest’s back.  “These were released last night.”

Quest’s cheeks burned.  “My personal life is just that.  Personal.  Next question.”

“Does this mean you’re coming out as a lesbian?” shouted someone at the back.

“No.  I’m not currently identifying as lesbian, however my stance on the basic human right of all, regardless of sexuality or gender still stand.  Next question.”

“What about the rumors that this woman is the infamous villain Darkmatter?” Brian called and suddenly the crowd’s roar was a mutinous whisper.  Quest would be willing to bet it hadn’t been a rumor until just now.  Of course, Brian knew Dacia and Darkmatter were the same person, he’d been there when Quest talked her down once and the hazy gloom that surrounded her dropped enough to see her face.

“I’ve already said I won’t be betraying her identity to the public media, Mister Bradson,” Quest said with a glare, “and you of all people should know I have no problem talking about Darkmatter.  You’re the one who printed the words, and I quote “Quest spends so much time talking about her nemesis, it’s no surprise she has yet to be seen with a boyfriend or husband, it would be the rare man who could tolerate that level of infatuation with another man.”  End quote.  Make up your mind Mister Bradson.”

Brian blinked, his face growing dark.  Then the sky grew dark and roiling clouds appeared in the previously sunny sky.  Darkmatter dropped down from one like an acrobatic drop of rain, and slapped a canister from Brian’s hand.

“GRAB IT!” she howled, her powers forcing her voice into a tinny reverb that echoed oddly.  “HE HAS TETRAMINE!”

The crowd broke from their panicked freeze to dogpile the can of Quest’s only weakness.  The ordinarily harmless chemical could make Quest… dangerous.  Uncontrolled.  Darkmatter had used it once.  Only once.  She knew where the lines were, even if she claimed to like coloring outside them.  Nobody wanted a repeat of that, though, so when her shadow-minions lunged at the can, it was locked down.  She sauntered over to Quest.

“Sorry to interrupt your little show,” she sneered, the androgynous tone somehow catching the sarcasm.  “But nobody fucks you over but me.”

“Dac-- Darkmatter,” Quest sighed.  “I’m tired.  Can we do this another day?  I just… I just can’t right now.”

“Alright,” Darkmatter agreed.  “Tomorrow.  Tonight, go home to your little girlfriend and make the most of what time you have.  Muahahahaha!”

As Darkmatter vanished in a mist of gloom, Quest rolled her eyes.

“What did Darkmatter mean, girlfriend?” a reporter asked.  “You said you’re not a lesbian!  Are you bisexual?”

“Let’s just say I’m questioning,” Quest sighed.  Her supervillain girlfriend was going to get an earful tonight.  “Thank you for coming, no more questions.”

September 2017

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