The Dawn of Hope

The Dawn of Hope
by Gingerspark

Story Notes

Author: Gingerspark (formerly known as niennaainur)

Contact: Gingerspark.Brassblade@gmail.com

Pairing: original non-canon characters

Rating: PG-13 –

Summary: In the beginning there was chaos, and from chaos emerged dreams and hope…

Warnings: none, this is a bit tame… and possibly mildly introspectively emo.

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No copyright infringement is intended.

Beta read by: bigunen & louiscypher2000

<<<~~~>>>

Human death came in quick flashes from the muzzle of the gun. The echoes continued to reverberate around the old garage for longer than it took for the bodies to fall; some gambles don’t pay off, we should have known we were pushing our luck.  We’d gambled and we’d lost.

Civilization had crumbled to the point of non-existence; civilization wasn’t very civil anymore.  The city was a burned out war zone; a shell.  Those humans with means or influence had fled to safe fortress-like gated communities and we, the lost and disenfranchised, found safety of sorts in gangs that fought for survival against other gangs of humans; and we all fought ‘Them’. We all feared ‘Them’ – they called themselves ‘Wraeththu’, but we had other names for them. They were strange terrifying beings: faster, stronger, wild and unpredictable, and far more deadly.   Sometimes they made their presence known, winning strategically impressive assaults against human strongholds and sometimes they appeared out of nowhere, silently dispatching their victims and then disappearing without a trace.

We’d lost this one; we’d fallen into a trap set by the group of these strange creatures that our gang had been harrying for a few months.

More shots rang out; one by one more bodies fell.  I felt nothing other than a hopeless sense of resignation. These were not my friends, these were my fellow gang members; humans thrown together as there was strength in numbers.  In this part of the city it is almost certain death on your own so membership is a gang was essential and I feared them as much as we all feared these strange creatures. I was last and being held firmly by two of them.  I hadn’t fought; it seemed pointless.

Their leader approached me, sneering. “Been watching? If you got anything to say – Better say it now.”

“Goodbye cruel world?” The insolence of my tone and words certainly didn’t match what I was feeling.

He threw his head back and laughed. “You’re a pretty thing.  You’d make a good little plaything.”

He grabbed my hair and kissed me roughly.  I fought then.  I know what happens when they “play”; I’d rather be shot.

There were a lot of them, kicking and punching, one of me – I lost, fast; balled in a fetal position, I prayed for a quick end.

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Of Gems and Pebbles

Editor's PickOf Gems and Pebbles
by Gingerspark (formerly niennaainur)

Title: Of Gems and Pebbles

Author: gingerspark (formerly known as niennaainur – LOL now I feel like Prince ;P)

Pairing: original non-canon characters

Rating: PG-13

Summary: In relationships – communication is key!!

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No copyright infringement is intended, and I promise to wash them off and put then away neatly.

Warnings: none really… a wee bit of angst

Beta read by: bigunen

Of Gems and Pebbles

My name is Kess and I am beautiful, really beautiful; in fact I am drop dead gorgeous. I hate being beautiful. It is a curse. Being beautiful is the most isolating of existences. Everyhar assumes that being ‘a looker’ should make ones life superior, but they are wrong. I had thought that by becoming a har things would be easier, but I was wrong. Both humans and hara react very oddly around beauty; to hate you because of it, and to desire you because of it, sometimes at the same time, are indeed odd.

I shifted the pack I carried. It held everything I owned. I did not own much. The recent rain had made the mountain road muddy and slick and, in certain steeper sections, the run-off had carved deep channels in the loose gravel. There would be more rain soon judging by the tang in the air borne by the chilly wind. Summer was ending, harvest time was in full swing, and the nights were getting cold.

I was hopeful that whatever town I wandered into next would have employment of some kind. I hoped I could smile fetchingly, tilt my head in ‘that way’, and charm myself into a job. There wasn’t much I couldn’t do; farmer, thief, bartender, courier, shop clerk, temple dancer, blacksmith – I had done it all. I might hate being beautiful, but I do know how to make it work for me.

“They just hired somehar at the pub so I don’t think they’ll be looking for help…” the blond’s voice trailed off doubtfully. “Oh! But you might want to try The Corner Café… it’s down there,” he pointed, “on the corner – you can’t miss it!” he giggled. “I don’t know if Corvus is looking for help but he really needs it!”

The Corner Café was closed. I stood in front of its locked doors weighing my options.

“Café doesn’t do dinner!” a passing har with a harling on his hip called out.

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Bring Me To Life

Challenge SubmissionBring Me To Life
by Niennaainur

Story Notes

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Written at the last minute for the Wraeththu Challenge

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No disrespect or copyright infringement is intended, and I promise to wash everyone off and put them away neatly when I’m done.

Warnings: This story comes with all my usual warnings as well as apologies to Evanesence (“Bring Me To Life”), Rogers and Hammerstein (“Sound of Music”), and Garth Brooks (dunno which song, but the quote is attributed to one of his songs) – quite the musical mash-up, eh? I hope it makes sense – once I got going, it became part of the challenge (at least for me) to work in as many of the actual lyrics and direct references to the lyrics as I could. Hope you enjoy reading this – I had fun writing it.

Beta read by: bigunen

Bring Me To Life

Halny stared down at his lap. His fists were clenched so hard he could see parts of them turning white and he could feel the bite of his fingernails as they pressed into his palms. Despite his best efforts, a tear rolled down his cheek and splashed silently onto his wrist.

“How do you feel you did in this last round of testing?” The Hienama asked again gently.

“I imagine I did fairly poorly since I’ve been sent to you rather than the Provost.” Halny ventured a look at the Hienama.

Melchior, head of the Nayati school and training center at Flat River, sat behind his ornate desk leaning back in his chair; his elbows rested on its arms, his fingertips pressed together. He sat watching Halny, a look of sympathetic concern on his face. Melchior gave a half-smile and nodded slightly.

“But I can do better, I swear! I’m trying so hard but I’ll do better. Please. I can do this. I will do this…. Please!” There was desperation in the plea.

Melchior sighed heavily “We know you are trying, Halny. Of all the hara who have passed through the doors of this Nayati I think that you have been one of the hardest working and most earnest of our students.”

“But it’s not enough, is it?”

“Halny you are brilliant. You know your subjects well. You are motivated and you participate, you are a lively and talented debater, you have unique and refreshing perspectives, and you excel in many areas …”

“Except the ones I need to become a hienama…”

“There are indeed certain basic skills a hienama requires that you find challenging to say the least. We must be honest, Halny; your life force seems to be unsuited to this existence. In addition to basic skills you have yet to master, you are not as well-ordered as is necessary; you have a certain irreverence, albeit a charming irreverence; you’re flighty and unpredictable; you are always tearing off on some madcap adventure… you’re a will-of-a-wisp, a clown…”

Melchior smiled suddenly, and closing his eyes he sung softly to himself, “How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?”

Halny looked puzzled “Hienama?”

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Still Waters Run the Deepest

Still Waters Run the Deepest
by niennaainur

Story Notes

Pairing: original non-canon characters and Tharmifex

Rating: PG-17

Summary: I love Tharmifex and I just know he is neither as bland nor as uptight as he seems in meetings and at public functions.  This story is recounted by somehar who has known Tharmifex Calvel for years.

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No copyright infringement is intended, and I promise to wash them off and put them away neatly when I’m done.

Warnings: nothing spoilery – but with references to underwear.  While underwear (or lack thereof) already played a part in this story, their role was exaggerated precipitant to the serious academic discussions about the state of underwear in Wraeththudom which can be found in camile_sinensis‘s journal.

BETA’d by: bigunen!!!  (The patience of a saint…)

Part One

The afternoon sun was casting long shadows into the centre of the old stadium.  Most of the assembled people were down where, in the good old days, sports teams had done battle.  Now a would-be messiah was trying to whip the assembled group of ragtag humans into an ‘army of righteousness’ to do battle against the evil menace.  I sat in the stands, or what was left of them.  Trumble, I thought angrily was way more likely to lead these people to death than to victory. Trumble was feeding them false hopes of dispatching the Wraeththu menace, and while they were at it they’d deal with “The Others” – a new group of nomadic humans who were moving into our area and stealing what meager resources we still had. Trumble was an idiot, I repeated to myself, but he was turning out to be a very charismatic idiot.

I had travelled down to this gathering with my older brother Doug and a couple of our cousins – Doug had wanted a firsthand look at the so-called saviour of humanity.  Doug had tried to argue with Trumble – but no one wanted the truth; they wanted hope, even false hopes. Little Stevie, Doug’s oldest son, had arrived mid-morning accompanied by another young cousin with the news that Kari, Doug’s woman, was in labour and that Doug was to come immediately. I was chosen to stay for the remainder of the rally and return home in the morning with news.

I emerged from the stadium’s dark maze of corridors into what once had been a parking lot.  The pavement was now cracked and broken, with grass, weeds, and young saplings pushing their way through – nature was reclaiming her own.  The sun was setting and the shadows were long.  Across from the stadium were mostly deserted storefronts boarded up – looted long ago of anything of value.

My teeth were clenched and I felt like screaming.  Humanity was dying.  Those of us who were left had split into smaller family or neighbourhood tribes. We were scattered, we had no power – we were subsisting, barely existing.  And yet, a madman had convinced them that they could reclaim the past and they believed him.  Pure madness!  I let out a low growl in frustration.

“Russ, go outside and walk once around the block” – that’s what my Nana would have said to me; if you had a problem or you were going to lose your temper – a walk ‘once around the block’ would help put things into perspective.  So I adjusted my belt and set off.

I looked down the wide empty street, set the three tall apartment buildings in the distance as my target and began walking.  Human cities were now eerily quiet – no bustle, no cars, no music, and no people.

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Rumours

Rumours
by niennaainur

Story Notes

Contact: nienna_ainur@hotmail.com

Pairing: A couple of original non-canon characters and a dash of Velaxis, and a quick appearance by Ashmael Aldebaran and Tharmifex.

Rating: There is aruna, consumption of alcohol, and hara smoking at the club, so don’t read it if your roonaphobic, heavily involved in the Temperance Society, or offended by cigarette smoke.

Summary: A fluffy bit of drivel that was “inspired” by camile_sinensis (aka Teapot) (my sincerest apologies) story After the Rains in which Velaxis is uber-efficient at everything — love Velaxis though I do (and I really really do love him – in all sorts of unhealthy ways) I am a practical person. I believe that all those ‘stars’ in Top Administrative Positions who appear to consistently accomplish the seemingly unaccomplishable, consistently accomplish the seemingly unaccomplishable because they have a great working relationships with their amazingly efficient assistants…and those amazingly efficient assistants have private lives…. just guess what rung of the work force I’m on. LOL

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No copyright infringement, or disrespect, is intended.

Warning: straightforward — occurs after the last book in the last trilogy, but nothing spoilery.

Beta read by: bigunen, all the rest of the mistakes are mine, all mine!

Rumours

The two robes were elegant, sumptuously crafted, and very similar in appearance. In fact, apart from some slight detailing around the collar and a subtle pattern variation in the silk brocade, Moss could discern very little difference. He held the two hangers from which the robes hung at arm’s length and continued to maintain the appearance of examining them closely.

“Well?” There was no attempt to hide the irritation and impatience in the voice.

“Well…,” Moss began slowly, “this one is dark grey and this one is a slightly darker grey…”

“Moss, this is important,” Velaxis plucked both hangers out of Moss’ hands peevishly, “I am accompanying Darquiel…”

“And Thiede,” Moss said pointedly.

“…and Tigron Calanthe…” continued Velaxis, ignoring Moss.

“And Thiede,” Moss interjected again obstinately. He flopped onto the bed opposite of Velaxis’ open travel case open.

“…to Nezreka to attempt to coax Teva-edzen into more open participation in Wraeththu affairs.” Velaxis appeared to decide on one robe and returned the other to the closet.

“Are you going to visit your parents?” Moss queried fixing a stern glower across the travel case.

Velaxis continued packing as if he hadn’t heard.

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