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Defending Their Own
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 6 of 6
word count (story only): 1828


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes subset, while taking the “Road Trip” in an entirely new direction. Comes in almost long enough to split into a seventh post, but I liked this better. ::


Pay Special Attention: People who have been profiting from human trafficking have parts of their reality (and sometimes their bodies) folded into several sharp points which may not match any previously known 'safe' configuration. Some injuries this time, but nothing spoiler worthy, since I generally write happy endings. Swearing, fatalities, severe injury, crisis-panic-paralysis for an instant (which can be very uncomfortable for viewers). ::




Amanda felt a sharp frission of panic as she glanced between Cash's fight, the sour-smelling baby clothes that might conceal another danger, and the stairwell leading up to an open, unknown space which might also have more people to deal with. Her hands shook as she set up the enzymatic cleaner, spilling the slightly tinted liquid over her hand and wrist as she tried to pour some over the entry wound.

Joshua only blinked at her, gritting his teeth, as she shifted him a little more, just enough to see the exit wound on his chest.

And the entry wound on the woman he'd been fighting.

The pool of blood beneath her was far more than Joshua's injury created, ratcheting up the panic in her head. “Gamma!” she barked. “Get something clean, put pressure on Delta's wound as soon as I can douse it with the undiluted stuff, just in case their blood mixed.”
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Defending Their Own
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 5 of 6
word count (story only): 1230


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes subset, while taking the “Road Trip” in an entirely new direction. DO NOT FORGET to read part 4, posted on the DW date 25 July, and thank you for your patience! ::


Pay Special Attention: People who have been profiting from human trafficking have parts of their reality (and sometimes their bodies) folded into several sharp points which may not match any previously known 'safe' configuration. Some injuries this time, but nothing spoiler worthy, since I generally write happy endings. ::





Farther above them, a booming male voice, indistinct in words but perfectly, clearly furious in tone, made more noise than the approaching human traffickers.

“Mrehem,” Cash mumbled behind his hand, hoping that the timbre of his tenor was close enough to the teen's.

“Not again!” the woman groaned, stepping into view as she lifted her hands in a universal plea to some higher power.

Cash grabbed the wrist, twisting it behind her and shoving her against the wall hard enough to make the panel bow slightly before springing back. She, however, had nowhere to go. He planted his knee against the back of her thigh, offset enough that she could not easily kick him, and applied enough pressure to make her squeak in protest. Muscle memory had him reaching for the thick plastic cuffs he'd used as a military policeman, but the zip ties were deliberately put in the same place, and they would suffice for the half an hour it might take to search the ship. He zipped her wrists, leaving the plastic just barely flush against her skin, then applied a layer of duct tape over that.
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Defending Their Own
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 4 of 6
word count (story only): 1331


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes subset, while taking the “Road Trip” in an entirely new direction. ::


Pay Special Attention: People who have been profiting from human trafficking have parts of their reality (and sometimes their bodies) folded into several sharp points which may not match any previously known 'safe' configuration. ::





There was absolutely no change of elevation, and the motion of the ship in water was less noticeable than the hum of a very noisy air conditioning unit, mounted somewhere above them. Joshua caught himself, then immediately checked on the other three.

He made a shushing motion before speaking in a bare whisper. “Okay, Alpha, Gamma… hang behind me, even though Bravo isn't going to open the door until it's safe. That's basic procedure. If he could take me through with him, you'd be holding this room secure, then we'd hold that space while you caught up, rinse and repeat to clear an area.”

“Room,” Alpha hissed. “That's like calling a cardboard box a tent!”
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Interruption

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:34 pm
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We interrupt our regularly scheduled fiction tonight because real life just threw yet another curve ball… at my head. I've been out of the house since seven a.m., and got in the door at 11:15 p.m. tonight. I need to finish proofing the part which would have posted today.

Today's post will go up with a date correction as the second post with this date stamp, so please be patient. I hope that events here will smooth out to something resembling normal by Monday.

The emphasis is on the word “hope,” as none of this is predictable or quantifiable. Sorry for the delay!
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Defending Their Own
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 6
word count (story only): 1376


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes subset, while taking the “Road Trip” in an entirely new direction. ::


Pay Special Attention: People who have been profiting from human trafficking have parts of their reality (and sometimes their bodies) folded into several sharp points which may not match any previously known 'safe' configuration. ::




Joshua closed his eyes as he drew in a deep breath. He made his way to Boneshaker, just as she scraped the last bits of gelato out of the paper carton. “Good timing he mused, trying for a friendly tone that slid straight to 'concerned' instead. He glanced toward the spoon gripped tightly in Boneshaker's right hand, and then at the fine, quivering motion of her resting left hand. A glance at Orris, however, only earned him a tiny nod in return.

“Not many people know this,” Joshua began, leaning hipshot against the edge of the table, “but one of a training officer's jobs is to get a rookie, or sometimes a trainee, through an incident that would make any other person say that they never, ever want to experience that again.”

“Like what?” Boneshaker whispered, her voice catching.
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Defending Their Own
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 6
word count (story only): 1449


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes subset, while taking the “Road Trip” in an entirely new direction. ::


Pay Special Attention: People who have been profiting from human trafficking have parts of their reality (and sometimes their bodies) folded into several sharp points which may not match any previously known 'safe' configuration. ::




Joshua had just turned toward the nearest stairwell when G called, “Dad?”

“There was an injury,” he responded immediately. “Did you leave your earthquake preparedness bag in your backpack?” When G nodded, Joshua asked, “Can you fetch it for us? I think we might need some of the tools.” The teen dashed off.

“Why do you want an earthquake bag?” Willem asked. Joshua faced him, shading his eyes with one hand. Behind them both, Orris led the teleporter to a table one row over, holding her elbow as she eased, shivering, into a chair. Despite the movement, she barely slowed the spoon delivering bite after bite of lemon gelato.
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Defending Their Own
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of
word count (story only): 1175


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes subset, while taking the “Road Trip” in an entirely new direction. ::


Pay Special Attention: People who have been profiting from human trafficking have parts of their reality (and sometimes their bodies) folded into several sharp points which may not match any previously known 'safe' configuration. ::




In the early morning, while most of the non-medical crew were setting up for breakfast, the decks felt as private as a car during a long, solo commute. To break that sense of isolation, the very first things put out were the three large wicker laundry baskets full of card and board games, along with a day pack full of pads of plain paper and a variety of pens, pencils and other drawing utensils.

Which is how, at just past six in the morning, Joshua found himself too antsy to even work out and up to his elbows in a 'simple' game of 'Draw and Release' along side a young woman in her late twenties whose boldy maroon hair had been shaved nearly to her scalp at the sides, but flopped in a long vee of bangs that rubbed against her cheekbone on her left. She swore a blue streak, tearing away the page she'd been working on, as the man in his fifties stroked his mostly-brown beard and mulled over his next turn. “Just make a move, young man, because Millie has won every game I've played against her in the last four visits here.”
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Disconnected and Upset
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1346


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story collection, and the Road Trip story arc. ::


:: Pay Special Attention: this story could be called a bit of a teaser, and a bit of a cliffhanger, but I felt that showing Kais' difficulties in the morning was essential, even as other events begin to overshadow her problems. ::




Kais woke slowly, one hand reaching for the knitted cap she slept in.

Rather, the cap that she usually slept in. There was no cap, and her hair swirled over her face in loose strands that, as usual, paid little attention to the demands of gravity.

She sat up, then promptly overbalanced and had to brace her left arm against the mattress to keep from tumbling straight out of the bed, bunk, whatever, right onto the floor.

It took a few minutes to understand what was different, and then a few more for the implications to begin to sink in. Halfway through a panicky, gasping breath, wondering if she could breathe into a pillow as well as into a paper bag, someone knocked on the door.

“Kais? Kais, would you let me in, please, it's G.”
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Whose Luck?
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1419


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and the Road Trip story arc. Kais' luck seems to be holding, but someone else points out a surprising trend in it. ::

:: Pay Special Attention: I tried to be vague about the details of Kais' injury, but I wanted to frame these events first from Kais' viewpoint, so some unpleasantness is unavoidable. (The payoff for this will happen in the next story, of course!)




Kais turned her face toward the window, trying desperately not to cry.

Willem, the young man who had taken her clothes-- every stitch she'd brought with her save what she stood in-- tried to apologize. Again. “I mean, it's called a mangler, but it really shouldn't have done...” He lifted up one torn, button-less shirt and waved at the sodden mess.

“I can check everything your size in the lost and found,” he offered. “I feel...”
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Practice, Practice, Practice
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1179


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this story happens across several hours of the family's Sunday in the Maldives, but should not conflict with previously published items in the Maldives story arc. Written for a prompt during the July Magpie Monday. ::


::Pay Special Attention: This story focuses on worried, worried parents as Aida prepares to go back to her internship on Monday morning. ::




“She's in the pool,” Elisabeth whispered. One fingertip touched the glass pane on the sliding door, but somehow, she kept her professional, neutral mask in place.

“With the new gear?” Graham's eyes widened. “Already?”

His wife laughed, a sweet, mellow sound that felt like kisses. “I guess we're the ones with too many nervous thoughts, too many worries. At least this time.”

“She wasn't…. Elisabeth, it could have been so… “ Graham draped an arm lightly at his wife's waist, asking for her, silently. She turned toward him at the first brush of his fingertips, kissing the tiny scar hidden just below the corner of his mouth on the right side.

“Please, don't remind me? Don't borrow trouble, either,” she whispered.
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Serve and Protect
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1737


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this finally connects the Road Trip with the young person Halley was chatting with in “One Pebble Falls...” which brings everything 'full circle,' as it were,because the Road Trip crew are from Mercedes. ::


:: Pay Special Attention:: Some cape-political bigotry, stopped early, which will actually have repercussions for the staff and the individual expressing those opinions, (No one is “getting away with” that kind of crap on my watch!) Playfulness with unusual pronouns, and G generally playing the card. ::






The grumble that drifted over Joshua's shoulder was hardly louder than the sigh of his jeans shifting over his legs as he took a seat on the deck, one hand balancing a tray while the other held a thermal coffee mug with silicone lid that still felt nearly too hot to touch. However, the voice sent all of the hairs on the back of his neck standing straight and shrill. Joshua leaned back, clearly getting comfortable while every scrap of his hearing screened and sifted and filtered, trying to make out anything that might have set off his cop alerts.

“I said,” the grumbler repeated in a menacing hiss, “all you super-villain trash should NOT be allowed to take up valuable healers' time!”

Joshua calmly set his plate down, then his coffee. He turned, taking in the dark-skinned woman with small breasts and a linebacker's shoulders, and worst of all, the flush of tears on the woman's face. “I'm not a--” she began.
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A Spark of Joy
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1104


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this is a bridging story to connect “One Pebble Falls...” to the Road Trip set of stories. Dani, aka "Minion for Mone¥"isn't alone on xir side of the keyboard; this story picks up just as the previous one ends, but has a far different tone. ::




Minion for Mone¥ shut down the computer, then waited for it to reboot, automatically scrubbing the entire browser history, including that pesky little nanny-chip hidden on most every piece of hardware coming out of Taiwan, Korea, and China now. This machine was really little better than the kiddie tablets parents bought for preschoolers, but it gave her a private way to chat, even from the nosy Parkers infesting BlackSheep like fleas, because it was so cheap she could afford to break one up for scrap after every chat, each time using a new machine.

Even Capricorn could be unbearably curious. Maybe especially Capricorn.
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July Report for the Magpie Monday

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:07 pm
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Opening the Magpie Moday was a short post, on the 10th of July, 304 words long, which set the ball rolling nicely, and culminated in sending the last prompt fill on the 15th of July. A total of (Holy Hannah!) 19,143 words were written over those six days, many of which are either stepping stones, short little stories that build on one another, or the core of a much longer story which will probably clock in at well over 10k when finished.

I'm going to divide them by whether they are posted or not, with the exception of the Shiv's Gigantic Meltdown, because that's going to take some work before the first draft is finished.
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One Pebble Falls…
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1 (complete)
word count (story only): 1097


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes story group, this tale happens on the same day Cash, Joshua and G start their Road Trip, and as such, is part of that story arc. Sometimes, someone needs just the smallest nudge to shift their perspective. ::




Halley perked up as the chat program chimed. “Hey,” thon typed quickly, “I thought you would be asleep! It's five in the morning there!”

Someone with the user name “Minion for Mone¥” typed back, “I couldn't sleep all night, because, DRUMROLL, I've got the money!”

“Wow, that's great!” Halley returned, rolling onto thon's stomach and tugging the tablet down to rest on the mattress. Disconnecting from the dock automatically activated the internal microphone and Halley had only edited two lines of code. Even Edison could do that. “When are you going to It's Your Body Shop?”
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Cleaning Up the Disaster Zone
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 2, complete
word count (story only): 1424


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Mercedes story group, this picks up a few months before Shiv is released, less than a week after the Finns return from the Maldives. ::


:: Pay Special Attention: Graham is being very, very hard on himself, and expresses a bit of unrealistic expectations (of himself), but it's a sense of guilt writ large, rather than a permanent issue. ::





Donna returned with two bottles of water, and the snaps as the safety seals broke followed in near perfect unison. “All right,” she began, taking a fortifying breath, “Shiv wants that book destroyed. I get that. But…. Frankly, I suspect that those are the only pictures he has of his childhood. We don't even have photos for every year he attended school, because he often attended four or five schools in one school year, bouncing from district to district. As he got older, the gaps got wider.”

Graham pressed his lips together. “I get that,” he whispered. “My kids… I think I take pictures of the younger ones maybe once a week, or more if something unusual happens. Or funny,” he admitted, a laugh creeping out in tentative huffs. “I made a rule when our oldest boy went to college that he had to email a picture of himself every week for the same reason.”
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