[Sept21] Tribble Month 21: Blame

Theme: Multi-genre Mania.

Optional prompt: “She twisted her arm into its socket until the magnets aligned.” by SarcasticCupcake5.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 20: Intense Emotions.

I roared as someone — two someones — tore me away from the fucker, who was now lying on the deck looking like he had not seen me coming. Maybe the fucker hadn’t; he had so little concern for other people, that asshat.

“That’s enough,” Myrial said. “Ingolf, you’ve gone far enough.”

Struggling against the two brutes holding me — the Hifumi twins — I shrieked, “And you’re just as bad as him! You don’t even know Lyra! She started disassembling herself! Can you imagine how that looked?!” I took a few ragged breath. “I had to coax her into reassembling herself after it. Do you even know what Wolfden cybernetics are like?” I shuddered. “The clicks… when she twisted her arm into its socket until the magnets aligned and got them into their place… it sounded more like breaking her arm off than putting it back… And she kept doing that.”

“If all Tymon did was break up with her, you have no right to assault him.” Myrial’s voice was so level, so calm, so much in control that it made me angrier.

“You don’t know anything, do you?!” I yelled. “Where even is your old crew, huh, Heiyadl?! Where are they now, death’s grip?! Where did you put them out of their misery?!”

Myrial stayed quiet for a while before speaking up, “I see you can’t be reasoned with. I’m turning you in, both for attempting to kill Tymon and for assaulting him now. Speak once more about my past fellows and I will add disgracing their memory to the list of charges.” With a nod to the twins, Myrial turned. “Let’s get taking the trash out over with.”

[Sept21] Tribble Month 13: A Time Traveler

Theme: Tricky Time Travel.

Optional prompt: “Sir, my only job is to push the grey button in case of emergency or the other grey button for tea time.” by SarcasticCupcake5.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 2021 12: Observations on Livergreen – Family Ties.

We did not get to leave Livergreen before the messenger appeared on our ship.

“That was fast,” I commented.

“Time travel,” the messenger explained.

I suppressed a groan. “Great.”

“Where is the man named Tymon?”

“Here.” Tymon stepped forward.

“Good. This will explain everything you need to know.” The messenger handed a small tablet to Tymon.

“Thank you.” Tymon bowed his head as he accepted the tablet.

“Now, I must go. Farewell.” The messenger disappeared.

Harper scratched their head. “That guy was in a hurry.”

“Time travel is the trickiest thing mages have managed to make a reality. The longer you stay in the past, the riskier it gets for the whole timeline. I think messengers like that are the only ones who have a relatively easy access to it.” I shook my head. “If you need anything, I’ll be in my quarters.”

“Sir, my only job is to push the grey button in case of emergency or the other grey button for tea time.”

I shook my head at the memory and turned the page. Why did they have to resort to time traveling with us? Could they not send an email or something? It wasn’t like I was going to take my crew out of the coverage area especially now.

I shook my head again and closed the album. “Fuck this. Myrial, stop thinking about that thing. It’s in the past and you don’t even have a crew like that anymore. Let it go.”

Well, that was far, far easier said than done.

Poor Durlona…

[Sept21] Tribble Month 2021 12: Observations on Livergreen – Family Ties

Theme: Family Ties.

Optional prompt: Tracking the lineage is tricky when everyone keeps marrying each other’s cousins. by CassidyPeterson.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 11: Observations on Livergreen – 7 Deadly Sins.

“So, how’d it go?” I asked.

“Well, the magician we delivered the deck to was dead, so we had to talk to their… umm…” Tymon turned to Bolotseseg. “What exactly was their relation?”

Bolotseseg scratched her head. “I lost track at the second time a cousin was mentioned.”

I snorted. “That’s Livergreen for you. Tracking family lineages is a true pain when everyone keeps marrying each other’s cousins to keep the magic going strong in the family.” I smirked at the faces the two made. “Anyhoo, what did the descendant say?”

“That it’s hard to say especially this long after the incident, but chances are that the tarot deck did give me an immortality of some sort.”

“‘Of some sort’?” I repeated.

“Apparently it’s possible that I will die of old age or if my body gets destroyed since so far I haven’t showed signs of the regeneration true immortals have.”

“So the Everlive talk was bullshit at least for some part?”

“Potentially. The magician will send me a messenger when he’s analyzed the data he got off my body and can tell more.”

“So, we can leave then?”

“If we have somewhere else we ought to go, yes.”

“Good. I’m not particularly fond of Livergreen.”

[Sept21] Tribble Month 8: An Offending Photo

Challenge: The story must be at least 75% dialogue.

While this is a follow-up to [Sept21] Tribble Month 2021 7: Findings, there is a POV change and a time skip between the two stories. I’m currently planning to do POV cycles, one for each challenge, and potentially keep this TM’s stories as just one – hopefully contained – big story.

In case you’re wondering about how much dialogue this story has, I counted that 24 out of 152 is not dialogue, which makes the dialogue percentage 84.21%.

“You can’t keep that photo!”
“Yes, I can, Ingolf. I outrank you, you filthy traitor! And you bet I will stick it somewhere where everyone can see it!”
“Myrial, please. That’s just petty.”
“Maybe you should’ve thought about that when Tymon ‘died’.”
“I had no idea he’d survive! He wasn’t supposed to survive!”
“Besides, you’re lucky you didn’t get a knife in the stomach for what you did after you returned his vest.”
Ingolf sighed. Of course he sighed. “Look… can we just move on? It’s bad enough as it is.”
“Nope.” I turned to leave the room. “You bet everyone on this ship is going to remember this forever. And now there’s absolutely no way you’ll be able to remove Tymon, ever, because everyone will remember your face when he resurfaced from the ocean, alive and well.”
“Myrial, wait-“
I slammed the door behind me.
Ingolf ran into the door.

[Sept21] Tribble Month 2021 7: Findings

Theme: Into the Dragon’s Lair.

Optional prompt: Amid the sapphire, emerald, and glittering pearl eggs in the nest lay a smaller dull, grey egg. by SarcasticCupcake5.

This is a follow-up to [Sept21] Tribble Month 2021 6: Explanations, Finally.

The rotting, greyed world was a depressing sight Bluberia hadn’t prepared me for. Still, I trudged forward; the scanner told me that there was a concentration of Gemium ahead of me.

In a cave with an entrance littered with bones and growling coming from deep inside.

Still, I was an Everlive. I couldn’t die — hopefully — so I should be fine. If I was going to live forever, I’d better learn to handle pain better.

Into the proverbial dragon’s lair it was. I stepped past the bones into the unknown.

Inside the cave, I was met with sapphire, emerald, and glittering pearl eggs, and among them, a nest with a smaller dull, grey egg. The scanner pointed to the grey egg, indicating that it had a lot of Gemium in it.

Unfortunately, a dragon circled around me and blocked the egg from view.

“What do you want?” the dragon hissed.

“I, um, I…”

“Do you want my egg, too? Or just a plain death wish?”

“No! I’m-I’m looking for the reason for the nature’s state! I was told that it’s probably caused by Gemium. This scanner led me here.” I waved the scanner.

The dragon growled. “You’re one of them.”

“One of who? Um, I probably am not… I fell to the bottom of the ocean and was asked to see what’s going on since it’s probably eco-terrorists and-“

The dragon burst into laughter. “Fool! You are working for eco-terrorists! They’re using you to get their hands on my egg. Gemium doesn’t rot the environment, although oxidized Thes does.”

I had seen oxidized Thes in my scans. “Oh… Shit.”

“Leave and report that. Don’t trust whoever gave you that scanner. And, more importantly, go home.”

“Okay. Will do.”

I ran for the exit.

What the fuck had I gotten myself into?!

[Sept21] Tribble Month 5: A High-Tech Scanner

Theme: New Technology.

Optional prompt: No one was prepared for the day that the trees left. by NobodysSon.

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s story, [Sept21] Tribble Month 4: The Graying Wheel.

“I’m fairly certain that they are using something with Gemium in it to rot the soil. Take this scanner; it will tell what is affecting the ecosystem.” The fishy person — Bluberia had turned out to be their name — handed me a device I had never seen. “It’s a state-of-the-art device meant for easier analysis of the chemical composition of the area.”
I looked at the scanner. “Okay, cool. How does it work?” And what’s Genium?
“I’ll show you after dinner,” Bluberia promised. They turned to look into the horizon and muttered to themselves, “I hope that regardless of whether or not I’m right about Gemium, you’ll find out what’s wrong. No one was prepared for the day the trees left…”
I pretended not to have heard that.

FFM 2021 30: What A Malfunction Can Do

No prompts used.

A pauraque’s alarmed call echoed somewhere within the woods. Zenona walked deeper, each of xeir steps rustling something. Had xe not had Koori on xeir shoulder, chattering away about the area as if there was not a severe malfunction on Aegis I, xe would have been terrified of what may be out there within the jungle greenhouse.

Nevertheless, xe had to find Elsie and fast. Every technomancer was needed now more than ever.

Xe did find Elsie, but it was too late. She was already gone, crushed under a fallen tree. She must have been there when the malfunction had shaken the whole ship like an earthquake.

Zenona’s anguished cry startled even the predators that lurked near the body.

FFM 2021 28: A Collapsing Galaxy

No prompts used, although I was in a mood for destroying a galaxy. Set into the same universe as the stories about the Heavy Metal Sanctuary. Filter words have been avoided as part of the week’s sidequest.

At the first sight of danger, the richest fled.

When it became clear that the planet was doomed, the wealthy took their leave.

The ones who could barely afford the trip away left only after the black hole had expanded close to them and an evacuation order had been given.

The ones who could not afford to leave were left behind to die.

The primitives only found out what was happening when it was far too late.

The most primitive had no idea that their very own galaxy was collapsing as they hunted for ostriches.

FFM 2021 27: Fight

David Bowie Day challenge: Choose at least five of 42 words that provided the framework for the album The Next Day and use them to inspire the story, generate a random Bowie song with this randomizer and pick at least one line of lyrics that speaks to you and pick the name of the first song the randomizer on your music library/player/provider gives and use it as the title of the story.

My elements are: Violence, Interface, Indifference, Flight, Identity as the words, these lyrics from the song If You Can See Me: From nowhere to nothing/And I go way back/Children swarm like thousands of bugs/Towards the lights the beacons above the hill/The stars to the West, the South, the North/And to the East/Now you could say I’ve got a gift of sorts/A fear of rear windows and swinging doors /A love of violence a dread of sighs/If you can see me I can see you/If you can see me I can see you and the title comes from the song Fight by All Good Things.

This story is also for this week’s sidequest, which is avoiding filter words.

Like a great horned owl, They glided over the battlefield, Their jet giving them a clear view of what was going on beneath Them: children swarming one another like two opposing colonies of Earth ants. Whoever would survive had a chance of reaching the stars on Their jet.

(The fact that seeing Their jet had always made matters worse, spurred the children to be more vicious, turned the bloodshed even more violent and macabre never even crossed Their mind.)

They had been one of those children once. At first, observing the violence They had been bred for had been fascinating to say the least, but over time They forgot who They had been down there. As the orbital station grew more deserted, the Overlords tiring of this planet, the moment They had to pull the trigger on the solar system drew closer.

(At some point They could not pinpoint, They stopped running into any other souls on the station.)

Eventually, They started to wonder if there was any point to any of the senseless violence. At first, They petitioned for stopping the war, but the Overlords brushed Them off on the basis that They were a Survivor-class citizen, one who would not even get a proper name before they Ascended their home orbit and left for the stars.

(Other Survivors They had met had left long ago, but They still stayed.)

Desperate to help others like They had not been, They tried to rescue any children They could, but swooping into the battlefield to catch someone and haul them to the jet only brought Them injuries; children who had not earned their survival were like rabid beasts, attacking anyone who was not a battle ally.

(Only much later did They learn that the War Breeds were born with a programming implant that made them single-minded about battling until the implant told them that they had become a Survivor.)

With all available options exhausted, They waited and hoped that the Overlords would see reason, but counting solar cycles turned to counting lunar cycles turned to counting stellar cycles. Then They lost track of all time, yet still the war on the planet continued. Blood soaked the ground, changed the vegetation’s coloring permanently, became crystals underneath the children’s very feet.

(When no one answered Them anymore about the system aside from confirming its continuing existence, They concluded that the Overlords no longer cared at all.)

Eventually, They no longer had any feelings regarding the violence that happened underneath them. That was when They finally pressed the button on the interface and watched as the station maneuvered away to give Them a better view of the destruction. Planets exploded, collided into one another, met their star in one last face-off.

(Even destroying a solar system’s worth of civilizations — most of which were far more advanced and civilized than the simple War Entertainment civilization They hailed from — for their Overlords did not evoke any emotions in Them.)

The station maneuvered towards the Upper Worlds, now bringing the final Survivor for their Ascension. They were met with a fanfare, a feast, a chance to choose a name for Themselves.

(After all the extravagant celebration, Their damaged implant was repaired and They remembered nothing more of where They had come from.)

FFM 2021 25: No One Is Safe

No prompts used.

A blue tit flew up to me as I entered the what must have been a makeshift village. At least everything I could see in the area — poorly made buildings, gardens and a tiny field that looked like it was growing a grain of some sort — made the place look like a tiny village, a settlement made by people who thought they had gotten beyond the mechs’ reach.

The only problem was that it was dead quiet, and everything was strewn around like after a battle.

Soon, I could see why: there were bodies everywhere. I knelt next to one of them. It was still rather warm and the mech’s gun’s ammo was still glowing in the wound.

This place had been wiped out just moments ago.

I hid into an underground cellar and hoped for the best as I waited potential patrols out.

Poor people, whoever they were and whyever they thought that they could be safe in a village like this.