Challenge: Daily Scenes

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September 2017


Skylight. 001

“Silver, what are you doing?” Wolf asked.

The other girl was flinging silvery fluid against the wall and drawing it back in precise movements, eyes narrowed darkly under thick furrowed brows. They didn’t really have names yet, nor know their own ages beyond that they were children—nor understand their strange new abilities.

And that was at the heart of Wolf’s question. Silver, so called for the substance flowing in and out of her arms with every moment, did not answer.

The little boy they’d started calling Sight sat down next to Wolf and drew his knees to his chest as he stared. He’d called her Wolf for reasons she didn’t yet fully understand, but it had something to do with the things he saw now that he couldn’t see colors and light and dark the way everyone else could.

“She’s punching holes in the world,” he said quietly.

Silver faltered then, a visible reaction, and Wolf stared at him.

“Everything the light touches,” he said, “it’s hers to keep or destroy.”


Skylight. 002

She has a name now. Skylight.

She settles into a rhythm of training, throwing her body into a full spin under lightning arcing from Light Show's fingers, catches herself imperfectly, nearly stumbles. She's up again, kicking and punching against Bridge, blocking Augment, but he hits her with one blow with the force of a truck or a hurricane and she's thrown hard several feet before hitting the wall and slumping.

"Unf." She groans as she tries to stand. Her entire back is a screaming ache, her shoulders protest, and her legs won't carry her up at all. She falls back down again and pants.

Augment pauses the session with a raised fist then drops down to crouch beside her. He doesn't touch her, but she flinches back anyway. "You okay?"

Skylight gives him a dirty glare for it. "I'll be fine," she bites out, then rubs her shoulder, but she doesn't try to stand again to underscore the point. She'd just embarrass herself.

Augment studies her wide-eyed for a moment, then nods and rolls back on his heels to get up again and start the rest of them back up. Skylight decides to wait until she's less winded before dragging herself to the edge of the training ring to wait them out.


Air. 001

West picks up his caseload from the front desk in the morning, like everyone else in Public Defense, only his are special, their literal name since Treaty Law went into effect between the Thorn Republic and the newly emancipated Western Territories.

"Minor ticketing offense, referred over from LE," the case checker told him with her usual perfunctory nod in the direction of the room someone had dropped his new client in or directed her to. "She challenged."

West glanced over, then back to the paperwork to the line he always checked on protected statuses. Former operative, not retired. He looked back over then.

He was the only certified lawyer in this particular office available to handle cases involving special type humans, who had certain additional protections and prohibitions under treaty law than regular type humans, who had no special abilities or powers. But he'd never worked with one of the former operatives who had established those laws in the first place.

She was pretty enough, stiff expression on her face, but he could see that she didn't hold herself stiffly, nor had she relaxed. Most clients sent to wait remained tense or mentally checked out while waiting for him to arrive, but she had done neither. Instead she stared in front of her while somehow striking him as utterly aware of her surroundings. A brief note that she was of mixed ethnicities, a warm shade of medium brown with hair twice as dark but straight enough. Not likely to have been bothered by ethnic or gendered discrimination in this city, but noticeable enough that he'd need to also rule that out.

"Law enforcement," he prodded absently, not really returning his attention to the case checker.



world in the peephole

She found the world in the peephole the day after the mailman dropped flowers off for Mother. Mother sniffed the carnations—“Pretty,” she said—then sighed and sent them back.

“They’re mighty expensive,” said the mailman, but Mother just shook her head.

He left, Mother shut the door firmly behind him then walked back into the kitchen, then little Matilda put her eye to the peephole in the door to see where the mailman went.

But she didn’t see the mailman. She saw a world of flowers thickly growing, a forest of flowers, and her mouth dropped open.

October 2017


Practice Makes Perfect (drabble), 100 words of morning kisses

Skylight was unusually warm when she woke up. She noted that Math's arms had wound snugly around her sometime in the night.

They were undercover. This was an act. At least outside their closed door it was.

She didn't bother to wake him before kissing him gently, trusting his instincts to be sensitive to the unusual.

It was a safe bet. He woke immediately, hand coming up to brace her. "Skylight?"

She drew back sharply at that, eyebrow raised. "Clearly, you need practice." He shouldn't have said her name.

"I guess I do."

She leaned down to kiss him again.

November 2017



What do you know about the Kolann region?

That it's an ethnic warfare nightmare of epic proportions. It's a powderkeg, set to blow.

Have you heard of the Yareset? The hordes see it as an area ripe for picking. I needn't tell you what a blow it would be to the republic if the hordes took it.



Joenna Janine Browning stood in front of a viewscreen staring at her five-year-old son. He was bound at the wrists humanely—small consolations—his whole body hunched over as he cried and railed in words that meant less than the intensity of the pain behind them.

"He'll be a legend, Janenna." The father's voice practically glowed.

He had done this to their son. He had delivered him to the Projects without warning or consultation.

Janenna had heard of the Projects, decided not to volunteer herself as a potential supersoldier, never dreamed they were taking children.

She turned to her husband, soon to be ex. "One day, I will kill you for this."

December 2017


100 words of babies

There's nothing wrong with babies. Skylight likes them. When they aren't hers and no one's asking her when she's going to produce one.

Her brother's small daughter is sleeping in her arms, and Skylight's busily going over reports for things her mother really doesn't want to know the details of, whether or not she realizes it, when her brother walks in and pushes his glasses up to get a better look.

"You have a way with her." He smiles. "You ever—?"

"No." She doesn't let him finish. She loves her husband, but they agree. They are not having kids.


100 words of in denial

She told herself she absolutely, one hundred percent did not have a crush on her father's best friend. Absolutely not at all.

He was only the most good-looking man she'd ever seen and had ignored her existence for her entire life and was the best fighter in the Guard, possibly even better than her father and he was legendary, and watching the two of them laugh and train together with spears and total mastery totally did not make her mouth go dry and make her wonder why boys her age didn't look like that.

It wasn't right.

She watched anyway.



Kusanagi's surprise was registered in the briefest pause, the eyebrows going up, and the cigarette turning briefly down before he swung open the door, cool once more, and welcomed her in.

Seri didn't like frivolous men, she'd told him. Everything they'd ever done had been about their Clans, and that was good for both of them. They occupied the right hand positions in their organizations for a reason. Even though the Slates were gone, that wasn't going to change.

But things had changed. Her Clan had changed, the nature of its duties had both remained the same and been utterly transformed, and when the shock of everything wore off, so had her relationship with her King. Something indefinable but present had vanished with the last of her blue aura.

But this, this hadn't changed at all.

She let him get her a drink, pleasantly surprised that he was treating this like she'd walked into his bar and not his apartment, even if he had invited her once upon a time. He mixed her drink professionally and even abstained from commenting again on how distasteful he found her preferred cocktail.

"How's Anna?" she asked, politely.

"Doing well," he answered easily, watching her sip, a small smile on his face.

Someone else might have wondered what he was thinking, but Seri didn't feel the need. It was mostly irrelevant except when it shed light on unpredictable actions, and Kusanagi was the most stable of all the Homra members. She felt comfortable that she knew where all this was headed and at what pace.

"Do you—" She hesitated on the question.

She saw the curiosity light in his eyes as he tilted his head toward her invitingly. He'd answered her questions about his friendship with Mikoto back when she'd come here first, never prying too hard into why she was asking. But this question was next door to naked admission.

She made herself ask it anyway. "Do you miss it?" She set her glass down, looked at him directly. "Your aura?"

They'd all been willing, and it had saved her King from almost certain death, but.

Kusanagi sighed, head leaning back as he fixed his eyes and smile on something only he could see. "Sometimes." He looked at her again. "I suppose you do too."

Did she? She stared at him openly. She did, even if she wasn't emotional about, only reaching on reflex, only startled every time she practiced with her newly emptied sword. Even if every time she remembered she no longer had it, she remembered, fiercely, that Munakata was alive because of it, and it was a small price to pay.

It was comfortable to let the silence stretch between them. They were both quiet people in one sense, and she was glad he had the sense not to flirt with her and break the mood. It wasn't romantic, but it was comfortable and she set aside her finished drink in favor of what she'd actually come here for.

Kusanagi was practical and level-headed and somehow he didn't let it go to his head when she came around the counter and kissed him. His hands were respectful, just brushing the tips of her hair, the other falling to her hip after a long moment.

At the end of the kiss, they both pulled back. They had paused and assessed each other often enough in the more friendly of their battles, and this felt much the same.

"I won't marry you," she said simply. "Clan—"

"—comes first," he finished. "I couldn't agree more," he answered easily.

His fingers were still in her hair, just holding it, holding her as he looked at her like she was beautiful. She appreciated that his eyes were on hers, not that the complete shock on his face that one time hadn't been almost amusing; she preferred a man who was interested in who Seri was, not merely her assets.

"Well, then." She found herself relaxing, even smiling. "Where's your bedroom?"

She knew the answer, but it was only polite to ask.

To Be Sorted