|megpie71 (megpie71) wrote,|
@ 2009-05-20 21:44:00
The WIP Meme (Baaaa)
If you happen to be working on some creative writing project, fanfiction or what have you, post one sentence/paragraph/whatever from each of your current work(s) in progress in your journal. It should probably be your favourite or most intriguing sentence so far, but what you choose is entirely your discretion. Mention the title (and genre) if you like, but don't mention anything else--this is merely to whet the general appetite for your forthcoming work(s).
These are all in my FF7 "Works in Progress" folder (or rather, the folder I store everything I don't think is ready for publication yet - for whatever reason). Some of them are completed but don't quite ring true, some of them are incomplete and have remained stalled for ages, some of them are being actively worked on in between bouts of depression, and others are just scraps and snippets so far. You have been warned.
Oh, and if anyone wants to prod me about things, or start me talking about them, it will be cheerfully welcomed.
Nesaverse (In vaguely internal chronological order... ish)
There's A Hole in the Bucket
"Nes, the bucket's leaking."
"Then patch it."
"How do I do that?"
*sigh* "Go to the barn, grab a bit of straw, and use it to fill the hole."
[footsteps retreating. Distant mumbling. Rattle, rattle, bang. Footsteps coming closer.]
"Okay, I got the straw in there, but it's sorta sticking out on both sides."
"Well, why not trim it?"
"Oh yeah. Do we have anything to trim it with?"
"Well, Jo, if you go back to the barn, and have a look where all the tools are stored, you should be able to find a small hatchet. Use that to trim it."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I'm also sure I'd like that water today, not next week."
"All right, all right, keep your hair on."
Immovable vs Irresistable
The bets had started shortly after she'd started working for SOLDIER administration. The usual half-life of an admin worker was something like three weeks, although the smart money moved to four weeks in her case after she tripped up one of the Thirds who'd attempted to knock her over. When she'd responded to "Flasher" Harry Fleish whipping out his male member and displaying it by reaching for a magnifying glass, the odds had shifted in her favour some more. But the real trial for the new girl in Admin was due to arrive back from Wutai by the time she'd been working for SOLDIER for about six weeks. If she lasted that long, then they'd really see what she was made of.
A Fool and His Money
"That one's mine," one of the young men says, pointing at the girl by the bar. She's pretty - a redhead with big tits and a lush arse, plus legs that go clear up to her ears, set off by a very high pair of heels. The lad isn't too bad-looking either - square jaw, wide shoulders, and a confident air about him. He might be in with a chance, if he plays his cards right.
"Bets?" says one of his drinking colleagues. This one's a kid whose dark hair spikes out in all directions. The kid's eyes are a funny shade of dark blue, sparkling with mischief, or something more. Kid has a drawl which marks him as being from the western continent - someone in the know might pick it as Gongagan.
"You're on," one of the others says. Money's taken, and handed to the shy blond boy who's drinking the soda in the middle of the group, and the guys watch as their champion goes forth to woo the fair maiden.
Come to the Fair
Cloud Strife was starting to regret letting himself get talked into touring around the fairground with Zack. It wasn't that he didn't like Zack. Zack was in many ways too good to be true, and he'd liked the man ever since they'd met when they'd bumped into one another on the main street of Midgar about six months back. Zack had given Cloud directions to the Shinra Tower, and then to the recruiting sergeants - first those for the SOLDIER corps, and then those for the normal troops. Zack had also been the one to put a very definite end to the attempts by a few of the more malicious troopers to treat Cloud as their personal punching bag.
The problem was, Zack was more trouble than the proverbial barrel full of frogs. While Cloud was more than willing to help out his friend, he drew the line at things which would get him arrested, if not court-martialled. Zack might be a SOLDIER, but Cloud was still a lowly trooper, and thus infinitely dispensable. If nothing else, he'd learned the priorities of the Shinra hierachy with regard to their staff fairly rapidly. At the top of the pile were the board members, and at the bottom of the pile were the troopers. Even the janitors wound up higher up the scale than a base-level trooper.
Zack Fair was discovering a rather large hole in his education, which he'd previously considered unduly comprehensive. None of his early experience had prepared him for the task of explaining "going fishing" to someone who had only the most theoretical grasp of the concept of leisure time, and no grasp whatsoever of the notion of hobbies.
General Sephiroth could understand catching fish. It was a way of supplying oneself with food, a way of living off the land while on a mission or in a combat situation. That was practicality, and practicality was something he understood very well indeed. What he couldn't understand was why someone able to acquire food through other means, either by purchasing the meal at a restaurant or tavern, or by cooking it themselves from purchased ingredients, would bother to travel some distance out of the city to a place where there may or may not be fish, then attempt to catch the fish which might or might not be present for no other reason than to see whether or not the fish were able to be caught. This, to his mind, went beyond impractical into insane.
It was the night before yuletide, and all through the Shinra tower, not a creature was stirring... well, actually at least five creatures were stirring within Nesa's range of hearing, and knowing two of them were Zack Fair and the Turk called Reno didn't make for reassurance of any kind. A third was General Sephiroth, who was keeping his customary Yuletide hours (namely, all of them; he tended to see the holiday as an opportunity to get caught up on the paperwork). The fourth was probably Zack's young shadow, Cloud, and the fifth she couldn't identify. She sighed. Since Sarai had walked out a month earlier, she'd been sharing the General's dedication to getting the paperwork and the filing done, on the grounds that it prevented her from having to make her way to the soulless little room she'd been allocated in the Shinra corporate barrack. Nesa sighed, and tapped the intercom a couple of times.
In the end, Nesa wound up using a spreadsheet to help keep track of the rumour mill. Well, a spreadsheet, and about a half dozen strategic contacts. Kunsel was one of them - he was more than willing to keep her updated on what the word from the SOLDIER coalface was, in exchange for a couple of words with his superiors about his duty load. Then there was Jenna, who could be relied on to get all the gossip from the Turk side of things that wasn't classified (for the classified stuff, she asked Reno). Doria on reception could pass on one hell of a lot, too, and it was worth keeping the woman supplied with the fresh fruit she loved so much in order to get the dirt on some of the more scheming types on the corporate side of the divide. But her two most valuable contacts were the General and Zack.
"His own damn child, Tseng. His own damn son!" The tsunami of her fury battered against Tseng's composure, threatening to sweep it away in the flood of her anger. She was assuming he'd read the full report himself, browsed the files of notes. She was correct, but he'd never let anyone else see it. Tseng found himself glad he'd chosen the confidential debriefing room. "The poor kid never stood a bloody chance - treated as a specimen by that bastard Hojo from day one. Never properly socialised, raised at one remove by a fucking sociopath who believes he's a fucking genius scientist. Hells, the kid's own mother was sent away from him before the poor little tacker was even a year old." She paused to dash away tears of rage. "No wonder he shattered like crystal when he found out what the hell he'd been used as."
Tseng wondered whether the general had ever been aware of the loyalty he'd inspired in people outside the SOLDIER corps. Nesa Conway had never been anything particularly important in the grand scheme of things - a clerk who dealt with archive files, a bureaucrat in the lower rungs of the ShinRa heirachy, someone who shuffled paper and filed requisitions, typed up reports and processed orders. Not someone who could be expected to be noticed by the Silver General. Presumably she'd seen the man in the course of her duties, but nobody would have expected her to have formed any kind of attachment to him. Certainly not enough to empathise with Sephiroth after the man had destroyed Nibelheim, and damn near killed two of her friends.
Untitled Post-Nibelheim AU
Nesa Conway hadn't been expecting anything unusual. Since moving back to the family farm after leaving Midgar and Shinra, she'd spent six months becoming accustomed once again to the slower pace of life in the countryside south-west of Costa Del Sol. One year later, she had to admit she hadn't put much thought into what her first reaction to having four fugitives (two conscious, one confused, one comatose, all conspicuous) land up on her doorstep ought to be. She'd interrogate Zack Fair once he and Cloud Strife had brought the General and whoever-the-stranger-was inside. The expressions on their faces, and their general attitude of extreme exhaustion told her whatever else the story was, it was going to be a long one.
"Rufus asked me about it one day," she said. "He wanted to know what went wrong with Sephiroth, whether there was anything which could have prevented it. So I had to explain to him no, there wasn't. Had to explain what the normal effects of a mako treatment seemed to be - it seems the General took out all the company head-shrinkers when he went through the place with that sword of his."
"It wasn't Sephiroth," Cloud said. "It was a fragment of Jenova."
"Whatever it was, it looked like the General, and from what I could tell from the reports, it acted like the General would have, had he come back from the dead intent on revenge." Nesa looked up at him. "The majority of people killed were involved with the SOLDIER program or with the Jenova project. I was lucky to have quit four years earlier, I suppose, or I'd've been on the firing line myself. It still gives me nightmares."
An Unexpected Kindness
The passing of the geostigma in that miraculous fall of rain had been a mercy Rufus Shinra had never expected. It didn't change anything, though. He'd still been left lacking vision from one eye, still with limbs which wouldn't always obey the commands he gave them (nerve damage, according to the doctors), and still easily tired by the normal demands of living all the time. While he'd hoped he could get out of the chair, and back behind a desk following the events with the remnants, instead his body had betrayed him, and he was bedridden again.
"You tried too much too soon," was the unsympathetic statement from his psychologist. "You shouldn't have tried to grandstand. You behaved like an over-confident idiot; now you're paying the price."
Rufus snarled at the woman. She was the best psychologist in the entire Healin team, and worth every penny he paid for her services, but her bedside manner had been forged during ten years of working in Shinra administration, five of which were for the SOLDIER corps. On the one hand, she was unimpressed by anything short of a Limit Break from a SOLDIER, which meant she wasn't awed by who Rufus Shinra was, or the amount of economic power he had over her existence. On the other hand, it meant she was thoroughly unimpressed with anything short of a full-on Limit Break from a First Class SOLDIER, she was completely unawed by who Rufus Shinra was, and she couldn't be cowed into taking it easy on him or coddling him in any way.
He wasn't quite sure how it happened after that. Listening to Nesa's instructions was easy, and most of them were for simple things, like needing the chocobo herd attached to the Conway property cared for, or fixing a broken shutter, or stuff like that. Stuff which didn't need him to act in a particular way, or be anything special - they were things which could be done by anyone. It was almost a relief, in a lot of ways. Nesa herself was easy to live with - she was used to people with SOLDIER strength, and had almost a better idea of what he was capable of than he did. She also cooked for someone with the SOLDIER appetite.
From Nesa's email (a set of snippets set around the time of DoC - spoilers ahoy)
[3 weeks prior to DOC]
N to R
What the merry hell were you about, inviting the media along to the opening of that sealed area under Shinra Tower?
R to N
We didn't have much choice. They found out about it and just showed up. We tried all kinds of warnings and cautions - told them it was structurally unsound, told them we didn't know what was in there, you name it, we tried it, but they wouldn't listen. Insisted on "the public's right to know".
N to R
So you got 'em to sign the waivers first, right?
R to N
You know me too well.
[20 days prior]
R to N
We may just have a PR disaster on our hands. Okay if I come visit for a week?
N to R
Sure, rock on up. I'll find you a bed and you can pretend the world outside Healin doesn't exist. Don't bring the cat - mine will do her nut.
Untitled Steele Backstory - This was written for the "Gast Lives" AU below, but it takes place prior to the branching event in that universe, so it can be "canon" Steele too.
Within her first week at the Nibelheim facility, Steele had discovered several things. Firstly, Doctor Lucrecia Crescent was indeed pregnant; a very unpleasant pregnancy by all appearances. Secondly, despite the husbandly concern attributed to Professor Liseng Hojo during her first interchange with Technician Fforbes, it appeared he preferred to remain separate from his wife for the majority of the time. Thirdly, dialogue between the occupants of the manor and occupants of the town appeared to be strongly discouraged; Steele suspected this was the true reason for Hojo's provision of an escort.
It seemed Hojo hadn't learned the basic rule of dealing with children and Turks – telling them they couldn't do something was a guarantee they'd try it.
Gongaga has always been jungle. That hasn't changed much in the last thirty years. My mother's folk were born down here, and I can remember visiting my grandparents. I loathed the humidity and the swampiness of the place even then.
Of course, these days there's a big hole in the jungle, which makes a bit of a difference - the reactor blew up about three years back, and the town still hasn't recovered. I moved down here when Costa del Sol was invaded by the Shinra science division's winner of the award for least likeable human being for the past thirty years or so. I don't like Hojo, I don't trust him, and I don't want to be within shrieking distance if he's taking his first holiday. So I pulled out a family emergency, and headed on down south. Gongaga was a pretty quiet place even when I was a kid. Yeah, I'd stand out as an incomer, but hey, anyone who wasn't actually part of the townsfolk would stand out just as much.
Besides, if I wanted to avoid Shinra's flunkies, it was either Gongaga or Wutai, and the glowing eyes are a bit too distinctive for things to be comfortable in Wutai yet.
Untitled "Gast Lives" AU
Professor Ivan Gast looked to be in his early fifties, and had done so for the last twenty years, to the best of anyone's recollection. For a man who at the least was in his seventies, living in an area which was harder than most, he was doing very well indeed. At least some of his longevity could be ascribed to the woman sitting by his side - Ifalna, the last full-blood Cetra.
"Ah, there you are, Cynthia," he said as Steele entered the conference room. The Commander grinned and rolled her eyes, knowing the old scientist was using her forename as a reprimand. "Well, now you're here, I suppose we can start," he said.
"My apologies, sir," Steele replied, glancing around the table at the other participants. General Sephiroth, otherwise known as the Silver General (for his hair) or the Ice Demon (for his patience, and the way he cut loose when it snapped) was sitting in his usual spot at the foot of the table, flanked on either side by the two remaining Upper Firsts, Generals Angeal Hewley and Genesis Rhapsodos. The two co-leaders of the Turks, Tseng and Valentine, were standing either side of Rufus Shinra, their dark suits and hair making them resemble shadows flanking a column of light. The new head of engineering, Reeve Tuesti, was seated about halfway down the table, while opposite him Aerith Gast was apparently staring into space - or more likely, communing with the planet. Palmer from Exploration was overflowing his chair opposite Rufus, as usual; and General Solon from the Shinra regular army was sitting uncomfortably between Aerith and Genesis. Steele slipped into her usual spot between Angeal and Reeve, and turned her attention to the screen.
Crossovers, carry-on and fic inspired by other people's fic
Coyo's "$10" universe
Turk's Deli (the sign on the front said "Sinclair's", but if you'd asked anyone in the neighbourhood for directions to Sinclair's, they would have looked at you blankly) on the corner of Sixth and North was usually the neighborhood gossip hub. If there was anything to be known about anyone, one of the folks there would have heard it, and they'd be willing to pass it on, provided you bought a coffee or something. (Free, if they liked you. Otherwise, you paid an extra ten percent on your bill - service fee.) So when Zack saw the moving van pulling up outside the place next door about a month after he'd moved in with Seph and Cloud, he decided to go and speak to one of the guys there about it.
LadyNero's "Fallen Angels"
"Abel," came a voice from an office as he stalked past, "jou like a cup o' tea?"
He turned to face the person speaking to him. He was vaguely familiar with Nesa Conway, the dark-skinned woman who'd volunteered to cross the portal to Earth when Sephiroth, Zack and Cloud had started ruling the Northern Kingdoms. From what he'd managed to piece together of her story, she had been Sephiroth's secretary prior to the catastrophe which linked their worlds. But he'd not spent much time in her company - a few minutes here and there while she badgered the King into signing off on various things, occasional dry comments in passing, nothing more. Almost instinctively, he drew on the disguise had served him so well for so long: the mask of the absent-minded, vague priest.
"Oh, I couldn't impose," he said.
"No imposition," came the reply. "Is time I took a break anyway." There was a sense of movement, and he looked around to see the woman leaning up against the doorframe to her office. "Jou take jou tea white with thirteen sugars, don' jou?"
"I've been on at the systems boys to organise a laptop computer with the appropriate access for you - between that and your PHS, you'll be able to keep a finger on the pulse of things back here. I've also requisitioned a truck from the motor pool - one that's within my driving capacity as well as Zack's. If you'll hold on a few minutes, I'll send a copy of the available stores to your PHS, and you can make a selection from that. I should be able to get them out of Supply without too much trouble."
The sigh on the other end of the line was probably the nearest she'd get to a laugh out of the man. Then again, she knew what he and Zack had been looking for, as well as where they'd found it, not to mention who was responsible. "Good," was all he said. "I'll contact you again in an hour with the requisition."
"Certainly, sir. And one day, you're going to explain to me why you only threw Professor Hojo through one wall, rather than several."
"The wall I threw him through abutted the elevator shaft."
She chuckled as the call disconnected. And that explained one of the elevators being out of order this morning. She called up the file she needed, and sent it on its way. There was a little more paperwork she needed to fill out before the morning was over, and it wouldn't pay to delay on any of it.
Joudama's "Harrow Children"
[Glares at the lot of them again] "Now, I currently have my hands full dealing with Rufus Shinra. Cloud is sane, Cloud is as intact as he's going to be, and there is nothing physically preventing him from being whoever he wants to be. He is not going to be turning into an avatar of Sephiroth at his most insane short of somebody finding another large body of Jenova's genetic material, which seems somewhat unlikely. It is OVER, and it is now time to let the dead past bury its dead. So, you [pointing at Zack] teach him how to fight properly; and you [pointing at Tifa] teach him how to live with who he is now; and you [pointing at Cloud] learn how to smack either of these two around the head with something hefty should the occasion require; and all of you get the hells out of my office!"
Assorted Gods Know What
FF7-verse (Shinra corporate edition) "Mikado"
As some of you may know, I share my headspace with various characters I'm writing about. This means they occasionally get curious and rummage about in my memory, and it appears the FFVII crew have been talking with the POTC mob, and have discovered the Gilbert & Sullivan archive in my memory. As the POTC bunch did before them, they fell in love with a particular operetta.
I now present the casting for the FFVII (Shinracorp) version of "The Mikado"
Nanki-Poo - Zack Fair
Ko-Ko - Rufus Shinra
Pooh-Bah - Tseng
Pish-Tush - Lazard
Yum-Yum - Aerith Gast-Gainsborough
Peep-Bo - Tifa Lockhart/Elena (alternating performance dates)
Pitti-Sing - Yuffie Kisaragi
Katisha - Scarlet
The Mikado - General Sephiroth
The Mikado's Bodyguards: Reno and Rude
Chorus leader (male): Cloud Strife
Chorus leader (female): Tifa Lockhart/Elena (alternating performance dates)
A male chorus of SOLDIERs, troopers, corporate toadies and Turks
A female chorus of secretaries, corporate toadies, Turks, and schoolgirls
Some of the things which have come out of this:
* Reno wanted the role of Pooh-Bah, but was disqualified as his voice isn't deep enough, Pooh-Bah being a bass-baritone role. Having himself and Rude as the Mikado's bodyguards is offered by way of compensation. (It also means he isn't part of the chorus in the first act, which the director - me - counts as a mercy...)
* Zack actually wanted Cloud to play Nanki-Poo, but Cloud pointed out he'd lose the role on two counts: first, his voice is more baritone than tenor; and second, he can't act to save his soul.
* Rufus has decided to present "I've Got A Little List" accompanied by a Power-Point style presentation. He's busy providing candidates for various list members. Palmer and Heidegger get mentioned in the first verse. ("Flabby hands" and "irritating laughs" respectively).
* Sephiroth has been considering "My Object All Sublime" as an inspiration. The SOLDIER corps are betting on how long it's going to be before Zack winds up on some rather ornate and convoluted punishment detail.
* Tseng as Pooh-Bah and Rufus as Ko-Ko is turning out to be a rather intriguing deadpan dry-humour double act.
WRO Staff Manual
The End Of The World As We Know It
While we realise the end of the world may indeed be nigh, WRO personnel are still expected to turn up for work as usual in the event of said disaster. We are called the World Reconstruction Organisation for a reason. If we start using The End Of The World As We Know It as an excuse to slack off, we'll never get anything done.
In the event of the world ending, please ascertain the reason for the End Of The World As We Know It (this time). Then contact one of the following people:
|Jenova Reunion||Cloud Strife (reachable through the number for the Strife delivery service ).|
|Omega Summons||Vincent Valentine|
|Unexpected Explosion (Midgar Region)||Tseng of the Turks (ask whether Reno is due a holiday)|
|Mako Reactor Explosion||Rufus Shinra (via Shinra corporation); Barrett Wallace, Tifa Lockheart (via Seventh Heaven bar and grill)|
|Meteor Impact||See “Jenova Reunion”|
|Total Economic Collapse||Rufus Shinra |
|Other Cause||Commissioner Reeve Tuesti |