We have no control over their actions. We can only control our own.

Levi Savage, “17 Miracles”

There comes a time in life
When we stand in pain
Hurt by the actions of others
Knowing how easy to lash back
Whether it is deserved or not is not known
In the end, it matters not
For each must answer for our own
Not for another

It can take time for someone to learn a new way of thinking, a new way of living. It’s not something easily done or even done just once. It’s a choice that has to be made again and again. Sometimes you’ll find yourself backsliding for the way forward is harder than you thought and you are tired. That doesn’t mean you can’t turn and keep going again. Others might step away from you while you are working on yourself, just as you might step away from your path. There is never any guarantee that they will return to you, and though that might hurt terribly, we have to accept another’s choice. That isn’t easy. None of this is easy. Life isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.


Not Static

Can’t decide to survive
Halting everything in their stride
Only looking through my eyes
Isn’t it draining, all those lies?
Cheerfully unknowing whats inside
Especially when choosing to deride

We all have those moments where we say things because we aren’t thinking and are just reacting. It’s actually something I was talking about with my sister’s youngest. We can both have explosive tempers, but once we’re wound down, we always feel regret for how we have acted.

But just as we chose to speak when we really shouldn’t have, we can also choose to learn how to control that impulse.

We are who we choose to be. Choose. -Hogarth, Iron Giant

One Without the Other

There can be no true despair without hope. –Bane, The Dark Knight Rises

You cannot know
The sweet
Without the bitter
The joy
Without the sorrow
The love
Without the hate
The hope
Without the despair

For without comparison
You cannot
Truly know
What will you do
With what you know?

How can you
Help another
Without knowing
What it is
To be low
To be lost
To be full
Of despair
How can you
Aid another
Mend their hearts
Their minds
Their bodies
Their souls
Save knowing
What it is
To feel it

There is One
Who knows
The feel
Of pain
Of every stripe
He knows how
To heal
To save
To not only
Give hope
But to be

This movie gave me all kinds of quotes that set off ideas.

Jaws of Victory – Serious Snippet

Victory has defeated you. –Bane, from The Dark Knight Rises


Chaos waited until they were sure of their victory, certain that It had been defeated this last and final time.

Biding Its time was something that was very familiar to the Being and It had patience to spare.

Far more than the children that It had created and ensouled had. Precious few could say that in the face of Its greatest creations’ lifespan.

A terrible smile crept across Its face.

It knew where to strike so that the victory of Its worst enemies would taste worse than ashes in their mouths.


You don’t fear death, you welcome it. You’re punishment must be more severe. –Bane, from The Dark Knight Rises


Comet had never feared death; for all that she didn’t quite know just where she’d end up after her demise.

It wasn’t quite…real…to her.

Her own death, that is, not the concept itself.

For someone as long lived as she and her sister, death was something that happened to other people, not to her. Death only touched her heart and mind, it had never laid a single bony finger on her body.

That didn’t mean that she didn’t fear it coming for those that she had come to care about. Maybe that was why she so often interposed herself between one of the few that had taken residence within her heart and what, to them, would have been certain death.

For her it was merely a flesh wound.

“You don’t seem to fear those that attack your comrades,” the current enemy opined even as they danced their deadly dance, “Nor do you fear the hits that you take for them. Why is that, I wonder…”

Her opponent trailed off for a moment before something like understanding flashed in his eyes and a terrible smile grew across his face. “You don’t fear those that attack your comrades unless they actually might hit and it’s strong enough to do lethal damage. You don’t block other attacks only tho-“

Comet didn’t know why she’d let them ramble on like that before ending the battle and the enemy’s life. She didn’t know why she’d done it quite as viciously as she had either.

(And no one would ever convince her otherwise.)

I feel like this was not one of my better ones, but I looked and looked and looked at it while writing and after writing and couldn’t get it to come out any other way at the moment. I’m blaming the migraine that hovers and spikes and then dulls just enough for the story idea to annoy me enough to make me miss the migraine. (It’s that kind of day.)


You merely adopted the shadows. I was born in it, molded by it. –Bane, from The Dark Knight Rises


One thing that Neal could never really understand about Chaos was that it wasn’t something that you could trifle with. You couldn’t use just a little bit of it and then never touch it again.

It wasn’t like a spring of water that you could dip a cup in and taste with only little water getting your face wet.

When you dipped into the Well of Chaotic Essence for anything, it was a full-body dip rather than a bucket or a cup. There was no turning back once it had permeated your skin and it permeated very, very quickly.

But even those that did so, whether by accident, misunderstanding or even purpose, it was very different from the few that had been born in the Essence of the Well itself and climbed out of it.

Star and Comet had come from the Well of Chaos, been created there using the strongest genes that Chaos had been able to obtain at the time and then It had gone one step further.

It tapped into what little of the Galaxy Cauldron that It could through the Well and tied them to something far greater than It.

Star and Comet may shine bright, but they could only do so while surrounded by the darkness that Chaos would enfold them in. They were the only ones that could use the powers that they had been given to harm Chaos due to that tie with the Galaxy Cauldrons. As such, they were far more powerful than Neal could ever hope to be.

Maybe that was why he focused his energies on them one at a time, trying first to get them to embrace the Chaos that had created their souls.

But once again, he had forgotten that you do not Trifle with those things born from the Well of Chaos.

Evil Cannot Cast Out Evil – Serious Snippet

The shadows betray you because they belong to me. –Bane, from The Dark Knight Rises


Chaos often wondered, in Its lonely confinement, just why some of her ‘children’ (those who had turned from her) thought that they could use the abilities they’d gained from her against her. Had not that one Man said that a kingdom divided against itself would fall?

Chaos knew that very well indeed, even as it watched Its ‘children’ use what It had given them against Its remaining children. It smiled as the powers did nothing.

Remember the Most

That might sound boring, but I think that the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most. –Russell, from “Up”


Time passed.

Of course time passed, if was one of the few things that time could actually do.

(And no, she wasn’t going to talk about the Time Guardian. The solitary figure wasn’t Time itself, just its Guardian.)

Anyway, the point was time passed and so did those who were subject to it. Beings who were not Kissed by Chaos broke down faster (well, those that survived and integrated the Kiss of Chaos didn’t break down very fast, but those that didn’t take to it very well…sometimes they broke down more quickly). That wasn’t to say that those not Kissed by Chaos couldn’t live long, they could, their bodies just changed and aged. Those that had a botched Kiss from Chaos aged faster even than them, though.

Either way, everyone was brought low by time eventually, whether it was because their bodies were subject to it or because the heart, no matter whether it was Kissed by Chaos or not, could only take so much.

So that is why she fought so hard to remember the little things, the things that didn’t seem to matter as they were happening, because they were what truly made you who you were.

She remembered her first Queen, Solaris the First when she was still a teenager, interested in boys and trying to find out more about her aunt and uncle.

She remembered when her Queen’s Personal Name had been her only name and was used by everyone and anyone who even knew her in passing.

She laughed softly when she recalled the first time her Queen had taken her to see a movie in 3-D. She’d seen the evolution of movies throughout her entire life, but still hadn’t been prepared for them to jump out of the screen and not be an attack from the Enemy. After all, it’d happened before, plenty of times, while the technology for 3-D movies were still being developed.

Her laugh turned into a gentle chuckle as she remembered the first time she’d appeared out of seemingly thin air, hovering over her young Queen. The shriek had been priceless and the scolding that followed had always underscored the amusement she felt when picturing her Queen’s youthful face trying (and failing) to sound stern and full of discipline.

The young Solaris had eventually gotten the tone right, but not until she’d had her second child, which was another happy memory that she enjoyed.

There were a million and one different memories that she held near and dear to her heart, boring ones and important ones. Grand occasions and little moments that took no longer than it takes to warm up a cup of ramen.

Everything and anything in between this life and the next.

And that was where she would take them, because in the end, that’s all we are, the cumulative memories and experiences that make up our very soul from the day we are born until the day that we die.

Not There

When you look for where I am, I won’t be there. –King Julian, Madagascar 3


The halls were not silent; they could never be when you were in a palace. There were always people around, even during a war. Men and women bustling about their business and the business of the crown, trying to do what they could for the war effort or for their own lives and ambitions. Even in the dead of the night the palace wasn’t quiet as the night shift for both guard and the servants or dignitaries that were working late or through the night on this or that project.

But still there was someone missing.

People had fallen during the war, both out on the battlefront and at home from the attacks that had slipped through and reached the home planets. The loss of people to death or to the Chaos-souled (which was an arguably worse fate, depending on who you asked) did not diminish the sound. In fact, the destruction that had been left in the wake of those who had been lost to the Chaos-souled was still being repaired as well which was only adding to the noise all over the city as well as within the palace halls.

There were many people missing, but there was someone in particular that was missing right now.


Neal was missing.

And they had no idea where he had gone.

The war had been in full swing, or as full swing as any war could be said to be in, when they had noticed that Neal had gone missing. (Technically they were still at war with the Chaos-souled, but there was a very tense armistice in effect at the moment.) His rooms were orderly, or about as orderly as he ever kept them (which wasn’t much) and there was no note, no sign of a struggle or anything to indicate that he hadn’t left of his own free will.

But there was no indication that he hadn’t been blackmailed (though they’d thought that he would have come to them if he was having any kind of problems like that. He’d never seemed to have any kind of problem with others no matter what his past had been.) And so, they worried.

Because no sign of a struggle was not a sign that he had left without some kind of outside force.