Ferocious or Fearful? – One-Liner Wednesday

Got a new kitten, met him when I found him trying to sneak into the rabbit pen, bit through my fingernail when I picked him up.


Seriously, though, Locutis bit right through my pointer fingernail and it’s still healing. He’s really cuddly though and just loves to sit on people or curl up with our new puppy.

He’s skin and bones though and eats only a little bit at a time (stomach must be pretty small…) He still likes to go and hang out with the rabbits and they are all bigger and stronger than him, so I’m not too worried. (Seriously, our three-week old kittens weigh more than this little guy.)

image: Locutis (left) and Solaris (right); from martha0stout’s phone

This was a long and ramble-y explanation. Sorry about that. Summer’s been really crazy for me.

Check out the original One-Liner Wednesday.

Holes

“It tears holes in people in different ways.  Holes you can’t fill.  That’s not what you’re trying to do.  You’re not trying to fill it.  You’re trying to help them live with it.”

 

“Star, you need to grieve.”

“I have.”

Solaris shook her head, the earrings on her ears tinkling as the symbols on them making the soft noise, “You haven’t, Star, you really haven’t.”

Star says nothing; the black of her suit doesn’t sparkle the way it used to, the way it’s supposed to as a representation of the night sky.

“Star-“

The young-seeming woman turns and for the first time since Solaris has been crowned the Solar Monarch walks away without so much as a gesture to the woman she’s sworn to protect and obey until the day the Solar Monarch is laid to rest in the ground.

Solaris watches with sorrow-filled eyes as her oldest friend walks away from her.

“Oh, my dear friend, just because she is lost doesn’t mean that your sister won’t ever be found.”

Star doesn’t hear her, she’s too far away, lost in the grief that she won’t let herself feel.

Be My Escape

I’m giving up, I’m giving up slowly

I’m blending in so you won’t even know me

Apart from this whole world that shares my fate.

The assassins struck with an intensity that wasn’t in the least bit surprising. They were only in the middle of a War that spread across the Galaxy and not even just the known portions. No, this was a galaxy-wide war that was devastating on all fronts even as the Enemy was being taken down. They took just as many of the other side’s people (soldiers and civilians) with them. They wouldn’t fall without some insurance that the other side regretted each and every death. They were malicious in their dying laughter, taking joy in knowing that each victory came at too high a price.

Their message was received loud and clear.

You may defeat us, but you will hate every moment of your victory just as you would your defeat.

So when the assassins came for the Royal Children, it wasn’t a surprise. Comet didn’t even blink as she went from playing with the children to keeping them behind a Barrier while she battled five assassins.

She dived and a sword of ice so hot it burned arched up from her palm, impaling the first assassin, the closest to her. It (for she did not take the time to decide upon whether it was male or female for any of those who were about to be neither and only dead) screeched as it fell, clawing at the weapon embedded within its abdomen and burning its hands in the process.

The second and fourth both attacked her from the sides, weapons dripping with poison stinging through her Battle Cloth Armor and drawing blood in strange little spurts. They regretted their actions as her blood burned them wherever it hit while they continued to hack away at her sides, distracting her from the third assassin who had tried sneaking up behind her while she was occupied with the others. The fifth was already hacking away with anything in its own repertoire at the Barrier that Comet placed around the children. It was mostly opaque so that the children would not see what was happening, though they know the basics of the fight either way.

She would not leave them blind to the danger, but would try to soften the blow of it by withholding the goriest of the details.

The fifth would still be standing even as Comet tried to bring down the second and the third. The fourth was down, but it wasn’t dead. She’d iced it over just enough so that it would live, but not be a problem.

This one last bullet you mention

Is my one last shot at redemption

Because I know to live you must give your life away.

She’d already signaled for aid and it would be there soon.

Soon enough for the children to be rescued without more than a horrible fright, but not soon enough for Comet.

She’d known that this would likely happen one day. It was a fact of life, one that she’d felt long before the children had even existed and only solidified when the War had continued to progress and she’d been separated from her sister.

“You are the best at defense, Comet,” her Queen, her Commander, had said. “I don’t doubt that you can be just as devastating with your attacks as your sister, but you have always been the best at an offensive defense while she excels at destruction.”

At that point in the conversation, the Queen had shot an amused look at Star, who’d managed to keep a straight face throughout the briefing on just why the greatest fighting duo was being split up as the War escalated when they’d always worked best when by each other’s side. (That kind of ability was born of having lived in one another’s mind throughout the majority of the world’s ages.) Star did not comment though lines appeared lightly around her eyes as she kept her face blank.

The Queen quickly returned her attention to her second oldest and dearest friend, “We’re sending out more of the Guard along with the Guardians than before and I want to ensure that the children are all kept safe, not just my own. I need someone who I don’t just trust, but know will be capable to take up the duties their leaving behind and guard the children being kept in the palace. You’re one of two that comes straight to my mind and I have the Illusion Master guarding the other group of children being left here.”

Comet had saluted at the same time as Star. They’d accepted that they would be separated during the War, but not like this. Surely they would have been separated, but still both out there fighting, not one of them left behind to defend those that could not do so themselves.

On a later thought, they’d both agreed that they should have seen this coming. Even without one another both sisters were a force to be reckoned with.

And a reckoning had come.

The assassins didn’t know what hit them when they decided to attack those under her care. She did know what hit her when she felt a familiar grip upon her mind.

They had brought a Mind Jewel.

I am a hostage

To my own humanity

Self-detained and forced to live in this mess of me.

It was the third assassin that had brought the Mind Jewel, an artifact that could ensnare the mind of a person no matter the species. It was possible to throw it off without damage should you either have a mind strong enough to do so or an emotional attachment to something, anything, just as strong as the Jewel. Will wasn’t always centered in the mind it was just as often centered in the heart.

But that was what it did to people.

Comet both was and was not a person, just as Star was both a person and yet not a person. It came with being created the way they had been and still sharing a Soul Crystal. To them a Mind Jewel was far more dangerous.

Their wills, both separate and combined, were stronger than a Mind Jewel whether they were using the part of their will that came from the mind or from the heart, but the Jewel would still cling and tear as it was dislodged from them.

Comet had experienced such a thing before and though it had taken near everything Star and Comet together combined with other Guardians and even their Queen, there were still scars in her mind.

Scars that the Jewel snagged and ripped right open. It wasn’t even that the scars themselves would never heal properly; it was the way it was done. They twisted in a completely different manner than the existing scars so that the old scar tissue in the mind would twist and turn around the new scar tissue in just such a way that made it all but impossible to safely remove.

And all I’m asking is for you to do

What you can with me

But I can’t ask you to give what you already gave.

The last time this had happened, Star had carefully removed a part of her own will, her own part of their joined Soul, and used it to patch up and encourage the regrowth of Comet’s will, her part of their joined Soul. They wouldn’t be able to do that this time. The last time it had been chancy and risked driving Star just as mad as Comet had been. Something that would have only continued to build upon the both of them as the problem compounded with interest. It was a once in a lifetime (their lifetime, not the regular person’s) fix that could never be used again.

It had taken them almost a century to find the last fix-it for Comet.

I’ve been locked inside that house

And while you hold the key

I’ve been dying to get out and it might be the death of me.

Comet screamed and scratched, lashing out at everything around her. It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the nine inch long claws of ice so solid it might as well have been made of bedrock attached to each of her fingers. The room was shredded, even the walls and it was only because of the material underneath the walls that kept the petite figure still in that room.

Solaris watched from another room, a screen set up to monitor Comet at all times running with little bits of information around the edges giving out the medical stats as well as the video in the middle. The audio had been muted already, no one able to handle the inhuman sounds coming from the red-head’s throat.

This week was a bad one. It wasn’t good days and bad days as it had been the first time Comet’s mind had been broken. The connection between Comet and Star back then had been younger, stronger, less patchwork and Star had been able to mostly balance out the insanity clawing away at her sister by simply being alive and in the same solar system. (Not that Star had left the solar system during those decades when her sister was broken. She hadn’t been needed beyond yet and so had been grateful to not leave her sister behind.) This time was different.

Star wasn’t even in the same spiral arm of the galaxy as Comet.

The parts where the two sisters still brushed up against each other in their joined Soul Crystal were scarred over and twisted, numbing the connection just enough to stop Comet from bleeding over, but also keeping Star from acting as a calm influence even when she was physically standing right next to her other half.

They were lucky if Comet had a good hour when her mind wasn’t trying to break through to the other side of her Soul. Her mind knew, somewhere, that what it needed was just on the other side of the scar tissue, but it couldn’t get to it. It couldn’t reach Star and even during the first time Comet’s mind had been broken that had never happened.

And even though there’s no way of knowing

Where to go, promise I’m going

Because I’ve gotta get out of here.

There was nothing that Star could do.

Others around her whispered that it would be a mercy to-

My sister isn’t some rabid beast that needs to be put down! She would rage in the quiet confines of her heart or to her Queen who, out of all of them, understood.

You couldn’t just kill a Guardian, even those who were the weakest of the Corp were much more resistant to damage and death than others. You couldn’t cleanse or destroy Comet or Star the same way you could other chaos-souled. It was the way they were created.

Stolen genetic material from some of the strongest and most powerful bloodlines on Earth mixed with the very essence of newly born stars and comets at their most basic level with that little bit of Chaos mixed in just right. (This was a horribly simplified way to explain how they were created, but it was what most people had to work with.)

Their Queen, once she had worked out one of the things that made Star and Comet, well, them had commented that, “You should both survive in some capacity so long as a star burns or comet soars through the cosmos.”

So allowing Comet to just, well, die, wasn’t possible. No matter how much of a danger she was to others.

What had once been one of the biggest strengths to the Guardians was now heavier than any milestone on any planet.

And I’m begging you

I’m begging you

I’m begging you to be my escape.


The song lyrics are from Be My Escape by RelientK.

Yes, I am a horrible, horrible person for doing this to someone, and not only once, but twice, apparently.

Peaceful Death

Death has to be peaceful after you fight for so long to stay alive. –unknown

Solaris didn’t die in a fire. Being as close to a physical representation of the star that gave the Earth its light would make it difficult to die that way even if she was still, somehow, human.

(How was she still human after several hundred, possibly even a thousand, years of being alive and helping to rule an entire solar system and being part of a very strange monarch/democratic galaxy?)

She didn’t die from wounds inflicted from the battle field.

(And she had seen far more battles than most queens had throughout the history of the Earth, though not put together. She wasn’t quite that old.)

She didn’t die from a broken heart or a shock to the system.

(Her heart had been broken enough times to kill anyone, but she had learned at a young age that allowing such a thing to decide what you were going to do with your life didn’t help anyone.)

Solaris didn’t die of anything that many people would think that a quasi-immortal being who’d helped to rule a vast empire that spanned further than the stars seen on a clear, cold night in the middle of the unoccupied desert on Earth who’d faced numerous wars and invasions of her planet, her solar system and even her entire galaxy. No, she died of something as simple as old age.

Granted that few people ever lived as long as she had who were born during her life time, though there were those who, like her, lived a lot longer than most from her teen years and early adulthood would ever have been able to conceive.

She died happy and peacefully whilst in her own bed, surrounded by her many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great great grandchildren. Her friends and family there as she slipped away between one breath and the next, a smile on her lips and a twinkle still shining in her eyes.

Realization

One of the stupidest things she’d ever done was taking too long to realize how he’d felt about her. It wasn’t the stupidest because, honestly? There was a really long list of things that could and did qualify for that, but picking out of the many options was impossible.

But that wasn’t the point.

She was an idiot and she had hurt someone who was dear to her in an immeasurable way and she didn’t know what to do to fix it.

If it could even be fixed in the first place. That was how badly she had screwed up, because she didn’t even know if anything could be done.


Little snippets seem to be the order for this universe at the moment. Just so as not to be confusing, this isn’t about Star or Comet like it usually is, this is a little snippet from Solaris’s POV before she becomes queen. Waaaaay before she becomes queen.

Wretched Ecstasy

How do you continue to work when the one you love is forever out of your reach?

It was a normal day. The sun was up, the sky was clear of cloud cover, though there was supposed to be a shower later in the afternoon, but one of those happy, sun-filled showers that always rejuvenated a person rather than bring them into the blues. Nothing of particular importance was happening that day, but neither was it a day full of boring events.

But it was another day of torture for all its simple beauty by simple virtue of the fact that today of all days it was his turn as guard. He loved his queen, always had and, likely always would. It wasn’t something that was truly surprising to anyone who really knew him. It was just a fact of life. The sky is blue. The sun brings warmth to the land in the day while the night cools it off just enough. The Illusion Master was in love with the Sol Queen. The grass was green in the summer and covered in snow in the winter.

Just another fact of life that was always there now and would always be there in the future.

His fellow Guards knew and the King knew as well. Even those who guarded the Moon Queen knew, though they didn’t gossip about it. (Well, all right, a few of them gossiped about it amongst themselves but only with those who were Guards the same as he. Even though they were for different Phases of the Day there was too much respect for it to be anything malicious.)

The Illusion Master (his name long gone from years of service and devotion to his Queen) did not know if his queen knew of his feelings. It wouldn’t have mattered had she known for she was a gentle soul, much like her counterpart the Moon Queen, though she was far more fierce in battle.

After all, the sun gave its gentle warmth to the Earth to nurture it, but it could just as easily have a sudden flare that scorched that same glowing orb below.


This character is new (I think) to my blog, but he’s been in this story’s universe almost as long as Comet and Star.

Journey’s End, One Can Only Hope – Traces Prompt #10

Solaris looked out over her people. They were happy and thriving, the pains and losses of the war finally starting to be forgotten. It had been a long road for her to walk, for her to watch her people walk, but they were finally starting down a new part of the path.

She did not turn her head to her faithful Guardian who remained standing at her side, rigid, her eyes scanning the room for any threat, perceived or otherwise.

Solaris held in a sigh. Star still had a long way to go to find peace.

If she ever did.

Solaris would not give up hope that such a thing was possible for her oldest friend. If she gave up hope then it would be certain that Star would never find her own inner peace.

Star was annoying like that lately. If it was something that Solaris had given up on then Star would not fight quite so hard for it. It was like the woman had given up on anything that wasn’t already hoped for by someone she deemed worthy of making such decisions.

Unfortunately, Solaris was on top of the Decision Pedestal for the Guardian and the queen couldn’t think of anything that would remove her from this position.

Well, she’d just have to think of something to fix this problem.


Inspired (late, I know) by last week’s Traces Prompt from Olianna.