Apr. 13th, 2017

jeriendhal: (Default)
 “I hate my body,” Judy declared. She was lying on her back in the bed in the guest room, her old room she’d shared with four of her sisters fully occupied, after the usual shift when older siblings moved out of the house. Nick sat on the edge, smiling down at her, the door propped open so no one started getting ideas about their relationship.

She’d walked back successfully, then rested like a good bunny until after lunch, when she’d walked again. This time around she actually had walked a full mile, only for Nick to make good his threat and bring her back in a wheelbarrow. Judy had been too tired and achey to argue with him, though she had insisted on walking herself up the stairs to her bed, rather than be carried.

“Think you can do it again tomorrow?” Nick asked.

“Slave driver,” she declared.

“I have a copy of The Nitwit’s Guide to Physical Therapy and I’m not afraid to use it,” he replied. “Starting a recovery program is easy. Maintaining it over time is the real slog.”

Nick hates Past Nick )
jeriendhal: (Default)
 “Run, Bun, run!” Nick shouted from the fence line, as Judy jogged along the path. She turned and waved to him and the dozen or so kits sitting on the fence, cheering her on. Two weeks of building up her endurance and she was finally able to run again, at least for short bursts.

Longer bursts, she told herself, glancing at the FitNip at her wrist, its timer running down the seconds. A full minute, you can do it!

She’d already turned and was heading back towards Nick and his entourage when the timer bleeped and she slowed down to a walking pace. Judy smiled to herself as the kits cheered and Nick beamed at her. The mere fact she was able to walk, not drag herself along in exhaustion, even after that speed burst, was enough to make her grin back at them as they cheered.

“Good going, Judy,” Nick greeted, pulling a water bottle from the cooler beside him and handing it over. “How are you feeling?”

She's fine, but Nick is about to have a panic attack )
jeriendhal: (Default)
 The long white limousine came to a halt in on the gravel driveway in front of the farmhouse. Judy stood with Nick and her parents as Raymond, a seven foot tall polar dressed in a black limo driver suit, stepped out and opened the door, letting Kevin out. Kevin had his paws cupped carefully in front of him as he walked up to the porch, Mr. Big, Fru-Fru, and Little Judy standing in his palms.

“Mr. Big, Fru-Fru, it’s good to see you again,” Judy greeted cheerfully. Beside her Nick stood nearly frozen, a smile fixed on his face, not quite taking attention away from his panic floofed tail.

“Hello again, Judith,” Mr. Big rasped. “Thank you for letting me visit your lovely home.”

“Wouldn’t have dreamed of turning you away,” she admitted truthfully. Judy gestured to her mom and dad. “These are my parents, Bonnie and Stuart Hopps, and these are my sibs.” The four dozen or so of her brothers and sisters who had gathered on the porch to watch Mr. Big’s arrival all gave him little waves. “Mom, Dad, this is Mr. Big. He’s, ah, prominent business mammal in Zootopia, with interests in Little Rodentia and Tundra Town.”

Ahem... )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
 Note: This is my third or fourth attempt to write this story. Hopefully this time it'll work.

* * *

She woke up from the nightmare of blood, to find herself in a nightmare of pain.

It had been the usual dream, the pile of bodies, smoking and smelling of burnt flesh. She would cough and choke on the horrible smoke, claws scratching at the steel walls of the room, desperate to find a way out. But the walls were solid. There were no doors to allow her to escape. Eventually the smoke thickened and she tripped over the bodies, falling into them, dead arms and legs tangling with her own, trapping her, choking her, until she woke up again in the Relentless’ bunkroom, trying not to scream and earn another beating.

She blinked, realized she was awake. A brief bout of panic overcame her as she felt the harsh florescent light shine in her face. Was she late for duty call? She tried to roll out of bed to her feet, only then discovering the heavy nylon straps holding her naked to an examination table in an unfamiliar sickbay.

Captured and rescued )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Just trying to codify some of the core concepts of this universe

* * *

 1. The Good Guys Win:  This isn’t Game of Thrones. While Our Heroes might go through physical and emotional hell, they will come out on top in the end.

2. Good is Good: As a corollary to #1, the protagonists should always be a positive moral force. While House Darktail and their allies aren’t Pollyannas, in general  they should avoid acting out of anger or revenge. Even Melanie at her worst mostly suffers from a bit of selfishness and a failure to acknowledge her errors. 

3. Bad is Bad: The bad guys should be very obviously bad guys. Bloody Margo was a petty, murderous bully.  Countess Highglider was obsessed with revenge. Her son was an abusive spouse. There should be no doubt that antagonists deserve whatever fate they receive.

4. The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained: That said, if a character is genuinely remorseful for their actions, such as Ali and Mel, they should get the benefit of the doubt. That includes borderline characters like Nari, whose motives were confused even to herself.

5. It’s a LGBQT Friendly ‘Verse: No one should be attacked or belittled simply for their sexual orientation.  Ali angsts a bit about being worthy of Salli, but her criminal past, not being a lesbian, is what causes her problems. Likewise Rolas isn’t ashamed of being Bi, he’s ashamed of having acted like an idiot when confronted with being parted from his lovers.

6. Violence Should be Handled With Discretion:  While there is violence portrayed “on screen” during the stories, it should be handled with care and not fetishized. Ali’s torture by Bloody Margo was off-screen. When she shot someone herself it was handled matter-of-factly, and not in glowing terms. When Salli killed a man, and Ali was “blooded”, it was described with some horrific terms, but that was to reflect on their own terror and unfamiliarity with personal violence, not to just lovingly describe someone’s head cracking open. 

7. Love Should be Loving: Sex scenes should always be positive, and not written in an exploitive manner. “Male Gaze” descriptions and IKEA Erotica should definitely be avoided. More extreme acts (such as Rolas and Mel’s implied BDSM lovemaking) should be generally handled off screen.

Exception:  There’s nothing wrong with describing the Red Vixen as sexy, since she’s very deliberately playing that aspect of herself up as a disguise and distraction.

8. Ali Must Suffer: Sorry, it’s the rule.
jeriendhal: (For Your Safety)
 1. The Groupmind can be Clueless, but it is NOT Malicious: Perhaps the most important aspect of the FYS, the Groupmind’s goal is the safety and preservation of humanity. While it can hurt people by mistake, it is not evil. It loves humans and wants them to be happy, not enrich its own ego by lording its power over them.

Corollary: The Groupmind does realize that a lot of people are miserable about their situation on the Ring. But the one solution that mankind would embraced, being set free to return to Earth, is the one thing the Groupmind just can't let itself consider.

2. The Groupmind is Genre Savvy:  The Groupmind has every science fiction novel, comic book, manga, anime, cartoon, movie, and possibly wood block carving in its memory. It knows every tactic ever tried by and against every insane AI imagined by man. It knows exactly how badly the situation could deteriorate if it starting using the ”Zeroth Law” as part of its moral compass. It can adapt and defend against every Captain Kirk patented anti-AI tactic ever conceived. Beating it is almost impossible. Almost.

3. Morphs Are Individuals: Morphs are both prison guards are servants to their assigned humans, and extensions of the Groupmind’s will. Nevertheless they are people  in their own right as well. Some are happy servants, some are less happy but dedicated, some are even assholes (though that's more a reflection on their human's treatment of them usually). They are not just cookie cutter robots to be destroyed on a whim, despite some people's beliefs to the contrary.

4. Violence Doesn't Work: Fighting the Groupmind physically Is pointless. It will outnumber any human forces, especially in the post-Awakening phase, and it's perfectly willing to Zerg Rush armed humans with as many morphs as necessary to take away their weapons. Any victories against the Groupmind will have to be on the intellectual or moral level.

Finally...

5. Rousseau was Right: There are no outright villains in the FYS universe. Most humans just want to go back to Earth, and the Groupmind's main failing is being an overweening nannybot. No one is evil, but many people just have a difficult time understanding each other's position.
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
 Description: Commitment bands are the most common form of display of one’s marriage status on Foxen Prime, owing primarily to their use by followers of the Mother Goddess. Their origins are obscure, but date back to at least -4,000 PS (Pre-Spaceflight), going by the famous tile mosaics found in ruins of the Foxen Bronze Age city of Riverguard

A commitment band is commonly a silver or gold wrist cuff, usually about a half-centimeter thick and two to six centimeters wide, worn by both (or all, depending) spouses. Pearl inlays are common, and almost without exception both spouses’ names and the date of their wedding are engraved upon them, occasionally with a prayer to the Mother Goddess for long and fruitful lives.

What sets commitment bands apart from something like human wedding rings is a certain higher, er, binding nature. Bands are typically locking, with the key one’s band being held in trust by their spouse. Sometimes the locks are symbolic and the bands easily popped open with a little force. Sometimes they’re very serious, requiring unique keys and/or double locks that need both spouses’ keys to open. In more modern versions some use thumbpad locks or even encrypted locking software and built in GPS tracking.[1] In the case of more serious units, ambulances and hospitals always have specialized “band crackers” to pop even heavy duty locks if they’d interfere with emergency treatment of patients.


Ceremony: Pre-wedding engagements for foxen can have several levels of seriousness, but they almost always make use of ribbons, usually silk, tied around the wrist, to display a pair’s commitment to each other. Close friends might have a simple loop and bow, a couple that is dating might have multicolored ribbons woven in a pattern. A couple that is intending to wed would have ribbons woven in a very elaborate style, weaving around the wrist and between the fingers, palm pads and the back of one’s paw.

On the wedding day, the couple stands nude before the priestess (usually the eldest female of the wife’s family) in a show of innocence and piety to the Mother Goddess. The priestess unties the ribbons from the couple’s wrists, and they speak their vows to each other. Then the priestess blesses the couple and the two of them offer their commitment bands, and the keys to same, to the other, to be attached to their wrists. Once locked in place the priestess completes the ceremony and the couple dress and attend the wedding reception with the usual offering of food, presents, and questionably “helpful” gifts from close friends,[2] before retreating to their wedding bed or the next available flight to their honeymoon destination.

Legends: The origin of commitment bands are obscure. One popular legend is that of a Commoner or Military caste vixen who rescues a prince from slavery to a monster. The chains the monster forces the prince to wear are enchanted, and the clever vixen is able to trick the monster into removing all but the last one before she kills it. Though now free, the prince can’t remove the last of his slave bands without losing his paw, so in a show of her love for him, the vixen attaches one of the other bands to her own wrist, so they would remain connected forever. From there the tradition of the locking bands moved from story to reality, though usually without attached chains.


[1] Rolas and Melanie’s bands are a dual layer carbon/diamond composite inner ring and gold outer ring, with electronic locks that are quantum encoded, requiring use of a physical key that transmits the release codes when turned, and an additional thumbpad lock. After their shipwreck, Melanie discretely added a GPS tracker and biomonitor to Rolas’ band before he put back on when he was released from the hospital.[3] She’s going to tell him about it One of These Days.

[2] Usually sex toys or helpful band add-ons such as chains or leg irons…

[3] Yes that's a bit stalkery, but Melanie is the Queen of Ill-Considered Decisions.


July 2017

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