Fall To Grace

on February 6, 2011 in Other Tales

Author’s Note:

This is the first of the stories that was promised as a thank-you for the awesome turnout of the Roommate Derby. The regular MU chapter will be going up on Monday as you probably are expecting. Also, please see the first comment below the story for an awesome announcement.


The big house on the hill was a very old and very proud house of stone and timber construction. If it looked a little lopsided, that was only because it was.

It had started its life as a rude fort on a high hill, back when the lords of a land were those who had the immediate and personal ability to hold it through force. As cattle raids and contests of strength had given way to cattle trading and contests of hospitality, a great feast hall had been attached and gradually, more and more comforts of life were added over the generations until the original fort was swallowed up by a sprawling stone manor of very mixed pedigree.

But fortunes may shrink as easily as times may change, and the descendants of the first man who’d lived like a king on top of the hill—albeit as king over not much beyond the hill itself—became subjects themselves to increasingly greater powers, until the current tenant of the stone house became little more than a tax collector for the emperor of the Mother Isles. Technically his title was still a noble one, but when people saluted in his direction it was rarely a gesture to make in front of one’s mother.

Parts of the great manse had been demolished over the ages as the cost of keeping them in good repair became overwhelming, the good stone and stouter timbers carted away to pay debts or help cheaply establish a relative’s homestead. The great feast hall remained, though as a separate structure. A space bigger than most houses divided it from the remains of the house that still served the function of being a house.

The feast hall likewise remained a feast hall, used for occasional public meetings and the almost-weekly country dances, a ritual that in the local parlance had come to be known as going up to the tor, pronounced as one word, up-t’tor. The noble family were never compensated for or consulted on this use of what was technically still their property, though they were expected to keep the hall cleaned and well-maintained. Traditional duties didn’t decline at the same rate as did traditional powers and traditional wealth.

The land the nobles owned had grown as their fortunes had shrank, though the fields and herds were now tended by employees rather than subjects. The lands surrounding the tor were worked with diligence and care. They had to be, as their produce was the main source of income for the landowners, who were required to make up from their own funds for any shortfalls in the region’s taxes and could not hope to get away with missing a tithe to the Mother Temple or abstemious behavior whenever a collection was taken up for a worthy cause or a needy individual.

The Corvir family were not poor by any definition of the word, and they did enjoy quite a bit of privilege, but they were not as wealthy as their neighbors almost hereditarily assumed they must be, and every lean year and mean season brought them as close to precipitous ruin as it did those who worked their lands and those who grudgingly gave up taxes to them.

“Corvir” was a hard name to bear. At the time when surnames had become standard in the region, corvir had been an honored title and respected position. Many petty lords would have killed to be able to style themselves thus, and more than a few had. Now it was second only to carnifex on the list of imperial functionaries who would find themselves unwelcome at most doors, and no lord would tolerate a mere tax collector appropriating a more lofty title. Corvirs were still allowed to style themselves as “the honourable”, but few did, if only because it sounded like a bad joke coming out of anybody else’s mouth.

The honourable Robert Corvir, the current patriarch of the Corvir family and corvir of the realm, was off safekeeping a chest of silver on its way to the imperial coffers the day that the sky exploded and a man fell out of it. His daughter, equally yoked with the name Ardellia had come running out of the stone house headed for the cow pasture when she heard the clamor that preceded the disaster. She had no clue what it portended, only that a noise that could make the honest timbers and ancient stones of her family’s house quake so violently couldn’t possibly be good for calves.

She reached the fields just as the spell-bolstered wooden keel of a great ship burst out through the bottom of the cloud cover, and then it simply burst.

What followed was not precisely a stampede, because a stampede only happens in one direction. Many calves were lost that day, and two cows were also lost in the most literal fashion, and others injured, though few past the point where healing was still preferable to slaughter. Some of her father’s hired men had ranger training, and they were among those who reached the pasture even before she did, otherwise the losses might have been far greater.

Ardellia was a deft hand with a startled animal herself and might have been much help in the effort to calm and recover the cattle, if the naked man hadn’t landed right in front of her. The sight of him robbed her of all impetus. It was not that she’d never seen a nude male figure before. She may have been a corvir’s daughter, but she was also a farm girl, and one with three older brothers, and two younger ones whom she’d been responsible for bathing.

She’d seen dead bodies, too, even from violent death. But the man who came down in the pasture looked so perfect, so whole… so wonderfully intact. There was blood on the side of his face, and quite a bit of it, but other than that and the fact that he was stone dead he could have been the picture of health. Combined with his obvious youth, it made the whole thing seem hopelessly tragic. She realized, seeing him, that the ship would have been full of people, few of whom would leave behind recognizable remains.

Poor boy, she thought. He’ll become a symbol, ‘the face of the tragedy’, as they say on the telly. What his poor mother will think… I should cover him up, maybe wash the blood off. There is an awful lot of blood…

And it was as she approached closer to him, her gaze fixed on his face, that his eyelids flapped open.

“No… heal…” was what he said, before passing out again.


The bed in the guestroom of the Corvir House where Dan Harris found himself when next he regained consciousness was the first proper, free-standing bed with a real mattress that he could ever remember occupying. He’d grown up on airships and been used to sleeping in a barely-cushioned berth or a swinging hammock, the latter being his preference.

He didn’t think much of a mattress, when he realized that was what was underneath him. His first impression upon waking up was that he had landed on his back on top of a cloud, which was somehow just barely managing to support him and was bound to give way at any moment.

Given his experiences, this was perhaps understandable.

“You’re with us again, then,” a young woman said. She was sitting in a high-backed wooden chair that had been brought into the room and set quite close to the bed… startlingly close, given that the sound of her voice was the first thing that clued Dan in to the fact that he wasn’t alone. “Sorry to spook you,” she said. “Though, really, it’s just a bit of turnabout.”

“I imagine so,” Dan said. He was acutely aware of an odd itchy pressure and the shadow of something just above his eye. His hand reached for it, then stopped. “How long have I been out?”

“Only a couple of hours. We sewed and bandaged you up as best as we could,” she said. “They wanted to call for a cleric, but after you said no healing, I didn’t want to take the chance. It weren’t as bad as it looked, under all that blood. Small, but deep.”

“Thank you for that,” Dan said.

“You’re lucky to have come down in farm country, you know. Few folks alive today know how to do that sort of thing, unless they work with animals.”

“We can do quick-and-dirty bandages on the ship,” he said. “Have to. There’s just so much that can go wrong in the heat of the…” His face went blank. “Could do. Did.”

“Some things are bigger than a bandage can cover,” she said. “Some things aren’t.”

“Was there much damage?”

“From the ship? Just a spooked herd, here,” she said. “I don’t know about anywhere else, for certain… there’s bits of freight and things all over the countryside. The blast scattered it pretty far. There’s practically nothing came down around the pasture, except you.”

“I was under the levitator when it blew,” he said. “Sent me straight down… such an awful loss. This is probably the worst air disaster since we started flying the big ships.”

“I thought there have been ones with no survivors,” she said.

“That’s what makes this one worse,” he said.

“You’re not the only one, if that’s what you’re worried about. The news is coming in of other survivors, some big groups scattered all over the countryside. I think most of them had boats, though, or whatever you call them.”

“They would be… we were going pretty fast, and it’s a windy day,” Dan said. “Drift boats… well, they drift.”

“Do you think everyone made it?”

He shook his head.

“I know they didn’t,” he said. “I shoved one particularly pig-headed boy in the direction of the boats not ten seconds before… well, before. I know he didn’t make it.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“So am I.”

“They said on the news that a Dan Harris went below deck just before to try to hold her together long enough to land,” she said. “Is that you, then?”

He nodded.

“They think you’re dead,” she said. “I haven’t notified anyone… I mean, I didn’t know who you were but they don’t know there’s a man came down in my family’s pasture yet. I didn’t want to reveal anything by accident.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’m going to venture a guess, and I don’t want you to take anything personal by it. If I were to go get an alchemical healing unguent out of the stocks and put it on your cut, it’d heal up without a problem, wouldn’t it?”

“Don’t,” Dan said.

“I’m not planning on exposing you,” she said. “Though you might have a hard time explaining your survival, if it’s not generally known…”

“Not generally,” he said. “But it’s not a secret, either. Secrets like that are too fragile to be kept on a ship. They break in transit.”

“So, how about the unguent then?” she said. “We keep it for cows but it’s fit for humans. People.”

“No,” Dan said, shaking his head.

“Maybe you’ve never seen what can happen with a cut that’s not healed, but you could get a nasty infection…”

“I’ll get that cured if it happens,” Dan said.

“It’ll scar.”

“I know,” he said.

“You shouldn’t take it on yourself,” she said. “Other people made it… maybe some thanks to you.”

“And some didn’t, thanks to me.”

“It’s your fault the thing blew?”

“It’s not my fault it started, but it’s my fault I couldn’t stop it.”

“Sure, if you ignore the ‘couldn’t’,” she said.

“I lost my lover up there,” Dan said.

“You’re not talking about the ship, are you?”

He shook his head.

“He wasn’t the love of my life or anything,” Dan said. “He was just a lover, and I wasn’t his only one up there, either. But it’s different, when you’ve been intimate with someone, and then you know… I’ve said goodbye to boys and girls both before, but it’s different. I’ll be crying later, I’m sure of it. It’s not real yet.”

“You don’t have to explain,” she said. “You don’t have to tell me anything.”

“It’s not a secret,” he said. “Like I said, there aren’t many of those on a transocean flier.”

“I understand,” she said.

“The strange thing is, I feel happy,” he said. “Relieved.”

“Why is that strange?”

“He died,” Dan said. “They died, everyone who didn’t make it.”

“But you didn’t,” she said. “You made it. Sure and you must have felt you were a goner when the thing exploded right on top of you. Obviously it could have killed you, so you were right to be afraid. And now you’ve woken up and you’re fine. Who wouldn’t be relieved?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “And I don’t think that’s the only reason I’m happy.”

“If people needed a reason to be happy, the miserable folks of the world would be a lot more miserable,” she said. “You feel what you feel. Don’t fight it. You said yourself the grief will come. You know, I rather like the name Dan.”

“You’re changing the subject.”

“I am, but I mean it,” she said. “I’ve a brother and two cousins called Daniel.”

“Mine’s short for Aidan,” he said.

“That’s a lovely name,” she said. “Who’d turn it into Dan?”

“Sailors,” Dan said.

“I wouldn’t expect it, anyway… not with that accent. You sound tricky.”

“Tricky?”

“Metricky,” she said. “It’s what they call Metropolitans here.”

“‘They’?”

“The people,” she said.

“Aren’t you ‘the people’?” he asked her.

“Not while I’m Robert Corvir’s daughter,” she said.

“You’re the local coves?” Dan said, and she nodded, and he laughed. “I doubt either one of us would be too popular right now.”

“No, you picked a hell of a time to drop in with that accent,” she said.

“I’m not Metropolitan, though,” he said.

“Doesn’t matter if you’re from the City or not,” she said. “You’re still Metric.”

“I’m not, though,” he said. “Not by birth. I’m Magisterian.”

“You didn’t grow up there, though, I’ll bet,” she said.

“No, ma’am,” he said. “But I didn’t grow up in the Isles, either.”

“Where then?”

“Halfway in-between,” he said. “Right in the middle of the ocean. I’m Magisterian by birth, ‘Metric’ by citizenship, and merman by the averages.”

“You didn’t pick up the name Aidan over there?” she asked.

“I didn’t,” he said. “My mother did, or so I’m told. Picked it out of a book, I guess… I’d ask her, but the first time I met her was the last.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” he said. “It’s been a good life, up to a certain point. I think it’s getting to be better again. Tell me your name.”

“Ardellia.”

“Ardellia Corvir,” he said. “You know… that just might be the most tragic thing I’ve heard all day.”

She laughed, then stopped.

“That’s horrible!” she said.

“I know, right?” he said. “Was it assigned as penance? Was there a bet involved?”

“But you’re joking.”

“No, honest truth!” he said. “It’s an awful name.”

“I mean, at a time like this,” she said. “How can you laugh?”

“Don’t know,” he said. He shrugged, then winced as the movement woke up a pain in his joints. “It beats the hell out of the alternatives, though.”

“I suppose,” she said. “Do you need food?”

“Not generally,” he said. “I can think of one thing that would be more tragic than you being named Ardellia Corvir.”

“And what’s that?”

“If you were named Ardellia anything else,” he said.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Can’t you figure it out?”

“I think you’ve lost too much blood,” she said. “Or you hit your head too hard. Or both.”

“You have a beautiful voice,” he said.

“You definitely hit your head too hard,” she said, her cheeks coloring at the compliment.

“You’re the one who told me to feel what I’m feeling… and I’m suddenly feeling that I’m almost entirely certain that I’m naked under this blanket,” Dan realized. “Where’s your father, Ardellia?”

“Away on business,” she said.

“Ah. Right. He would be,” Dan said. “Are you by chance a virgin?”

“That’s not a proper question to ask a lady!”

“You’re one to talk. You’ve been sitting alone in a room beside my naked, helpless body for who knows how long,” Dan said. “I’ve half a mind to call for a chaperone. Please, though. It’s somewhat important.”

“If you must know, then yes, I am,” she said. “Not by chance, though. By design.”

“It’s a pretty standard feature,” he said. “All the latest models have it. But, honourable Ardellia Corvir… if you’re not to be turning me out immediately or very soon, then there are two things I’m simply going to have to ask you for. They might both seem very forward of me, and I’m going to have to lead with the less conventional one, but then, the order of operations here is going to be important.”


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71 Responses to “Fall To Grace”

  1. Hey, folks! Tales of MU has been nominated for a Rose and Bay award, recognizing excellence in crowdfunded art.

    You all did an awesome job with the roommate derby last week, but I’m going to ask you to do a little bit more. Would you please kindly visit this post and participate in the voting? Edit: To cut through the clutter of the voting post and go straight to the poll, click here: http://www.livejournal.com/poll/?id=1675877

    Because of a quirk in how Livejournal handles surveys, the entries are split into two groups, so you may be able to vote for two different projects if your choices are in different “brackets”. A final vote will be held later among the top picks from this one.

    You must be logged in to Livejournal vote in the survey, but if you don’t have a login that works with Livejournal (which I believe includes OpenID, Facebook, and Twitter now) there’s instructions for voting via email.

    Even if you’re not voting for Tales of MU, I want as many people to be aware of and participate in this as the awards are only in their second year and they have the potential to grow into something big.

    Thank you for your support!

    Current score: 0
    • Krista says:

      Congratulations AE for your nomination! I have voted for you, and best of luck!

      Current score: 0
    • moxicity says:

      Voted! Also, Tales of MU is in the lead by a whole lot, right now. Yay!

      Current score: 0
    • Kaila says:

      I have no idea how to vote, livejournal account or no.

      Current score: 0
      • The post is kind of a mess over there. If you click here: http://www.livejournal.com/poll/?id=1675877 and are signed in, you should be able to click on one choice in each of the two groups and then submit it.

        Current score: 0
        • Kaila says:

          Done. I think. Though to be fair, I kinda wanted to vote for Spots too. Started reading it.

          I have been told I read everything including cereal boxes. I certainly spend enough hours in a week reading online serials and the like. It’s not my fault there’s good original fiction on the internet!

          If I’m up to 1am again…

          Current score: 0
          • I think the format they chose is really unfortunate. I would have preferred, since they’re doing run-off voting anyway, that they used check boxes and not limit how many different things each person vote for so long as they only vote once. I mean, the only way someone could grief the system that way would be to vote for everything, and that’s not really actually going to mess anything up, you know?

            Folks, I want to win this, obviously, but if you do read more than one weblit and you have another choice that got put in the same poll as me, please feel free to vote your other pick. I think the winner last year had like 40 votes total.

            Current score: 0
    • Sindyr says:

      Congrats, AE! My husband and I voted. ToMU is kicking ass in the first half of the poll! Yay! And deservedly so–you rock, and the story is awesome. 😀

      Current score: 0
  2. Burnsidhe says:

    Yay!

    Current score: 0
  3. Malarky says:

    I missed the side stories, but I didn’t want to press things while you were getting back on a schedule.

    Great chapter and good luck with the award thing, I already got my vote in. =)

    Current score: 0
  4. Sylvan says:

    Corvirs were still allowed to style themselves as “the honourable”, but few did, if only because anyone it sounded like a bad joke coming out of anybody else’s mouth.

    Everything after the “, but few did,” sounds a little wonky.

    Current score: 0
    • Jane says:

      Drop the “anyone”, and that sentence would be fine.

      Current score: 0
    • Speight says:

      one more typo: “acutely wear of” should have “aware”. (It almost counts as a terrible pun, but while he’s wearing a bandage, it’s got to be the stitches that are itching)

      Current score: 0
  5. Seth Gray says:

    I would love to watch that conversation go down.

    Current score: 0
  6. Riotllama says:

    Oooh! What’s he eat? Virgin’s come?
    “Please Ardelia, jerk off for me!

    Current score: 0
  7. Laurie says:

    So the first time he met his mother was the last. . . Does anyone else think he met Laurel Anne and Mackenzie and had the typical half-demon reaction to a female half-demon? And maybe their mom got in the middle trying to protect Mack?

    When asked about it, Mack always says, “It wasn’t my fault.”

    It certainly wouldn’t have been. So she either partially blocked out the memory (and, really, who could blame her?) or she DOES remember and it was considered more evidence that Granny Blaise was right and half-demons are inherently evil. But she doesn’t remember having a brother. . . hmmm. . .

    Current score: 0
    • Kevin says:

      The phrase “First time I met my mother was also the last” is a way of saying “I was given up at birth and never saw my birth mother again”

      Current score: 3
      • Laurie says:

        . . . Oh. Well then. So much for that theory. . .

        Current score: 0
      • saffy says:

        Ah. My first thought was that she died in childbirth. Your take is rather less tragic 🙂

        Current score: 0
        • Kevin says:

          If his mother died in childbirth (to him) then how would he have a younger sister?

          Current score: 0
  8. Kevin says:

    Considering that both Mack and Aidan need something from virgins I imagine that there is a family tie involved in demonic foods.

    Current score: 1
    • Krista says:

      Perhaps he also required virgin’s blood?

      Current score: 0
      • The Dark Master says:

        FINNALLY! I’ve been waiting so long to find out if Demon feeding needs are related to parentage, this was all I needed to know if there are different kinds or famillies of demons that have similar abilities or spheres.

        I had suspected that Aiden had managed to seduce Ardellia, in the 1-3 seconds he woke up! Plus he has an increadible lebido, just like Mack. This story makes it fairly clear that Mack, her father, and Aiden are demons/half-demons of temptation. Seducers, manipulators, and distroyers of innocense.

        On a somewhat related note, I think the pitchfork was home to the energies of a demon of discord. With all the fighting, desire to be more than you currently where, desire to murder others, and general bad attitude.

        Current score: 1
        • Krista says:

          If you read the other Aidan/Aidan Jr story, you find that they DID indeed marry

          Current score: 0
          • The Dark Master says:

            Yes I know, if you read the same story, she says that she almost married him as soon as she met him. That’s where I got the whole seduced in 1-3 seconds thing. Though this suggests that he may have done it while he was still unconscious.

            Current score: 0
        • Zergonapal says:

          Seems somewhat counterproductive, since you food source isn’t going to stay your food source for long if your very presence encourages it to jump your bones.

          Current score: 0
          • The Dark Master says:

            Or their demonic nature is to make is so that they need to find a new source of food every time, they are demons after all.

            Current score: 1
  9. Kaila says:

    If I end up reading half the fiction nominated on the crowdfunded creativity thing…

    Dammit! I’m already re-reading MU! And I’m already up to 400…again.

    Maybe I read too much?

    Current score: 0
    • Robert Bates says:

      No such thing as reading too much! I wish I had MORE time to read!

      Current score: 2
  10. Chips says:

    Congrats, AE!

    Not only do you have wonderful webcomic, but wonderful readers (looking at the poll)!

    Current score: 0
    • Chips says:

      Meh. Webstories, not comic. Where’s my coffee? *mutters to myself, looking around*

      Current score: 1
  11. Some of you asked for this a long time ago, and I mumbled and shrugged and said I’d look into it. It sounded like more work than it was. Tales of MU is now on Kindle… if I get 10 subscribers today, I’ll do an extra update on Wednesday.

    Current score: 2
    • Kaila says:

      Wonder if I’d be able to make that work with the iPhone reader?

      Current score: 0
      • Apparently the answer seems to be no. I’m going to be looking into whether I can do anything to open it up to more platforms or if that’s just an Amazon restriction, once I’m done with The Gift of the Bad Guy.

        Current score: 1
    • Sindyr says:

      ooh! I wish I’d read this on that day. Ah, well. We will probably still subscribe if we can.

      Current score: 0
  12. Chris says:

    The character tags are missing.

    Current score: 0
  13. Congratulations on the nomination AE! And wonderful OT. This made my morning.

    Current score: 0
  14. Greenwood Goat says:

    Parts of the great manse had been demolished over the ages as the cost of keeping them in good repair *, the good stone and stouter timbers carted away to pay debts or help cheaply establish a relative’s homestead.

    * Something missing here: rose; became insupportable; exceeded their value in use?

    Current score: 0
    • Frelance says:

      Nope, nothing missing. There could be more words or clauses, whole entire paragraphs and essays, but the thought is complete.

      Current score: 0
      • fka_luddite says:

        A case might be nade for deleting the comma.

        Current score: 0
  15. Mouselord says:

    Not available for kindle for android. Definitely will subscribe when it is.

    Current score: 0
  16. Alyxe Barron says:

    Heyla

    Sorry to be a pest but could the tags for “Danny Harris” and “Dell Harris” be added to this one? -sheep- I just spent a half hour looking for the story I could have SWORN I read when the levitator actually exploded but only found “Son of a Creature Man”.

    -r

    Current score: 0
  17. DeNarr says:

    Can someone explain the tragedy of Ardellia’s name?

    Current score: 0
    • bramble says:

      I think it’s just that it’s a really stupid sounding name. And when he says that it would be a greater tragedy if she was “Ardellia anything else,” he’s hitting on her – saying that it would be tragic for him if she was married.

      Current score: 1
    • Elisabeth says:

      I know, I thought it was a pretty name, but maybe it means something?

      Current score: 0
      • drudge says:

        A quick search pulls up “flowering meadow” “desired” “warm” and “zealous”. Names generally take on more than one meaning over time.

        For example, another search with “mackenzie” reveals “fire born”, “good looking”, and “son of the fair one”.

        I believe Mackenzie was reading up on names and how they can literally change a person bodily in the right circumstances early on.

        In which case I find these developments hilarious.

        Current score: 2
  18. bramble says:

    Interesting, that he’s apparently turning down an offer of human food in the middle, there – I’d think that in his place, Mack would be wanting something to eat, just for a semblance of normalcy. I wonder if this means that Dan lives entirely on his demonic diet? Or is he just trying not to be a burden?

    Current score: 0
    • Jinzo says:

      If mack is any indication, he dont need to eat anything but the demonic diet, at all (Mack didnt eat food at all between her coming of age and moving into MU).

      And considering he fell a few miles with no more then a scratch on the head and abit stunned, pretending to be a normal human aint gonna work either (especially with the “no healing” part).

      Current score: 0
      • bramble says:

        Yeah, but Mack enjoys human food – she generally takes it when offered, except when she’s got herself worked into a “there are starving children in [whatever the MUniverse equivalent of Africa is]” mentality and is too ashamed to “waste” food. Even during her first few days at MU, when she was so out of practice with human food that a doughnut had the potential to make her violently sick, she still made the effort, because she liked the taste and liked the way that eating it made her feel more connected to her human side. She also seems to be under the impression, whether or not it’s correct, that maintaining a human diet helps take the edge off her demonic appetite. I think that if she was in a similar situation – injured to some degree and in some mental or emotional distress – Mack would appreciate something to eat, to take her mind off things. She certainly wouldn’t ask for blood before she accepted food, unless maybe she was already on the edge of really needing to feed, and it seems to me that Dan is either no where near that point, or he’s a lot better at keeping cool about it than his sister is.

        Current score: 1
        • drudge says:

          >or he’s a lot better at keeping cool about it than his sister is.

          I don’t recall Mackenzie being all that experienced in “keeping things cool” early on, so I’d hazard a guess that being better than her at it wouldn’t be difficult.

          Current score: 1
        • beappleby says:

          She enjoys human food but it wouldn’t be an urgent requirement when waking up from an injury.

          Current score: 0
          • lunarennui says:

            She also was raised by a batshit raving paladin. Who throws books. That makes ‘Oh, hey, human food!’ something less than an instant need when she wakes up from a severe injury. It makes it a *luxurious* thing when she wakes up from a severe injury.

            Current score: 1
        • lunarennui says:

          Like I just said…Mack was raised by a batshit paladin to *not deserve* human food. And when she woke from passing out and ending up in the healing center, she certainly *appreciated* human food, but she didn’t demand blood. Nor did she demand blood as soon as she was finally released…except, well, okay, she *did*, but there’s that whole pitchfork influence thing…and she’d gone too long without feeding. Dan, unless there’s way past more than we even think we don’t know about him, didn’t learn to starve at pain of bucket of holy water, and so…his thoughts run the same track as his instincts. He never was forced to suffer to retrain his instincts, that we know of. Only ‘Will I get caught?’ has kept him in line–again, as far as we *know*.

          I might be reading more into this than AE intended–and also her pun, if it was one, was awful–but it seems very sad to me that he has to LOVE before he…feeds.

          Current score: 1
  19. Miss Lynx says:

    Always interesting to get a bit more background…

    Voted in the Rose & Bay poll, though I could only vote for Tales of MU, not anything in the second set, because I hadn’t heard of any of the others. But I’ll be looking them up… I figure if they’re popular enough to get nominated for an award of some sort (well, unless their own authors nominated them or something), hopefully I might enjoy some of them.

    Current score: 0
  20. cnic says:

    I am very oblivious and maybe this has been mentioned before but I’ve only noticed this now. As far as I remember all the non-heterosexuals are non-human, at least in part. This sets up homo- and bisexuality as an inhuman thing influenced by any level less than pure humanity. I can’t think of a single full human in MU that isn’t heterosexual. It doesn’t mean much to me as inhuman doesn’t mean inhumane and we really haven’t had a statistically relevant number of humans in the story, but it just struck me as odd.

    Current score: 0
    • nobody says:

      in fairness, i can’t think of any fully human characters who’ve been described in enough detail for their sexuality to be much of a concern in the story.

      (Mike Gregory’s wife, perhaps, who had an encounter with Amaranth. but she’s such a minor character i’m not sure her race has been established; if she has a name i can’t recall it.)

      Current score: 0
      • cnic says:

        Oh thats right I forgot about her, so there goes that. See thats why I always say “as far as I remember”. As far as fully human characters that we have some clue to their sexuality there is Ian, the two boys from his dorm we met, Jamie’s childhood friend, her roomate, Violet, and the paladin in training.

        Current score: 0
    • Laurie says:

      Isn’t the mute girl with all the scars (I can’t remember her name) involved with both Viktor and Steff?

      Current score: 0
      • Gorgonopsid says:

        Maybe she just thinks of Steff as a crossdresser.

        Current score: 0
    • bramble says:

      For that matter, are we counting “trans” in with “non-heterosexual?” It could be argued either way: transpeople are definitely included if we’re talking about LGBT folks (they get their own letter in there, after all), but not all transpeople would necessarily count if we’re just talking about people who are attracted to their own gender.

      If we are counting transpeople, Steff has at least one trans friend (well, probably ex-friend, now) who was human enough to donate blood for Mack to drink.

      And any time that the Prism Pride Coalition is around, like working a table at an event or something… well, Mack doesn’t seem to have noticed that anyone in the group but Steff isn’t full human.

      Current score: 0
    • drudge says:

      I believe thats more a product of the fact that most characters aren’t really human. Neither protagonist we’ve followed is fully human, neither are their significant other’s(with the exception of one each) and a large portion of their associates.

      Current score: 0
    • What race do you think Dan’s lover on the ship was?

      Current score: 1
      • cnic says:

        While I was picturing a gnome (the influence of too many nights of spelljammer most likely), I see your point. Mostly the thought came up when I saw Dan was bi and I did a little mental list of who was straight and who wasn’t and had failed to come up with human that wasn’t.

        Current score: 0
  21. Zathras IX says:

    The House on the Hill
    Sees the Man falling down and
    Young Dan turning ’round

    Current score: 1
    • Kaila says:

      …not sure if that’s funny or Beatles abuse.

      Current score: 0
  22. Fucking. Awesome.

    Current score: 0