It’s freezing outside, and Austin’s building’s front door is like some sort of Nirvana, shining forth into the hardship and dusty toil of a Tuesday night. He’s walked twenty minutes from the library, where he spent six hours fighting with Cicero, until the Latin was swimming in front of his eyes. It takes two or three frustrating tries, numb fingers fumbling his keys, before he gets inside and breathes in warm air.

He makes for the stairs without even looking at the mailbox. Getting home has given him enough energy to jog up the first flight, but it fades pretty fast, and he takes the second at more of a trudge. He checks the time as he sorts through his keys again: eight forty-seven. Crap, he never had dinner, no wonder he feels so…extra-awful. He thinks about food, thinks that he’d maybe rather not.


Ahras Huitwalassis

Mita had just managed to find a seller offering Assyrian cloth when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned, thinking that his father or Kuzari had come to snap at him for taking so long, and saw a big, good-looking, unfamiliar man.

“Excuse me,” said the man in accented Luwian. His voice was deep but quiet, and he’d lifted his hand and stepped back a bit; he wasn’t wearing a sword, just a tentative smile.



by frostfire

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/118609.html)

Reid hadn’t been intending to go out that night; he’d planned to finish up his job, go home, shower off all the dust and bird crap and dirt and other planet-specific detritus (he missed living on a station so fucking bad, sometimes), and sleep the happy sleep of someone that-much-closer to being a shipowner.

But the job had actually–for once–gone really, really fucking well. In and out with no trouble, no guard animals, no guard bots, nothing but a particularly lame electronic alarm system between him and his score. He’d finished two hours early and stepped out of his shower still alert and twitchy, just as the clubs were getting into swing. So he got dressed again, and now he was here–some new place, would probably be gone again next time he walked by, but he liked the anonymity. And the music wasn’t bad; he couldn’t tell the songs apart, but he liked that in dance music; nothing too distracting.

Continue reading “Help” »


Yes, Even Educated Fleas

by frostfire

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/109548.html)

It had been a completely shit day–hit off instead of snooze, coffee on the dress pants, mixed messages, missed deadlines–nothing life-threatening, but totally Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad territory. So Dave was already struggling to finish all the crap he had to do when Reggie-the-boss stuck his head into Dave’s office and said, “Dave, I have to have those design specs in half an hour and R&D aren’t answering their phones, I need you to go down there and physically pry the hard copy from their sticky little fingers, okay?”

Dave carefully did not tell his boss to go fuck himself; instead, he set down the two fistfuls of paper he’d been speed-memorizing and said, “Sure, I can do that.” It came out pretty evenly.

Continue reading “Yes, Even Educated Fleas” »