15 comments

  1. Thanks so much to the commissioner of this piece, who wanted to see a little fluff between Tabbris and Lincoln. That was fun, and I hope you guys enjoyed it. Come back on Friday for more action as Flick and the others work to survive Manakel’s hospital of violence!

    Tags for this chapter are: I Feel Like I Need An Insulin Shot Or Something Right Now, Lincoln Chambers, Sariel, Tabbris, The Idea That Lincoln Used To Work At A Carnival Makes Me Wonder How Many Alters He’s Known Without KNOWING., Wyatt Rendell

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Do you think our house is the only one where the same movie played over and over again? At least we have an actual excuse for it. And besides, it’s not like it was a bad movie. You could’ve had much worse taste.”

    Technically it’s the same excuse every other house had: a little kid loved it.

    I look forward to Tabbris popping out with her face still painted.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Fair point, yes. The idea was that the ‘actual excuse’ was that there was a scared and lost little girl who used it as one of her only means of comfort. But you have a point.

      Like

  3. Cross posting from SB

    >Kneeling in front of the chair that Tabbris was sitting on, Lincoln pulled back a little to point the brush at her. “It tickles, huh? So even the mighty and invincible Seosten overlords are ticklish.”

    >Seeing the way that the girl’s face fell a little at that, Lincoln put his free hand out to touch her unpainted cheek. “Hey, I’m kidding.” His voice was gentle. “Yes, your people have done some bad things. But they’ve also produced some pretty damn cool people too. And believe me, if every species was judged and condemned by the worst of its actions, there’d hardly be anyone left in the universe. Which, I’m told, is a pretty busy place.”

    I can get Lincoln’s point here – at the same time its still about 80-90% of Seosten are currently actively involved in inter galactic slavery, conquering or the logistics behind the scenes for it, experimentation and I’m sure I’m forgetting something. That’s the reality of the required military service with a conquering space empire. If you’re born into the system you will be part of its atrocities unless you get very lucky.

    And if you go to Seosten currently alive that have been involved in the past that number jumps fairly close to a hundred percent.

    And there’s also a difference between being judged only by the worst of its actions and the large large majority being very damn terrible for the universe at large.

    On one hand the Seosten have been a major counterforce against the Fomorians. On the other – there only slightly less bad and are looking to have been the source of the problem in the first place depending on how involved Cronus was. And Crossroads and the Garden. Who produce a lot of basically super powered serial killers that get stronger with every kill.

    >As the girl tentatively looked up at him once more, the man went on. “The point is, it’s okay to poke a little fun at them without always condemning everything. It doesn’t mean that you forget every bad thing they’ve done. It doesn’t mean that you forget their problems. It means that you aren’t letting them win. Smiling, making jokes in the face of terrible things, it’s all part of…” He paused then. “Well, I was going to say that it’s part of being human. But I suppose it’s a lot bigger than that.”

    This however comes across cleanly. Much easier to not be afraid of something if you’re willing to laugh at it.

    >Tabbris gave him a hesitant smile at that, mouth quivering just a little. “So, making jokes about it doesn’t mean that I forgot that it’s really serious and bad?“

    >The man’s head shook at that. “Oh, kid. No. No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Sometimes the only way to really understand and process just how bad something might be is to make jokes about it. Pointing out the absurdities of things by taking them to their exaggerated conclusion, that’s just one way of exposing things that are bad. Some take that as dismissing the seriousness of it, but believe me, it’s not. For so many people, joking about bad things is how they process it. Now hold still, I want to finish up here, so I can have my turn.”

    I’d say that Tabbris has graduated to being one of the most psychologically aware Seosten with her learning of the need for humour but she already was so let’s chalk this up to not resting on one’s laurels.

    >Tabbris gasped out loud, staring at the mirror in wonder. A fox. Her face had been painted to look like a fox. It was amazing. She had a little black nose, red-brown face with little tufts of white that almost looked like it had actual fur, and whiskers. Lincoln had even painted appropriate ears onto her forehead.

    >“I’m a fox!” The young girl blurted with delight. Her eyes lit up, a bright smile stretching across that painted face as she turned her head this way and that, then scrunched up her nose and giggled at the image in the mirror.

    >It made Lincoln’s heart melt, and his smile matched hers. “See,” he put in with a voice that cracked slightly, “all those summers spent doing this at the carnival really paid off.”

    And this is just adorable. Never mind Lincoln letting her paint his face. Also his point that it was okay that she had the Robin Hood Cartoon on all the time.

    >“Think you’ll be able to get any sleep soon, kid?”

    Eyes widening guiltily at that, the girl quickly blurted, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to keep you up. You can go to bed. I-I can’t sleep. But, but I can do other things. You don’t have to stay up with me. Really, I’m okay by myself. You can go to bed.”

    Letting her down, Lincoln put a finger to his lips. “Hush now,” he told her. “None of that. I’m up because I want to be up. Well, more because I can’t sleep either. If I was ready for bed, believe me, I’d tell you. I’m not going to try to keep up with some magically enhanced superfox.”

    Well of course Tabbris would be up to staying up alone. She’s used to being up at night and being constantly on watch.

    Lincoln however is going very strong with his attempt at demilitarization, with Tabbris. (Though ultimately not successful)

    >It made her laugh, and he smiled to hear it before continuing. “You listen to me. I’m just glad that you had something to help you when you were scared. But from now on, I want you to come to your mother, to Flick, or to me when you’re scared. You hear me? You talk to somebody. We’ll be there for you, no matter what. You just tell us what’s wrong. You’re not alone. Not anymore.“

    Tabbris needed to hear that. Especially since she was flying solo for so long.

    >For a moment, the girl said nothing. Instead, she took a breath and then stepped up to embrace him. Her arms wrapped around Lincoln tightly, and she whispered in a voice that shook noticeably, “D-Dad, I’m scared for Avalon.

    Lincoln returned the embrace, holding the girl just as tightly as she was holding onto him. He wanted to tell her that everything would be okay. She was a kid. She deserved to be told that nothing bad would happen. She deserved to believe that, deserved to be innocent for a little while. Instead, she probably had a better idea of everything bad that could be happening to Avalon than he did.

    She took you up on it Lincoln. And yeah Tabbris probably does have a better idea.

    And yes – Tabbris has not been unaware of the realities of the world since… well since she was aware that the Momma she talked to in her head was only a copy in her head.

    >“Yeah…” After that single, softly murmured word, Tabbris looked back up to him, still holding on tightly. “Do you think Flick’ll be okay tonight?”

    >Lincoln grimaced despite himself. “Well,” he replied, “she’s sleeping in a hospital, so at least if she still manages to find trouble, they’ve already cut out the middleman for her getting help.”

    Well now we know who jinxed Flick. But really this hurts. But I like it because it really helps sink in the sheer danger of the Seosten. The one thing that probably muted the impact of the Seosten being terrifying is that the audience hasn’t ever had an area that we thought was safe that stayed safe for the entirety of the first two arcs there.

    We’ve also never been surprised by a sudden betrayal because we knew that someone was the Isaac and we were told in advance about Columbus.

    But that’s the horror of the Seosten, they are the nigh undetectable spies. You don’t know you are at war with them until it’s too late. That you need to watch out for a body hijacker until your coworker, friend, brother, spouse or you are hijacked.

    >For a few long seconds, the two stood like that, imagining all the different trouble that Flick could, and probably would, eventually get herself into. Or, more accurately, the trouble that would break down the door to find her.

    This time she found the trouble first – but trouble breaking down doors to find her, well yeah that does seem to be the plan for the rest of the night. At least until the trouble’s trouble breaks that barrier.

    >She was going to climb this tree with no extra help, no magic, no boosting, nothing else. Just her. And her father, watching.

    >Lincoln stood nearby, offering advice, but mostly watching patiently while Tabbris slowly made my way up the tree. She had to start again after slipping partway once, but he was there to catch her. And she didn’t give up. Bit by bit, the girl climbed the tree without any other assistance. She climbed up the highest branch that could be reached, and laid across it while staring down at him with bright eyes, face still covered with the fox paint. “I made it! I made it by myself! I climbed a tree!” From the joy and pride in her voice, the tree might as well have been Everest.

    It’s the little things it really is.

    >“Yes,” a woman’s voice spoke with pride beyond measure as Sariel stepped into view while gazing up at her daughter. “Yes, you did.” Her simple, yet undeniable joy at watching her child perched at the top of a tree that she had clambered up herself was written across the woman’s face.

    Tabbris is older than the Moon Twins were when the family was scattered.

    I am also a little concerned that Sariel might have been hiding. She outright says she was watching but had to step into view.

    >“Mama!” Beaming infectiously, Tabbris waved. “Hi, Mama! I thought you were asleep!”

    >For only a fraction of a second, the barest shadow or flicker of dark memories went through the woman’s eyes before she smiled. “And miss seeing my girl climb a tree? Hardly.”

    So a parallel here is that both Lincoln and Sariel weren’t sleeping so that that could be with Tabbris. However the note of dark memories makes me think it’s a little more than that on Sariel’s end.

    >Glancing to the woman, Lincoln remarked, “I’d ask if we woke you up, but I’m pretty sure that’s impossible around here.” With a chuckle, the man added, “It’s something I used to worry about, making too much noise in the middle of a quiet, peaceful place like this. Especially in the middle the night. But, turns out all the cabins are magically soundproofed. Aside from setting off one of the alarms, you could stand on the front porch of one of the cabins, scream at the top of your lungs, and the people inside wouldn’t hear a peep.”

    >Sariel gave a slight nod. “With all the different species around here, everyone is likely on a slightly different circadian clock. Some would be more active at night, so soundproofing would be fairly standard.”

    >It was actually the opening Lincoln had been looking for when he’d made that statement, and he had just opened his mouth to ask her what she knew about some of the particular people here when a sudden noise nearby caught all of their attention.

    This is interesting as Lincoln can just ask the individuals directly about themselves as I understand , so the focus is what Sariel knows. And as he was deliberately trying to lead up to that, he does not trust his chances if he straight up asks her. Why does he want to know?

    >It was Wyatt. The lanky man came stumbling out of the woods, eyes even more wild than usual. “Flick!” he blurted, his words coming between deep breaths. “Danger, trouble, bad, bad, stuck.”

    >While the other two reacted in loud confusion, it was Sariel who took the man by the shoulders and managed to get him to calm down for a second so he could speak.

    My first time reading this my thought was that’s this was Sariel’s experience as a soldier showing through or her slipping into that mindset. My second time though – she entered the scene with l that mindset didn’t she? Due to never leaving it.

    We saw that when it was only when her children got her attention she came out of immediate battle mode. She had to be herded towards food as she was heading straight to the other prisoners otherwise. And once there she was defaulting to assuming the others were looking for soldiers and gave her assessment of battle readiness.

    >“Hospital,” Lincoln muttered with a dark look. “That was supposed to be safe. You have to get in there. You have to get in that hospital.” His voice rose with each word.

    You’re really not going to like that the hospital was basically a Seosten facility Lincoln.

    >Wyatt’s head bobbed with rapid agreement. “We’re working on it,” he insisted. Then the man’s eyes flashed toward Sariel. “The headmistress would like your assistance with breaking through the shield that they put up. She said that you have permission to jump straight to her.”

    >But the woman’s eyes weren’t on him. Instead, she was looking up at her daughter in the tree. Her voice was quick as she raised a hand. “Tabbris, wait.”

    Sariel is fully aware that Tabbris is a nine year old child soldier isn’t she? And how the world changes set Ruthers onto the Atherby Twins, mission to infiltrate Gaia’s inner circle – and now one of said twins relating message of permission to recall to Gaia to help rescue her daughter and Joselyn’s youngest from your former loyalties.

    >Wincing, Sariel shook her head. “It will be okay,” she tried to assure the girl. “We’re going to go in and get her. We’re going to go in and get all of them.”

    >Finally, the young girl looked down at her mother. Her voice was soft, yet determined. “I know you will. I know you’ll come find us.”

    Tabbris you really should recall that your mother has not been having the best luck when it comes to saving/protecting people in the last decade up until when you and your siblings broke her out. And even then that would have gone horribly wrong if Gaia and company had not beaten Ruthers to the site.

    >“It’s seen you!” Sariel caught hold of her husband’s arm, trying to brace him. “It’s seen you, so it won’t stop trying to take you! It’s taking you through the portal, and it’s broken so it could take you anywhere! Any world, any of them! Hold on, just hold on! I’ll think of something. I’ll think of–”

    It was too late, however. With a great rush of power and a cry from both man and wife, Haiden was yanked out of Sariel’s grasp. His body was flung through one of the nearby glass-like shards.

    Her actions to find Joselyn brought Puriel down on the Moon’s heads and separated the family for a decade. While her actions with Joselyn turned out to be for nothing.

    >In the end, Sariel exposed herself. Before the creature could taunt Sarah into revealing herself from wherever she had hidden her, the Seosten stepped into view. “Larissa,” she murmured, face ashen. “I am so sorry.”

    >“You should be,” the Fomorian snarled. “I’m going to have so much fun playing with all three of you. And it’s all your fault. You left your stink on the Heretic. I knew you’d show up again.”

    >Slowly, Sariel straightened. “That’s not the only thing I’m sorry about,” she announced quietly. Her eyes locked with Larissa’s. “I can’t think of any other way to stop him. I’m sorry.”

    Then her escape attempt failed, nearly got Larissa killed twice (which makes it three times that Larissa nearly died with Sariel), ended up with her enslaved and tortured for several years, cost the Masons their mother, traumatized Scout… And again it’s due to her. And the major goals of finding the Moon Twins and escaping went utterly unfulfilled.

    (The Moons mostly had the relief of being able to act to find each other to make progress. Sariel was the one that got them into that situation especially given she was going behind Haiden’s back and could do nothing.)

    And there’s that repeating idea, of Sariel not being able to think of a way out. First time was in part due to lack of time, though I honestly doubt that there was anything to do. Second time, she had time. Scout got traumatized due to hearing either the Fomorian mimick Larissa and use her voice/screams to get her to come out. Sariel had a lot of time to think and she still could only come up with her canon plan. Which only succeeds in that no one they liked ending up dying.

    And Larissa only ended up not taken to the war front and being possessed with Tabbris’s location/reason for Flick’s immunity being revealed due to sheer luck of Seosten memory propagating a memory spell unintentionally and not causing damage. 99/100 a mind spell copying accidentally would be a very bad thing.

    Literally the only good thing that came directly from getting Larissa’s help was Tabbris getting away. Everything else was sheer luck and everyone else picking up the shattered pieces of their lives the best they could. Since Sariel basically was inactive and was busy surviving and not talking until being rescued.

    >Tears of shame and regret flooded the other girl’s eyes then, and her lower lip quivered a little before she replied weakly, “I’m s-sorry.” Her voice hitched and cracked. “I’m s-so sorry. You were Flick’s daddy and I was scared and I didn’t know where Miss Larissa was and I didn’t know where anyone was and I was just by myself. I was by myself and I didn’t know what to do and you were there and I just wanted to pretend for a little bit. You hugged me and it felt re-really good but I shouldn’t have done it because you were Flick’s daddy not my daddy and I’m sorry.”

    >From the corner of my eye, I saw Sariel start to take a step toward her daughter with her hands out to pull the girl back to her. But Gaia, a look of understanding on her face, put a hand up to gently stop her. She leaned in, whispering something to the other woman. I wasn’t sure what she said, exactly, but it made Sariel hesitate, watching to see what happened next.

    The closest thing to a success was getting Tabbris out and Sariel’s very aware that it caused a lot of harm, fear and distress to Tabbris. Meanwhile Lincoln’s been trying to have Tabbris to have a normal childhood the entire update. She’s not alright.

    Tabbris’s sheer faith in her mother – that would have been a heavy thing without her jumping to Flick. That she went into a dangerous situation depending on her momma to find her and Flick, and to come in time to save them? That’s a lead anchor tied firmly to your back in lead chains.

    >Eyes widening then, Lincoln blurted, “Tabbris, wait, no!”

    >But it was too late. The girl had made up her mind, and a second later she disappeared. She had recalled to Flick and straight into all that danger.

    Lincoln now has a second daughter to be worrying about. Welcome to the nightmare Lincoln. You’re not going to be sleeping at all tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. >The man’s head shook at that. “Oh, kid. No. No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Sometimes the only way to really understand and process just how bad something might be is to make jokes about it. Pointing out the absurdities of things by taking them to their exaggerated conclusion, that’s just one way of exposing things that are bad. Some take that as dismissing the seriousness of it, but believe me, it’s not. For so many people, joking about bad things is how they process it. Now hold still, I want to finish up here, so I can have my turn.”

    When you can only laugh or cry at something, it is better one’s morale/sanity to try to laugh imo.

    >Tabbris gasped out loud, staring at the mirror in wonder. A fox. Her face had been painted to look like a fox. It was amazing. She had a little black nose, red-brown face with little tufts of white that almost looked like it had actual fur, and whiskers. Lincoln had even painted appropriate ears onto her forehead.
    “I’m a fox!” The young girl blurted with delight.

    Alas, I have been slain by the levels of D’AWWW present in this scene. 😛

    >The words made Tabbris’s eyes widen, and she shook her head back and forth violently. “No! I like your beard. It tickles. You can’t cut it off.”

    Hmm. Note to self: consider getting Tabbris a pet of some kind.

    >Finally, the young girl looked down at her mother. Her voice was soft, yet determined. “I know you will. I know you’ll come find us.”
    Eyes widening then, Lincoln blurted, “Tabbris, wait, no!”
    But it was too late. The girl had made up her mind, and a second later she disappeared. She had recalled to Flick and straight into all that danger.

    *winces* Well, we already knew Tabbris was going to Flick’s metaphorical side, but still…
    Damn you Manakel for ruining a good scene of fluff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was adorable.

    So I guess this won’t be the chapter where Lincoln asks Tabbris if he can be a Heretic of her like I thought it would. Oh well. That’s just a promise of more fluff later (because at this point, I’d be shocked if he chooses anyone else to be bonded to.)

    Of course Wyatt had a spell specifically for Flick seeing Avalon. That’s one of those things we’d put down to him being over prepared if it didn’t work, but here it just shows how well he knows Flick and how much he’s used to the things happening to and around her at this point.

    The worst part is that Tabbris was absolutely right to jump to Flick because FLICK WOULD HAVE DIED otherwise. As much as it makes sense to try to keep the nine-year-old out of danger, they really don’t have that luxury.

    At least Sariel is an integral part of the effort to save her daughter. Lincoln has nothing he can do, and he has to live with the fact that not only his teenaged daughter but also the nine-year-old are MUCH better at dealing with a fight than he is. (Even if she were on her own, Tabbris could still possess people offensively.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. >The worst part is that Tabbris was absolutely right to jump to Flick because FLICK WOULD HAVE DIED otherwise. As much as it makes sense to try to keep the nine-year-old out of danger, they really don’t have that luxury.

      And isn’t the fact that we can term a child not being a child soldier as a luxury a terrible thing?

      >At least Sariel is an integral part of the effort to save her daughter. Lincoln has nothing he can do, and he has to live with the fact that not only his teenaged daughter but also the nine-year-old are MUCH better at dealing with a fight than he is. (Even if she were on her own, Tabbris could still possess people offensively.)

      On the other hand he gets to sleep at night without having to deal with the fact that he helped create the world where this is the state of things.

      This is a Seosten action – Sariel’s able to fight on the other she’s getting all of her mistakes shoved into her face.

      Long term I think Lincoln’s got the better half of the deal. Especially if he does become a Natural Heretic eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tabbris being an actual child is just adorable. ^___^
    Funny thing is: Tabbris with the fox paint is controlling Flick’s theriangelos, which is a fox and named Marian… It’s Fox-Ception! Marian!Tabbris!
    And now I’m thinking about what Avalon’s reaction would be if the first thing she saw after waking up was Tabbris’ painted face…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh god, so many feels. Serious contender with Lincoln’s introduction to Tabbris for dawww.

    Tabbris gasped out loud, staring at the mirror in wonder. A fox. Her face had been painted to look like a fox. It was amazing. She had a little black nose, red-brown face with little tufts of white that almost looked like it had actual fur, and whiskers. Lincoln had even painted appropriate ears onto her forehead.

    “I’m a fox!” The young girl blurted with delight. Her eyes lit up, a bright smile stretching across that painted face as she turned her head this way and that, then scrunched up her nose and giggled at the image in the mirror.

    So cute! I’m gonna die.

    “And speaking of fox, a little bird tells me that I have you to thank for my ability to recite the Robin Hood cartoon verbatim, start to finish.”

    Again, that guilty blush came as a girl dropped her gaze and shuffled her feet back and forth a little while mumbling, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make Flick watch it so much. It just made me feel happy when I was scared.”

    Oh, Tabbris. So moe.

    “Are you kidding?” Lincoln reached out to tilted her head up by the chin so she would look at him. “Do you think our house is the only one where the same movie played over and over again? At least we have an actual excuse for it. And besides, it’s not like it was a bad movie. You could’ve had much worse taste.”

    Pensively, she looked to him. “You’re really not mad?”

    Straightfaced, Lincoln gestured to his ridiculously colored beard and cheeks. “Does this look like the face of a mad man to you?”

    I wonder how many more times exchanges like this will occur? With Tabbris or with Sariel?

    Finally, the young girl looked down at her mother. Her voice was soft, yet determined. “I know you will. I know you’ll come find us.”

    Eyes widening then, Lincoln blurted, “Tabbris, wait, no!”

    Lincoln has to be utterly terrified right now.

    But it was too late. The girl had made up her mind, and a second later she disappeared. She had recalled to Flick and straight into all that danger.

    There is something severely wrong with the universe when such a small, cute child is a voluntary child soldier.tufts of white that almost looked like it had actual fur, and whiskers. Lincoln had even painted appropriate ears onto her forehead.

    “I’m a fox!” The young girl blurted with delight. Her eyes lit up, a bright smile stretching across that painted face as she turned her head this way and that, then scrunched up her nose and giggled at the image in the mirror.
    So cute! I’m gonna die.

    “And speaking of fox, a little bird tells me that I have you to thank for my ability to recite the Robin Hood cartoon verbatim, start to finish.”

    Again, that guilty blush came as a girl dropped her gaze and shuffled her feet back and forth a little while mumbling, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make Flick watch it so much. It just made me feel happy when I was scared.”

    Oh, Tabbris. So moe.

    “Are you kidding?” Lincoln reached out to tilted her head up by the chin so she would look at him. “Do you think our house is the only one where the same movie played over and over again? At least we have an actual excuse for it. And besides, it’s not like it was a bad movie. You could’ve had much worse taste.”

    Pensively, she looked to him. “You’re really not mad?”

    Straightfaced, Lincoln gestured to his ridiculously colored beard and cheeks. “Does this look like the face of a mad man to you?”

    I wonder how many more times exchanges like this will occur? With Tabbris or with Sariel?

    Finally, the young girl looked down at her mother. Her voice was soft, yet determined. “I know you will. I know you’ll come find us.”

    Eyes widening then, Lincoln blurted, “Tabbris, wait, no!”

    Lincoln has to be utterly terrified right now.

    But it was too late. The girl had made up her mind, and a second later she disappeared. She had recalled to Flick and straight into all that danger.

    There is something severely wrong with the universe when such a small, cute child is a voluntary child soldier.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s something profoundly wrong with a universe that makes Tabbris’ actions *necessary*.

    But there’s also something profoundly magnificent about a universe where a child as brave, selfless, and unflinching as Tabbris can exist, despite the fact that she’d be completely justified in hiding under her bed and waiting for the adults to take care of things.

    It’s the ancient paradox of war, as illustrated by Lee’s quote: “It is good that war is so terrible, else we should become far too fond of it.”

    Tabbris Chambers-Moon: Big Damn Hero. It’s rather telling, to me, that Flick *knew* Tabbris would show up as soon as her Flick Sense went off — the possibility that Tabbris might sit out this fight never even occurred to her. Probably because Flick wouldn’t hesitate either, if the tables were reversed. You mess with one of the Chambers sisters, you get *both* of them.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s