Topic: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

The March Firefly Writing Challenge is this:

"ALTERNATE UNIVERSE", in under 500 words.

Need the following...

1. Name of character (a current character you play in one of the Firefly sims) and which sim they're currently in.

2. Short description of the Alternate Universe you're setting the piece in, for example a 'Verse where...

    the Browncoats won
    your family won the lottery
    you decided to become a plumber instead of a mercenary
    you decided to become a mercenary instead of a plumber
    the Miranda wave wasn't broadcast
    you grew up on the rim rather than in the core


Etc etc etc - really the only limit here is your imagination. It's an alternate universe, after all. Let's just keep it Firefly inspired, ie. no weird crossovers with Twilight or Harry Potter or something. (You know what I mean.)

3. Stories can be any length up to 500 words.

Post them here as and when you like until the end of March!  smile

Deb

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

PS. The info on the character and overview of the AU won't be included in the 500 words.

big_smile

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Shiny! Another writing challenge!


Character: Liu Mei-Ling
In this alternate universe, Blue Sun does not kill Mei-Ling's father for poking his nose in the wrong place (whether he did so or not, I'll leave to you to decide). Thus, she never defects from the Alliance military prior to the War. Therefore, she fights for the Alliance during the War, and continues to serve in the years after. Finally, she never winds up getting lonely, nor meets the crew of the Elemental...

Just Another Job
Mei-Ling surveyed the small backwater town in the quiet valley below. The place was rather plain, just like all the other rustic towns out here on the rim. The town wasn’t much of one, a tiny community that had sprouted up around a babbling brook that ran down from the nearby mountains. It served as a central business place for the local farmers and ranchers, with a weekly mule train taking goods to a larger town miles away, where they’d be transported to a city that none of these people had ever seen. The town consisted of a saloon that also served as a hotel of sorts, if having two rooms available for rent counted. It also had a trading post, a blacksmith, a few houses and not much else worth noting.

She lay in her position, motionless and patient. Her target hadn't appeared yet, but from the last few days of study, she knew he'd show himself on the street soon enough. The man had a routine, and he had kept to it every morning.

She shivered a little as the morning dew that had condensed on her skin began to evaporate with the growing heat of the day. She was getting too old for this. But it was her duty as an Alliance soldier. She once had delusions that the end of the War would be the end of her days of killing Browncoats, but there were still enemies to track down. This one was particularly nasty. He had been an Alliance soldier once, but had gone rogue. She had been warned about him, he had some particularly effective combat training, and was very dangerous. She used extra caution to make sure she wouldn’t be detected.

The town was stirring, and down below her target had appeared. No woman with him this time, though. Odd, but of little concern. Perhaps she had slept in today, or was taking her time getting herself presentable. The man walked slowly across the town square, which was empty this early in the morning.

She put her cross hairs on the man's forehead as he stopped to observe a swaying wild flower growing in the packed dirt of the main road. Mei-Ling had expected to need to wait until he turned back and looked at the mountain, as he usually did, but now she didn’t need to risk someone else coming out and interrupting the routine. The man tensed.

The sound of the bullet breaking the sound barrier shattered the morning stillness, sending a flock of birds up from a garden below. The man hit the ground with a meaty thump, a trickle of blood coming from the back of his head, and missing a good portion of his face. Mei-Ling quickly moved back from her lookout spot, climbed onto her flying mule bike, and was off planet before the citizens even started questioning what happened.

After a shower, she sent a simple, three word report to her commander: "Colton Ling - Deceased".

~~~

Note: Ash's character used with permission

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Oh my, that's good!

big_smile

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Actually made me go all shivery!

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

*blush* Aw, thanks! smile

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Great stuff! Sadly I won't be able to participate in this one: I simply don't have the time this month. But keep writing, because I'm loving reading these stories!



-Mischa

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Slow uptake on this one - I know March has been crazy busy for me at work, and maybe it is for others too.

Will definitely be writing one for this challenge soon though.

smile

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Character: Ellie Wren
Alternate Universe: What if Ellie had been raised by Dan and not Ethan?

Some girls got fancy parties for their sixteenth birthday, Ellie Wren had been coaxed out of her normal overalls and t-shirts into a floral skirt and a cotton blouse and a pair of heeled boots that she swore the devil himself had made even if the ladies of the hotel insisted they weren't that high. Sadly though, the girls had been right. Dressing pretty meant more tips and looser tongue on the men folk.  The ginger haired girl would open the door to her employer’s office, knocking once. Rather than work upstairs, it was better to earn a living being eyes and ears, even if she would have rather been his full time mechanic.  Things didn't break often enough around here at the hotel.

“Sorry to barge in, but you’re going to want to know. There’s a new Sheriff in town. Name’s Savage. Probably in his late thirties to mid-forties, dark skin like that play Othello, and completely fresh off the boat from the Core. Londinium, is what he said,” the young woman spoke all in one breath, barely pausing to let herself form another thought.

“I met him already,”  Kelvorn Sun-Campbell said with impatience. The look of displeasure made the young woman shrink a bit.  Still, she didn’t cower. If there was anything the man hated more than lateness, it was weakness and the girl had been taught from a young age to not show it. 

“Well you didn’t get asked to lunch by him, now did you? And with a few choice words I could turn it into dinner,” the young woman shot back.  She ignored the sound of the hotel floor creaking with the weight of Dan’s frame shifting. No doubt the man’s eyes would have narrowed at her back, obviously picturing the new Sheriff and wondering what plans he had in mind.

“What are you ruttin’ doing here talking? Go and ruttin’ meet up with him,”  the owner of the hotel said, going back to his books after he nodded once.  Ellie would take her dismissal and head out. 

The heavy footsteps  that trailed after her into the hotel lobby were expected.  She sighed and turned around. 
Dan gave a small smile. The large bear of a man  reached around her neck gently and clasped a worn locket, tarnished with time and age. “That was your mother’s. Been saving it for the right time. Be careful alright?. Happy Birthday Ellie.”

“Don’t be mad father, you know I have to earn my keep too. I’ll behave as best I can. Promise. Besides, he’s Core – they are all supposed to be proper  and such right?”  ,” Ellie said softly to Dan.. She gave her old man a kiss on the cheek, knowing the way the creases around his eyes had deepen and how his jaw was set, he wasn't pleased with the way things were right now.

“It’s a wonderful gift. Try not to worry,” Ellie said, before turning away and heading out to meet the new Sheriff.

Last edited by Amanda Bond (2013-03-24 23:23:07)

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Wooooaaahhh!!!

That's one crazy sh*t alternate universe posting, Miss Amanda! Love it!

~Deborah

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Woah, and I thought Mei-Ling shooting Ling was a shocker... O_O

-Jason

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Going to have to leave it this month - not enough time or inspiration.

- Silent

Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

AU: Dr. Shane Howard, currently on the Jericho, never adopted by Core Worlders to grow up and attend MedAcad on Londinium, but sent instead to an orphanage on Dyton attached to the prison colony her mother died in.


Dyton, September 2519.

Shane stepped off the public shuttle and stood in line for entry control, her luggage and umbrella perfectly matching the dark red suede of her shoes. The ride from Greenleaf had been uneventful, and she’d read her waves, finishing up as they docked on the highest level of the colony. The spaceport facilities were built at the top of the platform so that they might be tightly regulated, but the security was always laxer arriving in Dyton than leaving.

“You’re returning from a business trip, Miss March?” the uniformed guard asked, flicking through her papers.
“As it says in the documents”, she smiled holding her hand out for their return.
“You travel a lot”, he stated, not handing them back, “for business purposes.”
She raised an eyebrow questioningly and held his gaze. There was always one.
“Yet you always end up back here...”, he continued. “Can’t see the attraction myself.”
“What can I say? I’m a businesswoman. Roots in the community.”
She managed in her tone to imply he had no such loyalty, but he simply shrugged and scanned the social control card.

“Mother’s first name?”
“Kerenza”.
“Father’s place of birth?”
She sighed. Gorram bun tyen-shung duh ee-dway-ro.
“My father isn’t listed on my records”.
“Oh, of course, I’m sorry, you’re right. You’re listed as a bastard. My mistake”.
He handed her the papers, and turned to the next in line.
Welcome to ruttin’ Dyton. Can be... combative.
She walked on quickly; it served no purpose to retort, under the circumstances.

The smog always seemed thicker when she arrived home. It permeated the houses and businesses, the towering living complexes, the sweatshops and industrial factories, thinning only slightly in the slum areas that extended in every direction around that, until it gave way to an arid, unwelcoming wasteland. She didn’t do business in the wasteland. There were limits, after all.

She shut the door to the apartment that she’d bought outright, took off her shoes and poured a drink, drank it, poured another and sipped at it as she gazed out over the district. There were enough narcotics packed into the inner layer of her expensive looking luggage to cover expenses for six months, and maybe some to invest. Business was good; she picked her own customers from the less rough end of the city.

It wasn’t a bad life. She was lucky, she knew, being bright and learning from what she’d been through. Most had it worse, that was certain, and this was a hundred times better than the orphanage she’d survived. Now she had security, no one else to worry about, and companions she could buy in if she felt like it. Better this than some Core World existence where she didn’t know the first thing about life. Here, she knew who she was, what mattered, what didn’t matter, and why.

“Kid yourself about your behaviour, you'll never learn a ruttin’ thing”, she said, out loud, and watched out the window for a while.

------

Note: bun tyen-shung duh ee-dway-ro = stupid inbred stack of meat

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Epic! So far from the Shane Howard we know from our canon timeline!

And Deadwood references for the win!

Ash

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Jason Andersen wrote:

Woah, and I thought Mei-Ling shooting Ling was a shocker... O_O

-Jason

Turns out I don't need to write one for my characters this month. You've all done it for me. :-D

Ash

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Heh, actually I'd love to see your take on the other side of both of these. Who was Ling's woman? Was it a certain doctor? Why didn't she accompany him that morning?

How would having a young girl around changed Kelvorn's life? Would he actually have become an honest businessman instead? Would he have a soft spot in his heart for her, despite his outer gruffness? Hmm... wink

-Jason

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Oh, go on then...

Colton Ling: The Elemental

In this alternate universe, Liu Mei-Ling has not defected from the Alliance military, and continues to serve in the years after the U-War, terminating threats to the Alliance through assassination.

---

Leaning over the sink, Bolton Ching spat out a mouthful of bloody toothpaste. It was always red and pink; he pressed too hard with the brush and brushed too fast, as he did most things, every day, even now. But he had done some muscle-control body conditioning first thing this morning, as he did every morning, emphasising endurance in his core and limbs, to centre himself in preparation for the day, to try to force himself to concentrate on the present, to be mindful of his physical self, of his breathing, and to try to slow himself down, to keep from rushing through every task, if only to keep unwanted attention away by not presenting as unnaturally fast. He also exercised to aspire to be in control of his body and not at its mercy.

He had settled in a rustic town that was scattered along a babbling brook that ran down from an attractive range of mountains on a backwater planet out on the Rim. There was a saloon, a trading post, a blacksmith, but except on market days when the farmers and ranchers came in to exchange wares, there was not much else.

Normally of a morning, he did his exercises with his wife. He’d moved here with her in what he’d intended as a gesture to the Alliance that he was not a threat. He’d obtained false documents with an alias mostly to allay her fears. He didn’t think for a moment that the Alliance would be fooled, but it had made her feel better, at least.

This morning, he’d awoken before her and gazed at her gorgeous face, olive skin, and high Asian cheekbones, as her head rested on the soft pillow. She’d had a rough night and deserved a lay in. She was having really severe ‘morning sickness’ and heartburn, worse at night, and was struggling with dehydration. She wasn’t really showing yet, but was approaching her second trimester.

He let himself out to take a stroll round town and collect their provisions from the trade post, sauntering across the empty town square. A burst of bright colour on the ground caught his attention, and he stooped to look; it was a delicate little wildflower. He was about to pick it when suddenly the hairs on his neck erected and his body rushed with a surge of adrenaline. Falteringly, the malfunctioning Heads Up Display that had been surgically grafted to his left eye via an ocular implant flickered to life, producing an overlay of his surroundings compiled by satellite imaging and telemetry, painting a target – a rifleman - laying in the dewy grass up on the interfluve, sights trained on Ching.

The sound of a bullet shattering the sound barrier shattered the morning stillness, sending a flock of birds up from a garden below, but Ching didn’t hear it. He hit the ground with a meaty thump, missing a good portion of his face, a trickle of blood coming from the back of his head.

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Excellent! Extra levels of alternate universe!

big_smile  big_smile  big_smile

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Character: Dan Doherty
Alternate Universe where Ellie ‘Wren’ was raised by her father Dan, and not her uncle Ethan

Dan had always tried to do right by Ellie. When Katherine died he’d been just about destroyed, but he’d been strong enough to see off Katherine’s boorish brother who’d carried himself like his pigu didn’t fart, and in so doing Dan made sure he would be the one to care for the two-year-old child, not her uncle. Katherine and Ellie had lived with Dan for the first two years of Ellie’s life, and there was no way Dan was letting that go just because Ethan Wren had decided Dan was a wastrel and was to blame for Katherine going off the rails.

But Dan maintained that her free-spiritedness had nothing to do with Dan, or the gang he ran with. She’d been that way before and it had even been what had drawn him to her, and he missed her passion painfully.

When Ethan had had the audacity to call Dan out from the thoroughfare after Katherine’s funeral and dared tell him to stay out of Ellie’s life, Dan had emerged from his small house with his long-iron and beat the man down into the dust with the butt of it, busting Ethan’s knee in the process. When some ladies from the town church took Ethan’s side and tried to get Ellie taken by social services, Dan went to the only person in the town who he liked that knew how to play the law – a warehouse owner called Kelvorn Sun-Campbell – who hired a solicitor to fight Dan’s corner in the court, highlighting Mr. Wren’s alcohol problem and obvious unsuitability to raise a child, against Dan’s pre-existing relationship with Ellie as her father, and his noble commitment to his duty of care for his toddler daughter. The judge didn’t take long to decide the case and awarded Dan custody after only half a day in session.

Soon after, the church’s priest was defrocked in a sex scandal, and the church lost its permit in a land ownership dispute.

When Ellie was still young, Dan worked more and more closely with Kelvorn Sun-Campbell and they moved together as a group to Cydonia on Deadwood to operate a hotel. With an ongoing adversarial relationship with the local circuit judge, Jeremiah Caesar, Kelvorn arranged for the appointment of a weak Mayor who he could manipulate. Kelvorn would become a dependable ally, sometimes even to the detriment of Kelvorn’s own interests, of Mayor Henry Eastman in the face of his wife’s infidelity.

On Ellie’s 16th birthday, a new Sheriff, a Core Worlder ironically called Savage, was appointed to Cydonia. Keen to assess the man’s character and ascertain whether he could be used, sidelined, or needed removing, Kelvorn sent Ellie to a sit-down with him. The trust he was putting in her and the significance of it was not lost on Ellie, a sharp girl who Kelvorn had come to respect and value.

But despite his faith in Kelvorn, Dan was uncomfortable with this use of his little girl...

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Character: Kelvorn Sun-Campbell

AU: Kelvorn has just met his daughter Shane March, who was sent by her socialite mother to an adoptive mother on Dyton.

She had been well-dressed, which he’d been proud of. Kelvorn didn’t believe that the quality of your clothing said a lot about the quality of your person (he’d known some well-dressed wastes of space and some useful wretches), but he knew that a lot of other people believed the quality of your clothing said a lot about the quality of your person, and as such he always made an effort to do business in a suit and was encouraged to see she held a similar philosophy.

It was a shame she lived on Dyton, though. That gave him fresh reason to hate the Eckle-Fecken’s, not just for what they’d done to him, but to her, too. He didn’t tell her what he knew – that the washed-out drug addict she thought was her mother was actually another hapless victim of the military-industrialist family’s quest for respectability; that Shane herself had been dumped there to spare them the shame of their precious Camille, Shane’s actual mother, being proven a loose woman when they had arranged for her to be married to some beau from another family they wanted to absorb or ally with.

It was what it was, though, and they couldn’t change the past, no matter how much he might want to. And he didn’t mind the accent, even though he’d never liked the moon. He’d visited once or twice in his younger days but had consciously avoided it when he’d grown his business and moved around over the years. The smog was off putting and the living conditions were among the worse in the ‘Verse. But she apparently owned her apartment outright and was clearly proud of it as her homeworld.

She’d told him she’d been on a business trip to Greenleaf – buying illegal drugs, he’d quickly intuited, which she would sell back on Dyton at a steep profit – and had apparently been researching prospective leads on her biological father for some years. Now resident on Deadwood, one of Greenleaf’s moons, Kelvorn had been one of the strong possible candidates, and he’d known as soon as she arrived and asked he consent to a range of tests that would ascertain if he was her father that though it wasn’t an exact science and the tests were not 100% proof positive,  he would be happy to accept them and the daughter that he’d always somehow known he’d had, but who had been kept from him now for nearly 25 years. They had the new doctor, a Christophe Bellamy from the Core, run the tests, and Kelvorn was sanguine when they’d returned positive.

When he and Shane parted, though, for her journey to Dyton, they had made no plans to meet again, and he had given her nothing more tangible than his habitual advice. The greatest gift he could have afforded her had he raised her from birth, he deemed, was education. Object lessons in the power of obstinacy and a hostile disposition. But then, it seemed she’d inherited all that anyway.

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

So good.

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

I think this month has been the best so far. Such imagination and creativity, and some real spine tingling moments.

Well done all, and here's to April's challenge... coming soon to a thread near you.  smile

Deborah

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

My posts don't really qualify for praise because I just basically took other people's ideas. :-D but massive kudos to Jason, Amanda, and Deborah!

Ash

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

Isn't that what most writers do, though? Take inspiration from others work? Heck, 95% of fantasy works today are inspired by Tolkien...

Besides, you simply enhanced and added detail to story snippets already there. I'm pretty sure that's how roleplaying works. big_smile

-Jason

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Re: MARCH WRITING CHALLENGE - Alternate Universe

The best creations are a collaboration. True facts.

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