Snow Angel: Chapter 13

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Chapter 13: Politics

Snow's whole life changes when the winter solstice arrives.


“She’s not my mother, at least not anymore,” Heather grumbled around a mouthful of scrambled eggs.


Author's Note: Here is chapter 13 of Snow Angel. I wanted to post Friday but I had such a busy week. Thanks to Big Closet and to all my readers for your support. I hope you all enjoy. Further chapters are available on Patreon.~Amethyst.

Chapter 13: Politics

I awoke to the light of dawn shining through the window. It seemed that I was the first one awake since my bedmates’ relaxed breathing and closed eyes indicated sleep. Yes, bedmates. Plural. Risha had thought it appropriate that Autumn should sleep in what had once been Kiley’s bedroom and since the bed in there was absolutely enormous, the Fay wanted to snuggle with me. So we were spooning and my tail had somehow ended up wrapped around the redhead’s leg, which was casually draped over me as she held me tight.

Autumn had also wanted to get Heather used to the casual affection and physical contact of the Fay since we didn’t have to worry about setting a watch. With that in mind, the pink-haired former princess was sleeping on my other side. She had relented to sleeping in the same bed but she wasn’t quite ready to be in the middle of a Fay snuggle-huddle. She was taking baby steps and, judging by the way that she was clinging to me in her sleep, this was something that Heather needed more than she was letting on while awake.

With the two Fay both holding me tight, it looked like I wouldn’t be able to escape until everyone was awake. Not that I was complaining about being sandwiched between two very pretty Fay girls. For now, I would just try to relax and enjoy the moment. I was warm and comfortable in the big, soft, and cozy bed that had somehow managed to fit four girls comfortably, as long as we were close.

The fourth was Risha, of course. She had been without human contact for nearly six hundred years and since she seemed to need that contact, Autumn had decided to encourage her to join us. So the android was cuddled up on the Fay’s opposite side with her arm around both of us as she slept. Technically she doesn’t really need sleep but she said that it helps her get the human experience. If anything came too close to the house she would receive alerts from the drones and be awoken instantly.

Heather was the first to wake up and she scrambled to move the moment that she opened her eyes. There was this brief moment of contentment on her face before she realized the position that she was in and how she was clinging to me, and then she was fully awake and trying to extract herself as she flushed bright red. “I’m… uhh… I mean I… sorry!”

Her mad scramble to free herself was only making things more awkward and I realized that Autumn had been right. Damn, this girl needed more hugs. How badly had she been ignored all of her life for her to get that awkward and apologetic over physical contact and affection, especially in our current situation? I mean, I was no expert on how Fae group dynamics worked but even I had to realize that this was an intimate situation and that such intimacy was okay, perhaps it should even be encouraged.

I put my arm around her and pulled her close. “Stop, Heather. This is okay. You haven’t done anything to apologize for and even if you had, it probably would have been accidental and I would have told you calmly. I would not have gotten angry. We’re in an intimate situation and you are allowed to enjoy it. All of us are, so long as it doesn’t break any rules.”

Speaking of breaking rules, I had half a mind to go and slap the shit out of the Queen and Heather’s governess for leaving her this lonely and broken. I realized that the Queen was a busy woman but this was no way to treat your child. Hiding her away with nobody but servants and a snooty governess just because some humans might realize that the family is descended from Seed-borne wasn’t just stupid, it was cruel.

Oh, yes, it was all for the unity of Misota, to prevent civil war between Humans and Seed-borne. I could see them rationalizing it now, what is the happiness of one person compared to all of that? This person had a name and a face though. It was about time that Heather didn’t just realize that she could have a life of her own, but let herself accept it too. She needed to accept that she had people who cared about her now. Me saving her life had been a step in that direction, but she still had a long way to go.

“But… you look angry,” she objected, though her movements had become less frantic.

I took a deep breath and tried to calm my mind. “I’m not angry at you, Heather. I’m angry for you. You are allowed to have intimacy. You are allowed to enjoy it. Anyone who ever convinced you otherwise is a fool.”

“She’s right, Heather. Let’s all just enjoy this for a few minutes before getting up,” Autumn added, her breath bathing the back of my ears and making me feel wonderful things. “You’re not Heather Wilson anymore, you don’t have to be the lonely person that they made you into. You are Heather Blossom now and you are one of the Fay. Giving and receiving affection to and from those that we care about is part of who we are as a people. Don’t fight that, enjoy it. We’re not going to abandon you and if anyone deserves a little bit of happiness, it’s you.”

Risha’s voice could be heard behind me as she decided to contribute to the conversation as well. “Heather, I may be new to the team, I do not know any of you very well yet, and I have not had any interaction with intelligent species for nearly six hundred years but I believe that gives me a unique view of the situation. Hold on to what happiness you can find while you have it, your nanites could keep you alive for a very long time. Do not live that time with regrets. Take it from me, you do not want to spend such a long time alone.”

“Yeah, I agreed. “My grandmother prefers to work alone, but even she has had relationships during her long life. I wouldn’t be around if she hadn’t.”

It was a moment before Heather spoke, but finally, she nodded her head nearly imperceptibly and said, “I… umm… thanks. You’re all right.”

For several minutes after that, we all just relaxed together. I was about to suggest that we all get up and get ready to start our day when Risha suddenly asked, “What exactly were your objectives when you came here?”

“We were hoping to bring back anything useful, really. Weapons, compatible technology, and your secure backup drive were among our chief priorities,” I explained.

“I have some information that you may be interested in then,” the AI offered. “As I said, I was the prototype for Sira and AI-based androids like her. The S.I.R.A line was produced for various research bases around the United States that were looking into ways to combat the Demons. Besides Eden Base, there was one other military compound doing such research in Minnesota at the time that a S.I.R.A type AI was built for. Woodbury Base is southeast of us and they were doing similar robotics and tech research to what we were doing here. In fact, they were the ones who produced my micro AI core and miniature fusion core. As far as I know, the base was still active until the fall so there could be weapons, vehicles, and other useful materials still there.”

“It’s probably worth a look at least,” I agreed pensively. “Do you think that the Sira and the defenses there will still be active? How do we get in either way?”

“It is possible that she is still active but even if she is not, I should be able to override any security protocols to gain access to the base,” Risha responded confidently as we all made an effort to climb out of the comfortable bed.

Once we were all up and had ensured that my grandmother, Lisbet, and Karina were as well, we all headed underground into the research center to shower and eat breakfast before contacting Sira. It was easier that way since the showers down there would allow us all to get clean at the same time rather than taking turns in the lavatory upstairs. To everyone’s surprise, Risha joined us.

“I was kinda worried that you were going to get water in your inner workings and malfunction,” Lisbet admitted while we were drying off.

“Do not worry, Lisbet. My epidermis and hair were created not only to make me appear more human but also to protect my body from the elements and minor damage. It is extremely durable and quite waterproof. I could go swimming if I had to,” the android assured her.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Karina said with a grin. “At least we won’t have to worry about you when it rains or snows.”

With the showers finished, we all headed to the cafeteria for some breakfast. It wasn’t all that different from what we usually ate but it included bacon, sausages, and ham slices. That was a bit of a luxury since bacon and sausages were usually very expensive. My grandmother said that Eden Base seldom got those because our taxes that included food were sent at the discretion of the farmers and they weren’t willing to part with things that would make them more money to sell than the basics that they sent us.

Even my grandmother was really enjoying the food and she said as much. “Thank you, Risha. I haven’t eaten like this in over a decade. In the days of former Queens, the taxes sent to us included a percentage of everything produced, not just a percentage of the whole. Heather’s mother doesn’t seem to be strictly enforcing that anymore though, so producers tend to send us the bare basics.”

“She’s not my mother, at least not anymore,” Heather grumbled around a mouthful of scrambled eggs.

“True, and she’s not the Queen that her predecessors have been either,” my grandmother replied with a frown. “She is too easily swayed by other people. She lacks the backbone that made those before her great. Perhaps it is because she has no Seed-borne gifts of her own, but she seems more sympathetic to Humans and protecting their interests than to protecting the people.”

Heather nodded grimly. “Well, yeah, I mean I totally manipulated her into getting my way so I could train with you when she told me that I was going to have to leave to become an Angel. I think she’s a bit jealous of those of us with Seed-borne gifts too, everyone in our lineage but her has had at least a minor gift. My father is pure human stock too but unlike my mother, he didn’t even want to acknowledge my existence. I think that he may be manipulating her to push for a more Human-friendly agenda in Misota.”

“Don’t you mean Human-only?” Karina spat bitterly. “My Dad has spent a lot of time trading in the capital and other cities. Sure, the more common-born Humans are becoming more friendly toward Seed-borne but the wealthy still treat us like garbage. And just who do you think pays most of the taxes and has the most influence?”

“That would explain a lot,” our trainer said with a sigh. “The Queen has been pushing for some things that her predecessors would have never approved of recently. She wants us to find a plot of land, preferably in a location that nobody else would want, to move both the academy and our base of operations to. She still wants the Angels around to protect Misota of course, just not anywhere that we can be seen unless on a mission. To be honest, Sira and I were hoping that we’d find something here that would fit the bill, not that we want to live here in the ruins. This base is better defended but smaller, and it wouldn’t support our increasing numbers.”

“But we already have Eden Base, and that’s about as far out of the way as it gets,” I argued.”

“It’s also good possible farmland and not dangerously close to any Demon-infested city ruins,” my grandmother countered with a sigh. “Not to mention that she has asked us to turn the base over to her once we’ve found such a location.”

“In other words, the people influencing her want the base and all the high-tech goodies inside for themselves instead of having to wait for our Tinkers to adapt that tech into something that can be more readily produced by others,” Lisbet grumbled.

“Yeah, that’s not obvious at all,” Autumn agreed with a roll of her eyes. Then those eyes glinted with sudden mischief. “Wingleader, did she specifically ask the Angels to turn over the base? Or the base and its contents?”

My grandmother thought about it for a moment and then her face lit up. “Oh, you devious little Fay. I love it! She specifically asked for the base. We could strip it of everything useful before turning it over to her.”

“Might I suggest being cautious?” Risha interjected. “Ensure that Eden Base is properly emptied before telling her that you have found a new location, in case she asks to take possession immediately. Also, ensure that the Angel Corps is given full ownership of whatever area that you do choose and the surrounding land in perpetuity, exempt from any sort of taxation, and ensure that the deal is publicly recorded.”

“She’s already put all of that on the table, to make it worth us relocating. Here’s the thing though, exemption from taxes could mean both paying and receiving from the way that she has it worded in her offer. Which would mean that we would likely be on our own for food and resources from now on. The areas that she’s approved of so far are all because nobody wants them. Hell, nobody but Angels will even risk getting close to ruins of the old world, meaning we’d likely have to clear the area of Demons first,” my grandmother complained.

“Perhaps we will have some luck at Woodbury Base,” Risha suggested hopefully.

Our trainer’s ears perked up and forward in sudden interest, her tail rising behind her. “Woodbury Base?” she asked in keen interest.

“I was telling Snow and the others about it earlier in bed,” the android explained. “Some of my components were created there. Even if there is not much there in the way of technology that has survived, perhaps the complex itself is still usable. From the data available in my database, it was a military research base like Eden, but quite a bit larger. It was also active until Demons started to overwhelm the cities and people started frantically looking for safe bunkers or trying to join the VIPs launching themselves into space.”

“I was going to mention it in my report to Sira,” I told my grandmother once I finished the last bite of my breakfast.

She nodded in reply, her face a stony mask of grim determination. “Well, you’d best make that report then, Wing Commander. I know that you think that I’ve been hasty in some of my decisions lately but there is a good reason for that. When she found out that I was coming back, the Queen summoned me to a meeting with her and her husband. It doesn’t take a genius to know who’s calling the shots, and they tried to get me to use my influence to hasten Sira’s decision regarding the fate of our base. That was why I was summoned, though Heather’s situation was a convenient excuse to lead into it.”

“Figures that she’d use me to try to get what she, or rather, what my father wants,” Heather grumped.

“Yes,” my grandmother agreed. “As soon as you left to get packed, the tone of the meeting changed. I just got back and I was immediately being dragged into politics, it’s the part of the job that I’ve always hated the most. Sira briefed me on what’s been happening while I was stuck in the capital. There’s been more and more pressure since the former Queen died eight years ago and Sira suspects that the Queen may have tried withholding chosen for this year’s Angel Academy class to pressure us if she didn’t need to get Heather admitted. Eden Base is already strained to fit our current numbers.”

I tuned out the conversation as I stepped out of the room and asked my NCI, “Call Sira please, Connie.”

-= Affirmative, Snow. Connecting call now, please wait a moment for Sira to accept, =- Connie immediately responded.

It did indeed take a moment but soon Sira’s voice inquired, -= How goes your first mission, Wing Commander? I heard that you had a bumpy landing. I was relieved to hear that you all seemed to still be in good health when Raven returned. =-

“It’s been a bit more exciting than we were hoping,” I admitted. “We had to fight something that Wingleader Abbadine called a Fenris, then a massive swarm of Spidren but we found the research complex and we’re inside now.”

-= A Fenris? That is a rough first mission. Have you found anything of interest? =-

“We met your older sister, Risha. She says that she was a prototype for you and others like you, but she’s had a lot of upgrades that you might be interested in. Unless you count the plasma turrets, there are no weapons or vehicles since this wasn’t a military base but there is some interesting technology that Lisbet has been going crazy over. Risha said that we can have whatever we want, plus her secured backup drive, but she had a condition.”

-= What kind of condition? =- the AI asked cautiously.

“She was close to one of Autumn’s ancestors, her primary purpose was to see to her needs. She asked to be able to join my team. I already agreed and Wingleader Abbadine has approved since Risha has an altered version of the Angel nanites and was upgraded to combat Demons. The problem is that this is not a military complex and it’s smaller than Eden Base. If you’re looking for a place to relocate to, this isn’t it,” I informed her.

-= That is disappointing, =- she conceded, -= but well done on a successful mission, Wing Commander. Are you calling for extraction of yourself and any salvage then? =-

“That’s partly it. You might want to send as many veetols as we have available, and some Tinkers with experience with this kind of technology. There’s a lot here and some things may have to be partially disassembled, like the large nano-weave factory. You might want to come in person as well, to talk with Risha about some of the stuff here and her upgrades. I have a request as well though,” I told her before waiting to see how she would respond.

-= I will start organizing at once. We have four veetols available right now and we can be at the location of your current GPS coordinates in two hours. What is your request, Wing Commander? =-

I took a deep breath and then released it slowly before speaking. “Risha knows of another military research base that might have useful tech or possibly be salvageable as a base if it’s still in good condition. It was still active after Eden Base closed and she says it was larger and just southeast of the Twin City Ruins. She’s confident that she can access it if security is still in place. I’d like for my team to be assigned the mission.”

I kind of wished that Sira had emotions like Risha, it would be much easier to gauge her reactions when she responded. -= Very well, Wing Commander, we shall discuss the details and objectives of your next mission when I arrive. Well done. Please pass on my congratulations to your team and let them know that we will be joining you there soon. Eden Base out. =-

-= Call terminated. =-

I headed back into the cafeteria where I found Lisbet gesturing wildly at one of the food dispensers, “… but theoretically, you could reproduce anything with this if you had a proper scan of it!”

Risha was shaking her head and let out a sigh. “It’s been tried. There are things that you must keep in mind with these devices. One: the mass must remain constant. You cannot produce an item larger than the mass of material available in the matter reservoir. Two: there are the space constraints of the device itself; you cannot reproduce something like, say, Snow’s weapon in a one-point-five foot squared space. And those are just the matter constraints themselves. When you get into complex devices or, even worse, living organisms there are even more issues.”

“Okay, I can see that, but given a larger device and matter reservoir, couldn’t you manage it. I mean it’s a customizable matter generator,” the Harekin argued.

“Complex mechanical or even electrical devices would be possible, as long as they were not active at the time of the scan. Organic matter is only really practical for plants or other less complicated lifeforms though. Or matter that is already dead or artificial, such as clothing. Sure you could scan a cow or a sheep, or even a person, but you would only replicate a dead copy of them,” Risha pointed out seeming a little bit frustrated with the line of inquiry.

“But the device reproduces all sorts of complex matter, why should living things be any different?” Lisbet pressed.

“I said that the problem is complex lifeforms,” Risha corrected with a sigh. “The scientists who produced this barely understood how Kiley’s power worked. That being said, the device isn’t the problem, the scanner is. It simply cannot perform a detailed enough scan to properly account for things that are in constant motion.”

Lisbet wasn’t giving up though. “But if the person stood still enough...”

Risha just shook her head insistently. “I am not just talking about the body itself. At any given moment there is so much going on inside a living body that the scanner could not even come close to properly tracking: Neurons firing, blood flowing, the heart beating, lungs drawing in breath or releasing it. And that is just the basics. It cannot account for and properly track or project those things, so when the body was reproduced those neurons wouldn’t be firing, that heart wouldn’t be beating, etc. At least not in the way that they were before. Even if the resulting copy did live, it would not for long before catastrophic system failure. Great if you want fresh beef, not so great if you want a living and thinking being. It is precisely why they were never able to reproduce Kiley’s teleportation.”

Okay, fine, I know when I’m beaten,” Lisbet replied dourly before sitting down and sighing.

Now that the two had finished their argument, I announced, “Sira is on her way with some Tinkers and four veetols. She said that they should be here in two hours and congratulated us on a good job. She’ll probably want to discuss with Risha what can be taken and used elsewhere. She’ll likely want to talk about your upgrades and a few other things as well, Risha. The rest of us won’t have much to do until our next mission… to go check out Woodbury Base.”

“Hopefully this time we won’t get nearly shot out of the sky,“ Karina grouched.

“At least you got safely onto the building,” Heather pointed out.

We didn’t have much to do while waiting since we were sure that Sira would want to get an explanation of everything available from Risha. Trying to move things would likely just confuse matters since she already knew where everything was and we didn’t want to mess with and possibly damage stuff before the Tinkers arrived. Instead, she took us back upstairs to Kiley’s former bedroom where we made ourselves some new clothes with the boutique booth.

My grandmother didn’t get involved since she admitted to already having a ton of clothes in her room at Eden Base but the rest of us wanted to develop our personal styles. Risha jokingly called the boutique booth a ‘mall in a stall’, at least until she figured out that we weren’t getting the joke, whatever it was. I imagine that it probably would have helped if we had some idea of what exactly a mall was. Regardless, the AI managed to get back into the spirit of things after a few mumbled comments about how lacking our education was, and soon she was helping us to find clothes that worked for us.

By the time we were done, using some of Kiley’s old clothes to provide the matter for the attached raw materials reservoir, we all had roughly ten outfits and we needed to make larger duffel bags for our clothes and gear. There were still a lot of clothes left too since Kiley had had almost an entire room filled with them and in a variety of materials that we could choose from to make our new clothes. When we all went downstairs upon hearing the approaching veetols we were dressed in our personal favorites.

Karina was almost completely covered in black leather. Skin-tight trousers, combat boots, and a jacket with a crimson shirt that was called a halter top underneath. Fortunately, Risha had been right and the boutique booth had created the Devilkin’s clothes with holes in the appropriate spots for her tail and wings. She looked really good in the clothes too, or as Risha joked, “Hot as Hell.”

Lisbet was wearing something called a powder blue tee-shirt with a form-fitting tan coveralls, some boots that were very similar to Karina’s but in a dark brown with a loose-fitting leather jacket in the same color. She was also sporting a pair of goggles that she had found in the labs downstairs that Risha had told her had several different vision modes. It was sort of a no-nonsense and comfortable working look that suited the Harekin well.

Heather seemed to like her dresses. Not that there was anything wrong with that since I had chosen several myself. She was wearing a dark purple knit dress with something called leggings underneath for the cool winter temperatures. And continuing with that theme of comfortable warmth, she had added a fleece-lined leather jacket and a pair of something that was called hiking boots.

Autumn would have probably preferred to wear nothing at all but she bowed to the wisdom of wearing clothes so that she wouldn’t make other people uncomfortable. Besides, even she had to admit that being naked in the winter was just slightly impractical. She preferred the natural materials that we had been introduced to, like silk and suede, and a lot of her clothes seemed to be made from those. She was currently wearing something called a poet’s blouse in emerald silk. It was pretty and had billowing sleeves and it went well with the cotton leggings she was wearing that were nearly the same color as her bright red hair. Dark green suede ankle boots and a tan suede jacket that was similar to Heather’s finished her look.

Risha claimed that she wanted to be comfortable so she was just wearing the kind of stuff that she usually wore around the house and didn’t need to use the boutique booth. It was a simple loose-fitting tee-shirt and something that she called jeans, and her shoes were something called sneakers. She didn’t get a coat made either since she didn’t get cold. She just took something purple that she called a hoodie from Kiley’s closet and threw it on. She claimed that it had been one of Kiley’s favorite pieces of comfort clothing. It had a built-in hood and a faded image on the chest of a strange-looking man in a helmet and the word “Vikings” underneath.

As for me, the others (mostly Risha and Autumn) helped to pick out most of my stuff since I was feeling kind of lost on what image I wanted. At the moment I was wearing something called low-rise skinny jeans. They were black and had holes in them but Kiley said that that was on purpose since they were distressed. I’d be distressed too if I had that many holes in me. At least they were low enough in the waistline not to give my tail too many issues.

They showed off a lot of skin, especially paired with the pink crop top that they had chosen for the outfit. The top barely covered my chest, showed a lot of cleavage, and said “Bad Kitty” on it. I was pretty sure that it was a bad idea to be displaying that much skin in winter but Risha had a solution for that. They had me wearing knee-high black leather combat boots with a warm inner lining and my exposed midriff would be covered by something called a thermo-weave latex trenchcoat.

The trenchcoat too was black, and the coattails in the back went down to my calves. Everything above my hips was skin tight on me, including the sleeves, so it was a good thing that the material was stretchy. The front had a large collar and two panels that fastened together with two rows of bright gold buttons down the front from my throat to my hips. When the jacket was opened the flaps could just be buttoned to the sides so they wouldn’t get in the way. The material might have seemed thin and skin tight but it also had an inner layer that generated heat when the temperature of the external material was below freezing. It was more comfortable than I was expecting as well, and my harness for the Goliath didn’t look too out of place over top.

Properly dressed we made our way down to head outside and greet Sira and the others from Eden Base. I was expecting Sira and Risha to have a long talk about everything but I was destined to be surprised. After what seemed like only a minute after greeting one another to the rest of us Sira turned to me, the rest of my team, and my grandmother.

“Risha has sent me all of the pertinent files and data on what is available and where, as well as the access codes for the drones and turrets,” she told us candidly. “We will start cataloging and looking at items of interest, but I do not wish to start moving things until we know what the situation is with this other base that you mentioned. I dislike having to rush you but I would rather have that Intelligence as soon as possible. Raven is ready to transport your team now, Wing Commander Snow. The objectives will be the same as when you came here. Good luck.”

© 2021-2022 Amethyst Gibbs
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Not much of a break

Considering they are a trainee unit I would imagine the doctrine is for a thorough debriefing and performance evaluation and given a real break after a pretty difficult trial by fire.

Yes, yes I know Abbadine is there but it still seems relatively harsh for such a green unit.

The shortness of the exchange between Risha and Sira is a stark reminder of how inhuman they are as the data exchange speeds of course are way beyond what human communication is capable of.

It will have to be factored into how Risha will be used on missions.

I suspect that Abbadine has

I suspect that Abbadine has her own way to communicate with Eden Base. As for the rest, Risha has briefed Sira, they're trainees under the best trainer, they're fully supplied (not sure why Autumn didn't just wear Kiley's clothing instead of reprocessing, they're apparently pretty physically identical), thanks to the replicators, and everyone else is now going to be 100% busy consolidating everything at _this_ base to move either to Eden or to the possible new one.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

If nothing else

Amethyst's picture

Abbadine's NCI should allow her to communicate with other Angels at Eden Base or Sira herself. They did get a short break and they're geared up and good to go. The reason that Autumn didn't wear Kiley's clothes is that it's pretty obvious that Risha cared deeply about Kiley and things have got to be hard enough on her with Autumn looking so similar. She felt that dressing like Kiley would only make it worse for her until she can adjust, and she doesn't want to look like she's trying to take Kiley's place. They may look alike but they are different people. They probably won't want to move anything to Eden Base yet, with the situation with the Queen. They'd probably end up having to move it again soon anyway.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Normally, yes

Amethyst's picture

A new team, especially one of recruits with so little training, would usually be going through debriefing and performance evaluation and be given a bit of a break after such a mission. There are a few reasons this didn't happen. First, Snow specifically asked for her team to get the mission. Second, Abbadine would be with them. Third, Risha is part of their team now and is vital to getting them past any security. Lastly, with the current political climate, pressure from the Queen, and their current numbers finding a new base of operations has become a huge priority for the Angels. That means that this is a priority mission that should be done asap.

Yup, Risha and Sira are not human and their short interaction was meant to glaringly display that. There may not be many missions where Risha will have to interact with other AIs or computers but it is definitely something that should be taken into account.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

And now for my next trick, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

Good back story and scene setting for next chapter. Filled in some more of the universe details as well as current political climate. Next story will obviously be more exposition and action. This story is still going strong. Well planned out and well written.

Risha would get the Bullwinkle reference in the subject line.

Risha would totally get that :)

Amethyst's picture

Yup, this was a good chapter for filling in blanks and getting more of a feel for the political situation and how the Angels are treated by their fellow Misotans. I'm glad you're enjoying it and appreciate the effort :)

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Seeing as how the first

Seeing as how the first mission went, hopefully this isn't a case of out of the frying pan into the fire.
Of course knowing Amethyst's stories it can't to be too easy either, that's what makes them fun to read.

Never too easy

Amethyst's picture

Yup, we can't make things too easy, can we? It's probably no more dangerous than their last mission since it's further outside the ruins but they could have some surprises in store for them too.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

This story is moving along great, so far.

Julia Miller's picture

I can't complain about this story, as the characters are well fleshed out and the plot is quite interesting with the cliffhangers now and then to keep us on our toes. It's a case of a post-apocalyptic society and the characters are finding old technological marvels, that may one day help them rebuild their world.

Thanks Julia

Amethyst's picture

I do like to make my characters believable and the plot is fun and interesting to write with the post-apocalyptic elements and building the cultures and the peoples who inhabit the world.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

I hear you, Dot

Amethyst's picture

That can be a hard thing to accept for people who have been abused, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

The Queen

Welp, it seems like in addition to their primary mission they will somehow need to take down the queen if the seed borne and by extension the Angel Corps is to survive.

I would not put it by her that the plan is to move them to a new base, have them pacify (gentrify) the area, making it desirable for humans again and invoke some kind of Eminent Domain to take over the area, rinse and repeat.

The humans want the technology most of all as given enough time they would want to eliminate the seed borne once they have done their jobs of eliminating or minimizing the demon seed threat to a level where humans can manage.

As usual, the dominant group of people in a country will tolerate the minority until they have no need for them anymore and then figure out how to eliminate them.

This seems to be the Modus Operandi of elements in the US and folks who support them just don't see it.

Anyway, there is a missing piece here as to how the Angels should get paid then.

If they don't get a share of taxes anymore to support them then they should still be paid somehow for their services, so how is that going to work?

It's not the queen, it's her

It's not the queen, it's her husband.

Humans are tribal. Everyone wants to advance their tribe, even if it's at the expense of another. That's why our laws are so screwed up - they're written by lawyers, for lawyers, with no thought as to normal people. If you're homosexual, you're likely more favorably inclined towards other homosexuals, rather than heterosexuals.

Biggest obvious examples? Sports teams. "Us against Them". The fans are tribes. Fraternity/Sorority members are "tribes". So on, and so forth.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

Tribalism Shmibalism

I live by rational facts.

Maybe I am in the minority but that is how I am.

As far as homosexuals favoring themselves more, I doubt it as the vast majority of homosexuals have heterosexual parents so there is probably not as much favoritism as you may think.

When tribalism is valued beyond what is best for community interest than that is a danger sign that your 'tribe' is leading you down the wrong path and you should re-examine who your friends are.

In the US, let's just say there a large number of fanatics who even politicize disease and the response to it as a 'tribal' issue versus what should be a no-brainer as to how we should be rallying together to fight it.

That the leadership should make disease and death into a 'tribal' issue and that these death cultists are willing to follow them (which is why the leadership is doing it as there are dumb sheep who will follow them) is beyond the pale.

I don't care if the death cultists die but I resent being dragged down with them.

The internment of US citizens during WWII was the ultimate in tribalism where the minority in their tribe (which should be a citizen of the US) were interned merely because they happen to have the same ancestry as the enemy. I am fearful that one day there will be a repeat of that as the tribalism that lead to that is apparently still alive and thriving.

If you live by facts, then

If you live by facts, then you need to understand that tribalism is a fact. I don't believe there's a human out there that has escaped that without severe mental illness. We, on the whole, have simply grown away from the statement

"I am against my brother, my brother and I are against my cousin, my cousin and I are against the stranger"

. Instead, we've replaced the family tribe with wider definitions of tribes, as well as multiple tribes at the same time. (IT worker, Ram's fan, Yooper, plus skin colour, hair colour, whatever) It's still healthier than the attitudes of the Pawnee vs the Lakota Sioux, for example, or the Tutsi's vs the Hutu of Rwanda. (which is basically 'farmers vs ranchers') (heck, look at the sheep and cattle wars in West Texas and New Mexico)

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

malicious compliance, and

malicious compliance, and only acting against Demons,

Yup, that is a route they

Amethyst's picture

Yup, that is a route they just may need to take.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Political shenanigans

Amethyst's picture

This is something that the Angels haven't had to deal with in hundreds of years of service to Misota, a Queen who doesn't fully support them. Heather has indicated that there may be some jealousy there and that she is weak-willed and easily manipulated. You don't attack the puppet though, you attack the puppeteers.

That being said they will have to navigate this new political climate carefully and hope the next queen will be more in line with the previous ones. Until then, they will have to deal with her and possibly take a stand by limiting what they offer to only defense of the people from Demons. Withholding the technological advances that the Tinkers and Alchemists are creating and making sure there's nothing useful to loot when they hand over Eden Base may just show the Queen and those pulling her strings that the Corps is more than just a group of glorified inhuman mercenaries.

As for pay, we'll have to see how that works when and if a deal is made.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3


Better than withholding the advances is making sure others benefit first and more directly from the advances, after all, the parties with money and influence to manipulate the Queen likely owe a lot of their means to obtain said influence through the advancements made by the Tinkers and Alchemists employed by the Angels. leaving the repair nanites vat(s) (in an inaccessible area) and doing a scan of the empty base would also be quite a troll move, it would keep them from busting into the walls easily to get at the plumbing and electrical, before the walls are sealed up again unless they do so much damage in the process they destroy said electrical and plumbing.

Well, by default, all of that

Well, by default, all of that stuff would be sealed off without a lot of work. If you don't know -how- to disassemble it, you're likely to damage it anyway.

Think of a major research base, or even a repurposed missile silo like Eden sounds like, as being like an aircraft carrier. As much of the infrastructure is as protected as possible, while still being easily accessible by trained personnel. If you don't have full plans and training... you're more likely to damage everything. "What's red mean on the pipe?" 'FSSSHHHH!' (If the reactor is running, that person just scalded themselves to the bone)

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

well it's on geothermal, but

well it's on geothermal, but yeah scalding would happen, especially if super critical geothermal. there's also long term aspect of leaving the repair nanites, political sentiment shifts, and the Angels are biologically immortal, they can be killed but they don't age, when politics shifts back into their favor it'd be nice to have the base in good shape. They'd probably be able to use it as a garrison even if they no longer use it as a primary base, it's likely not too far from the Capital, so even if at the later date the location is no longer secret and they have to use generally available technology there outside of their personal gear, it'd still be useful. It doesn't necessary make sense to strip anything needed for the doors, elevators, lighting, Environmental Controls and Life Support Systems, and maintenance thereof, because they may end up going back there later.


Work, work, work


An angel's work

Amethyst's picture

... is never done ;)

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

If an AI is in a hurry,

Wendy Jean's picture

There may be something back at the old base happening that they are not aware of.

politics and resources

even without political pressure, Eden base is already bursting at the seams trying to facilitate them, with the political pressure, making easily producible versions of old world tech becomes less about quality of life and making it easier for them to do their jobs, (such as the case with radios) and more about generating revenue to replace what they were getting through taxes and provide for the things they can't get themselves. An important detail for scalability, is that to the extent possible, they need to use equipment and processes that don't rely on old world tech, it's one thing for prototypes and internal use, but doing that to produce items for sale, they don't want to eat into their ultimately limited production capacity available through old world tech, that means they need even more space that they don't have


Amethyst's picture

Eden Base just can't support them all anymore, and the Queen's pressure is pushing up their timetable. If they are going to find a new base they'll need more space. They could have expanded on the surface above Eden Base but keeping it secure might be difficult and the demands that the base eventually be turned over to the Queen have derailed that idea.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

they also don't have to tell

they also don't have to tell her about all the emergency tunnels. which it undoubtedly has,

Further chapters are available to the public

"Further chapters are available to the public on my Patreon page."

Then why does it say it's locked?

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin

Because if you don't want to

Because if you don't want to wait for them to be released here, you have to pay for Patreon? I'm not sure that you can really release free content on Patreon, unless you have a LOT of non-free content.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

Then you

Define "available to the public" a bit differently than I do. If it's behind a paywall, then it isn't available to the public, is it?

Nevermind. I can't afford it, and wouldn't pay for it if I could.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin

Okay so you don't like paying

ShadowedSin's picture

Okay so you don't like paying for some content is whining about it necessary?

"I like to be creative in a fight. It gets my juices going."
-Xena Warrior-Princess of Amphibolis

I Don't Think So...

I'm a subscriber, and when I get an announcement via email for a new chapter it always says that I'm getting it four days (or five, or six, or seven) ahead of the public. The only chapter that should be locked, based on that announcement, would be Snow Angel 15. (Of course, this is 13, so that only leaves #14 open.)

Karen, did you try #14 or just go to the top of the Snow Angel page (which would be #15)?


Regarding Patreon

Amethyst's picture

The only chapters that you have to become a member to see are the newest ones, and they are only held out of public view for my patrons for a week at most, which I think is reasonable. I tested this today using my tablet, which I have never used to go to Patreon before. With no login account I was able to access every chapter except for the newest chapters of Snow Angel and Children of Naethari. I even changed the patreon link just now to take people to the page with my posts rather than the landing page so that you can see the latest posts directly rather than all of the patreon subscription stuff since it's easier to navigate.

I appreciate the support that I get on Patreon, it helps me to scrape by and keep writing right now. I'm not trying to force anyone to pay and I try to be as reasonable as I can with how long I keep chapters locked there for people who can't afford to pay for subscriptions. Seriously, waiting a week for a new chapter is not a big deal since most patreon pages I've seen have exclusive patron only content and I don't do that. I post the stories here as well as a courtesy to my long-time readers here on BCTS but given all the flack I've been given over a small link showing where further chapters can be read if people choose to, I'm beginning to think that it's not worth it. I'm already stressed out, my life fucking sucks, and I'm in the middle of trying to move somewhere else to improve things but still I'm trying to produce and post what content I can for all of my readers, not just those who support me on Patreon. I do not need this shit right now.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Don't worry about it. Lots

Don't worry about it. Lots of people here have their own Patreon, or their own freaking web page, where they direct everyone _away_ from BigCloset. (Robinverse, for example, or Daniela Wolfe)

Karen J's just being a ... Karen. Complaining for the sake of complaining, rather than really considering the situation.

The only time I'll start complaining about not getting 'all the story' that's out there is if I was writing stories _myself_. Then, maybe, I could point fingers. The closest I'll get to that is wishing and hoping. (It's the difference between my cats. One uses wishful thinking. The other uses noisy hoping. (for petting/treats, etc))

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

You can't make everyone happy

You can't make everyone happy, trying to do so is a waste of energy, don't worry about what others say, You are doing fine

Human only

If they are self sufficient and get no help from the government then why should Angel Core take orders from them, I’m pretty sure militarily they would come out on top.

hugs :)
Michelle SidheElf Amaianna