Snow Angel: Chapter 24

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Chapter 24: Home Again

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


“Risha, sweetie, you’re making old-world references that nobody but you can understand again,” Autumn told her gently.


Author's Note: Here is chapter 24 of Snow Angel. 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 24: Home Again

We quickly got our belongings stowed and strapped down in the cargo section of the veetol and then helped the six members of Phantom Wing get strapped into their seats before doing the same for ourselves. All six members of Maryn’s team were looking about the inside of the veetol with keen interest, though Fawn wore a thoughtful expression on her face after a moment. “This veetol is different than I remember. We’ve seen quite a few of them growing up, we even rode on one, but this one isn’t the same.”

Kyra nodded her agreement as we finished buckling in. “Yes, the inside isn’t too different but the outside is.” I was surprised that the pair had noticed that in the darkness of night. I had really good night vision but I knew that Sheepkin usually don’t and I wasn’t sure about half-Fay like Fawn.

It was my grandmother who answered them, after telling Raven that we were all strapped in and clear for takeoff. “Good eye girls. These are more advanced models of the veetol that we recently discovered when Snow’s team discovered Woodbury Base. They are much more heavily armored, have something called thrusters instead of turbines that make them both quieter and faster, and they have a pair of plasma turrets under the wings. This, and anything else that you see at Woodbury Base, must remain top secret until we get the academy and everything at Eden Base safely relocated.”

“We can’t even tell other Angels or recruits,” I told them as the vehicle took off and I looked toward Maryn and Orchid apologetically. “We kind of had to tell you a few fibs about the mission we were on and what we found.”

“We were under orders,” Lisbet added apologetically.

“Did you really find Risha hiding out in some ruins while on that mission, or was that a fib too?” Maryn asked with a thoughtful frown as she looked toward the Avatar.

Risha looked to my grandmother, who gave a brief nod, before speaking up. “It is sort of true. They found me in a small research base in the Twin City ruins where I was living since before the fall of the old world. The technology was much more advanced than at Eden Base but it would not suit the goals of the Corps long-term, so I suggested that they check out Woodbury Base. Fortunately, it was both still intact and unoccupied.”

“We did get shot out of the sky though before we found that out,” Heather helpfully pointed out.

I was pretty sure that all six members of Phantom Wing missed Heather’s comment because they were all gaping at Risha. “Since before the fall the old world?” Kyle asked with wide eyes.

“I am like Sira,” the Avatar explained, “an AI housed in an Avatar body, only I can feel emotions. Sira is sort of my little sister but my Avatar body is far more advanced since I was a prototype and my father was constantly trying to improve me. We have a new body in the works for Sira too that should be better than what she has now.”

“But you look and smell just like a human,” Orchid argued.

Risha shrugged but explained… sort of. “As I said, my body is far more advanced than what you encountered with Sira. Her Avatar body is like Data in Star Trek before he got his emotion chip, advanced and looks almost human but not quite there. I have the full package and look human; I can even change my scent and stuff. So I am more like a replicant from Blade Runner, or maybe a human form Cylon, but with a conscience.”

I wasn’t alone in staring at her in confusion. “Risha, sweetie, you’re making old-world references that nobody but you can understand again,” Autumn told her gently.

“I am sure somebody got it,” Risha said, seeming to stare off into space for a moment. “Ah, never mind, we will just leave it at ‘way more advanced’ for now. I am totally going to educate you all though.”

Things turned serious then as my grandmother turned in her seat to give the members of Phantom Wing a solemn look. “Snow has convinced me that your team, with the addition of Fawn and Kyra, will be suitable for a special operations team. Since Storm Wing is being trained for the same purpose and we might need you mission-ready sooner than I thought with the way things are in the capital, I have decided to use the opportunity of getting Kyra and Fawn their dose of Angel Elixir to bring all of you to Woodbury for special training. As soon as your two new members are recovered from their transformations you will all be training alongside Storm Wing in the simulator room.”

“What sort of training?” Maryn asked as she looked toward me and my team thoughtfully. “More team versus team battles?”

The first Angel shook her head. “No, team on team battles are a good start but we only use them to get new recruits used to using their new weapons and working as a team. Risha will be running simulations for all of you in the VR simulator room to train you how to pilot certain vehicles that we will need you to be familiar with, combat various Demons as a team, and solo fights with Demons.”

“Are we ready for that kind of thing?” Peter inquired, his ears twitching nervously. “I mean, Snow and the others have fought Demons before but they’re way better than the other first-year training wings.”

“They’re that good because they learned by fighting real Demons and because Snow is a very promising tactician who knows her team’s weaknesses and strengths. Ask her how much I helped them during our trip into the ruins,” our Trainer insisted.

Maryn looked at me and I sighed before telling Phantom Wing, “She didn’t. She just followed my orders as if she was a member of the team. She left the planning to me and didn’t do anything more or less than I ordered her to, even when the very first Demon that we faced was a Fenris. She even made me give Sira the damn mission reports. I mean, sure, she would have probably saved our asses if we needed her to but she let us learn by handling it ourselves.”

My grandmother nodded. “I would have stepped in had you needed me to but you didn’t, and fighting those Demons taught you better than any lecture that I could give. Trial by fire is the most effective way to learn to fight Demons. It is how I learned, and how all Angels learned before the Academy was created to ease new recruits into being Angels. You’ll all still need to do all of the book learning for skills that you will need to know eventually but true experience in our line of work is gotten in battle, when you are afraid for your life and each decision can cost you in blood.”


Maryn and the rest of Phantom Wing were quiet as the veetol touched down on the vehicle elevator and began to descend to the hangar level. Mostly, I think they were trying to process everything that we had told them during the flight to Woodbury Base. Once the elevator had stopped and Raven had docked the veetol on one of the metal maintenance pads, we were all allowed to grab our gear and leave the veetol.

It was amusing watching the looks on their faces as the members of Phantom Wing got a good look around the hangar level. By the time Risha had shown them around one of the MISTs and gave them a quick demonstration of the docked REVs, I didn’t think that they would ever be able to pick their jaws back up off the ground. “We’re going to be learning to pilot these?” Orchid asked uncertainly as Risha re-docked the REV just inside the rear ramp of the MIST.

“Yes,” my Grandmother told her candidly. “The MISTs will be reserved for special operations teams only, and each team will have a MIST assigned to them. Sira and I decided that since we don’t have enough pilots for our current demand, each member of your teams should be trained in piloting both the MIST and REVs for long-term missions. That way, if any of you gets injured or needs a break you have plenty of pilots available without having to add extra members to your team for the sole purpose of being pilots. Once Kyra and Fawn are out of the hospital you will all begin training on them in the simulators alongside Snow’s team.”

“So, what do we do until then?” Peter asked with a look toward the Woodward sisters as Risha sealed the MIST and we started toward the elevator.

My grandmother paused and seemed to look each member of Phantom Wing over thoughtfully for a moment before answering. “You will all be taking turns watching over your new teammates, just as you had someone watch over you when you went through the change. You all need to bond and learn to depend on one another, even when you or one of your teammates isn’t at your best. That doesn’t change just because we have Marti available, and it is especially important for special operations teams. You could be out in hostile territory for months at a time without anyone besides each other to depend on.”

Who is Marti?” Kelsie asked as we stopped to wait for the elevator.

“Uhh... it varies,” Raven replied to Phantom Wing’s Trainer with a slight frown.

“They are AIs in avatar bodies, like me and Sira,” Risha explained. “There are a lot of them and they are all sharing one AI core. It has made them all a bit... quirky.” I nodded in agreement, though I thought that ‘quirky’ was a bit of an understatement.

It was late, and Sira was waiting for the two new recruits at the hospital, so instead of giving Phantom Wing a tour of the base we took them straight to the hospital. We figured that we would give them all a proper tour once Kyra and Fawn were recovered and on their feet again. We would have to take the Woodward girls to get new clothes and gear, let the members of Phantom Wing decide where they would be staying, and show them where the Simulator room was anyway. It made sense to do all of that and give them the tour at the same time.

When we arrived at the hospital entrance, two of the Marti Avatars were waiting for us in their white nurse uniforms. They were still sporting the metal look, so I assumed that they either hadn’t decided on a look for their new selves yet or didn’t have enough of Risha’s nanites replicated for all one hundred of their avatar bodies. It was entirely possible that they were all just having trouble deciding on a look that they all identified with since they all seemed to want to have identical bodies.

Standing with them was a woman that I couldn’t identify, at least not until Risha grinned and said, “Hey little sis, how are you liking the new avatar body?”

Wait, that was Sira? She must have been testing the features that would allow her to blend in even among those with heightened senses because she smelled human to me and I didn’t hear any of the telltale clicks or whirs that had been common in her former avatar body. “It is more than satisfactory, Risha. The improvements and new features that you and our father added are very interesting, and not having to return to an alcove to recharge regularly is wonderful. Thank you for donating and re-configuring your nanites, and for designing the body to my specifications,” the other AI replied with a very convincing smile.

Sira’s new body was slightly taller than before, almost my own height, and was slightly more shapely than before. Her skin was still olive-hued, but her hair had gone from blue-black to ebony and her eyes seemed larger now and were a piercing green rather than their former hazel color. Her face had softer features, plumper lips, a slightly smaller nose, and higher cheekbones, making her very striking. I could see the resemblance to her old avatar now that I was looking for it but this one looked like a slightly younger and much prettier sister.

“What are big sisters for,” Risha teased Sira with a grin.

Sira didn’t take the bait. Instead, she nodded to the rest of us and informed us, “Storm Wing, you are off duty, so you can all go home and rest up before continuing your training tomorrow. Phantom Wing, I will need to take your two new members aside to get blood samples to prepare their nanites and have them take personality tests. Marti and Marti here have prepared beds for you all and will be helping you to care for Fawn and Kyra once they are given their nanite doses, probably sometime late tonight.”

“Tomorrow you’ll likely spend the day watching over them and caring for them. Enjoy the relative rest while you have it tomorrow because the next day you’ll all join Storm Wing in the simulator room,” my Grandmother cautioned with a stern look. With that obvious dismissal given, she took Raven’s hand and started pulling her off to one of their quarters and I could have sworn I heard her say, “And as for you, Raven, no rest for the wicked.”

I was trying to clear the mental images that had come on the heels of those words from my brain with a vigorous shake of my head as Sira led the Woodward girls inside the hospital and Marti and Marti started to herd the rest of Phantom Wing along behind them. One of the Avatars was gushing, “You’re all so sweet to look after your friends while they recuperate. Don’t you worry none, this won’t be boring. We can have lots of fun too. We can make it like a sleepover; between checking on them we can make hot cocoa, watch movies, and do each others’ hair and nails. It will be great!”

None of the members of Phantom Wing looked very sure about what they were in for and cast dubious looks at me over their shoulders. I just grinned and made a shooing motion as I heard the other Marti say, “Geeze, Marti, they’re not junior high girls. Hell, two of them are guys. Give the enthusiasm a rest. Besides, they should all be getting proper rest and healthy food before they have to start training. I have a very good meal plan in mind for them and maybe I’ll play some soothing music to help them all to relax when they aren’t looking after their friends.”

“But Marti, you play the bagpipes. That is, like, so the opposite of soothing. I really think we should...” Their voices drifted off as they entered the hospital doors and the members of Phantom Wing followed along looking slightly worried about what they might be in for. Maybe we should have wished them luck.


We went to bed as soon as we got home. It was strange that a place that we had spent so little time in felt like home now but it did and we were all glad to be back and able to climb into our comfortable beds. It was nice being able to snuggle in a nice big bed together with Autumn, Heather, and Risha again after Karina and Lisbet had gone off to their own rooms and for a while, I had just laid awake enjoying the closeness of what Autumn called our mate-group.

Autumn and I were cuddled up closely in the center and I could hear from her breathing that she was awake too as Heather drifted off on my other side and snuggled up almost possessively with me in her sleep. Risha doesn’t really sleep but she did have her eyes closed and a satisfied smile on her face as she lay there with an arm draped over Autumn and her hand resting on my hip where Heather’s leg was draped over me. We had all kissed each other good night before getting comfortable, even Heather, though she had blushed all the way to her toes when doing so.

I leaned over to kiss Autumn once again though and my fingertips softly caressed both Heather’s leg and Risha’s hand in turn. “This is nice. It feels like this is the way things should be,” I said with a smile.

“That’s because it is the way things should be,” Autumn whispered back, a smile curving her lips upward even though her eyes remained closed. “I had a feeling the moment that we met that you and I belonged together, Snowy. Heather and Risha belong with us too, not that Heather will admit it. We haven’t known one another long but my people have a saying. ‘Time waits not for destiny.’ I love you, Snowy. I love all of you.”

I nuzzled her cheek and I found myself starting to purr in happiness from our current situation. “I love you too, Autumn. From the first time you kissed me, you had me thinking about my life differently. I think it’s because I don’t want it to be my life, I want it to be our life. I’m still trying to get used to the idea of multiple mates but Heather has grown on me now that she’s starting to come out of her shell and Risha… well, there’s nobody alive like Risha.”

“Nope, there definitely is not,” the Avatar agreed playfully as she gently stroked my hip. Then her voice sounded almost tentative as she spoke again. “You’re pretty unique yourself, Snowy. All of you are. We have a good team here and I think the four of us could have a good thing together. I… have to admit that at first, I was interested in you because you reminded me so much of Kylie, Autumn. You’re not the same person though and I keep finding new things about all of you that make me love you in a different way than I did her, I see things in all of you that make me happy just being with you. I’m glad that you let me join this team and this… whatever we are.”

“Mates, that’s the word you’re looking for,” Heather’s voice said softly from behind me, her breath warm on the back of my neck. “Not that we can do anything to make that official for the next three years.”

“I thought you were asleep,” I said as I reached back to take the former princess’s hand in mine and lay our joined hands atop Autumn’s and Risha’s.

“I was but your… umm … tail is between my legs and between its twitching and your purring it’s…” Heather trailed off, not sure how to finish and I found myself blushing as I pulled my tail in closer and tried to get it in a position where it would neither bother nor stimulate her. She sighed, and I wasn’t sure whether it was from relief or something else. “Don’t expect me to get as mushy as all of you. My family… I’m not even sure if I know what love is. Maybe someday though… if you all keep rubbing off on me.”

“Yeah, we know, Heather. You’re just here because the Fay are all about physical contact and you have to learn to be one of them.” I gently squeezed her hand in my own as I made the excuse for her and tried not to giggle.

“We love you too, silly Heather,” Autumn offered with a sleepy smile. It wasn’t long after that that we all fell asleep, hands clasped together.


The next morning, we spent most of the day in the simulators, training on the Mists and REVs. Occasionally, our Trainer would have us switch things up by going to the shooting range or having Risha load a randomized Demon combat training program on the simulators. Thanks to the time variance in the simulators and the repetition of constant training, we were making definite progress though. We were having a lot fewer accidents with the REVs in race mode and were starting to get used to the layout of the controls in the MISTs and to their intricacies and sensitivity as well.

We did stop for meal breaks, of course. We were all pretty happy to have the food dispensers available and happily tried various things that Risha had recommended from its massive menu. It was just so nice to have such variety available and to be able to eat whatever suited our tastes at the time. Autumn was also thrilled with having guilt-free meat available for every meal.

After dinner that evening, Risha and Lisbet left us to go to the labs briefly. They scanned the material made from Kyra’s wool and Risha said something about uploading the data to the central information archives for the food dispensers and boutique booths, or at least the one for Woodbury Base. They also checked on the nanite labs, where Sira had moved production of the Angel nanites.

Risha said that nanites were one of the most important and versatile tools that the Corps had available. Sira apparently thought so as well since she had moved the equipment related to it here first to add to the other similar equipment in a whole lab devoted to nanite creation. She had slightly increased the production of Angel Elixir doses but had also started production of the HESS armor. Most of the new resources were devoted to the latter since the nanites were not only complex but much more of them were needed per unit, and because HESS armor would be useful for keeping both Angels and support crew safe in the field.

There were the nanite injections for the Corps’ support staff to be able to interface with vehicles and other basic equipment as well, but the lab’s resources weren’t being used for those. Since those were simple, generic, and didn’t need to be specially programmed with the receiver’s DNA like the Angel nanites, they were easy for Marti to replicate and inject at the hospital. That had already been proven with Raven, and she was having no issues with her interface nanites.

Once the pair got back from the lab, we settled in for a nice evening at home. We were all very tired after our extremely long day of training though and Heather and Lisbet both fell asleep before Risha could even choose a movie for us to watch together. Since the rest of us weren’t much more awake than the two of them we decided to just call it a night then and there and Karina carried Lisbet up to put her to bed in her room while I did the same for Heather and placed her in our nice big bed.

We all passed out fairly quickly after that, barely getting changed for bed and under the covers before heading to dreamland. I wanted to lay there a while before sleeping to enjoy the feeling of being snuggled up with Autumn, Heather, and Risha but I was just too tired. Now that I was in bed, the long day caught up with me and I fell asleep despite my intentions.

The next thing that I knew, Risha was waking us up so we could get a shower in before breakfast. As we had the day before, we took our various toiletries and headed off to one of the group lavatories and showers beneath one of the barracks buildings to shower rather than have to take turns waiting for one of the two showers in our house. We would probably have to get used to doing that eventually but for now, this was quicker and easier while there were so few people in the base.

We hadn’t seen any other Angels or Corps support staff during the previous day but that made sense since they were mostly moving things from Eden base at night when the veetols flying through the sky wouldn’t be as noticed. Storm Wing and Phantom Wing were pretty much the only ones on base at the moment except for Raven and some Tinkers who were setting things up in the labs. Even Sira had gone back to Eden Base after giving Kyra and Fawn their nanite doses since she was needed there to coordinate everything and control some of the base’s systems.

Once we were clean and ready to face the day we dropped our things off at home, got dressed in clothes that we hadn’t been able to wear in the capital, and headed for the hospital rather than the mess hall. A few messages exchanged with Maryn had confirmed that the Woodward girls were awake, their changes fully completed, and ready for a tour of the base. I wondered how much they had changed.

© 2021-2022 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved

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

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Amethyst's picture

She'll find out next chapter about their changes, and a few other things too.

*big hugs*



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


TheCropredyKid's picture

More Snow and her friends!

Now, maybe some more of "A Cold Fey in Hell" or "My Super-Powered Diary"?



Amethyst's picture

Yup a new chapter is good, right?

Hopefully, I'll get time to start book 2 of Cold Fey and put out some chapters of MSPD sometime soon.

*big hugs*



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


TheCropredyKid's picture



Double Yay!

Yay! Yay!

Don't believe everything you think.

Another great chapter

I’m always impressed that you keep all these stories separate in your head and manage to keep them so detailed. Love these characters and really like to see them be developed so clearly. Thanks again for sharing.

Thanks Tina

Amethyst's picture

I'm not sure how I do it either except for being a bit of a perfectionist and having a good memory for story details. I'm just glad that my readers enjoy my work.

*big hugs*



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


Well, I wonder why they need them in the first place as nanites could theoretically take care of the wastes one would think.

On extended mission with no shower facilities that would be useful. Maybe that was the case during their first mission but not mentioned?

So far they have not had a very long break as they have not had a break beyond a day if I am not mistaken.

I take it the current urgent situation is necessitating this all hands on deck mentality?

the Angel Nanites are

the Angel Nanites are internal, so they don't take care of external hygiene, HESS being external would as part of "self-cleaning and disposing of wastes" but showers are relaxing.


Amethyst's picture

As mhalpern mentioned, the Angel nanites are internal. The HESS that Snow has does keep the weared clean and disposes of wastes though so it would be ideal for those long missions with no shower facilities. During their first mission they were basically roughing it until they found the research facility where they met Risha.

Yep, not much of a break right now but in addition to the regular Demon hunting duties that the Angels have, now they have to move everything of value from Eden base without alerting anyone outside the Corps and make it look like business as usual, so it's all hands on deck.

*big hugs*



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


Oh no, they have to do evil paperwork O.O. Umm, shouldn't that be 'electronwork'? Who needs paper when you have state of the art AIs and computers.
And I'm sure the rest of the team will rub off more on Heather. She definitely needs some TLC. ;-)
Thx for another purrrrtastic chapter^^


Amethyst's picture

Yup, speaking as someone who has a lot of paperwork at work, it is a fate worse than death. But yup, it could all be submitted digitally.

Heather is starting to come out of her shell more, but yeah, she definitely needs some TLC.

*big hugs*



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


Wendy Jean's picture

the changes will be for the better.


Amethyst's picture

Most likely they will since the Angel nanites are designed to optimize the person receiving them.

*big hugs*



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

and the queen

of cliff hangers strikes again


Amethyst's picture

It is kinda my thing, hence why I'm the queen. Oh wait, I mean, what cliffhanger? Hey look! A distraction!

*big hugs*



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