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Bureau of Mutants, Superhumans, & Costumed Vigilantes


May 8th, 2006

Part one of Authority wip @ 05:23 am

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

I know nothing about gin beyond the fact that I loathe it. So I looked it up on google to find a brand that was supposed to be good (whatever "good" means when it comes to a substance that tastes like jet fuel and pain).

The /00110111/ are named after Seven of Nine.

Friendly Fire, part 1/?
The Authority belong to Warren Ellis and Wildstorm comics.

The Carrier,
sailing upreality at a speed of 150 mhz, through a dimension empty of organic life:

The /00110111/ had lived in harmony for 357.862 solar revolutions, undisturbed by lesser life forms, but there was memory of a time before harmony had been achieved. The gross mass of organic material and inert metal that had appeared in the /00110111/'s atmosphere resembled disharmonic life forms previously encountered during those times.

There was curiosity. There was apprehension. A number of the /00110111/ were sent to investigate.

Attempts to communicate were made on the most basic molecular levels, and via the simplest energy exchange subroutines, but the life form did not respond. Curiosity satisfied, the /00110111/ concluded that it was not sentient.

The /00110111/ was content to absorb the residue of life form's substantial energy expenditures, and waited patiently for it to leave.



"I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of this," Angie announced softly. She lay face-down in one of the carrier's observation bubbles, watching a storm of silver glitter dance violently several feet beneath her nose. It was oddly soothing, the little flecks of silver moving in what might almost have been pre-determined patterns.

"The view looks pretty good from over here, too."

Angie twisted sideways onto her elbow and looked up. Jack Hawksmoor stood in the doorway of the bubble, a bottle and two glasses in his hand.

"You ducked out of the victory celebration," he said. "I thought I'd make sure you didn't miss out on the party altogether." He held up the bottle--Bombay Sapphire--flourishing it as if it were a bouquet of roses. "You said you liked gin and lemon."

Angie hesitated for a moment, then resigned herself to giving up her solitude; really, on a ship this size, it shouldn't be so difficult to find a spot to be alone for a few minutes. "Room service?" she asked. "I could get used to this." She waved at Jack, inviting him to enter.

The surface of the bubble looked and felt like glass, but was actually a polymerous compound as strong as reinforced steel. It was also very nearly as slick as the glass it resembled.

Jack walked down its sloping side as easily as if it were level ground, and sat down beside her, setting the gin down on the bottom of the bubble.

"You forgot the lemon," she told him.

"No I didn't." He produced a pair of lemons from out of the pockets of his suit jacket. "I am always prepared."

He poured her a glass of gin, added a twist of lemon, and held the drink out to her, waiting until she had taken her first sip before fixing one for himself.

There wasn't as much lemon as she would have liked, but it was damn good gin. Angie lifted her glass to him in a toast. "To changing things for the better."

"To a better world," Jack agreed, clinking his glass against hers. They sat in silence for a moment, the only living things in a silver tempest. "We're bad little team members," Jack said finally. "We should be back with everyone else, celebrating and bonding."

The gin suddenly tasted bitterer than the lemon could account for. Angie dropped her gaze to the floor, watching the glitter swirl some more. "I know we won," she said, "but celebrating just doesn't feel…" She shook her head, unable to find the right word. "We destroyed an entire civilization. A corrupt, disgusting civilization, but, still, it makes you think."

Jack shook his head. "We survived. Surviving is always something to celebrate." He was sitting in the narrow rectangle of light from the open hatch, and the yellow glow of the carrier's lights picked out every cut and bruise on his face. "And trust me, so is wiping those Sliding Albion bastards out. You didn't feel what their cities were like. Firenze, Milano, Palermo, Roma… they were abominations, mutilated parodies of themselves. They wanted to die." A flicker of red pulsed in his eyes, and he downed the rest of his glass in one long swallow. "They were grateful for it," he added.

"And you know this for a fact." Angie took another swallow of her gin and lemon, feeling it burn its way through her sinuses. The glass was cool in her hands, an ordinary lowball glass, feeling oddly out of place in the exotic world of the carrier. People sitting on a spaceship and looking out at another dimension should be drinking pan-galactic gargleblasters, or blue Corellian ale in levitating cups. "I don't know who is weirder, you or the Doctor."

"Oh, the Doctor." Jack shrugged, then winced ever-so-slightly. "I passed the thanks on to him and he just looked at me blankly and asked me what I was on. And if I'd be willing to share."

"Yeah, well, Jenny did say she found him in Amsterdam." Angie snorted; she could imagine precisely the expression the Doctor would have been wearing, that goofy little bemused grin that was his specialty when confronted with something random and bizarre. 'This dimension has purple horseshoe crabs flying through the air!' he'd say brightly, or, 'In this dimension, sound is perfume. Isn't that interesting?' or, 'I just wiped an entire country off the map! Wanna know how?' She more than suspected that hallucinatory flying things and synaesthesia were nothing new to him, but talking cities were unlikely even in drug-induced fantasies.

"We're all pretty weird when you think about it," she went on. "When I did this to myself--put the nanites in my bloodstream--I thought there were so many possibilities unfolding before me. Research, exploration, expanding the boundaries of science…" she waved a hand at the maelstrom beyond the view walls. "And mostly, I use it all to kill things. And then I think, 'I gave up my humanity for this?'"

"You look human enough to me." Something in Jack's voice made her look over at him, pulling her eyes away from the dancing patterns in the air.

It had been months since anyone had looked at her as a woman, rather than as The Engineer. Even walking around naked as a Playboy centerfold beneath a film of nanites, the stares she got were for the metal that covered her skin, not for the body underneath it. During the post-Gamorra clean-up operations in London and Los Angeles, at least a dozen people had asked her if she was a robot.

Jack, though, had dropped several hints to the effect that he very definitely didn't think of her as a robot, and he was currently looking at her with an intensity that made Angie very aware that she wasn't wearing a bra under her white t-shirt. Unexpectedly, she could feel her nipples hardening, and knew that he could probably see them, pressing against the thin fabric of her shirt.

His eyes dropped down to the half-empty glass in his hands, and then he looked up again, this time staring directly into Angie's eyes. "More human than I am, anyway." There was a kind of challenge in that statement, and Angie has always loved a challenge. She especially loved challenges that did't involve shooting things.

She set her drink down carefully on the bottom of the observation bubble and rose to her knees, crawling over to him in way that's got to look incredibly awkward, except that by the way Jack's eyes widened and went dark, he must think it looks hot. "Don't tell me, let me guess. You've got caterpillar treads on more than just your feet?"

"Interested in finding out?" Jack's eyebrows quirked upward, and he leaned forward, closing the space between them.

"Right now, I'm interested in anything that makes me think about something other than what we did today." It's more honesty than she had intended to offer, as well as about the least sexy thing she could have said. She can feel the charge in the air dissipating on the heels of her words.

And then Jack nodded, and reached for her, one hand sliding around her waist and the other brushing her hair back from her face. "Sounds like a plan to me."

Outside, the glitter swirled. For a moment, Angie felt a prickle crawling up the back of her neck, as if someone or something was staring at her. "Does it feel like something's watching us to you?"

"Nothing out here but you, me, and the glitter. Too exposed for you?"

The feeling of unseen eyes was still there, making Angie intensely conscious of every inch of her skin, every point of contact between her and Jack. "Actually, I think it's kind of… hot."

"Exhibitionist," he accused. And kissed her, hard, his hands gripping her head and her hip with a force just short of bruising--he could crush skulls with those hands; she had seen it. Angie, who hadn't bruised since her veins had stopped carrying blood, grabbed at him in turn, digging her fingernails into broad shoulders and thrusting her tongue into his mouth with desperate force. Part of her wondered where this ferocity was coming from. Most of her didn't care.

Jack's mouth tasted like gin--not surprising--and like something else, something gritty that made Angie think of asphalt and concrete. By the time they broke apart to catch their breath, her entire body was tingling, a hot ache building between her legs.

"I drank death in through my skin today," Jack mumbled against the side of her jaw.

Angie didn't answer--what was there to say? Instead, she yanked Jack's white shirt free of his waistband and slid her hands under it. Her fingers grazed across a long, scabbed-over cut, and then another, and Jack hissed, wincing away from her.

"Watch the saber cuts."

"I can think of better things to watch," Angie told him, and dropped a hand down to the front of his black trousers. Because she was a scientist, and had seen many, many weird things, she didn't hesitate for more than a moment after she'd gotten the zipper undone. For a half-second, instinctive revulsion warred with curiosity. Curiosity won. This was, after all, a challenge.

"I told you not all of me was human."

Angie let the nanites ooze out of her pores to sheath her skin in silver, let them spread out to cover Jack's fingers, his bare stomach, any part of him she could reach. She can feel him through them, as intimately as she can with her fingers. Temperature, heartbeat, the chemical make up of his skin… "Join the club."

The second kiss was longer. Jack, unlike some of the men she'd met since becoming the Engineer, had no objections to metal. To him, concrete and steel were probably just as alive as flesh, so what was a little liquid metal between friends?

The red light of the bleed washed over them, reflecting off her naked skin.


The /00110111/ had nearly lost interest in the new life form, and the smaller parasites it carried inside of it. There was no knowledge to be gained from disorganized organic life forms. If it did not depart within 25.275 chronological units, the /00110111/ would begin breaking its substances down and converting its raw matter into harmonious life.

Scarcely had the decision been reached when investigating particles began reporting new data. Previously undetected metallic particles had become active within the life form's outer shell, moving with an organized cohesion that indicated a guiding intelligence at work, albeit a primitive one. There was intelligent life within the organic invader, and though it resonated with alien harmonics, communication might be possible.

More particles were sent to investigate.

Then, without even so much as a change in energy signal to serve as a warning, the vast life form vanished, taking with it the new intelligence and the pieces of the /00110111/ that had attached themselves to its surface.

The /00110111/ recorded the loss, registered regret, and initiated the subroutines that would allow it to duplicate the missing particles.

Curiosity had not been satisfied, but harmony could now be restored.


^_~


On to Part Two
 
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[User Picture Icon]
From:azarias
Date:May 8th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)

omgsquee in excess

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Angiefic! Angiefic that remembers Jack's weird equipment! And that no oine but Jenny had half a clue about Jeroen!

(And Sapphire is good gin, though Angie and Jack are obviously heathens who have turned their backs on the One True Twist: lime.)

Mmm, tacky Authority parties, how I miss your canon.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:May 8th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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Angiefic that remembers Jack's weird equipment!

You mean people forget? But that takes half the fun out of it!

Mmm, tacky Authority parties, how I miss your canon.

I love the bits of the comics I've seen thus far that show them all just hanging out and doing stupid team stuff. It reminds me of an R-rated version of the X-Men (the X-Men play Calvinball using their powers, the Authority drink and talk about killing things with their powers. Or make fun of Friends).

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From:elspethdixon
Date:May 8th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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And I clearly can't close html tags.
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From:azarias
Date:May 8th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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The canon writers forget Jack's weird equipment. And the fact that he's somewhat shy around women until he gets to know them. And the fact that he doesn't like to kill. (Okay, Ellis himself forgot that point between Stormwatch and Authority. I started a fic fanwanking it into making some kind of sense by saying that the brutalized cities of Sliding Albion infected him, but then I looked back at the Gamorra arc and saw him exploding heads without remorse there, and casually dumping bodies in the earlier issues of Albion, too. Meh.)

I adore superhero leisure time. One of the few good points of Volume 2 is that it shows moments of the team hanging out, like Angie and Apollo sitting around, getting smashed and gossiping about everybody. I'd've loved to see a few scenes like that between them before she stood for him at his wedding, you know?

(Will spare you the rant about the sheer crapfest that was that wedding.)
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 8th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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(You mean the white leather?)
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From:azarias
Date:May 8th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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And "I now pronounce you ... uh ... husband and husband, I guess?". The Authority couldn't find a celebrant familiar with same sex marriages?

And the reception completely devoid of personality.

And the fact that I cling to the pet notion that Midnighter's a Georgia boy and Southerners. Know. Weddings.

And the fact that it was more of Mark Millar's utter contempt for both audience and subject.

*grrrrarrrrrrgh*
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 8th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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Yeah, the officiant needed to be smacked.

I like your pet notion quite a bit. Why Georgia? *is Alabama girl*
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From:azarias
Date:May 9th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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Primarily because I can't get a grasp on a character until I can "hear" his or her voice in my head, so I tend to bounce dialogue around until I find a voice I like. Midnighter's turned out to have some of that soft Georgia burr to it. It's less nasal than some of the other southern coastal accents, less twangy than southern hill accents. Extra 'h' sounds in things.

(Also, my mother's from Georgia and I spent some time there as a child -- though I grew up mainly in Louisiana -- and can hear the accent easily.)

Point of interest: someone already wrote a Midnighter's-from-Alabama story. "Generator" by Matt Nute. It's worth reading -- there's plot.
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 9th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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I've actually read that one, but nothing of the plot sticks in my mind except the bit where Midnighter's-from-Alabama and...yeah.
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From:azarias
Date:May 9th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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I should add that further evidence for my Southern!Midnighter hypothesis is that he eats grits. He convinces other people to eat grits. He is a grits evangelist.

(The Team Achilles/Authority crossover issue, as much as I loathe everything else in it, ends with Midnighter discussing grits. That part, I have to keep.)
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 9th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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Grits? It's official, he is Southern and there is nothing that can be done to convince me otherwise. What do I have to do to get ahold of this?
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From:azarias
Date:May 9th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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The Team Achilles/Authority crossover is in issues 4-6 of Stormwatch: Team Achilles, with the grits discussion in 6. mycomicshop.com has all of them, and decent prices.

The crossover is not very good, unless a writer wanking about how much he hates superheroes through the mouths of his characters does it for you -- I'm not fond of the series in general, or of the writer, for that reason and others. (The guy had a great career going as a political and inspirational speaker and anti-war activist, using his background in the Army Rangers to drive his speeches ... until someone did some research and found out he'd never been in the military, let alone the Rangers. Douchebag.)
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 9th, 2006 03:12 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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I just want the bit about grits. I'm a simple creature, really.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:May 8th, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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*is afraid* What white leather? I haven't gotten/borrowed/read that volume yet?

But, dude, white leather should be outlawed on general principles. It never looks good. (Unless you're talking about white women's pumps or something, but since those should never appear in the same sentence as Apollo or Midnighter either...).
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 8th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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No, not white leather pumps. That would actually have been...less bad. Midnighter gets married in a white leather version of his usual costume. Which makes no sense on so many levels. For one thing, if they really wanted one of them to be in white (and they're so so so not virgins anyway) Apollo's standing there in his usual get-up anyway.

For another, I can't see either of them accepting the insinuation that they're the 'bride.'
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From:azarias
Date:May 8th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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(and they're so so so not virgins anyway)

Yeah. My first reaction to seeing that page was WTF? and my third was DIE MILLAR, but sandwiched between them was That man has a lot of nerve to stand up there in white.
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From:sadlikeknives
Date:May 8th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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If nothing else, I guess it proves he's got balls the size of coconuts, but we freakin' knew that already.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:May 8th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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Apparently, the canon writers forget a lot, but that's sort of par for the course with comics (at least, it always has been with X-Men).

Angie and Apollo sitting around, getting smashed and gossiping about everybody

I can see this happening scarily easily. Meanwhile, Jack and Midnighter would bond via beating something up together.
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From:azarias
Date:May 9th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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Jack and Midnighter are so freakishly cute together. They egg one another on like little boys, but instead of sneaking frogs into church, racing bicycles, and pulling girls' pigtails, they beat up alien invaders and put the fear of God into other superbeings while snarking at one another.
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From:razorsmile
Date:January 4th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)

Re: omgsquee in excess

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And the fact that he doesn't like to kill. (Okay, Ellis himself forgot that point between Stormwatch and Authority. I started a fic fanwanking it into making some kind of sense by saying that the brutalized cities of Sliding Albion infected him, but then I looked back at the Gamorra arc and saw him exploding heads without remorse there, and casually dumping bodies in the earlier issues of Albion, too. Meh.)

I knoe I'm awfully late to this party but I had to comment on this particular point. The best fanwank I ever came up with (or found) for Jack's new-found bloodthirst was very simple:

You don't kill the Spirit of Murder and not pay a price.
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From:seanchai
Date:May 8th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
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This is a great start, you've got a nice grasp of Angie and Jack. And the nanites really are kinda cute.

There are just a few paragraphs where the narration switches into present tense, starting here: She especially loves challenges that don't involve shooting things.

Other than that, this is a really tantalizing start.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:May 8th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
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In the next section, the nanites will be sad. They just don't know how to be proper nanites without the rest of their nanite brethren. So they decide to kill things.

They are symbolic nanites.

I need to decide what comes after the Apollo & Midnighter scene and the sad!nanites, though. Either a Jenny scene, or more Jack and Angie.

There are just a few paragraphs where the narration switches into present tense,

Thanks ^_^ (goes back and fixes). I don't know why my brain kept trying to put things inn present tense, especially since I hate present tense.

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From:frimfram
Date:September 3rd, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
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Hey - just came on over from azarias's updated All the Authority Fanfic On The Web list, and just wanted to let you know I loved this. Great setup, great Angie, and the nanites? Cool with just an edge of creepy. I see there's more chapters - looking forward to reading them.

(I'm new to The Authority - the aliens did stuff to Jack's bits?! I knew he had cool feet, but...damn :D)

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From:elspethdixon
Date:September 3rd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
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Yay, a new reader to suck into my sadistic scheme of only posting updates, like, once a month.

the aliens did stuff to Jack's bits?! I knew he had cool feet, but...damn :D)

The feet are my favourite. They're so... inexplicably cute. But, yep, according to some parts of canon, Jack has visibly non-human "bits" (that once made a potential date nearly hurl). They apparently disappear when the writers don't want to be bothered.
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From:frimfram
Date:September 3rd, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
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Yay, a new reader to suck into my sadistic scheme of only posting updates, like, once a month.
Treat us mean, keep us keen.

They apparently disappear when the writers don't want to be bothered.
Like Apollo's brain-cells, eh?

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