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Young Writers Society
Skies of Nebulae
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:31 am
In the distance they could see the sky turning a polluted shade of grey and tan as the wind picked up the dust into the air. It was no slow development either, as the sky had only been mostly clear a few minutes ago.
"There's no way we're going to survive that out here," Ceres stated, the dread in her voice palpable.
to get to shelter," Lurin replied with urgency.
"We need to get back to the ship," Korena declared. The others looked at him with an expression that read:
The ship? So soon?
Yes, so soon.
would be nice!" Korena commanded impatiently, pointing at the ever approaching sandstorm.
They all nodded, and hurried to gather their things, all looking at the approaching storm with wariness. Bo grabbed a lot of it, thinking of how fast they would have to move while carrying all of the supplies - and he wanted the others to be able to move as fast as possible. He knew there was no guarantee that they would even be able to outrun it, but considering it was their only option apart from getting buried alive in sand and dirt, they would have to try.
They began the hurried trek back to the ship through the desert, running through the sand for a good while - a feat in itself - before they began to slow to a quick paced walk. They'd covered a lot of ground, but the sand storm was still following on their heels, and when they finally saw the ship in the distance, the storm was only a minute out from where they were.
"Let's book it!" Lurin shouted.
The five all sprinted towards the wrecked ship, in a race against time and the giant cloud of dust closing in on them. Bo raced ahead with his long legs and, arriving several yards of distance before them, pushed the blockade they'd set up at the entrance out of the way with a big heave.
"Hurry!" He yelled out to them, watching with worry-filled eyes.
There was a few seconds of delay as Bo watched the sand storm threat to consume his friends. He didn't know how extreme the sandstorms were on this planet, but all he could imagine was them being feet away from him and never making it to the entrance. The image of them getting swallowed by sand replayed in his mind several times, but then they all ran into the ship with a rush of movement.
In came Gavi, Ceres, Lurin, Korena, and then him, sliding in behind them and pushing the blockade back in its place - though it was a great struggle to do so, since mid-way, the sand and wind hit the large chunk of metal with full force. With one final hurrah he grunted and the entrance was sealed off - leaving the dust previously swirling inside the wrecked ship to settle on the ground.
Several minutes passed as everyone walked around or sat on the floor, catching their breath. Though the air wasn't the purest, it was infinitely better than what breathing outside of the ship would feel like.
"Is everyone okay?" Korena asked, breathing still somewhat heavy.
They all nodded.
"We didn't get caught up in it," Lurin replied, surprised but relieved that they made it.
"That's a good thing," Gavi commented dryly.
"A very good thing," Bo echoed, slouching and plopping down on the floor, exhausted from the walk and run over.
"I guess this means we won't be leaving the ship any time soon," Ceres noted.
"It doesn't look like it," Korena replied. "We'll have to see how long the storm keeps up."
"You know, speaking of uh, leaving the ship -" Bo started, but stopped when they all felt the same thing. They couldn't hear the storm anymore, nor did they hear the creaks of the broken ship against the wind, or anything of the sort. They all looked at each other in the silence.
Bo got up to check and see if the storm was still active, and Gavi and Korena got up and huddled behind him as well as he pulled at the blockade again, this time only to open it a peek. But then the blockade began to move on it's own, and Bo, having applied more pressure than he'd expected to be necessary, was caught off balance. The giant chunks of metal that had been their "door" floated out of the way while surrounded by some kind of green energy field that carried them. And once they were gone, they revealed a crowd of uniformed alien people looking into their ship, one with a device pointed at the floating debris that had previously obscured their view.
Around the aliens and around their ship appeared to be what looked like a force field, shielding the area from the storm.
Lurin leaned in toward Ceres who stood beside her. "What was it you said about there only being small lifeforms?"
Ceres sent Lurin a glare, but remained silent, as they all looked at the aliens staring into their ship.
They were tall, bulky aliens, with a humanoid frame but dark, shiny skin like that of a reptile's. All of them stood at about Bo's height, if not taller.
Korena stepped forward.
"We don't mean to-"
Korena didn't get to finish his sentence as a net-like bag was propelled towards him that enveloped him, and seconds following, the other four shared a similar fate.
As they were transported in a small carrier ship, his head covering was taken off. As he looked through the window, he saw a
spaceship growing ever larger in his view. Bo stared at it with wide eyes. He'd never seen a ship larger than a star, and the very thought of being trapped on one so big was overwhelming.
He looked around to his left and his right, looking for their crew, but was only met with an even greater feeling of dread when he saw that he was alone, in a small room, still bound up.
They already separated us.
He frowned deeply with worry.
What about the others? What have they done to them?
"It's all a matter of perspective... everyone is the hero of their own story, and the villain of another's." - James
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:59 pm
Korena awoke in a dark room. No, the room wasn’t dark, but he was unable to see. A brace was wrapped around his head, blocking his eyes from taking in his surroundings. The only thing he could gather was that the warmth of a body was resting on his back, and they were both seated in the ground. Cautiously, he listened for the sound of some other presence, but found none other than himself and his fellow prisoner. “Hello?” He asked, directing the question at the person beside him.
Korena felt a wave of relief barrel into him. “Lurin, it’s you. I was worried it was someone else, someone more… problematic.”
“I’ve been afraid to say anything for the same reason,” Lurin replied. “Any idea where we are?”
“I can’t see because of this metal band, and my limbs don’t seem to work at the moment, but I still have control over my magnets. Maybe I can…Ah, there we go,” he said as his blindfold popped off his head, carried overhead by a swarm of non-sentient magnets. They lowered it to the ground and got to work on Lurin’s, quickly freeing her eyes.
The two looked around, gathering what they could of the room. What they could gather was not much, however, as the room seemed to be a white cube. There were no ornaments on the floor, ceiling, or individual walls. No furniture, no nothing. Not even a door. There was no way in or out, and the room didn’t even seem to have a designated purpose.
That’s when they noticed it. A blue ooze seeping through the space between one of the walls and the floor. When the entire puddle made its way through, it expanded and took shape, forming a translucent humanoid body. It looked them in the eyes, or so Korena thought. It was difficult to tell, since the entity had no facial features. “Hello,” it said in near-perfect English, its voice coming from somewhere deep down in its body. “I am LiuekwoIDheIDuejaheID, the second in command of this ship. Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you if you can’t pronounce.”
“Well them, Liuekkwol...il… why have you brought us here?” Lurin asked, only attempting to pronounce the name before quickly giving up.
“We had a deal. You would leave this solar system, and we would leave you alone. Yet, here you are, near the highest risk planet in the cluster for our alliance,” he answered.
What could possibly be on the planet that has them so worried?
“I don’t think that was exactly the deal, but either way, we were doing you no harm,” claimed Korena.
The alien shook his head. “You lesser beings can’t comprehend the situation, or what’s at stake. Just you being near that planet puts our plan at risk-” He watched as Korena’s magnets suddenly spiraled towards his head. They plunged into the ooze and flew out the other side, leaving him unaffected. “That won’t work.”
“So I see.”
Lurin interrupted suddenly. “What, exactly, is your plan? You haven’t informed us.”
“Our planet was destroyed millennia ago, by a supernova,” started the second-in-command. “Most of population was killed, but the few that escaped danger regathered, creating a ship to temporarily inhabit while they looked for a suitable homeworld. After a decade, supplies ran low, and they still hadn’t found the right planet. You see, our species, known as Yuveya, are so unlike the most common form of life, carbon-based organisms, that there was only one known planet capable of hosting us… Our former homeland.
“With nowhere to go, we devised a plan to create a massive ship able to host our entire population. The only problem is that artificially sustaining an entire race requires such an amount of power that we couldn’t even begin to imagine generating ourselves. So, our head engineer devised a system using data collected from the supernova event that wiped us out so long ago. And as a people, we built this ship, the largest ship in the explored universe.”
“But that doesn’t explain how you’ll generate enough energy to...” Lurin started, before trailing off as she realized what the alien had implied.
Korena finally spoke up. “You can’t. That would wipe out so many civilizations!”
“We already faced mass-extinction, and stopped considering others a long time ago. Right know, we only care that we can ensure a place for our offspring to safely live. Don’t think any of us are happy to be doing it, but we have no choice,” he answered calmly. “And before you ask, no, we can’t do it in an uninhabited portion of the universe. You would be surprised how rare those really are, and they usually can’t generate enough power.”
“You’re willing to kill millions of offspring just to ensure yours live. Maybe your people went extinct for a reason. Maybe your time is up, and now you need to let some other race become the most advanced,” Korena hissed.
“We are far from the most advanced race. On the planet we pulled you away from, in fact, is the only race in this solar system capable of stopping us from consuming this solar system’s star.”
"I don't have any meaningful quote for this thing."
If you somehow didn't already know, I used to be Sheytato.
Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:55 pm
A collar was locked around his neck; a small red light blinking until it clicked into place, and Bo could feel a brief, sharp pain at the top of his spine.
"Uh, what was that?" He asked as the lofty guard spun Bo around towards the door. "What did you just inject me with?"
"Sustenance," the guard explained, with a voice low and smooth - understandable, but distinctly not human. "Or perhaps in your language, you would understand it more as a drug. It will strengthen your body more than food will."
"What does that even mean?" Bo wondered out loud, frustration and helplessness mixing together in his voice. "Are you saying I won't get to eat?"
The elevator they were standing in came to a stop. Bo stumbled backward slightly on his feet, only to be pushed forward by the guard behind him. The machine seemed to heave with a sigh, releasing air as three sets of doors in front of them slid open, one by one. Bo, staring into the hall, found himself unable to be present in the moment. All he could picture was one of his crew behind that last door. All he could imagine was where they could be at right now, what was happening to them, and what their captors could be doing to them. His gut twisted as only the worst possibilities came to mind.
"No," the guard finally replied. "You will not
to. You will not
to. All you need to focus on, is your work."
Bo frowned. "...Work?"
He was pushed forward. The doors closed between him and the guard, and despite wanting to turn around and go back, he knew there was no other way to go but forward. Especially not with a tracking device around his neck either. With a clenching of his jaw, he tread quickly to the last door, and waited for it to open. (With all this technology, they still had a second delay on the reaction times of the doors.) But as Bo stepped out into his new
he felt an even stronger urge to turn back around. Smoke and chemicals filled the warm air, filling his nose with a sickly sour scent. And in a matter of seconds, he'd begun to sweat.
What he was staring at looked like the exposed inner skeleton of the tubular ship, and below at the base of the support beams were rows upon rows of various assembly lines, much of it metalworking. Laborers with masks and protective bodysuits and gear carefully hand crafted metal gears, and various parts that Bo couldn't identify the use of.
Bo whispered under his breath. "How in the universe am I gonna get out of this..."
A cleared throat from behind him startled him, and Bo's shoulders shot up to his ears.
"Thinking of leaving
A feminine voice followed, to which, Bo turned back to see who'd overheard him somehow.
Standing behind him was a tall, humanoid-like figure, but whose skin and appearance was like that of a reflective mirror. Her clothes, however, appeared peculiarly human - they were dirty, but looked much like normal khaki overalls and a ratty bomber jacket over a plain tee. Bo felt sweaty just looking at her. How was she not burning up with a jacket on? It was so warm, and he was already sweating at the rate of rainfall.
"Oh," he croaked, smiling nervously. "You uh, heard that?"
The alien's mouth upturned into an amused smile. "I have exceptional hearing compared to your kind." Her eyes flickered to his chest, where she expected his heart to be outside of him. But it wasn't. "Hm... or not. You must be human. Perhaps the same still applies."
Bo's eyes followed hers, and he looked at her with a curious raised brow. "What else would I be?"
"Well not the Asteri, that's for sure. I was wondering why one of them would be
of all places."
Bo scratched the back of his neck, the question forming in his head visible on his face. The alien wore another toothless smile.
"You don't know who they are, do you?"
Bo opened his mouth to reply, but still befuddled, amongst the other concerns on his mind, he ended up just shaking his head and blowing a raspberry through his lips. It was only after the gesture that he realized not all non-verbal communication was universal, especially staring into the expectant, dark, and reflective eyes of the alien in front of him.
"No uh, no idea," he said.
She looked ready to reply, but gave a wary glance around them. Some of the workers had noticed their idle standing, and by this, she looked worried - or something like it. It was hard to make our her features amidst the dust filled air and her mirror-like skin. She grabbed Bo's arm, pulling him with her.
"Come, walk with me to your station while we talk." She looked up at Bo, awaiting consent: to which Bo simply said, "Alright."
She looked back briefly at the door he'd come through before proceeding. "The Asteri are a powerful, commanding race," she explained in hushed tones. "Rumored to be the only ones powerful enough to destroy those who hold us captive. Their home planet is not far from here, actually. We're pretty close to their moon, but from my understanding they have a..." her voice faded to silence away as she looked back at Bo's face.
"Why do you keep making such movements with your face?"
Bo blinked a few times, pulled out of deep thought. "Wh-what? Uh, I mean, I'm-I'm not... I'm not always aware of what my face is doing... like, expression-wise and all."
"Curious..." she hummed. "But why did you squint and look like that?"
Bo's eyes lit up at the opportunity to say what he'd been thinking. "Oh! I guess, like, what you were just saying about the moon and stuff - I think I was just there! But we didn't meet any of the Asteri. Only flesh-eating bugs." He held out his hand to reveal the scabbing spot where the insect had bit him. "But the Asteri - it sounds like they've gotta look a lot like humans for you to confuse me for one, ey?"
The alien on his arm smiled even wider at the scab on his hand - her mouth saying laughter, but the rest of her appearing calm. "Yes. The main difference would be that their hearts are not inside them like yours is."
Bo's brows shot up. "Really? How's that work? The heart's a pretty vital organ, at least from my understanding. That sounds pretty risky."
"Risky? That's is humorous language to use, but no." She pat his arm. "They are much more hardy than they seem."
"Oh yeah. Otherwise they wouldn't be quite so formidable, ey?" Bo said with a finger raised, and a grin.
The alien didn't seem to do much more than smile, watching Bo's hand go up.
"Humans are so entertaining," she commented, seemingly distracted by Bo himself and not really hearing what he had said. As they came to a stop in front of a welding station, Bo looked furtively at the tools lying on the workbench. He didn't know much about welding, but he had a feeling he would be expected to do it, and soon.
"So uh... what now?" He asked.
The she-alien let go of his arm rather abruptly, and grabbed a masked helmet. With her legs stretching more like rubber than anything Bo'd ever seen, she raised herself up and plopped it on his head.
"We make frames."
Bo, with face now hidden behind a metal mask and a transparent guard over his eyes, blinked a few times.
"You do not know what that means either," she observed.
"Do they throw
of their prisoners down here to work with no training?" he asked.
A scoff. "Oh, no. Of course not. Some they test on. Some they hide." Disgust began to lace her words. "They only keep those they have use for." She scratched at the collar around her neck. It looked just like Bo's.
"And even the ones they keep, they treat like machines."
Bo's brows lowered as his hopes for the safety of the others in his crew began to dwindle and crumble at the sound of her words. They'd already lost Isle... he... didn't know what he'd do if he lost all of them. He clenched his teeth.
I have to get out of here.
A tool he didn't know the name of was shoved into his hands. "I am your teacher until you are self-sufficient," the mirror alien finally explained.
"Does my teacher have a name?" Bo asked, though the thought of wasting time working instead of finding his crew-mates twisted his gut with great discomfort.
Bo blinked again.
Hluk'est'ad'e looked at him blankly. "Call me Hyuk."
Bo nodded. He didn't want to tell her what that sounded like from his culture and earthen experience. He bowed slightly. "I'm Bo."
"Is that short for something?"
Bo chuckled, despite feeling his inner clock ticking against him, telling him to find a way out as soon as possible. "You know, it is. But there's a bit of story to it that I don't feel like explaining. I'd rather my focus be on welding so I don't melt any of my limbs off or anything."
Hyuk looked to the workbench. "Well. Let us work, then."
"It's all a matter of perspective... everyone is the hero of their own story, and the villain of another's." - James
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:08 am
Ceres came to in an unfamiliar, blindingly white room and blinked several times to clear her . "Where am I?" she asked, her voice reedier than usual.
"You're safe," a voice informed her. Ceres took a long, slow look around the room. From floor to ceiling, it was covered in polished white tiles, and the only furniture was a single cabinet. The room was barely big enough to contain Ceres and the two guards who stood next to her. Ceres sized up the two guards, observing that one was significantly taller than the other, broader-built one.
"Safe from what?"
"The outside world." Ceres noticed that the broader guard was holding a syringe in his hand and gulped. The needle was longer than any other needle she had ever seen, and the bright florescent lighting made it appear more menacing.
"Your sustenance. All the food and liquids you need for one day combined into one injection. Now you will not have to worry about food," the thinner one answered.
Ceres' head was spinning. She peered at her captors. "You're not human," she observed.
"You are correct," the guard responded. Ceres detected a hint of contempt in his tone. "We have far more advanced technology than the humans, and unlike the humans, we do not go poking our noses in places we do not belong."
Great. She was stuck in a prison where the sentries disliked her entire species. It didn't get better than this. "What do you want with me?"
"You will see soon enough. This way, please." Each guard took one of her arms, holding it firmly but gently, and unchained her from the chair. The guard who had answered her questions used a thick copper key to open the door, which opened into a narrow hallway made of the same smooth white tiles. They led her down the hallway, turned to the left, and continued through a series of confusing turns until they reached a hallway that was different than all the others.
These doors were a more foreboding black, and they seemed thicker than the sleek white doors in the other hallway. Ceres was slightly intimidated by the rows of black doors, and when they paused at the second black door, Ceres couldn't help but wonder if her friends were being held captive in these threatening rooms.
The guard pulled out his keyring and selected another key, this one silver, and unlocked the door. Ceres glanced around to see if there were any exits in sight, measuring the chance of a successful escape. If she could take down the broader guard, perhaps she could outrun the tall one if she had enough of a headstart.
The door swung open, and Ceres was nudged inside before she could attempt anything foolish. Her eyes roved the room until they landed on a tall, humanoid figure seated in a chair identical to the one Ceres had been chained for. Its eyes were bulging out of its head, and its skin was pale and wrinkled, but other than that it seemed human enough. A tablet-like device and a clipboard with an official document attached to it sat on the table directly in front of the strange figure.
"Greetings, Ceres Agnolder. I've been looking forward to this meeting. I hope my appearance doesn't alarm you. Many members of your species let out a high-pitched scream when they behold me for the first time. I like to think that they are simply admiring my physique, but I have a nagging suspicion that that is not the case. Shall we begin?" The figure gestured to a chair on the opposite side of the table.
"Uh, sure, yes, of course." Ceres pulled out the chair opposite the alien being and sat down heavily, trying not to show her surprise. She had to act capable, confident, unfazed by anything these strangers might do to her.
"But pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself. It's a terrible habit of mine. My name is LT604, and I will be assessing you today to find the best fit for you in our compound. And before you ask, I am a half-Aleox, half-human, so I have humanoid features, but my Aleox side seems to be more prominent for reasons I would require the breeding department to explain to me. Let us proceed.”
“What do people call you?” Ceres knew this was a strange question, but she needed to do something unexpected to show that she still had some control over this bizarre
“LT604, like I said.” LT seemed puzzled.
“Do you go by anything else?”
“I suppose you can call me Lott, if you so desire, but you shouldn’t have to address me. We have much to do, and little time for us to accomplish it in.”
"What do you mean?" Ceres sat down in the chair, her legs shaky. There were no other exits to this room that she could access, and the two guards who had accompanied her were standing on either side of the door. She was effectively trapped.
"Please extend your arm," Lott requested, tapping his (her? its?) foot impatiently.
Ceres obeyed, her eyes darting around the room. Lott reached under the table and pulled out a bin of medical-looking equipment and pulled out a syringe with the same long, ominous needle.
"Um, are needles an instrumental part of everything you guys do?"
"Unfortunately, they're necessary for the first few tests we have to conduct. Relax your arm, please."
Ceres did her best to make her arm go limp, sucking in deep breaths to calm her racing heart. She had always disliked needles, especially when they were injecting her with a foreign substance. She had no way of knowing they weren't injecting some sort of poison right now.
The thought made her heart beat even faster, and Ceres squeezed her eyes shut. She couldn't bring herself to watch the needle penetrate her skin and plunge into her vein. In one quick, sharp prick, the needle was out, and Lott was covering the wound with something like a band-aid, except it was more flexible and stickier.
"What we just injected you with was a specially designed machine, which will monitor your heart rate, your blood pressure, and other bodily functions like menstrual cycle and sweat levels " Lott pressed a few buttons and squinted at the screen, occasionally tapping the screen until he got the information he wanted.
Lott set down the tablet and made eye contact with Ceres, his red eyes drilling into her. "Your heart rate is a little bit faster than usual, and your blood pressure is slightly high. According to the information we've gathered, your brain is over-stimulated, and your anxiety is considerably higher than usual."
Ceres almost snorted at that. "Really? Your test have revealed that I'm anxious? I can't imagine why." Sarcasm dripped from her voice, but Lott was not amused. He frowned at her, his face stern.
"However, from what we can gather from the test, you are unusually intelligent," he continued.
"Really? Like, genius-level-intelligent?" Ceres interrupted.
"Not quite, but your intelligence quotient appears to be higher than average, and you display an ability to analyze situations quickly. Your perception levels are also extremely high, and your memory seems to be very good as well. These qualities will be quite useful to us." Lott jotted down some notes on his clipboard and turned the tablet off. "I have just a few more questions for you."
Lott reached into the bin and pulled out a pack of rainbow-colored cards. Ceres would estimate that there were fifty cards in the stack, each one with a single color painted on the back. Lott laid five of them out on the table in a random arrangement—red, green, purple, yellow, green.
Lott flipped the cards over so all Ceres could see was the navy diamond-patterned backs. "What order were the cards in?"
"Red, green, purple, yellow, green," Ceres recited, a smile dancing at the corners of her mouth. She
have an excellent memory.
Lott continued testing Ceres' memory, laying out 6 cards, then 7, then 8. When there were 14 cards to memorize in less than twenty seconds, she made her first mistake, and Lott just scribbled on her clipboard.
"Now we'll move onto number relationships. Identify the pattern between these numbers." Lott slid a piece of paper with a series of random numbers written on it in front of Ceres.
They weren't random, Ceres realized as she studied them. The sequence read 2,5,11,23,47,?
From 2 to 5 was plus three, and from 5 to 11 was plus six, so could the next one be plus nine? Ceres checked it, but shook her head. 11 plus 9 did not equal 23. She continued trying to find different patterns until she found one that wrked—it was the previous number plus itself plus 1, which meant that to find the missing number, she had to add 47 plus 47 plus 1, which equaled...
"Ninety-five," she said at last,
"Correct." Lott put another piece of paper in front of Ceres, this one with the numbers 1,8,1,4,7,0,7,0 ?.
This one was more intricate, but predictable, and so it was simple math to deduce that the pattern was +7-7+3+3-7+7-7, and so the missing number had to be 0 plus 3, which obviously equaled 3.
"Three," she said, faster this time.
"Last one." Ceres put the final piece of paper in front of Ceres.
The paper read "4-6-9-6-14-6-?" Ceres noticed the repetition of the 6 first. The 6 was repeated between the 4, the 9, and the 14. It logically followed that each of these was 5 more than the previous number, so the next number had to be....
"19!" Ceres blurted, slamming her hands on the table in celebration. Lott smiled, but the smile didn't reach his eyes.
"Well done, Ceres. You can return to your holding cell now. You will begin your work after you are sufficiently rested." Lott nodded to the two guards, who took hold of Ceres' arms and led her gently but firmly outside and down the hall. Ceres considered struggling, but it would be pointless. There was no way she could overpower both these guards, at least, not in her current position. Perhaps someday when she was allowed more freedom, it would be an option. In the meantime, she made sure to look for every possible exit and make a mental map of the compound as best she could for future reference.
The guards brought Ceres to a cell enclosed on all 4 sides by thick iron bars. The cell was bare save a metal toilet built into the ground, and the bars were intentionally spaced so thinly Ceres doubted she could fit her hand between them, much less her entire body. The door was secured with a thick padlock that was inaccessible from the cell, and two guards patrolled the hallway. An escape attempt from here would be borderline suicidal.
The guards forced Ceres into the cell and then immediately slammed the door shut, locking the padlock with a combination rather than a key. Within seconds, she was assaulted by the smell, the smell of must and human waste and sweat. She wrinkled her nose and chose a spot on the floor where she could see the entire hallway so she could watch the guards walk up and down the hallway and memorize the rhythmic pattern of the guards' boots clap on the hallways. Slowly, the patter of the boots on the concrete lulled Ceres to sleep, and she closed her eyes and allowed herself to escape all her problems in the world of sleep.
Do not try to be pretty. You weren't meant to be pretty; you were meant to burn down the earth and graffiti the sky. Don't let anyone ever simplify you to just 'pretty'"
PM box is open to all, 24/7/365
“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”
— Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
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