October 15

Fictober, Prompt 15 – “I like that in you.”

Original fiction, sci-fantasy/technomagic. Continuation: part one (Day 1), part two (Day 5), and part three (Day 7).

Warnings: none for this part.


I frowned at the spell on the screen in front of me, erased part of it, and rewrote it on the integration pad in front of me, the new sigils appearing on the screen. That…might work.

Laying my hand flat on the pad, I sent a pulse of energy into it to trigger the spell, then held my breath.

Nothing…nothing…

And then the screen lit up in a blaze of data.

“Yes!” I yelled, jumping out of my chair. “Finally!”

The layers and layers of monitoring spells on this planet had been nearly mind-numbing to wade through, but they had gone down to a certain point beneath the planet’s surface and then there had just been nothing. Vivi had given up two days ago, going to work on something else instead for awhile, but I had been sure there were actually more spells deeper down, and that I just needed to write the correct kind of connector spell to get them hooked into the station’s systems again.

And I had been right.

Data streamed in, too much to take in all at once, but one of the flagging spells I had set up previously started to pull pieces out for me. The composition shifted around a little bit but didn’t significantly change: silicates, iron oxides, that continuing series of weird calcium deposits, some carbon-heavy layers. None of it especially surprising in a planetary crust, but something about how it was arranged still pinged wrongly in the back of my mind.

Abruptly, the data stream stopped.

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October 7

Fictober, Prompt 7 – “That could have gone better.”

Original fiction. Continuation: part one (Day 1) and part two (Day 5).

Warnings: large-scale battle, spaceship crash (nothing graphic), brief and unrealized fear of a tunnel collapse


The ship-killer missile whined past me, headed for the planet’s surface, and I swore, trying to run faster. There was no way I’d be far enough from that one

The laser canon Vivi was manning from the underground station caught it before it could impact. The blast still sent me sprawling forward, but it had been high enough up still that it wasn’t as bad as an actual impact.

Distantly, another missile did strike the surface, opening a crater and sending me to my feet again just after I rose. This time I stayed down, breathing and trying to calm my racing heart. I wasn’t in danger yet, but my air supply was limited.

The glimpse of a ship spiraling out of orbit, smoke and flame trailing from the gaping hole blasted in one side, had me up and running again scarcely a minute later. It was moving away from me, but the impact blast of a whole ship was not something I wanted to be out here for.

I made it to the hatch leading into the below-ground station and got the door snapped shut just in time. The ship’s impact caused a localized earthquake that I rode out in the narrow metal corridor, teeth gritted, one bare hand slapped onto the nearest magic-integration pad and energy streaming out to try and reinforce the corridor walls. If they collapsed here…

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October 5

Fictober, Prompt 5 – “I’m not saying I told you so…”

Original fiction. Turned out to be a continuation of Day 1.

Warnings: nothing in particular, passing mention of past blood sacrifices.


“I’m not saying I told you so…”

“But you told me so,” I groused, sighing as Vivi stepped carefully into what remained of the lab. “It would never have worked if I’d had anyone else with me, especially not another mage.”

“I know,” she said, then whistled as she took in the state of the room. “Hard fight?”

“Yeah,” I admitted, frowning. I’d won, but I’d had to kill her in the end, and still had several bandages on even three days later. It was even stranger because I still didn’t have any idea what her real name was. She had given me an obviously false one when we first met, but every system here was strangely devoid of anything that identified her personally. “The rest of this would have been easier if I’d been able to capture her. I still have no idea what she was trying to do here, or what’s so special about this planet. Several unidentifiable ships have come sniffing around, and given how much monitoring equipment she has set up for tracking exactly that kind of thing, I don’t think it’s new.”

Vivi patted my shoulder and then peered over it at the one screen that had remained intact. “Weird. What did she say she was doing?”

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October 1

(Fictober seems like a good time to return from the metaphorical dead? We’ll see how this goes!)

Fictober, Prompt 1 – “I need you.”

Original fiction.

Warnings: implied blood sacrifice, implied murder, implied non-consensual surgical procedures (but nothing actually graphic).


“I need you,” she had said.

Arrogantly, or naïvely, or stupidly, or maybe all of those things, I had believed her.

Well, heard what I wanted to hear, at least. I had believed the implication, just as she had known I would, and it was only the implication that was untrue.

She was not, in the strictest sense, a liar.

We were planetside, deep underground to escape the inhospitable surface, which had made sense enough at the time. But now I couldn’t trust anything that I had seen on the way down, since the viewports could easily have been manipulated to show whatever she wanted me to see.

This lab was definitely real, though. As was the operating table I was strapped to with metal cabling, and the humming generator, and the tubing, and the instruments she was laying out next to me, their edges gleaming sharp under the too-bright overhead lights.

“Hush now,” she soothed, eyes distant as she scanned what looked like a mix of technical specs and spellwork on a datapad, not really looking at me. “You wanted to help me, didn’t you? And you will.”

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October 10

Fictober, Prompt 10 – “Listen, I can’t explain it, you’ll have to trust me.”

Warnings: none? Brief space-related danger.


My breath echoed hollowly inside my helmet, and I kept it as slow and even as I could. Panicking now would do nothing to help retain the dwindling oxygen supply strapped to my back.

“Any luck?” I called over the comm. The systems I was looking at gave me hope, but the ship had been floating dead in space for…well, a long time. The wiring was intact, which was a good start.

A grunt was all I got back, and I rolled my eyes. “Arun.”

“There’s an SFOG,” he said, “seems to be intact.”

I let out a breath of relief and felt the worst of the incipient panic lift from my chest. “Let’s stay on our tanks for now,” I suggested.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I’ve got at least three hours left, maybe more.”

“I think I’m about the same. That should be enough time to get us moving, and we can fire the SFOG at that point.”

“Which you’re going to do how, exactly? The reactor’s dead-cold. Suit’s not picking up any radiation from that direction, must have run out.” I could hear the frown in his voice; the ship had been drifting for a long time, but probably not long enough that all of the reactor’s fuel would have been consumed.

I pursed my lips, decided I wasn’t quite ready to explain yet, and certainly not over the comm. Arun was going to have a hard enough time accepting what I could do when he could see it for himself. “For now, we just need to get pointed in the right direction and get moving, so a burst should be enough. We can worry about steadier power and steering after that.”

“We’re only so far out of the debris field,” he warned, “but you’re right.”

“Check about the reactor?” I asked, buying a little more time. “I’ll come down to see the engines once I’m finished up here.”

“Yeah.” He clicked off, and I turned my attention back to the panel in front of me. I was going to have to give the engines a pretty good kick, but I did need a little bit of steering and diagnostic information first.

It was harder to do with gloves on, but I always made sure mine didn’t have the wrong kind of insulation in them, so the magic flowed out slowly but steadily into the discreet, five-finger port built into the control panel.

After ten, heart-stopping seconds of nothing, the screens around me winked into life.

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