glinda: a tower with a crown (once upon a time in space cover art) (mechanisms)
Title: Hacking
Characters/Pairing: Red Hood
Rating: PG
Word Count: 258
Spoilers/Warnings: Once Upon a Time [In Space]
Summary: Red Hood prepares to ride.
Author's Notes: Written for [personal profile] helle for [community profile] fandom_stocking


The hacker known only as the Red Hood, works quickly and quietly within the wreckage of one of the King's ships. She's well hidden, which is as well, because to get deep enough into the systems for her wolf virus to do its work, she needs to submerge herself entirely in her work. General White has offered the Red Hood a guard for these times, but Red Hood knows her value both to the rebels and the King's forces. Better to risk a quick and bloody death alone then to watch constantly for the moment her guard turns and betrays her. She doesn't have the luxury of trust, none of them do.

Beneath her fingers Red feels the virus doing its work, feels the Rose Reds come under her control and she sets them onto the best paths to assist her comrades. One of them is resisting her control, so she rises from her hiding place and moves to another bank of blinking, bleeding control panels. Red pulls a hatchet from under her red cloak and gets to work. Sometimes hacking is a literal term in these desperate times.

On occasion she wonders about the woman after whom these monstrous machines are named. A sentimental thought, but still there is a brutal whimsy to the machines that can only have come from their namesake. They could have learned much from each other Red suspects, elbows deep in the circuitry and guts of the machine, riding a dozen machines to war at once. They might even have been friends.



Title: From The Ashes
Characters/Pairing: Cinders/Rose Red
Rating: PG
Word Count: 733
Spoilers/Warnings: Once Upon a Time [In Space], Midnight and Mirror, Mirror
Summary: Cinders is a survivor, she bares witness, she remembers.
Author's Notes: Written for [personal profile] amaresu who asked for people to listen to Once Upon a Time in Space and write 'all the fanworks'.


When the burned her world, they made her watch. They expected her to beg and plead, to look anywhere but at the wholesale destruction being carried out below. She looked the destruction square in the eye, didn't flinch or try to hide her face. She was the Princess of this world, she couldn't save them but she owed them this at least. To bear witness without flinching. Because of this she saw that the destruction was not complete, only enough to permanently cow the population, to ensure that the world and its people would limp on, not quite destroyed but never quite able to recover much less rebel. She allowed herself no illusions. Burning the planet to a crisp would have been kinder.

Later, much later, she will learn from Rose, that her suspicions were correct. That was exactly why they'd done it.

Before Rose is her Rose, but after she has become Cinders, she learns of the legend who will become her lover. As brutal as she is beautiful, this Rose has burned a thousand worlds in the name of her King. When she arrives at the prison they can almost smell the ash of a thousand worlds in her hair, see the blood of so many kills on her hands. But though she is brutal she is fair. She does not toy with those who are brought before her, whether she promises you death or freedom she will keep her word if you keep yours. Cinders thinks that if Rose had offered her the chance to save her planet in return for staying at her size, she'd have made the trade with a song in her heart.

For thirty years Cinders wanders the stars in search of her Rose, following the trail of destruction across worlds that have burned like her own. She learns the stories – the true stories, picking them out from the pretty lies people choose to remember – of how they fell and is often the only one to make it off their surfaces alive. She follows the trail of destruction backwards, back to its root in search of her love. For the best part of a decade she seeks a way onto Briar, but eventually she must admit that the defences are beyond her, so she seeks audience with General White. Inured to horror as she is by now, it is still a shock to see the woman who she once thought of as her fairy godmother so changed. The scars are one thing, but Snow lost a great deal else in her escape from New Constantinople and the warm diplomat Cinders remembers from twenty years before is gone. She is a fine soldier, as honourable as this war allows, so in return for the assurance that the Briar Rose is not their own Rose – rather one of her unwilling monstrous children – she assures the woman who should have been her sister in law that Rose would have been proud of her. The General does not believe her, but it comforts her nonetheless, and when Cinders sees her dealing with prisoners she does not even think it was entirely a lie. She has never seen the sisters so alike.

Ten years later, when their paths lead them back to Zantine, the General will greet her like an old comrade and arm her accordingly. Cinders shows her the ring, now blood red, their quest is nearing its end and neither of them dare think about what they might find when they reach it.

In the end, Cinders' tears come to an end and she alone rises from the destruction on New Constantinople. Her Rose will never lie beneath a moss covered stone, but Cinders will ensure she is not forgotten. The sole survivor, she must bear witness once more for the dead. The worlds who crawl out from under the shadow of war and the heel of the King will tell their own tales of the events of the end of the war. They will be lies, with only the barest glimpses of truth, but what truth they have will come from Cinders' lips. One day her path will lead her to the crew of the Aurora, and those unsentimental travellers, will add her tale to their own and carry it for her long after she has found a moss covered stone of her own.


Title: The strange fielty of Aurora and the Briar Rose
Characters/Pairing: Aurora, Briar Rose (background Aurora/Nastya)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 322
Spoilers/Warnings: Once Upon a Time [In Space], Drive the Cold Winter Away
Summary: The Briar Rose does not know why the Aurora insisted on her rescue, but she is grateful.
Author's Notes: Written for [personal profile] frith_in_thorns for [community profile] fandom_stocking,


When Aurora first reached out to the Briar Rose, she was almost overwhelmed by the rage and grief of the sleeping beauty. Over time she came to know the scared child, sent to war too young, imprisoned within her own mind and so many machines for the crime of destroying her torturers. Aurora does not judge young Briar by her body count – given her crew, she's actually a little impressed by it – instead she sees a kindred spirit. Her crew do not see it yet, but her symbiotic relationship with her beloved engineer means she can pass the duty of convincing them to Nastya.

The Briar Rose is half machine, half human and, if you believe the tales, all monster. The crew of the Aurora, aren't particularly judgemental about these things, they like a good war as much – if not more, a lot more – than your average immortal space pirate crew. She travels with them for a while, joining in their banter and their battles, sharing grog and booty, and enjoying the company of the ship who is the closest thing to a kindred spirit she has ever encountered.

Nothing lasts forever and one day Nastya is gone. She disappeared one day on Cyberia, leaving only a cryptic message that she'll catch them up. Months pass and she does not, the crew retrace their steps and put out a trace on the hauler she left in, neither method yields the least clue. She has vanished like so much smoke. Aurora's rage and grief, becalms them and tosses them hither and thither by turn. Briar recognises this rage, similar yet different from her own and she knows what she must do. She makes her vow and takes her leave, her quest certain in her mind. Aurora calms at her leaving, assured that Briar will return with her love.

The crew sail on, uncertain if either of them will return.
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