glinda: a tower with a crown (once upon a time in space cover art) (mechanisms)
Title: Mechanical Wonder
Characters/Pairing: Briar Rose
Rating: T
Word Count: 1033
Spoilers/Warnings: Once Upon a Time [In Space] - themes as appropriate to the source.
Summary: The Briar Rose wakes and joins a space pirate crew.
Author's Notes: Written for [personal profile] frith_in_thorns for [community profile] fandom_stocking because apparently writing Mechanisms fic is a New Year tradition for me now...I set out to write Briar Rose/Aurora and ended up with Briar Rose & Johnny deVille tentative friendship fic...

Briar slumbers at the heart of the defence grid, but you must not think she’s at rest. She doesn’t dream, but still she remembers and she guides the systems and defence protocols. She hates her captors with the fire of a thousand suns, but the system is programmed to destroy her – stop her heart, fry her brain, leave her as the mindless obedient drone they’d intended her to be – if she tries to use it for anything but its intended purpose. So she sleeps and she waits, doing what she must and softly, gently feeding her hate into the system so that one day when she wakes it will do her bidding with a song in its heart. Rumour tells her that she can only be woken by a kiss, and well, its been a long time since someone last kissed her; it’ll be good to eviscerate some creep after all this time.

She wakes slowly – gently, as though from a particularly pleasant dream - everything around her appears to be on fire and no one appears to be trying to have their way with her. Which is both a surprising and pleasing turn of events. Her control room/prison is also unexpectedly full of space pirates a couple of whom nod to her in acknowledgement of her new found awareness but otherwise seem engrossed in dismantling various badly damaged control panels for spares. One of them, however, leaves of his pillaging and wanders over to her, she mentally nominates him as leader until further notice.

“All right?” He asks cautiously, hand resting casually on the strap of the really big gun he’s holding, scanning her quickly, though whether for injuries or weaponry is as yet unclear.

“You found another way to wake me then?” Briar asks cutting straight to the chase.

“Yeah, funny how often ‘shoot the machines until they explode’ works for that,” he agrees. Her disappointment at not getting to eviscerate anyone must show on her face. “You’re welcome to a kiss if you want one, but I’m not into kissing sleeping strangers. Immoral, immortal space pirate yes, creepy sexual predator no. “

Briar smiles reassuringly at him. “No, no, it’s appreciated. I just got fond of eviscerating people who take liberties with me; it’s been ages since I killed anyone. I miss it,” she confides.

A proper grin spreads across his face. “You sound like our sort of woman…cyborg…female-identified killing machine?” She nods at the last one. He sweeps an overdramatic bow at her in return. “I’m Johnny deVille, these are the Mechanisms, our ship the Aurora decided that you needed rescued and well we do enjoy spilling some imperial blood where we can get it, so here we are. You’re welcome to come with us if you like, or stay here and wreak a suitably bloody revenge on your captors if you prefer.”

Briar reaches out with her sensors and encounters the creature from her dream, a sentient ship apparently, called Aurora. She’s more intrigued that she can remember being in decades, and frankly she’s been weapon for as long as she can remember, a good little solider, its high time she had a little fun.

“How about, I kill them all and then I come pirating with you fine folks?” Briar asks.

“Deal.” Johnny agrees, offering her a hand down from her bier, before turning to the rest of the crew. “Got everything we need that isn’t actually screwed down?”

“Got a few things that were screwed down too,” comments someone who can only be the ship’s engineer, “the advantage of stuff having been blown up before we started.”

“Right then.” Johnny continues rubbing his hands together gleefully. “Grab what you can carry, the garrison of this place should have regrouped enough by now, time for a little righteous bloodshed for our new friend.”

The crew all seem to perk up at that last thought. They gather up their spoils and someone hands Briar a heavy-duty weapon, a bag of spare parts and inexplicably a length of brass pipework that appears to have no martial purpose whatsoever. It appears to be a musical instrument. All the others have similar contraptions in various materials, so she stills her tongue and keeps her questions to herself. There will be time enough for explanations after the bloodshed.

They encounter more resistance on the way out than expected. The staff of the defence grid had truly made a tactical retreat. It turns out that some of them are more afraid of what Briar Rose will do now she’s free than they are of their unkillable invaders. Not that that really stops the Mechanisms, but whatever Briar Rose might actually be (not human, not entirely, not any more) she’s rather more vulnerable to bullets than them and now that they’ve committed to rescuing her it would be a shame to not get her out alive. Aurora’s sulking would be frankly a nuisance at this juncture. Nonetheless, they can respect a skilful psychopath, as much as the next band of space pirates, so they appreciate her slightly concerning tendency to shove a hand into the depths of half-destroyed control panels and twisting something inside them so that the staff’s weapons turn on their operators with brutal efficiency.

Briar’s never needed to use actual weapons before, she comes with a variety built in, plus she’s had an entire weapons defence grid at her disposal for a long time so the need has never really arisen. On board the Aurora, she’s a bit at sea without the defence grid at her beck and call (with its threatening edge of ‘try anything and I’ll kill you); it’s so quiet in her own head. Thankfully once she gets round to having a chat with Nastya, Aurora gleefully invades her head and she feels considerably better. The rest of the crew teach her how to operate various weapons and although skill with the instrument she was given eludes her, it appears she has a fine voice. A skill of equivalent value as her skill with mechanical weaponry to this crew of bloodthirsty bards.

Zantine is behind her and adventure is ahead, and the Briar Rose sleeps no more.
Date/Time: 2014-07-15 08:17 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] cosmic_llin
cosmic_llin: (Default)
Oooh, I love this so much!


the_mechanisms: Album cover for Once Upon A Time (In Space) (Default)
The Mechanisms

December 2015

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