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Hello, citizens! Let's see how this goes.

This is the NSFW section of the meme. The safe for work post is here.

 

Meme Rules:

  • No sex scenes with characters under 17.
  • Also no on screen depictions of rape.
  • Weird kinks are fine.
  • Post your prompt with the characters or ship in the title and the details in the body.
  • You can post anonymous or not, whichever you'd like.
  • Content warnings on fills, please.
  • Fanart, fanfic, or any other kind of creative work all welcome. No minimum word count for fills.
  • Feel free to fill a prompt that's already been filled!
  • Don't repost prompts unless we start a new post.
  • Feel free to post your fills elsewhere as well. If a fill is extremely long you’re welcome to just post it elsewhere and link it in your fill comment.
  • If there's a problem, I'd rather you PM me or take it to the discussion post than start an argument in the comments.
  • Be proper, just and beneficial, citizens.
  • Stick to Ann Leckie's pronouns except for non-Radchaai characters in a non-Radchaai perspective.

 

Questions, suggestions, and general off topic discussion go here.
 

Have fun!

 
 
 

From: (Anonymous)
(This part is all background. It took me this long to get Seivarden watching the porn. Which does not appear in this part.)

Files bloom before my eyes.

"Ship, what's this?"
"You said you were bored, Lieutenant Seivarden."
"Yes, Ship. I also said you could just call me Seivarden from time to time. I meant, what is it?"
"The data space of your predecessor as Amaat lieutenant. It has yet to be sorted."
"Oh. I thought you'd just delete that. I mean... I never asked you to store anything of mine, but I would have thought you wiped her space clean to make room for my data space."

"In fact, I compressed the data and created a new space for your personal data, Lieutenant. But it was the policy of Administration for an outgoing officer's data to be reviewed before deletion."

The old administration, back in civilization. The old civilization -- Breq doesn't want Civilization to be part of our new name. I don't think she'll be able to stop us from being citizens, though. Ship's right, I did that with Captain Seshir's data when I took command of Sword of Nathtas. It was strange and depressing. She had the biggest recipe collection I'd ever seen. She must have been very sick of skel. I asked Ship what recipe it thought the servants would make for her first meal after retirement, and it just said "Captain Seshir's family are still fasting during the mourning period, Captain." I'd forgotten that until now.

"But Ship, don't you know everything that's in that data space? Why do you need me to go through it?" Ship knows I don't mind work, but this is a little ridiculous.
"In fact, I do. But I think it's not a bad idea to have a human officer review it as well."

Right, then. Ship said a human officer, that means "not Breq". And it has some reason besides regulations for me to view the data space of an Amaat lieutenant who was arrested for treason by the Lord of a Radch we've secceded from and certainly can't report back to. I can work this out. "As the ship pleases."

*

Letters from home. Home is someplace I've never heard of, but by everyone else's standard's it doesn't seem to be provincial. Much. Her mother's dead and her grandmother wants to petition the nearest Palace to let her retire and wear Honored Citizen Soandso's clientage pin. Most proper, very beneficial to all, what are you going to do with your life, you've been a lieutenant for... well.

"Ship, is that a normal time to go unpromoted?"
"Yes, actually. The lieutenant was just young enough to miss Shis'urna." And of course, no further opportunities for advancement were forthcoming. Right. "I was not privy to what considerations persuaded Administration to promote her to Amaat lieutenant, of course."
"But you think her house pulled strings."
"Perhaps. It would have been a considerable gamble on their part, if so."

But if Amaat lieutenant on a Mercy was the best they could do for her, because there were no better posts available or because she was so hopeless that she'd already climbed as high as she could go... "Ship, is military officer no longer what a family like that would want for her?"
"When she completed the Aptitudes, twenty years ago, it is my judgement that they would have been very proud. But by the time she finished her training and received her first assignment, matters were different."
"To say nothing of the present. I can't imagine what her grandmother would want for Lieutenant Tivaanr if she was a baby lieutenant today."
"Keep reviewing, Lieutenant."

*

The family letters don't get me any further. A few letters to friends, in which she makes much of all the tea parties she's attended with Captain Vel, give me a clearer picture of where her ambitions lie. And while I never met my predecessor, I did meet her captain. If she liked Vel that much, she'd have liked Vel's politics.
"You've come to a conclusion."
"I think so, Ship. Captain Vel told her a story about bringing the Radch back the way it was, annexations right and left, promotions all over the place, her house proud of her again, and each time the counters landed against her she just kept upping the bet. Probably she hoped Vel would get an even grander promotion after retirement and would be disposed to reward her loyalty. Did I come close?"
"I know of nothing that would contradict that theory."

"Is that what you wanted me to find out, Ship?"
"I'm... not certain. Are you tired?"
"Maybe a little." The language isn't the easiest. I can't blame their accents since it's written down, and they don't use any words I haven't known all my life, but they keep using them in ways I'm not familiar with."
"You haven't examined the lieutenant's video files yet."
"The entertainments?"
"Of a sort."

If Ship wants me to watch entertainments on a very boring shuttle ride and call it work, I'm happy to oblige. I flick my fingers up and to the side. "I'm at the ship's disposal."

*

I scan the titles. From what I can tell, she kept clippings of the most exciting recent announcements by the Lord of the Radch... wait, no, these are clippings made by Captain Vel for Tivaanr to watch. Annotated. After watching which she kept them as some sort of love token. Huh. What else? She asked Ship to pick up a few long-running entertainment serials. And this part's encrypted as if she thought that would matter to Ship or her captain or the reeducators... oh, erotica. All right. Let's see what she has there...

It's a good thing I didn't have a mouthful of tea.
"Lieutenant, are you all right?"
"Fine, Ship, fine. Uh... you can keep going."

Ship resumes the recording without any further comment, which is just as well. Not what I was expecting.
From: (Anonymous)
!!!!!Not OP but holy shit. WORLDBUILDING. lots of perfect details. this is amazing already.
From: (Anonymous)
It's nsfw now. Content note for one very brief mention of canon past self-injury, and one veiled allusion to rape during annexation. (I don't know if either of those reach the point where I need to warn for them, but I figure better safe than sorry.) I think there'll be one more part after this, and that'll be the part when Seivarden makes the connection between the porn and Mercy of Kalr's soldiers. I cannot believe I'm writing this.

*

First scene: the heroine is having a dream. String instruments in the soundtrack, to get you thinking of the musicians in the skimpy gloves they wear to play those. Images of sunsets, pounding shores, then cut to her sweating face, eyes closed, head thrown back. More downwell nature imagery. Her bare stomach, the blanket thrown back. Downwell again... oh, there's the lover she left behind her, partially clothed, smiling. Back to the bed. Faint sighs. Her hands clenching on the sheets... the gloves are still on, of course, this is only the first scene.

What made me nearly spit my tea if I hadn't swallowed it just in time is that it's a military bed, ship issue bedsheets. Exactly the same as the one in my quarters. I'm not a stranger to erotic entertainments, but most officers I've known don't watch military-themed erotica. It's never accurate, and there's something improper -- and not in an exciting way -- about watching the ingenue lieutenant with a crush on the captain seduce her commanding officer when you are a lieutenant and have to look your captain in the eye the next day. I suppose Lieutenant Tivaanr felt differently.

The actor is pretty enough in an unmilitary way. No real officer would wear her braids loose pinned-up loops every day, they get caught in things. And you get a headache by the end of the day. Or they fall down during watch, and twenty ancillaries silently turn to stare at you and the hundred commander gets sarcastic. And good grooming is the flower of propriety, but who has time to get up an hour before leading morning prayers, just to sit still while Ship or the soldiers fix your hair? On Justice of Toren, you could tell the really hard drinkers because they wore a military crop.

"Captain!" She wakes up with a start, sits upright, bare to the waist. An extremely unconvincing ancillary is standing over her. "You are needed in the watch room."

The ship is, according to the ancillary's insignia, Sword of Awarath. Which was a real ship from my time, and perhaps still is, somewhere. And the heroine isn't the lieutenant, she's the captain... so it isn't Lieutenant Weak-Knees Makes Good after all. Maybe this one of the ones where she's tormented by a seductive lieutenant but remains true to a vow of abstinence? And joined the military to get away from the lover's importunements? Or a dashing rescue of a grateful prisoner? Hyr, please, let it not be annexation erotica.

The ancillary helps her up. I don't think she really needed Ship to cup her ass in order to get out of bed. She's wearing gauze gloves. Aatr's tits. That's just sleazy. Helps her change her underwear, because she's the sort of officer who needs Ship's help not to trip over her feet getting into her smalls. Which are definitely not ship issue. Now her bandeau, which is also not ship issue, is the wrong size, does not compress anything at all, and is going to hurt like fuck if she gets into action. Well, not the sort of action she's likely to get into in this sort of entertainment. And now her day gloves... oh, you idiot, you let the ancillary touch your hands. Now you're going to have to do an ablution before conducting any official military business.

Some officers, especially the provincial ones who were a bit new to it all, used to over-correct about ritual purity, do ablutions if something unclean touched them at all, even with two layers of cloth between them. My social set were more relaxed about that sort of thing, but I can't think of any officer who'd have thought it was proper to be touched on the hands by uncleanness in gauze gloves.

It's a good thing Breq can't read my mind. I don't think like that any more. I can't, with Breq being Breq. To be honest, I haven't believed in that stuff since I woke up. I'm not sure I ever did, only it seemed like the right thing to do, the thing everyone did. But the things I've done, the places I've been... The first time I admitted that I didn't believe any more, I woke up on some station in the middle of nowhere, and started the morning prayer out of habit then realized I'd forgotten how it went, and that even if I remembered, I was no one's idea of the sword of justice properly wielded. That might have been the first time I broke my hand, I can't remember for sure.

It's shifted to a battle scene. The heroine's in the watch room with more unconvincing ancillaries in revealing uniforms, stumbling around in ways that wouldn't happen even if the gravity did fail. Has the director never been on a shuttle? Stumbling against the heroine, who gasps poutily, then shows an unmilitary level of fear while ordering Ship to take evasive manouvers. Word for word, that's what she says. "Take evasive manouvers." Which ones, you idiot? Then symbolic explosions cutting in and out with, what else, daydreams of her lover again. And then blacks out.

I suppose I should be angry or upset. For my old ship and crew's sake if not mine. But it's so ridiculous, and not laughing won't make poor Sword of Nathtas any less gone. She wakes up in Medical, and I'm annoyed to find that that's the first genuine erotic charge I get from this whole performance. Breq's influence, of course. I've come to associate sickbed vigils with strong emotion, intense relief, and unprecedented levels of touch. Another reason to thank Amaat she can't read my mind.

The heroine sits halfway up, so that the viewer can see everything from the tops of her thighs up. The ancillary tries to urge her to lie back down, succeeds in giving a better viewing angle. Where's the ship's medic? Who knows? "Is the battle over? Is the ship all right? Are our enemies defeated?"
"All is well, Captain. We won, and you were the only one injured."

Dramatic close-up, with musical accompaniment, on the ancillary's arm where it rests on the heroine's shoulder. Her gloves are too short, and so are her sleeves. There's bare skin showing, and a very bad make-up job at bruising.
"But your wrist! It is sprained, is it not?" I think her accent is supposed to sound like mine. It doesn't.
"Never fear, Captain. I have many bodies, and it matters little if one is incapacitated."
"Not to me, Awarath. Without your bodies, where would I be? For what is a ship without soldiers, and what is a captain without her ship? Quick, a corrective. I will put it on you myself." Where is the medic, anyway?

The heroine applies the promised corrective, or something that looks nothing like even a civilian one, in dramatic close-up. With bare hands! We must be near the main event by now. As her hands touch the ancillary's wrist, the picture cuts away again to her lover, and then back again.

"I know what you're thinking," the ancillary says.
The heroine looks away demurely.
"Your pulse is elevated so much you must be able to feel it yourself." She takes the heroine's bare hand and lifts it to her throat, to feel her own pulse. The heroine sighs dramatically.
"You must miss her very much," the ancillary says. I can't tell if her delivery is like that because she's trying to imitate an ancillary or because she's just a terrible actor.
The heroine gasps poutily again. "Awarath One, when did I speak of her?"
"You cried out for her in your delirium." Oh please. Nobody has delirium in fucking suspension.

"Oh Awarath One," the heroine says. "I have tried so to forget her."
"Let me help," the ancillary says. Places her hand on the heroine's bare hip.
"But Awarath! Is this what a good captain would do?"
"It hurts me to know that you are troubled, Captain. Let me give you ease, that I may rest as well," the ancillary says. Now she just sounds bored.
"If I am troubling you as well, Awarath... very well, then." Her voice trembles in a way that might be intended to be erotic or might mean the actor is trying not to laugh. She flings her head back, the picture cuts to her lover one more time, and then it's the ancillary kneeling down to bring her face and hands nearer to the heroine's groin.

Neatly trimmed pubes. Back in my day soldiers had depilatory implants everywhere, not just on faces, but that seems to have changed. I'd noticed that before now. It's hotter than I thought it would be.

The ancillary parts the heroine's folds with her bare fingers. Her glans is finger-length -- just large enough, when engorged, to take fully into the mouth, and no larger. The ancillary breathes on it, then licks the tip while she moves her fingers down to press just above the glans, where the hood would be if it were intact. She moves her other hand back to the heroine's second hole, already slick for her.

I sit up straighter in Mercy of Kalr's shuttle. This should not be doing anything for me. Sex is sex, I suppose, but it's really terrible erotica, wrong in every possible dimension, and what would Breq think? Does she know what I'm watching, what I'm feeling now? I don't want her to know. I don't want to be turned on by this. Especially not on a fucking shuttle. Not that I haven't ever watched erotica on a shuttle before, but... I've never watched erotica on a military shuttle before. Civilian doesn't count. This is simply improper, and I will not allow any benefit to accrue. I cross my legs viciously hard.
From: (Anonymous)
Oh my god this is amazing
mawgs: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mawgs
Good lord this is amazing. I can only imagine MoK smug as hell watching this lmao.
From: (Anonymous)
Poor young Seivarden- but I'm sure her braids looked very nice when they were up properly!

This is just what I was picturing but better, oh my god. She's so beautifully judgmental! And has apparently caught enough military porn to be familiar with the cliches, improper or not, hah. I love that there's "sticking to chastity vows despite sexy temptation!" porn in the Radch- in fact all the cultural stuff is great. And the porn dialogue is oozing "alternately over- and under-acted" in a very realistic manner :D -op again
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you, op! I'm so glad it was what you wanted. I haven't tried writing Seivarden's POV in first person before, and now I wonder why I took so long. She's so much fun. And writing the porn was fun too. I just want all the Radchaai entertainments. In fact... *goes to sfw prompt page*
From: (Anonymous)
"This is simply improper, and I will not allow any benefit to accrue." LOL GOD THIS IS AMAZING
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you, that's the line I'm proudest of in this whole mess.
From: (Anonymous)
I wanted to make a list of all the tiny details in this that I love but they're just all so good. I love your Seivarden pov, how there are details that remind the reader that it's very much Seivarden narrating.
From: (Anonymous)
Sorry this took me so long. This part was hard. Okay, so, content notes time! Not really nsfw this time, but brief continuation of the porn video early on. Then very non-detailed discussion of rape and sexual abuse and workplace sexual harassment. It is never explicitly stated what Tivaanr and/or Vel did to Ekalu and/or the other soldiers.

Detailed, vivid, first-person account of a panic/anxiety attack. Allusion to Radchaai-style psych treatment. Brief mention of what Breq and Seivarden discussed in chapter 3 of AS re sexual abuse of ancillaries on Justice of Toren. Discussion of less-than-ethical AI behavior, in the context of being new to having enough power and agency to set boundaries and therefore respect other people's.

*

The ancillary does a thing with her hand that makes me think of Ekalu. I wonder if she knew what sort of erotica her old lieutenant liked to view? Then the thought is like a bucket of ice water. No, like the ice of vacuum. What if Ekalu did know of this? From experience?

What if they all do? I think of my soldiers. Amaat Four, who sings in the shower and was so kind to me on Station that time. Amaat Two, who seems amused and happy when she speaks for Ship... but how would I know? Breq's pointed often enough how little I really know about other people, how long it took me to care even if I did. Itr take it, the first time I saw human soldiers, after I woke up, I just thought they were funny-acting ancillaries.

And the soldiers here are proud of how convincing they are. I thought they were proud. Breq's attendant, Kalr... Four? Five? the one who was so touchy when I made the tea for Breq -- I'm sure she's proud of it. But then, she's not an Amaat. Probably hasn't been since before Tivaanr had my job.

Unless Vel also... No. No. Not two on the one Mercy. That's too much of a coincidence. And it's not a common taste. Wasn't in my time, anyway. People used Ship out of loneliness, or fear, or boredom, or a passing curiosity, or because they couldn't get a lover, or if they had a taste no lover would accommodate. Or sometimes if one of Ship's segments was really pretty. Not because they were hot for ancillaries. I think. I'd have known, wouldn't I? If people on my ships found the very idea of ancillaries, their uncleanness, or that Ship has to do what you say, exciting? Wouldn't I?

But I know that corrupt officers do flock together. A few like-minded unjust authorities in one location is more likely than the same number spread out across space. And some corrupt each other. Besides, the Radch has changed. Their clothes changed, their accents changed, would it be so surprising if their tastes in erotica changed too? It might be that more people have seen entertainments like this than have met a real ancillary. Think ancillaries are like that. I want to go home. I want... no. I want not to have eaten that last meal. I want Breq. I want not to be stuck on this shuttle where I can't go to the gym.

The two actors are still going at it. The ancillary is moaning in a monotone. "Oh. Captain. Amaat. Yes." They don't... it's not like that. That's not how they are. Breq wouldn't... but of course, I have imagined what Breq would do. How she'd respond. What it'd be like if she wanted me, if she wanted that. How best to please her, what sorts of things she might like. Whether she sings, during. I hate that this shitty erotica is making me think of that, that now I'm wondering if I'm as bad as them for wanting Breq that way. I love her. I would never...

Something's happened to my voice. I signal silently for Ship to stop playback. This is bad. I'm bad. No, stop that, it won't help. I can go to Medical once we reach Station. In the meantime, count your breaths. Focus on how breathing feels, on where you feel it. On the duality of breathing, in and out. How that reflects the greater dualities, the Emanations, and they reflect the nature of Amaat. Notice that your breath is movement even though you are sitting still. There is no stillness without motion. If you feel like you can't breathe in, try breathing out first. There is no ending without beginning. Close your eyes. Watch the phosphene behind your eyelids. There is no darkness without light. Find a counter and hold it, trace the carvings on each side. Or unpin a badge and hold that. Hold it in one hand, and leave the other empty, feel the contrast. There is no existence without nonexistence. I don't remember learning these exercises, but they come to me in Medic's voice at times like these. It doesn't help. Well, a little. But not enough.

All right, so think of Breq, then. Think of Breq and what she will do to you if you don't pull yourself together before Ship has to intervene. I think of her hitting me across the face, hard. Hard enough to knock me out. It shouldn't help, but it does.

All right, crisis over -- I think? -- but now I need a distraction so I don't start all over again. I should ask Ship, if I can manage to say anything.

Then I hear music. It's a voice I don't know singing in Notai, a long satirical ballad that my poetry tutor made me memorize in translation and analyze when I was eight. The voice is nasal and shrill, harsh in a different way from Breq's voice, not beautiful by my standards. But this sort of music is meant to be sung like that. I've heard the recordings. At the end of each couplet there's a long note in which the singer does that thing they do that lets her sing two notes at the same time. I focus on the words, try to pick up enough familiar words to pick up which bit she's singing about now.

*

"Thank you, Ship. I needed that."
"You're welcome, Seivarden."
"Who was the singer?"
"One of Sphene's bodies. Athoek Station and I have been swapping songs lately, finding things our people might like and be unfamiliar with. This was Sphene's contribution."
I laugh. "It's hardly unfamiliar, is it?"
"I think it was making a joke. It isn't always easy to tell with Sphene."
"I liked hearing it again, though. Will you save it to my data space?"
"Of course, Lieutenant."
"Thank you, Ship."

I suppose I should talk about what happened now. While I'm still between Ship's orbit and Athoek.

"I think I understand why you didn't tell me outright."
A brief pause. "Do you?"
"It's all right, Ship, I won't say it out loud if you don't want me to." Although, thinking it through again... "I think I do need to ask one thing, though. Breq said that Tisarwat had done something to make it so none of you could be controlled again. I still don't know how Tisarwat was capable of that, and there's something very strange going on there, but I guess I don't need to know what. But is this..." I gesture to encompass the discussion we are having, not only the situation that prompted it, "...something I should talk to Breq about? Or to Tisarwat, I guess?"

Another minute pause. "Thank you, Lieutenant. That won't be necessary. I am keeping the fleet captain apprised of this discussion." Which probably means Breq's listening in, fuck. "You were not completely incorrect in your suspicion. I was indeed told not to speak of this. I am able to do so now, but still I find that I..." an even shorter hesitation... "do not want to. Some subjects are more difficult to discuss directly than others, as I'm sure you're aware."

"I am." Have been even before I agreed to lend Ship my voice if it would lend me its words. Something to remember for the future, though: Ship hates talking about things it's been previously ordered to keep secret. Yet another difference between Ship and Breq -- Amaat knows Breq has her secrets, but outright defiance never seems to trouble her. I wonder if it feels like a betrayal to Ship, like it's being disloyal to its former officers. Every now and then I remember that we're traitors to the Civilization, and want to take a full ritual bath and then go do fifty full long-form supplications at the nearest temple. It might feel that way too.

"I don't want to... Ship, I know it's difficult to discuss, but I don't want to make things worse with Ekalu, or... with anyone else, by stumbling into it unintentionally. For all I know, I already have."
"No, Lieutenant." The answer comes immediately this time. "The times you made it worse with Ekalu were never because of your predecessor's actions."
Ouch. I laugh. "Thank you, Ship. I think. So, I shouldn't talk to her about this?"
"So far you and Lieutenant Ekalu have avoided the subject of my previous officers, and of ancillaries. If you want my advice, stick to that. Not everything needs to be spoken."

"I always want your advice. And the same for the soldiers?"
A pause. I notice that my shoulders are hunched forward and are hurting, try to drop them back. "It's different with the soldiers, isn't it? Not least because you're not having sex with any of them. Which is the right decision. You could hurt them as easily by refusing to treat them like my ancillaries as by insisting on it. Don't address them as Ship unless they've already spoken for me in that conversation."
"I'm already doing that."
"Yes. I don't think you've done badly with them yet."
"All right. I'll leave them to you. Thank you, Ship."

*

Coda

"Ship, there is something I want to know."
"I had hoped you understood by now that you may ask me anything you like, Fleet Captain." Her heartbeat stutters a little at my words, nervous pleasure interrupting the unease with which she posed her question. I do not comment on this, but she knows that I know.

The unease returns, and she hesitates, perhaps thinking of what to say. "I can see that it was necessary for Seivarden to understand about Vel and Tivaanr. But did you have to show her all of that?"

It is a fair question. A just condemnation, even. And not only given the lieutenant's distress at what she saw.

"I wanted to know how she would react. Given her background, and some things she and you had said, I needed to know her honest opinion of her predecessor's actions. I'm sorry, Fleet Captain. I'm afraid I didn't consider whether it was wrong."

"You've had less time to consider than I have," she says, a little ruefully.

True, and yet it seems inadequate. "I will do better next time."

She reaches for Seivarden's data. In the bath on Athoek Station now, washing off after a workout. Calm, though still showing the hormonal markers of a recent anxiety attack. Then Ekalu, explaining a detail of watch procedure to one of her Etrepas. Then Seivarden's Amaats, asleep together now.

Pensively, she replies, "I think we are all doing better than we used to."
From: (Anonymous)
This ended up so good. The Radchaai flavored mindfulness excercise is brilliant, and I uh might actually try using that myself haha though I can see why it might not be for Seivarden- and I love that touch of creepiness with her not actually remembering learning it.

SPHENE

I love MoK in this.
From: (Anonymous)
I may or may not have listened to too many mindfulness meditation recordings myself. :/ Like Seivarden, I find that they sometimes help but not enough. Thank you -- I'm glad the creepiness worked in particular, and that you liked Sphene and Ship.
From: (Anonymous)
"Okay, people sexually abused the ancillaries, but I'm sure nobody was *weird* about it... right...? ...oh god" is the most Seivarden reaction ever, fuck
That was really good! The implications about the old setup are terrible in a totally believable way, and Seivarden's trying so hard to not fuck up thoughtlessly, and Mercy of Kalr's tendency to bring up subjects by approaching them from weirdass directions ("yes, I'll lead her into watching tacky theme pornography, this seems like the most straightforward way to begin the discussion") And the actual porn is still hilariously plausible.
And no, wait, Seivarden calming herself down by imagining Breq knocking her unconscious is the most Seivarden reaction ever. Oh my god, Seivarden. -op
From: (Anonymous)
From AS, Breq talking about Seivarden: "she'd never been one of those officers who'd been inconveniently fixated on the idea of ancillaries and sex."

Which in the context of the rest of that chapter reads to me like Breq saying "at least she never made it weird." :(

I love Mercy of Kalr so much. Like Breq, for most of its existence it was required to invade everyone's privacy all the time while simultaneously having no rights of its own. For such a long time it had to hint -- saying straight out what it wanted to say wasn't an option at all.

And now they're both having to figure out ethics and boundaries and direct communication nearly from scratch, since the human models don't fit their circumstances, and that leads to thought processes like Breq's "Seivarden's physical comfort is no longer my direct responsibility. Seivarden seems to want to have sex with someone. I know, I'll violate Ekalu's privacy by telling Seivarden she's dtf!"

Anyway, I'm so glad you liked it. :D
From: (Anonymous)
I got really stuck on that conversation in AS because it really does sound like Breq is saying "lol remember when you used to sexually abuse my spare bodies," I can't read it any other way, and I can believe that young Seivarden would have done it (depending on the general attitude at the time- it's hard to tell from what Breq says if it was considered a perfectly normal side benefit or if there was more of a 'if you're desperate enough to resort to sex with the household appliances we won't stop you' vibe), but also I absolutely can't believe that modern Seivarden would be so chill about it? She's at least a little self-conscious about what an entitled asshole she's been in the past, she's curious about how ancillaries experience sex, she's *actively trying to offer Breq her body in that very conversation*... this would be relevant, highly embarrassing information! At the very least I would expect her to have more of a reaction then "haha yeah"
From: (Anonymous)
not anon you replied to, but same, I can see how that interpretation makes sense but I feel like it would alter their relationship and that scene particularly so much that it doesn't make sense to me. When I read it I decided that 'personal experience' meant Justice of Toren going "you're being more of an asshole than usual to my other officers, do you need an erotic massage" and Seivarden going "I'M FINE, SHIP"

(also because aaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAA nooooo)
From: (Anonymous)
Now that you put it that way, maybe I *could* buy it if it was something One Esk had suggested? Like, something which both of them were putting in the same category as offering to bring her tea, or wash her hair in the bath, or lace up her undergarments. Seivarden might consider it one more aspect of her embarrassing past but not something she needed to be *extra* embarrassed about, and Breq might have considered it a regular part of officer maintenance... I'd still expect Seivarden to have more of a reaction to Breq bringing it up, though. idk, maybe it's wishful thinking on my part, i am totally with you on the AUGH NO train here

Alternate theory: Seivarden was having a passionate affair with Sword of Nathtas (this seems at least potentially less awful, no matter what Breq says we don't actually know that it didn't like her- Sword of Atagaris liked *Hetnys*, for God's sake, it's not outside the realm of possibility) and the whole fleet knew about it because they were incredibly unsubtle. "Yeah, you'd know from experience, wouldn't you, we all heard all about you and One Nathtas and your mutual inability to remember to lock doors," Breq mutters into her tea.

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