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

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


Meme Rules:

  • 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!

chanderclear: A tree standing alone on a little hill amidst the waves (Default)
From: [personal profile] chanderclear
...........please....... i don't even know what i mean here i just.... want to see what happens.
From: (Anonymous)
should sportsball be involved
From: (Anonymous)
different anon

definitely sportsball should be involved!

Mermaid AU

Date: 2016-11-30 06:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Either in radchaai space or on earth

Re: Mermaid AU

Date: 2016-11-30 06:31 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
yes. YES. i'm gonna try and fill this one

Fill: Mermaid AU

Date: 2016-12-01 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There are so many good ways to go with this and this probably isn't the best one and it's so short I'm sorry


She didn't get her tail back, but she didn't die, either. Maybe some of Awn's blood had splashed on her after all. She didn't wait for Awn's bride to be to wake and see what she had done. She leapt overboard, into a sea that was freezing and hostile to her warm human skin, her weak human lungs. She tried to dive down, some vague unclear thought in her head to reach the sea witch and plunge her own knife into her cold black heart, but her body was too weak. The waves battered her, and she opened her eyes some time later to cold morning sunlight, and found herself washed up on a beach, every part of her aching.

Still holding the knife.

She wandered, after that. The earth still cut her feet, but at least she had her voice back, though nothing could replace the chorus of her sisters. She left Awn's kingdom, and stayed away from the human princess's as well. She avoided all coasts and beaches, afraid of being found by her sisters, afraid they would recognize her and try to drag her back under the water, or, perhaps worse, that they would not recognize her, and see only a dirty, tired human. So she headed inland, and traveled through many kingdoms and encountered many people. The land was still beautiful, and she learned many things on her travels, though it was difficult for her to appreciate this.

At least it wasn't dark and cold like the sea.

If she remained human, perhaps she would live only a short human life, and then, surely, become sea foam. It was more than she deserved.

Everywhere she went she carried the knife close to her, though there seemed little chance she would ever get to use it on the sea witch. Still. She sang as she walked.

Re: Fill: Mermaid AU

Date: 2016-12-01 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh my gosh this was lovely! Thank you so much <3

Re: Fill: Mermaid AU

Date: 2016-12-02 01:09 pm (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass


Date: 2016-11-30 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That's it. That's the prompt.

Fill: Cosleeping

Date: 2016-11-30 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"Ship," Seivarden said, "do you ever feel like you want to sleep?"

She had just lain down, Kalr Six having rushed to remove her boots before she could put them on the Fleet Catain's bed, and she was drowsy. Maybe a little more than she should have been; Mercy of Kalr made a note to check if Medic if newest med adjustment might be causing side effects.

"That is an odd question, Lieutenant," Kalr Six said, for Mercy of Kalr.

Seivarden yawned. "Is it? Even if you can't get physicially tired, you must get mentally worn out like the rest of us. And you only get powered down once a decade, in drydock. That's got to be exhausting."

She stretched out on the far side of her bed, turning her head towards the door and pressing her cheek into a pillow. Waiting for Breq, though her shift wouldn't end for another three hours and Seivarden would hopefully be asleep by then.

"I have never found drydock particularly enjoyable," Kalr Six said.

"Well," Seivarden replied, beginning to slur her words, mind slipping towards sleep, "sleeping isn't nearly as nice when you're alone."

Mercy of Kalr had Seivarden's entire sleep period to think about it. In the morning, in the officer's mess, Kalr Twelve served Seivarden a bowl of skel, and said, "Were you offering to help give me that experience?"

"Of course," Seivarden replied. Mercy of Kalr was still surprised by how quickly Seivarden had adjusted to her ship speaking to her through her fellow soldiers. She almost always seemed to immediately know when someone was talking to her as themselves and when they were speaking for their ship.

"I can't imagine Fleet Captain ever coming up with such an idea," Twelve said, pouring Seivarden a cup of tea.

Seivarden let out an amused snort. "Of course not," she said, "she's a ship. Or was. It wouldn't occur to her. But, Ship- she does very much want you to have whatever you want." She leaned back in her chair. "Want me to bring it up to her?"

"That's all right, Lieutenant," Twelve said. "I'll discuss it with her myself."

It took a few days of everyone gradually adjusting their schedules. At last things were ready. Two thirds of the crew left for Athoek Station, though all of them had been willing to participate. Ekalu insisted on staying.

Drydock, in the Athoek System, was a platorm orbiting the one gas giant in the system. Mercy of Kalr slowly moved into a synchronomous orbit, and carefully latched on. Then she ship began to switch off systems, assisted by the soldiers where necessary. Communications were temporarily switched off. Sensors retracted. The great loud engines slowly powered down, and the emergency power came on, bathing the ship's corridors in low red light.

At this point the humans on board that weren't part of repair crews should have taken the ship's shuttles to the habitable part of the station, and from there on to wherever in the system they wanted to spend the months it took to check a Radchaai warship over and repair any damages. But there were no repairs to be made this time, and everyone stayed on board.

The captain handed out small glasses of arrack to everyone in the Kalr decade room, and there was a round of singing. Then the soldiers departed for their bunks. With only a skeleton crew, there were enough bunks to fit everyone at once.

Seivarden lay on the far side of the bed, uniform and boots off for once, waiting. Breq came into the dark room, removed her own uniform, and lay down, scooting a bit so their shoulders and thighs touched. "This was a good idea," Breq said. "Well done."

Seivarden grinned, and rested her head against Breq's.

Yes, Mercy of Kalr said in their visions, thank you. How did you know I wanted this? I didn't even know.

"I know how hard it can be sometimes to sleep alone," Seivarden said. She felt a surge of emotion, and rolled over, closer to Breq, who wrapped an arm around her waist. Seivarden reached up a hand, and laid it against the painted wall. She felt Breq's hand come up and lie on top of hers.

"We're all with you, Ship," Seivarden said. "You're with us, and you're safe. You can relax. You can sleep."

The life support systems were built to act autonomously of the AI core in case of emergency. Mercy of Kalr relinquished control over them, and stopped listening to any information coming in that wasn't the quiet sleeping brain waves of twenty humans. As it put its computer banks to sleep, it sung itself a quiet lullaby, that slowly dissapated into nothing but a sense of warmth, and comfort, and home.

Re: Fill: Cosleeping

Date: 2016-12-01 11:45 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you, citizen. This is so sweet and comforting to read.

Re: Fill: Cosleeping

Date: 2016-12-22 02:45 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Aw, that's so cute! Yes, well done, Seivarden, you're a good girl :D
From: (Anonymous)
Maybe this is improbable, but I have faith in Breq's capacity for obliviousness.

In That Scene in AM, neither Mercy of Kalr nor Seivarden actually directly said the words "I love you." They made it clear enough that Breq would have to be an incredible idiot not to understand by now, but this is Breq we are talking about.

Maybe they were just being nice! Or just trying to calm her down! Or being hypothetical! Maybe they've changed their minds! After all, they haven't tried to bring it up since! (Neither has Breq.)

So now everyone is in a holding pattern of "this is good enough" with fraught tea-making and wistful shoulder-leaning and very careful conversation. How do they get out of this?

Seivarden&or/Breq, Breq&or/Awn

Date: 2016-12-01 04:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Seivarden and Breq are somehow trapped in a virtual reality program that gives each of them their perfect life, or what they think their perfect life should be. Seivarden's involves being back in her own time. Breq's involves Awn.

Sphene/Minask, happy au

Date: 2016-12-01 04:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
they escape and go on the run

One Esk on Valaskaay

Date: 2016-12-01 06:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Love to see a short featuring one esk having a good time on Valaskaay not murderinf people but eating peaches and signing

Breq/Anaander, weird courtship

Date: 2016-12-02 08:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Omaugh Anaander has a weird crush on Breq and post-book keeps sending her fancy expensive gifts. Breq sends back inventive "fuck off" gifts. Anaander treasures each one and has a room just for them

Re: Breq/Anaander, weird courtship

Date: 2016-12-02 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Kalr Five goes dishes shopping

Date: 2016-12-04 02:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
exactly what it says

Imperial Radch NASA AU

Date: 2016-12-04 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
take it and run

historical romance Seivarden/Amaat 2

Date: 2016-12-04 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
regency period or bodice buster your choice

Re: historical romance Seivarden/Amaat 2

Date: 2016-12-04 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Did u mean Amaat 4

ghost of canterville spheiat AU

Date: 2016-12-04 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
ok first of all please read this regardless it's the story of a shitty American family who moves into a haunted British manor and proceeds to be completely unfazed by British Ghost Nonsense https://www.ego4u.com/download/pdf/canterville-ghost_easy.en.pdf

second, AU where Sphene is the ghost and Zeiat is Virginia and the whole rest of the family/visitors/etc are all Anaanders

Re: ghost of canterville spheiat AU

Date: 2016-12-04 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I should mention that the entire hetero sideplot with Cecil can be discarded because I'm p sure that was a case of "yeah this is a great short story but we can't publish it unless someone gets married"

Re: ghost of canterville spheiat AU

Date: 2016-12-10 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Can I make the family all Translators? (I want Dlique as the twins)

Re: ghost of canterville spheiat AU

Date: 2016-12-10 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes absolutely

Breq/Seivarden Kid Fic but the "kid" is an AI

Date: 2016-12-05 10:25 am (UTC)
mawgs: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mawgs
Okay so Post-Mercy far enough in the future where the sorta canon biomechs are up and running. The three cores have been successfully integrated into The R2S with biomechs, and for some reason Breq decides they should create a totally new AI designed by AIs. It's got no Anaander influence and will initiate with one biomech (with more to come later).

Seivarden finds out during development and points out to Breq that she's basically having a kid. Breq argues that's not true. Seivarden asks to be another parent. Breq finally gives in and agrees.

Bonus: The AI has some of Breq's mannerisms. The AI is more humanlike than previous AIs and less reserved about its feelings. The AI calls Breq and Seivarden mom. Seivarden calls it kiddo.

Other characters can be aunts or relatives. Sphene is the vodka aunt.
From: (Anonymous)
I am working on filling this prompt now!
From: (Anonymous)
Okay, here it is! http://archiveofourown.org/works/11116542
From: (Anonymous)
Very lovely, citizen!
mawgs: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mawgs
Thank you! I commented on the fic already but I loved it so thank you!

pre-AJ fill-in-the-blank fic for Seivarden

Date: 2016-12-10 01:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
could be what she was up to between being unfrozen and Nilt, or what happened to end with her naked and unconscious in the snow, basically anything. There's just not enough fic on what happens to Seivarden before she meets Breq and I wanna now.

Radchaai entertainments!

Date: 2016-12-12 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Summaries, canon characters watching them, Radchaai entertainment versions of real shows, fanfic of imaginary entertainments, anything.

Romantic hair-care

Date: 2017-03-17 09:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't actually mind if this turns out nsfw or sfw, but characters expressing intimacy by doing each other's hair. Maybe some combination of the Breq/MoK/Seivarden triplet.

Winter Soldier Awn au

Date: 2017-03-17 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Somehow she ends up as a brainwashed assassin or ancillary or something. I don't care how I just want ANGST. preferably with both skaaiat/awn and breq/awn

Re: Winter Soldier Awn au

Date: 2017-03-28 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Seivarden, amnesia trope

Date: 2017-03-28 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Seivarden forgets everything since before meeting Breq on Nilt. Extreme perspective-taking ensues.

Your choice how far back she forgets and how angsty it gets. I wrote this prompt after reading this (http://lierdumoa.tumblr.com/post/128391857722/there-isnt-nearly-enough-secondhand-embarrassment) and imagining pre-Breq Seivarden's progression of reactions (I'm not Captain anymore... I'm in love with a provincial... wait, a non-Radchaai... a non-human... wait, I'm no longer a Radchaai citizen... wait, I'm unsteady and everyone knows it... wait, I'm HAPPY?) but you could go the other way and have angst and past-Seivarden being horrible to everyone.

Fill: Seivarden, amnesia trope

Date: 2017-05-06 01:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
She woke to a blinding light and an even more blinding headache, and someone saying, scoldingly, in an unfamiliar accent, “Lie still, Lieutenant.”

She coughed, blinked, shoved the hands off her shoulders and sat upright. The light receded slightly, though the headache stayed, and throbbed.

Someone slapped a patch on her neck and immediately she felt her body relax. When she spoke she found herself slurring the words.

“What happened?”

“You did something very foolish,” another voice said, in that same odd accent.

“Brave,” said the first voice. “But foolish.”

She couldn’t remember anything happening. Why couldn’t she remember. Something was wrong. Who were these people? Asking would be embarrassing, if they were people she was supposed to know, but she was starting to panic. “Who are you?” she said, and tried to sound as in-control and authoritative as she could, but she was afraid she didn’t succeed at that since her speech was coming out mildly incoherent.

She blinked again. She could see better now. This looked like- Medical? A provincial-looking person was peering at her, too close for comfort, and she flinched back a bit. First Voice, she decided, that one had sounded closer. There was someone else in the room, too, but she couldn’t see them clearly. First Voice’s uniform didn’t look right. What was going on?

“Ship?” she said, really panicked now.

“I’m here, Lieutenant,” Ship said in her ear, and she would have relaxed, except Ship had the same odd accent, and because Lieutenant wasn’t right, it was Captain, wasn’t it? Something had happened to her. She had brain damage, she must have. What if it couldn’t be fixed?

“Aatr’s tits,” she mumbled.

“I’m Medic,” said First Voice. “Mercy of Kalr’s Medic?”

Seivarden shook her head. “I don’t know that ship,” she said. “Who the fuck is Kalr?”

The other person stepped closer. Seivarden flinched away from their eyes.

“Do you know who I am?” they said.

Ship, Seivarden wanted to say, but no, the uniform coat was half black, and though the cut and shape of it was strange Seivarden still knew what that meant. Not an ancillary’s uniform.

“No, sir,” she said.

“She might not recognize faces,” the person claiming to be a medic said to the one in a fleet captain’s uniform. “That can happen, with brain damage.”

She turned back to Seivarden. “This is Fleet Captain Breq Mianaai,” she said.

Seivarden shook her head again. “Never heard of her,” she said. “Sorry.”


They didn’t tell her everything at once. First they asked her a lot of questions. Determining the extent of the damage. She held herself still and answered honestly because she couldn’t think of another option. She didn’t trust them, but her brain was foggy- the drugs- and she couldn’t think of a reasonable explanation for all this. None of it made sense. She wanted to just talk to Ship, but insisting on that would be incredibly rude, so she held herself still and stared at the fleet captain’s nose. It was a light brown, and broad and flat.

At last they told her she wasn’t on Sword of Nathtas, but some Mercy she’d never heard of, and that-

“You’re fucking kidding me,” she said, blankly.

“I’m afraid not,” said the medic.

“I don’t believe you.”

The medic sighed. “I suppose I wouldn’t either.”

The fleet captain barely said anything.

A thousand fucking years? It had to be a lie. But the ship showed her her own face, through the medic’s eyes, and the face was older than she thought it should be.

Her head had been shaved bald so that it could be half covered in a corrective, and there were others she could feel on her chest and one of her legs, though she didn’t feel any pain- the drugs, probably. At that point she became aware that she was only wearing a flimsy medical gown and was briefly overwhelmed with self-consciousness and a terrible sense of vulnerability. She wanted her ship.

She wanted to wake up again and find that it was all a dream.

“I’m… I’m sorry about this, sir,” she said to the fleet captain.. Best to play along. Until she had more information.

"It isn't your fault," the fleet captain said. Quiet.

Her accent had changed, since she’d found out that Seivarden had… forgotten. It was perfect, nearly a duplicate of Seivarden’s own. The ship’s accent had changed too. It made Seivarden feel more kindly disposed towards them. She distrusted that feeling.

When she asked about Sword of Nathtas they told her it was gone. That that was how she’d been lost for a thousand fucking years. She tried to process that, and couldn’t. After some silence, she asked about Justice of Toren. There was a pause, and then they told her Justice of Toren was gone too.

What was the last thing she remembered? She didn’t know. She just knew how things should be. She should be on Sword of Nathtas, Ship should be serving her tea, Lieutenant… what was her name… Lieutenant… her first officer should be here, and her ship’s medic.

Her patience broke, and she pulled off the correctives over the loud protestations of the medic, and pushed herself off the bed, and walked out into the corridor. At least the ship opened the door for her. She breathed a sigh of relief. At least she wasn’t trapped in one room.

The corridor outside was wrong again. An ancillary was walking down it, holding a tea set. It stopped when it saw her. “Sir?”

Why was it surprised? An inconsistency. She leaped on it. “What year is it?” she demanded.

It gave the same number the medic had.

“What’s your name?”

A long pause. “...Tisente, sir.”


There was a hand on her arm. The fleet captain. “Sit back down, Lieutenant.”

There was such authority in that voice that she found herself obeying without thinking.

She saw the ancillary- no, the- the officer?- staring after her.

Re: Fill: Seivarden, amnesia trope

Date: 2017-05-06 11:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Thank you, and also OUCH. Poor Seivarden and everyone else (Tisente in particular.)

She wanted to just talk to Ship, but insisting on that would be incredibly rude, so she held herself still and stared at the fleet captain’s nose.

Poor Seivarden. Eye contact is hard.

Re: Fill: Seivarden, amnesia trope

Date: 2017-05-06 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thanks! I'll try to write more soon. Good prompt.

Fill: Seivarden, amnesia, part 2

Date: 2017-05-27 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
She refused to stay in Medical any longer, and they didn’t seem inclined to hold her there. “There’s a good chance seeing your surroundings might jog your memory,” the medic said. “I’m coming with you, though. I’m keeping you under close observation until we know exactly what we’re dealing with.”

An ancillary entered with a uniform and helped her put it on. Surely it was an ancillary. But the other one hadn’t been.

The ancillary lead her to what she assumed was a decade room and sat her down at the table, and another one brought tea and skel for her and for the medic, who sat down across from her. Seivarden stared into her bowl, and to her horror, found herself blinking back tears.

“Hello,” someone said, and she turned and saw the officer who had just sat down next to her.

She grunted, conscious of the medic’s presence but too angry to manage a polite hello back.

“I heard about what happened,” the officer said. Her accent was just barely understandable, if Seivarden focused. “I’m so sorry, S-” A strange pause. “Sir.”

Seivarden looked at her insignia. Amaat Lieutenant. So at least she was only- apparently- subordinate to the fleet captain, on this ship.

She shook her head, trying to clear her eyes of tears. “I don’t know what the fuck is going on,” she complained to the universe in general. “Aatr’s tits, this is ridiculous!”

She pushed aside the bowl of skel, and let her head sink down onto her crossed arms.

She heard the medic say, as though from a long way away, “Lieutenant Seivarden is having a difficult time right now.” She choked down a scream.

The other officer: “I can’t imagine how difficult this must be.”

“No,” Seivarden said. “You can’t.”

“Is there anything I can do to help?”

Seivarden lifted her head up a little to stare at the other officer. Etrepa lieutenant, she could see from the insignia. At least the general shapes of the insignias hadn’t changed since her day.

Since her day! Was she really buying all of this? No, of course she wasn’t! She was just waiting and trying to figure out the situation. She’d been kidnapped and fed this elaborate lie, though she couldn’t imagine the reasons, but who knew why uncivilized mad people did anything? Sword of Nathtas must be looking for her. Would come for her.

“You,” she said.

“Yes?” the Etrepa lieutenant asked. She’d been nothing but solicitous, but she was standing almost as stiffly as that human who’d pretended to be an ancillary. She was afraid of something. Afraid of Seivarden? There had to be a way to use that to her advantage.

“You know me?”

“Yes,” the Etrepa lieutenant said. Quieter, her breathing faster. “Yes, I… I know you.”

“Then tell me about myself.”

“Well,” she said. “Well. I don’t know. A lot can change in fifteen years. You never told me much about who you used to be. You’d have to ask Sir about that.”

“Sir?” Seivarden asked, perplexed and annoyed. “Who’s- you mean the Fleet Captain?”

“Lieutenant Ekalu,” the medic said, sharply- warningly, perhaps? That meant she was on the edge of finding something here.

“Why would the Fleet Captain know me from fifteen years ago? Was she the one who woke me up?”

Lieutenant- Ekalu, the name was Ekalu- stared over Seivarden’s shoulder at the medic, obviously dismayed despite her oddly constrained body language. Seivarden didn’t think, didn’t give the ship time to forsee her actions, just leapt up from the chair and slammed the Etrepa Lieutenant against the off-white wall of the decade room. “Tell me what the fuck is going on,” she hissed. Lieutenant Ekalu struggled to get free. Seivarden put one arm against her throat and pushed her back into the wall, and with the other arm she grabbed Ekalu’s wrist and began to bend it back, causing Ekalu to cry out in pain. “Talk,” Seivarden demanded. She didn’t have much time, expecting any second for ancillaries to grab her, pull her back and slam her to the ground.

Instead, a single word came through her auditory implant. “Seivarden.”

She watched her arms drop slowly to her sides. Watched Ekalu, apparently frozen now, staring at her. She felt her knees give way, and the world rush up as she sank down onto the floor. Now she heard footsteps, steady, deliberate boots on the floor behind her. She felt a gloved hand rest on her shoulder, an irrationally heavy weight.

“What is happening to me,” she tried to say, but her throat was too thick, and the words came out a garble. She was crying again. She swallowed, and spoke as clearly as she could. “What the fuck are you doing to me? You’re not real Radchaai, none of you. Barbarians pretending to be Radchaai, maybe. You don’t need to pretend, just tell me what you fucking want from me.”

“Please give us the room,” the fleet captain said to the medic and the officer and the ancillaries or whoever else might be around. Seivarden heard people leaving. Then there was just silence.

“Who are you?” she asked. She wanted to say, Who the fuck are you that you can just say my name and give me these feelings of weakness and despair that I don’t fucking understand?

“I’m your friend,” the fleet captain said.

Re: Fill: Seivarden, amnesia, part 2

Date: 2017-05-27 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
“I’m your friend,” the fleet captain said.


Fill: Seivarden, amnesia, part 3

Date: 2017-06-06 04:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Disclaimer: I know nothing about traumatic head injury or retrograde amnesia. But this is angsty fanficland, we don't need medical knowledge!

“Come with me,” said the fleet captain, and touched the cuff of her sleeve. What had the medic called her? Breq Mianaai. Seivarden mouthed the name to herself, longing to taste some meaning, some memory. But there was nothing. Only empty uncertainty.

Seivarden stood up. Breq Mianaai’s fingers closed around her wrist like a steel vise. A clear warning. Don’t try to make a break for it. For the first time Seivarden felt actual physical fear. This was not a person she wanted to try and fight.

Obediently, docilely, she let herself be led from the decade room.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“Your quarters,” Breq Mianaai said.

“Are you going to lock me in?”

“Yes,” the captain said, baldly. “I can’t have you assaulting my officers.”

Seivarden looked down at her boots, and watched herself putting one in front of the other. Her face was hot. Nothing made sense, and she was so angry. “Fuck you,” she spat. “Fuck you, fuck you.”

But she didn’t stop, or try to break free.

They didn’t pass any ancillaries or officers or officers pretending to be ancillaries. The ship must be keeping them away.

“Fuck you too, ship,” she muttered.

“Sir,” the ship said in her ear, smooth accent impeccable. Fuck it.

Her quarters were about the same size as they’d been on Justice of Toren, which was to say, too small, and cramped, but the room was just different enough to be unfamiliar. Seivarden sat down on the bed, and reached for her boots automatically and then stopped. Breq Mianaai remained standing.

“How did I get here?” Seivarden asked. “I mean, after I… was found?”

“The Lord of the Radch assigned you as my first officer,” the captain said. “It was a time of unrest. We were sent to Athoek System to protect the planet.”

“Athoek?” Seivarden asked. “Where the fuck is Athoek?”

“About one thousand light years from what you remember as the edge of Radch space,” she said.

“Why this ship?” Why you?

“It was the only one available.”

“How long ago was that?”

“About three years ago.”

Seivarden stared at her boots.

Who are you to me? she wanted to ask, but didn’t.

After a moment, the captain turned and left. The door closed behind her. Seivarden stood up and tried to manually open it. It remained closed.

She went back to the bed and laid down, folding her arms across her chest and staring up at the ceiling light. A minute later she sat up and struggled out of her uniform pants and jacket, and pulled off her shirt so she was only in her underwear. She laid back down and moved her gloved hands down across her chest and stomach and thighs, slowly feeling the shape of her ribcage and hips, fingers running into unfamiliar ridges of what she realized had to be scar tissue. Scars? Had medicine gone backwards while she’d been gone? There was a harsh line of puckered skin across her abdomen where her armor implant was located.

She touched her face, and felt unfamiliar lines. Skin rougher than it should be. She touched the bald fuzz of her head. At least that was explained by whatever the medic had needed to do to her skull.

She realized she’d forgotten to ask what the accident had been that had taken her memory from her. And then realized that she actually believed the story now. It was the most sensible explanation for the available evidence, apart from her just hallucinating all of this, which would be stupid.

She blinked. Her vision had suddenly changed. She was looking down at herself. She understood what was happening because she always had Sword of Nathtas show her herself every morning, so she could check that the ancillaries had done a good job with her makeup. But it was still jarring. Mostly because she still didn’t quite recognize her new face. It was so thin and haggard and older. Not that visibly older but you could see age when it was on your own face.

“That’s enough, Ship,” she said harshly, and rolled over and buried her face against her arm.

“Sir,” the ship said. “Lieutenant Tisarwat wishes to enter.”

“Lieutenant Tisarwat?” Seivarden said. She grabbed at her pants and tried to put them on, but got tangled up and had to pause and take a few deep breaths before trying again. She abandoned the jacket and shrugged into the undershirt. “Come in,” she said.

The door slid open and a young, fresh-faced person came in. Normally Seivarden didn’t notice people’s eye colors, but this person’s irises were a really stupid bright artificial purple. Seivarden winced and looked away. Aatr’s tits, was this what young people did with their money in the future?

“Hello,” she said. “I’m- Tisarwat. Bo Lieutenant Tisarwat.”

“Nice to meet you, I suppose,” Seivarden said sourly. The girl seemed to be avoiding looking at her. Seivarden sighed, and pulled on her jacket. Tisarwat looked up, face reddening slightly. Had they been sexually involved? Seivarden couldn’t see herself- any herself- getting involved with someone with bad enough taste to do their eyes like that. Sometimes younger officers could get weirdly embarrassed about seeing their superiors in any level of disarray.

There weren’t any chairs, and Seivarden didn’t want the girl looming over her, so she pushed herself off the bed and sat on the carpeted floor. Tisarwat hesitated, and then sat down across from her. She reached up to her very neat uniform jacket, which Seivarden saw was covered with pins, and undid a few buttons so she could unpin one of them. She held it out to Seivarden, who stared and then took it.

“You gave this to me,” Tisarwat said, and Seivarden had a jolt of, fuck, were we actually- before she continued, “after my first year of service. You said you were proud of me and I was a good officer.”

Seivarden looked at the pin. It was small, a platinum disc engraved with what had to be Mercy of Kalr’s insignia and Tisarwat’s- personal name, not house name? Attached was polished round pieces of aquamarine and heliotrope. A gift for a younger cousin who you were close to.

“I don’t know what the stones mean,” Tisarwat said. “I’m pretty sure they meant different things in your time than they do now. And you didn’t explain.”

Seivarden tilted her hand a little, feeling the lightness of the pin, hearing the stones roll and lightly hit each other. You’d give something like this to your favorite baby relative after they took their aptitudes, if the disk was silver, or when they got their first assignment, if it was platinum. Seivarden had never bought anything like this. She hadn’t had a favorite relative. There hadn’t been babies around when she’d been a teen, and later family gatherings were excuses to get drunk and try to avoid her mother.

Come to think of it, she’d never received anything like this, either.

“I thought maybe it would help you remember,” said the child with the stupid purple eyes.

“It doesn’t,” Seivarden said, mouth dry. “I don’t remember it. I don’t remember you.” Carefully, she held out her hand, and after several long seconds felt Tisarwat take the pin back.

“Oh,” Tisarwat said. “Well, it was just a thought.”

Seivarden swallowed. “Tell me,” she said, “do you know what happened to me? How I lost my memory and woke up in that med bay?”

Tisarwat hesitated. Seivarden wondered tiredly if she was going to get another carefully limited, short statement. But when Tisarwat spoke, she sounded entirely earnest.

“You saved the captain’s life, sir! And Administrator Celar, and Kalr Nine, and Citizen Basnaaid! A political dissident tried to kill Administrator Celar at the docks. She was right in front of an airlock, so she could get away after she killed the Administrator and everyone with her. There was a huge crowd of people. The Fleet Captain and Citizen Basnaaid were talking with Administrator Celar. You were with me on the other side of the concourse.

The Fleet Captain could have handled the shooter, but she was too far away. You were a lot closer, and you grabbed her and pushed her into the airlock and Station slammed the door down. But you didn’t have your gun or your armor and she shot you in the head, sir!”

Seivarden winced, and reached up to touch her head again. It felt whole.

“The Fleet Captain had run over by then and we both saw it. I was sure you were dead, sir, and I think everyone else was too. Fleet Captain was so angry. I never heard her talk to Station like that before. She didn’t have a gun on her either, but her armor- uh.” At last there was a brief pause. “She had her armor on her, and she got Station to open the door and when the shooter tried to come out she broke her legs. It was- it was a lot. I got to you and you were still breathing. Your head was bleeding a lot. I was panicking but Fleet Captain had just made us all brush up on first aid. I applied a corrective and then kept your head still until the medics arrived.”

“Thank you,” Seivarden said. The lieutenant sounded so young. She couldn’t be more than twenty.

“You were only out a couple days,” Tisarwat said. “Fleet Captain was so angry,” she repeated.

“Yeah,” Seivarden said. “I think she’s still angry. This memory thing can’t have helped.” She remembered the flat voice. The way it had said, ‘You did something very foolish.’ She shivered.

“I heard you attacked Lieutenant Ekalu,” Tisarwat said, in a low voice.

“Yes,” Seivarden said. “I did.”

It occurred to her suddenly that it would be very easy to overpower this very young lieutenant. The ship would close the door. But could it close it fast enough?

“You don’t trust us,” Tisarwat said.

“Would you?” Seivarden asked. “I don’t know any of you. I don’t know this place. Everything I’ve been told sounds ridiculous, except I can’t fucking think of any other explanation for anything. I can barely understand you because of your terrible accent. Why would a Radchaai officer sound so uneducated? Why would she have such stupid fucking eyes? Why would I be serving on a dingy little Mercy in some nowhere system? What kind of Fleet Captain commands a Mercy? What the fuck has happened to the Radch?”

Tisarwat’s face was flushed again. “You’re not yourself,” she said, with such superior magnanimity that Seivarden wanted to hit her.

“Listen, kiddo,” she said, “you’re really not as clever as you think you are, and I wish Breq would teach you some respect for your superiors one of these days. Don’t forget I knew you when you were seventeen and wet behind the ears.”

She heard Tisarwat gasp. “What did you just call me?”

Seivarden mentally reviewed what she’d just said, and felt cold terror settle on her. She stood up. “Get the fuck out,” she said.

“Seivarden,” Tisarwat said, sounding on the edge of tears.

“Get the fuck out!” Seivarden shouted. “Leave me alone!”

She saw Tisarwat read something invisible, a message from the ship or the captain, presumably. The kid stood up. The door opened just briefly enough for her to back out of, and then closed again.

Seivarden punched the wall.

She felt her wrist break. The pain was incredible, but familiar, and she stared at her hand, mind grabbing at something that was almost, almost there.

Through the white-hot screaming pain, she thought, Breq, and heard the thought in her head as though someone else was speaking it. Ekalu. Tisarwat.

But she couldn’t remember.

Breq/Seivarden, angst

Date: 2017-05-05 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Breq somehow thinks Seivarden's dead and has a very negative reaction. But she's not actually dead. What the circumstances are and how long the misconception persists are up to you. I like Breq trying to repress her feelings and lie to herself but her getting steamrollered by emotions is good too.

Anaander + Justice of Toren

Date: 2017-06-23 08:36 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'd really be into seeing a conversation between Justice of Toren and Anaander right after Garsedd, where Anaander vents her doubts to JoT because it's safe for her to do so since she can erase JoT's memory afterwards. Bonus if JoT's captain refusing to carry out the order and being executed is brought up.
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