Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ch. 1.21: Aftershocks

 “Oh thank the maker you’re here, Polly. I’m about ready to light myself on fire,” Lyra looks suitably suicidal, “If I have to listen to another goddamn whiny hipster song I am going to lose my fucking shit.”

The coffeehouse is somewhat hipster-esque—gigantic posters are plastered on the walls, beat poetry books line the community library shelves (“Take a book, leave a book!” a nearby sign declares), and the barista is sporting some pretty rancid dreads. Pretty typical coffeehouse stuff, really.

“I was kinda surprised that you invited me out,” Polaris says, “You usually just call me to bitch at me.”

“Just sit down. It’s—shit—I might have done something a little brash.”

“What, you? No, never, I don’t believe it,” Lyra doesn’t immediately respond, so Polaris continues, unimpeded by the awkward silence, “You’re like the most rational person I know. I mean, you put your money into well-researched stocks and you always follow the speed limit, and…”

“Polaris,” Lyra looks grim, “I don’t need that. Not right now. This is serious.”


“Listen. I think Lily hates me.”

Polaris snorts a little. “What are you talking about? Lily is your pal, your friend, your brochacho.”

“Can I tell you why or are you going to be an asshole about it?”

“I’m sorry, it just sounds so…it sounds not like you.”

“Okay, I’m going to tell me fucking story now, right?”


“And you’re going to be a supportive friend about it, okay?”


“Fine. So I went to Luke and Lily’s house—“

“Holy shit, they have a house?! Luke and Lily have a house?!”

“Do. Not. Interrupt. So I went to their house, and they were outside. I’ll get to the fact that they have a house in a moment, by the way. Anyway, they’re kissing. Like one of those stupid dip kisses. And I didn’t fucking know at this point they were together! I mean, I had a feeling—like I told you about the other day—but I didn’t think they were actually together. And UGH he shaved that mohawk and it looks worse, Polly. It makes his face look all scrunchy and horrible and just gross. I don’t get it. What’s the appeal?”


“Seriously, he’s nailed not one, but two hot alien chicks, and how?”

“It’s kinda—“

“Is he good in bed? Is that it?”

“Yes,” Polaris quickly gets her word in, “that’s pretty much it.”

“Stop interrupting!”

“But you asked—“

“Nope. Don’t care about that walking dildo. Anyway, I see them kissing. You can guess what happens next…”

“You killed Luke!”

“No! What the fuck? Is that what you think of me? Like I’m a killing machine?”

Polaris knows better than to answer.

As you probably guessed, I started yelling, as I’m wont to do. Yelling, not killing, ya bitch. I’m like, ‘What the fuck, Lily?! You leave a note saying you’re fucking leaving and I find you with this jag?!’ And Lily’s all like, ‘oh no, Luke, I told you this was not a good idea.’ And Luke’s all like,” Lyra’s voice drops an octave as she impersonates Luke, “‘it’s okay, babe, get behind me.’ He starts acting all defensive of her like I’m a fucking animal or something. I’m here like, ‘I’m trying to be fucking reasonable about this, so back the fuck off, Luke.’”

Lyra stops and takes a sip of her iced coffee before continuing, “So, I’m standing there, staring down this jackass, and he finally says, ‘Sorry, Lyra. We didn’t want to do it this way, but Lily and I are in love. We’re having a baby.’”

“A baby?!”

“Yes, a fucking baby! It turns out Lily’s pregnant! I guess they’ve been knockin’ boots behind my back. I don’t even know when they found the time.”

Polaris is quiet. Her ex-boyfriend is having a baby with her friend. Her ex-boyfriend, who is only alive because her fiancé is dead, is now having a baby with her friend, who is only around because fiancé rescued her. When did her life become a soap opera?

“Anyway, they have a house now, some huge-ass modern mess over near the cliffs…” Lyra keeps talking, but Polaris tunes her out. Luke couldn’t find the time to even be around when the triplets were born, but now he’s shacking up with Lily. “And they ELOPED, Polly. Polly, are you listening? They’re now Mr. and Mrs. Luke Loser.” And the knife cuts deeper.

“So I say to him, I say, ‘First you kill Crux and now you’re stealing Lily away?’ And he scoffs at that. Seriously, it’s his fault that Crux is dead—“

“Please stop talking about him,” Polaris says weakly.

“It’s integral to the plot. I follow up with some well-constructed swears, and then he tells me to leave. He says I’m ‘upsetting Lily and this is why she wants to get away from you, Lyra. You’re toxic, and ever since Crux died, you’ve been worse. She can’t take it anymore.’”

“So I’m like, ‘how long have you been fucking him, Lily?!’ but she doesn’t answer. She just stares at me with those creepy vacant eyes. Luke tells me to leave again, and I tell him to stay out of it ‘cause this shit’s between me and Lily. But he insists on staying, says he has to protect his wife, the motherfucking cretin. That’s when he lays it on me that they eloped, apparently because I’m so fucking horrible.” Polaris swears that Lyra’s eyes begin to water, but Lyra shakes her head and quickly wipes her eyes.

“Anyway, I say to him, ’You’re as much a murderer as the bitch who shot him. You killed Crux the moment you walked in that warehouse. You know why? Because you’re a worthless idiot. You couldn’t play it cool. You couldn’t let us work it out.’ And then you know what happens?” Polaris doesn’t answer.

“She—Lily says, ‘Crux made his choice,’” Lyra’s voice wavers, “’And his choice was to save Luke. You musn’t twist the meaning of his death.’ Like I’m a fucking—like I’m that much of a bitch or something.” Lyra looks at Polaris pleadingly. 

“And what did you say?”

“I just kind of—I get really mad. I start screaming. I can’t remember what I say. And finally Lily steps between us. She puts her little pipe-cleaner arms up like she’s going to stop us from fighting for something. And she’s like, ‘You need to stop this, Lyra. You’ve been holding this in for too long. Crux is dead, and life is moving on. I’m moving on.’”

“Moving on from what?” Polaris asks. Lyra raises an eyebrow. “Oh—oh, wow! You and Lily?”

“Yeah, but she wasn’t exactly keen on getting hitched and raising cats together. Anyway, she asks for my blessing. My blessing! Can you believe that?! I tell her to fuck off, and I start to walk away. She grabs me and asks me again for my blessing, or at least to give Luke a chance. She asks me to stay awhile and talk.”

“Did you?”

“Fuck no!”

“So that’s the whole story? Then why’d you ask me out?”

“To talk, I guess. I don’t know. That was a few days ago, and every time Lily calls—which has been a lot—I answer the phone with fart noises. I don’t think—I guess I just want to hear that I’m right.”

“You’re not,” Polaris says, “Lily’s right.”

Lyra’s jaw drops. “Well some fucking friend you are!”

“I mean it—you’re using Crux’s death as an excuse for whatever happened between you and Lily. It’s…disrespectful.”

“Listen, Polly,” Lyra says quietly, “I’m going to say something, and I’m going to try to keep my cool because I don’t really want to fight right now even though I’m 99.9% certain I could kill you in two moves. Crux was my friend. I lived with him. I went on missions with him. I spent almost as much time with him as you did. Just because we weren’t in some hyper-romantic, fucking-all-the-time relationship doesn’t mean that he wasn’t important to me. If his death caused a rift in my relationship with Lily, it was a genuine rift, not something I made up to feel better about myself. I know everyone sees me as some kind of moral black hole, but I have a fucking heart.”

“I’m sorry…”

“Don’t. Just shut up. You’ve been acting like a fucking whiny bitch ever since he died. You won’t talk about him, you didn’t want to even try to recover his body, and you won’t tell his kids about him—about their DAD, Polly. He’s not Luke. He’s not some guy who ran out on you or whatever the hell that guy did. He died and you won’t tell them anything about them.”

“I just think—“

“I said shut up! They deserve to know. He’s a goddamn hero—he’s not like a ‘save the world’ kind of hero but in this saga of our life, he’s the definitive hero. You’re hogging his death! You are the only one allowed to feel anything, the one who dictates how we talk about him. Luna probably has some shit to say about Crux—she saw him fucking die—but do you let her? Do you ever talk about it with me or Lily?”

“No, but—“

“What you’re doing isn't grieving. It’s like you’re procrastinating life. You’re putting everything off. He’s not coming back, Polaris. He’s not. But your kids are here now, and I’m here.”

“…ouch, Lyra.”

“Someone had to fucking say it.”

“Did you have to be so cruel about it?”

Lyra smirks, “just talk about your feelings, ya ho.”


They reach out of nowhere.

Leather-clad hands cover her mouth, silencing her screams, and twist her hands behind her back. Her stomach drops as she’s pulled backward. Her abductor is strong. He pushes the back of her knee with his leg, forcing her to the ground. She draws short, quick breaths. Hyperventilation. He swiftly binds her hands with a zip-tie. It cuts into her skin, causing her wrists to tingle.

Target’s been neutralized, he says, but she doesn’t see anyone.

Stop! Help, someone! This seems familiar. A sudden shock, and she begins to fade. 

Her eyes close, then open again. A strange room greets her. Metallic tubes line the walls—five on one side, another five on the opposite side. She feels a push behind her, and she can smell the leather gloves of her captor. She stops suddenly, a frail attempt at resistance.

Where am I? She tries to sound strong, but her voice trembles.

Keep moving. He pushes her again. She senses delight in his voice. He’s savoring this. 

Where am I? She repeats herself.

Don’t make me tase you again, he warns. She trudges forward until he grabs her by the back of the neck and pushes her laterally into one of the tubes. Sweet dreams, blondie.

She tries to scream, but a cold vapor enters her mouth, stifling her.

“Are you asleep?” Luna whispers, “Elly! Elly? Elly?! Are you asleep?”

“I was,” she yawns as she sits up, “thanks for waking me. I was having a weird dream.”

“You always have weird dreams. Remember that one you had about Ethan?”

“Not that kind of weird, sicko,” she grumbles as she glances at the clock, “maker, it’s five in the morning! What are you doing up?”

“I can’t sleep,” Luna frowns, “Dad called last night.”

“Oh yeah? What’d he want?”

“Lily had her baby.”

“Already? It feels like just yesterday that they got married.”

“Yeah. They already brought him home. His name is Oliver.”

“Well that’s great. Mazel tov,” Elysia yawns again, “I’m going back to sleep.”

“They want us to visit today,” Luna slides off her bed onto the floor.


“I know,” Luna sniffles, "this is the worst!"

“Well, you can go with Solaris after school,” Elysia says.

“He has study club,” Luna’s eyes begin to water. Elysia sighs and rolls out of her bed and onto the floor.

“Hey, c’mon. Don’t cry. He hasn’t really been our dad for years,” Elysia tries to sound comforting, “He’s a great weekend-dad, don’t get me wrong, but you couldn’t expect him to hang onto mom for forever.”

Luna begins to bawl.

“Ugh, stop that,” Elysia sneers. She hates it when her sister cries—she can feel it all the way to her bones.

“I’m sorry, Elly,” Luna whines, “I just can’t go by myself!”

“Fine, fine! I’ll go with you! You don’t have to be a baby about it.”

“I miss him.”

“We see dad every weekend. What’s there to miss?”

“No, I miss Crux.”

“Oh, yeah. Me too.”

“Life sucks.”



“Aww, he looks just like you,” Luna coos as she sways back and forth with Oliver, “He’s like a tiny little Lily. How cute!”

“Oh, his coloring is mine, but I think he looks so much more like his father,” Lily smiles at Luke. Elysia tries not to roll her eyes. As soon as they got there, Lily handed Oliver off to Luna and then perched herself on Luke’s lap. They’ve been gazing into each other’s eyes for what seems like forever.

“No, babe, he definitely looks like you. He’s got your cute widdle nose,” Luke replies sweetly. Elysia gags—is this how he talked to her mom, too? Gross!

“Well, whoever he looks like, he’s adorable.” Luna loves babies, at least when she doesn’t have to take care of them. They’re very cute when they can be handed off to a responsible adult upon soiling themselves.

“He’s a baby,” Elysia scoffs, “all babies look the same.” Oliver whimpers a little.

“Honey, I think Oliver is getting tired,” Lily says, sliding off Luke’s lap, “And so am I. Can you and Luna take him to his crib? I’d like to speak to Elysia momentarily.”

“Anything for you, my sweet,” Luke winks.

“Euuugh, daa-ad!”

After Luke and Luna leave the room, Lily sidles a little closer to Elysia.

“I like babies,” she says softly.

“Good, you just had one.”

“They’re soft, and sweet. They feel warm.”

“Well, they’re warm-blooded so that makes sense.”

“No, I mean they feel warm. Their minds. They’re calm, inviting. They don’t have the blocks and biases that more mature humanoids do,” Lily attempts to make eye contact but Elysia avoids her gaze.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“I believe you do.  I know you know. I can tell, the same way you can.”

Elysia turns to Lily. “Okay, I’ll bite. You’re obviously getting at something.”

“I’m getting at nothing. I just want you to know you’re not alone. I know what it feels like,” she pauses, “It’s strange to know what people are feeling, to know where they are. The dreams, they are unnerving.”

“Okay, so you’re like me. Yippee. You’re also annoyingly vague.”

“The dreams feel real, don’t they?”

“Ugh, sure, of course, whatever.”

“You dreamt of a cold room. With tubes, and people inside them. I’ve had this dream, too.”

“Really?” Elysia is surprised—she’s never been on the receiving end of telepathy. “It woke me up this morning. Scared the hell out of me.”

“I have it all the time. Almost every night, in fact. Sometimes I wake up screaming. ”

“If we can read minds and sense people, do you think we can…?” Elysia trails off.

“See the future? I don’t think so. It’s significant that we have the same dream, but I doubt it’s predicts a definitive outcome. I believe it has meaning, though. We may want to investigate that.”

“I don’t want to think about it,” Elysia admits, “really, I try to forget a lot of the things I see. Or hear, or smell, or whatever.”

“I can understand that. When you want to figure this out, come visit. I know Luke would like to see you more often. Just please bring your brother and sister.”

“I’ll make sure to do that,” Elysia stands up and begins to walk to the front door before turning back to Lily, “Thank you, Lily. It’s nice to—it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.”

Lily hugs Elysia. “I was afraid I was the only one, too.”

“Why are you so happy,” Luna asks as they leave, “I thought you’d hate this.”

“No reason,” Elysia grins, “I’m just happy.”


Author’s note: It’s been over a year since I started this legacy! I need to get my shit together and pick up the pace. :p Honestly, I meant for my legacy to be quite action-packed when I started it but I got distracted by silly things. I do have to say that this legacy has been an awesome experience. I don’t often write creatively, but I write technical material all the freaking time. It’s nice to take a break from the boring kind of writing.

Anyway, someone mentioned a few chapters ago that they thought Lyra might be a lesbian. Yes, she is. She and Lily were lovers when I moved them to Lucky Palms, but they broke up at some point. Polaris was jealous of Lyra for absolutely no reason—Lyra and Crux were just bros. In the game, Lyra actually lives with Luke and Lily, which must be super awkward.

Solaris rarely gets screen-time. This past week, he was way too busy with Halloween:

What’d I tell you? Best friends!


  1. I always wondered if Lily and Lyra were together.

    I'm glad someone gave Polly a kick in the butt about how she's been acting after Crux. No nonsense people are great at it. Anyone else probably wouldn't have gotten through as well as Lyra did.

    Luke and Lily are a little weird, but whatever floats your boat. He clearly has a type and you can always put it down as they bonded over the running away.

    I really hope that Elly isn't seeing the future. She did work out were Luna was in a sort of dream. I'm glad she has someone to talk to about it now though.

    1. She really needed a kick in the butt! She's been mopey for far too long. Lyra is a lot like Polaris, so I think they speak the same language,

      They are weird together. I would not have paired them together at all, but SP did so I rolled with it. I had no idea how to write their relationship, either, but they really, really like each other in game. I see them flirting all over town. They probably did bond over the move and everything. Luke also seems to unconsciously prey on vulnerable women, and Lily's kind of vulnerable.

      When she saw Luna in a dream/while she was unconscious, it was happening right then. I've wanted Lily and Elly to meet for a long time because I created Lily as a foil to Elly. I guess that's a good thing to come out of Lily and Luke's weirdass hook-up.

      Thanks for reading! :D

  2. Haha... that was a great chapter to read. Lyra's great.

    1. Thank you! It was fun to write Lyra's parts. :D

  3. Happy Anniversary! What's the first anniversary gift for Bees, I wonder? Wax, maybe.
    I love Lyra. She almost made me not miss Crux...NOPE.
    Hrm. Metal tubes. What's metal? Mercury's a metal. I will think positive thoughts. Oh, I just had another positive thought about those metal tubes. Hrm.
    I'm glad Elly and Lily finally hooked up notlikethat, I was hoping that would happen eventually.
    I actually sort of get Lily and Luke.

    1. Oh and those b&w shots are great. Really chilling.

    2. Thank you! I think the first year, it's just wax paper, not wax. (that sounded really witty in my head before I typed it out).

      What, Lyra isn't a good enough substitute for Crux? They're practically the same.

      Whaa, why bring up Mercury? That's crazy. There's no Mercury in those tubes. Positive thoughts are great! I was really proud of those shots, so thanks. :D

      Lily and Luke make some sense when you consider how dumb Luke is and how nice it must be for a telepath to be around someone whose thoughts are always on the surface. I was still super shocked, though. It could have been worse, though--Luke could have married Lyra. I think I would have forcefully broken them up if that had happened.

      Thanks for reading! <3

    3. Uhhhhhhh-huh. As I thought. Hrm :)

      About Lily and Luke - Also, Luke seems like a good solid protective guy on the surface, and obviously Lily would know if that was real or not. And after everything she's been through that might be appealing.

      Oh, and rereading that, now I had a bad thought. Turnabouts are not fair play!

    4. That's a good point re: Lily and Luke. Luke really is a good guy (I know he got some hate for awhile). I always imagined him being a few years younger than Polly, like maybe barely 18 when they started dating, so that might explain some of his behavior,

      Oh no, no bad thoughts! D:

  4. Lyra is kinda harsh, but it is good that Polly got told that. Still, Lyra could have been a little bit more gentle about it, but to say she just saw her ex-girlfriend with someone she doesn't really like, I can get why she wasn't all too pleased.
    That's gotta sting for Polly too though, Luke getting married to Lyra while he wasn't even around for the triplets being born.

    Elly's dream is really ominous. Is something bad going to happen to her? The mentioning of the gloved hand gives me the impression that it was the Commander. Doesn't he wear leather gloves, or am I reading too far into this?
    I'm glad Elly and Lily can talk about something together, and maybe Elly will get to bond with her other, younger half brother.

    The black and white pictures are really good, you're amazing at taking photos. Mine are usually pretty terrible.

    1. I don't think Lyra is capable of being gentle, unfortunately. At least she said something--I imagine (since I didn't actually stage any of this) that Luke, Lily, and the kids are all too nice to say anything to Polly.

      Luke's done a lot of growing up, and that's something Polly has yet to realize. It's hurtful that he's there for Lily and he wasn't for her, but he's more mature (I think).

      It is very ominous. I'm going to be annoyingly coy now and not answer any questions, except that the Commander does indeed wear leather gloves.

      I hope to include their half-brother at some point, but that was a real curve ball and I'm not quite sure how to deal with him yet.

      Thank you! I spend an obscene amount of time in camera mode, meticulously framing pictures. ^^;; Thanks for reading! :D

  5. I love Lyra. I love how direct and sarcastic she can be. She definitely told Polly what she needed to hear though. Maybe now she will finally tell her younger children about their dad.

    That dream of Elly's is really ominous. The fact that Lily also has it makes me worry even more. I get the feeling it's either a premonition of the future (or a possible future), or there's something more hidden behind the scenes we don't know yet. Whatever it is though, please don't hurt Elysia. :(

    1. Lyra gets things done, which makes her really enjoyable. I'm pretty sure Polly will tell the kids...maybe.

      I've noticed that I'm very good at making people worry *evil laugh*. It might be ominous, or it could be something else entirely. No matter what it is, I won't hurt Elysia. :)

      Thanks for reading! :D

  6. Lyra often has good points, even if she's not sensitive about it. I thought it was great how subtle, and absolutely obvious you were about Lily and Lyras attraction to eachother in earlier chapters. So I got a bit shocked when Lily and Luke hooked up! Maybe Polly and Lyra should take a trip to one of the dutch coffe- houses instead, just saying ;)

    I'm not going to guess about the telepath dream, I don't know enough about science fiction anyway. I hope it has something to do with the MIBs, but it's really just because I liked them. As bad guys that is.

    But the dream made me wonder: Does Elysia and Lily have the same type of powers? Do they work the same way, or does one have more or less then the other?

    1. She's doesn't need to be sensitive when she's correct. ;) I really wanted Lily and Lyra to have a tender, sweet, kind of secretive relationship. I was so mad when Luke came and ruined it. He's such a homewrecker! A dutch coffeehouse might be just what Lyra and Polly need.

      When I created Lily, she was supposed to be like a human locator. She could just "feel" where somebody is located, and what they're feeling, etc. I sort of got bored with that and decided to make her and Elysia about equal in the power department (they're both telepathic, can feel emotions, can feel where people are). I imagine Lily might be a little "stronger" simply because she's older.

      Thanks for reading! :D

  7. Huh. I actually didn't catch that, about Lyra being a lesbian. And here I thought she wanted Luke as well. LOL @ Crux being a bro.

    I could really resonate with Polly's thoughts about Luke moving on. It seems unfair that he gets to experience all these things, but Crux doesn't. On the other hand, his life was saved, and it would be a shame to waste it. I really loved how Lyra put that whole conversation to Polly though, even if it was done in a harsh and shocking manner. Harsh and shocking is probably exactly what Polly needed to wake up to the fact that she is indeed procrastinating at life and that she's not the only one with a right to grieve.

    Now this whole bit about Elysia's dream was disturbing. Doubly so that Lily has it also. Can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve!

    1. Haha, in the last chapter I tried to make it seem like she might have been interested. She's not, I just wanted to be tricksy. :p I guess Lyra is more of a bro than Crux, but she still considers him a bro.

      Polly is not necessarily thinking logically (she only seems to do that occasionally). Lyra put it exactly the way I think Polly needed to hear it. I <3 Lyra a bunch, so I'm glad you enjoyed it that conversation.

      Oh, I have many a thing up my sleeve! I hope at least some of it is surprising. :D Thanks for reading!

  8. Luke and Lily...didn't see it coming, but I can dig it :)

    1. Haha, I didn't see it coming, either. I was totally thrown off-guard.

  9. I'm glad that Lyra has given Polly a bit of a kick up the backside over Crux, her kids need her to talk to them about him.

    Interesting that Lily shares Elysia's abilities, and that dream they're sharing is definitely disturbing. Even more so since I've been contemplating using those quantum power pods (or whatever they're called) for something similar to what they appear to be being used for in the dream)

    1. Yeah, Polly really needed a kick in the butt.

      It's all very ominous, isn't it? Oooh.