Girl Genius fic: Uncalled For Actions (1/?)
Here’s the first post of my sentences experiment which ended up being all in one story. I’m posting a compilation of the first seven days of sentences. So far, it’s going well.
When Gilgamesh Holzfäller is fourteen, he’s taken on as an apprentice to Baron Wulfenbach as part of a program to produce the next generation of leaders in the Empire–a group that will hopefully get along (although most see this as wishful thinking on the Baron’s part).
He’s learned a lot over the months of shadowing the Baron, but nothing has prepared him for his most challenging assignment: confronting the skeletons in his closet.
“I’m telling you,” Gil said through clenched teeth, “this is a really bad idea.”
The Baron regarded him over the edge of the newspaper he read with a withering stare. “Please sit down, you’re agitating the Jägers.”
Across the room, a couple of Jäger guards snickered to each other. Gil glared then crossed his arms, staring out the porthole–pointedly not sitting. The Baron went back to reading his paper with a rustling flourish, the Jägers continued to giggle and Gil pouted as Sturmhalten grew large on the horizon.
* * *
Tarvek watched from his window as the great Wulfenbach airship docked with the tower across the castle. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle a moment before he smelled Anevka’s perfume flutter in ahead of her.
“That’s sure a big one, isn’t it?” she said, leaning against the other side of the window.
Tarvek huffed at her terrible incorrectness–this was nothing compared to Castle Wulfenbach.
“So, how much of a disaster do you expect this farce to be,” his sister asked with humor in her eyes.
“Unmitigated,” Tarvek answered flatly as the stewards ran around the roof opposite of them, tying off the airship. It was almost showtime.
“Oh, come now, baby brother, I thought this was your thing–politics and intrigue-”
“Members of the Fifty Families under one roof with the Baron–this is a nightmare.”
“Always the optimist,” Anevka said with a sigh, patting his cheek affectionately. Tarvek slapped her hand away, and she left–her tinkling laugh following behind.
Across the courtyard, the airship was finally secured and the gangplank clanked down with a hiss of steam that matched the puff of Tarvek’s breath against the cool windowpane.
“I know you’re there,” he said suddenly to the silent room.
From the shadows, the small girl materialized, her wild red hair held in place by a golden headband. “Not fair,” she said, lip out in a pout.
Tarvek ignored her petulance. “Report.”
Violetta glared at him a moment longer–probably considering if she could get away with murder at the age of ten, he imagined–but eventually snapped to attention. “The castle is at capacity; we await only the Baron and his en- entou- entourage.”
Tarvek smiled at his reflection as she tripped over the new word he’d taught her earlier in the day. “How full are we talking?”
“Not including the castle residents and staff, fifty-four delegates of the Fifty families, their apprentices, 270 attendants, and about a hundred Smoke Knights.”