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Archive for the tag “tarvek sturmvoraus”

Girl Genius fic: Fate in a Bottle

When Gil left for university, he knew it would be filled with wondrous new experiences. He just never thought he’d be trapped in a room with a dozen students, Tarvek Sturmvoraus, and a mysterious bottle on the floor.

2,164 words | [PG-13]


“Okay, mes cheris,” Colette said, clapping her hands, “everyone take a seat in a circle—it’s time to play a game.” She went around the room, closing the curtains and tossing pillows onto the floor.

The other students giggled and got comfortable. Gil just stood there, confused. Across the room, Tarvek looked equally baffled.

“Come on, boys, don’t be shy.”

Colette’s words were soft and friendly, but there was an edge of an order to them, and no one argued with the Master’s daughter. Gil dutifully plopped down on a pillow. Tarvek took a little more convincing by the hushed but tense conversation he had with Colette. Eventually, he sat, too. Colette always got her way. He definitely didn’t look happy about it, though. Or maybe it was just Gil he was unhappy with because he hadn’t stopped glaring across the circle since he entered the room a few minutes after Gil.

Gil swallowed hard and turned his attention to the game, trying to suss out the rules before they started. The group of about twenty students, equal numbers of boys and girls, gathered in the circle on their pillows. An empty glass bottle sat in the center of the circle. Gil couldn’t guess what it was for.

Colette took center stage. “All right people, settle down. Settle down!” The noise instantly ceased causing Colette to smile. “All right, you know the rules, so let’s keep this fair. No drama-”

Gil slowly raised his hand, knowing he was probably going to regret this but needing to know the answer more.

Colette paused her instructions. “Yes, Gilgamesh?”

“Um, I don’t actually know the rules.” Read more…

Uncalled For Actions (7/?)

Days 43 – 49 of the experiment.

gg_uncalledforactions

[PARTS 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ]


The soldiers filed out after them, most setting off in different directions while two took up guard positions on either side of the office door. Gil turned towards the summit room where he could hear the curious voices of the other attendants but his father’s grip nearly stole his breath, forcing him in another direction.

“But the meeting,” Gil protested as he was guided down another hall with guards now stationed every ten meters.

“Barkley will be assisting for the rest of the day.”

“But-”

They turned the corner to the guest wing, one of their attendants seeing them coming and opening the door. The Baron shoved Gil into the room; Gil nearly tripping over his feet. He stumbled into a settee then spun just as his father released his pent up disgust.

“What were you thinking?” His voice hit octaves Gil had never heard before.

He swallowed hard. “I didn’t do anything wrong. You said-”

His father grabbed his hands roughly, pulling them up his face. “This says otherwise.”

Gil glanced at his raw knuckles, two spit and bleeding–or maybe that was Tarvek’s blood–then quickly found something else to stare at.

His father dropped his hands in annoyance. “What do you have to say for yourself?” Read more…

Uncalled For Actions (6/?)

Days 36 – 42 of the experiment.

gg_uncalledforactions

[PARTS 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]


Her heart thrummed in her head as she tore through the castle using every secret passage she knew.

It drowned out all other sounds including her labored breathing and her feet slamming against the polished stone floor which also meant she didn’t hear Martellus gaining on her until it was too late. His arm reached around her middle, lifting her right off the floor as she kicked and flailed.

“You little brat,” he hissed in her ear, breath hot and stale from running. “Give me the bottle, Violetta, and we’ll pretend none of this happened.

“Why? What are you going to use it for?”

Martellus laughed. “Why would I tell you that? So you can go tattle to Tarvek. They’re so cute at this age.” He tweaked her nose just as the other two idiots trotted up, breathing hard from their snail’s pace jog.

“Get rid of her, Tweedle,” Orrik said, “she knows too much already.”

Violetta struggled harder, twisting every direction, but Martellus’ grip iron, and the more she fought, the tighter he squeezed her until she couldn’t catch her breath.

“I’m not going to have to do that, now am I, Vi? You’re going to be a good girl and hand over the bottle and not tell anyone about this and then we’re all going to go on our merry way, right?”

She glared over her shoulder at him but knew her options were limited so she calmed her struggles until he relaxed his grip some.

“Good girl, I knew-”

Then she bit his hand until she tasted blood. Martellus screamed, dropping Violetta who landed in a full run, tossing a smoke bomb behind her for good measure. Read more…

Uncalled For Actions (4/?)

Days 22 – 28 of the experiment.

gg_uncalledforactions

[PARTS 1 | 2 | 3]


He checked to make sure no one was watching then carefully added some speech bubbles around the drawing before casually slipping the paper back to her.

She snorted softly, scribbled something else then passed the note back, lower lip caught between her teeth to keep from smiling.

This went on of most off the Baron’s impassioned, but ultimately, boring address.

At some point, Anevka gave up any pretenses of paying attention and slid into the Baron’s seat to be next to Gil. “Might you have some ink I could borrow,” she said, just loud enough for her father to hear.

Gil doubted the Prince believed the excuse by the low huff he gave before returning his attention to the proceedings. Nevertheless, Gil pushed the inkwell between them as they both pretended to take notes, their drawings becoming more and more absurd as time and boredom wore on.

The Baron eventually came to his final remarks, necessitating Anevka return to her original seat, but she continued to make faces at him behind his father’s back, much to Gil’s delight–maybe if Anevka stuck around the summit, things wouldn’t be as bad as he’d worried.

That thought soured the mood because he knew he’d have to face Tarvek eventually–there was no getting around it.

After what seemed like an eternity where his emotions bounced from elated to anguished, the morning’s meetings came to a close and the apprentices were dismissed to an adjoining room for lunch.

Gil was out of his seat before his father could even gather a lecture, strolling over to Anevka with a shy grin.

“I’m Gil,” he said, holding out his hand like they hadn’t spent the last four hours goofing off together. “Your Highness,” he added respectfully if a little late. Read more…

Uncalled for Actions (3/?)

Days 15-21 of the sentences experiment. Still going strong.

gg_uncalledforactions

[PART: 1 | 2]


Ten-year-old Violetta Mondarev prowled around the edges of the central courtyard of Sturmhalten Castle, keeping to the shadows, watching the parade of dignitaries from all over the Empire, and catching snippets of conversation as Tarvek had ordered. She bit back a curse she’d heard some of the older Smoke Knights using when talking about the self-serving, conceited Madboys they worked for and what they thought of their orders.

She shook her head–Tarvek wasn’t really like that, she reminded herself. Sure, they disagreed and he reprimanded her when she mouthed off, but of all their family, only he ever showed an ounce of respect towards her, and that was what ensured her loyalty above the solemn oaths she was forced to take–he was a prat, but he was a reasonable prat.

Violetta scurried up a tree in the corner and hid among its branches to get a better view. Spring had barely arrived, and although buds had begun to sprout, a bitter wind whipped down from the mountains, fluttering her bangs into her eyes. She could easily tell those raised in the lower elevations–they were the ones bundled in furs and multiple wool overcoats, hats with ear-flaps and lined, leather gloves. They were soft compared to the natives of Balan’s Gap and the surrounding mountains, two of which suddenly appeared at the open window next to her perch. Read more…

Girl Genius fic: A New Hobby? Maybe Not

Tarvek probably should have thought a little more carefully before suggesting Agatha take up a new hobby, especially one requiring sharp, pointy objects.

587 words | [PG]


Tarvek considered the large contraption currently occupying most of Agatha’s mechanical lab. It had a squat round body about two-and-a-half meters tall sitting on six articulated legs. At least a dozen arms sprouted from various spots on the chassis, most folded in on themselves in a ready position. Tubes and wires connected the control housing that appeared to be smiling at him with its various dials and lights, and on top of that sat four meter-high spikes surrounded by some kind of collapsible scaffolding. Most peculiar, though, was the cages attached to it’s back—each containing two bemused sheep. All-in-all, Tarvek was baffled.

“But what does it do?” he asked, realizing his mistake a moment too late when Agatha squealed in delight, her voice still resonating from the Madness place.

“Let me show you,” she said, bouncing over to the machine just as her chief minion, Moloch von Zinzer innocently strolled in with a trolley of snacks and beverages. She flipped a couple switches, setting the machine into motion. Read more…

Uncalled for Actions (2/?)

Days 8-14 of the sentences experiment.

gg_uncalledforactions

[PART 1]


When Tarvek made no comment, Violetta shifted her weight nervously. “Do you really think something bad is going to happen?”

“With the various branches of our family involved, it’s almost a given.” He removed his glasses to rub the bridge of his nose. “Just keep your eyes open and stay out of sight, okay?“

Violetta didn’t answer, and when he replaced his glasses, he found himself alone again. She was getting good. She was going to need to be better.

* * *

The deck shuddered slightly as the steam winches kicked in, slowly tugging the airship closer to the landing tower of Sturmhalten Castle. The castle itself looked like the dozen others Gil had visited in the months since officially becoming the Baron’s apprentice, if not a little more war-torn–almost as if the residents failed to repair the century’s old scars of battle as a matter of pride. Knowing what he did of the Storm King myths, it probably wasn’t far from the truth.

“Gilgamesh,” the Baron called without looking up from his paper, “stop fidgeting.“

Gil winced, dropping his hands to his sides before he worried the buttons right off his new greatcoat–a habit he thought abandoned years ago. It was this place–Sturmhalten and all it represented–that was twisting his insides into knots. “I knew this was a bad idea,” he mumbled to his reflection in the porthole. Read more…

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.


gg_uncalledforactionsWhen 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.”

[PART 2]

Girl Genius fic: Sacrifices Better Left Undone

The machine is finished. It works just as Agatha predicted. But not everything goes according to plan. Now Gil has to make a difficult decision. Too bad Tarvek is thinking the same thing. Written for Day three of Girl Genius Week 2018.
1100 words | [PG]


Gil stumbled back as their creation came to life. It chugged and whistled while it gained momentum, gears spinning and parts clanking in a growing cacophony.

“Is it supposed to do that?” Tarvek shouted over the noise, his voice shriller than usual.

“I-” Gil joined Tarvek a few feet from the machine. “I have no idea.” The contraption vibrated violently, raining dust and debris from the ceiling as the tremors grew. Gil feared it might tear itself apart and take half the castle with it. What have we even done?

Tarvek said something Gil couldn’t hear—alarm etched all over his face. Gil shook his head in confusion.

Then it all stopped. The silence was deafening. They exchanged worrying looks before Gil inched forward.

“What are you doing?” Tarvek screeched, grabbing at Gil’s arm.

“Something’s-”

The rest of his statement was lost to the boom of an explosion. The blast threw them across the room. Gil skid along the rough, stone floor, landing in a heap with Tarvek. He groaned as they untangled battered limbs. Read more…

Girl Genius fic: Blast From the Past

Tarvek is settling into another semester of university when he runs into someone from his past he thought he never wanted to see again. Now he’s not quite sure. Written for Day 2 of Girl Genius Week 2018 on tumblr.
841 words | [PG]


Tarvek slid into a seat in the back corner of his favorite cafe near the university campus. The position gave him a view of the entire cafe and street beyond the large front window, leaving no avenue for ambitious assassins to sneak up on him. He’d spent the time between semesters stuck in Sturmhalten playing politics. His father thought it necessary for Tarvek to stay visible to keep the Fifty Families in line. The only think politicking ever did for Tarvek was raise his blood pressure and paranoia.

Sipping his espresso, Tarvek leaned back in his chair with a satisfied sigh then opened the morning paper with a flick of his wrist. He’d barely finished with the headlines—Student Saves Three in University Lab Explosionwhen the door slammed open with a cheer from a crowd gathered outside. He frowned, trying to focus on the front page, but the crowd grew more enthused by the second. Finally, they tumbled into the cafe while other patrons scrambled out of the way lest they get crushed in the chaos.

Someone bumped into his table sloshing espresso over the newspaper. Terrific. Tarvek blotted the coffee with his napkin, but the ink was already running. Not how he wanted to start his return to school after an intolerably boring and aggravating holiday. The mob continued to grow and chant, crowding into the small cafe. Tarvek peered through the throngs to whoever was commanding the center of attention. Read more…

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