First up, the urban fantasy story. As yet no title. Still very much in world-building mode. (Also, apparently, I’m shit at “brief”. Brace yourselves.)
Mack Storie is not exactly a Magical Girl. She’s not a vampire, a werewolf, a fairy, or a demon (though she’s got some great friends who are), and she isn’t a witch, either. She’s pretty shit at magic in general, actually, but she can at least do some really badass wards to keep her home a safe place.
And when you can survive pretty much anything, a safe place to go drink tea and watch Doctor Who after you clean the blood off is really all you need in the world.
Well, that, and a pile of IOUs from as many powerhouses as she can collect.
Mack may not be a typical genre-noteworthy thing-that-goes-bump, but she isn’t exactly human, either. What she is, exactly, is a question she hasn’t got a lot of answers to, despite her mother spending the majority of Mack’s life hunting those answers down.
Mack and her mother, whatever else they are, are survivors. They’re immortal, technically, in that you’d have to try really, very, creatively hard to stand a chance at killing them, and that the healing factor tends to stop the aging process sometime in the twenty-somethings. (Mack likes to think of herself as more Deadpool than Wolverine, personally.) Plenty of people grow up in the US not knowing their heritage, but not a lot of people can lay the blame for it at the feet of an Ancient Organization of Assholes who have been intent on hunting down and killing (or at least making disappear) every member of your people they can get their hands on for the last however many hundreds of years.
Mack’s basic family story: Mack’s mom, Rosalie, was adopted: origins unknown. Grew up relatively well adjusted, married a handsome, lovely, reliable sort of man and had a daughter with him. Then happened the minor incident in which she was somewhat badly injured in an accident, and the man who pulled her out not only watched how she healed right in front of his eyes, but recognized her as being the same as him. He got to initiate her into the Super Secret Story of Shit We Don’t Know About Ourselves and Why, and the more time she spent with this man—Grant—the more complicated the relationship became, and the more distant she felt from her husband, Drew, who had no inkling he was married to a self-healing freak. Drew became suspicious that Rosalie and Grant were having an affair (they weren’t), but the confrontation sparked that chain of relationship disasters which would lead to divorce. As Grant had finally gotten to telling Rosalie about the People Who Like to Kill Us, Rosalie didn’t fight Drew for custody of their daughter, Sarah. Drew and Rosalie parted more or less amicably; Drew hurt and confused about how their relationship died, but still loving Rosalie despite this and wanting Sarah to have her mother in her life. Rosalie, therefore, retained visitation rights.
This is when things between Grant and Rosalie took a turn for the not-platonic. Basically, sex and feelings happened, they stayed together for several months, he still sharing with her what he knew about what they were (not tons, despite that he was definitely much older than he appeared), and then Rosalie turns up pregnant. Grant promises to stick around. He doesn’t. Rosalie, convinced Grant fell prey to the Asshole Club rather than did a runner, pulled up stakes in a maternal panic and hit the road with her unborn kid. After Mackenzie is born, Rosalie refuses to actually settle anywhere for any length of time, living a life of paranoia and self-preservation. She can’t quite stay away from her first child, however, and frequently returns for visits, also wanting both her daughters to know their sister. Drew is cooperative with this arrangement, especially as, despite a several years age gap, the girls adore each other. Rosalie even occasionally leaves Mack with Drew and Sarah for a summer or a short visit while she runs off doing Mysterious Things (mainly trying to find out everything she can about what she, Grant, and Mack are, and the people who think they’re abominations of some kind and want them all dead.)
When Mack is about ten and Sarah in her mid teens, Rosalie pulls a really shitty move for a mom, dumps Mack with a trusted friend (man called Cord; he’s some kind of monk or priest or shaman; entirely human himself, he is nevertheless a veritable repository of knowledge on all things strange and supernatural in the world) and vanishes completely, leaving Cord with instructions to raise Mack in her absence, prepare her for the bullshit life might throw at her, and keep her away from Drew and Sarah. Rosalie at this point has begun to fear that it’s possible Sarah may turn out to have inherited even some measure of her mother’s weird genetics, and hopes to keep Sarah and her father off the Asshole Assassins’ radar, which is also why she is leaving her daughter behind while she goes off to crusade for knowledge.
Rosalie doesn’t send postcards or letters. She only very occasionally calls, and she rarely answers questions. She does however send Mack her journals each time she completes one, in which she records everything she learns and every rumor she hears; she also sets up a bank account in Mack’s name which acquires quite a lot of money indeed, with regular incoming deposits. Where this money comes from is a complete mystery, but Rosalie insists Mack’s going to need it one day.
As Mack gets older, she hears from Rosalie less and less. She learns a great deal from Cord, including how to fight and handle most basic weapons (she’s no master marksman or judo blackbelt, but she’s got a nasty right hook, knows how to do real damage with a blade and shoot most of what she aims at), and most importantly, how to handle pain. Because what’s the use of rapid healing if you faint at the sight of a little blood or the pain of a broken bone incapacitates you? Not to mention, healing that quickly hurts at least as much as getting wounded in the first place. She learns some basic first aid, especially things like how to properly set a broken bone so you don’t have to keep re-breaking it when it keeps healing wrong.
At about seventeen-eighteen, Mack and Cord part ways. He tells her he will always be a safe place of last resort, but she should keep him as an emergency place to go, and therefore contact him minimally.
The first thing she does is go to Drew and Sarah. She’s missed her sister.
As it turns out, Drew has recently died (natural causes; heart failure) and Sarah has a kid who’s almost as old as Mack was the last time they saw each other. Sarah’s life hasn’t been easy; her brief rebellious phase after her mother vanishes for good manifested as drinking and partying, and resulted in an unexpected pregnancy (it’s not a happy story). Sarah loves her son to death, though. Unfortunately for the boy, during her pregnancy, Sarah got overly fond of badly written paranormal romances and, in a fit of epidural induced this-is-a-great-idea, named her child Spyder. She recognizes the poorness of this decision, and has told Spyder that when he is thirteen if he wants to legally change his name they’ll get it done. Spyder (Spy to his friends and family) is actually mostly okay with his name. There’s a kid in his class named Jesus (an no that’s not hay-zeus) after all, so he figures it could be worse.
Mack and Sarah do a lot of sisterly catching up. Mack and Spyder do some nephew-aunt bonding. And then something in the latest journal Rosalie has sent has Mack apologizing profusely but running off to try and find her mother.
In the next few years, Mack travels around and leads an interesting life meeting new people and learning new things (like discovering the supernatural underworld and its many fucked up societies, and learning how to build kickass wards and that she will never ever manage to light a candle with her brain), and never quite catching up to her mom.
Then the bad things happen. Mack catches the notice of the Asshole Brigade. She spends the next year doing odd and dirty jobs for all kinds of supernatural bigbads that nigh-indestrucitble people would be good at, and refusing money for payment, instead collecting debts to be called on in the future (she has a plan). This plan becomes even more important shortly thereafter, when Sarah dies in a very horrible car accident.
Sarah has left a will giving Mack guardianship of Spy. Mack almost lets him go to foster care rather than tangle him up in her dangerous and crazy life. It’d be the smart thing. The safe thing, probably. But she’s all the family Spy has now, and Mack can’t bring herself to abandon him like Rosalie did first to Sarah and then to her. She accepts guardianship, but tries to keep Spy separate from the weird parts of her lfie as much as possible. She uses some of the money from the bank account Rosalie set up for her (which has gotten to be shockingly large; it also turns out Rosalie is in fact aware she’s a grandmother and has an account in Spyder’s name as well, slowly growing) to buy a home and send Spy to a private boarding school nearby.
She then sets a trap for the Asshole Assassins, with herself as the bait. She ends up delivering them an ultimatum; thanks to her mother, she has just enough information on their organization—who is in it, their places in normal society, some of the places they base operations—to pose a threat—especially considering she has a list of names a mile long of people and creatures much, much scarier than both her and them who owe her at least one favor each, and she’ll happily call every last favor in to do them damage unless they swear to leave her and hers alone.
What follows is an awkward truce that’s really just a stalemate. Aware of this, Mack carries on collecting favors and allies to protect herself and Spy, and even Rosalie, wherever in the world she is.
Unfortunately, getting this tangled up in the supernatural underbelly of the world means the Asshat Assassins don’t stay her only problem. You make all those ties, you and yours starts to expand to include the motorcycle mechanic witch and her electronic witch girlfriend, the devil who has somehow managed to bypass all her impenetrable wards at his leisure and halfway lives in her house, and half a dozen werewolves, fae, old gods and even some mundane humans who have managed somehow to become part of her life.
If you have any more questions about possible plots, further characters, more background, etc., by all means ask.
I will post the other description tomorrow.
- shinykari reblogged this from absentlyabbie and added:
- redmiel said: As it stands, this doesn;t sound like something I would personally read. I would like to know what the villain-groups motivations are for hunting down her kind though.
- absentlyabbie reblogged this from shinykari and added:
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