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For Barrayar mods ([personal profile] barrayarmods) wrote in [community profile] forbarrayar_ooc2016-11-18 09:27 am
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test drive meme

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Barrayar Cetaganda The Invasion

Have you read the FAQ?

The Village The Barrayaran Camp The Cetagandan Base The Fight

You've been on Barrayar for a while now, and you're finally starting to adjust. Or maybe you're not. Maybe this is all still too much for you – the attacks, the constant raids, living in the middle of a war zone by no choice of your own. But if you want to live long enough to make it back home one day, you might as well do what you can to help the war effort. Besides, where else are you going to go?

The fierce Barrayaran winter rages even to the southern end of the continent, and it's been none too kind to Vorkosigan's District. Temperatures at sea level are well below freezing, and up in the mountains, it's even colder. Several inches of snow already blanket most of the mountains all the way down to the Cetagandan base, and the storm that's just started up is only bringing more down. Visibility is low in the flurries, wind swirling snow everywhere, and God help you if you get lost on your own out in the storm. Nights are cold, these days.

A recent attack on the Cetagandan base has left half their facilities damaged and in disarray. Raid parties snuck in by night, planting bombs in previously scouted locations for maximum effect. Damage to the base's water treatment plant and organic grow labs have considerably impacted the Cetagandans' food and water supply, and in the chaos caused by the explosions, the Barrayaran guerrillas raided their medbay and made off with a considerable bounty of medical supplies. One man's bane is another man's boon, and while the Cetagandans have reserve supplies to sustain them for now, some of the damage is extensive and the repairs will take time. But in the meantime, the Barrayarans have scored a precious victory as well as equally precious resources.

the village
The Riverfall villagers are used to the harsh winters of the Dendarii mountains, and though they don't have much themselves, they are happy to offer what they can in terms of cold-weather clothing and extra blankets to those allied with the guerrillas. Despite the cold, the hill children are going wild in the snow, and they may try to lure you into their play by sneakily pelting you with snowballs.

Cetagandan allies, however, may not be met so warmly, and at the first sight of ghem soldiers, any children out playing in the snow will be immediately ushered into their homes. Unaccompanied outsiders from the Cetagandan base might have an easier time talking to the hillfolk, but any attempt at digging information about the guerrillas out of them will get you stonewalled fast. A sneaky hill child or two may steal away from their home to approach one of the "bad guy" outsiders to sate their curiosity.

the barrayaran camp
Morale is higher than it has been in a while after their recent victory, and the guerrillas are in high spirits. And do they ever love their spirits – as night falls, most of the Barrayarans gathered around the campfires are enjoying the deceptively named, dangerously alcoholic moonshine they call maple mead. It might start out sweet, but it burns all the way down, and a few glasses of that stuff will tank even the heaviest Barrayaran soldier.

But the storm rages on despite their celebration, and preparations must be made. Clearing as much snow off the tents as possible will help ensure that no tents collapse overnight, the horses need to be tended to, and the officers are always running training drills. Food is in real supply now, but the guerrillas need help foraging and hunting nonetheless. And when night falls, you'll have to find a way to keep yourself warm – it's a good thing there are a cozy ten of you to a tent.

the cetagandan base
The Cetagandans outnumber their guerrilla enemies almost seventy-to-one, so their base has not been completely devastated, but it hardly looks to be the work of a few raiding parties. Nothing is beyond repair, but the water treatment plant has been taken offline, which means that all water is now locally sourced and must be treated by hand with purification tablets. No one in the base will starve, but fresh food is mostly unavailable until they get the grow labs back online, which means that meals are mostly comprised of ration bars and MREs. Morale isn't exactly at an all-time low, but none of the ghem officers seem to be in a good mood.

They won't hesitate to put you to work, either. They need all the engineers and laborers they can get for the grow labs and the treatment plant, and the medbay's inventory needs to be thoroughly audited before they can send a request for more supplies. But if you need a break, it's not too hard to slip away for a little quiet downtime. Some of the lower-ranked ghem ladies might let you participate in some more artistic activities, or maybe some of the enlisted soldiers who are a little more used to you by now might invite you into one of their Cetagandan games of strategy. Or, since the treatment plant only affected potable water, you could appreciate your comfortable surroundings and take a nice hot soak in the bathroom while everyone else is working.

the fight
You're in the midst of a skirmish with the other side -- maybe you signed up for the battle, maybe you just got caught up in the fight -- but at least it's easy to tell who's on what side. Only one side is wielding swords, and the other guns.

But then you come across someone who doesn't look like they're either -- not one of the rugged Barrayarans or the face-painted Cetagandans, but an outsider, an exotic like you. They must be. So do you fight?

Maybe you're not on the front lines, but there's plenty more to winning the war than just fighting. You're partnered with another outsider on recon; the ground is cold, and you try not to let your shoes crunch too loudly on snow as you scout, scanning for patrols or supply lines.

Or maybe you're with the Cetagandans, hiking it thorugh the mountains with one of your fellow exotics in an attempt to locate the enemy camp. Except it's damned cold, and there's hidden ice everywhere, and everything is starting to really look the same.


Feel free to write prompts for your character on either side -- you don't have to choose just one for the TDM! Just label it clearly so folks know. GO WILD, MY FRIENDS
pigsfeet: (im so disappointed in us)


[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-22 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Isn't that one of the princesses? On a scale of one to ten, how much trouble will he get in for just pretending like he didn't hear her and walking away? Shit.

Still holding his half-finished meal, Daryl tries not to groan, and looks over the pictures scattered over the table. They're of people he mostly doesn't know, maybe vaguely recognizes, doing things he mostly doesn't care about.

And when he looks into the girl's smiling face, he knows he can't say none of that.

"On... what?" Maybe if she thinks he's stupid, she'll leave him alone.
vorbratta: (get my hands in it)


[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-23 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
Sonia's brow wrinkles, but she's not entirely convinced of his stupidity, nor is she the least bit deterred. "On these," she says, tapping the photos, her tone somewhere between patient and duh. Seeing the food in his hand, she waves at the seat opposite her in a clear sit down gesture. Sorry, Daryl, you're trapped.

"I'm trying to get better at composition," she explains, pushing a couple of the scenic photos toward him. Their scenic surroundings, obviously. Mostly mountains and trees, the creek near the camp. She's working with she's got. She doesn't get to do much traveling. They're of varying quality, although she clearly has a decent grasp on photography. "I only have so much paper, though, and I'm trying not to waste it, so..." She smiles brightly at him. "Can you tell me what you think? Do you think they're pretty? I mean -- would you hang one of these up in your living room? Hypothetical living room, obviously. Or any room. It doesn't have to be the living room."
pigsfeet: (squinty mcgee)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-23 03:09 am (UTC)(link)
Daryl only has the vaguest sense of what composition even is in this context. He squints at the photographs, trying to decide if any of them look any better than any other. Stares a long time, long enough to make one wonder if he's thinking anything at all. Daryl is fine with the silence.

Finally, he points to one picture in particular, flowers flanked by a brook. "That one. Best you got."
vorbratta: (a player)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-23 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
Sonia stares at him expectantly, and she's almost about to say something before he speaks. She blinks and picks that particular photo up to reexamine it. She is fond of it. A little bit of softness in her world. Then she looks back up at Daryl, not only pleased but genuinely intrigued.

"Oh? Why?"
pigsfeet: (i will leave my gloves on)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-23 04:03 am (UTC)(link)
Daryl picks the picture up gently, carefully as his clumsy, calloused hands can. The flowers remind him of home, where plants are the right color and you can find deer in the forest. The simple, quiet mornings and spare stretches of land where Walkers either aren't or haven't gotten to yet. Peace.

"Looks... right, I dunno. I ain't a poet." He sets it back down. "Why'd you take all these? Ain't we at war?"
vorbratta: (why don't you show 'em your stuff)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-23 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, that's about as good an answer as she's likely to get out of this one, and she's pleased to have one at all. He doesn't seem like he was lying for her benefit or anything.

Her face falls slightly at the question and she shrugs, not a very princesslike gesture. "We've been at war. For ten years. Death and death and more death, it's all there is. I'll go mad if it's all I think about, so..."

She fingers the edge of a photo of her sister, smiling the way she only ever does for Sonia. "I'm remembering. Or making sure someone else remembers. Somebody has to."
pigsfeet: (#regrets)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-23 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Daryl sees something in her eye, the way she moves herself and her expression together. For a second, it looks less flippant, less spoiled princess, and more... a hope. Maybe a hope in hell, but it's still hope. Good people still exist, even if they're stuck in a shit situation.

Imagine growing up in a world of horrible and endless violence. Yeah, shit. Imagine that.

Daryl can't console her none, but he remembers the world before. He bets he doesn't remember it half so well as she does. He looks over the pictures again, and points to another, this one of some villagers smiling at the market. "That one's good too. Could be any time. Doesn't look like war at all."
vorbratta: (and leave him wanting more)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-25 08:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, bless this man. Sonia lifts her eyes back to his face, her smile going a little watery, and she ducks her head in a nod.

", it doesn't at all." She pushes her hair from her face, her hand hovering over the picture Daryl had pointed out. "Thank you."
pigsfeet: (i will leave my gloves on)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-25 08:49 pm (UTC)(link)
That's... nice. Shit. Girl like this doesn't belong here. Daryl can think of more than one person who fits that bill.

"Girl round here named Beth Greene," he mutters. "She'd like this kinda shit. Be better at it than me, for damn sure."
vorbratta: (a player)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-26 04:49 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh?" Sonia perks up at that, fully tuned in. Another girl to talk to, that could...really be great. Sonia clasps her her hands over the table. "How do you know her? Is she where you're from?"
pigsfeet: (armpit hair of the rich & famous)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-26 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
Why does he feel like he's just created a monster? Daryl nods his head a little. "Yeah, Georgia. Big farm." What else needs to be said, here? "Can draw'n sing good."
Edited (important details) 2016-11-26 04:52 (UTC)
vorbratta: (get my hands in it)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-26 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
You have, Daryl. You have.

"Georgia?" Sonia echoes, though she's grinning at the thought of meeting this other girl. It sounds like they could be friends. Sonia could really, really use a new friend. "Where's that?"
pigsfeet: [hollow_art@lj] et all; unless otherwise noted. ('x' made by pigsfeet) (judgemental hobo)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-26 11:27 pm (UTC)(link)
"The South," Daryl says dryly, before realizing this girl is probably genuinely asking. He knows shit about the geography of other planets, why should he expect more of her? "Uh, America."
vorbratta: (so let me tell you)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-28 11:49 am (UTC)(link)
Betans do, at least, study old Earth history, and Sonia's eyes light up in at least dim recognition. "America? You don't mean North America, do you? The, um -- " God, that's practically ancient history. Sonia searches her mind for the lessons she'd picked up by the age of thirteen. "United States?"
pigsfeet: with someone who only uses 12% of their eyes (staring contest)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-28 05:04 pm (UTC)(link)
That's weird, he hadn't expected her to know the stupid place. Daryl finally, finally sits at the table Sonia's requisitioned, oddly curious. "Yeah, Georgia. How d'you know about it?" He thought she was from another damn planet, the hell's this.
vorbratta: (with my hard-earned love)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-29 12:07 pm (UTC)(link)
"We studied Earth history on Beta Colony. There is a lot of it, though. What, you didn't think we had Earth?" Sonia catches that look and tilts her head at him, smiling. "It's where we all came from. Centuries and centuries ago, of course. And it's still there -- just sort of off the beaten path."
pigsfeet: (goatee 4 me)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-29 04:11 pm (UTC)(link)
This means a few things, possibly. That they discovered a cure seems unlikely-- too hopeful, too silly. That they left the planet and slowly bled the contaminant out of their people, that seems more likely. Good, then; these lucky shits are immune.

(The third possibility is that they're dealing with something Daryl could never have come up with or understood, so it's not worth mentioning. He never took enough mushrooms to cook up the idea of alternate universes, but he'd be a fool to dismiss them; it just doesn't occur to him, beyond the vague sense that he's out of his depth.)

So Daryl just rests his head in one palm, looking over her once more. Like most young people, she's more than she seems. One day, maybe, that will stop biting him on the ass. "Don't know nothing 'bout this place. Dunno why you should know 'bout where I'm from."
vorbratta: (throw me back in the ditch again)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-29 04:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Sonia huffs out a laugh at that. "Well, naturally. You don't have Barrayar where you're from -- or maybe not yet, at any rate. But we've had Earth for ages. Maybe I'll learn a new thing or two."
pigsfeet: (im ambivalent on u (no homo))

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-29 04:30 pm (UTC)(link)
It takes Daryl a moment to understand it, and when he does, he groans. Running his hand over his face like an old man, he mutters, "Goddamn aliens and time travel, you're telling me."
vorbratta: (boys they like a little danger)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-11-29 04:33 pm (UTC)(link)
It's hard not to find a little amusement in his dismay, but Sonia limits it to a wry smile and rests her chin in her hands. "We didn't have any of those things here either, until you all started showing up. We've been colonizing the galaxy for a thousand years and we've never found any other intelligent life. We're all just as thrown."
pigsfeet: (fuck stairs)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-11-29 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
The Cetagandans may be human, but they're also clearly aliens. It's obvious to Daryl, but also not really a point he feels like arguing to the little sister-in-law to the guy in charge of their particular anthill. Piotr is rough and honorable in his own way, sensible as anyone in a ridiculous war can be, unflinching and driven. Daryl doesn't trust him for a minute.

So he just shrugs and says, "That what you do when you ain't shooting each other up? 'Colonizing'?"
vorbratta: (this is how to be a heartbreaker)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-12-01 03:40 am (UTC)(link)
Sonia purses her lips at him. "Not every planet in the Nexus is at war, you know. And yes, we colonize new planets. But we mostly our lives. Besides, what's wrong with looking for new places to live? I always thought being a wormhole surveyor sounded interesting."
pigsfeet: [hollow_art@lj] et all; unless otherwise noted. ('x' made by pigsfeet) (judgmental pt. 2)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-12-01 04:05 am (UTC)(link)
On the one hand, doesn't Daryl do the same thing? They were looking for a new place to live when the prison fell. On the other hand, no one fucking lived there. Are these planets always playing war leapfrog with each other like this? If the Barrayarans weren't being attacked, would they be attacking?

Daryl's low opinion of people tells him yes, yes, of course they would, you idiot.

It makes Daryl angry, but he knows better than to bark at a princess. Barely, but he does. Fear of what would happen to Beth if Daryl screamed at the princess of a planet. Why they let him even talk to this girl, he doesn't know. So he squares his shoulders, sets his jaw, and says nothing for a while.

"So live your life," Daryl says. He stands. If he doesn't leave soon, he knows, what little self control he has will fail him. "Take your damn pictures."
vorbratta: (i'm an ordinary citizen)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2016-12-01 04:10 am (UTC)(link)
Sonia's brows draw down, vaguely puzzled at what it is she just said that set Daryl off, and she purses her lips, looking ruffled. Maybe this man is just naturally this unpleasant.

"I'm trying," is all she says, and she pulls the photos back toward her defensively.
pigsfeet: (TAKE A SHOWER)

[personal profile] pigsfeet 2016-12-01 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
Daryl is definitely that unpleasant. He turns to go, scowling the whole way.