An Apocalypse of Ice; chapter 2


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Chapter 2 of my Apocalypse Challenge. Now with three stinky people for the price of one!

(Disclaimer: I neither own Sansa nor House Stark, and I don't intend to profit from this. See Chapter 1 for more details.)

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An Apocalypse of Ice; chapter 2

  1. 1. Winter Is Coming: An Apocalypse of Ice<br />Chapter 2, “The Pack Survives”<br />
  2. 2. “Dear Diary: I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I’m not sure whether my adolescence or my adulthood has been worse. I might have been miserable, but at least I was clean. I hate having to wash my hands all the time just so that I can fool myself into thinking that I’m clean! But when I really think about it, at least I’m free and I’m home, even though this isn’t anything like the home I remembered.<br />
  3. 3. “I moved into an LFT Society safe house and took the only job I could find working as a legal secretary at Frey LLP so that I would have enough money to pay the bills and the mob. Not so coincidentally, the chairman of the firm is the head of the mob. I hate working there. I already knew that people aren’t as honorable as I used to think, but somehow I thought it would be different at a law firm. The rules don’t mean anything to these people, though. I try to do the right thing, but I can’t help but think I’ll be fired soon for refusing to cut corners like everyone else. <br />
  4. 4. “Things are pretty bleak. It’s hard to keep in touch with the best friends I made in college. They keep calling me up and suggesting that we get together for coffee or to go shopping. I don’t think they understand that around here, there just aren’t things like coffee or shopping anymore. At least people walk by the house sometimes, so I can have a nice chat with them. Even though they’re suffering, just like me or maybe worse, I do my best to cheer them up, listen to their stories, and play a little bit of red hands.<br />
  5. 5. “At least I have a new best friend: Tosha Go. She comes over to talk to me a lot because she can’t go to school anymore and she lost both her parents in the wars. She doesn’t seem to be as scared as everyone else, possibly because, like me, she doesn’t have much else to lose. But Tosha’s a sweet girl who reminds me of what I was like at that age, and we manage to have some fun together. <br />
  6. 6. “Anyway, I’m too dirty to write anymore. I’m going to wash my hands a few more times and see if that helps. I know I should work on my mechanical skills in case I do get the job I’m looking for, but I’m too dirty to even think about it.”<br />
  7. 7. But things started looking up for Sansa once she finally found a position as a natural scientist. She quit her job at the Frey law firm without a second thought, despite the fact that they had just promoted her to an associate position. <br />
  8. 8. Then she got back on the phone to finish making her twenty best friends. Even though their inability to understand what she was going through frustrated her to no end, it wasn’t long before she reached her goal.<br />
  9. 9. With twenty best friends, Sansa felt like she could do anything. She rose through the ranks rapidly as a natural scientist and became an Ecological Guru within nine days of accepting her position, earning a $75,000 bonus that same day. So she celebrated in a few ways: planting grass around the house, hanging ferns and roses from the ceiling, and, most importantly, sending for Addison. It was nice to look out the peepholes again and see a smile on his face, knowing he had remembered her too.<br />
  10. 10. After a passionate smooch hello, they promptly got married in the snow. Although it wasn’t the formal wedding ceremony Sansa had envisioned as a child, she loved Addison, and having him here with her again mattered more than anything else.<br />
  11. 11. Before long, Sansa was expecting her first child. She meditated her way through most of the pregnancy, trying to ignore the aches, pains, hunger, weariness, and, of course, the ever-present dirtiness.<br />
  12. 12. Addison started work as an ambassador’s intern. He would have preferred to be a lawyer, but Bolton & Frey wasn’t hiring, and Sansa persuaded him that the opportunity to go on adventures would benefit them a lot and appeal to his playful side. He tried doing yoga to become more physically fit, but with only one active point, it didn’t seem to benefit him very much.<br />
  13. 13. During the few moments when Sansa came out of meditation, she supervised the redecoration of the house. Addison suggested keeping the worn-down exteriors as they were so it wouldn’t become a target for looters, but that didn’t mean Sansa couldn’t have pretty pale yellow wallpaper with roses on it! The disasters hadn’t completely destroyed her taste for beauty, after all.Before she knew it (literally, thanks to going back and forth between meditation and sleeping), it was time for the baby to be born.<br />
  14. 14. Her labor was difficult, but soon enough, Sansa was playing with a beautiful baby girl who had Addison’s brown eyes. “Hi there!” Sansa exclaimed, smiling at her daughter. She had never expected that this day would come. She didn’t even know what to name her. While meditating, Sansa had thought about naming a daughter after her mother, but now that the baby was born, somehow that didn’t seem right. <br />
  15. 15. Addison cheered as Sansa held the baby. “We’re parents!”Sansa smiled too. She knew that there was a lot of work ahead of them, but she was so proud of their daughter. “What do you want to name her?”“I think Eowyn would be a good name,” Addison suggested, bowing playfully to Sansa, “but only if you like it too!” <br />
  16. 16. Eowyn proved to be as playful as her father and even more active than her mother. She didn’t have a particularly long attention span, which made it difficult for her to learn how to walk and talk, but Sansa was around all the time to help her out. Addison also made sure to take plenty of breaks from his work schedule, because he always preferred playing with his daughter to doing boring yoga poses to improve his physical fitness. He became her first best friend and taught her how to walk. <br />
  17. 17. Unfortunately, Eowyn soon became as frustrated with being dirty as her mother was, so Sansa helped her grow up early as soon as she learned all her toddler skills.“Now, in just a moment, you’ll see the sparkles,” Sansa coached her daughter. “Jump up real high in the air, and when you reach the peak of your jump, you’ll be a big girl!” “I wanna be a big girl like Mommy!” Eowyn exclaimed.“You will be soon!” Sansa smiled. “Now jump real high…”<br />
  18. 18. “Wow!” Eowyn shouted as she landed. “I’ve got such big hands now! Can I do that again?”“Not for a while longer,” Sansa explained. She felt a little sad that she couldn’t have her baby all to herself anymore, but children were meant to grow up, and Eowyn was too cute now to want her any other way. She had such beautiful hair. “But you can help me with it. I’m going to be having a birthday soon, and you can tell me to jump real high in the air when the sparkles come.” “Will you get bigger?”“Not this time, dear,” Sansa said.<br />
  19. 19. Meanwhile:“I don’t want to do yoga,” Addison complained to no one in particular. “I’m bored. I guess I should. If I earn one more skill point, I can be a dread pirate, and that’d be tons of fun. But I’d rather sit on the couch and watch TV.”<br />
  20. 20. Just then, Eowyn wandered in and gazed at the bookshelf in wonder, promptly distracting Addison from his yoga. “There are so many books on this shelf!” she shouted. “I want to read them all!”<br />
  21. 21. “Inside voice, Eowyn.”“Sorry.” She jumped up and down a few times. “I’m bored.”“Well, to tell you the truth, so am I.” Addison smiled. He wanted to encourage his daughter’s playful side, but Sansa had asked him not to, explaining to him that being serious would help her meditate later on and make her a more responsible heir. They couldn’t have any more children because Sansa’s pregnancy had been so difficult, so they had to take good care of Eowyn, despite the conditions they lived in. “But you don’t have to be doing things all the time, you know.”<br />
  22. 22. “What do you mean?”“You don’t have to be so active,” Addison explained. “It’s okay to sit back and relax for a while. Why don’t you sit in the living chair for a while? It’s nice and comfortable.” “So…I can just go sit in the chair? But what would I be doing?”“Just relax, honey.”<br />
  23. 23. Eowyn looked skeptical, but she did what her father said. Before long, she bounced up again. “I’m BORED!” she shouted.“Inside voice—”“I don’t CARE,” she pouted. “I want to do something.”“Well, you’ve got your first day of school tomorrow,” Addison suggested. “Why don’t we work on our mechanical skill together? That way, you’ll be the smartest kid in the class tomorrow.”Eowyn liked that idea. <br />
  24. 24. Addison’s lessons in laziness didn’t take, though. Eowyn liked to dance in the main room of the house (a combination of a kitchen, dining room, and study) while no one was watching. Her version of dancing pretty much consisted of swaying from side to side and jumping up and down while shouting, but she still enjoyed it more than the more formal dances that Sansa tried to teach her.<br />
  25. 25. Sansamade sure that she taught her daughter everything that Addison wouldn’t, like how to play chess. She had made a number of friendships and refined her logic skills over years at the chess table, so she wanted to make sure Eowyn knew how to play the game. “You can’t move your bishop that way—” she explained.Eowyn wasn’t listening. “I want to go somewhere,” she stated. “My schoolbooks talk about places like the big red castle in King’s Landing and the pretty gardens in…what was it…Highgarden! Why can’t we go there?” <br />
  26. 26. “Because it’s too dangerous to travel right now,” Sansa explained to her daughter. “When the big winter snowstorms come, you can’t see where you’re going, and there are armies who attack anyone trying to travel. I’d rather have you safe here with me, dear.”Eowyn pondered this for a little while. “So am I just going to be here my whole life?” she asked. “That’s not much fun.”“Well, it all depends on what you want to do when you grow up. You’ll be the lady of this house after me, and you’ll be able to do a lot of great things to make things better once you’re as big as me and your dad.” Sansa smiled. “It’s your move, dear.”<br />
  27. 27. Sansa also encouraged her daughter to be more serious and kinder. Eowyn only had one nice point, which disappointed Sansa, but she also knew that the world they lived in was a cruel place and that it would be easier for Eowyn to lead the family when it was time without being as kind as she was. On the other hand, courtesy was a lady’s armor, and Sansa wanted to teach Eowyn to have more compassion for those around her. <br />
  28. 28. But Eowyn’s favorite lessons were the ones about playing in the snow. “My snowman’s bigger than yours!” she shouted.“It won’t be for long!” Sansa answered, Eowyn’s playfulness inspiring her competitive spirit.<br />
  29. 29. “It’s still the biggest snowman!” Eowyn shouted once she was done. “I want a pitchfork so it’ll be scary.”<br />
  30. 30. “Well, I think I’ll just get a carrot for the nose and a regular black hat for mine,” Sansa said.Eowyn stuck her tongue out. “Suit yourself.”<br />
  31. 31. On other days, they laid down in the snow and made snow angels, spreading their arms as far as they could. Things weren’t perfect. Eowyn was acutely aware of how dirty she was, because she inherited her parents’ penchant for neatness, and she wasn’t happy about having to leave school. But they had their fun and tried to be a family, despite all the challenges they faced.[Note: I mixed up the Natural Science and Music restrictions, which explains the telescope balcony. That disappeared as soon as I checked the rules again.] <br />
  32. 32. Outtake 1: “Scantily Clad”<br />
  33. 33. “What are you looking at?” Sansa asked. She rolled her eyes. “I am so glad I only have to go to work one day a week. I come back even dirtier than usual, and this ‘outfit’ is the most undignified thing EVER.<br />
  34. 34. “Being able to fly makes up for it. Actually, it hardly makes up for it at all.”<br />