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dS Snippet: Outage (F/V)

Fandom, Characters: due South, Fraser
Challenge: ds_snippets amnesty challenge #6: "power loss"
Rating: PG-13
Length: 290 words
Disclaimer: Alliance/Atlantis own due South. I'm just playing in their sandbox.
Thanks to: nos4a2no9 for instant and insightful beta-work, helping me figure out where I wanted this to go.
Dedicated to: slidellra, for operation lost zebra


Fraser lay with his eyes closed, sprawled out against the sticky July heat in a bed that still held Ray's scent, and tried to determine what had awoken him.

Had Ray returned? No, that would be entirely contrary to their … arrangement. It was quiet and dark. Excellent sleeping conditions, but atypical for Chicago.

The streetlights were off. There was no sound of traffic. He shook off a moment of irrational fear and the paralysis of near-sleep, and moved to the window to look outside.

The city had gone dark.

A power outage had occurred, some breakdown in the complex intermeshing of man and machinery that allowed the city to function. The safety and security of the citizens would be at risk. As a peace officer, he should assist.

Fraser dressed and walked through the city streets. He broke up a fistfight and discouraged a young man from throwing a trashcan through a storefront window. The squeal of brakes and a crash drew him to the scene of an accident where he mediated between the drivers, voices loud in the blinding beams of the headlights.

It had the feel of a dream, the city crouched like some great beast frightened of the dark, unsure whether to cower or spring, while overhead Cygnus and Leda moved slowly across the sky, old friends long hidden, now guiding him on his journey to find Ray.

Fraser finally reached the precinct. A dispatcher very kindly allowed him to contact Ray, who was overseeing security at the UIMC hospital. He stood in the bright-lit stationhouse, an island of generator-driven normality in the night-shrouded city, listening to his partner's coolly professional voice over the radio, and wondered at his sudden longing for the dark.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
mackiedockie
Sep. 2nd, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Interesting journey. I like Benton automatically orienting to the stars to navigate in the darkened city. Nice touch.
keerawa
Sep. 3rd, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was trying to picture Chicago in a black-out, and it suddenly occurred to me that he'd be able to see the stars.

How goes that fire you've so memorably iconed there?
mackiedockie
Sep. 3rd, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
Chicago in a blackout would be very interesting. It occurs to me that all the boats on the lake would be lit up, since they all have their own generator. The lakeside would be one of the best lit areas in town.

Last night was the first night we couldn't actually see fire from our front window--tonight is bell clear, and we can see the stars again!!! So all is going very, very well. We were very lucky--that lit up ridge you see in the icon almost burned across the highway, and then our 'hood would have been evacuated along with the rest of West K town.

There are some excellent vids up on YouTube--check out Mark Oliver's, if you get a chance.
nina_ds
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
This is a lovely, atmospheric piece. "It had the feel of a dream" indeed.
keerawa
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Thank you, nina! I'm glad the atmosphere came across.
china_shop
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)
He broke up a fistfight and discouraged a young man from throwing a trashcan through a storefront window.

Heh. I love the Fraserly understatement of "discouraged".

This is lovely! :-)
keerawa
Sep. 4th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
I'm sure Fraser's convinced he just gave the better angels of that young man's nature a chance to reassert themselves.

Thank you for the feedback!
ignazwisdom
Sep. 4th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
This is really, really nice -- your Fraser voice feels very familiar and accurate. Yay, operation lost zebra!
keerawa
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you, ignazwisdom!
eledhwenlin
Sep. 4th, 2007 07:02 am (UTC)
the city crouched like some great beast frightened of the dark, unsure whether to cower or spring

That is a wonderful image.

He ... wondered at his sudden longing for the dark.

Oh, Fraser. *cuddles him*
keerawa
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad you liked the image, eledhwenlin. I almost feel bad about poor Fraser, here. There was actually a happy ending at one point in the writing process, but it just didn't quite work.
brigantine
Sep. 4th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
...and wondered at his sudden longing for the dark.

Oh dear. I suspect that sometimes for Fraser the dark is a friendlier place.

As a kid I always liked it when the power went out. It seemed to support a whole different range of possibilities that weren't there in the light. :)
keerawa
Sep. 5th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Exactly. Fraser's reality isn't all he could hope for right now. And anything seems possible outside the reach of the lights.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )