shiori_makiba: name and butterfly (inoue tsubasa)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba
Ysabethwordsmith, this is entirely your fault. Not too long ago, I would told you that I didn't like to read poetry very much, much less try to write any of it. Now I regularly read yours, am more willing to give others a try, and keep trying to produce it myself.

Poem: Metamorphosis
By shiori_makiba / Ashley Weyer

This poem was inspired by ysabetwordsmith's “Berettaflies” along with dialecticdreamer and other fellow readers resulting demifiction about the incident.

Warning(s): Mentions of super-bugs that sting people, injury resulting in body modification and possible superpowers.


“Metamorphosis”


It happened while she was taking a walk.
'This weather is just too nice to be inside all day,'
Tsubasa Inoue thought and set out,
with sketch book and pencils in her bag,
just in case anything caught her eye and demanded to be drawn.

Her first thought at seeing the fluttering black-and-white wings
was, 'Oh how pretty. I want to draw that.'
Maybe a little absent-minded curiosity as to what
kind of butterfly these were.
Maybe she'd look it up when she got back to her place.

No worries. Nothing to be afraid of.
Just a couple of pretty butterflies,
dancing through the air.
And the start of a picture in her mind.

Until one of them landed on her arm,
and the pain started. The first sting just
added insult to injury. Turning those first
flickers of pain from a flame into a bonfire.

She probably screamed. She didn't remember.
She didn't remember much past that first rush of pain.
Just flashes of pain, a jumbled tangle of concerned voices,
and finally the blissful relief of black nothingness.

She didn't want to remember more.
What she did remember was awful enough.

When she woke up, Tsubasa thought it was odd that
the hospital had lain her on her stomach.
Until she noticed the wings coming out of her back.

A huge pair of butterfly wings,
black and white with jagged edges,
just like the ones that had hurt her.

She didn't know what to think about them.

Part of her wanted to scream,
another part wanted to cry.
She did a little of both,
that first day.

Another part noticed that the wings were pretty
and if she were going to be stuck with insect wings,
at least she had pretty wings.

Still another section wanted to beat
whoever made and/or released these things
senseless.

A final part wondered if she'd be able
to fly or hover with them.
Pessimistic brain said she was too heavy
and stuff for those wings to carry her.
Optimistic brain said superpowers can do a lot of impossible stuff.
Like maybe let a human sized person fly with butterfly wings.

The people from SPOON said
they weren't sure yet if the wings were it
or if she had more powers.
She wasn't sure how she felt about that either.

Her family wasn't sure either.
Papa and Mama were mostly happy that she was alive.
“Some of the other parents aren't as lucky as us. Their child is dead.”
Big Brother Keisuke was angry. But not with her.
“Those idiots who did this. They almost killed you.”
Little Sister Mai just thought it was cool.
“You have wings! Like a fairy princess!”

Tsubasa didn't know what the rest of the family would say,
particularly those in Japan.
Some of them had said unkind things about soups in the past.
Others weren't unkind so much as thoughtless.

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
And soups were nails that resisted hammering.

She'd worry about it later.
Right now, she was alive
and she was going to be happy about that.
The rest could wait.

Notes:
Tsubasa Inoue – She is small, standing 4'11” with a petite frame. She has golden skin, black hair to just below her shoulders, brown eyes, and a pair of large butterfly wings attached to her back. The wings are a recent addition and Tsubasa still isn't sure how she feels about them nor adjusted to how they effect her in other ways (like moving, keeping warm, clothing, etc). The family is also adjusting and while her parents and siblings are doing their best to be supportive, the extended family . . . not so much. She is a college student majoring in fine art.
Origin: Tsubasa was taking a walk when she disturbed a small cluster of the Berettaflies. They stung her. A short and painful time later, she woke up in the hospital with wings.
Uniform: None currently – typically dresses in jeans, tee-shirts, light jacket or sweater, shoes that are easy to walk in – Tsubasa prefers comfortable over fashionable.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Artist, Good (+2) Voracious Reader, Good (+2) Compassion, Good (+2) Intelligence, Good (+2) Proud to be Japanese and American.
Poor (-2) Extremely Shy
Powers: Still developing. Might be able to fly or at least hover with those wings. Other flight or insect related powers might also develop.
Motivation: To show the beauty of the world.

Edit: Fixed some grammar errors and altered two stanzas so they are more clear. Thanks for the constructive criticism, Ysabetwordsmith.
Second Edit: Spelling error. Thank you, lonecat.
Third Edit: Unneeded word. I swear that I did check this before I posted it. Can anyone tell that I'm dyslexic?

Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-20 08:23 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> Ysabethwordsmith, this is entirely your fault. Not too long ago, I would told you that I didn't like to read poetry very much, much less try to write any of it. Now I regularly read yours, am more willing to give others a try, and keep trying to produce it myself. <<

That makes me so happy! :D I love inspiring people.

I've added a little feedback on polishing the poem if you wish, but don't feel compelled to.

>>This weather is just too nice to be inside all day,
Tsubasa Inoue thought and set out,<<

'Verbal' thoughts like that are often indicated with single quotes or italics to distinguish them both from narration and spoken words.

>> was Oh how pretty. I want to draw that. <<

Add a comma after "was," then whatever marker you've decided to use for self-talk.

I think the thoughts are highly apt for an artist, too.

>>Maybe a little absent-minded curiosity as to what
kind of butterfly these were.
Maybe she'd look it up when she got back to her place.

No worries. Just pretty butterflies
and the start of a picture.

Until one of them landed on her arm,
then added its sting to first flickers of pain.
Turning it from a flame into a bonfire.<<

You have a whole chain of sentence fragments here. You can get away with one or a few to convey choppy thoughts and fast action, or focus attention on a crucial point; but too many together diffuses the effect. Consider whether you could make some of these complete sentences.

>>When she woke up, Tsubasa thought it was odd that
the hospital had lain her on her stomach.<<

That's a wonderful -- and very natural -- thing to focus on at that time.

>>A huge pair of butterflies wings,<<

That should probably say either "butterfly wings" or "butterflies' wings" above.

>> black and white with jagged edges,
just like the ones that had hurt her. <<

:( That's a logical connection, but ouch, what a thing to get stuck with. No wonder both of the girls are unhappy with the reminder.

>> She didn't want know what to think about them. <<

Mixed feelings seem to be the prevailing response for new soups. Some people are wholly negative, a few wholly positive, but the majority have a jumble of conflicting emotions like this.

>>Papa and Mama were mostly happy that she was alive.
“Some of the other parents aren't as lucky as us. Their child is dead.”<<

The family responses are awesomely complex and plausible. <3

>>Tsubasa didn't know what the rest of the family would say,
particularly those in Japan.
Some of them had said unkind things about soups in the past.<<

Yyyyyyeah. Japan has had a complicated relationship with superpowers, and they tend to come down hard on the more physical ones.

Now butterflies -- they have a lot of meanings in Japanese culture. My suspicion is that people will pounce on the one about death and carrying souls, which means they'll probably find the wings creepy. That's especially true since the berettaflies are black-white-red: the colors of life, death, and good fortune in historic Japan. But other people may think of butterflies as leading to the solution for a problem, and start following her, which is a different flavor of creepy.

>>The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
And soups were nails that resisted hammering.<<

That's an apt description.

>>The wings are a recent addition and Tsubasa still isn't sure how she feels about them nor adjusted to how they effect her in other ways (like moving, keeping warm, clothing, etc). <<

Well, she won't be able to wear most ordinary tops anymore. Something like a sari could be wrapped around her torso avoiding the wings. Otherwise it's going to require special tailoring with vrip strips or other fasteners to go around and between the wings. She probably won't be comfortable in cold climates anymore, so it's a good thing she lives in New Orleans.

Similarly, any furniture with a back is no longer feasible. She will need stools instead of chairs, or else one of those odd slat-back chairs if its back were narrow enough to fit between the wings.

Unlike ordinary butterfly wings, I would expect hers to heal if damaged. They're super wings, after all, and the berettaflies are designed as guardbugs so they're pretty tough. They won't stand up to a windshield at speed, but they're nowhere near as fragile as ordinary butterflies.

>>Powers: Still developing. Might be able to fly or at least hover with those wings. Other flight or insect related powers might also develop.<<

It's likely to get written up as Insect Powers or Butterfly Powers, although at the moment she just has the wings. Huh, berettafly manifestations seem to come on slowly, not instantly. Useful to know. Anyhow, I would bet on Levitation or Flight, but I doubt it'll be higher than Average. They're not actually good fliers. She'll probably be able to get off the ground and move around, but without much speed or agility.

On the bright side, there are lots of things that someone could do just with the wings. She could make a mint entertaining at fairy parties for little girls, if she likes children. Model for artist friends. Become a street performer. In Japanese culture particularly, she could be a counselor (because following butterflies can solve problems) or a retainer for any family with butterflies on their crest. A soup mentor would probably advise her to make a list of things she likes and/or associations with butterflies, to see what seems promising for her personally.

Thanks for sharing! This is a lovely addition. I have linked and boosted the signal.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-20 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
Similarly, any furniture with a back is no longer feasible. She will need stools instead of chairs, or else one of those odd slat-back chairs if its back were narrow enough to fit between the wings.

I'd think this would affect riding in vehicles unless she can take some form of transit that allows her to stand and has room for the wings.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-20 12:01 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
I've got a character with wings... since she's a Virginia girl, she rides in the back of a pick-up truck quite a bit, wants to own a motorcycle and has hopped on freight trains and rides the subways standing up.

Mostly she flies though. Wings are kind of a problem in a world designed for people without them... you have to sit backwards in chairs, or find stools, and doorways can be a problem unless you can fold them.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-20 12:17 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
I wonder how she feels about bicycles... the wind of passage shouldn't be enough to over-come them, although drag might be a problem. [basically, cycling with two large parachutes would be hard work.] Skateboard might be fun though, since she could use her wings as sails.

Butterflies are slow fliers, but they are incredibly efficient actually. [might not look it though] so what they lack in speed they make up for in endurance. Monarch butterflies being the most noted examples, but they're not the champions or only long distance migrants. Even non-migratory species typically have a range of 50 to 100 miles... which if you scale it up, makes Tsubasa's most of the southern USA. At something slightly better than a fast walking pace.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-27 12:56 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
if they fold up like a resting butterfly, then they could be more like a sail (I'm thinking windsurfer), which might be something that she can leverage on a bicycle, depending on prevailing winds.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-27 03:09 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
It might depend on the strength of the wings though. Could she use the wind to 'power' a skateboard? She wouldn't be able to go very fast in populated areas, but there might options with buggy wheels.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-20 02:55 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Folded together, her wings won't present any resistance to forward travel, so a motorcycle or motor scooter would work pretty well. A bicycle would sort of work, but she'd be in trouble in a crosswind.

She needs to have a gizmologist cobble together a motorcycle or tricycle with a teardrop-shaped aerodynamic shroud that would protect her wings.

Sex-linked mutagenesis?

Date: 2015-10-20 01:09 pm (UTC)
librarygeek: cute cartoon fox with nose in book (Default)
From: [personal profile] librarygeek
I just noticed this. >>No wonder both of the girls are unhappy with the reminder.<<

Is the possibility of mutations higher for human females being affected by Berettaflies? How would someone transgender react? Is there also a different survival rate, once allergies are accounted for?

Re: Sex-linked mutagenesis?

Date: 2015-10-20 05:54 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> Is the possibility of mutations higher for human females being affected by Berettaflies? <<

It's possible.

>> How would someone transgender react? <<

I'm sure they'd be unhappy if the effects enhanced traits of a physical sex at odds with their gender.

But I wouldn't bet too heavy on that. Plenty of transfolk take hormones, and the others are quite often toward the middle of the scale. There are transfolk with extremely masculine or feminine bodies, but the statistics skew toward androgyny just because some of the things that tamper with hormone balance are believed to influence gender identity; and conversely having a mismatch can affect how the body behaves around the soul it contains.

Any of that could interact with a metagen in quite different ways than what happens with a cismale or cisfemale victim. Remember that insect castes are sex-linked and the whole system is designed to interact with sex as a prevailing feature. So if you add that baseline to a metagen designed to adapt things and a person whose body doesn't fit them, one of the possible results is editing the body to match. I would suspect that this might cause a higher proportion of insectile features to emerge, or alternatively, create a shift-form. Gendershifting happens.

Would a transperson be happier going from, say, transwoman to cisqueen, than staying in a human body that has been only sort-of-changed to female? Answers are likely to vary.

While the odds of this happening are small, they're higher in Easy City than elsewhere. It's a very QUILTBAG-friendly place compared to most others.

>> Is there also a different survival rate, once allergies are accounted for? <<

Maybe. Again the sex-linked caste system comes into play: queens are robust. It's designed to protect and enhance the fertile females.

Well, hell. That's got to be a trigger: time of month. I wouldn't necessarily say it's the only trigger, but I'd bet that both of the souped-up ladies were at or near ovulation when it happened. So many things are hormone or pheromone driven in social insects, it's a prime suspect.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-20 11:43 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Similarly, any furniture with a back is no longer feasible.

Hmmm... how far can she flatten them? Most butterflies can spread them pretty flat, which might at least allow her to sit on the standard kind of armless stacking chair; but the tradeoff is that she'd take up a lot more lateral space that way.

Sitting in the kind of class lecture hall that has fixed chairs would be Right Out. OTOH, this is the kind of thing that "reasonable accommodation" laws are designed to cover. Bringing in a stool or chair that she can use isn't a big deal (or shouldn't be, unless one of her teachers is a fork).

(edited to fix HTML error)
Edited Date: 2015-10-20 11:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-21 12:57 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>>Hmmm... how far can she flatten them? Most butterflies can spread them pretty flat, <<

Presumably she can, like a butterfly, flatten her wings to 180 degrees.

>>which might at least allow her to sit on the standard kind of armless stacking chair; but the tradeoff is that she'd take up a lot more lateral space that way. <<

This is true for lateral and dorsal aspects. It does not account for the fact that her wings are proportional to her body size, thus likely to drag on the floor if she sits in a low chair. The chair might be raised, but really, I think a barstool would be more efficient.

>> Sitting in the kind of class lecture hall that has fixed chairs would be Right Out. <<

Yeah, that won't work.

>> OTOH, this is the kind of thing that "reasonable accommodation" laws are designed to cover. <<

In fact, it should already be covered because any establishment with fixed seats customarily has an empty space where wheelchairs can be parked.

>> Bringing in a stool or chair that she can use isn't a big deal (or shouldn't be, unless one of her teachers is a fork). <<

In which case they'll get whacked by the Student Disabilities Office, probably with great vigor due to the professor volunteering as a stress toy at a time when so many people are pissed at targets outside their reach.

Date: 2015-10-20 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lone_cat
Good (+2) Vicarious Reader

This looks like it should be "Voracious", though the idea of a "vicarious reader" is interesting.

Vicarious reader

Date: 2015-10-20 11:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] edorfaus
Would listening to someone else read aloud fit that description? (If so, most children (storytime) and quite a few adults (audiobooks) would be vicarious readers.)

Or would it be more along the lines of watching someone else read (not necessarily aloud), with enough empathy to get the experience of reading, even without actually knowing the story (or whatever) in the book?

... Or actually, looking at the dict definitions of "vicarious", would it be the person doing the reading for someone else to hear/watch?

Maybe a research assistant reading through a book to check it for any relevant information so that someone else doesn't have to read it?

Date: 2015-10-20 12:03 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Interesting character and lovely poem. Ysabetwordsmith does seem to have the knack for inspiring people. [speaking as someone who was!]

Re: Thank you

Date: 2015-10-20 01:42 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Indeed she does.

Yes, that's my first [kind of] poem.

Date: 2015-10-20 01:46 pm (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Interesting.

Date: 2015-10-20 05:32 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
I'm glad Tsubasa made it through that encounter.

>>The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
And soups were nails that resisted hammering.

*wince* Though that's not going to be pleasant at all.

If she didn't get the venom effects, she might be able to incorporate her wings into her art somehow, too. I wonder if she could paint them without harming them.

Re: Thanks for the feedback

Date: 2015-10-27 01:01 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
What about powder colours? Say, like eyeshadow. Assuming that the wings can get wet, that would be something that she could modify frequently (but would be tedious to cover that much wing!)

Re: Thanks for the feedback

Date: 2015-10-27 03:11 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
if spray is the way to wet the wings, then something that suspends in water might do it. As to whether it was an every day thing - while she is adjusting to them, changing colours might be helpful at a psychological level.

Date: 2015-10-20 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] book-worm5.livejournal.com
I like this. I hope Tsubasa manages to find the joy and beauty in her new wings (and that they actually do let her at least hover) rather than the pain.

Minor nitpick - the line saying "She didn't want know what to think about them" has an extra word or two. I feel like it should either be "She didn't want to think about them" or "She didn't know what to think about them", not "want know".

Date: 2015-10-27 01:02 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
lovely!

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