scherryzade: (Default)
[personal profile] scherryzade
Title: Shall woman's voice be hushed?
Rating: G
Characters: OCs
Disclaimer: Not mine (except the mistakes), no harm meant.
Summary: Three women who had a hand in exposing the Stargate Program
A/N: For the [livejournal.com profile] stargate_ocs "All You Women Independent" challenge
A/N2: The title, I'll freely admit, I only got after a certain amount of googling, and while it fits the stories in rather uneven ways, it does fit the challenge and the month, as it comes from this speech by the abolitionist and women's rights campaigner Lucy Stone:

"...with anointed lips and a consecration which put even life itself at stake, these peerless women pursued the even tenor of their way, saying to their opponents only: "Woe is me, if I preach not this gospel of freedom for the slave." Over all came the melody of Whittier's 'When woman's heart is breaking / Shall woman's voice be hushed?'

"I think, with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned."



Shall woman's voice be hushed?

1: Dee Morris

Dee knew what she was getting into when she married Bill. After all, she was as much an Army brat as he was - that's how they met. She's always known she could loose him, and always thanked God when she got him back.

Dee's an Army Wife, and she's proud of him, just as she's proud that her kids have followed his footsteps. Bill Jr was the first, enlisting out of high school, now a sergeant in the Army Rangers. Karen, always the smart one, was going to be a lawyer, but signed up to the Army ROTC the moment she set foot on campus, and now she's an LT in Army Intelligence.

But Frankie, her baby boy, he had to be a rebel, so he joined the Marines. And she was proud of that, too, until two officers turned up at her door with somber expressions.

Part of her was expecting it - had been expecting those heavy footsteps since she said "I do." But that's not what she thinks when she sees them, sees the flag they carry. She thinks, at least the Army would have brought her boy back to her, even if the casket had to be sealed.

She doesn't think to wonder why there's a USAF captain telling her that her baby's dead, the woman standing beside a Marine Corps major who grips the flag with knuckles white, and never meets her eyes.

Karen does wonder, but Dee doesn't know that until her daughter comes to her, months later, eyes burning with anger. Karen says, "Mom," and her voice breaks, and Dee sees that she's scared, scared like she's never been, not even when they were all kids.

"Mom, I know what happened to Frankie."

Dee listens, and she's so proud of her girl, and her baby boy, and she says, "We have to tell someone."


2: Vanessa White

Vanessa hasn't spoken to Lizzie Weir in years when she gets the black-edged card. It shocks her, more than it should, because she's lost closer friends to cancer, and she supposes that it's guilt at letting their friendship slip away from her.

The memorial service is lovely, however bittersweet it is to see old friends in such circumstances. And she's glad to see Elizabeth's achievements reflected in the obvious grief of diplomats and Washington lawyers, men and women Vanessa would have sworn didn't have a drop of empathy in their bodies.

Meeting Armstrong there is a sour note, and he knows it. He has enough grace to look apologetic - work, he explains, DoD connections that put him and Elizabeth at the same conference table more than once.

Vanessa's been after Armstrong's position for years, and he knows it. All the same, it doesn't seem right, scrambling for his post on the Defence Appropriations Committee when he's been in the ground barely a week. She's almost glad the post goes to the other side - Armstrong was an asshole, but he was a good politician, and he deserves better than to be replaced with barely an acknowledgement of the change. Maybe that's why she agrees to meet his widow, a woman she's exchanged maybe a dozen words with over the years.

The first thing Patricia Armstrong says to Vanessa is "They killed my husband."

Then she says, "He wasn't the first."

She says, "I have his private records."

Vanessa's suddenly very glad she didn't fight to get on the Committee.


3: Loretta Jones

Loretta writes the speech almost on autopilot. No, that's not right, it's just that she feels slightly detached from it, as if the speech is writing itself. At the same time, she knows it's good, knows, in an entirely objective way, that it's the best speech she's ever written. She knows she'll never write anything like it again.

So she writes the speech, and ignores the USAF Captain who stands at her shoulder the whole time, follows her everywhere, even to the ladies, where he holds back her hair as she loses her breakfast.

She reads through it just once, not her usual threefold, tenfold proofreading process, reads this speech with that same surreal detachment: her words, but not her words.

When it's ready, she takes it to her boss, who reads it, then passes it to the grey-haired general who's obviously been stalking him the way her Air Force shadow follows her. The general reads it, and then nods, and Loretta lets out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding.

The general hands the speech back to her. "Better take it in, then," he says, and he doesn't smile, exactly, but he looks awfully amused all the same. But then her boss is pushing her into the next room, and she hands the speech to his boss - their boss - and stands there while he too reads it through.

She can tell where he is, every line of the speech as he reads it. When he finishes, he starts over again, but stops at the very first line.

"This," he taps the top of the sheet. "This opening, that's your idea?"

"Yes, Mr President."

He nods. "I like it."

She thanks him, and her boss pulls her out of the way, and she's back in her office with her Captain before she knows it.

When they gather to watch the speech in one of the conference rooms, she hears the President say her words, and that's when her hands start to shake.

"My fellow Americans - my fellow citizens of Earth..."

~~~


This is something of an off-shoot from my epic big-bang-that-isn't, partly because I'm embarassed that the central character in that is a male OC, partly just to shame myself into getting more of it written :/

Date: 2011-03-15 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gelbes-gilatier.livejournal.com
\o/ I love it! It's just so wonderfully sad and a little rebellious and I love the way they all contributed something vital to the unveiling of the Stargate program, with different motivations and from different standpoints.

Also, it's not a bad thing to have a male OC as your central character. Seriously, it's not :)

Date: 2011-03-15 11:02 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile] scherryzade.livejournal.com
Thanks! I started off trying to write a sort of '7 ages of woman' story, but these voices were stronger than the younger ones, so I switched it around.

Vanessa's the only one who really features in the longer story - it's her step-son who's the main character in that. I don't mind having a guy in the lead, but one of the problems I've been having with it is that he's kind of hapless - stuff just kind of happens to him - and that wouldn't happen with the women that I write :)

Profile

scherryzade: (Default)
scherryzade

July 2014

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
131415 16171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 02:05 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios