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The Other Job · She-Ra Short Story ·
Organised by QuillScratch
Word limit 2000–8000
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A Wasted Day
Scorpia woke up, her back aching.

She had fallen asleep again in the nest of blankets and pillows that Catra called her bed, which was undeniably comfy but also hell on her spine. As she yawned and stretched, cracking her back, she could smell the scent of coffee in the air. With that inspiration it only took her a few minutes further to untangle her tail from a blanket and roll out of bed.

Outside the tent, Catra was sipping her coffee from a battered tin mug. She nudged a second mug, already filled with the same, and Scorpia smiled, carefully picking it up with her pincers.

“Good job on the mission yesterday,” Catra said, still gazing off at where the sun was rising over the rocky expanse of the Crimson Waste. “Those parts you retrieved should keep everything going for a while.”

“Of course! It was no problem at all. I think the metal plating on the old ship had kept out other scavengers, but…” She clacked her pincer together with satisfaction.

Catra set her coffee down and then turned to look up at Scorpia directly. Something like amusement flickered in her eyes. “So then, what about the other job?”

“The other job? Wh—” Scorpia almost dropped her coffee. “I mean. Yes, absolutely! The other job. The other job that’s also done. A-okay, cap’n!” She saluted with one claw, trying to ignore the sweat dripping down her neck.

Catra smirked, one eyebrow raising. “Uh huh.”

“Trust me, it’s all taken care of.” Scorpia forced a big smile.

“Right. Well, I’m going for a walk. How about you just check on that other job for me? Just to be one-hundred-and-ten percent sure.”

“Glad to!” Scorpia bit her lip. “Especially since it’s absolutely definitely already taken care of. Won’t take me more than a moment!”

Catra strolled off, waving lightly over her shoulder, and Scorpia finally let out a breath.

Now she just needed to figure out what she was supposed to do.

“Entrapta?” Scorpia called out. “Yoo-hoo, are you there?” She peered into the cave that Entrapta had claimed as her research base, wary about just walking in. One of Entrapta’s current projects were a series of booby-traps meant to protect their small camp, and she had a terrible habit of testing them out on people who came to visit her.

Gingerly, Scorpia stepped inside, her eyes adjusting to the dimness. This place always gave her the willies, like it was the nest of some kind of beast made up of cables and steel.

“Maybe I’ll just come back— Aaah!”

Something had rolled out of the darkness, clanking into a metal beam and then swerving to thump against her.

But when Scorpia looked down, it was just Emily. She patted the robot on the head and it burbled some static up at her as it tilted to its side and slowly rotated in a circle.

“Whoa there girl, are you okay?”

Scorpia leaned down and plucked something off the metal of Emily’s… forehead? Upper carapace? Whichever. It was a small fridge magnet, emblazoned with “VISIT SCENIC FRIGHT ZONE,” and Scorpia frowned and crunched it to bits in a pincer. “There you go, you should feel better now.”

Emily chirped up a response, rubbing affectionately against Scorpia’s side.

“Now do you have any idea where Entrapta went? I really need to ask her about— Aaaaaaah!”

A red-eyed spider had dropped from the ceiling right as she turned around. It took a moment for her to recognize that it was just her friend, suspended by her hair.

“I really hate this place,” Scorpia muttered.

“If you reticulate both splines, it may assist in a more accurate calibration of the refractory matrix,” Entrapta said in response.


Entrapta tilted her head, then lifted the mask off her face to reveal a huge grin. “Scorpia! I didn’t see you there! How can I help you?”

“Right… I just wanted to check up on you. You got the all the parts you needed from yesterday?”

“Ooo, yes. And you’re not going to believe what I discovered. I think the torque applicator is going to increase the output of my prototype sandcruiser by a factor of five!”

“That’s great,” Scorpia said, “but I wanted to ask something else. Was there… some other job I was supposed to do for you?”

Entrapta sucked in her breath in total surprise. “How did you know? There is!”

“Oh, wonderful,” Scorpia said, sighing in relief. “What was it?”

Entrapta pointed at a workbench on the other side of the room. “Can you hand me that wrench?”

Scorpia blinked. She walked over, picked up a wrench, and walked back to give it to her friend.

“Wonderful!” Entrapta chirped, and then she pulled herself up by her hair, busy tinkering with something in the nest of machinery attached to the ceiling.

Scorpia waited. “Is that all?” she called up.



They kept the buffadillos in a small canyon off to the east, the natural rock walls working better as a pen than any fence would. The a single one of the strange hybrid animals could keep the whole camp fed for weeks, but they also had a habit of curling up into scaly balls and rolling around wildly, careening into anything and everything.

When Scorpia arrived, she saw Rogelio standing by the fence at the narrow canyon mouth, wearing an improbable cowboy hat. Kyle was on the other side, currently screaming as he tried to stay mounted on one particularly scrawny buffadillo as it thrashed and rolled.

Rogelio tipped his hat as he saw Scorpia.

“Hey.” She couldn’t help but also watch Kyle for a moment. “Is he okay?”

Rogelio shrugged.

“Alright. So I wanted to check on the herd. They don’t… need anything, do they?”

Rogelio looked at her quizzically. In the distance, Kyle had fallen off, and now he was being chased around in circles by two more buffadillos.

“Like maybe there was something I was supposed to do? None of them have gone missing lately, right?”

Rogelio shook his head.

“We checked them for ticks? Scrubbed their scales? Fed them and watered them?”

This time a nod.

Kyle had climbed on top of a boulder, and practically the whole herd circled around, taking turns ramming the rock to try and knock him off.

“Well,” Scorpia said. “Seems like everything’s totally normal here.”

Rogelio yawned, and went to go get a lasso to retrieve Kyle.

When Scorpia made it back to the camp, she was positively dejected. She was double-checking every mental checklist she could imagine, and everything seemed to be perfectly handled. She used both her claws and tail to count as she ran through the most essential needs. The camp had its parts, its food supply, its…

She saw Lonnie standing at the old well at the center of their encampment. Water!

“Need any help?” she said, walking over.

“Nope,” Lonnie said. She hauled on the rope, lifting up a bucket full of water.

“You sure? I feel like there’s something I need to do. That you need help with. Is the well broken? Can I fix it?”

Lonnie frowned at her. “It’s a well. It’s got water in it. It’s working.”

“Could it be working better?

Lonnie raised an eyebrow.

Scorpia let out a sigh and her shoulders slumped. “Fine. Have you heard any news about the Waste? Is Huntara back? Tung Lashor and his goons causing any more problems?”

“It’s all quiet.”

Scorpia’s eyes lit up. “Perhaps too quiet?”

Lonnie sat the bucket down, then leaned back against the well, crossing her arms. “Scorpia, what’s wrong?”

“Um,” Scorpia said, twiddling her claws. “It’s just that Catra was asking about some job I was supposed to do. And I can’t for the life of me remember what it was.”

Lonnie let out an exasperated sigh. “Did you try asking her?”

“I can’t just ask her!”

“Why not?”

“Because…” Scorpia waved her claws vaguely. “It’s Catra!”

Lonnie rolled her eyes. “I think she’d rather you ask than fail to do whatever it is she wanted.”

“I just don’t want to disappoint her.”

The look on Lonnies face softened for a moment. “Look Scorpia, you know as well as any of us… The Crimson Waste has changed her. She used to have such a stick up—” Lonnie cleared her throat, glancing around for a moment. “Well, she’s mellowed out a lot here. In a good way.”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“Even if it took her a year or so,” Lonnie grumbled. “How long has it been now?”

And Scorpia blinked. “That’s it.”

“What’s it?”

But Scorpia just grabbed Lonnie by the shoulders, swinging her in a circle as she whooped. About halfway around, Scorpia tripped over the full bucket of water, splashing it everywhere. “Whoops!” she shouted, and then laughed. “Sorry! Gotta run!” And she dashed off once again.

Lonnie let out a long sigh, but as she wiped off the bucket and dropped it back in the well, she still had a smile on her face.

It was evening by the time Catra wandered back. Scorpia was waiting outside the tent, now watching the other direction. That was one of the benefits of the biggest tent in camp - it was located up at the highest point of the camp, where you could see both the sun rise and set. Right now, the sun had just dipped behind a gargantuan skeleton in the distance, and the horizon was painted in shades of orange and red.

“So?” Catra asked, strolling up to stand beside Scorpia. To Scorpia’s mild surprise, Catra was smiling too, gazing off at the sunset. “Did you actually do that other job?”

Scorpia sheepishly rubbed the back of her head with a claw. “You know what? To be completely honest, I spent most of the morning scrambling around, trying to figure out what I had overlooked.”

“Yeah, I figured.” Catra leaned over and flicked Scopia lightly on the arm. “I can’t believe such a scatterbrain is my best friend.”

A warmness spread in Scorpia’s chest. “Yeah, well, I did remember it in the end.”


“Today is the two year anniversary of our decision to stay in the Crimson Waste.”

Catra grinned. “Sure is.”

Scorpia moved back and pulled open the tent’s flap. Inside, a low table with fluffy pillows around it was set with silverware and two glasses of wine. Scorpia had prepared a light salad, grilled a sandsalmon just the way Catra liked, and finished with a couple of pieces of chocolate cake.

Catra grinned. “Perfect,” she said. And she turned, standing on her tiptoes. Scorpia felt the slightest brush of lips against her cheek.

Scorpia’s whole face went beet-red, and she was at a total loss for words. When Catra took her hand, pulling her into the tent, she felt a little like she was floating on air. Behind them, the flap of the tent swung shut once again.

Scorpia woke up, her back aching.

As always, she had sleeping on the metal bench that the Horde provided as a bed, and it was hell on her spine. Each Horde soldier was issued exactly one threadbare blanket, and you had the choice each night of trying to use it as bedding underneath you or as warmth on top of you, because it wasn’t big enough for both.

She got up, groaning as she stretched and cracked her back. She had been having the most wonderful dream again, but the more she tried to cling to it, the more it seemed to slip out of her grasp. She frowned, letting out a sigh, and then laid down again, trying to slip back into that space. If she just had five more minutes…

A sudden banging on her door caused her to jerk upright again. “Catra wants to see you,” a voice shouted through the metal. “And you should come fast, she’s pissed.”

Scorpia hurriedly reached for her uniform and force captain badge. She could dream later.

She had a job to do.
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#1 · 1
· · >>Pascoite
Aww man, I was really digging this alt universe!
#2 · 2
A couple of minor-ish editing things.

The story's mostly told from Scorpia's perspective, but in the Lonnie scene, the narrator keeps telling me what's happening after Scorpia leaves, so watch out for that.

I'm with >>Wanderer_D in that once the forgotten job was revealed, I thought it was a sweet AU, but then it was all a dream...

Since I've already commented on one story that pulled the dream reveal trope, I won't go through the explanation again, but this one did a more effective job of it, because there were consequences to the dream. It let us know how Scorpia truly feels, and it set up internal conflict for her as she goes back to business as usual.

Up to that point, it was also a pleasant slice of life/comedy mix. YMMV, but to me, pulling the SoL/comedy-to-serious switch is more likely to work than the other way around. Having some low-key entertainment, then finding out it's serious after all feels like it still preserves both moods, while serious ending in silly can tend to invalidate the serious part.

Fun story with a bittersweet ending.
#3 ·
It took me slightly too long to realise this was in AU territory, which I will attribute to sleepiness, and which absolutely made the ending hurt more.

Besides formatting/editing nitpicks, I have no real complaints here. Maybe I'm still emotionally stabilising myself, but that ending threw every worry I had about this story being nothing more than fluff* out the window. Really good job, author!

*which isn't even a complaint. I like fluff!