2500*

Footsteps

Band Member: Luke
Type: Gang AU
Details: A late night walk home from work was about to change things forever.


You’d always hated working the late shift at the restaurant. It was the busiest time of day, and when closing time finally rolled around, the sun was long set and you wanted nothing more than to roll right into bed. Luke usually swung by around eleven to pick you up, but tonight he had some things to take care of. You didn’t question it. As far as you were concerned, the less you knew about Luke’s ‘business’, the better. He’d been part of his gang for longer than you could remember, forever getting himself into fights and scrapes with their rivals. He’d terrified you to begin with, his reputation making you want to avoid him at all costs when he first sat at a booth in your section. He’d taken to you quickly, showing up every other day and sitting at that same booth, making any excuse just to talk to you. It had taken weeks for him to persuade you that he wasn’t as fearsome as everyone thought, and another few days after that before you’d finally agreed to a date.
Three years later, and you still had never made peace with what he did for a living, but you were too in love to care.

The rain was drizzling lazily as you stepped out, tugging your hood up over your head and wrapping your arms around yourself to fight off the chill. You started to fantasise about the bath you were going to run as soon as you got home, all bubbles and floral scents and warmth. And there was chocolate in the fridge too, if Luke hadn’t gotten at it already.
You were so wrapped up in your daydream; it took you a few minutes to pick up the footsteps trailing behind you. Two pairs of feet thudded against the damp ground, their owners otherwise silent as they followed your path. You crossed over the road, slowing a little to allow them to go ahead of you. You knew you were being ridiculous, but you’d watched enough cop dramas to make yourself twitchy about walking home alone in the dark.
You listened carefully as you walked, waiting for any sign that they had turned down a different path. You could still hear their footsteps, splashing in puddles. You glanced behind you, alarmed to see that they were behind you. You crossed again, your pace quickening, heart pounding in your chest as you heard them speed up too. Pulling your phone from your pocket, you dialled Luke’s number and prayed that he would answer.
You breathed a sigh of relief when the line clicked, and his voice rang through.
“Hey, babe. What’s up?”
“Luke, I think I’m being followed.” You muttered, trying to keep your voice down, “there’s two guys behind me, and-”
“Where are you?” he interrupted; only letting you whisper the street name before he cut you off again. “That’s just before the garage, right? Get in there now and stay inside, I’m coming to get you.”

You tucked your phone away as the line cut off, half-running down the pavement. The garage was only a minute away, down a little alley to your right that was fairly short. The rain had picked up, drops splashing on your cheeks and soaking through to your skin, making you shiver. As you took the turning, you sneaked a look behind you, ready to run if they were too close.
The path behind you was empty.
You could have kicked yourself. Of course they weren’t actually following you. You’d let your imagination run away with you again, and now you’d probably dragged Luke away from something important for no reason.
He wouldn’t be mad, he never was with you. You could picture it now, the way he’d wrap you in his arms and promise he’d never let you walk home alone from a late shift again, even after you told him it was all a big mistake. As dangerous as he was, nothing comforted you more than being with Luke. You always felt protected, because you knew he would do anything in his power to keep you safe.

You were halfway down the alley when the silhouette appeared at its exit, slowly moving towards you. He was extremely broad, his bulging muscles flexing as his hands clenched at his sides. You recognised him immediately as one of the men who’d been behind you. You paused, heart thudding against your ribcage as you turned to face the other way, hoping for an escape route.
The second man was tall and slight, but held the same intimidating stance as he blocked your only way out.
You whipped your head back and forth between them as they drew nearer, desperate to let out a cry for help but choking on the lump that rose in your throat. Panicking, you rummaged in your pocket for your phone, your fingers fumbling on the screen as you scrolled down to Luke’s number. A hand shot out, knocking it from your grip and sending it tumbling to the floor. The two men towered above you, backing you up against the wall.
“P-please,” you stammered, “I don’t have any money.”
The tall one laughed, sneering down at you.
“Oh, sweetheart. I’m afraid this isn’t a robbery. It’s a little more… personal.
You frowned, your whole body beginning to tremble. You’d never seen these two before in your life, what on earth were they talking about? You glanced at your phone, lying just behind their feet. There was no way you could reach it; they’d be able to grab you before you even got close. But you were close enough to the end of the alleyway that someone might hear you if you screamed. You took a deep breath, and let out a shriek as loud as you could. The men flinched, granting you a second of noise before a hand clamped down over your mouth, cutting it short.

The shorter one had leapt at you, pressing his whole body weight against your chest as he silenced you, making it hard to breath. You tugged on his arm, trying your hardest to shove him off.
“Do that again, and see what happens.” The tall one growled, lifting his shirt to reveal the gun tucked into the waistband of his jeans. The fight left your body immediately, your blood turning to ice in your veins at the sight in front of you.
The hand released from your mouth slowly, ready to spring back if you screamed again. You weren’t that stupid. Whatever these guys wanted from you, it wasn’t worth risking your life over.
“Much better,” the gunman smirked, dropping the hem of his shirt.
“Please,” you whispered, scared to talk any louder, “please don’t hurt me.”
He leaned closer, motioning for his friend to let go of you. He was heavily tattooed, swirls of ink stretching up his throat and across the side of his face. His hair hung limply, greasy tendrils plastered across his forehead. A small tattoo sat beside his right eye, a tiny black triangle surrounded by pencil thin dots. You recognised it immediately.
“You’re Jackals.” You croaked, the fear making your voice shake.

Everyone in your city recognised the Jackal symbol when they saw it. Spray painted on bridges, carved into trees, tattooed on the skin of its members – it didn’t matter where it was, people knew to run from it. They were an incredibly dangerous gang, known for their brutality and inhumane nature. And now two of them were stood in front of you.
“What do you want from me?” you asked, tears beginning to build as you stood frozen in place, the rain having now soaked completely through your clothes.
“We need you to pass on a message to your boy, Luke.”
You bit your lip, wondering what Luke had done now. Surely he hadn’t decided to piss off a Jackal; even he knew how stupid that would be. You nodded, hoping that showing willingness would get you out of the alleyway sooner rather than later.
“What do I have to say?”
He laughed again, grinning menacingly at his friend as he tugged his sleeves up.
“Oh, you don’t have to say anything.”

The first punch hit you just below your temple, taking you by surprise and forcing you to the floor. Your head swam, ears ringing and vision blurring as the two of them pounced. Fists and feet rained down on you, knocking the wind from your lungs as you curled into a ball, trying to protect yourself. Blood streamed from your nose, clogging in your throat and making you choke as you gasped for air. You had never felt so much pain in your life, your whole body screaming out as it was attacked, skin already beginning to bruise. It felt like a lifetime had passed before they stopped, allowing you to finally gasp a breath. Your lungs burned as they struggled to inflate, and you spat mouthfuls of blood, watching as it swirled in the puddle beneath you.
Your fingers scratched along the floor, reaching desperately for your phone as the Jackals muttered under their breath to each other. One of them noticed, scooping it up and drying it off on his jeans. He demanded the passcode from you, and you managed to faintly reply, too wounded to find the energy to resist him. You heard the camera shutter noise repeatedly as he took photos of you lying on the floor, clothes soaked through with rain and blood.
“I bet Luke’s going to open these expecting nudes.” The shorter one sniggered, scrolling through your contacts and sending Luke the photos of you.
Once they’d sent, he dropped the phone to the floor, slamming his foot down hard on it until he heard it crack.
“Let’s see if he can find you before you pass out.” He grinned, clapping his friend on the back as they started to walk away.

You lay there, shivering from the cold, every muscle in your body protesting as you fumbled for your phone. The screen was smashed, tiny glass shards crumbling under your fingers as you desperately tried to call someone. Exhausted, you gave up, rolling onto your back and letting the rain fall on your face, washing away some of the blood and stinging your split lip. You didn’t have the energy to crawl to where you knew Luke would be waiting for you. You just had to hope he could figure out where you were before it was too late.
You jumped when your phone started to buzz, the vibrations sending pieces of the broken screen rattling to the floor. You heaved yourself back onto your side, sliding your finger across the less damaged bottom of the screen and praying it would work.
“Babe! Babe, what the fuck is going on, where are you?” Luke’s voice was high and frightened as he shouted down the line. You groaned as you leaned as close to the microphone as possible, coughing as you tried to speak.
“Alley. Way.” You rasped, chest heaving with the effort of catching your breath. “Jackals.”
You heard his sharp intake of breath as he realised what had happened. His tone shifted immediately, the fear replaced by utter rage.
“I’m coming to find you. I am going to kill those bastards.”

You wheezed heavily, unable to reply. You could hear him panting down the phone as he ran, your entire body crying out with relief when you finally heard his footsteps splashing down the alley way.
He skidded to his knees in front of you, face crumpling as he took in the sight in front of him.
“Oh, god. Babe.” He whispered, pulling you up to sit against the wall. His fingertips stroked your face gently as you groaned, tugging your hood down as he leant over and kissed you on the forehead.
“Come on, we need to get you home.”
His strong arms lifted you up, and he cradled you to his chest as he carried you down the alley. You finally allowed yourself to cry, tears running quietly down your face as the bruises started to blossom on your cheeks.
“It’s okay, I’ve got you now, you’re safe.” Luke said quietly as you reached his car. He placed you down gently in the passenger seat, unzipping your coat and peeling the sodden fabric from your cold skin. Yanking his own coat off, he took off his dry jumper underneath and tugged it over your head. The soft, warm fabric took some of the chill away, the smell of Luke’s body enveloping you in comfort.

The drive home was long, the aching in your ribs and swelling on your face stopping you from falling into the exhausted sleep you craved. Luke was fuming, his hands gripping the steering wheel so hard you thought he might rip it off completely. Every few minutes, his phone would ring, and you heard him growling orders down the line.
Find them, now.
I don’t care who you have to go through, just do it!
It’s definitely them? Okay, get the guys ready.
Tomorrow, then. I’ll be there.

He paused when you finally pulled into your driveway, hands still firmly on the wheel as he stared forwards through the windscreen.
“This is all my fault.” he mumbled, frowning. “They hurt you, because of me.”
You didn’t know what to say, keeping silent as you reached a hand out to him, placing it gently on his outstretched arm. He signed, throwing the car door open and running round to your side. He scooped you into his arms again, taking you inside and up to the bathroom wordlessly.

You let him tug off the rest of your soaking clothes, wincing as you stretched out your throbbing muscles. You caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, and gasped.
The skin across your torso was mottled in purple and black, your face bloodied from several cuts to your lip, eyebrow and nose. Your features were distorted from the swelling, making you look like a monstrous version of yourself. Tears began to fall from your bloodshot eyes again, and you tried to cover yourself with your hands, embarrassed.
“Shhh,” Luke hushed, helping you to climb into the bathtub, “it’s okay. It’s okay.”
Hugging your knees and hiding your face, you sat still as he poured the hot water down your back. He tried his best to be gentle, softly coaxing you to lower your arms and legs so he could have a proper look at the damage. Reluctantly, you relaxed a little, letting him wash the blood from your skin, and flinching as he dabbed the flannel over your black eye. He whispered soothingly to you, trying to calm you as you trembled in front of him.

As the wiped away the last of the blood, he lifted you from the bath and dried you off, wrapping you in one of his old shirts and pulling you into his arms.
He stroked your hair as you nestled into his chest, and you could feel how much he wanted to tighten his grip on you, too scared to do it in case he hurt you.
“I’m going to kill them for this.” He growled, his body tense under yours. He was furious, and you knew how reckless he could be when he let his emotions get ahead of him.
“Please don’t do anything stupid,” you mumbled into his chest, “I don’t want to lose you.”
He pulled away a little, fingers gently tilting your chin up so you could meet his gaze.
I nearly lost you tonight,” he said tightly, “I can’t just let that go.”
His phone buzzed in his pocket, and he sighed as he let go of you to answer it. You couldn’t make out the voice on the other end, but you could tell from the expression on his face that his retaliation plan was beginning to come together. He hung up, gripping your shoulders as he lowered his face to yours.

“Luke, please.” You begged, despite knowing that you would never be able to persuade him not to go after the Jackals.
He looked at you imploringly. “I am going to make sure this never happens to you ever again. I know you’re scared, but I need you to trust me. I can do this.”
You glanced down at the floor, suddenly unsure if the ache in your chest was from the beating you’d taken, or from your heart twisting in fear at his words. You knew Luke was strong, and you knew he was powerful. With his friends behind him, there wasn’t much he couldn’t do. But the Jackals were something else. They were above reproach; even the city police had a healthy fear of them.
You didn’t want to know what Luke had done to piss them off. Whatever it was, it was finished with now. But what they’d done to you was nothing, he could get himself killed going after them.
“Please, babe.” He pleaded, “If I don’t, they’ll only come after you again. Let me keep you safe.”
Reluctantly, you sighed.
“Just promise me you’ll come home in one piece.”
He pulled you in close again, his hands stroking up and down your back.
“I promise.” He whispered. “I love you.”

Blank Wrist

Summary: Steve thinks he doesn’t have a soulmate but fate has something else in mind for him.

MCU; rated T; approx. ~2500 words

Written for 890fifth’s thirteenth round: A-L-O-N-E

When Steve was six, he dreamed about finding his soulmate. She would be perfect, with dark brown hair and lots of sass and guts. They would meet while fighting mobsters, robbers and rumrunners. They would get married and move into the apartment next to his mother. He was six and that was his idea of love.

But he wasn’t born with a soulmate mark.

It wasn’t that unusual, at first. A lot of the kids Steve knew weren’t born with marks. But nearly all of them got their marks by first grade. Except for Steve, whose wrist remained as blank as the day he was born. And would remain that way until he crashed an airplane into the north Atlantic.

His mother would hug him and tell him not to worry, that the soulmate mark would show up eventually. It did for everyone.

His mother lied to him.

Keep reading


There are over 1500 of you following my comic, and nearly 2500 of you following my everything-else tumblr. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but I figure this is as good a time as any to say thank you :)

I was scrolling through my folders and came across this piece. I don’t consider it finished by any means, and it’s in a bit of an odd style that I’m not sure works. It reminds me that I have a lot to learn about digital painting, which I find harder than traditional art. But, I enjoyed painting it and thought it should have a place here.

Edit: The colours are so different on my phone. Please tell me you don’t just see an orange haze…
ラッセル=アインシュタイン宣言

ラッセル=アインシュタイン宣言(1955)

人類が直面している悲劇的な情勢の中、科学者による会議を召集し、大量破壊兵器開発によってどれほどの危機に陥るのかを予測し、この草案の精神において決議を討議すべきであると私たちは感じている。

私たちが今この機会に発言しているのは、特定の国民や大陸や信条の一員としてではなく、存続が危ぶまれている人類、いわば人という種の一員としてである。世界は紛争にみちみちている。そこでは諸々の小規模紛争は、共産主義と反共産主義との巨大な戦いのもとに、隠蔽されているのだ。

政治的な関心の高い人々のほとんどは、こうした問題に感情を強くゆすぶられている。しかしもしできるならば、皆にそのような感情から離れて、すばらしい歴史を持ち、私たちのだれ一人としてその消滅を望むはずがない生物学上の種の成員としてのみ反省してもらいたい。

私たちは、一つの陣営に対し、他の陣営に対するよりも強く訴えるような言葉は、一言も使わないようにこころがけよう。すべての人がひとしく危機にさらされており、もし皆がこの危機を理解することができれば、ともにそれを回避する望みがあるのだ。

私たちには新たな思考法が必要である。私たちは自らに問いかけることを学ばなくてはならない。 それは、私たちが好むいづれかの陣営を軍事的勝利に導くためにとられる手段ではない。というのも、そうした手段はもはや存在しないのである。そうではなく、 私たちが自らに問いかけるべき質問は、双方に悲惨な結末をもたらすにちがいない軍事的な争いをどんな手段をとれば防止できるかという問題である。

一般の人々、そして権威ある地位にある多くの人々でさえも、核戦争によって発生する事態を未だ自覚していない。一般の人々はいまでも都市が抹殺されるくらいにしか考えていない。新爆弾が旧爆弾よりも強力だということ、原子爆弾が1発で広島を抹殺できたのに対して水爆なら1発でロンドンやニューヨークやモスクワのような巨大都市を抹殺できるだろうことは明らかである。

水爆戦争になれば大都市が跡形もなく破壊されてしまうだろうことは疑問の余地がない。しかしこれは、私たちが直面することを余儀なくされている小さな悲惨事のひとつである。たとえロンドンやニューヨークやモスクワのすべての市民が絶滅したとしても 2~3世紀のあいだには世界は打撃から回復するかもしれない。しかしながら今や私たちは、とくにビキニでの実験以来、核爆弾はこれまでの推測よりもはるかに広範囲にわたって徐々に破壊力を広げるであろうことを知っている。

信頼できる権威ある筋から、現在では広島を破壊した爆弾の2500倍も強力な爆弾を製造できることが述べられている。もしそのような爆弾が地上近くまたは水中で爆発すれば、放射能をもった粒子が上空へ吹き上げられる。そしてこれらの粒子は死の灰ま たは雨の形で徐々に落下してきて、地球の表面に降下する。日本の漁夫たちとその漁獲物を汚染したのは、この灰であった。そのような死をもたらす放射能を もった粒子がどれほど広く拡散するのかは誰にもわからない。しかし最も権威ある人々は一致して水爆による戦争は実際に人類に終末をもたらす可能性が十分に あることを指摘している。もし多数の水爆が使用されるならば、全面的な死滅がおこる恐れがある。――瞬間的に死ぬのはほんのわずかだが、多数のものはじりじりと病気の苦しみをなめ、肉体は崩壊してゆく。

著名な科学者や権威者たちによって軍事戦略上からの多くの警告が発せられている。にもかかわらず、最悪の結果が必ず起こるとは、だれも言おうとしていない。実際彼らが言っているのは、このような結果が起こる可能性があるということ、そしてだれもそういう結果が実際起こらないとは断言できないということである。この問題についての専門家の見解が彼らの政治上の立場や偏見に少しでも左右されたということは今まで見たことがない。私たちの調査で明らかになったかぎりでは、それらの見解はただ専門家のそれぞれの知識の範囲にもとづいているだけである。わかったのは一番よく知っている人が一番暗い見通しをもっているということである。

さて、ここに私たちが皆に提出する問題、きびしく、恐ろしく、おそらく、そして避けることのできない問題がある――私たちは人類に絶滅をもたらすか、それとも人類が戦争を放棄するか?人々はこの二者択一という問題を面と向かってとり上げようとしないであろう。というのは、戦争を廃絶することはあまりにも困難だからである。

戦争の廃絶は国家主権に不快な制限を要求するであろう。しかし、おそらく他のなにものにもまして事態の理解をさまたげているのは、「人類」という言葉が漠然としており、抽象的だと感じられる点にあろう。危険は単にぼんやり感知される人類に対してではなく、自分自身や子どもや孫たちに対して存在するのだが、人々はそれをはっきりと心に描くことがほとんどできないのだ。人々は個人としての自分たちめいめいと自分の愛する者たちが、苦しみながら死滅しようとする切迫した危険状態にあるということがほとんどつかめていない。そこで人々は、近代兵器さえ禁止されるなら、おそらく戦争は続いてもかまわないと思っている。

この希望は幻想である。たとえ水爆を使用しないというどんな協定が平時に結ばれていたとして も、戦時にはそんな協定はもはや拘束とは考えられず、戦争が起こるやいなや双方とも水爆の製造にとりかかるであろう。なぜなら、もし一方がそれを製造して 他方が製造しないとすれば、それを製造した側は必ず勝利するにちがいないからである。軍備の全面的削減の一環としての核兵器を放棄する協定は、最終的な解決に結びつくわけではないけれども、一定の重要な役割を果たすだろう。第一に、およそ東西間の協定は、緊張の緩和を目指すかぎり、どんなものでも有益である。第二に、熱核兵器の廃棄は、もし相手がこれを誠実に実行していることが双方に信じられるとすれば、現在双方を神経的な不安状態に落とし入れている 真珠湾式の奇襲の恐怖を減らすことになるであろう。それゆえ私たちは、ほんの第一歩には違いないが、そのような協定を歓迎すべきなのである。

大部分の人間は感情的には中立ではない。しかし人類として、私たちは次のことを銘記しなければ ならない。すなわち、もし東西間の問題が何らかの方法で解決され、誰もが――共産主義者であろうと反共産主義者であろうと、アジア人であろうとヨーロッパ人であろうと、または、アメリカ人であろうとも、また白人であろうと黒人であろうと――、出来うる限りの満足を得られなくてはならないとすれば、これらの問題は戦争によって解決されてはならない。私たちは東側においても西側においても、このことが理解されることを望んでいる。

私たちの前には、もし私たちがそれを選ぶならば、幸福と知識の絶えまない進歩がある。私たちの争いを忘れることができぬからといって、そのかわりに、私たちは死を選ぶのであろうか?私たちは、人類として、人類に向かって訴える――あなたがたの人間性を心に止め、そしてその他のことを忘れよ、と。もしそれができるならば、道は新しい楽園へ向かってひらけている。もしできないならば、あなたがたのまえには全面的な死の危険が横たわっている。

決議

私たちは、この会議を招請し、それを通じて世界の科学者たちおよび一般大衆に、つぎの決議に署名するようすすめる。

「およそ将来の世界戦争においてはかならず核兵器が使用されるであろうし、そしてそのような兵器が人類の存続をおびやかしているという事実からみて、私たちは世界の諸政府に、彼らの目的が世界戦争によっては促進されないことを自覚し、このことを公 然とみとめるよう勧告する。したがってまた、私たちは彼らに、彼らのあいだのあらゆる紛争問題の解決のための平和的な手段をみいだすよう勧告する。」

1955年7月9日 ロンドンにて
マックス・ボルン教授(ノーベル物理学賞)/P・W・ブリッジマン教授(ノーベル物理学賞)/アルバート・アインシュタイン教授(ノーベル物理学賞)/L・インフェルト教授/F・ジョリオ・キュリー教授(ノーベル化学賞)/H・J・ムラー教授(ノーベル生理学・医学賞)/ライナス・ポーリング教授(ノーベル化学賞)/C・F・パウエル教授(ノーベル物理学賞)/J・ロートブラット教授/バートランド・ラッセル卿(ノーベル文学賞)/湯川秀樹教授(ノーベル物理学賞)

LINK (English)

when/if i have a kid (or two idk??? who knows, i don’t) i will try to raise them somewhere big enough that there is a wide variety of activities they can try and explore.

i was raised in a town of 2500 people and the only activities there were basketball, tap dance, hockey, football, and then a couple other things i don’t even remember. i never had interest in any of those activities (except basketball for awhile).

what did i want to do? photography classes. wrestling. fencing. wall climbing. weight lifting. stuff like that, but none of it was available.

so instead of staying active and being able to find a group activity with other like-minded people, i was surrounded by hateful, judgmental people and was forced into activities i had no interest in.

i really want to raise kids where they can try whatever they want and find where they feel they fit. idgaf they can try wrestling, hockey, acting, paint balling, swimming, running, photography, coding classes, anything

i think that’s so important.