part 6 is LONG and i have never written anything this angsty but i saw spiderman again today and that scene™ made me so emotional that this was the result! i hope you enjoy xx
if you’ve never read this series, you can find part 1 here, and if you missed part 5, you can find it here!
now that peter and michelle are dating, ned isn’t the only chair guy around
michelle has taken to helping both ned and peter with spidey duties
she even convinced may to let them use the linen closet in the living room as a “headquarters” for them, as long as they close the door when guests are around and go along with the idea that “peter accidentally sealed it shut as a kid”
peter doesn’t know how she did it, she and ned found old computer pieces lying around in dumpsters and somehow made in that linen closet, 3 computer monitors, 2 keyboards, 2 headsets, and more.
it even impressed tony stark when he came to check in on peter and may
and oh boy did may yell at him
but then tony mentioned his connections with MIT and well, peter brings brownies to tony and pepper quite often now
one day while May is at work, Peter and MJ are watching a history documentary.
MJ is lying across Peter’s lap and is so focused on the untold stories of ancient civilization when the linen closet beeps
and suddenly Peter’s burrito is flying and MJ jumps over the couch and opens the closet and starts typing away
“w-what? the burrito!” peter starts to protest but MJ waves him off.
“we got a hostage situation near the high school,” she pulls a chair up. she managed to hack into police coms a few weeks ago, and even Ned was impressed on that one.
“how many?” peter now hops over the couch and leans over behind her, resting his chin on her head.
“not a lot…about eight according to the police coms. i can’t tell what building it is, the map isn’t clear-” she opens her palm and peter knows to drop his phone in her hand, and suddenly ned is on the line
“MJ…why don’t you just call me from your phone? you have my number?-”
“shut it loser. we got a hostage situation near school and i need my chair partner.”
“be there in 10″ and ned hangs up and MJ tosses the phone up to Peter, who catches it no problem
“karen, run facial recognition,” peter says, and MJ looks confused.
“who the hell is-” she starts but is cut off when the third screen lights up with a criminal database.
“i hacked karen into the system when you went to get the burritos,” he mumbles into her hair. “she’s an AI tony had made.”
michelle nods and then peter is laughing into her hair. “what parker?” she goes to shrug him off, but peter spins her chair around to face him
“you were jealous,” he’s smug.
“was not-” she goes to turn around but peter raises his eyebrows. “i don’t get jealous.”
“mhmm,” peter says before kissing her quickly and MJ rolls her eyes. again, a term of endearment.
“suit up spidey boy,” she turns back to the screens, and ignores peter’s, “but i’m spiderman!” in the background
it takes ned less than 10 minutes to burst through the door with his backpack
“a hostage situation! we haven’t had that in a while!”
“wow ned, so respectful of the situation,” she says as ned pulls up a chair next to him.
“peter already out?” he asks, and she nods.
though she’ll never admit it to them, the real reason she forced ned and peter to let her help was because after the building incident, she couldn’t stand the thought of peter being out there alone. and even if he’d never let her out there with him physically, at least she was doing what she could
ned pulls up a map with peter’s suit tracker and puts on a headset. “obi to anakin, you copy?”
“why am i anakin? i’m not going down a dark path-” peter’s voice comes through the headset, and michelle breathes out a sigh of relief.
ned ignores him. “you’re getting close. police have the area surrounded, but i can’t get access to a camera inside the building.”
“it looks like a general retail store,” mj says from her headset. ned is giving more details to peter when mj yells, “i got a camera! sending it over now,” and just like that peter is able to see what ned and michelle are seeing
“oh shit,” ned mutters.
there’s at least ten masked men and just as mj predicted, eight hostages. the men look heavily armed, and definitely are not amateurs.
“don’t go in peter,” mj warns. “sit this one out.”
“are you kidding me? if i don’t do something, those guys will kill everyone!” peter yells back, and according to the tracker, he’s on the roof of the building now.
“you can’t take on ten guys at once by yourself!” mj raises her voice too, and ned slowly backs his chair away. if peter and mj are gonna fight over this, he should probably stay out of it
“whatever. ned, give me a way in.” peter snaps, but mj shoots her hand to ned’s chair before he can scoot back in.
“no way,” mj narrows her eyes at the screen. “ned, don’t,”
“i’m doing this with or without your help, MJ.” peter’s tracker moves down the side of one of the buildings.
“it’s too dangerous!”
“get me a way in, or the stay the hell out of it!” peter says, and mj yanks her headset off and walks into the bathroom.
it’s silent for a moment, before ned thinks it’s safe enough to speak.
“you can get in through the side door,” he says, and peter does.
the fight is going well so far. peter has 3 of the men webbed up and 2 of them ran away in fear. ned is keeping him updated on the other 5 as police rush out the hostages
“on your left!” ned shouts, and peter nearly gets shot as he shoots out a web grenade.
“taser web!” he yells at two guys coming from the back, and ned hollers.
“in the corner!” and peter webs him up.
suddenly one of the guys comes out from behind the aisle and ned yells to peter, but the guy is faster.
and peter is shot in the chest
“pull up his vitals!” mj screams, suddenly back in the chair. her eyes are bloodshot and she’s obviously been crying, but ned doesn’t have time to ask.
“peter?” he calls into the headset. no response. “peter!”
“ned, where are his vitals?” mj is scrambling to find the location of the nearest hospital.
“they aren’t good,” ned mutters.
“keep him talking,” mj starts typing in coordinates into the computer. there’s a protocol set up, the “lost baby” protocol (tony’s name, not theirs)
basically, if peter gets in a situation, mj can trigger an alert to the avengers facility upstate by typing in coordinates.
“he’s not responding!” ned yells.
“okay,” she takes a deep breath. “okay it’s going to be fine. tony is on his way, it’s fine-”
and then the alarm goes off, signaling peter’s heart has stopped.
happy arrives at the apartment twenty minutes later to drive the two of them to the hospital, and they pick may up from work on the way
luckily, he was in the area at the time
ned has his laptop, replaying the footage of the fight over and over again, doing his best to use karen’s facial recognition to identify these guys
and may is on the phone with pepper in the passenger seat, crying because thank god he’s alive but also scared because the bullet made his suit malfunction, which is why the alarm said his heart stopped
luckily, it never did
mj is leaning her head on the window, her headphones in, and all she can think about was how none of this would’ve happened if two people were watching the camera
tony and sam got to peter in less than 2 minutes and flew peter to a quinjet a few miles from the city where bruce was waiting with a stretcher, an iv, and everything needed to keep peter stable
by the time may, mj, and ned had reached the avengers facility, peter was already in surgery
“holy…” ned mutters, taking in the surroundings of the facility but may is walking quickly to pepper and maria hill who take the 3 of them down a long hallway.
the wait feels like months. may has disappeared to talk with tony and ned is off giving the footage of the fight to maria and natasha, and mj is by herself in the hallway
she texted her parents to say she was sleeping over at betty’s, but that’s it.
“michelle?” she looks up to see steve rogers standing over her.
“uh…yeah?” she scoots over on the bench, and steve sits.
“i’m Steve, peter has told us a lot about you.”
“oh god,” she shakes her head, laughing slightly. Her face turns serious, “how is he?”
steve pauses, “from what Bruce said, he’s going to be fine. the bullet didn’t hit anything major, but it was tricky to get it out. he’s sleeping right now, may and ned were heading to sit with him.”
mj nods, fiddling with her sweater. she’s not one to cry in public, and she’s not one to express her emotions either. even with peter, she still teases him and calls him a loser and rolls her eyes at him, but he knows she means well.
“he really cares about you,” steve says softly.
“we…we got in a fight,” she lowers her head. right before he went in the store, and I left the computers because I couldn’t take it. he was on my last nerves and I left and then he got shot because I wasn’t watching the screens and-”
“it’s not your fault,” steve says reassuringly. “tony showed us the footage, there was no way you or ned or peter could’ve seen that guy coming.”
michelle just shrugs, and steve sits with her until may comes out.
“he wants to see you,” she smiles, holding out her hand.
she looks over at steve, who gestures as if to say ‘go on’, and she reaches up and takes may’s hand.
peter’s room is small with bare white walls and a tv in the corner playing an episode of the clone wars. mj walks in and may tells ned to come with her to get food, and that’s when she finally lets herself look at peter.
the dork is smiling. actually smiling after all of this and mj wants to yell at him, but instead she settles for going on the side where peter isn’t hurt and sits on his bed and puts her head on his chest
“hey darling,” peter says and michelle looks up at him. “thought i’d try a nickname out, thoughts?” he smiles, and mj puts her head back on his chest
“i’ll take the lack of response as a yes.”
“this is my fault.”
“what?” peter says and she stands up, wiping the tears from her eyes and she starts pacing frantically. “what are you talking about?”
“this,” she gestures to the heart monitor. “is because of me. because i bailed because i got mad at you and i wasn’t watching the screen-”
“babe,” peter cuts her off. “this is because i didn’t listen to you. tony told me how fast you got those coordinates out to him, you did it in under 10 seconds.”
“i was stressed,” she narrows her eyes.
“you saved me.”
“it said your heart stopped.”
“but it didn’t”
“but it said-”
“please don’t blame yourself. i know you’re doing it because you’re scared, but i promise you i’m okay. i made you that promise didn’t i?”
“that stupid promise,” she mutters, taking peter’s hand and letting him pull her back to lay on his chest, away from the bullet of course
“i was so…scared,” she whispers.
“me too,” he whispers back.
and that’s how ned and may find them, michelle asleep on his chest, and peter’s good arm wrapped around her, his face nuzzled in her hair.
I know I’ve been gone for ages but im slowly getting back. as u guys know I didn’t have a computer and still dont have a good monitor ;3; but I’ll make do and send commissions as soon as posible. have a lil Xander too <3
i needed a background/icon for a different account so here’s some simple edits based on this problematic sweet roll
i just did these for the hell of it, but if you see something you like then feel free to use it!
LoH: Trails of Cold Steel PC Guest Blog #3 from Peter “Durante” Thoman - Special Features
The launch of Trails of Cold Steel on PC is here, which means it’s high time for the third and final iteration of this 3-part series of articles. The first part dealt with lifting the performance of the game to a level that I consider acceptable – great, even. The second one explained all the graphical options beyond the console version which were implemented in this port.
In this post I’ll introduce two final, previously unrevealed features which will be included in the release. The first should make everyone who has a lot of games to play and only little time – or wants to re-play Trails of Cold Steel on PC without any tedium – happy, while the second one is only really relevant for a much smaller audience – but I’m sure they will be enthusiastic about it.
The first feature is “Turbo Mode”. If this functionality is enabled in the launcher, holding down the R2 button (or other controller equivalent, or whatever you mapped it to in keyboard/mouse controls) will speed up battles, cutscenes and even field progress by a factor of four. This allows you to very quickly complete “unimportant” battles or traverse some of the larger late-game maps. When Turbo mode is active, it’s indicated by an animated on-screen icon:
While this is not entirely new - a few PC ports over the years have included a similar feature - it is fully integrated and has one particularity which I call “Smart Turbo”. In Trails of Cold Steel, when you “unbalance” an enemy, you are given a short timed prompt to select a special “link” move. During this prompt, even if you keep Turbo Mode active, it will automatically stop speeding up the progress of time so that you have the same chance to select an action that you have while playing normally.
During battle, turbo mode also skips most animations in addition to the general speed-up function. You can see the impact of this mode on a battle in this Youtube video.
Ultrawide Aspect Ratio Support
I was talking about a surprise feature that I didn’t believe XSEED would go for in my previous post, and this is it. Supporting additional aspect ratios in a game as UI-heavy as a JRPG, and one that was only ever targeted at 16:9, is never trivial, so my time estimate for this included several full work days. Since time is, in a very real sense, money in this case, I didn’t expect that XSEED would go for implementing a feature which – as of the latest Steam survey – is only really useful for less than 2% of the potential players.
Well, they did go for it, and after working through 32 distinct issues the game now supports any aspect ration larger than 16:9 out of the box! Of course, there are some limitations: primarily, that the main menu remains at 16:9, and also some battle UI overlays don’t transition perfectly at the edges of the 16:9 frame. But for most situations, I implemented unique solutions that I think look pretty nice.
Of course, if I was going to do wide aspect ratio support, I wasn’t going to do it just for 21:9 – every aspect ratio larger than 16:9 should work, at least in theory. So if, say, you have a 3-monitor 48:9 setup, then that will look a bit like this:
I have to admit that, just because of the constraints of reality, the ultrawide option is not tested as rigorously as playing at 16:9, so it’s not unlikely that you might find a small graphical hiccup in one particular scenario in the game or another. If you do, please report it.
Whew. A long road is about to come to its end, and I fervently hope that the game will work as well for you as it does on our testing machines. It’s the first time a game is released where I have been largely responsible for most of its PC-specific code, so I’m a bit nervous, but I do believe that it’s in a much better state than many of the releases I had a look at over the past few years.
And what I know is that if something major does go wrong, I won’t wait months, weeks, or even days to communicate with whoever is affected and try to get it resolved.
Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re looking into standard with a very very spicy deck. I’ve debating longly about which deck to discuss and when I settled on what must be the craziest deck in standard right now, I had to figure out which version to talk about. At first I wanted to go around the Bounty of the Luxa version, but I feel like that card might be a bit better in a ramp deck with big payoffs, no matter how much I want to make it work. So here goes nothing!
Name of the Deck
This is the card that your whole deck revolves around. Your goal is to get to 6 mana quickly, drop this down and then go crazy with cycling. The rest of your deck is FILLED with cyclers to eventually draw your entire deck and win from there. You just need to survive until turn 5 or 6, and if you do you are assured to win!
While the other card let’s you draw your entire deck, you still need to win somehow; this is where this card comes in. Cast it once, draw 7 more cards, cast it again. While you cycle through your deck you’ll also be generating a fair amount of mana and it’s possible to cast New Perspectives on turn 5 and still have enough mana to cast Approach of the Second Sun twice in the same turn. It’s crazy.
This is the other very important piece; you’ll cycle your entire hand (pretty much) and this makes extra sure you don’t fizzle, that you always have more cyclers. Without this card it might be possible to make the combo work, but if you cast it a few times there is no way you can mess it up, you’re winning for sure.
I don’t normally talk about lands, because most of the time it’s really up to you what you run. In this case it’s a bit different since the lands are a very important part of the deck. You need to play cycling lands to make sure you have enough cycling action. Decks play anywhere between 12 & 20 of those lands (some of the don’t play the BR ones).
Now we’re getting into all the cycling cards that double as another effect. In this case you got yourself a pretty good removal spell that hits anything notable and has a cheap cycling cost!
Since the deck wants to just get to 6 mana & win the game, you need to make sure you survive that long. Renewed Faith helps staying alive & is very helpful against aggro decks, the little 2 life here & there don’t seem like much but it does a difference.
Just like the last card this is to help you make it to 6 lands, and it really does work. You can buy yourself a few turns, especially with Shadow of the Grave. I thought about adding more fogs to really make sure you can make it to your combo, but with just those you seem to be fine. Like, you’ll tend to get low on life when you can win, but it seems consistent that you don’t get TOO low.
This little beauty is super good; you get to fetch a land (that comes into play UNTAPPED) and draw a card for 4cmc! If you get a New Perspective out you get all of that for 0cmc! It doesn’t get any better than this!
Staying on the ramp theme, this non-cycling card is actually VERY useful in the game and is part of your complex combo. You can cast this on turn 3, cycle a Monitor on turn 4 & combo off on turn 5. Also, it goes super well with the next card.
Even More Mana
This is another integral part of the combo & has an amazing synergy with Gift of Paradise. When you’re comboing off, you’ll need to generate 14 mana to cast your Approach of the Second Sun twice; with Vizier & Gift you’ll only need to untap a land 7 times, as opposed to 14 (which is not possible to do on the same turn as you cast New Perspective). This cycle, with the previous enchantment, make sure that you are able to combo off on the same turn as you cast the card that lends it’s name to the deck.
While this card doesn’t cycle, it adds something nice to the deck. You’ll often have delirium since all your cycling cards have different types, so you’ll be able to go fetch you Viziers to make sure you get enough mana for your combo, or you can just grab a land early in the game to make sure you don’t miss your land drop. Though if you want to make this a block-constructed deck, or feel weird about having just 1 card from another set, you can just play some more cyclers like Sweltering Suns instead of this; you’ll be drawing your entire deck anyways…
I don’t usually talk about sideboard since it mostly depends on your meta & preferences, but in this case you want cards that double as other cyclers, so that you don’t go down in number of cantrips. Cards like Censor, Dissenter’s Deliverance, Sweltering Suns & Forsake the Worldly that have good effects against different decks and also can be cycled. Oh, and some Drake Haven as an alternative win condition since people can sideboard some answers to your normal plan.
That’s it for this week! This must have been the spiciest standard deck tech I’ve done in a while; this deck is really cool, super fun to play and is fairly cheap, sitting at around 100$. Most of the price of the deck comes from all the cycling lands, which are still a very good investment since they’ll see massive play in EDH as well as fringe play in Modern. I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did, if I missed anything let me know. I’ll see you guys next week for a Modern deck tech!
Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow
The number of instruments on the International Space Station dedicated to observing Earth to increase our understanding of our home planet continues to grow.
Two new instruments are scheduled to make their way to the station Feb. 18 on the SpaceX Dragon capsule.
The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument will monitor the condition of the ozone layer, which covers an area in the stratosphere 10 to 30 miles (16 to 48 kilometers) above Earth and protects the planet from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Its predecessors, SAGE I and SAGE II, which were mounted to satellites, helped scientists understand the causes and effects of the Antarctic ozone hole. The Montreal Protocol of 1987 led to an eventual ban on ozone-destroying gases and to the ozone layer’s recovery; SAGE III, designed to operate for no less than three years, will allow scientists to continue monitoring its recovery.
The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), first launched as an instrument on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission in 1997, records the time, energy output and location of lightning events around the world, day and night. From its perch on the ISS, the new LIS will improve coverage of lightning events over the oceans and also in the Northern Hemisphere during its summer months. Because lightning is both a factor and a gauge for a number of atmospheric processes, NASA as well as other agencies will use the new LIS lightning data for many applications, from weather forecasting to climate modeling and air quality studies.
While SAGE III and LIS are the latest Earth science instruments slated for operation aboard the ISS, they are not the first or the last.
For two years, beginning in September 2014, the Rapid Scatterometer, or RapidScat, collected near-real-time data on ocean wind speed and direction. The instrument, built and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, was designed as a low-cost replacement for JPL’s Quick Scatterometer, or QuikScat satellite, which experienced an age-related failure in 2009. In addition to addressing such questions as how changing winds affect sea surface temperatures during an El Niño season, RapidScat data were used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Navy for improved tracking of marine weather, leading to more optimal ship routing and hazard avoidance.
The Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) was mounted to the exterior of the space station in Jan. 2015 and is in the midst of a three-year mission to measure aerosols, such as dust plumes, wildfires and volcanic ash, around the world. Built to demonstrate a low-cost, streamlined approach to ISS science payloads, the laser instrument is providing data for air quality studies, climate models and hazard warning capabilities.
Over the next several years, NASA is planning to send to the space station several more instruments trained toward Earth.
The Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) will measure total solar irradiance and spectral solar irradiance, or the total solar radiation at the top of Earth’s atmosphere and the spectral distribution of that solar radiation, respectively. The data are critical for climate modeling and atmospheric studies. TSIS-1 will continue the work of NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment satellite, which has been taking those measurements since 2003.
NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program is supporting the following instruments that are currently in development. The program is managed by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
The JPL-built and managed Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) instrument will monitor carbon dioxide distribution around the globe.
Assembled with spare parts from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite, also built and managed by JPL, OCO-3 will provide insights into the role of carbon dioxide as it relates to growing urban areas and changes in fossil fuel combustion. The instrument will also measure the “glow” from growing plants (known as solar-induced fluorescence).
Homing in on tropical and temperate forests is the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI). The lidar instrument will provide the first high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure in an effort to answer how much carbon is stored in these ecosystems and also what impacts deforestation and reforestation have on habitat diversity, the global carbon cycle and climate change.
The JPL-built and managed ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment (ECOSTRESS) will also focus on vegetation by providing high-frequency, high-resolution measurements of plant temperature and plant water use. Among the data’s numerous uses will be to indicate regions of plant heat and water stress and also improve drought forecasting for the benefit of farmers and water managers. Researchers will also use ECOSTRESS in concert with other data to calculate water use efficiency among plants and identify drought-resistant species and varieties.
Also on the horizon is the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Pathfinder mission comprising two instruments for measuring solar irradiance: a reflected solar spectrometer and an infrared spectrometer. CLARREO will collect highly accurate climate records to test climate projections in order to improve models.