QUANDRY

boom-kaka-laka  asked:

Hey :) I don't want to be annoying or anything but I was wondering if you could recommend some books or websites were I could learn more about space.. I have huge interest in it but I don't really know much about anything from the astro field >_<

Since space always has a bunch of crazy shit going on in it, I’ll just take a bunch of random bookmarked links I have and throw them at you!

Books:Videos:Space Image Galleries: Cool Online Programs:Random Articles:

anonymous asked:

My main characters is a witch, and at one point in the story she performs a human sacrifice, to gain new powers to be able to defeat the antagonist. But I'm afraid this may make her unlikable for the reader. The man she kills is a terrible human being, but will it be enough? She will be shocked at first, obviously, but she will not repent what she did, because it would be out of character... How can you make a character do something as terrible and still make the reader root for them?

There’s a lot happening in this question.

I’m going to start at the last question and then try to address the rest of this, step by step.

How can you make a character do something as terrible and still make the reader root for them?

I’ve got good news and bad news for you here. 

Good news: there are plenty of people who just love reading about characters who do horrible, terrible, no-good things. 

Bad news: you can’t make your readers do anything, they’re stubborn like that.

What I mean is, look at pop culture, look at Hannibal Lecter, Loki, Spike, Severus Snape, The Master, look at all of these villainous, or anti-villainous characters who people either love to hate, or plain old love. There is plenty of room in fiction for characters to do awful things and still have a following.

The thing is to develop a well rounded, understandable, interesting character and give them reasons for the bad things they do – not to try to make excuses (oh it’s okay to bully children if you have a tortured personal history …), but to make these characters as human and relatable as possible.

she performs a human sacrifice, to gain new powers to be able to defeat the antagonist

Now, I am all for layered, troubled, and flawed protagonists. But I’m going to say pretty outright here, performing a human sacrifice, no matter how much the ends might go toward justifying it, is a pretty villainous act. I’m not going to tell you to cut this, this is a pretty significant piece of character development and a pretty telling piece of a plot, but you’ve got to consider the implications of this sort of thing.

If you put this kind of thing in a story, and the character performing the sacrifice doesn’t face any consequences (ie, at the very least she should probably be traumatised by what she had to do, even if she doesn’t share that with other characters), it’s going to feel like it’s a bit of a cheap way out. Taking the life of a human being is one of those things that is pretty much right up there in terms of being a heavy cost to pay.

One of my favourite speeches about this concept is from the Tom Baker era of Doctor Who – having been given orders by the Time Lords to wipe out the Daleks, he hesitates:

At what point does a hero become a villain? Even in a situation where it doesn’t mean getting your hands dirty, to place yourself in the position as the arbiter of life and death means crossing a moral threshold which is impossible to come back from.

The man she kills is a terrible human being, but will it be enough?

Is there anyone who is a terrible enough human being that it justifies their life being taken? Who decides where that line is? Can just anyone decide that another person is terrible enough to deserve to die?

This kind of reasoning is a slippery slope into victim blaming – can anyone perpetrate a crime against someone else and then justify it by saying ‘but they deserved it?’

In your fiction this kind of moral argument is going to be pretty weighty. Acknowledging that weight in the story, and having your character need to deal with that and the fallout of her decision is going to go a long way toward making this work.

Consider: 

She needs to defeat the antagonist. The cost is to take a human life. She does so. She walks away victorious and is never bothered again about that whole murder thing

Verses: 

She needs to defeat the antagonist. The cost is to take a human life. She tries every avenue to avoid that cost. In the end she is forced to take that life and save the day. She spends the rest of her life living with the burden of what she’s done and trying to atone for that act.

The first one reads like a villain’s backstory, the second one as more of a grim rumination on the nature of heroism. Now, you’ve said that repenting would be out of character, but repenting is more about expressed remorse, in my understanding. Could it be that while she doesn’t openly admit the toll it takes on her, she works on redeeming herself privately?

I’m afraid this may make her unlikable for the reader

It may well be that this character is unlikeable to many readers. But what does likability entail? Do all people go to fiction to find characters that they will like, or do they look for characters that are going to be interesting, challenging, and understandable?

I mean, we’re not going to brunch with this character, we’re setting out on a gruelling mission to defeat evil, or whatever it is that she’s facing.

Think more about: 

  • Is this the kind of character that you, as a reader, would want to follow along on this journey? 
  • Is she someone that is compelling? 
  • Are her struggles understandable? 
  • Can we grow to respect her decisions and actions even if we may not personally agree with them? 
  • Are we going to be anxious and sympathetic as she faces moral conundrums and makes decisions that may or may not line up with our own ethical codes?

And on a final note, you might want to look into the effect that killing has on people’s mental states. Even if your character feels entirely justified and feels that there’s no other option for her to take, it is a traumatic experience.

This is a pretty big question, and it’s the kind of situation that is going to take a lot of work to get right. So I hope this helps, and if you have further questions, do send them in.

Hi there, your friendly blogger Mason here!

At the moment I’m fundraising to cover the costs of my gender confirmation surgery, if you’re able to donate, please click [HERE] to give me a helping hand!

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Out of Sorts

a/n: post Rain King … no cows were hurt in the making of this ficletty nonsense … breakfast, however, was neglected and the animals nearly not fed …

@fictober @today-in-fic

_______________

She should have been tired. She should have been sound asleep in her room, forty feet behind her, number 6 adjacent, but not adjoining, to Mulder’s number 4, hard mattresses creaking under Mulder’s tossing and Scully’s turning.

Instead, she sat in the dark, feet dangling in the semi-cool of the hotel pool, pajama pants rolled to above the knees, chipped toenail polish bright against the solitary underwater light; hands gripping the edge of the concrete, leaning forward, quiet pressing down, mentally out of sorts given that damn conversation she’d had with Sheila Fontaine.

She didn’t even realize she knew what she was talking about until she heard her voice declare, with a tone of grating truth she couldn’t take back, that she was in love with her partner.

What the hell?

And now … the 2am out of sorts was in full swing.

What the hell?!

The padding of bare feet and telltale snuffling of a half-awake Mulder gave her enough warning so his low-register greeting didn’t send her flailing into the water, “hey, y’all’right?”

Deciding looking up at him would tip him off to her quandry, she kept her gaze steady on rippling water, “yeah, just couldn’t sleep.”

Because he was Mulder, instead of inquiring further, delving into her psyche, probing the dark corners of her universe, he settled next to her, plopping his ass down close enough for thighs to touch and dropping his feet in with hers, “are you worried about flying cows as much as I am?”

Shit, maybe she did love him …

And a smile broke free, much to her chagrin because a smile would lead to … yup, right on time … Mulder slid his hand over her knee, squeezing just above it around the thigh muscle, four fingers and a thumb given to him by the gods to drive her crazy in moments of weakness, “but remember, if there are flying cows again, I’ll just have to bunk in with you.” Hand leaving warm joint, momentary sadness ensuing, “we’ll order some pizza, watch some crap TV, I’ll drool on you, you’ll wear my t-shirt, it’ll be a blast.” This time it was the shoulder bump that made her shiver, “although you’ve already taken care of the t-shirt part. You keep stealing stuff from me and I’ll be forced to work naked.”

The shirt in question was a subdued orange one, bearing the image of a crayon wearing a holster, ready for a fight, the word ‘Draw!’ scrawled above. They had a system, an understanding … she stole t-shirts, he stole them back, she stole socks, he stole the afghan when they fell asleep on her couch. “Do you really care that much that I have your shirt,” bold move, “’cause I can give it back if you really want it?”

“That is totally an 80’s movie cliché,” swallowing hard enough for her to see the bobbing Adam’s apple, “yet I am very tempted to demand the t-shirt back, just to see what you’ll do.”

Shoulder bump back, staying pressed against him this time, “so, are you really worried about cows?”

“Was kinda hoping for one but, like lightning, cows don’t normally strike twice.”

One last question before she’d better run for her life, “how did you know I was out here?”

“Because I know you.” Leaning heavily on her arm, “you want to go find some of that pizza and crap TV with me? My mattress isn’t quite as terrible as it could be.”

Did she dare? “where in the world are we going to find pizza delivery at 2am?”

Mulder, glance at his watch telling him it was even later, “2:42am and no idea but we can try.”

And she heard something different … something that wasn’t there before … she felt it in his tone, his timbre and she stood, water running off her legs, puddling instantly around wrinkled feet, out of sorts rearing once again, “um, actually, I should probably get to bed, try to sleep, we’ve got a long drive to the airport.”

The disappointment flitted across his face, head tilt nearly imperceptible, eyebrow scrunch millimeters if at all, “oh, yeah … I forgot about the tornado squashing that little thing we flew in on. What time do we leave then?”

“No later than 7, probably.”

Nodding, he followed her across the cool cement, her pajama-clad figure close but out of reach, then he stopped at his door, waiting until she got to hers, “you know … we’ve run on no sleep before.”

Her grin kept itself aimed at the tarnished brass number 6, hand frozen on old-fashioned knob, brain debating whether to tell her ‘out of sorts’ to fuck off for a bit, “we have, haven’t we?”

I'm going to trigger warn for possible transphobia, just cuz I fuck up a lot.

So, I’m writing Route 666 for the Carver Edlund thing; would it make me a horrible person to, uh, IDK, maybe write the chapter with a sex scene twice, one with canon!Dean, the other with transguy!Dean, but have the transguy thing be posted not with the story?

(Cuz Dean’s full frontal, according to him, in Route 666 and I really want transguy!Dean/cis!Cassie fics.) 

Quandry:

I really want jack to have a boyfriend, for the following reasons: 

1) he just looks like he needs a boyfriend
2) Anne is the love of his life and he’ll be whatever she needs him to be–and she needs him to be her partner, not her husband
3) but Jack is SUCH HUSBAND MATERIAL. Like, he is going to be Anne’s life partner until they die, and he’ll be devoted to her until they die, but he also needs someone to want him–the way Anne wants Max, the want that’s not also tangled up in need. 
4) Jack clearly has enough women in his romantic life, and I feel strongly that a boyfriend would balance out his romantic and sexual entanglements with his life partner, her wife, and maybe their girlfriend, depending on what happens with Mary Read
5) Jack is just. DEFINITELY queer. 

Complication: 

I really want Jack to have THIS boyfriend in fucking particular: 

for the following reasons: 

1) “Godspeed, Charles.” 
“Fuck you, Jack.” 

2) “Charles Vane’s sacrifice is in that box. If your man is unsuccessful in seeing to his rescue, Charles Vane’s death is in that box.” *stares with red eyes at the chest full of treasure he himself nearly died for, having locked it up and thrown away the goddamn key* 

3) “I knew how you felt about him,” Anne says urgently, trying to stop Jack from getting himself killed trying to honor Charles’s fucking memory. Honestly, all of Jack’s idolization/devotion for the man, how much he cared about what Charles thought about him.

4) Charles got himself captured saving Jack, wrenching with his bare fucking hands at Jack’s shackles, so we could all see the muscles rippling in his arms. 

5) Charles is a Romantic who has finally figured out that he and Eleanor are Never Ever Getting Back Together–and he visibly flounders around trying to covertly figure out what to do with his heart. Like, should he die for Teach? Teach wants him to be his son! That’s nice! Or should he die for Flint? Flint wants him around, and Flint has a lost cause! OR WAIT—he should die for Jack and Anne, because Jack and Anne totally saved his life that time when everybody else was going to betray him, and also he’s known Jack and Anne the longest. Yes. He’ll die for Jack and Anne. (ME: CHARLES. Did you ever maybe consider kissing one of these people and seeing if that would also work to soothe the Big Romantic Tempest happening in your chest.CHARLES: No.) Anyway, Charles ALSO needs a boyfriend, and would require like two (2) entire seconds of persuasion before Romantically devoting himself to, like. The first person who asked. 

6) So why not Jack


Solution: 

In the ambush where they rescue Jack, Anne Bonny shoots Woodes Rogers point-blank in the chest. Everything else falls naturally into place. 

Contents: 00q, angst with a happy ending

Warnings: angst - but it’s resolved. (What is happening to me? Where is my cruel, cruel heart?)


“Come over to mine,” Q says, saucy grin on his face.

And Bond wants to. Wants more than anything to follow Q to his flat, make love to him instead of the rough fucking they’ve done in Q’s office and the private loos. But that would be admitting sentiment - and he couldn’t allow himself that luxury.

“I don’t think I can wait that long,” he whispers instead, palming Q’s erection through his trousers. And Q chuckles, and relents, and something inside James cracks a little more.

 ***

“And then Artie jumped up on the counter and slid right across it, knocking the teapot straight onto the floor,” Q shakes his head and devours another forkful of his shepherd’s pie.

It’s not a date, Bond tells himself. It’s just lunch. But he knows it’s a lie, knows that he’s playing a dangerous game.

They’ve been fucking for two months, and this is the first time Bond has allowed himself to actually talk to Q for any length of time. He’s charming and a bit awkward, and James slides a little further - refusing Q’s invitation to stay for dessert is a monumental task. But he politely refuses, citing a rather mundane excuse, and takes his leave.

He can’t help but notice the falter in Q’s expression, even as he smiles, says ‘oh, of course. I understand.’

 ***

“Come back to mine,” Q says, eyes searching James’ face.

It’s nearly impossible for James to form his excuse. Q had sought him out in the Double-Oh’s offices, made a concerted effort to find him, and James finds it impossible to merely brush him off - but he tries.

“Late meeting with M,” he tries, but it sounds so hollow, and he knows it won’t fool Q.

Q squints at him, and Bond knows the jig is up. He readies himself for the inevitable.

“Why do you always do that?”

The hurt in Q’s voice cuts James to the quick, but he swallows it down.

“Do what?”

“Make excuses. Are you allergic to cats?”

Bond’s stomach clenched. Q’s precocious intellect balanced precariously on a certain naive understanding of others’ motives - surprising given his integral position in Six - and Bond hated to be the one to disabuse him of his rose-colored glasses.

But he couldn’t bring himself to lie outright. Not to Q.

“No. I’m not allergic to cats.”

Q’s face fell.

“Oh. Oh I see.”

“Q, I–”

“No. It’s okay. I understand. Eve was right, after all. I was being stupid.” Q turned away and began to walk away.

Bond was torn. On one hand, this was exactly what he’d hoped for - his dilemma had been decided. Q would no longer be a quandry. But he couldn’t. He physically couldn’t allow Q to be so devastated.

“Wait.”

Q stopped, turned to face him slowly.

“What is it, Bond?”

Bond winced. He’d been calling him James.

“I’m not very good at this,” he began, and that drew a snort from Q.

“The understatement of the year.”

Bond swallowed the retort and forged ahead.

“And… and I’ve pushed you away because it’s all I know how to do.”

Q’s eyes went wide, wondering, and he took an involuntary step forward. Bond swallowed.

“And I’m sorry.”

Bond stood, hands in his pockets, staring at Q, waiting.

“Would you like to learn?”


From this.

anonymous asked:

P1 Hey Sherri! I'm the psych anon who asked you about how shippers may regain a positive voice in the fandom. Thank you for your well-reasoned response & follow-up post about acting graciously even amidst hurt. Honestly, I had a dual reaction: on one hand, I know that is the most effective, long-term way to deal with hurt; on the other hand, I rebelled at the thought of acting as if nothing wrong transpired in this fandom, esp against a specific community.

P2 For those who wish to stay in the fandom, how would you suggest dealing with this internal conflict? I have some ideas but respective your thoughts. I imagine many are experiencing this conflict as well.

Thank you!  It is a real quandry, isn’t it.  I am often torn between going all out and sharing my conversations with Paul, trolling antis and screencapping them to make fun of their logic, and sharing all that with the entire world (cast and crew included).  The impulse and anger are there.  Definitely.  

BUT…..if I do that, am I helping or am I hurting the fandom?  Do I then, with those actions, make what is said about me true?  Does it reflect badly on the rest of the shippers.  Because I (and others) are the main target of these trolls, I do have a responsibility to the rest of the shipper community.  Yes, WE may all know and agree that there are no Queens or leaders, but the people who live to cause havok do not.  So, if I say or do something that reflects badly on other shippers (and all fans) then I am potentially grouping us together under my bad behaviour.  


And most importantly…..is it true to myself?  I cannot live my life with all that negativity.  It just isn’t who I am.  I cannot enjoy something and hate on even one part of it constantly.  It just isn’t who I am.  Or how I want to be a fan.


And that is what it boils down to, right?  Each of us being given the freedom to fan how we want.  We may be book first fans, or show only fans, or shippers, or SamOnlys, or CaitFaves, etc.  But we are all Outlander fans first.  We have that in common.  And the rest we can and should just ignore.  

So, how can we proceed?  

DGAF about what others say about you  (block, ignore, report, and delete the hate)

Don’t be a dick (don’t spread the hate)

Live and let fan (something not for you?  Then don’t look at it)

Be polite or  STFU (remember that everyone is a person, with feelings, secrets, problems, and stress that we may know nothing about)

Be a positive example.  Show those that may be swayed by the obnoxious voices, that we are not what they say we are.  If they say we are hateful assholes then don’t be a hateful asshole.  You can be hurt, angry, disillusioned, or not, and still not lash out.

If your feelings are too strong for you to control, then step back, breathe, find your joy again.


What were your ideas?  I would love to hear some more ways that we can make a positive change.

the doll & his master

Words: 4800
tw for: mentions of blood, death, limbs being cut off, and an angry doctor


“Ah, I’m very sorry! But it seems you have something of my Master’s; illegally, I might add. I would like to take it back without further quandry, if you’d be so kind.” Before him, a gruff man in his forties with an irritatingly unequal 5 o’clock shadow seemed rather pensive as he considered the idea; thick, greyed brows furrowed, a scarred finger with a terrifyingly oversized ring on it glittering in what little light entered the room tapping thoughtfully.

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anonymous asked:

Imperial Problem Child-verse. I'm amused by the idea of Tank and Han commiserating about Luke and the general strangeness of Luke's luck.

Han and Tank would probably get along about half the time. They have similarities (worked with Empire, encountered Extreme Moral Quandry), but one chose to get out while he could and the other is trying to fix the problem from the inside. So they’ve got that to talk about when they introduce themselves.

And then the talk comes up of “The Kid”. Nobody even has to ask who “The Kid” is. And by the time Tank has to begin his shift, they’ve gone from generic stories of adventures together and what an odd but kind kid Luke is, to 

“no but one time when we were, I don’t know, eleven and fourteen. And very stupid. But one time I told Luke I’d heard there was a pack of anoobas out in the canyons and he said “let’s go look”. And we ended up saving an anooba cub from a womp rat because Luke was throwing rocks with more accuracy than an eleven year old should’ve had. But honestly that whole pack should’ve killed us that day.”

“Oh that’s nothing. You wanna hear about the time he wandered off into the middle of a blizzard and nearly got eaten by a wampa?”

anonymous asked:

4 for Feysand!! also I love you!

Feysand + Driving

This based entirely off how I wrote them driving in BTS.

Feysand driving is Deep. Feyre has a lot of thoughts and she tends to overthink, like, basically everything? And there is always some kind of quandry going on in her headspace, whether it’s moral or familial or work, etc. Given that she and Rhys are often surrounded by boatloads of people, the car is where they tend to be alone and thus, those mixed up thoughts and emotions come spilling out while Rhys is behind the wheel. So it’s safe to say they are the only couple spending mass quantities of time in parking lots, parked on the street outside houses and work, and so forth, without making out. Just doing actual talking. And sometimes crying. And sometimes holding each other’s hands while they listen to the world fall apart, just trying to remind each other it’s going to be okay.

<3

anonymous asked:

on your biblical women post you added some names in the tags, so can you explain further why you like them as well?

  • Claudia Pilate - oh, the Pilates. You would think they would be the obvious villains of the Passion Play because, yknow… they’re the Romans. They’re the colonizers. They’re the ones who, essentially, send jesus to his death - but because the gospels are written as propaganda, some of that aimed towards Romans, the Pilates get pacified in the text and that puts them in this fascinating, villains-but-not, moral-but-not perspective that is one of the most complex and interesting parts of the passion. So some sources say Claudia is plagued with dreams about Jesus, and that’s why she warns her husband off killing him, and others say she’s a Christian convert - the first Christian convert. The Pilates and their weird psuedo-political actually love match moral quandry marriage/role in Judea is honestly the greatest
  • The Queen of Sheba - SHEBA IS THE BOMB HONESTLY. MY FAV SINCE I WAS LIKE SEVEN YEARS OLD she’s a figure that’s shrouded in myth - there’s arguments over where the kingdom of Sheba even was, so like most of the stuff in the old testament it’s all up in the air, historiography-wise - but honestly I love even just the concept of her, a queen in her own right with her own kingdoms to rule over, who wants to learn and understand about other faiths and people and so rocks up to the court of King Solomon like ‘teach me about god!’ and he looks at her like ‘mmmk… if you teach me about love’ WHAT GREAT RECIPROCITY BETWEEN THEIR ANCIENT NATIONS
  • Jezebel - LADY MACBETH, CERSEI LANNISTER, CLAIRE UNDERWOOD ARE ALL JUST DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF JEZEBEL. She’s the woman born into a male dominated world and uses every weapon she has - sexuality, manipulation, other people’s perception of her - to make a place for herself and win some power, any power. She’s villified for it, of course, and she meets her end because that’s what happens to women to connive, don’t you know, that’s what happens to women who assume that they’re on an equal playing field with men - and she’s demonised in the text because the text wants so badly for you to assosciate a woman who had agency with sin, and with false prophets, of going against the natural order of things. Jezebel knows her world, she knows how to wield power, she knows what symbolism does so even when she knows she’s about to die, she dresses up in all her finery and jewels because even though she lost, she’s still the queen.
  • Esther - y’all know your Margaery Tyrells and all those beautiful lowkey political conniving queens? ESTHER IS THE ORIGINAL FLAVOUR. ESTHER IS PROTOTYPE and i love her so much. So Esther’s a foreign queen in a foreign land, married to a king who killed his last wife. But despite all that, and the fact that she has absolutely no political capital, she still manages to use her beauty and her guile and her intelligence to sway the emperor and save not only herself BUT HER ENTIRE PEOPLE IN HIS KINGDOM. And she even makes him fall in love with her along the way ESTHER IS SO BOMB THAT IN THE SAUSAGE FEST THAT IS THE BIBLE SHE GETS HER OWN BOOK.

So I saw some stuff about how people side-eye folks who like pre-war Fallout stuff (or rather think it’s the most interesting part of the franchise) and I found myself in a little thinky quandry.

So, I find pre-fall Fallout really interesting the same way I find Mad Men interesting despite the rampant sexism/substance abuse/generally terrible human beings careening thru life.

Firstly, I like the retrofuture aesthetic. Second, I like the context of the world prior to the bombs. Third, I like that ghouls basically had to see a clean world obsessed with hiding its shit and then a shitty world filled with people intent on hiding their good.

No one should be enamoured by or “nostalgic for” the world of Fallout in 2077; its sterility and enforced orderliness serves to juxtapose with the grit and filth of the apocalypse. It’s a war hawk’s Cold War dream of a society fully on board with total destruction of the enemy. Its an alternate timeline where the joy of the model American is equal parts good consumer and rabid anti-communist.

I think it would be an awful way to live, but I can enjoy it in an academic sense (the way people can “enjoy” playing a character loyal to the Sith, or a violent criminal), in a take-a-step-back and compare and contrast with the world after the bombs. I don’t think pre-war Fallout is at all a sustainable or perfect society, in fact that level of social complacency and ingrained control is pretty dang horrifying.

So, yeah, I like pre-war Fallout and post apoc Fallout and post-post apoc Fallout. But I guess my enjoyment is paired with fully understanding the weight of why the past was fucked up (and that in itself is what engages me)??

(Also for anybody that believes queer and trans people somehow can’t be in pre-war Fallout, have you considered: stop????)

Advice

A/N: so the basic idea for this came from a little scene in The Holiday (If you remember the movie you’ll probably recognize it soon enough?)  It’s another Elucien Modern AU yay :)


Lucien tugged the deep hood back from his face, shaking the frigid rain from his coat as he strode with purpose through the revolving door of the department store.  Generally speaking, he was pretty heavily in the utility over luxury, living a comparatively spartan life when juxtaposed with his peers.

It probably started with his childhood, stereotypical as that sounds, since he’d had more brothers than anyone needs who all enjoyed swiping his belongings and roughing him up for good measure.  He’d only tried going to his parents once each, his father grunted out something about being a man and dealing with it, while his mother took more direct action with his siblings.  Which lead to more roughing up, and a six year old Lucien deciding fewer and less desirable belongings was best for everyone.

Couple this with his brief stint as a soldier, and things end up with an individual who is less than enamored with storing up material objects.

Still, even he has a guilty pleasure in the form of designer silk pajamas.  Really, it was Rhysand’s fault, Rhysand and his stupid gag gifts.  Rolling his eyes with a huff, Lucien stepped quickly onto the escalator, soon tiring of the slow pace and walking up the last half dozen steps, coming face to face with one of the increasingly more realistic ladies lingerie mannequins.

Letting out an impatient grunt to cover his growing blush, you’ve seen a woman before, A real one.

“Excuse me sir, can I help you?”

Startled, Lucien turned somewhat clumsily, “I’m just,” he paused when he finally registered who he was addressing - beautiful rounded cheekbones kissed with blush, a sloping nose spattered with freckles and ending just slightly turned up, and a long slim neck gracefully-

Her cheeks reddened some, now more a natural phenomena than the original rouge created color as she cleared her throat, “Looking for something in particular?”

“Er- yes.  Pajamas.”

She - Elain according to her golden name tag - smirked at that, gesturing behind him with her head, “I could be wrong, but I think you’d prefer a different department.”

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I’m thinking of making a Mono Red EDH deck...

Two of my preferred options are

and 

My quandry is that both lists benefit from Krenko, Mob Boss, which is fine in itself.  But Krenko needs goblins, which is also fine in itself.  However, both of these points lead towards a certain conclusion.  Would these cards be better served being in the 99 of a Krenko Commander deck?  

It would be optimized for Krenko, who is a very powerful engine, and then these cards act as payoffs.  Versus the other way around, where Krenko does enable both cards, but not as well as in a deck dedicated to what he can do.  Add in that I like both cards, and by maining Krenko, I can still play both cards.  (I guess I can still play all three in either of the other decks, but we still run into the problem of focus.)

It seems simple, but I like the niche-ness of the two original cards, and I like the idea of building a deck to express and explore their dynamic.  I wonder how do people balance things like that.  I see good reasons for going either direction.  What do you all think?

Baseball

…set sometime on disc 1:

Aeris crept closer as Cloud withdrew another blade from the scabbards on his back and let it fall onto the pile. “I’m impressed.” He glanced up at her, his lips twitching almost into a smile before he flopped onto his back.

“Heavy.”

She nudged a sword hilt with her foot. “You could sell some of them. No need to carry all of them.” Aeris crouched down and gripped a sword. Not easy to even lift. SOLDIER strength it seemed.

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Reign 3 x 08: That Girl is Poison

How was your holiday? Did you see friends and family? Did you eat? Did you drink? Did you get some new slippers? I hope all of the above.

And now our TV’s are giving us another gift: a new episode of Reign, precious as an hour of pearls, and this episode started with Mary and Catherine fleeing the scene of a sexy murder and burning their bloody clothes!

Mary’s hem and Catherine’s over-kirtle or whathaveyou went in the fire and then Catherine was like “Well while we’re burning shit let’s get rid of some of my exotic and deadly poisons” but knock knock knock someone was at the door and the two women had to hastily pretend they were just whiling away the evening playing chess. (Before TV, radio, and internet, chess was heart-pounding excitement and fantasy adventure akin to Game of Thrones. )

Yes, Narcisse had come to officially accuse Catherine of killing her own son and to reveal a key piece of evidence he was planning to use during the inquest was the dead rat Lola had found in her bathtub, allegedly planted by Catherine, then skipped off all pleased with himself like a little asshole. Mary’s face during this whole exchange was perfect on every level.

Catherine was like “YOU HAVE TO TELL LOLA” and Mary was like don’t drag me into this.

This is a real moral quandry most of us will face at one time or another. If your friend is in a happy relationship, and you learn their partner did some questionable shit, is the moral thing to tell them or not to tell them? Obviously if it’s sex outside the relationship without conset, because of STD’s, you have a moral obligation. But slightly-shady shit? That’s a pickle of a different color.

And then Catherine was like “Also I’ve been fucking Narcisse.”

Hahahaha. Of course when Mary went to tell Lola, Lola immediately handwaved her off, as if Mary didn’t full distrust Catherine at all times and knew her better than anyone and is at this point the last person Catherine can fool. As we know Lola has always been dicks before chicks in her heart, throughout this whole series. We have the receipts. From defending her piece-of-trash fiancee episode one to right here and now helping her son’s grandma get framed for the murder of Francis, we have the receipts. I see you Lola.

Meanwhile the Spanish Ambassador was heading up an extremely slut-shamey investigation into HOW exactly the Future King of Spain ended up tied to a sex horse with his head caved in. His answer? French people.

Mary gave Greer the head’s up to clear her girls out of court before they could get slut shamed, then was like “Hmmm you look different.” And Greer was like “I am wearing 18 braids on my head for some reason?” and Mary was like “Oh okay that must be it.”

Meanwhile Catherine and Claude were having a heartwarming mother daughter talk.

Proving she’s Catherine’s daughter after all, Claude struck a canny deal: she wouldn’t mention that time Catherine tried to kill her if she could choose her next husband.

Meanwhile, Don Carlos had woken up, with Catherine poised to terminate him if he started pointing fingers.

The good news: he didn’t remember that Catherine and Mary had tipped him over in a BDSM scene gone awry! The bad news: that was because his brain was very badly injured. Very badly.

We’ve all been there Don Carlos.  Oooof, there are days and there are days.

Meanwhile, Bash then intercepted Catherine in what seemed like him policing her but was actually him asking her how he could help. When the actual scene was happening I just kept thinking about how there’s a small but loyal set of fans who ship Bash and Catherine really hard and how much they were enjoying this scene.

Meanwhile, Lola was dutifully testifying about the rat. And then she got word her brother and father had been kidnapped by the English and were being held hostages, not to be released until Lola had joined Elizabeth at her court. Narcisse was like “That will never happen” but I was like “Wow I really hope that happens. Lola at English court? Yes, hell to the yes.”

Then Mary kind of got into with Narcisse because both of them wanted to keep Lola safe for slightly different reasons? IDK. People give Narcisse a real tough time when he’s so cool and charismatic and awesome and oh whoops he killed his scribe so Lola wouldn’t find out he left the rat in the bathtub.

Hahahaha wow Narcisse turned a corner this episode! To explain how it happened: Lola was dictating a letter back to her mother, and the scribe was writing it, and then she noticed his handwriting, and I thought to myself: can Lola write? I am not sure if Lola can write.

I see your reading-but-not-writing shenanigans, Lola.

Meanwhile Mary was confronted by the growing famine in Scotland by ambassadors who had smuggled over some ACTUAL STARVING CHILDREN to guilt her with. In an age before smartphones, “pics or it didn’t happen” could get very weird.

Mary offered to sell all her jewels but Mary you can’t eat jewels girl.

Meanwhile Claude was trying to white-knuckle it through the inquest acting like her mom didn’t kill her when they confronted her with a book of painful teenage secrets.

I can imagine nothing more embarassing and heartbreaking than having to explain to a court that you lied about how your mom tried to kill you, to protect her. I mean. I need a hug after that confession.

Clearly Catherine is going to make Narcisse pay for this. But first she had to dress up like a Dickensian urchin and sneak out of the castle!

Lol. Megan Follows looks 16 in that hat. What in the world. Is she part Merlin? Why is she aging backwards? Please someone figure out the creams she is using because I need to stock tf up.

In the carriage, on the way to a safe house, Catherine was like “Marry that Spanish himbo. Take him back to Scotland. Spend his money and eat as much as you want. It’s the best life you could ask for.” then she made a break for the safe house and ran straight into Bash. It was BASHERINE MAGIC.

Also he dropped a bit of a bomb: the embalmer paid to embalm Francis kinda never did. Silver lining? If they dug up Francis he would still have his liver, disproving the murder charge Catherine had been convicted of.

Dear Lord. Not even on Game of Thrones has someone had to do something this darkly hardcore. This was Lady Stark levels of awful to contemplate.

Anyway, back at the castle the worst day of Narcisse’s life was dawning. The night before he’d killed his scribe and then when Lola confronted him about possibly bribing the scribe he totally choked, lost his shit, and she put it all together. Lola was like “Fuck you butthead, I’m going to England and while I’m gone you just think about what you did.”

Then she turned around to Mary and was like “Still very much into him.”

Yes, Catherine returned with Francis’ body to give Narcisse the tongue-lashing of a century and make us all miss Francis all over again. 

Narcisse had lost his case, probably he regency,and his wife, for selfishly overreaching and trying to frame Catherine for the most despicable of crimes. And also he had bummed us all out.

And worst of all, he had cost me my Nola.

Seeing Lola do what had to be done to help her family, ie go off to England and become Queen Elizabeth’s hostage, inspired Mary to do the unthinkable: agree to marry Don Carlos. It would mean the wealth and security and most importantly oatmeal packets all those adorable dying moppets needed. Of course it would mean a lifetime of gently mopping up drool from Don Carlos’ chin, but Mary is a Queen damn it.

And, let’s be real, we just know something will come along and save her.

So. A great return! An honestly stunning red gown! I don’t know what to think about Nola except that I would probably have instantly forgiven him, but I am excited about one of our core cast showing up in England. What did you think?

7

I’ve always dug X-Force. It’s kind of weird. I don’t like violent movies or guns or anything like that in reality. What is it about X-Force’s hyper-weaponized campy ultraviolence that does it for me? I guess the X-Men are often so weighed down by ethical quandries and soap-opera dramatics that it’s refreshing when a few of them branch off, strap on some shoulder pads, and just get down to the business of blowing up bad guys. 

So, I thought “Why not categorize all their abilities and rate all the different team line-ups?” because, that’s what regular people with lives do, right? Not just insane, reclusive, obsessive fans who eventually lose their minds?

Good lord, I’m not doing anything like this again for a long time! lol (I hope you enjoy it.)

Prints on Society6!