a thousand torches

7

At that, the light in his eyes, already bright, went to such a blaze that she could hardly bear to look at him. She thought of the Angel, and how he had burned like a thousand torches, and that Jace had in him some of that same incandescent blood, and how that burning shone through him now, through his eyes, like light through the cracks in a door.
              – City of Glass, Chapter 20 Weighed in the Balance

Madi’s “No!”

Analysis post. Warning: 4x09 spoilers

“But I hear other voices, a chorus of voices, multitudes.They reach back centuries. Men and women  and children who’d lost their lives to men like you.
Men and women and children forced to wear your chains. I must answer to them and - this war, their war, Flint’s war, my war -  it will not be bargained away to avoid a fight, to save John Silver’s life, or his men’s, or mine.”

I’ve discussed and read opinions on several sources from viewers on Madi’s arc. I’ve expressed my hopes where it could be going since 4x06. I’ve expressed my opinion on Madi’s choice in 4x09. But this post isn’t about that. Just an analysis in reflection of how Madi has dealt with losses since 4x01. For me this “No” is not just a “No”, but expresses a willingness to martyr and sacrifice Silver, his men and her own life for the war.

Now obviously she lacks some crucial information such as the amount of runaway slaves there are Maroon Island at present. She has not heard Julius’ words. It actually matters little, because her “No!” comes from the purest conviction about herself and what she is willing to giving up. Madi started out as a sheltered girl with little to no contact to the outside world, and the sole violence she truly consciously experienced before the S3 finale was that of the Maroon men torturing and hunting pirates and sailors that ended up on the Maroon Island by accident, which she recognizes as lawful defense. Until S4 the sole loss she truly experienced was the death of her father, who had been absent for the last 12 years. Certainly from the first episode in S4, Madi quickly experiences heartfelt losses.

Losing Silver

During the invasion, she experiences defeat, witnesses John fall into the water and never surface again, sees her men and Silver’s men being picked off. We know from the flashback that if she was a no good pirate, she’d follow Silver into anything and anywhere. She loves him and she admires him. And she is shocked, broken hearted and devestated by his seeming death.

She holds out hope that Silver may still have been saved or resurfaced and makes it to the beach, where Flint and Madi wait for the last uncaptured survivors to arrive with the longboats.

Her hope is crushed, and first we see her from behind, looking out over the sea, as if she is saying goodbye to Silver.

Next, we see her cry for Silver from the right angle, “looking right”. She grieves. And finally we get a view from the left angle, “looking left”, where she decides to move onwards with the war.

Because in the next scene we see her, at Miranda’s house the first thing she asks Flint is whether the war is over now.

Madi: “Is it over?” 

Flint: “Is what over?” 

Madi: “You looked into my mother’s eyes  and you said a great war lay ahead of us, one in which pirates and slaves would stand together  and strike a blow that might shake the very foundation  of the British Empire. Now our ships are gone, our army is fractured, battered and beaten. And the only man among you I trusted is dead. I’m asking you if this war died with him.”

Madi does not stop grieving, or loves Silver no less than he does her, per her response when she learns that Silver is alive and when she sees him again. And just prior to learning that he is alive, she tells Eme, “I lost more than you can know.”

What we do learn and what Madi learns in 4x01 is that, despite loving Silver as much as he loves her, she can live with his loss, that she can sacrifice him for her war. So, when Silver asks her in 4x05, “If this goes away, Flint’s war, if it all ended and we had to walk away from it would I be enough for you?” we actually know her answers since 4x01. Hence, “You know what? You don’t have to answer that.”

When Madi says she will not bargain away a fight to save Silver’s life, Madi means it. Nor will Madi ever regret sacrificing Silver, which is why she is pitted against Woodes Rogers in 4x09 who is haunted by regret for his choice. If Woodes could go back in time and undo his choice, he would.

His men (and his means) and her men

Of course, if Madi can sacrifice Silver himself, whom she loves, it is as easy for her to sacrifice Silver’s brothers and friends, who she does not love. More, she expects Silver to be able to do that too. This becomes clear when she pushes Silver to get rid of Billy.

She sides with Billy to free the Underhill slaves. She opposes Billy to prevent reprisals on the family and loved ones of the Underhill slaves. Afterwards she pushes Silver to get rid of Billy, to heal and salvage the alliance with the runaway slaves of New Providence and to remove the one voice that urges Silver to follow his own better judgment about the cache and go against Flint.

Fuck Billy! Don’t fuck Billy! Fuck Flint! Don’t fuck Flint!

But Silver loves Madi. Despite the fact that Billy saved them in 4x03 from the soldiers on the roof, helped to retake Nassau, built the resistance for Silver, and totally echoes Silver’s own mind on issues, Silver chooses Madi’s advize who talks and reasons exactly like Flint. Of course, he does it in his own way - severe punishment, and promise to never do it again.

She also lost a large amount of her own people, including Kofi. Madi is indeed very much a monarch in that way. Absolutely everyone and everything can be sacrificed for an idea in her mind (a nation is an abstrahation of people). And she is better at it than Flint even.

In contrast, Silver tries to avoid as much as possible to have blood on his hands. Yes, he was callous in the first two seasons, but he had no attachment to anyone then. The likeliest reason he avoided attachments in the past is how he could not live with sacrificing loved ones and friends. That is why he ultimately is the best quartermaster, and continues to think like one, instead of a king or captain.

And if you took notice, Silver is the diplomat, the man most prone to make deals, to search for a common interest: (S1) over a page from a log, a share and his life with Max, Flint, Randal and Eleanor; (S2) for a share in gold, the Man O War, Flint’s life with Flint, Max and Vane; (S3) the foundation for a deal with the Maroons, even if Flint does the pitch talk; (S4) with Eleanor, Ruth and Julius and Woodes.

Her own life and freedom

Finally, Madi faces death several times - at the Underhill plantation against Billy, against the Spaniard, and Woodes’ barrel of a gun. She loses her own freedom and has seen the might of the world and men taking the freedom away of her people.

She saw New Providence razed. She can perfectly imagine how easily Maroon Island can be torched with thousands of men. She is reminded by Ruth, by Eleanor of the wisdom in making a safe haven for your loved ones and the happiness that could be had in it.

But to her, a safe haven is a temporary illusion easily destroyed by the horrors of the world. A lifetime of horror, violence and brutality makes love, life and the chance of a safe haven so precious to Eleanor that she dies fighting for it, even if she knows it to be an illusion at some level. A lifetime of reading, shelter and love make loss, sacrifice and horror an unavoidable and bearable certainty and necessity. There can be no deal made, no peace had.

And thus Madi’s queenly strength radicalizes into the strength of a martyr, a revolutionist, a suicide bomber. Any of these minds are strong, inpenetrable, and unalterable. And I think we should take that very seriously.

Even if you could kill me,  even if that somehow helped you see her alive again, how are you going to explain it to her? She believes in this as much as I do. You know this. If it costs the war to save her, you’ll have lost her anyway. Even you cannot construct a story to make her forgive you that. You do this, and you’re gonna regret it.

The Vagabond Gets Offended

(And completely toasted.)

It’s all Ray’s fault really.

Fake AH GTA AU

Rated: T

“Alright.” Jack walked into the main HQ with fury in her eyes and a newspaper in her hand. Jack’s fury was not an uncommon sight, though the newspaper was - where did one get a newspaper anyway?! But then Ryan seemed fond of antiquated things so it was probably his influence that resulted in the Los Santos Sentinel News presence in the penthouse. “Which one of you set every parking meter in the city on fire the night before our big heist?”

Michael and Gavin immediately pointed fingers at each other on pure reflex before blinking and realizing simultaneously that both of them were firmly located within the penthouse monitoring surveillance cams and packing ordinance. “Uh,” Michael said eloquently after a moment. “Not us?”  

“Wait,” Geoff stood holding out his hands for the paper which Jack obligingly handed over, “Every single parking meter? You’re kidding?”

“Simultaneous spontaneous ignition according to witnesses.” Jack stated voice one shade above murderous, all eyes turned back to Michael who whistled impressed. “No no this? This is not a good thing. Police presence on the streets have tripled in the last twelve hours alone!”

“Hey it wasn’t me alright! You can check the cams I was in the armory till like four am.” Michael defended himself irritably, “Simultaneously combusted? You’re sure because I’m not even sure I could pull that off.”

That inevitably starts a conversation about how it was done and not who that rages for a long series of minutes and they get absolutely nowhere in figuring out what actually happened or how much it was going to fuck their grand heist over. About thirty or forty minutes into the conversation Geoff has started stress drinking while Michael and Gavin are screaming at the top of their lungs at each other or together at Jack alternately. It’s about then the R & R connection come swaggering into the penthouse.

“Whoa who set off this bomb?” Ray asks in a tone that tells them he is completely blissed out high out of his mind gone as he flops face first onto the couch Michael and Gavin had hastily abandoned mid argument.

“Heh Bomb.” Ryan remarks, muffled beneath his mask before flopping into an armchair.

Jack’s ire narrows in on the two of them instantly, the argument dying off as Michael and Gavin exchange a look before beginning to poke at Ray who is some kind of catatonic on the sofa. Jack crosses her arms over her very impressive chest and looms over them expression seven kinds of unimpressed “Tell me you have nothing to do with the parking meters.”

Ray breaks out into hysterical giggles, muffled by his face being smushed into the sofa that alone is enough to have Jack throw her hands in the air. Geoff stands forcing a drink into her empty hands and points at the standing lads. “Roll him over before he suffocates.”

Michael and Gavin roll over Ray while Jack knocks the drink back expertly. Ray chortles flaring his hands wide like an explosion, “Boom.” He breaks into deep heaving giggles again.

“Oh my god!” Jack whirls on Ryan who has remained almost entirely motionless since he collapsed into the chair. “Tell me you were not involved in the destruction of nearly thirty thousand parking meters the night before our biggest heist to date!”

Ryan’s head turns slowly, which is possibly even more eerie with the mask in place than it ought to have been, he looks Jack straight in the eye and in the same tone he reserves for flaying the flesh off their enemies says, “They offended me.”

There is a solid minute of shock filled only by Ray’s continued hysterical laughter and the tense unwavering solid eye contact between Jack and Ryan.

Geoff who know’s Ryan is far more practical than this, more solidly in control of his destructive impulses realizes something is off about the man in a heartbeat. Normally Ryan would be one of the ones to curb the lads or even his own pre-heist impulse jitters. Ryan and Jack, the latter now looking completely betrayed by Ryan’s seeming flip in personality while Ray writhes with laughter tears streaming down his face utterly incapable of speech.

It’s Gavin who has the lightning bolt realization swooping down in front of Ryan directly at eye level and exclaims “ARE YOU HIGH?!?!” At the top of his lungs. “Oh my god you are!” He scrambles away quickly because Ryan looks like napalm held behind fragile glass.

Ray stops cackling for half a second wheezing for breath as he explains in a sing song voice, “turns out Ryebread has zero impulse control under the influence.” He giggled again, “And to the surprise of no one he has really violent impulses.”

“You got Ryan high?” Geoff turned and gaped at Ray, but he shouldn’t have really been that surprised. Ray was an instigator if not an active participant in all of the Lads shenanigans. “And then torched thirty thousand Parking Meters?!”

“They offended me.” Ryan says again in the ‘I just skinned a man’ voice before Ray has a chance to speak and it just sets the lad off again.

Ray’s giggle fit is much shorter this time as he props himself up on his elbow, “Trust me this was the less violent option.”

“Oh-Kay.” Geoff lets out a very long sigh while Jack’s anger simmers down in the wake of Gavin pouring her another shot, he gets one for himself and hands a third to Geoff. “Nobody leaves the penthouse until the heist and you two,” he points a finger at the still chortling Ray and entirely too still Ryan, “sober the fuck up. The shit I have to deal with honestly.”

“They offended me.” Ryan says again his voice has gone deeper than the Vagabond flesh flaying octave and is completely toneless. He hasn’t moved or blinked since he turned to look at Jack even though she’s no longer standing there. That combined with the tone has everyone edging away a bit.

“Alright,” Geoff shivers and heads for his office sticking his thumb out at Ryan as he passes, “Nobody goes anywhere and for god’s sake don’t offend him.” Ryan quite literally snarls like a rabid animal at Geoff’s mocking tone causing the man to skip aside a step with a yelp so he’s out of Ryan’s reach. This of course sets off all the lads into howling fits of laughter.

Jack throws up her hands in indignation following Geoff to go tweak their plan to allow for the presence of more fucking cops. Ryan just sits there, a fire burning behind his eyes, napalm encased in glass beneath his skin listening to the strung out laughter of the lads over the distant remembered sound of explosions ringing in his ears like it was a symphony.


A/N: I haven’t slept in like 20 hours have some GTA foolishness 

Advertisement for the Louisiana constitution of 1868 which established, on paper, racial equality in education and public accommodation.

At center: Oscar J. Dunn, former slave and Lieutenant Governor 1868-1870

At the bottom: “In the Senate, Thursday, September third, [P. B. S.] Pinchback rose to a question of privilege and said: I want to tell them [white Democrats] to beware. I want to tell them they have nearly reached the end of their string. The next outrage of the kind which they commit will be the signal for the dawn of retribution — a retribution of which they have not dreamed; a signal that will cause ten thousand torches to be applied to this city, for patience will then have ceased to be a virtue, and this city will be reduced to ashes.” Pinchback appears at the bottom center.

2

At that, the light in his eyes, already bright, went to such a blaze that she could hardly bear to look at him. She thought of the Angel, and how he had burned like a thousand torches, and that Jace had in him some of that same incandescent blood, and how that burning shone through him now, through his eyes, like light through the cracks in a door. [x]

ON THE MATTER OF A PARTICULAR VINER & THE SURROUNDING PROBLEMS

THE FOLLOWING PIECE SHALL BE STRUCTURED THUSLY:

- Disclaimer
- What this piece homes to achieve
- Defensive Arguments
       1) Blind Support
       2) Blind Hatred
       3) Privilege
- Summarizing Points Final Notes

DISCLAIMER

First and foremost, let me say that I in no way support the previous actions of Nash Grier, or the beliefs associated with said actions. I do not promote his behaviour. I believe he should be held accountable for his actions, and I believe he has failed to suitably rise to his responsibilities.

Yet, for whatever reason, here I am… kind of excusing his actions.

These are my opinions at this moment in time. They are honest and potentially controversial. I might find them to be flat out wrong in due time, given the possible responses to this. And that is okay. As a favour to me, please read the whole thing through before replying.

Keep reading

How did we get here. (OQ fic)

She would give and give for them, bleed for them, go mad for them. Stand in front of the new Dark One, between he and Roland and Emma.

He watches as red and white mix with black and the sound is like cracks of thunder, the loudest one making Roland scream in fright and bury his face in Robin’s neck. He thinks he can hear Regina screaming too, the agony of dark magic ripping her apart, finally getting its full meal after tantalizing tastes. But when she turns, when the whiplash jerks her around to face Robin, their eyes meet, her hair floating in the air around her in gossamer strands. An image strikes him, of Regina’s hair spread out on a pillow covered by a cream colored case, the dark strands a stark contrast as his fingers glide through it. And then the vision is gone as sudden swirls of purple appear to mingle with the dark as she holds his gaze, watches his face. Hers contorts with effort and pain that’s searing hot, he can see it in the tension of her neck, the vein in her forehead.

She’s trying. For him, she’s trying. Emma is cursing them all to someplace far away, everyone but Henry, and Regina is fighting. He’s not selfish enough to think it’s actually for him, he knows it’s for all of them, but in this singular moment, as she watches him cradling Roland to his chest with a protective hand over his head, he knows that she is trying to pull strength from him. He searches his mind for anything that may help though words seem paltry. But he remembers the last time he was able to watch her do battle with light magic, and he says the first thing that comes to mind, yells it to be heard over the noise.

“I’ve got your heart, Regina.”

It’s different now; he’s not physically holding it, but he’s got it. If this darkness destroys her, if Emma takes her down in whatever curse this is. If they’re separated by realms, he has her heart. He always will.

The purple seems to come from inside of her, radiating out and shining brighter, the courtyard of Camelot lit up as if by thousands of torches. Emma - the true Dark One now, embraced and cradled by darkness - screams and yells, white light sparking from Regina’s fingertips. The others are there now, too late, too late to save anyone, watching in horror as the two who once saved each other are now pitted in a fight. One wants this curse to twist and destroy and the other is only trying to soften its blow. All any of them can do now is watch in horror, David clinging to Snow, Henry on the other side of Robin and holding onto him tightly.

He sees Regina’s smile for only a second but it’s filled with a million reassurances, three words she’s yet to say, and then she wrenches her body around, white, light magic hitting Emma square in the chest that sends both of them soaring in opposite directions. His scream is caught in his throat, and Robin watches as the smoke of the curse envelopes them all.

Cool tile rests under his head.

“You’re squishin’ me,” comes a small voice, and Robin shifts, Roland scooting out from under him. It’s dark, but after blinking a few times it’s apparent where they are: Granny’s Diner. Not in the forest, but in its proper home. A quick glance around and there she is, Regina on hands and knees, and he reaches for her, trying to help her to her feet. Her skin is too hot, he thinks, but he steadies her on her feet as everyone looks around, questioning, realizing that something simply isn’t right.

“We’re back.”