adventuresses

Asami, by Astri Sjursen

Whatever part of the Legend of Korra fandom you follow, I think you have to admit that Asami Sato has class. For starters, I love that she’s a true Renaissance woman. She’s a pilot, racecar driver, businesswoman, adventuress, martial artist, inventor, philanthropist, industrialist, engineer, and even a soldier and a resistance fighter when need be. Asami is tough and intelligent, and I truly admire that at no point in the series does she play the damsel in distress. Whether against chi-blockers, renegade earth-benders, or mecha tanks, Ms. Sato is never afraid to mix it up alongside the rest of Team Avatar. She kicks as much ass as anyone except Korra, and does it without their vaunted bending abilities.

Secondly, Asami is incredibly selfless and dauntlessly loyal to her friends. She sides with Avatar Korra against the Equalists, despite being a non-bender (and despite other reasons I won’t spoil here). Though heiress to the Future Industries corporation and an engineer and businesswoman in her own right, Asami is willing to put her work aside to accompany (or even chauffeur) Korra and the others on their latest adventure to save the world.

(Full discussion)

On "Adventuresses"...

From time to time I read something that makes me go “AAARGH.”  One of those things was this article.  I wrote a comment which I left “awaiting moderation,” but my response was never published.  

There were several things that irked me, one of which the author of the article thinks that Arthur Conan Doyle was a feminist and very progressive for his time.  Makes me wonder what the hell did she read.  ACD, like many men at this time, was chivalrous towards women, which mostly meant that he was condescending.  Women at the time were believed to be incapable of taking care of themselves, not too intelligent, and too emotional for things like voting people into office.  ACD was an against the women’s suffragist movement (he didn’t believe women should vote).  He was however, for equal divorce rights for women, because he worried about women being attached to drunk and abusive brutes.  So not a complete chauvinist pig and neither a complete feminist.  But he was a creature of his time, and that *has* to be kept in mind.  

The biggest beef most people have (and so does the article), is that BBC Irene Adler went from being an adventuress and Opera singer to a dominatrix in Moffat/Gatiss’ version of Sherlock Holmes.  From which I get the really strong impression that new and younger ACD readers don’t understand the context and the language of the original Sherlock Holmes’ stories.  When it came to matters of sex, Victorians avoided dirty words like the plague.  They preferred to be as delicate as possible and use words with double meanings.  A so-called “Adventuress” at the time, was a cleaner term for a courtesan, or a “loose” woman who won the favors of rich men.  A sluttier version of a Geisha, if you will.  Some of the Adventuresses of the time, also had low-level or “exotic” talents (dancing, acting, singing).  But ACD did a favor to Irene Adler by making her actually talented.  Not only that, ACD made her immensely clever, and a *decent* woman by marrying her off at the end of Scandal in Bohemia.  I can’t stress the word “decent” enough.  It’s positively necessary to point out how much marriage makes a woman respectable.  Not *independence*, but her contract to a man and her subscription to her “female duties.”  I don’t see how the original ending and the original Irene are more “feminist.”

Current BBC Irene as a dominatrix, was not a whim, was not thought of in a vacuum.  It came from scholarship and historical analysis of ACD’s Sherlock Holmes stories.  Moffat/Gatiss could have made her a high class prostitute who’s a world class pool player, but instead made her into a dominatrix.  A position in the sex industry that (is considered) attracts more intelligent, strong-willed people, and where penetration is not necessary.  If you ask me, they made Irene Adler classy as hell.  A profession that is in her own terms, and she didn’t run off as the wife of a man in the end.  Well, maybe he did sort of run off with a man (Sherlock) in the end…  The only HUGE difference from canon, that I could see in the BBC version, is that it’s Irene who’s noticeably infatuated with Sherlock, and not vice-versa.  In ACD canon, Irene has no feelings for Sherlock whatsoever.  She goes, “See ya suckers!” and Sherlock is like, “Well, at least she won’t be up to no good.  Gawd, she was hot.  Urm, I mean, an intriguing member of her sex.”  And Watson is like, “No, no, no, no, no.  You’re a superior being with no pesky intrusive emotions, you can’t have a boner over a *girl*!?!”  Well, that’s how I read ASiB, and if you don’t choose that interpretation… Welp, whatever. 

There’s plenty of interesting books and literature out there about Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.  I’ve been digging stuff here and there, as well a historical accounts of the time.  Some stuff is old and out of print, which is a shame.  

SEAS OF CHANGE CHAPTER 8 - GRUVIA PIRATE AU

Author’s Note:  I know… where have I been? No worries I am back to write for all of you! Let the swashbuckling adventuress continue!

 

Seas of Change

 

Chapter 8: Alliance

FF.net Link

               A knock came to the door late in the afternoon; at least Juvia assumed it was afternoon. The cabin Loke had set her up in had no portholes or windows. She shifted on the bed, busy pulling her hair back as the knocker entered without her permission. Then again there wasn’t much she could do to stop that. They were his rooms too.

               “Yet again I have failed to catch you in a state of indecency.” Loke lamented, adjusting his glasses. “Perhaps that’s for the best. I’ve been sent to fetch you.”

               She finished tying the ribbon holding her hair in the high ponytail before she turned to him. He was one to jest, but Loke had gladly bunked elsewhere while Juvia used his rooms and he had been gentleman for the most part. Gajeel hadn’t been too keen on her staying in his rooms but there truly was nowhere else for her to go. The kitchens were off limits so long as the cannons risked crashing through the floor, and most of the other men bunked together or the cabins had been destroyed in the battle.

               “Fetch Juvia?”

               Loke closed the door and gave her a once over. “You can’t wear that dress.”

               “What’s wrong with Juvia’s dress?”

               He shifted toward a small chest in the corner of the room where he kept his own clothing, flipping the lid open and rummaging through it. Juvia’s hands crimped the red fabric of her gown. It seemed decent enough to her.

               “Nothing is wrong, but we are about to dock in Torenju and we’ll all be leaving the ship.” He answered honestly. “No one likes to mess with Gray more than I do, but not at the risk of your safety.”

               “Juvia’s safety?”

               He surfaced shortly after with a pair of wide legged beige pants and a white shirt, tossing them onto the bed. “Torenju is a pirate city. A lady in a gown in this town is not truly a lady.”

               “How is that any different than being on a ship full of pirates?”

               “Not all pirates are gentlemen.” He responded. “Let’s not risk you drawing the attention of the wrong people.”

               Juvia moved to retort—she had heard of what a rake Loke could be and his taste for fine women—but chose not to. If anyone knew the attention she could garner in Torenju, it would be him. For the most part, the men on Gray’s ship were more talk than action and had simply been rude. No one had tried to sully her. The caution with which Loke chose how to present her garnered a familiar fear in the pit of her stomach. She had been convinced that the men of the Frozen Banshee were as terrible as the pirates she had read about in Crocus; if they were afraid of her being in Torenju, what was the rest of the pirate world like?

               Loke took his hands and messed up the perfectly pulled back ponytail Juvia had slaved over. Once he was satisfied he stepped back. “I think the captain would consider that acceptable.”

               “The captain asked you to prepare me?”

               “In not so many words.” He shrugged.

               Juvia could feel her cheeks flushing. There had been so much silence between them since the kiss on the navigational deck that she had nearly forgotten the jittery feeling that resided with the mention of his name. He was insufferably difficult and that drew her attention more than she liked to admit.  The problem was that there was nothing else she could do about it. For all his distance, he had made it a point to leave someone in charge of keeping her safe.

               She collected the clothing Loke had offered, the fact that she would be leaving the ship finally dawning on her.

               She could escape.

               She could be free.

               Her stomach knotted at the prospect, a mixture of guilt and excitement.

               “When do we dock?”

—–

               Gray was exhausted.

               The two day trip to Torenju had been rigorous; Loke and Natsu had not pushed the ship hard enough and Gray took over without a wink of sleep. He directed his crew and the boat they rode on through two long nights and days, listening to every creak the wood made. Any wrong move could send the cannons through the floor; any storm could lead them to a resting place far colder than ice. The responsibility weighed heavy on him.

               The port of Torenju came into sight just after dawn, a dark splotch against the brilliance of the sea. He had never been so relieved to see the damn place in his life. His crew was safe. His ship sailed strong and faithful. For another day he had managed to keep them safe. Torneju was notoriously dangerous but Gray had earned his place among the bar fights, brothels and politics. His crew was safe to cause whatever ruckus they wanted; he was safe to stick is nose wherever he pleased.

               Juvia was the problem.

               After deciding to head to Torenju, it hadn’t taken him long for his mind to register the biggest obstacle in bunking there for an extended period of time. Juvia was not safe. By whatever power continue to pull him toward her, Gray had begrudgingly spent most of his long hours at the wheel devising a way to get her off the ship and someplace the rogues and rakes of Torenju couldn’t get to her. If he could keep her hidden, all the better.

               It had only been a few hours before he slowed the ship into the harbor that he had worked out a solution. The solution stood at the end of the dock, an eyepatch still over one eye and a selection of swords at her side.

               She was waiting.

               “Your message said you’d taken hull damage. I’ve never seen the Banshee like this!” she hollered from below, taking hold of the ropes the crew threw.

               Gray let out a breath.

               There were few people he trusted that were outside his crew. Erza Scarlet, captain of the Titania, was one of them. Natsu took hold of the wheel so Gray could leave his post to greet her; Gajeel took over the deck, shouting directions to anyone close enough to tie the ship down and get the goods they would be trading for the repairs onto the deck and to the trademaster. The deckhands threw the anchors and the ship came to a comforting halt.

               She was on the deck before he made it down the stairwell.

               “This isn’t the damage you told me about.”

               “That’s why I said we needed to meet on your ship.”

               Erza’s eyes scanned the deck, arms crossed. “You can’t possibly call this is a ship. It’s kindling for a fire. Then again what should I expect—you’re still hunting naval ships.”

               “It’s better than avoiding them.”

               “That vendetta will get you and your crew killed.”

               Gray groaned, removing his hat to run a hand through his hair. “Nice to see you too.”

               The red head smiled. “I never said I wasn’t happy to see you. I just don’t want to see you or your crew in pieces.”

               Then they laughed; Erza reached for his hand and they took one another by the wrist, a greeting that symbolized trust and allegiance. Their hold was firm, index and middle fingers touching the pulse of the other’s hand above their pirate brandings. Gray settled his blue, feathered hat back on his head once they let go.  

               “How many of your crew are staying with us on the Titania?

               “They crew will find someplace to pass out drunk. They aren’t the favor I’m calling in.”

               Erza watched him. “A captive?”

               “Something like that.”

               Gray turned her toward the doorway that led to the lower deck; men shuffled in and out with the trade goods and the possessions they didn’t care to risks stolen by the repairmen. It was a pirate harbor—and pirates code did not protect a ship from ransacking in the port. Loke appeared in the center of the men, drawing out without Juvia in tow as he had expected. The man had given her his quarters, and it had taken more willpower than Gray wanted to admit to keep himself from ensuring Loke didn’t share them as he had threatened. The fact that it mattered to him bothered him. He could feel the heat of his irritation causing his clothes to feel unbearable.

               “A woman, Gray?” Erza sounded surprised.

Gray watched Juvia come onto the deck, dressed in the plainest clothing Loke could find, and barefoot. Not the safest way to walk around Torenju’s pier and a step more than he had intended when he had given the direction to prepare her to leave the ship, but it was still relieving. If he squinted, the strange yearn to kiss her disappeared. Erza set a hand on his shoulder, glancing toward him with a knowing smile that made him nervous.

“What?”

“I thought women were unlucky on your ship?”

You’re on my ship.”

“She’s pretty.”

He groaned. “A ship full of women is better than a tavern room for her.”

“What makes her so important?”

It was a simple enough question, but Gray turned from her and chose not to answer. Simple as it was, he wasn’t even sure he knew the answer. Or maybe he did, and he wasn’t ready to admit it. He wasn’t keeping Juvia for the ransom money. The idea that he would let her go once they could land in Crocus was slowly beginning to form as an excuse rather than the answer. The memory of kissing her on the deck was still burned into his memory, clinging to the forefront of his mind and refusing to be dismissed. He’d liked it. He knew that.

So why couldn’t he just leave it at that?

—-

               The sun was full and bright and Juvia allowed herself to be momentarily distracted by the warmth. She would see land for the first time in months—be able to step surefooted on the ground and not the wooden confines of a ship. Her skin prickled at the thought. Would she even know how to go from her sea legs to walking on land?

               “What makes her so important?”

               Juvia lowered her gaze from the sun and back toward the ship; she did not recognize the feminine voice. The woman she saw stood close to Gray and was very pretty and obviously confident. She lifted a hand to Gray’s arm when he did not answer her question, smiling at him in with a familiarity that spiked a slew of emotions within Juvia. This woman was beautiful and exotic. She was strong in a way Juvia could see and feel.

               Gray made no motion to answer the question, instead closing his eyes and crossing his arms in a way that showed defiance. Whatever the answer was, he would not be sharing. The woman gave him a knowing smile before turning back toward Juvia, hands on her hips.

               “A pretty girl like this shouldn’t be in rags, Gray. Maybe you should let me keep her, we’d take good care of her.”

               For the first time, the idea of leaving the ship frightened her instead of brought excitement. Was that how Gray dealt with what he felt was a mistake? Pass it along to someone else? Or maybe this woman was more to him than what Juvia could have ever hoped to be… either scenario erupted a tension deep which constricted her heart.

“Juvia is not something to be passed off.”

               The woman nodded, extending a hand toward the man at her side. “Of course not, but Gray has no idea how to take care of a woman—at least if he does, I have yet to see it.”

               “I have never heard a truer statement, Captain Scarlet.” Loke appeared beside Juvia, hand resting on the small of her back to push her forward. “You came to escort her yourself? And here I was hoping to visit with the lovely ladies of your crew…”

               “Loke…” Gray’s voice came in a low warning.

               The man in question lifted his hands in feigned distress. Loke tumbled forward as Gajeel lumbered by, a hand slamming into the back of his head.  “It’s better that way. Lady Luck’s in better hands with Erza.”

               “Gajeel! Levy’s been asking for you.” Erza hinted. “Perhaps you should come with me.”

               Levy?

               Juvia could not help herself; her gaze moved from Gray and Erza toward Gajeel. Who was this Levy person? He had never mentioned anyone special to him before. The agitated face he made was enough to confirm this person was special in a way he didn’t feel like discussing. Much like her own feelings for Gray. Gray, who was standing beside a beautiful woman he was very familiar with.

               The tension came again, and Juvia realized it was jealousy.

               “I’ll see her later. There’s too much to do here and Ice Dick needs a break. Take him.”

               Erza seemed more than delighted with the opportunity to drag Gray along with her. She took hold of him by the neck of his coat and reached without warning for Juvia’s hand before turning on her heel and heading off the ship. Gray and Juvia stumbled their way down the railing that led to the dock, trying to right themselves. It took a few moments but Juvia finally managed to turn herself around and for the first time was able to see exactly what kind of city Torenju was.

               Men sat on the ground in drunken heaps against dirty buildings; they were next to barrels, they were lying half way into the streets. Woman with ample sized bosoms walked the street with their skirts hiked high, preening toward any man that seemed halfway conscious. They turned to Gray and giggled, telling him to be sure to meet them at a place called The Red Lantern later that night. He didn’t tell them no. Juvia could feel herself simmering.

               There was no place on Torenju that appeared inviting—nor was there anyone who seemed the slightest bit decent. There was depravity left and right, broken glass and the sound of bar fights, a stench of hardworking, unwashed men and mold. She found her nose wrinkling.

               “Juvia?” it was Erza, turning toward the younger girl. “When we get to my ship, lets get you into something more suitable for a woman.”

               “Get her a weapon too.” Gray’s eyes were focused on the few men walking the expanse of the harbor, shoulder taught as if he expected someone to jump out toward him at any moment.  

               Juvia watched as he shifted from walking behind Erza to beside her, standing tall and adjusting the direction of his hat; the feather moved from the back to left side. Erza seemed to understand the body language Juvia could not decipher; she quickened their pace and pointed out her ship. It was two docks down, a large and awkwardly beautiful and menacing creation. The ship was a deep mahogany with gold lettering, blood red sails—orante mermaids and wingless angels decorated the wooden balustrades that wrapped around the ship. It was elegant and threatening.

               “That’s the Titania.” Her voice was proud, eyes glossing over as a mother’s would over something magnificent done by her child.

               Juvia felt Gray’s hand on her back before she realized he had moved to direct her back toward the ship she had been slowly moving away from. He didn’t say anything, and Juvia felt that was for the best—the chill that had run up her spine and through her limbs would have kept her lips dumb in response. He pushed her forward as Erza led the way up toward the main deck that filled through with feminine voices.  These were people she did not know nor trust, and she felt herself melding back into Gray. He was the only thing she knew at this point.

               When had she begun to trust him enough that in her moment of fear all she wanted was for him to comfort her?

—-

               The women of Erza’s crew scooped Juvia up as if she were doll to play with—they were all smiles and friendly banter as they pulled her from Gray and throughout the ship. Erza gave them the direct to get Juvia dressed and to supply her with a weapon, but to keep her in the extra cabin on deck as she was Gray’s charge and not their own. He had watched Lucy calm Juvia in a way that had taken weeks for anyone to do with her on his own ship, and found himself watching where she had gone long after she had disappeared below the deck.

               “You didn’t tell me Grimoire Heart was here.” He turned to Erza, his fists tightening.

               “It doesn’t change anything. You still needed to dock, and we still needed to transfer Juvia here.” She answered, the friendliness her face held before disappearing. “There is a lot we need to talk about. The girls will take care of her; lets meet with Jellal.”

               “Lyon?”

               The name filtered between both them, dropped like ice over a flame.

               “Lets meet with Jellal.”

4

So I’m like super cute today and wearing bright colors (which is a rarity because I usually end up wearing all black for work) but no one has seen me today and I know I have to change into scrubs later to do some work so I’m taking myself out to lunch so my adorableness isn’t wasted. 

I feel like this is an excellent life choice. 

ps look at my stupid bunny belt and my badass adventuress boots. 

here are the members for the clintbucky network!

wandiamaximoff ➶ cptnbrns ★ anthonystqrk ➶ klngkili​ ★ quickslvver​  ➶ heavymarvelbrokemyheart​  ★ @undiscerning-adventuress   ➶ @wintersohldier  ★ @narcissamalfoi ➶ buvkys

the next step:

  • you’ll receive an ask from me within the next couple of hours
  • track the #clintbuckynetwork tag and start using it to post your work in
  • you don’t have to follow everyone but it’d be nice if you checked out their blogs!!

I write about culture, so it’s inevitable that my desk here at The Post is cluttered. Five piles of books creep up the walls, DVDs lean against each other in untidy stacks and printouts of old studies about Hollywood are cross-hatched on top of each other, waiting for my highlighter. There are some trinkets, too, though these have become less exciting over the years, and only a few pieces have survived successive cullings: a Knope 2012 button and a Ron Swanson bobblehead doll, a postcard with Dirk Bruna’s Miffy in an art museum, a signed poster from the Decemberists tour for “The Crane Wife,” which I won in a review-writing contest before I even dreamed of being a professional critic.

But my favorite piece of ephemera, set at eye-level to my left, is an Amanda Conner and  Laura Martin print of She-Hulk beating Iron Man at arm-wrestling.  It’s a terrific scene. Tony Stark, in full armor, has his lips parted in consternation at his loss. Spider-Man, hanging from the ceiling, has a hand to his forehead in amazement. Wolverine’s paying out the bet he placed before the match. Storm and Natasha Romanoff are taking in the scene around them with knowing expressions on their faces. Ms. Marvel and Sue Storm are cheering on She-Hulk from the sidelines, Marvel’s hands shooting into the hair in excitement, Sue’s arms up in a fighting stance as she urges her on. And a little smile plays across She-Hulks lips: she’s confident in her victory, but her certainty in no way reduces her pleasure.

The image is everything I love about She-Hulk, also known as Jennifer Walters, who became a superhero after she was shot and her cousin, Bruce Banner, had to give her a transfusion of his own blood to save her life. And it’s why it’s particularly puzzling to me to read the New Yorker’s Jill Lepore, who is generally no slouch when it comes to comics, slam She-Hulk as part of a sour rant about the state of female comic book characters.

READ ALL of Alyssa Rosenberg’s love for She-Hulk on the Washington Post. 

Hello! I’m Kenzie

I’m 15 and from Ohio, and I’m looking for a new internet friend or long distance girlfriend who will go on Skype & Netflix dates with me. I love reading, music (Playing and listening to), movies, writing, and really almost anything you could mention. I’m a total nerd and a huge feminist. 

If you have any interest in me at all go ahead and message me 

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