Oh gosh, guys, what if humans are the only known species to have brain farts!!
It was the second time in two minutes. Human Sergei came onto the third floor’s common, only to stand in the doorway with a blank look on his visage before turning around and walking back out.
“Do you think he’s ill?” I said to Crewmate Thrifsk Sark.
She shrugged, the translucent ribbons of skin protruding from her shoulders rippling. “Crewmate Human Sergei is a strange one,” she replied. “I’ve learned to ignore his behaviour during leisure hour.”
The muscles in my lower visage clenched and I turned back in time to see Human Sergei arrive a third time. Far from a blank expression, though, he wore one of irritation.
“That’s it!” he shouted. “Can someone please tell me what I came in here for?”
His demand was met with shock, and all six of the crew present in the room immediately surrounded the human.
“Are you injured?”
“Are you sick?”
“Why can’t you remember?”
“Someone fetch Medical!”
“I AM FINE!” Human Sergei bellowed. “I just can’t remember what I came in…! OH! Wait!” His exclamation startled me and I fell back a step. He beamed at me. “Medical! Chief wants you in the sick bay, Dorg. There was a malfunction with one of the stasis pods.”
“Swirling gasses, is anyone hurt?” I squealed, grabbing my crewmate by his arm and dragging him out of the common. “Is it occupied?”
“No, no. Nothing like that. It’s just smoking a little.”
A stasis pod was smoking?!?
“How did you forget that a stasis pod was smoking?” I demanded.
Human Sergei lifted a shoulder in a half-shrug as we ran. “Blame it on the brain fart, man.”
THESE snaps reveal Cillian Murphy is back “shooting” a new series of hit BBC
gangster drama Peaky Blinders. The Cork actor, who plays mob boss Tommy
Shelby, was seen sprinting down the street with a pistol. Cillian, 40,
was filming in Liverpool, parts of which were given a 1920s makeover to
stand in for Small Heath in Birmingham. The third series came to a
nail-biting climax last year, with police arriving to lock up the gang.
But it seems they will make an explosive return. Cillian said
“everything has changed” for the fourth season. The drama could be back
on our screens as early as October. — Irish Daily Mirror, 22 Mar 2017
Gather around my children and you shall hear of the most terrible, most implacable, most improbable friends ever met by our people. They came from the third planet of a tiny system, surrounded by desolate space. Not one sentient species for hundreds of lightyears, and they managed to propel themselves into space.
We watched from afar as they developed slowly. We watched as they warred among themselves, brutal and savage. We watched as they rendered regions of their planet uninhabitable to themselves, a hardy species able to adapt to even the most hostile of environments. We watched as suddenly and without warning they united under four banners, the rest falling by the wayside. We watched as they expanded into what we had begun to use as a buffer zone, to allow these humans to burn themselves out in.
But they did not burn themselves out. Despite their warring among themselves. Harsh people. Humankind is a race of warriors, do not be fooled by the eloquence of their diplomats. In their own words, “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means”. Their greatest artists and philosophers were born from blood and conflict. I had the privilege once to view a painting by one Pablo Picasso, entitled Guernica. It was a savage piece, with not a drop of color. It showed the horrors of war, and the irony of it all was that the painting hung in the office of one of humankind’s generals.
It was sudden, when they burst from the containment zone. When they realized they were not alone. And we, with heavy hearts, prepared to fight them bitterly and to the last. Imagine then, our surprise when humanity embraced us among the stars as long lost brothers. They were overjoyed to discover they were not alone in the darkness. Despite their brutal and warlike culture, despite their glorification of death and violence, their people do not seek out combat. An ancient general of theirs once put it thusly “Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace”.
For centuries humanity worked to better itself. They unified under a single Interstellar Empire, the Empire of Man, the Human Empire, however you called it. They enjoyed art and music. They became leisurely at home, exploratory in the field. Their weapons of war were long gone, beaten into plowshares as they say. Humanity was finally at peace. There was no conflict among them, a few border skirmishes for certain, and they kept a small standing military, but nothing more than that. We considered them domesticated.
At first we were surprised at their transformation, then overjoyed. We welcomed them into the fold of the cosmos, embraced them as they would embrace us. We thought we knew humanity then, that we had seen them at their best and their worst. We were wrong, so very wrong. We did not truly understand humanity until the Texar-Hakara came into the void between the stars.
Seemingly more brutal, more bloodthirsty than even the humans, they swept into our region of space like conquerors. They smashed whatever feeble resistance the Yungling managed to put up, took their planets, enslaved the survivors, and pressed on. The Junti were next, utterly destroyed. The four great races left, ourselves, the Itaxa, the Kukrama, and the Illnaa, banded together to try and stop them. In our arrogance, we did not include the humans in our pact. Too few in number, too weak in frame, too backwards in technology we thought.
The Texar-Hakara hit our borders like the great wave that sweeps life from the beach. We hardened our hearts and prepared for the worst. Seeming without pause they crushed our border defenses. They obliterated the first fleets we sent to them. The Itaxa fell to the Texar-Hakara, enslaved, killed, scattered to the corners of the galaxy. Then the humans sent us an offer, a request really. They asked to fight alongside us.
Bemused, we accepted. What else could we do? Deny them the right to fight with us for their very survival? We thought to assign them as rearguards, to ferry our people to safety after our fleets fell. We thought wrong.
Humanity swept into the stars with a fury unmatched by any other. Their fleets were not the heaviest. Their guns not the most accurate. Their soldiers however. Their sailors. Their warriors were unmatched by any others in the cosmos. I remember the first battle in which the humans fought the Texar-Hakara like it was but a single solar cycle ago. Our forces were on the brink of breaking and fleeing. Our ships were gutted ruins. Our fighters exhausted and out of missiles. Then humanity fell upon the flank of the enemy, and the full force of the Human Empire was unleashed in a single moment of utter fury. Landing craft spat across the distance in an instant, slamming into enemy hulls and disgorging humanity’s greatest weapon, their Marines. In close combat humanity is unstoppable, and so they took the vast distances of space combat out of the equation.
Their ships belched fire and plasma. Lasers crossed the vast distances in the blink of an eye. Half the Texar-Hakaran fleet was obliterated in minutes. The other half turned to face this new enemy, only to be wracked by internal explosions as the Marines did their work. Their greatest ships turned on the rest of the fleet, a handful of humans holding the bridge against waves of enemy attackers to turn the tide of battle.
The Interstellar War came to a screeching turnaround. The advance of the Texar-Hakara halted, like it had hit an immovable wall. In many ways that is what humanity is, an immovable, implacable wall. Then, with the ferocity humanity is alone capable of, they routed the Texar-Hakara. Not from that lone battle. They pushed them out of Itaxa space, liberating the slaves. The space of the Junti and the Yungling was swept clear of invaders. Then the Texar-Hakara committed the gravest of sins in humanity’s eyes. They warped a fleet to Earth, jewel of humanity’s empire. They burned that blue and green world. They destroyed it, and the trillion people it housed.
Humanity is a forgiving race my children. Even their most terrible of wars have resulted in lasting friendships between nations. When they left millions dead and broken on the muddly fields of their world, they rebuilt the aggressors. They raised them from the mud, dusted them off, and welcomed them back into the fold. But there is one thing that humanity cannot, will not, tolerate. It is abhorrent to them my children. To strike at their home, to strike where they raise their young ones. Where they leave their mates and non combatants. To strike there is to raise the ire of the human race, truly.
Humanity raged. Their attempts at obtaining the surrender of the Texar-Hakara halted. The war turned from a righteous war of liberation to a furious and hateful war of retribution. We begged the humans to stop, to leave what few planets the Texar-Hakara had alone. Our pleas went unanswered for months, until a single human ambassador came to us. His face was cold and emotionless. He told us, in no uncertain terms, that the Texar-Hakara had doomed themselves and that any trying to aid them would suffer the same fate. Quietly we watched then, as humanity wiped the Texar-Hakara from the stars. The Texar-Hakara pleaded for mercy. They offered their unconditional surrender. They came to us and begged on bent knee for us to reign in the mad dogs we had unwittingly unleashed into the universe. Humanity had for so long repressed their warrior culture. Tried to become better. Then we had given them back into the fires of war, and humanity had awakened it’s warrior past.
The Texar-Hakara ambassadors were taken from our halls by grim human Marines and thrust out airlocks. Finally there was but one planet left, and we came to the humans, we pointed to our own losses, our own dead friends some of whom had lived for longer than humanity had been among the stars, and we begged the humans not to take the last of the Texar-Hakara’s lives.
I watched, children, I watched as the Texar-Hakara’s world burned. As humanity left but one of their planets alive, a simple backwater colony of no more than ten million. Ten million, out of the trillions. Then the leader of the human military turned to me, and with no emotion in his voice, told me that humanity accepted the unconditional surrender of the Texar-Hakara, and walked off the bridge of my ship.
My children, the lesson here is that a warrior past is never truly gone. Only buried, mayhaps even wiped from living memory. But gone? Never. Humanity showed us that.
night of the museum AU where there’s an Iliad exhibit and Patroclus and Achilles reunite on earth, but this time they don’t have to fight in a war and can simply enjoy being together and meeting people from other parts of history
1. you see her car pull in your driveway. roll back your shoulders. tuck your hair behind your ear. take a deep breath. smile. prepare for war.
2. you go to the beach and she tries in vain to teach you how to skip rocks. you sit in the sand and talk for an hour about how great it would be to be mermaids. you imagine yourself in a house made of stone with her, tails brushing against the ocean floor. she tells you about how great it would be to lure men to their deaths, a wicked laugh on her tongue, and just for a moment, you hope. you wonder if anyone else could talk with her this way. you wonder if he could talk with her this way.
3. she tells you about him every day now. how he talks, the way he laughs, neck exposed, a long line of taut muscle you will never have. let her talk. nod in all the right places. she says she’s going to find you a boy for junior prom. tell her that’s really not going to be a problem. she laughs and rolls her eyes. you wish you could bottle that moment and keep it in a locked drawer where no boy or man could ever find it.
4. be glad you have time on the bus ride home to be by yourself. avoid her snapchats when you get home. turn the damn phone off. throw it across the room. you will go to hug your pillow but it smells like her shampoo. throw that too. hate every ounce of your life that is saturated with her.
5. she holds his hand every day now. it used to only be when they were at the movies, dark places where only the monsters could see. but he takes her out in the light now. their linked fingers look like a leash to you. swallow your vomit and turn down the wrong corridor to make sure you don’t look her in the eye. never tell her you did so.
6. she doesn’t come around as much anymore. the pillow on the left side of your bed has stopped smelling like her shampoo. you wonder which hurts more, being around her or being without her. you don’t have to lie as much this way. only to the mirror. only to your hands.
7. when she invites you to the mall with her, go. it’s the only time you’ve had with only her in weeks. when she invites you in the dressing room to see if a dress looks good on her, go. it will hurt. it will sting. seeing her beautiful body that you have no right to touch will set your hands on fire. do it anyway. get used to the feeling of not being able to get what you want. smother the flames with the dress she pools to the floor, not worried about being in her underwear around you. breathe. let your lungs fill up with smoke.
8. when you come home alone, knowing she’s with him, turn the lights off in your bedroom. the monsters will stare. stare back. they don’t need to say a word; you already say it all to yourself every time you think about her.
9. maybe it’s time to leave her, you think. maybe it’s time to stop all this dying I do.
10. maybe it is. but who will you be without her?
how to pretend to be straight for her, vol. 3, by windy sharpe