NCIS: Los Angeles

Season 8 

Season 7

Unabashed Book Snobbery Podcast #21, Horn Faire Retrospective

Here’s the retrospective planning session as Julia and I tried to make sense of Sam’s Season 6 plotline in advance of writing “Horn Faire.” We were flummoxed. GIRL POWER THO.

Listen to it here (direct links to the mp3 files for downloads available on the page), or subscribe/listen on iTunes (it’s already updated in the Podcast app, if not on the site yet). It’s also in our RSS feed.

The saltarello performance for this episode is by Laefty Lo, available for download from their Soundcloud.

Episode Breakdown:

  • 0:00 - Intro & Sam and Gilly’s first scene  
  • 11:51 - So much green in the galaxy
  • 15:00 - Arrival at the faire
  • 22:15 - Dress & Dinner
  • 31:21 - Sword & Citadel
  • 40:23 - Analysis time! Sam’s arc and Gilly’s…thing
  • 45:42 - Girl Power!
  • 52:27 - Randyll Wildling Hater Tarly
  • 55:26 - Geography lesson
  • 1:02:44 - Decision prime and checklist/asspull

Related Links:

For all other UBS Podcast episodes, click here

  • Frank:Pizza's here!
  • Joe:Oh boy! Ah, Frank, I hope you don't mind... I played for you while you were gone. Don't worry, I only lost twice!
  • Frank:I was downstairs for two minutes. We're playing monopoly.
  • Joe:I may have made a few risky investments.
  • Ned:He tried to build a, and I quote 'Tower Citadel worthy of my sorcery' out of like twenty stacked hotels. On Jail.
The Other Commander Shepard, 15/?

Fandom: Mass Effect

Summary: Val Shepard is the survivor of Mindoir, Hero of Elysium, first human Spectre, Savior of the Citadel, Destroyer of Bahak, and savior of the galaxy…… or is she?  Waking up as an ordinary Alliance officer, Shepard tries to make sense of the world around her, where everything seems changed.

Length: This chapter, ~5000 words; overall, ~60,000 words

Links: AO3,

Credits: Thanks to @theherocomplex and @probablylostrightnow for thoughtful and invaluable beta reading!

Additional note:  Sorry for the delay in posting!

Val said, “All I’m saying is, there are other alternatives.”

Garrus’s mandible flicked. “In a hurry, Shepard?”

She made a face, drumming her fingers on the battered table. Her eyes drifted around the room, to the other groups of people talking or laughing. “I don’t like waiting,” she admitted. “We don’t know how long it’s going to take Alex to get information from his contacts, or even… what?”

“Nothing,” Garrus said, but he kept grinning at her, mandibles flared and eyes bright with amusement.

She let out a deep breath. Around them, the clamor of the bar covered their conversation, but they needed to keep things light. If she pressed Garrus, he was just going to offer more observations about how she was or wasn’t like John Shepard, and she didn’t want to hear it. Every comparison heated her irritation. Probably John didn’t try to hash out their options the way she was doing. Once upon a time, Val might have chosen a course of action more easily, but in this new environment, she still felt out of step. Probably John didn’t fidget as much as she did, either. Deliberately, Val settled her shoulders and put her hands in her lap, lacing her fingers together to still them.

“Fine,” Garrus said, relenting at her stony look. “You’re right, it might take a while to track down that Cerberus facility Alex was talking about. But what do you suggest we do? You and I both have duties here. You’ve already asked Traynor to keep an eye out for this Dr. Bryson. What else?”

Underneath the table, Val’s hands tightened together. “Liara. She has an orb, I’m sure of it. Or it has her.”

Garrus leaned back, his mandibles drawing in tight to his jaw. “Maybe she does, and maybe it was Shepard’s. How do you propose to go about getting it?”

Val shrugged. “Break in and have a look around. Isn’t that one of your specialties?”

His brow plates twitched. “Interesting that you would think that.” His eyes shifted to the side, taking in the bar around them. “You do know who she is, right?”

“You don’t think we can crack her security, is that it?”

“I’m not sure what kind of security she has.” Garrus’s mandibles twitched. “Besides, she considers me a friend. I could just go see her.”

“You think that would still work after our last visit?”

Garrus tilted his head down, mandibles flexing. “Point. Maybe, maybe not. Liara can be unpredictable.”

“Unpredictable how? Val asked. Thinking about Liara’s cold eyes and pointed intrusion into her mind made her feel off balance. Garrus and James and even Traynor didn’t seem so different in this universe; why was Liara so different?

"Maybe Alex has come up with something that can detect the orbs,” Garrus said thoughtfully, as if he hadn’t heard her.

“That would be nice,” Val muttered, frowning. She’d hardly seen Alex in the last two days. He surfaced for breakfast and dinners, gulping down huge quantities of coffee at each meal, but he didn’t say much about what he was working on. Mama had been too delighted with Talitha’s presence to prod him for details. She was so delighted, in fact, that Talitha herself hardly got a word in edgewise, even to answer Mama’s questions, so Val hadn’t gotten any update on their work from Talitha, either. She’d replaced Traynor as Alex’s research assistant, since the new surge in communications traffic kept Traynor busy at her primary job. Val wasn’t sure whether Talitha had volunteered, or whether Alex had conscripted her. Either way, the two of them spent most of their time hunkered down in the lab.

Traynor had apologized profusely about not being able to work on the project, but her darting eyes and fidgeting made Val think Traynor wanted to keep her distance from the lab, and the orb in it. Honestly, Val couldn’t blame her.

“Yo, Scars, Blondie, what’s shaking?”

Val started guiltily as James strolled up, looming over Garrus’s shoulder. She fumbled for something to say.

Continue reading on AO3 or

vorchagirl  asked:

Does Tulsi have any tattoos? Does Liara? Would either of them ever consider getting them? ^_^

@ferociousqueak asked this question back in February and I said that Tulsi didn’t have any tattoos but I think that’s changed since then.

I think she gets one with James, around the time he gets his N7 one–though she’s going to make them go somewhere other than the Citadel docking bay. He makes that joke about Shepard getting his name tattooed on her and Tulsi rolls with it, talks about the script she’s going to get and where she’s going to get it placed, right up until she hits the tattoo artist’s chair and James is back peddling and kind of freaking out that she’d actually get his name tattooed and she makes a comment about loving him but not that much. 

She gets a mandala on her back, just about in the same location as James’.

Liara never gets one. She likes James’ and Tulsi’s but tattoos aren’t her jam.
Soutenons la Citadelle ! | Les Identitaires
Depuis quelques jours, Josiane Dabit, responsable locale d’Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, a lancé une pétition exigeant la fermeture de la Citadelle, maison de l’identité flamande située au cœur de Lille. Le prétexte invoqué serait les éventuels troubles provoqués par les extrémistes de gauche qu’elle semble appeler de ses vœux. Bien entendu, elle ne réclame pas la
By Les Identitaires
Mass Effect Questionnaire

i was tagged by @badwolf626 thank you for tagging me!!

Mass Effect Question Challenge.

Favorite character: Kaidan Alenko (obviously….)

Paragon or Renegade: A mix ?? mostly renegade though

Favorite Class: Vanguard

War Hero, Sole Survivor, or Ruthless: Sole Survivor, but i really like Ruthless

Spacer, Colonist, or Earthborn: Colonist

Favorite Alien: Um either the drell or krogan

Favorite Planet/Location: probably the citadel ?? that or the Normandy itself

Favorite DLC: Citadel (i rly like Leviathan tho)

Favorite Weapon: I don’t really play as a soldier or infiltrator very much, but i love using sniper rifles. Also the carnifex and that one gun you get during the citadel dlc 

Favorite Shepard/OC: Maia…..I absolutely adore her and I’ve put so much thought and effort into both her development and her backstory…she’s honestly the only Shepard I have that i can replay over and over again with the exact same choices and not get bored (which is exactly what i do….)

Favorite Mission: Either The Suicide Mission, Zaeed’s loyalty mission or Priority: Citadel II 

Favorite Track: Um I don’t really know their names but that song that plays on the loading screen for Mass Effect 1 always makes me emotional

ME1, ME2, or ME3: Gameplay-wise Mass Effect 3, but I’m going to go with Mass Effect 1 because it has some of my favorite moments (also it’s the only time I get to see Ash alive ;-;)

SR-1 or SR-2: SR-2 in mass effect 3 because i hated the elevators in the first two games (also I love Shepard’s cabin in me3)

I tag: @utheneraaa @theathenanebula @hubologists @utlor @mshega and @zydrune plus anyone else who wants to do it (u don’t have to if u don’t want to!!)

No place for subtlety

The large guardian walked through the strangely abandoned halls of the Citadel, making his way up to the Matriarch’s quarters. He’d been summoned but he knew not what for, and could not deny he wasn’t the least bit curious, his feelings betrayed by the hurried nature of his gait. When he reached the top of the stairs the Matriarch already stood waiting for him, an odd air of enthusiasm surrounding her.

“Ah, Falcilo. Come with me.”

Keep reading

Mass Effect Questionnaire

I am so sorry it took me so long to do this!

@rock-paperback-scissors tagged me, thank you :D

Mass Effect Question Challenge.

Favorite character: Oh man this is so hard

Paragon or Renegade: ME1 full paragon, ME2 mostly renegade, some paragon, ME3 Paragade

Favorite Class: Adept

War Hero, Sole Survivor, or Ruthless: Sole Survivor

Spacer, Colonist, or Earthborn: I love earthborn but for some reason colonist fit my canon character better

Favorite Alien: Hmmm another tough one, Quarians I think are my favorite

Favorite Planet/Location: 

Favorite DLC: Citadel DLC!!!!!

Favorite Weapon: Biotics!! But also I had Raine train in assault rifles because I love assault rifles and my favorite on is the Valkyrie. I love that gun!!

Favorite Shepard/OC: Raine. I had two other Sheps but its hard for me to play them because I have so much invested in Raine.

Favorite Mission: Again it is so hard to choose. I love Thanes recruitment mission and Kasumi’s loyalty mission, and I really really love the clone mission from the citadel dlc!

Favorite Track: I love the end credits song from ME1 by the faunts and Leaving Earth from 3 kills me every time and A Future for the Krogen is sooooo beautiful!!!

ME1, ME2, or ME3: Arrrrrah so hard!!!!! I guess 3….no no 1… 2!!! ahhh!

SR-1 or SR-2: SR-1 I love the really dark lighting and all the lens flares :)

I know a lot of people have done this so feel free to ignore. I tag @lonyn @katerinyaa @paladinalenko @mssticha @erubadhriell and anyone else who wants to. Again ignore if you have already done it or don’t want to :)

i was tagged by @shadetheshadows to describe myself with three fictional character!!

alphys - undertale
smoky quartz - steven universe
merrill - dragon age 2

i tag @robyntrevelyan @straightboyboners @cassandrapntaghasts @dizzeekplng @estonianpenguin and @qunari-on-the-citadel !! but you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to !!!

Sentinelle, sentinelle, c'est en marchant le long des remparts dans l'ennui du doute qui vient des nuits chaudes, c'est en écoutant les bruits de la ville quand la ville ne te parle pas, c'est en surveillant les demeures des hommes quand elles sont morne assemblage, c'est en respirant le désert autour quand il n'est que vide, c'est en t'efforçant d'aimer sans aimer, de croire sans croire, et d'être fidèle quand il n'est plus à qui être fidèle, que tu prépares en toi l'illumination de la sentinelle, qui te viendra parfois comme récompense et don de l'amour.

Citadelle (1948), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, éd. Gallimard, coll. Folio, 2000 (ISBN 978-2-07-040747-7), p. 246.

Mass Effect Tagging Game

Tagged by @daddytloak (thank you so much!)

Favorite character: …hmmm… Mordin

Paragon or Renegade: Paragon cuz i feel guilty otherwise lmao

Favorite class: Soldier! I’ve only played as one so it’s all I know

War hero, sole survivor, or ruthless: War hero!!

Spacer, colonist, or earthborn:

Favorite alien:  Salarians tbh

Favorite planet/location:
Omega, Illium, and the Citadel Wards

Favorite DLC:
Omega and Citadel

Favorite weapon: M76-Revenant 

Favorite Shepard/OC:
Audrey Shepard!

Favorite Mission:
Oh yikes that’s really hard.. like all the recruitment and loyalty missions oops

Favorite track:
Tbh the track on my blog, the ME3 character creation song is like super bomb. Not sure if it’s my fav but i can’t pick lolll  

Me1, Me2, or Me3:
If i really had to pick, ME2

SR-1 or SR-2:

I’m tagging (no pressure!): @seattle138 @littlebosmer @liaras @keelahselai @geth-consensus

Bachelor of Steel

read it on the AO3 at

by millsenberry

Under increasing pressure from his Council to select a suitor and marry, Elder Arthur Maxson of the Brotherhood of Steel is forced into participating in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of courting a number of high-standing Brotherhood women at once.

Desperate to avoid officially committing to any of the high-born suitors eager to become the next leading Lady of the Brotherhood of Steel, Maxson turns to the Commonwealth Expedition’s latest recruit, a pre-war vault dweller under the sponsorship of his most trusted Paladin. Tasked with appearing as the front runner of Maxson’s affections, Serena Howard rises to the occasion of sabotaging group dates and putting on a convincing display of romantic interest in Maxson to sufficiently deceive his order. With the assurance of being released from her promise to him once his peers have returned to the Citadel, Serena does her best to ensure that the High Elder is not entrapped by his peers into a courtship that he cannot get out of.

Shenanigans ensue.

[Inspired by the reality television show, The Bachelor]

Words: 1561, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

read it on the AO3 at

While we’re on the subject of honeybees, I was recently visited by a swarm!

I came home Tuesday to find a huge cloud of bees all around a magnolia tree by the garage. In less than an hour, they coalesced into a tight ball of bees about the size of a football.

Now, I knew from a lifetime of nature documentaries that honeybees are at their most docile and least likely to sting when they’re swarming. A this time, they are stuffed silly with honey, don’t have any young to protect, and can simply fly away to avoid predators. They’re cruising around with their queen, looking for a new place to build a hive.

I wasn’t worried about them hurting anybody, but I didn’t necessarily want them to take up residence in my garage or attic. So I did what anybody would have done in this situation. I made a Facebook post about it and then googled what to do.

Fortunately, a friend of mine works at the Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware, Ohio. She put me in touch with their Apiarist (beekeeper), who was simply ecstatic to hear that I had a stray swarm and that I hadn’t poisoned it (apparently, lots of people don’t know the difference between honeybees and wasps/hornets/yellowjackets/etc). We set up a time for him to come rescue the swarm, and he even called a couple of students up to share the experience. One of them had been waiting for over two years to go on a swarm rescue run.

He brought out a hive box with some already-combed frames. We cut down the twig the bees had clustered on and dropped it into the box, and they immediately began claiming it as their home. Detecting the wax comb on the frames and recognizing a good hive location, the bees started to emit a lemony “homing” pheromone, letting all of their sisters know to settle down here and start laying down wax.

We kept the hive box overnight to allow errant scouts time to return. He came back the next morning to pick up the hive and take it to a quarantine site, until he could be sure of the bees health and temperament. He even left us a little parting gift from the apiary at Stratford. Everybody kept saying what an absolute treat it was to find and save a swarm, and how rare it was to see them. Provided the hive is healthy, in a month or two, I could go up to the ecological center and visit my bees! 

With 40% of honeybee colonies in the US dying in the last year, every bee that can be saved is a small victory. It was a real privilege to witness this event and have a hand in finding a good home for the swarm.

If you see some swarming honeybees in the wild, call a beekeeper! They’ll be grateful to hear from you, and you’ll be doing some good for our pollinator friends!

J'interdis aux marchands de vanter trop leur marchandises. Car ils se font vite pédagogues et t'enseignent comme but ce qui n'est par essence qu'un moyen, et te trompant ainsi sur la route à suivre les voilà bientôt qui te dégradent, car si leur musique est vulgaire ils te fabriquent pour te la vendre une âme vulgaire. Or, s'il est bon que les objets soient fondés pour servir les hommes il serait monstrueux que les hommes fussent fondés pour servir de poubelles aux objets.

Citadelle, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, éd. Gallimard, coll. La Pléiade, 1953, chap. LXXI, p. 679.


favorite videogame ships (in no particular order) Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth.

“ Edgeworth believed in me, and I believe in him. He’s in pain… And no one’s on his side. I’m the only one who knows the real Edgeworth. I’m the only one who can help him”.