I know this is a weird one, but I watched a Guns of Icarus video and I started to imagine all the cool 4-person AUs an airship could have. This was supposed to be like three paragraphs long but oops.
Bea took a deep drag of her cigarette as she watched Angus haggle the shady salesperson (”Points for alliteration!” Mae’s voice said in her head.) Apparently Gregg had found a diamond amongst the coal in this backwater hole (”And now a rhyme!” “Stuff it Fake Mae.”) in the form of a functioning infantry railgun he just HAD to have. While Bea desperately wanted to leave before the factory smoke did too much damage to her lungs…she looked down at the cigarette in her hand, then grimaced at it and stomped it out. Anyway, she wanted to leave, but there was no denying that Gregg was a fantastic shot and he had his fair share of turning around a battle and winning them the day. They all did of course, but getting Gregg the best weapons they could buy would save their asses in the future for sure. “Hey Bea!” Mae’s voice called, cutting through her thoughts. Refocusing, she saw Mae sprinting to her ahead of Gregg, who appeared to be paying Angus back with kisses. Mae jumped at her and Bea caught her effortlessly, used to Mae’s excitable nature. “Hi.” Mae said, nuzzling into Bea’s neck. “Did you miss me?” “Only a little.” Bea replied with a smile, correctly guessing what Mae’s response would be. “A LITTLE?” Mae exclaimed, pulling away with a hand over her heart. “How could you? I thought you loved me!” “Ssshhh dear. It’s only because I could see you the whole time.” “…And if you couldn’t?” “Unending misery.” “Excellent!” Mae shouted, all smiles once again. “Hey lovebirds! Time to get going!” Gregg called from his post. When had he gotten to the ship? “Look who’s calling the kettle black, Mr. “Monthly-Anniversary-Gifts!” Bea yelled back, but she climbed aboard the Constellation, Mae still in her arms. “That is a perfectly acceptable practice and you can’t tell me otherwise!” Gregg shouted from his position on the Tesla cannon. Bea gave Mae a kiss on the forehead, the dumped her out onto the ground. Mae landed on her feet of course, and sprung up and dashed off to the flak cannon on the rear of the ship. “Perfectly expensive practice more like it!” Bea shouted as she made her way down to the hold. “And we’re off!” Angus called from the wheel as he reeled in the mooring line and they’re ship began to float away.
“…Seven.” “Go fish.” “Dammit all!” Gregg hollered as he drew his cards. Bea smirked behind her cards. “Are you lying to me engie? I could swear I remember you asking for one two turns ago. And you haven’t put down any cards.” “And I swear I remember telling you if you ever called me that again I’d throw you off this ship myself.” “…Mae. Your turn.” “Two Gregg?” “No. Bea, you’re go.” “Seven Angus?” “WHAT?!” “Kidding. Kidding. Jack?” Angus slid the card over, and Bea was about to drop a sarcasm bomb on Gregg when she paused, her ears picking up on an abnormal sound. The other three recognized Bea’s face and shut up. “Ship’s coming. Starboard. Big. Eight propellers at least.” “Everyone ready up!” Angus said and they all rushed to their stations. They waited in tense silence at their radios as the ship passed them by overhead. The Doppler vvvvvvVVVVVVVRRRRRRRRR set Bea’s nerves on edge. As it began to recede into the distance, they all met up back on deck with Angus. “Well that was a cl-” And then the cannon fired. Everyone went ramrod stiff and all eyes turned to Mea. She had a far off look in her eye and had her bat in a vice grip. Gregg and Angus turned to Bea, who nodded and slowly walked over to Mae. “Mae? Maeday? Hello?” Bea tentatively whispered as she approached Mae. “You’re strangling Shatter there. Why don’t you put it down.” As she got closer, she could hear Mae muttering to herself, the word “Shapes” chief among them. “Mae. It’s me, Beatrice. No shapes. Real person. Look.” Bea said as she took Mae’s unoccupied hand and placed it against her face. Mae ran her hands across the surface, and her eyes slowly refocused. “It was them Bea.” “I know.” “I would recognize that canon anywhere.” “I know Mae.” “It was the Black Goat.” “I know.” “We have to get them.” “Mae. We can’t.” Angus said from behind her, and Mae’s eyes shifted to him. She stayed in Bea’s arms though. “We have to Angus.” “Mae, that’s a fifty-person ship that’s at least three times bigger than ours. We just can’t.” “Imagine the salvage Angus. Just for a second, put aside the size difference and imagine.” Mae said, and saw his eyes glaze over as he did just that. Angus was always concerned with their safety, and the scrap
alone could get them out of the pirating business. “Not to mention the reward.” That snapped Angus out of it, and he said “As much as I would like that money, there is just no way our ship could take theirs on one-on-one.” “Then call in backup.” “What backup?” “Germ. Selmers. Anyone. We could split this haul fifty ways and it would be worth it. Call anyone you can trust. If not enough people show up, then we call the authorities. Just call them Angus.” “…Just a call.”
It was a tense few days as they followed behind the Black Goat waiting for their backup to arrive, but arrive it did. In the end, it was just Selmers’ and Germ’s, ships that showed up, but as Angus looked at their weapons, he said “I can make this could work.”
“Alright, here’s what we do.” Angus said, standing at the head of the table where the three crews sat, artfully drawn rendition of the Black Goat before him. “We attack at night, with the element of surprise. Germ, you start it all up. Use your heavy chain gun to shred as much ballon as you possibly can. Keep that up as long as possible, and if that gets too loud get above them and drop flaming whatever on them.” Germ nodded from his seat, and two of his crewmen fistbumped. “Selmers. You lay mines around them, in case they do get in the air. Then go try and immobilize their propellers, and get in close with the flamethrower.” “You got it Angus.” “And we-” “I’m going on there.” “What?” Angus asked, at the same time Bea asked “WHAT?” “I can brawl. We all know I can. And besides, the less of the ship we destroy, the more we can salvage for parts.” “And this has nothing to do with your desire to hurt these people?” “None at all.” “I can’t believe you said that with a straight face.” Gregg muttered to himself as Angus drummed his fingers on the desk. “Angus, you can’t be serious!” Bea shouted, worried the answer wasn’t immediately ‘No.’ “I won’t let you!” “Careful Bea. That sounds a lot like mutiny.” Gregg said with a biting chill in his voice, hand resting on the butt of his railgun. “Ok ok! Everyone relax!” Mae said, jumping on the table and standing between the two. “Angus.” she said, drawing his attention. “I can do this.” Angus looked at her for the longest second and a half of their lives. “Mae goes in.” Bea grimaced to herself, but swallowed her words in favor of a terse “Fine, but I need a minute with Mae.” Without waiting for a reply, she grabbed her girlfriend off the table and dragged her out the door. Once the pair were in their room with the doors shut, Bea turned on Mae. “What the Hell Mae?” She seethed between clenched teeth. “You know how dangerous this is right?” “Of course I know.” Mae replied. walking over to Bea and taking her hands. “But I have to. Ever since…” Mae trailed off, looking back into the past. “…I haven’t been the same.” “I like you as you are.” “I know. And I love you for it. But I don’t like me as I am. I just…I have to.” Bea sighed and pulled Mae close. “I know. But I’m worried about you.” “I’ll make it out. I promise.” “How can you be sure?” “I have something to fight for.” Bea wiped the tear from her eye and said “That’s cheesy. You’re cheesy.” “Noted.” Mae replied.
They got an extra stroke of luck. It was raining out the night of their attack, further obscuring them from view. “Everyone ready?” Angus called out above the downpour. “Check!” Gregg called from the Tesla, lightning arcing dangerously across the drops. “Ready!” Beatrice called from below, toolbelt on and wrench in hand. “Ready.” Mae said, eyes closed, her grip on Shatter unbreakable. Angus flipped his goggles down and leaned into the walkie strapped to his vest. “Germ. Light it up.” Glowing bolts of iron tore through the sky as the Somewhere opened fire. Angus dropped them down to a safe distance above the Black Goat. Off to port, they saw the Poet come in and begin the assault on the propellers. “Ready?” Angus asked again, just to Mae this time. She nodded. “Go now. Knock some teeth out for us.” Mae only nodded again, and leapt off the side of the ship, eyes seeming to glow red with fury in the light of the gunfire. And then the battle began.
It was touch and go for the ships for a while. Bea wasn’t still for a solid twenty minutes, sprinting around the ship fixing things. Angus was steering them in ways that pushed the very physics of flight, and she was pretty sure she saw Gregg get shot, but he didn’t stop firing. So she didn’t stop fixing. One particularly nasty volley left a massive hole in the side of the Constellation, but she just grabbed a plate of sheet metal and welded it on. Slowly but surely though, less and less enemy guns were firing. The damage became manageable. Angus could help her fix things here and there. Gregg switched to his new toy and took potshots at the men still left above deck. Soon, the Black Goat stood still and quiet in the night. And then a flare shot up from the deck and Bea released a breath she didn’t know she was holding. When they disembarked, they saw what they assumed and hoped was Mae. But they couldn’t be sure because they were covered in blood. “How’d it go?” Angus asked cautiously. “Pretty good. I had a front-row seat to at least two of Gregg’s headshots. That railgun was a smart purchase.” “God I want to kiss you so bad right now but I’ll regret that taste for the rest of my life.” Bea said, looking more conflicted than she ever had in her life. “Harsh dear. But fair.” Mae said. “I need a shower.” “You go do that. Then let’s get to work.”
“Chief! There’s a ship approaching bearing a white flag!” “And why are you telling me this Private?” “You had best see who it is Ma’am.” “… Of course. Today was going too smoothly. Let them in.”
“Hey Aunt Molly!” “Mae. Mae’s associates. Mind telling me what you’re doing in my port?” “We brought you a gift!” “Oh. Do go on. This should be interesting.” Greg threw back a tarp, revealing the figurehead of the Black Goat, which was, shockingly, a black goat. “…No.” “Yes.” “No way.” “Yes way.” “Where’s the rest of the ship?” “Destroyed in the firefight.” “And this bit survived huh?” “Well how else would we prove we did it.” “How did you do it anyway?” “Friendship and the power of positive thinking. Can we get our reward money now?” “…Fine.” “And about us…?” The tension was palpable. “…Well, anyone who brings down a murder-cannibalism cult is good in my book. For at least a night.” “Woohoo!” Gregg cheered as Molly handed over the cash. “First thing I’m gonna do is-” “Go to a hospital.” Angus interrupted. “And get that wound looked at properly.” “Aw, really? You patched it up fine!” “You know what’s sexy? Bullet scars. You know what’s not sexy? A dead boyfriend.” “To the hospital we go then.” “Good choice.” “You guys head off now.” Bea cut in. “Mae and I will catch up.” She gave them a look that said Get lost. I need 1-1 girlfriend time. “No time to waste. See you soon!” Gregg called out as he and Angus exited stage right. “Mae? Are you Ok? Actually, don’t answer that. Something is bothering you. Want to talk about it?” “It’s…it’s stupid.” “Mae, I love you. Nothing about you is stupid.” “Sap.” “If I have to be. Spill.” Mae sighed and looked down to the ground. “It’s just that…I thought I’d feel different. After, you know? Like…” “You’d somehow be cured? And know it? And know you’ll never have an attack again?” “Yeah. Exactly. Bea…what if I never get better?” Bea took Mae’s hand and led her over to a bench for comfort snuggles. “Well, I’m not going to lie to you and say ‘You’ll get better, I’m sure!’, because I’m not. And I know you don’t like this thing, and that you want so much for it to be gone. But this thing? That they did to you? It doesn’t change who you are. No matter what happens, Gregg, Angus, and I? We all love you, and we always will. We’ll support you in this no matter how it goes.” At this point Mae was crying into Bea’s shirt, and Bea was rubbing slow, soothing circles into her back. “Thank you. Thank you BaeBea.” Bea snorted at the nickname. “Any time Maedae Now, come along. We’re filthy rich, comparatively, and can actually spend a night in town without being turned in. Maybe we can get some real food.” “Tacos are real food.” “They are absolutely not.” “They’re made of real food.” “But it loses it’s realness somewhere along the way.” Mae hefted herself up off the bench, and offered Bea a hand. “Well, maybe we can go see a movie? With popcorn? God, it’s been ages since I’ve had popcorn.” “True.” They all spent probably more than they should have that night, but they were happy the next morning, and what more can you really ask for?
Outside Susan Holmes’ house in southeastern Oklahoma, visitors are welcomed by an entryway lined with oxygen bottles and a machine that collects and concentrates oxygen from the air.
“I take two inhalers twice a day,” Holmes says. “And I have a nebulizer that I use four times a day, and I use oxygen at night.”
She says her asthma returned when she moved to Bokoshe, a decaying town of about 500 people that is flanked by old coal mines. The huge pits have now been filled with hundreds of thousands of tons of coal ash.
About 130 million tons of coal ash are produced every year. Power companies used to keep it in big, open holes called coal ash ponds. No lining was required to stop leakage, and no monitoring, to even know if it was leaking.
Then, in 2008, a ruptured dike spilled more than a billion gallons of coal ash slurry from a pond operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considered classifying coal ash as “hazardous waste.”
The utility industry lobbied hard — and successfully — to avoid the hazardous waste designation. So in 2014, EPA’s new rules said coal ash was not hazardous.
Now, power companies must recycle the ash, store it more securely on site, or send the ash to landfills.
But in the towns where that ash is ending up, nobody is quite happy with those options.
at the Coal Hole in in London on Strand Street! great place to eat and had the best cider ever!!!! from Sweden had a pear taste with an under layer of vanilla. SO DELICIOUS! and Fish and chips were so yummy, Minus the mushy peas. YUCK.
All right so, since some people had shown interest in seeing my writing, I’ve decided to post it up here. Please remember that this is my first fanfic so I would greatly appreciate criticism, thoughts, and ways I can improve.
Now, without further adieu, a shitty first fanfiction…
written in first person cuz im a nub.
I liked nights like this on the island: nights when Sonja left to explore neighboring areas or talk to the animals and I was left alone with my thoughts. They were mostly the same things like “will all the bosses be defeated?” “will my friends die?” and of course, something I would never tell anyone, especially not Sonja, something that was on my mind at a near constant: Tom Syndicate. I guess you could say Tom and I shared a bond, we were the first ones to wake up in Mianite after all. We had spent the most time together out of our entire group and we had maintained a great relationship even though we were on opposite teams and were usually at each other’s throats for the most part. We were as close as brothers and when he was around I could feel our connection like electricity through my bones. I thought everything between us was purely platonic, and I thought Sonja was the only person I would ever love, but when Tom and Jordan started getting closer and I felt hellfire in my gut I knew something was wrong. And I was right, something was horribly horribly wrong, something was happening that could ruin everything, something that could cause irreparable damage to my friendship with Tom and my relationship with Sonja. I had feelings for Tom. The first decision after my minor mental breakdown of realization was that Jordan and Sonja couldn’t know about this. My second was that Tom especially couldn’t know about this. My third being that I couldn’t feel like this, if I kept dating Sonja and pretended there was no crisis happening inside my mind and there was nothing in me for Tom, the problem would eventually go away and I wouldn’t need to think about it ever again. However, as Tom and Jordan grew closer and closer it became increasingly more obvious that they had feelings for eachother which led to the realization that Tom was clearly available for men. Though he may have had feelings for Jordan, he clearly didn’t have any for me or at least didn’t show any. So while I couldn’t go on dates with him myself, the closest I could get to him would be through Jordan, so I planned to live vicariously through him. I planned dates for them and tried my best to make them understand that they do return each other’s feelings as they blush and look away like teenagers. When we woke up on the shores of Trinity Island, I had decided that my plans would have to wait until we left because something about the island felt way too odd. I felt like things had been more intense than back home in Mianite. Things had progressed even still without my interference in Tom and Jordan’s relationship and everything felt bittersweet. Seeing Tom happy gave me a warm, soft flame in my gut, but seeing him happy with someone else felt like that fire was being twisted and curled inside of me. But the only thing that truly mattered was Tom’s happiness in the end, and I could tell that he’d be more happy with Jordan than he would be with me. When things got too flirty between them, I’d just busy myself with working on farming or building or mining or anything that could take my mind away. From when we first arrived on the island, I had known that something was wrong about this island, something was drastically different from the Realm of Mianite. My theory had been confirmed when I was in the mines, seperated from everyone. We had been talking as I mined and I had just blocked out a pit of lava using the last of my useless blocks. They were talking about the house we were going to build and the size it was going to be. I mined some coal revealing a hole a dark cave hanging over me, it was too high for me to see into. I moved out of the way to avoid any creatures falling on top of me. On the surface they were joking about house sizes and dick sizes, Tom poked fun at me to sonja about her ‘being used to small.’ As I was about to make an argument back at him and his jokes when something came from the hole above me. A creeper had dropped down, primed for explosion. My loud burst of yelling had been cut short by an even louder burst of sulfur and fire. Though my body had been gone, I watched as they rushed into the mines to mourn their losses and take what they could carry. I saw the shock on their faces as it sank in that I was dead, and I wasn’t coming back. Tom seemed the most disappointed out of all of them which had made me somewhat happier. I attended my own funeral. They had set up a small series of stone pillars as a gravemark in front of a cobblestone grave. They had some flowers with them that they placed around my resting place, though I hadn’t rest there. I missed the days when I could talk to them. Death was a very lonely thing. I could only be happy that there was no reason to hide my affections now, so every day I’d hold Tom’s physical hands in my intangible ones and every night Tom’s body could warm my cold self. Some days reality had been blurred and I would completely believe that Tom knew that I was sharing his life and he knew what I would think about him. I would talk to him without thinking and feel stupid when he wouldn’t reply. It was when they were challenging the ocean temple and Jordan needed milk that I knew I would be sharing my lonely world with someone soon. Sonja told him about the amount of guardians surrounding her but he thought she could get through easily. She drank her potions and swam through a minefield of creatures until she reached the small breach they had made to enter the temple where she ate a golden apple to regain health, it didn’t help enough as she still had trouble getting to Jordan. She struggled to get to Jordan with the sheer amount of guardians pushing her back and forth until she couldn’t take any more and fell to the ground. I comforted her as she mourned her own death. Her grave was next to mine and almost identical if it weren’t for the inscription, mine being from day three and hers from day twenty three. We spent a lot of our time in the afterlife at these graves just talking about anything. She had an intense bond with the animals inhabiting our farm and she loved her rabbit, Moo, so when we weren’t talking or just sitting together, she would spend a good deal of time trying to pet them or talk to them and comfort them, especially Moo. When she brought me in the house to talk to Moo with her, I noticed Tom and Jordan were sleeping together, not just sleeping at the same time, they were full on spooning and I had wished I weren’t dead just so I could die again. I waited until Sonja left to sleep with the cows in the farm like she usually did until I slowly made my way to Tom and Jordan on the bed. I used my intangibility to lower myself into the position Jordan was in, lying on his side with his arm draped over Tom and his other arm under his pillow, supporting his head. If this was as close to Tom as I could get, then I wouldn’t mind being dead.