The Nivelle Offensive

An advance German machine gun position preparing to fire on French infantry.

April 16 1917, Berry–For days, the French artillery had been pounding the German lines along the Aisne.  With one artillery piece for every 20 feet of front, a third of them heavy guns, the French, from Nivelle down, believed there would be no way that the Germans could withstand the barrage.  However, due to poor artillery spotting, German defense-in-depth, and extensive underground construction along the Chemin des Dames, most of the German positions beyond the first line were intact when the barrage halted at 5:58 AM on April 16.

The French infantry began to advance two minutes later, with the barrage resuming ahead of them.  The first minutes of the offensive went well, largely because the Germans had already all but abandoned their first line.  Despite this, the French had difficulty physically advancing over the ground, still strewn with barbed wire and torn to pieces by the artillery assault.  Pounding rain (and occasional snow) did not help, nor did the fact that their packs were overburdened with multiple days’ worth of provisions that Nivelle thought necessary for the subsequent advance beyond the German trenches and the reach of French supply lines.  Soon, the barrage, advancing at 30-40 yards a minute, outstripped the French infantry, subjecting them to uninterrupted German machine gun fire.

On the Chemin des Dames, the Germans often came out of their underground caves and bunkers after the French had advanced overhead, attacking them from behind.  While this had also occurred at Vimy Ridge, here, in conjunction with German counterattacks from their third line, quickly threw the French into disarray.  Local retreats were countermanded, and more reserves continued to pour in on the original timetable, when the first attacks had largely not yet succeeded.  Only the French supremacy in artillery prevented these masses of clogged infantry from being excellent targets for the Germans.  Further attacks were ordered, but generally went worse than those in the morning, on many occasions being bombarded by their own confused infantry.  General Mangin’s Senegalese corps suffered over 60% casualties, earning him the nickname of “broyeur de noir” (literally “black crusher,” also idiomatically “pessimist”).

The battle was to be the first use of French tanks in battle.  However, due to mechanical and logistical difficulties, they could not be deployed until the early afternoon.  Much lighter than the British tanks, the French tanks were easily taken out by German artillery, with many simply exploding into fireballs.  Those that survived intact often became stuck in mud or fell into enemy trenches, not being long enough to bridge them themselves.  In the one instance where they did reach their objective, they had outstripped their infantry (who were understandably reluctant to follow these exploding machines) and wandered aimlessly in the woods for some hours.

By the end of the day, after extensive German counterattacks, the French had advanced no further than a few hundred yards, and had not taken any significant portions of the German second line.  Casualties were more than ten times what had been expected.

Today in 1916: Internal Security Dramatically Increased in Russian 12th Army
Today in 1915: Turkish Torpedo Boat Attack on Transport Ship Fails; 51 Die in Panic

Stay tuned for a bonus edition later tonight.

Sources include: E.L. Spears, Prelude to Victory; John Keegan, The First World War.

Truth Be Told

Because Olicity is my jam, most of this is going to be about them. I don’t know about anybody else, but last night’s episode felt like a season finale to me. it gave me everything I wanted to see—Olicity in survival mode, a big pot of truth tea, married-like banter during adversity, love, pain, teamwork, hope; and oh yeah, sex.

I liked the premise of them being trapped together and not having any doors to walk out of when the shit started getting real. Well, Felicity wasn’t going to walk anywhere, but I get the metaphor. Felicity repeated to Oliver at the end of 519 that he still doesn’t trust her. Then the power went out, and in the darkness, both of them had a front row seat to the dynamics of what it is to trust someone. It wasn’t about matters of the heart (not at first.)  It was about working together as a team. There has never been an issue for them on that score; going back five years, it is an ingrained instinct to have each other’s backs. In a way, Chase’s evil plan to trap them alone together ended up being the catalyst to opening up their hearts to one another. All I could think of was Felicity telling Oliver at the end of season three—‘don’t fight to die, fight to live.’

I also love that Oliver’s first reaction at the beginning of the episode was to call for Felicity. He could have had severed limbs or internal bleeding or any number of significant injuries. But Felicity’s well-being and her safety was his first thought when he came to. It gave me some serious feels—for personal reasons. There was a part of me that wanted to see Oliver pick her up and gently put her in the wheelchair, (again for personal reasons.)

As the episode went on, I thoroughly enjoyed them starting to take care of one another again. Felicity patching up Oliver played for me like the end of a drought. I can think of a couple of times during the season when she wanted to tend to his wounds and had to stop herself from touching him. The lead up to their flashback Bunker sex brought clarity as to why she kept her distance from him in that way. But the instinct to take care of him was still there. It will always be there.

And speaking of the Bunker sex. I kept hearing R.E.M.’s Shiny Happy People playing in the background of my enthusiastic mind. I love that they used Chinese food and wine and the salmon ladder to kick things off. So this sex happened just a month after the ‘you thought I was leaving too, not a chance’ exchange. Apparently, a lot of flirting was going on. And Curtis was instigating a lot of It. Who would have thunk? Okay, so they were drunk, and perhaps Felicity forgot that he lied to her and forfeited their chance for a happily ever after. Oliver talked her into trying the salmon ladder. After telling her she couldn’t do a chin-up, she was game and gave it a shot. I love that Oliver stood behind her admiring the view while she dangled from the bar. It was a valiant effort, but not to be. She asked him to help her down. It was very sensitive and erotic. He hadn’t put his hands on her like that for months; the same with Felicity bracing herself on his shoulders as he lowered her down. There was a soft glance and they were inches apart. Oliver reminded her that she had a little bit to drink. Felicity countermanded that she had a lot to drink. Then, as if she were diving into a shaft of rainbow colors, she came at him with everything in her. I’m guessing it was something she had fantasied about since the breakup.


The urgency of their intimacy was—well, it was breathtaking. She pulling his shirt off, him spinning her around to help remove hers—sublime. I kept thinking of ordering some Chinese food during the whole sequence. I also thought how fun it would have been if Oliver hoisted himself back up on the salmon ladder with Felicity’s legs wrapped around him. Now that would be some flourish. But the mat worked out fine.

Okay, enough. I’m not a smut writer. It was erotic, exciting and beautiful. But then, during their post-coital snuggling, Felicity remembered why she left him and reminded Oliver as well. Cue the bucket of cold water. She did tell Oliver she still loved him. I could have sworn he shot a quick glance at the salmon ladder when she told him. So Felicity solidified her wall and went out to find someone who appreciated her. And then Season 5 officially started , ambiguity and all.

Shiny Happy People, a great big sigh.


Oliver’s confession to Felicity about what he thinks Chase showed him was powerful. Telling her about his ‘enjoyment of killing’ was his biggest fear, not because he was afraid Chase was right, but because Felicity would agree and turn away from him forever. What I saw in that tear rolling down his face was ten years of pain and suffering and not deserving anything soft or peaceful or tender in his life. It was him not being deserving and worth of Felicity.

Felicity saw it too. She told him she wouldn’t have fallen in love with him and wanted to get married if she thought he was a monster. And perhaps with those words, Felicity might have unlocked the door that she closed between them and started to push it open. She knows she loves him. I think the real question is—does she love him enough?

In the hospital scene at the end, she said that he should try to find the man that he is. I’m sorry, and I might piss off some people here, but if you love someone as deeply as she says she does Oliver, wouldn’t the good qualities and the bad ones be part of that package? It is not okay to be flawed and imperfect, to have doubts and misunderstandings? Can he not make mistakes or bad choices? It works both ways. It’s not a gender issue, a he-said, she-said issue. It’s not about right or wrong. What it is about—and they both agreed in 410, is for better and for worse. Sure, he might lie to her again, or she could go dark again and join another evil organization; it’s a life filled with maybe’s, should of’s, and could of’s.

Man, this show drives me nuts sometimes.

And what about Felicity basically letting Oliver off the hook? Is it another example from her on wanting to take on his burdens? Was Felicity telling Oliver it was okay he lied to her? Don’t’ worry honey; you’ve got enough on your plate. I call bullshit. Oliver does need to take responsibility for his actions, especially when those actions hurt the love of his life. It kind of seemed out of character (and a bit rushed) that she would get why he lied to her about William. If these two are really closing the distance between each other, then Oliver needs to own his part, and not just assume that Chase’s mindfuck gives Oliver a get out of jail free card.

There is always going to be something messy happening in any relationship. Nobody’s perfect (Felicity, circa 420.)  What makes it work is knowing it, believing it and not repeating the same mistakes. Insanity is sure to ensue. Trusting each other, good or bad, is the cornerstone to a long, happy life together. It’s what keeps the momentum moving forward.

One more thing that struck me about 520—the elevator shaft scene and OTA. The allegory of them working together as a team was just beautiful. John on one end of the chain, Felicity on the other, and Oliver in the middle making sure the links stay strong and don’t break. It was the summation of OTA and why those three letters need to be capitalized. Great stuff.

Like I said at the start of this—it felt like it could have been a season ending episode. There are still three left! There is a mysterious corpse and a birthday party and a huge island explosion coming our way. Maybe even a kidnapping thrown in as well.

But if OTA and Olicity are standing strong with each other through all of it—that is a truth I can believe in.

C’mon, am I the only one who thinks Oliver and Felicity having sex on the salmon ladder would be viewing gold?

@hope-for-olicity @louiseblue1 @tdgal1 @melolicity @memcjo @it-was-a-red-heeler @ruwithmeguys @jamyjan @dmichellewrites

pointless hc of the day:

‘just following orders’ is a viable legal defence in the Imperial legal system, if those orders were given by a Sith. however, it is not a defence that sees much use, for two main reasons:

1. it is not infrequent that said Sith will deny up and down giving those orders, particularly if it has ended badly enough that the Imperial legal system has not just become involved but acquired jurisdiction over the actions of a Sith. the burden of proof is, in these cases, on the defendant to prove that those orders were given, and there is little protection (in the case of a successful use of the defence) from retribution from the Sith or their powerbase to the defendant and, in extreme cases, their associates.

2. it is equally not infrequent that those orders are countermanded by orders from another Sith. this gives the subordinate in question an impossible dilemma, and the majority of cases which successfully plead this defence have done so in exchange for accepting a finding of guilty for the offence of failing to follow orders of a Sith, for which the worst punishment is execution - in order to avoid a fate literally worse than death.

Imperial legal scholars have debated at length as to whether the defence should be removed entirely, given as it causes more problems than it solves and invariably results in a higher caseload and, in the worst of cases, body count.

Republic legal scholars, on the other hand, just stare in horror.

anonymous asked:

I'm playing my first LG paladin tomorrow and I'm a little nervous. I'm incredibly used to playing CG characters (my CG druid/cavalier and my CG-masquerading-as-LG "paladin" [read: brawler with a divine deity putting them through shit to get full paladin rights]). It'll be a gun-slinging paladin in a setting based off of the web-comic Kill Six Billion Demons. Do you have any advice on how to stay LG in a world where the system is corrupt and the laws don't benefit the people as a whole?

Be the example to countermand the broken system. A common mistake people make is that thinking just because a person believes in the law or acts with their very own strictly self enforced code of honor that if someone tries to sell bullshit to them just because its legal doesn’t mean they stop being able to realize that something foul has just been put in front of them.

You know whose job it is to illustrate a living reflection of what a just society is supposed to be, the exemplar people look up to, the ideal in an unidealistic world? You. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. It’ll be at once harder and easier than you think.

Talk Less, Laugh More

Summary: Alexander Hamilton has a habit of saying exactly the wrong thing. Luckily, Eliza knows how to cheer herself up.

A/N: This is my Squealing Santa gift to fanficsandfluff. Greetings from the anonymous nondenominational holiday figure of your choice! Your Avengers fanfiction on deviantart was the first I’d ever seen of tickle fics, and you inspired to me keep looking for them – and eventually to give writing them a try :) Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy! (also, this has so much plot and I don’t know how to write dating people and I am so sorry)


The weather outside has turned truly miserable, she’s breaking the behavior code from every lady’s book she’s ever read, and her dress has long since given up on settling into the graceful folds that Angelica manages so effortlessly, but Eliza thinks that she has never been more happy in her entire life.

Partly due to the atmosphere, of course – with a fire lit in almost every room the house is almost cozy despite the howling wind that whistles outside windows and seeps through walls, and the strains of a quartet playing float up from the ballroom below. But truly, I’s the company she’s keeping. Not twenty feet away, Alexander Hamilton is sorting through her father’s bookshelves in search of a treatise of slavery (alone! With an eligible young man! What Angelica and Peggy would say if they weren’t occupied downstairs), all the while holding forth on the essay he’s planning to write. It’s a bit much for her to follow – he hasn’t stopped talking for nearly half an hour – but his voice buoys her along, joining the crackling fire to lure her into a lazy contentment.

“Come sit with me,” she says without thinking, and blushes.

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anonymous asked:

Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, All That We've Lost

Damn, nonny, that really sounds like an angst!fic title - didn’t I break enough feels with my last Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan post? I will not let the name of Saner become synonymous with angst! XD
(ohmigod you should hear @lilyrose225writes laughing at me rn. although since I’m not writing this one…?)

I’m springboarding off my previous play in @punsbulletsandpointythings‘ TINDD sandbox (thank u so much) because I’m just too tempted. Also, this became more meta than summary. So, um, thank you nonny :) 

I could try again if you want me to actually fill the prompt tho 
this ran away with me and it got really really really long

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spacehussy replied to your post “What do you think would happen if Ajay did try to run Kyrat and…”

God yes. He’d make a brilliant and effective second hand guy for a good leader but he is NOT that leader. (So totally here for accidental benevolent warlord Ajay Ghale though)

So I couldn’t stop thinking about “accidental benevolent warlord Ajay Ghale”, and then somehow fic happened

Ajay’s been in Kyrat for about three months now, and he still hasn’t figured out if he’s technically there of his own free will or not. It’s weird. The whole situation is really fucking weird. Pagan Min is really fucking weird. Took Ajay’s passport but gave him back his history, took Ajay’s phone but gave him an army in return. Ajay woke one morning to discover the entire contents of his old apartment neatly packed up in the courtyard, and Pagan was furiously threatening to have some hapless porter shot because he accidentally dented the corner of a box or something. It’s ridiculous.

Ajay quickly intervened on behalf of the porter, and then spent the rest of the day unpacking his things while trying to ignore the burning lump in his throat and the sting in his eyes. There weren’t nearly as many boxes as he would’ve expected and it hurt, in a really odd way. Did the sum total of his life in the States really amount to so little?

It’s…different here. Pagan is deeply terrifying, but he’s also kind of fascinating in a “car crash you can’t look away from” sort of way and Ajay, rather in spite of himself, finds himself liking the guy. A lot, actually.

Which probably says something pretty disturbing about his own psyche, considering: (a) Mom, (b) Lakshmana, and © all the really fucked up things Pagan does without any thought whatsoever, because holy shit is the dude messed up, and that’s on a good day. Ajay spent his first month or so walking on eggshells until he clued in to the fact that Pagan would blow up the fucking moon if Ajay asked; after that, things became a lot easier.

Namely, he realized it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Amazing the kinds of things you can do when you have an entire army at your disposal.

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Almost sinning

FIC: Mystery Contract
Stanley Pines X Reader
Set maybe 2000. I might continue where I left off, but for now this is kinda nice. Also, as it is now, it can maybe pass for a gender ambiguous reader. Is there a tag for that?
Rating: PG

“And here on the left our last stop, if you’ll just step off the train for a bit everybody…”

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mynameishazard  asked:

Writing prompt: One of Kendra's previous incarnations turns out to be Len's mother.

I had never considered the premise this prompt before, but sure, why not?  It’s interesting.

Uh, usual warning for Len’s childhood (ALL the spousal/child abuse trigger warning tags, though it’s only ever discussed by the characters, not shown). Also warning for my disdain for the concept of predetermined destiny, but if you came here, you probably already knew about that.  It does mean that Kendra doesn’t come off that well in this fic (which is a shame because I generally like her), but seriously, her current “should I date Ray should I not date Ray am I cheating on my reincarnation stalker am I destined for tragedy” story arc is a little irritating. Not her fault, Carter clearly just ruins everything he touches.


Len doesn’t have many pictures of himself as a kid, for obvious reasons.

Mick’s been to his house, though – broke in once after a frantic call from Lisa – and there’s one picture of his mom and dad pinned up in a dusty corner. So Mick knows why Len goes quiet and tight-lipped when he manages to tear his eyes away from the time-travelling space ship and sees the young woman who introduces herself as Kendra Saunders.

When they’re back at the safe house, Mick reviews his gun in silence as Len flips through a magazine, tension apparent in ever line of his body.  After a decent half hour of silence for Len to unwind a little, Mick decides to broach the subject.

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Arrow Fic: I Knew You Were Trouble

This is for machawicket, because if fandom’s taught me anything, it’s that porn is an appropriate gift when one of your friends needs cheering up. So here, darling, have some angsty Olicity smut to brighten your day. :D

Felicity winced as the door behind her flew open with enough force to make it crack against the wall with a loud bang.

Well. That was definitely going to leave a mark.

She spun her chair around as Oliver stormed into the lair, trailed by the rest of the team. “What the hell was that out there?” he shouted, pushing back his hood and yanking off his mask before rounding on Dig.

“I thought it went pretty well,” Diggle replied flatly as Laurel and Thea exchanged an uncomfortable glance.

Oliver set his bow down carefully, because no matter how mad he was, he wasn’t going to take it out on his weapon—too bad the rest of them weren’t so lucky. “Is this the way you guys have been running things while I was gone?” he growled, shrugging out of his quiver. “Everybody throws the plan out the window and does whatever the hell they want?”

So, okay. They were doing this now, apparently. Felicity pursed her lips and pushed herself to her feet.

“You needed backup,” Dig said with a shrug, making a good show of being impervious to Oliver’s temper.

“I told you to hold your position in the alley,” Oliver shot back.

Before Diggle could respond, Felicity spoke up: “And then I told him to go inside and watch your back.”

Every head in the room swiveled her direction, but she only had eyes for Oliver.

What?” he said in the low, dangerous voice he usually reserved for criminals.

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ASAN NYC Statement Regarding the AutCom Incident

At the 25th National Autism Committee (AutCom) Convention, an incident took place that demonstrates how far the wider advocacy community has to come in presuming the competence and meeting the access needs of the actual Autistics they purport to serve.

Kassiane Sibley is a prominent Autistic activist who has photosensitive epilepsy that can lead to fatal seizures when triggered. In 2008, she was assaulted at AutCom with a flash camera by a board member. In order to make it safe for Ms. Sibley and other photosensitive epileptics to attend, the AutCom president and board came up with a plan to ensure the safety of all the photosensitive epileptics who would be attending the conference. An email chain among the organizers laid out 5 steps for ensuring all attendees were aware of the safety rules, including: an insert in the handouts given at registration, signs posted around the conference areas, reminders issued by presenters at the beginning of each talk, an explicit consequence of expulsion from the conference for violating the rules, and advance notice for presenters to modify their presentations if needed before the conference.

AutCom failed to take 4 of those 5 steps. As a result, one attendee ended up using the flash on his camera during the first afternoon of the conference.

Ms. Sibley informed AutCom president Emily Titon of this breach of the rules. In accordance with the established and agreed-upon protocol, Ms. Titon attempted to expel the offending person. Several non-Autistic people, including presenter Linda Rammler, board member Anne Bakeman and her son Eric, and Sandi McClennen, who misrepresented herself as a board member, refused to comply and used threats and coercion to prevent Ms. Titon from doing her job. These people told Ms. Sibley that she had no place at AutCom if she could not live with her safety being compromised, and refused to take responsibility for ensuring the safety of photosensitive epileptics at the conference. Worst of all, they suggested that the person who created the hazard was incapable of understanding or changing his behavior because he is a non-verbal Autistic with a history of institutionalization.

Meanwhile, the self-advocate community took matters into their own hands and successfully resolved the conflict. One self-advocate tracked down the offender and his support person and explained what had happened. The person who created the hazard offered to put his camera away for the day in order to ensure the safety of epileptic attendees, and came down to the common area of the conference to deliver an in-person apology to Ms. Sibley for endangering her.

ASAN NYC condemns the way that able people who are used to being in power blamed the victim and talked over the rightful leadership. This hateful, silencing, marginalizing behavior is beyond unacceptable in a space that purports to place the needs and perspectives of actual Autistics first. People who had no authority to do so attempted to talk over and countermand the actual leadership of the organization. These people presumed incompetence for a person simply because of his non-verbal status and personal history. They treated the life-or-death safety of human beings as a lower priority than the comfort of privileged people, and failed to implement the simple and effective safety structures they themselves had agreed on. We celebrate the resourcefulness and resolve of the self-advocate community for managing to author a minimally acceptable solution to the problem in the face of so much needless opposition.

ASAN NYC calls on AutCom to ensure that Anne and Eric Bakeman, Sandi McClennen, and Linda Rammler are removed from positions of power and involvement with their community. We stand behind the Autistic, rightfully elected leadership of AutCom in creating a hazard-free and Autistic-centered culture in their space. This conference could have been a much better event than it was, and we hope in the future that AutCom will be able to realize its full potential as an organization for and about Autistic people.

Winter Carnival


“Absolutely not.”

Bella’s brows drew together as she wheeled around to where the voices had come from. Butch and Vishous both stood in front of the library door, their legs encased in leathers were braced apart, their muscles bulging against the black shirts they wore as they stood with their arms crossed. The only difference between them was V was wearing a Red Sox hat.

Bella put her hands on her slender hips and glared at the brothers. She was casually dressed in a dark green cotton short sleeved blouse along with blue jeans and bare feet.

“Excuse me. Last time I checked you were not Nalla’s parents.” Bella said as she pointed at the two hard ass vampires.

“She’s our niece, enough said.” Butch said with a note of finality.

V nodded his head in agreement. “True? True.”

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Well, @mamamarvel, *coughs* - it is about the Commandos.  Only, um, it’s not goofy.  Actually, it’s pretty damn depressing, and sort of calls to mind my first fic in this fandom, except weirdly more political.  So much for being a “cheering” sort of fic… . Oops?

* * *

“How did you get to this little corner of paradise, huh, Jackie?” James Montgomery Falsworth asked, huddled in a pile with the rest of their cellmates.  The temperature had dropped days before, and their concrete slice of paradise had frost along the walls.

Jacques snorted and wiped his red nose along Dugan’s sleeve.  Dum Dum growled, but he was still nursing a split lip from Dernier’s defense of France days ago, and knew better than to complain.  Besides, Jacques only had a common cold, and not whatever had gotten into Barnes’s lungs and didn’t want to let go.

As though Jacques had called him, le sergent coughed wetly and gasped for air.  He’d been sick before they’d arrived, Jimmy said, had cracked a rib or four tumbling into a fight that yellow and black troops had been sent to – to win.  Hadn’t breathed right since, though when the others tried to help, Barnes only smiled and said he kept on wheezing so it would feel like home.

Jacques thought New York must be a very unpleasant place, if that were true.

“Yeah, Frenchie,” the sergeant seconded, once he caught his breath.  “Tell us about how you conquered Paris, and all the dames you left behind.”

Jacques hummed, thinking of how to begin.  Falsworth might be le brigadier, the highest ranking officer in their motley camp, but it was Barnes whom they all obeyed.  Something in his pale eyes spoke of survival, of a sniper’s willing patience to beat the odds.  Monty knew power and Dugan knew spectacle, Morita and Gabriel knew how to endure, and Jacques himself knew how to resist.  None of them knew how to wait, and watch—and win.

“I was born by the sea,” Jacques began, because they needed a story that would last.  Two nights before, Dum Dum had talked until his voice gave out, painting lion tamers and tightrope walkers in such vivid colors that no one thought of the ache in their empty guts.

“Of course you were,” Gabriel muttered, in a language Jacques sorely missed.  Out of the six of them in that cell, only Gabriel Jones had been born than a few miles from the sea.  Jacques wondered if it made a difference, if perhaps being born on solid ground would keep Sergeant from drowning in his own lungs.

“In my mémé’s cottage, outside of Marseille.  My father worked for – well, some very important men, and my mother thought it would be better if she stayed with her mother for a few weeks.”

Sergeant raised one eyebrow, exchanged a speaking look with Dugan.  Both men knew enough about cities to hear the things Jacques wasn’t saying.  Dugan had convinced coppers to look the other way, to take the money and leave the rest alone.  James Barnes had worked on the docks, and Marseille was a port like any other in the world, filled with hidden fees and shipments that the inspectors never saw.  Jacques’s father had made a decent living for them, before the war had killed him.

“We used the cottage as a base, after the Germans came,” he went on, because none of their stories truly began before the war.  “It was tucked away, up in the cliffs and out of sight.  You could hear the sea birds crying over their catch, the waves crashing into the rocks.”

“Sounds romantic,” Morita said, dragging out the second word with a lecherous grin Jacques could see even in the dark.  “There’s a broad, I bet.  A really classy one,” he added, smirking, “with enormous … guns.”

Sergeant laughed so hard he choked, and had to roll away from their huddle to hack up part of his lungs.  “Keep talking like that, Fresno,” he coughed out, his voice high and thin, “and the only enormous gun you’ll see will belong to Tommy.”

Since he was curled half on top of Morita, the circus man’s shout of laughter nearly deafened Jacques in one ear.

“There was a woman,” Jacques admitted, because this was part of their evening tradition.  Two weeks ago they’d still had Smithson, and he swore stories about Maud in her nurse’s uniform kept him warm at night.  They didn’t keep him out of Zola’s lab, though, and now the stories of Maud were all the others had left, passed around like a talisman, a headstone for the dead.

“Well?” Falsworth demanded, when Jacques paused for too long.  “You’re French, aren’t you, Jack?  Seduce us!”

“Please don’t,” Gabriel countermanded, wrinkling his nose.  “Don’t get me wrong, Dernier, I like you fine.  You just –” Jones coughed, but kept his face perfectly solemn. “- don’t offer the guns I prefer.  But Fresno might like it.”

Morita shrieked and unearthed himself from Dugan’s mass to leap at Gabriel, and Jacques couldn’t help but chuckle as the two fought.  After Marseille fell—after his papa died from grief, his city raped by Nazis and made their whore—Jacques had thought he’d never be happy again.  It hadn’t been true; and it wasn’t true now, though he’d passed a long summer in Italy before les commandos had arrived.

“She was beautiful,” Jacques continued, once Jones had surrendered and they’d all curled back into a pile of growling stomachs and meager heat.  “Tall, with dark hair that fell to her waist.  She would braid it, wind it about her head, like a crown.”

“What was her name?” Morita demanded, because they had Maud, and Laura, and Victoria, and Lucille, and Maggie, and none of them knew what tomorrow would bring.

“’Mila,” Jacques whispered, and could feel the weight of Gabriel’s frown at the odd name.  “Djamila,” he confessed, and three pairs of eyes widened and stared.

“What?” Jim wondered, pulling his cap farther down over his numb ears.  “What’s got your panties in a twist, Sarge?”

“You didn’t serve in Africa, huh, Fresno?” Sergeant replied, a nearly soundless huff of breath.  “Some of the most gorgeous dames in the world.”

“You mean she was –”

“Her father was a captain,” Jacques explained, when Jim seemed unlikely to finish his sentence.  “She wanted to go shopping in a proper French city, so he brought her along.  Someone had directed her to my father, and she was at our house when the Nazis came.”

“She wasn’t shopping for shoes, was she?” Monty said, his voice low.  Startled, Jacques froze and said nothing at all.  Monty huffed, and shook his head.  “I’m not a lieutenant just because I’m dashing in the suit,” he declared.  “I’ve served in Durban.  I have seen young women with saris and smiles charm their way past half the British army, men foolish enough to think these women do not hear about Gandhi’s fierce speeches, or want such freedoms for themselves.  I know what becomes of empire, whether Hitler’s or our own.”

Barnes looked ready to reply, warming to the fight Jacques could see coming (the war had taught him about explosions, after all), but Gabriel interjected before he could.  “Shh,” he hushed the lieutenant, a finger to his lips.  “Jacques was telling us about Djamila.”

So Jacques did.  He talked about the way her hair felt wrapped around his hands, the way she spoke French with an accent so thick it had taken him a month to learn, the Arabic she tried to teach him, the words she whispered in bed.  He talked about fire, in the bombs she taught him to make, in the way that she burned with passion: for him, for democracy, for her cause.  He rubbed at his dry eyes, closed them to better recall the tan lines at her wrists and collarbones, how she would bake almost as dark as Gabriel in the sun.  And the others listened, soaking up Jacques’s story, wrapping Djamila around their necks with their dog tags, with Smithson’s Maud and Jones’s Laura, Falsworth’s Victoria, Morita’s Maggie and Dugan’s Lucille.

When the story ended, Jacques felt weightless, like a sea bird tossed high on a gust of air.  The doctor could come for him tomorrow, he thought as he tumbled into sleep, and it would be all right.  It didn’t matter if Zola took him now, not when the others had enough of him to keep.

But Jacques should have known better, after so much war.  Zola looked right past him—Jacques was too short, too thin despite that they were all skin and bones.  Zola looked right past him, and took Barnes instead.

“He never said,” Jacques fretted, knowing that his worry would do no good, the way Dugan’s attempt to stop the soldiers had only left him stunned on the cell floor.  “He never told us her name.”

“Maybe it means he’s not gone,” Gabriel suggested, the false optimism in his voice fading as they were herded out of the cell and into line.  “Maybe –”  But he fell silent as the soldiers marched down the line.  The soldiers didn’t allow for talking, outside the cramped space of their cells, and the prison didn’t allow for hope.  James Barnes might not yet be dead, but he was already gone.

anonymous asked:

hey have you seen Mad Max? just because... I thought it would make a pretty rad shakarian au... furiosa is kind of a dead ringer for shepard... thoughts?

(Do I have it in me to attempt to recreate my first post that got eaten? Let’s see.)

Yesss, basically I think a Mad Max/Shakarian AU writes itself. Let me tell you what I would do:

First, I’d start the AU around Mindoir, only instead of Shepard escaping and being rescued, she’s taken by the batarians. See, I think it’s important that, like Furiosa, Shepard doesn’t have the authority Alliance rank or Spectre status would afford. I want a scrappy, wounded kid who is determined to survive, no matter what, who sees hell and decides to keep walking. She’s tenacious. She knows how to play the long game. Earning trust takes time and patience. Shepard’s got both. Her time will come. (I’d also like to have some backstory where she starts out a bit of a lone wolf, looking out for herself; friendship and family come later.)

Garrus, on the other hand, I’d have still in C-Sec. Only this time, when he wants to make the call to shoot down Saleon’s ship, no one countermands his order in time. So the ship goes down, with Saleon and all his hostages–and crashes right into one of the Citadel’s wards, taking out countless innocent bystanders. Garrus tells himself he made the right call, but he’s haunted by names of victims, the faces shown in endless slideshow on the newsvids. Dad or no dad, Garrus is ousted from C-Sec. He tells himself he was sick of all the hoops he had to jump through, sick of all the red tape, can do better elsewhere. But still he sees those faces when he closes his eyes. Families. Kids.

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The first forced time, the worst time & the best time

 i went to a party at my dealer’s house, all tarted up cos I owed him money and was gonna try and sweet talk him into giving me some crystal on credit anyway. he knows i get soooo fucking slutty if I have an eccie or any coke… so he sorta played it cool and didn’t mention what I owed him at first, and I didn’t wanna bring it up. he was feeding me shots and lines for the first few hours and I was flirting with like, every guy there.

and sometime after midnight (i got there just before it got dark) there’s a big group of us in the kitchen just drinking and smoking and stuff and babbling about some bullshit, and my dealer friend suddenly yells loud enough for most of the party “WHO WANTS A BLOWJOB?” and a bunch of them all cheer and shit cos they drunk, and they’re boys, but then he turns to me and says that for every person at the party that I suck off, he’ll shout me a fat line of coke….

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Tired of The Same Old Story? Roll With The Changes...Liz’ Ultimate Sacrifice.

Look at me being nice to Liz. Now who would’ve predicted that? Well, when you write characters it is necessary in understanding their motivations for the things they do, or done no matter how insane it may sound.

So many private messages I’ve received since The Blacklist began this baby roller coaster ride. How could it be Ressler’s? We never saw them have sex.


Every writer knows this, therefore I am giving you a heads up. Things DO happen off camera and the show is CURRENTLY writing scenarios for you to understand that.

Originally posted by quxxnofstorybrooke

Anyways…How could Liz do this? Why doesn’t know her due date? It’s Tom’s not Ressler’s those people are nuts!


Re: Her Due Date:

Well for the longest time, I figured she didn’t know because the logical choice would be for her to have an ultrasound….but the truth is Liz KNOWS who her baby’s father really and truly is, and doesn’t NEED to know her due date. Its not a WHO’S THE DADDY because she’s known the moment the doctor told her.

It’s Ressler.

Liz understands why she is doing this…

For Ressler.

Liz is willing to jump back into the fire with Tom Keen in order to protect Ressler from what she believes he loves more than anything else:

His Job.

For three seasons, all you’ve heard Ressler say since day one.

Originally posted by pl3as3-tak3-m3-t0-w0nd3rland

“I’ve already lost the one thing I truly loved. All I got is this job.


“Even Mr. I am just doing my job.”

My job isn’t to listen to my instincts. My job is to uphold the law. And I intend to do that.”

“My job isn’t to prove whether she is guilty or innocent. My job is to apprehend her and I have no problem doing that.”

Originally posted by detectivehalstead

“Why are you doing this?”

“Its my job.”

“You know me. You know I’ve bee framed.”

“If your innocent come in and let me help you.”

Well Ressler already broke the law he when HE LET LIZ GO in Tom Connolly. 


But he refuses to be manipulated by her.

He did that based off his instincts because he is in love with her. Love is truly messy, and can compromise your ethics, lose control of your feelings, inhibitions. It’s a complex emotion that drives humans to do some crazy, bat shit crazy things. it’s a wonderful plot device for writers. Ressler already compromised  his ethics on the first episode for Liz. It started with her stabbing Red.

“You shouldn’t be here you are under official review.”

Awww but she is so pretty…look at those blue eyes beaming? The man was so smitten, he couldn’t even look at her when he let her pass.

One by one…little by little…Ressler compromised his ethics for the people he cares about. That makes him like I mentioned in my analysis the most human of all the characters. Even in the Kingmaker, Ressler hoped, believed, and wished Liz woke up and realized that Tom wasn’t the right man for her.

“Look, you’re not the first one to deal with this. You know, people wake up and realize their husband or wife isn’t everything they hoped for.

“We had a fight. He left the the house I don’t know where he went.”

“He’ll be back. Its not over, you know that.”

Nice cover! Then he stares into those blue eyes again.

Then who shows up on his door?

“I didn’t have anywhere else to go.”

The relationship begins. It goes from professional partnership to deep friendship…to love. The viewers are witnesses just like the rest of the cast. We see them in one proximity-at work. We do not see them after they leave. We see what the writers want us to, therefore, like the characters around them, we are just as shocked, stunned and surprised with the outcome.

Originally posted by canarycassidy

That is what we call A MAJOR TWIST in television writing. it was there in front of us all along. The show has dropped hints in what is happening. Tom Keen told you in Eli Matchett. She was seeing this other guy who worked. He didn’t. They had a signal when they would meet. Ressler went insane when he found out in Zal Bin Hassan.

Originally posted by detectivehalstead

Because he is the other guy.

Therefore, Liz compromised her true relationship with the person she wanted and trusted the most:


“You will be hunted down.”

“I know.”

“By ME. Please don’t make me do this.”

She put him in the most awkward position because not only did it compromise his ethics, but his career. He didn’t hunt down just his partner, but his lover.

He did NOT disclose that to the bureau.


He is the reason Liz escaped then shot the Attorney General. Had he apprehended her, Connolly would still be alive. Ressler knows this and its killing him living with it. Liz understands better than anyone. 

So how do you fix it it?

“If I sign this it means I won’t be an agent.”

Originally posted by pl3as3-tak3-m3-t0-w0nd3rland

You saw the LOOK the two shared in the jail. [I cannot find that gif dammit but you get the point. It means they cannot CONTINUE WITH THEIR RELATIONSHIP. 

She cannot go over to his apartment anymore.

She cannot kiss him anymore.

She cannot tell him she loves him.

She cannot interact with him in any way unless in a professional manner.

Ressler and Liz understand that. They can no longer be together not just as partners, but lovers and THAT is why she looked to him for strength. Just as she needed his strength when dealing with Tom in the hospital.

“You need to save your strength for later so I can kill you.”

Oh yeah she is going to go off on him because of the UNFORGIVABLE ACT.


Originally posted by factoseintolerant


This look on her face proves that. Like Reddington who can play it close to the vest, Liz has her own plan, her own agenda. She won’t be marrying Tom because she isn’t in love with him, and the minute Ressler shows up, her conflict begins. She cannot run away from the truth.

“You’ve done so much more than that.”


Just because you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it did not happen. You have the hint that someone took care of Hudson. it was not Tom Keen because that scene was the first time he saw him. Therefore how did she get her dog back?”

Ressler: “I hate lap dogs. I mean I REALLY HATE LAP DOGS.”

Yeah I get why he’s pissed. He learns the woman he loves is having a kid with Tom Keen after EVERYTHING HE DID FOR HER including…taking care of her dog. That dog that drove him nuts. 

Ressler was venting in that entire episode of Alistair Pitt.



And its killing him.

Originally posted by always-keenler

And Its Killing HER.

So, Liz now has Ressler believing Tom is the Dad. That’s easy,  right? Not when you’re in love with someone else. She already knows Tom leads a dangerous life. Reddington’s life is similar. She considered adoption because she sees herself as a monster. A felon, a pariah. What kind of a life could she possibly give her baby?

Ressler’s baby.

Therefore she wants an OPEN adoption so she can still be part of her child’s life. But then Tom nearly dies because of HER LIE. Liz wasn’t angry with Reddington, she was angry with herself because she is using Tom to push this agenda through. What did Samar say?

“You feel guilty.”

Of course she does. She doesn’t want to tell Ressler she’s giving up the baby for adoption, nor does she want him to lose his career. She doesn’t want him to ask questions, she doesn’t want anyone to know what she is doing. Tom nearly dying force feeds that guilt so she rewards him with the child. The baby she finally feels kicking, moving inside of her. She can’t part with her baby.

Ressler’s Baby.

“It’s how women are wired. Keen’s gonna keep THAT kid.”

Ressler saying the word THAT means in the back of HIS mind, he wishes and feels an instinct like Red, THAT the child is his.

Originally posted by thearsnova

“I mean its not easy but, I’m NEVER giving up my child for adoption.”

After he said it, she knows Ressler would never agree. By using Tom she can manipulate him to agree. But she falls in love with her baby so now SHE doesn’t want to let go. So what to do next? She’s running out of time. 

Let’s get marred, and get OUT OF DC ASAP.

But Reddington the all knowing all seeing plans to protect Elizabeth at all costs, even from herself. And who better to help him with that?


He would never attend such a farce of a wedding—he’s in love with the bride. Its not what he wants and he sure as hell knows Tom raising Liz’ child is a disaster. So he pines, broods. pouts, the snark comes out, and so does his moodiness. Meanwhile you’ve got Samar furious with Ressler the hypocrite. He fires her for aiding and abetting yet he did the same thing. He believes Samar should NOT get her job back. That means deep down… 

Ressler believes HE SHOULD NOT HAVE HIS JOB.

Wright: You countermanded a direct order and attacked a diplomatic transport on the word of one fugitive in order to save the life of another?

Originally posted by nikascott

Ressler: And I’m willing to resign from the task force if the intel that Reddington gave us is wrong.

Its coming down to Ressler having to make a choice between the JOB and Liz.

That is a choice she NEVER wanted him to make.

So she gives up the man she truly loves…


She doesn’t know if he still cares about her, so she’s doing everything she can to push him away. But Liz is struggling. The closer she gets to her due date, the harder it is for her to hide her feelings. THATS WHY SHE WORE THE SCARF! She truly loves her baby which means the love she feels for her baby is the love she feels for its Daddy.

The minute she says the baby kicks like Daddy?

“I’m a field agent I kick down doors…”

You’ll know.

Red knows Ressler’s true feelings for Liz, which is why he can force Ressler to act on instinct. Such as…

Stop a Russian convoy at 90-100 miles an hour in order to save Liz’ life.

“The second she gets on that plane…”

“She’s dead.”

Originally posted by cirandadeincertezas


“An assassin has targeted Agent Keen.”

“If we haven’t found her he won’t.”

“He’s better than you. He’s better than me. That’s why I need your help. To protect her.”

“I thought that was your job.”

“Well I failed at that.”


Ressler will bring the calvary to the church to stop Solomon from killing Liz.  Liz has NO IDEA how much Ressler FEELS…And he has no idea how she feels about him.

Her baby is going to have a say in the matter. 

“Let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

“My water just broke.”

The UNFORGIVABLE ACT by Tom is about to be revealed and his only way to redeem himself is to get Liz to a safe location with HER BABY. Red’s job is to convince Donald not to cross over into the darkness no matter how much he wants to kill Solomon for targeting Liz and the baby.

Originally posted by classydepablo

Its Mako Tanida all over again.

With Liz thinking Ressler’s not in love with her because she is a felon, a pariah, a monster, a terrorist…” IT MAKES SENSE. Once he hears that out of her mouth, once he holds his baby in his arms, once he understands that the only 

I said this months ago.

THE ONLY JOB THAT TRULY MATTERS TO RESSLER IS TO PUT HIS FAMILY FIRST…AS A FATHER AS A HUSBAND…The FBI job goes bye bye. His priorities shift. Liz telling him that she loves him is all he wants.

“This place–this job—so easy to lose perspective. Forget what truly matters.”

Therefore Bokenkamp’s line…

“What you know about her…what you feel about her could make all the difference.”




This storyline has been in the works since last year.

“in the last coming episodes, Ressler is going to find himself in an awkward position with Elizabeth Keen.”–JB

No kidding. 

The original storyline hasn’t changed. A baby just pushes it over.

Ressler STILL is going to lose his job.

Ressler STILL is going to marry Liz.

Ressler and LIZ STILL were going to be shown as to having a loving relationship.

That’s all in there. The baby just adds more weight and drama to the original storyline. Liz gets her child, and the husband she adores, and the family she’s always longed for. What they both longed for. 


But there is a HUGE PRICE.




But for those of you who don’t want Ressler to leave the task force???

Get your hankies out.

That is the storyline for season 4. So if you’re TIRED OF THE SAME OL STORY….

ROLL WITH THE CHANGES PEOPLE Edited to add: I STAND BY ALL OF THIS EXCEPT LET ME ADD WHAT THE SHOW DROPPED IN DIALOGUE AND SET DIRECTION AFTER I WROTE THIS: Ressler IS Tom Keen. Jacob Phelps is no longer “Tom” and this alias Ressler is using in order to be close with Liz, in order to go into witness protection and avoid prosecution. In WITSEC the bureau chooses your identity and location, and without Liz being Ressler’s wife, she cannot be with him. So Jacob gives up the Tom Keen alias in order for Liz and Ressler to be together to make amends for Liz sleeping with him on the boat in season 2. But that one night stand with Samar pushes Liz away because RESSLER WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH LIZ -and back with her after the director. Their baby is what reunites them because Liz had every intention of giving their baby up. How is Ressler “Tom Keen?” The show cleverly has since Gregory Devry shot Ryan Eggold as “Tom” talking to Liz while exposing his LEFT EAR. For Jacob it’s the right. Watch Drexel hospital scenes Liz not only wears longevity scarf as a testament of her love for Ressler, but approaches Jacob’s LEFT side. Find me a scene all season 3 where Liz approaches Jacob from the right except the proposal in Caretaker, and that isn’t even the real proposal, that’s plot point for those listening in, and for Jacob to be welcomed into her family with “Tom”, because Liz never says “Tom” in that scene. Watch the Vehm, baby discussion is from Jacob’s left profile. Now Liz is gone yet Jacob is STILL talking with his left ear exposed in upcoming pics. With Scottie Hargrave, RIGHT EAR right side profile. Once this is revealed in the next three weeks, be ready for twitter to explode. Liz and Ressler were together the whole time—you just do not see his face until it’s revealed and Ressler has a lot of people helping him pull this off. Like I said roll with the changes people. “Everybody dies someday.” , .