He found his father-in-law in the sitting room that
overlooked the rose garden and the fountain, where the western wall was only a
thousand panes of polished glass. The sun was setting and the room was filled
with the rich, amber sunlight of a late summer evening and the paler flickers
from the hearth where drift-wood burned. Belle preferred the strangely shaped,
salt-rimed wood to the traditional oak and pine for the unusual dancing color
of the flames, the unpredictable shower of silver sparks, the fineness of the
ash left in the hearth. Maurice was smoking a pipe and the smoke curled like
twilight coming into the room, scenting the room with its sweetness.
“Maurice, I need to talk to you,” Adam began, running his
hand through his hair half-distracted, marveling a little at how human it felt.
“I wondered how long it would take for you to figure it
out,” Maurice said, puffing a little on the pipe, then setting it aside.
“Frankly, I’m rather impressed with how quickly you have understood. I have
perhaps underestimated you,” he said calmly, with an appraising amusement Adam
had never been subjected to before. The older man made a small gesture of
“It’s Belle. She’s…” Adam trailed off, searching himself for
the correct word, the right collection of words that would explain it.
“She’s terrifying,” her father said plainly. “She’s always
been this way, you know. Imagine how it was for me, I could hardly speak of it,
of her, to anyone else. And such a little girl, no one would have believed me.”
“I thought she just liked to read. I thought she was very
bright, self-taught– I thought,” Adam said. Maurice interrupted.
“You thought you could keep up with her. That it would be
easy to do so, no?”
“I found her reading Vitruvius and Taccola, di Giorgio in
the library. I didn’t know I owned the books, but I do. We do. I hardly knew
who they were but she explained. I thought she would be reading Marlowe or
Sidney or Marie de France, getting drunk on poetry, but she is designing a new
mill and a bridge for Villeneuve now!” Adam exclaimed.
“When she was four, she built herself an abacus from the
clock-work gears she found in my workshop. She learned German from the Belgian
woman who made the best rolls in town when we were in Bergues, Latin from the
priest,” Maurice paused. “I always wished there was an academy for her to
attend, a tutor I could hire but there was no school which would take her, no
teacher I could afford. Even to buy her a book was beyond me.”
“Does she love me only for my library?” Adam asked, aware he
sounded overly dramatic, the echo of the self he had been before Belle, before
the Beast, when he had been the prince and never gainsaid by anyone. Maurice
“Of course not, you young fool. She is my daughter, but I’m
not blind—anyone can see how she looks at you. But you must see her,
understand her, if you want to make her happy—and it may not be easy. She’s not
an easy woman, Belle, even if she might seem that way,” Maurice said.
“Go on,” Adam said. He had not yet learned enough humility
to ask for the guidance he needed but if it was being offered, as Maurice was
“She read all the time because as odd as it was, the
villagers could understand it. There have been women who loved God’s word
before and this is France, we have had our troubadours, our lays, our Heloise
to Abelard. They could not understand a woman who was an engineer, who could
rebuild their crumbling bridge, their windmills, re-design a city to resist the
plague. To be fair, I’m not sure where she might go that the people would know
what to make of her. But you, you have been several selves already, have been
transformed and taught, however bluntly, by Madame Agathe, to see within and to
accept. You might be the making of her,” Maurice said, pausing. “And I should like
to see it. Her mother was much the same and I only painted her. Don’t do that.”
“I haven’t the skill or the inclination,” Adam replied,
considering what a lovely model Belle would make, except that the static
representation could never capture her essential quality of action, her mind,
her eye, her hand all vital and primed to observe and change what was around
“Devote your talents to other endeavors, then. Buy her more
books, yes, but also a surveyor’s kit, some broken clocks, a quantity of charcoal
and paper, and if there is an opportunity for you to consult an architect,
invite the man to dinner,” Maurice said. “You’re lucky,” he added. “You may
invite whatever guests will please her and not worry that she will prepare the
meal. She has many gifts, but cooking bores her. The kitchen doesn’t take such
“No, I gather from Mrs. Potts it does not. Have you any
other wisdom to impart?” Adam answered.
“Nothing you cannot divine for yourself. You are intelligent
enough, even if you are not her equal. Don’t let her know it and don’t forget
it. Now, what vintage will we share tonight? A Burgundy? I thought I smelled
Headcanon prompt: How do the TF2 mercs react to finding shipping art of themselves with another merc?
Hello!! Sorry about the lack of answers. With Mass Effect Andromeda being released I’ve gone back and started to play the original Mass Effect. Any way I’m gonna go NSFW with the fanart they are seeing.
Scout: What the fuck is this shit!? He ain’t gay. Why ain’t people drawing him with his massive dick? Why is he always taking it up the ass?? WHY IS HE BEING SHIPPED WITH SNIPER?? Hides in his room for a few days, can’t look Sniper in the eyes. Every time he does he thinks about the Aussies dick.
Pyro: Low-key draws the shipping art of the rest of the mercs. Tries to avoid seeing it at all costs. But when they do see it gets really uncomfortable, they see the mercs as friends. They also dislike the way people draw them sometimes, that’s not what they look like. However they admire the art, thinking about all the effort would have put into the art.
Solider: It depends, if it’s with one of his comrades he freaks out. Solly doesn’t fully understand how men have sex with each other. If it’s with Zhanna he’s more incline to look at it. He enjoys looking at her naked body seeing people’s ideas of what she looks like with out her clothes. Has jacked off to the images of him and Zhanna.
Demoman: Blushes, people think his dick is that big?? Doesn’t mind being shipped with any of the mercs. Enjoys seeing art involving Sniper, Solly or Engineer more then the others. But after seeing something really kinky has to drown himself drinking.
Heavy: All the shipping art he sees is of him and Medic. Doesn’t mind, finds it quite funny. But tries to avoid it, looking at this type of thing isn’t up his alley.
Engineer: OH FUCK NO. GET THAT NASTY SHIT OUT OF HIS FACE. HE ISN’T THAT FAT. WHY DOES EVERYONE THINK HE USES HIS MACHINES IN THE BEDROOM?? FOR FUCK SAKES WHY WOULD HE FUCK ANYONE ON THE TEAM. FUCK FUCK FUCK.
Medic: Has a stash of the fanart. Loves looking at fan art involving Heavy and Sniper. On lonely night he jerks off to it.
Sniper: With seeing all the artwork he feels violated, he’s shipped with nearly everyone. Scout, Demoman, Engineer, Medic and Spy. Can deal with being shipped with the team except Spy. He would never touch that French bastard, that back stabbing snake. Has to pitch himself when he thinks about Spy’s lean body.
Spy: Of course he is shipped with the mercs, he is the most handsome man on the team. But holy hell, do people think he is that kinky?? Like he has his kinks, but they ain’t that strange. He’s pleased that people draw him correctly, but can’t believe people draw him having sex with the mask on. It was one time.
These small-scale structures have been 3D printed out of simulated Mars dust, to investigate the feasibility of one day using local materials for building on the Red Planet and other planets.
A miniature igloo and a corner wall were manufactured as examples of designs that might be required by colonists, produced from ‘JSC-Mars-1A’ – volcanic soil that has undergone careful processing to match the known composition and characteristics of martian soil.
“The material was mixed with phosphoric acid serving as a binding ‘ink’, then extruded through a nozzle and deposited in successive layers,” explains Christoph Buchner of Fotec, the research arm of the University of Applied Sciences in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, which performed the test project for ESA.
“The hardened results demonstrate the technique has potential for hardware and structural manufacturing on a variety of planetary bodies – it does not depend on the destination.
“So this is a promising step towards ‘in-situ resource utilisation’ – the concept of using as much local materials as possible during a planetary mission, to cut down on the launch mass and cost.”
“These samples were produced as part of a larger ESA project into ‘Limited resources manufacturing technologies’, supported through our Technology Research Programme involving promising new technologies for space,” comments ESA materials engineer Advenit Makaya, overseeing the project.
“This is an encouraging result,” adds Tommaso Ghidini, Head of ESA’s Materials and Processes Section, “which complements a number of activities ESA is undertaking to provide the technologies for long-distance robotic and manned exploration.
“For such missions, in-situ manufacturing will be key, so we are developing a wide variety of capabilities.”