exploding rat

Paintball Pregnancy

Words: 1044
Tony Stark X Reader
Request:  “ Your inbox is empty !!!! Oh no !!!! Let me help !!! Lol how about….. tony and reader to a gender reveal party you pick the gender. And I leave the rest to you ! :)” @Tonystarksgirl

That morning started out like every other morning you shared with Tony Stark, the best day of your life. Your life had truly improved since meeting, falling in love with and marrying the billionaire. Sure, he had his quirks. It was no secret that he possessed a tendency to disappear into his lab for days at a time or that he was always trying to “Improve” things that really had nothing wrong with them. Like the time he tried to invent a grilled cheese toaster. (Neither of you even liked grilled cheese; or toast for that matter.)  It wasn’t like you were perfect either. You must have had tendencies that drove your husband crazy, but he was either too polite or smart to mention them.

“There she is, my beautiful angel!” Tony smiled as you waddled your pregnant body into the kitchen.

“Good morning to you too, my handsome husband.” He was standing at the stove cooking breakfast, so you slowly navigated over to him and kissed him on the cheek.

“Why thank you Darling, but I was talking to our female fetus.” Tony put down his spatula and bent over to talk to your stomach. “Today’s the day baby! The day your momma finally comes to accept the fact that you’re a beautiful girl!”

“No, no.” You shook your head as he straightened his back. You rubbed your stomach. “Baby and I agreed, Great Grandpa Stark’s olderest brother was a boy and then Grandpa and Daddy were both only sons. So, you’re gonna be a boy too.”

“Oh, come on.” Tony frowned, turning his attention back to his frying pan. “Don’t you want to buy all those cute little dresses you keep pointing out in the stores?”

“Sure, that could be nice.” You nodded. “but think about when she’s a teenager and she starts bringing boys home.”

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Hello friends and welcome to another edition of Wacky WWII Hijinks! Get hype, today we’re gonna learn about rad spy shit

okay, first some background: the OSS, or Office of Strategic Services, was an American intelligence agency during WWII that was in charge of clandestine shit like espionage, propaganda, and counter-intelligence. It was run by a dude called “Wild Bill” Donovan, because that’s the kind of name people had back then somehow

More background: the SOE, or Special Operations Executive, was a British organization in charge of espionage, sabotage, and assisting local resistance groups in Europe. It didn’t have a director with a weird nickname, but it was sometimes called the Baker Street Irregulars, which honestly I think is even better

as you can imagine, these two organizations came up with a lot of weird shit to help their agents infiltrate into occupied Europe, so let’s get to it already dang

  • Rodent bombs

this one comes to us courtesy of the SOE and were intended for use in boiler rooms, because the british figured that anyone finding a gross dead rat while stoking a boiler would probably just chuck the corpse into the fire and be done with it. Except this time the boiler would explode.

Rat asses, as you can see from the pencil fuse in the image, could also be rigged for timed explosions instead, for those occasions when you’re on a tight schedule about raining down petrified rat entrails in your enemy’s basement

unfortunately (???), the RATS, EXPLOSIVE, never saw actual combat use, as the first box the SOE dropped into Europe was intercepted by the Nazis, who probably had a read good “what the FUCK” moment when they opened it

  • Coal bombs

along similar lines but far less fucking weird were coal bombs, which were essentially the same thing as the rat bombs but with hollowed out coal instead. Both the SOE and OSS actually used these ones

  • Poop bombs (lol)

they then went a bizarre step further and developed mule dung bombs for use in Africa- “specially sculpted” replicas of mule poop that were packed with explosives. These weren’t meant to be chucked into boilers, but rather left around for enemy forces to drive over. Here is an actual American soldier talking about collecting mule shit for war purposes, from O'Donnell’s book Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs

Mule turds were to be found in great abundance…we added a few samples of local mule dung, and this was carefully packed and sent to London. We took care to explain that the full, rich horse dung of the British countryside would not do in Morocco; it was the more watery, smaller mule type that would pass there without suspicion. Also, it was important to have it a deep sepia color, sometimes with greenish shades, the product of straw and grass, not of oats and hay. In due course of time the British London office made up explosive turds from these samples, and we used them to good effect later in Tunisia.

You do you, mule-poop-connoisseur-OSS-agent.

  • Bat bombs

this is not an actual picture of a bat bomb, but I found it while googling for images to use and I love it okay thanks

anyway are you sensing a theme here?

This one was, surprisingly, not the product of OSS or SOE, but of an American dentist named Lytle S Adams. Everyone needs a hobby I guess.

The idea behind bat bombs was that you take a bunch of bats (specifically Mexican free-tailed bats), tie some little bombs to them, and stuff them into a plane. Then the plane flies over Japan (because Japan has a lot of wooden buildings and therefore is particularly susceptible to incendiary use), and drops the bats. The bats fall down to building-level, then start flying around looking for somewhere to hide because they are having a seriously bad bat day. In theory, the bats would fly up into the eaves and roofs of the buildings, at which point the timers on their little bombs would go off, sending both bats and buildings up in flames.

This idea actually, somehow, made it into the testing phase, but was never used because honestly what the fuck

  • Aunt Jemima

guess what it’s another bomb! In this case, a plastic explosive that looked like flour (hence the name) and could even be baked into something resembling food products, although just a tad more poisonous than most food you find outside of school cafeterias. Aunt Jemima was easy to smuggle through enemy lines due to its innocuous appearance, and the OSS sent a bunch of it to Chinese resistance fighters against the Japanese

  • Silk printing

“wait what?”, I’m sure you’re saying. “finally something that doesn’t explode and it’s…just a totally normal thing?”

yeah. Here’s the thing: if you sent an agent or resistance fighter into occupied territory, there was a pretty good chance they were gonna get frisked at some point, because that was a pretty routine occurrence in places like occupied France. If said agent/resistance member were carrying, say, a map showing escape routes or a code sheet for them to use to send information, and they got searched, either that paper is gonna be found with their other papers or, if hidden on their person, make a pretty distinct crinkling noise when the Gestapo agent gets friendly with that area. Plus, you know, paper doesn’t do great when wet

the solution to this was printing stuff on silk, like this:

this is Leo Marks, the creator of the silk code keys and one time pads that SOE used for their agents, holding a one time code pad that has been printed on silk

these silk documents could be sewn into an agent’s clothing while still being totally undetectable to a pat-down, or even hidden somewhere like rolled up in a thin tube and then stuck inside a shoelace. If you went a step further and printed the document using invisible ink, agents could carry maps around in plain view as handkerchiefs or have their codebook printed directly onto their underwear, because hey why not

I know it sounds boring after all this exploding wildlife, but silk-printed documents were hugely important to covert operations during WWII

  • things that should not be guns but are, in fact, guns

tbh I’m just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves on this one

apparently there was an umbrella one too but I couldn’t find a picture of that one

  • suitcase radio

if you’re dropping people into enemy territory to gather intelligence, you need some way to communicate with them. This was a problem, since cell phones hadn’t been invented yet and radios at the time were like, fucking huge, which is not great when you’re trying to hide them from the Gestapo

SOE got around this problem by creating the suitcase radio, which is exactly what it sounds like- a big old radio disguised as a suitcase. Obviously they weren’t gonna stand up to any examination more rigorous than “yes that is suitcase shaped”, but it allowed agents to at least walk around in public with it without attracting too much attention

  • Joan-Eleanor system

keeping with the “problems with radios” theme, we have the OSS’ Joan-Eleanor system. See, normal radio frequencies were monitored by both sides in the war, which was Not Great. It meant both that radio transmissions could be intercepted by the enemy (and subsequently decoded, like Germany’s Enigma messages), and also that you could use radio direction finders to pinpoint the location of a broadcasting radio. Every time a covert agent turned on their radio to report something, they ran the risk of being located and hella murdered

the Joan-Eleanor (or J-E) system, in contrast, was a Very High Frequency (VHF) system. VHF bands couldn’t be easily monitored, unlike the frequency bands used by other radios.

Why? I actually have no idea. Listen I just read things and ramble about them on the internet, I don’t know jack shit about radios

anyway, as a result the system was hard to detect but very short range, so it worked by giving the agent on the ground a hand-held transmitter (the Joan), that talked to a bigger transceiver (the Eleanor) that was in a plane. At prearranged times the plane would fly over wherever the agent was and they could have an undetectable chat

  • compass buttons

it’s a compass! It’s a button! It’s a compass hidden inside a button!

  • The BBC

okay this one isn’t technically equipment, but it’s cool and was used by spies so you can deal with it

it turns out that during the war pretty much everyone listened to the BBC, even at risk of arrest in occupied territories. The SOE used this to their advantage by working with the BBC to broadcast seemingly meaningless words or phrases at certain times, which were actually pre-arranged coded messages  or orders to agents or resistance members

if an agent had to win over the resistance’s trust or prove they were actually spies and not just random dudes, they could ask the person whose trust they were trying to win to provide them with a personal word or phrase. Then the agent could radio the SOE, give them the word/phrase and ask it to be broadcast at a certain time, which the other person would hear, and bam best friends

  • invisible ink

is there anything more quintessentially spy? agents were often supplied with a little vial of invisible ink before being dropped into occupied territory, for communications outside radio broadcasts. the ink could be developed (made visible) by means of chemicals or exposure to ultraviolet light (some invisible inks are developed by heat, but the SOE at least avoided those because of the worryingly high risk of accidental exposure. “whoops I sat to close to the fire and now everyone can see I actually drew little devil horns on this poster of Hitler you gave me”)

REAL COOL FACT: Josephine Baker, the famous Black singer, was actually a spy for the French Resistance during the war, and smuggled information during her concert tours of Europe by writing it in invisible ink on her sheet music! wow!

okay I’m gonna stop now because I keep thinking of more shit to add and if I do this will literally never end (sorry). For further reading I recommend the O'Donnell book mentioned above and Leo Marks’ Between Silk and Cyanide. Also apparently H. Keith Melton’s OSS Special Weapons & Equipment is really good, but I haven’t read it personally (though I totally stole the pictures of the OSS guns from there, hooray the internet)


@explodeyrat [prev.]

Get smooched, nerd!
19: Forceful Kiss

On bad days, there’s very little that can distract Junkrat from his crippling fear of Hog deciding to suddenly walk out of his life. The two junkers who rarely show PDA are seen holding hands, cuddling, and petting each other. They don’t stay out of their shared room for too long, though.

Rat is curled up in Hog’s big arms, packaged snacks on his lap and head tucked against the large chest as he’s carried away. Sometimes being around the others helps him, sometimes only Hog can help… This is a Hog day it seems.

Once in the room, Hog does… Hoggy stuff such as removing boots, prosthetics, and mask. After everything is taken care of, The both of them end up on the large bed.

The two lay there for a while before Junkrat sits up and crawls ontop of Hog. His normally bright eyes are dull and tired. Amber eyes memorize the lines and wrinkles of Mako’s face before he slowly leans in and kisses him.

Large hands easily close around his waist and hips and fuel the kiss between them. Junkrat needs to feel needed. He needs it like he needs air. More than he needs air. A hand and an elbow move up to lock Mako’s face in place. Trying to pull away now would be unbearable, so there’s no option involved.

Hog shouldn’t want to pull away now anyway. If he does, he’ll never admit it because it would crush the poor rat’s surprisingly fragile heart.

It was days like these that Roadhog was glad Junkrat didn’t know his past. Even moreso that he wasn’t too interested in asking. The man wouldn’t even need to speak a word of his mood–Hog was more than happy to oblige him in cuddles, pats, nudges, and everything in between. He wasn’t fond of showing his tender side, but Junkrat had a track record of bringing out the best in him.

[[rest under readmore simply due to length]]

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A Witchy Bestiary: Cats!

Kitties! The source for the never-ending squee (for those of you unfamiliar with anime or internet culture, “squee” is the word for that high-pitched squeal of delight when someone sees something incredibly cute… like a kitten). Cats have a wonderful, loving relationship with most of the world, and have solidified their place in internet culture due to their antics. And, of course, many of us are lucky enough to be the loving and subservient human to a feline master or two (or, in my case, four).

But, as often seen when the stores begin their commercial takeover of the Halloween season - when we witches prepare for Samhain and take delight in popular culture’s enjoyment of our New Year’s - cats and witches go paw-in-hand.

Yes, Josh. This couch is comfortable. Now pet me. ~Whitney

Ancient Origins

Cats have a very long history alongside humans. Most famously in ancient culture, the Egyptians revered cats as a sacred animal. However, something that has always puzzled archaeologists is when and how humans started domesticating cats. With dogs, it’s much easier to track (just like their muddy paw prints on the carpet…), but cats are fittingly mysterious in when humans chose to add them in their societies. (Let’s face it. Humans did not choose the cat. The cat chose the humans. I think that’s where scientists and historians keep getting it wrong.)

As far as we can tell today, cats can be traced to several areas in early human history, but the two most significant areas from which modern kitties can be traced back to are the Middle East and China. As early as 12,000 years ago, the rise of agriculture had begun attracting rats, mice, and other rodents. In turn, wild cats began being drawn closer to human settlements. Clearly, having a friendly animal around to help keep your grain safe is ideal, so these cats would then be fed and protected by the humans that they’d begun helping.

Over the centuries, these two breeds of cats began to evolve, growing closer to humans and starting weave their ways into our lives (if we trust them and love them, it’s easier for them to accomplish their goal of world domination).

A Divine Link

Cats eventually began to find their way into our spirituality. In the Middle East, cats were respected as guardians of spiritual texts and sites. In Egypt, cats were deified. This was the case so much so that to be accused of having killed a cat in ancient Egyptian society was to face punishment by execution. In fact, cats were so revered that they were mummified and treated with the same respect as royalty.

To the ancient Egyptians, cats were associated with the goddess Bastet (or Bast). And sure enough, what is her domain within the Egyptian religion? Protection. As a lioness protector, she was a goddess of great importance, and was a prominent goddess long after Egypt’s civilization began to fade.

Toward the end of Egyptian civilization, the Greeks had come to respect Bast, as well, and connected her with another goddess - Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon (a goddess often associated with Hecate).

The Romans came to respect cats, as well. While more secular than the deeply spiritual Egyptians, Romans respected cats for their independent natures and wild demeanors, and attributed cats to two of their goddesses: Diana and Libertas.

What? You said I’m a protector goddess. So I protect. I protect your PS3 from the cold. ~Whitney

Demons, Witches, Plagues, and Cats

Unfortunately, the high status that our feline overlords deserve would not be respected into the Middle Ages. With the rise of witch hunts, anyone who welcomed an animal into the home would be faced with accusations of witchcraft and heresy. Cats in particular were targeted due to their independent and nocturnal natures.

The ambivalence with which cats rule their lives was seen, particularly by witch hunters, as a link to demonic nature. For a man or woman to welcome cats into their home was surely a sign that the feline was truthfully a demon performing fiendish deeds for the evil magician inside.

This was the origin for the modern stereotype of witches and black cats. Just as men and women were rounded up on accusations of witchcraft, cats were killed by the hundreds.

Little did Europe know how much it needed its feline population. As the number of cats began to dwindle, the number of rodents exploded, and with the rats came plague. The protection cats long provided against disease (something Bastet was long honored for as a goddess of healing) was no longer present, and the bubonic plague ran rampant and caused the world population to drop by more than 100 million. Of course, reactions did not help cats or witches any, for often witches and cats would be accused of further spreading the plague.

Eventually, when the focus was taken away from the cats, they began to resume their time honored magical duty of rat hunting and disease prevention.

Yeah, we’ll hunt those rats… after our nap.~ Whitney, Lilly, and Barnabus

A Return to Glory, and a Witch’s Best Friend

Every so often after the Black Death, cats would be the subject of witchcraft accusations, both in the old world and the new. But their popularity as mousers would earn them a respected job for both the navies of the 17th and 18th centuries and of the United States Postal Service clear up to the early 20th century.

By the end of the 19th century, cats were walking beside humans again without fear, happily going about their way as humans began to rely less on their utility and more on their company.

Up until some rather important innovations of the 20th century (namely refrigeration, the invention of kitty litter, and the rise of spaying and neutering), the thought of having an indoor cat was on the preposterous side. Even the President’s cat had free reign to wander in and out of the White House. But as these amenities became prevalent, kitties started to have a place as permanent indoor companions, safe from the dangers of the outside world, and more comfortable than even their own humans!

Today, cats have come to dominate not only the world of pets (much as many dog owners would refuse to admit, more pet owners have cats than dogs), but also the Internet. They’ve become the penultimate companion to the millenial due to the ease of care (food? water? easy. Litter? unpleasant, but easy. Love and cuddles? Well, these kitties will never want for attention!) and the stress-relief that cats often provide in a world that tends to promote stress and anxiety.

To many witches, cats are perfect companions. In addition to the connections with gods and goddesses worldwide, cats also have a role to play in witchcraft! Cats are natural teachers for us when we need to focus on our independence, confidence, and overall attitude towards life.

As familiars, cats can provide us with a link to the divine, to Hecate and Bast, while also helping to magnify our magical energies and naturally cleansing energy from spellwork (even Feng Shui acknowledges the natural abilities of cats in energy cleansing - it is believed that wherever a cat spends a considerable amount of time, chances are that stagnant energy is pooling there, and the cat is doing what it can to get it flowing again).

Don’t mind me. Just cleansing away the negativity! ~Cody

When working spells that involve cats, pay attention to what goddesses you use - Diana, Freya, Bast, Isis, and Cerridwen are all great picks for cat magic (Cerridwen was often accompanied by white cats… which is probably why I can’t seem to cast a spell in this house without Whitney showing up and helping!). Then, think about what aspect of the cat you want to emulate or encourage in your spell:

  • Adaptability
  • Orderliness
  • Getting in touch with your inner kitten (er, child)
  • Promoting restful sleep, or banishing insomnia
  • Healing
  • Protection (from evil spirits, disease, and anxiety and depression)
  • Encouraging curiosity
  • Longevity
  • Cleansing
  • Connecting with Spirit
  • Communicating with the dead
  • Helping the dead move on
  • Love Spells (Especially self love)
  • Femininity

There are many more aspects to cats in witchcraft. Whether you have a cat or use cat imagery, a witch is bound to find quite a bit of assistance from our feline overlords. If you are blessed enough to be owned by a cat, and wish to have the cat as a familiar, be sure to ask it first. Chances are, it will agree. Sometimes, it will simply decide to be your familiar anyway (like I said, Whitney never seems to miss a spell).

In Conclusion…

Cats are sacred. Both in the eyes of the ancients and in their own eyes. To be a witch working with a cat is a blessing and a joy, and there is so much that our feline masters can teach us about ourselves. When working magic, they are both inspiration and mentors.

As usual, my bestiary entries are meant to be a stepping point to help you in your own research. If you plan on making cats a central feature of your practice (as I’m sure that our kitties are intent on us doing), be sure to research and do some digging. Every tradition sees cats in a different way, and there is a lot of history that is shared between humans and cats.

And above all, treat all kitties as royalty. They are gods and goddesses in their own right, after all!

Blessed Be! )O(

*This article was brought to you in part by my four beloved furry masters: Whitney, Lilly, Barn, and Cody.

  • Boss designer 1: Hmmm, this boss is too weak...we need a creative method to make the fight more difficult.
  • Boss designer 2: Just increase the number? Like maybe 3 at once?
  • Boss designer 1: But we already did that with some bosses.
  • Boss designer 2: Idk man just include some minor enemies. Let them induce toxic, whatever.
  • Boss designer 1: N I C E!

Why is it whenever I’m feeling unmotivated and incapable of anything, my first instinct is to load up one of my many video games that brutalizes the fuck out of me? 

I have this habit of buying games that either are a) too hard for me (twin sticks, bullet hell, platformers, etc) or are b) incredibly unforgiving and mean (rimworld, death road to canada, darkest dungeon) and playing them until they murder me to death.

On that note, time to start a new Rimworld colony.  I think this time I will breed exploding rats in the desert and try murdering everyone I meet to make them into hats.

The Smell of Magic

The holes and craters which covered the battlefield were deadly reminders to the two mages of each other’s ability. Exhaustion ran through both of them. They had been slinging spells at each other for over a hour. At this point in a duel, mistakes were common and costly.

Jorell, a well known necromancer from the north, lept behind a boulder while dodging the bolts of plasma that Katalina was slinging like hot potatoes. Each bolt left behind a trail of molten slag as she winnowed away at the rock. His beak-shaped mask, filled with flowers and other herbs, was broken and seriously getting in the way of casting. They say you eventually get used to the smell and mood swings after being a necromancer for so many years. Unfortunately for Jorell, he never did, and each summoning he performed came with a noseful of rotting flesh and a mind full of woe. He was slightly jealous that Katlina got a whiff of cinnamon and almonds and hit of euphoria with every projectile she hurled, but necromancy was his thing, and he was damn good at it.

The last bolt cut a swath of shimmering heat in the air right above Jorell’s head. It was time to find a new rock. He grabbed a skeleton of a small rat on his belt and spoke into its ear. A minor incantation, but its odor was as foul as can be. The anxiety hit was about the same time. Would this work? Will she notice the rat? What if it explodes in my hands? These were a few of the distressed thoughts ran that through his mind. The spell was pushing intrusive thoughts into his head, but seriously, an exploding rat that took off his hands would be the end of Jorell. With a dismissive sigh, he pushed it all to the back of his mind and threw the rat over the boulder. Leaping over craters and dodging plasma bolts, the rat raced towards Katalina. Jorell took his opportunity and ran over to a less hole-filled boulder.

Katalina frantically tried to extinguish the rat with plasma bolts, but it dodged each of them. Her euphoria also threw off her aim. With the rat closing in, she clapped her hands, and flames radiated out from her, burning at her clothes and hair. Everything within two meters of her was engulfed in heat and fire. The rat sizzled away with a slight pop. The flame wave did have its cost, she could not drink enough ale to make her feel this inebriated. Now the rat and everything else around her was gone. A mild yet pleasant price to pay for staying safe. Now she just had to find that pesky necromancer.

Before she could stagger away, Jorell knew that she fried everything around her to a oh-so-dead crisp, and, again, working with dead things was Jorell’s speciality. His mind reached out to the scorched earth around Katalina, and he began to chant. Enormous clay hands glowing with necrotic energy broke free from the ground and wrapped themselves around Katalina’s ankles. Raw sewage began to fill Jorell’s nostrils, and he started to slip on the spell.  He was hit by a wave of remorse right to the gut and started to feel sorry for Katalina who was desperately trying to blast away the hands but only managed to send out a few sparks. Everything in the world was pointless to Jorell, why bother fighting at all? Because she would not pull punches on me, he remembered and refocused with a deep sniff of cardamom and lilac.One by one, hands formed from the dried clay and held Katalina fast to the ground. A hand covered her face to prevent her from casting any more spells.

Jorell ran over to Katalina and poked a hole into the clay on her face and she took in a deep breath. Rule of thumb was to bring back enemy mages alive whenever possible for interrogation, and it was always easier to ask a living thing questions rather than dead one. The process also smelled significantly better too.