fatality risk

anonymous asked:

Going off the fighting with no pads+ live weapons+ sparring=death discussion, what would you suggest as an alternative? I'm working on a fantasy story where two of my characters are training in swordsmanship with the intention of becoming knights, but warfare is a lot different than using pads/dummies. What are ways I can have my characters realistically train for battle without mauling each other? Or should they just cross their fingers and hope they don't die on the battlefield in real combat?

Well, for starters, they use training weapons. These are are weapons that are essentially what they’d be using and are blunted. The character gets the effect of training with the weapon and practicing their techniques against another opponent without risk of fatal injury.

This is a long standing practice in all martial disciplines and it is much safer than letting beginners murder each other. You never get to touch a real sword until you’ve reached the end of your training. They’re expensive, dangerous, and most knights aren’t going to have the money to replace all the weapons they’ve destroyed during training.

You start with wood, then move up to metal, then move up to the real blades.

You also don’t have your knights learning to joust each other with real lances either. It’ll be blunted lances like the ones used at tournament, and will use those at all times except on the battlefield. They’ll only be allowed to joust other students when their performance is satisfactory, and they will practice with a dummy first. They’ll keep practicing with that dummy for the remainder of their existence, because it’s safer than practicing with another knight and they can fine hone their skills. Then, they move up to a hanging ring.

They don’t just put you on a horse, thrust a lance in your hands and hope for the best.

They’ll spar with padded armor. When they reach a point in their training where the time has come for them to wear armor, they’ll be using older suits rather than new ones. If they spar with live weapons at all, at any point, the rules of the duel will be to first blood and will be watched very closely by their training instructors.

Training happens in stages.

You practice the pieces of the technique, broken down. You learn the stance, then you learn what you’re doing with your hands. How to hold the weapon. Then, you learn how to move the weapon. Then, you practice the technique all together incorporating your whole body. Then, you practice that singular technique with another human (drilling), then, you learn other techniques, then you learn to connect all those techniques together, then you learn the defenses against those techniques, then you practice them with your partner, and then… then you spar.

In between these stages, you condition. You drill. You condition more. Drill more. Learn more techniques. Sparring becomes a reward. As you go up in rank, the targets you are allowed to hit in sparring expand. The more difficult techniques you learn. You may then advance to other weapons, or you’ll be doing most of them at the same time.

Round and round we go.

Practice with the sword before you hold the shield. Practice with the shield before you hold the sword. Learn to wield the sword with one hand. Then with two. Then with a shield. Learn horseback riding. Learn the staff. Learn the bow. Learn the knife.

Then, once you have a base and you are lucky, you will spar against different weapon types.

If he is confident in your abilities and you have the time, he may hold a melee or allow you, his trainee, to participate in one. Or you may do so while squiring to a knight, depending on your master. What is a melee? It is a practice battle, like a real one without the death (usually).

Or, you may not get any of this. Be thrown into battle up front and be forced to learn as we go.

There’s a target point for what you want to have, and then there’s what you get. A medieval knight or squire or even a page may very well be forced into battle long before they’re “ready”. A page’s training also depends heavily on who is fostering him/her and if they care.

Knights were not given the same training. The concept of training, armed warfare, and mass conflict as we understand it today didn’t exist. They were dependent on which local lord took them under his wing, funded them, and how invested he (and his arms master) was in their training. If they got a sadist for a teacher then they got a sadist for a teacher.

The problem with the romantic “live weapon” idea most people have is that “live weapons” will better prepare you for real combat. They don’t, because nothing compares for real combat. These characters may also see combat long before they become a knight, as they’ll be squired out first and their experiences depend on what their knightly master will be doing.

Knights are a training investment of fourteen years. You don’t waste that lightly. It also costs way too much to outfit them with real shit that they will then misuse and break. Especially not when you can just give them the sturdier, more reliable shit that many others have used before them.

The same is true for the horses. They get the training ponies with the hard mouths before they ever approach a warhorse. They need to prove themselves worthy of the substantial investment which comes with equipping them.

Yes, even the sadistic masters do this. The only difference is the mind games they play while it happens.

And, yes, with the first battle it will always be “hope for the best”. Anything else, they’re kidding themselves. Training is about getting you as prepared as you can be for the real thing, but it is not the real thing and no amount of live blades in a practice arena will change that.

Which is why you don’t do it.

Besides that, there’s the injury risk. Students who don’t know what they’re doing have a greater chance of injuring themselves and others. Injuries are costly. Training relies on consistency. If you’re stuck in your room with a twisted ankle, a bruised collarbone, nevermind a serious injury like a broken bone, then your training will lapse. A student needs to stay active in order to remain viable. If they’re not then its a waste of money, equipment, and other resources like food.

You’ve got to feed them, billet them, and everything in between. If you want shock troopers that’s what the peasants are for. A knight is an investment. You push your investment. You do not break them. They then repay you with their service.

A single soldier in the United States Military costs the taxpayers around a million dollars. Their training is also among the cheapest things the military can buy. In terms of resources in the Middle Ages, the feeding, training, and equipping of a knight costs far more than that.

Think about it. And maybe do some more research.

Otherwise, you’ve got a trainer going, “I want to blow through fourteen years and nine million dollars to soothe my students’ egos!”

No.

“Anything Goes” is a Hollywood creation. You train all combatants on the assumption they’ll be killed, you want to give them the tools to survive but they’ll probably die. For this reason, you need every single one. You can’t waste them on each other. That’s a major reason why tournaments came to exist, so you could have the war and the skill without the death.

-Michi

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

When Quiet Is Violent - Part 3 (End)

Masterlist  -  Part 1  -   Part 2

Summary: You’re retired, living a quiet and secure life when your ex, Steve Rogers, turns up on your doorstep with his best friend, seeking refuge. (bucky x reader, enhanced reader)

Prompt(s): Okay I know I already wrote Night Walks with these prompts but I really wasn’t happy with it, so here is attempt #2. @pandarositarequest: 93 and 94… but Reader being upset rather than Bucky?

93.“I’m telling you. I’m haunted.”
94. “I had a bad dream again.”
Plus anon request: 64 “Here, take my blanket.”

Warnings: swearing, fighting, deathy stuff and the aftermath.

Word Count: 3671

Author’s Note: The angst train’s brakes aren’t working. Prepare for a trainwreck. :) Remember that I love you.

Originally posted by dewiedawn

 Tony finally made it to the end of your long drive and stepped out of his car. Pieces of polished red metal immediately shifting into place around his body as you stepped down from the porch, looking casual and unassuming.

“Y’know most people call first,” you called to him, testing the waters, “and it works out for everyone, see, because then I can tell them to rent an SUV with snow tires, not a…” you paused, leaning to the side to peer around him at the flashy car that was just so Tony. “Bugatti?”

“Really? I thought you liked surprises?” he fired back, walking casually to the front of the car, face mask open, holding his hands out to the side in mock surprise.

“Is the car the surprise?”

Keep reading

archiveofourown.org
Moonlight - DecemberCamie - Hunter X Hunter [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Fic title: Moonlight

Word count: 4520

Summary:

“Don’t you have someone to talk to about all of that? Someone you trust to help you?”

Killua laughed but it sounded broken and wrong. “If I did, do you think I would really be up here on the roof in the middle of the night talking to you, Ladybug?”

Ouch.

That hurt, more than Gon would ever admit.

(Killugon Miraculous Ladybug AU! Featuring a sad Killua and a comforting Ladybug~)( BEAUTIFUL fanart by emthimofnight that sparked this whole au)( Miraculous x Hunter tag with other drabbles, asks, etc)

This scene was actually something I proposed the emthimofnight about a half a week after she first posted her ideas for this au! So this fic has been an idea since the beginning of March, as crazy as it sounds…

@softkillua beta’d this fic for me because he is awesome and the best beta ever!!!!!!!! Please check out his writing, I swear you won’t regret it!


Killua pushed the window open with a gasp. A cool, night breeze hit his face a second later and rustled his white locks. It was like being doused in cold water: the low temperature and outside air was refreshing and helped lessen the terrible pressure building behind his eyes.

The Zoldyck Mansion’s roof was sloped and had few openings to grasp or even sit on without risking a fatal fall to the cement below. Killua scrambled out onto the landing anyway, eyes quick to find the small, familiar grooves to help him safely navigate the treacherous surface. He’d done this too many times by now to fall.

Keep reading

fic idea???

so guysss… even if i’m obsessed with riverdale, i really really love grey’s anatomy and bones (medical/mystery shows are an obsession of mine) so i want to see if i can write a fic that combines the two/three! if i continue it, i’m going to call it blossom memorial hospital. would anyone read this??

jughead jones, despite his age, is one of the best cardiologists that riverdale and its surrounding towns have ever seen. after a tragic breakup because he wasn’t living to his full potential, he threw himself into his career, eventually earning himself a scholarship to NYU, and consequently NYU School of Medicine. though he had a successful career in new york he came back to riverdale to aid his sister JB in being a single mother.

betty cooper is a neonatologist (a doctor that specializes in premature and critically ill infants who require immediate treatment at the risk of fatal consequences). when her sister polly’s twins were born prematurely, she took a special interest in their health. little did she know, it would develop into a lifelong passion.

veronica lodge is a second year resident, trying to win the approval of her mentor, cheryl blossom. the question is, how far will she go, and will it turn into something more? what will be the consequences??

josie mccoy is the nurse-in-training that, even though she’s not an official part of the team yet, is probably the most determined, motivated, and organized person at the hospital. she knows how to do her job, and to do it well. plus, with her twelve hour shifts, she only has to work three days per week, leaving time for her music career.

cheryl blossom is the neurosurgeon of the team. though outside of the operating room, she may make her patient’s nervous with her biting commentary, inside, she makes them feel comfortable with the knowledge that she definitely knows what she’s doing.

kevin keller is the charismatic receptionist that makes every patient comfortable in the hospital before surgery, or even something as simple as a checkup. behind the scenes, he knows all of the hospital’s hottest gossip, and is sure to inform his best friend, betty.

archie andrews is a pediatric surgeon. sometimes, after sharing some tough news, he gets out his guitar like the good ol’ days. despite his sometimes oblivious tendencies, he has impressively steady hands during surgery, making him the best (and only) pediatric surgeon at the hospital.

MESSAGE ME OR REBLOG IF U WOULD READ THIS HELP also if u think I shld add ppl or anything like that suggestions would be appreciated

Originally posted by prettyboyaesthetic

It would frighten the hell out of me to be walking round, taking drugs. I mean why throw a curve on life. I think I might wait till I’m 70 and then do it all at once. Just stay ultra-healthy till I’m 70 and then just go - waaaaaaooooo.
—  River Phoenix, 1992.
Protons and Electrons

[This was requested by anon -  Could you write one where the reader is like a total baddass?! Like, leather jacket, cocky confident attitude, and best friends with Morgan? So, can Spencer try to be cool like the reader to get their attention, but fails miserably by being awkward nervous Spencer, but the reader loves that about him and they ask him out? Brownie points for super duper cutesy dorky Reid? TYSM!!!!! – I hope I did all right…”]

 

“The reason as to why we are attracted to our opposites is because they are our salvation from the burden of being ourselves.” 
― Kamand Kojouri

 

“Hey, pretty boy, I’m actually free to go out tonight, you coming?”

Spencer couldn’t help but be a little skeptical by the invitation.

“Where exactly are you planning to go?”

“Dive bar near Reston, come on man, everyone’s going.”

“I don’t know, bars aren’t really my thing.”

“Look, Reid, I love my son more than anything in this world, but I need some adult conversation tonight. Hell, spout off about proton charges for all I care.”

“Protons can’t actually charge without an electron to –“

“Yeah, all of that, save it for tonight.”

“Morgan, I’m not sure –“

“Is boy wonder putting up a fight?”

“He sure is mama, I come in to visit with all my loved ones, and this one here passes up the opportunity to catch up.”

Spencer couldn’t help, but falter on that. “That’s not it at all, I’m only saying that the location isn’t ideal. There’s more violence in those types of bars than one with a restaurant setting. Did you know a study was shown that –“

“Yeah, yeah, but I think what chocolate thunder forgot to mention was who else would be there.”

Morgan grinned at that, the mischievous spark coming to light. “Oh, I think I did.”

Spencer looked back and forth between them. “What do you mean? I thought you invited the team.”

“I did, but my sweet honey glaze has drove down here to meet up, figured we’d all hang out tonight and let her see Hank and the little woman tomorrow.”

Spencer’s brows knotted in confusion, not entirely sure who Morgan was describing.

“Y/N, Reid, you know the one you made goo-goo eyes at during the Christmas party last year.”

“I did not!”

“Oh, so you were weirded out by her, cause that’s what she thought.”

“No! That’s not it either. I have no reason to think she’s weird.”

And he didn’t, honestly he had been captivated by you. The way you carried yourself with self-confidence, so sure, yet with the warmest smile he had ever seen. It hadn’t mattered that half your head was shaved, didn’t matter that the part unshaved was dyed a startling shade of red, or that your tight clothing was mostly made of leather, and it didn’t matter that you’d set off metal detectors a mile away from how many piercings you had; the way you laughed and made people laughed, wanting to help so everyone could enjoy the party, how you listened and enjoyed his and everyone’s company, that’s what mattered. But he knew you’d never see him, not the way he wanted you too. No, like so many others you’d see him as dorky Spencer Reid, proven genius and all around mess.

“Are you even listening anymore?”

His eyes came back into focus. “What?”

“Oh, thinking about your lady?”

“She isn’t my lady, Garcia, it’s not like she’d ever be interested in me anyways.”

“Now that’s not true, you’re a marvelous upon marvelous specimen of man, but, well, maybe if you gussied up differently it’d catch her eye.”

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, you’ve seen her, maybe something of cow hide would be more beneficial.”

“Reid in leather? Dear Lord, mama, what’s the matter with you? Just be yourself, except, you know, talk to her. Don’t hide.”

“I’m not saying to not be him, just he needs something to get her interested.”

“He’s not a peacock, he just needs to be himself, Y/N might be crazy as hell but she has a good heart and she likes that in other people. Just do you, Reid.”

Garcia rolled her eyes, exasperated, but was halted when Spencer started gathering his things.

“I’ve got to go, I’ll meet you guys there.”

“So you’re coming then? All right, pretty boy! I’ll text you the address.”

Spencer gave an offhand wave and went home.

Maybe he should try to be a little different, you didn’t know much about him, only a fleeting moment in time. A first impression could always be wrong. This could be his chance to be someone else, not be the clumsy, awkward know-it-all and be the guy people are drawn to. Rifling through his closet, he couldn’t help the depleted sense of his wardrobe, he had nothing that someone would think was cool. Cardigans and slacks taking up most of the space, but in the back he was able to find an old leather bomber jacket. He couldn’t even recall where he got it, and with his memory that fact startled him. He didn’t have jeans and he didn’t have boots but he did have his converses, the worn pair a comfort to him which he hoped would increase his confidence tonight. Fixing his hair the best he could he looked at the addressed to get to the bar.

‘It’s now or never, Reid.’

The place was dirtier than he would have liked, floor covered in peanut shells and sawdust, the tables and stools worn, the leather chipping away as rusted coated the frames, but in a way it was homey. The patrons looking as if they had just got off work and decided to catch up with friends.

“Pretty boy!”

‘Why does he have to call me that in front of everyone, it’s endearing when it’s the team but with –‘

“You made it I see and you had yourself a little costume change.”

Sitting beside Morgan he could see you, that same warm smile adorning yourself, your lips still puckered in a way that let he know you had been laughing at something before.

“Hi, Y/N.”

“Hi, Spencer…it is okay if I call you that right, I can call you Reid if you want.”

“No! It’s fine I mean, I’d prefer it. So where is everyone?”

“JJ and Garcia are on their way, the boys were giving JJ trouble didn’t help that baby girl was there, she’d let them rule that house if she was allowed to.”

Thinking of their roles as godparents he couldn’t help but smile, yeah, the boys seemed to have a way to tug their hearts to fit them.

“Do you spoil them too, Spencer?”

“He spoils them with knowledge.”

Spencer watched you arch your brows up and nod.

“I like being there for them, all of them, including Hank.”

“I bet you’re good at it.”

“I try to be, I mean, when there’s time for it.”

He didn’t know if this conversation was going right, she was paying attention to him but he wanted her to see him as cool, an equal, but gushing over his godchildren probably wasn’t going to get them there.

“So, Y/N, did you drive your bike here?”

Watching you sip your beer he waited as you nodded. “Yep, why, would you like a ride?”

“Oh, you shouldn’t drive when you drink, people with even a slight buzz raise the risk of fatalities to forty-five percent and without the exterior a car gives a motorcycle may –“

He’s rambling, damn it, he didn’t mean to, but she’s smiling a quirk of one but it was still something.

“Maybe we can share a cab tonight and you can drive me to Derek’s on it tomorrow?”

“Um.”

“Reid on a motorcycle, you know I never pictured him in leather and he looks halfway decent, hell maybe he’ll be doing wheelies in the parking lot.”

He knew the jacket would be a bad idea. “Shut up, Morgan.”

Your giggled made him flush even more. “Ignore him, Spencer, have a drink with us, since I’m out with cops tonight and have to take a cab I’ll be having me some tequila.”

Observing the effortless way you drank and sucked the lime, he couldn’t help but think he could do it too.

“I’ll have one as well, please.”

He tried to ignore the smirk on Morgan’s face as the bartender poured his shot.

“Sure you can handle that, Reid.”

His lips wanted to pout in trying to keep from blurting obscenities.

“Here, Spencer, you just lick the salt, drink it back, and suck the lime. It takes practice to do it quick.”

Doing as instructed, he lapped the salt, wishing he had washed his hands first and then tipped his head and glass back, choking as the fiery liquid hit his esophagus. The remaining liquid in his mouth sputtered and he felt your hand patting his back in trying to quell the coughs.

“Can we get some water over here please?”

He blushed, this wasn’t going the way he wanted it to at all, he was looking like a bigger dork than usual.

“I would say suck on the lime, but I don’t know if that’d help or not.”

He shook his head at you, no the acidity would not help him right now. His cheeks and throat were burning.

“Maybe we could play some pool until the others get here.”

Morgan shook his head. “I think I’ll pass, the way genius here is he’ll take you for everything you have.”

You shrugged. “Perhaps I just have more confidence in my playing skills than you do.”

“Your money, Y/N. Hey, pretty boy, why don’t you tell her about that proton charging while you’re at it over there.”

He felt you lightly grasp his shoulder steering him to the table.

“I hope you don’t let him get to you.”

“I don’t, not all the time anyways, I just wish he wouldn’t treat me like a kid sometimes.”

“I wouldn’t say a kid, more like a younger brother. So, you good as he says?”

“Um, a little bit, pool’s mostly geometry and –“

“I’ll take your word for it, we don’t have to play for money then, I’ll need some to make it home. But we could play for a prize.”

His eyes searched your face. “What kind of prize?”

You smiled, mischievous. “Whatever we want.”

“W-what?”

“Whatever I want if I win, whatever you want if you win. Except money or my bike.”

“What about a ride on it?”

“We can do that.”

“And if I want something else?”

You smiled, his heart palpitating. “We can do that too.”

He already knew he was going to win, he’d played enough games of pool in school to know that. The older students thinking they could out best a kid, well, at least there he was able to show them. Though it didn’t stop them from beating him up, claiming he cheated. He was about to shoot…

“Play hard, Reid!”

He scratched.

Oh, God, now everyone was here now. He wished they wouldn’t give him a hard time, and for once, his prayers seemed answered, after the girls kissed each other’s cheeks in greeting they fled to the bar, letting Morgan pick up the tab. But he knew they were watching and he couldn’t shake that.

“Spencer, it’s okay, you can go again.”

“No, it’s –“

“You were distracted that’s fine, let yourself get into your zone, it’ll be okay.”

It was sinking ball after ball but you had kept up and he only needed the eight to win.

“So what was the deal with protons?”

“Oh, Morgan was just being…Morgan earlier.”

You laughed. “Isn’t he always?”

He couldn’t help but laugh as well. “Yeah he is.”

“But what about them.”

“He was thinking protons charge on their own they don’t.”

Missed, if you missed he could still sink it, the angle was perfect for it now.

“So how do they charge?”

“Um, it takes an electron to, I guess you’d say, engulf it so it can charge.”

You smirked. “Is that when they say opposites attract?”

He smiled. “Very much so.”

The smile fell when you sank the eight.

“Yes! I can’t believe I won.”

There went his chance. Anything he wanted. One date, one kiss. Now nothing. “Yeah.”

“Don’t be a sore loser, it was luck at the end, though skill was there throughout.”

“I’m not being sore, I wanted to win though.”

“I’ll still let you drive my bike tomorrow.”

He shook his head, he knew he was being irrational, but he felt defeated as if some source of fate came in and struck him down. “Could I have my prize now, Spencer?”

He shrugged. “Sure.”

“Are you?”

He nodded.

Standing on tiptoe he almost pulled away when he felt your lips on his. He could hear cheering from the bar but the velvet he felt was stifling the noise.

“What was that?”

You shrugged. “My prize. I’ve been wanting to kiss you since the party, and this seemed like the best tactic. You’re not mad are you?”

Since the Christmas party? “No, I’m not mad, confused, you wanted to kiss me?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, I’m me and you’re you.”

“You’ll have to explain that one to me Spencer.”

“You’re tequila and leather and I’m books and coffee.”

“Well, I happen to like books and coffee, not to mention sweater vests and messy hair. What about you, I doubt tequila’s up there, but what about leather?”

He nodded dumbfounded.

“You’re the one that said that opposites attract, well, this electron’s attracted to you genius.”

He blushed. “I wouldn’t mind being enveloped by you.”

With the words out, he blushed, making you laugh. Dragging him down by the collar for another kiss.

Unaware As Why

Originally posted by 1derland-niall-louis-blog

“And there’s your baby.”

The ultrasound technician reports as you and Harry watch the screen tentatively.  At five months pregnant, your belly is slowly but surely enlarging, as you watch the trained woman run the transducer probe across it.

“Would you like to know the gender?” She smiles and you snap your head towards Harry.

“Do we?”

He gives you a look of agreement and you nod towards the woman in charge.

She moves the transducer around a bit more, studying the screen closely before beaming at you both.

“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs.Styles, you’re having a baby girl.”

You let out a breath as Harry’s eyes widen, lips curling into the biggest smile you’ve ever seen from him.

“R-Really?” His countenance is happier than a child at Disneyland and you hold the same appearance.

The technician nods, “Really.” Your husband leans over to give you the best hug he could as you lie on the bed, cold jelly over your bump.

He leans closer into you as you are handed a copy of the ultrasound image, eyes filled with admiration.

“Hi there,” Harry speaks to your stomach, “you’re beautiful already, if you could see yourself.”

The technician gives you a nod before exiting, giving you both a few moments to yourselves.

“I’m so glad to be having you, princess.” He kisses a soft spot, almost in tears.

“Hi, love.” You greet your soon-to-be-born daughter, “Daddy’s a bit emotional, if you haven’t already learned.” A laugh electing from both of you.

“We’re so excited to have you, I hope you know how happy we are. I hope we can make you happy as well.”

Your husband carries a face of contentment as he squeezes your hand, laying a kiss on your knuckles.

“Your mummy and I love you so, so much.” He whispers closely, rubbing your side gently.

“So much.”

-

“This is fun.” You declare, a price gun in your hand as you register items for your baby shower.

“Mm, nothing else can compare to putting the dangling thing that will hang over your daughter’s crib on your baby list.” Gemma jokes, scanning the bar code of a crib mobile.

The countdown is on as you slowly begin more and more preparation for the baby, one of them being to actually purchase furniture. Gemma insisted on aiding you with the task, telling you that her future niece would appreciate her opinion. You were going to ask her anyway.

“My goodness, this is all so adorable.” She gushes at the plush toys, taking one into her hands.

“Consider it my first present to her, whatever her name is.”

You giggle, “Darcy, or Sydney. Your brother can’t make up his mind.”

She scrunches her face, “You’re not picking it?”

“Well,” You pick up a random toy, “I can’t really find a decent one without it being linked to someone I don’t like or Harry doesn’t, nor can I seem to decide on much lately. But, regardless of that, even before we were married, I know that a baby girl is all Harry’s been waiting for so I thought I’d let him choose. Besides, I’m more of the veto person rather than the suggestion type when it comes to this big of a decision.”

With a nod, Gemma bends to check the cost of a crib you two were examining earlier.

“God… that’s too much.” You frown after learning the price. It is perfect however, something you could easily convert into a toddler bed when the time comes. The colour is one of your favourites and you could already picture your little one curled up in it, with you and Harry hovering over her with adoration emanating off your bodies.

Gemma smiles, “And my second present to her.”

You gasp, “No, no, Gem. I can’t let you get this for her-”

“Do you think she’ll like it?”

“Well, obviously I think she’ll love it but-”

“Then she’ll look beautiful in it.” She stops your sentence, and you learn not to fight it. She’d only sneak around you later on despite your arguments.

“How is she doing, anyways? How was yesterday’s check-up?”

You grin, “Fantastic. The nurse said she and I are doing fantastic for eighteen weeks.” You place your hand on top of your protruding belly, feeling her movement underneath you.

“Gem,” You whisper, “She just kicked. Do you want to feel?”

Her eyes pop out, immediately situating her own hand on the spot.

“You feel that?” She nods, stunned at your daughter’s actions. “I think that might be her knee.” You feel the bulge.

“God, I cannot wait for you.” She informs your bump, giving it a light kiss before smiling widely at you.

“I am so going to spoil her.”

You laugh, “I can tell by the cost of the things you’ve just declared your buying within the last five minutes.”

“Something tells me that her father isn’t going to hold back on it either.” She winks.

“You don’t even know the half of it, Gem.”

-

“Well someone seems happy.” Harry muses, watching you smile widely at your phone. “Looking at photos of me?”

You scoff at him, “Absolutely not. I’d have a face of agony whilst seeing those.”

He rolls his eyes, opening the duvet to lie beside you.

“I’m just looking over some of the things we ordered. Gem is already spoiling her and she’s not due for another four months.”

“Of course.” He laughs, “What, did she buy a crib or something?”

“Actually, yes,” You smirk at him, “care to see it?” You load the photo of the purchased item.

“Oh god,” He groans, nuzzling his nose into your neck, “I told her not to do anything like that for us.”

Your eyes bulge out in fake surprise, “She’s just as stubborn as her brother!”

“Very funny.” Harry squints at you, “Let’s hope she doesn’t have her mother’s sense of humour.”

You gasp, “You’re so rude! Like you’re any better with your knock-knock jokes.”

“Those provoke quality laughs! The fans love them!” He gapes, eyebrows curled in confusion.

“The fans love you, Harry.” You chuckle, “And loving you also comes with putting up with your dork-like actions.”

“You love them.” He shakes his head, pecking the button of your nose.

“I do, and she will as well.”

-

It all remains extremely vivid in your mind.

Everything happened so quickly, so suddenly with adrenaline surging through both your bloodstreams.

First, you were stripping down for a shower. You giggled to yourself as you remembered Harry’s whining for you not to leave him on the couch just a few minutes ago. The water was warming as you shed your undergarments whilst examining your figure in the mirror.

“Shit.” You muttered, realising you left the towels in the dryer from washing them earlier that day. You shut off the water and wrapped a robe around yourself before exiting.

Whilst the towels, you suddenly felt a sharp pain to your pelvic region. You stood in the hallway, clutching both your lower area and your back, for it as well was hurting.

“Ah,” You hissed, wishing for the pressure to disappear as you went back to the bathroom.

As you reached out for the faucet lever, you felt it. Water pushed out from your core and flowed down to the tile of your bathroom. You gasped, having a heavy feeling of what it already was.

“No, no.” You shook your head furiously, not wanting to believe the gut feeling in your stomach.

“Harry!” You called, him rushing to the bathroom at the sound.

“What’s the matter?” He inquires before seeing a pool of liquid underneath you.

“We need to get to the hospital.”

The entire scene replays in your head over and over again as you sit distressed in the waiting room of the hospital. Your eyes hardly blink from being so uneasy.

Harry rubs the back of your hand gently, attempting to keep a relaxed face despite the trouble.

“Y/N Styles?” A nurse calls out, clipboard in hand.

You both stand apprehensively, sharing a sigh before following the nurse.

“Dr. Cameron should be in shortly, it’s good that she’s still here.” You are told.

Ten minutes in whilst waiting, your regular doctor makes an appearance.

“So what seems to be the problem?” She asks, cheery regardless of the long shift she must have gone through.

Harry exchanges looks with you before recounting the night’s events.

-

“We’re going to do an ultrasound first just to check up on everything.” The machinery is pulled out and cold jelly is applied to your bump.

The doctor’s mouth parts as she studies the screen, waving the transducer around. You hear her sigh, causing you to be alarmed.

“What, what’s going on?”

“We’re going to run some tests on your body.” She states curtly.

“Why? Is my baby okay?” You tremble in the bed, tightening your grasp on Harry’s hand.

She parts her lips for a few seconds, scrambling to find a proper response. “We’re checking to make sure she is.”

Several tests are taken on your body, leaving you and your husband in angst inside the exam room. Harry would occasionally lean in to kiss parts of your body in an attempt to calm your nerves.

Dr. Cameron finally enters the room hours later, a file of papers in her grip. She tries to have a poker face however you know it will not last.

“The pressure and sudden burst was your water breaking.” She informs you both, confirming your earlier thoughts.

“How can that be? I-I’m still in my second trimester.” You stare at her, mouth ajar.

She gives you an uneasy look before sitting in the side chair next to you.

“This is due to a condition called cervical insufficiency, where weak cervical tissue causes it to open early, resulting in premature birth or the loss of the baby. Though it is rare, it can happen anywhere in your second trimester and holds fatal risks in a pregnancy. In your case, which unfortunately has happened before, when your water broke, the placenta along with tissue from the fetus were released from your body.”

You sit speechless, scrambling to find the proper words. But there isn’t anything you can say as your lower lip trembles, tears at the brink of falling. Harry grips your hand tighter, speaking for you.

“S-So what does this mean?”

Dr. Cameron swallows hard, her face full of something you’d never want to see from a doctor.

“The placenta is connected to the umbilical cord, where nutrients transport from your body to your baby. Because the placenta was lost from your body, your baby could not survive. You’ve had a miscarriage, I’m sorry.”

“W-We…” You stumble on your words, a sob escaping your lips. Your hand falls away from your stomach to Harry, whose strong-willed facade fell to one of disbelief, motionless as you tug him closer.

“I’ll um…I’ll give you two some time.” She exits the room quietly, leaving an implacable silence to circulate through.

Your vision is blurry whilst gazing at Harry, who wears an expressionless face. His lips are parted with eyes full of every emotion there could be. He doesn’t know what to feel, or how to feel.

“H.” You gasp out, blinking rapidly as more tears cascade down your face.

He looks at you with water-filled eyes, parting his lips every few seconds in an attempt to make some sense of the situation. However, as he lets out a wary breath and leans in closer, nothing needs to be said. Harry clutches you closer, finally crying as well while rocking you both back and forth.

“We’ll be okay.” He tells you weakly, having a hard time believing the sentence himself. Though despite any situation, he would always reassure the both of you that it would be alright.

-

Silence overtakes the rest of the night.

On the car ride home, your vision is fixed out the window. Though you’ve been through this ride countless times before, it is only now that you notice the amount of city lights that surround you.

Subconsciously, your hand drops to your belly. Normally, you’d feel a small kick from your little one. Nothing is there anymore.

You begin to cry, tears travelling a well-known route down your face. You’re forced to bite your lip to hold back a sob, however Harry already knows you’re bawling. He takes your hand in his, releasing a breath.

It becomes harder to breathe as you give in, heaving to yourself. He only squeezes your hand harder, water expelling from his eyes as well.

“She can’t be gone.” You say lowly, eyes now trained on the dashboard in front of you.

Harry peeks over at you, rubbing his thumb across your the back of your hand. Nothing more is said until you reach home.

Inside, you are stricken harshly with reality. Every step becomes increasingly difficult as you head towards the bedroom, your breath lost with each whimper. Harry strides behind you, a hand situated on your back to prevent you from breaking down.

You’re forced to hold back a blubber whilst walking past the nursery, refusing to glance inside.

“Almost there.” His voice pokes, guiding you to the bedroom. You almost don’t want to be there since the connecting en-suite is where it happened.

Once tucked in, you have a hard time finding any solace despite your husband’s calming touch.

“She can’t be.” You mutter, staring at the glass of water on your bedside table.

He sighs from behind you, feeling the pain course through him as well. Slinging an arm to your side, Harry kisses your temple softly. For a moment, he nuzzles his nose into your neck, laying another kiss to your sweet spot.

“I love you.” He whispers, and though you aren’t able to reply, he knows your answer very well.

-

“We don’t have a baby anymore, Harry.” You utter gently, more tears flowing down as he enters the room. “We should just return all of those things.” You refer to the crib full of baby items you had just bought days ago whilst in the living room.

He gulps down, glancing at you nervously from his upright position. He’s not willing to do anything rash just yet. Quite frankly, having to deal with any reality that does not include your daughter is like being repeatedly slapped in the face to him.

“Maybe we should wait, love. We need time to think about everything before making irrational decisions.”

“What’s the point?” You snap your head up at him, a glare clear across your face. “She’s gone, Harry! She’s not here anymore.”

You then realise your hand has been stroking on your belly, and at the absence of warmth from your palm does it hit you that there will no longer be any movement.

Your husband snaps his head up to meet your scowl, though with a face of empathy rather than one ready to argue.

“We don’t need to keep those things if we aren’t expecting anymore. It’d be even more irrational to have them around. ” You tell him harshly, your tear-streaked face.

He says nothing to fight back, only taking strides from his away position to you. You glance up at him, warmth encompassing your body as he embraces you closely.

“It’s okay.” He whispers, stroking the back of your head as you cry softly into his chest. Tears spring down his eyes as well, pressing his lips together to keep quiet. He is unsure of what to say, both of you are. What do you do in a situation as tragic as this?

With a kiss to the top of your head, you find solace in his body, soon drifting off into sleep.

-

Three days have passed since the incident.

You have not had much contact with the rest of the world, Harry doing all of the food shopping so that you don’t have to go out. The only people you have spoken to are your mother and mother in-law, both feeding you words of wisdom and comfort.

“Love, I knew someone who suffered from that exact event when I was your age.” Anne told you over the phone, “It was difficult, but they were able to get through it. A few years later, they ended up having two kids who are very healthy from the last time I’ve spoken to her.”

You give a half-hearted smile, “Thank you for the hope. Dr. Cameron said there would be some correction procedure I could go through, should we want to try again.”

She nodded, “There we go. You should never give up on it, darling.”

Harry was then handed the phone, with his mother relaying to him that she was proud.

“What do we do, mum.” He asked, teary eyed as he left the room.

“Nothing else.” She replied, a small smile making its way to her face. “You’re doing everything you can at the moment, both of you are. You’re taking care of yourselves, which is the best thing you can do.”

He pouted lowly at his mother, thankful for the reassurance.

“I know it’s difficult, love. But you have to be strong, for the both of you.”

Harry had been, seeing as he was the one to make sure the two of you still functioned by doing normal human things. He would cook meals when the time came for needed nutrients and run a sponge across your body when it came time to cleanse. For the most part, his touch would never leave your skin, not that you ever wanted it to.

“I’m proud of you for looking after her.” His mother cooed.

“She’s done it before for the both of us.” Harry paused to take a glimpse of you, seeing your blank stare at the painting he had done not too long ago. “Now it’s my turn.”

That was two days ago. You now stand listless in your hallway, peering into the room that would be a nursery. Your hand absentmindedly falls to your stomach before remembering that nothing is there anymore, and so you swipe it away quickly.

Your husband stands a few feet behind you, arms crossed as he follows your movement inside the room. You plant yourself on the floor with Harry following suit.

“Why do people always say ‘I’m sorry’ when something terrible happens.” You utter, vision fixed on nothingness.

“I mean, most of the time it isn’t even their fault. In most situations, they had nothing to do with why it went so badly and there’s nothing they could do to fix it.”

“I think they just say it as an expression of empathy,” He attempts to reason, “that ‘I’m sorry’ is supposed to a symbol of understanding emotional pain and feeling remorse for us having to go through it.”

You chortle, “Why should anyone feel guilt when I’m the only one to blame.”

His face falls, head shaking at your response, “Don’t say that, please don’t think that, angel.”

“Why shouldn’t I?” You choke out, “You probably think it too.”

“No, I don’t.” He swallows, tears now travelling down his cheeks.

Your hand travels to your stomach again, which is now bump free. Your face is sour, water decorating it slowly.

“C’mon, Harry.” You mutter softly, “If it weren’t for my damn cervix opening up early, we’d still be having a baby.”

“Please stop saying those things, my love.” He practically begs you whilst trying to intertwine your hand with his.

“What is it that people in the medical field call it, an ‘incompetent cervix’, hm?” You almost laugh at how pathetic you’re feeling at the moment.

“You can’t put yourself at fault here, darling.”

“And why not?” You snap, though your face is still soft, “It’s because of me and my stupid body, you know that.”

He shakes his head, “I don’t know that. You don’t know that either.”

“How can you be so sure it wasn’t your incompetent wife’s fault?” You susurrate, losing your grasp on the situation.

“Because I cannot blame you for something you had no control over.”

You don’t meet his eyes as he continues, “There’s no possible way you or anyone else, even the ultrasound technician, would have known that this would happen. Dr. Cameron said that cervical insufficiency is very hard to diagnose especially if a pregnant woman appears as healthy as you are. So please, please, Y/N, don’t fall so hard over something so tragic that no one would predict.”

“Why aren’t you angry?” You shift your head to face his. “Why are you so good to me in this situation?”

“You are not incompetent, nor are you responsible for this happening.” He replies as you finally allow your fingers to come together.

Resting your head upon his shoulder, he wraps an arm to meet your other side. You lick your dry lips as water glides past them and onto your thighs. Grief is written across your face but fades the tighter your husband holds you. Harry breathes out, the weight of the world slowly but surely lifting off his shoulders every time you allow him in.

“If we aren’t meant to have her right now, then we aren’t.” Though it pains him to speak those words, you both know that they are the truth.

-

The next morning you are awaken at the early hour of 7am.

“What are you doing?” You grumble, noticing the time at which you were shaken up.

“Up, love. We’re going out today.”

Your face falls into a panic, “W-Why? Harry, I don’t-”

“I think we both know that we need some time away from this house.”

He kisses your temple whilst tracing your hair softly, “C’mon.”

The 8:35am train from London to Dorset is one that is not very packed on a Monday. Most people would be going into the city, not out from it.

You did not argue very much about leaving, considering you did not have the energy or mentality to want to do so with your husband. He sits across from you with a guitar on his side, gazing out the window.

“Admiring me, again?” He smirks and you giggle, the first one since the accident.

“More like wondering why you brought that, you hardly ever play it for me, let alone out in public.”

“Hm, you’ll see when we get there.” He hums, going back to watching the English countryside travel past him.

After a few hours and a taxi drive, you two arrive at the top of East Cliff in West Bay, Dorset. The morning fog has yet to clear up, leaving you to peer out into the grey distance.

“This is amazing, Harry.” You remark at the beauty of your surroundings. He hums in reply, kissing the top of your head.

Your hands are shoved into your pockets as you marvel at the view. The Atlantic ocean seems endless from your position, local fisherman decorating the sea. The grass underneath you is soft, green as can be along with seagulls making their noise not too far away. The ocean breeze is almost enough to clear your mind. Almost.

“When I was struggling with myself,” Harry starts, bringing you back to his presence. “with all the attention from the media while trying to find out who I was, you never once argued with me about it. You never once got upset with me, or at least you didn’t do it to my face.”

You watch his movement, sighing as he added on, “I know me having a hard time affected us both, but you never once doubted that things would get better. You held us up. Now it’s my turn to be strong for the both of us.”

“Harry…” You utter, realising why he has never once lashed back at your anger.

“Though it’s killing me that we have to have this, I know we’ll get through it.” He whispers as the corners of his lips curve up.

“Thank you.” You say in a hushed tone, sending a smile back.

It is silent for a few more minutes until the steady strum of a familiar song echos to your ears. Harry stands beside you, getting ready to sing.

You were just a small bump unborn, in four months you’re brought to life
You might be left with my hair, but you’ll have your mother’s eyes

Your breath hitches at the choice of song, chills running up your spine. The hairs on the back of your neck stand tall as you are unable to comprehend your emotions.  

I’ll hold your body in my hands be as gentle as I can
And now your scan on my unmade plans
Small bump, in four months you’re brought to life

Tears accumulate as he continues singing, you noting the emotions coursing through him as well.

“I can’t believe you’re doing this.” You gasp, the tears cascading down your cheeks. You almost hum along, the song fitting everything that’s gone on in your life.

I’ll hold you tightly, I’ll give you nothing but truth
If you’re not inside me, I’ll put my future in you

You think about your baby, where she is and how she is doing. The events you had already imagined in your mind are no longer coming to pass, but with every turning second you know that she’ll always be with you somehow to celebrate.

The jitters you held about giving birth, dealing with the lack of sleep, temper tantrums and fits of crying all faded once she went away. You aren’t going to join the armada of mothers in the world who speak the same language just yet, however you know that Darcy or Sydney will always make you think like one.

“She would’ve had all the love in the world.” You whisper, lips twitching into a smile of getting over your grief.

“She already does.” Harry responds before singing the last verse of Small Bump.

‘Cause you were just a small bump unborn for four months then torn from life.
Maybe you were needed up there but we’re still unaware as why 


I don’t have any words for this, mainly because it was so difficult to write both physically and emotionally. Nevertheless, thank you to the anon who requested this, I hope it’s alright. Apologies for the medical side of this if it isn’t right, I tried my best to make it seem accurate.

If you’ve ever had a miscarriage / know someone that has, I’m sorry. I understand that miscarriages come more often than we think and I don’t know why, but I do hope that whoever has experienced it is able to cope well with the situation. It’ll be alright.

If you’ve ever watched Broadchurch (One of my top four fav shows, seriously), then the cliffs of where it is filmed is where Harry and Y/N go. If you’ve ever seen House M.D. (also one of my complete favs, ugh), Dr. Cameron on there is who I refer to here, heh.

Thank you for being so lovely in reading, messaging and following. You’re wonderful

Love to you if you’re reading this,

Iz xx

fic: smoke

notes: Toying with the idea of Mikoto as being a sort of back-to-basics shinobi. You know, classic weapons, basic ninjutsu. Nothing fancy except she is really really good at it. Just doing some exploring here.

Mikoto expects to die young. She tells Fugaku this as they sit along the banks of the river, enjoying the mildness of the afternoon; a setting entirely unsuitable for such conversation.

And really, despite the melodrama of that simple statement, Mikoto sees it as only a practical assumption, and not only because she is a shinobi. She is eighteen, she is a jounin, with family long since passed to the other side. She would never take unnecessary risks, and certainly not with a team—but when one is on one’s own, calculated risks could be much steeper.

Of course, the person she is explaining this philosophy to is someone whose person is considered invaluable not only by his large, extended family but also by the village at large. Uchiha Fugaku will soon succeed his father as the clan head, and when he does he will no longer take missions in the same capacity that he does now.

It is a shame, Mikoto thinks, drawing up her knees and resting her head in her arms, studying him. He has been a comfortable presence on their missions, a reliable partner. An ally. A friend.

She will miss him.

Keep reading

GUESS WHO MADE A FRESH PARASITE OC HECK YEA
(I get nervous posting OCs online aha…haha…..ha….)

This is Bubblegum! She uses She/They primarily, and is basically obsessed with 90’s candy. She often wears candy jewelry- More than what’s pictured.
Her outfit is… Pretty heavily inspired by it, too. The purple/pink pairs represent nerds, the blue cloudish trim of her dress represents what I THINK is an Australian gummy, that I’m pretty sure was a 90’s thing? I think? Idk they’re nice though. They’re also a bit glittery, so that part is a bit shimmery, I’m just…. bad at visually showing that pfft.
…Also yeah she has a toffee glued to her skull. She’s kinda messy.

She’s sarcastic, competitive, and would probably kill a man for a ring pop. She tends to somewhat… Zone out, a lot. She has a bad attention span and will sometimes stop in the middle of a sentence to say something odd, like, “Hey. Y'know what’d be totes weird? If I just… Chugged a freakin’ lava lamp. That’d be weird.”
…She’ll then continue the conversation like nothing happened.

If Bubblegum threatens someone, it’s not a shallow threat. She WILL follow it up, some way or another. She hates Fresh, and thus feels protective of the other Parasites that he’s created. She has the ability of ‘Wound Transference’.

MORE INFO UNDER THE CUT!

Keep reading

@akathehellcat

She agrees to go out in this absolute crevice, this crack in the earth incidentally saturated with alcohol. It could be worse. It could be terrible, if she’s being honest. Somehow worse than– the beer-battered smell of too-fried chicken fingers that are either overdone or straight out of the microwave. Her beer is cheap, the kind of awful Rolling Rock that borders on repulsive to her but always tastes best because Hannibal would never, ever, ever even think of drinking it. And since he’d never brew this piss-water concoction for her refined beer palate, she loves it. She loves it so much this is her third one.

The t-shirt is small on her in a way that clothes may only seem to be small on Alana, who looks very much like a babydoll the shirt is maybe named for in style. There’s that pleasant shade of pink to her cheeks and she’s perfectly calm, snowflake blue eyes occasionally drifting closed and open, a constancy that’s cool. Trish hums and her attention swings, like a dog that’s heard a whistle.

Her eyes follow every movement. There are words happening but Alana’s too busy following her fingertip, the least subtle way her gaze drags across every movement. Her mouth is temporarily open, just a second. She blinks like she’s only just learned how to do so.

“‘Until you can’t stand’ sounds like a risk, but one that I’m at least a little willing to take,“ that unrestrained stare’s one not quiet, one absolutely enamored and involved. She feels that it’s a little more than the alcohol leaving her so warm, a little more than the dark pink creeping along her neck, tips of her ears hidden behind dark hair, “Even if I temporarily contract a rare and– fatal disease, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

It’s a calm purr, tantalized and warm, the duck in to take a digit in-mouth with a soft, heady hum that exists all her own. She’ll have partly begun to ruination of her own red lipstick, and she won’t care a bit. It’s almost Cheshire, the shape of that smile. “Whatever you want.”

anonymous asked:

A lot of the questions here pertain to nonlethal takedowns, and it makes me curious: what sort of weapons exist specifically for restraining opponents? Nets, lassos, and bolas are frequently used on animals, but are they actually viable against humans? Have adhesives (e.g. Spiderman's webbing) or any other kind of "high tech" restraint ever been seriously used in weaponry?

They’ve been seriously attempted. DARPA’s been funding research into less than lethal weapons for decades. I’ve seen video of prototype net guns and glue guns that first got released in the 90s. I assume there were serious issues with both, as neither moved into production since then.

Tazer shogtun shells are commercially available, but they’re expensive, and won’t work against someone wearing heavy clothing.

Of course Tazers and stunguns are a real option for putting someone on the ground. Zap someone with a heart condition and you’ll probably outright kill them, but otherwise, unless you don’t keep zapping them for over thirty minutes, you should be able to handcuff them.

DARPA’s other dream is sonic weapons. Initially they were looking at battlefield application, but it sounds like what they had started trending more for riot control.

Anyway, shotguns have a lot of exotic shell loadouts designed to not kill the victim. Beanbag rounds are a standard as are rubber bullets. There’s also grenade variants.

Beanbags distribute the force and will usually put someone on the ground at medium range with acceptable risk. Fatalities from these things run around 2%. The also fail to incapacitate the target with a single shot most of the time. Which can actually lead to needing to kill the target, because, we’ll, now you’ve shot at them.

Rubber bullets or riot slugs are in basically the same category. These are low powder load shotgun shells with either plastic or fabric slugs or shot. They’re used for riot control, and can still leave some nasty injuries or outright kill their victims. As with beanbags one shot isn’t likely to be enough.

Gas shells come in a couple varieties. They can be tear or pepper gas, and spray a cone of the gas or launch a miniature grenade. Both grenade variants also exist as 40mm variants, and in handheld form. Incidentally, there’s a 12 gauge fragmentation grenade in development.

Bolo shells do exist, but they’re advertized as being capable of decapitating whatever you’re hunting… so, not exactly the definition of non-lethal I was looking for.

Moving away from shotguns, there’s a lot of grenade ordinance that ends up in the less than lethal category.

Concussion Grenades, or flashbangs, are designed to emit enough light and noise to disorient someone for a few seconds. It should be enough time to get handcuffs on someone. While actual deaths from flashbangs are fairly rare, they’re still a live grenade detonation, and they do generate enough heat to cause severe burns and start fires.

There’s also of course, pepper spray in all it’s variations. This stuff isn’t 100%, and can get into trouble when dealing with people who aren’t affected, or have been exposed to it previously. Unsurprisingly it can also cause a lethal reaction in some cases.

So, yes, less than lethal weapons do exist. None of them are 100%, and most of them can accidentally kill the target. The entire point is to have an option that will briefly incapacitate, without having to go directly to lethal force.

-Starke

bbc.co.uk
Apple, Samsung and Sony face child labour claims - BBC News
An Amnesty report into child labour in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo raises questions for electronic firms.

Human rights organisation Amnesty has accused Apple, Samsung and Sony, among others, of failing to do basic checks to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined by children.
In a report into cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it found children as young as seven working in dangerous conditions.
Cobalt is a a vital component of lithium-ion batteries.
The firms said that they had a zero tolerance policy towards child labour.

The DRC produces at least 50% of the world’s cobalt. Miners working in the area face long-term health problems and the risk of fatal accidents, according to Amnesty.
It claimed that at least 80 miners had died underground in southern DRC between September 2014 and December 2015.
It also collected the testimonies of children who allegedly work in the mines.
Paul, a 14-year-old orphan, started mining when he was 12 and told researchers: “I would spend 24 hours down in the tunnels. I arrived in the morning and would leave the following morning … I had to relieve myself down in the tunnels … My foster mother planned to send me to school, but my foster father was against it, he exploited me by making me work in the mine.”
UNICEF estimates that there are approximately 40,000 children working in mines across southern DRC.
In response to the report, Apple said: “Underage labour is never tolerated in our supply chain and we are proud to have led the industry in pioneering new safeguards.”

It said that it conducts rigorous audits on its supply chain and any supplier found hiring underage workers is forced to:
fund the worker’s safe return home
finance the worker’s education at a school chosen by the worker or his/her family
continue to pay the worker’s wages
offer him or her a job when he or she reaches legal age to work.
On cobalt specifically it added: “We are currently evaluating dozens of different materials, including cobalt, in order to identify labour and environmental risks as well as opportunities for Apple to bring about effective, scalable and sustainable change.”
Samsung said that it had a “zero tolerance policy” towards child labour and that, it too, conducted regular and rigorous audits of its supply chain.
“If a violation of child labour is found, contracts with suppliers who use child labour will be immediately terminated,” it said.
Sony commented: “We are working with the suppliers to address issues related to human rights and labour conditions at the production sites, as well as in the procurement of minerals and other raw materials.”

The Amnesty report, which was jointly researched with African Resources Watch (Afrewatch), traced how traders buy cobalt from areas where child labour is rife, selling it on to firm Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd.
Amnesty contacted 16 multinationals who were listed as customers of the battery manufacturers, who in turn source minerals from Huayou Cobalt.
One company admitted the connection while four others were unable to say for certain the source of the cobalt they used. Five denied sourcing the mineral from the firm, despite being listed as customers in company documents and two others said that they did not source cobalt from DRC.
Six firms said that they were investigating the claims.
“It is a major paradox of the digital era that some of the world’s richest, most innovative companies are able to market incredibly sophisticated devices without being required to show where they source raw materials for their components,” said executive director of Afrewatch (Africa Resources Watch) Emmanuel Umpula.
“The abuses in mines remain out of sight and out of mind because in today’s global marketplace, consumers have no idea about the conditions at the mine, factory and assembly line. We found that traders are buying cobalt without asking questions about how and where it was mined.”

Mark Dummett, business and human rights researcher at Amnesty said that mining was “one of the worst forms of child labour”.
“The glamorous shop displays and marketing of state of the art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks and miners in narrow man-made tunnels risking permanent lung damage,” he said.
“Millions of people enjoy the benefits of new technologies but rarely ask how they are made. It is high time the big brands took some responsibility for the mining of the raw materials that make their lucrative products.
"Companies whose global profits total $125bn (£86.7bn) cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from,” he said.
It should be noted that the majority of the children working in the mining industry in DRC do not enter the underground mines but perform a variety of tasks on the surface, including scavenging for ore and sorting minerals that have been mined underground.

Search the conflict minerals tag

*don’t comment if you’re just going to make a blank state especially if you’re not Congolese*

When Jeffrey learned of his wife’s inclination to vote for Democrat Tom Barrett, he became determined to prevent her from reaching that polling booth, or die trying.

As Amanda pulled out of the driveway to vote, Jeffrey made his last stand by leaping in front of her car. Not really anticipating her husband risking fatal vehicular injury on the off chance his wife was the deciding vote in a Midwestern governorship, she ran him down and, probably wisely, drove to the police station to report it rather than help him up while being berated for her lousy liberal driving.

Jeffrey was taken to the hospital for the back and neck injuries he endured while saving America from a socialist apocalypse. Jeffrey’s brother, Mike, knew who was really to blame – after the media asked his opinion for some reason, he replied that “These crazy liberal nuts are always pulling this crap.” The “crap” being “Not stopping fast enough when a Republican flings his squishy body in front of your Dodge Durango to stop you from voting.”

The 6 Most Hilariously Insane Overreactions of All Time

Sure, of course he felt guilty— but that didn’t stop him. Zuko was at it again. A guise from his shadowy past had resurfaced, the muse of his teenage years. Zuko was back as the Blue Spirit. He was sneaking out, not telling a soul, and trying to assist the needy of his nation. It was far too risky for Fire Lord Zuko to be out in these harsh neighborhoods at night, but the Blue Spirit had a shot. Though, he too, faced great fatal risk. Very great risk. These were terrible areas– one of the towns had been the one where he was kidnapped, held hostage– tortured. His blood ran cold, and he trembled every time he went through there. But, the civillians needed help– and the fire lord couldn’t do much other than pass unexecuted laws. 

His problem? He was a liar. He was a filthy liar. No one wanted him out. It was dangerous. He’d almost lost his life far too many times, and this was almost like taunting a shinigami. His wife didn’t even like it when he went to quasi-sketchy neighborhoods in the daytime. So, he lied to her. He came up with sundry alibis every night— that was, if she even noticed his absence. Every night, it was a recycled, hackneyed excuse, or a new, stupid one. He knew she must’ve started to get skeptical, and he hoped she didn’t wait up for him. She’d have his head if he ever got caught– perhaps justifiably. 

Tonight might be that night.

Zuko froze as he crept back in the house, holding his breath. There she was. She had her arms folded, her hair tied up sloppily, her foot tapping, and even in the murky shadows, he knew she bore a fierce scowl. 

Katara…? Ugh… I– I'm… back from the council’s latenight, underground meeting…” he tried, sighing– pulling off the mask, feigning a cheeky grin.

unfortunate // kjt & rkj

Jitae wasn’t actually too sure on when exactly things had started to feel weird, or different even. All he could truly make sense of was that he’d taken a client up to one of the private rooms, a ‘regular’ he had, and sat and had a drink with them before getting down to the actual business at hand. That was one of their things the club did; to conform to the clients wishes and Jitae had a fair few that liked to drink before the activities following. As long as there was no fatal risk factor in it, then the strippers at the club would do as the client wished, and if that was to sit and drink, they’d do it. Something just felt off this time, especially as the time progressed–

It was as they were finishing up, the client slipping out silently and quickly, that was when Jitae realised that something really was wrong, it wasn’t his imagination or thoughts. His vision was blurring at the edges, starting to fade a little in some spots even as he forced himself up on all too shaking limbs to climb hazardously back into whatever clothes he even had to put on. He was half falling against the bed at just the effort of standing. His body felt weak, too weak to be normal.. and as much as he may seem it, Jitae wasn’t a lightweight, a glass of wine wouldn’t do this too him and that was the worrying part. Either way, he tried to push the thoughts out his mind as he forced himself out and down the stairs back into the main floor. He’d be with Kijoon soon, he’d be fine then– he’d be fine. But he needed to make it through the crowd first, the dance floor and over to the bar because he could see the elder, make him out quite clearly now but it felt like he was just getting further away with every step as he tried to push through– god, he felt sick.. weak and dizzy. The flashing lights and loud music were giving him a headache too as he finally broke from the crowd, half stumbling but at the same time managing to regain himself as he finally made it over to the elder. He wanted out– no, he needed out. Now.