Imperial Problem Child-verse. "Hey, Mom. This is going to be a weird question, but do you know which doctor Mrs. Lars took Luke to? He's having a... weird reaction to a painkiller. I'll let you know what I can in my next letter. Love, Janek." Tank glanced at Wedge. "You sure he never did this in the Rebellion?" "I think I'd remember Luke claiming to be the ruler of sand while somehow perched on a light fixture." "True. I'm not telling his dad, though." "That's fair. Make the doc do it?"
Tank paced the medbay with a strange expression on his face. The fact that they were in the same general coordinates as Tatooine was probably the only reason he was able to reach his parents’ frequency at all, but even so the connection was of poor quality, and audio only. Luke watched him in a kind of hazy amusement, not really aware of what was going on.
“No, no Mom, it wasn’t vitameatavegamin. That’s not even a real thing. No, it’s not, I swear it’s not.” He paused, listening for a moment, squinting as though this would make him hear better. “Fixer’s mom told you? Well there’s the problem. Mrs. Loneozner also thinks that pit droids carry disease. Not a reliable source.”
Tank looked over at Wedge apologetically, who had a supremely amused expression on his face even as he gently tugged Luke down from where he was making an industrious attempt to climb up a medical cabinet, muttering about good vantage points for sniping.
“Luke, buddy,” Wedge said gently, “Nobody in their right mind is gonna give you a gun for the next three weeks at least. Don’t worry about sniping.”
“Yeah, but if the guys come in-” Luke muttered, his mind clearly on a track he hadn’t informed his friends of.
“I’ll handle it, okay? But I don’t need to sit on a cabinet to do it. Just trust me and sit down a minute,” Wedge pleaded.
A triumphant sound caused the two to look up to where Tank flashed a thumbs-up. “Thanks Mom, you’re a lifesaver, literally. I’ll talk to you next time I get leave, love you!”
He cut off the comm and shook his head. “I never thought I’d say this, but thank the Force that my dad is a pack-rat. He still had old emergency contact forms for when we all went to agro-school between harvests. The Darklighters, Sunbers, and Lars were all kind of backups for each other. Man, I’d forgotten some of this stuff.”
He patted Luke’s shoulder as he passed him and leaned over the table where the doctor was trying to figure out which medication had caused the reaction. “It’s the provotin cystate,” he supplied. “Luke reacts to it the way you might to coming out of anesthesia post-op. Only for the first twenty minutes or so. Once that runs out, my mother remembered that he mostly experienced stiff joints and a headache until it wears off.”
The doctor scribbled that down in his datapad as if it were a matter of life or death.
Actually, given just who the patient was, it probably was a matter of life or death.
Prompt: What happens when you, the personal assistant to Tony stark, ends up having to assassins as soulmates? Let’s just say it ends up being a wild ride.
AN: Cause the idea for this triad has been on my mind for forever, and then the premise came, and I was like hell yes!
AU: Soulmark appearing at first touch
You shift back and forth on your feet. You’d never been a big fan of heights, and the idea of being on a flying heli-carrier makes you nauseous. Tony doesn’t seem to notice. For the thousandth time, you wonder why you’ve stayed this long. The headaches your boss has caused you over the past two years should be enough to qualify you for hazard pay. But deep down, you know why you stay, he doesn’t have anyone and neither do you. So you play the little sister/ annoyed assistant to him and Pepper.
He smiles at the sight of you, “Y/N, they dragged you into this?”
You give him the stink eye, “Apparently, I’m able to keep you on a leash. I didn’t realize that was possible.”
To the left of you Furry grunts, “It’s not. But you’re the best weapon against him I have.”
You sigh and tap away at your tablet. You make it a point to disappear once talks about weapons, magic, and other dimensions come into play. You hide out in the cargo bay, rescheduling meetings, and going over different reports. When Tony’s bug begins hacking SHIELD, and sending the information to your tablet, you frown.
Your technology is secure, but you see no reason for him to send you his hacking information. You consider calling, and dismiss the idea. You have enough to do, and can only manage one headache at a time.
When the entire ship shakes you feel the first set of nerves roll over you. Several more explosions have you cowering. And that’s when the ceiling just to the right of you caves in. You watch as the Black Widow falls right in front of you, and doctor Banner falls to the left. When the first wave of green rolls over him you feel your stomach drop, when the second wave comes accompanied by a growl you turn to run, but that’s when you see she’s trapped.
It’s a split second decision. You run to her side and do your best to lift the metal trapping her. You don’t have much upper body strength but it’s enough to set her free. As the Hulk turns to the two of you with a roar, she grabs you, and that’s when you feel the first tinglings of pain rushing through your body.
One look at the widow tells you she feels it too, and all a sudden her grip on you is like death. She pushes you in front of her, and you run through the pain. When the burning fades to a tingling, the two of you are hiding. She gives you a small smile, before holding a finger up to her lips. She slips from the hiding spot and you listen to the sounds of the fight.
You stay hidden there until the sound of feet on metal hits your ears. Out of the corner of your eye you watch her take the steps three at a time, and something tells you to follow her, so you do. You find them fighting; the widow and the brainwashed agent. They fight with a ferocity and grace that you couldn’t master with a thousand years of practice.
That’s when his eyes settle on you. They’re ice blue, and it takes him all of five seconds to throw the Black Widow off and rush you. You can see his line of thinking, a hostage will stop her, but before you can do anything his hand wraps around your wrist, and for the second time in thirty minutes you feel that burn.
You watch slowly, as the blue fades from his eyes, and his grip slackens. You whimper a bit as the burning intensifies. All of a sudden his arms are around you, and he’s pulling you to the ground, cradling you in his arms. The widow, Natasha you correct yourself, joins you a second later.
She looks at him, “You back?”
He nods, “I’m back.”
She nods one more time, “Good. I’d hate to have to kick your ass.” Then she takes one of your hands, and one of the Hawk’s, while he takes your other. The burning intensifies again, and you grit your teeth, and when you fade from consciousness the only thought running through your head is, “My soulmates are two assassins.”
On Neil’s first day in South Carolina he had asked Wymack to protect his things, and seven months later Wymack was still keeping that promise.
“You were stalling,” Wymack accused him, “so I did it for you. I told them you look like you’ve gone six rounds with a Sasquatch and said you probably wouldn’t want to talk about it.”
“I’ll be fine,” Neil said. “I’ll have Kevin call you when we’ve got Andrew.”
“Charge your phone and call me yourself,” Wymack said.
“I was starting to think he’d killed you and left you to rot on the side of the road,” Wymack said in lieu of hello.
“I can’t believe you trusted David to patch you up,” Abby said. “The man can barely wash a dish, much less clean stitches.”
“I can walk,” Neil said.
“Proud of you,” Wymack said. “Didn’t ask.”
“Shut up,” Wymack said. “When you’re sporting fewer than fifty stiches I’ll consider letting you on my court again. If I catch you so much as looking at your gear before then, I will bench you another week out of spite.”
“Do I want to know?” Wymack asked, then answered his own question. “No, I don’t, unless there’s an impending lawsuit I should know about.”
“If I could ban some of you from ever opening your mouth in public, I would, but this is out of my hands.”
“But I’m not as worried about you as I am about our resident punching bag and his smart mouth. Anyone have ideas on how to make Neil look a bit less like a battered wife?”
“Tell your pet psycho to knock it off before he cripples someone.”
“I don’t think he’ll listen to me,” Neil said.
“You and I both know he will. Now get.”
“Never mind. Food’s here. Stuff your faces and get out of my locker room.”
“…so he focused on his teammates to keep his thoughts from spiraling down dark circles. It was a near-miss, at least until Wymack sent a searching look his way. Neil glanced at Wymack and chose not to think about Riko. Instead he thought about his homecoming, of Wymack dropping everything to pick him up and Wymack holding him together when he almost broke.”
“They are wannabe champions and they know what it takes to get to the next level. Your job tonight is to make them look like fools.”
“For the love of all things unholy, watch those dealers.”
“I’ll watch them limp off my court,” Dan said.
“Do what you have to do,” Wymack said.
“Eight inches. He’s only five-eleven.”
Neil and Kevin pivoted to stare at Andrew. The flash of a grin on Wymack’s face said he caught the significance of that remark and knew what it meant for the Foxes’ chances tonight.
“He called Riko a Class I douchebag,” Dan said. “Not in so many words, but I think they go the message.”
Wymack dug a thumb into his temple. “I should have asked for hazard pay when I took this job.”
Wymack claimed he was allergic to cleaning materials.
“Do you have a mop I can use?” Neil asked.
“Shut your face,” Wymack said.
“Oh, Jesus,” Matt said. “Did you just–?”
Wymack pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled noisily. “Could you at least let us leave the room before you confess?”
“I don’t know what amazes me more: that your phone is actually on or that you’re awake this early on a Saturday morning.”
Maybe Wymack could read pain in people like Neil could read anger; where Neil saw a girl’s unshakeable calm, maybe Wymack saw a vacant stare and defeated shoulders.
“Do you know why I made Dan captain?” Wymack glanced up at Neil and waited for Neil to shake his head. “I knew the moment I saw her she could lead this team… She refused to be a failure so she refused to give up on this team.”
“Didn’t you notice? They’re uniting around and behind you. That’s something special. You’re something special.”
“Look me in the eye and tell me if you think I care who you used to be.”
Wymack stood at his seat until everyone but Neil and Andrew was gone. He looked at them like he wanted to say something, then held up his hand in a forget-it gesture and exited the bus.
“I really want to know when Coach figured out that you want to kill me only ninety-three percent of the time.”
“Coach doesn’t care for rumors and bias,” Andrew said. “He sees what is, not what people want him to see.”
“Leave it,” Wymack said. He sounded so angry Nathaniel knew Wymack wasn’t talking to him or Andrew.
Nathaniel had seen that look on his face only once before, when Wymack tried putting him back together after Christmas. It was the look of a man made ancient by his players’ tragedies; it was the look of a man who’d have their backs no matter what.
“I’d have a hell of a time fitting ‘Wesninski’ on a jersey.”
“Giving up on Neil now goes against everything we are,” Wymack said.
“Taking Neil off the team won’t save face and it sure as hell isn’t the smart decision. It will backfire so hard you’ll never want to see a reporter again.”
“Up and out. We’ve got a team to send home crying. You can gossip on your own time.”
“You two could at least say hello,” Wymack said, somewhat aggrieved.”
“There’s no point,” Kevin said. “All they are is a distraction.”
“It’s called a support network. Look it up.”
“Your mother would be proud of you.”
“Not just of me,” Kevin said in a rare bout of humanity.
“Fight because you don’t know how to die quietly. Win because you don’t know how to lose.”
“Let’s blow this joint,” Wymack said. “We’ve got a party to get to. Anyone who’s not on the bus in two minutes gets to stay here overnight.
In no world would Wymack ever really leave his team behind, but the Foxes hustled out of there like they believed him.
and lastly. the greatest, most iconic wymack smackdown.
“Just promise me this isn’t going to be a problem.”
“What?” Neil asked.
“I can’t tell if you’re being obtuse to fuck with me or if you’re really that dumb,” Wymack said.
I’ve seen a few people starting out their journey into veterinary,
and that means building up clinic hours! After a few hundred shadowing hours
and work, a few classmates and I have these pieces of advice in common and I thought
I’d share it for all the people getting their first week of clinical experience.
Watching and helping in clinics can be super rewarding and
really get you fired up to be in the industry, but that doesn’t mean you’re
completely free of hiccups and embarrassing moments as you find your feet in
Don’t ever comment on how quiet it is.
Get out of the way! You will probably judge an
emergency when it happens, and you’re no help fumbling around talking and
getting your hands in the middle of it.
Don’t pat all the dogs with “oh he’s so
Everything about that malamute’s body language
says “I’m very nervous, I’m leaning away from your hand because I’d rather not
be pet” – we all love dogs and kitties, that’s why we’re here, but I’ve watched
many newbie students adore all the dogs, regardless of their body language, and
it really freaks out the nurses.
X rays are super interesting – but don’t talk while
the vet is interpreting them.
On day 1 familiarize yourself on the location
of: E-T tubes, leashes, F10 bottles, the bins and where all the needles/bandages
are. You can be the most helpful at fetching these things.
Ask questions when the moment is appropriate. Not when they’re in the abdomen of
a small dog and they’re nit-picking around a spleen to ask what the surgeon is
doing, and not during an emergency.
As tempting as “What’s wrong with this dog?” is
as 4 people are running around hooking it up to lines and chucking it under
surgery, just wait until it quietens down.
Try not to take being told not to do obvious
things personally. I’ve had: “Don’t talk to the client during consult”, “Do NOT
talk during that delicate surgery”, “stand in the corner”, “no dancing while
I’m doing this” (I never dance), “don’t touch that aggressive dog”, “We need
silence” before I’ve even started doing anything or have said anything. Just
remember we do get enthusiastic newbie students that do do that stuff, and even though I felt like they’ve considered me
an idiot, I know it’s just them warning before it starts.
Don’t carry your phone on you.
Don’t take photos (If you get permission adhere
to no social media)
Sometimes you can be the butt holder where a dog is squirming backwards out the grip of a
nurse and you rush down to push that butt back, complete with hock-grabbing.
The nurses will thank you.
If you are not comfortable with restraining a
dog, just flat out tell them.
Sometimes if you gently coo at the dog’s face while
it’s getting a catheter it will help the nurses.
If you’re doing work experience to get into vet, you can ask for
explanations on how to draw blood, find a vein, intubate, but it’s rare that
anyone will actually let you do it (that’s fine, you don’t need the practical
skills at this point).
Don’t comment on the clients.
Don’t bag out other clinics you’ve been to
(listening to this this makes me flinch, allot of vets know each other, they
don’t know you, it’s also unprofessional).
Be conscious of your first surgery. I came
inches from passing out (Dizzy, blocked ears, double vision), tell someone, if you can’t walk sit down, don’t try run out and smash
your head. The surgeon cannot help you, and the nurse is unlikely to.
Don’t be embarrassed (I know, I know), it happens
to so many people. Remember it’s not normal to watch organs and blood fumbling
around, you need to adjust.
The worst culprit is being hypoglycemic and dehydrated.
Make sure you eat and drink beforehand.
Don’t hold your breath, suddenly breathing
calmly when you’ve just notice you’re not feeling great rarely works and will
just slow your heart-beat down too fast and you’ll end up in the same effect.
Don’t touch the surgical drapes!
I’ve done it, and I watched a greenie work experience
student do it – it’s embarrassing, and super serious, be over paranoid about touching the drapes.
Cross your arms when you watch surgeries, it
gives the nurse and vet peace of mind that you’re not touching anything.
When you help flip a dog over on the surgery
table, be really careful with the
head, don’t move that neck around with the tube in it.
Don’t talk in a surgery unless they talk to you,
and don’t get excitedly carried away (you will at some point be abruptly
interrupted as they are in a surgery)
– I did this.
All vets are different, and I’ve both heard and experienced
a huge variety of personalities;
Some vets are friendly and talkative, they
generally don’t mind you shadowing and talking, but they are still vets and get
Some vets get very stressed, and bustle around
and are obviously doing 100 things at once. Just stay out of their way, follow
them from a distance, and basically just watch. You can usually catch their
mood and ask a relevant question if the situation stops for a moment.
They’re generally not huge grumps, they’ve just
got tonnes on their plate, and if someone is chatting then they get distracted
and annoyed (don’t talk in their surgeries).
Some vets act like you’re an absolute bother,
and sigh when you ask questions. Not going to lie, these vets suck and you can
pretty much just get away with not talking and standing quietly in a corner to
watch and getting your enjoyment out of the nurses until your placement is
over. Thank god.
If you’re aiming for veterinary science you will
inevitably encounter the discouragement
vet. Who may or may not go on a 5 minute+ rant about how it’s not worth
becoming a vet. Truthfully if this is the first time you heard at least 60% of
this information you probably do need to be told. If this is the 3rd
time you’ve encountered this vet, in 7 clinics and 400 hours of placements, you
can pretty much smile and nod, because you are completely aware of the loans,
job hazards, job availability, stresses, pay, lifestyle and you don’t have to
act surprised but kind of just agree.
If you can freely see it’s a bad practice, you
can live out the work experience and raise your standards for where you’d want
to work in the future (unless it’s that unbearable).
I’ve been to a prac where I was given a list of rules. Most of these rules were pretty
much “do not talk, stand near, ask questions, stand in the way, look, breathe
near a vet because they are important and almighty and godlike and you are a small
and silly child”, as condescending and mildly insulting as it was, it basically
means “they are doing a very important job, watch, but try not to bother them
if they’re busy”.
To be the fab work
Try to be proactive and engaged, but don’t
harass for jobs when you can see it’s super quiet (Don’t ever say that).
When there’s hair everywhere and you don’t have
anything interesting to watch, ask them where the vacuum cleaner is.
Do their laundry.
Tidy the ET tubes.
Scrub the clipper heads.
Stock the syringes/needles.
Organize the desk (don’t throw out the notes).
F10/wipe dirty surfaces.
Go pet that friendly and stressed out puppy.
Watch/monitor an animal as they are waking up.
If you’re sick, call it a loss and cancel the
placement. You’re not getting paid for starters, I know it really
really sucks, but literally no one will be happy you’re there, and you will
probably be asked to go home.
Try figure out If anyone has allergies before
bringing in baked goods at the end (even if it means asking and ruining your
I’ve noticed allot of male vets love computers
and video games, and they love to talk about other things besides veterinary
and usually get quite excited.
But like I said, be engaged, watch, learn, have fun and by
all means ask questions, I’ve had some super wonderful clinics that I felt so
sad on my last day that I wasn’t coming back.
And keep a good impression, my work now was actually a work experience placement I did 2 years ago, I mentioned it in my cover letter and it was a huge reason they’ve taken me.
Your research facility of questionable legality stop checking in? Military cruiser that’s been missing for a decade suddenly drop out of hyperspace? Maybe that colony you just set up says they dug up some alien artifact and have started sending you really weird mail.
You want the mundane explanation, but you already know what’s happened. Bad Stuff.
What do service members with combat roles do when they're stationed somewhere that isn't a war zone? (And is there a particular difference in duties for them between being stationed in the States versus a safe overseas base like Germany or South Korea?)
That basically sums up my entire military service: 14J is a combat arms MOS, but we don’t typically see ground combat and we aren’t really in war zones. We only get to do something if someone starts shooting missiles around.
A thought: I personally consider South Korea to be a Not Safe deployment given North Korea’s vicinity. I mean, we get hazard duty pay there like we do when deployed to a combat zone. Like I don’t even think I got HDP when I was in the Middle East because it wasn’t a combat zone. I was there when Kim Jong Un took over and we were basically on hard lock down for two months because we were so concerned over what he’d do once he found everything at his disposal. We’re a combat arms MOS, and we’re doing our job real time when in Korea, but just because nothing is happening…does that really mean we’re not doing anything? Does it really mean we’re safe? Just a thought.
Beyond that we spend most of our time maintaining our equipment and training and most of all, waiting.
We go to work around 6am, do PT for an hour or so, then get released to eat and shower and come back around 9am and do whatever is assigned for us that day.
We take inventory and do PMCS (preventative maintenance checks and services) on our vehicles and equipment. We might get classes or lectures or study for upcoming examinations. We sometimes have appointments during the work day as well. We clean, we volunteer for details, we do busywork. Basically we’re dependent on our command to give us instructions on what to do and we’re just bodies to do whatever task is asked of us.
Every other month or so (or sometimes every month if your unit is bored) we have a field exercise, which can last from a few days to a month. Field exercises are basically just war games: we pretend we’re at war and we go through all the steps that entails. We form our crews/teams and we get our assignments and go to a war time schedule, sending faux reports and engaging simulated enemies.
It might not be so bad if at least our field exercises were fun, but our war games aren’t very realistic, at least they weren’t in Air Defense. They have to simulate several months of war time in an hour, so we wind up getting a ton of random nonsense thrown at us just to see how we react. They shoot twenty pretend missiles at us with two minutes warning to simulate several months worth of attacks and then judge our actual war-time competency on how fast we take out a threat that has a 0.00000000001% chance of actually happening, and then because those “battles” are over so fast they wind up having us run these high-stress low-realism exercises over and over and over again for hours to eat up time. Of course the systems aren’t meant to engage in such incredibly bizarre and unrealistic battles so they wind up glitching and going down which means we get to waste time troubleshooting while being yelled at for breaking our equipment.
Honestly I don’t even know how much tax payer money is wasted on fixing equipment that got broke during an unnecessary time-wasting exercise. I don’t think you want to know either.
I experienced the same thing while on RSOP. We’d run the same drills over and over until even our NCOs were sick of it. We’d waste time pounding old ground rods with a sledgehammer, made a game of it: the one who got it in in one hit won. It gets boring after a few hours but when it’s your only method of entertainment…
Sometimes we wind up with nothing to do at all and our leadership has us spend the whole day cleaning the same room over and over again, buffing and waxing the same floors again and again, or reorganizing storage containers we reorganized a few weeks ago, or god forbid a few days ago. Some people specifically sought out even mundane duties like shredding documents. Everyone begged to be put on arms room or commo room duty because then at least we could go in there and actually do something. My unit was very reluctant to admit that it had nothing for us to do. It wasn’t entirely uncommon for us to show up for work at 9am and sit there on stand by waiting for orders that are supposedly coming until 5pm. I’m not kidding we’d show up they’d say “hang out here until you get orders” and then they’d leave and they’d poke their heads in every now and then to make sure we were still there and then they’d just leave us there for hours instead of like. idk…releasing us until we were needed?? But that suggestion is blasphemous. It teaches us patience to wait, you know, teaches us character. Sitting for hours with little to no mental stimulation, enjoyment, or comfort. It’s good for us. And after all, they remind us, we’re getting paid a salary to just sit there and do nothing, aren’t we?
This is often why soldiers will prefer to be deployed and will waive their dwell time after deployment so they can get back over there. You’d be surprised how many soldiers would rather be deployed than be in the position I just described to you. You get paid better when deployed and you usually aren’t expected to do as much time-wasting bullshit, and note that I say “not as much,” not “none.” I can’t say specifically but I can say vaguely that we did have a very moderate concern during deployment that we handled just fine, and I can say with complete confidence that our numerous, numerous, numerous exercises had not helped prepare us for it in any way.
I can’t say this is the same across the whole army of course. Our reclasses – soldiers who used to do other jobs before they took up their current one – would tell us all the time that their old units never wasted as much time as Air Defense does. I think it’s the fact that there are so few missiles for us to actually shoot, making so few chances for us to actually do our job; it makes the higher ups stir crazy, makes them want to keep us working hard on nothing so at least they feel productive.
As always I encourage those with differing experiences to share and for those interested to check the notes of this post just in case!
Later that evening, Steve helped Y/N move into a room closer to everyone else. He wanted her close to him so he could be there to help her, but knew she would eventually need her own space, so they put her in a spacious suite down the hall, in between his room and Bucky’s room. He figured that between the two of them, she would always have someone nearby, although he preferred that it be him. He was impressed with her progress, although she still had quite a few blank spaces to fill. Her memories of herself were still gone, but they were slowly beginning to understand why HYDRA was interested in her, and possibly, why they would want her back. It was that last part that bothered him most and motivated him to keep her safe.
Steve got Y/N settled in her room, filling a couple of drawers with clothes that Nat and Wanda had bought and given to her and setting up her coffee machine. He asked Nat and Wanda to also make sure her bathroom was fully stocked before he moved her in. Carrying Y/N up from the lab was a delight. She could walk, and said as much. Steve just smiled and carried her anyway, enjoying the way her arms wrapped around his neck. Once she was settled in her room, he showed her around the common areas and the kitchen. He reminded her that she should take it easy on solid foods until she was stronger, but everything in the kitchen was fair game. Unless it had Clint’s name on it, steer clear of that stuff, he gets touchy about his food.
You sit behind the console. The uncomfortable metal seat
digging into your lower back, the taste of recycled air passing over your
tongue as you sharply inhale.
Your attention is focused on the controls before you. The
keys have already been turned and the commander’s irises scanned. All that
remains is to push the button marked ‘execute’.
“Orders are in,” your commander barks. “Execute payload.”
You were a good kid, an only child, a straight-A student.
You majored in FMS because you thought it was interesting, although you agreed
when your father said that all the good jobs would be in Fusion Mechanics and
Not that there were a lot of good jobs when you graduated.
The energy sector was nationalized during your third semester, and the wartime
economy just kept getting worse.
What choices did you really have?
The IDF was heavily recruiting, as always. For many,
enlisting with the Imperial Defense Forces was the only option other than homelessness
and starvation. For you, it was a practical choice. With your education and
specialty, you easily bypassed the rank-and-file grunts. You found a
comfortable position working in weapons maintenance and control.
As the wars continued, you heard about the fighting, but you
were never anywhere near it. The IDF had wiped away your student debt and
provided a decent living. You hadn’t even touched a gun or wore armor since
It was the promotion to Fusion-Specialist 1st Class which
saw your assignment to the sub. The conditions were cramped, but the hazard pay
was certainly welcome.
The months at sea were mainly routine for you: making sure
the fusion warheads and powerplant were in optimal condition, supervising the
lower-level mechanics and engineers. During the close-calls and tense moments,
you could safely cower in your bunk, waiting for the danger to pass.
This was the first time you had actually been called up to
The situation on the ground and the thought processes of the
Imperial leadership are a mystery to you, but the order has been given and it’s
yours to execute
Your hand hovers over the console and the button which will
give the submarine’s arsenal of fusion weapons permission to ignite.
A rough calculation from your college days tells you that
millions of people will likely die when the warheads detonate, regardless of
where on the planet they land.
If the weapons are pointed at populated areas, which they
almost certainly are, the number will be closer to billions.
You can end the lives of more people than you will ever
know, all with a simple button push.
More importantly, you’ve been ordered to. If you disobey,
you’ll be detained, stripped of your rank, and probably jettisoned, as the sub
has no room for prisoners. Someone else would just take your place, anyway.
Seconds have already passed since the order was given.
You can feel your
commander’s impatience. Can sense his hand hovering over his sidearm.
Given that Rip seems to have designed his Time Bureau to be as unlike the Time Masters as possible (brightly lit, transparency, trousers), I am tentatively of the opinion that the Time Bureau likely has a staff therapist.
I go back and forth on whether or not I think Rip actually utilizes them though. On one hand, that would probably require some measure of openness and honesty. On another, though, he might want to provide a good example for his underlings.
It’d probably be good for him, but I hope that poor person gets hazard pay.
I wish you'd write a fic where person A is fixing things on a ladder and person B keeps telling (breaking) new things for them to fix so that they can keep staring at their ass.
[not quite, but…]
Bucky curls his hands into fists around the sleeves of his hooded sweater, the one that’s too hot for the late summer sun but hides his arm and hides his scars and hides how long it’s been since he’s taken a shower.
Steve’s at work today and Bucky’s standing in the doorway of the kitchen, rocking his weight back and forth like that’ll force him into motion, like that motion’ll end with him fed. It’s one of those simple requirements that make him feel even more like a failure when he just can’t get them done - jeez, how hard is it to dress himself, or make a sandwich, or answer the door to the mailman? - and it’s on his list of therapist-set goals. He shifts his weight again, and the floor creaks, and Clint - who’s been pretty good about ignoring his presence so far - looks up and grins at him.
“Hey,” he says, and he always speaks like they’re friends, and the level that Bucky can deal with that has been changing daily. “I’ve got a sandwich going if you’re hungry.”
Bucky forces himself to walk to the table and drop into a chair, and he’s pathetically grateful when Clint gets to his feet and fetches him a glass of water, a plate with a sandwich and some chips, an apple. Clint’s been working out on the deck today, and he sings half-complete songs when he’s painting, and he moves around Steve’s house like he belongs here. Bucky’s not sure how he feels about that; somewhere, he thinks, between envious and desperately wanting.
Clint goes right back to eating like he’s done nothing out of the ordinary. Bucky pokes at his potato chips.
“You nearly done?” he asks, and Clint looks down at his sandwich for a second before working it out.
“This place is a wreck,” he says, and grins. “I’m here as long as Steve keeps paying me.”
“Okay,” Bucky says, and falls silent again. Chips and apples are too noisy - he’s not ready to have that much of a presence in the world - so he pulls at a piece of bread and balls it up between his fingers, squishing it down until it’s a tiny pellet of nutrition and tossing it into his mouth. Look, ma, he ate, and he’ll be texting Steve to smugly tell him that later.
Clint finishes his lunch and pushes to his feet, heading over to rinse his plate and stack it in the dishwasher.
“My closet door’s broken,” Bucky blurts out, awkward and a little too loud.
Clint blinks at him. “Okay?”
“And I’ve got - there was hazard pay.”
Clint regards him for a second, and there’s a smile curling up at the side of his mouth, and he looks at Bucky the way no one’s looked at him for a long fucking time.
“Aaw, Buck,” he says, and it’s fond and it’s awful and it twists in Bucky’s stomach. “You asking me to stay?”
So, I’ll rant about something that pretty much ruined a good deal of Dragon Age as whole for me: internal world state inaccuracy.
This wasn’t so obvious at Dragon Age: Origins, which was when I fell in love with the game and the lore. In that game we see a medieval Ferelden: local warlords hold power over vast swaths of rural land, can call upon levies and have a complicated relation with their overlords. The king is not an absolutist monarch: rather, the kings of Ferelden pretty much have to deal with unstable barons banns, like most medieval (8th to 13th Century) monarchs had to. Hell, probably the Count of Flanders Teyrn of Highever commands more available power and wealth than the king.
This holds true in the scenery: the cities are a chaotic urban sprawl of huts and shacks climbing over each other, not unlike the ones we see at Assassin’s Creed 1, you know, the medieval one. This is consistent with the halls and castles: rough stone constructions with drapery and banners, and not marvels of architecture.
Then, comes Dragon Age 2 and, with it, Varric.
I am not going to get into the details of Varric as a character, as this is not the purpose. But Varric is a fucking writer. A writer who has his books published by a company with an editor! This has tremendous implications that ruin any foundation to the medieval fantasy world Thedas is supposed to be. I will explain:
If Varric is a published writer, it means one particular machine is available in Thedas, a very particular invention which, in the real world, changed History: THE FUCKING PRINTING PRESS!
The printing press means wide, accessible knowledge, as books can be produced industrially. No more dozens of monks in a scriptorium keeping the very few speckles of knowledge alive through ages, with rare tomes that can only be found in very specific libraries. No: the printing press makes books accessible, and encourages the spread of knowing how to read. It gives rise to fucking newspapers. It makes paper itself cheap.
((John, what if a Mage is actually replicating the books? It doesn’t matter: the practical effect is the same, whether its a mage or a machine doing the industrial replication of the written word.))
Then, comes Dragon Age - Inquisition.
I will rant about the Cassandra book scene in a second. Before that, the Inquisitor meets Harding somewhere, and after a joke, Harding replies: “you could increase my hazard pay”.
FUCKING HAZARD FUCKING PAY!
Maybe one of the books printed by the fucking printing press was the fucking The Capital, which inspired factory workers to revolt and thus acquire fucking medieval working rights. And the Inquisition is a very progressive employer, which pays hazard pay to their frontline soldiers.
And then it continues to the book scene, where Cassandra not only has a book in her hands, but it has coverart and stylized title, very modern. But I digress. I’ll stop cursing for a while and bring a grown-up argument.
Let us go to the Western Approach, where you meet the professor from the University of Orlais. And all the other NPCs and codex entries related to it. What would you expect? A medieval university will digress about philosophy, theology, and law. In a fantastic setting, fine, magic as well. But they will digress. They will not apply research and scientific method. If they do… They WILL obtain results.
Taken then, the fact the the Qunari have been using Gaatlock against the rest of Thedas for at least 300 years. Put into the equation the Printing Press + Scientific Method. Boom. Lyrium-enchanted rifles and cannons, ready to go.
Thedas does not have the basic internal consistency needed for any work of fiction. But now it’s too late, I love it! I fell in love with it when I thought it was a nice medieval dark fantasy setting, full of the gritty things that gave it depth.
But now… It’s become a flamboyant mix-and-match of swords, cannons and fireballs. I hope it doesn’t go full World of Warcraft and and bring in spaceships as well.
As I love it already, I have this headcannon that the whole Thedas is like late 12th Century Europe/Middle East: Ferelden is England, the countryside or Orlais is the Aquitaine region in France, The biggest cities or Orlais and the coastal cities of the Free Marches are like Venice. Rivain and Antiva are the Iberic peninsula, the Tevinter Imperium is like magic-infused Bizantine Empire, and Seheron/Par Vollen are like Syria and Egypt. It keeps the mood of all the regions, their technological and linguistics differences, while at the same time keeping the history nerd in me satisfied.
Just a little post episode scene I couldn’t get out of my head.
Lena rounded her desk, her focus on the documents in her hands. “Hector,” she called, not finding the spreadsheet she was looking for.
Hector poked his head into the office. “Yes, Ms. Luthor?”
“I need the last quarter numbers for Spheerical Industries; I don’t seem to have it.” Stocks had fallen for Jack’s company in the wake of Beth’s crimes. CatCo’s article had luckily cleared his name, but Lena would be damned if she let all of Jack’s hard work come to nothing. In response, L-Corp would be absorbing what was left of Spheerical Industries.