i've posted it before but whatever

let's talk about Bucky’s brain


I dunno if anyone’s done this before but whatever. Specifically, I want to talk about Bucky’s brain in relation to the cannibalized MRI thing they strapped on his noggin in CA:TWS. Like what the hell is that thing, how old is it, what are you trying to do HYDRA, is this one of those weird dryer things you stick your whole head in at the hairdresser’s? They have had 70 years to perfect this technology and it looks like a high schooler’s science fair project. There aren’t even any electrodes. Seriously there should be electrodes not only because they’re kind of necessary for this sort of thing but also because who would object to Bucky Barnes looking totally punk rock with a partially-shaved head? No one, that’s who.

But I guess let’s just assume the plate things themselves are in contact with his head and transmitting the charge themselves. Okay. That’s a big area they cover and approximately zero opportunity for finesse, so they can’t localize the damage at all. And there’s still all that hair in the way. But whatever, I’ll shut up about the hair.

So the plate things are basically concentrated on the prefrontal cortex, which is at the very front of the brain, behind the forehead where the plates are located. I mean there looks like there are plates going around around the back of the head but if it only goes as deep as the cerebrum they don’t want to damage anything back there because it’s all motor skills and balance and sensory perception and language centers, all of which were vital in the Winter Soldier’s functioning. 

So yeah, the prefrontal cortex seems to be what they’re targeting, and the prefrontal cortex is for short term memory and decision making. However, it would be indescribably stupid to damage short term memory retention, so I don’t think they’d just fry the entire prefrontal cortex. Especially if it could compromise his ability to make quick, logical decisions in the field because the prefrontal cortex is important for logic and impulse control. So I would assume that they’re targeting the connections between the short term and long term memory storage systems rather than taking away his short term memory altogether. 

Basically, recalling a memory that’s stored in long-term is just the brain returning it to the short-term memory center, or the working memory, concentrated in the prefrontal cortex. From there your brain literally refires all the neurons that fired during that experience, without compromising awareness of current circumstances. So severing those connections between long and short term memory would not only stop him retaining new memories, it would stop him recalling old ones.

They could be messing with his long term memory, except there are no intracranial bits and bobs that could actually penetrate deeper than the cerebrum without frying everything in between, and the hippocampus and amygdala where long term memory is stored are in there deep. 

This picture doesn’t do justice to how deep in the brain the hippocampus and amygdala are, but it works well enough as a visual aid. You don’t want to damage the amygdala in a super soldier at any rate because that’s where the survival instincts are kicking around. Also, damaging the hippocampus on both sides of the brain would turn him into a potato, unable to retain any information at all, not even how to discharge his weapon, so you’d basically have to retrain him anew for every mission. And this contraption has clearly no finesse at all, as stated above, so I really don’t think they’d be able to destroy anything only partially or make any localized alterations.

And sure, maybe they actually opened up his head at some point in the past to get at long term memory storage, and the cryofreeze might stop that from healing, but I think the understanding of the brain was so ridiculously limited at that time that they didn’t really even know how to avoid excessive damage, and I don’t think they would have risked rendering one of their best assets brain dead. Honestly, I think the most likely thing they did was supplement the physical stuff with more traditional brainwashing and conditioning techniques.

So really, all Bucky needs to do is repair the connections between his long term and short term memory. Even with all this damage, the brain is adaptable even in normal humans. When certain parts are damaged, other parts can take over functioning in their stead. Although in this case, if the connections between long and short term memory were cut every time he went into the cryogenic chamber, he never would have stored any of the information gleaned as the Winter Soldier past the short term unless he managed to catch enough sleep to transfer those memories into long term storage before he got zapped or frozen again. So he would potentially remember everything about being Bucky Barnes fairly quickly, assuming his super soldier healing could repair those pathways or create new ones to compensate, and he would never remember most of his time as the Winter Soldier except what they wanted him to remember and let him encode before they took out those connections again. So basically, his combat training, his obedience training, and all that hydra indoctrination crap.

His old memories as Bucky would remain relatively pristine, because the more we view a memory the more current circumstances during the recollection alter it, and what you remember becomes less and less similar to what you actually experienced at the time. So instead of memories slowly changing and evolving as the person themself changes, which is what normally happens as we revisit memories and subtly alter them over time through new perception, Bucky would have this huge, disorienting, sickening divide between the well-preserved, untouched old memories of how he used to be and any new ones he managed to create as the Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier memories will be less fleshed out, have more holes, be generally more ghost-like because of how they fucked with his brain and memories, so it would be easy for him to dissociate with them and to ignore them, but in order to ignore them Bucky would also have to ignore their consequences. He would be denying a part of himself. And he wouldn’t be able to deal well with their fallout, with the ways those experiences changed him, because he wouldn’t let himself examine them.

Honestly this is horrifying in its own way. All the fic I’ve read talks about how horrible it must be for the Winter Soldier to forget Bucky Barnes, but very little touches on how horrible it would be for Bucky to be all there and have a stranger in his head that he has few, dissociated memories of, but still retains a lot of that conditioning and finds himself acting like someone he doesn’t even remember being. He would feel betrayed by his own body and his own mind, doing things without knowing why he was doing them. I feel like not being the same Bucky as the one who went off to war would be so frustrating to him. Fics paint it as Steve being frustrated by the fact that Bucky’s no longer the same person, but I think Bucky himself would be far more frustrated by that fact than Steve. I think the fact that he’s not the same would bother him more than Steve’s longing for him to be the same, because he would understand that longing, share it even. I think he would dissociate from the foreign Winter Soldier part of himself, would try to bury it or force it out instead of facing it, would hate whatever memories he did retain from that time, because the Winter Soldier terrifies everyone but I think he would terrify Bucky most of all. And it would make sense, too. After all, the winter soldier was always supposed to be a ghost, the unseen threat, the silent killer, and I think, rather than inhabiting Bucky, the Soldier would haunt him, something he can’t prepare for or fight unless he’s willing to look through the dark to find it and confront it.

(All images blatantly stolen)

Bruce gets punched in the face

Bruce Pain

Bruce needs a walking aid

Bruce Cane

Bruce gets a guard dog

Bruce Dane

Bruce becomes a pilot

Bruce Plane

Bruce spills wine on his shirt

Bruce Stain

Bruce becomes king

Bruce Reign

Bruce marries Lois

Bruce Lane

Bruce grows out his hair

Bruce Mane

Bruce twists his ankle

Bruce Sprain

Bruce is stalked by paparazzi

Bruce Fame

Bruce cares about his appearance

Bruce Vain

Bruce makes a bad pun

Bruce Lame

3

Originally I wanted to draw @infinitesimalee drawn out as a fairy and have her fly around Link, but nope, My OC Colin took over my feels and uh this is what happened. He’s 20 ft tall but I thought her “Meet the Artist” info height was 4″ not 5′4″! So I feel dumb, and this is so quickly drawn that she’s barely visible ahh okay welp here it is.

a thought i feel like writing down:

i think one of the big differences between kikyo and kagome happens to be that kikyo’s existence was more about teaching inuyasha to love someone unconditionally while kagome’s taught him that it was okay to be loved unconditionally

Critical Role + Aesthetic: Vax'ildan and Keyleth (x) (x) (x)

“Yeah, it’s fine. I can be your wife.”

“I think of Keyleth. Beautiful. Walking under the trees.”

I was tagged by @levithespacegay (henlo frend)

Relationship status: single (but I’m also married, shhhh)

Favorite color: black/red/blue though I really like most colors pretty equally

Lipstick or chapstick: chapstick, I literally never wear lipstick

Last song I listened to: Architeuthis by Austin Wintory (from the Abzû soundtrack)

Last movie I watched: Epic

Top three shows: Voltron (duh), TMNT (more specifically the 2003 version), and uh Avatar the Last Airbender (because it’s amazing and literally my childhood)

Top three characters: (just gonna take one from each of those shows) Pidge, Raph aaaaand Sokka

Books I’m currently reading: Animal Farm by George Orwell (for english) and A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

and I tag literally anybody who wants to because I don’t know who to tag :)

SO UNFORTUNATELY this weekend is another livestream-less one! and i’m super bummed about it. but all of the work i’m either doing is super high res and will crash the stream, or the work has to be kept under wraps!

SO IT’S A GOOD REASON but also, it sucks! one of these days i’ll finally cave and get myself a computer that can handle all of the things i want to do. that’s definitely not tonight, SO i decided to do a quick FAQ sheet for God’n’Gabe III!

  • What’s the ETA for G’n’G III?
    • probably some time in the summer! i’m actually waiting for this season to finish out before i crack into current storyline for the book. with all of the gabe references and chuck actually coming back, i’m gonna do my best to incorporate the actual spn storyline with the background storyline of g’n’g! because that’s a thing that can genuinely happen this year! :’D
  • Looking at the cover for this new one…Will there be conflict between Chuck and Gabriel!?
    • NOTHING BIG, no need to worry about that! it’ll be the same petty arguing you can expect, but no falling-outs. you can expect gabe to get pretty fed up with choices that have been made tho
  • You’ve said before you wanna make it over 70 pages!! Wha?!
    • YES this is gonna be beefy! BUT it’s because i plan to start from the beginning (baby archangels/the darkness!) along with gabe’s vessel stuff, and a bit of swaingel backstory/intro. basically, more characters will be incorporated in this one. it’s more or less gonna be god’n’gabe’n’friends!
  • Will the first and second volumes still be made available once the new one is out? If I get them, can I get them signed by Rich and Rob?
    • on both accounts–of course!! and i’m definitely not going to discontinue those any time soon. i’ve just been a busy bee, so getting more printed right now hasn’t been on the top of my priority list, as i haven’t had time to distribute them!
  • Will there ever be a digital release of any of the volumes?
    • YEAH SO i think i may release them for free throughout the deeper work on the third volume. i might post the different parts of each book in their own individual posts here. i just need to get on top of that, honestly!

and that’s all i got for now! thanks guys!

Interrogation

I’m so tired of people using the interrogation scene in SNAFU as an argument about any of the male characters.   Whatever the men of the SSR thought about Peggy beforehand, at that point she is a hostile target for interrogation.  These men are good at their jobs, and they know her experience in the field makes her a hard target to interrogation.  Probably every step of their combined approach was planned before they even stepped in the room.  

TL; DR:  Um guys, these are spies and therefore not everything they say is rooted in truth… you have to take everything the characters say with a grain of salt, ESPECIALLY in interrogation.

Interrogation in general is really difficult–its hard to convince someone to tell you something when they have reasons against doing so.  Generally it’s accomplished by either finding leverage/ something the target wants and is willing to trade, or its about manipulating their emotions.  Keeping a target off balance makes that easier, and that’s clearly what they are trying to do to Peggy.

Dooley pays her compliments.  Whatever he thinks of her work until that point, or her ability as a woman to do it, he’s realized she wants to be of use, that she values her own skills.  So he gives her the approval she’s been looking for, trying to soften her up.  It doesn’t work because it’s too little too late.

Jack plays the good cop.  He goes soft.  Peggy doesn’t expect this – it isn’t his strong suit – she challenges him to go ahead and hit her.  He doesn’t do that.  he talks about how she saved his life, how he knows she’s a good person, absolves her of any guilt.  He tries to build rapport while she’s off balance.  It doesn’t work because Peggy interprets this as sexist: he won’t hit her because he’s a woman.  I don’t think he wants to hit her but that isn’t why he avoids it.

Daniel is the bad cop.  Why? Because she wouldn’t expect that from him either.  He did refuse to shoot her, watched her walk away with puppy dog eyes.  His insults are purposeful, not him working out his feelings but trying to push her off balance, provide a contrast to Jack’s good cop.  Yeah, he brings up Howard in a sexual context but he also brings up Krzeminski’s death.  Maybe he has a few personal feelings about these topics but he’s also realized something important about Peggy: she treasures her personal relationships.  He doesn’t accuse her of killing Krzeminski because he thinks she’s done it - he does it because knows accusing her of killing a coworker will insult her.  Just like he knows implying she’s only helping Howard because they’re screwing will also insult her.  He’s probably worried about it somewhere in the back of his head, but that’s not why he says it. Insulting someone is a classic interrogation technique to make them defend their actions, and spill something truthful in the process.

(Also he’s coming off a failed interrogation where he tried to build rapport with the bum and Jack swooped in and bribed him instead.  Of course Daniel would want to try something he sees as more effective.)

The pedestal/whore comment again is Peggy’s POV; her reaction to Daniel’s comments.  She has similar reactions for the other men.  There’s a bit of truth to all of them in her eyes but she’s also lashing out.  After all, she also accuses Daniel of turning her in because he wants the glory and the accomplishment and we know neither of those things are true – he’s doing it because he believes it to be the right thing.

The interrogation is successful to the point where they get her off balanced and angry; but it fails because they have no idea how much rage Peggy actually has.  She’s interrogated people - she should totally understand how they are trying to manipulate her - but they wind her up anyway, to the point where nothing productive comes out of the interrogation. Even though she wants to tell them about Dottie.  It’s not until she gets time to cool off and realizes something bad is imminent that she manages to tell them what they need to hear. 

Later, when Peggy spills her guts Sousa asks her why she didn’t tell them.  He means why didn’t you tell me? He is the most personally hurt but I think it’s because they were actually friends.  It’s not because he felt entitled to her interest or is mad that he didn’t get it: Sousa in S1 doesn’t actually believe he would get those either way.  She responds with the “no one looks at me” line, and he looks shocked at this.  You can see him replaying all their interactions in his head.

The really interesting thing is the parallel between the two of them.  They were both running their own investigation.  Sousa more openly - he shared much of it with Peggy - but it’s still a splinter from the main investigation.  I am sure her “no one looks at me” comment makes him reconsider why he didn’t notice sooner.  I just don’t know if he honestly 1) underestimated her for sexist or other reasons or 2) just assumed she would share because they’re friends, the way he does with her.

The fact that we’re still arguing about this scene a year later obviously means there was a lot of nuance in it; we’re all getting different things out of it too, which is interesting.  But c’mon, don’t forget these people are spies.  There are reasons above and beyond character that things go down the way they do, and those shouldn’t be ignored.