THIS ISN’T EVEN THE MOST EXTRA THING HE’S EVER DONE. He turns a regular doll into a talking ‘ventriloquist’ doll to bait the murderer. #SAVAGE
“Mesdames et messieurs, what am I about to do may surprise you a little. It may occur to you that I am eccentric, perhaps mad. Ah, you may say, “The little Belgian detective is taking leave of his rocker, ” eh? But I can assure you, behind my madness is, as you English say… method.”
I don’t like the concept of “Cybertronians immediately can speak English upon first contact with Earth” and I’ve got some thoughts in my G1-based fic universe about the slow-going initial communications between the bots and the Witwickys when they don’t have a common language. Cybertronians adapt quickly though, and by the time the “Season 2” bots arrive, they’ve made a translation guide so that everyone else can get up to speed super quick
but anyway I’m thinking about how I’ve just decided right now that the Cybertronian language doesn’t have contractions. early on they think they’re getting the hang of it
then Spike says “y'all’d’ve” and Prowl starts to cry
real talk about alicia clark in 3x05 for a second and how this arc of hers is actually a brilliant piece of storytelling like…
if ftwd was a classic literature novel, your 11th grade english lit teacher would be lecturing on how alicia clark’s self-destructive spiral is an allegory for the millennial let down and apathy of the 21st century.
alicia clark grew up as an upper middle class millennial, in a nice suburb home, with a nice, seemingly well-rounded nuclear family. she and nick probably played little league soccer and have a box in the attic of old metallic plastic trophies.
she tuned out her world in favor of her ipod, lost herself in her studies because she was college would be the key to getting whatever she wanted out of life.
and now? all that pretty, painted ‘you can be whatever you want when you grow up! you can change the world!’ bullshit has been ripped away from her worldview and she sees the truth.
alicia clark could be a normal twenty-something going through her quarter crisis. useless college degree that put her tens of thousands of dollars in debt, dreams of saving the whales and ending world hunger crushed for the monotony of filing papers and learning microsoft excel.
english teacher’s lecture? all those zombies are corporate workers, dragging ass all day to get no where. lost in capitalism, in the draw of their cell phones. no recognition of the world around them, just consume, consume, consume…
alicia clark’s existential crisis is great television because it’s fucking relatable. all the pleasure has been sucked out her life in favor of survival. while she runs from zombies, we’ve got master’s-educated people working for minimum wage (or less). we’ve got brilliant young men and women who are always one mistake away from living on the streets or going without food this month. (or one congressman away from losing our health coverage for vital, lifesaving medications.)
it feels like it’ll never end. the struggle just brings more struggle. there’s little hope.
she tries drugs and sex and activities like cliff diving to feel something, to enjoy a moment in her miserable fucking existence. we… also do drugs and have sex and enjoy high-adrenaline activities lol, but additionally have the luxury of shit like enjoying our avocado toast and sending snapchat videos with silly dog filters and playing pokemon go for 8 hours a day, because if you can’t fucking get anywhere with the skills and degree that you worked on your whole life, at least you can smile for a moment when you finally evolve your bulbasaur.
idk, alicia clark’s existential crisis is brilliant and i’m loving it. rock on, my broken lil bean.
(This is for @tybaxel! Thank you for being so unbelievably patient!)
Outside of battle, pokémon play a crucial role in the workings of many major industries, to the point that they are essential in maintaining a cohesive society. Used in the military, in the police, for rescue purposes, and as service animals, there are few modern societies that can operate without the input of pokémon. Some examples of their usages are as follows:
Police forces across the world use pokémon for an array of purposes. Herdiers, houndooms and manectrics make for common police dogs, but growlithes are the most favoured across all regions, owing to their combination of strength, good temperament and intelligence. They are loyal pokémon, well domesticated and easy to train, so are favoured in most service industries. Growlithes trained for police operations will often be adopted by the army after they evolve, as arcanines are too large to be used in domestic law enforcement and are better suited to combat.
Kalosian police officers are known to use slurpuffs when investigating crime scenes, as these pokémon are able to smell and seek out specific cadavers from up to a mile away. They have the ability to differentiate between the subtleties of certain smells in a way that other species cannot - where a human might smell two corpses and think of them as bearing the same scent, slurpuffs would be able to classify them as completely different to one another. This makes them unsuitable for detecting general scents; it is difficult to train them to seek out simply ‘blood’ or ‘cadavers’, as they cannot locate them on a blanket basis. More often than not, growlithes or mightyenas will be used to find initial traces of bodily remains, which slurpuffs will then track in a more individualised manner.
Gardevoirs are sometimes used during police questioning, so as to determine the general mindset of whomever is being interviewed. Their sensitivity to human emotion makes it possible for them to detect unease or apprehension in the person being questioned, which means they can alert officers to the distress of the interviewee or even act as roundabout lie detectors. Naturally, they are not infallible, and some interviewees control their emotions well enough that gardevoirs notice nothing unusual about them, but they can be useful as a starting point.
Although they can be used for defensive and scouting purposes, military pokémon are the only kind that can legally be trained to kill. Arcanines are typically used in the army due to their strength, speed and obedience, and will be assigned to individual soldiers to ensure that a loyal partnership develops between them. Although commercial battle is thought to have developed from the use of pokémon in military battle, contemporary army pokémon are trained in a very different way to those in the battle industry. Their moves are honed to hit harder, their practical skills are refined, and they are generally better equipped to survive independently. A retired military pokémon is never permitted to take part in commercial battle tournaments, due to worry that they will overstep legal boundaries and permanently injure their opponents, if unintentionally.
Arcanines are the face of the Japanese military and the most commonly used in combat, but swamperts are favoured in marshland terrains where fire-types face natural disadvantages. Kalosian armies are known to use lucarios in certain cases, due to their intelligence and loyalty to humans, and luxrays, pyroars, manectrics and jolteons are favoured across all regions. The most important factor in choosing military pokémon, many would argue, is how willing that pokémon is to lay down its life, and how able it is to hurt humans on command. If it can do that, it is likely to be suitable.
That said, a large proportion of military pokémon are used for purposes outside of combat. Rhyhorns are sometimes trained to carry medical supplies and seek out the injured, as their thick armour makes them largely impervious to bullets and projectiles. Audino often accompany army doctors. Gardevoirs are sometimes used for defensive purposes, to shroud soldiers in protective barriers during altercations, but delphoxes tend to be preferred for this purpose, as they are more willing to attack as well as defend, giving them dual currency. Absols can also be assigned to accompany large parties of soldiers, given their sensitivity to impending danger and ability to act as a warning system, but are never suited to actual fighting owing to their skittish natures.
The rumour is that the Unovan military has started experimenting with zoroarks, training them to cast illusions and mimic the appearance of opposing soldiers. The belief is that, if they can be tutored appropriately, they may be able to infiltrate enemy ranks and attack them from within, clearing the pathway for home soldiers.
Mental and Physical Aid
Pokémon play an essential role in the rehabilitation and aid of people with mental and physical illnesses, serving both practical and therapeutic purposes. Munnas, which are often gifted to small children to prevent their having nightmares, are now commonly administered to PTSD sufferers for the same purpose. Gardevoirs, which are able to detect nuances in a person’s mood, are suitable companions for those with chronic depression, as they can sense the onset of a depressive episode and prepare for it accordingly. With proper training, they can learn to make basic food and do household tasks that the person is incapable of, caring for their owner until they emerge from the episode and are better able to look after themselves.
There is a large body of research supporting the usefulness of gardevoirs as companions to those with depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and numerous other mental disorders, with studies linking them to reduced relapse rates, greater compliance with medication, higher self-reported well-being, and steadier long-term recovery. However, training gardevoirs for the purpose of medical service is expensive and time-consuming, so they aren’t as frequently used as would be ideal.
Experimental research into training chatots for speech therapy is also underway, but far from conclusive. The thought is that, depending on chatots’ ability to actually understand the language they mimic, they may be able to fill in occasional words for a person with a stammer or stutter. There is debate as to whether this would be feasible, or indeed appropriate (some believe that this could hinder a person’s likelihood to overcome their speech disorder), but it remains an area of interest.
Generally, the role of pokémon for physical aid is better established. Herdiers, growlithes, umbreons and a number of other quadruped species are suited to being guide and hearing animals, with umbreon particularly favoured due to the fact that it has quiet temperament and is at no risk of evolving (so can be used in the long term).
Natus are favoured sevice pokémon for those with early symptoms of motor neurone disease and other similar conditions. By training these pokémon to detect nuances in muscle movement, natus can use telekinesis to compensate for an individual’s bodily weakness; they assert just enough control over a person’s limbs to allow them to grip things and move as they wish. Service natus are trained to remain on their owner’s shoulder, and can act swiftly enough that there is very little delay between the said owner’s movements, making it far easier for them to live independently. That said, as essential as natus are to those in the early stages of the illness, they are only useful up to a point; they are unable to compensate for the later, more incapacitating symptoms. Research into the subject remains ongoing.
Alright, so I just rewatched “A Matter of Time,” and I don’t think this episode gets enough credit for the massive SHADEFEST it is. Like, Starfleet’s best and brightest tackle a Prime Directive-type problem and time travel in a typical standalone episode, but the more intriguing part is the utter sass on the parts of like, everyone.
(Mostly focuses on the ladies here because, lol, you’re talking to me. But there’s some nice team stuff in here as well.)
Quick and dirty recap: this dude whose name is utterly forgettable shows up. He’s friendly and a little awkward and reminds me of like, a Mirror Universe Barclay, so let’s go with that.
(If you don’t remember him, just read this line in the voice of someone who’d say “Gee whiz!” unironically.)
Anyway, Not Quite Mirror Barclay (NQMB) is a historian from the future who has come back to study the Enterprise - a type of study which honestly would have gotten me much better grades in history class.
Anyway, he’s annoying but friendly enough. Riker and Worf distrust him immediately. Picard is suspicious but allows him to carry out his work. Troi senses that he’s hiding something, but like, how often do we get to see her completely #done?
This is one of those episodes, folks. You’re in for a treat.
WE’RE BARELY HALFWAY INTO THE EPISODE AND SHE’S ALREADY DONE WITH HIM. (She also doesn’t show up in this episode nearly enough for my liking, which is a shame for reasons we’ll see later, but also because Sassmaster Troi is ALL OVER THIS SCENE.) But like, can we blame her?
OH MY GOD DID U JUST–
A real historian would have seen that (1) she’s a Troi and (2) she’s Lwaxana’s daughter. A Daughter of the Fifth House would never.
She washes her hands of him after this scene (which again! is a shame! but also maybe understandable), the remainder of which consists of her lingering around just a little but that’s mostly because he and her bff have a thing.
Also the Netflix-chosen screencap of this episode. A good one. Not the best shot of her hair for the ep (IT IS A CASCADE OF CURLY AWESOMENESS), but like LOOK AT THIS HAIR ACTION. This is love interest episode hair!
Anyway, he’s layin’ it on real thick, and like Bev’s got the hots for him, but she knows what’s up. Her bullshit-o-meter is on point today. Oh, she’s making him want to stay for her? Hmm.
(I couldn’t get this into one frame, but she essentially tells him that she could be his great-great-great-great-great grandmother. Which should kill the mood, but Flirty Bev is in the house, and the next time you watch this - trust me - count the lip bites. On both their parts. SO MANY. Kids! I’m telling you!)
So uh, anyway, spoiler alert, but he turns out to be not who he says he is. He’s actually from the past and stole the identity of the dude from the future he’s trying to be. Which is…really dark if you think about it, but the point is that he, studying all of this dude’s notes, somehow thinks he can still lay one over on Bev.
(Also god Bev is such a theater nerd - she manages to work that in EVEN AS SHE IS SHADING HIM INTO HIS GRAVE.)
ONE EPISODE LOVE INTEREST? NOT THIS EPISODE, BRO.
It makes you want to get him some ice for that burn, but like, remember Bev? Remember who she works with every day? They’re gonna send NQMB’s butt to the brig and turn him over to Starfleet. To be studied. By other historians.
I mean, Picard freely admitted to be willing to careen right past the Prime Directive like three scenes ago - but also daaaaaaamn.
Like it sounds harsh, but he basically probably committed temporal murder.
But anyway, let’s get back to the point: the utter shadiness of this episode. Because Bev’s not just gonna let him walk of shame in front of her. Nope, he’s gotta do it in front of half the senior crew.
OMG THERE’S LIKE THREE MINUTES LEFT - JUST ENOUGH ROOM FOR THE CREDITS AND A WITTY ONE-LINER.
I mean like, Riker and Data don’t look as great individually, but they get a pass because while the crew’s shady this episode as a group, the real winners of this shadefest are Troi - and Bev. Because like, look what happens when they need to punctuate Picard’s sentence.
GODDAMN GIRL. LIKE WHY DOESN’T THE WHOLE SHIP JUST BURST INTO FLAMES???
And then the episode ends, but you know that she just went back into Dee’s quarters that night to like, cackle and perform some witchcraft.
One day, birds are 70 feet tall and fanged. Their mouths bristle. They call us names which are incisive and remind us of what our exes said when they were leaving. They offer opinions about our prose style and take issue with our use of adverbs. They point out the ways in which we are comparatively small. They still wake up at 5 am to scream.
Harry doesn’t remember the first time he’d heard about Transmutant Sperm Fertilization. The television news on mute at a bar somewhere, probably, or perhaps his mum had mentioned it over tea the last time he’d been home.
All Harry knows is that there have been twenty-nine cases of ectopic male pregnancies reported from across the globe within the last seven months. Of these, twenty-one have been aborted, five have miscarried, and only three have been born at full term.
Of the twenty-nine cases, only one other had occurred in the UK; Wales, if he remembers correctly. None of those afflicted so far have been celebrities.
Harry is not eager to pad either statistic.
Harry hides out in Brighton. Louis finds him. Together they figure out how to grieve. And how to come home.