just shut up and be nice

  • Gryffindor: YOU'RE DATING SLYTHERIN?!
  • Hufflepuff: ...yes...
  • Gryffindor: How?! You're so nice and sweet and Slytherin's so...Slytherin!
  • Slytherin: Dude, I'm standing right here.
  • Gryffindor: Oh, shut up, you know what I mean.
  • Slytherin: Yeah, you're right. I'm just as surprised that Hufflepuff likes me as you are.
  • Hufflepuff: Oh, shut up, both of you.
  • Gryffindor: Well? Why do you like someone so...so...Slytherin?
  • Hufflepuff: Sly's not that bad! You just don't know them like I do! They may seem all mean and tough but, on the inside, Slytherin's just a big ol' teddy bear.
  • Slytherin: *blushes*
  • Gryffindor: HOLY SHIT IT HAS EMOTIONS!
  • Slytherin: *blushes more* *glares at Gryffindor* Fuck off, asshole.

you know that episode of parks and recreation where they each stick part of their mural together and make a hot mess camel? (“a camel is a horse built by a committee.”)

poe dameron’s canon characterization is a lucasfilm storygroup camel

Road to TFA + TFA era = optimistic and passionate but pretty staid rule-follower poe, nice to all people and things, respected by leia and in fact her Most Trusted Pilot, a nice space boy from a good space family, gives all droids and beings the same respect he would give his fellow humans. basically canonically just into ships and justice and doing his parents proud. anxiety and self-esteem issues, ptsd, survivor of trauma violence.

Road to TLJ = Poe Is A Silly Brash Fool Who Gets On People’s Nerves Especially Leia For Some Reason Apparently? Thinks Rules Aren’t For Cool People Or Something Maybe? Tells Droids To Shut Up? Basically The New Han Solo Because He’s Attractive I Guess?

i don’t trust rian, is what i’m saying. or charles soule.

not to sound like an Abused Kid™ but parents and other adults are untrustworthy and can turn on you without a moment’s notice

  • Sombra: Oh hey Doomfist did you see my report on the volskaya mission?
  • Doomfist: Yeah I did, nice work.
  • Sombra: Good, thanks dad…Why is everyone staring at me?
  • Widowmaker: You just called Doomfist dad. You said “Thanks dad”
  • Sombra: What? No I didn’t I said “Thanks man”
  • Doomfist: Do you see me as a father figure Sombra?
  • Sombra: No, if anything I see you as a bother figure because you’re always bothering me.
  • Reaper: Hey! Show your father some respect.
  • Doomfist: No no no Sombra, I take it as a compliment.
  • Mcree: *captured* You did call him dad.
  • Sombra: Shut up, you’ve done nothing but lie since you got here.
  • Doomfist: I believe you.
  • Sombra: Thank you.
  • Doomfist: Daughter. You wanna talk about it later over a game of catch?
  • Sombra: …I’d like that.
  • submitted by poshtearex

Alright, so I’ll keep this photo op story short and sweet. I absolutely loved the episode “Regarding Dean” this past season (on that note: dear show, please give Jensen more opportunity to challenge himself, he talked with so much joy about that episode today) and especially the bunny moment, so when I stumbled upon this pillow a few weeks back, I couldn’t resist to buy it thinking of using it for my Jensen op. And needless to say, I did use it and I do really love the outcome, though I am not entirely happy with my mouth, but shhhh, just ignore that! ;)

Anyway, so I walk up to Jensen and probably speak wayyyy too fast due to nervousness and he looks at me intently while I try and tell him in ultra speed that “I absolutely loved the episode and the bunny scene and that I wondered if we can take a picture together all cuddly” and he just goes: “DONE!”, smiles at me and pulls me into a hug. The picture is taken and while I go back he smiles once more and I say thank you so much and he says “thank you”. And I’m just thinking what on earth would you need to thank me for? :’) But it was very sweet and probably made me blush quite a bit.

I don’t know if ya’ll noticed, but during the interview at the Apple concert thingy, some guy in the back yelled “Oppa” to them and a few people laughed. Funny right?
Nah, because the boys were visibly uncomfortable. Especially Mark, Johnny, and Doyoung. Jaehyun and Yuta just smiled nervously kinda like ?? I know some of you people love to say random Korean words for whatever reason here on the internet.. Just PLEASE don’t do that in person, directly to idols! It’s annoying and cringy af like, I can only tolerate Koreaboos so much… Just Stop.

At the event this dude was saying “Oppa Mark!” too and Mark kept looking straight ahead. He was obviously freaked out  cause the dude sounded like a grown ass man and Mark is literally 17 (In Western Countries). At least, that time some people in the crowd told him to shut up.. Doyoung turned around to look at the guy, all wide eyed and probably wanted to say something (ya’ll know how protective he is over the younger members).

You weirdos need to really stop, it’s sad because these idols can’t even say anything back. They are kind of forced to be nice and to keep their mouth shut or else they’ll be labeled as rude. So, taking advantage of that is even more low.

The Five Times You See Dean Winchester Shirtless

Word Count: 1,658

Warnings: None.

Originally posted by justjensenanddean


The first time you see Dean Winchester shirtless, he’s sporting a large gash on his shoulder that you have to stitch up. He’s sitting on the foot of your bed, crumpled up T-shirt in his hand and looking at you expectantly.

Meanwhile, you’re trying not to implode from how beautiful he looks in the pale light the room’s lamp is shedding on him. Even though he’s thoroughly bruised and bloodied up, his green eyes are twinkling and his chest is slightly heaving. The wound probably hurts him and you blink a few times to knock yourself out of your reverie.

“Let’s get this over with,” he mutters, reaching for the large bottle of liquor he probably had stashed in Baby’s backseat.

Keep reading

YouTube AU

Okay my friends sit your cute little asses down and get comfy because we boutta take a fucking trip.

First of all, Keith and Pidge share a YouTube channel. It’s definitely a conspiracy theorist, cryptic one. They just share different theories for things, including government like shit and skinwalkers and aliens and ghosts. They also talk about Shiro, Keith’s older brother that dead ass up and disappeared and there was no sign of him anywhere. They talk about that a lot, fans sharing their own theories. For a while the following hashtags were trending/used all the time: #Whereisshiro #whereiskeithsbrother #noseriouslywherethefuckisshiro. Also, there’s a count for every time Keith says ‘shut the fuck up pidge’ and every time pidge says ‘suck my dick, Keith.’ A few years into the channel, and it’s hella popular, Shiro comes back with no memory of where he’s been and they ask him on and Keith’s just. “Okay yeah we haven’t posted anything but there’s a good reason. Boom” and shiro just dead ass shows up. All the fans simultaneously shit themselves.

Shiro has his own channel before he disappeared. It was literally just sims 3-4 speed builds and a few self defence videos. When he comes back he just starts uploading like nothing happened. He said he couldn’t be bothered to explain so everyone should just check out his brothers YouTube channel. (Also he watches their videos and he’s annoying because he finds himself laughing really hard at those two dorks.) He eventually teams up Matt and becomes a gaming channel with sims speed builds happening. Them and Keith & pidge have sibling wars a lot.

Lance and Allura dead ass have a beauty channel with advice and dumb games. Everyone is always like 'I wished I loved myself as much as Lance loves himself’. They do hair and nails and make up and frequently have make up off’s to see who’s better. Every single time the other wins. They’re currently at 34-34 and it’s the quickest way to rile them up. They also did a whole video on which colour the dress actually was. (Lance: so yeah it’s obviously blue and black. Allura: um, I love you but no. It’s white and gold. Lance, under his breath: this bitch). Also if anyone’s wondering then they use lance’s sibling as dolls for their make up off’s.

Hunk has his little cooking channel, and mainly people tune in because he’s adorable and actually really funny, besides he creates some seriously good recipes. His fans (and Lance) all boost his confidence and he opens this little bakery that gets very popular. He frequently meets fans there and ALWAYS gets incredibly flustered and they give him little gifts and stuff and keeps every single one. Also, Lance is a guest quite a lot and they love it because their friendship is pure and goals. (Hunk: so yeah, here is our finished- Lance: no but guys this shit is really good honestly I’d probably kill for it. Hunk, blushing: er, anyway…)

Everyone is super shocked when they find out that Keith and Lance are together (many a hance advocated were disappointed that day, but happy they were happy). Keith is asked in a Q&A about his relationship and he, being a little tipsy because of a dare (don’t worry, pidge was worse) he just says “oh right yeah, Lance from that beauty channel.” And everyone doesn’t really believe him so he got his phone out and proved that shit. Don’t ever question a tipsy conspiracy theorist and on something they know. They all do this big ass video, Hunk, Lance and Allura, Pidge and keith. They had some purpose but they forgot about it immediately, Lance and Keith bickering constantly and Pidge rolling her eyes, occasionally mentioning some skinwalker theories. Allura just did Hunk’s make up as he talked about shay. Also, Keith says 'shut the fuck up you lovable dork" and it dead ass gets so popular they make t-shirts with that slogan. Shiro and Matt come over in the middle of this video. All the viewers see is them walking in, realising what the fuck was going on, looking at each other (Shiro: Chinese? Matt: sounds good let’s go.) and leaving without announcing themselves.

Coran is just the tech for them all but they hear his voice a lot (“Lance you’re my favourite don’t die.” “Keith if you do that I’m not taking you to the hospital. Again.” “Shiro, my son, that’s a nice ass fucking house.” “Pidge, I agree with Keith. Shut the fuck up.” “Allura don’t make me call your father from beyond the grave, I do not want an angry poltergeist on my hands but so help me god I’ll do it.” “Hunk you genius that food is amazing but have you considered my green goo?” “Matt, control your best friend. No wait, control yourself first, then him.” “No but guys if I hear me out, the green goo isn’t that bad.)

Aight my lovable dorks my dead ass is done and if you’re really still here then wow a gold star for you.

MORNING AFTER WITH EXO || Friends version

waking up next to your best friend after a drunk one night stand can’t be good… right?

Minseok:

★when he first wakes to see your sleeping naked form next to him he’s sit upright in horror
★after finding the condom wrapper on the floor next to his clothes he’d chill out
★he’d wash, dress then go out to the kitchen
★when you wake to an empty bed, you think the small flashes of memory from last night were just part of your dream
★but after a few minutes, coffee begins to spread it’s delightful aroma around your room
★you wrap yourself in your dressing gown and follow the scent to it’s source
★and looky here
★a minseok
★upon hearing your footsteps, he turns to offer you a small smile
★'morning’
★'hi’
★'i raided your cupboards to make breakfast’
★you’d laugh at how cute and chill he was
★moving to sit on the counter next to him
★he’d give you a mug of coffee and offer a plate of pancakes
★'so about last night…’ you looked over his face
★'from what i remember it was good. and it’s nice not waking up to chaos like at the dorm’
★you finished your coffee and set your mug down for him to refill
★'i’m surprised your still here’
★'you’re my best friend and you think it’d hit and run?’ he’d pout as he sat opposite you
★'isn’t that how one night stands work? you hit it and run?’
★oh boy you’ve set him off laughing
★'i’m more of a hit and make sure the lovely victim has my details. just in case’ he’d wink
★you two would spend the morning drinking coffee and talking about everything hes done while off on tour


Junmyeon:

★upset bub p.1
★you’d left after waking up
★only leaving a note for him
★so many questions would run through his mind
★would you ever want to talk to him
★should he call you?
★send you flowers?
★diddly darn he was stuck
★he ended up calling you
★'hi, i’m sorry if you’re upset with me’
★'myeon, i wanted to stay, but i had work’ you’d laugh
★'i thought you’d left because you were upset!’
★'not at all, i had fun last night’
★'oh’
★'yeah’
★'i can pick you up after work and take you for lunch’
★'that sounds great’
★WOW WEE
★he would dress up nice and take you to a fancy ass place
★he’d treat you like a goddamn prince/princess


Yixing:

★baby boy would be so god damn fluffy
★like he’d just explode with warmth and love and giggles when he sees you sleeping next to him
★he’ll move his hand to your hair and play with the strands lovingly until you wake up
★'good morning, baobei’
★your little sleepy grunt in reply would make him giggle
★he’s pet your hair and hold you close until you’re fully awake to talk
★'should we wash and then go for breakfast?’
★'can’t we stay here longer?’
★'we can do whatever you want’
★cuddles upon cuddles upon cuddles
★and mindless chit chat
★how could cuddles in bed with this precious lamb be bad?


Baekhyun:

★you’d wake up before him
★you kinda just laid there for a bit debating what to do
★do you wake him
★or just leave??
★you decided to have a shower first
★and if he wasn’t awake when you were out, you’d write a note to him and leave
★so off you went
★halfway through washing your hair, the curtain was pulled back
★and this pup was just stood watching you
★you tried your best to cover yourself
★he just laughed and shook his head
★'you weren’t doing that last night. in fact, you couldn’t get your clothes off any quicker’
★'shut up baek’
★he’d just tease your mercilessly
★you turned the shower head to wet him
★which shut him up
★he kinda just stared
★which made you think he was mad
★but he suddenly just pushed into the shower with you
★'that wasn’t nice’ he’d pout, pushing you back against the wall
★'neither was leaving me bed on my own’
★'not my fault you wouldn’t wake up’
★'i worked hard last night i deserve a lay in’
★it would just be none stop giggles, kisses and cuddles for the day


Jongdae:

★upset bub p.2
★he’d watch you sleep for a few minutes before dressing and going to eat
★he felt bad that your first time together was when you were both out of your mind
★as he was drinking his milk, he’d hear your foot steps
★he went full !!!!!! mode
★when you came into the room, he’d do his best to hide
★and by hide i mean he’s stood behind the curtains
★'i see you dae,’
★'dae? who’s dae? i know no dae’
★it would make you laugh
★which then caused him to grin
★'you’re not mad at me?’
★'what’s done is done’
★'i’m mad at me for not remembering. maybe we should have a repeat’ he’d wink
★'shut up’
★'yes captain’


Chanyeol:

★this poor guy
★he had it all planned out on what to do when the two of you woke up
★he’ll run you a bath, let you raid his wardrobe so you’re comfy then make you breakfast
★he’d straight up just have a stroke when he doesn’t hear you snoring
★are you deaD???////????
★HOLY SHIT HE’D KILLED YOU?!
★it was supposed to be romantic and now he’d killed you
★shit
★oh no
★nevermind
★bless, his face would all be screwed up as he let his thoughts went mad
★you’re now staring at him with a confused look on your face
★'what are you thinking about?’ you’d ask with a laugh
★'how to bury your body’
★'oh’
★'nO SHIT I MEANT WHAT I’M GOING TO COOK YOU FOR BREAKFAST’
★his little cheeks would be bright red
★his plans were blown
★'breakfast sounds really good, actually’
★his famous grin would sprout on his face before he leans in and kisses your head
★'eggs and bacon coming your way’
★he’d jump out of the bed in such a rush to cook
★that he ended up tripping
★and now he’s just curled up naked on your floor
★real good going, chanyeol
★'just come back to bed for a while. i’ll cook when i get up’
★he’ll dive right back in and nuzzle his face into your neck
★'it was supposed to go better’
★'i know, chan’


Kyungsoo:

★soft
★v gentle
★11/10 would recommend
★but for real
★the most important thing is that you’re happy and that you’re comfortable
★you two could talk about what happened last night later on
★a shower and breakfast is more important
★so he kinda just shoves you to the bathroom to wash
★while he goes and works his magic in the kitchen
★probably cooks enough to feed the entire city because he’s nervous
★and actually doesn’t even know what your favourite breakfast food is
★when you enter the kitchen you just see all this food
★which you thank him for
★the two of you will eat
★then after your both full, the talk will come
★'how much of it do you remember?’
★'i remember seeing your stomach after all the teasing you did’
★'yeah?’
★'you buff up good’
★to which he’ll laugh 
★you’ll probably just turn the whole situation into a joke
★which always makes the others confused


Jongin:

★let’s be honest here
★this bub ain’t waking up
★so you’ll just grab your stuff and leave
★when he does wake up he’ll probably see your watch you left on the nightstand
★panicccccccccccc
★he’ll rush to your place to talk to you
★'you should’ve woken me up’
★'i could’ve walked you home’
★'did you leave because you were embarrassed?’
★so many questions
★he’d be so worried that it ruined your relationship
★you’d calm him down by patting his shoulder
★if you wanted to talk about it, you two would
★but if you wanted to put it behind you, you two would also do that


Sehun:

★would wake before you
★and just stare
★he’s in awe
★but he’s also really pissed off
★in awe because wow he just had really good sex with the person he holds most dear to his heart
★but WHAT THE FUCK HE BARELY REMEMBERS ANYTHING
★DID YOU ENJOY IT?
★DID YOU MOAN HIS NAME?
★DID HE MOAN YOUR NAME
★WHO WAS IN CHARGE????
★DID HE CUM BEFORE OR AFTER YOU?!
★his thoughts were cut off by you groaning and stretching out
★you turned your head to see him and offered a sleepy smile before sitting up
★when you reached for your clothes, he’ll pull you back down
★and wrap his long limbs around you
★'stay for a bit’
★'we can go out for breakfast’
★it’ll be so nice????
★probs leads to you two blooming into the hottest couple around
★bc how could he not wake up to you every morning?????

reblog people's art you cowards

to follow this up

1. a lot of people who make/reblog posts like “reblogs>>>likes you guys!!11” are the same people who dont reblog art and like it, and a lot of them aren’t even artists and are just fishing for notes by sympathizing.

2. i dont?? understand the cons in reblogging over liking. if you just like it, you’re just telling an artist that you saw it but didn’t want to show it off + it gets lost and cluttered with everything else, but if you reblog it, you can tag it and find it later, give the artist recognition and support, as well as giving a nice little compliment in the tags if you’re up for it. there’s no con.

tl;dr: just support artists. PLEASE. it doesn’t kill you to just give them the boost and support they need. and before you say, “oh notes shouldn’t have to matter!! it’s your own worth :)))” please. shut up. reblogs give artists the recognition they need, and a lot of artists depend on the attention their art gets for money to survive on. please support your artists.

monsta x as boyfriends

shownu

  • the boyfriend who loves to buy you stuff bc he’s always thinking of you but gets a size too small and didn’t ask for a gift receipt
  • constantly bickers with you over the tiniest things but in a playful way, he likes that you’re not afraid to tell him what you’re thinking
  • has a bunch of inside jokes with you, will literally say one word and you’ll burst out laughing. the members just think he’s super-upped his variety game
  • sends you lots of blurry selfies and texts with typos

wonho

  • willing to wake up with a “bloated” face so he can have late-night ramen parties with you
  • takes a while to open up to you about deeper, more personal/emotional problems but will immediately go to you once you two have reached that level of closeness
  • he laughs so much when he’s with you that the other guys tell him to shut up and he goes “mmm nope” and squishes your face
  • enjoys just spending time with you. sometimes you’ll come over and read a book while he messes around on the keyboard

minhyuk

  • probably the most cliché bf out of mx, he wants to protect you and take you on cute coffee shop dates and hold you when you cry
  • almost always holding your hand, he doesn’t even really think about it but his hand reaches for yours
  • your #1 fan. he screams hysterically over everything you do and it’s nice but surprising sometimes so you’ve learned to tune him out
  • never gets tired of hearing you say that you love him.
  • likes to ask you hypothetical questions about your relationship under different circumstances (“if we were in the hunger games but we weren’t from the same district, would you kill me or would you save me so we could both be victors” “minhyuk go to sleep”)

kihyun

  • likes to listen to you complain about your week, the little stories you tell him spice up his (quite lonely) idol life
  • will do all he can to take care of you so he absolutely loves it when you baby him and do the same
  • sings sweet songs to you when you’re cooking together and will throw you the occasional wink over his shoulder
  • if y'all aren’t cooking, he’ll take you out  to eat good food and photographs the food and your beautiful self :)
  • sends you all his selcas to look over before he posts them on social media

hyungwon

  • the one boyfriend who changes five months into the relationship bc he’s comfortable now and unleashes his inner meme
  • likes to wrap an arm around your shoulders or waist and tuck you into his side
  • teases you in every way possible. want a kiss? cuddles? a bite of his food? you gotta work for it
  • thinks you are the cutest bun in the world and talks to minhyuk about you nonstop. minhyuk’s like “i love them too but why are you telling me how they like their bagels again”

jooheon

  • has you saved as “my honey🍯” on his phone
  • isn’t great about responding to texts but is very routine about late-night phone and video calls
  • so easy to tease and he’ll pretend not to get worked up but start talking very loudly in his grandpa voice w lots of hand gestures
  • somehow manages to bring you up in every single conversation he has with anyone who’s willing to listen
  • gives such nice/thoughtful/expensive gifts that he makes you look bad when you tell your friends

i.m

  • sending each other memes/gifs is a must. if he’s smiling at his phone someone might think you sent him a cutesy text that made his heart flutter but no it’s a meme
  • prob asks you to look over his lyrics sometimes if he’s stuck or thinks something sounds awkward (“babe, what’s a synonym for ‘love’?”)
  • totally calls you babe. sometimes it comes naturally and sometimes he’s squealing on the inside as he says it
  • on that note, he bounces between greasy “fresh out of the fryer, must be drained before consumption” and “wikihow: how to act cool around your crush”
  • most dates are spent snuggling together in bed, talking about the future, and eating snacks/getting crumbs everywhere

A/N: whew i cranked this out super fast and got really excited about it so i posted it!! i’ll be opening requests in 2 weeks if anyone’s wondering~ also thank you to everyone who’s followed me and a HUGE thank you for 1000+ notes on the “sleeping w monsta x” post!? that’s amazing holy crap thank you so much

The “AU Community” credits on Underverse

I know it’s important to credit the original creators of each AU I’m using for Underverse. In the case of Underfell and Underswap, I decided to keep their tumblrs and names as anonymous and adding the “AU community” in the credits of my animations.
Why?

Underfell creators created a blog for this AU, however, due some problems they were having, they decided to stop and hiding the blog, having the access only with a password. This happened months before I even got into de Undertale fandom, Thanks to one of my followers I know one of the creators, even though I haven’t talk to them, I prefer to not being a bother, and letting their legacy as “AU Community”  since both creators posted the following words before the blog was shut down:

“Hey guys it was a nice run while it lasted but it’s time to give this blog up !! not up to someone but just up in general !! we’re going to delete this blog because we’ve been stressed out about it and that’s not good! We hope all of you had a fun time ! and hope that you continue to have fun !! it’s time to put this blog to rest !! again thank you guys for following us !”

Despite the blog was apparently deleted, the AU is still loved for many people, keeping  it alive and even developing a videogame on @underfellfangame 

Now, in the case of Underswap, many of us know the tumblr of the original creator. Then, why don’t you tag him, Jakei? You must credit the original creator even if he is not in the Undertale fandom anymore.
I thought the same when I was about to finish Underverse 0.3 part one. I decided to check the creator’s blog. Underswap had also a blog like Underfell but it also got deleted (The same happened to Underfell, It’s a game in development, thousand of artists that still drawing Underswap stuff…) and now watching his posts from his main blog, it’s obvious he is not interested and his life is not only about Underswap, he is in new fandoms and making amazing art, I don’t want to be a toxic bother for him. 

The fandom has been helping a lot to keep these AUs alive, because it probably were the first AUs to be made. 

I’m not saying that these two AUs belong to me or something.

This is for me, a way to respect their decisions they did and not attaching them to something in which they don’t want to be forever.

Make up Marichat May, Day 12: Sleepover

Title: Good Morning
Word Count: 2,059

“Nope,” Chat Noir admits, trying to keep any disappointment from sneaking into his tone. He’d never slept over at someone’s house before. His father was far too protective to have him do something like that.  

“No? They’re fun,” Marinette says nonchalantly.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for writing characters undercover? Thanks!

So, we’ve covered this topic a lot in the past. Undercover operatives, intelligence agents, black ops, assassins, and spies I’d start with a spies search on our website, as that’ll get you started. The really good references will be there. My big advice for writing any kind of spy fiction is to have a clear idea of what you want and which genre you’re chasing. Do want James Bond or George Smiley? You can blend these genres, but it’s a good idea to have a clear idea as that’ll define your narrative.

The first thing to understand about spies and any sort of shadow operative is the Burn Notice quote: “A spy is just a criminal with a government paycheck.”

Take a look at this passage. This is a character (Thirteen) trained as an undercover operative exiting a bad situation. What do you see?

Limping down the hall, I forced one foot before the other. Slowly, my stride lengthened. The silver door at the end didn’t open, so I pushed it, and stumbled out onto the launch pad. My gaze fell on a string of oval automatic airstreams parked all in a row. No, I frowned, eyes sweeping to street and the vehicles winging by in the air overhead. No self-respecting AI would let me drive in this condition. Robots always insisted on hospital, and I had no time to hack. To get out fast, I needed a human. A cabbie. Older, preferably female. Fingers to my neck, I tapped twice. Up came the ODS, my thoughts linking to: call a cab. Human.

A string of numbers and faces appeared before my eyes, the oldworld men and women working a dying industry. Better for No Questions Asked rides in our digital world, no one else called when they could pay a corporate run robot for half the cost.

I picked the first female face that flashed across my dash.

Time to pick up… thirty seconds.

I gripped my injured arm, and ran an analysis. Tucked out of sight, Sixteen’s pistol rested against my ribs. Ammunition at less than half a magazine, so seven rounds. Eight, if I counted the one in the chamber. The Uplink already registered the irreparable damage and severed the blood flow to the damaged limb. So, no more bleeding out. My upper lip curled. A bad trade off for no more arm. Damn, Sixteen.

Fifteen seconds.

I couldn’t hide in the shadows. Needed to seem desperate, distraught. Call up tears.

Ten seconds.

My blurred gaze flicked to the skyline, watching for black. The Ghosts wouldn’t appear in the datastream. Still, NIS hadn’t cut my access. Not yet.

Five.

A beat up airstream in ruby red dropped out of the sky to the left, pulling up to the curb. They were early. From the shabby state of their car, probably desperate. Good.

I limped over quickly. Even if they weren’t my ride, they were human and sitting in the driver’s seat. A car enthusiast who needed no AI systems to handle the steering. Likely to have built in cameras. More likely to possess a slow Uplink. Slow data received poor police service. My fingers seized the handle, flung open the door, and threw myself inside.

“Need a ride?” the voice was sympathetic, unfamiliar.

I slid across the bench into the seat behind the driver. My free hand tight on my damaged limb, couldn’t do much about my nose. So, instead, I tilted my head and caught her reflection in the mirror. Younger. Mid-thirties. Red hair worn short with one gray streak, tied back in a severe bun. Clear hazel eyes. Talk like you’re in pain, scared, but putting on a brave face. Tears. I wiped the blood from underneath my nose, sniffling. “Y-y-yeah.” I cleared my throat. “Yeah. Thanks.” I tried for a half-smile, half-grimace, and leaned on the window. “Just looking to get away. The address should be—”

“You don’t need to worry, I have it,” the driver said. “Came in with your order. Grace, right? You want to go downbelow, the Rep Shop.”

“Yeah.” Resting my cheek against the glass, I closed my eyes; Uplink sizing up her car’s systems. Automatic turned off, but easy enough to hijack. My free hand drifted off my injury, and moved near the pistol hilt jabbing my ribs.

“I’m Marla, I’ll be your driver today.” A pause followed. “You sure a pretty girl like you wants the Rep Shop? Not a hospital? You look pretty banged up.”

“No,” I replied. I got what she suggested, this was a nice neighborhood. “I just need… need to go…”

“Boyfriend trouble?”

I grimaced, eyes squeezing shut, and wished I felt a twinge of guilt. It’s like the Overseer always says, love is just a cover.

“Don’t worry, no need to say it,” Marla said as the engine revved, the floorplates shook, and the airstream lifted skyward. “Shipped enough victims out of here to know.”

Notice, she pays attention to her surroundings and makes choices based on her condition in service of her needs. She needs to get out quickly, but would run into more trouble stealing a car so she calls up a cab driven by a human. Human’s are easier to manipulate in short order than code cracking. She specifically aims for a female cab driver, one preferably older than she is.

Why?

She’s female. Another woman is more likely to assume her injuries are because of a man, and a cab driver will have encountered this scenario often enough to not pry too deeply into it. An older woman is likelier to be maternal and protective, but not so protective that she’ll stay beyond when Thirteen needs her too. However, pay attention to the fact that Thirteen never verbally confirms it was a man who caused her injuries. She lets Marla assume, and fill in the blanks herself. This gives her an out later if she needs to change her story and place the blame on Marla’s shoulders for misunderstanding.

This is an example of what’s called social engineering. Deliberately manipulating the people in your environment to divulge confidential information or getting them to do what you want.

Notice also: After getting into the vehicle, Thirteen’s hand goes to the gun she stole. As she is playing to Marla’s sympathies, she is also assessing the possibility of killing this woman and taking control of the car if things don’t go the way she’s planned. Thirteen would prefer to exit by the easiest means possible, but a good spy always has a contingency. She won’t compromise her safety, and civilian lives mean next to nothing. A dead body is one more problem to deal with, one more attention getter that she doesn’t want, but she’ll go there. Violence is messy, and sometimes necessary.

There’s no real difference between a spy and a conman. Still, if you want to trick people there’s a few rules to follow.

What a spy isn’t:

A compulsive liar, an overseller, or lies all the time. An undercover operative needs to maintain their identity, that is one identity, singular. While a spy can create many false personalities, they should only be using one at a time with the goal of giving away as little information in trade as possible.

Notice: Thirteen does not tell Marla a story, she lets Marla create the story and then plays along. It is easier to convince someone of a lie when they’ll craft it themselves. Why say something when you can get just as much by saying nothing at all?

“You’ve told her three lies. Suppose she’s an asset, now you have to make all three lies true.” - Spy Game

Your character can’t just lie, a liar will be caught after a prolonged period of time. They need to manipulate the truth by creating a fiction. A cover is a fictional person with a fictional job who people think really exists when they check the character’s identity. Assume their identity will be checked, re-checked, and checked again. They are not maintaining a cover to a singular individual, but multiple ones. Their assets are the locals they are manipulating in order gain access to information, and who often run the jobs for them. These assets will, most of the time, not know the truth or not know the whole truth about who the spy really is.

Assets can be friends, business associates, girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands, disgruntled employees, janitors, etc.

Your character can’t enter a business or government agency as a pretend janitor if they’re also going there everyday as a reporter or contractor or some other job. They must maintain the fiction of their identity.

This is the biggest problem most authors will get into when writing spy fiction. The concept of telling lies is something that comes easily to most of us, the problem comes in with keeping up a fiction over a prolonged period of time. The next step is to be able to lie without guilt and throw over people who help you without remorse. Crafting that dual identity of a person who genuinely cares about their friends and allies versus the real one who… really doesn’t.

You need a solid grasp of social functions, mores, and conventions in order to write a spy because a spy is manipulating all those points to gain access. You also need to understand these rules change based on what society your character is entering. Social rules change based on social groups, be it economic or cultural. The expectations for a man or woman in Mexico City versus Seattle are vast, and your character needs to be versed in the world they’re walking into. They need a cover identity to suit their work. Someone who has the freedom to go many places without being questioned, but unimportant enough to be neither needed nor remembered.

A spy is always looking for a way in, to slide into your confidences or sympathies however they can. They are going to use you to get where they need to go. They are very convincing actors and they are changing, modifying themselves slightly for each person they encounter. Not so much though that their falseness becomes obvious to the other people who know them.

When we’re working with a female spy, for example, all the “bad woman” societal traits you’re inclined to throw away are exactly what she needs to succeed. She will flirt, and flatter, and seduce, and manipulate the men (and women) around her to gain entry. She may rotate between being a gorgeous woman and an unremarkable one by the use of fashion and makeup. She is exactly what so many men are afraid of, a social climber who is manipulating their feelings and her attractiveness in order to get what she wants because it is the most expedient method to get what she needs. The one who is manipulating society’s view of women as nonentities, nonthreatening/replaceable objects in order to do her job.

Don’t be afraid of these characters. Don’t be afraid of “unlikeable” characters.

Spies are bad people who do bad things. They are often cold, calculating, impersonal manipulators looking for the most expedient method to get what they need. Your spy’s cover is just a cover. Never forget the real person underneath, especially when they’re lying to themselves.

-Michi

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