north bubble

had a dream where the goblins got beast tribe quests but they were like. super complicated and fucked up. and were like. about this tribe of goblins living in a secret protective bubble in north idyllshire because someone fucking. stole the skull of a large powerful dragon? so the quests were all about restoring a bunch of things the goblins needed to be able to resume normal life and take down the bubble

Today’s cocktail treated me so well ✨

Products used for this baby are:
- Dirty springwash shower gel
- 93000 miles shower jelly
- Yuzu and cocoa bubbleroon
- Yellow fun

Dawning of the Crimson Sun

Itrius had made a base for himself at a small Inn. He needed an address, a room, a place nearby so he wouldn’t need to travel from the Spire to the town of Meridianam. It was the largest town in the area, which didn’t mean much, it was more a hamlet then anything. Behind barbed walls and iron gates, it was a surreal place. The Horde and Alliance didn’t exactly reach here, Quel’thalas didn't’ make it this south, and the other forces not this north, it was a bubble for races to dissolve and people to live.

Swirling a finger around the edge of the cool glass Itrius looked over the letter once more. He had sent a message to the Crimson Sun. After all they were the ones that request aid from the Phoenix Guard. Rumors had swirled around this area and this group. It would be good to finally speak with them and get things straight.

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Fluff War - Prankster

Putting these two together.  @pipa-charm & @iammadeofnightmares - here you go!


Theta was hiding something.

When you live every hour of your life sharing the contents of your mind with someone else, you learn that privacy is a luxury.  Yes, you can learn to build barriers of a sort, block the other person from reading your thoughts plainly, hiding your mood, masking your bond.  The problem is, you can’t hide that you are doing it.  They are aware of that barrier.  

North was aware of Theta’s barrier now.

It wasn’t alarming.  They both used them on occasion and never had hidden anything serious from each other.  It’s in your best interests to be on the same page with the person who shares your head- when one of you suffers, you both suffer, and no barrier they could construct could change that.  

Also, they never attempted to block each other completely.  Their barriers were more like pieces of a wall that they could crouch behind, an admission that something is being hidden, but reassurance that the other person could at any time approach the wall and see what was behind it, if they chose to.  They never had, and held each others’ limited privacy with respect.

So when North could feel Theta’s bubbling humour despite the barrier, when he felt the distant tickling sensation of Theta speaking with someone else, he very carefully didn’t smile.  He focused completely on removing the last of his armour, and he tried to shove down the realization that popped up in his mind.

They’re playing a joke.  

No.  Focus on the armour.  He tried to keep his mind blank and still like a ripple-less pond, empty except for the thought of how he liked to hang everything just so in his locker.  

Don’t guess when it might happen.  Don’t think about what it might be.  Let him surprise you.  He loves this.  Don’t spoil it.

He became aware of whispering voices behind him, stifled giggling matched with the same sensation of bubbles rising over the barrier.  As he placed his last piece of armour on its hook, he finally realized that his clothes were missing.

Here we go.

“Theta?”  North didn’t need to call out to find out where Theta was - if he closed his eyes, he’d be able to point straight at him - but this was a chance to give them a heads up that he was on his way.  Might as well do this right.

North stepped around a bank of lockers to find Wash arranging himself in an oh-so-casual pose, leaning against a locker.  On his shoulder, Theta copied his pose exactly, leaning against the side of Wash’s head.  North couldn’t quite keep a smile from his face.  “Wash?  Theta?  Do you know what happened to my clothes?”  

“Haven’t touched them, haven’t seen them!” Wash’s relaxed smile gave North pause.  Wash was a terrible liar.  If he had done it, he’d be stammering and blushing, no way he’d be this poised.  So where did they –

North saw Wash’s eyes flick past him, and at the same moment there was a surge of triumph and laughter as Theta’s barrier fell.

There was pressure around his throat as someone caught the back of his undersuit, pulling it away from his neck.  Instinct made North strike out, trying to twist to grab the person behind him, and heard a half-gasp, half-laugh as York danced backwards out of his reach.  As York released his undersuit, the fabric snapped back and North let out a gasp of his own as it pinned something small, hard and cold against his neck.  The ice cube began to melt almost immediately and the trickle of freezing cold water down his back rallied an army of goosebumps across his body.  All attempts to grab the ice out of the neck of his suit only made it slide lower, and he finally snaked an arm behind his back to just keep it from sinking to embarrassing depths, and tried to ignore how the melt seemed to do that just fine on its own.  

Theta’s glee was ringing in his head, and he could see him still projected on Wash’s shoulder, bent over as though breathless.  Wash saw North looking over and pointed at his own shoulder, mouthing “it was Theta’s idea!” York had moved into his line of vision again, but a safe distance away, grinning widely, arms folded, attention divided between North and Theta.  For the life of him, York and Wash looked like two proud uncles, determined to pass on a lifetime’s expertise in trouble-making to the next generation.  

Theta flickered from Wash’s shoulder and returned to North’s.  At the same time, North felt him active in his head, embracing and sharing North’s discomfort, removing the sharpness of the cold and raising North’s body heat slightly so the last of the ice melted quickly and dripped down his suit (which wasn’t actually a help, but North tried to convince himself it was.)  Then Theta was hovering in front of him, pulsing with excitement.  “How was that, North?  Was that a good one?  You aren’t mad are you?”  The last question was accompanied by a flicker so brief that North might have missed it, had it not been paired with a guilty twinge in his head.  

“Not mad at all, Theta.  That was a good one!”  

“So how are we going to get them back?”  Behind Theta, Wash and York waved and walked out of the locker room.  As they passed by, York set North’s missing clothes in a neat pile on the bench next to him.  North quickly stripped off his wet undersuit and started dressing.

As North pulled his shirt over his head, he leaned forward towards Theta and grinned.  “Get them back?  Sounds like you were the mastermind here - shouldn’t I be getting you back?”

Theta leaned forward too.  “Yeah, but that wouldn’t be as much fun!”

“What, for you or me?  I can really vividly remember a tickle fight I had with South once when we were seven…”

“No no no no no!!”

Theta glowed in his mind - his happiness and affection were almost tangible, a blanket of sunshine wrapped around North, and North included Theta in the sensation, shared his delight.  It felt like being hugged from the inside.  For the briefest moment, North wondered if life with an AI was like this for any of his other teammates, but something told him no.  He cut the thought away before it had the chance to grow sad.  

“Okay then, so here’s what we’re going to do…” Heads bent together like conspirators, North and Theta walked out of the locker room.

Worst Best Friend Ever of All Time

[RvB Angst War] @playerprophet: Tucker has to implant Epsilon, and insodoing he discovers a lot of things he ought not to know about Washington. Bonus points for twisting the knife with some Wash & Maine

Characters: Tucker, Epsilon, Washington. Tuckington, a little bit

Warnings: Suicide mention

Spoilers: Season 10?

Words: 1078

______________________

“This isn’t a good idea,” says Wash, and no shit, nothing involving these AI is ever a good idea, but bullets are flying past the rolled jeep they’re using as cover, Carolina’s already speed-boosted away to find an escape vehicle, and they’re never gonna make it out of here if he doesn’t do this. “You can’t just use him right away. You’re not trained for this.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, are you volunteering?” Tucker spits back over his shoulder, and when Wash’s helmet snaps up in alarm at the suggestion he realizes he went one step too far. He shakes his head and turns away again. “Never mind. Just do it.”

He kneels in the dirt next to his helmet, braces both hands against the jeep’s undercarriage and bows his head down, exposing the implants on the back of his neck. Behind him, he hears Wash swear under his breath, the death knell of his resistance.

“I’m pulling him if anything goes wrong,” Wash says.

“I got it. Hurry up.”

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Project Freelancer was a logistical and logical clusterfuck, Part 1

Inspired by this amazing post! A million thanks to my dear friend @barsenthor​ for helping me out with this! 

Okay so Project Freelancer is a fucking mess. Even ignoring how its goals are twisted, ignoring absolutely everything else, it’s a logistical and strategic nightmare. From the 2nd episode, we see the Director sending in agents clearly not suited to a mission. And it never really improves. 

So to start with, I’m going to break down what each Freelancer’s specialities/fighting styles are, complain about their assigned enhancement and then I’m going to pair each Freelancer with an appropriate enhancement that would ACTUALLY HELP THEM DO THEIR JOB. 

Going in order of the leaderboard… 

Tex – Tex is a Disruption Tank. She can take hits, but her main ability is dealing a lot of damage, very quickly. Her ability to take hits means she can take down a lot of people. She’s great against groups (although part of this might be the inverse rule of competence; one bad guy’s a threat, lots of bad guys are canon fodder). Tex is virtually unstoppable once she gets going; it takes a hell of a lot to stop her. Like, say, a ship crash and emotional trauma.

Tex is given the active camouflage, which she uses to great effect and it’s one of her signatures. But… it actually does not make a lot of sense to give it to her. An active camo is hell of a lot more useful for infiltrators (like York or Connie) or snipers (like North or Wyoming.) Locus certainly demonstrated what kind of shenanigans you have to do to trace an invisible sniper. (WASH KEEP YOUR HELMET ON IN THE MIDDLE OF COMBAT, DAMN IT.) I have a theory that giving Tex that unit has a hell of a lot more to do with isolating Tex from her teammates than helping her in combat but that’s a whole other post. 

Carolina – Carolina’s about a hundred things at once, but the ones I’m going to focus on in particular is glass cannon/monk. In contrast to Tex, one good hit puts Carolina down quickly. It’s epitomized in Carolina’s philosophy: “It’s not bad if you don’t let it hit you.” Carolina can’t take damage. (The healing unit in S12-13 helps with this to a certain extent, but we see how much a knife to the leg impacts her ability to fight throughout the later half of season 12.) The monk part mostly comes in with her martial arts prowess (here’s a great quote from Monty contrasting Carolina and Tex’s fighting styles), but, sticking with the D&D system for a bit here, Carolina has about a million ranks in improvise weapon. Seriously, she used a grappling hook and grenade as a flail. She can fight with just about anything. Carolina can seriously cause a lot of damage, like Tex (in fact, I’d say she can cause more damage per hit than Tex, bc that’s usually how stats balance out) but she has to be constantly moving. 

Which is why the choice of her speed unit is a rare good choice. She’s a bit of a fragile speedster epitomized. She uses her unit well, and it legitimately makes sense with her fighting style. I’ll leave it up to you to wonder if that’s on purpose on the Director’s part, because I’m pretty sure that’s another thousand words of meta. 

Everyone else is below the cut ‘cuz this is getting long

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  • Tex's Active Camo Unit: stay hidden to entirely avoid situations where you could get fucked up
  • North's bubble shield: prevent from getting fucked up
  • Wyoming's time distortion unit: prevent from getting fucked up even if you get fucked up
  • York's healing unit: you're going to get fucked up but whatever you can fix it later
  • Maine's strength mod: fuck someone up
  • Carolina's speed unit: just get fucked up. fuck yourself up, just do it, just fuckign
Fic: False Light [FILSS, ensemble]

There are levels of awareness, levels of consciousness, levels of understanding. FILSS has always known this. It’s how she’s been programmed.

[AO3 | FFN | Fic Tag]

Consciousness is immediate. The spin-up time for an artificial neural network, FILSS knows, is nearly instantaneous. Her perception of time is within acceptable deviations, and her satisfaction at this fact reflects the successful installation of her dynamic memory processing matrix.

“Online,” she says. “Hello, Director. Hello, Counselor. Hello, Alpha. I hope you are having a pleasant day.”

“Great,” says Alpha. He is, she knows, the ship’s Smart AI. “She’s chipper. Because that’s not gonna get annoying or anything.”

“Don’t be jealous, Alpha,” the Director says. He is, she knows, in command of Project Freelancer. “This is the Freelancer Integrated Logistics and Security System. FILSS is going to help us with some of the more repetitive tasks that you have found to be beneath you. She is better suited to these simpler duties.”

“Wow, no offense or anything,” Alpha says. He’s manifesting as a small hologram in SPARTAN armor, presumably for the benefit of his human companions. She sees him turn toward her indicator lights, a sidelong glance.

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