old circuit

“My first impulse, when presented with any spanking-new piece of computer hardware, is to imagine how it will look in ten years’ time, gathering dust under a card table in a thrift shop.”
― William Gibson

The Most Important Holtzmann headcanon:

She doesn’t tell anyone about it at first but once they’re all pretty famous Holtzmann uses her new reach to get in touch with local NYC foster care programs, and she starts teaching monthly classes to pretty large bunches of kids at headquarters on Saturday mornings once a month. Sometimes she does Lego robotics with them, sometimes they build potato clocks, in October she helps them all decorate mini ghost traps that they can use “to suck the most candy up on Halloween and be the richest kids on the block.”

One or two supervisors from each program and sometimes a couple of foster parents come each time to keep an eye on the kids but after a couple months they all end up sitting quietly in a corner with their laptops or books and cups of coffee that they ducked out in the middle of the lesson to get, not watching the children at all. Holtzmann is just so good with the 5-12 age group (which is most of the participants that come to class, though sometimes she’ll get stragglers as old as 17 and she’s extra nice to them because she knows how hard it is to age out of care). She has them get up and dance and shake out their arms and stretch at least once every 15 minutes and she makes a fool of herself and laughs with them but here’s the thing, she also treats them like the little adults they are. She treats them like they can learn how to do anything they want because she truly believes they can. And they love her for that.

When Holtzmann shares with the Ghostbusters that she’s been doing this they’re all really surprised and touched but she brings it up like its nothing, she just wanted them to know because hunting is getting pretty active lately, and well, they shouldn’t be worried if on a rare Saturday they get a call and catch her ferrying 10 or 20 children out of the building before she runs upstairs to change.

Erin, with curiosity in her nature, shows up the next month and hides in the back not by the program supervisors, but in her own little nook closest to her friend and all her students, and she watches as Holtzmann squats down in front of a sniffling little girl who is looking down at a tangled mess of wires in dismay and embarrassment.
“Sweetheart, it’s ok,” she soothes with an easy smile as Erin strains to listen, “they’re color coded, so that means blue goes to blue and red goes to red, so yellow goes to…” She trails off and waits until the little girl whispers “yellow” too quiet for Erin to hear.

“That’s right!” Holtzmann celebrates, making perfect eye contact with the small child, and Erin in her corner is falling in love and combusting, oh my god. “Remember what I said last time? The secret to being a genius is always keep trying. You’re smart and you matter.”

She gives the girl’s shoulder a little squeeze as she stands up and moves onto the next table where 12 year olds are helping 7 year olds build circuit boards and 5 year olds are watching 8 year olds and copying what they see, trying to connect the kiddy-proofed special sets they have just for them, that clearly don’t even have electricity ports built in, and it’s just all so amazing to watch.

Erin is speechless. She can see that every single one of these kids trusts Holtzmann. But what she doesn’t know is that Holtz does this because she used to have to do every single project and craft she came up with on her own. There was no one in her series of homes to tell her that she mattered. To tell her she was smart.
So she tells it to every single kid. Every month.

When all the kids leave, after they bop about the room to the Monster Mash with Holtz leading the pack and clean everything up, Holtzmann turns on the now empty floor and her face is filled with a look of relaxation and pride and warmth that Erin has never seen on her friend before. Nothing has ever even come close. And it’s beautiful.

Holtzmann sees Erin after a moment and she just grins, and waves. Erin without explanation or forethought walks up to the blonde, wrappes her up in her arms and kisses her. It’s the first time, but it’s been coming for a while. Both of them just melt into the experience. They’re ecstatic, home at last, and neither of them is fazed.

They break apart after awhile and Erin pulls Holtz in tighter and leans her chin on her shoulder, tilts her mouth up and says into her ear, “you’re smart and you matter, Jillian.” And Holtz stares at the wall and tries to ignore the building tears behind her eyes. Because maybe Erin gets it after all.

ImagineDaily Database: Tony Stark

Originally posted by widowshields

MCU BASIC PROFILE

Real Name:  Anthony Edward Stark

Alias: Iron Man.

Citizenship: American.

Date of Birth: May 29, 1970.

Relatives: Howard Stark and Maria Stark. (both died in 1991).

Abilities: Genius level intellect, master engineer, master scientist, hacker, expert businessman, expert tactician, martial artist, marksman, pilot, multilingualism.

Others information:

  • The armors no longer use Stark’s arc reactor as a power source. Instead, the suits each have their own individual arc reactor 
  • Tony had a surgery to remove the sharps in his body, therefore removing his arc reactor off his chest for good. 
  • Tony has post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Tony chose to pour millions into mental health research, to create a non-invasive non-pharmaceutical therapy technology.
  • 4 years old - made his first circuit board. 7 years old - built a V8 motorbike engine. 16 years old - won the 4th Annual M.I.T. Robot Design Award. 17 years old graduated MIT at the top of his class.


COMICS EARTH-616 PROFILE

Real Name:  Anthony Edward Stark

Alias: Iron Man.

Citizenship: Bulgarian, American.

Date of Birth: unknow. Born between March 21 and April 19.

Biological Relatives: mother Amanda Armstrong (was a SHIELD agent); father Jude Unknow Last Name (Hydra double-agent at SHIELD).

Adoptive Relatives: father Howard Stark (deceased); mother Maria Stark (deceased); brother Arno Stark.

Keep reading

5

Sawa-San’s ‘Terminator’ AE86

You may have seen some shots of this AE86 on its roof being posted around the net recently. Unfortunately, the car known as the ‘Terminator 86′ and its owner Sawa-San had a pretty bad accident at Gunsai Touge, ending with the car upside down and a substantial amount of damage. Luckily Sawa-San is OK, despite a few hefty looking scuffs on his helmet! 

This car was pretty well-known on the drift circuits in Japan. Sawa-San is a very active drifter and gets to a lot of events. The Terminator style headlights also made it a very distinctive car. 

Here are some shots I took of it back in Spring at the Ebisu Drift Matsuri. 

R.I.P Terminator 86.

The key to transforming mental models is to interrupt the automatic responses that are driven by the old model and respond differently based on the new model. Each time you are able to do this, you are actually loosening the old circuit and creating new neural connections in your brain, often referred to as self-directed neuroplasticity.
—  Elizabeth Thornton

Ideas for the Techno Witch v0.1

This text comes from the post/discussion I’m having with @spellscript & @sub-urbanwitchery & @madstardust. I’m just throwing some ideas, this post will evolve with time - I don’t know yet if I’ll edit it or make several versions, we’ll see!

The basic ideas is we want to blend actual code and magic, bringing the “techno witchcraft“ to a new level. I also like the idea to use hardware in magic according to their use in technology. Anyway, here are my first ideas, along with some things i found on the Internet!

Please keep in mind that I am a beginner witch, and thus may have made mistakes. If you are a beginner witch as well, please wait for the revised version before experimenting with these ideas. If you are a witch with some experience and you see something wrong, please let me know as soon as possible and try and explain me why it is wrong, so that I can modify it accordingly.
Although I have been studying coding for 4 years, nobody can know everything about coding and technology in general. Please let me know if something sounds wrong techno-wise as well.

Use Code Languages to Write Your Spells

- Simply put, write your spells in C, C++, JavaScript or whichever language you feel most comfortable with. [idea from @lunartechwitch, and you can check her C++ spells here]
- Write protection spells with if/then conditions [idea by @madstardust]

I would however advise witches not understanding these languages to not use already made spells they find on Internet. It is quite sad to not understand what you’re casting, but more importantly it can be risky, because you could be casting something dangerous without knowing it. A few weeks of basic coding tutorials should allow you to understand the spells you find, even if your level is not high enough to write them yourself :)

Automated Spells

The basic idea would be to write a spell with code and to run it in the background (be it on your computer, a server, a raspberry pi…), so that when it needs to (every hour, when the moon is in this or that phase, etc.) the little software would automatically cast the spell.
My personal problem with that would be… the lack of intent?
For instance, I saw this cute code prayer in C++ to the Moon by @lunartechwitch and I love it! But if we use it as described above, that is to say that the prayer is automatically casted everyday and that it changes depending on the current phase of the moon, then… where is the intent? There was intent while coding it, there was intent while casting/running it for the first time, but then we can just forget about it…
I guess this could be less problematic with a spell, because in my mind at least a spell needs a lot of intent in it’s original casting but it can then “run in the background“ like we can see with spell jars and such. So this could be an idea. I’m waiting to hear your thoughts about this!
[idea by @spellscript]

For the Coder Witch

- Write spells for your code to be easier to write, less buggy, and to improve your coding focus in the comment section of your code. For more discretion if you’re working with others you can write it in a barely used yet well connected with the whole project file (ex: Makefile, Read Me etc.). We need to find a way to make it totally undetectable for the secret witch coding in the same file as other people…
- Add some hidden code (either comment sections, or just use CSS to not display it) in your website, for various purposes ranging from protection to popularity [idea by @madstardust]
- Add some sigils in ASCII art hidden in the code of your website or software [idea by an anonymous poster]

Hardware Use

- Take a USB key, the inside of a broken USB key, a SD card, a broken piece from a CD/CD-Rom/floppy disk or any other memory-related object, write a sigil on it (or not) and carry it around for better memory.
- Take a piece of an old circuit board, the head of a cut Ethernet cable, the transmission piece of a WiFi modem, write a sigil on it (or not) and carry it around to improve your communication with others.
- Take a piece of a broken smartphone, computer or TV screen and carry it around (with a sigil on it or not) or include it in your spells for clarity, clearer vision, to not be blinded by emotions, etc.

2

Cryptid Profile: The Minnesota Iceman

Throughout the late 1960’s and 70’s, an attraction made its way to shopping malls, carnivals, and state fairs across the United States. The object on display was housed in a large refrigerated container and was frozen solid in a large block of ice. Those lucky enough to see the attraction describe the mystery object in ice as male, human-like, 6ft tall, hairy, with large hands and feet, very dark brown hair about 3 - 4 inches long,and a flattened nose. One of its arms appeared to be broken and one of its eyes appeared to have been knocked out of its socket, allegedly by a bullet that was said to have entered the creature’s head from behind.

The creature became known as The Minnesota Iceman.

The summer of 1967 was the year that Minnesota native Frank Hansen began touring the Iceman. The attraction locations were the normal stopping points for an item of this nature, so for the entire summer, onlookers from all over would make their way to local fairs and carnivals and pay 25 cents to feast their eyes upon the frozen monster. Hansen was describing the creature as a “man left over from the ice age.”

The attraction quickly spread through word of mouth until it reached the ears of two cryptozoologists by the names of Ivan Sanderson and Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans in 1968. Heuvelmans had been staying with Sanderson as a house guest when they began hearing about a large creature that was not fully man yet not fully animal either. Their interest grew even more when they heard it was also incased in a block of ice. Sanderson and Heuvelmans made their way to Hansen’s farm where they were able to view the creature themselves while it was currently being stored for the winter.

Upon arriving at Hansen’s farm, both men made their way into a cramped trailer that housed the refrigerated container that kept the iceman frozen solid. The best possible way for both men to view and examine the frozen man was to hang bright lights over the glass which kept the block of ice contained. At one point (as told by Hansen), one of the men placed one of the hot lights directly on top of the cold glass which caused the entire thing to shatter. Both Sanderson and Heuvelmans were front row when the pungent odor from the rotting flesh of a corpse filled the room. After examining the creature for three days, Heuvelmans declared the iceman as genuine and authentic.

Both Sanderson and Heuvelmans wrote papers on the creature after the examination. Heuvelmans wrote “Preliminary Note on a Specimen Preserved in Ice: Unknown Living Hominid” for The Institute of Natural Sciences in Belgium. Sanderson wrote an article entitled “Living Fossil” for Argosy Magazine.

Eventually, these papers, continued word of mouth, and the asking of Dr. John Napier to examine the creature by Sanderson led to the Smithsonian Institution getting involved. The Smithsonian eventually heard of a theory that the Iceman may be a normal human that was murdered and passed around under the guise of an attraction and asked the FBI to investigate. The agency found no wrong doing upon viewing the creature and Hansen was able to add a sign to his attraction that read “The Near-Man…. Investigated by the FBI” when the Iceman went back on tour.

Many viewers of the creature asked Hansen where the creature came from, he originally told them that the he met a man in early 1967 in Arizona who was in possession of the creature. The man told Hansen that the creature was discovered floating in the ocean by Chinese fishermen while frozen in a giant 6,000lb block of ice. Hansen promptly bought the creature off the man and began to display it. He also told onlookers that the creature was discovered in the vast wilderness of Siberia and was killed out of fear, frozen in ice, and shipped back to the United States. Later in life though, Hansen told the actual true story of how he came upon the creature.

Hansen told the story of how he had been hunting in the upper north woods of Wisconsin when he came upon what he thought was a group of bears in the distance. Frightened when one of the creatures turned in his direction and began to charge towards him, Hansen thought to only do one thing, he took aim and put the beast down with a shot to the head. The other two creatures retreated back into the woods. Upon approaching the fallen trophy, Hansen made the startling discovery that this was no bear, but a large hairy thing that resembled a mix between an ape and a man. Scared of the possibility that he could face jail time for killing this mystery creature, Hansen came up with a story about how it was discovered floating at sea, as well as a story about how it was found in Siberia. He loaded the carcass up and transported it back to Minnesota where it was promptly frozen.

Throughout the years, many people have come forward stating that the Iceman was a hoax. A father and son team from California claimed to have been hired to make a rubber Neanderthal body to be displayed in a cabinet under ice for a business man. A woman also came forward claiming to be the actual hunter who killed the Iceman when it attacked her near Bemidji, Minnesota. She said she killed the creature with a shot through the eye and sold his corpse for cash.

After growing old with the touring circuit, Hansen removed the creature from exhibition and even claimed to have buried it. Others state that Hansen sold it to a private collector for a hefty profit. But Hansen would never go on record stating what officially happened to the Iceman. Every once in a while, a rumor pops up stating the Iceman is currently being shown at local state fairs or museums again, but these have all been proven to be costumes or recreations built to the eyewitness descriptions of the classic creature.

Currently in Texas at the Museum of the Weird, a recreation exhibit of the original Minnesota Iceman (complete with refrigeration case and “authentic” recreation body within) has been put on permanent display for all to enjoy. (Photo of this recreated exhibit is shown below.)

-The Pine Barrens Institute

remember that au where shaun was strapped to sole's chest/back 24/7 cause he wasn't kidnapped? how would the companions react if they were holding onto Shaun for the moment  and then suddenly Shaun calls them mama/dada as his first word?

omg my heart this is so sweet and adorable, I’m going to do this as romanced companions, thought it would be even cuter c: 

Cait: “what did you just say”. He heart clenched in her chest tightly, did baby Shaun just call her mama? “mama mama” the baby shouted making grabby hands for her hair, she tried to pretend that he wan’t calling her, she didn’t deserve that kind of unconditional love. “sole! come quick he’s talking!!”. Sole rushed over, applauding their son, kissing his head as he giggled, Shaun turned to Cait pulling her hair again “MAMA”. He shouted frustrated, “looks like Shaun was talking to you, “mama, you know, if you’re comfortable with it, I don’ mind you being his parent too”. Cait’s mouth gaped open, she pulled shaun closely, kissing his tiny face, “yes, my little one I’m mama if you want me to be”. A stray tear fell from her face, she didn’t believe she deserved this. 

Curie: “you clever clever boy! you’re learning to speak all ready? oh I’m so proud of you little one”. She held the baby in the air, constantly praising him, “mama” “little one I am not your real mama, oh I wish I was though”. She smiled kissing his cheek, holding him close, nuzzling his nose. “Sole my love little Shaun has began to talk, and he called my mama”. She squealed excitedly, making Shaun giggle at her, “He loves you just as much as I do curie, he wants you to be his mommy”. Curie looked at them puzzled, “But I have no biological relation, do you mean I can adopt him yes?”. Sole nodded at her, she spun round shaun close to her chest. “Oh little Shaun I’m so lucky to adopt you, I love you so much my little angel”. 

Deacon: “Dada”. Shaun was staring up at deacon with big eyes, “what did you-just- YOU TALKED? do it again come on say something”. He was excited, encouraging Shaun, “dada” dada”. Deacons heart sunk in his chest, he’d called him dada, the one thing the wanted the most in this world, “oh little guy you don’t know how much I’d love to be your daddy but I’m not”. Tears were springing in the corners oh his eyes as he spoke quietly to Shaun. Sole saw her crumbling lover “Deacon you are his daddy, maybe no biologically but you love and care for him, he is your son if you except him to be”. Deacon’s eyes went wide, a smile plastering on his face, “you mean that? I can….I..I’m a daddy?” There was a hint of nervousness as he spoke, Sole nodded to them reassuringly. “dada?” “yea little guy you’re right, I’m your dada, the best dam dada I can be”. He carried Shaun close the rest of the day, smilng contently. 

Danse: Danse sat with baby Shaun on his lap, “d-o-g, can you say that? try it” “dada?” “no no, almost but its do-WAIT? you said dada, did you just call me dada?”. He was in shock, secretly hoping he heard right, “Dada”, “you did! you called me dada, I can’t believe it Shaun, your first word”. He was beyond proud, close to tears with honor the small boy thought he was his parent. Sole returned to find Danse lying on the grass, Shaun perched on his chest clapping and giggling. “Sole! he said his first word!, he called me dada, he thinks I’m his daddy”.  Sole knelt beside the pair smiling contently, “that’s because you are”. He closed his eyes, smile on his face “For the first time in months, I finally feel human again ,thanks to one simple word from my new son”. He held Shaun’s tiny hand, sole’s in his other. 

Hancock: “Dada? you talking to me tiny? don’t you think raisin would be more fitting”. He chuckled warmly as Shaun, kissing his head affectionately, “dada, dada dada” Shaun babbled on smiling up at Hancock lovingly. “Oh come on darling you really think this ugly git could be your daddy?”. The trust in Shaun’s eyes confirmed everything to him, he held him closer cradling him gently, tender smile on his face, sole returned to find her lover slowly dancing with her son. “He called me dada sole, he keep doing it”. He beamed to them, full of pride, Sole chuckled, kissing both of them, “he’s going to have the best dad in the Commonwealth aren’t you sweetheart”. 

Maccready: “dada, dada?” “no freaking way did you just speak! nice one little buddy, dada huh? not heard that word in a long time”. He smiled gently ruffling Shaun’s tuft of hair, “come on buddy try it again, you gotta practice for sole”. He carefully encouraged Shaun to try my words, but he was only interested in the one, making Maccready’s smile grow wider each time. “Alright, you can call me dada, as long as it’s okay with sole, you know I have a son to, I think you’d really like him”. He sat eagerly awaiting their return, playing peekaboo while he waited. “Hey! sole Shaun said his first word, I also have an important question”. Sole sat next beside him nodding for them to continue. “Shaun keeps calling me dada, I was thinking if you want him to have a(or another) father figure, I’d be more than happy to be a dada of two”. He and sole cuddled close with Shaun on Mac’s lap, happy to be a real family, excited to collect their older son too. 

Nick: “ahh shucks little guy you really think I’m your papa huh? you really warmed this old synths circuits you know that”. Nick cooed over Shaun putting his hat on he babies head making he giggle, Nick burst into his own fit of laughter when Shaun decided to chew on his hat. “dada?” “yea go ahead, I don’t mind sharing I love that hat too”. Sole returned to find Nick engaged in a full conversation with Shaun, they burst out laughing at the confused expression on the infants face. “Hey doll come her, little Shaun just had his first word, and he wants me to be his dad”. He smiled proudly to sole, “dada huh? sounds perfect to me”. Nick held his lover and new son close, feeling for the first time he was more than just a bucket of bolts. 

Preston: “Dada!” Shaun shouted breaking the silence, startling Preston in the process. “woah little guy you seem happy, want to play a game”. He chuckled lightly bouncing Shaun up and down, “dada”. “Preston stopped breath hitched in his throat, “you called me dada, Shaun I’m so proud of you! and your mom/papa will be to”. He giggled a little as he praised Shaun, bouncing him again, telling him how clever he is. when sole came into view Preston rushed over shaun tucked warmly against his chest, “Babe you won’t believe it little Shaun’s growing up, he thinks I’m his daddy as well, how cute is that!”. He rushed his words out excitedly, sole pulled him into a hug, Shaun snuggled between them happily, “If you’re okay with it, I think you’d make a great dad to Shaun”. Preston kissed them overwhelmed, “If you think I’m good enough, then I couldn’t think of anything better than to have my own son”. 

Piper:  “mama? Maaamaaa!” Shaun chanted loudly clapping his hands gleefully, Piper scooped him up instantly jumping up and down, kissing Shaun’s face, “sweetheart well done, piper is so proud of you, yes I am, so so proud”. She stopped for a second, realizing what the word was, “mama? I don’t know sweetheart am I really parent material?” “mama mama!!!”. “well if you think so then I’d be honored to be your mommy Shaun”. Piper instantly shouted Nat to tell her the news, Nat overjoyed at the thought of being an auntie, the trio, played happily on a pile of cushions, not even noticing sole’s return. “having fun guys?”. “Hey sole can I pleeaseee be Shaun’s auntie if Pipers going to be his mommy?”. Piper blushed, quickly explaining the situation and Shaun’s first word. Sole was overjoyed with it all, quickly calling Nat back so the pair could tell her the news. 

X6:88: “Young Shaun are you trying to speak? what is a dada?” He stared confused at the child in his arms, tilting his head at him. “dada dada dada!!!” “Well I’ll congratulate you on achieving your first word, I’m sorry to inform you I do not know what you want though”. He had a small smile on his lips as he watched Shaun shout and wiggle in his arms happily. When sole returned he informed them that the baby had began to talk but he did not know what he want’s. “X6 you muppet, dada is an easier way for babies to say daddy, he thinks your his parent”. Sole burst out laughing at her lover “so he wants me to be his Father? that is, very good, I’d be happy to fill the roll”. He smiled warmly holding Shaun closer, asking him lots of questions he didn’t understand, sole watching their boys bonding together. 

… entirely devoted to the subject of “The Female Body.” Knowing how well you have written on this topic … this capacious topic…
– letter from The Michigan Quarterly Review

1.

I agree, it’s a hot topic. But only one? Look around, there’s a wide range. Take my own, for instance.

I get up in the morning. My topic feels like hell. I sprinkle it with water, brush parts of it, rub it with towels, powder it, add lubricant. I dump in the fuel and away goes my topic, my topical topic, my controversial topic, my capacious topic, my limping topic, my my topic that is out of the question and anyway still can’t spell, in its oversized coat and worn winter boots, scuttling along the sidewalk as if it were flesh and blood, hunting for what’s out there, an avocado, an alderman, an adjective, hungry as ever.

2.

The basic Female Body comes with the following accessories: garter-belt, panty-girdle, crinoline, camisole, bustle, brassiere, stomacher, chemise, virgin zone, spike heels, nose-ring, veil, kid gloves, fishnet stockings, fichu, bandeau, Merry Widow, weepers, chokers, barrettes, bangles, beads, lorgnette, feather boa, basic black, compact, Lycra stretch one-piece with modesty panel, designer peignoir, flannel nightie, lace teddy, bed, head.

3.

The Female Body is made of transparent plastic and lights up when you plug it in. You press a button to illuminate the different systems. The Circulatory System is red, for the heart and arteries, purple for the veins; the Respiratory System is blue, the Lymphatic System is yellow, the Digestive System is green, with liver and kidneys in aqua. The nerves are done in orange and the brain is pink. The skeleton, as you might expect, is white.

The Reproductive System is optional, and can be removed. It comes with or without a miniature embryo. Parental judgement can thereby be exercised. We do not wish to frighten or offend.

4.

He said, I won’t have one of those things in the house. It gives a young girl a false notion of beauty, not to mention anatomy. If a real woman was built like that she’d fall on her face.

She said, If we don’t let her have one like all the other girls she’ll feel singled out. It’ll become an issue. She’ll long for one and she’ll long to turn into one. Repression breeds sublimation. You know that.

He said, It’s not just the pointy plastic tits, it’s the wardrobes. The wardrobes and that stupid male doll, what’s his name, the one with the underwear glued on.

She said, Better to get it over with when she’s young. He said, All right but don’t let me see it.

She came whizzing down the stairs, thrown like a dart. She was stark naked. Her hair had been chopped off, her head was turned back to front, she was missing some toes and she’d been tattooed all over her body with purple ink, in a scrollwork design. She hit the potted azalea, trembled there for a moment like a botched angel, and fell.

He said, I guess we’re safe.

5.

The Female Body has many uses. It’s been used as a doorknocker, a bottle-opener, as a clock with a ticking belly, as something to hold up lampshades, as a nutcracker, just squeeze the brass legs together and out comes your nut. It bears torches, lifts victorious wreaths, grows copper wings and raises aloft a ring of neon stars; whole buildings rest on its marble heads.

It sells cars, beer, shaving lotion, cigarettes, hard liquor; it sells diet plans and diamonds, and desire in tiny crystal bottles. Is this the face that launched a thousand products? You bet it is, but don’t get any funny big ideas, honey, that smile is a dime a dozen.

It does not merely sell, it is sold. Money flows into this country or that country, flies in, practically crawls in, suitful after suitful, lured by all those hairless pre-teen legs. Listen, you want to reduce the national debt, don’t you? Aren’t you patriotic? That’s the spirit. That’s my girl.

She’s a natural resource, a renewable one luckily, because those things wear out so quickly. They don’t make ’em like they used to. Shoddy goods.

6.

One and one equals another one. Pleasure in the female is not a requirement. Pair-bonding is stronger in geese. We’re not talking about love, we’re talking about biology. That’s how we all got here, daughter.

Snails do it differently. They’re hermaphrodites, and work in threes.

7.

Each female body contains a female brain. Handy. Makes things work. Stick pins in it and you get amazing results. Old popular songs. Short circuits. Bad dreams.

Anyway: each of these brains has two halves. They’re joined together by a thick cord; neural pathways flow from one to the other, sparkles of electric information washing to and fro. Like light on waves. Like a conversation. How does a woman know? She listens. She listens in.

The male brain, now, that’s a different matter. Only a thin connection. Space over here, time over there, music and arithmetic in their own sealed compartments. The right brain doesn’t know what the left brain is doing. Good for aiming though, for hitting the target when you pull the trigger. What’s the target? Who’s the target? Who cares? What matters is hitting it. That’s the male brain for you. Objective.

This is why men are so sad, why they feel so cut off, why they think of themselves as orphans cast adrift, footloose and stringless in the deep void. What void? she says. What are you talking about? The void of the Universe, he says, and she says Oh and looks out the window and tries to get a handle on it, but it’s no use, there’s too much going on, too many rustlings in the leaves, too many voices, so she says, Would you like a cheese sandwich, a piece of cake, a cup of tea? And he grinds his teeth because she doesn’t understand, and wanders off, not just alone but Alone, lost in the dark, lost in the skull, searching for the other half, the twin who could complete him.

Then it comes to him: he’s lost the Female Body! Look, it shines in the gloom, far ahead, a vision of wholeness, ripeness, like a giant melon, like an apple, like a metaphor for breast in a bad sex novel; it shines like a balloon, like a foggy noon, a watery moon, shimmering in its egg of light.

Catch it. Put it in a pumpkin, in a high tower, in a compound, in a chamber, in a house, in a room. Quick, stick a leash on it, a lock, a chain, some pain, settle it down, so it can never get away from you again.
—  Margaret Atwood, “The Female Body,” from Good Bones
Emotional Weight

HAPPY ENDING VERSION

Because Ezekiel Jones may not have any lies, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t keep secrets

Synopsis: Jacob Stone leaves his fellow Librarians in the cage for Hokolonote, and charges them with telling truths to keep the door open so as to trap the shapeshifter once more. Ezekiel doesn’t really confess to anything, but instead watches Cassandra as she gets one secret after another off of her chest.

Pairings: Casekiel because of course, what else did you expect from me?

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