"Accidentally capture the wrong base"? .....tell us more? Please?
this was before we got agent agent back as our handler, and part of the reason why he finally turned up for work again.
so the thing about clint is that hes 1. not a good listener and 2. hes deaf. mostly. these are separate issues because being mostly deaf doesnt stop him from understanding what people are saying most of the time, it just means that you have to be sure he knows youre trying to communicate with him before you say something. (and also that you should make sure your mask doesnt cover your mouth so he can lipread, but whatever.)
we had this agent—incredibly boring guy in the worst sort of way–who’d requested clint, nat, and i for an op. nat and i were supposed to hit two of the leaders of a crime syndicate while clint got the third. easy peasy, kill some guys, free some hostages, small country liberated, total cakewalk. but the agent running the op and the briefing took FOREVER. he was talking us through like none of us had ever overthrown a country before, explaining every minute detail. nat and i could just kinda zone out and let things wash over us, picking up the pertinent details, but clint cant really do that. his hearing aids help but they weren’t perfect, so he also had to be kinda lipreading just to keep up. which takes a lot of focus for incredibly boring info. naturally he zoned out too.
which was how he missed the fact that his guy was not actually staying in his incredibly fortified base-slash-villa. his hostages were, but he wasn’t.
luckily, they covered this in the briefing packet we were each provided with, which was a mere 362 pages.
so obviously none of us actually read it.
we poked through, got blueprints, guard schedules, alarm systems and so on, but didnt bother with most of the rest of it.
they dropped us in the air over each of our respective targets, clint last. i had the cliffside resort, nat had the downtown headquarters, and clint had the base-villa. nat and i handled ours like pros, of course, corpses everywhere, and clint did too–mowed right through the security, got the hostages, and then called in that his syndicate leader wasnt there, what the hell, who gave me this bad intel.
which was when he was informed that the big bad wasnt IN the villa, he was on the ISLAND ACROSS from the villa, and that hed been supposed to covertly infiltrate the beach house there and quietly capture him. ideally without ever setting foot in the villa; he was just supposed to steal a boat from the villa docks and not get spotted by security.
unfortunately, clint had blown up all the watercraft at the villa’s docks to keep syndicate members from escaping. which meant he still had to get to the island and capture this guy, but now there were no motorboats left. and if this syndicate jerkoff got away, fury was gonna have his hide.
and thats how clint wound up launching a one-man amphibious assault on an international crime syndicate from a paddleboat.
Y'all keep saying that Reaper is wearing a Phantom reference but get this:
“The story takes place at the castellated abbey of the "happy and dauntless and sagacious” Prince Prospero. Prospero and 1,000 other nobles have taken refuge in this walled abbey to escape the Red Death, a terrible plague with gruesome symptoms that has swept over the land. Victims are overcome by “sharp pains”, “sudden dizziness”, and hematidrosis, and die within half an hour. Prospero and his court are indifferent to the sufferings of the population at large; they intend to await the end of the plague in luxury and safety behind the walls of their secure refuge, having welded the doors shut.“
This is part of a summary of Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Masque of the Red Death,” which is what Erik in Phantom of the Opera is referencing.
In the story, the Prince hosts a masquerade ball for his friends to revel and enjoy in when suddenly, a mysterious, red-robed, masked figure joins them. They demand to know who he is. The figure flees through the rooms of the abbey, until he is cornered.
“The Prince pursues him with a drawn dagger and corners the guest in the seventh room. When the figure turns to face him, the Prince lets out a sharp cry and falls dead. The enraged and terrified revelers surge into the black room and forcibly remove the mask and robe, only to find to their horror that there is nothing underneath. Only then do they realize the figure is the Red Death itself, and all of the guests contract and succumb to the disease. The final line of the story sums up, "And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all”.“
At the end of the "Masquerade” comic, Reaper is the only one seating himself at the table, still wearing his mask. Even Doomfist has removed his.
With the newest Doomfist lore and Talon information, we’ve learned that some members of Talon are trying to orchestrate a war, while others are more invested in using the organization to make profits from crime. The leaders sit in secluded rooms and wall themselves off from the genuine pain and suffering taking place in the world.
Both the original “Red Death” and the version worn by Erik in the Phantom of the Opera are about “embodiments of death” infiltrating a “rich, indulgent, masquerade ball” in order to break them of their hubris.
There is only one character still wearing a mask at the end of the “Masquerade” comic.
On Monday, August 21, 2017, our nation will be treated to a total eclipse of the Sun. The eclipse will be visible – weather permitting – across all of North America. The entire continent will experience at least a partial eclipse lasting two to three hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a 60 to 70 mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse. During those brief moments when the moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face for 2+ minutes, day will turn into night, making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona, the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. This is truly one of nature’s most awesome sights. The eclipse provides a unique opportunity to study the Sun, Earth, Moon and their interaction because of the eclipse’s long path over land coast to coast.
Scientists will be able to take ground-based and airborne observations over a period of about 90 minutes to complement the wealth of data provided by NASA assets.
So when i was like… Six? Seven? My family and my Dad’s parents took a trip back to Iowa to see the family there and record a video of all the places Grandpa grew up. Which resulted, at one point, in all of us hiking out to a cement slab int he middle of a cornfield and Grandpa saying “This is where the schoolhouse USED to be.”
The whole thing is pretty hazy becuase I was having heatstroke/carsickness most of the time but I remember the following:
Grandma in the backseat with me and my sister, working on the HUGE catherdal window quilt she hand-stitched to pass the time. It ended up being about 9ft by 12 ft when she was done, and we still have it at my parent’s house.
an ungodly amount of corn
which I realize everyone says about iowa, but the corn is one of the few thingsi recall with VIVID detail- the musty but very ALIVE smell of it photosynthesizing, the rouch texture of the leave and how my bare arms and legs got scratched up from hell to breakfast when i went wandering it. The violently geometric rows that would snap back to noneuclidian madness- I could never get to where I intended if i tried to cut across fields- Always on the wrong side or too far past where I wanted to come out. or on the wrong property, on one occasion.
You’re never alone in those fields, not really. There’s a distinct Otherness about being three feet tall in the midst of six-foot corn, the closeness, with gaps where you can see forever and ever, the constant rustling like you’re being pursued. I’m willing to chalk a lot up to paranoia but I know the Wolfdog has better senses than me and that when she growled at something, she meant business.
The one thing we did find in a field was a swan.
Just chilling, sitting in one of the troughs. It was there with a bunch of Canada geese, hiding in the shade from the midday heat. It let me get within arms length before putting it’s head up, looking me dead in the eye from a sitting position. It began a low, continuous buzz, like bagpipes right before they scream. Mazel warned it with a low “Whurf” noise, and it stared her down for a minute, before it decided I had some kind of prior permission and decided I could stay.
I also found a small ceramic otter, half buried in the dirt.
That field used to be a lake, apparently.
I’d also never been anywhere with lightning bugs prior to that august, and didn’t believe them until one of the Iowa cousins caught one for me and showed me that it was, in fact a bug and not the lawn about to explode from swap gas.
Maybe I was just sweaty and prone to spilling punch on myself but they rather liked me, landing all over my skin and hair. I felt lighter than air when they came, like I could float away with them into the night.
To the point where I went chasing them rather far into the woods until I ran into an old barb-wire fence, mostly rotted and easy to pass, covered in blackberries. I was about to cross when half a dozen turkeys came running full-tilt at and then past me, hardly chattering at all. I decided to take their lack of words and went hack to the cabin.
So you have some context for the WEIRD part of the trip.
We’re driving around the county of I can’t remember I was six and Grandpa is driving, and he turns down what I’d assumed was another dirt road when Mom starts asking about “Uh, do you actually KNOW the people who live here?” “Oh pshaw. it’ll be fine.” and I realized we were in some backwater Iowan’s DRIVEWAY, pulling up to a house, right about the time when the Bull charged the car.
“EDWIN THERE’S A BULL.” Shrieked my grandma, grabbing both me and my sister and heroically yanking us out our seatbelts and to the other side of the car, behind the quilt, in hopes it would protect us from potential impalement. Gandpa, Bless Him, stopped the fucking car and leaned out the window to look.
“Aren’t you handsome!” He laughed and the half-ton of angry pot roast stopped up short, blinking stupidly, before cautiously trotting up the rest of the way and attempting to stick his head in the car for skritches. He was stopped by the fact that his horns didn’t fit in the damn window.
Grandpa proceeds to drive the rest of the way up to the house, bull following us, before casually… getting out of the car, walking right up to the front door and ringing the bell. A Pair of the most American Gothic-looking people answer, looking bewildered at the elderly, plaid-covered man in front of them, offering them a ham of hand.
“My name’s Edwin, and I grew up on this farm- Did you ever meet the Fitzgerald’s? I was hoping I could show my family around where I was a boy.”
“Oh my god.” Said my mother, burying her face in the seat. “He’s going to be shot.”
“OH WELL COME ON IN!” The Gothic Americans say, apparently thrilled. “WE’VE GOT PIE AND LEMONADE AND AIR CONDITIONING.”
“…Or not.” mom shrugs, relived. For the moment.
So the family piles out of the car and into this house, which while rustic and probably charming, is also crammed to the brink with more fucking memento mori than a dutch painting museum that got invaded by a Dia De Los muertos parade.
I’m talking taxidermy animals, portraits where everyone is skeletons, mannequins covered in flowing cloaks, pinned insects and pressed flowers, tiny skeleton dolls sitting in corners, a literal wall of scythes, a hall of livestock skulls and on the mantelpiece, in a glass bell jar, an actual human skull. I, six years old and a weirdo, am immediately in love with this place.
“That’s Great-Uncle Richard.” The lady says, fondly. “He’s the one that your grandpa’s family sold the farm to!”
“COOL.” I say as Grandma takes out her rosary.
“COME ON IN FOR SOME PIE.” hollers the gentleman from the kitchen. We go in and there is not one but like, SIX fucking pies on the table and milk and lemonade and whiskey and an angelfood cake and it’s all very Norman Rockwell except for the part where the kitchen is Not Immune and there’s a centerpiece pf chipmunks taxidermied to be drinking tea in the center. I am DELIGHTED, my grandmother is praying harder. My mom had decided she’s going to enjoy this encounter and sits down for a lemonade and a slice of apple pie while my Dad gently tell my two-year old sister to not lick the skeletons.
Everyone has a grand time sitting around the table with these people, Lucille and Barry, talking about the history of the farm and long-passed relatives and crop yields and whatnot. Except for my grandmother, who is Too Catholic For This, and when my ADHD ass gets bored and asks to go look at the animals, says she’ll go with me, despite being decidedly non agrarian.
We go outside to find Mazel sitting in the water trough, becuase being part husky in Iowa in August is HARD, and sometimes one needs to get soaked up to the neck to cope. The Bull is displeased by Strange Dogs sitting in his trough, but she leveled him with a look and low noise that was more rumble than growl to remind him she was Canis Lupis Decidedly-Less-Familiaris and she ate his cousins ground up for breakfast and he decided he had important Bull Business on the other side of the barn.
We get into the barn where there were about 20 dairy cattle having a nap in the shade that afternoon before milking, and I point up and shout ‘LOOK GRANDMA JUST LIKE CHURCH’. Growing up agnostic had left me fuzzier on certain religious matters, and I naturally assumed that the gaunt, rather tortured looking figure hanging from the rafters was a crucified Jesus.
It was not.
It was, I would later learn, a sculpture of Great-Aunt Margret, wife of Richard-on-the-mantle, who had a wild sense of humor and had left instructions that she wanted to be strung up to watch over her beloved cows and also to terrify any would-be rustlers. Her family had the good sense to not leave an actual corpse hanging from the rafters, but whoever made that scultpure did a Damn Fine job capturing the pants-shitting terror Margret had been after. Grandma attempted to haul me out of there but I was much more interested in the cows, and merrily fed them scattered bit of hay through the bars of the queuing area before the milking stall under Margret’s watchful eyeless sockets.
I also found a nest of pitch-black kittens, a white and very arthritic hound that managed to get up and follow me around the barn anyway, and a fat, green-black chicken that came up to my navel and wanted chin scratches. There were various other odd decorations scattered around the property- the large, wrought-iron sculpture in the middle of the duck pond was particularly choice. It was constructed of several arches and a few curled spikes, so that when it was viewed with a reflection on a still day, it formed an eye. It was a splendid afternoon.
When I got back to the car, grandma had added another seventeen cathedral windows to the quilt out of spite and was ready to wring my grandfather’s neck. We hauled mazel out of the trough, patted the bull goodbye and left with some lovely family history and a furious grandmother.
Lucille and Barry passed away a while ago, but we always exchanged christmas cards, and I’m still Facebook friends with their daughter, Juliet. She;s thinking about turning the farm into an eco-amusement park.
So to actually answer your question, Jolly Ranchers.
On Aug. 21, the Moon will cast its shadow down on Earth, giving all of North America the chance to see a solar eclipse. Within the narrow, 60- to 70-mile-wide band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina called the path of totality, the Moon will completely block out the Sun’s face; elsewhere in North America, the Moon will cover only a part of the star, leaving a crescent-shaped Sun visible in the sky.
A total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about once every 18 months. But because Earth’s surface is mostly ocean, most eclipses are visible over land for only a short time, if at all. The Aug. 21 total solar eclipse is different – its path stretches over land for nearly 90 minutes, giving scientists an unprecedented opportunity to make scientific measurements from the ground.
Within the path of totality, the Moon will completely obscure the Sun’s face for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, depending on location. This will give people within the path of totality a glimpse of the innermost reaches of the Sun’s corona, the outer region of the atmosphere that is thought to house the processes that kick-start much of the space weather that can influence Earth, as well as heating the whole corona to extraordinarily high temperatures.
In fact, scientists got their first hint at these unusually high temperatures during the total solar eclipse of 1869, when instruments detected unexpected light emission. It was later discovered that this emission happens when iron is stripped of its electrons at extremely high temperatures.
This region of the Sun’s atmosphere can’t be measured at any other time, as human-made instruments that create artificial eclipses must block out much of the Sun’s atmosphere – as well as its bright face – in order to produce clear images.
We’re funding six science investigations to study the Sun’s processes on Aug. 21. Teams will spread out across the path of totality, focusing their instruments on the Sun’s atmosphere. One team will use a pair of retro-fitted WB-57F jets to chase the Moon’s shadow across the eastern US, extending the time of totality to more than 7 minutes combined, up from the 2 minutes and 40 seconds possible on the ground.
Our scientists are also using the Aug. 21 eclipse as a natural science experiment to study how Earth’s atmosphere reacts to the sudden loss of solar radiation within the Moon’s shadow.
One region of interest is Earth’s ionosphere. Stretching from roughly 50 to 400 miles above Earth’s surface, the tenuous ionosphere is an electrified layer of the atmosphere that reacts to changes from both Earth below and space above and can interfere with communication and navigation signals.
The ionosphere is created by ionizing radiation from the Sun. When totality hits on Aug. 21, we’ll know exactly how much solar radiation is blocked, the area of land it’s blocked over and for how long. Combined with measurements of the ionosphere during the eclipse, we’ll have information on both the solar input and corresponding ionosphere response, enabling us to study the mechanisms underlying ionospheric changes better than ever before.
The eclipse is also a chance for us to study Earth’s energy system, which is in a constant dance to maintain a balance between incoming radiation from the Sun and outgoing radiation from Earth to space, called the energy budget. Like a giant cloud, the Moon during the 2017 total solar eclipse will cast a large shadow across a swath of the United States.
Our scientists already know the dimensions and light-blocking properties of the Moon, and will use ground and space instruments to learn how this large shadow affects the amount of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface, especially around the edges of the shadow. This will help develop new calculations that improve our estimates of the amount of solar energy reaching the ground, and our understanding of one of the key players in regulating Earth’s energy system — clouds.
A Total Solar Eclipse Revealed Solar Storms 100 Years Before Satellites
Just days from now, on Aug. 21, 2017, the Moon will pass between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow down on Earth and giving all of North America the chance to see a solar eclipse. Remember that it is never safe to look at the partially eclipsed or uneclipsed Sun, so make sure you use a solar filter or indirect viewing method if you plan to watch the eclipse.
Eclipses set the stage for historic science. Past eclipses enabled scientists to study the Sun’s structure, find the first proof of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and discover the element helium — 30 years before it was found on Earth..
We’re taking advantage of the Aug. 21 eclipse by funding 11 ground-based scientific studies. As our scientists prepare their experiments for next week, we’re looking back to an historic 1860 total solar eclipse, which many think gave humanity our first glimpse of solar storms — called coronal mass ejections — 100 years before scientists first understood what they were.
Coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, are massive eruptions made up of hot gas, plasma and magnetic fields. Bursting from the Sun’s surface, these giant clouds of solar material speed into space up to a million miles per hour and carry enough energy to power the world for 10,000 years if we could harness it. Sometimes, when they’re directed towards Earth, CMEs can affect Earth’s space environment, creating space weather: including triggering auroras, affecting satellites, and – in extreme cases – even straining power grids.
Scientists observed these eruptions in the 1970s during the beginning of the modern satellite era, when satellites in space were able to capture thousands of images of solar activity that had never been seen before.
But in hindsight, scientists realized their satellite images might not be the first record of these solar storms. Hand-drawn records of an 1860 total solar eclipse bore surprising resemblance to these groundbreaking satellite images.
On July 18, 1860, the Moon’s shadow swept across North America, Spain and North Africa. Because it passed over so much populated land, this eclipse was particularly well-observed, resulting in a wealth of scientific observations.
Drawings from across the path of the 1860 eclipse show large, white finger-like projections in the Sun’s atmosphere—called the corona—as well as a distinctive, bubble-shaped structure. But the observations weren’t uniform – only about two-thirds of the 1860 eclipse sketches showed this bubble, setting off heated debate about what this feature could have been.
Sketches from the total solar eclipse of July 1860.
One hundred years later, with the onset of space-based satellite imagery, scientists got another piece of the puzzle. Those illustrations from the 1860 eclipse looked very similar to satellite imagery showing CMEs – meaning 1860 may have been humanity’s first glimpse at these solar storms, even though we didn’t understand what we were seeing.
While satellites provide most of the data for CME research, total solar eclipses seen from the ground still play an important role in understanding our star. During an eclipse, observers on the ground are treated to unique views of the innermost corona, the region of the solar atmosphere that triggers CMEs.
This region of the Sun’s atmosphere can’t be measured at any other time, since human-made instruments that create artificial eclipses must block out much of the Sun’s atmosphere—as well as its bright face—in order to produce clear images. Yet scientists think this important region is responsible for accelerating CMEs, as well as heating the entire corona to extraordinarily high temperatures.
When the path of an eclipse falls on land, scientists take advantage of these rare chances to collect unique data. With each new total solar eclipse, there’s the possibility of new information and research—and maybe, the chance to reveal something as astronomical as the first solar storm.