The professor who teaches metalworking and shop classes gets called the Old Professor, but he isn’t old. At least, he doesn’t look it. He gets called the Old Professor, but he calls himself Sequoia.
Sequoia is eight feet tall, with metal in his eyes and kindness in his hands and silence in his mouth. You’re a psych major without a drop of poetry in your soul but when you first heard his voice, something in your lizard-brain said “this is what a forest’s voice would sound like.”
There are indeed forests, inked into his dark brown arms - woods going up into misty mountains, ancient trees in forests primordial growing amongst ferns the size of houses, twiggy saplings rearing their heads above the fertile ash of pyroclasric flow.
There’s probably iron in the ink, an art major tells you. “Lots,” says another, subdued. “Red caps chased me to the shop building. He caught the leader by the arm and…I saw it burn.”
You don’t believe that, but it makes you shiver anyway. Even if his touch did burn Them, wouldn’t it be from the iron in his skin thanks to his line of work?
Among his red-black locs are iron rings made from old nails, silver rings so pure one of Them grumbled to you that they sing, and beads of green sea-glass and jade and one glittery chartreuse pony bead that Jimothy gave him in exchange for a whole sack of red ones. He’s free with the rings (usually to students) and the glass (usually to Them) but he treasures that damn ugly little plastic bead and you’ve seen him press it lightly to his mouth when he’s thinking.
Sequoia must have been a false name when he chose it. You don’t think anyone on campus would claim it is now. Really, you find that the most telling thing of all - though what it tells, you’re never sure.
But there is kindness in his hands, and welcome in his silence, and when you’ve all but fallen through his doorway with the tang of blood in the back of your throat from running and the sound of hooves behind you (not running; it would have been less frightening if whatever was back there had bothered to RUN) there is tea in his hands too, and you feel the hollow in your chest begin to heal as you pour out your story and your terror to a watchful face full of quiet interest and altogether free of judgement.
Movie night. Kallo sneaks Scott on board the Tempest with 80 water guns and about a thousand water balloons while everyone else is distracted by the vid.
Scott proceeds to ambush Sara and the ship goes insane.
Sara grabbed two pistol-waterguns. She spends most of the fight flipping and jumping around the Cargo Bay, with Liam screaming after her, “Not everyone is a fucking ninja!” Scott, to no one’s surprise, primarily aims for her.
Drack found himself a shotgun. Two, actually, but he’s keeping one in reserve. He doesn’t take cover, no he’s charging everyone with a big-ass grin on his face and so many water balloons his opponent needs a moment to recover.
Peebee could be consistently found on top of the raised Nomad, with two rifles and no fear of the world. She slipped and fell once; the crew never lets her live it down.
Jaal is initially confused by this. At first he didn’t realize it was a game at all, until Suvi pulled him aside to explain. He takes up a sniper position, to which Sara aims at mercilessly. “I know your tricks, Darav! You can’t hide from me!” His laughter quickly becomes infectious.
Cora ends up getting many of the last laughs by using her biotics. She had fun warping people into the air, dropping them when she starts laughing too hard. Everyone is a little reluctant to aim for her.
Vetra tried to stay away from the water at first, but Drack shoved a gun into her hands and quite literally carried her out into the middle of the cargo hold. She very quickly realized the greatest reward was in the use of water balloons.
Kallo took up shop by a bucket of balloons, around a corner where the crew honestly could not find him. They discover that day that Kallo Jath has amazing aim and an even better throwing arm.
Lexi remains off limits. She throws a few water balloons anyway; they know when they catch her giggling.
Liam was also more inclined to the Water Balloons, and he and Drack really got into it, with so many balloons flying across the hold the rest had to take a moment to hide from them.
Gil managed to find himself a pretty sweet mini-gun and had himself a good time ambushing the crew. He’s surprisingly stealthy, when he’s not throwing out sarcastic comments about people’s aim.
Suvi filmed the entire event. She was also considered off limits, but the crew noticed a significant amount of balloons hitting people in the back from her general direction. Video proof is later acquired; her laughter was constantly present.
By the end, water is running dry. Sara takes cover, coincidentally right next to Drack, to reload her guns. The two glance at each other, nod, and Suvi swears it was better than an Action Vid. They walk out to the center of the hold, a gun in each hand as if followed by epic music, the two against the world in their final stand.
Sara proceeds to hide behind Drack when everyone’s attention turns to them. And upon noticing, Drack drops to the ground so hard the floor shakes, and the crew drench Sara in an onslaught of water and balloons. She falls dramatically, screaming out with a raised fist “I will not be defeated!”
The ship is soaked. The crew is soaked. But they all sit in the cargo hold and laugh, excitedly chatting away about their epic showdown and debating the winner (to which Sara claimed was hers; “Guys, I had a dramatic death and everything!”), gaining memories that they talk about for the rest of their lives.
do you think jaal and liam sleep in the bunk bed in the crew quarters and liam is like “hey are you asleep. i’ve got a question about angara” (and the other way around) and they talk and other ppl are like OMG SHUT UP AND SLEEP??????????
Thank you for talking about your concerns re: Sony/Columbia and Rob Stringer. I thought I was the only one who felt sick to my stomach at the thought of the man who has been friends with Simon for years, and was head of the US label that helped to closet H & L, being the one to sign H. I don't know why people are excited, because the power dynamics are really messed up now, and there's no guarantee that the stunts are going to stop for L anytime soon. Trying to have hope, but it's hard. :(
It’s very hard, and you’re perfectly welcome, anon.
I thought I had posted about Rob Stringer in the fall, but all I can find is some articles I uploaded, so I’ll revisit now. Stringer has spent his career at Sony, he’s been running labels there since the early 90s, and his brother was a main exec and CEO of Sony Corp (not music) for quite some time. Stringer has headed Columbia since 2008, and he’s done extensive business with Simon Cowell in that capacity. Indeed, Simon was the first quote in the Billboard article announcing Stringer’s appointment as head of Sony this October. Their working relationship has been extensive, as far as I can tell. He has credited his work with Simon on XFactor acts as his gateway to success for getting Glee to work, which was hugely responsible for his success turning Columbia around. [Adele as well, and he’s partly responsible for a lot of a resurgent trend of U.K. artists’ US success.] He has called Simon the “best A&R guy he knows” in multiple interviews.
One Direction signed to Columbia in 2012 as they were breaking the American market; the closet clamped down during this time.
Sony purchased controlling shares in Syco in July of 2015 – paying £85 million total for it, and absorbing the £70 million debt it had accrued. While making £45 million from it personallyis somewhat pathetic for Simon, that’s a far better fate than being jettisoned from Sony and declaring the company bankrupt within five years. The buyout was, it would appear, the best possible outcome for Simon given the failures of his television series, losing One Direction, and being unable to produce a suitably earning substitute.
Rob Stringer was announced the new head of Sony mid-October 2016.
I say all this to suggest that thinking of a ‘fresh start’ for Rob Stringer or Harry is not logically sound. Rob Stringer has been involved in their business since 2012 – but even say for argument’s sake that perhaps he didn’t determine their marketing. But Rob Stringer has been calling the shots at Sony since this fall (and potentially had input before that official announcement). And we know Sony now holds the Syco strings and has since July 2015, a date we are all very aware of – so Rob Stringer stepping into the office in the last six months has certainly had power to ameliorate the situation, and he has not done so.
Harry has been constructed as the big fish, the Justin Timberlake, almost since the beginning. It seems Sony’s going to be damned if they don’t get what they’ve always angled for, by hook or by crook. Given what we have seen, they’ve been successful at backing Harry into a corner, as well as Louis, with profound effects for Liam and Niall as well.
Columbia and Sony are sure to promote Harry’s music thoroughly, because it could make them a great deal of money. But that is the equation. It is very much in their best interests not to help Niall, Louis, and Liam or One Direction, as that would distract dollars and time from Harry’s solo work, which will make them a fortune. It is quite evident by now that Sony has had the power to step in but have not, because such an extreme power imbalance in negotiating is much more expedient for their bottom line. They’ve been monstrous and it’s gotten them Harry’s contract, which is what they wanted.
Hope is not any easy thing in such a situation. I think patience will continue to be the watchword.