Temeraire Series:In His Majesty’s Service - [Part 1]
“But if we have more liberty than we ought,“ Laurence said, after a moment, struggling through, "it is because they have not enough: the dragons. They have no stake in victory but our happiness; their daily bread and nation would give them just to have peace and quiet. We are given licence so long as we do what we ought not; so long as we use their affections to keep them obedient and quiet, to ends which serve them not at all– or which harm.”
“How else do you make them care?” Granby said. “If we left off, the French would only run right over us, and take our eggs themselves.”
“They care in China,” Laurence said, “and in Africa, and they care all the more, that their rational sense is not imposed on, and their hearts put into opposition with their minds. If they cannot be woken to a natural affection for their country, such as we feel, it is our fault, and not theirs.”
One fascinating thing about Finn’s story, to me, is that in some ways we’re watching it in reverse. Usually in fiction, we meet our protags in a lower-stakes setting, and we watch them grow through small, daily choices. Ultimately, all of those moments add up, and lead them to The Big Choice, the moment where they choose dark or light.
Harry Potter comes to mind. When we meet him he’s an 11 year old boy, not a warrior. We watch him play Quidditch, make friends, stand up to bullies, take risks that most people wouldn’t. And we watch his character build. He makes years of daily choices until, eventually, he makes The Choice to sacrifice himself for his friends.
Finn, though, is the opposite. He was raised without even the most basic of daily choices. From the time he was small, he had no say in his own life. Then, in the span of a few hours, his entire life changes. He goes from believing the First Order’s lies (about them bringing order to the galaxy yada yada), to realizing that the First Order is really, truly evil. In the span of a few hours he reevaluates everything he’s ever been taught and says - No. This is wrong.
So when we meet Finn, he’s just been confronted with both a) the first real choice in his life and b) The Big Choice. So the very first thing we see him do is decisively choose light over dark, in a way that many other characters take years to do. That life-defining decision happens in a moment, and he’s so sure of his choice, that he’s willing to risk everything to see it through.
So where does this leave us for The Last Jedi? I don’t have any specific predictions as to what he’ll be doing, but I’m looking forward to seeing Finn make personal, daily choices for the first time in his life. He’s already chosen good over evil, and because of his compassionate heart, we know that he’ll keep choosing that always.
However, good isn’t *isn’t* always cut and dry. He’ll wake up in the middle of a war, in a faction he didn’t join as much as stumble into, and he’ll have to make his way from there. One daily choice at a time.
Overall, I think that his compassion and creative thinking are going to draw people to him as a leader. In BTA and TFA, he showed quick thinking in high-stakes situations, and I think the Resistance leadership is going to recognize that and make him a mission leader.
I also see his missions being highly successful, precisely because of his talent for creative problem-solving. In BTA, there’s a simulation scene where Slip has fallen behind, and the easiest thing to do would be to leave him. But Finn comes up with a new strategy on the fly, commands his unit, and completes the mission with everyone intact.
That kind of thinking says a lot about his character, and his ability as a leader. Finn has the intelligence, experience, and heart needed to help lead the Resistance to victory.
Adrien had absolutely no idea how Ladybug had ended up sitting on the building opposite his window, legs dangling as she looked at the sky, but he was certainly not going to complain. “Hey, Ladybug.” She jumped as her eyes flew down to meet his. “What to come hang out?”
me at 8am: near must have realized that his acknowledgement would both infuriate and validate mello and maybe struggled with the idea that the only way they could coexist was in this eternal struggle, an endless competition to overtake their idol that he participated in not entirely for the prestige of being L but because it was all or nothinf, compete with mello or cut him from your life and that was the unbearable option, to be without someone who understood you so thoroughly
11am: near may have the plans but mello can read people, situations, enough to realize that nears stoicism is not indifference to his emotions or to his relationship but him participating as best he can, curious to see how far mello can go, a quiet sort of encouragement to the traits that near admires, the traits that he himself lacks. mello is always too emotional, too wild, always prey to the inevitable slip uphe makes from acting on instinct rather than rationallity, but the lead up before reveals the answers that near covets (he got the notebook first, after all, through methods and process that were cruel and extravagant but they worked, they worked, they succeeded where near could not.)
3pm: its clear that near held mello in high regards especially after his death, with his explanation of how mello had been integral in light’s defeat- perhaps glad that for this case of utmost importance, the absolute pinnacle of mind games against the ultimate enemy, he could collaborate with the one mind who could push him to act further, to consider options that could only arise in the presence of resistance (it was a joint victory, even if mello didnt see it that way- he hadn’t even known he needed help and mello was there, showing him what he had missed.)
9pm: it isnt regret or resignation, near has fully come to terms with the fact that mello’s death was an inevitable conclusion considering the circumstances of their enemy and their relationship, that when he said mello would rather die than concede it was no exaggeration, and regardless of what was left unsaid between them its on him, now, to carry on not only L, but mello’s legacy as well, the latter entrusted to him the moment mello thought to cooperate.
4am: they loved each other, in as much as they only ever took each other into consideration with their actions; mello acted knowing near would be on his trail, near acted knowing should he slip up (which he did) mello would be there to point him towards the solution, using that intrinsic sense he lacked. two figures shrouded in mystery with only themselves to confide in, a game they had been born to play, both of them unable to simply walk away from the board. mello, because he had gambled his pride and self-worth on the title, near because surrender would be an affront to the only person besides L he could care enough to respect. too real.
In the mid-1800’s, West Africa’s Kru tribe was known among slave traders and colonialists for their resistance to capture and enslavement. They were also invaluable to merchants who visited the region because of their knowledge of the rough coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Kru settled in the region now known as Liberia and the Ivory Coast and in some portions of Sierra Leone, most notably Freetown. Evidence of Kru tribesmen on the west coast of Nigeria and in Cameroon has also been reported. In the 1700’s, the Kru were vital cogs in the trade between Europe and other nations as they skillfully navigated small ships in the choppy coastal waters.
The Kru were infamous for fighting for their freedom, reducing their value to slave traders who found them too difficult to tame for slavery. If captured, the Kru would simply kill themselves, rather than become property. In battle, they were fierce even if their weapons were inferior to those of the invaders and often vanquished foes on sheer grit alone.
In 1856, the Kru clashed with The Republic of Maryland, Liberia’s former name. The Grebo people, a subgroup within the Kru ethnic group, assisted in the resistance and their victory over the Maryland settlers became the stuff of legend.
Today, the Kru largely exist in the same areas as they did then, employing tribal hierarchy systems independent of one another. One of the most well-known Kru descendants is Ivorian soccer star Didier Drogba, the all-time top scorer for the Ivory Coast national team and a feared striker for his former team, Chelsea. Drogba helped his nation’s team qualify for its debut appearance in the 2006 World Cup event.
Sam is pretty good to resist to the temptation. Still, his boyfriend is the original tempter, so sometime, it’s hard not to fall for it.
Like when Lucifer gets playful, leaning on the door frame with that smirk on his face, and decides he wants to be more “devilish”. Suddenly, Sam can see a tail snaking from behind him and a pair of big horns growing on his forehead. A roll of his shoulders and huge bat like wings appear on his back. Sam focuses real hard to not stare, but when Lucifer walks toward him, he swears he can hear the sound of hooves on the floor. Lucifer puts a hand on his shoulders and seductively walks around him, flashing red eyes and displaying fangs. He stops in front of him, far to close, Sam can feel his icy breath on his skin, a flick on his forked tongue and Sam is lost.
It’s so cliché, yet Sam gets horny despite himself. Lucifer knows he can’t resist him. He has that victorious grin on his face already, the one that says he knows Sam is a goner.
But what can he do? His boyfriend is the Devil after all.
homebeccer has had a stressful coule of days and asked for Pregnant Sam and family fluff to cheer her up
Sam’s phone rang for the fourth time in an hour. She didn’t even need to set a special ringtone to know it was her mother. No song deserved that permanent association.
“That your Mom, again?” Tucker asked.
“She’s probably calling about the shower,” Sam said. “It’s a good thing she doesn’t like texting, or my phone would be going off non-stop.”
“I’d totally go there for moral support, but every time I see your mom she always does that same dirty look she gave me that one time I got sent into the Principal’s office wearing your clothes.”
“Heh. Oh yeah. I think I still have that picture in one of my old albums. Anyways, Danny’s not even allowed to go, either. Mom’s making it a ‘ladies only’ event and she’s invited half my extended family and all of her friends from the country club, so I’m going to be drowning in baby-blue everything and really inappropriate, sexist baby clothes. And I’ll be the only one there not drinking.”
What really attracted me to Last Hope Island was the story of King Haakon VII of Norway who is really one of the unsung heroes of World War II but whose role is largely unknown outside of his country. It’s difficult to find good books about King Haakon that aren’t written in Norwegian, so I was really pleased to find that he is one of the main characters that Lynne Olson writes about in Last Hope Island, alongside fascinating figures such as Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Charles de Gaulle, Jan Masaryk of Czechoslovakia, the Earl of Suffolk, Belgian King Leopold III, and many other men and women – largely from the occupied countries overrun in the Blitzkrieg – whose roles in the resistance and ultimate Allied victory have long been overlooked. There aren’t enough great books that explore the integral contributions to the Allied war effort by Europeans from the occupied countries, but Last Hope Island tells those stories and shares some really surprising information such as the fact that 20% of the Royal Air Force pilots flying during the Battle of Britain weren’t British or that the Norwegian shipping fleet, which was the fourth-largest in the world at the time and the most technologically-advanced, was largely responsible for replenishing the British shipping losses incurred during the devastating unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Othardian: Intel is that a Juggernaut class ship had crashed somewhere in the shroud, an officer and his honor guards with strategic information of Garlean forces or perhaps movements. They’ve been hiding out there and finally got communication working and they’ve called for extraction. It is a race to get there first.
Garlean: Reports have come back that there are survivors from the assault on Baelsar’s Wall that have taken refuge from the wrath of the Touched Sylphs. Available resources are being put toward a retrieval effort for these loyal Garlean soldiers who have become lost. However, in the midst of the retrieval, there comes a distress call..
So it began:
Othardian Resistance Scouts entered the Shroud looking for the ship they were tasked with. What was meant to be a simple recon and potential training opportunity quick turned as they were met with Garlean forces.
The flood of Othardians were met with the might of Garlean Reapers. Heavy losses were taken on both sides. Though the battle continued…
The tide shifted as Othardian forces locked the Garleans in combat allowing a single Shinobi to make his way to the ship. The victory was at hand, but the Garleans would not give in so easily. From the shadows, their own General had been guarding the objective and came with vengeance..
“Going somewhere?” A Doman dropped down from the top of the ship.
Baien Yatsurugi smirks behind his mask, his crimson eyes flashing red. "Through you, if I must.“ he says, twirling his blades into a standard grip.
Following the Doman was an Imperial Hound. A rabid, overly muscular creature. Clenching something in his hands, Zheng released a command, urging the Hound to sic.
Zheng Diremite drew his daggers, attempting to defend the axe strikes, but a slash appeared on his side and he limped back, letting out a hiss.
Keiho Jizutsu rose to lift himself once he had thrown the spear only to stumble back, a knife sprouting from a space just beneath his left shoulder. The rings of his eyes burned brighter in the rain as he brought a hand up ripping it from his shoulder and tossing it to the ground. Stepping back slowly he spoke with iron in his voice "Yield…and I let your warriors live. Fight on….we bury them with dignity.” Turning he made his way back toward the field.
Goro Majima: “Command your soldiers to stand down and no more blood will be shed, direct orders from the General to me.”
Rafailleur Sangmarche: “Tell your soldiers to do the same, and I will issue the order.”
Goro Majima: “He does not have faith in your word, lower your weapons and ours will as well. I’m an old man, one these people respect.. we will stand down.. but make the initiative. You’ve got to take the first step..”
Rafailleur Sangmarche took a deep breath.
Goro Majima: “Please..”
Amethyst Dracht mutters. “Always with the old men.”
Rafailleur Sangmarche: “Amethyst. Should they break their terms, blast them to pieces.”
Amethyst Dracht: “Of course.”
Goro Majima: “I’ll take my own life if anyone here attacks a defenseless soldier.”
Belladonna Slater takes a backstep from somewhere unseen, falling to a knee before she rolled on her side till she hopped to a stand. “I hate politics.” She hissed.
Goro Majima: “Your friend won’t have to.” He eases his grip on Zheng’s throat and lowers him to the ground, carefully.
The Elezen takes a deep breath and holds up a hand, shouting from the top of his lungs. “Garleans! Stand down! Our commander is being held hostage and both sides have taken enough losses! This is a direct order! Should the enemy refuse to disarm, you may resume.”
With the ceasefire called, wounded were taken to Hawthorne and tended to by healers that stood ready. The Othardian Resistance had won its first victory against The Empire, and with it salvaged a key to unlocking the freedom of Othard.