shipping docks

Story 215: Cultural Exchange

The human steps onto the station from her shuttle, and walks into the scanner.  It flashes - no weapons.  I pity her, though there’s nothing I can do for her.  By tomorrow she will be a slave the same as me; the Gaunvans collect ambassadors like trophies.
“Hello there!  Amanda Thorn, ambassador for the Empire of Humanity.  You’re a Ixian, correct?”
Mimicking human body language, I nod my head.  "That’s correct.  Ix Malasan.  It is an honor to meet you.“
She smiles, reminding me again that she has somehow modified herself to breathe atmosphere suited to the Gaunvans rather than wear a respirator like myself.  Other than that she appears to be a standard human, something I am led to believe is less and less common as they pursue the bizarre compulsion humans have to alter their bodies.  Changing hair color, adding pigments to their skins in patterns and pictures, growing long tails or ears that mimic other species from their planet.  No other known species tampers with their bodies like this.
“Not to be undiplomatic, she says, "but the Gaunvans enslaved your people.  Why are you here?”
“We… reached a mutually beneficial agreement.  We would have lost in combat and been eliminated, so we chose to preserve what we could of our culture.  The Gaunvans are not naturally skilled at diplomacy, so they bring me along to assist and to show that peace can be made.”
She nods.  "Understood.  I can respect that choice.  How much freedom do you have, personally?“
Smart of her, to start planning for her future. "A fair amount.  I have free reign on the ship when we are in transit.  At the homeworld I have reasonably comfortable quarters.”
“Have you ever met the Empress, or…?”
“Oh, no.  No, while on the homeworld I am confined to my chambers - but they’re quite spacious.”
“Shame.  Okay, plan ‘A’ then.  Let’s get this over with.”

Despite my attempt at encouraging diplomacy, the Gaunvan commander starts with threats.  I don’t know why I bother.  He looms over the human, chitinous plates almost black in the dim light.  His pod of six is posted around the room, for show more than for actual security since she followed orders and came alone and unarmed.  "Failure to surrender will bring the full wrath of our army upon you.  Humanity will be crushed, and wiped from the universe.“
To her credit, she looks very calm.  "We live in a post-scarcity society.  Bloody conquest just seems silly, doesn’t it?”
“It is for the glory of Gaun!”
“Well, I’m not prepared to get into a religious debate with you,” she says, “since I doubt there’s anything I can do to change your mind.  Since you’re committed to this course of action, what are you willing to offer if we surrender?”
Now he goes back on script.  Maybe I am getting through to him a little?  He talks about the benefits of being enslaved, mainly the protections for up to twelve designated culturally historical sites.  They’ve been mostly good on their word on my homeworld, though they did use the area just outside of the Hahhn Memorial as a waste dump.

She nods as she listens.  There was a part of me that was worried she would argue, because the humans are somewhat childlike.  They don’t understand the horrors of war.  Certainly they fought in the past, but the last time they had to battle was more than two of their generations ago, so these ones have all grown up coddled and soft.  They play games with each other instead, silly competitions.  They make art, and play pretend, and alter their bodies for fun.  They don’t have weapons anymore, and wouldn’t know how to use them if they did.
“Well then,” ambassador Thorn says, “this is about what I expected.  On behalf of humanity, I would like to formally reject this offer.”
Oh no.  Foolish humans.  The galaxy will miss your innocence.  The commander makes an excited clicking noise, looking forward to combat.  He reaches a blade-tipped hand towards ambassador Thorn, but hesitates as every device in the room bleats out an alert - we’ve all lost communications with the outside.

Like one of the dances humans do, she gracefully pivots around while taking his hand.  She ends up close to him and places her other arm against his thorax, then… oh gods. Gods, what… she’s ripped his arm off.  It’s not possible.  The commander is clearly thinking the same thing, staring in mute shock at his dripping limb.
“I’d like to extend a counter-offer,” she says, and flips the arm around before jamming the bladed end into his neck.  The warriors around the room are fidgeting, uncertain.  They haven’t been told to attack, and don’t want to dishonor their commander by intervening in a fight with such a small creature.  She’s still holding the commander’s severed arm in his neck, but she rotates and heaves, lifting him off the ground with it for a moment… and then his head pops off, landing squarely on the conference table.  She allows the corpse to slide to the ground, and straightens her clothes as if they aren’t covered in ichor.

I don’t understand.

The warriors, now with no orders at all, finally act.  She smiles as they come for her, I suppose because she has done her duty to send this powerful message of resistance.  She can die in peace.  Or… no… She’s killing them.  She’s smiling because this is fun for her.  Though they’re partly killing themselves; if there had been two of them, prepared, strategic, they might have prevailed.  Watching six panicked fighters get in each other’s way while trying to stop a smaller, faster, and somehow impossibly stronger foe is almost hypnotic.  At least one is killed by the stab of a friendly lance due to pure confusion.  It’s over faster than I would have thought possible, severed limbs strewn across the room.  I’ve got some fluids splashed across my clothing.  Only one yet lives, and he is retreating.  She seems to be allowing it.

She follows behind, holding a lance.  The wounded and scared warrior scurries down the hallway towards his ship, looking back behind him as he goes.  She’s just… walking.  Calm.  And for some reason I’m following.  The last Gaunvan reaches the airlock and the second he enters his code she throws the lance - throws it! - and spears him.
“Come on, we’re stealing their ship.”  She says it like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“There are thousands more on board!  Thousands!  Almost all warrior caste!”
She smiles again, and keeps walking.  I see errors on the screens that we pass, messages indicating communications have been lost.  They can’t tell anyone what is happening here.  Even the communicators within the ship are on nodes rather than being wired, so the warriors at one end of the vessel won’t be able to coordinate with the other end.  Do they even know they’ve been boarded?
“How?”

We enter the bridge after she kills a handful of other guards with ease.  They’re too shocked by her presence to act in time.  Once the door are sealed and she is working on the control systems she starts talking to me again.
“Well, you know, we do like to be prepared.”
“But you… you ripped his arm off.”
“Yeah, that was super satisfying.”  She looks at me appraisingly.  "Oh, come on.  Is it really that surprising?  You knew we were into changing ourselves, right?  Being strong enough to pop an overgrown bug’s forelimb off isn’t rocket science.“
"Your people are so peaceful…”
“Oh, sure, most of them.  But we did that, too.  Tweaked ourselves over the years to decrease aggression and some of our tribalistic tendencies, increase empathy… all stuff that can be undone if needed.  Though for a good cause even the nicest of us can squish a bug or two.”
“You bond with Ry'ling devourers!”
“Those are the big fuzzy guys that look like cats, yeah?  Those guys are adorable!  But… look, liking some things that could kill us doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and get enslaved.  We didn’t put up with it well when we enslaved each other, and we certainly aren’t going to go for it now that we’re… finally… on the same page about slavery being unacceptable.  It was, uh, a longer time than we like to admit before the last hold-outs were convinced of that one.”

I can feel the ship un-dock.  We’re moving.  "What about all the warriors on board?  They’ll break through the doors eventually!“
"Not according to this control panel here.  Take a look.”
It says there’s no atmosphere in the rest of the ship.  Life signs are negative on all but two of the warriors, presumably the only ones that got to their suits in time.  She disabled all the safety measures, somehow.  She just killed… I check the life signs readout again to confirm the number… three thousand, six hundred, and fourteen soldiers.  Wait, how is it tracking that unless… “Are communications back up?”
“Yeah, I’m calling some friends.  The military is right around the corner, so to speak.”
“But Earth doesn’t have a standing military.”
She laughs.  Not just a little bit.  She’s actually doubled over for a moment, unable to catch her breath.  "Sweet Jeebus, you guys actually fell for that?  No standing military.  Have you read about us at all?“

Three ships appear seemingly out of nowhere, and one docks with the Gaunvan vessel.  Once the atmosphere is restored we head to the airlock to meet them, and I’m surprised by an entire platoon of Gaunvan warriors.  Speaking English.
"Okay boys, send your last goodbyes!  This is in all likelihood a one way mission.  Commander Thorn!  It is an honor to see you again, and might I say you look exquisite drenched in the blood of your enemies!”
She bows to him, blushing, and then salutes the Gaunvans.  Or… humans?  Can they change themselves this drastically?
“You’ve got two holed up in here somewhere.  Bridge is clear, have the techs bring the new brain on board.”
“New brain?”
She looks at me like she’s forgotten that I’m here, and then turns back to the others.  "Men, this is our new friend Ix Malasan who has just been liberated from his captivity.  He’s going to be helping with our intel.  Malasan, yeah, a new brain for the ship.  Once this vessel is cleaned up and back in service with a new crew we’ll be able to take it over whenever we want even if all of our boys get killed.  We cooked up a really sadistic AI for it.“
"But how do you know the protocols?  This was your first contact with the Gaunvans, they’ve never lost a ship anywhere near here!”
“No?  There wasn’t a mining colony disaster two years ago?”
“But that was just an accident… and you weren’t even involved in the war yet… and…”

The faux-Gaunvans have finished boarding.  The one that was talking to them before puts a bladed claw on ambassador - commander - Thorn’s shoulder.  "You coming with?“
"Naw.  Orders said I could only come if they allow ambassadors near extremely high value targets.  Malasan here says they don’t, so I need to wait for my next mission back on Earth.”
“It would have been nice having you with us, Thorn.  Well, maybe we’ll see each other again.  Suicide mission or not, I think I’ve decided to live through it.”
“Bold choice,” she says, and kisses him next to his lower mandibles.
He nods at me, then turns back to his men. “Okay everyone, we are now officially on the job.  And what is that job?”
In unison, they start chanting.

“FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!”

For a moment I nearly feel pity for the Gaunvans.  Nearly.  Commander Thorn leads me off of the ship, and I start thinking about what useful information I can provide the ‘harmless’ humans.  Fuck shit up, indeed.

Someone: So are your ships ever gonna sail?

Me, looking out on my fleet of ships still docked: No. They just do this thing where they float in the water of salty haters’ tears. Honestly, I’m thankful they can even do that. But I mean…..sometimes if I’m lucky they catch a breeze with fluff interaction in episodes.

4

A sailor!lance and mer!keith au but listen,,,,,, lance loves sharks

The setting is the mid-1800s, probably New England. I’m still working out the details :> 

Basically Lance loves to sail and works on a trading vessel called the Lionheart. Keith is a loner, swimming up close to ships and docks to observe people milling about. One time he gets a little too close, a little too observant of one particular human and is accidentally seen….

(do not repost)

between the devil & the deep blue sea (m)

cr. 

Words: 28,455. (rip)

Genre: Pirate Jimin au + smut, fluff, angst.

Pairing: Jimin x Reader.

Summary: “No matter the endeavour you were on, no matter the storms you encountered on rocky seas, or the possible threat of encountering blood-thirsty pirates, no one intrigued you or intimidated you more than the thought of him, of Park Jimin, the most notorious of pirates, the most brutal of men, the devil incarnate.”

Keep reading

You just have to Look

The gods haven’t left us, but some say they are forgotten

Zeus roars his battle cry as lightning strikes skyscrapers and thunder rolls over corn fields and grassy plains.

Hera sings a lullaby to the crying newborn babies every night and hold the hand of those born early, those fighting to survive.

Artemis screams her protest in the voices of every woman, young and old, as they raise their fists for equality.

Demeter whistles through the streets of cities, rustling the leaves of scarce trees, reminding the concrete jungle of the jungles around them.

Poseidon bellows through the foghorns of steam ships, cruise liners and cargo ships as they dock into the harbour.

Hephaestus hammers his forge’s red fires with the punch of a time-clock and in the muscles strains of the working man.

Apollo blasts his voice through every headphone, earbud and speaker turned way too loud.

Ares’ battle cry echoes through a stadium as the crowd cheers after a national anthem is played.

Aphrodite whispers in the giggles and “I love you"s said between lovers intimating.

Hermes laughs in the roar of every engine and the gurgle of gasoline through the pump.

Dionysus cheers in the spirit of every young person celebrating themselves and making their lives enjoyable.

Athena hums in the silence of a late night library visit, in the turn of a page and the scratch of a pen.

Hestia smiles in every host saying “come in”, in every oven’s beeping, and the sigh of relaxation in ones home.

Hades beams in every dark humoured joke, in every Halloween night, and in every morning after.

They say the gods are gone, forgotten and a world away.
But they are here, if you look for them.

You know what I love?

Stabby the Space Roomba. Sure, as a concept and character, Stabby is amazing, but that’s not the part I love the most. At some point, someone made a post about humans bonding with nonhumans, and it kept being escalated, until someone mentioned the possibility of humans deciding a roomba with a knife taped on it is now their commanding officer. And from that day, any time people made a ‘humans are weird’ post, someone incuded stabby. Because we don’t need an actual roomba to care about.

We, as humans, can fall in love with the mere concept of a cleaning robot that stabs people. We have fallen in love with it, and spread the concept, to such a degree that I guarantee you that when interstellar flight is achieved, most ships will have their own stabby, and that when to ships dock together there will be ritual fights. Aliens, if they exist, will ask why in our society these crude AI’s hold such cultural significance. Perhaps it has to do with our friend the cat, which is likewise a carnivore we deified to the point of ludicrousnous in the past?

And we’ll go “No, someone three millenia ago came up with it as a joke and we collectively agreed it was the best joke ever.”

@babsxxxx: Okay soo a harry hook x reader idea for you: the reader grew up in the isle but is helping mal with saving Ben. She knew Harry from when she was growing up but hasn’t seen him in ages but he is mad at her for leaving him behind…. so yeah put your own spin on it and make is as angsty and fluffy as you can!


OK, so I may have gone a smidge overboard with this one, but I really like it. So, enjoy!

Word Count: 4336


There was a knock at your door.

You looked up, frowning for a moment, before taking this as an excuse to put off doing the homework for Fairy Godmother’s class. Getting up from your desk, you wandered over to your door to open it.

“…Mal?”

Sure enough, there she was.

“Y/N, we need to talk,” Mal said, pushing through into your dorm room.

You were still a little thrown from her sudden appearance. “I thought you’d gone back to the Isle? And your hair…you went back to purple?”

Mal waved a hand to cut you off. “We don’t have time for questions right now. I need your help.”

That definitely caught your attention. “What? Why? What’s wrong?”

“Ben’s been kidnapped,” Mal stated, her voice low. You’d never heard her sound so emotional, so sincere.

You blinked. “That’s horrible…but why do you need me? Shouldn’t we go to Fairy Godmother or Ben’s parents or–”

“Uma and her crew took him,” Mal revealed.

Oh. Everything clicked into place.

“Harry…”

Keep reading

4

Behold, the newest edition to the dark youtubers family! I know people normally do InFelix, but i figured, why don’t I try something different and do “Family Friendly Felix”

Hes got that sorta forced bubbly personality. And as you can see, he’s ALWAYS smiling :D whether he wants to or not. He tends to cry a lot, but hes just fine. No one can be sad with a SMILE on their face. and of course, he only deals with subjects that are 100% family friendly. I mean, violence isnt really monitored on youtube so that might slip through the cracks, but he’ll definitely never say fuc-

Okay, another of these humans-in-space things:

Just imagine: What if all aliens were completely colourblind (maybe this has another evolutionary advantage, i.e. better night vision, or they simply didn’t need it on their planet)? So far, humans are the first species anyone has ever encountered that has such a thing as colour vision, which confuses the hell out of the aliens.

And the humans? Suffer!

Because everything. Is. Absolutely. Hideous!

I mean, because they can’t see them, everyone wears the ugliest colour combinations ever! Everything they’ve ever built might have nice and fancy shapes, but it still looks horrid.

Just imagine that poor human crewmember walking to their post on the brisge for the first time, only to find that the walls and ceiling are fucking neon yellow! And all the chairs are either olive green or purple, no one else can tell the difference. And maybe there are some turquoise highlights.

(The captain standing in the middle in his hot pink and crimson striped uniform doesn’t improve matters at all.)

The human groans and looks like they just want to turn around and run away (not that the rest of the ship looks any better). The aliens are confused.

“What’s wrong, human? Are you sick?”

“No, but I will be soon, if I keep looking at this. The colours…!”

“The what?!”

A few weeks later, the ship is safely docked in a space station and everyone is enjoying their shore leave. Well, everyone except the human, because they’re busy repainting the entire bridge because those colours definitely count as a hazardous work environment.

So the captain and first officer come back early to find their human still doing that, now covered in paint which has the exact shade of light grey the bridge previously had. For the aliens there is no visible difference.

“Sorry Captain, I promise I’m almost done!”

The captain just sighs and shakes xir head. Sometimes it’s better to let humans just do whatever it is they’re doing. Trying to understand them would be pointless.

(From that day on, the human is a lot more relaxed during their shift.)

For this motivational monday, I picked a quote from Tyler….I wanted to save him for his usual “Smile Always” quote, But this is the one I really really needed right now. Youre allowed to feel the way you feel and you don’t have to hold them back or pretend like they aren’t there. your feelings are valid.

Happy motivational monday! We have a MatPat quote for today! Im gonna add Stephanie to the bunch next week ;) 

If you guys want to submit to me some good tweets or send me a quote from a video, I love getting genuine real quotes for these. They care about you. I care about you. so please, forgive yourself every now and then and be confident in yourself. you are good.

Motivational Stephanie Version here

Azriel, still limping, merely nudged Cassian and extended another option.
“This is Truth-Teller,” he told her softly. “I won’t be using it today - so I want you to.”
[…]
Elian’s eyes widened at the obsidian-hilted blade in Azriel’s scarred hand. The runes on the black scabbard.
“It has never failed me once,” the shadowsinger said, the midday sun devoured by the black blade. “Some people say it is magic and will always strike true.” He gently took her hand and pressed the hilt of the legendary blade into it. “It will serve you well.”
“I-I don’t know how to use it–”
[…]
Cassian gawked at Azriel, and I wondered how often Azriel had lent out that blade -
Never, Rhys said […]. I have never once seen Azriel let another person touch that knife.

Elain looked up at Azriel, their eyes meeting, his hand still lingering on the hilt of the blade.

—  WHEN ELRIEL SHIP SETS SAIL and ELUCIEN SHIP REMAINS AT THE DOCK.