square: the drift

(x, x)

I saw this post across my dash and it got me thinking…

Why does it seems so odd that Raleigh would think of using Chuck’s speed and strength against him in a fight?

The Rangers are reportedly trained in MMA (mixed martial arts), including Krav Maga.  And just look at this guy go!

He’s using his own weight and body to throw his adversaries off balance and bring them to the ground in a position where he can then control their movements.

The move that Raleigh pulled with Chuck is a martial art technique used by any gender.

So imagine you have an enraged, heavily trained fighter (who is slightly heavier and likely more powerful than you) coming right at you while being high on adrenaline.  Why would it seem so outlandish that Raleigh could very well think of using his own weight to make Chuck lose balance, get him to the ground, and hold him in an arm-lock until he calms down?

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Drift Science and Compatibility

In (somewhat belated) honor of K-Day, I submit unto the fandom a canon-supported theory of drift compatibility and testing, based on PPDC officer UIDs.

ex. 1 (graphic)

ex. 2 (additional canon examples)

Raleigh Becket   R-RBEC_122.21-B
Mako Mori   R-MMAK_204.19-V

Stacker Pentecost   M-SPEN_970.89-Q
Hercules Hansen   R-HHAN_832.84-G
Chuck Hansen   R-CHAN_512.66-D

Newton Geiszler   S-NGEI_100.11-Y
Hermann Gottlieb   S-HGOT_471.120-V


Harlowe-Sheehan-Parker Compatibility Index: Ranging from 100 to 999, the HSP index indicates range of compatibility with other drift-capable individuals. The lower the number, the smaller the range of potential drift partners for the individual in question. A person with a lower HSP score is less flexible in dealing with dramatically different brainstyles, and requires a drift partner with either significant shared life experience, a high mutual degree of trust, or a close CORO pattern. Someone with a higher HSP score is significantly more adaptable to drift partners of disparate backgrounds, experience, and CORO profiles. Observe above how Stacker Pentecost and Herc Hansen have extraordinarily broad indices and thus may drift with nearly anyone.

CORO pattern: CORO patterns are shorthand for cognitive architecture, how a person thinks, processes input, makes decisions, etc. The range for CORO patterns is 1 to 99. If two people have the same CORO, they can establish a stable drift connection. Whether or not they can sustain a drift is a different matter, but generally being within twenty points of each other is enough to have a solid drift whether they get along or not. Mako and Raleigh are two points apart: they are Jaeger soulmates. Note that Stacker and Herc are five points apart: they are also Jaeger soulmates. Observe that Hermann’s CORO number is 120. The zero stands for a medical exemption, recommending against drifting due to his illness. Otherwise, he and Newt are a point apart.

Juno Keeler Trauma and Stress Tolerance Rating: Ranging from A to Z, from most stable to most easily destabilized, the Keeler rating (also abbreviated KTSTR, pronounced ‘kitster’) measures emotional volatility and resilience, and is also used as a general indicator for how likely someone will go to pieces inside the drift. Less precise than the HSP index and CORO pattern, the Keeler rating is based on in-person psychological evaluation and consideration of any previously lived trauma and/or extant mental illness. Note that a high Keeler rating does not contraindicate drifting, merely offers a warning for potential difficulties. Newt’s high rating is likely due to a mood disorder; Mako’s may be attributed to Tokyo. Observe also how close Raleigh and Chuck are to the beginning of the alphabet. Raleigh arguably had a fairly stable upbringing and, especially given his rating was handed out pre-Knifehead, a mature and level emotional response. Chuck might also have had a stable childhood before Scissure, and his low Keeler rating indicates he is not overly damaged by the experience, he isn’t emotionally-compromised, he’s just an ass.

IF YOU FEEL INCLINED TO USE THIS IN WORKS OF FICTION: I offer this drift science to the fandom for free, no catch, under a creative commons license. Adapt as your fanfictional needs require so long as no profit is involved. I thought the idea was too good not to share. If you do use it, please credit and/or link back to me, and feel free to message me also because I want to see what you do with it.

This is canon-compliant until canon proves otherwise. Go forth, beloveds, AND CREATE!

The Headspace

It’s the tiny details, I swear.

This is a snapshot from Mako and Raleigh’s first drift. It’s probably a memory. That’s probably Yancy, Raleigh and Jazmine. But. What if it isn’t?

Remember, “each crew unconsciously negotiates its own consensus expression.” This is the last image we see from that first drift. What if it isn’t a memory?

Yancy got ripped out of Raleigh’s head mid-drift five years ago, but there’s more than enough of him still in there to derail the test drift. “You weren’t just tapping into my memories, you were tapping into my brother’s too,” Raleigh tells Mako afterwards.

We don’t know enough about the drift or the immediate aftermath of Knifehead to argue one way or another, but I’m not convinced that Raleigh carried only Yancy’s memories into the drift with him.

This could be three children at play, or it could be something else. A boy and a girl work out their drift metaphor, thoughts colliding like a game of marbles, and when they look up, that boy’s dead brother is there with them.

It’s probably only a memory. Probably.

The Drift: Empathy in Trauma

Can we talk for a minute about Pacific Rim’s concept of The Drift as a metaphor for empathy toward a loved one’s trauma? 

The Drift enables you to be inside someone else’s mind, experiencing their thoughts, feelings and memories. Raleigh didn’t just watch his brother die, he felt it, as though he was dying himself. And later, in the trial run with Mako, he didn’t just sense that she was having a flashback. He was present in the flashback with her, experiencing it with her. 

Trauma is often very isolating. We have an experience or set of experiences that have so changed us, even defined us, and yet, in many cases, we find it difficult or even impossible to either speak of the experience, or to get a listener to understand what we are saying. Even if the listener is sympathetic, they often cannot really understand. 

The Drift changes all that. When Raleigh was with young Mako in her Tokyo flashback, he saw her pain and her fear firsthand. In chasing the R.A.B.I.T., Mako was triggered into a full-blown panic attack. It didn’t matter that the kaiju she saw wasn’t real. It felt real. When comforting someone who’s having a panic attack, it’s easy to get frustrated at their apparent irrationality. But Raleigh didn’t get frustrated. He stayed with her. He kept talking to her, kept the line of communication open, and was there for her when she came out of it.

As Raleigh explains to Mako, it takes a lot of trust to let someone else into your mind. The Drift weds extreme vulnerability to extreme empathy. But once your co-pilot is in your mind, you no longer have to try to explain your trauma, because they get it. It’s a relief to know that someone else understands. It’s a relief to know you’re not alone.


There are things you can’t fight - acts of God. You see a hurricane coming, you get out of the way. But when you’re in a Jaeger, you can finally fight the hurricane. You can win.

Beyond connecting with the mind of another pilot, one of the most interesting aspects of piloting a Jaege, for me, was the way in which the pilots become embodied in the Jaeger as distinct consciousnesses connected in an interdependent bridge. As depicted in the film and the source material (see the quote from the novel above), the neural bridge acts to connect the two pilots together so that they function as a single individual within the Jaeger. So, to me, when Raleigh says “when you’re in a Jaeger,” I believes he literally means “in,” as in inhabiting the Jaeger as if it was his own body. So, this is the thing that I want to explore: the two Jaeger pilots as embodied in the Jaeger itself.

So, what is embodiment? In philosophy, embodiment is the idea that the way in which we inhabit our bodies has an effect on the development of our consciousness. The differences in our bodies (the “body” in “embodiment”) make a massive difference in the way in which we experience and interact with the world, hence, even Identical twins do not form identical personalities because their modes of embodiment are different. To this end, the concept of embodiment, or “cognitive embodiment,” treats the mind and the body as interdependent upon one another: if an individual had a different body, their experience and consciousness would be accordingly different.

So, before taking the brief sketch of embodiment and applying it to the Jaeger itself, we need to talk about the neural drift. The quote above gives a first person look at what it is to be in the drift with someone else: there are two individual connected as an organic whole, distinct yet connected. When Raleigh makes a motion, Mako completes it; where he ends, she begins. To this end, Raleigh and Mako think of themselves as both subject and object: Raleigh can see the end of his connection and the beginning of hers, and Mako can see the end of her connection and the beginning of his, yet neither moves without the other. That is to say, any action taken while in the neural bridge by one pilot, is an action taken by the other pilot as well, as if there was no distinction between the two.

Now, taking the bridged individuals as the “mind,” we can look at the Jaeger itself as the body. The supplemental material discussing piloting a Jaeger describes the experience as the bridged pilots moving the Jaeger as it it were their own body. We can see a bit of this happening in the gifs above: when Raleigh and Mako take a fighting stance, Gipsy Danger mirrors the motion, as if it were their own body. Sharing the neural load, the two pilots inhabit Gipsy, not like a pilot flying an aircraft, or even a motorcyclist riding his bike, but as a mind within a body, with all of the pitfalls that apply.

Here is where the discussion gets interesting: embodied consciousness typically assumes that the consciousness grows with the body. Again, in the brief sketch offered above, our minds would not be the same minds were we embodied in a different body. For Jaegers, the connection is close, but not as individualized: the movie makes a point that the Jaegers must be calibrated for their pilots before the synchronization can take place. That is, the Jaegers must become the bodies for their pilots, they must be made individual for each of their pilots through a process of calibration so that the mind can inhabit the body as if it were born with it. On this point, I don’t see a problem for thinking about the pilots as becoming embodied within the Jaeger, but it does introduce the notion that the embodiment will be different for different pilots.

The clearest visual evidence for this is with Gipsy Danger, as presented in the gifs above. When Gipsy is calibrated for Raleigh and Yancy, the body language is almost totally different: Gipsy moves with an arrogant, aggressive swagger, she fights more like a prize fighter, and there is more “power” in her strikes. We can view this as the blending of Yancy and Raleigh’s minds (including their fighting styles) being embodied within Gipsy: one of the more interesting things is the way that Gipsy’s swagger is mirrored in the Beckett boys when the audience is introduced to them.

On the other hand, when Mako and Raleigh are embodied in Gipsy, there exists an edge of aggression in her movements, however, this appears to be tempered by Mako’s precision. Her strikes have little in the way of wasted motion, and each has a determined goal beyond smashing into the particular Kaiju.Gipsy’s walk, while it possesses a little bit of Raleigh’s swagger, it is more of a purposive, determined stride than it is a challenge issued through body language.

Further, the distinction in their embodiment (the way they inhabit their body) comes out in the stances they adopt: In the above gif, Mako/Raleigh embodied in Gipsy adopts a combat stance that is more in line with what we see out of MMA fighters: gone are the double handed overhead strikes, replaced with a more conservative defensive stance that allows for grappling and close-in fighting. On the other hand, Yancy/Raleigh seemed to prefer a more aggressive stance favored by boxers, keeping Gipsy’s hands closer to the body and utilizing more “power” shots.

We may chalk the distinction in the stances to a different composition of the bridged “mind” that inhabits the Jaeger: the Beckett brothers were more rash, more aggressive in their combat styles, as evidenced by their actions in Alaska. Against this, Raleigh and Mako exhibit an aggression tempered by Mako’s precision: they waste little time with their combat, employing quick, precise strikes designed to take down the Kaiju as quickly as possible.

To this end, no Jaeger will be the same when it embodies different pilots: as the bridged pilots literally become the Jaeger they operate, and the bridge joins the individuals, a change in any of the individuals would result in a change in the Jaeger itself. Further, it seems to be the case that one pair of pilots is attached to a single Jaeger at a time, and that Jaeger is calibrated for those pilots. To this end, the Jaeger itself will be different depending upon who is embodied within the Jaeger. Thus, I think “piloting” is a bad way to talk about what happens to individuals connected to a Jaeger: “becoming” or “embodying” the Jaeger is a more apt description.

Also, credit goes to whomever captured the gifs and the text from the novelization.

Drift theory

Drifting can be likened unto other two way communication, like social media. There is a receiving and a sending, both parties can send and receive simultaneously.
But as the pilots share the load of the jaeger they are exchanging different parts of that information. Therefore the feeling or experience of the drift is felt differently by each pair, or even within a pair.
Some pilots explain it feeling like water, others say it’s like wind, or sand. Whatever the sensation is, the drift always feels the same to that one person.
There are no documented cases of change in drift sensory descriptions on record.

If You’ll Have Me

Fandom: The Martian

Pairing: Chris Beck x Reader

Warning: N/A

Writer: @imaginesofeveryfandom aka @thequeenofthehobbits

Summary/Request: So you all probably saw the previously posted gif imagine for Chris Beck sent in by the anon, well I felt like writing it as well:  can you do: “imagine: Chris Beck coming home from space and the first thing he does is ask you to marry him?” Thanks!

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elegansproelior  asked:

Mipha holds out the stuffed Rito doll. " I know you wished to win, so you can have the prize. "

           His precision, his impressive skills – they’ve failed him ! At trivial  festival games  no less ! How could this happen ? Years of training leading up to the most humiliating of defeats. A warrior who has taken on Moblins, Hinox, other fierce opponents. & yet Mipha has managed to best him at something so  SIMPLE  as tossing a ball toward some milk bottles. 

           He’s outwardly sulking, brooding with wings crossed before his chest. Posture straightens only when she speaks, holding out the prize won from their competition – a stuffed  RITO DOLL.  Emeralds give the doll a glance over, however, Revali does  NOT  reach to accept it. Though he may not be pleased with the outcome of their game, Mipha earned her prize fair & square. 

           Heaving a sigh, eyes drift toward her face —-
                                                      ❛   You were the winner, you keep it.   ❜  


Tony took great pride in the fact that even if the super-soldier duo had turned down his incredibly magnanimous offer of a floor in the Tower for some dingy flat in Brooklyn (Tony might own the building. He might have bugged the other apartments, and given all the tenants vouchers for one of the Stark Towers facing New Jersey. What? Pepper’s been telling him to make smarter investments.), they still came to Avengers Tower to use the gym.

After being kicked out of three gyms and two boxing clubs, Steve had admitted that most exercise equipment wasn’t designed to withstand fists flying at peak physical strength. Or peak physical bicycling, apparently.

Bucky still wouldn’t tell Tony what had happened to the elliptical at NYSC.

So when he got tired of the flying motorcycle refusing to so much as take off and asked JARVIS who was around, it wasn’t all that surprising to hear that Captain Rogers and Sergeant Barnes were availing themselves of the gym that spanned the sixtieth floor. Tony Stark’s exercise equipment drew in soldiers, assassins and spies from miles away.

Apparently, America’s most deadly grandfathers had also figured out how to use the Stark sound system, their phones docked and ear buds tucked in. Steve was running from his problems, while Bucky lifted more weights than Tony wanted to think about off his chest. There had to be a metaphor in there somewhere. Or a joke at someone’s expense.

Curious, Tony snagged one of the headphones out of Steve’s ear. Captain America gave a resigned sigh – or at least, Tony thought he might have, but he couldn’t hear anything over the goddamn wailing wall of sound, as Howard Stark had described it when Tony discovered death metal in the ‘80s.

“What the hell?” Tony said, flinging the ear bud away and wincing. Steve powered down the treadmill, rolled his eyes as he went to find the left ear bud under a weight machine, flipped the switch on the right headphone to turn them both off. Stark technology: brilliant even when it was used by World War II relics with no musical taste. “You are not the one I thought would be playing heavy metal.”

“Bucky doesn’t like loud noises,” Steve replied, as though that answered the question of what all-American, apple pie Steve Rogers was doing with Behemoth in his ears.

Well, that was a challenge if Tony had ever heard one. It should be easy to sneak up on the Winter Soldier when he was busy clanking lots of steel bars and plates together. Tony squatted down, snagged the headphone tangled in brown hair – and everything went dark.

When he regained consciousness, Steve was holding out an ice pack wrapped in a towel, and the strains of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” were drifting pleasantly out of the ear bud sitting in Tony’s hand.

“Don’t startle the Winter Soldier,” Tony groaned, putting the cold pack to the goose egg forming on his skull. Had Barnes hit him with the 200 lb weight? “Why didn’t you tell me that?”

“Would it have mattered?” Steve asked. “You have a pretty thick head.” Tony wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be an insult, or a suggestion that maybe they didn’t need to call the medics after all.

Barnes sat up, nodding to Steve as Captain America headed for the reinforced punching bags, mopping the sweat off his face with the towel in his metal hand. “You gonna give me that back?” He angled his head pointedly at the headphone Tony was still holding, the opening trumpets of another ancient song bleating tinnily from Stark’s sweaty palm.

“Okay,” Tony said, holding onto the ear bud, because making wise choices wasn’t really his forte. “You’re stuck in the past, trying to forget the seventy years of being a merchant of death, I get that. But what’s Captain Pleated Pants over there doing with angry young man music? He’s only qualified for the 'man’ bit!”

The Winter Soldier cracked his admantine knuckles menacingly, and Tony took a moment to feel a burst of pride over the far more sensible terror. Barnes’ old bionic arm couldn’t do that. “You think Steve isn’t angry?” Barnes said in Urdu, because he knew Tony hated Urdu, damn it, looking across the room to where Steve Rogers whaled on a Stark® punching bag while gazing fiercely at the Soldier’s amazing new arm.

And Tony had seen the press conferences, the misquoted news bites, where Captain America talked about how Bucky Barnes had been a POW for a really fucking long time and forced to commit several hundred crimes against humanity and decent hairstyling. Hadn’t really been paying that much attention, busy with important science - or making jello in an arc reactor, but lunch was important, too -  while the reporters described Rogers’ as gutted by the horror of it all.

But Rogers didn’t look gutted – demolishing the Stark equipment in a flurry of kicks and jabs – didn’t even resemble a guy who’d been bulldozed by loss. He looked gut-punched, like some guy had taken a dirty shot and knocked Captain America down but not out. He looked furious, back on his feet already swinging at every unfair thing that had happened since the war, at every person who had dared to hit Steve where it hurt the most. Who had dared to fuck with Bucky Barnes.

“Oh,” said Tony. Getting hit with a ton of steel weight must have knocked some of the genius out of his brain. Barnes snorted and stole the ear bud back as he pulled Tony to his feet. The world did a hoppy, nauseating little dance to an Ellington tune. “Ow. That’s the last time I sneak up on you.”

Barnes looked a little nauseous himself, at Tony’s belief that he’d caught the Winter Soldier unawares. Or maybe that was amused. “That bruise isn’t because you tried to act like a thief,” he corrected, sliding the headphones off and walking toward the mats, Rogers following his friend like a moth to a flame.

Barnes twisted to glance back over his shoulder at Tony, bared his teeth in what might have been the Russian version of a smile. “It was because nothing about Steve came out of a bottle.” He tossed his towel neatly onto Tony’s head, and hummed a few bars of Sinatra as he moved in to flip Captain America to the floor.

Tony programmed both their phones to play British boy bands, when he got back to the not-flying bike – but not until JARVIS had locked him safely in the lab.

theavocadowithoutfear  asked:

You share an intimacy that you can't replicate with other people when you enter the drift. Do you think it's hard for people whose non blood related co-pilot was of their preferred gender to not fall in love? Have any jaeger pilots lost their marriages because they realize they're more compatible with their co-pilot?

Well I don’t wanna get into circumstances or specifics, so I’ll start with a basic hypothetical. Being good at using the drift indicates a level of trust that would be the envy of most couples. Toss mutual physical attraction into that mix, and it will be more or less impossible to hide from one another. So when all that lines up, the only remaining question becomes, “Is there any reason not to?” That’s going to be different in every case.

I don’t want to sound glib. It can be ruthlessly simple or it can get complicated. It’s a thing people have to figure out for themselves. I would say that it’s not uncommon for non-related pairs of aligned inclinations to have – err – had some late nights. Even if it doesn’t really go anywhere. Not without exception, of course. But it happens.