I’ve passed by this R32 a few times over the past few years. Each time I do, the car looks in an even sorrier, and decayed state. The overgrown garden is slowly consuming it. It sits outside what looks like an abandoned house in a town in south-east Gunma. A friend of mine tells me it had been sitting there long before I moved to the area. I hope that one day, someone with the funds and the know-how can save it.
During the later stages of the war, as the Attrition era approached, robotic units were becoming more prevalent. A dead man’s trigger in essence, these robots would fight the war when no humans were left to. These Sub-saharan units are an example of such machines. Nicknamed ‘Tin Man’ these robots were designed to withstand nuclear blasts and tolerate tremendous amounts of damage. The reinforced chassis would hold the unit together even after intense fire from armor-piercing rounds. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a century later some of these machines still roaming around the wastelands in such decayed state and yet still terribly lethal. This particular unit wields a high-powered chemical laser gun with a detachable bayonet for close combat. These rifles are designed to destroy other robotic units as they can pinpoint with much accuracy vital structures deep within them.
Hello there! I saw this prompt a few months ago, and thought it would fit the end of the game. It goes: "You wander through the ruins of a once mighty city. There you see a man grinning at you, wearing a rusted crown." Maybe the reader is an urban explorer, exploring Insomnia many years after the game, and they encounter Noct's spirit… I'd like to see what you'll do with this. Thanks!
A small drabble for you! I hope this is what you were looking for. This for me was more of a study in writing scenery, and I hope I did an okay job. Enjoy!
You stepped over a large piece of rubble, peering around at the landscape around you. The city had been abandoned for a long time, and from what you heard, after a great battle had been waged and many years of darkness, the people who used to live in the Citadel decided it was best to move on.
It was eerie—the city was a shell of its former self, with concrete and broken glass lining the streets. The ruins were beautiful though, and in the midday light, you could almost imagine a bustling marketplace, malls, children playing in the parks. But you were the only person there now, the only one who had figured coming to the ruins of Insomnia would be a fun daytime excursion.
You hike your backpack up a little further onto your shoulders and check your map for where to go next. You’d wanted to see the palace more than anything else, a symbol of what was once a great kingdom, reduced now to only its bare exoskeleton.
It took a while to get there, but you walked past the crumbling roundabout and went up what felt like hundreds of stairs until you reached the very top.
The palace itself was in pretty decent condition—you’d explored castles that had been in much greater states of decay. The greenery was seeping its way into what used to be a marble lobby, though much of the precious stone had long been pilfered and sold.
There were holes in the roof, and beams of sunlight poured in, streaking the darkness and cutting through the dust as your footsteps echoed through the hallways.
You peered around a corner and spotted what you figured was the throne room. A carpet lined a path from the doorway to a curved staircase. You figured the carpet had been red at one point, a symbol of royalty, but now it was dark, muddied and worn from the many years and lack of preservation.
There were cracks in the ceiling where small bits of debris had fallen, but not as badly as in the lobby. You walked up the red carpet and looked around the room, imagining important council members and esteemed guests donned in expensive garb as they sipped champagne and talked about the goings-on of the kingdom.
You made it to the base of the stairs and looked up. You gulped, and could have sworn the sound vibrated off the walls.
There were chains hanging from the ceiling, and bones were tangled in the rust. You took a step back, shocked at the discovery. There were four bodies from what you could tell, though not all of them were completely in tact anymore. Your body gave a violent shiver, but you pressed on.
You’d heard of what happened in the fabled ten years of darkness. You had a feeling you’d read about the people that dangled over the throne, but you willed yourself not to think about it.
You reached the top of the stairs to where the throne was placed. It looked to be pretty much exactly how it was before the destruction, save for a few chips here and there and a layer of dust. It seemed that even the scavengers still respected the Crown enough to let the fallen King keep his throne.
You peered curiously over at one of the arm rests. What looked like a piece of paper was resting atop it. You picked it up, the dust shifting around it as you gently turned it over.
It was a photograph.
Four men and a car. One was blond, posing dramatically in the front. Behind him was a tall man with glasses in a suit, arms folded over his chest with a hint of a smile on his face. On the other side of the car was a giant of a man, tattoos wrapping down to his wrists, leaning a hand against the windowsill of the car. And then there was the dark-haired one in front of him, sitting on the ground. You’d recognized him from his eyes alone, that piercing blue that was in so many history books. The young prince you’d read about.
His name left your lips and echoed throughout the chamber, and you felt a vibration run through the room, almost as if it had awakened something deep within the palace.
You carefully put the photo back down in its original place, and scurried down the steps and out of the palace doors.
You rubbed your hands along your arms, a chill having set into the air as the sun stared to dip below the horizon. You made it to the bottom of the stairs, and hazarded a look back. What you saw made your heart nearly stop.
The dying sunlight caught it more than anything. A brief flash, the glint of precious metal as it reflected the light into your eyes. A man stood halfway down the steps, his eyes fixated on you. His face was calm, his gaze soft. His hair was dark, and atop his head was a rusted crown. You immediately recognized him as soon as your eyes met his.
It was him.
You fell to your knees in a reverent bow, and then looked up from your place on the ground. Noctis smiled at you, a gentle one that was full of warmth. He nodded his head, and gazed at the sun. For a second, you could almost see him as his younger self. You watched as he took in a breath, basking in the glow, and then turned back to you.
“Thank you,” was all he said. And then he turned back towards the palace doors, and with each step he took, he started to fade until there was nothing left.
some doodles of characters for this story i’ve been working out! it’s about an high-fantasy/sci-fi/apocalyptic desert wasteland, kids with weird powers and eyes that devour monsters called queens, and robots?
Atomic defects in diamonds can be used as quantum memories. Researchers at TU Wien for the first time have succeeded in coupling the defects in various diamonds using quantum physics.
Diamonds with minute flaws could play a crucial role in the future of quantum technology. For some time now, researchers at TU Wien have been studying the quantum properties of such diamonds, but only now have they succeeded in coupling the specific defects in two such diamonds with one another. This is an important prerequisite for the development of new applications, such as highly sensitive sensors and switches for quantum computers. The results of the research will now be published in the journal ‘Physical Review Letters’.
In search of a suitable quantum system
“Unfortunately, quantum states are very fragile and decay very quickly”, explains Johannes Majer, head of the hybrid quantum research group, based at the Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics at TU Wien. For this reason, in-depth research is being carried out with the aim of finding quantum systems that can be used for technical applications. Even though there are some promising candidates with particular advantages, up until now there has been no system that fulfils all of the requirements simultaneously.
“Diamonds with very specific defects are one potential candidate for making quantum computers a reality”, says Johannes Majer. A pure diamond is made up solely of carbon atoms. In some diamonds, however, there can be points where there is a nitrogen atom instead of a carbon atom and neighbouring this, within the atomic structure of the diamond, there is an anomaly where there is no atom at all – this is referred to as a ‘vacancy’. This defect, consisting of the nitrogen atom and vacancy, forms a quantum system with a very long-lasting state, making diamonds with these particular flaws ideally suited to quantum experiments.
It all depends on the coupling
One important pre-requisite for many quantum technological applications is indeed the ability to couple such quantum systems together, which up until now has scarcely been possible for diamond systems. “The interaction between two such nitrogen-vacancy defects is extremely weak and only has a reach of around 10 nanometres”, says Majer.
However, this feat has now been achieved; albeit with the help of a superconducting quantum chip that produces microwave radiation. For a number of years now, the team at TU Wien has been investigating how diamonds can be manipulated with the help of microwaves: “billions of nitrogen-vacancy defects in diamonds are coupled collectively with a microwave field”, says Majer. “In this way, the quantum state of the diamonds can be manipulated and read out.”
Now, the team has succeeded in taking the next step: they were able to couple two different diamonds, one at each end of the chip, thus producing an interaction between the two diamonds. “This interaction is mediated by the microwave resonator in the chip in between; here, the resonator plays a similar role to that of a data bus in a regular computer”, says Johannes Majer.
The coupling between the two diamonds can be switched on and off selectively: “the two diamonds are rotated against each other at a certain angle”, reports Thomas Astner, the lead author of the current work. “Additionally, a magnetic field is applied, with the direction playing a decisive role: if both diamonds are aligned at the same angle within the magnetic field, then they can be coupled using quantum physics. With other magnetic field directions, it is possible to investigate the individual diamonds without coupling”. The first steps in the experiment were taken by Noomi Peterschofsky as part of her undergraduate thesis. Thomas Astner and Stefan Nevlacsil subsequently succeeded in demonstrating the coupling of the diamonds in an experiment as part of their Master’s thesis.
The crew gets meat at midnight, but they never can go far. They hold each other too close and lie about who they are. Rows of perfect houses, but the mothers still want more. They chain smoke in the bedroom and there’s fights behind the door.
But fate is a cruel mistress, girl, the prettiest in the world. She dresses loosely in a bathrobe with her hair up in curls. Because we were kissing for hours with her hands in my trousers, she could not contain herself, suggests we go back to her house. But here it comes, this is the crux, she vomits down my rental tux.
Milkshakes and cat eyes, lipstick and french fries. Internalize so much but so little. Don’t make us feel belittled world. Sneaking cigarrettes at lunchtime, sun feels safe and sublime. Pink sparkly sunglasses, lemonade by the pool.
And all we see, are kids in buses longing to be free. Some cities make you lose your head, endless suburbs stretched out thin and dead. And what was that line you said? Wishing you were anywhere but here. You watch the life you’re living disappear. And now I see, we’re still kids in buses longing to be free.
“Buck?” Steve called around their dark apartment. His key’s hanging up next to Bucky’s, next to the empty hanger. The guest key holder with the spare set.
In the moonlight’s shadow sat Bucky. His olive skin seemingly glowing with its own light. The scar’s that Cap knew purified by the shadows.
Steve walking towards Bucky, not of his own volition. Drawn into his light like it was 1940 all over again. Once he was in his body heat, he descended onto bend and knee. His head tenderly placed into his love’s lap. The cold metal of Bucky’s fingers playing with the golden strand’s. His brow furrowed in thought. A deep breath to settle his words.
“I miss women, Steve. Their softness, the way they laugh even when you’re not funny. The way they smell when they’re done baking….” Bucky biting his lip his blue eye’s searching the night sky.
Steve looking up helplessly. His finger’s gripping the dark gray sweat pants. The panic unfolding in his chest until he could barely breathe.
“You’re leaving me?” Steve asked slipping onto the floor. His finger’s still clinging to the worn material.
“NO!” Bucky all but falling to the floor in his attempt to grab Steve to his chest.
“Never, never, never. Oh god, Steven Grant Roger’s. Dumbass!” Bucky yelled before his lips melded to Steven’s. Their bodies pressed together in desperation, finger’s grasping at flesh. Until the first light of morning broke through the window.
Bodies intertwined underneath the small scrap of the sheet left on the bed.
“You know, I don’t think it count’s as bedding anymore.” Steve laughing at Bucky’s joke while he listened to his heart beat.
“Jerk,” Steve commented, his teeth scraping a light brown nipple.
“No.” The brunette laughed before settling back onto the pillow. “I messed up.”
The silence stretching on, “ how do we fix it?”
Bucky smiling down at his fair-haired lover. His mouth opening and closing, mind going over all the possibilities but still coming up blank.
“How would you have fixed it with her 90 years ago?” Steve asked trailing a patterning across his lover’s chest.
“Taken her out. Dance with her the whole night. Carrying her home because her feet were too sore to walk. Then I’d make love to her all night. Not really in a position for all that, hell any of that.” Bucky’s human hand massaging Steven’s scalp until he was delirious with peace.
“We’ll take her out Buck. Maybe then she won’t be so lonely.” Steve mumbled turning on his side. His eye’s finally giving into sleep. Bucky smiling wistfully just as he drifted into sleep.
********************** You sat up a blanket draping from your shoulder’s. Moonlight streaming through the window pane it’s light kissing your skin through the white button down. A long lost lover.
“Bucky,” you sighed longingly, head resting on your own shoulder. Eye’s drifting closed as memories flooded your mind.
The earth splitting underneath his feet forcing him to jump to one side. The sound of shot’s alerting the snipers on the roof. A wall of earth rising in front of you. The smell of freshly turned soil creating a false sense of safety. Meanwhile, your mutant abilities had been alerting S.H.I.E.L.D. of your very existence.
Within minute’s you were pinned down by heavy fire from above, a bullet wound to the side your first taste of pain. The only thing keeping you from annihilating the place was the fact that there were innocent people inside.
“When I figure this out your toast you scum bag’s!!!!” An onslaught of more heavy fire at the sound of your voice.
Your face warm from being covered by so much earth for so long. Just as rapidly as they commenced, it stopped. Suddenly a cold metal hand was jutting through your shield.
A strangled scream from the shock of it. Then you were pulled from the earth with a yank. The earth coating your skin like baptismal water. The still hot shell casing’s causing red mark’s on your skin while you shook them from your tank top.
“Hot oh crap. Shit Shit shit shit shit.” A funny dance accompanying your attempt to be rid of the slowly cooling metal.
“This is what they’re aiming at?” A tall blond man in a navy black body armor commented.
“Mutant’s come in all shapes and sizes.” Iron man said through his suit.
Your eye’s wide as the group before you emerged.
“Avenger’s.” You whispered to yourself. The man who had pulled you out of the dirt glancing at you with his peripheral vision.
“Sir, we must descend to the lower decks. See if there are any survivors. Wanda and Pietro are making their way now.” Vision reported to Tony and Steve. The metal man walking over with you not far behind.
“Was that you?” Captain America asked, turning to you.
“Me? Was what me?” Your sixteen-year-old self trying to play dumb. Eye’s going wide to accentuate your perceived innocence.
“Are you the mutant? If you were, we would owe you thank you for finding this place.” Steve said trying to draw you out. Instill a sense of trust. Before he could say another word, his earpiece went off.
The color leaving the cheeks of all the present Avengers. Even Vision looked off. He had no stomach to speak of.
“Stay,” Steve commanded you before they moved to the dilapidated building.
“Right like I’m a good dog….I’m not a dog.” Once you were inside the tree line, a whole new vision appeared. A state of the art facility stood in front of you. Chrome and glow standing proudly before you.
Descending behind the Avenger’s, Steve looked perturbed. He merely had them form a parameter around you. Until you reached the basement level. The stench alone made you gag. Content’s of your stomach decorating the floor. Your face resting on the cool metal wall, soothing. That is until you pulled back, the reflection you saw dropped your feet from under you.
The carnage before everyone was insidious. Bodies in various states of decay. The obviously recently living encrusted with the long deceased. The instruments of torture scattered or partially destroyed. Hi-tech mixed with the archaic. You couldn’t look away. There drawn face’s staring at you. The horror written there undeniable. The fates suffered here was engraved on their bodies. Not even time could erode the endured evil.
“Bucky, get her out of here.” His much larger body quickly lifting you. Your tiny hand’s gripping the leather straps of his uniform. Your eye’s still wide while you stared into his black shirt. The face’s of the deceased refusing to leave your mind’s eye. Upon reaching the top step a flood of Shields clean up, the crew followed down the way you came.
Nick Fury waiting next to a large black jet.
“She wasn’t supposed to be down there.” Nick’s disapproving stare falling on his form. Fury had never quite learned to trust the ex-assassin let alone like him. Large leather boot’s walking towards Bucky.
“Set her down,” an ear piercing scream forced Fury backward. Then the ground began to shake violently, the building’s foundation cracking. Tree’s falling on top of Humvees crushing their roof’s. Wanda’s red energy shot out stabilizing the area.
Your face burying itself in Bucky’s thick neck. His scent different than what you remembered.
The smell of bacon, egg’s, and pancake’s roused you from your slumber. Steve’s leather jacket draped across your front. Bucky’s blanket still resting over your shoulder’s protectively.
“Hey sleepy head,” Bucky commented playfully. A mug of steaming coffee placed gingerly in your hand’s. A smile creeping across your face.
“I’m sorry,” Bucky said shoving his hand’s in his pocket’s.
“I forgive you. I appreciate it, but you didn’t have to do all this.” Your finger’s running through your hair: one part embarrassment two part’s wanting to fix your hair.
“I did. Yesterday….was a disaster.” Bucky disliking the uncertain feeling that had been sitting in his stomach.
“No, me leveling half a forest is a disaster. Yesterday was a learning experience.” You ended by drinking deeply from your mug.
Bucky relaxing as his stomach unknotted itself. The two of you settling into a comfortable moment of clarity.
This is a highly important point because if you’re dealing with ANYTHING otherworldly, energy, spirits, deities, etc–you need to be aware verbal language largely gets in the way, because the nature of everything is, first, energetic, and secondly, often visual or metaphorical.
There are astral words that exist that compensate for this because upon saying the word it’s almost like an image is triggered in the hearing person, but when you’re stuck being a human, we don’t really have that ability.
Be aware that something trying to communicate with you, including your OWN soul, may not use words. Because words can’t capture what could be easily communicated visually.
I have the ability to open and look into heart & soul spaces, and when I do, I normally see a visual landscape. Mountains, rivers, a rough sea, a foggy rainforest, all of these things are not literal. The soul cries for help in different ways, and as a healer, I’ve learned to read those subtle ways.
A forest may look fine, but the roots may be black–this can indicate dis-ease or deep seated issues. The temperature tells me something about the state of the mind. The weather tells me things, the state of decay, random events like fire–all of these visual metaphors are the soul trying to communicate the state of the person/entity, in a way it would be hard to do otherwise. You know how hard it is to describe feelings–that’s why a lot of entities resort to other methods of communication, and why when I open a heart space, it’s a series of small houses or an icy tundra, and not a list of what’s wrong.
Not everyone’s energy blocks look the same, feelings actually create different types/impressions of blocks and I would describe them to you but legitimately this is one of those times where you would have to be there next to me seeing it so I can point and go “YEAH MAN U SEE?” because there’s no way for me to begin lmao
Learn to read and appreciate feelings and the visual/telepathic language of entities! Many of us become focused on “hearing” entities, without understanding that before verbal, the language of a lot of things are visual. Often when I “speak” to entities it’s a combination of thinking/impressions of words, and pictures of landscapes or a hammer hitting a nail or like the most seemingly bizarre situations like trying to play charades with the entity lmao
But over time I have appreciated this ability, because more and more I notice myself becoming more proficient at reading it, and I can see how useful it is
It’s easier to send an image of a cozy fireplace and a nice furry rug with books to you than spend time going “you know that feeling you get when you’re like, warm and really safe, it’s winter but you’re inside and it’s just a nice moment where you’re alone by not lonely?” because the minute you use words, it is trying to describe something that, as close as we can get, is fundamentally just out of the reach of words, like it’s something that happens only to the receiver in direct experience
And believe it or not this tendency towards visual charades is a gift
If an entity knows you’re sad and having a hard time and sends you the FEELING or the image/impression of like, warm blankets and a nice mug of tea they’re actually gifting you a direct experience, because they can do that. It’s a lot more involved/targeting than telling you “it’s going to be okay”, you know? The gift of a direct impression is just so much more, it defies experience
This isn’t to say no entity ever prefers words, because certainly some of them fucking love it (cough kratos u victorian asshole COUGH COUGH) but just be open to the fact a large majority of them prefer more direct forms of communication & we should expect that, especially when dealing with energy stuff/soulstuff
Light and Shadow Light and Shadow are the most fundamental forces in existence. Although contradictory by their very nature, they are bound together on a cosmic scale. One cannot exist without the other. Pure Light and Shadow dwell in a realm outside the borders of reality, but shades of their presence are found in the physical universe. Light manifests as holy magic, while Shadow (also referred to as “the Void”) appears as shadow magic.
Life and Death The forces of Life and Death hold sway over every living thing in the physical universe. The energies of Life, known commonly as nature magic, promotes growth and renewal in all things. Death, in the form of necromantic magic, acts as a counterbalance to Life. It is an unavoidable force that breeds despair in mortal hearts and pushes everything toward a state of entropic decay and eventual oblivion.
Order and Disorder The forces of Order and Disorder govern the cosmic systems of the physical universe. Order is most commonly perceived in reality as arcane magic. This type of energy is innately volatile, and wielding it requires intense precision and concentration. Conversely, Disorder is manifested as highly destructive fel magic. This brutal and extremely addictive energy is fueled by drawing life from living beings.
The Elements The elements of fire, air, earth, and water serve as the basic building blocks of all matter in the physical universe. Shamanic cultures have long sought to live in harmony with, or assert dominion over, the elements. To do so, they call upon the primordial forces of Spirit and Decay. Those who seek to bring balance to the elements rely on Spirit (sometimes referred to as the “fifth element” by shaman, or “chi” by monks). This life-giving force interconnects and binds all things in existence as one. Decay is the tool of shaman seeking to subjugate and weaponize the elements themselves.