stop the war on our children

And the Heavens Wept

Gather around my children and you shall hear of the most terrible, most implacable, most improbable friends ever met by our people. They came from the third planet of a tiny system, surrounded by desolate space. Not one sentient species for hundreds of lightyears, and they managed to propel themselves into space.

We watched from afar as they developed slowly. We watched as they warred among themselves, brutal and savage. We watched as they rendered regions of their planet uninhabitable to themselves, a hardy species able to adapt to even the most hostile of environments. We watched as suddenly and without warning they united under four banners, the rest falling by the wayside. We watched as they expanded into what we had begun to use as a buffer zone, to allow these humans to burn themselves out in.

But they did not burn themselves out. Despite their warring among themselves. Harsh people. Humankind is a race of warriors, do not be fooled by the eloquence of their diplomats. In their own words, “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means”. Their greatest artists and philosophers were born from blood and conflict. I had the privilege once to view a painting by one Pablo Picasso, entitled Guernica. It was a savage piece, with not a drop of color. It showed the horrors of war, and the irony of it all was that the painting hung in the office of one of humankind’s generals.

It was sudden, when they burst from the containment zone. When they realized they were not alone. And we, with heavy hearts, prepared to fight them bitterly and to the last. Imagine then, our surprise when humanity embraced us among the stars as long lost brothers. They were overjoyed to discover they were not alone in the darkness. Despite their brutal and warlike culture, despite their glorification of death and violence, their people do not seek out combat. An ancient general of theirs once put it thusly “Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace”.

For centuries humanity worked to better itself. They unified under a single Interstellar Empire, the Empire of Man, the Human Empire, however you called it. They enjoyed art and music. They became leisurely at home, exploratory in the field. Their weapons of war were long gone, beaten into plowshares as they say. Humanity was finally at peace. There was no conflict among them, a few border skirmishes for certain, and they kept a small standing military, but nothing more than that. We considered them domesticated.

At first we were surprised at their transformation, then overjoyed. We welcomed them into the fold of the cosmos, embraced them as they would embrace us. We thought we knew humanity then, that we had seen them at their best and their worst. We were wrong, so very wrong. We did not truly understand humanity until the Texar-Hakara came into the void between the stars.

Seemingly more brutal, more bloodthirsty than even the humans, they swept into our region of space like conquerors. They smashed whatever feeble resistance the Yungling managed to put up, took their planets, enslaved the survivors, and pressed on. The Junti were next, utterly destroyed. The four great races left, ourselves, the Itaxa, the Kukrama, and the Illnaa, banded together to try and stop them. In our arrogance, we did not include the humans in our pact. Too few in number, too weak in frame, too backwards in technology we thought.

The Texar-Hakara hit our borders like the great wave that sweeps life from the beach. We hardened our hearts and prepared for the worst. Seeming without pause they crushed our border defenses. They obliterated the first fleets we sent to them. The Itaxa fell to the Texar-Hakara, enslaved, killed, scattered to the corners of the galaxy. Then the humans sent us an offer, a request really. They asked to fight alongside us.

Bemused, we accepted. What else could we do? Deny them the right to fight with us for their very survival? We thought to assign them as rearguards, to ferry our people to safety after our fleets fell. We thought wrong.

Humanity swept into the stars with a fury unmatched by any other. Their fleets were not the heaviest. Their guns not the most accurate. Their soldiers however. Their sailors. Their warriors were unmatched by any others in the cosmos. I remember the first battle in which the humans fought the Texar-Hakara like it was but a single solar cycle ago. Our forces were on the brink of breaking and fleeing. Our ships were gutted ruins. Our fighters exhausted and out of missiles. Then humanity fell upon the flank of the enemy, and the full force of the Human Empire was unleashed in a single moment of utter fury. Landing craft spat across the distance in an instant, slamming into enemy hulls and disgorging humanity’s greatest weapon, their Marines. In close combat humanity is unstoppable, and so they took the vast distances of space combat out of the equation.

Their ships belched fire and plasma. Lasers crossed the vast distances in the blink of an eye. Half the Texar-Hakaran fleet was obliterated in minutes. The other half turned to face this new enemy, only to be wracked by internal explosions as the Marines did their work. Their greatest ships turned on the rest of the fleet, a handful of humans holding the bridge against waves of enemy attackers to turn the tide of battle.

The Interstellar War came to a screeching turnaround. The advance of the Texar-Hakara halted, like it had hit an immovable wall. In many ways that is what humanity is, an immovable, implacable wall. Then, with the ferocity humanity is alone capable of, they routed the Texar-Hakara. Not from that lone battle. They pushed them out of Itaxa space, liberating the slaves. The space of the Junti and the Yungling was swept clear of invaders. Then the Texar-Hakara committed the gravest of sins in humanity’s eyes. They warped a fleet to Earth, jewel of humanity’s empire. They burned that blue and green world. They destroyed it, and the trillion people it housed.

Humanity is a forgiving race my children. Even their most terrible of wars have resulted in lasting friendships between nations. When they left millions dead and broken on the muddly fields of their world, they rebuilt the aggressors. They raised them from the mud, dusted them off, and welcomed them back into the fold. But there is one thing that humanity cannot, will not, tolerate. It is abhorrent to them my children. To strike at their home, to strike where they raise their young ones. Where they leave their mates and non combatants. To strike there is to raise the ire of the human race, truly.

Humanity raged. Their attempts at obtaining the surrender of the Texar-Hakara halted. The war turned from a righteous war of liberation to a furious and hateful war of retribution. We begged the humans to stop, to leave what few planets the Texar-Hakara had alone. Our pleas went unanswered for months, until a single human ambassador came to us. His face was cold and emotionless. He told us, in no uncertain terms, that the Texar-Hakara had doomed themselves and that any trying to aid them would suffer the same fate. Quietly we watched then, as humanity wiped the Texar-Hakara from the stars. The Texar-Hakara pleaded for mercy. They offered their unconditional surrender. They came to us and begged on bent knee for us to reign in the mad dogs we had unwittingly unleashed into the universe. Humanity had for so long repressed their warrior culture. Tried to become better. Then we had given them back into the fires of war, and humanity had awakened it’s warrior past.

The Texar-Hakara ambassadors were taken from our halls by grim human Marines and thrust out airlocks. Finally there was but one planet left, and we came to the humans, we pointed to our own losses, our own dead friends some of whom had lived for longer than humanity had been among the stars, and we begged the humans not to take the last of the Texar-Hakara’s lives.

I watched, children, I watched as the Texar-Hakara’s world burned. As humanity left but one of their planets alive, a simple backwater colony of no more than ten million. Ten million, out of the trillions. Then the leader of the human military turned to me, and with no emotion in his voice, told me that humanity accepted the unconditional surrender of the Texar-Hakara, and walked off the bridge of my ship.

My children, the lesson here is that a warrior past is never truly gone. Only buried, mayhaps even wiped from living memory. But gone? Never. Humanity showed us that.

On Tuesday, the world learned the name of Khan Sheikhoun, a town in Idlib, Syria, after government forces used what was likely a chemical bomb containing a nerve agent on innocent civilians. Between 70 and 100 people, including dozens of children, were killed in the attack and as many as 500 were injured. Witnesses described the horrors of the aftermath - much too graphic for me to write here. But this is nothing new, it is not the first time President Bashar al-Assad has slaughtered innocent civilians, especially children, in his own country. It is not the first time he has left people laying on the ground foaming at the month until death from use of illegal chemical weapons. It is not the first time the world has been shocked by images from within Syria. It is not the first time global leaders have spoken out and condemned this sort of barbaric extermination… Yet it continues. For 6 years, this war has raged, a war officially between the government and a rebel army, but it is hard to see this as anything besides a war on the innocent Syrian people. The toll is impossible to calculate to an exact number, but most estimates indicate more than 200,000 innocent people, including more than 50,000 children, have been killed to date, and almost 5,000,000 have been displaced. I don’t have the answer, I don’t know what should be done or even what could be attempted, I can’t tell you who did what and recall every detail, but I know one thing, no matter the intricacies, it must stop. Syria is one of several points on this planet which holds the history, known and unknown, of our species, it was once an epicentre of art, discovery, and science - perhaps the oldest civilization besides Mesopotamia, yet it is being destroyed as if it were nothing more than a piece of trash. A jewel in world history has been reduced to ruins. And that is just the past, the future is being decimated as well. With each traumatic injury, with each innocent fatality, the light of Syria’s future weakens. It will take hundreds of years, multiple generations, for Syria to overcome the current suffering, and the scars of today’s battles may never heal. If only we’d think of the children, there is nothing a child could do to deserve the nightmares of war, nothing a child could do to deserve anything close. Adults create war, adults create the weapons that kill, adults create the politics and the fighting, adults create power and money, adults are the cause of and reason for mass conflict, but they do not bear the greatest loss here, it is the children that do. Like I said, I don’t know the answer, I am not even sure of the question, but the motivation to end this all is clear - the innocent children of Syria. My heart aches and shatters for Syrians in the war zone and across the world, I can’t imagine your pain so I won’t even pretend to understand, but I hope you still believe in the goodness of humanity, I hope you still find reason to carry on, and I hope one day, Syria can again be an epicentre of civilization. Most of all, I hope you find safety, and your loved ones find safety. Whether it is peace in Syria or a new home until the fighting ends, I hope you find stability and safety. 

No Sooner Met

Summary: Royal AU. Princess Elizabeth of France is forced to marry the future King of England, Forsythe Jones the Third to stop a war between their between their two countries but their first meeting does not go as planned. Based on this post.

Words: 2,668

Warnings: A brief sexual situation. 

A/N: I was heavily inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. I know some people, @jandjsalmon , have been asking for this fic and I thought I’d take a shot at it. I hope some of you like it. I’ve never written anything like this so if might suck. 

This isn’t even remotely accurate historically and a few of these lines are Shakespeare’s not mine. 

I also edited myself so there are probably mistakes.


“I do not wish to marry him mother!” Princess Elizabeth of France wailed as her plump lady in waiting, Jonet, laced her into her dress. “I do not love him!”

She was the eldest daughter of Henry Cooper, the ruling King of France. To quiet rising tensions between the French and the English she was set to marry the next King of England, Forsythe Phillip George Edward Jones the Third. Elizabeth knew little of him but what she did know she didn’t like. Promiscuous, entitled, egotistical.

“That is not what this is about, Elizabeth.” Queen Alice of France, scolded as she helped pin up her daughters flowing blonde hair. “Our kingdoms are on the verge of war, children of French and English blood will stop that war.”

“I want to marry Duke Archibald! He is of noble birth, he would make a fine husband!” Tears ran down her face and Jonet blotted them with a handkerchief.

“For a Countess possibly, but not for a Princess and future Queen!” Alice roared, pulling on her daughters hair. “You will meet Prince Forsythe, you will be pleasant, you will be ladylike, you will be of the nobility you were born into. You will entertain him at the masquerade tonight, you will be married and you will provide him with heirs.”

Elizabeth stood looking at herself in the mirror. The light lavender dress fashioned for this night was beautiful and different from any dress she had ever worn. The type of ball they were having required costumes so something a little less formal would not be frowned upon. The material was lighter and allowed her to move more freely than the heavier satin dresses she was used to wearing. White lace outlined the bust, sleeves and hem. She looked beautiful, glowing even, as her mother came up behind her.

“Don’t you want me to be happy?” Elizabeth asked.

Alice sighed. “My beautiful girl, happiness is something that people like us cannot afford. We live in this luxury and our penance is to make sure we keep our people alive. This marriage will do that.” Alice accepted an ornate gold tiara from Jonet and placed it on her daughters head. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” She planted a kiss on Elizabeth’s cheek and when her mother had left the room, the Princess began to sob.


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I saw a post recently that suggested that Ned/Cat in the books wasn’t as affectionate/as couple-y as they are in the show, and I just disagree so much, and have been thinking a lot lately about how ridiculously flowery some of the language is in the Ned/Cat scenes in the books. Like, we tread into straight up romance novel territory at times. 

“She could see the grief on his face, but even then he thought first of her.”

“Was this to be her punishment? Never to see his face again, nor to feel his arms around her?” 

“Ned kissed the tears from her eyes before they could fall.” (MY HEART)

“Catelyn lifted her face, and Ned kissed her. Her maimed fingers clutched against his back with a desperate strength, as if to hold him safe forever in the shelter of her arms.” 

“He wanted to drift off into a dreamless sleep in his own bed with his arms wrapped tight around his lady, Catelyn.” 

“The thought of Cat was as painful as a bed of nettles. He wondered where she was, what she was doing. He wondered if he would ever see her again.” 

And that’s not even getting into the ridiculously flowery romantic language that encompasses Catelyn’s grief: 

“I have lost my Ned, the rock my life was built on.” 

“Catelyn had not eaten today. Perhaps that had been unwise. SHe told herself that there had been no time, but the truth was that food had lost its savor in a world without Ned. When they took his head off, they killed me too.”

“Bones, Catelyn thought. This is not Ned, this is not the man I loved, the father of my children. His hands were clasped together over his chest, skeletal fingers curled about the hilt of some longsword, but they were not Ned’s hands, so strong and full of life. They had dressed the bones in Ned’s surcoat, the fine white velvet with the direwolf badge over the heart, but nothing remained of the warm flesh that had pillowed her head so many nights, the arms that had held her.“

“And after the war, at Winterfell, I had love enough for any woman, once i found the good sweet heart beneath Ned’s solemn face.” 

“It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb… Robb… please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting… The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. “Mad,” someone said, “she’s lost her wits,” and someone else said, “Make an end,” and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair “

Like this fucking romantic ass couple whose relationship is revealed slowly and painfully, peeled like an onion so we can see layers upon layers upon layers, getting some of the straight up most romantic lines in the series, leave me here to die in my shippy glory. 

👏Cal👏vs👏Kilorn👏Rap👏Battle👏

Host: Give it up for the Friend-Zoned Loser and and the Mare-Heart bRUISERRRR!

Cal: You’re the Fisher Boy, I’m the Kisser Boy,

You’re her friend-zoned friend, I’m her bed-boyfriend!

Kilorn: Excuse me? Did I hear you right? Did you just say:

‘I’m her boyfriend’? Well lemme tell you that there’s no way!

Dude, as a fisher, I know when things fail,

You know how we say it? That ship has sailed!

Cal: And what did you think that I left her for?

Well dumbass, it’s to stop that war!

I’ll shape a better future, for our children of course,

She’ll crawl back to me with some great remorse!

Kilorn: If you think she’s gonna love you through-and-through,

Then boy, I’ve met fish with more brains than you!

Sure, together you once would sleep,

But now you left her all alone, just to weep!

Well, she’s gonna need a shoulder to cry on,

And lil’ Kilorn’s gonna be there to rely on.

I’m gonna take her in, hook, line, and sinker,

With no one as worthy, I’m gonna win her!

Cal: Yep, that’s the only way you’ll ever get Mare,

Only when no one around is near as fair.

Boy, let’s be honest, your standard’s down here, *hand very low*

Maybe not in height, but Mare and I are near. *hand at chest height*

Kilorn: Yeah and were you there when her older bros left?

When her family was starving and she turned to theft?

Might I remind you that it’s ya Silvers who did it

We were swallowing b-s until the very limit!

Cal: Ha-Ha. And you think that that was all me?

The person who started it, setting up this country?

I can’t help it that I’ve got Silver-blood,

But just ask what Mare thought when we were in the mud! *smirk*

Audience: OOOOOHH!!!

Kilorn: If you think that you screwed Mare first, 

This news is gonna shock you, cuz it’s the worst,

Mare already ‘did it’ with someone else!

Could’ve been me, but I won’t confess! *mic drop*

[crowd goes wild]

laurenjauregui Stay vigilant, watch out for each other, say lots of prayers for these women and their families. No human should be missing and we really need to fix how normalized the conversation about missing children has become. We have to stop being okay with the answer being that it is potentially due to human trafficking (which happens to be a billion dollars industry in United States) we need to start asking the right questions and getting the proper answers. We need to stop telling the girls to be careful and stay home so they are not abducted and if they are that they are not important enough to be reported about. This should be our focus; not bogus walls and war on other territories. We’ve gotta wake up to the terror here. And shame on the media for staying silent about these sort of important matters. #blacklivesmatter #latinxlivesmatter #findourgirls #bringthemhome

groovyfunnightmare  asked:

Sorry, but I'm a bit confused. When you say "systematic oppression" what exactly do you mean and how do I as an individual male contribute to it?

…or you don’t necessarily.

This is important guys, because it seems to be the biggest misunderstanding (or intentional misunderstanding) that MRAs and anti-feminists seem to repeat over and over.

The feminists are saying we’re sexist assholes just because of our gender.

No. No, we’re not. IF you are a sexist asshole it’s because of your actions, but the main thing we are talking about is much bigger than that.

Systematic oppression is systematic. It is not some dude with a twirly mustache, it’s a series of laws, cultural assumptions, and societal expectations that privilege one group over another. But a series of laws, cultural assumptions, and societal expectations is not a good villain: it’s not sexy, it’s not simple, and you can’t just shoot it through the heart and be on your way. It’s hard to fight, and it’s hard to understand, and as a result people want to turn it into a simple us versus them, good versus bad. It’s not. Resist the urge to turn life into Star Wars. The real world is more complicated than that. And I’m not just talking to MRAs anymore here.

An example:

The American conception of what it means to have a full-time job and to be a hard worker is based on the assumption that the worker will (a) not become pregnant and have to stop working for several months, and (b) not be the primary caregiver for their children (let alone elderly or disabled relatives). In other words, you’re supposed to be a man with a wife at home or a single person with no responsibilities but work. It’s 2017, but our labor laws and our corporate culture still expect everyone to be fucking Don Draper.

What this means is that, because women are generally the ones who have uteri and are also societally expected to take care of children (or anyone else who needs taking care of), they are, by the definition of our labor system, perceived to be less hard-working, possibly even lazy. Just by virtue of being a woman in society, we are already labeled as bad workers. That’s systematic oppression. However, you will also notice that this hurts someone else: single fathers. Now, single fathers don’t have to cope with regressive attitudes towards pregnancy or gendered assumptions about whether they’re serious or in it for the long haul, but they do have to contend with expectations of overtime and the general assumption that to be a good worker you can’t have caregiving responsibilities. The people this benefits are married men (with or without children) and single men, unattached men, who will get hired and promoted over other candidates based on their “hard work.” And that’s not even getting into less concrete things, like how most people instinctively react more negatively to the same traits in a female boss, etc.

There are thousands of similar systems in hundreds of contexts that all privilege men, “masculine” traits, and male roles over women, “feminine” traits, and female roles. These sexist systems hurt a lot of people (most, but not all of them women) and only help a few people (almost all of them men). That’s what we’re talking about. That’s what we want to change.

It should be obvious by this point that none of this is your fault, @groovyfunnightmare. Groovyfunnightmare did not invent this system. Groovyfunnightmare doesn’t run the world, purposefully maintaining these systems and laughing maniacally. Groovyfunnightmare may not even have a mustache.

By using the words “systematic oppression” or discussing sexism in the culture, we are not talking about you. We have no earthly idea who you are. We are talking about a system that hurts us, just like people who talk about the electoral college or unfair tax laws. It’s not personal.

That’s not to say that you, as an individual man, can’t contribute to it if you agree with the system and take actions to support it, or if you just have a hankering for being an asshole I suppose. In the above example you could, if you were the boss, choose to consistently demote pregnant women or remove some of their duties or power, fire people with children for not being able to work large swaths of overtime, or just generally belittle women who work for you. But you, as a randomly chosen man, are statistically unlikely to be doing any of that. What you are almost certainly doing is nothing, just like most people. These systems were not set up by any one person, they stem from unquestioned cultural assumptions and are fueled by them. There is no intention behind them and there never was. They have no consciousness and do not wish good or ill on anyone. There do exist laws that somebody wrote explicitly because fuck women, but in modern America they are few and far between (and were, mostly, written in the past). Most laws that hurt women are written by people simply not questioning their assumptions or not thinking through the consequences of their actions.

However, these systems will continue to exist until we take them apart, so that doing nothing I mentioned earlier? While it doesn’t directly contribute to the system, it does help allow it to continue. What does directly contribute to these systems is people loudly and angrily attacking those who say “this system is wrong, we need to change it.” Make of that what you will.

When people refer to things like the systematic oppression of women, they are not attacking you as a person, or indeed any one person. It’s about changing (a) the laws, (b) the culture, and ( c) how people think about gender. Systematic oppression is not about anything you personally did. It’s not about you at all. As a man you likely benefit from it in some ways (perhaps not in others), but you didn’t invent it, and you don’t have to like it.

All I really want to do is mend
Every soul that needs a friend
Each and every beating heart
Can I spread peace and joy through art?
Chaos proliferating all around, There’s hateful protesting in every town
The earth is trembling & voices too
Signs held high
They loved once, just like you
Don’t give up, Mama said
How blessed you are to read the news from your bed
I’m crying in bed wrapped in my silky duvet
600 thread count, who am I to complain? I’m living in euphoria amidst the chaos that remains
I spent last Tuesday beneath the rising sun
While a terrorist was online shopping for a gun
I ask for your forgiveness. Because I know I can do more
There’s children in Aleppo who don’t know life without war
While bombs went off and families said their final goodbyes, I was at peace, under cotton candy skies
Waves crashed as I sipped red wine
While rates of violence, terrorism, and human suffering took a massive incline
It’s time I turn my prayers into actions. Damnit, please stop bombarding civilians
Let us plant seeds of peace and love for generations to come
And if we all start accepting and understanding our differences, one day those seeds will blossom
Let us cherish the times we hear “Honey, I’m home” Before we’re forced to face the true meaning of being alone
Teach your mind to only look for the similarities. Show empathy and be a precious jewel through your rarities
If you spread anything but light, then why are you here? In a world with too much sadness and not enough cheer
In the Buddha’s words, “Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
I pray to god one day you can stop feeling scared
You have a purpose. You are the change you seek. You matter, you really do; and I dedicate this poem to you
Wherever you exist in this beautiful world, let my words be a hand to hold, reminding you, be brave and be bold
Harmonize love. This I know is the key. Everyone with a decent heart deserves to be free
It’s not about win or lose
Your strength and courage can do wonders when you try walking in someone else’s shoes
Don’t you ever forget the power of love
And may you live for the angels kissing you from up above
How do you want to be remembered? 
What will your legacy be?
To inspire one human to rise above hate, 
that in itself is enough for me
Prioritize your education.
When your knowledge on the world expands, your potential can only strengthen
Because through education the resources to make a difference are provided
To someday live in a world that’s not so divided
What makes you passionate, my dear?
Answer this question and infinite potential is near
I know there’s something within you. 
A match that’s waiting to be lit
And once it’s sparked the journey you’ll embark on will be one you’ll never quit
Roses are red
Violets are blue
America’s got a new president
And dear god I hope he’ll practice empathy too
—  “We Are All One” by Riley Burke
CS FF: Forever Yours

Summary:  My version of how season 7 should open.  Set in the future during a time of peace in Storybrooke, Emma and Killian are living a blissfully happy life with their seven year old twins.  But this is still Storybrooke.  And things can change in the blink of an eye.

Rating: PG

Note: Thank you for the responses to ‘Never Stop Fighting’. Since Emma is only guaranteed to be back for one episode, we know that CS will have to be separated somehow.   Given what we know so far, this is how I would like things to go in the season premiere.  Oh and there is no mention of Henry in this because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how that whole thing is going to work and what exactly will happen to him in the future.  Hope you enjoy it!  ~Steph

…Forever Yours: Part 1/1…

Killian came up behind his wife, as she stood at the stove making pancakes.  He wrapped his arms around her waist and nuzzled his nose into her neck.

“Something smells delicious,” he muttered.

Emma giggled as his lips moved to her neck.

“Don’t start,” she warned.  “The kids are already up and in the living room.”

“What?” he asked, nibbling on her ear.  “I was talking about the pancakes.”

“Sure you were,” she replied with a laugh.

Emma spun around in her husband’s arms and snaked hers around his neck.  His lips came crashing into hers, his tongue quickly diving into her mouth.  He pulled her body up against his, as Emma threaded her fingers through his hair. 

“We can’t,” Emma breathed before kissing him again.

Killian reached behind her and turned the stove off, as his lips moved down her throat to her chest.  

“Perhaps if we are quiet, we can make it up to our bedroom and the children will simply think we are still asleep.”

Emma squeezed her eyes closed, as she held his head to her skin.  

“Only one problem with that: they already saw me making the pancakes.”

Killian pulled her robe back a bit with his hook and kissed her shoulder.  

“We can think of an excuse for our disappearance later then,” he said.  

His lips moved back to hers for a quick kiss and then he grabbed her hand, leading her to the stairs.

“Let go!” Leia screamed.

“You let go!” Liam yelled.

“MOM!  DAD!” they both bellowed.

Killian and Emma stopped dead in their tracks, mere feet from the stairs.  

“Bloody hell.  They must have inherited their grandmother’s terrible timing,” Killian mumbled.  “Why did we decide to have children again?”

Emma laughed, as she kissed his cheek.  “Because we wanted to share our love and watch it grow everyday.”

Her husband bobbed his head, as he placed a kiss to her forehead.

“Aye, that’s right.  Sometime I forget.”

“Come on,” Emma said, as she dragged him to the living room.

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lifeisshiny  asked:

Hello lovelies! My birthday is coming up on February 7, can I request a drabble? :) xoxo

Originally posted by musicandrave

Wishing you a very happy birthday! To celebrate, here’s a little taste of Everlark sweetness, just for you!


Snowbabies

Rated G


Winter is hard.

Katniss and I have struggled with the winter since the end of the war. The cold, the dark, the lifelessness. The reminders of people we lost that cruel winter years ago.

Having children changed things, particularly for Katniss. She stopped spending dark days in bed, staring at ghosts, and started playing - taking the kids skating, having snowball fights. I’m not saying winter isn’t still hard. But in Willow, and then again two years ago in Rye, she seems to have found the strength to persevere, in spite of the winter blues. It’s not easy, but she and I both have been able to really live these past few winters, instead of just surviving. Our kids have definitely helped us see winter differently.

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Prompt 4: Winds of Change

This ficlet is in response to @mustardyellowsunshine 4th prompt to write on the relationship of the other characters (in this case INUKAG) through the eyes of another character (I chose Miroku).


  @kuddle-cakes @kags09 @dreaming-of-the-midnight-sun @keichanz @lacyjaybird @inunanna For their ongoing support. 


Thank you for reading. It’s safe for work lol just under the cut. Thanks for these prompts! Really gets the creativity flowing.


“Winds of Change”


The seasons change without Kagome.

 I watch Inuyasha hang on in quiet desperation.

 I make a bad joke that we could share Sango, to which he replies “Keh, pervert! She’s your woman, though I’m still not sure how that happened! She’d kill us both anyway.”

 I pissed him off and he’s disgusted, scowling again. At least he doesn’t look sad and has stopped staring off in the direction of the well for now.

I feel guilty.

It’s been a year and Sango is about to have my child.

 Inuyasha is lonely even though he’s the uncle to my children. He and I go off to work exterminating demons, but I see it’s not very thrilling. I’m glad Naraku is gone, but we miss fighting for a larger purpose.

 War still plagues this land, but that’s not our battle to fight.

 We protect ours.

 Inuyasha and Sango train together. She misses the fight, too. She’s even stronger after having babies.

 Kohaku doesn’t visit much, to Rin’s chagrin. It speaks volumes that Sesshomaru left her in Inuyasha’s village. Well, he’ll protect her or it’ll be his neck, of course. That hasn’t changed.

 I know my home is getting crowded.

 Shippo is advancing his skills. It’s good to be so young, to have something more to strive for.

We all miss Kagome.

I pray Inuyasha can find happiness.

 Everyday I am grateful. I think about all we’ve overcome; seeing my daughters and even Sango’s scar on her back are reminders of the miracle that we are all here.

 Sango is about to have our third baby now. I am amazed at Inuyasha’s growth. My little girls tug on his doggy ears relentlessly. They don’t listen to us. We need to work on that. I apologize to my best friend. He passes them onto Shippo and darts off into the forest and I know.

Kagome is back.

 We all want to crowd her and ask her what she’s been doing. Sango and I want her to meet our little miracles.

 Inuyasha is so serene and quiet. He’s the happiest I’ve seen in three years. His golden eyes are bright like he’s reached enlightenment. Kagome is back and he’s happy.

He’s not the type to show it openly. But, I see it in his subtle movements. He’s standing close to Kagome. He maintains contact: their hips touching as he stands or walks beside her; he has a hand on her shoulder or she’s leaning her head on him.

They get married.

 Those two still argue regularly. Inuyasha comes over, wanting to go out demon hunting to blow off steam. I remind him that marriage isn’t easy. “Feh!” He scoffs. But I see the smirk of wedded bliss curl his upper lip. Making up is pretty sweet. Maybe I should pick a fight with Sango.

“Inuyasha and Kagome are at it again.” Sango says like she’s asking me to hand her a bowl of rice.

“We should go at it again.”

“Miroku, you want our fourth to be the same age as their first?”

“That’s news.” 

“Wait til she tells him.”

-0o0-The End-0o0-

anonymous asked:

I've read through all of your kid fic tag. do you know any more fics where stiles and derek grow up together? thank you so much x

Hello Anon! Fluffy here to answer your awesome ask! And can I just say, KUDOS at getting through our kid fic tag. That’s not a small feat. Anywho, there might be some repeats from previous lists, but in general these shouldn’t be repeats. Without further ado, here are the fics where Derek and Stiles are adorable little motherfuckers who grew up with each other and ending up loving each other. Goddamn this shit is too fucking adorable.

Of First Names and Lunch Breaks by frozenorange

3,133  I  2/2  I  part 1 of 2 of this series

General Audiences

His mom had told him that the best way to dissuade a bully is by ignoring him. Stiles finds out that the best way to dissuade a bully is Derek Hale.

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Saucery

3,895  I  one shot

Mature

“Hey, remember when we popped zits together? So sexy.”

Thrill (like white-hot wire) by raisesomehale

4,737  I  one shot

Mature

Stiles made the decision that Derek was his new best friend (and that he’ll one day marry him) the day he shared his dinosaur chicken nuggets with him.

A Thousand and One Firsts, But Only One Forever. by TheLoyalFriend

6,048  I  one shot

Mature

When Stiles was eight, he had panic attacks. He would sleep walk, block by block going further until he finally reached the woods.

When Derek was eleven he found some brat in the woods, asleep on a rock.

They fall in love.

Finding My Way Back To You  by myshadesofblack

6,464  I  6/?

Teen and Up

Childhood friends, Derek and Stiles were always close, really close. They got together in high school but somehow, it didn’t work, no matter how hard, how much, they wanted it to. Even with that, they grew closer. But Stiles is tired of waiting for Derek to want to be with him again, so when cute Danny Mahealani asks him out, he can’t help but say yes. But then there’s Derek, who came back for Stiles, who waited for him when he did his year abroad, who thought he’d give him time before he tried to ask him out again only to watch Danny steal the only person he’s ever loved.

Kick by Unloyal_Olio

6,616  I  one shot  I  part 1 of 2 of this series

Teen and Up

Derek is still trying to figure out what to do about this when a woman’s frantic voice comes down the aisle. “Baby, baby, baby—no kick. I’m so sorry. It’s a thing lately.” She waggles a finger at her son. “We don’t kick.”

Capes are Cool (but they don’t make a hero) by chantelle82

7,068  I  3/3

Teen and Up

The story of how Stiles and Derek fall in love and became heroes - to each other

little life-giver by The Byger (Byacolate)

9,039  I  5/5  I  part 2 of 3 of this series

General Audiences

It looked like Stiles. Mostly. But there was hair growing out the sides of his face, and his teeth were sharp, and when he reached over to grip at the side of the stall, his hands had become claws. And Derek had to cover his mouth before he screamed because never, never in his wildest dreams had he ever thought he’d actually meet a fairytale monster.

Kiss it Better by rhymeswithmonth

13,795  I  2/2  I  part 1 of 2 of this series

General Audiences

Stiles at age seven had been thoroughly disillusioned about the notion of healing kisses. It hadn’t worked for his mama, despite his dedication to the effort, and hadn’t worked since for him. But one day while playing with his new friend Derek, Stiles had fallen off his bike and skinned his elbows, knees and palms badly on the pavement. He’d manfully tried to keep from crying, because Derek was older and would surly think he was a baby if Stiles burst into tears in front of him, but a trickle of moisture had escaped and leaked down his cheek. He’d been sure that it was the end, that Derek, cool, tall, fifth grader Derek with the shiny black mountain bike and best video games would realize that Stiles was just a wimpy little loser not worth his time.

AU where Stiles and Derek were best friends before the fire. Stiles deals with Derek’s four-year disappearance and the events that lead to their reunion. Stiles didn’t know about the Hales being werewolves.

The History Of Us by apostrophee

14,566  I  1/3 

Teen and Up

There isn’t a grand tale about how P.J. Stilinski and D.J. Hale became friends; it was really kind of a sudden, unexpected thing. They sat beside each other in class and one day D.J. asked to borrow a pencil. And that was that, a friendship was born over a needed-to-be-sharpened, dull number 2 Pencil and a mutual distaste for long division.

“Pretend this is our den, kay?” by Survivah

16,141  I  one shot  I  part 1 of 5 of this series

Mature

In which Stiles is raised by (were)wolves, and he and Derek are childhood sweethearts that never stopped. Also, Kate Argent is a homicidal maniac but a very helpful plot device.

Armor by Sarageek16

18,663  I  one shot

Teen and Up

Stiles is one of the seven Chosen, children born with the mark of Michael. These children could change the tide of a heavenly war. Derekel is the slightly jaded angel is sent to watch over him until that time. Though Stiles gets himself into potential crises more than any other Chosen that the other angels have—except, possibly, Dean Winchester, who actively hunts monsters—Derekel manages. It isn’t easy, but he does so with the help of the Timeline: an internal map of things that are meant to happen in Stiles’ life. So long as allows certain events to naturally take place without interference, he is able to see dangers and stop them. To deviate from the timeline is death. Every angel knows that.

Stiles doesn’t know the whys or hows of why a guardian angel popped into his life, but he’s having the time of his life teaching him about the Force and feeding him ice cream. And those eyebrows. Hilarious. Everything’s great—that is, until Stiles’ mom gets sick and Derek refuses to heal her. But Stiles will throw himself into dangers on purpose before he allows her to die because of some stupid timeline.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Some Walls Were Meant to Come Down by UnabletoPROCESS

20,293  I  7/?

Teen and Up

When Derek first met Stiles he crashed through the wall he had built around himself, literally.

the difference between going back and going home by thepsychicclam

34,219  I  one shot

Explicit

Stiles and Derek were inseparable growing up, but then college, jobs, and life happened. When Stiles comes back to Beacon Hills a decade later, he doesn’t expect to reconnect with Derek, and he sure doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.

John Hughes Did Not Direct My Life by nascentgalaxies

48,666  I  3/3

Explicit

Stiles and Derek are childhood friends who drifted apart. When Stiles joins the lacrosse team against his will, the universe (with a little help from Laura and Lydia) chooses to push them back together.

Lead You Home Again by GotTheSilver

49,962  I  one shot

Explicit

The first time Derek meets Stiles, the kid’s brown eyes are wide, and he’s staring up at him with a mischievous grin as he tugs at the arm of Derek’s first ever Batman figure like he’s trying to separate it from Batman’s body.

An alternate take on Teen Wolf, wherein Stiles and Derek are childhood friends, and things unfold from there.

Dirty paws and furry coats by queerly_it_is

57,621  I  one shot

Explicit

Stiles is eight years old when his dad brings Derek home.

[AU based on Disney’s The Fox and the Hound]

Yo! I hope you liked the list! Sorry it took us a while to get to it! College is a fickle and bitchy mistress. 

Love and internet hugs,

Fluffy Wolf

And as a bonus:

Rant; miss me with that ship hate

I am gonna tag every massive ship because everyone needs to hear me out about this. I’m not gonna call out any ships or people.

I love Voltron Legendary Defender, I really love it and all the characters are so precious and my ships make me so happy, you can’t imagine. But let me just say a goddamn thing, the fandom is pissing me the fuck off.

First of all, leave the goddamn VA’s alone? Stop harassing the voice actors about your ships; I’m not just looking at the shippers of my Notps. Nope, the shippers of my otps too. The VA’s have nothing to do with the story line so don’t drag them into this childish ‘war.’

Secondly, what the actual fuck is the point of sending hate? What is the point of stooping so low that you waste your precious time on sending hateful messages to anyone that doesn’t ship what you ship?
There are big ships in this fandom that I don’t ship and that’s not because something else is my otp. I just don’t think they have chemistry, or I see them as great platonic friends/etc… but sending hate to shippers of something you dislike does not stop them from shipping it. If anyone would send me hate about my otp they can just fuck off and go back to their lives, I’ll never stop shipping it even if something else becomes canon.

Okay before anyone that follows me calls me a hypocrite because I have reblogged things that look sort of ‘anti.’ I have reblogged things that made fun of shippers, and I’m not going to delete those posts. They are never legitimately mean, they just make fun of it, just like I have reblogged posts that make fun of shippers from my otp that show we see ‘canon!1!1!1’ in every single movement and I think those posts are funny.
Everyone needs to stop seeing this all so serious, it’s an animated series for god’s sake. So please just stop being so rude to everyone there’s no point.

Conclusion:

Tl;dr
1) stop dragging VA’s into your ship wars, they’re all lovely and deserve none of this
2) sending (anon)hate is childish and has no point. Just flag or ignore posts about your notp, unless you’re like me and like making fun of our pathetic fandom
3) Please just mind your own business and stop taking this all so serious. This is just an animated show. People shipping your notp won’t have any impact on your everyday life.

Finally; let’s all just enjoy the show and every character on its own, love our precious VA’s and stop behaving like children who are in need of attention thank you. If you need to reply to this or want to say/add anything else, talk to me personally or whatever go on anon I don’t care but hate will be ignored.

We are kicking off Monday with fantastic news: join us in welcoming acclaimed writer Lidia Yuknavitch to Riverhead Books! Many of you have fallen in love with Lidia’s writing, whether through her works of thrilling fiction like The Book of Joan, or her powerful memoir The Chronology of Water. You may also know her from her powerful TED talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit.” We’ll be publishing her next two works of fiction. The first of these books, This Is Not a Flag, a revelatory group portrait of marginalized Americans in personal crisis, will be published in the spring of 2019. The second, an epic novel entitled Thrust, traces the stories of four characters in the 19th and 21st centuries in a fictional chronicle of the creation of a colossal female statue designed as a national symbol, inspired by the story of Frédéric Bartholdi and the Statue of Liberty. This weekend we asked Lidia a few of our most burning questions, and this is what she said:

What’s the best thing about being a misfit?

The best thing about being a misfit is our unstoppable ability to reinvent ourselves from seeming nothingness or rubble. We have the ability to shape-shift, to ever-become. We’ve had to, since we didn’t fit in the first place, or because we get continually ejected, or because we feel alive only at the edges of things. That’s not nothing. People could learn things from us: How to endure, how to come apart and reconstitute in the face of despair. No one has gotten anywhere without falling to pieces along the way … and misfits carry this story in our bodies.

 What gives you hope?

Well, when it comes to hope, I’ve stopped looking up. I don’t find it in superheroes or gods, saviors, leaders, or celebrities. What gives me hope happens at ground level—maybe even dirt level. Worms are some of the most hopeful creatures on earth.

What gives me hope is the way people create light even inside brutality. How children survive war and go on. How victims of violence manage to emerge and thrive. What gives me hope is the kind of kinesis created through artistic collaboration. Art gives me hope, as it’s a form of expression that can interrupt and counter the destruction that comes from consumer culture, and the politics of a death-driven culture (anti-planet, anti-existence, anti-love). Love gives me hope—especially a kind of reimagined, radicalized love, one that pulls away from the hubris of the individual and moves toward sustaining the planet and each other and animals and ecosystems. The emerging voices and bodies and art of women, people of color, LGBT people, indigenous people, and so-called “outsiders” (ex-cons, ex-junkies, people with mental health or physical differences, poor people, people outside of economy or academia or most institutions) give me hope—the kind of hope that says maybe, just maybe, the story can finally turn.

What’s your favorite statue?

This question makes me so overly nerdgasm excited I almost can’t answer it. Let me calm down. Okay. It’s a 4-way tie:

The Winged Victory of Samothrace. (I put a lock of my hair at the base of this one.) St. Joan at Nôtre Dame de Paris. (I’ve licked this one.) The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, by Bernini. (I left a tiny poem on this one.) Edvard Eriksen’s The Little Mermaid. (Visiting her—swimming to her—is on my bucket list.) I mean, look at them! Gaaaaaahhhh. There’s one other statue I’m obsessed with, but that’s another story. Ahem.

Who’s a favorite artist of yours who’s not a writer?

Another nerdgasm. Wait … you mean choose one? Joan Mitchell and Louise Bourgeois—although maybe Louise doesn’t count, because she wrote some wonderful little stories to accompany her drawings.

Tell us one amazing thing about swimming.

In water, you go both forward and backward in time, which is to say you leave what we pretend is time and enter something interdimensional, something more like the cosmos. You go back to your breathable amniotic origins, and you go forward toward a weightless recognition with all matter and energy. Maybe it’s like being a star in space. A lifedeath liminality. But maybe I’m just, you know, weird.

 What else should we know that we might not?

I sleep with four small stuffed monkeys. Yes, it gets crowded. Tell no one.

 Cats or dogs? And why?

Well, let me pre-empt the hate first by saying that cats are the slyest, smartest, wiliest, most hilariously passive aggressive creatures on earth. Okay? But dogs, man. Dogs all the way. Who else do you know that would roll around on their backs and bellies in the grass with you? I mean, maybe Walt Whitman, but who else? No one, that’s who. A dog will follow you out to the middle of the ocean if you bring a stick with you. A dog will stick by you if you’re freezing to death in a Game of Thrones episode. A dog will sleep on your grave if you loved them right in life. Who else would do that? Someday we will figure out how to repay them for what they have given us.

Suggested spells for this incredible super moon:

The earth and its people desperately need our help, please feel free to add to this list or to link any spells as you see necessary

• peace and understanding
• protect lgbtq, every race and religion
• for the burning mountains as well as those being evacuated
• to keep our water and oceans clean
• for the children and people living in war torn and third world counties (especially to keep them safe and fed)
• to keep all protests peaceful
• to stop the dapl
• to stop any acts of hate or violence
• to help all those in Italy and New Zealand who’ve survived the earth quakes and to cease aftershocks
• to give awareness to those who are hurting others (so they stop)
• help endangered animals thrive


and obviously, if you’re able to, please volunteer and donate. These spell suggestions are for those who are unable to do more but still wish to help

💞🌎🙏🏼🌻✨

Today is a day that won’t mean much to a lot of you. It’s a Friday, sure. It’s nearly the weekend. It’s one of those days you look forward to all week, because it means you get to have a few days to yourself. Today however, is also International Romani Day, a day designed to raise awareness of the issues faced by the Roma population, but to also celebrate their culture and heritage.

Keep reading

regarding politics in gorillaz

though I’ve seen some people touch on this before, I wanted to find examples of political themes in songs aside from hallelujah money (since some feel that it is out of character to include such themes). so I’ve gone through and listed every song I could argue is political (but I may have missed something). am I looking too far into some of them? probably. in any case, here’s what I found (sorry I can’t put it under a read more, I’m on mobile):

tomorrow comes today – people fear that technological advances will eventually overrun mankind, but this future is far closer than we believe

911 - self-explanatory

clint eastwood – though many argue about the meaning of this song, one can claim that 2d represents our society, a bit apathetic/passive and expecting better things to come, while del makes points about corruption of government and enterprises that are taking advantage of the people, who feel useless to stop them

kids with guns - might be the older generation’s fear of their children, even though they are the ones creating a world in which they must behave this way, or about gun control and school shootings. or both

o green world – a look in the future, after we’ve caused our own downfall (with possible hints at apocalyptic pollution)

dirty harry – about to the war in iraq

feel good inc – rebellion of corporate control. possibly, but not necessarily, the drug industry in particular (prescription, not recreational), which is often criticized by political activists, and would give additional meaning to “feel good,” as in antidepressants, painkillers, stimulants, etc., though this is up to interpretation

every planet we reach is dead – in addition to the implications of the title, when considering that noodle wrote it, it’s plausible that it’s about homosexuality (or any sort of same gender love), and the feelings of helplessness/ hopelessness that often accompany LGBT+ identities

fire coming out of the monkey’s head – imperialism

demon days – mentions pollution, and that we use media and drugs to cope with
society

we are happy landfill – in addition to the title, the subject is how we follow the lives set for us by corporate capitalism. It may also imply our desensitization of violence on the news and in media

hong kong – industrialization and the oncoming authoritarianism from china

the entire concept of the plastic beach album – pollution, superficial society

rhinestone eyes – global warming as a result of factories, cars, etc

stylo – overpopulation, (dependency on) technology, depression of society as a whole

superfast jellyfish – commercialism, artificiality

empire ants – the fall of an empire, and the individual’s role in working for a broken government

some kind of nature – industrialization taking over nature

sweepstakes – capitalism/ money

plastic beach – pollution (in the ocean)

pirate jet – running out of clean water, the effects of manufacturing plastic

little pink plastic bags – pollution

the Joplin spider – pollution, violence

bobby in phoenix – escaping the reality of society, but losing part of one’s individual intelligence, as a result

california and the slipping of the sun – mentions money and imperialism

And the Heavens Wept

Gather round my children, and let me tell you of the humans. They came from the third planet of a tiny system, surrounded by desolate space. Not one sentient species for hundreds of lightyears, and they managed to propel themselves into space.

We watched from afar as they developed slowly. We watched as they warred among themselves, brutal and savage. We watched as they rendered regions of their planet uninhabitable to themselves, a hardy species able to adapt to even the most hostile of environments. We watched as suddenly and without warning they united under four banners, the rest falling by the wayside. We watched as they expanded into what we had begun to use as a buffer zone, to allow these humans to burn themselves out in.

But they did not burn themselves out. Despite their warring among themselves. Harsh people. Humankind is a race of warriors, do not be fooled by the eloquence of their diplomats. In their own words, “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means”. Their greatest artists and philosophers were born from blood and conflict. I had the privilege once to view a painting by one Pablo Picasso, entitled Guernica. It was a savage piece, with not a drop of color. It showed the horrors of war, and the irony of it all was that the painting hung in the office of one of humankind’s generals.

It was sudden, when they burst from the containment zone. When they realized they were not alone. And we, with heavy hearts, prepared to fight them bitterly and to the last. Imagine then, our surprise when humanity embraced us among the stars as long lost brothers. They were overjoyed to discover they were not alone in the darkness. Despite their brutal and warlike culture, despite their glorification of death and violence, their people do not seek out combat. An ancient general of theirs once put it thusly “Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace”.

For centuries humanity worked to better itself. They unified under a single Interstellar Empire, the Empire of Man, the Human Empire, however you called it. They enjoyed art and music. They became leisurely at home, exploratory in the field. Their weapons of war were long gone, beaten into plowshares as they say. Humanity was finally at peace. There was no conflict among them, a few border skirmishes for certain, and they kept a small standing military, but nothing more than that. We considered them domesticated.

At first we were surprised at their transformation, then overjoyed. We welcomed them into the fold of the cosmos, embraced them as they would embrace us. We thought we knew humanity then, that we had seen them at their best and their worst. We were wrong, so very wrong. We did not truly understand humanity until the Texar-Hakara came into the void between the stars.

Seemingly more brutal, more bloodthirsty than even the humans, they swept into our region of space like conquerors. They smashed whatever feeble resistance the Yungling managed to put up, took their planets, enslaved the survivors, and pressed on. The Junti were next, utterly destroyed. The four great races left, ourselves, the Itaxa, the Kukrama, and the Illnaa, banded together to try and stop them. In our arrogance, we did not include the humans in our pact. Too few in number, too weak in frame, too backwards in technology we thought.

The Texar-Hakara hit our borders like the great wave that sweeps life from the beach. We hardened our hearts and prepared for the worst. Seeming without pause they crushed our border defenses. They obliterated the first fleets we sent to them. The Itaxa fell to the Texar-Hakara, enslaved, killed, scattered to the corners of the galaxy. Then the humans sent us an offer, a request really. They asked to fight alongside us.

Bemused, we accepted. What else could we do? Deny them the right to fight with us for their very survival? We thought to assign them as rearguards, to ferry our people to safety after our fleets fell. We thought wrong.

Humanity swept into the stars with a fury unmatched by any other. Their fleets were not the heaviest. Their guns not the most accurate. Their soldiers however. Their sailors. Their warriors were unmatched by any others in the cosmos. I remember the first battle in which the humans fought the Texar-Hakara like it was but a single solar cycle ago. Our forces were on the brink of breaking and fleeing. Our ships were gutted ruins. Our fighters exhausted and out of missiles. Then humanity fell upon the flank of the enemy, and the full force of the Human Empire was unleashed in a single moment of utter fury. Landing craft spat across the distance in an instant, slamming into enemy hulls and disgorging humanity’s greatest weapon, their Marines. In close combat humanity is unstoppable, and so they took the vast distances of space combat out of the equation.

Their ships belched fire and plasma. Lasers crossed the vast distances in the blink of an eye. Half the Texar-Hakaran fleet was obliterated in minutes. The other half turned to face this new enemy, only to be wracked by internal explosions as the Marines did their work. Their greatest ships turned on the rest of the fleet, a handful of humans holding the bridge against waves of enemy attackers to turn the tide of battle.

The Interstellar War came to a screeching turnaround. The advance of the Texar-Hakara halted, like it had hit an immovable wall. In many ways that is what humanity is, an immovable, implacable wall. Then, with the ferocity humanity is alone capable of, they routed the Texar-Hakara. Not from that lone battle. They pushed them out of Itaxa space, liberating the slaves. The space of the Junti and the Yungling was swept clear of invaders. Then the Texar-Hakara committed the gravest of sins in humanity’s eyes. They warped a fleet to Earth, jewel of humanity’s empire. They burned that blue and green world. They destroyed it, and the ten billion people it housed.

Humanity is a forgiving race my children. Even their most terrible of wars have resulted in lasting friendships between nations. When they left millions dead and broken on the muddly fields of their world, they rebuilt the aggressors. They raised them from the mud, dusted them off, and welcomed them back into the fold. But there is one thing that humanity cannot, will not, tolerate. It is abhorrent to them my children. To strike at their home, to strike where they raise their young ones. Where they leave their mates and non combatants. To strike there is to raise the ire of the human race, truly.

Humanity raged. Their attempts at obtaining the surrender of the Texar-Hakara halted. The war turned from a righteous war of liberation to a furious and hateful war of retribution. We begged the humans to stop, to leave what few planets the Texar-Hakara had alone. Our pleas went unanswered for months, until a single human ambassador came to us. His face was cold and emotionless. He told us, in no uncertain terms, that the Texar-Hakara had doomed themselves and that any trying to aid them would suffer the same fate. Quietly we watched then, as humanity wiped the Texar-Hakara from the stars. The Texar-Hakara pleaded for mercy. They offered their unconditional surrender. They came to us and begged on bent knee for us to reign in the mad dogs we had unwittingly unleashed into the universe. Humanity had for so long repressed their warrior culture. Tried to become better. Then we had given them back into the fires of war, and humanity had awakened it’s warrior past.

The Texar-Hakara ambassador and his delegation was taken from our halls by grim human Marines and thrust out airlocks. Finally there was but one planet left, and we came to the humans, we pointed to our own losses, our own dead friends some of whom had lived for longer than humanity had been among the stars, and we begged the humans not to take the last of the Texar-Hakara’s lives.

I watched, children, I watched as the Texar-Hakara’s Empire burned. As humanity left but one of their planets alive, a simple backwater colony of no more than ten million. Ten million, out of the trillions. Then the leader of the human military turned to me, and with no emotion in his voice, told me that humanity accepted the unconditional surrender of the Texar-Hakara, and walked off the bridge of my ship.

My children, the lesson here is that a warrior past is never truly gone. Only buried, mayhaps even wiped from living memory. But gone? Never. Humanity showed us that.

…So bored. With such nice weather, I start thinking about useless things much more than usual. Humans are free. Although we can’t fly through the skies all alone, if we can think it, we can do almost anything. We can sleep when we’re sleepy. We are free to start or stop anything whenever we wish. Of course, it is a bit hindered by common sense, moralities, and the rules of society. Walking nude out in the streets, stealing from the elderly, and even killing, we can do all of this as long as we throw out our morals. Which is why they drill these laws in our head when we are children. And yet, people still continue to fight, deceive, and steal from each other. And so, people suffer because they live. Even now, there are events of happiness and unhappiness going on all over the world… What can we do to make everyone happy? Of course that’s impossible for me to know. If the answer to that could be found in the shallow wisdom of a kid, wars would have stopped long ago. But I also dislike just leaving that problem up to the society or the government. In this world, the essence of a frank honest human is just an idealization. After all, a great person is just one who follows the popular will of the people. I’m sure that there’s nothing that can make everyone happy. Happiness is relative, and that’s how people want it. Evil is relative. Mothers can become demons when they do anything to protect their child. Yet it’s usually seen as admirable. But when a person does anything for the country he loves, wars break out. Isn’t it all the same thing? No matter how much a person pretends to be good and kind, he will still have negative aspects. But nobody really tries to notice that fact. Why is that? They all try to place the blame on others, and never ever consider the possibility that they themselves played part in the problem. Just what the hell am I thinking? The world isn’t going to change no matter what I think. Then what should I be doing? I don’t really want to do anything. I don’t want to order nor trouble anyone. That’s just laziness, I guess. I don’t go to school, nor do I work and I’ve been wasting my time away since noon. Look at me, talking about freedom of humans when I’m just some suspicious punk in this town. In conclusion, I have nothing. And the thing I want to say the most right now is… I really want some money right now!!
—  Seki’s monologue from Oyasumi Punpun, by Inio Asano
Katniss isn’t the mockingjay… but her children are

I don’t mean to insinuate that Katniss isn’t the central character of The Hunger Games series or that she isn’t the catalyst for a revolution or the symbol of rebellion to her people. She is all of those things and more. She is cast by the rebellion as the Mockingjay, and she comes to identify as that role, albeit reluctantly. I would argue, though, that she just isn’t the mockingjay. There’s a qualitative difference between the two. One capital letter can make a world of difference. So let’s talk more about that little “m.”

The Hunger Games is, among other things, a treatise on how we, as a society, care (or don’t) for our children. It’s a pacifist call to stop using our children in the theater of war. This is corroborated when Katniss thinks, “[S]omething is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children to settle its differences.” She even comes to embrace what Peeta cautioned against in his first Capitol interview, that humans as she knows them ought to die off so that “some decent species [can] take over.” (MJ 377)

This new species of human is the mockingjay.

Suzanne Collins goes through great pains to relay a few basic truths to the reader from the outset of The Hunger Games:

  • Katniss is a “mini me” version of her deceased father. Whereas her mother and sister are delicate and fair like the merchant class, Katniss is Seam Strong: she’s not only darkly complected like her father, but she shares his rebellious and free spirit. There is nothing merchant class about Katniss. She is, to her core, Seam.
  • Katniss can’t bear the thought of having children in the world she knows. If it strikes you as odd that Suzanne Collins would have a 16-year-old girl talking about having (or not having) children within the first several pages of the series, then you’re onto something. This is an overarching theme and preoccupation, and it’s perhaps the most important one to Katniss as a character. Having, or not having children, is representative of Katniss’ future. By not wanting to have children, she is resisting the system in the only way she can as a disenfranchised person. It’s her way of opting out of the future altogether.
  • There is a specific mythology behind the mockingjay as a species, and Suzanne Collins wants us to get it exactly right. (we’ll talk about that more in a sec).     

Why do these three points matter?

Let’s start with the mythology behind the mockingjay. Here’s what Collins tells us:

“They’re… something of a slap in the face to the Capitol. During the rebellion, the Capitol bred a series of genetically altered animals as weapons. The common term for them was muttations, or sometimes mutts for short. One was a special bird called a jabberjay that had the ability to memorize and repeat whole human conversations. They were homing birds, exclusively male, that were released into regions where the Capitol’s enemies were known to be hiding. After the birds gathered words, they’d fly back to centers to be recorded. It took people awhile to realize what was going on…Then, of course, the rebels fed the Capitol endless lies, and the joke was on it. So the centers were shut down and the birds were abandoned to die off in the wild.

Only they didn’t die off. Instead, the jabberjays mated with female mockingbirds, creating a whole new species that could replicate both bird whistles and human melodies.” (THG 42-43)

Apologies for the extended quote! But this is some heavy stuff… it’s the heart and soul of the series. The Capitol creates a weapon against its people, the male jabberjay, a bird excellent with words. Ultimately the jabberjay proves useless to the Capitol- worse than useless, even. Destructive. The rebels use it for their own cause. And then the jabberjay mates with the female mockingbird and creates a new species that should never have existed. Suzanne Collins might as well have put a “spoiler alert” before this paragraph. This foreshadows exactly what happens in the series. And she just told us on page 42. That saucy minx.

Katniss is the mockingbird. She isn’t a mutt of anything; she is purely her father, a product of the Seam. She is so “Seam” she is practically a monolith. As a child, she overhears her father singing and spouting anti-Capitol political rhetoric, and she replicates his call, getting scolded by her mother. (THG 6, MJ 123) When her father would sing, all the birds would stop to listen to him. And lo and behold!, the same is true of Katniss. (THG 301). Throughout the series, Katniss only ever sings the songs her father taught her, those she heard as a child. She doesn’t have a song of her own. The mockingbird, in literature, symbolizes innocence and purity. And, despite the countless horrible things Katniss thinks about herself, she is an innocent. She isn’t privy to the political machinations of the adults around her. She doesn’t even know the content of her own heart. She’s pure (but for Peeta she’s perfect).  

….Which brings us to Peeta. He is the jabberjay. He is described by Katniss as being good with words more times than it’s useful to recount. One of my favorite examples is when Katniss thinks, “Peeta doesn’t need a brush to paint images… He works just as well in words” (MJ 22) In fact, following his first interview with Caesar Flickerman, she adds, “I don’t care [that he is a traitor]. Not what he says or who he says it for, only that he is still capable of speech.” (MJ 27) He is the voice of reason in her world, the leader she envisions in a just society. Just as Peeta hears her call and is “a goner,” so too is Katniss for him. They are two songbirds impossibly, irrevocably attracted to each other.

Peeta isn’t just a songbird, though. He is, specifically, the jabberjay.  He is tortured by the Capitol, turned into an “evil-mutt version” of himself, and is sent to destroy Katniss and, therefore, the rebellion (MJ 243). When he is rescued and brought to District 13, the Capitol’s scheme has apparently worked. He tries to kill her (let’s not talk about that), and his attraction to her is “gone” (her words, not mine). He uses the “L” word with Katniss for the first time- in past tense (ouch! it burns!!!). And he says to her, “You’re not very big, are you? Or particularly pretty?” (MJ 230) Let’s just say that hijacked!Peeta isn’t immediately a fan of the bird in front of him. But he’s a homing bird, and time after time, he finds his way back to her. In the beginning of Mockingjay, Katniss notes that “Peeta would have nothing to come home to anyway. Except me…” (9). And he does. Again and again, he finds his way back home to her.

If Katniss is the mockingbird and Peeta is the jabberjay, that makes their children the mockingjay. Katniss had been drawn to the mockingjay since she was a child, admitting that there was “something comforting about the little bird” (THG 43). Despite her insistence on not having children within a totalitarian regime, the mockingjay always served as a symbol of hope for her, even if she didn’t want to admit why. Katniss and Peeta’s children are that hope- and “only Peeta” could give her that. Peeta finally gets Katniss to buy into that future, to allow herself to feel the hope he has always represented to her. Falling in love and having children together is the way to show the world that they, as people, are more than just pieces in anyone’s Games.

So Mockingjay must end with the children, with a girl and a boy who possess traits of each of their parents and who are a new species of mutt that the Capitol never intended to exist. These children are the most important characters in the series. Katniss and Peeta’s children are the symbol of hope that we were promised, as readers, from the very beginning. They are the mockingjay. They don’t know that they dance on the ashes on the dead, and that’s okay. The fire and ashes are in the past, and the mockingjay is the symbol of a hopeful future, freewheeling in a sunshine-filled meadow. Suzanne gives us that token to carry with us, to take into whatever games we find ourselves forced to play.

(And a shout-out to everlarkedalways for inspiring me to write this)