tentacle coil

Colony Vs. The Tax Evaders for Freedom and Justice

This fills the tentacle square on my bingo card. 
Challenger @rose-on-the-mountain, who is also responsible for the Tax Evaders. 

I’m not sure if this will actually fit into the Happy Lights ‘verse, or if it’s just a fun sort of what-if scenario, but I hope you enjoy it!


“They call themselves The Tax Evaders for Freedom and Justice,” Steve explained. He rubbed at the center of his forehead. “They’re registered as a church.”

“That is a joke,” Tony insisted. “There’s no way that is actually not a joke.”

Steve shrugged helplessly. “That’s what the file says. They’ve recruited some B-list villains including… The Kangaroo, Asbestos Lady, and… Flag Smasher?” He was miserable just reading the names and pushed his tablet away so he could put his face in his palm.

“Wow,” Clint said, “You are a massive troll, Cap, but I don’t think even you could troll this hard. Why are we getting called for this one? Isn’t this something that the cops can handle? Or, you know… the local biker gang?”

“We don’t really have anything better to do at the moment,” Steve pointed out, “And it would be a good training exercise for our newest member.”

The colony didn’t quite understand the point of chairs, but it was trying to imitate its human colony members. Several of the larger tentacles were coiled around the empty chair at the briefing table, and the rest were spread out over and around the table to keep limbs wrapped around their humans. It was a small subcolony of only forty-seven members who had come back with ‘Steve Colony’ after their last trip to the colony homeworld, and looked intent on setting up a permanent colony presence.  

“Can’t we just sic the IRS on them? I mean…The Church of the Tax Evaders for Freedom and Justice. Really,” Clint persisted.

Think of it like a team building exercise, Tony suggested, and the colony lit up gold at his mental voice. I have new arrows for you to try out.

Sold! Clint agreed.

Sold! the colony repeated, flickering through a quick rainbow of colors, and then asked, Sold?

The colony did not understand currency, and the last time Tony had tried to explain the concepts of buying and selling, they’d ended up in a circular loop of Why? for most of the night. About the only thing the colony had been attracted to during the conversation was Tony unleashing financial ‘logic’ into the colony mindspace. It was a good thing they weren’t interested in using the colony’s understanding of math to their own benefit, because they could just about take over the world with only minimal effort and the colony’s help.

Let’s not start that conversation again, Bruce pleaded. “Asbestos Lady?”

Steve checked the notes. He grimaced, but offered, “Apparently she’s fire-proof?”

“And dying of asbestos poisoning?” Sam guessed. His chair was conspicuously tentacle-free, but he had his head propped up on one fist and was casually petting the magenta tentacle that had wrapped around his water glass, the end periscoped up to eye level and nuzzling against his fingers. It flickered gold and the colony was suffused with a definite sense of smugness at the attention. “Has the colony been cleared to leave the tower?”

“Technically or theoretically?” Tony asked innocently. He was completely bound to his chair by a dozen thick loops and being towed around the table at the colony’s leisure.

Sam hastily held up a hand. “I don’t even want to know. Plausible deniability is a thing.”

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“What’s past is prologue.”

-The Tempest

Prologue: an event or action that leads to another event or situation.


People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to journalists. Young girls run away from home. Young children stray from their parents and are never seen again. Housewives reach the end of their tether and take the grocery money and a taxi to the station. 

International financiers change their names and vanish into the smoke of imported cigars. Many of the lost will be found, eventually, dead or alive. Disappearances, after all, have explanations. 

Usually.


I woke three times in the dark predawn. First in sorrow, then in joy, and at last, in solitude. The tears of a bone-deep loss woke me slowly, bathing my face like the comforting touch of a damp cloth in soothing hands. I turned my face to the wet pillow and sailed a saltry river into the caverns of grief remembered, into the subterranean depths of sleep. 

I came awake then in fierce joy, body arched bowlike in the throes of physical joining, the touch of him fresh on my skin, dying along the paths of my nerves as the ripples of consummation spread from my center. I repelled consciousness, turning again, seeking the sharp, warm smell of a man’s satisfied desire, in the reassuring arms of my lover, sleep. 

The third time I woke alone, beyond the touch of love or grief. The sight of the stones was fresh in my mind. A small circle, standing stones on the crest of a steep green hill. The name of the hill is Craigh na Dun; the fairies’ hill. Some say the hill is enchanted, others say it is cursed. Both are right. But no one knows the function or the purpose of the stones. 

 Except me.


When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. Not because of any fear of drowned worms or wet stockings; I was by and large a grubby child, with a blissful disregard for filth of any kind. It was because I couldn’t bring myself to believe that that perfect smooth expanse was no more than a thin film of water over solid earth. 

I believed it was an opening into some fathomless space. Sometimes, seeing the tiny ripples caused by my approach, I thought the puddle impossibly deep, a bottomless sea in which the lazy coil of tentacle and gleam of scale lay hidden, with the threat of huge bodies and sharp teeth adrift and silent in the far-down depths. 

And then, looking down into reflection, I would see my own round face and frizzled hair against a featureless blue sweep, and think instead that the puddle was the entrance to another sky. If I stepped in there, I would drop at once, and keep on falling, on and on, into blue space. 

The only time I would dare to walk through a puddle was at twilight, when the evening stars came out. If I looked in the water and saw one lighted pinprick there, I could splash through unafraid—for if I should fall into the puddle and on into space, I could grab hold of the star as I passed, 


and be safe

Even now, when I see a puddle in my path, my mind half-halts—though my feet do not—then hurries on, with only the echo of the thought left behind. 

What if, this time, you fall?


I’ve never been afraid of ghosts. I live with them daily, after all. When I look in a mirror, my mother’s eyes look back at me; my mouth curls with the smile that lured my great-grandfather to the fate that was me. No, how should I fear the touch of those vanished hands, laid on me in love unknowing? How could I be afraid of those that molded my flesh, leaving their remnants to live long past the grave? Still less could I be afraid of those ghosts who touch my thoughts in passing. Any library is filled with them. I can take a book from dusty shelves, and be haunted by the thoughts of one long dead, still lively as ever in their winding sheet of words. 

Of course it isn’t these homely and accustomed ghosts that trouble sleep and curdle wakefulness. Look back, hold a torch to light the recesses of the dark. Listen to the footsteps that echo behind, when you walk alone. All the time the ghosts flit past and through us, hiding in the future. We look in the mirror and see the shades of other faces looking back through the years; we see the shape of memory, standing solid in an empty doorway. 

By blood and by choice, we make our ghosts; we haunt ourselves. 

Each ghost comes unbidden from the misty grounds of dream and silence. Our rational minds say, “No, it isn’t.” But another part, an older part, echoes always softly in the dark, “Yes, but it could be.” We come and go from mystery and, in between, we try to forget. But a breeze passing in a still room stirs my hair now and then in soft affection. I think it is my mother.


I have lived through war, and lost much. I know what’s worth the fight, and what is not. 

Honor and courage are matters of the bone, and what a man will kill for, he will sometimes die for, too. And that, O kinsman, is why a woman has broad hips; that bony basin will harbor a man and his child alike. A man’s life springs from his woman’s bones, and in her blood is his honor christened. 

For the sake of love alone, would I walk through fire again.


TIME IS A LOT OF THE THINGS people say that God is. There’s the always preexisting, and having no end. There’s the notion of being all powerful—because nothing can stand against time, can it? Not mountains, not armies. And time is, of course, all-healing. 

Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust; and unto dust thou shalt return. 

And if Time is anything akin to God, 

I suppose that Memory must be the Devil.


THE BODY IS amazingly plastic. The spirit, even more so. But there are some things you don’t come back from. Say ye so, a nighean? True, the body’s easily maimed, and the spirit can be crippled—yet 

there’s that in a man that is never destroyed.


IN THE LIGHT OF eternity, time casts no shadow. Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. But what is it that the old women see? 

We see necessity, and we do the things that must be done. Young women don’t see—they are, and the spring of life runs through them. Ours is the guarding of the spring, ours the shielding of the light we have lit, the flame that we are. What have I seen? 

You are the vision of my youth, the constant dream of all my ages. Here I stand on the brink of war again, a citizen of no place, no time, no country but my own 

… and that a land lapped by no sea but blood, bordered only by the outlines of a face long-loved. 


Outlander, Prologues 1-8

As requested by anon. 

anonymous asked:

I was thinking earlier about tentacle sex alongside sensory deprivation (as you do) and my inevitable conclusion was that there should be more Ardyn x Blind!Ignis out there.

I don’t know why this happened, but it happened.  I actually feel kind of bad for Ignis in this drabble for being kind of cruel. Hope you enjoy, anon.

CW - Dubcon-ish, tentacle sex, tiny bit of blood.



Ignis knew something was amiss the moment he thought he heard his lover’s voice.

But he didn’t care.  Even if the every part of this Noct didn’t feel the same - the kisses were devoid of meaning, the touches were rough and commanding, and even the way he spoke to him was nothing like Noct would have - he still went along with it.  Even a fleeting moment of it feeling like Noct was back in his embrace three long years after he had succumb to the crystal made it all worth it for him.  Call it desperation if you must, but the flood of emotion and need coming back to Ignis overrode every logical fiber in the strategist’s mind.

“I was quite aware you weren’t Noct the moment you spoke to me.  You really should work on that if you insist upon mimicking others.”  Ignis chides, trying to find some footing in a situation he was already losing in.

“But yet you still pursued this, regardless.” Ardyn laughs darkly, running his thumb up Ignis’ rigid cock and wiping the bead of precum forming at his tip.  “Rather naughty of you.”

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Hey so ResetAU is officially done (at least on this blog) and all my friends are starting standswap early so?? WHY NOT HERE WE GO

Norimura Kakyoin

  • Human Hierophant Green
  • He/Him, 17
  • Chill as fuck, meme king
  • Actually putting on a giant facade, depressed and apathetic as shit but tries to act like everything is 👌
  • A born stand user. He thought his stand was an imaginary friend/a fragment of his imagination the majority of his childhood and thus tried to ignore it. Caused him a lot of problems growing up.
  • Accepted the fact that he had a weird pink ghost attached to him around the beginning of middle school and started to learn how to control it

Lonely Hearts

  • Formerly known as Mr Softee (sorry guys the name wasn’t working that well for me)
  • Stand Noriaki Kakyoin
  • Was ignored the majority of Norimura’s childhood. Just wanted to help.
  • Stomach hole consists of coiled tentacles. Can expand and shrink.
  • Stomach hole works like a guillotine on Norimura’s command. Objects that go through the hole are sliced in half. Tentacles that form hole can be extended out to grab and pull things, thus making it easier to get them through.
  • Has a habit of wanting to fill the hole, so tends to shove random objects (and people) inside it. Luckily the guillotine effect isn’t remote.
  • ReroReroReroReroReroReroRero!

Sorry for the lame watermark but after last time hahahahahahahaha

And that’s it! Feel free to interact with them starting now!!  ✌️

Cabal regarded her with mild amusement. “Smile when you whisper,” he advised her. “You’re supposed to be flirting with me, if you recall?”

She stared at him icily. Then suddenly her expression thawed and she smiled winsomely, her eyes dewy with romantic love. “Oh, sweetheart… somebody tried to kill you? Whosoever would do such a thing to my nimpty-bimpty snookums?”

Cabal could not have been more horrified if she’d pulled off her face to reveal a gaping chasm of eternal night from which glistening tentacles coiled and groped. That had already happened to him once in his life, and he wasn’t keen to repeat the experience.

“What?” he managed in a dry whisper.

“Smile when you whisper,” she said, her expression fixed and blood-curdlingly coquettish. You’re supposed to be flirting with me, remember?”

“Please don’t do that.“

—  Johannes Cabal the Detective, Jonathan L Howard

ixa193  asked:

Has there been any "discourse" on the identification of Eugenodonts? Because, I mean- they just look so impractical.

Before we talk about Eugeneodontida as a whole, let’s talk about their most famous member.

In 1899, the above fossil was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, depicting a spiral-shaped whorl of teeth resembling a circular saw.  The teeth resembled those of a shark, but paleontologists were uncertain of how this tooth-whorl would operate, or how it would fit into the animal’s anatomy.  They named it Helicoprion (”spiral saw”), and began working on a century-long puzzle as to its true shape.

Hypotheses as to the animal’s true nature included:

  • The animal had an extended lower jaw shaped like a pizza cutter, used to “saw” flesh off of much larger prey.
  • The animal’s lower jaw was a coiled-up tentacle-like structure, capable of lashing out at prey like a whip.
  • The “saw” was located in the back of the animal’s throat.
  • The “teeth” were actually defensive spines located on one of the animal’s fins. 
  • The animal was actually more ray-like than shark-like, with a spiral-shaped tooth-lined throat used to grind up small prey.

It wasn’t until the discovery of a more completely preserved specimen of one of Helicoprion’s relatives that the true nature of the animal was revealed.  The “tooth-whorl” was actually a preserved growth ring; the large, exterior teeth would gradually be worn down and replaced by the smaller, still-growing inner teeth.  The top of this ring protruded at the front of the lower jaw.

The purpose of the “tooth-whorl” is still not entirely known.  It’s possible that it was used to snag soft-bodied animals, like jellyfish or cephalopods.  It might also have been used to slice small bits of flesh off of larger, slow-moving prey.

Helicoprion belonged to an order of cartilaginous fish called Eugeneodontida.  While originally thought of as sharks, more recent anatomical discoveries place them closer to Chimeridae, commonly known as chimeras, rabbitfish, or ratfish, a more obscure family of cartilaginous fish.

The eugeneodonts had a near-global distribution from the Early Carboniferous to the Late Triassic periods, with fossils known from Russia, Greenland, China, and the Americas.  They were united by the presence of “tooth-whorls”, but these whorls looked quite different from species to species.  

Parahelicoprion had sharp-edged, protruding teeth that may have been used to wound fast-moving prey.

Sarcoprion had a row of teeth on its snout running parallel to its tooth-whorl, said to have been used to snatch up small prey and grind them to death - something that strikes me as needlessly sensationalist.  I personally believe that it “ratcheted” small animals into its mouth with a series of rapid jaw movements, like the modern Nemichthydae.

One of the largest eugeneodonts was the Late Carboniferous species Edestus, which grew to the same size as a modern great white shark.  It lacked a tooth-whorl, instead possessing twin rows of teeth that have drawn frequent comparisons to pinking shears.  Like Helicoprion, only its teeth have been found, so much of its appearance is unknown; the shark-like reconstruction above is highly speculative.

The eugeneodonts are believed to have been the dominant marine predators during the Early Triassic, until the rise and diversification of the ichthyosaurs drove them to extinction.  Their living relatives have a worldwide distribution, including the deep-sea abyss, but have never been as well-known or popular as the other members of the class Chondrichthyes - the sharks, rays, skates, and sawfish.

The Love of a Good Woman

This is an expansion of Jamie’s state of mind during the first 4 eps of season 2.

FanFic Master List


It had been months. His wounds were all but healed. His hand was better than he had hoped it could be. His cock, on the other hand, had betrayed him utterly.

They had tried so many times. He had failed so many times. So often he could not rise to the challenge, no matter how desperately he might want to bed Claire. Other times he would find himself fiercely erect, burning with want of her, yet as soon as he began, as soon as he relaxed into any sort of intimacy with her, he was filled with disgust and shame so profound that he would have to leave their bed for fear of being sick amongst the bedclothes.

In the beginning he had tried to explain, but everything seemed pathetic and futile so he stopped. She had fought with him and she had cried. She had tried to talk him through it, tried to initiate intimacy. He had rebuffed and rejected her as gently as possible. Sometimes it was because it was too late, or because he had to get up too early, because he had important papers he must attend to or because he felt ill. They both knew it was because he feared the connection. He was aloof and withdrawn when he was with her in their chamber and eventually she stopped crying, stopped fighting, stopped asking for love and simply became silent. No reproach, no anger, no excitement. Just – nothing.

Tonight he had dreamed he was making love to his wife. She was naked beneath him, holding him so close he could feel the press of her breasts. Her legs wrapped enticingly around him, her skin burning where it touched his. He felt a joy so profound he wanted to both weep and laugh as he carried them to release…until, with unrelenting predictability, Randall replaced Claire.

He came awake abruptly, cock hard, balls aching, stomach churning with bile. Claire, as always, tried to ease him through it. How could he tell this beautiful creature that the sight and touch of her after a nightmare such as this made him sick with self-loathing? He would never be a man again.

This was the fifth night in a row he had awakened in the dark, drenched in sweat, cursing his continued existence; five nights of wicked dreams, five nights of pain, five nights of terror, five nights of rage. This was the pattern of his nocturnal existence. Finally, he’d grow so weary from lack of sleep that his body would simply collapse, and he’d sleep for a night, and awake renewed and strengthened, only to begin the horrible process again within a few days.

Occasionally at first, and then with alarming regularity, he would lose himself in drink, muddying his mind and blurring his thoughts. Even then all he found was a haze of menace and unease; his rest was never profitable. So many nights he would leave their bed, leave Claire, under the pretense of work. There was much to be done, and the Lord knew he was slow of hand. Frequently he did stay up, struggling through the manifests and bills of lading, doing the work required of him, lessening his anguish in the simple monotony of the wine business. But just as many nights he was unable to focus on the work and found himself alone in the alcove of their sitting room. He would lie under his plaid, seeking but not finding, comfort in the weave of that familiar friend, wrestling with his demons. Often he wept, despair overtaking his soul. Every part of him desired Claire. Every muscle strained towards her, urging him to rise and return to their bed, but he could not. He could not face lying next to her, feeling the heat of her skin, smelling the faintly green scent that always floated about her hair. He couldn’t bear to smell the musk of desire and arousal that drifted from her secret places, filling his senses with promise, urging him to take her, use her, rid himself of the fear and shame and loathing that were his constant companions. He couldn’t bear to try and fail in a never-ending cycle of humiliation.

She was a stranger to him now. He no longer knew her body. He felt distant from her mind. She was still Claire, but she was as separate from him as any stranger had ever been. He screamed internally, desperate to find a way to her. Every path was blocked by the black abyss filled with him, the demon who’d ended his life, but hadn’t killed him. Damn Jack Randall to the black pits of hell forever. Damn him!

 The rage he felt was so consuming on some days that he could barely maintain the most mundane conversations. His body and mind screamed at him to maim, kill and crush. He needed to destroy that which had tried to destroy, nay, which had destroyed him. He needed to exact the justice of the Highlands, the justice of a warrior, the justice of a man. But he was impotent. There was nowhere to direct his rage. There was no Jack Randall to destroy, no bone to crush and flesh to tear asunder. No fire to feed and stoke, to coax into a raging, burning apex of fury, thence to be extinguished with the hot blood of his foe.

 Jamie longed to slake his rage in the mindless oblivion of blood lust. This was Randall’s greatest victory. He had taken Jamie’s body and worse. He had taken Jamie’s manhood, his sense of self, his pride and his love of Claire and dragged it through the filthy, fetid sewers of degradation and depravity. All of this Jamie could have stood. All of it if, when he was given a second chance at life, he had been given the opportunity to look that bastard in the eyes and take it all back, sullied as it was, and know that it was his once again to tend and cherish. All of this would have been naught, if he’d been given the chance to watch the life drain out of Randall’s eyes and know himself to be avenged.

=====

The night when she had bravely come to him again, waxed and bare as a lass, he had been shocked, appalled even, but also terribly aroused. He’d known that hoors did so at the brothels, but he’d had no notion that respectable women did such a thing. And to have Claire, his beautiful brown one, in his bed, as smooth and polished as wet river stone, had left him aching with need. He had acted on instinct, claiming her mouth as he rolled onto her, pressing hard. He’d come into her quickly and felt her immediate response. Lust surged through his body, hot and urgent and he exulted in the heady cloud of pleasure enveloping them.

Quietly, sinisterly, from the dark places in his mind, Jack’s tentacle reach coiled into his thoughts, reminding him of the pain he was subjected to and the sweet relief he was given from that pain. The effect was immediate. Confusion, embarrassment, shame. Always so much shame. Claire tried to be understanding, as usual, but how could she understand this? She knew the facts as they had occurred, but how could he explain the depths of despair into which Jack had plunged him? How could he explain that he was drowning in mist that dissipated as soon as he tried to grasp it? Oh, Claire! Beautiful, brave Claire. How long could she be expected to stay in his bed, neglected and forlorn?

It would be different if he didn’t want her. If the sight of her arse bent over the bed didn’t make his body ache and throb. If he could look at her, lie in her bed, and feel nothing, then perhaps he could still be some sort of husband to her. But he had never been able to look at her without wanting her and now that want simply fed the shame that ate at him day after endless day. How could he have her, take her body and touch her soul when his own soul had become so defiled?

 Claire never tried again after that night. She no longer initiated intimacy of any kind, and Jamie felt the loss keenly, but couldn’t fault her when she had faced a constant stream of rejection month after long, aching month. Would this hell never end?

=====

Dawn broke through the dark clouds of his mind the day Claire told him that Jack Randall lived still. Randall was alive. He would meet Jack Randall again and he would kill him. He would reclaim his manhood and avenge the damage this demon had wreaked on his family. His father’s death, Jenny’s disgrace, Claire’s assault, his own floggings and every second he had spent at Wentworth. All of these things he would see Jack pay for with his miserable, worthless life. This knowledge alone, sure and solid, was enough to help him break free from his bindings. Now unbound, he had the strength to begin his climb from the terrible dark pit where he had resided. He could see the light of the sun and knew he had the ability to be whole once again.

Jamie spent the day in good humor, and rushed home as quickly as he was able, determined to prove to himself and his wife that his shackles were broken, his mind and body free to act as he wished. Claire was already in bed when he arrived, later than he had wished, and grateful to have sent Charles off to his own abode. Comfortable living and free-flowing wine were hardly a fair trade for the amount of time he had to spend in the company of that wee fool.

No, his life was still an unbearable hell. Jamie tried not to think about anything, as he lay in the alcove, again, distanced from Claire once more by his own inability to explain himself. There was so much between them now. So much pain, so much perceived rejection. He didn’t begin to know how to bridge the gap. He wanted Claire. As he’d once told her, he wanted her more than he’d ever wanted anything in his life. He wanted to walk into their room and take her in his arms. Hold her and soothe her. Love her and pay her court as she deserved. Tell her with is body that she was still his everything. But he didn’t know how. Not anymore. He had tried, in their room, to overcome the anxiety that surged through his system when Claire had vocalized her hurt and fear. He couldn’t stay and face the disappointment of another cold and lonely night, in bed together, so very much alone.

Jamie heard the soft swish of the panels rolling back on their hinges, and caught the briefest glimpse of Claire as she dropped her dressing gown. She was naked beneath and her skin glowed, luminous in the moonlit room. She hushed him as she climbed onto the bed, silencing his hesitation, removing the opportunity for doubt. She closed the doors and shut out the world. It was dark in their little cavern, and the air was heavy with promise. Jamie shut off his mind and reached out to Claire, reacquainting himself with the peaks and valleys and secret places of her body. He worshiped her skin, caressing the swell of her belly, the promise of his future, kissing and whispering words of love as he made his way to her mouth.

There was a moment, not long after their joining when he felt the panic rise, felt his belly clench and everything started to freeze. Claire felt it, too, and took Jamie’s face in her strong, capable hands, bringing him in close for a soft, sweet kiss.

“Jamie.” She breathed into his mouth, “Jamie, I’m here. Come find me. Come find us.”

His body was coursing with desire. The physical desire that had never left, but had been ever frustrated, was easing as hands roamed freely over Claire. His emotional desire, that yearning to connect with another soul that had lain dormant for so long, was surging through him, piercing his heart, resurrecting all the love and joy he had once known in his marriage, renewing in him his faith in himself. He was free. At long last, he had overcome the onslaught of the darkness, pushed it away, rejected it instead of his wife, and knew he could again.

 Claire had begun, taking Jamie to the places he feared to go, keeping him with her until he overcame his doubt, always gentle, always slow, allowing him to find his way. Now, joined with her in exquisite pleasure, she stepped back and Jamie led them, confident in his body and his mind. He wanted this moment to last forever. He wanted to be frozen in time with Claire, joined, one, complete. He could not, however, contain his need to surrender to her. He seized her, telling her with his hips that the time for gentleness had passed. He pulled her on to him harder and deeper, biting her neck and whispering roughly in her ear, “Mine, mo nighean donn, mine.”

 They lay in each other’s arms, sheltered by the plaid that had sheltered them so many times before. Jaime whispered to Claire all the fears he had had, all the sorrows he had felt, all the ways he had felt alone, sharing his heart and she returned the gift, cherishing him with her words. They lay together, kissing, caressing, talking, reconnecting their souls, and strengthening the bond that had been weakened, but never broken. Nothing existed outside of themselves and this space.

Jamie was ready to move on, his arsenal fully restored. He was alive. He was whole. He was a man still and he could face the next fight, whenever it might present itself, because of the love of a good woman.

The Iridalli are a successful group of medium-sized predators stalking the upper levels of Chriirah’s tropical oceans. Like many mobile quadrilaterians, evolution has optimised their four-sided body plan into a sleek, secondarily bilaterally symmetrical shape able to move swiftly and efficiently through the ocean.

Possessing some social intelligence, Iridalli travel in loose pods to locate swarms of suitable food, at which time they separate and attempt to drive the prey nearer the surface, thus rendering them easier to capture. Despite this initial co-operation, the actual hunt itself is performed independently of the other pod members, cooperation only resuming when prey needs to be driven towards the surface once again.

While Iridalli are quite fast, many prey species are considerably faster and swimming speed is not their primary weapon: Moving in behind prey, the large eyes fix on a target and when in range two tentacles launch outwards as an elongated and lethally barbed lower jaw attempts to impale it. If the strike is successful, the tentacles rapidly coil around the doomed creature and draw it towards the mouth.

Like most apex predators, the Iridalli suffered major population depletion in the period leading up to, and during, the fall of birrin civilisation. As the birrin recovered, so too Iridalli populations increased in parts of their former ranges as prey species returned. The loss of genetic diversity however has resulted in higher than expected parasite loads in some pods.

Once hunted by the birrin as food, they are now rarely eaten both because they are widely protected, and are so infused with accumulated industrial poisons they are mildly toxic to ingest.

2

Flower Hat Jelly

Well if this isn’t the damn cutest jelly I’ve seen all week.

This little fella is a rare species found off the coast of Brazil, Argentina, and Japan. 

Unlike other jellies, it spends most of its time close to the sea floor and rarely makes an appearance on the surface. When at the seafloor they like to cluster around the kelp beds. 

They eat mostly small fish

The Colors: yellow orange pink peach blue green

When they aren’t using their tentacles they coil them up into the medusa, giving them the “Bonnet” look.  

The bell can grow up 6 inches across