series of unfortunate events except with the mcelroy brothers and everyone still says stuff like “but you’re CHILDREN” even though they are clearly 3 grown men being sent to various guardians and boarding schools
okay so i LOVE mulan okay. as far as i’m concerned it’s a Perfect Movie and doesn’t need any fixing. but i was thinking today and -
- what if mulan didn’t go to war to save her father?
say her father is dead, okay, killed by the previous war. so she’s raised by her mother and grandmother, women who’s complacency and softness has been worn away by necessity. she needs to marry well, for her family’s sake, because her mother has refused the hand of every man who offered. but mulan is even more rough around the edges than before, is educated not only in books (her mother said men wouldn’t find smarts attractive and grandmother pointed out that men aren’t always around and off to school mulan went) but in the sword too, taught to her by her classmate, ping.
mulan is considered in the lower end of the upper class, coming from a family of military men and scholars and successful merchants. ping is near the top, the son or nephew of an advisor to the emperor. his family is very rich and very important, and the reason they become friends is because mulan manages to notice something about him that he’s been hiding from everyone else - he’s going blind.
not totally blind, enough to get around, but blind enough that reading is difficult and swordplay is even worse, although once he has it down he has it. ping is no fool, he’s not weak or bumbling. his eyes just don’t work. so mulan notices and confronts him about it. she promises to keep it a secret, and hey, she’ll even help him with his assignments by reading the books out loud and helping him study. but in return he must teach her the sword, must teach her about military and tactics. he agrees.
ping and mulan become very good friends and there’s some raised eyebrows about it but they are TOO far away in class for it to be inappropriate, so they make tutting sounds and disapproving faces and let it go.
then the draft happens. ping can’t go to war, he won’t survive it. not with his eyesight like it is. so mulan offers him a deal - she’ll go to war for him, in his place. in return, if she survives, he must marry her. if she dies he must take care of her family.
ping can’t make this kind of family decision on his own, so he goes to his mother and tells her everything, about the eyesight and how he’ll die if he goes and mulan’s offer. his mother says he must keep it a secret from his father, but agrees - if mulan fights in her son’s place and survives, a wedding will be arranged. either way, mulan’s family will be taken care of. ping will be sent to live with some cousins in the meanwhile.
“you’re not in love with me, are you?” ping asks, helping mulan saddle her horse in the middle of the night. she scoffs and rolls her eyes, “not even a little. but marrying you will make my family happy, and besides, you’re my best friend,” she says, smiling, “better you than some grabby old man.” he smiles and hugs her and says, “i’m not in love with you either. but don’t die out there. we have a wedding to plan.”
so mulan goes to the camp, pretending to be ping, and she’s a little bit less lost but things still go as they go. she’s educated and trained, so it’s not hard for her to pass as ping. shang is keeping a special eye on her, thinking that she’s the son of an advisor, one of his father’s friends. and he sees how easily she excels, how quick thinking and smart she is, and starts giving her more and more responsibilities. by the time they’re called out, shang considers ping ie mulan to be his right hand man, and possibly his best friend.
he’s also a little bit in love with ping, and he’s long known he’s attracted to both genders, so he watches ping laugh and smile and the crease between his eyes when he frowns and does his best to let his feelings chase away the best soldier he has. every time shang looks at ping his heart clenches and he things to himself: i wish i could have you, i wish this was a time and a place where one man could have another, i wish you were a girl, is wish i was a girl - i wish we could be together. he’s literally a step away from doodling ‘li ping’ with little hearts over his battle plans.
so the battles happen. shang and ping lead their men together, respected and loved. they each get promoted, and promoted, and promoted. it’s been years, and it comes to a point where they’re both generals in their own right. they trust each other, care for each other. and are both secretly in love with the other.
mulan is so conflicted. because she wants this war to end and to go home and settle back into life and become ping’s wife, so she can have an easy life spent studying and learning with her family taken care of. that’s what she’d wanted. but now what she wants is shang, her best friend, her brother in arms, her fellow general. she wishes to be everything to him, aches to be the woman on his arm and in his bed, but knows it’s the one thing she can never be.
then that final battle happens. mulan’s quick thinking saves them all and ends the war - but she’s injured.
shang finds out the ping has been a girl all along. he demands explanations - so she tells him everything, that she traded places with ping to save him, to become his wife.
and the lies should sting the sharpest, but they don’t. she’s still the same person, after all. it’s that she’s promised to another man, for one second he’d thought he might have her, but no. so he agrees not to reveal her but he’s furious and furious at himself for being furious and they’re not the same now, broken and splintered and neither of them know what to do.
the war is over. they leave. mulan returns home, and thanks to her ping is now known as a respected general. she’s done her part and survived, and now she gets her reward - ping’s hand in marriage.
but she sees ping for the first time and flings herself into his arms and starts crying. she tells him everything, because he’s still her friend, her very best friend besides shang, the man whom she lied to and betrayed and loves. and ping listens and takes her by the shoulders and says - i’ll uphold our bargain, if that’s what you want. you can be my pampered wife, you’ve more than earned it. but if you want to go to shang, i won’t blame you. you deserve your happiness.
and mulan goes back and forth, but ultimately she decides she has to try. if shang rejects her she’ll return and marry ping and uphold her family honor. but if shang wants her - he’s not as high up as ping, but he’s high up enough to satisfy her family, and also she would love him and want him if he was no more than a farming peasant so it doesn’t matter much anyway.
she rides to the capitol. she finally meets ping’s father, running into him while looking for shang. “ah mulan,” says this man who was never supposed to know of her until she became his daughter-in-law, “i didn’t expect to see you here. how fortuitous. walk with me.” she does, wary, and that’s how she discovers - he and the emperor had discovered her deception a year in, but at that point she’d already proven herself too skilled and valuable to lose. he tells her that he will uphold his son and wife’s deal and gladly welcome her to his household - but that she’s earned her rank as general, and that he and the emperor have no problem with letting her keep it.
she says thank you, shocked and joyful, but that she has to talk to someone first. “ah, yes, young general li,” he says, eyes twinkling, “i do believe he’s around here somewhere.”
she has no idea how he seems to know everything, but she finally tracks down shang who’s ecstatic to see her and hates himself for it. she confesses - says she loves him, that she’s engaged to ping but willing and able to break this engagement for shang. who is dumbfounded and elated and says yes, of course, finally and forever.
and mulan accepts her rank and marries shang, and they become the literal power battle couple of the general li mulan and general li shang. ping becomes a scholar and marries a very nice young woman who loves reading and is happy to read aloud to her husband with his failing eyes.
I really do believe that at least part of the problem of people distrusting science has to do with how we as scientists portray ourselves.
We have actively created a system where we derive authority from being seen as better/smarter/more competent than everyone else and then when people ask why they should trust us we respond with a very condescending version of ‘because SCIENCE IS FACT’ or something along those lines.
Like, consider how that would feel from the outside? Here are a small group of people who you have never met/interacted with who sequester themselves in impenetrable ~elite institutions that you can’t access and don’t feel party to who then tell you that what they say is fact because they’re smarter and better educated than you. And if you ever try to question them (no matter how reasonable your objections may be/seem to you) they condescendingly pat you on the head and say something like ‘don’t worry we know better. you can’t possibly understand what we do.’
Why the hell would you trust them?
No one likes being told that they’re not smart enough to understand something, and no one likes feeling excluded from something they’ve essentially been asked to accept sight unseen.
I don’t really have a solution to this, except some vague notion about working harder to portray scientists as people working a job, rather than geniuses who are above it all.
And like trying harder to understand where people are coming from when they question science. And remembering that being better educated than most doesn’t make us smarter than most. It just makes us better trained in certain types of thinking.
I just think we need to keep in mind what we are asking of people. Which is to put a whole hell of a lot of faith in us.
Dr Who but each incarnation is swapped with one of their companions.
omg?? I love it??
The First Doctor:
She’s not completely unfriendly, exactly, she just doesn’t have time for humans being idiots. In the right circumstances, she can actually be very warm. She loves history, which is lucky because her granddaughter Susan does too (they tell people Susan is her daughter, but even then it’s a bit of a stretch, human ages are weird). Of course, then two of Susan’s teachers follow her home one night, and next thing the Doctor knows she has a crotchety old history teacher and a handsome young science teacher on her spaceship with no way to get rid of them that isn’t morally questionable.
The humans help her lose some of her haughtiness. She leaves Susan in the 22nd century to become her own woman.
Along the way and against her better judgement, she falls hopelessly for Ian Chesterton. He wants to stay with her forever, but she knows it would never work, and encourages him to go with John Foreman in the Dalek Time Machine to get back to his own time.
Later, in other lives, she checks in on him occasionally.
The Second Doctor:
The baby face is a problem. It takes a good twenty minutes on a lot of occasions to get anyone to take her seriously. On the bright side, a lot of Polly’s clothes fit her now.
She finds a best friend in Scotsman Jamie McCrimmon, whose rather naive approach to futuristic technology is extremely refreshing, as is his unique insightfulness.
After Ben and Polly leave them, they rescue Victoria, who Jamie is utterly taken with. Victoria is unsure about living a life so unsupervised by someone older and won’t listen to the Doctor’s insistence that she is in fact perfectly qualified to look after them all.
She and Victoria spend a good many nights aboard the TARDIS talking about women’s history and the things to come for women in the future and how women act on other planets. Victoria is fascinated, occasionally horrified, and often quietly thrilled at the things she learns.
It’s a shame to see her go, but all she ever wanted was a family and security, and the Doctor can’t provide that.
They meet an eccentric man on a space station, with funny trousers and an obsession with the recorder. The Doctor and Jamie like him instantly, and invite him on board only to learn that the man had been considering stowing away if not invited.
The Time Lords take her friends away from her. She is forced to regenerate and exiled to Earth, as punishment for her interference.
The Third Doctor:
Shrewd, passionately devoted to science, and not one to take kindly to interruptions or anyone trying to talk down to or even disagree with her, it’s a wonder the Doctor even gets hired by UNIT at all. But then again, beggars can’t be choosers.
On the bright side, this fellow John Smith from Cambridge seems to be the one person around with an actual brain and not just a penchant for attacking first and thinking later.
They’re friends instantly. Or, they are once she makes it perfectly clear that she is the cleverer of the two. The look on his face when he realises is a memory she’ll treasure forever.
He eventually leaves to go back to his own research, upon realising she doesn’t need him.
It’s a shame and she misses him, but then Jo Grant comes into her life. Despite an awful first impression, the two women are soon fiercely devoted to each other. Jo keeps going on about women having to stick together amongst all the army boys, and while the Doctor could usually not care less about gender politics, if it means Jo hangs around her more, then so be it.
The Master turns up. It’s exhausting and exasperating and oh so much fun.
Meanwhile, the Doctor’s told herself to not let herself fall for humans, after how much Ian hurt. But with Jo, it’s impossible not to. (Not that she hasn’t noticed the Brigadier’s lingering stares, or failed to appreciate him in his uniform. But he’s far too professional to ever do anything, and too trigger happy besides.)
Jo is like sunshine and she’s always there and smiling and pressing herself against the Doctor out of fear or shock, until one day they’re in the supply closet of a spaceship and they’re kissing furiously instead of listening out for their pursuers.
It’s wonderful, being with Jo. Until Clive Jones comes along, and the Doctor has to tell her to forget about her and marry the nice young man who can grow old with her and give her the life she wants.
She drinks more champagne than she is proud of that night.
Luckily, along comes Sarah Jane Smith, who is exactly the kind of human that the Doctor automatically adores. Inquisitive, sharp, and a vocal feminist. What a woman.
Of course, then giant alien spiders happen, and it’s time for a change.
The Fourth Doctor:
Or… not. Apparently, she’s doomed to be young, attractive, humanoid, and pale skinned throughout all her lives. There are worse fates, but she wouldn’t mind a little variety, frankly. And being so small is getting infuriating.
Harry takes a long while to take her seriously, but once he does, he is steadfastly loyal. Sarah Jane takes the regeneration in stride for the most part.
And after them, Leela, who is so strange and savage but so utterly charming in her honesty. They share a few kisses, but nothing more.
Then comes Romana. A young Time Lord who looks older than her, is far taller than is sensible, and has an even more absurd grin. She can’t stand him, with his bragging about his grades and thinking he knows everything.
She soon teaches him that experience wins every time.
Of course, then he spots some pretty princess on Tara, and next thing she knows, the moment the whole Key To Time mess is sorted, Romana is now a less taller, less ridiculous, utterly beautiful Time Lady in her first regeneration.
She tries to argue against what she can only consider body theft, or at least copying, but it is a relief to not have to crane her neck up to speak to her companion.
Romana becomes a most dear friend. She’s missed being around someone like her, someone who understands. It makes it all the worse when she leaves, leaving the Doctor with only Adric and his incessant questions.
The Fifth Doctor:
There’s something about this body, a regality, that commands a little more respect than the ones before it, despite it following the pattern of her others.
Adric’s questions exasperate her, while Tegan’s demands to be taken home are met with gentle requests for patience and promises of Heathrow airport, and this Traken prince she’s picked up is thankfully one of the most polite people she’s ever had in the TARDIS. Decent brain on him, too.
Tegan’s smile sometimes makes her stomach do backflips. The Doctor ignores it. She’s learned her lesson. It’s almost a relief to see Tegan reach her breaking point and leave, except it isn’t, because for a long while it feels like a part of her is missing.
Turlough is a curiosity, but a nice one who makes for surprisingly good company in the absence of the others.
Perpugilliam Brown is a surprise. The Doctor remembers why she has tried to avoid America where possible in her travels. Americans are loud. But in the case of Peri, it involves shouting at the Master, and as such, the Doctor decides that Perpugilliam Brown can stay as long as she likes.
Between the two of them and soon Erimem, uncrowned Pharaoh of Egypt, they make quite the team.
The Sixth Doctor:
It’s about time! Finally, a more weathered model. Peri is surprised to say the least, and seems a little disappointed to lose out on her best friend who had until now looked a very similar age to her, but soon realises very little has changed.
And now she lets the Doctor take care of her a bit better. Thank goodness for that! The maternal instincts in this body are absurdly strong, she has no idea what she would do if she couldn’t express them.
Now, the borderline narcissistic but quietly lovable history professor she accidentally picks up some time after losing Peri is a trickier matter. Still, at least he shares her love for chocolate cake.
The Seventh Doctor:
Bright, bubbly, and able to get most people to like her within ten seconds. Now this is a regeneration she likes. Plus, her most impressive set of lungs yet. Handy, for calling companions who like to wander off.
She tries to not encourage Ace’s use of explosives, but it’s difficult when she sees how genuinely happy they make the girl. She’s getting soft in her old age, she knows.
Still, at least her brain makes up for it. She can out-think a computer, easily. The universe is her chessboard and she’ll do whatever the hell she pleases with it.
The Eighth Doctor:
She’s a jolly thing. Always keen for adventure, ready to shout at anyone who deserves it, and just wants to have a good time, really.
After a rather rocky start involving amnesia and kissing the cardiologist who had caused her regeneration in the first place, the Doctor is just minding her own business when she accidentally messes with history.
It seems that saving this stowaway on the R101 might not have been the best idea after all. But he’s so charming and sweet and genuine, sharing her utter passion for life, that by the time she realises her mistake, she’s not willing to part with him.
That goes… about as well as one might expect.
The Ninth Doctor:
It’s funny, being a weathered old war veteran with a guilty conscience, and simultaneously looking like someone who could be on the front of a magazine.
Life is hard, after the time war, but she meets a man with big ears and blue eyes and things get better. A lot better. It feels good to smile again.
The addition of Captain Jack Harkness is an interesting one, but she’s always said the more the merrier. Their other companion is not quite as happy about this development, but before long they’re the best of friends.
The Tenth Doctor:
She’s gentler now, somehow. Oh, she has her anger and her snark, and boy does this body have a set of lungs on her. But she’s so much softer, underneath.
Losing her friends from her last body takes its toll. She at least manages to avoid comparing Martha to them that came before her. Martha is wonderful, always completing even the most impossible tasks that the Doctor puts to her. They part on good terms, after the Master’s ravaging of the Earth. (The Master had not been so impressed with this version of her. He had trouble seeing the strength within, seeing that she was more than the duality of compassion and shouting.) Martha needs to look after her family, and that’s probably for the best.
And then there’s the skinny idiot in the suit. He actually talks faster than she does, which is absurd, but she wonders if that’s simply because of his questionable family. Perhaps not letting them get a word in is how he survives.
Either way, they get along like a house on fire. Losing him, wiping his memory and seeing him stare right through her and smile that stupid smile, is almost enough to break her.
No more companions, she swears.
The Eleventh Doctor:
It’s all about fun, now. Impressing the little boy whose garden she crashes in and then impressing him when he’s grown up and has waited 14 years for her. (To hell with her rule about no more companions. Her old self was full of dumb ideas anyway.)
Oh yes, she likes Rory Williams a lot. And his best friend John isn’t bad either. Mind you, that nose…
She has her spaceship, and her boys, and life is good. Well, there’s River Song to worry about, but she can never be sure if the archaeologist is more interested in her or John. Just one more mystery, it seems.
Losing Rory, and then John, is hard. But she knows that they’re happy, and that’s enough.
The Twelfth Doctor:
Short, bossy, a control freak, and a slight obsession with tartan. Also, her English teacher companion is secretly a rock star wannabe, disguised as a reclusive Scottish nerd.
What’s a girl to do?
(Apparently, find out that her best enemy is alive, and now also female. And Scottish like her companion. The first kiss had been… shocking to say the least. The ones after, against her better judgement, decidedly less so.)
She cares about her companion more than she will ever say, and when faced with losing him, takes things too far. Further than anyone should ever take anything. And when it is all said and done… she can’t remember his face, or his voice, or how he sounded when he mocked how large her eyes were.
River is there to comfort her, though, in those 24 years on Darillium.
And then Bill. Brilliant Bill. Oh yes, they make quite the team. And Nardole helps sometimes too.
Lame adaptations and sequels are always like, “how can Mina go back to her stifling Victorian marriage after her experience with the dark, seductive Dracula??”
Meanwhile, Mina marries her best friend, who she’s known since they were children, who she share common interests with, they build a home together, work as partners, make immense sacrifices for each other, support each other through their traumas.
Guys, a marriage isn’t stifling and restrictive just because two people… get along, I guess?
I don’t care about straight stories. I don’t have time for your straight ships. I just don’t. I’m surrounded by them and bored by them and I want to see stories about me and my community. I don’t have time for one more. I don’t care.
I don’t care about stories where straight people fall in love. I barely care about stories where straight people do anything else. I. Do. Not. Care. And I’m not going to waste anymore time or energy on straight people’s stories.