actually the funniest thing about the fyre festival fiasco is that basically a bunch of rich kids were on a regular normal camping trip instead of a “glamping experience” or whatever privileged asshole bullshit they signed up for and now they’re out here acting like they survived a war zone. like oh the horror, becky and chad had to eat a cheese sandwich and pee in a porta-potty, somebody call the fucking red cross
The human steps onto the station from her shuttle, and walks into the scanner. It flashes - no weapons. I pity her, though there’s nothing I can do for her. By tomorrow she will be a slave the same as me; the Gaunvans collect ambassadors like trophies.
“Hello there! Amanda Thorn, ambassador for the Empire of Humanity. You’re a Ixian, correct?”
Mimicking human body language, I nod my head. "That’s correct. Ix Malasan. It is an honor to meet you.“
She smiles, reminding me again that she has somehow modified herself to breathe atmosphere suited to the Gaunvans rather than wear a respirator like myself. Other than that she appears to be a standard human, something I am led to believe is less and less common as they pursue the bizarre compulsion humans have to alter their bodies. Changing hair color, adding pigments to their skins in patterns and pictures, growing long tails or ears that mimic other species from their planet. No other known species tampers with their bodies like this.
“Not to be undiplomatic, she says, "but the Gaunvans enslaved your people. Why are you here?”
“We… reached a mutually beneficial agreement. We would have lost in combat and been eliminated, so we chose to preserve what we could of our culture. The Gaunvans are not naturally skilled at diplomacy, so they bring me along to assist and to show that peace can be made.”
She nods. "Understood. I can respect that choice. How much freedom do you have, personally?“
Smart of her, to start planning for her future. "A fair amount. I have free reign on the ship when we are in transit. At the homeworld I have reasonably comfortable quarters.”
“Have you ever met the Empress, or…?”
“Oh, no. No, while on the homeworld I am confined to my chambers - but they’re quite spacious.”
“Shame. Okay, plan ‘A’ then. Let’s get this over with.”
Despite my attempt at encouraging diplomacy, the Gaunvan commander starts with threats. I don’t know why I bother. He looms over the human, chitinous plates almost black in the dim light. His pod of six is posted around the room, for show more than for actual security since she followed orders and came alone and unarmed. "Failure to surrender will bring the full wrath of our army upon you. Humanity will be crushed, and wiped from the universe.“
To her credit, she looks very calm. "We live in a post-scarcity society. Bloody conquest just seems silly, doesn’t it?”
“It is for the glory of Gaun!”
“Well, I’m not prepared to get into a religious debate with you,” she says, “since I doubt there’s anything I can do to change your mind. Since you’re committed to this course of action, what are you willing to offer if we surrender?”
Now he goes back on script. Maybe I am getting through to him a little? He talks about the benefits of being enslaved, mainly the protections for up to twelve designated culturally historical sites. They’ve been mostly good on their word on my homeworld, though they did use the area just outside of the Hahhn Memorial as a waste dump.
She nods as she listens. There was a part of me that was worried she would argue, because the humans are somewhat childlike. They don’t understand the horrors of war. Certainly they fought in the past, but the last time they had to battle was more than two of their generations ago, so these ones have all grown up coddled and soft. They play games with each other instead, silly competitions. They make art, and play pretend, and alter their bodies for fun. They don’t have weapons anymore, and wouldn’t know how to use them if they did.
“Well then,” ambassador Thorn says, “this is about what I expected. On behalf of humanity, I would like to formally reject this offer.”
Oh no. Foolish humans. The galaxy will miss your innocence. The commander makes an excited clicking noise, looking forward to combat. He reaches a blade-tipped hand towards ambassador Thorn, but hesitates as every device in the room bleats out an alert - we’ve all lost communications with the outside.
Like one of the dances humans do, she gracefully pivots around while taking his hand. She ends up close to him and places her other arm against his thorax, then… oh gods. Gods, what… she’s ripped his arm off. It’s not possible. The commander is clearly thinking the same thing, staring in mute shock at his dripping limb.
“I’d like to extend a counter-offer,” she says, and flips the arm around before jamming the bladed end into his neck. The warriors around the room are fidgeting, uncertain. They haven’t been told to attack, and don’t want to dishonor their commander by intervening in a fight with such a small creature. She’s still holding the commander’s severed arm in his neck, but she rotates and heaves, lifting him off the ground with it for a moment… and then his head pops off, landing squarely on the conference table. She allows the corpse to slide to the ground, and straightens her clothes as if they aren’t covered in ichor.
I don’t understand.
The warriors, now with no orders at all, finally act. She smiles as they come for her, I suppose because she has done her duty to send this powerful message of resistance. She can die in peace. Or… no… She’s killing them. She’s smiling because this is fun for her. Though they’re partly killing themselves; if there had been two of them, prepared, strategic, they might have prevailed. Watching six panicked fighters get in each other’s way while trying to stop a smaller, faster, and somehow impossibly stronger foe is almost hypnotic. At least one is killed by the stab of a friendly lance due to pure confusion. It’s over faster than I would have thought possible, severed limbs strewn across the room. I’ve got some fluids splashed across my clothing. Only one yet lives, and he is retreating. She seems to be allowing it.
She follows behind, holding a lance. The wounded and scared warrior scurries down the hallway towards his ship, looking back behind him as he goes. She’s just… walking. Calm. And for some reason I’m following. The last Gaunvan reaches the airlock and the second he enters his code she throws the lance - throws it! - and spears him.
“Come on, we’re stealing their ship.” She says it like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“There are thousands more on board! Thousands! Almost all warrior caste!”
She smiles again, and keeps walking. I see errors on the screens that we pass, messages indicating communications have been lost. They can’t tell anyone what is happening here. Even the communicators within the ship are on nodes rather than being wired, so the warriors at one end of the vessel won’t be able to coordinate with the other end. Do they even know they’ve been boarded?
We enter the bridge after she kills a handful of other guards with ease. They’re too shocked by her presence to act in time. Once the door are sealed and she is working on the control systems she starts talking to me again.
“Well, you know, we do like to be prepared.”
“But you… you ripped his arm off.”
“Yeah, that was super satisfying.” She looks at me appraisingly. "Oh, come on. Is it really that surprising? You knew we were into changing ourselves, right? Being strong enough to pop an overgrown bug’s forelimb off isn’t rocket science.“
"Your people are so peaceful…”
“Oh, sure, most of them. But we did that, too. Tweaked ourselves over the years to decrease aggression and some of our tribalistic tendencies, increase empathy… all stuff that can be undone if needed. Though for a good cause even the nicest of us can squish a bug or two.”
“You bond with Ry'ling devourers!”
“Those are the big fuzzy guys that look like cats, yeah? Those guys are adorable! But… look, liking some things that could kill us doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and get enslaved. We didn’t put up with it well when we enslaved each other, and we certainly aren’t going to go for it now that we’re… finally… on the same page about slavery being unacceptable. It was, uh, a longer time than we like to admit before the last hold-outs were convinced of that one.”
I can feel the ship un-dock. We’re moving. "What about all the warriors on board? They’ll break through the doors eventually!“
"Not according to this control panel here. Take a look.”
It says there’s no atmosphere in the rest of the ship. Life signs are negative on all but two of the warriors, presumably the only ones that got to their suits in time. She disabled all the safety measures, somehow. She just killed… I check the life signs readout again to confirm the number… three thousand, six hundred, and fourteen soldiers. Wait, how is it tracking that unless… “Are communications back up?”
“Yeah, I’m calling some friends. The military is right around the corner, so to speak.”
“But Earth doesn’t have a standing military.”
She laughs. Not just a little bit. She’s actually doubled over for a moment, unable to catch her breath. "Sweet Jeebus, you guys actually fell for that? No standing military. Have you read about us at all?“
Three ships appear seemingly out of nowhere, and one docks with the Gaunvan vessel. Once the atmosphere is restored we head to the airlock to meet them, and I’m surprised by an entire platoon of Gaunvan warriors. Speaking English.
"Okay boys, send your last goodbyes! This is in all likelihood a one way mission. Commander Thorn! It is an honor to see you again, and might I say you look exquisite drenched in the blood of your enemies!”
She bows to him, blushing, and then salutes the Gaunvans. Or… humans? Can they change themselves this drastically?
“You’ve got two holed up in here somewhere. Bridge is clear, have the techs bring the new brain on board.”
She looks at me like she’s forgotten that I’m here, and then turns back to the others. "Men, this is our new friend Ix Malasan who has just been liberated from his captivity. He’s going to be helping with our intel. Malasan, yeah, a new brain for the ship. Once this vessel is cleaned up and back in service with a new crew we’ll be able to take it over whenever we want even if all of our boys get killed. We cooked up a really sadistic AI for it.“
"But how do you know the protocols? This was your first contact with the Gaunvans, they’ve never lost a ship anywhere near here!”
“No? There wasn’t a mining colony disaster two years ago?”
“But that was just an accident… and you weren’t even involved in the war yet… and…”
The faux-Gaunvans have finished boarding. The one that was talking to them before puts a bladed claw on ambassador - commander - Thorn’s shoulder. "You coming with?“
"Naw. Orders said I could only come if they allow ambassadors near extremely high value targets. Malasan here says they don’t, so I need to wait for my next mission back on Earth.”
“It would have been nice having you with us, Thorn. Well, maybe we’ll see each other again. Suicide mission or not, I think I’ve decided to live through it.”
“Bold choice,” she says, and kisses him next to his lower mandibles.
He nods at me, then turns back to his men. “Okay everyone, we are now officially on the job. And what is that job?”
In unison, they start chanting.
“FUCK! SHIT! UP! FUCK! SHIT! UP! FUCK! SHIT! UP!”
For a moment I nearly feel pity for the Gaunvans. Nearly. Commander Thorn leads me off of the ship, and I start thinking about what useful information I can provide the ‘harmless’ humans. Fuck shit up, indeed.
The way The Adventure Zone juggles humor and drama reminds me of Scarborough Fair/Canticle. On the one level it’s an old nonsense song, and then on the other you’ve got a pretty serious poem describing the horrors of war. I also drew it because my response to all the intense, amazing plot twists has apparently been to post even more jokey scribbles, haha. So here are the boys, tromping through the woods, probably just before The Suffering Game. Magnus is getting an inkling of what’s coming in the arcs ahead…
(Do we know how well Taako and Magnus sing? Hmm.)
I pulled colors from some Breath of the Wild screencaps! I’m unlikely to play it but golly is it a gorgeous game!
Band of Brothers
The Hunger Games
The Maze Runner
The Walking Dead
American Horror Story
RIP Carrie Fisher, most known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars Franchise
Harry Potter Fandom, raise you wands.
Star Wars Fandom, raise you light sabers.
Hunger Games Fandom, raise you salute.
Outsiders Fandom, raise you drinks.
Sandlot Fandom, raise your baseball mits and bats.
Orange Is The New Black Fandom, raise your makeshift shanks,
Avatar The Last Airbender Fandom, raise your cabbages.
American Horror Story Fandom, raise your latex kink suit.
And every other fandom I missed, raise your most memorable element in the complete honour of yet another fallen hero. I am someone who has never seen the Star Wars films but still feel this loss pretty heavily. May her spirit guide all of our fandoms in the direction of caring hospitality towards one another.
If Rey is a Skywalker, what do Leia and Finn see when they look at her?
Finn sees a girl. He sees a girl with ferocious eyes and the kindest smile and hard callused hands and an absolutely banging six pack – our homegirl is shredded– and soft brown hair, so soft, oh Force above it looks so soft all he wants to do is touch it –
He sees a girl who, when the wind is just right, seems to bluster and sway, like her skin is just an outline, pressing in something far larger. Imagine a sandstorm, caught in a single swirling instant – or an ocean, contained in a sphere. He gets the sense that there is more of her, tucked away where no one can see. When she snarls at him – thief! – the skin splinters, and a tongue of lightning lashes out and for one moment he is hypnotized.
And then he runs, because he isn’t an idiot.
When she jumps into his arms, he feels like he is holding a girl – and yet being held by something larger, something vast, something as ancient as the desert. When he lets his gaze slide off her face in just the right way, he sees that her hair is lightning-white, extending into oblivion and –
Then the image fades.
Rey is more human than those who came before her. She’s worked at it. One of her earliest memories is sitting with a doll in her lap, the doll she made herself, fiddling with the limbs, counting them: one, two, three, four. That is how many limbs people have. That is how many limbs her mother had. If she has that number of limbs then they will come back for her. If she looks human enough, they will return.
Leia sees her brother.
Oh Luke, she thinks and then, on the heels of that: you bastard. Because here is a girl shaped like a storm. She’s not got Anakin’s fire, or Luke’s bloody teeth – she’s more of this world, shaped from the storms above Jakku, the scour of sands. Her wings – four sets, Leia counts (one, two, three, four, if I get the number right they will return –) – fade in and out of view, one minute dark purple, one minute heartblood red.
She’s more human than other Skywalkers. Her mother was human, after all. And she’s lonelier. And rather than letting the loneliness make her feral and cruel, she’s used it to carve kindness into her bones. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She keeps her strangeness secreted away. She’s ashamed of it.
(one two three four)
(if I get the number right – )
She returns from Starkiller Base and meets Leia, fair-faced, gentle-eyed, wonderterror Leia, with teeth and tendrils and wings aplenty, a woman who bursts out of her skin, a woman of white-gold and terrible beauty, a woman who is sure of herself, and her heritage, and unashamed –
Well. Rey learns. There’s nothing wrong with having more than four limbs. Nothing wrong with who she is.
And whatever form she takes, Finn still thinks she’s the most wonderful thing he has ever seen.
Argentina can be beguiling, but its grand European
architecture and lively coffee culture obscure a dark past: In the 1970s and
early ‘80s, thousands of people were tortured and killed under the country’s
military dictatorship. In many cases, the children of the disappeared were
kidnapped, and some of those children were raised by their parents’ murderers.
That troubled past serves as a backdrop for Things We Lost in the Fire, an
unsettling new collection by Argentine writer Mariana Enriquez.
I AM HERE TO ANSWER YOUR CALLS thestral may seem like a badass / very strange choice of a patronus for draco but I am here to explain WHY I think it should be draco’s patronus!!! I’d love to hear your thoughts / have people elaborate on my thoughts so feel free to!
First off, I feel like a lot of people brush off the idea of him having a thestral patronus because heck, why should draco malfoy of all people have a mythical creature? But that’s one of the reasons why i love it. We all know that draco would absolutely LOVE having a mythical patronus ( you know, being special ) but I stand strongly behind the idea that the ONE mythical patronus he would have never wanted is a thestral.
A patronus is suppose to be a representation of yourself, and why the hell would he like it if he had patronus that reminds him of the war? of him being a death eater? of what he had to do and what it ended up causing? it’s an irony i love to indulge in & think about. Rather than being stuck up and proud i personally think draco would have wished for anything else. I’m pretty sure draco would be the type who would pull a disgusted face if he saw a thestral rather than be happy by it. He wouldn’t want to show this patronus off. Like, can you imagine? Pansy pestering him to show her, “wow i bet it’s a fucking ferret, isn’t it”, and when she actually sees it everything goes to shit because of fucking course, draco malfoy out of all people would have a thestral patronus, that even the embodiement of his happiest memory and his soul would link back to the horrors of the war and what he’s done.
Thestrals as you all know are considered to be dangerous, omens of misfortune and only visible to those who have seen death. They are quite literally representative of death. It spells out /evil/ and /bad/ no matter how you look at how the world portrays them.
This is where I’m grateful for Luna Lovegood. We’ve all seen a different side to the thestrals in the films, with Luna stating that “they’re quite gentle, really, but people tend to avoid them because they’re a bit…different.” Thestrals externally look ghostly, grim with them being dark & skeletal all the way through ( this could be another reason why draco = thestral but i’m not making that connection LOL ) if we place in on a canon timeline, the only place where draco would /really/ be trying to conjure a patronus would be after the war, and keeping that in mind it makes a lot of sense. It’s not a big stretch to say that post-war draco became an image of the war, with him being a death eater. His past haunts him, with people only seeing into his image of a death eater without acknowledging him trying his best to redeem himself.
The whole idea of a thestral being a creature that is representive of death & misfortune but also having the ability to be a person’s patronus, basically the opposite of what a thestral is known for, is SUCH a good way of describing draco. The image of post-war draco malfoy is like the image of a thestral in a flowerfield, they stand out too much for their setting of peace despite them not doing anything but being themselves. People fear/hate thestrals and they can’t help it, just as people can’t help but slap “death eater” on draco.
BUT! despite their external appearances thestrals are gentle, extremely loyal…and cutting away at the war and everything else we know draco is loyal. He is so loyal to his family, and even if its /bad/ he wouldn’t hesitate to defend them even if it’s by taunting / mocking the person. He loves them, and this goes both ways - maybe it’s him being prideful of his blood heritage because of how he was raised, or maybe he truly really loves his family ( which i definitely think he goddamn does ). Thestrals can be representative of both, they are attracted to the smell of blood but will also become aggressive if they view someone as a threat to themselves, their friends or even their owner.
It makes sense that draco’s patronus would be a gentle, misunderstood being who sometimes does the wrong thing out of love, or fear, but for a reason that isn’t purely “ because i wanted to”. I just really like the idea of a thestral both symbolising draco’s deeper, hidden parts that he’s too scared to show to the world while also simultaneously being able to represent his life and what he experiences.
I also do think it’ll be a nice way to make draco get over the horrors of war and let go of his past and just live. Draco coming to terms with him having a thestral patronus would practically be him coming to terms with who he is and the mistakes he’s made.
And just to add onto everything above : draco was owner of the elder wand at a point ( thestral hair core ), and thinking about when he was the owner and what was happening at the time, i think everything works out nicely.
All in all i just think thestral is a really clever choice for draco, and clever just so happens to work perfectly for him.
EDIT: ALL THIS AND I FORGOT TO EVEN MENTION THE FACT THAT THESTRALS ARE CLEVER