the land is rust

An abandoned ICBM silo from the cold war era. 

An excerpt from reddit user 7relos

I have personally visited this silo, and due to the asbestos and rust (and the fact that it’s trespassing) it is a very dangerous exploration. I don’t go nowadays but I can tell you it is far more treacherous than you imagine. There is nothing stopping you from falling dozens of stories into an asbestos filled lake with still water that has been there for decades. Probably landing on a piece of rusted steel that’s jutting out of the ground. And you only have the light of your headlamp and flashlight to guide you, leaving your imagination to fill in the rest.

Imagine a giant machine called society, one that is sputtering and smoking because it is missing many gears. Now imagine a cliff looming overhead, and down from it tumbles millions of loose gears being carelessly dumped out of a box. They kind of just bounce around the machine until some of them land in gaps and start turning in conjunction with the rest. Many others just roll off and land in the dirt, doomed to rust in the rain. That’s how the system works right now. It is at times cruel and/or unfathomably stupid.

It’s not your fault. You didn’t design the system. Nobody did. Everyone is just making this up as they go.

This, incidentally, is what everyone in the Western world is so mad about these days. It always comes out as anger about “the economy” or “outsourcing” or “immigration” but really all that’s happened is a gross failure to connect the people to the jobs. Over here we have a river of the anxious unemployed and then over here we’ve got a dry desert of industries begging for workers. If that last part of the metaphor confuses you, it’s because you’ve been told the ridiculous lie that there are “no jobs out there.” Ask any manager or HR person and they’ll rant about how they can’t find good people. Hell, they won’t even wait for you to ask – just get within earshot, you’ll hear them talking about how the kids today lack skills and work ethic, all that bullshit.

If only they knew that the perfect engineer they’re looking for is currently working in a Dunkin Donuts in Indiana and was, in fact, never trained to be an engineer. She went to college to be a veterinarian because she loves animals, realized her mistake with her hands wrist-deep in sheep guts, then had to drop out and take a job to help pay the bills when Mom’s disability checks got cut off. She quickly found that society will offer virtually no help whatsoever in getting her into the job where she can do the most good for herself or society. Even if her motivation is to get off food stamps and become a more productive citizen, the response is all snide mockery and talk of bootstraps. “You say you can’t afford college, but I see that you have A PHONE!!!”

In fact, she will find society actively stops her at every turn.

6 Facts That Will Clear Up Your Confusing Life

Getting Salty About Weathering

Hey there True Believers, today we’re going to talk about how to create your own convincing weathered metallics using a really simple technique. This whole project is done using Warcolours and an airbrush, but you can use these techniques just as effectively with any acrylic craft paints and a brush. 

SUPPLIES

Coarse Salt

Hair Spray

Hot Water

GETTING STARTED

First off, we’re going to need the the prepped model surface we’re going to be working on, in my case, it’s a spaceship corridor that I sculpted for a diorama out of cardstock and some other stuff. In your case, this can be for old pipes, rusted out cars, Land Raiders, junked planes, really, anywhere where enameled metals have been left to the elements. 


We begin by priming it black, in the standard fashion. Ensuring even coverage and allowing it to dry for several hours, prior to applying the next layers. Once we’ve got that established, we begin to build up the basis for our rust layers. We’re going to start with a neutral, high saturation brown, and warm it up with each step into a terracotta.

Below you can see the browns applied with an airbrush, Make an attempt to focus the warming in specific spots, but avoid allowing the redder browns to achieve 100% opacity. We’re developing “filter” layers at this stage, and will be altering the texture in the next steps.

You can see how I’ve focused the filter towards the bottom of the wall. This will be the area with the heaviest weathering, representing where it has interacted most with moisture and wear and tear. If you were doing this on a Land Raider (for instance) this focal area might be around the treads, instead. It’s important to have an idea of which areas will be most heavily influenced by the rusting out, and begin to develop them.


Next up, we’re going to be moving up into proper oranges. In my case, Warcolours Orange 4 and One Coat Orange. Were going to be applying these differently than we did the brown, as we’re going to use these to develop an erratic, rusting texture on top of the browns. We’ll need a bit of blister foam or sponge for this next step. The idea is to daub a bit on a sponge, and then stipple a paper towel or piece of carboard until you get a nice erratic pattern. It’s similar to the amount of paint you’d want on your brush, if you were drybrushing. 


Above, you can see the texture developed, post stippling. Note the areas where I’ve concentrated it, that will become important shortly. When you’re satisfied with this, it’s time to seal the project using the matte varnish of your choice. In this instance, I’m using Warcolours matte varnish.

Apply a couple of coats of varnish, and allow to dry 100% before moving on from this step. You need the layers under this to be well protected, as we’re going to be applying salt and scrubbing the model after this. If you’ve not thoroughly sealed this layer, you will work your way down to the primer/plastic, ruining the effect and all the work you’ve done so far. Learn this lesson from me, as opposed to the hard way… Trust me.

Next up, the real meat and potatoes of this technique, coarse salt and hairspray.

We’re going to be using the hairspray as a temporary glue, to hold the salt crystals in place. To that end, decant a little into a dixie cup by turning the hairspray upside down and spraying it into the container. This will smell like the 80’s, so it’s best to do it in a well ventilated area. After you’ve got enough liquid hairspray in the cup for your needs, take an old brush and start to apply it to the model, sprinkling the coarse salt over the top, and knocking away any excess. Focus these sticky salt piles on top of the regions of heaviest wear, where you developed the texture with the oranges. 

When you’ve developed enough sticky salt piles to satisfy, allow it to dry and then apply the paint/wall/enamel color. In my case, I’ll be using a mixture of Warcolours One Coat Yellow Green with a little One Coat Green mixed in.

Now it’s magic time! 

Dip an old toothbrush in hot water, and allow it to saturated the salt crystals. When they begin to loosen, scrub them away. You’ll immediately begin to see the rust pattern develop. In addition to the salt texture, you can scratch or rub any amount of weathering into the paint. Since the lower layers are well sealed, and this layer is sitting on top of a water soluable hairspray base, it is very easy to manipulate. You want to make sure that you’ve removed all the salt from the peice, even going so far as to rinse it in cold water. Any residue left over will dry a chalky white and damage the paint over time. 

After that, it’s a simple issue of sealing it with another layer of Matte Varnish. And you’re ready to move onto the rest of your project. This method is not only simple, but provides a higher degree of verisimilitude than painting the rust effect over the green. Not only is it actually beneath the paint (like rust would be), but it ends up with a randomness that is near impossible to replicate with the brush, and is far closer to the actual effect for it.



That’s it for today, true believers. I hope you find this useful. Keep your bristles damp!

Will


youtube

Calendar sheet: 28 May 1987 — West German teenage hobby pilot lands on Red Square in Moscow

On May 28, 1987, 18-year-old German hobby pilot Mathias Rust landed on the Red Square in Moscow after passing the heavily guarded Soviet-Russian airspace.

Rust hired a Cessna 172 from his flight club in Hamburg, saying that he wanted to do a round trip over the North Sea. During a stopover, he removed the rear seat to gain more range. He then continued for the next two weeks with stops at the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Bergen (Norway), to Helsinki. From there, he continued, flying first to Leningrad (today St. Petersburg) and watched out for the railway station there. He then navigated along the railroad tracks to Moscow.

His first attempts to land on the Red Square failed because the square was crowded with people. Rust the decided to land on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge instead. Incidentially, the trolleybus lines were removed for maintenance on this very day, so a landing was possible. Rust then taxied onto the Red Square where he parked the plane on a parking lot for tourist buses and talked to people until he was arrested by the KGB.

Mathias Rust was convicted to 4 years of labor camp for hooliganism and disregard of aviation laws, but was released after 14 months in prison and immediately deported to Germany. The plane was bought by a German cosmetics company, which sold it later to Japan, where is was displayed in an amusement park. In 2009, the German Museum of Technology in Berlin bought the plane, restored it and put it on permanent display.

The Soviet air defense spotted Rust’s plane very soon and accompanied him with MiG-23 fighters, but did nothing to stop him for various organizational reasons. Incidentially, his landing on the Red Square happened on the Day of the Border Soldiers. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev used the incident as a reason to fire a number of his opponents in the military in the largest turnover since Stalin’s purges, further securing his position.

Rust remained an instable person, being sentenced for attempted manslaughter for 2.5 years in prison after stabbing a female co-worker who refused to kiss him. He was also convicted for theft and fraud. Since then, he has led a fragmented life, financing himself at times as a professional poker player, analyst in Switzerland and founder of a yoga school.

A German comedy series circling around the fictional town of Stenkelfeld renamed Stenkelfeld Airport to Mathias Rust Airport.

1000 Follower Ficlet #7

T.he incredible @star-trekkin-across-theuniverse requested a special bonus not-on-the-list prompt that I just could not resist!

You know just how to push my buttons to get away with murder in the best possible way.

Fandom: Star Trek AOS.
Pairing: Leonard McCoy X Reader.
Prompt: Working an Emergency with Him.
Rating: All ages.
Words: 1296.

Originally posted by hellyeah-karl-urban

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Downpour

Pairing: Peter Parker x Reader
Length: 1.8k
Warnings: blood/injury mention
Note: this was supposed to be really angsty but @spidereyhes unknowingly talked me down from it! it’s very loosely based around Northern Downpour, one of my favourite songs. anyways enjoy some fluff!!


The rain comes in waves- for a while, it pitters and patters, barely the misty makings of a soggy day. Then, without any form of warning, it crashes back to life. Sheets of rain sweep across the streets in a torrential downpour that soaks the whole of New York City. Underneath the dark clouds, everything appears muted. The world is a mottled assortment of greys and blues, dreary and dark.

From the window seat of her apartment in Queens, Y/N watches. Large raindrops slam so violently into the glass that for a time, she fears it might break. With her head leaned against the cool surface of the wall, Y/N can’t help but become transfixed by the violence just outside her window. Despite the harshness of the rain, it instills a sense of vague nostalgia deep inside of her. She’s seen rain like this, before. In fact, the thrumming of the rain on her window pane was like an old friend. The rain, after all, was there for everything. Everything that mattered, anyways.

It’s incredible, Y/N muses, how such similar rain can feel so different.

Keep reading

Fall an Angel, Rise a Human - Part One

Originally posted by spooky-gadreel

[prologue] [general masterlist]

Words: 1200+

Pairing: hunter!Gadreel x reader

Chapter summary: The Winchesters run into an old… friend?

Your name: submit What is this?

“Why do we have to suit up while Y/N does the cool stuff?” Dean asked his brother.

“Because you lost a bet. Stop being a sore loser.” Sam answered. “So what if you don’t get to check out the house right away?”

“So what? So Y/N gets to check out a freaking haunted house while we’re stuck here in suits.” Dean grumbled.

“You know what?” Sam asked.

“What?”

“Suck it up.” Sam said, patting Dean’s arm before they got to the crime scene.

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To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

—  “Protest” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Sing Me To Sleep

I read the date wrong, I thought the posting date was the 25th, I’m so sorry omg.

This is my (belated) Voltron Positivity Day thing for @pidgy-draws. I hope you like it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They were falling.

Lance was screaming. Keith was screaming. The lions weren’t responding.

They were going to crash.

Blue hit the ground hard, landing on her back and skidding across the red-brown dirt.

Lance fiddled with the controls, desperately trying to get his lion back in the air.

“Come on, girl. Talk to me…”

“Lance. Are you okay?”

Lance had never been so relieved to hear that voice.

“Keith! I’m good. Blue isn’t, though.”

“Same over here. Send me your coordinates. I’ll come find you.”

Lance made sure his wrist computer was functional and sent Keith his location. “Be careful. We don’t know what lives on this planet.”

“Can you do a few scans?” Keith asked. “Get some information about the planet?”

“On it.”

Blue was functional enough to tell him about the planet, at least. He pulled up a map.

“The planet we’re on is called X573 Eta. Good news is, we’re not that far from civilization. Bad news is, we’re smack in the middle of Galra space. The atmosphere is a thin mixture of hydrogen and a gas I don’t recognize, but it looks super toxic. There seems to be no life other than us.”

“Good. We can let the lions recharge in peace while we locate the others.”

Lance was thankful the lions had self-healing properties. Otherwise they might never leave this planet.

Keith dropped through the hatch on Blue’s head a few minutes later. “How is Blue?”

Lance swiveled around in his chair. “She’s managing. She still can’t fly—”

The floor shook. Blue stood and roared.

“I stand corrected,” Lance said. “Let’s get you to your lion.”

He grinned. Even after he and Keith were thrown on a foreign planet by a malfunctioning wormhole, shivers went down Lance’s back each time he and Blue jumped into the air. He loved flying.

Keith’s breath on the back of his neck made it difficult, though.

Shut it, Lance. Concentrate on steering.

As they flew to the Red lion, Lance surveyed the landscape below them. There was, as Blue had told him, no life. There were no structures of any kind. The entire surface was flat, covered in nothing but rust-colored dirt.

Lance carefully landed Blue next to Red, who was sprawled out on her side, her eyes dark. Lance didn’t think she’d be getting up anytime soon.

Lance fiddled with his gloves while Keith tried, unsuccessfully, to reawaken his lion. After about ten minutes, Keith groaned into his helmet.

“Lance, she’s not moving. Get down here and help me.”

Lance smirked. “Didn’t anybody ever teach you manners, mullet? What do you say?”

The response came in the form of an exaggerated sigh and a monotonous “Please, oh great and powerful Lance, assist me in reviving my lion.”

Lance couldn’t help giggling as he made his way to the Red lion. “Okay, okay. How could I resist aiding someone so polite?”

“Shut up.”

Lance knocked on Red’s head hatch. “Open up, Keithy boy.”

“Why do you insist on making up dumb nicknames?”

“To annoy you, of course. Open the door so I can fix your lion.”

The hatch slid open, and Lance slipped through.

Keith was in the pilot’s chair, his back to Lance.

“So,” Lance started as he approached the other boy, “what seems to be the problem?”

“Everything,” Keith answered, swiveling to face Lance. “The power’s off. I can’t find a way to get it back on. There’s no localized blockage, no fried wires. Nothing’s really damaged. She just won’t wake up.”

Lance thought for a moment. “Did you think to reboot the system?”

“Of course I did. There isn’t a system to reboot. Nothing is working.”

“Well, maybe she’s hibernating for a reason,” Lance offered.

“Such as…”

Lance shrugged. “I… don’t know. Cats are weird. Maybe she sensed something and is playing dead?”

Keith raised an eyebrow. “But wouldn’t Blue sense it too? She’d have at least some reaction.”

“True. Maybe Red is just tired and wants a nap. We had a pretty intense fight back there. We should probably just leave her alone for a while.”

Lance was expecting Keith to counter, but he nodded. “Okay. Let’s explore the planet in Blue. We have nothing else to do until Red is healed.”

“Uh… okay.”

As Lance expected, the rest of the planet was pretty flat. They circled around, scanning the surface. It was just one giant desert.

And Lance could see why.

There was no wind, the atmosphere was as thin as a piece of paper, and the heat was intense. The small desert planet orbited a twin star system. Both of its suns were blue giants, and they weren’t that far away.

It was a death planet.

As they circled back to the Red lion, they came across the first structures that they had seen on this world.

And boy, were they impressive.

Tall rock spires, dozens of them, shot into the air. The shortest of them was still miles tall.

Lance put on a burst of speed and flew to the top of one of them.

The spires were flat at the top, and wide enough for both of the lions to comfortably sit. Lance marked the rock garden on his map. If anything, he wanted to get some pictures for the scrapbook he was making before they left.

The boys returned to Red, expecting to find her recharged enough to fly. Instead, they found creatures crawling all over her.

“What is that?!” Keith exclaimed. “Lance, I thought you said this planet is uninhabited!”

“I did!”

Keith moved to the back, so that he was standing on Blue’s lower jaw. “Drop me down there and cover me.”

Lance hit the eject button, and Keith was thrown out.

“Okay, girl,” Lance said. “Just you and me. We gotta protect your sister.”

She purred, a warm feeling wrapping around his mind. Lance grinned.

“Let’s do this!”

He and Blue hovered above the Red lion, picking off the creatures one by one. They were careful not to hit Red herself, and only fired at the aliens around her.

“Keith, are you inside yet?”

“Yeah. I’m inside. I think she’s waking up, but she’s taking her time.”

“Those things are climbing all over you. If I shoot at them, I might hit your lion instead.”

“Shoot the ones you can. We’ll have to be patient.”

In a few ticks, Red was up and roaring. She was visibly mad. She shook the aliens off of her and attacked them, but to Lance’s surprise, she didn’t jump into the air.

“Keith? You okay?”

“Lance, I’m grounded! Red can’t fly. Two of her thrusters were knocked out by those aliens. We’ll have to fix that manually.”

Fuck.

They took out the rest of the aliens, which took considerably longer than either of them expected. Soon there were dozens of bodies littering the dry ground. Lance tried not to think about it.

He landed Blue a ways from the dead aliens and ran to the Red lion, dragging his entire maintenance kit behind him. Keith was outside, examining her back paws.

Lance whistled. The damage looked bad. Both of Red’s back thrusters were completely busted. The boys would need all of the spare alien glass in both of their repair kits to fix it, and even then it might not be enough.

“I wish Hunk were here.”

Keith snorted. “We’re not that lucky.”

“I wish I’d paid more attention when he gave us that mini repair tutorial.”

“Wishing won’t do us any good now. Let’s just do the best we can. We can use the front thrusters to compare.”

They set to work. They had to stop frequently for water breaks due to the extreme heat of the planet, but eventually they fit the last piece on the last paw. They stood back to examine their handiwork.

“Well,” Lance said, “it’s not pretty, and definitely not long-term, but it should last long enough for us to find the others. Let’s test it out.”

Lance felt a swell of pride when Red successfully leapt into the air. He tried not to think about how many times his and Keith’s hands had accidentally touched while they were fixing Red.

Lance, stop being gay and focus, Lance chided himself. We’ll sort this out another time.

A wary Keith pulled Lance from his thoughts. “Uh… Lance?”

“Yeah?”

“Didn’t we kill those aliens?”

“Yeah?”

“They’re getting back up.”

“What the —”

Lance swung Blue around. The aliens they had just defeated were getting up again. They were charred, scratched, and smushed. Some of then were missing limbs.

“How the fuck?!” Lance yelled.

“Guess we have to kill them again!”

Lance and Keith quickly wiped out the aliens — again — and set down on the ground. Or in Keith’s case, fell to the ground.

“Keith! Are you okay?”

Keith groaned. “Lance! It didn’t work. Red can’t fly.”

“Well. Shit.”

“What now?”

“We sing to the flight goddess?”

“Please don’t start singing.”

“Oh, shut up, mullet. I’ll have you know, I have the voice of an angel.”

“I’m sure.”

“If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear it one day.”

Lance sat back and closed his eyes. Help me out, Blue.

Blue purred, wrapping his consciousness in her own. She was so big, so immense, that Lance knew he would be safe in her. Everything would be okay.

Blue pulled back slightly. The movement was so sudden Lance jumped. “Blue?”

Danger. Behind.

Lance whirled around. “Keith! They’re coming back!”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

Lance watched as the hostile aliens rose again. All of them… except for one.

There was one on the corner, a gruesome-looking thing with a large head and countless appendages. Lance noticed a hole straight through its head. One of the lions had probably stepped on it just the right way.

Why…

Whatever the reason, the alien wasn’t getting up.

“Keith!”

“Lance, come help me!”

“Hit them in the head!”

“What?”

“Hit them in the head!” Lance repeated.

“Might be a little difficult. I don’t even know if some of them have heads.”

“Just trust me!”

As they fought, Lance focused his lasers on what he hoped were their attackers’ heads. There were plenty different types of aliens — no two looked the same — so Lance did his best.

Blue slipped an idea into his head. A strange one, sure, but Lance had seen stranger.

“Keith!”

“Why do you keep shouting my name?”

“I think I know why these aliens didn’t show up on Blue’s life scan.”

Keith blasted a large giraffee-like alien and stomped on a small horde. “Why?”

“They’re zombies.

“What?”

Lance knocked a small, furry alien into the ground. “Think about it. It makes sense. They didn’t show up on the life scan because they’re dead. They don’t die unless you hit them in the head. And they don’t seem to feel pain. They don’t stop until their brain is destroyed.”

A pause while Keith considered it.

“Lance, that’s ridiculous.”

“Don’t tell me Red hasn’t suggested the same thing. And it’s the only thing that makes sense. Do you have a better conclusion?”

Keith sighed. “Fine. Maybe you’re right. But that just means we’d better not get close.”

Once they killed the rest of the zombie-aliens — actually killed them — Keith joined Lance in the Blue lion as they discussed what to do next.

Lance pulled his helmet off. “Fuck, it’s hot.”

Keith nodded. “We have to get off this planet. Our water supply won’t last very long. Maybe a few quintants at most.”

“Well, we killed the zombaliens, so that’s something.”

Keith scowled at him. “We are not calling them that.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s dumb, and because we have more important things to worry about. Like how we’re gonna get home.”

“We can’t broadcast anything,” Lance said. “It’ll be picked up by the Galra, and we’ll be toast.”

“What if we broadcasted something that isn’t visible to the Galra?” Keith suggested.

“Like what?”

“We could send out a message on a frequency that other ships don’t pick up. Like that time on Korbela a few months ago, when we sent out a message on an outdated frequency?”

Lance nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah! That might work. We don’t have Pidge with us this time, but I think I remember how to do it. We can record the message and then I’ll try to broadcast it.”

He jumped up and activated Blue’s microphone. “Attention, Castle of Lions. This is Lance and Keith. We landed on a planet called X573 Eta. Be careful, it’s right in the middle of Galra occupied space. Blue is doing great, but Red can’t fly. Come get us as soon as possible. Red and Blue out.”

Lance could feel Keith hovering over his shoulder as he tried to recall the frequency they had used. The Castle was super old, as was its communicators, so all they had done was broadcast on a frequency that was used in the day of the Castle but had been abandoned by modern radios.

He found one that looked familiar and hoped it was right. “Okay, here we go.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Keith said.

Lance grinned over his shoulder. “So do I.”

With the click of a button, he sent the message out. He knew it would carry for hundreds of light-years before the signal faded. He just hoped his team was close enough.

“Welp, that’s all we can do for now,” Lance said, lowering himself against the wall. “Now we just wait and hope.”

Keith sat beside him. Lance noticed that their shoulders and thighs were touching. He stopped noticing it and focused on something else. Anything else.

He ended up staring at a scratch on the wall for five dobashes or so before something pulled him out of his not-Keith-induced trance.

He looked up at the holoscreen. “Blue, what is that?”

The screen flashed, and a part of it was filled with video footage from behind the lion.

Lance and Keith gaped at the sight.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of zombaliens were surrounding the lions. There were so many, the ground wasn’t visible beneath them all.

“The zombaliens called their friends,” Lance breathed.

“What could have attracted them like this?”

“The signal,” Lance realized. “They must have sensed the signal we broadcasted.”

“We gotta get out of here,” Keith said, his voice higher than usual.

“Should we try to fight them?”

“Lance, there’s too many of them. I won’t even be able to get to my lion. We have to go.”

Lance was already in his seat. “What about Red?”

Keith chewed his lip, which was definitely not cute, goddammit Lance. “We’ll have to leave her.”

“We can’t just leave her here. She’ll be destroyed!”

“What else is there to do?” Keith shouted.

“Maybe Blue can carry her. I’m gonna try it.”

Lance lifted off the ground and took a deep breath. Help me out here, Blue. You know what to do.

Blue opened her mouth and carefully closed her jaws around the Red lion’s neck. Lance pushed the thrusters and turned on a small boost that Pidge had installed (which was safer than pod booster fuel, thank goodness).

Lance flew as fast as he could to the first place that came to his mind.

“Lance?” Keith questioned. “Where are you going?”

“The rock garden,” Lance replied. “The zombies shouldn’t be able to reach us on top of those spires.”

Lance cheered internally when the rocky towers were in sight. He dropped the Red lion as gently as he could on the nearest one, and landed Blue. Lance looked at Keith, desperation in his eyes. “We have to get out of here.”

Keith nodded, but stayed silent.

Lance peered out of the front window. “Keith, whatever we’re gonna do, we’d better do it fast. Those zombaliens are moving pretty fast toward us.”

Keith was pacing now, helmet off, tugging at his hair. “I… don’t know. I don’t know. Lance, there’s no way we can go right now. I can feel Red, but her consciousness is weak. We can’t do anything. We’re helpless.”

Below them, the aliens were stacking on top of each other, leaning against the spire, and running in to it. The ground shook slightly.

“They’re trying to knock it over,” Lance realized. “Keith, look at me. Red has to fly. There is no other option.”

Keith nodded once and put his helmet on. “Okay. You’re right. I’m going to get her.”

Keith exited the Blue lion. Lance watched him, flinching with every quiver of the ground. They were very high up. If they fell, they would fall hard.

Some of the aliens were in the air, and Lance almost gave up right then and there, because of course some of them could fly, of fucking course.

Keith was almost to his lion when the tower started to fall.

The look of helplessness on the Red paladin’s face as he realized what was happening crushed Lance.

“KEITH!”

“LANCE!”

The amount of time it took for Blue’s thrusters to turn on was too much, the speed Keith was falling was too fast, and the flying zombies were gaining on him. Keith’s bayard was ripped out of his hands, and Lance didn’t know what was wrong with his jetpack other than it was not working.

No, no, no, no, no!

Blue, go faster!

Keith was kicking at the flying zombies, but he had zero maneuverability. He was already bruised and bleeding in several places by the time Lance caught him.

Everything was a blur. Lance’s mind refused to register the fact that Keith was bleeding out on the floor of the Blue lion.

Then he saw Red.

Red, whose thrusters were busted. Red, who was barely able to move. Red, who was physically unable to fly.

Red, who was tearing the shit out of some aliens.

Blue was getting attacked by the flying aliens, but she could hold her own. Lance had put her on autopilot in favor of caring for Keith. Both of the boys watched in awe as Red roared and blasted fire at the horde, reducing a good number of zombies to ashes.

With Red in a fighting frenzy, the two lions took out the rest if the zombaliens in less than nine dobashes. When it was over, Red’s eyes went dark, and she fell to the ground.

Lance couldn’t worry about that, his teammate was dying in his arms. He pulled a med kit off of a shelf and rooted through it for bandages. He pulled most of Keith’s armor off. He told himself that Keith would be okay.

Lance cleaned and wrapped a large gash on Keith’s side, then started cleaning the blood off of his face.

“Lance,” Keith croaked.

“No,” Lance interrupted. “Don’t speak. Save your strength.”

“But —”

“Whatever you want to tell me, you can tell me after you’re fully healed and not dying —”

“I love you.”

Lance paused, the wipe in his hand hovering over Keith’s nose. He let it sink in.

He loves me???

Lance couldn’t think of anything to say, for a change.

“And you decided to tell me this now because why?” He finally asks. 

“Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m dying. I wanted you to know. Even if you don’t feel the same. I just wanted you to know in case I don’t have another chance.”

“Um, no. No, no, no, no, no. Don’t say that. You are not allowed to die, nope, you have to live so we can discuss this later because I’m in love with you too.“ 

Tears are streaming down Keith’s face. Lance’s own cheeks are damp.

A few ticks pass before Keith blurts out “Sing to me.”

“What?”

“You said if I was lucky I’d get to hear your voice. Well, you love me, so I’m feeling pretty goddamn lucky.”

Lance wracked his brain for something to sing. He decided on a song from one of his favorite childhood movies, one that had been stuck in his head for the past week.

Dancing bears, painted wings.
Things I almost remember.

He leaned down and kissed Keith softly as he sang. “I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you too.”

Far away, long ago.
Glowing dim as an ember.
Things my heart used to know,
things it yearns to remember.

And a song someone sings

Once upon a December.

Land of Rust and Sand

Your Land is not going to be pleasant. I will get that out of the way for you right now. The atmosphere is thick and choked with particles - dust, sand, rust, etc. What was once a thriving metal metropolis towering through the clouds has been eroded by time and pain from the great war of Shesmu. 

Your consorts have been driven into hiding underneath what seems like an endless desert of brown and grey. Your quests will be simple in nature - deliver a package from one village to another, rescue a Turtle’s son from a Ruststorm, but if you overstay your welcome in a town, Shesmu’s forces will catch wind of your trail and eradicate the town. 

You must live on the winds and make silent, decisive, and informed decisions in order to fulfill enough quests to open the way to Shesmu and the confrontation, else your land will be depleted of consorts before you have the opportunity to do so.


Described by @classpectanon for @pastatrends.