Can we talk about the concept of humans adopting other sentient aliens as equal members of their families?
Like, in the posts I’ve seen so far, there’s mostly talks of humans adopting dangerous alien critters as pets but what about humans adopting sentient aliens?
“Human-George, just leave that be, they’re just a runt.” - “… No.” - “Human-George, you can’t - put them down! What are you doing?” - “Krlunk, I’m not leaving a child behind on this forsaken moon to die.” - “But they’re just a runt, not worth raising. The broodbirther and the feeders must have left it behind when they migrated 5 sols ago.” - “Are they going to come back?” - “No, Human-George, Twargs migrate for long periods of time, and we can’t spare the time to go after them.” - “Then I’ll take them with me.” “- “What?” - “I’ll take this little champion here with me and I will raise them as my own.” - “You- you can’t just do that! You can’t just spill your pack-bonding instincts- Human George!!! Get back here!” - “Don’t listen to Krlunk, kid, I won’t leave you here alone. Doesn’t matter how many appendages you have. You hungry? Thought so, let’s go get you some grub.” - (in the distance) “Human-George! The extra rations are coming out of your pay!!!” - “See if I care, Krlunk. Go eat paperwork or so.”
Imagine human patchwork families with little aliens raised and loved alonside their own, imagine some human trying to explain to crewmates how they have a Twarg sibling and a Sh’ilean sister even though their parents look very much human, imagine humans parents trying their very best to provide their alien child with the best possible care.
Also imagine it the other way around. Humans getting adopted by aliens and bonding with them just as much as they would with their own kind, either through deeds or just love. Humans building their own families in a wild mix of colours and number of appendages or eyes.
“So this is my human side of the family, see, these are my human parents.” - “Is that your larval form in their arms, Hooman-Cassandra?” - “Sort of, yeah, and this is my Gran’hroo mother and all of her children.” - “How can you have a Gran’hoo relative? I thought your kind could only come from a bonded pair of hoomans?” - “Oh, I used to live on the same mining colony as her when I was a child and I’d play with her children, spent most of my days in their house and one day I called her ‘Acraï’ - ‘mother’ in Gran’hoo language - by accident. It kind of stuck. She took me in when my parents temporarily left for another space station and I wanted to finish my education where I’d started it. When I left for my first space journey, she gave a clan insignia and called me her daughter so yeah… this is my Mom, my Dad, and my Acraï and they’re all my parents.”
I read a lot of scripts. A lot. From professionals to aspiring writers to complete newbies. Features and pilots. Specs and treatments.
And 8 times out of 10 the fan fic that I’ve read over the last, oh, 15 years is leagues better than this stuff. It’s more inspired. It’s more compelling. It’s genre bending and creative and heartfelt. It’s well-paced and intense and funny and sexy and meaningful. It’s smart and thoughtful and good. It’s novel-quality. Better than, sometimes.
Rare is the script I don’t want to put down, but how often have we stayed up until 3am to get to the last chapter of a 100k fic? And it’s not even a fan fic author’s day job. This is what they do on the side. In their spare time. For free.
So my point is, fan fic authors, you’re good. You’re good writers and great storytellers. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, especially if you’re one of the authors who’s not a BNF and doesn’t get the notes/hits that a few do. And because some people still view fic as “not real writing.” You guys know the shit that gets made into movies. You’re better than that. So be better than that. If writing is what you think want to do, then just know you’re already doing it. You’ve already started.
Don’t make skill checks Pass Or Fail. Make them Finish Quickly or Takes Up Time.
“I Search for clues. I rolled a 12.”
Don’t: ’[the DC was 18] You don’t find anything.’
Do: ’[the DC was 18] There’s something here, you can feel it. It takes you a few minutes of rooting around, following hunches and gut feelings, but eventually you find a clue.’
This keeps the plot moving, can be used to create a sense of urgency, and most importantly can encourage the rest of the group to help their ally. If the mission at hand is time-sensitive, your group might not have the spare five minutes they need to let one person do all the looking around, and this might drive the rest of the party to help with the search rather than having them sitting on their thumbs while the rogue or wizard or whathaveyou roots around.
Similarly, Knowledge or similar checks.
“I want to use my Spellcraft to try and figure out what the evil wizard is casting. I rolled an 18.”
Don’t: ’[the DC was 20] You have no idea what this guy is doing.’
Do: ’[the DC was 20] You recognize some of the gestures he’s making. It seems as though he’s casting some form of barrier spell, but you can’t immidiately tell which one.’
This can be just as confusing to them, especially if your characters don’t know which barrier spells exist, but it presents an important little nugget: it’s some form of barrier, which will prompt your players to behave differently than if they had been given no information at all. They may approach more carefully, they may try to test this barrier, etc.
Don’t make skill checks “You did it” vs “You didn’t do it.” Make them “You did it perfectly” vs “You made some errors,” because having the process messed up or taking more time gives more roleplaying opportunities and, most importantly, keeps players from getting stuck.
Me to Me: No one will ever be as perfect at my bias ever they just haven’t noticed me yet so I’m just waiting for my own little cute korean drama scenario where the most perfect person comes into my life and they love me like Jung Joon Hyeong loves Kim Bok Joo and we live happily ever after where the sunset falls on the horizon and I stare into their eyes forever and ever
’ i dont know if i need a hug or to fuck. ’
’ you know what? fuck this shit. ’
’ are you out of your fucking mind? ’
’ do i look like i give a fuck? ’
’ i wish i had a fuck to spare but i don’t. ’
’ you’re fucking stupid, honestly. ’
’ you know what, fuck you dude. ’
’ fuck you right back. ’
’ you did not just say that, you fucker. ’
’ what do you think i am, just a fuck? ’
’ i’m just another fuck to you, huh? ’
’ i really just want to fuck right now. ’
’ please stop using fuck in every sentence. ’
’ you use the word ‘fuck’ a lot, you know. ’
’ you are a fucktard but a cute fucktard. ’
’ you have lost every bit of my fucking respect. ’
’ if you say ‘fuck’ one more time, i swear. ’
’ do you wanna fuck or what? ’
’ someone else wanted to fuck you? ’
’ please stop telling me about your fucks. ’
’ do you ever not go around and fuck? ’
’ all you do is eat, sleep and fuck. ’
’ seriously, how to you stand to fuck that much? ’
’ did you fuck anyone last night? ’
’ i know i’m a good fuck, so whatever. ’
’ i will fuck you up, don’t even try. ’
’ don’t get fucked up today. ’
’ you will get fucked up if you don’t shut up. ’
’ what did you just fucking say to me? ’
’ why don’t you fuck off? ’
’ seriously, fuck you. ’
’ fuck you, fuck you and fuck you. ’
Summary: Your best friend is Natasha Romanoff, and she’s known to break hearts of many admirers in her wake. When you start working at a local bakery with a blue-eyed baker who has fallen for her, you do what it takes to make sure they both get the sugary-filled romance they deserve. However, things get a little complicated when your own feelings get in the way.
A/N: For @theassetseyeliner ‘s writing challenge. Thank you all so much for the love and support for the first part of this series. You all have rendered me speechless with your wonderful messages and comments. You guys are the best :)
“I hate you”
“You don’t hate me.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because you haven’t kicked me out of your apartment yet.”
You groan dramatically as you let yourself fall on the bed, your eyes staring up at the ceiling. “I still can’t believe you volunteered me to work at the bakery,” you mumble under your breath. Thanks to Natasha boasting about your love of baking, you find yourself earning a job at Barnes’ Bakery as a baker assistant. Quite honestly, you feel stressed since you need to juggle between college and work now, something you’re not prepared for.
You’ve probably heard of “freewriting." Here’s what you do:
You sit down, you get comfortable, and you start writing. Some people set a timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes before they start. Because the game is, you don’t stop writing during those 10, 15, 20 minutes, even if—especially if—you don’t know what to write. If that happens, you write, "I can’t think of something to write,” or whatever. You also don’t go back to correct anything, even typos. In freewriting, there is no concept of a “mistake,” because once you’re done, you just throw it away. You don’t even read it yourself, unless you feel like it.
The point of the exercise is to expend no effort except for the physical effort of writing or typing. Your goal is not to choose words so much as spew words out. Think of it as the writing equivalent of finger-painting. It’s an exercise in not giving a shit.
This is the best way I know for reducing anxiety around writing. Peter Elbow suggests scheduling it at least three times a week. Personally, I don’t schedule it; I do it at random moments during the day when it occurs to me. This addresses my sense that writing is very difficult to start. If you get into the habit of just dropping what you’re doing and spontaneously writing something, writing starts to seem like less of a big deal.
If you want, you can relax the rule about not stopping. I found that if I told myself “I can’t stop!” I made myself anxious—“oh my god, I’ll be trapped doing this thing for ten minutes!”—which impeded my willingness to do it at all. So allow yourself to stop if you need to—but just to rest, not to think.
Freewriting can be practiced for as short a time as you have—five minutes, thirty seconds, however long you can tolerate it or spare. You can do it while you’re on hold or waiting for a file to download. Or you can put a reminder on your phone. Every day, every other day, every other other day, whatever. If you ultimately want to “make writing a habit,” you could pick a time slot and just fill that slot with freewriting for now. That will certainly build a habit, and it asks almost nothing of you except to sit in a chair and move your fingers until your timer goes off.
Well, okay: it asks slightly more of you than that. Freewriting is similar to meditation or mindfulness practice: you do have to focus, and mainly you focus on what’s in your head. For some folks, that can be uncomfortable. If it is, try to focus on the words and not on you. If you can’t stand your own thoughts, describe what you see around you instead. Or think of the words as grit that has collected inside you that you’re flushing out—like turning on a faucet to clear rust out of the pipes. The words are already there, so when you freewrite, you’re just discharging them. Those words aren’t you, they’re just words.
I offer you this rusty pipe metaphor because it has helped me a lot. Writing, for me, has always meant feeling my lack of worth in its fullest intensity—as if every word I write were declaring my mediocrity. So of course I avoided it. But if I think of the words as grit in a pipe, my self—my own abilities and my own psyche—are not at issue. Just caked, rotten, crusty words that need to be dissolved, loosened and washed out.
Freewriting has a few purposes, according to Elbow. As I said, it trains you to decouple your words from you, to write with less fear that what you write reflects on you. It accustoms you to producing “bad” writing and seeing that the world doesn’t end. It teaches you to make mistakes without fear—or rather, to write without “mistake” vs. “correct” even entering the picture.
The real point of freewriting is just to practice spontaneously generating words. Merely generating words, it turns out, is difficult and demanding before you even ask whether they’re the right words. Many of us (though not all) can generate words with relative ease when we talk. But for reasons that are mysterious to me, writing doesn’t work like speaking. Maybe it’s because you have more time to choose your words when you’re writing—and there’s nobody sitting there, responding to what you say. The point is, the channel between your brain and your typing/writing hands can get stiff and clogged. So the first step toward writing without pain and anxiety is simply to loosen and unclog that channel. You’re not even building a skill, you’re just stretching a muscle.
I find when I freewrite that after a few minutes, my mental state shifts. I go into a sort of trance in which things are happening in my mind and I’m observing them but I don’t feel like I’m controlling them. Which, for someone who lives her life with an iron grip on her every thought and deed, is an enormous relief. Once I stop freewriting and start writing normally, some of that lightness lingers. My mind and body remember the sensation and can return to it even when I write more slowly and deliberately.
If writing is extremely difficult for you, you might need to do nothing but freewrite for a while. You might need the sustained experience of producing words that won’t be evaluated, that can’t be evaluated. Even once you start writing normally again, you could still spend the first few minutes of your writing time freewriting, just to clear the pipes.
Try it. Try freewriting for thirty seconds. Right now. Just open up a new document or grab an empty junk mail envelope and see what it’s like.
One moment of hesitation was all it took. One second he had felt like it was James hovering above him playing stupid games as he does, only one second of hesitation and he had felt the air leave his lungs as his own hand choked it out of him. He should have strangled him, he shouldn’t have listened to him but how could he have denied the effect James always had on him? Harry looked so much like the boy Peter trusted and loved when he was a kid. He still did love James even though no one would believe him, he did, but what was he supposed to do? As he struggled under the grasp of his own hand, Harry and Ron had tried to free him but there was nothing they could do, he had brought this on himself.
Peter no longer saw Harry trying to pull away the betraying hand away but he was looking into the abyss now. He didn’t know where he was, maybe somehow he survived, oh how he wished he had survived. He was a Gryffindor but he had never been able to conquer his fear of death, it was always there in the back of his mind telling him he needed to survive and do whatever it takes to do so. It was there when he broke James’ trust, it was there when he left Sirius to die, it had always been there.
Peter looked at his hands, his missing finger was where it belonged, his arm was now back in place fully intact and his. He pushed himself up slowly to look around where he was and wished he hadn’t. He tried to run but it was like he was in an invisible cage. Was this a nightmare? Was this what hell looked like? All four of them standing side by side, as James tried to hold Sirius back, Lily stared at him with her hand on the shoulder of the tall handsome boy Peter recognised from the graveyard, the spare, Cedric. Somehow the hell he had heard from all the people when he was younger sounded better, he would have taken flames instead of the disgust on Sirius’ face, the fear in Cedric’s eyes, the disappointment in Lily’s expression and the emptiness in James’ stare. He would have cut his own arm off just to get away from wherever he was.
Everyone was staring at them. So many people had died in this war and all of them were staring at Peter but they had better things to do so they turned around to continue whatever they were doing before Peter arrived. He saw piercing blue eyes and disgust on Dumbledore’s face clearly before he returned to his old friends.
“I-I never m-meant for any of y-you to d-die,” muttered Peter, he was quite sure he was the only one who could hear. “I was– I was afraid and–”
“We all saw you Wo-Peter,” said James softly. “Your hands didn’t even shake as you killed Cedric. You didn’t even hesitate.”
“Where did we go wrong, Pete?” asked Lily her eyes shining with tears. “What did we ever do to you to deserve what we got?”
That was the thing. Peter was telling the truth, he never wanted any of them to die. He only wanted to survive. He was afraid of dying, it wasn’t the Dark Lord he was afraid of, it was the power he held over Peter and his Lord was the one who killed him in the end.
“We would have died for you,” said Sirius. He looked much younger than the last time Peter saw him, much more alive than he was the night Peter betrayed him one more time. “We would have done anything for you but you decided that you had to take it into your own hands. We thought you cared for us the same way we cared for you.”
“I do, I did,” stuttered Peter in response, looking at his hands in desperation. “I never did any of these things because I hated you. I just– I wanted to be brave like you but I was terrified–”
“That’s all you say Peter,” interrupted Sirius. “Don’t you think we were all scared?”
“You decided not to be the Secret Keeper because you were afraid but I–”
“DON’T YOU DARE BLAME THIS ON ME!” roared Sirius as he launched himself to Peter. James knowing his brother like he does held him by the collar and calmed him down with words Peter couldn’t hear. Sirius was burning his skin the way he looked at him. “Don’t you dare blame this on me.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t do it Wormtail?” asked James making Peter flinch at the mention of his nickname. “You know I wouldn’t have forced you to do it.”
“I wanted to be b-brave like y-you lads.”
“When did we ever make you feel like you weren’t enough? You were brave enough, you didn’t have to take on a responsibility that you thought you couldn’t handle.”
“When did I made you feel like handing me and my family over to our murderer would be the solution?”
“What was it that I ever did to you that made it alright for you to bring your Dark Lord back from the fucking dead Peter? WHAT WAS IT?”
“I d-don’t– I’m not–”
Everyone was just staring at Peter and letting James talk, he was seemingly the calmest in all of them. His anger had always been silent. Peter had seen him get this angry once in 5th year and once during an Order mission. His anger was the worst out of all the Marauders and Peter never in his life thought it would be directed at him.
“Peter I swear if Harry turns up in this wretched place I will make sure I end up in the same hell as you just to watch you burn.”
War changes people. It had changed Peter, too but James Potter, the boy he never thought was capable of feeling hate towards someone other than Slytherins was planning to watch Peter suffer.
“How dare you call him that?” yelled Lily. “You think just because you are dead, everything is forgotten? You are not their friend anymore Peter, you are just a filthy Death Eater who wasn’t even worthy of getting the stupid Dark Mark. Good job proving everyone at Hogwarts right.”
“What, James?” she shot back. “Everyone knew he was the different one in your little group. He proved them completely right because of his fragile ego, just because he couldn’t be like you–”
“I can’t even look at him, I’ll be over there if you need anything.”
Lily left with one last pitying look at Peter and Cedric looked around in hesitation trying to figure out if he should leave, too but he looked determined to stay.
“I have one question Peter,” began Sirius with the calmness of a madman. “Why didn’t you let us turn you in that night? This could have ended a long time ago.”
“They would have k-killed me.”
“Well, you are a murderer.”
“I’m not– I was AFRAID!” shouted Peter out of the frustration he was feeling in his gut.
“So you acted on rat instinct?” questioned Sirius. Peter knew he was going to get somewhere from this.
“I- I just wanted to live–”
“So the reason you made me think Remus was the mole when it was actually you,” he sighed, his perfect eyebrow arched like a bow ready to throw it’s arrow and Peter knew he was going to hit bullseye. “It was all instinctive and not at all a plan?”
Peter didn’t know what to say, he didn’t know how to defend himself. Not that he needed to anymore, Sirius couldn’t hurt him but still, he wanted his friends to see they would have done the same as him. However, he wasn’t sure anymore. He wasn’t so sure that they would have chosen the easy way out like he did but he had to live, he had to survive no matter what it cost him.
“You have always been a shit liar, Peter,” said Sirius and came closer to where Peter was standing in his glass chamber. “You took everything I had, EVERYTHING! I trusted you, you bloody rat. I trusted you with my secrets, I trusted you with my brother’s life. I wish we had never met you.”
Peter gasped in shock, it was such a simple sentence but it inflicted so many wounds. Never meeting the Marauders would mean losing the best 7 years of Peter’s life.
“You let Remus have his transformations alone,” he spat. Sirius was never good at controlling his anger. “You let him rot on forest floors. You let him suffer for 12 years. Twelve fucking years, you let me stay in that– that place. You killed all of us without getting blood on your hands.”
Sirius walked away from Peter trying to steady his shaky breath. He was right, Peter had done all of the things he had said but Sirius never stopped to ask why he did what he did, if there was anything Peter could have said but then again, Peter understood that there was no explanation for what he did.
As he was looking around, Cedric walked closer to him. Peter would have died another time if it meant not getting confronted by the golden boy because he didn’t have anything to say but he gathered what was left of his pride to piss him off enough so that he would leave Peter alone. He wasn’t ready to face that mistake.
“I-” started Cedric, he looked like he couldn’t find the right words. “How did you do it?”
“How did I do what?”
“Killed the spare.”
“You were never meant to be in the graveyard.”
“So it’s my fault you murdered me?” asked Cedric taking his chance to talk with him in private as James was talking to Sirius. “He called me a spare and you didn’t even think twice. How on earth was a supposed to know it was a Portkey to my death?”
“I think–” began Peter and he took in a deep breath as he ran his hand through his hair. “I didn’t want to do it but the Dark Lord–”
“You weren’t under an Imperius Charm.”
“It wouldn’t have made a difference he would have killed me,” replied Peter as if that was the only logical explanation. “It was either you or me–”
“He was a bag of bones!” exclaimed Cedric. “He was nothing but a bag of bones and you were such a coward, you couldn’t even disobey that thing.”
“You don’t understand,” replied Peter with as much calm as he can muster. “His followers would have found me, I had to do it.”
“So you thought murdering a 17 year old kid can be justified because it was him or you?” demanded James as he pulled Cedric a little bit by his arm. “He was seventeen Peter. You hid from everyone else for 13 years, couldn’t you have hidden from them?”
No one talked for a while after that, Cedric went to join Lily as she watched over Harry. Sirius was walking up and down and James was just standing in front of Peter.
“We were twenty-one, Wormtail.”
“I know. I was, too,” whispered Peter in reply. “You have to understand James. I was young and afraid, and you know I never was the brightest–”
“But you were! You were smart and brave Peter.”
“Not like you,” he replied softly, feeling like he was back in the Hogwarts Express talking about their OWLs with the Marauders and James had reacted exactly like he did now. However this time he only shook his head.
“I didn’t deserve your betrayal, did I?”
“No,” mumbled Peter. “None of you did.”
“I honestly didn’t think where this would go when I said I would be your Secret Keeper. You must understand that you trusting me with something like that was such an honour for me but in the back of my mind it was also a way out. I was always so terrified of dying in this stupid war.”
“We were all threatened,” reminded James staring into Peter’s soul. “I was marked for death Peter. You could have said you can’t do this and that you wanted protection and no one would have judged you. I always told you, you didn’t have to do anything you didn’t want to do.”
“But what would you guys have said if I left to go into hiding?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “We would have said nothing. We would have understood. I thought our friendship, our brotherhood was stronger than judging and plotting.”
“When he first found me I thought I was going to die but he saw right through me. I am not as strong as you are, I have never been. He knew how to manipulate me and I let him. It’s the rat in me like Pad–Sirius said. I could have told you but I was so scared and when you gave me that opportunity with your own hands, I was way too deep in to get out.”
“If you had a chance would you change what happened?”
“I would try to but I don’t trust myself.”
“I wish I could say I trusted you Peter,” confessed James. “I wish I could say with certainty that you would change what happened. I feel like you would only do it because you are dead now.”
“I- I understand that and I’m sorry.”
“Are you really?”
“I am Jamie,” began Peter, it was a hard thing to explain when you have betrayed someone as badly as Peter did with the Marauders. “I loved all of you but I just couldn’t bring myself to see that the consequences of the choices I make would be this severe. All I could think of was I needed to get out alive and I don’t know why I wanted to survive so much, I just did. I regret most of the things I did, I do. I would have given everything to be stronger than I was but that’s just who I was. You were the prince of the forest and I was a rat. I will never be as loyal as Sirius is or as protective as Remus is. I’m me, I’m Peter Pettigrew and I am what I am but I’m sorry for everything not that it would change much.”
“No, it doesn’t,” sighed James. “But I guess you saying you regret the things you did saves you from us.”
Peter felt a pull and James started getting further and further away. Sirius and Lily didn’t even turn around but Cedric gave him one last look before turning away.
“Goodbye Peter, I hope I never see you again,” were the last words Peter heard from James Potter.