wiped off the map

The Wakandan Royal Portrait offers clues to the dangers within the fictional nation

T’CHALLA

“What makes him different from other superheroes first and foremost is he doesn’t see himself as a superhero,” says director and co-writer Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed). “He sees himself as a politician. That’s the first thing on his mind when he wakes up in the morning. ‘How am I going to fulfill my duties as king of this place?’”

That means not just fighting external foes, but keeping the citizens of his nation happy. He’s a king, but not a tyrant. And Wakandans don’t speak with only one voice. There are many political factions, many clashing points of view. Some are ready for revolution. Some are being pushed.

“He has to keep harmony between the tribes within his country, and that means managing expectations and doing things that are unpopular,” Coogler says. “At the same time, he is the protector of that nation.”

RAMONDA

Angela Bassett costars as Ramonda, once the queen, now the mother of the king.

“She is one of the advisors that he would look to,” Boseman says. “He has to look to her for some of the answers of what his father might want or might do. She may not be exactly right all the time, but she definitely has insights. She is the queen mother. And she’s that for not just him, but for everybody.”

Bozeman laughs. “She’s has her hands in everything — even his love life.”

NAKIA

“The one thing I will say about all the female characters in this movie is that they are very strong,” Boseman says. “It’s a very matriarchal society.”

One of them is Wakanda’s undercover operative Nakia, played by 12 Years a SlaveOscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o. She may actually be the closest thing to 007 in this movie, and she’s a former lover of T’Challa’s.

“She is a departure from what she was in the comic book,” Nyong’o says. “Nakia is a war dog. She is basically an undercover spy for Wakanda. Her job is to go out into the world and report back on what’s going on.”

She also boasts some unique weaponry. “We call them her ring blades,” says Moore. “The ones Lupita carries while in the green outfit are based on traditional African weaponry. However, she does get a hi-tech upgrade later in the film, compliments of Shuri.”

SHURI

Letitia Wright plays T’Challa’s kid sister, who is no one you want to face in battle either. “She is also a genius and runs the entire Wakandan design group,” says producer Kevin Feige, whose also president of Marvel Studios and one of the chief architects of its interlocked universe. “She’s responsible for all these amazing technological advances that Vibranium has brought about from Wakanda.”

Here she is pictured with twin, panther-shaped weapons. It’s not clear yet what they do exactly, but it probably hurts.

OKOYE

She’s not technically family, but she’s just as close. This character played by The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira is the head of the Dora Milaje, the all-female special soldiers unit that protects the kingdom (and the king) from harm.

“They are a very powerful force,” she says. “They are not utopic, but what Wakanda has down well is it has allowed people to function within their strengths. These women, their strength is to preserve Wakanda. It’s more like the secret service in a sense that it’s not just military. She is head of intel.”

Okoye has guilt over the death of the previous king, and she’s generally a stoic presence. But she’s not unfeeling. “She can be serious, but she also has an unexpected sense of humor,” Gurira says. “She has a heart, but for her country and for her people. She’s not a person who doesn’t connect to human beings as a result of what she does.”

ERIK KILLMONGER

There is an enemy in this portrait.

In the comics, he was once a Wakandan known as N’Jadaka, but he took on this “death-dealing” nom de guerre when he became a dissident, then an exile, from his homeland.

Michael B. Jordan’s character is one of the antagonists of the film, allied with the mercenary Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis, reprising his role from Avengers: Age of Ultron), an arms dealer who has plundered Vibranium before and plans to do it again. He’s addicted.

In The Godfather terms, Killmonger has sided with this outsider against “the family,” his brothers and sisters of Wakanda. “I think Killmonger has his own opinion on how Wakanda has been run and should run, and what I think Michael brings to the table is sort of a charming antagonist, who doesn’t agree with how T’Challa is running things, frankly,” says Moore. “I think that puts T’Challa in a difficult situation. Killmonger is a voice of a different side of Wakanda.”

W’KABI

Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya plays T’Challa’s best friend, who is also a member of one of the most vital groups in the nation. “W’Kabi is the head of security for the Border Tribe,” says Moore. “They live on the borders of Wakanda and serve as the first line of defense for the country.”

In other words, he helps maintain the disguise that Wakanda is just mines, farms, and woods.

“To outsiders they appear to be what people would ‘expect’ of a small provincial African nation – but the truth is they are some of the fiercest warriors in Wakanda, intent on protecting the secrets of their advanced nation at all costs,” Moore says.

Now that T’Challa is king, he asks W’Kabi to join him as a palace advisor.

ZURI

Another vital voice of reason for the young king is Forest Whitaker’s shaman, a longtime advisor to T’Challa’s father and the keeper of the Heart-Shaped Herb, a plant that grows only in Wakanda and absorbs the Vibranium-rich minerals. When consumed, it gives the new leader superhuman strength. (But in the comics, it only works on members of the royal bloodline.)

“He’s somewhat a religious figure or spiritual figure,” Coogler says of Zuri. “Spirituality is something that exists in Wakanda in the comics, and it’s something we wanted to have elements of in the film. Forest’s character, more than anything, is a major tie-back to T’Challa’s father. Zuri is someone he looks to for guidance.”

As wondrous as Wakanda seems, it can also be treacherous. For all the talk of honor in The Godfather, the families were compulsively driven to destroy each other. 007 may venture to the most beautiful places (and people) on Earth, but there’s always a villain determined to wipe those places off the map. If Black Panther owes thematic inspiration to those predecessors, the danger comes hand in hand with the beauty.

But that’s where the similarities will end. When the Marvel Studios movie debuts Feb. 16, the story will remain on Earth, but its creators pledge to take fans to a world they’ve never seen before nonetheless.

“I don’t think people are prepared for what this movie is going to be,” says Feige. “Not just Black Panther, but the Dora Milaje, and Killmonger, and the entire design of Wakanda – both its traditional African-inspired elements, but also the Vibranium inspired techno-elements. I can’t think of a blend that has happened like that before in movies.”

There’s only one Black Panther, after all.

No matter who wants to lay claim to his throne.

concept playlists part ii

it’s the year 2077 & you’re at a nightclub in tokyo with your best friend, you’re both on the run from a group of rebels but you feel safe in this little neon corner of nowhere so when a robot waiter offers you a strawberry daiquiri you accept it

you’re a tourist on mars & you’re trying to contact home but the signal is really crappy so you just end up buying yourself an icecream sundae & waiting in this strange alien queue to buy an interstellar sim card

you’re in a small virginian town that was wiped off the map several years ago housesitting for a mysterious neighbor when you find a secret passageway in their library, you have no idea where it leads but you’re curious to take a look 

you’re in victorian england & you’re walking down a path adorned with the warm aureate glow of gaslights & it’s snowing softly & you have your hands buried deep in your coat pockets while somewhere in the distance, someone announces that the queen is dead

you meet god at a gas station at 3.03 am & he asks you if you want to go for a motorcycle ride with him & when you say yes he warns you that he’s about to introduce you to things you can never unknow 

you’re in love with a ghost who shows up in all your household mirrors & keeps turning off the kitchen light but one night you realize that you’re the one that’s been doing all the haunting 

it’s a rehab centre for celestial beings, where angels with dying halos flitter past & talk to you of stars, you love working this job, learning about the woes of a dozen flighty beings, & they endow you with their strength & light in return

you’re stuck in a time loop inside of a 80′s horror flick and your entire world feels like it’s glitching around you nothing is real except for your strange lover with eyes like moonlight calling you to come back to bed 

you’re at an island at midnight all by yourself, the night sky is so clear the sea reflects the star-matted sky, a salty breeze lifts your hair, you breathe in deep & dream of someone beautiful coming to your rescue

xtras:
hotmess / midyouth crisis / mud puppy / lucid dreaming

You know who did the teen hero thing right? Kim Possible, that’s who. She never messed around with that secret identity thing or with not letting her parents or friends know what she was doing so she never had to deal with, “Oh, I’m gonna miss this important family event to save the world”  or, “What’ll happen if my friends find out my secret identity?” bullcrap. It was like, “Mom, Dad. I gotta go deal with this Drakken sitch,” and they’d just be like, “Have fun. Tell Ron we said hi.” She had that hero/personal life balance thing on lock. I aspire to have my life as in balance as Kim Possible.

Yuuri & Yurio - Museum Guide

• The Yuris arrive at the museum together, and Yurio is quick dashing to the costume display

• Yuuri has a mini freak out about his costume being on display, worrying if it has been washed properly because he’s scared it might smell sweaty

• Yurio notices that someone is listening in, so Yuuri teases him that it may be one of the Yuri’s Angels. Yurio gets angry, starts shouting at the listener, so Yuuri quickly calms him down by saying that the listener doesn’t look like an Angel

Yurio: Whatever, maybe it’s one of your stupid fans then
Yuuri: Ehh, my fan?!

• Yuuri politely excuses them both, shuffling Yurio off to the next section

• Yuuri begins to pour compliments over Yurio’s short program, saying that it was “super amazing” and that he’s impressed with how Yurio surprassed Victor’s SP score record

• Yuuri comments that Yurio really made the program his own by the time they reached the final

• Yurio goes off, insisting that he still thinks the Eros concept suited him better than Yuuri. He complains about Victor all around, calls him an idiot… Then, softly mutters about how Yuuri did do a great job with his programs in the final, making them into something that suited him perfectly

Yuuri: Ahh, Yurio… you cried at the end of your free skate, didn’t you?
Yurio: I fucking didn’t!
Yuuri: All that emotion coming to a close, it’s easy to understand that your tears fell like waterfalls…
Yurio: Shut up! You’re the one who’s always crying, pig! Last year, you were crying like a piglet in the toilets!*
Yuuri: Not like a pig, but it’s true that I did cry last year. Then again, the fact that a Russian yankee kicked the door down trying to intimidate me is also true…
Yurio: Who are you calling a Russian yankee?!?!

(*Yurio says “buhibuhi” which is the sound of a piglet squealing. So he means that Yuuri’s crying sounded like a pig’s squeal, basically going “oink oink oink.”
However, Yuuri is clearly extremely unaffected by this, and remains gentle and teasing throughout)

Yuuri: Oh hey, Yurio… where’d you go off to with Otabek the day before the final? I saw it on social media, posts about a Kazakh carrying off a Russian…
Yurio: Hey, don’t you know?! My eyes are ones you can’t forget after seeing them just once, like those of a soldier!
Yuuri: Huh?!

(*Japanese “huh” can be quite mocking so Yuuri’s making fun of that statement, in his disbelief)

• The Yuris come up on the “Victor area” and Yurio is distraught by all the Victors, saying being there gives him a bad feeling

• It is also at this point that Yurio realizes… Yuuri is a hardcore Victor “otaku”

Yurio wants to get through the section quickly, but Yuuri lingers a bit. He talks about how it brings back lots of good memories

Yuuri: When I first saw Victor, I felt so inspired to continue skating. I wanted to get stronger, and I got a lot of that strength from Victor…

• Yuuri states that it is still hard to believe that Victor showed up in Hasetsu without warning, and ended up becoming his coach
(Yuuri speaks so softly and affectionately when talking about Victor, my heart)

• Yurio interrupts Yuuri’s sweet musings by yelling, “DUMBASS! You are always talking about Victor, Victor, Victor, nothing but Victor!”

• Yurio shouts that HIS era has begun, and that he is going to wipe Victor off the map. He asserts that next season he’s going to come out at the very top, so everyone needs to watch out

• The Yuris come up to the Kiss and Cry. Yuuri talks about how he put everything Victor taught him into his free skate performance. He says he felt so light and happy to be skating the Yuri on Ice program. He says he had no idea that he would end up breaking Victor’s FS score record, still sounding amazed

• Yuuri congratulates Yurio for winning gold in the GPF

• Yurio insists that both of his programs are great, and that Yuuri is only better at him in one aspect (FS). He promises that he will overtake Yuuri’s skills soon enough

• Yuuri says that’s good, that he’s looking forward to the next season and seeing how both he and Yurio will grow

Yurio: Hey, I have something I’ve always wanted to ask you… What is that thing you’re always holding onto in the Kiss and Cry?
Yuuri: The onigiri?
Yurio: No! The other thing, the yellow-black-white one!
Yuuri: Oh, the tamago sushi? Do you want it? It should fit right in your bag, here you go (gives Yurio the tamago sushi)

Yurio: What, really?! I’m not giving this back, you know, it’s mine now. This is awesome!
Yuuri: …You’re that happy?
Yurio: Yeah, I’ll give it to Gramps! He like sushi and eggs, so this is perfect! I wanna show it to him right now!!
Yuuri: Wow, you’re so excited… Makes me happy seeing that

• Yuuri and Yurio close out the guide with thanks to their supporters, with both of them saying, “Balshoy spasibo!” (A big thank you!) in Russian

Yurio: See you next level!

8

KATELYNN’S ENDLESS LIST OF FAVORITE GAMES

↳ Night in the Woods (2017)

“You know after I sent that kid to the hospital years ago they said I had an anger problem, but that’s not true. I was angry because of something else. Something I’d lost. Trying so hard since not to be angry got me all defenseless and I lost more, and more, and more… that’s not getting better. I want to be angry. When I ran home from college, on the bus I had this dream… or maybe I saw it out the window, last leaf on the tree finally blown off. I’m so scared all the time, and the fear hurts, feeling like everything is over… was over long before I got here, so long, hiding or trying to outrun this. I get it. This won’t stop until I die. But when I die I want it to hurt. When my friends leave, when I have to let go, when this entire town is wiped off the map, I want it to hurt. Bad. I want to lose. I want to get beaten up. I want to hold on until I’m thrown off and everything ends. And you know what? Until that happens I want to hope again and I want it to hurt. Because that means it meant something. It means I am… something, at least. Pretty amazing to be something at least.”

anonymous asked:

pleeeeease tell me there's a story about nate and aj? ❤️❤️❤️

WELL ANONS (from this fic):

Andrew Joseph Minyard doesn’t know a thing about Nathaniel Wesninski until he’s sent to kill him.

That’s perhaps more unusual than one would suspect, knowing Andrew. His general disinterest is well known, but he has a personal stake in knowing the movers and shakers of the magical families on the East Coast.

Know your enemies, and all that. Andrew didn’t used to have those, until he met Kevin Day and finally picked a side that wasn’t himself and his best interests. Now he kills people for righteousness, or what the fuck ever.

“The Wesninskis have a new leader,” Wymack tells them, hands folded on his desk like this is very serious news. “It’s Nathan’s kid, apparently. He’s cleaned house. Or it might be more accurate to say that he wiped the old circle off of the map entirely.”

Like he always does, Kevin goes pale at the mention of one of those families. Wymack flicks him a glance before continuing, “It’s not immediately clear where he stands on the old family alliances, but it makes sense for us to move now while he’s unsettled.”

Andrew can see where this is going already. “I didn’t realise we were killing off children now.”

Wymack shoots him a level look. “He’s twenty-two. Barely younger than you.”

“Well, I suppose that’s alright then,” Andrew replies agreeably. “When do I leave?”

“Hold on. Didn’t he kill his own father?” Nicky cuts in. “Shouldn’t that require a little more investigation than ‘when do I leave’?”

Dan waves a hand. “He’s a mage. Killer or not, he won’t be able to protect himself against non-magical weapons.”

“Don’t worry Nicky. I don’t like to be too well prepared,” Andrew says. It’s not meant to be soothing.

That’s how he ends up crawling through an upper-storey window of the Wesninski mansion, cursing mages and rusted locks. The house is probably warded - Andrew couldn’t say. To him it’s just like breaking into any other house.

What he does notice is the complete emptiness of the building. While mages don’t often have non-magical defence - and Andrew would be a lot less successful if they invested in some attack dogs, or even burglar alarms - they do generally at least have people. But every room he passes - soundlessly, of course - has its door flung wide open to display its total emptiness.

Every instinct he has is screaming. For a moment, he wonders if Wesninski has cleared out of the house entirely. But, despite the limited information for this trip, Andrew knows Wymack wouldn’t send him on a wild goose chase. The mage is here.

He creeps down the stairs, sticking close to the wall. It’s a broad staircase, gaudy even in the near-darkness. Apparently the elder Wesninski had more money than taste.

The lounge is no more elegant, and still empty of people. Beyond it, though, light falls from the doorway. Andrew creeps towards it, palming one of his knives.

Apparently, all his quiet was wasted. The person through the door is waiting for him - and this, having met Nathan, is definitely his son.

Twenty-two he may be, but Wesninski looks like a kid. With his fair falling into his face as he slouches against the kitchen island, he looks nothing like someone who could have killed Nathan and the entire rest of his circle in one fell swoop. Any tracery of magic in him isn’t detectable to Andrew though - for all he knows, the air could be singing with it.

The only giveaway that this man isn’t as normal as Andrew is the curling tattoo emerging over the collar of his t-shirt. It’s a mage-mark, and it’s large. Even Kevin, the most powerful of the Foxes in terms of sheer strength, doesn’t have one that extends so far across his skin.

“You’re AJ Minyard,” Wesninski says. He looks excited about that. Andrew didn’t realise he was a groupie. It’s the danger of being a contract killer - being known by your signature. Andrew is Andrew, except when he’s AJ and earning his keep in blood.

“Usually, your kind is throwing spells by now,” he replies blandly. Not that it ever helps them.

“That would be a waste of time, though. Wouldn’t it?” Wesninski says. “You’re immune.”

Well then. “You’re smarter than you look,” Andrew informs him. 

“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why you’re so successful,” Wesninski shrugs. “I need to send a message to Kevin.”

Wesninski isn’t following the script. Andrew glances at his watch - usually they’d have gotten past the initial failed attempt to blast Andrew off of the face of the earth with magic and moved onto either running - unusual, mages didn’t like to run - or begging. “Do I look like a messenger to you?”

That earns a thin smile. “Oh, I’m sorry. Is that demeaning?”

“If you think I’m here for that, then you’re confused,” Andrew says. 

Wesninski throws his arms wide. “Well, go ahead then. You know I can’t fight you. And it’s not like I can run.”

Fuck’s sake, Andrew didn’t come here for a conversation. Still, though - he throws a glance at Wesninski’s legs. “Too lazy for it?”

“Not exactly. I know you probably don’t care for magical theory, so the short explanation is that right now I can’t leave this house. Hence wanting to speak with Kevin. The best I could do is hide in a closet, and I can’t imagine that would deter you.”

“As sob-stories go, you might want to try ‘but I have children and a wife’,” Andrew advises. 

“As if that would help me.” Wesninski rolls his eyes. “That’s fine. I wasn’t expecting you to help me for free. I’ll give you something you want in exchange.”

Andrew really should have just killed him instead of saying a word. Corpses are so much less trouble. He raises an eyebrow to signal that his patience is wearing thin.

“If you want a chance at getting anywhere near Riko Moriyama, you’ll help me,” Wesninski says.

That’s an interesting offer. “What makes you think I care about that?”

“Do you think it isn’t common knowledge in the upper circles about what happened between him and Kevin?” Wesninski says. “Plus you’ve been working your way through all the high blood families over the last year. I figured a Moriyama must be right up there on your wish list. Particularly that one.”

He isn’t wrong. “I’m not here to make a deal with you.”

“Are you sure about that?” That smile again. It’s really a wonder someone so irritating hasn’t been killed already. “I have access to the Moriyamas now, whether they like it or not. I think you’d like to make use of that. Better move fast, though - you aren’t the only one who wants to kill me.”

Riko would already be dead if he were easier to get to. And Nathaniel now has his father’s seat on the council, even if he killed for it - succession is muddy  and ugly amongst mages at the best of times. He’d hardly be the first to do it that way. 

He’s right. Andrew could use that. Getting into Castle Evermore is difficult, and Nathaniel has a free pass through the front gates. If he could smuggle Andrew inside…if he were willing to do so…

“What’s in it for you?” Andrew asks.

“What, you mean besides you not murdering me tonight and me getting out of this fucking house?” So sardonic. “I don’t like the Moriyamas any more than you do, Wesninski blood or no. I don’t care if I die, as long as Riko goes first.”

It seems their interests all line up. Andrew can deal with Riko at last, and might even get a shot at the other Moriyamas in the process. He smiles a little bit, feeling his face cracking.

“Well, Nathaniel. Looks like you might be useful to me after all.”

Wesninski makes a face. “I go by ‘Nate’.”

“I really don’t care,” Andrew tells him. “I would say ‘wait here’, but I suppose that’s irrelevant, isn’t it? I’ll come to you.”

The with a message or a knife is unspoken but clearly implied. Nathaniel - Nate - smiles thinly.

“Better hurry,” he says. “Offer ends if I’m dead.”

It still blows my mind that Eric and Dylan never planned to enter the school. I think people often forget they didn’t just plan to shoot people, they had BOMBS and wanted the entire school to BLOW UP. They expected the entire school to be wiped off the map, nothing left of it.

Kids in the lunchroom all started running when they realized what was happening, but Eric and Dylan wanted hundreds of kids to go from eating lunch, to being blown apart before they even knew what hit them. Their plan was so much more DEADLY and SINISTER than what they actually carried out.

“Make-A-Wish. Can I help you?”

I want to thank all the wonderful Tumblr-folk I tagged in this for contributing to one of the best reads I’ve had in a while. I would also like to apologize to those whose contributions I might have missed.

———————————————————————————–

I wonder if, in superhero universes, the villains ever get contacted by those “Make a Wish Foundation” and similar people.

I mean, the heroes do. Of course they do. Kids who want to meet Spiderman or Superman or get to be carried by the Flash as he runs through Central City for just thirty seconds.

But surely there are also the kids, who - because they are kids and sometimes kids are just weird - decide that what they really, really want is to meet a supervillain. Because he’s scary or she’s awesome or that freeze ray is just really, really cool, you know?

The heroes would be so weirded out by it. The villains with codes of ethics would totally band together to force the villains without one (should they be the one requested) to do their part for the cause.

But imagine the person who has to track down the villains and organize everything?

Like, the first time it happens, no one actually thinks it’s possible, but one of the newbies volunteers to at least try. They get lucky, the kid wants to meet one of the villains who is well known to have a personal code of ethics (eg one of the rogues), and it takes them weeks to track the villain down to this one bar they’ve been seen at a few times, plus a week of staking out said bar, but they finally find them.

So they approach the villain, very politely introduce themselves and explain the situation, finishing with an assurance that, should the villain agree, no law enforcement or heroes will be informed of the meeting.

The villain, assuming it’s a joke, laughs in their face.

At this point, the poor volunteer, who has giving up weeks of their time and no small amount of effort to track down this villain, all so a sweet little girl can meet the person who somehow inspired them, well, at this point the employee sees red.

They explode, yelling at this villain about the little girl who, for some unknown reason, absolutely loved them, had a hand-made stuffed toy of them and was inspired by their struggle to keeping fighting her own and wasn’t the villain supposed to have ethics? The entire bar is witness to this big bad villain getting scolded by some bookish nobody a foot shorter than them.

When the volunteer is done, the villain calmly knocks back their drink, grips the volunteers shoulder and drags them outside. The bar’s patrons assume that person will never be seen again, the volunteer included. But once they’re outside, the villain apologizes for their assumption, asks for the kid’s details so they can drop by in the near future, not saying when for obvious reasons. They also give the very relieved volunteer a phone number to call if someone asks for them again.

A week later, the little girl’s room is covered in villain merchandise, several expensive and clearly stolen gifts and she is happily clutching a stack of signed Polaroids of her and the villain.

The next time a kid asks to meet a villain, guess who gets that assignment?

Turns out, the first villain was quite touched by the experience of meeting their little fan, and word has gotten around. The second villain happily agrees when they realize it’s the same volunteer who asked the other guy. Unfortunately, one of the heroes sees the villain entering the kid’s hospital and obviously assumes the worst. They rush in, ready to drag the villain out, but the volunteer stands in their way. The hero spends five minutes getting scolded for trying to stop the villain from actually doing a good thing and almost ruining the kid’s wish. The volunteer gets a reputation among villains as someone who can not only be trusted with personal contact numbers but who will do everything they can to keep law enforcement away during their visits.

The volunteer has a phonebook written in cypher of all the villain’s phone numbers, with asterixes next to the ones to call if any other villains give them trouble.

Around the office, they gain the unofficial job title of The Villain Wrangler.

The heroes are genuinely flabbergasted by The Villain Wrangler. At first, some of the heroes try to reason with them.

Heroes: “Can’t you, just, give us their contact details? They’ll never even have to know it was you.”

The Villain Wrangler: “Yeah sure, <rollseyes> because all these evil geniuses could never possibly figure out that it’s me who happens to be the common thread in the sudden mass arrests. Look man, even if it wouldn’t get me killed, it would disappoint the kids. You wouldn’t want to disappoint the kids would you?”

Heroes: “… no~ but…”

The Villain Wrangler: “Exactly.”

Eventually, one of the anti-hero types gets frustrated, and decides to take a stand. They kidnap the Villain Wrangler and demand that they give up the contents of the little black book of Villains, or suffer the consequences. It’s For the Greater Good, the anti-hero insists as they tie the Villain Wrangler to a pillar.

The Villain Wrangler: “You complete idiot, put me back before someone figures out that I’m missing.”

Anti-hero: “…excuse me?”

The Villain Wrangler: “Ugh, do I have to spell this out for you? Do you actually want your secret base to be wiped off the map? With us in it? Sugarsticks, how long has it been? If they get suspicious, they check in, and then if I miss a check-in, they tend to come barging into wherever I am just to prove that they can, even if they figure out that they’re not being threatened by proxy. Suffice to say, Auntie Muriel really regretted throwing my phone into the pool when she strenuously objected to me answering it during family time. If they think for even one moment that I’ve given them up, they won’t hesitate to obliterate both of us from their potential misery. You do know some of the people in my book have like missiles and djinni and elemental forces at their disposal, right?”

Anti-hero: “Wait, what? I thought they trusted you?!”

The Villain Wrangler: “Trust is such a strong word!”

Villain: “Indeed.”

Anti-hero: “Wait, wha-” <slumps over, dart sticking out of neck>

The Villain Wrangler: “Thanks. I thought they were going to hurt me.”

Villain: “You did well. You kept them distracted, and gave us time to follow your signal.” <cuts Villain Wrangler free>

The Villain Wrangler: <rubbing circulation back into limbs> “Yeah well, you know me; I do whatever I have to. So I’ll see you Wednesday at four at St Martha’s? I’ve got an 8yo burns unit patient recovering from her latest batch of skin grafts who could really use a pep talk.”

Villain: “… of course. Yes… I… yes.”

The Villain Wrangler: “I just think you could really reach her, you know?”

Villain: <unconsciously runs fingers over mask> “I… yes, but, what should I say?”

The Villain Wrangler: “Whatever advice you think you could have used the most just after.”

Villain: <hoists Anti-hero over shoulder almost absently> “….yes.”

The Villain Wrangler wasn’t lying to the Anti-hero. They know that the more ruthless villains would not hesitate if they thought for one second that the Anti-hero would betray them.

But this is not the first time the Villain Wrangler has gone to extreme lengths to protect their identities.

Trust is a strong word. The Villain Wrangler earned it, and is terrified by what it could mean.

My first official Deadpool headcanon is this. This this this.

Okay but this whole concept actually makes a lot of sense, because villains are a lot more likely to be disfigured/disabled/use adaptive devices (bc ableist tropes), so of course, say, a child amputee is going to be more interested in the villain with a robot arm who almost destroyed New York than the heroes that took him down.

Also, imagine one of the kids gets better, and a few years down the line becomes a villain themselves, except their crimes are things like smuggling chemo drugs across the border for families that can’t afford treatment, or stealing from corrupt businessmen to make donations to underfunded hospitals (idk this turned into a Leverage AU or something) and every time the heroes encounter her, they’re like “oh no. she’s getting away. Curses. Welp, nothing we can do.” Though it isn’t that she can’t take them on; bc of course once the villain from way back when found out what she was up to, he started helping/training her.

“I thought they just hired someone to dress up and pretend to be you,” she says, amazed, when he reveals himself. “I didn’t think they actually got the real you!”

Every year the Villain Wrangler gets a very expensive gift basket from the pair.

And for the kids who don’t get better the villains are there too, they show up to every funeral, they bear too small coffins on their shoulders and the heroes stand aside

They are fierce with grieving families assuring them that their child will not be forgotten, and they don’t balk at negative emotions, they don’t tell people to be strong or “celebrate their child’s life,” because these parents have every right to their grief and anger

And the lost children are never forgotten. Flowers appear on graves during birthdays and anniversaries, heroes find pictures of those kids and they carefully take them down and ensure they’re delivered to the villain’s cell, and a few villains can be seen with friendship bracelets wrapped around their wrists the cops have learned not to try and take them off

They are fierce with grieving families assuring them that their child will not be forgotten, and they don’t balk at negative emotions, they don’t tell people to be strong or “celebrate their child’s life,” because these parents have every right to their grief and anger

And then one day, one of the evil geniuses who happens to specialize in inducing bizarre genetic mutations meets a young fan who was born with a rare genetic disorder that is slowly killing them, and realizes that they can help.

Another, who created their own exosuit, talks to a young fan and suddenly understands how much the technology that they have built for themselves could revolutionize quality of life for people with muscular dystrophy, or paraplegia, or other disorders that confine people to wheelchairs with little mobility.

A third thinks of a way that their nanobots could be used to detect and remove cancer cells when their fan, who had been in remission, writes to say that the doctors have found a new metastasizing tumour.

Then shortly after, an evil genius specializing in cloning is contacted by an old colleague asking if a suitable heart couldn’t be grown for their young fan with a congenital heart condition who needs a donor.

Suddenly, a pattern of villains offering (and marketing) their insights and resources to improve medical science starts to arise. Many who had previously been operating on society’s fringes are shocked to receive public accolades, research grants and job offers from major companies because of their work.

A grassroots movement arises advocating for imprisoned villains with appropriate qualifications and/or experience to have access to resources to conduct research for the public good. The Second Chance Rehabilitation Project launches.

(It is an open secret that only people who have been vetted by the Villain Wrangler are allowed to join, because the Villain Wrangler has by now a meticulously set up method and intelligence network to run background checks and character references through ensure that none of the children wishing to meet their role models get hurt.)

This is all soooo good, but I wonder what effect this has on the villains. Like, can they really wreak indiscriminate havoc when they know the kids that worship them might be in the area? Like, what if they attack a shopping mall and it just so happens that Annie’s mom ran in for a pair of shoes or something? What then?

So what you’re saying is that there is now an organization of henchmen who do round the clock, exhaustive research in order to make sure the villain’s plan isn’t going to ruin the life of some kid. Just imagine some aunt getting a call from an unlisted number.

“I swear I am not a bill collector ma’am. It’s just. Well. Ok and I swear I am not a stalker even if this is actually going to be a very creepy phone call, but you said you were going to the mall at four? Is it possible you could reschedule or postpone that trip for about an hour? That mall is way too close to…well. It just wouldn’t be safe. I could wire you some money, and you could go to the much nicer mall one town over? Would that work for you? No? You are calling the police? Yes. Yes that is the sensible thing to do. Definitely do that. You have a nice day, ma’am. Tell Marcus Doctor Evil says hello and to have a nice day.”

And then the poor minion has to call the villain and explain why robbing X bank isn’t a good idea that day.

“Yes. Hello. Sir? Oh good I caught you before you left the base. Look, Marcus Smithson’s aunt is going to be near the blast radius for that job you have scheduled so-yes. Yes I am aware that rescheduling is going to be a lot of work since most everything is already set up, but….but, sir think about poor Marcus! She’s his favorite aunt, and the woman refused to ‘reorder her life around some crazy mastermind’. ……no…..no, please do not kidnap the aunt, sir. It’s terribly rude. Yes I realize you weren’t going to keep her or doing anything other than drop her off at an alternative location, but, well, citizens frown upon that sort of thing and….yes….Yes, of course. You have a good day, too, sir.”

And they turn to their coworker and are just like “So if I don’t come in to work tomorrow it’s because Doctor Evil threw me in his dungeon and/or sent his hellhounds to maul me. Please remember to send help.

But but but… what happens when one falls through the cracks? When Lord Dominion or whatever does a typical baddie thing but then Penny’s new best friend gets caught up in the damage and Lord D didn’t even KNOW Penny had a new bestie so how was he to know? But now the kid is devastated and it’s all his fault? I mean, how does that even shake out?

Penny SWEARS REVENGE! Lord D is distraught but also somewhat proud. He sends Penny a very sincere apology and also a bunch of tips on how to execute a proper vengeance plot, in case she decides not to accept the apology. He sends henchmen to spy on her, and he keeps the surveillance photos of her sitting in her room, plans and schematics strewn all over her desk. He puts them in his wallet and brags to all his villain friends that one of his kids is taking up scheming, look at her go, she’s already started on pattern analysis of his latest heists. He’s so proud. Later this month he’ll show up on her way home from school so she can have her first Confrontation.

There will inevitably be mistakes and tragedies.

Penny is an intelligent kid. She catches on to the spying henchmen pretty quick and bribes some of them to her side with snacks. That first confrontation does not go like Lord Dominion expected because Penny has minions (minions that are using his OWN WEAPONS against him, even)

Lord Dominion is the proudest villain ever, even if he did almost lose an ear thanks to the impeccable aim of a nine year old with a grudge. He does let the laser blast graze him just so he can have a scar to show people because that girl is a villain after his own heart.

He doesn’t want to ask his villain rivals to help her out because that would imply he doesn’t think she’s capable of eventually growing strong enough to kick his ass. Turns out Penny already thought of that and has mailed letters asking for advice to Lady Sinister, Lord Dominion’s long time, mostly friendly rival. (She mailed a letter to Lord D’s arch nemesis, but man. Heroes are always trying to make you do The Right Thing. Penny doesn’t have time for the high road. Plus, the low road has lasers.)

Lady Sinister thinks Penny is the best thing ever and while she has mostly stopped kicking Lord D’s ass, she still breaks into his hideout to sit in his favorite chair with a glass of wine and brags about her new favorite up and coming villainess. (She doesn’t warn Lord D about the attack rabbits she agreed to train for Penny as a favor, and for obvious reasons, she is going to be a bystander at the next confrontation, filming everything on her phone to post the dark web so all their villain friends can see this)Being able to say that one is involved with the Project begins to look really good in parole hearings. The Villains involved perform their own quality checks on one another, because if one of their kids got hurt, then all of their kids could potentially lose out, and the ones that are serious about the Project are not having that. (Also, the ability to collaborate with other geniuses is the most interesting thing to happen to most of them since losing to various heroes, and most consider the intellectual stimulation to be worth putting up with the ridiculous egos and inevitable personality clashes that arise.)

Reformed Villains come out of the woodwork to advocate about better mental healthcare, and support systems. Savvy universities and private labs quietly take their advice, setting up better mental health supports and laboratory safety standards to prevent the Brain Drain caused by losing their less stable scientists to the Costumes.

The Villain Wrangler watches all of this develop with a smile.

Their plan succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

I’m so down for these posts that assume the best of people instead of the worst

Okay, this part caught my attention: “…the Villain Wrangler has by now a meticulously set up method and intelligence network…to ensure that none of the children…gets hurt.” Which led me to the heartbreaking realization that one DID. Get hurt, that is, by the villain they idolized.

And all I can think is that the Villain Wrangler didn’t call in the heroes. They didn’t call in another heart-of-gold villain. No. The VW rolled up their sleeves and went after this person themselves. This project is their baby, after all. If they get the accolades for the successes, they must also shoulder the burden of the failures.

The VW hunts down the villain that crossed the line. Their punishment is swift and horrifying; no hero would have the stomach to mete out justice in such a way, and no villain would have the desire to get quite that much blood on their own hands.

There’s. So. Much. Blood.

The Villain Wrangler never forgets. They increase security, increase the hours and background checks, they increase the graveside visits to the child they failed.

Just the one. But one is one too many.

The Villain Wrangler is no kid. She doesn’t find these people by chance. She doesn’t know how to put the fear of god into supervillains with a few sharp words out of chance.

The Villain Wrangler is in her 40s, and she’s an experienced nurse.  She works at the biggest Level 1 trauma center in (NYC/Chicago/Metropolis/Gotham) and she gets her first few villains because she’d met them at the hospital during their origin story. She treated some of them when they came in with their disfigurement. She sat with the genius while his wife died of her illness and they were powerless to save her. She kept in touch with them on Tumblr and Facebook and Twitter and recognized their personal touches when a new supervillain emerged.

And she didn’t say anything because nobody would believe her, because she’d be just another crackpot conspiracy theorist, and because it would break her oath, it would break doctor-patient confidentiality.

But when she decided to start volunteering at the attached children’s hospital’s Make-a-Wish program, she recognized who that child wanted to see.  She knew how to reach him.  She PM’d him to arrange a meeting and reveal that she knew who his other identity was. And for all his bluster, he knew that he owed her this.

And some other supervillains were brought in the same way.  The nurses knew who’d gone through trauma, they recognized their patients and their patents’ loved ones and when a child called out for one of them, they’d find that supervillain.

The nurses are the lynchpin.

okay I’m sorry if this has already been posted but now that Half Life 2: Episode 3′s summary has been released (look it up–I can’t link to it or this post won’t show up in the tags, thanks Tumblr), WE NOW HAVE A MORE PRECISE LOCATION FOR APERTURE!!!

Okay, so, we have the Borealis’s drydock here:

[screenshot of the Borealis’s dry dock in Old Aperture in Portal 2, courtesy of the Half-Life Wiki]

We also know that Aperture is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (or UP):

[image of a newspaper clipping found in Old Aperture, reading “THE UP PIONEER PRESS: LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR BUYS SALT MINE – Cave Johnson to Bring Science, Industry to Upper Michigan,” courtesy of the Half-Life wiki]

(Upper Michigan always refers to the Upper Peninsula)

But… the UP is a big place, and there’s no known salt mines up there (personal headcanon: the salt mine was wiped off the map when Cave Johnson bought it). So where is Aperture?

We never knew… until now.

[screenshot from the official summary of Half Life 2: Episode 3, emphasizing “a dry-docked liner situated at the Aperture Science Research Base in Lake Huron,” courtesy of the valvetime forums]

The summary states that the Borealis was originally in a dry dock in Aperture’s research base in Lake Huron. Now, this could imply there was a separate research base, except…

[screenshot from the official summary of Half Life 2: Episode 3, emphasizing “the ship … would then travel instantaneously to any chosen destination … Unfortunately, the device had never been tested,” courtesy of the valvetime forums]

The Borealis’s transportation mechanism had never before been tested. Meaning that, yes, the aforementioned dry dock is indeed the one we see in Portal 2. Which means…

[map showing Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas, with the southeast coast of the UP circled, courtesy of Google Maps]

Aperture is somewhere along the southeast coast of the UP.

Now the question is… anyone know if there’s a wheat field around there?

How Long Do We Have?

Painted Table Smut. Also, my entry for smutfest.

A few different requests worked in here- @crazyearthbender , @nic-cage-incognito , @juleswritesdreams , @daenerysromanoff. Sometimes I get a lot of prompts that revolve around the same theme and that’s what happened her. Also, I decided that if someone didn’t write Painted Table smut I would have to write it myself lol. 

WE HAVE LESS THAN 24 HOURS LEFT GUYS. WE CAN DO THIS. 

Nsfw, smut (nothing too scandalous) etc etc 

She isn’t surprised when Jon finds her. 

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything?”

Keep reading

The Villian Wrangler

Edit: Borrowed from original post on Redit, not original content.

I wonder if, in superhero universes, the villains ever get contacted by those “Make a Wish Foundation” and similar people.

I mean, the heroes do, of course they do, kids who want to meet Spiderman or Superman or get to be carried by the Flash as he runs through Central City for just thirty seconds.

But surely there are also the kids, who because they are kids and sometimes kids are just weird - decide that what they really, really want is to meet a supervillain. Because he’s scary or she’s awesome or that freeze ray is just really, really cool, you know?

Oh, man, that would absolutely be a thing. The heroes would be so weirded out by it. The villains with codes of ethics would totally band together to force the villains without one (should they be the one requested) to do their part for the cause.

But imagine the person who has to track down the villains and organize everything? Like, the first time it happens, no one actually thinks it’s possible, but one of the newbies volunteers to at least try. They get lucky, the kid wants to meet one of the villains who is well known to have a personal code of ethics (eg one of the rogues), and it takes them weeks to track the villain down to this one bar they’ve been seen at a few times, plus a week of staking out said bar, but they finally find them.

So they approach the villain, very politely introduce themselves and explain the situation, finishing with an assurance that, should the villain agree, no law enforcement or heroes will be informed of the meeting. The villain, assuming it’s a joke, laughs in their face.

At this point, the poor volunteer, who has giving up weeks of their time and no small amount of effort to track down this villain, all so a sweet little girl can meet the person who somehow inspired them, well, at this point the employee sees red.

They explode, yelling at this villain about the little girl who, for some unknown reason, absolutely loved them, had a hand-made stuffed toy of them and was inspired by their struggle to keeping fighting her own and wasn’t the villain supposed to have ethics? The entire bar is witness to this big bad villain getting scolded by some bookish nobody a foot shorter than them.

When the volunteer is done. the villain calmly knocks back their drink, grips the volunteer’s shoulder and drags them outside. The bar’s patrons assume that person will never be seen again. The volunteer included. But once they’re outside, the villain apologizes for their assumption, asks for the kid’s details so they can drop by in the near future, not saying when for obvious reasons. They also give the very relieved volunteer a phone number to call if someone asks for them again.

A week later, the little girl’s room is covered in villain merchandise, several expensive and clearly stolen gifts and she is happily clutching a stack of signed polaroids of her and the villain.

The next time a kid asks to meet a villain, guess who gets that assignment?

Tums out, the first villain was quite touched by the experience of meeting their little fan. and word has gotten around. The second villain happily agrees when they realize it’s the same volunteer who asked the other guy. Unfortunately, one of the heroes sees the villain entering the kid’s hospital and obviously assumes the worst. They rush in, ready to drag the villain out, but the volunteer stands in their way. The hero spends live minutes getting scolded for trying to stop the villain from actually doing a good thing and almost mining the kid’s wish. The volunteer gets a reputation among villains as someone who can not only be trusted with personal contact numbers but who will do everything they can to keep law enforcement away during their visits.

The volunteer has a phonebook written in cypher of all the villain’s phone numbers. with asterisks next to the ones to call if any other villains give them trouble.

Around the office, they gain the unofficial job title of The Villain Wrangler. The heroes are genuinely flabbergasted by The Villain Wrangler. At first, some of the heroes try to reason with them.

Heroes: “Can’t you, just, give us their contact details? They’ll never even have to know it was you.”

The Villain Wrangler: “Yeah sure, <rollseyes> because all these evil geniuses could never possibly figure out that it’s me who happens to be the common thread in the sudden mass arrests. Look, man, even if it wouldn’t get me killed, it would disappoint the kids. You wouldn’t want to disappoint the kids would you?”

Heroes: “… no, but…”

The Villain Wrangler: “Exactly.”

Eventually, one of the anti-hero types gets frustrated and decides to take a stand. They kidnap the Villain Wrangler and demand that they give up the contents of the little black book of Villains, or suffer the consequences. lt’s For the Greater Good, the anti-hero insists as they tie the Villain Wrangler to a pillar.

The Villain Wrangler: “You complete idiot, put me back before someone figures out that I’m missing.”

Anti-hero: “…excuse me?”

The Villain Wrangler: “Ugh, do I have to spell this out for you? Do you actually want your secret base to be wiped off the map? With us in it? Sugarsticks, how long has it been? If they get suspicious, they check in, and then if I miss a check-in, they tend to come barging into wherever I am just to prove that they can, even if they figure out that they’re not being threatened by proxy. Suffice to say, Auntie Muriel really regretted throwing my phone into the pool when she strenuously objected to me answering it during family time. If they think for even one moment that I’ve given them up, they won’t hesitate to obliterate both of us from their potential misery. You do know some of the people in my book have like missiles and djinni and elemental forces at their disposal, right?”

Anti-hero: “Wait, what? I thought they trusted you?

The Villain Wrangler: “Trust is such a strong word!”

Villain: “Indeed.”

Anti-hero: “Wait, wha-” <slumps over, dart sticking out of neck>

The Villain Wrangler: “Thanks. I thought they were going to hurt me.“

Villain: “You did well. You kept them distracted, and gave us time to follow your signal.” <cuts Villain Wrangler free>

The Villain Wrangler: <rubbing circulation back into limbs> “Yeah well, you know me, I do whatever I have to. So I’ll see you Wednesday at four at St Martha’s? I’ve got an 8 yo burns unit patient recovering from her latest batch of skin grafts who could really use a pep talk.”

Villain: of course. Yes… I… yes.”

The Villain Wrangler: “I just think you could really reach her, you know?”

Villain: <unconsciously runs fingers over mask> “I… yes, but, what should I say?”

The Villain Wrangler: “Whatever advice you think you could have used the most just after.“

Villain: <hoists Anti-hero over shoulder almost absently> “…yes.”“

The Villain Wrangler wasn’t lying to the Anti-hero. They know that the more ruthless villains would not hesitate if they thought for one second that the Villain Wrangler would betray them. But this is not the first time the Villain Wrangler has gone to extreme lengths to protect their identities. Trust is a strong word. The Villain Wrangler earned it, and is terrified by what it could mean.

Okay but this whole concept actually makes a lot of sense, because villains are a lot more likely to be disfigured/disabled/ use adaptive devices (the ableist tropes), so of course, say, a child amputee is going to be more interested in the villain with a robot arm who almost destroyed New York than the heroes that took him down.

Also, imagine one of the kids gets better, and a few years down the line becomes a villain themselves, except their crimes are things like smuggling chemo drugs across the border for families that can’t afford treatment. or stealing from corrupt businessmen to make donations to underfunded hospitals (idk this turned into a Leverage AU or something) and every time the heroes encounter her, they’re like “oh no. she’s getting away. curses. Welp, nothing we can do.” Though it isn’t that she can ’t take them on; be of course once the villain from way back when found out what she was up to. he started helping/ training her.

“I thought they just hired someone to dress up and pretend to be you,” she says, amazed. when he reveals himself. “I didn’t think they actually got the real you!“

Every year the Villain Wrangler gets a very expensive gift basket from the pair. And for the kids who don’t get better, the villains are there too. They show up to every funeral, they bear too small coffins on their shoulders and the heroes stand aside they are fierce with grieving families assuring them that their child will not be forgotten, and they don’t balk at negative emotions, they don’t tell people to be strong or “celebrate their child’s life,” because these parents have every right to their grief and anger and the lost children are never forgotten. Flowers appear on graves during birthdays and anniversaries, heroes find pictures of those kids and they carefully take them down and ensure they’re delivered to the villain’s cell. A few villains can be seen with friendship bracelets wrapped around their wrists the cops have learned not to try and take them off.

And then one day, one of the evil geniuses who happens to specialize in inducing bizarre genetic mutations meets a young fan who was born with a rare genetic disorder that is slowly killing them, and realizes that they can help.

Another, who created their own exosuit, talks to a young fan and suddenly understands how much the technology that they have built for themselves could revolutionize the quality of life for people with muscular dystrophy, or paraplegia, or other disorders that confine people to wheelchairs with little mobility.

A third thinks of a way that their nanobots could be used to detect and remove cancer cells when their fan, who had been in remission. writes to say that the doctors have found a new metastasizing tumor. Then shortly after. an evil genius specializing in cloning is contacted by an old colleague asking if a suitable heart couldn’t be grown for their young fan with a congenital heart condition who needs a donor.

Suddenly, a pattern of villains offering (and marketing) their insights and resources to improve medical science starts to arise. Many who had previously been operating on society’s fringes are shocked to receive public accolades, research grants and job offers from major companies because of their work.

A grassroots movement arises advocating for imprisoned villains with appropriate qualifications and/or experience to have access to resources to conduct research for the public good. The Second Chance Rehabilitation Project launches.

It is an open secret that only people who have been vetted by the Villain Wrangler are allowed to join because the Villain Wrangler has by now a meticulously set up method and intelligence network to run background checks and character references through ensuring that none of the children wishing to meet their role models get hurt.

Being able to say that one is involved with the Project begins to look really good in parole hearings. The Villains involved perform their own quality checks on one another, because if one of their kids got hurt, then all of their kids could potentially lose out, and the ones that are serious about the Project are not having that. Also, the ability to collaborate with other geniuses is the most interesting thing to happen to most of them since losing to various heroes, and most consider the intellectual stimulation to be worth putting up with the ridiculous egos and inevitable personality clashes that arise.

Reformed Villains come out of the woodwork to advocate about better mental health care, and support systems. Savy universities and private labs quietly take their advice, setting up better mental health supports and laboratory safety standards to prevent the Brain Drain caused by losing their less stable scientists to the Costumes.

The Villain Wrangler watches all of this develop with a smile. Their plan succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Okay, this part caught my attention: …the Villain Wrangler has by now a meticulously set up method and intelligence network… to ensure that none of the children… gets hurt.” Which led me to the heartbreaking realization that one DID. Get hurt, that is, by the villain they idolized.

And all I can think is that the Villain Wrangler didn’t call in the heroes. They didn’t call in another heart-of-gold villain. No. The Villain Wrangler rolled up their sleeves and went after this person themselves. This project is their baby, after all. If they get the accolades for the successes, they must also shoulder the burden of the failures.

The Villain Wrangler hunts down the villain that crossed the line. Their punishment is swift and horrifying; no hero would have the stomach to mete out justice in such a way, and no villain would have the desire to get quite that much blood on their own hands.

And there’s so much blood.

The Villain Wrangler never forgets. They increase security, increase the hours and background checks, they increase the graveside visits to the child they failed.

Just the one.

But one is one too many.

@we-are-nemeses @we-are-rogue @wearepaladin @weareadventurers @we-are-lawyer 

my objections to anti-shipping (in brief) & an alternative solution to predators in fandom.

roxy-against-dersecest reblogged your post and added:

Hey, op, this is a caricature of an anti. I know I come from a biased place, but it seems as though you do as well. No anti acts or talks like this unironically. The whole anti-incest/pedophilia movement is geared towards preventing real life pedophiles from taking content and showing it to children in an attempt to make it seem normal. Now I’m not claiming that’s what you intend to happen, because I sincerely doubt it is, but that’s a real tactic that pedophiles use and it puts children in danger. If you want to draw or write content for your ship and share it with friends, go for it, but putting material online that may make it seem normal and okay to a child is dangerous at best.

(in response to the anti-shipper dictionary.)

first of all, thank you for your polite note. This response got long, but all my responses get long. I’m sorry if you have adhd or another reason for this to be difficult to read.

on getting your note I went back to re-read what I’d written and to be honest … in the aggregate, this is how anti-shipping word usage ends up working. When it’s broken down like this it does look absurd, but that’s what happens when word usage is severely warped to serve a cause. (I’d remembered my definitions as more exaggerated than they actually are.)

That said, I do come from a biased place, which I hope I don’t fail to own. I try my best to give antis a fair shake because y’all are people too and I believe that many antis are coming from a genuine place. I just strongly disagree with where your focus lies and your chosen methods of dissemination. In fact, I feel that anti-shipping actively aids predators, for reasons which I’ll try to summarize in brief here:

  • anti-shipping actively obscures cases of actual abuse by misusing words like ‘gaslighting’, ‘abuse’, ‘pedophilia’, ‘incest’, ‘child pornography’, and ‘grooming’ to the point that these words have lost all meaning in fandom. when someone is accused of being a pedophile, everyone in fandom except anti-shippers now wonder ‘who’s shipping an age gap this time?’  this only screens real child abusers from notice.
    • ftr: ‘pedophilia’ does not mean ‘age gap ships’, ‘adult/teen ships’, or ‘people who are 18+ looking at nsfw fanworks about teenaged characters’*, and cp is not drawn loli and shota.** 
  • anti-shipping focus on eliminating fandom nsfw content is the most ineffective possible approach to wiping out ‘grooming material’.  even if fandom were wiped off the map, abusers would have plenty of sexual material to groom victims with. There’s still the entire rest of the internet left to clean up. porn of real people is available for free. there are multiple websites dedicated to archiving original pornfic, all just a button click away (and, I might add, with far more offensive content than 98% of fanworks - we’re talking extreme underage, 300,000-word-long family incest fics, unlabled rapefic, the works).
  • anti-shipping ignores that abusers are capable of using anything for abuse. the first step to creating a space for abuse is building trust.  trust is generated by sharing viewpoints. If that’s liking sesame street, the abuser will pretend to like sesame street. If it’s enjoying pornfic, they’ll share pornfic. If it’s trashing nasty shippers, abusers will trash nasty shippers too.  focusing on fanworks as if they’re the only - or even the prime - abuse tool is harmfully misleading.
    • relatedly: anyone of any age can be an abuser. the overfocus on age gaps is also deeply misleading.  younger partners can abuse older partners.
    • anyone of any orientation can be an abuser. being LGBT/queer does not make one immune to abusing another human being. wlw abuse their female partners, mlm abuse their male partners, trans people can abuse their cis partner - this is equal opportunity assholery.
  • anti-shipping methods of stopping ‘bad’ fandom content - creating a hostile environment by accusatory public posts, harassment, dogpiling, suicide baiting, doxxing, threats of violence, and more - prime fandom for predators by creating an environment of fear and fostering tribal mentalities in fandom. You want to stop the free exchange of ideas and education in a space? make everyone afraid of anyone who has a different opinion from them. It’s much easier for a predator to gain someone’s unequivocal trust in a space with constant hostility. All they have to do is say the right lines (they hate shippers/antis, they will help defend you from shippers/antis) and they have an immediate ‘in.’
    • worse yet: if an abuser is identified in a fandom space, tribalism makes it terrifying to expose and oust the abuser. knowing that the ‘other side’ will say that everyone on ‘your side’ is exactly like the abuser you are trying to expose and get rid of actively discourages exposing abuse.
    • anti-shipping encourages causing immediate, known harm to prevent potential, vague harm. 
      • things that definitely, absolutely cause harm: telling a person to kill themselves.
      • things that maybe, someday, might cause harm: a fanwork, if a predator decides to use it as a grooming tool. 
      • things that don’t excuse causing immediate, definite harm by suicide baiting: creating a fanwork that might, someday, maybe be used to groom a predator’s victim.
      • threatening the creators of tools is ineffective at best when literally anything is a tool in a predator’s hands.
  • anti-shipping utilizes black&white morality and refuses to utilize nuance to identify content to eliminate.  warnings are on fanworks to alert people that the contents are not considered good, safe, or kid-appropriate in real life. sometimes a fic contains rape to show how bad rape is. sometimes art contains a person enjoying something horrible because the creator needs to imagine the horrible thing as good to help them deal with it happening to them irl.  depiction is not the same thing as endorsement. treating them as if they are the same - and demanding elimination of all depictions of disliked content - is not only the road to censorship of things that you DO like, but also does not make bad things happening in real life stop happening. forbidding all mention of bad things makes people who experience bad thing in real life feel more isolated and condemned.
  • anti-shipping does not prioritize the wellbeing of all fandom members. ultimately, fandom is not a safe space. it’s impossible for all of fandom to collectively be a space where everyone can feel safe from people or content that upsets or bothers them. but anti-shippers prioritize the wellbeing of people who agree with them over the wellbeing of people who do not agree with them. they ignore that some people say they benefit from ‘problematic’ fan content in favor of people who say they are harmed by ‘problematic’ fan content.
    • (’anti-antis’ sometimes do this too. some people are harmed by fan content being used against them! but saying ‘this fan content shouldn’t exist’ ignores that the person using the fan content to harm is the real problem, and they would have used another tool in the absence of fandom content.)
  • anti-shipping ignores or discourages steps to protect oneself from seeing upsetting content. anti-shipping communities encourage the practice of finding things that are upsetting and telling off the creator for being upsetting - instead of seeking out tools to prevent being upset or harmed in the first place, such as xkit blacklisting, tumblr savior, Washboard (for mobile tumblr browsing with a blacklist), and AO3 blacklists. anti-shipping emotionally rewards its members for being upset by stuff and complaining about it. I feel like that’s an awful thing to put oneself through (though I also know that being righteously angry at others has its own satisfaction). 

All that said: I get it. you want fandom to be a safe space for all participants. and ultimately, it’s not very safe. Web 2.0 makes it hard to avoid content one hates via anything less than extensive blocking. Tumblr virally spreads the most controversial posts. and there are abusers on all sides of ‘The Discourse™’ in fandom, and we need to root them out!

But anti-shipping isn’t the best way to do it. and me arguing with you isn’t the best way to do it either. the most effective ways to protect the most people from abuse in fandom spaces would be:

  • accurate, widespread information about how predators/abusers commit abuse. teach people what abuse patterns look like. Give people the tools to recognize when they’re being set up for abuse so they can get the fuck away.
  • accurately identifying, exposing, and ousting predators/abusers based on their behavior rather than their ship choices. while ships can be used for abuse, one’s ships do not indicate whether or not they are abusive. recognize that predators can use anything to abuse their victims, not just surface-level ‘bad’ fandom content. Be willing to admit that people who seem like ‘good’ people because they despise (or love) the same fandom content you do might be abusive. If people who disagree with you locate an abuser in their midst, don’t paint everyone on ‘their side’ with the same brush: help them get the abuser the fuck out!
  • provide and promote access to tools that allow fandom members to avoid content that harms them.  promote blacklisting tools. Encourage people to block anyone that posts things that upset them. Help people build their safe space on a social media platform that actively discourages safe spaces instead of invading the safe spaces of others to tell them how wrong they are.

if everyone in fandom constantly and frequently shared information on how abusers abuse and worked together to expose and oust abusers based on behavior instead of ships, fandom would actually be a hostile, dangerous environment for abusers - no matter how racy or bad-in-real-life the fandom content got!

tl;dr: anti-shipping holds creators responsible for the actions of abusers using their work to abuse instead of holding abusers responsible for deciding to abuse. It’s punishing the tools instead of the predator. It’s ineffective and shitty and I can’t be okay with it.

and stop messing with what words mean. (I hate that this ‘dictionary’ is as accurate as it is.)

*I’ll grant you that ‘pedophilia’ is usually treated as synonymous with ‘child sexual abuse’, but they are not the same thing. Abuse is about power, not attraction, and most csa offenders are not pedophiles, just opportunists looking for vulnerable victims. Pedophiles are most at risk for committing csa when they have no therapeutic options, no emotional support, and no safe outlets, which antis actively try to eliminate.

**cp does not include drawn images (in the US) and drawn images are sometimes used by people who are actively trying to avoid harming children as a coping method.  calling drawn loli and shota ‘cp’ and trying to get access revoked therefore increases the risk of harm to real children.

John Kelly: ok mr. President, here is your copy of the speech to the UN. We want you to focus on the nations of the world picking up their end of the bargain and unity against countries such as Iran and North Korea that pose a threat to global safety

Trump: gotchya. Piece of cake

Trump, during the speech: im putting america first and we’re gonna wipe North Korea off the map

Kelly:

anonymous asked:

Prompts! ANBU Itachi meets Akatsuki Sakura!

Also age!swap au? Or timeline what timeline.

Pistols at Dawn this is me reaching and you wanting to run

-

Sakura Haruno is fifteen years old when she betrays Konohagakure.

Itachi remembers it clearly, because that was the day his brother came home from the end of the war, blind in one eye with an unconscious, bleeding Naruto slung across his back.

He stayed in the hospital for three days, watching over his older brother and his teammate. As it turned out, Sasuke’s blindness was reversible, and Naruto’s injuries, though severe, were never life-threatening. It was either by virtue of Tsunade Senju’s medical prowess or the sloppiness of the enemy nin that both survived, and Itachi wasn’t sure to whom he should be more grateful.

But the third bed laid empty like an unspoken question.

When Itachi worked up the courage to ask, Naruto’s expression crumpled like a house of cards, his heartbeat spiking on the monitor. Sasuke turned his face away, staring out the window with his single unbandaged eye, his raspy voice guttural - angry and sharp.

“She said she was tired of following orders.”

The realization lanced through him, that it was Sakura Haruno who nearly carved his older brother’s eye out, who was responsible for the fresh scars on Naruto’s body. Disbelief permeated him; it was also Sakura Haruno who single-handedly sustained and healed their vanguard, Konoha’s crucial push into Kusagakure. It was Sakura Haruno’s fists that destroyed the Kannabi Bridge and cinched Konoha’s victory. And years ago, it was Sakura who-

Memories of the emergency room, the murmurings of overworked medics and nurses, slowly unfurled in his mind. As he sat there, next to his father and mother, wondering if his aniki, the heir to the clan, would lose his prized doujutsu, if the fourth Hokage would lose another family member, he anchored onto the whispered hope.

If they had cut deeper, the Hokage’s son would have died from blood loss.

If they had managed to swipe any lower, Uchiha-sama’s eye would be beyond saving.

We’re lucky-

How fortunate-

It’s amazing-

Sloppiness, indeed. Eleven-year-old Itachi sits in his plastic chair, and witnesses the break of Konohagakure’s infamous Team Seven. Naruto’s beeping heart monitor punctuates Sasuke’s deafening silence, and everything comes to a quiet and terrible sort of sense.

-

Itachi learns, as he enters ANBU and rises quickly through the ranks, to detest violence. Moreover, he learns to hate war. Seven years later, Itachi is still cleaning up the consequences of the Third Shinobi war. There is no justification for such wide-scale destruction and needless death. Entire villages are left ravaged, wiped off the map, caught in the crossfire. Vagabonds who have no place to call home form dangerous criminal rings. Orphanages are near to bursting with not enough resources to feed the children through winter. Ninja villages that were on the wrong side of the war still rumble in discontent and increase border activity.

Among the muddy waters, Konoha intelligence catches wind of an group more sinister and organized than simple B-class missing-nin.

And then, one by one, the jinchūriki end up dead.

-

When Minato summons Itachi to his office, he doesn’t expect Senju Tsunade to be there, with a thunderous scowl on her face.

“I need you to meet our spy,” the Yondaime says without preface. He sifts through the paperwork on his desk until he comes across the scroll he wants, “at this disclosed location. You are to go alone.”

Itachi takes the proffered missive and unravels its contents. The rendezvous location will be at the destroyed Kannabi Bridge. Behind his porcelain mask, Itachi’s lips tighten, and an uncomfortable picture starts to form in his head.

His scroll erupts into flame, until there’s not even ash left.

“I was not aware we had a spy in Akatsuki,” and then he adds belatedly, “Hokage-sama.”

“This is our first direct contact since they were implemented,” Tsunade answers. She steps forward and gives him a look that could level mountains, “Let me be clear here, Uchiha. Nobody but the people in this room knows about this. If you compromise-”

“What Tsunade-hime means,” Minato interjects, and her teeth click when she snaps her jaw shut, “Is that this mission is of paramount importance. What our mole will reveal will determine how Konoha will react. As our top agent we’re trusting this task to you.”

Then, Minato smiles his smile that he thinks is disarming, but really, just reveals the lethal shinobi he is underneath.

“You tell no one.”

Not your superiors, not your clan, not to Sasuke, and not to Naruto.

Itachi hears his orders loud and clear, and disappears in a wisp of smoke.

-

He has it figured out by the time he arrives at the rendezvous point an hour early, so it’s no surprise when he finds one Sakura Haruno resting underneath the shade an oak tree.

There a sort of quiet tragedy about her, but that air disappears when her eyes flutter open. They are chips of ice, drilling into his porcelain mask as if she could divine who he is underneath. It’s been nearly ten years since he’s been face to face with her, and a selfish, indulgent part of him wonders if she ever remembered the little boy she saved once upon a time.

Sakura takes her time rising from the ground, brushing off her garish black and red cloak. Itachi  stands still and watches her movements. She moves deliberately, hands out in the open and not hidden by the cloak’s sleeves. Though Sakura has become infamous enough that every hunter-nin in any country knows she can kill without use of hand signs or a weapon. Tsunade had been thorough in her training.

Days before this meeting, Itachi thought of a thousand ways of how their conversation might go. There’s a certain anticipation that had been building within his chest, squeezed tight like fist when he sighted her. There were questions he wanted to ask that went beyond his station. He wondered if it would be cruel to tell her about her old teammates. How Naruto talks about her like the war took her, how Sasuke talks about her none at all. He wanted to tell her about how Konoha has been without her there - because if she was willing to forsake her home in order to protect it, shouldn’t she have a right to know? All these thoughts swirled in his mind as Sakura squared her shoulders to fully face him. Then, she speaks first and shatters all his imagined expectation.

“You are ill.”

He smothers his natural instinct to flinch. Sakura cocks her head infinitesmally, staring at his chest as if she truly could peel back his layers and see the disease festering there. He finds it more ironic than amusing that with just three words she’s revealed his longest kept secret. Not even his clan knows. She flicks her eyes back to his mask when he doesn’t reply.

She moves forward - glides really - towards him. Her tread is silent as she sidesteps the bridge rubble now overgrown with moss and lichen. She pulls back her billowing sleeve, revealing her pale, slender wrist and brings her fingertips just below his collarbone, where his black under armor meets his ANBU vest. His Sharingan flares in response, but it’s not combat chakra that envelops her hand.

Her healing chakra feels the same as it did ten years ago, and unbidden, he closes his eyes as it  sweeps through his chest.

“Breathe in deeply,” she says, and he does. Itachi can immediately feel the difference, how his breath doesn’t sound wet or hitch in his throat.

“Hold it,” Sakura murmurs and he opens his eyes to find a small wrinkle in her brow. His Sharingan reveals to him what the naked eye doesn’t; the striations of green in her eyes, the faint spatter of pale freckles, how her lashes are more dark pink than brown, the stray candyfloss hairs caught in those same long, delicate lashes. She has a faint scar on her right cheekbone and Itachi clenches his fists to keep from touching it, to see if her skin is as smooth as it looks.

“Exhale.”

He breathes out slowly and wonderment seizes him. The pain is gone. He feels sharper now that he doesn’t have to divert his energy in suppressing his symptoms.

That’s twice now, he wants to say but doesn’t in risk of sounding foolish.

“It’s gone,” he says instead and lets his gratitude shine through in his tone.

“For now,” Sakura murmurs, and lets her hand fall away. There’s a crinkle in between his black armor and vest. A note.

“Whatever reasons you have for hiding that,” she taps his chest once, looking up at his mask, “Is surely not worth your life.”

He has no words to rebut her statement without sounding childish, so he inclines his head once.

The first threads of dawn filter through the canopy and Itachi has a strange premonition that this will be the last time he will see her. The lines seem deeper on her face as she turns away.

“They’re well,” he blurts, and stops her. After a pause, he says in a quieter voice, “They miss you.”

He doesn’t need to say any more. Over her high collar, he can see the ice in her eyes melt. She gives him a small smile, like spring breaking through winter’s frost. In that moment, as she coalesces into cherry blossom petals, he wishes fervently, vehemently, naively, that somehow, some way, he could bring her home.

-

When Itachi goes home that night, bone-weary and tired in places he can’t name, he brushes off his family’s concerns and goes straight to bed. He lies there, blanket drawn to his middle and hands laced over his chest. He stares at the rafters of his room, the dust motes floating in the moonlight cast from his windows. He closes his eyes and sees petal pink and mournful spring green eyes. He remembers the grace of her hands when she pressed her delicate fingertips against his chest. Healer’s hands. Never had he knew a more subtle tenderness until that day.

And when he slips into sleep, he dreams of what he had wanted to do differently. He dreams of curling his fingers around hers, to see how she might fit in his hand. To feel her skin and see if she was as cold as she pretended to be. He dreams of what he wanted her to do. To mention the day she saved him as a child, that it was a memory that she thought of often. He wanted her to speak his name, wanted to know how it sounded in her lilting, womanly voice.

When Itachi wakes up the next morning, he is once again Uchiha Itachi of Konohagakure. He slips on his ANBU uniform, piece by piece in methodical silence. His vest, his armguards, shin guards. His tanto is strapped to his back. He pulls his bone white mask over his face and flash-steps into the cool morning, towards the Hokage’s Tower.

The Yondaime is waiting for him.

But he pauses.

Itachi grips the scrap of paper Sakura had slipped into his vest, its weight like lead in his fist. He unfolds it and drinks in her elegant handwriting. It details the other members of the Akatsuki organization, and their goals, their targets. The kind of information his comrades have died for.

He should go to the Hokage right away. He should be reporting this information so the village can mobilize, gather allies, and strike before the start of another war even begins.

(No more tragedies, no more orphans, no more Sakuras.)

At the bottom of the note, there is a single emphatic line, different from the almost clinical tone she had listed the information.

‘Protect him, please.’

Him. Naruto.

The air leaves his lungs.

He is eight again, Sakura’s long pink locks flutter in his peripheral, surrounding him with a pleasant floral fragrance despite the wear of war. There’s a wide bandage on her cheek. The rush of adrenaline still lingers in his system. His would-be kidnapper lays unconscious among the wreckage of felled trees. The scent of splintered wood and churned dirt is thick, but Sakura’s gentle knuckles under his chin draw his attention to her face. Her regard and concern is a heady thing, and there isn’t quite a word to describe the clarity and verdant of her eyes. He is eight years old again, and her concern is novel and strange, but not unwelcome. Her thumb brushes against the cut on his brow, the healing chakra cool and soothing. He almost protests when she withdraws her touch, but her eyes keep him silent. They are kind and compassionate and Itachi is starved of those things - he drinks them in greedily.

“Are you okay?”

Itachi is eighteen again and he is an ANBU operative for Konohagakure. He’s sworn his complete loyalty to his village and to his Hokage. Haruno Sakura is a traitor and an S-class missing ninja. His mind flips through the cold, impersonal facts about her listed in the Bingo books. Her appearance, her height, her known jutsu, her last known appearances.

It doesn’t mention how the green of her eyes changes in filtered sunlight. It doesn’t mention the fragile line of her shoulders, weighed down by the burden of being a double-agent. Doesn’t mention what breaking the trust and love of her friends cost her. Not the kindness she still harbors, not the unwavering loyalty to her village that turned its back on her, not her stalwart and unerring sense of duty.

As Itachi steps through the threshold into the Yondaime’s office, he draws a line in his mind. The dream he had, the memory of her saving him as a child, the grace of her hands as she cured his illness with a single touch - those are the things he allows himself, private and ensconced from reality.

He tells himself, as he crosses the room with long, purposeful strides, not to think about what ifs. Naruto is the village’s strongest soldier, and its biggest liability. He’s also the Yondaime’s son, Minato’s only surviving family. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to protect him, not after Kushina died and left the fox to their child.

Itachi crushes his emotions as Minato reads over Sakura’s note with a grim face. He doesn’t dare hope for anything more, doesn’t think on how she’ll never be able to come home. War is coming again - it’s a sentiment he can read in the lines of the Hokage’s face without him even parting his lips. What is one stranded spy’s life in lieu of a village’s worth? Of a son’s?

Itachi knows the answer, and tries not to feel bitter.

end.

The Recruit (Chapter 25) - Mitch Rapp

Author: @were-cheetah-stiles

Title: “Day 103″

Characters: Mitch Rapp, Stan Hurley, Irene Kennedy, Aiden Breen & Reader/OFC

Warnings: This is the last god damn chapter in which I label for cursing. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CURSING. 

Author’s Note: I would watch this or this (Or both) before reading any further chapters. Just a nice brush up, you know? Also anyone who loves The West Wing as much as I do should catch the shout out to a super fake terrorist organization.

y/f/i = your first initial

Chapter Twenty-Four //-// Chapter Twenty-Five - Chapter Twenty-Six

Originally posted by wayhaaught

“Y/n!” Stan knocked loud and hard, making sure to announce his presence as he opened the door without permission from his niece. You snapped up in bed and reached for your Glock, pushing your hand next to your bed, your new hiding place for it while you slept, only to pull away when you realized that it was just Stan waking you up abruptly. You looked around the room, it was barely light out.

“The fuck is going on?” You said groggily, pushing your hair back from your forehead and rubbing your eyes, a permanent frown living on your face.

“You’ve got a half hour to pack a go-bag with moderate climate gear.” Stan told you.

“What is this? The Assateague Island camping trip? Isn’t it still a little too early in the year for that?” You questioned, not fully grasping what was about to happen.

“No, kiddo, this isn’t the camping trip. Training is over. You’ve been called up to the big leagues…” Stan glanced down at his watch, tilting his mug almost too far to the side, just to check the time. “And now you’ve got twenty-eight minutes to pack and meet out in the driveway.” Stan nodded, with a fake half-smile. “I gotta go get your partner up.” Stan didn’t close your door all the way and you heard him make the same demands across the hall. You smiled as you realized that Mitch was your partner and you didn’t have to worry about finding a way to warn him that you had gone on a mission.

Keep reading

This “best stuff first” idiocy.

Apparently, this new Tumblr feature is affecting us all. Not just writers, gif makers, artists, but also every Tumblr user who will miss quality content and will be forced to look only at the stuff TUMBLR considers “cool”. Last time i checked, i was the judge on MY OWN DASHBOARD. I saw the complaints as soon as it was launched a few weeks ago, so i turned it off. But i see many bloggers still struggling with this.

This isn’t fair to all of those who are creating content and sharing it here on this site because it’s basically wiping them/us off the map. 

So, please, on your Tumblr app go to:

Account > Global Settings > Dashboard Preferences > Best Stuff First (Turn it off).


Loki would never have the “best stuff first” option on. He enjoys the low-key content as well because he wholeheartedly supports the arts.

Be like Loki.

Originally posted by maryxglz