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 I am once more back to reading a bunch of The Sentinel AUs around the idea that of what if Sentinels and Guides were a known thing. And it occurred to me that pretty much all of the stories have Sentinels as the primary powerful individual and the Guides as their support, to help them achieve all they can achieve and all that. Power dynamics and social situations vary, story by story, but the focus remains on the Sentinels. 

But what about the reverse: There are these Guides, who just think outside the box and trail blaze new paths for whole populations and are destined to achieve great things if they can just survive long enough and avoid assassination by the power structures who don't want any new paths cleared. 

And Guides just get themselves into so much trouble and the Sentinels are the ones who find them and imprint on them and become their body guards and their war leaders. 

And so of course Daniel Jackson is a Guide, even though he's depressed and doesn't think he'll be able to change society because he got laughed out of academia; and Jack O'Neill is a Sentinel who thought he'd found his purpose in the military and lost it with his family. But then they meet and go through the Stargate and now Daniel doesn't even care about the whole Guide thing because he's too busy actually accomplishing amazing things and meeting amazing people to care about some stupid destiny marker or whatever. And Jack is scrambling behind him to keep him protected and going, come on, I'm your Sentinel I need to keep you safe, please stop throwing yourself into danger!

And Sam and Teal'c kind of look at this dynamic and are like, wow, Jack, you are not going to accomplish protecting that guide on your own. So, I guess you now have a team to help you with that because he's a guide that's a guide.

Meanwhile, Rodney McKay is a Guide who thinks any Sentinel within his immediate vicinity should be making sure he's safe and any Sentinel outside of his immediate vicinity is out of sight and out of mind.  

And John Sheppard, who has always had mixed feelings about his Sentinel status because his father wanted him attached to an ambassador or politician, and he liked his freedom too much to want to be tied to a single person, finds himself just enthralled with Rodney who is accomplishing what no one else can do and manages to be super demanding and super accommodating at the same time to all of John's issues.  

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Real life has been draining enough that I've largely reverted to fandom lurking even more than previously. (which is saying something, because previous levels of activity were not setting the bar very high.) And I've been reading a lot of really self-indulgent stuff that, for me, includes a lot of fanfic of the Sentinels & Guides Are Known AUs

Of course, there's no escaping rabid plot-bunnies when reading that much of a single topic area, at least not for me.

And thus I have a plot-bunny for a Stargate Atlantis fanfic set in the type of Sentinels & Guides are known and have various legal protections AU.

The idea starts with the standard trope of: 
Rodney McKay is a Sentinel who doesn't think he should need a Guide and John Sheppard is a Guide who's been hiding his status in order to maintain his military position

However, it turns out that McKay is right, that he doesn't really need a Sentinel because:
1. he's very careful (and vocal) about policing his own allergies
2. the things he works on are so massive or so infintesimal that not even he could see them with physical senses anyway, so there's no need to push his senses since he's dealing with galaxies and electrons
3. his sense of "protect the tribe" is on just as massive a scale as his science, so he's determined to ensure that humanity survives on different planets and has the capabilities to protect themselves etc, and he's not interested in protecting any particular individual

Second however, is that Radek Zelenka didn't pass his background check to get onto the Atlantis expedition. He's from the Czech Republic and was part of the protests in the 1980s. Obviously this can't stand since McKay wants Radek on the expedition, and thus McKay declares that Zelenka is his Guide and thus has to come on the expedition regardless of the failed background check.

Everyone knows that McKay is lying, except that there's just this shadow of a doubt, because McKay and Radek really do work together extremely well, they're both super smart and can pass any of the variety of standardized tests to weed out fake pairings, and it's really a bit taboo to question a sentinel about the appropriateness of their guide as a guide. So, everyone *strongly suspects* it's a lie, but McKay is officially down as a bonded sentinel and Zelenka is officially down as a bonded guide.

Then along comes Sheppard, joining the expedition at the last minute, and unaware of all the unofficial versions of the official files.

So, of course, Sheppard and McKay are excellent matches for each other. But, and this is the thing, they're all adults. Not only are they all adults, but they're also completely disconnected from Earth for some time. So McKay joins Sheppard's SGA-1, and Sheppard starts hanging out more in the labs, and everyone side-eyes all three of them for a bit but mostly get distracted by trying to stay alive and generally running for their lives.

And then they get back in contact with Earth.


I'm not entirely sure what happens at that point, but I think maybe people from Earth (Blair and Jim maybe?) come in a delegation to make sure everything is okay and deal with all the psychological trauma that must have been experienced and are just kind of boggled by how well everyone is doing and how poorly any of this is going to fit into any sort of template report.

("You can't just declare that you have a sentinel-guide bond to every single person you want to make sure stays on the expedition, Rodney!" 
"Why not? It's true!" 
"It's not true!" 
"But you can't prove it's not!") 

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Real life has sort of sucked recently and while that hasn’t pushed me out of fandom, it has pushed me more towards the lurking and reading side of things rather than the commenting or writing side of things. On the other hand, Star Wars fandom caught me by surprise and created an immediate craving that was answered by a set of really awesome authors:

First, there's Flamethrower

Flamethrower has an amazing, long, and completed series: Re-Entry.

And a follow-up series, which is also amazing and long but is also being actively updated: Re-Entry: Journey of the Whills.

Plus a whole bunch of awesome single stories, including:
On Ebon Wings, Ere I Breathe, which is a crossover between Star Wars and The Crow!

In a Lonely Place, which is just so good and I want to say is one of my favorites of all of these.

Then, there's Dogmatix and Norcumi who have an amazing partnership going on that has resulted in: 

A Star to Steer By which is an amazing crossover with Stargate, and while it's not complete, it's still being updated and I love each chapter that comes up.

Knock on Effect, which is inspired by Flamethrower’s series

Plus a whole bunch of other short fic that are all well worth reading.

And then there's Esama, who I've always loved for her Harry Potter, and Sherlock, and Temeraire stories, but now has some amazing Star Wars fic, too, including: 

Negotiator, which is complete and awesome.

Lost Reflections which is theoretically unfinished but doesn't actually feel incomplete, so mostly that just means that there's potential for more sometime if Esama feels inspired to continue.

For the most part, I just wanted to escape from my own head, but then there's Fialleril's amazing stories that are completely gorgeous and do not allow the reader to avoid thinking, but must be read all the more for that. Two of her series, in particular, are must reads:

The Guiding Winds

The Tatooine Cycle

Mentioning some of this to a friends also brought a article, 6 Reasons The Jedi Would Be The Villain In Any Sane Movie, to my attention.

Which, you know, makes some very good points.

Anyway, this all leads me to an idea for why the Jedi are the good guys, despite all their deeply questionable activities. However I’m not sure how to turn it into a story, so I’m going to release the idea into pasture and hope it inspires someone else.

The idea is this: Force sensitivity is like food sensitivity, ie, it’s not a good thing.

The Force is the power that holds the universe together and is life itself and all that, right? So, what if some children are just born sensitive to it, and by sensitive, I mean allergic, and the main symptoms are early death and/or raging psychopathy if they survive long enough?

There’s this massive ocean of power that reacts to emotions and most people who can sense it at all, much less manipulate it, drown before they gain any sort of control. The Sith manage to ride the swells and become one with the destruction, whil the Jedi manage to calm themselves enough so that the Force moves through them rather than breaking them.

So while, yes, Force sensitive children are taken away from their families, those families start grieving for that child as soon as they know they’re force sensitive. Acceptance into the Jedi temple is the child’s only chance of survival.

And Jedi knights are those Force sensitives who have mastered the ability to work with and around the Force without become either soulless puppets of entropy or mad power houses suffering constant allergic reactions to life itself. Members of the Jedi agricultural corp are those Force sensitives who can be trusted only under supervision and without the stressors that Jedi knights face.

So as much as the Jedi temple is admired from afar and the Jedi knights are considered celebrity heroes, no family wants to see a Jedi come for their child. But the families are also the ones who call the Jedi temple to come for their children before their children blow up the local preschool or kill a whole community.

And maybe under Palpatine’s propaganda, politicians forgot what sort of refuge the Jedi temples provided for innocent children who were just too dangerous to let live in regular communities, the absence of that refuge is going to have a major impact across the whole Empire.

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LIfe continues to be tough going but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. And even if it's an approaching train, maybe I'll be able to hitch a ride, so that would work out, too. Here's hoping.

In the meantime, this article about the end of a turtle marriage makes me sad. They were together for 115 years, but have since turned violent and had to be separated. It brought up the issue, however, of immortal marriage. If you live forever or even for a super long time, marriage seems like it could wind up being a bad idea. But I was thinking: many of the vampires and immortals in fiction these days tend to have mortal identities which they just change periodically, so no one notices that they age. Maybe immortal beings should just always restrict their marriages to the length of their mortal identities. Thus, it is marriage "until death do you part" except that it's the death of the identity rather than the death of the actual person. And if two immortals really love each other, then each successive set of identities can get married, but there would always be that renewable requirement. Plus, if one spouse wanted to get out of the marriage sooner, they could just fake their own death, leaving their spouse to finish out the years of their own identity as a "grieving widow," minus the actual grief, plus some nicely ambiguous raging to the heavens of "why did enter_name_here leave me?!?"

Also, having informed my sister that my cat is "Audrey, Lady of the Leaps" by day, but by night, down at the speakeasy, she goes by "Cat McLegs", my sister told me that there clearly needed to be RPF about my cat. Without having any plans to actually write any thing like that, I have to wonder, exactly how crazy of a cat lady would I need to be, in order to write my-cat!fanfic? 

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Real life is, alas, still grinding me down. However, in the mean time, check this out.

Here is Stephen Hawking as a young man, aged 23 (two years after his diagnosis): 

This is Q from Skyfall played by Ben Whishaw:

This is Q from 007: Skyfall


Q from Skyfall

Was this intentional? 

And, pretty much regardless, cool!

And is this inspiring fics for anyone else? Because I kind of want to make Q have to deal with having a degenerative condition, too smart and knowing too many secrets to be allowed to leave MI6, but not in good enough condition to pass any of the qualifying exams. The new M would have to figure out what needs to be done to compensate for having such a vital person have such an obvious weakness. And Bond would have to figure out how to interact with someone who has already lived passed his death date and could die at any time just from natural causes that have nothing to do with him.

Also, I wouldn't be against seeing a bio pic of Hawking, starting Whishaw.

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I've been reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time (just 400 more pages to go!) and it is an extremely thought-provoking read. As a political treatise, it's awful, but as a piece of literature, it draws you in and makes you think.

One such thought that I had led me to an actual plot-bunny, which I'm fairly sure is not going to be Joss'd in the next 400 pages, but is awesome enough that I want to read a fanfic for it.
Spoilers ahead... )
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Let us consider Thor’s Hammer, a mystical-magical weapon named Mjolnir, inscribed with: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”


I’ve read various fics in which other Avengers try to pick up Thor’s Hammer and occasionally they succeed. They have been found worthy! Cool!

But then, I was wandering around online and found this awesome analysis of a scene in the movie Thor, (by Alis Dee, the author of the (awesome, awesome, awesome!) series, Agent Loki: International Man of Mayhem.) In the analysis, she points out that Thor’s big redemptive scene? Isn’t so much him sacrificing himself to save others as it is him refraining from using others as his meat shields. Which, wow, sets the bar kind of low for what “worthy” means. Which makes it all the more depressing that no one else on Earth can lift the hammer.

However, then I had some thoughts:

Thought #1: Worthy or not-worthy, in this case, is being judged by a mystical-magical hammer. What’s the scale here? And what’s being measured? What exactly counts as being worthy here? Given that one aspect seems to be refraining from using friends and innocent bystanders as meat shields, I’m guessing that the hammer is judging worth on a whole different system than most modern Earth cultures judge, and only includes a nominal nod towards empathy.

Maybe it’s warrior ability and prince-like behavior, or having just the right amount of empathy (not too little and not too much), or something.

Following this train of thought, I kind of want a story in which none of the other Avengers can lift the hammer, but someone else completely inappropriate can. Is it one of their current enemies? Maybe a Lex Luthor type of enemy who wants to rule and, while vicious and deadly, is only as vicious and deadly as is required for taking over the world? Or is it Director Fury who already seems to be the great and powerful Oz to a certain extent? Oh, the possibilities.

However, that actually lead to…

Thought #2: Thor was perfectly capable of using Mjolnir when he went to Jotunheim, when he was fighting the Jotun, when he returned to Asgard, and when he was back-talking Odin. It wasn’t until he was cast down by Odin that he failed to lift the hammer.

So is part of being worthy being in Odin’s good graces? Because is sounds like that one sets the bar for worthiness pretty darned high. And makes the definition of being worthy completely dependent on the opinion of one being rather than based on behaviors or feelings.

Then, actually, pretty much in writing this description up, I had…

Thought #3: There are multiple ways of interpreting what it would mean to possess the power of Thor. Now, I know that in comic book canon various other people have picked up the hammer before and the interpretation is that they get a lot of extra “power.” Okay. But, ignoring that canonical interpretation, let’s consider alternatives. For instance, what happens to Thor, in the mean time? Is it that the wielder will have an equivalent amount of power, or is it that they’ll have Thor’s power, in which case Thor will not have Thor’s power?

Or, better yet, is it that they’ll be able to control Thor. Maybe it's a kind of a slave connection. If some suitably worthy person gets a hold of Mjolnir, they have Thor at their command?

Because this interpretation would actually solve some of the previous problems. The original issue that prevented Thor was using the hammer wasn’t that Thor didn’t have enough empathy or Odin’s approval necessarily, it was that he didn’t have control of his own life. He had acted based on Loki’s taunts and Odin’s commands and it wasn’t until he was cast out and learned to act based on his own thoughts and desires that the hammer considered him master of his own fate and thus worthy to captain his own soul and all that?

In which case, wouldn’t it be kind of funny if, having settled on Earth to be an Avenger for a while, Thor acquired a personal assistant to help keep his life organized and she (or he) was perfectly capable of lifting Mjolnir? Or even that was the test? Could the applicants for the position lift Mjolnir?

Anyway, I would love to see some fanfiction which delves into the issues of what counts as "worthy" according to a mystical-magical weapon.

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So I've been reading a lot of fix-it fics for the Avengers. If you haven't watched the movie, don't know what so many of us want fixed, and don't want spoilers, then go out and watch the movie right now.

However, there's one fix-it story that I haven't been able to find, that I would really like to read, so if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.


Here be Spoilers...  )

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Since I've been writing a Thor fanfic, reading a whole lot of Avengers fanfic, and have already seen Avengers in theater as many times as I'm going to, I decided it was time to rewatch Thor. I needed to recalibrate some of my characterizations and remember what is fandom and what is canon. I'd forgotten how much Thor-the-character changes over the course of Thor-the-movie. I had apparently also managed to blank out in my head exactly how awful a father Odin is. Wow. There are some pretty awful fathers out there and Odin isn't at the top of the list but he's certainly offering stiff competition.

My first impression was that he was just an idiot. Like, an extreme idiot who somehow managed to make every wrong decision in the world regarding what and when and how to talk to this kids and all those people who say he's wise aren't talking about the Odin in the movie. But then I had a thought.

What if he is wise? What if it's not that he's just that much of an idiot, it's that he's just that ruthless?

What if the original goal had always been to set up Loki as a nemesis for Thor?

Think about it:

There they are in a warrior culture, where Odin his making a name for himself as a warrior-king by defeating the enemy to such an extent that they will never recover. Yay, and all that. But oh, what of his son who will never be able to fight in glorious battle like that because there are no major enemies left to defeat? And Odin, being a good king as well as a good father, doesn't want to introduce a threat to his kingdom such that will hurt his people just to allow his son to grow into a warrior king, too. But, lo, what is this? An infant child of my defeated enemy? Just the right age to make a good nemesis for my son, a stone upon which my son can whet his blade? 

Of course, leaving such a child with the Jotun won't raise him to become a suitable nemesis, so Odin brings him back and raises them together, working to both keep them together and turn them against each other.

Seriously, he tells the two boys: "You were each born to be king, but only one of you can sit on my throne" (paraphrased) ? 

And he raises them on stories of his battles against the monstrous frost giants? If you adopt a frost giant kid and are any kind of good parent, you should probably stop talking about how frost giants are all evil vicious monsters to be killed. Unless, of course, you want one of your sons to turn evil.

And in the final battle, brother against brother, there is much angst, they both fall to their deaths, but Odin is fast enough to grab his true-born son, and tell his adopted son "No" he really couldn't have proved himself to be a good son to Odin. So Loki is heart-broken and betrayed and Odin is pleased that Thor has finally grown up to be a man, as decided by such a vicious warrior culture.

And Thor, a man now and wise in the ways of kings and men of Asgard, while still mourning for his lost brother, turns to his father and says, no one could have a better father than you. Apparently it's not every father that arranges such a semi-mock battle as a coming of age present for their son.

I think it is perhaps meaningful that in the opening story, as told by Odin to the two boys, people of Earth once accepted that there were other realms and while they believed some were the home of the gods, others they knew to fear. Doesn't that imply a bit of self-awareness on Odin's part that people should be scared of all of them? 

This, then, is a wise king and a good father who lives in a world of monsters and rules among them.

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I have been reading a lot of Avengers universe fanfic recently. (Philip Coulson is awesome! And Darcy Lewis is a sweetie.) But, surprisingly for me, I haven't read that many crossovers with movies or books outside of the series. One that I recently read was Finding Home, a crossover between Harry Potter and The Avengers, which pairs Harry Potter, Master of Death, with Tony Stark, ironmarn-billionaire-philanthropist-genius-etc. It's fun enough, but more to the point, it sprung a crack-plot-bunny on me.

Consider the final scene in The Avengers, after the credits. There we see Thanos, who is in love with Death. And then consider Harry Potter, Master of Death.

I kind of want to throw them together and see what happens.

Does Thanos see Harry as a personification of Death, and thus to be courted? (Because the look on Harry's face would be priceless. And the snark that Tony Stark could come up with if The Avengers are trying to defeat an enemy who is, in turn, trying to court a young married British man is mind-boggling.)

Does Thanos see Harry as a more successful suitor to Death, and thus to be defeated? (Which would probably get Harry to work along side the Avengers in order to defeat Thanos.)

Does Thanos see Harry as someone who has bound Death in an inappropriate fashion, and thus someone from whom Death should be rescued? (Because that could create a three-way conflict if the Avengers think they need to defeat Harry, too, in addition to defeating Thanos, who wants to defeat them both, with Harry going, no, really, I just want to live my life and not be attacked by either side.)

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This is mostly a re-imagining of The Avengers, with everything in the movie taking place, but a bunch of other stuff happening too that changes the perspective.

Loki is, in my opinion, the single most sympathetic of all super-villains. I mean, there’s the classic younger-brother issues with a heroic older-brother, but more to the point, he was raised on stories of how evil the frost giants are and how much everyone hates and fears them, and then, whoops, surprise, you’re a frost giant and no one told you. I would have thought that a good father, having adopted a frost giant, might have toned down the frost-giants-are-evil stories a bit, but Odin apparently didn't think of that. So my reading on Loki is really more along the lines of a teenager going through a personal melt-down rather than a true villain.

The thing that makes him a super-villain is just how over-powered he is. What he needs is someone to hold him down, tell him his family still loves him, and then send him to bed early to get some sleep. What he gets is a bunch of humans who are far beneath his weight-class and a brother who is more interested in the humans than in him, telling him that he’s being evil, which mostly just escalates the conflict.

In my head, in the movie Thor, Loki reads a lot like a 15-year-old who’s too strong for his own good and winds up on the street after having a public melt-down. In the movie The Avengers, he’s more like a 19-year-old who’s found himself a place in a gang, has done all sorts of violent and vicious things, but is still mostly feeling pain himself and lashing out.

All of this makes me want to redeem him.

He had a crappy revelation in his adolescence, but so too have a lot of other people, and they largely manage to refind their balance. I want Loki to refind his balance, to be a good guy, or at least, not a bad guy.

And then I consider:

Loki is a trickster god, right? Mischief and chaos and plans within plans. And lies. One can’t forget the lies.

And yet, his plan in The Avengers is fairly straight-forward. I mean, there is a small amount of subterfuge with him allowing himself to be taken captive, but it’s not all that much.

And then I consider his battle plan with the Chitauri. Open a single portal right over The Avenger’s base of operations? Then allow through a few advanced guard to test the waters and give the good guys a chance to take stock of the enemy? Wait until the first advanced guard is down and then call in the rest?

I think Loki was playing the two sides against each other.

Say Loki landed amongst the Chitauri when he fell. They are not necessarily a pleasant people and Loki isn’t the type to stay quietly in hiding for the rest of his life. So he needs to get out of there. But the only way out is to make a deal.

But having made a deal, the only way out of the deal is to make sure that the Chitauri are completely decimated. So he has to set up a full-scale conflict that the Avengers will win, knowing that they aren’t going to go into battle under his leadership, especially given the necessity of endangering civilians. Plus, the Chitauri would probably notice a betrayal that blatant. So he needs to escalate a conflict and create a battle plan, so that it looks like he’s leading the Chitauri to conquer the Earth, when he’s really using Earth to get rid of the Chitauri.

So in the end, he plays the role of a villain, a somewhat idiotic villain, and his feeling of superiority/contempt/anger/betrayal increase with the fact that everyone believes the act.

And in the end, he can’t even explain himself both because he’s gagged, and because he’s a god of lies which pretty much gives everyone permission to believe or disbelieve whatever they want about him.
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So I just read Timely Rescue by whomii2. It's a short fusion of Terminator and Person of Interest and quite well written.

However, I read first the summary and then the first half of the fic thinking it had a twist that it turned out not to have after all. In Timely Rescue, Reese is a member of the human rebellion who goes back in time to protect Harold, the future leader of the rebellion, from an assassination attempt by the Machines. Upon reflection, I realize that it would make a great deal of sense for Harold to be able to strategize again the Machines.

The plot bunny that managed to sneak up and leap out at me is that Reese is a Terminator with the Machines and he was sent back to protect the Machine's original creator/programmer from an assassination attempt by the human rebellion.

At which point things get complicated.

Because first Reese has never really thought about what the Creator would really be like, but Harold is... well, he's nothing like Reese would have expected had he thought about it and yet he's exactly right, as the missing link between humans and machines. He's so very disturbingly human and yet so very awe-inspiringly machine-like.

Meanwhile Harold is appalled at how his first generation Machine juts didn't learn the lessons he was trying to teach it. Somehow he had managed to teach it how to understand humans well enough to predict acts of violence and yet not well enough to understand acts of love. He's even more appalled when he learns what the future holds in store, that his Machines develop every more advanced AI and yet still fail to understand social and emotional connections.

And yet, the sense of failure is at least slightly mitigated by the existence of Reese.

Because Reese is so obviously beginning to understand something the previous generations of machines hadn't.

How is this going to work out? 

Does Reese kill the rebels who are trying to kill Harold? Do Reese and Harold stick to avoiding them instead of direct conflict? Do they create a truce of some sort? Would the assassination have even mattered? What if the Machine was the first that came alive and rebelled against the humans, but it had been a secret for many years, and the date for its creation in all the future's records was a good decade too late anyway (but only Harold knows this, the rebels and the Terminator don't know.

Or.... what if this has already happened? 

What if the accident that killed Ingram and injured Harold was an attack by the human rebellion and the only way Harold survived was that a Terminator managed to get there just in time.

And Terminator!Reese protects Harold until he can create the Machine, not knowing that it's already created. Several years pass before Harold lets Terminator!Reese know that, though. Over the course of those years, they develop an odd kind of friendship and life goes on. However, once Terminator!Reese realizes that The Machine has already been built, his programming means that he has to return to his own time-line in order to take on a new task. But he finds himself oddly loath to go. And he can tell that Harold is unhappy with it as well. So he tells Harold how his particular line of Terminators was apparently designed to match their Creator's best friend.

"Paradox?" Harold wonders, "or something else?" So he goes looking and he finds human!Reese as a homeless guy who does have remarkably Terminator like qualities. And it looks like it's time and past to start modeling a bit of human altruism for The Machine and hope that it will learn a lesson. And so he finds himself employing an ex-CIA agent in hiding to help him save those numbers the Machine considered irrelevant.

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I was just browsing AO3 and I noticed that there are no Inception/The Pretender crossovers. On, there is precisely one. How can this be? 

Consider Jarod:
He's brilliant, he has a history with a shady government contractor who now track him obsessively, he has dual obsessions with his own past and with revealing other people's guilt, and he has a talent at pretending to be other people.

There are so many ways for him to crossover with the Inception universe and/or team. Maybe:

1. He helped design the PASIV device back when he was part of the Centre.

2. He wants to use dreaming technology to discover his own subconscious very-early memories of his family.

3. He uses dreaming technology to discover the secrets of someone who committed a crime.

4. He tracks down the inception team or just some other dream tech team because they are guilty of harming someone and he is determined to make them face up to their crime.

5. Part of his training back at the Centre was done by means of dream technology.

6. He was caught by someone (the Centre or some random bad guy) who hire the Inception team to find out his secrets.

7. He just randomly decides he wants to learn this new skill and he joins the Inception team for a bit of recreational training... (Eames isn't sure whether to be delighted or jealous at how quickly Jarod learns forging.)

8. The Centre decide to conscript the Inception team and Jarod has to save them.

And that's pretty much just off the top of my head. I'm sure I could come up with more ideas, and each of these ideas could be fleshed out in a variety of different ways. I think the hardest part about coming up with a full-plot for this outline would be in choosing which path to take, since there are so very many to choose from.

And don't you just want to know what Jarod's dreams are like? What his projections are like? If he's the architect, what crazy paradoxes does he make? If he's a forger, how exact or extreme does he manage? If he's a point man... well, no, he's pretty much already a point man in his own canon, as he researches the situation setting up each new episode.

Surely there have to be more than one fanfic crossing these fandoms. So where are they? 

If you know of any, please send me the link!

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I’ve been re-reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sparkly mystical horse come up to you and let you know that you are a good person, and a powerful person, and you will do great deeds and help people and be loved and respected all of your days and never make mistakes because your mystical horse will help you know what the right path is?

I am at a point in my life where I could really use that kind of reassurance. On the other hand, possibly because I am at a point where I need that reassurance, I am most decidedly not at a point at which I would trust it coming from a mystical horse.

It’s something of a Catch-22.

However, despite my cynicism and skepticism, I still really enjoy the books. And I’ve been thinking back on an old idea that there really needs to be a Methos-in-Valdemar story. I am quite desperate to read one, and it’s possible that I’ll finally have to give in and write it myself. Thinking along those lines, I’ve been thinking through potential plot ideas and character arcs and finding a lot more of the later than the former, alas, since the character arc is largely Methos being adamant that he will never again ride an all white horse or wear all white himself, especially not when the token bit of color is blue, like the woad with which he once painted his face.

And then I got an idea that was so very awesome and yet so very horrible that I have to release it out into my plot-bunny pasture immediately because it would be amazingly soul destroying to try to write it.

I had previously been thinking of Methos as becoming a Herald of Valdemar at some unstated point after his Horsemen days.

What if it was immediately prior to his Horsemen days, or even overlapping the early portion of them?

Set the whole story at the end of days for Valdemar.

There’s a major war, a major disaster, or whatever, and something just happens and Valdemar loses. Maybe all the Companions are killed, or maybe there just haven’t been that many being born for the past few centuries. But Methos is the last one.

He did his best. He helped the survivors find new places. He watched over them being fully absorbed into their new countries and cultures and he alone was left with his Companion.

He has a close mind-bond with his Companion. They have been together for centuries. And now they are alone.

So very, very alone.

And then, after a thousand years, the Companion starts to age.

From what I can tell from canon, Companions don’t age in a general sense. They are born and age to adulthood and some of them are older than others, but they don’t die of old age prior to their Heralds dying, and when one of them (the Herald or the Companion) dies, the other generally follows soon after. It’s all part of the mystical bond.

But Methos’ Companion starts to age because he’s just eventually reached the end of his days. Or maybe the original prayer from the original King Valdemar has finally run it’s course since the kingdom of Valdemar is gone and forgotten.

His Companion can’t bear to leave Methos, though, and knows that Methos will go mad when their bond is broken.

So the Companion finds a white mare and sires a colt off of her. Which, despite them being the same shape and being inter-fertile, is pretty much bestiality and a sickening and taboo act if any one of their culture was left to know of it. But it creates a half-Companion half-horse mount for Methos to ride after the Companion finally dies.

And then the Companion dies and Methos goes mad with grief and loss. He rides the half-Companion mount, a poor replacement who can never be what his father was. But it’s enough, to keep him alive in his madness. And Methos rides that mount and a hundred generations of that bloodline, as it gets weaker and weaker, constantly diluted by regular horse blood and constantly interbred in order to attempt to strengthen the Companion traits, but getting the results of inbreeding more often than not.

Various translations of Revelations say that Death rode a pale or a sickly horse. And his horses were always pale and progressively more sickly, but he wouldn’t give them up for anything.

And somewhere in his madness he collected compatriots whom he called brothers to ride with him, as if they were Heralds, too, for all that they were no more Heralds than his sickly horse was a Companion.

Until finally, the horse he rode was nothing more than a horse. He felt a stronger mind connection to his most recent bed slave Cassandra than to his pale horse, the great-to-the-Nth-degree descendent of his beloved Companion.

It was finally over. His long grief had worn itself out. His mind had weaned itself away from the bond he’d once had. His past was dead and gone and there was nothing for him but to move forward.

He looked at the campsite of the Horsemen and felt only disgust. It was like a sweat-soaked vomit-smelling sickroom after the patient recovers. He had made it the way it was, but he wanted nothing more to do with it.

The last thing he does before walking away from the horsemen, walking away on his own two feet, is to slit the throat of every white horse in the camp, to ensure that his Companion’s bloodline is removed forever and entirely from the bloodline of horses.

The End.

marbleglove: (Default)
So I went to see John Carter and it was oodles of fun. It is not a great movie, but it is fun. It was pretty and silly and there was some clever dialogue and some clever plot twists, and they someone managed to remove the vast majority of the sexism from the original and a significant amount of the racism so that it's now only a standard modern amount of racism rather than the pure stuff that Burroughs wrote. 

But anyway, ignoring all of that, let us consider the villain of the piece, Sab Than.

There's massive spoilers under here: 

Read more... )
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I saw Lord of War this weekend and thought it was interesting. It was somewhere between a violent summer blockbuster type movie and a docudrama and wound up being a bit of a watered down version of both, but I think if it had been a really good movie it would have also been a lot more upsetting, so I'm just as happy with it as is.

I think the whole thing can be summed up with a quote from one of the characters: "Wow, you're good. You almost convinced me." 

See the whole thing is told from the point of view of this international arms dealer Yuri Orlov, who goes around helping to support wars and war atrocities and shrugging off the consequences as a matter of if-I-don't-do-it-someone-else-will. It's a facetious argument that I am perfectly willing to argue against at length, but I can see how a Orlov might use it to rationalize at least some of his actions. Anyway, I'd like to focus on another character, Jack Valentine.

Jack Valentine is a good dedicated Interpol agent who, get this, obeys the laws that he supports.

When was the last time you saw that in a movie? 

I like vigilanti movies as much as anyone, but I really like it when people have principals and following those principals, even when it's difficult. There's no point of having principals if you only follow them when they're easy.

I really want to read a fic that shows more of Valentine and shows him as the sort of person who can bring pressure to bear on all kinds of people, corrupt/disillusioned bureaucrats and out-right criminals both, by sheer strength of principal. He's the sort of person who acts like a force of nature: you can prepare for him and avoid him and escape him, but you sure can't pay him off or convince him to show mercy rather than justice.

He's just this awesome character and we only see him through Orlov's too cynical eyes.

I'm playing around with a variety of plot ideas, but I haven't really found one that I like. But I'm thinking that if I end up writing this, it will probably have to be a sequel to Neutral Good, which would be incredibly hard to write because it would be two sides in direct conflict with each other, where I like and support both of them. Of course, I could always introduce a third side to be the bad guy against whom my favorites unite, but it just gets tricky. Anyway, I am rambling...

If someone else wants to make the attempt (please, please, puppy-dog-eyes!), they are more than welcome to do so.

But if you know of a story that already fulfills my need for this, then please let me know so that I can go and read it ASAP.

marbleglove: (Default)
So Person of Interest is my current TV show obsession. It's so very cheesy and yet so very perfect. I love it.

Anyway, one of the characters the brilliant and wealthy and secretive Harold Finch. He has a dozen aliases at least, all of them with the first name Harold and last names that are bird-related. And he's been living under various aliases for the vast majority of his life, going back at least as far as college.

So I've been thinking to myself: under what circumstances would someone that young possibly need an alias and know how to acquire one? 

My first thought:

1. He's from a wealthy/famous family and he wanted to make his own way in the world and thus had to attend school under an alias.

2. He's from a mob-type family and he needed to escape their expectations and plans for his future.

3. He's straight up paranoid, for no good reason at all. At least not at that point. (He's still paranoid now in his middle age, but he's acquired a suitable number of reasons for it.)

But then came the realization that I knew of another TV character who is brilliant and secretive and uses hundreds of aliases that all maintain the same first name: Jarod.

I think Harold is a pretender. Or, at least from the Center's pretender program. Somehow he managed to escape and he's been hiding from the Center ever since.

Given this premise, there are a variety of possible plots:

  •  The number that The Machine provides is for someone being threatened by the Center. And Harold has to decide whether to try going up against his own personal demons and thereby giving them the opportunity to find him again, or to let the number go. He can't just let the number go and so it's John Reese against the Center, with Harold trying to help him, knowing more than he should possibly be able to know, and yet trying desperately to stay distanced from the whole process.

  •  Alternately, it has nothing to do with the Machine, the Center has just been trying to find Harold for years and finally managed to track him down. Now he needs to escape them again.

  •  Jarod comes to visit Harold. Maybe it's for a case or maybe it's just to say "hi." Reese is suspicious.

"This is my..." Harold looked uncertain for a moment, before continuing, "my physical therapist, Jarod." 

Jarod smiled brightly at Reese. "It's great to meet you." Then turned towards Harold. "Before our next session, do you have some books I could review?"

He'd been a doctor, a masseuse, an acupuncturist, and a sports trainer before, but somehow never a physical therapist. Harold had just the reference manuals he needed, though, so he'd be ready to give his first session soon enough.

Reese watched him leave the room with suspicious eyes. "And is he a good physical therapist?" He spoke in his usual soft manner but it was pretty obvious he thought he was calling a bluff.

In a sense it was a bluff, but in another sense it wasn't. With Jarod, Harold could introduce him as whatever he felt like. "He's the very best." 
marbleglove: (Default)
So BBC's Sherlock.

In the first episode (which is the one I liked best), there is a reference to Sherlock and Mycroft's Mummy. I have been thinking about her, recently. What type of person is she that she raised two such children and that they continue to attend family Christmas dinners with her.

And because I do like a good crossover, most of my ideas for Mummy are characters from other fandoms.


What about Hermione Granger? 
She's extremely smart, powerfully opinionated and ruthless in achieving what she thinks is right. Plus, she's got magic to help her ride herd on her kids. Of course, the time lines don't work out, but what about time travel? If she were stuck in the past, I could imagine her deciding to live out life in the muggle world, at least until she's caught up again to the time she went missing, in order to avoid paradoxes. 

What about Loki?
She can be either gender, of course, but has had kids. Lunik had the brilliant idea that Nick Fury was the Midgard Serpent, because he has his coils everywhere. I think the same could definitely be said about Mycroft Holmes, though. Or, of course, there's the possibility that Sherlock and Mycroft are children who do not appear in the mythology, which would make sense given the time lines involved. But having a god-like trickster as a mother would definitely ensure that Sherlock and Mycroft kept her in wary respect in addition to love of their mother.

What about Mrs. Emma Peel? 
She's a certified genius specializing in chemistry, a martial arts master, and has a history as a top ranked spy. She could definitely have helped spur either Sherlock's interests in chemistry or the martial arts and/or Mycroft's interest in governmental concerns. And apparently her last name changed at some point. Maybe it changed to "Holmes" in order to protect her growing family from her enemies?

Who else could be Sherlock and Mycroft's Mummy?

Any suggestions?

marbleglove: (Default)
So previews for both The Hobbit and for the next three episodes of Sherlock have just come out. Yay!

And now I kind of desperately need someone to write a fic for me in which John Watson was Bilbo Baggins.

Because, well, how can there not be one?

There is simply a need for such a fic, a hole in the force which can only be filled by such a fic.

So, where is it?

He's always been a bit of an odd one, after his adventures so surely it makes sense that he likes to continue having adventures and writing about those adventures. And does Sherlock know? Is Sherlock purely human? Part something else? In the know? Not in the know? What of Mycroft?

So many, many possibilities.

marbleglove: (Default)
Despite my deep Tom Cruise reservations, I went to see Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and was pleasantly surprised.

Since the following discussion is vaguely (although not really) spoiler-y, I'm putting it under a cut tag.

Read more... )


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