what she means: the beastie boys band canonically exists in the star trek reboot universe and jim kirk canonically enjoys the song “sabotage” (if nothing else from their discography). however, theres a conflict here since the song “intergalactic” (by the same band) references star trek and more specifically spock not once, but twice, with the lyrics “like a pinch on the neck of mr spock” and “super educated im smarter than spock”. if the beastie boys exist in the rebootverse, does “intergalactic” exist also? and if so, are the aforementioned lyrics simply omitted or transformed into a seperate in-universe scifi reference to maintain the song’s theme?
concept: amanda grayson is also a classical music fan and named her only son after a fictional vulcan from an earth song
HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
Yep. I’m crying at work. These women are the reason I am where I am today.
They’re the reason, that when I told my daddy in 2nd grade that I was going to be an astronaut he didn’t laugh. He signed me up for space camp and flew with me to Atlanta and drove me to Hunstville so I could attend (sleeping on a friend of a friends couch in Birmingham til the week was over and he could pick me up). When he heard that the next shuttle launch would be the first time a female commander was in charge, he found a way to make sure we were at the launch of STS-93. He found a Civil Air Patrol squadron nearby and made sure that they taught me how to fly before I turned 16. When my highschool didn’t have a computer program past the basics, he went into my school every day for a month to talk to the principal and the computer teacher set up a computer for me in the back next to is so he could teach me Java and C++ in between other classes. That when I applied to the Air Force Academy and MIT (the only two colleges I applied for) his only complaint was that MIT would cost him money, so I better pick the AirForce. And when I picked MIT over the AirForce he found a way to pay for my tuition.
And that first spring when I got to call him and tell him I wouldn’t be coming home for the summer, I’d be working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, training Astronauts on the equipment I’d been helping to design at MIT. Well he didn’t say much. He just said, “Good.” and “When we moving you down there? You’re brother’s in San Antonio. We’ll fly in there and make him drive us over.” Like it was foretold. Like he knew it was going to happen.
I have over 20 spacecraft in LEO, the astronauts handle work I’ve done on a daily basis on the ISS, and this September my first interplanetary mission is launching because the black women that came first made a place in the space industry for me. And because my father (thanks to his own struggles to find space for a black man in aerospace engineering) didn’t for a second think I wouldn’t do what I told him I was going to do when I was a baby.
I’m gonna be a fucking wreck when I see this movie. And to think, that finally people will know what women like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Annie Easley (fixed the Centaur energy equations and formed the basis of all modern rocketry), and Melba Roy (head of the Goddard computers for the first comm satellites) did for the American space industry. That there’s actually gonna be acknoledgment of the place black women have held at NASA since the very beginning.
Imma be a wreck. And I can’t wait.
#Hidden Figures #is going to destroy me but in the BEST WAY #I have watched this trailer so many times already
tim drake’s snapchat is 90% him making bruce wayne do normal middle-class american things and filming the results. popular youtube compilations include the one where they’re at denny’s at two in the morning and tim keeps trying to get bruce to order a moon over my hammy just so he’ll have to say it, the one where they’re at disneyworld and bruce gets increasingly frazzled culminating in him actually physically picking up gaston for reasons no one can entirely recall, and everyone’s favorite series “bruce wayne doesn’t understand walmart”
having thought about it the best part is probably when a pranking fails because bruce has such a bizarre patchwork of knowledge/skills and it does not occur to him to hide most of it. tim puts a ghost pepper in bruce’s food but bruce just eats it like nothing is wrong. the same thing happens with the chocolate-covered crickets. it turns out bruce can lick his own elbow. bruce can lasso a runaway robot lawnmower like it’s a calf at a rodeo. whenever tim expresses shock that bruce knows how to do something he says “i did go to college, tim” as if that explains anything and it becomes a meme. whenever anyone does something fucking absurd it just gets tagged “i did go to college, tim”.
The camera came uncomfortably close to the face of a man ignoring it. He was very good at it. He was reading a book about, of all things, the history of denim. It was not the sort of book that made it easy to ignore cameras, but he remained stoic.
The caption said helpfully: [been doing this for 30 mins]
“Bruce. Bruce. Bruce. We need to go Walmart. Bruce. I need it.”
“It’s a surprise for Alfred.”
“You can’t surprise Alfred.”
“It’s not a matter of permission, I’m saying you literally can’t surprise Alfred.”
[he hates when i say that]
“This is bullroar.”
Bruce finally set down his book with an expression of the most profound disgust.
[oh no now we’ll be here all day]
“—either curse or don’t, just commit one way or the other instead of—”
The camera took its time panning over a black BMW.
“Can I drive?”
[after this he took away my music privileges]
Bruce was driving, looking stoic again. His face lent itself well to stoicism. The radio played, at high volume, “Sandstorm” by Darude.
“I’ll play something different this time.”
“You had your chance and you blew it on a meme.”
“Hi, bored,” Bruce said, eyes still on the road, and Tim groaned loudly. “I don’t give a shit.”
The view shifted and audio clattered as Tim dropped the phone, barking a laugh.
The phone was wobbly as Tim followed Bruce into the store. “Can I get a trampoline?” he asked, camera pointed to one outside the store.
“We have three trampolines.”
“But I want that one.”
They were in the chip aisle. “Have you ever had a Dorito? One Dorito? In your whole life?”
“I am a person. I eat food for people.”
The camera followed a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos into the cart.
“We’re not getting those.”
“We need to get sour cream, too.”
“You’ll love it.”
Tim had put the seatbelt of the cart’s seat, intended for toddlers, around a giant plastic jar of orange cheese puffs.
“I thought you were getting something for Alfred.”
“I’m getting groceries while we’re here.”
“None of this is food.”
[$3 pickles blowing his mind rn]
Bruce was holding a gallon jar of pickles with an expression of incredulity.
“—costs extra to not waste food?”
“Even taking into account the economies of scale—”
[putting his degree to use in the pickle aisle]
“—it just makes no sense even as a loss leader, unless the goal is to drive the competition out of business and hope they don’t go bankrupt in the—”
[i think he’s buying a pickle company??]
Bruce had every appearance of furiously texting on his phone, or possibly composing emails.
[lmao he did]
Bruce was now on his phone, looking impassive as ever as he contemplated the giant jar of pickles.
“—the business itself is perfectly sound. Yes. Obviously. Dead serious. Look, if you—”
Tim put a gallon jug of ranch dressing into the cart.
Tim was in the frozen section, his reflection visible in the glass.
“I bet Alfred would love some pizza rolls.”
“Your lies demean us both, Tim.”
Bruce was standing in the toy aisle, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “I understand the concept of blind boxes perfectly well, thank you.”
“Then why are you acting confused?”
“Why does Thomas the Tank Engine—”
Bruce was making a face of disgruntled bafflement at a display of baby clothes.
“—disturbed by the amount of aggressive heterosexuality being foisted on these babies.”
“Yeah,” Tim agreed. “What about the gay babies?”
“I can’t tell if you’re joking but I’m unironically concerned.”
The camera panned over a display of hero-themed hats. Most of the Batman hats had sold out, while the Superman display was nearly full. It panned back to Bruce, who was taking a picture with his own phone.
“Who you texting it to?”
“Friend in Metropolis.”
“Yes. Yes it does.”
The camera peered out slowly from behind a clothing display. Bruce was surrounded by enthusiastic and friendly women. It was impossible to tell what they were talking about.
Bruce was holding a dress up against himself. The women around him seemed delighted and were nodding their approval.
[i’ll strike while he’s distracted]
Tim dropped another two four-movie collections of Shrek on top of the considerable pile he’d already amassed. He panned up to check that Bruce had not caught him before grabbing another.
While Bruce put DVDs back on the shelf, Tim surreptitiously grabbed a Shrek coloring book.
[he’s gonna get a fish]
Bruce was frowning at the wall of fishtanks in silence. Finally he said, “These fish are very unhealthy.”
[HE’S BUYING ALL THE FISH]
The man attempting to help Bruce looked baffled. Bruce gestured to the entire display of fish with a nod. The man shook his head. Tim brought his phone close to a betta, blue and red with a tattered and graying tail.
“We’re here to save you,” Tim stage-whispered to it.
Bruce was now engrossed in conversation with multiple employees.
“—if I bought some tanks — they’re much too small but as a temporary measure — we could transfer them directly and it might be less distressing for the fish.”
“Maybe I could get one of the big dolly carts from the back?” one young man suggested.
The low camera angle suggested Tim was trying to be surreptitious.
“—for trying to unionize is completely against the law,” Bruce was saying, his voice low. He was helping three other employees transfer fish into large plastic tanks.
“At-will employment,” one woman said.
“We’d have to prove that was why they fired us,” someone clarified. “Otherwise they can say it was for no reason.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“—fucking with my hours hoping I’ll quit.”
“If they fired me, they’d have to pay unemployment.”
“That’s why they won’t let me work full-time.”
“What the fuck.”
[omg he’s stealing the employees now]
“—in Gotham, but there’s more opportunities outside of manufacturing if you’re willing to move.”
“Wait, so do you mean like for management?”
“No, no, that’s the starting wage for someone working assembly, quality control, that kind of thing. We’re all unionized, none of this at-will bullshit.”
“So if I—”
The woman from earlier was showing Bruce her phone while the others continued moving fish.
“You painted this?” Bruce asked. She nodded. “That’s fantastic. Are you showing it anywhere? I know a guy with a gallery — actually I know pretty much everyone with an art gallery in Gotham. I think I have a friend who’d really love this, if you don’t mind me making some calls for you.”
Four more employees had joined the menagerie.
“—almost always hiring in Gotham. People are always moving to cities with fewer evil clowns.” Everyone laughed. Tim snorted. “Employee insurance totally covers acts of supervillainy, though.”
[trying to crush the revolution]
The employees had not dispersed. In the distance, someone managerial was talking to Bruce. He looked much less amused than Bruce did.
[THEY CALLED THE COPS]
Tim had switched to the selfie camera, his face pure glee. He turned bodily to show the employees wheeling out tanks of fish out of the store, police lights in the parking lot.
“The manager tried to make Bruce leave but he insisted on paying for his fish and he wouldn’t stop giving people better jobs so the guy said it was corporate espionage and threatened to call the cops and Bruce called his bluff so he did it.”
[WE’RE BANNED FROM WALMART FOREVER]
Bruce was laughing with the police officers about something. The manager from earlier had been joined by men in suits. None of them looked happy. Some of the employees from earlier were yelling and flipping them off. One man pulled off the shirt of his uniform and started setting it on fire.
Bruce was on the phone in the parking lot.
“They’re small, most of them are tropical. You can figure out what they are when you get here. How is that racist? I’m not suggesting you already know them, I’m well aware you don’t personally know every single fish—”
“Either you take these fish or I toss them in the sewer and Killer Croc can eat them. It will be a merciful death compared to what they were getting. It doesn’t matter where I found them.”
[i’m not allowed near toxic waste]
Tim held the betta from earlier in front of his phone, bringing it dangerously close to Bruce’s face. Bruce had hung up, but seemed to be dialing another number.
“I’m keeping this one,” Tim said.
“If I drop him in toxic waste do you think he’ll get powers?”
“We’ve already had this discussion.”
[the pettiest man in gotham]
Bruce was on the phone again, looking out at the empty field beside the Walmart parking lot.
“Yeah, just buy the whole thing. Yeah. Absolutely sure. Green Market’s doing good, we’ll build another one of those. Can we put up a billboard while it’s under construction? A really big billboard.”
“First of all, if it’s in writing, it’s libel. Second, figures taken directly from their report to shareholders aren’t defamatory. What’s the most they could even sue me for? See, that’s nothing. Bad PR for them, good for us, it's—”
Tim had switched to the selfie camera again, and was using a sparkling purple filter that made his eyes look huge. He backed into Bruce so that Bruce’s face would be in the shot. “Bruce, look! You’re a pretty pretty princess!”
Bruce raised an eyebrow as he looked at his face on the screen. “I’m always a pretty princess,” he said seriously.
[he picked the music this time]
Bruce was driving again. He was listening to 100 Little Curses without any apparent irony. This did not mean there wasn’t any irony.
[i named him wally]
The Walmart betta was now in a tank that held at least a hundred gallons. His underwater castle was resplendent. His tail had grown in, a shimmering gradient of red and blue. Bruce could be seen in the background through the tank, sitting on the couch and reading a book.
Concept: a small child whose imaginary friend is Superman. He talks to “Superman” all the time, completely unaware that Clark can in fact hear everything he’s saying. The child and associated adults are infinitely surprised when reply letters from Superman start appearing in their mailbox
When Allie was four, everyone thought it was cute. Oh, that’s so adorable, they all said. Oh, look at her, with Superman. How darling. How sweet.
Of course, when Allie was six, everyone thought her play should be girlier. But that’s another story.
Now, Allie is nine, and everyone thinks she’s too old for an imaginary friend. They all think something is wrong with her, and her parents are getting worried. Why won’t she make any real friends? they wonder. Does she even try?
The truth is, Allie does try. But she doesn’t want to tell her parents that no one at school likes her. She’s a loser there, no way does she want to bring that home with her. She knows her parents won’t think badly of her if she’s not popular, but grown ups can be just as mean as the bullies that are still Allie’s age, and she doesn’t want her parents’ acquaintances (a-c-q-u-a-i-n-t-a-n-c-e-s, what is that stupid extra c for?) gossiping about her to them and making them worry even more.
So Allie still talks to “Superman”. She knows he’s not real, but she’ll still insist he is to anybody who tries to tell her otherwise. On principle (p-r-i-n-c-i-p-l-e, not p-r-i-n-c-i-p-a-l), because she knows they’re just trying to be mean. The real Superman obviously has better things to do than listen to her, but sometimes she pretends he does, and that he likes her. She can think that if she wants, because there’s no way to prove he doesn’t unless if you just asked him, and nobody can just ask Superman something except Lois Lane. So there.
in the beginning, Marvel events were spaced by twenty four weeks. then twelve, then six, then every two weeks. the last one, with Ulysses, was a week. in four days we could be seeing a line-wide push every eight hours until they are coming every four minutes. we should witness a double event within seven days
lmao i’m so happy and surprised to see how this thing blew up. this style of poetry is actually an entire genre in hindavi literature. it is a type of folk poetry called kahmukarni, and it involves two playful female speakers seemingly speaking about their lovers and ending in a wordplay. they’re very earthy-sounding in their folk performances, and they are traditionally sung by women. here’s another one by khusrow that i like:
p.s. these are all from sunil sharma’s translations (which is prob as good as it gets in translation)
until i saw those posts from @publius-esquire i had literally no idea that women and free black americans (with property) had the vote in some states when the constitution was ratified and they lost those rights. and this wasn’t something theoretical, women and black people did vote. and it wasn’t like the states had just forgotten to specify they meant white men, laws in new jersey passed in 1790 and 1797 referred to voters as “he or she.”
history≠consistent progress, and thinking that it does helps excuse past intolerance/oppression as an inevitable stepping stone towards enlightenment and tolerance. if schools taught american history differently, maybe more students would realize that oppression is a product of hate, not ignorance. i wish i could be more articulate. i’m so fucking angry no one ever taught me this.
I was never taught it, either. I’ve never seen a greater argument against states’ rights. From what I’ve been able to find, the states that had once allowed free African American male suffrage (and in the case of New Jersey, also single female suffrage) with property qualifications, and the years they were taken away in almost all cases under Jeffersonian Republican or Jacksonian Democrat administrations.
New Jersey (1807)
New York (1821 property qualifications taken away for white men and raised for black men, effectively killing the black vote)
Rhode Island (1822) (reinstated in 1842 with property qualifications only for black men)
North Carolina (1835)
And the states, to my knowledge (correct me if I’m wrong), that granted free African American male suffrage and never took it away all through the Fifteenth Amendment:
So the states that had a combined black population of about 4%.
Its prbly obvious but for the op’s comment *white women
Technically speaking, no. In New Jersey, where women could vote until 1807, free black women were not excluded by the State Constitution (again, the laws still didn’t let slaves vote). The requirements for voting in New Jersey were as follows:
The voter must have reached the age of majority
The voter must be “worth fifty pounds proclamation money, clear estate in the same.”
The voter must have lived within the county for at least a year
Gender and race were not considered limiting factors, which meant that free black people who had attained a certain threshold of wealth were eligible. Married women could not technically own property, so they weren’t eligible, but single women and widows were. If there happened to be a free black woman in the state of New Jersey between 1776 (when their Constitution was drafted) and 1807 (when gender and race restrictions were put in place), and she was not married, and she had attained the necessary threshold of wealth, she was eligible.
It would be very difficult to find out if anyone like this ever existed, and if they did, whether they voted in any elections, but it’s entirely possible. Black women faced more stringent voting restrictions because unlike white women they needed to be free in addition to being unmarried, and in a racist society it was likely much harder for them to acquire the necessary wealth and property. Still, they were eligible.
While looking into this I made a cursory attempt to find a record of any unmarried, property-owning free black women in New Jersey. I didn’t see much, but I did run across something that’s probably of interest to people:
Elizabeth Freeman was born a slave around 1744 in New York, and essentially brought about the end of slavery in Massachusetts single-handedly. Just as an example of the kind of woman Freeman was, at one point she shielded a young girl from the attack of their mistress, Hannah Ashley, and received a bad wound on her arm. Here’s what Freeman had to say about that: “I had a bad arm all winter, but Madam had the worst of it. I never covered the wound, and when people said to me, before Madam, ‘Betty, what ails your arm?’ I only answered - ‘ask missis!’ Which was the slave and which was the real misses?“
In 1780, Freeman heard a public reading of the Massachusetts Constitution and was struck by the first article, which begins, “all men are born free and equal.” She sought out a lawyer and sued the state for her freedom, pointing out that the wording of the State Constitution conflicted with slavery. Slavery in Massachusetts was declared unconstitutional as a result of this case (though it still took some time for slavery to fully end, by 1790 there were no recorded slaves in the state), and Freeman was given her freedom (and was compensated for her labor…nice).
Freeman’s old masters asked her to come back to their house and work for a wage, but she basically told them to go fuck themselves and went to work for the attorney who represented her, Theodore Sedgwick, as a paid servant and governess. Eventually she became a popular and in-demand midwife and nurse, and she and her daughter bought a house in Stockbridge. She died around 85, and was buried in the Sedgwick family plot.
Anyway, Elizabeth Freeman seems like an absolutely amazing and fascinating person, and she’s a good example of a politically active, property-owning black woman in early America, though I’m sure there’s no shortage of others.
Nope, black women could vote in New Jersey, too:
- Hanes Walton, et al, The African American Electorate: A Statistical History
history is not a trajectory of linear *progress.*
I’m reblogging this (American History) post today because it’s a concrete example of what I’m always trying to tell people: what we ASSUME is true about history and what is ACTUALLY TRUE are often very, very different.
So it’s worthwhile to ask ourselves, why are we encouraged to believe that things in the past are always “worse”, and that our present must always somehow, of necessity, be “better”? Who benefits from this process, and who is disenfranchised by it?
Are any of us necessarily better off right now than those who are like ourselves would have been in a previous time? How does history compare to today? Is it worthwhile to study the past and see for ourselves whether or not this is true?
They perform mind-blowing stunts dressed in clothes as flimsy as paper doilies and are forced to meet Hollywood’s demands for ever-shrinking waistlines without losing the muscles they depend on for work. Meet cinema’s small but dedicated community of stuntwomen: because of the skimpy clothes they have to wear, they put themselves in more danger than their male colleagues.
But it’s all part of their day job. Tammie Baird is Hollywood’s go-to stuntwoman for car hits. She’s appeared in Fast & Furious, Chris Brown’s Next 2 You music video, and NCIS: LA. She’s been smashed into windshields, bounced off bonnets and slammed into the tarmac – more often than not wearing a tight dress and heels. When Baird got her first role, in Mr & Mrs Smith, she went shopping for stunt gear “like a guy”. “I bought the biggest, bulkiest pads, and thought, ‘Yeah, I’m protected, nothing’s gonna get me.’ Then I saw my wardrobe – I was wearing a miniskirt.”
Friendly reminder that stuff like unrealistic female armor actually tangibly hurts women
idea: selina kyle as a reverse archeologist. she steals from museums and private collections and returns things to the shrines and graves where they belong. she brings a clay jaguar to monte alban and now she can talk to cats. the whip is because she’s indiana jones. batman makes half-assed attempts to stop her but it’s not like she’s wrong so like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ he’s got violent crimes to deal with, what does he care if she’s stealing back smuggled relics from rich assholes. he met that guy at a party once and he was a huge asshole so fuck him. steal his toupee, too. it’s probably endangered. ‘oh no catwoman is escaping and there’s nothing we can do. robin sit back down. there’s nothing we can do. she’s taking that statue back to egypt and we have no possible recourse against this terrible nonviolent crime with a single dick victim. i am definitely really mad about this. i’ll fight her later, when you’re sleeping or at a friend’s house or something. you’ll understand when you’re older.’
I love the thought of Selina being able to talk to cats okay I bet they have a lot of cool things to say :)
It probably gives her eyes and ears access the city
Humans quickly get a reputation among the interplanetry alliance and the reputation is this: when going somewhere dangerous, take a human.
Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so fast they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster.
You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for.
That’s the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it’s weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It’s even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you. But if you’re hurt, if you’re trapped, if you need someone to fetch help?
You really want a human.
“Looks like someone for you.”
Jon kicked Ginna’s boots, which were currently resting on the table, and she glanced over toward the door. A clump of knee-high aliens, plump and round and covered in golden fur, were lifting their little pink noses into the air - scenting the air in the bar.
Ginna quickly downed the last of her drink and dropped her feet to the floor. The Gentleman of Fortune was full to the gills of professional companions looking for work, she wouldn’t be the only one in here with a fondness for sashrans. She needed to work quickly if she wanted a chance at whatever job these ones were hiring for. The sound and vibration of her boots caught the attention of the group, and Ginna followed it quickly with a greeting in the quiet shushing sounds of their own language.
A universal translator would take care of most of the talking, but by knowing a little of their language Ginna proved she had worked with their kind before and cared enough to learn it. Caring was probably the most important skill a companion could cultivate.
It paid off. The group of sashrans centered quickly on her and darted over, still in their clump.
“I am human Ginna, companion for hire,” Ginna introduced, tapping the side of her visor to activate the display.
“Sala and Rini, with crew. Spice collectors,” the largest of the sashrans introduced, tapping at their own earbud. Their information began to stream onto Ginna’s display, while her own would be playing in their ear. She was proficient in everything from weapons to mechanics to medicine, xenobiology to politics, and of course survival in any kind of situation from atmosphere decompression in space to a tsunami on a planet. The more varied the knowledge they had the better a companion a human could make, and Ginna prided herself on being one of the best.
As for the sashrans, they’d found a jungle planet with a plant that was delicious to their senses. Cultivation efforts had failed thus far, so the price was high enough to support the risk of hunting for it on its home range. A six-month tour was on offer. It seemed they’d contracted with another professional companion a few times, a man named Drix, and Ginna quickly switched over to the guild’s internal records to see what he had to say of these sashrans and the planet they were harvesting from.
The sashrans themselves would be able to check what Ginna’s former employers had to say about her too.
Drix had enjoyed working with Sala and Rini’s crew, it dripped out of every line of his reports. He’d included good detail about life aboard their ship and the risks of the planet, that Ginna would have to look into closer later to be prepared.
All she needed to know at the moment was that they paid well, the risks were not unacceptably high, and that they treated their human companions well. It sounded like a job for her.
“Sala and Rini and crew, I would take this job,” Ginna told them.
The sashrans shushed and buzzed together, their tones sounding happy to Ginna’s relatively untrained ear, and she hoped she was reading them right. They were such beautiful little creatures, and she’d always enjoyed working for their kind before. They were close enough she could have reached out to touch them, pet their soft velvet fur, but she resisted. Touching them uninvited would be rude.
Finally they turned back to her. “Sala and Rini and crew will, with joy, contract to hire companion Ginna,” the lead one answered.
Contract negotiations went quickly enough, using the standard guild template and modifying it here or there as both parties preferred and agreed upon. Sashrans were easy to haggle with, not like the argumentative akskar. Soon enough Ginna had a contract and three days to prepare her effects for travel.
“It has been a pleasure,” Ginna told the sashrans. “I look forward to being your companion.”
She would have expected them to leave, then, go get their own things ready for launch. Instead the smallest one pushed forward - all wrapped in pale gold velvet fur and their sweet little pink forepaws resting on Ginna’s knee.
“Companion Ginna will now engage in petting for promotion of pack bonding?” they asked hopefully.
“Of course,” Ginna reached out toward the sashran, let them smell her palm, but it seemed this sashran wasn’t shy at all. They immediately pushed their head into her hand. There was nothing in the galaxy so soft as a sashran’s fur. Ginna dug her fingers in around the ruff of the sashran’s neck, gently scratching, and then smoothed the fur all the way down their back.
The sashran made a dreamy-soft pleasure sound, and Ginna mimicked it back. “Oh you sweetheart,” she murmured. Already she could feel that little melting tug in her heart, that protective urge that set some humans on the path to professional companionship.
Come hell or high water, Ginna was going to keep these sashrans safe.
Aw, yes. Look at the adorable scifi! I’m proud to have inspired it.
(I’m so glad you enjoyed it!)
Six months was just about right for a jungle planet tour with a group of sashrans. Ginna loved Sala and Rini and the crew to distraction, and there was still nothing in the galaxy softer than sashran fur, but she was ready to move on. Being regarded as furniture a lot of the time, once they were used to her presence, got tiring after a while. Sala and Rini weren’t looking for a permanent companion, and Ginna wasn’t looking for that either. She’d joined the guild because she wanted to see the universe and meet all the peoples in it, after all.
The spice expedition had been a great success. The sashrans’ hold was full to bursting of dried twigs and leaves, and Ginna had gotten a healthy bonus on top of her already generous pay. There’s only been the one incident with a large angry herbivore who decided the sashrans were infringing too close on its breeding grounds. Still, Ginna had thwacked it in the face with a dead branch and distracted it long enough for the sashrans to make their escape, and only gotten the one cracked rib for her trouble when it tried to run her down.
Ginna hugged and kissed each sashran on the crew one last time. “If you ever need me, don’t hesitate to call,” Ginna told them, wiping a stray tear. Sala and Rini and crew endured this human foible, and were off to sell their goods.
The Gentleman of Fortune was the same as ever, serving interesting foods and drinks from across the galaxy and full of professional companions between tours. Her friend Jon had shipped out with a hunting pack of akskar, but May was finally back from er three-year stint in a lintran colony and they had a lot of catching up to do.
It was great to be back among humans, it really was. Ginna sent some money home and laughed and drank and celebrated with people who had the same base template and urges she did. For about two weeks, it was great. Then Ginna got that itch again and started watching the door of the Gentleman of Fortune, scoping out her options.
Vivid jehes, stolid orhides, hovering mellisugans - none of them felt quite right, and Ginna didn’t approach any of them. Other companions gladly worked up contracts and left for exploration expeditions and disaster relief efforts and new colonies.
Then a big bull barbax pushed into the bar, weight resting on xir heavy knuckles and ducking far far down to fit but still scraping xir cracked and weathered shoulder-spikes on the frame. The barbax swung xir heavy head from side to side, small beady eyes - well protected under a heavy brow - sweeping the space.
Ginna jumped up to stand on top of her chair and screamed as loud as she possibly could. The barbax rocked back, then sprang forward toward her, slamming xir knuckles hard against the floor in pleased approval.
Three days later Ginna was shipping out for a nine month tour with a crew of barbax miners. The desert planet they were headed for would be a nice change of pace from the muggy humidity of her last tour, and the barbax being so much bigger and heavier-armored than she was meant she didn’t have to worry about being a body guard on this trip. Much more relaxing.
Barbax liked shiny things, and already they’d bought Ginna a cute cropped jacket with imitation shoulder spikes to match them, and several bracelets and necklaces. It would have been rude not to wear them, and Ginna had to admit she looked good even if it wasn’t her usual style.
The bull barbax, Zab, absently grabbed Ginna by the waist and settled her on xir shoulder. Ginna easily settled in between the big spikes - they made good handholds as she was carried onward to the ship.
“Twisted xeno freak!” some human snarled after Ginna and the barbax crew. “You’re a traitor to human-kind. You make me sick!”
Gina laughed. “Jealous you lack the emotional capacity to cut it as a companion?” she mocked.
The xenophobe’s embarrassed and angry expression was the last thing Ginna saw of the station. Then the ship doors closed behind them, and she turned to face her next adventure with a smile.
Ginna returned to her home base at the Gentleman of Fortune absolutely glittering with platinum and rough citrine.
A fact - For all their strength, a barbax is not fast enough to evade a nest of sand snakes. For all their armor, a sand snake’s teeth can still pierce them.
A human companion, fueled by adrenaline, is more than fast enough to evade. But they might instead dive in between the panicking barbax and destroy the sand snakes attacking them.
Another fact - a sand snake’s venom is deadly to a barbax. Their blood coagulants are destroyed and they bleed out from even such a tiny wound. Their armored hide is too strong for the tourniquet that might save them. A human, bitten by a sand snake, gets off with a painful wound and some bruising.
Ginna tied her bandana around the bleeding wound on her thigh and got to work. Zeb and Gnar and Agi were bitten. The crew, their family, piled around them, drumming against their hides in mourning. They had two hours to live, according to the barbax medic.
Ginna delivered a cure in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes with the clock racing. Thirty minutes far too long, with death creeping up on her friends. She drew a liter of her own blood, repurposed a mining centrifuge to separate it, and filled three big syringes with plasma. Her red blood cells would be toxic, foreign to the barbaxes bodies. She could only hope her plasma was less so.
They might die of it; but they would die if she didn’t try.
Facts - the only place a barbax is tender enough to be injected by even the strongest medical needle is in the vein along their gumline.
- it takes five minutes for blood to circulate all the way through a barbax’s body.
- it takes another minute after that for a sand snake wound to clot, and the blood loss to cease.
The barbax crew trumpeted and pounded their knuckles against the floor with surprised joy. And only then, only when the slow bleeding had finally stopped, did Ginna sit down and cry with relief. She was shaky and dizzy from drawing so much blood, and badly bruised from getting jostled by the panicking barbaxes, and the wound on her own thigh was very painful now that she had nothing else to focus her mind away from it, but she’d done her companion’s duty and saved her friends.
She was fussed over, tended to and praised. She explained what she had done, and was given far more sweets and water than she could possibly consume to replenish herself when she explained that’s what she needed to recover.
Zeb and Gnar and Agi were sick for a week, with the aftereffects of the sand snake poison and purging their bodies of her alien plasma, but they lived. That was the important part.
It turned out that having given a part of herself into the barbax (nevermind that it was just plasma and their bodies purged it afterward) Ginna had done literally what was done symbolically for a barbax crew-bond. She was now crew-bond to the barbax she’d saved, and since Zeb was the senior bull and crew-bond to the entire crew, that meant she was too. She was family - married to the whole lot of them, in essence.
Ginna was not exactly sure how she was going to break that to her moms.
Thankfully the barbax had a laze faire concept of marriage. None of them thought it odd that Ginna planned to leave still at the end of her contract. They would have gladly kept her if she wanted to stay, but she didn’t.
They would have weighed her down with a quarter ton of jewelry, to be decorated the same as one of them, but thankfully Ginna talked them out of it. Her crew were miners by trade, but they were craftspeople by inclination, and they made her beautiful sets from the platinum they were mining that weren’t too heavy for her fragile human limbs. The style was armor-like and spiky and set with beautiful rough citrine that would have been discarded as mining waste otherwise.
Ginna wore it proudly. She spent one last evening drumming with the barbax crew, and then she was back among humans, back at the good old Gentleman of Fortune. Elizabeth was fresh back from the jungles of Shur with a lathan colony, and they had a lot of catching up to do.
Ginna was in no rush to head out again. She took some classes offered through the guild, brushing up on her knowledge base, and pondered her options carefully. She wanted something new, something different.
Late one evening - or maybe it was early morning by that point - a faint high note echoed through the Gentleman of Fortune. There was a collective intake of breath, an uncomfortable quiet, and Ginna looked to where everyone else was looking. A roughly human-sized shimmer was drifting deeper into the bar.
A tintillian. Ginna had never actually met one, she’d only ever heard of the telepathic aliens. They were not strictly corporeal in the same way most contacted species were.
The tintillian chimed again, hopeful, almost plaintive. And no one was answering.
Ginna was singing back the tintillian’s note before she really thought it through. It chimed again, a lower note thankfully or Ginna might not have been able to hit it, and Ginna again mimicked it. As Ginna held the note, it chimed a double note in harmony with her, and drifted closer.
The note Ginna was singing cut off, her heart in her throat, but the tintillian recoiled and drew back before it touched her. Began to drift away.
Metal. Right. They couldn’t abide concentrations of heavy metals and Ginna was encased in platinum. Ginna began ripping all her jewelry off, stacking it in a loose pile on the table. What had possessed her to wear so much of it?
“Help!” Ginna pleaded, turning her other ear toward Elizabeth as she struggled with the earrings. “Liz, please.”
Elizabeth laughed and relented, quick to help her out of all her platinum. Ginna took her boots off too, they had metal eyelets. And her pants had zippers, so they had to go. And her bra had an underwire, so Ginna wrestled that out through her sleeve and finally stepped toward the tintillian in just her shirt and boxers.
No one else was trying to approach the still-chiming tintillian. Telepathy was beyond what most of them were comfortable with. There would be no universal translator for this interaction, it would be direct. Mind to mind.
At least Ginna halfway stripping was far from the weirdest thing that had ever happened in the Gentleman of Fortune.
Ginna sang the note again, and the tintillian harmonized and moved back toward her. It changed as it got closer, until Ginna was almost looking at a mirror - a transparent shining woman. It lifted its hand, and Ginna echoed the motion. Her fingers were shaking, but Ginna cleared her mind and was full of only curiosity and affection when the tintillian merged hands with her. Like a point of golden light.
Suddenly, through it, Ginna was weightless, boundariless, her self wrapped around by the fear and curiosity of the others in the bar. Ginna laughed aloud, that joy echoed, rebounded, and strengthened as the tintillian drifted forward to merge completely.
Ginna’s affections were bare, all the connections she’d made with her contracts exposed, her trainings mulled over, her self weighed and judged and found adequate. The burning curiosity that had made her approach it pushed Ginna to delve into the tintillian in turn. It was all starlight and nebulas, ancient and brand new.
The job on offer was midway between exploration and rescue - a star nursery where an expedition of the tintillian’s mind-mates had disappeared. They had two months to map what they could, and recover the lost mind-mates if possible.
Ginna’s physical and psychological needs would be met, and the terms of her regular contract were seen as acceptable.
The merge faded, and the tintillian winkled out - off back to its vessel to prepare. Ginna dropped back into her own body and sagged into her chair.
“So?” she was asked, people crowding around. She didn’t need the tintillian to practically feel their burning curiosity.
“I got a two-month contract,” Ginna said.
She took a small seated bow for the cheers that echoed through the bar, and accepted the celebratory drinks that were passed her way.
First professional companion to contract with a tintillian. This was definitely going to be one for the history books.
[ THE END ]
I will write no more of these. Thank you! I’ve had a lot of fun in this ‘verse.
If you want to read about Elizabeth, please turn your eyes toward the very cool fill that Chrissy did utilizing the Gentleman of Fortune and companions guild concept. [link]
(if anyone else uses these headcanons please let me know I’d love to read it!)
That was a lovely exploration of the concept and the kind of niche humans could have. I’m very glad you wrote it!
true life: i would pay one million american dollars for a sam and bucky roadtrip movie. just a giant ball of twine, tiny car, hits of the nineties on the radio, roadtrip. “you don’t know this song? everybody knows this song. stop lyin. you were awake and killing people in 1991. no way you don’t know c+c music factory.” “…fuck you.”
steve can guest star; like, he keeps running into them in embarrassing situations in different states and is like “??????. !!!????? !!!!!!????”
yesssssssss. just roadtrippin shenanigans. maybe punching the occaisional nazi in the face at a carnival while holding a stick of deepfried butter in the other hand.
“Why are there Nazis at the state fair?!”
“Maybe they wanted to see the butter sculpting. I mean, that’s why we’re here.”
“We came here for the butter sculpting? That’s why you suggested it?”
“Wait, why did you say yes if not for the butter sculpting?”
Meanwhile Hydra is like “Can we shut them up about the butter sculpting, oh my god” and the answer is NO YOU CANNOT.
I’m in, where do I pay my $10.
Would see it twice if the line “I hate Illinois Nazis” is uttered.