~*~The Suburban Mythology - There are two sisters, a ghost, a nail-studded wish tree, guerilla knitters, elderly hippy cranks, and frankly this thing just won't resolve *or* die *or* stop giving me hives.
The kitchen was done in mushroom.
The full effect was stunning, as the high end appliances had been purchased at the tail end of when things were still built to last, and so the avocado finish had the patina of time. The cabinets and linoleum were brown like beef gravy, and the backsplash behind the sink was well buffed copper peppered with hand painted tiles featuring vignettes of fungi that, while they lacked faces, were yet oddly anthropomorphic.
There was a braided rag rug, faded denim blue like a pond in a forest reflecting the sky, that was surprisingly soft on the soles of her feet. Lena smoothed her foot along the edge.
"Ma made that when I was small." Hugh knuckled his glasses back up his nose. "I think it feels so nice because she used old jeans her and dad had broken in for years, back before chemical pre-fading."
"I like the mushroom motif. It's very earthy and foody while still rocking a penis theme. Very masculine for a kitchen."
~*~The Dale Riordan Charitable Association - "Our aim is for weapons that are cheap, accurate, and require little training to deploy. We reject the idea that sheep cannot become sheepdogs. Our goal is sero-conversion until the morphotype reaches extinction." [if vampirism was a parasitic infection, could you reverse it? then what?]
“Dale, these are predators, yes." Constance used a slow blink to cover the roll of her eyes. "But they are not cats. Shiny is not the same as tactical.” Dale was still terribly excited about the concept of a hive-minded swarm array of UV emitters, but like preparations A through G, the prototypes were turning out to be a huge pain in the ass. “Despite their legal status, they retain a human learning curve. We need it to work well enough right out the gate so that the next night, with the nest set of targets, it's still fresh and new.”
Constance chose not to remind Dale of the beta testing fiasco, when the swarm veered into the campus kitchens and threw Rajiv into a blind but effective panic. Turned out Rajiv had mowed over a hornet nest as a teen. He'd grabbed the crème brulee torch and in a trice half the prototypes were gone. A highly useful beta test as far as Constance was concerned, but it still sickened Dale to learn just how many FTE hours of R&D could be defeated with a small household flamethrower.
~*~Bug - space Venice, the human diaspora returning to the cradle planet, the careful explosion of all previous tight controls
As always, full court regalia was a heat stroke waiting to happen. Each robe was vermsilk thin enough to read through at dusk, but after eight layers and strategic padding it was more like a shell than a wrap. Once the sashes were tied, Nifale lost the ability to bend at the waist.
Now wrapped, she perched on the edge of a tall stool while her hands and face were painted with the formal look and the sigils of her station, and her short limp hair bolstered with hanks of tiny braids and a beaded snood. Powered bikrel chitin shimmered on her cheekbones and forehead, and made her laquered fingernails look like the elytra that covered their folded hind wings. She tried to forget that she was to witness an execution today.
In contrast to her formal packaging, Messenger Shoi Wenthin Cand was dressed for heavy gardening, down to an iron dibble in his hand. All of the Messengers wore heavy canvas pants and sturdy boots, shirts cut close to the body and short jackets embroidered with Her Most Serene's imprimateur. Some carried wooden mallets. After conferring with the others he came over to her little party of three with a smile that disturbed her as much as the rough implement in his manicured hand.
"Ready then, Keeper Nifale?"
"Travelling gives me vertigo."
"Your robes alone will likely keep you standing." In the sunlight his eyes took on a reddish cast, like fermented tea brewed strong.
~*~The Sublimation Sublimation - [Big Bang Theory] Leave it to Sheldon to not just go into Pon Farr, but to broadcast it as well.
“Is it just me,” Bernie's whisper is thin and shiny like a gold foil star, “or does he remind you of Lo Pan?”
Howard nods as Leonard squints after the waiter, who'd disappeared into the reddish gloom of the Szechuan Palace. “Lo Pan?”
“The metaphysical antagonist of John Carpenter's 'Big Trouble in Little China', an ancient wizard cursed to roam the earth in ghost form until he sacrifices a green-eyed woman to get his physical life back. Despite there being a surfeit of such in California,” Sheldon gestures across the table at Penny with a precision-halved pocket of dumpling, “Lo Pan fixates on only two, and hijinks ensue.”
“While I found it dated and cheesy, it did hold my attention with unexpected flashes of eye candy.” Amy nods, “Such as a young Kurt Russel in a silk kimono.”
Bernie grins, “I prefer the scene with him tied to the wheelchair.”
Leonard glances at Howard before his better judgement kicks in, and though he's focused down on his shrimp with lobster sauce, Leonard reads more than he wants to in the rosy flush creeping up from his dicky to stain his ears.
Penny narrows her green eyes at Sheldon and drinks out of his teacup. “I'm more of a Snake Plissken gal, myself.”
Sheldon's lips disappear and he neatly deposits his dumpling half in the cup, sloshing tea over her knuckles. “Share and share alike, apparently.”
Penny fishes it out with her fingers and pops it into her mouth with a grin at his shudder.
~*~Dirt - [Bones] post-ep for The Aliens in the Spaceship
For a brief moment in the choking sunlight Hodgins heard Angela call him by his first name as she brushed his face clean, her warm sweat scent like a secret underneath the scorched dust and lost perfume when she kissed him, and he felt like he'd reached goal in the worst game of tag ever.
That relief had snowballed into a shaking weakness that clung to him for hours in the emergency department, and still shivered in the wings when they stuck him up on a ward for observation. So instead he'd gritted his teeth through a terrifying cab ride, fled back to the lab bench, pulled an extra stool over for his throbbing calf, and focused on something other than the paranoia and the persistent itch in his nostrils of ash and singe.
Which is where Angie turned up, mauling a teddy bear in anxious hands, earnest and open as if she hadn't tasted him sour from sedation and fear earlier that same day. She came as a friend, sporting him crutch money and listening in that signature tender wry way that even Brennan could never remain taciturn in the face of.
~*~Veered Science - [Farscape] the last installment of the John Hughes AU, written with Thassalia
Pilot finishes keying in a command sequence as he offers an arm to help D'Argo onto the console. "I would ask you how school is coming, but I understand if you do not wish to talk."
D'Argo tucks his boots under his knees and rubs his face, speaking through the muffle of his hands. "I've got two papers in peer review right now, one of them for the second time. My loan from the Eidolon archive was approved, though it'll be a few monens before the samples arrive and they probably won't have what I'm looking for. My best friend hates me, but she'll likely be dead soon, in mind if not in body. My mom's an assassin, my dad's a sociopathic bastard who may or may not be sane, my sister is no longer glad to see me--and did I mention the boatload of soldiers on board?"
"I am aware of the last, yes." Pilot taps a key-plate without looking at it. "Moya and I are monitoring through the DRDs."
D'Argo leans back against a strut and digs grit from the corners of his eyes. "You were there, on that day, Pilot."
"Yes." He turns to access an array of plates on the other side of the console. "Moya and I were a part of that day."
D'Argo isn't sure how to ask; everyone aboard was complicit somehow, even himself in a way, his very existence a spur. But how much of it was inevitable, how much was planned, how much was simply a situation gone off the rails? "Did you know that my father would do that?"
For a long moment Pilot works his console, but finally he swivels back to D'Argo. "Moya and I have always preferred to run. We have no weapons and we choose not to have any. Except for that day."
"I know, but Pilot, could you have really stopped it?"
“You misunderstand. We had no wish to stop it. Moya provided the seed energy, an aborted starburst channeled through the trigger cage, which was shaped and aimed by your father."
D'Argo closes his eyes, overwhelmed by the madness of it. His chest is locked between breathes, barely able to squeeze out the word, "Why?"
"For cycles afterward, Moya and I expected to be decommissioned by the Builders. But perhaps they understood that there comes a time when you can no longer run."