[ rpb ] shield [ danny ] [ night of ash .002 ]

  • characters: danny cook
  • general location: s.h.i.e.l.d. academy facility, undisclosed location.
  • specific location: archive & resource room A-2, upper east sector, sub-level 3
  • timeframe: 11:00 PM, June 13th, 2014
  • general notes: Part 2 / ? of the Night of Ash 

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09 May 20140 Notes

[ loneliness in familial contracts ] [ course assignments ]

Although a relationship isn’t exactly a contract it can often feel like one and to me there is no truer relationship that represents that than the one a person has with their family. Many claim that these contracts are inextricable from one because they are bound in blood and written in genealogy. We are born into them and, by following the vein of the previous statement, forever linked to individuals that carry one of our surnames, similar genetic coding and that particular mole on your nose (a beautiful inheritance from some ancestor or other). Writing about a family relationship as a contract creates a mental structure where distance grows between members of the family which results in, at the very least, recognition of loneliness. You are distancing the relationship, made up of experiences and interactions, and devaluing it in a way. It’s an emotional and social form of disinheriting those who have been connected since they first took a breath in the world.

From the way I’ve described it I want it to be clear that this conceptualization of family relationships as contracts is one I use (nearly daily). Socially distancing myself from people I consider both toxic and hazardous to my own health (mental and emotional) is not an easy thing to explain; this last is particularly hard in a culture that advocates that the family is a unit and no matter how insane an uncle you have, how greedy a cousin, your family is your family. Blood trumps every bad act, ill inclined comment and judgment that comes up in those relationships. For me I both think and feel that this is wrong but perhaps it’s because my mother is the only woman in a house full of brothers and out of all of them the person with the largest (metaphorical) nuts. While she adheres largely to having to deal with family that is both harmfully gossipy and financially corrupt because ‘family is family’ she does have a breaking point; this is how I learned that people draw lines in the sand. Like a friendship a family relationship can only give you so much when there is such dissimilarity to be found between the members of that relationship. Loneliness then, in this sense, isn’t a lack of a content or meaningful relationship but rather an interesting one but is that right to say? Is it fair to evaluate that familial contract with that of a friendship? Should we cut an uncle out because we have views that are far too diverted to say anything more than ‘Bendiciones’ and ‘Ah, el coquito esta bueno estas navidades, verdad?’.

You can think of this as cold and calculating but I have experience to draw on: uncles that only call for money, aunts that judge you for not visiting even when you have legitimate (and largely academic) reasons, cousins that tease with words that are silly to them and hurtful to you. I find that the loneliness then is the sad recognition that I must cut these people off before they hurt me and before they ask of me much more than I could let myself give. The loneliness comes the moment I realize that their judgments upon my refusal to help them won’t be as easy to let go of as ignoring their calls is. It creeps up on you when you sit down and consider the people you’ve seen on a periodic holiday centered basis, the people you grew up with, aren’t worth a sliver of your attention but their thoughts and opinions on you still cut like sharpened knives. I think then that familial contracts have a particular clause no one likes to consider and much less talk about: the loneliness clause; the one that states the following:

In the event of the termination of this contract the party that causes said termination will be subjected to emotional, social and mental discomfort in the form of: pondering, anxiety, disappointment, alienation and inferiority. The effects of these are indefinite in terms of time and can only be followed by years of therapy, confiding in other close relationships and hobbies. Even so the effects of these may last a lifetime and the existence of these will never be erased.

[ rpb ] shield [ iosif ] [ night of ash .001 ]

  • characters: iosif wright
  • general location: s.h.i.e.l.d. academy facility, undisclosed location.
  • specific location: south-west tower - male student dormitory
  • timeframe: 11:00 PM, June 13th, 2014
  • general notes: Part I / ? of the Night of Ash 

Artificial light blurs his vision the moment he turns the phone over. The background for the lock-screen is a snapshot of the collection of misfits he’s gathered during his time at the Academy. Iosif  doesn’t like wishing ill on his friends but there’s a big desire to punch one of them in the arm—because the glaring screen also reveals that it is 11:14 in the goddamn evening the night before his goddamn training session just a few days off from a new goddamn mission.

    “God damn it,’ He appropriately curses. Ignoring the cause for the phone lighting up (‘3 New Mssgs!’), he flips the phone over again becoming engulfed in the darkness of the room. Iosif sinks into his pillow, sheets loosely placed over his shoulders like a cape, and mind dragging along with him. He is slowly edging towards the goal of a dreamless sleep.

Dreaming is always hard before missions, and impossible after them. There’s rarely a time—maybe a few days—in-between those two instances where he can truly escape everything. That changes in two seconds and he will no longer have a dreamless sleep for the night—nor for any nights in the future.

First, the bed frame shakes, and so does the nearby desk, and so do the books and picture frames on it. The other bed—currently devoid of a roommate to fill it (a situation he won’t think about if he can help it)—the door to the bathroom, the windows. Everything shakes with the sudden echoing BOOOOM that has Iosif sitting up right almost instantly. His body, trained to move for such an ocassion of possible danger, reaches and pulls open the door before his mind can.

He’s not the only one. The shaking has stopped and students across from him, up and down the hall open their doors. Boys of various ages, some as young as seven and as old as twenty-two, live in the south-west towers. There are murmurs of curiosity. One turns back into his room with an angry huff, and when the door slams shut behind him the shaking starts up again. The hallway quakes, and the overhead lights flicker on and off with the continuous BOOM BOOOM BOOOOM. 

     Iosif’s fingers turn white as he grips the edge of the door. The others in the hallway are screaming and shouting—he sees one boy fall to the floor. The lights are completely off by the time its over.

     ”Think it’s a drill?”
     ”God—they’re really goin’ for it this time.”
     ”Yo, you ok?”
     ”Is it—like can we—”


Iosif pulls himself together enough for a glance back into his room, which has become half-flooded with light from his television set. The Academy’s logo—which is actually the S.H.I.E.L.D emblem—plays on screen with the same message and the same voice reading it aloud. A lump of dread rises into his throat as he takes a moment to listen. Any evacuation plans categorized below a ten are deemed are usually close to catastrophic. Iosif knows this from the manuals, the classes and training. When he looks out into the hallway there’s another boy,  with light blond hair and strong chin, that catches his eye. His face is full of the ill look of someone who knows. A few other boys do too, now that Iosif looks for that ill over the growing crowd of boys; and although he hates that sort of confirmation it also means he’s not alone in dealing with this. 

      “What’s—What’s going on?”

"Alright," Iosif calls out into the hallway. "You," He points to the blond boy. "You, and you," Two others. "With me. Everyone please go down and out through the western entrance or southern courtyard."

After a few tense moments of silence he gives a loud, “Today!Move, move, move!

The sound of their stomping feet is too much for Iosif’s voice and so he retreats into his room again, but not before signaling to those he singled out first.

"Is it really….what it’s supposed to mean?" The boy with the blond hair says.
"Whadda ya mean what’s it supposed to mean?" A shorter, stockier boy asks as he pulls on a pair fo slippers—the act is almost ridiculous but it has Iosif reaching into a cupboard for a hoodie in a moment.
"Um—There’s lots of evac stuff. For some floors or some buildings and they all have numbers. Anything below a double digit is pretty much for everyone. Students and teachers.” The blond boy says quickly; the other pales.
"W-We’re under…attack, actually." This new boy, with spiky black hair half-dyed purple, chips in—the three others watch him walk in as others rush past behind him. ‘I can…Here. I can see it. Gimme your hands."

The others hesitate, until Iosif offers his. When he does his vision surges. No time stops, it just continues, and everything is a blur until he sees the shaky sight—people running all around on a field. The field is green and it takes Iosif a second to realize its grass, but he can’t focus on the grass because his vision is moving. Up to where bright lights are being cast down. The vision jerks to the left and figures in black run towards him. Iosif gasps as he’s pulled out of the vision, and the boys in front of him are holding onto him tightly so he doesn’t fall over.

"Sorry, that kid—-I think they got ‘er." Iosif doesn’t let go of the boy’s hand as he nods.
He allows himself a shudder and then breathes in. When he breathes out, “We’re wasting time. Your names and powers, and then a quick plan. Mine’s—”
"Iosif—Yeah, we’re…in Roger’s class together. I’m Jeff. " The blond says with a soft smile. "Hand blasts." 
"Ye-won. Call me Jay. Visual linking." The boy Iosif held hands with half-smiles.
"Iosif. Ferrokinesis."
"Camden—sound blasts. Joseph?." The stocky kid stands by the door as the hallway starts thinning out a bit.
Io-sif, ok, so we got a plan, man, or what? Shit, should we have to?”
"Alpha-Beta-Four is an expected casualty situation. I’m going to say this once: you stay and help or you go and do what you want. I’m not—"
"Nah, man. I’m in." He’s surprised by how the stocky boy smiles, and the dimples on his cheeks give him an odd air; it’s the combination with the eyes: a picture of innocence with a harsh look. He’s a fighter.

7 Deadly Sins of Novel Writing.


SIN #1: Low Stakes

SIN # 2: Counterfeit Characters

SIN # 3: Missing the Mark on Voice & POV

SIN #4: Plot Snafus

SIN #5: Flat Wordsmithing

SIN #6: Dialogue Disaster

SIN #7: Too Much Information

BONUS SIN: Disappointing The Reader

[ shield academy ] [ character —> valencia soto ]

  • CHARACTERS: Valencia S., Keera T., Belle T. 
  • GENERAL LOCATION:  S.H.I.E.L.D, Undisclosed Location
  • SPECIFIC LOCATION(S): North Tower &, later,  South Entrance
  • TIME FRAME:  JUNE 14TH - JUNE 15TH, 2014
  • GENERAL NOTES: Valencia pretty much listens to no one—much less her own wants or desires—but there’s something about running off to nearly die that makes her want to ensure all her ‘business’ is in order. Keera is not amused (and rightly so).
  • SIDE NOTES:  OH MY GOD. DIOS SANTO, LO QUE HE PARIDO.  Google translate that, because I can’t even—this took most of my day and lots of different songs, which I will happily list to you, but damn. I’m proud of this one.


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[ shield academy ] [ character —> valencia soto ]

  • CHARACTERS:  Valencia S., Aurum S.
  • SPECIFIC LOCATION(S): Undisclosed. 
  • GENERAL NOTES: Valencia hasn’t seen her son in over two years—that doesn’t mean she can’t own him three ways to Sunday.
  • SIDE NOTES: The name Aurum means glowing dawn—it is a reference to the situation surrounding Valencia finding her son. He uses vibration emissions. Requested by KC. Aurum’s FC: Michale B. Jordan. 

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