I actually have a lot of thoughts on this! I think they’re meant to basically be AIs but, like, AIs learn. They adapt and streamline and tailor responses based on past feedback. 

As with anything, though, they can sometimes get carried away. And so I figure like for real AIs, some of the recommended maintenance would probably involve manually going in and removing problematic or malformed code, where they’ve accidentally been conditioned the wrong way or drawn faulty conclusions from insufficient data or whatever. Many droid owners would be haphazard about this, and others would be sort of overzealous, deleting anything that makes the droid too contrary. But I feel like good droid owners, like Poe, would be a little more tolerant of eccentric habits and the like, and would more patiently try to redirect them, rather than pruning them. So some of the more cantankerous and ancient droids, and really feisty ones like BB-8, have these very organic personalities. (And the overzealously pruned ones probably wind up just as idiosyncratic, but not nearly so adorably or predictably so.)

Poe actually has worked out a number of things with BB that are camoflaged as him being overindulgent, but actually serve him exceptionally well in many circumstances; he often fakes arguments with BB, and BB pretends not to understand him, and they make everyone think they’re being cute when really they’re probably doing some pretty hardcore espionage. 

(The idea of BB-8′s loyalty subroutine, specifically, comes from a photo and caption in I think the Star Wars Visual Dictionary or something, that’s been going around Tumblr, but I just sort of extrapolated from there.)

Poe’s over-the-top care for his astromech is going to wind up being Plot-Significant, I am determined to make that work. 
Ha haa glad to help.

I got through as much of my work as I could post-haste, and skedaddled. Here at home I have a heating pad and a bunch of tincture of cramp bark I made like, months ago, and it’s knocked it down to manageable levels– I even managed to start a load of laundry and clean the cat’s litter box. I highly recommend cramp bark if you can get your hands on some, but like most herbal remedies, it’s really annoying because you can’t just like carry it around in your purse and take a pill once symptoms start. You gotta get high-proof vodka and steep it for three months and then filter it and then keep it somewhere, and you gotta put a few drops at a time into a glass of juice and it’s intensely bitter and kind of gross and you need to take a bunch of drops of it and I just literally poured myself a huge glass of juice and dumped in about ¾ of an ounce because I felt so wretched. So my feeling better at this point is more likely down to the vodka than anything else. (Well. The vodka and the heated seats in my car before that, most likely.)

I’m sure you can make this stuff with other methods but it tastes so ass-nasty I just wouldn’t want to deal with tea made from it. 

Apparently painful cramps aren’t *supposed* to be universal? It’s not just supposed to happen? But literally no research has ever really been done on it so we don’t know why it’s so goddamn common? 

I don’t even know, man. I just don’t. I’ve probably got 20 years to menopause so I’ll just have to deal. 
Tintypes don’t record light the same way we’re used to film doing. The emulsions were markedly different– up until I think about the 1940s-50s black and white film didn’t respond to red light at all, and just recorded it as black. No, later than that– if you’ve seen the picture set going around of the Addams Family set, in color, it was all shades of pink and black because red would’ve just blended in with the black!

Which partly makes my point. If you take a photo with a modern camera and a “mid-1800s camera lens!!” and then use a modern Instagram or Photoshop filter to convert it to monochrome, it’s going to do so based on a totally different set of criteria than what was used to actually record images in monochrome when that was the state of the art technology. 

And in the case of those photos I was ranting about, sepia-tint– that’s almost entirely what people use as shorthand for “old-fashioned”, but sepia wasn’t particularly popular at any point in history, it’s just that monochrome images on old media that yellows, like paper, are going to look sepia-toned. They’re not. Ambrotypes, cyanotypes– they were all artifacts of using different media to capture monotones. 

And they’re all much different than just going into Photoshop and going image–>mode–>grayscale. 

I’m not saying that modern digital-based photographers don’t work their asses off, both in setting up and capturing actual images, and in post-processing them afterward. The amount of work necessary hasn’t really gone down because the bar has been raised– you used to hand over a wedding album of like 100 prints after a professional job, having exposed probably 150-250 images in total during the actual event, but nowadays it’s routine to give a bride 500-1000 proofs for her to choose which 100 to bind into an album (and those 1000, you’ve winnowed down from the probably 3000 you took). (and yes it’s almost always the bride)

But it’s just different, and while there’s no real harm in artistically evoking the mystique of a bygone era by making an image take on the appearance of having been taken with now-defunct technology, it’s really not at all the same as having used said technology to actually expose an image. 

And this is why, to conclude on a hopeful note, many high schools still teach their smartphone-wielding teenagers black-and-white film photography, even as it becomes increasingly difficult to source the materials and chemistry. Because nothing makes you really understand a medium better than learning the limitations it has expanded beyond.
I have a pretty big disconnect between real life and fiction life, as I think isn’t uncommon. I’m totally down with polyamory and actually generally experience an apparently uncommon freedom from sexual jealousy in my life so I’d probably be pretty well suited to it, but despite being sex-obsessed, when it comes down to it I don’t actually have an impulse to actually touch most other humans. I experience romantic attraction a lot more than sexual attraction. It might be a lack of practice, I’ve been in an exclusive monogamous relationship for 15 years with the same person, but even before that I was never very good at wrapping my head around the actual touching-people bits of relationships. 

Which might be TMI but I feel like it’s relevant to my creative processes. And I gotta say, my last big fandom was Stargate:Atlantis, and I wrote a pretty strongly demisexual John Sheppard. It’s not like there’s no excellent poly shipping in that fandom, but I just never got those vibes from him. He’s so damaged, he’s so withdrawn, he’s so incredibly closed-off, and in canon despite being superficially flirty he is so very, very honestly chaste. 

So uh. Everyone is poly because Avengers. That’s really what it is. I guess I’m amused by it; I used to worry when I was writing SG:A that I was projecting and henceforth all my characters would be demisexual and I’d never get the hang of diversity on that spectrum. So– not that demi and poly are actually mutually exclusive! Natasha might be demi, as I write her; she uses sex as a tool and a weapon and rarely actually *desires* it, and is confused when she does with James and with Steve. (And in the choice-bullet series, I have a half-written sequel where she figures out that she’s got really confusing feelings for Sam too.)
Oh oh oh this made me go back thru my Giant Scrivener Doc O’ Fanfic and find the thing I remember as my earliest foray into this fandom, after TWS came out and I was like OH MY GODDDDDDD (as so many people were), and I found a gem, a real gem, that has never been incorporated into anything. This is the abortive first flailings of my getting into this fandom. 


This is for you. 

— “Can you tell us a little about what Captain America is like as a person?” the woman asked, smiling with a lot of teeth, shoving a microphone at Natasha’s face.

Sam grimaced, actually physically tensing to prepare for what would happen when Natasha thigh-choked and flipped the woman, but Natasha just pushed the microphone back slightly with her palm, steadied it, and smiled dangerously.

“He’s very nice,” she said. The woman had noticed Sam’s facial acrobatics, and his unwittingly skeptical look now, and turned her attention on him.

“Are you a friend of his?” the woman asked, predatory, moving the microphone over to Sam.

“Sure am,” Sam said easily, but he was sort of annoyed; c’mon, there weren’t a lot of black dudes who flew around New York with actual wings, it was pretty rich that nobody ever recognized him.

“Can you tell us anything unexpected?” the woman asked. “What about Captain America would you least expect?”

“He cusses like a sailor when he doesn’t think anybody’s listening,” Sam said, counting off on his fingers. “That’s number one. Number two, he will not put his damn smartphone down for anything. If it’s not texts, he’s Tweeting, he’s playing games on it, he’s— oh my God he beat my Flappy Bird score, I was so mad—“

“State secrets,” Natasha said.

“Oh,” Sam said, “oh, and this girl, oh, you know I think she actually beat Flappy Bird, I can’t even. I just— I can’t even, y’know?”

“That’s classified,” Natasha said, and now the woman was looking at her again. She hadn’t known who Natasha was either. Man this chick was dumb.

“And number three,” Sam said, drawing the woman’s attention back. “Number three, in the list of things you would not expect about Steve Rogers, is that—“

“Is that he’s standing right behind you,” Steve said, amused. He put an arm around Sam’s shoulders. “What foul lies are you spreading?”

“I told them about the cussing,” Sam said.

“No,” Steve said, laughing, hiding his face behind his hand. “Oh god. My image.”

“You filthy, man,” Sam said.

“I try,” Steve said earnestly to the woman. “I really try not to say bad words. I tried the thing where you put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it! I tried putting a quarter in the swear jar, I tried all of it. It’s just, you know, you stub your toe, are you really, really gonna say jeepers? Phooey! C’mon. I grew up in Brooklyn, we never talked like that.”

“That’s the truth,” Sam commented, slipping easily into the entertaining-sidekick mode for the benefit of the cameras. He’d never been one to Tom it up but for Steve, sometimes, he found himself doing it anyway.

“How come you don’t wanna ask me for secrets about the Falcon?” Steve asked the interviewer, gesturing at Sam. “He’s way cooler than me! He has a jetpack with wings and more actual service-related military decorations than me.”

Sam actually blushed a little, really touched. “You’re a good dude,” he said to Steve.

“Not as good a dude as you,” Steve said, and shook him a little. “I got a secret about the Falcon: he snores.”

“I do not!” Sam exclaimed, batting at Steve’s arm. “Oh! I do not!”

“Like a chainsaw,” Steve said to the interviewer, then laughingly pulled Sam away into the building. “What was your third thing gonna be?” he asked Sam as they went through the door.


“The third thing you were gonna tell her,” Steve said.

“I was gonna tell her you drink milk straight from the carton,” Sam said.

Steve laughed. “It’s my apartment, it’s my refrigerator, I do what I want.”


Steve woke up as Bucky settled onto the bed, kneeling astride his chest, ruthlessly trapping his arms with precisely-placed knees. “Muh,” Steve said, startled but too groggy to react— and too restrained by his instinctive awareness that this was Bucky and sudden motions were out of line. “Whuh?”
Bucky was holding— he was holding a laptop, open, shoving the screen into Steve’s face.
It was a headline. “CAPTAIN AMERICA IS GAY!” it read.
“Is what,” Steve said blankly, focusing with difficulty on the smaller type. Yes, his eyesight was excellent, but he had been awake for six and a half seconds and Bucky was really heavy.
Bucky let out a cackle of laughter. “This is the best one yet,” he said, and stood up, dropping the laptop on Steve’s chest. “This is awesome. Now will you fuck him already?”
Steve shoved himself up on an elbow, rescuing the laptop as it lurched off toward the floor, and read the story. “Caught outside the gala last night on the red carpet, we snagged an interview with two of Steve Rogers’s friends as Captain America signed autographs. Sam Wilson, better known as the Falcon, revealed intimate knowledge of Captain America’s home habits, but the real shocker was when Cap himself returned to the conversation, embracing the Falcon in a definitely more-than-friendly way and telling our surprised correspondent about some of the Falcon’s habits in bed!”
Steve sighed. “Coulson’ll probably want to kill me,” he said, “but honestly, I don’t see the harm.”
“So fuck him,” Bucky said, raw and intense, “for the love of God, you deserve to have something,” and it suddenly wasn’t all that funny, and he was gone.



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