INFO: Coloured art of The Hobbit.
INFO: Coloured art of Smaug and Bard at Laketown.
INFO: Bilbo and thrush on the doorstep.
INFO: Bilbo in Mirkwood.
INFO: Eagles carrying Bilbo, Gandalf, and a dwarf.
(also at http://s-u-w-i.tumblr.com/post/89374904319/eagles-tiny-hobbit-illustration-for-front-side )
INFO: Coloured art of wolves and goblins on the ground, Bilbo and Thorin & Co in the trees.
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin & Co. at Bag End.
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo's front door.
INFO: Coloured art of Smaug spewing flame over Lake-town.
(also at http://transylvanianshipper.tumblr.com/post/142077413636/smaug-over-esgaroth-by-miruna-lavinia )
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo and Thorin & Co. watching the Elves feast.
(also at http://ullathynell.tumblr.com/post/72323579197/elvish-feast-in-mirkwood-2014 )
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo and Thorin & Co. in Mirkwood.
INFO: Coloured art of Gandalf, Bilbo, Thorin & Co., assorted goblins & wolves.
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo and Gollum.
INFO: Coloured art of landscape with dwarves - illustration of the song the dwarves sang in Bilbo's home.
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Bifor, Bofur, and Bombur.
INFO: Coloured art of Bilbo outside Bag End with Gandalf coming up the path.
INFO: Monochrome art of Gollum, Faramir, Frodo, and Sam.
INFO: Coloured art of Merry and Theoden.
INFO: Treebeard with Merry & Pippin.
INFO: Coloured art of Tom Bombadil.
(also at http://ullathynell.tumblr.com/post/26978465857/tom-bombadil-watercolour-pens-markers-image )
INFO: Coloured art of the Shire.
INFO: A hobbit, possibly Frodo, walking at night in the Shire.
INFO: Monochrome art of Edoras.
INFO: The Gates of Argonath.
INFO: Coloured art of Galadriel.
(also at http://artbyanca.tumblr.com/post/127096974054/galadriels-song-gel-pens-on-a4-arhi-design )
INFO: Monochrome art of the Fellowship.
(also at http://s-u-w-i.tumblr.com/post/122881305024/the-fellowship-of-the-ring-front-page-of-our-camp )
INFO: Coloured art of the Hobbits, Aragorn, and Bill the Pony.
INFO: Looking over the Brandywine from the Shire towards the Old Forest with the Barrow-downs in the background.
INFO: Coloured art of Frodo, Pippin, and Sam.
INFO: Sculpture of Gandalf.
INFO: Coloured art of Sam, Merry, and Pippin watching Frodo's ship leave Middle-Earth.
INFO: Coloured art of Merry and Pippin in Isengard.
INFO: Coloured art illustrating Aragorn's song to Gondor.
INFO: Monochrome art of the Fellowship boating down Anduin.
INFO: Coloured art of Galadriel bidding the Fellowship farewell from Lorien.
INFO: Monochrome art of Balin's tomb in the Chamber of Mazarbul in Moria.
INFO: Coloured art of the Fellowship leaving Rivendell.
INFO: Coloured art of Frodo, Sam, and Pippin.
(also at http://ullathynell.tumblr.com/post/26204234106/leaving-hobbiton-mixed-media-painting-image )
QUOTE: "This is likely unnecessary, but I did promise an introduction. Gerard, this is Frank Iero, the pilot responsible for bringing me the data I showed you. Frank, this is Gerard Way, my teaching assistant and colleague."
"I'm not really a colleague," said Gerard. "I'm still working on my dissertation."
"You're getting a doctorate?" Frank asked.
"Yeah. That way I can run my own expedition. Most universities won't let you run one without a PhD." Gerard explained.
"Holy shit, good for you!" Frank exclaimed, and he meant it. Gerard beamed at him.
"We have some business to attend to," Grand said, and gestured for them both to be seated. Once they were, he said, "I've made some progress since we last spoke."
"Okay, hit me." Frank leaned back in his chair and listened.
"We still don't have a team, beyond the three of us, but I have a few leads. Including funding and preservation."
"We'd need lawyers filing paperwork to make sure that companies like Delta Corp can't sneak up on us and jump our claim," Gerard explained to Frank. "So they'll be fighting for us in court while we prove the planet fits all the criteria for further scientific study."
"Which I've been informed shouldn't be too difficult," said Grant.
"How long do we have to prove it?"
"Three months after our initial landing."
"Shit." That didn't sound long to Frank.
"Nah, it's good. Like two plant samples, one water sample and a live animal should be enough," Gerard said to him.
"Okay. But let's say one of those companies decides to say fuck it and ignore the legal mumbo jumbo. It's not like we can fix it once they start tearing the place apart."
"There are defenses for cases like that." Grant pursed his lips together, as though he were thinking. "We can make the planet safe, and make sure that people who aren't supposed to be there, aren't there."
Frank nodded. "Okay. So what's next?"
"I'm working on assembling a crew, as I said. At least for our first trip," Grant replied. "And we're missing a few key players."
"Do you know any doctors that would be good for this?" Gerard asked. Grant looked at him and Gerard mumbled sheepishly, "Doesn't hurt to ask."
"You're right." Said Grant. "I'm ashamed I didn't think of it first. Frank, is there anyone?"
Frank shook his head. "All the people I know who work in engineering or medical are at Delta Corp. And I wouldn't recommend any of them even if they weren't."
"Damn," Grant murmured. "I have a lead on another scientist we can invite, but what we need a mechanic and a doctor."
"Oh! Actually I have a mechanic in mind!" Gerard reminded Grant. "I've got a meeting set up. And Mikey's still looking for doctors who fit the criteria you gave me."
"Mikey's helping?" Frank asked, surprised.
"Yeah. He still knows a billion more people than I do."
"And we can trust him, which in this early stage is very important," Grant concluded.
Frank nodded. "Yeah, that works. What else you gotta do besides all that?"
"I'll be looking at ships in a few weeks," said Grant. "As you'll be the primary pilot, I'd like you to come with me."
"You want me to help you pick out a ship?" Frank asked. He couldn't have been more surprised, since no one of Grant's status had ever taken his opinion seriously before. (55,580 words)
QUOTE: "Cell phone service is really fucking shit up in the mountains, huh?" is the first thing that Gerard hears the next morning.
He blinked a bit stupidly at Frankie, who was sitting at the fancily-but-rough-hewn wooden table and grimacing at his phone. "I was trying to call J," Frank explained, glancing up, "Just wanted to tell her we got here alright. That was, uh, about twenty minutes ago." He shook the phone in his hand, like that might help, and then set it down with distaste. "Fucking technology."
"...right," Gerard said, and then made a beeline for the coffee maker.
"Oh sorry, dude," Frank said behind him and sounding very far away. "I forgot you hadn’t caffeinated."
Gerard was focused on locating the can of coffee beans that he'd brought from his mom's house in Jersey. It turned out to be in stashed in the upper cupboard; Ray or Frank must've been re-organizing them. He took off the lid gratefully, inhaled the delicious caffeine smell, and then went ahead and filled up the carafe.
Frank was suddenly at his elbow, tapping on his arm. "Watch out with that, man," he said. "I was drinking some this morning and the taste is all off. It has extra iron deposits, or something."
Gerard paused, then shrugged. "I'll make it extra-strong," he said, "That'll cover anything."
"As long as you put a label on that shit. Your extra-strong is going to kill us all."
Gerard shrugged again, declining to answer that particular line of reasoning. It wasn't his problem if none of his band had the capillary-fortitude to withstand how strongly he brewed his caffeine. Except for Mikey, who'd been drinking with Gerard since Mom had let them try some of her morning brew. Mikey and him could have a coffee-drinking contest if either of them had an active deathwish at the same time one day.
He paused for a second, remembering his dream, and then turned to Frank with a small frown. "Have you seen Mikey yet?"
"It's only ten, he's probably still passed out."
"Right, right." Gerard opened the cupboard again and contemplated the assortment of cups and mugs, selected one, then poured himself some motivation and sat down beside Frank to drink it.
Frank took a bite out of his toast and jam. "So I was thinking about that riff that Ray and I were telling you about the other day," he said, half of the syllables muffled by the bread in his mouth and crumbs getting everywhere. (10,210 words)
QUOTE: Gerard shook out a cigarette and put it between his lips, then dug in his pocket for a lighter. He came up empty handed. "Do you have -" he started, but Ray already had one hand in his jeans pocket. He leaned forward and cupped his palm around the tip of Gerard's cigarette to light it. Gerard leaned into the motion and his cheeks hollowed as he breathed in. Ray could see the dusting of summer freckles across Gerard's nose. He turned away and blew a stream of smoke into the mild English sunshine. "You sure?"
"Yeah. I just..." Ray turned away from him. It was hard to look Gerard in the face and talk about your feelings - he was too expressive, and too relentlessly sincere. "You remember when you were ready to quit after the first album?"
"Hold up, you're not ready to quit, right?" Gerard put a hand on Ray's shoulder and squeezed, hard and anxious. "We can't replace you, Ray, you -"
"No! No, I'd never quit. I was just thinking about how, like, it could've stopped there."
"Oh." As quickly as he'd been riled up, Gerard settled again. "It would've, if you hadn't talked sense into me." He leaned on Ray's shoulder. That conversation seemed like lifetimes ago - Ray remembered it like an out-of-body experience, like he was watching a movie about himself trying to convince Gerard to keep the band going, sitting there at Elena's kitchen table. "It didn't, though," Gerard continued. "I asked you to save the world with me and you made good on it."
"I don't think the world's totally safe yet, dude." Ray tilted towards Gerard so that they were propped up against each other. "But I don't think I ever thought about us making it this far. And like... It's Maiden. That means it's real."
Gerard laughed, but in a way where Ray knew he wasn't laughing at him. "Far be it from me to, you know, present you with the realities of your station," he said, gesturing vaguely with the hand holding the cigarette. A whorl of smoke curved around his wrist, then away. "But you're the shredding rock god lead guitarist of a pretty important band. Like, I think it's safe to say you're already some kid's Dave Murray."
Ray blushed and squinted out into the sunshine. "Shit," he said. "Yeah, okay."
Gerard ashed onto the concrete. They were warmed by the sun, and by each other, still leaning together like the uneven sides of a pyramid. "And like you said, the world's not saved yet. You've got to make good on that promise." He tilted his head to face Ray - they were very close. Ray could smell Gerard's sweat, ripe with the overtones of tobacco and stale coffee, making his head swim. Gerard smiled. His sudden and vigorous sincerity was overwhelming.
"I'm a man of my word," he said. He blinked owlishly back at Gerard. "I'm here till you tell me not to be."
Gerard's face shifted, going soft, almost pitying. He pressed forward and Ray twitched in alarm, thinking for a brief and horrifying second that Gerard was going to kiss him. His heart hammered in his chest. As often as he'd thought about it, he had no recourse for the actual thing. Instead, Gerard buried his face in Ray's neck, under the cloud of his hair. "Thank you," he said, muffled. Then, "Let's go kick Iron Maiden's ass." (31,420 words)
QUOTE: "We should go," Mikey says, standing by the window. He does this most every night. They live in a rather seedy part of the city known as Mechanic's Corner. Nothing about the location is appealing except for the unobstructed view of the desert beyond the City walls.
Gerard collapses heavily on his bed. He's already exhausted by his long day of work, he's too tired to have this argument with Mikey, again.
"There's too much radiation. Nobody can live out there for long."
"Says who?" Mikey's voice still has that far-away thoughtful quality to it. This hasn't become an argument, yet.
"Says scientists, with degrees."
"Who are employed by the government," Mikey counters.
"Christ, Mikey, don't start."
Mikey turns away from the window. "I have a point and you know it."
"No. No you don't." Gerard tugs at his hair is frustration. "For the thousandth time. This isn't Battery City. The government is not BLI. Life is not a comic book."
"Lots of people would disagree with you," Mikey snaps. "Some of the groups out there even call themselves Killjoys."
Gerard throws his hands out in frustration. "I don't give a flying fuck if they start marching and call themselves The Black Parade, we are not - Wait, how do you know what they're called?"
Mikey looks away. "Never mind."
"Look, the point is that there are people out there who aren't just rolling over for a dictatorial government. There are people who are fighting back."
"Against what?" Gerard asks.
"Against this!" Mikey fires back. "Against a government that's got us in a chokehold. Against a dull, grey world where people are existing, not living. You call this bullshit a life?"
Gerard's anger flares. "This 'bullshit' means a life for Bandit. A safe one where she can achieve something and not just run around a desert wasteland. Where she'll live to be older than I ever will. That is what I care about above all else, you selfish piece of shit."
"What happened to you?" Mikey asks.
"I grew the fuck up," Gerard says. "You should too."
Mikey looks tired all of a sudden. A beat down, worn out tired. He looks a lot like Gerard feels.
"Forget it. Get some sleep."
"Mikey." Gerard puts his hand on Mikey's shoulder, but Mikey brushes it off.
"Just... go to bed, Gee. You need sleep." (26,450 words)
QUOTE: He bent back to his equipment, and they fell into a companionable silence for a while; Rowen watching the eclipse through his telescope as it tracked across the sky, and Ryo mostly watching the forest around them. Soon enough the eclipse began to pass through totality. He got plenty of good shots of the red glow across the face of the moon, and only stopped when he reached the end of his roll of film. Leaning back with a satisfied sigh, for the first time since the eclipse had started he looked at the moon itself without the barrier of the telescope between them.
A sudden electric shock jolted down his spine, a deep chill suffusing his bones. He took a sharp breath, rocking back a step. What the hell? He looked wildly over at Ryo, but Ryo was still staring pensively out into the forest, and didn't seem to have noticed whatever had just happened.
"Did you feel that?" he asked sharply.
"Feel what?" Ryo asked, glancing over. His eyebrows drew down when he got a good look at Rowen. Rowen realized he had his arms crossed across his chest, and he was shivering slightly, even though he knew the night was still warm. Grimacing, he forced himself to relax. If Ryo hadn't felt it, that meant it couldn't have been Dynasty. And if it wasn't Dynasty, then it probably wasn't anything to worry about.
"Nothing. I guess it was just my imagination, sorry," he said. Cautiously, he glanced back up at the eclipse, but the sensation didn't repeat itself. And he was starting to feel better, actually; the warmth of the night seeping back into his bones, the constant buzz of the cicadas steadying him. Whatever had happened, it was fading.
Ryo frowned. "Are you sure?"
Rowen flashed a slightly unsteady grin. "Yeah. It was nothing bad, I just felt kind of dizzy for a second. Hey, I'm pretty tired though - I'm gonna head to bed, alright?" Recalling the reason Ryo had come out, he asked, "You gonna be okay?"
"Yeah." Ryo nodded. "Think I'll stay out a little longer." But the frown stayed on his lips as Rowen packed up his equipment, and his gaze followed Rowen all the way back into the house. (9,770 words)
INFO: Black&white photography and blends of Frank, Gerard, Mikey, and London.
INFO: Coloured art of Gerard, Mikey, Patrick, and others.
INFO: Coloured art of Pete & Patrick.
QUOTE: "What's your situation?"
"Well," Frank started. It was embarrassing, to be honest. "I'm inside the cage, of course, and the allosaurus can't get to me, thank fuck." The allosaurus opened its mouth, displaying teeth designed to tear and rend. It tried to get a good grip on the steel bars, but couldn't fit its head very far between them. It yanked and the cage jerked a few feet across the snowy ground.
About 300 feet away, Frank could see the tundra rover where Brian, Gerard, Ray, Mikey, and their A. arcticus expert, Kenojuak Ashevak, were safely ensconced, away from any allosaurus with big, gnashy teeth. There was a grinding sound, and Frank watched, alarmed, as the allosaurus chewed on one of the thick metal rods that made up walls of the cage.
"I'm safe for now, but it looks like with some effort, the allosaurus can get through the bars." He sat down on the ground and crossed his legs, because his knees were suddenly wobbly.
He could hear Kenojuak talking calmly in the background. "Well, Kenojuak says they can put a lot of pressure behind their bite, so yeah. The cage wasn't made to withstand a determined allosaurus with time on its... uh, claws," Gerard said.
"Ask him what the fuck happened," Brian said. "I swear to God, he told me he hit the mark. "
"I did!" Frank was indignant. "Tell Brian that I did!" (2,290 words)
QUOTE: It had been an impulsive decision, to visit the House of Secrets. Franc's life was too dangerous, too transient, for him to form bonds, and sometimes he just needed to be touched. A craving that he couldn't satisfy with drink, or powder, or the twist of his own slicked hand.
A quick trip to the House, a donation to the Mistress, and a night lost in carnal indulgence. Simple. Quick. Easy.
Franc should have known better; his Luck was never that good.
He couldn't stop thinking about the man, the way he moved, rocking slowly into Franc, making him feel the stretch and pull. The sounds he made when Franc sucked a bruise onto his thigh, the way his fingernails dug into Franc's shoulders to pull him close, *closer*, how he watched Franc's face as he drowned under the sensations trembling through him.
When he closed his eyes, Franc couldn't see anything but the man, laid out under him, strung out by Franc's touch, his face *open*, unashamed and honest. (1,500 words)
QUOTE: He took a moment to try to center himself, concentrating on the nubby texture of the carpet under his bare knees, on the warmth of the room. He'd spent the entire day trapped in meetings in Burbank, trying to hammer out the details for his next comic project. It hadn't gone well, and the tension in his neck and shoulders had spread down to his back. He struggled to let it go, and knew he wouldn't be able to, not without help. "Umbrella."
There was a ripple of laughter from Frank, and Gerard had to fight to keep from smiling back.
"So, Gerard," Grant said, his accent growing more pronounced. "Tell me what it is that you want tonight."
Gerard blushed, heat flooding his cheeks. Grant's fingers were firm on his chin, keeping him from looking away, down, anywhere but at Grant, who waited impassively. "I -" He wanted to squirm away and hide, because there was no way he could say it out loud - "I can't -"
"Shhh." Grant pressed his thumb to Gerard's mouth. "We'll help you. Frank, the flogger." (3,000 words)
QUOTE: Gerard beams at the camera. "So, like, pineapple is a major export for the people who live around here, and we came here to learn about how they grow them. It's *beep*ing..." Gerard makes a horrified face. "It's *really* hard work. And most of the time they hardly get any money for it, it all goes to like the grocery stores and big importers and shhtuff like that. You should buy fair trade." He nods.
A voice off camera asks tightly if he's learned anything else.
"Oh," Gerard waves his hands at the plants behind them. "Yeah, definitely. Plants are *amazing*, like, there's this smell when the rain comes when it's been really su... AHRG!"
There's a flying blur and Gerard falls over. A flash of thigh as he goes makes it clear that his overalls are short-shorts and then there's a lot of snickering and a lot of bleeping. Eventually Frank stands up, a smear of mud down his face.
"We also learned that the Portuguese word for pumpkin is abóbora."
The voice off camera, which sounds like it's very close to swearing, asks Frank why they learned that.
"Because I grow pumpkins." He grins. (1,150 words)
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