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for A Shield of Man

17h c51 75X59
This was brilliantly done. Peter was just a riot and the Tywin commanded the chapter after he entered was epic. And I'm just really intrigued and curious on who killed Joffrey. The Night Queens or some other threat lurking within?
20h c51 41Miki-chan13
I could have gone without Miles blabbing about his friends' sex lives in front of their teachers TvT

That said, I have somes theories on what made Littlefinger knife Joffrey:

1. Not!Joanna bewitched him in a new manner, using him as a sleeper agent.

2. (and this is more outlandish) Cersei developed a second personality that hungers only for power through her getting mutant powers increasing stress and is the one who psychically manipulated Littlefinger.

Cersei: I loved Joffrey...

Psylocke: But that didn't stop me from doing what needed to be done.
Cersei: Wait, you...
Psylocke: Yes, you silly thing. Finally remember me?
Cersei: You- you're the one who killed my baby! Where have you been?!
Psylocke: In your reflection. (chuckles) I live here.
Cersei: No, I live here!
Psylocke: No-ho-ho-ho, you're only squatting.
Cersei: But wait, if I'm you then that means... I killed my son? But I didn't want him to die!
Psylocke: Who are you trying to fool? He never listened to you, he always called you weak and foolish and hysterical even though you're his mother and the queen!
Cersei: I didn't like any of that.
Psylocke: He was going to replace you first with that unnatural girl, and then with that Tyrell tramp! Make that prophecy come true!
Cersei: I definitely didn't want that.
Psylocke: And that's why... he had to die.
Cersei: ... you're right. I suppose I should thank you.
Psylocke: YES I THINK A THANK YOU IS IN ORDER!
Cersei: Well, thank you.
Psylocke: YOU'RE WELCOME! Now, let's get to business.
Cersei: And that is?
Psylocke: Amassing PROPER power.
Cersei: And then?
Psylocke: No idea... but it's going to be a hell of a ride.
(beat)
Littlefinger/Varys/Spiders/Natasha: Okay Jesus Christ I don't know what's going on here.

(Okay the above is a bit crackish, but it's Cersei can you blame me?)
6/26 c51 Guest
It was the vigilante problem all over. Often times, the police would go after vigilantes, as opposed to the actual criminals. It was basic logic. Vigilantes didn’t want to hurt the cops, they just wanted to stop the criminals, and they were usually solitary, or working in small groups. The cops could go after them with minimal fear of retaliation. The gang-members, however, would not only not hesitate to attack and kill police, but there were enough of them that they could actually fight the police. Thus, instead of upholding the law and going after the large numbers of criminals, the police protected them to keep the status quo and protect themselves, breaking their oath, and telling themselves that the vigilantes were also criminals, so they were technically doing the right thing.

That worked, right up until the vigilantes couldn’t be taken in easily, and then things occasionally balanced themselves out, but usually escalated. The police had gotten used to the criminals, so could ignore them, but the vigilante’s were new, and reminded them that they weren’t doing their jobs, so had to be removed

The objective of heroism is to reduce the total suffering in the world. Reductionist, I know, but ultimately it is the only reason one seeks to perform acts of heroism, in a general sense. This is why offering your life in exchange for others' is considered the ultimate form of heroism in many ways; by taking that suffering onto yourself and then dying, you destroy suffering for several people. Soldiers who throw themselves on grenades are considered the greatest of heroes, for they willingly throw away the joy in their future to save their friends.

Does this hold true when you force another to take that bullet? Or if there is only one person who will die? How about scale; ten for a hundred? Ninety-nine for a hundred? If half-but-one of the world threw themselves willingly to their death to save the other half-and-one, would that be in line with the ideal of heroism?

If you knew that ten people would die - were absolutely certain of it - unless you killed half, would you? With the assurance, the absolute certainty, that none would ever know? That those five survivors would go on to live happy, fruitful lives? Would you cut those throats?

As the specific case introduces complexities, the answer becomes more difficult. At what point do you become a machine; at what point does the cold calculus of life wash away the urge to reduce suffering in the world?

This is why heroism, in reality, never goes smoothly. Reality is made of specific cases, and for every grenade jumped on, there are ten cases of ten lives to cut short. Reality is constructed of complexities; therefore, simple ideals cannot survive.

One must compromise; take away from the beautiful ideal of heroism in order to best fit it to reality. Or one will suffer, and all too likely, break.

According to Beautia Sivana, in the early 20th century, Sivana was one of the most brilliant and promising of the young scientists of Europe. Idealistic and naive, he encountered endless rejection for his world-bettering inventions and mankind-improving schemes, from cynical politicians and crony industrialists who liked the world just the way it was. Finally penniless, outcast, and half mad, the widowed scientist gathered his two tiny children, boarded a rocketship of his own creation, and withdrew to the planet Venus. There amid the overwhelming dangers of the fierce jungle planet, he raised his children to young adulthood

“They have to look like they’re good, but that’s true of a lot of gangs. There’s a reason they mostly start as neighborhood protection groups, usually from other gangs, or just because Law Enforcement refuses to do their jobs,” “They can go bad, and usually do, but a lot of them do help out the people in their territory even after that point, and so the people cover for them, not just out of fear of retaliation, if they don’t.”

“While an unfortunate comparison, given some of their actions I have been made aware of, that is not inaccurate. It might be closer to say that the Protectorate are ultimately a governmental organization, and those tend to dislike non-governmental bodies infringing their area of responsibility, their ‘territory’ if you will. Following the law, they would be constrained, but this is a case of ‘who watches the watchman?’”

life is like a game of chess."

"What? I hope you aren't saying that people are pieces in that game?"

"Nothing so callous."

"Then?"

"Imagine this: you are the player in a game of chess. You have set of pieces you can move but you can only move them in a certain predetermined way when it is your turn to play them. The amount and quality of your pieces and the state of the board is also already predetermined. If you are born poor in Africa then you get a very shitty board with few poor quality pieces. You main gain more pieces and they can upgrade in quality and the board may change. All depending on how and when you move your pieces. You may gain riches and a good life or you may end up being eaten by Moord Nag's beast."

"Alright, I can see it. You are proposing a limited… well that a very limited amount of free will exists."

"Yes. But the scenario isn't over. A game of chess isn't complete without an adversary. That adversary, however, is ever changing and sometimes unknown and its pieces mutable as is his side of the board. If you want I can personify that adversary. That is Chaos."

"So, let me see if I understand: you are stating that there is no such thing as a collective free will. Only a type of personal free will exists, but that free will is extremely limited both by events outside of your control but also by other wielders of personal free will, whose own decisions might or might not impact, either directly or indirectly, your own decisions and their consequences. Therefore, only an extremely small amount of free will actually exists

people have an endless ability to rationalize themselves. They could twist their thoughts around so that repugnant things done by their own tribe, party or group became acceptable, because they could tell themselves that the other side was worse, or that the people that those things had been done to deserved what they'd gotten.

People would vote against their own interests because they wouldn't want the good things they would receive to go to the enemy.

Front lines are not the same as living under oppression with boot on your throat

Fine words from a man watching the misery and rot from up high in his gleaming tower. Senseless? Tis the simplest thing in the world to understand! The people would rather die than continue to live under the cruelty and mindless deprivations of their oppressors, and as you can see, their oppressors would rather die than relinquish their power and their sadistic pleasures. This is the desperation your law has sown. You have some nerve, acting surprised that the reaper has come

If you can sacrifice an innocent for a nation can you sacrifice a nation for an innocent

If you don't champion individual human rights do you have the right to call yourself a democratic republican

Some think the greatest right of all is the right not to get involved

Sometimes politics takes its revenge on those who belittle it

If you only stick to your principles when they're convenient to you you're amoral but if you stick to them regardless of the suffering of others you're worse

Glorification/romanticize pirates/gangsters/spies/warlords/murder hobos/ conmen-corporate/politician steal research claim it's yours, quacks

"That eight hundred mil right there? They're why we do what we do."

Ah, someone who gets Dredd

Exactly. A thing that some writers, and a lot of fans, miss when talking about Dredd is that he is a True Believer in the Law and his Duty (caps intentional). He's not in it for breaking heads, he's not in it to look cool, he doesn't care (much) about material things, because he is all about Duty and Service. That is why he keeps his boots so tight.

And that's why he comes down ten times as hard on crooked judges as he does on regular perps.

Life in MC-1 ain't easy. Desperate people make bad decisions, there's consequences.

But Judges are - should know better. Do better. Be better. Or they become no more than tyrants and thugs.

(I mean, by modern standards Judges already are authoritarian tyrants, but there's still a sliver of distinction and even though it's hard to see from our perspective, Dredd can see the line right clear and he refuses to cross it.)

Honestly, in a place like Megacity One, the Judges are necessary. It's a TERRIBLE place. It makes Gotham look like a peaceful little hamlet.
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No they aren't

Every single last one of the Judges are all literal psychopaths

That's the point

Judge Dredd is a satire of how the justice system is and always has been absolute garbage from the moment it came into existence right up until the present day and the world is a fucking lunatic asylum. The Judges are all absolute psychotics, including Dredd. And so is everyone else.

If they were all literally psychopaths, they'd turn on each other. They just seem psychopathic to us because they live in a gigantic city filled with millions of people. People who do things like get genetic tampering to look like sharks for business ventures or have surgery to triple the size of their noses. It's enough to drive anyone crazy. Sad fact is that most of the Judges have the same amount of empathy as anyone else in the world. It just isn't much.

Exactly, and they are trusted with immense amounts of power and privilege, because they, supposedly, have the ability to make smarter decisions than the average citizen. If they can't, or won't, then they should not be in that position. And that is where Dredd comes in. It is a horrible, horrible, system, laden with unfairness, but Dredd aims to make the unfairness and horror as equally applied as he can, because at least that way it is survivable. Dredd-verse motto: You can probably, technically, meet the definitions of survivability if you try real hard.

The reason that the rich were so rich...was because they managed to spend less money.

"Take boots, for example. He earned $38 a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost $50. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about $10.

"Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

"But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford $50 had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in 10 years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet."

This was Capt. Samuel Vimes' boots theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

The boots theory may seem obvious, but many people fall victim to its trap.

The wealthy, who have access to capital and disposable income, can make decisions with their money that leave them richer and better off.

One of my favorite examples is the simple task of doing laundry. Wealthy people can afford high-efficiency modern machines and bulk-purchased, good-quality laundry detergent. They own their own machines, and the cost per load is minimal over the lifetime of any good washer and dryer.

The poor? They spend hours lugging their laundry to a laundromat and even more time waiting for the machines to finish. They can't afford to buy in bulk, so they often end up buying small packets of detergent at huge markups. They pay a lot per load, and they can't do it at home.

Wealthy individuals might not see doing laundry at home as a luxury, but the time and money saved are significant. If you can afford the price — and you have the room at home — a washing machine can save you hundreds of dollars every year, as well as many hours of your time.

When I do laundry at home, I typically spend about 95% of the total load cycle time doing something else worthwhile like cooking, cleaning or working. If you add up all of the hours in a year that I gain from having access to my own machines, it's easy to see why it's cheap to be rich and it's expensive to be poor.

When spending more makes sense
Cars are another obvious example. If you can't afford a car with a good warranty, you can easily pay two or three times the sticker price in repairs and emergency towing. A reliable new car is cheaper to maintain and considerably less likely to break down.

Capt. Vimes from Discworld knew that he should buy the good boots, but he simply couldn't afford them. This problem can be delayed by access to credit, but it's not the solution — nor should it be. Those with less immediate access to money can make their lives easier with proper use of credit, budgeting, personal savings and frugal purchasing.

When you can afford to spend your money in a way that saves you money later, you are much better off.

Unions can do a lot, to be honest, and different types are specialized towards different goals. Though, most of the differences are blurred these days," he explained, a hint of a grin tugging at his lips. "Labor unions are primarily based around securing better pay, benefits, and working conditions for the employees of large business, such as auto manufacturers. They rely primarily on collective bargaining and the threat of strikes to achieve their goals. Craft and profession unions are more mutual support networks offering job placement, contracts, collective health and retirement benefits, and legal support to members. This form works best for people who are largely contractors and subcontractors. Public unions are essentially labor unions for people working in the public sector, primarily in government jobs. The last type, political unions, focus primarily on supporting political candidates to enact certain legislation and reforms, especially as it impacts working conditions, industrial regulation, and labor laws. These days, though, almost all unions engage in some sort of political lobbying."

Too much work can be as bad or even worse than no work and not just over time

The objective of heroism is to reduce the total suffering in the world. Reductionist, I know, but ultimately it is the only reason one seeks to perform acts of heroism, in a general sense. This is why offering your life in exchange for others' is considered the ultimate form of heroism in many ways; by taking that suffering onto yourself and then dying, you destroy suffering for several people. Soldiers who throw themselves on grenades are considered the greatest of heroes, for they willingly throw away the joy in their future to save their friends.

Does this hold true when you force another to take that bullet? Or if there is only one person who will die? How about scale; ten for a hundred? Ninety-nine for a hundred? If half-but-one of the world threw themselves willingly to their death to save the other half-and-one, would that be in line with the ideal of heroism?

If you knew that ten people would die - were absolutely certain of it - unless you killed half, would you? With the assurance, the absolute certainty, that none would ever know? That those five survivors would go on to live happy, fruitful lives? Would you cut those throats?

As the specific case introduces complexities, the answer becomes more difficult. At what point do you become a machine; at what point does the cold calculus of life wash away the urge to reduce suffering in the world?

This is why heroism, in reality, never goes smoothly. Reality is made of specific cases, and for every grenade jumped on, there are ten cases of ten lives to cut short. Reality is constructed of complexities; therefore, simple ideals cannot survive.

One must compromise; take away from the beautiful ideal of heroism in order to best fit it to reality. Or one will suffer, and all too likely, break.

So some lived up to noblesse oblige and chivalry it doesn't make hereditary aristocracy any less despicable

When Dresden was bombed innocents died
6/26 c51 Guest
Well I now know your dirty secret: you watch Ducktales. I am kidding. It says more about me that I recognized the quote. Excellent chapter as usual.
6/28 c51 Redfox616
Okay good chapter, as usual.

Damn, Myles, show the tiniest bit of decorum.

Excited to see how things play out with Tommen.

I've been doing a bit more research on the books, and recently came across Jeyne Poole. I certainly hope she has it better here than in the books.
6/28 c51 15Vanessa Masters
I'm with Nat, they could all be in Sanger, whatever or whoever controlled little finger is there still.

_

"Miles…" Gwen threatened.

"The walls of that manse are super thin," Miles said. "And my bedroom is next to Petyr's."

"…oh god," Gwen said, her face going scarlet while Petyr shrank down against the cot.

""Yes Petyr! There! There!'" Miles said in a high pitch voice. "And don't tell me you were just wrestling because unless I missed the move that involved shoving a dick in your-"

"MILES!" Everyone shouted at him.

"I don't get the big deal," Miles said with a shrug as he removed the bottom part of his costume, bending over to grab a towel and wrapping it around his waist. "She's flowered and you know they are going to get married…"

"Miles…" Gwen warned again.

"I'm just saying that marriage is stupid. You love someone but you can't show them how much you love them without doing some ceremony in a big ugly building with a fat old man who will never get his dick sucked telling you that it's okay to now fuck each other? Literally eveyr other being in existence is able to stick the grossest part of their body into the grossest part of someone else's body… the Seven must be fucking perverts if they need to get in on the action and get offended if they aren't invited." He rolled his eyes. "I mean, come on! It's like the whole bastard thing… you really think a few magic words makes someone more sane and kind? Please."

"Could we not talk about this?" Petyr asked meekly.

_

Pffft. Oh lord.

No! Peter, why!?

Oh dear, well, Tywinn is...composed for now.
6/27 c51 1W8W
Nice chapter.
As you started from this so will I.
Petyr and Gwen having sex don’t bother me and there was some funny jokes. I also want to ask how old they are because in medieval times age for marriage (and sex) was 14 for boys and 12 for girls. This mask is even less of a problem for me.

Talk after boat disaster is very different from movie which is well justified by different characters relations. I especially like part where they say why they are doing this. They also take critic way better because it was easier to swallow. We also have official beginning of alliance.

Water bucket was good joke.

Situation after king assassination is obviously tense. You did excellent job in showing how close they are to chaos and how much work take for things to not turn into war. Jon is much better in reading game but I wonder if he did not make mistake about being hostage. I am under assumption that Tywin like him too much and find him to useful to squander him for something like that.

Now for something unrelated with this chapter. Assuming that John would become king and still use small council system who would be there?
Natasha seam as excellent candidate for Master of whisperers because of combination of competence and trustworthiness. All of them must be trustworthy but this role is hardest in my opinion for this quality.
Tony for Master of coin?
Bruce as Grand Maester despite not being Maester?
I don't have idea for others.
6/27 c51 17Ander Arias
Yeah, guess you made a good reason for the Spiders to oppose Vulture raiding that ship, given the trail of corpses they leave behind. And given Jon's history, it's obvious that he wouldn't be as eager as Tony to stop Peter and the others from their actions.

Also, I'm surprised to see that Peter and Gwen are an item here. Yeah, I know that Gwen was Peter's original love interest (sort of) before Mary Jane came along, but this is Spider-Gwen, who is often paired with Miles Morales.

I think we are all Natasha, since we know that there's something amiss. We already know that the Mandarin had been mind controling Renly for years from another continent, so it's possible that the same thing happened to Baelish.

Tywin is right, Tyiron should feel lucky that this happened with him far away from Westeros, or else he would have suffered if not his canon fate, then something close, given that Shae isn't here to make things worse. Though, it would be hilarious if it was Tyrion after all, who used magic to briefly take control of Baelish's body to kill Joffrey, killing two birds with one stone.
6/27 c51 Dragon Rider 66
Well this sure seems like it'll be an interesting mystery for Jon and Nat to try and solve while helping the Spiders at the same time.

On a separate note, hurray! Pete and Gwen are a thing, and surprisingly have gone *really* far already! Wasn't expecting that.
6/26 c51 2Rivet94
oh... Peter and... Gwen... httpsyoutu. be/t_eQ8cO10A0
jokes aside this is fine, i don't have that much of an issue with Gwen especially in fics where Mary Jane doesn't exist to be the third wheel, BND style. besides that, solid in-between chapter and solid interaction between Jon and the Spiders
6/26 c51 8CRUDEN
Well gang it looks like we have another mystery on our hands
6/26 c51 6jaffa3
Miles you little shit disturber! Excellent chapter like always but now that I know that Petyr and Gwen are a thing I’m worried about her. Everyone knows what happens to Gwen Stacy.
6/26 c51 59Nimbus Llewelyn
Well, this is intriguing. You put Jon's reluctant admiration of Tywin Lannister very well, and the reveal of Gwen and Petyr's relationship was both a surprise and not - also, hilarious. What was even funnier was Jon basically realising that is EXACTLY what he put Ned through and that he's now on the other end.

And the mystery of who killed Joffrey continues... the timing means an Asgardian makes sense, but it doesn't fit their method or motives. Unless you consider Loki. Means, motive, and opportunity, and it is just his style, especially since they're moving against the likes of Thanos now and he promised Stannis to ensure that Shireen took the throne. Joffrey, through sheer obstinacy if nothing else, threatened that. Framing Littlefinger took another piece off the board. But even then, it's a touch blatant for him, because it's obvious that SOMETHING else happened.

Likewise, it's not Magneto - he's in Essos, as are most of the telekinetics I can think of. Any knife thrower would have to be insanely good.

It could be the Night's Queen, but that doesn't fit either. It serves her interests to have someone like Joffrey on the throne to cause chaos and splinter factions. While this causes chaos in the short term, a pliant Tommen on the throne and firmly under Tywin's thumb? Sure, that could put him under hers indirectly, so I won't rule it out. But no... it doesn't feel quite right. Also, so far as I know, it doesn't fit her powers.

So, an invisible assassin? You've confirmed the Fantastic Four, but I think they're in Esssos, and where's the motive?

The only person I can possibly think of is Ghost. And I haven't seen either the MCU or the comics version anywhere in your story so far.

Or... a telepath. It would explain Littlefinger's surprise. But Xavier and Jean are in Essos, this doesn't fit them. I haven't picked up on any others, either.

A puzzle, though the Night's Queen still seems the most likely culprit... but only for want of a better alternative.
6/26 c51 12Harbinger Of Kaos
Was it a telepath who made him do it?

And i have to ask, is Tommen going to die? You can tell me, i can take it.
6/26 c51 4RJWritingInk
Chaos, I know that I haven't read your story for a while now, but it looks like I'm going to have a lot to catch up with. Also, don't think I didn't catch that reference to the DuckTales! reboot at the start of the chapter.

Also also, I don't buy Littlefinger killing Joffrey. Way too obvious, and as much as I LOATHE the man, he's smarter than this.
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