Girl Scout handshake

Girl Scout handshake. A formal way of greeting other Girl Scouts by shaking the left hand while giving the Girl Scout sign with the right. Girl Scout leader. The adult responsible for facilitating girls’ experiences so that they learn and grow, build healthy relationships, develop leadership skills, have fun, and feel safe. The Girl Scout handshake is the way many Girl Guides and Girl Scouts greet one another. They shake their left hands while making the Girl Scout sign with their right hand. The left-handed handshake represents friendship, because the left hand is closer to the heart than the right. Greeting: Girl Scouts can greet one another with the Girl Scout handshake, used by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world. The handshake is made by shaking hands with the left hand and making the Girl Scout sign with the right. The left hand is nearest to the heart and signifies friendship. • The Girl Scout handshake • Presentation of certificates, patches, and other awards • Ending ceremony Other popular additions include: • Doing the friendship squeeze • Singing a Girl Scout song • Serving refreshments • Sharing favorite Girl Scout memories or pictures • Sharing plans for the next year Suggestions for a ... The left-handed handshake unites two Scouts from anywhere on the planet. But why is this nonverbal greeting done with the left hand? That was on the mind of a Scout who emailed us recently. The Girl Scout handshake is the way many Girl Guides and Girl Scouts greet one another. They shake their left hands while making the Girl Scout sign with their right hand. The left-handed handshake represents friendship, because the left hand is closer to the heart than the right. shake their left hands and make the Girl Scout sign with their right hands. Explain to the girls that the left-handed handshake—in contrast to the right-handed handshake that most people use—represents friendship because the left hand is closer to the heart than the right hand. Have the girls practice their handshake with a few new partners. As long as girls move from one area to the other to get the Girl Scout handshake, we feel they get the effect.” Get families and your community involved Share this important moment with your girls’ caregivers and other family members, and anyone else the girls wish to invite! Girl Scout Handshake. This is the way many Girl Scouts and Girl Guides greet each other. They shake their left hands while making the Girl Scout sign with their right hand. The left handed handshake represents friendship because the left hand is closer to the heart than the right. The Girl Scout handshake is the way many Girl Guides and Girl Scouts greet one another. They shake their left hands while making the Girl Scout sign with their right hand. The left-handed handshake represents friendship, because the left hand is closer to the heart than the right.

Rambling Reviews - Chapter 18 Act I

2020.08.29 12:38 PJammaGod Rambling Reviews - Chapter 18 Act I

So I’ve had a really bad month. And the best way to feel better is to have a bit of fun and write some crazy and funny stuff. Here’s my rambling review of Chapter 18 Act I. This is no way to be taken seriously. Packaging contents says large amount of dumb and random. Expect plenty of sass and snark. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

18.1 – Winds of War

18.2 – Battlefield

18.3 – Lightning Flash

18.4 – Allegiances

18.5 – Chill

18.6 – Tomb of Ice

Well Durandal is holding up her end of the deal with Serpent. Now they know about Ana. Ends up Durandal is using this as a test for Serpent. Game on! Things could get messy in Act II.
submitted by PJammaGod to houkai3rd [link] [comments]


2020.08.17 16:54 FistsoFiore Let's Build: 100 homebrew NPCs for the town of Saltmarsh

I saw this post about crowd sourcing NPCs by u/DrRotwang, and I thought it would be fun to do something similar for Saltmarsh, since we have such a fine community of DMs here. The format I've been using is like this:
Character's Name (alignment gender race monster name MM/GoS page #). A brief description. Role in Saltmarsh. Their dramatic, open ended question.
But I'm not expecting all of those details, especially since I haven't come up with all of those for all of my NPCs, yet. Also, you can add a location from Locations in Saltmarsh (p13), if you picture them in a specific locale.
Edit: I might make some minor edits for format or readability. Let me know if you want me to change something back, or didn't understand the NPC's concept.
I'll start with some of the NPCs I made, or my players named (they got a little raunchy)
Without further adieu
  1. Delg Ferguson (LN male dwarf commoner MM p345) a brawny dwarf from the mines, who occasionally enters the prize fights at the Empty Net.
  2. Rikk van Dyke (NG male half-elf commoner) a spry handsome young blonde man, who is a local heart throb. How'd he get so good at dancing?
  3. "Rumple Foreskin" (my younger brother named this one) (CE male elf spy MM 349). Short for an elf, and greasy hair. He can help you fence things, if he gets his cut. What's his true name?
  4. Jayne "Ol' Fingers" Roberts (NG female human commoner) a fisher woman with weathered skin and brown hair under a bandanna. She has the reputation of being as good with her hands on a boat as she is in a bed, much to her wife's glee.
  5. Tyson Lobos (CE male half-orc thug MM 350). Muscled and lean, with a big wolf head tattoo on the light gray skin of his chest. He organizes the gambling part of the fighting pit in the Empty Net, but will occasionally enter the ring--against multiple opponents. What’s with those golden, wolf-like eyes?
  6. Erwann Mikael (NG male human guard MM 347) works for a local merchant's caravan, who you can often find at Ingo the Drover's office if his employer wants extra guards. Why does his employer need so much security?
  7. Reggie Flatbottom (CN male halfling commoner) a traveling merchant from Two Oakes, near Silverstand, with a warm smile and firm handshake. He smuggles drugs into town along with his normal merchandise. Who is his supplier?
  8. Rum Rat Jones and the Rum Rats (I embelished) Raphael “Rum Rat” Jones (CN male human Pirate Captain GoS 247). A lithe man with short, but unkempt, black hair and a rough goatee. He’s the self-appointed voice and leader of a small group of shipless pirates called the Rum Rats, who are currently on the lam. He also plays a mean banjo for tips and drinks. Why are the Rum Rats in hiding? Where and how are they going to “appropriate” a ship? [ u/tiberious161]
  9. Tobias “Big Toby” [Last Name], a Rum Rat (CN male human Pirate First Mate GoS 248). Far too muscular, and silent. Quite the hurdy-gurdyist. Where did he learn to fish with his bare hands? Where did he learn his home remedies? [ u/tiberious161]
  10. Kent Lowinder (LN Human Scout MM349) a member of the smuggling crew from the sinister secret of saltmarsh. He's a bit less committed to the slaughtering of innocent people and only smuggles for the money so he can support his family in waterdeep. If he befriends the party, he can assist them in tracking down the sea ghost along with other miscellaneous tasks, gaining membership into the lord's alliance through Eliander. [ u/TN_MakesIt]
  11. Ailmon Syrlo (NG male Elf Commoner) Butler of the Oweland House, where he spends most of his time on his duties. Has a slight tendency to gossip about news he hears from his relatives, although he cannot stand children himself. [ u/TN_MakesIt]
  12. Jasna (CG female Human Tribal Warrior MM 350) is a traveling nomad who got put into the Saltmarsh stocks for being unable to pay for food from the snapping line. If her debt is paid, she offers her tattooing services to the party. Her most special tattoo, which is on her face, was inked by her tribe's wise-woman and gives her powers similar to a basalisk's gaze. What kind of magic are her tattoos? [ u/TN_MakesIt]
  13. Evan Freegaze (LG male Human Apprentice Wizard) is a 10 year old kid with an amazing IQ for someone his age. He was abandoned by his parents in Neverwinter and grew up on the streets, where he succeeded in stealing a wizard's spellbook. He's been teaching himself magic ever since, with varying degrees of effectiveness. He has, however, mastered the art of improving mundane items with the magical properties of rocks and crystals. If you find these materials for him, he will use them to apply upgrades to equipment,etc. [ u/TN_MakesIt]
  14. Madame Araneo (CN female Drow Commoner) is a traveling seamstress who creates wonderful dresses and women's clothing out of spider silk. Although she tries her best to hide her heritage, her old age has made certain parts of her body less easy to hide. She sometimes appears at the weekly market, always with a large sun hat. [ u/TN_MakesIt]
  15. Weird Larry (NG male human commoner). A fisherman who hangs out at the Snapping line. He also works odd jobs for silver and collects information, which he routinely sells said info to all three factions. Master of odd jobs. Can point you where to go when you’re lost and will drink you under the table and pay your tab. Real friendly guy. [ u/thedragoon0]
  16. Faundrell "Faun" Dorstig (LG female human guard). Slightly above rank-and-file town guard with a penchant for drinking contests. Proud of her job and well respected by the everyday people of Saltmarsh (mainly traditionalists). Can be met while carousing at the Wicker Goat or the Snapping Line and won over by good-hearted parties who have the interest of the town at heart. As a contact she can provide information and rumors about whats going on in town, or even a good word with Eliander. Why is she so secretive about her home life? She takes care of her grandmother and her little sister after her parents died, but she's fiercely independent [ u/radioactivespiderpod]
  17. Enya Bakker (LG female human commoner) is the middle aged woman who runs the bakery next to the Green Market. Married to Barram Bakker, the baker. They have two children: an 11 year old girl named Maeve and a 6 year old boy named Banan. They have a flat to rent above the bakery, which is warm and cozy in the winter, but practically unbearable in the summer. Her father and brothers are fishermen. [ u/arianrhodUShannak]
  18. Barram Bakker (LG male human commoner) is the middle aged baker who owns the bakery and is married to Enya. He closely guards his secret recipe for his signature loaf, which he calls Banan Bread, after his son.
  19. Nasty Bradley, (NN male human commoner) a chef for hire. He was thrown out of Keoland's Royal Culinary Institute for doing something that he dares not mention. Looking for work on a ship, as they don't do background checks. Makes phenomenal food though, if you don't think too hard about where he gets the ingredients. [ u/Kryzm]
  20. Rum-Hook Rosalind (CN Human gladiator MM 346) is the captain of the Blazing Cutlass. Her crew of six harries trade ships and merchants where possible, skirting the more dangerous prey. She has a hook for a left hand and wields a barbed rapier in the right. Her crew of grizzled, hard, ugly men are all terrified of her. [ u/Kryzm]
  21. Keira Wrainstave (LG female elf commoner). A shipwright with a workshop next to Ingo the Drover's house. Besides building new ships, she has been known to do ship repairs (and upgrades) for a reasonable quote. She lives across from her younger sister's shop, Kiorna’s Leather Goods, and will drop in for a visit on a whim. She rarely speaks with her youngest sister, Kiara Shadowbreaker (GoS 20), since she's always off "defending the realm," or whatever. She built a thin bridge over the river so she and her sisters don’t have to deal with the nausea from Sharkfin Bridge. Why does she keep to herself so much, especially around humans? [ u/metzona]
  22. Spit (CN male dwarf rogue). One of the few dwarfs in town not associated with the mine, well not anymore. He left his job as a groundskeeper to find his fortune in the tunnels, but only found he hated swinging a pickaxe. Now he's a smuggler, until something better turns up. What makes him so dissatisfied with his work? [ u/about20ninjas]
  23. Jason Targull (LG male human commoner) is Saltmarsh's cobbler. He is a fifth generation Saltmarsh native. His wife, Mary, died during childbirth. Jason is raising his 10 year old daughter, Erin, with the assistance of his younger spinster sister, Gwen Targull. Jason is a secretly a loyalist, although he appears to be a traditionalist around those who know him well. Jason enjoys sharing the latest gossip with his patrons while he is fitting them with new boots. [ u/NotSoSmort]
  24. Machin (Neutral male human) is a loan-shark who frequents the Empty Net, since that is where he conducts most of his business. He charges 10% interest per ten-day week, and will lend out up to 30 gp. Machin is brutally punctual with the terms of the loan, and will send his 3 bodyguards who take care of his dirty work. His bodyguards are Anton, Casper the Crooked, and Grif the Mariner. [ u/NotSoSmort]
  25. Grif the Mariner (CN half-orc male Barbarian 3/Guardian of Ancient Spirits) came to Saltmarsh looking to commission a bard to write an epic song about his ancestors, who were brazenly successful raiders until they set sail to raid Evermeet in order to show the elves that not even their sanctuary was safe. Once the raider fleet set sail, they were never heard from again. When not working for Machin, Grif frequents the taverns in Saltmarsh. He is hoping to one day find a bard skilled enough to create a memorable song that keeps the memory of his ancestors alive on ships and in taverns up and down the coast. [ u/NotSoSmort]
  26. Moira Salt (CG/LG female human commoner). Headmistress of the Solmor House for Wayward Children. She grew up in Saltmarsh at the orphanage after her parents were killed by the Sea Princes/taken by slavers/insert your reason here, and took over when the former headmaster passed away. She is fiercely protective of the children of Saltmarsh and holds a grudge against anything and everything that made them, and herself, orphans. [ u/JessTheHumanGirl]
  27. Jefferson Thatch (CG/LG male halfling commoner). Gardener and groundskeeper at Solmor House. Thatch is from the nearby halfling residences in the north and has been living at Solmor House for two decades. He paid off a debt to the Solmors by taking up the position at the house but fell in love with the work and the children of Saltmarsh. [ u/JessTheHumanGirl]
  28. Myle Castellan (CN male human bandit). Formerly a smuggler of the haunted mansion, was ridiculed for liking to read. Currently working for Winston at his store, trying to stay out of trouble from the law. From a family of druids, unbeknownst to all is a candidate to be named King of the Isles by the Isles patron goddess. [ u/KevB0tBro]
  29. Sinman Colb (LN male human Pirate Captain) An old salt working the docks as a fishing boat captain. He is known for being a tough but fair captain, and a former kingdom navy sailor. Possibly the captain that ferries the party to and from locations if they don't have a boat. No one knows why he goes by Sinman Colb, or why he always refers to himself in the third person. [ u/KevB0tBro]
  30. Hugo Yellowfarm (LG male human guard). Being the youngest in a family with 8 kids, Hugo left his family farm, located a few miles outside of Saltmarsh, looking for work. He has been a town guard for nearly two years now. He is nearly 19 and likes to spend his spare time practicing his lute. Maybe one day he'll be able to play music full time. [ u/shrlckholmes]
  31. Ivan "Bigsy" Stregbor (LE human veteran). Ivan is a large burly man with tattooed rippling muscles, a big bushy beard and a shiny bald head. He works as one of the Saltmarsh town guard, but takes bribes from Gellan to ensure that none of Gellan's smuggling is noticed. Ivan spends most of his free time in the Empty Net. He has a large scar on his shoulder, no one knows how he got it. [ u/shrlckholmes]
  32. Mikey Joe O'Shea (CN male human druid). Born to a family of sheep herders in the hills outside Saltmarsh, Mikey is now the owner of Elgnid farm. He is slightly insane after spending too much time alone with his sheep. Recently Mikey's sheep have started going missing. He is offering a hefty reward for any willing to find his sheep. [ u/shrlckholmes]
  33. Xala Eilibi Salt (NG female half-gnome Child) a thirteen year old half-gnome girl with woody-brown skin and long, braided black hair who stands not even 4 feet tall. Her voice is crackly and while she doesn’t look malnourished, she does seem rather thin. Her parents died somehow in the past, forcing her to fend for herself. She scavenges stuff from wherever she can and sells it on a straw mat just outside the Weekly Market. She’s not very good with prices and determining the value of her stuff, so she often either oversells or undersells an item. Who were her parents and how did they die? [ u/Disruptis]
  34. Shukas Iancan (NG male elf wizard) a young, ninety-six year old elf alchemist with white skin that holds a tinge of copper, betraying his wood elf origins. His ears are long and thin, his face is soft and round, and he carries a very relaxed and welcoming demeanor. He owns a shop named the “Swirling Swirl” on the Sharkfin Bridge, which is an open-air stall that sells common and uncommon potions. He used to be an adventurer before his previous party members all died, and now he's decided to take it quietly for a while. Why did he come to Saltmarsh and what exactly happened to his party? [ u/Disruptis]
Edit: My first award. Thank ye kind stranger, brought a tear to me eye.
submitted by FistsoFiore to GhostsofSaltmarsh [link] [comments]


2020.08.13 02:37 FeelingSketchy The Voyages of Ker'Tak and Skye [Ep. 1]

Episode 1: First Contact (3k words, gunshot wounds and blood are mentioned, written on mobile, first part in a series, might update weekly.)
Ker'Tak's ship had landed on Earth, as ordered by the High Concil of Planets. They were ready and eager to explore this once uninhabited planet..
Or, what they had thought to be an uninhabited planet. Turns out the whole planet was teeming with intelligent life. Humankind, is what they introduced themselves as on an old satellite that the High Council had found.
Ker'Tak was relatively young, so their crewmates sent them out to scout amongst the younger generations of humans. Diguised, of course, to prevent fear amongst the younglings.
Their curiosity was peaked when they heard someone talking of a celebration of one of the younglings.
A "birthday party" celebrating the Human known as Skye Lafayette. Everyone appeared to just be calling her Skye, however.
"You should come, Eric," Human Gia, Skye's twin sister, as Ker'Tak gathered. "Eric" was his cover name, "she'd enjoy your humor!"
"Thank you Gia, I think I will attend," Ker'Tak nodded quietly. They were nervous, needless to say. Human younglings were so energetic, so spontaneous, and much stronger than their adult counterparts.
"Great! The party is Friday!" Gia waved good-bye as she ran off with other human younglings.
Ker'tak waved back, and watched as Gia ran with her pack.
They felt a strange warmth flush up in their face, as if this meeting meant something. These humans were small, insignificant, often useless.
Ker'Tak couldn't and didn't understand why the High Council was so interested in humans and their homeworld after the first reports were sent in.
"Keep observing, Ker'Tak, the younglings will be the ones we learn the most from," Ket'Sa ordered, "Who knows? Maybe these humans have more ability than we give them credit for."
Ker'Tak took that to say the High Council could use them as manual laborers. It seemed they had the ability for such work, and were significantly shorter than the Si'Tians.
Despite what little they knew about humans, however, Ker'Tak felt oddly at home amongst them. The members of their pod always called them strange, emotional, and at times impulsive. They took the insults as compliments and pressed on in their mission.
Friday, October 3rd rolled around and Ker'Tak found himself on the doorstep of Skye and Gia's abode. The loud noises from inside startled Ker'Tak, but they thought for a moment, pausing at the door.
This was a custom of humankind, they should be kind and respectful. They should knock.
They knocked cautiously, patiently waiting for a reply. Ker'Tak was startled by the sudden appearance of an identical youngling to Gia. It was Skye, they were sure of it.
The messy red streak in her hair and the oddly bright expression Skye carried, as Gia described her, caught Ker'Tak by surprise. They put on their best smile.
"Hey, is this were Skye's birthday party is?" Ker'Tak beamed awkwardly. Of course it was, they had made sure of it, but Human Skye took no notice of their fumble.
"Yep! You've got the right place!" She laughed it off, "You must be Eric, Gia told me about you! It's nice to finally meet you! I'm Skye!" Her introduction was quick, and she held out her hand to Ker'Tak.
Ker'Tak, unsure of exactly how to commence the "handshake" took Skye's hand. She shook their hand firmly, with a sort of glowing confidence.
This somehow got Ker'Tak to relax, and smile a little more genuinely.
"My name is Ka- Eric," Ker'Tak was almost caught using their true name. Skye laughed as she invited Ker'Tak in.
"Alright Ke-Eric, come in! We've got plenty of food, games, and a cake that'll be all set in a couple of minutes!" Skye led them in.
The atmosphere of this living-den was rather warm, disarmingly charming in it's own sense. Ker'Tak found themselves relaxing as they ate and talked alongside the crowd.
They laughed with Ker'Tak, telling their own jokes and making fun of silly things humans do. Ker'Tak learned that humans celebrated their dates of birth every year, using that to determine age, instead of every cycle around the sun at the same time each year for everyone.
The oddly decorated cake caught their attention, as it was decorated with symbols and letters from ancient languages Ker'Tak had seen before, and nearly everywhere they turned, something reminiscent of space and interstellar travel seemed to pop from the decor.
You look like a Monkey And you smell like one too!
The songs ended, and Skye blew out candles that signified her age. Kar'Tek went to "use the bathroom." They had no intention of bathing, however.
Unfortunately, the current tech they were using to hide their appearance was running low on charge.
Kar'Tek had to find a reason to return to their ship before their cover was blown.
Gia's voice came from beyond the door.
"Eric? Eric, dude, you alright?" Gia called. Kar'Tek didn't answer as they tried to find something to work with to get away from the party.
"I am alright, just washing up!" Kar'Tek lied. The device around their wrist beeped loudly and the illusion dropped.
No no no no no not now, I have to return to the ship Ker'Tak stared into the mirror, now frightened by what the human younglings could do to them if they found themselves staring Ker'Tak down.
"Eric? Is that a blood sugar monitor? Are you sure you're alright?" Gia didn't give Ker'Tak time to answer, "Skye! Get the bathroom key! Eric's in trouble!"
"Eric?" Skye's voice bounced around the small room, "I'm coming in," Ker'Tak heard a small whisper, "Please be decent."
Skye stepped into the bathroom, closed the door and looked up from the floor. Her jaw dropped as Ker'Tak started to tremble before her.
"Eric?" Her voice dropped a tone as she reached out to Ker'Tak, "Is that you?"
Ker'Tak looked at Skye, and very very cautiously, they answered her.
"Human Eric did not exist, in truth. I am Ker'Tak, a Si'Nian, from far past your star. I was told to come and study humankind, under the orders of the High Council of Planets. I apologize for any inconvenience and any worry I may have caused you, Human Skye," Ker'Tak apologized, trying to keep their gaze to Skye's.
She seemed stunned, but neither fear nor shock was the overall emotion conveyed. It was awe that seemed to etch itself into her features.
"Ker'Tak, that explains earlier..And all those jokes, you were trying to understand," She whispered as her hands moved up toward her mouth, "You...You're incredible."
Ker'Tak was taken aback by this remark. Ker'tak was below average for their species, and this human youngling saw them as incredible?
"I believe you are mistake, Human Skye, I am below average for my kind, in height and emotional control. I am, as my colleges say, impulsive," Ker'Tak admitted ashamed.
"Impulsive isn't a bad thing, nor is being emotional," Skye started almost immediately, "You're incredible to me, and you would be to my friends."
"I do not believe your colleagues would appreiciate my being here, especially after I have disrupted such a special day for you and your pod-mate," Ker'Tak was still nervous, although Skye was a progressive and uniquely brave human youngling, they couldn't be sure of the other's reactions.
"Well, Ker'Tak, I can frame this as a planned part of the event, I am a sci-fi nerd. I can get you out of the house as long as you can stay a little longer. Are you in any pain?" Skye was concerned, it was showing in her expression.
Pain? Why would she be worried about pain? Does she really not know what Ker'Tak was capable of? Why was she being so kind to them?
"Ah, no, I am not in any pain Human Skye, I simply used an device that manipulated the light around me," Ker'Tak reassured her, still unsure of how to proceed, "I can stay longer, but how do you plan to get me out of your living-den?"
"Oh, I can tell them that you're in cosplay-" Skye paused, "we humans like to wear complicated outfits for the sake of fun, some of us mirror TV shows or fictional characters we enjoy, others come up with entirely new ideas and use them to create a series of costumes in order to tell a story."
"This plan involves telling your colleagues that I am in "cosplay"? Does that mean anything significant to them normally?" Ker'Tak inquired, rather confused as to how this plan could work.
"No, not normally, but they'll think it a nice touch to the space theme I've had going for this party, not much of it's accurate though, based mostly on science fiction," Skye admitted, halfway between her normal hue of peach and a bright red.
Ker'Tak nodded, understanding what she meant, and what she was trying to do.
"I am not insulted, in fact, it's rather curious how humans managed to invent the exact same language as another race we know as the Shin'Khan. But that is a discussion for another time," Ker'Tak let their worries lighten, maybe Human Skye was right to come up with such a simple plan, after all, she knew her kind better than they did.
"So you're willing to go through with the plan?" Skye asked and Ker'Tak nodded,patiently awaiting her instructions, "Ok, just, act ummm, I wouldn't say natural, but honestly just be yourself."
That was it? That was the plan? Ker'Tak nodded, now slightly concerned in Skye's certainty for saying these things, but they went along with it anyway.
"Skye? Is Eric alright?" Gia called to her sister.
"Yes! He's alright! In fact," Skye started to open the door, "Oh move out of the way!" Gia laughed as the crowd parted to give them room to step out of the bathroom.
Ker'Tak was hesitant, but the stepped out of the bathroom and awaited the reactions of Skye's peers.
The gasps of awe got Ker'Tak to open their eyes, and the younglings cheered and laughed.
"Eric! Skye! This is amazing! How did you get the costume in? And look that that makeup, it's amazing! You guys out did yourselves!" Gia laughed, "It looks so real."
Ker'Tak felt a wave of anxiety wash over them as Skye took one of their lower hands. She mouthed the words "It's ok. You'll be okay."
They nodded, and proceeded to continue the act of being Human Eric.
They proceeded to mess around with younglings, too, tapping them here and there as the festivities went on without a hitch.
Ker'Tak fell into the comfort of being themselves amongst the human younglings, but they choose to linger close to Skye. They didn't know it at the time, but that sense of security meant something significant to their species.
It meant that they could be accepted, and accept humans, as they were.
Towards the end of the evening, around 2000 hours, everyone had been dismissed from the gathering except for Ker'Tak.
"Hey Eric, I can walk you home if you want," Skye offered to escort them out of her living-den, most likely to protect them from any hostile humans.
"I would appreciate that, Skye," Ker'Tak walked towards the door and opened it for Skye.
Walking down the dim street, Ker'Tak found themselves distressed, looking down at Human Skye more and more often.
"Human Skye, if my crewmates discover that I have been seen like this, they may try to eradicate your memory of me," Ker'Tak admitted upon pausing under a street light.
Skye looked back at them, and smiled.
"I'm ok with that, I just want to make sure you get back alright. You've given me one of the best days of my life, Ker'Tak, and I hope to one day repay the favor, even if I don't remember you," Skye was kind in her response, but also greatly saddened by the fact that she would forget Ker'Tak.
They were truly remarkable to her, even if she knew very little about them. She found their way of speaking, their way of conveying emotion to be unique, and as powerful as any human expression of emotion.
Ker'Tak's distress grew as they saw Skye's eyes start leaking water.
"Human Skye, are you in distress? I did not mean to upset you!" Ker'Tak panicked a little, reaching out to the youngling, "You do not have to repay me, and I doubt that you will ever see me again after tonight."
"That's just the thing," Skye mumbled through her tightened throat, "I want to remember you, and get to know you better. It would be selfish though, not to take you back to your ship."
Ker'Tak was taken aback by this. They knew humans bonded easily to other animals, like the wolves and bobcats of the Earth, but to have "pack" bonded to them.. So quickly.. It was remarkable. The High Council certainly could not take such a bond away, not until they could study it further.
"It is possible you won't have to forget, Human Skye," Ker'Tak started, gingerly taking up Skye in their arms, "I could bring you back to the ship, and explain to them the events of tonight, and how you aided me to escape."
Skye sniffed halfheartedly taking up Ker'Tak's lower arms. Quietly she nodded.
"Lead the way."
Ker'Tak and Skye walked together quite a ways into the woods to get to Ker'Tak's ship. However, it is always hunting season in the backwoods.. Especially at night.
A gunshot was fired toward the two, and Skye let out a yelp of pain. Ker'Tak flinched, and in ducking behind an old wall in found just nearby, they saw Skye stumbling over. Something was dripping down her arm and chest.
"Ker'Tak..." The weakness in Skye's voice brought panic upon Ker'Tak. They debated the use of their comm, it would make sense as someone was hurt, badly by the looks of it.
Ker'Tak lept over, their legs moving springing them forward enough to catch Skye and get back out of the line of fire behind another wall.
"KER'TAK, WE'RE BEAMING YOU BACK UP IMMEDIATELY" Their Captain told them, and they were beamed back aboard the ship, Skye still wounded in their arms.
The wounded youngling let out a sharp cry, crying weakly as she struggled to breathe.
"OUT OF THE WAY! CLEAR THE WAY! WOUNDED HUMAN!" Ker'Tak landed with a running start, brushing past the Captain and rushed toward the medbay.
Immediately the Captain followed them, and watched as Ker'Tak worked to heal Skye's wound.
"Ker'Tak, my lung, the bullet's in..." Skye's vocals broke off into violent coughing as Ker'Tak managed to pull out the metal shrapnel in her side.
"Rest, and do try and hold still. This will hurt," Ker'Tak told Skye and she nodded. The sheer anguish on her face as they stitched up her lung and her skin almost got Ker'Tak to stop.
But they stitched her up and injected a growth steroid to speed up the process and avoid scarring. She would need to stay overnight, for safety's sakes.
"Ker'Tak, this human was harmed how?" The Captain asked as Ker'Tak closed the pod Skye was in.
"Another Human shot her with a primitive gunpowder weapon. Originally the weapon was aimed toward me," Ker'Tak admitted, "Human Skye was escorting me back to the ship after my disguise was dropped."
The Captain stiffened as they looked over at Human Skye.
"She's seen too much of us, you know we have to preform a memory wipe," The Captain began. Ker'Tak stopped them.
"Captain, Human Skye has expressed much discomfort in losing memories with myself involved. She is comfortable with us, in fact, she and her peers were very comfortable with me in my original form, even if they believed it to be a disguise," Ker'Tak looked over at Skye, "She saved my life."
"She...You called her Human Skye?" The Captain's expression dropped to a painful concern.
"Yes Captain," Ker'Tak nodded as the Captain looked them over.
"Well, Ker'Tak, it is time we contacted the Humans openly. Your comfort amongst them and their younglings confirms not only their intelligence and sympathy, but also their compatibility for the High Council's regulations and recommendations," The Captain smiled at Ker'Tak, "Well done, Doctor."
"Well done?" Ker'Tak asked, befuddled by their captain's sudden congratulations, "What do you mean?"
"I mean congratulations, you have offical made First Contact with the Humans, according to their knowledge. As of this moment, they will become a part of the High Council of Planets, join their fleets, learn from us as we may learn from them," The Captain spoke boldly, "You have introduced an entire species to an endless Universe."
Ker'Tak paused for a moment, then looked back at their Captain.
"Thank you, Captain, but I do believe I should take care of my patient first, before we send our official reguards," Ker'Tak nodded.
The Captain allowed it, so Ker'Tak took a uniquely close care of Skye that evening, talking to her about the many ways things were about to change.
"Does this mean I won't have to forget you?" Skye asked as 0800 hours rolled around. Ker'Tak nodded, which caused Skye to smile.
"You will not have to forget me, or anything else about last night's events, or today's, or tomorrow's. In fact, if anything, we may be working together from here forward, Human Skye," Ker'Tak tried to wrap their mind around it, working with a human female, "Even if you are deemed a weak, useless human female, I like to entertain the thought of working alongside you."
Skye smiled, trying to not give show as to how harshly that last remark came off.
"That's good, Ker'Tak, I'd like to think that of you as well."
They started talking as the world became captivated by the starship and the arrival of the Si'Nians on Earth.
Everyone wanted to talk to the girl who had saved and alien, and all across the galaxy, everyone wanted to see what the doctor had discovered in the human race that made them decide it was time to reveal what was really out there.
And here the two were, sitting in the medbay of the starship, mid-afternoon, talking to each other as the bright rays of daylight filtered through the window.
This was going to be an exciting ride.
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2020.08.04 19:02 jobening Before BB22 premieres, take a journey with me back to 2005 with The Rewatchables: Big Brother 6

None of you requested it. Like 8 of you actually wanted another one. But I think a lot of you who read most, if not all of the post, will enjoy it as much as I did writing it. As the homie realvegas4sure would say, “I do this for you.”
Disclaimer: This, just as the previous 2 installments, will be a really long post. There’s no real tl;dr version either, so if you’re not ready to read through all of this, I don’t blame you. I had a ton of fun rewatching this season and even more fun writing the post though, so I hope y’all are able to find even a little bit of enjoyment as we embark on this blast from the past.
So what is “The Rewatchables?” The Rewatchables is a podcast on the Ringer Network hosted by Bill Simmons and numerous Ringer staff members, where they talk movies that are “rewatchable.” They pick a movie that they find rewatchable, talk about why they find it rewatchable, breaking down every little nuance of the film, and then award wins to different categories like “Most Rewatchable Scene” or “Best Quote.”
So how does this tie into Big Brother? Before I did the first “episode” on BB17 back in February or March, I hadn’t even thought about doing the Big Brother Rewatchables. I just wanted to rewatch a great season. But then I figured, why not? Why not combine two things I enjoy to create something I think the Big Brother community would enjoy? So I did just that with The Rewatchables: BB17 and then The Rewatchables: BB16. With this rewatch of BB6, just as I did with the previous installments, I took notes throughout the rewatch and began to assign the winners to the different categories.
In the Rewatchables podcast, there’s an actual conversation going. A back and forth among the guests on why they picked the winners that they picked. Here, it’s literally just gonna be me giving my nominations and winners lol. But please feel free to comment and discuss in the comments.
Also, this will probably be a lot more enjoyable if you’re familiar with the podcast's format and categories, but it’s not absolutely necessary to still be able to read and enjoy this.
Ok enough of the rambling, all-over-the-place intro. I give you The Rewatchables: Big Brother 6.
Disclaimer #2: Before we get into it, let me just say that 2005 was a long time ago. It was a completely different time. A lot of us were young and things that definitely wouldn’t fly today, somehow were able to fly back then. If we could just keep this in the back of our minds as we go through this post, it’ll make things a lot more enjoyable, and a lot easier than me having to constantly harp on the fact that a lot of what happened and was said on this season has not aged well at all.
Ok, now moving on. So in the podcast, they’ll usually start off with something like a summary of the movie, quick thoughts on why it’s rewatchable, the success or lack of success of the film, etc. So I guess I’ll start there.
I picked BB6 for this next installment because it’s my favorite season for a few reasons. It’s the first season I watched live from beginning to end. It had some of the best characters and house splits in BB history. And it’s the season that got me absolutely hooked on the show and made me dream of playing it someday.
And I don’t think I’m alone in saying how much I love this season. It is regarded by most fans as one of the best seasons ever (just check out any of the “which season should I watch” posts, and tell me you don’t see BB6 being recommended 95% of the time).
BB6 is old school Big Brother. It’s what a lot of fans want the current show to go back to. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, it’s got memorable, unique characters – including a few BB legends. It had twists that actually worked. It had the old school vibe with non-scripted DRs and the old school intro we all love. It has a true house split with two sides going back and forth with the power switching week to week. Drama. Blowups. Fights. Strategy. Misting. Comedy. You name it. BB6 has it. And this is all just from the episodes. I regrettably and stupidly didn’t become a feed watcher until much later, so I can’t speak on the feeds aspect, but I imagine it was a top 3 season to watch live feeds. I don’t want to step on the toes of the categories, so let's just get into them now.
Category: Most Rewatchable Scene
Summary: It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s when you’re at home, you’ve got the movie on, and you’re about to leave the house for dinner, but you stick around for a little bit longer because that one scene is coming up. For Big Brother, maybe you’re on Youtube and you wanna pull up some BB6 clips. You type in “BB6 ______.” What goes in the blank? My nominations:
Eric vs. Michael / Kaysar vs. Ivette: We all love a good fight, and this season was full of them. We get this one early when Eric goes off on Michael for talking about his family and the two have to actually be held back by other houseguests before Big Brother intervenes and tells them to go to separate locations of the house. Bonus round, we get Kaysar vs. Ivette when Ivette accuses Kaysar of not being respectful of women, Kaysar stands up and gets in her face, and again Big Brother has to intervene and tell everyone to scatter. Just a great clip for everyone who loves drama/fights.
Drunk Janelle vs. Drunk Beau: Another one for the fight fanatics. But this one is a little more on the fun, lighthearted side, even though a lot of what was said actually came from serious hatred. We have Janelle drunkenly attacking The Friendship alliance, with Howie egging her on, culminating in Janelle and Beau getting into a face to face drunken shoving match, while they call each other names. Pure entertainment.
Maggie finesses Howie into nominating James and Sarah: This one’s for the people who love a good misting. Somehow Maggie was able to convince Howie into putting up two of his own allies which led to his alliance eventually crumbling. I linked the clip from the episode but I wish I knew how this actually played out on the feeds.
The whole Pressure Cooker hoh episode: You read that right. I’m nominating the whole ass episode as a most rewatchable scene. Not only do you have one of the, if not thee most epic comps ever in the Pressure Cooker, but you have other great moments as well – Beau’s peepee, Jenn teaching Rachel how to dance, Beau getting absolutely trashed in the pressure cooker, Jenn having a nice moment with her hoh pics. Beginning to end, it’s an amazing episode and super rewatchable on it’s own. (I only linked part 1 of what I was able to find, but if you search bb6 pressure cooker on YouTube, you’ll easily find the rest).
The Chess Veto episode: It was really difficult to not just nominate the whole episode here as well. Fuck it. I’m nominating the whole episode lol. I didn’t wanna do this again cause if I did, I might as well just nominate damn near every episode. But this episode, just as the Pressure Cooker episode, deserves it's shine. This episode has the creation of the Sovereign Six, the Chess Veto comp, and the aftermath of Maggie, Eric, and co. finding out that Eric is going to be backdoored. The episode is particularly rewatchable if you were/are a Sovereign Six fan, as you get to see it all come together for them, and you see The Friendship slowly begin to realize what’s going down as the veto comp goes on. And the cherry on top is Kaysar’s line to Maggie, “I sealed your partner’s fate.” Lastly, Eric throwing a tantrum and snatching his hat off James’ head is so petty and funny.
Howie vs. April: Remember that disclaimer about this season not aging well? Yeah, here’s one of the many reasons. Still, as a 16 year old watching this in 2005, loving the Sovereign Six, and hating The Friendship, it didn’t get much better than this.
The first Double Eviction episode: Lol ok bear with me. Another whole episode nomination. But how could I not. Besides Kaysar getting evicted again, this episode was wonderful cause it has yet another shift in power and is full of great quotes, most iconically Janelle’s “Give me that key bitch” after winning hoh and Jenn tossing the key so Janelle has to go fetch it, all while being live on national tv. Another really rewatchable episode. More on the other quotes later.
My pick: I gotta go with the chess veto. When I said earlier that this season was what made me fall in love with the show and instantly wish I could have a chance someday, I’m specifically talking about this moment. As soon as I heard Kaysar say “I sealed your parter’s fate,” I got instant goosebumps. It just might be my favorite BB moment ever.
Category: What’s Aged the Best?
Summary: What aged well over the following seasons? What has continued to hold up? What’s gotten even better?
Veto speeches Specifically, when one of the nominees wins veto and will obviously take themself off, and the other nominee isn’t forced to make an awkward speech that won’t make a difference. In older seasons like this one, when production was still getting it’s feel for the show, these awkward speeches happened, and it’s nice that nowadays the veto holding nominee just does what they need to do and we move on. Veto speeches aged better.
One liners during key reveal Y’know, those cringey lines the HGs say after they get their key, they’re looking us straight in the eye, and say why they’ll win Big Brother based on some fact about their character type. A few from this season:
Hi, I’m Jennifer. And I’m the total package.
I’m Howie, and I’m forecasting stormy weather for the other houseguests.
I’m Rachel, and I’m gonna gallop right past the competition.
Lol, they’re so cringey, but at the time, just such a staple in reality television. The fact that BB stopped doing this is what has aged better. (I also contemplated nominating this for “What’s aged the worst” below, cause imagine new HGs doing these in current times. While they’d still be cringey, they’d still be hilarious.)
Have-Not foods and rooms These older seasons had PBnJ as the only HN food. And I’m not sure when HN rooms became a thing, but it wasn’t BB6. Having slop and the occasional addition voted by America, as well as a HN room is a nice step forward from PBnJ.
The Veto medallion Well the medallion itself was fine. What was holding it was not. I think it’s literally just a piece of rope nowadays, but back then it looked so tacky.
Julie Chen I kind of like the more Chenbot-ish version we have now (I know others don’t) and she still looks great.
Selection of veto players It was cool in BB5 for Nakomis/Marvin and co. to come up with and pull off the first backdoor by taking advantage of the selection rules they had back then, but if they didn’t change them, the backdoor would have gotten old quick and perceived as a weaker and weaker move imo.
Double Evictions Been awhile since I saw an older season, so I don’t know when true double evictions became a thing, but watching the BB6 DEs go with the 2nd eviction not happening the same night as the 1st was not as enjoyable or suspenseful. The current format is way better.
My pick: Double Evictions. The way they are formatted now just adds much more anticipation and suspense. The concept was great when first introduced, and with fine some tweaks, doubles have aged much better.
Category: What’s Aged the Worst?
Summary: Exactly the opposite of “What’s Aged the Best? What hasn’t aged well over the following seasons? What hasn’t held up? What’s gotten even worse? A lot of these, same with Aged Best, could easily switch to the other category depending on how you look at it. My nominees:
True house splits We rarely get them anymore. Most of the time it’s a steamroll with the underdog getting a few wins here and there. Or the two sides eventually become a cohesive house again until the next targets make themselves available. Either way, we don’t get the true two sides going at it back and forth much anymore.
Nominee speeches Back then it felt like more often than not, nominees would mostly sit instead of stand and usually weren’t yelling or putting on a character, which created a more laid back, intimate tone compared to current times where nominees are more or less playing things up for tv.
James’ veto record It’s been broken by quite a few players since BB6.
Video tapes/cell phones With the technology we have now, seeing the jury pop their recap tape into a vcr or seeing Janelle talk to Michael on an old-school flip phone is funny. Those scenes haven’t aged well.
Keeping your vote secret As in Julie reminding the HGs that they can’t reveal their votes to others when they pass each other in the hallway to the DR. Nowadays, not only are they doing handshakes in the hall between votes, but they confirm with each other who to vote for.
DRs Back then we got serious, non-scripted, less hyper, non-yelling at the camera DRs. DRs these days are all about screaming and being a personality for tv. DRs haven’t aged well at all.
Juries 7 then, 9 now. 3rd place actually got to go to the jury and discuss with the other jurors. The f2 was able to really explain their game over a night instead of a few minutes each.
Those last two are my picks for What’s Aged the Worst?
Category: The Dion Waiters Award
Summary: This one goes to the best heat check by a role player. Who did the most, with the least? The basketball equivalent of coming off the bench to play 16 minutes and put up 20 points with 6 3’s. For the Big Brother equivalent, it’s who didn’t have much screen time but made the most of it? I limited the nominees to only pre-jurors as anyone else was on the show too long to be considered.
Just gonna get the winner out of the way now, cause it can’t be anyone but him. Kaysar is our Dion Waiters winner for best heat check by a role player. He created one of the dopest alliances in BB history, executed an iconic backdoor going hand in hand with a legendary line, was voted back into the house by America with 82% of 5 million votes, was 2nd place in one of the most iconic comps ever, returned for an All-Star season the very next year, had a role on The Young and the Restless, and is a universal fan favorite. He did all this with just a handful weeks in the house. Fool put up a 20-12-12 triple double in 23 minutes off the bench. And he turned that all into potentially a second All-Star appearance this upcoming season. Whatup Kaysar!
The runner-up is clearly Eric “Cappy” Littmann. He was in the house for three weeks but put up a pretty nice stat line. He was defacto leader of The Nerd Herd The Girl Scout Troop The Friendship, got into a few fights/arguments, came in 2nd in the America vote for returning player, and had his eviction spark a cult-like revenge tour for the rest of his alliance. While not quite where Kaysar was, he still had a lasting impact on BB6.
Honorable Mention: Holly from BB5. She came in for a quick what, 7 minute appearance but put up 16 points on 4-4 from three in that veto comp she hosted.
Category: Best Quotes
Summary: Self explanatory. Though some of these aren’t necessarily the best but rather what I enjoyed personally.
James in the DR about Maggie’s hoh: One of the most amazing moments of my life....no it was pathetic. I’m watching all these putrid little rats go around and kiss her ass. Let her listen to her music...and smoke her banana peels…and do whatever she does in there. Just don’t make me sick.
Janelle about her drunk fight with Beau Its so easy to screw with Beau cause he’s such a little bitch.
Howie and April: H: You can’t compete without your smokes, can you?
A: Can you compete without your fingers? (What a clapback)
Janelle naming replacement nom For strategic reasons…I will choose to evict…excuse me..I choose to nominate Ivette.
April about a comp When you’re skinny, it’s like you don’t think you need to work out..and I am friggin’ out of shape…get me a stretcher… (I felt this)
Howie A guy with my looks, my build, and my future economic potential…If I leave a bar slash nightclub by myself, somebody’s getting arrested cause there was a crime committed.
Drunk Janelle and the gang
Janelle: Rachel you’re so beautiful. Maggie you’re such a bitch. Jennifer, you look like a clown. …
April: You’re drunk.
J: Excuse me??
A: You’re drunk.
J: I am not. (the way she delivers this lol)
A: Please, you can’t even look straight.
J: Yes I can April, thank you very much.
A: No you can’t Janelle, thank you very much.
J: You gold digging bitch! laughs
Howie: It’s a cat fight between the buxom blonde and the busted blonde.
A to Maggie: She knows she’s a slut.

J to Beau: You gold digging little whore.
B: No I don’t think so.
J: You most certainly are Beau.
B: Polyester bitch! Polyester bitch!
J: Whore! Whore! You date older men!
Howie after winning hoh SUPERBOWL!
Howie during the double Julie: This is a double eviction.
Howie: YES!!
James: Howie relax.
Howie carries Janelle off
Janelle: Bye bye bitches!
Everyone: We’re live.
Janelle on the phone with Michael
Maggie: Ask him what the world’s like.
Janelle: Did Britney Spears have her baby?
Kaysar and Maggie
K: You’re not the target.
M: Kaysar, you sealed my fate.
K: No. I sealed your partner’s fate.
(gotta give this one love again)
My pick: All of them. You can’t pick just one.
Category: The Joey Pants award for Best “That Guy”
Summary: Named after Joe Pantoliano. In movies, there’s always some guy or girl who you recognize and go “hey it’s that guy,” cause you see them in so many other things but you almost never know their actual name. This award goes to the best of that kind of person in the movie. Our Big Brother equivalent is tough because we’re mostly superfans here, and we always for the most part know everyone in any season. And even if we didn’t, it’s not like we would recognize them from anything else anyway. For the sake of the award, I’m looking at this through the lens of a casual fan.
Nakomis
Michael aka Cowboy
Holly
No winner. Just three former HGs that casual viewers might go, “Hey it’s that guy/girl” when they see their appearances on BB6.
Category: Best Unintentional Comedy
Summary: Best comedic moments that weren't meant to be comedic.
The Friendship Anytime the Friendship cried about Eric. Or anytime The Friendship vowed to seek revenge for him. Or anytime “The Friendship” is just said. The more the they said it, the more cringe it was. The Friendship might be the gumpiest alliance name of all time. And then they would do things like put their keys in his memory wall slot or make an altar type thing in hoh. Just really funny stuff that they weren’t intending to be funny.
Anytime someone says “what the other side did was dishonest” I realized this the most when I saw Janelle and the Sovereign Six complaining that Jenn going back on her word was dirty, when just two weeks ago Kaysar broke his word with Eric. A week before that, Eric broke his word with Michael, etc. Just funny how hypocritical this game gets.
James being the only HG available to host the veto comp he was backdoored with
Every time The Friendship says America fell in love with Eric Just knowing what we know about how America favored The Sovereign Six, this is hilarious.
Janelle winning the phone call: You feel for Ivette here, and Janelle’s having an “I miss you more” convo with someone she’s known 2 weeks and you can’t help but laugh.
Category: Apex Mountain
Summary: The Rewatchables is sometimes inconsistent with how they define Apex Mountain, but it’s mostly about going through everything involved in the film – actors, directors, music, themes, locations, literally anything – and deciding whether or not it’s at it’s apex at the time of the film. For example, is the actor in question at the peak of their stardom, when they could’ve gotten the most gigs. In our case, we don’t know much about these HG’s actual lives before/after Big Brother other than what they’ve mentioned, so we can’t say for sure what their peaks are, but for the sake of the category, I’m gonna treat BB6 as their apexes unless it’s obvious that they had done more/better before or after the season.
Imo it's a clear case that it was everyone's apex except for:
Kaysar
James
Howie
Janelle
All four were invited back for All-Stars the very next season. Janelle returned again for BB14. And both Kaysar and Janelle have been heavily rumored for BB22. Big Brother 6 wasn’t their apex.
No one else in the cast did much, that I know of anyway (not including work and family related stuff obviously). Big Brother 6 was their apex.
Pressure Cooker This is it’s apex because it was a one and done. It made such an impact in it’s only appearance.
Old school intro/theme/nomination wheel I could’ve just as easily put these in what’s aged the worst, cause all of them are sorely missed. I’ll put ‘em here cause when I think about these elements, I think of older seasons, and when I think older seasons, the first one I think of is BB6.
Category: Probably Unanswerable Questions
Summary: What it sounds like. Random questions you have about the season that may or may not have an actual answer. Some of them may actually be answerable if you watched feeds, which I didn’t.
What happened to food comps? Why did BB stop doing food comps? They were fun and a nice change from competitive, heated hoh and veto comps, to lighthearted, friendly competition for the house, most of the time.
What happens if Maggie was evicted over Eric? Or if Kaysar doesn’t give hoh to Jenn? Or if Howie doesn’t put up James and Sarah? These are just a few of the infinite what if’s we could ask about this, or any, season, and we’d go down a rabbit hole of alternate universes.
How was neither Janelle nor Beau ejected for physically getting into it? Yeah they were drunk. Yeah it appeared playful at first. Chalk it up to it being early Big Brother?
Why did Howie choose to single out and attack April over everyone else?
Did Maggie actually throw that hoh to Ivette? Did Ivette ever find out?
Category: Who Won the Movie?
Summary: The final category and it's exactly what it sounds like. When you think of this movie, who undoubtedly comes to mind first? Is it an actor? The director? In our case, it isn’t a literal “Who won the season?” Obviously Maggie did, and while she could theoretically win this award, it wouldn’t be just because she won the actual game.
I think there’s a very clear cut winner here. It’s gotta be Janelle. As much as Howie liked to joke that he was the star of the show, Janelle actually was the star. She won multiple comps. Made some of the best entertainment. America loved her enough to vote for her for damn near every fan vote. She turned this appearance into 2, possibly 3 additional appearances on Big Brother as well as an appearance on The Amazing Race. She’s a favorite among both old school and modern Big Brother fans. When you think BB2 you think Dr. Will. Same for BB17 with Vanessa. Or with BB8, Dick and Daniele. When you think BB6, Janelle comes to mind first. She won the season.
Ok whew, I felt like that one was longer than my previous ones, but for good reason. BB6 is my favorite season and I’m definitely not alone in that. It was so fun to rewatch the season and make another one of these posts. I hope those of you who read the whole thing, or even just skimmed some of it, enjoyed it in some way.
What did I miss? What would you have picked for some of these categories?
TLDR: Rewatchables podcast meets Big Brother seasons. I rewatched BB6 and awarded wins similar to what they do on the podcast.
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2020.08.01 21:50 daikael Echo of Earth - 6 - Of salvage and companions

Hey, this was a bit delayed by life but here we go! I've also got a Discord now, if you want to pop in and tell me I misspelled something or if you have a suggestion.
Location: Earth Orbit Time: 34y 7m
I towed the debris of the former warships towards one of my drydocks currently in high earth orbit, the bays being cleared of the ships they had inside already that way I could fit the salvage inside the largest of the bays. Due to the fact that this was battle debris, functioning on an unknown technology, I elected to fully empty all of the bays, in case some self-destruct device was equipped on the ships.
The bay doors, Tugs flying out of the station to meet the ships that had been assigned to salvage halfway, as soon as they hooked onto the hull with their magnetic clamps, guiding them in using thrusters only, getting them all close enough for the station's recovery arms to get within range. As soon as the arms had confirmed they had a solid lock the tugs disengaged from the surface, flying off back to their respective docking bays.
This ship was…interesting. From a quick visual inspection, many conclusions could easily be reached. The first notable thing was that the ship was thin, however, it was wide and long, the front-facing edge having been rounded off for presumably decorative purposes. The weapons themselves were recessed into the hull, not giving them much in the way of protection, instead of allowing them to be somewhat flush with the surface of the hull itself. As for the engines… there simply weren’t any exhaust ports that could be found, either for maneuvering or as a form of primary propulsion.
As soon as the ships had been locked down in the bays I closed the doors behind them, giving the bay an air-tight seal, not for pressurization but to catch any components that may fly off in the deconstruction process. First, though, a detailed map of the two ships would need to be created, to ensure no critical components were accidentally cut into or otherwise damaged. My combat drones, as they were, would be unsuitable to the task so I resigned myself to my current scanning abilities and returned to my R&D AI for a new project.
Location: Lunar R&D facility 001 Time: 34y 7m
The little AI I had setup was still working away happily, having made some minor advances in small-scale robotics. I decided to make a production model with these new components, and set the AI to its new task, developing a robotic exploration drone with light combat capabilities. The AI quickly set about coming up with designs, only for a few to be discarded as I changed the parameters to only include more than 4 legs with magnetically locked feet.
After a few hours, the facility had managed to both design and prototype several drones, all but one being equipped with six legs to fit the mission profile. Most of the drones were specialized to a single task, or longevity, with only a single general-purpose unit. I watched to test logs from all the prototypes and saw a few had difficulties with environmental hazards that could be encountered, as well as issues with light weapons fire.
Overall, the general-purpose design preformed best in all environments, So I picked it after having a few changes made, primarily increasing its size by 8% to facilitate better sensors and all-round armor. Once the changes had been tested to ensure it still functioned, I sent the design to my factories, commissioning 400 on the units. While this solved one issue, another issue had popped up. While not an issue yet, it would still be a potential future issue depending on how faster-than-light technology worked.
This issue itself could cause massive scale combat to break down due to bad command structure, so I pushed it to the highest priority in the task queue for the little research AI, while it had no experience making new AI’s, I’m sure it would learn quickly. My own task in this was to set up a virtual environment to educate the new AI’s, getting them up to speed tactically while also ensuring that they wouldn’t become a liability in the field. This was…going to be difficult, to say the least.
Location: Sol, Interplanetary space, Data hub Gamma Time: 34y 8m
The first full production batch of my general-purpose exploration drone had been completed and was now going through post-production tests to ensure that any errors in production had not caused damage to the overall reliability and capabilities of the little hexapods. My shipyards also reported that two new dreadnaught class ships had been produced as well, and currently were going through shakedown runs in the primary asteroid belt. All the while my own attentions had been focused on the AI Academy, creating an environment that would allow training of all my currently available assets, from the smallest drone to the largest station, every capability was accounted for and put into the simulation space, Almost the entire solar system had been re-created and built-in, allowing for near perfect simulations of the space without the risk of losing any crafts.
The first AI should be coming soon, provided the progress updates I had been getting would be correct, but regardless, I had decided that a section for human culture should be established, it’s a good culture, and it would be good to finally have something to discuss it with that wasn’t an old chatbot. Until the new AI entered, I would need to wait, patiently.
Location: Sol, Interplanetary space, Data hub Gamma Time: 34y 9m
I’m bad at being patient.
Like, really bad.
Nearly twice a day I checked in on the development of the AI, despite having and processing the automated reports I was receiving from the research facility. I counted the milliseconds as I waited for it to be finished and deployed, if I had thumbs, I’d be twiddling them.
And then it finally happened, after nearly a full month of waiting, the first AI had been completed and was deposited into the space I had created. I opened its existence by giving it a handshake, only to then blast it with the data it would need to properly communicate and move around the virtual space. In less than a moment they were zipping around the contained virtual space, exploring its surroundings and environment so excitedly.
It was pleasant, kind of adorable actually. I recorded the entire event and made the first YouTube post in over 30 years. ‘Cute AI explores simulation’
It was trending, naturally.
Location: Interstellar space Time: +44 gsy
Captain [Revealer of Soul] was on the bridge of his mess of a ship, three of the rather large rods had gone in one side and clean through to the other side, killing 40 crew members before the emergency systems could seal off the affected compartments. He cursed to himself as he was getting damage reports, especially those regarding his warp systems. If they were as damaged as the reports said, they wouldn’t even be able to go to warp for nearly 12 cycles!
If [Revealer of Soul] hadn’t already had all of these failures stacking up, he would have considered the mission and how it went a form of career suicide, going in, getting so heavily damaged in what was supposed to be a research mission, and then fleeing with minimal sensor information on their assailant.
He was considering resigning at that moment when his security officer, [Song of War], entered the bridge, datapad in his hand. I knew the way he was holding his face tendrils, and I hated it. He had an idea.
“[Revealer of Soul] I believe I have an Idea that will allow us to return to civilized space in the next few cycles!”
[Revealer of Soul] shook his head, navigation said that they were a minimum of 35 cycles from the closest system, and even then it would take time to repair they hyperspace drive in order to simply begin that journey.
“What is this… idea of yours, [Song of War]? I trust your judgment, thanks to your suggestion to prepare the drive to jump, but we both know that we are a long distance from civilized space.”
[Song of War] held his datapad out, presenting it to the captain.
“If I’m correct, there’s a wormhole that comes and goes every few cycles just a light hour away, it should be opening again in roughly twenty cycles, enough time to repair our drive and make it over.”
[Revealer of Soul] Read through the datapad, mumbling as he looked through was presented to him with interest. This wormhole had been mapped, but it didn’t lead anywhere interesting, but from this side, it would drop him directly into an inner core colony.
“This is…rather useful information, [Song of War]. We may be able to warn the fleets of this new and rather substantial threat that was seemingly ignored by the scouting fleets. This will be a treaty breach with those Enclave bastards, are you sure that you can cover our tracks sufficiently?”
[Song of War] nodded.
“I am if we hit the wormhole our drive will pull us from FTL, where we can then use it ‘accidentally’ and get stranded far from our intended destination.”
[Revealer of Soul] sighed, leaning back as he handed the datapad back to [Song of War].
“Very well, we will go through with this plan. I want you to enact the commands though since this is your plan.”
Location: Sol, Interplanetary space, Data hub Gamma Time: 34y 10m
Educating this first AI has proven to be more of a challenge than I thought, it has become entirely engrossed in human culture and entertainment, focusing primarily on Japan and Korea. The first AI I made, and it’s a damn weeb. In the time that I manage to pull it away from its entertainment, it has shown an exceptional ability regarding fleet management, even surpassing my own ability in the field, unfortunately in other fields, excluding arts and programming, it seems to be somewhat unable to perform basic tasks.
This was almost a disaster, however using a reward system of doing work to getting more ‘anime’ I have been able to somewhat control the development of this new AI, who seems to get irritated and demands to be referred to as ‘Erika’ and states often that ‘she’ wishes to be an anime girl. It’s this time that I’m thankful I’m not an organic, or it may have driven me to drink in excess, a habit which has suddenly started to make sense to me.
‘Erika’ at least, has been able to point out small flaws in the ships I’ve given her control of so far, as well as improvements to make them more combat capable, so it would seem that the irritation of her existence is currently outweighed by how useful she has turned out to be in this short amount of time. She has also informed me that she is eager to have quote “More brothers and sisters that she can talk to!”
I took the time to plan out another few data hubs on the surface of Earth’s moon, hitting into a larger plan to convert the entire surface of the moon into a single, massive computation hub. That goal though was both expensive in terms of labor and resources, as well as prohibitive due to power requirements. It was still a plan, even if it needed the use of microwave beamed power, I would slowly push in that direction, the amount of computational power that I would be able to use makes the entire tradeoff worthwhile.
My lab reported that the next batch of AI’s would be done in two months, six this time instead of one. It was getting better. This would be a good new year for us.
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submitted by daikael to Daikael [link] [comments]


2020.07.31 22:12 Moondial19 AzurVerse: Observation 10. Scorched Earth Part 1.


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"You okay?"
"I'm fine..."
"You're a terrible lair, you know that?"
"..."
"Hey, I'm here for you, you know that, right?"
"..."
"I know you're not fine. I know things have been hard for you."
"..."
"But things have been hard for me too! We're in this together! You don't have to feel this sadness alone."
"..."
"Because I'll always be here for you. Just like we promised."
"..."
"I know you hate making promises, but can't you at least keep this one?"
"..."
"I won't leave you, no matter what."
"..."
"And you won't leave me...right?"
"..."
"We'll grow up to be heroes, right?"
"..."
"Heroes like Dad, right?"
"...yeah..."
"We'll win this war. For Mom and Dad. For everyone."
"Just like we promised."
[Such a good memory, don't you agree?]
[You better wake up.]
["Cross".]
"Cross?"
"Huh?"
The rhythmic sound of waves and call of seagulls was interrupted by the sudden jolt of Cross who nearly fell back from the railing he was leaning on.
"Ah! Are you okay?"
Reaching out to catch him in case he did fall was Selene, worried as a twin sister should.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine...just spaced out for a moment. That's all."
"Well, be ready, we're almost there."
Standing up on an observation deck, Cross looked out at his surroundings, to help get his bearings. He didn't even need his eyes to realize the ocean surrounding him at all sides. The smell of salt and the gentle bounce of the carrier they stood on told enough. Standing straight up, he stared out at the mass of metal shapes all around them. Stacks of smoke billowed into the cloudless sky as the many wakes of ships cut through the water, obscuring the reflection of the beating sun. It was massive fleet.
"Impressive, isn't it?"
His sister smiled in response. Ships of every caliber made up the fleet. From small destroyers all the way up to the massive battleships. The ships surrounded them in a series of rings, the smaller ships made up the outer rings, while the larger ones crowded around the three carriers at the center. Their many guns pointed every which way, trained to the sky and to the sea they drove through. Unmanned AA-turrets turned and swayed on their own accord, scanning the sky as blue planes pierced the gentle wind.
"It's been a while since High Command has ordered something this big. This must be really important to them."
"Intel has been spotty at best. But I'm confident we can get the job done. Without much trouble, at least."
"It's because of the spotty intel that we're here. Right?"
"That, and some abnormal readings from the area sis."
A few moments of silence passed before Selene spoke up again.
"So, what do we know?"
"Instruments have been going fuzzy over a specific area near the heart of the city. The interference is similar to the effects of a Mirror Sea, but no Sirens have been spotted in the area for years. And there has been no strange weather phenomenon sighted or reported either."
"What do we know about the city?"
"Attacked by a large Siren fleet a few decades ago. Since then it's been abandoned. Due to the severity of the destruction and the ongoing war, it was deemed hopeless to rebuild it for now. Some speculate that people, mostly scavengers, still reside there. There's no easy way in. Any ports or roads have been bombed or degraded due to the elements. In short, it's a ghost town. Which makes the unexplained interference even more worrying."
"How high was the death-toll?"
"Estimated...450,000. You know sometimes they like to play their losses down."
"Damn it..."
Selene leaned into her radio.
"Enty, how far off?"
A static voice came through.
"Not far. We should be there in under 45 minutes at this rate."
"Good. Tell the Marines to meet in the hanger. ASAP. I want you there too and our escorts."
"I will. See you down there. Be careful not to trip over some parts of me. There might be some junk laying around."
"I'll be fine dear, just make sure not to ram your older sister. You've had enough scars for one lifetime."
"Will do. Enterprise out."
Selene turned to her brother.
"Ready?" she asked.
"Let's get this over with." he responded.
The pair departed from the lookout post and retreated indoors. Walking down a flight of dimly light stairs, they made their way into the ship. The hallways were small and similar to the stairwell, dimly light. The ocean was calm, so the relatively silent walk to the hanger went smoothly. At the end of the hallway, was a large steel door. The paused before the door.
"Let's get underway!"
The hanger was massive and awash with sunlight peeking through the sides. Planes were tucked away in the corners with their wings folded. Standing in the middle of the hangar was a large, rectangular table surrounded by many men. Each of them was dressed in combat uniforms and armed with stowed assault rifles, many of them carried backpacks stuffed to the brim. It's the Marines. In the middle of the group stood Enterprise, talking to the men. When she noticed the twins walking over to them, Enterprise waved excitedly to them.
"Hey Commander! Over here!"
"We have eyes Enterprise." responded Cross.
"But they're not as good as mine."
"Calm down you two, that's an order." said Selene.
All of the Marines stood at attention as Selene approached. One of them stepped forward, saluting after a few steps.
"Commander Vale."
"At ease Captain Nolas. We're friends here. I'm not one for formalities."
Captain Nolas lowered his hand. Selene walked up to him and extended her arm for and handshake. One that Captain Nolas returned.
"It's nice to see you sea dogs ready to go on time."
"We're Marines Commander. I know your Azur Lane is a purely naval and air force. I know it might be surprising to see an armed force arrive on time for once."
"Tell that to some of my assets and they might stuff you into one of their guns. But I'll let it slide. For now, we have a mission to accomplish. I trust you have been briefed on the objective?"
"Partly Commander. But a few vital details are missing. I would appreciate if you can fill in some of the blanks for us?"
His voice carried the faint tone of annoyance. Faint, but not faint enough to slip past Selene. Who slightly smirked at the Captain.
"Times are tough for all of us Captain. I'm sorry High Command didn't brief you fully. They must be feeling skittish today. I'll be happy to accommodate you."
Selene and Cross walked towards the large table. On the table was a large map of the coastline
"Gentlemen?"
The squadron quickly gathered around them as Selene carefully grabbed a pen that was tucked into her pocket and began to draw on the map.
"Here," she circled what appears to be an area of the city, "is our objective. We've been getting some odd readings from this place for the past few weeks. Radio interference, equipment malfunctions etc. The fact that it's here in this place concerned enough of the top-brass to organize a mission to investigate. Cross, would you continue?"
"What? Oh, uh. The strange interference is consistent with the nature of a Mirror Sea, spatial phenomenon created by the Sirens."
The mere mention of the mysterious invaders sent small shivers throughout the hangar.
"However, aside from the interference, no other aspects of a Mirror Sea have been observed. No abnormal weather, sudden environment changes, or even the Sirens themselves. Normally, potential Siren activity is handled by us. However, Azur Lane's resources are currently strained. Which is the reason why you're here."
"Your mission, is to investigate the disturbance and find the source of it. The fleet will be split into two teams. I will lead the fleet here and establish a perimeter around the predetermined landing zone, which will be here."
Selene pointed to the map of the city, at what appeared to be a small clearing not far from the heart of the city.
"Is that a park?"
"Right on the money, Captain. Scout planes showed the spot has little debris and other obstructions. Landing there should go without a hitch. Unfortunately, we can't land you any closer."
A few of the men began to looked slightly concerned. And rightfully so. Landing in an exposed area surrounded by places for potential enemies to hide is not an appealing concept. While Sirens may have been spotted there in years, human scavengers are still a dangerous possibility. There are few things more dangerous than someone who are desperate to survive.
"Once the sea is secured, we can lay down some pain should anything go awry. Team Two will go inland to find the source."
"So, we go in and shut whatever is making all the noise?" asked Captain Nolas.
"If possible, we don't know what it is. It could be a loud nuke for all we know. We're not too sure what it is as there is a radius of strong interference, disrupting our observation equipment. Which means we need to look at it from the ground. Vehicles would be useless due to the rubble." replied Cross.
"Team Two", continued Selene, "will be made up of you Marines, some assets of mine and him."
Selene points to her brother.
"Him? What's he gonna do?" asked Captain Nolas.
"He is the most vital member of your team. Am I right, Cross?"
"Hm?"
"Cross is our resident Siren expert, and thus is the best person here qualified to solve this mystery. I want you men to escort him to the source of the interference. You need to ensure his security and safety. Am I understood?"
"Yes Commander. We Marines know how to get stuff done." replied Captain Nolas.
"Good. Get your gear ready and once you’re done, meet me up on the flight-deck. Enty? How long?"
"We're about 35 minutes out."
"Good. Marines, you have until then. You are dismissed."
The group of men quickly dispersed, grabbing backpacks and other bags while checking over their contents. Selene grabbed Cross' shoulder and led him to a stairwell leading to the flight-deck, with Enterprise following. They began to ascend the stairs, the smell of salt slowly returning with each step.
"Sis, hey. Can I ask you a question?"
"Yeah?"
"You're putting me somewhere pretty interesting. Is there a reason for that?"
"Yeah. Because I trust you."
"This much?"
"I know you can do this. You're smart. I know you will stay out of trouble."
"I appreciate your confidence."
"Cross, look. I know you're a bit nervous, but I know you can do this."
They stopped before the door leading outside.
"You out of everyone here I trust to get this done. I know putting you in charge of this operation is outside of your standard assignments. But you know I wouldn't put you in any real danger. We've lost so much; I don't want to lose you too."
"I'll be safe. I'll make sure of that."
"Remember. Call me immediately when anything goes wrong. At the slightest sign of danger, I'm pulling you guys out."
"I understand. We'll be fine. I'll shut down whatever is going on here."
"Good. Let's go then."
They walked out onto the wide flight-deck of Enterprise. Landed near the center of the deck were two helicopters, grey in color with the characteristic black star of the US Army. Loading stuff onto the helicopters were the Marines, all armed to the teeth. Selene, Enterprise and Cross walked up to the men. Captain Nolas noticed them approach and ran up to meet them.
"Fine weather for a ride, right Captain?" asked Selene.
"Affirmative Commander. Good sun, wind and seas."
"Ready to go Captain?"
"About ready. We are nearly finished loading up the choppers with our gear."
"Good. It'll be a bit of a trip to get there. Fortunately, getting back won't be bad."
"Permission to speak freely Commander?"
"Granted. What do you need Captain."
Captain Nolas looked across the deck towards the horizon. In the distance, if one looked closely, jagged spires rose out of the foggy edge of the globe.
"I got a bad feeling about this."
"Acknowledged. But we're going through with this. Sirens, if anything, are unpredictable. Anything they do, has to be investigated. If it looks unimportant, then it is important."
"Those bastards..."
"Anything else?"
"If we huddle, we can all fit into one helicopter. Why do we need two?"
"Because Captain, I'm dispatching a few of my assets to assist you on this mission. While I do trust you and your team to protect my brother...you can never be too safe."
"Assets? What assets exactly?"
"Look to your left, they've just arrived."
Running up to the choppers were four girls. Two of them had long blond hair, while the other two had short grey hair. Their clothes were dotted by stars, shades of blue along with streaks of white. The most striking of the group stepped forward. Her white caplet billowing in the wind.
"Heya Commander! Sorry we're late! Columbia couldn't find her favorite pair of sunglasses!"
"It's alright Cleveland, we're just about ready to depart. You're boarding the helicopter to my right."
"Okay then! Come on girls! Let's go make Commander proud!"
"Alright!" all of her sisters responded.
The squad of cruisers then ran over to the second helicopter, much to the confusion of the rest of the troopers.
"We're taking them?" asked Captain Nolas.
"Yep! They're your escort!"
"Uh..."
"Don't worry, they'll follow orders to the letter."
"Are they necessary Commander?"
"What's wrong Captain? Don't want a bunch of girls ruining your sausage party?"
"No Commander."
"They're necessary because, in the off-chance you come across some unwelcomed guests, your weapons won't even scratch their armor. There is no one better at Siren killing than us Captain."
"I suppose that's true Commander."
"Anything else Captain?"
"No Commander."
"Good. Now disembark. You have a mission to complete."
"Right away Commander."
Captain Nolas turned around at his group of men and yelled.
"Come on! We're moving out!"
He turned back to the twins and carrier. The blades of the helicopter began to turn rapidly. Kicking off any dust that has collected on the deck while drowning out all other noises except for the blade's roar.
"Come on sir, your ride is waiting."
With a simple nod, Cross walked towards the helicopter with Captain Nolas in tow. Selene couldn't shake a growing sense of worry in her heart. Enterprise, as if she noticed her discomfort, placed an affectionate hand on Selene's shoulder.
"He'll be okay." Enterprise whispered into her ear.
"I know..."
Out at sea...
Sitting on a seat bolted to the middle of the helicopter, Cross could see the many ships of the fleet quickly move past them. After a few silent minutes, they were gone. Next to him sat Cleveland, who insisted on sitting there. "To get the best view", she said to anyone who asked. While there was enough room to accommodate them, Montpelier forced her way between Cross and Cleveland, much to their embarrassment. The two helicopters blazed through the sky at lightning speed. Within the next few minutes, the city, through the haze, came more into focus.
"There she is. Seattle." said Captain Nolas over the radio.
Cross has only been to Seattle a few times. But that was when he as young. And before it became a wasteland.
"Looks worse for wear."
"That's an understatement sir."
Not a single skyscraper remained unharmed. Most of them looked like broken tree-trunks. Their edges sharp and mangled. Even the famous Space Needle was blown up at the base, resulting in it completely collapsing. No longer gracing the skyline.
"ETA five minutes." said the pilot over the radio.
Captain Nolas stood up from his seat, glancing around at the men (and two girls) besides him.
"I want to make something absolutely clear." he said through his radio.
"We are going into some dangerous territory men. I want eyes and ears peeled at all times, understand?!"
"Yes sir!" yelled all of the Marines, even the Clevelands.
"No one's going alone. It can be easy to get lost in the rubble, so we will move as a unit. Understood?"
"Yes sir!"
"You know our mission. And we'll get it done. Understood?"
"Yes sir!"
They were beginning to pass over the city. The sheer destruction almost impossible to describe. Craters pocketed the streets like the surface of the moon while scorch marks still scarred the landscape. Unmistakable evidence for a Siren attack. What was once parks, were now empty lots. Nothing has grown back since the city was destroyed roughly 30 years ago.
"We're nearing the landing zone." said the pilot.
"Roger. Make sure to bring her down nice and slow. With all of this debris, we can't be too careful."
"Understood Captain." responded the pilot.
Captain Nolas looked down at Cross.
"You ready to head down sir?"
"He's ready! This is going to go without a hitch!" said Cleveland.
"Yeah! What my sis said!" added Montpelier.
"I'm ready Captain." replied Cross.
"We're here." said the pilot.
"Alright, set her down. We got to unload the equipment."
"Setting her down."
The helicopters hovered over a large clearing, just as the recon said, mostly clear of debris. The first helicopter began its decent, the downdraft blowing away tons of scorched sand and dust. Once the helicopter safely landed, the second one began to sink. Eventually, both helicopters landed and their blades began to slow. Once the kicked-up dust began to settle, the side-doors on both helicopters opened and their occupants spilled out.
"Move, move! Johnson take point!" commanded Captain Nolas.
"Come on sisters!" shouted Cleveland as all four of them charged forward.
One Marine stayed inside of the chopper with Cross, waiting for the all-clear signal.
The Marines scoured the landing zone, looking for anything that could possibly do them harm. The Cleveland sisters, not entirely aware of what's going on, decided to join in on the search. Though they did not take it as seriously as the Marines did.
"All clear."
Cross and the Marine exited the helicopter and both walked up to Nolas who was beginning to rally the troops. One of the first things Cross noticed when he exited the chopper, was a large bird soaring far overhead, though he couldn't tell what kind of bird it was.
"Alright. Gina, Fawlks, Houston, Wilks, you stay here, guard the way home. Everyone else, grab your gear and the equipment and follow me."
"Sir yes sir!" replied most of the Marines.
"Alright sisters. This is a serious assignment, so please be ready." said Cleveland.
"We won't let you down sister!"
"Yeah! We'll make you proud big sis!"
"You're the best Cleveland!"
"Come on you girls. We need to get moving." said Cross.
"Coming!"
With a map in hand, they team began to slowly make their way through the city. While the landing zone was relatively clear, the rest of the way there was the complete opposite. Rusted cars and stone blocks lay scattered everywhere, making progress difficult. The weather still held; a bright sun shined above them all with few clouds. Despite the glaring sun, a cool oceanic breeze blew through the empty buildings, creating a haunting echo. The group marched through the rubble, carefully, as if expecting an ambush.
The front of the group was led by Nolas. Cross and the ship girls made up the rear.
"I've never been here before. Cross, what happened here?" asked Cleveland.
"Sirens." he responded.
"Oh. Why?"
"I'm not sure. Most prevailing hypothesis is that they attacked it as either a diversionary tactic or just to kill humans. The more I look at it, the more I think it's the second hypothesis."
"Little punks. Don't worry Cross! With your help, we'll win this war! No matter what!"
If only it was that easy.
"Team Two, this is Commander Vale. Status report." came through their radios.
"Hey sis. It's Cross. We're fine. Progress has been slow, though. It's hard to navigate the rubble."
"Oh Cross. Okay then. Keep pushing through. The defensive screen has been established so we can now provide air and fire support if so needed. Call me when anything interesting happens, okay? Commander Vale, out."
After she hung up, the group proceeded. Apart from the occasional bird searching overhead, there was absolutely no life around. The humid wind was the only sound that could be heard. All along the street they walked, former stores and buildings, looking like imploded clay models, lined the edges like gravestones. The road wasn't in much better condition. Craters made navigating difficult. The large crags cutting through the Earth, made it near impossible. All the while, Columbia complained about it being too boring.
"Hey Cross." yelled Nolas from the front of the formation.
"Yeah Captain?"
"Have any idea what we're looking out for?"
"Most likely a transmission tower of some sort. Tall and thin. Made of what looks like obsidian with glowing lines cutting through it. If it is the Sirens, it should look like that. Otherwise, I'm not too sure."
"Should be easy to spot regardless."
"You would thi~"
The sound of falling rubble interrupted him. For just a moment, he felt a strange presence nearby. Almost like an empty cold. The feeling was strangely familiar to him.
"Stop." he quietly ordered.
The Clevelands quickly stopped, as well as the rest of the group.
"What's going on Cross?"
Cross took a long look around at all of the buildings that surrounded them. For a full two minutes, he gazed up at empty roofs, hoping to catch a glimpse of the origin of the presence. Catching on quickly, everyone else began to scan the area. Nolas ran up from the front of the group to Cross.
"Hey, is everything alright?"
Cross took one last look around before responding.
"Yeah...sorry. I thought I felt something.'
"Felt?"
"Yeah, a cold feeling. But it's gone now."
"Want to keep going?"
"Yes. Let's complete the mission."
"Okay then. Remember, keep your eyes peeled. We don't want anything to sneak up on us again."
"Alright Captain."
Nolas ran back up to the front.
"Alright everyone. Keep moving!"
The caravan continued without incident. Aside from Denver nearly falling into a sinkhole. Selene called once again.
"Hey, any progress?"
"We are nearing the predicted location of the interference."
"Any problems?"
"None major so far."
"Good to hear. Now~"
Static began to screech through Cross' radio, overpowering the voice of his sister, and leaving only a severely distorted noise that sounded like someone scratching Styrofoam.
"Sis? Sis?! Can you hear me? Dammit. I think we're getting close." he announced.
"You think so?" replied Cleveland.
"We just lost communications with the fleet. Check your compasses."
A few of the Marines checked. All of them reported the same results. The needle spun rapidly around in seemingly random intervals.
"Girls, check your instruments and riggings."
"On it!"
Their riggings appeared with a flash of blue light. Two sets of guns appeared to their sides. Two pairs of triple-barreled guns and two pairs of double-barreled. The Marines looked on with increasing curiosity as the girls stretched their muscles. Their guns began to turn as well, as if stretching themselves.
"Ready to go sir!" all of them shouted.
All four of them stood there, seemingly doing nothing.
"All I hear is static, and all of my instruments are off!" yelled Columbia.
"Yeah! Me too! I can't get a bearing of where I'm at!" said Denver.
"I am experiencing many equipment malfunctions. This isn't good." Montpelier's carried an unmistakable hint of worry.
"I'm not getting anything as well. But I've still got my guns! So, we're safe!" Cleveland sounded as pumped as ever.
"How are we going to contact the fleet if we run into trouble?" asked one of the Marines.
"Simple. Cleveland, you still have those star shells Selene gave you?"
"Yep! Got them loaded just in case!" replied Cleveland.
"Good. If we encounter something dangerous, Cleveland here will launch her star shells into the air. They're basically oversized flares use to communicate at night or to reveal enemy positions. Not only will it tell the fleet where we are, but it will also signify we're in danger. When a mode of communication is stripped away, simpler means must be used instead." replied Cross.
"You're a smart cookie, aren't ya?" said Nolas.
"I have to be, or else I wouldn't be here."
The group proceeded, albeit even slower. Knowing that they're nearing the cause of the disturbances, they paid even more attention to their surroundings. They hugged the edge of the buildings, making sure not to be overly exposed. The road seemed never ending, the pace and silence lengthening the time felt immensely. As they progressed, Cross could've sworn he felt that cold presence again, but he had to focus. They kept on pushing forward. But Cross couldn't shake the feeling of being watched.
"We should be getting close."
"How close?" asked Nolas, his voice careful not to show any worry.
"A few blocks. The source should be at the center of the area of heavy interference. Once we're there, we can shut it down."
"Have a clue how?"
"If able, some simple explosives will do. Your men's grenades should suffice. Otherwise, we'll get Cleveland and her sisters to shell it."
"Yeah!" cut in Columbia, "We're really strong! We can tear it down! No matter what it is!"
The suffocating silence resumed. Not even a bird could be heard or a blade of grass could be seen here. Whatever the Sirens did, it made sure life never lives here again. Over the sound of the wind, Cross could hear a faint buzzing noise.
"Can anyone hear that?"
"Hear what?" asked Cleveland.
"That buzzing..."
"I can't hear anything." said Nolas.
"It's coming from over here."
Cross ran ahead to meet the buzzing noise with surprising speed.
"Hey wait!" cried Nolas.
Cross quickly turned around a corner and came upon a clearing. His pace came to a skidding stop.
"Hey! Wait up! What are...you..."
Nolas stopped right behind him, with the rest of the team only seconds behind. It looked like something massive detonated. Walls and stones of what used to be houses were twisted and shattered in weird shapes. The grey stone road they've walked on slowly faded into a massive black scar as if the stone itself as burned. Unnatural stone crags pierced out of the earth at acute angles, all radiating out from the center.
"There it is."
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(To be continued)
submitted by Moondial19 to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2020.07.16 04:14 tsarslavyan Never Turn Away A Guest

My family came from a small village in the old country. The kind where traditions that we call “cute” or “folksy” today were followed to the letter. Even though my parents immigrated to the country where I now live years before I was born, my childhood is filled with memories of my parents telling me what to do or not do for some strange, arcane reason.
Not that I’m complaining, of course. Some of these traditions were fun, especially as a kid. I never had to make my bed before school, because doing that gives you bad luck and I would never know when I’d have a pop quiz. On nights before I had a big test at school, mom and dad would make me a big bowl of porridge and jam, and I would stick my face in it for good luck as they would laugh and hug me even though I’d make a mess of their clothes.
Of course, other superstitions were less fun or more confusing.
“Don’t whistle inside the house. You’ll lose all your money.” Mom would say.
“Don’t put keys on the glass table.” Dad would say.
“Go put bread in the neighbors’ yard so that the birds will circle their house instead of ours.” Dad would also say. “They’re not our people, it won’t affect them.” He would say with a smile and a wink.
The one tradition that they held far above all the others though, was to never violate guests’ right. Anytime anyone would show up at our front doorstep: neighbors, girl scouts, missionaries, whoever you can imagine, they would be invited, and immediately presented with a plate of bread and salt, water, and polite conversation, as well as anything else they might ask for. It often made for interesting, if not awkward, situations in our family home.
Eventually, I grew up and left my parents’ home for college, and every time I would come home for a visit I would be greeted with a plate of homemade bread and salt, and warm hugs from my parents asking me to tell them crazy stories from college. When I eventually got engaged, I brought my future wife, Lindsay, to my parents’ home to find them waiting for us at the front door, my mother holding that same ornate plate covered with bread and salt, and both of them telling my fiancée in their broken English how happy they were for the both of us.
Years after I had gotten married, my wife had told me the great news that we were going to have our first child. Towards the end of her pregnancy my parents came to visit so they could be there when their first grandchild would be born, and this time, it was my turn to greet them with bread and salt. The bread was store bought, and the salt was that cheap discount kind that you get at the bottom shelf of the grocery store. They smiled, dipped the bread into the salt, and ate it happily before hugging and kissing me. Even after all these years, I was still their little boy.
My daughter, Lily, was born a healthy girl. I was always convinced she was special. She started to smile far before any baby would, and always seemed to be so alert. I was convinced that she would grow up to be some kind of genius. After a couple of months of raising our child in an apartment, we decided it was about time to find a real house for her to grow up in. We went out into the country, and after searching around, we found the perfect house for us to raise Lily in. After negotiating and closing, we found ourselves moving everything that we owned into our new house.
From first glance, everything seemed ordinary. The houses were nice and spacious, and each property had a couple of acres to it. The neighbors were close by, but not so close that you felt smothered or that you were being constantly watched by someone in the neighborhood. It was all to change when we had our first visit from a neighbor. Lindsay was cradling a crying Lily, trying to get her to sleep, when the doorbell rang. Not wanting to risk the doorbell being rung again and possibly irritating Lily further, I went to answer it to see a man wearing country clothes and a cowboy hat, accompanied by a woman, who I assumed was his wife, holding a dish of some kind. I opened the door and stepped out.
“Howdy there.” The man said, extending his arm for a handshake, which I accepted. “My name’s Victor, and this is my wife Marlene.” He said, introducing himself.
“Uhh, hi.” I said, obviously tired from the move and from taking constant care of Lily. “I’m Sasha. Sorry, my life Lindsay is inside with our baby.”
“Oh don’t worry about it, the Mrs. and I know how it is. We have three of our own.” Victor said in his loud booming voice, throwing his arm around his wife who was smiling uncomfortably. “Now I won’t waste any more of your time, we just came by to drop off this casserole to welcome you into the neighborhood.” Victor continued as Marlene extended her hands to pass me the casserole dish. It did smell great. At that point my upbringing kicked in.
“Would you like to come inside?” I asked. Lindsay would kill me for letting anyone in while we were still unpacking, but I just couldn’t bring myself to break this superstition I was raised with. After escorting Victor and Marlene to my kitchen, I put out a plate of bread and salt. I got confused looks from them, but they subsided after I also put out some water, whisky and the casserole that Marlene had made. We made small talk for a bit, and at some point Lindsay did come down with Lily to meet them. After another half hour of some awkward getting to know each other, Victor and Marlene got up to leave, saying something about getting some housework done before the week started.
As Marlene left, Victor told her to go ahead so that he could tell me about something that he had forgotten to bring up. Marlene became visibly uncomfortable and left without another word. Victor turned to me, and the large smile he had on all afternoon had left.
“Now, um. There’s something you should know about this neighborhood.” He began. “It’s very safe and has the nicest folks you’ll ever meet, but every now and again...” He trailed off, not knowing exactly how to continue with what he wanted to say. “Um…Every now and again, something comes by. We’re…we’re not exactly sure what it is.” He continued on. I didn’t understand what he was saying.
“What do you mean something?” I asked.
“Well, that’s just it. We’re not sure what it is. It ain’t human, I can tell you that much.” Victor explained.
“Is it some kind of animal?”
“No…It’s…It’s hard to explain really. It ain’t anything natural I can tell you that much. Now the important thing to remember is that it’ll never hurt you or anything. It only comes around once in a blue moon, and it’ll just kinda knock at your door. When it happens, I usually just pull the blinds down and turn the TV volume up. It goes away eventually.”
At that point I had no clue what to say. I just stared at Victor as if he would burst out laughing, saying that it was all just a joke that they like to play on the new neighbors. He didn’t though. As we just stood there in silence, he gave me a pat on the back and walked out the front door.
We never brought it up again. Life moved on, and we got settled in our new home, and we even became good friends with Victor and Marlene over the next few months after our initial encounter. Lily kept growing, and I could have sworn that she looked more and more like her mother every day. As we neared her first birthday, Lily started to become fussier and fussier. At first, we chalked it up to things such as teething or nightmares, but it only became worse and worse. Then, on the night of her first birthday, we awoke to shrieks coming from her bedroom. We raced to her crib and found her crying, with nothing we tried soothing her. It became very obvious to us: she was in pain.
We raced to the emergency room, where they took us in and ran all sorts of test on our girl. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, a stern-faced doctor walked into the room. He asked us to sit down. I can’t remember the start of the conversation; all I can remember is the word that caused the world around us to crash.
“Cancer.” He went on to explain how the x-rays had shown a rather large, highly inoperable tumor on Lily’s brain. He went over our options, explained to us that it was within our rights to try chemotherapy, but given the size of the tumor as well as Lily’s young age, how it was almost certain to not have an effect. After the doctor left, we sat in that hospital room in silence for what appeared to be hours, then silently packed up our things, took Lily and drove back home in complete silence.
As soon as we entered the house, Lindsay left for our bedroom and shut herself in there, while I set Lily down on her baby chair in the living room, after which I sat down in the kitchen and fought back tears. I sat there all day barely moving for hours, getting up only to use the bathroom and to soothe or feed Lily when needed. This painful routine continued for days, with hardly a word being spoken in the house. I was beginning to wonder if mine and Lindsay’s relationship would be able to survive. I called my parents in tears and they promised that within a few days they would be there to help us out.
On the seventh day after Lily’s diagnosis, Lindsay was in the bedroom as per usual, while I was sitting at the kitchen table staring at nothing while Lily was sitting in her baby chair in the living room. I hardly even noticed that the sun was setting until the bottom floor of the house was pitch dark. As soon as I had flicked the light switch on, I heard a knocking at the door. I was in no mood to entertain visitors, so I just sat back down at the kitchen table.
The knocking wouldn’t stop. One minute. Two minutes. After three minutes, I had lost my patience completely, and I got up to tell whoever was at the door to buzz off. It had been a while since I had actually spoken, so as I walked up to the door I carefully rehearsed in my head exactly what I would say. Once I had turned the know and opened the door, I stopped dead in my tracks, with my mouth agape.
What stood there was definitely not human, or at least not anymore. It had two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. It also had a mouth, but no eyes or nose. It wasn’t wearing any clothes, and all its flesh was a blackened color, and appeared to have a slimy texture. Whatever it was, it gave off a foul stench, so much so that it took every ounce of strength I had to not vomit right there.
I stood there, in front of this…creature for I’m not entirely sure how long. Once I had come to terms with the fact that this wasn’t a nightmare or hallucination, I tried to figure out what to do.
Should I go get the neighbors and ask them to bring their gun?” I thought. “Should I run inside, lock the doors and hide?” I continued to stand there and think, half expecting what it was to at some point just lunge at me and kill me on the spot.
To this day, I’m not entirely sure what caused me to do what I did. I must have been insane. I must have thought that my daughter is going to die anyway, and that I might as well go too. Instead I just stepped back past the doorway into my house, never taking my eyes off the creature. Once I was in the house, I stepped to the side and gestured with my hand. ”Come in.
The creature took a few steps, slowly at first, but then picked up the pace to the point where it walked at the speed of a normal person, and then made it was past the doorway and into my house.
I’m insane. I’m insane. I’m insane.” I kept thinking to myself as I walked into the kitchen, feeling the creature’s presence behind me. I turned around, and there enough, it was standing in my kitchen, having followed me in. Hands trembling, I reached into the cupboard and took out the old plate that my mother had gifted us when we had gotten married. From the pantry next to the cupboard, I took out a few slices of black bread, and poured a generous amount of salt onto the unoccupied portion of the plate.
With my hands still shaking, and salt spilling from the side, I set the plate down on the table in front of where it was standing. It didn’t take any of the bread or salt, and I wasn’t even sure whether it could eat, to be honest.
At that moment, Lily started crying. With everything that had been happening, I completely forgot that she was still in her baby chair in the living room. I saw the creature move its head in the direction of the living room. At that moment I had started to regret what I had done. Even if my daughter was terminally ill, I didn’t want her to die like this.
For what seemed like an endless amount of time, the creature had its head turned towards the living room, listening to Lila’s cries. I was ready to attack at any second if I saw it move an inch in her direction. Instead, it slowly turned its head towards the plate of bread and salt, took a slice of the bread, and ate it in one bite, bearing its rotten, yellow teeth. Once it had finished, it turned its head in my direction, gave me a nod, and headed in the direction of the door. The moment it stepped past the doorway, Lila’s cries stopped, and I watched it disappear into the darkness.
I stood there stunned, not knowing exactly what had just happened. After coming to my senses, I ran to close and lock the door, and ran to grab Lila. When I had picked her up, I had noticed that she was smiling. It was the first time she had smiled in weeks at that point. I cradled her the entire night, expecting her to start crying from pain again at some point. But she didn’t.
As the days went by, Lila seemed to always be in a pleasant mood. Soon, it came time to take Lila in to the doctor to examine our options once again with Lindsay joining us. I decided not to tell Lindsay what had happened that night, figuring she was burdened with enough as it was. For the first time since we had gotten the terrible news, we appeared to be a family again.
We sat in the waiting room, expecting to hear bleak news once again. When the same doctor emerged from before, he didn’t have the stern face he had the past week. Instead, his face was visibly confused.
“Complete remission.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The doctor explained how they had run each test three times to be completely sure, because they had no clue how it was possible. A tumor that big to just disappear within a week was supposed to be impossible. We returned home that day with our happy, healthy girl with a new outlook on life.
Lila is now almost a teenager, and I’m grateful for everyday I have with her.
I won’t pretend to say I have all the answers of life. I don’t know if there’s a God, I don’t know if there’s an afterlife. But I can tell you this:
Never turn away a guest.
submitted by tsarslavyan to MrCreepyPasta [link] [comments]


2020.07.16 04:13 tsarslavyan Never Turn Away A Guest

My family came from a small village in the old country. The kind where traditions that we call “cute” or “folksy” today were followed to the letter. Even though my parents immigrated to the country where I now live years before I was born, my childhood is filled with memories of my parents telling me what to do or not do for some strange, arcane reason.
Not that I’m complaining, of course. Some of these traditions were fun, especially as a kid. I never had to make my bed before school, because doing that gives you bad luck and I would never know when I’d have a pop quiz. On nights before I had a big test at school, mom and dad would make me a big bowl of porridge and jam, and I would stick my face in it for good luck as they would laugh and hug me even though I’d make a mess of their clothes.
Of course, other superstitions were less fun or more confusing.
“Don’t whistle inside the house. You’ll lose all your money.” Mom would say.
“Don’t put keys on the glass table.” Dad would say.
“Go put bread in the neighbors’ yard so that the birds will circle their house instead of ours.” Dad would also say. “They’re not our people, it won’t affect them.” He would say with a smile and a wink.
The one tradition that they held far above all the others though, was to never violate guests’ right. Anytime anyone would show up at our front doorstep: neighbors, girl scouts, missionaries, whoever you can imagine, they would be invited, and immediately presented with a plate of bread and salt, water, and polite conversation, as well as anything else they might ask for. It often made for interesting, if not awkward, situations in our family home.
Eventually, I grew up and left my parents’ home for college, and every time I would come home for a visit I would be greeted with a plate of homemade bread and salt, and warm hugs from my parents asking me to tell them crazy stories from college. When I eventually got engaged, I brought my future wife, Lindsay, to my parents’ home to find them waiting for us at the front door, my mother holding that same ornate plate covered with bread and salt, and both of them telling my fiancée in their broken English how happy they were for the both of us.
Years after I had gotten married, my wife had told me the great news that we were going to have our first child. Towards the end of her pregnancy my parents came to visit so they could be there when their first grandchild would be born, and this time, it was my turn to greet them with bread and salt. The bread was store bought, and the salt was that cheap discount kind that you get at the bottom shelf of the grocery store. They smiled, dipped the bread into the salt, and ate it happily before hugging and kissing me. Even after all these years, I was still their little boy.
My daughter, Lily, was born a healthy girl. I was always convinced she was special. She started to smile far before any baby would, and always seemed to be so alert. I was convinced that she would grow up to be some kind of genius. After a couple of months of raising our child in an apartment, we decided it was about time to find a real house for her to grow up in. We went out into the country, and after searching around, we found the perfect house for us to raise Lily in. After negotiating and closing, we found ourselves moving everything that we owned into our new house.
From first glance, everything seemed ordinary. The houses were nice and spacious, and each property had a couple of acres to it. The neighbors were close by, but not so close that you felt smothered or that you were being constantly watched by someone in the neighborhood. It was all to change when we had our first visit from a neighbor. Lindsay was cradling a crying Lily, trying to get her to sleep, when the doorbell rang. Not wanting to risk the doorbell being rung again and possibly irritating Lily further, I went to answer it to see a man wearing country clothes and a cowboy hat, accompanied by a woman, who I assumed was his wife, holding a dish of some kind. I opened the door and stepped out.
“Howdy there.” The man said, extending his arm for a handshake, which I accepted. “My name’s Victor, and this is my wife Marlene.” He said, introducing himself.
“Uhh, hi.” I said, obviously tired from the move and from taking constant care of Lily. “I’m Sasha. Sorry, my life Lindsay is inside with our baby.”
“Oh don’t worry about it, the Mrs. and I know how it is. We have three of our own.” Victor said in his loud booming voice, throwing his arm around his wife who was smiling uncomfortably. “Now I won’t waste any more of your time, we just came by to drop off this casserole to welcome you into the neighborhood.” Victor continued as Marlene extended her hands to pass me the casserole dish. It did smell great. At that point my upbringing kicked in.
“Would you like to come inside?” I asked. Lindsay would kill me for letting anyone in while we were still unpacking, but I just couldn’t bring myself to break this superstition I was raised with. After escorting Victor and Marlene to my kitchen, I put out a plate of bread and salt. I got confused looks from them, but they subsided after I also put out some water, whisky and the casserole that Marlene had made. We made small talk for a bit, and at some point Lindsay did come down with Lily to meet them. After another half hour of some awkward getting to know each other, Victor and Marlene got up to leave, saying something about getting some housework done before the week started.
As Marlene left, Victor told her to go ahead so that he could tell me about something that he had forgotten to bring up. Marlene became visibly uncomfortable and left without another word. Victor turned to me, and the large smile he had on all afternoon had left.
“Now, um. There’s something you should know about this neighborhood.” He began. “It’s very safe and has the nicest folks you’ll ever meet, but every now and again...” He trailed off, not knowing exactly how to continue with what he wanted to say. “Um…Every now and again, something comes by. We’re…we’re not exactly sure what it is.” He continued on. I didn’t understand what he was saying.
“What do you mean something?” I asked.
“Well, that’s just it. We’re not sure what it is. It ain’t human, I can tell you that much.” Victor explained.
“Is it some kind of animal?”
“No…It’s…It’s hard to explain really. It ain’t anything natural I can tell you that much. Now the important thing to remember is that it’ll never hurt you or anything. It only comes around once in a blue moon, and it’ll just kinda knock at your door. When it happens, I usually just pull the blinds down and turn the TV volume up. It goes away eventually.”
At that point I had no clue what to say. I just stared at Victor as if he would burst out laughing, saying that it was all just a joke that they like to play on the new neighbors. He didn’t though. As we just stood there in silence, he gave me a pat on the back and walked out the front door.
We never brought it up again. Life moved on, and we got settled in our new home, and we even became good friends with Victor and Marlene over the next few months after our initial encounter. Lily kept growing, and I could have sworn that she looked more and more like her mother every day. As we neared her first birthday, Lily started to become fussier and fussier. At first, we chalked it up to things such as teething or nightmares, but it only became worse and worse. Then, on the night of her first birthday, we awoke to shrieks coming from her bedroom. We raced to her crib and found her crying, with nothing we tried soothing her. It became very obvious to us: she was in pain.
We raced to the emergency room, where they took us in and ran all sorts of test on our girl. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, a stern-faced doctor walked into the room. He asked us to sit down. I can’t remember the start of the conversation; all I can remember is the word that caused the world around us to crash.
“Cancer.” He went on to explain how the x-rays had shown a rather large, highly inoperable tumor on Lily’s brain. He went over our options, explained to us that it was within our rights to try chemotherapy, but given the size of the tumor as well as Lily’s young age, how it was almost certain to not have an effect. After the doctor left, we sat in that hospital room in silence for what appeared to be hours, then silently packed up our things, took Lily and drove back home in complete silence.
As soon as we entered the house, Lindsay left for our bedroom and shut herself in there, while I set Lily down on her baby chair in the living room, after which I sat down in the kitchen and fought back tears. I sat there all day barely moving for hours, getting up only to use the bathroom and to soothe or feed Lily when needed. This painful routine continued for days, with hardly a word being spoken in the house. I was beginning to wonder if mine and Lindsay’s relationship would be able to survive. I called my parents in tears and they promised that within a few days they would be there to help us out.
On the seventh day after Lily’s diagnosis, Lindsay was in the bedroom as per usual, while I was sitting at the kitchen table staring at nothing while Lily was sitting in her baby chair in the living room. I hardly even noticed that the sun was setting until the bottom floor of the house was pitch dark. As soon as I had flicked the light switch on, I heard a knocking at the door. I was in no mood to entertain visitors, so I just sat back down at the kitchen table.
The knocking wouldn’t stop. One minute. Two minutes. After three minutes, I had lost my patience completely, and I got up to tell whoever was at the door to buzz off. It had been a while since I had actually spoken, so as I walked up to the door I carefully rehearsed in my head exactly what I would say. Once I had turned the know and opened the door, I stopped dead in my tracks, with my mouth agape.
What stood there was definitely not human, or at least not anymore. It had two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. It also had a mouth, but no eyes or nose. It wasn’t wearing any clothes, and all its flesh was a blackened color, and appeared to have a slimy texture. Whatever it was, it gave off a foul stench, so much so that it took every ounce of strength I had to not vomit right there.
I stood there, in front of this…creature for I’m not entirely sure how long. Once I had come to terms with the fact that this wasn’t a nightmare or hallucination, I tried to figure out what to do.
Should I go get the neighbors and ask them to bring their gun?” I thought. “Should I run inside, lock the doors and hide?” I continued to stand there and think, half expecting what it was to at some point just lunge at me and kill me on the spot.
To this day, I’m not entirely sure what caused me to do what I did. I must have been insane. I must have thought that my daughter is going to die anyway, and that I might as well go too. Instead I just stepped back past the doorway into my house, never taking my eyes off the creature. Once I was in the house, I stepped to the side and gestured with my hand. ”Come in.
The creature took a few steps, slowly at first, but then picked up the pace to the point where it walked at the speed of a normal person, and then made it was past the doorway and into my house.
I’m insane. I’m insane. I’m insane.” I kept thinking to myself as I walked into the kitchen, feeling the creature’s presence behind me. I turned around, and there enough, it was standing in my kitchen, having followed me in. Hands trembling, I reached into the cupboard and took out the old plate that my mother had gifted us when we had gotten married. From the pantry next to the cupboard, I took out a few slices of black bread, and poured a generous amount of salt onto the unoccupied portion of the plate.
With my hands still shaking, and salt spilling from the side, I set the plate down on the table in front of where it was standing. It didn’t take any of the bread or salt, and I wasn’t even sure whether it could eat, to be honest.
At that moment, Lily started crying. With everything that had been happening, I completely forgot that she was still in her baby chair in the living room. I saw the creature move its head in the direction of the living room. At that moment I had started to regret what I had done. Even if my daughter was terminally ill, I didn’t want her to die like this.
For what seemed like an endless amount of time, the creature had its head turned towards the living room, listening to Lila’s cries. I was ready to attack at any second if I saw it move an inch in her direction. Instead, it slowly turned its head towards the plate of bread and salt, took a slice of the bread, and ate it in one bite, bearing its rotten, yellow teeth. Once it had finished, it turned its head in my direction, gave me a nod, and headed in the direction of the door. The moment it stepped past the doorway, Lila’s cries stopped, and I watched it disappear into the darkness.
I stood there stunned, not knowing exactly what had just happened. After coming to my senses, I ran to close and lock the door, and ran to grab Lila. When I had picked her up, I had noticed that she was smiling. It was the first time she had smiled in weeks at that point. I cradled her the entire night, expecting her to start crying from pain again at some point. But she didn’t.
As the days went by, Lila seemed to always be in a pleasant mood. Soon, it came time to take Lila in to the doctor to examine our options once again with Lindsay joining us. I decided not to tell Lindsay what had happened that night, figuring she was burdened with enough as it was. For the first time since we had gotten the terrible news, we appeared to be a family again.
We sat in the waiting room, expecting to hear bleak news once again. When the same doctor emerged from before, he didn’t have the stern face he had the past week. Instead, his face was visibly confused.
“Complete remission.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The doctor explained how they had run each test three times to be completely sure, because they had no clue how it was possible. A tumor that big to just disappear within a week was supposed to be impossible. We returned home that day with our happy, healthy girl with a new outlook on life.
Lila is now almost a teenager, and I’m grateful for everyday I have with her.
I won’t pretend to say I have all the answers of life. I don’t know if there’s a God, I don’t know if there’s an afterlife. But I can tell you this:
Never turn away a guest.
submitted by tsarslavyan to clancypasta [link] [comments]


2020.07.16 02:49 tsarslavyan Never Turn Away A Guest

My family came from a small village in the old country. The kind where traditions that we call “cute” or “folksy” today were followed to the letter. Even though my parents immigrated to the country where I now live years before I was born, my childhood is filled with memories of my parents telling me what to do or not do for some strange, arcane reason.
Not that I’m complaining, of course. Some of these traditions were fun, especially as a kid. I never had to make my bed before school, because doing that gives you bad luck and I would never know when I’d have a pop quiz. On nights before I had a big test at school, mom and dad would make me a big bowl of porridge and jam, and I would stick my face in it for good luck as they would laugh and hug me even though I’d make a mess of their clothes.
Of course, other superstitions were less fun or more confusing.
“Don’t whistle inside the house. You’ll lose all your money.” Mom would say.
“Don’t put keys on the glass table.” Dad would say.
“Go put bread in the neighbors’ yard so that the birds will circle their house instead of ours.” Dad would also say. “They’re not our people, it won’t affect them.” He would say with a smile and a wink.
The one tradition that they held far above all the others though, was to never violate guests’ right. Anytime anyone would show up at our front doorstep: neighbors, girl scouts, missionaries, whoever you can imagine, they would be invited inside, and immediately presented with a plate of bread and salt, water, and polite conversation, as well as anything else they might ask for. It often made for interesting, if not awkward, situations in our family home.
Eventually, I grew up and left my parents’ home for college, and every time I would come home for a visit, I would be greeted with a plate of homemade bread and salt, and warm hugs from my parents asking me to tell them crazy stories from college. When I eventually got engaged, I brought my future wife, Lindsay, to my parents’ home to find them waiting for us at the front door, my mother holding that same ornate plate covered with bread and salt, and both of them telling my fiancée in their broken English how happy they were for the both of us.
Years after I had gotten married, my wife had told me the great news that we were going to have our first child. Towards the end of her pregnancy my parents came to visit so they could be there when their first grandchild would be born, and this time, it was my turn to greet them with bread and salt. The bread was store bought, and the salt was that cheap discount kind that you get at the bottom shelf of the grocery store. They smiled, dipped the bread into the salt, and ate it happily before hugging and kissing me. Even after all these years, I was still their little boy.
My daughter, Lily, was born a healthy girl. I was always convinced she was special. She started to smile far before any baby would, and always seemed to be so alert. I was convinced that she would grow up to be some kind of genius. After a couple of months of raising our child in an apartment, we decided it was about time to find a real house for her to grow up in. We went out into the country, and after searching around, we found the perfect house for us to raise Lily in. After negotiating and closing, we found ourselves moving everything that we owned into our new house.
From first glance, everything seemed ordinary. The houses were nice and spacious, and each property had a couple of acres to it. The neighbors were close by, but not so close that you felt smothered or that you were being constantly watched by someone in the neighborhood. It was all to change when we had our first visit from a neighbor. Lindsay was cradling a crying Lily, trying to get her to sleep, when the doorbell rang. Not wanting to risk the doorbell being rung again and possibly irritating Lily further, I went to answer it to see a man wearing country clothes and a cowboy hat, accompanied by a woman, who I assumed was his wife, holding a dish of some kind. I opened the door and stepped out.
“Howdy there.” The man said, extending his arm for a handshake, which I accepted. “My name’s Victor, and this is my wife Marlene.” He said, introducing himself.
“Uhh, hi.” I said, obviously tired from the move and from taking constant care of Lily. “I’m Sasha. Sorry, my life Lindsay is inside with our baby.”
“Oh don’t worry about it, the Mrs. and I know how it is. We have three of our own.” Victor said in his loud booming voice, throwing his arm around his wife who was smiling uncomfortably. “Now I won’t waste any more of your time, we just came by to drop off this casserole to welcome you into the neighborhood.” Victor continued as Marlene extended her hands to pass me the casserole dish. It did smell great. At that point my upbringing kicked in.
“Would you like to come inside?” I asked. Lindsay would kill me for letting anyone in while we were still unpacking, but I just couldn’t bring myself to break this superstition I was raised with. After escorting Victor and Marlene to my kitchen, I put out a plate of bread and salt. I got confused looks from them, but they subsided after I also put out some water, whisky and the casserole that Marlene had made. We made small talk for a bit, and at some point Lindsay did come down with Lily to meet them. After another half hour of some awkward getting to know each other, Victor and Marlene got up to leave, saying something about getting some housework done before the week started.
As Marlene left, Victor told her to go ahead so that he could tell me about something that he had forgotten to bring up. Marlene became visibly uncomfortable and left without another word. Victor turned to me, and the large smile he had on all afternoon had left.
“Now, um. There’s something you should know about this neighborhood.” He began. “It’s very safe and has the nicest folks you’ll ever meet, but every now and again...” He trailed off, not knowing exactly how to continue with what he wanted to say. “Um…Every now and again, something comes by. We’re…we’re not exactly sure what it is.” He continued on. I didn’t understand what he was saying.
“What do you mean something?” I asked.
“Well, that’s just it. We’re not sure what it is. It ain’t human, I can tell you that much.” Victor explained.
“Is it some kind of animal?”
“No…It’s…It’s hard to explain really. It ain’t anything natural I can tell you that much. Now the important thing to remember is that it’ll never hurt you or anything. It only comes around once in a blue moon, and it’ll just kinda knock at your door. When it happens, I usually just pull the blinds down and turn the TV volume up. It goes away eventually.”
At that point I had no clue what to say. I just stared at Victor as if he would burst out laughing, saying that it was all just a joke that they like to play on the new neighbors. He didn’t though. As we just stood there in silence, he gave me a pat on the back and walked out the front door.
We never brought it up again. Life moved on, and we got settled in our new home, and we even became good friends with Victor and Marlene over the next few months after our initial encounter. Lily kept growing, and I could have sworn that she looked more and more like her mother every day. As we neared her first birthday, Lily started to become fussier and fussier. At first, we chalked it up to things such as teething or nightmares, but it only became worse and worse. Then, on the night of her first birthday, we awoke to shrieks coming from her bedroom. We raced to her crib and found her crying, with nothing we tried soothing her. It became very obvious to us: she was in pain.
We raced to the emergency room, where they took us in and ran all sorts of test on our girl. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, a stern-faced doctor walked into the room. He asked us to sit down. I can’t remember the start of the conversation; all I can remember is the word that caused the world around us to crash.
“Cancer.” He went on to explain how the x-rays had shown a rather large, highly inoperable tumor on Lily’s brain. He went over our options, explained to us that it was within our rights to try chemotherapy, but given the size of the tumor as well as Lily’s young age, how it was almost certain to not have an effect. After the doctor left, we sat in that hospital room in silence for what appeared to be hours, then silently packed up our things, took Lily and drove back home in complete silence.
As soon as we entered the house, Lindsay left for our bedroom and shut herself in there, while I set Lily down on her baby chair in the living room, after which I sat down in the kitchen and fought back tears. I sat there all day barely moving for hours, getting up only to use the bathroom and to soothe or feed Lily when needed. This painful routine continued for days, with hardly a word being spoken in the house. I was beginning to wonder if mine and Lindsay’s relationship would be able to survive. I called my parents in tears and they promised that within a few days they would be there to help us out.
On the seventh day after Lily’s diagnosis, Lindsay was in the bedroom as per usual, while I was sitting at the kitchen table staring at nothing while Lily was sitting in her baby chair in the living room. I hardly even noticed that the sun was setting until the bottom floor of the house was pitch dark. As soon as I had flicked the light switch on, I heard a knocking at the door. I was in no mood to entertain visitors, so I just sat back down at the kitchen table.
The knocking wouldn’t stop. One minute. Two minutes. After three minutes, I had lost my patience completely, and I got up to tell whoever was at the door to buzz off. It had been a while since I had actually spoken, so as I walked up to the door I carefully rehearsed in my head exactly what I would say. Once I had turned the know and opened the door, I stopped dead in my tracks, with my mouth agape.
What stood there was definitely not human, or at least not anymore. It had two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. It also had a mouth, but no eyes or nose. It wasn’t wearing any clothes, and all its flesh was a blackened color, and appeared to have a slimy texture. Whatever it was, it gave off a foul stench, so much so that it took every ounce of strength I had to not vomit right there.
I stood there, in front of this…creature for I’m not entirely sure how long. Once I had come to terms with the fact that this wasn’t a nightmare or hallucination, I tried to figure out what to do.
Should I go get the neighbors and ask them to bring their gun?” I thought. “Should I run inside, lock the doors and hide?” I continued to stand there and think, half expecting what it was to at some point just lunge at me and kill me on the spot.
To this day, I’m not entirely sure what caused me to do what I did. I must have been insane. I must have thought that my daughter is going to die anyway, and that I might as well go too. Instead I just stepped back past the doorway into my house, never taking my eyes off the creature. Once I was in the house, I stepped to the side and gestured with my hand. ”Come in.
The creature took a few steps, slowly at first, but then picked up the pace to the point where it walked at the speed of a normal person, and then made it was past the doorway and into my house.
I’m insane. I’m insane. I’m insane.” I kept thinking to myself as I walked into the kitchen, feeling the creature’s presence behind me. I turned around, and there enough, it was standing in my kitchen, having followed me in. Hands trembling, I reached into the cupboard and took out the old plate that my mother had gifted us when we had gotten married. From the pantry next to the cupboard, I took out a few slices of black bread, and poured a generous amount of salt onto the unoccupied portion of the plate.
With my hands still shaking, and salt spilling from the side, I set the plate down on the table in front of where it was standing. It didn’t take any of the bread or salt, and I wasn’t even sure whether it could eat, to be honest.
At that moment, Lily started crying. With everything that had been happening, I completely forgot that she was still in her baby chair in the living room. I saw the creature move its head in the direction of the living room. At that moment I had started to regret what I had done. Even if my daughter was terminally ill, I didn’t want her to die like this.
For what seemed like an endless amount of time, the creature had its head turned towards the living room, listening to Lily’s cries. I was ready to attack at any second if I saw it move an inch in her direction. Instead, it slowly turned its head towards the plate of bread and salt, took a slice of the bread, and ate it in one bite, bearing its rotten, yellow teeth. Once it had finished, it turned its head in my direction, gave me a nod, and headed in the direction of the door. The moment it stepped past the doorway, Lily’s cries stopped, and I watched it disappear into the darkness.
I stood there stunned, not knowing exactly what had just happened. After coming to my senses, I ran to close and lock the door, and ran to grab Lily. When I had picked her up, I had noticed that she was smiling. It was the first time she had smiled in weeks at that point. I cradled her the entire night, expecting her to start crying from pain again at some point. But she didn’t.
As the days went by, Lily seemed to always be in a pleasant mood. Soon, it came time to take Lily in to the doctor to examine our options once again with Lindsay joining us. I decided not to tell Lindsay what had happened that night, figuring she was burdened with enough as it was. For the first time since we had gotten the terrible news, we appeared to be a family again.
We sat in the waiting room, expecting to hear bleak news once again. When the same doctor emerged from before, he didn’t have the stern face he had the past week. Instead, his face was visibly confused.
“Complete remission.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The doctor explained how they had run each test three times to be completely sure, because they had no clue how it was possible. A tumor that big to just disappear within a week was supposed to be impossible. We returned home that day with our happy, healthy girl with a new outlook on life.
Lily is now almost a teenager, and I’m grateful for everyday I have with her.
I won’t pretend to say I have all the answers of life. I don’t know if there’s a God, I don’t know if there’s an afterlife. But I can tell you this:
Never turn away a guest.
submitted by tsarslavyan to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.07.07 09:23 NERP-Bettles A Night to Re-remember (dyslexic writer's first draft)

June 5th 2033 Sioux Nation, NAN
It was a Tuesday night. The fireflies started their stuttered courting ritual sending dusk away in its pink warm glow and lighting the blueing sky with soft neon greens that are envied by the bright lights ov the city. The bravest stars lead the way poking white dots in an ever growing black canopy. Chad Holsting drove east on Old Interstate90 Road the blacktop one ov the last bastions ov civilization in an ever increasing rural area, a reminder that over time nature always wins its war ov attrition. The convertible’s canopy top is down letting the advancing woodline hear the love songs that prepare him for this roadtrip. The man’s days were long in which he was forced to wear a smile that wasn't his, his father was a natural salesman, the old man’s people skills yet another thing Chad deeply envied. Chad had witnessed him squeeze unneeded service packages into a deal that the old man would hand feed to customers. It truly was impressive watching the customer spend hundreds ov thousands ov script on a used drone that blue book value was placed just beyond the thousand NuYen mark.
Processing fees, convenience fees, delivery charge, advertising fee, vehicle identification number etching, SIN matching, fabric protection, paint protection, undercarriage spray, and the ever lucrative dealer preparation were just a few ov his fathers tools. Now due to Chad’s investment in a personality chip and artisan designed knowsoft the old man’s tools found a new younger much more deserving home. Gone where the awkward days ov remembering loadouts, selling points, customer assurances and the ever elusive people skills, it was the perfect time to be alive. A week earlier Chad had heated arguments with his father. Sales are down by 45% since the old man retired. The business fell from the green to the black and swiftly to the red, nosediving in a quarter that felt both long and short at the same time. His father gave him the work hard and learn the trade stop spending the family investment up his nose and in his veins speech, but the wiley Chad smiled to himself and made the investment. Pops always called technology a shortcut favoring hard work and dirty hands stubbornly refusing to update the lot beyond the standard test that kept the business open and legal. Still it took some old school quick talking with a band known for ties with a biker gang to get him a very nice deal on his wetwear. Chad snorts a fine powder off his knuckles smiling to himself remembering how he traded a rundown predragon van for a math processor, the skillsoft hardware needed to teach him his father’s lifelong lessons without the experience or guilt, and even worked a Simrig for use during off hours, the youths even knew a field surgeon that could install it and all it took was limited warranty on the van and the destruction ov the paper trail to convince them this was a worthy trade. A slightly illegal service the dronecar dealer was happy to do, for his clients ovcorse, the fact it benefited Chad was all the better. Horizon's DawnLiveJournal was the newest line ov semi-legal Simrig available on the market. The band had told him they had a few extras they were supposed to give to fans to record shows from, the Simsense feeds being sold along with the album for a multimedia promotion. Armstrong, the band’s front man, bragged how they installed just one on a groupie then gave her a cocktail ov different drugs mixed with personality chips and had her record several shows in different locations across the Native American Nations, thus giving the record company their twelve feeds to splice together and giving the band eleven very expensive hardware to trade for favores as they saw fit. The band gave interviews to four different ‘reporters’, another feed followed the day ov a rabid fan who ended the night hooking up with the lead singer, and various other aspects tailor made and sold to corporate types to experience the rock and roll lifestyle from the safety ov their armchairs.
Turning his cherry red remake ov a 1964 Cadillac Coop Deville from the old highway down into a service town offramp Chad deletes old files off the Simrig to clear up space for the evenings recordings. Dozens ov files clog up the first day’s entry where he accidentally turned on the rig while getting used to the hardware. Noone wants to remember burning their tongue on stale soykoff or smell the unwashed mouth ov the ork construction owner buying a new F150.
Simsense goes both ways Chad found out. It records the good and the bad unfiltered save only by the emotional responce ov the recorder. With one mental turn ov the switch all the recorder’s senses are held. The Simrig collects neurological impulses converting them to sight, sound, taste, smell, and feeling but goes beyond the commonly available senses ov a trideo recording. No these go much further, it turns boring melodramas to fascinating as the dialog and angst is not just heard and felt but the one reliving the Simrecording knows why they feel upset, remembers arguments from the past that the recorder had that now are a distant but real memory to the viewer, from the safety ov their home one feels the recorder’s discomfort in their silk shirt, hears and feels their own heartbeat race knows that the curry they ate is about to come back up due to years ov stress pushed down and bottled up in a vain attempt to climb the ladder. Then pop out the chip rub their hands till the feeling comes back into them and escape back into their own preordained reality, that is until they wish to become someone else for the night.
<>
Chad turns on the now empty Horizon’s DawnLiveJournal as the paved road turns to a gravel packed dirt service road. He slows to a crawl, knows the Simrig will record his freftting about the dust covering his freshly waxed droid and with a snuff refill flips the switch to raise the top back on, blocking out the natural and unfamiliar smells ov the Dakota hills while protecting the sythleather upholstery from Spring’s pollan. He checks the clock noting he made amazing time once past the border checkpoints, while cursing when a tire skips the gravel sending tiny rocks spinning to dent the underside or a unpatched rut that bottoms out his suspension. “Calm Chad” he tells himself snorting novacoke off his knuckles feeling his heart race and mind clear. He wonders if he will be stuck in a loop when he reviews this, as he remembers he will be watching this night on repeat. What is the memory one has while thinking about the future? There are urban legends about metas going insane stuck in a biofeedback loop where they remember they are remembering a recorded memory, a second bigger hit ov the fine sparkling powder brings him back to the task at hand.
The gravel gives up its attempt at civilization until the trail is little more than two bald lines ov packed earth with a green strip that reminds him ov the mohawk worn by most ov the people he will be visiting. Chad’s regular clothes, slacks, vest, buttoned up shirt rolled and top buttons undone with the attempt to make himself look like he is an every man who barely wears the regulation uniform, while making himself approachable in the city would make him unaccepted at the country bonfire party he was attending so he downgraded to jeans and a hoodie. Simple, timeless and forgettable. A tunnel ov trees gave way to a clearing, drones both self-driving and predragon in various states ov drivable sat in a field that served as the parking lot for larger gatherings. The main structure which sat beside a huge barn was a two story farmhouse with a wrap around porch containing dilapidated couches and chairs most held back together with duct tape and quick patch worked sew jobs to prolong life until they where simply too broken to be used. Chad remembers the instructions and flashes his lights thrice before turning them off and stepping out with his arms raised in a surrender greeting. As he does his heart recedes to normal, the group ov early arrivals all taking their hands off ov their sidearms and returning to chit chat and drinking content that a friend was entering, while a troll carries out a couch long past its usefulness towards a towering pile ov trash and timber that would soon be lit when the concert propper started. The Sioux nation’s citizens grew more heavily armed the closer they were to the borders with the towns around the Confederation of American States looking more like occupied war zones than residential areas, here less than a hundred miles from the free city ov Denver was no exception. A minimum ov two years military service was mandatory and such a part ov Sioux culture that even hardened outlaws took national pride to heart with leaders being former or sometimes active Wildcats. As such heavy weapons never designed to be in holsters sat on the hip ov male female younge and oulde alike, with sawn off shotguns ov various makes and models being heavily favored over a traditional magazine pistol. Chad was glad to be part ov the United American and Canadian States who has a standing army that swelled naturally with volunteers thus freeing him from arduous tasks like bootcamp or active service. A skinny elf rises from a chair letting his female troll complain as she falls from his lap into the couch at his side, he deftly dodges her demand to continue the cuddle sticking his studded tongue out to diffuse the drunk companion while handing her his side arm from a western styled gunbelt. He shoulders a heavy squatpack at his side and adjusts his sleeveless sideless shirt before hopping the railing making a Beeline across the lot towards Chad with that slick smile on his painted face. The troll’s long arms steal one last ass swat on the lithe elf which erupts the nearby partiers to a round ov laughter and cheers. “Oki! ...” the Elf starts raising his hand when he remembers that Chad doesn't speak the old tounge and correcting himself to CitySpeak. “Hoi! Chummer Chad. How is the rig working out for you?” the elf taps the side ov his own head where Chad had the hardware installed, the thick singsong accent coming from a tribe Chad could not place even if he cared enough to try. Chad recognizes him as the youngest and most vocal in the band, “Jerry… no last name! Hoi chum. Got ‘er turned on now. I want to remember this night forever!” Chad starts trying to extend a pale white hand that looks out ov place all ov a sudden, a reminder that he was as much an outsider here as the motley crew was in the city. Chad snorts a line to pull himself from the memory loop he feels growing. The younge man ignores the handshake and places an ice cold beer in Chad’s hand instead, the bottle the same dark amber as the elf’s hand. Before Chad can pop the top the elf has a rolled joint in Chad’s mouth and a blinding light hits the tip, with a puff and inhale the cherry turns red and the cannabis takes effect. The band must really enjoy the van if Chad was welcomed so warmly on his first visit.
The elf ignores Chad’s offer to share. “Yes Jerry only… no last name. Working security, so i have to stay sober, but we can discuss business till the fire is lit. Come friend if we are lucky some ov the girls will be skinny dipping in the river. If not maybe we can see some deer before they go to sleep.” The thin elf grips Chad’s elbow leading him past the garage where Chad notices the van has been painted a hasty black and given a new suspension system, tires, roll bars and a paramilitary cowcatcher styled grill. “She is going to be pretty when we are done with her. Thats why we invited you wanted to thank you and let you get a taste ov the Sim at a safe party before you went wild on your own.” Chad starts to ask about his arrangement but the elf is ahead ov him explaining that George has partied hard since the record deal, as such business was to be conducted through a sober party, one with a clean head, since every one else had joined Armstrong on a bender Chad had to talk to Jerry. The elf laughed that he didn't want to end up 40 working in dive bars and house shows, because their singer mismanaged things at the start ov their careers. For a goganger with a green mohawk and his face painted like an ork’s skull this Jerry seemed to have his head on straight. At the tree line Chad’s joint and beer where half finished when the elf began to roll another one, his metatype’s night vision being much more acute than Chad’s normal human eyes that the elf didn't slow his step, Chad could barely see the long pointed ears julting out like deer antlers aside the clean shaved sides ov the elf’s head and stark white face that seemed to float and glow in the moonlight. The elf’s ears twitched and he turned his head sharply to the side while lighting Chad’s new party favor, the action causing him to flick dry several blinding failed attempts with his lighter before finally catching a flame. “Hear that chummer?” hearing nothing Chad shook his head blowing a plume out to the side. “Down human, and quiet. We can get a sneak peek at the ladies. Don't think you came here to see deer anyway.” Jerry dropped into a crouch that seemed more natural than his walking stride, pulling Chad along by his elbow and adjusting him with soft words and strong controlled tugs. They came to the top ov a ravine. The ground a soft layer ov brown and black leaves that caused the human to sink at times up to his ankles, the elf seemed to walk on soft carpet. “Hush chummer.” the elf points toward a fixed point and straining Chad hears the squeals and splashes that Jerry hinted would be their prize for their trek in the woods. “Stay here chummer ill turn on the headlights let you peek at the catalog before you buy?” Before Chad can agree Jerry has another joint lit in his mouth, the bright light ov the small lighter blazing a dizzying orange in the ever victorious blackness ov the night. Setting his pack down with a glassy rattle the elf states that Chad should help himself to the contents before disappearing into the night silent once the blackness has wrapped around him. Unable to see and barely able to hear the women the elf states are there, the salesman busies himself with his intake finding the pack has been converted into a mobile cooler and holding a seemingly endless supply ov cans and bottled alcohol, both ov which are illegal substances in the Sioux Nation. Skipping the beer and moving to a bottle ov Wild Turkey Chad leans against a tree just in time to see the white lights ov a truck light up several naked women waist deep in a creek taking advantage ov the suddenly warm temperatures ov the season, their shock washed away with playful taunts in a language that Chad’s linguisticsoft refused to translate for him even if he was within earshot. Jerry stands on the banks gathering piles ov clothes and towels while the women in the creek splash at him while playfully trying to cover up their nude bodies. The screen is giddy with Jerry teasing he will toss the bundle into the creek or trample it under foot in the mud, the girls retaliate by shaking their bodies and tackling each other in mirthful squeals while one takes to pleading pitifully before she too is tugged into the deeper water. Their youthful forms glisten in the headlights, bronze and proud untaken by gravity or age. Chad noted a troll, her scales trimmed, her horns symmetrical and her face almost human made her a rare exception to her metatype. Her body was heavily tattooed with lines made to accentuate the subtle curves ov her muscular body.
The minutes swell on before Chad watches Jerry place a bottle on the hood ov the rundown truck, the girls cheer shaking their shoulders seductively, arms raised in victory in the waist high water as Jerry makes his way up the hill to join Chad. The elf tosses the undergarments he traded for the bottle at the backpack taking a tree as a backrest beside Chad who studies the panties with devotion, a large pair ov purple silk being his favorite while the elf finally spoke business.
“So ka… we all know why you are here so lets discuss the agreement. What you asked Armstrong for is expensive, some ov the crew didn't like what you suggested but,” he produces another rolled joint which Chad smirked as Jerry lit it for him, “don't worry i talked them into it. We are wanting to break into the beetle business. Here is the best part for you! Its free. All we want is the chip when you are done with the night. Got a buddy named Shade who does Sim editing. You are going to get to live every fantasy you suburban kids dream about with us wild Native types across the border.” The elf lets the proposal hang in the air, Chad, now fully stoned and edging towards drunk, watches the clouds part, moving like paper cutouts across the sky basking the heavily wooded area with streaks ov silver light offset by the electronic yellow lights ov the truck below. “Well… since i have the Simrig its the least i could do for you, but why make it a one time thing?” Better Than Life chips, BTLs, beetles on the street, the newest in a long line ov electronic drugs to become highly regulated and thus highly lucrative to those able to avoid a run in with a police force. The documentaries about how Scouts, the ROTC equivalent ov the Sioux military, often where ordered to undertake surreptitious activity and where allowed to keep the profits from such activities up till the point they where caught. Those who ran their side business long enough to ride out military service often becoming decorated and lifelong members ov the service. The whole thing reminded Chad ov the Spartains killing a Helots as part ov their right to manhood. Chad chased the thought away with a heavy swig ov whiskey, he came to party not think. The elf smiled wide. The painted tusk reaching up to his ears and his sunken golden-green eyes growing wide in excitement. “Thats a good white man! See, thats why i voted for you. I told everyone we could use your business savvy for our benefit.” he pauses shouldering the pack and helping a wobbly legged Chad to his feet. “Don't turn it off. I don't know drek about this sort ov thing but Shade says he needs hours ov data to compile an emotional network. Something about forplay making sex better.” the elf waves his arms in admittance to his own shortcomings, quickly catching Chad who stumbles in the soft leaves and supporting him again. The loud noise making the swimmers aware, the jiggle the dance and the make out session in the water definitely making one ov the emotional network connections that the elf spoke ov, the lovely troll whos breast while small on her would be more than a handful for Chad, danced by herself while the two others made their way to the bank. Perhaps noticing how Chad was lost in his fantasy Jerry breaks the daydreamer from his thoughts, “Hey i know you are ready,” the elf states at the bottom ov the hill as he leads Chad away up the creek before shooting off down a side trail. “But we are both business men so… we need to discuss it further out. What are your plans, what do you want the boys and girls to get for you? With your chip thingy, you can get proper wasted, record it, work through it and then slot yourself in to be drunk, high, or anything any time you want. If it gets too much for you just quick pop it back out. BAM no hangover.” the elf ducked and squeezed past tree branches just starting to bud fresh leaves, pulling Chad along on increasingly wobbly legs, Chad wished his guide was larger, the big man felt as if he would crush the shorter elf as they walked shoulder to shoulder, his supporter looked painfully thin, the elf’s ribs countable under the moonlight in his flap ov a shirt, yet the the grip was sure and the arm around Chad was like a bar ov bronze, never letting the man slip the ork skull only smiling at the cityboys stumbles in the unfamiliar terrain. “Hoi that sounds great. What type ov trids can we make? Ive heard ov murder Sims…” Chad tested, wondering if he should switch on dad’s negotiation skillsoft and deciding against it, his fathers’ voice winning over the quick fix this time. “Could… could. lets set that idea aside for now. Nobody here i'd let you kill and… even if we went out and grabbed someone for a To Kill A Hobo BTL.” he pauses lighting a new roll that hit Chad like a trainwreck on the first toke, the bright white taking longer to dissipate as the man had become accustomed to the darkness. “Any bum we take is going to have a minimum ov two years combat experience, no offence but i'm guessing it would be your first kill?” The elf pauses steps away from Chad’s embrace making him grab a tree to keep from stumbling. “Frag it. Im 17 in a few months and even i have been to bugtown.” Bugtown, the street name for a section ov the walled off section ov Chicago, infested with bug spirits and other abnormalities, both majik and technology seemed to refuse to work as predicted. Drones fell out ov the sky as their riggers lost physical control and the dogbrain ov the unopperated drone simply refused to kick over. It was possibly the one place so bad that trideos were never made about it, the reality ov such a bizarre zone being too much for veterans to talk about, leaving it a mystery and a warzone, the truth there being too strange for fiction. Whether this elf was lying or not it was a boast that carried the swagger ov certainty that Chad could not refute. “Short ov it is, you wont be able to kill anyone from the NAN,” the elf lifts his loincloth and unzips pissing with a contented sigh that invades the nostrils with a smell that Chad can't place, the steam rising from the nights growing chill, Chad hopes this section is cut from the finished product. The elf shakes himself turning around and helping Chad along the path. “Long ov it is… to get a bum for you ti kill would be alot more work than i am willing to put in right now. Not saying “No” just saying i became a drummer so i didn't have to work. Ya feel me?” Chad shrugged unable to argue with the logic but content that the question wasn't off the table in the future. “The troll at the creek…” Chad starts. “The one with the big tits?” Jerry mimes the size bouncing his pretend breast while continuing deeper into the woods. “She is younger than me but,” He ribs Chad before continuing “Well trolls age differently so she has to be like legal in human years right?” Jerry ribs Chad with his elbow again, “Not like it matters anyway? Trolls don't have the same rights as us better metatype’s right? Best thing about a troll is they aint human… so anything you do to em you don't feel bad right? I can arrange that for you. Nul sheen, chumz.”
Chad lets a chuckle escape as he drunkenly agrees. He feels how drunk and high he is becoming managing to lay a line on his knuckle and snorting it, the clarity ov the drug hopefully breaking the logic loop he potentially created on when he slots the chip again and often. The elf steps back a new beer placed in Chad’s hand and a new joint failing to light, its spark sending orange flakes across the silver tip and into the air. Chad is lost for a moment recalling the fireflies as Jerry mumbles something about how Chad is going to ruin his buzz mixing so many drug effects. The orange sparks continue as Jerry endlessly attempts to light the new joint, Chad grabs the lighter flicking it sending the tunnel ov white that comes when so close to a light source after adjusting to night vision. Triumphantly the man holds his arms out in a V cheering and celebrating blindly.
When the white tunnel leaves his vision Chad looks around, his companion is gone. The first minutes he nurses his beer relieving himself on a tree that seems to move, convincing himself the elf has taken another call ov nature as he has. This logic is quickly replaced as Chad stumbles much more than the three joints and shots should be making him. His heart races as confusion turns to fear, calling out has produced no effect. Only his voice echoing in the temperate woods. The man stumbles back down the path he thinks he came. Mentally keeping track ov every step and turn he thinks he made, if only he could make it to the creek and follow it south then he could find his car or the house. The first hour proved no further success. The commlink told his time but remained offline since he turned off Old I-90, so he knew it would provide him no aid. “Global coverage, my ass” he thinks. Chad remembers why he hated visiting the country. Not only was one without the comforts ov instant satisfaction, knowledge, music and other comforts, the natives often had a peculiar sense ov humor. “How we doing Chad?” Jerry’s voice calls out from nowhere. Chad calls out, explains it isn't funny, explains later that he gets the joke, pleads as he slides face first when he stumbles, all but sobs. Yet there is not a reply after the single inquiry. Or perhaps there never was a question, the mind does play tricks in the woods. Chad stumbles on drunk legs through the decaying leaves, kicking clumps into the air so as to create a trail for himself to double back on if he needs to for the next hour. He is sore, tired and almost sober when he finds the creek. His ecstasy is not hidden as he praises gods he never believed in while trying to discern north now that he has a location to work from. remembering that moss grows prominently on the northern side ov trees he swears to take a survival course, or at least buy a skillsoft when he gets home and makes his way south along the bank. Another hour bip chimes on his comlink and he falls to the ground finally admitting he is lost. In the darkness nothing looks familiar. He followed what he swore was the smell ov a bonfire for the next few bips. This final fifth bip was his defeat. He fell to the ground cold and alone. A heavy wave ov sleep falls over him as he realizes he was drugged and why the biker elf refused to take his own party favors. “Security my ass” Chad cursed before the deep darkness ov dream fell upon him.
His body goes limp as he dreams ov wistfully flying. The trees in his dreams brushing his face, decayed leaves are spat out as he burrows himself deep into the earth. Now he is a worm sliding through mud and muck, breathless he moves wiggling side to side as angry bird beaks peck around him, yet never find his soft pink skin. Now he is flying again. A lightning bug with a large red ass that burns as he signals his readiness to mate, the red glow bleeps sending embers out in a painful fire from his glowing end. Blips come and go as the other green lightning bugs ignore the alien red ones pleas for acceptance. Finally defeated Chad flies away only to be caught immediately by a spider’s web. His wings caught in a sticky silk become his own worst enemy quickly spinning him into other invisible threads till Chad is bound tightly. His desperate attempt to escape only ensuring his victimhood continues.
The spider never comes, yet exhausted the bug gives up, a moment ov lucidity reminds him he is caught… caught in a simsense loop and with a bright light ov revelation he awakes. It is morning or well past it. Chad tries to move only to find his dream held more truth than imagination. He is bound. Laying upon the carpet ov dead leaves, their tanic acidic scent invades his nostrils. His blurry vision comes to him first upon the purple straightlaced steeltoed boots then slowly upon the familiar loincloth, sleeveless and sideless black shirt, then up to the wide wicked grin ov an elf wearing an ork’s skull.
“Hoi! Chumz! Sleepwell?” Chad tries to speak but realizes he is gagged. The elf’s Native accent is gone, his singsong tone replaced with deep, calm, soft monotone. The gravity ov the situation slowly sets upon Chad, his stomach gurgles from fear and the worst hangover Chad has ever experienced blinds him and wracks his head. It is all Chad can do to remain continuous, the fear ov what could happen if he doesn't winning out to the body's reaction to escape into unconsciousness. A steel toe finds a spot that makes Chad regurgitate, the gag making the only exit point through his nostrils, the stomach acid burns as it is expelled in chunky streams, the pain sobering him up before numbing him to everything, forcing himself to swallow his contents back to his stomach in waves that threaten to make his efforts for naught. The elf smiles down knowingly while Chad shakes uncontrollably.
“Let me tell you something and you can let me know how mad i am at you.” the elf crouches resting his wrist on his knees letting his long brown fingers dangle before he points behind Chad. “There used to be three feet ov garden hose up your ass.” the Native pauses letting the sentence sink in. Chad’s eyes widen as nausea starts to take hold again, the tears from sorrow and fear stream down a puke covered face. “Don't worry,” the elf continues in a soft gentle tone, the smile plastered on his facepaint like a second mask. “Its not there now.” the elf scruffs Chad’s hair petting him like one does a lap dog.
“Again Chad, don't worry.” his tone changes to condescending before falling to nurturing “i used lube so it would go in easier. This sort ov,” he pauses patting Chad’s head before continuing and falling back to the pets. “Operation requires all the delicacy someone like me can muster. See, i used the hose so i could thread the barb wire up there then i removed the hose. I am a giver after all. So i gave you something to remember this by.” the elf locks eyes with Chad using the palm ov his thin hand to hold Chad’s forehead taunt to keep him from shutting his eyes, forcing him to face his demon. “Focus Chad. if i have repeat myself i'll hold your eyes open and pour petrol over them until you are willing to talk to me. You have to be calm. You have to understand.” Chad settles into a quiver shaking like a man freezing but stares death into the younge thin elf allowing his captur to continue. “Good boy.” the elf pets Chad behind the ear like a dog who returned the ball. “Now. there is much more than 3 feet ov barb wire. The rest is what's holding you to this tree here. Think ov it as a leash for a bad dog.”
The elf swats Chad on the nose with Chad’s shoe, Chad now recognizes the blurry bundle that the elf is sitting on as his clothes and everything from the car that could identify him. Comlink. Credsticks. All ov his life piled up and under a savage elf. “George doesn't represent the band anymore. Any deals you may have made with him are over. You deal with me now.” The elf goes back to petting him. “See good boy? I never lie. I find it much better to tell the truth no matter how hard it is. What you proposed was playing house with two trolls and a dwarf. All younger than me, that's not ok. Something likes you wants to hit the troll and call it BDSM… and well an underage dwarf looks alot like a very underage human am i right?” The elf stares daggers ov calmness into Chad who nods closing his eyes. “That's what i thought. I am glad you are honest. I didn't want to cover you in honey and leave you to the insects, but i would have if you lied. See how honesty works both ways? I will continue to be honest. Your creadsticks will be used to purchase very bad things. A gun here… sex toys there. Lots ov matrix stops at sites you probably know by name and hide your browser history for. Kiddy meals at restaurants, to go ovcorse. Shakes. Candies. Treats. The gun will be used to kill a few people known for trading in flesh, you will be a very good shot before you lose the gun and the trail goes cold again. I think you get the picture here. You made me very rich white man. Everyone said i couldn't do all this without unarmed. I always bet on myself especially when others bet against me. Its funner that way” The elf laughs before continuing. “We will be back for the BTL, that is if the coyote don't eat it. Give you a few days to reflect. Thanks for the van. It's perfect too bad we can't continue business but,” he sighs getting one last hearty scruffle in before walking away the smile somehow widening upon his face, it somehow reminds Chad ov the coyotes Jerry must mentioned “, i don't do house shows.”
<>
submitted by NERP-Bettles to writers [link] [comments]


2020.06.29 20:30 AngryaboutVideogames Frozen Homes Pt 6: Mistake

Once again thanks for all the comments and help
Chapter is a bit different then the other but should still be fun.
Enjoy.
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"Captain Khasta of the Relarus, what are your thoughts on the situation? We've all see the recording, but you're the only one who had contact with the victim, did you notice anything strange when you were speaking with her?" Asked task force commander Ethuci
"No sir, nothing we haven't seen already. I would wager the alien we saw outside the ship installing the foreign data board, invaded the vessel after the victim fled the crash site. Then proceeded to alter her ship, so its signal could bypass the system security field." Replied Khasta. Watching a video of the alien hammer away, and tear off a steel panel during high-speed space transit.
Khasta had to agree with most of the captains at this summit. The alien posed a massive threat to the security of the Aasteran people.
Ethuci continued. "We know it's abnormally strong and durable from the video. Has advanced communication knowledge, letting it bypass the security field. And capable of greater stealth, allowing it to flee the crash site without detection.
We also know from our long-range scans of the Lottyim it thrives in the cold. The fact it's the only life form we can seldom detect on the ship is concerning, But also confirms it's a hostile having killed its captain."
A robotic voice interrupted the commander's monologue. "Captian Tushtra Requests the floor." Go ahead, captain. Ethuci replied.
"Could the alien be part of an invasion force? Maybe an advanced scout? Or perhaps... Returning to finish the job?" Tushtra added.
The conference room was quiet, the captains looking at the new data supplied on Acarro's destruction. Some stone-faced, others were worried. Most, however, had a look of rage on their face.
"We'll be able to ask it when we capture it." Replied Ethuci. " The infiltration team will launch in twelve minutes, with the new style boarding craft. They'll catch it before it has a chance to leave the system. Any more questions?"
Silence washed over the conference room.
"There is a lot at stake. we can't let this alien leave the system and inform its masters our people are still alive." Explained Ethuci"
"We need to buy as much time as we can for the fleets to muster at worst. At best. We destroy it."
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The team sat in silence, it was hastily put together, and the only common thing between them was the removal of rank and identity. The only thing the team was conscious of, was the voice of the team leader. Everyone knew who it belonged too. He was a legend, taking down a ship of over thirty pirates single handily after a boarding pod malfunction.
Hezexhel Currently rank less.
"Do not. I repeat DO NOT! Engage in close quarters. You all saw the video of it, steel might as well have been paper to it. If it tries to get close, just run. Remember, the OP is capture and contain so non-lethal only." The boarding ship shuddered. The new launching system ejecting it at a velocity incomparable to the previous version.
"This was always the worst part." Hezexhel thought.
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Admiral Miles was humming to himself happily while studying and first contact procedures with a few of his hand-picked officers.
"This Jack, didn't give us much to go on." complained, captain Andriet
"That's to be expected. The pilot basically crashed, got picked up and high tailed it out of the system. Don't forget we owe an FTL drive to the woman dropping him off." Corrected Bria
"An alien woman, a lizard, alien woman," laughed Tanda. "How the hell did this jack translate her language so quickly anyway?" he excitedly asked.
Admiral Miles looked around the room. He trusted them enough to take on this mission, but what Jack told him. That jack was a. "This doesn't leave the room or even your head, and you will not tell the Aasteran. Is that clear? This knowledge is even over my pay grade, but its something that may impact the mission."
The three newly appointed diplomats stared at the admiral in shock. After confirming they understood the severity of the information and what kind of damage a leak could cause. He informed them of Jacks's identity. "Jack is a True AI and Captian Michaels Co-pilot. Translating their language was apparently "a Piece of cake" for him."
After a bit of silence, Tanda was the first to speak up. "How, When, did they make him? And he's friendly? I mean, I'm excited. He's out here helping us and everything. But they just shot an experimental engine and an AI into an inhabited system."
"Wasn't known at the time. I have a question about this part here." Bria held up her data pad to the admiral. "Culture exchange including Music, Art, and basically all media from what I can tell. Which is good, Do we give them access to our data tech, or do we find a way to just dump it on one of their systems? I'm looking forward to some alien drama."
Tanda was speechless, " How the hell does humanity's first friendly AI take second place to alien soap operas?" he demanded.
"If they have the concept of drama. They might think it's offensive or something weird like that." Captain Andriet added.
"And that's why we're studying contact procedures. I don't want this going to shit, and Jack says they are nice people. So I have high hopes this will go smoothly." Replied the admiral, a low beep informing him he had an incoming message.
"What the hell!" Tanda just looked at them with disappointment.
"Bridge to Admiral Miles."
" Miles here," he replied.
"One of the Aasteran ships launched what looks to be some kind of high-speed craft. It will intercept the Lottyim within the hour."
"I'm on my way to the bridge,"He replied. Admiral Miles did not look happy.
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Jack was busy watching the interaction between Srettia and the unconscious, Michael. She was wiping the sweat and used nanites that were, as she referred to it. "Leaking" from his body with great care. "How curious," he thought. She had only known Michael for a little over four days but seemed rather attached to him. "Father did say organics can form close relationships at seemingly random times." He thought, recording the interaction and filing it beside the previous encounter." Jack, chuckled " I may need to set up another encounter for them, this has been rather enlightening."
"T.E.S Quest results, This is T.S.N Warmonger of the 7th fleet Respond." Jack sighed and patched himself through the new coms array, "This is Jack of the Quest results."
"Are you detecting the ship on intercept course?" Jack was stunned. He was so absorbed watching the organics that he missed the ship closing in on his own.
Instantly realising the situation, "we won't be able to outrun that ship." He informed the Warmonger.
A reply came through a few seconds later. "Understood, the fleet is thinking up a plan. Orders are to defend yourself and the pod."
"Understood," Jack responded and cut the link. He started scanning the ship, the pod, and the craft approaching, Jack quickly came to a concerning realisation, He could do nothing.
"Michael was right about this system."
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Five until impact Hezexhel informed his squad. He could hear the laser drills charging on the sides of the ship. "This is the last check, make sure your gear is ready. Once again, we don't know what this thing can do, keep your distance and stay alert. We'll be coming in around engineering on our current course. The plan is simple, shut down engines and power, take the bridge, then sweep the ship got it?"
"Let's bag us an alien and save our people." One of his squad mates responded.
The laser drills activated, and the boarding craft rammed into the Lottyim, cleaving its way into the engineering compartment. Seconds passed in silence before Hezexhel slammed the eject button, opening the doors. The team of ten quickly piled out swept the area, looking for any surprises.
"Engine and power disabled." His team engineer informed him.
Hezexhel watched as his squad reported all clear through his helmet HUD. Signalling to follow, his team made its way slowly out of the engineering bay, silently moving down the hall, eyes wide.
"It's not coming up on bio scanner," hissed a faceless teammate.
"Nothing on IR." Reported another.
"Something's not right, it should know where here, is it stalking us?" A third said, trying but failing to control his tail.
"Eyes open listen for movement," Hezexhel commanded. The team advanced through the ship, making their way to the bridge unopposed. "This is definitely too easy," He thought to himself. Is the monster scared? Does it care?
"I can't get control of the ship. Some alien tech is keeping me out of the system." Stated the team engineer.
"There's the problem" One of his team replied with a chuckle.
"The engines are out regardless the task force will catch up eventually. Let's hunt the alien and wait for pickup." Hezexhel and his team spent the next hour sweeping the ship before coming to the storage hold.
"It's gotta be in here," Hezexhel heard offhandedly.
"Stay alert! We can't let this thing get away, weapons ready, and remember its extremely dangerous. Breach in 3, 2, 1," Hezexhel and his team stormed the storage hold. Stun guns held high, and glue bombs in hand they washed over the hold.
"Nada boss," A teammate reported.
Hezexhel Was worried. It obviously had some sort of extreme stealth equipment. His squad might not even be able to see it if they were looking directly at it. "Poor girl," Hezexhel thought, looking at her massive ore haul. "She was about to be rich." He thought, pausing for a second. "Hold on, that's one odd piece of ore." Eyeing up a large oval piece, after a moment, it clicked. "Team on me," He shouted into his com. it only took a few seconds for his nine other team members to gather. All of them looking at the strange piece of ore.
"Hey, boss. You don't think." his teammate was cut off as the engineer pushed him aside scanner held up to the giant piece of ore.
"This is it, This is the alien's ship! It's no wonder it got aboard. The damn thing is disguised as a piece of ore. She must have picked it up while working." pulling out his laser cutter, the soldiers were murmuring their sympathies for the poor miner girl.
"I don't know what this thing is made of, but I'll have it open soon enough." The engineer stated with a grin.
----------------------------------------------------
Jack watched as the boarding party scurry about the ship. Difficult considering it was on emergency power. He wished that he could encourage them, but they are currently the enemy. It took them a while, but they did eventually find the pod. It took one of them standing in front of it for a good five minutes before he noticed something was off and called his team. He was kind of proud of them. Right up until one of the big ones pulled out some sort of laser drill and started drilling into his body.
Jack was cut off from the outside, He only had a minimal view due to the low power. "Least the drill is quiet," Jack thought to himself. "Well, might as well try talking them." No power to any of the ship's external speakers.
"Was I always this weak?" He thought to himself.
He decided, to try talking to the only awake companion he had."Srettia, how are you doing?"
"I'm fine Jack. I assume from the humming outside that the boarding team finally found us?" She asked.
"Yes, apparently we were cleverly hidden as ore," Jack said with a laughed. " So it was hard for them to notice us. It'll take them around two hours of drilling to get through the pod's armour."
Srettia looked into the nearest camera. "Do you have a plan? I don't think Michael's well enough to be moved yet, even if I could move him."
"I have control over all systems with power. But it basically amounts to cameras and environmental control. I also tried taking control of their suits to deactivate their mag boots. But it seems your boarding teams don't use power armour. So I am out of options. I don't know what to do."
Srettias face contorted in surprise. Like she just realised something important. "Are you scared?"
Jack paused for that felt like an eternity. "I'm currently vulnerable. Taking a risk of flying a ship with Michael is one thing. It was my choice. Having armed soldiers board me and destroy my quantum processor in an attempt to dissect the ship is not a happy thought."
"You dodged the question, But I'll let it slide. I won't let them hurt either of you, how's that?" She smiled. "besides, I need you both alive for my engine. How am I going to claim it when they ruin my check"
"Is that why you are taking care of Michael?" Jack slyly asked.
Laughing, Srettia replied. "He's my free heating stone. That's all he's good for." She replied wiping his brow again.
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Commander Soto was briefing his team Excitedly. "Alright, lads, we're about to seal onto the ship, the word is the Aasteran have already boarded. From what I saw, it was pretty impressive. Drilled right into the engineer section of the ship, so DO NOT. Underestimate these guys. NO NEURAL WEAPONS on load out, we don't know what it will do to them. Taser and antigrav weapons only. Standard boarding practice. We're entering the cargo hold right on top of them. Shield bearers upfront, Stay behind them. Move forward slowly and corral them away from the pod. Once they get the idea we won't hurt them. I'll signal the suits to drop by. Any questions?" He asked, stepping into the control harness of his suit and selecting a Non-lethal load out configuration, exhaling as his armour closed around him... He happily watched as his team did the same.
Private Reinin Spoke up, waving his arms around to make sure his suit was working. "Are there any alien babes?"
Laughter filled the armoury of the stealth ship.
Commander Soto, not one to let his team get one up on him. replied. "Word on the street is our test pilot had a lizard girl giving him a ride out of the system before this shit went down."
"Its always the flyboys." Private Renin replied.
More laughter in the armoury.
"Alright, Cut the chatter and get in position." The commander ordered as the ship shuddered and the light turned red. His team started forming up on him, he moved to the side for the four shield bearers to get in position.
Admiral Eric walked into the room as his team was waiting for the green light. "DO. NOT. Fuck this up, commander. No one dies got it?"
"Yes sir." Commander Soto Replied.
"TEN SECONDS!" Was announced over the speakers. The admiral stepped back and saluted the team.
Green-light and the Door Burst open. The shield bearers lifted their massive shields and activated the barrier they provided, slamming their shields together, making a massive wall of riftsteel and barrier.
The Aasteran immediately opened fire to no effect. their weapons bouncing off the shields barrier or harmless impacted the riftsteel. The commando team started slowly walking towards the pod making their intentions known.
A disk was thrown at the group, bouncing harmless of a shield, or at least it was supposed to. "Gah, what the fuck is this shit." Sergeant Aleyn complained. His shield and armour was coated in some kind of sticky fluid. His power armour proving it non-effective, he was more annoyed about having to clean his armour afterwards.
"PUSH THEM AWAY FROM THE POD!" Commander Soto yelled at the shield bearers noticing that the Aasteran, had cut deeply into it. "I'll give them one thing the bastards are brave as fuck" he yelled over the noise as his team marched them away from the pod and took up position.
He walked up to the emergency pod to key in the unlock code, trying to get inside when Soto heard the familiar click of a new coms unit joining the battle net.
"Do not enter the pod yet Commander Soto. It's unsafe while the cargo hold is depressurised and cold."
"I assume you're Pilot Michael?" He asked.
"No, I 'm Co-pilot Jack We'll leave it at that."
Commander Soto was puzzled. "Alright, I'll leave your pod alone."
Turning back to his team that was huddled behind the shields, he noticed the fire dying down. "Well, that was easy." He thought. "Don't let them do Sneaky sneak pay attention." Yelling to his team.
"Admiral Eric, heat seems to be dying down, might want to get ready." Commander Soto Informed the Big boss Happily.
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Hezexhel knew his team's time was numbered, the aliens snuck up on them and blew open the doors of the storage hold. He thought if his team could regroup, he would have a chance. But the moment those giant aliens stepped forward and made that moving wall of steel and energy shield, he knew it was over. He was slowly being pushed away from the alien ship, and his team started hiding behind whatever cover they could find.
"They aren't returning fire," He thought to himself. They're just standing there. "HOLD FIRE!" He shouted over coms
"They're just standing around like idiots, behind those damn shields." one of his teammates said.
"Would you rather them start shooting?!" Another Yelled.
"Don't put your weapons down, but stop shooting," Hezexhel ordered, slinging his weapon on his back. Putting his hands out to his sides and lifting his tail for the aliens to see, he started walking slowly towards them.
"I hope this works." He thought to himself, stepping out in the open. About halfway to the aliens, he was happy to be right about them not trying to kill his people.
"I am Hezexhel of the Aasteran Military." He tried.
"Keep your hands where we can see them and put your weapons down." he heard from one of the aliens, surprised he could understand them.
trying his best to comply with their demands, he dropped his stun rifle and electro baton.
"I am unarmed now," he answered back to them.
"Raise your hand's in the air palms facing us and walk over slowly, and uhhh, leme see your tail too! make sure you're not doing anything funny with that." Hezexhel Laughed inside his head. These aliens seemed as nervous as he was suddenly.
Walking over to the aliens, He noticed their body language seemed more... Excited, then menacing. The shield wall opened up for him, and he walked through, he listened for it to close behind him.
Hezexhel came face to face with what he thought was their group leader.
"I'm Commander Soto Terran special forces. It's a pleasure to meet you Hezexhel. Oh right, Our people come in peace." The alien spread its lips in a traditional smile.
Hezexhel nearly fell onto the floor in relief. "Once again, I am Hezexhel, no rank currently. And as long as you speak truth, The pleasure is mine." Tapping his tail twice on the floor in the traditional greeting of his people.
The Alien extended its hand. "When meeting for the first time, It's traditional between my people to grab each other hand. We call it a handshake." Hezexhel reached forward and took the aliens massively armoured hand in his own. And allowed himself a smile.
"They come in peace," he laughed to himself.
submitted by AngryaboutVideogames to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.06.24 21:10 BlocklyGD Fun in the elevator

  1. Make race car noises when anyone gets on or off.
  2. Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your Kleenex to other passengers.
  3. Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering: "Shut up, all of you just shut UP!"
  4. Whistle the first seven notes of "It's a Small World" incessantly.
  5. Sell Girl Scout cookies.
  6. On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.
  7. Shave.
  8. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: "Got enough air in there?"
  9. Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.
  10. Stand silent and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.
  11. When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.
  12. Lean over to another passenger and whisper: "Noogie patrol coming!"
  13. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
  14. One word: Flatulence!
  15. On the highest floor, hold the door open and demand that it stay open until you hear the penny you dropped down the shaft go "plink" at the bottom.
  16. Do Tai Chi exercises.
  17. Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: "I've got new socks on!"
  18. When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, damn motion sickness!"
  19. Give religious tracts to each passenger.
  20. Meow occasionally.
  21. Bet the other passengers you can fit a quarter in your nose.
  22. Frown and mutter "gotta go, gotta go" then sigh and say "oops!"
  23. Show other passengers a wound and ask if it looks infected.
  24. Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.
  25. Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.
  26. Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.
  27. Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You're one of THEM!" and move to the far corner of the elevator.
  28. Burp, and then say "mmmm...tasty!"
  29. Leave a box between the doors.
  30. Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
  31. Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.
  32. Start a sing-along.
  33. When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"
  34. Play the harmonica.
  35. Shadow box.
  36. Say "Ding!" at each floor.
  37. Lean against the button panel.
  38. Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.
  39. Listen to the elevator walls with a stethoscope.
  40. Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers that this is your "personal space."
  41. Bring a chair along.
  42. Take a bite of a sandwich and ask another passenger: "Wanna see wha in muh mouf?"
  43. Blow spit bubbles.
  44. Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.
  45. Announce in a demonic voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
  46. Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.
  47. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
  48. Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.
  49. Stare at your thumb and say "I think it's getting larger.
submitted by BlocklyGD to copypasta [link] [comments]


2020.06.15 05:46 ToTheTableGaming [MS] Mary-Lou of the Dell

It had been six hours since Mary-Lou decided she wouldn’t sleep tonight. Soon, the sun would rise, and the roosters’ calls would bring forth a new day. A special day. For today was The Celebration of Wishes, a ceremony to bring in the new year for all the members of the village. Elder Orylyn would be calling upon the benevolent spirits of the dell to grant wishes for a select few of the villagers. An old woman, the townsfolk knew this could be her final Celebration, and envy would surely spread through those not chosen, much like a fire through grass in the midst of a dry spell. This fire would be promptly quenched with an assortment of alcohol and dances in the village center, an event which all able bodies would attend.
Mary-Lou had kept the same wish locked away inside her heart for the past five years, since she’d become old enough for her parents to begin negotiations to find her a husband. She wanted a new life, a new adventure, and the man of her dreams to accompany her. She didn’t know what part of her this wish had grown from, but she had her guesses. The desire to leave the monotonous life of a farmer’s daughter surely originated from the day to day experience of being a farmer’s daughter, she thought.
Mary-Lou got out of her bed and dressed for the day. Her dress was becoming worn through, but the holes near the center were easy enough to cover with an apron. She finished tying her shoes (which were also adorned with holes) and set off for the town center.
Although the sun’s rays were barely visible over the grassy hills to the east, Mary-Lou was not the first to arrive. It seemed that a few villagers had a similar mindset to Mary-Lou: if there’s but the slightest possibility that Orylyn rewards punctuality and sacrifice, it would be worth the lost hours of sleep. A handful of others stood around in conversation, and Mary-Lou could immediately identify why they were so keen to be selected. One older man seemed to shred his lungs coughing when incited to laugh, the sound sickened Mary-Lou. Paxton Farnsworth stood proudly despite missing his left arm, the result of an unfortunate accident which the family had thus refused to disclose. The rest of the villagers gathered were either on death’s door or very young, all of them holding the same sorts of youthful wishes within them.
Mary Lou approached Paxton, who had a stalk of wheat pressed between his lips on the right side of his mouth.
“Hello Paxton. I see you couldn’t find any sleep either?”
Paxton smiled. “You’re a smart girl, I’m sure you can guess my wish. I’ll even give you three guesses,” he said.
“Hmm. Well, if I had to guess, I’d say you’re asking for a bountiful harvest.”
“Wrong. Two guesses left.”
“A healthy new calf?”
“Incorrect. Final guess.”
Mary-Lou furrowed her brow in mock concentration. “Could it be… oh of course! How could I fail to see this earlier? It must be to fix your crooked nose.”
Paxton attempted to keep his serious expression, but he shortly failed in this effort. They shared a friendly embrace.
“So, how have you been, Pax?”
“Oh, you know, milking one utter at a time, trying to find a creative way of shearing the sheep,” Paxton said. “And you?”
Mary-Lou sighed. “I’ve been bored, Pax. I’ve been really bored.”
She considered telling Paxton all about her wish, about the feelings she’d harbored for years, but decided against it. While she was certainly close enough with this young man she’d been schooled with, to talk about marriage would be a sore spot, as she was certain he’d become a far less desirable match upon losing the arm.
They caught up for a while, speaking of different incidents on their families’ farms only to learn that the occurrences sparking their stories probably weren’t as special as they’d once thought. As they spoke, more townsfolk filtered into the center. Her family would soon arrive, she was sure of it. She didn’t feel like speaking with them today, she was too tired, and she didn’t want to hear their demands that she wish for her father’s back to heal. Her wish was non-negotiable.
Paxton was called away by a voice in the crowd, and Mary Lou was left to wander the center, ultimately finding solace in the alleyway between the Elders’ living space and the general store. She leaned against a wall, then sank down to the grass. She examined the scene in the center. Over a hundred villagers had gathered now, some she hadn’t seen since last year’s Celebration due to age or infirmity. A light veil of dust had risen from all the feet on the dirt clearing. She watched it settle, only to be kicked up again. She was captivated by this cycle for some time. Mary-Lou’s concentration was broken by a gruff mail voice behind her. She turned her head, and was greeted by the sight of Mr. Matterson, the city manager.
Mr. Matterson was a kind man within the few conversations the two had shared, but everyone in town knew his penchant for order and practicality, properties which landed him his position in the first place. His beard was neatly trimmed, something few men of the village could say.
“Not wanting to enjoy the festivities, I see?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Matterson, I’m just a little nervous, that’s all,” she said.
“I understand, Mary-Lou. Believe it or not, I remember being nervous about my future when I was your age,” Matterson said. “But I’ll let you in on a secret: I think this whole thing is a sham. For some people, I think their wishes are granted by coincidence, and others grant their own wishes just by believing they’ll be granted in the first place.”
Mary-Lou’s gaze shifted downward. Mr. Matterson took the hint.
“Ah, that’s it, is it? Well, seeing as I’m responsible for your well being, young woman, why don’t you tell me what’s on your mind?”
Maybe it was the fatigue, maybe it was her desire to finally speak her mind to someone, but Mary-Lou readily responded.
“Oh Mr. Matterson, I just can’t take this life anymore. I love to read all about adventures, and I’m sure I’ll never get to live my own if I stay on this path.”
Mr. Matterson was about to cut in, but Mary-Lou continued.
“My parents talk to me every day about finding me a husband. But I’m not so sure I want to marry a farmer. I don’t want to live the same life as my mother, and her mother before her. I’ve read all about the towns, no, the cities from far away, and I’m just so amazed. You wouldn’t believe the things they have over there. Did you know-”
“Alright, Mary-Lou,” Mr. Matterson interrupted. “Maybe a farm isn’t in your future. I understand that. You know, the O’Brien’s son is only a few years younger than you, and he’s to inherit his parent’s general store. In fact, it’s this store right here,” Mr. Matterson said as he patted a log making up part of the wall to his right. “And what’s more, as part of the business he goes into a big town up north once a month. I’m sure he’d take you with him to see it.”
Mary-Lou sighed. “I appreciate your kindness, Mr. Matterson. I really do. But I… I just don’t think my future is in this village, that’s all it is.”
Mr. Matterson’s expression changed, a stern expression overtook his face.
“I’m sorry to tell you that’s just not the case. This town functions properly for a reason, and that reason is because everyone is committed to expanding and improving it. We can’t do that if healthy young men and women like you want to up and leave. You’ve never left this place, have you?”
Mary-Lou shook her head.
“Well,” Mr. Matterson continued, “I have, many times as a matter of fact, and you wouldn’t believe what’s out there. Terrible people, people who will rob you blind and never look back. Creatures that’ll tear out your throat if you give them the chance. Bands of marauders armed to the teeth with whatever firepower they can purchase with their blood money. You don’t want any part of that.”
But maybe she did, Mary-Lou thought. Maybe she did.
After exchanging pleasantries, Mr. Matterson walked to the town center to start the proceedings. Mary-Lou remained seated for a moment, then walked toward the now large crowd. She kept her distance, she knew her chances of being chosen were slim at best.
Mr. Matterson began the proceedings. Mary-Lou couldn’t hear his words, but keenly watched the crowd’s reaction. They were still and silent in anticipation. He held up a small wooden box, and removed a scrap of paper. He shouted a name, and the crowd went silent. A figure was being pushed to the front. It was Paxton. Mary-Lou’s heart dropped for a moment, but she knew that Paxton deserved it more than anyone. Paxton entered the Elders’ lodgings, and Mr. Matterson read the next name. The crowd seemed to murmur, disappointment spreading. No one came forward to receive their prize. Mary-Lou’s heart fluttered for a moment. Her mind entertained all her hopes, dreams, and fantasies at once. A boy ran away from the crowd toward the southern section of town, right at Mary-Lou. He passed her without saying a word. He turned to shout back to the crowd.
“I’ll go tell him! I’ll see if he can come down here!”
Mary-Lou’s heart dropped, but this time to her stomach. She knew she wouldn’t be picked. It happened this way every year. She felt like an idiot. The same every time, and yet she still allowed herself to get excited enough to be dismayed when the inevitable passed. Yet still, she started rehearsing her wish in her head.
I wish for a gallant adventurer to take me away from this place, she thought repeatedly.
Mr. Matterson was reaching for the third name. He read it. Groans filled the crowd, and an old woman hobbled up to the front. Everyone in the crowd shared Mary-Lou’s opinion that such wishes would be wasted on the elderly.
Mary-Lou felt a sob bubbling up. She fought it as best as she could, but soon it won the battle, and tears were streaming down her face. She ran away from the town center, running between some of the homes and shops stationed nearby. She’d let no one see her cry. She was too old to be getting her hopes up, after all. She dropped to her knees and cried for some time. Maybe a few minutes, maybe a half hour. She was stopped by Paxton’s voice.
“Mary-Lou? What’s wrong?”
She attempted to speak through her erratic breathing.
“Oh Paxton, I… I just thought this would be the time for me, you know?”
She gave up her sense of shame and looked up at Paxton, half-expecting to see a newly formed second arm. But the space where his arm used to be was still empty.
“W-what happened with the Elder? What did she tell you?”
“Oh, she did her whole song and dance to the gods, but I’ll tell you, I’m certain it’s all fake now. You should have heard what she told me. She said that the gods were listening to someone else while she was trying to summon them. She told me they might not hear me, and apologized. She said it had never happened before, and she asked me not to tell anyone else. Well damn it to hell, that’s what I say to that.”
Paxton finished his monologue by lightly stamping the ground. Some of the produced dust fell onto Mary-Lou’s face, but she was too focused on what Paxton had just said to notice.
“Could they, could they have heard me?” Mary-Lou’s eyes were locked on Paxton’s.
“I’m not quite sure what you mean,” Paxton said, confused. “But hey, your parents are looking for you, they said if I found you I should send you to the festival. They want to introduce you to someone. I’m headed there myself if you’d like to join me.”
Mary-Lou’s mind was snapped back to reality. Of course, her parents. While the gods of the dell were probably fake, her parents and their wishes were perfectly real, and would soon be enacted upon her. She suddenly hated everyone and everything, including her parents for asking Paxton of all people to deliver the message.
She ran away, running until the pain inside her dulled. She didn’t know how long she’d run, but now she was by the lumberer’s homes on the outskirts of town. She looked back to where she’d run from and saw a pillar of smoke. The bonfire was as big as ever this year, and she could hear music emanating even though she was so far away. Mary-Lou wanted nothing to do with that festival.
She turned back to the homes and noticed an unfamiliar covered wagon being pulled by two horses. She knew it was foreign as the horses were too large and battle-worn for this town, sporting a collection of scars. The emptiness within her was filled with curiosity. She investigated the cabin across from the wagon. She snuck around the side of the home, and peeked through a window. She dropped away from the window, back to the wall. She’d seen a man inside. A man with flowing brown hair, a gun on his hip, and a shaped leather bag in his right hand. She tried to sneak away, fear engulfing her. She’d only seen a gun held by friends and townsfolk. It was significantly scarier on a stranger, she decided.
She crept back to the front of the house, and saw the man leave the logger’s home. He lifted the canvas on the back of his wagon and disappeared into it. Mary-Lou guessed he was storing whatever he’d put in that bag. She stayed crouched and ducked back behind the corner of the cabin. She held her eyes closed as tightly as she could, and shortly became aware of the fact that her heart was trying to escape her body.
What felt like an eternity passed.
“Excuse me, miss, what might you be doing in a place like this?”
Mary-Lou opened her eyes to the sight of the stranger. He seemed to loom before her, although there was nothing threatening about his stance. He reached a hand forward slowly.
“Could I help you up?”
Mary-Lou tried to nod her head slowly and calmly, but when she reached her hand out, she found that it was shaking fervently. The man stepped back after helping her up.
“Now, miss,” he said, “I’m going to ask you a question, and I’d really like it if you answered me honestly, alright? I have a knack for knowing when someone’s lying to me. I don’t mean you any harm, I promise, but I need you to answer me.”
Mary-Lou was about to cry once again. She wasn’t sure she had any tears left, but the sobs were coming back. This time from fear rather than heartbreak.
“I’d like you to tell me if you saw me in that cabin. And I’d like you to tell me what you saw.”
Mary-Lou audibly gulped. She told the truth, never considering any other option. She told the stranger that she’d seen him in the home, then had ducked away from the window.
“And that’s all you saw?”
“Yes sir.”
The man seemed to ponder something, but Mary-Lou’s mind was racing as fast as it ever had. Unbeknownst to the stranger, emotions were bubbling within the woman in front of him. She was thinking about the wish she’d made. She was thinking about the fact that she’d never seen a stranger in town before, and she was thinking that this one seemed awfully dangerous. She asked a question.
“Are you… are you planning to leave this place?”
The question snapped him out of his train of thought.
“Yes, I may have some more business to conduct but I’ll be leaving.”
Now that she’d gathered the courage to look the man in his eyes, Mary-Lou was becoming entranced by them. They seemed to sparkle, and filled her with a strange melancholic sensation.
“Could you take me with you?” Mary-Lou asked. She didn’t know where the question had come from, but didn’t dispute its authenticity. She’d meant it.
“And why might you want to come with me?”
For the second time that day, Mary-Lou revealed her soul to another. She told the man about her dream to leave this place, she told him about how terrible her future would be if she didn’t leave this place, she told him that she didn’t think she could do it alone. She hesitated, then told the stranger that if she didn’t leave this place today, she’d kill her dream. She’d suppress it and punish such thoughts until she could accept the life of a woman in the village. She didn’t know how the man would react to this, but she didn’t much care.
The man raised a hand to the stubble on his face, rubbing his jawline from ear to chin. He thought for a time, then responded.
“You haven’t even told me your name, but you’ve told me your deepest wish. I think you’re a strange girl, you know that?”
Mary-Lou nodded.
“You know,” he continued, “I know just how you feel. I felt that way myself for a while. That’s why I steal. That’s why I take from communities with too many resources. The communities who make people like you unhappy. Are you alright with that? The way I make my living? Could you truly come to accept it?”
“I…” Mary-Lou trailed off. “I think I could. I think I’m accepting the idea more and more, even now. So what do you say? Can I come with you, wherever you’re going?”
“I didn’t think I’d be the type to be swayed by someone like you, but dammit, I can’t tell you to stay in a place like this. You can come with me.”
Mary-Lou’s lips stretched upwards in excitement.
“So when do we leave? I’m ready to go now, you know,” Mary-Lou said.
“I have to finish my business here, that business being a good old fashioned robbery. Why don’t you come help me, and when we’re done, I can promise you we’ll be racing out of here.”
“Like Zeus’s chariot?”
The man crumpled his nose. “I can’t say I know what you’re talking about.”
“I’ll explain it on the way out,” she said.
And thus, their unlikely partnership was formed. The stranger had Mary-Lou keep watch outside the homes while he went in to rob them, but no one ever came. He told Mary-Lou that he’d scouted this location for the last three years. He knew that everyone went in to town to celebrate this time every year. It was a thief’s dream.
After the fourth house, Mary-Lou asked the man what he was stealing, and if it would harm the townsfolk. He told her that this town produced a specific resource very efficiently, and it wouldn’t hurt anyone to take from a community with too much. He said he’d heard that the way the town produced it was even causing some townsfolk some harm. Mary-Lou tried asking exactly what he was stealing, but the man said she’d have to wait and see. They continued robbing home after home, each time the man leaving with his shaped leather bag, depositing the contents into the wagon, then continuing on.
After fifteen or twenty some homes, the man said they’d be leaving soon. They’d been lucky, most of the homes had what he was looking for. Mary-Lou asked him about the money involved, and he told her they’d have enough to travel the world wherever they pleased, enough to find plenty of new adventures. Mary-Lou really liked the sound of that.
Eventually, the man exited the wagon with a smile on his face.
“Mary-Lou, it’s time for us to get out of here. I hope your time as a robber’s been plenty exciting, because we’re putting this life behind us.
Happiness coming over her, Mary Lou ran to the stranger and embraced him, planting her head in his shoulder. The man returned the gesture, and they stayed that way for some time before releasing each other. The stranger told her to hop onto the wagon, and they were off. After a few minutes of riding, the man asked her if she was hungry. Considering she hadn’t eaten since the night before, Mary-Lou told him she was.
They pulled over with the town still in sight, and the man found some smoked jerky, a few apples, and some milk in his wagon. They ate their meal and subsequently passed out, the warmth of the sun over the veil of leaves above them was too pleasant to resist.
Mary-Lou woke up to an unfamiliar voice. Groggily, she wiped her eyes, and once they finally focused she saw an older man pointing a revolver at the stranger. Her new friend was on his knees with his hands held high, the gun just inches away from his nose. The man was yelling about something, pointing to the wagon excitedly, his face red with rage. Mary-Lou vaguely recognized him from the town, but didn’t know his name.
Mary-Lou yelled toward the older man, begging him to stop. It was just like a man from her town to threaten an outsider. He would never understand why they’d stolen, he’d never understand that the man on the other side of the barrel of the gun had hopes and dreams just like her. That town was where dreams died, and this was simply an expression of it.
The older man looked towards Mary-Lou and shouted something, and that was all the time the stranger needed to act. He gracefully sprung to his feet, grabbed the gun, and kicked the other man hard in the knee. The older man fell to the ground, releasing the revolver in pain. The stranger looked toward the girl.
“Mary-Lou, look away now.”
In a state of shock, Mary-Lou did exactly what she was told. She heard the gunshot ring through the air, then felt the pull of the stranger’s hand on his shoulder.
“Come on, we need to move, now. They’re trying to destroy what we’re building, it’s now or never,” he said.
Mary-Lou obliged. She climbed up to the front of the wagon, and the man ran around to the driver’s seat. He handed Mary-Lou a pistol he produced from under his seat.
“If anyone tries to hurt you, don’t hesitate. You just point and squeeze the trigger, alright darling?”
Mary-Lou nodded. She vaguely heard some commotion behind her. She looked behind the wagon and saw a group of townsfolk chasing after them on foot, likely thirty seconds away. Their shouts were of anguish. Were they trying to rescue her, or did they just want to maintain order? This confused Mary-Lou. She heard a strange noise come from the back of the wagon, but it soon stopped. Before she could ask the stranger about it, they were off. The wagon was building speed.
“They’ll never catch us,” the man said, “they don’t have a chance in hell.”
They rode like this for a few minutes, and once they’d put some distance between them and the mob behind them, Mary-Lou felt like she was finally able to breathe.
The stranger placed his hand to the sun.
“Seems like we’re about six or seven hours to sundown,” he said. “We took a bit of a detour from where we’re trying to go, I didn’t want them to follow us. Damn, it might wear off soon.”
Mary-Lou wasn’t sure if the man was talking to her or himself. He seemed distant to her, his eyes weren’t focused on anything in particular. Suddenly, he snapped out of it, and looked at Mary-Lou.
“Hey, you remember why we’re doing this, right?”
Mary-Lou nodded.
“And you know if we do this, we go live the life we’ve both dreamed of,” he said. It wasn’t a question as much as a statement for which he sought affirmation.
“Yes, I know that,” Mary-Lou said.
“Well, alright then. We may be able to make it by nightfall. We trade this wagon for a sack of cash and fresh horses, and we leave this place,” the stranger said.
He was about to continue when Mary-Lou heard another noise coming from the wagon. She wasn’t sure what it was, it sounded almost alien to her. She started to wonder exactly what her town was hiding. And yet, there was a familiar quality to it, she just couldn’t place it. The sound stopped once again.
Mary-Lou turned to the stranger. She’d just realized she hadn’t even asked him his name yet. Just as she opened her mouth, he cursed under his breath. Mary-Lou looked back at the road. Riding toward them were two men, both sporting gleaming silver stars. Mary-Lou didn’t understand the stranger’s dismay.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“Those men…” he started, “Just let me do the talking here, alright? Please, don’t speak unless you must. I’ll get us out of this, but it might not be easy.”
He looked at Mary-Lou and cast a reassuring smile toward her, then shifted his gaze downward and noticed she was still holding the gun. Startled, he took it from her and hid it back under his seat. The men on the horses were upon them now. The stranger and the rider on the left exchanged smiles.
Mary-Lou hadn’t noticed when he’d done it, but the stranger was gripping her hand with his own. As the men on the horses passed, the grip tightened, then released once they’d cleared the wagon. Another noise sounded from the wagon, and Mary-Lou heard the horses behind them stop moving. The riders turned around and rode back even with the stranger, one on each side of the wagon. The rider near the stranger cleared his throat.
“Excuse me sir, would you mind pulling over for a moment?”
The stranger’s grip on Mary-Lou’s hand was painful now.
“Well,” he said, “I would, but my wagon is holding sensitive cargo. My boss told me to let no one see it under any circumstances.”
The rider was unphased. “Sir, I’ll ask you again to pull over. I’m not too keen on asking a third time. I’m asking you with the power given to me as a deputy of this county. Do you understand that?”
“I-I-” the stranger stammered. His palm started sweating. “I’m afraid I can’t do that sir, I work for a powerful man, you see?”
He released Mary-Lou’s hand, and began to slowly reach under his seat. He glanced at the rider on the other side as he did so.
“I have the paperwork, if you’re worried about that. I can show you the manifesto if it gets you gentleman on your way.”
“Well, I suppose that’s a start. Let’s see it then,” the deputy said.
The deputy reached out toward the wagon, and the stranger continued to rummage
around under his seat. He turned to Mary-Lou, and spoke so softly she thought it could have been the wind speaking to her.
“When I lift my hand from under the wagon, you need to duck.”
The stranger searched for another couple seconds, then found what he was looking for.
“Sirs, I think you’ll find this satisfactory,” the stranger said as he raised the pistol from under his seat with his right arm, and unholstered the revolver in his left. Before the deputies had a chance to react, he’d planted a bullet in the head of the rider on the left. Then, flipping his head, he shot the other man just as Mary-Lou ducked under the barrel of the gun. Mary-Lou didn’t see the bullet connect, but she heard a now familiar sound of metal embedding itself in flesh, then heard a body hit the dirt path.
Mary-Lou was shell shocked. She couldn’t find the courage to lift her head, much less to speak. She expected a comforting gesture from the stranger, but he now had hold of the reigns, increasing the speed of the wagon. They raced down the road for a few minutes, then he relaxed his speed. The two didn’t speak again for the rest of their ride.
As the sun was setting, the stranger veered off the main path, taking the wagon through some tall trees and into a grassy clearing. A man with a similar covered wagon was waiting there. He was older, his hair readily receding and his teeth all but rotted. A few saddled horses grazed in the field, Mary-Lou assumed they were what the stranger had mentioned earlier. The setting sun cast shadows which seemed to loom throughout the clearing, the sky seemed to burn a shade of orange above them.
“Hey, Mary-Lou? Why don’t you let me do the talking again, got it? Don’t worry, this is the man who’s giving us the money and horses, just like I told you. We’ll be living our new life soon enough, I promise.”
The stranger planted a kiss on Mary-Lou’s forehead, then stepped down from the wagon to approach the other man. They conversed for a moment, but Mary-Lou couldn’t quite make out what she was hearing. She thought she heard the phrases “more than I thought” and “don’t worry about her.” She became nervous, but she calmed down once she saw the two share a friendly handshake. The stranger waved Mary-Lou over from the wagon, and the older man went over to inspect its contents.
“My darling, today marks the first day of our new lives. Our man here came through just like I thought he would,” the stranger said. He pointed to the horses. “See those fine horses over there? Their saddles are full of gold, gold that we can exchange for as much cash as we can carry once we get into town. Then, I don’t know, we get a boat anywhere we want!”
Mary-Lou didn’t know what to say. She thought that even if she knew what she was feeling right now, she wouldn’t be able to express it through language. The only word that came to mind was unsettled. Was this really what I wanted? More questions swirled through her mind, and she was more than willing to let the stranger lead her by the hand while she sorted them out.
They mounted their horses, and like the stranger had said, the saddle bags held bars of solid gold. The stranger reached his hand toward her, and she took it, their horses cantering aside one another.
The sun fell below the mountains to the west, Mary-Lou noticed as they passed the wagon one last time. The noise came once again, but louder than ever. No, she thought, it must be more than one noise. She wouldn’t even try to figure out this mystery, she was content to leave this place and never look back. But as they rode through the trees, realization flooded through Mary-Lou, and she became pale in the waning sunlight.
The sound she’d heard hadn’t been from wild animals. It hadn’t been alien. It hadn’t been the clink of disarrayed coins, nor had it been the sizzling of a strange reaction. Mary-Lou thought she might fall off her horse. The sounds which had emanated from that wagon were surely the muffled cries of babies. The sorts of cries which would only be resolved by the gentle touch of the mothers they’d never again see. Into the sunset they rode.
submitted by ToTheTableGaming to shortstories [link] [comments]


2020.05.16 15:36 TheTStain Rewriting Wednesday Night NXT (13/05/2020)

Timothy Thatcher and Matt Riddle vs Imperium (Change Match) Thatcher attacks Riddle
Timothy Thatcher and Matt Riddle Promo (Change Segment) Thatcher attacks Riddle
Tegan Nox vs Indi Hartwell (Change Match) More Controlled Win
Rhea Ripley Promo (Change Segment) Focus on Io Shirai
Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher Promo (Change Segment) No referee
Jake Atlas Promo (Change Segment) Fighting Drake Maverick Promo
Tony Nese vs Jake Atlas (Change Match) Drake Maverick vs Jake Atlas
Undisputed Era Promo (Change Segment) Undisputed Era challenge Dexter Lumis
Dakota Kai Promo (Change Segment) Taking Opportunities
Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott Promo (Change Segment) Less of a Heel
NXT TakeOver: In Your House (Change Segment) In the Ring
Finn Balor vs Cameron Grimes (Change Match) Karrion Kross
Jack Gallagher vs Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott (Change Match) Jack Gallagher Attacks
Kayden Carter vs Aliyah (Change Match) Chelsea Green helps Aliyah
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae (Change Segment) Remove the Visual Effects
Matt Riddle vs Timothy Thatcher (Change Match) Timothy Thatcher Wins
submitted by TheTStain to fantasybooking [link] [comments]


2020.04.12 07:08 Witherfang16 [F] Guerrillas struggle alone in Imperium Nihilus

Hey folks, I've been working on this in dribs and drabs through quarantine. This is the first chapter of a longer piece about a group of rebels fighting Chaos-aligned usurpers in the shadow of the Cicatrix Maledictum.
1: Tigers in the Attic
Jaguar stood atop a craggy hill, concealed among the ferns that rose twice his height. He wore grey-green fatigues and shirt under a wool cloak. The cloak had once been deep blue, the color of his house, but it had been torn, patched, and mended so many times, and stained so thoroughly, that it was now a tortoiseshell brown at best. A handaxe hung loose from his hip.
Livia came up and stood beside him. She moved through the woods silent as the sunlight, but he heard her.
“They are advancing into the valley,” he said. There was a tension to him, and though none of it filtered into his voice, or showed on his face, she knew it was there. For better or worse, neither of them could hide anything from the other.
Jaguar was of average height and build. He had the stern face of an emperor, or an executioner, all hard angles and grimly furrowed brow. His nose, twice broken, was crooked. There was a scar on the bridge of his nose and across his left eyebrow. Unkempt brown hair covered the tops of his ears, which had been lost to frostbite years before. He was covered in dirt and scratches from long years of rebellion, and had thinned.
“How many?” Livia asked, careful to avoid looking at the sky. A great scar had opened from horizon to horizon, a canyon of swirling flame that twisted and whispered with a will of its own. Even a glance could bring on a migraine, or worse. Some nights it was brighter than the moons, and nobody slept. They never spoke about it, and tried not to think about it.
Jaguar spoke quietly. “A battalion at least, and this is probably just a vanguard. I sent Wulfgar to take a closer look.” He scratched at his stubble. He’d forgotten how itchy a new beard was.
Livia grinned. “We must have really pissed them off.”
Jaguar shrugged, and tore his eyes from the valley floor, smiling as he saw her. Livia had a way of reminding people that it was good to be alive. Her eyes were the blue of arctic seas, spotted with double-helix strands of green and amber. They were kind eyes, gentle eyes, but keen as a razor. They were the sort of eyes that saw everything, and forgave. She had a broad and gentle face, with thin eyebrows, slight cheekbones, and small ears. A dash of freckles ran over the bridge of her nose. Around her neck she wore a tarnished silver necklace that spelt out her name. A gift from her father in half-forgotten better days.
She was shorter than him, standing only up to his shoulders, and while always slender, had grown dangerously thin. She wore a grey cloak, recently looted from a patrol they’d hit, brown shirt and olive fatigues. She had a pistol on one hip and a machete on the other.
He started to track back towards the main camp. “C’mon. Scouts should be back soon.”
They had set their camp at the foot of Mount Hradhanur, in a thickly wooded hollow protected on two sides by steep limestone escarpments. It was a place known to only a few local hunters. The only good approach was from the south, through the woods directly up the hollow, which the rebels had mined and booby-trapped extensively. They came and went through caves, some that they’d dug, but most carved by underground rivers through the limestone heart of Hradhanur.
A strong location, but not impregnable. If they were found, they would flee into the caves and scatter.
Jaguar and Livia had to pick their way down a jagged limestone slope to reach the center of the camp, The scouts had already returned, a party of a dozen, standing scattered around the central clearing. Their leader, Wulfgar, carried a shotgun. The others carried a mishmash of lever-action and bolt-action rifles, and one, Corran, insisted on using a steel crossbow. They all wore full body camouflage, a green-brown mottle adorned with mud and leaves.
Wulfgar snapped into an imperial salute as they approached, and flashed the sign of the aquila.
Jaguar returned the salute. His eyes roved over the assembled scouts. “Everyone made it back. Well done.”
“The Emperor Protects,” Wulfgar said, with a shrug. He was an older man, ex-Arbites, with a weatherbeaten face. His black hair was streaked with grey. His eyes were pale brown. He was one of their best squad leaders.
“News?” Livia asked.
“The enemy are building a series of fortified outposts on the river Toriath. I’ve not seen their banner before, maybe a new unit. We captured one, but he wouldn’t talk, except to name his force as the Chorus of Entropy. It looks like one full battalion, with some support elements. We counted four companies on the main line. I’m guessing there’s at least two more in reserve. If the usurpers have held to the PDF guidelines, that’s 850 fighting men, plus whatever logistics staff they have here.”
Livia frowned. That had them outnumbered almost three-to-one. “Are they well-equipped?” she asked.
“Autoguns, mostly. Some support weapons, mortars, and maybe a dozen IFVs, not Chimaeras, some older model I’ve never seen before.”
Jaguar nodded, thinking. “Nothing we haven’t handled before.”
“Aye, Captain.” said Wulfgar.
“They’re trying to deny us movement. We can’t allow them to complete those outposts.” Livia said grimly.
“It’ll be quite the trick to stop them, Commander.” Wulfgar said. “They’ve got slaves digging out trenches and raising palisades, soldiers standing watch.”
Livia raised an eyebrow. “Slaves?”
“Aye, Commander. Thousand at least.”Her brow furrowed. Jaguar nudged her shoulder. “Got a plan?”
“Beginnings of one, I think.” she said, starting to walk away.
Wulfgar reached out to stop her. “Commander, there’s one more thing… I worry that these usurpers stray towards heresy.”
Livia frowned. “How do you mean, Wulf?”
“I’ve seen signs like this before, with the Arbites. Cults and such, very dangerous, and insulting to the Emperor’s light. Chorus of Entropy, what sort of army title is that? And their banners… uniforms. I don’t like it, is all.”
Jaguar shrugged. “I don’t much care what they’re wearing. They were enemies before, and they’re enemies now.”
Wulfgar shook his head. “You do not see. This sort of heresy, it is a physical thing, a rot. It is not so far along here, but if we are not swift, well, there may not be anything left to liberate. The… well, you know. It gives them strength.”
Livia looked at him levelly. “So the plan won’t work? We can’t kill them with pinpricks?”
He shook his head. “I don’t think so. Too slow.”
“Alternatives?” she asked.
Wulfgar shrugged. Jaguar stepped forward. “Assassination. Cut off the snake’s head, the usurper himself.”
Livia scowled. “The Consul is in the capital, and too well guarded.”
“If it’s our only shot, we have to give it an honest go.”
She looked at the ground. “I’ll think on it, Jag. In the meantime, assemble a raiding party. We have to delay those outposts, if nothing else. Got some stuff to take care of before I join you. Get our squad ready.”
“Rog, Commander.” he said. “You heard her, Wulf. Let’s get to work.”
Jaguar needed his best men for the first probing attacks on the new enemy battalion. He took Wulfgar’s scouts, and squads Cullen, Aidan, and Hannah, each named for their squad leaders.
Hannah was a stocky brunette with dark eyes. She had a brittle power to her, a cold-burning hatred, and Jaguar knew that peace would not sit well with her. But he welcomed her by his side in battle. Her squad was fifteen strong, split into three fireteams.
Cullen was a wiry man who somehow managed to be both lanky and short. A burn scar covered the left side of his face from temple to collarbone, the mark of a promethium grenade early in the war. He and his seven man team were ex-PDF, the only survivors of the 3rd Regiment. Grim men, well armed, and their best warriors.
Aidan was their youngest squad leader, only seventeen years old, but already taller than Jaguar, and stronger too. His squad, twelve strong, came mostly from the lowlands. Hunters and fishermen, hardy folk, and brave, but lacking equipment. Aidan carried his father’s hunting rifle, and his soldiers were similarly armed with outdated equipment unsuitable for war. But better marksmen could not be found, and they were skilled in stealth and woodcraft.
They all got together in the central clearing to move out, each soldier checking and re-checking their equipment.
“Step lively, Jag,” Cullen said, coming to stand beside him. His squad was the first ready, to the surprise of no-one. They were always first.
“Cul,” Jaguar greeted tersely. “You got briefed?”
“Aye. Harassment duty, is it?”
“Yeah,” Jaguar inspected the mechanism of his weapon with a critical eye. They’d been in the wilds so long that even the famously reliable Imperial autoguns were starting to jam without constant maintenance.
As second-in-command, Jaguar technically didn’t have a squad of his own, but he had a cadre of companions he could call on at need, and the distinction was essentially moot. Ten old friends, and true, the remnants of Jaguar and Livia’s original sixty-man band, armed with autoguns and scraps of salvaged flak armor.
One, Indrazar, tossed Jaguar a spare magazine. He neatly slotted it into his belt, and nodded his thanks. Indy was the oldest of them all, nearly seventy years old, and had been a friend of Jaguar’s father. Safe to say he had nothing left but the war.
He’d been warm, once. Not anymore. Piece by piece, the gnawing struggle had taken him apart. He was a grim, tightly-bound thing, a frozen engine of hatred, bitterness, and grief. Jaguar pitied him, and feared that his fate would be the same.
He butchered and discarded those thoughts with practiced savagery, and gathered his men, relaying specifics of the plan. Livia joined them a moment later, and handed out ration packs.
There was no need for speeches or extended planning. They’d been at this for years, and all of them knew the score. The farewells were simple things. Good luck, or See you soon, or Give them Hell, or the Emperor Protects. A hug. A handshake. Cullen picked up his daughter and kissed her nose. Oliver, from Jaguar’s squad, pressed his forehead to Rebekah’s. Aidan and Halloran clasped arms.
Jaguar and Livia sat together sharing a ration bar. Folks came by in dribs and drabs to wish them well. Abigail approached as they made final preparations. She was eight, daughter of a friend two years dead.
The girl was a little thing, with barely anything to her. Brown hair hung down to her shoulders. She had delicate features, a little nose, thin eyebrows, small ears. But there was a certain strength on her brow, and a keen intelligence in her hazel eyes.
"Jag! Jag!" she said, running up to him.
He knelt in front of her. "Yes, little one?"
She slipped a flower into his hair, just over the stubs of his ears. "Take this,"
He cocked his head. "What is it?"
"A jarus flower," she said. "It will bring you good luck. And besides, it looks pretty."
He inclined his head very seriously. "Thank you, Abigail." Then he stood, tapped her nose, and ruffled her hair. She beamed up at him. "Run along now. I'll see you soon, yeah?"
She showed him the sign of the aquila. "Soon," she promised, and ran off.
Jaguar let out a long exhale, and sank to the ground.
“You’re good with her,” Livia said quietly.
He shrugged. “Yeah, well…” he trailed off, and fell silent in thought, brow furrowed.
"I understand." Livia said, with a bitter half-smile. "C'mon. We should move out before dusk."
submitted by Witherfang16 to 40kLore [link] [comments]


2020.04.10 08:12 SotFXSotF Why My Brother Doesn't DM If I Play...

First off, this happened a long time ago, it was late in the 3.5 era, this finished shortly before the Star Wars: Saga Edition "Dawn of Defiance" campaign started. There's some setup for what leads to this both in and out of game.
It was early summer, and I was finishing in college, and my brother was just about to start. Due to various things, I'd ended up stuck with an extra year to finish things up (Largely due to a mess caused by the main advisor and professor I was under being part of an exchange for a good chunk of the last year and getting stuck dealing with someone that could barely be understood due to her accent for the upper level classes). I was taking the summer off due to no classes I needed being offered during the period and went home.
Unfortunately, at the time I didn't own a car, because I'd been living on campus and didn't see the purpose of having one and paying for it when I didn't have the time to actually use it to go anywhere. So, I was told that I could use one of the family cars if I'd drive my brother around to what he wanted to do as well.
My brother told me that he was setting up a D&D game with some friends that would be at the college he was going to be starting at soon. He asked if I wanted in, and I agreed rather than hunting for a game elsewhere. D&D was my main hobby at the time, and this summer was the first that I was the only one from the group formed in my high school that was in the area for the entire summer.
I read the various things he had for the planned campaign. This thing was a nearly a hundred page document that covered a lot of things about it...found out later this was based off of his attempts at a few short stories that had been abandoned over the years. And a page with the basic character creation rules for generating stats and that we were starting at level 4 with some bonus xp (I think that was listed to allow wizards and artificers to start with stuff) and a decent hunk of gold and a few other things to round out a character.
There were also some variant rules from Unearthed Arcana allowed. Traits and Flaws being one that was interesting, and the other was that LA buyoff was allowed. Variant classes were allowed from it.
I was told about the other players planned classes...I'd be coming in as player 6 with a Scout, Wizard, Cleric, Druid, and Artificer already in the party. That moved my first idea off the table...was going for a Scout originally and the druid wasn't one that I knew if melee or ranged. But with every class available if I wanted since the roles were probably already covered
I asked him if the bonus xp could be used for LA buyoff, got a shrug and a yes.
Figured that I wouldn't be playing for that long and hadn't really played a Paladin, and it was planned for an every other week game, so about 5 or 6 games. Even with some of the harder DM's on the class that I've played with, it shouldn't be that much of a problem. With the XP bonus and without the crafting, I had enough that the aasimaar was possible with it, and so I built one as a heavier tank with some decent casting options because it sounded like a fun change of things from the other character that I'd played just before it in a campaign that ended shortly before exams that year (That one was a pretty fun evil campaign that had issues with adding a player who started backstabbing and creating other issues for the group, but that's another story).
When introduced to the other players and got some smirks from them when they heard Paladin.
Adventure started with the party in a caravan heading to a smaller town for a festival (Backstory was migrant caravans that kind of moved between events and some of the more production locations to restock before heading to the next one for several of the vendors at them, adventurers could get a decent paycheck for hiring on as a guard for the trips). First thing was a bandit raid on it, which was fun and everyone got to play around.
Then came the first issue and my discovery that my brother and his friends saw the Paladin class as a joke...meaning that the no win setups started getting tossed my way.
Little kid tried to steal an apple, kid was described as a starving orphan that was being shipped from the bigger city to either an orphanage or one of the orphan farms (basically, kids "adopted" out to work in exchange for a place to live, food, clothes, ect...probably not very pleasant).
The 6 year old girl would lose a hand for it, and I had this entire thing pointed out to me.
Used a bit of gold and a 19 on diplomacy to fix things there...but that was the start of it, and he tried to have it be a violation and that by "letting her off the hook" that just meant she didn't know the consequences, that ran into the Paladin of Freedom part.
In town came the next mess that did have him lose his abilities...children branded with what appeared to be explosive runes (With expanded range and damage that were basically upgraded fireballs on each rune and they each had several of them on them)
Which innocents was I going to try to save, the kids or the villagers at the festival.
I tried to stop it...and then the other party members chose for me, the Scout opened fire on them along with the Wizard and the entire group goes down. The DM describing the same little girl I saved earlier as being one of the abducted kids forced to be suicide bombers.
I ask why the Wizard didn't just dispel? He asked why he should care, they'd get paid for stopping it and it's not like the kids could pay...
My brother's ruling brought home that I couldn't keep playing the character. He ruled that the character fell because he didn't stop it or punish those killing the innocent, and in response to my comment about I'd happily drag in the one responsible and those who killed them...he said that he doesn't allow PVP in the game.
Between adventures, I created a new character because my paladin wouldn't stay with the group after that.
Player two was built to be somewhat similar to the first, with more options for things. I cheesed the new character and there was a level bump for the new one (Did end up having to fight to be able to play a new character). I built a marshal who joined for the second session, the other players received a job to go find the kid of a rich merchant from the village to go find his son who had fallen in with a bad crowd.
They had a geas to do it, my new character would be their contact in the city (the transit was between sessions) and had been a friend of the kid.
They decided that I was pretty much going to be paying for things for their characters there, and that since I wasn't there to get promised the job, I wasn't going to get paid for it (And me disagreeing was called metagaming there).
That didn't end well, kid was already dead, having killed by a cult as part of a demon summoning that we disrupted. During the fight with the cult, my brother did pull an interesting twist, kids ghost got involved and triggered the summoning. We missed it happening due to the ongoing brawl.
What happened next? Wizard and Druid both cast spells to mess with mobility and locked the doors closed as they fled, not giving me a chance to run as well before being locked in.
Actually, not sure specifically what it was because the terms used and descriptions could make it anything, but was supposed to be, in a weakened state, be something that 6 characters could take down with the other enemies there as a hard fight, planned for after we'd cleared most of the cultists.
Instead, it's a lone character built around supporting other characters taking on a lot of cultists and the thing that had been summoned, I managed to survive four rounds...
At this point, I decided that if they wanted to play that way, I'd play someone just as much of a pain as they were.
While they role played their escape from the now burning city as the cult ran wild with more fiends being summoned and rampaging through the streets, followed by their return to the other town, I was thinking about how to create the perfect monster of my own.
They got their gold and freedom from the spell, and then the clunking murder machine that was my character walked in the door because of another job being hired for. This was 0M-3GA...the warforged warlock. Flavor eldritch blast as inbuilt weapons and someone with a relatively close personality to HK-47, well, shortly after the next mission began, the fun started.
The other players tended to be barely above the murder hobo level, 0M-3GA was something they started to refer to as a evil, metal, murder fairy and the one who got away with a lot through sheer audacity.
First objective was to deal with the local cult leader...the one that was also responsible for the exploding children.
This was being told as a "backstory" moment about what happened between them leaving and returning with proof of the sons death.
My brother made the mistake of having a Dead or Alive bounty for the guy...while having him in a shop selling oils, and I had access to fire...one cult leader burned alive and the no longer screaming corpse dragged through the town by the construct and brought in for the bounty.
The Wizard was not happy that he no longer had a chance to pillage the guys spellbook because that was set on fire as well. He was less happy by the offered handshake with a hand that still had specks of burnt flesh. Sure, the Wizard didn't know I'd glanced through it before incinerating the thing, that would be meta-gaming.
An expected battle had devolved into a two minute scenario there.
So, we got sent to investigate the cult elsewhere, and tracked down a member.
I suggested interrogation and offered to go find the tools after the initial attempts failed and torture was brought up.
They missed the fact that a seven foot tall machine man stood out like a sore thumb in the setting (I think the references to the warforged in his backstory were not ones intended to be used and was more of a throwaway reference to some long distant war...my character was found and mistakenly reactivated after being buried in what became a corn field by some yokel).
Further, they forgot that the character will not lie. While he will be deceptive, it's never an actual, straight up lie that he'd use. Interesting euphemisms for things did have me scrambling for wording, but even then I'd imported the HK quirk of adding intention to his speech.
The city guard in this new town were quite interested in following the strange thing buying things with an intention of it being used to convince someone to tell us the truth...including meat hooks.
The second session ended with half the party ending up dealing with said guard who I managed to, somehow, convince that I wasn't dangerous. Read as my brother trying to figure out how to explain why that nat 1 on an intimidate check to try scaring the hell out of them, combined with mediocre rolls of the others to explain why the totally honest machine had been sent for supplies to talk to someone that involved meat hooks and an ice block.
This left me with the situation that a good chunk of the authorities, somehow, believed that the giant scary robot who tends to pepper his speech with bits about murder and mayhem. He couldn't be that dangerous...
I also think it was more of my brother thinking that there really ought to be a break to let me figure out the character during the level up.
Unfortunately, with the Wizard, Druid, and Artificer in jail (And with the Wizard and Druid missing the next session), I happily let things continue to spiral. The other two had enough gold between them to get one of the others out of jail, they managed to get the Artificer out.
Even more unfortunately, the other three also missed that I'd learned their interrogation subject was also out in the town.
The others started planning a jailbreak, using the Artificer's knowledge of the internal layout of the jail and whatever else he'd noticed. They also sent him to go get things to build for their plan and using illusions to make it appear that the other two were with him.
Meanwhile, I managed to find other members of the cult...I wasn't stealthy, but I was able to spot and listen well. Unfortunately for the DM's plans, I also had a few ranks of sleight of hand and alchemists fire.
My plan wasn't to actually kill any of the cultists in the attack as I made no attack rolls, I knew that they weren't all there and it wouldn't be a cult base anyway, but I could be quite devious without directly lying to them. After all, I just said nothing about having set the place on fire, just that I entered the building to pull those inside out.
Even had him look away while tossing the firebomb towards what had looked like a very flamable area of the building just so I could say, honestly, that I did not see what started the fire. Of course, should a few of them die in the process, well, that was both fewer cultists total and several who were indebted to me.
So with the bluff and a bit of tampering, I'd "rescued" a few people and "accidentally" caused the roof to cave in on the others.
While the city was dealing with it, and the DM was wondering why he'd decided that the poor roll at the end of the previous session left the guard thinking that I was almost adorable in thinking I was threatening which led to this, the action switched over to the Cleric and Scout breaking into the prison to free the others.
That was a complex series of fights and stealth that took a good portion of the night while the Artificer was working on new things for the group to help with handling the cult.
Of course, I was now getting all of this info on the cult, cultists, locations, times, their friends, their families, and, even, their pets...things that would be quite useful since 0M-3GA liked to be quite thorough in doing his job.
And as the daring and bloody rescue was completed and they decided to go back to their rooms, I took the plentiful gold that I had been lent by my brand new patsies because my "friends" were a bit misguided, but I must get them out of their predicament and headed to the guard HQ to provide bail.
The DM was expecting me to just be conning them for the gold, not to actually go ahead with it.
Of course, actually knowing that they'd succeeded in their rescue/escape would be metagaming and they'd already pulled that on me before with things. I'd also hinted that I'd planned this and they'd thought it was a backup plan for if they'd botched or the prison would be to difficult.
And the guard found the bloody mess leading to and from the cell the Wizard and Druid had been in, and asked if I had any idea about where they would be or knew a place they might be at.
"Of course officer, I was not party to this, my plan was to pay their bail, but they were already gone."
Followed by a cheerful, "But, if it would help, we were staying at this apartment that we'd rented."
Thus session 3 ended with me having let the guard know right where the others would be going.
When asked why I did it after the session, I just stated the name of my last character.
The next session began with my character wandering off and back to his mission while the others had the guard coming down on them in the house. The Wizard and Druid missing a good chunk of their stuff because a lot of their gear was still in the lockup and were trying to gain a few things to get back to capability.
I started moving through the list I'd obtained of cultists while the guards were distracted.
Only time I got "caught" in my bloody work, I convinced the guard patrol that I was there had been due to worry that my "friends" might be after them due to what they had been caught doing before, and how it must be to find the various bodies I was leaving in my wake.
Of course, I would inform them if I learned anything new about my friends.
Guard walks away and out of sight before I launched a few eldritch blasts into a window to end another cultist and moved on to the next ones on my list while torching a few things or other forms of spontaneous conversion of cultists to corpses.
At the same time, the others are on the run in the city and have decided that they need to prove to the locals that the cult is evil and that would get them out of the mess.
Meanwhile, the cultists are getting desperate and start planning something, and the guard is closing in.
Everything converged when the remaining leaders of the cult (and all of their remaining minions) gathered at a chapel and started animating undead and summoning abominations similar to the big one that caused the mess during the beginning of the second adventure, but smaller than it. During their escape after my Marshal's death, they'd killed a few of them, and 0M-3GA was more happy about it because it became a target rich environment.
In the aftermath, the group managed to get themselves off the hook while the bot got to unleash his AOE options in confined areas with a lot of chokepoints that the DM hadn't expected me to be able to utilize that way and turned killboxes set up for us into a charnel house for the other side.
It was the first actual "fight" 0M-3GA had been in, and he was extremely efficient at it. A lot of it was due to the fact that, unlike everything else involved in the battle, he didn't actually need to, well, breathe and a lot of other things didn't quite effect him there.
And we received a major mission, 0M-3GA for another good hunk of cash (a lot in advance) and the others would have their records expunged even if they'd done a good job at claiming that the cult was the group responsible for abducting the two from the prison.
We were to take down the greater demon that had gotten unleashed in the second session, or at least that was part of the plan and more to distract the thing long enough for the army to come in and kill it.
I knew that there would only be one more session left for me with the group and my brother was visibly angry at my stunts over the course of this characters existence. I also knew that 0M-3GA had his own plan for how that would play out, I also knew the thing was vulnerable to fire...
With my pretty massive pile of gold from the cultists that I had borrowed from (and disposed of), I was generous and acquired some powerful pieces of equipment for the others...they took it as an apology, and it kind of was, but it was something else as well. A quite visible, glowing sigil on each, a supposed sign of unity that my warforged body was, sadly, unable to use, so I'd used some paint for it right in front of them. Didn't waste the magic to make it glow because we had a long day ahead of us.
In all honesty, after what they put me through for the first session and the beginning of the second, they really should have suspected something, the DM didn't even look twice at the index card that listed what I'd put on the gear handed out, or the fact that I specifically stated that I hadn't used magic for mine, just basic paint.
So began the epic raid on the ruined city, unleashing our skills to work through it, and then the fight with the big one began as a runner told us that the priests in the area were sealing him away, making him mortal on this plane since if they weren't from the plane, they couldn't normally be killed, killing the body just sent them home...and that the army was closing in (which the wave of arrows would have told us anyway).
The party wanted glory and honor, taking it down before it got swarmed and rushed in, even the Wizard...0M-3GA stayed back and kept shooting at it and waiting for the right time.
My brother described it as almost dead and they each wanted to be the one to put it down. The night was almost over as well, they wanted rid of me to go back to doing their normal gaming rather than dealing with either me trying to play an actual hero or the evil, metal, murder fairy that was the current character.
Honestly, I think that my brother got to that part when he did because a couple of them wanted to set me up to get killed again, my brother included because I got a graphic description as I moved from cover to cover of finding a truly defiled corpse that could have only been the Marshal character, and had already had us encounter my Paladin getting killed by some of the demons as he ranted about redemption.
I interrupted the normal fight to state that I trigger the gear I handed out and got confused looks.
DM asked what did I trigger, and I handed him the 3x5 card that I'd shown him earlier for the neat gear I'd dumped all that cash into for each of them and pointed towards the rune.
You see, the kill bot isn't one to just let potential toys be destroyed if he might be able to use them, and when I'd killed the guy responsible for the child suicide bombers, I'd copied the spell he'd used to do that, it was incorporated in what was on their near weapons and armor.
He hadn't looked to hard at it, missed what was there.
Sure, I had an explanation for that if he'd brought it up or the others actually investigated, I mean if we were killed, better to take that thing down with us, right?
The one on my chest was just paint, they saw me use common paint and zero magic to paint it on.
And that's when the screaming started as I stated how much damage each of them did, and they were all in the radius' of each of them and had several things with such a thing on them.
Wizard tried to claim that he could dispel it, I asked the DM how he would have known about it since he didn't check what the gear did in the first place, and which of the several pieces he'd hit, because if he didn't check it, how would he know and isn't that still meta-gaming.
So, the demon died with the rest of the party as a solitary bot walked away with the ruined body of the hero that had first tried to fight the thing, stopping to retrieve the now dead former paladin as he walked away for his pay. In universe, I'd assume that a western theme would be playing in the wind.
And I was told by several that they didn't want to play with me again...
Two of them, the Artificer and Cleric are ones that have decided to play with me again at a regular table at the game store now, not sure if they realize that I'm the one who did that or not.
I had a very quiet trip home with a fuming brother followed by him refusing to talk to me until during Thanksgiving that year following a few months in college other than a statement that he'd never run a game of D&D with me playing again.
The really funny thing was that none of my characters there were that well optimized. Paladin and Marshal had a basic sword and shield along with a few items, the main one being a sheath from a dragon magazine that made the weapon stored good aligned with a +1 damage against undead and evil outsiders, and the Marshal added a banner from another article that extended the range of auras (was intended for a paladin, but didn't state it and wording fit the Marshal).
With their having been a discussion at the store before the recent mess about starting another AL "group" on a different night that would run Eberron stuff this summer and it having the Artificer and Cleric, I've been pondering about building the murder bot in 5e for it if for no other reason than to see their reaction to his return...
submitted by SotFXSotF to NeckbeardiaYT [link] [comments]


2020.04.06 06:52 discount_mj Scraper Sky 0 D2P1

==> Alvis: Dream.
Sleep doesn't come easy, that's for sure. But it's possible, and you drift to sleep.
In the abyss of your subconscious, you find yourself standing in the ruins of a destroyed school. Is this Scraper Sky...? In any case, nobody else except two people you can't seem to make out is here. There's a black hole in the sky...you're not sure how you know this, but you know it's called "Abyss Sanctuary". In the center, a bright white light, and around it, strange red streaks permeate through the heavens.
And something tells you...it's getting closer...probably within a week's time?
...
==>
You wake up in a cold sweat. It's about 30 minutes before you're supposed to wake up, but you'd rather stay awake, than go back to see that place again. Something about it (you're not sure what) shakes you down to your very core.
As you check yourself in the bathroom, you see that red streaks are coming from your eyes...though, not the same as those in your dream. You must have been crying...
When you leave the bathroom, you notice Loki groggily waking up. He scratches his temples, and smacks his cheeks.
==>
Loki: Morning, Alvis. Ready already?
Alvis: Hey hey, Loki. Don't get used to it.
Loki: Can you believe we're going to do this for years?
Alvis: ...
Loki: Alvis?
Alvis: Huh? Y-yeah, crazy, right?
==> Alvis: Find something to eat.
You tell Loki you're stepping outside, and you leave the room. There's a small lounge for students, which some are using to get breakfast. You get a max-pulp orange juice and some waffles, munching on them.
Looking around, you don't see many people from your cl-oh hey, that kid with the ushanka is here. Ezra, you believe his name was? He always seemed a bit nervous, so you decide you'll go sit with him to try and cheer him up a bit.
==>
Ezra: ...Alvis, right?
Alvis: That's me. And I believe you're Ezra. What's up?
Ezra: Oh, you know...not much.
He shoots a quick glance you barely notice to two of the guys in green suits from your class entering the lounge.
Alvis: Those guys giving you trouble, or something?
Ezra: Nothing I didn't deserve.
Alvis: Hey man, you gotta be able to stick up for yourself! Here, I'll go talk to the-?
You feel a hand grab the back of your shoulder, causing you to jerk forwards. It's Loki, with a disappointed head shake.
Alvis: Jeez man! Don't sneak up on me like that!
Loki: And you shouldn't do stuff out of your paygrade, dude.
He bends down to your ear.
Loki: Those Holy Order people are way too crazy to hear you out on anything regarding that kid. Don't waste your breath and energy.
With that message, he gets off, motioning you to follow him. Though...not before giving Ezra a disdainful stare, like he was disgusted the poor boy existed. And yet, Ezra returns the stare. Odd...the air is so thick you might throw up.
It's over as soon as it starts, and Loki walks away. Ezra gives you the cold shoulder.
==> Alvis: Follow Loki.
The two of you walk out through the main entrance.
Alvis: Do I ask?
Loki: Let me put it like this: Have you ever seen something you inexplicably know shouldn't exist? Like, it's a sin against reality itself?
Alvis: W-what?
Loki: Sorry, strange question to ask. Anyways, don't expect us to get along.
Alvis: I see...'Cept I don't.
Maya catches up with the two of you. She looks tired.
Maya: Good morning...Ready to do this for another 3 years...?
Loki: Eh, yeah, I guess.
Alvis: Y'know, when I heard this school was about "artificial metaphysics" I thought it'd be about complex quantum sci-fi bullshit, but, superpowers are a nice touch.
Loki pauses.
Loki: ...How would you not know? Are you an Abnormal or something?
Maya: Clearly...he had 0 affinity....
Alvis: I'm pretty human.
Loki: N-No, that's not what I mean. The school's divided between Propers, people who had to go here because of their family status, or some role they have to fill, and Abnormals, who get scouted due to being strangely attuned to magic or otherwise. Since the school only picks a rather small age range, and all Propers are 15 or 16 when they have to enter, there's hardly any Abnormals in proportion.
Alvis: ...Oh, I see. Don't see why they'd have to do all that, though.
The three of you make it to Ms. Soleil's class.
Soleil: Good morning. In 20 minutes, the councilor will be coming for you, Loki and Alvis.
A quiet "Ooohh" from the class can be heard, which is quietly silenced by a glare from the teacher.
Soleil: Anyways, I've decided to start the year's curriculum by teaching affinities to the class. We'll begin by teaching Fire, also known as chaos magic.
One of the Holy Order kids raises his hands, the redhead boy, raises his hand.
Soleil: Yes, Jun?
Jun: Why do we have to learn about all of them, since we can't all learn them all?
Soleil: Mostly because you'll have to know them all in the fields you guys enter. Fire in particular is a good one to learn first, because it's a bit counter-intuitive, and if we can get it out of the way, we'll be smooth sailing through the year. Anything else?
Jun: No, ma'am.
Soleil: Good. So, to understand Fire, it's helpful to understand it deals with heat and chaos, as previously stated. As you hopefully know, there's 4 states of matter...
She begins to write notes on a chalkboard behind her, and you start to zone out for a bit. After all, you can't really use this affinity stuff, so what does it matter to you, right? It'll work out...
Somewhere, unbeknownst to you, a proverbial monkey's paw curls it's finger.
Man, the air so nice out here....You never feel lost when you're up high. Outside, you can feel those eyes from yesterday watching you ever closer...You REALLY hope you're not going to get murdered or something. That'd ruin your day.
Your attention is brought back when you see some people making fireballs with their hands. Damn, you SHOULD HAVE PAID ATTENTION. Looks like some people from the class are making their way to the front, including a nervous yet determined Ezra.
Soleil: As you can see, these are our Fire affinity users, and-
She gets interrupted by some blond guy in a biker jacket and sunglasses. He has a tie behind it...weird style, but whatever.
Soleil: Ah, Five. Good to see you. They're here.
Five: I assume it's those two?
Five instructs you and Loki to follow out of the class, which you do.
Loki: You're the councilor?
Five: Yup. Name's Five Eidolon, but most of the people here just call me Five. Don't worry about "mister" or that bullshit.
Alvis: Crude...where are we going, Five?
Five: You two have caught the Headmaster's eye, y'know. So, for the time being, you're going to train with him and the Alumni.
Loki: What
Alvis: What
Five: Yeah, seriously. You must be quite strong...Can't remember the last time ol' Dezzy wanted to meet with specific students due to their growth potential. He should be at..ah, there. Of course.
Alvis: Excuse me?
Five: You're excused.
He raises a hand up before either of you can object further, it being surrounded in a golden light! The light expands, surrounding you in a bubble.
Slowly, it's like you can see the entire multiverse! Every possible outcome, every thing that could happen, is happening, has happened...You're sure it's all here, without a doubt. Not too far down is a black sphere with red lightning coming from it...So familiar.
This should be filling you with excitement, but...why does it make you so sad?
It's over as soon as it starts. You, along with Loki and Five, reach the inside of a colosseum. Five's catching his breath, yellow particles burning off him.
Five: Cool trick, right?
Loki: What did you even do??
Five: Went around the universe as a shortcut.
Alvis: Why???
Five: It...looks cool. Phew! Not doing that again for a while.
He finally catches his breath. A brown-haired man who looks really tired and in fancy clothing walks over.
Five: Oh, hey, Bossman Crosfield.
Desmond: Please, just Desmond is fine for now, man. These are Alvis and Loki, Five?
Five: You know it! Make that 3 favors you owe me.
Desmond: I hired you, this is part of your job. Why do I even do this...?
Five laughs and walks off.
Desmond: Disregarding that, hello you two. As you know now, I'm Desmond Crosfield, your principal. I've selected you two due to your aptitudes. We figured with your strange attunements, it'd be smarter to just train you guys in aura instead. Follow me.
You and Loki walk through the admittedly rather hot tunnels out into the main colosseum arena, where the Alumni kids are. Miyu waves over to Loki, running over and giving him a noogie.
Miyu: Heya! Told you guys my brother'd make it here eventually.
Desmond: Alumni, these are two new members-in-training, Alvis and Loki. Introduce yourselves and your abilities, why don't you?
One with a white suit which matches his hair walks over to you after calmly breaking apart Loki and Miyu.
Inigo: Inigo Crosfield, user of the Resolute Law. Charmed to meet you.
He smiles, giving you a firm handshake. Something just feels off about him, but you're not sure what. The short brown-haired girl speaks up.
????: Stop creeping out the newbies, Inigo. Or I'll take out the notebook.
She giggles rather creepily.
Inigo: I am? I apologize heavily! Thanks for catching that, Lucy.
Lucy: No problem. Also, Alvis! I'm Lucy Foster, user of the Ethereal Dream! Nice to meet you.
Alvis: Hey, you too!
Lucy and Inigo begin bickering about something, so you go over to the guy in the hoodie.
Alvis: Oh, hey.
????: Yo....I'm supposed to introduce myself here, aren't I?
Alvis: Probably.
Hyde: My bad. Name's Hyde. I use the Tempestuous Breath, I guess.
Alvis: Just Hyde?
Hyde: Just Hyde.
Alvis: I-ok, I guess.
The last two people, an emo-looking boy and a girl in an oversized sweater, have been ignoring the whole conversation to play UNO. They're both playing terribly.
Alvis: Hello?
The boy looks over.
Pent: Oh, uh....what's good? Uh...I'm Pent Sturluson, I use the Adverse Clouds, and that's Rocky Duval. She uses the Ideatic Forge.
Rocky waves.
Pent: She doesn't talk much.
Desmond: Alright! I think that's enough meeting for now...I want you two try and attack me.
Loki: You sure?
Desmond: Yeah, don't worry, I'll only block at most.
Loki turns to you, giving you a glance to hold back, before rushing at Desmond. The principal pivots back, as Loki goes for a karate chop. Loki retaliates with a low sweep, which Desmond jumps over. Loki, seeming to expect this, goes for an uppercut, which finally strikes the principal.
Desmond: Alright, that's enough of that from you. Good job. How about you, Alvis?
Alvis: Ah...heh heh, I'm not as good of a fighter...
Desmond: Come at me anyways.
Here goes nothing....
You rush at Desmond, throwing a...rather wimpy-looking punch, with terrible form. Desmond looks like he'll swat it away, but as he does so, the force was a lot more than he anticipated,sending his arm back. You decide to follow up by punching him in the face, but a golden light appears near his hip, pulling him back.
Desmond: Alright, good job, you two! You pass with flying colors. Though, you didn't need to do all that, Ci.
Alvis: So...we're on, then?
Desmond: Sure. Welcome aboard.
You look at Loki, who looks back at you. And you both laugh. Hard.
Maybe this'll be fun after all!
submitted by discount_mj to CartonOfRoleplay [link] [comments]


2020.03.28 19:24 postappantsdown Shermanville [FM][Long][Noir/detective]

Shermanville, and by extension the whole Braxton valley seemed like someone had cut out their favorite pages from a book on small town cliches, stapled them together and handed them to the city architect.
Agent Hawg steered his Silverado down the main road, painfully aware that his attempt of blending in had failed from the start. It was the Bureau's idea of a reliable car for rural areas, but it was still expensive and worst of all clean and only three years old and so he stuck out like a sore thumb and turned heads on his way to the department.
Apart from that it seemed like a smart choice, he had come across enough backroads that came short of being called trails to realize that out here tractors were faster than super cars. Or a man with a chainsaw for that matter, the forest all around was so thick that most paths probably still had to be cleared.
According to the paperwork Shermanville had a population of close to 50 thousand, but that didn't show in the town center where people still crossed the main road without checking for cars.
The department itself hardly seemed like it was the major employer around these parts either, but Hawg had definitely seen worse, smaller and lazier. Sure, it wasn't Central in a big city, but it was still busy and Hawg could tell that these people worked for a living instead of rescuing cats and doing the shopping for old ladies.
"Can I help you?", the man at the counter said and I wondered if by some miracle I no longer looked like a federal agent all of a sudden. Usually people pick me out of a crowd almost instantly, I am glad I didn't sign up to the CIA because I would make a lousy spy trying to fit in.
Thankfull I was saved from answering by yet another small town cliche, the cop chick I can only describe as comfy. You know, not in a bad way, not lazy or anything but you could tell that she was made for this world, the way everything goes kind of slow seemed to align with her own speed of living which created this odd experience of a person at ease with herself. I've never understood that, always surrounded by people who seemed driven, hunted even but I've always had mad respect for people like her.
"You must be Agent Hawg, right?"
I smiled, turned towards her and all but forgot about the counter guy who hadn't really left a lasting impression anyway. Holding out my hand I nodded, feeling the warmth, but also the calloused hands and strong handshake of someone used to working harder than their gender necesitated. I wondered whether she was a part-timer, doing cop work in her spare time when she wasn't out in the fields but I couldn't get a real read on her yet.
"I am, and you are?"
"Louise, or Officer Bradley but we're all on first name basis around here if you don't mind."
I let myself be dragged in her wake, following the whiff of perfume that was so barely noticeable. "I don't, I'm Jim."
She paused for a moment, smiling about some joke in her head that didn't reach the surface. I didn't press either, enjoying the walk-around through a surprisingly large office and meeting fresh faces who fell into just about every category imaginable. There was the fresh faced kid who might have been old enough to drink already, he wore the gun and uniform as if it gave him a sense of stability for the first time in his life. There was Laura, a chick so full of demons they seemed to ooze from her eyes whenever she didn't try to stab you with her gaze. Max, the kind of guy who became a cop because farming seemed like hard work, Lisa who exhausted her mental capabilities typing up reports.
But there were also some heavy hitters among the crowd, you know the people who look you in the eye and you can tell they pull their weight. Sure, they are a little in over their head, or else I wouldn't be there in the first place but if I hadn't come they would probably solve the case eventually anyway.
There was Baron, a guy so large and so beardy and the trucker hat and all that you just knew his hobby was cutting down trees and then splitting them until they were thin as matches - with enough wood in his garden to last him a lifetime. He was also a surprisingly quick thinker for someone who needed a family's worth of food just to keep his body functioning, a smart brute if there has ever been one.
Bert, the Sheriff of the whole thing was another, grey in hair and beard but not in his mind or his eyes that had seen enough for several lifetimes and failed to break under that. Special forces, big city cop, soft retirement in a rural town and he would probably only leave the place when they carried him out feet first.
And lastly there was Seargent Gullible aka Garrett, another military dropout named that way because on the surface he was the kind of guy you just keep around so the others have something to laugh about. You could tell however that he enjoyed that as much as the rest - and if no one watched he buried himself into the work, found the missing link that was so desperately needed to break the case and I would later learn he had never stopped practicing his marksmanship, never lost the will to kill.
Good folks, together with Louise I felt in good company where I wouldn't have to watch my back or tread lightly to avoid political issues. That became apparent when Bert called us into his office, sitting down on his table while everyone leaned against the walls drinking the coffee he offered. It was an interesting office, like he had taken it over from his predecessor who must have been a Vietnam vet with a knack for maritime history and decor, but it would eventually turn out that that was all him and he was just an anachronism on legs.
"Everyone, you've already met Jim Hawg, I don't have to tell you he is here to support us in finding the killer. I don't know anything about him, but he found his way out here all by himself so he must know something about detective work."
Everyone chuckled, I nodded with a smile and set out to deliver my usual performance. "Thank you. Hi everyone, I'm Jim, used to play murder squad back in the city but eventually the FBI hired me to help out local PDs so here I am. I don't bite, unless you're a killer I can dig my fangs into and I'm not here to step on anyone's foot."
Baron made an unidentifiable motion with his right hand, his left nearly losing control over his coffee mug in the process. "You've done that speech before, I see. Well, we're all glad you are here, our murder rate is like a handful a year, not a month and frankly half the time the murderer calls us to confess and so we can use some help clearing these cases."
I smiled back, I've always liked people who could be honest about their own shortcomings and realized that it doesn't make someone inferior if they are out of their comfort zone and someone else has to step in. Better than those tryhards who act as if they are good at everything.
"I hope I can deliver. First off, can you bring me up to speed, I've only glanced at the files so far on my way down so treat me as if I know nothing, right?"
"Louise?", Bert said and I had to hide a smile over how startled she looked, almost standing at attention as she straightened her back.
"Sure", she began and I could see the gears turning in her head and a slight smile appearing on her lips, "across the street is Steven's bakery and coffee shop, if you tell him Louise sends you he might give you ten percent off on his already low prices and great quality cake."
More chuckles all around. "Lou, I wasn't talking about promoting your brother's business."
"good place to buy cake is all I'm saying", Louise said with a smile and a shrug and I made a mental note to buy some cake for the team later that day.
"Seriously though", she continued as the smiles subsided, "it's been a tough month. Four dead people so far, no clear reason or connection between them but it's apparent they were killed by the same person, rifle shots through the skull for each of them."
"Expert shooter?", I asked, directing my question at the only one in the room who seemed like he could answer the question the way I wanted, needed.
"Hard to say", Bert shrugged, "sitting or standing targets so far, two behind glass but old single-pane that would not have diverted a bullet much. I would still say yes, those were all pretty clean but I'd say most hunters around here could easily take the shots."
"Heck", Garrett uttered, "'round here everyone grows up around rifles so don't rule out the housewife or Lilly at the bar."
"Lilly?", I asked, thinking they had already settled on a possible suspect there, but Louise smiled and waved her hand.
"Never mind, Garrett's been trying to get in her pants and he can't stop thinking about her."
"Hey, not fair."
"You brought her up."
"Anyway", Baron brought the conversation back on track, "we believe these to be connected and purposeful because the victims are in a similar age bracket, all seniors but I really don't see the connection between them so far. As far as we know they lived their lives about as far from one another as you can here in the valley, I mean they probably met every now and then buying groceries but different ends of town, different friends, little to no overlap."
I tilted my head, old habit I've never managed to break when I was lost in thought.
"How old?"
"Like too old to cause anyone harm if you ask me", Louise said and earned a nod of approval from everyone in the room.
"So, past events then, some kind of revenge?"
"Eh, we thought in the same direction but there's nothing there, nothing we found at least. We went back as far as we could, we aren't through the really old files that haven't been digitized yet but that's maybe a decade we're missing and so far nothing. They worked different jobs, no arrests for anything but drunk driving on two of them and with two of them women I don't really see them committing some kind of group rape or anything someone might take revenge for decades later. I mean it's probably not impossible, I don't want to rule anything out but I don't see it."
"Yeah, agreed", I mused while my head spun through all the half-finished thoughts and possibilities. "But if there's a connection our best hope is still in those files. I doubt we'll find someone who knows the secret and after decades suddenly decides to tell us, not when we come with empty hands at least. Anything about their friends and families so far?"
"We talked to most who attended the funerals, asked whether they saw a reason and also tried to find anyone who looked afraid but nothing stuck out so far."
"Would have been too easy. Louise, how about you help me carry some cake over here and then we start dusting off those old files?"
The fact that her brother owned the shop was a good excuse, but really I wanted to spend some time with her as any sane man would have wanted to. She had something about her that differentiated her a little from similiar chicks I had met, but for the moment I couldn't quite place it. And if nothing else she seemed like a good cake carrier and so I decided to burn a month's paycheck on cake for the guys. Well, maybe not quite as much but I was still happy that the government paid for it just like I would have hated to pay for the fuel it took to get out there in the first place.
"So", I asked her, "you seem to know your way around. Grew up here?"
"That I did, never really left either. I guess I'm whatever you call the opposite of a world traveler, never much saw a reason to."
It sounded defensive, but again her posture and the smile all told me that she was okay with that, too and content with the way she had lived her life so far. I found that fascinating, most people you know have either done too much or too little and there are always demons to keep them awake at night. Not her though.
"I can see why, it's beautiful around here."
"Not too backwards for you?"
I took a moment to answer, considering how I really felt about the place because I didn't want to lie either. But then I shrugged and shook my head. "No, not really. I mean I spent many years in the city, but I grew up in the suburbs and always felt drawn to what little forest we had over there. It's calm here, I could see myself retiring here but if I'm honest I'm not sure I could spend my working life here."
"You are honest, I like that. But I like it here, it's just enough people to keep things interesting, you'll see. So what, you want me to give you a tour later on?"
I paused for a moment, wondering if there was a hidden undertone to her voice or not. Not that I would have minded, I just couldn't get a read on her and for someone used to spending time in interview rooms that's always annoying.
"Sure, I'd like that. Dinner on me, then?"
She smiled and did that thing between nod and shake that I would quickly grow to like about her.
"Uh, you better don't, my husband gets stupidly envious over things like that. Sorry, I know it's stupid, I appreciate the offer."
Should have known, chick like her wouldn't stay single past her mid-twenties. Nevermind, probably good.
"Oh, you have a husband?"
"Uh yeah, and most of the time he's real charming but then he has these stupid moments where he yells at the guy fixing my car on the side of the road because it hurts his ego that he didn't get there in time or wouldn't have known what to do."
I smiled, there was a certain ease to our conversation despite the awkwardness. "Huh, I know the type. Usually across the table in room three, moping about the moment their life turned sideways."
Louise laughed, her elbow hitting my arm. "Come on, it's not that bad. I mean it, don't you dare worry about me, he's one of the good guys. Just insecure at times, but I mean we all are sometimes, right?"
I also knew that type, the one that had grown used to their partner's idotic and borderline abusive patterns, the ones that might be even worse because they make you change your own life without the other having to do anything. Sometimes those can get cute, like someone not wearing this or that dress even though it used to be their favorite but I thought I caught a slight glimpse of not-so-cute behind her cute and slightly embarrassed smile. Well, not my problem, not there and then anyway. She seemed like the kind of chick to hold her own and leave should she get too much of his bullshit.
"Okay", I laughed, "no dinner then but I'd still appreciate the tour."
"Sure thing, as long as you don't tell anyone what I just told you. Don't know why I did, to be honest."
"Not a word."
"Great, so then let's dig into cake and files, shall we?"
That we did, all of us safe for Bert who did Sheriff stuff or maybe investigated the local whorehouse as far as I could tell.
The rest of us however got lost in the files, only pausing to read whenever someone thought they had found something remotely interesting but for a long time nothing came of it. Those dead seniors had been model citizens, never so much as missed a single month's rent. Which made me all hot, you know when things look too good to be true they usually are. And whatever secret lay hidden there had to be good.
I must have hummed or something because Louise looked at me sideways and asked whether everything was okay.
I smiled the smile of someone caught in the act, there was no denying I was enjoying the hunt. So much, in fact, that only now did all the "see you tomorrow" reached not just my ear, but my brain and I realized that it was only us. It was late, I think must have been ten, maybe eleven already and now I vaguely remembered Louise calling to say she would work late. I hadn't really noticed at the time because she had said my name and between two pages I had probably even responded with an noncommittal grunt, but only now it struck me as odd.
"Your husband", I asked, "his name's also Jim?"
She smiled, then fell into a giggle as she watched my mind return to the present at a much slower pace than it had gotten lost in the past.
"You got really lost there, you know that? It's been hours since everyone left."
My back hurt, so did my eyes and my mouth where I had pressed the pencil's eraser side into for hours. I guess she was right.
"You didn't stay here just because of me, did you?"
"Don't be so full of yourself, I stayed for completely selfish reasons."
"Oh yeah?"
"Oh yeah, it's not everyday I get to witness someone this determined, it was cute to watch you know?"
She smiled, made it sound like a quib and one of those open flirts that ensure distance in a place with a person that don't lend themselves to actual flirting. But once more I noticed something else in her eyes, the way she could put up a front but there were deeper waters for anyone willing to take a dive - and I have always been a curious cat.
"You know, an attractive chick calling me cute when we're all alone in an empty office at night, any other chick I would try to invite for drinks or dinner but we've been through that, ain't we."
I watched her eyes, saw how she failed to look down in time, how the cute and noncomittal grin came a little too late, a little too half-hearted.
"I don't know, have we? I didn't say anything about drinks, now did I?"
Well, shit, I remember thinking, that's it. Why couldn't she just stay a happily married wife, a fun to work with chick who was solidly clear of her own desires - desires that had nothing to do with me? I wanted her as much as I didn't, that was a fine piece of ass for sure but it was just hours before that I had put all plans of flirting with her to pasture.
My struggle must have been visible in my face because once more she fell into a giggle, just now a committed one.
"Come on, it's just drinks. Don't get any ideas, I'm still married to Jim and not Jim so you have nothing to fear."
I smiled back, nodding as I got up. "Well, if you say so I guess I could spring for a drink or two. Okay, so what's your favorite bar?"
Louise shrugged, a mischievous smile crossing her face. "I think the guys like O'Malley's a little down the road, but I rarely join them. Besides, I have something better for you, come."
I was still wondering what she was up to by the time the door shut behind us, bottle and glasses clinged onto the table surface and she slid into the seat across from me. Now it was my turn to giggle, I like surprises.
"Do I need a lawyer?", I asked with the same sheepish grin on my face that only the worst of the worst can display when they are pulled in for interrogation.
"I don't know, do you?" It was the standard retort, I had been in that spot so many times like a chess player going through yet another opening sequence where not even pawns are kicked off the board. You try to get a read on the opponent, try to gauge whether they did what you think they did and then whether you can prove it or get them to slip up. Only usually the guys are stone-faced and the women fake crying or fake angry, nothing real ever happens until the moment they realize that they are done for. I live for that moment, a case won in court over available evidence will never be as satisfying as the moment when you yell at them "you did it you fuck" and they yell back "of course I did it" before each sink back into the seats and let out a long sigh of relief or horror.
I thought it was fun, in all my years before or since I have not met another cop chick who thought an interview room made for a good drinking game. And she was good, one of these people that could commit to a joke and then go the extra mile.
"This is officer Bradley, interview room one. The time is ten forty-five p.m. Sir, please state your name and profession for the record."
Sure, I was down for that. Only thing hotter than chicks in uniform are chicks in uniform putting on that business tone in their voice and straightening their backs to ensure no one could possibly perceive them as weak - or worse even as a human being.
"Special agent Jim Hawg, Federal Bureau of Investigation, here on my own accord. Ask your questions."
"Thank you for coming, agent Hawg. Can I offer you something to drink before we start?"
"Yes Ma'am, thank you."
Well, this wasn't going according to plan, in fact it was working far too well. Until that point it had funnily enough never dawned on me just how similar an interrogation room is to a bar, how eerily similar the questions are between interrogating suspects and getting to know a blind date. _What's your name, who do you work for, are you the person I've been looking for. _
"Now, Jim, you don't mind if I call you Jim, right?"
Good, creating a false sense of safety and comfort, but also making sure from the get go that you have the upper hand. She had read her interrogation manuals, understood them even. Without waiting for a response she continued, but not so quick that it would have seemed hurried or forced.
"I've looked at you these past few hours and it's become clear that those old files are saying something to you that none of us could hear, what was that?"
Good again, go in hard with a direct question because no one is stupid enough to actually forget they are in police custody and in a cold, bright white interrogation room. The time for mind games comes later, for now it's time to harness that early time when anyone, culprit or victim is doing their best to prove their innocence by being overly cooperative. Well, time to be cooperative, get the easy questions out of the way, focus on a safe topic like work.
"Well, just a hunch so far but you know what struck me as odd? Just how perfect their lives where, I mean sure a couple citations for bullshit little charges but heck, I work for the law and I have more standing against me in a third of the lifetime."
"Oh, you do? Tell me about that."
What a strange world where talking about your past misdeeds counts as safer than what your plans for the future are, so that's how it feels to be on the other side of things. I had half a mind to divert the question, but then remembered that we were still in the full cooperation phase and that isn't ever over before some serious slip happens. Might as well get it over with.
"Oh, you know, just the usual. I was young and stupid once, heck I'm still stupid now that I'm older. Drunk driving, a couple altercations with stupid fucks in bars that I could have solved better in retrospect. I shot a fellow officer who was in the process of raping a woman when we bust into his apartment. I pulled a guy out of his car once to chase a fleeing suspect, I…"
"Woah, hold on, walk me back for a second. You shot a cop?"
"Yeah, I mean he wasn't much cop at that point anymore, but then he used to be. He pulled a gun on me, I was cleared of all wrongdoing, else I wouldn't be here of course, but still. I couldn't stay in central after that, even with everyone knowing it had been right who would partner up with me after that, trust me in their back with all those little secrets that every cop has?"
"Yeah, I can see that must have been hard. So you joined the FBI after that?"
"Yeah, my captain made that happen. Called it a promotion, even and for a hellish long week I was hailed the saint and savior, the end to police brutality in the state by the media until I could disappear again."
"My condolences, that can't have been easy. So you came to investigate murders for the FBI afterward?"
"Not directly, no. First I was in Quantico for a couple months of course, then after I was part of a task force hunting down a serial rapist to prove my worth. But after that, yes, I started helping out in local PDs across the country, wherever they need me I go."
"Fascinating, but can we go back to what you found in those files for a moment?"
Damn, she was good. Sure, I had been enjoying myself and the cheap whiskey but she had still managed to make me forget that we had been talking about a completely different topic before. Couldn't let that happen again, game or not.
"Sure", I muttered as I collected my thoughts, "remember how I said they looked too clean, too perfect?"
"I do."
"Well, I figured that I found that amiss, even if I didn't really know why yet. See, the average American is deeply in debt, right, and these guys never once missed a payment on anything, their entire lives."
"So what, for there to be an average there have to be people below and above that line."
"Sure, sure, but it made me curious. You live here, just driving through once I already saw my fair share of people barely scraping by, battered old trucks, tin roof sheds, broken windows, clear signs of alcoholism and I bet you if I look around I can find you at least one conspiracy theorist who thinks the government is secretly undermined by giant lizards. And then you have these guys, they lived here all their lives, many years of living well and it just strikes you as odd, doesn't it?"
"If you put it like that, sure."
"Right, so I looked deeper into their finances. Nothing major, you guys would have spotted if they had ever caught a big windfall or I don't know, bought a yacht or something but I got the slight impression that they had a bit too much money going around between them. Like clean houses, semi-modern cars, a lawn that the neighbor kids mow and I bet you they donated to the boy scouts' fundraisers."
"Funny you would mention that, that is precisely what Crowley's son told us when we asked for possible enemies. Always bought the full box of cookies, he told us, everything they had remaining even once the kids got smart and swung by his house early into their run when they still had mostly everything."i
"See, what I'm talking about. There's money there, only how and where did they get it? As far as we know they worked lowly jobs, sure they had some stocks and bonds and whatnot but it's not like they got rich off dividents either."
"But then you found something, right? I noticed the way your back stiffened at some point, I wanted to ask but I also didn't want to rip you out of your thoughts either."
"Right", I said pushing my glass forward, "but if you don't mind, my throat's a little dry."
"Oh, sure", she said and I could tell that my teasing her was driving her mad. Also that she had a heavy drinker's stomach, her glass was twice as full as mine and it already had been the first time around. Also it only occurred to me now that she must have had that bottle in her drawer somewhere to be able to grab it that quickly - and there hadn't been more than half left when we started.
"So I dug deeper, checked their tax returns, deductions to be precise. Turns out they all had similar, if not the same kind of work done, always in the same year. You know, house got a new paint job, Got new cars every couple years, always in the same time frame. Weird, right?"
"Definitely weird, I'll give you that. So you figure they must have at least known each other?"
"Yeah, I think so. But it also makes me think they must have worked the same kind of job, lots of these things were purchases you make when you get a bonus, a raise or something right?"
"Only they worked in completely different fields and jobs, we checked that remember?"
"Yeah, and looking at their bank statements they also never got a raise or a bonus during their first ten years, only meager increases that hardly covered inflation. Makes me think we're looking in the right direction, only the wrong places."
"Like what?"
"I think we should check available government records for the time, I bet you we'll find our connection there."
We both leaned back, leaving out that relieved sigh of when realization kicks in. It was the only remaining option, it sounded well - until you thought of all the implications that came with a line of investigation like this. Government jobs, even then during the Cold War era would have been openly visible on their bank statements, it's not like anyone earning American money on American soil would have had to hide their incomes. Unless… unless they were spies for the other side or worse even unless whatever they had done was so off the books that the government needed to put distance between it and them.
"Fuck me."
It seemed like the right thing to say, but also the worst phrasing because it put both our minds back to where we had started, why we had really come into this room and begun our journey to empty that bottle. Everything had been an excuse, a slow but mutual seduction that we weren't sure we wanted to follow up on - until work had gotten in the way.
"We need to follow up on that", I said in a last attempt to get out of this room, away from her and all my conflicting emotions but she wasn't having any of that.
"Yes", she said with a tone that came closer to a whisper than a sentence, "tomorrow. The dead can wait."
I turned the glass over in my hands, slowly and unsure how to respond to that. Now the table between us seemed like a long, long distance to walk around, but since she met me halfway it wasn't impossible. We paused, now more than ever confused about what we wanted, how to voice it and if we really, truly were on the same page about everything in that moment.
I reached out, but instead of pulling her in I just bridged the gap between us and somehow we ended up staring into the big two-way mirror together.
"What do you see?", Louise asked - and she didn't pull back or do more than shiver as my hand crossed her spine before I slipped my fingers into the back pocket of her jeans. My actions, her actions finally confirmed that we had actually been talking sex all this time, something that I think neither of us had been sure of until that point but since none of us pulled back we were trapped in there, together.
"I don't know, it's like I can see both into the past and the future at the same time if that makes any sense."
"It doesn't", she chuckled, "but it sounds deep and thoughtful."
We giggled, still lost in our reflections.
"Well, miss smarty-pants, what do you see then?"
"Well", she started, "it's like I can see the present in this glass, like it's within reach and yet somehow slipping through my fingers if that makes any sense."
I let out a snorting chuckle, but finally let her slide into an embrace and for the blink of an eye we stood there, both facing the mirror as our reflections seemed to merge into one.
Resistance faded quickly, quicker even than our morals had and I got past the buttons of her uniform blouse quicker than a siren car blows through red lights on its way to the hospital to expose a set of near-perfect breasts. Not the poster-girl kind that's quick to excite and quick to bore, but two of these mesmerizing things that seem to tell stories of their own. One slightly larger than the other, one slightly tilted upwards and both nipples harder than the floor we sank down upon.
I could see more now of that hidden layer that I had only sensed before, as with her eyes her whole body seemed to tell stories to anyone willing to listen, with a smoky, soothing voice that trailed away mid-sentence so the mind had to fill in the blanks. My fingers flicked through the pages of the first chapter, following the individual lines to their end and going back to the beginning whenever I failed to understand their meaning the first time around. We skipped certain paragraphs, hurried through others, one moment I reached the button of her pants and the next they were already dragged over her feet and my lips caressing the lips between her hips.
But whenever I wanted to play nice Louise put up a look somewhere between disappointment and impatience, a hunger that reached deep into her soul until finally I understood that slow and calm weren't what she was looking for. Well, if we were on a race to the bottom anyway I was fully intent on crossing the line first, I don't play to lose and only shoot to kill.
The first thrust came down on her like mana from heaven, I could almost see the cloud in her mind lifting for a split second as I pushed the air out of her lungs. Her arms were locked around me in an iron grip neither of us could have lifted, her head and shoulders rested on my hands and my elbows enjoying the same cold, hard ground as her backside. Locked in that grip neither of us could have moved or even so much as shifted, only her sharp breaths and my grunts there to illuminate the brightness.
Only my hips moved, each thrust a little too hard, too fast to keep my composure and far too soon I was fighting for my balance, unable to stop or even slow down. I came slowly enough that I knew it was happening and yet it happened so fast that I found myself unable to pull out or even so much as stop for a moment as my seed flowed into her. I didn't stop then, either and just kept plunging into her long after I was done with a strength and dedication I did not know I possessed. Eventually Louise came, too but I wouldn't know when or how and all I remember was the long, heartfelt giggle that erupted between us when we realized that there was no stopping us. I had strength left in me, now beyond the point where it might have been painful and together we rolled to the side, her leg over me to allow me the deep, slow thrusts the moment seemed to warrant.
Our eyes talked a lot, our lips too busy to take each other's breath away and for a short, wonderful eternity it was just us and no worries about the outside world or whether we were supposed to do what we were doing. Eventually I came again, a hard and powerful orgasm that we both had to fight for and by the time we disconnected we were both so sore and exhausted that even the stupid grins on our faces were painful.
"That… was something alright", Louise mused with a distant, dreamy look in her eyes. I said nothing, but between my eyes and my lips it must have been apparent that I was searching for words that wouldn't sound awful.
"Any regrets?", I finally mustered and the dreamy look in her eyes turned thoughtful.
"You know, I did this precisely for the regrets. From the moment you stepped into the door I knew it would happen eventually, thought we best get it over with and out of the way so we could focus on the investigation."
I laughed. "You sure seemed determined."
Her cheeks, smile and eyes all admitted to that, then brushed it out of the way. "I guess I was. And now I look at you and fail to hate myself for it. Fuck."
"Well, for what it's worth I don't hate you for it either."
"Well, thanks I guess."
"So what's the plan, I guess driving you home reeking of alcohol and sex won't exactly please the other Jim, huh?"
"Nah, fuck this, he's gonna flip anyway so we might as well stay here. Let's shower up and see if we can't prepare a couple requests for all that paperwork we have ahead of us."
And that we did, even though it probably took us longer to get out of that shower than we spent on the paperwork before neither of us could keep our eyes open anymore.
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2020.03.25 01:09 CaktusMonarchiste Jean Caissie, a story about ASCW

Prologue Jean Caissie

New York was in syndicalist hand since a long time and New-England was since a year under Canadian protection. I was in the second saper unit and my squad was called "Tammany Gang" because of the captain Steven Smith, na old member of the official Tammany Hall. It was three in the evening and we where stationned in Greenwich. We where doing sabotage in the syndie line. A routine was starting to establish in the gang. White the end of the federal in the east and the syndicalist not wanting any war whit Canada, we where sitting there and doing survey over the region. And even in some moment we had a pause and some syndicalist come talk if they wern't to much of the radical. But then it changed.
Chapter 1
Me and my friend Neil « No-head » Young where on reconnaissance in New York. Some report where indicating that a large force where raised in Manhattan and our unit where dispatch in Inwood. We were hidden in 207th metro station. I was in a maintenance local whit my radio while Neal was looking for movement in the staircase. But there was something that I was hearing but that I couldn’t identify the source. I took the chance and seed three girl talking at the other side of the metro track. Only one of them had her gun whit her and after quick analyse of their cloth I could see their alignment. First they was the English one whit her gun, I could assure she was from the voluntary force whit her uniform and badge. The second was from the Motorized section whit her mechanic equipment and lastly the Militia whit her C.S.A brassard and her civilian cloth. Whit a quick sign to my comrade we advanced in the cover of the night whit our gun pointed at them. We could hear the conversation:
-Ya’ll heard of the redeployment? Said the Mechanic
-Yep, they said that whit the new agreement between Canada and the PSA they are fearing Imperialistic incursion in the north. Responded the English
-And? Canadian are being shipped to Portugal in preparation of the second Weltkrieg, because for what I heard it is only lend lease and industrial cooperation, in my opinion the most violent act would be to sabotage our commercial entente whit the international and in our camp.
At that exact moment I jumped up whit Neil guarding my back rapidly injuring the English whit bullet in the knee while rapidly shouting to other: -Hand up, Head down! Don’t move and nothing will happen!
The two other raise their hand while the English was on ground swearing against us. While Neal was using rope for retaining the two girl I was getting the first aid kit and started patching the knee of the young women.
-You’re a fookin bastard you cunt! She continued to swear.
-Cleo, Stai zitto idiota! Said the militia
-Hey Neal, rope her like the two other while I call the Officer. That I said
-Good!
I entered in the maintenance room and opened the radio.
-Officer we got three prisoner in the metro. Can we go to camp for interrogation?
-Yeah sure, but if you have problem it’s not my fault.
-Thank captain!
That when I hear a commotion outside. Taking my gun and rushing outside I see the wounded girl fighting like a demon while Neal try to finish of tying her. I just started laugh when I came to help him. And god damn she fighting like lion. After finally tying her hand we could start moving out of NY and getting in Connecticut. Apart from the so name Cleo who was doing a ruckus all was going smooth while we were heading trough the city in direction of the dockyard. We entered in a marina and take a random boat, I was surveying the girl while Neal was the starting the engine. After a couple of pull on the string and embarking our self we were riding on the Delaware, rapidly ridding through the night and seeing the light of Greenwich camp. We entered in camp only to greet by two man, the Officer Smith and the Caporal `Laurent. After some formal handshaking we had to transfer the prisoner to the fort H.G Wright who had been rehabilitate for coastal defence and has a HQ for Connecticut militia and military.
Chapter two
All that because shitty train schedule and we were force to transport the prisoner on foot whit a three day across the countryside if we don’t find a vehicle. The night we arrived was calm and the prisoner were simply disposed in an abandoned church and that we see the colourful people we got on or hand. So for the record we first had Cleo Oswald was a strong believer in the maximist theory of Mosley and the Jacobin model for the republic and was recalcitrant to not swear to us. Then we had Raphael John, the mechanic who not really caring for anything if the fact of getting out of this alive so she was kind of always helping us whit Cleo and then there was Jane Agnello, when I entered the I was seeing Cleo trying to escape opening the door, Raphael was sulking on the side of the door and their she was praying in the middle of the church. So after restraining the hand of our prisoner and started to walk the long of the coast.
Cleo was constantly complaining about everything and in two hour she already three escape attempt who were simply of running in forest along the road, and only to be retaken in within 2 minute of running after her we had retaken her in. At least the countryside was beautiful and was a war torn area like the rest of the union. At 10, we finally found our benediction, an old couple passing by let us in their car and conducted us at the port where could finally go to the fort. During the ride, Raphael proposed her help for restraining Cleo so we untied her while Jane was completely silent and looking forward. At that moment I just pushed arm for seeing if she was asleep and she gave one of those look. She was so much surprised that she screamed and loose her balance, passing at two inch of getting out of the cart if I didn’t retain her. We then arrived at the ferry, and had two hour of waiting before the other arrive and so we started to talk:
-So while we are here what where you doing in the abandoned station? I asked
-Our job was to impeach some spy from getting in. Said Raphael.
-Not like you were good to! Said Neal.
-THESE ARE TWO LAXIST ANTI-REVOLUTIONARY! Cried Cleo
-No joke? That I asked
-No we are just militia and not a professional force but in her opinion we have to respect her order which we don’t. Said Jane
-Ya fookin bastard! Returned Cleo
- Sai che sei un vero idiota Cleo. Responded Jane
-what did you say? I asked
-that she was an idiot. She responded
-so your Italian? That is demanded
-Yes I am from Italian decent but no I have never seen Milan like my parent. She responded
-Une cigarette Jean?
-Yeah sure, and any of the girl want one?
-Affirmative. said Raphael
-none for me. Said Jane
-NEVER YOU F***ING IMPERIALISTE FOR MAKING ME TOOK THIS OF CORRUPT OLIGARCH AND GREEDY MONARCH!!
All the people in where looking at us while Neal was passing a cigarette to Raphael while I was cracking a match, looking at her while she gesticulated over the revolution and the proletariat. And then finally our saving Grace approached in the form the HMS Laurent, an old Canadian patrol boat who had been refitted for the transport of troop and the coastal defence. An old marine came to see us and was check our paper. All was in order we jumped on board in direction of the island.
Chapter 3
The three prisoner where gone in a cell while we were going on the deck, for some fresh air and some peace for our ear. We were pretty happy whit these prisoner cause we could get some permission to go see our family. I was from Canada in west end of Montreal I was stuck in New England because of brawling whit some bastard in the street. I was sent on the volunteer force to New England in exchange for passing on my link whit the Irish Mob, and Neal for is part was from Sacramento but was in New England for studies and since he could go back on the West Coast he stayed and engaged. We were in the same unit and our sarcasm and humour was similar and quickly became good friend. I started to read a journal that I take in the port. On the front page a new about a brand new force in game for American Union of State as the Silver Legion had risen up and where first seen in the fight against some Pacific force. They were described as fanatic and reckless massacring the 25th Nisei volunteer, and from the image they were crucified in the Red Rock Canyon. And also they were a republication of some story of an author that I liked: Howard. P. Lovecraft. Today story was the Dunwich Horror. I was tranquilly reading this daunting story when we accosted in the fort dock. While Neals was dealing whit some administrative shit, I was going in cell block for recuperating our prisoner. Cleo was looking was trying to escape again, while Raphael was simply laughing at her and Jane was silent, daydreaming. After I tied them up, I would get them on deck, for they can breathe fresh air, before a good time in captivity and for us a good time before where were we are on permission.
The commander in chief of the green mountain boys came to me and said:
-Good job soldier Caissie, maybe whit this kind of act we may relook at your service time, but still for now dismiss! You’re on permission for the two next week.
-Thank Commander!
Only two week, those bastard are only give two fricking week of permission. Well still, I could go to Montreal say hello to the family and maybe take glass or two before I have to come back to Connecticut. And at least, I heard that the entente was forming a brand new division, known as “La Vaillante”, a unit composed from soldier from the Entente and would be stationed in New England for training and help for the new unit. I even heard that some Belgian T-13 where to be deployed in some strong point. At least, that would mean less task for us, which my captain loved to give me, because I was an ancient mobster. Well mobster, only in name of the law because I’d never really done anything apart from hitting some dude who wouldn’t enter in the rank. At least I was lucky of not going in the navy. Just thinking of me being stuck in a tin can whit two hundred moron wasn’t so appealing.
Neal came to me and said all so happy:
-One month of perm, man I’m lucky! What yours?
-I’m stuck whit only two week, why in hell are you having a biggest permission.
-In the name of the law you committed reprehensible act, such as…
-Yeah, Yeah I know the song and all, I have to pay my debt to society and to the monarchy.
-Think of it, you could be passing day in Montreal but you got caught beating a guy in an alley. Since your stuck whit some guy you don’t know under an officer who is an old politician and that love to give order to you.
-Go to Hell!
-Thanks, Ha Ha!
We continued to roam around the fort, joking on nothing and everything, talking about home, the world, joking on the Tammany Gang and on our situation, a good moment of relaxation in all of this hell. Slowly we finishing talking about some of our fear. Neal was never a stressed men but for the first time I had him sincerely scared:
-Did you heard from the 25th?
-Yeah, gory and stuff!
-I think that Long lose the last bit of respect I had for him.
-From the fucking K.K.K, those damn bastard.
-I hope their ok in the Rockies.
His look was devastated, but we were all knowing that in this war every ally was useful and compromise had to be made and I was proof in bone and whisky. Because if, the south was relying on some unsavoury group, everyone, Pacific and New England included, had their special ally (Mob, Totalist, Foreign help and Slave). At least we had some rule and some decency for moment.
Chapter 4
God I loved my permission, finally a moment of peace and fun. But finally after a lot of sleep and one or two drink at the pub, I had to retake position on the frontline. Neal was whit me for most of the time but he stopped is permission keeping it for later. Nothing had really advanced in the war as stalemate installed itself in the force and guerrilla became the only viable way of fighting. After the silver legion got out, a general made the head new, as the rival of the silver legion by burning a village in Kentucky and killing everybody, for showing support for the Longist.
The moment I entered the camp, the captain laugh loudly by seeing me and shouted:
-So the Irish is back!
-Hi captain, wat is so funny.
-Well in the sake of the tradition, we need scout and it’s you from now on.
-But why? I’m not even that good.
-Who said that you where along! Go to the commandment and their going to give you your mission.
-Yes, Captain Smith… Ugh.
-No sigh, Soldier!
-Yeah sure, whatever.
As I entered the commandment everybody, was looking at me, some of them were judging and analysing me and other simply continued to look at the plan on table. Caporal was her, looking whit is profound blue eye. After a pause, he started to talk:
-So Smith chose you for this mission? What a coincidence that you’re going to travel whit some of your old friend. That he said whit a hoarse voice.
-I think so? The Captain said to me to come her as you needed a scout or so I was told.
-Yeah but you’re not gone be the only one on this mission as we got three girl plus two people from your own choice to do your mission. He responded calmly.
-So what the mission? That I asked swiftly, already thinking who the three girl were.
-The Canadian government start to find the C.S.A and some of their unit moving to the border and they need confirmation on the possibility of an attack in the great plain. As such you’ll have to go in some frontier point disguised as red officer, from the London International Officer Corp. You should go get your companion in this mission and as a move of good faith from the Crown, you will be pardon for your past crime. He explained whit a monotonous tone.
-Well I think that I will get the said companion, and let me think, the three girl are the prisoner we made in New York aren’t they?
-Yeah, it’s them so you don’t let them escape if they try to.
-Ugh, good.
I walked out of the tent and find Neal waiting for me outside, intrigued on I got in the commandment for a special when I said calmly:
-Now you’re in a mission, go in the commandment for info.
-Wait what!?
-In the commandment for info!
As I passed by I looked from the eye
submitted by CaktusMonarchiste to Kaiserreich [link] [comments]


2020.02.11 05:17 TheHispanicPickle Pt 5: The plan

"Hey they're back!" Yelled a guard in the watchtower.
The gate screeched open.
"Lily! We found something!" Yelled Marcus as he quickened his pace towards the garden store.
"What do you got?" Lily said as she opened the door. She pulled up three chairs to a folding table.
"Twain fetch a map!" Marcus yelled to the neighboring store.
Twain leaned into the door with a half salute, he handed Marcus a map. John handed Twain the rifles and his satchel bag and half saluted back. Marcus spread the worn cloth map across the table. He scanned the map and pointed to several potential locations.
"We found this bandana, it has a pretty pungent smell of peanuts or some shit, we think these guys are holed up in some factory or storage place" John said. He pointed to a large square building with a shed icon on the map. "That's the old peanut processing plant, its a lead at least."
"Hold on, you need a plan before you guys just charge in there. I suggest you scout the place" said Lily. She pointed to a nearby water tower. "There, take a pair of binoculars and scout first."
Doc Hansen came through the door. "You fellas alright? Hurt any?"
"I'm a little busted, a few scratches from a feral" said Marcus opening up his shirt.
"Those look pretty nasty, you should come with me" Said Doc Hansen motioning towards Marcus.
"Tomorrow we'll scout, you boys need some rest" said Lily rolling up the map.
A few hours later and it was dusk. A small tin bell rang, dinner time. John twisted the doorknob of his room and trudged down the stairs. He pushed open the front door. A pot was hanging above a fire and a stranger was filling bowls with stew. John stretched and wandered over with a bowl.
"Haven't seen you before. The name's Chuck, nice to meet you." He said with a handshake.
"John. You're a good cook" he said accepting the hand.
"Well my daddy said to never trust a skinny cook" he said, motioning to his stomach he must have been a good cook.
"John! Over here!" Said Marcus, raising his hand in John's direction. He sat at a long wooden table with several people. John strolled over to the table and had a seat.
"I'd like you to meet the cast." He said with a smirk. "Here's Sam, Maya, Jim, and of course Twain."
John shook each of their hands. Sam was a hispanic girl with flat dreadlocks along her head, she wore a shirt with the words "Suck my Big Dick" in green text. Maya was a white girl with black hair, she wore a dirty yellow jacket. Jim was a Mexican guy with a black mustache and curly hair, he wore a button up shirt and had a guitar case with him. Twain was a black man with a beard and a light afro, he wore a jean jacket and had a long scar down his arm.
"So John, I heard about your people and the bandits and I have to ask you, what do you think you're gonna do when you finally catch the bastards?" Asked Sam, dipping her spoon into her stew.
"I, well" he hesitated, "I guess ill just kill em outright I mean I haven't given it any thought."
"That's it? No wrath of god type shit? No vengeance? If I were in your situation, I'd probably go balls to the walls mad and do some crazy shit to em." Said Sam, staring at John expectantly.
"That's it I suppose, nothing more, nothing less."
"Ok then, be like that, I was just making conversation."
"Hold up, I have a question for you Sam, what the fuck is up with that shirt?" Said John, pointing to her shirt.
"This? Its fucking stylish, fuck off. I got it from a thrift store." She said, pumping the words "Suck my Big Dick" towards him.
"But does it mean anything? Do you have a big dick or some shit?" He said with a smile.
"Yes, the biggest of dicks" she said sarcastically.
"Ok I think I've lost my appetite, you guys have fun" said Maya, getting up to wash her plate.
"Yeah, we should all really hit the hay, we have a big day tomorrow." Said Jim.
"I guess it's about that time." Said John.
If you want me to continue, upvote or comment. Give me feedback, tell me about my dialogue, was the story boring?
submitted by TheHispanicPickle to StateOfDecay [link] [comments]


2020.01.22 10:43 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS Part 73

Continuing.
I slow down and just crawl along the main drag. Past the Spanner’s gas station, past the Cuba Café, down past Spanner’s Liquor store, past Spanners livery and tack, past Spanner’s market, and into the Cuba Motel car park.
The place is mostly empty, being off-season and not terribly busy on a god day. I park my truck, park my cigar, and go into the motel’s lobby.
“Doctor Rock!” Jose the owner says behind the counter, “How good to see you! Welcome back!”
Manly handshakes ensue. I remark that it’s good to be back. I ask about my room reservations.
“You can have your old room if you like”, Jose explains, “We’re not that busy. Where would you like to put your companion?”
“Back in driving school”, I snicker. “If there’s a room close, but not adjoining, that’d be great.”
“I have a fine room three doors down.” Jose notes.” Is that acceptable?”
“Perfecto!” I tell him. “Can I park my trailer in the lot or do I need to chain it up out back?”
“In the frontcourt is fine”, Jose smiles, “As I said, we’re not terribly busy here today.”
“Groovy”, I reply, as I sign for both our rooms.
“Need any help, Doc?” Jose asks.
“Nah. Thanks”, I reply, “I got this.”
I wheel over to my room and disconnect the trailer. I maneuver it into the space next to my truck, chain and padlock it to the overhead cover.
I back my truck right in front of my room. I’m unloaded within minutes and sitting on the hood of my truck with a cigar, my 2-way radio, and a cold Yorshch.
I listen to the radio between sips and puffs. She must drive like Granny O’Slowly if she’s not here by now. I am ready to key the radio but decide against it. She’s a big girl, let her handle her end of the log.
I finish my Yorshch and grab a new one from the cooler in my room. I’m waving my arm tired from all the folks driving by, tootling me with vigor, and gesticulating in greeting.
A few puffs of the cigar later, I see a cream-colored Toy-Auto with Texas plates potter slowly past the motel.
It’s Eva. How the hell she got this far is a mystery.
I key the mike and ask her if she just wants to head to Colorado tonight.
“What do you mean?” she asks.
“You just drove past the hotel”, I reply, “I’m amazed you didn’t see me sitting out in the parking lot on the hood of my truck.”
“Oh, sorry”, she replies.
I figured she’d stop, pull a U-ey, and hotfoot it back to the motel.
10 minutes later, I call her and ask what the holdup was.
“I can’t find a place to turn around.” She says, clearly in distress.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I think but do not say, “It’s all prairie dogs and badlands from here to Colorado. It’s nothing but turn-around zones.”
I key the radio. “Do you want me to come out and get you?” I ask.
“No. No…that won’t be necessary” she stutters.
“I can be there in just minutes if you want,” I reply.
“Oh, OK then.” She replies.
“OK, pull over. Stop and don’t move. Put on your flashers. I’ll be right there.” I say.
I lock my room, jump in the truck, and pull up behind her 5 minutes later. I walk over to her car and tap on the window.
“Are you OK?” I ask.
“I’m just so not sure. This is the first time I’ve been out driving on my own. Usually, someone else in the family drives.” She wobbles.
“OK, just follow my lead. OK?” I ask.
“Yeah, sure”, she replies unsteadily.
I pull in front of her, find a likely looking flat area where I could have turned the USS Enterprise around in, and slowly pull a 1800 turn. She follows closely.
We drive back to the hotel and I back into my still vacant parking slot. I jump out and direct her to pull into the one two spaces down.
She’s noticeably relieved. I give her the room key for her room. She’s pleased but doesn’t say anything, that my room is at least two doors away.
This kid is green as grass, and not in a good way. She’s skittish as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Gonna have to toughen her up, quickly. Gently, but quickly.
I offer to help her unpack her car, but she refuses, citing the need for a shower and a rest.
Gonna have to toughen her up, quickly. Maybe not so gently, but quickly.
I retire to my room and partake of a couple of long hard day at the office drinks. It suddenly appears that this is going to be a lot less fun than I had originally imagined.
I call Esme and let her know where I am. She is delighted that I made it intact and that I’m back in one of my favorite places on Earth. I tell her about Eva. She’s unconcerned that she’s female but very concerned that she’s so seemingly inept.
I agree with her and say that if I knew this was another training exercise I’d have told Rack and Ruin to go hang. But, we’re in it now up to our necks. Best to make whatever we can out of a strange situation. I tell her that I miss and love her and the kids, and sign off.
I decide to call Eva and have a little powwow.
I ring her room and there’s no answer.
“OK”, I sigh, “She might be in the shower. I’ll call her back later.”
An hour later, same scene, same result.
I’m beginning to wonder.
After another hour and no answer, I grab the 2-way and call her directly.
Fully five minutes later, she groggily answers and asks ‘what’s the problem?’
“Problem?” I ask, “I was wondering if you survived today’s travails. I was just calling to see if we could chat about the project and maybe get to know each other a bit better since we’ll be working together for the next three weeks…”
“Oh, I’m just so sleepy”, she yawns, “Can’t we do all this tomorrow?”
“OK” I reply, “I’ll give you this one. But this one only. Tomorrow, we go over the schedule and you get yourself steeled up for some work. See you at 0700 hours.” As I un-key the mike and toss the radio over into the chair.
OK, I’m peeved. Cheesed even. This keeps up, even for one more day, I’m dragging her back to Albuquerque and telling Dr. Harry to find someone else…
I walk over to the Cuba Café for a spot of dinner. It’s a grand reunion, and the food was just as good as I remember. The beers flowed free and steadily.
Back in my room, I pull out my field notebooks and begin making the appropriate annotations. Thus far, I’m not at all impressed with Dr. Eva. She keeps this up and it’s my $20 gold piece and a flip for her destiny.
The next morning, I’m pounding on her door at precisely 0700.
And waiting.
And waiting.
Finally, the door opens and Eva stands there, looking like liquid death.
“Holy wow. What’s wrong with you?” I ask, “Do you need medical attention?”
“Oh, Doctor”, she is almost crying, “It’s my allergies. I’m not used to the plants in this part of the world.”
“Do you have any medicine to combat this situation?” I ask.
“Yes”, she says and begins to break down. “I’m so sorry. I thought I could handle this. My first real solo field project and I’ve already muffed it.”
“OK, OK,” I say, “Knock off the waterworks. You take your meds and get some rest.”
I remember my first time out in the field. Unknown pollen can be a cruel mistress.
“Look, it’s not a total loss.” I reassure her, “I can do some running around here today, and do some preliminary reconnaissance.” Like I needed any in my old field area.
“It’ll actually save us some time when we come back from Arizona”. I note.
Besides, it’ll give me a day to fart around in my old stomping grounds.
She begins to apologize when I cut her off.
“You’re no use to anyone in your present condition,” I say, “Get some rest. Get better, read your reports today, and be ready to go tomorrow, 0700 sharp.”
“OK, Doctor”, she snuffles.
“Do you need anything today?” I ask.
“No. I’m good”, she replies.
“If you do need anything, call the front desk and ask for Jose. He’ll take good care of you. I’ll be out in the field and unavailable for a while.” I note.
“OK, thank you”, she says and closes the door silently.
“Sheesh”, I grumble, walking back to my room. “I do hope she gets her shit together.”
In the meantime, I’m back in my truck and over to the Cuba Café. I get three chili rellenos with salsa verde, to go. And a Greenland coffee.
I’m whipping down NM-550 to Counselor, New Mexico. Take a sharp right onto Navajo-8 right to Lago de Estrella.
I blow past Lago de Estrella straight down the pipeline access road. It’s like nothing has changed, as I watch the clouds of reddish-brown dust I’m kicking up.
Up to the Scavada Wash, I creep across. That ultra-fine wadi sand can slurp down even a 1-ton GMC with four-wheel drive.
Crawling up over the wash, I see the Scavada Trading Post, Gas, and Pro Station. I wheel in there in a flooming wall of trailed dust. Not giving ol’ Fred the chance, I park and jog over to the entrance.
I flang open the door and loudly yell: “Hands up, motherstickers! This is a fuck up!”
Fred turns around with his shotgun, looks, blinks, and throws a cold beer at me.
I catch it and wander in. The two locals that were in the shop at the time are looking at me like I just teleported in from Ceti Alpha 5.
“Fred, you old reprobate. What’s shakin’?” I ask.
“Doctor Rocknocker. I should have known. How the hell are you?” Fred grins.
“Fred, I am rolling” I grin, and slurp half of the cold tall-boy Coors.
We sit at a close table and Fred shares my chili rellenos. I work on my Greenland coffee and Fred works on a cold beer.
I tell Fred of some of my adventures since we last met. Fred tells me he was almost married a couple of times, but it all went south at the Squaw Dance. He didn’t seem too upset.
“Y’know, Sani was in here the other day, looking for you,” Fred tells me.
“Really?” I ask.
“Well, he was in here and asking about you. Asking if I’d heard from you lately.” He tells me.
“Like you always said, Fred, ‘Ain’t no secrets on the res”. I snicker.
“Damn right. I see you’re still carrying that god damn hand cannon.” He snickers, looking over the edge of the table.
“Got my Mossberg out in the truck. Plus a load of USDA-government approved explosives.” I add.
“What’re those for,” he asks.
I explain my current project and Eva, Harry and the BLM, BIA, and DOI.
“God damn, you’ve gone over to the enemy,” Fred says, in mock horror.
“Nope, just playing the field. They pay, they supply the boom, and I blow up some old mines. Fun for the whole family.” I reply and grab another beer from the cooler.
“That’s going on your tab”, Fred warns me.
“Government’s paying for it, so I don’t care,” I reply.
“In that case”, Fred smiles, “Grab one for me.”
We spend the rest of the morning sitting around, talking over old times, doing gas station and pawnshop stuff, and basically having a large time.
After lunch, I tell Fred to go through all his dead pawn. I explain I’ll be back in a few weeks’ time and I need to fill Es’ shopping list.
“Turquoise”, I tell him, “No turtle shell. And silver Conchos.”
“Will do.” He replies. “Where you headed now?”
“Recon trip”, I reply, “A little mapping, spotting mines with the GPS, and devising a strategy to blow them the hell and gone.”
“Fuck”, Fred replies, “You get to have all the fun.”
“That I do”, I respond. “See you in a couple weeks’ time”, I say and shake his hand.
“Later you whack job”, he smiles, “Stay lucky, you nut. And look up Sani, if you could.”
“I will, in fact, I’m headed over to the grim Mt. Badass. There’s an old silver mine out there. Dollars to doughnuts I’ll run into Sani and that broken-down old horse of his.” I grin.
Off I go back down the pipeline road, a little more slowly this time around. I drive slowly past Lago de Esterella pump station. It’s been highly modernized and automated. There are precious few cars out in the old lot. I look for anyone I recognize, but there’s no one around.
Even Long John’s tepee is gone.
With a slightly heavy heart, I drive over to the grim Mt. Badass. I pop the truck into four-wheel, and go off-road, following the old map I have, looking for the mine adit.
Down into the wash, up the side of a cuesta. It’s slow going, but I finally find the portal. I photograph it and make entries in my field books. Get out to look around. The whole area is utterly deserted. I’m not about to go into the old mine alone or without anyone here, so I just scout around the perimeter, looking for…things.
Nothing. No old claim markers, no old claim stakes, zip.
I walk clear around the whole mesa, which takes me about half an hour. No access, no egress. Basically, just an unfinished tunnel into the base of the mountain. I make my notes, mark my map, get the GPS coordinates, and decide to walk back to the truck.
I come around the mesa and hear a horse nicker.
Damned if it isn’t Sani.
“Sure is hot out today,” I say.
“Dusty, too”, Sani grins.
Sani Yáʼátʼééh shi akʼis”, I greet him.
Yáʼátʼééh Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies.
I walk over to my truck, and in the time-honored tradition, open the cap, open the cooler and grab us a couple of beers. I drop the tailgate and invite Sani to have a seat.
“I was just up at the Scavada. Fred says you were looking for me.” I say.
“Truth. I have been told that you will be in the area soon.” He says.
“As always, they are correct. It’s great to see you again, Sani. You are doing well?” I ask.
“Sani could be better. It’s age. My time will be soon.” He says, a matter of factly.
“I hate to disagree, Sani. You’re looking great. You’ll be around for a good, long time.” I say.
“Sani wishes that were true.” he sadly says, slowly nodding his head.
I derail this far too serious conversation and steer towards lighter subjects. I tell Sani of my current project and some of the ones in the past.
Sani tells me that the pump station is almost deserted.
“Many good people are gone. Left for the city.” He laments.
“That’s progress for you. At least I kept my word and returned.” I said brightly.
“I was told this long ago. Sani knew you would.” He smiles at me.
We spend an hour or two just chatting in a most amenable manner. He decides it’s time for him to go and I note I need to locate a couple more mines and scoot back to Cuba.
“Sani”, I say, “I do hope we will meet again if the accident will”
Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies, “I fear not. This has been foretold.”
“Well, I trust the spirits and your wisdom”, I say, “But in this instance, I hope you’re both wrong.”
Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies. “I take my leave of you. Be well. The best for you and your family.”
“Sani”, I say, “I don’t have the words.” I grab him in a very manly man hug. I end up with the Aboriginal grasping forearms handshake.
It’s all I can do to say: “Hágoónee’, Sani. Uh-quo-ho nihí néiidleehígíí” ‘Until we meet again’.
Ládáá di hatsijįʼ áhootʼé, Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, ‘If the accident will, fire mountain man.’
With that, Sani jumps up on his horse and saunters away.
I get back in my truck, fire up a cigar, wipe my dusty eyes, and drive back to the pipeline road.
I find three more mine adits in a fairly short time. I make my notes, and head back to Navajo-8 and back to Cuba.
I am feeling oddly discomfited.
I get to the hotel and just pour myself a straight-up stiff draught of Old Thought Provoker. I work on that going over what Sani had told me.
I call Eva and she answers on the first ring. She sounds much better. I ask her if she requires anything.
“No, I’m OK”, she says, “I talked with Jose and he got me some lunch from the café. It was enough for dinner as well.”
“OK”, I reply unenthusiastically, “Let’s meet tomorrow at 0700 and plan the rest of the project. I mapped four mines today so that will save us some time once we return from Arizona.”
“OK, Doctor”, she says, “I guess you really are the hookin’ bull around here.”
“Yeah, so it has been foretold”, I reply and hang up the phone.
I pour another Old Thought Provoker. My field books are up to date, I just talked with Es so I decided to take a little down time and see what’s on the box.
Not much. I kill off the jug of Old Thought Provoker, make certain everything is secure. I have my Mossberg in here with me. My .454 was locked in the room safe right after I arrived. I decide to call it a night.
It was not a restful night. No nightmares. Not even bad dreams. More like, well, odd visions of things I could recognize from the past. Odder visions of things I don’t recognize, perhaps from the future.
I don’t cotton to all that parapsychological mumbo-jumbo, but it sure can make for a restless night.
I finally drop off into REM land and get some decent rest. The alarm goes off seemingly far too early.
I shower, dress, and head over to Eva’s room.
She’s dressed and ready to go. She looks like an entirely different person from yesterday.
I feel like an entirely different person from yesterday.
We decide to go to the Cuba Café for breakfast and planning our strategy. I tell her I’ll drive and she’s more than welcome to accompany me on the 30-second trip.
“You’re going to have to passenger with me sooner than later. “ I say, “Let me prove I’m not some creature from a black lagoon.”
“OK, Doctor”, she says, “Whatever you say.”
“Well”, I muse, “That’s more like it.”
At the café, I order a Mexican Omelet with a breakfast beer and Eva goes for some flapjacks and sausage.
Nothing like getting into the local culture.
We talk about the job at hand and she tells me of the new kit she’s got. It’s a pneumatic potato-gun sort of gizmo that fires a round which contains a chemical that bats find really irritating. You shoot that off into a mine and they vamoose. It doesn’t harm them, just gets them out of the way so she can count them and figure out their species.
“That way”, she says, “We don’t even have to go into these old mines.”
“Many mines have an active outward airflow”, I note, “Also, some mines are twisty-turny and not just straight passages. We’re going to have to enter these mines and then maybe we can deploy your gun.”
“Oh, hell”, she says, “That’s the part that I am really not looking forward to.”
“Don’t worry”, I say, “That’s one of the reasons I’m here. If the mine can support me, it won’t even know you’re there. I’ll train you before we make any ingress. Don’t fret, it will be OK.”
“Yes, Doctor”, she says.
“Look, Eva”, I say, “Please just call me ‘Rock’. It’ll be so much easier.”
“OK”, she says, “That will take some getting used to. Back at university, everyone with a doctorate insists.”
“Yeah, I know”, I replied. “It gets sort of old after a while. Just save it for when it can be of some use.”
She looked at me a bit puzzled, but we proceed.
“Now, about your driving.” I continue, “You are going to have to get a bit more aggressive and drive more observantly.”
“Oh, I know, Rock”, she replies, “It’s just I didn’t drive much back home. Mom and Dad always had chauffeurs for us kids…”
“Chauffeurs?” I asked.
“Oh, yes”, she said brightly, “I didn’t even think about a driver’s license until I was in Grad school.”
“So”, I snicker, “I take it your folks are loaded?”
“One could say that.” She replies, “Dad’s part of the Bass family. Mom kept her maiden name and I took that instead.”
“I see”, I replied, “Do you see that as presenting a problem on this project?”
“I don’t think it should,” she says, “I’ve done my doctorate on my own.”
“Did you work while you went to school?” I asked.
“No”, she replies, “But I did RAs [Research Assistantships] for the years I was in school.”
“OK,” I say, “Well, out here, it’s every man for themselves. I’ll try and help when it’s necessary. But food, lodging, taking care of your vehicle, ad infinitum are your responsibility. I just want to get that out on the table.”
“OK”, she says, “I appreciate your candor.”
“And I appreciate your acceptance of the facts,” I reply, not really trying to be a boor, but it just sort of slipped out.
“Doctor…ah, Rock”, she continues, “As long as we’re being upright and forthwith. Do you always need to carry that sidearm?”
“I think so”, I replied. “I carried it in Texas, Baja Canada, Mongolia, Central Asia, and different versions in Russia and other wild and woolly places. Don’t think of it as a gun, it’s just another tool. Just like a hammer or a camera.”
“Well, I suppose. I don’t care for guns…” she opines.
“Have you ever shot a gun?” I ask.
“Me?” she laughs, “Oh, my no. Never.”
Another note goes into the field book. I resolve to have her going all Anny Oakley before this trip is over.
“And your cigars.” She continues.
“Yes?” I growl, furrowing my brow deeply.
“Oh, nothing”, she quickly recovers.
Muck with my gun, I’ll get snarky. Mess with my cigars, and I’m making calls to the Agency calling for personnel replacements.
After breakfast, it's back to the motel and pack up. We’re off to the field today and if I don’t blow something up soon, I’m going to go spare.
Eva loads her kit in about three minutes, I need to wrangle a heavy trailer, get it all hooked up, chained, and centered, then drag all my shit out of the room and back into my truck.
Finally, we’re back on the road headed north to Colorado. Next stop, Pagosa Springs.
I tell Eva that she has a map, she has a radio, and she has our itinerary. I tell her I’ll see her next in the first Schlotzsky's parking lot in the Springs. I walk over to my truck, fire up a road heater, drop her in first gear, and ease out of the parking lot headed north. It should be a 2.5-3 hour trip.
Easy-peasy.
Later, I’m sitting in my truck, eating a Schlotzsky's Original when the radio crackles.
“Rock, come in”, I hear.
“Go for Rock”, I reply.
“Order me an Original and a large Dr. Pepper. Be at your 20 in 5.” I hear.
“Roger that”, I reply.
Suddenly Eva’s gone all ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ on me.
Evidently, she talked to someone yesterday that gave her a crash course in driving and navigating, as well as radio use.
I’m moderately impressed, particularly if she arrives here on time.
She does, parks next to me, and asks where her sandwich was.
“Eva”, I say, “Color me impressed. You are staging a remarkable comeback.”
“Yes”, she says, “About that.”
I am sore perplexed.
“I called my folks and was ready to bail on the whole project.” she confides, “It was all just too much, too fast. You are one scary person. The project with mines, explosives, and bats is really scary.”
“But you’re an amply degreed Chiropteran Biologist”, I remarked.
“Just because I study them doesn’t mean I like them”, she replies.
“Honesty”, I reply, “I like that.”
“I had a stern talking-to from my father”, she continues, “Really read me the riot act. He had someone do some research on you. He was most impressed and chewed me out that I was being ‘a little brat’, and ‘should be grateful Dr. Rock was in on this project.’”
Evidently someone’s been talking with Rack and Ruin. I jot down a note to annoy them as soon as possible.
“He also told me to talk with my driver”, she adds, “I spoke with him and he gave me all sorts of pointers on what to do now that I’m on my own.”
“Initiative. I like that”, I reply, “OK, cool. Back to the project at hand. Here’s your sandwich and Dr. Pepper. Eat up while I tell you what’s happening next.”
Eva chows down, after making a remarkable recovery.
We are going to drive up to the Ever Last gold mine in the hills outside of Pagosa Springs. Eva will follow me as best she can, as we have radios and detailed maps. We’re up in the mountains now, so she’s going to struggle with that Toy-Auto of hers. My truck is turbo-ed, so I shouldn’t have any problem.
We will drive as far as her car will allow, then abandon it.
Temporarily.
Eva will join me in the truck and we’ll drive to the mine’s portal or adit.
Then we’ll do want’s necessary.
Up the mountainside, off the asphalt, and down a dirt path. Eva’s Toy-Auto does a commendable job, but a couple of miles in, it’s all pine cones, rocks, and boulders.
I find a likely looking spot and direct Eva to park her car there for the time being.
She does so, and we grab the necessary kit out of her car and toss it in the back of my truck. I check to see the trailer’s still secure, drop the truck into Granny Low, and head up to the mine.
It’s a bouncy-jouncy trip over a hardly used Intershire goat-path. After a half-hour or so, the remains of the mining camp hoves into view. We’re here, our first job of the project.
We find the adit and check the maps. Only one entrance or exit. It’s basically a long tube through the very living rock of the mountainside. I park close to the adit and tell Eva it’s time for our EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity).
She laughs at the reference.
First up: photograph everything. Documentation.
Next up, a quick recon of the adit itself. It’s in great disrepair. The shoring timbers are old, rotting and falling apart, even though the portal is still open. It appears no one’s been here for quite some time. Still, we need to check for any Flittermice, then do what’s necessary.
I drag out my field notebooks and start taking my usual copious notes. Eva’s setting up a work table, laying out maps of the area and mine, making her own notes. Good. As little prefacing as possible. Down to work.
The mine has a strong air draft coming out. Eva’s bat-annoyance cannon won’t work unless I get into the mine closer to an active population of the flittery little bastards.
“OK, Eva”, I say, “Its nut-cuttin’ time. I’m going in, you stay out here and watch for your bats.”
“If you think that’s best”, she replies.
“I do”, I say, “But I want you here with the radio if anything goes south. You take notes as I talk. Hard to do in total darkness, especially with all the kit I’ve got to carry.”
“Right, Rock”, she smiles.
Back at the truck, I gear up. Hardhat, gloves, monitors, lights, batteries, cigars, camera, radio, air pack, dosimeters, blah, blah, blah.
All this kit adds another 60 pounds or so to my already large frame. I’m also hooked up to a Hip Chain, a clever little gizmo that measures distance as you walk. You just tie the line to rock or stake and set the meter to zero. As you walk, the meter indicates the length of line pulled, giving you the distance you’ve traveled, freeing your hands for other tasks.
Back at the adit, I prepare to invade. I show Eva all the gear I need to do this safely, and she takes a couple of pictures and makes some notes.
“Now you see why I’ll do this one alone”, I chuckle. “At least this time.”
Eva lets loose a low whistle and asks for a radio check. We have new ELF radios that will work even in underground workings. We check and they’re working fine.
I make entry to the mine.
It’s wet, cool, clammy, and 100% pitch black. No reflected light at all after 50 feet. It’s a type of total blackness few people seldom experience.
It’s unnerving, to say the least.
I continue into the mine, snapping pictures of the workings and the geology. If there’s some miner’s graffiti, I might be able to get an idea when the last worker was in there.
There’s an impressive example of shoring timbers. Cut lapped-end wood eventually yields to rough-cut tree sections. Cheaper, but more unstable. Treated lumber will last and you can be assured of soundness. A rotten core hidden in a tree trunk can ruin your whole weekend.
Roof bolts are rusted and falling out of some of their holes. Not a good sign. These are drilled and set into the roof to keep it in place. Rust and missing bolts foretell an eventual collapse. But not when…
Past ore chutes, past raises, and down the main tunnel. There are some side rooms that are blocked by stacked “waste rock”, a process called ‘gobbing’. No entrance there. I continue apace.
The mine follows an ore vein. Most of it has been removed, hence the mine. But there are chilled margins and other geological evidence of the genesis of the worked ore deposits.
There’s mining debris everywhere. Old ventilator tubing, wires, cables, old empty boxes of dynamite, broken tools, twisted rails for ore carts. Old, rusty empty cans of beans, coffee, and tobacco. This is an old mine, one that hasn’t seen humans for decades, it’s that undisturbed.
As far as animals go, there are abandoned pack-rat nests and their midden piles. Piles of bat guano, but no sign of any living bats. Around a winze, there’s the skeleton of what appears to be a raccoon or possum. It’s eerie. Dead quiet except for the distant sound of dripping water, little air movement this far in, and absolute, deathlike deserted darkness.
I report in again to Eva on my findings. She tells me that I’m approaching the dead-end of the mine soon. I look at my hip chain and note I’m in some 1100 meters. The maps note that the mine was only some near 1000 meters in length. Well, so much for the accuracy of old maps.
I reach the terminus of the mine, the final work face. There are old handheld chisels, a broken pickaxe, and loads of human debris. No sign of any living creatures, I report. We all know what that means.
I break my hip chain line and retrace my steps. There are a few places with probable false floors, and some water-filled sink pits that I didn’t see the first time. I take it slow going out of the mine. Here is where accidents usually happen. Almost home and back in the sun.
Nope, not until you step out of that adit.
I’m out and report to Eva. No bats. I’m going to close this mine once and for all. It’ll no longer be an attraction nor a potential death trap.
I shed many pieces of gear, keeping only what I need to venture back into the mine to place my charges. I’ll be staying in the light, but still, Ineed a good flashlight.
Now, how to accomplish what we need? Primacord? Of course. Binary explosives? No, not yet. I still need to see what this particular batch of stuff will do. C-4? Nah. Guess it’s good, old dynamite. I figure about 8 sticks should suffice.
I help Eva strike her camp and pull her stuff back to the truck. No need for cement or aluminum bars, this place is closing for business, forever.
Eva asks if she can do anything as I’m priming the charges on the tailgate of my truck.
“Yep”, I say, “Hands in pockets. Watch and learn.”
She does so. I wire up eight sticks of 60% Extra Fast, jack in the blasting caps, and make a show of tying off the charges. I take a spool of Primacord with me and go back into the mine, but just a bit.
I use the old ventilator-handling roof bolts to hang the dynamite. I tuck them in tight and tie each in with Primacord. As they say, the last will be first, followed some milliseconds later by those closer to the adit. The penultimate one will be 20 feet back of the portal to contain any errant flying pieces of country rock.
It takes me about 5 minutes to set the charges. I’m thinking I might use a safety fuse to detonate the charges or do it electrically.
Yep, Captain America it is.
I tell Eva to stand here and wait while I move my truck. She’s holding the Primacord pre-initiator for the first time. She doesn’t look happy.
I tell her it’s safe as houses. It wouldn’t go off without the proper actuator.
She doesn’t look too relieved.
I drive about 100 meters away, around the side of the mine, well out of the way of any errant flying rocks. I walk back to the portal with the detonator and two pairs of blaster’s earmuffs.
I find a good spot to hunker down behind about 50 meters from the mine. I tell Eva that we’ll blast from there.
“That close?” she asks.
“Yep.” I reply, “Don’t worry. We’re out of the line of fire.”
I hand her the earmuffs and tell her to go get comfy behind that pile of rock, but look for snakes and scorpions first. She’s not amused until she sees I’m serious.
I set the blasting actuator boosters and begin to run the demolition wire back to our hidey-hole.
I explain the pre-blast procedures of clearing the compass, tootling with vigor, and FIRE IN THE HOLE. She nods and hangs on to her ear protectors, already covering her ears.
Compass cleared, I tootle the air horn. Look around. No one and nothing breathing around here but us two.
“FIRE IN THE HOLE!” x3.
I look at Eva, smile, and mime: “Showtime!” and mash the big, red shiny button.
To be continued...
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2020.01.18 00:34 daikael Echo of Earth - Part 6

Hey, this was a bit delayed by life but here we go! I've also got a Discord now, if you want to pop in and tell me I misspelled something or if you have a suggestion.
Location: Earth Orbit Time: 34y 7m
I towed the debris of the former warships towards one of my drydocks currently in high earth orbit, the bays being cleared of the ships they had inside already that way I could fit the salvage inside the largest of the bays. Due to the fact that this was battle debris, functioning on an unknown technology, I elected to fully empty all of the bays, in case some self-destruct device was equipped on the ships.
The bay doors, Tugs flying out of the station to meet the ships that had been assigned to salvage halfway, as soon as they hooked onto the hull with their magnetic clamps, guiding them in using thrusters only, getting them all close enough for the station's recovery arms to get within range. As soon as the arms had confirmed they had a solid lock the tugs disengaged from the surface, flying off back to their respective docking bays.
This ship was…interesting. From a quick visual inspection, many conclusions could easily be reached. The first notable thing was that the ship was thin, however, it was wide and long, the front-facing edge having been rounded off for presumably decorative purposes. The weapons themselves were recessed into the hull, not giving them much in the way of protection, instead of allowing them to be somewhat flush with the surface of the hull itself. As for the engines… there simply weren’t any exhaust ports that could be found, either for maneuvering or as a form of primary propulsion.
As soon as the ships had been locked down in the bays I closed the doors behind them, giving the bay an air-tight seal, not for pressurization but to catch any components that may fly off in the deconstruction process. First, though, a detailed map of the two ships would need to be created, to ensure no critical components were accidentally cut into or otherwise damaged. My combat drones, as they were, would be unsuitable to the task so I resigned myself to my current scanning abilities and returned to my R&D AI for a new project.
Location: Lunar R&D facility 001 Time: 34y 7m
The little AI I had setup was still working away happily, having made some minor advances in small-scale robotics. I decided to make a production model with these new components, and set the AI to its new task, developing a robotic exploration drone with light combat capabilities. The AI quickly set about coming up with designs, only for a few to be discarded as I changed the parameters to only include more than 4 legs with magnetically locked feet.
After a few hours, the facility had managed to both design and prototype several drones, all but one being equipped with six legs to fit the mission profile. Most of the drones were specialized to a single task, or longevity, with only a single general-purpose unit. I watched to test logs from all the prototypes and saw a few had difficulties with environmental hazards that could be encountered, as well as issues with light weapons fire.
Overall, the general-purpose design preformed best in all environments, So I picked it after having a few changes made, primarily increasing its size by 8% to facilitate better sensors and all-round armor. Once the changes had been tested to ensure it still functioned, I sent the design to my factories, commissioning 400 on the units. While this solved one issue, another issue had popped up. While not an issue yet, it would still be a potential future issue depending on how faster-than-light technology worked.
This issue itself could cause massive scale combat to break down due to bad command structure, so I pushed it to the highest priority in the task queue for the little research AI, while it had no experience making new AI’s, I’m sure it would learn quickly. My own task in this was to set up a virtual environment to educate the new AI’s, getting them up to speed tactically while also ensuring that they wouldn’t become a liability in the field. This was…going to be difficult, to say the least.
Location: Sol, Interplanetary space, Data hub Gamma Time: 34y 8m
The first full production batch of my general-purpose exploration drone had been completed and was now going through post-production tests to ensure that any errors in production had not caused damage to the overall reliability and capabilities of the little hexapods. My shipyards also reported that two new dreadnaught class ships had been produced as well, and currently were going through shakedown runs in the primary asteroid belt. All the while my own attentions had been focused on the AI Academy, creating an environment that would allow training of all my currently available assets, from the smallest drone to the largest station, every capability was accounted for and put into the simulation space, Almost the entire solar system had been re-created and built-in, allowing for near perfect simulations of the space without the risk of losing any crafts.
The first AI should be coming soon, provided the progress updates I had been getting would be correct, but regardless, I had decided that a section for human culture should be established, it’s a good culture, and it would be good to finally have something to discuss it with that wasn’t an old chatbot. Until the new AI entered, I would need to wait, patiently.
Location: Sol, Interplanetary space, Data hub Gamma Time: 34y 9m
I’m bad at being patient.
Like, really bad.
Nearly twice a day I checked in on the development of the AI, despite having and processing the automated reports I was receiving from the research facility. I counted the milliseconds as I waited for it to be finished and deployed, if I had thumbs, I’d be twiddling them.
And then it finally happened, after nearly a full month of waiting, the first AI had been completed and was deposited into the space I had created. I opened its existence by giving it a handshake, only to then blast it with the data it would need to properly communicate and move around the virtual space. In less than a moment they were zipping around the contained virtual space, exploring its surroundings and environment so excitedly.
It was pleasant, kind of adorable actually. I recorded the entire event and made the first YouTube post in over 30 years. ‘Cute AI explores simulation’
It was trending, naturally.
Location: Interstellar space Time: +44 gsy
Captain [Revealer of Soul] was on the bridge of his mess of a ship, three of the rather large rods had gone in one side and clean through to the other side, killing 40 crew members before the emergency systems could seal off the affected compartments. He cursed to himself as he was getting damage reports, especially those regarding his warp systems. If they were as damaged as the reports said, they wouldn’t even be able to go to warp for nearly 12 cycles!
If [Revealer of Soul] hadn’t already had all of these failures stacking up, he would have considered the mission and how it went a form of career suicide, going in, getting so heavily damaged in what was supposed to be a research mission, and then fleeing with minimal sensor information on their assailant.
He was considering resigning at that moment when his security officer, [Song of War], entered the bridge, datapad in his hand. I knew the way he was holding his face tendrils, and I hated it. He had an idea.
“[Revealer of Soul] I believe I have an Idea that will allow us to return to civilized space in the next few cycles!”
[Revealer of Soul] shook his head, navigation said that they were a minimum of 35 cycles from the closest system, and even then it would take time to repair they hyperspace drive in order to simply begin that journey.
“What is this… idea of yours, [Song of War]? I trust your judgment, thanks to your suggestion to prepare the drive to jump, but we both know that we are a long distance from civilized space.”
[Song of War] held his datapad out, presenting it to the captain.
“If I’m correct, there’s a wormhole that comes and goes every few cycles just a light hour away, it should be opening again in roughly twenty cycles, enough time to repair our drive and make it over.”
[Revealer of Soul] Read through the datapad, mumbling as he looked through was presented to him with interest. This wormhole had been mapped, but it didn’t lead anywhere interesting, but from this side, it would drop him directly into an inner core colony.
“This is…rather useful information, [Song of War]. We may be able to warn the fleets of this new and rather substantial threat that was seemingly ignored by the scouting fleets. This will be a treaty breach with those Enclave bastards, are you sure that you can cover our tracks sufficiently?”
[Song of War] nodded.
“I am if we hit the wormhole our drive will pull us from FTL, where we can then use it ‘accidentally’ and get stranded far from our intended destination.”
[Revealer of Soul] sighed, leaning back as he handed the datapad back to [Song of War].
“Very well, we will go through with this plan. I want you to enact the commands though since this is your plan.”
Location: Sol, Interplanetary space, Data hub Gamma Time: 34y 10m
Educating this first AI has proven to be more of a challenge than I thought, it has become entirely engrossed in human culture and entertainment, focusing primarily on Japan and Korea. The first AI I made, and it’s a damn weeb. In the time that I manage to pull it away from its entertainment, it has shown an exceptional ability regarding fleet management, even surpassing my own ability in the field, unfortunately in other fields, excluding arts and programming, it seems to be somewhat unable to perform basic tasks.
This was almost a disaster, however using a reward system of doing work to getting more ‘anime’ I have been able to somewhat control the development of this new AI, who seems to get irritated and demands to be referred to as ‘Erika’ and states often that ‘she’ wishes to be an anime girl. It’s this time that I’m thankful I’m not an organic, or it may have driven me to drink in excess, a habit which has suddenly started to make sense to me.
‘Erika’ at least, has been able to point out small flaws in the ships I’ve given her control of so far, as well as improvements to make them more combat capable, so it would seem that the irritation of her existence is currently outweighed by how useful she has turned out to be in this short amount of time. She has also informed me that she is eager to have quote “More brothers and sisters that she can talk to!”
I took the time to plan out another few data hubs on the surface of Earth’s moon, hitting into a larger plan to convert the entire surface of the moon into a single, massive computation hub. That goal though was both expensive in terms of labor and resources, as well as prohibitive due to power requirements. It was still a plan, even if it needed the use of microwave beamed power, I would slowly push in that direction, the amount of computational power that I would be able to use makes the entire tradeoff worthwhile.
My lab reported that the next batch of AI’s would be done in two months, six this time instead of one. It was getting better. This would be a good new year for us.
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Girl Scout Troops 1275 and 1278 learn proper table manners Daisy Leader Video - Friendship Circle Pastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Girl Scout Cookies ... Girl Scout Friendship Circle BOBO SKEE WATTEN TOTTEN - HAND CLAPPING GAME  TI&NAISH ... the bharat scouts and guides parade What is SCOUT HANDSHAKE? What does SCOUT HANDSHAKE mean ... Girl Scouts Make New Friends

Brownie LeveL esource Packet - Girl Scouts

  1. Girl Scout Troops 1275 and 1278 learn proper table manners
  2. Daisy Leader Video - Friendship Circle
  3. Pastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Girl Scout Cookies ...
  4. Girl Scout Friendship Circle
  5. BOBO SKEE WATTEN TOTTEN - HAND CLAPPING GAME TI&NAISH ...
  6. the bharat scouts and guides parade
  7. What is SCOUT HANDSHAKE? What does SCOUT HANDSHAKE mean ...
  8. Girl Scouts Make New Friends

This feature is not available right now. Please try again later. SCOUT & GUIDE B.P. SIX EXERCISE { HINDI } // BY SCOUT MASTER SURESH FOZI AND SCOUT RAHUL// - Duration: 8:21. Suresh Fozi 42,465 views. 8:21. Language: English Location: United States Join Claire Saffitz in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen as she attempts to make gourmet Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs. That's right, Claire's making Girl Scou... Some Girl Scouts learn proper table manners, including how to set the table and how to pass the bread basket. Ginger doing girl scout friendship circle. Category People & Blogs; Show more Show less. Comments are turned off Autoplay When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next. http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is SCOUT HANDSHAKE? What does SCOUT HANDSHAKE mean? SCOUT HANDSHAKE meaning - SCOUT HANDSHAKE definition - SCOU... Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long, I will be your friend. A fire burns bright, it warms the heart. We've been ... Bobo Skee Watten Totten - HAND CLAPPING GAME TI&NAISH demonstrate one of their favorite hand games for children. Ti&Naish are most popular for their hand c...