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Inspired by the recent top 10 lists, I compiled a few films I love that I consider underrated/underappreciated. Thoughts?

2023.06.01 02:19 Mortimer_Whimsiwick Inspired by the recent top 10 lists, I compiled a few films I love that I consider underrated/underappreciated. Thoughts?

Inspired by the recent top 10 lists, I compiled a few films I love that I consider underrated/underappreciated. Thoughts? submitted by Mortimer_Whimsiwick to Schaffrillas [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 00:52 brains-bowls Concept for new cannibal behavior (long post)

As of right now the ai is cool, but a bit basic. I've been thinking of ways to make it more interesting and I think I got a good idea that'll make it more interactive.

Its based on one question: What if cannibals could build fortresses to protect themselves from us?

This would completely change the majority of cannibal interactions, and change what they do and how they interact with their environment.

There would be multiple but not infinite tribes split across the map, each spawning on a cannibal camp site.

First, here is how each involved cannibal would change and what their role is within these tribes:

gold masked cannibals: These are the leaders of the tribe, commanding everyone within, but still performing tasks related to each group they order, just more efficient then other cannibals in the same group. They are always accompanied by 2-3 other regular cannibals, who will protect him from harm. Each tribe starts with one, but as groups are made new gold masks will spawn to control each group.
Red cannibals: These are exclusive to the raiding parties, with a max of 3 per tribe. I will explain their role when I get to the raiding party.
Regular cannibals: Middle members of the tribe, they gather things like logs when they learn how to cut them down, rocks when they learn how to build with them, and they will hunt deer, moose, fish, cannibals from other tribes, and if your unlucky, they will try to hunt you. They will bring their catches back to camp to either cook, or store away.
Muddies: Lowest tier, but perhaps the most important. These gather Stones, bones, Sticks, and berries. If you kill a cannibal but leave the body, they will drag it back and burn it for bones for later use. When part of a tribe they will utilize weaponry like spears and sickles, but not be as efficient with them as regular mutants.
Mutants: Only appearing when they can spawn outside of caves, they would patrol in a small circle around camp. Rarely, They will join a raid party. only fingers and the twins will behave like this.

Now for the groups, it starts with one, and as the stages progress, they would split into 3 performing different tasks.:

1: This is the first group that appears when the tribe spawns. It will perform slight tasks that relate to the other 2 until it splits. Once split, this becomes the construction group. no muddies are here, and it consists of 6-8 regular cannibals and one gold mask. They will take resources gathers and construct buildings and defenses. These stay at camp 24/7, so they also act as primary defenders.
2: This is the gathering group. Cannibals here will wear camo clothing or bush/leaf armor to hide themselves among the forest. Even the gold mask leading them will wear this armor. This group consists of 5-6 muddies, 3-4 regular cannibals, and the gold mask. Regular cannibals will cut trees down when they learn to make and use axes, or steal logs from you. Any resource gathered will be stored in holders at the camp. The gold mask can carry 2 logs, 2 rocks, 3-4 stones, and up to 6 sticks, separately ofc. These cannibals will attempt to ambush you should they come across you, but if one is killed, they will retreat, even the gold mask will leave.
3: This is the raiding party. this also functions like a scout group. At first they will not send patrols out, but stock up on weapons like spears, clubs, and sickles. They will make these weapons for the other groups to use as well. They will then leave to scout out POIs, resource locations, and your base, as well as other cannibal camps and tribes. If they find you, they may decide to grab weapons and come attempt a raid. here is where the red cannibals come in. the group will stay behind, but the red cannibals will come look at your gates. If they can easily walk up, they will construct a battering ram when preparing to raid with 2 logs and a few sticks, then attempt to bash your gates in when they arrive. If there is defenses, they will stock up on rocks, go back to camp to get them like the battering ram, and throw them past your defenses to hit the gates and defenses down. When scouting, they are non aggressive, even if there is a mutant there, and will watch you but not engage. They may hide in or behind trees to add more of a horror factor. If they come back to their camp destroyed, they will b line to the place they saw you last, or the nearest camp to them for revenge.

These tribes would also fight each other, so you may be able to see a raid group attempting to raid another tribe.
you may be able to watch massive fights outside of camps, of two raid parties attacking each other, or a raid party hunting down a gathering group.

Here is how armor and weapons could work:
The raid group would construct weapons and armor and set them on racks, and when needed cannibals who do not have anything will grab them off the rack and equip them. Cannibals will grab weapons off of dead bodies if none are in racks.
Guns cannot be used, and carbon fiber arrows cant be used either.
Every cannibal except for red cannibals and mutants can wear armor. They will wear small amounts of it and it doesn't make them immune, just take reduced damage. Only bone and leaf armor will be used.
Gold mask weapons could depend on what they order. Constructor gold masks will use boat motors because they don't leave base which balances it out. Resource gathering gold mask will use a heavy spear or a fire axe, and raiding will have the regular weapon.
Cannibals would loot wreckage like boats, helicopters and the spawn crates. These may contain grenades and molotovs or materials for them, and regular mutants can use them. (grenades will be nerfed for obvious reasons).
Tribes would have a maximum amount of cannibals in it, which could be around 30 or so, and wont stop spawning until maxed, this cap may increase as the stages increase. They will also have a cap on loot stored, but will be heavily increased as stages increase. This is because raiding them will be no easy task so they need to be worth attacking. After a cannibal is killed, after a small amount of time the type that was killed will respawn. This excludes gold masks, who will only respawn if you fail the raid, or leave.
Because there is so much that could make raiding cannibal fortresses very difficult, I propose the return of the catapult and maybe a few more siege/defense related structures, to aid you.

I've been mentioning stages, they would progress you progress, the more weapons you get, size of your base you make, and progress in general will increase these stages. Here they are and what could happen to the tribes in them:
Stage 1: First stage, acts like a normal cannibal camp, though the gold mask will always be in camp, and some muddies will gather some resources. Cannibal cap 10
Stage 2: Gathering group forms, holders are constructed by 1st group. More resources are gathered and faster. Cannibals start bringing military grade loot to camp. Loot cap 3 containers
Stage 3: Cannibals learn to craft axes. Basic defense are made(spike traps, and some defensive walls). Food stores and fires made. Cannibal cap increased by 5, max 15
Stage 4: raid group formed, though small. weapon racks and more advanced weapons made (bows and slightly stronger spears). Armor made if possible. Cannibal cap increased by 5, max 20
Stage 5: Outer wall completed or being complete, watchtowers start appearing. Alerting a cannibal in the tower will alert the entire tribe unless a group is out somewhere, in that case just whoever is in the camp and is nearby will be alerted. Raid party will now start to raid bases it has discovered. Loot cap increases from 3 containers to 12. Loot inside quality increase.
Stage 6: walls get reinforced, taking less damage from all sources. cannibals use bows more often, and cannibals are armored more. loot cap increased to 20. max cannibals increased to 25.
stage 7: final stage, walls start being replaced with stone walls, taking even less damage. more weapon racks and resource holders made. max cannibals increased to 30. max loot increased to 25 containers. loot quantity in containers increased.

I thought of some more behavior changes that could go along with it as well:
maybe at different times cannibals will sleep in their camps, like mid morning or late evening and get up right as night starts.
tribes would respond to seasons as well. In winter cannibals will be less active, all groups will wear bone armor, gathering groups no longer blend in but will still attempt to ambush, but wont run even if one is killed. They will equip torches for warmth, but leave them when fighting or hunting. They will stay in camp more often, even the raiding party will barely raid and scout. Lower activity, higher armor and equipment
during summer they could wear less armor as to not overheat, but will be much more active. they will sleep less so they will be out doing stuff more then winter. high activity, lower armor
spring and autumn would be in between, medium armor, medium activity.
Cannibals when raiding may throw molotovs and grenades if they have access to them over your walls if they can.
If a cannibal tribe is aware of one of your base, and you make another somewhere else, they wont know about the new base until they discover it.
Muddies typically would be more offensive, but can be defensive. Regular cannibals could wait and behave more defensive.
since there is a limited amount of tribes, the regular ai we have now will remain and take up the rest of the space, as to not make the game to easy. perhaps there could be nomadic tribes that remain relatively small and wander around, making and leaving primitive structures.
Now one issue that may occur, is the horror element may get hurt from this change, so maybe the camp will send cannibals to ambush and harass you out of no where, but not necessarily kill you. maybe they could do this with mutants as well.
And because this would be a massive overhaul, you would be able to turn this off, and the ai would return to how it normally is.
Ofc things will need to be balanced, the values probably will need to change as to not make it to hard/easy, and it needs to be fair.
submitted by brains-bowls to SonsOfTheForest [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 23:30 JonathanRedding Ghost Word Pt. 2

Continued from Pt. 1, which can be found at:
Pt 1:
WARNING: This story contains depictions of non-consensual sex and gun violence.
Lyle found himself on foot, the valise at his side, the night air crisp and noisy. He realized he was ravenous. No surprise there, he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in twenty-six hours. The late evening traffic was brisk around the campus, and as he passed a roving pack of students Lyle realized it was Thursday night*. Thirsty Thursdays*.
In keeping with ancient tradition, the majority of undergraduates avoided Friday morning classes at all costs, preferring to begin their weekend revels on Thursday nights. Lyle followed his feet. He imagined power emanating from the briefcase at his side, thrumming up his arm. He felt, for perhaps the first time in a life of shrinking uncertainty, boundless.
And it felt extraordinary.
Somewhere inside of him a notion was forming that he did not dare articulate. But he followed his feet. The easy ebb and flow of walk signals, the pleasantly cool night air, the passing chatter, even the occasional car-horn—which in the past had never failed to startle him, jittery as he was—seemed buoyant and agreeable. The night was his. He realized he was sloping gently downhill, as he followed his feet. He realized he knew exactly where he was going. He found himself before O’Flaherty’s Pub, with its sandwich-board blaring LADIES NIGHT 1/2 WELL DRINKS -- TRUST ME YOU CAN DANCE in electric pink loops. It felt only natural to step beneath the awning, swing wide the knotted mahogany door, and enter the din.
The ham-hock manning security—probably a redshirt lineman in his off-season—turned toward Lyle on autopilot, one hand reaching out as a question formed on his lips, lemme see some ID. Lyle made no attempt to reach for his wallet because he knew the inevitable would happen when the bouncer took in his face, which he did a half second later. A tiny beat of recognition flickered and was gone, and the bouncer turned away. No need to card the old dude. Good luck navigating the vicissitudes of adult life, you Mongoloid, Lyle thought. The jag off had a Black & Mild tucked up behind one ear, Lyle felt an insane urge to snatch it off his head and break it in half. He did not do well with the pretend authority of chunky, dead-eyed adolescents.
But I’m not here for him.
Lyle wove his way into the evening crush with the delicate, shuffling little steps he always used in crowds. By fits and starts he made his way deeper, deeper, winding toward the back bar, the one with the full-length mirror. That was her favorite. O’Flaherty’s had a Crosley jukebox, wood-paneled and coin-operated, reaching for vintage but stuffed to the gills with Bluetooth and wi-fi and digital memory and whatever else. A woman’s voice was booming out of it, an empty pop ballad gussied up by her big, operatic sound. Lyle tried to think of the singer’s name, but couldn’t. He squeezed into a narrow gap at the back bar.
Darby was flirting as she mixed a rum-and-coke for a gawky, dough-faced kid in a flat-cap and a Harrington jacket. On the few occasions he had come out on Darby missions, Lyle had stayed well back from the bar, waiting for drink service at one of the small cafe tables lining the billiard room. But tonight, he wasn’t here to watch.
Darby handed off the drink and caught sight of Lyle. He winced—he could read the surprise, even discomfort, on her face. But she was tending bar, and she was quick on her feet, and she rearranged her expression into a smile. She held up a finger—*one sec—*to which Lyle nodded, as she took flat-cap’s (father’s) Amex back to the register and opened up a tab.
Lyle enjoyed watching her walk. Enjoyed looking at her from the back, or in profile. He usually saw her face, in class, big brown doe eyes and very pale, freckled skin. A shade away from clear, he had heard her joke once, to James, as she had invited him to touch the roadmap of blue veins on her inner arm. That had enraged Lyle—the sudden, unwelcome image of James with those long creamy legs locked over his waist, his long, slow thrusts.
Because he restrained himself from ogling her in class, it was a pleasure to come to O’Flaherty’s during her shifts and watch her as she worked. Darby was not the first of what Lyle thought of as his “favorites”. Every year or two there was a fresh, irresistible young thing, for him to think about, alone, late at night. One of the unspoken perks of professordom was the constant influx of eye-candy, of short skirts and long legs and high asses and pert young tits. In his mind’s eye it was an endless profusion of imagined aureoles, of wondering about their panties—boy-briefs or frilly little whatsits or g-strings or none at all—and even if Lyle never slept with them there was an intense eroticism in holding power over these girls he could never have bedded in his own college years. In pushing that term paper over the failing line and waiting, deliciously waiting, for them to come to his office hour and plead. Only Darby’s work was reasonably competent, so even that grimy thrill was denied him.
Darby finished up with the register and came over, the pale of her neck stark against her tight black t-shirt. O’FLAHERTY’S was printed on it in green, the name stretched to accommodate her bust. Her hair frazzled at the temples; she’d been working hard.
Just a little dirty, that’s how I like you, he thought.
“Dr. L! We missed you today, thought maybe you caught the gunk. You all right?” Darby beamed her big smile at him, a gift of the gods (and of immaculate orthodontics).
“I’m fine, Darby, thanks. Just a communication mix-up. I’m sorry you all waited.”
She kept smiling, seemed to be waiting for more. He didn’t give it to her.
“Well—can I get you anything?”
Lyle hesitated, trying to think of a manly drink, something urbane and—professorial.
“Scotch-rocks. A double.”
Darby continued to stare at him, expectantly. “Any… particular poison, or-?”
Lyle glanced up, made a show of studying the bottles arrayed behind her. He knew nothing about scotch. Stupid. He settled on Johnnie Walker Black, and Darby poured his drink.
Lyle realized his heart was racing. Darby set the drink in front of him and he downed half of it in one swallow. He managed to keep his face neutral as the liquor seared his throat.
“This is a—little bit of a departure, for you, huh?” Darby indicated the scotch.
She must have known he heard her but she raised her voice anyway. The music had changed to a British pop group with a lot of electronic undertones, trying to sound haunting.
“The scotch,” she said. “Don’t you always order lemon drop martinis? When you come in?”
Busted. Two bright red circles appeared high on his cheeks.
“You know, it, it depends,” he replied. “Depends on my mood. And you—you make a hell of a lemon drop martini, here.”
Fucking idiot, he thought. They make the same Goddamn lemon drop martini as everybody else and she knows it.
Darby was smooth, though. Graceful. She rolled right past it. “I wondered why you never came over and said hi.”
“Well I don’t want to, you know, be a bother. You’re working. It’s always busy. And I’ve been coming here for years, off and on. You get used to seeing students out on the town. I try to give them their space.”
“Oh.” Her smile reappeared. “Well I’m glad you came over. Let me know if I can get you anything else?” She was already angling away.
“How was class today?” Lyle didn’t want to let her go. She glanced down the bar, she had customers waiting.
“It was great, really great,” she hurried her answer. She was giving him the brush-off. “James did great. He’s an awesome teacher. Awesome guy.”
“You know, I’d been meaning to ask you, about James…” Lyle leaned in, conspiratorially. Darby’s smile was faltering, but courtesy won out and she leaned in to hear.
“Are you fucking him?”
Darby recoiled, as though he had spit on her.
“Do you laugh at me, when you do it? When you fuck, do you laugh at the scabby, horn-dog professor?”
Darby’s breath hitched in her chest, she looked like she was about to cry. She took a step back. She looked down the bar, and then past him—toward the door.
Bouncer, he thought. She’s looking for the bouncer.
“I think you need to—” she began.
Then Lyle said the Word. The alien Word, meant to be moaned, easy as pie, really, when you thought about it, how the sounds flowed together. The Word that meant libido.
Darby froze. Her pupils flickered, Lyle saw, they constricted down to pinpricks, and then dilated as wide as they could go, swallowing the puppy-dog brown of her irises. Her face went slack. That wide, expensive smile vanished, and her mouth hung slightly open.
“Moisten your lips, Darby,” he said.
Her tongue slid out, pink and supple, and she obeyed.
Oh, my God, she OBEYED.
Lyle’s penis twitched in his pants, he realized he was painfully erect, his balls aching. He realized he had been, had been since—since I said the Word—since he had her and a cruel, savage sense of triumph shook him, he felt his pulse hammering in his veins, he felt like standing up on the bar and—
ROARING I want to ROAR at this dewy twat and all her imbecilic peers—
But instead, he took his cock firmly in his hand, through the cheap fabric of his Ross trousers, squeezed himself, and said—
“What are we going to do with you, Darby?”
Lyle fucked her in the alleyway behind O’Flaherty’s. That meant hurrying more than he liked, the dumpster provided cover but the blocks surrounding the campus were too well policed. It was all right, though. Now that he was armed with the libido-Word, the next time could be more leisurely.
He took her in. All of her. The small, surprisingly dark nipples, nothing like he’d imagined. The fine, black hairs on the nape of her neck, the peach fuzz of her freckled low back, her inner thighs. Her panties were white briefs with green stitching, they were covered with tiny frogs. He tugged them down, and nuzzled her there. He left hickeys, on her ass, her mons. Her smooth, exquisite young cunt.
Lyle took her from behind and saw the groggy confusion in her dilated eyes, the amazement*—*and through that the pleasure, the unsuspected, unwanted, violating pleasure that jolted moans out of her.
Lyle sucked her neck, bit it, hard enough to sting. She gave a tiny mewl as she came, and her spasm triggered him also. Lyle buried himself to the hilt in her, finished in her, and felt—
Like a king. Like a GOD.
They stayed there as the minutes stretched out, panting, still joined. He savored her, until his own tumescence vanished, and he slipped out. Lyle patted her derriere.
“Get dressed and get back to work, Darby,” he said. “We don’t want you to get in trouble.”
She jerked her head, drunkenly, from side to side, as though she were trying to shake water out of her ears. Lyle breathed deep, in through his nose, the fine scents of the city. Fried food nearby, probably the Thai joint catty-corner to the pub. He stood and admired, as Darby tugged her frog-panties back up those long pale legs.
“I’ll see you in class.”
Darby stared blankly at him as he took up his suitcase, turned, and strode into the night.
When Lyle opened his eyes the next morning, he was only mildly surprised to discover that he felt no guilt at all. The sun streamed in, the world was up and running, coffee was calling, and by God he felt fine.
He sat up in bed, stretched. He glanced at the alarm clock, that hateful sentinel, now toothless—10:27AM. The mattress was bare, beneath him. He’d never washed the sheets. Puddled on the floor were yesterday’s clothes. He resisted the urge to tidy them up. Later. He padded to the bathroom and went about his ablutions, brushed his teeth, took out his shaving kit. He had used the sleep-Word on himself again, last night. After.
After! He let the memories wash over him. Her smell: the tang of sweat, bar-odors, the undercurrent of peach soap. The taste of her! And then the feast, afterward. He had followed his nose to Great Elephant Thai, wolfed down a plate of kai thot, fried to a crisp and dripping oil*.* It may have been the finest meal of his life.
And he had had such dreams! Dreams of Darby, and of favorites past. Dreams of fucking and of wealth and of slights avenged and of respectful, deferential looks, dreams of voices falling silent when he entered a room, of every eye on him. A song lyric drifted into his head, something from his childhood, a favorite of his father’s one long summer, repeated ad nauseam on the fourteen-hour drive down to Savannah.
Twenty years a’crawlin’… were bottled up in Tommy… he wasn’t holding nothin’ back, he let ‘em have it all…” Lyle sang, full voice, into the morning. A stupid grin spread over his face, as he wicked away the last patch of Barbasol, the careful spot right over his Adam’s apple, and rinsed his razor. He took a long look at Mirror-Lyle, looked into his eyes. He almost always avoided a close examination of his reflection, force of habit, but today he was a new man, and he wanted to take that man’s measure.
Everyone… considered him… THE COWARD OOOF… the COUNTYYYY…”
Something else surfaced, then, in his memory, something that cranked the wattage down on his smile. He didn’t get all of it, just a glimpse, like a dorsal fin rising above the water. He had dreamed of more than power and sex. There had been something else. Lyle had a vague red recollection of tangled depths and faceless figures. His mind offered up a fleeting image of a crumbling stone structure, of keening wind and squat pillars; and of a great broken vault overhead, through which could be seen a blasted sky.
Lyle charged his phone as he brewed up a fresh pot. It had run out of juice somewhere during yesterday’s festivities, and when it finally powered up again it began to vibrate against the Formica tabletop in his dining nook. He ignored the first two pulses, but the phone insistently continued, not with the regular rhythm of an incoming call, but rather the inconsistent bursts of message notifications trickling in from the cloud. He tapped the touchscreen, and saw he had seven missed calls: one from a colleague, yesterday; and six from James, each one with a voicemail attached. The most recent of these had come just twenty minutes ago.
Lyle sipped on his coffee as he retrieved the briefcase from beneath his bed. He sat at his dinette and removed the fascicle, easily finding the rigid page. He opened it, and this time the new Word was waiting for him below the first, long entry: the entry corresponding to the letter “A” itself. This Word was angry, Ks and Zs, a hornet-word, serpent-word. Lyle looked to the white space, where the definition would arise. He pricked his forefinger with the tip of a steak knife and squeezed out two droplets of blood.
der zorn
Lyle sipped. Lyle thought. Greek, then Latin, now German. Was it moving forward in time? He wondered again about those first shapes he had seen, in the library. The more he tried to remember the more he doubted they had been in Greek. Something older, maybe. Phoenician syllabary? He would likely never know. But the Words were changing. The book was changing.
And there was this: both of the—*spells, they’re spells, let’s cut the shit—*both of the Words it had given him so far had been…
“Intuitive,” he said finally. “Useful. Like it knew.”
Lyle took down the last foil sleeve of blueberry Pop Tarts from his cupboard. Pauper’s breakfast, he thought, but not for much longer. He searched through his contacts until he found the number for the Chancellor’s office. He thumbed the little blue phone icon beside it.
Lyle had just started boxing up his things when James burst into his office, perfectly symmetrical face distorted by fury, his generous features made ugly. Ah, the righteousness of youth. James took in the dense sheaf of Staples boxes, waiting to be folded; took in the bare walls, the stacked diplomas and photographs.
“What the fuck is this?” he demanded.
“Emergency leave,” Lyle answered with a dismissive wave. “I’ve had a family crisis. I’m afraid I have to attend to it. Professor Chole will be taking over my workload for the remainder of the semester, I’m sure she’ll be in touch—"
“What did you do to Darby? What the fuck did you do?” James spoke with the husky, quaking tone of pure adrenaline. He was just barely restraining himself from lunging across the desk, Lyle realized. He took the younger man in with bemused calm. He let the moment stretch out.
“Therese called me,” James continued, the words throttling out of him. “Darby’s roommate. She came home last night, she has—bruises, all over her, little, little *bites—*she won’t speak, she just sits there and cries, but she said your name. It’s the only thing she said. What did you do to her, Lyle? Did you rape her?”
“Dr. Hereford,” Lyle replied.
James craned forward. “What?”
*“*You don’t get to call me Lyle.”
Lower, now, almost a whisper: “Tell me what you did to her.”
“I made her come,” Lyle said. “And she fucking loved it.
James did lunge then, he screamed and he leapt across the desk, coming down on Lyle in a tangle of thrashing limbs and rabbit punches, the two of them toppling Lyle’s chair, compressing awkwardly into the tight space between desk and wall. James kicked hard off of the gray metal drawers, managing to end up on top. His hands found Lyle’s throat and began to squeeze. Lyle felt himself constricting, felt the energy draining out of him, pinned, as he lost oxygen. He noticed the curds of spittle at the corners of James’s snarling mouth. He started to see spots in the periphery of his vision, and as he slapped ineffectually at James’s face he thought am I going to die here—?
Lyle dug down for the last of his strength. The Word chose me. This wasn’t the end. Couldn’t be the end. He extended his leg as far as it would go, and used the distance to drive his knee, hard, into James’s crotch. A grunting exhale was propelled out of the younger man*.* Lyle pulled back to do it again; James squeezed his thighs together to block, and when he did, he compromised his balance. He took one hand off Lyle’s throat and thrust out his arm to catch himself as be began to roll, allowing Lyle to draw in a long, ragged breath.
Then Lyle spoke the Word.
The der zorn-Word.
The word that meant anger, that meant rage, that meant WRATH.
“Son. Son, you’re bleeding, let me—let me help you, come on. Son, it’s gonna be okay, come on, now— “
The campus policeman approaches James like a dog that might be rabid, that slow hunched posture with arms wide, except for the policeman it’s only one arm because his right hand is flush up against his service weapon and his thumb snaps the little thumbsnap and it’s a very small noise but it’s so loud in James’s head and he shakes it, his head, does James, from side to side, in herks and jerks, like a dog that might be rabid, now, like there’s water in his ears and he’s trying to shake it out, is James, and the policeman is coming on and speaking in clear precise syllables that explode behind James’s temples, clusterbomb-words, and the cop is speaking but he’s hearing another voice, is James, and it’s Lyle’s voice, it’s Dr. L’s voice, not Lyle never Lyle, and Dr. L’s voice is saying snakebit you’re snakebit she fucking LOVED it and James touches his own face now and it must be true because there’s blood on his face and when he blinks his blink is heavy and liquid like he just dropped Visine in there but the thing is but only but except it’s blood and he’s bleeding from the eyes, is James, and now the policeman is right on top of him saying “son what happened can you hear me respond if you can hear me” and James hears the exploding words all right and he blinks and blood oozes from the corners of his eyes and the cop is changing now, in the blood, his face is BOILING and now it’s Darby’s face on the policeman and she opens her mouth and her head cranes back and she’s ruined inside OH FUCK SHE’S RUINED INSIDE SHOT HERSELF SHE SHOT HERSELF SHE’S SHOT and now it’s DR L IT’S DR L SCREAMING SNAKEBIT SNAKEBIT SNAKEBIT—
James rears back and head-butts the campus cop as hard as he can, the smooth acne-less center of James’s forehead connecting with the soft cartilage of the policeman’s nose. A sick crunch echoes in the lobby of the Humanities building, a young woman close enough to hear it vomits on the floor, it is the first puking incident of the day but not the last.
The cop recoils with a sick moan, in his surprise clapping his hands to his shattered nose; in that moment James bellows, an awful inarticulate animal sound of hate, and yanks the policeman’s service piece free of his holster.
The handful of rubbernecking students freeze as James shoots the policeman in the face.
The policeman’s name is (was) Lou, the students know, and he is (was) genial and well-liked. A silent second passes in the lobby, and then the screaming begins.
James dips down and pulls two spare clips out of Lou’s belt. He pockets them. When James looks up, he doesn’t see fleeing students.
He sees Dr. L.
A gaggle of Dr. L’s. A school, a clutch, a murder. He sees laughing Dr. L’s running in every direction, diving behind furniture, breaking for the street or hurtling into the stairwells. One Dr. L dives behind the reception desk. James starts after him on wooden legs.
When he reaches the desk, there is Dr. L beneath it, a cell phone in his hand, cackling. James shoots him in the stomach. Dr. L keeps right on laughing, howling with it now, whatever it is must be hilarious, a real knee-slapper, then James remembers its him, Dr. L is laughing at him so James shoots him again, shoots him so he’ll stop but there are so many more
Lyle Hereford, Ph.D., rested his browning forearms on the wrought iron railing of his third-floor balcony. He looked out over the Gulf of Mexico. The breeze was warm and gentle, suffusing, but it no longer calmed him. He took no notice of it. He was lost, as he was always now lost, in thought.
The one, lone thought.
It had taken a little less than two weeks for James’s horrific shooting spree to drop out of the news. The demands for GUN CONTROL NOW (or, conversely, for guns in every classroom) receded and were shelved for the next go-round. Politicians took to the field and unfurled their heraldry for the usual pro-forma skirmishes. Then, mercifully, a Cabinet official fucked somebody he really shouldn’t have and the national discourse (such as it was) barreled off, like a dog chasing a ball that its owner had only pretended to throw. As to why a handsome, popular, well-adjusted student should suddenly snap and murder sixteen of his fellows? The theories ranged from medically reasonable (an inoperable tumor which could not be verified via autopsy, as James’s brains had been removed by the responding tactical unit); to the paranoiac (James had been the subject of a Manchurian Candidate-style CIA/NSA/Acronym-of-your-choice experiment gone horribly wrong); to the Occult (the Devil made him do it).
Lyle had enjoyed that last one.
What Lyle had not enjoyed was that some of the conspiracy theorists, and even some of the legitimate press, had mentioned him by name. He had disappeared, after all, on an auspicious and chaotic day, to manage a crisis no one could verify involving a family no one could find. It had not been difficult to remain ahead of any enterprising investigators, though. Not with the Words.
And there had been so many more Words. Words in French and Finnish and Russian and Spanish and Mandarin. Words that meant envy and silence and fear and blindness and, perhaps the most potent yet, a Word that meant stupid. Lyle had employed that one against a statie who pulled him over as he crossed the Louisiana line, coming through Vicksburg. The guy had been six-two, maybe two-twenty, with sharp, curious eyes sunk deep in his skull. Lyle hadn’t liked the way he had looked at him, so he used the Word. Now the statie—*Edmonds was his name, Trooper Edmonds—*was six-two, two-twenty of drooling simpleton, probably staring at a wall somewhere in the nearest brain injury ward and driving the resident neurologists absolutely bugshit.
By the time Lyle made it to a quiet, lazy town on the Cajun Riviera and decided to set a spell, he had traded in his Acura for a Beemer and was carrying close to a hundred and twelve thousand dollars in cash. He had also acquired a 9mm Ruger and a shotgun with a pistol grip (the dealer had called it a snake charmer just before Lyle killed him).
None of that matters now, though.
All that mattered was the Word. Which, he had come to realize, was the last Word.
Because the book was alive, of course, had always been alive, Lyle knew that. Hadn’t let himself come right out and say it, but he knew. It had slept, maybe, possibly, until he woke it, with his touch, with his blood, but if it slept, it woke up thirsty*.* The book was always ready with the next Word, the next thing he would need. The book was collaborating with him. It was dancing with him, and at first he had thought he was the one leading, but now he knew better.
Lyle felt it. Felt it—pulling on him. All the time. Felt it in the room behind him, pulling, knew that he would go back in, sooner or later, go back in, and open the book, the book that has been leading him. Knew that he would open its hundreds of pages, because it was longer now, because it had grown, because it was three inches thick and the front plating had vanished and it wasn’t pretending to be a dictionary anymore.
He knew that he would open it and on every single page, centered, would be a single Word, the last Word, the Word that he will say, that he must say, sooner or later, and under it swirling in blood, blood that must be the book’s own, the final explication, the final command, the final meaning, and God, oh God, Lyle was afraid, because the last Word was
submitted by JonathanRedding to Horror_stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:02 Trash_Tia My friends participated in a “special screening” for a well known game which has been almost ten years in the making. I don’t recognize the people who came back

Three days ago, my housemates were alive.
And I wasn't losing my fucking mind.
Three days ago, I awoke to my housemate, Misty, shaking me.
“Get up!!”
Misty was usually the last to roll out of bed out of all of us, so I figured it was something important. My housemate wouldn’t get out of bed for nothing. She valued her sleep—often comparing her bed to a safe haven. Her place of solitude. I was right there with her, until she startled me out of slumber. I opened my eyes to find her face roughly three inches from mine, her expression lit up with excitement I couldn’t justify this early in the morning.
She smelled of toothpaste breath and her raspberry scented body wash. Her thick black curls framing her face were still damp from what I presumed was a shower, hanging in tangled knots in front of wide, almost unseeing eyes. When I first met her, Misty Kang had been my crush for a while. With a Korean father and a Texan mother, she definitely caught eyes when we hung out. We had a thing in freshman year, which quickly fizzled out once we started living together. Never date your housemates.
I will just say that.
Over the last few years, Misty has become one of my closest friends.
When she knew I was at least conscious, my housemate was grabbing my arm and yanking me out of bed. “Get up!”
I was barely awake, and those were the only words I could fully distinguish.
I shooed her away for a moment and swung my legs out of bed, taking a minute to blink sunlight out of my eyes coming through the blinds. “Sam.” Misty was in front of me again.
I don’t think she understood the concept of being half asleep.
She wouldn’t leave me alone, waving her arms wildly. Her shadow under the soft morning light almost reminded me of one of those inflatable tube guys.
“Huh?” My voice was a low croak, and her smile widened.
“Guess who’s just scored tickets for an actual screening of the first five minutes of gameplay for the most anticipated game of the decade?”
“What?” Her string of words wasn’t making sense in my caffeine deprived mind. It just sounded like gibberish to me, initially.
Like we were in some cheesy commercial, she was the lead, and I was the confused NPC with the WTF expression. But when I went over it in my head, words started to slide together like a jigsaw puzzle. Misty didn’t get excited about video games. Well, she did. Though, my housemate was one to get excited on behalf of someone else. After living with her for a while now, I had concluded she was a follower.
By that, I mean whatever others thought or did or said, she copied it. If her Twitter followers were mad at bad takes, she would drop all of her own opinions on said follower and focus on what other people said. We had Korean barbecue for takeout the other day, and Misty clearly did not like it from the creased look on her face, and her very obviously spitting it politely into a napkin.
Jay, my other housemate, liked it.
And so did I. So, naturally, Misty announced she wanted more.
I had to watch her suffer through two more portions before she excused herself—presumably to throw up. Blinking at my housemate who was clearly excited for Jay, I resisted the overwhelming urge to roll my eyes.
“Slow down. What game? What are you talking about?”
I got out of bed and threw on my robe, half aware of the mess from last night on my desk. Another attempt to finish an essay which just wasn’t happening. The monster energy cans and takeout Chinese wrappers were embarrassing. I got a basic run-through as I headed downstairs with Misty right behind me, practically breathing down my neck. From what I understood, there was a Reddit post.
That was all I got from Misty’s squealing. She leapt down the stairs after me with a spring in her step. The clock above the front door told me it wasn’t even 9am. The smell of bacon, however, was quick to arise me from the dead.
Jay was in the kitchen making breakfast. I noticed his laptop was open on the table, and every so often he’d peer at it with wide, almost disbelieving eyes. Jay and Misty were complete opposites, which made them great people to live with. Jay was a quiet book who was slightly on the pretentious side, routinely quoting something philosophical to piss me off.
He had rich parents on the other side of the world, but the guy himself was fairly humble and had mostly detached himself from said family.
My housemate was usually well put together. In fact, I barely saw him in his pajamas, excluding game nights. That morning, however, he was a disheveled mess, still in yesterday’s clothes.
He offered me a grin. I glimpsed sauce from last night’s dinner still staining his chin. Jay hadn’t brushed his hair or even put on deodorant.
I caught a whiff of BO when he ducked in front of me, his gaze glued to his MacBook. It was rare when Jay ignored basic hygiene, so yeah, I was going to guess this was a pretty huge thing. “I did tell her not to wake you up, y’know.”
His slight aussie accent was always refreshing on a morning. Born in Australia and moving to the states when he was ten years old, Jay still had a slight tinge in his accent. I had seen pictures of his family, and the guy had definitely gotten most of his dad’s genes, thick brown hair, and freckles. While his dad was built like a pro wrestler however, Jay was leaner like his mom.
I shrugged. “I was already awake.”
“Liar.” He didn’t look away from his laptop.
Looking closer, I glimpsed the Reddit homepage.
“So, you have won something.”
Jay didn’t answer. I could tell he was excited by the way he could barely keep still, bustling around the kitchen, barefoot. “Coffee?”
His voice was more of a Misty-like squeak, and I half wondered for a moment if they had switched bodies, or he had at least become one with my other housemate through a chemical explosion. In our kitchen, which was yet to be cleaned after a cooking disaster several nights ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if something was living on the countertop. I nodded, slumping into a chair. “What’s going on? Why is Misty freaking out?” I nodded at his laptop. “She said you’ve won something?”
As if my housemate couldn’t hold it in anymore, he nodded, turning his screen towards me. “You know____, right?”
“Yes.” I sipped my coffee, eyeing a toaster strudel sitting on the countertop. "You mean the game which has been coming out for a decade."
He ignored that. “Well, what if I told you one of the developer’s posted on the official sub this morning?”
“For _____?"
He nodded with a grin, and I wondered it this was one of those rare times when Jay was blindly looking through a red flag to see what he wanted. I had heard of these types of scams, and Reddit was a breeding ground for them.
Gamers were pretty intense. I didn’t realize I was pulling a face until I caught his lips curving into a smile. Jay was usually the skeptical one.
“You don’t believe me.”
I downed my coffee to avoid replying. When I had drained the cup, he was still staring at me with amused eyes.
“You think it’s bullshit.”
I shrugged. “You said it,” I said. “I’m pretty sure that game isn’t even partway through development. Didn’t Twitter leak a still last year? Also, they’ll be bringing out a new console before that game comes out.”
I leaned back in my chair. “It’s more of a pipe dream, at this point.”
“The leaks were fake,” Even he didn’t look sure. “Anyway, that’s not the point. One of the dev’s posted on the official sub this morning. He asked if we were all excited for the new game, asked if we could post some of our favorite NPC dialogue, and he’ll DM winners.”
“Uh-huh.” I nodded at the screen. I had already checked my phone for an internet meltdown concerning this post, but there was nothing. “And where is that post now?”
Jay didn’t look at me. “It was deleted. So it only reached a certain number of people.”
“Oh, it was deleted?” I couldn’t resist a smile. “What a coincidence.”
When I laughed, Jay scowled, showing me his screen—navigating his trackpad to his Reddit DM’s.
To my surprise, there was actually a message from what I guessed was a throw-away account.
While I was skim reading the DM, Misty hurried in, all dressed and ready for the day. I peeked at her outfit from Jay's laptop. Cute.
Extravagant, but cute. My housemate cranked the radio up before bouncing between us, a toaster strudel hanging out of her mouth.
Misty was a living animated character. Ignoring her wide smile, I turned back to the screen. “Congratulation!!” The DM started with capitals.
It took me reading it twice to realize there was a clear spelling mistake. I sent Jay a pointed look, but he was too busy practically vibrating with excitement. If the guy had any more caffeine, he was going to explode. “Since when did winning DM’s start with a typo?”
“I knew you were going to say that.” Jay curled his lip. “They were clearly excited when typing the message.”
“But this is supposedly an official,” I said. “Surely they would make sure it’s professional?”
My housemate didn’t reply, shooting a look at Misty, who rolled her eyes.
“Wow.” I squinted at the screen. “I am so sorry for caring about your safety. You do realize these types of scam’s usually end up with you being sold on the black market, right?”
I shuddered. “I’ve heard horror stories about underground markets specializing in illegal organ harvesting.”
“Or…” Jay’s eyes were glued to the screen. “You could be happy for me?”
I frowned at the rest of the message, which was just a capitalized freak-out about the upcoming release of the game, before inviting Jay (and a friend!) to a five-minute preview of gameplay, as well as a Q&A. There was a location and a time, which was brow-raising. “10 at night.” I said. “Who hosts a gaming convention at 10pm?” I leaned my chin on my fist. “Unless they wanted to lure as many gullible people as possible, and ship them to some organ harvesting factory on the other side of the world.”
Jay scoffed. “That’s dark.”
“You’re actually considering going to a 10pm gaming convention in the middle of nowhere. I’m trying to wake you up.”
Jay nudged me that time. “It’s real. Relax.”
“And.” I pointed to the screen. “No phones? Why would they ask you not to bring your phones?”
“To stop us filming content,” Misty sang. “Duh.”
I groaned, leaning back in my chair. “You’re on his side? This is clearly shady!” I didn’t get mad unless something was seriously pissing me off, and this was one of those times. Jay was a smart guy. There was no way he was falling for this bullshit. I thought he was joking around when he spent the day tracking the location on Google Maps. I went to class like normal and got updates through text. At lunch, Jay agreed with me and said it was in fact shady, and he wasn’t going. By afternoon classes, he was texting me in paragraphs explaining his own skepticism but had found several “friends” on an online forum who were also going and had changed his mind once again. The guy couldn’t make up his mind. He was driving me crazy.
Misty sent me several videos of Jay pacing the kitchen with his MacBook in his hands. She was broadcasting his mental breakdown via Instagram stories. But then she started to send me pictures of herself in different outfits, asking me for my opinion on each one. At that point, I turned my phone off. My housemates had lost their fucking minds. I did my own research though, just to make sure I wasn’t actually going to lose them to a shady cult.
I searched for the game itself, but just as I thought, it was shown as still in development. Every “update” was just fan speculation.
There were YouTube videos and TikTok’s of fake leaks, but nothing was real. It was either AI generated, or badly edited. By the time my classes had ended and I had turned my phone on, I had a barrage of missed calls and texts.
Most of them were from Misty with her outfit changes, and Jay changing his mind again.
This time he was convinced it was all a scam, his texts full of typos and crying emoji's which he never used. Before it hit me that Misty was most likely using his phone to text me.
I was right. When I walked through the door, I was greeted by both of them sitting on the stairs. Misty was scrolling through Jay’s phone, while the boy had his head in his hands. According to Misty’s last text, he was back to being excited to go.
From the look on his face, eyes shadowed with sleep circles, light brown curls slipping from under his hood, I wasn’t sure what Misty meant by “excited”. The guy looked the complete opposite. His mind had been consumed by the game, and the idea of seeing new content.
When I dropped my bag and folded my arms, fixing the two of them with my best disapproving parent look, Misty jumped to her feet. “Sam!” she waved Jay’s phone at me. “Did you get my texts? We’re actually going now!”
The 100+ texts on both messenger and iMessage said otherwise.
I nodded, my gaze on Jay. “Both of you do realize it’s a scam, right?” I softened my tone despite growing progressively more irritated. We were grown adults, not kids. I could understand a group of teenagers falling for it, but two twenty-three-year-olds?
This time, I ducked in front of Jay. “Hey.” I pulled down his hood, and he groaned, burying his head in his knees. “I don’t want to freak you out, so listen to me, okay?”
I exhaled out a breath. “I’m not saying something bad is going to happen to you, because it most likely won’t—and yes, I admit I’m being paranoid.” When he lifted his head, blinking through bedraggled curls, there was a faint smile on his lips. “But.” I said. “You are most likely going to end up disappointed. Which I don’t want, because you won't shut up about it for weeks."
I was only partly joking.
For a moment, I thought my housemate was going to wake up, and nod, laughing at how crazy it was.
Before shook his head and jumped up.
“I’m going to take a shower, alright? I should start getting ready."
I admit, I exploded at him.
We argued while he was in the shower, and I paced up and down the hallway, coming up with multiple reasons why he was definitely going to die, and only two positives if it was in fact real. In the end, I gave up worrying all together. I didn’t say anything when the two of them were hurrying around looking for shoes and missing car keys. I didn’t realize they were gone until the door was clanging shut, and a text was coming through. I didn’t look at it until an hour later, and I had calmed down.
Jay: 1h ago: Stop worrying, lmao. We’re good! I’ll keep my phone just in case. I’ll make sure to avoid the organ harvesting 😉
Another from Misty a few minutes later: “Love you! Chillll, kay? 😭😭 It’s going to be fun! I’ll take pics!”

Followed by: “Oh shit, we can’t. I’ll try to sneak some!"
Attached to the text was a photo of the two of them. Misty with a wide smile and a peace sign, and Jay who looked like he was mid-shout, his eyes on the road.
Those texts were… at least comforting, I guessed. Maybe they were right. I figured I was paranoid, and they in fact would really be okay.
But that didn’t stop the anxious coil in my gut when I tried to force down takeout pizza. I attempted to focus on my essay to distract myself, but I couldn’t stop glancing at my phone, and checking Twitter. There was a hashtag on the DM, which was just “PlayStationGO.” When I searched for it, however, nothing came up.
Sure, it was a private convention and only a select few knew about it, but nothing could escape Twitter.
Somewhere, someone must be talking about it. After scrolling through endless tweets though, I realized I was wrong. There was nothing.
That put a bad taste in my mouth.
10pm came, and I held my breath all the way through a Netflix TV show I was forcing myself to watch, half asleep, slumped at my desk.
I could barely distinguish the plot.
I just had a vague idea of the character names, and some of their motivations.
Midnight passed, and I was struggling to stay awake.
I glanced at my phone.
No messages, just a notification from Spotify reminding me my favorite band was playing nearby.
Still nothing. I fell back to sleep.
This time, I stayed awake for a few minutes glaring at my phone before my eyes grew heavy.
3:16: am.
My phone buzzed with a text from Jay, but I could barely desipher it: "can't feel help my head hurts Canshdhsn727272_6798mi/!! _&go home please. (Sent from: PlayStationGo™️ BETA)."
3:27: am.
3:54: am. I was wide awake, blinking at a notification which had popped up from an unknown number. I was trying to figure out what number it was, when my phone vibrated again and I almost jumped out of my skin.
After a moment of hesitation, I answered it.
I was trying so hard not to think of the possibility of it being the emergency room, or even worse, the cops.
All of my worst nightmares had come true in a single second.
“Hello?” I whispered in a croak.
“Are they in the house with you?” The stranger’s voice came through in a hiss of interference.
His words sent my mediocre dinner lurching back up my throat. “What?” I managed to get out. “Who?”
“Your friends.” He said, and I leapt to unsteady feet, my gut twisting and turning.
“No.” I found myself taking slow strides toward the window, brushing back the curtain and peering out into the night. “Why? Did something happen to them?” I paused.
“How did you get my number?”
“That does not matter.” His voice rattled in my ear as I rushed downstairs, almost stumbling down the bottom two. “I need you to get out of that house. Now. Get as far away as possible.”
I could hear his rapid breaths.
He was driving. I could hear the rumble of the engine. With my phone pressed to my ear, I obeyed his instructions, pulling open the door and stepping out into the cool night, a brisk breeze grazing my bare arms was just enough to stop my thoughts spiraling.
I was barefoot, in nothing but a robe, staggering down the driveway. The night was calm and silent; our neighborhood was asleep, each window drowned in darkness. I couldn’t breathe, my clammy fingers wrapped around my phone, as this stranger broke down over the phone. “Whatever you do,” he gasped out.
“Do not, I repeat DO NOT remove the PlayStationGo—shit!! He hissed out, static rattling the call. The guy seemingly got ahold of himself, and the wheel, and continued. I started to walk—where I was going, I had no idea.
The stranger lit a cigarette. I heard the click of a lighter and his exhalation of breath. “It was a BETA version, but we had to rush it. This was not my idea. My boss is a greedy man. He wanted to release the game last year, which would have meant widespread infection. Luckily, that did not happen. We did manage to delay it, but only by a year.” His words barely made sense to me as I struggled to get a word in, peering in the dark. “It was supposed to be a virtual experience of the game—a whole new angle of gameplay. But testing was difficult. First, on monkey’s, we lost multiple subjects. Tonight was supposed to be a…well, I guess you could call it out first attempt on human subjects,” his laugh was bitter. “I knew the tech wasn’t finished. And I tried. Believe me, I fucking tried. I tried to blow the whistle, but these bastards know where my parents live."
Something squirmed its way down my spine.
“So my friends were lab rats?” I said stiffly. “You used them?”
I fucking knew it.
I knew it was too good to be true.
“Yes and no. Listen to me, the people I work for are hunting them down. Trust me, I don’t want my bosses to find them because a life of experimentation will await them. Torture. Do you hear me? It does not matter if subjects fail. They don’t care. As long as there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel for them, they will see it as a win, and bring the publication date closer. They will not be treated as humans. Your friends signed a contract before trying out the tech, where the small print stated that, under section 3, player engagement, all subjects must agree to offer themselves as participants in later updates. I silently cursed Jay for always skipping the terms and conditions when buying games." The man stopped to breathe.
“I have told you multiple times, and I won’t say it again. Get as far away from that house as possible. I will take care of them. I will make sure of it." The sound of squealing engines, and I stopped power walking, coming to an abrupt stop. The silence of the night around me, compared to the sound of the highway he was on, traffic horns and the wind rushing through the window was an eerie contrast, a disturbance to the heavenly bubble we were trapped in.
“What do you mean ‘take care of them?” I had to swallow a yell. “Hey! What are you talking about?
“I’m sorry.” Was all he replied with. “I’m afraid it is too late. There was once an opportunity to save the mind during the initial level of the demonstration. However, once the PlaystationGo has been fully attached to the base of the subject, we no longer have control of it. Once integrating itself into the cerebral cortex, the PlayStationGo can only be removed by signing out of the player’s account,” his breath was heavy. “On this unfortunate occasion, however, your friends are unable to navigate the system due to a malfunction which scrambled their brains,” He trailed off. “Which has left them stranded in the game."
I let out a breath. “Right.” I said. “That’s.. bad. I mean, it’s a fucked-up piece of technology, but they’re just playing a game, right?”
There was a pause, before the man laughed.
“Young man, I don’t think you understand,” he said. “The PlayStationGo was created to give the player a full virtual experience of our game. The PlayStationGo is not a physical object. Created with nanotechnology, it attaches itself to the subject’s brain and is supposed to create a personal gaming experience for each player. As I said, however, it is not finished. It is yet to be released to the public, and of course, we are expecting certain ethical arguments due to the controversial—”
I pulled the phone away from my ear, shaking my head. I didn’t need to hear his attempts at trying to save his own skin.
“You need to help them,” I whispered. “Do you hear me? Can you do that? Can you help them?!”
“That is what I am trying to tell you,” He said.
“I know you are upset and confused, and believe me, I offer my apologies. But you need to listen to facts. During initial testing, our subjects were conscious enough to know where their home was. We are unsure why this happens, though we have linked it to territory, as well as the main character of the game heavily influencing their actions. I have been tracking them from the testing facility, and they are incredibly close. Please get as far away from there as possible. If you are no longer in the vicinity of the house, I can end this quickly and quietly before we gain attention.”
I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. Maybe start fucking screaming at him, because he was talking about getting “rid” of my friends, after their mistake.
“Do you understand me?” He said, when I couldn’t reply. “Your friends are lost causes!”
Before I could answer, though, headlights were suddenly coming around the corner, and I found myself paralysed to the spot. The car which swerved twice, crashed into several trash cans, before reversing and coming straight towards me, was not Jay’s car. Jay’s car was an old hunk of junk he’d gotten from a scrapyard. Jay’s car had doors which were practically hanging off, and a stereo which exclusively played either static gibberish, or old tapes I had no idea how to use. This car was bright yellow, and definitely had an option to drive itself. When the car came to a stop, inches from careening into me, I lost all control of myself.
I was vaguely aware of my phone slipping from my fingers and hitting the sidewalk. But I was too busy staring at the two shadows in the front of the car. The driver, and the passenger.
And the muffled screaming coming from the trunk.
When the door swung open, a figure stepping out, I did not recognise my housemate.
The stranger told me I wouldn't, but I didn't believe him.
Jay had left the house in casual jeans and a sweater, bearing the game's logo.
Now, I found myself face to face with a man with my housemate's face and features, his smile and eyes-- but something had been severed in his eyes and twisted in his expression. For one, Jay was wearing a suit I knew he couldn't afford, the sleeves torn, collar pulled open, smears of red staining the front.
His pants had cufflinks, and the Rolex on his wrist had definitely been pulled off someone's corpse.
The silver was stained a revealing scarlet. Drinking in his face, he looked like Jay. His curls hung in front of his eyes, freckles speckling his cheeks, but everything else wasn't. It wasn't until I was glimpsing what was moulded into the flesh of his hand, did I remember how to move. But then I was taking all of him in, everything my mind had intentionally skipped, because I didn't want to believe the stranger on the phone. Nanotechnology, the man had said in a hiss.
Fiction, I had thought.
Before I saw the reality of it, a writhing metallic like substance glued to the guy's temple, and slowly, very slowly, inching down his cheek, already forming around the bridge of his ear, a very faint blue light flickering.
Something must have alerted him. His cavernous eyes left mine, and he twisted his head—and I heard the sound of his neck snapping, his head lolling to the left slightly, his eyes flickering. I watched his whole body seem to sway back and forth, ready to fall forwards.
Before the newly formed device on his ear turned red, then green.
It was almost like he was… rebooting. As if coming back to life, Jay lifted his head at an awkward angle, before looking straight through me. The blood vessels in his eyes had popped, rivulets of red beading down his face. He should have been dead, I thought. No. No, he was dead. That… that thing was keeping him alive. “Well, shiiiittt,” he said. I could sense the game dialogue which had taken over him, forming on his mangled tongue.
“I’m a man on a mission.”
In jerking movements, he turned and marched back towards the car, opening the door, and sliding into the front seat.
I remembered how to move, ducking to grab my phone, before something slammed into the back of my head—and I saw stars.
I didn’t remember hitting the floor, only the soft sound of her voice, a seductive murmur repeating NPC dialogue, and her kitten heel sticking into my spine, forcing me onto my face.
Misty. I was expecting her to get it over with. But when she dragged me to my feet, sticking the barrel of a gun into the flesh of my neck—I figured she was still playing the game.
Twisting around to meet her eyes, lifeless and empty, only filled with light from the device which had taken over half of her face, I felt sick to my stomach. This thing wasn’t a games console or a virtual reality headset.
It was an attempt at coercing and programming something you already don’t understand, to do something impossible.
I could see that in the way the things had visibly chewed and eaten through her flesh, devouring her from the inside and out. I could see what was left of the dress she had worn earlier, but something must have gone wrong with her too. Because Misty had thrown on another outfit over the top, a diamond necklace hanging from her neck.
I caught a thin river of red pooling down her right temple, trying to ignore the twitchy way she moved, just like a character. From the way Misty walked, stumbling, I already knew she was gone. My housemate had newly acquired strength, throwing me in the trunk of the car where three other hostages were, and slamming it shut on my attempts to reason with her. She didn’t tie me up or restrain me.
In the dim light I could just make out though passing streetlights, I could see the trunk opened from the inside. Which was too easy.
Still though, Jay was driving recklessly, and every time I tried to throw the damn thing open, I was knocked backwards, rolling into a screaming girl, who was bound by her hands and feet. It took me multiple attempts before I had the trunk open, freezing cold air blasting me in the face. I untied the other hostages, but when I told them to come with me, they just stared blankly at me, and continued begging for their lives—and it only took me glimpsing what was attached to their temples, a familiar writhing metal plate, for me to understand. They too were playing the game. This time, as NPC hostages.
I found myself gingerly touching the trembling metallic flesh of the girl's fingers bound in rope. It had a slimy consistency, and I swore, I felt something bite into me.
No way, I thought.
This thing was sentient, yes. But it wasn't living.
Listen, I wish I could tell you what it was like to jump out of a moving car, but I can’t.
I remember it as lunging out of the trunk, hitting the freezing cold air, before hitting the ground head first, neutron star collisions exploding in the backs of my eyes.
What I do remember is waking up on the side of the road. Hours later. The sky was bright blue, a scorching sun blinding me when I managed to force my eyes open.
The early morning rush hour flew by as normal, and I wondered how ignorant American people had to be to ignore someone knocked out on the side of the road.
It’s not like I was nowhere near civilization. There was a fucking Subway right next to me.
When I had gathered myself, I remembered I had no phone. I couldn’t go home in fear of running into my rogue housemates playing their own fucked up version of _____ in their head. My plan was to try and find my phone, get in contact with the stranger who blew the whistle on my friends being dangerous, and find them. They couldn’t be far., right? And even if they weren’t themselves… someone would be able to save them.
If someone could do this to them, surely they could reverse it.
I felt sick, tired, and I was starving.
So, with some loose cash I’d found in my pocket, I bought a Subway and a Coke.
The woman at the counter smiled widely at me. She leaned forward, with a wink. “Nice cosplay!”
I didn’t understand what she meant until I swore I felt something… move its way up my pant leg. I ignored it, and it happened again, this time it felt like something was… biting.
A bug, maybe? I had been laying on the side of the road for around six hours.
When I went to the bathroom, though, I found myself staring at an all too familiar glint of silver creeping its way across my temple. Like it was sentient, parts of it sider webbed towards my ear while the rest writhed into my hairline.
I pulled up my pant leg again, and there it was, a fungus-like metal substance which had already formed in two solid metal masses on my knees. I remember grazing two fingers across the thing beginning its slow feast of my flesh. I remember trying to pull it off, hissing in pain when I risked ripping off my own skin with it. I remember shaking my head and being in denial, even when the lights dimmed above me, and the bathroom door in front of me became more of a shadow. When I strode back through the Subway store, I began to see slight flickers of light above each person, highlighting something not quite there yet.
I could see it already starting, beginning to take over my thoughts. Cars which sped past were suddenly highlighted, and at the corner of my eye, if I concentrated, the outline of a map was starting to appear. Even now, when the room is almost completely taken over by shadow, and my thoughts are half my own, and half not—when a metallic device is beginning to form over my eyes—I know if I hold on, this thing won’t take me. I have considered killing myself, but that wouldn’t… be right.
How could I kill myself when there is so much left to do?
This developer was right. I don’t even know where I can sign out. There’s what looks like the beginning of some kind of index when I look up, but it’s not… finished. I can still see entangled pieces of code struggling to load what I’m guessing was log out. Whatever this thing is, it’s taking over me. Fast. Like a fungus, like a virus, it will not stop until it’s dragged me into the game, until it's leeched itself onto me.
I can feel it happening right now. It's been slow.
Almost painfully slow.
But maybe that is the point. Maybe part of the game is to feel my own thoughts beginning to unravel in favor of something else entirely.
Time is going by…. Fast.
Five minutes ago… I was trying to get home. But I can’t remember where I live.
I can’t concentrate.
I can’t think straight.
I have a phone—but I don’t know how I got it. Did I steal it?
Every time I move, the slowly emerging map comes to life at the corner of my eye jerks with my movement. There is a car parked nearby.
I know it belongs to the man with a child.
But a confusing blur of light is highlighting it to be something of importance. Reality is crashing in front of me, replaced with contorting shapes and bursts of color I have to blink through.
I keep hearing... sirens.
Jay is messaging me.
On what, I'm not sure.
But I need to find him.
I’m sure one mission won’t hurt, right?
submitted by Trash_Tia to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 20:24 maciejita This Business of Art's tracks review for no reason

Hey y'all (being it the official greeting of the fanbase from yesterday),
I was counting the number of reviews in this "for no reason" series. They were 10, bringing us so effing close to its conclusion, being today's our last but one (and I'm sure you're okay with it lol).
It's time for This business of art's tracks review for no reason.
TBOA is for a big part a reproduction of UFLO, with the idea of taking the "closet recorded" pieces of the very first album of the duo and making them ready for international distribution.
As you will see, to me, it managed in the mission, and I tried to review its tracks pretending UFLO didn't exist, to be as fair as possible (okay, apart from More for me and Superstar, but it's impossible not to compare these two to their UFLO's version).
Let's give a look at, the now starting to become really long, provisional standings, to then deep dive in the second studio album of our favorite band. Enjoy!

Love you to death: 6/10
Heartthrob: 6.25/10
The Con X: 6.5/10
Under feet like ours: 6.75/10
Crybaby: 6.75/10
Still Jealous: 7/10
Hey, I'm Just Like You: 7.5/10
So Jealous: 7.5/10
Sainthood: 8/10
The Con: 8.25/10

The first
What a way to call an opening track, isn't it?
It's the first of the so hated tboa's "raps" by Tegan.
Rythms work pretty well overall, to be honest, the song switches from dynamic to calm in several parts, bit there's an overall sense of Tegan trying to stretch her extension more than she was able to at the time. I really loved the lyrics, though, confirming it's not just "silly love songs", from the duo.
The production is okayish, even if I don't completely understand the electronic inserts, but they were kids at the time, so who cares, even because the organic parts are raw as we love them and on spot.
I choose to celebrate "The First"! 7-

Acoustic guitar and a fast link to organic drums is what welcomes us to Sara's first song of the record. It's a rock song. The song is good, and I'm madly in love with its bridge! "nonononono". take a second look, you may find that you were stronger! 7

Banger alert. I love this track since the day I figured out its story: the twins just graduated high school and Sonia promised them a car if they decided to go to college. They didn't, so they got a small pool for the garden. "Better than be kicked out of the house" Tegan will say, and that pool is the inspiration for this song. I appreciate so much her ability to bring depth to such a swallow water body.
Musically speaking, the song is perfectly in line with the rest of the record and there's even some excellence reached, as "Ah Ah Ah, yeah, is it alright if I" or "little baby this is just me" or even "Call my name and I'll be there". Wonderful, given tee's age at the time.
Overall one of my favorite Tegan and Sara's songs ever. Is it an unpopular opinion? I don't know, but if you to tell me your take, I'll be there as always, feet submerged and probably frozen. 9-.

Another great piece! "My life is hype, my love is hype" is one of my faves lines in Sara's discography, and it's impossible not to appreciate the theme of the verses' beginning (one time in your life..).
This song is a perfect example on how good the twins are to bring tons of personality to tracks whose rhythmics and productions are pretty similar, and it's amazing for such young patooties. Every single listening of the songs remind me why I'm so in love with this duo. 7.5

My number
Super banger alert.
The intro of this song is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I've always found My number a singularity in their discography due to being, to my knowledge, the only song where Tegan and Sara sings different parts of the song each.
Technically speaking, it's a banger. Melody is distinguishable and pleasant, lyrics are great, being brilliant and random at the same time ("I'm gonna win be the endless war over who killed the last koala bear and who in death will love him more" - WOW. we're talking "our trees"/"living room"level shit here.)

All you got
A Sunshiny production (new trademark!) and a dynamic Sara makes this track an explosion of classy energy. I like this track, a lot. the lyrics are super cute ("the kind of girl who laughs and says - get up off your knees-") .
How can I describe it, in general? I have it: Upfront, upshot, upstart, up in every case! 8.

One of my favorite things about young TnS is how they freely played with the structure of their songs, and Freedom is a perfect example! How would you define it? V1-Pc-C-Pc-C-Pc, maybe? MADNESS! Not something you see everyday.
Song itself is dynamic, Tegan sounds angry, the production is on par if not above par with the rest of the album and the enjambements work well!
I liked TBOA, can you see it? 7.5

Not with you
"Around this world, will I be enough?"
Definitely yes! Sara brings another super cool piece. There's some parts of it that are close to unforgettable ("From the liquor stores to the train stop floors, your filthy room, your drama blues") and in general the chorus ended up to be particularly brilliant. "Dressing bad is like loving you". What a genius she is. 8-.

More for me.
1/3 passion, 2/3 pride.
how could a song with these premises fail to deliver a great outcome?
There's so many things of this track I love, and it's gonna be hard list all of them.
Let's go straight to the point. The legendary passage "got a picture of the way I looked when I was three, I came out laughing, screaming, dancing" is almost perfect when coming to the energy it gives to the listener, the rhythmics, the sound.. literally all-rounder. And somehow the UFLO version is even better.
Wanna speak about how heavenly the part "If I could have one wish, I sure wish that I had never grown up" flows?
God bless me.
Maybe I should stop writing reviews and get a real job, though. 7.5.

Come on
Come on is under par when compared to the rest of album. it doesn't mean it's a bad track, cause it's not, but it's like every single song in this record brought us something to remember, that touched our hearts, our ears or both, and "Come on" just doesn't. But it's okay, anyway. Production is on par with the rest of the album, and I won't complain about any lyrical choice. it's just.. it. 6.

If I recall correctly, UFLO's Superstar is one of my lowest rated songs in this entire series. I think I said that TBOA'S version improved some of its flaws, and it definitely does, bringing it so fucking close to be an all around decent song, and impersonates the evidence on how important the production is in order to have a track succeed or not. Should I be harsh? Nope, just a little, and just to stress how much I liked all the other tracks of this record.
"I am my angel, 'til death I do, I saw my first angel and it was you". 6-.

This business of art (album, averaged): 7.5
Tboa, like the best of the carpenters, fixes all the issues of UFLO, and represents, to me, a really good album. It's young, raw, unpolished (in a good way), mad at times.
Sometimes I ask myself what I prefer the most among it and If it was you. And I think we'll figure it out next time!
What about you, guys? did This business of art tickle your pickle?
Let me know your takes in the comments.
Loveya as always!
submitted by maciejita to teganandsara [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:47 StrivingJarl Metallix Uprising - Chapter 2

Metallix Uprising - Chapter 2
AO3 Link
Chapter 2: Here At Last…

\11 AS. Earth. Neverlake.\**
On Earth, the beautiful sights of green fields, clear lakes, forests, and tall mountains under a clear, sunny sky are visible. For a moment, it looks like no one is in sight. But then, a blue streak goes by, speeding across the land. It’s a fast blue hedgehog with red sneakers, white gloves, and a smirk on his face. Sonic.
After learning about Little Planet’s return, the blue blur decided to head straight to Neverlake, eager to enjoy it’s mystical sights, and go on another adventure. As he makes his way to his destination, Sonic manages to go across the terrain with very little issue, but occasionally makes a slip-up. Luckily, he recovers quickly whenever it happens.
In only a couple of minutes, Sonic arrives at Neverlake. Though, as he lets out a sneeze, the blue hedgehog sees something he wasn’t expecting to come across. Little Planet covered in a metal shell, chained to a nearby mountain. Immediately, he questions what’s going on here.
Sonic: “What the…? Is THIS supposed to be Little Planet?”
Sonic: “Either the images shown in the news report weren’t accurate, or something bad is going on here.”
Sonic: “And I think it’s probably the latter…”
Looking over at the mountain Little Planet is chained to, Sonic sees the face of his arch-nemesis, Robotnik, carved into it.
Sonic: “Eggman…he just can’t resist ruining something good with his ugly mug.”
Sonic: “But I’ve stopped him before! I can do it again, no problem!”
Now knowing he’s in for another scuffle with Robotnik, Sonic speeds his way up a nearby mountain, and then launches himself into the air in order to reach the giant chain leading to Little Planet. Once on there, the blue blur decides to increase his speed in order to get to the small planetoid faster.
However, when Sonic gets close to the mechanical shell, strange sparkles and a green energy surround him, which causes him to lose focus on running.
Sonic: “Huh…!? What is this!?”
Suddenly, Sonic gets blinded by a flash of light, causing him to shield his eyes and slow down. But after a few seconds, the bright light fades, and the blue blur finds himself in a subtropical region, with sharp mountains, scattered waterfalls, green fields with orange soil, palm trees with pink berries, and a clear sunny sky. Immediately, the hedgehog voices his confusion as he looks around.
Sonic: “O…kay? I guess I’m on the planet now?”
Sonic: “But how did I get past the metal shell? And shouldn’t the sky of this place be covered by it?”
Before Sonic can question what’s going on any further, he takes notice of a couple of Badniks going around the area. This gets the hedgehog to cut it out, and he puts on a smirk.
Sonic: “Right. Not important at the moment. Gotta get back on track!”
Immediately, Sonic speeds up to the Badniks and starts smashing them to pieces without much issue. From their remains, colorful flowers pop out, which the hedgehog takes note of.
Sonic: “Flowers, huh? Guess Egghead decided to change his power source for his machines.”
Sonic: “Though, I’m still not a fan of it.”
After saying that, Sonic continues to make his way across Palmtree Panic, destroying any machines he comes across, and swiftly navigating the terrain. Though, the blue blur wasn’t expecting so many Badniks to be here, considering how not much time has passed since his last encounter with Robotnik, meaning he shouldn’t have enough resources for all of this.
But the hedgehog doesn’t think too much about that thought. Right now, what matters is figuring out how to stop the doctor’s plan, and save Little Planet. So, he looks around for any signs of life. However, aside from a few scared animals, who don’t speak, Sonic hasn’t found many people here.
Eventually, Sonic decides to stop for a moment, and think about what could be going on.
Sonic: “Okay…judging by what those little critters were trying to tell me, Robotnik came by not too long ago and started invading the different regions of this planet.”
Sonic: “But what exactly is he trying to achieve here? So far, this place doesn’t seem too special.”
Sonic: “Maybe it’s some sort of hidden treasure?”
As Sonic ponders on what Robotnik’s plan is, his train of thought is interrupted by what sounds like someone shouting. Curious, the blue blur turns to where he heard the shouting, and sees something interesting. A bunch of Badniks are chasing a pink female hedgehog with spiked bangs, a red ribbon headband, and what looks like some kind of school attire.
She’s scared, but is able to run away from the Badniks at a moderate speed. Though, she’s not fast enough to ditch them, and clearly a little exhausted. Observing the scene, Sonic chooses to go in and save her without a second thought. Once the machines are taken care of, the blue hedgehog looks back at the surprised pink hedgehog, and walks up to her.
Sonic: “Hey. Are you alright?”
For a moment, the pink hedgehog just stares at Sonic, seemingly dumbstruck. This makes the blue blur a little uneasy, as he tries to snap her out of her trance.
Sonic: “Uhh…hello? Anyone in-!?”
Unable to finish his sentence, Sonic gets a big hug from the pink hedgehog, catching him off-guard. As she has her arms around him, the pink hedgehog finally speaks in an excited tone.
???: “You’re the one! My knight in shining armor!”
Sonic: “Uhh…? Okay? Can you let go please?”
???: “Oh! Sorry! Thank you for saving me!”
The pink hedgehog breaks from the hug, having a smile on her blushing face. Sonic meanwhile just looks a little confused, but is happy to see she’s alright.
Sonic: “It’s no problem! Not like I could just let those scrap-piles mess with you!”
???: “Ehehe! You definitely took care of them quickly! It was amazing!”
Sonic: “Thanks! I’ve dealt with bots like these before, so I’m pretty experienced!”
Sonic: “I’m Sonic. And you are?”
???: “Amy Rose! It’s so nice to meet you!”
Amy takes hold of Sonic’s hands with a big grin on her face, with the latter letting off a slightly awkward, but well-meaning smile. But after a moment, the blue hedgehog moves his hands away and asks the pink hedgehog about why she’s here.
Sonic: “So, do you live here on Little Planet? I’d like to know what exactly is going on here.”
Amy: “Oh! No, I just arrived here a little while ago!”
Sonic: “...How?”
Amy: “I have my ways! I’ll go to any lengths to get what I want!”
Sonic: “Well then…you sure are determined.”
Sonic: “Also, why did you call me your ‘knight in shining armor?’”
Amy: “Well, I decided to read my fortune with tarot cards!”
Reaching behind her, Amy reveals a few tarot cards.
Amy: “It said that I was destined to meet my knight here! And these cards never lie!”
Sonic: “Huh…I didn’t think some fancy paper could tell the future.”
Amy: “Don’t underestimate them! As long as you know how to interpret these cards, you can get yourself some useful insight!”
Amy: “But anyways, since you rescued me, that means you’re the one I was destined to meet!”
Sonic: “Uh-huh…”
Sonic is not too amused by this train of logic, especially since he’s not the romantic type. However, Amy once again grabs onto his hands, and goes on.
Amy: “Now that I’ve met you, Sonic, I am NOT letting you out of my sight!”
Amy: “Once we save Little Planet, we can go on our first date!”
Sonic: “Yeaaahhh, I think I’m gonna have to stop you there, Amy.”
Moving his hands away from Amy’s, Sonic continues.
Sonic: “I’m flattered by what you’re saying, and you seem really nice, but I’m not interested in dating.”
Sonic: “Plus, I gotta go stop a mad scientist with a mustache, and you need to head home so that you don’t get hurt. Sorry.”
Hearing Sonic’s words, Amy is both surprised and sad at her “knight’s” denial of her feelings. But just as the blue blur’s about to head off, Ms. Rose runs up and blocks him, determined to convince him to change his mind.
Amy: “Hold on! We just met, and you’re already running off?”
Sonic: “Like I said, I gotta save Little Planet from whatever Robotnik’s planning! And no offense, but I don’t have the time to babysit you!”
Amy: “Hey! I’m not completely useless! I can help out!”
Amy: “Besides, we were destined to meet-”
Sonic: “Yes, and we did! Just head home for now, and we’ll meet up again some other day!”
Sonic: “It’s too dangerous here, and I don’t want you getting hurt!”
Amy: “I’m not afraid! I know as long as you’re around, everything will be okay in the end!”
Amy: “Plus, some back-up would be nice!”
Sonic: “Appreciated, but I’ll be fine! I’ve dealt with Robotnik a few times before!”
Amy: “But-!”
Sonic: “Later!”
In a flash, Sonic speeds off, with the wind blowing a few strands of grass towards Amy. Watching the blue blur run across the plains, Ms. Rose gets a little aggravated as she pouts.
Amy: “Hmph! I’ll show him I can be helpful!”
Amy: “By the end of this, Sonic will be singing my praises!”
Determined to prove to Sonic that she can be a great help to his mission, Amy runs off, trying to figure out something useful she can do. But little does she or the blue blur know that someone…or rather, something…has been watching them from a distance, hidden in shadow…with only it’s red glowing eyes being visible.
It was Metal Sonic, who was ordered by Robotnik to observe Sonic as he makes his way around Little Planet. Not only to get more data on it’s organic counterpart, but also to listen in on any important information he discusses. Now having gotten a good look at who it was based off of, the robotic hedgehog talks to itself.
Metal Sonic: “So…THIS is my inferior base?”
Metal Sonic: “He does display some skill and power…but he shows concern for those around him…”
Metal Sonic: “Like that pink hedgehog…”
Metal Sonic: “...”
While Metal Sonic wants to engage in combat with Sonic right now, he was under strict orders by Robotnik to not do so until he orders otherwise. He wants to wait until the proper time. And while the robotic hedgehog is not a fan of this, it cannot disobey it’s master. So, it decides to head off and deliver the information it gathered to the doctor.
\Some time later. Palmtree Panic (Bad Future).\**
Sonic continues to make his way through Palmtree Panic. However, this version of the subtropical region is completely mechanized and polluted. From the lakes filled with oil, the factories and machines placed on the eroded mountains, the dead orange grass, the mechanical palm trees, and the pink, clouded sky.
The blue blur managed to travel to this future dystopia by speeding past a Future sign post. Once he arrived in this era, Sonic was revolted by the wretched sight of this land. It gave him more of a drive to take Robotnik down. So that this future wouldn’t come to pass. He wouldn’t let it happen.
After navigating the area, and dealing with many more Badniks and obstacles than before, Sonic eventually decides to stop for a moment in order to think about what to do next.
Sonic: “Jeez…I feel like I’ve been going in circles here!”
Sonic: “I think I’ve been here for at least a full hour, and I’m still not sure what I need to do to fix this place!”
Sonic: “Guess I should start by going back to the present time…”
???: “Why not stay here, rodent? Don’t you like what I did to the place?”
Hearing that familiar voice, Sonic notices some kind of machine coming down from the sky, which then lands in front of him. It’s Dr. Robotnik in his Egg Mobile, which has two arms with bumpers, and legs with spiked shoes. Immediately, the blue blur makes his thoughts on the scientist’s handiwork known.
Sonic: “Oh, definitely not! You completely ruined it!”
Robotnik: “Tch! Different tastes, I suppose!”
Robotnik: “Also, you’ve arrived a little too late to stop this!”
Sonic: “What do you mean? Little Planet only showed up, like, a day or two ago, and I just got here an hour ago!”
Robotnik: “Wrong, Sonic! Time works much differently here than on Earth!”
Robotnik: “While you may have been here for a short amount of time, I’ve been here for nearly a year!”
Robotnik: “And that’s all thanks to the Time Stones!”
Sonic: “Time Stones? Is that why you’re here?”
Robotnik: “Of course! Why wouldn’t I want to control all of time itself?”
Robotnik: “With just one, I was able to take over this small floating rock, and create all of this!”
Robotnik: “And when I get my hands on all seven, no one will be able to stop me! Not even you!”
Sonic: “Really now? Guess I ought to change that!”
Not wasting anymore time to talk, Sonic revs up into a ball on the ground, before launching towards Robotnik. However, he gets knocked away by the bumper arms, and lands back onto the ground, with the doctor taunting him.
Robotnik: “I’m afraid it’s not gonna be that easy, hedgehog! I’ve prepared for this long in advance!”
Sonic: “Heh! So you made all of this just for me?”
Sonic: “Truly, I’m flattered, Robuttnik! But sadly, I’m not a fan of your style!”
After saying that, Sonic rushes up to Robotnik’s machine, with the latter trying to hit the former with the bumper arms again. However, the blue blur zips away, and manages to knock the left arm off with a spin attack. Then, he does the same with the right arm. And lastly, he spins right into the cockpit, causing the arms to explode, and the Egg Mobile to spiral off in the air.
However, Robotnik manages to get ahold of the controls, and glares at Sonic, who just smirks in response.
Sonic: “You were saying?”
Robotnik: “Tch! This is barely a loss for me! I’ve essentially already won!”
Robotnik: “Plus, I don’t want to rob my greatest creation of it’s victory!”
Sonic: “Greatest creation? What are you talking about?”
Robotnik: “Oh, you’ll see soon enough! And I’m certain you’ll love it!”
Robotnik: “But for now, adieu!”
Using the blue Time Stone in the cockpit, Robotnik travels to another time period in a flash of green sparkly light, leaving Sonic alone with the busted robot parts. So, alone once again, the blue hedgehog tries to figure out what to do next.
Sonic: “Hmm…so the doc wants to grab those Time Stones in order to make this twisted future…”
Sonic: “But I’m gonna grab the remaining ones before he can! And smash whatever remnants of his army in the past!”
Sonic: “So, the first order of business is getting back to the present time!”
Now with a definitive goal in mind, Sonic rushes off to find a Past time post in order to time travel. He knows he can do this. He’s collected all the Chaos Emeralds before, so this will be a piece of cake!
\Some time later. Metallic Madness (Present).\**
In Metallic Madness, Metal Sonic updates Robotnik on Sonic’s progress in destroying the Robot Generators in the past, and collecting the Time Stones.
Metal Sonic: “Currently, Sonic has destroyed all the Robot Generators in Palmtree Panic, and he’s heading off to Collision Chaos.”
Robotnik: “Does he have any of the Time Stones?”
Metal Sonic: “Just one. But he’s been using it well.”
Metal Sonic: “With it, the hedgehog will be able to quickly undo everything we’ve been working so hard on.”
Robotnik: “Tch! Well, we aren’t letting that happen!”
Robotnik: “I was making such good progress here, and that nasty blue pincushion isn’t gonna ruin it, like all my previous exploits!”
Metal Sonic: “What of the pink hedgehog?”
Robotnik: “What about her? She’s just a minor distraction! One that can be easily taken out!”
Metal Sonic: “Correct. Though, she seems particularly fond of our enemy.”
Metal Sonic: “Perhaps we can use her to our advantage?”
When Metal Sonic suggests this idea, Robotnik’s frown changes to a smile, as he puts his hands together.
Robotnik: “Oh? I like this idea of yours, Metal!”
Robotnik: “By kidnapping the girl, we can lure Sonic right into our clutches, with the rest of the Time Stones!”
Robotnik: “Then, once he’s taken care of, we’ll finally have the power to permanently take over this planet, AND Earth!”
Metal Sonic: “And I will have accomplished what I was made for.”
Robotnik: “Indeed! But we’ll have to prepare a bit before we attain victory!”
Robotnik: “For now, just find the pink hedgehog and bring her to Stardust Speedway!”
Robotnik: “And should you run into your organic counterpart…”
Robotnik: “...Make a GOOD introduction of yourself!”
Robotnik: “Also be sure to punch him in the face for me!”
Metal Sonic: “Yes. I have waited for this moment, and I WILL succeed.”
Eager to finally face the one it was based off of, Metal Sonic dashes off, with Robotnik grinning as he heads off to prepare the trap in Stardust Speedway.
\Some time later. Collision Chaos (Present).\**
Having finished his work in Palmtree Panic, Sonic has now arrived at a pink mechanized forest filled with white-blue machines, neon signs with strange text, and a pink lake. The sky shows the sun starting to set, alongside some pink clouds. Plus, there’s a few bumpers, springs, and flippers nearby. Looking around the area, Sonic comments on it.
Sonic: “Hmm…strange forest…”
Sonic: “But then again, this entire planet is pretty weird, so I guess it just comes with the territory!”
Sonic: “Either way, it’s gonna be a piece of cake freeing this place with the Time Stone!”
Confident in his mission, Sonic runs through Collision Chaos. However, he quickly comes to a stop when he sees a large wall in front of him. In addition, Amy Rose is here too, and she lights up when she sees her hero. Immediately, she comes up to hug him, with the blue hedgehog feeling a bit awkward and uncomfortable.
Amy: “Sonic! I knew I’d find you here eventually!”
Sonic: “Ahh…well, I hope you haven’t been here too long…”
Sonic pushes Amy back a bit as she explains what she’s been up to.
Amy: “No, I just got here a few minutes ago! I was trying to find you!”
Amy: “But I’ve barely gotten any glimpses of you!”
Sonic: “That’s because I’ve been busy with time travel and busting Eggman’s machines!”
Amy: “Time travel? How?”
Sonic: “With those time posts! I can go into the past or future by traveling at top speed!”
Sonic: “Plus, I managed to find this in the Special Zone!”
Sonic pulls out the green Time Stone from behind him, with Amy amazed at the sparkly gemstone.
Amy: “Woah…! It’s so pretty!”
Sonic: “Yeah! And it gives me the ability to travel through time on my own!”
Sonic: “Ever since I got it, things have been going smoothly!”
Amy: “That’s good! I’m certain you’ll save this place in just a few minutes!”
Sonic: “That’s the idea!”
Sonic: “But back to you, I thought I told you to go home and stay safe?”
Amy: “I already told you before, Sonic! Now that we’ve met, I’m gonna follow you to the ends of the earth!”
Sonic: “It’s dangerous here! You don’t know what kind of crazy machines you’ll run into!”
Amy: “I’m not afraid! I can help!”
Sonic: “Weren’t you running away from some Badniks when I first saw you?”
Amy: “I was caught off-guard! I’m more than prepared now!”
Sonic: “Sure…”
Sonic isn’t buying it in the slightest, and just walks up to the wall in order to figure out how to get past it, while Amy follows and tries to convince him.
Amy: “Come on! I know I may not be making the best impression here, but I want to help!”
Amy: “Even if you are pretty capable, you can’t just take on Robotnik alone!”
Sonic: “Don’t worry so much! I said before that I’ve fought this guy a couple of times!”
Sonic: “Yeah, he’s definitely dangerous, but the guy tends to make a fool of himself!”
Sonic: “I’m being as careful as I can, and I know just what to do to save this planet!”
Sonic: “But first, I need to get past this wall! Know any ways around it?”
Amy: “Hmm…”
Taking a look at the wall herself, Amy tries to figure out some method of getting past it, so that she can help Sonic and prove that she’s useful to have around. However, after a couple of minutes of looking around and trying a few things, the pink hedgehog sighs in defeat, with the blue hedgehog coming up next to her.
Amy: “Sigh…I’m sorry, Sonic…”
Sonic: “It’s okay. You did your best, and that’s just fine.”
Amy: “Still though…I completely failed to show you that I’m capable.”
Sonic: “But you still tried. That’s quite admirable.”
Sonic: “Honestly, I’m pretty impressed with how determined you are.”
When Sonic says that, Amy lights up a bit. She looks back at him to confirm for herself if she heard correctly.
Amy: “You…think I’m impressive?”
Sonic: “Yeah! From what I’ve seen, it looks like nothing stops you!”
Sonic: “That’s a great trait to have! And with enough practice, you could put it to good use!”
Amy: “Really!? You mean it!?”
Ecstatic, Amy holds onto Sonic’s hands again, surprising him a bit. But he quickly gains his composure and responds with a smile.
Sonic: “Of course! I think it’s awesome!”
Hearing that compliment, Amy grins even wider than before, as her face turns a bright shade of red, and hearts fly out of her head. She almost seems to be in a love-trance. As for Sonic, he looks a bit uncomfortable with the pink hedgehog’s advances, but he likes that she’s cheering up more.
But suddenly, the two hear the sound of something crashing through the wall, causing them to turn towards the dust cloud that formed from it. Sonic stands in front of Amy, ready to defend her from any threats. The sounds of metallic footsteps are heard, as a figure with glowing red eyes in the dust cloud comes closer.
When Sonic and Amy see the figure, they notice how it bares some resemblance to the former, confusing them.
Sonic: “What the…?”
Then, in an instant, the figure rushes out of the dust cloud and attacks Sonic, punching him in the face. This sends the blue hedgehog flying back, and as for Amy, she shouts for him, worried about his safety.
Amy: “SONIC!”
But before she can go check up on him, Amy notices their assailant, and stares at them with a scared and confused look. It was Metal Sonic, who turns it’s attention onto the defenseless pink hedgehog, and walks towards her. However, she steps back a bit, wondering just what this thing is.
Amy: “What are you…!? What do you want!?”
Metal Sonic: “...”
Wordlessly, Metal Sonic just grabs onto Amy’s wrists with one hand, causing her to yelp a bit. Then, she desperately tries to break from the metallic hedgehog’s hold.
Now having what it needs, Metal Sonic looks back at Sonic, who’s getting back on his feet, and notices the commotion going on with the machine and Amy. Though the blue blur is confused by the robot’s resemblance to him, he doesn’t pay it much mind, as he needs to save Ms. Rose. So, he rushes right towards the metallic faker.
However, Metal Sonic jumps back, and flies up into the air so that Sonic can’t reach it. So, now with no way to attack the metallic hedgehog, the blue blur glares up at it, while Amy continues to struggle with getting away. Immediately the organic hedgehog shouts at the robotic one.
Sonic: “Let her go, faker! Or I’m gonna get up there and use your head as a basketball!”
Metal Sonic: “And exactly how are you gonna do that?”
Sonic: “Give me enough time, and I’ll show you!”
Metal Sonic: “Come any closer, and I’ll make sure you’ve seen the last of this girl.”
Sonic: “!”
Recognizing he can’t make any reckless moves here, Sonic calms down a little, and continues to talk to Metal Sonic.
Sonic: “Who are you?”
Metal Sonic: “I am Metal Sonic. Dr. Robotnik’s greatest creation.”
Metal Sonic: “I was made to surpass and kill you. While also serving my master’s goals.”
Sonic: “Heh. So he decided to copy me?”
Metal Sonic: “Enough!”
Metal Sonic: “If you want to save this girl, then you must make your way to Stardust Speedway.”
Metal Sonic: “There, we will have our duel.”
Metal Sonic: “And then…I will fulfill my purpose.”
Sonic: “Really now? And what makes you think you’ll win against the Fastest Thing Alive?”
Metal Sonic: “Because I was made to be your superior in every way.”
Metal Sonic: “Speed, power, intelligence, and much more.”
Sonic: “Oh please! Nothing beats the original!”
Metal Sonic: “We’ll see about that.”
Metal Sonic brings out the red Time Stone, and prepares to head off. But before this happens, Amy looks back at Sonic, clearly scared.
Amy: “Sonic…I…don’t know if I’ll be okay…!”
Sonic: “You will! Don’t worry! I’ll find you as fast as I can!”
Hearing those reassuring words, Amy smiles a bit, knowing her hero will come rescue her. Then, in a flash, she and Metal Sonic disappear. This leaves Sonic to think about what just happened, and he’s clearly not happy.
Sonic: “Darn…in addition to getting those Time Stones, and stopping Eggman, I now have to rescue Amy from that robot knockoff of me.”
Sonic: “But…Metal Sonic looks pretty tough…”
Sonic: “I mean, he sent me flying with one punch, and he’s pretty fast, too!”
Sonic: “Sure, I like a good challenge, but not when people are put in danger!”
Sonic: “...”
For once, Sonic is uncertain of his chances in winning. But he quickly shakes it off.
Sonic: “No! I’m not accepting defeat!”
Sonic: “Whatever Robuttnik and the Metal me have in store, I’ll take care of it, no problem!”
Sonic: “I’ll make sure Amy’s okay, and I’ll free Little Planet!”
Sonic: “So bring it on! I can take anything you throw at me!”
Revving his feet in a figure-8 motion, Sonic speeds past the hole Metal Sonic made in the wall, and speeds across Collision Chaos, more determined than ever to save the day.
Not just for the sake of Little Planet…but also for Amy’s sake…

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter
submitted by StrivingJarl to u/StrivingJarl [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:23 hillyg0120 Do you de-worm regularly?

I’m suspecting that my chickens may have an overload of worms. My rooster has some funky feathers going on so I treated for mites/lice, but I’ve inspected them pretty closely and haven’t found any signs of them. One of my hens had a pretty poopy butt that I had to wash off last week and I noticed some of the feathers around her vent are missing. Her vent looks good, no redness/swelling/discharge that would indicate vent Gleet. All of them are eating, drinking, laying, and acting normal. I bought some Fenbendazole from the feed store last night and treated all of them. It says to de-worm your flock twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Do you all follow this? This is my first spring with them and I have never wormed before.
submitted by hillyg0120 to BackYardChickens [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 10:45 BlueSwordM The Nichia 219B of A19 light bulbs: the rosy beast that is the 2850k GE Reveal HD+ LED light

The Nichia 219B of A19 light bulbs: the rosy beast that is the 2850k GE Reveal HD+ LED light
Front Packaging
Back Packaging
Detailed Picture Single Light Bulb
Detailed Picture Dual Light Bulbs
This time around, in my continuous search in finding the absolute best in LED bulb technology, I decided to go blind into a "regional" hardware store's lighting section that I had never visited(that store being Réno-Dépot)

What I initially found didn't really excite me, but it did peak my interest. It was a 2850k LED bulb with claims of exceptional contrast, color, and general top tier light quality with a fitting name: the GE Reveal HD+ light.

Being wary of the usual claims that these "HD" lights tend to advertise, I was skeptical, especially since there were 0 color rendition ratings outside of some claims of 92CRI from an old article reviewing the first model of this line of light released in 2014.
However, since it was very affordable at 3$CA/bulb, I decided to "splurge" on the purchase, even considering I was quite satisfied with my last high CRI LED bulb purchase. I was expecting to be dissapointed by their light quality. This is the early 2022 version of this light.

Once I came home, I tried them out immediately, and to say that my expectations were blown away would be quite an understatement: these possess Nichia 219B capabilities in terms of light quality excluding pure color rendition performance.

**In fact, they are now the rosiest lights that I own in my fine collection.**

Only my 3000k+5000k tint mix light bulb setup comes even close to their rosiness, which is honestly absurd considering how powerful tint mixing is in shifting the light profile.

I believe there are 2 reasons this light is very rosy:

- This seems to use a special type of glass, being neodymium glass. I believe this is the largest reason. This acts as a color filter, shifting the tint down the BBL curve.

- Like many modern high CRI LED bulbs today, it is likely using special LEDs with an exotic phosphor coating to boost red color rendition more easily and inexpensively, which is how many modern high CRI LED bulbs are able to improve their performance in this spectrum window.

Adding to this, they have a 5 year warranty, have great dimming capabilities with low variance tint shifting(quite rare in LED lights) with no flickering to boot even in my harshest testing conditions, and they don't seem to have any buzzing noise, which is great.

With all of this in mind, this would be my perfect non-4000k light(a holy grail that sadly has not been achieved yet in large availability consumer lights) if it weren't for a few downsides.

Let's compare them to my previous high CRI light purchase to show these downsides:

- Color rendition: \*95CRI R9580** Philips Ultra Definition vs **90CRI ¬R9070** GE Reveal HD+. This is a somewhat minor downside for the GE Reveal and only comes into play for green and red shades.

- Light quality: the GE Reveal HD+ wins in almost all lighting scenarios. While I do appreciate the neutral-sunlight tint of the Philips Ultra Definition bulbs in good fixtures, the tint profile of the Reveal HD+ is just a lot more forgiving and appealing in many difficult scenarios where the Philips bulbs would struggle.

- Dimming performance: the GE Reveal HD+ edges out a small win, but for an interesting reason: while dimming, its tint doesn't change as much as any LED bulb that I've seen before. It does fluctuate a bit in the initial dimming curve, but once past that point(85-90%), it doesn't change. The Philips UDefinition does have its tint performance change quite a bit by the time you get in the low brightness levels, but it does get dimmer than its competitor at least.

- Color temperature variety: It's an easy one for the Philips light. Being available in 2700k-3000k-5000k flavours, it allows for a much wider variety of styles and color temperature preferences, especially with tint mixing. That being said, for most cases, the 2850k of the GE Reveal HD+ works quite well, so not too much of a loss.

- Warranty and long term usage: Both lights have 5 year manufacturer warranties. However, since the Reveal HD+ lights are not rated for enclosed fixtures unlike the Ultra Definition lights, this would indicate lower long term durability. For some of you more experienced folks in this field, this might ring an alarm bell as to why in my next point...

- Efficiency and light output: 802 lumens at 7.3W for the Philips Ultra Definition at 110lm/W vs 626 lumens at 7.7W for the Reveal HD+ at 81lm/W.

There's no cutting around to it: the main downside of the Reveal HD+ bulbs is that they have poor lighting efficiency, even compared to another high CRI light. They produce less light while consuming slightly more power: a comparison to the 519A vs the 219B debate seems odly similar in this regard considering their characteristics :)

While some lighting losses can be attributed to the slightly lower efficiency light transmission of the glass, most of them likely boil down to a lower efficiency LED setup and driver. Coming back to the durability aspect, a lower efficiency LED will emit less light and create more heat than a more efficient one, lowering its lifespan.

That would explain the lack of rating in enclosed fixtures: a hotter LED setup is a less resilient LED. This doesn't take into account lower driver efficiency, but being heatsinked to the bulb base, it is less of an issue.

As to why it is less efficient, my hypothesis is that this is just due to cost cutting by using less efficient LEDs or employing a lower cost LED setup(fewer LEDs/smaller LEDs = lower efficiency). The 11W version of this build is significantly more efficient at 100lm/W while likely retaining the same light quality that I absolutely love, which supports my hypothesis.

In terms of brightness compared to the Philips bulbs, they have a subtle, but noticeable light output difference in a large room. Not something you'd notice after getting used to it, but it is there.

Overall, these are excellent lights, but their poor efficiency relative to their Philips Ultra Definition counterparts makes them difficult to recommend them for every scenario as an alternative light with superior tint quality.

If they were able to make a 100lm/W+ 8W class LED bulb with similar lighting characteristics, I'd be all over it for the "tint sensitive" areas of my house and would give them a complete recommendation in every non critical color scenarios.

I'd recommend them based on their intended use: for any light snobs and those that love rosy 219Bs, these are a perfect match and a near complete recommendation for that group. If you have a limited budget and don't care that much having the most light output or highest color rendition performance, these are also a great choice. For everyone else, this is a good light, but not one that I'd recommend personally over the Philips Ultra Definition in most cases due to being less versatile.

As for me, I'm off to continue my quest of finding the best light bulbs for light fanatics like us, trying to find the optimal combination of excellent color rendition, high efficiency and great light quality in a tight durable package. Of course, finding such a bulb available in a 4000k CCT would be near perfection, but that'll take a while... or maybe not considering I saw something very interesting at my local Walmart. More details at another time since this pseudo review is already long as is :)

*Questions and clarification requests are appreciated.*

PS: I will be taking wall shots soon to illustrate how rosy GE Reveal HD+ bulbs truly are :)
CRI measurements for the bulbs mentioned in this post:

GE Reveal CRI graph, courtesy of CNET's intial GE Reveal HD+ review back in 2014
5000k Philips Ultra Definition Color Results by u/bob_mcbob
2700k Philips Ultra Definition Color Results by u/bob_mcbob
submitted by BlueSwordM to flashlight [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 09:27 boombayfood Make Chilli + Jaggery Chicken Noodles Using Boombay’s Smoked Chilli + Jaggery Dressing

Make Chilli + Jaggery Chicken Noodles Using Boombay’s Smoked Chilli + Jaggery Dressing
Chilli + Jaggery Chicken Noodles
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 1
Said to originate from China, this deliciously spicy Chicken Noodle dish will become your next favourite comfort food. In this recipe, we add a Japanese spin to the popular dish by serving it as warm ramen with ground Indian chillies, and Chinese-style wheat noodles.

Chef’s note:

Use any noodles of your choice. Hakka Noodles, rice noodles, thin wheat noodles, Chow Mein or egg noodles and even Maggie noodles, all bring a range of flavours and textures to this warm bowl of healthy goodness.


  • 2 tablespoons of Boombay’s Smoked Chilli + Jaggery Dressing
  • 100 grams of Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast or Thigh
  • 80 grams of Noodles
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 4 to 5 Broccoli florets
  • ½ of Yellow and Red Capsicum each
  • 1 Spring onion
  • ¼ Carrots
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
    Products Used: Boombay’s Smoked Chilli + Jaggery Dressing

Smoked Chilli + Jaggery Dressing
  1. Wash the chicken and cut it into bite-size pieces
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before tossing it in 1 tablespoon of our Chilli + Jaggery Dressing
  3. Finely chop garlic and spring onion
  4. Julienne the carrot and cut the bell peppers into cubes
  5. Boil the noodles as per package instructions
  1. Heat oil in a pan and cook the chicken thoroughly before keeping it aside
  2. Fry the garlic for a minute and then add all the veggies
  3. Stir fry on high heat and season with salt and pepper
  4. Add soy sauce and our Chilli + Jaggery Dressing to the pan and mix well
  5. Finally, add the noodles and mix well
  6. Adjust the seasoning to your preference
Toss greens of spring onion for a heavenly bowl of ramen noodles
submitted by boombayfood to u/boombayfood [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 09:12 Grocery-Super Water and survival: How to make purified water

Water and survival: How to make purified water
Water is essential for our survival, and knowing how to purify water in the wild is a crucial skill, whether you find yourself camping, facing a natural disaster, or even enduring a zombie apocalypse. In situations where immediate access to store-bought water bottles is not possible, it becomes imperative to understand various methods of purifying water to ensure its safety for consumption.
The most reliable and time-tested method for purifying water is boiling it. By bringing water to a rolling boil for 5 to 20 minutes, harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses can be effectively killed, making the water safe to drink. Boiling is a simple and effective solution, especially when you need a large quantity of water. However, it may not always be the most convenient method in emergency situations where resources are limited.
Read below for more methods for purifying water in the wilderness, and general tips for finding the best water source:
6 Ways to Purify Water in the Wild
Before drinking water from any source, it's crucial to purify it. While a natural spring or stream is the best source of water, rainwater, ponds, and rivers can also be viable options. Additionally, if you have access to bottled water, it is possible to distill it for drinking purposes. Regardless of the source, it is important to purify the water first before consuming it. Boiling may not be necessary for immediate use, but it remains a good option when large quantities of water are required.
In emergency situations, where water sources may be contaminated, portable filters offer a convenient solution. Filters like the Sawyer Mini are specifically designed to remove even the tiniest particles of dirt, bacteria, and sand from water. This makes them perfect for purifying water from polluted sources. While such filters may come at a higher cost, the assurance of high purity they provide is invaluable, particularly for long-term survival scenarios.
Portability is a key consideration when choosing a survival water filter. For long-term living situations, a passive pumping system that operates continuously with minimal effort may be ideal. On the other hand, if mobility is a priority, a portable survival water filter would be more practical. In-line filters, for instance, are lightweight and inexpensive devices that use human suction to draw water through the filtration system. They are easy to use and can be conveniently carried in a backpack or bag.
Another option is to invest in a water purification kit. These kits enable on-the-spot purification of freshwater. During emergencies, it is advisable to have a portable water filter that can also be converted into a water bottle for added convenience. Additionally, a portable pressure canner and a large cooking pot can be used for water purification when adequately prepared. Moreover, resourceful individuals can even construct a DIY solar-powered water distiller using plastic bottles, harnessing the sun's energy to produce clean drinking water.
The cost of a survival water filter depends on its size and features. There are models available for less than $30, while larger gravity water systems can cost up to $300. Individual portable filters tend to be more cost-effective and can be used for an extended period. Smaller devices provide the advantage of longer-term use and versatility, serving various purposes such as drinking, washing, and cooking.
In conclusion, water purification is an essential skill for survival in the wild or during emergencies. Boiling, water purification tablets, commercial water filters, and DIY methods can all be employed to ensure the safety of water for consumption. Factors such as portability, cost, and intended use should be taken into account when selecting the appropriate purification method. Regardless of the method chosen, the ability to make purified water is crucial for maintaining our well-being and ensuring our survival in challenging circumstances.
Choose a water purifier by filtration technology:
Scientists Have Created a Device That Sucks Water Out of Thin Air, Even in the Desert: Official documentation: 👉 Water Liberty Guide was born ✔ It’s the only proven, EXCLUSIVE step-by-step guide showing you EXACTLY how to create your own “home oasis” TODAY…and how to survive any tough century long drought… ✔ It was providing a steady, robust supply of fresh, pure water ON DEMAND… Related document: Create Safe Drinking Water + Weather Control
submitted by Grocery-Super to Water_Liberty [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 08:29 Sarah____Williams Saucy Delights: Exploring Pasta Sauce Varieties and Homemade Recipes

Pasta is a beloved dish in the United States and one of the key elements that make it so versatile and delicious is the sauce. There are numerous types of pasta sauce, each with its unique flavors and ingredients. In this article, we will explore some popular types of pasta sauce and provide step-by-step instructions on how to make them from scratch. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced home cook, you'll find something to suit your taste buds.

Marinara Sauce

Alfredo Sauce

Pesto Sauce

Bolognese Sauce

Arrabbiata Sauce

Vodka Sauce

Pomodoro Sauce

Carbonara Sauce

Béchamel Sauce

Amatriciana Sauce

Cacio e Pepe Sauce

Truffle Cream Sauce


  1. Can I use store-bought pasta sauce instead of making it from scratch?
  1. How long can I store homemade pasta sauce?
submitted by Sarah____Williams to u/Sarah____Williams [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 07:34 Key-Permission9644 i think my fish is dying and i need help

tl;dr: my betta has clamped fins that are thinning, is lethargic, and has a stomach bulge- how do i solve this?
hello everyone. i’ve had my betta Sirarcha for about three years. when i first got him, he was pale, and wasn’t in the best health. after i got him and put him in a five gallon tank rather than the pet store cup he came in, his red color became brighter, and his blue spots started to show, and he became super energetic. about two years into owning him, i had to go on a two week long work trip.
when i was on my work trip, my sister agreed to care for my betta. during this time, his tank grew a thick blanket of hair algae due to my sister over feeding him and leaving his lights on for too long. even with multiple water changes and water treatments, the hair algae never went away. to solve, i bleached his tank as it has a non removable filter (you can only remove the cartridge) and bought him all new tank decorations such as silk plants (i have a black thumb unfortunately and struggle to keep even aquatic plants alive) and a new betta hammock. while this stopped the issue of hair algae, it created other problems.
ever since, he’s been growing more lethargic and has been losing his swimming ability and color rapidly. it has now been nine months, and his fins are so thin you can see through them. he is also beginning to look translucent as well. furthermore, he struggles a lot to swim upright and mainly floats on his side. he has a bulge in his stomach as well.
i’ve tried feeding him a boiled pea, doing more water changes, using different food brands, using different water chemical brands, etc, and have had no luck.
does anyone know what his ailment might be along with how i should treat it? i want to try my best to help him, and this is my last resort before euthanasia as he’s suffering.
submitted by Key-Permission9644 to bettafish [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 05:35 Edwardthecrazyman Hiraeth or Where the Children Play: Wizard Tonics and Silly Little Love Songs [4]

The wagons or tanks rolled through the gate in a caravan that was more akin to a carnival than a group of tradesmen; all the wizards with their pointed hats were shaped magnificently against the browns and grays, some wore white porcelain dramedy masks beneath headwear as dark as pipe resin, men and women and those between—as that was common from where they hailed. Their company was perhaps forty and their mules and mares were thirsty and were led to troughs to idle while the wizards removed goods from their wagons or tanks and although it was not a spectacle for them to arrive within Golgotha’s walls, it was something still and the citizens gathered to greet whatever wizards they might know but mostly perhaps to whisper rumors on them. The wizards seemed a taller folk, but that was because of the hats, and they seemed wider too, but that was for the robes they adorned with costume jewelry, trinkets, or fingernail-sized lanterns which contained magical properties hung off their clothes as ornaments (some metal and other crudely wooden). I never knew a people that could trek the wastes in that time as well as me till I knew them.
Boss Maron was there at the gates with his wall men, hollering—shouting really, “The Whores of Babylon have come again!” And the bells signaled from atop the highest tower over the hall of Bosses and I met the front square with a morning headache and a cigarette. The Boss sheriff was clothed, cowboy hat pulled tightly to his ears, and he waltzed through the square, inspecting the new arrivals with his crotch out in front of him as he moved in a swagger like a cup of shifted water. Morning sunlight crested the wall to reflect on the pistol in his holster as it did on the star pin of his hat.
Among them, there was only one wizard I cared to see. Their name was Suzanne.
The hanged bodies of the men remained on the wall, dead and stiff and shifting to the little wind there was.
The square had filled with carts (some drawn by animals and others pushed on oil), and even if it were not for the bells which signaled their arrival, I’d have surely known their presence for the clatter of their metal engines.
“Well goddamn!” said Maron while examining a wizard, “What’s that you’ve got on your legs?”
The wizard, a young woman in plain pants wore a set of leg braces and whenever she moved, she did so in shifting her hips around. “Braces,” she said.
“What’s it for? Or is it some of your all’s secret whodo?”
“I’ve got bad legs. The braces help.” She said plainly, attempting to angle herself straight like a stick against one of the traveling party’s wagons.
“Bad legs?” Boss Maron’s expression was incredulous. “Who has bad legs? What sort of nonsense is it? If a lady like you’s made it this far in life with bad legs, then someone’s done you a disservice.”
She looked on questioningly while the other wizards continued with their unpacking or their conversating—whether it be amongst themselves or with the freckle-spaced citizens in the square.
“How are you to outrun trouble when you’ve got them?” He nodded at the young woman’s legs.
“I don’t.” Her face was red either because of the sun or because of the scrutiny. “I’m just bow-legged.”
“Damn,” he shook his head, “Well how much you want for one of them?”
“One of my braces?”
“Yeah. All I want’s the one anyway.”
“I need both of them.”
“C’mon. You wouldn’t notice just one missing. I mean, you’ve got a spare right next to it.”
Upon noticing a robed figure I recognized by the animals at the troughs, I moved to them instead and let Maron’s conversation fall to the wayside. The chatter of the crowd was wild and startled words came as a wizard exposed their collection of tonics to passersby.
“Suzanne,” I said.
The figure turned to face me, moving their head to look away from a mare they’d been brushing to expose one of those white porcelain masks.
I knew it and could not contain a smile.
“Harlan?” asked the figure. The mask on its face was split in the middle with hinges on either side and they opened it to show their face; it was Suzanne. They’d grown some hair around their throat and wore lipstick on their lips and dyes on their eyes.
“It’s good to see you.” I pushed myself into a hug with them and I could smell the travel off them but didn’t care.
They shifted timidly before hugging me back and I pretended not to notice. Once we’d separated, I looked on Suzanne’s face again and they were looking on at the hanging men on the wall. “Again?” they asked.
I nodded and shot a look towards the Boss across the way.
“What justice?” they asked no one while shaking their head.
Trying an answer, I said, “Justice is something man made, I think. I’ll leave men to men and the rest to God.”
“God.” Suzanne nodded glumly then shook their head. “Which one?”
I laughed a good laugh that felt real but nervous too then kicked the ground and took the last drag off my cigarette before chucking it to the ground. “What’s brought you here?”
Suzanne answered plainly. “We took a long time east out near Pittsburgh.” Their eyes scanned the buildings further on from the square. “The people there are worse than here, it seems. At least you still have your walls.”
“Pittsburgh’s fallen?”
They frowned. “Not completely. They’ve mostly gone underground. A skitterbug infestation caused a plague directly before an attack of proportions I’ve yet seen.” Suzanne’s brow furrowed. “It was awful.” The words hung in the air for a moment. “But we’re here now and thought we’d stop for a rest and some guns and ammo before returning to Babylon. We’ve brought some medicines to trade.”
I learned from my friend that Pittsburgh’s infrastructure and fortifications were decimated in an attack the wizards only caught second-hand and the survivors—holed away in the tunnels beneath Pittsburgh—told of how the demons ran the walls once their reserves were low.
Then the wizards gathered there began unpacking books, some scrolls, and there were medicines too and some of the Bosses other than Maron (he pushed his harassment of the young wizard with leg braces) graced us there with their presence as they came on and began to pick across the goods, haggling prices. Boss Frank was there, and he stood before a wizard by a tank with a wooden table of jars—capped elixirs of varying colors—he grew increasingly frustrated with their selection and took on in his braggadocious way, speaking of numbers. A few of the idle wizards leaned against carts or even took across town and a small group of them had gathered for a quick show near the guard posts, playing instruments (strings over the vocals of “In My Life”) and there in the front of them was a young wizard man that had removed his hat to show how he played with fire flames off his hands—it was a sideshow play—and the citizens wore variations of bemusement or disgust. The children of Golgotha, all dirty faced with sprigs of hair jutting about from their morning’s waking, seemed totally bewildered in the joy of song and clapped their hands or shook their hips all with smiles.
I stuffed my hands in my jacket and prodded Suzanne, “What’s with the plague? I mean, was it contained? None of your lot got sick, did they?”
Suzanne scoffed, perhaps a little pridefully, “No. I wouldn’t worry about that.” They patted a nearby mule then withdrew a brush and moved it across its thin coat before looking over its hooves. “I’ve brought you some books I found out that way though. You still read?”
I nodded.
“Don’t expect any of that fiction. The only ones I’ve found recently are old pamphlets or medical texts.” Suzanne paused and smiled, returning the animal brush to their robes, “You haven’t happened upon anything that might interest me, have you?”
Their shown teeth were infectious. “Mayhap. I’d need you to come back to my place so I could give them to you.” An awkward pause followed and the roar of the still accumulating crowd overtook the space between us before I continued. “Mostly interesting containers and a few flecks of gold I took from some old computers—they’ve been waitin’ on you for weeks now. I got some parchment that might be of use to you too. You can take what you need as always.”
“How about we get some food? I’m famished. Riding through the night takes its toll.”
Me and Suzanne took from the square up a narrow route that led through residences where the lower levels had their curtains drawn and then we took stairs toward balconies and catwalks configured from reinforced metal; we spoke as we went and a few odd glances from passersby met the wizard as we did.
“The tide on the east is rising again,” said Suzanne.
“Worse than before?”
“Worse than before.”
“God, I don’t think I’ve seen the ocean for a decade or more.” I slid my hand along the railing once we came to what was essentially my front porch; it was a perch among the catwalks that cut against the domicile where I shared walls with others on three sides and we stopped there outside my door. “We saw a dragon only a few days ago.”
Suzanne’s interest seemed piqued. “A dragon? And what direction was it traveling?”
“Well,” I craned over the railing, looking down the narrow walkway that separated my building and the one across the way; I couldn’t see the front square from outside my home, but I could still just make out the music echoing from that direction, “Could’ve been north or west. I was preoccupied, but I wouldn’t worry much. The wall men gave it a pretty good thrashing before it took off.”
“So, the ocean? It’s rising, huh?”
They joined me there on railing, supporting themselves against their forearms. “It is. Faster than ever. Some bad magic’s taken the water. I imagine by the end of the year Pittsburgh will be under it. There’s something bad coming. You might call it intuition if you want, but I know it’s coming. Something bad. Revelations bad. There comes a time when even those of us forsaken are brought worse.”
“Bah!” I couldn’t help it, “John thought it was the end times while he wrote the damn thing. And what about all the other books? Hm?”
Suzanne put up their hands. “I didn’t mean it like that at all. You know I’m only the mildest scholar on the topic.”
“Anyway. You’d better not start having visions. Got enough to worry about as is.” I’d not realized my shoulders were tense until their hand touched me, and I flinched.
“You’ve a bruise around your neck. Care to elaborate there?”
I shook my head. “Got into a fight.”
Suzanne laughed, removed their pointed hat and playfully put it on my head. “C’mon. Cook me something. You might not know a thing about spices, but your cooking’s always tasted better.”
We took through my door to my small single room where simple amenities awaited and an ancient, decommissioned pump-shotgun hung on the wall over the bed. “That’s just ‘cause you ain’t the one laboring over it.”
Across a meal of potato cakes and toasted bread, we drank coffee until I broke into the liquor to spice my coffee and alleviate my hangover, and we shared the drink and Suzanne took to wash in the sink while I smoked outside on the overlook. Upon returning to the room, I saw them there with a wet rag stuffed beneath an armpit and they were beautiful caught without robes, frame cast in sunglow through the crack in my doorway. In a moment, our hands glided around one another in a scramble of arms at the middle point between us and we took to bed for a while.
Come midday, we remained there, staring at the ceiling, chests bare, and blanket strewn across our lower halves.
“You’re going gray,” said Suzanne.
“You’re getting old too, ya’know.”
“How long did you say you’ll be staying?” I asked while trying to mask whatever excitement may be present.
“Few days. Once we’ve enough ammunition.” They traced their index finger along my ear lobe.
“Stay.” I offered.
They frowned. “Come.”
“I did already.”
They gave me a light shove and cut their eyes at me. Hazel. How good that color was. “Really. What keeps you here?”
“Things.” I pushed up in the bed to sit, finagling my underwear from the jeans on the floor.
“I wish you would.”
“I’m no wizard.”
“You don’t need to be.”
“Maybe there will come a time when I take you up on that offer. Who knows?” I slid into the drawers.
“Is it Maron?” they asked, “I don’t know your fascination with him. He’s the worst combination cruel and dumb I’ve seen.”
“Like an animal.” I nodded. “Like something real bad’s wrong with him. But no. He’s not my fascination.” Lying was always hard with them. “I worry about this place. I wouldn’t do the things I do if I didn’t. What if I were to leave it and then it turns out like Pittsburgh.”
“Oh, you’re an expert in plagues now?”
“No,” I scoffed, “I guess it’s just a place that weighs on my conscious.” I went to sit on the bed alongside them.
“You hate it here. I can see it more on your face every time we meet.”
“That I do. Call it an investment dilemma. I’ve put time in it, and I want it to be well.”
“That doesn’t sound like you.”
I caught Suzanne’s face there, staring up from the flat pillow, flustered. My reasoning was hard, but I continued, “There is one thing I should undo before I leave here. It’s a long time coming, and I don’t know if I can. But it’s important,” upon seeing their quizzical expression, I added, “And it is secret.”
“I wish you’d come with us. You’d be welcome.”
“I’ll visit Babylon sometime next month. I promise.”
“You shouldn’t call it that. I don’t like it when you call it that.” The wizards never called their home Babylon; that was a name conjured by the many religious fanatics that considered their magic evil (even if they did trade with the ‘heretics’ from time to time). The name they’d given their own city of medicine was Alexandria; it was fitting for I’d seen their expansive libraries and could become lost in them easily.
“Fine. I’ll be there.” I squeezed their hand in mine. “I’ll miss you once you’ve gone.”
“Don’t get sappy,” they said before planting a kiss on my forehead.
The day went and then the next and another and the wizards packed their belongings. No more music for Golgotha, only quiet agony. As Suzanne said, they’d left me a few books and I’d given away my parchment, jars, and gold. While they were in town, I even was able to snag a few more bottles of their famous wizard liquor along with a few vials of medicine—always good to have whenever I set foot beyond the walls or when someone within might need it.
There came a time finally—as every time it does—where I watched the caravan, with gray smoke clouds off the engines, take on north first where there was an opening wide enough in the ruins to accommodate vehicles, then it hooked around a wide bend that took them west then their black shapes against the red morning skyline disappeared like fading ink as their magic cloaked them entirely. I wished them well, but at the moment of dissipation, I felt an urge to leap from the top of the wall, charge across the field, scream that I was coming and scream it loud enough that I’d hurt myself. I think I just loved—though I never said it aloud and neither did they—and love is a bad thing more often than it is good, for the longing it leaves in its absence drives a person mad and I did not want to be mad; the feeling burst from me quietly there on the wall while I was flanked on either side by guards. I was sure all along the way they went that I could just make out Suzanne among them; that was probably a fault in my vision, but I imagined they were casting glances back, hoping to hold me as strongly as I wished to hold them. I went to the streets of Golgotha where the town quieted from the previous days’ engagements with the wizards.
Normal came and settled and then came chanting from Lady as she moved through sullen quiet streets. She was so far off that I was not sure it was her at all and then came the lines as she drew nearer by the hydroponics towers, and she shouted them vigorously and shook her fist above the air and held a staff with a swinging lantern of incense in her opposite hand, partly for ceremony and partly for support. The words came harshly, gravelly:
“They called to the mountains and to the rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
“The lamb will be your shepherd. He will guide you. Hallelujah! He will lead you to the springs of living water and wipe away every tear!”
“Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand! Do not be tempted by the deviousness of the whorish Babylonians for all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
A person, among the catwalks, shouted down at Lady, “Shut-the-fuck-up!”
I watched her come fully down the avenue as she dodged a thrown egg from somewhere unseen, then dashed away toward an offshoot alley to hide somewhere, incense lantern smoking, clanging against her back while she screeched off more scripture from memory. After she was long gone, I moved to the spot where the egg was, rubbed it into dirt with the sole of my boot and looked up through the spiderweb network of catwalks overhead; there was no one.
Without a thing keeping me, I took off the following day, and upon meeting the gates, Maron was there and I could see he was the proud owner of a used leg brace; he grinned upon seeing me, patting his mustache down with his forefinger and thumb.
“Whatcha’ think?” He motioned to his left leg. “It’s a bit of a conversation starter, ain’t it?”
“Get your boys to open the gate, I’m going out.”
He shook his head. “Won’t find anything out there. It’s all dirt and rubble, you know.”
“Just open it.”
“You know what?” He cut his eyes at me. “There’s gonna’ come a day when you won’t be so able bodied or maybe the Bosses won’t like you coming and going as you please.”
I inhaled heavily then let it go. “Now can’t we skip to the end where you acquiesce to my request?”
“Words words words you’ve got. You’ve got a lot of words. Acquiesce. Psshaw.” Boss Maron waved for the guards to open the gate and they did, and I stepped by him, and he spit somewhere behind me before I heard him hobble around with his single leg brace.
The path was clear and open on all sides and in no time, I’d taken across the field to the east and found myself on the edge of the ruins where things stank, and I was free from no other thought than to live. Creeping hot overcame me and brought my hair to my forehead and I holed off in a shadow to drank from my gourd before continuing. The sun was red in the sky in the places where I could see sky from around the black shadows of towering structures. I ducked beneath an old shop counter when I heard the skittering of fart heads and pulled a sleeve to kill the scent of their chlorine breath.
Once they’d gone, I pulled through the wreckage more and more till I came upon the markings for an old safehouse in the back office of a garage I’d not been to in a while. What were my intentions? Was I going to go all the way to the coast? Throw myself into those bad magic waters? There’s a thing they don’t teach you in religion. They prattle all day to do this or that and they say that Hell awaits sinners or Hades or maybe its in layers or circles or what have you. They’ll tell you about the places and they’ll say that if you take life into your own hands, you end in Hell, but what’s a person to do when those creeping intrusions come along—the ones that call to a person in the darkness, the ones where they tempt you to jump from a high place or there’s always a gun or a poison. Maybe a person could bribe another to do it for them. Where do they end up then? What are you supposed to do to stave off those thoughts? Should a person contend such melancholies with prayer? That did not seem helpful. What is the soulless to do without the promise of those pearly gates anyway?
Anyway, I took on past the safehouse and found a utility hall in the side of a tall industrial building just beyond a partially erect chain link fence. The wall was opened up like a cracked shell from years of standing alone, and after ducking through there, I found some old matches in a drawer, plastic gas cans whose contents had long since congealed within; I kicked them (not that I expected anything more). Moving further down the wide hallway, there were shelves of dusty tools, and I took some hammers and knives (cheapo stuff).
Further still down the hall, there was a staircase, and I took it quietly; the stone stairs made hardly a sound against the bottoms of my boots, and I took the stairs more quickly till I was out of breath and caught myself on a landing where I supped silent air before rushing further up the stairs. An old metallic cabinet or console—I couldn’t make it out—lay strewn across the steps to the second-highest floor and I climbed over it before coming to the building’s roof access. Upon coming to the door with a metal push bar across its middle, I gave it a shove and it did not budge but a minor clink and I took a moment to collect myself before rummaging through my gear.
Slung through a loop on the inside of my pack was a short prybar that was so worn around its tooth it was more rounded than an edge; I shimmied the piece of metal into the spot where the door latched into the way and began crimping the spot apart, trying all the while to maintain a relative quiet in the dead ruins. Once I’d bent away at the door for a few moments, I elevated my body weight at an awkward angle to pop the door free and it did so, half open, with a rusty screech that forced a long pause from me; I stood there by the newly opened doorway for a full minute, holding the prybar, holding my breath. Upon hearing nothing in response to the noise of the door, I slid the tool into my pack and slipped through the threshold.
The flat roof of the industrial building sloped to one corner—where the opening in the wall of the first floor was—and sitting there in the middle of an open platform was an old helicopter, blades half torn away or rusted off and the remaining slanted from the top of the old vehicle, touching the platform it sat upon. The roof access looked like a little square house atop the flat headed structure and around the side of the access, I found an old corpse (entirely bones) wrapped in black plastic-like armor, the white dry fingers laid across its lap, several digits gone and its hollow eye holes staring off into the sky with a permanent smile. I moved to the thing that hadn’t been human in a long time and prodded it; the skeleton slumped to the side and looked on the ground by its shoes. How long had it been staring at the sky and how long had it been waiting for me to come and change its dead visage?
I moved to the edge of the building, to the corner where the building sloped and looked off the edge to the ground below; all was quiet, and nothing moved save the shadows’ stalwart creep across the ground. Examining from above, I could see the opening I’d climbed through and beneath my shifting feet, I felt the ground give a little; timidly, I angled more forward and for a moment I thought I knew why I’d gone up there in the first place. Suddenly six-stories felt high. The urge to jump came. Perhaps on the way down, I’d have just a blink to convince myself I’d slipped.
“Hey!” A shout from somewhere down below came from the direction I’d come from. I shook my head as it felt as though it was a ghost echo, a noise that wasn’t. Then it came again, “Hey!”
I squinted my eyes and there in the crumbled road below, there was a human I didn’t initially recognize; it was only after the figure tumbled through the remains of the chain link fence that I recognized it as Dave. I blinked.
Out of breath, he angled over to the opening at the base of the structure and called up at me, “Hey! I see you up there!”
Whisper-yelling, I cupped my hands, “Shutup!”
I took back to the stairs, and he hollered after, “Where you going?”
With reckless abandon, I took the stairs many at a time, leapt the cabinet on the stairs, scrambling while also reaching for the prybar I’d put away. I held the cold metal in my hand and charged toward the industrial storage hallway where I could see him silhouetted in the frame of the crumbled opening.
His chest heaved and he wiped at his brow; slung across his shoulder was a small supply bag and worn like a necklace was a pair of binoculars. “God, you move fast. Like a fuckin’ cockroach in light.” His eyes shifted from my face to the prybar in my hand as I approached him.
Standing within the echoey hallway, I lifted the weapon and pointed it at him. “What’d you follow me for?”
“You wouldn’t use that on me.” He took his eyes from the prybar. “I don’t think you would anyway. You might be shady, Harlan, but I don’t take you as a stone-cold murderer.”
“You take me wrong,” I said.
“Maybe.” He seemed to think on it a moment. “You wouldn’t?”
“If you’ve given away my position to those things, I might.”
“Lots of bluster.” Dave offered an incredibly forced smile, and I could see just from the little shine of the sun in the opening that his eye had blacked but remained functional. “I been watching you.”
He nodded. “I snuck out after you.”
“You ought to go back.”
“You ought to just listen. There ain’t a thing back there for me.”
“I don’t care.” The sharpness in my voice felt good. “I don’t need some sorry sack sneaking up on me when I’m mindin’ my own.”
A quiet laugh. “There’s nothing there for me. I been farming all my life and if I die,” he shrugged, “So be it.”
“Idiot. Fuckin’ idiot.”
“You manage out here! Wizards can too!”
“Wizards have magic.”
“You got some of that?”
I lowered the crowbar.
“We’ve got to stop starting our conversations with fights.” He paused and moved into the shadowy hallway of the building before perching in a half-sit half-lean against the wall near me. “I never was violent anyway, so if you want to hit me with that then do it.”
His shirt clung to him, sweat thick and dark on his chest and pits. “Goddamn you move fast.”
“You should wear a jacket or something. Long sleeves keep the sun off and a thicker material gives you a modicum of protection.” I took to squatting too, maintaining ample distance betwixt us. “A hat helps too, but I’m always losing hats.” I chewed on my tongue while mulling over whether I should leave him.
“Are you going to try and slink away while I’m not looking?”
I blinked. “No.”
“Liar.” He took a healthy gulp from his water gourd then wiped his mouth. “East is the ocean?”
I nodded.
“Is it far?”
I nodded. “For you.”
Dave sighed. “Thank you.”
“Telling me.”
“You ever have any kids?”
I shook my head.
“It’s somethin’. Henry had so much energy—especially when he was little—there was times I didn’t think he’d ever settle down.”
“What are you doing out here?” I asked.
“Helen told me she was the same way when she was his age. She had energy too. I feel so tired.”
“Dave. What the fuck are you doing out here? Why’d you follow me?”
He took one last swallow from his gourd before shoving it into his pack. “I wanted to talk to you about killin’ the Bosses.”
I laughed into my hand. “That’s—that’s a thought.”
“I mean it.” His stare was like pinpricks.
submitted by Edwardthecrazyman to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 02:22 _StaticFromBeyond_ The Geneva Team [9]

First Prev
Memory transcription subject: Professor Tevest, FTL Researcher
Date [standardized human time]: November 10, 2136
“They said 10:00 am. Do you think they’re still coming?” Virnix asked from the seat next to me.
I leaned my head against the car window. “It’s only 10:07, they’re just running a little late.”
“Maybe something happened to them. Or they forgot.”
“I messaged them. They know we’re here.”
“Then why didn’t they respond? The car drives itself, what could they be doing?”
I didn’t have an answer to that. I went back to silently wishing they would show up. We’d been waiting in car in the corner of the parking lot for over fifteen minutes. I’d honestly thought we’d be the ones late today given how long it took to get Dwlin to go to the bathroom and Kover not being able to find his data pad.
My pad buzzed. ”Sorry we’re late. We just parked and will be waiting for you out front” I read aloud.
Virnix looked to the back seat. “Everybody stick together. Stay within arm’s reach at all times. Got it?”
We got out of the car and began walking to the front. “Hold my paw Dwlin,” Virnix said, stress and worry seeping into her tone. Her eyes kept jumping around as if an arxur was going jump out from behind one of the parked cars. Was I that nervous my first day out? I grabbed her free paw and gave a reassuring squeeze.
Kover glanced over at us. “I’m not holding hands. Don’t ask.”
“Hey!” A voice yipped out between the cars. Virnix’s grip tightened at the noise, then tightened again further when a yotul jumped out between parked cars in front of us.
“Come on! They’re over here!” Sock yelled out, waving someone over. Following Socks, Kyle and another human woman I didn’t recognize appeared.
The woman smiled, stepped forward with a hand outstretched. “Hi, my name’s Catherine. Pleased to meet ya.” Virnix’s claws began to dig into my paw as she stared in terror. She looked to be on the verge of bolting.
“It’s good to meet you too,” I said grimacing over the pain in my paw. “My name’s Tevest.”
The human woman must had taken notice at my tone in my voice because she took a look at my wife and took a step back. “Sorry about that,” she said, her smile dropping. “You guys got a thing about teeth and stuff. I’m guessing the one on your left is Mrs. Tevest?”
Mrs. Tevest? “Yeah. This is my wife Virnix. Why don’t you introduce yourself Virnix.”
“H-hello. I’m Virnix,” my wife voiced with a robotic stutter.
“It’s great to meet you Virnix,” Catherine said turning her attention to Dwlin. “And what’s your name?”
“Dwlin.” The little gojid said proudly.
“Dwlin, that’s a nice name. Is that your uncle over there?”
“Uncle?” Dwlin said confused. Virnix’s paw went limp. I followed the woman’s gaze to where it landed on my son.
“The tall gojid over there.”
I burst out laughing. “That’s my son Kover!”
Human woman’s smile returned. “I guess I walked into that,” she said with a chuckle.
Virnix looked more confused than I’ve ever seen her in her life. “We’re like over twice his age, how can you not tell?” Virnix asked dumbfounded.
“Hey, I’ve never met a gojid before. The extent of my knowledge is that you guys have spikes and were gene-modded to be herbivores.”
Kyle looked up at Kover. “How old are you kid?”
“Fourteen,” he replied simply.
“If you guys are done talking, can we go shopping now? I need more frozen burritos,” Socks interceded. “I’m Sokvous by the way.”
We walked through the sliding doors and into a brightly lit store with rows and rows of aisles. Soft music played overhead. If there was meat in the store I couldn’t see or smell it yet. I heard a crash to the side as Socks yanked carts from a receptacle.
Virnix huddled closer to me. “Tevest, I don’t like that look,” she whispered with as she pointed to the humans in the lines near the front. They had a look I was all too familiar with.
“Relax. That look doesn’t mean I’m hungry and want to eat you. It means What is a gojid doing here? Why did the gojid come to where I am. Should I talk to the gojid? Just look at what they’re doing.” Several humans in the lines were whispering to one another and others were taking pictures. “It’s not hunger, it’s interest.”
Socks handed me a cart. “You get used to it. Mostly. At least you have spikes. Last time I was here people kept trying to touch me.”
“Touch you?”
“Grab the tail. Sneak up behind you and stroke your fur. Real annoying stuff.”
Catherine led the way into the store. “So, what’s on your shopping list?” She inquired.
“Fruits and vegetables at the very least.” Virnix responded. “I liked whatever those orange tubers were called….”
“Sweet potatoes,” Kover said helpfully.
“That’s it, sweet potatoes. They weren’t half-bad after boiling.”
“How’d you season them?”
“Salt?” Virnix said confused.
Catherine looked like she just heard we ate dirt. “You just boiled them and used salt? That’s not dinner, that’s a food crime. Whatcha gotta do is to toss them in brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans and roast those suckers. If your feeling real frisky you put a touch of ginger in them too. What else you looking for?”
“Whatever the red smushy ones were called. I think the package said tomatoes.”
“Another good choice, great in all kinds of things. Soups, casseroles, pasta, sandwiches…”
She kept going on like this. Virnix would mention something she wanted to get and the human would expound on it. Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, onions, among other fruits and vegetables were added, including a few that weren’t at the home when we arrive.
“You sure this one’s edible?”
“Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t. You just got to slice it open. Don’t let me forget, we need to get you some spices before you leave. What else do you need?”
“Juice! I want juice!” A few humans turned to the noise my daughter was making.
My wife pointed a claw. “Dwlin, use your indoor voice.”
“But I want juice!”
“Then don’t yell and ask nicely. If you want people to listen, then speak like a sapient.”
My daughter’s demeanor softened a touch. “Can we get some juice now please?”
“Better. Do you know where the juice is Catherine?”
“Down past the refrigerated section by the meat section. I’ll show you.” Dutifully we followed woman. The meat section. Whatever you do Tevest, don’t panic. If you panic then Virnix panics, then its trouble. Just don’t make a scene… We walked down, and down the aisle and it came into view.
Behind glass encased freezers there was flesh within, packed within plastic wraps. I couldn’t tell what kind of creatures these had once been. Did I even want to know? Virnix looked like she wanted to get away from here as soon as possible. Kover loomed over one of the freezers, peering in. Sokvous walked up to a freezer, grabbed several bags and handed one to me. “You guys need to try this, it’s delicious”
I dropped the bag. That’s it, I’ve lost it. The herbivore is buying meat. I’m stuck in a nightmare. The humans corrupting us wasn’t paranoia. Protector protect me, wait, no, oh god, wh-
“You okay Tevest?” Sokvous asked. My legs swayed and I began heading to the floor. Halfway down something grabbed me by the arm. “Geez man, get a grip.”
I sat on the tile and stared at the man who had a hold of me. “M-meat?”
Sokvous let go of my arm. “It’s not meat. Read the damn package.”
I slowly sat up. Not meat? I pointed my visual translator at the bag on the floor.
Plant-based meatballs. 30 count. Now with new and improved flavor!
“What?” I said confused.
Kyle offered me a hand. “It’s plant-based meat. It means that it’s plants that are processed to taste like meat.”
“Why?” I asked, still confused.
He grabbed my paw and me to my feet. “Because sometimes people like the taste of meat, but can’t or don’t want to eat the real stuff. Reasons vary from religious, to health, to environmental. The real stuff’s better, but with the war going on and the cattle exchange it’s hard to get.”
“So why are you buying it Socks?”
“Because it tastes good,” the marsupial replied roughly. I opened my mouth, but was cut off. “And before you ask no, I do not have predator disease. The Venlil, the Zurulians, and all those other Federation stooges can shove that fucking diagnosis up their ass. It’s a goddamn flavored plant. Besides, eating plants didn’t stop the Kolshians from assassinating diplomats. Where was the predator diagnosis on Nikonous you damn quacks!”
Where’d that come from? I picked the bag off the floor and looked at it. “I’m… not quite sure I’m comfortable with eating this.”
“I’d be willing to try it,” Kover said. “I wouldn’t tell anyone. Besides, even if they find out what are they going do? Banish us to Earth?”
Virnix took the bag from my hands and shoved it back into the freezer. “I think we’re good. Let’s get your juice Dwlin.” She looked down only to find an empty space beside her. “Dwlin?”
My stomach dropped. Did we lose her? A moment later I spotted her at the far side of the section by the juice.
Which was on the topmost part of the shelves.
The shelves she was in the process of climbing.
I started dashing over. Nope nope nope nope nope nope.
This was going to be a long day.
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2023.05.31 00:23 Joeyplantstrees Less common Milk Alternatives

Less common Milk Alternatives
I’m big on on growing and preparing food in more local and sustainable ways, and it’s hard to cook a myriad of recipes without milk. However, there are a lot of reasons people can’t or won’t use dairy milk. Everything from the amount of abuse and environmental impact of the 10s of millions (low estimate) of cows raised in CAFOs (Concentrated animal feeding operations), to the high concentration of Phthalates (endocrine disrupting chemicals added to plastics to make them more flexible) in milk from contact with tubing in milking machines (Phthlates contamination if actually really low in hand milked cows), to the fact that a single dairy cow takes about an acre but usually closer to 2 worth of forage to feed (which most people wanting to raise there own food simply do not have), to trying to lower saturated fat and cholesterol intake, the fact that 65% of the global population has some degree of lactose intolerance, etc. That’s without even getting into the recent trend of drinking raw milk and how quickly people forgot how many people that used to make sick and kill through disease like E. Coli, brucellosis, Salmonella, Listeria, typhoid fever etc.
I drew this poster but stayed away from the common milks you can buy in stores like soy, rice, coconut, oat and nut milks and instead focus on milk alternatives you can grow or forage easily instead. I have no issue with those, but feel like the average person is at least already aware of them.
For the pumpkin, poppy, chia and sunflower seed, peanuts and hackberries, the recipe is basically the same. Soak seeds in water, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. drain the water from the seeds and rinse them thoroughly. Drain the seeds and combine them in a blender with 4 cups water per 1 cup of seeds. (You can adjust depending on desired consistency.) Add sweetner and/or vanilla and a pinch of salt if desired to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. The solids you can use in baked dishes, soups or soups or as the base of veggies patties. (Maybe not the sunflower seeds unless you already like stabbing your gums eating the shell.) Finally, chill in the fridge where it will last 3-4 days if you don’t want to use it right away. For potatoes, peel and boil then follow the same recipe as above. For bananas, simply blend with water until your desired consistency. For quinoa, similar to making oat milk, boil in water. Let simmer until fully cooked. Then follow recipe as above. For cattails, clean and remove the outer layers of the tuber to reveal the starchy portion. Grate or finely chop the cattail rhizomes into small pieces. Add the rhizomes and about 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of grated rhizomes to a bowl, and let it sit 10-15 minutes so the starch separates. Add sweetner and/or vanilla and a pinch of salt if desired to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Cattail milk may have a somewhat slimy or mucilaginous compared to dairy. If you’re not a fan of Okra, you won’t be a fan of this. For corn, the kernels can be blended with water and strained or you can run a knife down the dekernaled cobs to collect a linguist referred to as corn milk.
Poppies (Papaver somniferum) most well known for containing alkaloids such as morphine and codeine, which are powerful pain-relieving compounds, it is also edible with the flowers being consumable and the seeds being a common ingredient in many dishes. The morphine and codeine are concentrated in the sap, so it poses little risk to consume the flowers or seeds, but the leaves and stems are not typically consumed. The seeds can be soaked and blended to make a milk alternative.
Pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) the fruit is actually a berry, and every‪ part of the pumpkin plant is edible. ‬ Flowers, leaves, seeds, fruit. One of the oldest domesticated plants going back as early as 7000 bc. The seeds can be soaked, combined with water in a blender, and strained to make a milk alternative. The solids can be used as a soup stock or to make an alternative tofu. The word "pumpkin" originated from the Greek word "pepon," meaning "large melon” while the indigenous called them squash whichcomes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means “eaten raw or uncooked.” It had spread there from where it was bred in the Andes
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) The word "potato" originated from the Spanish term "patata," which was derived from the Taíno of Quisqueya (Hispaniola) word "batata." In Quechua, which is still spoken by many people in the Andean region today, the potato is called "papa." In Aymara, another indigenous language spoken in parts of the Andes, the potato is known as "thaya." It is one of the most calorie dense crops, and other than being low in proteins and fats, it could work on its own as a healthy survival food and history even demonstrates this in the increase in health it gave to the Irish who were systematically deprived of other foods by the English.
Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) although called peanuts, peanuts aren’t actually nuts but legumes and the peanut actually grows below ground from the roots. They originated in Bolivia and Peru as far back as 7,000 years ago. Also, interesting to note they were a traditional companion plant for corn, and being a nitrogen fixing plant would make a good addition to a three sisters planting.
Hackberry (Celtics spp) There are around 60 different species of hackberry trees found around the world, with the most common species being Celtis occidentalis (common hackberry) and Celtis laevigata (sugarberry). One notable feature of hackberry trees is their unique bark. It is grayish-brown with prominent cork-like warts or ridges, giving it a distinct appearance. They have small, round fruits known as drupes. These edible fruits are typically orange-red to dark purple when ripe and have a sweet, sugary taste.
Hemp (Cannabis sativa) ‪The plant has a strong and fibrous stalk that can be processed into different materials, including fibers, textiles, paper, and construction materials like hempcrete. It was domesticated in a part of Asia referred to as the Hemp belt that includes parts of modern day China and Mongolia. The seeds are edible and can be soaked and blended to make an alternative milk, and the leaves and flowers are edible but could add a psychoactive effects to food though most hemp,is bred to have very low levels of CBD and THC.‬
Chia (Salvia hispanica) A staple food in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztecs and Mayans. The word "chia" even comes from the Mayan language, meaning "strength." While they are usually known for their seeds, the leaves and flowers are also edible. The seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Corn (Zia mays) was bred from teosinte in Central America from a wild grass into the plant with large cobs of multiple kernels we know today over hundreds of generations. There are literally thousands of varieties bred for a variety of local conditions.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a staple food cultivated for at least 5000 years of the plant domestication powerhouse that was the Andean region that also gave us potatoes, tomatoes, and chilies. The whole plant, not just the seeds are edible like it’s cousins, lambs quarters and amaranths. It is also a source of all nine essential amino acids, which is rare for plants. It exhibits remarkable biodiversity, with hundreds of varieties and colors available.
Sunflower (Helianthus spp) ‪First domesticated in Central America at least 30000 years ago, every part of sunflowers are edible and were a huge part of the Eastern Agricuktural complex and often uses as a fourth sister in a three sisters planting of corn beans and squash. The seeds, the flowers, the leaves, the roots, the stalks. Sunflowers exhibit a unique behavior known as heliotropism, where their flower heads track the movement of the sun across the sky during the day. ‬
Cattail (Typha spp) the entire plant is edible. The starchy rhizome can be eaten raw, used like a potato, or soaked in water to separate the starch and use that to make a milk alternative. The pollen can be collected and used as a spice or flour alternative, and the young shoots can be eaten raw and taste similar to cucumber. Since cattails grow in water, extra care must be taken not to harvest from polluted areas.
Banana (Musa paradisiaca) ‪Domesticated from Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, which are native to Southeast Asia, thousands of years ago to remove the large seeds and produce larger sweeter fruit. They began being propagated vegetatively, which led to commercial bananas being exact clones and heavily susceptible to disease, like Panama disease that nearly wiped out the Gros Michel. Often thought of as a tree, the plant actually contains no lignon and is instead the worlds largest herbaceous plant.‬
For the pumpkin, poppy, chia and sunflower seed, peanuts and hackberries, the recipe is basically the same. Soak seeds in water, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. drain the water from the seeds and rinse them thoroughly. Drain the seeds and combine them in a blender with 4 cups water per 1 cup of seeds. (You can adjust depending on desired consistency.) Add sweetner and/or vanilla and a pinch of salt if desired to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. The solids you can use in baked dishes, soups or soups or as the base of veggies patties. (Maybe not the sunflower seeds unless you already like stabbing your gums eating the shell.) Finally, chill in the fridge where it will last 3-4 days if you don’t want to use it right away. For potatoes, peel and boil then follow the same recipe as above. For bananas, simply blend with water until your desired consistency. For quinoa, similar to making oat milk, boil in water. Let simmer until fully cooked. Then follow recipe as above. For cattails, clean and remove the outer layers of the tuber to reveal the starchy portion. Grate or finely chop the cattail rhizomes into small pieces. Add the rhizomes and about 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of grated rhizomes to a bowl, and let it sit 10-15 minutes so the starch separates. Add sweetner and/or vanilla and a pinch of salt if desired to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Cattail milk may have a somewhat slimy or mucilaginous compared to dairy. If you’re not a fan of Okra, you won’t be a fan of this. For corn, the kernels can be blended with water and strained or you can run a knife down the dekernaled cobs to collect a linguist referred to as corn milk.
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2023.05.30 22:36 Vulcann111 [H] 300+ Games [W] Steam Marketable Items (Cases, Gems, Keys, Skins, Trading Cards etc) and Wishlist

I have multiple copies for most of my games, Trades are mostly based on prices from Please notify me if my keys are not for your personal use (i won't take any responsibility if i wasn't notified) and also please clearly state what you have and want in exchange when making an offer, i have no interest in buying games for Keys/Gems etc. and i also have no interest in Alpha, Beta, Curator, Dev and Non-Steam Keys Reddit Steam Profile SteamTrades

FUEL (Removed from Steam Store) Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet (Removed from Steam Store) Human Resource Machine (Steam Inventory Gift) Magicka+All DLC's except Ninth Element Novel Magicka Shank 2 Operation Flashpoint: Red River (Removed from Steam Store) Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded (Removed from Steam Store) All Zombies Must Die! (Removed from Steam Store) R.I.P.D.: The Game (Removed from Steam Store) ibb & obb (Steam Inventory Gift) Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition (Removed from Steam Store) eXceed - Gun Bullet Children (Removed from Steam Store) eXceed 2nd - Vampire REX (Removed from Steam Store) God Mode (Removed from Steam Store) Gundemonium Recollection (Removed from Steam Store) Hitogata Happa (Removed from Steam Store) Naval War: Arctic Circle (Removed from Steam Store) Red Faction+Red Faction II Red Faction®: Armageddon™+Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered+Red Faction Guerrilla Steam Edition Real World Racing (Removed from Steam Store) GundeadliGne (Removed from Steam Store) Beast Boxing Turbo (Removed from Steam Store) BlazeRush eXceed 3rd - Jade Penetrate Black Package (Removed from Steam Store) FortressCraft Evolved! Jagged Alliance - Back in Action King Arthur Collection (March 2012) Mini Motor Racing EVO+Mini Motor Racing X Monday Night Combat Sine Mora+Sine Mora EX Surgeon Simulator The Showdown Effect (Removed from Steam Store) Zeno Clash 2 Angel Express [Tokkyu Tenshi] Cloud Chamber (Removed from Steam Store) Darwinia DEFCON Demigod Droplitz (Removed from Steam Store) eversion ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition (Steam Inventory Gift) Frozen Synapse Prime (Steam Inventory Gift) Galaxy on Fire 2™ Full HD Hack 'n' Slash (Steam Inventory Gift) Hard Reset Extended Edition Hydrophobia: Prophecy MIND: Path to Thalamus Enhanced Edition Multiwinia No Time to Explain+No Time To Explain Remastered On The Path Out There Somewhere (Steam Inventory Gift) Paranormal State: Poison Spring (Removed from Steam Store) Patrician IV Gold Post Apocalyptic Mayhem Primal Carnage Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad with Rising Storm Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood Run Away Sacred Gold Space Rangers (Removed from Steam Store) Spirited Heart Deluxe Splendor Suguri Collection The First Templar - Steam Special Edition The Ironclads Collection The Old City: Leviathan The Ship - 2 Pack Gift (Steam Inventory Gift) Trainz Settle and Carlisle Trainz™ Simulator 12 UFO: Afterlight+UFO: Afterlight - Old Version Uplink Warlock - Master of the Arcane War of the Roses (Removed from Steam Store) World War 1 Centennial Edition (Removed from Steam Store) Jets'n'Guns Gold Anna - Extended Edition BanHammer (Removed from Steam Store) Beat Hazard Complete Betrayer (Removed from Steam Store) Bionic Heart Crazy Machines 2 Crazy Machines Elements Crazy Machines: Golden Gears Defenders of Ardania (Removed from Steam Store) Depths of Fear :: Knossos (Removed from Steam Store) Driftmoon Edna & Harvey: The Breakout Europa Universalis III Complete Fairy Bloom Freesia FlatOut Flower Shop: Summer In Fairbrook Flower Shop: Winter In Fairbrook Gettysburg: Armored Warfare (Removed from Steam Store) Grand Ages: Rome GOLD Hearts of Iron 2 Complete Heileen 1: Sail Away Heileen 2: The Hands Of Fate Heileen 3: New Horizons Interstellar Marines Ion Assault KAMI King's Bounty: Armored Princess Knights of Honor Knock-knock Koi-Koi Japan [Hanafuda playing cards] Lilly Looking Through Little Racers STREET LYNE Megabyte Punch Painkiller Overdose Painkiller: Recurring Evil Painkiller Redemption Patrician IV Praetorians Rebel Galaxy Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 SATAZIUS Skara - The Blade Remains Sky Mercenaries The Void Toby: The Secret Mine Tropico Reloaded Tropico 4 Unexplored Zombie Driver HD Complete Edition About Love, Hate and the other ones A Game of Dwarves Air Conflicts: Secret Wars A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda A Valley Without Wind+A Valley Without Wind 2 BANZAI PECAN: The Last Hope For the Young Century Beat Hazard Blood Knights CAPSULE Chroma Squad Cities in Motion Dangerous Waters Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game Dark Fall: Lost Souls Death to Spies+Death to Spies: Moment of Truth Dementium II HD Deponia Disciples II: Gallean's Return Disciples II: Rise of the Elves Dollar Dash (Removed from Steam Store) Dungeons Dungeons - The Dark Lord Eastside Hockey Manager Finding Teddy Frederic: Evil Strikes Back Ghost Master® Grand Ages: Rome Home Imperial Glory Imperium Romanum Gold Edition Kalaban Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition Leviathan: Warships (Removed from Steam Store) Men of War: Assault Squad - Game of the Year Edition Meridian: New World Motorama NecroVision NecroVisioN: Lost Company Not The Robots Nuclear Dawn Oniken: Unstoppable Edition Onikira - Demon Killer Patrician III PixelJunk™ Monsters Ultimate Rooks Keep Solar Flux Solar Shifter EX Summoner Sweet Lily Dreams Switch Galaxy Ultra Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection The Journey Down: Chapter Two The Last Tinker™: City of Colors Tropico 3 Truck Racer Trulon: The Shadow Engine Tulpa Vessel Violett Remastered Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage Zombie Driver HD Alien Hallway Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded A New Beginning - Final Cut Angvik AquaNox AquaNox 2: Revelation Axis Game Factory's AGFPRO + Voxel Sculpt + PREMIUM Bundle Bad Rats: the Rats' Revenge Ballpoint Universe - Infinite Bang Bang Racing Battle Group 2 Bridge Constructor Bridge Constructor Medieval Cargo! The Quest for Gravity Cat on a Diet Ceville Cold War Commander: Conquest of the Americas Commandos 2: Men of Courage Commandos 3: Destination Berlin Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines Crash Time 3 Curse: The Eye of Isis Dark Fear Dead Hungry Diner Deadly 30 Deep Dungeons of Doom Drawful 2 Driftland: The Magic Revival Dynamite Jack East India Company Eidolon El Matador Elven Legacy Empress Of The Deep Eurofighter Typhoon Explodemon Face Noir Faces of War Fantasy Wars Final Slam 2 Fireburst Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition GeoVox Gravi Greed: Black Border Greed Corp Grind Zones Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes Grotesque Tactics 2 – Dungeons and Donuts Gunman Clive Guns of Icarus Online Hacker Evolution Duality Hacker Evolution Source Code Haegemonia: Legions of Iron Helicopter Simulator 2014: Search and Rescue Hexcells Plus Holy Avatar vs. Maidens of the Dead Idol Hands In Between inMomentum Keebles Konung 2 Konung 3: Ties of the Dynasty Labyrinthine Dreams Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West Machines At War 3 Majesty 2 Making History: The Calm & the Storm Mata Hari Men of War™ Men of War: Assault Squad Men of War: Red Tide Miner Wars 2081 Miner Wars Arena Mirror Mysteries Mountain M.U.D. TV Musaic Box Overcast - Walden and the Werewolf Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition Perimeter Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic Plush POPixel Probably Archery Purgatory: War of the Damned Puzzle Kingdoms Quell Quell Memento Quell Reflect Real Horror Stories Ultimate Edition Really Big Sky Reign: Conflict of Nations Rig n Roll Rush Bros. Sacraboar Satellite Repairman Saturday Morning RPG Save the Dodos Shadowgrounds Survivor Shadows: Price For Our Sins Sinless + OST Skilltree Saga SoulCraft Space Empires IV Deluxe Space Empires V Star Ruler Starsphere Star Wolves Star Wolves 3: Civil War Steel Storm: Burning Retribution Syberia II Teddy Floppy Ear - Mountain Adventure (Removed from Steam Store) Teddy Floppy Ear - The Race (Removed from Steam Store) Terrian Saga: KR-17 Theatre of War Theatre of War 2: Africa 1943 Theatre of War 2: Kursk 1943 Theatre of War 3: Korea The God's Chain The Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight The Kings' Crusade Tobe's Vertical Adventure Trapped Dead Turba Twin Sector Two Brothers (Removed from Steam Store) Two Worlds II HD Type:Rider Vault Cracker Vegas: Make It Big™ Velvet Assassin Warriors' Wrath Who's That Flying?! Windforge XIII Century – Gold Edition Yumsters 2: Around the World Zombie Pirates ZombieRush Zombie Shooter
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2023.05.30 19:45 Necrolancer96 Summoning Kobolds At Midnight: A Tale of Suburbia & Sorcery. 83


Somewhere, West Virginia, USA.

"PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT!!!" A harsh voice barked out.

The dragues grunted and whined as they continued to chop and hack at the thick trees that covered the south of the Duval Estate. It was slow going since they were using basic axes and handsaws. The dumb things couldn't be trusted with anything more advanced.

At least that was what Morty, and everyone else, thought. Morty placed a ice pack to his aching head as he nursed a stiff drink. He could only vaguely recall the Ball. He was excited, then annoyed, then angry. Oh yeah, the City Council and the Mayor stood him up.

Then he recalled something about swearing vengeance afterwards. He winced as a great tree fell to the ground with a groan, and a wet squelch as a drague failed to get away in time. Vengeance was for another day, he thought.

He wanted his industry up and running yesterday, and he was annoyed that it was such slow going to get the forest cleared. The workforge was being rebuilt as they worked. In the meantime, the logs were being trimmed and stored in a hastily built shed to shelter them from the weather.

He didn't need the whole forest cleared, just enough for a decent path/road to haul the stone, ore, and lead from the deposits back here for storage and processing.

But even that was taking too long for Morty. So today, instead of dealing with matters involving the town, he decided to oversee the lumber operation. The back brick wall has since been torn down and the brick repurposed for other things around the base camp.

What stood now was a wide open view of the various oaks, pines, maples, beech and cedars that covered the area. Now he just had to tear it up. At least he will when the dragues would stop dying from the falling lumber!

"TIMBER!!!" The harsh call of the Red Cap foreman came as a solid trunk of pine fell.

The various work crews of the dragues scattered this time save for a handful that were either squished under the pine or lost appendages to it. The ones still alive were dragged away to the drague housing quarters. Small shanty shacks that were barely held together.

Morty followed and glanced inside, curious as how the dragues were made compared to the rest. It was pretty similar to the rest of the goblins. Save for the fact the pool was a murky almost dirty dishwater color instead of the vibrant green of the other goblin pools. It also spawned 3-5 at a time instead of just a single goblin every few seconds.

Then again, given the rate they died it wasn't surprising to see them being pumped out faster and in a higher volume, especially if the near constant stream of dead dragues being thrown into the pools to "refresh" them was anything to go by.

Morty, curiosity satisfied, went back to observing the operation. He stood under a pavilion with one of the smarter goblins as they gibbered about plans for collecting the lumber more efficiently. While they did so the Red Caps and other goblin grunts were patrolling the area, keeping the dragues in line as well as keeping an eye out for anything that might wish them harm.

Which wasn't much at any rate. Other than a brief skirmish with a boar their presence scared away anything else. A bugbeabigfoot/whatever they called themselves came up and gave Morty a brief report.

All is well, the halflings were where they were every time they reported back. Though the scout did report that some of them, and a handful of humans, were doing some minor foresting on the west-side of the forest that Morty was clearing.

Nothing that was any issue, Morty thought. Though he would have to either send someone or go himself and make sure that the halflings knew what was and wasn't theirs.

But from the report it wasn't anything to worry about yet. Maybe he can keep a tree line that could separate the two, a natural boundary so to speak. He knew that when he started doing full scale agriculture that the walking spuds would be his natural, and only, competitors. But that was a future Morty problem, today Morty was dealing with just clearing more than a few feet of trees!

The only good thing about the dragues was the same advantage that the other greenskins had, numbers. That was about it, they were too dumb to do anything complex, and too weak to do much of anything else. As soon as 10 new ones joined the work crews, twice that were hauled away, dead from exhaustion or some random act of violence between them.

Goblins were naturally petty. But the dragues seemed even worse! They could barely work together, they required a Red Cap or someone else of higher rank to keep them in line just to prevent them from offing one another.

It seemed to Morty that a caste system had naturally formed. Him and the sisters at the top, the Red Caps and other house/smart goblins making the next step. Though he's started to notice a bit of a rivalry between the two groups. The Red Caps maintained that their military mentality and organization was better, and that they in turn were better than the house/smart goblins. The house/smart goblins in turn believed they were better as they were better educated and learned than the Red Caps.

Morty has had to intervene between fights in the manor already. He's limited the house staff to serving only himself and the sisters and relegated some dragues to serving the Red Caps. This has resulted in more incidents of violence against the dragues for spillage and other instances of "carelessness". But the serving staff were grateful to not be dealing with the "brutish" Red Caps.

After them it went the goblin grunts, and finally the dragues. Not like Morty cared though. As long as they did what they were told he could care less. He watched a log get dragged away on a hastily built sled as he sipped his drink.

Out the corner of his eye he could see some of the smart goblins continue to tinker with the remnants of the scrapped vehicles. He heard them talking about building a "hauling kart" to better haul the lumber and future deposits they were going to exploit.

From what he's seen of the plans so far he would be surprised if it ran at all if it didn't explode, again.

That wasn't the only thing being worked on either at the moment though. While his armee was being trained and drilled as it continued to grow, he was expanding the area around the manor.

A few guard posts were being built along the road to the manor, and he's already drew up plans to build some housing for the soldiery, either in town or here on the grounds. It'll keep them happy and content, and if he puts them in town then they can be quick and ready to deal with any... malcontents.

As soon as the workforge is up and running he also wants more artillery. Either cannons or mortars. If only there was sulfur and saltpeter nearby then his armee could be entirely independent!

But you can't have everything. Though he wasn't sure what would be cheaper, ordering a bulk order of gunpowder or the ingredients to make it himself. Another problem for future Morty.

The workforge would also need to be expanded or liquified into separate specialized factories for processing the lead and iron. As well as a masonry to work stone. He wanted his manor turned into a fort by Christmas! A big stone starfort surrounding the manor itself! Walls lined with cannons! Sure it wouldn't deal with Apaches and Tomahawk missiles. But it was better than nothing!

The thrown together lumbermill was first on the list though. The fact that it burned up with the rest of the workforge was an annoyance that he didn't want to deal with again. So while the workforge was being rebuilt the lumbermill was being built away from it. Once it was up and running he can resume his lumber processing.
The Colonel had returned to the pawnshop. Though he was hesitant to enter. The same feelings from last night returned, worse than before. This time he was painfully aware of the new sensation in his breeches!

Once was a coincidence, twice was a pattern, was the human saying wasn't it, he thought as he shuffled. The fact that it's happened twice, and both times was in the presence, or even thought, of the pawnbroker, was enough to confirm his theory.

The other Red Caps were little better as the metamorphosis seemed to spring on them with little thought or feeling, he wasn't sure if it was sudden or if it had been happening for some time and they just didn't realize it.

Either way, it was something that the Red Caps now had to deal with. Sooner rather than later. Since yesterday the number of Red Cap recruits has fallen to pitiful levels. There would usually be potential in new spawns that would make it fairly obvious right from the get-go that they were worthy of donning the colors.

But that was rarer and rarer as time went by, and now he was sure that the days of drawing recruits from the spawning goblin pools was at an end.

He walked through the door as a little bell chimed above. Alerting Molly the pawnbroker of his presence. She actually smiled when she saw him. Which just made his nerves worse!
"Hello Colonel! How's the patrol goin'?"

He swallowed nervously.
"It's going as well as usual. Another nest is in the process of being put to the sword as we speak. Though there were also reports of a lone individual skulking about sometime last night."

She nodded with a smirk. It was actually kinda cute that the uniformed man was so nervous around her. A nice change from the hot and bothered country boys from one of the farms or ranches that would swagger in and try and pull their country boy charm on her.
"Heard about that this mornin'. Find out who it was?"

"We did not. I wanted to make sure that those under my- OUR protection weren't bothered by the incident!" He hastily corrected.

Yup, definitely cute, she thought as he continued to sweat and shuffle in her presence.
"Nope, as you can see everythin' is where its supposed to be."

He nodded his head at her words.
"Good! Good. Well, unless you would like to report anything than I will take my leave!"

He didn't wait for a reply before turning on his heel and making for the door. But then he stopped just as his hand reached for the door. He took a deep breath and turned around and looked at the still smirking pawnbroker.
"Though, if you are not doing anything tonight? Would you care to go for a nightly walk with me?"

"Why Colonel?! Are you asking me out once more?! And so soon?!" She asked with faux scandal in her voice.

"Y-y-your right, my apologies. It was improper as to inquire again so soon. I'll take my leave then." The Colonel said and turned to leave once more, a bit dejected that his offer was rebuked and ashamed that he couldn't wait a proper amount of time before asking her again!

"WAIT?!" Molly called.

He looked back at the pawnbroker.

"I was only teasin' a little! I would love to go for a walk with you tonight. If you still want?"

The Colonel smiled and nodded.
"Of course! I'll meet you after your work is finished?"

"That'd be fine!" She stated with a smile.

The Colonel left with a bit more pep in his step, though his nerves were shot from the situation. Another date, he thought excitedly! With his courtship of the pawnbroker going ahead now he just needed to get permission from the General to advance it when the time is appropriate.

The Colonel returned to the manor and searched for Morty, after asking around he found him in his study. As was the head butler, who looked to be speaking with Morty about something as well.

"-he staff are beginning to feel certain things that are not common among our kind Master. I have an idea what might be happening and I would like to inform you-"

"I desire to mate." The Colonel stated simply as he grew tired of the head butler's rambling.

Morty's only response was to spit and choke on his bourbon.

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submitted by Necrolancer96 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 19:43 dreamingofislay Feis Ile 2023 Day Four - Laphroaig Day Recap (5/30)

Feis Ile 2023 Day Four - Laphroaig Day Recap (5/30)
The week rolls on, and so do we! Laphroaig is my favorite distillery, so it's a real treat to be back. Heaven on earth.
The sun shines on Laphroaig and Caledonia
  • The swag is strong with this one. Although other distilleries have scaled back the free items, Laphroaig gave out the same array of goodies as they did in 2018: an aluminum water bottle, lanyard, and a mini-glencairn glass. Very generous, and it's so much nicer to drink single malt scotch out of proper glassware instead of the flimsy paper cups of Lagavulin and Caol Ila (pro tip: bring your own glass to those days).
  • There was a lot to see and do, with the main attraction being the rotating cast of musical performers, who kept it fun and lively. There also were a set of stalls from local crafts stores (in essence, a small flea market), plenty of food, and lawn games like cornhole and quoits. We bought a small book written and illustrated by a local that collects the Flora of Laphroaig.
  • The drinks setup changed a lot compared to past open days. This year, everyone got a free dram of Cairdeas 2023, a white port and madeira cask marriage. After that, it was a strictly cash-bar system. The selection was Select, 10, Quarter Cask, Sherry Oak, Lore, and two travel retail bottles, PX Cask and An Cuan Mor. Prices were very reasonable -- 3.5 to 8 pounds. They also made Penicillin and Old Fashioned cocktails for a similar price, although I didn't bother to stop by that stall.
  • While this new system works well enough, I vastly preferred how they did it in 2018 and how I've read it was done last year. Previously, you paid a set amount for a three- or four-dram ticket, and the selection was out-of-this-world spectacular. In 2018, for example, we paid 15 pounds for a four-dram ticket, and the offerings were two single casks from 2005 and 2006, Laphroaig 25, Cairdeas bottles from 2008, 2011, and 2016, and other rare or unattainable expressions. Plus, that ticket allowed us to play four silly carnival-style games, with each win giving us another dram token. We found an easy-to-win peat-stacking game, meaning we were effectively getting eight pours per 15-pound ticket. When we finished our first two tickets, we even bought a third one ... those were truly the days. That was outrageously generous but, last year, they charged 20 pounds for a 3-dram ticket that could get guests single casks and other hard-to-find offerings. I would have loved that, but alas, this year, there were no single casks or any Cairdeas offerings other than this year's bottle. At least not to taste (more on that later).
  • Laphroaig is a distillery in the midst of major changes, some due to the changeover in manager (from John Campbell to Barry MacAffer), and some, I got the sense, coming from the corporate overlords at Beam Suntory. It's a bit of an adjustment for longtime fans like myself, and I hope Laphroaig doesn't change too much. Some changes are fun and interesting. For instance, they set up a whole bar area for a collaboration between them and a local brewery, Innis & Gunn, which produced a delicious Islay Cask-aged dark beer. I'm not a beer expert, but we tried it, and it was tasty.
  • Our event of the day was the Elements of Laphroaig - Smoke tour for 25 pounds per person. The idea of this series was to highlight a key part of Laphroaig's DNA (Smoke, Peat, or Fire), and we happened to choose Smoke. It was the best choice, and our guide Ella (pronounced sort of like Eel-lah - sorry since I am sure I'm misspelling it) was amazing! The group peppered her with some really obscure questions about the smoking and drying process and other minutiae on the making of Laphroaig, and she knew the answers to everything. We were, I believe, the only one of the three tastings to get pours of Laphroaig 25 as part of our tour, so big win there.
  • Simon Brooking, Laphroaig's US ambassador, is such a gentleman. It was great to see him after meeting him at a tasting event way back in 2019. If you're American and you ever see an event advertised in your city that features Simon, that should be an instant buy.
  • Toward the end of the day, whispers arose about an 18-year-old Amontillado-aged single cask release. It was a silly price (400 pounds), but we pulled the trigger, making it our big splurge of the trip. The purchase system was kind of funny; a staff member first wrote numbers on the backs of our hands starting at 3 pm to guarantee our purchase, and then the shop started actually selling the bottles to people (with or without the hand numbers) at 4 pm, with a big queue forming in the 15 or 20 minutes before then. So in the end, there was a single cask on Laphroaig Open Day, although it cost a hell of a lot more than 15 or 20 pounds to try it! :)
  • This extra-special release celebrated the retirement of James McGregor, a 47- or 48-year employee and warehouseman, who selected the cask. While we were all lined up, James and a group rolled his last barrel down the hill to Warehouse 1, and he took it in to cheers and applause. A very sweet gesture. Ella also said that the crew at Laphroaig is a tightknit group and that they have good benefits, so it does seem like Beam Suntory does right by its employees at Laphroaig, which is heartening to hear.
  • Booking advice: Feis Ile is a hard trip to book, and you really have to be on top of it. To get lodging, you have to book about a year in advance. Around that time, you'll probably lock in your flights. But the ferry tickets don't come out until a few months before. And the distilleries don't announce their events until April and with very little notice. Most come through their mailing lists or through their social media. Keeping track of all that is not much fun if you're planner in the family, as I am. Every day, I was checking eight distilleries' social media and websites. To use Laphroaig as an example, they announced bookings would be available a few days before it happened, and then released the tickets at 10 am UK time, which was 5 am in the eastern US. I sort of gave up on it but then woke up at 4:55 in anticipation (my body really knows I love Laphroaig, apparently). That's how I was able to book our one tour; by around 8 am, everything was sold out. Really a crazy and difficult system, and a big advantage for UK/EU residents. Other distilleries were not quite as bad, but there was similar chaos. Caol Ila bookings blinked on and off for a week, and Lagavulin released a day earlier than anticipated and sold out almost instantly. It's a pain because, for us whisky nerds, it is a big investment to even make it to Islay, and you have to lock in the entire trip months before knowing what (if any) experiences you'll enjoy.
  • Fauna note of the day: midges, small flies that bite like mosquitos, are a huge pest during late spring/summer in Scotland. The locals have explained that they aren't a problem when there's a strong wind, as we've had the last few days. But today, with calmer skies, it got pretty gnarly. Bring bugspray on windless days on Islay. One more swan couple sighting, during my morning run, in the bay outside of Bowmore. Also, Feis Ile is very dog-friendly, with tons of adorable pups at every open day.
Fewer whiskies today than yesterday, although I'll update after I run through Bunnahabhain's Feis Ile 2023 tasting pack this evening:
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2023 White Port and Madeira - This one will probably divide the distillery's most ardent fans. It is reminiscent of 2018's Fino Cask, which happens to be my wife's favorite bottle of all time, and she has already directed me to order three of these when they're released in the US in late summer. Aye aye, captain! The white port adds a dry, crisp character to the malt, while the madeira sweetness dials down the smoke, so it is a more austere and reserved whisky than typical Laphroaigs. A 5% sweeter version of Cairdeas 2018.
Laphroaig 10 - Not going to bother with notes on this icon of whisky. It's the reference point/true north for Laphroaig fans. I compare their other whiskies to its high standard (i.e., this one's sweeter and has more vanilla, this one's less medicinal, this one's higher proof, etc.).
Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength, Batch 11 - A vanilla bomb from Laphroaig, especially on the nose and early palate, with the smoke and peat making a late comeback and then scoring a 90th-minute hat trick on the finish. Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength is my desert island bottle!
Laphroaig 25 2020 Edition - This was a 48.9% whisky matured entirely in ex-bourbon barrels, unlike some other years' releases that have more sherry influence. Another knockout dram. Laphroaig always mellows out with age, but this version retained a lot of its potent smoke in the form of incense and cigar box, while gaining a waxy, supple mouthfeel that made it almost feel like liquid Laffy Taffy.
Innis & Gunn Islay Whisky Cask Beer - This is a Scottish red ale, but to me looked very similar to a brown ale or porter, and tasted like a classic porter, with notes of creamy vanilla and nutty coffee. Love the partnership these two are forming.
Angel's Envy Private Selection, Jensen's Liquors - Say wwhhaatt? Quite random, but I've been bringing around sample bottles of a recent bourbon purchase from back home, in case anyone wanted to try it with me. Today, a guy from New England (originally from Kentucky) took me up on the offer, so we shared a taste of home. This is a fun bottle with loads of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and fruit pie notes on the nose and palate, with its only flaw being some graininess and kick of youthful rye in the finish that makes me wish it had aged for another year and mellowed out a bit.
Slainte, all! Hope u/MotownF or some other fellow Redditors here on the island chime in with their thoughts!
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2023.05.30 13:16 Downtown-Cap210 What to expect with the Derma roller and thread lift?

After rolling, the skin may:
Be red for several hours, some of the timeless
Feel like a sun-related burn
Expand at first (extremely minor)
Feel like your face is beating and the blood is circling
Less normally, takes a chance with include
Dull or light spots on the skin
Lines on the face (“cable car track” scarring)
Mouth blister discharge up
Enlarged lymph hubs
Individuals frequently botch the minor enlarging they experience for the blue phenomenon, however, the plumping impact you see at first will die down within a couple of days. In any case, as referenced prior, continued rolling has super-durable outcomes!
There will be some minor erythema (redness) for around 2 or 3 days, and the skin could begin stripping. If this happens, do whatever it takes not to pick at it! The stripping will tumble off normally over the long haul.
Hardened steel versus titanium derma rollers
Dermaroller treatment in Bangalore accompanies either hardened steel or titanium needles. Titanium is more solid since it’s a more grounded combination than tempered steel. This implies the needles will endure longer and the sharpness will not dull as fast.
In any case, tempered steel is innately more sterile. It’s additionally keener and dulls all the more rapidly. Treated steel is what clinical experts, tattoo craftsmen, and acupuncturists use.
In any case, in every practical sense, the two kinds will finish similar work.
Dermarollers can be viewed on the web. You don’t have to overcomplicate things and get a costly one. The less expensive ones will turn out great.
A few organizations likewise offer all-inclusive bundles, offering both roller and serums, even though their items might be pricier than buying everything independently.
What’s in store after a thread lift in Bangalore
Recuperation after an effective thread lift is very negligible. While there might be some noticeable expansion and swelling, you can return to work immediately assuming that you’d like.
Results ought to be evident just after the strings are established, yet you might see more in the long periods just after they are embedded, as enlarging and swelling begin to die down.
Results from a thread lift aren’t intended to be extremely durable. Fruitful impacts ordinarily last from 1 to 3 years. Like other dissolvable dermal fillers, for example, Botox, the strings utilized in the method will ultimately be consumed by the tissue under your skin.
After a thread lifts, you can continue your typical daily practice. Your supplier might prompt you not to rub your face energetically and to try not to rest on your side in the underlying weeks following the system.
The American Culture of Plastic Specialists prompts that you skirt your day-to-day cream for the initial not many weeks after a thread lift, and lay down with your headset up to try not to turn over onto the recently positioned stitches.
You’ll likewise be encouraged to keep away from saunas and extreme focus exercises for the main week or so after the thread lift is performed.
Planning for a thread lift
After talking with your supplier and booking your arrangement, you might be given a few rules for do’s and don’ts to get ready for your thread lift in Bangalore.
Illuminate your PCP regarding any meds you’re utilizing preceding your technique
Attempt to unwind and stay away from stressors the night before your arrangement
Avoid any realized irritation triggers in your eating routine
Drink liquor the night before a thread lift
Take blood-diminishing prescription or nonsteroidal calming drugs (NSAIDs, for example, ibuprofen, multi-week before your thread lift
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2023.05.30 12:33 jinu- help

So, I met this girl Kylea. About 2 years ago. She was dating my co-worker's son. This was back when I used to work at a liquor store. She started working there too and because we were pretty much the only people our age, and because we worked with each other so much, I kind of developed a crush on her. I was 2 months out of a year long relationship. We used to flirt(jokingly) all the time. I never thought too much about it. Then my co-workers(not her boyfriend's mom) started pointing it out that she might have a crush on me too. Apparently, she made it pretty obvious but I'm just dense like that. She started telling me things about her relationship and how her boyfriend was kind of abusive. One Sunday night when it was just us two in the store and it was pretty quiet, she came on to me pretty strong. I was 23 at the time and pretty lonely, going through some of the worst years of life. I had just lost my mom to cancer the year before and had just broken up with my girlfriend because I didn't feel my heart was into the relationship anymore. I wasn't finding joy in anything, other than going to work and getting to spend time with Kylea. She was so much like me, we pretty much became best friends. That Sunday night, we figured we would eventually end up fucking. I knew she was in a relationship, and I wasn't looking for one, so I assumed we were on the same page. Next week, I picked her up, brought her home and we did it. Not to brag or anything, but it was the best sex of her life, and mine. She came about 6 times and took me an hour and half to finish. We were exhausted, and she was so sore she couldn't walk. The ride back to drop her off was weird. She was looking at me differently. She came over again the next day. This time as well, all that passion and sexual tension of months led to great sex. She said she loved me in the middle of it, while looking into my eyes. I said it back. After that night she never left my place. Her boyfriend eventually found out after a week or so(I had asked her to tell him, and end things with him like an adult plenty of times). Around the same time my roommates were fed up with me too because of Kylea staying over all the time. She moved back with her parents, and after getting kicked out of my place, I couch surfed at a friend's for a month and a half, and eventually(after about 5 months) found a place for me and Kylea. She moved in after a month and half. We had both quit our jobs and moved to a new city, looking to start a new life. We were talking about marriage all the time, and having sex, laughing, dancing. I was in love. And I believe so was she. She couldn't find a job and I was on a work permit in a foreign country, which was ending in 4 months. I took care of her and covered her for the next 5 months. We decided we would just get married so I could get residency and keep on working. We wanted to have kids and our own place. I was 24 and we had been dating for over a year, I was sure that this was the woman I was going to marry. I met her family, and she was the first girl I ever introduced to my family. I was her first boyfriend that her family liked. Everything was perfect. Then, this January, she got fired from her job for nothing that was her fault. I'll admit that she did not deserve that. I truly believe that. But before moving forward, let me give you all some context. She was still texting her exes while she was with me, and when I found out and confronted her, she got mad. She started punching me and shoving me, and I managed to keep myself in check. I picked up my basketball and left to go play ball so I could not think about it. It didn't work. Then she came looking for me, crying and apologizing, and I melted. I could not not forgive her. I loved her. She said she wouldn't do it again and I forgot about it. Coming back to January 2023(the whole texting thing happened in August 2022), she got fired and next month happened to be her turn to pay rent. I bought her hair dye, a hair straightener and a new hair dryer because she had always wanted one, and I wanted to see her in better spirits. She dyed her hair the next day. She straightened her hair the day after that. Day after that she met me outside the house, and she was looking gorgeous. She had makeup on, and red straight hair. I was blown away, truly happy and ecstatic. Delighted even, because she seemed to be in a better mood. She said she was going to go to her mom's place for the night. I said okay and kissed her, and told her I loved her. She said she loved me too. She gave me a tight squeeze, and said goodbye. For some reason, that night, her leaving made me really sad. Almost to the point of tears, as if I knew that was the last time I would get to see her. She picked that up too and told me not to cry over her, as she shut the door behind her. Next three days I kept texting her and waiting for her reply. She would send me a single text every night, saying she was going to stay one more night. I trusted her. The fourth day, Friday, I got off work and was looking forward to coming home to her. She wasn't home still. I texted her but didn't get a reply. And then I made a mistake, I texted her mom. I asked her mom if she could get Kylea to reply to my texts, and her mom told me that she wasn't there, nor had she been for a while. I broke, then and there. I texted her the screenshot of her mom's text and told her not to come home. I asked her if she was cheating on me, she said no and that she was with a friend(refused to say who, said "does it even matter") and just needed some space to think things through. We were supposed to get married the next month. After that, she blocked me and wouldn't reply to her mom, or me. After a month of a constant stream of texts, and just general degeneracy, I stopped texting her. Then my manager from the liquor store texts me and tells me that she saw Kylea, with her ex. The one she told me used to hit her. The one she told me was an alcoholic, to the point where he had trouble getting an erection. The dude was a couple of years younger than me. I turned 25 last month, and its been 4 months since she left. I have no answers. I don't know what I did wrong. Maybe it's karma, maybe its just bad luck. I know I'm not the only person this has happened to, but it still hurts so much. I keep thinking about her from time to time. I keep getting Google photos memories of her and me. I can't bring myself to look at the pictures, nor delete them. I even downloaded Tinder again, on the advice of some friends. I've talked to some girls and tried to put myself out there. To find a distraction, to find someone better, or to find someone I deserve, however good or bad I am. Her cheating on me was not my fault, but I can't help but blame myself, for being so naive, and stupid.
Kylea, you'll probably never see this, and honestly I hope you don't. I don't want to give you the satisfaction of thinking that you found something else(while you were with me), and I'm still struggling to come to terms with the fact that its over.
I remember you crying and telling me how much you loved me, and how I didn't realize how much I meant to you, outside that Indian restaurant on 90th Ave and Scott Rd.
I remember you preferred my chicken and alfredo pasta over everything else I'd cook for you.
I remember you telling me, a month before you left me, on Christmas Eve, how happy you were that your mom and dad liked me. That your sisters liked me. And how much that meant to you.
I remember you telling me how you would stick with me through everything, and that you would never cheat on me.
I remember telling you things about my mom I have never told anyone.
I remember your favorite drinks, and favorite spots to chill.
I remember how much you loved Dom(my best friend's kid), and how I had no answer for him when he asked me where you were.
I remember all the things I gave you and all the things you gave me because I had to go through all our stuff and seperate it, so your parents could come pick it up.
I remember everything, and nothing.
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2023.05.30 04:28 handmade-spinus Top 4 Tips On How To Better Crochet Amigurumi #crochet #crochet amigurumi #handmade

Crochet Amigurumi is a hand crochet technique used to make small, cute crocheted toys or character shapes.
It is derived from the Japanese art of Amigurumi, which consists of the words "ami" (woven) and "gurumi" (stuffed toy).
By using crochet hooks and threads, crafters can create miniature dolls, animals, cartoon characters and other cute crocheted items in a variety of rich and diverse shapes.
I. What is crochet amigurumi
Q: What are the characteristics of crochet amigurumi?
A: They usually use a single crochet hook and a delicate crochet technique
A: It to create a fine and three-dimensional effect. These crocheted pieces can feature rich details such as facial expressions, clothing designs and small ornaments. Because of their small size and unique appearance, crocheted amigurumi are often considered cute and charming decorations, gifts or toys.
Making crocheted amigurumi requires basic crochet skills and a patient mind as a foundation.
Using threads of different colors and materials, crafters follow a pattern or create freely, gradually shaping the desired shape through a process of weaving and filling. People can design a wide variety of amigurumi crochet pieces according to their own preferences and creativity, making them unique and personalized handicrafts.
Small and cute:
Crochet amigurumi are usually small crocheted pieces, and their miniature size and cute appearance give them a unique appeal.
Stereoscopic detail:
Through the use of crochet hooks and delicate crochet techniques, crochet amigurumi is able to create three-dimensional effects and express rich details such as facial expressions, clothing designs and small ornaments.
Creative freedom:
The process of making crocheted amigurumi allows craftspeople to design according to their own preferences and creativity. They can choose different colors, threads and patterns, and even make personalized changes and innovations.
Crochet amigurumi can be customized according to different needs and preferences. One can request a specific shape, color or theme to make it a unique and personalized gift or collector’s item.
The pleasure of the production process:
Making crocheted amigurumi is a fun and creative activity. Crafters can enjoy the process of knitting, gaining satisfaction through the completion of each stitch and row, and ultimately creating a unique piece.
Suitable for a variety of uses:
Crochet amigurumi can be used as decorative items, gifts, toys or collectibles. They can add warmth and character to a home environment, convey warmth and care as a gift, or be a companion and comfort.

II. Crochet Amigurumi how to match the color
Q: How does color matching in crochet amigurumi affect the product?
A: The color scheme is crucial to Amigurumi. Different color schemes can convey different emotions and styles. Bright colors can make amigurumi look lively and lovely, while soft tones create a warm and cozy feeling. Classic combinations such as black and white, pastels and grays can also create a classic and stylish effect.
Q: What are some popular color schemes and suggestions?
A: Some popular color schemes include the sweet combination of pink and gray, the bright combination of blue and yellow, and the traditional combination of red and white. In addition, you can also choose color schemes based on different seasons, holidays or specific occasions, such as fresh greens and pinks for spring and bright rainbow colors for summer. The important thing is to consider the preferences and fashion trends of your target audience (women aged 25-35).
Q: How to match crochet amigurumi with clothing?
A: Crochet amigurumi can add a unique character and fashionable touch to your outfit. For casual wear, you can hang a cute amigurumi on your bag or tie it around your waist. If you’re wearing a dress, choose a colorway that matches the amigurumi to enhance the overall coordination. Of course, pairing it with jeans is also a great option. No matter what the combination, amigurumi can be the highlight of your fashionable look.

III. Selection of crochet amigurumi
Q: How to buy the crocheted amigurumi?
A: Understand the material of the product, the wire and padding used, quality materials provide a longer life and feel. Understand the production process to ensure careful handcrafting and good quality. It is important to consider the specific size of the crochet amigurumi, what fits you is the best.

IV. Maintenance and Care
Q: How can we ensure their beauty and longevity?
A: Regular cleaning:
Gently tap or wipe the surface with a damp cloth or soft brush to remove dust and debris. Avoid using strong cleaners or soaking in water to avoid damaging the crochet piece.
Avoid exposure to sunlight:
Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the color to fade or turn yellow. Store them out of the light or use blackout curtains to protect them.
Avoid stretching and deformation:
When moving or storing them, be careful to avoid over-stretching or distorting their shape. Place them in an appropriately sized box or bag to avoid external pressure and deformation.
Prevention of contamination and damage:
Keep away from food, liquids and other items that may contaminate or damage them. Avoid placing them in environments where they are susceptible to contamination or moisture.
Proper storage:
When not in use, store them in a dry, ventilated and dust-free place. They can be protected with ziplock bags or storage boxes, and insect repellent can be placed to prevent infestation.

Crochet amigurumi not only has artistic and creative value, but also brings joy and warmth to people.
Whether used as decorations, gifts or toys, these lovely crocheted works can evoke childhood memories or become treasures for personal collections.
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2023.05.30 00:52 Carlosial [WTS][SoCal-USA] WE Scar L + 6 mags, HAO MWS BCG, GHK AK nozzles+HPA Taps/Reductors

No Timestamp due to age and flair
Hows it going, unfortunately im letting go of one of the cooler rifles in my collection to save up for more guns lmao
Shooting vids and more pics on request for serious buyers only pls
Not looking for trades at the moment
WE Scar L GBBR - $750 Shipped and feed obo -
Internals: - Poseidon 6.05 inner barrel - Maple leaf 60° bucking - shimmed hop up with a piece of paper so that recoil doesnt change hop setting, its hard to turn but it will still adjust - added heat shrink to the bolt catch, locks back on empty 100% of the time - Nozzle has 2 washers inside, currently shoots at about 340 FPS, removing washers will bring it back up to 400+ FPS
Externals: - Airsoft Artisan M-lok front end - 1 in outer barrel extension (no flashhider) - Renegade Scar SC stock - Repro Vortex UH-1 - Repro SF Scout Light w/ 45° offset mount - PTS Magpul MBUS2 Irons - Cracked sight protector - RS Magpul K2 Grip - RS Magpul AFG2 M-lok adapter - Repro AFG2 - Barricade stop not included (covered it in red in the pics)
*batteries on light and sight will be removed for shipping
Extras: - Original stock + hardware - Original rail system + hardware - spare for parts nozzle (did the NPAS mod but doesnt work well, nozzle as a whole works fine but will not adjust FPS) - Spare Recoil rod/spring assembly - Original front sight (no rear sight) - 6 non-leaky mags
HAO MWS 99% Complete BCG - $95 Shipped and Feed -
Bought this to see how an Aluminum bolt would feel, is snappy but i prefer my heavy recoil setup. Basically brand new, ran 1 mag through it. It is 99% complete because it requires the 2 screws that hold the nozzle guide in place (see pics), was going to find some at the hardware store but was too lazy.
Also, the Bolt end in the pics is not the one it will come with (thats a GM bolt end). It will come with the original HAO Steel bolt end
GHK AK Nozzles & HPA Adapters and reductors -
$30 each Nozzle
Finally, got a pair of GHK AK nozzles and EPeS HPA Adapters and Mag reductors (4 of each). 1 nozzle is an OEM nozzles, the other is a 1J nozzle.
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