2007 tundra transmission fluid level check

Advice from a pharmacist on prior authorization process for Wegovy

2023.05.30 04:43 rxsangria Advice from a pharmacist on prior authorization process for Wegovy

I want to preface this post by stating that I am a pharmacist, but not currently working as a pharmacist. I have loads of experience dealing with insurance companies and the prescription billing process. I worked in a retail pharmacy for 25 years. I have also worked for an insurance company as a pharmacist. I started Wegovy 3 weeks ago and I had to go through a 6 week process of cooperating with my doctor's office and the insurance company to get it covered, and I wanted to share the process I went through and some tips for anyone trying to get it covered for themselves.
I cannot promise that following what I have done will work for you, each plan does it's own thing and make their own decisions.
I will not be discussing supply issues here, this is not the post for that.
I started with visiting the website and looking at what indications the med was for. Indications mean which medical conditions and symptoms has the drug been approved by the FDA to treat. According to the Wegovy website Wegovy.com , " WEGOVY® (semaglutide) injection 2.4 mg is an injectable prescription medicine that may help adults and children aged ≥12 years with obesity (BMI ≥30 for adults, BMI ≥ 95th percentile for age and sex for children), or some adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) (overweight) who also have weight-related medical problems to help them lose weight and keep it off. Wegovy® should be used with a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity"

This information gave me clues as to what the insurance company is expecting for the basic qualifications in the prior authorization request:
  1. BMI 30 or above, or BMI 27 or above with weight related health issues
  2. Reduced calorie meal plan
  3. Increased physical activity
There are more qualifications that each insurance company will require to make sure that the medication is deemed appropriate for you. I had the basic qualifications, so I felt like I had a good chance of getting it covered. I did some more research. I googled "Wegovy Prior Authorization Criteria" and found some links for some common insurance plans. I didn't find mine, so I checked out a few of the ones listed to see what other kinds of criteria my insurance might want. This pdf was helpful and I thought was a good example: Wegovy Caremark Criteria . This form gives their interpretation of what their specific conditions are for coverage, and if I met those, I felt I probably qualified under my own plan.
I talked with my doctor, she had done prior auths for Wegovy before so she knew a few of the things they wanted, so she took notes and had her assistant send in the prior authorization request with the following information:
  1. Has the patient tried a structured diet (keto, vegan, DASH, etc) in the last 12 months? yes, Keto and other low carb. stopped due to cholesterol levels
  2. Has the patient tried a behavioral weight loss plan (Weight watchers, Noom, etc) in the last 12 months? yes, Noom. It helped somewhat, but was too expensive for me.
  3. How much exercise does the patient participate in per week? Gym membership? Walking 3 times per week for 30 minutes, no gym membership
  4. What's the patient BMI? 36
  5. Does the patient have any obesity related health conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), or type 2 diabetes? yes. apnea, dyslipidemia, hypertension.
The initial request was sent in to the insurance. According to them, the initial request was missing information. My plan requires the remaining information to be submitted to them by the provider within 24 hours of the initial request in order to process the authorization. Since it was after 5pm, they said they were not able to contact the office, so they sent a fax request for more information. Of course my office doesn't look at faxes as soon as they come in, they are busy seeing patients!
The 24 hour deadline came and went, and I received a rejection letter in the mail from the insurance plan. I called them for more information on the letter, to find out what information was missing and what needed to be done.
Here are the questions I asked and their answers (THESE ANSWERS ARE SPECIFIC TO MY PLAN, YOURS WILL PROBABLY BE DIFFERENT):
  1. What information is missing from the original authorization request? A statement from the provider that the patient is not pregnant and patient has no contraindications to using the medication. (A contraindication is any reason why a person should not use the med, like having thyroid cancer or being allergic to the active ingredients)
  2. How can the provider submit that missing information to you? An appeal needs to be filed. The provider needs to send a letter or another prior authorization request to us that includes the missing information.
  3. Can I start the appeal process myself? You can start the appeal process, but we will still need information from the provider.
  4. Does the form need to be faxed to you or sent to you online? The provider can submit either by fax or via an online prior authorization service. Either way works for us.
  5. If my office faxes you, is there a specific form that they need to use? No, just their own standard office prior authorization form works.
  6. Is there any other information or requirements that the original prior authorization request missed? No, just those 2 items.
  7. How long does the authorization process take? After the appeal is received by our office, we have 28 days to review and give a determination.
  8. How will I know if it has been approved? Do you contact me or the pharmacy? We will contact your doctor's office first, and you will receive a letter in the mail with the determination. You may also call us back anytime over the next couple of weeks to check the status. It will be given a due date, and we can let you know what date has been assigned once we have received the appeal.
Satisfied that I had gotten all of the answers I needed, I emailed the medical assistant at the office and requested that they send the additional information to my insurance and start the appeal. I emailed the questions and answers that I received during my phone call to give her all the information she might need to get the request submitted properly. I was SUPER NICE AND PATIENT with her, as I know she has loads to do and might not be able to get to it right away. I told her in the email that I appreciated all the time and effort she was giving to help me get this covered.
After a couple of days, I received an email from the assistant with a notification that the insurance company wanted me to sign a release form to allow the assistant to 'vouch' for me for the appeal.
The rest was just waiting and checking back with the insurance plan about once a week. It was approved after about 3 weeks of checking back.
SUCCESS! The approval was for the first strength, Wegovy 0.25mg weekly. The whole process was about 6 weeks because I didn't want to bug my medical assistant more than once a week.

Now the question is: do I need another prior authorization for a new dose? I called the insurance company again. Questions and answers (again, these are SPECIFIC TO MY PLAN) :
  1. Do I need another prior authorization to go to the next dose for Wegovy? Yes. But the process is a little easier for the dose increases.
  2. What is that process? Do they have to send all the original information again for the new dose? The provider submits a generic prior authorization request, but this time, the only real notes that need to be included are a statement to the effect of "Dosage increased per FDA recommendation".
  3. I am expecting to have several dose increases. Does each prior auth have to be done separately, or can the provider request all the doses at once? First, I need to tell you that prior authorizations can be requested up to 30 days before the prescription is filled. Because of that, the provider can only request 2 doses at a time. If they use an online form, they would need to send the dose requests separately. If they fax us, they can just write in the comments or cover letter "Wegovy 0.5mg AND Wegovy 1mg".

My plan is to send these questions and answers to my medical assistant again, a few days before my next appointment, with a reminder to her that I will be asking my provider to increase to the next dosage, Wegovy 0.5mg, and expect to increase to the next strength 28 days after, and ask SUPER NICELY if she would please send that prior authorization request for the next 2 doses after my upcoming appointment so there's not a big delay in being able to received my next dose.

  1. Figure all this out ahead of time so you aren't disappointed and/or waste a trip to the doctor or waste everyone's time if you don't meet the qualifications for your insurance plan. There are so many people involved in getting you this med, that if in the end you don't end up getting it, it's a huge waste of time and resources. Just think of all the people involved: the scheduler for the appointment, the med assistant, the provider, the person submitting the prior authorization request at the office, the pharmacy technician, the pharmacist, the prior authorization people at the insurance company, etc.
  2. You can contact your insurance plan before you even talk to your doctor. Ask to speak to a pharmacy services representative, and if they are not able to answer your questions, ask to speak to a representative in the pharmacy prior authorization department. Ask all the questions listed above, write all the answers down and take them to your doctor if you qualify.
  3. Make an agenda before your appointment. Write down all the answers to the qualification questions that you discovered by contacting your insurance company, and hand it to your assistant at the beginning of the appointment, so it's easy for your provider (or scribe) to just throw it in your office note at the appointment.
  4. Pretend like your medical assistant or prior authorization specialist at your provider's office has no clue. What I mean is that they know how to submit the authorization, but there are so many insurance plans that there is no possible way for them to know each plans process and requirements for the authorization submission for each medication. A lot of times it's a trial and error thing. Send it and see if it 'sticks', if not, change it up and send it again. It's a heck of a lot easier on them (and more efficient for you) if you give them the requirements that you learned by calling your insurance ahead of time.
  5. While you wait for a determination, calling and asking your pharmacist "is it covered yet" is NOT helpful and it actually costs the pharmacy money! Each time a claim is submitted or attempted - sent to your insurance plan through the computer, there is a charge for the transmission. It's best to keep in contact with your insurance plan and call them daily or weekly, or visit your plan's online portal to see if they have updated the authorization. They also get cranky when you keep calling - they are busy as heck!
  6. Sometimes even after the prior authorization has been approved, it might still reject at the pharmacy. When claims are processed through that have dollar amounts higher than $1000, they often will get 'stuck' at the processor. I believe it's a code 78 rejection. The pharmacy technician will need to contact the help desk to get this resolved (phone number should be provided in the claim rejection information).
  7. Be patient.
Quick note on copays. When you contact your insurance plan about the requirements for coverage, ask at that time what YOUR copay for the med will be, once it's approved. A lot of things determine what that amount will be. Do you have a high deductible plan? If so, even though it's "covered" it could just apply to your deductible and you will still see a very high dollar amount at the pharmacy.
If you don't find that out ahead of time you could go through this entire process only to find out at the pharmacy that it's still $1200 a month because of a deductible or it's a certain 'tier'. How frustrating!! and then you will probably get mad at the pharmacy because you went through all that trouble and it's still too much. (It's not their fault!)
Do you have a coupon? Do you qualify? The Wegovy website has a coupon or payment assistance plan that you can sign up for that can take a certain dollar amount off your copay. READ THE FINE PRINT! If you have an insurance plan that is funded by the government such as Medicaid, Medicare or Tricare, you are not allowed (by law) to use a coupon if it's billed to that plan. They also can rescind or modify the offer at any time, so if it doesn't work for you don't @ me.
Good luck!
Also - vote for people that will fight for a better healthcare system in the US because this whole process is just UGH
submitted by rxsangria to WegovyWeightLoss [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 03:39 Accomplished_Monk168 Dealership Blew My Tranny

Dealership Blew My Tranny
I brought my girl in for general 60k fluid swap(debated I know) at a Toyota certified dealership last month and long story short they blew my tranny. Drove out of the lot after the service and back to the dealership within 4 miles because transmission was slipping and grinding. They told me they initially overfilled by a half quart and that they would adjust the fluids. The next day/second time I left the shop it still had a subtle slipping so I brought it back and they found they drained too much fluid. Brought back a 3rd time and they admitted it blew my torque converter and they would be putting in a “new” (Toyota certified remanufactured w/ 12k mile/1yr warranty) transmission. I asked for a brand new one and they claimed that Toyota is only allotting brand new transmissions for new vehicles and the only option was a reman. Picked it up 2 weeks later after they installed the reman and now there is an intermittent 2 second delay goin from reverse to drive. Brought it back and they checked prndl switch(was normal) and determined the reman transmission was faulty and they are putting in ANOTHER one under warranty. My questions are:
  1. Can a half quart overfill actually cause catastrophic failure in my transmission?
  2. Is Toyota really only offering reman transmissions? Are reman actually good quality??
  3. What’s a reasonable expectation out of the dealership at this point? I essentially brought my perfect car in to be mutilated. I’m going on 1 month without my car and feel like it will never be the same. I initially paid the $650 for the fluid swap(oil, transmission, transfer case, ect) and feel at bare minimum I shouldn’t be held responsible for that charge given the circumstances. Toyota corporate has been involved since day one and are waiting to hear the outcome. Any other suggestions on how I can cover my butt if issues arise in the future? I’m so frustrated, this is my absolute dream car. Ya’ll know. Pic of the first day I picked her up. 🙃
submitted by Accomplished_Monk168 to 4Runner [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 01:05 Eden_Forth Thinking About Trying 75Hard?

Fair warning, this post is a massive experience dump essay aimed at people considering the challenge. But I hope to see some current participants comment too!
TLDR: 75Hard tested and improved my sense of commitment to my personal goals and wellbeing, improved my confidence and helped me develop mental fortitude beyond what I thought possible, however I am NEVER doing this again. Do a cost benefit analysis FOR YOURSELF, determine your WHY, and then, if everything checks out, DO IT!
First off, stats: Day 69, down 24lbs from SW of 314, 26 yr old female
Now, I’m NOT posting this to spread negativity, but to let everyone who’s considering this know the reality of this challenge beyond the glitz and glamor and clout that comes with it. Make no mistake, there IS a kind of social approval that you encounter when you eventually tell people you’re doing 75Hard (and inevitably must explain what it is). People are impressed, and the closer you get to day 75, the better the optics. I’m not encouraging anyone to become a braggard, I’m just telling the truth about the sociology of it all. I advise you to use that as an additional accountability measure and turn the attention into a source of positive pressure. There were many test days where just the idea of having the people in my life that are ‘in the know’ see me fail pushed me to finish.
When Andy said 75Hard would start off hard, get easy, and then get hard again, he was truly telling the truth. That’s exactly what it’s like.
****Negativity incoming! If you’re not in the headspace for this, skip this section!***\*
In the beginning it was hard because it was all new and I had to restructure my life to fit in the tasks. I also was going from being a completely sedentary office manager (the most walking I ever did was to my car) to working out twice a day. It was, frankly, fresh hell the first 2 weeks or so. Then, I hit starting to ride the high of progress and achievement and it got easy and even a little bit fun competing with myself daily. Now, I’m almost done and the high has died, the sense of achievement has gotten old, and I feel like the days are dragging on and I’m just completing tasks to say I finished them. Around Day 50 I sort of stopped noticing any significant mental growth and I stopped feeling like the tasks were meaningful. This is important for anyone considering 75Hard to know because the second time it ‘gets hard again’ it may not be because of physical strain or even life circumstances. In the end, it might be because it feels like you’ve gained all you can and now you’ve plateaued, but you’re stuck just mindlessly completing tasks made up by someone you’ve never met and probably never will meet, with whom you have no actual connection. Past the elation of pushing your mental barriers and taking your physicality to the next level, there’s a kind of absurdity that sets in that you only escape by focusing on your pride and desire to reach Day 75 and say “I did it!” In some ways, the latter days’ drudgery may be a problem of the mind that you can ONLY escape via your mind. 75Hard is indeed an ironic challenge!
That’s not to say that there aren’t physical issues too, even in the later days. Drinking a gallon of water hasn’t really gotten easier, although it’s nice to have the assurance from my body that I DON’T need that much water daily (even on hot days where I do 2 cardio workouts outside). That much water also crowds out your ability to drink other fluids oftentimes, which is a pain if you’re sick or menstruating and need to lean heavily on teas. 2-a-days have been a nightmare (although that kind of is the point) not just in terms of laundry, but also on my body. You’re LITERALLY unable to take a rest day during this challenge. The closest you’ll get is 2 sessions of yoga a day, but yoga is still WORK, even when you keep it gentle. And in my case, I have somehow acquired a minor ankle injury in the last two weeks, and since we don’t get rest days, my only choices are to stop the challenge or keep going. (And WHY would I stop at day 60!) Then there’s the added hormonal fluctuations you’ll have to endure during the challenge if you’re a woman, some of which are standard, and some of which will be quite literally brought on by the increase in physical activity. Ladies, be warned.
BUT, it’s not all bad, would-be 75Harders!
****Positivity incoming!***\*
I’m blown away by how much insight I’ve gotten into myself and how my brain works as well as how my physical stamina has increased in such a short amount of time. It’s proved to me how little time is actually needed to make substantial progress toward a goal and it’s given me hope that I can reverse the damage I’ve done to my body. 75Hard has given me joy in the little things: jumping around my living room to a kpop song and pausing in amazement that I’m not wheezing and gasping for air, running on the treadmill or outside without feeling immediately winded, power walking up hills and no longer being intimidated by stairs, passing by junk food in stores and having ZERO cravings for it, recognizing the difference between a mockingbird’s call and a morning dove’s because I’ve been in nature more than ever, tackling an issue faster with an idea I got from reading. I feel so much more in tune with the rhythms of my body and have the courage to recognize mental blocks and temptations, call them out, and put in the work to move past them. All of that and more is because of 75Hard. And while I have still have a ways to go in unlearning maladaptive habits (can we get a 75Hard for finances please???), for the first time EVER, I feel certain that I’ll crush that goal, just like I’ve crushed 75Hard so far.
If you’re like me and struggle with an ED, you can also leverage 75Hard to tackle that. In my case, I was very strategic in setting my diet as something sustainable that required mindfulness but wasn’t overly restrictive. Because I have serious issues with food, I NEEDED to be careful about the diet I chose and other 75Hard participants with EDs will certainly say the same thing. In my case, I couldn’t eat anything ultra-processed, store-bought food must be as clean as possible (nearly or totally preservative free) and could contain no more than 5g of added sugar, no desserts unless I made them myself, and I could eat out but NEVER at a fast-food restaurant. I also restricted fried chicken specifically, because it’s a problem food for me! Choose whatever you want, but PLEASE make sure it’s sustainable, and if possible, craft your diet with the help of a therapist that already knows about your ED.
Lastly (props if you made it this far), I want to say to everyone considering this challenge that it’s something you should do for you and you alone. If someone were to ask you in the midst of the challenge ‘What’s your why?’ the crux of the answer should be YOU. YOU are your greatest reason to improve your life and strive for better for yourself. YOU are worth any and every investment in service of that cause. If 75Hard is the right course of action, then by all means start today. But give it serious thought and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. That’s the only way you’ll avoid failure.
submitted by Eden_Forth to 75HARD [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 00:49 SDBD89 How thorough is a typical PPI?

I'm going to take a car I'm looking to purchase in to get a PPI. It's a 2011 Mazda 3 s, 2.5L, auto with 102k miles on it. Mazda says the transmission fluid is "lifetime" fluid so it's usually not replaced. The fluid on this car was really dirty (clear-greyish color) but I didn't feel any grit when I checked it. The maintenance records don't show any transmission service ever performed. It shifted smoothly and the rpms seemed fine but I feel like there was a slight vibration. I'm not sure if that's just how the engine is or if it's indication of something. I'd feel the vibration in all gears, not so much when driving in gear but once I came to a stop I'd feel it. Will a shop check the condition of the transmission if I ask them to during the PPI? If so, would they go to the point of using one of those scopes to take a look inside?
submitted by SDBD89 to AskMechanics [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 23:58 Naru_the_Narcissist My review of Your Lie in April

Inspiration can be a fickle thing. The muses may guide our hearts towards a particular passion, but they don’t always stick around to see us through it. As a child, Kousei Arima felt a natural attraction to the piano. He could play music by ear, was a gifted mimic, and had boat loads of potential to one day dominate the instrument. With the help and encouragement of a family friend, Kousei’s mom set him on his desired path, but life as a pianist was harder than he thought. Rather than playing for fun and expressing himself through music, she wanted him to be able to make a living through his music, so she went as hard on her little pianist as possible, going as far as to beat and abuse him if he underperformed or tried to play a piece in his own way. By the time the terminal illness she’d hid from him took it’s toll on her, his passion was gone, replaced with the cold, robotic delivery of one who could deliver a piece perfectly, but found no more joy in doing so. He lost his mother, along with his ability to hear the notes he was playing.
Two years later and about three feet taller(I’ll GET to that), Kousei still tinkers around with the piano, but hasn’t played it seriously, to the chagrin of all who enjoyed his work, or just hate to see him so incomplete. It’s at this point, like all down-trodden men who’ve lost their luster for life, that along comes that one girl to bring color back into his world. Her name is Kaori Miyazono, and she’s a violinist who cares nothing for rules or convention, finding childish but somehow wise joy in every aspect of life, and with this one chance meeting, Kousei finds a new muse… A capricious, cheerful beauty whose revisionist musical performances instantly connect with the crowds she plays for, and whom seems singularly obsessed with performing alongside Kousei, and helping him to relaunch the career that he’d so recently abandoned. But her dedication to helping him to overcome his tragedy hides a secret tragedy of her own, and one simple lie she told back in April will live on to define their relationship as they change each others lives through mutual inspiration.
I haven’t seen everything that’s been produced by A-1 pictures, but I honestly can’t remember seeing anything they’ve done that looked outright bad. Sure, Sword Art Online and From the New world looked a little sloppy at times, resorting to broken character models to show fluid motion at reduced costs, but if that’s the worst they can do, then they could do a lot worse. They seem to take a lot of care with their work, putting an admirable amount of effort into quality control, like letting a low budget get the better of them would be an insult to their pride or something, and if that observation is correct, then I like the way they think. I’ve noticed that they generally have a penchant for putting a lot of energy into special effects, and then using just enough budget saving tricks to compensate without going overboard or letting it become noticeable. Key frames are well drawn and pleasing to the eye, and they feature a little more than just flapping mouths, with occasional shifts in posture to keep the characters expressive.
Of course, there don’t need to be special effects in a show about musicians, right? Wrong. Not only are special textures like water given special treatment, but we often get visual representations of the emotions brought out by a piece of music, which use environmental and 3D effects to keep our attention during the sequence, especially towards the end when Kousei and Kaori are playing together in a fantasy sequence, and the camera liberally revolves around a beautifully 3D animated piano. The characters also have a lot of inner monologuing that’s shown to us in artistic fashion, reminiscent of His and Hers Circumstances, but what I found the most impressive was the actual animation of the characters playing their instruments on stage. I can’t confirm this, but I have heard from a few people that A-1 pictures used a technique similar to rotoscoping, and I feel no justification for doubting this rumor, as every movement of the performing musicians, from fingers on the keys to the way the bow’s movements perfectly matches the music of the violin.
It would be so easy to get away with having a still image on screen while only the performers arms moved, and more intense note being played offscreen while only the audience’s frozen faces of adoration are showcased, but as I said, that would be an insult to A-1. Kousei, Kaori and several others put their entire bodies into their performances, losing themselves in it, and you feel every drop of their adrenaline. Character designs are beautifully polished and easy on the eyes, with it’s only major departure from reality being that the musician characters look a little more distinctive and exuberant than non-musicians, like Kousei’s friends. Well, okay, there is one other unrealistic detail that bothered me a bit… The difference in height between 14 year old characters and themselves at 12 is fucking insane. My jaw dropped when they said that Kousei quit the piano at 12, because he was so short that when he sat on the bench his feet didn’t even touch the ground. I could have sworn he was, like, 6 or something. It’s my only real issue with the visuals, but it’s still a pretty jarring one.
The music of the series… Do I even have to say it? It’s a series about musicians, and you can’t do something like that if you don’t have the knowledge or resources to pull it off, and they seriously pulled it off. Not only is it full of classical music, you can tell the difference in the way these pieces are being played, and the music that is meant to inspire and astound people does exactly that to the audience as well as the characters. From what I gather, Yuna Shinohara, a decorated Japanese violinist who was only 21 at the time, played the music for Kaori, and her wealth of training and experience did not go to waste. I can’t find as much information on Eriko Kawachi, who played all of the piano pieces, which is unfortunate. The show’s actual soundtrack was composed by Masaru Yokoyama, and while it isn’t as memorable or powerful as the character-based performances, it’s still solid and well-orchestrated, so it’s a shame it gets overlooked in favor of the insert tunes.
The English dub was produced by Aniplex, and features a lot of newer actors from this decade, alongside a few industry veterans. I’d like to say these newcomers step up and use this show as a platform to make a name for themselves, but I’d be stretching the truth a bit, mostly on account of the many loops that Your Lie’s text throws them for. Their performances were not consistent, which is a direct result of their material not being consistent, and I don’t really think it was fair for them to be thrown into something this eclectic. For the most part, they do a fine job voicing the characters while nothing’s really happening. It’s just characters talking to each other, sounding like natural teenagers going about their lives. Where they really shine is during dramatic scenes, and ho boy are there a lot of dramatic scenes in this anime. There’s a lot of pain, insecurities, confusion, all of that fun adolescent stuff, but with a much harsher but still believable edge to it once you realize the kind of real life circumstances that they’re dealing with.
While some of these issues may be worthy of an eyeroll from the viewer… Most of the characters who are in love with Kousei fall into this category… They’re going through issues that you probably had to deal with as well, and you can scoff at it from your seat as a grown up, or laugh at how silly it is for this obvious harem to try and be something more, they’re feeling something you’ve felt at some point, whether you remember it or not, and they damn well make you feel it. The exception, where several otherwise amazing actors begin to falter… Is with the gag humor, when the characters go SD Chibi for exaggerated reactions, and I don’t think they were ready to transition the specific roles they were playing into it. Max Mittelman, for example, is one of the best voice actors to come out of the 2010’s, and even though he hasn’t been acting long, his voice control and dramatic chops have landed him plenty of leading roles. He can do comedy under the right circumstances… You’d know what these circumstances are if you’ve seen One Punch Man… But he sounds horrible during the gag jokes.
It’s even worse for Erica Lindbeck, who had a tough job playing such a nuanced character as Kaori, whose happy-go-lucky persona hides a darker interior, and she does a great job of it, but the gag scenes just make her sound like a despicable asshole. Smaller characters face the same issue, albeit on a smaller scale, but the few veterans are able to navigate the minefield a lot more skillfully, like Wendee Lee(Who, in all fairness, never has to do a gag scene), Stephanie Sheh and Carrie Keranen. They have the experience to stretch their roles beyond the appropriate tones, which comes in handy here. The adaptive script is loose, but still accurate enough, and changes the vernacular so everyone sounds more like contemporary English, without ever sacrificing the intent of the text. They make a handful of charming and character-appropriate references, like occasional nods to Charlie Brown and The Phantom of the Opera, although they also use the phrase ‘as you know’ a few too many times. They probably should have changes some of the text, as a lot of it, when translated, sounds weird coming from 14 year olds.
Okay, so, here we are again. It wasn’t too long ago that I was calling out modern anime fans for letting their emotions cloud their judgement, saying that they often give perfect scores to any anime that makes them cry. Seriously, you could give a critic a massage, a home cooked meal and the best sex of their life and you’d still be working harder for a 10/10 than most anime do. Back in 2016, I’d just uploaded my reviews of Clannad and Clannad Afterstory, and I asked social media to recommend an anime that had genuine feels… nothing manipulative, nothing manufactured, nothing too formulaic, just an anime that would touch me emotionally and make me cry with sincerity. The overwhelming answer was Your Lie in April, a show I’d been avoiding due to all of the hype. I finally gave it a watch, and did it stand up as a heartfelt masterpiece, or did it offer the same old same old? Well, to be honest,it’s a little of both. My feelings on this show were mixed the first time around, and the second viewing hasn’t changed that.
Unfortunately, Your Lie doesn’t get off to a great start. The first thing we see is a foul ball hitting our man character in the head, lying on the floor and bleeding with what has to be a serious concussion, but not only does he heal immediately, but he shares the blame for the broken window the ball flew through. That’s not just bad, that’s disturbingly bad. It sets an early precedent for him being a sad sack with no will of his own, which I guess is kind of accurate, but it also makes his closest friend look like a monster for taking advantage of it(Trust me, this feeling is only gonna get worse.) I try to move past this, but almost immediately, it becomes apparent that all three of Kousei’s friends are some of my least favorite cliches in anime history. His two primary friends are Tsubaki and Watari, and they are… Respectively… A childhood friend who’s hopelessly in love with the main character, and a girl crazy guy who exists to make the main character feel desirable in comparison. I am so sick and tired of these two archetypes being stuck in orbit around at least half of the main characters in the medium.
And Kaori’s worse, because she’s a trope that I usually don’t see in anime, and I’m not complaining about that. She’s happy-go-lucky, she’s childish, she’s an enlightened soul who’s able to see all of the simple joy in life, and she comes out of nowhere to dedicate her life to dragging the main male character out of the slumps. She is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, which is to sexism what the Magical Negro trope is to racism. Granted, she deconstructs the trope a little bit, as she actually has a backstory and a reason to help Kousei, but she makes up for that small silver lining by taking the “Life begins at man” trope to a new extreme, as “Life begins AND ENDS at man.” I’ll give her this, she IS the reason I kept watching the series, as I was entranced by her violin performance in episode 2, and she made me want to keep watching so I could hear more of her work, which sounded even better when she played with Kousei. On top of that, she plays an important… Dare I say instrumental… Role in Your Lie’s deeper themes.
Your Lie in April is a story about inspiration, and it attacks this concept from every possible angle. As annoying and cliched as his friends may be, Kousei is a good character who has a great arc that deals with this theme. He begins as a child, having fun doing something that he’s gifted at, until he stops doing it for fun and starts doing it as a future career, being forced to perfect it and take it seriously by his mother, who pushes him to the point of abuse. She controls his life, making everything he does revolve around the piano, even taking away his cat and abandoning it somewhere so it can’t scratch his hands. He loses the ability to hear the notes he’s playing, and quits altogether to avoid his mother’s tyranny along with the intense pressure she put on him for not being good enough. On the surface, this is a very mature look at child abuse and the way it can have long term psychological effects on the developing mind, such as Kousei’s performance anxiety, and especially the fact that cats pose a trigger for him(And I mean the actual definition of trigger, not the bullshit internet definition), and the abuse in question is realistic, rather than cartoony or melodramatic.
Below the surface, this is a story for anyone who’s ever lost their passion for something they once loved. The idea that expressive and interpretive music is frowned upon, and only literal performances are acceptable in competition, which is enforced by both the competition committee and Kousei’s mother, gives an understandable reason for his loss of inspiration. His music was becoming routine, and pointless. I don’t think his inability to hear the notes he’s playing is realistic at all, but it’s symbolic for that loss of passion. When your work becomes routine, it becomes repetitive, and it finally becomes robotic. When your hobby becomes work, you fall out of love with it, which is why Kaori coming into his life was such a major turning point for him. She showed him that there was another way to play. She inspires him, breathing new life into his abilities, and helps him to separate his passion from the pain and sadness that he’d come to associate it with, and it changes his life in so many ways… He starts playing again, he comes out of his shell, and he even begins teaching a younger pianist… That he winds up inspiring her in return.
They also make an argument that you play even better when you’re playing for other people, and while I’ve never personally agreed with that, they make a compelling case. Your own music, your own performances, are not your only legacy. The music you inspire others with is just as important, as your work also lives on through their work. They make a great point when they say that it’s hard to play the piano when you compare yourself to Beethoven, but it’s not nearly as hard when you remember that Beethoven was once just like you, a rookie trying his best to measure up to the greats who inspired HIM. It’s a shame they had to resort to a manic pixie dream girl in order to pull this off, but it’s largely forgivable, especially considering certain reveals that happen in the final episode. So yeah, this is not a shallow series. There is meat to the story, and something meaningful that you can get out of watching it. I’d be happy to say that the series was also executed well, but sadly, this is where things start to break down.
The text of the series, for example, is severely lacking. The idea of inspiration and Kousei’s character arc are well written and exactly as subtle as it needs to be, but the other subplots… The romantic ones in particular… Are annoyingly obvious, and frankly, kind of arbitrary. I mentioned Tsubaki as a ‘childhood friend’ earlier, and while this should instantly telegraph that she’ll never get her guy… They never fucking do… She does absolutely nothing else to justify her presence. Everything about her revolves around her love for Kousei and why he won’t respond to it. Every aspect of her life ties in somehow to her love for him, and since it amounts to nothing, she could have been written out in the first half of the series. I won’t go into too much detail about the other romantic subplot, or how it offers Watari his only relevance to the plot(although he does have a few moments relating to the theme), but they commit one other huge mistake… They use constant, and I mean constant, voice over narration from the characters as they explain their feelings to the audience. It’s lame, it’s tedious, and it seems to be trying it’s best to keep YOU from thinking too hard about what you’re watching, because it doesn’t want the pointless teenage melodrama to lose it’s effect.
Another huge problem is the gag humor, which feels viscerally inappropriate and out of place. It makes the heavier themes of the show harder to swallow, and not just on an aesthetic level. For example: We see Kousei sustain head injuries during two of these gags, that result in him lying on the floor and bleeding out. We also see Kaori hit him right in the crown of the head with an axe kick, driving her heel down into his skull. Now, if these instances didn’t cause any lasting damage, and the people doing it are supposed to be seen as likable, how am I supposed to feel when his mother beats him in the head with her cane? I’ve seen him shrug off shit like that before, so I don’t care. Am I supposed to feel different because of the tone of the scenes? This isn’t the fucking Looney Toons. Hell, even the Looney Toons had consistency. I can’t be expected to believe that a portion of the material shown to me doesn’t count just because the writer was making a joke. That’s disgusting. I’ve complained about Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood making this mistake, but Your Lie is just as bad.
And then you have the plot, which did not work for me at all. Like, I said the themes were strong in this series, but they suffered one major setback. Kousei’s mother physically abused him and forced him to play music the way she wanted him to, all because she thought it was in his best interest. His friends, however, do exactly the same thing. Sure, they might not take away his beloved pet, but they still harass him, assault him, chase him, break into his room and generally act like complete assholes in order to get their way. He warns that his performance might not be good, he falters due to a psychological breakdown, Kaori has Tsubaki and Watari start roundhouse kicking him, and HE apologizes. How are they any different than his mother? Because it’s supposed to be comedic? I’m not exaggerating when I say that most of the interactions he has with his friends make me cringe, with their only justifications being ‘comedy,’ and the fact that they just happened to wind up being right. So the ends justify the means.
And then you have Kaori’s entire plot, which… Okay, I’m going to try not to go into spoilers, but if you’ve seen the show, you know damn well what I’m talking about. And this is the big one, the one that makes everybody praise the show out the wazoo, so I’ll try to be gentle. At the end of episode 4, Kaori faints on stage. At that moment, even though I was trying to enjoy the series despite it’s flaws, I couldn’t help it. I knew where this was going. I said, “Oh fuck, she’s gonna (censored), isn’t she?” I am dead serious about that. The beginning of the fifth episode featured her in the hospital, and folks, I predicted everything. I knew what was going to happen to her, i knew she was keeping it secret, I knew that it was going to be kept deliberately vague all the way to the end, I knew I’d never hear her play again(outside of maybe a dream or fantasy sequence), I knew what her backstory and connection to Kousei was going to be.
Knowing this stuff in advance took a huge damper off of the emotional impact of literally any point of the show. Granted, I did make one prediction that wasn’t true. I predicted we’d never meet her parents, which I wish had turned out true, because her parents are… Brace yourself for this… They’re Nagisa’s parents from Clannad. They are literally that. They own a pastry shop, they’re wacky and over-the-top, they live in said shop, and… Well, there’s one other spoiler connection, but that, along with a painful firefly sequence, made your Lie feel TERRIBLE at foreshadowing. I found myself, in both moments, shouting at my TV screen, “Okay, I get it, she’s gonna (censored), shut the fuck up about it!” So did the big bad tragedy work on me? No, of course it didn’t. The only part I got choked up at was a late scene when a cat died at a vet’s office, because it brought up painful memories for me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s something here, and it does make the experience a rewarding one, but it just couldn’t stick the landing.
Your Lie in April is available as a Rightstuf Exclusive, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the price is offensively high. Even on sale as part of the site’s holiday deals, it’ll still costed 130 dollars for each HALF of the series, down from 160 dollars regular price. Used copies on ebay go for as low as 60 dollars for each HALF, and I can not recommend you pay that much for an overrated series. You can watch it for free on Netflix, but if you absolutely need a physical copy, I’d actually go against my better judgement and recommend the Malaysian bootlegs on Ebay, which do come with a dub for a fraction of the official price. The manga is available from Kodansha comics, and volume 1 even comes with a sweet exclusive cover if you get it from Loot Crate. The live action movie is probably available stateside, but from what I’ve heard about it, I don’t care enough to check.
Your Lie in April isn’t a great anime, but it’s also not a terrible one. So, overall, is it good or bad? Well, to be honest, I didn’t enjoy the vast majority of it. I found the gag humor annoying and in bad taste, I found the comedic violence way too similar to some of the tragic material, there are too many cliches, and I caught on to some of the more important plot points way too early to fall for them. Having said that, I can’t say the experience was a bad one. The themes of Kousei’s character arc resonated very strongly with me, as someone who’s currently falling out of love with a long time hobby, and while I found his friends to be wholly unlikeable, his piano rivals were much more interesting, and I actually want to see more of him interacting with them. The final tragedy would have been a lot stronger if it hadn’t been so obvious, or if it at least had a proper explanation, and you can’t possibly deny that the audio and visual production went beyond top notch. It had a lot of problems, but honestly, it’s an okay show. It doesn’t live up to the hype, but it’s worth checking out. I’m being generous here, but I’ll give Your Lie in April a 6/10.
submitted by Naru_the_Narcissist to AnimeReviews [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 22:20 El_Captain_Steve 2004 Mini Cooper S won't start

Been trying to get an 04 Mini Cooper to start that I acquired from a friend for the low cost of hauling it away. It use to run until the starter died, then it sat for a couple years, so I'm sure the pads and rotors and other things need replaced, but I'm not interested in those yet as I can't get the thing to start.
Got the starter out, it was bad. It tested bad, so I know for a fact it was absolutely shot. Got a new one and it tested good, so at least I know the starter isn't the issue of the new starter.
I have also changed the oil and put 5 gallons of fresh gas in it, as it was sitting for so long on empty I trust neither of those things to be of value.
Replaced the battery as it was bad as it had sat so long to no longer be able to hold a charge. Hooking it up to a jump starter and a fully charged battery didn't make a difference to the starting process. Had so much starting power going through that thing I should be happy the car didn't catch fire. Needless to say though, I don't think the failure to start is not enough voltage or cold cranking amps here in the 90 degree Indiana weather.
Changed the spark plugs and the spark plug wires as the vehicle had plenty of miles on it before hand, and the level of fouling on those things was intense. They may have been good, but were cheap enough to replace and terrible looking enough that I doubt they had much time left for this world. I also checked the wires twice to make sure I have them in the correct firing order.
When I go to start the vehicle I have it in neutral (manual transmission), e-brake on, clutch and brake depressed all the way in, then I turn the key and get a solid click like it wants to turn off, then it stops sending anything to the stater. No mix of clicks, no digging like the starter is trying, it's like it gives the starter half a second to do it's job and then the car cuts it off completely for failing to do so.
The car produces no codes when I scan the ODB2, but when I go into the test mode in the gauge cluster, test 14 returns several codes other than the 000000 (all clear) code. I get 662800, 302800, and 672800. I can find stuff all over on how to enter the test mode to get the codes but nothing on what those codes mean. They could be important, they could be codes just there to mock me.
So at this point I'm turning to people smarter than me (everyone else that isn't me) in hopes that anyone has and idea what to do at this point. I debate trying to push start it, but the tires and brakes are in such condition that I fear doing that in a residential neighborhood would not make me popular. I'm only comfortable risking my own safety.
If any pictures would help, I'll more than happily try to get them. Just let me know what to get.
submitted by El_Captain_Steve to AskAMechanic [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:29 AlienNationSSB #Alien-Nation Chapter 168: Now or Never

Alien-Nation Chapter 168: Now or Never

All Chapters First Chapter of Alien-Nation Previous Chapter
Chapter summary: Elias wanders the grounds inspecting everything he can, has a fatheson moment with Larry then sends Vaughn to go try and spring people from jail.
It had been easy for me to see during the speech I'd given roughly how many had already arrived up the narrow pass, and as I stood from inspecting a firing port in a trench, testing whether the old cast iron cannon would roll back far enough on its rails after firing.
I gave it a pass after measuring against a rod. Certainly it was far from the highest of technologies at our disposal, but certainly it would be either lethal, injurious, or at the very least, extremely loud. The gathered mishmashed array of weaponry pointing outward was impressive enough, but the real piece de resistance was the sheer number of railguns we'd had returned to us, frequently carried by a two man team. I signed off on it for final inspection, noting the plug in place over the end, and went to the railgun positioned further down the trench near the intersection.
This was one I recognized. This shared at least something in common to the cannon, insofar as it was far from the latest model at our disposal. I spotted some of my own extremely crude handiwork, a far more rough set of welds performed along the plate's protective, unsanded metal edges. Mister Singer, if he were ever presented with it, may have recognized the shoddy, unstable hand that welded together some of the protective casing. The service flap told me the model without needing to even open it, the household door frame hinges pulled from Verns' stock of spare parts bin, before we implemented something even so basic as refined latches with catch points.
That had to make this a Mk. II. Sentimentality had no place on the front lines. I sucked in a breath at the sight of another old muzzle-loader being carried into the workshop for upgrades, already laid out on the timber worktable and ready for use and sucked in a breath.
I just hoped the earliest design of managing power flow wouldn't give out from the faster firing. Complex but beautifully arrayed piping had given way to simpler, more streamlined designs as we incorporated a greater number of readily available alien parts. Some of which we were supplied an initial batch of in the bag with the blueprints, and then we were told how to work free those same parts from various broken pieces of technology we'd reclaimed off the Shil'vati, or even the freely given away omni-pads. With every iteration we demonstrated a degree of adaptation to using the parts we had available, and each generation marked a leap forward in our own understanding of Shil'vati technology, courtesy of G-Man and his father's handiwork.
The final barrels of the extremely limited run of the second batch we'd paid handsomely for were marked 'present,' too. They had gone the least far afield, with one already slagging itself during the attack on the data center. I frowned at the spreadsheet, as if my impression of it might cause their fate to improve.
The latest blueprints could maintain a decent rate of fire without burning out its power management system located in the welded together case. Or, rather, the barrel gave out first. For the first time, perhaps as a result of being coupled with the magazines and a relatively rapid-fire exchange meant the neosteel barrels we received had finally become the weak point in the design.
It was only after we'd returned to Camp Death that I'd noticed the difference.
The new batch we'd paid dearly for seemed somewhat altered from the first batch we'd been building all the others out of, made from an alloyed material that shone somewhat dimmer under the sun as George and I worked in the shed elbow-to-elbow, though the contrast was not immediately obvious until one held the two against each other. It was slightly thicker, too, all of which to me indicated a change in supply in some manner, but our supplier had hardly announced themselves to Sam.
This was a troubling puzzle to me. I still couldn't be sure it was the new microbatch of barrels alloys being far from equal to the originals we'd finally finished building out? Or was it the expanded magazines and power couplings' ability to fire faster creating an overall volume of fire that overheated the barrel from overuse? Or was the power management design faulty, generating more heat per shot? Were we misusing them?
I measured the barrel of the Mk. II, just to be sure the shelf life of the barrel hadn't come due. So far, inspections of the original batch of barrels had mercifully indicated they'd all been brought back here were in comparatively great shape, with this one being no exception. That lent me some comfort that these new barrels were just not up to the task of heavy, sustained fire. I couldn't know that for certain, and an unreliable weapon was cause for anxiety.
Indeed, there was almost no wear on this version at all, disproving the worst case scenario that these were only good for a certain number of rounds before they'd be worn down to uselessness. Certainly, they'd eventually give out, but it seemed we were still far off from that point.
"Sir?" Asked the gunner, staring at me.
I stared at him, then down at the spreadsheet. "This thing fires three rounds a minute. Do you think that rate of fire is sufficient?"
I could tell he wasn't sure whether a 'no' would have him replaced with someone professing to be more accurate.
"Get it upgraded." I took the white gel pen and scribbled on it- make ready for an upgrade as soon as the final repaired railgun clears the shed. Assigned to casemate #4, Operator... "Call sign?"
"Brut," he answered.
"Brut...with the Umlaut?" He gave a thumbs up and I added them. Costing nothing but a drop of gel ink for a little personalization if it made for a happy gunner was a good investment. "Use it well. Get it upgraded if there's time, keep an eye on the work shed. Once the repairs stop, you can take this to the front of the line, Brüt."
There was no point dismantling all our old ones and creating a backlog while some still needed repairs. I wrote on the hatch Upgrade from Mk. II to Mk. IV. That would give it a magazine and more than triple its firing rate. Anything more than that, I quietly held my doubts for the feasibility of upgrading in a timely manner. The Mark V's took too much time and effort to build their complex power management systems for not enough gain, stuffed too tightly into the protective case to be completed quickly. The Mark VI's tended to overheat their crude fire control circuitry, the consequence of an overcorrection back to simplicity; they could maintain a high fire rate, but were too delicate. The VII's were the ones with the new barrel. Promising, but those barrel faults...I still worried it might have been the power management system.
We'd started considering adding water tanks to help maintain them, but it brought the weight higher than that of a Mk. I, and successfully swapping a boiling hot tank off a delicate, electronically-loaded railgun in combat seemed like a very questionable use of the time. We'd just have to ask the crews manning the railguns to be a bit judicious in our fire, and hope that the flaw was limited to the new little batch of barrels.
How many rounds, exactly, and exactly how fast was yet to be determined; we hadn't conducted the amount of testing a proper military might carry out, but while we had no shortage to man, we also did not have so many as to test dozens until their point of failure, weighing and comparing all their possible conditions.
All this uncertainty kept bouncing around my head. How many troops did we have here? How many rounds for every type of rifle, including the more exotic variants? How reliant on them were we to deal damage, and was it all stored somewhat safely? On the less direct side of things, how many tons of food did we have stored, and was it distributed well? How many thousands of gallons of water could we draw? How many pounds of soap to wash utensils, cups, wounds, and shower with? How many pounds of food over how many men, to last how many days? If it rained, some of these might be alleviated, and yet might kick off a whole host of other issues. There was no way of knowing, no way of taking a perfect stock. But I could estimate.
We had a lot of people. And a lot of guns. And a lot of defenses, and literally countless tons of high explosives, triggered by various means and methods. And we were mad as hell. While exactly how mad was less concrete a figure, I knew this many men away from home could end poorly.
Ultimately, whether it was the fault of the new barrel or the design had finally reached the limitations of its potential rate of fire without causing other issues, I couldn't say for certain. So I had to do my best.
I gave the railgun a clean bill of health to operate if needed, 'priority upgrade,' and noted the rate of fire for the defensive position at 'three a minute.' This one being one of our oldest models, I left it to the operator with my blessings, and made a mental note to add the next railgun we had to be stationed nearby, just so that we weren't under strength from that angle.
I craned my neck from the trench to behold even more insurgents trickling into the old clearing. The arrivals always came in ones-and-twos, their body language telling me the story of the journey it had taken to get here. They'd had to have abandoned their vehicles to the traffic-snarled roads almost certainly some miles away unless they knew the path George and I would occasionally take;.
Those who brought their own heavy weapons lay them down at their feet before collapsing. Water and food was distributed, though I couldn't speak to the quality, and a trash run would have to be made, tossing the empty tins into ammunition containers.
Of all the newcomers who had yet to be organized into place, I counted two mortars, several more volunteers grouping up to retrieve ammo after taking down descriptions of the vehicles from their exhausted owners and sprinting back out into the night to fetch whatever had been left behind.
The resourcefulness lifted my spirits. No one entertained the notion that these men were taking their leave to flee a certain doom. All present felt some degree of faith, understood who they were, why they were here, and what we were setting out to accomplish. Cells worked to find one another in the darkness, congealing themselves into a more coherent, practiced fighting force by virtue of familiarity with one another. Discipline was sharp and needed little enforcement past an initial reminder. No flashlights switched on inside the premises or campfires were lit despite the encroaching edges of the cold front. Insurgents were guided to whatever defensive positions, pillboxes, trenches, battlements, or bunkers still sat empty, depending somewhat on their expected role after detailing their skills to sentries or those otherwise familiar with the camp carefully explaining sight lines and our overall defensive strategy.
Whispered word overheard from those arrivals seemed to indicate a mixture of panic and outrage was fast spreading through the state's populace, carrying them on frightened wings as they took flight in the night, from here to the southernmost beaches and bays. It seemed word had gotten out successfully, then. That knocked down one more obstacle to our success, or at least set the pieces in place. Soon, all that would remain would be the ugly business of following through, and hoping, no praying that I hadn't massively miscalculated in my hubris.
I took the ramp out of the trench so they could pour some loose gravel into it, helping ensure that if those threatening looking storm clouds opened and if the drains clogged, we still would have some footing, and retired to the command cabin, eyeing how empty it felt with all the finished products being set into defensive arrangements; only the workshop still retained all its rather explosive concoctions.
The manpower situation was such that those familiar in reliably manufacturing complex bombs were spending their time setting up defenses in the fields beyond and settling in our new arrivals.
And then I had the couple hostages, weakened by months of captivity, restrained and kept under guard, but still sitting right on top of the half-done armaments.
I told myself that we had taken precautions- the most reactive sets separated by a thin membranous bag of water to prevent chain reactions from taking root and a few emergency containment systems, but they relied on someone present. I'd need all hands on deck- and what if a direct lance of energy landed from some heavy weapon hit the shed, perhaps to try and make a point? No mere bag of water would make a difference then.
Then again, if they brought that king of weaponry to bear, then the outcome would be certain. The Shil'vati would still lose their hostages, and have tacitly admitted I'd forced their hand, and that they'd declared we were enough of a threat to sacrifice noblewomen just to put a stop to.
I hunched over a smaller map in the command cabin, pinning down the garrisons and jails Verns might be held in. Perhaps I'd been premature in my assessment in lacking a future need of a good map when I'd jumped atop the table for my little motivational speech. I'd gotten caught up in the moment; I hadn't foreseen the need for an offensive element.
I was sorely missing my Lieutenants. Vendetta wasn't here, which was one of the greater anxieties weighing on my shoulders.
The one word I'd whispered in his ear all that time ago to bring him around to believing I did, in fact, have a plan: Victory. He should be here already.
He'd sprinted off across the field in glee back when I told him of this plan's possibility, that "Plan C" might come about due to a few cells going dark and my suspicion that it wasn't moles. The null hypothesis, that there were in fact moles, had put him in direct danger by sending him to double-check.
I cursed my blindness. My eagerness to take a night off, to get him out of the way so he wouldn't clash with the others, so I could be a 'normal boy' for a night and attend a party- one I wouldn't be kicked out of, To find social acceptance.
All part of a 'coming of age,' even after I'd already spilt blood, led a war campaign effort, kissed, earned more money than most would see in a lifetime, and mentally cut ties with my family. By almost any account, I already was a man, yet I'd gotten obsessive in imitating the modern trappings of defining such things. I should have seen the cells reporting members' absences and even going dark as a whole for what it was. I could have called off Town Hall, started assembling even more people here.
Then again, if I had, then perhaps...the shil'vati might not have started grabbing everyone. I hated to think of Verns as 'sacrificial.' They likely didn't have much on him, just a neighbor's report. Then again, we'd had that meeting right after the bar fight at Lucky's, right? How thoroughly had George cleared out his house, if they went back to rummage around and investigate? How well could George cover his tracks? We'd left that ammo crate in the hallway, for starters- clumsy of us, yet we were in a panic. Like children. I tensed as I remembered so vividly the sudden sharp report of the gun, watched Patrick's empty eyes stare up. But not children.
There was nothing I could do for Vendetta. We'd sent the Bat Signal out. Either he'd be here, or he'd miss it.
I weighed the value of sending George away once he got here. The order would certainly annoy him after he'd just arrived, something of an arduous task given how far backed up the traffic had become. I also knew it meant I'd have one fewer lieutenant here, where I desperately needed him. I could hardly ask him to burn down the childhood home, and it would certainly reek of hiding evidence.
"Sir," A sentry stood in the door frame, and I stretched from where my muscles had tensed up, pulling my shoulders back and yawning silently beneath my mask, lumbering toward him.
I didn't realize how tall I'd gotten until I realized he was staring up at me and had taken a half-step backwards- not to make way so I could lead from the door, either, but almost defensively.
"Yes, what is it?" I asked, stopping in place.
"We've received a message for you, sir. Radio is reporting that a 'Hex' has checked in from her position. She and Binary report 'Green as Grass,' sir."
I wasn't used to being called 'sir,' and it caught me off guard. I realized he was standing there, waiting for a response from me of some sort, too.
What should I say for him to send back to Hex? I momentarily remembered the sensation of the kiss, the warm, slightly wet softness, the tenderness, and felt a bit of a blush under my mask. While every instinct screamed at me to not air even a hint of my romances or inner turmoil about a kiss over the unencrypted connection, there was a level of 'not talking about it' that I was unfamiliar with and hadn't planned for. Could my message back be coded into something subtle? Nothing came to mind.
"G-good," I finally stuttered a little awkwardly. "That's very good."
"What does it mean, sir?"
I pushed the distractions out of my head. This was no time to be thinking about girls- and my mind stubbornly disobeyed, wandering right back to Natalie. At first to the hug she'd offered me, when I was scared. Frightened of the mind-wiper device. That tenderness she'd offered- I pushed the memory from my mind, too. This wasn't the time to fantasize, either. I had to live in the world that was before me, here in the present. People were relying on me. I could figure out all that other stuff- girls, hope, my future- sometime later.
"It means the operation can proceed as planned."
If the Twins stopped reporting or got caught with the hostages, then we'd have a lot less leverage stopping Azraea from blowing us all sky high. A couple noblewomen- who I wasn't terribly familiar with and seemed to be somewhat less important, provided they were truthful to me of their station. This unfortunate pair had relied on connections to already-stationed family members to arrive, rather than on their raw political power to muscle their way to Earth's then-closely guarded secret coordinates, and were present only for evidence of said hostages' presence.
"Sir, beg your pardon," I could sense something bubbling under his words, against his better judgment, but some sense of desperation demanded he ask me this anyways. "But what is the operation? I've been manning the airwaves with Radio, helping spread word, but everyone I make contact with seems to want to know."
"I don't see the wisdom in broadcasting the finer details of our plan, I'm sure you understand."
I sensed the inner conflict by the way he froze up. He wanted to object, probably, to swear he wouldn't leak more than the minimum. The problem was, anyone listening for long might take a morsel here, a morsel there, and bring it all together and undo us.
"You have all you're meant to have at this point, frustrating though that must be to try and inform others of the going-ons. Our objective is right before us. When the time comes and the enemy appears, blast them." I didn't want to say there isn't much else to plan. At least, not for them to consider.
"And you, sir?"
"I'll be right here, alongside you," I promised. That seemed to ease some of his pressing curiosity, at least. "We'll be here together, to watch the birth of a miracle." That, or we'd die together. Those words didn't quite have the same catchy ring, though.
I looked over my shoulder back at the map. What more good could be wrought over pondering what jail he might be in, without more details?
"Another matter. Hex said G-Man should arrive in a few minutes."
"Thank you. Anything else to report?"
"No sir, the shortwave beckons." They gave a hand-on-heart and stepped out, leaving the doorframe empty.
I told myself I may as well follow. There was no good to come of disappearing into a tent, secluded for long periods, not when anxiety might run through the gathered troops. I had to make myself seen at least periodically. Besides, it was easier to get a more complete picture from out here than in there.
Radio looked like a one-man-band by the way he was surrounded by boxy electronics of varying sizes, their glows dimmed slightly by thin pieces of fabric taped over the tiny glowing screens, and the trap stretched over his head. Wires snaked their way along the ground, a trooper trying to lay the cable into a thin channel of dirt with a spade to reduce the tripping hazard.
Pierce crouched next to him with a laptop plugged into something wired together, the final outlet of which looked vaguely like an international travel inverter, her fingers flying across the trackpad.
"Radio, how are we?"
"We've made lots of contact, I think. So much traffic on the airwaves it's actually hard to find a clear channel to broadcast on."
"Do they have our encryption keys?" I asked, the question almost automatic.
"No, having one kind of defeats the purpose of being heard and getting the signal out. Besides, encrypting's probably easy for the Shil'vati to crack. Less easy for human intelligence agencies, but impossible for the people who we want to hear us."
I already knew most of this, but humoured him. Little entertained radio quite like his namesake.
"What's our chance of discovery, then? Rough time to them figuring out it's us here, and finding the signal's origin."
"At least with a somewhat uncountable number of HAM signals being thrown across the airwaves, we are a really big needle in a gigantic haystack. Besides, how many times have we actually been where we're broadcasting from?"
That was a point I hadn't considered.
The Shil'vati would likely regard our signal as just a relay point, rather than the source, let alone the destination.
Would they strike it just to silence the orders, once they figured out how many of them were originating from the same point?
I comforted myself by staring upstream of the creek that wandered to the south of Camp Death, following its course with my eyes to where it flowed under the concrete tunnels under the highway, under the train tracks, to where it ultimately ran back to where Radio and I had visited Saint Michael's. Then I turned my head back across the field, toward where the foundation of Mojo and Mister Pasta's had been, where Vaughn had called in the kill team on the Fed's sting operation,
We'd certainly set up plenty of remote broadcast towers before, to entice them into launching strikes on collaborationists. That Saint Michael's was still standing after we'd broadcast all kinds of propaganda from there meant they'd almost certainly learned to be a bit more cautious about lashing out blindly.
In the darkness I saw a familiar figure materialize, and with a bit of relief, I ran up to greet Larry. I wanted to give the old mechanic a hug, but knew that expressions of intimacy while standing near the middle of the camp's defensive perimeter in front of everyone was more than a bit inappropriate, and settled for a nod of acknowledgment.
"I cleaned up the mess at Jules place," he said, going back to referring to his friend by their code name, glancing at Pierce.
I felt a moment of shame. We'd panicked and grabbed everything. Perhaps we were like children after all, leaving our toys out and in the hall. "Thank you."
"Saw Patrick."
"Patrick saw," I said back. "Patrick- called."
Whatever Larry was about to say, that brought him up short. "Oh. Oh." The words seemed to leave him pained. He'd known Patrick, too, and I felt the weight of guilt. It seemed he moved on faster than I could, because he changed the topic quickly.
"What's up?" He gestured at the radio setup.
Pierce seemed to be quite engrossed in her work, trying to connect the laptop to a radio via a USB cable, fumbling with the port in the dark. The laptop's screen was showing a shaky handheld video of a mass arrest- and I thought I could hear my own voice echoing the words I'd spoken just a short while ago.
"Just uploading the speech. I've spliced it up to some footage that one of the newcomers brought. We'll also be exporting raw versions of both- just the audio, the video, make sure people have the record and can decide for themselves."
Sometimes the truth was the best propaganda.
"How are you getting video out? I thought the internet was down."
Radio held a hand up, and then put it down, as if I'd been a teacher asking a question and he'd been chasing extra credit. The next few sentences were practically a foreign language to me, uttering a series of numbers in rapid succession, followed by what sounded like a name. That may've been a model, an edition of a model, a make, a special form of broadcasting- all of it may well have been bounced off the ionosphere for how far it went over my head. I wasn't used to being so completely out of my depth, but everyone seems to have specialized in some skill or another. I'd preferred getting involved in all aspects of the revolution, but at a certain point delegation was a necessity, and I was watching not just the task's needs, but also the capabilities of my lieutenants grow well past my ability to offer useful insight and guidance.
"I...see." I didn't, but I wasn't sure what else to say. I wanted to express curiosity, but I felt like this new capability was something we'd discuss later, if there was a later. "And people can receive high definition video over shortwave? It just takes a long time?"
It seemed to me to be an apparently somewhat technical process to perform over shortwave, and only when finally pressed for details, Radio at last admitted something I did understand: "I am not sure most people know how to collect the signal, or have the right equipment to, but I'm sure someone will, Maybe that person will redistribute the videos."
There. Actionable, useful information.
"Then continue," I said. "At least unless anything more pressing jumps up to do."
"Let's hope it's good for more than the history books," Pierce commented mildly.
"The world has to know, and I am certain the shil'vati have no interest in putting such footage out there. That's reason enough for us, isn't it?" I watched Radio nod and then scurry about the camp, tracing one of the wires toward the antenna array nearest the highway. I turned to Larry, breaking off from the amusing spectacle. "Do you remember my promise?" My question was genuine, but he seemed to waver slightly, now that the possibility of actually delivering on it was here and present. Perhaps the aura of our inner circle's invincibility had been shattered with the loss of his neighbors, and it would be best to set his mind to something productive. "If you want it to come true, see to it that the mortar teams are trained. Get the cannons in position, and make sure we're good for more than just one wave."
Larry snapped a salute, fingers on brow, and I clumsily approximated one in return, though I had never done a salute before in my life. I could sense the slight smile from behind his mask, and with a quick check over his shoulder that no one was watching, he reached out, straightened my palm out slightly, then brought the edge of my palm higher until it was a bit more level. "That's better," he judged, then leaving me alone once I dropped the hand a few seconds later.
George showed up a few minutes earlier than Hex had predicted, out of breath and escorted by a sentry. "Ditched the truck," he wheezed. "The huge bags of claymores and equipment were really heavy. Had to haul it under the interstate." His shoes shone with creekwater; He'd almost certainly taken the path Larry had forbade us from trying, and I couldn't imagine doing it in the pitch black darkness at any speed.
I motioned to the sentry. "Help him get that bag into the workshop." He was the best bomb maker, but he also had helped build this place. I wanted to pick his brain, but I would give him time to rest, first.
"Hey, Radio. Radio!" I heard the shortwave radio he'd set at the top squawk to life with a familiar grumble on the other end, distorted somewhat by the tinny speaker. I scooped it up. Someone with a vocoder- Radio gave those out sparingly.
"'E' here," I answered for him, but didn't want to announce myself. Not right away.
A moment's pause.
"What are your orders?"
"Vendetta?" I wanted to confirm.
"I'm here with over fifty people waiting at Warehouse Base for something to do," I knew the transmission would likely be monitored, but the time for subtlety was over. "You're on speakerphone, by the way."
The line was likely tapped, or at least would be intercepted, its contents determining priority for being passed upward or presented to someone with authority, possibly even Azraea herself.
Whatever orders I gave, they'd have to be in code, or at least sound like something unimportant, low-priority so that we might give him as much opportunity to get the drop on the enemy as he could be afforded.
"Don't bother trying to come here yet," I quickly supplied. "By now, if you're not on your way here, you have your own party to go to." I took a moment to survey the grounds. "We've practically got a full house. See about getting a house party of your own, though you'll have to pull the guests out of their own company. Or something to flank."
"Any idea where to start?"
The map fresh in my mind, I found the answer sprang to me.
"There's a rest stop along Route One. If you've got any party poppers, you can get them to open up to you like a can opener. You know, it's all about introducing yourself well."
I heard him laugh mirthlessly, the sound coming through like a cheese grater run over the asphalt.
"That one's a big bite, maybe more than we can chew without choking. Why don't we start with something smaller?"
I wanted to protest, to direct him to the biggest ones first. Then again, how much did they have on Verns? How likely was he to be somewhere heavily defended?
"What do you have in mind?"
"Well, right across the river from where the naughty girls all get sent. Why don't we start there? Every party needs a few ladies, right?" I could hear a roar of assent from the background.
I wasn't quite sure what he meant by that- was he going to try and attack the Shil'vati base? Surely not those women? He wasn't that insane. Then it clicked- the Women's Correctional Facility in Wilmington, just upstream of the Christina River from where he was broadcasting from at the old Warehouse Base. Easy to get to, certainly, and right near the interstate with pedestrian bridges and neighborhoods to scatter in after the strike made it an excellent candidate. Almost certain to succeed.
The strike wouldn't yield us Verns, though forcing the Shil'vati to admit that they couldn't both take and hold their prisoners at the same time might force them to at least pause rounding up ever more people.
If I gave it my blessing, I would be sacrificing any chance of rescuing Verns for...for what? The tradeoff strained my soul to even consider.
"If you feel that's best, you know your crowd. That said, they got Jules- we want him back." He'd helped build Camp Death. He knew its ins and outs, though my real reasons were somewhat sentimental. "Keep an eye out for Morningstar and a few other cells. I've little doubt they can party with the best of them." They were one of my heaviest hitters, routinely bragging they could go clay pigeon hunting with an unguided RPG, yet I was pretty sure I'd never rallied them to Camp Death- if they were to rally, Warehouse Base was where they'd be.
There was a moment of silence, until Vaughn reported back- "Yeah, they're here. They were going to move up to you once they got everyone together. Should we leave instructions for where to find us, or to find you?"
"Do it- supplies are overall good here. Lots of...uh, balloons, confetti..." I felt like I was stretching the analogy too far, so I gave up trying to equate weaponry to party paraphranelia. "...you know, the works. Take Morningstar and use 'em as you see best fit. What've you got for your party? Any good party supplies?" We certainly could make a trash run and see if we could also deliver them some RPGs at the same time.
"Got some Bump-n-Grinds, and you know those are always good for an up-close-and-personal encounter."
I laughed. "From what I read about bumping and grinding? The closer, the better." Their accuracy left a fair bit to be desired. Still, it would be a good, even vital carry just in case those dreaded Security Forces Technicals made an appearance, and would probably be 'good enough' against a stationary target like a wall, especially in the hands of a capable squadron like Talonstar.
"What time are you thinking?"
"I'd say as soon as we're all ready. You really overestimated how many people know where Camp Death is. A fair number showed up here, and are still trickling in."
"Enough to throw several parties at once?" I asked, suddenly hopeful.
"Well, I suppose, maybe, but I'd be wary of partygoers without someone in charge to, uh..." the metaphor seemed to be breaking down, but I got what he was going for.
"Yeah, I see."
"Are you thinking if there are too many noise complaints at once, it'll keep the party going longer?"
"That's part of it, but I'm hoping we might find a particular person we're missing, lost him when we were playing unexpected host. Someone of G-Man's, you'd know him as Jules. A divide and conquer might maximize our odds of finding him."
"Plus, maximize the number of partygoers we pick up as we move. I like it. A few small house parties for every big house. Any special orders?"
"None. K.I.S.S. principle applies. Good, bad, I want it all out on the streets. 'KISS' 'em until they can't see straight." Keep It Simple, Stupid.
"You're certain?" I could hear the hesitancy in his voice. "This is going to be the greatest thing we've ever done, and I want to be by your side for it 'til the end. I don't want any last-minute cancellations, and I sure as hell don't wanna miss it. How long should I party?"
We'd be letting absolute chaos loose. Fire. Looting. The worst of humanity, turned loose, with Vaughn potentially at its head if he decided to recruit for some reason. Could I still claim to be the good guy if I turned those kinds of people free to wreak havoc on the state I claimed whose denizens I was protecting?
Blackstone's Ratio holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer. It would still hold me no less accountable for whatever followed from this mass prison break, though.
I looked over to the recently arrived George, and hung my head.
So be it.
"Confirmed, Vendetta. I'll next talk to you when you're here in person- call it when you start either getting tired or if the hosts hire a doorman, a bouncer, or something you can't handle. Bring any good partygoers and favors you find, guide them here, O Pied Piper. Over and out." The signal went quiet again, and I turned off our radio, standing and yawning. The hour was late, and it would be my last opportunity for some shuteye.
I pulled aside a few sentries to my first order. I felt it was a strange one, and likely futile: I asked everyone to 'try and get some rest.'
The sentries were going to be exhausted, and I needed them to start working in shifts if we were to maintain our vigil and perimeter. Doubtless, more would be coming, and giving them at least some rest might be a difference-maker. G-Man helped lead the newcomers to the subterranean bunkers and tunnels, trying to make sure everyone had a place to stay the night and resources got split, even if it was throwing tarps and blankets on hard-packed dirt. I eyed the tunnels, knowing which one of them would spit me out near the stream, itself running so low I might as well refer to it as a ravine. Digging that had been cramped, paranoia-inducing, but we'd dug out so much of the hill and filled it with enough weapons to wage a full-scale war. What had begun as almost make-work and a place to store things when we'd started out
I couldn't sleep well on the cot that night, tossing and turning- I even tried resting with the mask off, held in my hands, but the risk to my identity if anyone barged in caused me enough stress. Eventually, I stood and donned it, making my rounds around the camp, trying to calm myself. Instead, I felt eyes following me, and I had to force myself to stand tall. For the thousandth time, I thought of this as my Valley Forge.
The sentry at the door to the command cabin gave me a hand-on-heart, and I returned it.
As I patrolled, I could hear whispered prayers, muttered plans of action, and mercifully, snores. At least some were getting some sleep. I could see orange lights reflecting off the clouds, near where I knew Wilmington lay.
I almost jumped a foot in the air when I felt the tap on my shoulder, only to find G-Man's mask staring into mine. How strange that such a haunting visage was a comfort to me.
"Hey. Can't sleep?"
"I can't," I confessed. "G-Man, I'm sorry what happened with your father. Hell of a birthday." I hadn't even had a chance to give him the present I'd bought him- a couple new filters, and vintage craftsman toolkit, "from before they sold out," Verns had told me. The memory of his voice already felt distant somehow- no. I'll see him again.
"Wasn't your fault. Even if Town Hall wasn't your big idea to get them to retaliate, you know? Then they'd still have done something. But, uh, thanks for saying that. And thanks for trying to get dad out. I'll remember that." George said quietly, then the conversation ended when he turned away and went to the edge of the embankment. Just like that.
I could never quite get a read on him.
I went inside, and tried to force myself to get at least some shut-eye.
Thanks to Terran-Armored-Core and DeltaNu for helping with some decisions and spellcheck.
Thanks to Inmutabilis-Ratio for helping with the site, it was very helpful in importing the text.
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2023.05.29 21:26 jondoh816 Person I bought it from said there was a transmission leak and that I should stop and buy some to put in it 💀💀 I bought the fluid but decided to check before I put any in and this is what I found I I checked it at temp and idling

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2023.05.29 21:07 engdad84 2004 Tundra, transmission fluid leak? 215k km, repair suggestions?

2004 Tundra, transmission fluid leak? 215k km, repair suggestions? submitted by engdad84 to ToyotaTundra [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:50 Novemberx123 How much would this cost?

I have a 2016 Honda fit. It’s at 170k. I got it at 110k. I doordash in it. I’ve only been doing oil changes, and replacing tires as of now but I’m going to maintain it better from now on.
These are the 6 things I’m going to do
  1. Inspect/adjust drive belts
  2. Flush break fluid (check break wear)
  3. Chance serpatine belt (pull tensioner and re-grease bearing if dry, replace if bad)
  4. Drain/fill CVT Transmission fluid
  5. Coolant flush
  6. Change spark plugs
I’ve heard most of this can be DIY, I’m not mechanical inclined but if it would save money..and I don’t have a lot, then I would definitely learn it but I’d like to just find the most affordable way to go about this. Does anyone know what the normal price would be for all this work?
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2023.05.29 20:21 Novemberx123 Does anyone know how much I should expect to pay for this mechanic work?

I have a 2016 Honda fit. It’s at 170k. I got it at 110k. I doordash in it. I’ve only been doing oil changes, and replacing tires as of now but I’m going to maintain it better from now on.
These are the 6 things I’m going to do
  1. Inspect/adjust drive belts
  2. Flush break fluid (check break wear)
  3. Chance serpatine belt (pull tensioner and re-grease bearing if dry, replace if bad)
  4. Drain/fill CVT Transmission fluid
  5. Coolant flush
  6. Change spark plugs
I’ve heard most of this can be DIY, I’m not mechanical inclined but if it would save money..and I don’t have a lot, then I would definitely learn it but I’d like to just find the most affordable way to go about this. Does anyone know what the normal price would be for this work?
submitted by Novemberx123 to hondafit [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 19:10 Frostdraken The First true Voyagers: Chapter 26 (Part 2)

Amid a galaxy of brutal chaos there are stories to be told, tales of valor and justice, of fear and despair. But amid these stories are the guttering flames of adventures untold, the potential for a universe of entertainment and savage joyous fun. The Oblivion Cycle embodies just this kind of crafted chaos, creating the potential for creative exploits and raucous tales. If you are new to the TOC setting feel free to join the community at TheOblivionCycle to check out some of the background lore or to discuss themes with other readers. I thank you all for your support and continued willingness to read, as always, Please Enjoy!
+ Chapter 1 + Part 1 of Chapter 26 + Next +
Continued From Part 1 of Chapter 26
Leon walked over towards Myung, her helmet was on and calibrated as well from what he could see. She turned and looked at him before asking over the internal comms “Are we almost ready?”
Leon gave her a clunky thumbs up and a smile before he asked “Myung, how are you feeling? That descent was a little rough, I know you don't like flying very much.”
He saw her give him a little head shake inside her helmet before she answered him. “I don’t know. I feel ready to go, but I am feeling a little shook.” she admitted.
Leon reached over and patted her suited shoulder. “Don’t worry too much about it, we are all here together right?” she smiled at the comment and nodded “So, if anything happens we will all be there to help you. No problems right?”
She repeated “No problems. Thanks Leon.” He gave her another firm shoulder slap and walked to the exit ramp. The airlock was currently closed in preparation for a decontamination run. It would try and do its best to decontaminate their suits before they exited to the surface.
He turned and looked across the crew. Oliver and Dr. Kimathi stood shoulder to shoulder, looking ready for anything. Joice was standing next to him and Myung had moved over towards him as well. Chad had returned to the cockpit with Samuel and would be monitoring their condition remotely. If something unthinkable were to happen, they would be standing by to move the shuttle to assist if possible.
Satisfied that everyone seemed ready he spoke to them “Okay. This is a big moment, nothing like this has ever been attempted in human history before. I want you all to know that there is nobody else in the universe I would rather have by my side, well except for all of you that is. But we had to leave some of you back on the ship.” he chuckled.
Continuing on he spoke “What I am saying is that you are the best crew I could have ever imagined you would be. I am proud to be in charge of such outstanding people. Ok, enough feelings shit, let's do this.” he finished. He heard a few overlapping voices agreeing with him as he turned and adjusted his G402-K across his chest and stepped into the decontamination chamber.
Leon moved into the airlock and felt the door close behind him via the subtle vibrations in the deck underfoot. He raised his arms and took a wide stance to minimize any creases in his armoured suit. A second later the room turned dark as a subtle purple glow emanated from seemingly everywhere. The high intensity ultraviolet light bath was accompanied by a fine mist of antimicrobials and pure undiluted hydrogen peroxide. The harsh chemicals were then washed from his suit by a quick deluge of pure deionized water that washed the contaminants down a drain at his feet. His suit’s visor darkened as the booth was lit again this time by harsh orange light as the heat lamps quickly dried his suit.
The insulation kept him from feeling any of it and he lowered his arms as the light switched to a subtle green and the outer airlock opened. He raised a hand to block out the bright light that suddenly streamed into his eyes. As his visor automatically polarized itself he stepped forwards and let the airlock close behind him.
He looked around, his eyes wide with wonder. In front of him was a small stand of bushes and a tree that looked similar to anything he might have seen back on Earth except for the slight orangish tint to its bark. He glanced to his left and saw more of the low bushes next to some low brackish looking water, and over the water he saw movement. Insect-like creatures in their thousands flitted too and fro above the low weeds, seemingly unconcerned about the aliens that had landed in their midst.
He smiled, real life aliens, close enough to touch. He looked down at the short ramp that led to the dark soil of the planet itself. He took a few steps forwards till he was on the cusp of reaching the planet’s surface itself. He cleared his mind, this moment would likely go down in history. He needed to say something symbolic to mark the occasion, in a flash the words came to his mind as if they had been hiding there all along.
He took a deep breath and stepped forwards. As his foot touched the ground he spoke “All of the chaos and pain of our past has led us as a species to this exact moment. Billions lived and died bound to the mother Earth, toiling in her loving embrace. But no more, we are no longer bound to her fate. We are free.”
A tear welled in the corner of his eye. The significance of the moment was not lost on him. It was a nice thing to say he thought, a reminder of their origins while imagining their future. He smiled as he took a few more steps. He turned to the shuttle in time to see Joice step from the airlock and walk down the ramp. Like him she paused at the foot and looked around in wonder.
She spoke too as she stepped off “Another world. Are we the aliens now?” she chuckled. Leon laughed too at her comment, it was true.
It took a few more minutes for the rest of the crew to exit the ship, once they were all together on the ground and had acclimated to their new reality Leon spoke. “Okay. We are on an alien planet, but don't let that go to your heads. Remember, we are the invaders here. Like as not everything remotely hostile is going to try and take a piece out of us, so be wary. Joice and I are armed, so if we encounter any large threats try and clear the line of fire. Understood?”
A chorus of agreement met his statement and he nodded. Joice spoke up “Suit checks, make sure everything is green. Pressure, oxygen levels, suit integrity. I don't want any excuses, if you have a problem let's fix it here.” She commanded.
Leon flicked his eyes to the suit diagnostic and sent the results to Joice. After another few minutes of checks, everyone seemed to be in the green.
Leon unslung his rifle and motioned towards a conspicuous outcropping of rocks in the middle distance. “Everyone ready? Okay, let's move out. We are going to put some distance between us and the shuttle as it likely scared off anything interesting when we landed.”
Joice stepped to his side and Taylor’s voice spoke over the link. “Good luck guys, we will be with you every step of the way. I’m like your little guardian angel.” The man joked.
Oliver responded “Taylor, if you were my guardian angel I would be very cautious.”
Taylor grumbled a little and said “Well, I’m here regardless. Keep your eyes and ears open, we don't have any idea what's down there.”
Leon stepped off the hardened and cleared dirt left from the SSV’s descent and immediately his armoured boot sank into thick clinging mud.
“Shit…” he muttered under his breath. Turning to look at the others he warned “The ground gets unstable really fast over here, watch your step.”
Leon kept walking, testing his steps and moving along the slightly more solid areas of the noxious swamp. After ten minutes of this trudging they had finally reached the large rock outcropping. He lifted a hand to call for a rest and the others stopped nearby.
Leon took a swig of water from the small tube near his throat, the cool liquid soothing his parched throat. The suit’s were designed to keep the internal atmosphere cool and dry. While that did wonders for keeping him from turning into a swamp inside the suit as well, it made his mouth somewhat dry.
He turned and took a breath saying “Okay, that wasn't too bad. How are you holding up?” he asked the other four following behind him.
Joice gave him a thumbs up before turning to look closely at some sort of moss cover growing on the rocks. Myung was breathing heavily, her small frame having to work a little harder to get the bulky armoured environment suit to move. She raised a hand and made a gesture saying to give her a minute.
Leon looked towards Oliver and Dr. Kimathi. The big Australian man was having no trouble at all it seemed, he looked even fresher than Leon himself felt. Not exactly surprised by the fact, Leon took note of their location and then opened a direct link to the ship.
“Leon to Taylor, come in.” he said quickly.
Taylor’s voice responded almost immediately. “There you are, I was expecting to get a report from you sooner than that. How are things on the ground captain?” he asked in a genuine tone.
Leon leaned back up against the rocks and looked around. The area behind them was a long stretch of low grassy swampland, their tracks disappearing into the muck soon after they had passed. He said “Well, it's been no walk in the park that's for sure. The ground seems to be very soft and the humidity in the air is hovering around a perpetual eighty percent. If we didn't have these environmental suits on then this would be a real pain in the ass for sure.” he said honestly.
Taylor seemed to chuckle though the sound was distorted by the connection fizzing slightly. His voice squirmed through the speaker amid the interference as he said “I’m starting to lose you, you might need to set up a reception rod where you are.”
Leon nodded to himself and said “Thanks for the heads up.” switching back to the local comms net he remarked “Okay, we are going to keep moving unless someone sees something of great interest. Joice, I'm looking at you.” he said with a chuckle as the blond haired woman stood up suddenly. A curious look on her face as she had been messing with the moss growth.
Tucking away some small sample of the yellowish plant she walked towards him and motioned into the distance. “I want to try and make it to that grove.” She said.
Leon turned and looked in the direction she had indicated, in the distance he could see a grove of trees. They were spindly and dark, their bark an almost olive black with yellow green leaves. He cocked his head slightly as he shrugged.
“That looks as good as any location to set up. Lead the way Joice, I'll cover the rear.” Leon said with a gesture towards the front of the line.
As Joice and Myung started walking towards the nearby grove, Leon turned to Oliver and asked “Oliver, can you give me a reception spike?”
Oliver nodded inside his helmet and pulled a small device from his belt pouch. It was a small rod-like device about the thickness of a marker but longer. He walked the side of the boulder pile and stabbed it into a crevice in the rocks. With a flick of his eyes he activated a remote link to it and watched as its slightly larger top unfolded like a sunflower.
After a few seconds he was looking at a tiny spinning receiver antenna and a general broadcast dish. The relay would have battery power for about twelve hours if they used it sparingly. Plenty of time to cover their short expedition.
Oliver took off after Dr. Kimathi as Leon set up the spike, a few moments later he had finished and he tested the connection to the ship once more. “Taylor, this is Leon, come in please.”
Taylor’s voice answered him, much clearer than it had been before. “I read you loud and clear Leon, I take it you set up a relay?” The man asked unnecessarily.
Leon just gave him an affirmative and asked “Is there anything of value or interest in our area that you can see from the orbiter?”
The younger man was silent for a second before replying, “No. Nothing that stands out from a few thousand miles at least. I wish you the best of luck.” The link cut from the other side and Leon snorted.
As long as they had something better to do on the ship than watch all of history being made, he might as well get walking. He grumbled slightly to himself in mild frustration. Why couldn't they have set down on a nice ocean beach world or at least a world that had solid ground. Not this ever present sticky mud that seemed to coat everything in existence.
He sighed inside his climate controlled suit and started walking after the group, his G402-K gripped tightly in his hands. They were starting to get far enough away from the SSV that there was the very real potential for larger and potentially predatory animals to appear.
The planet had been listed as life-bearing in the Aori data cores, but it hadn't been listed as colonised. He had to believe there was a reason for that. It could be as simple as the planet being newly discovered before the war with the Ruiners had happened, but he had a gut feeling that it was more than that. The planet was dangerous, he could tell just by the stillness.
He looked around as he caught up to the others, the air was heavy with moisture and still, no wind moved the branches in the trees or stirred the surface of the many brackish ponds. The planet didn't seem to have a very active weather system, they hadn't seen any geological activity to speak of on the way down nor had the orbiter picked up on any mountain ranges. It was possible that they were just in a bad location, but without any active geological processes, things would never change.
Lowlands would remain lowlands forever and slight hills would be worn down over eons till the entire planet was a single vast marshland filled with nothing but trilling insects and the remains of larger plant species. From what he could see there were a few types of scraggly tree that still stubbornly clung to existence despite the murky living conditions.
After another few minutes of trudging through the thick mud and slime they had finally reached the small copse and stopped. Joice and Myung took no time to start getting their equipment set up, pulling various specimen jars and small analyzers from their packs.
Leon nodded to Dr. Kimathi and waved her over. She complied and said “Yes Leon?”
He took a second to scan the area again but saw nothing larger than some buzzing insects hiding in the shade. Feeling a little more secure he asked her “What do you think of this place? Does something feel a little off to you?”
She looked around and then replied smoothly “No, perhaps the lack of wind? I guess that would make sense though, this world has very little in the way of topography.” She shrugged inside her suit as she said it, the motion almost entirely absorbed by the bulky environmental garb.
He shook his head again, still not able to ease the feeling that they were in danger from his mind.
He turned around quickly as if trying to catch a stalker, and saw nothing once more. Dr. Kimathi looked him up and down and muttered “Paranoia… Look. Leon, if there is something…” she started to say but stopped as Oliver shouted in alarm and pain.
Leon immediately brought his rifle to an upright position, his muscles tense and his mind alert for the slightest danger. What he saw baffled him for a second, Oliver was thrashing in the shallow water near the base of one of the trees. What looked like a vine wrapped around his right leg.
It took him a few precious seconds to relise that it wasnt a vine at all, it was actually some manner of snake-like creature. It was wrapped around the man’s leg, its head near his thigh. It looked like it had bitten through the unarmoured part of Oliver’s suit.
Oliver yelled again and the thing released him and splashed into the water near Myung. The small woman screamed and started to climb one of the scraggly trees as the alien viper started to swim off towards one of the larger ones.
Dr. Kimathi screeched “Don’t let it get away, If it’s venomous I will need it to make antivenom!”
Joice stood stock still, gun aimed at the creature as it moved towards her. She seemed to be frozen in fear, not moving at all. Leon swore as he broke into a sort of stumbling run. The blood rushing in his ears was as loud as thunder as he made a dive for the creature before it could cause any more harm. He made a grab for the serpent and was rewarded with the feel of something round and distinctly snakish in his hand. He grunted in surprise as he felt something press against his palm almost like the flat of a tiny hand before the creature wriggled free of his grip.
He sloshed around for a moment before spotting it again. This time it was making a beeline for the same large tree he had noted earlier, likely its den. He pushed all other thoughts out of his head as he sprinted after the elusive animal. His legs burned from walking all morning in the thick mud and carrying the weight of the heavy environmental suit. His lungs ached as the clinically sterile air was pumped from the compressor on his back.
With one last herculean effort he threw himself bodily at the tree to try and block the entrance to the thing’s burrow while also making another desperate attempt to ensnare it.
He hit the surface of the scummy water and felt something hard smash into his side knocking the wind from his biological lung. His bionic lung remained unaffected allowing him to retain enough presence of mind to latch onto the writing form partially trapped underneath his body.
He heard an angry hiss followed by pressure on his cybernetic right arm. Lifting it up out of the water fully, his eyes widened as he saw the entire length of the serpent-like animal wrapped around his arm, its fangs buried deep in the fabric of his suit.
He chuckled as he got to his feet and said to the thing “Ha, you wont get me like that, that arm isn't something you can hurt.”
Dr.Kimathi rushed to his side carrying one of the large specimen bags. She held it open as Leon carefully stuck his arm inside.
No sooner had the creature’s head passed the lip of the bag then it let go and tried to escape, but Dr. Kimathi was too fast, sealing the bag and holding it up as it writhed angrilly. Hisses and something that sounded almost like an angry duck issued from it as Leon rushed over to where Oliver was leaning against a tree, his injured leg held up in the air as he used the trunk for support.
“Oliver, are you alright?” He asked the tall man anxiously.
Oliver shook his head and groaned “No, I don't think so. My leg is burning, I think that thing injected me with some sort of venom. I can feel it spreading up my leg.” he said in a pained voice.
Leon turned to Joice and shouted “Joice, get Samuel to evac us right now!” The slightly shell shocked woman nodded her head inside her armored suit and immediately started talking over a secure line.
Leon grabbed Oliver’s shoulder and asked him “Can you walk?” When Oliver nodded he continued “Okay, that’s good. We need to get to a clearing so the SSV can pick us up.”
He took a limping step with the man, his bruised leg and side smarting heavily. As he took another step he felt the weight on his shoulder lessen and turned to see Dr. Kimathi holding Oliver’s other shoulder. He gave her what he hoped wasn't too pained of a smile and continued walking the injured man towards the light.
Myung and Joice followed behind, Joice’s gun raised and Myung holding the still squirming sack containing the little monster.
It took them several precious minutes longer to exit the small wood than it had for them to enter it, Oliver’s pained noises driving Leon onwards despite the mounting pain in his side. It felt like he had dislocated something, potentially even fractured a rib or two in his mad dash to apprehend Oliver’s attacker.
He cursed under his breath. What a colossal fuckup this entire venture had turned into. He should have expected something to go wrong, the law of Murphy notwithstanding, it was just his luck that something would have happened. Just as things started falling into place there always arose some ugly problems.
He reached the open swamp, the trees falling away behind them as the bright sun once more filled his eyes. He heard another sound though, not the whispering of the trees behind him or the slurping of their footsteps, but more of a distant roar. The sound got louder and more pronounced till he looked up and saw the small dark form of the shuttle approaching them at high speed.
It was a measure of Leon’s trust in Samuel’s piloting skills that he didn’t flinch as the craft screamed towards them before executing a bone liquifying high G maneuver to almost instantly bleed off excess speed. With a loud hiss the SSV touched down onto the muddy ground and sunk almost half a meter into the muck. The side hatch opened and Leon started towards it.
He stopped at the bottom of the ramp and swore. Speaking into the comm network he said “Chad, you are going to have to disengage the decontamination airlock. Oliver isn't going to be able to walk himself through and we can't wait for the full decontamination process.”
Chad spoke up in response, his voice a little tense from stress. “Okay Leon, what the hell happened out there?”
Leon shook his head angrily even though he knew the man wouldn't see it and spat a little aggressively, the pain in his side growing with every step. “Just do your goddamn job right now. There will be time to explain it politely when we get back to the ship.” he turned to the others and shouted “Move your asses, we need to go now!”
To the credit of everyone on the ground they were all in the shuttle and strapped in in less than two minutes. Leon felt the SSV lift off the ground with its powerful jets. The shaking of the shuttle making him grind his teeth in pain.
Oliver sat across from him with Dr. Kimathi on one side and Joice on the other. Leon squinted his eyes in pain as the shuttle started to hit turbulence again, he had definitely dislocated something in his side.
He gasped out loud causing Myung to look over at him and ask “Leon? Are you alright? You don't look so good.”
Leon raised his right arm to give her a thumbs up when a particularly violent tremor shook the shuttle like a dog would shake a rat.
Leon’s side spiked in pain so intense he stopped breathing. His eyes rolled into the back of his head as he passed out, the last thing he heard before the swirling pain overwhelmed him was Myung yelling for Dr. Kimathi.

End of Transmission==
submitted by Frostdraken to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 19:06 Frostdraken The First True Voyagers: Chapter 26 (part 1)

Amid a galaxy of brutal chaos there are stories to be told, tales of valor and justice, of fear and despair. But amid these stories are the guttering flames of adventures untold, the potential for a universe of entertainment and savage joyous fun. The Oblivion Cycle embodies just this kind of crafted chaos, creating the potential for creative exploits and raucous tales. If you are new to the TOC setting feel free to join the community at TheOblivionCycle to check out some of the background lore or to discuss themes with other readers. I thank you all for your support and continued willingness to read, as always, Please Enjoy!
+ Chapter 1 + Previous + Part 2 of Chapter 26 +
Chapter 26
One Small Step for a Man
The atmosphere in the hangar bay was tense. Leon looked around and observed the other members of the ground crew. Samuel and Chad were wearing standard void suits, the white strengthened polymers matching the rest of the hangar's clean look. The two men looked ready, if a little nervous. This would be the first time the SSV would be used for its intended role of space to surface and back transportation.
Despite the fact that the entire operation was relatively untested, Samuel and Chad had thousands of hours of practice flights in the simms to bolster their flagging confidence. Leon shrugged his shoulders, the heavy armoured environmental suit he was wearing weightless in the microgravity of the ship’s core. But that would change dramatically when they reached the planet’s surface. The suits had internal servo muscles to aid in movement, but despite the assistance they were still heavy cumbersome things. They were more designed for deep sea diving than exploring the surface of an alien planet, but Leon wasn’t complaining. He would suffer the discomfort for the protection they offered.
Casting his eyes on the others he saw that Oliver, Dr. Kimathi, Joice and Myung were also ready with their heavy suits on. Oliver and Dr. Kimathi were close together, the two of them holding a private conversion of some importance it looked like from the expressions on their faces.
Myung and Joice were also talking, but not to each other. Joice was deep in conversation with Terry and Taylor, probably giving the two last minute instructions on the ship’s operation as they would be in charge of the bridge while she was groundside. Myung was talking to Sabine, the young woman had been a bit upset when he had informed her she was going to be staying on the ship.
“But I want to go, it’s not fair.” she had pouted when he had told her privately. He had done his best to assure her that she would get a chance to visit the planet’s surface once they deemed it safe. If it was safe that was. But he was not going to risk her safety for a glorified walk in the park. As one of the ship's two engineers, she had the honor of keeping the ship’s systems in check while Chad was gone.
She had taken some convincing, but eventually he had managed to talk her down to a more rational state of mind. She was an emotional one to be fair, but he wouldn't let that get in the way of her safety, not under his watch.
Leon blinked, his mind once more on the present. He turned and looked at the two SSVs that were docked in the ship’s main hangar bay. One was chunky, its frame bloated like a grub or some deep sea predator. That was the cargo shuttle, the heavy lift SSV. He then looked at the
other, it was sleek like a shark. Covered in rounded protrusions engineered to break up shockwaves as it fell through a planet’s atmosphere at incredible speeds. Once they had slowed down enough, the SSV was designed to glide till it found a suitable landing spot at which time it could switch to VTOL mode and make a neat landing. That was the plan anyways.
As long as nothing went wrong then they should be down and back in under six hours.
He turned his head as something landed on his shoulder. It was a hand, looking over to see who it was attached to he smiled. Natalia stood beside him, her smiling face reassuring his mind that everything would be alright.
“So, my big strong captain finally gets to become a true space explorer today?” she teased.
Leon nodded and replied cheerfully “Yeah. But don’t worry. I know where my true home is.”
She drew closer and planted a kiss on his cheek before asking “Oh yeah? And where is that?”
Leon blinked, feigning shock as he said in his best fake surprised voice “Why, with you of course my love.”
She giggled and hugged him as best she could, her arms barely even managed to wrap around the front of the environmental suit and she sighed as she pushed back slightly. She was wearing a light duty uniform with velcro slippers for the hangar floor. He had no need of the slippers as he had magboots on.
Most of the crew had turned up to see them off. He pulled Natalia close again as he looked around the room, the only two missing were Aden and Chris. Chris had elected to watch their departure from the observation deck alone. Something about the need for solitude he had said, and Leon wasn't going to antagonize the old man over it. If he wanted to miss out on the shindig then that was all up to him.
Samuel slowly walked toward the passenger SSV’s open side door and stopped by the bottom of the ramp, Chad scurried by him into the ship after managing to tear himself from Sabine’s grasp. Smiling, he looked at Natalia from the top of the ramp and asked “Are you sure you are going to be okay without me here?”
She shook her head and smiled “Of course, my whole universe doesn't revolve around you, you know that.” she blushed a little as he raised an eyebrow and she said “Well, not all the time it doesn't.” he just chuckled and leaned in for a kiss.
She smiled prettily and obliged, their lips meeting in a sweet and somewhat delicate kiss. After what seemed like minutes, but was likely far shorter than that, they parted and she batted her lashes at him.
“You had better come back to me, or I will have to get very angry.” she whispered.
He placed his heavy covered hands on her shoulders and reassured her as best he could. “Natalia. It’s just a routine surface visit. Nothing can go wrong, I promise you.”
She nodded and said something under her breath that he didn't quite catch. He was about to ask her about it when Joice called to him from the shuttle’s boarding ramp.
“Come on Leon, we gotta go before the orbiter loses contact on the far side of the planet. Otherwise we will land and they wont know if we made it safely for half an hour or so. And I don’t think you want that.” she said.
Leon nodded to her and turned to Natalia once more. “I have to go Nat, I love you. And I will contact you as soon as we make it safely to the surface.”
She nodded silently, her eyes glistening as she held in tears. “I know you will, I promise I wont worry too much about you.” He smiled at her comment and started to walk away. He paused as he heard her say “I love you too Leon Muikman. He turned slightly and gave her one more smile before climbing the ramp into the SSV.
He walked carefully in the microgravity to an open seat and sat next to Oliver. Oliver smiled and slapped him on the shoulder before saying “Good to see you. We were worried you would miss the launch.” he laughed heartily.
Some additional chuckles sounded from the others when Samuel spoke over the ship’s internal comms. “Okay, listen up people. This is far from the first time I have flown this can, but this is a first for planetary reentry. What to expect? Turbulence, lots of it, so strap yourselves in and hold onto something. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
Leon nodded to himself and quickly did his restraint straps. The ships had been designed with the bulky environmental suits in mind and so an alternate set of much heavier duty straps were readily available to wrap up in. Leon glanced around, Oliver and Dr. Kimathi were strapped in, the couple checking on each other.
He looked across the small crew bay and saw that Myung and Joice were also fully secured and ready to go. Joice gave him a thumbs up which he reciprocated as he felt the ship move slightly. The magnetic landing clamps would be releasing them and a small jet of cold gas would propel them towards the main hangar doors.
The crew had already exited the hangar by now and the ships mighty atmosphere pumps would be dragging the hangar down to a near vacuum as they drifted towards the sealed steel doors.
He felt a slight shudder roll through the ship as its cold gas jets fired off. The doors must be open already, the yawning pit of cold dark oblivion being all that awaited them beyond. With a slight tug of acceleration they were free, the shuttle flying out of the hangar like a missile from a tube. Albeit a very large and populated missile.
Leon had only been in the SSVs a few times during the entire voyage, it hadn't really sat well with him. As a retired Navy man he was no stranger to the rolling and jostling motions that caused so many to become ill. But there was something entirely different about the experience of zero gravity flight that made his insides churn and his heart quicken.
He closed his eyes, several of the others were speaking but he tuned it all out. His mind flashed with half remembered horrors from his peacekeeping years. The South African revolutions and the hundred year Chaddian supremacy war had left their marks on his body and soul. He clenched his teeth as the all too familiar pain shot through him. The sounds of gunfire and the roaring of unchecked flames filled his mind and he felt like screaming, but then another sound reached his inner mind.
It was soft, almost sensual. The memory of his love with Natalia surfaced, the memory of the times they had spent impassioned nights in each other's arms driving away the pain and fear. He smiled, his eyes still closed as he found the pain waning. Peace filled him and he opened his eyes.
The shuttle was shaking quite alarmingly but he was unafraid. Instead he found himself smiling against all the odds and shouted to Oliver over the screaming din of reentry “Wow, this is certainly a rush isn't it?”
Oliver shouted back, the man’s face split by a grin at least as wide as his own. “Yeah it sure is, nothing like it!”
Leon looked across the small passenger bay and gave Joice a smile. The woman was tough as nails and seemed to be generally unaffected by the rough flight, Myung on the other hand seemed to be having a more stressful time of it. He gestured at her and Joice glanced at the woman seated next to her. Joice said something that Leon couldn't make out but it seemed to do the trick as Myung relaxed slightly. She was still uncomfortable looking but now no longer looked terrified.
A few more moments passed by and the shuddering eased. The roaring of wind and fire eased as well as the ship slowed, its steep descent leveling off as they entered glide mode.
Samuel’s voice rang over the internal speakers again “Thank you for flying air Samuel, we will be making our final descent momentarily as soon as Chad finds us a dry spot to put down. The ground looks real swampy here. Not too many places I can see are stable enough for me to land.” Samuel’s voice cut off.
Leon looked around the ship again but was reassured by the SSV making a sharp turn.
Chad’s voice spoke over the internal speakers this time as he gave them an update. “Okay, looks like we found a spot, hold on we are preparing for a landing.”
Leon grabbed onto the safety rails next to his seat as the ship made another sharper turn and then lurched to a halt as the VTOL system brought them to a halt mid air. He would have loved to see the landing process but there were no windows for him to look through in the passenger area. He settled himself by imagining how it would look based on his previous experience with similar aircraft of Earth.
The hot jets of exhaust would be scorching a twenty meter clearing under the ship as it touched down. Any loose debris or animals either blasted away or cooked. Stepping off the ship should be a relatively safe affair.
With a final thud the ship landed and the whine of the engines faded as they powered down. He set about unstrapping himself as the airlock to the cockpit opened. Chad strolled out and gave them a big smile asking “So, how was everybody's flight?”
Myung shot the man a poisonous glare and grabbed her suit’s helmet. Joice smiled and said “It was bumpy.”
Chad rubbed his neck and apologized “Yeah sorry about that. This planet has some pretty serious high altitude winds. Samuel is setting up the micro atmo-observatory to help us avoid the jetstreams on the way up.
Leon motioned to Chad to come closer and as the man approached he finished unstrapping and stood up. Chad asked him “Yeah, what’s up?”
Leon glanced around and said “I want you and Samuel to pull some weapons from the armory. This planet is potentially hostile and I have no Idea what we may encounter. Once we leave you will need to stay in the cockpit. There is the potential for contamination when we exit.” he told the man seriously.
Chad nodded and asked “But if we are going to be stuck in the cockpit anyways then why would we need rifles?”
Leon shook his head. “You won't, the rifles are for us.”
Chad’s eyes widened and he nodded “Oh, yeah. I see, that makes sense. I'll go get them right now.”
Joice walked over as Chad rushed off and asked “What was that about?”
Leon shrugged and said “I told him to grab us some rifles. Can’t be too cautious.”
Joice frowned and said a little cautiously “Leon…” but he cut her off.
“I know what you are going to say Joice, and part of me agrees. But be practical. We have no idea what’s out there. I will not risk the lives of others on the grounds of peaceful exploration. The universe doesn't give two shits about that kind of thing, if something wants to eat us I'm not going to let it. We have likely already contaminated the planet’s biosphere with Earth bacteria anyways. The reentry would have sterilized the hull, but no amount of fire could kill one hundred percent of them.” he said.
Joice frowned and said “Well we knew the risks of exploring any planet. Cross contamination was always going to be an issue. But the guns Leon? What if they cause hostility towards us instead of the other way around?” she asked him.
He just shook his head. “Not negotiable Joice. We are taking them. I will have one as will you”
“Me? I don't want one.” she tried to say but he waved a hand.
“You will take it, that's an order. You are going to be armed because I trust you completely not to do the wrong thing. Understood?” Leon said to the blond haired woman. She bowed her head for a moment before nodding.
“Yes. But I want to go on record as having protested this.” She told him.
Leon just cracked a small grin and said “Noted Joice. Now, let's get everyone ready, we have some exploring to do.”
Leon and Joice walked to the small huddle that had formed by the exit ramp’s door. The airlock was now closed and ready for them to depart. In their armoured suits only one of them could exit through the small airlock at a time. Leon was determined to be the first.
Chad exited the cockpit area carrying two G402-K service rifles. The general conversation quieted as Chad walked up to him and handed him one of the German manufactured rifles.
“Thank’s Chad, give the other one to Joice, you brought some spare mags? Thanks, here clip them to my toolbelt.” he told the man who complied.
“Here, careful.” was all the young man said as he did as instructed.
Leon shook his head a little sadly as the man walked to Joice to repeat the process. Safe or not, the planet would not take him without a fight. If the need for the weapons arose, the others would be glad he had brought them. He slung the weapon over his shoulder via its strap and grabbed his helmet. He placed it on his head and locked it into place.
Checking his seals were all good he activated the helmet’s eye tracking helmet-mounted-display. With a few glances he had it calibrated and then activated his comms link. He spoke through the ship’s antenna to the Leif Erikson in high orbit above the planet.
“Leon to Leif Erikson, come in please.” he said.
After a moment the slightly fuzzy voice of Taylor answered him “Oh it’s good to hear your voice captain. I assume that everything went smoothly?” he asked in a curious tone.
Leon nodded even though the action would not be visible to the man, force of habit was hard to break after all. “Yes, the ride was exceptionally bumpy, but we made it in one piece. I am just getting ready to advance onto the planet’s surface. Can you see my helmet feed?” he asked Taylor over the relay communication.
The delay from their incredible distance was slight but noticeable. Taylor responded “Yes we can, it's obviously a touch delayed and a mite fuzzy, but it's clear enough to follow along with. Leon, there is someone here that wants to say something.” the man told him.
Leon waited patiently as a few bumps and a quiet curse reached him. After another moment a familiar voice reached his ears making him smile. “Hello Leon, I am happy you made it safely.” Natalia spoke to him from thousands of kilometers overhead.
Leon replied quickly “Yes. I told you we would be fine. I love you Nat, you can watch our progress on the live feed if you want. We will be deploying signal boosters to help keep us in touch throughout the whole mission.”
Natalia’s voice spoke again “I love you too Leon, I’ll be watching from in here.”
There was some more rustling static and then Taylor’s voice returned. “Okay, now before you head out onto the planet’s surface are you sure you are ready for this Leon? There are an awful lot of things that can go wrong. Gas leaks, contaminated feeds, sharp rocks…” the man started to say worriedly but Leon cut him off.
“It’s going to be okay Taylor. I have been in dangerous situations before you know. And I’m still here.” Leon reassured the younger man. In reality he was a bit worried about it as well, especially for Myung, she seemed a little stressed. And stress lead to mistakes. He decided to go and give her a reassuring word before they got underway.
Continued in Chapter 26 Part 2
==End of Transmission==
submitted by Frostdraken to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:52 bombshellmate Lexus GS300 2006 Automatic Transmission Up Shifts Can Be Felt After Oil Change

Lexus GS300 2006 Automatic Transmission Up Shifts Can Be Felt After Oil Change
Hi Fellas,
I recently bought this beauty, a 17 years old GS300 2006. On first inspection there were no major issues noticed, engine runs smoothly, the transmission changed gears perfectly fine. Original paint and some leather wear. Overall good conditions. The clock says 180k km, but the car was imported from Poland in Bulgaria last year so yea, maybe not real millage.
I decided to do a partial oil change two times in a shop that a lot of people recommended. They drained what what came from the oil pan and returned around 2.5 liters. Did it twice for a total of 5l.
The old oil was bad and black, maybe never changed before.
However, when I took the car I noticed that she is up-shifting from 2nd to 3rd and to 4th gear in a manner that can be felt. I feel the shifts and the car shakes for a bit. It is not as smooth as it used to be. When up to temperature I can feel the shift between 1st and 2nd also. Basically it is felt in all the gears.
If feels like there is no slip between different gears, but they engage right away, which jerks the car a little.
She is downshifting to a complete stop perfectly and I can't feel anything.
No CEL or any other lights on the dashboard, and the shift pattern remained the same.
From the internet I read a couple of opinions that it could be related to low fuel level and when I asked they did not checked the level after filling it.
There seems to be a procedure for that explained pretty good in this video:
Where should I start? And is there any possibility that the transmission was bad and changing the oil just made the things worst?
Any opinions are appreciated, this is my first car with automatic transmission since I first started to drive.
Wish you all many accident free miles/kilometers!

submitted by bombshellmate to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:52 Frostdraken Heavy Infantry (Part 2)

Amid a galaxy of brutal chaos there are stories to be told, tales of valor and justice, of fear and despair. But amid these stories are the guttering flames of adventures untold, the potential for a universe of entertainment and savage joyous fun. The Oblivion Cycle embodies just this kind of crafted chaos, creating the potential for creative exploits and raucous tales. If you are new to the TOC setting feel free to join the community at TheOblivionCycle to check out some of the background lore or to discuss themes with other readers. I thank you all for your support and continued willingness to read, as always, Please Enjoy!
+ Part 1 +
Continued From Part 1
Kaiden quickly slung his gun back to his side, the heavy plasteel chains holding it in place snugly. He reached down and drew his close range weapon, a heavy thermomace. The flanged armour piercing head quickly began to glow orange as he thumbed the activation switch and he lashed out at one of the rebels with it, smashing their arm. The rebel he had struck spun away with a scream as their smoldering arm hung limply from their shoulder, the wound instantly cauterized.
Turning to the other two he noticed they had drawn close range weapons of their own. The tall human on the right wearing medium combat armour had drawn a heavy voltaic powersword, electrical arcs dancing along its length and ionizing the surrounding air giving the weapon an ominous purple glow. The other, a large yeown female in heavy armour, had drawn a chaintoothed axe of enormous proportions from her back. It looked more suited to cutting down entire forests than combat, but she held it in her muscular arms like it was a toy.
Kaiden took a step back, analyzing the situation in moments. He smiled slightly as the familiar rush of adrenaline began to course through his blood, he was about to rush them when another sound drew his attention and caused him to freeze.
From behind him he heard the unmistakable angry hum of a shiversteel weapon being activated. Turning his head slightly and allowing his peripheral cameras to pick up his rear he cursed. The man he had wounded had popped an adrenaline spike and drawn a vibrosaber, the weapon vibrating at such a high frequency it seemed to turn incorporeal. The sword looking like a ghostly mirage in the man’s remaining hand.
This had just gotten more dangerous, the two in front alone he could have dispatched easily, but surrounded and with almost no room to maneuver? He would be hard pressed to win this fight unscathed. But he was a Union soldier, Kaiden squared his shoulders at the thought and raised his now white hot thermomace into a defensive position. He wouldn't go down without a fight.
Each weapon of choice had its own strengths and weaknesses. His thermomace would cause pain and minor burns from even a near miss, its surface temperature nearly four thousand degrees celsius. Direct strikes on armour plates would damage them, but his weapon’s effect was vastly decreased against armoured targets. The yeown’s chaintooth axe would be devastating to him however, it was equipped with TBAM cutting teeth, the material almost infinitely harder than his powered armour's tungsten alloy. If struck, he could expect the brutal weapon to take chunks out of his protective plates, maybe even dig deep enough to damage the synthmuscle fiber bundles beneath. The resultant loss of mobility to his heavy suit would leave him incredibly vulnerable, so he needed to avoid the weapon at all costs.
The voltaic powersword and vibrosaber were dangerous to unarmoured targets, but less effective against his thick carapace. With this in mind he struck out quickly, swinging his long handled mace in a terrible overhand swing directly at the yeown’s great furred head.
To his dismay she seemed to have expected his attack and leapt back out of harm's way. His mace smashed into the side wall of the tunnel and stuck, smoke billowing from the quickly atomised mud.
He jerked in surprise as the tall man slashed his exposed side with his powersword, the electrified blade carving a small furrow in his side plate and discharging a tremendous amount of current into the powered armour as well. His systems were temporarily dazzled by the sudden burst of raw electricity and he lashed out in a bland panic. His mace made slight contact with something and he heard a muffled scream of pain.
He put his back to the wall and shook his head, mace up in a guard position. His vision cleared, the static of the attack disappearing as his suit compensated for the charge. He took stock of the situation and noticed the vibrosaber slashing towards his throat almost too late.
He brought up his forearm in a desperate block and the weapon skated off his rounded vambrace taking several flakes of his armour with it. The man had tucked his useless arm into his flackjacket and tied it off. A veteran it seemed.
There was a momentary lull as the three attackers sized him up. The tall man held his side, smoke curling from his exposed trench coat made Kaiden smile. It seemed the man had not gotten away from his attack scott free either.
Kaiden grinned under his helmet and activated his external speakers. “You should give up now, lay down your arms and surrender. I respect your strength and will abide by the code of war allowing no harm to befall surrendered combatants.” he said, not expecting them to comply.
The tall man looked at his buddy and they grinned. The one armed man brandished his saber and replied “Never to you, you thrice beaten son of a Union dog. I would rather eat my own arm than surrender to the likes of you, a coward and a traitor to the people.” The yeown woman growled deep and loud at the remark, nodding her pointed eared head and giving Kaiden a savage predatory grin as the man finished speaking.
She added “Yes, and you are the one who should be surrendering. We have scored blood on both sides, your honor is met. If you surrender now you may just live to see the morrow. Or don't, it makes little difference to me. Though I do tire of killing the Unions whipped kids, give me a foe worthy of my time.” she finished with another growl.
Kaiden shook his head sadly, he would have to kill them all then it seemed. He looked at them and spoke, his mace held up like a templar’s sacred sword before him. “So you have chosen death. I can't say I am disappointed. Let's get this over with then.” he said casually.
The trench was narrow and the night was dark, the lights of starburst flairs being the main source of guttering light that lit the scene in front of him.
Kaiden took a step forwards, his thermomace glowing bright enough to light the trench like dusk, in response the three hegemony soldiers shifted as well, matching him step for step as he once more took a position in the center of the earthenworks.
This time however the tall man was behind him, the one armed man and the yeown female in front. She revved her chaintoothed axe menacingly and raised it high, a challenge to the world and a threat for him. He just raised his own weapon in response.
For a few seconds they remained that way, each one waiting for the other to move first. Then like lightning the one armed man lashed out in a straight lunge towards his exposed gut. Kaiden dodged to the side, the vibrosaber missing his middle by centimeters. In response he swung a powerful downward attack that clipped the man’s sword and sent him spiraling away into the side of the trench.
The attack stunned the man but was the opening move for the other two. The tall man slashed at Kaiden’s back while the yeown made an upwards cut towards his groin with the intent to split him in half. He had to dodge backwards and to the side, the chainaxe’s teeth biting into his upper thigh instead. The cut was shallow but wide, stripping the outer layer of his cuisses off and exposing the layered duramite beneath.
He grunted as the heavy contact bruised his leg inside the armour and stumbled slightly. This lapse in defense was enough for the tall man to stab him in the side, the voltaic powersword burning through the underlayer of his armour and digging into his side.
Kaiden slapped the embedded sword away with a gasp of pain. The electrified weapon causing his muscles to freeze in agony for a moment before the weapon was withdrawn.
He fell to one knee and swung his mace in an undisciplined and frantic arc at knee level. He was only partially successful as the weapon tore the tall man’s left leg’s armour off, burning him in the process.
The man cursed loudly and hopped back, his knee smoking and the exposed flesh underneath an angry red in color.
Sucking in a deep breath Kaiden climbed back to his feet. He quickly instructed his armour to inject him with local anesthetic near the site of injury and gave a sigh as the intense pain faded away like snow on a summer's day.
Shaking his head to clear it he noticed that the one armed man had recovered. His sword had been shattered though and he was holding a telescoping blade now. The weapon was much less dangerous than his original vibrosaber, but could still be deadly if used correctly. It would be folly to underestimate the man simply because his weapon was less dangerous.
Pride would be his downfall more so than anything else he realized. He had to stop fighting defensively or they would cut him apart. Piece by piece.
Letting loose a base roar, he lunged at the one armed man who’s eyes widened in sudden surprise. Not even raising his weapon Kaiden shoulder charged the man with the entire force of his heavy armour, like a pain train of rage he smashed the man into the wall of the trench.
The shattering of bone was so loud it made Kaiden flinch, but he didn't hesitate. Turning his bloodied form towards the tall man he gave another shout and charged in a similar manner, but instead of following through he executed a combat roll at the last minute.
Dodging to the left he narrowly avoided taking the huge chainaxe in the back while also putting himself in the perfect position to strike the tall man’s unprotected side.
He lashed out in an overhand swing that connected his white hot flanged mace with the unarmoured part of the tall man’s side. A sickening crunch issued from the impact as half of the man’s rib cage was smashed in, rupturing the man’s heart instantly. The man dropped without a noise, his lungs crushed and his smoldering ruin thrashing in abject agony.
Kaiden continued through the motion and spun to his feet in time to parry an overhead blow from the yeown woman, her powerful muscles bulging under her fur as she tested her prodigious predator strength against that of his powered armour. The whirling teeth of her chainaxe inched slowly towards the haft of his own weapon and he tensed.
He grunted in effort as he threw her back, the fur on her arms smoking as it curled from the heat of his mace.
She kneeled for a second before looking up at him and growling. “You killed my packmates. For this I will tear you limb from limb metal man. I will dig you from that armour as a vreeinth digs a snidge from its ear.” the large woman snarled, her reflective green predator's eyes flashing in the light of his weapon.
Kaiden simply raised his free hand and gave her the universal gesture for ‘Come get some.’
She steamed in rage and charged him, Ixie’s words echoed through his mind, ‘Be calm. Don’t let the anger take over.’
Taking a breath and holding it he dodged to the side, narrowly avoiding the huge alien’s charge. Her wildly whirring chainaxe bit deep into the ground. Sparks flew as the teeth chewed through wood, dirt and stone with equal ease.
Yanking the screaming weapon free she turned to face him, a line of drool falling from her snarling lips.
He let out the breath and crouched, he needed to be careful, the TBAM teeth of her chaintoothed axe would easily shred through the handle of his weapon. He couldn't block her again, only get out of her way.
He dodged her again, this time receiving a series of scratches on his pauldron for his trouble. He needed to unbalance her, get her to make a mistake.
A thought entered his head and he grimaced. It was a grisly idea but would no doubt be effective.
He took a few steps back towards the corpse of the tall man all while keeping an eye on the enraged yeown. She followed his every moment with her bright eyes, the nature of an ambush predator keeping her attuned to him in a way he could not match.
He took a final step back and felt something shift next to him, it was the cooling corpse of the tall man, his face frozen in a look of torment. He turned to the woman and asked in a casual manner “Oh, what's this, I seem to have stepped in some dogshit. Better wipe it off my boots.” and he made a motion of wiping his armoured boot on the dead man’s pants.
He heard her snarl and then she said “Oh thats it, I’m going to tear you to pieces slowly, you wont die fast. That I promise you, you…” She shrieked as she couldn't finish her comment. Instead she lowered her head and charged him on all fours.
Kaiden only had time to realize that she had discarded her weapon before the large alien slammed into him with enough force to send the mace flying from his hand and knock him down onto his back.
He hit the ground hard, the wind knocked out of him and his vision a little grey. It took him a second to realize that the yeown was sitting on his armoured chest, straddling him and pinning his arms to his sides with her legs.
He tried to move but found he didn't have the leverage to break free. He squirmed but to no avail, the damage done to his armour was weakening him to the point he couldn't throw the big yeown off.
She smiled widely, her face splitting in a predatory smile. Rows of sharp tearing teeth on display as she rested her hands on his shoulders. She leaned down close to his face and whispered loud enough for him to hear “Oh, I’m going to enjoy carving you out of this suit piece by piece.”
Kaiden swore loudly and the woman just laughed evilly. “This is what you get little man.” she said as she produced a diamonomolecular knife from her thigh.
She prised the small knife into the small gap between his helmet and gorget, using some force to break the seal.
He gasped in pain as she twisted the helmet violently and wrenched it off his head. Blinking several times as his eyes adjusted to the darkness he felt hot breath on his face. The woman took a deep sniff and chuckled.
I can smell the fear radiating off of you, pathetic. You are just like the rest of them, cowards, packbreakers. Not worthy of a warrior’s death. He flinched away from her hand as she extended her claws. She put a finger behind one of his ears and then with a quick motion took a notch out of it.
Kaiden jerked and swore. “Shit, okay, you got me you fuzzer. Just kill me and be done with it. This toying is sadistic.”
She shook her head and ran a hand through his hair almost tenderly. “No, this is nothing. You will beg me for death much harder than that before I'm done with you.” he jerked and struggled more, but again found that he was helplessly pinned.
Just before she had torn his helmet off he had tried to send a distress pulse, but without his helmet’s heads up display he had no idea if he had been successful or not. He sighed internally as he tried to ignore the blood running from his ear. It either had and he would be saved, or it hadn't in which case he was looking at a very unfortunate evening.
The woman dragged her blade down his chest, scouring a thin line down the tungsten alloy plates. As she reached his belly she stopped and started to dig the knife under the heavy chest plate before she froze. She whipped around and started to stand when a brilliant purple light stabbed completely through her head.
The now very dead yeown dropped like a discarded puppet and slumped across his chest. He struggled to extricate himself from the body as he heard heavy footsteps approaching. He had a feeling it was friendly, but it never hurt to be careful. Rolling to the side he scooped up his M2 and pointed the barrel down the trench towards the direction of the beam.
All he could see was a near blinding light. He lifted a hand to cover his eyes and shouted “Who goes there? Identify yourself or I’ll open fire.”
The light turned off as he said it and a tall power armoured figure walked up to him carrying an impressive looking weapon.
Ixie’s voice issued through the suit's external speakers and she asked “What is this Kaiden, I leave you on your own for five minutes and you almost get yourself tortured to death? What would command say if they saw the great Sergeant Kaiden now, destitute and defiled by a Hegemony whore?” she asked him with a chuckle.
He frowned and said “That’s not funny. I got four of them, the last one caught me by surprise.”
Ixie extended a hand towards him and he took it gratefully, groaning in pain as he rose to his feet. He shifted uncomfortably and announced “I have multiple stab wounds and at least two fractured ribs, one might be broken entirely.” he finished.
He couldn't tell what she was thinking as her face was covered behind the helmet she was wearing, but he got the impression she was grinning at him. “She just gestured to the dead yeown and giggled “Now you know what Cooper feels like I’ll bet.”
Kaiden shook his head and protested “No, that’s not funny. Take that back!”
She shook her helmeted head and told him “It’s going to cost you. Now what could you offer me that might keep my mouth shut?”
He threw his hands up and hefted his gun. “I have know idea what psycho’s like you enjoy. You keep your secrets. I'm tired and hurting. How are we doing?” he asked her in a more serious manner.
She waved for him to accompany her, before he did he walked over and recovered his hemet. Placing it over his head it reconnected to his suit and immediately a seal warning popped up on his HUD. He turned it off, he was no longer safe from chemical or radiological attack, but that was of little concern to him at the moment. Instead he listened to her as she rattled off kill statistics and injuries.
He asked her “So Mal’conet was injured too. Shot in the chest by an RPL5.6, he should be okay. Though that thermal damage is going to fuck up his scales. Ok, it looks like we're pretty much done here. Aside from a few minor injuries we are all fit for travel.”
Ixie walked a few more steps before pausing. “What did that reverse ecdysiast say to you?”
He chuckled at her chosen description of the rebel soldier and shook his head. “Oh the usual, she was going to chop me up, make it a slow and painful death. Nothing too disturbing.” He paused and then turned to face her. Lowering his tone he said “Um, thanks for saving me Ixie. I would have been a peeled frubble if you hadn’t shown up when you did. I do owe you a special thanks. But we’ll talk about it later. For now let’s just get this wrapped up and head back to base for some rest.”
Ixie walked over and slapped his shoulder saying “Anytime Kaiden. Anytime. Now, I believe we have a few more rebels to flush out. Maybe they will be sporting and put up a little bit of a fight this time eh?” she said as she nudged him. He nodded and smiled.
‘If only they put up less of a fight.’ He thought to himself. As she walked away he said “Okay, I have a few ideas that might be to your liking.”
He saw her helmet turn slightly as she asked “Oh, and what might those be?”
He just smiled as he thought of the many things he knew she liked. The benefit of working so closely together for years. He caught up to her and hefted his gun, alert for danger as he began to speak covertly over a private channel, her laugh warming his cold and aching heart.


==End of Transmission==
submitted by Frostdraken to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:39 Data_shade I traded my GR86 for a MIAT


Hi, it’s me. In January I traded my GR86 for an MIAT. Since then I’ve put about 2500 miles on including no track days and no auto cross runs, only 3 dealership visits for manual transmission failures.
Why did I get rid of the GR86?
Space. The GR86 was simply too big inside, I could fit my wife's boyfriend, and their two kids in the back with car seats, however my passengers were miserable in the cramped GR86 so I downsized to leave them at home. Now my wife's boyfriend and I can ride the highways and the byways, top down. Me being me, I just couldn’t resist paying markup to get into the MIAT ecosystem, free market foresight be damned.
Why the MIAT?
I realized this segment is ideal for me. Many people moan about MIAT not being fast, but I’ve won more red light drag races against prius’es than I ever did in my GR86. This segment gives me fun cars that can do it all, as a midlife crisis “working man’s” sports car DD and something for weekend fun with mostly no compromises. I went down the list of usual suspects. MkV SoupBruh: too expensive. No TooJayZed. No character since it’s a BMW. Impossible to see out of. GRolla: a bit small in the rear to fit me and the wives boyfriend on our drive in movie dates. The MIAT works best for this. I don’t need AWD as it’s a gimmick since I will never drive the car anywhere where AWD will benefit me, and any other excuse means I’m in denial. GolfR: JDM(Jerman Domestic Market) therefore it’s mid and only lames drive them. I also considered a BMW DCT F80 M3/4/5(With a drop, LTW’s and clears) but it cost 3 times what a MIAT does and that’s bad value for money.
The MIAT checks all of the right driving boxes for me and even has the option to pick up dudes at the racetracks, who after I flirt with for a while are able to forgive me for buying an automatic MIAT. Until now, I’ve always had a manual. I’m not a die hard ‘I must drive everything stick’ type person, but I always enjoy driving stick on the street but have said for a while ‘I’d prefer if my shifting hand was in my wives boyfriends pants right now.’ Of course the one box MIAT doesn’t check is looks. Not nearly enough dudes are looking at me in this thing. I still have no idea how to get them to notice me in my MIAT. I hope the NE ‘24 refresh of MIAT makes it more appealing to dudes. As I’ve owned it(for 2,500 miles), MIAT has grown on me a little. Much like if your friends have a shitty kid and you’re lying and saying ‘yeah nah it’s uh… cute’. I do enjoy the soft ride quality of MIAT, taking it easy on my backside, but not the lack of adequate roll protection from the factory. We all know I will find a way to flip this thing and if I do before I save up for my roll bar it will be game over. I assume this is to weed out bad drivers? It’s like they designed it to kill bad drivers on purpose.
The interior is not good. The Mazda infotainment already cracked in the corner. Large, sharp screens obstructing my fucking view. Huge condescending gauge cluster with 130mph listed as top speed, MIAT easily exceeds that. I hate how everything rattles and shits crooked. CarPlay doesn’t fucking work. It doesn’t even have custom modes where you can fuck up your steering feel, fuck up the engine/throttle response, fuck up the automatic shift speed, fuck up the alignment and suspension, and make the exhaust annoy everyone with the push of a button… it doesn’t have any of that. What it does have, is DRL controls, and traction control. Want the LED Fangs on all the time, or not at all? There’s a setting for that. Want traction control on or off? MIAT has a button for you. Want to be annoyed when on track? MIAT has a front facing camera that will warn you about weaving and potential collisions so your instructor will lose all confidence in your driving ability on account of these driver aids not being able to be turned off. Why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Some of the plastics are hard and depressing. Compared to the GR86, the interior is all the same hard plastics bullshit and three knobs for climate control in the center. They might as well be the same fucking car. At least Mazda doesn’t push a MIAT app we must install in order to use the car, that way they aren’t back door spying on us and we can trust Mazda as a brand.
One interior-ish Quirk and Feature, it doesn’t have radar based adaptive cruise control. Not sure what current Gen cruise control tech has to do with interior, but I’m stream of consciousness typing this out so just go with it. No whiz-bang cruise control in MIAT is not a huge dealbreaker for me, as I don’t go on long highway trips in MIAT as my life is over, but cruise control would be nice.
I like rwd. I like fwd. I’m definitely in the ‘if you don’t like fwd, then you definitely haven’t driven good fwd at the limit’ camp(sorry). Do I drift every T-junction full oppo? Absolutely. If I had to mansplain fwd, it would go something like this: I think the equivalent driving experience, to get fwd to mimic rwd, is you gotta approach the turn gran turismo style, or, as I call it, a more video game-ness approach, use the guy in front as your arca brakes while you understeer your way through a high speed right hander, then the eLSD kicks in and you can lie to yourself and convince yourself that fwd could be anywhere near as good as rwd no matter what bullshit drive train nonsense is printed in the brochure. I sure as shit can’t feel the difference, and neither will any of you. This is getting less and less fun to continue. Why would anyone write this much about a subjective experience between two cars in different segments entirely? Ones a 2+2 sports coupe and the other is a 2 seater roadster. A more fair comparison would have been the RF at least. Or, I dunno, Camry TRD vs Elantra N...........
The Dealership Experience
Literally who cares about this post enough to read this part? I walked in, got my 19.9% APR at 84 months with only $9,500 markup over MSRP, didn’t get the color I wanted or the trim level I wanted, but hey, I wanted out of my GR86 and into a MIAT asap, and the dealership I chose that day did just that for me.
On Track
I cannot track MIAT as the transmission will explode and warranty coverage will be denied. I go through cars like pairs of underwear so I’m really screwing over the next owner by taking this vehicle on track, which is why I don’t do that, ever ;) my GR86 came with a free track day courtesy of NASA(National Auto Sport Association) but on the warmup lap my S*baru📷 boxer engine spat a rod out of the block only 45 uninterrupted seconds of driving after I initially heard the knocking, I thought I could limp it to the pits, but alas.
Whats next?
Nothing for a while. Just gonna pick up dudes at the mall and the track, feed them vegan avocado toast and hard kombuchas until they swoon over my MIAT. My mom said I should have gotten the Civic type R(or, FK8 for those who ‘know’ ;p~) but that car is lame and not as cool as MIAT. The civic is too JayDeeEm and “boy racer”(whatever the fuck that means) for me, I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression that I can actually drive and not just shitpost like a narcissist on Reddit. I know that I’m an expert at driving the MIAT because I got a one month subscription to iRacing one time and set a few laps in their MIAT and I didn’t crash. As you all know, iRacing is the real racing simulator used by pros all over the globe. That makes me, vis a vis, ergo, Concordently, a Global MX-5 Challenge racing driver irl.
Cons, Quirks and Features
None. It is MIAT, and as we all know, MIAT stands for:
I'm the main character, thanks for coming to my TED talk, MIAT is always the
submitted by Data_shade to carscirclejerk [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 17:58 TallLab1036 An in depth profile of myself.

Hello hello. I hope you enjoy this short introduction of myself.
Some have asked why I've come here to seek this, and really, why are any of us here? We're searching for something that we can't find elsewhere so we've decided to give this a shot.
I've tried other sites without luck and dating is difficult in my area. By that I mean everyone is super country, as in enjoying fishing and listening to country music while complaining about liberals. Or, to phrase it another way - guns, God and Trump. That's a hard pass for me, so this seems like the next step.
A couple of things before I start:
Distance isn't an issue for me. I'm hoping to meet someone and chat to see where things lead, if there's a connection of any sort. If there is, we can move from there. Distance is a relatively small issue if you can find someone who is truly perfect for you, after all.
I should also mention that, for the most part, age isn't an issue. To some extent it will be of course, but I don't mind a bit of an age gap in either direction at all. If it's an issue for you, that's understandable; however, if you think it will be for me, well the only way to really find out is to message me, now isn't it?
I'm open to anyone who sees this and is interested (including those of any experience level) as I don't want to limit myself when I could possibly find chemistry with someone.
Also, while I am in general an emotionally intelligent, nurturing and supportive person, I'm also a massive sadist. To be more specific, I enjoy psychological sadism (although physical sadism is definitely fun too) and that is reflected in my kinks and, to some extent, my personality. While I believe boundaries and limits are to be respected at all times, and I don't enjoy anything if my partner doesn't, I absolutely love teasing, tormenting and torturing my partner in both play and everyday life.
Prepare for a mountain of text! It's a bit long, but I assure you it's worth the read. I decided that since I'm putting myself out there with a post, I want to truly and fully put myself out there and represent myself. I'm hoping that those reading this will recognize the effort that was put into this and get a good feel for who I am as a person. If you feel it's too much, save it for later, skim or even just message me if you would rather get to know me more naturally.
My post is cobbled together from thoughts, beliefs and realizations that I have come upon in my years in the lifestyle (which is why you might see slightly different styles of writing in different parts, this post is taken from my kink profiles and are the sum result of over ten years of experience that I find I still add to every now and then. I try to edit and organize it a bit from time to time, but it's difficult due to the fact that there's so much that I wish to include.)
Long story short, I can be a bit...rambly, sometimes. So apologies in advance for that, although I have recently made great strides in editing my post. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
While it's certainly a lengthy read, it's not nearly as bad as it seems. I recommend reading the whole thing (obviously since I wrote it), especially if you're interested in getting to know a kinky, geeky and empathetic person.
Now that I've covered that, it's time to get to the part you've been waiting for.

About me:

I decided to put this part first because I believe that, above all else, the people involved should connect on a personal level and "click", if you will. This tells about who I am and my hobbies and such. If someone can't accept this part of me, how could we possibly get along?
I'm a lighthearted, playful and fairly laid back, yet somewhat serious minded, person who's rather upbeat and probably too curious for his own good. I'm also kind, caring, friendly, sometimes cynical and often sarcastic (although in a lighthearted manner, and never at the expense of others.) There's nothing I love to do more than laugh; I love most things involving humor, although I do believe there's a very fine line between hilarity and stupidity.
Now, for some little bits of trivia about me:
  • According to the Myers-Briggs system, I'm an INFP. Online tests can give you an idea of where to start, but they're not that reliable and the results can change depending on your mood that day. To truly discover your type requires self-reflection to learn about your cognitive functions, and while doing so I learned a lot about myself. I don't follow it religiously, but I believe there are some elements of truth to it.
  • I'm definitely a Type B Personality.
  • I'm a hopeless romantic, an old soul who's young at heart, a cynical optimist and a realistic dreamer.
  • I'm definitely that type that believes in better safe than sorry, and one of my mottos is "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst." I also tend to do copious amounts of research before any big decision.
  • I consider myself to be a very grounded, down to earth and genuine person.
  • I'm extremely friendly and believe in treating others with the same respect that you would like to receive and generally try to do what I feel is "right" by others (more on that in a bit.)
  • I like to believe in the best of human nature, although I seem to be let down a fair bit. Even so, I don't want to let that stop me.
  • I have very strong values and ideals, and an even stronger moral compass.
  • I believe people are free to do and believe what they want, so long as they don't harm themselves, harm, cause trouble for or inconvenience others, or attempt to force those beliefs on others.
  • I believe that a life lived for others is the only life worth living.
  • I believe that there's no point in worrying about things that you can't change. If you let yourself get dragged down by it and obsess over it, you'll find yourself crushed under the weight of all the injustices in the world.
  • I've been told (rather often actually) that I have a very nice voice, frequently being told that I should go into radio or be an announcer of some kind. I'm very expressive and my voice reflects that, having lots of highs and lows. Truthfully, I believe it's one of my better features.
  • I much prefer talking to typing in general, especially when first getting to know someone as you get a much better idea of their personality. Also, I feel like I come across kind of...stiff in my writing style when that's very much not me, so voice allows me to showcase my truest self.
  • I tend to be a confidant of sorts; due to my open and genuine nature and what I've been told is a welcoming...aura, I suppose, people tend to find me easy to talk to and trust, coming to me to confide things and seek out advice. This is something that brings me great happiness and pride as having the trust of others is important to me.
  • Promises are very important to me; once I give my word in regards to something I'll keep it, even if I don't particularly want to. As cheesy as it might sound, to me my word is my bond.
  • Admittedly, subtlety is not one of my strong points. I'm a very open, upfront and honest person. I'm terrible at lying (I hate doing it and I just give away that I am) and can't keep a straight face to save my life. If I were an actor, I would probably be Jimmy Fallon.
  • I welcome people to give me constructive criticism and feedback as I'm constantly looking to improve myself. Yes, that even includes those that message me saying my post is far too long.
  • I can't fake a smile to save my life, it has to be genuine for me. One of the many reasons I hate having photos taken of me.
  • I find intelligence, humor and kindness to be the most desirable traits in a partner (although being easy on the eyes doesn't hurt.)
  • My senses are all very sensitive, and can sometimes overwhelm me when I'm introduced to new stimuli.
  • I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to too. Wait, I'm just kidding, just wanted to throw a little Mitch Hedberg in here. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. While I have no issue with those who drink, I do tend to avoid smokers and hardcore drug users.
  • Despite what the length of my post may say about me, I absolutely hate writing.
  • I enjoy visiting places but hate the actual traveling (which is one of the reasons why if I could have one power it would be teleportation [actually if I could have one power it would be the ability to manipulate space and time, however for simplicity's sake I'm just going to say teleportation for now {not Star Trek teleportation though, fuck that.}])
  • I hate waiting and I hate making others wait.
  • I love the symbolism of trees and what they represent: strength, vitality, protection.
  • If I had to rank the seven deadly sins in the order that I'm guilty of from most to least, it would go: Gluttony, Pride, Sloth, Lust, Envy, Greed and Wrath.
  • If I were to list the Magic the Gathering colors that I most identify with from most to least, it would go: White, Blue, Green, Red and then Black.
  • Growing up I was all about DBZ, Dinosaurs, Gargoyles, Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, Pokémon, Power Rangers, Spider-Man & X-Men.
  • I absolutely love animals and have two cats of my own, Ivy and Jasmine (there are wonderful stories behind both names), that I love to death. I probably talk to them like people a bit too much.
  • I spend far more time living in my head than I should.
  • I firmly believe that breakfast offers the best food. I could eat waffles everyday.
  • I call Gatorade by their flavors as opposed to their colors.
  • I absolutely love when I'm thirsty and soda burns my throat.
  • You won't catch me running unless something is chasing me. Partially because I have asthma, but mostly because running is awful.
Over the past several years I've come to appreciate music a lot more than I used to (before it was simply used as background noise as I can't stand silence) and have discovered that I'm a fan of alt-metal, heavy metal and hard rock more than anything else.
Some bands I enjoy include:
Adelitas Way, Amaranthe, Breaking Benjamin, Disturbed, Evans Blue, Five Finger Death Punch, Gemini Syndrome, Otherwise, Pop Evil, Sevendust, Shinedown, Shaman's Harvest, State of Mine, Theory of a Deadman, Three Days Grace (before Adam Gontier left)
I enjoy other types of music as well, for example another band I like is Bowling for Soup as I love their sense of humor; it's great to see people not taking music so seriously. I'm also a fan of big band music, which I actually have Fallout 3 to thank for. I enjoy classical musical as well and, despite having no real knowledge of it and most of it sounding the same, I find it incredibly relaxing and peaceful.
While I enjoy relaxing and watching television, I have trouble watching hour long shows as I can only focus on it for so long before my attention wavers, around that time I start looking at my phone and just waiting for it to be over. It's also why I don't watch too many movies; I need my entertainment bite sized. I'll watch movies every once in a while, but they generally need to be 100 minutes tops (unless it's something I'm super into.).
I have difficulty getting into things that are realistic; they usually need to be fantastical in nature and capture my imagination. My preferred genres are comedy, horror (mainly supernatural, no slashers) and most things involving special powers or abilities, however I can sometimes get into action or drama as well. I also have a love for the world of animation, possibly because they tend to be more creative and aren't limited by reality; it's part of why I'm so partial to anime.
Some shows that I'm fond of are:
Animation: Adventure Time, American Dad, Archer, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Bob's Burgers, Bojack Horseman, [China, IL], Disenchantment, Futurama, HarmonQuest, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, King of the Hill, Metalocalypse, Mike Tyson Mysteries, Mr. Pickles, Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, South Park, Superjail, Ugly Americans, Venture Bros.
Live-action: Arrested Development, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Carnivàle, Dexter, Eureka, Friends, Game of Thrones, The Good Place, House, The Lost Room, Monk, The Muppets (2015 series), The Office, Parks and Rec, Psych, Stargate, Stranger Things, Walking Dead, Warehouse 13, Wilfred
I definitely binge my shows, I like to wait for a season (or preferably an entire series) to be done before I jump into it. I'm also the type that's fine watching something just once. If I ever feel the need to watch it again it will be many, many years later. This extends to games as well, I generally need things with replayability such as MOBA's or Rogue-likes.
Gaming is easily one of my biggest hobbies and has been for many, many years now. I see it as an art form, as a way to tell a story that you can deeply immerse yourself in and get pulled into, something that can captivate you and make you lose all track of time because it's simply so engrossing. It's also a damn good way to have fun and kill time, especially when you're playing with friends. It's a big part of my life and something I have spent quite a bit of time and money on. Some people may be put off by this, but it a part of me that I will not deny or hide; after all, if someone has an issue with that then how compatible could we possibly be?
Some video games that hold a special place in my heart are:
Action/Adventure: Alan Wake, Assassin's Creed, Bastion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bayonetta, Brütal Legend, Bully, Darksiders, Dark Souls (first one), Deadly Premonition, Dead Space, Devil May Cry (3 & 5), Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Heavy Rain, Hellblade, Infamous, Last of Us, Legend of Zelda (A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker), Luigi's Mansion, Metal Gear Solid (Twin Snakes, 3, 4 & 5), Ninja Gaiden (2004), Overlord, Phantom Crash, Resident Evil 2 remake, Saint's Row 2, The Saboteur, TMNT: Turtles in Time
Fighting: Anarchy Reigns, Blazblue (series), DBZ: Budokai, Dragon Ball Fighterz, Marvel vs Capcom (2 & 3), Mortal Kombat (9 & 11), Soul Calibur 3, Super Smash Bros. Melee
MOBA: Dota 2, Guardians of Middle Earth, Heroes of the Storm
Rogue-like: Binding of Isaac, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Darkest Dungeon, Dead Cells, Don't Starve, FTL, Monster Train, Slay the Spire
RPG: Bravely Default, Dragon Age (Origins and Inquisition), Dragon's Dogma, Elder Scrolls (Oblivion and Skyrim), Fable (1 & 2), Fallout (3 & New Vegas), Final Fantasy (IX, X & Tactics Advance), Grim Dawn, Mass Effect 2, Pillars of Eternity (series), Pokémon (Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver & Stadium), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Suikoden 2, Tyranny, The Witcher (2 & 3)
Shooter: Bioshock (series), Battlefield Bad Company (1 & 2), The Darkness, Deep Rock Galactic, Gears of War (1 & 3), Left 4 Dead, Shadowrun (2007 FPS), Team Fortress 2 (when it first came out, it's a little much now), Vanquish
Simulation: Animal Crossing (first one), Doki Doki Literature Club, Harvest Moon, Life is Strange, Pokémon Snap, Tabletop Simulator
Strategy: Civilization (3 & 4), Endless Legend, Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers (2012 & 2013), Portal, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Warcraft 3
Not only that, but I've also gotten into tabletop gaming, including both board and pen and paper games (such as Dungeons and Dragons.) I initially got into the latter as an exercise to strengthen my creative muscles but found it was a fun way to goof off with friends. For the former, it's almost gotten to the point that I enjoy them more than most video games as it provides an experience that you don't get anymore; friends gathered around and competing against one another or cooperating against a common foe, something that's disappeared with the advent of the internet.
Some board games that I love are:
BANG! The Dice Game, Dead of Winter, Dice Throne, Epic Spell Wars, King of New York, Lords of Waterdeep, Munchkin, Pandemic, Red Dragon Inn
I enjoy reading as well, although I find it difficult to find a book that can keep my focus and really draw me in like I crave. I'm constantly on the prowl for new material, and my favorite genres would probably be apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, dystopian, horror and dark fantasy/grimdark, although I'm certainly in the market for something that has a good element of humor to it as well. If you have any recommendations, I'd absolutely love to hear them!
Bring up video/board/tabletop games, super powers, comics, cartoons, anime, manga, sci-fi, fantasy or technology and I'll happily chat your ear off. I'm quite social and love to talk, however I'm also an introvert so there are plenty of times where the pressure of constant social interactions with others gets to me and I need to take some time to myself to mentally recharge.
As I mentioned, I absolutely adore animals. Seriously, if you want to make me hate a bad guy, have him hurt an animal. Ironically, I'm practically a carnivore. I'm convinced that I would starve if I had to hunt for my own food just because I couldn't bring myself to hurt them.
Speaking of food, I'm a bit of a foodie (I dislike that word, but it's accurate.) I'm all about sauces, seasonings and spices, not to mention a love for anything deep fried. I love experiencing different tastes and textures while trying new things...as long as they're not vegetables. No veggies, except corn and potatoes; those two get a pass as they're amazing. I also enjoy onions and peppers in small quantities in dishes.
I've got a nice guy next door look in that I have no tattoos or piercings, have glasses, stay clean shaven and have a bit of a baby face (as in I look rather young, I often get mistaken for being in my mid 20's). I wouldn't say that with my look I would be called handsome, sexy or hot (however I am often called cute (I've also been called handsome a fair amount, it still feels weird though.) I'm also rather pale due to the fact that I stay indoors most of the time (if you can't tell from that, I'm white.) Because of my appearance, and my friendly and laid back nature, people tend to view me as rather innocent. I suppose that isn't entirely incorrect though, I'll admit that I can be a bit naive at times in regards to people and the world.
As for politics and religion, I tend to try to stay away from both.
While I believe I'm somewhat in the middle for the former, as I have views from both sides, if I had to choose I'd say I definitely lean way more towards the left. I believe in the greater good, the needs of the many over the needs of the few, in advancing science and finding alternative fuels and materials that don't pollute or destroy our environment in the process, in trying to create a brighter future, etc, etc. I'm definitely not on the far left however, and hate social justice and cancel culture. I'm empathetic and all, but people need to stop getting offended by every tiny thIng and creating problems that don't exist. That's definitely not exclusive to the left, the right is very guilty of it as well.
For the latter, I generally just consider myself not religious as I don't think or care about it too much. If I had to classify it though I'd say I'm agnostic. This means that, while I don't believe in any god or gods, I acknowledge that they might exist. While I'm 99.3̅3̅3̅% certain that there is no grand creator or afterlife, there's no real way we can know for certain. We're a very young and ignorant species, there's much about life and the universe that we are unaware of or don't understand yet.
I just try to focus on being a good person and doing right by others, not for some earthly or heavenly reward, or for a smug sense of self satisfaction, but because it's simply what I want to do. It's who I am and what makes me feel good about myself.
I try my best to live by The Golden Rule (also known as treat others you the way you wish to be treated or do unto others as you would have them do unto you), being guided by own moral compass that directs me in how I interact with others. I always do my very best to make others feel wanted, cared for, appreciated and understood, to give them validation; I never want anyone to feel left out or unwanted, for any reason at all. Perhaps it's from my own difficult childhood, since I felt that way when I was young and don't want others to go through the same things that I did. Whatever the reason, whenever I say or do anything I tend to, without even realizing it, think about how it will affect the other person and the different ways that it could be taken. I strive to treat others with the courtesy and respect that I believe that they deserve.
As I mentioned, I have a strong moral compass. The only problem is, this is true North for my compass; I feel that's the correct way to treat and interact with others, and I believe that's what everyone should do. So when other people don't act in the way that I believe they should, even though I know everyone is different and everyone has different thoughts, feelings and experiences that led them to those (we are the product of our environments after all), it can bother me. I've come to realize that this is due to holding myself to extremely high standards, and often holding other people to the same standards to which I hold myself.
Unfortunately, that can lead to conflicts with others, sometimes over things that they might feel to be insignificant. It doesn't happen very often though as I can recognize whether something is actually a big deal or not and put it to the back of my mind; I wouldn't be a very good friend or partner if I nitpicked over every little thing, now would I? Despite being very much driven by my moral compass, I'm also calm, collected, understanding and logical by nature.
I've realized that I used to put a lot of pressure on myself when interacting with others, trying to be funny and entertaining, overall trying to make sure that they were having a good time and enjoying themselves. If, for whatever reason, I felt that they were bored I ended up trying even harder to keep them engaged and joyful. It was somewhat of a bad habit of mine; I suppose I just felt like I had a personal stake in everyone that I interacted with, a responsibility almost, and didn't want to leave them wanting. I still do this to some extent, but not as much as I used to; as I've grown and matured, and my anxiety has lessened, I've learned to pull back a bit and that I don't need to carry everyone's burden on my shoulders. I still wish to keep people engaged and happy, and still take on more responsibility than I probably should, however I imagine that I'll always be that way; it's just in my nature.
I'm an emotionally intelligent and extremely empathetic person who's well aware of his inner workings due to my introspective nature. I'm easily able to see things from multiple perspectives, which I believe is because of how I process empathy. I don't necessarily feel the exact pain of others, but I mirror it; it's second nature for me to put myself in their position which allows me to understand the plethora of ways they can think and feel. This is something that is a core part of who I am and that I take great pride in.
I feel deeply, which can lead to me taking things to heart and sometimes reading too much into things or overanalyzing them. Thankfully, due to my great experience in emotional control and regulation (which I'm about to go into), I'm generally able to take a step back from my emotions and understand the intent and meaning behind words and actions so there's less of a chance of misunderstanding.
Because I feel so deeply, that caused problems for me when I was younger. My emotions were a swirling vortex, out of control and ready to burst out at any second. Puberty certainly didn't make this any easier either.
It's been said that our personal identity is 80% environmental and 20% genetic. While I might be genetically predispositioned to feeling so deeply, a lot of it likely comes from traumas experienced in childhood and my inability to process them properly. They left scars that I'm still dealing with today, and as a result of said scars, growing up I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression and OCD, on top of the ADHD that I already had. However, I'm thankfully in a very good place thanks to a combination of past therapy, current medication and constant reflection.
I've done a lot of work to be able to get a handle on my emotions. Because I got used to having them under such control, I've been told that at times I can come across as kind of indifferent or hard to read. That's one of the reasons that I'm such an upfront, open, honest and expressive person; I want people to be able to understand me and I generally tell exactly what I'm thinking or how something makes me feel so that others can do that.
Honestly, one of my biggest fears is that no one will ever be able to understand me like I understand myself. It's right up there with a fear of the unknown (one is the reasons I don't do deep water, I don't want to fuck with any Cthulhu monsters that are down there) and losing my memories, as in the end we're just a sum of our memories and I don't want to lose who I am.
I never claimed to be perfect; I have my flaws as well, and try to work on them every day to improve myself as a person. Since I've already put so much of myself into my profile, I thought that it was only right to put the negative parts in as well.
While some of these things could certainly be considered negative traits, I believe that they help make me the Dom that I am. Because I AM so compassionate, because I AM so empathetic, because I HAVE been through so much and still keep going, I feel that I can give a sub or a slave what she truly needs to thrive in her environment. Feel free to read more about that below.

My Beliefs:

If I had to break down why this all appeals to me to one reason, to put it simply, I'd have to say that I'm the kind of person who wants to be needed. I find that, overall, I feel more driven and fulfilled if I know that I have someone that depends on me. If I have someone whose best interests I must keep in mind, who I need to protect and care for, I feel a greater sense of purpose than the humdrum rumblings of everyday life.
When you combine that with my nurturing and empathetic nature this type of relationship is the natural choice for me (more on that next). I believe that's also why I find myself naturally drawn to the weak, the helpless and the damaged. I have an overwhelming desire to heal them, to help and protect them while nurturing them and watching them grow into who I know they can be, which goes with what I was saying before.
A sub knows that her Dom loves her unconditionally and only wants what is best for her. While I do certainly enjoy doing this, I primarily do this to help my sub above all else. I'm a nurturing soul who wishes nothing more than to protect his partner. To take care of her and help her when she needs it. To be her support and her life line. To give her the guidance, structure and discipline she needs to feel fulfilled in life. To set rules and guidelines so that she can move freely within those set limits and be happy. To help her decide what is best for her when she herself doesn't know. To provide the security and comfort of knowing that she is being taken care of and that she has someone she can talk to about anything without any sort of judgment or prejudice. I want her to thrive and become the person that she was always meant to be. I enjoy pushing my sub to explore her boundaries and limits, within reason of course. I simply wish to see her flourish and blossom, to help her become what I know she can be and reach higher plateaus.
I realize the previous paragraphs could sound condescending in some ways, however that couldn't be further from the truth. I see my partner as an equal, someone who simply has different needs that I can fulfill so that they can live a fulfilling life themselves, and in turn by fulfilling those needs of theirs, I feel fulfilled as well. We ultimately form a symbiotic relationship of sorts.
Make no mistake, I have no desire to micromanage every tiny detail of my sub's life, nor form a codependent relationship where she's entirely reliant upon me for her mental and emotional needs. The level and extent of the D/s relationship is decided after long discussion and input from both parties.
Some believe that being a Dom is just telling people what to do and getting what you want while getting off, but it's so much more than that. It's not as easy or simple as it appears, you must always keep what is best for your sub in mind, even if it conflicts with your own immediate or future interests. You must constantly be aware of her needs and desires while providing checks and balances to help her live a life worth living. Anyone can simply give a sub what she wants, it takes a true Dom to say no because you feel that is what is best for her.
At least that's how it should be. There are so many "Doms" out there that don't care about their subs at all, only themselves. They don't care if they're suffering physically or emotionally, they simply use them as toys they can play with and then toss aside when they're bored; they abuse them and hurt them simply because they get a kick out of it. A real Dom/sub relationship is a very special and strong bond, much more so than a vanilla relationship in my opinion. So many people seem to have issues understanding that unfortunately, there's a certain stigma associated with this and preconceptions are formed before they even learn anything about it.
Truthfully, I believe the sub holds the power in the relationship in many ways. She is the one that is choosing to submit after all, to give up her power and control to the Dom. Despite that, she is the one that has control over the power of safe words, that can stop an activity with a single utterance. Her subservience is completely voluntary, something that many people don't seem to think about. It's not simply about someone bossing someone around because they can, it's about someone choosing a partner that they feel is worthy to give their all to.

What I'm looking for:

I'm not here looking for a booty call or one night stand, but to find a potential partner in crime, possibly for life if a connection is made. More than anything, I simply wish to find someone who looks at me the way this girl looks at her prom date.
While the following is my ideal, as I said at the beginning, I'm open to talking to anyone that reads this. However, I'm not particularly interested in "littles" or "brats".
Ideally my partner would be what is typically called an adult babygirl, and I'd like to elaborate on that term since some might not be familiar with it. Essentially it's someone who enjoys the nurturing, loving and structured aspect of a Daddy Dom or DD/lg relationship but isn't a little themselves; meaning that they don't have a mental age that they regress to, among other things. (I don't identify as a Daddy myself, however due to my protective and supportive/nurturing nature you could say I'm Daddy leaning.)
Some people have their entire lives revolve around the lifestyle, going to munches, conventions, parties and attempting to reach out to their community and find a place to belong. That might work for them, but it's of no interest to me. While I'm certainly not opposed to chatting and making friends and connections, I have no desire to be a part of a community. I'm simply seeking one whose ideas and beliefs line up with my own for a symbiotic relationship as I mentioned before
If I had to describe such a relationship, it would definitely be on the lighter side of the spectrum in regards to what daily life would be like. I'm seeking a 24/7 TPE, however I also enjoy being casual with my sub. Perhaps in some ways it's more similar to a vanilla relationship with strong Dom/sub undertones than a typical BDSM relationship.
In my perfect situation, we would still be able to joke around, have fun and be very close and romantic; however there is also the constant understanding that I am in charge, and what I say goes. No matter how much fun we may be having or what we might be doing, she should always know her place, even if it's only in the back of her mind. There are rules in place for her benefit, and if she breaks those rules she will be punished.
By what I say goes, I mean I have the final say in subjects because, as a submissive, she has given the reins of power over to me. She trusts me to make her decisions for her and to do what is best for her, to take care of and protect her. I'm never the type to say "this is how it's going to be, I don't care what you want, end of discussion" as discourse is the only way two people can truly understand one another. I always value my submissive's input and always want her to give her opinion and speak her mind if something is bothering her.
My ideal sub would be one that is loyal and devoted above all else, but also one who is looking for a Dom she can actually have a connection with. One that, not necessarily needs, but craves guidance, support, structure and discipline in their life; whose life does not feel complete without this, like there is a void deep inside her that cannot be filled unless she has a Dom to guide and take care of her, that she can in turn make happy and serve to the best of her ability.
Beyond anything else though, I want to like them as a person before I love them as a sub. My perfect partner would be someone who is intelligent, kind-hearted, earnest, funny and a has a fair touch of dorkiness in her. I want her to be someone that actually has personality, that I can laugh with and talk to for hours upon hours on end and still hate the thought of leaving. Someone that will either indulge my love of games and geekery or join me because she's just as much of a fan of those things as I am. Someone who loves how I tease and torment her, keeping her on the edge and revelling in the pleasure I get from watching her squirm.
One thing to note is that just because I am very friendly (sometimes people are surprised when I begin acting more Dominant, others aren't as they say they can "sense it in the way I present myself", even while being friendly and joking around) doesn't mean that I'm not strict when I have to be. I have no problem at all with enforcing rules and giving out punishments, although it's certainly not my favorite aspect of the relationship. I would prefer to reward, encourage and nurture my sub, however there are times when discipline is necessary; if one feels the need to act up, one must be ready accept the consequences after all.
If I had to describe my style of dominance, or what makes me dominant, I suppose that would be a little tricky. I don't feel the need to control everything, nor do I attempt to, and I have no problem with kicking back and letting others take the reigns in everyday situations if I feel they're more qualified or I just plain don't feel like it. Nor am I the type that "oozes" dominance, I don't care for confrontation and am a very easy going, go with the flow person. What I believe it boils down to is I simply feel comfortable with power and, quite frankly, enjoy it. I bear the burden of leadership well, it comes naturally to me and I thrive when I have the weight of another's life on my shoulders; I have little trouble making hard decisions when I need to. It also helps that my sexual inclinations line up with this nicely. If it doesn't last quite some time and doesn't end with both parties panting and soaked in sweat, I'm not particularly interested in it.
On that note, I have quite the kinky side despite my friendly and charming exterior. I suppose I should list it here because, while certainly not the primary focus of my interest in this, sexual compatibility does factor in to some extent.
My kinks are:
Anal, begging, biting, blowjobs, body worship, bondage, choking, cock worship, consensual non-consent, creampies, crying (the good kind), cumplay, deepthroating, degradation, desperation, dirty talking, face fucking, facials, free use, hair pulling, hole stretching (basically pushing my partner to her limits), humiliation, hypnosis, name calling, objectification, orgasm control (which includes edging, forced orgasms, orgasm denial and ruined orgasms), public play (in a discreet manner), slapping, spanking, spitting and teasing.
One thing I feel I should mention is that the acts of degradation and humilation are limited to play time and only sexual in nature, never attacking my partner in any way.
I also believe very strongly in aftercare and safe words as the mental and emotional well being of my partner is very important.
I realize there's no one way to live this lifestyle, but I feel like a lot of what I said should be obvious and general knowledge in regards to this; however from my experience it doesn't seem to be that way too often (not referring to the that are inexperienced in this, more those that do this for the wrong reason), which is why I wanted to share my views in such detail.
I feel like I've rambled on enough already and am dangerously close to having a TL;DR (yeah, I hit that ages ago), so I'll just say that if you're interested in learning more about me and getting to know me, you can give me a message and we'll see where things go. I like to get to know people naturally, just talk with them and see where things lead, whether that be a short chat, a simple friendship or something more. It seems silly to have expectations when you don't even know the person or how you'll get along.
Even if you're nervous or anxious, you think you might not be good enough, doubt my intentions or anything along those lines, still give me a message. After all, what do you have to lose?
Thanks for taking the time to read my little novella, I hope to hear from you soon. So long, and thanks for reading!
submitted by TallLab1036 to u/TallLab1036 [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 16:00 AutoModerator What Car Should I Buy? - A Weekly Megathread

Any posts pertaining to car buying suggestions or advice belong in this weekly megathread; **do not post car-choosing questions in the main queue.** A fresh thread will be posted every Monday and posts auto sorted by new. A few other subreddits worth checking out that will help your car buying experience are /WhatCarShouldIBuy, /UsedCars and /AskCarSales. www.everydaydriver.com may also be helpful.
Make/Model-specific questions should be asked on Make/Model-specific subreddits. Check the AutosNetwork for a complete list of those subreddits. Also check out our community-sourced Ultimate car buying wiki.
For those posting:
Please use the following template in your post.
Location: (Specify your country or region)
Price range: (Minimum-Maximum in your local currency)
Lease or Buy:
New or used:
Type of vehicle: (Truck, Car, Sports Car, Sedan, Crossover, SUV, Racecar, Luxury etc.)
Must haves: (4x4, AWD, Fuel efficient, Navigation, Turbo, V8, V6, Trunk space, Smooth ride, Leather etc.)
Desired transmission (auto/manual, etc):
Intended use: (Daily Driver, Family Car, Weekend Car, Track Toy, Project Car, Work Truck, Off-roading etc.)
Vehicles you've already considered:
Is this your 1st vehicle:
Do you need a Warranty:
Can you do Minor work on your own vehicle: (fluids, alternator, battery, brake pads etc)
Can you do Major work on your own vehicle: (engine and transmission, timing belt/chains, body work, suspension etc )
Additional Notes:

For those providing suggestions: Facts are ideal in this thread, especially when trying to help out a new car buyer. Please help out buyers with sources and reasoning for your suggestions.
For those asking for help, be sure to thank those who take the time to offer you advice (especially those who lead you to a purchase.) A follow up thank you and the knowledge that their advice led to a purchase is a very warm fuzzy feeling.
submitted by AutoModerator to cars [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:42 kaladaunts Earache during Pregnancy

Hey y’all,
For the past two days I’ve been woken up with excruciating pain in my left ear. I went to urgent care yesterday to have it checked out thinking I was getting an ear infection, since I’m prone to those, and the doctor said there was no sign of a sinus or ear infection. I know that there are a lot of hormonal changes and build up of fluid is common, but has anyone else had experience with this?
Additionally, if you have what did you use to remediate the pain? It’s definitely an 8/10 pain level for me and hot compresses on the ear and Tylenol have barely touched it. Thank you in advance!
submitted by kaladaunts to January2024BumpGroup [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 15:24 FronkZoppa For four years, I've been trying to play the game of origin of every Super Smash Bros. character. Here's what I've enjoyed the most so far

I've been playing Smash all my life - Melee might've been the first game I truly fell in love with - and the series has always served as exposure to other franchises. For over four years I've been slowly, methodically playing the source games for the entire Smash Ultimate roster. Most of them I wanted to play anyway, and this was just a neat excuse to try them out. And I do mean slowly, I really spread them out to avoid burnout. I also never forced myself to finish a game if I wasn't having fun; sometimes I just played the first section/level to get a feel for it, then dropped it. Overall it's been a fun way to expose myself to new genres and gain appreciation for gaming history. I'd already played quite a bit of Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, Metal Gear, and Sonic, but the rest was all pretty new for me. I won't mention the games I played before Ultimate's release, which is when I started this challenge. If you don't see a game on here, that's why.
For each character I picked the game I thought was most relevant, most similar to their depiction in Smash, or provided their backstory. Sometimes I just chose a game I was most interested in, assuming it still fits. For simple characters or characters who appear in lots of games, I was pretty lenient on which one I chose. If you want, you can look at the checklist here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rOlk8dXwEL6wd2Lw4zouBiAce8UJabHOIgIP8bKL_7c/edit?usp=sharing
It's worth noting that this wouldn't be feasible without emulation. A lot of these games aren't available on modern platforms, and some aren't even localized into English. I'm not a collector and I'm not willing to track down old consoles on ebay.
Games are roughly ordered within their tiers, based on how much I enjoyed them. I'll try to be brief for each one.
'It's old and I can't help being a zoomer' tier - Games I played just long enough to understand them, then dipped. I would not have chosen to play them for fun.
'Not very good' tier - Reserved exclusively for Pac-Man World 2.
'Just not for me' tier - Games I struggled to connect with or I'm not a fan of the genre. Maybe I'd like them if I played longer, but I don't plan to pick them up again.
'It was alright' tier - Games that were pretty enjoyable. I'm glad I tried them and likely won't play them again.
'Hey, this is pretty good' tier - Games I liked quite a lot and would recommend to anyone with similar tastes.
'This is the shit' tier - Games I thoroughly loved and would rank among my favorites.
Here's what's left on the list. Looking forward to some of them more than others. I might get around to them this year, or three years from now, or never. Who knows.
Did I learn anything by doing this? I think so. I definitely have a greater appreciation for a wider variety of genres and franchises. This got me to try certain games I never would have considered otherwise. And in turn, I gained a greater appreciation for the crossover aspect of Smash; every time I look at the character select screen, I have exponentially more memories attached to each icon. I can spot all the references in the movesets and stages. It's just... cool, I guess.
I try to never look at this like a to-do list. I call it a "challenge" but really it's just checking the list every few months, or whenever I remember it exists, and picking one or two games to try out. Some hook me and some don't. And I play a lot of other stuff in-between. Turning my favorite hobby into a list of tasks to complete sounds like an easy way to ruin it for myself.
Thanks for reading. Hope you're having a good day. Please don't hate me for dismissing your favorite game.
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2023.05.29 14:40 GAMETOK The Importance of a Reliable Gameplay Recorder

The Value of a Stable Game Capture Device
Do you regularly record and upload gaming videos? Maybe you're hoping to get into the video gaming scene by means of streaming or animation. Whatever your motivation, a dependable Gameplay Recorder is essential for capturing and sharing those unforgettable moments. In this article, we'll discuss why it's helpful to have a reliable gameplay recorder, how that recorder can improve your gaming experience, and what to look for in a good recorder. Read on to learn why a solid gameplay recorder should be at the top of your wish list, whether you're interested in mobile gaming trends or Call of Duty footage.
Exactly what does it mean when someone says "game recording"?
Any time you want to capture video and audio from your gaming experiences, you can utilize a gameplay recorder. Everything from the game's visuals and audio to the keyboard and mouse inputs are recorded.
A gameplay recorder's principal use is to facilitate player-to-player communication and knowledge sharing. Whether you're making videos for YouTube or Twitch, a solid recording tool will ensure that you don't miss a single thrilling moment.
Gameplay can be captured with a number of different devices. Games like Roblox have some of these functions built in, while others require hardware like a capture card or software like OBS Studio.
Make sure the one you pick has good recording quality and won't slow you down too much while playing. This will make it easy and painless to highlight your qualifications and accomplishments.
The Benefits of Using a Game Capture Device
A game recorder's useful features extend to players of all skill levels. The primary benefit is that gamers may record and publish their gameplay on sites like Twitch and YouTube. Those that play competitive games like Call of Duty need to know this inside and out.
In addition, gamers can evaluate their own performance and pinpoint their weak spots by watching recorded gameplay footage. The recordings can be used as proof of gameplay issues when reported.
Any player who wants to hone their abilities, show off their talents, or make entertaining material for the gaming community should invest in a high-quality gameplay recorder.
Finding the Best Game Replay Recorder
There are a few factors to think about while settling on a gameplay recorder. Make sure the recorder works with your computer or other gadget before buying it. You should check compatibility requirements with your operating system before purchasing a recorder.
The caliber of the final video is also crucial. For fluid playback, seek recorders that can capture HD video at 60 frames per second (fps). You should also check the sound to make sure it is of a high enough quality to enjoy while gaming.
When choosing a recorder, it's also important to think about how simple it is to operate. Select one with a user-friendly layout and straightforward controls so you can give your whole attention to the game. Think about the perks that various recorders provide, including built-in editing software or the ability to stream in real time. These supplementary features can improve your overall experience and make it simpler to share your material with others.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you'll be able to pick the ideal gameplay recorder for your needs and produce professional-quality footage of all your favorite games.
Features You Should Look for in a Game Capture Device
Selecting a reliable gameplay recorder is essential if you want to record professional-looking gameplay footage. What makes a good gameplay recorder? We break it down for you. First and foremost, think about how well the gadget records. Try to find a recorder that can take footage at 30 frames per second at 1080p or higher. This will prevent any stuttering or blurring during recording.
Second, make sure you can clip and divide videos using the device's in-built editing features. Not having to move footage from the gaming console to the computer before editing is a huge time saver. The game recorder should work across numerous devices and platforms, thus it's important that it supports popular games and platforms like Roblox Video Animation, Mobile Gaming Trends, and Call of Duty Videos.
Recording Your Game Sessions
For the technically inept, using a gameplay recorder might be a daunting task. However, anyone can use it to record their gaming experiences with some instruction and practice.
Before you begin playing, check that your gameplay recorder is fully installed and functioning. When you're ready to begin recording, fire up your favorite gameplay capture tool and tweak the settings until they're just right for you.
If you don't want the recording indicator to get in the way of your gameplay, move it to a discreet part of the screen.
Don't mess with the settings during gameplay if you want the best possible footage at the end of the session. Long recordings can take up a lot of space, so be mindful of your storage capacity.
When you're done with the game and the recording has stopped, check it over for mistakes before uploading it or saving it locally.With these guidelines in mind, recording gaming to share with friends and family should be second nature.
If you're a gamer who wants to share your experiences with the gaming community, a high-quality gameplay recorder is a must. Whether you're into mobile gaming, Roblox Video Animation, or making Call of Duty films, a solid gameplay recorder may improve your experience dramatically. Choose a gaming recorder that can capture high-quality recordings and is easy to use. When selecting a choice, remember to think about things like editing possibilities, customer support, and device compatibility.
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2023.05.29 11:41 VexTrooper Terran Contact - Lassus Station - Part II

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>>Lassus System, Orbit of Lasu, Lassus Station, Early 2670
>Corporal Strider, Jace C. 4th ODR Battalion, Raptor Company, Squad Four
Strider and the rest of Raptor Squad had found themselves in the central engineering chamber, as directed by the digital way-point set on their helmet's heads-up display.
The number of corpses had lessened, and they were free from those sights, at least for the moment, but were now presented with the engineering department of the station. If not for their built-in night vision, then their portion of the station would be pitch black.
Some of the doors they came across had to be torched and breached with smaller controlled explosions with the use of a thermite door breaching charge. By now, they had used their final charge on the door to the central power core room.
"Strider, radio in, we're turning on the station," ordered his sergeant.
"Copy," Strider replied, prepping his comms pack, "Command! This is Raptor 4-4! Do you copy?! We found the power core, booting up now!"
As one of the lower enlisted began the sequence, Strider heard over his radio to essentially abort, but the station had already run its sequence, and the lights in the room illuminated their visors, almost blinding them.
"Turn off your NVs!" ordered the sergeant.
With a press of a button, they manually turned off their enhanced night vision and were now met with fluorescent lighting, which felt almost dizzying to him and some of his compatriots.
"Always hated this light, to think they use it too," commented a nearby corporal, their name 'Castor' spelled out on his armor just above his mid-chest.
"You said it, shit gets on my nerves," Strider replied, "Couldn't they have used something more...natural?"
Strider was referring to the lights aboard TRSC vessels that used light in between incandescent and fluorescent. However, light usage was much more diversified on ships in the modern day and this went for many of the living areas aboard ships that used mostly warm light while hallways and office spaces used cool light.
"The TRSC still use the same light, man," the opposing corporal responded to Strider, "But I agree. It would be nice if we got better light."
As the two conversed, the squad received an ominous message that felt like it came from within their heads.
"What the hell was that?! It sounded like it was in my head." One of the raiders said. His transmission was filled with static, but was still clear compared to the message they had just received.
"Minerva, what was it?" came over the radio from the Admiral.
"Unknown. It did come, undoubtedly, from the station. I urge the raiders to expedite their process to the intelligence archives before whatever it was we woke up swarms them."
"You heard her boys! Get that intel, then we can blow that station into the planet," the Admiral said with haste and his squad responded with a resounding 'Aye Sir!'
With the systems now running, they were given a new way-point that led to a door opposite where they had entered. They tried to open it, but to no avail.
"Castor, breach it!" ordered their sergeant.
"Out of charges, gotta do it manually," he replied, bringing out a manual breach torch.
"Do it!" Castor nodded and began to work with another working the other half of the door.
The room was situated with only two entries, their original and another across from it. Situated in the center was the main core operating system in the heart of the station. There existed a series of pipes that extended from the core's computer, which they used for cover and supported aim.
"Minerva, do we have an idea of the hostile contact?" Strider called to the AI.
"They are mechanical in nature, presumably the automated workforce that inhabited the station. I would assume them to be extremely hostile..."
"Noted," he replied, reiterating the information to the squad. The squad's communications operator oversaw a direct line to higher command, but orders from an AI are usually disseminated to the squad simultaneously, but to ensure no confusion, a verbal reiteration was needed. This was mainly because personnel comms had a habit of not transmitting over a wider band.
As they aimed toward their last entrance, they noted small red dots on the bottom of their HUD. The distance set was 25 meters for the radius, revealing how close the enemy was.
From the entrance, it was a linear hallway that took a sharp left turn from their perspective and as the dot rounded a corner, they saw it.
It was a robot that looked similar in height to a Sellian but had lanky arms that dropped to his knee joint with what looked to be a captain's hat placed atop it at a crooked angle. It had a painted expression on its once black exterior in the form of eyes and a smile colored with dried Sellian blood. In its right hand, it held a pointed object that shined from the light above it and stood still.
They noticed on their mini-map that the dots ceased their movement with the revelation of the autonomous bot.
"I don't know what the fuck that thing is, but it ain't right," one of the raiders said, training his sight on the dome of the imitation.
Agreement sounded from those around him when a sharp mechanical screech sounded from the creature. It pointed its weapon at the squad and the dots that ceased now began to move, more rapidly and rounded the corner with a quick paste unlike before.
The robots that revealed themselves were similar to the one in the hat, and many had tools fashioned for combat that shared the same discoloration upon the one from before, dried green Sellian blood.
The squad then began firing into the crowd of advancing murder bots. They went down easy, but their HUD showed a steady stream flowing into the corridor. To conserve ammo, two of the Raiders maintained suppressive fire into the corridor with a belt-fed squad automatic weapon, the K-Tac M506 SAW.
"Castor! How long until that door is open?!" demanded the sergeant.
"Almost got it!" he said and with a thud, the melted portions fell back on themselves, "It's open!"
With their new access, raiders began filtering through to the next area, covering those in the rear with continuous fire as the robots consumed the hallway. Bodies of the hostiles filled most of the corridor, making it difficult for their traversal, subsequently making them stumble among their fallen comrades.
"Raptor," Minerva said, "I have managed to gain access to doors, but access to larger systems is still beyond my command. I have found a likely possibility for the source of the murderous automatons."
"Where to?" responded Strider as the group moved forward, taking down a straggler of the same robot they previously fired upon.
"I am detecting a large electrical signature, not native to the station and separate from the core within the station's central archive intelligence department. You will most likely find your culprit there."
"Much obliged," he said, informing his sergeant, "Got us a way-point? With the least resistance if possible."
Another door opened, and several shots rang out, this time against two larger robots in similar form to the smaller ones.
"They're starting to get big, Minerva!"
A Brief Silence followed before the way-point on their HUD was updated.
"Of Course, Corporal"
Raptor Squad proceeded on their new route, encountering less than before. They were consistently being followed, so to prevent them from catching up, Castor was responsible for the sealing of the doors, which he did by disabling the access panel beside the doors to prevent electrical or manual operation.
He and his partner quickly added a weld at key joints for the doors before leaving to meet with the rest of the group.
"Raptor Squad," Minerva spoke out, "You are close to the intelligence archives. I am detecting multiple signatures in the chamber. Exercise caution."
"Roger," said the sergeant, "Let's go, Raptors! Double time!"
Strider followed in the center of the group as they made their way to the archive room. From what he could recall, most of the enemy was behind them being held back by the shoddily welded doors, but they soon began to hear loud banging that echoed throughout the halls.
Noticing the implication, they followed their route with haste, taking down several small lone robots as seen before. Occasionally, they would encounter a larger cluster, but a well-placed grenade made short work of the enemy.
As the point man rounded a corner, a shot rang out, landing its mark on his chest. A short yell was sounded, and the Raider fell on his back, now motionless.
"Dammit! They hit Ollie!" shouted the raider closest to him as he raised his left fist at a ninety-degree angle signifying the rest of the group to halt, "Ollie! You hear me!?"
Silence followed, raising the Raider's temperament to a higher level.
"Strider!" called the Sergeant, "Do we have air support yet? We'll need it when we get out of here!"
"Wait one!" replied Strider as shots from the Raiders now began their exchange with an enemy just down the hall, "Command! Raptor! How are we on air support!?"
"Troop transport is inbound and circling. Fighter support is available when you are clear with the intel."
"Copy!" he turned to the Sergeant, "We got it, but we need the intel first before they can support us!"
He nodded and gave orders to the idle Raiders.
"Split up, fire team alpha; stay here and prepare for a push. Fire team bravo, take the flank. There's a maintenance tunnel that runs on the sides that run along the side of the interior. That'll be your entry point! Go now!"
Raptors eight through twelve did as ordered and went back the way they came before taking a left. Several shots rang out, but Strider noticed all five were still together on his mini-map before ultimately traveling beyond his sensors.
"Allow me to assists," Minerva added, "I have managed to manipulate surface-level sensors. Your advance should be masked from the enemy for the moment, but it won't be long before they regain control of their systems."
"Understood," Strider relayed the new information, and the Raiders began their assault into the room.
After exchanging shots, another Raider was successful in bringing to cover, Ollie, and began field triage. He took a shot of a kinetic round that embedded itself mid-way through the up-armored chest plate. The round was moderately large, and the corpsman took out a medical device that could take a close - up x-ray scan of the patient, adding to his diagnostic.
As he did so, he returned to the sergeant with his analysis.
"Took a large kinetic round to his upper chest, he has a pulse, but it's weak. Hit him hard enough to knock him out..."
He pulled the bullet out, and it was mushroomed with a thin central canal within the mushroomed pattern. He shook his head and began treating the downed patient, "an Armor-Piercing round, steel core got lodged in his scapula. He has to get off this station!"
The sergeant, who stayed with fire team alpha, furrowed his eyes in frustration, "Strider, get a med evac. We've got a casualty. Hi-Pri!"
He nodded in response and updated command on their request. It was met with affirmation, but he was issued to first complete their initial objective.
"You have your orders. Secure the intel first and you’ll have your ride."
Strider tried to negotiate with a more expedition evac, but he was met with the same response.
"Sergeant! Intel comes first, then we get our evac..."
"Dammit!" he replied, anger infused with every pronunciation, "Bravo!? you ready?!"
A call of affirmation came through the comms and the assault was a go.
"Move it, Alpha!"
The point man swapped with a man behind him that wielded a squad automatic weapon and let pass a wall of lead that mangled and tore any within direct site of the hallway. Similarly, from within the chamber, a controlled explosion erupted from the right wall that threw shrapnel into the nearby automatons.
They deftly exited their abrupt entrance and sent well-placed shots into the barely working droids. Those that survived were scattered behind cover in the corners of the room and after the initial assault. They left their cover and tried to fire into their enemy but were met with perfectly executed return fire that promptly ended them, ensuring Terran control.
"All Clear!"
"Clear here!"
Responses were sounded from the Raiders as they swept the room from door to door.
"Secure those hatches and prepare to extract the data. Strider, that's you!"
The other Raiders secured their entrances and began marking them with large amounts of X4 explosive, while Strider began diving into the Sellian computer systems. By fastening similar cables to a modified cabal adapter, he was successful in creating a link to properly communicate with their systems from his personal data pad.
The cable used was a newly fashioned universal cable designed to integrate seamlessly into their systems shortly after integration from Chief Commander Yorla's fleet. Granted, it was done without their knowledge.
With an update headed by Minerva herself, he was able to read, translate and download all data from the central archives' computer.
As he was nearing completion, he was notified of a presence behind him. It was his Sergeant.
"How's it coming along?"
"Steady. We're gathering a lot, but at this rate, those bots will be on us in no time..."
The Sergeant returned to his post and let Strider continue his work. In terms of tech literacy, Strider was competent in what he needed to do, and this task was no different.
"68...71...73..." he whispered to himself as he monitored the download status, "Lookin' good..."
As the status percentage reached '92%', it stalled, for an unusual amount of time...
"What the hell..." he said to himself again, this time re-checking the hard connection he adapted, questioning whether he applied them correctly. When is minor investigation yielded no further results, the screen morphed into a series of unknown symbols and a display that resembled a frozen screen that had glitched itself into a dreaded blue error screen.
"Minerva!" he called out, "We got an issue!"
He connected a second display to the first, and it worked as a back-up troubleshooting display.
"I am aware, Corporal. I have preloaded your data pad with a countermeasure."
"What kind of countermeasure?" he reiterated.
"A digital combat malware for our guest. I do apologize for the previous device," she said as Strider looked to the first pad in question. It was visually smoking from overheating components. By rerouting the remaining data to the second pad, he was able to finish the download and recovered the data from the first by extracting a removable drive. He plugged in the external drive and found that with the previous 92% and the remaining 8% downloaded onto the second, their mission with a success.
"Thanks, get us the quickest route out of here, we have wounded," he said, packing his device into a secure pouch.
As he got up, pounding was heard from their initial entrance and shots were now heard from their improvised entrance.
"Bogies in the maintenance tunnels! Frag 'em!" ordered one Raider that led the Bravo fire team that let loose a grenade followed by a couple more. The shock wave of the explosion was felt at the center console as Strider readied his rifle.
He checked his magazines and saw he was still sufficient with ammo, unlike some of his brothers.
As the fighting intensified, the doors were cracked open, letting through only a couple of bots at a time. His squad fired into the enemy that broke through, as well as firing into the newly made crevice by the automated enemy.
"I thought we took what was controlling them!" stated one Raider as he threw a grenade into the cracked entrance, hitting a peeking bot before blowing it and others around it into nothing, "Shouldn't they be shut down!?"
Strider felt the same way. Their data collection was anti-climactic, and the supposed tussle with the enemy program lasted for less than only a minute.
Before he could wonder any more about the subject, an update was issued on their HUD, leading to the poorly manned door they left to only one other Raider.
"The route you need for extraction is through those doors. Continued straight until told otherwise."
Strider acknowledged, as did his Sergeant, and he began routing troops to their extract. The indicators on their mini-maps proved that they had sparse enemy combatants, at least those that moved, and they opened the door. They fired their shots into the clueless bots that barely had time to direct their attention to their invaders before being dispatched.
As Minerva said, they continued straight until a new way-point was displayed to change their route. Now, with their casualty base growing little by little, their overall speed had slowed. Some limped as they received rounds to their legs in the soft armor of their under suit from enemy AP rounds.
"This ain't looking good, Minerva," Strider stated as he glided as the pace of the wounded, "How much further?"
"Not much longer, Corporal. I will advise, however, to seal any suit punctures with a temporary vacuum seal component."
"Noted," he replied curtly as they entered a final door.
Past the door, they were met with the blackness of the void, but now the sun illuminated the space, revealing the same gruesome scenes of violently expired Sellians.
A way-point led to their next entrance, which led to the thin array of the port docking tubes reserved for the larger ships. From where they stood, a ship was seen docked at the end of their tube.
It was a sleek looking ship that had a wide cross-section, but its profile was slim. It was a large-sized ship that could be manned by a singular pilot or manned by a crew of six.
The ship itself was a Galaxy-Class Cutter that was outfitted with a series of medical bays that each offered spots for varying degrees of injuries sustained. It had its own series of weapons for self-defense but served well within areas of operation where they had air superiority.
Strider then turned to the group and told them of their vacuum seal component and to check all for punctures in their suits.
It was a spray that was applied to the external portions of their under suit and created a temporary seal from space, and served as a crucial tool in any space-farer's box.
As they entered the docking tube, a call from a Raider in the rear notified the group of a mass of bots emerging from the sides of the station along the main roads.
"Move!" Ordered their Sergeant.
Already fatigued and gasping for air, the Raiders complied and pushed themselves beyond, especially now with their extraction so close.
The Raiders covered the rear as they descended further into the tube, and the bodies of automated bots that littered the entrance began to clog it.
Those that made their way closer to their exit provided cover for those in the rear, as some of the enemy would make it past the debris and charge their position. Very few carried fire arms and now there were mostly droids with shoddily made melee weapons that attempted to charge, each meeting the same fate.
They secured the entrance and the wounded were filed in followed by the main body, then the rear guard. Strider and Castor were now the last in the squad to secure the rear when they were met with a singular bot that stood not far from their position.
"What the hell..." Castor sounded out.
It was the same bot that wore a bloodied captain's hat with a face painted on its exterior from the blood of Sellians. It was unarmed, which caught both Raiders off guard. As Castor and Strider raised their weapons to shoot, it raised its hands in a motion of surrender as it moved slowly towards them.
"Get the FUCK back!" Commanded Castor to no avail. He fired a shot into its waist strut, causing it to collapse on its backside.
Strider was about to deliver the final blow when it pulled an item from behind its head. It was cylindrical with a silver tube that matched the size of its small metal hands with a red button at the top.
Sudden realization hit and both Strider and Castor fired into the bot but in the split second of their pull of the trigger, a flash of light erupted from the robot, engulfing the tube in a concussive blast that tore it from its structure, hurdling Castor and Strider around in the tube and eventually, into space.
Strider soon regain consciousness but woke to the cries of his squad mate, Castor, and to the gun fire of the slowly retreating cutter ship. Large objects flew around it that fired down on the ship. The fighter escorts were now firing at the new enemy, and soon their silhouettes vanished beyond the void.
"G-get the fuck back!"
Strider struggled to orient himself as his suit was not equipped for EVA, but eventually traced a line of silver and gray that reflected the sun to the cry in question.
He noticed sparks of light near the tip of an ever extending spire towards the way-point of his comrade.
Again, cries of desperation filled his comms as he activated his helmet's zoom-in function toward Castor. From his distance, he was able to make out his figure as well as those extending towards him.
"Get off me, you bastards!!"
Several flashes of light followed, and the destruction of a nearby robot shattered away into the void in all directions.
The spire consisted of the murderous bots attaching to one another towards their prey like a fungus. He called for emergency pick-up and tried to get Castor's attention when he felt a pressure on his ankle.
When he looked down, he was met with a similarly painted face as the droid that blew up their tunnel, with a dried green wastefully painted on its facial exterior.
Fear grabbed him, and Strider by instinct reached for his handgun and fired several shots into the face of the bot.
He looked at Castor, and they had grasped him in their metal claws and began tearing away at his armor as he screamed.
"G-get the FUCK...OFF ME!" He thrashed at the enemy.
His weapons drifted from their sling with spent magazines that orbited with him as he used every bit of his tool set to waste on the enemy. He fired into them with his pistol, and after it was empty, he readily switched to a knife that was situated on his lower back. The debris of the robot menace grew, but so did their advance.
Strider turned to his own group now and fired well-placed shots into the oncoming horde. Their advance was quick and unexpected and gave both little room to breathe.
No more than several minutes had passed, and help still had not come. He grew anxious, and this was helped by his increasingly fatigued comrade.
Soon, his savage thrashing had come to an end and the horde he had kept away quickly overtook him when a call came through to Strider.
"I can't do this, Jace..."
"I'm sure help is on it's way. Just, hang on!" Strider fired into several more droids before reloading and turned his attention back to Castor, who was now swarmed with automated menace.
"I ain't going out by the hands of some bots..."
Before Strider could start his sentence, a flash of light took the place of Castor and all mater of materials scattered into the void, striking Strider and his own bots just moments after the explosion. A piece found its way onto his helmet, that jolted him with a headache. He quickly applied the last of his vacuum seal to the areas likely hit before throwing the empty canister at the encroaching enemy.
He fired some more rounds into the growing crowd, as well as some unused grenades, saving one for himself.
"C'mon you bastards! What?! You afraid to die?" Strider pulled his knife and kept the grenade in his offhand.
He motioned for them to approach with an antagonizing gesture, "Let's tango, you soulless abominations!"
They advanced to his provocation and he fought.
Instead of letting them have the pleasure of holding him, he decided to wrangle them first, using their mechanical bodies for leverage as he swiped, stabbed, punctured and yanked as loose cables, all in an effort to take as many he can, hoping for help to arrive.
Seconds that felt like minutes had passed and Strider was fatigued. His breathing was haggard and it felt heavy. He thought to himself the amount of time he spent in vacuum these last several moments and deemed that he must be reaching his max operating time. He was granted thirty minutes, but with his fight for survival, he greatly reduced it to several minutes. It was only a matter of time.
His eyes grew heavy, and his vision began to blur.
'Huh, so this is how I die? Real damn shame...' he thought to himself.
As his eyes closed, he let it take him and released himself to an eternal slumber, letting go of a primed grenade that drifted towards a fated enemy.
--------------------E N D--------------------
>Enemy_Short_Range_Jammer: NEUTRALIZED
>Issuing_Secondary_Field_Objective: NEUTRALIZE_ENEMY_DRONES
>Enemy_Matrix_Analysis: %77.7758...
>Friendly_HUD(s): UPDATED
>Secondary_Objective: COMPLETE
>Primary_Objective: IN_PROGRESS
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submitted by VexTrooper to HFY [link] [comments]