Gulf coast village memory care


2020.01.04 17:50 EastWestman PoliticsExtra


2023.06.03 16:34 funnytoss "Don't Think, Feel" - Thoughts from my first BABYMETAL concert

In many ways, I would describe myself as a fan that "knows everything yet knows nothing". I found out about BABYMETAL through reaction videos on Youtube in early 2020, and although I soon devoured all the concert footage and interviews and stories about them that I could find, I had never been blessed with the opportunity to experience them live until yesterday night in Taipei.
Before the concert, I had "followed" the 2023 Sabaton concerts and earlier Asia shows in real time, constantly checking Discord to see which songs were on the setlist, and if there was anything new or surprising. I would get excited when surprising songs like "Shanti Shanti Shanti" were announced, and hyped to see some new bangers like "Maya".
When you're at the show though, none of that matters. I paradoxically cared about the setlist more as a spectator on the internet, than when I was there in the moment experiencing it. Performed live, every song is a banger, and every song they select is the right one.
Su famously says "Don't Think, Feel" when it comes to BABYMETAL, and she's absolutely right. This idea felt somewhat abstract to me before last night, but afterwards, I truly understood what she was saying. BABYMETAL is often described as a "theatrical" performance. There are various different elements of "theater" that typically come to mind when most people use the word - acting, facial expressions, creating a sense of story and lore, suspension of disbelief, etc.
But there's something else that's a crucial part of theater - it doesn't last. It's there, and then it's gone.
Unlike movies or other forms of visual storytelling, theater performances typically are a "one-time" thing. Sure, a theater troupe might perform the same play multiple times, but each performance is unique. This is in contrast to a movie, which will always be exactly the same. Perhaps you might observe something you overlooked before, or feel differently about it at different times. But the movie itself is static and permanent, whereas every night of "Romeo and Juliet" performed 7 nights in a row is different. The slight differences in inflection, the facial expressions, the emphasis, the little mistakes... the show that you saw today is simply not identical to the show your friend saw yesterday.
This is something that affects both the actors and audience alike, and a big part of what makes theater special - when you know that it's a fleeting experience; that what you see will never be 100% replicated again (recordings are but a limited view), it primes you to focus on "feeling" and "experiencing" the show, savoring each moment for what it is because there's no time to think about it - every moment is passing you by, every second and minute. That moment Moa flashes a ridiculously charming grin, and when your eyes seem to meet, it's as if she's looking right at you and no one else in the world? Cherish that moment, because it was there, and now it isn't.
To be clear, I have nothing against people recording concerts on their phones and taking photos (as long as they're not overly obstructing the view) to share the experience as best they can, and try and preserve memories for themselves and the fanbase. But for my very first show, I decided to (perhaps selfishly) simply soak it all in and bask in the BABYMETAL experience without taking a single fancam video, and that's what helped me enjoy the show to its fullest. (I would note that it seemed there were generally fewer phones out at all times, in contrast to some European or American shows I've seen, and it generally didn't affect the viewing experience at all for me)
In a sense, all the "book-knowledge" I possessed about BABYMETAL and their songs made it easier for me to "Feel" and not "Think". I already knew when I was "supposed" to raise my fists, when to chant, and when to mosh for each song. And that brings me to the first of several points about the concert that really came to mind (I don't plan on doing a full concert recap, as in a sense, the play-by-play isn't actually that different between each performance, but what you personally see and feel is what makes it unique):
1) The audience is an integral part of the show
This is also very much a "BABYMETAL cliche", but it's also absolutely true. I don't know what it is, but it almost feels like we're compelled to be an amazingly hype crowd because we don't want to let them down, almost like we're performing for them. I'd estimate that roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the crowd may have been from Japan, and they obviously know exactly what the crowd "should" be doing. But the Taiwanese crowd was extremely in sync, constantly cheering and jumping and yelling at the right time, giving the girls further energy, leading to my next point:
2) Perfect combustion
BABYMETAL shows are understandably criticized as being too short. There certainly are ways to pad out the length fairly easily without adding to the physical workload of the members, such as adding Kami solos and some lore videos. But personally, I think the 70 minute pedal-to-the-metal non-stop performance is really exhilarating. Both the members and the audience alike give it everything they've got, spending every last bit of energy to burst past the finish line, and you go home wiped out and satisfied. Knowing that the show would be fairly short, I was able to jump and shout and run around to my heart's content, without feeling like I needed to preserve energy. And I think this is part of what makes the live experience so good; no one's phoning it in.
3) Great mix of old and new
I like the Asia setlist very much, and I think that for a concert participant, it was extremely well-structured. For the older songs from the first album, there was a lot of crowd interaction and chanting, which is always fun. But I don't think it would be the best idea to do this for the entire show - by mixing in newer songs that had fewer sections where we felt "obligated" to do various chants and fist-pumping, the new songs from THE OTHER ONE provided a great opportunity to just stand there in awe and enjoy the music and new complex crisp choreography, before another hype classic begins and you start running around again.
4) Kami Masks
The three members were absolutely mesmerizing. Honestly, I feel that even if the Kamis weren't wearing masks, I would still be looking at Su, Moa, and Momo the entire time; I didn't want to miss a single mischievous smirk from Moa, a habitual tongue blep from Su, and the ball of energy that Momo has become. Obviously others that are more fans of the musicians will feel differently, and perhaps I would as well if I had the chance to go to multiple shows and had the luxury of "wasting" my limited (precious) attention on the Kamis, great as they are. On a related note, I saw Barone walking around the venue a few hours before the show (probably getting some refreshments or something) and it seems like absolutely no one recognized one, w hich is probably exactly what they prefer before a show.
and lastly...
5) Moa and Momo (and Yui before) are magical
I've always believed that BABYMETAL would have been quite successful even if it had been a more traditional rock/metal band with Su as a solo frontwoman. However, it was the "scream and dance" roles that really elevated BABYMETAL from "great" to "legendary". Moa/Momo/(Yui) really do have a way of making the show feel personal, in a way that can't be captured fully on camera. If I were only allowed to pick one thing when it comes to describing the difference between seeing them in person and on a Blu-ray, it would be the little details of Moa/Momo's crowd interaction. The way I see it, Su makes you want to bow down, but Moa/Momo/(Yui) are what make you want to love them. It's a perfect combination.
Random notes I found interesting/amusing
There were several people wearing frog costumes (I counted 4), I'm sure Su got a kick out of that!
During "Megitsune" it seemed that Su was having some earpiece(?) issues; she seemed to be gesturing several times for adjustment, and dashed off the stage immediately after the song was over, and there was a longer pause than usual before the next song "Iine!" began as they resolved the problem. On a related note, Su sounded amazingly good live, with very few pitch issues compared to what I've heard in fancams. I don't know if that's confirmation bias from being at the show, but I think it's fair to say that phone microphones aren't entirely reliable for capturing what you actually hear at the venue.
Earplugs, oh lord earplugs are needed. I was near the barrier in front of the "Moa" side and it felt like I was getting directly blasted by the sound (and the drums/bass in particular). But I heard from some fans in other parts of the floor that the sound was muffled or quiet at places, so I think where you were standing made quite a big difference. At any rate, protect your hearing, people! If I hadn't been wearing earplugs, I definitely could have permanently damaged my hearing; it's not worth it to go without.
All in all, 10/10, would do again.
submitted by funnytoss to BABYMETAL [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:30 Lofi_Loki [Trip Report] GSMNP overnight loop. Mt. Sterling fire tower via Baxter creek/BMT.

I went out over Memorial Day weekend for a 22mi loop in the Smokies. It served as a shakedown of some new gear which I’ll touch on as I go. My pack list was pretty much this.
Day 1: 11.9 miles, 4800 vertical feet. Pics from day 1
I will not lie. The climb kicked all of our asses. It was 100% doable and was mostly because I’ve been doing next to no hiking and only a little running recently. The last half of the day was smooth sailing. It was strangely dry up there with one semi-useable water source until just before the summit. We got to the fire tower and it’s easily some of the best views in the whole park. We chilled and ate lunch under the tower. I packed out some pancakes and hash brown casserole from breakfast that morning.
The trail between the fire tower and Laurel Gap shelter was super well maintained. We saw one bear and a wild boar and her babies. The shelter looked great.
There was plenty of room but I set up the Xmid because that was part of the point of the trip. I have zero complaints. The ground was super loose which backed up the fact that I take full sized groundhogs on every trip. Staking out the ridgeline guylines helped a ton I’m sure. We stayed completely dry and even though it poured all night, condensation was no issue. I did opt to pitch the tent a bit high to get a little more ventilation which caused some spatter on our gear in the vestibules, but it wasn’t a big issue. My new Katabatic Flex 22 kept me toasty and did not seem to pick up any water (weight before vs after the trip was the same). I had Skurka’s beans and rice for dinner which is always excellent. I added textured vegetable protein and tomato powder to give it some more substance.
Day 2: 11.4 miles
This was smooth sailing (mostly). The initial descent on Balsam Mountain Trail and Gunter Fork Trail was steep, slippery, and had 5-6 blowdowns. We had to take our packs off to shimmy through/under quite a few. We averaged <2mph here easily. Once things leveled out a bit it was smooth until we came to something like 8 water crossings in 4 miles. Some of which were around/over knee deep because of the rain the night before and that morning. I love water crossings so this was a blast personally. My feet stayed comfortable between the Injiji liners and thin darn toughs. This’ll be my go-to combo going forward. There was obviously tons of water day 2.
The Mariposa was great. I have had a Kumo for years so I knew I’d like it. The Trail Sender pants dried quickly and the solar eclipse fleece+Frogg toggs were a great combo for me as usual. The only other new piece of gear was Showa 282 gloves which are 10/10. For $20 from Amazon they outperform every other glove/mitten I’ve tried on every metric I care about (comfort, grip, dexterity, and waterproofness). They got dunked (not past the cuff) when I ate shit on a creek crossing and kept my hands warm and dry all day. Every bit of my body can be cold and wet and if my hands are warm I’m happy so these were excellent.
Pics from day 2
I took all the pics with an iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Moment camera app. Having manual focus makes a huge difference.
submitted by Lofi_Loki to camping [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:29 SplendidCircumstance My experience with dogs

One of my earliest memories was playing with a boy a little younger than me. I had just met him; he was the son of some friends of my parents. A few days after I played with him, I overheard my parents talking about how that boy was mauled to death by a dog.
I grew up with several dogs in the house. I had an attachment to a dachshund when I was 6-7 that I witnessed being mauled, again, to death by a German shepherd. Despite all of this, I never had issues interacting with dogs.
I'm fine petting them. But boy, oh boy, I am only ever pretending to give a shit. I grew up with the notion that a dog is just supposed to be part of the family. Forget that noise, people. In my opinion, most dogs are mentally challenged wolves. (Service dogs are great) It mostly has to do with the people the dogs are surrounded by. There are disgusting spectrums. On one end you have people training them to be killers, the other end leads to bumper stickers that say "I love my granddog". Both disgusting. After knowing that little boy was killed by a dog and after seeing a dog I liked mauled to death by another dog, along with a few other nasty run-ins I've had that I didn't mention, it's no wonder why I don't care for canines.
They're over-hyped and are another cog in the capitalism machine. The breeders and the pet supply industries want every house to have multiple dogs.
Do yourself a favor and forgive yourself if you hold strong distaste for these animals
submitted by SplendidCircumstance to Dogfree [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:10 YaaliAnnar NoP: Lost and Found (57)

First Previous
Memory Transcription Subject: Tresn, Arxur Defector
Date [Standard Human Reckoning]: 2136-10-22
After the encounter with the disdainful zurulian, Elangkasa led me to another section of the medical complex. We navigated through the makeshift path until we arrived at a building. The painted sign marked this as "Recovery Center".
Inside I found a hive of movement and noise. Humans filled the space and engaged in different activities meant to acclimate them to their prosthetic limbs. Sounds of encouragement and determination echoed in the room. A unique mix of scents filled the air, warm metal, the clinical smell of antiseptic, and the underlying current of human sweat.
One side of the room housed various forms of mobility training. Here, individuals learned to walk again, their new legs carrying them across varieties of terrains from flat platforms to uneven rocky surfaces, all designed to mimic real-world conditions. The patients stumbled, recovered, and started to find their footing.
In a separate section, people sat around tables with an array of tactile puzzles and dexterity tools strewn around. Their faces scrunched in concentration, brows furrowed and lips pursed as they manipulated small objects or practiced precise movements with their acquired hands. The mechanical digits moved with a jerky grace but grew more fluid with each passing moment. A chorus of patient encouragement followed the quiet clinks and clatters of dropped objects.
A human figure clad in the typical uniform of the facility came toward us. An intricate headgear on their head concealed their mane.
"Ah, is this the arxur?" My translator assigned her feminine voice. "Hi, I'm Ida."
"Hi Ida," Elangkasa shared a formal nod with the other human. "This is Tresn."
"Thanks, Coordinator," Ida responded with another nod. "I can handle it from here."
After a quick farewell, Elangkasa left me in the capable hands of Ida. I looked around the bustling hall, my gaze sweeping over the flurry of activity.
"So... this is where you train people to adapt to their new limbs?"
"Yeah. Do you have your prosthesis?" Ida inquired, her voice carrying a professional tone laced with underlying warmth.
"Sure," I responded, reaching for the bag slung over the back of my wheelchair. From its depths, I extracted the mechanical feet.
"Hmm, interesting. This doesn't resemble an arxur foot at all," Ida observed, her dark eyebrows arching as she scrutinized the unconventional prosthetic.
"Indeed, I drew inspiration from your planet's creatures," I replied, a hint of pride slipping into my tone. "You have a species related to your kind, yes? I believe they're referred to as monkeys?"
"I see..." Ida murmured, a thoughtful expression wrinkling her forehead. I felt a slight apprehension in her voice. "But can you control such a thing?"
"Watch this!" Excitement coursed through me as I manipulated the intricate prosthetic. With a flex of my thoughts, the prosthetic responded, the claws moving with surprising fluidity, much like an additional set of hand paws.
"Excellent!" Ida exclaimed, her face lighting up in a wide smile. She clapped her hands together.
With practiced ease, the human-assisted me in attaching the prostheses. She produced a sturdy belt, custom-made to secure the prostheses and ensure they stayed attached. As the weight of my body pressed onto the artificial limbs, I felt a dull throbbing at the ends of my stumps. The sensation felt odd, not quite pain, but rather, a constant reminder of the foreign appendages now attached to my body.
For starters, I had a simple exercise, designed to introduce my body to a new way of movement. I had to walk between two parallel bars. My arms took some of the weight as I grabbed the bar and attempted to maneuver my prosthetic feet. I tried to replicate my usual gait, letting the claws on my new limbs ripple and flex in what I hoped was a natural manner.
However, it became apparent that just manipulating the claws of my prostheses didn't suffice. I needed to master the motion of bending the wrist and ankle analogs, a detail I hadn't considered before. My first steps came out as awkward and clumsy, a far cry from the graceful movements I had imagined.
Our rehabilitation session continued until a sharp, persistent ache at the base of my stumps signaling me to stop. Back in my wheelchair again, I maneuvered my way to the comfort of my assigned habitation unit. With my friends engrossed in their volunteer duties, I only had myself. The silence in the room reminded me back when I had to stay hidden in the camp. In those quiet moments, my thoughts strayed to my predicament, wishing for a rapid recovery that would free me from my solitude and allow me to stand beside my companions, contributing to helping humans.
Amid my reflection, my mind wandered back to a previous interaction with a human acquaintance named Jagomerah. I remembered his offer to meet up if I ever found myself in Purwakarta, prompting me to revisit our old messages on social media.
"Hi there, Jagomerah," I initiated the conversation, my fingers tapping out the words on the screen. "I've made it to Purwakarta, Sector Twelve to be precise."
He sent a swift and enthusiastic response, "No way! Alright, meet me at Sector Ten's plaza at 16:00 then."
"Looking forward to it," I typed back, a flicker of anticipation sparking within me.
As the time neared the fifteenth hour, my human friends returned, their faces flush with the day's exertion. To pass the time while waiting for our remaining companions, we played a game of human cards.
Bolad and Vani appeared a half-hour later, their arrival completing our little circle. With everyone present, I proposed an expedition to Sector Ten and I was met with eager nods and enthusiastic agreement. Thus, our band of six ventured, weaving through the intricate maze of sectors within the camp. I met several arxur on my way, always giving me a look of disapproval. Upon reaching the bustling plaza of Sector Ten, I shot a quick message to Jagomerah, notifying him of our arrival. It didn't take long for our gaze to meet each other.
To my surprise, Snop already knew this Jagomerah person. She referred to him as a "scalie", an apparent misnomer given the absence of any discernible scales on his skin.
A sharp voice cut off our introduction. "Have you no shame?" The words came from the female arxur who had been standing behind Jagomerah. Her eyes glared at me with a chilling reproof. "Wasting resources like this, when others are clinging to life."
Jagomerah, the human with a mane of untamed curls, turned back to meet Lovaz's scathing gaze. "What are you talking about?" he asked. His voice was a gruff contrast to her icy disdain.
With an indignant huff, Lovaz gestured at me, her clawed hand sweeping in my direction. "Look at him! He's nothing more than a drain on society now."
"Lovaz," Jagomerah said in a stern voice. The curly-maned human squared his shoulders and met the arxur's gaze with unwavering defiance. "What do you do to an injured arxur?"
"We do nothing." She snapped, her tail lashing with irritation. "It is the responsibility of the impaired to stop being a burden to our society."
"In human society, it's the responsibility of the society to care for the impaired," Jagomerah retorted, his dark eyes never leaving Lovaz's.
"This weakness," Lovaz spat out the word with such venom, "is why all this happened to you, human."
Jagomerah's gaze hardened. With a swift movement of his left arm, he pulled his armband aside, revealing a metallic ring. His fingers moved over the surface of his arm, found a hidden latch, and with a quick twist, the arm detached. The purpose of his armband became clear to me in that instant. The fabric covered the prosthetic limb's attachment point.
"See this?" Jagomerah held up his detached arm. "This hand can crush your windpipe. Not so weak now, huh?"
Modern arxurs only understood the language of strength and violence. From what I had learned about humans, a display like Jagomerah's could escalate into a fight. Yet the arxur woman just chuckled, her sharp teeth gleaming in a predatory grin. "Okay… I see your point."
"Hey...Tresn wasn't it?" Jagomerah said, his voice had a note of regret in it. I inclined my head in response. "I must apologize for my earlier suspicion."
I looked at his arm, or rather, the empty space where they should have been. "So...uh, what happened to your arm?"
"Well, see, I'm a firefighter," Jagomerah began, his voice steady but tinged with a hint of long-held sadness. The metal arm detached from his body was held in his remaining hand. "When you're fighting a beast of fire, sometimes it bites back. Burning debris can fall, and sometimes it traps someone whose means of escape is for his comrade to make a tough call because the fire is spreading."
As Jagomerah talked, his fingers worked on his mechanical limb. The sight fascinated me, the gleaming metallic end, the intricate design, and the way the parts clicked into place with a satisfying sound. Each movement reflected countless repetitions and a depth of familiarity that looked almost second nature.
His gaze turned to me, a question hanging in the air between us. "What about you? How did it happen?"
"Grenade," I replied, the single word packed with echoes of a past I wasn't quite ready to delve into.
"My shift has started, but I have time before I have to go to Greater Jakarta for the next twenty hours. Maybe I can show you around?"
I looked at Lovaz's whose hard gaze still didn't escape me. I met her glare with a smile, feeling a touch of defiance rise in me.
"Why do you care so much about this defective one?" Lovaz spat.
Jagomerah shrugged "He seemed nice. You don't have to come along with me. Just…reconvene at the meeting point at 18:45"
The tension between us hung palpably in the air as Lovaz lingered, shooting one last look of contempt my way before she walked away, her tail slapped against Jagomerah's leg.
"Well… that was something," Johan murmured. "The arxurs aren't one for much for socialization, are they?"
Feeling an odd kinship with the human, I decided to explain, "The only necessary relationship in the Dominion is between you and the State. Some arxurs would take a mate, but it's always in the service of the State. A mate could keep an eye on you in the field and administer first aid if needed."
"If you have a mate," Vani began. "what would he do if the incident with the farsul happened?"
I looked down at my lap, my scales catching the low light. "He would leave me to die." My voice sounded heavy with a bitter truth.
Everyone fell silent for a moment.
"Let's not dawdle," Jagomerah interrupted, shifting the atmosphere with a few words. "Follow me."
As we moved, I found myself questioning the cyborg. "What are you doing here?"
Jagomerah stopped, turning back to me. "Wait... you do have the concept of disaster relief... right?"
I blinked, my mind racing. "Uh... the closest thing we have is asset recovery," I said, embarrassed. "Your description on social media says you fight the fire, right? Do you put out conflagration?"
"That's right," he walked away again, his mechanical limb gesturing for us to continue following him.
As we moved, Jagomerah began to explain his role. It went beyond just putting out raging fires but it also involved pulling out survivors or bodies, clearing away the debris, and ensuring the remaining structures had enough integrity for rebuilding to commence. Their dedicated work created the foundation on which the rest of the humans could begin reconstructing the city.
After navigating the winding alleys of Sector Ten, we arrived at a prefabricated building near a wide road that allowed for the movement of large vehicles. Indeed, several huge vehicles bordered the building. Jagomerah led us through one of the gates in the building into a cavernous room. Inside, we saw a massive vehicle with dimensions larger than Johan's already big van. Humans moved around it in coordinated chaos, packing the vehicle with an assortment of tools and supplies.
All sorts of rescue gear adorned the walls. Some of them looked familiar to me, hoses coiled, axes with their blades shining under the overhead lights, ladders arranged according to size, and sledgehammers. There were also some that looked more complicated, from the design, I guessed that it uses hydraulics to help prop something or force something to open.
Lockers, each personalized with a human name, added a touch of individuality to the otherwise functional room. The heavy scent of rubber and metal hung in the air. Dominating the far end of the room, a large digital display showcased a detailed map of Greater Jakarta. The multitude of markings and notes told a silent story of planning, strategic thinking, and past operations.
A human woman approached Jagomerah, her greeting a bark, "Hey, Agni!"
Agni? Perhaps that was his other name, just like Snop was also known as Kirani. I found myself a little puzzled, having to familiarize myself with the concept of people using multiple names for everyday social life, not for espionage.
The human's skin was a deeper shade of brown, her hair coiled and secured into a neat bun. Her gaze turned to me, her eyes widening in surprise. "Whoa… what happened to that guy?"
"Grenade," Jagomerah replied, the single-word explanation heavy with unspoken stories.
Her eyes narrowed, "You're not replacing Lovaz with them, are you?"
"No," he assured her, his tone calm and clear. "Lovaz should arrive after breaking the fast. I'm taking this arxur and his friend here to look around."
We introduced ourselves with Johan kicking off the process. When my turn arrived, I said to myself with a touch of embarrassment, "My name is Tresn, right now… I'm not able to contribute."
A man, his face marked by burn scars that halted the growth of facial fur, chimed in, "Of course, you can't. No one in the right mind would ask you to work. Focus on your healing first."
Jagomerah then guided us through the process of their preparation. He explained what each item in the stacks of supplies was for. Besides the collection of essentials like food and water, and medical kits it also featured an impressive array of construction tools. I watched as teams worked together, loading supplies into vehicles, and checking and double-checking their lists. I saw clusters of team members in huddled discussions, their focus on tablets displaying complex documents. I watched them practice procedures, going through the motions of first aid, victim search, debris clearing, and evacuation protocols.
At one point Jagomerah introduced us to one of the drones that would help them. It looked like a human if a human was made out of blocks. The drone excited Johan and Cynthio and the two humans began interrogating the machine.
The buzz of activity that had characterized this place began to fade as the time for meal approached. People moved away from their tasks, converging towards the dining halls, the scent of food replacing the scent of rubber and metal.
Jagomerah and his team brought me towards the carnivore dining hall, a part of the camp designed to accommodate species with diets like us. My roommates, meanwhile, wandered off towards the herbivore hall. There were many arxurs present, and though I could feel their glances on my scarred form, none approached me.
The dining area was divided into two queues. One led to a spread of raw meat where the arxurs could pile their trays high with a selection of proteins. The second queue catered to a more human palate, featuring cooked dishes.
When I joined the line for the human food, Jagomerah looked at me in surprise. But he nodded in approval after I explained that I prefer cooked meat now. He told me that the dish for the night was Rawon, a delicious black soup cooked with a special kind of plant that contains hydrogen cyanide.
"Yeah, but the plant has been processed to remove that toxin away. See... this is why we process food and cook them." He looked at the line of arxurs helping themselves to the blocks of meat. "I can't imagine eating them, so chewy and bland, even our raw meat dishes have seasoning in them."
That remark intrigued me. "Wait, you have raw meat dishes too?"
"Sure, we have-"
"Next!" The human server shouted. Our discussion had made a large gap between us and the last human.
"Okay, let's get this rawon first."
I noticed that the humans also have white plant matter called 'rice' to go with the rawon. For me, I would have just the soup, rich, aromatic, and packed with chunks of meat. To my delight, the meal also came with boiled eggs. Settling down with humans felt different from the stern, disapproving arxur tables back at the fleet. Here, Jagomerah and his team shared jokes, stories, and smiles as we ate. As we tucked into our meals, I shared my own tale, the official version of my crash landing.
Jagomerah listened, his gaze serious. When I finished, he took a moment before speaking. "When Lovaz says… I'm sorry… 'defective'… she's referring to more than just your physical condition, right?" He paused, recalling our earlier conversation. "You said the same to me when we chatted."
"Yeah... us Arxurs aren't supposed to be like... this." I gestured towards myself.
"I'm glad that you're like this," Jagomerah patted my shoulder. I didn't think he said that in pity, but rather understanding, and acceptance.
A soft chiming sound echoed from his wrist, drawing our attention. Jagomerah glanced down at the device strapped around his wrist, his eyes scanning over the display.
"Ah, duty calls," he sighed. I could feel a certain heaviness in his tone. "Our mission is about to start and we'll be in Greater Jakarta for the next twenty-four hours."
"Do what you need, human," I responded, a hint of a smile on my face.
"But feel free to message me, okay?" He proposed. Giving me a chance for us to continue our discussion. Perhaps it could lead to something more, I hoped.
After saying our goodbyes, I watched Jagomerah and his team depart. The herbivore dining didn't expect an Arxur like me and it would cause problems if I popped up there. Instead, I decided to wait in the plaza. I found a quiet corner and parked myself, my mind wandering back to Jagomerah and his team. The brief time I'd spent with them passed, unlike anything I'd experienced before. I felt a sense of acceptance and togetherness that felt...right.
For the first time, I felt like I belonged.
submitted by YaaliAnnar to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:09 gweleif Thirteen game concepts

Today's games repulse me with their copycat, timid and shallow character. Though it seems like there is a variety of concepts flashing around, in practice games revolve around the same half-dozen tropes. Their hallmark sign is that it is nothing that is not seen on TV. If the game's idea is not a reflection of the modern world from someone who, by all appearances, has never read a real book or has experience to share, then it's Pirates in Some Carribean, or the Victorian Age When Jack the Ripper Roamed in a Black Cab, or the Middle Ages with Standard Treachery, or Abstract Space Exploration. I was sick and tired of this a few years ago, now I have all but given up on this art form. Even when the concept is interesting, it is rarely taken far or with force. Neutered developers are afraid to give offense and as a result make bland, short-breathing stuff, but I think the sharp edges are never there to begin with anymore. I don't know anybody who sets out to defy the world, stand apart from its simulations and blandishments and spit a good gob in its ugly square face.
I have never had an opportunity to make a game of my own (it takes a team besides everything else), but I have made mods for a very old RPG for years - new mechanics, plots, magic, quests, effects, scripts, writing and so on. I have more or less put that old engine on its head, though I know hardly anyone will ever find out about my efforts. This is to say that I am not a pure theorist. Some time in the winter, bored and exasperated, I decided to do a quick marathon of game ideas - for RPG, quests, simulations, something in-between - and see how many I can whip out on the run. I would like something from here picked up by a company, but I am not advertising. I realize that is probably not something that might happen. It was a good exercise for me, however. Here are the results for all to see. I did ten first, then three more occurred to me.
1) Circa Caotica
You play the role of Jabsh, a clown of a traveling circus, who suddenly discovers that he is no orphan but the son (Raka, daughter for female players) of the director, Maestro Leotardi. Minutes later after making the sobbing confession the boss is swallowed by the Crocodile Man in a suspicious accident. You have to own up to his legacy and step into the tight and tall boots of the director. Your responsibility is to keep the circus going by fine-tuning and inventing acts based on ideas solicited over regular all-troupe brainstorming sessions despite little starting respect from the others, who have decided to unionize as well (the mentalist takes notes). You must keep drawing in crowds to avert the bankruptcy, earn respect and manipulation points and find the truth behind Leotardi's death and the disappearance of the Big Green cashbox with everyone's last year salary and the medallion that supposedly bears the face of your mother the same evening. All the while you still have to perform in regular clown acts with your partner. You can play as a red clown or a white clown, and the other type will be your foil.
2) Nachtwaffe
"Ah, count. Decided to join me for a walk?" Vampires steal planes from the Nazi airforce to zoom through the dark skies over the Balkans and turn humans to make more of their own. You start out as a single nosferatu, converted from an arrogant German, and must find and raid small airports and landing strips across the forests and mountains of Roumania, impersonate a living officer to get supplies and fuel, avoid communist guerillas, find and build places to hide during the day and choose which humans to turn to expand your force. Naturally, it is all quite a dead end, as the war is bound to finish sooner or later, which radio broadcasts confirm, and what then will happen to the vampiric empire? But this is something that the gameplay begins to convey to the player gradually. Hopefully the fate of someone who has no future but still does his all will touch some dormant strings in players' hearts.
3) Yuck!
The sleepy Tibetan village of Dongtso is unaware of what lurks in the bushes and the mountains: you, the desperately lonely yak-man. Born with a big head and two horns, you have only one connection to civilization: the gold ring in your nose. Squinting cross-eyed, you can just make out some kind of symbols on it, and a banner over the village shrine features ones like them. This must be the key. You have to lurk about the supersititious hamlet, helping the folk at night and out of sight with small chores and evesdropping on their reactions and conversations until you can pick up a few words, including, at some point, "Hello." Since this is a game about Tibet and shaping up something rebellious, let the tongue be one of Tibet's many and accompanied by Tibetan script. You can train to pronounce the words when you dare show yourself to children, old people and widows, to improve from mooing to legible speech, but until then you have to dodge men's hunting parties and survive. With enough good deeds and a few friends, you might win the folk's confidence and stand before the village council so that someone might teach you to read. The quest becomes complicated, however, by the appearance of the army of People's Republic of China that establishes a base in the village in its push to subdue Tibet. The year is 1952. One of the newcomers is a local - a renegade llama who, the villagers say, has been on many supernatural journeys in the mountains, but is now wearing the uniform of Tibet's conquerors. The writing on the ring, deciphered, identifies him as your father.
4) Footlocker
This is a soccer-themed RPG, but you view the sport from the point of view of a bookie besieged on all sides by mafia. To pay back his debt he resolves on a colossal set-up: first get control of an underdog team, then bring them at least to the regional semi-finals and, with the bets in their favor, make them lose in a big way. The thugs are ready to provide cash handouts, leg-breaking, knuckle sandwiches, addictive opioids and more to get the right people on the team and stubborn elements out, but at the cost of increased control and cut of the profits. You must balance their appetities with placating sports authorities, the press, sponsors and police. In the final match a dilemma presents itself: go through with the plan and ruin the team or defy the gangsters and take your chances on the right side of the tracks?
5) And See It Again For the First Time
Starting out from your homeland on three caravels, you unfurl the sails and set out to circumnavigate the world. The globe is randomly generated every time and rolls away at the horizon, with the map, continents and straits unknown beforehand, in the manner of River Raid. Your characters are the three ships and their crews, condition and supplies are their stats. Dropping anchor at strange shores and dealing with natives will be necessary but dangerous as they fight with each other, shuffle and migrate like microbes. Loss of crew can't be repaired. At least one of the ships must find the passages and make it to the fabulous Gate of Makhamedi, enter it from the far side and begin the journey home.
6) The Person and the Essence
In the beginning chapter you play Sauqin, second-in-command to general Varziranga, head of the army of the Arcolan Empire sent to quash the rebellion of Panlaa, who has tried to bring his province to secede. The imperial army has crushed Panlaa'a troops a fortnight ago and has got him shut in the Ravine of the Gold Specks. Complete victory is near, but the commander has been acting strangely since the battle. On this decisive night his behavior spins out of control just as Panlaa makes a sudden sally from his trap, causing great confusion. As his lieutenant, it falls to you to maintain order in dealing with the various officers as well as the clerics of the One, who insist that Panlaa, a lapsed pagan, be given to them for execution once he is captured. The ending of the chapter will determine whether Panlaa ends in the emperor's prison in the capital, Hotharsoom, alive or dead at the clerics' hands, whether Varziranga will be simply demoted or disgraced.
Chapter two will take place in the capital city. You will have been promoted to a top military command for your performance, only to become embroiled in an intrigue involving the emperor's controlling mother, a consequential schism in the church of the One over whether the head of state is eternally the same person reincarnated or a series of persons, demagogues in the public and lurking pagans with unclear motives. Other chapters will follow, and the endings will determine who sits on the throne and who stands behind it, whether state policy is in principle subject to revision and criticism or not and whether the pagan faiths are crushed without mercy or adopted into the church of the One. The material here is Byzantium, Egypt with the notion of the pharaoh as incarnate Horus and the empires of southeast Asia. Some early Christian heresies also deserve to be revivified.
7) Of Rats and Men
You are a rat trapped in the gears of the Trumpet of Doom, the hugest, heaviest and most advanced steam ship ever to paddle the Grumuous Sea. This basin is famously salty enough to let even an iron float for a time, which, the public money finally gathered, made it the perfect road to carry the 25-inch-gunned ("24 + 1 for Paterland!") Trumpet to the shores of Festaly and at last give those Festalians what for! The citizenry is cheering with patriotic joy, the brass bands are blowing. The ship rats are less happy, especially you, who were captain Reissenpouf's pet before you managed to scramble through a porthole and below the desk as he was buttering a toast. You are nearly panicky with fright. Unlike the locals there, you have spent time locked with the diagrams in the captain's safe and know that the battleship is very weakly armored below the waterline. Someone must have made a good bit of business during the construction selling the metal. When the Trumpet comes up against the Festalians with their triton suicides or their rumored counterpart ship, the Rough Musician, not even the Grumuous Sea will keep it from ending up as a gigantic, barnacled wreck on the ocean floor.
To avoid this fate you only have so much time to organize the other rats for systematic sabotage. The game's world is the enormous ship below and above the deck. The humans of the crew are, of course, adamant in their resolve to get themselves killed, so they will repair the servos, the cables turning the massive gears, the ball bearings, the hydraulics and the rest almost as quickly as those are destroyed. This effort will be headed by the near-transparent, monochrome spindle of a man, Admiral Hel, the leader of the expedition, always of his private high deck, sipping his black milk and staring through his spectacles ahead to where TOD's fate awaits it. If all of you ratfolk together gnaw through and spoil enough of the ship's devices, however, the captain might just have the authority to radio Kaiser Walzer of the decision to turn back... though you personally may also have to sneak back into his cabin to sit on his pillow and intone suggestions as he sleeps. The fact that you are an albino rat and at first come across as a crazy visionary doesn't help, and neither does being a female rat and having to give birth to a litter every so often. The current mate can be deputied on tasks while lactating. Other ships may sometimes be encountered in the sea, with different results, and you may improve your reputation in the murine community by predicting these encounters, if you check the looking glass often enough. The length of the game, and hence the difficulty, depends on the distance to Festalian waters - from two weeks' journey to three months.
8) Cosmic Choir
You play as one of the planets of the solar system. The other actors and your partners are the thieving and scurrilous Mercury, the lusty and sly Venus, the militant braggart Mars and so on. And you are the meh-in-the-middle Earth, and in this group of strong personalities stand out with your unique ability of Rational Decision (it would be nice to get Woody Allen for the voice acting, were he younger). Other planets have other powers, and all of them certain characteristics and appetites (for tasty meteorites, for more intimate or more standoffish orbits and so on). The plot revolves around the announcement of the Sun that it has had enough of burning hydrogen and wants to retire, going immediately into the red giant phase, which would, of course, burn up all of the inner planets and kick the outer planets way out. For this the star has recruited a planet-sized asteroid, large enough to pull most of the star fuel away so that the moribund transformation may be set in motion. The euthanatic dark planet is whirring ever closer. Before it gets on a near enough orbit to disrupt the Sun the other planets must find out what caused this sudden depression and persuade their ruler and source of life otherwise. (The answer is that the Sun has always dreamt of going nova but lacks substance.) Playing as the only inhabited planet, you must also keep the life forms on you alive through all of the maneuvering. If you can get Mars to cooperate, however, you may shorten the distance enough for humanity and some of the ecosystems to make the leap and found Musk City there, and then you won't have to care about your surface anymore.
9) Paris, 1245 A.D.
A meticulously researched simulation of the criminal underworld of medieval Paris and the worlds that abutted on it: those of the church, guilds, city watch, the university, lepers, the court and so on. No shortcuts and simplifications for babies who can't tell a Benedictine from a Cistercian. A dynamically filled encyclopedia may be included, though, and remain permanently unlocked for later replays. The main character is a vagrant and a thief. This may be a persistent sandbox, possibly a multiplayer RPG, or it may have a plot, but strictly within historical realities.
10) The Last Supper
You play the role of Jesus, son of God, in the company of the twelve disciples. The game should probably be in first person. (The Sermon of the Mount and such may be shown in cutscenes, or they may be challenges in quiz form.) The time period is your wanderings in Judea after the baptism and until the last night before the arrest. The background is the Judaic society at the time and its Roman controllers, somewhat historically accurate. This is a detective story, a wholldoit where you need to figure out who is best suited to betray you in due time so that you may prep him for the job and finally give him the impetus to "do it quicker" at the Last Supper. For Christ certainly needed someone to betray him. It's not always Judas: the identity of the potential traitor, along with his motives, will vary randomly between playthroughs. Incidents and encounters along the road, both recorded in the Bible and invented, will liven up the experience and better inform you about the personalities of the disciples, building on but going beyond what is known (Peter with his short temper, the lofty John an so on).
11) Cuadrophobia
Ships and the sea again. This time you are a typical sailor with an atypically strong survival instinct on one of the vessels in a colossal game of Battleship between Our Guy and the Other Player. Accordingly, there are two grids firing at each other: your side's and the enemy's, though you only get to travel across your own. The ship you begin on is chosen at random: it may be anything in size from a single-squarer to a five-squarer. Smaller ships are less likely to be hit, of course, but when a ship is finished, it sinks, and you with it. The purpose of the game is to survive until Our Guy's victory, which programmatically is likely but not guaranteed and happens about 70% of the time. To do this you must desert on a regular basis, setting out in a dinghy to a ship more favored in the current situation. However, the dinghy only travels three squares per turn, and you can only spend two turns in the open sea before dying. You also need time on board ships to access their radio broadcasts, which, besides playing some inspirational propaganda, update the picture of the grid as the battle rages. Without it you are limited to paddling to vessels that you can directly see. The role-playing element comes from dealing with ship commanders, who all take their duties and titles - captain of Cruiser! captain of Battleship! - very seriously, from picking up supplies in floating debris and from acquiring special abilities that let you, for example, paddle an extra square farther. Is war evil? Is it to be hated, or is our side to be cheered on? After all, if Our Guy loses, this will all have been in vain.
12) Standardom
In this game of life, dedicated to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), you must pass through all of the Gates of Conformity to win your ultimate prize - death from old age, as opposed to suicide. The option to kill yourself is always available in the menu. Being the hero and chickenshit that you are, though, you are determined to submit to every humiliation just so you can press forward. The world of the game is a vertical platform that moves with you along the Y axis, which represents time from some random year forwards: you may begin at 100 B.C., 1824 A.D., 12749 j-Spec and so on. It is really all the same where on the timeline you are dropped off. As with other platformers, once the screen has moved, there is no going back. You can walk freely to the left and right, however, pick up bonuses, disarm threats and converse with characters. Going up, every so often the screen is intersected by a wall with a gate in it. Your character's silhouette must either match the cut of the gate or be smaller to pass through. You start out small as a baby, a little circle, but very soon handicaps such as Discovery of Talent, Unusual Upbringing, Independent Spirit or Love of Sex will begin to rush at you to complicate your silhouette with Г, & and other such protrusions. You will also grow in size until your late 20s. Luckily, opportunities will also present themselves to prune some of this exotica: Family, Steady Job, Political Engagement, Puppy, Human Interest and other bonuses can be found or obtained from conversations to simplify your puzzle to a manageable cut until such time as the years pile on and the worst is behind you. You will become smaller and smaller and able to rush through the checkpoints one after the other to the finish line.
13) Six Handshakes to Liberty
The country is suffering under a cruel dictatorship. Ar-Parason, the president-for-life, has wrung the last of resources from the nation and has now thrown it into a disastrous war. In his palace he is surrounded by guards armed to the teeth and without a shred of conscience to shoot the bastard. What can you, a humble microbiologist living in the suburbs, do about this? Nothing, it seems, until you discover a strain of bacteria that is absolutely deadly within weeks and immune to all known antibiotics except one, still not fully developed. The microbe is passed along by touch. Alas, you discover it when you become infected with it. You still have the resources to finish the research on the antibiotic and save yourself, but now you realize that you possess the perfect secret weapon to rid the country of the tyrant. Although you can't get so close to Ar-Parason in person, someone must enjoy that intimacy...
Every day you do your research at the computer, look through the press, then put on gloves and go out in search of people in contact with other people who will, you hope, ultimately carry the strain to its target. You have to follow news to figure out whose hands to shake and who to sleep with - secretaries, daughters of generals, corrupt officials - and many times the scheme will fall short of success. The chain of handshakes will terminate early somewhere, and these intermediaries will just die. But all those sacrifices are worth it, aren't they? You keep several intrigues going at once, determined to see one of them to the end. Meanwhile an epidemic is beginning in the country, Ar-Parason is starting to take precautions, and your own remaining time that could be spent on finishing the antibiotic is also running short. What is more important: life, revenge, justice, survival, honor? Your actions will be your decisions.
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2023.06.03 16:05 SpacePaladin15 The Nature of Predators 121

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Memory transcription subject: Captain Sovlin, United Nations Fleet Command
Date [standardized human time]: January 15, 2137
It wasn’t my imagination; our triangular shuttle was sinking like a stone. Water bobbed up against the cockpit windows, entombing us beneath the waves. Hull integrity would eventually give out and allow water to flood the compartment. The predators were just watching it happen, with not nearly enough panic showing in their binocular eyes. They made no attempt to inflate a life raft and escape, while we could still get the doors open.
The craft had tipped forward at a slight angle, and the airborne vehicle began to sink nose-first toward a watery grave. A feeling of immense claustrophobia gripped me, as the nightmare scenario came to fruition. My claws wrapped around Samantha’s arm before I could stop myself; the human looked at me with sheer disbelief, and pushed me away. Her nose was scrunched in an obvious sign of distaste. Carlos would’ve definitely been more amenable to my desperate outreach for support.
Samantha heaved a sigh. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t just fucking do that, but it better not ever happen again.”
“Please! We’re sinking!” I croaked.
Onso snickered. “Sinking? You don’t feel the engines running? It’s a submersible aircraft.”
Upon closer listening, I could feel the quiet hum of the engines. Somehow, the combustion drive was still running underwater, and pushing us in a controlled manner further into the ocean. There were no signs of leaks seeping through the walls, despite being encased in the depths. I’d never heard of a plane that could fly underwater, but I should’ve gleaned our safety from the predators’ calmness.
If a human is running or terrified, that’s when it’s time to assume our deaths are imminent.
Sam wasn’t the least bit amused by me latching onto her arm, but Tyler and Carlos were both masking smirks. I dipped my head in shame. How had the Yotul known of technology which was unfathomable to the wider galaxy? Until today, I wouldn’t have thought such devices would ever have a use. It was embarrassing that the primitive kept his head better than me around novel technology, though I tried to push that egoistic thought out of my mind.
“Do the Yotul have this kind of technology, Onso?” I prompted the reddish-furred marsupial to answer, though I knew the reply would be in the negative. “I’ve never heard of such things, so I’m surprised it’s old news to you.”
“Well, I took it upon myself to read up on the specs; they were included with our briefing notes. Never know when shit’s gonna break, and someone’s gotta fix it. The Yotul have a saying, ‘Everything can break, so assume it will do so today.’”
“That’s valid. Every spacecraft crash is due to a ‘one-in-a-billion’ mechanical failure; unlikelihood upon unlikelihood. Uh, anyhow, I’m a little out of my element here, clearly nothing like you.”
“I don’t mind the water, Sovlin. Mama had a sailboat, which she’d take around the harbor. It was a little disappointing to hear human water activities involve hunting. There’s so many beautiful things to see; it’s the last untamed frontier. Even after space is explored, the oceans still hold so many mysteries and unique lifeforms!”
“Plenty of humans agree with you, even ones who enjoy fishing like Tyler. We’ll go snorkeling or scuba diving just to explore reefs and view marine life,” Carlos chimed in. “No boat, nothing but a basic breathing apparatus.”
“There’s water sports too. Surfing, where you try to ride massive waves on a board.” Samantha made odd gestures with her hands, as though conveying a series of hills. “Parasailing, up in the sky tied to a boat. White water rafting, where you go down turbulent, rocky rapids in an inflatable.”
I groaned. “Why…are any of those not mortally dangerous?! What is wrong with you predators? I thought you evolved from the fucking trees!”
“It’s all in the spirit of fun, a memorable experience. Don’t tell me none of it sounds like something you want to try once.”
“No, those stunts sound horrible. This is horrible. I can see the depth meter going up…it’s double digits! I can’t see the sky!”
“Quit being a baby.”
“Quit being a predator! I hate humans; I can’t stand you! Onso, back me up.”
“The surfing sounds totally badass. I can imagine riding a wave up to its crest, and trying not to fall,” the Yotul answered. “We should try it together, old man. Conquer your fears, do things you think you can’t.”
“I am not doing that. No way on the cradle.”
Tyler sported a devilish grin. “Hey, it could be worse, Sovlin. You could be doing shark cage diving.”
I offered the blond human a blank stare. Through the cockpit behind him, I noticed orange-striped fish swimming clear of the aerosub. There was a dark shadow in the murky depths below, which filled me with palpable unease. What if it was some sort of massive predator which hid in this oceanic range? Chewing at my claws with anxiety, I tried to parse through what he said.
Cage diving? That can’t be what it sounds like; locking yourself in a cage and jumping into the water…not trying to escape. What’s a shark?
We moved closer to the ambiguous shadow within the turquoise ocean, which I tried to ignore. The humans would freak out if there was reason for alarm; I couldn’t make a fool of myself again. Plastering a look of confusion on my face, I flicked a claw at Tyler for an explanation. His blue eyes twinkled with amusement, and my former guards watched with interest.
“Ah, you’re wondering what that is.” Officer Cardona tapped his fingers against his holopad, and noticed that his Yotul exchange partner was intrigued too. He showed a picture to Onso first. “I’d say it’s self-explanatory. Oh, and, yes, they have side-facing eyes, but sharks are predators. Humans have movies about them eating us, even though that’s uncommon in reality.”
Tyler turned the device toward me, and I flinched away with disbelief. Sure enough, a pack of Terrans were suspended in a metal cage below the water. “Sharks” circled them with predatory intent, serrated teeth visible. From what I’d learned about Gojids being omnivores, I’d trust the primates on binocular eyes not being necessary to eat living food. However, deciphering human behavior was a maddening endeavor. Was this some twisted way of reasserting their dominance as apex predators, against animals that dared to prey on them?
“You just said it was in fucked-up human movies…it’s CGI! That’s not a real fucking thing!” I screamed. “I thought we were keeping it professional, huh? You all are definitely saying, and making up, predator nonsense on purpose, at this point!”
Tyler flashed his teeth. “It’s real. We don’t need to make anything up; humans will go to great lengths for thrills.”
“That seems to be tempting fate. I’ve always believed in respecting nature, though it would be cool to see these animals up close,” Onso said.
“Good news: you can see them in aquariums too.”
I thought humans would think water decorations were stupid…wait, what did he just say?!
My spines were bristling. “You have aquariums, like the Kolshians on Aafa?”
“Yep,” Tyler affirmed.
“And instead of sea plants, you keep dangerous predators in them?”
“Yeah? They’re cool to look at, man.”
“Protector, I don’t care if we’re in the middle of the ocean. I want off this sinking boat!”
Carlos stifled a laugh. “Well, your wish is about to be granted. This puppy isn’t meant to dive deeper than 100 meters. The UNS Deep Core is up ahead.”
The foreboding shadow had grown larger in my periphery, and my eyes swiveled back to the viewport. It was a submersed ship, but one that was so large, its breadth faded into the murky distance. There was no way this wasn’t in the triple digits of meters long; the all-black, undecorated exterior would cause an observer to mistake it for a shadowy patch of water. There was a tower affixed to its spine, which perhaps housed an equivalent to a bridge.
“The humans must’ve snuck this ship here days ago. How long has it been lurking?” I murmured to myself. “They couldn’t have airdropped it from too high up either…I don’t think.”
Samantha rubbed her hands together. “If you think this is the only one sent, think again. We’re told as much as we need to know, Sovlin, but it’s a blast to fill in the blanks.”
Our aerosub glided down to the bottom of the Deep Core, before flipping over and latching onto to a watertight door. It was similar to how a spacecraft would dock for boarding; my concerns were assuaged a little, noticing some familiarity. Packing such a large crew into a metal tube must be stressful for any land-dwelling species, but the humans were insane enough to tuck their senses aside. There could be enough predators aboard to compose a small village.
I disliked the fact that I was hanging at a ninety-degree angle, though I didn’t voice my complaints. The humans awkwardly dismounted, with Tyler helping Onso down. Carlos hoisted me to my own two feet, and I took a steadying breath. Our own watertight hatch, which I mistook for an emergency exit when I thought it was a sane vehicle, was on the right exit. There was a click, as human personnel opened the circular door from the other side.
The five of us were helped up through the threshold into the submarine, and we admired the metal inner workings of our surroundings. The tunnels were narrow, with small doorways leading between compartments; many required a slight step up to clear. One Terran greeted us at our docking point, though he wore a different uniform than the getup I was used to. I wasn’t sure what to expect from land predators who operated underwater, but the ample facial hair checked out with my mental image.
“Welcome aboard the Deep Core. I’m Commander Fournier; your presence is requested on the bridge,” a gruff voice greeted us.
I blinked in confusion. “May I ask why…sir?”
“First aliens to step foot on a submarine. You’re VIPs; it’s a good photo-op, you could say. Follow me.”
Of course, the humans are worried about optics as we’re descending to an outlandish location. Sometimes, they’re awfully predictable.
Claustrophobia threatened to flare up, with the cramped passages and lack of direction. Onso showed no such uneasiness, forcing Tyler to ensure that the Yotul studied objects with his eyes, not his paws. The primitive seemed enamored with any machinery or design quirks, even basic things such as hinges. I was really trying not to look down on him, but when he was gawking at simplistic nails, it was difficult. At least his dimwitted curiosity was a distraction from our present environment.
The bearded commander led us to a steep stairway, and communicated for us to follow his lead. There was a thunderous bark of “up ladder!” before the human-in-charge popped open a hatch. Tyler waved a hand at me and Onso, signaling for us to climb after Fournier first. I ensured that my balance was steady, hustling up the rungs. There was a railing surrounding the hatch, along with a safety chain that our guide was unclipping.
“Sir, may I ask how much air we have left?” I couldn’t resist asking, despite being out of breath from the short ascent. “I presume you’ve been submerged a few days. Even spaceships can only carry a few weeks of oxygen, and I don’t see any tanks, um…”
Fournier issued a throaty laugh. “Scared of submarines, Gojid?”
“A little, uh, yes…sir.”
“Don’t be. We have as much air as there is water in the ocean.”
Onso bounded after us. “The Terrans use electrolysis to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in seawater they collect, then use that O2 to ventilate the ship.”
“Why, I like this one!” the commander bellowed. “Read up on subs, haven’t ya?”
“It drew me in…like a vortex of knowledge. I always liked machines.”
“Then I take it you’re an engineer? I can see that kid-like glee in your eyes.”
“A rocket engineer. The unchanging rules, the complex order, the concreteness and the planning: it speaks to me. Having a new class of machines to study really lit that fire, for the first time since the Federation killed my passion. Not even studying your weaponry truly scratched that itch. It’s just, I never dreamed I’d discover a new alien boat!”
“Well, well! I’m no engineer, but I’ll be happy to share what I know. Feel free to ask any questions; we love talking about what we do, to someone who really wants to hear it.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Commander Fournier led us into a stout compartment, where a vast array of gadgetry and screens covered a wall. Humans were examining a green circle on display, with a rotating line and labeled angles. Data feeds were also listed there, which led me to conclude it was a sensors equivalent. Navigations was at the front, at least from the appearance of several control columns. Some predators appeared to be acting as officers or supervisors, peering over others’ shoulders and issuing commands.
This isn’t that dissimilar to a starship, but where is the viewport? How can they see?
I cleared my throat. “Sir, where is the viewport? There’s no windows!”
“We don’t need windows,” Fournier explained. “We use sonar, because sound travels further in water than light. Glass or transparent materials are just a weak point in the hull, and a potential source of leaks if we take a hit.”
“Okay. Then why did the submersible craft we took here have windows?”
“Because it needs to be a spacecraft too, and you need to see when you’re flying. It’s useful enough to outweigh any concerns,” Carlos chimed in.
“This is so cool!” Onso bounced on his digitigrade hindlegs, and the commander fortunately didn’t take offense to his excess excitement. “The sonar doesn’t need to see at all. It just…listens.”
Fournier nodded. “Precisely. I saw you examining the bearings on our machinery, and I’ll impress upon you the importance of noise reduction down here. We keep everything detached from the hull frame to avoid vibrations…even dropping a wrench can give you up to an enemy. Sonar receptors pick up the slightest vibration, and then, they know you’re there.”
“That explains why your engines have to be so quiet. I was reading about how you try to avoid cavitation…you know, where the vacuum pressure caused by the propeller makes water boil. The bubbles pop and give off noise.”
“You don’t need a rundown at all, Yotul; you already know everything. We have a speed range where we can operate silently.”
I was growing bored of the technical explanations, and Onso, a primitive, was outshining my knowledge to the humans. Perhaps the Yotul was desperate to prove himself as an academic equal, but he didn’t need to prattle on about science like he was reading a textbook. While there were impressive feats of engineering on display here, I agreed with Samantha’s assertion of naval obsolescence. What good was fighting in the water, except in this extraordinary circumstance?
The predators can hide far away from any targets or locations of value forever. How ingenious. They’d be unseen altogether if the other human tribes realized this theater was irrelevant in a war.
I suppressed an irritated huff. “Permission to speak freely, sir?”
“Granted,” Fournier replied, a curious twinkle in his eyes.
“Respectfully, sir, I do not see the purpose of putting all this time into submarine development, at least for military aims. You’re a spacefaring species, and you’re incredible at ground assaults. What use is it to hide so far away from civilization…from the action? Maybe you sink a few ships that are using an outdated method of moving resources, but I don’t get it. You have better weapons.”
“You really don’t know? To use your word, these ships are masterful predators; nearly undetectable, capable of hearing the slightest sound, and able to surface anywhere in the world. But it goes far beyond that. The destructive power housed here is a hell of a deterrent. That’s why we’d never actually trade nukes like ya Feddies thought we did.”
“Nukes? I’m not following.”
“There’s tens of nukes stuffed onto just one of these things. We can hang off the shore anywhere, and fire missiles while underwater. Not that we have to be close to our target; we can shoot ICBMs halfway around the world. You never know where we are, if it’s right down your neck or prowling distant shores. We’re waiting to strike, anywhere and everywhere, with the technology to end civilization itself, even after command is destroyed on land. Obsolete, my ass.”
I gulped with discomfort, wishing I could recede into the ship walls. That declaration was so calm yet predatorily destructive; there were chilling implications for the extent of human aggression. It suddenly made sense why Earth tribes were intent on sniffing these predators out of the ocean’s recesses, and why the subs tried to remain undetectable at all costs. Should the current battle go awry, Talsk could be devastated by an unseen arsenal of epic proportions.
As Commander Fournier took his post, I tried to understand why humans would devise such machinations, for use against their own civilization. The Federation’s “irradiated Earth” could’ve been a reality; these capabilities shouldn’t exist in any culture. I didn’t understand why my kind-hearted friends would even think of such predatory weaponry. Surely, understanding the apocalyptic consequences of these vehicles should’ve convinced them not to build them.
My therapist could’ve elaborated further on the full heights of Terran aggression. Humans didn’t enjoy killing, yet they brainstormed and actualized the optimal ways to kill every human in existence? It was a paradox. Perhaps their predator nature factored into their decision-making in a manner they didn’t understand. Orders were issued to begin our descent, and for all sailors to report to battle stations. I felt the submersible tilt down, so I tried to clear my head of what the primates were capable of.
I have to believe that they will never actually do something like that…that their goodness will prevail. They didn’t snap after Earth, right? I trust their better judgment.
“W-well, if there’s really a base at the bottom of the ocean, the Farsul are fucked,” I murmured to my posse.
Samantha’s fist tightened, as her smirk returned. “I’d say they are.”
The numbers on the depth meter continued to escalate, as the submarine navigated the ocean which spanned below us. Locked inside a steel tube with predators, and knowing the potential of its onboard weaponry, my nerves were anything but quelled. The submarines somehow eclipsed even the worst starships in its dastardly capabilities. The Farsul wouldn’t be prepared for this predatory contraption, should we stumble across any of their flotilla.
I was glad that the humans were on the same team as me; there was no telling where their capacity for annihilation ended.
First Prev
Patreon Arxur POV of the Cradle Series wiki Official subreddit Discord
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2023.06.03 16:01 Mamboo07 Sharing some old memories and nostalgia with Sackboy as well giving hugs

Sharing some old memories and nostalgia with Sackboy as well giving hugs submitted by Mamboo07 to CharacterAI [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:59 Spirited_Note3615 As Long it Takes

My girlfriend makes me so mad sometimes lol. So it started last week. The pandemic, I'm sure has people through the ringer, by the time we were to stay inside for however long till the vaccine, my girl and I went from roommates to significant other's and now fiances over the coarse of 4 years. But the stress and family tragedies have kinda messed with my mental state a bit. My girlfriend is awesome and not only do I help support her in her anxieties but she's a really big help with mine. Recently the evil voices have come back to whisper negative thoughts. "You're autistic, relationships never work out for your kind" "You're ugly." "You make her feel like she's raising you." Yeah needless to say, my mental health has been a hot mess. "Why did you say your girlfriend made you mad?" You ask. Well, for those of you who have TikTok, you're probably familiar with the song by d4vd called Here With You. "I don't care how long it takes as long as I'm with you" Ive loved this song since it first came out last year. So one day I had a pretty much poop day. Didn't get enough sleep the night before so I was tired, and angry at myself because if I can't sleep, neither does my fiancee. Inspite of how lovely she was to me, my day still looked like it was gonna be bad. We ate breakfast, showered, my protest against doing it together fell on deaf lovestruck ears lol. She dropped me off at work and I pretty much had to deal with crap customers and crap orders, crap fragile mental state, just crap. Called an uber, and arrived home. Texted her to let her know. I did some chores, emptied and loaded the dishwasher, laundry etc. The rest of the day, I got a blanket and curled up on the couch and listened to YouTube videos on my phone. Around 4 she got home. "Hey babybird." "Hey.." She sat on the couch with me and gave me a big hug. Then suddenly, "Watch the sunrise along the coast As we're both getting old I can't describe what I'm feeling And all I know is we're going home So please don't let me go, oh Don't let me go, oh-oh-oh And if it's right I don't care how long it takes As long as I'm with you I've got a smile on my face Save your tears, it'll be okay All I know is you're here with me" I hugged her tight and we both sung along together. The next morning, I woke up to her singing it again while spooning me. She has been doing this for a week straight and I'm angry because so far it has been a struggle feel like a crap mistake. She has made me feel like maybe God was meant to put me here on Earth. And I'm so angry at her that today because its Saturday I'm just gonna snuggle with her under the blankets the whole day. And if I start feeling like crap again I'm just gonna have to wrap my arms tighter around her shoulders. I fucking love that stubbornly loving crazy, possessive goofy bitch!
submitted by Spirited_Note3615 to RoleReversal [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:56 explodingllama123 Being the "big kid"

This isn't a really important post or anything but I just wanted someplace to say this because, again, it's not important so my friends wouldn't really care.
So last night I went to my friend's grad party and turns out there were a lot of kids there. A lot of the other people my age found them to be annoying but I just played along with them. I think we all have that memory of the "big kid" playing with you and thinking how cool it was for a "teenager" or such to be playing with you. I got to be that "big kid" that night and honestly it was really fulfilling to me and I felt great about myself.
One of the kids kept saying something about throwing me into the fire in the backyard, which I guess sounds terrible, but you know how kids are and when they say that they don't actually mean it. (I hope not at least lol) Another kid also made me a smore which was really sweet of them. I honestly don't like smores that much and then one they made was pretty burnt but I still ate it because it was nice of them.
Does anyone else have that "big kid" moment?
submitted by explodingllama123 to teenagers [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:54 taiyuan41 Follow

A breakthrough
What she gave me?
A life line
Do anything to flee life
Trouble follows
So I follow too
Confusing life
Born a feminine boy
Got pushed aside
Transplanted far away
Never stable when loathing self
Glued when affected thrown
Fledgling me gets adorn by middles aged locals around
From chastised to support
Is it help or something else
Regardless I’m alive
Memories stick like I’m perspiring
Theme to my venue
Choking on atmosphere
Shaped by slander and care or others
Am I hollowed out?
I did it all to get by
No poles to direct me
I saw others’ true side
Seen it a million times
Take steps even when exhausted
Cause they eat you when you let it all slide.
submitted by taiyuan41 to creativewriting [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:47 Additional-Walk-4500 [discussion] Why satella loves subaru (hypothesis)

So we all know at this point that Satella is madly in love with Subaru, but noone knows why, how or when she met Subaru. There are a few points I believe needs to be considered:
1.- Subaru never lost his memories: meaning ever since subaru was born up until now he has NEVER met satella in the way she claims he did (kissin her, loving her and everything).
2.- Subaru is just 17 years old not 400 like Satella.
3.- There are multiverses with different type of Subarus according to the decision he takes.

So after saying all of this. I believe that there existed a "subaru" in Satellas dimension or universe or perhaps the same world they're all in right now; like another Subaru from that world, that was deeply in love with Satella, took care of her and never left her side when she was hated because of her dark powers, because of this some kind of "evil" in that world ended up killing that Subaru, making Satella fall into madness and take revenge upon the entire world. After realizing she was not going to have her Subaru back, she looked through different time-lines/dimensions and found OUR Subaru in earth, so she brought him here but since she was sealed away she couldnt meet him yet, so she started the cult so they could revive herelease her, also gave Subaru the power to revive so he doesn't die again like her original love did so at the end she could be finally with Subaru again.

What are your opinions on this one?
submitted by Additional-Walk-4500 to Re_Zero [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:45 goldenhourglowing 29 [M4R] online, anywhere. I’m looking for a good friendship. Someone who can keep conversation and has a genuine connection.

A little about me. I’m 29 years old and from the East Coast of the United States,I would say I am pretty down to earth. Some of my hobbies include photography, art, cooking, reading, and movies. I can be a homebody, but I like to get out and do things all the time. As often as I can at least. some of my other interests include history and current events. Also other cultures and geography in general. I like to think I’m supportive and I’m always more than happy to listen to somebody especially if they are going through a hard time. Overall, I like to think that I am a open and caring person. To make a long story short I am just looking for someone who can be another friend in my life. If this sounds interesting at all to you, please feel free to message me.
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2023.06.03 15:44 NewVanilla2719

submitted by NewVanilla2719 to HangoutFest [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:42 taiyuan41 Follow

A breakthrough
What she gave me?
A life line
Do anything to flee life
Trouble follows
So I follow too
Confusing life
Born a feminine boy
Got pushed aside
Transplanted far away
Never stable when loathing self
Glued when affected thrown
Fledgling me gets adorn by middles aged locals around
From chastised to support
Is it help or something else
Regardless I’m alive
Memories stick like I’m perspiring
Theme to my venue
Choking on atmosphere
Shaped by slander and care or others
Am I hollowed out?
I did it all to get by
No poles to direct me
I saw others’ true side
Seen it a million times
Take steps even when exhausted
Cause they eat you when you let it all slide.
submitted by taiyuan41 to BipolarReddit [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:42 taiyuan41 Follow

A breakthrough
What she gave me?
A life line
Do anything to flee life
Trouble follows
So I follow too
Confusing life
Born a feminine boy
Got pushed aside
Transplanted far away
Never stable when loathing self
Glued when affected thrown
Fledgling me gets adorn by middles aged locals around
From chastised to support
Is it help or something else
Regardless I’m alive
Memories stick like I’m perspiring
Theme to my venue
Choking on atmosphere
Shaped by slander and care or others
Am I hollowed out?
I did it all to get by
No poles to direct me
I saw others’ true side
Seen it a million times
Take steps even when exhausted
Cause they eat you when you let it all slide.
submitted by taiyuan41 to bipolar [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:42 taiyuan41 Follow

A breakthrough
What she gave me?
A life line
Do anything to flee life
Trouble follows
So I follow too
Confusing life
Born a feminine boy
Got pushed aside
Transplanted far away
Never stable when loathing self
Glued when affected thrown
Fledgling me gets adorn by middles aged locals around
From chastised to support
Is it help or something else
Regardless I’m alive
Memories stick like I’m perspiring
Theme to my venue
Choking on atmosphere
Shaped by slander and care or others
Am I hollowed out?
I did it all to get by
No poles to direct me
I saw others’ true side
Seen it a million times
Take steps even when exhausted
Cause they eat you when you let it all slide.
submitted by taiyuan41 to sworkerpoems [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:39 oldrjohnson11 2000D Corsair PC case thoughts

I love building my own PC and I've been doing so for about 20 years. I'd like to give my thoughts during the assembly of the Corsair 2000D:

  1. Obviously you need a mini-itx motherboard. I opted for an ASRock A320M-ITX motherboard but I ran into some issues which I will discuss later.
  2. The parts I used are as follows:
I decided against using the PWN controller in the 2000D and instead decided to use the Commander Core. This would give me full iCUE software access to control the fans.
The Corsair iCue H150i Elite Capellix XT AIO which has a 360mm rad fit perfectly. It is important that the AIO tubes be at the top.
The PSU slid into place with zero difficulties.
There are going to be numerous cables and the only solution for cable management is zip ties.
Problems: The ASRock A320M-ITX did not work out of the box with the Ryzen 5 5600 CPU. On the ASRock support page for the motherboard it says that the CPU should work with the latest BIOs. I found a cheap Athlon 3000G CPU online for a cheap price and bought it. With that CPU installed the system worked fine. I then upgraded the BIOs. I checked to make sure the latest BIOs version was indeed installed. I swapped out the Athlon 3000G for the Ryzen 5 5600. No graphics output. Swapped the CPU back to the Athlon 3000G and the system worked again. OK so I sent a tech issue to ASRock and I am waiting on their reply.
The ASRock motherboard has the power and power LED connectors too close to the graphics card slot. So you have to be careful, especially when installing or removing the GPU.
The Commander Pro works well but there is no really good place to mount it in the 2000D.
Plus Points: The 2000D is very simple to dismantle. Easy to put everything back together as well. The 2000D has a solid feel and is easy to carry.
The I/O port cable routing for me was simple enough.
submitted by oldrjohnson11 to Corsair [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:36 Eager_Question Love Languages (12)

Memory transcription subject: Andes Savulescu-Ruiz, Human Director at the Venlil Rehabilitation and Reintegration Facility. Universal translator tech.
Date [standardized human time]: Dec 3 2136
I wandered up to the boys after Lihla got a bit bored of head scritches. Parents were still wandering around, but the three of them seemed pretty comfortable engaging in parallel play off in the back of the play room.
"Hello there," I said. I didn't have to be too mindful to avoid looming over them. They seemed largely unaffected by my size, and were themselves taller than some of the venlil nurses already. I wondered idly what the Arxur cut-offs for ages were. If we'd have to separate them from the girls.
"Your savageness," one said, bowing. "You honour us with your presence."
The other two bowed as well. The girls usually just scurried away, except for Lihla's insistence on "sitting with me". How differently had the boys been treated?
"That's um, that's not necessary," I said, gesticulating vaguely, "how are you boys doing?"
They stood up straight.
"I have been using the board to make squiggling lines," one said, pointing at the drawing board. "It is relaxing."
"I have been putting similar shapes together," said the next. He pointed at a table where he had sorted different blocks. One of the smaller girls looked tempted by his collection, and the fact that his attention was currently primarily on me. Just like Lihla, she moved in slow, incremental steps, ready to run away should her approach turn sour. I managed not to laugh, and kept my attention on the boys.
"I have been assembling the sticky triangles," said a third, and showed me a pretty good-looking geodesic dome he must have gotten just by building outward with the triangle magnets in a spiral pattern.
"Ah. Very nice. I was told you went to the doctor recently," I added.
"Yes, my teeth are very good and I am strong!"
"They tested my pain resistance with a big needle, but I did not scream," said the second one, clearly bragging.
"My appointment is later," said the third. I was a little impressed by how orderly they were. Like each of them knew their number in the order of who got to talk when.
"Well, that's good to know. If you find anything uncomfortable, please tell me so we can make it better for you," I said. They tilted their heads in confusion. "I'm Director Andes. You can ask to be brought to my office and any aide or nurse should be able to guide you there."
"I'm 857–" one started, and was quickly elbowed by the one next to him. He hissed in pain, then looked back at me and shook himself. "I'm Tito."
"I'm Julio."
"I'm Marco."
"Well, it's very nice to meet you boys," I said, smiling behind my visor. It was very exciting to hear them use the names they were given at the hospital. Aside from Lihla, none of the girls seemed very interested in getting names. A few of the nurses and aides had suggested some to them, but none had really stuck.
"It's nice to meet you, Savageness," Marcus said. To my and apparently his brothers' surprise, he jutted out a paw in front of him. I chuckled and shook it. The other two emulated Marcus, and I shook their paws as well. While I did that, the girl that had been eyeing Julio's collection stole a handful of blocks and scurried off to hide.
"Well, boys, I should be getting back to work now, but like I said, if you need help in any way, just ask for me."
They all nodded quickly. I gave Larzo a wave and headed back to my office. Once there, I updated Lihla’s file, made an appointment with Karim to discuss our situation, and finished the third batch of applications from prospective parents. I wasn't going to let him get his paws on it, especially given that they were in the lower income deciles. Venlil adoption incentives seemed to be meaningfully stronger than those of, say, Canada. In Canada, adoption often meant adoptive parents faced a wide variety of hurdles, but in Venlil Prime there were meaningful financial incentives that would more than make up for the cost of living of an average child. With special needs children, there was the added concern of accommodations. Venlil society was not well built for a neurodiverse population. Still, the financial incentive meant that I was looking for experience with children, a history of de-escalation of some sort, that sort of thing. I had no idea what Karim was looking for, but he did not strike me as a particularly charitable evaluator.
We already had verbal children with translator implants whose next step would be adoption and regular outpatient evaluations. We needed to ensure there were plenty of opportunities for them, including prospective human adoptive parents. So I erred on the side of generosity, with the knowledge that all of those whose application was accepted would still have to have interviews, and regular check-ins, to ensure nothing untoward happened to the children.
I took another walk near the end of my shift, and saw that Kanarel was being given a tour by a security officer. I gave him a little wave and he waved back. Only one claw after he'd been hired and he'd already hit the ground running! A few of the human volunteers were staring, and whispering to each other. His appearance might prove a little stressful, but I figured they'd get used to him soon enough.
I checked on the production labs, translator stock was solid and we could give the girls the implant next week. I ran through some reports, flagged a few things for later analysis, updated my own files in the shared database, pulled some files from other facilities for later reviewing. It was a very productive day, all told.
Eventually, I finished my shift and sent an email to the whole facility, first requesting that any invasive tests for the "predator" children seek my approval before going forward, and second explaining that I would be reducing my shifts to 2 or occasionally 2.5 claws. If I had actually been well-rested, I wouldn't have dismissed Varla when she tried to tell me about the boys' horns. I hadn't had a weekend in a month and a half, but that could wait. First, no more twelve-hour shifts.
Plus, if I had smaller shifts, maybe I could have days with a late start, and days with an early start. That might help fight the "sliding" schedule I had fallen into, with my 6-claw "days" of 24 hours failing to fit into a 20-hour paw.
Larzo spotted me as I was getting ready to leave.
"I would like to request the Upper Salwick game you owe me," he said, and I smiled behind the mask.
"That sounds great, actually."
We got to his place a few minutes later. His hensa was deep asleep on a bed of pillows Larzo assured me was her own making.
After a few minutes, the reason Larzo thought I was sure to win was obvious. "Upper Salwick" was some sort of weird, strategic Jenga. Each player had a set of parts, and each turn you had to play one of each type, as you built your little structure out of alien toy building blocks. Then, each player had five balls which were to be tossed at the other player's structure. Or shot through a little tube you could use as a dart gun. If both structures survived unscathed, you removed one piece and tried to knock them down with the balls again.
Larzo and I were mostly evenly matched in our ability to build something that wouldn't collapse on its own. The alien building blocks were not quite as stable as LEGO blocks, and made a very gentle, smooth sound when they hit the ground. Both structures would be elevated on a little platform made up of parts of the box re-folded (really clever design, actually). Any blocks that fell off the platform were a point in your enemy's favour.
I learned playing with Larzo that humans are much better at throwing things than the entire fucking galaxy. If you could score in paper football, you could beat almost any non-human sophont in Upper Salwick.
The standard "strategy" was to build the tallest, thinnest, most physically stable structure, on the grounds that your opponent would need a meaningful amount of luck (given the expected distances between the players and the size of the balls) in order to knock it over. People built in Upper Salwick to avoid being knocked down. A pyramid was the most stable structure I could design with those blocks. It was also the most likely to be hit, but it survived two or three hits before the first block fell off. I played to be able to withstand being knocked down.
Larzo built some sort of tower and I knocked it down on my second shot. He hit my pyramid five times and only one block fell down.
"I knew it. Those arboreal eyes of yours! Lulling me into a false sense of security with that miss…"
"I haven't played beer pong in ten years, cut me some slack," I said. I used my last three balls to knock the remnants of his tower off the platform. By the end of the first round, I had a pyramid minus one block, and he had literally two pieces left out of the starting twenty-five.
"Are we playing elimination or standard?" he asked as he gathered his fallen pieces.
"That should have been settled before we started, dude, I didn't know there were variations."
"Well, I assumed standard, but now I am looking for an excuse to play another game," he said with a twinkle in his eyes.
I laughed. "I take it you underestimated how hard I would win?"
"I did not know it was possible to knock pieces off the platform after you had already collapsed your opponent's structure."
I struggled not to laugh. “Well, what do you want to do now?”
"Perhaps we could go to one of the human growling bars," Larzo said, and I nearly spat out my water.
"...The what?" I croaked, and had to clear my throat.
"They're not too far out by train, humans regularly walk from the refugee camps to them," he continued. I stared at him.
"Larzo, what the fuck is a growling bar?"
"I thought it was a human tradition," he said, like it was the most natural thing in the world. "Humans go to these bars and growl as loudly as they can, bellowing their grief of Earth's bombing. On occasion, I have passed by and heard screeches translated as 'yesterday, all my woes appeared to be distant, now it seems that they are permanent."
The realization hit me like a smack from Rodriguez. "No way. No. That's not–Are you calling that a growling bar?"
"Yes. What is the proper nomenclature, if not that?" he asked.
Memory transcription subject: Lieutenant Asleth, Arxur Dominion Third Fleet.
Date [standardized human time]: Oct 19, 2136
When I volunteered to aid the humans after the bombing, I did not grasp the extent of their devotion to prey. I arrived at the Canadian space port near a vast, beautiful lake, and once there was taken to a hangar wherein I was made to wait.
And wait.
And wait, until that prophet-damned squealer would stop squirming with fear. They were not so far that I could not hear, but listening only exacerbated my exhaustion at the situation.
“You’re going to be perfectly safe,” said one of the humans. I worried that they would refuse our help altogether to appease it. That the only fellow sapients the Galaxy had to offer would reject us just the same as the prey had. That they would first love creatures that hated them, before any Arxur. No matter our help, our curiosity, our desire to join forces.
“No I’m not, and I’m not going to get myself eaten for you apes!” the creature squealed. How could humans stand for such disrespect?
“If you would like to resign, we can return you to your fleet–”
“No! I–I can do this, I can do this I—I can’t do this!”
“We specifically paired you with an Arxur whose job is primarily communications,” the human said patiently. “This is not a raider, or a front-line soldier.”
“It’s still a monster!”
I groaned from my place in the room, waiting on, and on… These tree-dwelling chatterboxes wouldn’t know an ally if they saved their species from extinction.
“I’m afraid we can’t turn down Arxur help right now. They’re much stronger than humans, having one on your team means we can send more of our own elsewhere. Help more people.”
“You’re telling me humans are too weak to protect me from those monsters?!”
“Well, no, we’ll still have armed men, but when it comes to pulling people out of rubble…”
There was a curious silence, after which the prey made a proposal.
“Call the translator tech. The one who worked with the prisoners. My friend worked with him. She said he could talk them down from anything. The [one who whispers at lizards].”
That was an interesting development. I leaned a little bit towards the wall, to see if I could hear better. There was a pause during what I assumed was the human speaker’s search for a communication device.
“Hey, Andes?.. You were scheduled to land today, would you by any chance still–Perfect. Can you come over to Hangar Bay five?.. I’m sorry, I know your contract–we’ll compensate you. Look, I have a Zurulian here who won’t set foot within prowling distance of our Arxur volunteer without you here… Not my fault you're famous... Time is lives, pal. See you in a few.”
“Well?” the prey creature squeaked.
“They’ll be here in a bit. We caught them just in time.”
The next few minutes were exhausting. Waiting in silence while mere metres away the humans coddled the terrified prey. Eventually, the door opened and I awakened from the haze of boredom.
In stepped a human in one of those formal sets of armour they wore with the white lining their ribcage, black layer on top, and the noose around their throats. Behind the human was the Zurulian, cowering, as they always did.
Behind the two of them came another human, wearing armour even less protective than the noose-wearer's. He(?) was further made distinct by the other humans in military armour, much like the ones I had seen around other bases, or in their communications network. Not to mention that the soldiers all stood straight, their bodies stiff, their jaws marked, while the civilian slouched and yawned, his body on its face weaker and softer than the soldiers’.
“Alright, Asleth was it?” the one in the black pelt with the noose said. I wondered briefly if it was a measure of trust. They wore a noose around their necks so that they could be more easily strangled, and thus their good behaviour was ensured…
“Yes,” I said. “I am Lieutenant Asleth, I work communications as you told the vermin, and volunteered to assist in the rescue of survivors from the city of Royalmount.”
“Perfect,” said the human. “This here is Dr. Rusen. These guys are Philippe, Francois, and David. And the newest recruit to the team, who will be working with Dr. Rusen, is Dr. Andes Savulescu-Ruiz.”
“Still not technically–” began Andes Savulescu-Ruiz, but the man in the noose waved him off.
“Close enough. You'll be doing first aid, checking victims for brain damage, so on. Anyhow, they’ll be working with you, Asleth, and keeping the peace for good ol’ Rusen here. All of you behave, the transport should be here real soon, and then it’ll be a long day’s work.”
The noose-wearing man gave us all a nod and wandered back out the door.
I looked at the least-armoured human and tried to remember their greeting rituals. He offered a hand and I shook it with my claws, doing my best not to dig into his flesh. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Doctor Andes Savulescu-Ruiz.”
“Just Andes is fine,” he said with a smile. I realized then that although the Zurulian was the only one cowering, the other humans were tense in my presence. This ‘Just Andes’ was the only one of the whole lot who did not make much distinction between me and his fellow humans. The rest seemed reluctant to approach, ready to betray my opened claw of friendship at a moment’s notice, should I prove a threat.
The transport arrived. It was two-tiered, with a front section large enough to seat five humans, and a back section that was very much an open box with some additional safety straps.
“We had to get a pickup truck to be able to carry the croc, I hope it’s not an issue,” said the human at the front of the vehicle. I did some quick accounting of the population and concluded I would likely be isolated in the back, waiting once again.
“I’ll ride with Asleth,” Andes said, “Rusen can go in the front with you guys."
There were a few nods, and the soldiers began to pour into the vehicle. I climbed aboard the back, and Andes hopped on as well with a litheness that surprised me given his looser, pudgier form in comparison to the soldiers. Within moments, the vehicle had begun to move and Andes had attached himself to it with a safety strap. Once on our way, he rummaged around in a bag to get a helmet much like the other soldiers’.
“So comms, eh? I’ve been working with a lot of Arxur in the past few months. I’m curious, can you tell me about your writing system?”
“...Our writing system?” I echoed. Of all the questions I expected to get from a human, this was not one of them.
“Yeah, I noticed that there are a lot of spikes, and the number of vowels--or analogues, anyhow--doesn’t seem to correlate with the length of a word, so I was wondering if you use diacritic marks, or…”
I stared blankly at him. “What are diacritic marks?”
His whole face lit up and he began to explain. The Arxur have teachers–we must, for we have things that ought be taught–but I had never before seen a creature so delighted by the opportunity to teach. Teachers were, in my experience, exasperated disciplinarians who disdained their duty to those who knew less than they. Andes found it joyous to speak, and it helped me find it joyous to listen. All humans, so far as I knew, had beautifully musical voices. Still, Andes’ had a light in it that I had heard from none others in my brief time on Earth, and my less brief time investigating their communications.
I wondered idly if my irritation at spending time with fellows was truly a mark of our people, or if we were simply not used to the joys of conversation that humans could bring forth. Perhaps this is what the Arxur of old had yearned for, before the Federation made itself known to us. A chance to converse with another sapient who was so very alien, and yet so much the same.
Translators had done a great deal to undermine the details of language. I did not much care if Zurulian was a subject-object-verb language or an object-verb-subject language, even as a communications officer. After all, what I heard was simply squealing in Zurulian, and most of my job involved sorting through potential alternative translations, investigating context, and discovering when a good time to attack might be. I had greater expertise in their (comically poor) encryption practices. Their tongue itself may as well have been a mystery. And why should an Arxur care for such lesser languages, anyhow? Could squealing like that truly be called a language at all? Or was the translator doing a great deal of the "heavy lifting", as it were?
“--Look, here, write me a sentence like ‘the rock falls in the water’,” he said, pulling forth a pad and a little wooden implement with graphite in the middle. I obliged though it felt rather odd to use an extra, wooden claw to write.
He looked at it. “Now please separate the words ‘rock’, ‘falls’ and ‘water’.”
I was confused. “That is not possible.”
His eyes grew, his pupils firmly focused on me. “...What?”
“It is not possible,” I repeated, “Rock is not just this,” I pointed to one of the sections. “It is also this,” I pointed to another. “Similarly, for it to fall on the water, then the falling must be…” My brow crinkled as I struggled for the term. He stared at me in anticipation. “The falling must be infected by the water.”
“Infected?” he asked.
“Yes. The words infect one another. Perhaps if I spoke of it as though it were a plan, ‘it is the arrangement for the rock to, in the future, fall upon the water’... Then the infection is that of the arrangement, and so rock, fall, and water are all affected by it, not by one another…”
I wrote it out in that fashion, and Andes stared in astonishment.
“Is this… Grammatical genders as tenses? Is this like the animate-inanimate distinction in Innu?” he mused, confusing me further. Were not all tongues so interwoven? “I swear, when this is all over, I need to go to Wriss. This is insane. What are those particles? How do abbreviations work? What’s the orthographic depth on this?”
I felt a need to thank the cowardly little creature for demanding Andes' presence. I realized at that moment that I had never seen a person be interested in the Arxur. We knew ourselves, or liked to think so. The Federation knew all they wished. His curiosity flattered me in ways I could not describe. It was an insistence, in itself, that I was worth learning about.
I will have to provide thanks to a variety of people, on the grounds that the past few weeks have not been good to my brain. u/Acceptable_Egg5560, u/cruisingNW, u/Liberty-Prime76, u/SavingSyllabus7788,u/AnEldritchroflcopter (who named Rusen), and someone whose reddit username I do not currently know, but will be editing in later if they so desire.
Everyone has been very kind, and I highly appreciate their generosity.
submitted by Eager_Question to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:28 False-Animal-3405 Why do others get to weaponize their diagnoses? If we even so much as ask for accomodations we are treated so badly.....

Sorry if this is the wrong space for this, I just sort of need to rant. So I am an adoptee (25F) who has gone through hell and back getting away from adoptive abusive family, and recently went to meet my bio brother in person to try to have a familial relationship. Any time I have needed support and reached out to him about anything not light or joking, he has ignored me and then followed it up with "I have ADHD, I forget my family exists so dont be mad". All the effort is on my side, I'm the one calling, texting to try to get him to engage with me at all and it just feels icky after all the shit I've been thru. For context, he takes meds, is in therapy and has a great career but is unable to have any close relationships because it feels like he doesn't take anyone seriously and conveniently forgets about them (even his fiances and girlfriends in past).
It feels like hitting a wall and I have excused it in the past but I am sort of getting frustrated because I have a lot of friends with the same condition and they never did that, they were always able to remember me even as a friend and were able to communicate with me. It honestly makes me feel disgusted because as someone with severe PTSD if I ask others to just treat me with respect they always act like I just asked them to jump off a cliff or something.
I just feel really sad that I'm not going to be able to have a relationship with my brother because he keeps weaponizing his diagnoses to keep me at arms length. So far I have asked him to have some memory tests done, as I am concerned about his forgetting us (the family) in his 30s-will he get dementia or something and need care sooner than we think?
Has anyone else dealt with something similar? If so, how did you handle it?
submitted by False-Animal-3405 to CPTSD [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:25 Arceroth Tower of Worlds 15

“We found three more towns, just like this one, every fifteen to twenty miles,” the man reported, his eyes wandering past the leader of their little group to where another man seemed to be waving his fingers in the air, “and what in the world is the doctor doing?”
“Haven’t a clue,” the leader replied, not looking up, “and that squares with what Robert found, seems like there are towns all the way around this forest.”
“I did manage to get close enough to one of the villages to listen in on the locals,” the first man continued, “they spoke of a Count staying in the tavern.”
“A count?”
“Some kind of nobility,” he shrugged.
“Might be a good place to start,” the leader nodded, “from what we’ve been able to gather there’s an extensive, surprisingly advanced civilization in this new land.”
“Not the kind of thing we can clear out on our own, even if we had our guns.”
“Second team should be arriving in a week, not much to do until then. Steve and Rob are out hunting, so go ahead and relax for now,” the leader gestured behind him to where the rest of their squad was resing.
“So,” the newly returned man said, walking over to the man still waving his fingers in the air like he was writing with them, “what are you doing?”
“You haven’t been messing with this whole Nature thing?” the doctor asked excitedly.
“No, been too busy trying to save our people,” he replied dryly.
“Well you should,” the doctor continued, either ignoring or completely missing the tone of the reply, “in a few days I’ve figured out more about the Erlham field than I have in the last year of testing!”
“You mean the… energy stuff that transported us here?”
“It can do so much more than transport people! I mean, all I did was wonder if I could use it to write, and assist my research, and- and,” he gestured to the empty air he’d been waving his finger about, “apparently only I can see it like this, but still, just this indicates so much more!”
“Oh no, you got him going there Akleson,” another of the soldiers chuckled, “in a few minutes he’ll be going on about field interactions and the nature of the soul.”
“Bah,” the doctor dismissed with a wave of his hand, “you’ll see when I manage to stabilize a rift so goods can be sent through, not just people.”
“Can you do that?”
“I don’t know, but I might.”
The ascender known as Lord Flameblade stretched and let out a loud yawn, the open air of the western fields, normally fresh and crisp, was tainted by whisps of smoke. Still, he didn’t mind, it was good to get out of the mansion now and again.
“Lord Flameblade,” a deep man’s voice said from behind him, “we finished on this side.”
“Oh good,” Flameblade replied, turning to face a mountain of a man who couldn’t have been more at contrast to the ascender if he’d tried. His hair was dark with streaks of white as age slowly caught up, compared to Flameblade’s light blonde. The ascender had a muscled, but agile build and wore simple trousers and a plain tunic while his counterpart wore blood splattered plate armor covered in recently made dents and scratches. Even his face was covered in various scars that spoke of years of combat and experience where Flameblade’s skin was smooth and unblemished like a noble. In all regards the casual observer would think the ascender the weaker of the two.
No one else would make that mistake.
Despite his size, the hard glare in his eyes and perpetual expression of disdain, he acted with deference towards Flameblade. And not just the politeness a military veteran might show a naïve politician, this was true respect that one would imagine only other warriors could earn.
“Why are they so far away,” flameblade asked, nodding past the armored man to where a group of others in similar armor, all showing signs of recent battle, stood, watching him nervously.
“You scare them, Lord,” the larger man replied, glancing past Flameblade to the field of smoldering bodies that were the man’s handywork.
“Your boys did well,” Flameblade countered, gesturing to the smaller pile of bodies the Knights had stacked up.
“Right,” the knight said carefully, “I was in their place once, you know, decades back.”
“And look where you are now,” Flameblade said cheerfully.
“Few of my fellow Slayer Knights survive from that period, and fewer still remember all that happened… When King Robert took the throne.”
“Oh,” the ascenders expression fell.
“I haven’t said anything-.”
“Then don’t,” Flameblade interrupted, “your memory of that time might not be as good as you think. Hard passage of years can muddle ones recollection.”
“Of course, Lord,” the man bowed his head, the most he could do easily with his armor on, “I meant no disrespect.”
Flameblade sighed as the large knight retreated, turning to look at the field of monster bodies. After a moment he decided that he needed to fight more and vanished, as if he’d been little more than a mirage.
“Welcome to the church of Dalvos,” Lex said cheerfully as she led Gregory into a large chapel atop the great stone of Templeholm. Dozens of people scurried around on various tasks, some replacing candles that had burned down over the night, others sweeping the floor and still others spoke in hushed tones with other priests.
“Sister,” an older man approached them, speaking to Lex, before Gregory could respond, “are you here to assist with the Vier-Mutts?”
“Are they acting up already?” Lex asked, “I thought we had another couple years.”
“So you aren’t here following a Sign?”
“I am, but I thought it was for this man,” she nodded towards Gregory, “newly arrived Ascender who met up with the convoy I was guarding. Thought the sign was so I could bring him here.”
“The gods often accomplish many things with one sign,” the older man smiled, turning towards Gregory, “greetings Master Ascender. Are you here to try and earn the blessing of the Protector?”
“Thinking about it,” Gregory shrugged, “I found out recently just how… little power I have. And how much I need.”
“He jumped in to save the convoy from Arch-Wolves,” Lex explained, “wasn’t even a part of it at the time. I think he’d make an excellent Herald of Dalvos.”
“I see,” the older priest said, “are you familiar with how blessings work?”
“Only what I was told at the Church of Guidance.”
“They are good at covering the general information, but every god’s blessing is different. If you like I can explain the details of it to you this evening. With the Mutts coming we need all the help we can get.”
“A recurring monster hoard that descends on the kingdoms from the north every decade or so,” the priest explained.
“If the Slayer Knights are pulling north it would explain the Arch-Wolves that attacked the caravan,” Lex nodded.
“Indeed, there are always too few protectors and too many who need our protection. Such is our charge.”
“Well, I’m happy to help out, blessing or not,” Gregory said, “but I’m unsure how much help I can be.”
“Ascenders are known to grow fast, especially in the crucible of combat. If you are willing to help I’m sure the Sister here will be willing to train you, even if you don’t ultimately join our order.”
“I also promised him a new spear, his broke defending the convoy I was charged with,” Lex added.
“Easily done,” the priest nodded, “if the spear-tip is still intact finding a new haft is a simple matter. Sister, if you’ll show him to the guest quarters I’ll see what I can arrange.”
“Of course,” Lex replied as Gregory handed over his peace bound spear point. Despite not being a full weapon, it still needed to be bound, apparently.
“This your God Gifted weapon?” the older priest asked, inspecting the weapon, “I don’t recognize the style.”
“It was the one given to me by the fairy when I first arrived, if that’s what you mean,” Gregory replied, “are those weapons special?”
“Hardly,” the priest smiled, “the messengers of the gods steal them from craftsmen all over the world.”
“Many will leave out ‘good enough’ weapons for the fae to steal, so they don’t take their better works,” Lex added with a smirk.
“Indeed,” the priest nodded, “I should have a replacement haft by morning. We can discuss the Blessing of Dalvos then.”
“How much will it cost?” Gregory asked.
“Nonsense,” the priest waved off his offer of payment, “any who are willing to risk themselves to protect the people of this realm may stay here without charge.”
“How long do we have until the Vier-Mutts make their move?” Lex asked as the priest pocketed the spear tip.
“The Slayer knights are preparing a scouting force to go out, end of next week. I expect we won’t have more than a month past that, but only the gods know for certain. Your brothers and sisters have been arriving constantly.”
“Sounds like the horde will appear soon then.”
“Indeed, only a fool would go north in these conditions.”
“Extra sword, check,” Nathen said, looking over his pack, “a week of rations, incase I can’t find anything to hunt, check… Water, flint and steel, rope… all check. All I’m missing is a ten-foot pole,” he chuckled to himself, before tossing the pack over his shoulder.
“So now, to find some mountains,” he continued, looking over the plains that surrounded Templeholm, “ah, there they are. Time to find this legendary blade!”
With that he began walking North.
***** Discord - Patreon *****
submitted by Arceroth to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:23 observerO__o Why is it so challenging for me to let go of negative experiences? Is it a INTJ thing?

Now of course everyone is conscious about how others treat them, but I am curious if for intjs it often turns into a paralyzing over analysis of self-image when we face someone who does not treat us the way we want them to. I for one need to be absolutely certain how others perceive me and treat me. It works with most people, even with my professors. I demand respect and serious talks so people either avoid me or if confronted they treat me the exact way I expect them to i.e, they don't mess with me and don't talk garbage. It's not like I am asking them to act like this when they confront me, but something about my aura make them do so anyway. Now of course there are exceptions to it. I found that sociopathic people truly do not care. They fail to see the person as who they are and see everyone with their rose tainted glasses. However, when such people bully me or treat me harshly, I just cannot help it but over analyze why they acted such way. A part of me want to let go, other part of me never stops thinking why they treated me such way. I don't know if it makes much sense, to wrap this up, I can still remember every negative memory of my past, compared to good ones, and it's difficult to let go of them, it's difficult to not analyze them even if its worthless act of ego soothing.
submitted by observerO__o to intj [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:17 ShadowMere28 [F4A] Upcoming witch gets her first quest [Fantasy] [Knight Listener] [Magic] [Vulnerable]

Synopsis: A village hunter comes to a tavern to find help for their village’s trouble, but ends up finding an overconfident witch, Mindy. She later mellows and accepts.
Listener context: You’re a knight from a village where many maidens have gone missing! You’ve travelled to seek aid from magical guilds. Speaker context: You are the witch Mindy, daughter of the greatest hero of all. You desperately want to live up to your mother’s legend, so you want to take the quest to prove yourself.
Usage; * Monetisation of recordings is fine, just as long as I can see it. * Feel free to include background music or sound effects, have fun with it! * If you have any questions, just let me know.
(Door opens and tavern noises are heard, the faint clattering of cutlery, the various mutterings of dozens of conversations)
Hello and welcome to Crowfell’s Tavern, where the prices are so good and drinks are so tasty you’ll feel like home! My name is Mindy, can I get you a table?
(Short pause for response)
Oh? Y-You don’t want anything from the bar? Then why did you—
(Short pause for response)
Oh! This is about a quest offer! Well why didn’t you say so?! Come with me, come with me!
(Both people sit down on chairs)
Normally those who come in looking for people to take on quests head for the guilds of this town, there’s a lot of them. I imagine you’ve heard of a few? See that lady over there with purple hair? She’s the leader of the Arctic Fox Guild, you’ve probably heard of them. She’s so famous for completing every single mission she takes on…but let me level with you. I’ve been here all my life and I know that woman’s no good. Yeah she completes the quests, but she’s a total flirt! No no, she will not do for your quest.
(Clicks tongue)
Now your second thought may be that burly man over there in the corner? Yeah him, the one with pitch black hair and a scar over one eye, looks super cool doesn’t he? To you he looks like the definition of masculinity, absolutely covered in swagger and gawking ladies? Well, believe it or not he’s a total softie! That scar he has, that wasn’t some awesome battle wound from fighting a vicious hellbeast or whatever, no, it was a violin string!
(She laughs)
Can you imagine?! Playing the violin and suddenly the string flies off and gives you a scar! What a loser!
(She clears her throat)
No no, none of these super serious guilds around here will do. What you need for this quest is a more personal touch. Just one person to venture out and do it all herself, I-I mean, themselves. What do you think?
(Short pause for response)
That would be too dangerous for one person? Really now. Actually, you never told me what this quest actually is. Is it like a monster to slay? Maybe a town full of ruffians you need sorted out? Or maybe even a princess locked away in a tower? What is the quest?
(Pause for response)
Hmm, maidens from your home village have been going missing? Well that’s not a lot to go on. It could just be village girls playing a prank you know? They go off and hide in some den together and laugh when their families go crazy with worry. There is a chance it might be nothing at all, just some harmless fun. Actually…this could be my test of character. There is a chance that it could be nothing, but there’s also a chance it could be some monster or big villain and it could be my time to shine! Yes, I see it now! The people go crazy in their thanks to the hero, who valiantly saved the maidens from the clutches of the villain! The Great Witch Mindy!
(Pause for response)
Yeah yeah, saving the lives of those defenceless women is part of it, but you can’t live off of goodwill. If I do this and I’m praised as a hero, I can finally quit this job and become a fulltime witch! Right, I’ll take the quest! It’ll be my time to prove myself! I just know I have what it takes to be the Great Witch! Just like my mother—
(Long pause)
L-Let me talk to you after my shift ends. It’s quite late so it won’t be too long. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll get you a drink to pass the time. No no, you don’t need to pay for it, my treat. In return, wait here until I’m finished. Okay?
(Short pause for response)
Okay, thank you. Just wait here and I’ll speak to you soon.
(Fade to slience)
(Soft fire crackling for a small bit before Mindy sits down)
Sorry for the wait, but that’s me done for today. Thank you for waiting for me, i-it really means a lot. You’re probably wondering why I’m so deadset on doing this quest just myself when you likely had a whole guild in mind. Well...okay listen up. I have a reputation around here as being hard and tough, so you better not let any of this get out, you got that?
(Short pause for response)
Good. Now, you may think I’m this big tough witch who takes nothing from no one, devil may care kind of loner? Well, the truth’s my mother. My mother was the Great Witch Vera, you’ve probably heard of her?
(Short pause for response)
Yeah, yeah that Vera. Greatest hero of all time, idolised by everyone who knew her and always knew what to do in every scenario. Well, you can imagine with a lineage like that there’s a lot of pressure on her daughter to be just as great. But, I never was. No matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, I could never reach her. It’s not like I was terrible, not at all, I was a Straight B student. For other witches that would’ve been excellent...but not the future Great Witch. No, mum was always critical, no matter how hard I wanted to impress her. After nineteen years of that, I snapped. I yelled at her, I don’t even remember what it was now, but it ended up with…
(She sniffs)
That was a year ago and I’ve been here ever since, Mindy the Barmaid. I haven’t spoken to her in all this time, guess I’m afraid of what she’ll say to me.
(Short pause for response)
I don’t need your pity, all I need is this chance. If I do this myself, I get noticed. I get noticed, I’ll get more quest offers. I finish more quests, I’ll get noticed more and more. My reputation will grow and then...I’ll go speak to my mum. I need to prove that I’m good enough! I’ll be a great witch without her! When she sees how amazing I am, she’ll want to make up with me!
That’s why I want this, it’s too personal to leave it alone. Do you understand what I mean? I have to do this and finally show once and for all that I’m worth it!
(Pause for response)
D-Did you just say that? Y-You want to do it as a team?! What are you saying? Do you even know how to fight?!
(Short pause for response)
A sword-fighter, huh? You any good?
(Short pause for response)
Best hunter in your village? Well if you do say so yourself, haha. I mean, I guess this is your problem, I don’t see an issue. Now that I think about it, my mum always did have a partner! The Great Witch Vera and her Brave Knight Nadine. Nadine’s my auntie. She always did quests as a team, so I could use a brave knight of my own! The Great Witch Mindy and her Brave Knight...erm...what’s your name?
(Short pause for response)
That name sounds perfect! You can be my Brave Knight! Well what do you say, Brave Knight, ready to go on our first quest?! Who am I kidding, of course we are! Let’s go right now!!
submitted by ShadowMere28 to ASMRScriptHaven [link] [comments]