Grand living sugar land

Practical Feng Shui

2012.05.19 20:20 Practical Feng Shui


2016.12.16 19:42 tiowey Agronomy on the Red Planet and related topics

Mars, like Earth, has a variety of soils. How can we make those soils produce food and what are the intersections of the potential living environment with air, water, biota and poo? What is every possible question or answer about the fine regolith of Mars? Let's inform one other!

2013.02.14 07:38 Hüsker Dü

A sub-reddit dedicated to discussing the band Hüsker Dü, and their other associated acts (Sugar, Nova Mob, Gang Font feat. Interloper, and their solo acts).

2023.06.03 16:19 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 90

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Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.

Chapter 90: Death Of Death
The frozen chamber became a blur as I performed a beautiful, if involuntary roll in the air, before promptly finding myself engulfed in the familiar cushions which were Coppelia's arms.
It wasn't the softest of catches. But it wasn't the softest of landings, either. Because my arrival caused her–and me–to be driven right into the deep snow beneath us.
A concerning sound greeted our combined impact … and yet that was little compared to the almighty noise of the Snow Dancer's embarrassing demise!
An echoing crescendo like no other filled my ears. And no wonder.
Falling before me had been a shower of sharpened hailstones, clattering viciously against the spot where she’d stood. The chamber groaned as the weight of so much frozen snow hurtled back down meant an eruption which blanketed the air in a veil thicker than any fog or steam.
Even so, one noise rose above the din like an ocean wave amidst a storm.
“Ahahahahaha … hahahahah … aahaahahahahah!~”
Coppelia's muffled laughter greeted me before my head even popped out of the snow.
The only joy was I couldn't see anything. And yet I could still all too easily imagine her slapping the snow in rabid amusement even as she lay buried in it.
“Ahahaha … hahahahaah … ahahahaha~”
I pursed my lips as the laughter washed over me.
Perhaps I should remain buried in the snow? At least then I wouldn't have to witness her expression as the fog cleared.
“Uff … hrrghh … ughhh ...”
I put the temptation aside as I slowly rose from the snow, using Starlight Grace as a guiding star as I dug myself out. Still, it clung to me like vines entangled around a branch as I released myself piecemeal, arms and torso first, followed lastly by my legs as I slowly extracted myself.
Finally, I pulled my foot out.
A bare foot.
Horrified, I crawled back into the hole and retrieved my boot. Then, after ensuring my footwear was back where it belonged, I shook my head to remove the white hat that'd formed atop my hair.
To … To think that I'd almost been sighted without my boot of authority!
My soles symbolised my power!
Without it, I'd be nothing but an extremely beautiful maiden!
Quietly thanking the mist which engulfed the chamber, I rose to my feet and assessed the state of the chamber. There was nothing to see other than a thick shroud of white. And so it fell to my expert foot poking technique to draw out any pertinent information.
All I felt were holes. Many, many holes.
“Hm hm hm hm hmm ♫.”
Yes, I was in a very good mood.
And why not?
I'd just sent a finely crafted hailstorm crashing down onto the Snow Dancer! And judging by the many pits I could feel with the tip of my boot, the A-rank sword saint had become an A-rank emmental!
“Ohohohoho! Behold! My ability to cut snow as I would my award winning clay busts! Foolish woman! No matter how many centuries you live, you can never hope to use the elements to defeat me!”
I filled the chamber with my mocking laughter, allowing it to echo throughout the mist. And rightfully so!
To think that my [Winter Snow Shovel] could so readily counterattack an ability with such a frightful name as [Gravity Reversal]! Why, this not only proved that naming conventions were utterly irrelevant, but that Starlight Grace proved the superior weapon!
An elven sword with a sapphire pommel? An impressive thing. But compared to the splendour of ruby, there was no contest! Not only was the gemstone I sported costlier on every market, but my sword was a thing of stories!
True, I may not remember any … but that hardly matters! Even an elven sword was pedestrian compared to Starlight Grace's long history! And as soon as I returned to the Royal Villa, I would inquire as to what they were … in order to add my own!
Yes, my own place in my family's proud legacy was now secure.
With only a gardening technique, I had defeated a sword saint. Such a humiliating loss for her needed to be sung by minstrels the world over. Did it matter if I hadn't actually struck her with my blade? No, of course not. That only made my victory even more worthy of applause.
But just in case it did matter, well–
“Oooph … that was close!”
The Snow Dancer was willing to provide me another opportunity.
Instantly, all the mist was swept aside to the sound of a blade singing through the air.
In its place, I saw an elven woman standing upon the precipice of a thousand tiny craters in the floor.
“I mean, seriously,” said Ophelia, wiping a bead of non-existent sweat from her brows. “I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel there, and let me tell you, it was a lot whiter than I thought it'd be!”
I was outraged.
“Why are you still standing?!” I demanded. “I just magnificently sent your own attack back into you! How dare you still be conscious! It wasn't just beautiful, it was poetic! Do … Do you have no sense for theatre?!”
I pointed below me.
There, peeking out from the snow, was the top of Coppelia's fluffy golden hair. A pair of turquoise eyes clearly blinked at the sight of the Snow Dancer still very much on her feet.
“Even my future handmaiden was mocking your demise! How do you think she feels knowing that her laughter is now wasted?! The embarrassment is palpable!”
Ophelia shrugged, wiping a smattering of snow from her shoulders. The only harm to come to her.
“I'm good at dancing. Especially on snow.”
“You danced out of the way?”
“Name's the game. Granted, I never knew I was good at dancing out of the way of my own [Gravity Reversal], but it's good to know that's a thing I can do now. You know, the next time absolutely nobody is going to turn my own technique into an ice storm. How did you do that?”
I raised Starlight Grace.
“Through effort and countless hours dedicated to my craft,” I replied, incensed that she lacked the common decency to even feign being deceased. “And if you enjoyed the spectacle, then I'll be delighted to demonstrate it to you once again!”
The elven woman wore a look of academic curiosity on her face.
“Oh? With your ice technique ... or perhaps your wind one? Gotta admit, that one almost hit me. Good thing I'm also fast, huh? A variable speed skill. It's more like a spell. That's impressive. I'm guessing it's your signature ability?”
“Quite so. I favour it for the removal of insects without the harming of leaves.”
The Snow Dancer smiled.
Then, she adjusted her feet, adopting a ready posture while sheathing her blade once more.
“I like you. It's been a long time since anybody's stopped my attacks. It's great! It's even enough to make me forget the boredom. And I've been so, so bored.”
I raised an eyebrow.
Yes, my gardening techniques were somewhat becoming more akin to Clarise's wild experiments than ways to shoo away caterpillars these days. I wouldn't deny that. But a sword saint should also be able to cut faster than the eye could follow.
This is not the impression I had so far. Had her foes been so poor that they'd simply accepted their fates without so much as a look of indignation?
“I believe the quality of your opponents have been severely lacking,” I said, quite honestly.
She beamed.
“I think so, too.”
Brimming with joyful, murderous intent, a newly made circle of pure golden flames suddenly erupted around the Snow Dancer's figure. Snow melted around her in a blazing ring, and yet the newly billowing smoke failed to hide the smile keener than any blade.
This, I knew, was not [Gravity Reversal].
“I mean, I'm pretty sure the boredom's driven me insane. Actually insane. Do you know how long it's been since I've actually spoken this much with someone? Actually spoken, that is. And not whatever weird stuff I say when I'm speaking out loud. This is definitely the reason I'm still single.”
Suddenly, I felt my bangs rustling against my forehead as an unknown breeze swept through the chamber. It fell across the elven woman, lifting her own silver hair as though she were stood upon a clifftop.
“So, I'm feeling flashy! And since you've used your own signature ability, I'm going to do something special and use mine. I mean, I haven't done it for a while, so I hope you don't mind if I lose my footwork slightly. But well, I'm also not looking forward to being bored again, so maybe it's okay to miss just once.”
The Snow Dancer let out a short breath, her eyes closing.
When she opened them again, nothing could be seen of the blue irises.
Instead, they blazed with a golden light.
“Eh, who am I kidding,” said Ophelia, slowly drawing her sword, now glimmering with a light to match her eyes. “I never miss. After all ... mine is the sword to pierce the void, cutting a path through boundless infinity.
The elven woman pushed back on her heel.
Snow Helix Form, 10th Stance … [Yuleblade Dance].”
And then–she skipped.
In that moment, the very air between us shattered.
As if reality itself made way for her oncoming attack, everything between us cracked into a thousand fragments as viscerally as broken glass. The pieces floated with the grace of dandelion seeds, each shard a kaleidoscope of colour and dazzling light as hints of pure darkness appeared between the cracks.
As she skipped, she danced, the fragments of reality collected around her drawn sword as she spun. The shards gathered and coalesced around her blade, before trailing behind her as an exact mirror copy. And not just one.
They were endless.
I blinked.
In that moment, she had covered the distance between us. And I understood why Ophelia was more than a sword saint.
She was the Snow Dancer. And this was her ballroom.
Because as she approached, only the snow was undisturbed.
She glided upon it like a swan in a lake as behind her, countless copies of her sword trailing in her wake as she spun like a dancer with a ribbon.
Ophelia danced with footwork lighter than air.
And this time, there was no quelling with my scowl.
Innumerable swords twisted and ripped from reality followed her like deadly marionettes upon strings, each poised in an executing attack. Even if one blade was stopped, those that followed would continue unhindered. Her [Yuleblade Dance] was not a strike, but an ode to death as she elegantly skipped and twirled towards me.
This was indeed a problem.
For her.
Because if the Snow Dancer wished to dance, then she needed an invitation.
My …. was what I was seeing true?
A mere titled commoner, lower than the lowest of nobility, daring to assume she could dance with me?
The … The sheer nerve! The cheek! The absolute disrespect!
I could put up with holes in the ceiling! Minotaurs robbing me! Rusty traps trying to murder me!
But for the Snow Dancer to not know dancing etiquette was an absolute travesty to common decency! Who did she bribe to attain her title?!
There was protocol! Heaps of it! More than could be written in any rulebook!
To do away with social convention with such callous disregard was an insult to my status and time! Inquiries needed to be made! Courtesies exchanged! Gifts rendered! Did she not realise how staggeringly popular I was?!
Why, the waiting list to dance with me stretched longer than the walls of the Royal Villa! During a soirée, the queue stretched so far that a sign denoting waiting time needed to be utilised!
No … were this a clash of swordsmanship, then I'd have no answer.
But if this was a dance, then I was peerless.
Because while snow was this woman's ballroom, this entire kingdom was my court. And upon it, I chose who to dance with.
As the sword saint neared and reality bent to her will, I refused to humour her request.
With Starlight Grace raised, I adopted a pose in readiness. The Snow Dancer smiled in response, skipping towards me as her silver sword stood poised to meet my heart.
And then–
I turned and stuck my leg out.
“...... Huh?”
The Snow Dancer blinked.
The next moment, all I saw of the elven woman was her bewildered expression as my foot caught her ankle.
Here it was! My ultimate ability! … Again!
[Princess Rejection]!!
Absolute refusal of all uninvited solicitations without first having adhered to correct social formalities!
Faced with instincts hardened through years of declining the ungracefulness of lesser nobility at our soirées, I turned as I would should a mere baroness seek to catch me unawares–before inconspicuously sending her toppling, publicly maintaining deniability while also leaving no doubt as to what I'd done!
But for the Snow Dancer, it wasn't the smooth marble floor of the Royal Villa which met her tumbling fall.
Instead–the sword saint flew uncontrollably forwards, crashing violently face first into a very large and very hard pillar.
As she met the ancient stonework to an eruption of snow, dust and rubble, a crack worthy of a wince sounded throughout the chamber.
Then came the swords waltzing in her wake.
They smashed into and through the pillar. A groan of broken masonry sounded as the elven-woman shaped indent in the pillar fully shattered and broke. Chunks of rubble collapsed atop the prone sword saint, burying her in a mound worthy of a tombstone.
A dollop of snow fell as the dust cleared. And after a long moment, all that could be spied within the mess of broken stone was a small bed of silver hair covered in a blanket of misery.
I peered, waiting for the movement.
The reprisal.
The obstinacy of an A-rank sword saint who escaped shattering hailstorms and blasts of wind as easily as a cat leaping from fence to fence.
Instead, all I received was a pitiful groan.
“...... Uuuuhhhhh …...”
I waited.
And then–
I raised my hand to my lips.
Indeed, the soirée was a battleground of sabotage as nobility warred with a deftness of feet to put even the Snow Dancer to shame!
And I danced greater than them all!
Off to the side, an extremely unhelpful clockwork doll stole my laughter.
At some point, she'd extracted herself from the snow and was now a white barrel, rolling to and fro as she occasionally slapped her palms down around her.
“Ahhahahahaha … ahahhahahah … ahhahaahhaahh ...”
I pursed my lips, considered waiting for her amusement to subside … then decided to continue laughing as well.
Why, if I intended to mock my fallen opponent regardless, then I may as well do so while my future handmaiden could join me in a derisive chorus!
“Behold, Coppelia! See how the inelegant fall to their own naïvety! The woman may be a sword saint, but in the end, she possessed the oafishness of countryside nobility! Against my fleet footwork, she had as much hope of victory as she did against the stars!”
“Ahahaha … I can … I can see that … ahahah … it was … it was … just as I expected … ahahahahha~”
I winced.
N-Naturally, her confidence in me was well placed!
Even so, I preferred that she endeavour to rush to my assistance whenever I was faced with mortal peril. Clearly, work was needed. While a handmaiden who knew not to take away from my limelight was a valuable asset, there was also ample opportunity to demonstrate unerring loyalty by wilfully throwing herself against foes.
But like all things, there was a queue to my time.
And so–to matters at hand.
“Come, Coppelia!” I said, turning from the bundle of silver hair as a fresh heap of snow landed on her groaning form. “Aquina's treasury awaits! Only a single door now seeks to stand between us and our rightfully owed taxes!”
Suddenly, Coppelia looked up from her freshly rolled bed of snow.
The smile she wore elevated upwards by several degrees. Her eyes glittered with the promise of revelry. And for me, that was more worrisome than any sword saint.
“Actually, I don't think the door's going to be a problem.”
I blinked.
Then, I turned fully around–only to witness the arched door to Aquina's vault parting, its great weight shovelling snow out of its path as easily as a dragon's tail.
Quack, quack. Quack, quack.
As it opened, a fluffy white duck waddled in through the gap.
A moment later, the vault fully revealed itself, and then I saw to whom its allegiance was sworn.
Because basking beneath streams of moonlight was the figure of someone I'd never seen before. A woman whose beautiful appearance elicited no recognition from me.
Still, I knew who she was without question.
After all, I was royalty.
And I could sense when another of my stature was present. Especially when she sat on a makeshift throne of snow and coins, possessed dazzling wings of mirror-like beauty, and wielded a fine crystal teacup in her hand.
The Winter Queen, it seems, had come to the Kingdom of Tirea.

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2023.06.03 16:12 UnformedStorm26 Most well-written piece of dialogue in the Red Dead series

The monologue Landon Rickets gives in Undead Nightmare is probably the best written and most badass piece of dialogue you can find in the entire Red Dead Redemption series.
“You know John, I’ve lived a long life. I’ve seen this land when it was just wilderness and scrub. I’ve seen missionaries nailed to crosses by Shaman and burnt into just the cinders of their misguided devotion. I’ve seen slaves get set free and return to a bondage more confusing than the one they left behind. I’ve seen diseases wipe out entire communities in a weekend. I’ve seen bad men make their own Valhalla out in the bush, with harems of maidens and the hunting of men as a sport. I’ve seen men struggle with principles and morals and the very meaning of existence. I’ve killed all that can be killed. throws stick of dynamite into building But I have never in all my natural born days seen anything quite like this.”
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2023.06.03 16:12 mattyrums HCS Global Invitational at DreamHack Dallas Megathread - June 3rd - Day 2

Welcome to the CompetitiveHalo HCS Global Invitational at DreamHack Dallas Megathread - June 3rd - Day 2!
If there is any additional information you find helpful please post and our mod team will update this thread throughout the event!
HCS Socials
Follow Along
Pools & Rosters
Pool Play
Championship Bracket
Gametypes and Maps
Twitch Drops
submitted by mattyrums to CompetitiveHalo [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:11 Time-Elephant92 How to fix Rex while keeping balance?

I’ve been thinking of ways to help fix my favorite dinosaur who is currently a walking joke. One of the largest terrestrial land predators to ever exist and it has to live in fear of pachy, megs, ceras, literally anything outside of other apexes. Even the other apexes tend to overpower Rex. As a Rex player, you are pretty much stuck to staying near rivers, lakes, and canyons so that you have a place to park your ass if you get attacked. Rex is also too slow to hunt anything, and can only kill if it’s prey chooses to be hunted and engage. This is broken, and I’ve been thinking of solutions.
  1. What about some kind of fear mechanic? If you’re small enough then you get a fear build up when close to an apex like Rex. Maybe Rex has a roar or something to speed it up. When the fear builds up enough the game forces you to flee or maybe you get big speed debuff unless you flee yourself.
  2. Faster sprint, faster stamina drain. I was playing my speed Alio the other day, and a couple of EO’s came to interrupt my hunt. The EO charge attack has the massive beast run faster than my speed alio running full out. While that is broken itself, it doesn’t make any sense that Rex, a hunter, has an anemic charge in comparison. If a Rex charge could have it catch larger midsize prey then it would actually be able to hunt. This doesn’t even have to be a charge ability. I’d propose a much faster sprint for Rex (and most large carni), with a much faster stamina drain. Basically you run out and try to land your bone snap. If you land it, you get to eat and if not you are out of gas and have to wait for another opportunity.
  3. Regular bite does bone snap on smaller Dinos. Let’s be real. If a Rex lands a bite on a dino like pachy, it should be crippled. Same goes for a tail swipe. If small dino’s have speed and agility and Rex is going to be slow and hard to turn, then the price of getting munched should be very high.
  4. Quieter movement. How on earth is Rex supposed to hunt if everything within a mile knows it’s there? Make the movement quieter while Rex walks. That’s also fits the survival nature of the game. Players need to keep their head on a swivel, not just turn their speakers up.
For those who will say it’s not balanced…it shouldn’t be. Balance means that every dino should be able to win against any other if the situation is right or the skill is high enough. That shouldn’t be. You should be able to fight things in your weight class or slightly above/slightly below. If you are way bigger then you can’t catch it, if you are way smaller than you just run away.
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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.
submitted by gweleif to gamedev [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:08 Ok_Independent5273 Elbaf, Land of Warriors, is where all the Great Pirates will meet and form the Final War Alliance

Law (carried by sulong Bepo) whilst escaping from Blackbeard Pirates, runs into a Totto Land warship.
We learn Captain Katakuri had stabilised the situation back in Totto Land, and immediately launched a military operation to save Pudding. He's being trying to hunt the Blackbeard Pirates using the intelligence network he now commands.
I have no idea how Law proposes an alliance, especially as he is responsible for the death(?) of Big Mom and therby this very situation. I have some ideas: 1) Tells Katakuri they both have a mutual enemy. 2) Informs Katakuri that BB has 3 Road Ponegryph readings. Therefore, BB is looking for the last Road Ponegryph. Only Law knows where the man who has that final Road Ponegryph is located (man marked by flames). If they know the location of the man they're looking for, then that is where BB will be as well. Forcing Katakuri to keep Law and Bepo alive and requiring him to form an alliance. 2.5) (Katakuri doesn't like Big Mom, so he might even like Law for defeating her) 3) Former Big Mom Pirates + Law + Blackbeard Pirates are now headed to Elbaf. Aka, Yonko Shanks territory (+ where Kid already is).
Bonus theory: I assume the Strawhats will be going to Elbaf after the Egghead Island incident. Either by mistake or by design, as Giant country is the only place they can safely recuperate once the WG is enraged/ crazy. This could mean all the great Pirates will be gathering in Elbaf, the land of Warriors. I assume Cross Guild will also be headed to Elbaf either for some other reasons, or because they also know about the man marked in flames. Or because Mihawk wants to talk to Shanks. Regardless, at Elbaf, all the best Warriors of the Sea will meet up. And an Alliance against the World Government will form. (Directly due to the Egghead island revelations). Forming a war alliance in the land of Warriors just seems poetic and its safe from WG invasion as A) They'll have their hands full with the void century truths getting out(SWORD civil war), and B) They can't attack the Land of Giants. The Giant Army is the only other rival to the Marines after the Yonko.
The Leader of this Alliance could not be decided as there were too many egos involved. So a solution was proposed: Whomever finds the One Piece first, will be recognised as the leader of this Grand Alliance. Laughtale is the next big arc. The race for Pirate King.
submitted by Ok_Independent5273 to Piratefolk [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:08 Ok-Topic1610 Looking forward to seeing delusional friends lives go up in flames

Let me first tell you why one would like to see their friends lives go up in flames. These two people, a genuinely lovely couple, have decided to procreate because the man is of the opinion “that’s what you’re supposed to do now” (they’re in their early thirties) and “I don’t think anyone ACTUALLY wants to have kids, so it’s not so much about wanting kids as it’s a part of life, like a trauma all people share” (like umm no there are millions of people who really LONG for kids and if you think it’s a trauma, maybe you… you know… shouldn’t get kids…?). He also does it “as a sacrifice, unselfishly, for his wife’s sake”. The woman has decided she wants kids partly because she really wants a kid, but also partially because she got burnt out at her job and no longer could live up to the expectations of herself as a business woman and is now looking for a new role in life. She has claimed she finally have understood her true purpose in life and that “all that matters now is being a mother and that is finally her new role”. I see a high risk for this to blow up in both their faces and at first it stressed me out a lot, just seeing them go down this hill. It scared me, seeing how they might potentially be INCREDIBLY unprepared for their parental roles and their expectations being totally off. But now we’ve crossed into a land where I’ve stopped caring if theirs lives turn into a living hell. Like, the mother proposed we go mountain hiking at a time when she would be SEVEN MOTNHS pregnant? Like… she could go into early labor and DIE? They’re talking about how they’ll go traveling and hiking and they normally don’t even travel a lot, and never hikes, so this just feels like a crazy gut reaction to change. They’ve just bought an apartment on the FIFTH floor without an elevator. And they can’t store the stroller at ground floor either, so they’ll be forced to bring the kid and stroller five stories up and down every time they leave the apartment. I mean… I know couples who’ve moved away from apartments on the second floor just because it’s too fucking draining to drag stroller and baby up the stairs everyday. And like 5 stairs? The kid will be four years old before he could climb those himself? It’s just straight up delusional. And they keep saying things like “it’s unnecessary to reflect over what you really want in life” And now they have the balls to tell my CF friend she is unhappy because everyone is getting babies except her? And we’re both very much enjoying our child free lives and plan to continue doing so. My CF friend is unhappy for completely other, unrelated reasons. And she told me, they were just glowing with gloat when she told them she was sad, like it proved their point that her CF life made her unhappy. Then I just felt, you know what, make your choices in life and I hope you’ll be happy with them. But if you’re not? I’ll just watch your life go up in flames from afar. And I will feel literally no pity for you, because you really knowingly walked right into it. Just needed to vent.
submitted by Ok-Topic1610 to childfree [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:07 BasedChurchill M747 - Motion to Condemn Israel's Annual 'Flag March' - Division

Motion to Condemn Israel's Annual 'Flag March'

That this House:
(1) condemns the annual ‘Flag March’ through Palestinian neighbourhoods of Occupied East Jerusalem marked by widespread racist and islamophobic chants, including “Death to Arabs,” “We will burn your village” and “Muhammad is dead”;
(2) further condemns the frequent attacks on Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem by marchers, and attacks on journalists; noting with deep concern the endorsement and participation in the march of members of the Israeli Government as well as encouraging inflammatory remarks against Palestinians;
(3) recognises the deep historical, religious, and cultural significance of East Jerusalem to the Palestinian people, and acknowledges their right as recognised under international law;
(4) decries any form of provocation, incitement, or actions that exacerbate tensions and promote hate against the Arabs and instability in the region, and considers the conduct of Israeli ‘Flag March’ in Occupied East Jerusalem to fall under such category;
(5) recognises the failure of the Israeli Government to issue its own condemnation of these events and to take action to prevent them, and believes this failure is indicative of broader discrimination against Palestinians in government policy which Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory have all concluded to be the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.
The House calls on the government:
(1) to demand the Israeli Government to respect the cultural and religious sensitivities of the Palestinian people living in East Jerusalem and to cease actions which disrupt peace and harmony by issuing sanctions;
(2) to work with humanitarian organisations and utilise its diplomatic relations with its international partners through the United Nations to advocate for the discontinuation of such potentially inflammatory events and behaviour by Israelis;
(3) to reconsider its current economic relations with Israel, including the potential suspension of specific trade agreements and restrictions on arms exports until Israel complies with international law and the rights of Palestinians are duly respected’
(4) to take a stronger stance on this issue, including bringing it to the attention of the UN Security Council for potential action and resolutions;
(5) to support, both financially and politically, credible NGOs such as United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) as well as humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.
This Motion was written and submitted by the Most Hon. EruditeFellow, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and sponsored by the Rt. Hon. ARichTeaBiscuit, Shadow Secretary of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of His Majesty’s 37th Most Loyal Opposition.
Opening Speech:
Deputy Speaker,
I stand before you today feeling compelled to do so by a strong sense of moral obligation and by a moral necessity to address the level of turmoil, derision and cruelty that ensues from the annual 'Flag March' through the Palestinian neighbourhoods of Occupied East Jerusalem.
The dark and sinister undercurrent of the march is not hidden by any means. It is heralded by chants of unabashed bigotry, a symphony of hate. The very essence of these chants strikes a chilling and frightening chord of hostility, discrimination, and malice. But this dissonance of disregard does not end at the borders of words. It overflows into an onslaught of violence, a tornado of injustices, and an avalanche of fear. The bulk of this storm does not just fall on the Palestinians. As the storytellers of our shared human experience, journalists are also not exempt. To make matters worse, members of the Israeli government, both past and present, have actively supported and joined this march. Their inflammatory remarks against Palestinians add fuel to the already raging inferno of hate.
Deputy Speaker, we must recognise the historical, religious, and cultural significance of East Jerusalem to the Palestinian people, a significance that finds its roots intertwined with their very identity. We must acknowledge their right to this land, a right enshrined in international law, a right that whispers their claim to their ancestral home and we must decry, with the full force of our collective voice, any form of provocation, incitement, or actions that stir the pot of animosity, actions that fan the flames of hate, actions that push the precarious balance of this volatile region towards chaos.
The Israeli Government's failure to condemn these events but engage in dangerous rhetoric inciting violence is an international travesty of our rules-based order. Their failure to prevent these inciteful events is not merely a failure of governance. It represents a failing of justice, empathy, and compassion. It is a symptom of a larger discrimination against Palestinians, which Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have all classified as the crime of Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians.
I now urge the government to cease hiding behind the darkness of tyranny and injustice and to stand boldly as a guiding light of justice and humanity. The British Government must exert pressure on the Israeli Government to stop acting in ways that disturb peace and to respect the cultural and religious sensibilities of the Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem. In the face of corruption, we must use sanctions as a vehicle of peace and justice.
Britain must collaborate with humanitarian organisations and leverage its diplomatic relations with its international partners through the United Nations, to advocate for the discontinuation of such potentially inflammatory events and behaviour by Israelis in the interest of safeguarding human life.
We must reconsider our current economic relations with Israel, to consider the suspension of specific trade agreements, to contemplate restrictions on arms exports until Israel complies with international law and the rights of Palestinians are duly respected. Remaining idle on the matter risks Britain’s position on the international stage – we risk being recognised as supporters of the suffering being enacted against Palestinians.
This Government must take a stronger stance on this issue. We simply cannot stand idle while the echoes of our words dissipate into the ether of inaction. As the Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour put it, "Every action we take now matters. Every word we utter matters. Every decision we delay matters".
Deputy Speaker, most states consider Israel's settlements on land it won in a war with the Arab nations in 1967 to be illegal. Israel rejects that and cites security reasons as well as referencing its biblical connections to the West Bank. But we must keep in mind that it is up to us to prevent historical accounts from serving as the chains that tie us to a future of strife and division.
We must extend our support, both financially and politically, to credible NGOs and humanitarian efforts working tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. To stand by them in their hour of need is not merely an act of charity, but an act of justice, an act of humanity, an act of hope.
I implore you to heed the call of justice, to listen to the cry of humanity, to feel the pulse of the world. Let us not be the bystanders in the theatre of history. Let us be the actors who shape it. Let us be the voice that calls out against injustice, the hand that reaches out in aid, the heart that feels the pain of our fellow human beings. And let us, in our actions today, lay the foundation for a future of peace, justice and hope.
This division will end on 6th June at 10pm BST.
submitted by BasedChurchill to MHOCMP [link] [comments]

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.
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Patreon Arxur POV of the Cradle Series wiki Official subreddit Discord
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2023.06.03 16:01 XoxoAllOverYourPussy sanandreas community got to help each other more (?)

sanandreas community got to help each other more (?) submitted by XoxoAllOverYourPussy to sanandreas [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:59 IronGhost828 Something I really want to see in the sequels

One idea that's always fascinated me has been the idea of a Navi clan teaming up with the RDA.
Imagine it; a clan has become disillusioned or lost their faith in Ewya and/or sees the RDA conquest as inevitable, so they form an alliance with them. They have their warriors learn to use guns and have them fight alongside RDA troops. They'd be like the Recoms, but native.
I mean, in real life, I'm pretty sure there were Native American tribes who sided with the colonists during the various wars.
i even thought of a really cool fanfic that expands on this idea. It basically involves an outcast clan (no name yet) that has lost faith in Ewya to the point of hating her and seeing the other clans as mindless followerers. For this, they have been outcast and live in exile. They form an alliance with the RDA in the hopes of reclaiming their land while also destroying the Navi faith in Ewya. They even form a land contract with the RDA, where their clan's hometree and just enough land to naturally sustain the clan will be turned into a reserve (immune to colonization) and given to them. Ardmore is against this contract, due to that land already being part of the proposed human colony, but she is ultimately forced to give it up in order for the alliance to work. The clan leader (Olo'eyktan) provides 20 or so of it's best warriors (led by the leader's son) to join an elite RDA taskforce led by Quaritch (whom the clan refer to as "Qua-rich") and Wainfleet ("Way Feet") designed to hunt down Navi while the Olo'eyktan and his men provide escorts for the RDA's magnatrains. Meanwhile, the chief's daughter (following the advice of her mother, the clan's Tsahik) stays on Bridgehead along several other Navi to keep tabs on the alliance and help lead them.
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2023.06.03 15:53 No-Specialist38 sourcing hardworking, loyal, and morally ambiguous employees

if you were to start a farm to table business on some land suitable to and plants ranging from hemp/marijuana to micro greens to poppy and/or whatever else is profitable, how would you go about hiring budtenders / people that can be taught to process small batches of poppy / gardeners/ agriculturists that would work for pay plus living arrangements on the property? employees would need to be of average to above average intelligence, had the ability to separate morals and laws into two distinct things, loyal, and knows not to talk about work to a certain degree.
how would you go about vetting those people
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2023.06.03 15:52 Grabthars_Coping_Saw Your top five build/buy items and why

In no particular order:
  1. Beach Keen Dining Table (Island Living) - I play a lot of rags to....well, just rags - and this table is great for that style of gameplay.
  2. San Sequoia Classic Upright Piano (Growing Together) - who has room for a grand piano!? Plus, lots of excellent swatches.
  3. Classic Modern Fridge and Stove (Jungle Adventure) - I just like the look of these two matching appliances.
  4. Bog Log - I like to make fishing holes on my properties and Ooh look, turtle!
  5. Fireflies - IMO one of the most beautiful things in the entire franchise not just Sims 4.
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2023.06.03 15:49 EngineMain199 LPT - Embrace the Driver's Seat: In this journey called work, you are the captain of your ship. Embrace the wheel, navigate uncharted waters, and steer your career towards greatness.

Embrace the wheel, chart your course through uncharted waters like successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, who navigated Apple to greatness, and Serena Williams, who steered her career to numerous Grand Slam victories. Your decisions shape your destiny, so set sail towards your own remarkable triumphs.
In the vast work landscape, you have the authority to shape your destiny. Just like a determined chef crafting a signature dish that captivates diners or a dedicated athlete pushing boundaries to achieve sporting excellence, take the lead, explore uncharted territories, and navigate your career towards extraordinary success.
Here are some example Scenarios:
As a budding entrepreneur, you have the autonomy to develop and launch your own startup, making strategic decisions to steer it towards becoming a thriving business in a competitive market.
In the field of medicine, you take charge of your career by pursuing specialized research, pioneering innovative treatments, and making critical decisions that lead to breakthrough advancements in patient care.
As a creative professional, you embrace the driver's seat by fearlessly exploring new artistic styles, taking risks with unconventional projects, and ultimately carving your niche as a celebrated and influential figure in the industry.
In the realm of education, you navigate uncharted waters by introducing innovative teaching methods, designing captivating curriculum, and inspiring students to reach their full potential, leaving a lasting impact on their lives.
Within the corporate world, you seize the wheel of your career by taking on leadership roles, making strategic choices that drive organizational growth, and positioning yourself as a trusted decision-maker who shapes the company's success.
Remember, in this journey called work, you have the power to shape your own narrative, embrace new challenges, and steer your career towards greatness.
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2023.06.03 15:44 OnePieceFan2102 The Lunarians and Laugh Tale

Expanding my previous theory, I think Lunarians were the inhabitants of the Ancient Kingdom.The word "Lunarian" has the prefix "Luna-" in it.Luna means Moon in Spanish. There are three known races that have inhabited the moon before going to te Earth:Birkans,Shandorians,and Skypieans.But what if there was a fourth race?The Lunarians.These four are all the known races with wings(First picture:Birkan on the left,Shandorian on the middle,and Skypiean on the right).If you look at King(second picture),he also has wings,black wings.Maybe Lunarians wings are black due to evolution when they separated from the other races,or maybe they were black since the begging.Lunarian wings are very similar from Birkan wings. All of these four races left the Moon's because of lack of resources. The Birkans went to an sky island which they called Birka,the Skypieans went to Skypiea,and the Shandorians went to the island of Jaya,where they founded the Golden City of Shandora.But the Lunarians went to the Red Line. It is known that the Lunarians lived on the Red Line.And they founded their own kingdom,the Land of Gods,which the 20 noble families saw them as a threat,because or their technology (some of this technology was left on the Moon,as you can see in Enel's side story) and power.That's why the Wold Government keep searching for Lunarians and give a huge reward for any info about them. The exact location the Lunarians lived, was in the Reverse Mountain.That explain the square gates that were alongside the rivers(third picture).Like I said in my previous theory,this gates are decorated with tribal patterns very similar to the ones founded in the Moon and Shandora. JoyBoy was also a Lunarian or had to have some connections with them in the Ancient Kingdom.King,the last Lunarian alive,is waiting for Joy Boy,as shown in a conversation between Kaido and King. And lastly,I have a theory about the name of the Ancient Kingdom based on this events I have already told you.The name of this Ancient Kingdom,or at least the true name of Laugh Tale,or the true name of the Reverse Mountain,is "Fairy Vearth",Enel's desired land. Why do I think Fairy Vearth is located in the Reverse Mountain?First of all,as I said in my previous and first theory,Laugh Tale is located in the Reverse Mountain,(check my previous theory first)the place where the Lunarians used to live. Enel thought the Moon was Fairy Vearth,but he was wrong because that doesn't have any sense.Fairy Vearth is supposed to be a land full of "Vearth"(dirt,soil)where vegetation grows,unlike the sky islands where that cannot happen.Well,the Moon is very similar to the sky islands, nothing can grow in its soil. The former inhabitants of the Moon left because of that,lack of resources, nothing grew there. Oda loves deceiving us,like he did with the pronunciation of Laugh Tale.We all thought it was "Raftel"but we were wrong. Well,what if I told you there is one more pronunciation trick like the Raftel one? It is not know why the reverse mountain is called like that,"reverse".Reverse pronounced in Japanese is "Revasu".What about "Fairy Vearth".It is : "Fea Revasu"(try it on Google translator).
•CONCLUSION: Fairy Vearth is the name of the Ancient Kingdom founded by the Lunarians on the Reverse Mountain(Red Line) when they left the Moon alongside the other three races,and Laugh Tale is located there
submitted by OnePieceFan2102 to OnePiece [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:42 24Gameplay_ Property Investment: Diversifying for Financial Security and Growth

I use AI to write this and swot analysis
Hello, I would like to share an investment decision I made. I come from a small town but currently live in a metro city.
When I started searching for a house to purchase, I found that all the apartments with two bedrooms and a hall (2 BHK) were priced at a minimum of 1 crore, excluding additional costs like GST and registration fees(metro city) . The monthly EMI for a 20-year loan would exceed 80,000. This made me reconsider my options.
Instead of buying a flat, I decided to invest in a villa with land in my hometown. The villa, which has a land area of 1200 sq ft, cost me around 30-35 lakh. Additionally, I purchased a plot of land measuring 2000 sq ft at a beautiful hill station (not in my hometown). The monthly EMI for the combined investment would be around 35,000.
Currently, I am residing in a rented apartment in the metro city, which costs me approximately 25,000 per month. Considering all these expenses, my total monthly outflow would be around 60,000 from my salary.
In addition to that, I have the flexibility to move for better opportunities anywhere.
However, there are significant advantages to this investment strategy. By owning both the villa and the land, I have valuable assets that provide security in case of emergencies. Additionally, having these properties contributes to my retirement plans, as I now possess a house of my own. On the other hand, if I were to buy a flat, I wouldn't have any additional properties, and the value of the flat may deprecate.
In light of these factors, do you believe this was a wise decision?
SWOT Analysis
Strengths: 1. Property Ownership: By investing in a villa and a plot of land, you have become a property owner, which provides financial security and potential for future appreciation. 2. Diversification: Owning properties in different locations (your hometown and a hill station) diversifies your investment portfolio, spreading the risk and potential returns. 3. Lower EMI: The monthly EMI for the combined investment is significantly lower compared to purchasing a flat in the metro city, allowing for better financial management.
Weaknesses: 1. Rent Expenses: While you are investing in properties, you are currently incurring rental expenses in the metro city, which reduces your overall savings. 2. Location Considerations: The properties you purchased are in different locations, which may require additional management efforts and could potentially limit rental or resale options in the future. 3. Maintenance Costs: Owning a villa and a plot of land involves ongoing maintenance costs that need to be factored into your financial planning.
Opportunities: 1. Appreciation Potential: Land and villa investments have the potential to appreciate over time, especially considering the increasing demand for real estate in both your hometown and popular hill stations. 2. Rental Income: If you decide to rent out your properties, you can generate additional income, offsetting some of your expenses and potentially increasing your overall returns.
Threats: 1. Economic Factors: Economic fluctuations and market conditions can impact the value and demand for real estate, affecting the potential appreciation of your properties. 2. Regulatory Changes: Changes in government policies and regulations regarding property ownership, taxes, or rent control could impact your investment returns and financial planning.
submitted by 24Gameplay_ to IndiaInvestments [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:41 Environmental-Wish53 Mr. Barrett

Just a little something I cooked up this morning. Plan on writing another stupid one-shot based in magic later on today while the idea is still fresh in my mind. Then probably jump over to the other story based in a different universe (not the Dino Mommies one...yet) since it's been a hot minute from when I last touched that one.
So yeah; got a pretty busy day/weekend planned. Hope you enjoy this little blurb though. Somewhat along the lines of Mr. Mauser story.
Mr. Barrett
Magic. The newest discovery. The reality-bending, mind altering, physics defying energy driving the rapid changes, advancements, and developments of humanity for the past 100 years.
As I lay here in the mountains, surrounded by flora and fauna both native and foreign, my mind wanders back to the early days of magic. Yes, I was there all those years ago. In fact, I was in the prime of my youth fighting an enemy in a faraway land when I felt…well, all of us felt the change.
It was indescribable; my body felt light, my mind sharp, all of my senses felt like they were beyond peak performance. The rest of my team went through similar changes, yet different ones at the same time.
Jim’s muscle mass nearly doubled, as well as his height.
Ngo’s slender build filled out slightly, but his movements were faster. Almost blindingly so.
Our scout, Brody, found his eyes shift and change into a more animal-like design. Similar to a hawk’s, but still maintaining a semblance of humanity within.
This put a slight damper on our mission at the time while we worked to adapt to these sudden changes, but in the end, we still achieved success. It was when we returned that we found out our changes weren’t relegated to us.
In the following years, story after story came out of regular people performing a great many deeds; walking through fire, wading through alligator infested waters, lifting overturned vehicles as if they weighed no more than a couple hundred pounds.
All of it to save lives.
But, with good comes evil. For every great deed there was always, always, some asshole who used their newfound abilities for selfish or terrible means. This led to a restructuring of society. New laws were put in place, as well as agencies and departments with the specific purpose of preventing and punishing those abusing their gifts.
This now balance worked for a while, but it only took twenty years post-discovery for one of humanity’s worst to nearly destroy everything.
Ichimura was his name. A man beaten down by this new society simply because he couldn’t measure up to its expectations. Or so the dossier at the time said.
Truth was; he never liked being shackled to this reality. All its laws, and requirements, expectations, duties, and responsibilities were, in his eyes, unnecessary.
“Why should those with great power be constrained by those with lesser?”
Those were the first words he said to me when I faced him that fateful day. His actions up to that point would make the worst criminals in history look normal in comparison. Swaths of towns and villages laid bare by his magical machinations. Formulas taken from current and former magical and alchemical research, combined with the discoveries of science led down terrifying paths.
Before he drew his final breath through blood-stained lips, he smiled one final time.
“This world is ending, and a new one will take its place. Good luck, American. You do not know the horrors you have unleashed.”
With his dying breath the world around us shuddered. Tears in the fabric of reality appeared all across the globe. Hordes of creatures poured through the gaping wounds. His death was the trigger, and I was the one that pulled it.
Even though no one could have predicted this, I was still discharged from the service and treated as a pariah. Regardless of the fact that the temporary tears were repaired, the monsters that came through eradicated, and the truth of the matter brought to light, I was looked upon as the great calamity.
Whatever. I was close to 45 at the time with a distinguished career and enough money set aside for early retirement. Plus, I still had those physical changes that have yet to fade thanks to the breakthroughs in anti-aging. Enhancements that were needed once more as a new threat arose.
This time it came from beyond the stars. A race of creatures so imbued and saturated with magic that it physically hurt to look at them without magic reduction lenses. A fact they were well aware of and used to their advantage.
They nearly wiped us out after first contact, thinking that lesser creatures like us weren’t worthy of wielding magic. Our early, and somewhat still, reliance on technology for even the most mundane of tasks was anathema to them. Why should you use physical effort or machines when magic can do it easier?
A bunch of lazy fucks is what I think.
Well, we refused to capitulate of course, and they attacked. Their mastery over magic clearly millennia beyond our own; lightning, fire, telekinesis, gravity and more. These Iluthar stymied our attempts to fight back at every turn.
Armor? Like paper. Stealth? Might as well have had strobe lights attached to your body. Magic? Like expecting one drop of water to erode a mountain. Which they did when our landmasses got in their way.
The more we fought, though, the more we learned and adapted. Their senses have limited ranges, there are certain materials they can’t see through. And physics - virtually pointless against magic - still reigns supreme when said magic fails.
Which is something my target is about to realize as soon as she steps out onto the balcony.
I’ve been watching her for a week now, barely moving an inch for fear of being spotted. Dried piss and shit filled my pants and constantly assaulted my nose, but that comes with the job.
My target was an Iluthar known for being exceptionally cruel to not only her human slaves, but also “lesser” Iluthar servants. Not that those worthless bastards mattered since they still treated the slaves like garbage.
Too many times did I bear witness to horrendous acts committed against my fellow humans. Seeing what this bitch was doing though…staying still and waiting was the last thing I wanted to do.
But the mission comes first.
I waited and watched her mansion come alive. According to intel, she should be receiving a new shipment of human slaves today. One of the rare times she steps outside to view the “merchandise.”
I watched as the magic craft floating effortlessly above the ground silently made its way to the gates. After a few moments it was allowed in and continued on the slightly glowing path leading to the front doors. Once there, two Iluthar jumped out and drug the humans out of the back and lined them up for inspection.
Another Iluthar came from inside the mansion, appeared to speak a few words to the driver, and disappeared once more, only to return with the mistress in tow. Perfect.
Calming my breath, I began the cycle to find the natural rest.
Breath in, and out. I pulled lightly on the trigger.
In, and out. The pressure increased.
In…and out. I felt the trigger hit the wall.
The sound rattled throughout the mountains. My ears rang for a split-second until they healed themselves. The recoil, that oh-so-heavenly “punch” to the face of a 624-plus grain hunk of death being shot out the end of a precision machined barrel, felt good. The smell of chemicals that overwhelmed the piss and shit coating my lower half brought a slight smile to my face.
But the best part of it all, was watching that cunt’s chest cave in.
“Mr. Barrett sends his regards.”
submitted by Environmental-Wish53 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:37 Seglegs The dirtbag case for Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor? (Crank, Gamer, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance)

There are only a few posts in this sub about Neveldine-Taylor so it's time to rekindle the flame of these dirtbags.
I've only seen Gamer and some of Crank, but Gamer impressed me so much I'm at least going to try Crank 2 and Ghost Rider 2. Gamer has a great aesthetic that successfully encapsulates the 2009 era in which it was made.
It's absurd to me that this aesthetic was likely planned before Speed Racer (2008) came out. This was the zeitgeist. If anything, it doesn't go far enough. ... The frantic cuts and zooms you see even in dialog scenes (the TV interview) are less common towards the end. What's there is awesome and unhinged.
A mini on these two would be 7ish episodes if you follow both short solo careers. There's a new Hellboy that Taylor just finished shooting so you could coincide a series with that. It's just 4 movies in the Neveldine-Taylor canon.
Without doing research, it appears these two either got small-budget blank checks, or turned down more expensive work before getting Gamer, a fairly expensive ($80M today) blank check, and Ghost Rider 2 ($80-$100M today). Then they part ways and make their own stuff. Their only critical success is when one of them abandons the reality show quick-cut wild aesthetic.
Okay, okay, hear me out: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have one of the most interesting runs as Blank Check directors in modern action history after the Wachowskis and maybe Nolan, and it's only four movies long. A duo that immediately made a name for themselves with a tight-budget action thriller that was a moderate success and made a decent amount back gets a short string of blank checks to do absolutely whatever they wanted (which, of course, meant making two of the most unnecessarily intense, terrible-in-a-sort-of-glorious-way action movies of the past several decades) before landing a high profile job on Ghost Rider 2, a movie which did fine and immediately ended their combined career for some reason. Neveldine directed the Vatican Tapes, a movie that managed to flop on a 13 million dollar budget, and Taylor directed Mom and Dad (the only film with any hint of the Neveldine/Taylor structure to be critically well-received and an excellent bonus episode), but they haven't worked together since Ghost Rider 2. Everything else about the two is also sort of incredible - they invented the Roller Dolly because they knew they'd need a rig that allowed them to shoot while roller-blading(!?), Taylor is still technically tapped to direct a feature adaptation of the video game Twisted Metal, and Neveldine lives on a farm and spent two years smartphone-free so he could focus on hunting and farming "somewhere in New York." Overall, these specific two friends seem like the absolute definitive vulgar auteurs, and even when their movies aren't very interesting, the directors themselves seem to have enough going on to fill a single, month-long miniseries with truly compelling episodes.
submitted by Seglegs to blankies [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 15:35 Whateverdude1 Identify car part ?

Identify car part ?
Hello, my uncle lives abroad and asked me to get him a part. He doesn't speak English so I'm struggling with the description. He has an 2000 land rover Freelander. Looks like some drive shaft seal, CV joint seal? If someone can confirm it I'll appreciate it
submitted by Whateverdude1 to CarTalkUK [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:33 WinterGossamerVeil A grand statement from my n-mother

Dear RBNs, I do know that all of us has had (and sadly many have still) their good share of n-bullshit, but this one that I am going to tell you about is, my opinion, near next level...A very HIGH level, I dare to say... You'll discover yourselves the reason why... /s
My mother is old. I am VLC with her and I am NC with my GC sister, who lives with her. I don't call my mother often, as I am tired to hear her shrieks. But you know...Last shreds of decency affecting me still we go with the last phone call. (This morning)
Her : "Halloooooo????????" (Wailing). A bit of contest: she and GC alternate love bombing phases to WWIII ones. During conflicts, GC refuses to talk to mommy, and phones her instead ...from the next room. I know, I know, "WTF???", but that's it... /s
Me : "Hallo mother, I'm Gossamer "
She : "Oh!" (Very disappointed, I am not GC and the grand sorrow act gets sadly lost...You know, I can't believe her anymore due to awareness of her narc personality. And no, she does not check the phone numbers on her display...That's too hard work! /s )
Me: "Hey, how are you?"
Her : "I am fine, and here are the news...(shrieks to no end about some random shit)
Me: "Ah!..................................................................Ok................................................Oh!................................Uhm............................................................................................................................................................................(silence)"
Her: ".........Aaaannnnnnd (drum rolls please /s)....................Nadia (number one) has died. Also Nadia (number two ) did as well! " ( Nadia the First is a distant relative who mom had a problematic relationship with, because she did not put up with her shitty behavior) . As per Nadia the Second...I have no idea about who she was.
Me: "I am sorry . When did it..." ( No, we'll never know when it happened, as I got interrupted abruptly as usual)
Her: "You know, she was not that bad, after all. She did not behave properly with me because she was a rude simpleton, and because she was envious! She was so ugly, I can understand that she was soooo jealous of me!!! BUT....I HAVE FORGIVEN her, and thanks to my noble gesture she will able to go to Heaven, and to reunite with her husband. By the way, he used to hit on me, and this made her sooooo jealous!"
Me: "Ah, that's interesting news!" (amazed)
Her: "Bla bla bla bla...." (Another long stream of meaningless bullshit")
Me : "Ok mom, I have to leave now, be well !"
See why I have said, in my introduction, that she has reached a "HIGH next level"? She has literally reached the sky, as she rules over lesser mortals' fate together with God! /s. Please share your alike experiences and your thoughts, you are welcome! :)
Edit: grammar
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