Chapter 10 cellular respiration answer key

I'm a Christian and I support LGBTQ rights

2023.06.03 07:54 socialmediaisacurse I'm a Christian and I support LGBTQ rights

I have seen this phrase an awful lot lately. Can homosexuality and Christianity actually co-exist? Let’s see what the Bible has to say regarding some common views on the LGBTQ movement.
“The Bible never mentions homosexuality.” The Bible mentions homosexuality multiplies times. Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 are just a few of the passages that deal with homosexuality and plainly depict it as vile, sinful behavior.
“The New Testament never mentions homosexuality.” As per the previous answer, you’ll note that the majority listed (those from Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy) are in the New Testament.
“If you say homosexuality is a sin, then you can’t eat pork either.” Certain laws applied specifically to the Jews, as they were set apart as God’s chosen people. He had a special purpose for them. Homosexuality, on the other hand, is a sin to all. Additionally, it is mentioned in the New Testament after Christ had already come and fulfilled the requirements of the law, meaning it is still completely applicable. There are a LOT of instances similar to this, and truly we could spend a good long while refuting them all, but the short of it is that context is key. You cannot overlook the context in which these instructions were given or it will lead to misinterpretation, and that is exactly what has occurred when people use such passages in an attempt to justify sin.
“The Bible was mistranslated.” The Bible is the most authenticated ancient text we have by an enormous margin. If you discredit the authenticity of the Bible, you must then disregard the credibility of every other ancient text. [x]
“The Bible was written by biased men.” 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The word “inspiration” literally means “God-breathed”. Every word of scripture came directly from God, men were simply the instruments He used to record those words.
“Jesus never mentions homosexuality.” Jesus says, in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.” Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit exist as the trinity - three persons in one. Jesus IS God, and since every word of scripture is directly from God, Jesus has indeed said that homosexuality is a sin.
“Times change, it wasn’t culturally acceptable back then like it is now.” The ideals of men change, but God’s Word does not. His character does not change and His statutes remain. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
“Christianity is about love. God is love.” God is love, but He is also just. A good judge does not let wrong go unpunished. God is so completely holy and perfect that even the smallest sin is abhorrent to Him and He cannot abide by it. Lying, stealing, hate (which God calls murder of the heart), lust (which God calls adultery of the heart), are just some of the sins that separate us from God. “But God demonstrates His own love towards us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). God’s love is shown by the fact that He, in His justice, sent His son to take the punishment for sins we committed. Christianity is about how I am a sinner, damned to Hell by my own actions, incapable of saving myself, but Christ died so that, by putting my trust in Him, I am saved from an eternity in Hell.
“Homosexuals can’t help the way they were born.” Guess what, we are ALL born that way. The Bible says that we are ALL born sinners, but through Christ we are born anew. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“I can change the Bible to fit my lifestyle.” By deciding what God is and is not based on your own desires, you are making a god of your own choosing. You are creating a god that is not Christ. That breaks the very first commandment where God says, “You shall have no other gods before me”. Additionally, Proverbs 30:5-6 says, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”
“I don’t believe God would say that’s a sin.” The Bible clearly says that sexual perversion of any kind, especially homosexuality, is a sin. Just because you don’t understand, or you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it is not true. God says it’s a sin, so it is. The question then becomes do you trust that God knows best? God has never failed before, He has never let you down, He has never stopped offering His hand to guide and help you. In every imaginable way, throughout the entirety of history, He has offered His love and mercy right alongside His justice and righteousness. The Bible is proof of that. If you say, “I don’t believe God would say homosexuality is a sin,” then you have said, “I don’t believe God.” The Bible says that there is ONLY one way to Heaven, only one way we can be saved from the punishment we deserve for our sins: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). If you choose not to believe God, it is your rejection of His Word that will lead you to Hell because we are completely and depravedly incapable of atoning for our sins by our own merits. Salvation comes by grace through faith in Christ alone.
You cannot reconcile homosexuality and Christ.
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2023.06.03 07:08 EggplantNegative6814 Gilmore Girls Fan Fest September 28-October 1

Do you or someone you know really like (or, like me, LOVE) Gilmore Girls?!
Then, you need to attend Gilmore Girls Fan Fest in Ogunquit, Maine this year (9/28/23 to 10/1/23) alongside me and many other amazing fans!
I have attended every Fan Festival Event. In 2019, when Fan Fest was held in Unionville, Canada, I even got to see many of the locations utilized for the pilot episode.
Along the way, I have built a family. I cannot adequately describe the event in words but will do my best to answer any questions that you may have.
If you’re on the fence about attending, please let me know, and hopefully I can help persuade you. It truly is a magical and life changing event.
Unfortunately, if ticket sales don’t increase substantially, this will be the last event. So, please realize that “attending next year” may not be an option.
Tickets are a little pricey ($405 plus a small ticketing fee), but everything except hotel & food (and any transportation to and from the event) is included into your ticket price. You won’t need to pay extra for meet and greets or photo ops, you won’t need to pay a separate fee to attend panels. It’s all included.
This year the fan fest society has announced; • Kathleen Wilhoite (Liz Danes) • Scott Cohen (Max Medina) • Vanessa Morano (April Nardini) • Aris Alvarado (Caesar) • Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim) .Valerie Campbell, Key Set Costumer for all but the first 9-10 episodes of the original series and costume supervisor from the Netflix revival (she has the best stories!) + Ky from the Vibe with Ky (on tiktok & Instagram) will be moderating the cast panel again, & we LOVE Ky!
More guests will be added when additional ticket sales allow for it.
If you’re at all interested in more info, please feel free to ask me in the comments.
Tickets are available here —>
And if you’d be so inclined to mention my name (Meghan Phillips) at checkout, it would be greatly appreciated.
I hope to see you in Maine this year!
The Fan Fest Society
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2023.06.03 06:32 EggplantNegative6814 Gilmore Girls Fan Fest September 28-October 1 in Ogunquit, Maine!

Do you or someone you know really like (or, like me, LOVE) Gilmore Girls?!
Then, you need to attend Gilmore Girls Fan Fest in Ogunquit, Maine this year (9/28/23 to 10/1/23) alongside me and many other amazing fans!
I have attended every Fan Festival Event. In 2019, when Fan Fest was held in Unionville, Canada, I even got to see many of the locations utilized for the pilot episode.
Along the way, I have built a family. I cannot adequately describe the event in words but will do my best to answer any questions that you may have.
If you’re on the fence about attending, please let me know, and hopefully I can help persuade you. It truly is a magical and life changing event.
Unfortunately, if ticket sales don’t increase substantially, this will be the last event. So, please realize that “attending next year” may not be an option.
Tickets are a little pricey ($405 plus a small ticketing fee), but everything except hotel & food (and any transportation to and from the event) is included into your ticket price. You won’t need to pay extra for meet and greets or photo ops, you won’t need to pay a separate fee to attend panels. It’s all included.
This year the fan fest society has announced; • Kathleen Wilhoite (Liz Danes) • Scott Cohen (Max Medina) • Vanessa Morano (April Nardini) • Aris Alvarado (Caesar) • Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim) .Valerie Campbell, Key Set Costumer for all but the first 9-10 episodes of the original series and costume supervisor from the Netflix revival (she has the best stories!) + Ky from the Vibe with Ky (on tiktok & Instagram) will be moderating the cast panel again, & we LOVE Ky!
More guests will be added when additional ticket sales allow for it.
If you’re at all interested in more info, please feel free to ask me in the comments.
Tickets are available here —>
And if you’d be so inclined to mention my name (Meghan Phillips) at checkout, it would be greatly appreciated.
I hope to see you in Maine this year!
The Fan Fest Society
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2023.06.03 06:31 EggplantNegative6814 Gilmore Girls Fan Fest September 28-October 1 in Ogunquit, Maine

Do you or someone you know really like (or, like me, LOVE) Gilmore Girls?!
Then, you need to attend Gilmore Girls Fan Fest in Ogunquit, Maine this year (9/28/23 to 10/1/23) alongside me and many other amazing fans!
I have attended every Fan Festival Event. In 2019, when Fan Fest was held in Unionville, Canada, I even got to see many of the locations utilized for the pilot episode.
Along the way, I have built a family. I cannot adequately describe the event in words but will do my best to answer any questions that you may have.
If you’re on the fence about attending, please let me know, and hopefully I can help persuade you. It truly is a magical and life changing event.
Unfortunately, if ticket sales don’t increase substantially, this will be the last event. So, please realize that “attending next year” may not be an option.
Tickets are a little pricey ($405 plus a small ticketing fee), but everything except hotel & food (and any transportation to and from the event) is included into your ticket price. You won’t need to pay extra for meet and greets or photo ops, you won’t need to pay a separate fee to attend panels. It’s all included.
This year the fan fest society has announced; • Kathleen Wilhoite (Liz Danes) • Scott Cohen (Max Medina) • Vanessa Morano (April Nardini) • Aris Alvarado (Caesar) • Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim) .Valerie Campbell, Key Set Costumer for all but the first 9-10 episodes of the original series and costume supervisor from the Netflix revival (she has the best stories!) + Ky from the Vibe with Ky (on tiktok & Instagram) will be moderating the cast panel again, & we LOVE Ky!
More guests will be added when additional ticket sales allow for it.
If you’re at all interested in more info, please feel free to ask me in the comments.
Tickets are available here —>
And if you’d be so inclined to mention my name (Meghan Phillips) at checkout, it would be greatly appreciated.
I hope to see you in Maine this year!
The Fan Fest Society
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2023.06.03 06:29 EggplantNegative6814 Gilmore Girls Fan Fest September 28-October 1, 2023 in Ogunquit, Maine!

Do you or someone you know really like (or, like me, LOVE) Gilmore Girls?!
Then, you need to attend Gilmore Girls Fan Fest in Ogunquit, Maine this year (9/28/23 to 10/1/23) alongside me and many other amazing fans!
I have attended every Fan Festival Event. In 2019, when Fan Fest was held in Unionville, Canada, I even got to see many of the locations utilized for the pilot episode.
Along the way, I have built a family. I cannot adequately describe the event in words but will do my best to answer any questions that you may have.
If you’re on the fence about attending, please let me know, and hopefully I can help persuade you. It truly is a magical and life changing event.
Unfortunately, if ticket sales don’t increase substantially, this will be the last event. So, please realize that “attending next year” may not be an option.
Tickets are a little pricey ($405 plus a small ticketing fee), but everything except hotel & food (and any transportation to and from the event) is included into your ticket price. You won’t need to pay extra for meet and greets or photo ops, you won’t need to pay a separate fee to attend panels. It’s all included.
This year the fan fest society has announced; • Kathleen Wilhoite (Liz Danes) • Scott Cohen (Max Medina) • Vanessa Morano (April Nardini) • Aris Alvarado (Caesar) • Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim) .Valerie Campbell, Key Set Costumer for all but the first 9-10 episodes of the original series and costume supervisor from the Netflix revival (she has the best stories!) + Ky from the Vibe with Ky (on tiktok & Instagram) will be moderating the cast panel again, & we LOVE Ky!
More guests will be added when additional ticket sales allow for it.
If you’re at all interested in more info, please feel free to ask me in the comments.
Tickets are available here —>
And if you’d be so inclined to mention my name (Meghan Phillips) at checkout, it would be greatly appreciated.
I hope to see you in Maine this year!
The Fan Fest Society
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2023.06.03 06:26 NoHairNoBeard Thak gya hu aur ab rora hu

Just a vent out post
Parents khush hore hai coaching walo ki answer key se GS 1 me 90+ gin kar. Yha CSAT pe edge pe hu par ab lagra hai fail hi hu. Himmat nhi hai bataane ki. Do saal barbaad karne ke baad Prelims nikalne ka hi nhi pata. Parents ne expectations bhi bas prelims pass karne ki rakhi thi. Pichle 5-6 din bas barbaad hi krre hai CAPF AC ka bhi nhi padh pa ra hu. Ab sehen nhi hora. I don't have anything to show for what I did in last two years. Subah ke 10 bje baith kr rora hu.
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2023.06.03 05:36 FitEyes US life expectancy problem is ‘bigger than we ever thought,’ report finds

The country’s life expectancy problem gained renewed attention in recent years during the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing the largest drop since World War II.
As U.S. life expectancy continues to plummet, a new report found the country has been at a life expectancy disadvantage since the 1950s, and it has only gotten worse since then.
The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, also shows more than 50 countries have surpassed the U.S. in life expectancy since the 1930s, and a handful of states may be partly responsible.
“The scale of the problem is bigger than we ever thought ... older than we thought, (and) the number of countries outperforming the United States is much larger than we thought,” said study author Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
The findings offer a new perspective on U.S. life expectancy and shed light on how to reverse the trend, experts say.
A 'blueprint' for longevity New study has an answer for why some people live to be over 100

‘Taking the historical perspective’

The U.S. began seeing dramatic increases in life expectancy in the early 20th century, mainly a result of public health advances such as vaccines and sanitation, Woolf said.
The new report shows how that growth continued into the '50s, with U.S. life expectancy ranking 12th highest in the world. But that growth rate began declining in 1955, and by 1968, the U.S. had fallen to 29th.
The decline began much earlier than many researchers had thought, Woolf said.
"When asked when did this problem began, we cited the 1980s ... because we haven’t gone back far enough in the historical data to see what happened before,” he said. "That there was a decline in the 1950s raises questions about what was going on then.”
1 in 8 deaths due to COVID Nearly 107,000 drug overdoses, COVID deaths, push US life expectancy to lowest in 25 years
Story continues
The life expectancy growth rate rebounded in 1974, according to the study, then decelerated again in 1983. Provisional data from 2021 shows U.S. life expectancy has dropped to 76.1 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lowest it has been since 1996.
The study relied on estimates from the U.N. Population Division and the U.S. Mortality Database, Woolf said, which could skew exact rankings and year-over-year changes.
But the general takeaway remains the same, said Michal Engelman, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The timeline shows how life expectancy may be heavily influenced by systemic factors that are larger than individual health choices.
“Taking the historical perspective teaches us that things are not predetermined,” Engelman said. “Things change, and that means there’s a possibility for more improvement in the future.”

More countries are surpassing the US

The report also looked beyond the same small subset of peer countries – like the United Kingdom or Canada – that are typically included when studying life expectancy.
By expanding the pool to include countries with populations over 500,000, the report found 56 countries had surpassed the U.S. in life expectancy since 1950 and included countries with smaller economies, lower populations and different government systems.
Middle-income countries made enough gains in life expectancy to catch up and then surpass the U.S. during times when the country’s acceleration slowed, Woolf said. By 2019, the U.S. ranked 40th among populous countries – lower than Lebanon and Albania.
“Countries that don’t necessarily have all the support systems and infrastructure and policies that exist in higher-income countries are still outperforming” the U.S., he said. “What are they doing in those countries that have enabled their people to live longer?”

Some US states are worse than others

Since the '50s, life expectancy grew at a different pace throughout the country, according to the report.
Northeastern and Western states experienced the fastest growth, Woolf said, while south-central and Midwestern states saw the slowest growth.
“This cluster of states really played an outsized role in producing these poor rankings for the United States,” he said. “States doing very well like Hawaii, New York and other high performers are ranked among some the same life expectancy as some of the healthiest countries in the world.”
'State policy matters' More Americans die younger in states with conservative policies, study finds
The findings support previous research showing how policy decisions affect health outcomes and, ultimately, life expectancy.
“The things that influence health and longevity are operating on multiple levels,” Engelman said. “The story of our health goes far beyond thing that we can personally control.”
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Life expectancy in US: Problems date back to 1950s, report finds
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2023.06.03 04:57 nimmoisa000 Open world crime game idea Cartel: Palm City.

Developed by Hangar 13, DICE, Ripple Effect Studios, EA Gothenburg, and Criterion Games and published by EA.
Additionally former EA Black Box and Ghost Games employees who would help access game assets and code from previous NFS titles to streamline the development)
Cartel (or alternatively as “Cartel: Palm City” or "Cartel: Miami" ) would be an open world title based on the Mafia Games, the GTA games and the Saints Row games, with elements of Battlefield: Hardline thrown in with an array of weapons and vehicles based on their real life counterparts.
Gameplay wise the driving would be like Need for Speed titles, and on foot and shooting mechanics like BF: Hardline and Saints Row. Plus you can customize your cars and weapons to the same extent in BF: 2042 and some cars would allow for mounted weapons,on foot you can execute people with your equipped weapon like in The Godfather games. On foot would be an FPS view (you can change to a third person view as well) same with having an FPS view in your car.
There would an single player experience point system (like in BF Hardline single player) you gain XP from killing gangsters, and cops blowing up or capturing enemy vehicles and completing main missions, side missions and activities also there will be 15 levels to achieve with each level up unlocking new weapons, vehicles and customization for your weapons and vehicles. As well as a New Game Plus (NG+) where everything you unlocked is carried over and you can also play on the higher difficulties through NG+.
Also there would be five wanted levels for police and five vendetta levels for the gangs should you reach level five gang vendetta you start a Gang War there are three ways to stop a Gang War either bribe the feds, blow up a gang stronghold, or hide out in a safe house. Police wanted levels one and two local units would come after the player, at police wanted level two or three the state police would come after the player. At wanted level four and five the feds would come after the player. The military will only come after the player if they trespass in Fort Rockport or the Palmount Naval Shipyard
The Storyline
In Cartel: Palm City; in a different universe and timeline where there's a total prohibition of all narcotics in the United States in 2010; tells the story of Jack Rourke (the player character) a hardworking rideshare driver at day and a street racer at night who's scraping by in Palm City circa 2019. One fateful night, Jack Rourke has an inadvertent brush with the Blackwell Syndicate (mainly Carl Stoddard and that showcases a life of reward too big to ignore. As he joins the Blackwell Syndicate who are fighting for control of Palm City against five other criminal groups and take the city for the Blackwell Syndicate including recovering evidence that could not only convict the Blackwell Syndicate, as well as a network of crime lords in many countries, (including the other gang’s backers) including the Blackwell Syndicate's backers the Mob and it would also directly implicate the CIA in Palm City’s drug trade with Jack Rourke earning the nickname “El Sicario” for his efforts in driving the other gangs out of Palm City. When he learns how much the drugs were hurting the people of Palm City and all over the country as well as learning that the Blackwell Syndicate had gotten into the drug trade themselves, he contacts FBI agent Chase Linh who relays the story to her and offers the evidence and his testimony in exchange for full immunity for him and his associates, and the evidence on the computer was enough to convict everyone form all the five gangs, but also their crime lord backers from at least half a dozen countries, as well implicating the CIA in this as well as lobbying efforts to keep all narcotics prohibited, leading to a new administration repealing the Narcotics Prohibition law and legalizing low level cannabis. However six months later after the repeal of the Narcotics Prohibition Jack Rourke would be gunned down by Russian Mafia hitmen, Dimitri "Dima '' Mayakovsky and Henry "Black" Blackburn.
The Cast
List of activities
Weapon attachments
40mm Grenades, 40mm HE, 40mm Incendiary, 40mm CS, 40mm Dart, 40mm Flashbang, 40mm LVG, 40mm Smoke, 40mm 3GL.
Weapon list
Key: Base weapon (special variant)
Other: Nail Gun
Mission Structure
Prolog (2019)
  1. The Birth of Art - After winning a big race, Jack Rourke collects the winnings at the Palm City Historical Museum
  2. An Offer you Can't Refuse - Jack Rourke must evade Volk sicarios with Tyson Lachford and Carl Stoddard members of the Blackwell Syndicate
  3. Race Day - After the events of the last mission, Jack Rourke partakes in a race day event and wins three events with his Porsche 911 Carrera S (991) '12
  4. Running Man - Volk sicarios Niko and Dimitri crashes the race day and Jack must get to the Blackwell Garage
Chapter 1 (2019-2021)
  1. M34 Party - Jack Rourke joins the Blackwell Syndicate and gets acquainted with everyone before going with Tyson in a Pontiac GTO '05 to burn the Volk's cars with M34 Incendiary Grenades as well as stealing GMAC's Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4
  2. Standard Routine - Jack Rourke rolls with Tyson, Stoddard and Jonathan Cross to collect protection money but things go south when they collect from a hotel out of town and Jack Rourke chases after the hotel owner in Cross' car.
  3. Fair Play - Jack Rourke is tasked with stealing Ryan Cooper's Nissan 240SX and sabotaging it on the eve of the biggest Speedhunter race of the year, the SpeedHunter Championship Finals and in a last minute swap Jack Rourke has to race in place of Tyler Morgan
  4. Mia Townsend - Jack Rourke is tasked with taking Mia Townsend out for a night at the city... until a gang of Wraith street racers led by Caleb Reece hassles her and Jack Rourke takes them on in a fight
  5. Get Used To It - After the events of the previous mission Jack Rourke and Tyson Latchford are sent to teach the Wraiths a lesson But Caleb Reece makes it serious and Caleb Reece is wound up being killed by Tyson after a chase around the city alongside Danny Shaw.
  6. The Saint and The Sinner - It's revealed thtat Caleb Reece was Chief Norris' best friend, and Danny Shaw survives the crash however Stoddard would handle Shaw as Jack Rourke is tasked with infiltrating the Elmore Plaza Hotel and has to kill the manager, Nikki Morris and bomb the hotel before escaping to a funeral and confronts, Danny Shaw and Frank Mercer who are also in attendance. Jack Rourke kills Shaw and nearly kills Frank as well. But Frank tasers Rourke and escapes. It would be revealed that some of the Volk sicarios recognized Sotddard and had to deal with them, then the two escaped in a hearse.
Chapter 2 (2021)
  1. A Trip to the Countryside - In order to get a large supply of cannabis from Mexico, Jack Rourke takes a team to retrieve the Mexican from Mexican smugglers only to be ambushed by Los Zetas L.S 16 and Volk sicarios, then it's revealed that Roman had paid off the FBI to go after Rourke and his teammates then they came off with the cannabis killing their pursuers in the process.
  2. Code of Silence - The evidence that Tyson and Stoddard had ripped from the Volk had fallen in the hands of Hector Maio who cut a deal with the FBI, total immunity for the evidence and Jack Rouke is tasked with killing him and retrieving the evidence
  3. Visiting Rich People - Jack Rourke is tasked with sabotaging a federal proscutor's case against The Mob, the Blackwell Syndicate's backers as well as killing the federal prosecutor in charge of the case.
  4. Visiting Powerful People - Jack Rourke is tasked with meeting and protecting a powerful member of Palm City's elite, the owner of Prefered Outcomes Julian Daws... though he more than meets the eyes of Jack Rourke
  5. Agent Dawes - Julian Daws is revealed to be a CIA agent who is tasked with keeping the flow of drugs to Jack's surprise and that he is backing the Blackwell Syndicate through Prefered Outcomes.
  6. The Drug Trade - Julian Daws walks Jack Rourke through Palm City's drug trade and how the illicit street racing scene is used as a cover to smuggle drugs.
  7. Great Deal - Tyson Lachford scores a major deal with a drug farm in Georgia who promises to supply them with large amounts of drugs in exchange for access to databases concerning highway patrol routes; however when the deal goes down at a parking garage, the Volk and L.S 16 ambush them.
  8. Bon Appetit - Jack Rourke drives Eva Torrez, Marcus Blackwell and Julian Daws to the rebuilt Elmore Plaza Hotel for brunch only for Niko and Dimirti with a Volk hit squad to blast the entire lobby with gunfire and C4 explosives, Jack Rourke vaults over with Eva Torrez, Marcus Blackwell and Julian Daws, there Jack Rourke and Eva Torrez rush out through the side entrance and confronts the hit squad with Jack Rourke killing both Niko and Dimirti. However Blackwell wants Jack to confront Jonathan Cross at a doughnut store and reveals that the Volk threatened to turn him over to IAD and is chased throughout the city with Marcus Blackwell putting Cross on permanent retirement by killing him with a Lupara.
Chapter 3 (Finishing the other gangs and downfall of Jack Rourke) (late 2021)
  1. Happy Anniversary - Jack Rourke is tasked with completing a contract hit against Frank Mercer at the fifth anniversary of the formation of the High-Speed Task Force by firing a sniper rifle stashed in a bathroom
  2. You Lucky Bastard - After a failed attempt to kill Razor; Roman's personal driver and #2 of the Volk, Jack Rourke is given the contract to kill Razor, first by car bomb but ends up killing Deputy Chief Jack Keller. instead of Razor. Jack Rourke, Tyson and Stoddard would later find Razer at a Burger King. In this Rourke can choose to kill or spare Razor. Rourke would spare him after he tells him that the CIA is deeper in Palm City's drug trade than Jack Rourke is led to believe
  3. Creme de la Creme - Marcus Blackwell plans to kill Roman, Niko, Demintri and Chan Wu in front of the city's Creme de la Creme, the mayor, the police chief, the FBI director and even the city's richest elite. However things go south and Jack Rourke chases Roman and Niko at the airport where they get to a private jet but is shot down and crash lands on the Cross Mermeroral Bridge Chan Wu is still alive and Jack Rourke executes him and leaves before the cops show up.
  4. Plugging the Chief - After the events of Creme de la Creme; Chief Norris places to take on the Blackwell Syndicate and to dismantle them, and a contract hit is placed on him where Jack Rourke accepts the contract and kills Chief Norris.
  5. Election Campaign - The State Governor had launched his reelection bid with the promise get tough on the cartels that had plagued Palm City and like Chief Norris has a contract hit out on him which Jack Rourke is tasked with taking, using a sniper rifle
  6. Just for Relaxation - Marcus Blackwell tells Jack Rourke about a shipment of Cuban cigars as well as a hidden shipment of diamonds (hot ice) straight from Africa however and Jack Rourke takes a crew to retrieve the shipment from federal customs however it's revealed that instead of diamonds it's Cold Shot... the same drug being pushed by the other gangs.
  7. The Truth - Jack Rourke and Kahi Minh Dao eavesdrop on Marcus Blackwell and Julain Daws and they learn the truth.
  8. Moonlighting - Jack Rourke after knowing about the truth takes Tyson to rob the Palm CIty First National in order to retire from the sicario lifestyle and gets into a massive shootout with the PCPD Heat-style.
  9. The Death of Art - After the heist of Palm City First National Jack Rourke finds Tyson dead and meets Stoddard at the museum only to find out that Stoddard knew about the heist, and used his share of the drug money and clout at Prefered Outcomes to buy out The7 as his personal hit squad, however Jack Rourke manages to kill every member of The7 but spares Stoddard (the player can also kill him but canonically Jack Rourke spares him)
Epilogue (2022)
After the trial and the repeal of the Jack Rurke is placed in the Witness Protection Program in Lakeshore City but six months later after the repeal of the Narcotics Prohibition Jack Rourke would be gunned down by members of the West Side Club, Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky and Henry "Black" Blackburn.
The Gangs of Palm City
L.S 16 (Los Salmos 16) - Also known as The Salmos. Backed by the most powerful Mexican drug lords and the most powerful arms traffickers in the world, L.S 16 once ruled all of Palm City In fear until The House stepped in. They’re also the strongest gang in the game with access to military grade weapons and vehicles and each gang kill from them awards 500-1,500 XP depending on the enemy type. They are led by Neil Roark.
The House - The House is a gambling gang with strong ties and backed by the Sicilian Mafia; they run the street scene and the casinos in Palm City. They’re pretty strong but weaker than L.S 16, and they have access to military grade weapons and vehicles each gang kills from them awards 250-800 XP depending on the enemy type. Headed by Lina Navarro.
The Volk - The Volk is a Chinese-Russian gang led by Roman Barkov with Niko Barkov as their enforcer backed by the Triads (Chan Wu), the Russian Mob (Dimitri Glebov), and GMAC's crew (Gregory "GMAC" MacDonald, Rose Largo) for cars who control the weapon smuggling and arms dealing in Palm City. With this backing and access to military grade weapons. They are a mid tier gang and each gang kill from them awards 200-600 XP depending on the enemy type. They are also the ones who go after the Blackwell Syndicate the most.
Palm Kings - The Palm Kings (PKs) is a Black gang made up of Black nationalists who controls Palm Harbor’s rackets and extorts store owners. Led by Benny King, they’re equipped with police-grade weaponry and has strong ties with the PCPD despite this, they are the second weakest gang in the game and each gang kill from them awards 150-500 XP depending if it's a regular to elite
Dixie Paladins - The Dixie Paladins are a white supremacy gang and a militarized version of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) who controls the Gold Coast Mountains in the mountainous regions of Palm City. they’re the weakest gang in the game and each gang kill from them awards 100-250 XP from regular to elite members. They are led by Tony Alpert
Blackwell Syndicate - The Blackwell Syndicate is a underground criminal organization based in Palm City and is led by Marcus Blackwell with Julian “Julius” Little as underboss, Hector Maio before "Code of Silence" and Zack Maio after "Code of Silence". Nick Mendoza. Khai Minh Dao and Carl Stoddard are caporegimes and Tyson Latchford, Tyler "Ty" Morgan, Sean "Mac" McAlister, Jessica "Jess" Miller as soldiers. Other members include Ravindra "Rav" Chaudhry as the gang's car expert Rachel Teller as the gang's customization expert, Marcus “Boomer” Boone as the gang's weapon experts. The Blackwell Syndicate would be the gang that the player would join. In Act 1, they're an outside and fast tracked to soldier, but in Act 2 the player would be a capo until the end of the game. They are secretly backed by both The Mob and the CIA through Agent Dawes. Jonathan Cross and Mia Townsend are also on the gang's payroll until "Bon Appetit" where Marcus Blackwell executes him with a 870P Magnum to the head. Also Mia would also go with Jack Rourke as well
The police/military force
PCPD - the police force of Palm City/Miami if the player does hostile acts (killing civilians, firing unsuppressed weapons in public, etc) will attract police attention and each kill from them awards 50 XP for regular members and 100 XP for armored members, However the player can bribe the PCPD to look the other way or will even help the player fight the other gangs but would be the target of higher level police forces. (Sort of like it was in The Godfather game) The player can also buy favors from them as well. Also they’ll deploy stronger units at higher heat level alongside the FBI. The cars PCPD drives are the Ford Crown Victoria, Dodge Challenger, Pontiac GTO, and the Chevy Grand Sport
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) - The state police force and Only appears in wanted levels 3 and above, Each kill from them awards 75 XP for regular state troopers and 150 XP for tactical state troopers. Regular state troopers drives Ford Mustang GTs tactical state troopers drives Nissan GT-R
FBI - Only appears in wanted level 5 the FBI will be called in if the player continues to retaliate against the PCPD. Each kill from them awards 125 XP for regular agents, 250 XP for FBI SWAT and 375 XP for FBI HRT, Like the PCPD the player can bribe the FBI to look the other way, or even help the player fight gangs, or the PCPD but at the second highest price. The FBI also has the second widest array of favors the player can buy. regular agents drives the Nissan 350Z or Porsche 911 GT3 RS, FBI SWAT drives the - Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster or Ford F-150 SVT Raptor L.E. and FBI HRT drives the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X or Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Military - Only goes after the player if they trespass in Fort Rockport or the Palmount Naval Shipyard. Each kill from them awards 200 XP for regs, 400 XP for experienced troops and 600 XP for elite troops. Like the PCPD, State Police and the FBI, the player can bribe the military to look the other way, or even help the player fight gangs, the PCPD, State Police or even the FBI but at the highest price and The military also has the widest array of favors the player can buy in large part due to Agent Dawes’ connections in Washington.
Multiplayer portion of the game would take place during the five cartels war where the Blackwell Syndicate, The Volk, Palm Kings, Dixie Paldines, Los Salmos 16, and The House (basically where Jack Rourke glosses over saying "It was non-stop chaos for weeks")
Also there would be a free ride mode where the player can explore the city at their leisure or pick a fight with either other cartels or the cops.
submitted by nimmoisa000 to gameideas [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 04:38 spidermonk Corner-cutting anarchist workbenchish build

Corner-cutting anarchist workbenchish build

Thought I'd provide a quick rundown of the workbench I made, based on the Lost Art Anarchist Workbench, but with a bunch of things simplified. (Because I'm a noob, and even if I wasn't, I'm a chronic corner-cutter).
First off, I'm in New Zealand, and getting timber here (that isn't chemically treated radiata pine) is often quite difficult and/or expensive. I built this out of 140mm x 30mm (5.5" x 1.2") boards of shop-jointed macrocarpa (cypress).
It's annoying wood to work with hand-tools - wavy grain that hates being planed, when you chisel it it comes apart in big stringy strips, it loves to split and crack. But it's what I could get easily, and at the time I had no access to a jointer or thicknesser so I just got the mill to joint it all.
I used this size of board for everything. And I did the following key things differently from the anarchist workbench design:
  • I didn't do a leg vise. Just too complicated for me. And getting the kind of hardware to make it straight forward would have totally blown my budget for this. The vise hardware I used in the end was super cheap - the generic "large face vise" hardware from carbatec. It's probably the same hardware as the generic vises on Amazon.
  • The instructions for the stretchers are more complex in his book. I don't remember exactly how they're designed, but my ones are dead dumb. The legs are four boards thick, and each stretcher inserts with a 1-board thick tenon. The stretchers then have an additional board glued on from the outside. This wont improve the strength of anything at all, it just makes it look better basically.
  • My bench is shorter and thinner than the books. It's 2080mm by 450mm (82" by 18"). I haven't done a bunch of projects on it, but for the little jobs I've used it for so far, I dunno, it seems fine. In any case, it was decided for me by the wood I had. There was nothing left over at the end.
  • I didn't do proper draw-bored pins. I intended to originally, but a few things pushed me away from it. 1) The only dowels to be had in my area are very much soft pine. I doubted they'd have the strength for it. And I couldn't see any realistic way for me to make some. 2) I was very nervous about the macrocarpa exploding if I forced a hardwood pin through a non-aligned hole. I have had it shatter on me while drilling, and while hammering in dowels in the past. 3) I found my leg and stretcher assembly really unweildy. It was often hard to get the legs back out of the mortises, hard to get everything correctly aligned etc. The idea of making the hole adjustments and de and re constructing the whole thing multiple times went in the too hard basket, esp given 1 and 2. And so I just drilled normal 16mm holes while it was on its back and then gently banged in some 16mm softwood dowels. I included a bit of glue in the joints.
  • This one was really stupid - I tried to do the mortises on the bench top by just leaving gaps during my glue-up (as he suggests for some of the stretcher mortises in the legs I think). I thought this would allow me to just magically slide everything together without too much chiseling, and that 100% was not the case, and in the end I had to do a whole lot of chiseling anyway, and had holes in the top to deal with. Don't do this, it's really not a time saver in the end. It also makes the glue-up muuuuch more complicated and stressful than it needed to be.
  • I did my initial plan, intending to go a little bit smaller than the book's design. But then I went smaller still when I got low on wood. But stupidly I didn't properly revise my plan to fit the other changes. And so the legs are really way too close together for the top. It doesn't actually seem to matter, but I think it looks a bit weird. Another 10-20cm even would probably just look more correct.
SO how did it turn out? It's heavy and solid. It holds work well. I love using it.
The top is super rough due to tear out on some of the boards when planing it down, and because I basically got bored flattening it (it honestly seems plenty flat for work, but it's definitely not perfectly flat even by wood standards).
The joints seem super strong, despite not draw boring. (But possibly this is something that will get worse over time?).
It's not quite as heavy as you'd expect - it's simple enough to "walk" it across a room for instance, lifting it at one end and then the other. I think it's about 160kg.
Leg vises look so much cooler, but I haven't had any issues sawing and planing wood held in the cheap as heck face vise.
I bought some proper (i.e. made by a local blacksmith) holdfasts, and they're pretty amazing. I'd never used them before, and they're kind of life changing in terms of how many more options you've suddenly got to keep wood in place.
If anyone's wondering why it has gigantic bits of walnut for vise jaws... yeah that's a weird choice but my dad has a pile of walnut from a tree he milled, so he brought me those up.
Happy to answer any questions. Basically posted this up because when I was in the early stages of this work I'd have loved to read about someone's similar experiences.
submitted by spidermonk to Workbenches [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 03:54 RealBenjaminKerry Hybridization: The gravitational effect of foreign analysis material upon Chinese discourse over Ukraine War

The first essay
In the previous post, I have discussed about the skirmishes on all corners of the internet, the systematic destruction of idea by algorithms, and the apocalyptic wasteland that is the Chinese internet. All were discussed in the last post, however, one thing was neglected from the picture: the “eldritch influence“.
In the first post, I have mentioned an intensive effort launched by RT and CCP to shape the narrative in favor of the invasion. However, as previously mentioned, due to a myriad of reasons, the entire effort lays to waste in the lone and level sands that stretch far away. They have abandoned their old way of setting up positions on RT's main channel and their Donbass offshoot "Donbass Today". In fact, back then DPR was extremely successful in their propaganda machine before Belgorod attacks. The amount of DPR lies actually made me lost my shit multiple times. You would never want to know what ideas I had to deal with the people of Donbass, in fact it almost becomes a rage trigger to me. Despite that, the pro-Russians stragglers are still there, and they are adapting. Nobody has declared surrender yet, so the war will just drag on, as Clausewitz has observed. Many of them are now operating purely out of spite, resembling the worst of the trolls in the west and their rhetoric began to be more similar to their twitter counterpart. Meanwhile, the Russian influence campaign is still ongoing in a more insidious and covert way. The internet arguments become more like UkraineRussiaReport than RussianWarFootage. The main focus of Russian influence campaign seems to be dedicated to creating artificial disinfolklores and some legitimately weird channels showcasing how good life is in occupied Mariupol. Sometimes pro-Ukraine content creators will be subjected to mass report and get banned, but most of times they have a backup account to minimize damage.
As previously mentioned, the Chinese domestic "analysts", one being pro-Russia and the other being pro-Ukraine, both ended up being noncredible, with one being Chinese Chuck Pfarrer and the other making schizo claims like Zaluzhnyi has intimate relationship with several female service members (is this supposed to make him look bad?) Of course, people began to adapt. On the pro-Ukraine side, there is now a guy called "Regent Taboritsky" (塔博里茨基摄政王 yes, this is a TNO reference). He was formerly a pro-Russian who use Artermovisk but has changed to the Ukrainian side. Meanwhile, other "analysts" has also underwent evolution. (ignore the next two paragraphs if you just want to read noncredible)
Do you remember the TNO reference? Why does Chinese also know about that? Actually, it shaped all Chinese political discourse. Chinese internet is a wasteland at best, years of censorship and bitter warfare has drained the land of creativity and independent thought. Many of the counterculture guys who I refer as PANOP (pan-opposition, an umbrella term for modern anti-establishment Chinese) are actually pro-regime folks who ended up graduating from college and have to work 12 hours a day. Despite having changed side, they are actually just the same, same mindlessness and malice, nothing more, nothing less. Meanwhile, censorship algorithms have systematically salted the earth, so that no organized ideology apart from the official one can be present. These efforts are eventually made futile thanks to one man - JREG (yes, you can trust your eyes). His political compass memes successfully provided the PANOPs with enough munition to blow up the internet. Eventually everything related to him got censored, but then TNO was there, the weapons are now everywhere, no amount of salt would ever stop them again. It's like the wars in Japan that lead to Edo period in many regards, battles with salvaged foreign ideas and memes where getting hold of foreign material becomes an immense power multiplier.
In fact, I have a very derogatory comparison for Chinese internet's relationship to the global one: the anaerobic tank of a sewage treatment plant. The worst crap of 4chan and beyond sedimented into the Chinese one, just like how the large excrement particles sedimented into the anaerobic tank after the initial aerobic respiration, and our netizens feasted on it like bacteria feasted on the fresh excrements. (my knowledge of sewage treatment comes from IGCSE biology, so it might be inaccurate). One of the most terrifying case of how this can influence Chinese internet was the alt-righters in '16. Actually, the largest case of the great meme war spillover was in China. During that time, everyone was fuming about Baizuo, the Chinese equivalent of SJW, while some others do stand for Bernie, most are taking up Great Replacement Theory and mocking Trans ideology. Many began to take Breivik as a hero and claim refugees are swarming Europe. Pizzagate was also a widespread meme back then. This exposure left a mark in the Chinese internet culture, which partially contributed to the recent surge in antisemitism in '23. To be honest with you all, after spending years on Chinese internet, I just can't stand regular Chinese netizen calling Azov guys neo-Nazi, they should look into the nearest mirror.
The hybridization described above then contributes to a new evolution of Chinese online discourse over the Ukraine war. Chinese posters are expert trolls and partisans, but they have a fundamental lack of first hand knowledge regarding war in Ukraine. Thus, contact with foreign sources becomes essential. On Zhihu, there are several accounts that have access to twitter OSINT accounts (accounts that are highly regarded by professionals). The most notable being Ducling, who have been a staunch pro-Ukraine guy with liberal tendency. He made a reference to Emil Kastehelmi:"The Russian 'Special Military Operation' is getting increasingly special, even after day 453" for an question about the Belgorod attack. He also made a cope compilation (the most favored tactic of Chinese pro-Ukraine accounts, known as 合订本, that collects all the past pro-Russian claims as a method of discrediting the pro-Russians. Often with great effect ) of claims surrounding Bakhmut. For people who can't understand the information presented, Chinese internet slang was often designed to evade censorship and is highly informal, so you shouldn't understand it at all. There's another OSINT guy called Suyi控, who made the best analysis of the Discord files ever. Chinese OSINT guys tend to have a boner for Syrskyi, me included. Memelords have also adopted some stuff from twitter, I remember seeing the Putin attending Nuremburg escorted by fellas wearing MP uniforms on the profile on one of the accounts. At the same time, there are also pro-Russians who use the John McBurgers of Ohio oblast under Zelensky's tweet as proof of Ukraine is losing. This tactic can be incredibly effective due to confirmation bias, and in many cases RT have used the exact same material to propagandize both Chinese and Americans.
Bilibili, due to the limitations mentioned in the first article, relies on cruder extraction. There is a guy called Deepstate-carry (Deepstate-搬运) who basically cargo-cult through deepstatemap's telegram. In my opinion, the best combat footages come from a guy called Okken sight (欧肯视线), who is a true neutral source regarding combat footage, he contain a slight Russian bias but his videos are neutral, which led to him being criticized by both pro-Russians and pro-Ukrainians. I'd recommend folks on this sub who drank too much pro-Ukraine vranyo to be tied on a chair forced to watch his videos of both Russian and Ukrainian combat losses to remove overt bias and complacency. Meanwhile there are other pro-Ukrainian accounts such as CarlPacho (卡尔帕乔) who uploads Ukrainian combat footages and is a pro-Ukraine guy himself, recently he got banned but he's got a backup account. Meanwhile there are people translating Battle Order's videos, such as a guy called 101eagle and a guy who's called Marine rifleman (四等人的步枪兵). On Bilibili the materials used are often of inferior quality such a a gal doing analysis who is called frosty leaves of a thousand spring (千秋霜叶), her sources include Weeb Union (HistoryLegends' pal) and Chuck Pfarrer. She's pro-Ukraine by the way.
Now we have talked through all the developments of the pro-Ukraine side, let's face the pro-Russian abyss. As mentioned before, Bilibili has access to inferior foreign materials. Meanwhile pro-Russians coopt the pro-Russian war blogger model. The most notorious model being a guy known as SnailColgiweibo (蜗牛柯基weibo) who is basically a Rybar copycat, he is capable of mimicking Rybar to an astonishing degree and has the ability to cheer during Kyiv bombing (what about Donbass). I'd recommend you to stay away from Chinese internet unless you want to be dehumanized like me.
Recently, another person called Atuna (阿吞啊) popped up, he is some of the most capable pro-Russian ever. At first, he came out with translation of a RUSI report. However, in his next video, he uses HistoryLegends. Calling him a "neutral pro-Ukraine source". He marked a dangerous new development of pro-Russian messaging, the ability to use actual credible western sources to their advantage. Furthermore, there is another analyst called Mt. Guandong peasant Wangdaxi (关东山农民王大喜), who made a video detailing RUSI's latest report. He took great note of the adaptation by the Russian armed forces while dismissing the mentions of poor Russian morale as "western hubris", "illogical" and "political correctness". The Wangdaxi person is actually a protégé of sort of the person who claimed Russia is going to take Lviv (that guy deserves his own article), and it seems like now there's an advanced sect of pro-Russian who have access to information. One of his fans in the comments even took a jab at Suyi控, indicating a capability to compete with even the most experienced Zhihu OSINTer. And to make it worse, HistoryLegend serves as a force multiplier of this next-generation pro-Russia crowd. He is basically an A-10 in this "comment section war", he and his pal WeebUnion exerts little use to pro-Russians on YouTube, Reddit and twitter, as the pro-Russian effort is largely focused on amplifying western internal grievances such as the border crisis and China baiting. On 4chan his soyjak face will get mocked to oblivion. However, he truly shines in China. Perun's videos are too lengthy to be translated, meanwhile military history visualized have a long interval and Lazerpig is relatively obscure in China due to meme incompatibility and being too noncredible, he is unrivaled. The way he feigned a neutral pro-Ukraine stance makes it even more damaging, even to the point of starting a disinfolklore began to be built around him, claiming he cried during the fall of Bakhmut, claiming he was a pro-Ukraine guy ostracized by other due to unwilling to follow blindly pro-UA lines.
Warning: Schizo rant below, proceed with caution
Want to hear my stance? Well, maybe they are the right guys all along. I'm not really a member of this sub, I'm always cynical, always skeptical, and always doubtful. Whenever I see the next generation pro-Russians, I become shrouded in doubts. What if they are right? In many cases pro-Ukraine folks are drawn into intellectual traps, such as the need to hold Bakhmut, a city with little strategical importance. And a lack of acknowledgement of Russian adaptation. It could be the Winter War all over again, the Finn fought valiantly, but who controls Karelia now? I have an irrational fear, may it remain irrational, that the average NCD user is no better than the new generation of pro-Russians, that we also lack any critical thinking capability like a mindless horde. The doubt just echoes inside me, it accompanies me whenever I saw a Ukraine flag on someone's twitter handle. Such cynicism often end up manifesting into outbursts against pro-Ukraine positions on reddit. I took a grim enjoyment being the "conscience of NCD" where I regard many as vranyo obsessed individuals no better than the vatniks. If there's anyone reading the passage whose uncle work at GUR, don't ask him to [REDACTED] that soyjak off the surface of the earth. Don't. Chinese opinion does not chance the course of the war. If I have a button to delete Jackson Hinkle's twitter account at the course of every single pro-Ukraine account in China, I'd press it. We can achieve nothing, absolutely nothing. It's a losing battle from the beginning. Such is the reality of Chinese internet.
I see a bad moon rising.
submitted by RealBenjaminKerry to NonCredibleDefense [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 03:18 Giovan_Doza [STORE] Diretide 2022 Collector's CACHE I and II LOWEST PRICE

Selling Diretide 2022 Collector's Cache Sets at a low price
BEST PRICE. Add me to start the 30-day gift cooldown:
BUYER GOES FIRST and I would aprecciate if you can leave a positive message after the transaction. You will not find a "scammer" message because I want to build up my rep and continue to sell these.
Every price in Team fortress keys (TF key). But I also take immortals or other sets that are worth the same on steam.
I will take into account the first people that write me on STEAM and say the set they want. If you won't buy them please don't add. I will answer as soon as I can.
Set Name Hero Price Quantity
Shadowleaf Insurgent Hoodwink 5$ (2 TF key) 1 LEFT
Scarlet Subversion Riki 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Whippersnapper Snapfire 5$ (2 TF key) 2 LEFT
Hounds of obsession Chen 2.5$ (1 TF key) 10 LEFT
Seadog’s Stash Clockwerk 5$ (2 TF key) 4 LEFT
Starlorn Adjudicator Dawnbreaker 5$ (2 TF key) 1 LEFT
Spoils of the Shadowveil Spectre 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Chines of the Inquisitor Faceless Void 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Trophies of the Hallowed Hunt Ursa 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Crimson Dawn Phoenix 2.5$ (1 TF key) 4 LEFT
Forgotten Station Terrorblade 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Dirge Amplifier Undying 2.5$ (1 TF key) 10 LEFT
Champion of the Fire Lotus Monkey King 2.5$ (1 TF key) 8 LEFT
Deathstitch Shaman Witch Doctor 2.5$ (1 TF key) 9 LEFT
Angel of Vex (RARE) Invoker 10$ (4 TF key) 3 LEFT
Blue Horizons (RARE) MARCI 10$ (4 TF key) 2 LEFT
Dark Behemoth (VERY RARE) PRIMAL BEAST 20$ (8 TF key) 3 LEFT
Set Name Hero Price Quantity
Bird of Prey Legion Commander 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Grand Suppressor Silencer 2.5$ (1 TF key) 6 LEFT
Darkbrew´s Transgression Alchemist 2.5$ (1 TF key) 10 LEFT
Transcendent Path Oracle 2.5$ (1 TF key) 7 LEFT
The Wilding Tiger Brewmaster 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Dawn of Darkness Foretold Doom 2.5$ (1 TF key) 4
Cursed Cryptbreaker Pudge 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Feasts of Forever Night Stalker 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Darkfeather Factioneer Phantom Assassin 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Withering Pain Clinkz 2.5$ (1 TF key) SOLD
Freebot Fortunes Ogre Magi 2.5$ (1 TF key) 10 LEFT
Acrimonioes of Obsession Vengeful Spirit 2.5$ (1 TF key) 11 LEFT
Sacred Chamber Guardian Huskar 2.5$ (1 TF key) 10 LEFT
War Rig Eradicators Techies 2.5$ (1 TF key) 11 LEFT
Grudges of the Gallows Tree (RARE) Treant Protector 10$ (4 TF key) 10 LEFT
Brands of the Reaper (RARE) Antimage 10$ (4 TF key) 7 LEFT
Sublime Equilibrium(VERY RARE) Void Spirit 25$ (10 TF key) 1 LEFT
submitted by Giovan_Doza to Dota2Trade [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 03:18 NotNiko15 Modern Cosmic Horrors chapter 2

[wiki] [previous] [next]
Chapter 2: In Inertia

In this chapter I took inspiration from a very creative venlil who decided to remain anonymous
Memory Transmission Subject: Kos, Venlil Civilian
Date [Standardized Human Time]: July 12 2136
It happened in a fraction of a second.
I was on my ship, traveling FTL in a subspace. I served as a captain of an interplanetary transporter Fertility. On board I carried loads of green fruits destined for a venlil colony where they meant to ripen upon arrival. Now they were exploding from the vacuum.
My very ship was torn into pieces within an instant. There was no time for my brain to process what happened. I braced myself for a slow death. I felt the oxygen leaving my vessel and temperature dropping rapidly. I felt pain in my chest.
Death… never came to me. I remain seated in my chair and the pain begun to subside. I watched as inertia took hold of my cockpit, lifting everything around me. The sight was bewildering, but I still don’t know why I wasn't suffocating. I released my harness and floated out of the room. Behind the doors was a dark hallway. The power was long gone so I decided to walk straight instead of trying to breach the doors in the darkness. At the end of a hallway, I reached an intersection. Only one of these tunnels had a light at the end, which was the way I chose.
Was this the afterlife? Was I dead, about to meet the creator? I was wondering as I floated through the tunnel. The light was just a reflection of what’s behind a corner. When I peeked, I saw that the entire vessel was torn in a half. The further corridor was abruptly cut by a precipice. I could even see the generator room that wasn’t spared by a sweeping force. I drifted across the ship, awestruck by the surreal scene. It was when I noticed that I had full control over the direction of my floating in inertia, which was against the laws of physics, more akin to out of body experiences.
And so I found myself suspended between two halves of my ship, unable to fathom the reason for this purgatory state. I lived a good life. I wandered out to open space, to try and see my ship in full. I noticed another object lingering close to my ship. It was a wreck of what looks like a space buoy. It collided with my ship, which means I was torn out of subspace before that.
Was that an FTL disruptor? It started working a moment before I passed through it. That was the best theory I could have thought of. I decided to investigate the buoy to test my hypothesis. The hull of the buoy had imprinted lettering in venlang.
The name of my homeworld did not give any answers. I needed to look further. I tried to check behind the hull of my ship and I was met with an immense pain in my paw. It was illuminated by this system’s star. I pulled my hand behind the hull and hugged it, trying to ease the pain. Even after hiding in the shadow of a shipwreck, the pain was so unbearable, it was clawing on my senses.
I felt tears accumulating around my eyes, they were also affected by inertia, rendering my vision blurry. I returned to my cockpit. There was nothing rational in this place. I just wanted to see my family and friends. Whatever deity rules this universe, I was pleading for their mercy. The void remained indifferent.
When my feelings calmed, I began to think of my crew. They were still on this ship. I went to look for them on the other half of the vessel. Behind the precipice was a maze of corridors. A faint beam of light penetrated through the broken hull at the starboard side of my ship. It means that any illuminated area was off limits. Most of my crewmates must have been ejected, because I only found someone at the stern. It was my FTL engineer, Qualen. He was pale from freezing and suffocating. His eyes were popping out of the sockets, and his mouth expressed a pure terror. I wondered where his soul could go, or be. Maybe he didn’t die yet. Perhaps I was the first to die, and time passed unbearably slowly for the rest.
I returned to my cockpit resigned. I decided to wait for something to happen or to think of some bright idea. None of it ever came. I only noticed more anomalies. The objects that floated in inertia were now frozen in time. Even Qualen’s body wasn’t moving across the corridor. I started experimenting with the new laws. I threw an object and watched as its momentum was decelerating. Everything was trying to reach the frozen-in-time state. A thought came to me, that I am in fact Faster Than Light, and the entire world has come to halt. If that was true, then why was the starlight so painful?
I went exploring the front part of the ship. Despite being engulfed in darkness, the sun was my enemy now. I’ve reached the front sleeping quarters, which were reserved for the highest rank personnel, including captain. I’ve found a journal on a shelf. I returned to the cockpit to use the remaining light to read it. The journal belonged to Vesen, the first officer. I couldn’t find her anywhere. Maybe her body was floating in a dark room, or she was engulfed by the rays of the star and I couldn’t reach her. Maybe she was ejected and she disappeared forever. I decided she wouldn’t mind if I read through her journal.
Most pages contained a standard overview on Fertility’s state. Fuel, food, water, oxygen, power, crew. In the middle Vesen started writing more personally.
“Day 7 [July 10 2016]
I’ve read thoroughly through the crewmates’ dossier. There are individuals acting strange. I have seen the rations shrinking slightly faster than in the past 7 days. Even the social meetings were dropped more rarely, or very late. Those are the tiny hints for something bad. There is a predator disease developing on Fertility. I couldn't find it without commissioning a brain scan, so I had to guess based on the dossier.
There was one individual with an uneasy past. The FTL engineer Qualen was caught in a ln arxur invasion on one of the colonies. He barely survived and escaped by hiding in an unexplored by exterminators forest. He was hiding among wild predators, until the arxur took every survivors as a cattle. I am positive that Qualen was afflicted with predator disease after that time, and now he's spreading that behavior among the oblivious crew. In a meantime i must isolate him until we return to Venlil Prime”
I was shocked after reading this. Qualen had a predator disease? I have known him for many years, he couldn't possibly be dangerous. He was like a brother to me! His name would have been cleared if we ever reached civilization and brain scanned him.
But then again, he was the only other venlil who wasn't ejected from Fertility. Is he the reason I can not rest? It must be, there's literally nothing else on this shipwreck!
I have realized the purpose of this place. It’s a judgment. The sun was an instrument of execution, like a flamethrower for exterminators. I have to incinerate the body of a predator diseased crewmate before I can finally reach peace. The danger keeps me trapped from eternal rest, I have to burn it! I rushed out of the cockpit and reached the familiar precipice.
And I froze. The frame of the hull on the other side was lit by a star, locking me out of the stern. The rays were slowly traveling towards me. It made no sense! Everything was supposed to be frozen in time, but we are still orbiting around the system! I have returned to a dark hallway to gather my thoughts. I had to cross the precipice and burn the body of Qualen, but to do this I need to walk through hell itself. The alternative was to wait until the sun passes me unnoticed. I could not see any good spot to hide, as the ship was full of reflective surfaces. Both choices are equally risky but I chose the first option. It would be a problem if the chance I had was also time sensitive.
I returned to the great crack and took a good look at the spotlit surface of the corridor. I mimicked taking a deep breath for good luck and launched.
I felt like I was boiled in water, when I dived into the starlight. Whatever I tried to do on my most primal instincts, I was thrown out to square one, and even now the pain did not abandon me. I screamed into the aether, floated erratically, anything to let the endorphins ease my suffering. It took a long time to find relief, and I remembered that I don’t possess a body anymore and no natural pain relievers are produced in my brain. The only thing that suffered was my very soul.
When I returned to the precipice, I saw the starlight was already licking on my part of a ship. In no time I will be caught by dawn. I thought of going outside of my ship, while I still could. The reflective interior couldn’t be safer than the vast space. But I still could not outrun the starlight. I would be hiding in an umbra of Fertility. If I stray too far, I will be caught in penumbra. More than that, I couldn’t expect it, there are no reference points in space.
It was too late to do anything now. There was only one thing to test. The starlight might be an absolution. Maybe if I’m engulfed in it, I will be able to find the real afterlife. Absolution was not a concept from the venlilian faith, but again I can not think of any religion where the star smolders the soul of the wronged. Whenever I wanted to test it or not, the rays were approaching through the reflective walls of the hallways. I returned to the cockpit to wait for my fate. I thought of just closing the doors, but the electricity could not work and I was in inertia, I had no way to grapple and pull the doors together manually. I could only sit in my seat and wait.
What if there’s no good ending for me? If the star was an act of extermination of a soul, only a predator hell was awaiting me. Will I suffer for nothing forever? Will the souls of predators eat me until I stop existing? Will they keep eating me until the end of time? Or maybe they acknowledge me as one of them, as I could also have predator disease? Do predators even have souls? I was caught in a stream of thoughts as the starlight was closing in. I launched to the furthest corner, buying as much time as I can. I didn’t think the reflections even allowed the light to reach me. It seemed like the starlight was approaching me no matter what. If that’s the case, wouldn’t they reach Qualen’s body as well?
I had to stop that thought, as I was out of time for pondering. I took another nonexistent breath, closed my eyes and tensed all my muscles.
It was impossible to describe the agony I felt at that moment. My impulses forced me out to the center of the room, and my entire body was exposed to the scorching force of the star. My very soul was screaming out of my control and I was torn out of my mind. I lost my vision and heard ringing in my ears from the noise of my own throat.
Soon the blurry vision returned to me, but I was still screaming in pain. Through the pain I saw I was in a completely different room. There was a spotlight above me, and the walls were dim. I was laying on a bed that felt like it was made of cracked concrete. Everything that touched my body and the light itself was painful. Even the ungroomed hair was piercing through my skin. I heard a hum in my head, coming from a translation implant. There was someone in that room speaking an alien language. The figure appeared in my range of vision. It was tall and wearing a coat. It said that the others will come in a quarter of a paw, and that everyone was expecting me for a long time.
It came closer and I felt numbness as I deciphered the face of a blurry figure. It had front-facing eyes! IT WAS A PREDATOR! It truly must be a predator hell! I tried to move, back off, run! But my entire body was heavy. It felt like I hadn’t slept in a whole life. All my limbs, tail and neck were completely exhausted! The pain could not mellow either. I was trapped in a painful reality, awaiting to be tortured forever! The monstrum said that I must not worry about anything and allow my body to rest. It finally introduced itself as a human.

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submitted by NotNiko15 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 03:01 Thepoopsmuggler I’m starting to hate this company

I’m an assistant manager at US Cellular. When I first started (10 months ago) I loved it. Just in these few months it’s changed so much. My first 3-4 months of being commissionable I’ve made 85 percent or higher on my scorecard. But recently walk-in traffic has been so bad. It’s also so hard to get adds when AT&T has much better coverage in the area that our store is in. Not to mention the chargebacks I’m getting because people are unsatisfied. My ASM blames my chargebacks on ME WHEN THAT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE. Our score card goals are so extremely high and unrealistic compared to our walk in traffic it’s sad. Last month I got 5/27 new lines. All of us constantly get yelled at and criticized for not doing more to bring traffic in. We do all of our sales now calls, go through invoice history reports, and even do flyer drops. We even cold call businesses to get BIR Adds but no one’s interested. Our sales now calls don’t even work but we get get in trouble by our ASM and EM for not “doing them right”. We have changed our verbiage so many times to try to get people in but it doesn’t work. People don’t wanna be bothered so they don’t answer half the time.
To get promoted to assistant I had to hit goal 3 months in a row (which I didn’t) and they promoted me early anyways. I think they promoted me because everyone at our store quit and they didn’t want to lose me as an employee as well. No training was involved in the promotion they just expect me to know what I’m supposed to do as assistant manager (still have had no training). Not to mention my $1 pay raise (which sucks) didn’t even hit until a month after they said it would. They just keep doing things and it’s getting so frustrating. I haven’t been at this company super long but I used to like coming to work. It’s becoming miserable. I feel so unappreciated and replaceable at this company. All my manger and ASM care about it a bonus. This company is going downhill fast.
To sum it all up coverage sucks, the sales suck, the management and corporate assholes suck, the whole company just sucks as a whole.
My ASM’s whole market is doing bad, I wish she would look at her self as a leader and realize maybe she’s doing something wrong instead of blaming EVERY single employee in her market.
submitted by Thepoopsmuggler to USCellular [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 02:47 TLMoonBear Let’s talk about learning to get good at Abyss

What makes the Abyss hard?

There are many complaints about the Abyss. One particular complaint that commonly appears is the Abyss being “hard” or having “unfair mechanics”.
Tackling difficult content requires players having an understanding of how game mechanics and how players can express skill. Without this, players cannot actually engage with the challenge game designers come up with.
I believe many (but not all) complaints about Abyss combat are due to low player understanding of skill expression. This is due to several reasons:

1. Outside of Abyss there's very little actual content that requires you to be good at the game

2. Genshin gives you very little feedback when you fail in the Abyss

3. Content creators don’t focus on this topic enough

So let’s talk about what some key gameplay techniques are for Genshin. And then I’ll walk through Abyss design and how to think about beating the Abyss.
I will assume you are already familiar with basic techniques such as funnelling energy particles, and using I-Frames from Bursts / Dashes.

Key gameplay skills to learn

1. Grouping

Key idea: Killing multiple enemies is often as fast as killing one enemy if they all stand in the same place, saving you time
Even when using an Anemo character, the AI can be manipulated to group themselves together. This makes killing them much faster.
The core idea is that if the enemy isn’t in range to hit you, it will try to walk forward to do so. Therefore, you can position yourself in a way to encourage the AI to move together. This avoids you having to chase them around and waste time.
How to do this: When a pack of enemies spawns, move to one extreme side of them. The enemies on the opposite side will walk closer to get in range and bunch up together.
An easy trick: The first time you do an unknown Abyss layout, just load and don’t even try to fight it. Watch where enemies spawn, and how long their attack range is. This lets you observe if there are any grouping tricks you can abuse.
Example: Spiral Abyss Patch 3.4 Floor 12-2-2 (2 min 28 sec onwards)
After blowing up Wave 1 with Raiden, the player runs to the far left side of the Abyss. This causes Wave 2 of the Husks to begin to group up.
Running to the opposite side of the Abyss then gets the Husks to all stand right next to each other perfectly. This zig-zag manoeuvre means they can be extremely efficiently AoE’ed down much faster.

2. Camera Angle Management

Key idea: Always stand in a position where you can see all enemies. This means you can never be surprised by an attack from off-screen.
If the enemies are always in front of you, you can watch for the most important attacks to either Dash or cast Bursts to immune the damage / knockback.
You should never be in a position where you are hit by an attack you did not see coming.
How to do this: The easiest way to do this in the Spiral Abyss is to stand with your back towards a wall and the enemies in front of you.
Example: Spiral Abyss Patch 2.7 Floor 12-2-1 (1 min 50 sec onwards)
The player immediately runs to the back wall of the Spiral Abyss. This means despite enemies spawning in a circle around the starting point, everything can be seen by the player camera.
This has the benefit of grouping everything up to eat AoE and die efficiently.
After Wave 1 dies, the player always looks at the Cryo Slime facing the Frost Lawlachurl. Always keeping the Lawlachurl in front of them means every attack is extremely telegraphed and can be casually dodged for a clean kill.

3. Stamina Management

Key idea: Keep enough Stamina so you can always dodge important attacks.
Melee characters must trade their Stamina for distance and speed to clear fast. Therefore, you want to position carefully in the Abyss to minimize the distance you have to travel.
(This is also why Yoimiya is sometimes favoured over Hu Tao at very high levels of investment. If you are strong enough to one-rotate things anyway, the range advantage means you spend no stamina attacking enemies that spawn far away from each other instead of needing to chase them down)
How to do this: Know where enemies spawn. Kite towards spawn locations so you don’t spend time and stamina chasing up with enemies.
If you face enemies that charge you, stand with your back to a wall. The enemies will charge into a wall. This way you don’t need to chase after them.
Example: Spiral Abyss Patch 3.4 Floor 12-1-1 and Floor 12-2-1 (1 min 40 sec onwards)
On Floor 12-1-1, the player knows where all enemies are spawning. They move in a way that minimizes stamina usage and can spawn camp the enemy.
On Floor 12-2-2, the player stands with the wall at their back when the Consecrated Beasts spawn. This means they charge towards the player. Camera angle management means the attack is extremely obvious and easily I-Framed.
Keeping both Beasts near the wall means they can be easily AoE’ed down for a quick kill.

4. Pre-cast long animation Skills / Bursts

Key idea: Bursts take up time. Cast the ones with long animations when enemies have downtime so you don’t use up your DPS window.
Enemies that are targetable can also be cheesed by hitting them for some extra Energy from skills / Favonius procs.
How to do this: Many enemies have animations for spawning into the Abyss. Instead of waiting for them to spawn in, use the time to set up things such as Nahida Burst so you minimize the time not spent doing dps.
Example: Spiral Abyss Patch 3.4 Floor 12-2-2 (3 min 55 sec onwards)
By the time Dorito King ASIMON has even fully loaded into the Abyss, the player has already set up Yae turrets, Nahida E and Burst, and funnelled energy on Yelan to get back her Burst.

Learning the 3.7 Abyss specifics

1. Overview of Abyss design

Mihoyo creates Abyss layouts to encourage or discourage a specific type of gameplay, or put pressure on team compositions.
The most common approach is creating one side with an AoE mob focus vs one side with a Boss killing focus.
However, more recently Mihoyo has been introducing specific challenges to target specific ways players play teams.
The reason Mihoyo does this is because it's one of the few ways they can balance content in the game. They can't retroactively buff / nerf things. So the primary lever they have is to create Abyss designs that encourage or discourage certain types of play.

2. 3.7 Abyss Design

The 3.7 Abyss is structured as a team composition building test. It rewards players who have built a variety of characters they can flex, and punishes people who have narrow character pools.

Right Side: The Shield Breaking Challenge

Left Side: The Time and Character Pool Challenge

3. Floor specific advice

Floor 12-1-1

Grouping techniques:

Floor 12-1-2

Nahida National comments:

Floor 12-2-1

Floor 12-2-2

Floor 12-3-1

Floor 12-3-2

Nahida National comments:
GL HF clearing the Abyss~! (。•̀ᴗ-)✧
submitted by TLMoonBear to Genshin_Impact [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 02:13 Drakolf TftM: War Crimes

Garhauf watched the people below with a quiet pensiveness. The verticality of the Central Sector of the Hedron never bothered him, not only was there gravitic shielding that prevented people from falling to their deaths- making it more like falling off a half-story and landing hard on the ground- but the railings were designed to prevent people from just climbing over and leaping down.
There being a fine on top of that didn't hurt matters either.
He took a drag from the pipe in his hands, a small gift from the Humans after the war, a way for them to say thank you, even though he was the enemy. He didn't inhale, not fully, drawing the smoke into his mouth, holding it for a moment, and releasing it in honor of his ancestors- not that the Hedron allowed the smoke to linger for long, even if it wasn't carcinogenic.
Small round drones swooped in, sucking up the smoke and filtering the air, his people were still lobbying for his culture's sacred herbs to be recognized as a non-toxic incense.
The door to the balcony opened, a Vagraxi expatriate stepped out, regarded Garhauf with a mixture of surprise and suspicion. "Why are you sitting in my spot, Caniti?" He demanded.
"Please. I've sat on this spot longer than you've been on this station." Garhauf remarked. "I was stationed here during the war with Humanity, I came up here to give honor to my ancestors for keeping me from getting butchered any time I fought on the frontlines."
The Vagraxi snorted and narrowed his eyes, Garhauf raised one mechanical arm and gestured toward the seat across from him. "It's a little farther, but you won't make a veteran stand up, now, would you?"
The Vagraxi sighed and sat across from him. The silence that fell wasn't tense, as many would expect. Garhauf eyed him for a few minutes, took another drag of the pipe, and let the smoke drift out of his mouth. "Your people are planning on going to war with them again."
It wasn't a question, nobody in their right mind believed the Vagraxi Empire would just sit around and allow Humanity to have a victory. The stalemate- and that is what it was, a stalemate- only ensured the Vagraxi Empire was stopped in their tracks from expanding.
"My people are the ones who recognize the Empire isn't infallible." The expatriate stated firmly. "That said, I am nonetheless still a citizen, and would be pressed into service if war broke out before I could fully immigrate."
Garhauf nodded. "Let me tell you something about my time in the war." He spoke. "I was a jailor back then, lost my arm, couldn't fight anymore, survived through sheer piss and spite. A warrior like me couldn't fight anymore, so they stuck me with watching over Humans." He fixed his eyes on the expatriate. "Humans, as long as you treat them with dignity, will not fuck you over."
"Please, we both know the Humans freely ignore their own laws of war when it suits them." The expatriate scoffed.
"Only half-true. They adhere very rigorously to their laws, they only ignore them when they're broken by the enemy." Garhauf took another drag from the pipe and let the smoke loose into the air. "I was the one who fed the Humans. kept them apprised of the war situation. I was trying to break their spirits, show them by how much we were winning, how we'd break their advance, how we held the line long enough to achieve our missions."
He nodded, tapping the pipe empty. "I was up here when they broke free. They broke containment, got their hands on our weapons, only shot the combatants. When they came up here, they didn't even aim a gun at me, said since I was the one who kept them in good health, I was free to leave."
"They didn't hate you." The expatriate remarked.
"I told them the only way I was getting off this station was as a corpse, and if they tried to push it, I'd tear their throats out. There was no way I would dishonor my ancestors by simply handing the Hedron over."
"What happened next?"
Garhauf chuckled. "They weren't interested in the Hedron as a weapon, they just wanted it out of the picture. Occupy it long enough to demoralize my people, so they cut me a deal. The Captain was in the bridge, holed up in there, ran in with his tail between his legs. Absolutely shameful behavior. They told me, if I killed him, I'd guarantee the survival of every soldier on the Hedron, constrained to their living areas, certainly, but not cramped in the prison."
"What did you do?"
Garhauf chuckled. "I refused. Said I wasn't going to do it unless the whole crew agreed to it. Bear in mind, they liked me, that gave me a lot of negotiating power. I knew I couldn't make them leave, I knew they weren't going to kill me unless it was necessary. So they did the next best thing."
He set the pipe on the table, leaned forward, and laced his fingers together. "They brought me to the brig and had me ask them."
"Surely your comrades said no." The expatriate remarked, shocked. "In what universe would that ever pan out?"
Garhauf laughed, it was the first, solid bellowing laugh he'd given. "This one, cub." He answered. "The Humans had already learned we'll turn our backs on a coward, and our captain had betrayed us all when he hid. We all knew we were well and truly flat-against-the-wall fucked. Absolutely rutted. So the decision was pretty easy, we couldn't take the Hedron back, but we could at least keep the firing codes out of Human hands for a while."
Garhauf sighed, shook his head, and cast his gaze down at the ground floor. "It was easy." He said. "The Humans let one technician out, he disabled the gravitic shielding, and I marched right up to the bridge alone, not a Human in sight. When the captain saw I was alone, he let me in, I told him how the Humans allowed weakness in their hearts and let me stay free because I did my duty and fed them. I told him, when I engaged with the Humans, to jump and make his escape."
"So he jumped." The expatriate spoke softly.
"So he jumped. He was quiet about it for the first few feet, when he realized he wasn't slowing down, he howled in fear, and then with a splat, he went silent. The fall killed him instantly, managed to twist himself around in the air, looking for a handhold, such that he landed on his head."
"What happened after that?"
Garhauf stretched and rolled his shoulders. "We were confined to the living quarters, I was the only one allowed in or out, so I was the one who carried requests to and from. Most of the stuff I was able to get, I was even able to negotiate trips to the training room, under armed escort, of course, just so we wouldn't go feral from boredom. By the end of the war, we didn't really care who the others were, since we treated each other with respect, we sort of became friends. Only two people died that entire time."
Garhauf nodded. "It's funny, the other jailor had a weak heart, he was in the middle of feeding the Humans when it finally gave out on him. The Humans managed to get the keys off of him, secured their arms, and took over the entire Hedron. Now, we all live here like one big happy family."
He stood up, picking up the pipe. "And this? A gift from those Human soldiers. Read the engraving."
The expatriate took hold of the pipe and read the words aloud. "To Garrauf-"
"Garhauf." He was corrected.
"To Garhauf, 10/10 would get jailed again." The expatriate looked up, confused.
"It's a Human joke." Garhauf remarked, taking the pipe back. "I met my mate back then, sometimes he lets me cuff him to the bed, as a treat." He pocketed the pipe "So, take my advice. If your captain is holding Humans in your ship's brig, and you want to survive when they inevitably get out? Make sure you're on feeding duty, and treat them with dignity." With that, he walked off, leaving a thoroughly confused Vagraxi alone to ruminate on his story...
submitted by Drakolf to DrakolfsWritings [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 02:12 Omansurver The second part of the fourth section of a certain super well-made-like-oh-my-god-this-is-so-good literary piece of media that was inspired by a animated piece of media, or the second part of the fourth chapter.

So yeah, second part. I forgot to say the page count last time of this chapter last time, so I'll say it now. Chapter four is about fifty pages long, so it fits the bill when it comes to these things. Not much else to say, so enjoy.

* * *
Jacob pondered.
On what exactly? Oh fine, I’ll tell you.
Jacob had just received what was, hopefully, a relatively unfiltered version of the recent events and situation on the planet. After about an hour of explanation, A had finished on the arrival of the disassembly drones, and the subsequent widespread assault on the worker drones. When Jacob had asked for the specific story of A’s squad, A had skirted around it, only lightly touching upon the subject. It was slightly suspicious, but Jacob didn’t plan on doing anything about it.
However, if it was the truth, it only raised more questions than answers. The fact that a company was willing to exterminate the entirety of what was probably a massive investment was just baffling. Jacob could only come up with two explanations, one of which was rather worrying to think about. The first was that of changing times; perhaps the company was so rich, and technology so advanced, that the worker drones could be replaced with the ease of buying another shipload of tissues. If you threw away an entire box of tissues, it would be annoying to say the least, but it wouldn’t cost a lot to just get another one.
But, it just didn’t make sense to Jacob that that would be the case. The United States military in the time of Jacob had heaps, thousands of missiles, and could afford to replace them as they were used. But if they all disappeared at once? It would take lots of time, money, and effort to replace each and every single last one of the lost payloads, and not to mention the logistical nightmare it would be.
So, that led Jacob to his other solution, one that insinuated a scenario far more confusing and sinister. If the company decided to just annihilate every worker drone, which is a very radical and illogical decision by a galaxy-spanning megacorporation, then it would line up with certain other decisions made by other people in the past.
During the Second World War, the U.S. government was fearful of a potential Japanese invasion. They believed that, if they did land boots on American soil, that the Japanese-Americans would rise up, taking the side of the invaders. And so, Roosevelt made the Executive Order 9066, ordering over one hundred and twenty thousand Japanese-Americans to be interned in concentration camps, where they would remain until near the end of the war.
This was an apt example for how even the most level-headed of individuals could make bad decisions under the influence of fear. If Jacob assumed that the same was true for this day and age, then perhaps the administration at the company had sent machines to kill the entire worker drone populace due some or maybe even all of them being much more dangerous than what was being let on. It was a bit far-fetched, but was the one of the only viable solutions at the moment, aside from his theory that nothing was real and they were all figments of the imagination of a being so complex they were nothing but fiction to it, but the chances of that were little to none.
Jacob’s pondering was interrupted by someone waving their hand in front of his face.
“Ugh, hello?” A snapped his fingers twice. “You there?”
Jacob blinked, refocusing on his present company. “Uh yeah, just processing.”
A scoffed. “Processing what? I thought humans were superior or something?”
Jacob smacked A’s hand out of his face. “Me too.”
A raised an LED eyebrow.
“Doesn’t matter.” Jacob waved hand in a dismissive way. “What now?”
“I dunno. That's all I had.” A shrugged.
“Nothing else you’re hiding?” Jacob questioned.
“No. There isn’t.” A glared at Jacob. “Now drop it.”
Jacob held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, jeez man, calm down. I just don’t wanna be bored for however long I’m stuck here.”
“Yeah well, that's not really my problem.” A stated.
Jacob didn’t reply, only sighing, before standing and getting up out of his seat.
A startled. “Wait, where are you going?”
“Out.” Jacob simply replied.
“Why?” A inquired.
Jacob shrugged. “Bored.”
A got to his feet as well. “Fine then. I guess I’m going as well.”
“You’re coming with?” Jacob asked incredulously.
“Yeah. I can’t have you running off and getting yourself killed.” A reasoned.
“They kept saying that too.” Jacob grumbled.
“Who said that?” A tilted his head.
“K and X.” Jacob answered. “Also, why don’t y’all have normal names? Why just letters?”
“I dunno.” A non-committedly replied.
“Huh.” Jacob took that as a cue to leave, turning to the ladder.
A followed closely behind, waiting until Jacob had gone through the small exit to ascend himself.
Jacob didn’t bother to use the ladder on the way down, buckling his knees and dropping the last few feet, hearing the snow crunch beneath him. He had been prepared to absorb the impact, but it seemed like whatever advanced mechanics his suit possessed had done the job all by itself, which was pretty nice. He made a mental note to test out the capabilities later on, just to get a general sense of the limits and what would be a danger to him.
Jacob heard a similar crunching noise behind him, causing him to look backwards, seeing A just awkwardly standing there.
“Just gonna follow me? Really?” Jacob was slightly annoyed.
“Yeah. I’ve gotta keep you safe until someone else takes you off my hands, or else I’ll-” A cut himself off.
Jacob took note of that, inferring what he might have been about to say. It only served to confirm his notion that he was sort of a VIP on the planet. He was to be protected at all costs, which was pretty nice for Jacob.
“So, you gonna do anything?” A asked.
* * *
The sound of snow crunching filled the empty room as the pair walked into it.
“Can we go back already?” X complained.
“No, and be quiet.” K scolded him. “It’s too echoey in this room, it’s annoying.”
X scoffed. “Pff, it’s fine. Nobody’s around for miles, we’re all good. Now when can we go back?”
K rolled her eyes. “We can go back when we find something, You heard what he said.”
“What who said?” X inquired.
“You idiot, our squad leader!? Our boss that we’ve spent who knows how long with!?” K cried out.
“Calm down, just messing around.” X leaned against the wall.
“Whatever, you know what A said. We can’t come back until we’ve found water.” K reminded X.
“Why do we even need it? I’m sure he’ll be fine.” X waved off the issue.
“He’ll die.” K deadpanned.
“He can walk it off.” X waved off the issue again.
“I don’t care, just get off the wall, we’ve gotta search every building.” K gestured for X to follow.
“How can we even find anything in here? Everywhere else we’ve checked has been empty.” X took his place next to K.
“You never know, now get to it.” K kicked over a rock, exposing a small marble.
X trotted over to a dented metal counter on one side of the room, peering underneath it.
“Nothing here, this is useless.” X whined.
“Shut up.” K called out.
X surprisingly obliged, kneeling down and searching the small cabinets that were connected to the counter. After finding nothing but a small skeleton huddled inside one of them, X sighed heavily, before making his way over to a large metal box. It might’ve been taller than him if it wasn’t tipped over on its side, with an assortment of power cords snaking out from an outlet on the back of it. Seeing a small handle on the front, X tugged on it, the slight rust giving way to superior strength.
However, X’s eyes went wide with shock, which changed to glee.
“Hey, look what I’ve found!” X called out to K.
K’s head whipped up, staring at the prize that X was brandishing. “You found- what is that?”
If the two had any idea what warm food was, they would’ve recognized the lumpy frozen good that X had in his hands as a perfectly preserved rotisserie chicken. If they had any sort of reheating device, and if they had proper taste buds, they might have been able to enjoy the sweet experience of a Thanksgiving dinner. However, they were ignorant robots who were about as smart as a middle schooler, so the only reaction that they, or at least one of them had, was confusion.
“I dunno, but it says chicken on the side!” X proudly exclaimed.
“What’s chicken?” K questioned.
“I’m . . . not sure . . . but I’m pretty sure it's food.” X’s LED eyebrows furrowed in thought.
“How do you know that?” K asked.
“Uh, I don't?” X seemed more confused than ecstatic now.
K shook her head. “Did you find anything useful?”
“Well I found this clear thing, but it only says something called ‘Dasani’ on the side.” X held up a clear plastic bottle, putting his finger in quotation marks when he said it.
“Give me that!” K dashed across the room, snatching the item out of X’s hands.
“Wha- hey!” X tried to grab at it, but K held it out of his reach.
“Back up!” K swatted X in the face, inciting a squawk of surprise.
“I found it first, give it back!” X shot back, tackling K, causing the bottle to roll across the ground.
The two began slugging at each other, scrabbling across the ground for dominance over a goddamn bottle, like a gang of the aforementioned middle schoolers. Nearly crushing the contested item multiple times, the two spent a good thirty seconds duking it out. And after K finally managed to curl into a ball around the bottle, X tried to no avail to recapture his former possession.
“You motherfu-” X was cut off by a noise from the door that led deeper into the building
The two highly professional disassembly drones shot to their feet, their gazes snapping to the origin of the sound. Standing there was a figure, about the same height as K and X, with familiar black plating and armor, kneeling down to grab a small blue marble that was on the floor. It appears as though the idiot had been trying to be sneaky to avoid capturing the attention of the killer robots, which clearly didn’t go as planned.
“Uh, hi.” The drone said after a moment of silence.
Even more silence.
The military drone took that as a cue to scoop up the marble, before dashing out of the room.
K and X instantly took chase, with K pocketing the small bottle for later. The military drone wasn’t quite fast, but it did make use of its head start well. The unnamed drone disappeared behind the corner, with the pair of disassembly drones right on his heels. However, when K turned around the edge, a bullet tore through the air, finding its home in her head. Completely unprepared, she fell to the ground.
X, contrary to what some might do, didn’t stop to assist her, instead just simply vaulting over her body, speeding onward. He was rapidly closing the distance between him and the military drone, when his prey suddenly whipped around with a pistol in its hand. X, unlike his comrade, was prepared for this inevitability, turning to the side and out of the path of the trio of bullets as they flew by him. X followed up on this by diving down onto the hapless drone, trying to skewer it on gleaming metal claws.
The drone didn’t have a chance to fight, but unknown to X, he did have time to press the small panic button on its jawline, or where the jawline would be if it was a human. If anyone on this planet was familiar with standard police or even military practice, they would recognize the small button as the useful yet annoying panic button.
For a bit of context, the panic button is usually represented as a small and easy-to-access device that, when activated, sends out an emergency distress signal that would notify the proper authorities of the panic button’s location and a dire situation. The panic button is common in the military, police personnel, elderly homes, schools, corporate buildings, apartment buildings, and basically everywhere else that isn’t a ghetto.
The drone, however, proved to be much smarter than his predecessors, much to the dismay of X. It dove to the side, dropping down and through a weakened rusty grate. As X’s claws scraped against the wall, the fleeing drone tossed a metal panel that was blocking the way out to his side, before dashing through the door. X jumped down to the lower floor, before continuing his chase.
A flurry of bullets ripped towards him, but X brought his arm up, letting his forearm absorb the projectiles that hit, and most missed. The drone ran down a comically long flight of stairs, taking three steps at a time. The stairs continued downward, eventually opening up to a basement with a gaping hole in the wall, which led straight into darkness. The drone nearly fell into the hole from the momentum of jumping down the stairs. But, it just managed to skid to a stop at the edge.
X landed at the foot of the stairs, crouching to absorb the impact. X’s gaze focused on the drone that was pointing the pistol at X, sights drawing a solid bead on his head. However, when it pulled the trigger, it was only met with a slight clicking sound. The drone gaze jerked down to the pistol, then straight back up to X, who was now diving towards it, claws outstretched.
The drone jumped backwards, losing his balance. Its foot slipped off the edge, and while the sudden space between it and X saved its life for the time being, it did have to contend with gravity, which was now pulling on the drone by a considerable amount.
X watched as the drone tumbled down the pit, hitting the sides. However, the sides of the pit were both sloped and slick with a thin sheet of ice, causing the drone to slide down to the bottom. The drone slammed against a large rusty metal pipe, which was a solid indicator of the pit’s identity as a sewer.
The drone scrambled to its feet, caving the skull in of a skeleton that appeared to have been a former inspector when one took into account the corpse’s clipboard and tattered clothes. X slammed down onto the large pipe, causing it to resonate like a gong. The drone snatched up a small length of rusty metal rebar that had impaled itself on the ground, the edge of the steel surprisingly sharp. The drone adopted a fighting stance, pointing the business end towards X.
The robotic predator didn’t care, however, just simply stabbing his prey with his own pointy stick, the sharp end of his nanite acid tail. The sharp tool stuck itself in the drone’s shoulder, causing it to drop the bar and curse. X took the opportunity to grip the drone by the head, while digging the claws of his other hand in its chest. X then looked into the opaque black visor of the military drone, before pulling in two opposite directions.
The effects were made known quickly, with the head of the military drone migrating away from its home connected to the body. Oil splashed down onto X, who took the opportunity to feed. X dropped the head, letting it hit the ground with a clang, dropping the body as well.
X stood over the fallen corpse, claws gleaming with oil. K landed next to him, retracting her wings.
“So you got it?” K asked.
“No I didn’t, he got away. This body right here is just a random pigeon, and you’re just hallucinating.” X replied sarcastically. “Also, how the hell did you get here so fast?”
K rolled her eyes. “Oh, be quiet. I’m just making sure, because knowing you, you would probably let him go for the funny.” She ignored his latter question.
“Well now that you mention it . . .” X looked sorrowfully at the body.
K punched him in the arm. “Whatever, we gotta go. I seriously doubt that he was alone-”
She was cut off yet again by a loud crash that originated from the hole up on the wall. The duo whipped around, only to see several guns pointed straight at them.
“Sup.” X nodded at the intruders.
* * *
The sound of conversation could be audibly heard from the lit tent.
The tent had been designated as the de facto headquarters for the former facility personnel, with a smaller offshoot serving as a meeting room for the leadership. The offshoot tent in question was currently being used for its purpose, with an emergency meeting being called. Not because of the discovery of a dead body, but for a different matter entirely.
“Can anyone at least tell me how this happened?” The Lead Engineer leaned on the table.
One of the data officers stepped forward. “We believe that when we were evacuating the facility, an error occurred that declassified the file.” They answered.
“An error did this.” The General wasn’t convinced.
“Well, yes. The computers had been degrading for a while now, and we had noticed that several of our autonomous programs were misbehaving, or just outright not working at all.” The data officer replied.
“And we did nothing about this?” The General glared at the trio of data officers that had joined them.
“We actually were doing all we could, but we didn’t have the materials to make a complete fix.” The Lead Engineer interjected.
“Why didn’t you tell me then!?” The General exclaimed.
“I did. You probably just forgot again.” The Lead Engineer suggested.
“What? I have the best memory here.” The General puffed out his chest proudly.
“Alright then, what were we just talking about?” The Lead Engineer inquired.
The General frowned. “We were talking?”
The Lead Engineer facepalmed. “Goddamn idiot.”
One of the data officers stepped up. “Uh, sir? There is still the matter of the ones who discovered the information.”
“Oh yeah, uh, dump them off the eastern bridge.” The Lead Engineer waved off the issue.
With a simple nod, the data officers left, accompanied by a few guards as well. The Lead Engineer sat back in his chair, before steepling his fingers on the desk. He looked back and forth between the assembled leadership, before the General spoke up.
“So, are we gonna continue or what?” He crossed his arms.
“Yes, sorry.” The Lead Engineer motioned to one of his ministers. “You take the lead, Kane.”
Kane got up, walking to the front of the tent, dragging a projector on a cart with him. When he arrived, he pulled down the white screen, securing the hook on a latch on the bottom. He then adjusted the cart, facing the lens towards the screen. He then attached a laptop to the projector, pressing a few buttons and fiddling with a few switches, cursing once. Finally, the projector flickered to life, shining an image onto the screen.
Kane cleared his throat. “Ahem, so. What you are seeing here is the first page of the document in question. As you can see here, it appears to be warning against a drone viewing whatever the contents of this file is.” Kane flicked to the next slide. “It continues to vehemently express this multiple times, not really differing in its warning at all.”
One of the military ministers, Alicia, raised her hand. “Uh, question?”
Kane paused. “What is it?”
“Its warning against drones? She asked.
“Yes, it is. I’ll explain this later on, so save your questions for the end please.” Kane looked back to the projection, skipping through the slides until he landed on the first one without a warning.
“Ah, here we go. So, as you can see here, this appears to be a logo for JCJenson-'' Kane was interrupted by a faint, “In Spaaaaacee!” from an unknown source. “Uh, anyway, as all of you know, JCJenson was the company that owned this planet, and the one that provided the drones that the government were using in their facility, which was us.” Kane flicked to the next slide.
“Here we can see a title for a project, along with several bits of accompanying information, like locations, associates, page number, references, you get the picture.” Kane then produced a long ruler from what seemed like thin air, before pointing the end at one of the words. “Pay attention to this one here ‘AbsoSolv’ as it’ll come up several times later on.” Going to the next slide, Kane cleared his throat yet again.
“This page is more confusing, as it appears to be mentioning several unit serial numbers that don’t match up with standard format, which are mixed in with several other ones that are in different format, like this one here,” Kane pointed his stick at a random one from the line. “This one says, S-010011X01, which I believe has a main identifying letter instead of a string of numbers based on time of construction.”
“Additionally, while some of these feature the normal serial numbers that worker drones use, they have another identifier after it, separated by a dash.” Kane flipped to the next slide.
“This one is more straightforward, as it appears to be featuring a set of technical designs of a modified worker drone with the serial number and other associated information listed at the top. The notes on the side are observations on the modifications that can be seen in the designs. Some of the original worker drone parts can be seen, but a majority of the inner and outer mass seem to have been altered or replaced with a substance that is described as ‘fleshy’. You can see at the very bottom a signature of an unknown human administrator, and a notice that marks the drone for ‘disassembly’ as an addendum can be seen that marks whatever this is as a failure, and a recommendation to request more data from their source.”
Kane took a breath, before going to the next slide. “This is essentially the same as the last one, and this continues for a few slides. Nothing of note can be found in them, save for a few different serial numbers that were listed in one of the prior slides.”
Kane flicked to the next slide. “This one has two addendums, which I will say in a moment. The image is different as well, with noticeably less random mutations and more of a form taking place. This one was supposedly much more successful than the others, and while it was still marked as a failure, the first addendum said that the team working on the project should strip the data from the drone in as best a condition as they could. The second one simply noted they were naming the specific strain of code they were using to ‘Absolute Solver’. The addendum does not mention any reason or motive behind the name, only noting the fact that their shareholders would be pleased.”
“The next one is the first apparent success in the line of experiments that JCJenson seemed to be doing. A single growth can be seen protruding from the back of the spinal transmitter, and several other growths have sprouted inside. However, it is noted that the drone survived the process, and remained somewhat coherent for a period of time afterwards, which seems to be an outlier when considering the others. There isn’t an addendum on this one, only a request from the team for more extensive data from their source to compare to this experiment.”
“This trend continues for a good while, so I’ll just summarize the important bits for all of you.” Kane stated. “Each version continued to show more and more productive attributes and traits, as is par the standard course. Throughout the notes, requests, and addendums, whoever was typing up the document repeatedly noted some things that I will review later, such as Absolute Solver, the ‘source’, Camp 98.7, Cabin Fever Labs, and disassembly drones.”
Kane flicked to the final slide. “This is the final page, with some items to note. It appears to be a reiteration of the specifics of the agreement between the government and JCJenson, with a few additional key things. It includes the standard formalities and the usual junk that we all know, but something else as well. When mentioning the exchange of data that came from the asset-” Kane paused as the room underwent an uncomfortable shuffle in their seats. “They mention a clear correlation between this project that JCJenson is, or was, working on, and the asset. They also instructed the government contacts that any unauthorized personnel, which included government agents, were now barred from entering Camp 98.7 due to ‘hazardous environmental conditions’ and that this was nonnegotiable.”
Kane turned away from the projector, clasping his hands in front of himself. “And now to explain.”
“From what me and the team I assigned could gather, we deduced the meanings and purposes behind several items that were mentioned in this file. The first and most obvious, the ‘source’ that is mentioned. They are receiving data from this source, which seems to be essential to the development of what they were working on. Based on their words, we figured that the source is likely the asset, and yes, the same asset that we are all familiar with.” Kane paused, seemingly to let his words sink in.
“Continuing on, we began to dissect what Camp 98.7 was. It was very clearly a location of sorts, but where it was and what it was used for was more complicated. While we never arrived at a solid conclusion, we believed that the most likely avenue was that Camp 98.7 might have been an outpost of sorts, perhaps used in conjunction with these Cabin Fever Labs.”
“On the matter of the Cabin Fever Labs, we can clearly assume that research and development of this Absolute Solver was being conducted there, and perhaps Camp 98.7 was a sort of staging ground or other type of location related to the lab. We believe that the location of one or both of these sites are hidden within another file.”
“And perhaps the most intriguing and complex matter of them all, Absolute Solver. We figured that it was likely that this Absolute Solver was instrumental in whatever experiments they were doing, or even being one of the subjects of the experiments themselves. From what we gather, Absolute Solver is something, maybe a piece of alien machinery, some sort of unknown lifeform, an experimental strain of cutting-edge code, one of those things, but whatever it is, it is not something that is ‘normal’. It appears to have a unique effect on those it hosts or comes into contact with, rapidly generating new organic material, with sometimes uncontrolled effects. While the file only shows the experiments that used drones, we don’t know if any humans or other organic lifeforms were included either. Likely not, considering the legality of the situation, but it's open to discussion.”
Kane took a large breath, before continuing.
“And finally, the disassembly drones. They seem simple, but my team believed it to be heavily related to our current situation. They aren’t mentioned very often, but they appear to be a direct result of their experiments or related to one. From what we could gather, they are meant to, well, disassemble. Drones on par with military-grade ones that are capable of a variety of things, like bullet fire, rocket launching, melee combat, flight, digital warfare, and regeneration.” Kane watched as his words dawned upon his audience, expressions filling with shock.
“Yes, those drones. The disassembly drones that we read about are likely some variant of the unknown assailants that attacked the facility, and stole the asset in the process.”
The General sputtered. “B-but that would be a severe political incident! If those drones were under the command of JCJenson, and they stole GOVERNMENT property, then they would be liable for retaliation!”
Kane tried to calm the room. “Now, hold on, I’m not done-”
The Lead Engineer also appeared to be shocked. “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier!?”
“You told me to wait for the meeting!” Kane exclaimed.
The room erupted into disarray.
“We need to mobilize, hunt down those damn traitors!”
“What's their last known location!?”
“Where is the nearest transmitter, send out a request for retaliatory action!”
Suddenly, a drone burst into the room, knocking over the projector cart in the process. Everyone turned to look at him, ceasing the chaos for a moment.
“Er, uh, sirs?” The drone asked.
“Yes?” The General and the Lead Engineer stood up at the same time.
“I, uh,” The drone looked back and forth between the two administrators. “Well, we received a panic signal from one of our scouts.”
The General scoffed. “Why would that be enough to warrant our intervention? He probably just tripped on a conveniently placed banana peel.”
The messenger fidgeted nervously. “Well, his partner reported moments before the signal came in that he heard gunshots.”
The administrative drones shared a collective uneasy look.
“What did you do?” The General asked slowly.
“The officers who received the signal first sent in two of the patrol squads that were nearby at the time.” The messenger answered.
The drones in assembly all either looked down in disappointment or facepalmed.
The General spoke up after a moment. “Send in a squad as fast as you can to their last known location. Only veterans, and outfit them with heavy weaponry and explosive ordnance.” The General paused, before adding an afterthought. “And give them some cutting equipment too.”
The messenger blinked in surprise. “Wait, sir, are you sure-”
“Just tell the officers already!” The General slammed his fist down onto the cheap plastic table, which formed a crack.
The messenger saluted quickly, before dashing out of the room.
The Lead Engineer took a cursory look at the assembled drones, before he sighed.
“We’re screwed.”
* * *
“Are you going back anytime soon?”
Jacob looked back at his unwanted companion.
“No.” He answered simply, before resuming his casual trot.
“We’re getting too far away from the spire, and the sun is coming up in an hour or two. I for one don’t want to get caught out.” A insisted.
“Well I don’t die from a bit of sunlight, so too bad.” Jacob stepped over a tire rim.
“I’m not sure that’s your choice.” A stated.
Jacob paused and looked backward. “Oh, so you’re bossing me around now?”
“Maybe, if you keep on making dumb decisions like this.” A stopped as well.
“Pff, I’ll be fine.” Jacob waved his hand in the air to emphasize his point.
“You won’t last ten minutes.” A dead-panned.
“Nah, I’ll speedrun this stuff, I’ll be off-planet in an hour.” Jacob proudly said.
A shook his head and sighed. “Whatever you say.”
Jacob didn’t answer.
Jacob then looked around. “Wait, where are we? I wasn’t keeping track.”
“And you said that you would- whatever, we’re like, three miles away from the base.” A replied.
“Huh, went that far?” Jacob asked.
A frowned. “Three miles isn’t that far-”
A was interrupted by a rather loud crack that resonated through the landscape.
Jacob blinked. “Uh, ok then-”
Jacob was also interrupted by a trio of cracks and bangs, sounding slightly familiar.
“Are those-” Jacob was, yet again, interrupted by even more bangs.
“-gunshots?” He finished.
“I wouldn’t worry, those idiots are probably either messing around, or they found a worker drone to kill.” A nonchalantly answered.
“Shouldn’t we go check it out though?” Jacob inquired.
“It isn’t a problem.” A said, annoyed.
“Well it would give me something to do.” Jacob insisted.
A checked the time, before looking at the horizon for signs of sunlight.
“Eh, fine. Wouldn’t hurt, I guess.” A shrugged.
“Nice.” Jacob grinned underneath his ballistic visor.
* * *
K sliced through the head of the last desperate drone, before spitting out a bullet.
“You done?” K called out to X.
“Yeah, I guess. By the way, do you still have my Dasani thing?” X looked at K hopefully.
“Yes, I do. And besides, it isn’t yours, it's for Jacob.” K answered.
“What? Why is he getting it? Why not me?” X exclaimed.
“Because it's water, idiot. An uncontaminated source, like A told us, remember?” K glared at X.
“I guess, but that's water?” X asked.
“Yes, it is. It matches the description.” K replied
“Description?” X questioned.
“Yeah, the description. You know what description means, right?” K seemed even more annoyed.
“I know what it means.” X snapped. “But how do you know what water looks like?”
K just shrugged, before turning towards the exit.
“Come on, we gotta get back soon.” She flew upwards, landing on the ledge.
X followed suit, tracing their steps back through the building. X looked back up at the rusty grate that the drone had fallen through, which he now identified as being part of a weirdly placed catwalk. Scanning the environment, X found that the only entrance to the small alcove would be the hole in the catwalk. The basement that the small room was connected to didn’t have an entrance either, only having the gaping hole in the side of the room, which likely wasn't intended. That would mean that a person would have to chop through the sewer wall to get into the basement and adjoining alcove, or jump off the catwalk. Both of those options didn’t make any sort of sense at all. In fact, the catwalk wasn’t even needed, someone could have just removed the entire basement-and-alcove plan entirely, which also removed the necessity for a catwalk. All in all, whoever designed the building was either high off of some crazy drugs, an idiot, or both.
But, none of these thoughts went through X’s head, as he was only thinking about the devastating loss of his cool plastic bottle.
K hefted herself up onto the rusty catwalk, with X following close behind. K went through the doorway, only for a rather eventful event to stop her momentarily.
A rocket screamed through the air, smacking K straight in the chest. The resulting explosion blew X backwards and K apart, with oil splashing onto the ground in the process. With a clatter, X hit the ground, slightly dazed. He looked to his left to see what looked like the arm of K, twitching slightly. X tried to get up, only to fall again, after he put his weight on a hand that wasn’t there.
X, seeing the failure of Operation: GTFU, adjusted his position so that he could get up with his other hand only, which was thankfully still there. Investigating his left arm, he could see that everything down from the elbow had been separated from himself in the blast. He didn’t have time to look for it or go get it, so he simply let the matter go.
Standing up, X stared through the smoke, before diving back down onto the ground when another rocket came streaking past him. It scratched his face, sending small sparks up, before heading down the other hallway. X pointed his own rocket launcher into the fog, before firing off a flurry of shots. He heard explosions, but wasn’t rewarded with screams or grunts of pain. Problematic, to say the least.
X took the opportunity to kick K’s assorted dismembered body parts down into the lower alcove, where she should eventually reassemble herself. She was really taking a beating recently, and she would probably be frustrated about that when X was all done, but that wasn’t his problem-
X nearly met the same fate as K when another rocket flew from the open doorway, the fog starting to clear up. X jumped up and over the RPG, letting it fly into the unexplored depths of the building. He couldn’t do this dance forever, so he made the executive decision to charge into the unknown.
* * *

Anyway, I'll be posting the next part tomorrow, so hang on tight for the singular person that made it to the end. No need to like, this is purely for my own benefit. See ya.
submitted by Omansurver to MurderDrones [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 01:59 ChronoKeep The Origin and Age of Quirks


To preface this, I want to say that I did make a version of this last year. However, I made a few minor mistakes that I wanted to correct. I also wanted to make an updated version that was better worded and explained. I also want to say that this contains no spoilers if you've watched Season 6 of the anime. With that prelude done, let's get to my analysis.
The world of My Hero Academia has many mysteries surrounding it; the biggest one being Quirks. A question that many have posited is "How long have quirks been around?" It's a question that hasn't been outright answered in the series. However, through my analysis, I have come to a conclusion for what I believe to be the definitive answer to that question.
Here is my analysis for what I believe to be the timeline placement for when quirks emerged.

Quirk Generations

To start, we need to establish the idea of "Quirk Generations". These refer to the generations of people that have existed since the glowing baby was born. In Japanese, the word for "generation" is 世代. The specific part of "世" is actually made up of three characters of "十". As 十 is the Japanese character for "10", we know that a generation is equal to 30 years. Therefore, setting the birth of the glowing baby to Year 1 of Quirks, the generation placement is as follows:
Now, why is this important? Well, we've actually had two instances in the manga for when "quirk generations" are referred to: once by Dr. Tsubasa and the other by Shoto Todoroki. Let's start with the latter first.

Quirk Marriages

In Chapter 31, Todoroki tells Deku about Endeavor's quirk marriage to his mother. In it, he mentions the history of quirks marriages, saying that it became a problem in the second or third generation after quirks appeared. Meaning Generation 2 or 3 of Quirks.
The Japanese text also uses the phrase 世代 when referring to those generations. This is not a reference to a family-based generational thing but instead a general "generation". This will become important for the next point.

Inko's Quirk Generation

In Chapter 1, we see a flashback to when Deku learns that he is quirkless. While there, Dr. Tsubasa talks with Inko and asks about her quirk. During this talk, he specifically asks if she's from the fourth generation. I have heard from many who say that this is referring to Inko's family history and not her family. However, the Japanese text disproves this.
See, Chapter 1's Japanese original of the text uses the term 世代 as well, same as with Todoroki. If it was referring to her family, the text would be "四代目". A difference from 世代. It's minor, but it shows a distinct difference between a familial generation and a literal generation.
I've even talked to those with more expertise in this language that have agreed on this point. With this, we can firmly say that the "generation" in question is referring to quirks themselves rather than a family's lineage with quirks.

Gathering Facts

Having established what quirk generations actually are, we can now begin to piece together evidence based around the ages of certain characters.

Inko Midoriya

To start, let's look at Inko herself. Having just established that she is a fourth-generation quirk user, we can say that she was born sometime between Year 91 and Year 120. As she turns 42 later into the current year of the anime and manga, the present year is between Year 133 and Year 162.
Meaning that already we can establish that quirks have been around for less than two centuries.

All Might

All Might's age is an interesting case, because we don't have full evidence to give him a concrete birthdate. However, we do have some evidence for a small range of ages for his birthday. The biggest piece of evidence concerns One For All. When Deku is in the Vestige Realm after the Paranormal Liberation War, Yoichi says that All Might had the quirk for 40 years, longer than any previous wielder. This is already a big piece of evidence, but we can pin it down even further.
See, we know that All Might needed to have One For All before he started high school. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to enter UA. And we've also seen All Might's first meeting with Nana Shimura. Here, All Might is wearing a gakuran. This is important, because this is a middle school uniform (the same type worn by Deku and Bakugo at Aldera).
Therefore, All Might met Nana in middle school, meaning that he could only have received One For All during middle school. The age of children in Japanese schools is incredibly consistent, so we know that All Might was 12 when he started middle school and 15 when he finished middle school. And, since he had to receive One For All within that range, we know that All Might is between 52 and 55 when he gives up One For All to Deku.
Based on this time frame, we can also firmly establish that Inko was born in the year prior to All Might receiving One For All. As Inko turns 41 the year her son receives One For All, she was born the year before the quirk reached All Might.

An Aside to this Point

For the sake of keeping things clear, I will be using a TY dating to refer to Toshinori Yagi/All Might, where 0 TY is the year he was born (born on June 10, 0 TY).
This would set All Might receiving One For All between 13 TY (the year All Might turns 13) and 16 TY (the year All Might turns 16). The reason for this decision will become apparent with the next point.

All For One

All For One's age has never been established. However, we know him to be the oldest person in the series thus far. While there's not too much evidence surrounding his age, we do have one important point about his age. That, of course, is All Might Rising.
All Might Rising was a manga chapter written by Horikoshi in the lead-up to the theatrical release of Two Heroes. In it, we see Nana's last stand against All For One. The important part is to focus on All Might's age, which is said outright to be 18 years old. Since the battle is also said to be in July, and All Might is still in high school, this all makes sense.
Thus, we can also say that this takes place in July of 18 TY (as All Might turned 18 just a month prior).
Why does this matter? Well, after this we have a sparring session between Toshinori and Gran Torino. After the match, Gran Torino tells Toshinori that they're up against a "monster" (AKA All For One) that's over a century old. A century is 100 years, meaning that All For One is over 100 years old at this point.
This is where we can really figure things out. Since All For One is over a century old, he must be 101 years old or older. This would mean that, at his absolute youngest, All For One turned 101 in early 18 TY. At the absolute oldest? Well, that's when we start putting the pieces together.

Putting the Pieces Together

Inko is born the year before All Might gets One For All. That would be between 12 TY and 15 TY. Working backwards, All For One, at his youngest, would be between 95 and 98 years old when Inko was born. Therefore, taking All For One at his youngest, he would be 95 years old at Inko's birth.
Since we know that Inko was born in the 4th Generation, we also know that she was born between Year 91 and Year 120 of quirks. All For One was born with a quirk. Therefore, he couldn't have been born before the glowing baby (whose birth year is set at Year 1 for consistency). Thus, if All For One can be no younger than 95 years old when Inko was born, Inko must be born between Year 96 and Year 120 (with All For One being born the same year as the glowing baby).
Thus, this would also set All For One's age in stone. He can be no older than 119 when Inko is born, since otherwise the math would put her to a later generation. This places All For One's birth firmly in the first generation between Year 1 and Year 25.

The Final Analysis

Working back up through the timeline, we can come to our final conclusion. Inko turns 42 in the present year of the manga. Thus, since she was born in Year 96 to Year 120, the present year must be Year 138 to Year 162.
Thus, taking an average, quirks have only existed for about 150 years.


I hope that I have thoroughly explained my stance and my evidence. This is something that many have debated over, but I am confident that my answer is the correct one. I know that this won't please everyone (such as people that think Inko is the fourth in her family to have a quirk), but I won't back down from this post.
I'm very thankful for those that have read through this post, keeping an open mind throughout. Whether you agree or disagree, I still appreciate you taking the time to read through this. If you have any questions, suggestions, corrections, or even just a discussion, I'm always willing to listen to them. Thank you again.
TL;DR: If the Glowing Baby was born in Year 1 of Quirks, the Present Year of the anime and manga would be Year 138 to Year 162 of Quirks
submitted by ChronoKeep to BokuNoHeroAcademia [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 00:41 DeathReaper130 This Is How I Think Breanna Stewart Can Be Stopped

So for a little background, Breanna Stewart is by far considered the best WNBA player in the league now. Her offensive talent is amazing and we can see it pretty much every game that she plays. It's been very clear that almost no team in the WNBA has been able to stop her offensively as she's averaging 25.8 points this season and has a career average of 20.5 points per game over a career of 6 seasons (plus the little of this current season so far). Furthermore, I was reading an article earlier today talking about how the WNBA failed in stopping Stewart. All of this combined got me thinking about what I've noticed about Stewart's playing style and if there's a way to actually stop her offensively and I think I may have found a potential solution to this.

Part #1 - Understanding Breanna Stewart's Game:
First, we need to do is understand a little bit of Breanna Stewart's game. She's probably one of the best all-round scorers in the game as she can easily score efficiently from the paint, mid-range, and beyond the arc. She had great handles and footwork for a forward so she's able to get around the court with ease. Furthermore standing at 6'4, she has a height advantage over most of the defenders who guard her. She knows when exactly to drive to the paint and when to hold the ball to shoot a jumper from either the mid-range or beyond the arc. With all this combined, it makes sense why WNBA teams have a tough time stopping Stewart as she has a wide arsenal of moves that can outmatch most defenders.

Part #2 - My Solution To How To Defend Breanna Stewart
The first thing to mention, in terms of defending Breanna Stewart, is that the defense has to be a team effort rather than an individual effort. If a team is relying on a single defender to try and stop Stewart, that's already a mistake to begin with. With her height advantage and footwork, Stewart can easily 1 v 1 any player in the league when given the opportunity. She knows exactly when she is able to drive in the paint for an easy shot and when to hold back and take a jumper. Most Forwards / Centers guarding her is not fast enough to stay with her and would easily lose a 1 v 1 if Stewart brings that forward / center who is defending her out to the mid-range / beyond the arc area. Furthermore, most guards would have a tough time defending Stewart and she'd have a huge height advantage being 6'4, making it easy for her to shoot right over her defenders. So if a forward / center or a guard can't defend her 1 v 1, the question then arises: who can defend Stewart? The answer to this question is pretty much no one can defend her 1 v 1. The solution to this is to always defend her with 2 playerss to an extent. The first thing that needs to be done to stop Stewart from getting easy baskets in the paint is to switch the team defense to zone. By having a zone defense, the team is essentially packing the paint with 3 players down low and 2 players at the top of the key. There's a clear advantage of playing zone against Stewart. The first thing is that a zone defense will eliminate any easy layups / back cuts Stewart normally gets by blowing past her defenders in the paint. She'll have to face atleast 2 people in the paint every time she gets in and then make a choice to either shoot the ball or pass it away to her teammates. Furthermore with a zone defense, her shot quality will take a dip as she's have to deal with more defenders than normal.

Now with the paint covered to an extent against Stewart, the next thing we need to do is apply pressure to her whenever she gets the ball. As previously stated, the team defense has to be a zone. Therefore whenever Stewart gets her hands on the ball, two players (one player down low and one wing on the side Stewart is on) have to apply pressure on Stewart and attempt to trap her. If Stewart is on the top of the key or wings, one of the two defenders up top have to play the primary ball pressure on her while one of the forwards down low rotate up and apply secondary pressure against her, depending on which side of the court she is on. By having two defenders on Stewart to an extent, she'll be forced to either take a lower quality shot for her standard or pass the ball away to her teammates once again. This two player pressure from the zone defense needs to be applied on Stewart at all times whenever the ball is in her hands.

For the next part, I'll be sharing a reference to the court in zones with this image:
Each of the zones are numbered from 1-6. Zone #1 is the area in the top of the key and beyond. Zone #2 and Zone #3 are the two areas on the left and right which are considered the wings and beyond. Zone #4 and Zone #5 are the two ares on the left and right considered the corners and beyond. Finally, Zone #6 is considered anything inside the paint. Now going back to the defense on Stewart, we established that we have two player pressure on her and the paint for covered to an extent. Thus, we take a look now at Stewart's jump shot from both the mid-range and beyond the arc. Once again, Stewart is very capable of shooting from these areas so she can't just be left open here.

One of the first things that I noticed about Stewart's game is that, aside from taking a majority of her shots in the paint, the next majority of her shots come from the top of the key and the wings, in the image link above, that would be Zones #1, #2, and #3. Furthermore, I noticed that Stewart rarely takes any shots in the corners (Zones #4 and #5). Watching her play in the games both this season and last season, Stewart almost always took the ball to the paint for a shot or dribbled around the court until she took a shot in Zones #1, #2, and #3. Only in situations where she was open to an extent or forced to take a shot did Stewart end up shooting from the corners, Zones #4 and #5. Even furthermore, the one big thing which I noticed about Stewart's game is that she hates going into Zone #4 for a shot, the right corner. For some reason almost every time she is in Zone #4, she always does her best to get out of this zone or pass the ball to her teammates. For example this year while watching the Liberty games, I noticed how Stewart rarely takes any shots from Zone #4. I did a little research on Stewart's shooting from Zone #4 for this season and it turns out that she only took 2 shots from there and made 1 of them. If we take a look at Zone #5 for Stewart this season, she has only taken 3 shots and missed all of them so far this season. So far this season, Stewart has taken 61 shots from the field. That means that of those 61 shots, she only took 4.92% of all her shots from Zone #5 and 3.28% of all shots from Zone #4. This was actually very surprising looking at these numbers considering she's known to be someone who can score from anywhere on the court.

Now since the 2023 season only just started, the sample size is very little to say that Stewart doesn't like shooting the ball from the corners in Zone #4 and Zone #5. Therefore, I also researched on all the shots that Stewart took from those two zones in the 2022 season where she played 34 games. Out of the 34 games Stewart played in the 2022 WNBA season, she took a total of 540 field goals. Of these 540 shots, only 69 shots came from both Zone #4 and Zone #5. In Zone #5, Stewart went 16-47 from the field (34.04%). In Zone #4, Stewart went 9-22 from the field (40.91%). If we take a look at the 6 playoff games Stewart played in 2022, she 6-10 from Zone #5 (60%) and 3-3 from Zone #4 (100%). For reference, Stewart took a total of 113 shots in these 6 playoff games. That means that only 8.84% of all shots came from Zone #5 and only 2.65% of all shots came from Zone #4.

The interesting thing to see between Zone #4 and Zone #5 is the FG% and attempts. Stewart is taking more shots from Zone #5 but it still shooting worse than when she takes shots from Zone #4. In the 2022 regular season, she took almost more than twice the number of shots from Zone #5 than Zone #4, despite shooting much worse from Zone #5. From all these stats, shooting patterns, and areas where Stewart shoots the ball from, we can clearly see that Zone #4, which is the right corner, is a problem to her for some reason, as she's unwilling to take shots from that area unless she is forced to.

This is what I think defenses need to do in order to stop Stewart: force her into Zone #4 on the court and force her to take more shots from there. Overall, the defensive scheme to stop Breanna Stewart is as follow:
1) Establish a 2-3 zone defense with 3 forwards / centers down low and 2 guards up top
2) Always have a two person defense on Stewart whenever she gets the ball in her hands from the forward and guard depending on which side of the court she is on. If she's up top at the key, then the second guard comes in to help. The primary guard is always the main defender and the secondary forward or guard is the help defender who still stays nearby and provides pressure but doesn't commit fully to Stewart.
3) Force Stewart to dribble right and take her into Zone #4, the right corner. Zone #4 is by far the are on the court which Stewart tries to avoid and rarely takes shots from. By forcing her into this corner, she'd have to either force shots or pass the ball away.

The biggest thing with this defensive scheme is to pressure Stewart at all times and get her into uncomfortable situations. The reason for this is that she will have to either take bad shots or pass the ball away to her teammates. If as a team you limit how long Stewart has control of the ball, that's a big win already. Furthermore, I'd much rather have the rest of the Stewart's team (the Liberty as of the year) be the ones taking the shots rather than Stewart herself. In terms of the Liberty this year, Ionescu is the only other pure scorer on the team. The rest of the team is able to score but they all have different primary roles (Vandersloot playmaking, Jones in the paint, etc.). Therefore rather than allowing Stewart to easily reach her 20-25 points per game, I'd definitely use this defensive scheme to limit Stewart to an extent and have her team try and step up offensively. Let me know what you all think about this.
submitted by DeathReaper130 to wnba [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 00:26 Internal_Prune_5108 contracting 101

Residential Contracting 101
With over 20 years of building experience, I would like to share with you my insights in navigating becoming a successful contractor. With many different avenues of the building world its key to understand what problems will arise on any given day. A man once told a saying that stuck-the 6 p’s in life- Piss Poor Preparation leads to Piss Poor Performance. Preparation builds everything in construction, without preparation the jobsite will not run correctly. The best advice I was ever given was to learn a little about every trade giving you the ability to understand trade lingo and secrets. An example would be painters use the terminology flash; this means when the sub structure bleads through the paint. Subcontractors will give the best pricing if they respect your knowledge of the industry. If the subcontractor feels they will have to hold your hand through the job they will charge an extra fee…i.e. I call it the aggravation fee. In this blog I will explain the key elements in finding success in all aspects of the industry. Contracting is a physically and emotionally demanding job which requires planning and foresight to complete projects on time within budget. Picking your customer is just as important as picking your employees or subcontractors. I have worked for some of the most demanding customers leading me to question at the end if the job was even worth it. Sleepless nights, constant changes, lack of payment, lawsuit threats, adding work that was in the contract are just a few things you could face with a tough customer. With so many moving parts at all times it is critical to be able to adapt to changes within a short time frame. Materials will come in damaged, subcontractors will be late, employees will get sick, but the deadline you set does not change. The stress can be overwhelming at times keeping your mind in a good place is key to navigating all that is thrown at you. Choosing your client picking the right jobs-Keep these questions in mind The first question to be asked is what the time frame is to start the job to see if it fits within the timeframe for your business. If the time frame doesn’t work then move on from the project or let them know when you would be available to start. If the client really wants to use, they will wait until you are available. Taking on too much work will only lead to problems. Construction is a serviced based business, staying on top of the project and client will eliminate an unhappy customer and construction issues that will be over seen. With online presence if details are missed and customer service lacks it will only be a matter of time the phone will not ring. The second question to be asked to the client is do they have a budget in mind for the project. If they answer yes this is good, follow through with what the budget is. If the budget seems low let them know, this will eliminate a tire kicker, educate them on what the price range could be. If the budget seems reasonable then continue the discussion to the next question. If they answer no let them know that you can give them an estimate to see if the project is feasible with their finical capabilities. Taking on a job that is not correctly budgeted will lead to an unsatisfied customer due to non-transparency of the construction cost. The third question to be asked is anyone else bidding on the job, if the answer is yes, understand you might just be number check for the contractor doing the job. Dig a little deeper and find out how many numbers they are getting and why. If your business model is to be competitive be completely transparent with customer, this will gain trust with them. Let them know you get what you pay for and if you they choose the lowest bid it could lead into lack of quality of work.
The fourth question I will ask is there any specific subcontractors they wanted to use. If the answer is yes then I would explain to them you only use the subcontractors you have a working relationship with. Otherwise, this could backfire as the subcontractor might not show, do subpar work, talk behind your back to the homeowner. In my experience I would stay away from using any homeowner to alleviate problems down the road. A quick conversation now can save headaches down the road. The fifth question I will ask are planning on getting the job permitted, this needs to be known it takes more time for the permitting process. Plans will have to drawn submitted and approved to the city before work can commence. The sixth question I will ask if a residential remodel is are you going to be living through the remodel if yes understand this will take more time to navigate the project due to answering questions and cleaning the house on a daily occurrence. I would recommend seeing if the customer would be willing to move into an Airbnb or friends for at least the demo portion of the project. If they do plan on living through the remodel add a couple hours a day to accommodate the extra time that will be required. The seventh question I would ask in a residential remodel is how old the house is to see if there is asbestos that would need to removed by a proper company. A home built before 1979 will most likely have some asbestos in the house, use a licensed company with proper insurance to dispose of the materials. If everything looks good to this point find out a little more about the client personality. If the client seems reasonable, I would bid the job. Unreasonable people can cause you more stress than its worth. These are some red flags I would look out for. Some jobs are not worth the money. Very demanding in the way you are going to perform your job- I.e., tell you how you are going to do your job- You’re the professional not them! Give you a hard time about your price- haggle with price you estimated- The price is the price! If they are a family with little money and you want to help them out is one thing, if they are trying to beat you down is another. Mention they have a lawyer-there is no need for them to bring up that they have a lawyer - Run for the hills as if the job goes south, you will be the one losing out! Tell you what the payment terms are. It’s your business you get paid how it works for your company. If you want to get paid every Friday, put it into your contract-If the clients do not agree move on it will save you frustrations If they talk bad about the last contractor, chances are they will talk bad about you. There is a reason why the contractor does not work for them anymore, unless he did subpar work this a red flag Clients are using an interior decorator that will purchasing all of the materials- The materials could be ordered incorrectly by the interior designer your company will not make the mark-up it deserves. Interior decorators usually add time to the job as well as act like your boss. Charging a little extra for the time and stress that it will entail is only fair. Clients want to purchase the materials- You are using your knowledge to buy the correct materials-The mark up on the materials keeps the doors open working for wages only pays the bills The husband and wife do not get along-You will become the mediator between the couple it will lead to taking sides a losing proposition- A drama free work place is always best! Dangling carrot-if you do this job the next one will be better-Only look at what there offering at the present moment, if its not a good fit do not take the job for a job down the road…Its not worth chasing a job that might not happen! The Art of the Sale First things first selling your company is all about presentation. In meeting your clients for the first time show up with a collared golf shirt tucked in, belt, nice jeans, and newer shoes. Have a truck that a clean, no dents scratches, preferably washed the day you are going into your meeting. Have a leather note pad that is clean no dirt or paint visible. Show up 5 minutes early, if you’re running a little late shoot them a text to let them know. Treat the situation as if were going on a first date, best foot forward. As you introduce yourself give them a warm greeting, letting them know you are very interested in the work. Find out a little about them, hobbies, where they lived, etc etc. You are going to be working with them on a daily basis its nice to know what makes them tick. Having a good working relationship from the start is key forming a solid relationship. As the conversation progresses find out who wears the pants in the family…ie who’s the final decision maker. If its fits the wife, chances it is…..then kindly let the husband know happy wife happy life when their in a stall mate on an issue. As your looking at the project throw in some suggestions of what you think would look good from past experiences, this will get their attention that you have knowledge and want what’s best for them. If you see ways to save them money in their project let them know, money is a large point of the sale keep that in mind. Mention that you’re not the least expensive contractor but you’re not the most expensive either. Your customer satisfaction is your number one goal which leads to more time spent on keeping them happy. One happy customer will lead to another, one unsatisfied customer leads to work in the future. Bring up the fact the finishing the job on time is key goal to your business, many contractors run several jobs at once causing the jobs to be finished way behind schedule. You must stand out as having integrity, good morals, and the ability to problem solve to get the job. The clients will be testing you to see if you’re a good fit as well. Keep in mind as you take your notes that you must not forget anything they mention as it will come back before the job is completed…i.e. we mentioned that to you before we started the job! Take pictures of the proposed area for work, that way you can use it to better right your estimate. Let them know you will give them a detailed outline of when the job will be completed letting them see how long each phase will take and correlate it with your payment schedule. Before you leave their house let them know when the estimate will be sent to them. MAKE SURE YOU HIT THAT DEADLINE! Once you sent the email over with estimate make sure you get confirmation that they received it. Wait at least 2 days before checking with them, hopefully they contact you first! If they want negotiate the price, let them know that it is the best price that you can manage, its not worth losing money before you start. I closed 80% of the work I estimated by being very transparent and friendly. If you come off with an attitude charge double what the going rates are you might only land 1 out of 10 jobs as well as getting the reputation of being expensive. Bidding the job Looking up industry standards on pricing is what I would go buy for pricing. If you google the coat of any installation there will be a cost range for everything. Looking at the cost ranging from high to low I would tend to be in the middle. Some items might be low on the internet if this is the case use your best judgment not to lose money. Closing sales is key to success and keep the doors open for business. Being in the middle on pricing is key as most customers shy away from contractors that are extremely low or high on the price range. I tend not bid out hourly as wages do not pay for retirement. Bidding is better as customers no the exact price of the cost of construction. It also keeps the job moving quicker as time and material contractors take longer to complete projects…Thus costing the client more money and valuable time they could spend in their house. Using a Contract Using a detailed estimate tied to a contract covers your butt in 99% of the time. Having a piece of mind that every aspect of the job is covered in the estimate and contract protects both your company and the client. Key terms to include in your estimate/contract are. Have a schedule on excel showing the start dates and dates of each trade this will show the customer you are organized with time lines. If not written in the detailed in the estimate the item is excluded- This ensures if its not written down its not included. TBD- To be Determined- A phrase on a line item that has yet to had final decision of products or service needed. -The pricing will follow the decisions to be finalized Give out what your written warranty will be for parts and labor this changes state to state. If the homeowner provides the product than no warranty will be given on that particular item. In the contract have a start date and end date with the verbiage subject to change due to weather, product delivery, change orders Have a progress payment schedule to ensure the client understands when funding will be expected-Including if not payment is rendered service to the project will stop. Have written terms of how change orders will be charged-cost plus 20% or a set fee Make sure in your contract that arbitration is required versus going to court- This will save lawyer fees and going to court Many contracts can be found online and each state requires different contracts
Finding leads Finding leads is easy with the right network of people. I personally do not find working for friends or family members a good fit. Relationships get strained when money is involved, causing undue stress for both parties. I have listed a couple of ways to build a network or find work using the internet. Get in contact with realtor’s- Realtors have a big client base of homeowners who need work done Contact local Architects to see if they are working with any general contractors Leave some business cards at your local materials suppliers-Doowindow/lumber-many times clients will ask salesman for a referral. Join a business networking group- BNI is one of many Join a internet website lead generation company- Houzz, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, thumbtack, Yelp run an ad on craigslist Use a marketing company to market your website-This could become costly with little results Create a Facebook business page Create a Yelp business page
Building your subcontractor base Having 2 subcontractors for every trade, gives you the flexibility of completing jobs on time if the one the subcontractors is too busy at the time you need their service. Your subcontractors are the face of your business, choose owner run companies that are professional. Check to make sure there license are up to workman’s comp, liability insurance, state license. Choosing subcontractors with lettered vans, logoed t-shirts is s key to looking professional in the clients’ eyes. In the past I have gotten a lot of subcontractors for material supply shops, stopping by jobsites, researching the internet using Yelp, Home Advisor, etc etc. Once you get one good subcontractor ask them if they know any other trades they would recommend. One good subcontractor leads to another in most cases. The key to having a good group of subcontractors is to let them know that you are there to get help them get the job done. They do work for you but without them you are nothing…keep that in mind! Make them aware a clean jobsite is required at the end of everyday to ensure the proper safety for all parties including theirs! Over the years I have referred a lot of companies work when there is only 1 trade needed. Referring work to subcontractors is a good way to get top priority when you have work that needs to be completed ASAP. Timing is everything in times of emergency having a good group of subcontractors will make your business run smoothly. Pay your subcontractors immediately after performing work, this will make them feel appreciated! A happy subcontractor is one that will gladly go the extra mile for you knowing that there not just a number to your business! Buying lunch once a week for the jobsite is always a good token of appreciation!
Supervising In supervising any jobsite its key to monitor everything from materials on hand, weather, vehicle parking (if applicable), jobsite safety, and subcontractors’ workmanship. If you hired a professional there should be little supervision in the work being performed, on rare occasions a new hire might need some mentoring to get the results completed correctly. If you see a problem with there work address it with the worker directly, no need to call his boss…. building repour with the worker letting him know you got his back goes miles down the road! Checking in on the job first in the morning to answer any questions or changes that need to be conveyed and once in the afternoon to make sure all work be completed is done per construction industry standards. A job that is run blindly will have many more issues than one that is watched over. I have seen many jobs with no site supervision, leading to subpar quality work as well as safety hazards. Its better to be like an eagle than cluck like a turkey!
Working with the City/Inspectors On permitted jobs the city and site inspector will be a large part of how smoothly the job runs. Each phase of construction has an inspection allowing for the project to continue. Make sure your subcontractors are aware that the project is inspected before starting the job. The best way to stay on his good side is to provide a clean jobsite and having the job built to the highest standards possible. When having the site inspected be courteous to the inspector asking any questions or concerns you have with the work during the job. Being completely transparent will save you aggravation of problems down the road. The more he trust you the better if you seem sneaky or rude he will make your life a living nightmare! Many inspectors will have an attitude towards you….I suggest keeping quiet and doing what ever he wants….he’s the boss no need to get in a pissing match you will not win at. How to deal with irate customer Stay calm during any argument with an irate customer. Never raise your voice or show that you are bothered by their disgruntled behavior. If the customer is trying to get more from you than agreed upon stand your ground. Worst case scenario is you walk from the job, which in the long run be more of a loss for the client. I have only run into a couple of these clients; they are unreasonable and not worth losing sleep over a few dollars. Its best to terminate the relationship as it would be my best guess that a referral from this customer would not be one you wanted anyway. If you feel it was just a miscommunication on your end, take reasonability and remedy the problem. Taking accountability for your mistake will go a far way in their eyes and on future issues that arise. Prepping the homeowner pre-construction Before starting the job, it very important to give the homeowners a warning of what will happen during the construction process.
  1. All furniture in the proposed working area must be moved- I would recommend having the clients take care of this to limit the risk of damage to their belongings.
  2. There will be dust that will be in the house up to 3 months after construction-I would recommend hiring a construction cleaning company at the end of the job even so after it is cleaned dust will be present months after words.
  3. There will be conflicts between you in the homeowner at some course of the job. - You will do your best to eliminate them as quickly as they arise-i.e. material damages, miscommunication, job delays
  4. All decisions on materials must be made before the start of the job- this will eliminate job stoppage due to materials not being on site.
  5. All materials will be on site before commencement of job-
  6. Payment structures must be made per contract otherwise job will stop until payment rendered
  7. Cars are to be moved out of the driveway- Ensures ease of loading and unloading of materials/tools
  8. Give the specific hours that workers will be present- i.e. 7-3:30
  9. Determine what areas are allowed to be used as staging for tools/materials
  10. If animals are present in the home that they put outside or in a room during the day
  11. All valuables in the house are locked in safe
  12. Ask if using client’s household bathroom is okay or to bring in Porter Potty
  13. Being transparent as possible is key to keeping a great relationship with your client!
During Construction During construction it is key to take detailed photos to eliminate any damages that were not caused by the construction process. I would also make a video to ensure all areas are included. All subcontractors should also take progress pictures to ensure if problems arise in the future, they will not be responsible for any work that they did not perform. Keep an on-going log of progress to the homeowners and share the pictures for there records. This will keep homeowners excited of the progress being made. When the house is gutted to the studs it is important to have construction photos showing where all utilities are run in the walls or sub floor. If there is a problem in the future there will photos showing all utility locations. Protect all flooring with plywood or floor protective. I also like to protect front door and tarp all areas where subcontractors are to be working. Make sure to cover any chandeliers/furniture/doorways with plastic to eliminate dust. Ask the homeowners if they have any concerns that they could think of. We’re all human and possibly a detail was missed! Post Construction Phase If the project went smoothly appreciation should be shown to the customer. Find out if the husband likes a particular type of liquor. Bring the wife a bouquet of flowers. Send a Christmas card to the family letting how much you appreciated the work. You know you have done a good job if they tell you they will refer you to their friends. The best compliment you could receive is a good referral. In Summary Try to find a knitch in the market, I found kitchens to be a great remodel projects. Bathrooms are tough as they are small, expensive with little profit margin with every trade involved. Windows/doors are also another great knitch as they can be installed quickly. There are so many different remodeling items that can be stream lined to make the selling installing process flawless. Once the core group subcontractors are in place the job almost runs itself. Every day is a learning experience with new materials or methods in construction. Keeping up with codes, materials, fluctuating labor and material cost is a job within itself. Anyone can be a contractor with the right mindset.
submitted by Internal_Prune_5108 to Contracting [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 00:01 ralo_ramone An Otherworldly Scholar [LitRPG, Isekai] - Chapter 9

On today’s episode of ‘Things I never thought would happen to me’, two human-snake hybrids with long snouts and colorful scales cried in my arms. Despite the unsettling texture of their scales, I instinctively hugged them in a vain attempt to comfort them. It took me half a minute to process what was happening.
Elincia worked at an orphanage.
[Awareness]: Of course she does.
I ignored the System prompt and focused on the kids crying against my chest. Elincia seemed to be too busy dealing with the seven or eight bawling kids at the same time.
“What happened, sweetie?” I asked, trying to sound reassuring.
The snake girl with shining blue and white scales tried to hold back the tears, and she made it for a brief second, but then she wrapped her arms around my neck and burst into tears again. By the way she trembled, I could tell she was scared.
“Hey, hey. It's okay. Elincia is already here. There is nothing to worry about.” I said, softly patting her back.
My words, as I should have expected, caused the kids to cry even harder. This wasn’t my first rodeo with teary small kids, however, it was my first time holding two snake-human hybrids. I wonder what had happened for the kids to be this distressed, a quick inspection told me they weren’t hurt.
The door opened again and a thin elven kid with fair blonde hair and dark circles around his eyes appeared in the doorway. Just as the rest of the orphans, he was dressed with well-worn oversized clothes. The elven kid was older than the rest of the kids but couldn’t be more than twelve or thirteen years old.
I wondered if he was Elincia’s kid but I quickly discarded that theory, there was no trace of human blood in his appearance. The boy seemed to be a pureblood elf.
“What’s happening, Zaon?” Elincia asked over the generalized bawling and I noticed a trembling in her voice, as if she was also about to burst into tears.
The elven kid walked down the flight of stairs and raised his voice to be heard over the generalized bawling.
“M-m-mister Holst left the orphanage f-five days ago. Ilya and I tried to keep things under control but the small ones were nervous without you around. They thought you were going to be gone forever.” Zaon stuttered.
My heart clenched at hearing the kids had been on their own for a whole week. I understood now why the small ones were so scared. Elincia’s angered voice caught my attention.
“Mister Holst did what?!” Elincia exclaimed and the weeping sound of the kids suddenly died, leaving an awkward silence behind.
“Mister Holst had an imp-p-portant Class breakthrough so he left the orphanage to go to the imperial capital. That was five days ago.” Zaon repeated, stuttering the same syllables. “We took care of the cooking and the bedtime of the small ones. I couldn’t get them to shower, I’m sorry.”
My heart shrunk even further.
“You did well, Zaon. Please take the kids inside, I need to talk to Elincia for a moment.” I said, gently putting the snake-children down. “We’ll be joining you in a moment.” I added seeing the kids didn’t let Elincia go.
Zaon nodded and led the way followed by a dozen reluctant small kids who casted anxious glances at Elincia as they entered the manor. After a moment, we were left alone in the front yard.
“I’m going to fucking kill him, that weasel.” Elincia turned around and walked towards the iron gate.
I grabbed her wrist, she tugged but I didn’t let go.
Elincia’s face was red from anger and her knuckles turned white as she clenched her fists. She had done well hiding her anger from the kids. Adult problems should be dealt with by adults.
“I should’ve known something like this was going to happen. I’m so stupid for trusting Holst.” Elincia covered her face with both hands.
“Who’s Holst?”
“Holst is a Scholar who comes to the orphanage a couple times a week to teach the kids. He had a temper but I thought learning under the guidance of a high level Scholar would help the kids.” Elincia replied. “I was so blind. Of course he didn't care about the kids, he was just cultivating his class!”
I understood the general contempt Elincia showed towards the Scholar class now. Holst sounded like a despicable person.
“The kids are safe and that’s what matters the most.” I said, grabbing Elincia by the shoulders and forcing her to look at me. “You should be proud of yourself, Elincia, your kids faced an emergency and managed to get by. You raised them well.”
Elincia dropped her shoulders and took a deep breath with her eyes closed. When she opened her eyes again, she seemed to have regained her composure.
“You are right… but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to kill Holst if he puts a foot in this orphanage ever again.” She grinned with a wicked smile and I knew she was being serious.
“I’ll lend you my shotgun if you don’t mind cleaning up the aftermath.” I grinned back.
“Gross. I love it.” Elincia laughed, leaving behind the bad feelings and walking to the entrance of the manor. She signaled to follow her. “Welcome to Lowell’s Orphanage. You should call me Miss Elincia while the kids are around.”
I followed her.
The reception room was a spacious area with faded white walls and a tall ceiling, adorned solely with an old couch and a couple of worn out chairs. Square areas of less weathered white paint on the walls showed the places where old paintings had hung long ago. On the opposing wall, a great window overlooked the inner courtyard. I caught a glimpse of a small farm plot, a well, and a small groove.
The whole manor seemed to have seen better days but it felt cozy and welcoming.
“This is our home. And these orphaned children are my family.” Elincia said with a mix of pride and embarrassment. She opened her arms in a gesture that encompassed the entire room.
We left the receiving room behind and Elincia led me to the west wing of the manor into a corridor filled with sunlight. To the right there was the backyard and to the left a row of closed doors. Behind the only open door there was a classroom with rows of small worn-out desks lined up facing a worn-out chalkboard. Over each desk there was an old small wax tablet with their respective styluses.
“That is our schoolroom. It ain’t much but it’s quite handy during cold and rainy days. I try to teach the kids to read and write before they leave the orphanage.” Elincia said as she caught me looking inside.
My brain connected the dots and a sense of sadness got a sudden hold on me.
The Kingdom was at war and those who served as fodder were the least fortunate ones. I wondered how many of Elincia’s orphans ended up in the king’s army fighting in the Farlands to never come back home. But my sadness wasn’t solely aimed at the orphans, Elincia was rowing against a storm in a ship that was sailing to nowhere.
“It looks cozy.” I said.
We turned at the corner and found the harpy girl with the white pillowcase dress slowly walking down the corridor. The wooden floor clacked as she tried to catch up with the rest of the orphans but her talons were too big for her small body, making her steps slow and clumsy. She was more than ten meters behind but seemed unfazed by the matter.
The diminutive harpy saw us walking in her direction and stopped. It was my first time seeing a harpy. Her face was human but a pair of wings covered by golden feathers protruded from her pillowcase dress. She waited patiently for us, blocking the path.
“I haven’t peed myself in five days.” The harpy girl proudly declared, putting her hands on her hips and adopting a defiant pose I had seen in Elincia before.
“Shu, you don’t just…” Elincia looked at me, horrified, and I couldn’t help but let out a small laugh.
I squatted to Shu’s height and smiled. “You were so brave! I’m sure Miss Rosebud is happy to hear that.”
The harpy girl chuckled.
“You used the forbidden word. You are going to get scolded by Miss Elincia.” Shu hid her face beneath a wing. Before I could say anything else, Elincia grabbed her by the armpits and lifted her, interrupting our conversation.
Was ‘Rosebud’ a forbidden word?
“I’m going to prepare something to eat for the kids, you can wait in the classroom. I’m going to send Zaon over with a water basin.” Elincia said before Shu could add any extra outrageous comment.
Elincia and Shu followed the rest of the orphans and I came back to the classroom. Once alone, I punched the wall with full force, provoking a throbbing pain in my hand. My sadness had turned into anger. Holst was lucky to be away from Farcrest, otherwise I would be tempted to use one of my two remaining shells on him. I didn’t have a drop of sympathy for people who abandoned children.
I entertained myself with macabre fantasies until the left door opened again and Zaon entered the room carrying a large water basin.
“Miss Elincia says you can use her study to wash up. Then you can throw the water to the plants under the window.” Zaon said as he walked back to the corridor.
I followed him until we reached a closed door just by the corner of the corridor.
“This is the living quarters. The small kids sleep in the common room. We, the older ones, have our own rooms.” Zaon explained pointing with the head at the doors further down the living quarters. “This is Miss Elincia’s study.”
As I stepped into Elincia’s study, a floral smell filled my nostrils. The air was thick, as if I had walked into a greenhouse and I couldn’t help but take a deep breath, enjoying the fragrance.
The room was immaculately tiddy. A large bookshelf covered one of the walls and a wide writing desk was situated just under the window. A shabby bed was tucked in a corner with a knitted quilt neatly folded at the foot. On the night table there was a flower vase and a small diary.
[Awareness]: You have entered the forbidden dungeon: Elincia’s Bedroom.
The prompt made me stop dead in my tracks but no hidden traps were triggered by my presence.
The lack of knives and hunting trophies hanging from the walls made me think this belonged to the Governess and not the adventure junkie I had met in the woods. A sense of serenity emanated from the room and I understood that, for the orphans, this was a place of peace and safety.
Zaon put the water basin in the corner over a dresser and rummaged through the desk’s drawer. He pulled out a pearlescent soap bar, a threadbare towel, and a change of men's clothes from the chest at the foot of the bed. I wondered who the previous owner was.
“Thank you, Zaon.” I thanked the kid as I sat in a small stool by the water basin and washed my hands and forearms. I had a hundred questions to ask him but I didn’t want to entertain him, Elincia probably needed Zaon’s help to deal with the smaller kids.
Zaon nodded and looked at me with curiosity.
“Speak your mind.” I said, realizing I wasn’t going to get privacy until I answered some questions.
Zaon was startled for a moment but he quickly made up his mind.
“C-c-can I? Really? Who are you? Your accent is strange.” He inquired.
“I am Robert Clarke, a Scholar from a faraway land.” I introduced myself, wondering how much information I should disclose to the kids. Or how much information I could get from them. “I met Miss Rosebud in the Farlands and tagged along on the way back here.”
“Are you here to replace Mister Holst… sir?” Zaon got tangled up in his words, unable to figure out the right amount of deference required to address me. I smiled, trying to seem reassuring.
“This is my first time here in Farcrest so I have to meet the Marquis first. I don’t even know if I could stay.” I replied, deciding to tell Zaon the truth. “Miss Rosebud told me about the Imperial Library, so I’m tempted to go to the capital to cultivate my class.”
The kid nodded in awe. For someone from a backwater town like Farcrest, the imperial capital must be a place of wonder and mystery.
“Miss Elincia doesn’t like to be called that.” Zaon pointed out.
“I think it's a charming name.” I shrugged my shoulders thinking it was too much of a cute name for someone as tough as Elincia.
I waited for a moment, expecting a sassy System prompt to slap me on the face but none appeared. Good. The last thing I needed was more titles about my politically incorrect thoughts. Zaon looked around, as if there were spies somewhere between the walls, before continuing talking.
“I think that too, sir. A truly charming elven name.” Zaon muttered full of pride but suddenly he seemed to realize he had overextended his stay. “I’m not taking more of your time, sir.” He politely added as he left the room at a quick pace.
Finding the key inside the hole, I locked the door before taking my shirt off, and started scrubbing my body. The soap was the size of a small stack of coins and it didn’t produce much foam but it was more than enough after all those days trekking through the Farlands. It felt good to be clean once again. My old shirt was ruined after my adventure in the forest so the new one felt nice even if it was a bit oversized and the fabric coarser.
When I was finished, I opened the window and discarded the dirty water on the clump of bushes and flowers that adorned the mansion’s exterior. Then I unlocked the door and returned to the classroom feeling like a new man.
As I was sitting in the classroom, I saw a group of kids spying on me from the corridor’s windows. I acted like I hadn't seen them. Instead, I let them quench their curiosity while I mindlessly drew doodles on a wax tablet. Zaon probably already informed the rest of the orphans about my identity.
“Here you are.” Elincia said with a tired voice as she stood on the doorway. She carried a tray with a wooden bowl filled with steamy soup. “Scared of being alone in a girl’s bedroom?”
I was about to make a snarky remark when I remembered the kids spying on us. Elincia seemed to notice too because she quickly added. “Shall we discuss our deal in my study?”
I followed Elincia into her bedroom and she invited me to sit at the timeworn desk. Then, she handed me a bowl of soup and a piece of old bread. The soup had a few pieces of vegetables floating on the surface similar to carrots and potatoes. I did what any logical person would’ve done.
Elincia’s Vegetable Soup. [Identify] Edible. A watery, bland, and unseasoned soup made from various donated ingredients. It’s warm.
Luckily enough, Elincia didn’t realize I was using [Identify] on her soup. I put the spoon in my mouth. The flavor was indeed watery and bland but it was the first warm food I had since I arrived in this world, and it felt great. As I dipped the bread into the soup, Elincia untied her padded jacket, revealing a white blouse and a washed out light blue bodice that adhered to her figure.
I wasn’t completely ready for some Renaissance Fair action but I managed to keep my eyes glued to the bowl of soup. Elincia stretched her back and rotated her shoulders with feline grace before settling on the chair.
“You look good disguised as a governess, I almost bought it.” I said, fighting to keep my eyes away from Elincia’s delicate yet strong shoulders. If I didn’t know better, I would swear Elincia had a twin sister that looked after the orphanage while she explored the Farlands.
Elincia looked around as if there were spies in the walls before replying.
“Fuck off, Robert Clarke.” The woman whispered, rolling her eyes. “And thank you for helping me with the kids. You navigated the situation pretty well.” She added in an almost shy tone.
“Didn’t I say I was a teaching focused Scholar?” I replied with a smug voice.
“Yeah, I remember hearing an excuse like that for your lack of level.” Elincia grinned. “Now, show me the goods, I have a sick kid waiting for a potion.”
I brought my backpack I had left forgotten in the corner and started lining the bundles of herbs and roots over Elincia’s working desk.
“When you told me you had a sick kid I thought you meant your son or daughter.” I pointed out.
“Yeah, no. I already have enough kids around.” Elincia laughed as her eyes greedily pried over my alchemical loot.
I wondered if one of her skills allowed her to measure the herb’s magic concentration. Something like [Identify] but for Alchemists.
“Not to mention I’d need a man for that. A good one for that matter.” Elincia added.
“You don't have an army of volunteers lining up at the orphanage’s doors?” I jokingly asked. With her looks, she could have a fan club following her everywhere back on Earth.
Suddenly, Elincia forgot about the ingredients and locked her eyes with mine.
“Oh? Mister Scholar is interested in my relationship status now?” She gave me the biggest shit-eating grin I had seen in my life. And that was a lot to say considering Elincia’s mischievous personality.
“Dream on.” I quickly replied. Elincia’s big mouth made it difficult to feel bad for her.
You have obtained Denial Lv.3. Temporary.
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2023.06.02 23:54 AM2693MS A horror story using 10 obscure and random words...

Here's the link
I used the free version of ChatGPT.
Question: Write a horror story using these 10 words: bastardizied, inspirational, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, Santa Claus, 888819619, boo, unga-boonga, LMFAO, quidnunc, accismus

Once upon a time, in a small town shrouded in darkness, a tale of horror unfolded. The community had long been a bastion of inspiration and joy, but that was about to change. Unbeknownst to the unsuspecting townsfolk, an evil force had arrived, its influence lurking in the shadows.
It started innocently enough, with whispers of a mysterious disease spreading through the town. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, an insidious condition, began plaguing the residents, their health deteriorating rapidly. Panic gripped the town as the afflicted searched desperately for answers, but the cause remained elusive.
Amidst the chaos, a peculiar figure emerged—a Santa Claus like no other. This distorted and bastardized version of the beloved character appeared with a sinister grin, wielding a sack filled not with gifts but with nightmares. Children who approached him would never be seen again, their innocent laughter replaced with chilling cries of terror.
Rumors of a strange numeric sequence, "888819619," circulated among the quidnuncs of the town. Some claimed it was the key to salvation, while others believed it to be a malevolent code linked to the horrors befalling their community. Fear settled over the inhabitants like a thick fog, their once inspirational lives shattered by the encroaching darkness.
One night, as the town lay in restless slumber, a blood-curdling cry echoed through the streets. A series of haunting "boos" reverberated from house to house, sending shivers down spines. And then, the dreadful chant of "unga-boonga" filled the air, a haunting incantation that summoned unimaginable terrors from the depths of the unknown.
As chaos reigned, a group of brave souls banded together, determined to confront the source of their nightmares. Armed with their wits and an unyielding spirit, they embarked on a perilous journey to unravel the mystery plaguing their town.
Their quest led them to a derelict building on the outskirts, where they discovered the origin of their torment—a forgotten idol, tainted with ancient evil. And as they confronted the malevolence head-on, a chilling voice echoed through the room, taunting them with the acronym of laughter, "LMFAO."
One by one, the brave souls fell victim to the accismus of the malevolent entity, their bodies contorted, twisted into grotesque forms. Despair threatened to consume them, but in their darkest hour, a glimmer of hope emerged—a shard of light piercing through the encroaching darkness.
With their remaining strength, the survivors fought back, wielding the light against the abomination that plagued their town. The battle was fierce, but their resilience prevailed, banishing the evil that had plagued them for far too long.
As dawn broke, the townsfolk emerged from their homes, their eyes filled with a mixture of relief and sadness. They had survived, but the scars of their harrowing ordeal would forever remain etched upon their souls.
The once vibrant and inspirational town had been forever changed. Its spirit had been tainted, its innocence lost. And as the survivors reflected upon their experiences, they vowed to remain vigilant, knowing that true horror could lurk even within the most idyllic of places.
And so, the tale of the town haunted by a bastardized Santa Claus, the enigma of "888819619," the echoing cries of "boo" and "unga-boonga," the wickedness embodied in LMFAO, the curiosity of the quidnuncs, and the power of accismus, faded into local folklore, a constant reminder of the darkness that lay just beyond the surface of their seemingly ordinary lives.
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2023.06.02 23:41 bigbear0083 Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning June 5th, 2023

Good Friday evening to all of you here on StockMarketChat! I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and are ready for the new trading week ahead. :)
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning June 5th, 2023.

Dow leaps 700 points on hot jobs report, Nasdaq notches sixth straight winning week: Live updates - (Source)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged Friday as traders cheered a strong jobs report and the passage of a debt ceiling bill that averts a U.S. default.
The 30-stock Dow jumped 701.19 points, or 2.12%, to end at 33,762.76 — its best day since January. The S&P 500 climbed 1.45% to close at 4,282.37. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.07% to 13,240.77, reaching its highest level since April 2022 during the session.
With Friday’s gains, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished the holiday-shortened trading week about 1.8% and 2% higher, respectively. The Dow’s Friday advance pushed it into positive territory for the week, finishing up around 2%. The Nasdaq notched its sixth straight week higher, a streak length not seen for the technology-heavy index since 2020.
Nonfarm payrolls grew much more than expected in May, rising 339,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a relatively modest 190,000 increase. It marked the 29th straight month of positive job growth.
Recently strong employment data had been pressuring stocks on the notion it would keep the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. But Friday data also showed average hourly earnings rose less than economists expected year over year, while the unemployment rate was higher than anticipated.
Both data points have given investors hope that the Fed could pause its interest rate hike campaign at the policy meeting later this month, according to Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
“The so-called Goldilocks has entered the house,” Sandven said. “Clearly, on the bullish side, there are signs that inflation is starting to wane, speculation that the Fed is going to move into pause mode, increasing the likelihood of a soft landing.”
Easing concerns around the U.S. debt ceiling also helped sentiment. The Senate passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling late Thursday night, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk. That comes after the House passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Wednesday, just days before the June 5 deadline set by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Lululemon shares popped more than 11% on strong results and a guidance boost, while MongoDB surged 28% on a blowout forecast.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:


S&P Sectors for this past week:


Major Indices for this past week:


Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:


Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:


Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:


S&P Sectors for the Past Week:


Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:


Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:


Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:


Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:


Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:


A Resilient Labor Market = A Resilient Economy

Another month, another employment surprise. Should we be surprised anymore?
Economists expected payrolls to grow by about 187,000 in May. That’s still a solid job growth number, but a stepdown from what we’ve seen this year through April. However, actual payroll growth beat expectations for the 14th straight month.
The economy created 339,000 jobs in May, close to double expectations. Better still, payroll growth in March and April were revised higher by a total of 93,000!
  • March payrolls were revised up by 52,000, from 165,000 to 217,000
  • April payroll were revised up by 41,000, from 253,000 to 294,000
We’ve got two months of payroll data since the Silicon Valley Bank crisis in March, and nothing suggests weakness arising from that banking crisis.
Over the first five months of the year, the economy’s added 1.5 million jobs. That in a nutshell tells you how the economy is doing. For perspective, the average annual payroll growth between 1940 and 2022 was 1.5 million. During the last expansion, 2010-2019, average annual payroll growth was 2.2 million per year.
But what about the unemployment rate?
The unemployment rate did rise from a 50-year low of 3.4% to 3.7%. This does raise some cause for concern but digging through the data suggests it may be noise more than anything else.
It probably helps to understand that the job growth and unemployment rate data come from different sources. The former comes from asking about 120,000+ businesses how many people they hired. The latter comes from asking about 60,000 households about their employment status. No surprise, the latter is noisier.
A big reason for the weak household survey (and rising unemployment rate) is that more than 400,000 people who were self-employed said they were no longer employed. As you can see in the following chart this is very noisy data, but the recent trend seems to be toward lower self-employment. It’s basically reversing the surge we saw in 2021, when self-employment surged. So, what we’re seeing now may simply be normalization of the labor market as more workers move from self-employment to W2 jobs with an employer.
Also, the unemployment rate can be impacted by people leaving the labor force (technically defined as those “not looking for work”) and an aging population. I’ve discussed in prior blogs how we can get around this by looking at the employment-population ratio for prime age workers, i.e. workers aged 25-54 years. This measures the number of people working as a percent of the civilian population. Think of it as the opposite of the unemployment rate, and because we use prime age, you also get around the demographic issue.
The good news is that the prime-age employment-population ratio dropped only a tick, from 80.8% to 80.7%. This still leaves it higher than at any point between 2002 and 2022.
All in all, the labor market remains strong and resilient, despite all the recession calls. Perhaps its not as strong as the headline payroll growth number of 339,000 suggests, but any number above 150,000 would be good at this point. And we’re certainly well above that.
In fact, looking at the job growth and employment-population data, this labor market is probably the strongest we’ve seen since the late 1990’s. Our view since the end of last year has been that the economy can avoid a recession this year, and nothing we’ve seen to date suggests we need to reverse that view. Far from it.

June Better in Pre-Election Years

Since 1971 June has shone brighter on NASDAQ stocks as a rule ranking eighth best with an 0.8% average gain, up 29 of 52 years. This contributes to NASDAQ’s “Best 8 Months” which ends in June. Small caps also fare well in June. Russell 2000 has averaged 0.6% in June since 1979 advancing 63.6% of the time.
June ranks near the bottom on the Dow Jones Industrials just above September since 1950 with an average loss of 0.2%. S&P 500 performs similarly poorly, ranking ninth, but essentially flat (0.02% average gain).
Despite being much stronger S&P 500 pre-election year June ranks fifth best. For the rest it is just sixth best. Average monthly gains in pre-election year June range from DJIA 1.1% to a respectable 2.4% for NASDAQ. Russell 2000 has been the most consistently bullish in pre-election years, up 8 of the last 11 (72.7% of the time).

The June Swoon?

Stocks did it again, as the S&P 500 gained 0.2% in the month of May, making it now 10 of the past 11 years that stocks finished green in May. Of course, it gained only 0.01% last year and only 0.25% this year, so the recent returns weren’t off the charts by any measure.
Looking specifically at this year, tech added more than 9% in May, thanks to excitement over AI and Nvidia, with communication services and consumer discretionary also in the green, while the other eight sectors were lower.
Specifically, turning to the month of June, stocks historically have hit a bit of trouble here. Since 1950, up 0.03% on average, the fourth worst month of the year. Over the past 20 years, only January and September have been worse and in the past decade, it is again the fourth worst month. The one bit of good news is during a pre-election year is it up 1.5%, the fifth-best month of the year.
Here’s another chart we’ve shared before, but years that gained big in January (like 2023) tend to see some periods of consolidation in late May/early June, but eventually experience a surge higher into July. Given the flattish overall May, this could be playing out again.
What if stocks were having a good year heading into June? Since 1950, if the S&P 500 was up more than 8% for the year going into June (like this year), the month of June was up an impressive 1.2% on average versus the average June return of 0.03%, while in a pre-election year the returns jumped to 1.8%. The percent of the time where returns were higher gets better as well, from 54.8% in your average June to nearly 74% if up 8% or more for the year heading into June, to 80% of the time higher if up 8% for the year in a pre-election year.
Overall, it has been a very nice run for stocks this year and we remain overweight stocks in the Carson Investment Research House Views. June could potentially cause some volatility, but when all is said and done, we wouldn’t bet against more strength and higher prices in June.

NASDAQ and Russell 2000 Lead June Pre-Election Strength

Over the last 21 years, June has been a rather lackluster month. DJIA, S&P 500 and Russell 1000 have all recorded average losses in the month. Russell 2000 has fared better with a modest average gain. Historically the month has opened respectably, advancing on the first and second trading days.
From there the market then drifted sideways and lower into negative territory just ahead of mid-month. Here the market rallied to create a nice mid-month bulge that quickly evaporated and returned to losses. The brisk, post, mid-month drop is typically followed by a month end rally led by technology and small caps.
Historical performance in pre-election years has been much stronger with all five indexes finishing with average gains. June’s overall pattern in pre-election is similar to the last 21-years pattern with a brief, shallow pullback after a solid start.
In pre-election years the mid-month rally has been much more robust beginning around the sixth trading day and lasting until the fifteenth. Followed by another modest retreat and rally into the end of Q2.

May and YTD 2023 Asset Class Performance

May 2023 is now behind us, and below is a look at how various asset classes performed during the month using US-listed exchange-traded products as proxies. We also include YTD and YoY total returns.
May was a month of divergence where Tech/AI soared, and the rest of the market fell. Notably, the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ) gained 7.88% in May while the Dow Jones Dividend ETF (DVY) fell 7.7%. That's a 15 percentage-point spread!
At the sector level, it was a similar story. While the Tech sector (XLK) rose 8.9%, sectors like Energy (XLE), Consumer Staples (XLP), Materials (XLB), and Utilities (XLU) fell more than 5%. In total, 8 of 11 sectors were in the red for the month.
Outside the US, we saw pullbacks in most areas of the world other than Brazil, India, and Japan. China, Hong Kong, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the UK all fell more than 5%.
All of the commodity-related ETFs/ETNs were in the red for May, with oil (USO) and natural gas (UNG) falling the most at more than 10% each.
Finally, fixed-income ETFs also fell in May as interest rates bounced back. The aggregate bond market ETF (AGG) was down 1.14% in May, leaving it up just 2.6% YTD and down 2.2% year-over-year.

How Worried Should We Be About Consumer Debt?

A very common question we get these days is whether we’re concerned about the massive increase in consumer debt.
Short answer: No. Well, not yet anyway. But let’s walk through it in 6 charts.
The New York Federal Reserve (NY Fed) releases a quarterly report on household debt and credit, and the latest one that was released last week came with the headline:
“Household Debt Hits $17.05 Trillion in First Quarter.” But let’s look at the details. Household debt increased by $148 billion in Q1. That translates to a 0.9% increase, which is the slowest quarterly increase in two years. Most of the increase in debt was from mortgage originations ($121 billion) – mortgage debt makes up $12 trillion of the total $17 trillion in debt. The rest was auto loan and student loan balances.
Here’s something interesting: credit card balances were flat in Q1, at $986 billion. The fact that overall balances are higher than where they were in 2019 ($927 billion) should not be surprising given we just experienced a lot of inflation. Prices rose at the fastest pace in 40 years, and so you should expect card balances to increase. However, incomes rose as well.
When you think debt, the key question is whether households are able to service that debt. A good measure of that is to look at debt service costs as a percent of disposable income. As of Q4 2022, that’s at 9.7%, slightly lower than what it was before the pandemic and well below the historical average.
There’s even better news: disposable income grew 2.9% in the first quarter of 2023. Significantly higher than the 0.9% increase in total household debt, let alone interest costs!
Part of that includes the large boost to social security income due to inflation adjustments in January. Also, tax brackets were adjusted higher, resulting in more money in household wallets.
But even if you exclude these one-off increases, disposable income growth has been strong between February and April, rising at a 5% annualized pace. In fact, employee compensation by itself has risen at a 3.9% annualized pace over the past three months. Meanwhile, inflation is running just about 3% – which means households are seeing real income gains (adjusted for inflation).
This is why consumers don’t feel the need to borrow to the extent they did before the pandemic. Credit utilization rates measure credit card balances as a percent of available credit. As you can see in the following chart, utilization rates for both credit cards and home equity lines of credit are well below pre-pandemic averages.
Lack of stress showing in delinquency data as well
Another way to look for signs of consumer stress is to look at the debt delinquency data. As of the first quarter, the NY Fed survey showed that the percent of loan balances that were more than 90 days delinquent was stable around 1.5%. That’s down from 1.9% a year ago, and quite a bit below the 3% average in 2019.
Even third-party collections are at record lows, with just over 5% of consumers having collections against them as of the first quarter. This is down from 6% a year ago and below the 2019 average of 9.2%. The average collection amount per person is $1,316, which is lower than the $1,452 average in late 2019. This is surprising because just with inflation you’d have thought the amount would be higher.
All in all, the data on consumer finances is not showing much cause for concern. So, count us in the “not worried” camp. At least, not yet.

Some Good Inflation News

While the market prices in a much higher likelihood of a rate hike at the June meeting, there was actually some decent news on the inflation front today. Starting with the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence report, in this month's update, the inflation expectations component fell to 6.1% from a peak of 7.9% fifteen months ago in March 2022 (first time reading touched 7.9%). Looking at the chart below, this reading was also at 6.1% fifteen months before that first peak. In other words, for all the talk about how inflation has been stickier, the pace of decline in this indicator on the way down has been the same as the pace of increase on the way up.
Another notable report was today's release of the Dallas Fed Manufacturing report. The Prices Paid component of that report showed a decline from 19.5 down to 13.8 which was the lowest reading since July 2020. For the month of May, two of the five components (Empire and Philadelphia) showed modest m/m increases from multi-month lows, and three showed significant declines to multi-month lows. The chart below shows a composite of the Prices Paid component using the z-scores for each of the five individual components going back to 2010. The peak for this component was 19 months ago in November 2021. Unlike the inflation expectations of the Conference Board survey, this reading hasn't declined quite as fast as it increased in the 19 months leading up to the peak, but at -0.2, it is still below its historical average dating back to 2010 and back down to levels it was at right before the COVID shock hit the economy in early 2020.

Home Prices Bounce in Hardest Hit Areas

March data on home prices across the country were released today with updated S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller numbers. Case Shiller home prices had been falling rapidly in many of the twenty cities tracked, but in March we actually saw a pretty big month-over-month bounce in some of the hardest-hit areas like San Diego, San Francisco, LA, Denver, and Phoenix. Some cities still saw declines, however. Las Vegas saw a m/m drop of 0.93%, while Miami fell 0.41%, and Seattle fell 0.28%.
On a year-over-year basis, Miami is still up the most with a gain of 10.86%. As shown in the table below, Miami home prices are up 59.87% from pre-COVID levels in February 2020, and they're only down 2.9% from post-COVID highs. Only Tampa is up more than Miami from pre-COVID levels (+61.04%), but Tampa prices are down more from their post-COVID highs (-4.70%) than Miami (-2.90%).
Four cities are down more than 10% from their post-COVID highs: San Diego (-10.12%), Las Vegas (-10.95%), San Francisco (-16.35%), and Seattle (-16.50%). New York is down the least from post-COVID highs of any city tracked at just -2.9%.
Below we include charts of home price levels across all 20 cities tracked by Case Shiller along with the three composite indices. We've included a vertical red line on each chart to highlight pre-COVID levels. When looking through the charts, you can see this month's small bounce back in most cities after a 6-9 month pullback in prices from peaks seen early last year.

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for Week Ending June 5th, 2023


STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 6/2/23

Here is the list of notable tickers reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
Here is the full list of companies report earnings for this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 6.5.23 Before Market Open:


Monday 6.5.23 After Market Close:


Tuesday 6.6.23 Before Market Open:


Tuesday 6.6.23 After Market Close:


Wednesday 6.7.23 Before Market Open:


Wednesday 6.7.23 After Market Close:


Thursday 6.8.23 Before Market Open:


Thursday 6.8.23 After Market Close:


Friday 6.9.23 Before Market Open:


Friday 6.9.23 After Market Close:






What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week?

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great new trading week ahead StockMarketChat. :)
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